The continental congress, which was eager
for the occupation of Canada
, took no seasonable care to supply the places of his men as their time of enlistment expired.
On the twenty sixth, leaving St. John
's under the command of Marinus Willett
of New York, and entrusting the government of Montreal
, and in the spirit of a lawgiver who was to regenerate the province, making a declaration that on his return he would call a convention of the Canadian
embarked on board three armed schooners with artillery and provisions and three hundred troops; and on the third day of De-
cember, at Point aux Trembles, made a junction with Arnold
‘The famine-proof veterans,’ now but six hundred and seventy five in number, were paraded in front of the Catholic chapel
, to hear their praises from the lips of the modest hero, who, in animating words, did justice to the courage with which they had braved the wilderness, and to their superior style of discipline.
From the public stores which he had taken, they received clothing suited to the terrible climate; and about noon on the fifth, the little army, composed of less than a thousand American troops, and a volunteer regiment of about two hundred Canadians, appeared before Quebec
, in midwinter, to take the strongest fortified city in America
, defended by more than two hundred cannon of heavy metal, and a garrison of twice the number of the besiegers.
Quick of perception, of a hopeful temperament, and impatient of delay, Montgomery
saw at a glance his difficulties, and yet ‘thought there was a fair prospect of success.’
He could not expect it from a