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Knox - The Attack on Louisbourg - 3

Page 1, 2, 3

July the 15th.
'Some rockets were thrown up by the Lighthouse detachment, as a signal to the fleet of some of the ships stealing out of the harbour; which were answered by Admiral Sir Charles Hardy's squadron, who instantly put to sea.

Knox-LouisbourgJuly the 21st.
'Three of the enemy's ships in the harbour took fire and were burnt down to the water's edge: we cannot say whether this disaster, which was preceded. Several batteries are now playing upon the town, and others are still to be erected. We fire both day and night with great spirit, and have done so for some time.

July the 22nd.
'Three new batteries were opened this day with good success; one of them mounted mortars only; it soon demolished the citadel, which I saw in flames for several hours.

July the 23rd.
'This evening a long range of buildings (which I am told are the barracks) were set on fire by our shells, and burned with great rapidity; we have now brought our approaches so near, as to be able to beat off the gunners from the enemy's bastions with our musketry.

Knox-LouisbourgJuly the 24th.
'The enemy's fire is by no means so spirited as for some time past. Some hundreds of seamen were sent on shore, to assist in forwarding the new batteries.

July the 26th.
'Last nigh the admiral sent a body of sailors, with the boats of the fleet and a proper number of naval officers under two captains (whose names I cannot learn) to take or burn the remainder of the ships in the harbour, as they considerably annoyed us and retarded our operations: this service was well performed, and with very little loss; the la Prudente, of seventy-four guns, being a-ground, they burnt her; the other, which is a sixty-four, they took and towed into the north-east harbour. To-day the garrison proposed to surrender; they demand the same terms which had been granted to the valiant Blakeney at Minorca; but, being told they must submit at discretion, they at length found themselves under the necessity of complying; and the whole island of Cape Breton, the more fertile isle of St John, together with their inhabitants, are all comprehended in the treaty.
Knox-Louisbourg-Amherst'The day following Brigadier  Whitmore (who is to remain governor) took possession, placed guards at all the gates, arsenals, magazines, etc and received the submission of the French troops by grounding their arms on the parade in his presence. Eleven stands of colours are fallen into our hands, which, with all the prisoners, are to be sent to England: they amount  (I am told) to almost 6000 men. We have got immense quantities of stores of all kinds, with some ammunition and provisions, and a respectable artillery: the enemy have now,  both by sea and land,  sustained a fatal blow in America. Mr Amherst has displayed the general in all his proceedings, and our four brigadiers are justly intitled to great praises; Mr Wolfe being the youngest in rank, the most active part of the service fell to his lot; he is an excellent officer, of great valour, which has conspicuously appeared in the whole course of this undertaking. The troops behaved as British troops should do, and have undergone the fatigues of this conquest cheerfully and with great steadiness; the light infantry, who are inconceivably useful, did honour to themselves and to that general who first saw the necessity of forming these corps.
Knox-Louisbourg'The troops have suffered considerably by sickness; but, though I am told so, I find, upon inquiry, the loss has been mostly among the rangers and New-Englanders artificers, to whom the small-pox has proved fatal; the greatest unanimity has subsisted throughout this whole armament both naval and military, and Admiral Boscawen has given us all the assistance that could be wished for. I went into town yesterday, and found the place in such ruin that I was glad to return to the camp without any delay. Never was artillery better severed than our's; they have distributed their destruction to every corner of the fortress with great profusion. Our adjutant had obliged me with the following return of our whole loss, which has not been equal to what have been at first expected.
'A list of the killed and wounded at the siege of Louisbourg.
  K. W.  
Colonels *** 1 N.B. Of the Royal Artillery one Gunner and three Mattrosses killed, and one Corporal, Gunner, and three Mattrosses wounded; which with the Rangers are also included
Captains 2 4
Lieutenants 8 16
Ensigns 2 3
Sergeants 3 4
Corporals 8 5
Privates 149 320
Drummers *** 2  
Total 172 355 Total killed and wounded, 527.'


The Siege of Quebec

and the campaigns in North America
by Captain John Knox
Edited and Introduced by
Brian Connell
The Folio Society

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