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Letter from General Arnold to General Sullivan: Is retreating with the greatest expedition; has arrived at La Prairie, with some rum, molasses, wine, etc., seized at Montreal; will destroy all the batteaus and break down all the bridges in his rear; expects to be at St. John' s this evening



La Prairie, June 16, 1776 — 11 o' clock A˙ M.

DEAR SIR: I received your letter fromSorel of the 14th instant, at three o' clock, previous to which I had destroyed all the knees, &c. In the morning, I sent CaptainWilkinson express to you; at three o' clock he met the enemy atVarenne, and narrowly escaped being taken; at five he arrived atMontreal; at seven P˙ M. I embarked the whole garrison in eleven batteaus, and got safe over. The rain made it seven o' clock before carts could be procured atLongueil andLa Prairie to carry the sick and baggage. The whole are safe here, with some rum, molasses, wine, &c˙, seized atMontreal. The salt could not be got over. We have destroyed all the batteaus, and will break down al the bridges in our rear. I expect to be atSt˙ Johns at five o' clock this evening. We have thirty carts, which I will send toChambly as soon as they are discharged of their loading. Four or five of the enemy' s vessels are as high asVercheres orVarenne. Our people saw their troops at the latter place, and aFrenchman fromMontreal says they mounted guard there last. The number of the enemy is very considerable. No particular account has been received of their movements.

I am, very respectfully, dear sir, your obedient and humble servant,


To Brigadier-GeneralSullivan,Chambly.