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General Arnold to President of Congress



Camp before Quebeck, February 12, 1776.

DEAR Sir: My last was of the 1st of February, since which nothing has occurred worth notice, except several desertions from the garrison, who are much distressed for fuel, and must soon burn their houses and shipping; they are at short allowance of provisions, and obliged to mount guard every other night, which has made great uneasiness among the seamen, who are the principal part of the garrison.

I have just received the resolves of the honourable Continental Congress as late as 10th of January, and beg leave to present them my respectful compliments and sincere thanks for the honourable mark of esteem they have been pleased to confer on me, which I shall study to deserve.

The multiplicity of accounts which daily arise here, and many which originated in the life of General Montgomery, together with those of the Commissaries and Quartermasters (which, in my opinion, ought often to be adjusted) as well as those of Colonel Livingston' s Regiment, and many others, which are intricate, and do not immediately fall under my particular department, renders it impossible for a commanding officer to pay that attention to them which they deserve, and, at the same time, do his duty as a soldier. I have, therefore, to request that the honourable Continental Congress would take into their consideration, the directing the Paymaster to adjust those accounts, or appointing a Committee for that purpose, who, I make no doubt, would find full employment, prevent many frauds, and greatly accelerate the publick business.

We have been reinforced with only one hundred and seventy-five men; our whole force is about eight hundred effective men. We have about two hundred sick and unfit for duty, near fifty of them with the small-pox. The Canadians, in most of the Parishes, mount for their own safety.

I am, with great esteem, dear sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock.