|Description||Recollections based on notes that Laing had begun when first entering the Army. Laing writes that his "sole motive is, that of self amusement in the solitude of a dull tropical climate," although he admits that he may show the writings to a friend. |
The recollections themselves begin with Laing's birth in 1794 and his education, starting at the age of 13, at Edinburgh College. He writes some about the freedom he enjoyed there, and about his fondness for the "fair sex". At the age of eighteen, after growing tired of Edinburgh and accumulating debt, Laing begins to consider joining the army. He embarks for Antigua from Port Glasgow at the end of September 1812 on a brig that faces many problems, including storms, a potential mutiny, and an American privateer. On November 13th, he reaches Antigua, received by Mr. Martin, and travels to Barbados several days later, where he is received by Captain Seymour. Here he is appointed to the Quarter Master Generals department and receives a Commission in the York Light Infantry on 11 March 1813. Laing describes his travels in the West Indies, detailing the various military facilities there, information about his colleagues and superiors, and his everyday activities. He makes observations about the landscape of the island of Antigua. Around 1814 he travels to Jamaica with his division, and he continues with his descriptions. The account ends in [October] 1815 with him traveling to Falmouth to the Headquarters of the Corps upon being granted leave.
Contains map of forts in Jamaica on p. 45.
Front cover contains what may be a self-portrait of Laing and a face in the upper left corner. Back cover also contains a drawing of a face.