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the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
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More Royal Battery Questions
happened when the Royal Battery was abandoned?
Were cannon balls that had been dumped in the harbour found by New Englanders above the low water mark?
A recent question involved the abandonment of military stores at the Royal Battery and in particular the throwing of cannonballs into the harbour only to have them revealed at low tide.
One of the conditions given Captain de Thierry in abandoning the Royal Battery was the transfer of most of the battery's military stores (powder, shots, artillery implements, etc.) to the town. Cut off from the town by land, the battery's garrison had to load the materials in chaloupes and take them by water.
The unexpected size of the land attack forced the defenders into hasty action. While an important part of the harbour's defence, the Royal Battery was dominated by the hills behind it. Moreover, the repair/modification work carried out on the battery in 1744 had left certain weaknesses - holes in the left flank to carry out the work and no palisades lining the glacis. In consequence, the work was carried out hurriedly and incompletely. Militia officer Lacroix-Girard complained the garrison left so quickly that they neglected to inform the soldiers and militia manning the battery's two towers. These defenders had to scrounge a boat from a nearby to make their own way to the town later.
While the French did succeed in removing the battery's two mortars to the town, they only spiked the guns and left much of the shot for the cannon and shells for the mortars. Vaughan found 350 13-inch shells, 10 10-inch shells and a large quantity of shot for the cannons. As a 13-inch shell weighed just over 180 pounds, the difficulty in moving them probably accounts for the large number of these shells left at the battery compared to the number of 10-inch shells.
None of the journals checked indicated that the French had disposed of the shot and shell in the harbour, a number of journals remain to be checked.