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Letter from Major Preston to General Montgomery


St˙ John' s, November 1, 1775.

SIR: I am credibly informed that the prisoner you permitted to pass here this evening is frequently subject to fits of insanity, and therefore cannot lay much stress on what he says.

Equally anxious to prevent the further unnecessary effusion of blood, and zealous to maintain the honour of His Majesty' s arms, I now inform you, that should no attempt be made to relieve this place within the space of four days, I will then offer to you my proposals relative to a surrender. The low state of my provisions, the destruction of artillery stores, tools, &c˙, are points with which the deserter was not well acquainted. In whatever way the fate of this garrison may be determined, I flatter myself it will never depend on the assembling of Canadians, who must have rendered themselves equally contemptible to both parties.

I am, Sir, your humble servant,


Major 26th Reg' t, comm' g at St˙ John' s.

To Brigadier-General Montgomery.