Fort Niagara in July

have been informed that a detachment of soldiers from Loudoun will be traveling to Fort Niagara located along the eastern bank of the Niagara River in the colony of New York. We are to arrive on July 3-5 to lay siege to the French held fort.

I have only minimal information at the moment, but I believe I will be the sole Doctor representing Loudoun in attendance.  I have never been as far north as New York, and know very little about Fort Niagara itself.

From the Niagara site, about the event:

2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the historic siege of Niagara, and Old Fort Niagara plans a large-scale commemoration of the event.  On July 3-5 Old Fort Niagara will host a gigantic Living History encampment that will re-create the siege with over 2300 re-enactors portraying British and French forces and Native American warriors.  This event has been named as the signature event for 2009 by the New York State French & Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. The French and Indian War Grand Encampment Council has also named the event as the Grand Encampment for 2009 making this the largest event of its kind in the world for 2009.  Plans for the three-day event call for extensive battle re-enactments, a nighttime artillery bombardment with fireworks, naval forces, and large living history camps filled with people portraying 18th century soldiers and artisans.

For more information about this event and a tentative schedule for the weekend, Visit the Niagara site.

April Garrison at Fort Loudoun

The view of Fort Loudoun from the powder magazine.

Friday April 24- I arrived at Fort Loudoun, where I would act in my capacity of Surgeon's Mate, and deposited my things in the Infirmary, where I had been assigned quarters in Lt. Anderson's stead. I had been offered the bed in the upper portion of the infirmary, but soon discovered that the ladder that lead to the upstairs was slick in my boots and rather treacherous. I was nearly injured several times in my climbing of it.

That night, the men gathered in the barracks at the bottom of the hill and visited and sang songs.

You may remember seeing Dr. Anderson here.

Saturday April 25- Tours of the Infirmary and much discussion with the public concerning all matters of surgery and physick. I was accompanied by two lads eager to assist me in my duties by the names of Hamilton and Young. While eager lend aid, I frequently had to chastise them for sweeping the dust from the floor onto my boots. I also had to make them be mindful to place the buckets DIRECTLY under the convenience wholes in the infirmary beds. At one point, I became so disgusted that I was forced to beat them with the broom until they left the infirmary all together.

I was impressed by the number of visitors that I had in the infirmary, and spoke at great length about surgery and physick all throughout the day. The men drilled, fired their weapons and practiced on the artillery all day.

At the end of the day we lined up for the King's Ration and toasted Young Private Wells with our version of "Garryowen" before his return overseas. I had never heard this particular song before, but Ensign Bogges had the words at the ready for us. Some of the lyricks follow:

Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
But join with me, each jovial blade
Come, drink and sing and lend your aid
To help me with the chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
And pay the reckoning on the nail;
No man for debt shall go to jail
From Garryowen in glory.

We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run
We are the boys no man dares dun
If he regards a whole skin.

Our hearts so stout have got no fame
For soon 'tis known from whence we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.

Saturday evening the usual revelry was somewhat subdued and many of the men turned in early. The rest of us found our way out into the dark and onto the Bastion "Duke of Cumberland" for late night discussions in the pleasant night air.

Sunday 26- I awoke in the bed I had made in the lower portion of the infirmary to the sound of a rather large bee milling about the room. An hour of his buzzing finally roused me, at which time I gave him a swat with my journal and sent him on his way. I dressed and open'd the infirmary doors to discover the lazy mr. Hamilton and mr. Young were nowhere to be found and was forced to recruit two of the local boys to help me make the beds back up.

After the raising of the colors, Ensign Bogges lead the men in Divine Service. Upon dismissal, we all stripped out of our weskits and played a game of cricket in the grass just below the officer's quarters. For my first time I feel I did quite well. There was a great deal of slipping and sliding in the grass, but t'was all in fun.

In an effort to better understand the game, I have written down the rules as I have found them for you fair reader.

Laws of Cricket 1744

Laws for Ye Bowlers 4 Balls and Over

Ye Bowler must deliver ye Ball with one foot behind ye Crease even with ye Wicket, and when he has bowled one ball or more shall bowl to ye number 4 before he changes Wickets, and he shall change but once in ye same Innings.

He may order ye Player that is in at his Wicket to stand on which side of it he pleases at a reasonable distance.

