Chris Scott Wilson                   Writer                                             

©2010 C.J.S.Wilson

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    From the sea, the English ships maintained a heavy bombardment, and on the 8th June grenadiers, rangers, highlanders and an improvised light infantry battalion landed, directed by brigadier James Wolfe, answerable to Major-General Jeffrey Amherst who held overall command of the expedition. Simult-aneously, brigadier Lawrence’s troops made a landing at Pointe Platte while the men commanded by Amherst’s third brigadier, Whitmore, came ashore at White Point as the naval cannon continued to thunder overhead. After a brief show of resistance at the beach head, the French fled back to the town and although the English troops were unable to land all the artillery and stores due to poor weather, they prepared to lay siege.

    Wolfe was instrumental throughout the five weeks of the action, his gun batteries silencing the fort and also attacking the enemy shipping in the harbour which was returning fire, the most troublesome of which was the frigate Aréthuse, laying just off the Barachois lagoon. One shot from Wolfe’s cannon set fire to another of the French ships which spread quickly, engulfing two others, all three destroyed. At the fortress, it is said the desperate French had resorted to plugging cannonball breeches in the walls with hogsheads of tea. While Wolfe’s troops continued to steadily gain ground toward the town, five days later a cutting out expedition from the British fleet captured the remaining two French vessels in the harbour paving the way for an all-out assault, but before the British warships could enter the harbour to support the land forces, Louisbourg’s Governor Drucour surrendered.

    On 27th July, the day following the surrender, James Cook went ashore at Kennington Cove about six miles south west of Louisbourg, a place on the map today as Wolfe’s Landing, where he met a man who was to greatly influence his outlook. Dutchman Samuel Johannes Holland was ranked captain lieutenant, an engineer/surveyor who had emigrated to England determined to better himself and who would succeed, later in his career to boast the title Surveyor-General of North America. But in 1758, attached to Wolfe, he had made maps of the Louisbourg area and given advice which had greatly facilitated the siege, leading the brigadier to think highly of him. Cook was so impressed with Holland, he told his captain, John Simcoe who invited Holland  

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...more Captain Cook, Man of the Sea

1758

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