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boughs of the maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the precipitous declivity, and, after a little firing, dispersed the picket which guarded the height; the 1759. rest ascended safely by the pathway. A battery of four guns on the left was abandoned to Colonel Howe. When Townshend's division disembarked, the English had already gained one of the roads to Quebec; and, advancing in front of the forest, Wolfe stood at daybreak with his invincible battalions on the Plains of Abraham, the battlefield of the Celtic and Saxon races.
“ It can be but a small party, come to burn a few houses and retire,” said Montcalm, in amazement, as the news reached him in his intrenchments the other side of the St. Charles; but, obtaining better information, “ Then,” he cried, “ they have at last got to the weak side of this miserable garrison; we must give battle and crush them before mid-day.” And, before ten, the two armies, equal in numbers, each being composed of less than five thousand men, were ranged in presence of one another for battle. The English, not easily accessible from intervening shallow ravines and rail-fences, were all regulars, perfect in discipline, terrible in their fearless enthusiasm, thrilling with pride at their morning's success, commanded by a man whom they obeyed with confidence and love. The doomed and devoted Montcalm had what Wolfe had called but “five weak French battalions," of less than two thousand men, “ mingled with disorderly peasantry,” formed on commanding ground. The French had three little pieces of artillery; the English, one or two. The two armies cannonaded each other for nearly an hour; when Montcalm, having summoned De Bougainville to his aid, and despatched messenger after messenger for De Vaudreuil, who had fifteen hundred men at the camp, to come up before he should be driven from the ground, endeavored to flank the British and crowd them down the high bank of the river. Wolfe counteracted the movement by detaching Townshend with Amherst's regiment, and afterwards a part of the royal Americans, who formed on the left with a double front.
Waiting no longer for more troops, Montcalm led the French army impetuously to the attack. The ill-disciplined
companies broke by their precipitation and the un1759. evenness of the ground; and fired by platoons, with
out unity. Their adversaries, especially the forty-third and the forty-seventh, where Monckton stood, of which three men out of four were Americans, received the shock with calmness; and after having, at Wolfe's command, reserved their fire till their enemy was within forty yards, their line began a regular, rapid, and exact discharge of musketry. Montcalm was present everywhere, braving danger, wounded, but cheering by his example. The second in command, De Sennezergues, an associate in glory at Ticonderoga, was killed. The brave but untried Canadians, flinching from a hot fire in the open field, began to waver; and, so soon as Wolfe, placing himself at the head of the twentyeighth and the Louisburg grenadiers, charged with bayonets, they everywhere gave way. Of the English officers, Carleton was wounded; Barré, who fought near Wolfe, received in the head a ball which made him blind of one eye, and ultimately of both. Wolfe, also, as he led the charge, was wounded in the wrist; but, still pressing forward, he received a second ball; and, having decided the day, was struck a third time, and mortally, in the breast. “ Support me,” he cried to an officer near him; “let not my brave fellows see me drop.”. He was carried to the rear, and they brought him water to quench his thirst. « They run! they run !” spoke the officer on whom he leaned. “Who run ?” asked Wolfe, as his life was fast ebbing. “ The French,” replied the officer, "give way everywhere.” “What,” cried the expiring hero, “do they run already? Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton; bid him march Webb’s regiment with all speed to Charles River to cut off the fugitives.” Four days before, he had looked forward to early death with dismay. “Now, God be praised, I die happy." These were his words as his spirit escaped in the blaze of his glory. Night, silence, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, the sure inspiration of genius, had been his allies; his battle-field, high over the ocean river, was the grandest theatre for illustrious deeds; his victory, one of the most
eye, and in the head a ja Barré, who the English Offcayo
momentous in the annals of mankind, gave to the English tongue and the institutions of the Germanic race the unexplored and seemingly infinite west and north. He crowded into a few hours actions that would have given lustre to length of life; and, filling his day with greatness, completed it before its noon.
