It was a time for Wilderness War Annus Mirabellis scenario some time ago. Unfortunately there was no camera to record some of the most unfortunate events of what came to be known as the British First Siege of Louisbourg.
We diced the sides and lady fortuna gave me French – I don’t really mind either way, both sides have their individual challenges and fun but French is more easy side to play out of the two – or so the statistics imply.
Initially French got going in the indian tribes recruitment front, built new Fort to Oswego and then I recruited some more indians from the Oneida region. Because of the abundance of the menacing indians, many were sent raiding frontier towns even though the Bristish had built blockhouses. Some raids succeeded, some didn’t but few VP’s seldom hurt. Indian reinforcements also swelled the regularly ill manned garrisons in the Ohio Forks and it seemed as strong as ever.
British decided to advance initially from two sides, from the north against Oswego through Oneida Carry and then in the south against Ohio Forks. At the same time they also seemed to keep doorway open for Luisbourg. By shifting Montcalm around with limited forces, British advance stopped momentarily in the south and north but it took a long while before actual military conflict occurred. First one happened in Ohio, where Montclam beat standing British army in the mountain region of Monongahela and destroyed the stockade and road there. Achieved that, Montclam retraced his steps burning stockades in his wake. Job well done, it was a time for winter quarters.
Then, demoralized by the loss in Monongahela, British pulled out majority of the regular forces from the south and deployed them to Halifax instead. That could of course mean only one thing, and one thing alone. Louisbourg was in danger.
Next year Forbes, in absence of Wolfe decided to tackle the problem of Luisbourg. French got the latest (and last) batch of new recruits from the continent just in time before the onslaught, and decided that Luisbourg garrison stays in with Drucour. There was a slim chance that he’d be able to beat the assault (of course the plan to defend the fortress was helped by having Coehorns at hand would it come to that). Forbes started the task, but while Loudoun and Abercromby ordered Johnson carry furniture and modest time pieces back and forth in Oneida region it became quite evident that while Forbes may be a good man dealing with wilderness road building, he really is not the man to send for the walls.
It took a long while to batter the walls, and even then he failed. Miserably. French garrison watched in awe how British invested over and over again in the siege – and at lesuire then repaired the bastions where some effect was made. Meanwhile in the interior, indians from all over the place caused havoc among the British frontier colonies and carried booty with them to the wild. It is quite amazing that colonial assembly remained supportive to the British cause the whole short war.
While interior suffered from raiding indians and growing French aggression, British were busy drinking tea and eating cooki… I mean biscuits in the shores of Louisbourg. Vadreuil then demanded that he would be the man in charge for the final death blow to the British and their ill fated Oneida campaign. Montclam hearing the terrible news ordered Levis for rescue and to take over the operations. As a result of short siege, Johnson, his two indians and regulars were eliminated along with the Oneida Carry fort.
Four seasons in, capture of the Oneida Carry fort ended the British attempt to force French into submission. Rest of the British forces along with their newly instituted, and much debated colonial policies retreated back to their little island to regulate the price of tea.