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whose ammunition and provisions had sunk perilously low. The French prize now supplied their needs, and drew from the Habitant de Louisbourg the mournful comment, “We were victims devoted to appease the wrath of Heaven, which turned our own arms into weapons for our enemies.”
Nor was this the last time when the defenders of Louisbourg supplied the instruments of their own destruction; for ten cannon were presently unearthed at low tide from the flats near the careening wharf in the northeast arm of the harbor, where they had been hidden by the French some time before. Most of them proved sound; and being mounted at Lighthouse Point, they were turned against their late owners at the Island Battery.
When Gorham's regiment first took post at Lighthouse Point, Duchambon thought the movement so threatening that he forgot his former doubts, and ordered a sortie against it, under the Sieur de Beaubassin. Beaubassin landed, with a hundred men, at a place called Lorembec, and advanced to surprise the English detachment; but was discovered by an outpost of forty men, who attacked and routed his party. Being then joined by eighty Indians, Beaubassin had several other skirmishes with English scouting-parties, till, pushed by superior numbers, and their leader severely wounded, his men regained Louisbourg by sea, escaping with difficulty from the
1 Journal of the Siege, appended to Shirley's report. Pomeroy. Journal.
guard-boats of the squadron. The Sieur de la Vallière, with a considerable party of men, tried to burn Pepperrell's storehouses, near Flat Point Cove; but ten or twelve of his followers were captured, and nearly all the rest wounded. Various other petty encounters took place between English scoutingparties and roving bands of French and Indians, always ending, according to Pepperrell, in the discomfiture of the latter. To this, however, there was at least one exception. Twenty English were waylaid and surrounded near Petit Lorembec by forty or fifty Indians, accompanied by two or three Frenchmen. Most of the English were shot down, several escaped, and the rest surrendered on promise of life; upon which the Indians, in cold blood, shot or speared some of them, and atrociously tortured others.
This suggested to Warren a device which had two objects, — to prevent such outrages in future, and to make known to the French that the ship“ Vigilant,” the mainstay of their hopes, was in English hands. The treatment of the captives was told to the Marquis de la Maisonfort, late captain of the “ Vigilant,” now a prisoner on board the ship he had commanded, and he was requested to lay the facts before Duchambon. This he did with great readiness, in a letter containing these words: “It is well that you should be informed that the captains and officers of this squadron treat us, not as their prisoners, but as their good friends, and take particular pains that my officers and crew should want for nothing; therefore it seems to
me just to treat them in like manner, and to punish those who do otherwise and offer any insult to the prisoners who may fall into your hands.".
Captain M’Donald, of the marines, carried this letter to Duchambon under a flag-of-truce. Though familiar with the French language, he spoke to the governor through an interpreter, so that the French officers present, who hitherto had only known that a large ship had been taken, expressed to each other without reserve their discouragement and dismay when they learned that the prize was no other than the “ Vigilant.” Duchambon replied to La Maisonfort's letter that the Indians alone were answerable for the cruelties in question, and that he would forbid such conduct for the future.1
The besiegers were now threatened by a new danger. We have seen that in the last summer the Sieur Duvivier had attacked Annapolis. Undaunted by ill-luck, he had gone to France to beg for help to attack it again; two thousand men were promised him, and in anticipation of their arrival the governor of Canada sent a body of French and Indians, under the noted partisan Marin, to meet and co-operate with them. Marin was ordered to wait at Les Mines till he heard of the arrival of the troops from France; but he grew impatient, and resolved to attack Annapolis without them. Accordingly, he laid siege to it with the six or seven hundred whites and
1 De la Maisonfort à Duchambon, 18 Juin (new style), 1746. Du chambon à De la Maisonfort, 19 Juin (new style), 1745.
Indians of his party, aided by the so-called Acadian neutrals. Mascarene, the governor, kept them at bay till the twenty-fourth of May, when, to his surprise, they all disappeared. Duchambon had sent them an order to make all haste to the aid of Louisbourg. As the report of this reached the besiegers, multiplying Marin's force fourfold, they expected to be attacked by numbers more than equal to those of their own effective men. This wrought a wholesome reform. Order was established in the camp, which was now fenced with palisades and watched by sentinels and scouting-parties.
Another tribulation fell upon the general. Shirley had enjoined it upon him to keep in perfect harmony with the naval commander, and the injunction was in accord with Pepperrell's conciliating temper. Warren was no less earnest than he for the success of the enterprise, lent him ammunition in time of need, and offered every aid in his power, while Pepperrell in letters to Shirley and Newcastle praised his colleague without stint. But in habits and character the two men differed widely. Warren was in the prime of life, and the ardor of youth still burned in him. He was impatient at the slow movement of the siege. Prisoners told him of a squadron expected from Brest, of which the “Vigilant” was the forerunner; and he feared that even if it could not defeat him, it might elude the blockade, and with the help of the continual fogs, get into Louisbourg in spite of him, thus making its capture impossible. Therefore he called a council of his captains on board his flagship, the “Superbe,” and proposed a plan for taking the place without further delay. On the same day he laid it before Pepperrell. It was to the effect that all the King's ships and provincial cruisers should enter the harbor, after taking on board sixteen hundred of Pepperrell's men, and attack the town from the water side, while what was left of the army should assault it by land.' To accept the proposal would have been to pass over the command to Warren, only about twenty-one hundred of the New England men being fit for service at the time, while of these the general informs Warren that “six hundred are gone in quest of two bodies of French and Indians, who, we are informed, are gathering, one to the eastward, and the other to the westward.”2
To this Warren replies, with some appearance of pique, “I am very sorry that no one plan of mine, though approved by all my captains, has been so fortunate as to meet your approbation or have any weight with you.” And to show his title to consideration, he gives an extract from a letter written to him by Shirley, in which that inveterate flatterer hints his regret that, by reason of other employments, Warren could not take command of the whole expedition, — “which I doubt not,” says the governor,
1 Report of a Consultation of Officers on board his Majesty's ship " Superbe," enclosed in a letter of Warren to Pepperrell, 24 May, 1745.
• Pepperrell to Warren, 28 May, 1745.