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Letter from General Thompson to General Sullivan, June 7


Nicolete, June 7, 1776.

DEAR GENERAL: I arrived here at one o' clock this morning, and as the men were much fatigued, their arms wet, and the night so far advanced, it rendered it impossible to get to Three Rivers before light, and must have passed in sight of the enemy' s vessels, ten in number, that have got about five miles above Three Rivers.

I have ordered the whole detachment to be in readiness to embark at nine o' clock this evening, and shall pass the river St˙ Lawrence about three miles above the shipping, and after leaving a guard of two hundred and fifty men with the boats, proceed by land to the Three Rivers, and, if possible, begin the attack at daylight.

No certain accounts of the number of the enemy — the intelligence is from five to fifteen hundred. If I shall find that they are numerous, and that they are strongly intrenched, I shall not risk a battle, as a defeat, at this time, would greatly distress us.

I have not found a proper place near this to fortify, the banks being overflowed at the mouth of the river; nor would I venture to keep troops below the vessels, as they surely have it in their power to prevent our boats from passing, and it is out of our power to keep up a communication by land. I believe, therefore, we must make the best of the banks at or near the Sorel, or fortify the Islands.

I have ordered Captain Stevens to stop above the Lake with the artillery till further orders, as the loss of the few he has with him would be very fatal to us. You will hear from me to-morrow.

I am, dear General, your affectionate, humble servant,