Chapter 16: The Battle of Quebec City (Part 1)
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"For freedom!"

"Oorah!"

The skies were still dark when General Kim made his move. Several marines were killed by British fire as they approached the walls, but the main bulk of the colonial forces pushed on through the breach. The riflemen of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment picked off any defenders they could see on the walls and provided covering fire for the advancing soldiers. In addition to this, the marine artillery corps continued to fire at British positions on the walls and on the main citadel itself. Out of the 3,000 or so men that were taking part in the assault, a good majority of them were attacking through the western walls. The western walls were the most heavily fortified and heavily manned part of the city, but it was also the place where the Continental Army had a chance to entrench themselves. The northern and eastern defenses were directly next to the city itself and lacked open space for the units to freely move and establish themselves. Meanwhile, there were open fields and hills behind the western gates, the perfect terrain for the marines to dig in and organize themselves.

The plan of attack was complex, yet simple. The assault was to be carried out from three different directions: west, north, and east. Colonel Arnold and Major Knowlton, along with two hundred marines, were to attack from the river itself utilizing boats and rafts to seize the docks and place pressure on the British flanks. The 3rd Connecticut Regiment, along with the 1st Massachusetts, were tasked with striking the northern defenses using the cover of darkness and surprise. The main attacking force, consisting of the remaining units of General Kim's army, was ordered to breach the western defenses and secure the walls for the final push into the city proper. His goal was to divide the enemy forces so that one of the fronts could achieve a breakthrough, or at least disorient the enemy and pressure them from multiple sides.

General Kim fired several shots as he advanced forward, the marines streaming in first as the shock troops. Before he committed his men to the attack, he also directed the men to enter through the breach in waves. Each wave was tactically planned to utilize the strength of each unit under his command. The first wave was the marines, the elite troops that would establish a "beachhead" and push back the enemy. The second wave would consist of the 1st Canadian Regiment and the individuals in the regiment would shout for the defending Canadian militiamen to surrender and to fight for their freedom from the British. Even if the militiamen sided with the British did not defect or turn against the British regulars, the action was approved by General Kim to demonstrate that the attack was not merely a colonial effort to seize Quebec. It was also to make the defending militiamen hesitant to fire upon their own countrymen. Only time would tell if the tactic worked, but it was worth an effort.

The third wave would consist of the Native American cavalry units, which would enter through the breach and strike any British units attempting to resist the colonial advance in the open field. With fire support from the marines and the Canadian regiment, the cavalry would sweep any British defenders attempting to remain close to the western walls in order to fire upon the narrow entry point. Once the field was cleared and secured, the Pennsylvanians would move in and signal for the artillery to halt their fire. Afterward, the riflemen would man the remainders of the wall and nearby high points to harass the British forces near the outskirts of the city itself.

It was a solid plan in theory, but now the plan would be tried against hostile British soldiers.

As the Canadian regiment, shouting at the top of their lungs, followed the marines, he silently prayed to his "benefactor" for victory and success.

Hopefully, his prayers would be heard and the brave men on the other two fronts would succeed in their endeavors.

+++++

Major John Brown of the 1st Massachusetts Militia Regiment's respect towards General Kim and his men grew significantly during the time he spent with them. The marines were a fearsome bunch, as their superior weaponry and tactics made them extremely difficult to defeat in combat. And led by their inspiring and fearless leader, it was unsurprising that the marine regiment was undefeated in combat and prevailed in every battle. Major Brown greatly appreciated having the marines by his side, as they were a source of inspiration for his men and the other units under General Kim's command.

However, he did not appreciate the fact that he was now in charge of leading the assault on the northern defenses of Quebec City.

Despite the men of the 3rd Connecticut and the 1st Massachusetts Militia being isolated from their allies, the push into the northern parts of the city was initially a success. Some of the British regulars and militiamen that were manning the northern defenses were sent to the west to counter the main assault group. Additionally, the two regiments managed to catch the defenders off guard using the cover of darkness and managed to get an accurate volley of musket fire on the remaining soldiers on the defenses before the defenders were able to respond. As a result, the two colonial regiments managed to enter the city limits and seize the northern Dauphine Redoubt with few casualties.

