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The Battle of Quebec (City) was the first defeat suffered by the American colonial troops during the Revolutionary War. After American forces had captured the city of Montreal on November 13, 1775, it was decided that Quebec would be their next objective. Separate forces led by Gen. Richard Montgomery and Gen. Benedict Arnold made their way through the wilderness under extreme conditions before arriving at Quebec in December. Although Montgomery laid siege to the city, many of Arnold's troops' enlistments were to expire on January 1, so Montgomery deemed an attack essential. Although outnumbered nearly 2-to-1, Montgomery decided to assault the city, attacking from two areas during a blinding snowstorm--the best chance for a surprise attack, Montgomery reasoned. The American forces broke through the defenses, but Montgomery was mortally wounded early in the assault, and his forces retreated, leaving Arnold's men isolated. Arnold was soon wounded, and he turned over command to Colonel Daniel Morgan (who would become a legendary commander later in the war, best known for his victory at the Battle of Cowpens and his major part in the important victory at Saratoga). Morgan and his 400 remaining men took refuge in the city, but British reinforcements soon surrounded him, and he was forced to surrender. Arnold laid siege to the city with the remnants of his and Montgomery's forces, but he eventually retreated, leaving the city in British hands.
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