Re: Epitaph of John Stewart MacKay, Pvt. 77th Regt of Foote

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Posted by Kate on October 17, 2000 at 14:23:46:

In Reply to: Re: Epitaph of John Stewart MacKay, Pvt. 77th Regt of Foote posted by Diana S. on October 17, 2000 at 07:08:04:

: : :
: : : It is with a Heavy Heart that i must take quill in hand, but this Deed must be Done. The 77th Regiment of Foote has lost a Brave Young Lad. We were both laid out on the cold ground to Die, but i have survived; the pain from my wounds has subsided. For John MacKay, it was not meant to be.

: : : Private Morrison has requested i make a written Record of the Lad's Life, as he is in a deeply Sorrowful State. Morrison and MacKay were as brothers, knowing one another from Youth. These details have only come to be known to me this day from Pvt. Morrison. Since he is like a Son to me, i now write the Story of his Friend MacKay.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : John Stewart MacKay was borne October 16, 1741 in a cold stone cottage in Northern Scotland. His mother, borne Mary Stewart, was a weaver and took in washing to supplement her meager income. His father, Bruce, was a farmer.
: : : Bruce MacKay joined the Jacobite Rebellion, and on April 16, 1746 found himself on the wrong side of Culloden Moor. He never returned home to his wife and son. He gave his life to the Stewart Cause. John MacKay was five years old.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : Mary Stewart MacKay continued her life as a weaver and laundress. She lost the house and small parcel of land given to her husband as a dowry to the tax collector. Mary and son John then lived with her two bachelor brothers, her only living relation; until the winter of 1750, when she died of the fever. John MacKay was nine years old.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : John remained with his uncles, George and Elmer Stewart. He was forced to make his bed in the stables, doing all the chores in payment for his room and board. He ran away often only to be caught, returned, and beaten. In the winter of 1755 his uncles moved to Wales and abandoned John to fend for himself. John MacKay was then fourteen.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : Remembering his mother's stories of his father and the Jacobites, John sought out two brothers of the Clann Gunn in Caithness. In the summer of 1756 Malcolm MacWilliam and Davey Gunn sponsored John's enlistment into the 77th Regiment of Foote. 1757 found John and his Regiment in the Bahamian Islands fighting black natives, scurvy, mosquitoes, hunger, and oppressive heat. The Regiment then landed in Amerika to fight the red natives of Georgia and the Carolinas. Again they endured the heat, sickness, and lack of provisions.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : During his fifteenth year John attained the height of six feet and one inch and acquired the name "wee John" from his comrades. He was here in Amerika with the dream of being in a new and bountiful land, where he could one day have his own farm, as his father and mother had so many years before. Starting his life with a newfound future, leaving his hard-fought youth behind, becoming a man on the frontier of a new world. John MacKay was now sixteen years old.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : Spending the last few months with Angus MacWilliam and his flock of sheep had been the best time of his life. He had been free to wander the forest of Penn's Woods with the most knowledgable teacher he had ever known. He had learned more in the last four months than he ever imagined possible. He was truly happy in this new place.

: : : Freedom is never Free
: : : John Stewart MacKay died October 16, 1758 on the banks of the Loyalhanna Creek. His friends called him "wee John"; the same as his mother before he could walk. He was seventeen the day he died. He is now Free. Free of oppression; free of hunger; free of sickness; free of pain; free of want; free of need.

: : : God Bless "wee John" MacKay
: : :

: : Wow. I read this right after spending an evening exploring Scottish genealogy on the Web and while listening to "Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier" ironically on the "liberty" soundtrack. And I'm already in a melancholy Celtic mood anyway. What a confluence of events. And you guys ought to publish this stuff. between this and the love letters I'm going to need to invest in a year's supply of Kleenex.
: : Even Red is weepin' in the squeezins. Darn.
: : yers, Christina

: Ah Christina,

: Doin' the same, feelin' the same, weepin' the same!

: I've been immersed in my Scottish genealogy of late also. Recently found out a many times G-Grandfather, Simon Glendonwyn, went with James Douglas to carry Robert the Bruce's heart to the holy lands. Lucky for me, he was more fortunate than the Black Douglas and returned to Scotland. You MacWilliam guys gotta stop this. My fellow workers will have me in depression screening in no time!

: Thanks for the on going gifts you guys give us!

: Diana S.


Oh nooooooo!!! *wail!* That wasn't how the story was supposed to end!! I can't bear it!! *sniff... sniff!!* Right girls, Bumppo's I think - for a wee 'calm us down' brandy!! *sniff, sniff! Wail!!*

Yes!! As Diana says, 'ThANKS!' to you MacWilliams guys for this gripping yarn!!


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