Re: Montcalm and the massacre

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Posted by Elaine on November 03, 1997 at 21:39:27:

In Reply to: Re: Montcalm and the massacre posted by Joe Hinson on November 03, 1997 at 20:52:23:

: :: Remember we're talking about a fictional account of history. In fact I've read on this board where people disparaged the movie for not following history,, remember it was trying to follow the novel not history.
: According to Eckert in "Wilderness Empire".... "It lasted for minutes only(the massacre), mainly because of the opportune arrival of Montcalm, Le'vis, Bourlamaque and a number of the officersand men of the three commanders. With little regard for their own safety, they threw themselves into the midst of the melee and began pulling Indians away from their intended victims, cursing them, ordering them back, demanding that the carnage cease. "In the name of God and the King," Montcalm shouted,"I order you to stop! If you have to kill, then kill me, but don't harm another one of the English prisoners under my protection!"

: I believe Montcalm did all he could to allay the Indians in their rampage, but the Indians were very upset with Montcalm for protecting the English he couldn't get them to give up all they had taken, over two hundred prisoners were kept by the Indians to take back to Canada to trade for all the plunder they didn't get at W-H.
: In Bougainville's journal he writes, "The Marquis de Montcalm went himself to the entrenched camp. He there made the greatest efforts to prevent the greed of the Indians and, I will say it here, of certain people of our own attached to them, from being the cause of misfortunes far greater than pillage"

: :: Joe

I'm with Joe on this. The movie certainly gave a strong hint of Montcalm's culpability, and there are many who argue in favor of this. However, if one carefully weighs the facts and applies some educated speculation, the probability is that Montcalm had no knowledge, nor in any way encouraged the massacre. He was concerned about the possibility, having already experienced such a scene at Oswego, but there is little reason to believe Montcalm expected the events to enfold as they did.
It is interesting to look more to the Abenaki who had a revenge motive here. Nearly a century of violent, bitter warfare with the New Englanders (who did, incidentally, bear the brunt of the attack). Bougainville's journal has a lot of interesting entries, like the one Joe quoted. No home should be without this book!!!
Adventure in the Wilderness; The American Journals of Louis Antoine de Bougainville, 1756-1760


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