Evidence...of Seamus's capture

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Posted by Timothy on March 28, 2000 at 16:59:19:

Col. Burd,

I send this dispatch by way of the Moravian missionary, David Zeisberger, whom we encountered on the Shamokin Path below Big Island late this afternoon. We advised him not to be travelling alone, as the French and Shawanese are nearby and instigating trouble among the peaceful villages here. He thanked us for our concern, but assured us he was alright and travelled in safety, and, that as a missionary, he had no fear. He told us he had seen Seamus near Chinklacamoose this morning and was able to speak briefly with him. I am pleased to report he is being better treated than he was, but had a renewed cover of charcoal on his face. Deux Chemises says it is customary to treat a great enemy kindly until his time is come, so that the tribe is not deprived of the fullest enjoyment of torture. Rev. Zeisberger was able to offer a prayer for Seamus, which was kindly received by him, and he thanked the Rev. for his kindness.

Deux Chemises and I made our way up the West Branch valley to about 5 miles below Canasarage and then cut to the south bank to avoid any possible contact with anyone. We then crossed to the north bank again after passing Canasarage and ascended the great bluff by way of the steep back portion, to come upon the large rock ledge where we thought Seamus and the others would spy from. To our horror, we found what was once Ranger Kuhns. He had been tomahawked in the back of the head as he lay under the ledge looking at the village. He was scalped and his rifle-gun, bag and powderhorn were gone, as was his large Scottish belt dagger. The poor devil never knew what hit him. We suspect it was M. du Ranck who did the deed, and the Shawanese did the rest. One of Seamus's mocassins was there also. We said a prayer over Ranger Kuhns and left him there so as not to tip off our presence, and left, descending the promontory and heading up the Loyalsock a distance of several miles to the gap, and crossed through to the Lacominic and thence to the river. After regaining the Susquehanna we started toward Big Island and there encountered Rev. Zeisberger.

We will go inland tonight and in the morning start early toward Chinklacamoose before daybreak. Please send this dispatch on to Carlisle and Fort Morris to Cpl. Malcolm MacWilliam, Seamus's cousin, and share our intelligence with Gloria, and, especially, Nancy, and assure them I am fine. Deux Chemises is a good companion and is teaching me well as we go.

I will send more information as I can.


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