Volume 4, Number 6. JROTC Presentation at Mohave High School, Bullhead City. Chapter Meetings

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1 Volume 4, Number 6 Welcome to this issue of your Colorado River Chapter, AZSSAR newsletter. The Colorado River, Red, White & Blue is an official publication of the Colorado River Chapter, AZSSAR. We hope you enjoy this Newsletter and the updates and information it provides. Chapter Meetings Our meeting location in Lake Havasu has been the Mohave County Library in the K-Mart Plaza at 1770 North McCulloch Blvd, Lake Havasu City. We meet June 2014 in the Conference Room just off the Main Library area. JROTC Presentation at Mohave High School, Bullhead City Next Chapter Meeting September 13th Mohave County Library Lake Havasu City Colorado River Chapter rotates meetings between Kingman and Lake Havasu in hopes that one location will be more appealing to you than the other.. Our meeting location in Kingman has been the Mohave County Community College, 1971 Jaegerson Ave, Kingman, which is about 4-5 miles north of I40. The meeting room is in the Library Building in a really nice conference room across from the Library itself. A great place to talk about your Patriot Ancestor s contribution to our Freedom and Chapter future plans. Chapter Vice-President Ray Lackey presents this year s JROTC award to Air Force Cadet First Lieutenant Sean Meadows on 6 May during ceremonies at the high school.

2 Campaigns and Battles of the American Revolution ( ) Our series on Battles of the American Revolution continues with this issue s installment Battles of Hog and Noodle Islands. I hope you find it interesting and informative! Siege of Fort St. John (Canada Campaign) 2 November 1775 Fort St. John is located in Quebec Province, Canada south of Montreal, where it dominated the valley created by the Richelieu River, which empties into Lake Champlain and ultimately into the St. Lawrence River. The stone forts at St. John and Chambly were erected on the shore of the Richelieu River to provide their defenders with a strategic outpost capable of controlling shipping on this waterway. These forts were originally built by the French who lost them to the British in During the summer of 1775, General Carleton, British governor of Canada and commander of all British forces in Canada, made preparations to counter an anticipated invasion by American commanders of Canada. This invasion of Canada became a possibility after the British loss of outposts south at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. These key positions provided the Americans with an excellent base of operation to threaten other British possessions in the north. Rebel raiders had already attacked and seized British ships on Lake Champlain and by June 1775 controlled the entire lake. The British naval losses had provided the Patriots with ships to threaten other British outposts all along the northern corridor into Canada, and the British

3 realized the next likely target was Fort St. John just south of Montreal which allow the British control of the Richelieu River area. The British felt at a disadvantage as General Carleton had limited resources in Canada of a few thousand soldiers and a handful of ships. At St. John, in anticipation of Rebel attacks, the British posted about 800 men under the command of Major Preston. This meager force included several hundred Indian and Canadian volunteers. To further fortify Fort St. John defenses, Carleton also posted a 16-gun warship in the river below the fort. By 1 Sep, Carleton knew the Americans were establishing a base of operation below St. John at the Isle aux Noix, and that a siege could be underway soon. American commanders, encouraged by the ability of Rebel forces in capturing Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point, had led Colonel Arnold to continue his brazen attacks on other British possessions in the area. After seizing a schooner at Skenesborough (Whitehall) on Lake Champlain, Arnold launched a series of naval raids in mid-may that resulted in the capture of four additional ships including a 70-ton sloop. The Rebels also destroyed five other ships. These Patriot victories allowed the Americans to take complete control of Lake Champlain, prompting the Continental Congress to endorse a campaign northward into Canada. Their belief was that such a campaign might urge the Canadians to join the Americans as a fourteenth colony in the revolt against the British authority. An added element of Canada joining the Americans would be Canadian control outposts in the north which would minimize a British threat from that direction. The continued desire to block the British from Canada, prompted the Americans to launch an expedition to invade Canada in late August to early September The expedition was under the command of American Generals Schuyler and Montgomery. The Northern army at this time consisted of bout 3,100 soldiers which moved north in a two-prong invasion intended to converge at Québec. General Montgomery s mission was to lead 2,000 soldiers along the main lake and river connection northward through St. John and Montreal, finally threatening Quebec from the southwest. Colonel Arnold meanwhile would lead the remaining 1,100 soldiers on a route across the wilds of Maine and approach Quebec from that direction. In early September General Schuyler became ill and General Montgomery assumed total command of the campaign. Montgomery s soldiers built entrenchments at Isle aux Noix and placed a barrier across the Richelieu River to prevent British ships from moving south in Lake Champlain and Lake George. These fortifications and barriers were important since the British already had two vessels below Fort St. John. Meanwhile, the Patriots continued to develop plans to defeat the British in the area and invade Canada. The first offensive operation of the Canadian Campaign began on 6 Sept 1775, when Patriot forces attacked the British defenses at Fort St. John, Quebec. Heavy British gunfire from the fort prevented the Americans from getting close enough to seriously threaten the stronghold, and they were forced to retreat to their base at Isle aux Noix. Even with the heavy fire from the fort, the Americans were able to seize supplies at Chambly, where the British had an outpost and supply facility. Still determined after this first set-back for the Americans, on 10 September, General Montgomery launched a second attack in the evening against Major Preston s defenders in the fort. This second attack was comprised of 1,100 men and fourteen boats with intent of invading the fort from the north. This second attack also failed as the main ground assault force became confused in darkness on the marshy terrain below the fort and British cannon fire killed and wounded several Patriots. As the assault fell apart, the leader of this assault, Lieutenant Colonel Ritzema, ordered a retreat. A follow-up assault scheduled the next day was cancelled, so the Americans could reasses their strategy.

