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military talent, but her provincial congress which was consulted, limited the choice to those who possessed the gifts of fortune, and selected Philip Schuyler. Montgomery hesitated, saying: His consequence in the province makes him a fit subject for Chap. XLI.} 1775. June 17. an important trust; but has he strong nerves? I coubut he was seventy years old, and on his perceiving some distrust of his capacity, he retired from the camp before receiving his commission. The second was Richard Montgomery, of New York, seventh from Washington in rank, next to him in merit; an Irishman by birth, well informed as a Chap. XLI.} 1775. June. statesman, faultles; enterprising, spirited, and able. The last was Nathaniel Greene, of Rhode Island, who, after Washington, had no superior in natural resources, unless it were Montgomery. At a farewell supper, the members of congress all rose, as they drank a health to the commander in chief of the American army; to his thanks, they listened
sufficient, without the least convulsion or even animosity, to accomplish a total revolution in the government of a colony. The continental congress perceived the wisdom of a declaration of independence; but they acquiesced in the necessity of postponing its consideration, till there should be a better hope of unanimity. They Chap. XLIX.} 1775. Nov. became more resolute, more thorough, and more active; they recalled their absent members; they welcomed the trophies of victory sent by Montgomery from the Northern army. In September they had appointed a secret committee to import gunpowder, field pieces, and arms; now, without as yet opening the commerce of the continent by a general act, they empowered that committee to export provisions or produce to the foreign West Indies at the risk of the continent, in order to purchase the materials of war. They did not authorize letters of reprisal against British property on the high seas; but in November they adopted rules for the govern
o that peaceful years seemed to await them. Montgomery was of a sanguine temperament, yet the expecounty of Dutchess, in April, 1775, selected Montgomery as a delegate to the first provincial conven You will never have cause to blush for your Montgomery. On the seventeenth of August his arrivalreply. Moving without your orders, rejoined Montgomery, I do not like; but the prevention of the en of Indians; but being promptly supported by Montgomery, it beat off the assailants, yet with a lossmand of the invading forces should rest with Montgomery. Meantime Schuyler, though confined to hious for patience. The New Englanders, wrote Montgomery, are the worst stuff imaginable for soldiers now proceeded with efficiency. The army of Montgomery yielded more readily to his guidance; WoosteCarleton planned a junction with McLean; but Montgomery sent Easton, Brown, and Livingston to watch ntry, marched out with the honors of war. Montgomery now hastened to Montreal as rapidly as the b[5 more...]
h artillery, they with muskets only, and those muskets so damaged that one hundred were unfit for service; Wolfe with unlimited stores of ammunition, they with spoiled cartridges and a very little damaged powder. If it had required weeks for Montgomery with an army of two thousand men to reduce St. John's, how could Quebec, a large and opulent town of five thousand inhabitants, strongly fortified and carefully guarded, be taken in a moment by five hundred half armed musketeers? The enemy beiexcept for their friends within Chap. LIII.} 1775. Nov. the walls, whose rising would have offered the only chance of success; but of this there were no signs. Arnold then ordered a strict examination to be made into the state of his ammunition, and as the result showed no more than five rounds to each man, it was judged imprudent to run the risk of a battle; and on the nineteenth his party retired to Point aux Trembles, eight leagues above Quebec, where they awaited the orders of Montgomery.
November—December, 1775. The day before Montgomery entered Montreal, Chap. LIV.} 1775 Nov. Carutside of the walls. The rapid success of Montgomery had emboldened a party in Quebec to confess ld call a convention of the Canadian people, Montgomery embarked on board three armed schooners withered chances of victory. The first act of Montgomery was a demand for the surrender of the city; and hand grenades. In case of success, said Montgomery, the effects of those who have been most actgagement of many of his troops would expire; Montgomery must act now, or resign the hope of crowning under Arnold from the west and north, under Montgomery from the south and east. The general, whom with dead- Chap. LIV.} 1775. Dec. ly aim. Montgomery, his aid Macpherson, the young and gallant Ceesman, and ten others, instantly fell dead; Montgomery from three wounds. With him the soul of thebehind him. There, too, by his side, lay Richard Montgomery, on the spot where he fell. At his deat[11 more...]
wo following days, Herkimer completed the disarmament of the disaffected, and secured six Highlanders as hostages for the peaceable conduct of the rest. Schuyler and his party were rewarded by the approbation of congress. After the death of Montgomery, the active command in Canada was reserved for Schuyler, to whom it properly belonged. His want of vigorous health, and the irksomeness of controlling the men of Connecticut, had inclined him to leave the army; the reverses, suffered within hiuckier or a happier one had never been projected; and added: We want you at New York; we want you at Cambridge; we want you in Virginia; but Canada seems of more importance, and therefore you are sent there. I wish you the laurels of Wolfe and Montgomery, with a happier fate. Elated by such homage, Lee indulged his natural propensities, and made bold to ask money of the New York congress; two thousand dollars at the least, said he; if you could make it twenty five hundred it would be more conv
. the American army found himself supplied with only money enough to answer claims antecedent to the last day of December; his want of powder was still Feb. so great as to require the most careful concealment. Congress had strangely lavished its resources on the equipment of a navy; leaving him in such dearth of the materials of war, that he was compelled to look for them in every direction, and at one time had even asked if something could be spared him from the hoped-for acquisitions of Montgomery. Having no permanent army, and unable to enlist for the year a sufficient number of soldiers to defend his lines, he was obliged to rely for two months on the service of three regiments of militia from Connecticut, one from New Hampshire, and six from Massachusetts; but at the same time, with all the explicitness and force that his experience, his dangers, and his trials could suggest, he set before congress the ruinous imperfections of their mili- Chap. LIX.} 1776. Feb. tary system. T
of Pennsylvania formed a quorum. It required of Joseph Reed, who had been chosen a member in the place of Mifflin, the oath of allegiance to King George; in a few days, the more wary Franklin, who thus far had not taken his seat in so loyal a body, sent in his resignation, under a plea of age, and was succeeded by Rittenhouse. On the nineteenth, Smith, the provost of the college in Philadelphia, delivered before congress, the Pennsylvania assembly, and other invited bodies, a eulogy on Montgomery; when, two days later, William Livingston moved a vote of thanks to the speaker, with a request that he would print his oration, earnest objections were raised, because he had declared the sentiments of the congress to be in favor of continuing in a state of dependence. Livingston was sustained by Duane, Wilson, and Willing; was opposed by Chase, John Adams, Wythe, Edward Rutledge, Wolcott, and Sherman; and at last the motion was withdrawn. Yet there still prevailed a disinclination to
Chapter 67: The retreat from Canada. January—June, 1776. The death of Montgomery dispelled the illusion Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. that hovered round the invasion of Canada. The soldiers whose time expired on the last day of Dece, Arnold preserved his fortitude; I have no thought, he said, of leaving this proud town until I enter it in tri umph. Montgomery had required an army of ten thousand men; Arnold declared that a less number would not suffice. The chief command deTo maintain a foothold in Canada, there was need, in the first place, of the good — will and confidence of its people. Montgomery had from his birth been familiar with Catholics; but Wooster, a New England Calvinist from a country town in Connecticuhap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. found it difficult to reduce them to order, if Schuyler almost threw up the attempt, if Montgomery suffered to from their querulousness even while leading them to victory, what was to be expected from fresh levies of i