52 Campaign against Quebec , 1775.
Simpson for a steersman, and John Tidd and James
Dougherty as boatmen, we went gaily on for that and
the next day : able to lead any boat in the river.
October 22d. On the evening of this second day,
we encamped on a bank eight or nine feet high, at a
place where we had rested when ascending the river the
first time. In the evening a most heavy torrent of rain
fell upon us, which continued all night. Having now a
good tent over our heads, the inconvenience was not much
felt. We slept soundly. Towards morning, we were
awaked by the water which flowed in upon us from the
river. We fled to high ground.
October 23. When morning came the river pre
sented a most frightful aspect : it had risen at least eight
feet, and flowed with terrifying rapidity. None but the
most strong and active boatmen entered the boats, the
army marched on the south side of the river, making
large circuits to avoid the overflowings of the intervale
or bottom lands. This was one of the most fatiguing
marches we had as yet performed, though the distance
was not great in a direct line. But having no path and
being necessitated to climb the steepest hills, and that
without food, for we took none with us, thinking the
boats would be near us all day. In the evening we
arrived at the fall of four feet, which was mentioned
when ascending the river. Alas ! all the boats of the
army were on the opposite side of the river. The pitch
of the fall made a dreadful noise, and the current ran with
immense velocity. We sat down on the bank sorely
pinched by hunger, looking wistfully towards our friends
beyond the torrent, who were in possession of all the
provisions, tents and camp equipage, convinced however,
that the most adventurous boatmen would not dare the
passage, for the sake of accommodating any of us. We
were mistaken. There were two men, and only two,
who had skill and courage to dare it. Need Lieut.
Simpson, on an occasion like this, be named ? he, ac
companied by John Tidd, entered his empty boat.
Campaign against Quebec^ 1775. 53
What skill in boatmanship ! what aptitude with the
paddle was here exhibited. The principal body of the
water ran over the middle of the fall, and created a
foaming and impetuous torrent, in some measure resem
bling, at this particular time, of a very high freshet, that
of the Oswego falls, which has been known to me ere
this. The river was about one hundred and fifty, or two
hundred yards in breadth, counting on the increase of
water by the rains. The force of the central current
naturally formed considerable eddies at each side of the
river, close under the pitch. Simpson now disclosed his
amazing skill. Though there was an eddy, even that
was frightful, he came by its mean nearly under the
pitch, and trying to obtain an exact start, failed. The
stream forced his boat down the river, but he recovered
and brought it up. Now we, who were trembling for
the fate of our friends, and anxious for our own accom
modation, began to fear he might be drawn under the
pitch. Quick, almost in a moment, Simpson was with
us. He called in his loud voice to Robert Dixon, James
Old (a messmate) and myself to enter the boat. We
entered immediately. He pushed off; attempting the
start by favor of the hither eddy, which was the main
thing we failed. Returning to the shore, we were as
sailed by a numerous band of soldiers, hungry, and
anxious to be with their companions. Simpson told
them he could not carry more with safety, and would
return for them. Henry M Annaly, a tall Irishman,
who could not from experience comprehend the danger,
jumped into the boat ; he was followed by three or four
other inconsiderate men. The countenance of Simpson
changed, his soul and mine were intimate. "O God,"
said he, "men we shall all die." They would not
recede. Again we approached the pitch ; it was horrible.
The bateau swam deep, almost ungovernable by the
paddle. Attempting again to essay the departure we
failed. The third trial was made : it succeeded. As
lightning we darted athwart the river. Simpson with his
54 Campaign against Quebec , 1775.
paddle, governed the stern. The worthy Tidd in the
bow. Dixon and myself, our guns stuck in the railing
of the bateau, but without paddles, sat in the stern next
to Simpson. Mr. Old was in the bow near Tidd.
