Slogging through Maine in an attempt to assault the British at Fort Quebec, the soldiers faced freak blizzards and raging rapids. Starvation forced them to eat whatever they could find, including such delicacies as dog meat and boiled leather straps.
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Displaying uncommon stamina and a steely will to survive, an army weakened by illness, hunger and death arrived at Fort Quebec only to realize that it lacked the necessary numbers and equipment to effectively besiege the stronghold. The reinforced troops stormed the gates with little success; Montgomery was killed and Arnold wounded in the initial raid. Unable to take the fort, Arnold settled for harrying the British by sea.
Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec
He could not defeat their superior navy, but he stalled it long enough to prevent the ships from sailing south to reinforce the British armies in the colonies until the following season, a delay that contributed greatly to the American victory at Saratoga in Desjardin Stand Firm Ye Boys from Maine , , not reviewed recounts the march in descriptive, detailed prose studded with visceral imagery, but Arnold comes across as a frequently incompetent commander throughout the Maine march, making it difficult to credit the decisive impact his actions had.
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THROUGH A HOWLING WILDERNESS by Thomas Desjardin | Kirkus Reviews
Before Benedict Arnold was branded a traitor, he was one of the colonies' most valuable leaders. In September , eleven hundred soldiers boarded ships in Massachusetts, bound for the Maine wilderness.
They had volunteered for a secret mission, under Arnold's command to march and paddle nearly two hundred miles and seize British Quebec. Before they reached the Canadian border, hundreds died, a hurricane destroyed canoes and equipment and many deserted. In the midst of a howling blizzard, the remaining troops attacked Quebec and almost took Canada from the British simultaneously weakening the British hand against Washington.
With the enigmatic Benedict Arnold at its center, Tom Desjardin has written one of the great American adventure stories. Chapter One The Fourteenth Colony He came within view of his father's house a little past noon on a pleasant late-September day.
Eighteen months had passed since he had left this home in Bridgewater of the Desjardin has salted his account with great bits of regional history. Desjardin has pulled off this feat in just pages of terse, well-hewn prose.
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A vivid narrative of a vital American event.