Ensign Boggs talks with one of the soldiers at the guard house.

Friday night we sang songs in the barracks near the two great fireplaces. They were positively blazing! One could scarcely stand near them without the danger of losing one's eyebrows. I had two mild ales and slept like a prince in my bunk, not rousing until the next morning, when I could hear Pvt. Ellis stomping about in his boots as he readied for the day. Ah, the eagerness of youth! Several of us made comments about the need to make Ellis a pair of moccasins to wear in the mornings. After observing his footfalls from the warmth of my bunk, I finally decided that moccasins would not be the answer. Ellis walks, placing his heels down first, even barefoot, he would sound as though he was stomping about.

Pvt. E. Ellis (J. Gamble)

Saturday I unlock'd the infirmary first thing in the morning. It was cold, so I robbed coals from the barracks to build a fire in the infirmary hearth. After the fire was lit, I put my apron on and swept the floor vigorously. As I worked, it began to rain, weather that would last through the majority of the day. Sometimes a soft mist, occasionally a driving sort of affair, it made for muddy conditions that kept the ground in front of the more heavily visited buildings soggy and difficult to enter.

A small group gather'd just outside the door of the infirmary there at the top of the hill, and seemed to be looking off into the distance and discussing something in an animated fashion, so I stepped out to have a look. Pvt. Kirby pointed out a rather good sized bald eagle perch'd in a nearby tree. I ran back and fetched my new looking glass to get a closer look. The new glass worked very well, I could see his head as he looked about, completely undisturbed by our presence.

The day for the men of Fort Loudoun was occupied by exercising the artillery pieces on the lower bastions, marching and musketry drills.

About mid day, Parson John and a group of six pupils arrived at the infirmary for a visit. I discussed surgery and medicine with them for a bit, when I noticed Maggie standing outside on the step, the rain from the rooftop dripping down upon her. I turned to the Parson, "Parson, Maggie may come in out of the rain if you wish... as long as she doesn't touch anything." says I.

"Maggie! Come in out of the rain!" cried he out the door.

The fort, alive with activity.

After opening for business.

Sunday morning, the infirmary was alive with activity after the brief service by Ensign Boggs. Miss B------ asked me if she could make use of the fine fire I had once again started in the infirmary to brew her coffee and heat water. Coffee and hot chocolate were served soon thereafter, the soldiers and officers came up the hill with mugs in hand to get their dose of hot coffee. A better antidote against the falling weather I cannot imagine.

Sgt. Nutcher came in and partook of the coffee, and paid me a high compliment. He told me that he thought my voice was fine and clear... in reference to my singing the night before. I think this high praise indeed, considering I believe the goode sergeant to have the finest voice of all the men station'd at Loudoun.

Later, as I dusted the bottles of medicinals upon the shelves, I discover'd one that was broken. Given the clean lines of the break, I would suspect that it burst after one of the hard freezes we have received this winter past.

On guard duty.


Tammi said...

Thank you for the use of your fire, and warm cabin on such a cold day, I hope you enjoyed the chocolate, as much I enjoyed making and serving it.

mre_awiwench said...

Thank you for the report. I always enjoy them and I am now looking forward to our upcoming garrison duty at Ft. Frederick.

4th LD

Rowenna said...

Sounds like the perfect antidote for a long winter. I know I cannot wait for my first event of the season!

By the by, from experience--watch your eyelashes in addition to your eybrows near those blazing fires unless you want a rather unique makeover.