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The Recapture of St. John's, Newfoundland
in 1762
Sir William Amherst

As described in the journal of Lieut.-Colonel William Amherst,
commander of the British expeditionary force.
Edited by John Clarence Webster
Published (self) 1928
AMICUS No. 11957998

Amherst Amherst diary Cover



William Amherst was born at Riverhead in the parish of Sevenoaks, Kent, about 1732. He was the son of Jeffery Amherst and Elizabeth Kerril, and was the youngest of four brothers who grew to manhood. The eldest, Sackville, was named after Lionel Sackville, first Duke of Dorset, whose influence helped the Amherst boys in their early professional careers. The second son was Jeffery, born in 1717; he had a long and distinguished career in the army, and was Commander-in-Chief in America during the eventful years 1758-1763. John Amherst, about a year younger than Jeffery, served in the navy, and fought both at Louisbourg and Quebec; he died an admiral.

William entered the army as an Ensign of the First Regiment of Foot Guards in 1755; he became a Lieutenant and Captain in 1757; Lieut.-Col. and Deputy Adjutant-General in America, 1759; Lieut. Col. in 1766; Colonel of the 32nd Regiment in 1775; Major-General in 1777; Lieut.-Gen. in 1779. He accompanied his brother Jeffery to Louisbourg in 1758, and afterwards served with him during the operations which terminated in the capture of Montreal and the cession of Canada in 1760. His Journal describing the events of these years (1758-1760) is of great interest, and has recently been published by me. In 1762 he was sent from New York in command of a force to attack the French who had taken St. John's, Newfoundland.

After his return to England, he held various appointments —Lieut.- Governor of Portsmouth, Adjutant-General at Headquarters, and aide-de-camp to the King. For a time he was a member of Parliament. In 1774 he was appointed Lieut.-Governor of Newfoundland, but declined to act. He married a Miss Patterson, a celebrated London beauty. His son, William Pitt, succeeded to the peerage conferred on Jeffery Amherst, as the latter left no children; this son had a distinguished career, having been sent as ambassador to China, and, afterwards, as Governor-General to India, being rewarded with an earldom.

William Amherst died on May 13th, 1781, and was buried at Sevenoaks, near the grave of his brother John, who had died in 1778.

In 1781, the remaining brother erected a monument to the memory of his brothers in the Sevenoaks church, with the following inscription:—

They entered early into the military line
And served with ardour m their country's cause.
The rank they obtained by their sovereign's favour
Proved the merit of their public services,
And was equally their honour and reward.
Universally esteemed when living,
Their death is sincerely lamented.
In memory
Of the unvariable and mutual affection of these brothers,
Jeffery, Lord Amherst,
Caused this monument to be erected in 1781.

It was not until 1797 that Lord Amherst’s body was laid be-side his brothers, whom he had so greatly loved during life.

The Journal of William Amherst, which I now publish was found among the papers of Jeffery Amherst three years ago by the late Lord Amherst, to whose great kindness I am indebted for the privilege of reproducing it.


(    -1770)

The year of his birth, and the date of his first service at sea are not known. The first mention of him is as a Lieutenant in the navy on the Mediterranean Station in 1743. He was then given command of a hospital ship, and in 1744 was made Captain of the Dursley Galley. Before the end of this year he was advanced to the Leopard, 50 guns. In 1746 he captured a French vessel and destroyed eight others near Genoa. His career during the next few years is not known. In 1753 he was promoted to the Northumberland, 70 guns, remaining in her for nine years as Captain, Commodore, and Rear-Admiral.

