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enemies to British domination. On the other hand, the garrison was extremely feeble; it only consisted in the companies of Royal Irish, under colonel Maclean, and in a few militia, finally assembled in haste by the lieutenant-governor. The council of naval officers bad. not permitted the sailors to be landed to serve on shore, as well on account of the season, now far advanced, as of the difficulties of the navigation.
But when the American colors were seen floating on the other side of the river, all the citizens, soldiers or not soldiers, landsmen or seamen, English or French, united by common danger, and fearing for their effects, which were very considerable, hastened with einulation to the defence of the city, and exerted the utmost activity, in order to make all necessary preparations, before the enemy could pass the river. The companies of militia were armed, and stationed at their posts. The Royal Irish manifested the greatest resolution. The marines were put on shore, who, accustomed to the management of cannon, were destined to serve the artillery of the ramparts. The ardor of colonel Maclean was of great benefit, in this first approach of perils; he neglected nothing to inspire all minds with firmness, and 10 assemble whatever might contribute to the desence of the city.
Finally, the wind being moderated, and Arnold having made his arrangements, in order to pass the river, and attack the city, he appointed the night of the 13th of November for the execution of his designs. He embarked all bis men, with the exception of one hundred and fifty, who remained to complete the requisite number of ladders. Notwithstanding the extreme rapidity of the current, and all the paios it was necessary to take in order to avoid the ships of the enemy, he reached the left bank, a little above the place where general Wolfe had landed in 1759, under auspices so happy for his country, and so fatal to himself. Unable to scale the banks of the river, which are very steep at this point, he descended towards Quebec, always marching upon the margin of the river, until he was come to the foot of the same precipice which general Wolse had found so much difficulty in surmounting. Followed by his intrepid coinpanions, he mounted to its summit, and drew up his little band upon the beights near the plain of Abraham. Here he waited for them to recover breath, and to give time for the companies left on the other side of the St. Lawrence to join him. He had hoped to surprise the city, and to carry it by a single effort. But the notice given by the intercepted letter, the appearance he had made at Point Levy, and the encounter of a boat that was passing from the port of Quebec to the frigate, had given the alarm, and apprised the whole city of the danger ready to burst upon them; accordingly, all were at their posts. It was not long before Arnold had full assurance of it; sor, having sent forward the companies of riflemen to reconnoitre the places, and the position of the enemy, they reported, on their return, that they had
encountered advanced guards, who had given the alert. The colonel was nevertheless disposed to order the attack; but the other officers endeavored to dissuade him from it. The greater part of the muskets were become, by the accidents of a long march, unfit for service. So great a part of the ammunition had perished, that there no longer remained more than six charges to each soldier. Finally, the provincials bad not a single piece of cannon. But, if Arnold had lost the bope of taking Quebec by storm, he had not renounced that of exciting within it a movement in his favor, and causing its gates to be opened to him, by showing himself in arms under its walls. Accordingly, he displayed bimself frequently upon the heights; and even sent a flag, summoning the town to surrender. But all was in vain. Colonel Maclean, who commanded during the absence of the governor, not only refused to admit the message, but ordered his men to fire upon the bearers. Arnold was informed, at the same time, that the soldiers who had escaped from the discomfiture of Montreal, were coming down the river, and that colonel Maclean was preparing to make a sally.
Finding himself, therefore, constrained to retire, he went to encamp at a place called Point au Tremble, twenty miles above Quebec, to await the arrival of Montgomery, who was expected from Upper Canada. He perceived, during his march, the ship in which governor Carleton was proceeding to Quebec. When arrived at Point au Tremble, he learned that this general had stopped there, a few hours before; so uncertain are the events of war-o singular are the chances on which often depends the fate of nations !
