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and considerate advice. "Upon your conduct and courage, and that of the officers and soldiers detailed on this expedition, not only the success of the present enterprise, and your own honour, but the safety and welfare of the whole continent, may depend. I charge you, therefore, and the officers and soldiers under your command, as you value your own safety and honour, and the favour and esteem of your country, that you consider yourselves as marching, not through the country of an enemy, but of our friends and brethren; for such the inhabitants of Canada and the Indian nations have approved themselves, in this unhappy contest between Great Britain and America; and that you check, by every motive of duty and fear of punishment, every attempt to plunder or insult the inhabitants of Canada. Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian, in his person or property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment, as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportioned to its guilt, at such a time, and in such a cause. * * * * I also give in charge to you, to avoid all disrespect to the religion of the country and its ceremonies. * * While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that t God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only, in this case, are they answerable."
In the general letter of instructions, Washington inserted the following clause. "If Lord Chatham's son should be in Canada, and in any way fall into your power, you are enjoined to treat him with all possible deference and respect. You cannot err in paying too much honour to the son of so illustrious a character and so true a friend to America."
Arnold was, moreover, furnished with handbills for distribution in Canada, setting forth the friendly objects of the present expedition, as well as of that under General Schuyler; and calling on the Canadians to furnish necessaries and accommodations of every kind; for which they were assured ample compensation.
On the 13th of September, Arnold struck his tents, and set out in high spirits. More fortunate than his rival, Ethan Allen, he had attained the object of his ambition, the command of an expedition into Canada; and trusted in the capture of Quebec, to eclipse even the surprise of Ticonderoga.
Washington enjoined upon him to push forward, as rapidly as possible, success depending upon celerity; and counted the days as they elapsed after his departure, impatient to receive tidings of his progress up the Kennebec, and expecting that the expedition would reach Quebec about the middle of October. In the interim came letters from General Schuyler, giving particulars of the main expedition.
In a preceding chapter we left the general and his little army at the Isle aux Noix, near the Sorel River, the outlet of the lake. Thence, on the 5th of September, he sent Colonel Ethan Allen and Major Brown to reconnoitre the country between that river and the St. Lawrence, to distribute friendly addresses among the people and ascertain their feelings. This done, and having landed his baggage and provisions, the general proceeded along the Sorel River the next day with his boats, until within two miles of St. Johns, when a cannonade was opened from the fort. Keeping on for half a mile further, he landed his troops in a deep, close swamp, where they had a sharp skirmish with an ambuscade of tories and Indians, whom they beat off with some loss on both sides. Night coming on, they cast up a small intrenchment, and encamped, disturbed occasionally by shells from the fort, which, however, did no other mischief than slightly wounding a lieutenant.
In the night the camp was visited secretly by a person, who informed General Schuyler of the state of the fort. The works were completed, and furnished with cannon. A vessel pierced for sixteen guns was launched, and would be ready to sail in three or four days. It was not probable that any Canadians would join the army, being disposed to remain neutral. This intelligence being discussed in a council of war in the morning, it was determined that they had neither men nor artillery sufficient to undertake a siege. They returned, therefore, to the Isle aux Noix, cast up fortifications, and threw a boom across the channel of
the river to prevent the passage of the enemy's vessel into the lake, and awaited the arrival of artillery and reinforcements from Ticonderoga.
In the course of a few days the expected reinforcements arrived, and with them a small train of artillery. Ethan Allen also returned from his reconnoitring expedition, of which he made a most encouraging report. The Canadian captains of militia were ready, he said, to join the Americans, whenever they should appear with sufficient force. He had held talks, too, with the Indians, and found them well disposed. In a word, he was convinced that an attack on St. Johns, and an inroad into the province, would meet with hearty co-operation.
Preparations were now made for the investment of St. Johns by land and water. Major Brown, who had already acted as a scout, was sent with one hundred Americans and about thirty Canadians towards Chamblee, to make friends in that quarter, and to join the army as soon as it should arrive at St. Johns.
To quiet the restless activity of Ethan Allen, who had no command in the army, he was sent with an escort of thirty men to retrace his steps, penetrate to La Prairie, and beat up for recruits among the people whom he had recently visited.
