Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

much disconcerted by the loss of their general, that they retreated. In the mean time, Colonel Arnold was engaged in a furious assault on the opposite side of the town. He attacked and carried a barrier defended with cannon, but this success was attended with a great loss of men, and he received a wound himself, which made it necessary to carry him off the field of battle.' The officers on whom the command devolved, continued the assault, and took possession of another barrier ; but the besieged, who now perceived the inconsiderable number of the assailants, sallied from a gate that opened towards their rear, and attacked them in turn. The provincials were now hemmed in from all possibility of retreat, and exposed to a tremendous fire from the walls; yet in this dreadful situation they maintained the contest three hours before they surrendered.

This signal discomfiture of the Americans put an end to all apprehensions for the safety of Canada.

No man that ever fell in battle during a civil war was more universally regretted than Alontgomery. That general was born in Ireland in the year 1737. He had served in the British army under Gen. Wolfe ; and, in 1756, had been victorious on the very spot where he now fell. At the conclusion of the war he married an American lady, and settled near New-York, where he was as much beloved and respected as if he had been a native of the first consequence. His reputation for integrity induced Congress to honor him with a commission of Brigadier General; and his conduct justified their high opinion of his abilities and integrity.

While he lived to act in their service, no man rendered them of more importanee, or did their cause more honor. He had engaged in the service of America from principle; he had sacrificed the enjoyment of an easy fortune, and the endearments of connubial love to the defence of the community, of which he was an adopted member, and he sealed his attachment to their cause with his blood. He had the singular felicity of being esteemed by both parties; and when the news of his death arrived in England, those who had been his fellow soldiers in the late war, shed tears at his untimely fate. His remains were treated with all due respect by Gen. Carleton, and interred in Quebec, on the 1st day of January, 1776, with the military solemnities becoming his rank.

Congress gave a testimony of their gratitude by the following resolution :

“ Resolved, that to express the veneration of the United Colonies for their late Gener.'

al, Richard Montgomery, and the deep sense they entertain for the many signal and important services of that gallant officer, who after a series of successes, amidst the most discouraging difficulties, fell, at length, in a gallant attack upon Quebec, the capital of Canada; and to transmit to future ages, as examples truly worthy of imitation, his patriotism, conduct, boldness of enterprize, insuperable perseverance, and contempt of d'anger and death, a Monument be procured from Paris, or other part of France, with an inscription sacred to his memory, and expressive of his amiable character and heroic atchievements, and that the continental trea. surer be directed to advance a sum, not exceeding £300 sterling, to Noctor Benjamin Franklin, who is desired to see this resolution properly executed, for defraying the expence thereof."

An elegant monument of white marble, adorned withi emblematic devices, was sculptured by a French artist. The inscription was given by Doctor Franklin in the follow ing words:

THIS MONUMENT Is erected by the order of CONGRESS, 25th January, 1776, to transmit to posterity a grateful remembrance of the Patriotism, Conduct, Enterprize and Perseverance of

MAJOR GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY: Who after a series of successes, amidst the most discouraging difficulties, fell in the attack on QUEBEC,. 31st December, 1775, aged 37 years

This memorial of departed valour and virtue is erected in the front of St. Paul's Church, in the city of New-York.

After this unsuccessful attempt to take Quebec, Arnold, with the remains of the provincials, retired to the distance of three miles from the town, and was enabled to sustain the hardships of a winter encampment in that rigorous climate, in consequence of the kindness of the Canadians.

Though this expedition had failed in the great object, yet it effectually prevented any invasion from that quarter, a circumstance that had been apprehended by Congress.

The southern provinces now became involved in the contest, especially Virginia, where the disputes of the Governor, Lord Dunmore, with the Assembly, after repeated aggravations on both sides, terminated in open

hostilities. He had retired from Williamsburg to Norfolk, where he was joined by a considerable number of loyalists; but after several skirmishes, he was obliged to retire to che shipping, that lay in the river adjacent to the town. As it was now in the possession of the Americans, they not only refused to supply the people on board with provisions, but annoyed them with a number of riflemen who were placed in houses near

the ships, and inhumanly aimed at, and killed several persons on board. Exasperated at their conduct, Lord Dunmore ordered a party to land under cover of a man of war, and set fire to the town. Thus Norfolk was reduced to ashes, and the loss was estimated at upwards of £300,000 sterling.

Meantime, the Governors of the two Carolinas were expelled by the people, and obliged to take refuge on board the British men of war.

Thus, at the conclusion of the year 1775, the whole of the British colonies, except the town of Boston, were united against the mother country.

The British troops at Boston had endured a tedious blockade with their characteristic fortitude. All communication with the conntry was prevented'; and the garrison suffered many inconveniencies from the want of necessaries. They felt the severities of a winter campaign in a rigorous climate, especially those who were stationed at Bunker's Hill, where they lay exposed to winds and snows almost intolerable to a British constitution. The provincials in the mean time, were well supplied with necessaries in their encampment before Boston. Here Washington presided, and, by his prudent regula

« ПредишнаНапред »