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struggle with the French and Indians was but the training school, which, in the coming years, was to give them confidence in themselves to accomplish a victory for freedom.
Montcalm, reading the weakness of the Earl of Loudon, had seized his opportunity and struck an almost fatal blow at the English.
CAPTURE OF QUEBEC.
History can only take things in the gross ;
But could we know in detail, perchance,
War's merit it by no means might enhance,
As has been done more conquests to advance.
The time had come when the wise heads of England realized that, if the British government would retain her possessions in America, folly must no longer be practised. The Americans were between two foes, the royalists and the French, and there can be no doubt, that as between the two they might in time have yielded to the latter as less tyrannical than the former. They still had a strong friend in William Pitt. While Loudon was making tremendous efforts to conquer the Americans by overawing their assemblies and bringing the people into subjection to the royal will, Pitt was devising plans for conciliating them
by just and generous treatment. When, late in the year, the Bostonians refused to submit to the billeting of royal soldiers upon them, the imperious earl sent a manifesto to the authorities of that city, saying:
“ I have ordered the messenger to wait but fortyeight hours in Boston; and if, on his return, I find things not settled, I will instantly order into Boston the three regiments from New York, Long Island, and Connecticut, and, if more are wanted, I have two in the Jerseys at hand, beside three in Pennsylvania.” While that alarming and foolish message was on the way to the New England capital, another from Pitt was crossing the Atlantic for the recall of Loudon. The minister complained that he could “never hear from him, and did not know what he was about.”
Never did an oppressed people feel more relieved than the Americans at the recall of the odious Loudon. Preparations for the campaign of 1758 were pressed with vigor. A strong naval armament was placed under the command of Boscawen, and twelve thousand additional troops were allotted to the service of America, while equal vigor with more enthusiasm was evinced in the colonies. When Pitt asked for twenty thousand provincial troops, an excess of that number was immediately raised, New England alone raising fifteen thousand.
In Massachusetts, public and private advances amounted to more than a million dollars. During the year 1758, enormous taxes were laid and cheerfully paid. In many instances the taxes were equal to two-thirds of the income of the tax-payer.
The plan of the campaign was a renewal of Shirley's scheme of 1756, spoiled by the idiot Loudon. It included expeditions against Louisburg, Fort Du Quesne, the strong posts in Lake Champlain, and Montreal and Quebec. To Sir Jeffrey Amherst, a veteran soldier then about forty years of age, with the accomplished James Wolfe, thirty years of age, as his lieutenant was intrusted the leadership in the expedition against Louisburg, in connection with Boscawen's fleet. General Joseph Forbes was to attempt the capture of Fort Du Quesne and the Ohio Valley, and General Abercrombie, with young Lord Howe as his lieutenant, was directed to sweep the French from Lake Champlain and attempt the capture of Montreal and Quebec. To Wolfe and Howe, Pitt looked for success, more than to Abercrombie and Amherst. Both were young men, experienced in military life, judicious, magnetic and full of energy.
Wolfe was the most remarkable of all the soldiers sent by Great Britain. He was a refined young gentleman with decided literary tastes, full of ambition, at the same time noble and kind. The campaign of 1758 opened with the siege of Louisburg. On the 8th of June, fleet and army appeared in Gabarus Bay not far from Louisburg and the troops proceeded to land. The surf was running high and breaking in foam on the rugged shore. Wolfe, at the head of the first division, ventured among the turbulent waters before the dawn. Several of his launches bearing troops were upset and shattered. When he reached shoal water, the impatient young general leaped into the sea waist deep, drew his sword and, in the morning twilight, led his soldiers against breastworks and abatis in the face of a sharp fire from the batteries. The French were driven from their outworks into. the fort, and the siege immediately began. It lasted almost fifty days, the fort being ably defended by Chevalier de Drucourt with twentyfive hundred regulars and six hundred militia. Four days after landing, some batteries of the enemy were captured and smaller works quickly secured. The English placed cannon in the battery and began to play upon the fort and town and vessels in the harbor. The roar of cannon and shriek and crash of shells were almost incessant. Four French ships in the harbor were sunk and the town reduced to a ruin. English shot and shell dismounted nearly all the cannon on the fort, and, on the 26th of July, the French were compelled to