Posted by Pvt. Chauncey Goodrich on December 30, 2000 at 21:47:43:
My Dear Friend Seamus,
It has been an age since we were last together at Tydonderoga and I fear I may never see you again. I have no news of you other than a general news. I hope this letter actually finds you! Please, dear Sir, reply to me at Fort Edward, where I expect to be with the Rangers on our little island in the Hudson River. Many of us stay here during the winter, hellish though it is, as you may well know.
My friend, I would give much to know what has happened since we were together last summer. Our fall has been difficult to measure -- wins and loses, often at the same time. There was the debacle when my beloved Major Rogers let his guard down and shot his musket for wagers, thereby attracting the attention of the enemy and many of ours were killed and wounded. We were blamed for not protecting the Connecticut men, and being a man from Connecticut I was sympathetic to their needing the support of the Rangers. And then Major Putnam captured and taken away!! But the French got the worst in that encounter. The rest of the Autumn had us out and about along the lakes, as before. I am sure you know the French hold Carillon still.
Christmas came and went and bitter it was! I made some new mittens from blankets, boiling the wool into a tighter weave which helps some against the cold. We had a bit of cheer with some songs with the drums and fifes turning to a few frolicksome songs from the taverns, and a few Christmas tunes from the homeland. New Year's Eve is upon us and we've been buried in snow. It is, as Milton wrote (do you know Milton, dear Sir?) of Nature, "To hide her guilty front with innocent snow, And on her naked shame, pollute with sinfull blame, the saintly veil of maiden white to throw... No war or battle sound was heard the world around, the idle spear and shield were high up hung; the hooked Chariot stood unstain'ed with hostile blood, the Trumpet spake not to the armed throng, and Kings sat still with awfull eye, as if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by."
But I go on, and I must send this off, with hopes it reaches you well. All my best, Seamus, for a blessed New Year. Please send my warmest regards to Malcolm, should you see him, as I remember him with dearly.
I remain, as always, your friend and
Pvt. Rogers' Own, Rogers Rangers
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