George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Benedict Arnold, 13 November 1775

From Colonel Benedict Arnold

Point Levi [Quebec]
[13]th Novr 1775

May it please your Excellency

The foregoing is a Copy of my last of the 8th Instant, by an Express sent me by General Montgomery, who, I am this Moment informed, was taken fifteen Leagues above this on his Return1—I have waited three Days for the Rear to come up, and in preparing scaling Ladders &c.

The Wind has been so high these three Nights that I have not been able to cross the River, but is now moderated and intend crossing this Evening with about 40 Canoes; to prevent which the Hunter Sloop & Lizard Frigate lie opposite—however expect to be able to evade them.2 I have received the agreeable Intelligence that St John’s is in our Hands and Montreal invested. The Merchant Ships in the Harbour (about fifteen) are loading Day & Night, & four already sailed. I am very respectfully Your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble Servt

Benedt Arnold

LS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in GW to Hancock, 4 Dec. 1775, DNA:PCC, item 152. Although this letter is dated 14 Nov., the context indicates that Arnold wrote it on 13 November. See note 2 below. Pointe de Lévy is directly across the St. Lawrence River from the city of Quebec.

1The letter was carried by two Indians, whom Montgomery had sent to Arnold about 29 Oct. and who were returning to Montgomery when they were captured by the enemy (Arnold to Richard Montgomery, 14 Nov. 1775, in Roberts, March to Quebec description begins Kenneth Roberts, ed. March to Quebec: Journals of the Members of Arnold’s Expedition. New York, 1938. description ends , 85–86).

2Arnold’s detachment crossed the St. Lawrence between 9:00 p.m. 13 Nov. and 4:00 a.m. 14 November. See Arnold to Richard Montgomery, 14 Nov. 1775, ibid., 87–88.

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