Quebec, 1775: the American invasion of Canada
The American attack on Quebec in 1775 was a key episode in the build-up to the War of Independence. Capture of the city would give the Americans control of Canada - a strategic disaster for the British. In May 1775 Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but Congress only reluctantly supported proceeding to a full invasion of Canada. Still, Arnold was permitted to lead an expedition to Quebec across modern-day Maine. However, during the 350-mile trek through largely uninhabited wilderness 300 men turned back, while another 150 deserted or died of disease - just 650 reached Quebec. The American siege continued until May, when the thaw brought British reinforcements and relief. More American defeats followed, and soon the British controlled Lake Champlain, but delays in building the fleet had left them insufficient time to recapture Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga. The Americans were forced to permanently abandon their hopes of bringing Canada into their war of rebellion.
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THE ROAD TO QUEBEC
THE OPPOSING FORCES
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1st Canadian Regiment 31 December 7th Foot Allen American Archives of Canada Arnold Arnold's fleet arrived artillery Author's photograph barricade bateaux battalion battery boats Boston British Brown Burgoyne's C.W. Peale campaign Canadians cannon Cape Diamond Captain captured Carleton Chambly colonel colonies command companies Congress Connecticut Continental Army Crown Point David Wooster Dearborn defenses enemy enlistments fire force Forster French and indian garrison Gates Green Mountain Boys gunboats gunners guns Hazen independence National Historical infantry invasion June Lake Champlain later Lieutenant Loyalists MacLean Major miles militia Montgomery Montreal Morgan Moses Hazen musket National Archives National Historical Park November officers Pennsylvania Philadelphia Preston Pringle prisoners recruited regiments reinforcements returned riflemen river Royal Highland Emigrants Royal Navy Royal Savage Schuyler sent September siege Skenesboro Sorel St Johns St Lawrence St Roche Sullivan surrender Thomas Ticonderoga Trois Rivieres troops Valcour Island vessels Washington Wooster wounded York