“Par la bouche de mes canons” QUEBEC 1690: Part 1

Barry Hilton - The inspiration for this piece was an article written by Rene Chartrand in 1999 but which I read for the first time in 2008 when some nice chap posted a link to it on the League of Augsburg forum. Occasionally we all happen on something that captures our imagination disproportionately and Mr Chartrand’s work did that for me. I was familiar with some of his output via the Osprey title The Army of Louis XIV (MAA 203) but was unaware that he had written on the subject of what has become known for posterity as King William’s War in the English speaking world. This is yet another name for the hostilities which took place on the North American continent during the Nine Years War 1688-1697. The relationship between these two conflicts finds a strong parallel in that of The Seven Years War and the so called French & Indian Wars. 

French defenders of Quebec

What I found so intriguing was that the New Englanders had actually mounted a seaborne invasion of the Canadasled by a colourful adventurer named Sir William Phips. The objective was the taking of the City of Quebecfrom the French. All of this was done without the help of London, the King, the Army or the English Treasury. Being contemporary with a period of European history in which I have a deep and long lasting interest I was excited by a new angle that being, the operation of conventional or semi conventional pike and musket armed troops in the thick forests of Canada. Not only did this galvanise me into doing some further and very rewarding research of my own it also provided me with an opportunity to create some interesting and extremely off beat scenarios for Beneath the Lily Banners.

This piece begins with a brief summary of the historical events on which the scenario is built. My sources for this are Mr Chartrand’s article and the book Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV by Francis Parkman written some 100 years ago. I don’t know if RC used this book as a primary source for his own writing or whether his information was gathered independently by I must acknowledge both sources as very helpful and in the main relatively un-contradictory. I have not quoted either text directly but rather paraphrased and added some of my own opinion in this first section.