In 1755 he went to Canada in Admiral Boscawen's fleet. In 1757 he served under Holburne in the unfortunate expedition against Louisbourg. In 1758 he again served under Boscawen at Louisbourg. After its capture he remained at Halifax in command of the North American fleet. In 1759 he was in Admiral Saunders' fleet at Quebec. In the following winter he was again at, Halifax, and was very active in preventing supplies from France reaching Canada. On April 15th, 1760, he left for Quebec and arrived at the Island of Bic, where he was met by the schooner Lawrence, sent by Murray with the news of the serious situation at Quebec. Colville at once departed for the city, before he arrived on May 18th, to find that the ship Vanguard and the sloops Hunter and Porcupine had arrived with supplies for the garrison. He continued to serve on the North American Station during 1761 and 1762. In September of the latter year he took part in the operations which led to the re-capture of St. John's, Newfoundland, in conjunction with Lieut.-Col. William Amherst.

On returning to England he was made Rear-Admiral of the White. Subsequently, he was Commander-in-chief on the North American Station, returning to England in 1768, when he married a sister of the Earl of Kelly. His health began to fail, and he died in Scotland, May 21st, 1770. This portrait is from a reproduction of the original, kindly given to me by the owner, the present Lord Colville of Culross.


In January, 1762, Great Britain declared war on Spain, which for some time had been making preparations to join France. The able French Minister of War, the Duc de Choiseul, then determined to bring about an amalgamation of the naval forces of both countries on the coast of France so as to dominate and control the English Channel and thus enable a military force to be transported across it for the purpose of invading England. The ships of the allied countries were distributed in various ports which were closely watched by the British. Owing to the vigilance of the latter, Choiseul’s plans were frustrated and the formation of a great Armada was prevented. However, certain French vessels were able to elude the enemy and to reach the harbor of Brest. These consisted of five ships of the line and a frigate, skilfully brought from the Villaine by two Lieutenants, the Chevalier de Ternay and the Comte d'Hector, both of whom were immediately rewarded for their success by the bestowal of post rank.

Having been foiled in attempting to carry out his great scheme, Choiseul determined to send an expedition to attack Newfoundland. The Minister's reason for this plan has not been revealed. That it was meant to be merely an adventurous raid fur the purpose of destroying the enemy's property can scarcely be credited. As the British Navy controlled the seas, the risks were too great and the aim too futile to warrant such an effort.

The Minister probably had in mind the forlorn hope that his forces might establish possession in the distant Island, whereby, when the inevitable end of the war came, France might be able to insist, in the Treaty deliberations, on Fishery rights which would enable her to use this territory for her fishermen, i. e., as a training ground for the seamen of her navy.

The expedition was despatched from Brest on May 8th, 1762, consisting of two ships of the line and two frigates under command of Captain De Ternay and a military force under Comte D'Haussonville. It reached Newfoundland on June 20th, capturing St. John's, whose small British garrison capitulated, and then proceeded to destroy numerous fishing vessels and other property to the value of a million sterling (according to their own computation.) The Governor of the Island, Captain Graves, R.N., was absent in Placentia at the time. On receiving information of the French attack, he at once dispatched a vessel to notify Lord Colville in command of the North American squadron at Halifax, and General Amherst, Commander-in-chief, then stationed at New York. Colville immediately departed for Placentia, where he was joined by Capt. Graves and his vessel; after landing some marines to strengthen the garrison he sailed to St. John's where he established a blockade, though his force was inferior to that of the French; but it was so effectual that the latter were unable to reach the open sea. General Amherst received information at New York on July 20th, and, without awaiting orders from England, decided to equip an expedition to join Lord Colville and drive the French out of Newfoundland, though the American Colonies had been drained of troops, owing to the drafts sent to Havana under General Monckton. Amherst’s actions are best described in his own words, quoted from his personal Journal:—

August 8th — I determined to collect all the force I could to try to dislodge (them), for which I must drain Halifax and Louisbourg of their troops, and as it may he reasonably expected that Lord Colvill will be joyned by ships of war sufficient for him to take the troops under convoy, I ordered the Transports I had been preparing to be quite ready, and formed two Companys from the recovered men of those that came from Martinique.