4 These two failures had caused the Americans to become demoralized and many had become ill. Luckily for Montgomery and his men, 300 reinforcements arrived to bolster the army s spirits. On 17 September, the Americans launched another combined strike against Fort St. John which again was repelled, though not before the capture of more valuable supplies. No additional assaults occurred in the Canadian Campaign, again until Sep, when the Americans suffered another setback, when American Colonel Allen launched a premature assault without adequate support designed to capture Montreal. This flawed escapade resulted in Allen s capture and loss of his small army. The rest of Sept 1775 passed with the Americans digging traditional siege lines to constrict and crush the forts defenders. However, even though the Patriots could fire into the British lines, they could not capture the fort with a proper ground attack. It was therefore decided that without sufficient supplies, discipline and equipment, the task was impossible. In Oct 1775, the tide turned in the campaign when small successes and the opening of an artillery battery forced British Major Preston to scuttle his main warship the Royal Savage. Then on 18 Oct, 90 soldiers defening British fort at Chambly were forces to surrender. This victory provided the Americans with more artillery, small arms, gunpowder, and other badly needed supplies, or everything they needed to finish the assault against Fort St. John. In an effort to save St. John s beleaguered defenders, British General Carleton tried to punch through American siege lines at Longueil, but American Colonel Warner and the Green Mountain Boys repelled the British assault. Warner s force only numbered 350 soldiers while Carleton had 1,100, but American artillery in commanding positions, bolstered by entrenchments, convinced the British commander he could not successfully cross the St. Lawrence River and Carleton was forces to retreat to Montreal. After this British failure and conferring with American commanders about the hopelessness of the British position at Fort St. John, Major Preston surrendered his garrison to General Montgomery on 2 Nov 1775, thus ending the long siege. This first Patriot victory in the Canadian Campaign was a tremendous success and requisite first step in the American attempt to wrestle Canada from British control. If Montgomery s forces had failed at Fort St. John, continued movement northward would have proven to be impossible. Victory at Fort St. John provided the catalyst for British General Carleton to evacuate Montreal and isolate his remaining forces at Québec City. This in turn made it possible for General Montgomery to capture Montreal without a fight and focus his efforts on Quebec City when plans were to link up with Colonel Arnold s men. But Major Preston s gallant defense at Fort St. John s delayed Montgomery s northward movement enough that he and Arnold would have to fight a major winter campaign, for which they were ill equipped. Casualties were: British 43 killed and wounded with several hundred captured. The Americans had 11 killed and wounded, but scores more died or suffered from disease, the number which are unknown. Sources: A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution by Savas and Dameron, and Wikipedia.org. NEXT: Battle of Montreal (Canada Campaign), September Member Birthdays June 2014 Samuel Andress July 2014

5 Independence Day Brian Smith August 1st Chapter Newsletter Mailed Current Officers September 1st Labor Day Donald Reighard President (928) Ray Lackey Vice President (928) September 13th Chapter Meeting Lake Havasu City Mike Boop Secretary (928) Ray Lackey - Treasurer (928) Jimmie Bodenhamer Registrar/Genealogist (928) Michael Boop Sergeant at Arms (928) Membership If you need assistance with a membership issue, or know someone interested in joining the NSSAR, please provide me the contact information and I will work the issue for you. Jimmie Bodenhamer, Registrar/Genealogist, Colorado River Chapter AZSSAR, 5805 N Cedar Ridge Lane, Kingman, AZ , (928) Calendar of Upcoming Events June 1st Chapter Newsletter Mailed June 14th Flag Day June 15th Father s Day July 4th Newsletter Editor Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and I look forward to any comments or suggestion. Jimmie Bodenhamer, Editor, Need another copy of this Newsletter? It is on our AZSSAR website link.

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