Siege of St. John


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St. John, SIEGE OF. Because of the illness of General Schuyler, General Montgomery was placed in active command of the American army invading Canada. On September 10, 1775, Montgomery left Isle aux Noix and landed 1,000 troops near St. John, the first military post within the Canadian border. Deceived concerning the strength of the garrison and the disposition of the Canadians, he fell back and waited for reinforcements. Other New York troops joined him. Lamb's company of artillery came late in September. Some troops from New Hampshire under Colonel Bedel, and Green Mountain Boys, led by Colonel Seth Warner, also joined him. The garrison, commanded by Major Preston, was well supplied with provisions and ammunition. This circumstance, the disaster to Ethan Allen near Montreal, and the insubordination and mutinous spirit displayed by the Connecticut and New York troops, prolonged the siege. It lasted fifty-five days. On the evening of November 2, when Preston heard of the defeat of a considerable force under Carleton, on their way to relieve him, and was notified of the fall of Chambly, he determined to surrender the fort unless relief speedily came. Montgomery demanded an immediate surrender. Preston asked a delay of four days. His request was denied, and the garrison became prisoners of war on the 3rd, marching out of the fort with the honors of war. There were 500 regulars and 100 Canadian volunteers. The spoils were forty-eight pieces of artillery, 800 small-arms, some naval stores, and a quantity of lead and shot.



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