From Adam Stephen
⟨For⟩t Cumberland [Md.] ⟨Dec⟩r 26th 1755
The State of the Regiment is much the Same as at last Return. Capt. Peachy is a good deal Better—Mr Lowry pines after the Babby, and has been of no Service here, the gentlemen who are best acquainted with him, tell me they are of Opinion he is tired of the Service, and Being a Malingeror here, I gave him leave to Wait on you to inform how he stood affected.1
I had the honour to dine at the head of 24 fine Gentlemen yesterday—We had an extreamly good dinner, and after drinking the loyal Healths, in a Ruff and Huzza at every Health we pass’d an hour in Singing and taking a Cheerful glass. We then amus’d ourselves with acting part of a Play, and spending the Night in mirth, Jollity and Dancing, we parted very affectionatly at 12 O’Clock, remembering all Absent Friends.2 The frequent applications to me from the Hospital, obliges me to Renew my Sollicitations about a Surgeon and Medicines—The Small parcel I got of Docr Gilmore lies at Falmuth—The then Commissarys forgetting to Send them up.3
⟨Bieuler⟩ is intirely useless.4 I am with Respect, wishing you a happy Year, and that it may be remarkable for your Victorious Atchievments, Sr, Your most obt huble Sert
1. Lt. John Lowry managed to stick it out for another year before resigning in Dec. 1756.
2. A ruff, or ruffle, was a term used among drummers of British regiments to signify a sort of vibrating sound made upon a drum, less loud than the roll. Charles Lewis, in reporting the same celebration, spoke of the “Rowls of Drum” (Charles Lewis, “Journal” description begins Charles Lewis, “Journal.” Manuscript in the University of Virginia Library, Manuscripts Department. Charlottesville, Va. description ends in ViU: Lewis Family Papers). In an amusing letter written probably in 1756, Henry Woodward described to John Dagworthy a production of “Tamorlane” performed at Fort Cumberland. Woodward listed the cast of 12 men, all members of the Virginia Regiment, and added: “Brockenbrough was so touchd by it so that he will never never Act Again. Aesop was the Farce and De fierre [Defever] was the fine Lady by wh you may judge if it was a Farce or not” (Turner, Sussex County, Delaware description begins C. H. B. Turner, comp. Some Records of Sussex County, Delaware. Philadelphia, 1909. description ends , 323). Austin Brockenbrough, who was no older than 17, took the role of “Prince of Tanais.”
4. Stephen may be referring to Joseph Beeler, who commanded a company of rangers stationed at Fort Cumberland at one period during the French and Indian War.