LEVRAULT DE LANGIS (Langy) MONTEGRON, JEAN-BAPTISTE, officer in the colonial regular troops; baptized 8 Oct. 1723 in Batiscan (Que.), son of Léon-Joseph Levrault de Langis and his second wife Marguerite-Gabrielle Jarret de Verchères; d. 1760.
Jean-Baptiste Levrault de Langis Montegron followed in the footsteps of his father and three older brothers by choosing a career in the colonial regular troops. He began military service in Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) in the early 1750s. In 1755 with the rank of ensign he commanded an observation post of ten or 12 soldiers three-quarters of a mile from Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.). After the fort was captured by the British in June 1755, Langis left for New France where, in Verchères the following year, he married Madeleine d’Ailleboust de Manthet, widow of Jean Jarret de Verchères.
During the Seven Years’ War, Langis and his older brother Alexis were employed scouting, taking prisoners, and gathering information on the enemy’s strategy in the Lake Champlain–Lac Saint-Sacrement (Lake George) area. In June 1756 Langis took a prisoner in the vicinity of Fort Oswego (Chouaguen); he returned to the neighbourhood of the fort the following month to help draw up plans for a full-scale attack on it. Early in August Langis and one Richerville led reconnaissance parties, and one week later, on 14 Aug. 1756, Oswego fell – the first victory for French arms [see Montcalm].
Following this success, scouting parties continually struck deep into English territory, leaving the enemy uneasy and uncertain where the French and their allies would appear next. In October 1756, for instance, Langis penetrated well into New York with a party of Nipissings and Potawatomis. The following spring, while patrolling the area of Fort Lydius (also called Fort Edward; now Fort Edward, N.Y.) with about 100 Indians, Langis fell upon a group of 50 Englishmen who were chopping trees, killed about 20, and captured half a dozen.
For the next few months Langis patrolled the area of Fort George (also called Fort William Henry; now Lake George, N.Y.). In July 1757 Lévis* sent him from Carillon (Ticonderoga, N.Y.) with some Iroquois and Ottawas to scout a land route between Carillon and the British Fort George. On this assignment Langis surprised two separate enemy parties. Later in July Joseph Marin* de La Malgue led 400 Canadians and Indians to see whether the enemy had built in the vicinity of Rivière du Chicot (Wood Creek, N.Y.), and then to try to intercept convoys between Fort George and Fort Lydius; Langis, with his brother Alexis serving under his orders, was responsible for the Indian contingent.
On 4 July 1758, Montcalm sent a detachment of 130 volunteers from Carillon to the area of Fort George. This expedition was novel in that Montcalm entrusted command of the party to Ensign Langis, and then asked for officers to volunteer to serve under his orders. The young ensign’s stature was such that the number of volunteers had to be restricted. Langis returned to Carillon the following night, reporting that he had sighted the enemy. Defensive positions were taken up, and in the resulting battle on 8 July a numerically superior British force was successfully repelled by Montcalm. Although Langis was wounded, he was able two months later to lead a scouting party from La Présentation (Oswegatchie, near Ogdensburg, N.Y.) to Niagara (near Youngstown, N.Y.) and Oswego.
In the spring of 1760, while participating in the defence of Montreal, Langis drowned near Île Saint-Paul (Île des Soeurs, near Montreal). He was buried at Longueuil on 1 June. Described in contemporary military journals as an excellent and extremely brave officer, Langis had served his country well. His rank was still ensign at the age of 37, though men of his calibre and talents were vital to New France’s defence.
Journal du chevalier de Lévis (Casgrain), 89. Lettres de la cour de Versailles (Casgrain), 67. Lettres de l’intendant Bigot (Casgrain), 12. Lettres du chevalier de Lévis (Casgrain), 120–27. Lettres du marquis de Montcalm (Casgrain), 35, 79–80, 84, 91, 452–53. Relations et journaux (Casgrain), 14, 17, 30, 67, 69, 70, 78, 82, 151–52, 160. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Frégault, Canada: the war of the conquest, 60–61. Stanley, New France, 110–11, 159. “La famille Jarret de Verchères,” BRH, XIV (1908), 248–49, 253–54. Henri Têtu, “M. Jean-Félix Récher, curé de Québec, et son journal, 1757–1760,” BRH, IX (1903), 305.