Henry M Annaly was adjoining Mr. Old. The other
men sat between the stern and bow. Simpson called to
the men in the bow to lay hold of the birch bushes ;
the boat struck the shore forcibly : they caught hold
M Annaly in particular ( this was in the tail of the eddy ),
but like children, their holds slipped, at the only spot
where we could have been saved ; for the boat had been
judiciously and safely brought up. Letting go their
holds, the bow came round to the stream, and the stern
struck the shore. Simpson, Dixon, and myself, now
caught the bushes, but being by this time thrown into the
current, the strength of the water made the withes as so
many straws in our hands. The stern again swung
round : the bow came again ashore. Mr. Old, Tidd,
and M Annaly, and the rest, sprung to the land to save
their lives. Doing this, at our cost, their heels forced
the boat across the current. Though we attempted to
steady it, the boat swagged. In a moment after, at
thirty feet off shore, it being broad side to the current,
turned ; borne under, in spite of all our force, by the
fury of the stream. The boat upsetting, an expression,
as going into the water, fell from me, " Simpson we
are going to heaven." My fall was head -foremost.
Simpson came after me his heels, at the depth of fifteen
feet or more, were upon my head and neck ; and those
grinding on the gravel. We rose nearly together, your
father first my friend followed. The art of swimming,
in which, I thought myself an adept, was tried, but it
was a topsy-turvy business. The force of the water
threw me often heels-over-head.
. In the course of this voyage, after a few hundred
yards, Simpson was at my side, but the force of the
stream prevented the exertion of swimming ; yet the
impetuosity of the current kept us up. It drove us
Campaign against Quebec , 1775. 55
toward the other side of the river, against a long ridge
of perpendicular rocks of great extent. Luckily, in the
course of some hundred yards, the current changed, and
brought us perforce to the north side of the river. Float
ing along with my head just above water prayers in
sincere penitence having been uttered, a boat s crew of
the eastern men handed me a pole. It was griped as by
the hand of death but griped the pole remained to me.
The strength of water was such, that the boat would
inevitably have upset, if the boatman had kept his hold.
A glance of the eye informed me that my companion
in misfortune had shared the same fate. Resigned into
the bosom of my Savior, my eyes became closed ; the
death appeared to me a hard one ; sensibility in a great
degree forsook me. Driving with the current some
hundreds of yards more, the most palpable feeling recol
lected, was the striking of my breast against a root or
hard substance. My head came above water. Breathing
ensued ; at the same moment Simpson raised his head
out of the water, his gold laced hat on it, crying " Oh ! "
neither of us could have crept out ; we should have there
died but for the assistance of Edward Cavanaugh, an
Irishman, an excellent soldier, who was designated in
the company by the appellation of Honest Ned. Passing
from the lower part of the river, he happened to come
to the eddy, at the instant of time my breast struck. He
cried out " Lord, Johnny ! is this you ?" and instantly
dragged me out of the water. Simpson immediately
appearing, he did him the same good office. Lying on
the earth perhaps twenty minutes, the water pouring
from me, a messenger from the camp came to rouse us.
Roused we went to it. But all eyes looked out for
Dixon, all hearts were wailing for his loss. It was
known he could not swim, but none of us could recollect
whether he had dropped into the water or had adhered
to the boat. In some time we had the inexpressible
pleasure of Dixon in our company. He had stuck to
the side of the boat, which lodged on a vast pile of drift
56 Campaign against Quebec , 1775.
wood some miles below, and in this way he was saved.
Arriving at the camp our friends had a large fire prepared,
particularly for our accommodation ; heat upon such an
occurrence is most agreeable. My two friends in dis
tress, whose clothing was principally woolen felt none
of my private disaster. My leather breeches attached
closely and coldly to the skin. Modesty prohibited a
disclosure. The sense of pain or inconvenience which
was observed bv my seniors, caused an inquiry. Imme
diately the breeches were off and stuck upon a pole to
dry. Simpson was so much exhilerated by our escape,
that seated on a stump, he sung Plato in great glee. It
became a favorite with us. During all this time, perhaps
till one or two o clock, my breeches were in my hand
almost in continued friction. The laugh of the company
was against me, but it was borne stoically.
October 24, the following morning, presented me with
many difficulties ; to be sure my horn, with a pound of
powder, and my pouch, with seventy bullets, were un
harmed by the water, though around my neck in the
course of our swimming. Yet I had lost my knapsack,
my hat, and my most precious rifle. Awaking, the
world appeared to be a wild waste. Disarmed, my insig
nificance pressed strongly on my mind dishonor seemed
to follow of course. Without the armor of defence, men
and nations are mere automatons, liable to be swayed by
the beck of power and subject to the hand of oppression.
