FitzGibbon’s Garrison – June/25/1813

Dear Diary,

I am writing on  a scrap piece of paper I asked an officer for, I said I needed it to pass time while I am greatly missing my family. I know it has only been a couple of days but I’m worried about all of them. I can just picture our little house in Queenstown now as I’m writing this, and all the children tucked into their beds. James will be taking good care of them: Mary, Charlotte, Harriet, Charles, and Appolonia. Oh Appolonia, she’s only three, oh I’m sure she’s well taken care of. We have a housewife helping too since James is still recovering from his injuries from the Battle of Queenstown Heights. He is still too unwell to go on any great outings, so it was up to me to deliver the message to the lieutenant. It was just our 16th anniversary a couple weeks ago on the 15th of June. James, if you can hear me, I love you. My love, I’ll see you by the dawn of the week’s end.

I’m hoping to be home very soon. FitzGibbon has arranged for me to have an Iroquois escort me back once more of the troops have returned from the battle. The men are still pouring into the garrison. I’ve been thanking them at meals and whenever I pass them in the corridors. I am so proud of them. The work they do for this colony is so remarkable. I don’t know why the Americans have so much against the British, we wouldn’t be here, in North America, without them. They’re the ones they have to thank for their land in the first place. The Patriots have always been so violent in their efforts. I remember when we used to live in Great Barrington growing up. Father was a patriot. He was so reckless in his militant actions. When he put his uniform on to go off to a battle, he was a different person. I’m glad we live here now, me and James and the kids. And all the horrible things they’re doing down there now to all those undervalued slaves, I can’t imagine living in that type of place.

I’m 37 now, so this walk wasn’t an easy journey. At times I’d say it was more of a run actually. I always used to love to run in Father’s fields, I’m not as young and spry as I was back then anymore though. It was so nice back then, we could just go and run outside. The kids wouldn’t be able to do that now, mind you, we live in the middle of an ever-changing  battlefield. It’s scary really.

I collapsed of exhaustion right after I arrived here, so I’m still recovering too. As I mentioned, the men are returning to the post still. A bunch of them just arrived. Troops from all around the area and many different groups of Indians were called together as soon as I told FitzGibbon of the Americans’ plan. Those Yanks need to be more careful about their after dinner topics when in a house of the enemy. They’d gone through about half of our stock of wine so their voices were getting quite raised. We were scared when they had barged into our house earlier in the day, but it turned out not such a bad thing.

James was worried still for me, of my journey, all on my own, he said it would take at least a day and I would have to be very careful so as not to be seen by the Americans when crossing back into British territory. But I was determined to go. I knew the message had to be delivered, and quickly!

I got here with the help of some Iroquois, just in time. Those boys went out and got ‘er done in the battlefield. We won! FitzGibbon has been back for quite a few hours now, and he keeps coming to thank me in my lodging.

Anyways, I’m running out of room on this paper. I’ve used up both sides but still have so much to say,  I’ll just have to wait to tell my love in a couple of days. Please take care, I love you, and I’ll be home soon, I promise. Pass this on to James for me, will you diary?

With all my heart,

love,

Laura Secord

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