Thursday, March 20, 2008

Orders given on the 3rd of March 1757

Orders from General Du Gourmand at his camp at St. Elizabeth 3rd of March 1757

(with responses).

To Col. Simone Dornan

We are to making preparations at once for the defence of Montmerency Pass you will be placed in charge of all his majesties horse as French forces in the area are currently ill organised you new command will be outlined below.

Les Gendarmes du la Chevalier du Nouvelle Aubern

Les Chassuers a Cheval du la Chevalier Dornan

Les Chasseurs a Cheval du Bretagne

As commander of our cavalry you will be the eyes and ears of the army you are to scout and harass the enemy keeping us at head quarters updated on English troop movements be careful with your scouting as your forces are needed for a successful defence of the pass. Also if you make contact with any of our local allies remind them that France rewards loyalty and their orders are to raid the English supply lines

Bon Chance mon ami

General Du Gourmand

To General Du Gourmand (arriving at 1900 3rd March 1757)

From Col. Simone Dornan

Having set out at first light to take command of our vedettes at the mouth of the pass, we marched south. I met a courier bringing news that those vedettes have made contact with the English and are falling back, placing them at disadvantage where they may. I send him with this message. I have spoken with an emissary from Chief Winnitou, but little came of it, as pressing on to bring the fight to the enemy was of more import. The English have arrived in force, I shall endeavour to hold them at the Noswego."

To General Du Gourmand (arriving at 2100 3rd March 1757)

From Col. Florian Du Anhalt

The English skirmishers approached my position at 1600 today. I cannot withdraw with honour at present, also the recent rains make the moving of guns difficult. I have prepared a holding action at the fords over the Noswego.

We shall hold them as best we can, if not reinforced, I shall fall back at night fall, sending the guns first, and then make a forced march north. I shall leave skirmishers to harass the English as they attempt to the ford the river.

My force is a small one and I shall endeavour to do my best with it, should we succeed the credit shall be ours, if we fail, it shall be remembered that we struggled against great odds.

To General Du Gourmand (arriving at 1500 3rd March 1757)

From Col. Eoin McSiskington


Our engineers do not think that can significant damage can be done to the pass with the means available. Those troops given me shall be deployed as you wish, I shall also with your permission, begin the erection of earth works at the northern mouth of the pass. It is also my painful duty to report that Col. Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval has expressed grave displeasure at being placed under my command and high words have been exchanged.

To General Du Gourmand (arriving at 1400 3rd March 1757)

From Col. Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval


I have been placed in the unsoldierly and insupportable position of having been placed under the command of an inferior. This is both unacceptable and a grave insult to the honour both of myself and the Regiment Cambis. That we should be so put upon by bushel of ignorant foreigners led by a Hibernian mercenary is shocking. Barring an information directly from you in the next few hours, I shall place myself in command of the force covering the northern mouth of the pass.

To Col. Florian du Anhalt

We are currently on the defensive around Montmerency pass you will be placed in command of our primary defence you force will consist of the following Le Reine Regiment Bearn Regiment Auvergne Regiment and the Batterie du Courcelle in total 3 regiments of foot and 1 battery of guns.

Some scouting of the heights should be conducted to find a way to withdraw should the pass be blown as the sappers under Col. Eoin McSiskington will be investigating if this is possible he will be in charge of the remaining forces defending the pass.

You should base you defence around the town of St Elizabeth and preparations for the defense should include digging of trenches for guns and infantry all local men of the town should be formed into a militia force and supply with excess muskets if possible.

Yours truly

General Du Gourmand

To Col. Eoin McSiskington

As you are aware we have been pushed back by English forces in this area our orders are to defend the Montmerency pass the following forces are to be placed under your command.

Cambis Regiment

Les Volontaires Etrange

Batterie du Chartrand

Compagnie de Mineurs Bricot

The Compagnie de Mineurs Bricot are to make preparations to see if the pass can be blown as soon as this is known you are to inform me if it is possible to blow the pass preparations are to be made to do so.

The rest of your force is to cover the northern area of the pass and support Col. Florian du Anhalt defence of it around St Elizabeth your troops are to use the local terrain for any advantage. If none is found to be suitable prepare trenches.

Yours truly,

General Du Gourmand

From General Lord Ponsonby, New Loudon

To General James Wolfe

General Wolfe,

Following our misadventure at the mouth of Mont Moucy Pass, my men are quite eager to beat the French from Montemerency! The blood of these fine English is quite a-boil with hatred for the toad-ish Gormand.

Seeing as Capt. FitzPatrick has a familiarity with the terrain we shall be taking, I am appointing Capt. Morgan and his rangers to lead the Advance Guard towards the Noswego. He shall be accompanied in this advance guard by the 2/1st Foot (Royal Scots), with all Advance units under the command of Col. Fraser and his brother, Nialls.

The orders of the Advance Guard are to scout rapidly ahead of the main army. I would prefer that these men will remain unseen by the enemy, but in the case of light enemy action, for example skirmishers or Indians, they are to engage. Should heavy resistance be encountered, they are to fall back with all haste.

