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Ethan Allen

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

November 1. –Colonel Allen’s misfortune happened by reason of his not being joined by four hundred men, which, undoubtedly, would have enabled him to have withstood the party that attacked him, they being only three hundred strong. Colonel Allen withstood them an hour and a quarter, with only about forty men, exclusive of seventy Canadians. When the party from Montreal was marching down to give Colonel Allen battle, he retreated to an advantageous spot of ground, where he made a stand, and soon saw a party of men filing off to surround him, whereupon he sent off about half his men, under the command of Captain Youngs, to annoy them; but neither Youngs nor any of his party ever fired a gun, for reasons best known to themselves, and Allen was left with about thirty-five men, as most of the Canadians left him on the first fire from the enemy. Allen had but one man killed in the skirmish–seventeen of the enemy were killed; among whom are Major Garden, who commanded the party, and several principal Tory merchants of Montreal. Several Canadians were taken prisoners with Colonel Allen, whom the regular officers said they would put to death; on which Allen stepped up, opened his breast, and said the Canadians were not to blame; that he brought them there, and if anybody must be murdered, let it be him. This got him great credit with all the officers at Montreal, and Carleton himself said it was a pity a man of Allen’s spirit should be engaged in so bad a cause, as he calls it. Colonel Allen is prisoner on board the Gaspee brig, before Montreal. General Schuyler has offered to give up any officer he has, in exchange for him, but has not yet. received an answer. 1


1 Extract of a letter from camp before St. John’s, in the Constitutional Gazette, November 29.

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