He gave command of the force to his brother, Lieut.-Col. William Amherst. Quoting again from his Journal:—

August 14th.— Lt. Col. Amherst went on board the James and had seven Transports in all, including a vessel loaded with provisions. The six Transports were besides vitcualled for three months and watered for two, had bedding for two thirds of their complement and would hold upwards of 1000 men, exclusively of the Provision vessel at a Tun and a half per man.

Troops to form the Corps, officers included


New York 2 companys recovered men191   
|  3 companys Royal 257   
Halifax |  2 companys Montgomerys158   
|  Massachusetts Provincials 520   
|  Artillery 39   
Louisbourg5 companys 45th 395   
New YorkArtillery 19   



With a proportion of Artillery, intrenching Tools and as much as thought necessary.

The expedition left Sandy Hook on August 15th, General Amherst having sent word to London as to the steps he had taken. In course of time he received dispatches expressing marked approval of his action.

Col. William Amherst reached Halifax on August 26th, embarked troops and sailed for Louisbourg on Sept. 1st, where he arrived on the 5th. After taking on board more men, he sailed on the 7th and joined Lord Colville's squadron off Petty Harbor on the 11th. The troops were landed at Torbay, some miles north of St. John's, and an advance was made towards the latter, the French being driven from their outposts. As soon as the gut of Kitty Witty was cleared of vessels sunk by the enemy for the purpose of obstructing the passage, artillery was landed from the fleet for the use of the troops. In a few days St. John's was invested, and on the 18th Comte d’Haussonville asked for terms. Amherst demanded complete surrender and the French Commander yielded. The fleet under De Ternay managed to escape from the harbor in a fog, before the capitulation; the vessels were towed outside and sailed away, evading Lord Colville's vessels which were watching for them. De Ternay reached Europe in safety.

Fort William was again garrisoned with British troops, and Col. Amherst was able to sail on Oct. 2nd for New York, where he arrived on the 19th.

In concluding this account it is of interest to quote again from General Amherst’s Journal on receiving news of the victory:—

Oct. 13th — My brother is not more to bc commended for the judicious and unerring precautions he took in his landing, approaching and attacking the Fort, than in the attention he shewed to the Sea Service in making an opening that Lord Colville might concur to the Capitulation, though he was at a great distance and could not give any help towards it, wisely judging that every addition of credit that can be given from one Service to the other is increasing the respect due to His Majesty's Arms and adds to the honour of the whole.

The entire undertaking, though on a small scale, was faultlessly carried out and reflects the greatest credit on those who were responsible for its execution. It was a splendid example of harmonious and effective co-operation of the military and naval forces.

Lord Colville's bold decision to blockade the harbor of St. John's, even though his squadron was smaller than that of the enemy, secured control of the sea and prevented the escape of the French vessels to endanger the safety of the transports which he know must soon arrive with the troops. General Amherst’s promptness in raising and dispatching an expeditionary force, without awaiting orders from England, marks him as a Commander who was not afraid to take action in an emergency.

The rapidity of the advance of Col. Amherst’s force after landing at Torbay, and his seizure of the chief eminences which dominated the Fort of St. John's, held by the French, thus compelling their surrender, indicate that he exhibited skilful leadership.

The escape of the fleet was greatly regretted but it was due to the presence of a dense fog, and to no neglect on the part of Lord Colville's ships.


Aug. 15Weighed anchor from New York and got to the Watering place.

16thThe whole fleet sailed out of the Hook about noon.

18thLast night we sailed and the Brig. William parted company.

26thGot into Halifax; the Brig. William not arrived. Lord Colville sailed from hence the 10th and Lieut. Burns who sailed from New York with the General’s dispatches for his Lordship and others is not yet arrived.

