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The Hidden Children

Chapter 6. The Spring Waiontha
It happened the following afternoon that, having written in my journal, and dressed me in
my best, I left the Mohican in the hut a-painting and shining up his weapons, and walked
abroad to watch the remaining troops and the artillery start for Otsego Lake.
A foot regiment-- Colonel Gansevoort's-- had struck tents and marched with its drums
and colours early that morning, carrying also the regimental wagons and batteaux.
However, I had been told that this veteran regiment was not to go with the army into the
Iroquois country, but was to remain as a protection to Tryon County. But now Colonel
Lamb's remaining section of artillery was to march to the lake; and whether this indicated
that our army at last was fairly in motion, nobody knew. Yet, it seemed scarcely likely,
because Lieutenant Boyd had been ordered out with a scout of twenty men toward the
West branch of the Delaware, and he told me that he expected to be absent for several
days. Besides, it was no secret that arms had not yet been issued and distributed to all the
recruits in the foot regiments; that Schott's riflemen had not yet drawn their equipment,
and that as yet we had not collected half the provisions required for an extensive
campaign, although nearly every day the batteaux came up the river with stores from
Schenectady and posts below.
Strolling up from the river that afternoon, very fine in my best, and, I confess, content
with myself except for the lack of hair powder, queue, and ribbon, which ever
disconcerted me, I saw already the two guns of the battalion of artillery moving out of
their cantonment, the limbers, chests, and the forge well horsed and bright with polish
and paint, the men somewhat patched and ragged, but with queues smartly tied and heads
well floured.
Had our cannoneers been properly and newly uniformed, it had been a fine and stirring
sight, with the artillery bugle-horn sounding the march, and the camp trumpets
answering, and Colonel Lamb riding ahead with his mounted officers, very fine and
nobly horsed, the flag flying smartly and most beautiful against the foliage of the terraced
woods.
A motley assembly had gathered to see them march out; our General Clinton and his
staff, in the blue and buff of the New York Line, had come over, and all the officers and
soldiers off duty, too, as well as the people of the vicinity, and a horde of workmen,
batteaux-men, and forest runners, including a dozen Oneida Indians of the guides.
Poor Alden's 6th Massachusetts foot regiment, which was just leaving for the lake on its
usual road-mending detail, stood in spiritless silence to see the artillery pass; their Major,
Whiting, as well as the sullen rank and file, seeming still to feel the disgrace of Cherry
Valley, where their former colonel lost his silly life, and Major Stacia was taken, and still
remained a prisoner.
 
 
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