The “Battle of the Plains of Abraham”
Montcalm and Wolfe faced off in this pivotal battle of the French-Indian war (known as the Seven Years war if you’re from Canada) that would shape the course of North American history and geography.
In September 1759, Wolfe’s force found a way to attack Quebec City. The city is perched on Cap Diamant (Diamond Peak), one of the most strategic points on the St-Lawrence river. Attacking from its narrowest points it was the perfect choking point. The high ground it made it a perfect natural position to defend any ambitious intruders.
It is important to note that whoever controls Quebec controls the access to all the great lakes and beyond.
Wolfe knew it couldn’t attack head on. He had to wait for high tide to have his skiffs be carried by the current and land about 3 kms of the cap. The tides still have a great impact here on the river. Silent drifting past the sentinels, they made it to L”Anse au Foulon and climb the steep 174 ft side to eventually take a position west of the city.
The battlefield was set on the fields on owned by a farmer named Abraham Martin.
By September 18, Quebec would capitulate to the British. Both commanding generals, Wolfe and Montcalm, perished during the battle. The British then set an important foothold in Lower Canada.
But as fall approached, victory was not yet fully assured for the British. Cold and ice prevented armies from coming in to support, so they had to wait for spring to determine the ultimate winner (or if another battle would come). If the French arrived first they could have taken back Quebec with fresh forces. However, English reinforcements arrived first and sealed their conquest.
Canada formally became a British colony to the North. This battle and its costs set the table for many of the events leading to the American Revolution.
Learn more about Quebec’s role in our american history on your next class trip with GO Educational Tours as you hold a battlefield workshop on the plains with your students to understand the events of the battle.’Battle of