Slike strani

ing on his New Yorkers, received a canister shot through the body; made an effort to rise and push forward, but fell back a corpse; with him fell his orderly sergeant and several of his men. This fearful slaughter, and the death of their general, threw everything in confusion. The officer next in lineal rank to the general, was far in the rear; in this emergency, Colonel Campbell, quarter-master-general, took the command, but, instead of rallying the men, and endeavoring to effect the junction with Arnold, ordered a retreat, and abandoned the halfwon field, leaving behind him the bodies of the slain.

While all this was occurring on the side of Cape Diamond, Arnold led his division against the opposite side of the lower town along the suburb and street of St. Roque. Like Montgomery, he took the advance at the head of a forlorn hope of twenty-five men, accompanied by his secretary Oswald, formerly one of his captains at Ticonderoga. Captain Lamb and his artillery company came next, with a field-piece mounted on a sledge. Then came a company with ladders and scaling implements, followed by Morgan and his riflemen. In the rear of all these came the main body. A battery on a wharf commanded the narrow pass by which they had to advance. This was to be attacked with the field-piece, and then scaled with ladders by the forlorn hope; while Captain Morgan with his riflemen, was to pass round the wharf on the ice.

The false attack which was to have been made by Livingston on the gate of St. John's by way



of diversion, had not taken place; there was noth. ing, therefore, to call off the attention of the en◄ emy in this quarter from the detachment. The troops, as they straggled along in lengthened file through the drifting snow, were sadly galled by a flanking fire on the right, from wall and pickets. The field-piece at length became so deeply embedded in a snow-drift, that it could not be moved. Lamb sent word to Arnold of the impediment; in the mean time, he and his artillery company were brought to a halt. The company with the scaling ladders would have halted also, having been told to keep in the rear of the artillery; but they were urged on by Morgan with a thundering oath, who pushed on after them with his riflemen, the artillery company opening to the right and left to let them pass.

They arrived in the advance, just as Arnold was leading on his forlorn hope to attack the, barrier. Before he reached it, a severe wound in the right leg with a musket-ball completely disabled him, and he had to be borne from the field. Morgan instantly took the command. Just then Lamb came up with his company, armed with muskets and bayonets, having received orders to abandon the field-piece, and support the advance. Oswald joined him with the forlorn hope. The battery which commanded the defile mounted two pieces of cannon. There was a discharge of grape-shot when the assailants were close under the muzzles of the guns, yet but one man was killed. Before there could be a second discharge, the battery was carried by assault, some

fring into the embrasures, others scaling the walls. The captain and thirty of his men were taken prisoners.

The day was just dawning as Morgan led on to attack the second barrier, and his men had to advance under a fire from the town walls on their right, which incessantly thinned their ranks. The second barrier was reached; they applied their scaling ladders to storm it. The defense was brave and obstinate, but the defenders were at length driven from their guns, and the battery was gained. At the last moment one of the gunners ran back, linstock in hand, to give one more shot. Captain Lamb snapped a fusee at him. It missed fire. The cannon was discharged, and a grapeshot wounded Lamb in the head, carrying away part of the cheek-bone. He was borne off senseless, to a neighboring shed.

The two barriers being now taken, the way on this side into the lower town seemed open. Morgan prepared to enter it with the victorious vanguard, first stationing Captain Dearborn and some provincials at Palace Gate, which opened down into the defile from the upper town. By this time, however, the death of Montgomery and retreat of Campbell, had enabled the enemy to turn all their attention in this direction. A large detachment sent by General Carleton, sallied out of Palace Gate after Morgan had passed it, surprised and captured Dearborn and the guard, and completely cut off the advanced party. The main body, informed of the death of Montgomery, and giving up the game as lost, retreated to the camp,



leaving behind the field-piece which Lambs com◄ pany had abandoned, and the mortars in the battery of St. Roque.

Morgan and his men were now hemmed in on all sides, and obliged to take refuge in a stone house, from the inveterate fire which assailed them. From the windows of this house they kept up a desperate defense, until cannon were brought to bear upon it. Then, hearing of the death of Montgomery, and seeing that there was no prospect of relief, Morgan and his gallant handful of followers were compelled to surrender themselves prisoners of war.

Thus foiled at every point, the wrecks of the little army abandoned their camp, and retreated about three miles from the town; where they hastily fortified themselves, apprehending a pursuit by the garrison. General Carleton, however, contented himself with having secured the safety of the place, and remained cautiously passive until he should be properly reinforced; distrusting the good faith of the motley inhabitants. He is said to have treated the prisoners with a humanity the more honorable, considering the "habitual military severity of his temper;" their heroic daring, displayed in the assault upon the lower town, having excited his admiration.

The remains of the gallant Montgomery received a soldier's grave, within the fortifications of Quebec, by the care of Cramahé, the lieutenantgovernor, who had formerly known him.

Arnold, wounded and disabled, had been assisted back to the camp, dragging one foot after the other

for nearly a mile in great agony, and exposed continually to the musketry from the walls at fifty yards' distance, which shot down several at his side.

He took temporary command of the shattered army, until General Wooster should arrive from Montreal, to whom he sent an express, urging him to bring on succor. "On this occasion,” says a contemporary writer, "he discovered the utmost vigor of a determined mind, and a genius full of resources. Defeated and wounded, as he was, he put his troops into such a situation as to keep them still formidable.1

With a mere handful of men, at one time not exceeding five hundred, he maintained a blockade of the strong fortress from which he had just been repulsed. "I have no thoughts," writes he, "of leaving this proud town until I enter it in triumph. I am in the way of my duty, and I know no fear! ” 2

Happy for him had he fallen at this moment. - Happy for him had he found a soldier's and a patriot's grave, beneath the rock-built walls of Quebec. Those walls would have remained enduring monuments of his renown. His name, like that of Montgomery, would have been treasured up among the dearest though most mournful recollections of his country, and that country would have been spared the single traitorous blot that dims the bright page of its revolutionary history.

1 Civil War in America, vol. i. p. 112.

2 See Arnold's Letter. Remembrancer, ii. 868.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »