Colonel Simon Fraser, Commanding Officer
78th Regiment of Foot, 1757-63

Monday, January 1, 2018

Letter from Colonel Simon Fraser to General Forbes, Jan. 1758

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of your letter Saturday, & acording to your directions have sent the ten drafts with a carefull Serjeant, they are clear by our Regiment to the 25th decr.

I did not at all grudge the trouble of making up the controut & only mention'd it as an apology for it being so long unsent.

The people here at present fancy themselves oblig'd to furnish our Officers with fireing & their genius in such that they do easily whatever they think themselves oblig'd to do, but not a lot more; therefore if any reference is made to head quarters, if it cannot be determined for us I wish the matter of right may not be determin'd against us, & then I think we can persuade them; for it will be very expensive for a Subaltern to pay a dollar a week for firing, which is what the people askd at the beginning when they thought themselves under no obligation to furnish it.

I shall follow your directions about Serjt. Fraser, but I imagine you will think it proper to let me have as soon as conveniently may be The Earl of Loudoun's further orders, because I was told two days ago that the Governor had wrote to the Authority of this place & left it in their discretion to claim Serjt. Fraser or not, directing them at the same time to take care that guilt shoud not come upon the land. Now if he was tried by a Court Martial they woud be satisfied there was no guilt to come upon the land & woud think no more of claiming him, which I know they want to avaoid if they can conscientiously.
                                                                 
                                                                                       I am with great regard
                              
                                                                                       Dear Sir

                                                                                       Your most obedient & most
                                                                                        humble Servant
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                     S. Fraser

Stratford Janry 23d. 1758.


Note: The ten drafts Colonel Fraser spoke of were being sent to Otway's 35th Regiment to augment heavy losses during the siege on Fort William Henry. The colonel was ordered to send 90 men in December 1757, but it's not clear if these ten are fulfilling that original requirement or if they are additional augmentees, thus possibly raising the final number to 100.

Serjeant Fraser was involved in the killing of Corporal Mackay, at the guardhouse, and his chain of command was in turmoil about turning him over to the civilian authorities, or try him internally by military court martial.

Source:
Colonel Simon Fraser, "Letter of Colonel Simon Fraser to Colonel Forbes, Adjutant General, at His House in the Broadway or at the Fort, New York." NAS, GD45-2-29-12.

©  Jeffrey Campbell, Fraser's 78th Regiment of Foot, 2017.

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