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There were many embracings among the excited Frenchmen,鈥攎any sympathetic tears from those who were to stay behind,鈥攎any messages left with them for wives, children, friends, and mistresses; and then this valiant band pushed their boats from shore. It was a hare-brained venture, for, as young Debre had assured them, the Spaniards on the River of May were four hundred in number, secure behind their ramparts..
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[587] Early in the siege Drucour wrote to Amherst asking that the hospitals should be exempt from fire. Amherst answered that shot and shell might fall on any part of so small a town, but promised to insure the sick and wounded from molestation if Drucour would send them either to the island at the mouth of the harbor, or to any of the ships, if anchored apart from the rest. The offer was declined, for reasons not stated. Drucour gives the correspondence in his Diary..
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His foreboding proved true. Webb had scarcely reached the Great Carrying Place, when tidings of disaster fell upon him like a thunderbolt. The French had descended in force upon Oswego, taken it with all its garrison; and, as report ran, were advancing into the province, six thousand strong. Wood Creek had just been cleared, with great labor, of the trees that choked it. Webb ordered others to be felled and thrown into the stream to stop the progress of the enemy; then, with shameful precipitation, he burned the forts of the Carrying Place, and retreated down the Mohawk to German Flats. Loudon ordered Winslow to think no more of Ticonderoga, but to stay where he was and hold the French in check. All was astonishment and dismay at the sudden blow. "Oswego has changed masters, and I think we may justly fear that the whole of our country will soon follow, unless a merciful God prevent, and awake a sinful people to repentance and reformation." Thus wrote Dr. Thomas Williams to his wife from the camp at Fort Edward. "Such a shocking affair has never found a place in English annals," wrote the surgeon's young relative, Colonel William Williams. "The loss 407
[688] Le Ministre 脿 Montcalm, 3 F茅v. 1759.
[52] Chalmers, Collection of Treaties, I. 382.
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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