The governor arrived, therefore, without accident, at Quebec. He immediately set about taking all the measures of defence which the pressure of time, and the difficulty of circumstances, could allow him. He sent out of the city, with their families, all those who refused to take arms. The garrison, inclusive of the militia, amounted only to about fifteen hundred men, a number much inferior to what would have been necessary to guard suitably all the fortifications, which were extensive and multiplied; and even of this number, the proportion of regular soldiers was very inconsiderable. The companies organised by colonel Maclean were composed of new levies; and one company of the seventh regiment were all recruits. The rest was a medley of militia, French and English, of some few marines, of sailors belonging to the frigates of the king, or to the merchant vessels that wintered in the port. These seamen constituted the principal force of the garrison; for they at least knew how to serve the artillery.
In the meantime, general Montgomery, having left garrisons in the fortresses of Upper Canada, and secured the favorable dispositions of the inhabitants of the parts adjacent, commenced his march towards Quebec. The season was extremely severe ; it being about
the beginning of December ; the roads, obstructed with snow, were almost impassable. The Americaus, however, supported so many hardships with singular fortitude. It was owing principally to the prudence and firmness of Montgomery, qualities which gave him a powerful influence over his soldiers. This multitude, snatched from pacific occupations, had been all at once employed in the most arduous toils of war, in the midst of the most rigorous season of the year. Every one sees how difficult it is to introduce subordination . among men of such a sort; and it should even be added, that these, from their habits and opinions, were peculiarly indisposed to that obedience so essential in armies. Finally, the term of their engagement was nearly expired; and already they exulted in the expectation of soon returning to the repose and solace of their homes.
Such were the difficulties which beset the American general. But his name, dear to all, the seduction of bis eloquence, even the splendor of his person, bis virtues, and the continual example he gave of resignation and magnanimity, supported the constancy of his troops under their hardships, and inspired them with new ardor to follow his steps. Certainly the march of Arnold across the horrible wilderness that separates the District of Maine from Canada, and this of Montgoinery through Upper Canada ; the force of talent which enabled the two leaders to maintain discipline and good will among soldiers lately enrolled, attached with vehemence to their independence, and accustomed to act their pleasure without restraint, are enterprises which at least equal, if not surpass, ihe most painful, the most arduous, of all those related in history of the captains of anti
quity. Such prodigies have been acconsplished by armies of inconsiderable numbers, when compared with those which have overwhelmed other parts of the world; but ought this to diminish the glory of these intrepid men in the memory of posterity ?
Montgomery arrived, the first of December, at Point au Tremble, with a detachment not exceeding, if it amounted to, three hundred men. Here colonel Arnold advanced to receive him ; the joy of the two corps, at this meeting, cannot be deseribed. Montgomery had brought clothing for the soldiers of Arnold, who stood in the most urgent want of it.
They marched in company, and arrived, the fifth of December, in sight of Quebec. Their force was inferior to that of the garrison they purposed to attack. They sent to summon it by a flag. The governor ordered his troops to fire upon the bearer. Montgomery then resorted to the agency of an inhabitant, to convey another letter to the governor ; in which, after having magnified his own forces, the insufficiency of the garrison, and the impossibility of defence, he demanded an immediate surrender, threatening an assault, and all the calamities wbich irritated and victorious soldiers are wont to iuflict upon cities taken by storm. This step was also without success;
general Carleton, a veteran commander, was not a man to be intimidated so easily. As to the American general, considering the weakness of his means, and the immobility of the inhabitants, who made no demonstration in his favor, he cherished but faint hopes of success. Nevertheless, to abandon an enterprise in which he had engaged with so much ardor, appeared to bim too unworthy of his name and valor. He was not ignorant, besides, that in the commencement of this revolution, the unfortunate issue of an expedition so agreeable to the people, and upon which they had founded such brilliant expectations, would infallibly produce a pernicious effect upon the public mind. He foresaw that, instead of ardor and confidence, it must introduce dejection and despair. He doubted even whether he should be able to preserve the part of Canada he had acquired, if the capital of the province remained in the power of the English. He had been informied, that, in the following spring, large Teenforcements were to arrive from England; which would enable the enemy to expel the American troops without difficulty. Wanting forces, but not courage, Montgomery resorted to the only way that was left him; he resolved to harrass and reduce the garrison, by frequent and furious attacks. He was not without hope, that he might thus find some opportunity to strike a decisive blow; this expectation was the more probable, as the garrison was far from being sufficient to guard effectually the numerous fortifications of so extensive a city. The American general accordingly attempted to throw bombs into the town, with five small mortars; hoping in this manner to excite some movement within. But the vigilance of the governor, the zeal and bravery of the officers, and especially the efforts of the seamen, prevented this siege from producing any perceptible effect.
