1775 Letter From General Montgomery

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Extract of a Letter from Gen. Montgomery, dated Camp near St. John's, Nov. 3, 1775.

My Dear General,

I have the pleasure to acquaint you, the garrison surrendered last night. This morning we take possession--To-morrow I hope the prisoners will set off. Enclosed you have the capitulation, which I hope will meet with your approbation, and that of Congress. I have ventured to permit an officer or two to go to their families, which are in some distress at Montreal, upon their parole. They cannot do us any harm, and there would have been a degree of inhumanity in refusing them.

"When we had played on the fort some hours from our battery of four twelve pounders on the N.W. and another of two twelve pounders and two four pounders on the East side, some prisoners arrived, who had been taken in an action with Governor Carlton at Longueile. He made an attempt to land with thirty-four boats full of men. Warner's detachment, consisting of the Green Mountain Boys and second regiment of Yorkers, repulsed them with loss, took two Indians and two Canadians prisoners. We have buried three Indians, and it is supposed many in the boats must have been killed--We had not a man even wounded. This I believe is his last effort.

One of the above mentioned prisoners I sent into the fort, to inform Major Preston of the circumstances of the action, that he might judge what prospect he could have of relief. It had the desired effect. The garrison having been on half allowance for some time.

I am making the necessary preparations to proceed immediately down to Montreal by way of La Prairie, as the enemy have armed vessels in the Sorel.

Several men of rank in Canada are among the prisoners. I have permitted them to remain at Crownpoint; till the return of two gentlemen, they send to their friends for money, c. They pleaded hard to return home, but they are too dangerous to let loose again.

Col. Easton and Major Brown with that corps, and Mr. Livingston, with I believe a thousand Canadians, are going towards the mouth of the Sorel, and pushing Col. Allen McClean before them. McClean had many Canadians, but they joined through fear of fire and sword.

I send you a list of artillery--a good deal of artillery stores, but we have not time to ascertain them.

I am, c. Signed. .......... RICHARD MONTGOMERY.

St. John's, Nov. 2, 1775.


Articles of Capitulation, proposed by Major Charles Preston, for his Majesty's Fort of St. John's, in the Province of Canada.

ARTICLE I. All acts of hostilities shall cease on both sides till the articles of capitulation shall be agreed upon and signed.

Answer. Agreed.

Article II. The garrison shall be allowed the honours of war, and suffered to proceed with their baggage and effects to the most convenient port of America, from thence to embark for Great-Britain, as soon as they shall be furnished with transports and provisions, by his Excellency General Gage, or the commander in chief of his Majesty's troops in America.

Answer. The garrison shall march out with the honours of war: This is due to their fortitude and perseverance. The non-commissioned officers and privates shall ground their arms on the plain, south of the fort, and immediately embark on board such boats as shall be provided for that purpose: The officers shall keep their side arms, and their fire arms shall be put up in a box, and delivered to them when these unhappy disputes are ended, if they do not choose to dispose of them before.

The garrison must go to Connecticut government, or such other province as the Honourable the Continental Congress shall direct, there to remain till our unhappy differences shall be compromised, or till they are exchanged--Our prisoners having been constantly treated with a brotherly affection, the effects of the garrison shall not be with-held from them.

Article III. An officer or quarter master from each corps shall be allowed to pass to Montreal upon parole of honour, there to transact and settle the business of his respective corps, and to bring up their baggage, clothing and pay; for which purpose they shall be furnished with carts and batteaus,

Answer. Agreed to in the fullest latitude.

Article IV. The Canadian gentlemen, and other persons residing in this province, and now at St. John's, shall be permitted to return unmolested, to their respective homes, with their army and baggage, and remain secure in their property and effects.

Answer. Answered in the second article--The Canadian gentlemen and others being part of the garrison.

Article V. The sick and wounded shall be taken proper care of, and permitted to join their respective corps, or return to their respective homes, upon their recovery.

Answer. The sick and wounded shall be taken care of by their own surgeons, and when recovered follow their respective corps.

Article VI. As soon as the above articles shall be signed, Major Preston will deliver up the fort, with the ammunition, provisions, c.

Answer. To-morrow morning at 8 o'clock the garrison will march out, having first collected their baggage and effects together in a convenient place for embarkation, and leaving a guard for its protection. The officers must be upon honour with respect to their baggage, for should any Canadian or others effect his escape, his baggage shall be given as plunder to the troops.--The Quarter Master General with proper Commissaries, will attend at 8 o'clock to receive the artillery, ammunition, naval stores, c. The deserters from the Continental army shall not be included in the stipulation for the garrison.--The commanding officer to sign and deliver the articles of capitulation by sun set this evening.

.......... Signed, c.


St. John's, Nov. 3, 1775.

.......... "Return of brass and iron ordnance and mortars in the north and south forts at this place. Brass:

24 Pounders .......... 12 ditto .......... 6 ditto .......... 4 ditto .......... 3 ditto .......... Ditto: 8 Inch Howitz ..........

Iron: 9 Pounders .......... 8 ditto .......... 6 ditto .......... 11 5 ditto .......... 4 ditto .......... 3 ditto .......... Mortars: 5 and an half .......... 4 and two fifths ..........

Published by Order of Congress.



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