27thMr. Burns, in armed Cutter sent here by Capt. Graves from Placentia, sailed back with my dispatches to Lord Colville. He was to deliver dispatches to Lieut. Col. Tulliken at Louisbourg on his way.
Lieut. Burns arrived here with the General’s dispatches. I took up shipping here to the amount of about 395 tons. Two captains of the Royal are ordered with the expedition instead of one, they being deficient in Subalterns. The two Captains of Montgomery's being here with their Companies Capt. Clarke does not take command of those Companies, as was ordered.

28thEmployed in making the detachment from the troops here, watering and completing the transports taken up.
Our transports filled their empty casks.

29thThe Brig William came in. Lieut. DesBarres ordered on the expedition as Assistant Engineer in the room of Ensign Bastide who is absent.
One month's provision for about 400 men is put on board the three transports I have taken up.
Examined a deserter who came in today from Louisbourg, having left the French on their march from the Bay of Bulls to St. Johns. He says their land force consists of the Grenadiers of five Regts, at about 45 men per Company; the rest of La Marine, making in the whole about 800 men. Three other deserters went off the same day with him.
Lts. Burns and Phillips sailed this afternoon in the Ordnance Schooner for Louisbourg.
The whole was embarked this evening except 150 Provincials who go on board the New London transport which is to be ready tomorrow evening.

30thA fair wind for a little while in the morning, but it did not continue long enough to get under sail, and remained contrary the whole day.

31stWeighed anchor at 6 o'clock in the morning; passed St. George's Island but was obliged to come to an anchor, the wind blowing; right into the harbour.


1stTurned out of the harbour.

2ndDispatched Mr. Beck, Midshipman of the Syren in the Sloop Cornwallis with a letter to Lord Colville. Received a letter from Col. Forster enclosing a copy of a letter from Lord Colville to him with some intelligence.
Remain still off the harbour, the wind contrary, and we have drove to leeward.

3rdThe wind came more in our favour.

5thGot into Louisbourg Harbour in the afternoon.

6thEmbarked the five Companies of the 45th Regt. Mr. Burns, whom I dispatched from Halifax on the 27th Aug. left Louisbourg the 2nd.
Ordered the Brig William and Sloop Dolphin loaded with stores for Placentia to proceed to that place. Took some timbers out of the New London transport that were ordered from Halifax to Placentia and put them on board the Schooner York, Carlisle, Master, and gave him orders to proceed to Placentia, and after delivering them to the proper Officers there, to return to Boston to be discharged by Mr. Hancock.
Gave out our next rendezvous between Cape Race and Cape Broyle, but not to the northward of Cape Broyle.

7thSailed out of the harbour in tie morning with a fair wind.

10thMade Cape Race.

11thThis morning at 2 o'clock Mr. Burns whom I had sent with my first dispatch to Lord Colville, spoke with us; he brought me a letter from his Lordship whom he had left the day before off Cape Broyle, and told us we were abreast of Cape Ballard, about three leagues distant.
We discovered his Lordship's fleet about 10 o'clock and joined them about 2 off Petty Harbour. I went immediately on board Lord Colvill 1 and we concerted measures together. The passage through the gut of Kitty Vitty, being so narrow as only to allow of one of our boats going in at a time, and having certain intelligence that the enemy had stopped up this passage, by sinking some Shallops, I was obliged to give up the determination I had made of landing here, and came to a resolution of landing in Torbay about eight miles to the northward. We lay to this night.

