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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Louisbourg: A Focus of Conflict 

H E 13


Peter Bower

March 1970

Fortress of Louisbourg

Chapter IV: The Siege

From a tactical point of view, the siege was off to a good start notwithstanding the delay at Canso. The landing had been accomplished almost without incident, the fortress was blockaded by British and colonial warships, and the Royal Battery had been taken without opposition. Furthermore, Pepperrell and Warren had demonstrated a capacity to cooperate amicably. However, the provincial forces began to demonstrate their greatest single weakness as soon as they had landed; that is, they proved to be quite undisciplined and at times completely unmanageable. This factor increasingly commanded Pepperrell's attention and disturbed Warren, preparing the ground for the development of friction between the land and sea commanders.

Within four days of the landing at Kennington Cove, an incident occurred which set the pattern for the remainder of the siege. On May 12, Warren urged Pepperrell to agree to the dispatch of some colonial cruisers with one of the men-of-war up the eastern Cape Breton coast "to demolish any [armed] Vessells, that may be there, and all the Fishing Vessells along the Coast ...." [2] Pepperrell, whose attention was focussed on the problems of landing supplies, organising his forces and setting up camp, did not reply immediately. On May 15, Warren repeated his request. Pepperrell responded positively that same day, and four colonial ships joined the Eltham late in the evening for the cruise. The Chaplain of the Connecticut fleet, Reverend Adonijah Bidwell accompanied the expedition, recording the destruction of many French fishing villages and small boats during the next four or five days. [3] Thus Pepperrell followed Shirley's instruction to destroy the fishery based at Cape Breton "without running too great risk." [4] However it had taken Warren's repeated solicitation to initiate this action while Pepperrell and his Council were absorbed by problems in the New England camp.

During the first week before the fortress, the New England officers found their men quite intractable. In the tumult of landing operations, many of the provincials received no specific orders and some took this as licence to indulge in a near-frenzied race for plunder, the prospect and promise of which had motivated so many Of them to enlist. [5] Frantically they roved the small settlements and houses located within several miles of Louisbourg, pursuing the French who had not taken shelter behind the walls of the fortress "as dogs hunt foxes in,ye woods." [6] They sacked and burned homes and warehouses, seizing whatever goods of value they could lay their hands upon. They destroyed or captured livestock and foodstuffs, brought prisoners into the camp, and eagerly sought the liquor of the French families. At least one man was reported to have drunk himself to death in a house he had ransacked. [7] Brigadier Waldo, who was overseeing the activities at the Royal Battery, estimated that three-quarters of the men supposedly engaged at the battery were "partly employed in speculation on the neighbouring hills & partly in ravageing the country." [8] He was appalled by the wanton destruction, fearing for the loss of goods which might have been useful to the siege effort, the continued drain of manpower from service, and the shame and disgrace likely to be attendant on such undisciplined behaviour. He believed Pepperrell would soon be compelled to appoint an officer to control the marauding. [9]

Pepperrell was dismayed by the activities of his men, which increased the problems of landing the stores and supplies from the transports by reducing the number of men available for this difficult task and the grinding labour of setting up camp and moving the heavy siege equipment to the battery sites. He wrote to Warren that the "unaccountable irregular behaviour of some of the maroders is [among] the greatest fatigue I meet with; hope to reduce them to better discipline soon. " [10] It is not apparent what Pepperrell did to restore discipline, if he did anything at all. In fact, throughout the siege, the merchant-general appears to have been disinclined, or perhaps unable, to impose anything resembling military discipline on the colonial volunteers. Undoubtedly Pepperrell feared that the enforcement of strict military discipline might alienate the volunteers, which might have worse consequences than the problems of which Waldo complained. Nevertheless, after the first week, the incidence of plundering appears to decline with the intensification of the siege effort. [11]

Warren quickly realised that Pepperrell and his officers could not resort to the normal harsh disciplinary methods of  the regular forces. As he noted, [12] the provincials had to be led into action by means quite contrary, to accepted methods of regular service. They would not accept orders blindly; they were not trained to obedience as were regular troops; they were men who had freely offered themselves for service in the expedition. If they believed themselves wronged or badly handled, they might well consider themselves justified to withdraw their services in some fashion. Not only did they want to know, using Warren's words, "when, where, how, and what service they are going upon, and be Treated in a manner that few Military Bred Gentlemen would condescent to" [13] they soon demonstrated that their full cooperation could be relied upon only if they were led by men they knew and respected, and on occasion, whom they had themselves chosen. In short, their good will and morale, which depended on careful and cautious treatment by Pepperrell and his officers, would have to take the place of military discipline. Warren understood this, but as the progress of the siege and morale of the men deteriorated, and the threat of external aid for Louisbourg increased over the weeks, he felt compelled to press Pepperrell to more vigourous action. Pepperrell, on the other hand, cautious and practical and knowing the ways of his countrymen, was reluctant to commit his increasingly dispirited men to what he considered precipitate action, the failure of which might demoralise his men entirely and jeopardise the whole venture against Louisbourg.

After the Royal Battery was occupied, the exterior defensive work which loomed largest in the minds of the besiegers was the Island Battery . This powerful fortification guarded the entrance to the harbour, and while it stood only a desperate commander would dare try its strength by bringing his ships into the harbour to assist an assault of the fortress. Pepperrell and Warren were in complete agreement as to the necessity of neutralising the battery so that the warships could manoeuvre into a position to rake the fortress from the harbour. The difficulties experienced in trying to take this battery gradually demoralised the New Englanders and were in large measure responsible for the friction which developed between Pepperrell and Warren during the siege.

Having had time to assess the layout of the fortifications and the men available for an assault, Warren sent Pepperrell on May 15 a plan "for the Speedy Reduction of the Town and Garrison of Lewisbourg...." [14] The scheme. which Warren had formulated and his captains agreed upon, proposed a feint be made by the colonial troops at some point on the fortress walls to draw attention from the Island Battery, which would be attacked by 500 colonials and 200 to 300 men from the British warships and colony cruisers. These men would be carried to the Island Battery in small boats and commanded by an officer appointed by Pepperrell. Once the battery was captured, Warren would run his ships into the harbour, signalling for a general assault by the land forces. Warren urged the plan on Pepperrell, expressing the fear that the season was advancing rapidly to the time when the fortress could expect relief from France. However, he declared himself ready to cooperate in any other scheme which Pepperrell and his Council deemed more likely to be successful. [15]

Pepperrell's Council was unable to come to a resolution on Warren's scheme. After deferring a decision on the plan several times, Pepperrell finally informed Warren that the Council had agreed to make an attack on the Island Battery at the first favourable opportunity. Meanwhile, the Council directed the erection of various batteries to soften Louisbourg's defences. The reasons for the Council's reluctance to accept Warren's plan, which Pepperrell seemed to favour at least initially, were not detailed but the officers evidently believed the fortress should be weakened more by artillery fire before a general assault was attempted. [16] However, on May 17, with Warren present at the meeting, the Council decided to demand that the governor of Louisbourg surrender the fortress forthwith. [17]

Three days earlier, the Council had not come to a decision favouring Pepperrell's suggestion that a summons to surrender be sent in to the fortress, probably because such a move was considered premature. Two senior officers, Waldo and Bradstreet, thought such a summons might appear ridiculous "unless we had made a more formidable gen[era]l appearance than we have been yet able to make." Waldo suggested the "Gov[ern]or of Louisbourg would give a very ready answer to a summons for surrender by hanging up the messenger thereof .... [18]

However, with Warren exerting pressure on the Council to advise a decisive action, the summons was sent with the understanding that if Du Chambon rejected the demand, "the town shall be attack'd by storm as soon as possible." [19]

Du Chambon did not hang the messenger, but his reply on May 18 was hardly less peremptory, reading in part: we have no other response to your demand than from the mouths of our cannon." [20] Pepperrell immediately called a Council of War, which Warren again attended, and it was determined "that an attack be made this night on the Island Battery with a suitable number of men in boats, and that a number of Commodore Warren's seamen assist in ye s[ai]d attack." [21] The attempt by men in whaleboats rowed nearly four miles from Gabarus Bay was abandoned when it was feared the battery could not be reached before daybreak and because a dangerously high surf was running. [22] The men were so frustrated that  that they were "Redy to tair the hair of their heads for Supposed that wee could have Taken it without the Loss of one man. " [23] The second attempt on the following night was called off after the men had mustered and waited on the beach for much of the night, because of the heavy surf and possibly because of reports of a French-sally from the fortress. [24]

Warren, who was still ashore with the 150 marines he had offered for the assault on the Island Battery, now persuaded Pepperrell and his Council to storm the fortress during the night of May 20. [25] The provincials were mustered for the attack an hour before sunset, amazed that they were to storm the walls before much damage had been inflicted by the artillery, and understandably daunted by the prospect of rushing into the mouths of Du Chambon's cannon. As Warren paced in front of the ranks, he became aware of a great uneasiness among the men. He and Pepperrell decided to question the captains concerning the state of the men. When the fears of the provincials had been put before them and the senior officers In Council, it was decided to defer the attack. A half-hearted assault was likely to miscarry, probably with ill consequences for the entire expedition. An attack on the Island Battery was substituted for the general assault, but was cancelled because of bad weather conditions. [26]

A further attempt on the Island Battery was planned for the night of May 21. This time the men were to row the boats only from the Royal Battery, a distance of less than a mile. Consequently the timing of the assault would be easier, and the men would be fresher for the struggle. The badly organised attempt was abandoned shortly after the men had boarded the whaleboats, evidently because there was no commanding officer to lead the attack. [27] This. failure, the fourth in as many days, infuriated many of the colonials and seriously undermined their self-confidence and morale. Two days earlier they had all but refused to follow their officers in a storming of the fortress; now an apparent failure in organization by some of their senior officers had forced the abandonment of an attempt on the Island Battery. The men obviously needed reassurance before the situation degenerated into a dangerous crisis.

