Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

110   HISTORY OF CANADA.

St. John's Surrenders.—Below St. John's there was a stone fort at Chambly defended by Major Stopford with a force of about eighty men. This fort the Congress troops had not yet attacked. Learning that it contained artillery, in which the force before St. John's was deficient, Montgomery sent a detachment to capture it if possible. After a few hours' siege the fort was weakly yielded up, and Montgomery used its artillery to batter down the defences of St. John's. Preston nevertheless held out for two weeks longer, and only surrendered when all hope of succor was gone, and he and his men were threatened with famine. They were accorded the honors of war in recognition of their brave defence. In settling the terms of capitulation, Montgomery inserted a phrase expressive of regret that the defence had been maintained " in so bad a cause." Thereupon Preston told him that, sooner than submit to such a reflection, he and his garrison would die sword in hand, neither giving nor taking quarter. The phrase was expunged.

Congress Troops Occupy Montreal.—There was now nothing to bar the way to Montreal, and on the 13th of November Congress troops took possession of that town. Carleton had already left by boat for Quebec, escaping however with difficulty through the enemy's lines near Sorel. He reached the capital on the 19th of November and hastily prepared for a vigorous defence.

Arnold Before Quebec.—He found Benedict Arnold already encamped before it. Arnold, with about eleven hundred men, had started for Quebec from New England. He took the old route—up the Kennebec, across the wilderness portage to the head waters of the Chaudiere, and down that stream to where it enters the St. Lawrence, nearly opposite Quebec. By reason of the hardship of the long march of six weeks many had to be sent back, and Arnold's force had dwindled to eight hundred before he reached his destination early in November. He crossed to the north shore of the St. Lawrence without opposition. Deeming it impossible, however, to capture Quebec with his small force, he pitched his camp some distance up the river and awaited Montgomery's coming.

The Siege of Quebec.—After the occupation of Montreal, Three Rivers sent its submission to Montgomery, and the entire province, apparently, was at his feet, with the exception of the


Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next