12thVery little wind in the morning. I went on board the Northumberland. Lord Colvill has provided a number of Shallops to bring our stores round from Torbay to Kitty Vitty, so soon as we have taken post and opened it. There being no anchoring for the Men of War or Transports off there, the getting these Shallops was a most absolutely necessary measure for the landing of everything, the path from Torbay to St. John's being narrow and bad, for a great part of the way, and the distance much too great to think of keeping a communication for bringing stores that way. I desired his Lordship to get as many of these Shallops as he could.
The wind freshened towards noon. I went aboard the Syren, and we looked into the Harbour of St. John's and to the opening of the gut of Kitty Vitty, whilst the Fleet and transports kept out. The Syren conducted the transports into Torbay and Lord Colvill with the rest of the Fleet kept out. The transports did not come to an anchor before dark.
I went out of the Syren in a boat, before we came to an anchor, and viewed the Bay; found the bottom of it a very good place to land at. Commanded a good deal by hills to the right and left, upon which a few men shewed themselves. The path to St. John's turned short up a hill to the left. I immediately prepared everything for landing early the next morning. Lord Colvill had sent in all the Men of War's boats, and these with the Shallops and transports’ boats, were divided amongst the several Corps.
Captain Douglas ordered them all to the transports.
I intended that three Corps of Light Infantry should land just as the moon arose, to take possession of the commanding ground to the left, and they had their boats ready for that purpose, hut it came on to blow hard out of the harbour at night and several of the transports drove, and the boats were separated from them.

13thIt was 6 o'clock in the morning before they could be collected together.
The Snow Peggy with tho Provincial Corps of Light Infantry on board. drove quite out of the harbour, so that they could not land with us. We got boats sufficient to land at once the two Corps of Light Infantry and two regular Battns except one Company. When the boats were all at their rendezvous by Capt. Douglas' ship, I got into his boat and hoisted a pendant as a signal for landing, when the Corps of Light Infantry with the Light Infantry Companies of the Royal and Montgomery's, who were drawn up in their boats a little ahead of the battalions rowed into the shore followed by the Battalions.
The parties upon the hills fired at the boats as they rowed in at a great distance; the boats took no notice of them, landed, seized a rising ground a little to the right of the bay, and were fired upon by a party assembled half way up the hill to the left. Two Companies formed immediately upon the rising ground, gave the enemy line fire who ran off immediately and we pursued them up the hill, where we formed till the Battalions were landed.
Our march for four miles was through a very thick wood, the path very narrow, and several swamps in the way. The country opened afterwards, and I marched over the hills to the left down to the Grove and Kitty Vitty. We passed through a wood to get to the Grove, the road very narrow, and upon opening the Grove, as we were filing off to the left towards Kitty Vitty, I perceived a body of the enemy marching upon the hills to our right. Between us and the Fort.
I brought up immediately those that had filed off and marched in front to gain the hills between us and the enemy. The wood on the top was so very thick and difficult to pass that I really believe four men of the whole were not together to see one another. I persisted in making my way through the wood, and we came down to a very deep swamp, level for some distance and the wood not so thick as on the hills. In an instant the whole line to my surprise, indeed, were very well formed, so well that I should have been glad if the enemy had met us there, but they retired towards the Fort. I marched through the swamp, got upon the hills we crossed before on our way to the Grove, came across the path and proceeded down it to the Grove.
I drew up my right close to Kitty Vitty pass, running over little rising grounds, with a farm house; a very good post upon our left.
So soon as I had taken post, a party of the enemy came down a hill on the other side of Kitty Vitty pass, and fired upon us repeatedly. I kept the men under cover of the ground, and not a shot was returned by us, whilst I ordered a party to ascend a small precipice upon our right which looked down very closely upon the side of the hill on the other side. Under cover of the fire of the party, I pushed over the river two Companies of Light Infantry, Royal and Montgomery's, supported by the Grenadiers of the Royal. The enemy gave way upon the first fire of the party and the Companies passed the river without receiving a single shot, pushed up the hill after the enemy and pursued them towards another party of the enemy that I saw coming down the pathway from St. John's to support the runaways.
I sent over immediately the remainder of the 1st battalion to ascend the hill we had gained, in support of our Companies. The party of the enemy that came to support turned back, and we took post with these Companies on ground that cut the enemy off entirely from Kitty Vitty. We took some prisoners, killed and wounded several.
Capt. McKenzie received a very bad wound. We did not lose one man.

