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The Americans Repulsed

Type: Document

During the battle of New Year's Eve of 1775, a column of American rebels led by General Arnold made one last attack on Quebec City. Arnold was wounded and many of his men captured when British governor Carleton attacked the rebels from behind.

Site: National Defence

Private, The Royal Highland Emigrants, 1775-1776

Type: Image

The Royal Highland Emigrants, the artificers and the sailors defending Quebec City in 1775-1776 all had, according to Lt. William Lindsay of the Quebec ‘British’ Militia: ‘buff vests and breeches, and the Royal [Highland] Emigrants, Seamen, and Artificers in green, with scarlet facings, cape [collar] and cuffs’. The Highlanders received their government tartan kilts, red coatees faced with blue and bonnets in 1777. In 1779, the regiment was made part of the British regular army as the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). By 1782, the kilts had obviously worn out as they had been turned into ‘Plad [sic] trousers’ and ‘tartan trousers’. So, in effect, trews had been made out of the kilts. New kilts were not issued as, by May 1784, ‘Breeches in lieu of half plaid’ were being issued to the men shortly before the battalion was disbanded in June. Reconstruction by Charles Stadden. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Night Assault

Type: Document

The Americans rebels decided to try a three-pronged attack on Quebec City on the night of December 31, 1775. The first attack, a diversion, allowed General Montgomery to lead a second column against the Lower Town. Montgomery was killed and his troops routed by the defenders

Site: National Defence

City of Quebec militiaman, circa 1775­-1776

Type: Image

The militia of Quebec City was divided into two sections in 1775 - 'Canadian Militia' drawn the francophone population, and 'British Militia' made up of anglophones. During the siege of Quebec, both were issued with the same uniform: green coat without lapels, with green facings; buff waistcoats and breeches; tricorne hat. The uniforms were drawn from stocks sent from Britain in the summer of 1775 for a proposed but never raised corps of Canadian light infantry. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Carleton Rallies - Guy Carleton Defends Quebec from American Revolutionaries - Invasion or Liberation - A Question of Loyalties

Type: Document

This excerpt from the television series "Canada: A People's History" describes the suspenseful days of November and December 1775 as Governor Guy Carleton defends the city of Quebec from the attacking American armies of Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold. Site includes links to educational resources, bibliography, games, puzzles, and video clips.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Carleton Rallies the Defenders

Type: Document

In November 1775, Governor Carleton organized the defenders of Quebec City to face a siege by the American rebels. British regular troops were few in number. Canadian militia, from both the anglophone and francophone communities, made up the majority of the defenders

Site: National Defence

The death of General Richard Montgomery, 31 December 1775

Type: Image

This romantic early-20th century engraving shows American rebel general Richard Montgomery as he dies during the 31 December 1775 attack on Quebec. The American troops are correctly shown in their summer uniforms - they lacked winter clothing.

Site: National Defence

Winter Takes a Hand

Type: Document

In December 1775, the American rebels outside Quebec City suffered badly from the cold weather. Worse, they had no artillery able to hurt the fortifications. Hoping the Canadian militia would surrender quickly if given an excuse, General Montgomery decided to try to storm the town.

Site: National Defence

Saving What Could Still Be Saved

Type: Document

By November 1775, British plans for raising thousands of Canadian troops to fight the American rebels were out of date. In order to save the colony from the rebels, Quebec City would have to be defended until British reinforcements could arrive in the spring of 1776.

Site: National Defence

Sketch map of American attacks on Quebec, 31 December 1775

Type: Image

Shown are the routes General Montgomery's and Arnold's columns took when attacking the Lower Town, as well as the feints made against the walls of the Upper Town. The real fighting took place in the cramped streets of the Lower Town, where darkness, cold and confusion made for some desperate fighting at the barricades.

Site: National Defence