Battle of Quebec (1775)
The Battle of Quebec was fought on December 31, 1775, between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of Quebec City. The Battle was won by the British, who suffered a small number of casualties, while the Americans suffered heavy losses and were forced to retreat to the safety of Fort Ticonderoga in New England.
About Battle of Quebec (1775) in brief
The Battle of Quebec was fought on December 31, 1775, between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of Quebec City early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came with heavy losses. General Richard Montgomery was killed, Benedict Arnold was wounded, and Daniel Morgan and more than 400 men were taken prisoner. The British forces in Canada consisted of three regiments, with the 8th Regiment holding various forts around the Great Lakes and the 7th and 26th regiments guarding the St. Lawrence river valley. Apart from these regiments the only forces available to the Crown were about 15,000 men of the militia and the 8,500 or so warriors from the various Indian tribes in the northern district of the Department of Indian Affairs. Most of the Indians in the region had no desire to fight for either the Congress or the Crown. Only the Haudenosaunee, Kanieh, and Iroquois, living in their homeland, were traditionally allies to the British Crown, and even then some of the Six Nations like the Sixida and Oneida were already negotiating with the Americans. The Battle was won by the British, who suffered a small number of casualties, while the Americans suffered heavy losses and were forced to retreat to the safety of Fort Ticonderoga in New England. The U.S. and British misunderstood the nature of Canadien society. Both the British and the Americans believed that the habitants would welcome them as liberators from their feudal society.
The habitants, despite being tenant farmers, tended to display many of the same traits displayed by the farmers in the 13 colonies who mostly owned their land, being described variously as individualistic, stubborn, and spirited together with a tendency to be rude and disrespectful of authority figures if their actions were seen as unjust. Many of the Canadiens still clung to the hope that one day Louis XVI would reclaim his kingdom’s lost colony of New France, but until then, they wanted to be left alone. The memory of Pontiac’s 1763 had made most of the whites living in the Ohio River valley, Great River valley distrustful of all whites in the Mississippi River valley. The French felt the British to be very shallow, and their loyalty to the UK was very shallow. Both Congress and Arnold argued that the British were holding the British forces holding Canada were holding a very weak, very willing to be held hostage by the French, and that they were not willing to fight the British for their own interests. The Americans and Arnold maintained an ineffectual blockade of the city until spring, when British reinforcements arrived. These actions stimulated both British and rebel leaders to consider the possibility of an invasion of the Province of Quebec by the rebellious forces of the Second Continental Congress, and Quebec’s governor, General Guy Carleton, began mobilizing the provincial defenses. In the end, the Americans won the battle, but the British had to wait until the end of the year to recover.