14thI went round our posts at Kitty Vitty, the ground exceeding strong.
The Signal Hill which overlooks this and the whole ground to the Fort, we must gain. The enemy appeared there, fired some popping shots at our posts; they have two small pieces there.
I ordered this evening after dusk Capt. McDonald's Light Infantry and the Provincial Light Infantry to march from the Grove to Kitty Vitty, and so soon as the moon was up, to march to surprise the enemy on Signal Hill. Our posts in advance were ready to support them. This night the enemy threw two or three shells at Kitty Vitty, from Signal Hill. Some of the enemy appeared on Gibbet Hill which is between Signal Hill and the Fort. Some Shallops came in this day with stores from the transports. Lieut. Col. Tulliken came with them. He had been left sick on board the James. Capt. Ferguson came in also and brought round some part of the Artillery stores, with four of the 6-Pounders. I put one of them with the Battalions in the Grove and one at our advanced post at Kitty Vitty.
I fixed an Hospital and places for the stores here.

15thJust at peep of day Capt. McDonald had ascended Signal Hill, surprised the enemy and drove them from it. He passed their advanced sentries, got up a precipice where the men were obliged to shove one another up. The enemy gave them a fire and we never returned a shot, till we had gained the summit and these two Companies drove three Companies of the French Grenadiers and two pickets from the most advantageous ground I ever saw — really, almost inaccessible. Their second in command, Lieut. Col. Belcombe, commanded these and was very badly wounded.
They had many killed and wounded, a Captain of Grenadiers wounded and taken.
McDonald wounded, Lieut. Schuyler killed with three or four men and about 18 wounded. We took six prisoners and three wounded.
I reinforced this post with the Light Infantry of the Royal, Montgomery's and Royal Grenadiers. The day so very foggy, we could have no clear view from this post. Col. Tulliken went up there, and advanced to a hill in front of it, about a quarter of a mile, which appeared to open the harbour more. He sent me word at night that he had heard the enemy very busy with their ships, as if they were going out. The wind blew right out.

16thLieut. Col. Tulliken sent me word that the (French) shipping were out of the harbor, as I was going up to him. We advanced to Gibbet Hill, which the enemy had quitted, and which gives us a dear view of the Fort and environs and looks down upon the Harbour.
The hill between this and Signal Hill, which Tulliken advanced to first, descends very steep to the narrow entrance of the Harbour.
Our taking possession of this drove the ships out.
Lord Colvill’s fleet appeared some distance off the harbour. The Fort is so exposed to us, forward from this ground, that it is impossible for the enemy to live in the Fort when once our batteries are up. Shells alone must ruin them. Twenty nine Shallops are coming in with Artillery stores, Camp equipage, Provisions, etc., from Torbay. We land them as fast as they come in.
I had no idea from what I saw of the Fleet that the enemy could possibly think seriously of defending it.
Therefore, concluded that they had embarked what we had left of their Grenadier Companies, and with Le Comte D'Haussonville, the Chief in command to return to France, leaving a pitiful garrison to blow up the Fort, and get off in some vessels remaining in the Harbour as well as they could. Concluding they would not venture to blow up the Fort before the ships got out, as it would have been a signal of their getting out to Lord Colvill.
I was the more confirmed in this by intelligence I received from a man at St. John’s, that the garrison were actually undermining the Fort.
I sent the Commanding Officer in the garrison a message, that I knew his intentions, and how miserable a state the garrison was, and that if he did not deliver up the Fort in the state it then was, but attempted to put a match to the train, his retreat was cut off and every man should be put to the sword. He sent me an answer not denying his intentions, but saying he would hold out till he had expended his ammunition. Haussonville is left, which, indeed, I could not have believed.
I marched immediately the Battalions from the Grove, by the left, to the other side of the water, as it was determined we should approach this way; and their ground was ,the right to Kitty-Vitty pond, the left to a post within Gibbet Hill, where I had posted this morning the Provincial Light Infantry. The ground appears to cover them from the Fort, and by this we get near to our intended batteries. The whole got to their ground just after dark, undiscovered from the Fort, and we lay this night on our Arms. I have left the pass of Kitty Vitty so guarded that nothing can come in that way, to interrupt our disembarking of stores.

