which was not supposed to exceed four hundred.
Chap. LXVII.} 1776.
But a Canadian peasant, as soon as they landed, hastened to inform General Frazer
at Three Rivers
of their approach; and moreover, twenty five transports, laden with troops, had, by Carleton
's directions, been piloted past Quebec
without stopping, and had arrived at Three Rivers
just in time to take part in repelling the attack.
A large force was promptly landed with field-pieces; and was disposed with a view to surround and take captive the whole body of assailants.
The short darkness of that latitude was soon over; as day began to appear, the Americans
, who were marching under the bank of the river, were cannonaded from the ships; undismayed they took their way through a thickly wooded swamp, above their knees in mire and water; and after a most wearisome struggle of four hours reached an open piece of low ground, where they endeavored to form.
began the attack, and forced an advanced party to run; his companions then pressed forward in column against the breastworks, which covered the main body of the enemy.
They displayed undisputed gallantry; but being outnumbered more than three to one, were compelled to retire.
To secure time for the retreat, Wayne
, with about five officers and twenty men, sheltered by the dense forest, which hid the paucity of their numbers, kept up a fire from the edge of the swamp for an hour longer, when they also were obliged to fly. Thompson
, who were separated from the rest of the party, were betrayed by the Canadians; about one hundred and fifty of the fugitives were taken prisoners; the main body, saved, as British