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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

The Louisburg Expedition
Captain Samuel Curwen


Boston, 23 March 1745

The General is embarking, and we shall sail this afternoon. - Commodore Warren is coming to our assistance, which with the blessing of God will be of great advantage. - There will go down in the first embarkation at least twenty-five hundred soldiers.

Sheepscot, 27 March 1745

We have in our mess Mr. Walter, our chaplain, who is a very pleasant companion. - I dined to-day on board of Capt. Grant, who to-morrow with Capt. King will breakfast with me. - Our troops were landed at Chapeaurouge on the 29th March.

Canso, 17 April 1745

Wrote home for provisions and stores to be sent in case the goods I expect shall arrive safe from England. - We are almost reduced to pork and pease.

Our men-of-war and privateers are stationed all round the Island to prevent vessels going in or coming out. This evening another prize arrived, taken by Capt. Donahue, in the Swan of Marblehead, who behaved very bravely. The prize had captured the packet sent from Boston to Canso to notify us that Commodore Warren was coming to our assistance, which heightens our spirits.

Canso, 22 April 1745

Capt. Durell is come in this afternoon to our assistance; as yet we have no news of Commodore Warren; hope it will not be long before he arrives with an account of the French men-of-war expected. Our last transport arrived this afternoon; we had almost given her up.

I believe our campaign will be short, and expect the place will surrender without bloodshed.

Last night our chaplain and doctor went with two companies to attack St. Peter's, and we are momently looking for their return. I long to be once within the walls of Louisburg. This is the strangest country I ever knew; not two fair days together.

Canso, 27 April 1745

The Connecticut fleet arrived, and Col. Lathrop handed me my letter. The scheme of attacking Louisburg is altered every day.

Commodore Warren has arrived. I trust the expedition will prove successful, and that our friends will remember we are going against our common enemy. May 1st, a small party went to the harbour and burned a small quantity of wine, brandy, and naval stores.

Camp before Louisbourg, 6 May 1745

We have got possession of the Grand Battery; the French departed from it three days ago; they spiked all the guns, but we have got seven of them clear, and five of them are continually playing upon the town. Our soldiers are all in good heart, and I doubt not in a few days we shall have the town. We have taken a great number of prisoners.

Commodore Warren this day came ashore to visit the General; he and all our officers have a good understanding among themselves.

Yesterday a gun at the Grand Battery split and wounded five of our men. They now and then throw a bomb, but do no damage.

This morning came in Col. Moulton with his detachment from St. Peter's, which they have demolished with the loss of but one man. Providence has signally smiled, and I doubt not the campaign will be crowned with success. I am willing to undergo any thing for the good of our cause.

Camp before Louisburg, 12 May 1745

Commodore Warren has had two hundred marines and sailors ashore for three days past in order to attack the Island battery, but something or other has always prevented its accomplishment, so the Commodore has ordered them all aboard and gone on board himself not a little dissatisfied.

Camp before Louisburg, 26 May 1745

Commodore Warren has taken the Vigilante, a 64 gun ship from France, coming with ammunition for this garrison. She was manned with five hundred men, had five hundred barrels gunpowder on board: she lost thirty men before she struck. The command of her is given to Captain Douglass, who before had the Mermaid, and Capt. Montague is to have the Mermaid. This has given new life to all our officers and soldiers.

Capt. Gayton is safely arrived at last, which affords great joy, for we almost despaired of him, being out so long after all the transports had arrived that left under his convoy.

Capt. Fletcher has had the misfortune to lose ten men by the Indians; seven killed, and three taken prisoners. They went ashore ten miles above where we lay to get wood, and keepting no guard, were beset by the Indians and cut off.

Camp before Louisbourg, 2 June 1745

We have made an attempt upon the Island battery, and failed. Abbot, a townsman of mine, was wounded in the leg, and I fear he will lose his life. - An hundred men are missing, and we are in hopes they are taken, as two boats laden with men were seen going into the town after the attack, when the French gave three hurrahs. Young Gray is dead, and three of Capt. Grant's men are missing, all of Salem. Our scouts have had an engagement with a number of French and Indians which we routed; killed thirty and wounded forty; we lost but six killed; among them is the brave Capt. Dimmock, of Barnstable, and twenty wounded, some very dangerously. Our men got under the very walls before the French fired a gun.

Louisburg, 17 June 1745

The Governor, aware of our preparations for a general assault, thought it best to capitulate, and has just surrendered the city to our arms.

Louisburg, 25 July 1745

An East India ship, worth at least £200,000 sterling, came off the harbour, and fired a gun for a pilot. The Commodore sent out two sixty gun ships, which came up with, and took her in three hours; we had the pleasure from the walls to see her strike to them. Two others, sent out three weeks before her, bound hither, are hourly expected to heave in sight. Col. Graham goes tomorrow in a sloop as a flag of truce for Canada, with about thirty French prisoners; he is the only Englishman that goes in her.

I am going on board Capt. Lovett to St. Peter's, with a number of my soldiers, to guard the wood-vessels going there: our affairs will soon be settled, and I shall, to my great joy, return home.

[Source: Samuel Curwan. Journal and Letters. (New York: 1842), pp. 12-14 ]