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The French & Indian War

The French & Indian War

Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal in The French & Indian War

Pierre Francois de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal (1698-1778) was the governor of French Louisiana from 1743-1752 and governor-general of New France from 1755 to 1760. He was born in Canada, attained the rank of major in the French troupes de la marine, and fought against Native Americans in wars on the Canadian frontier.

As governor-general of New France, his military tactics led to early success against the British in the first years of the French and Indian War. By enlisting Canadian Indians as allies, supplying them with weapons, and giving them free rein to attack British frontier settlements, Vaudreuil was able to concentrate his French troops at a few critical posts and prevent British invasion of French territory. His strategy was criticized by the marquis de Montcalm, the commander of French forces appointed in 1756, who complained that this unregulated use of Indian allies led to "uncivilized" military behavior including the seizing of prisoners for ransom after the capture of Fort Oswego and the massacre of British soldiers and civilians after the capture of Fort William Henry.

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