American commanders, General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold hoped to deliver a crushing blow to the British by taking the walled city of Quebec. Capturing the British controlled city would send a message to the world that America had the will and capacity to win the war.
After General Montgomery had marched up from Lake Champlian and took the Canadian city of Montreal, he met up with Colonel Arnold and his forces who were waiting at the gates of Quebec for resupply and reinforcements. The Americans demanded that the provincial governor surrender the city, but he refused. So, on New Years Eve, 1775, the American forces marched on the city only to find that the British were well prepared for the assault. The Americans faced intense cannon and musket fire from the British. So much so, they lost their leader, General Montomery to a fatal shot to the head. Colonel Arnold, himself having been wounded called off the attack. The Americans suffered more than 400 casualties while the British losses were minor. The attack had failed and the new American Army was dealt its first major defeat.