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James Livingston to General Montgomery


[No˙ 2˙]


Camp at Point OlivĂ©e, near Chambly, Sept˙ 27, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I have sent you four men, who will engage to bring you two or three pieces of cannon down the rapids,


in a batteau, at night. This is of great consequence; and while you are bombarding the fort at St˙ John' s, we may do the like at Chambly. A small guard might be sent to Mr˙ Hazen' s, in case they should be attacked by batteaus from St˙ John' s.

Colonel Allen crossed over from Longeuil the day before yesterday, to attack the Town, with a party of his men and Canadians. General Prescott, hearing of his coming, engaged a number of people from the suburbs, at a half joe per man, to go out against Allen. They met near a league from town, when a smart engagement ensued, which lasted upwards of two hours. They had two field-pieces, and our party, after a long engagement, were obliged to retire, though the enemy, by all accounts, came off second best. I have sent off Mr˙ O' Hara, express, to Longeuil, to learn the true state of this battle. The Canadians that have returned to me, from the battle, agree, in general, that Mr˙ Allen is either dead or taken prisoner. This, if true, is a blow upon us. To-morrow we propose to have a consultation at Longeuil. Our greatest misfortune is the want of ammunition. Mr˙ Allen should never have attempted to attack the Town without my knowledge, or acquainting me of his design, as I had it in my power to furnish him with a number of men. This retreat of our men may be a hurt to us, and weaken our party. I have just sent down the river for a re-enforcement, and will keep them ready against the arrival of your cannon. I could wish to make a bold push against the Town, though nothing can be done without cannon. I hope your batteries are ready to play against St˙ John' s by this time.

If you write to the Congress soon, you will be kind enough to recommend me to them as your goodness may direct you. Whenever my Country calls upon me to its assistance, I shall be always ready to do my duty. I could wish this Province was already united to the others, and cannot expect much peace until that takes place.

I am, with the greatest esteem, yours, &c˙,


To General Montgomery.

P˙ S. Since my writing this, my guards have taken several prisoners, and have examined them separately. They all agree that St˙ John' s cannot hold out long. Your bombs and cannon do mighty execution. Above thirty of the Canadians have deserted from there, and the remainder wait a proper opportunity. I find they intend pushing their way through our intrenchment this side St˙ John' s, with some pieces of cannon, to get to Chambly, and from thence to Quebeck. You will be kind enough to put Colonel Bedel upon his guard, to prevent their passing his intrenchment, and recall his force from La Prairie.