The History of Rogers' Rangers, Volume 4: The St. Francis Raid [cloth]


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 eleven 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 centered 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. If you take a metal detector, you might get lucky and find gold coins, candlesticks, or the coveted Silver Madonna! 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.

Burt Garfield Loescher

(2002), 2008, 6x9, cloth, index, 336 pp.

ISBN: 9780788420771