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Canadian winter. If in truth they were boasters, it must be allowed their deeds were equal to their words.

The Americans were in no condition to withstand Carleton's unlooked-for attack. They had no intrenchments, and could not muster three hundred men at any point. A precipitate retreat was the consequence, in which baggage, artillery, everything was abandoned. Even the sick were left behind; many of whom crawled away from the camp hospitals, and took refuge in the woods, or among the Canadian peasantry.

General Carleton did not think it prudent to engage in a pursuit with his newly-landed troops. He treated the prisoners with great humanity, and caused the sick to be sought out in their hidingplaces, and brought to the general hospitals, with assurances, that, when healed, they should have liberty to return to their homes.

General Thomas came to a halt at Point Deschambault, about sixty miles above Quebec, and called a council of war to consider what was to be done. The enemy's ships were hastening up the St. Lawrence; some were already but two or three leagues distant. The camp was without cannon; powder, forwarded by General Schuyler, had fallen into the enemy's hands; there were not provisions enough to subsist the army for more than two or three days; the men-of-war, too, might run up the river, intercept all their resources, and reduce them to the same extremity they had experienced before Quebec. It was resolved, therefore, to ascend the river still further.



General Thomas, however, determined to send forward the invalids, but to remain at Point Des chambault with about five hundred men, until he should receive orders from Montreal, and learn whether such supplies could be forwarded immediately as would enable him to defend his position.1

The dispatches of General Thomas, setting forth the disastrous state of affairs, had a disheartening effect on Schuyler, who feared the army would be obliged to abandon Canada. Washington, on the contrary, spoke cheeringly on the subject. "We must not despair. A manly and spirited opposition only can insure success, and prevent the enemy from improving the advantage they have obtained." 2

He regretted that the troops had not been able to make a stand at Point Deschambault, but hoped they would maintain a post as far down the river as possible. The lower it was, the more important would be the advantages resulting from it, as all the country above would be favorable, and furnish assistance and support; while all below would necessarily be in the power of the enemy.

The tidings of the reverses in Canada and the retreat of the American army, had spread consternation throughout the New Hampshire Grants, and the New England frontiers, which would now be laid open to invasion. Committees of towns and districts assembled in various places, to consult on the alarming state of affairs. In a time of adversity, it relieves the public mind to have 1 General Thomas to Washington, May 8.

2 Washington to Schuyler, May 17th.

some individual on whom to charge its disasters. General Schuyler, at present, was to be the victim. We have already noticed the prejudice and ill will, on the part of the New England people, which had harassed him throughout the campaign, and nearly driven him from the service. His enemies now stigmatized him as the cause of the late reverses. He had neglected, they said, to forward reinforcements and supplies to the army in Canada. His magnanimity in suffering Sir John Johnson to go at large, while in his power, was again misconstrued into a crime: he had thus enabled that dangerous man to renew his hostilities. Finally, it was insinuated that he was untrue to his country, if not positively leagued with her enemies.

These imputations were not generally advanced; and when advanced, were not generally countenanced; but a committee of King's County appears to have given them credence, addressing a letter to the commander-in-chief on the subject, accompanied by documents.

Washington, to whom Schuyler's heart had been laid open throughout all its trials, and who knew its rectitude, received the letter and documents with indignation and disgust, and sent copies of them to the general. "From these,” said he "you will readily discover the diabolical and insidious arts and schemes carrying on by the tories and friends of government to raise distrust, dissensions, and divisions among us. Having the utmost confidence in your integrity, and the most incontestable proof of your great attachment to our



common country and its interest, I could not but look upon the charge against you with an eye of disbelief, and sentiments of detestation and abhorrence; nor should I have troubled you with the matter, had I not been informed that copies were sent to different committees, and to Governor Trumbull, which I conceived would get abroad, and that you, should you find I had been furnished with them, would consider my suppressing them as an evidence of my belief, or at best of my doubts, of the charges." 1

We will go forward, and give the sequel of this matter. While the imputations in question had merely floated in public rumor, Schuyler had taken no notice of them; "but it is now," writes he in reply to Washington, "a duty which I owe myself and my country, to detect the scoundrels, and the only means of doing this is by requesting that an immediate inquiry be made into the matter; when I trust it will appear that it was more a scheme calculated to ruin me, than to disunite and create jealousies in the friends of America. Your Excellency will, therefore, please to order a court of inquiry the soonest possible; for I cannot sit easy under such an infamous imputation; since on this extensive continent, numbers of the most respectable characters may not know what your Excellency and Congress do of my principles and exertions in the common cause."

He further adds: "I am informed by persons of good credit, that about one hundred persons, living on what are commonly called the New

1 Washington to Schuyler, May 21.

Hampshire Grants, have had a design to seize me as a tory, and perhaps still have. There never was a man so infamously scandalized and ill-treated as I am."

We need only add, that the Berkshire committees which, in a time of agitation and alarm, had hastily given countenance to these imputations, investigated them deliberately in their cooler moments, and acknowledged, in a letter to Washington, that they were satisfied their suspicions respecting General Schuyler were wholly groundless. "We sincerely hope," added they, "his name may be handed down, with immortal honor, to the latest posterity, as one of the great pillars of the American cause."

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