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Scottish Regiments
The Black Watch - Evacuation of Crown Point


After the reduction of Guadaloupe, the services of the second battalion of Royal Highlanders were transferred to North America, where they arrived early in July, and after reaching the head quarters of the British army, were combined with the first battalion. About this time a series of combined operations had been projected against the French settlements in Canada. Whilst Major-general Wolfe, who had given proofs of great military talents at the siege of Louisburg was to proceed up the St Lawerence and besiege Quebec, General Amherst, who had succeeded General Abercromby as commander-in-chief, was to attempt the reduction of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, after which he was to cross Lake Champlain and effect a junction with General Wolfe before Quebec. Brigadier-general Prideaux was to proceed against the French fort near the falls of the Niagra, the most important post of all French America. The army under General Amherst, which was the first put in motion, assembled at Fort Edward on the 19th of June. It included the 42d and Montgomery's Highlanders, and when afterwards joined by the second battalion of the Royal Highlanders, it amounted to 14,500 men. Preceded by the first battalion of the last named regiment and the light infantry, the main body of the army moved forward on the 21st, and encamped in the neighborhood of Ticonderoga. The enemy seemed at first resolved to defend that important fortress; but perceiving the fort, after having in part dismantled the fortifications, and retired to Crown Point.

On taking possession of this important post, which effectually covered the frontiers of New York, General Amherst proceeded to repair the fortifications; and while these were going on, he directed batteaux and other vessels to be prepared, to enable him to obtain the command of the lakes. Meanwhile the enemy, who seems to have had no intention of hazarding an action, evacuated Crown Point, and retired to Isle aux Noix, on the northern extremity of Lake Champlain. Detaching a body or rangers to take possession of the place the general embarked the rest of the army and landed at the fort on the 4th of August, where he encamped. The general then ordered up the second battalion of the Royal Highlanders from Oswego, with the exception of 150 men under Captain James Stewart, who were left to guard that post. Having by great exertions acquired a naval superiority on Lake Champlain, the general embarked his army in furtherance of his original plan of descending the St Lawrence, and co-operating with General Wolfe in the reduction of Quebec; but in consequence of contrary winds, the tempestuous state of the weather, and the early setting in of winter, he was compelled to abandon further prosecution of active operations in the mean time. He then returned to Crown Point to winter. A detailed account of the important enterprise against Quebec will be found in the history of Fraser's Highlanders.

After the fall of the fort of Niagra, which was taken by Prideaux's division, and the conquest of Quebec, Montreal was the only place of strength which remained in possession of the French in Canada. General Murray was ordered to proceed up the St Lawrence to attack Montreal, and General Amherst, as soon as the season permitted, made arrangements to join him. After his preparation wee completed, he ordered Colonel Haviland, with a detachment of troops, to take possession of the Isle aux Noix, and thence to proceed to the banks of the St Lawrence by the nearest route. To facilitate the passage of the armed vessels to La Galette, Colonel Haldimand with the grenadiers, light infantry, and a battalion of the Royal Highlanders, took post at the bottom of the lake. Embarking the whole of his army on the 10th of August, he proceeded towards the mouth of the St Lawrence, and, after a dangerous navigation, in the course of which several boats were upset and about eighty men drowned, landed six miles above Montreal on the 6th of September. General Murray appeared before Montreal on the evening of the same day, and the detachments under Colonel Haviland came down the following day on the south side of the river. Thus beset by three armies, who, by a singular combination, had united almost at the same instant of time, after traversing a great extent of unknown country, Monsieur Vandreuil, the governor, seeing resistance hopeless, surrendered upon favorable terms. Thus ended a series of successful operations, which secured Canada to the Crown of Great Britain.

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