Classic History Books


William Wood - The Winning of Canada: A Chronicle of Wolfe

we had followed them, they would not have repassed
the Main with half their number. Their loss is computed

to be between six and seven thousand men, and ours

three thousand. His Majesty was in the midst of the

fight; and the duke behaved as bravely as a man could

do. I had several times the honour of speaking with

him just as the battle began and was often afraid of

his being dashed to pieces by the cannon-balls. He

gave his orders with a great deal of calmness and

seemed quite unconcerned. The soldiers were in high

delight to have him so near them. I sometimes thought

I had lost poor Ned when I saw arms, legs, and heads

beat off close by him. A horse I rid of the colonel's,

at the first attack, was shot in one of his hinder

legs and threw me; so I was obliged to do the duty of

an adjutant all that and the next day on foot, in a

pair of heavy boots. Three days after the battle I

got the horse again, and he is almost well.

Shortly after Dettingen Wolfe was appointed adjutant and promoted to a lieutenancy. In the next year he
was made a captain in the 4th Foot while his brother became a lieutenant in the 12th. After this they had

very few chances of meeting; and Edward, who had caught a deadly chill, died alone in Flanders, not yet

seventeen years old. Wolfe wrote home to his mother:

Poor Ned wanted nothing but the satisfaction of seeing
his dearest friends to leave the world with the greatest

tranquillity. It gives me many uneasy hours when I

reflect on the possibility there was of my being with

him before he died. God knows it was not apprehending

the danger the poor fellow was in; and even that would

not have hindered it had I received the physician's

first letter. I know you won't be able to read this

without shedding tears, as I do writing it. Though it

is the custom of the army to sell the deceased's

effects, I could not suffer it. We none of us want,

and I thought the best way would be to bestow them on

the deserving whom he had an esteem for in his lifetime.

To his servant - the most honest and faithful man I

ever knew - I gave all his clothes. I gave his horse

to his friend Parry. I know he loved Parry; and for

that reason the horse will be taken care of. His other

horse I keep myself. I have his watch, sash, gorget,

books, and maps, which I shall preserve to his memory.

He was an honest and good lad, had lived very well,

and always discharged his duty with the cheerfulness

becoming a good officer. He lived and died as a son

 

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