Vain and contemptuous of colonial authorities and their preference for guerrilla tactics, he developed open hostility to Vaudreuil and labelled the whole administration corrupt. He captured Fort William Henry (August 1757), and in July 1758 he conducted a successful defence against a British attack on Fort Carillon. His dispatches to France showed his own efforts to best effect and were critical of Vaudreuil. He was appointed 20 October 1758 lieutenant-general - the second-highest rank in the French army.
In May 1759 Gen James WOLFE and Vice-Adm Charles Saunders appeared before Québec. In September a series of errors by the French allowed Wolfe to scale the riverbank and land some 4500 men on the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM, less than 2 km from the city. Wolfe's position was threatening but precarious and Montcalm chose the one course of action that could have brought defeat: on the morning of September 13 he hastily rushed his troops into battle. The French were routed and Montcalm received a mortal wound from which he died the next morning.
Historians have long been at odds with the assessment on the plaque on the Plains of Abraham of the "gallant, good and great" man. He won some notable victories but suffered the greatest defeat in Canadian military history. See also SEVEN YEARS' WAR.
Author IAN CASSELMAN
Links to Other Sites
The Quebec History Encyclopedia
An extensive information source about Québec history. Features texts from encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, anthologies, and other references that were published at least 50 years ago. Some articles in French. Produced by Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College.
Plains of Abraham
A concise illustrated history of the Plains of Abraham, the Fortifications, and other famous Québec city landmarks. Click on "Battles of 1759 and 1760" (on the right side) for information about related events. From the National Battlefields Commission.
Montcalm, Louis-Joseph de, Marquis de Montcalm
A biography of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, Marquis de Montcalm from the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online."
Burial certificate of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
A digitized copy of the burial certificate for French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, who died in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. From the “New France, New Horizons” website.
Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall
"Face to Face" features outstanding Canadians whose ideas and contributions have transformed this country. Click on the photos in "Meet the Personalities" to see their biographies. From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Glossary: Battle of the Plains of Abraham
A glossary of terminiology related to the siege of Québec and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Check this site for more information on this topic. From the Virtual Museum website "1759: From the Warpath to the Plains of Abraham."
Letter from James Abercromby
A digitzed copy of a letter from James Abercromby to French commander Montcalm. From Library and Archives Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...