If he delivers ye Ball with his hinder foot over ye bowling Crease, ye Umpire shall call No Ball, though she be struck, or ye Player is bowled out, which he shall do without being asked, and no Person shall have any right to ask him.

Laws for ye Strikers, or those that are in

If ye Wicket is Bowled down, its Out.

If he strikes, or treads down, or falls himself upon ye Wicket in striking, but not in over running, its Out.

A stroke or nip over or under his Batt, or upon his hands, but not arms, if ye Ball be held before she touches ye ground, though she be hug’d to the body, its Out.

If in striking both his feet are over ye popping Crease and his Wicket put down, except his Batt is down within, its Out.

If he runs out of his Ground to hinder a catch, its Out.

If a ball is nipp’d up and he strikes her again, wilfully, before she comes to ye Wicket, its Out.

If ye Players have cross’d each other, he that runs for ye Wicket that is put down is Out.  If they are not cross’d he that returns is Out.

Batt Foot or Hand over ye Crease

If in running a notch ye Wicket is struck down by a throw, before his foot hand or Batt is over ye popping Crease, or a stump hit by ye Ball though ye Bail was down, its Out.  But if ye Bail is down before, he that catches ye Ball must strike a Stump out of ye ground, Ball in hand, then its Out.

If ye Striker touches or takes up ye Ball before she is lain quite still unless asked by ye Bowler or Wicket-keeper, its Out.

When ye Ball has been in hand by one of ye Keepers or Stopers, and ye Player has been at home, He may go where he pleases till ye next ball is bowled.

If either of ye Strikers is cross’d in his running ground designedly, which design must be determined by the Umpires, N.B. The Umpire(s) may order that Notch to be scored.

When ye Ball is hit up, either of ye Strikers may hinder ye catch in his running ground, or if she’s hit directly accross ye whickets, ye other Player may place his body anywhere within the swing of his Batt, so as to hinder ye Bowler from catching her, but he must neither strike at her nor touch her with his hands.

If a Stiker nips a ball up just before him, he may fall before his Wicket, or pop down his Batt before she comes to it, to save it.

Ye Bail haning on one Stump, though ye Ball hit ye Wicket, its Not Out.

Laws for Wicket Keepers

Ye Wicket Keepers shall stand at a reasonable distance behind ye Wicket, and shall not move till ye Ball is out of ye Bowlers hand, and shall not by any noice incommode ye Striker, and if his hands knees foot or head be over or before ye Wicket, though ye Ball hit it, it shall not be Out.

Laws for ye Umpires

To allow 2 Minutes for each Man to come in when one is out, and 10 minutes between each Hand.

To mark ye Ball that it may not be changed.

They are sole judges of all Outs and Ins, of all fair and unfair play, of frivolous delays, of all hurts, whether real or pretended, and are discretionally to allow what time they think proper before ye Game goes on again.

In case of a real hurt to a Striker, they are to allow another to come in and ye Person hurt to come in again, but are not to allow a fresh Man to play, on either Side, on any Account.

They are sole judges of all hindrances, crossing ye Players in running, and standing unfair to strike, and in case of hindrance may order a Notch to be scored.

They are not to order any Man out unless appealed to by any one of ye Players.
(These Laws are to ye Umpires Jointly.)
Each Umpire is sole judge of all Nips and Catches, Ins and Outs, good or bad Runs, at his own Wicket, and his determination shall be absolute, and he shall not be changed for another Umpire without ye consent of both Sides.

When 4 Balls are bowled, he is to call Over.
(These Laws are Separately.)
When both Umpires shall call Play, 3 times, ‘tis at ye peril of giving ye Game from them that refuse to Play.


So Lucy and Molly and I went up to Locust Grove this last weekend and saw the event they called '18th Century THUNDER'. It basically amounted to a large encampment of troops... an event somewhat smaller than their Trade Fair in October.

It was quite an experience to goto an event like this as a tourist... I never just get to look and see what the public sees and do what the average person off the street does.

First of all, I finally got to take the tour of the house itself, which was great! It was MUCH larger on the inside than it looked from the outside... three floors. My girls were very interested too, I like to think that the knowledge and interest they showed stems from their participation in reenacting with me. They asked smart questions and made some great observations for two little girls aged 11 & 8.

