Posted by Vita The Scribe on August 16, 2000 at 20:05:48:
In Reply to: Coming home .....finally! posted by Seamus on August 16, 2000 at 19:53:36:
: Cpl. Malcolm MacWilliam
: Pvt. Davey Gunn
: 77th Highlanders, Montgomery’s
: Ft. Lyttleton
: I am sending this dispatch to Ft.Lyttleton, and if you have moved from there, I am in hopes that it will be forwarded to you.
: I am pleased to report that Timothy and I are on our way home. We have finally been released from detached service by Major Rogers and been permitted passage back to Pennsylvania. We are well, but very tired.
: We have been employed on Scouts of many days and nights since our experience at Ticonderoga, with the majority of the time being unable to communicate with anyone but the Major via dispatch. These Scouts were to determine the actual strength of Montcalm’s forces and were carried out in very small groups operating on and around Lake George. Needless to say, the French were everywhere, flushed with their recent success, and were also making reconnaissance patrols to determine if a weakness in our forces might exist and be expeditiously followed up. There were several instances of our nearly being captured, but fortunately, we were able to avoid that.
: We did, however, manage to take some prisoners of our own. Cousins, I must tell you of a curious thing, which was told us by one of our French prisoners.
: After the retreat of our Army from the battlefield at Ticonderoga, the French set about to care for the wounded left there and to bury the dead. It took several days to do this, and due to the circumstances, it was not pleasant duty. This French soldier we captured, one Monsoor Pvt. Louie Alarie, I think was his name, told us that he had been assigned to the cleanup for three days, during which time he witnessed the most horrible scenes, as you can well imagine. The night of the fourth day, he was assigned to guard duty along the breastworks where such horrible carnage among the Black Watch, your brothers of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, took place. The night was very still and was lit by a 3/4 moon that cast enough light to be able to see well, yet not as much as a full moon would throw.
: Monsoor Pvt. Alarie was about 2/3 through his watch, and admittedly was tired, fighting hard to stay awake...knowing full well the penalty for falling asleep on guard duty.... when in the stillness he heard what he thought were sheep baying. He immediately turned all his attention toward the sounds he thought he heard, and lo and behold, he heard it again, this time quite distinctly. He also heard a man’s voice calling in English, “Come along, my dearies. We must find our kinsman who was cut down at this place!”
: Cousins, Monsoor Pvt. Alarie said the sight of this figure, whom he likened to an apparition, froze his entire being. He said he was transfixed, unable to move or call out as the “specter” approached him, and as it got nearer, in the dim light of the moon he noticed the figure was dressed in a kilt. The sheep came on toward the breastworks, picking their way through the tangled abatis, and stopping just below where he stood, silently formed a tight circle around a bloody place on the ground. He remembered gathering, from that very spot, the body of a very large Highlander with a heavy broadsword still clutched in his hand so tightly that it took three Frenchmen to pry it out. The body was taken to a common grave with many other of the fallen 42nd, and buried there.
: The “specter”, as he called it, came forward and entered the circle made by the sheep, removed his bonnet and knelt on the bloody earth. After a few very long moments the figure stood and silently looked Monsoor Pvt. Alarie squarely in the eye, his eyes seeming to glow incandescently. Monsoor Pvt. Alarie said that his own arm began to rise slowly...and quite involuntarily, he says...and pointed to where the gallant dead had been buried. The specter turned and, followed by his sheep, walked to the grave without a sound. Here, again, he paused, knelt, and after a moment, arose and disappeared into the night, never making another sound.
: When the specter was gone from sight he was able, once again, to move. The remainder of his watch was done in abject terror. After he was relieved, the Monsoor Pvt. went to his quarters, not daring to tell a soul what he had seen and heard. He says he was afraid that he would be locked up as being deranged. He discounted it all to being haunted by the gruesome task he had so lately performed and to being very tired.
: Malcolm and Davey...WE know who this specter is. It can be none other than Uncle Angus, and since that night, the good Monsoor Pvt. says, there have been a number of solitary French soldiers...woodcutters, gardeners, woods runners, soldiers off duty, and on duty pickets and guards.... who have been found bearing the unmistakable fatal wounds of a broadsword. AND...there are always sheep tracks around the carcass! I guess old Montcalm has his hands full preventing a full-scale panic. It seems that the “specter”, good old Uncle Angus, has allowed himself to be seen by a few others!
: Monsoor Pvt. Alarie has no doubts that he did see an apparition, and that this apparition is responsible for the carnage now being wreaked upon the French. He knows he is not crazy, and hopes that he will be well cared for by the English. He says he is done fighting for the French, and wishes to make whatever amends he can just to keep the “Specter” from visiting him again.
: I will send another dispatch when we get into Pennsylvania.
: Pax aye!! Vive le Uncle Angus!! Le Specter!!
Good Piece, ye Olde Cousin!
Pax Aye, to you, too!
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