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[239] Against this outpost, Montcalm, on the twelfth of
chap. X.} 1756.
August, at midnight, opened his trenches. From the following daybreak till evening, the fire of the garrison was well kept up; when, having expended their ammunition, they spiked their cannon, and retreated to Fort Oswego. Immediately Montcalm occupied the height, and turned such of the guns as were serviceable against the remaining fortress. His fire killed Mercer, the commander, and soon made a breach in the wall. On the fourteenth, just as Montcalm was preparing to storm the intrenchments, the garrison, composed of the regiments of Shirley and Pepperell, and about sixteen hundred in number, capitulated. Forty-five perished; twelve of them in action, the rest by the Indians in attempting to escape through the woods.1 The prisoners of war descended the St. Lawrence; their colors were sent as trophies to decorate the churches of Montreal, Three Rivers, and Quebec; one hundred and twenty cannon, six vessels of war, three hundred boats, stores of ammunition and provisions, and three chests of money fell to the conquerors.

Amidst the delight of the Canadians and the savages, the missionaries planted a cross bearing the words, ‘This is the banner of victory;’ by its side rose a pillar with the arms of France, and the inscription, ‘Bring lilies with full hands.’ Expressions of triumphant ecstasy broke from Montcalm; but, to allay all jealousy of the red men, he razed the forts and left Oswego a solitude.

1 Loudoun to J. Osborne, 13 Sept., 1756, finds no evidence of a massacre at Oswego; considers the rumor without foundation. De Vandreuil to the minister, 30 August, 1756. N. Y. Paris Doc., XII. 39.

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