time the eulogy of MARCELLUS which we have quoted above.

The spot consecrated by the fall of General WOLFE, in the charge made by the grenadiers upon the left of the French line, will to the latest day be visited with deep interest and emotion. On the highest ground considerably in advance of the Martello Towers, commanding a complete view of the field of battle-not far from the fence which divides the race-ground from the enclosures on the east, and opposite to the right of the English-are the remains of a redoubt against which the attack was di. rected which WOLFE so gallantly urged on by his personal example. A few years ago a rock was pointed out, as marking the spot where he actually breathed his last; and in one of the enclosures nearer to the road is the well whence they brought him water. It is mentioned in the statistical work of Colonel Bouchette, that one of the four meridian stones, placed in 1790 by Major Holland, then Surveyor General of Canada, “stood in the angle of a field redoubt where General WOLFE is said to have breathed his last." As he had been conveyed a short distance to the rear after being struck with the fatal ball, it must be presumed that this redoubt had been captured ; and that the grenadiers were pressing on, when he received his mortal wound. This is corroborated by a letter which we have met with, written after the battle by an officer of the 28th regiment, serving at the time as a volunteer with the Louisbourg Grenadiers under Colonel Murray. He speaks of the redoubt in question as “a rising ground,” and shows that Wolfe was in possession of it previously to his last wound: “ Upon the General viewing the position of the two armies, he took notice of a small rising

great, that

ground between our right and the enemy's left, which concealed their motions from us in that

quarter, upon

which the General did me the honor to detach me with a few grenadiers to take possession of that ground, and maintain it to the last extremity, which I did until both armies were engaged, and then the General came to me ; but that ever memorable man, whose loss can never be

enough regretted, was scarce a moment with me till he received his fatal wound.”

The place is now, however, about to be marked to posterity by the erection of a permanent memorial. Permission has been given to the writer of this account, to announce the intention of His ExcELLENCY the LORD AYLMER to erect a small column on the spot where Wolfe expired. This act of soldier-like generosity will be duly appreciated ; and posterity will have at last amply redeemed their long neglect, and wiped away a reproach of more than seventy years duration. The Monument in QUEBEC, common to WOLFE and MONTCALM-the stone placed in the Ursuline Convent in honor of the latter and the smaller column on the Plains, died with the blood of WOLFE, will form a complete series of testimonials -honorable to the spirit of the age, and worthy of the distinguished individuals under whose auspices they have been executed.

The memorial on the Plains will bear the following inscription :


[blocks in formation]


French army:

A death no less glorious closed the career of the brave Marquis De Montcalm, who commanded the

He was several years older than WOLFE, and had served his King with honor and success in Italy, Germany, and Bohemia. In the earlier campaigns of this war he had given signal proofs of zeal, consummate prudence and undaunted valor. At the capture of Oswego, he had with his own hand wrested a color from the hand of an English officer, and sent it to be hung up in the Cathedral of Quebec. He had deprived the English of Fort William Henry; and had defeated General ABERCROMBIE at TICONDEROGA. He had even foiled WOLFE himself at MONTMORENCI; and had erected lines which it was impossible to force. When, therefore, he entered the Plains of Abraham at the head of a victorious army, he was in all respects an antagonist worthy of the British General.

The intelligence of the unexpected landing of WOLFE above the town was first conveyed to the Marquis DE VAUDREUIL, the Governor General, about day-break. By him it was communicated without delay to Montcalm. Nothing could exceed the astonishment of the latter at the intelligence -he refused at first to give credence to it, observing :-“ It is only Mr. Wolfe with a small party, come to burn a few houses, look about him and return." On being informed, however, that WOLFE was at that moment in possession of the Plains of Abraham,-" Then,”-said he, “they have at last got to the weak side of this miserable garrison. Therefore we must endeavor to crush them by our


[ocr errors]

numbers, and scalp them all before twelve o'clock.” He issued immediate orders to break up the camp, and led a considerable portion of the army across the River St. Charles, in order to place them between the city and the English. VAUDREUIL, on quitting the lines at Beauport, gave orders to the rest of the troops to follow him. On his arrival at the Plains, however, he met the French army in full flight towards the bridge of boats ; and learned that MontCALM had been dangerously wounded. In vain he attempted to rally them--the rout was general-and all hopes of retrieving the day, and of saving the honor of France were abandoned.

MONTCALM was first wounded by a musket shot, fighting in the front rank of the French left-and afterwards by a discharge from the only gun in the possession of the English. He was then on horseback, directing the retreat-nor did he dismount until he had taken every measure to ensure the safety of the remains of his army. Such was the impetuosity with which the Highlanders, supported by the 58th regiment, pressed the rear of the fugitives,—having thrown away their muskets and taken to their broad swords,--that had the distance been greater from the field of battle to the walls, the whole French army would inevitably have been destroyed. As it was,

troops of the line had been almost cut to pieces, when their pursuers were forced to retire by the fire from the ramparts. Great numbers were killed in the retreat, which was made obliquely from the River St. Lawrence to the St. Charles. Some severe fighting took place in the field in front of the Martello Tower, No. 2. We are informed by an officer of the garrison, that, on digging there some years ago, a number of skeletons were found with parts of sol


diers' dress, military buttons, buckles, and other remains.

It is reported of Montcalm, when his wounds were dressed, that he requested the surgeons in attendance to declare at once, whether they were mortal. On being told that they were so,—“I am glad of it,”—said he. He then enquired how long he might survive. He was answered, “Ten or twelve hours, perhaps less.”—“ So much the better,”—replied he,

66 then I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec.” On being afterwards visited by M. DE RAMESAY, who commanded the garrison, with the title of Lieutenant de Roi, and by the Commandant de Roussillon, he said to them—“ Gentlemen, I commend to your keeping the honor of France. Endeavor to secure the retreat of my army to-night beyond Cape Rouge : for myself, I shall pass the night with God, and prepare myself for death.” On M. DE RAMESAY pressing to receive his commands respecting the defence of Quebec, MONTCALM exclaimed with emotion :-“ I will neither give orders, nor interfere any further : I have much business that must be attended to, of greater moment than your ruined garrison, and this wretched country.My time is very short—so pray leave me. I wish you all comfort, and to be happily extricated from your present perplexities.” He then addressed himself to his religious duties, and passed the night with the Bishop and his own confessor. Before he died, he paid the victorious army this magnanimous compliment ;—" Since it was my misfortune to be discomfited and mortally wounded, it is a great consolation to me to be vanquished by so brave and generous an enemy, If I could survive this wound, I would engage to beat three times the number of

« ForrigeFortsett »