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Trembles, twenty miles above Quebec, there to a wait the arrival of Montgomery. On their march, they saw the vessel on board which was General Carleton, and afterwards found that he had been on shore at Point Aux Trembles a very few hour's before they reached that place. - In war, the success of the most judicious plans often depends on accidents not to be foreseen orcontroled. Seldom has the truth of this position been more clearly demonstrated, than in the issue of the expedition conducted by Colonel Arnold: The situation of the enemy.conformed exactly to the expectations of the Commander in Chief. Not suspecting that so bold and difficult an enterprise could possibly be meditated, Quebec had been left entirely defenceless, and all the strength of the province had been collected towards the lakes, Could Arnold have reached that place but a few days sooner ; could he even have crossed 'the river on his first arrival at Point Levi, before the town was entered by M 'Lean; hadColonel Enos been able to follow the main body with his division of the detachment; or had the first moments after passing the St. Lawrence been seized ; every prohability favours the opinion, that this hardy and well-judged expedition would have been crowned with the most brilhant' success. Had Arnold even been careful to relieve the inhabitants of the town from all fears respecting their property, there is much reason to believe, they would have refused to defend it. But although this bold enterprise was planned with judgment, and executed with vigour; although the means employed were adequate to the object; yet the concurrence of several minute and unfavourable incidents, entirely defeated it, and deprived it of that eclat to which it was justly entitled.
General Montgomery having clothed his almost naked troops at Montreal, which he garrisoned, and provided clothes also for those of Arnold ; and having sent several small detachments into the country, to strengthen his interest with the Canadians, and obtain supplies of provisions, proceeded at the head of the residue of his army, amounting to about three hundred men, with his usual expedition, to join Colonel Arnold, at Point Aux Trembles, after which he marched directly to Quebec. But, before his arrival, Governor Carleton had entered the town, and was making every preparation for a vigorous defence. The garrison now consisted of about fifteen hundred men, of whom eight hundred were militia, and between four and five hundred were seamen. Montgo'mery's effective force was stated by himself at only eight hundred men. Relying more, for success, on the impression his past victories, and the opinion of his present strength, would make on the fears of the garrison, than on his actual
force, WASHINGTON. 395 force, he, on his first appearance, addressed a letter to the Governor, magnifying his own resources, and demanding a surrender. The determination to hold no communication with the Americans was still preserved, and the flag was fired on. Yet he contrived means to send in a letter, in which he sought to alarm the fears of Carleton, and of the inhabitants, by representing the irritation of his victorious army at the injuries they had sustained, and the difficulty with which he restrained them; and in which he stated his perfect knowledge of the condition of the wretched motley garrison, and the impossibility of defending the place. But the determination of Carleton was taken; and the let*ters of the American General could not change it.
· The situation of Montgomery was such as would have filled with despair, a mind less vigorous, less brave, and less sanguine than his. The intense cold had set in, and in that climate, in the winter, and in the open air, it is almost too severe for the Inuman system, without all the aids usually provided against it. His raw, undisciplined troops, were unaccustomed to the hardships even of an ordinary campaign ; and the terms of service of those who had accompanied Arnold, were expiring. His numbers were not sufficient to render success probable, according to any common principle of calculation ; and the prospect of their being diminished by time, was much greater than
of their being increased. But relying on their courage, on himself and his fortune, and on the fears of the garrison, stimulated too by the high expectations formed by all America of his success, and by the dread of disappointing those expectations, he deterinined to lay immediate siege to the town.
In a few days he opened a six gun battery within about seven hundred yards of the walls, but his artillery was too light to make a breach, and he did not calculate on any effect from it. , His objeet was to amuse the enemy, and to conceal his real design.
Although the excessive hardships to which the troops were exposed, hardships which seemed to surpass human bearing, were supported with great constancy and firmness, Montgomery feared that they would at length yield to the force of such continued sufferings; and, as he would soon have vo legal authority to retain a part of them, he apprehended that he should be abandoned by those who would have a right to leave him. Other considerations of a personal nature were, probably, not withiout their influence. Though he had embraced the American cause with enthusiasm, he had become wearied with its service. Trained to arnis in a school where strict discipline and implicit obedience were taught and practised, all his habits, 110t less than his judgment, were shocked by the tem
per which the American troops brought with them into the field. A spirit of insubordination seemed to pervade the wliole mass. Not only the quotas
of different colonies, but in some cases even diffe· rent regiments, appeared disposed to consider them
selves as entirely independent of each other; and all thought themselves entitled to judge of the propriety of the measures to be adopted. The General himself possessed little other authority than was bestowed on him by his personal talents, and his arts of persuasion. Nor was a much brighter prospect opening for the future. The cause to which the extremity of the evil was to be attributed, threatened still to continue, and the United Colonies seemed still determined to rest their defence on temporary armies. With infinite judgment and address he had heretofore successfully struggled with the difficulties attendant on this unpromising state of things; but it is not unreasonable to suppose, that he was unwilling that his life and his fame should continue so much to depend on the wayward caprice of others. He had determined to withdraw from the army, and had signified, before marching from Montreal, his resolution to resign the commission which had been conferred on him.
It is not improbable, that the desire of closing his military career with a degree of brilliancy suited to the elevation of his mind, by the conquest, of Quebec, and the addition of Canada to the United