17thA bomb battery and a Gun battery marked out about 500 yards from the Fort in front of the Camp. Some mortars landed. The road is making. Everything to be got up this afternoon to open the mortar battery tonight. I am of the opinion that we should not open fire till we get our guns up.
It is decreed that we may open it, as I agree to it, as I think the place is not respectable enough to make it of consequence whether we begin or not. An immense deal of work done today to open the battery. Seven cohorns, six Royals and one 8 inch Mortar are ready.

18thThrew a great many shells last night into the Fort. The enemy fired at our batteries and threw a few shells; two men killed.
Le Comte D'Haussonville sent out an Officer with a letter to me this morning, desiring to know what terms of Capitulation he might expect, as he should be determined by my answer to hold out or not. I sent Capt. Clarke with a letter to the Officer, in which I told Comte D'Haussonville that the only terms were to surrender Prisoners of War. He agreed to it, and we settled the articles in a very short time. Lord Colville being so far out, I had not time to send for him, and as it was necessary to finish this matter as soon as possible. I therefore took it all upon myself till Lord Colvill should be present to sign the Capitulation.
I ordered Major Sutherland with the Grenadiers of the Royal and 45th and Light Infantry Companies of the Royal and Montgomery's to take possession of the Gate this afternoon, and see the garrison lay down their Arms.

19thIn the morning Lord Colvill came to an anchor in the Harbour.
I shewed him all my proceedings in regard to the Capitulation, all which he highly approved of.

20thWrote my letters to England, which I sent by Capt. Campbell.

21stConcerted measures with Lord Colvill for embarking the French troops, and for sending our own from whence we took them. Yesterday the Superbe, Bedford, Shrewsbury and Minerva came in from England. They sailed on August 12th.
The James and Fanny, transports, destined to take on board the French troops.

22ndWe have been embarking all the Artillery and stores landed, and bringing them round from Kitty Vitty to St. John's harbour in Shallops.

23rdThe French troops embarked this morning, amounting in all, to 770. Capt. Maxwell's and Macdonald's Companies embarked on board the Gosport, Man of War, and Brig William for New York.
The Syren sailed with our dispatches to England.

24thThe French troops sailed.

26thWe have not been able to get the remainder of Artillery stores out of Kitty Vitty, from the great surf there.
Lieut. Col. Tulliken with the two Companies of the 45th Regiment embarked this day and sailed for Louisbourg.

29thThe Shallops from Kitty Vitty with Artillery and stores could not come round till this evening.

30thThe Regulars and Provincials for Halifax embarked.

Oct. 1stThey sailed conveyed by the Minerva Frigate.

2ndHaving settled everything regarding the garrison and taken leave of Lord Colvill after the uninterrupted harmony that has subsisted between us, which he mentioned at our parting, I went on board the Enterprise, and sailed out of the Harbour in the afternoon.

19thArrived at New York.


exchanged between Col. Amherst and the French Commander.

Col. Amherst to the French Commander.
Camp before St John's,
Sept. 16,1672.