Young as your father was, his soul was oppressed. To
return with the invalids was dreadful, and without arms,
he could not proceed. Comfort came to me in the shape
of Lieutenant, now General Nichols, then of Hendricks.
He had two hats he presented me one ; but what was
more to my purpose, he, or General Simpson, informed
me that some of the invalids wished to dispose of their
rifles. With the assistance of Nichols and Simpson, a
bargain was struck with a person called William Rey
nolds, or Rannals, of our company ; who was miserably
sick, and returned in the boats. Money was out of the
Campaign against Quebec, 1775. 57
question, an order upon my father, dated at this place,
for the price of twelve dollars was accepted, and after
wards, in due time, paid honorably. This gun was short,
about forty-five balls to the pound, the stock shattered
greatly, and worth about forty shillings. Necessity has
no law. Never did a gun, ill as its appearance was, shoot
with greater certainty, and where the ball touched, from
its size, it was sure to kill. This observation, trifling as
it may seem, ought to induce government to adopt guns
of this size, as to length of barrel, and size of ball.
There are many reasons to enforce this opinion. We
departed from this place without any material occurrence,
and went rapidly forward.
October lyth. Somewhat laughable ensued on this
morning near the first pond, at the head of the river.
The Virginians (though it is not probable that any of
the officers excepting one) had taken up the idea, that
they were our superiors in every military qualification,
and ought to lead. Hendricks, though the oldest com
missioned officer of the rifle companies, was still the
youngest man. For the sake of peace and good order,
he had not assented to, but merely acquiesced in Morgan s
assumption of the command of our corps, as the elder
person. Those men, who were clever and brave, were
just such in that behalf, as we were ourselves : but a
Mr. Heath, who was blind of an eye, a lieutenant of
Morgan s, seemed to think, that all others were in
ferior to those of the ancient dominion. We had a hard
morning s pushing, when coming up to the first pond,
at the head of the Dead-river, we saw Heath before us.
Observing to Simpson, "push him" we went up with
much force ; poor Heath laboring as a slave to keep
his place. Tidd and Dougherty felt my spirit as much,
as Simpson did. At the moment of our passing, for we
went up on the outside of him, towards the middle of
the current, his pole stuck, upon which he gave us a
few hearty curses. Entering the lake, the boat under
my guidance and information, steered directly for the
58 Campaign against Quebec, 1775.
passage to the second lake. Humphreys (Morgan s first
lieutenant) a brave and most amiable man, whom we
highly esteemed, was in a boat far to the left, searching
for a passage. Simpson, at my instance, hailed him to
come on. He answered there was no passage there, al
luding to the place we steered for. Encouraging my
friend to go on, the deception Humphreys lay under was
soon discovered. The creek was soon discovered.
The creek was deep and serpentine, and the country
around, for a considerable distance, a flat. A log
brought down by the last freshet, lay across the stream,
so as to give to a stranger the idea that the mouth of
the creek was merely a nook of the lake. Setting the
log afloat, as was easily done, the boat proceeded.
October 28. Continuing rapidly, for now we had no
carrying, nor marking of trees, there being plenty of
water, the evening was spent at the foot of that mountain
called the Height-of-land. 1 This was a day of severe
labor. The navigation of the Chaudiere, being, so far
as our information went, represented to the captains,
Hendricks and Smith, as very dangerous, they, to save
their men, concluded to carry over the hill, but one
boat for each of their companies. This resolution was
easily accomplished. Morgan, on the other hand, de
termined to carry over all his boats. It would have made
your heart ache, to view the intolerable labors his fine
fellows underwent. Some of them, it was said, had the
flesh worn from their shoulders, even to the bone. The
men said it ; but by this time an antipathy against
Morgan, as too strict a disciplinarian had arisen.
October 2Qth. The following day, the army, dis
jointed as was our corps, at least Hendricks s and Smith s,
encamped on the plain, on the bank of the Chaudiere.
1 The Hon. Miles Standish lives on what is termed the Flag Staff
Plantation, at the foot of Mount Bigelow, on Arnold s route, the mountain
on which Maj. Timothy Bigelow planted a flag staff, which gave name to
the mountain and place. Letter from Hon. James W. North. M.
