Posted by Corporal MacWilliam, 77th Reg't of Foot, Grenadiers on December 05, 2000 at 10:01:44:
5th December, 1758
On the Trail between Fort Ligonier and Fort Bedford
I will take a few minutes before formation to make a few notes in my journal. Breakfast being over, we had a bit of oatmeal and beef this morning, being allowed to have fires, since we are in no hurry on the trail. Only making a little over 5 miles yesterday, crossing the treacherous Laurel Ridge and now on the flats to Fort Bedford. Another two days and we should arrive there, to make our winter quarters. All the lads are anxious to settle in where there is warmth and some regular meals, meager though they may be.
We arrived here late afternoon yesterday, at this cabin owned by a citizen of this colony, Mr. Kane by name. His wife and 6 children made the troops comfortable, albeit in the open field in front of his cabin. This man Kane owns much acreage, but has little of it cleared, eking out an existance with a few crops and also a tanning establishment for the surrounding inhabitants. We spent the evening with him, beside a roaring fire with a few libations, telling stories and talking of our adventures the last several months, the battles at Ligonier and Duquesne.
Mr. Kane has told us an interesting story and showed us the grave of a man who was recently found dying nearby here. The man was not known to him and he died in Mr. Kane's arms of a bullet wound to the chest, a large caliber gun, possibly a Brown Bess as we carry. Mr. Kane attempted to get information from him, who had killed him, and what this man's name was, but the man only whispered his last message as two words, "red bud".
We discussed this strange incident at length, wondering what these words may have meant. But, none of us are aware of anything with that name, although it may be a place wherewith this unknown man had come from. Mr. Kane thought that the man had possibly been running from something, for as he investigated, he found that he could follow the unknown's trail back several hundred yards with all the broken branches, and trampled brush as the man had crashed through the forest before he was shot.
Be that as it may, we are to arrive at Fort Bedford either on the 7th or 8th and our Grenadiers are in a cheerful mood. We expect to do about 10 miles today which would put us close to our destination. I see my brother Davey Gunn approaching, so I must close and move out the men. It continues to be bitter cold, so the march today is one that will warm us.
God Save the King!
Cpl. M.A. MacWilliam
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