Loudoun October Garrison

Friday October 9th- Cooler temperatures and rain pursued me along my path Eastward and through the mountains. I was surprised to discover that the trees higher up were already ablaze as I made my way toward the fort there along the Tennase River. Scarlet, orange and amber intermixed with brilliant shades of green lined my path and it was as though I was seeing colors for the first time in a long while.

I arrived around mid day to discover that I was one of the first to arrive. I took my place in the Infirmary and began to go about the tasks that would occupy any surgeon's mate whilst the Doctor was away. I straightened and dusted the bottles on the shelves, I took the ticks and pillows off the sickbeds to be aired outside, and I swept the floors... vigorously.

Something fantastic occurred, I was given a key! The key to the Infirmary, for my own personal use. I kept it tucked away safely in my waistcoat pocket and took great pride in using it to lock and unlock the door to the Infirmary as I came and went.

Private Steel

I also made an alarming discovery. I was informed by Private Steel, that the skull that resides in the Infirmary, was stolen last month! My first thought was for my Lucy, who had grown quite attached to the old skull during our trip to Fort Niagara this summer. I knew she would be heartbroken. What sort of monstrous, grave-robbing fiend would steal a skull used to educate the publick in the ways of physick and surgery? I was utterly disgusted about it for the remainder of the day every time it was brought to mind.

I made my bed down the hill in the barracks reserved for the bachelor soldiers, it would be my first time to stay in those quarters. I fluffed the tick and laid out my wool blankets to make my bed. The bachelor's quarters is a long building at the bottom of the hill, two fireplaces and made to sleep about 30 men.

The interior of the barracks

As more of the men arrived, so too did the dark storm clouds.

Heavy rains began to fall as we took refuge in the barracks. At nine of the clock, I laid on my bunk while the others made merry of one sort or another, drinking, smoking their pipes, telling bawdy stories and the like. They would occasionally see fit to inform me that if I were to fall asleep so early that they would be at their liberty to set my blankets ablaze. I would raise my head up from my slumber briefly to assure all present that I was, in fact, awake.

Around midnight, the weather had cleared somewhat and the moon shone bright on the parade grounds. I got out of bed and found a group of men standing in front of the barracks talking. I stood with them for a while and admired the stars before we all parted and took to our beds.


Dr. William Clift said...

Oh no! Corporal Hill is gone?! Such a tragedy!

Parson John said...

I can see by our post that the Parson must return as soon as may be for I fear the wickedness and debauching is rampant within the fortifications of dear Loudoun. I shall hasten my appointments in order that I may arrive the first Saturday in December with a discourse that will put things to right.

Until then, I remain prayerful and your servant,
William Richardson