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THE DEFENCE OF CANADA.
The storm which lately threaten- circumstances, they almost always ed us from the far West, has blown repeat themselves. We propose, over. We are not going to have therefore, in the present paper, to war with America about the ques- preface our suggestions, in regard tion of the Trent. But the question to the future, with a brief sketch of of the Trent never would have the various contests which have alarisen, had not the feelings of the ready taken place, in and for the American people and Government mastery of Canada. been very hostile to England, and Before the breaking out of the there is nothing to show that the seven years' war, which occurred in American Government and people 1754-5, the American provinces are at all reconciled to us by the which now acknowledge the sway manner of its solution. The evi- of Queen Victoria were, with one dence, on the contrary, is all the or two exceptions, dependent upon other way. The Americans have France. Cape Breton, with the been coerced into an act of justice, whole of what is now called New which they performed with the Brunswick, formed their extreme worst possible grace; and we are limits on the east; and they frankly assured that a time is com stretched away westward by Lake ing, when they mean to take ample Champlain, through Lake Ontario vengeance for present humiliations. to Niagara, whence they held out It appears, then, that a war with the their hands by the Ohio river toFederal States of America is only wards New Orleans. In contradisdeferred. If not imminent, it is tinction to this arrangement, Nova pretty sure to come sooner or later. Scotia, Massachusetts, New York, The point, therefore, for us to deter- Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virmine, in the meanwhile, is—How ginia, were English settlements; of shall we prepare for such a con which both the dignity, and, as it tingency, and conduct the war when was assumed, the material interests, it comes ?
were endangered, by this bold atThere are two modes of carrying tempt on the part of their rivals to on war with America—one aggres- hem them in, by connecting Lake sive, the other defensive. We Erie with the Mississippi. shall probably adopt both. We There had been little amity beshall assail their harbours, burn tween the English and French their fleets, destroy their commerce, settlers at any time, and now the and keep their whole seaboard in a encroachments of the latter upon state of constant alarm; and we their hunting-grounds, stirred the shall give employment by these indignation of the former to a high means to no inconsiderable portion degree. Frequent skirmishes went of the half million of men whom on between them, till at last the they boast to have under arms. But Cabinet of St James's determined we shall have a defensive war like to bring matters to an issue, and to wise to provide for, on the side of strike in that quarter with all the Canada. How shall we best effect force of the Empire. Accordingly, that purpose? This is a question General Braddock, carrying with which cannot be rightly answered, him 2000 regular troops, sailed unless we possess some knowledge from England, and in February of what has occurred in that part of 1755 arrived in America. the world already; for it is not less General Braddock called together true of wars in America than of the provincial governors at Alexwars elsewhere, that, making due andria in Virginia, and arranged allowance for change of time and with them a plan of campaign. It
was settled that the enemy should inforcements of troops were indeed be assailed on four distinct lines at sent from Europe, and in the the same time. First, that Brad- month of July Lord Lowdon ardock himself, with 2000 of the best rived to command them. But his arof the troops, provincial as well as rangements for the campaign seemed regular, should march against Fort to be pretty much what those of Du Quesne on the Ohio ; second, his predecessors had been, only on that two regiments should be de- a more limited scale. He detertached by the Hudson and Mohawk mined to act upon two instead of rivers, and by Lake Oneida to Os- upon four lines ; to resume with wego, a British post on Lake Onta
one corps the abandoned attack on rio, whence they were to fall on the Fort Niagara, and to establish the newly-erected French fort at Nia- supremacy of the English on Lake gara; third, that a corps of provin- Ontario; while with the other he cials should blockade Crown Point possessed himself of Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain ; and, lastly, and Crown Point, both of them on that the disposable troops from Lake Champlain. The total strength Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, of the army assembled for these about 2000 in number, should attack purposes at Albany was 16,000 men, the French settlements in the Bay of which 6000 were allotted to the of Fundy, particularly Fort Beau attack on Fort Niagara, the remainSejour, on the isthmus connecting der to the operations on Ticondethe peninsula of Nova Scotia with roga and Crown Point. the continent, where Fort Cumber- Early made aware of the danger land now stands.
which threatened, the French geneIt is not our intention to describe ral took vigorous steps to avert it. the operations which followed. He strengthened his works at NiaGeneral Braddock, as is well known, gara and Crown Point, and formed failed. He had 226 miles to tra- an intrenched camp at Ticonderoga. verse through the primeval forest, Not content with this, he equipped in which a full month, all but two a flotilla on Lake Ontario, and dedays, was expended and being termined to anticipate the English attacked at disadvantage, just as by assuming the initiative. Lord Fort Du Quesne became visible, he Lowdon had made choice of Oswego was defeated and killed. The oper- as the point where the depot for ation against Fort Niagara came to the left column of his army should nothing, and the blockade of Crown be established. It could be reached Point, though vigorously attempted, with comparative facility from Albroke down. On the side of the bany by the Mohawk river and Bay of Fundy alone success attend- Lake Oneida, and by the river ed the British arms. There Fort Onandoga, which flows out of Beau Sejour fell after a brief bom- Lake Oneida into Lake Ontario. bardment, and the French were Indeed, there was safe water-carremoved from every point whence riage almost all the way, a distance they could seriously annoy, or even of 160 miles, both for troops and threaten, the inhabitants of Nova stores. From Oswego, however, Scotia. We shall be glad, however, Niagara could be approached only if our readers can bear in mind how by navigating the broad waters of this campaign was conducted, in Lake Ontario, for which purpose order that, when the proper time vessels of a larger size than mere comes, they may be able to follow bateaux would be required. Hence, such reasoning as the circumstances before putting his columns in moof the case seem to suggest.
