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Letter from an Officer in the Camp before Quebeck



DEAR SIR: I wrote you the 21st ultimo, which I make no doubt you have received. I then gave you some particulars of our march, proceedings, &c˙, since which General Montgomery has joined us with artillery, and about three thousand men; and yesterday we arrived here from Point-aux-Tremble, and are making preparation to attack the enemy, who are in close garrison, but cannot hold out long, as from the best accounts they are much divided amongst themselves, and a prodigious panick has seized them all. Carleton, we are told, is determined to hold out to the very last, as his only hope; for he can expect nothing but punishment from the Ministry, whom he hath most egregiously deceived with regard to the inhabitants of this country. All his friends, or rather his courtiers, say he could not have taken more effectual measures than he has to ruin the country.

The 22d ultimo he issued a very extraordinary proclamation, strictly ordering all who refuse to take up arms and defend the garrison, to depart the town and district within four days, with their wives and children, under pain of being treated as rebels or spies. In consequence of which a great number of the principal inhabitants came out with their families, but were obliged to leave all their property behind, except some wearing apparel and a little household furniture, &c. I enclose you a copy of the proclamation.

Among the corps who came with General Montgomery, is your worthy friend, Captain Lamb, whom I had the pleasure of seeing a few days ago at Point-aux-Tremble.

Our men are in high spirits, being now well clothed with the regimentals taken from the Seventh and Twentieth regiments, who were taken prisoners at St˙ John' s. This is a circumstance which, I believe, the like never before happened to the British troops, as two regiments of them to be made prisoners at one time. Providence smiles on us in a most remarkable manner. The Canadians say, "surely God is with this people, or they could never have done what they have done." They are all astonished at our march through the wilderness, which they say was impossible, and would not believe our coming until they had occular demonstration of it.

We are at a great loss for intelligence from the army at Cambridge and other quarters, having had no certain accounts of their movements, nor the least syllable of news since we left Newbury.

I am astonished a regular communication has not been opened between Montreal and the Colonies; hope you will pay a little attention publickly to it, more especially as there are some scoundrels who with impunity open the letters directed to the officers in our army, and I suppose they continue the like infamous practice with the letters which are sent to our friends and acquaintance.

The General is now absent sending off an express, by whom I send this. I hope the next time I write you it will be from Quebeck; for, if the insulting foe does not surrender shortly, I believe it is the General' s intention to carry the town by storm.