Campaign against Quebec , 1775. 59
Morgan afterwards took his station near us. Here it
first became generally known, that Enos had returned
from the twelve mile carrying-place, with 500 men, a
large stock of provisions, and the medicine chest. 1 It
1 The desertion of Enos was known by a portion of the army as early as
the 2,3d. He made an ingenious defence of his retreat, and at the trial the
witnesses being his own officers, who were all in favor of returning, he was
acquitted, but never survived the stigma of having done a disreputable
Head-Quarters, Cambridge, November 30, 1775.
A General Court Martial to sit to-morrow morning, at eleven o clock,
at Mr. Pomeroy s, in Cambridge, to try Lieutenant-Colonel Enos, for
" quitting his commanding-officer without leave." President, Brigadier-
General Sullivan, with the twelve field-officers next for court-martial duty.
COLONEL ROGER ENOS TO THE PUBLIC.
I esteem it the duty of every man not only to merit a good name, but to
appear in defence of it when unjustly attacked, and, if possible, to clear it
from groundless aspersions. Great numbers, for want of proper informa
tion, or by artful misrepresentations, imbibe unreasonable prejudices against
their fellow men, and form conceptions greatly to their disadvantage, who,
on a full and impartial knowledge of the facts, will essentially alter their
opinions, and applaud those actions which, from misrepresentation, they
were inclined to censure and condemn. As my character, both as an
officer and soldier, hath of late suffered much in the view of many, and as
I value my reputation as high as my life (indeed, I consider it as the
greatest curse that can befall a man to outlive his character), I must beg
leave, through the channel of the press, to exhibit to the world the follow
ing representation of my case ; which I trust will sufficiently clear up my
character, and convince the impartial, that my conduct, instead of the cen
sure, merits the approbation of the public.
At a Court of Inquiry held at Cambridge, on Wednesday, the 2gth day
of November, 1775, by order of his excellency the commander-in-chief
of the forces of the United Colonies, to examine into the conduct of Lieu
tenant-Colonel Enos, for leaving the detachment under Colonel Arnold and
returning home, without permission from his commanding officer, present :
Major-General Lee, president ; Brig. General Greene, Brig. General
Heath, Colonel Nixon, Colonel Stark, Major Durkee, Major Sherburne.
The court are of opinion, after receiving all the information within their
power, that Colonel Enos s misconduct (if he has been guilty of misconduct) is
not of so very heinous a nature as was first supposed, but that it is necessary,
for the satisfaction of the world, and for his own honor, that a court-martial
should be immediately held for his trial.
CHARLES LEE, M.aj. General^ President.
A true copy, from the minutes of said court, compared and examined by
W. TUDOR, Judge Advocate.
60 Campaign against <jhiel>ec y ijy$.
damped our spirits much, but our commander conceived
it was better to proceed than return. We were about
a hundred miles from the frontier of Canada, but treble
that distance from that of New-England. Our provisions
Proceedings of a general court-martial of the line held at head-quarters at
CAMBRIDGE, by order of bis Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq. y Com-
mander-in-cbief of the Forces of the UNITED COLONIES, DECEMBER I, A.D.
Brigadier-General Sullivan, president ; Colonel Bridge, Colonel Sergeant,
Colonel Greaton, Lieutenant-Colonel Cleveland, Lieutenant-Colonel Marsh,
Lieutenant-Colonel Reed, Lieutenant- Colonel Brown, Lieutenant-Colonel
Vose, Major Poor, Major Wood, Major Woods, Major Johnson ; W.
Tudor, judge advocate.
The court, being duly sworn, proceeded to the trial of Lieutenant-Colonel
Enos, of the Twenty-Second Regiment, under an arrest for leaving the de
tachment under Colonel Arnold, and returning home, withouc permission
from his commanding officer.
Lieutenant-Colonel Enos, being arraigned on the above charge, says, that
true it is, he did return without permission from Colonel Arnold, his com
manding officer j but the circumstances of the case were such as obliged
him so to do.
Captain Williams. At the great carrying-place, I heard that the men
ahead were in want of provision. About two-thirds across the great
carrying-place, I met Major Bigelow coming back with ninety-five men,
who said they wanted provision ; I dealt out to them a barrel of pork and
one of flour j I delivered Major Bigelow six barrels more of provision. We
proceeded forward, and met several parties returning home, and we had
orders to supply them with provision to reach the English settlements.