tion, Lord Lowdon sent forward a The year 1756 was not remark- body of artificers under the escort able on the side of the English for of 1400 troops, with directions to plans more wisely arranged or more strengthen the works at Oswego, vigorously carried into effect. Re- to afford protection to the stores
as they came in, and to build, with same time such an account was as little delay as possible, such a given of the strength and preparaflotilla as might be trusted on the tions of the garrison, that Lord lake at all seasons.
Lowdon despaired, with the force It is never safe in war to select a at his disposal, of being able to base which shall lie between your reduce it. The projected invasion own headquarters and the army of of Cape Breton was therefore abanthe enemy. The Marquis de Mont- doned, and the army again broke calm, Governor-General of Canada, up. But the campaign was not saw that Lord Lowdon had com- abortive merely. The enemy, takmitted this mistake, and took ad- ing advantage of the exposed convantage of it. At Frontignac, now dition of the frontier, moved upon called Toronto, he embarked 3000 Fort William Henry. It was galexcellent troops, and on the 10th lantly defended for a while, but surof August appeared off Oswego, rendered on the 9th of August by his lighter vessels being protected capitulation; after which Montby two sloops, one of sixteen, the calm, made aware of Lord Lowdon's other of twelve guns. To land and return to Albany, blew up the invest the place was the work of a works, and fell back again to Crown few hours, and on the 14th it sur Point and Ticonderoga. rendered. There was an immediate Dissatisfied, as they had every end to the campaign. The vessels reason to be, with the mismanageof war and of transport, which the ment exhibited in these proceedEnglish were building, fell into the ings, the British Government superenemy's hands; so did all the pro- seded Lord Lowdon, and gave the visions and stores which during command of the army, already on the summer had been accumulated. the spot, to Major-General Aber. Lord Lowdon, therefore, despaired crombie. He was directed, with of success against either Niagara or 15,000 men, of whom 6500 were Crown Point, and, leaving garrisons regular troops, to resume the atin his own advanced posts at Fort tack on Crown Point and TiconWilliam Henry and Fort Edward, deroga; while a second corps, 7000 he withdrew into winter quarters strong, and entirely composed of in and about Albany.
provincials, should move, as General It will be seen that in both of Braddock had done, on Fort Du these campaigns Canada was threat- Quesne. At the same time, a third ened after precisely the same division from England, having Gefashion. The object of the in- neral Amherst at its head, was to vaders was to gain the command of reduce Cape Breton, assisted in that Lake Ontario, while at the same time operation by a fleet of twenty-two they moved upon Montreal by the ships of the line and fifteen frigates. route of Lakes George and Champ- All these instructions seem to have lain. In 1757 a new scheme was been issued early in 1758. But devised. Lord Lowdon received in there was no locomotion in those structions from home to act every days either on land or water by where else on the defensive, while, steam, and fleets took months to with all the force which he could accomplish voyages which are now collect, he endeavoured to reduce calculated by weeks. As, thereCape Breton. Sixteen line-of-battle fore, on this as on former occasions, ships and eight frigates accordingly the march of the several corps was assembled at Halifax, for the pur- to be simultaneous— as, indeed, pose of transporting to Cape Bre- success in one operation was exton an army of 10,000 men. But, pected to be coincident with, or at before the expedition could sail, all events necessary to, success in intelligence was received of the all — neither General Abercrombie arrival at Louisburg of a supe
a supe- nor General Forbes, the latter comrior French fleet; and at the manding the force which was di
rected against Fort Du Quesne, Fort William Henry, he began to began to move till General Amherst intrench himself. But he did not reached the scene of action. This remain entirely on the defensive. he appears to have done about the Intrusting 3000 men to Colonel middle of May. He brought with Bradstreet, an enterprising and able him 11,000 good troops, and, sailing officer, he sent them to execute a from Halifax on the 28th, he an- plan which the Colonel had devised. chored on the 2d of June in Ga They passed by the Mohawk river barus Bay, Cape Breton.
