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Michigan CHAPTER Nine

Final Success of the English

The ground was very rough and covered with a dense wood, and the guides were by no means expert. The result was that the order of march was soon broken up and the troops were thrown into confusion. The advance guard of three hundred French regulars and a body of Indians soon attacked and fought with desperation. At the outset of the action Lord Howe was struck by a ball and instantly died. The consternation caused by the death of the commander and the wild yells of the savages threw the English into a panic. But being in overwhelming numbers they rallied and held their grounds The next morning the bridges were rebuilt and Aber-crombie determined upon an assault upon the fort without waiting to bring up his artillery. This was carried on with great vigor. The attacking troops behaved with the utmost intrepidity and persisted for four hours in their efforts to carry the breastworks. But they were repulsed with equal courage and determination. The engagement lasted through a good part of the day and finally the English seeing the hopelessness of the enterprise retired precipitately, having suffered a loss of two thousand killed and wounded, mostly regulars. The French losses did not exceed three hundred. Expecting a renewal of the attack on the following day Montcalm spent the night in strengthening his defences. What was his surprise to learn when the morning dawned, however, that Abercrombie had taken to the boats again and was already well under way with all his forces to his old camping place at the head of the lake. In his hurried retreat he left behind several hundred, barrels of provisions and a great quantity of baggage. So excitedly did they cross a piece of marshy ground that they left many of their shoes stuck in the mud. This was a sad blow to English prestige, which had been victorious on so many fields. It was charged up to the incompetence of the commanding officer.

Michigan


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