Posted by Cpl. Malcolm A. MacWilliam on December 18, 2000 at 13:03:35:
18 December 1758
Camp at Fort Bedford
To my Cousin Many Flags:
You will receive this letter from Private MacFarlane, who has been sent by Captain Croy on a special mission to Carlisle. He travels incognito so is dressed in civilian garb. In finding out that he was leaving for this mission, I begged the Captain to allow him to travel a bit further east to Womelsdorf to attend your wedding feast with Magdalena Gutshall. The Captain was quite amendable and gave MacFarlane as much leave as he wanted. MacFarlane may stay with you for several days; I know he has an interest in hunting deer with you.
So, the Regimentís wedding greetings to you and the fair Magdalena, soon to be Mistress Many Flags. Although I have never met her, I know she is the one for you, and your description of her continues to take me back to Scotland to my own dear wife, whom you know is also named Magdalena, my own Mistress MacWilliam. But, on to other things.
It has been eventful here in Bedford, where we are now in Winter Quarters. Most of the regiment has arrived and we have settled in, the first day was a feast day and the inhabitants here laid out tables and tables of tasty goods, even haggis was on the menu. I did have some troubles that evening, with a tavern wench who took offense at my disinterest in her. But that is over and problem is solved.
I have had two mysterious events. One was on the way here when we stopped at a citizenís home by the name of Kane and he related the finding of a dying man who whispered a strange word to him, then left this earth. The story has bothered me since then. I cannot get those whispered words out of my head - redbud. Many of us, JohnsTon, MacGregor, brother Gunn, 1st Sgt. Campbell, have studied for hours by the fireplace in our cabin, wondering what those words meant, but to no avail. There is something evil which comes to mind when I ponder on them, but I cannot lay my finger on it.
The other event happened the first evening we were here and again last evening. I related this to brother Gunn, I am having dreams of our hero of Ligonier, Wee John MacKay. Oh, they are not horrible dreams, for as you remember, our Wee John was a braw lad, and the sight of him in my dreams was welcome. As you know, many of us Scots have Second Sight, and the second dream is one which I hope reflects this. For, Wee John took me on a flight to a cabin where our dear cousin Seamus lay. And Wee John touched him, awaking Seamus from his wound induced sleep, and Seamus smiled at his Nancy who was with him.
Ah, that I wish it were all true. But, I do know that there is truth in your delightful marriage. So, Slanteí mhath, my cousin, to you and your dear new wife, Magdalena. Oh, JohnsTon who dabbles a bit in astrology, has discerned that your wedding date, the 21st of December, is the longest night. Ahhh, cousin Flags, you have a long night to enjoy the company of your new wife.
Wedding Greetings from us All, the 77th Grenadiers!
Cpl. Malcolm A. MacWilliam
Show MacFarlane a good time!! After your longest night with Mistress Flags, may you have a good hunt for other game!
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