Monckton, the first brigadier, after greatly distin- 1759. guishing himself, was shot through the lungs. Townshend, the next in command, recalled the troops from the pursuit; and, when De Bougainville appeared in view, declined a contest with a fresh enemy. But already the hope of New France was gone. Born and educated in camps, Montcalm had been carefully instructed, and was skilled in the language of Homer as well as in the art of war. Laborious, just, disinterested, hopeful even to rashness, sagacious in council, swift in action, his mind was a well-spring of bold designs; his career in Canada, a wonderful struggle against inexorable destiny. Sustaining hunger and cold, vigils and incessant toil, anxious for his soldiers, unmindful of himself, he set, even to the forest-trained red men, an example of self-denial and endurance; and, in the midst of corruption, made the public good his aim. Struck by a musket-ball, as he fought opposite Monckton, he continued in the engagement till, in attempting to rally a body of fugitive Canadians in a copse near St. John's gate, he was mortally wounded.
On hearing from the surgeon that death was certain, “ I am glad of it,” he cried ; “how long shall I survive ? ” “ Ten or twelve hours, perhaps less.” “So much the better; I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec.” To the council of war he showed that in twelve hours all the troops near at hand might be concentrated and renew the attack before the English were intrenched. When De Ramsay, who commanded the garrison, asked his advice about defending the city, “ To your keeping," he replied, “I commend the honor of France. As for me, I shall pass the night with God, and prepare myself for death.” Having written a letter recommending the French prisoners to the generosity of the English, his last hours were given to the VOL. III.
offices of his religion, and at five the next morning he expired.
The day of the battle had not passed, when De Vaudreuil, who had no capacity for war, wrote to De Ramsay at Quebec not to wait for an assault, but, as soon as his provisions were exhausted, to raise the white flag of surrender. “We have cheerfully sacrificed our fortunes and our houses,” said the citizens; “but we cannot expose our wives and children to a massacre.” At a council of war, Fiedmont, a captain of artillery, was the only one who wished to hold out to the last extremity; and on the seventeenth of September, before the English had constructed batteries, De Ramsay capitulated.
America rung with exultation; the towns were bright with illuminations, the hills with bonfires; legislatures, the pulpit, the press, echoed the general joy; provinces and families gave thanks to God. England, too, which had shared the despondency of Wolfe, triumphed at his victory and wept for his death. Joy, grief, curiosity, amazement, were on every countenance. When the parliament assembled, Pitt modestly and gracefully put aside the praises that were showered on him. “ The more a man is versed in business,” said he, “the more he finds the hand of Providence everywhere.” “I will own I have a zeal to serve my country beyond what the weakness of my frail body admits
of;” and he foretold new successes at sea. Novem1769. ber fulfilled his predictions. In that month, Sir Ed
ward Hawke attacked the fleet of Constans off the northern coast of France; and, though it retired to the shelter of shoals and rocks, he gained the battle during a storm at night-fall.
ed on and gracef, When the
INVASION OF THE VALLEY OF THE TENNESSEE. PITT'S
The capitulation of Quebec was received by Townshend as though the achievement had been his own; and his official report of the battle left out the name of Wolfe, 1759. whom he indirectly censured. He had himself come over for a single summer's campaign, to be afterwards gloried about and rewarded. As he hurried from the citadel, which he believed untenable, back to the secure gayeties of London, Charles Paxton, an American by birth, one of the revenue officers of Boston, ever on the alert to propitiate members of the government and men of influence with ministers, purchased his future favor, which might bring with it that of his younger brother, by lending him money that was never to be repaid.
Such was the usage of those days. Officers of the customs gave as their excuse for habitually permitting evasions of the laws of trade that it was their only mode of getting rich; for they were “quartered upon” by their English patrons for more than the amount of all their honest perquisites. Townshend returned home, to advocate governing America by concentrating power in England; and, like Braddock, Sharpe, Shirley, Abercrombie, Loudoun, Amherst, Gage, and so many more of his profession, to look upon taxation of the colonies by the metropolis as the discharge of a necessary duty.
In Georgia, Ellis, the able governor, who had great influence in the public offices, was studying how the colonies could be administered by the central authority. In South Carolina, Lyttelton persuaded himself that he had restored