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[263] covered the plains. Montcalm disembarked without
chap. XI.} 1757.
interruption, about a mile and a half below the fort, and advanced in three columns. The Indians hurried to burn the barracks of the English, to chase their cattle and horses, to scalp their stragglers. During the day they occupied, with Canadians under La Corne, the road leading to the Hudson, and cut off the communication. At the north was the encampment of De Levi, with regulars and Canadians; while Montcalm, with the main body of the army, occupied the skirt of the wood, on the west side of the lake. His whole force consisted of six thousand French and Canadians, and about seventeen hundred Indians. Fort William Henry was defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Monro,1 of the thirty-fifth regiment, a brave officer and a man of strict honor, with less than five hundred men, while seventeen hundred men lay intrenched near his side, on the eminence to the southeast, now marked by the ruins of Fort George.

Meantime, the braves of the Nepisings, faithful to the rites of their fathers, celebrated the funereal honors of their departed brother. The lifeless frame, dressed as became a war-chief, glittered with belts, and ear-rings, and the brilliant vermilion; a riband, fiery red, supported a gorget on his breast; the tomahawk was in his girdle, the pipe at his lips, the lance in his hand, at his side the well-filled bowl; and thus the departed warrior sat upright on the green turf, which was his death-couch. The speech for the dead was pronounced; the death-dances and chants began; the murmurs of human voices mingled with the sound of drums and the tinkling of little bells. And thus

1 Captain Christie to Governor Pownall, 10 August, 1757.

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