Battle of Fort Ticonderoga



Meanwhile Montgomery, with a little more than a thousand men, had gone to Isle La Motte to prevent British vessels a-building on the Sorel, passing into Lake Champlain. There he was joined by Schuyler on the 4th of September. They pushed on to Isle aux Noix, and with a considerable force appeared before the fort at St. Johns, the first military post within the Canadian border. Deceived concerning the strength of the garrison and the disposition of the Canadians, they fell back and waited for reinforcements. There Schuyler was prostrated with sickness, and at the middle of the month he was compelled to return to Ticonderoga. Fever, gout, and rheumatism tortured him for a long time, and he did not rejoin the army, but did better service in sending forward reinforcements and supplies.

Montgomery was now in full command of the army. He immediately invested St. Johns with about a thousand men. New York troops had already joined him. Lamb's company of artillery came late in September. Some troops from New Hampshire under Colonel Bedel, and Green Mountain Boys led by Colonel Seth Warner, also joined him. The garrison was commanded by Major Preston, and was well supplied with provisions and ammunition. This circumstance, the injudicious movements of Colonel Ethan Allen and Major Brown, who were recruiting south of the St. Lawrence, and the insubordination and mutinous spirit displayed by the Connecticut and New York troops, prolonged the siege. It lasted fifty-five days. On the evening of the 2nd of November, when Preston heard of the defeat of a considerable force under Carleton, on their way to relieve him, he surrendered the fort, garrison, and munitions of war to Montgomery. The spoils of arms, ammunition, provisions and clothing, were considerable. Five hundred regular soldiers, and one hundred Canadian volunteers, were made prisoners of war.

Some victories and disasters had occurred at other points during the siege. Colonel Allen, with about one hundred recruits, mostly Canadians, crossed the St. Lawrence to attack Montreal. He was misled by the advice of Major Brown, who agreed to cross at another place and join in the attack. General Robert Prescott was in command of the city. He sallied out with a considerable force of regulars, Canadians and Indians, and after a sharp skirmish made Allen and his men prisoners. For reasons never explained, Brown did not cross the river, and the attacking party were overwhelmed. When Prescott learned that Allen was the man who seized Ticonderoga in May, he was greatly enraged. He ordered his chief prisoner to be bound hand and foot with irons, and sent to England to be tried for treason. Prescott caused his shackles to be fastened to a bar of iron eight feet in length. With this, Allen was thrust into the hold of a war-vessel, where he was kept five weeks without a seat, or a bed to lie upon, when she sailed for England, and more humane treatment was given him. Allen was kept in close confinement in England, Halifax, and New York until the spring of 1778, when he was exchanged.





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