Siege of Louisbourg

The British enter the autumn of 1757 despairing over the War in North America. Indeed, after three and a half years of fighting in the colonies, more territories had been lost than gained.

William Pitt, Secretary of State, who had assumed control of the war effort in 1756, was calling for the capture of Louisbourg, gateway of St. Lawrence. Charged with capturing the fortress was Jeffery Amherst who was considered commander-in-chief of the British Army in North America.

The British fleet sailed out of Halifax on 28 May 1758. Five days later it dropped anchor in Gabarus Bay, roughly seven kilometres south-west of Louisbourg. The British countered with more then 13 thousand soldiers, supported by 14 thousand men on 150 Royal Navy ships. They had close to 2 thousand guns.

The troops landed on the Anse de la Commodore, easily overwhelming their foe. Curiously enough, once ashore, Amherst had two pineapples sent to Madame Marie-Anne Drucour, wife of Agustin de Bushenry de Drucour, Governor of Ile Royale. In return, the family sent the British commander several bottles of champagne. The generosity prompted Amherst to have presented a second offering of pineapples, which was reciprocated in turn with a gift of fresh butter. Having dispensed with courtesies, a fierce bombardment of the fortress began.

Amherst’s forces were ordered in three divisions, commanded by James Wolfe, Charles Lawrence and Edward Whitmore. The British gained their positions on the shore and in the countryside with little opposition.

If there had been a moment of advantage for Drucour, it most certainly would have occurred during the delicate and prolonged operation, in which the British carried their guns and supplies to shore through the rough and heavy surf. The operation took a week, but the French governor had failed to act.

As soon as the British artillery batteries were finally mounted, their positions were in no way limited. Thus the fate of Louisbourg was sealed.

See also:

  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis