Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD.
Cambridge, 27 January, 1776.
On the 17th instant I received the melancholy account of the unfortunate attack on the city of Quebec, attended with the fall of General Montgomery and other brave officers and men, and your being wounded. This unhappy affair affects me in a very sensible manner, and I sincerely condole with you upon the occasion; but, in the midst of distress, I am happy to find, that suitable honors were paid to the remains of Mr. Montgomery; and our officers and soldiers, who have fallen into their hands, were treated with kindness and humanity.1
Having received no intelligence later than the copy of your letter of the 2d to General Wooster, I would fain hope, that you are not in a worse situation than you then were; though, I confess, I have greatly feared, that those misfortunes would be succeeded by others, on account of your unhappy condition, and the dispirited state of the officers and men. If they have not, I trust, when you are joined by three regiments now raising in this and the governments of Connecticut and New Hampshire, and two others ordered by the Congress from Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, with the men already sent off by Colonel Warner, that these misfortunes will be done away, and things will resume a more favorable and promising appearance than ever.
I need not mention to you the great importance of this place, and the consequent possession of all Canada, in the scale of American affairs. You are well apprized of it. To whomsoever it belongs, in their favor, probably, will the balance turn. If it is in ours, success I think will most certainly crown our virtuous struggles. If it is in theirs, the contest at best will be doubtful, hazardous, and bloody. The glorious work must be accomplished in the course of this winter, otherwise it will become difficult, most probably impracticable; for administration, knowing that it will be impossible ever to reduce us to a state of slavery and arbitrary rule without it, will certainly send a large reinforcement there in the spring. I am fully convinced, that your exertions will be invariably directed to this grand object, and I already view the approaching day, when you and your brave followers will enter this important fortress, with every honor and triumph attendant on victory. Then will you have added the only link wanting in the great chain of Continental union, and rendered the freedom of your country secure.
Wishing you a speedy recovery, and the possession of those laurels, which your bravery and perseverance justly merit, I am, dear Sir, yours, &c.1
[1 ]During the night of the attack on Quebec there was a tempestuous snowstorm. The bodies of the persons slain under the cliff of Cape Diamond were not discovered till morning, when they were found nearly enveloped in snow. They were taken into the city on a sled. Three of them were known to be officers, and from the initials R. M. written in a fur cap, picked up at the place of the bloody catastrophe, it was conjectured to have belonged to General Montgomery. His features were disfigured by a wound, which he had received in the lower part of the head and neck. At length a woman and a boy were brought, who had lately come into the city from the American camp, and who had often seen the principal officers. They identified the bodies of Montgomery, Captain McPherson, Captain Cheeseman, and an orderly sergeant.
[1 ]“Government being fully convinced of these Facts, will most assuredly send a strong and considerable Reinforcement to Quebec, early in the Spring, which will render the reduction of it, exceedingly difficult, if not impracticable. The great and important work must then be accomplished in the course of the present Winter, or the rights of America may be lost forever. I must therefore intreat you, in case General Schuyler’s indisposition should not permit him to act, to exert yourself upon the occasion, as much as you possibly can, and to give every assistance in your power for compleating our conquest in that quarter.”—Washington to General Wooster, 27 January, 1776.