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The French & Indian War

The French & Indian War

Marquis de Montcalm in The French & Indian War

Louis Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Montcalm (1712-1759) was a major general in the French military. He received a commission at age nine, began active duty at 20, and fought and was wounded in numerous battles before being named commander of all French forces in New France in 1756.

As commander of French forces in North America after 1756, he was initially subordinate to the governor-general, the marquis de Vaudreuil. But he disagreed with the governor-general's unregulated use of Indian auxiliaries. He preferred the conventional tactics of European warfare to the Indians' guerrilla tactics that were permitted by Vaudreuil. After the massacre of British soldiers and civilians following the capture of Fort William Henry, Montcalm's criticism of Vaudreuil's tactics led the king of France to name Montcalm the supreme authority over all military matters in New France in 1759.

Montcalm personally commanded the French forces at Quebec when the city was attacked by the British under Brigadier General James Wolfe in 1759. Caught off-guard by Wolfe's attack from the west, the French were forced to flee to Montreal. During the battle Montcalm received a mortal wound and died the next day.

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