After the British garrison of Fort William Henry in the colony of New York surrendered to the besieging army of the French commander Marquis de Montcalm in August 1757, it appeared that this particular episode of the French and Indian War was over. What happened next became the most infamous incident of the war - and one which forms an integral part of James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel The Last of the Mohicans - the ‘massacre' of Fort William Henry. As the garrison prepared to march for Fort Edward a flood of enraged Native Americans swept over the column, unleashing an unstoppable tide of slaughter. Cooper's version has coloured our view of the incident, so what really happened? Ian Castle details new research on the campaign, including some fascinating archaeological work that has taken place over the last 20 years, updating the view put forward by The Last of the Mohicans.
Ian Castle has lived in London all his life and balances writing with work in the advertising industry. He has been writing for Osprey for over 15 years. Ian regularly lectures at the National Army Museum in London and is a member of the Airship Heritage Trust. Graham Turner is a leading historical artist, specializing in the medieval period. He has illustrated numerous titles for Osprey, covering a wide variety of subjects from the dress of the 10th-century armies of the Caliphates, through the action of bloody medieval battles, to the daily life of the British Redcoat of the late 18th century. The son of the illustrator Michael Turner, Graham lives and works in Buckinghamshire, UK.