Posted by Seamus on September 14, 2000 at 20:29:39:
Cpl. Malcolm MacWilliam
77th Highlanders, Montgomery’s
I send this dispatch to let you know Flags, Tales and I are safe for the moment, and we are on our way back to Ligonier...
At Daybreak today, Major Grant sent 200 regulars and Virginians half a mile to our rear to watch the baggage and set an ambush. Four hundred men were posted along the hill facing the fort, while Captain McDonald’s company, with drums beating and bagpipes playing, marched toward the fort to draw out the garrison. Well...it worked...they came out, both French and Indians, in great numbers, kind of like kicking a hornets' nest.
The enemy separated into 3 divisions. The first 2 were sent under cover along the river banks to surround the main body of our troops, while the third exhibited in front of the fort to give the impression of it being the strength of the garrison. Their plan worked quite well. Grant found himself flanked and musketry from the French felled the exposed Highlanders in great numbers. Many troops were driven into the river and drowned.
It is reported that 270 were killed, 42 wounded, and a number taken prisoner. Major Grant and 20 other officers were among the prisoners. I am afraid their fate has been sealed.
Flags, Tales and I were able to escape, but barely so, when the Indians turned away from us to check a counter-attack by a few Highlanders and Virginians under Captain Bullitt. I had made my peace with God, Malcolm, because I was convinced the end was here.We were severly outnumbered...3 of us and maybe 50 of them...madder than hell and covered with the blood of their previous victims and us in their designs. At that moment, Capt. Bullitt opened on the Indians. His destructive fire caused them to retreat for reinforcements, and this is when we sprang from our barricade of logs and sprinted down the road toward Ligonier. They say the road is strewn with baggage, wounded and dead men, and stragglers are being picked off at will by the Indians. Most are being captured, unless they are already wounded, in which case they are executed on the spot with a ball-headed war club which, when swung violently, crushes the skull of the poor victim. The force is such that brains are strewn everywhere as a result of such a blow.
Malcolm, this is the second time I have been close to destruction because of a British regular officer. I am beginning to wonder if this is all they can find to lead us. I am very tired of this war, and wish we could fight as we know how. I can assure you, there would not be these blunders. Many good men were lost today.
We should be back to Ligonier soon. Tonight will be a sleepless one. We cannot afford to stop for rest until we get there. We are being pursued and harassed at every turn. Stragglers have no chance.
The Cherokee tell us there is activity at Ligonier, and that you all may be coming this way. Tell Captain Croy to inform General Forbes to use caution and discretion, so he does not walk into more trouble than he needs.
Flags, Tales and I are sticking together for our own safety. We are OK at the moment, but every moment is wrought with extreme danger.
Pray for us....
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