The First Soldiers of New France

The Battle Of Long Sault

Amerindian Battle Customs

After this battle, the Iroquois decided to return home. This prompted writers of the time to interpret the battle of Long-Sault as a great French victory, due allegedly to the heroism of the defenders, who obviously must have inflicted terrible losses on the enemy. This was evidently not the case: the fort was taken, and the entire garrison lost, clearly amounting to a French defeat. Insofar as Iroquois losses were concerned, a Dutch report stated that the Iroquois had mentioned that 14 warriors had been killed and 19 others wounded in attacking a "fort defended by 17 Frenchmen and 100 savages." 37 Hardly a great slaughter! It was also scarcely a rout when the warriors, in accordance with Amerindian custom, decided simply to return to their villages after taking a few prisoners. Another event a little later helped to fan the legend that Dollard and his men had saved the colony at the cost of their lives. During the fall, some 600 warriors set out again for the French colony, but turned back after an accident that they interpreted as a bad omen. Cancelling a large-scale expedition for such a reason was as natural to Amerindians as it was foreign to European military logic.