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Thus terminated the enterprise against Canada. It was a bold, and at one period promised to be a successful effort to annex that extensive province to the United Colonies. The dispositions of the Canadians greatly favoured the measure; and had Quebec fallen, there is reason to believe the whole colony would have entered cordially into the union. Had a few incidents turned out fortunately, had Arnold been able to reach Quebec a few days sooner, or to have crossed the St. Lawrence on his first arrival; or had the gallant Montgomery not fallen in the assault of the thirty-first of December; it is probable the espedition would have been crowned with complete success. But the radical causes of failure, putting fortune ont of the question, were to be found in the lateness of the season, when the troops were assembled, in a defect of the preparations necessary for such a service, and still more in the shortness of the time for which the men were enlisted. A committee of Congress appointed to enquire into the causes of the miscarriages in Canada, reported, “That the short enlistments of the continental troops in Canada have been one great cause of the miscarriages there, by rendering unstable the number of men engaged in military enterprises, by making them disorderly and disobedient to their officers, and by precipitating the commanding officers into measures which their prudence might have postponed,
could they have relied on a longer continuance of their troops in service.
“ That the want of hard money had been one other great cause of the miscarriages in Canada, rendering the supplies of necessaries difficult and precarious, the establishment of proper magazines absolutely impracticable, and the pay of the troops of but little use to them. .“ That a still greater, and more fatal source of misfortunes has been the prevalence of the small pox in that army; a great proportion whereof has thereby been usually kept unfit for duty.”
A committee was also appointed to enquire into the conduct of General Wooster, which acquitted him of all blame.
But had the expedition been crowned with the most complete success, the practicability of maintaining the country is very much to be doubted. Whilst General Montgomery lan before Quebec, and counted on obtaining possession of the place, he extended his views to its preservation. Hi plan required a permanent army of ten thousana men, strong fortifications at Jaques Cartier and the Rapids of Richelieu, and armed vessels in the river above the latter place. With this army, and these precautions, he thought the country might be defended, but not with an inferior force,
Experience has fully demonstrated the utter impossibility of keeping up such a force at that time, Ff 4
at at such a distance from the strong parts of the union. The want of specie alone, had there not been other causes powerfully co-operating with it, would have forced the Americans to evacuate the country, unless the Canadians could have been prevailed on to consider themselves as principals in the war, and to give paper money the same currency which it received in the United Colonies.
It seems then to have been an enterprise requiring means beyond those in the command of Congress ; and the strength exhausted on it, would have been more judiciously employed in preparing to secure the command of the lakes and the fortified towns upon them.
Transactions in Virginia, Action at the Great
Bridge-Norfolk evacuated and burneil-Transactions of North Carolina, Action at Moore's Creek Bridge— Invasion of South Carolina British Fleet repulsed at Fort Moultrie-Transactions in New York - Measures leading to 112dependence-Independence declared.
W HILST the war was carried on thus vigo
rously in the north, the southern colonies were not entirely unemployed. The Convention, which met at Richmond, in Virginia, proceeded to put the colony in a posture of defence. It was determined to raise two regiments of regular troops for one year; and to enlist a part of the militia as minute-men, who should encamp by regiments, for a certain number of days in the spring and fall, for the purpose of training, and should at all times be ready to march at a minute's warning to any part of the colony, for its defence.
Lord Dunmore, who was joined by such of his friends as had become too obnoxious to the people in general to be permitted to reside in safety among them, and by a number of slaves, whom he encouraged to run away from their masters, and whom he furnished with arms, was collecting,
under cover of the ships of war on that station, a considerable naval force, which threatened to be extremely troublesome in a country so intersected with large navigable rivers as the colony of Virginia. With this force, he carried on a small predatory war, and at length attempted to burn the town of Hampton. The inhabitants having received some intination of this design, gave notice of it to the commanding officer at Williamsburg, where some regulars and minute-men were stationed ; two companies of whom were detached to their assistance. Having marched all night, they reached the town in the morning, just as the ships had begun to cannonade it. This reinforcement throwing themselves into the houses near the water, and firing from thence with their small arms into the vessels, soon obliged them to retreat precipitately from their stations, with the loss of a few men, and a tender, which was captured.
In consequence of this repulse, his Lordship proclaimed martial law, and summoned all persons, capable of bearing arms, to repair to the royal standard, or be considered as traitors; and offered freedom to all indented servants and slaves who would join him. This proclamation made some impression about Norfolk; and the Governor collected such a force of the disaffected and negroes, ás gave him an intire ascendancy in that part of the colony. A body of militia, assembled to oppose