#amreading MONTCALM and WOLFE, Ch. 5, p. 116

At this rate, self will still be reading MONTCALM and WOLFE in several months.

But why should she complain? It is an excellent book: the most exciting history she has read in a good, long while. It’s got everything: two stubborn opponents (the French and the British), conflicting allegiances, betrayals, mountains, lakes, forests, rivers, Iroquois, Miami, Ojibwa, Ottawa, and small glimpses of a 21-year-old George Washington receiving his first military command.

A British commander named Dinwiddie orders his men across the mountains, toward a branch of the Monongahela called Redstone Creek, “a distance of about a hundred and forty miles.”

A road for cannon and wagons must be cut through a dense forest and over two ranges of high mountains, besides countless hills and streams. Washington set all his forces to the work, and they spent a fortnight in making twenty miles . . .  By the end of May . . .  Dinwiddie learned that Washington had crossed the main ridge of the Alleghenies and was encamped with a hundred and fifty men . . .  at a place called the Great Meadows. A French detachment had tried to surprise Washington . . . and he had killed or captured the whole.

Killed or captured? Whelp! Strong stuff for a 21-year-old commander.

Washington was aided in this endeavor by an old friend, an Indian called the “Half-King,” (OMG the name!) who sent a runner to warn Washington that the French had been spotted nearby. The Half-King “had found the tracks of two men, and traced them toward a dark glen . . . ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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