Canadian Campaign > Battle of Longue Pointe

Battle of Longue Pointe


The Battle of Longue-Pointe, also known as the Skirmish at Longue-Pointe, took place on September 25, 1775, during the American Revolutionary War. It was part of the larger American invasion of Quebec, which aimed to bring the Canadian province into the revolutionary cause and prevent British forces from using it as a base to threaten the American colonies.


  1. Strategic Context:

    • The American Continental Congress authorized an invasion of Quebec in 1775, hoping to gain support from French Canadians and secure the northern frontier.
    • The invasion was led by two expeditions: one under General Richard Montgomery, advancing from Fort Ticonderoga towards Montreal, and another under Colonel Benedict Arnold, marching through the Maine wilderness towards Quebec City.
  2. American Objectives:

    • The objective of the Battle of Longue-Pointe was to capture Montreal. The American forces believed that seizing this key city would disrupt British control and encourage French Canadian support for the American cause.

The Battle:

  1. American Forces:

    • The American force involved in the skirmish at Longue-Pointe was led by Ethan Allen, a prominent figure in the early stages of the Revolutionary War, known for his role in capturing Fort Ticonderoga.
    • Allen's force included around 100 men, primarily Green Mountain Boys and Canadian volunteers. Allen believed that Montreal could be taken with a small, surprise attack.
  2. British Defenses:

    • Montreal was defended by a small garrison of British regulars, Canadian militia, and Loyalist volunteers, commanded by General Guy Carleton, the British governor of Quebec.
    • Carleton was aware of the American invasion and had taken measures to defend key positions, including reinforcing Montreal's defenses.
  3. The Skirmish:

    • On September 24, 1775, Ethan Allen and his force crossed the St. Lawrence River to Longue-Pointe, a small settlement near Montreal. Allen intended to gather intelligence and potentially seize the city.
    • Allen's advance was detected, and the British quickly organized a response. Carleton dispatched a force of British regulars, Canadian militia, and Indigenous allies to intercept Allen's men.
  4. Engagement and Outcome:

    • The American force was soon confronted by a superior British force, estimated to be around 200-300 men. Outnumbered and outgunned, Allen's men engaged in a brief skirmish.
    • The Americans were overwhelmed and forced to retreat. Many of Allen's men were captured, including Allen himself. The rest of his force scattered.

Aftermath and Impact:

  1. Casualties and Captures:

    • The skirmish resulted in minimal casualties, with a few men killed or wounded on both sides. However, the Americans suffered a significant loss with the capture of Ethan Allen and many of his men.
    • Allen was taken prisoner and transported to England, where he was held until exchanged in 1778.
  2. Strategic Consequences:

    • The failed attempt to capture Montreal demonstrated the challenges faced by the American invasion force in Quebec. It underscored the difficulties of coordinating surprise attacks in hostile territory and the importance of adequate reconnaissance and support.
    • The skirmish at Longue-Pointe delayed the American advance but did not halt it entirely. Montgomery's main force continued to press towards Montreal, eventually capturing the city on November 13, 1775, after Carleton withdrew to Quebec City.
  3. Impact on the Campaign:

    • The Battle of Longue-Pointe highlighted the necessity of better planning and coordination among the American forces during the invasion of Quebec.
    • Despite the setback, the broader campaign continued, culminating in the Battle of Quebec on December 31, 1775, where the American forces were ultimately repelled.


The Battle of Longue-Pointe remains a minor but illustrative engagement in the American Revolutionary War, highlighting both the ambitions and challenges of the American invasion of Quebec and the complexities of early revolutionary warfare.

Canadian Campaign


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