Posted by Seamus on September 12, 2000 at 12:50:16:
I have returned from the 126 mile trek to Kittanning to re-create Lt. Col. John Armstrong's 1756 march against the Delaware village there along the Allegheny. I will give a brief report in my persona of Lt. Col. Armstrong:
"It was a successful raid, and while we did not eliminate the entire threat, we have slowed it down quite a bit. I will report to you that we were successful in that Captain Jacobs has been killed, and his reported 10 years store of French gunpowder has gone up in smoke, as has the town. Shingas is still on the loose, however, so the settlements are not totally safe yet. My brother Edward's death at Ft. Granville has been avenged. I have the pouch and powderhorn from Capt. Jacob's body which he traded Edward's boots for. Many of my men were wounded, and some have died, either in the attack, itself, in Lt. Hogg's company at what I hear the Indians are calling Blanket Hill, or along the way home from wounds or having become separated and hopelessly lost. I have taken a musket ball through my shoulder, but each day it grows better. I shall make a fuller report as time permits."
I must say that it was an experience that far exceeded any expectations that I had going in. While some of us either knew someone in the group, or recognized someone from having seen them before, no one really KNEW the others. The 8 men who made the entire trek meshed into one cohesive unit the very first day, and we had absolutely none of the problems which can arise when that many expwerts are put into one pile. There were no attitude or ego problems, no whiners, complainers, slackers, or goof-offs amongst us. We have formed some bonds which will never been broken, and will only grow stronger as time passes.
As I stood at the starting point...and Armstrong's starting point..., the marker where Ft. Shirley stood in 1756, watching the men arrive, I surveyed each one as to his dress, his gear and the way he wore it, and how he carried himself, and I surmised it was going to be a good 10 days. Every man was an experienced woodsman or soldier. Each "had the look" and now it was incumbent on me to be their "Colonel" and not let THEM down.
I will, from time to time, send some journal entries for you to peruse, and I am sure you will find them interesting. Now I must get to my "real world" life and catch up on what I missed while I was off fantasizing....and what a ride it was!!
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