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Letter from General Montgomery to General Wooster



Head-Quarters before Quebeck, December 16, 1775.

DEAR GENERAL: The bearer, Mr˙ Melchior, I sent express to St˙ John' s for artillery stores; be so good as to


give him all the assistance in your power, particularly in money matters. Yesterday we opened a battery of five guns and a howitzer, and with very little effect. I attempted to summon the Governour by a flag of truce; he would not receive any letter. The enemy have very heavy metal, and I think will dismount our guns very shortly; some they have already rendered almost useless. This gives very little uneasiness; I never expected any other advantage from our artillery than to amuse the enemy and blind them as to my real intention.

I propose the first strong northwester to make two attacks by night: one, with about a third of the troops, on the lower town, having first set fire to some houses, which will, in all probability, communicate their flames to the stockade lately erected on the rock near St˙ Rogue; the other upon Cape Diamond bastion, by escalade. I have not time to point out my reasons for this particular attack; let it suffice that it is founded on the nature of the grounds, works, and the best intelligence I have been able to procure. However, I am not certain whether or no the troops relish this mode of proceeding; I am fully convinced of the practicability. But should it not appear in the same advantageous light to the men, I shall not press it upon them, well knowing the impossibility of making troops act with the necessary vigour on such an occasion, if their minds are possessed with imaginary terrors.

We are exceedingly weak, it is true, but the enemy are so too, in proportion to the extent of their works; and as they know not where they will be attacked, all must be guarded; indeed, their apprehensions for the lower town, induce them to bestow their greatest attention on that quarter. I hope the arms, lead and flints are on the way. I could wish for a reinforcement if to be spared. We have not much above eight hundred men fit for duty, exclusive of a few ragamuffin Canadians. I believe you will not think it proper to let the contents of this letter go abroad. Should you have no accounts of any cash on the way, I must beg you will send an express to hasten it. I shall soon be exceedingly distressed if a supply does not arrive. I must therefore beg you to raise what you can for fear of accidents. Let a considerable number of shirts be sent down as soon as possible; our men are much in want of them. I must refer you to Mr˙ Melchior for particulars.

Believe me, dear sir, with much esteem, yours, &c˙,


To General Wooster.