Chronology of Events for June 1755

June 4-16, 1755: Siege and capture of Fort Beauséjour, North America held by 460 French commanded by Duchambon de Vergor, at Chignecto peninsula (in present day New Brunswick), it is invested by Colonel Robert Monckton commanding 2000 Massachusetts volunteers and falls after a brief bombardment. Nearby Fort Gaspereau is immediately abandoned by its French garrison.

June 6-8, 1755: Battle of the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland, North America. Vice-Admiral Boscawen’s English fleet captures two French ships from the Comte de la Motte’s flotilla carrying reinforcements to New France.  Being near the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Adm. Boscawen fell in with four sail of the line, which had parted from M. De la Motte in a gale of wind. On the 8th, at noon, after a chase of forty-eight hours, the 60-gun ship Dunkirk, Captain the Hon. Richard Howe, arrived up with the French 64-gun ship Alcide. After some little preliminary hailing, the Dunkirk opened so furious a cannonade, that on the approach of the Torbay, the French ship struck her colours. The 64-gun ship Lys, armed en-flute was also captured; but owing to a fog the third escaped. The remaining French ships escape bearing Governor Vaudreuil of New France and General Baron de Dieskau along with much needed French regulars.  Thus was this, known as “the seven years’ war,” commenced.

June 16, 1755: The French fort of Beau-Sejour, on the Isthmus of Chignecto, surrenders to Lieutenant Colonel Monckton.  “Extract of a Letter from lieutenant Governor Lawrenceto Sir Thomas RobinsonDated Halifax, June 28, 1755.

“I have the honour to acquaint you, that the French fort at Beauséjour surrendered to lieutenant-colonel Monckton the 16th instant, and the next day a small fort upon the river Gaspereau, running into the Bay Verte, where the French had their principal magazine for supplying the French inhabitants and Indians. In these forts were found a great quantity of provisions, and stores of all kinds, of which col. Monckton has not yet had time to transmit me a particular account. I enclose you the terms of capitulation. Notwithstanding the fort at Beauséjour had twenty-six pieces of cannon mounted, they surrendered, after four days bombardment, before we had even mounted a single cannon upon our batteries. Our loss, upon this occasion, is very inconsiderable, not above 20 killed, and as many wounded. Major Preble of the irregulars, is slightly wounded in the shoulder; ensign Tongue, of major general Warburton’s regiment, acting as sub engineer, received a shot in his thigh, at he was taking a survey of the ground for the trenches and batteries to be raised against the fort; and ensign Hay, of col. Hopson’s, who had been taken prisoner by the Indians, in going alone from our fort to the camp, was killed by one of our shells in the French fort, which fell through a sort of casemate, and also killed three French officers, and wounded two more. At col. Monckton’s first arrival, the French had a large number of inhabitants and Indians, 450 of which were posted at a blockhouse, which they had on their side of the river Messaguash, to defend the pass of that rive: Here they had thrown up a strong breast-work of timber for covering their men, and had cannon mounted on the blockhouse. At this place they made a stand for about an hour, but were forced by our troops with some loss, leaving their blockhouse, and the pass of the river, clear for our people, who marched, without further interruption, to the ground intended for their encampment. As we had not men enough to invest the fort entirely, several got away and, when the fort surrendered, there remained 150 regulars, and about 300 inhabitants, several of which, with their officers, were wounded. We do not yet exactly know the numbers that were killed in the fort, but we believe their loss has not been trifling, as several lay half buried upon the parade. Col. Monckton has new named the fort, and called it Fort Cumberland. He gives the troops, under his command, great praise for their good behaviour, and the spirit and resolution with which they acted upon this occasion.  Col. Monckton is proceeding to the fort at St. John’s river, which I flatter myself will give him very little trouble, as their main strength, which was Beauséjour, is gone: He has likewise my orders to leave a garrison in that fort, as it is an infinitely better one than ours, as well for situation, as strength. The deserted French inhabitants are delivering up their arms. I have given him orders to drive them out of the country at all events; though if he wants their assistance in putting the troops under cover (as the barracks in the French fort were demolished) he may first make them do all the service in their power. Our possession of the Isthmus, it is to be hoped, will bring over the Mickmack Indians to our interest. I cannot close my letter to you, Sir, without taking notice how much I am obliged to lieutenant-colonel Monckton’s military skill, and good conduct, for our success at Beauséjour; capt. Rous, who commanded the naval part of this expedition, has been of the greatest service to it; and I have reason to believe our succeeding so soon, and with so little loss, is much owing to the good management of Mr. Brewse, who acted there as chief engineer.”

June 16, 1755: By letters received from rear admiral Holbourne, dated off Halifax the 28th of last month, there is an account that his majesty’s ship the Mars, of 70 guns, was unfortunately lost at the mouth of that harbour, by the fault of the pilot, but the crew and guns were saved. As soon as the other ships there, under his command, are watered and refitted, he will return with them to join vice admiral Boscawen’s squadron. The two French ships, the Alcide and the Lys, are, with the prisoners, in this harbour.

June 17, 1755: Gaspereau, a small fort near Bay Vert, surrenders to the same Officer: and soon afterwards, the French abandoned Fort St John, near the mouth of the river of that name; after having ruined it to the utmost of their power. This completed the reduction of Nova Scotia.

June 21, 1755: “Rear-Admiral Holbourne, with the squadron under his command, joined admiral Boscawen on the 21st past, the day before the departure of the Gibraltar for England.”

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