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Canadian Historical Anecdotes - General James Wolfe (1727/28-1759)
Posted 20 October 2011
Transcribed by Sandra Roberts

Wolfe was mortally wounded at the Plains of Abraham, as was his adversary Montcalm, but he lived long enough to comprehend his victory and then departed in style. One of his subordinates would later record the scene in his diary: “ After our late worthy general of renowned memory, was carried off wounded, to the rear of the front line, he desired those who were about to lay him down; being asked if he would have a Surgeon, he replied, ‘It is needless, it is all over with me.’

One of them cried out, “They run, see how they run.”

“Who runs?” demanded our hero, with great earnestness, like a person roused from sleep. The Officer answered, “The enemy, Sir. Egads they give way everywhere.” Thereupon the General rejoined, “Go one of you, my lads, to Colonel Burton; tell him to march Webb’s regiment with all speed down to Charles’s river, to cut off the retreat of the fugitives from the bridge.”

Then, turning on his side he added, “Now God be praised, I will die in peace”; and thus he expired.

SOURCE: An excerpt from Journal of Captain John Knox, Champlain Society, Toronto, 1906. Though long out of print, used copies of this book can sometimes be found on or

A romantic painting of General James Wolfe depicting his death at the Siege of Quebec in 1759
Artist: Benjamin West, c.1771

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Norway Bay United & Anglican Cemetery
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(Protestant - Ottawa area)