Image by L.S. KingANT of time is, I think, the general complaint of all letter-writers, and it shall be mine upon this day as I depart from this land below ye Ohio to meet up with the Independent Company of South Carolina at Fort Niagara. My life of late has been little more than a perpetual hurry of doing nothing; and I think, I never had more business of that sort on my hands than in the past few weeks. But as I can generally find time to do anything I've a mind to do, so can I contrive to be at leisure to pay these final respects to you, my dear friends.
I shall not now pretend that our mission into the North, to lay siege upon a French held fortification, is not fraught with peril. War with ones neighbor is always a dangerous business. I suspect, as Chief Surgeon of the British Hospital, I shall be stationed in a place close enough to the front line to be of a convenient distance to the wounded. I have shared with Ensign Boggs my desire to have an armed guard placed at the hospital for our additional safety, and to keep the wounded from discharging themselves before Dr. Clift and I see fit.
As is my custom, I shall keep my journal whilst in the field, and transcribe it here for you, my dear friends, upon the occasion of my return. Should I not be so fortunate, I have left the blue box behind with my surgical instruments and an old suit of clothes. These can be sold to pay off my meager debts to Young & Erskine, Glasgow. I have it on good authority that Mr. Thomas Ruley, at Red River, would pay well for my wig if there is any thing left of it to sell. I would not settle for less than 10 shillings, 6 pence for it, if it is still wearable.
I have done the last of my packing and the baggage wagon awaits, therefore I will bid you all farewell, and know that I most sincerely wish you all health and success; and am, with great respect, dear Friends,
Your most affectionate & obt. servant,
N.B. Whenever your leisure will permit, it will always give me the greatest pleasure to be informed of your welfare.