The Battle of Ticonderoga
The Battle of Ticonderoga. At noon of 20 April, 1775, the news of the battle of Lexington reached New Haven, and Arnold, who was captain of the governor’s guards, about 60 in number, assembled them on the college green and offered to lead them to Boston. Gen. Wooster thought he had better wait for regular orders, and the selectmen refused to supply ammunition; but, upon Arnold’s threatening to break into the magazine, the selectmen yielded and furnished the ammunition, and the company marched to Cambridge. Arnold immediately proposed the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and the plan was approved by Dr. Warren, chairman of the committee of safety. Arnold was commissioned as colonel by the provincial congress of Massachusetts, and directed to raise 400 men in the western counties and surprise the forts. The same scheme had been entertained in Connecticut, and troops from that colony and from Berkshire, with a number of “Green mountain boys,” had already started for the lakes under command of Ethan Allen. On meeting them Arnold claimed the command, but when it was refused he joined the expedition as a volunteer and entered Ticonderoga side by side with Allen.
A few days later Arnold captured St. John’s. Massachusetts asked Connecticut to put him in command of these posts, but Connecticut preferred Allen.
Arnold returned to Cambridge early in July, proposed to Washington the expedition against Quebec by way of the Kennebec and Chaudiere rivers, and was placed in command of 1,100 men and started from Cambridge 11 Sept. The enterprise, which was as difficult and dangerous as Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps, was conducted with consummate ability, but was nearly ruined by the misconduct of Colonel Enos, who deserted and returned to Massachusetts with 200 men and the greater part of the provisions. After frightful hardships, to which 200 more men succumbed, on 13 Nov., the little army climbed the heights of Abraham. As Arnold’s force was insufficient to storm the city, and the garrison would not come out to fight, he was obliged to await the arrival of Montgomery, who had just taken Montreal. In the great assault of 31 Dec., in which Montgomery was slain, Arnold received a wound in the leg. For his gallantry he was now made brigadier-general.