« PreviousContinue »
tuate his fame. It
lives fresh in the memory of Americans. In 1818, New York, his adopted state, removed his remains from Quebec to her own metropolis, where the monument had been placed, and near that they repose.
Some of the Americans, on their escape from Quebec, retreated precipitately to Montreal. Arnold, with difficulty detained about four hundred, who, breaking up their camp, retired three miles from the city. Here this heroic band, though much inferior in number to the garrison, kept it in continual awe, and, by preventing all communication with the country, reduced it to great distress for the want of provisions.
Congress, on receiving information of the disaster of the 31st of December, directed reinforcements to be sent to Canada ; and after the beginning of March, Arnold's party was almost daily augmented by the arrival of small bodies of troops. But its strength did not increase with its numbers. The small-pox still continued its ravages; fatigue, without hope, depressed the spirits of the soldiers, the difficulty of obtaining provisions became every day greater, and the harsh measures adopted by Arnold to procure them, exasperated the inhabitants around him.
On the first of May, General Thomas, who had been appointed to succeed Montgomery, arrived from the camp of Roxbury. On reviewing his army,
he found it to consist of less than two thousand men, of whom half were not fit for duty. A council of war was held, who resolved that it was expedient to take a more defensible position higher up the St. Lawrence. To this decision they were led by the knowledge that the ice was leaving the river, and by the expectation that reinforcements from England would immediately come up. The next morning, in fact, while the Americans were engaged in removing the sick, several ships appeared in sight, and entered the harbour. A multitude of troops were immediately poured into the city.
At one o'clock, Carleton made a sorte at the head of a thousand men. Against these General Thomas at that moment could oppose but three hundred. All the stores and many of the sick fell into the power of the enemy.
The latter were treated, by the governor, with great tenderness; and when restored to health, were assisted to return to their homes. The Americans retreated to the mouth of the Sorel, where they were joined by several regiments, and where their worthy commander died of the small-pox, which yet prevailed in the camp.
While patriotism and valour were in this quarter, unsuccessfully contending with a superior force, the Americans sustained a heavy and unexpected calamity, resulting from cowardice, in another. At a fortified place, called the Cedars, forty miles above Montreal, Colonel Bedell was stationed with four hundred men and two pieces of cannon. Assembling a force of six hundred, mostly Indian warriors, Captain Foster, who commanded at Oswegatchie, descended the river to attack this post.
Colonel Bedell, leaving Major Butterfield in
command, repaired to Montreal to obtain assist
Shortly afterwards, Captain Foster appeared, and invested the fort. He had no artillery, and in the course of two days but one man was wounded. More efficient than his arms was the intimation, that if any of the Indians should be killed, it would not be in his power to restrain them from the massacre of the garrison. Intimidated by this, Major Butterfield surrendered his whole party prisoners of war, stipulating only for their baggage and their lives.
Upon the representation of Colonel Bedell, a reinforcement was ordered to march from Montreal; but he, more mindful of safety than honour, declined returning with it, and the command was given to Major Sherburne. The day after the surrender of the fort, of which event the major was ignorant, and about four miles from it, he was met by a large body of Indians, to whom, after an obstinate and bloody conflict he was obliged to surrender. The whole loss of the Americans was at least five hundred.
General Sullivan was appointed to succeed General Thomas, and on the first of June, arrived at the river Sorel, where be found between four and five thousand men. But the army of the enemy had, in the mean time, been augmented to thirteen thousand. Commanding a force so decidedly superior, Governor Carleton pressed forward in pursuit, and the Americans retreated slowly and reluctantly before him. At St. Johns, the pursuit ceased; but General Sullivan, in obedience to orders from General Schuyler, conti
nued his march to Crown Point, at the head of lake Champlain.
Thus terminated the expedition against Canada. In its conception, it was singularly bold and romantic. In its progress were displayed fortitude and bravery seldom equalled in military annals. Its failure was a painful disappointment to the patriots of the day. It is now consoling to reflect, that success would probably have proved injurious to the cause of independence. To protect the province, the military force of the confederacy must have been too much extended, and colonies more important have been left defenceless.
CAMPAIGN OF 1776.
The last humble petition of congress to the king was presented by Mr. Penn, the late governor of Pennsylvania. A few days afterwards he was told by the minister that no answer would be made to it. The haughty spirit which dictated this reply pervaded both houses of parliament.
In December, a law was passed amounting to a declaration of war against the colonies. Treaties were made with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel and other German princes, hiring of thém seventeen thousand men, to be employed against the Americans; and it was determined to send over, in addition to these, twenty-five thousand English troops.
In the beginning of the year 1776, a fleet under Sir Peter Parker, and two thousand five hundred troops commanded by Earl Cornwallis, were dispatched upon an expedition against the southern colonies. Soon after, Admiral Hotham set sail with a large number of transports, carrying the first division of Hessians; and in May followed Admiral Lord Howe, who had been appointed commander of the naval force on the American station. He, and his brother, General Howe, had also been appointed joint commissioners to grant pardons on submission.
On the first of May, the fleet under Sir Peter Parker, arrived on the coast of North Carolina, where sir Henry Clinton, arriving at the same time from New York, took command of the troops. The late defeat of the highland emigrants had so dispirited the loyalists in this colony, that he determined to proceed farther south, and attack Charleston, the capital of South Carolina.
Fortunately, an official letter, announcing the speedy departure of the expedition from England, had been intercepted early in the spring, and time was thus given to place this city in a state of defence. A strong fort was built on Sullivan's island, a position from which ships, on entering the harbour, could be greatly annoyed; the streets, in different places, were strongly barricaded; the stores on the wharves, though of great value, were pulled down, and lines of defence erected along the water's edge.
On learning the near approach of the enemy, the militia of the country were summoned to de