Posted by Seamus on March 20, 2000 at 03:40:24:
In Reply to: Farewell to Fort Carlisle! posted by Cpl. MacWilliam on March 19, 2000 at 20:35:46:
: Cousin Seamus,
: Although we would wait for you longer, Colonel Bouquet has ordered that we leave for Fort Morris in the morning. It should only be a day's journey for the troops, possibly longer for the baggage. However, I do have good news of your father, Quasi.
: Last evening, Brother Gunn and I talked with Uncle Quasi at the local tavern. He can be quite shy with male company, I believe because of his odd looks. He did, once again, have a beautiful lass on each arm. Such giggling and pinching I have not seen since I left Scotland! Your father talked with us for several hours as we quaffed several mugs of ale. Your father has asked us to pledge not to mention to you his adventures here in the colony. He awaits for you to arrive in Carlisle so he can tell you all and welcome you as a father does a prodigal son. I asked him about Uncle Angus. Your father rolled his eyes, made whirling gestures with his hands beside his head and exclaimed, "Pax Aye, Pax Aye! My brother will protect you on your journey!" That is all he would say of Uncle Angus.
: Good news. I have heard from Many Flags and Three Tales. Sign Talker stumbled into the Fort early this morning with not a stitch on his body but a breechclout and moccasins. He carried only a tomahawk and a bag of coins. It seems that he sold all that he had to Flags and Tales for the coins. He is a shrewd one, that Sign Talker. He has already set up a corner of the Fort as a sutler's area to buy more goods from our soldiers. But, it will be cut short with our move south. He tells us that Flags and Tales are moving west from Berks County then south and may be taking a route through York to reach Fort Frederick. Tales stayed several days with his wife and Flags has been romancing a parson's daughter. Your know what they say about that kind!
: Pvt. Johnson is eager to get on the trail. His lowland nose cannot stand the stench of so many troops put close together in this Fort. Ah, here comes the 1st Sgt. to give us orders. I do not believe it will be a restful evening. First Sgt. Campbell's wife, Mistress Campbell, has baggage which needs packed and loaded onto the carts. However she is one of the few females which travels with the 77th, and we are happy to have her company and nursing care. The lads will do just about anything to keep her spirits up.
: Cousin, I once again apologize for moving on to Fort Morris without seeing you. However, I know that your reunion with your father will be sweet. Stay not long with Uncle Quasi but continue south to Fort Morris thence on to Loudoun. Brother Gunn and I with several of the lads will await you there to hurry on to Fort Frederick in aid of the Patuxents.
: God Save the King!
: Malcolm A. MacWilliam, 77th Reg't of Foot, Grenadier Company
My dear Cousin Malcolm,
It is with heavy heart that I must report to you that young Timothy has suffered a great tragedy. Shortly after I sent my last message to you with Soaring Hawk, we were set upon by roadmen, and were able to successfully drive them off, however, as he fired his rifle-gun at one of the attackers, Timothy's barrel ruptured right at the breech. The resulting explosion tore three fingers from his right hand and temporarily blinded him. I was able to find and sew two of his fingers back on with the sinew I carry in my sewing kit, but I fear they will be nearly useless. I could not find the third finger at all. We are returning immediately to Ft. Augusta to allow the Regimental Surgeon to properly take care of his injuries. My concern now is his welfare...I will take up my search for Quasi at a later date, after I am sure Timothy will be alright without me. He has some powder burns on his face which rendered him temporarily blind, but I was able to wash the powder from his eyes, and fortunately, there is no burn in his eyes, nor did he take any fragments of metal there. The barrel ruptured right at the lock, which of course was destroyed. There was no mud in the barrel, as I thought there might be because of the fight we had with the roadmen, so I suspect there was a flaw in the barrel. As soon as I get Timothy settled back at Augusta and attended to, I will take the remnants of his rifle-gun to Johann Getz's Gun Barrel Shop and have a new barrel made for it, as well as other necessary repairs. Johann Getz is the maker of the finest gun barrels in the colony, and likely the colonies.I know of woodsmen who travel great distances just to get his barrels on their pieces, whether they be smooth-bored or rifled. They have proven their worth over and over again. He is so successful that several other barrel makers in the vicinity have tried to imitate his product and are failing miserably in their attempt. They cannot achieve what he can. I will have no other barrel in my rifle-gun.
Cousin, I am afraid this will decide young Timothy's quandry about joining the Pennsylvania Regiment. He will not be able to use his right hand as a soldier needs to do in order to drill, load, or fire a musket properly. I am sure he will need to learn to shoot left-handed from now on. Since he so recently began to shoot a rifle-gun, he will not have too many bad habits to break, so learning to shoot left-handed will be nearly natural for him. Come to think of it, I will speak to Johann Getz about having a left-handed rifle-gun made for Timothy.
I must go now, dear Cousin, and tend to my young friend. His pain is immense, and we must be going on our way back to Augusta.
I don't know how soon I will be returning this way again, but I will go to Carlisle, even if you are not there, and look for Quasi on my own. I will meet with you at Fort Morris before we rendezvous at Ft. Frederick with the Patuxents in a month's time.
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