The failures of the attempts to mount an attack on the Island Battery were by no means the only factors undercutting the provincial morale. Camp conditions were poor in the cold, damp Cape Breton spring, and the men, many of whom were inadequately clothed and sheltered, were suffering from severe colds and dysentery. By the end of May, no less than-1,500 men were unfit for duty, taxing the limited medical and manpower resources of the expedition. [28] Seth Pomeroy, a blacksmith by trade and major in one of the Massachusetts regiments, described the condition of the men:

ye People many of them are ill -- ye Reasons I think are Plain & ye ground here is Cold & weet ye water much of it is in low marshe ground of a Redish Coaller & Stagnated & ye People no Beds To ly on nor Tents To keep of ye Fogs & Dews 2 our Provisions is Chiefly Poark & Bread with out Sauce; Except a Small matter of Beans & Pease Sets ye People into Fluxes; & many of ye People unacquanted with Lying in ye woods & keep no firs git grate Colds ye Places not Convenient for Six [Sick ?] people & very Little Comfortable [medicines ?] for them To Take So yt there Illness of necessatity must Increas upon them So I Larn By This Campaign Better how To Do in an other If Ever it Should in my Time Be ... [29] 

While the provincials' diet was monotonous and perhaps unhealthful, there does not appear to have been any serious food shortages during the siege. However, the men frequently had to endure their hardships without that very important ration of rum which they demanded, but which the supply could not meet. Complaints about the lack of liquor provoked Waldo to comment wryly: 

The shortage of rum, the severall Captains till me, is of prejudice to the people. Should one from the dead tell the soldiery anything in the prejudice of it 'twould have no weight. [30]

Furthermore, the men were not accustomed to the extraordinarily heavy work of setting up camp and establishing the various siege batteries. Oxen and horses were unable to carry the cannon, powder barrels, shot, shells and provisions over the rocky hills and the mires, so everything had to be borne by the men, often during cold and foggy nights. Although many of the men worked with a will, staggering back to camp bruised, soaking wet and covered in mud, the enervating labour made the men susceptible to illness, and "their Spirits... were almost cast down through their extraordinary Fatigue and Slavery." [31] These hardships compounded the difficulties the officers had commanding their men, and Waldo noted that the provincials were becoming eager to avoid duty "in their marches to town [camp] for provisions, baggage &ca, & I fear partly cowardice, thô the pretence was indispositions of various kinds [32]

The rigour of camp life was intensified by the horrors of warfare. [33] The sight of violent death shocked many of the men, Lieutenant Daniel Giddings of Massachusetts recorded in his diary that "I passed by a Dead man Tho an Enemy it shewed me my, frailty." [34] A Connecticut volunteer wrote to his family: 

you would think [it] is an awful thing to see men wounded and wallowing in their one blud and breething oute their Laste breths which I was present my Self in the Action I though att first that . it was Very Awful. [35] 

Terrifying reports of butchery and torture by the Indians reached the ears of the New Englanders, who believed the French participated in the atrocities, or at least gave tacit approval to the horrors committed by their allies. [36] The anonymous Habitant described the attitude of the Cape Breton Indians in the following words:

These Indians are very brave and warmly attached to the French. They hate the English as much as they like us, and give them no quarter .... Their rage against the English nation is so great that it extends even to its savage allies. We have heard them say that they would kill every Englishmen who should dare venture into the forest. [37]

The provincials were also irritated by the attitude of some of Warren's marines who were put ashore periodically to assist the land forces, especially for the attacks planned against the Island Battery. The marines apparently displayed a contempt for the amateurish efforts of the colonial irregulars, and an unhealthy rivalry developed between the colonial forces and the regular British marines and seamen over the relative importance of their respective contribution to the siege. [38] Early in June, Pepperrell himself was exasperated by the outspoken faultfinding and boastfulness of the marine Captain James Macdonald Pepperrell considered the most Macdonald did was to disturb the New Englanders by finding "fault that our encampment was not regular, or yt the soldiers did not march as hansome as old regular troops, their toes were not turned out, &c." [39]

While the colonials were aggravated by the attitude of some of Warren's men, their own inter-provincial rivalries and suspicions were potentially more dangerous to the expedition by exacerbating the problems of engaging their obedience and cooperation and by fostering the spread of harmful camp stories. Colonel John Bradstreet, a foreigner to the provincials, [40] alienated many New Englanders by his aggressive and obviously ambitious nature, although Shirley, Pepperrell and Warren valued his services highly, especially because he had acquired a good knowledge of Louisbourg while stationed in Nova Scotia with the regular British forces. It was probably common knowledge in the camp that Bradstreet had contacts, possibly friends, in Louisbourg, where he had been a prisoner that year before. Following the abortive attempt on the Island Battery on May 21, the shaken New Englanders sought some excuse for the recurrent failures, probably in an unconscious effort to bolster their waning self-confidence. There was talk of some person in the camp taking information into the fortress, possibly Bradstreet, of whom Captain Thomas Waldron of New Hampshire later complained to his father about the "aspiring Views of a Certain Man who valued not the Lives of his Charge (I Cant say of his Country Men for they are not) but would at any rate Sacrifice them to his boundless Ambition." [41] Bradstreet's unpopularity lent an air of authenticity to the ugly rumour, and soon the camp was in an uproar. [42] Warren, already disturbed by dissension in the provincial camp, was horrified by the incident and fearing the atmosphere of distrust might prove fatal to the expedition, appealed to Pepperrell: "For God's sake, Sir, put a stop to that disagreeable and ill-founded suspicion that some unthinkable people have pretended (for I can think it no other) to conceive of Collonel Bradstreet .... [43] Pepperrell hardly needed prompting, for the seriousness of this situation compelled him to call a Council of War to investigate the stories. One Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Chandler of Massachusetts was pinpointed as being "guilty of great imprudence in entertain[in]g and reporting such surmizes without the least reasonable foundation therefor...." Chandler was severely reprimanded, required to ask Bradstreet's pardon, and the Council expressed complete confidence in Bradstreet. [44] However, the damage to provincial morale was done and the clearing of Bradstreet neither reduced his unpopularity nor checked the ebbing self-confidence of the New Englanders.

Even as this incident was reaching a climax, Warren recognized that nothing more would come immediately of the plans to take the Island Battery. Consequently, he ordered his marines back to their ships and returned to the Superbe, "not a little dissatisfied." [45]

Grievances and suspicions multiplied in the tense atmosphere of the camp, and more rumours circulated touching various senior officers, including the generally popular Pepperrell, who, it was whispered in some quarters, had come to Louisbourg to repair his sagging business fortunes. Captain Waldron, who delighted in idle talk, passed on some of the tales to his family in Portsmouth. One officer, called "Duke Trinkelo" -- Waldron's code probably for the Massachusetts Brigadier Waldo -- was portrayed as a talkative buffoon, a traitor involved with Bradstreet and the French, as having been clapped in irons, and as a man universally hated in the army. These and other rumours even became current in New England, but did not reach the extravagant proportions of the Bradstreet incident. [46] In addition to such gossip, some of the New Englanders were ready to find evidence of partiality in the utilization of the forces assembled before Louisbourg. The New Hampshire volunteers in particular believed they were being called upon to do more than their fair share in the siege effort. [47] Both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts contingents envied the higher wages and bounties being paid by Connecticut to its volunteers; however, this did not become a really serious issue until after the siege. [48] While it is impossible to pinpoint the variety, sources and currency of the gossiping and the degree of the rivalry and suspicions between the contingents, such feelings were obviously symptomatic of the declining morale and helped undermine the respect and trust necessary between all rank's of the provincial volunteers, increasing the difficulties of securing obedience and cooperation.

