Great battles of the 18th century described and illustrated
Although the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War were fought by several nations in battles when the British Empire was not involved, during the years between 1743 and 1767 British forces at sea and on the land were continually engaged in monumental imperial power struggles which could rightly be described as the first ‘world war’, since the battles that raged in these decades took place around the world. Most notably battles were fought in Europe, in America and in India and so significant were they that their names have emblazoned the colours of British regiments ever since. Several of the commanders who fought those battles including Wolfe, Brunswick, Clive and others have taken their places in the pantheon of great soldiers. This book brings together twenty-seven pivotal engagements of the period in which British soldiers and sailors fought, each is described in cameo. Among them readers will discover the battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy, Morbihan, Tortuga, Minorca, Plassey, Ticonderoga, Minden, Quebec, Valencia de Alcantara and many others, making this book an ideal overview of the engagements of these two closely connected wars from the perspective of British forces. This special Leonaur edition includes maps and illustrations which did not accompany the original publication of the text.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.
Sir Jeffery Amherst’s orders to the major ran thus, and they read unpleasantly like King William’s doubly-signed warrant for the infamous Massacre of Glencoe:—
'Sir,—You are this night to set out with the detachment as ordered yesterday (viz., of 200 men), and proceed to Mississquey Bay, from whence you will march and attack the enemy’s settlements on the south side of the River St. Lawrence, in such a manner as you shall judge most effectual to disgrace the enemy, and for the success and honour of His Majesty’s arms.
'Remember the barbarities that have been committed by the enemy’s Indian scoundrels, on every occasion when they had an opportunity of showing their infamous cruelties on the king’s subjects, which they have done without mercy. Take your revenge; but do not forget that though these villains have dastardly and promiscuously murdered the women and children of all ages, it is my orders that no women or children be killed or hurt
When you have executed your intended service, you will return with your detachment to camp, or join me wherever the army may be.
'Yours, &c., Jeff. Amherst.
'Camp at Crown Point, Sept. 13, 1759'
The difference between the above order and that of William is, that the latter made no exception in favour of either women or children.
The major, with 200 men, chiefly of the1st Royal Scots, sailed in batteaux down Lake Champlain. On the fifth day after his departure, by the explosion of a keg of gunpowder. Captain Williams, of the Royals, and several of his men, were injured; and as they required others to convey them to Crown Point, the detachment of Rogers was reduced to 142 bayonets.
Proceeding on his journey, the major landed at Mississquey Bay on the 10th of September, and concealed his boats in deep woody creeks, with provisions sufficient to take him back to Crown Point; and left with them two trusty rangers, who were to lie in concealment near the batteaux till his party returned, unless the Indians discovered them, on which they were to pursue the track of the troops, and give him the earliest intelligence.
On the second evening after, the rangers, breathless and weary, overtook Major Rogers, with tidings that 400 French soldiers and some Indians had discovered the batteaux, which had been carried off by fifty men, while the rest were pursuing him with all speed.
As he received this information privately, he did not deem it wise to let all his party know of it; but he immediately directed Lieutenant Macmullen, with eight soldiers and the two rangers, to make their way, if possible, to Crown Point, and inform General Amherst of what had happened, and to request that he would send provisions to Cohoas, on the Connecticut River, by which route Rogers intended to return.
He now resolved to outmarch his pursuers, and cut off the Indian village of St. Francois before they could overtake him; and accordingly continued to push on till the 4th of October, when, about eight in the evening, he came within sight of the doomed village, and when it was completely dark, he took with him two Indians who could speak the language of the enemy, and, dressing himself in the Indian manner, with a hunting-shirt, moccasins, knife, pouch, &c., he deliberately went to inspect the place.
He found the inhabitants in “a high frolic,” as it was named, and engaged in singing and dancing. At two in the morning he rejoined his detachment, and by three had marched it to within 500 yards of the village enclosures, and there halted, the strictest silence being enjoined. At four, while thick darkness yet rested on the forests and river, the Indians broke up from their dance and retired to rest. By daybreak all were buried in sleep, when a vigorous attack was made upon them from several quarters at once, before they had time to make the least resistance effectually.