Ft William Henry Massacre as a French Fault Essay

This essay has a total of 1259 words and 5 pages.


Ft William Henry Massacre as a French Fault






In the act of war, men are in conflict with each other over certain things and fighting is
a way to remedy this. However, every decent man knows that there are certain codes of
chivalry that one is upheld to during an act of war. These are basic codes of respect and
rationality that go along with fighting. Theses are rules of conduct that characterize a
gentleman. At Ft. William Henry, the Marquis de Montcalm and the French army violated
these manners of war. The French demonstrated the curtsey of barbarians when they allowed
the English to be brutally massacred by Indians as they left Ft. William Henry in retreat.

Major General Webb was the commanding officer at the Fort William Henry, until he decided
to leave for Ft. Edward a few miles away, taking a good number of men with him. This left
the fort in the hands of Colonel Monro and Colonel Young and about 2,300 men, and only
about half of these men were fit for duty. The fort was bombarded with a garrison of over
7, 500 French soldiers and Indian allies. Monro held out for four days, and did not
decide to seek terms with the French until he was notified that reinforcements were not
available to Monro at the time.

Monro agreed to the terms for surrender given by Montcalm. The British were to leave the
fort entirely, accept for the wounded that were to be returned to them as soon as they
were seen healthy. The British could leave honorably to nearby Ft. Edward with their
arms, but without ammunition. They carry their flags away with honor as long as agreed not
to fight for 18 months. Monro accepted the terms of surrender given by Montcalm, as they
were respectful and honorable. Mono also had little choice in matters because he was
outnumbered by nearly three to one, without possible chance of reinforcements. The terms
allowed the British to be defeated without a loss of their moral or dignity. No one would
be taken prisoner. The terms were discussed like gentleman while battle was put on hold.
The terms of the agreement were in fact so good, that they now seem suspicious. As it
turned out, Montcalm went back on his word, and turned his back on human decency as well.

As is all too well known, the British company did not make it very far in their retreat to
Ft. Edward. No sooner had the British left the fort than they were brutally attacked by a
large band of Indians. The helpless British troops could do little to defend themselves
from the ravage Indians, as they were murdered and scalped. They had no ammunition, and
were leaving in a peaceful fashion with innocent women and children, as they had agreed
upon with the French and their allies. Why would the French allow this horrible crime to
be committed on their civilized counterparts?

The Indians come from a different culture than the white man. They do not understand the
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