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Ethan Allen Taken Prisoner

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

By accounts from Canada we learn, that on the twenty-fifth of September last, Colonel Ethan Allen, prompted by ambition, had imprudently, without orders, crossed over from Longueuil with thirty of his own men and fifty Canadians, in order to get possession of Montreal. Colonel Prescot, hearing of his coming, engaged a number of people from the suburbs, at half a joe per man, to join a party of regulars from the garrison, and to go out against him. They met about two miles from the town, when a smart engagement ensued, which lasted upwards of two hours. The enemy had two field-pieces. After a long engagement, the Americans were obliged to retire. Colonel Allen and two or three of his men were taken prisoners, and about as many were wounded; the rest returned to their friends. By the best accounts we learn that a considerable number of the regulars were killed and wounded. 1


1 New York Gazette, October 23: –A correspondent says, “The expedition was a thing of the colonel’s own head, without orders from the general; * and from whom, as well as others, he receives much censure. If they had been apprised of it, they could have put him in a situation to have succeeded without much danger. But Allen is a high flying genius, pursues every scheme on its first impression, without consideration, and much less judgment. It was with the utmost difficulty, and through the greatest entreaty, that General Schuyler permitted him to go with the army, knowing his natural disposition; and, indeed, his fears have proved not groundless, and though trifling our loss, and the detachment, yet it gives a check to our progress. “–New England Chronicle, November 2.

* General Montgomery.

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