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der of the city; but Maclean fired upon him, thinking it prudent to have no communication with the American commander. The next day another flag was sent and treated in the same manner. On the 16th, a company was sent to take possession of the general hospital, a nunnery on the low grounds near the river St. Charles. At the ferry across this river, Sergeant Dixon of the rifle corps was wounded by a cannon ball from a gun near Palace gate, three-quarters of a mile distant; so that amputation was necessary, and he died the next day. He was a respectable man of good education, and of a good estate in West Hanover, Lancaster county, now Dauphin county, Penns. He was the first man who fell at Quebec.
News having been received of the surrender of Montreal to Montgomery, and a junction with him being necessary before Quebec could be assaulted with the hope of success, on the 19th November the army marched up the river about seven leagues, to Point Aux Trembles. While the army was lying here, Governor Carleton passed down the river and safely reached Quebec, - a circumstance extremely interesting and important to the enemy. Montgomery arrived December 1, with three armed schooners, with men, artillery, ammunition, provisions, and clothing to the great joy of Jrnold's troops, to whom, as they were paraded in two battalions before the Catholic chapel, he made an energetic speech, praising them for their hardihood and appearance. He immediately marched down to the neighborhood of Quebec, and encamped at the suburbs, called St. Foy.
In a few days the town was bombarded by throwing into it at different times about two hundred shells; a battery was erected before St. John's gate; and a few lives were lost on both sides. December 24, Mr. Spring preached a sermon in the chapel of the general hospital, an elegant room, richly decorated with carvings and gilt work. The troops were assembled in the evening of the 27th, in order to make an attack on the works of Quebec, the ladders being ready; but it was found prudent to postpone the assault until the weather should be stormy. As it snowed December 30th, it was determined to make the attack,
and the troops were ordered to parade at two o'clock the next morning.
December 31, 1775, being the last day of the year, was memorable for the attempt to take the city of Quebec by assault, and the fall of Montgomery. The number of his army, as stated in his letter of December 18th, was upwards of eight hundred men. Gordon says, that 'the whole, including the sick, did not exceed eight hundred men, and that only seven hundred and thirty were fit for duty. But this is probably a mistake; for were this the whole army, as four hundred men were lost in the attack, the remainder would not have been able to continue the siege. I should judge, that this might be the amount of the troops actually engaged in the attack of the lower town. In . deed Gen. Dearborn states, that Arnold's troops were five hundred strong, and Montgomery's six or seven hundred, including Livingston's and Brown's. The garrison consisted of two hundred and thirty soldiers, forty marines, eight hundred militia, and four hundred and fifty seamen, - in all one thousand five hundred and twenty.
The plan determined upon, was to make two false attacks upon the upper town, and at the same time, two real attacks upon the lower town, which stretched at the foot of the precipice along the St. Lawrence in a northerly and southerly direction, about three-quarters of a mile. On the south, the lower town was to be attacked by Montgomery, who was to descend from the plains or heights of Abraham to the bank of the river, and who would meet the first barrier or battery at the foot of Cape Diamond. At the same time Arnold was to assault the barriers at the northern and western extremities of the lower town, which he would approach from the suburbs of St. Roch on the west, by passing by Palace gate at the foot of the preci
1 A few days before the attack, Capt. Dearborn rejoined the army, so as to participate in it. He had been left in a hut on the Chaudiere, sixty miles from Quebec, sick with a nervous fever, the violence of which was so great that during ten days his life was despaired of. Although without medicine, he gradually recovered, after being sick a month, and proceeding to Point Levi in a sleigh, crossed over to Wolfe's cove, and took the command of his company.
pice, and proceeding easterly along the bay formed by St. Charles river, as it joins the St. Lawrence, in a narrow way between the precipice and the water or ice of the bay. After overcoming one barrier he would turn the angle at the north-east corner of the city, and turning to his right was to meet Montgomery, if he succeeded, in the center of the lower town. Some houses were to be passed before he could reach the corner, but the lower town was chiefly to the east on the St. Lawrence, and not to the north on the St. Charles. In order to favor this attack, the upper town was to be threatened by Col. Livingston, with his regiment of one hundred and sixty Canadians, who was to set fire if possible, to St. John's gate, and by Major Brown, with a small detachment of Massachusetts' troops, who was to assault the wall further to the south at Cape Diamond. Had this project succeeded, it would have been difficult to storm the upper town, for it must have been approached either by ascending Mountain street, and overcoming the great obstacle, presented by Prescott gate; or by an equally hopeless attack on Palace gate on the opposite side ; or by St. John's gate, and the high wall on the south and west. There could have been little chance of success by force; but after taking the lower town, containing most of the houses and property, it was believed, with the greatest reason, that the garrison, chiefly of citizens, would immediately propose to capitulate.
