Re: Legends of the old Northwest, Montcalm and the massacre

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Posted by Petra on August 19, 1998 at 17:22:01:

In Reply to: Re: Legends of the old Northwest, Montcalm and the massacre posted by Rich on August 18, 1998 at 12:52:32:

: : :
: : : : : Don`t forget friends that this comes on the History Channel at 9:00 EST tonight. This ones on Roger`s Rangers. Some Rangers were at Ft. William Henry during the seige.

: : : : : Clabair

: : Just got through watching it. Yes, it was interesting.
: : As others have mentioned before, from those accounts, Montcalm was all honest gentleman. And they said that French troops accompanied those British who were retreating from Ft. W.H. and that the French under Montcalm were those who eventually stopped the massacre. Interesting detail.
: : I also just read up on what the history pages here say about the retreat. There, the incident is described more as looting and stealing than as a massacre. Now, on the history channel, they were talking about a frenzy during which even the dead corpses of rangers who had died of smallpox were dug out, that was referring to the time and place of this retreat, wasn't it?
: : Petra

: Regarding the Massacre ...

: Let me further explain, Petra ...

: The historical "event" was really several events ... the massacre in the fort, the massacre in the entrenched camp (both involving the sick and wounded almost exclusively), and the looting & pillaging of the surrendered column.

: In the MOVIE, we see ONLY the surrendered column retreating from Fort William Henry. THAT "massacre" DID NOT happen. If any French & Indian War battle could fit the bill, it might be Braddock's Defeat in Pennsylvania, where the "ambushed" British (though they were on the attack, to seige Fort Duquesne) huddled in panic, offered littled resistance, and were thoroughly defeated. This despite the presence of such notables as George Washington & Daniel Boone!

: Imagine, if you will, the British column leaving the vicinity of Fort William Henry after the surrender. Near the rear of this column, the Indians begin to pester the soldiers, militia, and hangers-on. (The massacres of the wounded having already occured.) The warriors want loot as their pay for serving in these wars with Montcalm, so, they clutch and grab any wanted items. Huge hordes massed around the column. Some British/Americans wisely give up the wanted possessions, others are more resisting in their reaction. Maybe a soldier pulls away. He gets knocked down. Another bolts into the forest. Warriors chase after him. The mild annoyance quickly turns into a panicked melee. It gets rough. Killing is NOT the object here; booty is. Things do get out of control, though, and a small number are killed before order is restored.

: THAT, in short, is the REAL "massacre" that was depicted in the film at Massacre Valley.

thanks so much for that vivid description and explanation! Now I can really imagine it. Before, I had been wondering how the attack on the leaving troups and the digging up of graves could have been in the same place since I imagined it somewhere on the way, more like in the movie.

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