Winter’s Chill

Posted By on December 29, 2009

It has grown quite cold here at the fort in recent days.  We had snow a few weeks ago, which aided the men in some hunting, but only provided me with more patients with varying illnesses.  My lancets have gotten great use- fifteen men this morning alone.  Yesterday I had to splint the drummer’s arm as he fell on it while splitting wood, and he’s resting comfortably.  The Captain hopes that he recovers soon, as do I.  I’m not sure that with the cold winter, and the lack of supplies, he would survive an amputation, and I don’t believe that would be the best for the morale of the men.

We returned to Fort Frederick for winter quarters in early November, which at first was a great benefit to us, as more supplies had arrived from Annapolis, and the quarters are more suited for keeping warm.  The stone walls are thick, and with multiple fireplaces it only has a chill late at night and early in the morning, provided that the men keep the doors barred.  In the late mornings and afternoons the Captain drills the men in the parade grounds, which I’ve observed  once or twice.  Its a truly fascinating scene, the madder red uniforms contrasting greatly against the blinding white of the snow, shadows of grey and black intermingling with those strong colors.

We had a brief service for the Christmas holiday. Afterwards we sat around telling ghost stories and singing songs late into the evening, and I found myself yearning for home for one of the first moments in a great while.  I am certain that my sister kept the season in her own way, but in remembering her favorite ghost stories of women in white, wandering halls, I was hoping to be in my meager living quarters, sharing that moment with her.

Reports circulate that the French are on the run, and that we could be home by summer.  I should like that above all things, however I will continue to serve where I am needed most, which seems to be here among the men of the Maryland Forces.

About the author


Leave a Reply