Cherokee Victory at Fort Loudoun

Saturday- Hot but with occasional breezes

Reverie at Seven of the clock, with the soldiers meeting on the parade ground at half past.

The colours were raised at Eight in the morning by a platoon of the men and we sang "God Save the King", as per usual.

At half past Eight guards were posted, including a guard at the Infirmary. As the guards were chang'd several times throughout the day, I would often know the fellow posted at the entrance, and we could seripticiously exchange a few jovial words as I went about my appointed tasks as Surgeon's Mate.

I swept the floors and dusted the apothecary bottles. Dr. Anderson and I also took the ticks and pillows off the Infirmary beds and shook them in the out of doors. I made note that they smelled a bit dusty, and that perhaps they should be laid out in the sun soon and perhaps even restuff'd with some fresh straw. There were also several nests of small rodents that had built up that I had to disperse.

The heat was such that several of our men went down. It was difficult to keep enough water ingested to combat the oppressively high heat. None were too serious to be life threatening.

About half past One, Dr. Anderson had been upstairs moving about for some time, and presently came down, took musket in hand and placed his hat upon his head and stepped out of the Infirmary. We did not speak as he left, but knowing my job as I do, I knew that when Anderson leaves, it means I am to stay and watch over things.

I shall let the Captain's own words tell the grizzly tale that followed:

"As everything seemed quiet everywhere & the Centrys had not discovered any Indians, Doctor Anderson & another white man went out, they had gone above Fifty Yards on the side of a little hill, till they were fired at by some Indians that were behind a little log: "

"That moment Forty or Fifty of the men run out with their arms to their assistance; but it was too late, for they were both dead and Scalped:"

 " ... immediately the Savages that were round the hills, fired at the Fort from all sides, but they were so well hid, that we could not have the Satisfaction of killing any of them."

Capt. Paul Demeré
June 6, 1760

We brought Doctor Anderson back up and laid him out on a bed in the Infirmary, for at this point, there was nothing I could do for him. All the Physick and Surgerie in the world could not undo what the Indians had done to him. I covered him with the wool blanket that lay at the foot of the bed. Anderson was dead.

Ensign Boggs and a few of the men came in to pay their respects and some words were said over him. Boggs turned to me and let me know that I would be in charge of the Infirmary in Anderson's stead.

The guard changed, the sun beat down, and Anderson lay under his blanket for the remainder of the afternoon as I kept vigil there in the Infirmary.

Special thanks to Melanie Paniter and Ron Melton for the images.

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