On April 28, 1745, about 14 months into King George's War, and about a year after French soldiers brought the war to North America by attacking an English settlement at Canso, Nova Scotia, the inhabitants of the French fort at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island found themselves beset from land and sea by joint British and American forces. The walls of Louisbourg housed about 600 regular French and Swiss soldiers, 900 militiamen, and 400 women and children. A few miles from the fort, within sight of the French, about a hundred transport ships deposited about 4,000 New England militiamen on the shore of Gabarus Bay; 17 armed American vessels and seven big British warships set up a blockade around the fort's harbor. Seven weeks later, after having lost their main battery and having their own cannons turned against them, after having seen the British naval forces supplemented by three more British warships and a captured French warship, and after having been racked by some 9000 cannonballs and 600 explosive shells, the French surrendered the so- called "Gibraltar of the New World" to the English and Americans. At home, most Americans attributed the victory to the valor of the inexperienced but inspired colonial militiamen, and the victory was celebrated from Boston to Philadelphia with cannon-fire, bonfires, and fireworks in the streets. The British (and most historians since) credited the victory to the Royal Navy's blockade of the harbor and its cannonade of the fort. According to America's leading Puritan minister, however, the garrison at Louisbourg was won by the grace of God and the power of prayer.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.