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"would be a most happy event for his Majesty's service.” 1
Pepperrell kept his temper under this thrust, and wrote to the commodore with invincible courtesy: “Am extremely sorry the fogs prevent me from the pleasure of waiting on you on board your ship,” adding that six hundred men should be furnished from the army and the transports to man the “ Vigilant,” which was now the most powerful ship in the squadron. In short, he showed every disposition to meet Warren halfway. But the commodore was beginning to feel some doubts as to the expediency of the bold action he had proposed, and informed Pepperrell that his pilots thought it impossible to go into the harbor until the Island Battery was silenced. In fact, there was danger that if the ships got in while that battery was still alive and active, they would never get out again, but be kept there as in a trap, under the fire from the town ramparts.
Gridley's artillery at Lighthouse Point had been doing its best, dropping bombshells with such precision into the Island Battery that the French soldiers were sometimes seen running into the sea to escape the explosions. Many of the Island guns were dismounted, and the place was fast becoming untenable. At the same time the English batteries on the land side were pushing their work of destruction with relentless industry, and walls and bastions crumbled under their fire. The French labored with energy under cover of night to repair the mischief; closed the shattered West Gate with a wall of stone and earth twenty feet thick, made an epaulement to protect what was left of the formidable Circular Battery,
1 Warren to Pepperrell, 29 May, 1746. VOL. 11.-9
— all but three of whose sixteen guns had been dismounted, — stopped the throat of the Dauphin's Bastion with a barricade of stone, and built a cavalier, or raised battery, on the King's Bastion, — where, however, the English fire soon ruined it. Against that near and peculiarly dangerous neighbor, the advanced battery, or, as they called it, the Batterie de Francour, they planted three heavy cannon to take it in flank. “These," says Duchambon, "produced a marvellous effect, dismounted one of the cannon of the Bastonnais, and damaged all their embrasures, — which,” concludes the governor, "did not prevent them from keeping up a constant fire; and they repaired by night the mischief we did them by day.” 1
Pepperrell and Warren at length came to an understanding as to a joint attack by land and water. The Island Battery was by this time crippled, and the town batteries that commanded the interior of the harbor were nearly destroyed. It was agreed that Warren, whose squadron was now increased by recent arrivals to eleven ships, besides the provincial cruisers, should enter the harbor with the first fair wind, cannonade the town and attack it in boats, while Pepperrell stormed it from the land side
1 Duchambon au Ministre, 2 Septembre, 1745
Warren was to hoist a Dutch flag under his pennant, at his main-top-gallant mast-head, as a signal that he was about to sail in; and Pepperrell was to answer by three columns of smoke, marching at the same time towards the walls with drums beating and colors flying."
The French saw with dismay a large quantity of fascines carried to the foot of the glacis, ready to fill the ditch, and their scouts came in with reports that more than a thousand scaling-ladders were lying behind the ridge of the nearest hill. Toil, loss of sleep, and the stifling air of the casemates, in which they were forced to take refuge, had sapped the strength of the besieged. The town was a ruin; only one house was untouched by shot or shell. “We could have borne all this,” writes the intendant Bigot; “but the scarcity of powder, the loss of the • Vigilant,' the presence of the squadron, and the absence of any news from Marin, who had been ordered to join us with his Canadians and Indians, spread terror among troops and inhabitants. The townspeople said that they did not want to be put to the sword, and were not strong enough to resist a general assault.”2 On the fifteenth of June they brought a petition to Duchambon, begging him to capitulate.3
On that day Captain Sherburn, at the advanced 1 Warren to Pepperrell, 11 June, 1745. Pepperrell to Warren. 13 June, 1745.
Bigot au Ministre, 1 Août, 1745. * Duchambon au Ministre, 2 Septembre, 1745.
battery, wrote in his diary: “By 12 o'clock we had got all our platforms lạid, embrazures mended, guns in order, shot in place, cartridges ready, dined, gunners quartered, matches lighted to return their last favours, when we heard their drums beat a parley: and soon appeared a flag of truce, which I received midway between our battery and their walls, conducted the officer to Green Hill, and delivered him to Colonel Richman [Richmond].”
La Perelle, the French officer, delivered a note from Duchambon, directed to both Pepperrell and Warren, and asking for a suspension of arms to enable him to draw up proposals for capitulation. Warren chanced to be on shore when the note came; and the two commanders answered jointly that it had come in good time, as they had just resolved on a general attack, and that they would give the governor till eight o'clock of the next morning to make his proposals.2
They came in due time, but were of such a nature that Pepperrell refused to listen to them, and sent back Bonaventure, the officer who brought them, with counter-proposals. These were the terms which Duchambon had rejected on the seventh of May, with added conditions; as, among others, that no officer, soldier, or inhabitant of Louisbourg should bear arms against the King of England or any of his allies for the space of a year. Duchambon stipulated,
i Duchambon à Pepperrell et Warren, 26 Juin (new style), 1745. I Warren and Pepperrell to Duchambon, 15 June, 1745.
as the condition of his acceptance, that his troops should march out of the fortress with their arms and colors." To this both the English commanders consented, Warren observing to Pepperrell “the uncertainty of our affairs, that depend so much on wind and weather, makes it necessary not to stickle at trifles."? The articles were signed on both sides, and on the seventeenth the ships sailed peacefully into the harbor, while Pepperrell with a part of his ragged army entered the south gate of the town. “Never was a place more mal'd [mauled) with cannon and shells," he writes to Shirley; “neither have I red in History of any troops behaving with greater courage. We gave them about nine thousand cannon-balls and six hundred bombs.”8 Thus this unique military performance ended in complete and astonishing success.
According to English accounts, the French had lost about three hundred men during the siege; but their real loss seems to have been not much above a third of that number. On the side of the besiegers, the deaths from all causes were only a hundred and thirty, about thirty of which were from disease. The French used their muskets to good purpose; but their mortar practice was bad, and close as was the advanced battery to their walls, they often failed to hit it, while the ground on both sides of it looked
1 Duchambon à Warren et Pepperrell, 27 Juin (new style), 1745.
3 Pepperrell to Warren, 16 June, 1745. Warren to Pepperrell, 10 June, 1745.
• Pepperrell to Shirley, 18 June (old style), 1745. Ibid., 4 July