A Novel Based on the Life of Christopher Gist

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The cover print is from a painting by Robert Griffing entitled: A Warning for General Braddock. It depicts a scene (found on page 151) where Christopher Gist and others evaluate pictographs left by enemy Indians who had camped there in large numbers the night before.

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“Now, as Gist stood overlooking the army‚Ķthe English were here in full force to send the French back to New France where they belonged. Many officers from Washington’s fateful campaign [Fort Necessity] were behind him now on this very path. All were captains now: George Croghan, Adam Stephens, Thomas Waggoner, Andrew Lewis and Peter Hog among others. Tonight they were volunteers, temporally attached to Captain Robert Dobson of His Majesty’s Forty-Eighth Regiment of Foot, leading a detachment of eighty men of who most were from Virginia Independent Companies.

       Earlier that day several miles ahead of Braddock’s army, Monacatoocha had discovered an enemy camp at the base of a high rocky hill where the Nemacolin Path forked. Over 150 French and Indians had camped there for weeks. The number of warm campfire ashes and sheer volume of boot and moccasin tracks told of their recent occupation. Yet the affront given by the enemy’s proximity to superior numbers was not enough. The Indians had stripped the bark off some of the surrinding chestnut trees. In red paint they had drawn many figures representing themselves in the taking of scalps and prisoners. Explicit taunts, threats and abusive French phrases accompanied the Indian pictographs.”



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