At last, from the undisputed expert on Rogers' Rangers, here is
the long-awaited chronicle of this tragic and infamous event. This
phenomenal "commando" attack, initially successful, would be forever
scarred by the violent deaths and starvation suffered by the Rangers
during their return journey.
Burt Loescher traveled thousands of miles tracing the routes of
the separate Ranger parties, interviewing old- timers and descendants,
and digging through hundreds of archival documents to painstakingly
piece together the truth of the St. Francis Raid. There are many
threads to this story, including its historical background, the
events that occurred early in the expedition that foretold its outcome,
and the separate agonies that befell the 11 groups of Rangers when
the main force divided during the retreat from St. Francis. Extracts
from actual Ranger diaries and journals provide authentic accounts
of the journey, as well as shedding light on the personalities of
the Rangers themselves.
Many legends have grown around the story of the St. Francis Raid,
most of them centering around the valuable silver and gold treasures
stolen from the mission chapel by the Rangers and buried along the
return routes when the men became too weak with hunger to continue
to carry their heavy loads. Some say the Rangers were "cursed" for
destroying and desecrating the mission.
You will be able to retrace the separate trails by following the
detailed descriptions and maps in this book. Mr. Loescher went far
beyond Rogers' own Journal accounts to get to the truth of the St.
Francis Raid. He combed the documents in the Loudoun and Amherst
Papers, colonial newspaper accounts, narratives, and, most importantly,
some never-before published French accounts. He also disproves the
legends that suffer from "credibility gaps." Many newly discovered
facts completely change our currently held notions of the Raid,
which have been shaped by the novel and motion picture. So much
new evidence has been turned up that a definitive volume on the
Raid was imperative. The exhaustive Appendices, detailed maps, and
splendid color illustrations by well-known Ranger artist Gary Zaboly
and Ron Embleton, make this study a complete source of reference
for the historian, the treasure hunter, the Rogers' Ranger enthusiast,
as well as the lover of exciting early Americana.
2002, illus., maps, appends., bibl., paperback, 314 pp. $29.50