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[211] Dieskau, who was near the camp, advanced
chap. IX.} 1755.
with the regular troops to attack the centre, still hoping to be sustained. But the Indians and Canadians scattered themselves through the wilderness of pitch-pines, and ascended a knoll within gun-shot, where they crouched below the undergrowth of shrubs and brakes. ‘Are these the so much vaunted troops?’ cried Dieskau, bitterly. The battle began between eleven and twelve; Johnson, slightly wounded, left the field at the beginning of the action, and for five hours the New England people, under their own officers, good marksmen and taking sight, kept up the most violent fire that had as yet been known in America. Almost all the French regulars perished; Dieskau was wounded thrice, but would not retire. Two Canadians came to carry him off; one was shot dead by his side; he dismissed the other, and, bidding his servants place his military dress near him, he seated himself on the stump of a tree, exposed to the rattle of the bullets. At last, as the Americans, leaping over their slight defences, drove the enemy to flight, a renegade Frenchman wantonly fired at the unhappy man, and wounded him incurably.

Brief was the American career of the fearless Dieskau. In June his eye had first rested on the cliff of Quebec; he had sailed proudly up the stream which was the glory of Canada; had made his way to the highland sources of the Sorel; and now, mangled and helpless, lay a prisoner within the limits of the pretended French dominion.1

Of the Americans there fell on that day about two hundred and sixteen, and ninety-six were wounded;

1 Dieskau to the ministers, 14 September, 1755, and also to Vaudreuil. Letters of Montreuil.

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