Humanity directs me to acquaint you of my firm intentions. I know the miserable state your garrison is left in and am fully informed of your design of blowing up the fort on quitting it; but have a care, as I have taken measures effectually to cut off your retreat, and so sure as a match is put to the train, every man of the garrison shall be put to the sword. I must have immediate possession of the fort in the state it now is, or expect the consequences.
I give you half an hour to think of it.
I have the honour to be Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Wm. Amherst
To the officer commanding in St. John's.
Count D'Haussonville to Col. Amherst 2
Sept. 16, 1672.
With regard to the conduct that I shall hold, you may, sir, be misinformed. I wait for your troops and your cannon; and nothing shall determine me to surrender the fort unless you shall have totally destroyed it and that I shall have no more powder to fire.
I have the honour to be Sir,
Your most humble and most obedient servant,
The Count D'Haussonville.
Count D'Haussonville to Lieut.-Col. Amherst.
Under the uncertainty of the succors which I may receive either from France or its allies, and the Fort being entire and in a condition for a long defence, I am resolved to defend myself to the last extremity. The capitulation which you may think proper to grant me, will determine me to surrender the place to you, in order to prevent the effusion of blood of the men who defend it. Whatever resolution you come to, there is one left to me, which would hurt the interests of the Sovereign you serve.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Le Compte D'Haussonville.
Fort St. John,
Sept. 18, 1762.
Col. Amherst to Count D'Haussonville.
Camp before St. John's,
Sept. 18, 1762.
I have just had the honour of your letter. His Britannick Majesty's fleet and army co-operating here will not give any other terms to the garrison of St. John's than their surrendering Prisoners of war. I don't thirst after the blood of the garrison but you must determine quickly or expect the consequences for this is my final determination.
I am Sir &c.,
Wm. Amherst.
To Count D'Haussonville.
Count D'Haussonville to Col. Amherst.
Sept. 18,1762.
I have received sir your letter which you did me the honour to write to me. I am as averse as you to the effusion of blood. I consent to surrender the fort in a good condition as I have already acquainted you, if the demands which I enclose herewith are granted to my troops.
I have the honour &c.,
Le Compte D'Haussonville.


Demands of the garrison of St. John's and, in general, the troops that are in it:—

The French troops shall surrender prisoners of war.— Agreed to.
The officers and subaltern officers shall keep their arms to preserve order among their troops.—Agreed to.
Good ships shall be granted to carry the officers, grenadiers, and private men, either wounded or not, to France in the space of one month, on the coast of Brittany.—Agreed to.
(Lord Colvill will, of course, embark them as soon as he can).
The goods and effects of both officers and soldiers shall be preserved.
Her Britannick Majesty's troops never pillage.
The gate will be taken possession of this afternoon, and the garrison will lay down their arms.
This is to be signed by Lord Colvill, but it will remain at present as afterwards, in full force.
Camp before St. John's, 18 Sept., 1762.
Wm. Amherst
Le Compte D'Haussonville

Total of the French Troops made Prisoners in St John's Fort.
1 colonel, 1 lieut.-colonel, 13 captains, 13 lieutenants, 4 ensigns, 27 sergeants, 45 corporals, 40 sub-corporals, 12 drummers, 553 fusiliers.

M. Le Compte D'Haussonville-----------------Colonel.
M. De Bellecombe-------------------------------Lieut.-Colonel.
M. De Mongore----------------------------------Major and Adjutant.
M. Seire-------------------------------------------Engineer.
Henry----------------------------------------------Surgeon Major.


Return of the killed, wounded, and missing of the troops under the command of Lieut.-Col. Amherst, from the 15th Sept. inclusive.

Captain Maxwell’s light infantry.—3 rank and file killed; 10 rank and file wounded.

Captain McDonnell’s light infantry.—3 rank and file killed; 1 lieutenant, 1 sergeant, 5 rank and file killed; 1 captain, 15 rank and file wounded.

Captain Barrow's provincial light infantry.—1 rank and file killed; 3 rank and file wounded.

First battalion—2 captains, 1 sergeant, 1 drummer, 3 rank and file wounded.

Second battalion—1 rank and file killed; 1 rank and file wounded.

Provincial battalion—1 rank and file killed.

Total, 1 lieutenant and 11 rank and file killed; 3 captains, 2 sergeants, 1 drummer, 32 rank and file wounded.


Lieut. Schuyler, of the Royal Americans killed.
Captain McDonnell,3 of Frazer’s; Captain Baillie, of the Royals;
Captain McKenzie, of Montgomery's, wounded.



Page contributed by Chris Morry

Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (May 6, 2003)

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