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Summary Article: Montcalm, Louis Joseph de from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(mŏntkäm', Fr. lwē zhôzĕf' də môNkälm'), 1712–59, French general. His name in fuller form was Louis Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, marquis de Saint-Véran. A veteran of the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession, he was sent (1756) to defend Canada in the French and Indian War (see French and Indian Wars. His position was subordinate to that of the marquis de Vaudreuil de Cavagnal, governor of New France, and protests to the home authorities against the dishonesty of the provincial administration and the evil consequences of divided command were without avail. Montcalm's capture of Fort Ontario at Oswego (1756) restored control of Lake Ontario to France, and he besieged and captured (1757) Fort William Henry on Lake George. This victory was marred by the massacre of English prisoners by his Native American allies, although Montcalm finally restored order at the risk of his life. In 1758 he concentrated a force of 3,800 at Ticonderoga and successfully withstood an attack by a large British force under Gen. James Abercromby. In 1759, still handicapped by Vaudreuil's interference, Montcalm successfully defended Quebec against the siege of Gen. James Wolfe until the strategy of the English effected an open engagement (see Abraham, Plains of). The British were victorious (Sept. 13, 1759), but both Wolfe and Montcalm were killed.

  • A classic account is that of Parkman, F., Montcalm and Wolfe (1884, repr. 1965). See also biography by M. L. Lewis (1961);.
  • Wood, W., The Passing of New France (1914).

See also bibliography under French and Indian Wars.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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