As morale declined, so the discipline problems increased. The signs were unmistakeable. On May 23, Waldo referred to the difficulty of getting men of different regiments to cooperate. Two days later he complained of "many of the officers haveing so little command over their men. [49] Even so, a disorganized and confused effort was made to undertake another attempt on the Island Battery in the aftermath of the fourth attempt and the Bradstreet incident. However, the effort reached no substantial form among the disturbed and suspicious provincials. [50] Pepperrell was deeply distressed by the state of his men at this time, so he willingly accepted his Council's recommendation to request more men and military supplies from New England. [51] More than a week of comparative inaction followed as Pepperrell and the Council resigned themselves to their belief that reinforcements were essential before the siege could be prosecuted more vigorously. The Council sat infrequently during this period; however, work did continue on the erection of siege batteries, a number of which were already pounding the fortress. Although fearing relief for Louisbourg from France and Canada might arrive at any moment, Pepperrell and his Council virtually abandoned their initiative and offensive to consolidate their position and to await their own reinforcements. Warren could not accept the-stance adopted by the New Englanders. On May 24, he urged Pepperrell to consider "more vigorous measures" for reducing Louisbourg than by simply relying on a time-consuming general blockade, particularly since it would take so long for reinforcements to arrive from the colonies, even "shou'd they be ever so inclined to assist us." [52] Warren wrote to Pepperrell: 

I must own it gives me great concern that no one advantage had yet been acquired by our troops from the enemy, except the Grand [Roya] Battery, wch they abandoned upon a presumption, I suppose, that it was not tenable; but had they endeavoured to defend it, I am apt to believe it wou'd still have remained in their possession. [53]

 Pepperrell disagreed with Warren's appraisal of the progress of the siege. The landing of the forces at Gabarus Bay had been no mean accomplishment, and some of the captured guns of the Royal Battery had been repaired quickly and turned against the fortress with considerable effect. Various siege batteries had been raised and a few days before the end of May, a battery within 250 yards of the Dauphin Bastion would be completed and begin hammering a breach in the West Gate. Furthermore, the French fishery on the Cape Breton coast had been devastated. Pepperrell outlined these activities to Shirley in a letter dated May 31, but he also admitted the progress of the siege was slow: 

But [I] flatter myself, that when the various, and great difficulties we have to encounter with, come into consideration, we shall not be thought chargeable with any want of diligence, at least. The difference between such an army as ours, in such a place as this, being vastly great, and disciplined troops in a Champaign country, and moderate climate. [54]

Having made his concern clear, Warren passed on his second plan for the rapid reduction of the fortress. He acknowledged that many of the New England officers considered it rash to storm the walls before a breach was effected, but argued that even if a breach were made, the French would concentrate their forces at the gap, necessitating an attempt on unbreached parts with scaling ladders to divert French attention from the gap. Since Warren and his captains had agreed it would be impossible for the ships to force the harbour while the Island Battery remained effective, he suggested that all the warships and colonial cruisers, save for two reconnaissance vessels, anchor in Gabarus Bay and discharge 1,500 men to assist in a land assault. The men from the ships should attack the fortress in whaleboats rowed from the Royal Battery while the marines and most disciplined volunteers lead an attempt at a breach Warren hoped would soon be opened in the West Gate, or attack some other weak spot of the walls. Warren emphasized that he could not leave the seamen on shore longer than to participate in an immediate assault, and that any delays in the attack would leave his ships exposed with greatly reduced crews. Since there would not be enough small arms to equip all the seamen, Warren asked for "pole axes, broad axes, bayonets fix'd on poles, lances and hand granadoes...." [55] This bold plan, tinged by desperation, opened a bloody prospect to Pepperrell and his Council. Yet there was more. 

Motivated by his fear of the obvious indiscipline of the New Englanders, Warren also suggested a rear guard be appointed to arrest anyone suspected of not performing his duty and that the mustered land forces be warned that cowardice or reluctance to join the attack would be punished by death. Anxious lest the colonials abandon the attack to loot the city before victory was certain, he proposed the death penalty for such miscreants. Having had ample evidence of the provincials greed for plunder, he recommended turning this lust to advantage: 

none but those who are actually upon the attack, or posted otherwise by particular orders, to have any share in the plunder or riches of the town.

When the fortress was finally secured, sentries should be posted to prevent anyone entering the city except by Pepperrell's orders so "that it might be known why they were not upon the attack...." [56]

Warren's anxieties and impatience with the slow progress of the siege were quite evident to Pepperrell. Here was a British naval officer, shocked by the lack of discipline shown by the colonials, ready to commit a considerable proportion of his own seamen to a land-based assault in the hopes that their example would inspire and assist the provincial land forces. [57] In consultation with Pepperrell, Warren had written to the colonies from Virginia to New York soliciting assistance for the siege; he also suggested Pepperrell write to Newcastle explaining the difficulties being encountered at Louisbourg, apparently in the hopes of obtaining aid from England such as regular troops and more ships. [58] After preparing his second assault plan, Warren received word from Boston that the Princess Mary and Hector, 60 and 40-guns respectively, could be expected soon at Louisbourg from England. This reinforcement impressed Warren "how much the government at home has the expedition at heart, and for God sake," he wrote to Pepperrell, "let us use all our efforts not to disapoint them in it." [59] The commodore had heard that the St. Lawrence River was now clear of ice, opening the possibility of assistance for Louisbourg coming soon from that quarter. Such aid, he pointed out to Pepperrell, could quite conceivably run the blockade of Louisbourg as was proved by the entry on May 24 of a 150-ton scow from France, the wine and bread cargo of which brought some small relief to the inhabitants of the beleaguered fortress. [60]

Compounding Warren's fears was information that ten French warships were on their way to the West Indies, where they might turn for Louisbourg, especially since it was likely the French had captured some of Shirley's dispatches in the West Tndies which described the expedition against the fortress. To give his pleas more weight with Pepperrell, Warren hinted at the desperate plight the New England forces would be in should his squadron meet a superior French force which. might prevent him from securing the retreat of the colonials. [61] At the end of May, Warren received more disturbing information that four warships had been sent from France directly to Louisbourg. [62] In addition, heavy fogs were becoming increasingly frequent making it difficult for Warren to keep his ships together, adding to the likelihood of French relief ships entering the harbour and compounding the problems of maintaining the land-sea communications necessary for concerting measures against the fortress. Every delay in capturing Louisbourg also augmented the possibility of Marin's forces reaching the area in time to complicate or perhaps even to raise the siege. [63]

Pepperrell was painfully aware that reinforcements might reach Louisbourg any day, yet he resisted Warren's impatient prodding to embark on what he considered precipitate action, but which Warren deemed resolute action. The Council of War refused to consider Warren's plan immediately, "the circumstances of army not allowing of an immediate decision t hereon, the consideration of it ... [was] defer'd to a further opportunity." [64] This further consideration never came, but Pepperrell carefully explained the Council's point of view, hoping to soothe Warren. He commended the commodore's zeal in the service of the Crown and the New England colonies, and agreed the slow progress of the siege was disturbing, 

but when the difficultys of attacking the Island Battery are duly considered, there being but critical minutes in wch it can possibly be done with hopes of success, allso the difficultys of scaling walls without a breach, by undisciplin'd troops, the difficulty of landing our cannon in so bad a harbour, of getting them convey'd over such bad grounds in the face of our enemies' fire while we cannot annoy them at all, and a general illness thro' the army, I hope these and such like things considered your patience will not tire. [65] 

As for the chances of a French fleet appearing off Louisbourg, Pepperrell added limply: "[I] hope for the best...." He would only commit himself so far as to state "that the attack of the Island Battery or town will, as 1 think, certainly and speedily be effected, and I hope to good purposes. [66] Warren received this answer without apparent rancour, but remained determined to force the siege to a climax as soon as possible. He resolved to consult his captains as soon as the Princess Mary and Hector arrived to determine whether the sea forces might be considered strong enough to run into the harbour, in which event, he anticipated a simultaneous land attack would be made on the fortress. [67]

Meanwhile, there were signs that the morale of the New Englanders was improving during the last days of May. The news of the pending arrival of the Princess Mary and Hector prompted Warren to write to Pepperrell: "I hope this will give your troops great spirit, as it will be a considerable naval reinforcement." [68] The various siege batteries were obviously inflicting heavy damage on the buildings within the fortress, and the Advanced Battery, erected within 250 yards of the Dauphin Bastion during the night of May 27, soon began pounding a breach in the West Gate. [69] Pepperrell delightedly reported to Warren that "The success at the West Gate had animated our men, and I hope they will chearfully  execute any plan of operation that may be agreed upon." [70] Fresh provisions had recently arrived from New England, removing any threat of a shortage and undoubtedly improving the quality of the provincial diet. [71] On May 27, the New Englanders had discovered about 30 cannon placed under water at Careening Point about ten years earlier by the French. [72] Pepperrell hoped these cannons could be prepared for use in a battery to be erected at Lighthouse Point to play on the Island Battery. [73] The next day between forty and sixty New Englanders surprised and routed a French detachment of about 100 irregulars under Sieur Lavalliere Beaubassin near Lighthouse Point. Du Chambon had dispatched the men to prevent the cannon from being used in a battery, to destroy the New England stores at Gabarus and probably to harass straggling provincials and peripheral camp areas. The New Englanders skirmished with Beaubassin's dwindling forces several more times during the succeeding week, always defeating them with superior numbers. [74]

Perhaps the single most significant factor in the resurgence of the provincial morale at this time was the capturing of the Vigilant on May 30. Despite orders to assist Louisbourg in case of attack and not to expose his ship uselessly, de la Maisonfort rashly chased the 40-gun Mermaid, which led the French warship toward the other vessels of Warren's squadron. De la Maisonfort was trapped before he realised his error, and after a vigourous and brave battle, he had to strike his colours. The supplies and munitions on board the Vigilant proved to be a welcome addition to the besieging forces, especially the powder which relieved a serious shortage. Warren soon began the refitting of the battered warship so that it could augment his squadron. While the New Englanders were delighted by the victory, the French were prodigiously discouraged. The anonymous Habitant, who observed a great increase in the rate of fire from the New England batteries after the Vigilant was captured, wrote:

Nothing could have prevented her from entering [the harbour], and yet she became the prey of the English by a most deplorable fatility. We witnessed her manoeuvres and there was not one of us who did not utter maledictions upon what was so badly planned and so imprudent. [75]

Later it was believed widely in France that the loss of the Vigilant was probably the most important factor in the outcome of the siege at Louisbourg. This view was shared by Bigot, and by Maurepas himself. [76] Despite a courageous and determined defence by the exhausted garrison and inhabitants of Louisbourg, their waning hopes for success were thus dealt a cruel blow.

