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112   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

starved, and generally mutinous Continentals very different from the well-found, and thoroughly disciplined troops of the British. The Continentals, for want of money, seized goods on promises to pay, and the promises were never redeemed. The British paid good yellow gold for all the goods the merchants could spare, and all the produce the farms could supply. The Continental soldiers performed all kinds of arbitrary and illegal acts, and their officers would not, dared not, bring them to book; while the habitants remembered that British soldiers charged with offences against even the local French colonial ordinances had been promptly arrested and even handed over for trial to courts of which the French-Canadian militia officers acted as judges. As a result, French Canadians in several districts, hitherto neutral or disaffected, took the field against the Continentals.

Oswegatchie (Ogdensburg) was held by a strong force of British regulars, and Arnold feared that the commander, after drawing reinforcements from the upper posts, might try a sudden dash upon Montreal. To guard against such a contingency, he posted a considerable body of men in a fort at the Cedar Rapids, where any force descending the St. Lawrence would have to make a portage. Captain Forster of H.M. 8th Regiment commanded at Oswegatchie, and, five days after the siege of Quebec was raised, he left his post with forty of his regiment, ten Canadian volunteers, and 200 Indians. On May 18th, he attacked the Cedar Rapids post, and, on the 19th, it surrendered with its garrison of 350 officers and men. The following day Forster's men ambushed and captured another Continental force of eighty men sent from Montreal to relieve the fort at the Cedars. On the way to Mont-real, Forster's force was attacked at Vaudreuil by Colonel Arnold with yet another party from Montreal, but drove them off. These reverses caused consternation in the Montreal garrison. With Carleton advancing from Quebec, and Forster, now joined by many Canadians, sweeping down the St. Lawrence, the Revolutionists realized


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