Posted by Cpl. M.A. MacWilliam on April 13, 2000 at 06:00:56:
Posted to Carlisle to be read by Many Flags, Three Tales and Seamus
My Dear Cousins,
In my last message I mentioned that life as a soldier can be tedious. But it can also become quite exciting. I have much news.
In the last 24 hours we have been given information from Capt. Croy that we will be leaving Fort Morris within the next two days. We have begun to pack tents and other baggage to transport on the road to Fort Loudoun. This morning a great surprise came about. Riding to the fort were two persons and we could hear them halloooing from afar. As they came closer, excitement grew and we recognized Calsious Shattoe on horseback accompanied by a young woman also on horseback. Our eyes grew wide as in the gates, along with the retired Sgt. Shattoe, rode Three Tales' wife, Two Bottle. A great adventure was about to be told to us.
Upon welcoming Shattoe and Mistress Bottle, the 1st Sgt.'s wife Mistress Kate quickly took her to quarters for womanly needs. Mistress Kate Campbell is elated to have another woman of civility to share feminine wiles. Three Tales, as your cousins, Davey Gunn and I know your heart will soar with the arrival of your wife. The turn of adventures here in this expedition never cease to amaze me. When you arrive at Loudoun your own dear spouse will be there to greet you. Fear not, your children are well, they stay with your parents in Berks County. They are too young to make the trip, but Two Bottle had to be with you on this adventure to Frederick.
Now, as to the packman, Shattoe's, adventure. You will remember that he found the duck hunter Dway Miller and, soon after, as Shattoe headed south again to return to our expedition, he met the treacherous Red Leaf and three other warriors. Yes, dear cousins, I now say "treacherous" for this story will reveal Red Leaf for what he is, a French ally!
Red Leaf told Shattoe a wild story concerning General Forbes, how he was so ill that he had turned back to Philadelphia and the expedition, upon learning of this, had failed, and the troops with Colonel Bouquet, including the 77th, were turning back east, allowing the French to return to Penn's Woods to burn and pillage. Shattoe was wary of Red Leaf's words but caught sly glances between he and the other warriors which made him decide to travel with them east instead of south. He stayed with these warriors for one day's travel when in the evening Shattoe decided to escape, for he felt he was being forced on this journey away from his return to Fort Morris to be with the 77th.
Shattoe noticed as the evening went on, sitting by their fire, one warrior would always be watching him. In the early morning of that day, Shattoe arose, gathered his kit, and as he went to quietly mount his horse, Red Leaf awoke. Shattoe is an old veteran, wirey and strong. He struck Red Leaf with the butt of his pistol, wrestled him to the ground, whereupon the other warriors awoke. But Shattoe, a quick man, mounted his horse and away he went through the forest, escaping Red Leaf and the other warriors. Shattoe traveled several more miles until dawn, and then came upon a cabin within a small stockade.
Although difficult to believe, it was the cabin of our Aunt Maggie and her German husband. Three Tales and Many Flags - your parents welcomed Sgt. Shattoe and after a sumptuous breakfast and the telling of his story, he was directed to Two Bottle's cabin which, you know, is about a mile down the trail. Two Bottle has been pining for you, Three Tales. She immediately made up her mind to accompany Shattoe back to Fort Morris to await your arrival there or at Loudoun. Your children were given to your parents for safe keeping.
However, this story is not ended. Upon Shattoe relating this adventure to us, we realized that Red Leaf had been skulking near the gate of Fort Morris just this morning. Immediately I ordered the two new recruits, Christian Morrison and wee John MacKay, to bring Red Leaf to us. However, upon their search, they discovered he had disappeared into the woods to the west of the fort. Red Leaf must have seen Shattoe's and Two Bottle's arrival and knew the trick was found out. Capt. Croy has dispatched several of our company to scour the woods for signs of this treacherous savage, this Red Leaf.
However, at this time, all is well. Mistress Two Bottle, wife of Three Tales, awaits her husband's arrival. Fly with all haste, lads! If we have left Ft. Morris by the time you arrive, we will be at Fort Loudoun, a day's journey to the southwest. Ahhh, I hear drummer Armstrong beating the assembly. Something must be up. Probably more orders from Colonel Bouquet concerning our departure for Loudoun.
God Save the King! Pax Aye!
Cpl. Malcolm MacWilliam, 77th reg't of foot, grenadiers
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