Bradstreet's Capture of Fort Frontenac

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Bradstreet's Capture of Fort Frontenac

BRADSTREET'S CAPTURE OF FORT FRONTENAC. 27 August 1758. Seeking a victory in the aftermath of the disastrous British attack on Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) on 7 July 1758, Major General James Abercromby ordered Lieutenant Colonel John Bradstreet to lead 3,100 provincial troops and bateaumen (armed transporters of military supplies who are also capable of offensive and defensive action) in a lightning raid to destroy Fort Frontenac (at Cataraqui, now Kingston, Ontario). Located at the point where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River, the fort controlled the French line of communications to their western posts, including Fort Duquesne (against which the expedition led by Brigadier General John Forbes was then advancing) and Fort Niagara. Bradstreet, who had been planning such a raid for two years, overcame significant logistical obstacles to demonstrate that an Anglo-American force could move rapidly across long distances in the backcountry, even when encumbered with a small train of artillery. The force reached Oswego in mid-August and departed on the 22nd, rowing in bateaux and whaleboats along the shore of Lake Ontario before crossing to Cataraqui on the 25th. A few small cannon, placed in impromptu siege lines, compelled the garrison of perhaps 150 men to surrender on 27 August the key to French influence in the interior. After destroying the fort and its stock of supplies intended for posts farther west, Bradstreet's force was back at its starting point, the Oneida Carrying Place, by 13 September.

SEE ALSO Forbes's Expedition to Fort Duquesne.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gipson, Lawrence Henry. The Great War for the Empire: The Victorious Years, 1758–1760. New York, A.A. Knopf, 1949.

                             revised by Harold E. Selesky