Nevertheless, they continued their struggle with a will, even "Children, ten and twelve years old carried arms, and were to be seen on the ramparts, exposing themselves with a courage beyond their years. " [77] There were remarkably few deserters from the fortress, but from these individuals and from. prisoners, Pepperrell learned later that there was a considerable dissatisfaction among the soldiers with the direction of the defence. The only two sorties of any substance which Du Chambon had permitted had been unsuccessful, and not even the diligent, if uninspired, efforts of Du Chambon and Bigot to strengthen the defences of the fortress and to encourage the people could dispel the growing sense of hopelessness. The Habitant several times observed that the regular garrison, which had so recently mutinied, was not trusted within the city, and Waldo concluded from his interrogation of prisoners that there was considerable friction between the soldiers and civilians. [78]

During these favourable conditions, New Englanders were wakened from their lassitude of the past week and a half when another attempt on the Island Battery was ordered for the night of June 2. After whaleboats had been carried laboriously three miles from Gabarus to the Royal Battery, the attempt was postponed by Waldo, the organiser of the effort, because of a bright moon and northern lights, and because of the appearance of small, disorganised and leaderless groups of men, "not a few of them noisy & in liquor." [79] The postponement caused "a greate uneasiness" among the volunteers, [80] and reinforced Waldo in his opinion that the men should be placed under their own officers, for "the same men being putt under the direction of strangers must create utmost confusion...." [81] Another attempt, more carefully organised by Waldo, was planned for the next night. Two officers were sent to recruit from the various provincial regiments; however, there was difficulty in obtaining volunteers since there was a suspicion in the camp that the French had been informed of the scheme and were prepared for the attack. Some of the men pleaded duty at a new emplacement located across the barachois from the fortress called Titcomb's battery, which had opened an effective fire at the end of May. Although Waldo wanted volunteers, some men had to be pressed into service against their will. About 500 men, including 200 Marines sent by Warren, embarked in about 50 whaleboats under the command of Colonels Arthur Noble and John . Gorham. [82] As the men drew toward the Island Battery "there arose such a prodigious fog, that they could not see where to land .... " [83] The attempt was abandoned. According to one diarist, there was a more serious reason for calling off the attack: "our head offiser Being a Couard we Rowd a Bout all Night and Never landed..."[84] Major Seth Pomeroy wrote that the "Soldiers Saild all Round ye Island but no Colo Noble To be Found For want of an offercer ye Soldiers Return'd. ..."[85]

The incident aroused much dissatisfaction in the camp, suggesting the improvement in morale during the past week was more apparent than real. The situation was so serious that Pepperrell called a Council to inquire into the failure. After questioning a number of officers and men engaged in the attempt, the Council concluded on June 4 that Colonels Noble and Gorham "were not chargeable with misbehaviour in the affairs." [86] The Council also advised that If three or four hundred volunteers would appear for an attack on the Island stronghold, they would be allowed to choose their own officers and be entitled to all the plunder found at the battery. [87] This recommendation underlined the problems Pepperrell faced with his indisciplined provincials.

On June 3, the Princess Mary arrived, followed the next day by the Hector. As he had promised, Warren now called a general consultation of his sea officers. To Warren's disappointment, bad weather prevented Pepperrell and his officers from joining the meeting. [88] On June 4 and 5, the commodore sent Pepperrell the details of his third major scheme for the sudden reduction of Louisbourg. This plan differed substantially from earlier schemes by proposing that 1,600 colonials be placed on board the ships to participate in a sea-borne attack on the fortress. As soon as the Vigilant was repaired, all the warships and colony cruisers, except for a few reconnaissance vessels, would run into the harbour to bring the guns to bear on the fortress and to discharge the small boats carrying the provincials and whatever men Warren could spare. Captain James Macdonald, an experienced officer commanding the marines aboard the Princess Mary and carrying Shirley's commission to command the marines when on land, would be placed ashore to lead the first and critical assault by marines and colonials on the landward walls when Warren signalled his intention to force the harbour. Warren evidently hoped Macdonald and his marines would set an example which the colonials would follow. He refrained this time from detailing the elaborate and harsh disciplinary methods Pepperrell might use to control his men. Apologising for having sent so many plans, Warren informed Pepperrell that each scheme was forwarded with the best intentions considering the problems on shore. He added that it was imperative to conclude the siege as quickly as possible since the seamen were falling ill at an alarming rate, some of the ships having been at sea for almost three months without relief. [89]

Pepperrell's Council rejected Warren's, scheme and substituted its own plan for Warren's consideration. The Council feared sending so many men aboard the ships, especially since more than a third of the provincials were too sick for duty and because an attack by a French and Indian force reportedly, nearby was anticipated. In addition, it would be difficult to transport the men to the ships in the uncertain seas and weather, which would also make it nearly impossible to coordinate the attack. Furthermore, the Council believed the effectiveness of the provincials would be reduced by the unaccustomed sea-service and that the Island Battery and Circular Battery in the Dauphin Bastion should be disabled before the fortress was stormed. [90] Unstated, but also at issue as Wapren realised, was the removal of the land forces from the authority of the provincial commanders, a detail which would effectively diminish the role, and initiative of the colonies in the expedition. [91] Such an occurrence would upset not only the colonial forces before the fortress, but also Shirley and the governments of the colonies involved in the project.

A complex and potentially disastrous situation had developed between the land and sea commanders before Louisbourg. Part of the problem derived from the fact that Shirley had prepared instructions for Pepperrell which focussed on the capturing of the fortress by land forces, giving the sea forces little more role than that of blockading the area. Shirley had developed these instructions in this manner because he suspected Louisbourg was virtually invulnerable to a sea attack and because he had no guarantees that a strong British squadron would support the expedition. [92] While Pepperrell realised that Shirley did not mean the instructions to be so binding as to remove his initiative in meeting contingencies, he dared not let it appear that Warren had seized the initiative and effective command of the entire expedition, for this eventuality might destroy the already weak morale of his provincials and jeopardise all cooperation between the land and sea forces, which had displayed symptoms of a disruptive rivalry and animosity. Bedevilled by fears that the siege would fail if the expected French land and seas reinforcements arrived and that the undisciplined New Englanders could not bring the siege to a climax before the season became too advanced to permit the maintenance of the forces before Louisbourg, Warren felt compelled to press his plans for the rapid reduction of the fortress on Pepperrell. Furthermore, the failure of the siege would obviously disappoint the ministry which had shown considerable interest in the expedition, and probably harm Warren's personal ambitions for advancement. While he could appreciate Pepperrell's difficulties on land, he could not easily accept the constant rejection of his plans which would utilize the mobility offered by the squadron in attacking the fortress. It seemed so obvious that if the ships were used for more than a blockade by placing some of the provincials on board, the combined attack at many points on the fortress would have a great chance of success.

On the other hand, while Pepperrell appreciated Warren's efforts and experience at war, and also feared the consequences of relief forces appearing at Louisbourg, he knew his men and dared not risk what Warren suggested. His Council believed an acceptable plan of operations could be developed only at a meeting of both the land and sea officers, regardless of the vagaries of sea and weather which were preventing such a consultation. Warren's initiative undoubtedly offended some members of the Council of War, and it appears that even the mild-mannered and unassuming Pepperrell began to suspect at about this time that Warren might be trying to assume the supreme command of the expedition.

The Council's counter-proposal, which represented the firmest commitment it had made to storm Louisbourg since the fiasco of May 20, asserted the dominance of the land forces in the siege and relegated the squadron to a supporting role as the instrument of blockade. The scheme offered 500 men from the colonial cruisers and transports to help man the Vigilant, while an additional 500 men plus whatever marines and seamen Warren could spare would attack the fortress in whaleboats launched from the Royal Battery after Warren had led his ships into the harbour. At the same time, 500 men would attack the breach being made in the West Gate, another 500 would scale the south-eastern walls of the fortress, and a further 500 would be posted to support the attack on the West Gate. [93]

Warren did not receive the Council's counter-proposal and Pepperrell's answer to the plan for some days, probably because of the heavy fogs which were impeding communications at this time. On June 6, Warren sent a brusque letter to Pepperrell. He demanded to know what Pepperrell and the Council had decided on a number of outstanding matters, the most serious of which concerned Warren's last plan of attack He intimated that Pepperrell was procrastinating, thereby putting the siege in jeopardy. He urged Pepperrell to consider how the squadron could be more effectively utilized than by simply maintaining the blockade: "I fear if that be all that is expected for the ships, or that they can do, Louisbourg will be safe for some time...." In great frustration Warren wrote: "For God's sake let us do something, and not waste our time in indolence . [94]

Warren's letter was ill-timed, for unknown to him, the New Englanders were about to attack the Island Battery. In accordance with the Council's decision of June 4, [95] about 400 volunteers gathered at the Royal Battery during the evening of June 6 and selected a Captain Edward Brooks as their commander. [96] It was a cool, dark night when the men set out, and a menacingly high surf was running. [97] Three cheers were sounded by some high-spirited or drunk New Englanders as they were landing, arousing the French to their peril. [98] Many of the New Englanders later believed the French had prior warning of the attack and were waiting for them with their cannon loaded with langrage. [99] The French opened a devastating fire on the New Englanders, throwing them into confusion. After about two hours of useless milling about, the provincials abandoned the attempt, leaving behind about 60 men killed and almost twice that number captured. [100]

