Continental Army Canadian Department Commanders
February 17, 1776 - July 2, 1776

Continental Army


- Following the invasion of Canada in the winter of 1775, 1776, the department was formally created by Congress on January 17, 1776,
- Folded into the Northern Department following the withdrawal of Continental troops from the Department area.


Richard Montgomery (Provisional):
December 9, 1775 - December 31, 1775
- He was originally second-in-command to Philip Schuyler for the invasion of Canada, but Schuyler became too ill and returned to Albany so Montgomery was in field command when the army entered Canada and thus became the provisional commander of the department since it had not yet formally been created by Congress.
- He was killed at the Battle of Quebec while leading the failed attack.


David Wooster (Provisional):
December 31, 1775 - March 6, 1776
- At the Battle of Quebec, Montgomery was killed and Benedict Arnold was severly wounded. As a result, Wooster took command of the invasion army.
- He actually remained in command until May 1 when John Thomas arrived and relieved him.


Charles Lee (Never Served):
February 17, 1776 - March 1, 1776
- He was originally chosen by Congress to be the first commander of the now-approved department.
- He never served as he was reaassigned by Congress to command the Southern Department following its creation.


John Thomas (1st Commander):
March 6, 1776 - June 2, 1776
- He arrived at the camp of the invasion army outside of Quebec on May 1 and relieved David Wooster of command.
- On May 2, he learned of a British relief column on its way and ordered a retreat.
- He contracted small pox and died on June 2, 1776.


John Sullivan:
June 2, 1776 - June 17, 1776
- He joined the invasion army at St. Johns on June 1.
- He assumed command on June 2 following the death of John Thomas.
- After a failed counterattack at Trois-Revières on June 8, he continued the retreat.
- He actually remained in command as the army retreated to Crown Point and out of Canada until July 2. He then left threatening to resign from the Continental Army in protest of Horatio Gates' appointment which superseded his command.


Horatio Gates (Never Served):
Appointed June 17, 1776
- He never served because the Department and its assigned men and provisions were folded back into the Northern Department due to the Continental Army's withdrawal from Canada.
- He was then reassigned as second-in-command of the Northern Department where he would end up as commanding officer at Saratoga.



Bibliography:
1. http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar/ContArmy/CA-AppB.htm
2. Boatner, Mark M.; Encyclopedia of the American Revolution
Picture: The Delaware Regiment at the Battle of Long Island. Painting by Domenick D'Andrea for the National Guard Bureau Heritage Series







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