Page 36 - New Englanders Take Louisbourg, 1745
ISSUE : Issue 19
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/6/1
street was so confident that the battery would be taken, he also had the New Eng? landers bring over-sized cannon balls. These balls did not fit any of the New England artillery but did fit the French cannon in the Royal Battery, And within three days of the landing the French were under fire from their own cannons at the Royal Battery. In addition to the Royal Battery, the New Englanders began to set up a series of batteries (Arrow #21) from which to bom? bard the town's landward fortifications. The object of this bombardment was to cre? ate a breach or gap in the town's de? fences. When this breach was wide enough to be considered "practical" for an infan? try assault, then by the conventions of war of the period, the governor would sur? render the town. If the governor did not surrender at that time, then the town when taken was thrown open to rape and pillage by the attackers. The New Englanders con? centrated their efforts on the demi-bas? tion Dauphin, which was on lower ground and hence more vulnerable than the rest of the fortifications. The New Englanders were quite quick in setting up their bat? teries. The Green Hill battery (Point B) opened fire on 15 May; the Cohorn (Point C) on 22 May; the Fascine (Point D) on 25 May; the Advanced (point E) on 28 May and finally, Titcomb's (Point F) on 31 May. The only major French attempt to hinder these efforts was an unsuccessful sortie (Arrow #22) on the night of 19 May, while French counter-battery fire had only lim? ited success. The major hindrances to the New England siege batteries came from their inexperienced gunners* tendency to blow up their own cannon, shortages of gunpowder and inclement weather. "Those who were on the spot, have frequently in my hearing, laughed at the recital of their own irregularities, and expressed their admiration when they reflect? ed on the almost miraculous pre servation of the army from des truction. They indeed pre sented a formidable front to the enemy;but the rear was a scene of confusion and fro? lic. While some were on duty... others were racing, wrest ling, pitch? ing quoits firing at marks or at birds. ing after shot from the enemy's guns, for which they received a bounty." (Belknap, His, of N. Hampshire) In spite of these difficulties, the siege batteries main? tained a galling fire on the town, scoring heavily against the Dauphin demi-bastion. That Advanced Battery was only 220 yards from the wall, hitting it point blank, i- ron cannonballs smashing into a masonry wall, trying to open a breach. Journal Entry: There was a man had his Legg Shot off by a Cannon Ball and he Died before he Could be Brought down to the Camp. Another Receiv'd a Muskett Ball in his Elbow which Caus'd his Arm Emeadiately to be taken off. Another was Shot m his knee and Doctor Pynchon tells me He dont Expect he'll Live. It is now Very Cold and has Snow'd for Several hours together... As I was by the water Side A washing My Cloath's I See a Dead man carred along To be buried he was Kill'd by A Piece of A Bomb Shell that Came from the Town it fell on his head and broke his Skull. Meanwhile, with the early capture of the Royal Battery, the Island Battery emerged as the major obstacle preventing the New England fleet entering the harbour. Once in the harbour the warships would be able to bombard the town and the sailors would be able to participate in a combined land and sea assault on the town. The New Eng? landers hoped to take the battery by a surprise night amphibious assault. They tried this several times (Arrow #23). One night the officers didn't show up. Another (Cl O U I s b u r g' ,.' //. //.. ' ??.,??'..::. ??- • • ??.
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