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Michigan CHAPTER Nine

Final Success of the English

This reverse of the French arms which had for the most part been hitherto successful was a sad blow to the people of Canada. Montcalm was depressed and anxious. The people of the province had been so absorbed in military affairs that they had little opportunity to till the soil. The English fleets had cut off the supplies from the mother country. So among other disasters famine threatened them. So great was the scarcity that all, citizens and soldiers alike, were put on half allowance. Montcalm wrote the king at Versailles, "For all our success, New France needs peace, and sooner or later it must fall; such are the numbers of the English, such the difficulty of our receiving supplies. " The destitution became more intense as the year progressed, and at length the soldiers received but half a pound of bread daily and the citizens of Quebec only two ounces. Owing to want of forage domestic animals perished in vast numbers; meat was as scarce as bread. So enfeebled were the people for lack of sufficient nourishment that they were in poor condition to ward off the attack of the well-fed English.
The campaign to the west was entrusted to Gen. John Forbes. He set out from Philadelphia early in July with nine thousand men, with the exception of a regiment of Highlanders, all provincials who had been enlisted from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Washington was in command of two regiments of the latter. Forbes was desperately ill at the time with in^ flamation of the stomach and bowels, but he accompanied the expedition. Washington favored making a rapid march over the road opened by Braddock two or three years before, but Forbes supported by his lieutenant Bouquet, stubbornly opposed his counsel and insisted upon hewing out a new road through the wilderness some distance to the northward. This caused provoking delay. It was already autumn when the army approached its destination.

Michigan


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