The Conquest

General Dieskau's Defeat

European Tactic a Costly Failure

Although he had fewer men, Dieskau refused to listen to the warnings of the Canadians and the Amerindians, and decided to attack the fortified camp and its artillery with a general assault in closed ranks, in the purest European style. Deeming this form of combat ridiculous, the Canadian militiamen threw themselves prone onto the ground and looked for some kind of shelter from which to return enemy fire. The French soldiers, who had got to within 50 metres of the barricades and point-blank range, hesitated to advance. Dieskau was then seriously wounded as he urged his men on. The French withdrew soon afterwards, since enemy reinforcements were arriving from the south. Dieskau, abandoned on the field of battle, was captured by Johnson's militiamen.

This first battle by the French metropolitan forces thus turned into a fiasco. In Canada, it was an unprecedented event: a general captured and troops beaten with heavy losses by militiamen from New England! Dieskau blamed his defeat on the fact that the Canadians had not marched in ranks.