General Richard Montgomery
British and American army officer
1738 - 1775
Richard Montgomery was born in County Dublin, Ireland, on December 2, 1738. Educated at Trinity college, he entered the British army in 1756 and took part in the Seven Years War. He returned to England and became well acquainted with members in parliament interested in development of American colonies. In 1772 he left the army, settled in New York and married a daughter of Robert R. Livingston, a justice of the New York supreme court.
In 1775 he served as a delegate to the provincial congress and became a brigadier general in the continental army. When sent to invade Canada he was hampered by harsh weather and undisciplined troops but managed to capture Montreal. He then went to meet Col. Benetict Arnold's contingent at Quebec, but the combined force was barely 800 strong, and in the assault on December 31, 1775, Montgomery was killed and the assault failed. Arnold, was unable to mount further attacks against the Quebec defenses but initiated and maintained a siege on the garrison until May, 1776, when he was forced to withdraw.
Montgomery's body was interred by the Quebec garrison, but was removed in 1818 to St. Paul's church, New York City, where congress had provided a memorial.
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