When I came up with Colonel Enos, I was informed by Major Bigelow
there had been a council of war, and that it was settled that, for want of
provisions, the whole detachment under Colonel Enos should return. Col
onel Enos proposed to go forward, and let his division return j but as there
was a large number, besides those which belonged properly to our division,
and as we had several invalids to bring back, and were very short of provi
sion (for we had but three days provision, and were above one hundred
miles from the English settlements), I thought it was absolutely necessary
for Colonel Enos to take the command of the party back, and protested
against his going on to join Colonel Arnold j at the same time, not know
ing that Colonel Enos had any orders from Colonel Arnold to join him.
That division which went on to join Colonel Arnold had not more than
five days provision. We supplied Colonel Greene s division with most of
their provision, and left ourselves but three days provision.
Captain McCobb. About fifty miles up the Dead river we held a council
of war, at which I assisted as a member ; and it was agreed that the whole
division under Col. Enos should return, there not being sufficient provision
to carry both divisions through. Colonel Greene s division being some
way ahead, it was found that we should save two days time by letting that
Campaign against Quebec ^ 1775. ^i
were exhausted. We had no meat of any kind. The
flour which remained, so far as I know, was divided
fairly and equally, among the whole of the troops, the
riflemen shared five pints of ftour per man. During the
division go forward, and time was too precious and provision too scarce to
enter into disputes. It was thought best for the service, that Colonel
Greene s division should proceed, and we left them with about five days
provision, and returned with three ourselves. Lieutenant-Colonel Enos
was for going forward without his division; but, for the same reasons which
have been mentioned by Captain Williams, I protested against his going on.
Captain Scott confirms all that Captain McCobb deposes, and adds, that
he himself protested against Colonel Enos s going forward 5 that he thought,
and is now confirmed in the opinion, that the presence of Colonel Enos
was very necessary to preserve the harmony and order necessary to
secure the safe retreat of the men who were ordered to return.
Lieutenant Hide. I assisted at the council of war up the Dead river.
We found, by the best computation, that it would take fifteen days to reach
any French inhabitants, and that it would be impossible for both divisions
of Greene s and Enos s to go through, the provision being so short. It was
adjudged that there was about four days provision for those who went for
ward, and we returned with three. I protested against Colonel Enos s going
on to join Colonel Arnold, his presence being necessary for our safe retreat,
as we had a number of invalids, and a considerable number of men who did
not belong to either of the companies in our division.
Lieutenant Buckmaster confirms what Lieutenant Hide deposes j and
adds, that it was the opinion of all the officers of Colonel Enos s division,
that he should return with his division, as we had one hundred and fifty
men who did not belong to our division, who had only a subaltern to com
mand them, and whom it would have been impossible to manage without
Colonel Enos s presence.
The court being cleared, after mature consideration, are unanimously of
opinion, that Colonel Enos was under a necessity of returning with the
division under his command, and therefore acquit him with honor.
JOHN SULLIVAN, President,
A true copy of the proceedings.
Attest : W. TUDOR, Judge Advocate.
New-York, April 28, 1776.
I hereby certify that I was president of a court-martial, in Cambridge,
when Colonel Enos was tried for leaving Colonel Arnold with the rear
division of the detachment under his command, bound for Quebec ; and,
upon the trial, it clearly appeared to me, as well as to all the other mem
bers of the court, that Colonel Enos was perfectly justifiable in returning
with the division, being clearly proved, by the testimony of witnesses of
undoubted veracity (some of whom I have been personally acquainted with
for a number of years, and know them to be persons of truth), that so
much provision had been sent forward, to support the other divisions, as
62 Campaign against Quebec , 1775.
night and the ensuing morning, the flour was baked into
five cakes per man, under the ashes, in the way of Indian
October 3Oth. We set forward. The men were
told by the officers " that orders would " not be required
in the march, each one must u put the best foot foremost."
The first day s march was closed by a charming sleep on
fir-branches. The gentlemen of our mess lay together,
covering themselves with the blankets of each one. My
memory does not serve, to say, that any stir was made
by any one, during the night. Happening to be the first
left them so small a quantity that their men were almost famished with
hunger on their return 5 and some would undoubtedly have starved, had
they not, by accident, come across and killed a large moose. Upon their
evidence, there remained no doubt in the mind of myself, or any of the
members, that the return of the division was prudent and reasonable j being