The Bloody Plaides of the 77th...and We Return in All Haste!

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Posted by Many Flags on September 15, 2000 at 09:21:19:

Cousins Malcolm and Davey,

I write this in haste and send it on with Sign Talker. He has loaded a travois with French weapons and booty and although the witnessing of this terrible defeat, which I know Seamus has written to you about....this witnessing has turned our stomachs, I had to smile a bit as Sign Talker readied himself to trot off with this message and his load of goods. Life goes on and, thanks to St. Andrew, some things never change.

Seamus has sent you a message of this battle which is already being called Grant's Defeat. I will not again go into its description other than to say we escaped but many Highland soldiers were killed and officers were taken. We were sickened as we watched the debacle unfold before us, as your comrades in the Hat Companies of the 77th were slain and their great plaides were splattered with blood. The scene was like one from hell with fire and smoke swirling around the brave lads as they cried out in horror and disbelief. We were among the thick of it at times and nigh on the 11th of the morning hour, the Highland lines began to break.

I could see Major Grant, who once I know you held in fair esteem and now should be disgraced, continuing to drive the men to fight although they were surrounded. The French called him by name and shouted for his surrender. I heard him shout back once, "My heart is broke, I shall never outlive this day!" Brave words but soon to be silenced, I thought, as I saw a tall Shawnee, naked and painted red, with only a clout and moccassins, race toward Grant with his war club raised high. It was our enemy Red Leaf!

Me, being almost 300 yards away, I raised my rifle to take Red Leaf out, when he was blocked by several French soldiers who quickly surrounded the Major and his immediate officers with other French troops to protect them. It was the last I saw of the battle and the littered field of bloody plaides, for Seamus and brother Tales roughly grabbed me, spun me around and shouted, "Out of here, lad! It's over! We return to Loyalhanna, NOW!"

As we headed east, the sounds of battle ended and an eerie silence, except for our heavy breathing, enveloped us. We were once again the three longhunters, moving at our pace through the forest, without the impediment of the troops and all their baggage and noise. After a mile or so we stopped and that's when we noticed Sign Talker and a small band of Cherokee only a few yards in back of us. We discussed the situation and decided to send this band on in all haste, Seamus scribbling his message to be sent with a Cherokee to reach you first, and I, sending this message with Sign Talker, in case the Cherokee band is ambushed.

Remember, cousins, that Red Leaf lives and after taking prisoners, scalping, stripping the dead and torturing the living, Red Leaf with the Huron, Shawnee and Delaware who accompany the French will be hot to cause more death and destruction.

I must end this message, it is longer than I wanted and Sign Talker is itching to be off. Seamus, Three Tales and I are turning back to the field of bloody plaides to cover the retreat of troops. We will stay to the thick of the forest to protect the wounded. I must go!

Cousin Many Flags

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