The Wait at Fort Morris

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Posted by Corporal MacWilliam on April 10, 2000 at 19:51:56:

Cousin Seamus,

We seem to have a bit of quiet here at Fort Morris. Since your harrowing adventure has ended and the death of that fiend Ranck, we have all breathed a sigh of relief. The disappearance of Sgt. Shattoe, the pack man we sent north, has worried us. But he is a scarred veteran of many a battle and, upon questioning Red Leaf, we are beginning to believe that Shattoe has another mission which we are unaware of.

Camp life can be very tedious. We drill every day. Sgt. MacDougall was working with the lads today and grew quite hoarse by the end, for some of the new recruits seem wonderfully stupid. Although we usually select veterans from other units to bolster our grenadier ranks, Capt. Croy agreed to take on two young lads from the hat company whom brother Gunn recommended. These two lads are quite braw and have worked hard to be accepted by our grenadier company. Today, in a meeting of those who will go to Ft. Frederick, 1st Sgt. Campbell revealed to these two lads that they will accompany us, information which I already knew. The lads were overwhelmed, but we warned them that they must work doubly hard to fire 4 rounds a minute instead of the 3 which they are now firing.

Pvt. MacGregor has been teaching these two lads how to clean muskets and with extra brick dust, he had them working for several hours shining the brass and barrels on their weapons. One of these lads got a tow worm stuck in the breach of his musket, I know not how, and it took Pvts. JohnsTon and MacFarland a goodly time to remove it.
Pvt. MacCrimmon has been given leave by Col. Bouquet this evening to play the pipes. I believe there will be some rum drinking and dancing. Certainly this will please the 1st Sgt.'s wife, Mistress Kate. She continues to keep our spirits high. She expressed concern to me just yesterday that she craves female company, a woman to confide in. The local women seem to be such dolts, not one can read nor write, as all good Scots women can. Perhaps another regiment will arrive which will have some officers' wives among them to keep the 1st Sgt's wife company.

I am watching the new recruits marching. They hold their muskets quite erect and here comes the bayonet drill. Ahhh, the one lad's bayonet was not seated on the lug and it has flown threw the air upon the command of "charge your bayonet". What a dressing down this lad is receiving from Sgt. MacDougall. The rest of us are guffawing, but we know this can happen, especially to new recruits.

Seamus, we await your return, along with cousins Flags, Tales and Friend Timothy and Sign Talker. We wish, upon your reunion with your father Quasi at Carlisle, that you request him to come along to the adventure at Ft. Frederick. Mistress Kate Campbell misses his brand of rum punch.

Ahh, MacCrimmon has struck up the pipes and I hear the strains of "Hieland Laddie". MacPherson and Glen have begun to dance around arm in arm. It will be an evening of merriment. Hurry back to the protection of the regiment, my friends and relatives.

Oh, a question. Have you seen anything of Uncle Angus since he aided in your rescue? My hopes are that he will reunite with Uncle Quasi and both of them will be with us all. Would that Davey's and my father Hugh could be with us also. His death at Culloden, 12 years ago, still saddens us both.

God Save the King!

Cpl. Malcolm Angus MacWilliam, 77th Reg't of Foot, Grenadiers

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