and Lake Oneida to Oswego, General Amherst carried all be- whence, having provided themfore him. Wolfe, who commanded selves with a sufficiency of boats the brigade which first made good and canoes, they crossed the lake its landing, soon effected the in- unobserved, and landed on the 25th vestment of Louisburg. More than of August close to Fort Frontignac, one hundred boats were indeed lost This they immediately invested, while conveying troops and stores and on the 27th made themselves to the shore, and a garrison of masters of the place. It was, how3000 men, supported by 2500 sea- ever, too much in advance of the men, offered a stout resistance; but English lines to be permanently on the 26th of July the place capi- retained; and so Bradstreet, after tulated. The capitulation included, loading with stores all the vesnot the whole of Cape Breton only, sels which he could find, of which but Prince Edward Island into the not fewer than nine carried from bargain, and both have continued eighteen to cight guns respectively, ever since dependent upon the Brit- partially ruined the fortifications, ish Crown. Neither were General and recrossed the lake to Oswego. Abercrombie's efforts, though foiled Alarmed and disappointed by the in their main object, altogether failure before Ticonderoga, Genefruitless. He passed his corps on ral Amherst left sufficient garrisons the 5th of July down Lake George at Louisburg and Halifax, and set in 1035 boats, which he had assem- off with five of his most effective bled at the point where Fort Wil- battalions to join General Aberliam Henry formerly stood, and, crombie. Had he proceeded by driving in the enemy's pickets, sea to New York, there might yet made preparations to carry Ticon- have been time, before winter set in, deroga by assault. It was a strong to retrieve the disaster ; but, disposition on the neck of land lying trusting the winds which had kept between the waters of Lake George him a fortnight between Cape Breand the river, which in its course ton and Boston, he made up his opens out to form Lake Champlain, mind to disembark at the latter and was covered by intrenchments, place. The distance from Boston having a line of abattis laid down to Albany is only 165 miles; but in front of them. Just where the not only were there in those days waters meet, stood a small square no roads through the forest, but fort with bastions, serving the pur- it does not appear that the country poses of a keep to the other works. had ever been surveyed. General Without, as it would appear, having Amherst accordingly found that he paused to reconnoitre these in- had undertaken a very difficult task. trenchments, General Abercrombie He made his way slowly, with sent his troops against them in six much labour and fatigue to his columns of attack, of which the men, and reached Fort William consequence was, that his people got Henry only on the 5th of October, into confusion, and were repulsed too late in the season to commence with the loss of nearly 2000 men. operations with any hope of bringHe immediately withdrew to the ing them to a successful issue. head of Lake George, where, amid He left his battalions with Genethe ruins of what had once been ral Abercrombie, and returned to
Albany, where in due time informa saw that a good base was establishtion came in of the complete success ed for a combined operation of the of General Forbes. That officer fleet and army in Lower Canada ; had marched from Philadelphia, and the Government made its prethreaded the forest in the track parations during winter to turn it which Braddock's army had cleared, to account. and, after a sharp action in which The plan of campaign for 1759 his advanced-guard suffered severe was formed upon a grand scale. It ly, debouched in front of Fort Du was settled that upon four separate Quesne. The French governor, not lines the enemy should be assailed. considering himself strong enough Away upon the extreme left, a force to sustain a siege, evacuated the was to assemble at Fort Du Quesne place, which was immediately taken for the reduction of all the posts possession of by the English. These which the French had established repaired and enlarged the works, in order to keep open the commuand leaving a garrison, called it Fort nications between Lake Erie and the Pitt, the name which it still retains. Ohio. The expedition which had
The capture of Fort Du Quesne been arranged in 1755 against Niawas important only so far as it re- gara was to be renewed. Once deemed to some extent the tarnish more Ticonderoga and Crown Point ed lustre of the British arms, and were to be assailed from Albany, relieved the colonists of Maryland and an attempt made to penetrate and Virginia from the vicinity of by Lake Champlain to the St Lawneighbours who had long kept them rence, while a powerful armament, uneasy. Had Abercrombie carried despatched from England, should Ticonderoga, establishing at the make its way up that river, and same time his ascendancy on Lake endeavour to take possession of Ontario, the front of Canada would Quebec itself. Once more we must have been a good deal exposed ; ask our readers to stop and consider but neither achievement, however the scope and tendency of these arcomplete in itself, could have vied rangements. The operations from in importance with the conquest of Fort Du Quesne were rather local Cape Breton and Prince Edward than imperial ; they sought no Island. The loss of these settle- higher object than to clear away ments cut off, during six months certain hornets' nests which trou. in the year, all communication be- bled the English trappers, and kept tween France and her American the advanced colonists of Maryland settlements. No French fleet could and Virginia uneasy. The rest longer find shelter in the Bay of were manifestly aimed at the conFundy, and the St Lawrence was as quest of French America ; and completely closed against naviga- though, in the circumstances which tion then as it is now, except in then existed, the most remote of seasons unnaturally mild, from the the three, that directed against middle of December up to the mid- Niagara may be regarded as superdle of May. Nor was this all
. There fluous, even in this case there was was no reason why the tide of con- something like a definite end to quest should stop at Fort Beau Se- serve. The capture of Fort Niajour. The whole of New Bruns- gara, it was assumed, would isolate wick lay open to invasion, and the whole of the enemy's settlements through it, when overrun, a road on Lake Erie, besides contributing might be constructed, which should to establish for the English the lead an invading force to the Lower command of the navigation of Lake St Lawrence. It does not appear, Ontario. No doubt the command indeed, that the value of the con of Lake Ontario, and of all the quest presented itself in this point lakes, must have fallen as a matter of view to the authorities either at of course to the power which, being home or abroad; but they equally already mistress of the provinces to