Of course, I couldn't help but ask some of my 'favorite' questions of the reenactors present before I would introduce myself to them.

"Is that real fire?"

"Aren't you hot in those costumes?"

"Are you really gonna eat that?"

One reenactor was so disgusted by my questions she literally rolled her eyes at me...

In other parts of the camp I REALLY started to see the FARBY stuff (AKA: Non Period Stuff or NPS). And it wasn't the typical NPS that you see in a camp, the stuff that's covered by blankets so the public can't see it, you know, coolers, modern cots or plastic grocery bag with snack food... etc.

I walked into one tent (invited by the fellows inside of course) and took a look at a small folding table that they had set up with some items to view, everything very artfully arranged for the public like a little museum display. Right there on top of this very carefully laid out display was a plastic Ziploc bag and a stack of photographs, obviously taken at various events.

Then at another spot, I saw that one fellow was eating out of a plastic Cool Whip container... and of course I also noticed ALL the modern glasses, modern shoes and so forth.

Now, if it sounds like I'm dogging the event... forgive me, that's not my intention at all. We had alot of fun!

I mention these things because they have caused me to stop and consider my OWN interpretation with greater scrutiny, and a more critical eye.

My opinion on the whole matter is this: you spend all this money to get the outfit, gear, guns, tent etc... in many cases by the time you've spent all this money, you're out several thousand dollars... why would you negate all that effort and research and money spent by having FARB laying out for everyone to see?

I mean an accidental glimpse is one thing... but having it laying right out in the open? I'm guilty of having modern-ish or incorrect stuff laying out when the public comes by, but I'm also VERY careful to cover it up as quickly as I can if they stop to talk to me.

I will be spending some time this week in thought about what things I carry with me that detract from MY interpretation. I want people to leave an event and remember the things I said and taught them, not to be distracted by the 21st century stuff that was seen laying around my camp.


HE Inquiries I made to Locust Grove have produced no leads on where we might stay whilst there in the land upon ye Ohio. But I will not be deterred, warm weather and favorable locale make for excellent outdoor sleeping, along with my blankets and fresh straw. It will not be the first time I have slept in the out-of-doors.

Mel Hankla as General George Rogers Clark

Upon the 25 & 26, I have been invited, at the request of Ensign Bogges to take over the Infirmary at Fort Loudoun whilst the goode Dr. Anderson is away on the King's Business. I do not know the nature of the business, but I suspect it must be of the utmost import if it would draw him out of the safety of the fort into this savage frontier.


ITH the recent passing of the Easter holiday, I thought this might be the perfect time to draw your attention, fair reader, the the fine work of mr. James Moore, Bible Binder. I am the proud owner of one of mr. Moore's efforts, and while he might tell you that he is merely 'playing' at book binding, he is far too modest. In the few years that I have known him, I have watched his skill increase, along with the demand for his work! I would highly recommend his work to any who might be able to lay hands upon it, he and and work are in a class of their own.

Graphic Enterprises report from RED RIVER

From left to right, Sophia, Molly and Rose tend their father's blanket with trade goods upon it.

Lucy and Molly atop the monument with Rose and a friend at the bottom.

Kathy Cummings of Graphic Enterprises was at the Red River event last weekend, and has published a report as well as some good images from that event.


T HAS oft been said, frequently by myself, that the Doctor only knows two sorts of songs, those for children and those for drinking. I learned a good number of children's songs during my youth as a schoolmaster. But today's discussion falls more to the latter.

Whilst at Fort Loudoun, we sang many a bawdy drinking song, and there was one I liked in particular that I had never heard before entitled 'Fathom the Bowl'. So I have done a bit of research to find the lyrics and such in an effort to better learn and understand this great song.

Fathom the Bowl

Come all you bold heroes, give an ear to my song
And well sing in the praise of good brandy and rum
There's a clear crystal fountain near England shall roll
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl

From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum
Sweet oranges and apples from Portugal come
But stout and strong cider are England's control
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl

My wife she do disturb me when I'm laid at my ease
She does as she likes and she says as she please
My wife, she's a devil, she's black as the coal
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea
With no stone at his head but what matters for he
There's a clear crystal fountain, near England shall roll
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl
fath⋅om   [fath-uhm]

1. a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements. Abbreviation: fath

–verb (used with object)
2. to measure the depth of by means of a sounding line; sound.

