The French retreat
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Plains of Abraham
The French retreat
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The French retreat
The French retreat
Just over fifteen minutes after the battle on the Plains of Abraham had begun, the French line crumbled under the advancing sword-swinging Highlanders and the pressing wall of British bayonets.

The French scattered back up the hill with the Scottish Highlanders pursuing the retreating army to the woods.
Fifteen minutes after the battle began, French troops were forced to retreat. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
Fifteen minutes after the battle began, French troops were forced to retreat. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
"I can remember the Scotch Highlanders flying wildly after us," Joseph Trahan, of the Acadian militia, later related, "with streaming plaids, bonnets and large swords – like so many infuriated demons – over the brow of the hill. In their course, was a wood, in which we had some Indians and sharpshooters, who bowled over the Sauvages d'écosse in fine style. Their partly naked bodies fell on their face, and their kilts in disorder left a large portion of their thighs, at which our fugitives on passing by, would make lunges with their swords, cutting large slices out of the fleshiest portion of their persons."

The bloodied Highlanders waited until the British troops caught up and resumed pursuit but they were fired on from sharpshooters on the ramparts of Quebec and cannon barges on the St.
Scottish Highlanders chased the French as they retreated toward the walls of Quebec. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
Scottish Highlanders chased the French as they retreated toward the walls of Quebec. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
Charles River. "It was at this time," wrote Malcolm Fraser of the Highlanders, "and while in the bushes that our Regiment suffered most... Captain Thomas Ross was mortally wounded in the body by a cannonball from the hulks, in the mouth of the River, of which he died in great torment... I received a contusion in the right shoulder, or rather breast... which pained me a good deal... We suffered in men and officers more than any three regiments in the field."

Trahan, still in retreat, ran toward the town walls. "I was amongst the fugitives and received in the calf of the leg a spent bullet, which stretched me on the ground. I thought it was all over for me; but presently I rose up and continued to run towards the general hospital, in order to gain the Beauport Camp over the bridge of boats."

Trahan was able to make Quebec, one of the lucky ones, but it was a woeful place.
"On my way to the Beauport camp, I came to a bake-house, in which the baker that day had baked an ovenful of bread. Some of the exhausted fugitives asked him for food, which he refused, when in a fit of rage at such heartlessness, one of them lopped off his head with his sword. The bloody head was then deposited on top of the pile of bread. Hunger getting the better of me, I helped myself to a loaf all spread with gore, and with my pocket knife removing the crust, I greedily devoured the crumb."

Even though the French vastly outnumbered the British, the governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, decided they would not fight again the next day.

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