Backs to the Wall

Backs to the Wall

The Battle of Sainte-Foy and the Conquest of Canada

Book - 2016
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The Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 and the subsequent capitulation of Quebec set the stage for an equally significant French-British engagement in the struggle for northeastern North America, the Battle of Sainte-Foy.

In the spring of 1760, after having suffered a brutal winter, Quebec garrison commander James Murray's troops were vulnerable and reduced to an army of skeletal invalids due to malnutrition and scurvy. Trapped in hostile territory and lacking confidence in the fortifications of Quebec, Murray planned to confront French attackers outside the walls. Instead of waiting at Montreal for the British to attack, Montcalm's successor, François-Gaston de Lévis, returned to the plains for a rematch accompanied by every combatant available--French regulars, Canadian militia and First Peoples warriors. The ensuing Battle of Sainte-Foy was less a battle for territory than a struggle for survival between two equally desperate adversaries. If the British lost the battle, they would lose Quebec. If the French lost the battle, they would very likely lose Canada--both the French and the British had their backs to the wall.

MacLeod presents this historical event in riveting detail, from the preparation and day-by-day actions during the engagement to the compelling siege of Quebec by land and ship. Backs to the Wall is an accessible and engaging account of an important episode in Canadian history.

Publisher: Madeira Park, British Columbia : Douglas & McIntyre, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781771621274
Branch Call Number: 971.4471014 MacL
Characteristics: ix, 253 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : colour illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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rb3221 Jan 27, 2018

As an amateur historian, it was indeed interesting to discover that the battle of the Plains of Abraham was not the last battle for the control of Canada. It was battle of Sainte-Foy that would determine whether the British would lose Quebec or the French would lose Canada. MacLeod takes us through a very detailed analysis of what happened including hundreds of personal accounts and quotes of many of the combatants of the battle and skirmishes.
Better maps would have been very helpful in visualizing the battle even though the author's descriptions were well done. A large section of end notes and an extensive bibliography will allow the reader to explore deeper in the subject.

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