Chris Scott Wilson Writer
of blood, and that perhaps to little purpose.” Added to his worries about his command was also his poor health. Along with his usual ailments he suffered dysentery in July and by the middle of August he was forced to stay in bed. He told the military surgeon who attended him, “I know you cannot cure my complaint, but patch me up so that I may be able to do my duty for the next few days...” He instructed his officers, both army and navy to consult, resulting in his brigadiers and Admiral Charles Saunders coming up with a basic strategy of abandoning their current camp at Montmorency on the north side of the river to the east of Quebec where their route to the city was blocked by a ravine and the entrenched French batteries. Instead, they proposed to move the army to the south bank, then attack
...more Captain Cook, Man of the Sea
Montgomery Falls near Wolfe's original camp on the north side of the St Lawrence River.
from the west, further upriver, which would cut Montcalm’s supply route. Wolfe agreed, and once off his sick bed went on a personal reconnaissance of the river to formulate a more detailed plan. After one landing was abandoned due to bad weather, another was immediately scheduled for when the weather improved. James Cook wrote in his log that on 12th September, “At midnight all the row boats in the fleet made a feint to land at Beauport in order to draw the enemy’s attention that way to favour the landing of the troops above the town…our batteries kept a continual fire against the town all night…” The British ships’ mastheads were alive with a flurry of signals while broadsides hammered the town. The ruse worked, deflecting the French’s attention from the real landing which occurred at about 4 a.m. that night. Wolfe’s highlanders climbed a narrow path, over-powered the French sentries and opened the route for the main body of 5,000 troops to advance up onto the Plains of Abraham.
While the ensuing battle at 10 a.m. was won by the British, effectively routing the French within half an hour, victory was bought at high personal cost. Wolfe was shot three times when