The residents of Québec City are the ones who suffer the most under the British siege. Caught between the Marquis de Montcalm’s defensive strategy and heavy enemy fire, the Canadians attempt—with little means at their disposal—to thwart the English offensive.

The evening of July 12, 1759, intensive bombing begins, making life difficult for the city’s residents.

The night of July 15, 1759, three days after the bombing began, an employee of Magasin du Roi in the city of Québec wrote in his journal.

"[The English] began their attack at 8 o’clock this evening, firing 80 incendiary bombs and a few cannonballs at us during the night. One woman was killed by a bomb that fell on Mr. Gaspé’s house. [The English] keep using the same tactics and have now levelled more than thirty houses and churches[...]."
The residents of Québec City are the ones who suffer the most under the British siege. Caught between the Marquis de Montcalm’s defensive strategy and heavy enemy fire, the Canadians attempt—with little means at their disposal—to thwart the English offensive.

The evening of July 12, 1759, intensive bombing begins, making life difficult for the city’s residents.

The night of July 15, 1759, three days after the bombing began, an employee of Magasin du Roi in the city of Québec wrote in his journal.

"[The English] began their attack at 8 o’clock this evening, firing 80 incendiary bombs and a few cannonballs at us during the night. One woman was killed by a bomb that fell on Mr. Gaspé’s house. [The English] keep using the same tactics and have now levelled more than thirty houses and churches[...]."
Extract from :The Siege of Québec...
© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

Given the Marquis de Montcalm’s apparent determination to stick to his positions in Beauport, General Wolfe decides to bombard the city in order to demoralize the French troops.

"The English began the bombardment on July 12, 1759, at around 9 p.m. Within ten days, 25% of the city was destroyed. After a month of bombardments, 50% of the homes lay in ruins. By early September, 80% of the city had been reduced to rubble. Even worse, between 40 and 60 residents were injured, and some 20 others killed."
Given the Marquis de Montcalm’s apparent determination to stick to his positions in Beauport, General Wolfe decides to bombard the city in order to demoralize the French troops.

"The English began the bombardment on July 12, 1759, at around 9 p.m. Within ten days, 25% of the city was destroyed. After a month of bombardments, 50% of the homes lay in ruins. By early September, 80% of the city had been reduced to rubble. Even worse, between 40 and 60 residents were injured, and some 20 others killed."

© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

As this Augustine sister from the General Hospital remarks, there is no lack of work, but space to hold the wounded is becoming increasingly scarce.

Since enemy fire could not reach our Convent, the poor people of Québec City took refuge here. All the outbuildings, including the house, servants’ quarters, cow barn, loft barn, and everything else—even the attics, despite the frequent washings we were continually required to do for the wounded—were filled with the sick beds of these poor souls.
As this Augustine sister from the General Hospital remarks, there is no lack of work, but space to hold the wounded is becoming increasingly scarce.

Since enemy fire could not reach our Convent, the poor people of Québec City took refuge here. All the outbuildings, including the house, servants’ quarters, cow barn, loft barn, and everything else—even the attics, despite the frequent washings we were continually required to do for the wounded—were filled with the sick beds of these poor souls.
Extract from: Relation de ce qui s'est passé...
© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

The Canadians arrive on the battlefield determined to chase the British off their land. However, they have good reason to worry about this battle. They cannot ambush the British on the wide-open field. They must fight in rows like the European soldiers. They have to rely on their bravery, and keep their cool in order to win.

Criticized by the Marquis de Montcalm and lauded by Governor General Vaudreuil, the Canadian militia is unique. Here’s a brief description that will tell us more.

The militia made up an essential part of Montcalm’s army, with more than 12,480 men. It was the largest contingent of soldiers charged with defending the city of Québec. The militia was made up of residents of Québec City, Montréal, and Trois-Rivières. For the enemy, the militia represented a threat, but for Montcalm and his elite troops, the militia was often viewed as a group of low-calibre, undisciplined soldiers. Yet French owed many victories to the militia, which heralded a new way of fighting influenced by the Amerindians. The militia stood to the left and the right of Montcalm’s firing line on the Plains of Abraham, making it possible for the French tro Read More
The Canadians arrive on the battlefield determined to chase the British off their land. However, they have good reason to worry about this battle. They cannot ambush the British on the wide-open field. They must fight in rows like the European soldiers. They have to rely on their bravery, and keep their cool in order to win.

Criticized by the Marquis de Montcalm and lauded by Governor General Vaudreuil, the Canadian militia is unique. Here’s a brief description that will tell us more.

The militia made up an essential part of Montcalm’s army, with more than 12,480 men. It was the largest contingent of soldiers charged with defending the city of Québec. The militia was made up of residents of Québec City, Montréal, and Trois-Rivières. For the enemy, the militia represented a threat, but for Montcalm and his elite troops, the militia was often viewed as a group of low-calibre, undisciplined soldiers. Yet French owed many victories to the militia, which heralded a new way of fighting influenced by the Amerindians. The militia stood to the left and the right of Montcalm’s firing line on the Plains of Abraham, making it possible for the French troops to withdraw under sustained fire.

© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

Governor General Vaudreuil considers the militiamen of New France to be valiant soldiers. They protected the retreat of the French regiments during the battle of the Plains of Abraham. Most of the military tactics they use are borrowed from the Amerindians. Can you identify which ones?

Useful Tactics:
Raid : Surprising the enemy is another militia tactic.
Camouflage : With the colour of their uniforms, the militiamen will be the first to use certain types of camouflage.
Ambush: Our snipers harassed the enemy on the Plains of Abraham, inflicting heavy losses.
Governor General Vaudreuil considers the militiamen of New France to be valiant soldiers. They protected the retreat of the French regiments during the battle of the Plains of Abraham. Most of the military tactics they use are borrowed from the Amerindians. Can you identify which ones?

Useful Tactics:
Raid : Surprising the enemy is another militia tactic.
Camouflage : With the colour of their uniforms, the militiamen will be the first to use certain types of camouflage.
Ambush: Our snipers harassed the enemy on the Plains of Abraham, inflicting heavy losses.

© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

Professional British and French regiments are subject to very strict rules with respect to their uniforms and flags. How does one recognize the various militia companies on the battlefield? Here is an account that answers this question.

British officer John Knox reports that he almost captured a white silk militia flag bearing three fleurs-de-lis surrounded by olive branches, all painted in gold. Although the Canadien militias are not known to have their own flags, the militiamen of Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City respectively wear tuques of blue, white, and red to tell themselves apart.
Professional British and French regiments are subject to very strict rules with respect to their uniforms and flags. How does one recognize the various militia companies on the battlefield? Here is an account that answers this question.

British officer John Knox reports that he almost captured a white silk militia flag bearing three fleurs-de-lis surrounded by olive branches, all painted in gold. Although the Canadien militias are not known to have their own flags, the militiamen of Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City respectively wear tuques of blue, white, and red to tell themselves apart.

© The National Battlefields Commission 2005

Learning Objectives

The learner will :
  • Identify the major events and the impacts of the Conquest;
  • Identify significant characters of the Conquest;
  • Explain how the conquest shaped our society;
  • Review past and present impacts of the Conquest on the population, territory and culture.

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