The Flank Guard will be composed of our light cavalry: those of Kingston's Light Horse and Shaw's Light Horse. Their role is mainly to be that of scouts. Should the enemy approach from the flanks, I wish these units to gather what information they can and report back to the main body as quickly as possible. If necessary, they will also provide the function of a "flying" guard, advancing or retreating rapidly to provide reinforcement for the Advance or Rear Guard.

The Rear Guard will be comprised of our remaining light foot, the 1/60th Foot (Royal Americans), under the command of Col. Cox and the Provisional Light Infantry Battalion under the command of Capt. Luther. As with the flank guard, these men are to avoid confrontation where possible, and instead gather information to send forward to the Main Body and Flank Guard.

The Main Body shall, therefore, be the following:


1/15th Foot (Amherst's)


1/17th Foot (Forbe's)


1/22nd Foot (Whitmore's)


1/28th Foot (Bragg's)


1/35th Foot (Otway's)


Col. John Henry Bastide's Coy

Heavy Horse

Charleton's Heavy Dragoons


Templeton's Battery


Turner's Battery

Supply Train

Supply Train

The orders of the Main Body are to advance towards the Noswega with utmost speed, and make safe the saddle beyond it. Hopefully, this will provide us with a large enough area, with watering hole, so that we can make camp for as few days as possible while Capt. FitzPatrick and his Rangers scout the area towards St. Elisabeth. The narrow approach to the town makes me nervous of French ambush, so as much care to know the intricacies of the territory will be taken as possible, while keeping a mind towards the need for haste.

While it is well known that the Indian savages are more than happy to side with either French or English, I personally put no trust in their information. It is not my intention to make any use of the brutes in the area. My men are under strict orders not to persecute the Indians in any way, but should they prove a barrier, then that barrier will be removed with all prejudice.

My main goal for this early leg of the action is to provide my men with a base in the Montemerency Pass from which we can operate: I believe the saddle area where the brutes occasionally make villages will the most suitable area. In order to reach this area, however, the Noswega will have to be crossed. I do not believe that the French will have left this area unguarded. As such, on the approach to the French bridge the Advance Guard will remain only a few short hours march ahead of the Main Body, so that the Guns may quickly be brought to bear in the case of enemy fortification.

In the case that the French have already destroyed the bridge, then the Engineers will have to build me a replacement. In preparation for this, I have made orders that the necessary amounts of hard timber (and any other items the Engineers might need) are to be bought in large quantities in New Loudon and brought with us in the supply train. I don't want the Engineers to have to gather resources from the area around them: I will not dally while my men are made to act as lumberjacks.

I remain,

General Lord Ponsonby, Mrs.


Colonel Fraser is somewhat put out by the phrase in your orders "I am appointing Capt. Morgan and his rangers to lead the Advance Guard towards the Noswego." Captain Morgan is both his inferior in rank and a Colonial officer and Fraser has taken this as the gravest insult. Given that you cannot place a lower ranked officer over another, he has taken command of the Advance Guard and, chivying the Rangers ahead of him, has set out at a goodly pace. The Rangers do not seem to be taking this well.

General Lord Ponsonby's Response

As for Fraser, at the soonest possible opportunity I will have him brought to my tent for a severe dressing down. While I did say that Morgan and his men were to "lead the Advance Guard towards the Noswego", I also stated quite clearly that "all Advance units" are "under the command of Col. Fraser". The use of the word "lead" was only to indicate the physical positioning of the troops. Given that Fraser is both "Bold (may interpret orders loosely)" and "Arrogant and stiff-necked", Ponsonby will assume that his reaction was one of pique, and will recommend that in the future he should fully read his brief before acting in a manner that upsets the men.

He will also remind Fraser that he is being given a great opportunity here, and that his petulant behaviour may endanger future opportunities.

It has begun to rain, not heavily, but sufficent to impede the action of musketry. The rain is also softening the ground, making it difficult to move guns off the road.

Communications to General Ponsonby on the 3rd of March 1757.

1230 from Col. Frazer.

Skirmishing with French Chasseurs some three miles ahead of the main body. We have beaten them in, killing some, but no prisoners have been taken. They are falling back.

1400 from Col. Frazer

Have sighted Noswego. The French are present with guns, with Foot to the number of perhaps three regiments and some Horse. The civil population are fleeing. The bridge seems intact, but there appear to be engineers attempting to break it. We are not in sufficent force to prevent them. I most earnestly intreat that the army move up at best speed.

General Ponsonby's response

To Frazer:

Hold where you are. We are approaching at utmost speed. If threatened
by superior numbers, do not attempt to hold out. Withdraw, and let
them give chase.


Ponsonbys orders:

Flank Guard: advance and join Col. Fraser with the greatest speed, but
only to act as reinforcement in the case of enemy attack.

Main Body: Everyone on the road ahead of the guns is to get the hell
out of the way. The Guns and two units of Heavy Foot are to move as
fast as they can towards the Noswego. I want those boys within range
of the bridge as quickly as possible: since the French are destroying
the bridge, I'm presuming they won't have their troops on our side. As
such, I want the Guns to start dropping shells on them from this side
of the river as soon as possible.

The rest of the army is to make best haste to the bridge, and try to
remain as close behind the Guns as possible.

Rear Guard: advance to the Main Body and take over duties of Flank Guard

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