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“I believe we might have cut off at least one half of the garrison the day we landed, if the country had then been as well known to us as it is now ; but our measures have been cautions and slow from the beginning to the end, except in landing where there was an appearance of temerity.
“You know I hold Mr. Knowles in the utmost contempt as an officer, and engineer, and a citizen. He built a useless cavalier upon the Bastion Dauphin which fell to my share to demolish, and we did it effectually in a few hours. This famous Marine Cavalier was so constructed that the artillery of the bastion upon which it stood had hardly room to work, and the people were so little sheltered that we drove 'em from their guns with our musquetry.
“I have just learnt that the Shannon is under sail and I have learnt a great deal of bad news—that my Lord Howe is certainly kill'd, and Clarke kill'd, and Abercromby’s army repulsed with considerable loss. We are told, too, that the Fleet wants provisions, that the anchors and cables of the transports have been so damag'd in Gaberouse Bay that an expedition up the River St. Lawrence is now impracticable.
“7th August. As the sea officers seem to think that no attack can be made upon Quebeck nor no diversion up the River St. Lawrence, why we dont send immediate reinforcements to Abercromby I cant devise. I have told Mr Amherst that if Lawrence has any objection to going I am ready to embark with a brigade or whatever he pleases to send up to Boston or New York, and if he does not find me some employment at Gaspie or somewhere else (supposing Lawrence goes to the Continent) I shall desire my demission to join my regiment upon the expedition, altho' I can harly hope to get home in time unless you are all gone to St Phillips. The Ministry of England do not see that to possess the Isle of Aix with 5 or 6 battalions and a fleet is one or other of the most brilliant and most usefull strokes that this nation can possibly strike. It stops up at once the harbours of Rochefort and Rochelle, obstructs and ruins the whole trade of the Bay of Biscay, inevitably brings on a sea fight which we ought by all means to aim at, and is the finest diversion that can possibly be made with a small force. St Martins (against which) (by the preparations) your force is probably bent, is difficult to take, and of little use when you get it, whereas the other has every advantage that I have mention’d and is besides of easy defence. If you will honour me with the command of 4,000 upon the island, and give me a good quantity of artillery, fascines, and sand bags. I will establish myself in such a manner as to make it no easy matter to drive me out, and I am very sure the French would exchange Minorca or anything else to get it back again.
“We hear that Mr Provost has got a Commission as Brigadier. He is most universally detested by all ranks of people, and the ministers cannot do worse than let him serve in the army. He is fit for no sort of command, and does not know how to obey.
“The arms, stores, &c. for Forbe's corps were so long in getting to him that the Cherokee Indians went off just as he was prepared to march. They were tir’d of waiting for such tardy warriors.
“Notwithstanding the unlucky accident that has betaken the troops under Mr. Abercromby, I am fully persuaded if we act vigorously here for one summer more and can get people who will venture up to Quebec —and if you will afterwards (in the autumn) exert your utmost force in the West Indies by joining the superfluity of this army to troops from Europe—such advantage might be made of our present superiority as the enemy would not easily recover, and a peace may be procured upon your own terms, and better push on a year longer, or even two, if it be possible, than have the business to begin again–6 or 8 years hence.
“I am afraid that by this time Mr. Abercromby is left to defend himself with the remains of his regular troops. The Americans are in general the dirtiest most contemptible cowardly dogs that you can conceive. There is no depending upon 'em in action. They fall down dead in their own dirt and desert by battalions, officers and all. Such rascals as those are rather an incumbrance than any real strength to an army.
‘‘I find that a Lieutenant of the first Regt. is put over Carleton's head. Can Sir John Ligonier allow his Majesty to remain unacquainted with the merit of that officer, and can he see such a mark of displeasure without endeavouring to soften or clear the matter up a little P A man of honour has a right to expect the protection of his Colonel and of the Commander of the troops, and he can’t serve without it. If I was in Carleton's place I would n’t stay an hour in the army after being pointed at and distinguish’d in so remarkable a manner.
“If you have been upon any business, as I believe you have, I heartily hope that you have been successful, and sorry since we have so 1ittle to do here that I couldn't assist at the head of my young Battalion.”
Secret Instructions for Our Trusty and Welbeloved James Wolfe Esqr., Brigadier General of Our Forces in North America, and Major General and Commander in Chief of a Body of Our Land Forces, to be employed on an Expedition against Quebec by the way of the River St. Laurence. Given at Our Court at St. James's the Fifth Day of February 1759, in the Thirty Second Year of Our Reign.
Whereas We have, by our commission bearing Date the Twelfth Day January last, appointed You to be Major General and Commander in Chief of a considerable Body of Our Land Forces directed to Assemble at Louisburg in our Island of Cape Breton, in order to proceed, by the way of the River St. Lawrence, as early as the Season of the year will admit of operations, by Sea and Land, in those Parts, to attack and reduce Quebec; And whereas We have appointed Rear Admiral Saunders to be Commander in Chief of a Squadron of Our Ships to act in Conjunction, and cooperate, with our said Land Forces, in the execution of the above most important Service; We have thought fit to give you the following Instructions for Your Conduct. And that you may be fully informed of the Number of Our Forces destined for this Expedition against Quebec, and of the several Preparations, directed to be made for that Service; We have ordered to be delivered to you herewith Extracts or Copies of three Letters, wrote, by one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, to Major General Amherst, dated the 29th. of December, and the 12th. & 13th. of