siege, for he had no battering train; nor by investing
the place, which had provisions for eight months; there could therefore be no hope of its capture but by storm, and as the engagements of the New England
men ended with the thirty first of December, the assault must be made within twenty six days. He grieved for the loss of life that might ensue, but his decision was prompt and unchanging.
The works of the lower town were the weakest; these he thought it possible to carry, and then the favor of the inhabitants in the upper town, their concern for their property, the unwarlike character of the garrison, the small military ability of Carleton
, offered chances of victory.
The first act of Montgomery
was a demand for the surrender of the city; but his flag of truce was not admitted.
On the sixth he addressed an extravagant and menacing letter to Carleton
, which was sent by a woman of the country, and of which a copy was afterwards shot into the town upon an arrow; but Carleton
would hold no communication with him, and every effort at correspondence with the citizens failed.
Four or five mortars were placed in St. Roc's, but the small shells which they threw did no essential injury to the garrison.
Meantime a battery was begun on the heights of Abraham, about seven hundred yards southwest of St. John
The ground was frozen and covered with deep snow, so that earth was not to be had; the gabions and the interstices of the fascines were therefore filled with snow; and on this water was poured in large quantities, which froze instantly in the intense cold.
On the fifteenth, the