3. to penetrate to the truth of; comprehend; understand: to fathom someone's motives.

bef. 900; ME fathme, OE fæthm span of outstretched arms; c. G Faden six-foot measure, ON fathmr; akin to

fathom. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved April 08, 2009, from website:

After a study of the meaning of the word 'Fathom', it leads me to wonder what exactly they mean in the song. When we 'Fathom the Bowl', are we measuring the depths of the bowl in some metaphorical sense? Or are we, in the Old English, 'outstretching our arms to embrace' the bowl? Surely we're not attempting to understand the motives of the bowl? Does a bowl of punch have motives? I suppose it depends on how many drinks from the bowl one has had now doesn't it?

I tend to think that we're 'Fathoming' in the old sense of the word and embracing with arms outstretched, I mean, it IS after all a drinking song.


The Doctor poses with his clever blue box of surgical equipment at the Red River Meeting House. Amazingly enough, all those tools really do fit into that little box, it's much bigger on the inside than it appears. I carry only as much as will fit on the back of a pack horse.

This just found from my most recent trip to Fort Loudoun. Here I am demonstrating in the fort's infirmary, showing how to 'draw' a tooth with the 'tooth key' on a jaw bone.


My Dear Sir,

I have of late, frequently succumbed to a bout of fainting spells and dizziness for which my surgeon believes the remedy would be a procedure referred to as trepanning. As I am quite anxious over the prospects of such, it would give me great comfort to know what is involved in this procedure and what, if any remedies for pain will be offered.

Anna Storace

My good woman,

I would liken Trepanning for fainting and dizziness to amputating your arm to remove a splinter from your finger! It is most fortuitous that you wrote me. Be warned fair reader, I do not wish you to be shocked by the graphic nature of the medical language that is to follow. The following is a brief description of the instruments and procedure involved in trepanning.

The practice hails from antiquity, and has been performed with success for thousands of years. There is evidence of prehistoric man performing such surgeries, tho I can scarcely imagine the barbaric conditions that one had to endure in such a time.

The Doctor's Trephine with key >

Today, in this modern year of Seventeen Hundred and Eighty, the trephine is a round or conical saw used for removing a disk of bone from the cranium. The opening is then used to introduce either a small cranial saw or an elevator to remove or lift back into proper position pieces of bone depressed during a fracture. It is also performed to remove blood that gathers under the skull after a blow to the head.

After the brief description of your ailment, I would suspect that you are suffering from Vapours or Hysterick Fits, an unfortunate malady that is oft wont to afflict the fairer sex.

How would I treat your particular distemper?

This from "Every Man His Own Doctor: OR, The Poor Planter’s Physician, Plain and Easy Means for Persons to cure themselves of all, or most of the Distempers, incident to this Climate, and with very little Charge, the Medicines being chiefly of the Growth and Production of this Country."

From my 1736 edition printed and sold by Wil. Parks, at his Printing Offices in Williamsburg, and Annapolis.

Page 47-

There's no disease puzzles Physicians more than the VAPOURS, and HYSTERICK FITS. These Complaints are produced by so many Causes, and appear in so many various Shares, that ''tis no easy manner to describe them. However, some of the Symptoms are, a Thumping at the Heart, a Croaking of the Guts, and a Fulness of the Stomach, which the Patient endeavours to ease, as much as she can, by Belching: Every now and then too, something seems to rise up to her Throat, that almost stops her Breath: She has moreover, a great Heaviness, and Dejection of Spirit, and a Cloud seems to hang upon her Senses. In one Word, she has no Relish for anything, but is continually out of humour, she knows not why, and out of Order, she knows not where.

THIS is certainly a miserable Condition, and the more so, because the Weakness of the Nerves makes the Cure exceedingly difficult.

