Montreal Is Captured

General Richard Montgomery led American troops in the capture of Montreal on November 13, 1775.

The American presence in Canada proved short-lived. Just weeks later, British victory at Quebec forced a hasty retreat to New York.

After joining Benedict Arnold, who had led American troops through the Maine wilderness to Canada, Montgomery attacked the city of Quebec on December 31. Montgomery was killed in the failed attempt to capture the city, and Arnold retreated to Fort Ticonderoga in northeastern New York.

In September 1775, the Continental Army began moving into Quebec, with the goal of liberating it from British military control. Brigadier General Richard Montgomery led one force up Lake Champlain, successfully besieging Fort St. Jean and capturing Montreal on November 13. Colonel Benedict Arnold led a force of 1,100 men through the wilderness of Maine toward the city of Quebec.

Quebec's governor, General Guy Carleton, had been preparing the defense of the province against possible invasion since May 1775, following the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Arnold and Ethan Allen, and Arnold's raid on Fort St. Jean on May 18. While Carleton concentrated the defense at Fort St. Jean, small British garrisons were located at Montreal and Quebec.

I have the pleasure to acquaint you with the surrender of Chambly to
Major Brown and Major Livingston, which last headed about three hundred
Canadians…The troops are in high spirits…Col. Warner has had a
little brush with a party from Montreal. The enemy retired with the loss
of five prisoners and some killed…Some of the prisoners (Canadians)
are dangerous enemies, and must be taken care of. ”

— General Richard Montgomery to the Continental Congress