Monday, March 27, 2017

The Battle of Fort Bull

In early 1756 French military leaders in Canada decided to send a raiding expedition to attack Fort Bull, which was built to defend a portion of the waterway connecting Albany, New York to Lake Ontario via the Mohawk River.  
On March 12, a company of men left Fort de La Présentation and began an overland trek toward the Oneida Carry. Under the command of Lieutenant Gaspard-Joseph de Léry, a Canadian-born seigneur, the force consisted of 84 troupes de la Marine, 111 Canadian militiamen, and 110 natives, mostly Iroquois. After nearly two weeks of difficult winter travel, they arrived near the carry on March 24.

Early on March 27, Léry's men captured twelve British men near Fort Bull. Learning from the prisoners of Bull's minimal defenses, he decided to immediately attack. 
As he had no field pieces, the only possibility was to attempt storming the fort by surprise. The fort's defenders managed to get its gate closed just before the French force arrived. The attackers managed to fire through loopholes in the fort's walls to distract the garrison, which responded by throwing rocks and grenades over the walls. 
After the defenders refused several calls to surrender, the gate was taken down by the use of axes, and the attackers stormed into the fort. Nearly all of the small garrison was killed and scalped. Léry's men set fire to the fort, which included several thousand pounds of gunpowder and destroyed the wooden fort.

Image result for French in the forest
French In The Forest by Randy Steele

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