were the first that entered the undefended bar-
rier, passing on between the rock and the pickets which the carpenters began to saw and wrench away.
While a message was sent back to hurry up the troops, Montgomery
went forward to observe the path before him. It was a very narrow defile, falling away to the river precipitously on the one side, and shut in by the scarped rock and overhanging cliff on the other, so that not more than five or six persons could walk abreast; a house built of logs and extending on the south nearly to the river, with loopholes for musketry and a battery of two three-pounders, intercepted the passage.
It was held by a party consisting of thirty Canadian
and eight British militiamen under John Coffin
, with nine seamen under Barnsfare, the master of a transport, as cannoniers.
The general listened, and heard no sound; and it was afterwards thought that the guard was not on the alert; but lights from lanterns on the plains of Abraham, as well as the signal rockets, had given the alarm; and at daybreak, through the storm, the body of troops was seen in full march from Wolfe's Cove.
At their approach to the barrier, ‘a part of the guard was scared with a panic;’ but Coffin
, who during the siege ‘had never missed an hour's duty,’ restored order, and the sailors stood at their guns with lighted linstocks.
waited till about sixty men had joined him inside of the row of pickets; then exclaiming, ‘Men of New York, you will not fear to follow where your general leads; push on, brave boys; Quebec
he pressed forward at double quick time to carry the battery.
As he appeared on a little rising in the ground, at a distance of fifty yards or less from the mouths of the cannon, which were loaded