- Battle of the Thousand Islands
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of the Thousand Islands
French and Indian War
caption=WIlliamson's gunboats capture the French
corvette"L'Outaouaise" near Point au Baril, painted by Thomas Davies
24 August 1760
Saint Lawrence River, Thousand Islandsnear Ogdensburg, New Yorkand Prescott, Ontario
strength1=11,000 regulars and militia
strength2=300 regulars, militia, and sailors
47 wounded (likely excluding militia)
casualties2=300 dead, wounded, or captured
The Battle of the Thousand Islands was fought 16–
24 August 1760, in the upper St. Lawrence River, amongst the Thousand Islands, along the present day Canada–United States border, by British and French forces during the closing phases of the French and Indian War.
The engagement took place at
Fort Lévis(About one mile downstream from the present Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge), Point au Baril(present-day Maitland, Ontario), and the surrounding waters and islands. The small French garrison at Fort Lévis held the much larger British army at bay for over a week, managing to sink two British warships and to cripple a third. Their resistance delayed the British advance to Montréal from the west.
Background and forces
By August of 1760, construction was underway of Fort Lévis at Ile Royale (present day Chimney Island New York) in the St. Lawrence River and Captain
Pierre Pouchotwas assigned its defense. Pouchot had been a British prisoner after the siege of Fort Niagara, but he was later released in a prisoner exchange. Chevalier de Lévis' original design for the fort called for stone walls, 200 guns and some 2500 troops. What Pouchot had was a small fort with wooden stockades, five cannons and 200 soldiers. Also under Pouchot's command were the corvettes "l'Outaouaise" and "l'Iroquoise", crewed by 200 sailors and voyageurs. "l'Iroquoise", under command of Commodore René Hypolite Pépin dit La Force, was armed with ten 12-pound cannon and swivel guns . "l'Outaouaise", commanded by Captain Pierre Boucher de Labroqueriecarried ten 12-pounders, one 18-pound gun and swivel guns.
After the fall of Quebec, the British
Commander-in-Chief General Jeffrey Amherstprepared to launch a three pronged attack to take Montréal. Columns were to advance along the St Lawrence from Quebec to the northeast, up the Richelieu Riverfrom Lac Champlain to the south, and from Oswego on Lake Ontarioto the west. The latter force, which Amherst led personally, numbered some 10,000 men and 100 siege guns.
Soon after his arrival to Ile Royal, Pouchot had nearby
Fort de La Présentationand the shipyard and stockades at Pointe au Baril abandoned in order to consolidate his resources at the more defendable Fort Lévis. La Force had managed to beach his corvette "l'Iroquoise" at Pointe au Baril on 1 August. although "l'Iroquoise" was raised, it was deemed too damaged to be put into action and was beached again under the guns at Fort Lévis.
Amherst's force set out from Oswego on
10 August. Captain Joshua Loringwho commanded the British snows "Onondaga" and "Mohawk", had been sent ahead of Amherst's force as an advance guard. Loring's ship, the "Onondaga", had been launched at Fort Niagaraas the "Apollo" in 1759 and carried four 9-pound guns, fourteen 6-pounders and a crew of 100 seamen and 25 soldiers. The "Mohawk", commanded by Lieutenant David Phipps, carried sixteen 6-pounders and a crew of 90 seamen and 30 soldiers.
7 August, the "Onondaga" and the "Mohawk" were sighted by the French lookouts at their outpost at Ile aux Chevreuils, upstream from Fort Lévis. The French withdrew in a row galley, pursued by the "Onondaga" and the "Mohawk", but the two British ships found themselves lost in the maze of islands, unable to find a safe route back to the main channel for several days.
Amherst's force arrived at Pointe au Baril on
16 August. Fearing the remaining French ship might attack his transports, Amherst ordered Colonel George Williamsonto capture "l'Outaouaise" the following day. At dawn of 17 August, Williamson set out in a gig, accompanied by five row galleys (one armed with a howitzer, the others each armed with a single 12-pounder). The galleys took shelter fore and aft of "l'Outaouaise", where they could not be hit by the ship's broadsides. The British galleys fired grapeshotand round shot at the French ship, crippling "l'Outaouaise", which drifted helplessly towards the British battery set up at Pointe au Baril. After 3 hrs of fighting, "l'Outaouaise" had managed to fire around 72 shots, damaging 2 of the British galleys. But Labroquerie was forced to surrender "l'Outaouaise" to Williamson. Labroquerie was wounded in the fighting along with 15 of his crew who were killed or wounded.
