Page 13 - Misery at Louisbourg: Aftermath of the First Siege, 1745
ISSUE : Issue 68
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/6/1
Aftermath of the Misery at Louisbourg: ;i;t't''yZ WHEN WORD OF THE VICTORY over the French at Louisbourg reached New York, they drank and sang in the streets: Let all Subjects now rejoice. The seventeenth day of June On Monday Morning in a Trice We sung the French a tune. A glorious peace we will have soon, For we have conquered Cape Breton With a fa la la. Well, the '*fa la la" didn't last very long, at least not back in Cape Breton. First of all, to the disgust of the victorious New Englanders who had been promised the booty, the terms of peace allowed the French to take their private property with them. The troops were mutinous, and only a promised increase in pay calmed them down. Moreover, New England forces at Louisbourg had turned from being a siege army to an army of occupation. They were left with a filthy, bomb-blasted fortress to live in. Garbage and human waste continued to pile up in the narrow streets, turning the fortress "into a midden." And these troops, who had slept outdoors, were now living in barracks that encouraged the spread of disease. From a diary of August, 1745: "After we got into the Towne, a sordid indolence or Sloth, for want of Discipline, induced putrid fevers and dyssentrys, which at length became contagious, and the people died like rotten sheep." Another: "No survivor ever forgot the miseries of that dire winter in cold and clammy Louisbourg." Accord? ing to historian Senator J. S. McLennan, by April of 1746, 480 Provincials had died of disease • almost four times the number who had died in battle. He goes on: "For weeks (because the ground was too frozen for burials) the living and dead had remained under the same roof...." What follows is just a taste of a long, first-hand account of day-to-day life in Louisbourg after the victory. It was writ? ten by Chaplain Stephen Williams of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. From Chaplain Williams' Journal July 24,1745 prayd at the Citadell, and Hospitall • 'The young man, belonging to capt Byles' company is dead this moming • his name • was Mallett tWngs are managd strangely at the Hos? pitall yet, I pray God, to direct me, what to do • in this affair • went to Mr [Elisha] Williams and walkd in the city • dind • at Home • capt [Jonathan] pre- scot being with me • . after din? er vistd capt [Jeremiah] Fos? ter • and capt: [John] Baker • prayd with capt Baker • 'this af? temoon the ships came in, with their prize, which proves to be a very rich ship • from the East • Indies • the Lord keep us humble • under such re- peatd Smiles • Flag carried by the New Englanders at the First Siege of Louisbourg Knowles to Clinton, Louisbourg, 5 April 1747: ...In general I can only say it is the worst spot upon the Globe and I am sure will never answer any End, except that of a certain immense Expence both of Treasure and Mens lives, very near half the Troops are dead akeady so that we are in a very weak condition.... Schooner Village Gift Shop ClanRegaha Tartans Celtic IVIusic Woolens Books Souvenirs Jewelry Sweats and T-Shirts Waxed Field Jackets LADIES' TARTAN KILTS $99.95 (GST included) The Hung' Piper cafe and Tea Room for Moming Coffee, Cafe Lunches, and Aftemoon Teas ... try our famous CABOT TRAIL OATCAKES and SCOTTISH SCONES • PIPER ON STAFF • "Thigibh asteach, bniidhinnibh gaidhlig 's bi cuppa cofaidh no ti saor an asgaidh 'na chois" at the bridge ~ MARGAREE HARBOUR ~ corner of Cabot and Ceilidh Trails OPEN DAILY • 9 to 5 • LATE JUNE to NOVEMBER 1 Dine aboard a real ship • The Marion Elizabeth Schooner Restaurant and Lounge for fine food and drink aboard Canada's oldest saltbank schooner at the bridge ~ MARGAREE HARBOUR ~ comer of Cabot and Ceilidh Trails OPEN DAILY • 5 p.m. to Midnight • LATE JUNE to THANKSGIVING 31 in moming chappell and Hospitall • I have Something of a cold • Mr. W. and H. [Wil? liams and Hawley] came to visit me • 'we walkd abroad • and met Mr. [Charles?] pynchon who informd us that by a letter from Londondery [New Hampshire] there was an acct of four? teen men, kild at deerfield, [Mass.] by the indians and 4 at number 4 • an affect? ing account indeed • or people • must need, be greatly destressd • 'thus we are caled to Sing of judg? ment as well as mercy • The Lord help us • to do • both aright • oh that the Lord, would prepare for what tideings we may hear further • oh that God, would humble us and bring to depend upon him • . Mr. W. [Williams], Collnll W. [Williams] and Mr H • [Hawley] dind with us • aftr dinr one Lt. [Daniel] Giddins • Sent to me to come and See him • I went • 'to him • he is Sick • he appears to be a serious man, resignd to the will of God • I hope God, will raise him up • and make him yet serviceable • in the Evening • I took pains to get a pticular acct of the story, that comes from London • deny • 'but cant • leam the certainty of anything but hope • 'things are not So bad • as we feard • 'the Lord be pleasd to prepare for his holy pleasure • for what tideings So ever • we may be calld • 'to hear • . August 10 in the citadell • and Hospi? tall • 'visitd dr p [Charles Pyncheon] and capt: Colton • found them better • but E. Bliss is poorly, visitd • Lt [Daniel] Gid- dens • 'and found him better • 'visitd Stanchfield [Standifield?] • who is Sick a raw day • 'wind • 'N • E and windy: a good wind for those gone Home • the Lord be pleasd to be with them and prosper them • Some vessels from Con- necticutt, and Rhodeisland • and one from Charlestown, in N. England but I don't know there is any news • 'Last night one Searl of Roxbury dyd • he be- longd now to CoUenell Molton [Jeremiah Moulton] regiment • Note • 'this day one Stanly the man that took the sheets from
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