In the spring of 1686, the new governor of New France, Jacques-René de Brisay, Marquis de Denonville, dispatched a small force of 30 regulars and 70 militia overland to James Bay. The Chevalier de Troyes, an ex-officer of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières, commanded the regular troops, while the Le Moyne brothers, d'Iberville, Ste. Helene, and Maricourt, led the militia.
Counting on the element of surprise, the Governor hoped the small force could seize the English trading forts on James Bay. The force travelled 1,000 kilometres and quickly took Moose Fort, Fort Charles, and Fort Albany. While the English garrisons had prepared to repel naval assaults, they never anticipated an overland attack. In the summer of 1687, d'Iberville and the militia returned to Quebec in an English ship they had captured.