Gouvernement du Canada - Commission des champs de batails nationaux Gouvernement du Canada - Canada

The National Battlefields Commission

Plains of Abraham




The Siege of Québec and British Reinforcements

Following his victory against Murray's men, Lévis proceeded to lay siege to the city. With the few cannons he had at his disposal he aimed to destroy one of the walls of the "Bastion de la Glacière," which the French knew to be a weak point. The first firing started on May 11.

Lévis' problem was that he lacked pretty much everything: supplies, powder, etc. Moreover, the lack of powder forced the General to restrict firing and impose a maximum of 20 strikes per cannon per day. Adding to his misfortune, his opponent had a much greater strike force. From the top of the city walls, the British bombarded French positions, causing considerable damage. But Lévis was not to be outdone; he only had eyes for the river. He was impatiently expecting the reinforcements requested from Versailles.

The first ship to reach Québec was a British ship. It arrived on the 9th of May, two days before Lévis even opened fire with his cannons. However, the French general did not lose hope, he was still expecting to see the French ships appear any day now. However, on the 15th of May, two more British ships were sighted. On the 16th, the three ships destroyed the French frigates that supported the siege. It was a final blow for Lévis. He lifted the siege and retreated westward, and ultimately to Montreal.