BECAUSE the Stomach is suspected to be much in fault, I would have That cleans'd in the first Place, with a Vomit of Indian Physick (Virginian Ipecoacanna): The next Day, purify the Bowels, by a Purge of the same; which must be repeated 2 Days same. The rest of the Cure must be perform'd by the exact Observation of the following Rules. Endeavour to preserve a cheerful Spirit, putting the best Construction upon every Body's Words and Behaviour: Plunge, 3 Mornings every Week, into cold Water, over Head and Ears; which will brace the Nerves, and rouze the sluggish Spirits surprisingly. Observe a strict Regularity and Temperance in your Diet; and ride every fair Day, small Journeys, on Horseback. Stir nimbly about your Affairs, quick Motion being as necessary for Health of Body, as for Dispatch of Business. In the Mean while, I absolutely forbid all sorts of Drams, which will raise the Spirits only to sink them lower; nor do I allow her one Pinch of Snuff, or one Drop of Bohea-Tea, which make People very Lumpish and miserable.

HER Food must be fresh and easy of Digestion, neither salt, not windy; nor may she eat one Morsel of Beef, which affords a gross Nourishment, and inclines People, too much, to hang themselves, And for her Drink, she bust forbear Beer, with all windy and fermented Liquours; and stick to Bawm Tea intirely.

TO escape this Disorder, she must suffer none of the idle Disturbances, or Disappointments of an empty WOrld, to prey upon her Mind, or ruffle her sweet Temper. Let her use just Exercise enough to give a gentle Spring to her Spirits, without wasting them; and let her be cheerful, in Spite of a churlish Husband or cloudy Weather.
Disclaimer: I do not intend any of these "cures" to be taken as REAL medical advice... they are solely for your enlightenment and amusement. It serves to help us better understand the dangers these early Americans faced at home as well as abroad in the wilderness... and that a visit from the Doctor in the 18th century could often be more hazardous than the ailment which necessitated his call. In other words, DON'T try this at home kids!


E HAVE just returned from the Militia Muster and Blanket Trade Day at the Red River Meeting House and are thoroughly exhausted from a long day in the out of doors. A morning with cool gusts turned into a pleasant and warm day to visit with those assembled. I purchased a small, black leather needle holder... essentially a tiny folding wallet to keep ones needles from wandering away. It was handmade by mr. Butch Hauri. I also purchased a set of six wooden trenchers for myself and the girls from the goode Surgeon Operia's wife.

I also had the opportunity to meet several people in the flesh whom I had previously only corresponded with, mr. T. Ogle and mr. M. Ramsey being two of them. I even worked out a trade deal for a new brown journal bound by mr. Moore via mr. Ramsey. I look forward to cracking it open and getting to work at it. Ah, what to write first?

I fared well with my own blanket trade items. I sold an old linen shirt to young mr. Hollingsworth, (for which I believe the lad put himself into debt with mr. Ruley for) several bottles and a quantity of books from my collection. I was rather disappointed that the maps I made of the region of Tennasee and the lower parts of Kantuckee didn't sell better than they did. I prepared many, but sold only a single copy to those in attendance. Let them all get lost says I!

I shall endeavour to make the trek once again to Locust Grove in the land upon the Ohio in a fortnight, where George Rogers Clark's companies shall be encamp'd for a time. I will be curious to find if the Surgeon Miller and his family will be with them again.

The week after upon the 25 & 26, I have been invited to take over the Infirmary at Fort Loudoun whilst Dr. Anderson is away on the King's Business.


I have recently updated the "Praise" and the "Schedule" areas.

I got a great new testimonial from Kathy Rayburn, the Head of School at Currey Ingram Academy. I also added some new dates for events at Fort Loudoun for the remainder of the year.


HIS week's end takes the girls and I to Red River Meeting House for their first Militia Muster and Trade Fair. I have recently learned that mr. Barker will be leading the muster in lieu of Capt. Hickey.

Mr. Barker has stated that he will:

...focus on frontier militia skills as written about by William S. Hall in his memoirs (he grew up and began his Indian fighting days at Greenfield near Bledsoe's Fort).

Therefore, I plan to work on the four following subjects: Fighting in pairs; movement (including silent movement); tracking; and, walking pilot (point).

I have also assembled a quantity of items to sell as part of the blanket trade. A series of books, some old bottles, and an assortment of odds and ends that I no longer have any use for.

I also have some older children's clothing that I plan on getting rid of, but I think I'll fare better if I hold onto them until I encounter the Irish Maid seamstress again. She accepts older children's clothing as trade toward your new clothing from her. I got excellent deals from her last year at Bledsoe's Trade Fair for Lucy and Molly. this year, I'm looking to get Rose a new dress.