« ПредишнаНапред »
were very unwilling to engage in the contest, but he hoped, on the arrival of reinforcements, to compel them to act. Meantime, he had collected a numerous body of Indians; his. troops, though few, were well disciplined, and the United Colonies had reason to dread a man of his intrepidity and abilities.
When Congress were informed of these exertions in Canada, they thought it expedient to make a vigorous attack upon vince, in order to prevent the invasion of their north western frontier. In consequence of this determination, an army of three thousand men, under the command of Generals. Schuyler and Montgomery, were sent to effect the conquest of Canada. They proceeded to Lake Champlain, and thence by water to St. John's, the first British post in Canada. The Americans landed and besieged the fortress, which was bravely defended by the garrison under Major Preston. Illness obliged Gen. Schuyler to retire to Albany; and the sole command of the troops devolved on Montgomery, who prosecuted the siege with such vigour, that in a few days he became master of the place. After the reduction of Sr. John's, Montgomery advanced to Montreal with his victorious army. proach to that town, the few British forces
On his ap
which composed the garrison repaired for safety on board the shipping, in hopes of escaping down the river, but they were prevented by a body of continental troops, under the command of Colonel Easton, who was stationed at the point of Sorel River.Gen. Prescot, with several officers, and one hundred and twenty privates, surrendered themselves prisoners, on terms of capitulation; and the American general, after leaving a garrison at Montreal, advanced with a rapid march towards the capital of Canada.
While Montgomery was thus pursuing the Career of victory, the province of Canada was invaded in another quarter by an enemy no less enterprising and intrepid than himself. A detachment of one thousand men was sent by General Washington, from the American army at Cambridge. This expedition was conducted by Colonel Arnold, who led his troops by an unexplored route through a wilderness. The difficulty encountered by this detachment, during thirtyone days, were almost insurmountable.They proceeded in boats by the river Kennebeck, and were obliged to work upwards against its impetuous current. After suffering various hardships, and losing ab ve one third of his men, by sickness and desertion,
Colonel Arnold arrived at the inhabited part of Canada, after a march of six weeks.
The Canadians were astonished to behold an army emerging from the bosom of the wilderness; they gave them the same welcome that had been shewn to their countrymen in other parts of the province, and supplied those half-famished adventurers with all kinds of necessaries.
Arnold published a declaration, in the name of General Washington. It invited the Canadians to accede to the union of the colonies, and fight like them, for American freedom. The appearance
of Colonel Arnold before Quebec, threw the inhabitants into the greatest consternation ; but as in his march it had been impossible to bring any .cannon, he could only seize the avenues that led to the city, in order to cut off supplies and provisions, and await the arrival of the troops under Montgomery.
That General had many obstacles to overcome. The principal of these was the licentiousness of his army, which was composed of men who, accustomed to act from the inipulse of their own minds, were averse to the restraints of discipline. It required all the vigilance, the affability, and eloquence of Montgomery to manage his licentious soldiers in their march towards Quebec. His magnanimity and prudence prevailed; and the fair sex in that province had reason to bless the hero who preserved their social security and honour.
On the 5th of December, 1775, Montgomery arrived in sight of Quebec. He summoned it in due form, but the garrison fired at his flag of truce, and refused to admit his message. As the depth of winter approached, he was convinced of the necessity of either raising the siege, or taking the city by escalade.
General Carleton made such exertions as evinced the most determined resistance, and his example animated the courage of the garrison. The town was remarkably strong both from nature and art, and the number of the besiegers was inconsiderable ; besides, the vigilance of the Governor was such, that every part was guarded with the greatest circumspection.
Montgomery on the other hand, possessed all those romantic ideas of military glory which prevailed in the days of chivalry; and this love of enterprize was cherished by an intrepidity which made him overlook all
perils; he was conscious that his troops would
follow with alacrity wherever he should lead, .and he determined to take the city by storm, or perish in the attempt.
On the 31st of December, '1775, he advanced to the attack by break of day.. In order to incite emulation among the provincial troops, there were two attacks, one by the New-England men, headed by Arnold, and the other by the New York men, whom the general led in person.
The way through which Montgomery and his party had to pass, was narrow, and, as he knew the most desperate exertions of valour would be required, he had selected a number of his most resolute men for this enterprize. He advanced amid a heavy shower of snow, and having forced the first barrier, he rushed forward at the head of his party, and hastened to close in with the enemy. The second barrier, which led directly to the gates of the lower town, was defended by a strong body of the garrison, who were posted there with several pieces of cannon Teady loaded. Montgomery advanced with rapid movement, and was received with a volley of musketry and grape-shot, that, in an instant, killed and wounded almost the whole of his party. He fell himself, with the principal officers.
The troops were so