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Tenderness in the Strongest manner.”— Shirley to Newcastle, 6 No. vember, 1745. The English documents on the siege of Louisbourg are many and voluminous. The Pepperrell Papers and the Belknap Papers, both in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, afford a vast number of contemporary letters and documents on the subject. The large volume entitled Siege of Louisbourg, in the same repository, contains many more, including a number of autograph diaries of soldiers and others. To these are to be added the journals of General Wolcott, James Gibson, Benjamin Cleaves, Seth Pomeroy, and several others, in print or manuscript, among which is especially to be noted the journal appended to Shirley's Letter to the Duke of Newcastle of October 28, 1745, and bearing the names of Pepperrell, Brigadier Waldo, Colonel Moore, and Lieutenant-Colonels Lothrop and Gridley, who attest its accuracy. Many papers have also been drawn from the Public Record Office of London. Accounts of this affair have hitherto rested, with but slight exceptions, on English sources alone. The archives of France have furnished useful material to the foregoing narrative, notably the long report of the governor, Duchambon, to the minister of war, and the letter of the intendant, Bigot, to the same personage, within about six weeks after the surrender. But the most curious French evidence respecting the siege is the Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg contenant une Relation eracte & circonstanciee de la Prise de l'Isle-Royale par les Anglois. A Québec, chez Guillaume le Sincère, à l’Image de la Verite, 1745. This little work, of eighty-one printed pages, is extremely rare. I could study it only by having a literatim transcript made from the copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale, as it was not in the British Museum. It bears the signature B. L. N., and is dated a . . . ce 28 Août, 1745. The imprint of Québec, etc., is certainly a mask, the book having no doubt been printed in France. It severely criticises Duchambon, and makes him mainly answerable for the disaster. For French views of the siege of Louisbourg, see Appendix B.
LOUISBOURG AFTER THE CONQUEST. — MOTINY. - PESTILENCE. –
STEPHEN WILLIAMS : H18 DIARY. - SCHEME OF CONQUERING CANADA. - NEWCASTLE'S PROMISES. - ALARM IN CANADA. — PROMISES BROKEN. — PLAN AGAINST CROWN POINT. — STARTLING News. — D'Anville's FLEET. — LOUISBOURG TO BE AVENGED. — DISASTERS OF D'ANVILLE. — STORM. - PESTILENCE. - FAMINE. - Death OF D'ANVILLE. – SUICIDE OF THE VICEADMIRAL. — Ruinous FAILURE. — RETURN VOYAGE. – DEFEAT OF LA JONQUIÈRE.
The troops and inhabitants of Louisbourg were all embarked for France, and the town was at last in full possession of the victors. The serious-minded among them — and there were few who did not bear the stamp of hereditary Puritanism — now saw a fresh proof that they were the peculiar care of an approving Providence. While they were in camp the weather had been favorable; but they were scarcely housed when a cold, persistent rain poured down in floods that would have drenched their flimsy tents and turned their huts of turf into mud-heaps, robbing the sick of every hope of recovery. Even now they got little comfort from the shattered tenements of
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Louisbourg. The siege had left the town in so filthy a condition that the wells were infected and the water was poisoned.
The soldiers clamored for discharge, having enlisted to serve only till the end of the expedition; and Shirley insisted that faith must be kept with them, or no more would enlist.1 Pepperrell, much to the dissatisfaction of Warren, sent home about seven hundred men, some of whom were on the sick list, while the rest had families in distress and danger on the exposed frontier. At the same time he begged hard for reinforcements, expecting a visit from the French and a desperate attempt to recover Louisbourg. He and Warren governed the place jointly, under martial law, and they both passed half their time in holding courts-martial; for disorder reigned among the disgusted militia, and no less among the crowd of hungry speculators, who flocked like vultures to the conquered town to buy the cargoes of captured ships, or seek for other prey. The Massachusetts soldiers, whose pay was the smallest, and who had counted on being at their homes by the end of July, were the most turbulent; but all alike were on the brink of mutiny. Excited by their ringleaders, they one day marched in a body to the parade and threw down their arms, but probably soon picked them up again, as in most cases the guns were hunting-pieces belonging to those who carried them. Pepperrell begged Shirley to come to
1 Shirley to Newcastle, 27 September, 1745.
Louisbourg and bring the mutineers back to duty. Accordingly, on the sixteenth of August he arrived in a ship-of-war, accompanied by Mrs. Shirley and Mrs. Warren, wife of the commodore. The soldiers duly fell into line to receive him. As it was not his habit to hide his own merits, he tells the Duke of Newcastle that nobody but he could have quieted the malcontents, — which is probably true, as nobody else had power to raise their pay. He made them a speech, promised them forty shillings in Massachusetts new-tenor currency a month, instead of twentyfive, and ended with ordering for each man half a pint of rum to drink the King's health. Though potations so generous might be thought to promise effects not wholly sedative, the mutineers were brought to reason, and some even consented to remain in garrison till the next June.1
Small reinforcements came from New England to hold the place till the arrival of troops from Gibraltar, promised by the ministry. The two regiments raised in the colonies, and commanded by Shirley and Pepperrell, were also intended to form a part of the garrison; but difficulty was found in filling the ranks, because, says Shirley, some commissions have been given to Englishmen, and men will not enlist here except under American officers.
Nothing could be more dismal than the condition of Louisbourg, as reflected in the diaries of soldiers and others who spent there the winter that followed
1 Shirley to Newcastle, 4 December, 1745.
its capturo. Among these diaries is that of the worthy Benjamin Crafts, private in Hale's Essex regiment, who to the entry of each day adds a pious invocation, sincere in its way, no doubt, though hackneyed, and sometimes in strange company. Thus, after noting down Shirley's gift of half a pint of rum to every man to drink the King's health, he adds immediately: “The Lord Look upon us and enable us to trust in him & may he prepare us for his holy Day.” On “September ye 1, being Sabath,” we find the following record: “I am much out of order. This forenoon heard Mr. Stephen Williams preach from ye 18 Luke 9 verse in the afternoon from ye 8 of Ecles: 8 verse: Blessed be the Lord that has given us to enjoy another Sabath and opertunity to hear his Word Dispensed.” On the next day, “being Monday,” he continues, "Last night I was taken very Bad: the Lord be pleased to strengthen my inner man that I may put my whole Trust in him. May we all be prepared for his holy will. Rcd part of plunder, 9 small tooth combs.” Crafts died in the spring, of the prevailing distemper, after doing good service in the commissary department of his regiment.
Stephen Williams, the preacher whose sermons had comforted Crafts in his trouble, was a son of Rev. John Williams, captured by the Indians at Deerfield in 1704, and was now minister of Long Meadow, Massachusetts. He had joined the anti-papal crusade as one of its chaplains, and passed for a man of abil.