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enemy had discharged only one of their cannon ; and only one or two men were lost on each side. After a delay at this point of half an hour, waiting for the troops to come up, Col. Green now in command, marched about daylight to the second barrier, which was just around the angle of the town. An heroic attack was made upon it, but in vain, for within there was a double row of bayonets ready to destroy every one, who should throw himself by means of a ladder over the barrier, and the fire was warm and fatal, not only from the port-holes, but also from the high stone houses on each side of the street. There was also a cannon on a height or platform twenty yards within the barrier and overtopping it, which poured grape shot upon the assailants. Under these circumstances, and the whole force of the enemy, since the fall of Montgomery, being now brought to this point, it was found necessary for the troops to enter the nearest houses, from which the attack was continued.
In the mean while Capt. Dearborn and his company, who had been quartered on the north side of the river St. Charles, in endeavoring to join the main body, were captured by a party of two hundred men, under Capt. Law, who made a sortie with cannon from Palace gate. Some valuable officers had now fallen, and it was very obvious, that the barrier could not be carried. Lieut. Humphreys was killed in the street, as was also Lieut. Cooper of Connecticut. Captain Hendricks, in a stone house, as he was aiming his rifle, was shot through the heart. Capt. Lamb had a part of his face shot away.
Steele lost three of his fingers. Despairing of success Morgan with Lieut. Heth returned to the first barrier, and on consultation with Majors Bigelow and Meigs an immediate retreat was determined on. But Heth, who was sent to draw the troops from the houses, could induce only a part of them to venture into the street, exposed as they must be, until they turned the angle of the street, to the dreadful fire of the battery.
All the Indians and Canadians, excepting Natanis and another, had made their escape across the ice of the bay two miles. The retreat from the first barrier would have been chiefly under the walls of the town, exposed to the fire of the enemy for a quarter of a mile; besides the obstacle presented by Capt. Law and his party in front. In these circumstances,
after firing from half-after five o'clock, until ten o'clock, the troops surrendered as prisoners of war, at about ten.
Arnold in one of his letters says, that about three hundred were taken prisoners, and as near as he could judge about sixty killed and wounded. Marshall says the loss was about four hundred, of which three hundred and forty were prisoners. Carleton says
the rebels lost six or seven hundred men and forty or fifty officers, while his loss was only one lieutenant and seventeen men. Notwithstanding this loss of about four hundred men, it appears from a letter of Arnold, written a few days afterward, that there remained under him an army of seven hundred men, which enabled him to continue the blockade until he was reinforced.
Besides those already mentioned, Capt. Hubbard, Lieut. Tisdale, and Brigade Major Ogden, were also wounded. Of the prisoners, the officers were confined in the Seminary, and the soldiers in the Jesuit's college or Recollets, and were treated by Carleton with a humanity, very honorable to his character. In one of his letters he says, that March 31st, 1776, he discovered a plot of the prisoners to escape after seizing the guard at St. John's gate, and let in Arnold. Of this plot, Mr. Henry, who was engaged in it, gives a minute account. The prisoners had been removed to the Dauphin jail, an old French building about three hundred yards from St. John's gate. Their ingenuity soon supplied them with arms; for peeping through the key-hole of the door of a small room at the stair-head, they perceived large iron hoops. Of these, by forcing the door, a large number was obtained, as well as a quantity of iron of different shapes. Rough, stout swords, with wooden handles, were made, and spear-heads were fashioned and affixed to splits of fir plank, about ten feet in length, which had formed the bottoms of the lowest berths. The proposed method of escape was by removing the bars of their windows and by the cellar door, which opened inwards, and the hinges and padlock of which were inside, and within their reach. Joseph Aston, of Lamb's company, afterwards a major, was chosen commander-in-chief of the prisoners, Mckoy and others were colonels, Boyd, Henry, and others were majors, captains, &c. Getting into the street, one party was to attack the guard-house near the jail, and another
party of one hundred and fifty men were to attack the guard of thirty or forty men at St. John's gate; the jail and buildings near, were to be set on fire the same time by way of signal to Arnold, who had been made acquainted with the project by Martin, a prisoner, who in a storm of snow, had clambered over the wall of the prison and escaped the sentries, and threw himself from the wall of the city southerly of St. John's gate. If the guard should be overcome at St. John's gate, the cannon were to be turned upon the city. As some matches might be necessary in that event, and there would be occasion for powder, it was procured in the following ingenious way. Some small gun carriages were made, mounted with paper cannon, a few inches in length. Embrasures were cut with a knife in the front board of the berths on opposite sides of the room; and two parties were formed for the pigmy contest. The blaze and report, as loud as small pistols, created much merriment. For this sport many cartridges were obtained, most of which were carefully laid aside for other purposes. Some money wa
also obtained, from charitable nuns, who visited the prison; but obtained in a method remarkable rather for ingenuity than fairness or propriety, but it was thought, that all artifices were allowable, especially, as life was to be hazarded for liberty. Once a nun was seen approaching; when Doctor Gibson, who had studied physic at Cornish, and who afterwards died a: Valley Forge, in the wiuter of 1778, a young man of ruddy cheeks and with a beautiful head of hair, was hurried into a bed, to play the part of a man sick with a high fever. The nun being introduced, crossed herself, whispered an Ave Maria or Pater Noster, and poured the contents of her purse, twenty-four coppers, into the ha d of the patient. The money procured powder, and the manner of obtaining it occasioned some merriment to cheer the gloom of a prison.
