at once, along the whole line of their defences. Colonel James Livingston
, with less than two hundred Canadians, was to attract attention by appearing before St. John
's gate, on the southwest; while a company of Americans
was to feign a movement on Cape Diamond
, where the wall faces south by west, and from that high ground, at the proper time, were to fire a rocket, as the signal for beginning the real attacks on the lower town, under Arnold
from the west and north, under Montgomery
from the south and east.
The general, who reserved for his own party less than three hundred Yorkers, led them in Indian file from head quarters at Holland House to Wolfe's Cove, and then about two miles further along the shore.
The path was so rough that in several places they were obliged to scramble up slant rocks covered with two feet of snow, and then, with a precipice on their right, to descend by sliding down fifteen or twenty feet. The wind, which was at east by north, blew furiously in their faces, with cutting hail, which the eye could not endure; their constant step wore the frozen snow into little lumps of ice, so that the men were fatigued by their struggles not to fall, and they could not keep their arms dry.
The signal from Cape Diamond
being given more than half an hour too soon, the general with his aidede-camps, Macpherson and Burr
, pushed on with the front, composed of Cheesman
's company and Mott
's; and more than half an hour before day they arrived at the first barrier, with the guides and carpenters.
The rest of the party lagged behind; and the ladders were not within half a mile.