National Geographic : 1967 May
invulnerable from its landward side. Secure in this knowledge, the French hadn't trained their cannon in that direction. But nobody had told the amateurs from New England. By hand they dragged their artillery through waist-deep mud, and their sweating, strain ing backs bore every ounce of their supplies. Bursting out of the trees before the fortress, they set up their batteries and, after a 46-day siege, the demoralized French capitulated. The Americans' incredible feat of overcoming European regulars de fending a fortress regarded as im pregnable excited little notice. Old World generals, ever bedazzled by the drill field, continued to despise the independent and intractable American soldiery. Had British statesmen properly evaluated the achievement of the Yankees at Louisbourg in 1745, they might not have underestimated their sons 31 years later, and history might have followed another course. A treaty signed at Aix la Chapelle in 1748 restored Louisbourg to France, but ten years later-in a dress rehearsal for the fateful at tack on Quebec that would decide North America's destiny-British troops conquered the ill-starred stronghold. In 1760, Royal Engi neers blew up Louisbourg's one and a half miles of fortifications; the task took seven months. Shipwreck's Gift: Irish Names From Louisbourg, rising from its bleak grave to enjoy a second life, the jade waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence stretched away to Gaspe Bay, where Jacques Cartier had planted a cross in 1534 and claimed all Canada for France. In the years that followed, sturdy Breton fishermen settled on the rocky Gaspe Peninsula, which juts into the gulf like a petulant lower lip. For four centuries their descend ants have taken cod from the gulf, salmon from the clear rivers, and crops from the marginal soil. Slashi scorch While the peninsula is over- o Hockey whelmingly Roman Catholic and onA French-speaking, subsequent waves rubber of immigration have left their mark. sters ci The town of Gaspe, founded by indoor American Loyalists who fought forat beside the British in the Revolution, retains a Yankee flavor; at Metis Beach I found a neat and prosperous English-Scottish village clus tered about its Presbyterian Church. Just outside Cap des Rosiers, a small rose colored marble stone commemorates "187 Irish immigrants from Sligo wrecked here on April 28th, 1847." The survivors lingered in the area, and today many a French-speaking citizen of Cap des Rosiers bears an Irish name. ng skates, thwack of stick meeting stick, lungs ing with cold: To Canadian boys, winter means ice , a sport their nation originated. Here atHavre Aubert herst Island in the Magdalens, a lad drives the hard puck before menacing defenders. Canadian young loose up sides to play zestfully on frozen lakes, rivers, rinks, or ponds-and dream of one day "facing off" op professional team.