Every thing being prepared and arranged by the council of war, the moment of executing the long meditated plan was fixed. A spring of water in the cellar, which furnished the supply of water to the prisoners, had accumulated a considerable quantity of ice at the foot of the door, which was to be the sally-port. Immediately after the locking up, sixteen men with long knives
were to descend into the cellar, and pare away the ice in a silent manner. But it was not the will of Providence, that the perilous attempt should be made. The scheme was exploded, as greater schemes have been by thoughtlessness and imprudence. Two young men without authority from the council, descended into the cellar, and began to pick the ice, not with knives, but with hatchets. They were overheard by the sentry; the guard was immediately doubled ; and the well digested plan was defeated in a moment. This happened, as appears by Carleton's letter, March 31. The next morning an inquiry was made into the affair, and nothing would have been discovered but the attempt in the cellar, when as Major Murray was leaving the rooin, a prisoner, an Englishman who had deserted from the British at Boston and joined Arnold, rushed by him to escape the vengeance of his companions, saying to him, that " he had something to disclose." The traitor revealed the whole plan; in consequence of which, there soon arrived several cart-loads of irons, such as bilboes, foot-bobbles, and hand-cuffs, and instead of finding themselves in the enjoyment of the sweets of liberty, the poor wretches found themselves in chains. The bilboes were long bars of iron, to which ten men were fastened by the feet. In a few days many were able to extricate themselves from their irons by saws made from knives, and in other ways. They suffered miserably from the scurvey, and from a diarrhæa, occasioned by the water. It was not before the month of May, after the arrival of reinforcements to the British and the retreat of the American army, that the irons were struck off.
As Carleton was about to proceed up the St. Lawrence to drive the Americans from Canada, his prisoners were sent home on parole in August, and were afterwards exchanged. The parole, signed by Henry, was as follows: “We whose names are hereunder written do solemnly promise and engage to his excellency, General Carleton, not to say or do any thing against his Majesty's person or government; and to repair wherever required so to do by his excellency, or any of his Majesty's commanders in chief in America doth please to direct; in testimony of which we have hereunto set our hands this day at Quebec, August 7th, 1776.” The prisoners were embarked on board of
five transports, convoyed by the Pearl frigate; in the number of them was Gen. William Thompson, who had been taken at Three Rivers. On the 11th of September they anchored near Governor's island, New York. After being detained some time, they were landed in boats at Elizabethtown point; it was ten or eleven o'clock at night, the moon shining beautifully, when Morgan, standing in the bow of the boat as it approached the land, sprang upon the shore, and throwing himself upon the ground as if to embrace it, cried out, “Oh, my Country!” Indeed they were all delirious with gladness, for the night was passed in singing, dancing, the Indian balloo, and every wild expression of joy. Henry, with the late Col. Frebecer, or Febiger, and Gen. Nichols, soon reached Philadelphia, and was restored to the arms of his parents.
Major Meigs and Captain Dearborn had been permitted to return on parole in the month of May. They were sent to Halifax in the frigate Niger, and there were put on board another ship, in which they cruised thirty days experiencing the grossest insults, before they were landed in Penobscot bay. Thence they proceeded to Portland by land, and were exchanged in March, 1777.
Of some of the men, engaged in this attack upon Quebec, a short account may be interesting to the reader.
RICHARD MONTGOMERY was born in the north of Ireland in 1737, and possessed a fine genius, which was matured by a good education. He fought under Wolfe at Quebec, in 1759. In 1772, after his return to England, he left his regiment, and from his attachment to America, emigrated to the Hudson river, a hundred miles above the city of New York. At the commencement of the revolutionary war he offered ‘his services to our country. The sickness of Gen. Schuyler gave him the chief command of the northern army in October, 1775. He captured St. Johns, November 3d, and took Montreal on the 12th. Of his subsequent operations an account has been given. He was shot through both his thighs and his head. Carleton, who had been his fellow soldier in the war with the French, buried him honorably. The coffin was covered with a pall, surmounted by transverse swords, and was followed by British troops, particu