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FROM THE RAMPARTS ... The Fifth Dispatch

Twin Towers Atrocity Marks This Generation

I had gone over to Fort William Henry last Sunday, (9/16/'01). It was the most beautiful day that I had ever spent there. A cloudless blue sky and gentle Fall sunlight. The courtyard was lit with a wonderful glow. But from every pole our flag flew alone at half mast. There were some visitors and since I was in period clothing, they came up to me and we exchanged pleasantries. I did not speak to them about the fort or the massacre or any history because I didn't know what to say. I was tasting the great fear.
After the Fort William Henry Massacre and after the incidents at Lexington and Concord our people experienced this "great fear". It is the fear of being consumed by a merciless foe. It is the fear of being helpless to do anything about it. It is the fear for our families and country. It is the fear that things will never be the same.
A few weeks ago I wrote about those singular events that had defined our past generations. From Fort William Henry to Pearl Harbor these were "remembrances". Now we have our own remembrance.
Our generation has just experienced an event that is equal to any of those major moments in our history. The difference this time is that all of those other disasters were military targets and (deep down) the shock of a military target being taken is not as terrible as that which we have recently experienced.
It has been published that my fathers' generation was the finest. After all that has gone on in the last two weeks in the way that we have come together in our patriotism, generosity, resolve and grief, I feel that we are now the finest generation and that all of our ancestors belonged to the "finest generation" in their time.
The little fort at the head of the Lake George has been resurrected and is an icon of long ago days of terror. Since history repeats itself, the Twin Towers may be victims of terror but they will also be icons of victory. I have been shown a very moving display that Fort William Henry is installing this week in the "crypt" of the courtyard where five victims of the massacre were found. This display is part of planned projects whose purpose will be to enhance the site experience for all visitors. Museum curator Jerry Bradfield [SEE REVIEW OF HIS BOOK] has given me an overview of plans that will be innovative and exciting additions to Fort William Henry.

My warmest regards, Tim

Historic Reburial & Inauguration In Quebec City!

The inaugural date concerning the ceremonies in Québec City about the newly discovered Seven Years War Cemetery I did talk to you long time ago is schedule for Thursday, 11 October 2001 at 16 hours (4.00 PM).

All of the F&I War reenactors are invited to join us for this once in a life time experience. They must arrived first at the cemetery located at 260 Boulevard Langelier in Québec City at 1.00 PM.

The ceremonies under the presidency of Québec Prime Minister, Monsieur Bernard Landry, with the diplomatic corps (France and United Kingdom) will be divide in two parts :

1- A funeral convoy and the translation of the remains of Louis-Joseph marquis de Montcalm to the small Québec General Hospital Cemetery, burial ground of over one thousand soldiers, sailors and Canadian militias of Montcalm's army.
2 - The inauguration of the Seven Years War Memorial on which monument are inscribe by regiments, the names of all Montcalm's soldiers being buried in the cemetery. There are also some Wolfe's soldiers buried in the cemetery so their names are also inscribed on the memorial.

We will proceed at the translation of the remains of Lieutenant General Montcalm, commander in chief of the French army in North America during the Seven Years War. After being mortally wounded at the battle of the Plains of Abraham (September 13, 1759), he died the day after and was buried in the chapel of the Ursulines nuns.

A funeral convoy with Montcalm's coffin and music will leave the Ursulines chapel nuns at 4.00 PM (rue du Parloir) and the procession will walk (with military music band) through the old city in direction of the cemetery.

We will then transfer his remains into a sarcophagus inside a specially build mausoleum. Montcalm's Mausoleum is inside the cemetery which still belongs to the Augustine's nuns. In doing so, Montcalm will be reunited with his soldiers, 242 years later.

After that ceremony with the Archbishop of Québec, people will be invited to walk 75 feet inside the cemetery for the inauguration of the Seven Years War Memorial.

Here are the majors characteristics of the cemetery :

1 - It is the only cemetery left in the world to bear witness of the Seven Years War, the real first world war (550 000 dead). We do have the names of over one thousand soldiers of Montcalm's army.
2 - It hold in its entrails the highest of concentration in the world of Knights of Saint-Louis (Chevaliers de Saint-Louis), the highest French military decoration before the Révolution. There are 17 of them (18 with Montcalm).
3 - The registration by the Augustine's nuns of the dead simple soldiers (not only the aristocrats) and the maintenance of their burial ground since 242 years was a first in history of mankind. They kept their secret for 240 years.
4 - The cemetery was open in 1710, the oldest in Quebec City and still in use although it is very small (150 feet X 250 feet)
5 - It is the oldest war cemetery in Canada and was declared in 1999, a "National Historical Site" by the federal government.

In the future, this national site of memory will become THE site for all kind of commemoration and historical celebration about New-France. It is really an open air museum with its historical panels, historical plaques, the Memorial, the Montcalm's Mausoleum, the big sculpture of Pascale Archambault Passage without return (Traversée sans retour), etc.

I will be grateful to you if you can inform your reenactors friends of that very special event and tell them they are welcome.


Sincerely yours,

Jean-Yves Bronze
Counsellor
Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec

THE FORT DISPATCHES:

ON THE SCENE AT FORT WILLIAM HENRY

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... FIRST DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SECOND DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... THIRD DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... FOURTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SIXTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... SEVENTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... EIGHTH DISPATCH

FROM THE RAMPARTS ... NINTH DISPATCH

LAKE GEORGE/FORT AREA MAP

ORIGINAL TIM CORDELL HISTORICAL FICTION:

See a relic from the bottom of Lake George!

FOR A DETAILED LOOK AT SOME OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORK AT FORT WILLIAM HENRY- AND OTHER F&I WAR SITES - GO TO:

CONTACT:

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SEE ALSO:

FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... The Siege & Massacre

FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... Digging for Clues

DEATH OF LORD HOWE

New book on Fort William Henry!

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