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The Battle of Quebec

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The Battle of Quebec

Benedict Arnold

The Continental Congress made the decision on June 27 to try to take Quebec and the St. Lawrence River from the British. They incorrectly assumed that the tens of thousands of French-Canadians would gladly join the thirteen colonies in rebellion.

George Washington dispatched Benedict Arnold with soldiers to take Quebec. Arnold took part of the force (1000 volunteers) and marched through the Maine wilderness beginning at the Kennebec River. The river had many waterfalls and the crossing was difficult. By the end of October they had run out of supplies and winter had started. The soldiers starved and half died of disease and starvation or left to return home. The expedition did survive however. Arnold went ahead as the army froze and brought back food.

The other force led by Richard Montgomery marched a different route and captured Montreal. But Quebec was well fortified with a strong garrison. Attempts to take the citadel failed. Montgomery was killed and Arnold was wounded, barely escaping with his life. The hope to make Canada the 14th colony failed.

The Continental Army

The Treachery of Benedict Arnold

Part of These United Colonies: The American War of Independence exhibit