Posted by Jeri on August 30, 2000 at 18:35:43:
In Reply to: By your leave, good friends posted by Seamus, et al on August 30, 2000 at 15:55:00:
: My friends in Mohicanland,
: I am about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something both historically correct and significant, and at the same time, personally satisfying. In short, I am about to see a boyhood dream fulfilled...a long-held fantasy finally realized.
: When I was a lad living in Kittanning, a small community in western Pennsylvania on the Allegheny River about 40 miles upstream from Pittsburgh, a bunch of us kids would go to the movies every Saturday afternoon. There was a bronze plaque on the wall of the building next to the State Theater, which stood on Market Street, and as we waited in line to get in, I would read this plaque over and over again. In fact, I would try to get into line there if it meant butting into the line!
: The plaque, placed there long ago, told the story of the Delaware Indian village which stood along the river at this spot, and how, in 1756 it was attacked and destroyed by Lt. Col. John Armstrong and his army of over 300 men. The chief, Captain Jacobs, had a log home on that very spot, and it was burnt and exploded from gunpowder being stored in it.
: Captain Jacobs and his whole family were killed in the fight, as were a number of other Indians and 17 of Armstrong’s men. He, himself, was wounded in the shoulder. I was fascinated by all this....!
: When I was about 11 years old, my father bought some land and built a home for us in the country about 3 miles from town, but we still went to the movies on Saturdays, and I continued to read the plaque and dream... As the years passed, I discovered that I was now living on a part of Armstrong’s trail to Kittanning. Better still, I was less than a mile from the scene of his last night’s camp, where he left his extra provisions, horses, and blankets as he went to the attack. A few Indians were spotted nearby and Armstrong left a company of men to guard them and attack at dawn. The “few” turned out to be a sizeable force of about 30 and destroyed the company left there to destroy them. The Indians then seized the blankets and things left there, and to this day the place is called “Blanket Hill.” Needless to say, I was in heaven!
: Over the years I was able to learn more about Armstrong and his Expedition, and last year when I heard that there was to be a re-creation of his march, I was ready to go.
: Now, after months of planning and preparation...the logistics are mind-boggling... the time is upon us. Tomorrow, August 31st, I travel to the site of Ft. Shirley, in south central Pennsylvania to begin a 126 mile, 10 day march on Kittanning. At 8:00 AM on Friday, September 1, I will lead a force of provincials and woodsmen north and the west to reach our objective. I am honored...and humbled...to be portraying Lt. Col. John Armstrong.
: We will be camping in towns along the way, and will have our camps open to the public. We will be offering educational programs wherever we are, so that today’s people will be able to understand a bit more of their legacy. For some, no doubt, it will be an introduction to a part of history they have never seen before.
: We will have TV crews, newspapers, magazine coverage, and a college professor who will be bringing his freshman students out to be with us on part of the journey, so they get a first hand perspective of a significant historical event. Living History-----that is what we are about.
: When we reach our objective, we will have a battle reenactment centering around the burning and explosion of Captain Jacobs’ house.
: I invite any of you who are within an hour or two of Kittanning to come to our final camp at the Armstrong County Hunting and Fishing Club grounds. I would also invite you to check the website below for more information on the march and directions. There are some interesting links on this page, too, including our friend, Clabert.
: Seamus will be silent for a couple of weeks, but the other characters from the MacWilliam Chronicles II will be posting on the message Board.
: I am very excited to be doing this project, and hope you will all wish us well!
: I have more packing to do, so I will take leave now, and will be back after I return home.
: Pax Aye!!
: Mike Slease
: a.k.a. Seamus
: Lt. Col. John Armstrong
God Speed and a safe journey Seamus!
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