and killed in battle or murdered afterwards in cold
blood, in violation of the express terms of surrender, as well as of humanity.
At the news of the double disaster, Arnold
moved with about seven hundred men to recover the captives by force; but as the British
officer declared a massacre of the prisoners, four hundred and seventy four in number, would be the inevitable consequence of an attack, he consented to obtain the release of them all, except four captains who were retained as hostages, by promising the return of an equal number of British prisoners.
The engagement led to mutual criminations; the Americans
preferred a counter claim for the punishment of those who had massacred some of the prisoners.
In this manner the British
drew near Montreal
from the west.
From the lower side news came, that Thomas
had been seized by the small pox. But the commissioners, in their contempt for the capacity of Wooster
, would not suffer him to resume the command; and thought the best service he could render the cause would be to return home.
At the end of May confusion prevailed in every department of the army.
There could be no discipline among soldiers enlisted only for a year, or a shorter term; some only for two months; the troops lived from hand to mouth, often for days without meat, levying contributions of meal; the scattered army did not exceed four thousand men, three fourths of whom had never had the small pox; many of the officers were incompetent.
's whole thoughts were bent on
making a safe retreat, the congress at Philadelphia
, on the first day of June, in the helplessness of its zeal,