The defeat shocked the New Englanders, apparently confirming some of them in their suspicions that they had lost divine favour. There were calls for a renewed spirit of dedication and repentance before God. [101] The Reverend Joseph Emerson noted that "From all accounts from shore we learn the men are prodigiously discouraged" and that "treachery is whispered thro' the whole camp." [102] Lieutenant Daniel Giddings wrote: 

I Believe there is an accu[rsed] in our Camp. o Lord help us to search Each man his one hart and Pray father lett they holy Spirit be with Each of us in ye search yt the accursed thing may be found out & we obtain pardon. [103] 

The silence of the siege guns the next morning underlined the dejection of the provincials. Captain Waldron observed: 

I am sorry to find our New England Troops or to Say that they want to go home, home is all ye Cry & if I was well at home Ile ingage, they should never find me such a fool again this is the Language of those who are as well us'd as Can be. [104]

Heavy fogs continued to hamper land-sea communications, nurturing the friction between Warren and Pepperrell. By June 9, Warren had received the rejection of his last scheme, but had heard nothing of the shocking defeat at the Island Battery. Warren's patience was almost exhausted, and he was irritated by the thick, depressing fogs which had rendered his squadron impotent. For three days he had hardly been able to see the length of his ship, let alone direct the squadron. He knew that these breakdowns in communication could be extremely dangerous, reinforcing his desire to force the siege to a climax. On this day he composed the most critical letter he was to send to Pepperrell. He complained that Pepperrell seemed to give no weight to his plans, even though Warren was experienced in military affairs and produced the schemes in consultation with his captains. He recalled that Shirley had once offered him the command of the entire expedition, adding: 

I do not mention this, from any desire of command, because I think it impossible to do one's duty well in two capacities, both by sea and land, especially as I pretend to know very little of the latter, but to show that my opinion, which I shall ever give candidly to the best of my judgement, might have in conjunction with the captains under my command, some weight and force with you.... [105] 

He reiterated his earlier pleas that the squadron be used for more than a blockade. He suspected that Pepperrell and his Council were reluctant to agree to his plans for fear that Warren would obtain, for all practical purposes, the supreme command. He denied having any such pretensions and pointed out that the 1,600 men he had requested be placed on the ships would have remained under the command of their own officers, although it would have been obviously necessary for Warren to give them the command to begin the assault. Among various other complaints, he demanded to know why the Island Battery had not yet been attacked, despite the Council's numerous resolutions for the effort. [106]

Pepperrell and his Council were deeply offended by Warren's letters, especially by the suggestions that they were wasting time in indolence. On June 8, Pepperrell had answered Warren's complaints, outlining the activities of the land forces since the beginning of the siege. He told Warren that because of illness, there were only about 2,100 effective men in the camp, of which 600 had gone in search of the French and Indian forces reported to be in the vicinity. Furthermore, the last and tragic attempt on the Island Battery had convinced Pepperrell and his Council of the futility of attacking the battery with men in small boats. He made it clear that he considered Warren's comments unfair, but characteristically kept the tone of his letter moderate so as not to provoke Warren. Pepperrell expressed his hope for a meeting as soon as possible with Warren to coordinate measures against the fortress. [107]

Shortly after sending his letter of June 9, Warren received news of the calamity at the Island Battery and Pepperrell's reply to his preceding letter of complaint. There was an abrupt change in the tone of his next letters to Pepperrell as he reverted to his former easy and unaggressive style. He expressed sorrow at the Island Battery defeat and urged a joint strategy meeting be held as soon as possible. [108] However, as the bad weather continued to prevent the consultation, he urged Pepperrell to inform him how many provincials could be sent on board the ships if Warren led his squadron into the harbour according to the plan of June 4 and 5. [109]

On June 12, the Council modified its counter-proposal to Warren's last plan, obviously influenced by the Island Battery failure of June 6, by agreeing with Warren that it would be impossible for 500 men to cross the harbour from the Royal Battery to land at the fortress under the squadrons' guns. [110] Furthermore, the Council now offered 600 men from the colonial vessels and land forces to help man the Vigilant, and 500 men to board the ships to land with Warren's men when he forced the harbour. [111] Despite the friction between Warren and Pepperrell and their commands, there was obviously still room for compromise.

Not until June 14 did the weather permit Pepperrell and five members of his Council to board the Superbe and confer with Warren and four of his captains. The lack of communications entailed by-fogs had fostered misunderstanding and suspicion; however, this meeting appears to have been conducted in a cordial atmosphere. [112] Warren now expressed reservations for any plan requiring his ships to force the harbour before more damage had been inflicted on the various gun emplacements where artillery could be brought to bear on the ships in the harbour. However, he had great hopes that the new battery being erected by the New Englanders near the lighthouse would neutralise the Island Battery. [113] Any immediate plans for a general attack on the fortress were evidently shelved for the time being, although there appears to have been agreement in principle for such an undertaking when the siege batteries had damaged the defences of Louisbourg more heavily.

Although they could not know it, for Warren, Pepperrell and the men they commanded, the worst part of the siege operations had been passed. The prospect of an early victory, which had seemed so remote after the last attack on the Island Battery, began to brighten within a week of that failure. Pepperrell and Warren continued to express their usual differences in the means of conducting the siege, and apparently even had a personal confrontation over the relative status of their commands. Pepperrell, as he later reported to Shirley, denied Warren's statement that he was the chief officer before Louisbourg by stating bluntly: "Not on Shoar." [114] Despite their differences, however, they did not let them develop into an open hostility but rather continued to cooperate in most other areas of the operations.

On June 13, Pepperrell wrote a long and gloomy letter to Shirley outlining the difficulties at Louisbourg and requesting more supplies, equipment and a reinforcement of 3,000 men. [115] Pepperrell still preferred to await reinforcements while maintaining the siege and blockade. Pepperrell had just completed this letter when Captain David Donahew arrived in the Resolution from Boston, bringing some of the very items requested by Pepperrell, including powder which relieved the very serious shortage being experienced on land and at sea. More materials would arrive in the near future, and Donahew told Pepperrell that Shirley was already raising more men for the expedition. [116] Pepperrell's drooping spirits received another boost from Shirley's letter delivered by Donahew:

I scarce though it possible for you to have transported your heavy artillery and rais'd your batteries so soon as you have. It must have been exceeding hard labour, and you must have been very industrious to compass it. [117]

The unexpected supplies brought by Donahew "was a matter of great joy" in the camp, and "put new life and spirits into all of us." [118] Shirley also passed on the welcome news that Brest was blockaded by British warships, thus diminishing the anticipated danger of a French fleet relieving Louisbourg. [119] During the next four days, three or four French vessels laden with provisions were captured off Louisbourg, demonstrating the effectiveness of the blockade, contributing to the besiegers' stores and raising camp spirits. 120 On, June 15, John Henry Bastide, the military engineer for Annapolis Royal, arrived at Canso on his way to Louisbourg. Only two days earlier, Pepperrell had written to Lieutenant Governor Mascarene for the loan of an experienced military engineer, the lack of which had been sorely felt at Louisbourg since the siege began. Bastide brought with him "a good serjeant of artillery, two gunners, and four artificers.... [121]

However, Bastide confirmed earlier intelligence that Paul Marin had broken off the siege of Annapolis Royal and was heading toward Louisbourg with his French and Indians, reputedly numbering as many as 700 men. [122] Pepperrell ordered the defences of the New England camp tightened, and Warren diverted two provincial cruisers, originally heading to assist Mascarene, to intercept Marin. [123] This troublesome news concerning Marin probably made Pepperrell more anxious to conclude the siege as soon as possible. However, Marin's attack never materialised for he had been summoned too late by Du Chambon. After encountering some of the provincial cruisers and receiving news of the advanced state of the siege, Marin turned back before reaching Cape Breton Island. [124]

Between June 15 and 19, the first deserters from the fortress entered the provincial camp, some of them reporting that Louisbourg was on the verge of collapse being low on provisions and powder, and that "many in the Citty would be. Glad To Come Out and Deliver themelves to [the besiegers] ...."[125] On June 20, the 50-gun man-of-war Chester arrived from England with news that two more warships could be expected to arrive any day. These ships, the Sunderland and Canterbury, of 60-gunseach, appeared three days later with the Lark, 40-guns, which had been convoying vessels to North America from England, but made for Louisbourg on receiving Warren's orders at Newfoundland. The Admiralty had sent the Chester, Sunderland and Canterbury to Louisbourg after receiving information from Admiral Martin that six French warships had slipped through his blockade of west coast French ports. The Admiralty believed these ships were heading for Louisbourg, but in fact they steered for the West Indies. [126] The arrival of the warships from England more than doubled the size of Warren's initial squadron, and further impressed him with the British ministry's interest in the expedition. In great spirits Warren wrote to Pepperrell:

I congratulate you on our present prospect of success, which I think very great; therefore hope soon to keep a good house together, and give the ladys of Lewisbourg a gallant ball. [127] 

The lighthouse siege battery opened fire on the Island Battery on June 21, proving to be an immediate success. To the delight of the New Englanders, it swept the battery with such fury that the French often could not load their guns, and had to seek refuge in the sea from time to time. [128] The Island Battery was at last being effectively neutralised.

