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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'Wolfe's Bitter Legacy' by Todayinah Ed.
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed. says, What if General Wolfe had survived the Siege of Quebec?. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.

July 27

In 1759, British General James Wolfe started the siege of Quebec.

Two French traitors told Wolfe and his men about a secret cove used for riverside unloading, at the base of the cliffs west of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. After an extensive yet unsuccessful shelling of the city, Wolfe then led 200 ships with 9000 soldiers and 18 000 sailors on a very bold and risky amphibious landing. Wolfe had been betrayed, his men were met by French under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm. Wolfe was shot in the chest and died just as the battle was lost. He reportedly heard cries of 'We run,' and thus died miserable that the British had been defeated. The Battle of the Cove is notable for causing the deaths of the top military commander on each side: Montcalm died the next day from his wounds. Montcalm's victory at Quebec prevented an assault on the French at Montreal the following year. With the cancellation of that plan, French rule in North America continued uninterrupted by British belligerance.

June 27
In 1759, British General James Wolfe started the siege of Quebec. He failed to take the City, and New France survives to this day, a Francophone pocket in North America.

February 17

In 2009, on this day André Juneau, the Head of the National Battlefields Commission of Canada confirmed that the re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham would proceed during the summer despite security concerns that the mock battle could turn into a modern-day conflict. The federal body, which is responsible for the Plains site outside the fortified walls of Quebec City, had investigated threats from sovereigntists that a commemorative recreation of the 1759 battle would no longer welcome on the original battlefield site. Two thousand enthusiasts from around the world - including fifty aboriginal re-enactors from North America - were expected in Quebec for an event likely to generate c$30 million in tourism revenue.
Watch the Canadian People's History

Mock Battle of the Plains of Abraham goes ahead despite security fearsCriticizing the event as a slap in the face for Quebecers of French ancestry, the two sovereignist groups Parti Québécois and Bloc Québécois threatened violents acts to mark the anniversary. Sylvain Rocheleau, a spokesperson for Le Réseau du résistance du Québécois, said he was surprised the event had not been cancelled. "We were a bit surprised that they confirmed the event given the fear of violent acts," said Rocheleau. He said any threats of violence or confrontation came from a small minority of the overall movement against the re-enactment.

"The sovereigntists view it [the Siege of Quebec] as a humiliating defeat".The population of Upper Canada were not the only people to object to the event, and the probability of relocating the event in the United States was remote in the extreme. Because General James Wolfe is almost universally viewed as a war criminal throughout North America. In "Wolfe's Manifesto" the General pledged "If, by accident in the river, by the enemy's resistance, by sickness or slaughter in the army, or, from any other cause, we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering however to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me. But we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner".

Twenty years later, Wolfe would use the same ruthless tactics against another set of "scoundrels" known as George Washington's Continental Army..

September 12

In 1759, on this day Major-General James Wolfe issued his final orders to the nine thousand troops of the British Army garrisoned on the St Lawrence River some eleven miles from the fortified city of Quebec, urging them to remember "what their country expects from them, and what a determined body of soldiers, inured to war, is capable of doing against five weak French battalions mingled with disorderly peasantry".
Watch the Youtube Clip of Canada: A People's History - Plains of Abraham

Suicide MissionIn fact the British were outnumbered by General Louis-Joseph Marquis de Montcalm's twelve thousand defenders who were entrenched behind sound defences in the city. Wolfe's plan was nothing less than a suicide mission, a nine-mile descent of the St Lawrence under cover of darkness, followed by an amphibious assault on the cliff-backed Foulon Cove.

"Are at all times to imitate them in that respect"Wolfe's no-nonsense "volley and bayonet" tactics had been adapted from military minds such as Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII. And the stunning success of the thirty-two year Major-General would prefigure his rise to the highest ranks of the British Army; as Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolution Wolfe would decisively defeat an even more formidable foe by the name of George Washington.

March 4

In 1759, Brigadier General James Wolfe wrote a letter to Major General Jeffrey Amherst in which he said ~

Wolfe's Manifesto"If, by accident in the river, by the enemy's resistance, by sickness or slaughter in the army, or, from any other cause, we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering however to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me. But we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner".

On 23 January, 1758 James Wolfe was appointed as a brigadier general, and sent with Major General Jeffrey Amherst to lay siege to Fortress of Louisbourg in New France (located in present-day Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia). Wolfe's distinguished himself in preparations for the assault, the initial landing and in the aggressive advance of siege batteries. The French capitulated in June of that year.

As Wolfe had comported himself admirably at Louisbourg, William Pitt the Elder chose him to lead the British assault on Quebec City the following year, with the rank of major general. The British army laid siege to the city for three months. During that time, Wolfe issued a written document, known as Wolfe's Manifesto, to the French-Canadian (Quebecois) civilians, as a part of his strategy of psychological intimidation. In March 1759, prior to arriving at Quebec Wolfe wrote these cruel words to Amherst. When these threats were carried out, Wolfe grew the evil reputation he has in North America today, far, far worse than another Brigadier General, Benedict Arnold whose turncoat was but a trifle by comparison.

Yet his reputation in Great Britain was untarnished by these atrocities, "Who, at the Expence of his Life, purchas'd immortal Honour for his Country, and planted,with his own Hand, the British Laurel, in the inhospitable Wilds of North America, By the Reduction of Quebec, Septr. 13th. 1759".

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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.