A few days after, Montgomery planted a battery of six pieces of cannon and a howitzer, within seven hundred paces of the walls. This artillery was laid, not upon the ground, but upon banks of snow and ice; the pieces were of feeble caliber ; their fire was nearly without result.
Meanwhile, the snow which sell incessantly, cncumbered the earth; and the cold had become so violent, that it was beyond human nature to support it in the open field. The hardships which the Americans had to suffer from the rigor of the climate, and the fatigues to wbich their small number subjected them, surpass all the imagination can picture of the most severe. The attachment they bore to their cause, and the confidence which they had, the most unshaken, in their general, could only have sustained them in the midst of trials so terrible. To render their position still more dismal, the smallpox broke out in the camp; this scourge was the terror of the soldiers. It was ordered that those who were attacked with it, should wear a sprig of hemlock upon their hats, that the others might know and avoid them. But constancy in the human breast, gives place to despair, when suf
ferings appear without end. And this extremity was the more to be feared among the provincials, as the expiration of their tinie of service, with the possibility of escape from so many evils, might probably create the desire. All these considerations persuaded Montgomery, that without a bold and unmediate effort, he must renounce the idea of satisfying public expectation, and witness the eclipse of his own glory. In his position, even temerity became prudence, and it was better to lose life in a glorious action, tban resign bimself to a shame which would have been so fatal to the American arms.
Accordingly, Montgomery having determined to attempt the assault, convoked a council of war, and acquainted them with bis project. Without denying that it was of difficult execution, he maintained that it was possible, and that valor and prudence would triumph over all obstacles. All were in favor of his proposition. A few companies of Arnold, dissatisfied with their commander, alone testified repugnance, But captain Morgan, a man of real merit, addressed them a persuasive discourse, and their opposition ceased. The general had already arranged in bis mind the plan of the attack, and thought of all the means proper to carry it into execution. He intended it should take place, at the same time, against the upper and lower town. But understanding that a deserter bad given notice of it to the governor, be resolved to divide his army into four corps, two of which, composed in great part of Canadians, under the command of majors Livingston and Brown, were 10 occupy the attention of the enemy by two feigned attacks of the upper town, towards St. John and Cape Diamond. The two others, led, the first by Montgomery, the second by Arnold, were reserved in assault the lower part of the town from two opposite points. The general was perfectly aware, that after he should bave carried this part of Quebec, there would remain many difficulties to be surmounted in order to conquer the other. But he hoped that the inhabitants, on seeing so great a proportion of their property fallen into the power of the victors, would force the governor to capitulate.
The last day of the year, 1775, between four and five o'clock in the morning, in the midst of a heavy storm of snow, the four columns put themselves in motion, in the best order, each towards the point assigned.
It is said that captain Frazer, of the Irish emigrants, in going his round, perceived the fusees which the Americans fired to give the signal; and that, immediately, without waiting further orders, he caused the drums to beat, and roused the garrison to arms.
The columns of Livingston and of Brown, impeded by the snow and other obstacles, were not in time to execute their feints. But Montgomery, at the head of his, composed chiefly of New York men, advanced upon the bank of the river, marching by the way denominated Anse de mer, under Cape Diamond. Here was encountered a first barrier,