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Extract of a Letter from Colonel Arnold



Before this reaches you I make no doubt you will have heard of our misfortune of the 31st ultimo, and will be anxious for my safety. I should have wrote you before, but a continual hurry of business has prevented me. The command of the Army, by the death of my truly great and good friend, General Montgomery, devolved on me; a task, I find, too heavy under my present circumstances. I received a wound by a ball through my left leg, at the time I had gained the first battery, at the lower town, which, by the loss of blood, rendered me very weak. As soon as the main body came up, with some assistance I returned to the hospital, near a mile, on foot, being obliged to draw one leg after me, and a great part of the way under the continual fire of the enemy from the walls, at no greater distance than fifty yards. I providentially escaped, though several were shot down at my side. I soon learned the death of our General, who attacked the town at the side opposite to me; he behaved heroically: marched up in the face of their cannon, and when he had nearly gained the pass, received the fatal shot, or the town would have been ours. This occasioned the disaster that afterwards happened to my detachment, which, after the General' s defeat, had the whole garrison to encounter, under every disadvantage of ground, &c˙ &c. To return was impossible, as the route was within fifty yards, and exposed to the fire of the whole garrison, who had brought several pieces out of one of the fates, which our people would have been obliged to pass. In this situation, they maintained their ground near three hours; but being overpowered with numbers, were obliged to lay down their arms; about three hundred, including Captain Lamb, of New-York, and part of the train, were taken prisoners, and as near as I can judge, about sixty killed and wounded. Captain Oswald is among the prisoners; he was with me in a selected party of about twenty-five, who attacked the first battery; behaved gallantly, and gained much honour; the prisoners are treated politely, and supplied with every thing the garrison affords. Governour Carleton sent to let me know that the soldiers'


baggage, if I pleased, might be sent to them, which I shall immediately send. Though the enemy are now double our number, they have made no attempt to come out. We are as well prepared to receive them as we can possibly be in our present situation, divided at a distance of two miles. I expect General Wooster from Montreal in a few days with a reinforcement. I hope we shall be properly supported with troops by the Congress. I have no thoughts of leaving this proud town, until I first enter it in triumph. My wound has been exceeding painful, but is now easy, and the surgeons assure me will be well in eight weeks. I know you will be anxious for me. That Providence which has carried me through so many dangers, is still my protection. I am in the way of my duty, and know no fear.