Unfortunately, one of the casualties happened to be Colonel Justin Swift, who was shot in the leg by a frantic Quebecois militiaman while he was leading the 3rd Connecticut Regiment forward. The man was not in any mortal danger, but he was unable to continue leading the assault and was evacuated by two soldiers from his regiment despite his protests.

As the next highest-ranking officer, he was now the leader over a thousand men with the task of continuing the attack into the city. Major Brown knew that he was allowed to retreat or hold his ground if the situation looked bleak, as General Kim didn't want any of them being captured or killed pointlessly. Regardless, he knew he couldn't sit still or retreat. There were only two hundred marines involved in the river invasion and faced an uncertain amount of defenders. If Major Brown halted his attack now, it would allow the British to reposition themselves and repulse the marines fighting in the riverfront.

He ducked behind the stone redoubt as a bullet whizzed by him. The major gritted his teeth as he readied his musket and fired towards the origin of the bullet. He wanted to say that he managed to pick off the British soldier aiming at him, but both sides were firing upon each other continuously. The ground was littered with dozens of bodies on both sides and from his point of view, it was an even battle between the two forces.

The regiments needed to move forward and they needed someone to initiate it.

"Soldiers of the Continental Army and militia! We need to move forward! Fix bayonets and charge!"

+++++

"That's another one dead." A marine proudly announced as he moved away from the window to hide from British counterfire.

Major Thomas Knowlton didn't respond as he fired off a shot off his own towards a militiaman that was standing next to the British regulars. The bullet struck home and the militiaman went limp into the dirt. The marines had managed to secure a number of buildings in the vicinity of the docks and were utilizing them to harass any of the defenders that attempted to approach their position. Despite his own reservations of Colonel Arnold's abilities (and sometimes, sanity), Major Knowlton had to admit that the colonel pulled off a miracle in order to make the plan work. Colonel Arnold worked tirelessly for a period of ten days to acquire any canoes or boats from the locals. Once he realized he didn't have enough for all two hundred marines that were planned for the river crossing, he ordered the men under him to build canoes themselves. While the hastily built canoes were not entirely stable (indeed, nearly two dozen men fell into the river and were attempting to warm themselves up in the occupied buildings), the colonel managed to get all two hundred marines across the St. Lawrence River without any deaths. And now, the marines were safely secured within the buildings and were able to carry out their part of the plan.

While the marines near Major Knowlton were taking their time to aim their rifled muskets and pick off the enemy accurately, Colonel Arnold was looking through his binoculars and watching for any signs of friendly or hostile movements.

"Anything yet, colonel?"

Colonel Arnold shook his head, his tall and imposing figure leaning cautiously away from the window, "I'm seeing some activity in both the west and the north, but the other groups have not yet breached the inner parts of the city."

The major wasn't surprised, as the British response to their sudden appearance in the docks was rather lackluster. Most likely, it meant that the other two groups were facing the brunt of the British defenses, "Then will we continue to maintain our position?"

"You will maintain this position with your recon unit. I will lead the other remaining marines into battle," Colonel Arnold smirked as he placed his binoculars away into a small pouch. "The other fronts may need our assistance, but we still need to make sure that we have a point of escape if we are pushed back."

One of the first acts the marines carried out was to burn and wreck any transport ships or boats that were not theirs. This was a specific order that came from General Kim himself, mainly in order to prevent the British forces from escaping if they lost the battle.

While Major Knowlton wanted to object to the colonel's orders, he knew the colonel wasn't wrong. Just one hundred marines flanking an enemy position could turn the tide of battle in their favor. The major didn't want to split up his forces and risk the lives of the other marines, but attacking the British with a risky flanking maneuver was a better option than letting the other two groups be whittled down from British fire.

"I will provide covering fire for you, colonel. Which front will you assist?"

"That should be obvious, major," Colonel Arnold grabbed his musket and motioned for his men to follow, "It's definitely not the front that we know will prevail in the end.”

 
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