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ing to different colonies, stationed at different places, acknowledging no one commanding offi. cer, were found in a state of entire disorganization. The stores were misapplied, or wasted; no sort of subordination, or camp discipline, was observed ; and it can scarcely be doubted, that had the enemy been in a condition to attempt a surprise, Tycolle deroga and Crown Point would have been lost withi as much facility as they had been acquired *.
The intelligence from Canada which had been
* The situation of the troops is thus described by General Schuyler, in a letter from Tyconderoga, of the 18th of July, to General Washington :
“ You will expect that I should say something about this place, and the troops here. Not one earthly thing for offence or defence has been done.
66 The commanding officer had no orders, he only came to reinforce the garrison, and he expected the General. About ten, last night, I arrived at the landing place, the north end of lake George, a fort occupied by a Captain and one hundred men. A sentinel, on being informed I was in the boat, quitted his post to go and awake the guard, consisting of three men, in which he had no success. I walked up, and came to another, a serjeant's guard. Here the sentinel challenged, but suffered me to come up to him, the whole guard, like the first, being in the soundest sleep. I could have cut off both guards, and then have set fire to the block-house, destroyed the stores, and starved the people here. But I hope to get the better of this inattention. The officers and men are all good looking people, and I really believe will make good soldiers, as soon as I can get the better of this non chalance of theirs.
forwarded forwarded to Congress, confirnied the reports before received of the weakness of the regular troops by which that province was defended; of the great exertions of Governor Carleton to engage the Canadians and tlie Indians to take up arms and invade the United Colonies, and of their unwillingness to do so; but the opinion was still maintained, that unless the colonists shewed a sufficient force in that country to give confidence and security to their friends, the machinations of the Governor would ultimately prevail.
In consequence of this intelligence, the orders to General Schuyler were made unconditional, and he was directed positively to enter Canada. He commenced, and assiduously prosecuted the task of preparing vessels for the transportation of the troops ; a task the more laborious and tedious, as the timber for the batteaux was then to be procured from the woods. Before the preparations were complete, or the troops destined for the expedition had all assembled, the impatience expressed by their friends in Canada, and some information which was received of a vessel of force soon to be launched at St. John's, on the river Sorel, in order to enter the lakes, rendered an immediate movement advisable. General Schuyler had returned to Albany, to hold a Congress with the Indians, whose dispositions were very justly suspected to be hostile. When this intelligence was communi
cated to him by General Montgomery, an officer of very distinguished merit, then at Crown Point, orders were immediately given himn to embark with the troops then in readiness; and General Schuyler having directed the expected reinforcements to rendezvous at the Isle Aux Noix, twelve miles south of St. John's, followed Montgomery', and joined him before he reached that place.
Circular letters to the Canadians, exhorting them to rouse and assert their liberties, and declar. ing that the Americans entered their country a3 friends and protectors, and not as enemies, were immediately dispersed among them; and believing that they would be encouraged thereby, it was determined to advance directly on Șt. John's. The American force, amounting to about one thousand men, entirely destitute of artillery, embarked on the Sorel on the 6th, and proceeding towards St. John's, landed within about a mile and a half of that place, in a swamp, from whence they marched in order towards the fort, for the purpose of reconnoitring its situation. On the march they were suddenly attacked by a body of Indians, whom they dispersed; after which, they threw up a small entrenchment, and encamped for the night. The intelligence received at this place, respecting the situation of St. John's, and of the vessel preparing to enter lake Champlain, determined them to return to the Isle Aux Noix, there
to wait for their remaining troops and artillery; and in the mean time to secure the entrance of the lakes.
The Isle Aux Nois lies at the junction of tlie Sorel, with lake Champlain ; and to prevent the armed vessels at St. John's from entering the latter, a boom was drawn across the channel, which . is narrow at that place.
General Schuyler, who had been for some time much indisposed, became now so excessively ill, as to be unable to leave his bed, and the command devolved on Montgomery. '
Mr. Livingston, a gentleman residing on the river Chamblie, who was very strongly attached to the American cause, and had rendered it great service, pressed so earnestly for a detachment from the army, to cut off the communication between St. John's and La Prairie, that a party was ordered out for that service. But it was seized with one of those panics to which raw troops are peculiarly liable, and without having seen any real danger, they fled precipitately back to camp.
Livingston, in the mean time, counting on the aid for which he had applice, had assembled about three hundred Canadian volunteers, and grew extremely apprehensive of being left exposed to the whole force of the chemy.
Montgomery flattered himself that his troops, ashamed of their late misconduct, were determined
to retrieve their reputation; and as the artillery and expected reinforcements had now arrived, he again embarked his army, consisting of not quite two thousand men, on the Sorel, and proceeded to invest Fort St. John's.
This place was garrisoned by five or six hur.lrcc regulars, with about two hundred Canadian militia, and was well provided with artillery and military stores. The army of Canada, as well as the other armies of the United Colonies, was almost entirely without powder, and of consequence the siege made slow progress. Their necessities in this respect were fortunately relieved by the capture of Fort Chamblie, which, being supposed to be covered by Fort St. Jolin's, was not in a defensible condition. This Fort was suddenly attacked, and carried by a detachment, consisting of about fifty united colonists, under Major Brown, and three hundred Canadians, under Major Livingston.' The garrison became prisoners of war, and some pieces of artillery were taken; but the most valuable acquisition made at this place was about one hundred and twenty barrels of gunpowder, which enabled the American General to proceed with vigour against St. John's. Though the only person in his camp possessing any military experience, he was over-ruled in his plans by liis field officers; and with extreme mortification declared in one of his letters to General Schuster,