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The Scot in New France (1535-1880)


keep in constant pay all the scriblers under the sun. I fought a battle: I lost it. What then? Is every day of battle a day of victory? Did it be asked any soldier if, in my situation, it was right to fight. He will answer without hesitation, "To be sure." Examine the disposition, compare it with the ground which must determine the propriety of it, and I flatter myself it will be allow’d a good one. Was not the critical moment of attack made use of? Did it succeed? Was not the victory gain’d, had the right wing been as active and as vigorous the 28th of April, 1760, as the left was the 13th of September, 1759? Was not aid instantly given during the action where it was wanted? Were not the cannon judiciously placed? Does not all this denote a presence of mind, and a coup d’oile Where was the General in this battle - Betwixt his own line and that of the enemy—everywhere, where the enemy made a push, animating his men by his presence. He had two horses shot under him, and his clothes riddled by the enemy’s musketry. Where was he when the right wing faulter’d? He was placing the cannon on the hights, in the centre, but rode instantly to the right, and there recover’d the confusion. How did the troops retreat into town? In tolerable order by the means of the corps the General himself posted in the two unfinished redoubts, and on an eminence. Did he stay with the corps himself to the last? He did, he was the last man that enter’d the gates. The defence of the place, as it was successful, in England (where everything is right or wrong agreeable to the decision of Dame Fortune) will answer for its self. You are to ask the French Generals what share had this campaign in the total reduction of Canada. I am persuaded Mr. Amherst is too just to be silent on that head. He certainly has told that I left him nothing to do, and that the Marquis de Vaudreuil insinuated terms of surrender to me, before Mr. Amherst’s army appear’d, which I would not listen to, as I had intelligence of the commander-in-chief’s being within six days’ march of me, and I was posted at Longviel, by which the junction of the three armys was infallible.

This much I have open’d myself to my brother; it is very wrong for a man to speak of himself, but he that praises himself is unpardonable. I therefore conjure you not to show this letter to any body but Elibank ; he and you may make what use of the contents you please, provided you do not let it be known that I have trumpeted my own fame.

I think myself accountable to my family in a very particular manner for my actions, especially as the sphere I have lately acted in has been eminent. It will be your business to dive into the truth of every sentence of this letter, but not to expose me to the reproach of vain glory. I offer my very affection-ate compliments to all my relations round you, and am, my Dear George.

Your most affectionate brother and sincere friend,

JAMES MURRAY.

Sandy Johnstone now lives with me, and acts as my Brigade-Major. He is very fat, but we have nothing to do.

Brig-General Murray’s "Journal" was published under the auspices of the Literary and Historical Society in 1871.


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