[Sounds of hand-washing laundry.]
It is October 7th. Father left for battle once again. We were lucky enough once to have him safely return. I am so afraid he may not return a second time! I heard him mention to Mother how numerous the Rebel forces are. I am also worried about that stupid boy who is going to be leading Father and others into battle. He is only 12 years old! How can someone just two years younger than me be put in charge of leading of men into battle?
It is now October 7th, and General Burgoyne began a move toward the Rebels. [Sound of military drum sounding "assembly" call] We left two of our defensive positions, including Colonel Breymann’s fortifications, just uphill to your right. We brought eight cannons and well over one thousand men, and were accompanied by one hundred eighty Natives who scouted ahead of us. In a large field, a distance south of here, we stopped to harvest wheat to help feed our hungry troops. There we encountered the Rebel forces.
Heavy fighting started around three in the afternoon. [Sounds of muskets firing] My uncle, Major Griffith Williams, did what he could to support General Burgoyne but was soon overrun. He has since gone missing. General Burgoyne ordered our troops to retreat.
Most of us went to the defenses at Freeman’s Farm, where we held the Rebels back. But here at Colonel Breymann’s defenses, [musket firing continues, some indistinct orders given] our forces could not hold. Breymann was killed, some say by his own men. The Rebels captured Breymann’s line! Our brave men tried to retake the position, but with night falling, we could not.
[Battle noises end.]
[Night sounds of crickets and katydids.]
It is now night. General Burgoyne ordered the very hasty retreat of our forces. We had to abandon our tents and our cooking gear, even as the men were trying to cook their supper. Who would have thought this possible? The Rebels seem to have won.
[Insect noises end.]