BATTLE OF THE LONG SAULT
I’m beginning a new series of posts today based on my historical novel, The Battle of the Long Sault.
It is the story of Dollard des Ormeaux and his attack on the Iroquois on the Ottawa River in 1660, in an attempt to defend Montreal.
It’s summertime and we all need a break so here’s a break from what I usually write about here.
This doesn’t have much to do with self except insofar as I expect you’d learn lot about yourself in battle!
And the four diffent “peoples” involved in this Canadian, factually-based, adventure story, all have their identities tied up in the outcome of what are called the French-Indian Wars.
So from that point of view, they are all about selfhood. The French newcomers, their allies, the Huron and Algonquin and their enemy, the Iroquois, all have their lives invested in the outcome of the wars.
More about that later.
Today I’d like to introduce you to The Battle of the Long Sault. I’ll be sending chapters as they are completed along with my usual posts.
If you are a fiction reader, especially of historical fiction I think you’ll like it. Especially if you are a fan of 17th century material and even more if it’s Canadian! (OK, there ain’t much of that around! But that’s maybe a good reason to check it out, yes?)
Here’s the synopsis.
BATTLE OF THE LONG SAULT
In 1660, the Iroquois incessantly threaten New France by ambushing Huron and Algonquin hunting parties on the Ottawa River, killing the defenseless hunters as they negotiate the rapids, and stealing furs destined for Montreal.
In four years, only nine canoes of furs has reached the fort. The town, almost abandoned by France, is in danger of destruction.
Dollard des Ormeaux
In THE BATTLE OF THE LONG SAULT, a young, ambitious Montreal garrison commander, Dollard des Ormeaux, deplores the French strategy of never combating the Iroquois in the forest because of earlier disastrous encounters.
He wants to ambush the Iroquois, simultaneously ensuring safe conduct on the river, gaining Montreal income, and announcing a new war policy to the enemy.
A beleaguered Governor Maisonneuve, anxious to preserve his imperiled mission, reluctantly agrees.
Dollard and sixty French, Huron and Algonquin allies go up the Ottawa River, station themselves at the Long Sault rapids, and prepare to lie in wait. However, before they can do anything, two Iroquois war canoes come cresting over the rapids.
Their initial ambush of the war canoes at the Long Sault (rapiuds) s crushingly successful but one Iroquois brave escapes and minutes later 200 Iroquois charge over the rapids in big war canoes.
The opponents reinforce meager forts on the riverbank. A stand-off has the Iroquois taking the brunt of the losses but they send for help. Six hundred tribesmen have been mustering to join this group for a massive attack designed to wipe out Montreal and Quebec.
The French know nothing of it. The reinforcements arrive. The French and their allies are now in a battle maelstrom.
Hunger, thirst and fatigue take their toll; desperate Hurons defect. The Iroquois reinforcements overwhelm. The odds increase to 20-1.
Dollard is out of food, nearly out of ammunition, and can’t get to the river water. The Huron chief advises Dollard to negotiate a settlement,– a traditional move in these circumstances–but some Frenchmen, fearful and suspicious, shoot Iroquois emissaries during the peace talks.
The battle gets worse.
THE BATTLE OF THE LONG SAULT is a frontier adventure story, an “Eastern” western if you like. It is a picture of the clash of economies, cultures, and peoples in the New World.
The French want to extend their territory, convert the natives and grow economically; the Iroquois fight desperately to regain a life that it being stripped from them; the Huron, remembering from the disaster of Huronia, where most of their people were killed, fight for their very existence.
As in Rashomon, all points of view—those of the Iroquois, the French, and the Huron and Algonquin — are presented.
Think of the recent film blockbuster, 300, The Battle of Thermopylae, or The Alamo as a descriptor of the basic storyline: a small band of men engaged in battle with an overwhelmingly powerful opponent. The Battle of the Long Sault is similar but an event in Canadian history that c ertainly changed the of the development of Montreal and might have changed history itself.
READ MORE CHAPTERS NOW OR WAIT, THEY’RE COMING!
YOU CAN READ IT FREE on my author site, NOVEL IDEAS.
NOVEL IDEAS-Battle of the Long Sault
and Wattpad.com at this url
I hope you read it–and if you like it, please comment on either site.
If you do enjoy it, I’d love to see your comments!