With France and England at war and the Iroquois working with the English attacking New France, the French minister of marine, Jean Colbert, returned Louis de Baude, Comte de Frontenac, to Canada to deal with the Iroquois. Frontenac was determined to defeat the Iroquois and carry the war into the English colonies. In February 1690, he marshalled his forces: Troupes de la Marine, Canadian militia, and warriors from his allies, the Montagnais, Abenaki, and Penobscot tribes. He garrisoned the main forts at Montreal, Trois-Rivières, and Quebec with the Troupes de la Marine and organized three raiding parties composed of Canadian militia and Native allies.
Jacques Le Moyne de Ste.-Hélène led the first raiding party, composed of Canadian militia and Montagnais warriors, down the Richelieu River in February 1690. The force fell upon the English settlement of Schenectady, setting the town ablaze and killing several English colonists. Ste.-Helene's force then returned to Montreal with plunder and several prisoners.
The second raiding party, composed of Canadian militia and Abenaki, left Trois-Rivières and travelled down the Connecticut River. François Hertel led the combined force of militia and Abenaki in a night attack on the town of Salmon Falls, New Hampshire. They burned the settlement, killed some colonists, and took 54 prisoners back to New France.
Militia captains Portneuf and Courtemanche commanded the third force, composed of Canadian militia and Penobscot warriors. The raiding party moved down the Kennebec River Valley and surprised the English garrison at Fort Loyal (Portland, Maine). This contingent destroyed the fort and promptly marched back to Quebec.
Governor Frontenac had recognized the Canadian militia's skill in la petite guerre (guerrilla warfare), and he had utilized it with great success.