Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt
Center of the ohio country universe

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shooting dogs at Fort Pitt for fun and profit

New mocs made using the Galban DVD...worn with knit stockings from South Union mills and wool slippers
Chausons/wool slippers these things are great year round in mocs and easy to make

Cindy posing in her mom's Ug boots....she wears them when I wear my do you tell a 2 year old she's a farb...tough love

It’s raining…again. I had planned today to work on a new fleshing beam to get ready for Rifle season. I have talked to some local deer processors and am going to try and get a fair amount of hides fleshed and put up to dry for the spring. I really want to get some hides for a display Bale as well as some hides for the tan vat.
SO apart from weaving I’ve been able to finally finish up some winter mocs using Mike Galban’s DVD and the last of a Hide I got from Alec. I cant say enough good things about either product. This was my first attempt at Mocs with Vamps and I made a passable pair for my first try. I now have a good pattern for myself and plan on making another pair soon (as soon as I get another hide lol) and I’ll sew them with leather wang (I used Linen cord for this pair) I’m a little leery of wearing these in snow as I’ve found that it rots pretty quickly in the damp weather we get most of the winter.
I also finished some Chausons to wear as moc liners along with my knit stockings. Wearing them around the yard to break the whole rig in has worked pretty well. It has also provided hours of laughter for my family. These are also the same people who watch survivor every week….so I’m not too worried.
Ok my geekness is going to shine thru today. For fun I like to read Orderly books from the 18th century. I’ve found that they are a great resource on the day to day life at an 18th century fort/camp as well as how much you can try and get away with as an 18th century Soldier. My friend/co conspirator Jason Melius have used these for sources of inspiration in our portrayal as the ner dowell’s in any 18th century Army. SO here are a few excerpts from the Fort Pitt Orderly book during the ohio counry uprising of 1763:
June 4 1763 “ He is also to deliver this evening to a sergeant of each company two quarts of loose powder, which they are to distribute to those men that have cartridges, and see that they strengthen each cartridge by adding one-third of an inch in length to it.” **how much of a kick would this load have in a bess?**
June 5 1763 “As the dogs about the garrison make daily great disturbance…It is therefore the commanding officer’s positive order that all the dogs without exception that are not tied up after 4 o’clock this afternoon shall be killed…It is likewise the commanding officer’s that the wolf and bear be immediately killed or put out of the fort.” ***yes he wrote wolf and bear….***
June 16, 1763 Fort Pitt receives word that the war is over…Gotta wonder if they saw the irony?
June 22, 1763… The dogs still being noisy at night, and hindering people of their rest….Patroles will go round the fort for the future to kill them, and for every dog they kill they will get a half crown reward. ***Ecuyer…the guy who did hand out small pox blankets and now a dog killer….he was also an anti-Semite but that’s in a letter…**
July 3, 1763 “The men to lie upon their arms every night till further orders, without taking off their clothes.” ** Yeah there is a story there you just know it***
One of the things I really try to focus on for my portrayal is the lives of the Redeemed captives that lived and worked in the Ohio country. The romantic notion of these men is of people “with a foot in each world” or “trapped between two cultures”. While this may have been the case for some I don’t think it was as “hawkeye” as many would have it.. For me it really seems that these men more often than not seemed to be a little more comfortable living as men who could walk down both sides of the street so to speak.
A good example of this can be found in the example of Daniel Sullivan ( “a spy at Detroit” Page 230 Frontier Defense on the upper Ohio) Below is some of Sullivan’s deposition of his travles through the ohio country villages actin as a Spy for the Americans. He is dressed in “indian dress” but from what I’ve pointed out in past blog postings this could mean A LOT of things. It is also apparent to folks in the know he’s not “native” .
I also have to wonder after reading this how much of his cover story is well…true. Also It’s important to note that his story doesn’t seem odd to Governor Hamilton or the other ID folks he comes across.
“AT Guyahaga were two traders with stores of Indian goods and a cargo arrived there the 18th of april from Detroit. The 19th I hired myself agreeable to Col. Morgans directions to James Howel to serve as a batteau man to go to Detroit with peltries and to bring away other goods. We were eight days coasting it to Detroit. On my arrival I assisted to unload the boat and then was conducted to Governor Hamilton in my Indian dress who enquired who I was and my business. I informed him that I had been taken prisoner when young by the Delawares, that nine years afterwards in 1772 or 73 I went to live with my relations in Virginia But the present war coming on between Britain and America and having no way but my gun to maintain myself I had removed back to my Delaware relations and determined to live with them until I could do better. That I had hired with a trader at Guyahaga to assist him with his peltries to Detroit in order to enable me to buy some powder and lead to hunt…..The Governor Dismiss’d me to go where I pleased and he would be my friend….”
Sullivan spends the nigt lodged with an ID interpreter and his family but his walk through of the city gets a little tougher the next day.
“In this tour Pluggy’s son discovered me and applied to the Governor to have me confined on Accot of my having in the fall of 1776 killed his brother in law near the Kenhawa. John Montour seconded this information and as a proof referr’d to the wound I received in my left arm at the time….”
Sullivan then is sent on a tour of a few posts in Irons..LOL not a great spy. From notes in “frontier Defense..” Sullivan may have been wounded in this account from “The revolution on the Upper Ohio…” acting as a spy for Fort Randolph. Remember a “spy” is generaly someone who goes out dressed as a native vs. a scout who is looking for indian sign but normaly dressed as a local.
“They saw some indian signs & was immediately fired on by an indian no above 8 yards distance. Just at the very moment the foremost of the spies was jerking his gun off his shoulder in order to shoot & the indian bullet took the box of his gun (just opposite his breast) & lodged there The spy received little damaged only grazed on the arm in two or three places either by part of the bullet or of the box lid—such as buckshot might have done The spies shot at him as as possible both,& he fell but recovered immediately & he & his partners cleared themselves as quick as possible, with the loss of his shot pouch Powder horn & many other little articles the damned savages had the assurance to camp there within a mile of this fort (Fort Randolph) but on their own side of the river. They were so provident as to bring a string for a prisoner but unluckily lost it in the fray”
Sweet he was probably carrying a rifle and the natives lost a prisoner Line. Gotta love the little details and curse them for phrases like “little articles”. This for me also is yet another account of a guy getting shot in his gear and I still have yet to find a guy getting shot in anything that resembles a bullet/loading block (think about it something hanging around your neck about breast high full of ball and NO ONE got shot in one? I have shot horns, rifles, bags , knife handles and even blanket rolls but no bullet boards yet)
Well that’s it for today. Now back to weaving and getting ready for the first day of Rifle season. I need to finish myself any kind of tumpline to drag a deer (I really hate those modern weird drag ropes…junk) and get my modern gear into some kind of order. Every year it’s the same speech from my father….I shouldn’t hunt in Doc Martens ,jeans a knit cap and a punk rock sweatshirt, I’ll get cold (and I never do). For some reason he never says anything about my 18th century stuff….Hopefully my Whale wars/ Animal Liberation front sweat shirt shows up in time. The deer will be looking for guys in Cammo , they’ll never notice me…


  1. Your clarification of SPY vs SCOUT is most enlightening. Thanks. And what a nugget of wisdom in the closing sentence - will have to give it a try in Virginia. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I just wanted to say I think you need to make Cindy some real mocs. She clearly is telling you she needs a pair.

  3. He was a good spy! You didn't live in that day, and know zip.

  4. well thanks for that constructive comment Judith.....