Posted By:Dot Drake
Post Date:May 02, 2003 at 16:54:48
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Forum:Seven Years War Forum
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I want to share some exciting research sent to me by the author, Luc Bucherie of France, who investigated what happened to prisoners from the British-American units at Fort William Henry in August of 1757 when the fort was taken by Montcalm's troops. What I had known before was that many men were deprived of their arms and clothing by the Indians, and men and women were taken prisoner by them, marched north to Quebec and sold to the French.

I had one ancestor, Nathaniel Loomis of Southampton, MA, who managed to free himself just after being taken in hand by 2 Indians, and ran through the night to Fort Edward, about 14 miles distant. So I did not know much about what happened to the people who remained captive.

Luc's research paper reveals that many men in units from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York were part of a prisonner exchange some months later. As was typical for the time, instead of sending them back to their families in the colonies, they were due to be sent to England and exchanged there, from where they would board another ship back home. But the ship they were on was blown off course by a storm and was captured by the French. Because the ship's condition was bad regarding hygiene, most of the men were sick when they landed and were treated at a hospital in La Rochelle, before being imprisoned in the Tour de la lanterne and the Chateau de Cognac. There, at least two men, Alexander Dunlap and George Freeman, scratched graffiti with their names on the walls. A year after the surrender of Fort William Henry, the New Englanders were repatriated.

Luc and I would like to discover the families Alexander and George. Alexander may belong to a Dunlop/Dunlap family in New Hampshire. There were many Freeman families, so I have no idea to which one George belonged.

If you can add to this research, thank you for your help.