Furthermore, the Advanced Battery had successfully blasted a large breach in the West Gate, and the Circular Battery had suffered heavy damage from the siege guns. [129]

Pepperrell and Warren were now convinced the time was ripe for a general assault on the fortress. A plan of operations was agreed upon by June 26 which closely resembled the Council's compromise plan of June 12. About 600 provincials would board Warren's ships which were to force the harbour on "the first fair opportunity of wind and weather.... [130] The Vigilant had already been manned from the colony transports and cruisers, so this was not now a problem. [131] While Warren entered the harbour, Pepperrell's forces would storm the fortress, concentrating on the breach in the West Gate. Warren would. land his marines, what seamen he could spare, and the New Englanders aboard his ships in small boats for an attack from the harbour side of the fortress. [132]

Preparations for the assault were expedited. Pepperrell's men collected moss and prepared oakum with which Warren could line his ships against the small shot of the enemy. Cannon fire was intensified against the fortress, with particular attention being p'aid to the Island Battery and the Circular Battery, the two most formidable emplacements Warren's ships would face in the harbour. On June 24, Pepperrell informed Warren that most of the provincials were ready to board. Three piles of brush wood were placed on the hills about Louisbourg to serve as beacons for Warren's ships. Scaling ladders and the small landing boats were readied for the assault. [133] Despite the bloody prospect of storming the fortress, the provincials were encouraged by the last minute preparations for the attack which would hopefully end the siege. Wolcott noted that "there appeared an extraordinary cheerfulness in the army for the hopes of a speedy victory ..." [134] On June 26, Warren anchored his fleet about six miles to sea from Louisbourg and came ashore to address the mustered provincials. [135] He stressed that "we Could not Take ye Citty with ye Land forces neither Could he wth ye Sea forces without ye assistance of each Other...." The speech stirred the provincials, who responded with three great cheers. [136]

Louisbourg lay in ruins. Du Chambon reported that by this time the nerve-shattering bombardment was almost continuous. Every house in the town was damaged, and most were unfit for habitation. The exhausted and increasingly dispirited inhabitants of the town, soldiers and civilians, laboured side-by-side clearing debris to enable some counterfire from the fortress and to prevent a build-up of rubble which would assist the enemy in scaling the walls. During the day, no part of the town was safe from the enemy's shot save for the already crowded casemates. Nights were spent without sleep for many as they struggled to repair damage inflicted by the New England cannonade. While the casualty list was not long -- 50 dead, 95 seriously wounded -- sheer exhaustion was beginning to reduce the number of persons capable of assisting in the defence. The terrified population despaired of any assistance from France or Canada, and could see Warren's powerful squadron cruising back and forth off Louisbourg maintaining the blockade, while they observed preparations on land being made for an assault, one of the most brutal features of siege warfare. [137] Under these circumstances, Louisbourg's isolation must have seemed singularly oppressive and terrifying.

Du Chambon requested reports on the condition of the fortifications and munitions. The brief reports from Verrier, the chief engineer, and Ste-Marie, captain of the artillery, confirmed what he already knew: the walls were heavily damaged, particularly at the Dauphin Bastion; many cannon were inoperable on the crumbling ramparts; the Island Battery was virtually useless. Worse still, there were but 47 barrels of powder remaining and very, few fuses. Indeed there were adequate provisions for some time yet, but what use were they in a fortress which could not be defended much longer? The civilian population believed it had suffered long enough and that further resistance would be not just useless, but folly. More than 40 leading citizens and merchants petitioned Du Chambon to surrender the fortress. Better to negotiate while they still had something to offer than wait for the last extremity when the arbiters might be the sword and the battlehardened enemy bent on pillage. What could be gained by prolonging the siege when the defeat was inevitable? The governor later informed Maurepas that this request touched his very soul, coming from men with families who were losing the fruits of their labour since the founding of the colony. Du Chambon found himself in a delicate position. On the one hand, he commanded His Most Christian Majesty's costly fortress, which appeared doomed to fall; on the other hand, he had to consider the lives and possessions of the townspeople, which would be jeopardised by a battle to the last extremity. [138]

At 9 a.m., June 26, the governor placed the petition of the inhabitants and the reports on the state of the fortress before his Council of War. After five wearying hours of deliberation, the Council decided unanimously in favour of capitulation. [139] A messenger was dispatched to Pepperrell and Warren requesting an armistice while Du Chambon drew up his capitulation proposals. [140] They accepted the French governor's request, giving him until 8 a.m. the next morning to deliver his terms, "and if in the mean Time you surrender your selves prisoners of War, you may depend upon humane and generous Treatment. [141] To impress upon Du Chambon that he was bargaining from a position of weakness, Pepperrell and Warren pointed out that the decision to capitulate was timely "to prevent the Effusion of Christian blood, as we were together, and had just determined upon a General Attack." [142]

Lacking imagination, military experience, sound judgement  and adequate foresight, Du Chambon certainly provided mediocre leadership at Louisbourg. [143] Yet he was no coward, and although a more respected and able leader might have prolonged the defence of the city, it is doubtful that Louisbourg could have been saved by fine leadership alone once the enemy had penetrated the weakest element of the fortifications; that is, once the enemy had landed sufficient troops with siege equipment to appear before the landward walls where too few guns could be brought to bear on the besiegers and which were commanded by nearby hills. The New Englanders had accomplished this manoeuvre partly because Du Chambon failed to send a strong force to oppose the landing, but also because there were no French ships of force at Louisbourg to counter the British squadron and colonial vessels during their most vulnerable periods of transporting the forces and establishing a beachhead on Cape Breton Island. James Wolfe, who in 1758 played a prominent role in the second successful attack on Louisbourg, declared that, 

to defend the Isle Royale it is necessary to have a body of four or five thousand men in readiness to march against whatever force of the enemy attempts to land. In short, there must be an army to defend the island ... We must not trust to the place or to any of those batteries now constructed .... [144]

While Du Chambon could have made better use of the forces at his disposal to defend the fortress, he had but a quarter of the number of men suggested by Wolfe, and he believed few could be spared from manning the walls. Vauban himself did not maintain that fortresses were impregnable. He was convinced that a garrison of 4,000 men in a properly equipped fortification could withstand six times the number of attackers without assistance for at least two months. [145] Louisbourg was defended by about 1,300 men, made up of about one-third regular troops, the rest being inhabitants, sailors and fishermen serving as militia. [146] They faced four to five times their own number of colonial volunteers, besides three to four hundred Royal Marines from Warren's squadron, not to mention the thousands of men manning the British and New England support and blockade vessels. The French withstood nearly seven weeks of direct siege, having been under sea blockade for about six weeks prior to the actual siege operations. They conducted their defence in an ill-equipped and isolated fortification with virtually no outside help. Vauban's concepts were not undermined by the fall of Louisbourg.


[1] A number of readily available accounts of the siege exists, making it unnecessary to present in detail here the events which took place. However, it will be necessary for the development of my narrative to look at the condition of the New England volunteer militia in some detail and to reexamine the traditional interpretation of the relations between Pepperrell and Warren. The most recent and detailed account of the siege may be found in George Rawlyk's Yankees at Louisbourg. J.S.. McLennan in Louisbourg, From its Foundation to its Fall, 1713-1758, devoted considerable space to the siege especially chapters nine and ten. Gérard Giasson discussed the period 1744-'48 with the emphasis on the French aspects of the siege in his unpublished Master's thesis, "La Forteresse de Louisbourg 1744-1748". Usher Parson's elderly work, The Life of Sir William Pepperrell, Bart., dealt with Pepperrell's part in the siege and the subsequent garrisoning of the fortress. A new biography of Pepperrell is long overdue, but Parson's book is quite useful, providing extensive quotations, but no footnotes. Most recently, Professor Julian Gwyn permitted me to read his manuscript entitled Admiral Sir Peter Warren, 1703-1752, His Life and Fortune. Mr. Gwyn and I reached similar conclusions on the relations between Pepperrell and Warren independently of each other. Accounts of the siege by Du Chambon and Bigot may be found in the Public Archives of Canada holdings, A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 272-298, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745 and A.F.O., D.F.C., Am. Sept., pièce 218, n.p., Bigot to Maurepas, August 15, 1745. An extremely bitter and critical version of the siege from the French point of view is contained in the anonymous Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg. Many of the New Englanders kept day to day accounts of  the siege, and most of these diaries and journals have been published. These are listed in the bibliography of this manuscript. A useful chronological account of the siege was written by Raymond Baker, The Siege of Louisbourg, for the Louisbourg Restoration Project.

[2] Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., Appendix 11, p. 1877 Warren to Pepperrell, May 1, 1745.

[3] Colls. M.H.S., 6. X, p. 147, Pepperzell to Warren, May 4, 1745; "Journal of Bidwell", New England Hist. and Gen. Reg., pp. 154-155.

[4] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 12, Shirley to Pepperrell, March 22, 1745. Warren informed Pepperrell that this expedition "met no ships, as was expected, but burnt about forty houses and as many shallops...." Colls, M.H.S., 6, X,  p. 163, Warren to Pepperrell, May 11, 1745.