The troops, headed by Montgomery, assembled at his quarters on the plains of Abraham at two o'clock, consisting of four battalions of New York troops, and part of Col. Easton's regiment. Arnold's troops assembled at the same hour at the guard house at St. Roch, consisting of two battalions. At five o'clock they moved to the attack in a violent storm of snow from the northeast. Maj. Meigs says, that various obstacles prevented the execution of Col. Livingston's command; but as Carleton wrote to Gen. How, that, “the alarm was general, from the side of the river St. Lawrence, along the fortified front, every part seemed equally threatened,” it is probable, that Livingston and Brown appeared before the fortified front, although the depth of the snow and the violence of the storm on the heights may have occasioned some delay in their progress.
At the appointed moment Montgomery descended from the heights of Abraham, by an easy descent, to the river south of Cape Diamond, and proceeded to attack the defences at what was called Anse des Meres, or the Bay of Mothers, a small bay or harbor at the foot of Cape Diamond.
Mr. Henry represents, that there were two rows of pickets, (other accounts speak of but one,) or two stockades of strong posts, fifteen or twenty feet high, connected by a stout railing; and that the first palisade was one hundred yards south of the point or angle of Cape Diamond, extending from the declivity of the hill to the river. Three or four of these posts were sawet by the carpenters and an opening made, and the troops passed without being discovered. On reaching the second palisade close under Cape Diamond, the saw was employed with the same success, and the general with his own hands assisted in pulling down two or three pickets. About fifty yards in front of the advancing troops or within the stockade, was a block-house in the middle of the small space, between the cliff and the river, leaving only a narrow passage each side of it. This was a square logbuilding, with loop-holes for musketry in the lower story, and several port holes in the upper story for cannon, charged with grape or canister shot, and pointed towards the avenue, by which the troops must approach. The second row of pickets being passed, the only obstacle remaining was the block-house. The general at the head of his troops was now pressing on, saying to them, “Push on, brave boys, Quebec is ours ; "_when a discharge of the cannon and small arms at the guard-house, killed him and his aid, Capt. McPherson, Capt. Cheeseman, an orderly sergeant, and a private. This was a most disastrous event; but had the troops pressed on they would instantly have taken the blockhouse, for the lights were out, and it is said, the guard immediately fled; or they might have passed it and entered the town, and co-operated effectually with Arnold's troops, fighting at the other extremity of the street. Mr. Henry says, he was credibly informed on the spot, that it was a drunken sailor, who discharged the cannon, resolving, that he would have one fire be. fore he took to his heels.
Colonel Campbell, the deputy quarter-master general, who suc.
ceeded to the command, was destitute of the heroism and enterprise, necessary for such a crisis; instead of pushing on, he ordered a retreat, taking the wounded with him to his camp, but Leaving his general and the dead on the ground, where they fell. In the morning the enemy found their bodies covered with snow, that of the general two paces from the brink of the river, McPherson on the right, and Cheeseman on the left.
Arnold made his attack from the suburbs of St. Roch; marching at the head, Capt. Oswald and thirty men followed him as the advanced guard, then Capt. Lamb with his company of artillery, having a field piece mounted on a sled, followed by the main body, of which Morgan's company was the first. It was necessary to pass by Palace gate, which is about half a mile from the angle of the town, formed by the St. Charles and the St. Lawrence, and the whole distance was at the foot of the hill and beneath the ramparts. On approaching Palace gate the cannon began to play, and all the bells of the city were ringing. The troops ran in single file, holding down their heads on account of the storm, and covering their guns with their coats; and for several hundred feet there were insulated buildings, in the interstices of which they received a fire of musketry from the ramparts above them, and some brave men fell. The snow being deep, it was soon found necessary to abandon the field piece. There being no path, and the way dark and intricate among stores, houses, boats, and wharves, the main body was led wrong. But the advanced party with Morgan's company, soon reached the first barrier or battery, and commenced the attack. Here Arnold was wounded in the leg by a musket ball, which shattered the bone, and supported by Mr. Spring and Mr. Ogden returned to the general hospital, the distance of upwards of a mile, urging the troops forward as he met them. The battery was west of the angle of the town, in a street called Sault au Matelot, or Sailor's Leap, and not Saint des Matelots, as Marshall has it, so called from a high, overhanging rock; and consisted of two twelve-pounders. Morgan's men rushed up to the portholes or embrasures, and firing into them, and mounting the barricade by ladders, soon carried the battery and made prisoners of the captain and most of the guard of thirty men. The