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[431] officers asserted, by Carleton's want of alertness, and
Chap. LXVII.} 1776. June.
his calling in the parties that guarded the fords of the De Loup, wandered about that day and the following night, without food or refreshment except water, and worn out by watching and fatigue. On the ninth they found their boats, and returned to Sorel. The American loss exceeded two hundred; Wayne's regiment which began the attack, suffered the most.

‘I now think only of a glorious death or a victory obtained against superior numbers,’ wrote Sullivan, as he learned that the force intended for Canada was arrived with Burgoyne at its head; and he would have remained at Sorel. The post was not defensible; the remains of the army, encamped there, did not exceed two thousand five hundred men; about a thousand more were at other stations, but most of them under inoculation. Sickness, want of regular and sufficient food, the recent repulse, the threefold superiority of the British in numbers, and their incomparable superiority in appointments, made resistance impossible. Slow and cautious as were Carleton's movements, any further delay would enable the British to pass above them, take post in their rear, and cut off their retreat. A council of field officers was all but unanimous for quitting the ground; Arnold, Antill, and Hazen, who were not present, were of the same opinion.

On the fourteenth the fleet with the British forces was coming up the river under full sail; when an hour or a little more before their arrival, Sullivan broke up his camp, taking away with him every thing,

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