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.