[5] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., P. 11.

[6] "Journal of Bidwell", New England Hist. and Gen. Reg., p. 154.

[7] Dudley Bradstreet's Diary, Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, Second Series, XI, (June, 1897) p. 425.

[8] Colls. MHS., 6,9 X, pp. 142-143, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 3. 1745. 

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid., p. 147, Pepperrell to Warren, May 4, 1745.

[11] Since plundering is mentioned much less frequently in the various diaries and journals after the first week, 1 have concluded that it declined in intensity. The decline in plundering probably may be attributed to the possibility that most of the worthwhile loot had been taken by the end of the first week after the landing. It is also possible that the diarists became more absorbed by the events of the siege and because as the siege progressed, the volunteers became more involved in military activities.

[12] See above., p. 88.

[13] See above., p. 88.

[14] Louisbourg Journals de Forest, ed., Appendix II, pp. 190-194, Warren to Pepperrell, May 4, 1745.

[15] Ibid., pp. 190-193.

[16] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 11-14, Councils of War, May 3, 4, 5, 1745; p. 148, Pepperrell to Warren, May 4, 1745; p. 175, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[17] Ibid., pp. 14-15, Council of War and text of the summons to surrender, May 6 and 7, 1745.

[18] Ibid., pp. 141-142, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 3, 1745.

[19] Ibid., p. 14, Council of War, May 6, 1745.

[20] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 307v, Du Chambon to Pepperrell and Warren, May 18, 1745.

[21] Colls, M.H.S., 6, X, p. 15, Council of War, May 7, 1745.

[22] Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., p. 152

[23] Connecticut Historical Society Collections, (Hartford, 1974) XXI, 428, "The Wylls Papers, Correspondance and Documents Chiefly of Descendants of Gov. George Wylls of Connecticut, 1590-1796," Theophilus Woodbridge to Joshua Lamb Woodbridge, May 12, 1745, quoted in Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 109.

[24] Fourth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 70; Fifth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 76; Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 110, Baker, Siege of Louisbourg, p. 38.

[25] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Warren to Shirley, May 12, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 16, Council of War, May 9, 1745.

[26] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 15; P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Warren to Shirley, May 12, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., p. 17, Council of War, May 9, 1745.

[27] Journal of Curwen, Ward., ed., pp. 118-119; Fifth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 76; Green's Journal. A.A.S. Procs., p. 153.

[28] Fourth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 72; An Accurate Journal, attested to by Pepperrell et al, pp. 15-16; Colls. M.H.S., 6. X, p . p. 348-350, Pepperrell to Shirley, August 6, 1745.

[29] The Journals and Papers of Seth Pomeroy, Louis Effingham de Forest ed., (Connecticut: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1926) pp. 24-25.

[30] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 158, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 8, 1745.

[31] Testimony of David Wooster for William Vaughan, October 28, 1745, printed in McLennan, Louisbourg, p. 367.

[32] Colls. M.H.S., p. 157, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 8, 1745; p. 171, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 14, 1745.

[33] George Rawlyk astutely noted an additional factor contributing to the decline of the provincials' morale. On May 21, twenty New Englanders were butchered by a small roving force of French and Indians. Rawlyk wrote: "Most of the ministers used the slaughter of the twenty New Englanders on May 21 as the basis of their sermons. One preached from the text 'for itt is a Pinted for Man once to Die' another from John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,' and another from 'thou are weigh'd in ye Ballances & found wanting.' The morbid sense of introspection emphasized by the ministers only helped to undermine morale even further. The troops began to be aware of the proximity of death as never before." Yankees, p. 116.

[34] "Journal kept by Lieut. Daniel Giddings of Ipswich during the Expedition against Cape Breton in 1744-5", Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, XLVIII., no. 4, (October, 1912) p. 298.

[35] Conn. Hist. Soc. Colls., p. 428, "The Wylls Papers", Theophilus Woodbridge to Joshua Lamb Woodbridge, May 12, 1745, quoted in Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 87.

[36] Pomeroy Journal, ed Forest, ed., p. 23; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., pp. 16, 19-20; Bradstreet's Diary, M.H.S. Procs., pp. 429, 431; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 198-199, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 21, 1745.

[37] Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon, p. 53.

[38] M.H.S., Davis Papers, unsigned account of the siege, December 13, 1745; Bradstreet's Diary, M.H.S. Procs., P. 435.

[39] Colls. M.H.S., 6., X, p. 330, Pepperrell to Shirley, July 17, 1745.

[40] See biographical note on Bradstreet above, p. 100, footnote 17, and p. 46, footnote 27.

[41] Clements Library, Louisbourg, Siege, 1745, Papers, n.p., T.W. Waldron to Richard Waldron, undated memorandum, possibly part of a letter dated July, 26, 1745.

[42] Craft's Journal", Essex Institute, p. 185.

[43] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 162, Warren to. Pepperrell, May, 11, 1745. 

[44] Ibid., pp. 18-19, Council of War, May 11, 1745.

[45] Journal of Curwen, Ward., ed., P. 13.

[46] Examples of these rumours may be found in the various letters between Thomas Waldron and his father Richard Waldron in Portsmouth. See Clements Library, Louisbourg, Siege, 1745, Papers, n.p., passim.

[47] Clements Library, Louisbourg, Siege, 1745, Papers, n.p., T.W. Waldron to Richard Waldron, July 8, 1745; M.H. S. Colls., 6, X, pp. 296-297, Richard Waldron to Pepperrell, July 9, 1745; M.H.S., Belknap Papers, n.p., unsigned item marked "[New Hampshire] Council Chamber, July 17, 1745".

[48] See below pp. 231-236.

[49] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Waldo to Shirley, May 12, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 171, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 14, 1745.

[50] Colls. M. H. S. , 6, X, p. 160 , Vaughan to Pepperrell , May 11, 1745; pp. 165-166, Vaughan to Pepperrell, May, 12, 1745; P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Waldo to Shirley, May 12, 1745.

[51] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 28, Pepperrell to Shirley, May 11, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 18, Council of War, May 11, 1745.

[52] Colls. M.H.S. 6, X, p. 168, Warren Pepperrell, May 13, 1745.

[53] Ibid., p. 175, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[54] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 29-31, Pepperrell to Shirley, May 20, 1745

[55] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 175-178, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[56] Ibid., pp. 176-177.

[57] Although this was obviously a dangerous manoeuvre, Warren hoped the reconnaissance vessels would give enough warning if a French fleet appeared to permit the seaman to return to defend their ships. He considered his ships could best defend themselves against a superior squadron in Gabarus Bay. Colls. M,H.S., 6, X, pp. 176-178, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[58] Colls. M.R.S., 6, X, pp. 168-168, Warren to Pepperrell, May 13, 1745.

[59] Ibid., pp. 174-175, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[60] Ibid., p. 175; pp. 166-167, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 13, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., p. 45; A.C , F3, vol. 50, fols. 282-282v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745.

[61] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 178, Warren to Pepperrell, May 16, 1745.

[62] Ibid., pp. 187-188, Warren to Pepperrell, May 19, 1745.

[63] Ibid., Warren to Pepperrell, May 17, 1745.

[64] Ibid., p. 20, Council of War. May, 17, 1745.

[65] Ibid., p. 181, Pepperrell to Warren, May 17, 1745.

[66] Ibid., pp. 181-182.

[67] Ibid., pp. 183-184, General Orders of Commodore Warren, May 18, 1745.

[68] Ibid. , p. 174 , Warren to Pepperrell , May 16, 1745.

[69] Second Journal, Captain Joseph Sherburne's Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 57.

[70] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 187, Pepperrell to Warren, May 19, 1745. See also First Journal, Anon, Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 18.

[71] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 156, Ammi Cutter to Pepperrell, May 8, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 28, Pepperrell to Shirley, May 11, 1745.

[72] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 283-283v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745. These cannon had been placed to serve as "corps morts"; that is, as anchorage points for ships. They were probably used as bracing points for careening ships. It is unlikely that they could have been used as cannon after ten year's emersion in salt water.

[73] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 30-31, Pepperrell to Shirley, May 20, 1745.

[74] A Letter from William Shirley, Esq.; Governor of Massachusetts Bay, To his Grace the Duke of Newcastle: with a Journal of the Siege of Louisbourg, (London: E. Owen, 1746) p. 25; A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 283-285, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745; fols. 376-376v, Bigot to Maurepas, August 1, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., pp. 51-52; An Accurate Journal, attested to by Pepperrell et al, pp. 17-18; A.F.O., D.F.C., Am. Sept. piace 218, n.p., Bigot to Maurepas, August 15, 1745.

[75] Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., Wrong, trans. and ed. p., 46.

[76] Ibid., Giasson, La Forteresse, pp. 96-99.

[77] Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., p. 67; A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 282v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745.

[78] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 198-199, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 21, 1745: p. 211, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 22, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., pp. 33-35.

[79] Colls. M.H.S., 6., X, 213-214, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 23, 1745,

[80] "Benjamin Cleave's Journal of the Expedition to Louisbourg, 1745", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, LXV I , (April, 1912), pp 119.

[81] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 214, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 23, 1745.

