The Battle of Quebec took place on September 13, 1759. The French Army was led by the Marquis de Montcalm and the English Army by Major-General James Wolfe.

This was only one battle in what American historians call the "French and Indian War".  The Seven Years' War (1756 - 1763), fought in North America, is the name used by Canadians and the British to describe the same war. Three major sieges and subsequent captures by the British were at Louisbourg (1758), Quebec City (1759), and Montreal (1760).

The siege and capture of Quebec by Major-General James Wolfe was a victory which determined the matter of French rule in Canada - it changed the destiny of a continent.

James Wolfe wrote a letter to his uncle while at Louisbourg en route to Quebec. He remarked that the French would concentrate their major efforts on Quebec, "as the loss of the capital implies the loss of the colony"(Whitton p. 245). This prediction, while not entirely correct and though Wolfe did not live to see it, the loss of Quebec was the major blow to France in North America.

Quebec City, the only walled city in North America, is situated on the "rock of Quebec" which is the northeast end of a long, narrow triangular promontory, to the north of which lies the valley of the St. Charles and to the south that of the St. Lawrence. The incline on the St. Charles side is not as steep as the cliffs up from the St. Lawrence. The cliff near the citadel is 350 feet high and almost vertical. The only access to the top of the cliff is from steep, narrow trails. On top of the cliffs, at the east end, sits the fortified city, including the citadel (fort). Cannons line the walls down towards the St. Charles river. The harbour sits below the city and thus supplies could reach the city either by road from the west or boat from Montreal to Quebec via the St. Lawrence River.

Montcalm, the French commander who occupied the city, had blocked entrance to the St. Charles River and farther eastward, just west of the Montmorency River and Falls, he had installations and armies. Montcalm expected that Wolfe would try to attack from the St. Charles River area as this was the most accessible.

Wolfe did try to attack but the cannons and fortifications between the Montmorency and St. Charles Rivers did not allow him to land. Between September 3 - 12, Wolfe floated his boats up and down in front of the city several times. This panicked the French and caused them to constantly be on the move to protect against an English landing.

On September 12 part of Wolfe's army in boats bombarded the eastern areas (Beauport) and Montcalm sent many of his troops in response. At the same time Wolfe and other boats were floating quietly towards the cliffs up river. While they were challenged by sentinels on shore, Wolfe's men answered in French and the ruse was successful. They overpowered the guards and started their ascent up the steep cliff. Wolfe had sighted this path two days earlier and had planned his attack. A group of first climbers overpowered and chased off a guard of a hundred men at the top. By sunrise 4500 English soldiers awaited a fight. The battle didn't last long, both commanders - French and English - died of wounds sustained that day. The English were victorious and on September 17, 1759 the remaining French garrison surrendered and the British flag flew above the citadel.

While the battle of Quebec in 1759 was not much more than a clash from the viewpoint of warfare, it resulted in permanent peace for Canada under British governance.

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