For some time past, General Schuyler had been struggling * with a complication of maladies, but exerting himself to the utmost in the harassing business of the camp, still hoping to be able to move with the army. When everything was nearly ready, he was attacked in the night by a severe access of his disorder, which confined him to his bed, and compelled him to surrender the conduct of the expedition to General Montgomery. Since he could be of no further use, therefore, in this quarter, he caused his bed, as before, to be placed on board a covered bateau, and set off for Ticonderoga, to hasten forward reinforcements and supplies. An hour after his departure, he met Colonel Seth Warner, with one hundred and seventy Green Mountain Boys, steering for the camp, " being the first," adds he, "that have appeared of that boasted corps." Some had mutinied and deserted the colonel, and the remainder were at Crown Point; whence they were about to embark.
Such was the purport of different letters received from Schuyler; the last bearing date September 20th. Washington was deeply concerned when informed that he had quitted the army, supposing that General Wooster, as the eldest brigadier, would take rank and command of Montgomery, and considering him deficient in the activity and energy required by the difficult service in which he was engaged. "I am, therefore," writes he to Schuyler, "much alarmed for Arnold, whose expedition was built upon yours, and who will infallibly perish, if the invasion and entry into Canada are abandoned by your successor. I hope by this time the penetration into Canada by your army is effected; but if it is not, and there are any intentions to lay it aside, I beg it may be done in such a manner that Arnold may be saved, by giving him notice; and in the meantime, your army may keep such appearances as to fix Carleton, and to prevent the force of Canada being turned wholly upon Arnold.
"Should this find you at Albany, and General Wooster about taking the command, I entreat you to impress him strongly with the importance and necessity of proceeding, or so to conduct, that Arnold may have time to retreat"
What caused this immediate solicitude about Arnold, was a letter received from him, dated ten days previously from Fort Western, on the Kennebec Eiver. He had sent reconnoitring parties ahead in light canoes, to gain intelligence from the Indians, and take the courses and distances to Dead Eiver, a branch of the Kennebec, and he was now forwarding his troops in bateaux in five divisions, one day's march apart; Morgan with his riflemen in the first division, Lieutenant-colonel Eoger Enos commanding the last. As soon as the last division should be under way, Arnold was to set off in a light skiff to overtake the advance. Chandiere Pond, on the Chaudiere Eiver, was the appointed rendezvous, whence they were to march in a body towards Quebec.
Judging from the date of the letter, Arnold must at this time be making his way, by land and water, through an uninhabited and unexplored wilderness, and beyond the reach of recall: his situation, therefore, would be desperate should General Wooster fail to follow up the campaign
against St. Johns. The solicitude of Washington on his account was heightened by the consciousness, that the hazardous enterprise in which he was engaged, had chiefly been set on foot by himself, and he felt in some degree responsible for the safety of the resolute partisan and his companions.
Fortunately, Wooster was not the successor to Schuyler in the command of the expedition. Washington was mistaken as to the rank of his commission, which was one degree lower than that of Montgomery. The veteran himself, who was a gallant soldier, and had seen service in two wars, expressed himself nobly in the matter, in reply to some inquiry made by Schuyler. "I have the cause of my country too much at heart," said he, " to attempt to make any difficulty or uneasiness in the army, upon whom the success of an enterprise of almost infinite importance to the country is now depending. I shall consider my rank in the army what my commission from the Continental Congress makes it, and shall not attempt to dispute the command with General Montgomery at St. Johns." We shall give some further particulars concerning this expedition against St. Johns, towards which Washington was turning 60 anxious an eye.
On the 16th of September, the day after Schuyler's departure for Ticonderoga, Montgomery proceeded to carry out the plans which had been concerted between them. Landing on the 17 th at the place where they had formerly encamped, within a mile and a half of the fort, he detached a force of five hundred men, among whom were three hundred Green Mountain Boys under Colonel Seth Warner, to take a position at the junction of two roads leading to Montreal and Chamblee, so as to intercept relief from those points. He now proceeded to invest St. Johns. A battery was erected on a point of land commanding the fort, the ship yards, and the armed schooner. Another was thrown up in the woods on the east side of the fort, at six hundred yards distance, and furnished with two small mortars. All this was done under an incessant fire from the enemy, which, as yet, was but feebly returned.
St. Johns had a garrison of five or six hundred regulars and two hundred Canadian militia. Its commander, Major