The Battle of Fort Beausejour

The battle of Fort Beausejour, near present-day Sackville, New-Brunswick, took place 3 - 16 of June, 1755. The great Seven Years’ War didn’t start yet, but the British and French colonies fought since May, 1754.

The battle begins on 3 June 1755, after a fleet of Royal Navy ships under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Monckton sailed into Cumberland Basin and entered, without any opposition, the mouth of the Missaguash River. About 2,300 regulars and militia landed, under cover of Fort Lawrence, the nearly British settlement.

The British take up positions along Aulac Ridge to the south of the French Fort Beausejour, and began their advance immediately. When within range of fire, the British began a barrage with 13-inch mortars. Monckton ensured that his force maintained discipline in the face of apparent first success.

The French had the misfortune of being commanded by Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor, whose only qualities were his friendship with Francois Bigot, the Intendant of New France. It was said of Vergor that he was “the most dull-witted fellow but he knew all the angles”.

For two weeks Vergor stood inactive under the bombardment, as casualties mounted. Finally, on 16 June, after the fortification was breached by mortar fire, he surrendered For Beausejour to Monckton.

The next day, the New Englanders took a second French strong-hold, Fort Gaspareaux, 35 km north-east on Bay Verte, with no opposition. The battle of Fort Beausejour had the greatest lasting effect for the thousands of the Acadians. Although the Acadians were the descendants of the French settlers, they were demanded the neutrality in the ongoing struggle. When the British discovered 300 of them in the Fort, the governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence said that every Acadian had to take a pledge of allegiance to the King of England.

The Acadians refused. The governor insisted that the oath be taken, and when the vas majority of the Acadians refused to swear the oath to the Crown, a mass deportation followed that involved more than ten thousand people.

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