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February 04 , 2011

Letters Found in the Ruins of Fort Braddock


Fort Braddock, April 3, 1821. Dear Jim, IT is now spring—the buds are bursting through all the wilderness about me; but the cold rains which are constantly descending, make my condition so cheerless, that I write to you merely to pass the time. Why I was doomed to spend my winter here so solitary, or when I shall have the good luck to shift my quarters, for any Other spot, is past my skill to divine. Any Other spot—the Arkansas, the Rio Colorada, the Council Bluffs, the Yellow Stone, any place but this. Was I dangerous to government, that they should have contrived for one poor subaltern, this Siberian banishment, where I am ingeniously confined, not by a guard placed over me, but by having the command of about five and twenty men, that the spring discovers in a uniform of rags. I did suppose that I was more profitably employed in another part of the state of New-York, on that noble boundary of lake, and river, and cataract, where I thought that my services had not only insured me a continuance in the army list, but entitled me to promotion. I came here five months ago, with a dashy suit of new regimentals, a bright epaulette, and as tall a white feather as there was between the straits of Mackinaw and the heights of Abraham. With this dear-bought equipage, I meant to have figured, if not in the vicinity of New-York or Boston, at least in some neighbourhood of gentilty, where I might have gone to balls, lived at a tavern, figured in full panoply before the ladies, and passed my winter like a military man. But you know not why I complain, or even where I am, for the map is a blind guide to this part of the country
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