The Conquest

The Arrival of Reinforcements

The French Lose Hope

Battle between the French frigate Atalante and the English fleet in 1760

Caption: Battle between the French frigate Atalante and the English fleet in 1760

The arrival of the British ships caused the French camp to lose all hope of receiving help from France. France did, however, send a small reinforcement to Canada. Four hundred soldiers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine embarked on five transport ships escorted by the frigate Machault. In spite of all its courage, this expeditionary force knew ahead of time that it was being sacrificed, because it was clearly inadequate. When it reached the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it was sighted by ships of the Royal Navy already there. Pursued by the English, the French fleet took refuge in Baie des Chaleurs and engaged in a final battle at the mouth of the Restigouche River in July 1760. 21

Within the French colony, the already difficult situation worsened from day to day. The army's coffers were empty and the soldiers were no longer receiving their wages. Food supplies of various kinds ran out and a real famine was feared. There is no hope; everyone knew that New France was dying. In May 1760 the militiamen began to desert in large numbers to go and plant their fields. Even Lévis's threats to put them to death had no effect. Soon the professional soldiers followed their lead. But in spite of the desertions and shortages the French army continued to resist, and the Anglo-Americans had to make another major military effort to overcome it.