The captured "l'Outaouaise" was repaired and renamed "Williamson", to be put back into service by Captain
Patrick Sinclairagainst her former owners. On 19 August, Amherst commenced the attack on Fort Lévis. La Force and his crew had been ordered back to the fort to assist with its defense from the beached "l'Iroquoise". The "Williamson" was hit 48 times by the 5 French guns when it joined in with the British batteries firing on Fort Lévis from surrounding islands. The "Mohawk" and "Onondaga" finally arrived at the scene in the evening and Amherst called a ceasefire for the night. The attack resumed at dawn of 20 Augustwith the "Williamson", "Mohawk" and the "Onondaga" all firing on the fort with a combined 50 guns. As the attack progressed, the "Williamson" and the "Onondaga" were sunk by the French guns. The "Mohawk" managed to run aground under the French cannons, where it sat helpless as it was pounded until it was out of action. The British batteries on the surrounding islands continued to fire, switching to " hot shot" which they used to start fires within the fort. The siege continued until 24 Augustwhen Pouchot ran out of ammunition for his guns and asked for terms.
The fighting cost the British some 26 killed and 47 wounded (likely excluding
militia) to the French losses of around 275 killed or wounded of the original 300 defenders. Pouchot himself was amongst the wounded. The British could hardly believe that such a small garrison had offered such spirited resistance. [http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/en/page_264.asp?flash=1]
After the battle, Amherst's force remained at Fort Lévis for another 4 days before continuing on towards Montréal. The British advance cost Amherst at least 84 more men drowned in the rapids of the St. Lawrence (although Pouchot puts this number at 336) before meeting the forces from
Quebecand Lake Champlain, surrounding Montréal. On 6 September, Montréal was surrendered by François Gaston, duc de Lévis.
Fort Lévis was renamed to
Fort William Augustusby the British and the three ships sunk during the battle (the "Williamson", the "Onondaga" and the "Mohawk") were raised and pressed back into service to patrol the waters between the fort and Fort Niagara.
* [http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/forts/fortsE_L/levisFort.htm Fort Lévis]
* [http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/forts/fortsM_P/presentationFortLa.htm Fort La Presentation]
* [http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=44.742&lon=-75.4427&datum=nad83 Map showing Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge and Chimney Island (Ile Royale)]
*Beacock Fryer, Mary (1986). Battlefields of Canada. Toronto: Dundern Press Limited. ISBN 1550020072
*Malcomson, Robert (2001). Warships of the Great Lakes 1754-1834. Great Britain: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-84067-535-7
*Marston, Danial (2002). The French-Indian War 1754-1760. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-456-6
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Battle of the Komandorski Islands — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of the Komandorski Islands caption=The cruiser USS Salt Lake City , damaged by Japanese cruiser gunfire, starts losing speed prior to going dead in the water during the battle under a smoke screen laid by … Wikipedia
Battle of the Coral Sea — Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II … Wikipedia
Battle of the Philippine Sea — Part of World War II, Pacific War … Wikipedia
Battle of the Admin Box — Part of the Burma Campaign Sikh troops of 7th Indian Division man an observation post in the Ngakyedauk Pass area of the Arakan, Burma … Wikipedia
Battle of the Slaak — The naval Battle of the Slaak (12 and 13 September 1631) was a Dutch victory during the Eighty Years War. The Dutch prevented the Spanish army from dividing the Dutch United Provinces in two. Background In reaction to an overland Dutch attempt to … Wikipedia
Battle of the Bulge — For other uses, see Battle of the Bulge (disambiguation). Battle of the Bulge Part of World War II … Wikipedia
Battle of the Visayas — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of the Visayas caption=U.S. soldiers during landings at Talisay Beach, 26 March 1945. U.S. National Archives partof=World War II, Pacific theater date=18 March to 30 July 1945 place=Visayas region,… … Wikipedia
Battle of the Mediterranean — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Mediterranean caption=Mediterranean Sea partof=World War II date= 10 June 1940 – 2 May 1945 place=Mediterranean Sea result=Allied victory combatant1=flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom… … Wikipedia
Conquest of the Canary Islands — The conquest of the Canary Islands by the Kingdom of Castille took place between 1402 and 1496. It can be divided into two periods, the Conquista señorial, carried out by Castilian nobility in exchange for a covenant of allegiance with the crown … Wikipedia
History of the Falkland Islands — The history of the Falkland Islands goes back at least five hundred years, with active exploration and colonisation only taking place in the 18th century. Nonetheless, the islands have been a matter of controversy, as they have been claimed by… … Wikipedia