[82] Ibid., pp. 212-214, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 23, 1745; A Boston Merchant of 1745: or, Incidents in the life of James Gibson, "by one of his descendants", (Boston: Redding and Company, 1847) p. 54; Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., Appendix , II, pp. 197-198, Warren to Pepperrell, May 23, 1745. Warren apparently received very short notice of Pepperrell's desire to have marines assist in the attack, consequently he could only send 200 men although he appears to have wished to send more. Warren requested Pepperrell to send an equivalent number of provincials on board the ships, "for what with sickness, and Spareing Some Men to the French Man of Warr [Vigilant], lately taken, wee are in No Condition to Attack the Enemys Ships that are hourly Expected here, both from France and the West Indies...."

[83] Gibson Journal, p. 54.

[84] Sixth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 87.

[85] Pomeroy Journal, de Forest, ed., p. 27.

[86] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 21, Council of War, May 24, 1745. Unfortunately, no details of this investigation appear to exist; however, the evidence available suggests the sudden fog separated the leading officers from their men, forcing the abandonment of the attempt.

[87] Colls. M.H.S. 6, X, p. 21, Council of War, May 24, 1745.

[88] An Accurate Journal, attested to by Pepperrell et al., p. 20.

[89] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 32-33, two letters, Warren to Pepperrell, both dated May 24, 1745.

[90] . Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 22, Council of War, May 25, 1745.

[91] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 33-34, Pepperrell to Warren, May 26, 1745; pp. 36-37, Warren to Pepperrell. May 29, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X., p. 22, Council of War, May 25, 1745.

[92] Shirley realised from his Louisbourg correspondence that his instructions to Pepperrell inhibited a more active role in the siege being performed by Warren's squadron. Consequently he sent a letter to Pepperrell urging him to seriously consider Warren's plan of June 4 and 5, which would utilize the mobility offered by the ships in a combined land-sea attack. However, his letter could have arrived at the earliest only after the end of the siege was in sight. See Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 252, Shirley to Pepperrell, June 3, 1745.

[93] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 2 2-23 , Council of War, May, 25, 1745.

[94] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 34-35, Warren to Pepperrell, May 26, 1745.

[95] See above, p. 148.

[96] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 266, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 26, 1745; Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., p. 158.

[97] Ibid.; A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 288-288v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745.

[98] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 288-288v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745.

[99] Langrage was a cannon charge of irregularly shaped shot often used at sea to damage the rigging of an enemy ship. Fired at land forces at close range, it would have similar effects to the explosion of a shrapnel bomb.

[100] "Giddings' Journal", Essex Institute, p. 300; Pomeroy Journal, de Forest, ed., p. 28; Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., pp. 158-159; Bradstreet's Diary, M.H.S. Procs., p. 430; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 21; Fifth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 77.

[101] "Craft's Journal", Essex Institute, p. 187; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 22; Rev. Joseph Emerson, "Journal of the Louisbourg Expedition", Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, (October, 1910) p. 79. See also Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 130.

[102] Rev. Joseph Emerson, "Journal of the Louisbourg Expedition", M.H.S. Procs., (October, 1910) p. 79.

[103] "Giddingsv Journal", Essex Institute, p. 300.

[104] Clements Library, Louisbourg, Siege, 1745, Papers, n.p., T.W. Waldron to Richard Waldron, June 6, 1745.

[105] Colls. M.H.S., I, Ip p. 36, Warren to Pepperrell, May 29, 1745.

[106] Ibid., pp. 36-37.

[107] Ibid., p. 35, Pepperrell to Warren, May 28, 1745; see also Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 23-24, Council of War, May 27, 1745.

[108] Colls., M.H.S., 6, X, p. 233, Warren to Pepperrell, May 30, 1745.

[109] Ibid., pp. 236-237, Warren to Pepperrell,.May 31, 1745..

[110] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 37, Warren to Pepperrell, May 29, 1745.

[111] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 25, Council of War, June 1, 1745.

[112] No detailed account of the consultation appears to be available beyond two resolutions concerning the deployment of the various ships, including the Vigilant, reprinted in Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 250-251, Decisions of Councils of War, June 3, 1745.

[113] Pepperrell had informed Warren on June 12 that the new battery near the lighthouse was nearing completion. However, It did not begin firing until June 21. Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 38, Pepperrell to Warren, June 1, 1745; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest. ed., p. 24.

[114] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 330, Pepperrell to Shirley, July 17, 1745.

[115] Ibid., pp. 241-245, Pepperrell to Shirley, June 2, 1745.

[116] Ibid., pp. 205-206, Shirley to Pepperrell, May 22, 1745; Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., p. 160; Gibson Journal, p. 63; Second Journal, Sherburne's, Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 58.

[117] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 206, Shirley to Pepperrell, May 22, 1745.

[118] Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., p. 160; Gibson Journal, p. 64.

[119] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 206, Shirley to Pepperrell, May 22, 1745.

[120] Gibson Journal, pp. 62-65; Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., pp. 169-170; Chapin, New England Vessels, pp. 19-20.

[121] Shirley had once again anticipated Pepperrell's needs, having requested Mascarene some weeks earlier to send an engineer if possible to Louisbourg. Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 231, Paul Mascarene to Pepperrell, May 27, 1745; p. 256, J.H. Bastide to Warren, June 4, 1745.

[122] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 256, Bastide to Warren, June 4, 1745.

[123] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, p. 24; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 265, Pepperrell to Shirley, June 7, 1745.

[124] Pote's Journal, Paltsits, ed., pp. 37-38, passim.

[125] Bradstreet's Diary, M.H.S. Procs., p. 433. See also Gibson Journal, p. 66; "Gidding' Journal", Essex Institute, p. 301; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 260, Pepperrell to Warren, June 5, 1745; pp. 263-264, Warren to Pepperrell, June 6, 1745.

[126] Herbert W. Richmond, The Navy in the War of 1739-48, II, (Cambridge: University Press, 1920) pp. 214-215; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 267, Warren to Pepperrell, June 10, 1745; Julian Gwyn, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, 1703-1752, His Life and Fortune, (unpublished manuscript, 1969) pp. 93-94.

[127] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 268-269, Warren to Pepperrell, June 10, 1745.

[128] Gibson Journal, p. 67; A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 291, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745; Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 278, Shirley to Newcastle, October 28, 1745.

[129] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 319-320, Verrier to Du Chambon and Ste-Marie to Du Chambon, June 26, 1745.

[130] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 268, Warren to Pepperrell, June 10, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., I, I, p. 44, Pepperrell to Warren, June 13, 1745; "Journal of Roger Wolcott at the Siege of Louisbourg, 1745", Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, I, (Hartford: Published for the Society, 1860) p. 134.

[131] On June 16, Warren and Pepperrell agreed not to draw 600 men from the land forces to help man the Vigilant, but rather to man her from the various New England vessels being sent to New England with as many as possible of the 700 to 1,000 French prisoners, who were a great potential menace to the siege. Skeleton crews would man the 29 or 30 ships heading for New England. Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 261, Pepperrell. to Shirley, June 5, 1745; Chapin, New England Vessels, p. 20; Emerson.'s "Journal", M.H.S. Procs., p. 30.

[132] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 27, Council of War, June 15, 1745; pp. 267-269, Warren to Pepperrell, June 10, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 13. 1, p. 44, Pepperrell to Warren, June 13, 1745; Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., pp. 199-200, Warren to Pepperrell, June 12, 1745.

[133] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest. ed., p. 25; "Journal of Wolcott", Colls . C.H.S. , pp. 134-135; Green's Journal., A.A.S. Procs., p. 164; Colls. M.H.S., 1, I, p. 44, Pepperrell to Warren, June 13, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 271, Warren to Pepperrell,, June 12, 1745.

[134] "Journal of Wolcott", Colls. C.H.S., p. 135.

[135] Bradstreet's Diary, M.H.S. Procs., p. 435; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 26.

[136] "Journal of Wolcott", Colls. C.H.S., p. 135.

[137] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 291, 294, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., Wrong, trans. and ed., p. 56; A.F.O., D. F. C. , Am. Sept., pièce 218, n.p., Bigot to Maurepas, August 15, 1745.

[138] A.C., F3, vol. 59, fols, 319-320, Verrier to Du Chambon and Ste-Marie to, Du Chambon. June 26, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon. , p. 68; A. F. O., D. F. C. , Am. Sept., pièce 218, n.p., Bigot to Maurepas, August 15, 1745; A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 317-317v, Inhabitants of Louisbourg to Du Chambon, undated, but probably late June 25 or early June 26, 1745; fols. 321-322, Council of War, June 26, 1745.

[139] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 294, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745; fols. 321-322, Council of War, June 26, 1745; A.F.O., D.F.C., Am. Sept., pièce 216, n.p., Girard La Croix deposition, July 17, 1745.

[140] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 45, Du Chambon to Pepperrell and Warren, June 15/26, 1745.

[141] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 324, Warren and Pepperrell to Du Chambon, June 15, 1745.

[142] Ibid.

[143[ Various historians agree that Du Chambon was an inadequate leader. For example: McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 148-149; Yankees, pp. 66-67, 76, 82-83; Giasson, La Forteresse, pp. 55-56.

[144] Quoted in McLennan, Louisbourg, p. 286n.

[145] de Vauban, Siegecraft and Fortification, Rothrock, trans. and intro., p. 12, introduction.

[146] There are many differing compilations of the number of effective men who participated in the defence of the fortress. My figures derive from the following sources: A.C., F3, vol. 50, fols. 321-322, Council of War, June 26, 1745; Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., p. 31; McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 165-166.