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I have the pleasure of acquainting you, that we still hold our ground before Quebec, and keep the enemy closely blockaded, though we have received but a small reenforcement of one hundred and fifty men from Montreal. The enemy have, within these ten days, sallied out twice at Palace Gate, with about four or five hundred men, with a view of seizing two field-pieces we have on that side. Our men advanced briskly to attack them, when they made a precipitate retreat, under cover of their guns. I make no doubt of holding our ground, as we expect a reinforcement daily, which W T C are anxiously waiting for, as the duty is very severe.
I have taken the liberty, in former letters to the Honorable Continental Congress, to give my opinion in regard to men and measures necessary for the reduction of Quebec. The necessary ways and means for supporting those men, I have omitted, as General Montgomery, in his lifetime, transmitted you his sentiments on the matter, as well as on the necessary measures for forming a lasting union between this country and the Colonies. I have only to observe, if the Capital is taken, I believe paper money will soon have a currency.
Major John Brown, who came down with General Montgomery, with about one hundred and sixty men, collected from different regiments, now assumes and insists on the title of Colonel, which he says the General promised him at Montreal. That the General promised him promotion, he told me some time before his death. When Major Brown wrote to remind him of his promise, the General handed me his letter, and told me, at the same time, as Colonel Easton and Major Brown were publicly impeached with plundering the officers baggage, taken at Sorel, contrary to articles of capitulation, and to the great scandal of the American army, he could not, in conscience or honor, promote him (Major Brown), until those matters were cleared up. He then sent for Major Brown, and told him his sentiments on the matter very freely; after which I heard of no further application for promotion. This transaction, Colonel Campbell, Major Dubois, and several gentlemen were knowing to. As Colonel Easton and Major Brown have, doubtless, a sufficient share of modest merit to apply to the Honorable Continental Congress for promotion, I think it my duty to say, the charge before mentioned is the pub lic topic of conversation at Montreal, and among the officers of the army in general ; and, as such conduct is unbecoming the character of gentlemen or soldiers, I believe it would give great disgust to the army in general, if those gentlemen were promoted before those matters were cleared up.
This will be delivered you by Mr. David Hopkins, a gentleman who came out a volunteer with me. His spirited conduct, botlion our march, and since our arrival in this country, merits my recommendation to your notice, of which I think him" worthy. I am, &c., BENEDICT ARNOLD.
P. S. The contents of the inclosed letter I do not wish to be kept from the gentlemen mentioned therein. The public interest is my chief motive for writing. I should despise myself were I capable of asserting a thing in prejudice of any gentleman, with out a sufficient reason to make it public.
- Benedict Arnold
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume I., Jared Sparks, 1853