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American Veterans

The American Revolution

"The Battle of Quebec"

December 31, 1775

In late June, Congress directed that action be taken against the British in Canada. Washington detailed the task to Benedict Arnold to attack Quebec. Arnold collected supplies and troops and, on September 11, set off. Arnold believed that he would be able to travel by river to Quebec in twenty days. Unfortunately, he underestimated the time and difficulty of getting to Quebec, and it took Arnold 45 days of arduous traveling to reach Quebec. Many of his men died or turned back along the way. By the end of October they had neared Quebec, but a storm kept them away until November 13th. Arnold's army was in no condition to attack, so they pulled away to recoup. They were joined by 300 men led by Richard Montgomery, General Schuyler's second in command who had just captured Montreal. On December 31, the American forces assaulted Quebec, with 600 men led by Arnold from the North and 300 men led by Montgomery from the South. The British were waiting between successive barriers. The Americans broke through the first line, but were stopped by the second. Arnold was wounded in the leg and carried from the battle field. Montgomery was killed by a bullet to the head, and the American assault failed. Six hundred men were captured and 60 died in the attempt to take Quebec.

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