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Michigan Chapter Eight

Border Wars of the Colonists

He called a council of his officers and told them that he proposed to leave about half his force to defend Oswego from an anticipated attack by the French when they saw his purpose to push on to Niagara. This would leave him about six hundred soldiers for the Niagara campaign. He designed to secure for this service as many Indian allies as possible. Niagara was garrisoned with a force of twelve hundred Canadians and Indians who had come on from Duquesne and from Detroit. The journey from Oswego was four or five days along the south shore of Ontario. The boats available were entirely too small to accommodate the troops and not suitable for venturing out upon the open lake. The situation was precarious; the season was growing late and there was no time to procure re-inforcements and suitable means of transportation. Another council was called which decided to postpone further operations until spring. Leaving most of his men at Oswego Shirley returned to Albany. This ended the campaign which was even a worse fiasco than that of Johnson's movement upon Crown Point.
It was at this time that the French king appointed a new commandant over his forces in America in the person of Louis de Montcalm. The chevalier de Levis, afterward marshal of France, was appointed second in command, with the rank of brigadier, and the chevalier de Boulamarque as his third, with the rank of colonel. The appointment of Montcalm was not welcome to Vaudreuil, the governor, who had handled the campaigns against the English so successfully and who had hoped to command all the troops himself. He had every confidence in his Canadian soldiers, well versed in the Indian methods of fighting, who were bold and reckless and more than a match for equal numbers of the English. He had a poor opinion of the French regulars and felt in rather contemptuous mood toward the high officers sent over from France to command them.

Michigan


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