Soldiers of the Atlantic Seaboard

The Attack On Acadia

Soldier, Compagnies franches de la Marine of Acadia and Plaisance (1701-1713)

Caption: Soldier, Compagnies franches de la Marine of Acadia and Plaisance (1701-1713)

At the same time, the English colonists in Massachusetts, who were being subjected to the depredations of French privateers based at Port-Royal, decided to invade Acadia. In July 1704, more than 500 Bostonians mounted a first attack on Port-Royal, which ended in failure after 18 days of seige. In May 1707, a second attack was launched. This time the French garrison saw about 25 sails rise over the horizon, on ships bearing more than 1,600 men! Repulsed again after only a few days, the Bostonians returned in August. Once more, however, they were thrown back by the French and Abenakis, provoking a "political scandal" 128 in Boston.

Unable to overcome the French resistance alone, the New Englanders requested assistance from the mother country and obtained the help of the Royal Navy. On September 24, 1710, 36 ships with 3,600 men aboard laid siege to Port-Royal. These troops included a battalion of marines numbering 600 regular soldiers, formed of detachments from the regiments of Colonels Holt, Will, Bar, Shannon, and Churchill. Also participating were 1,500 colonial volunteers divided into five regiments, two of which came from Massachusetts and one each from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. This time, the attacking forces enjoyed such an overwhelming advantage in numbers that the approximately 150 French soldiers realized that all was lost, despite their previous heroism. Some even attempted to desert. Nevertheless, the garrison held out until October 13, when Governor Subercase capitulated with the honours of war. Thus ended French rule over Acadia. Port-Royal became Annapolis Royal and the 149 soldiers and officers of the French garrison were sent back to France beginning in late October. The Acadians who had served as auxiliaries to the regular forces were disarmed, and the militia was abolished. The location was then taken over by detachments from the British regiments.