Thursday, 24 April 2014

A Letter to Mary Grant of the "Inverness Courant".

Dear Mary Grant, I hope that you are well and that the Courant is flourishing. From the other journals that we have seen this last while and the reports we have of newspapers from further afield, I have no doubt that you and the Inverness Courant are in very good health, and have acquired a reputation far beyond your humble beginnings, and in fact beyond your wildest dreams. You have obviously obtained our reports so far on the Jacobite insurrection, and we see that you have been making these reports available to other titles, for a goodly price, I hope. Somehow we obtained copies of the following newspapers, which all carry our reports. These are the Edinburgh Evening Courant, the London Daily Courant and the Belfast News Letter. We have reliable information that the London Gazette has been reporting present events in Scotland. Mary, we three have acquired a little fame, and perhaps we may be written into the margins of history. These last six weeks have amazed us, in the things we have seen, but we were also forced to witness violence and barbarity beyond anything we could have imagined. I will return to these matters later. At this point I should like to mention SIR JOHN MURRAY OF BROUGHTON who knew the Prince in Rome and Paris and who travelled between France and Britain informing and cajoling Jacobite sympathisers to prepare for the return of the Stuarts. Murray is Secretary to the Prince, who has a high regard for him. On hearing that the Prince had landed at Arisaig, Murray immediately went to join him. Lord Elcho, who despises 'Secretary Murray', informed us of the following. Murray has great influence over most of the Prince's affairs including the administration of his finances and all his private correspondence. Murray of Broughton, said Elcho, wanted to take over 'military affairs' and become the Prince's chief advisor in such matters. But Lord George Murray had been appointed Lieutenant-General of the army by Charles and it was he who was in command of the Jacobite army. Lord George would not take orders from Secretary Murray, who had never been a soldier. As far back as Perth, Secretary Murray was bad-mouthing Lord George, telling the Prince that Lord George had taken the oath of allegiance to King George, and that he was a traitor and ideally placed to betray the Cause. His hope was that the Duke of Perth would be put in command, someone that Secretary Murray knew could be manipulated to do the Secretary's bidding. For ever after, this was to sour relations between Lord George Murray and the Prince, who always suspected his motives, despite Murray being held in the highest regard by the whole Army. It didn't help that Lord George was a Protestant (Scottish Episcopalian) and that the Duke of Perth was Catholic. Murray like Lord Elcho were not part of the Catholic cabal which surrounded the Prince. Edinburgh fell to the Jacobites without a shot being fired, and in a manner which was pure farce (covered in a recent report to you). As the Prince and his retinue proceeded along the streets to Holyrood Palace, there was much cheering, but it did not ring true. The citizens were not happy to see the Prince and his army in Edinburgh, and in truth they were afraid. A sceptical eyewitness wrote that "The populace of a great city who huzza for anything that brings them together, will huzza for sure." Ladies in the windows became hoarse with their cheering, as they waved their white handkerchiefs in honour of the day. Many others showed their dislike by a stubborn silence. We have dealt with the battle at Prestonpans in a recent report to you, but there are a few comments I would like to add concerning that affair. As ingenus of warfare, it must be said that we found the sights and sounds of battle overwhelming. You may read about a battle, but until you witness the violence and barbarity you can not imagine how dreadful were the scenes we witnessed. The English soldiers were terrified of the Highlanders. They threw away there weapons with the aim of escaping, but in doing so were cut down or captured by the swift of foot Highlanders. These were the same English soldiers who had been at Dettingen and Fontenoy and until this battle were justly reckoned to be among the best in Europe. The English army was thrown into confusion from the very outset and could not easily escape the ditches and enclosures in which they were trapped. The carnage that ensued was terrible. This must give the government in London something to think about. They will now treat the Jacobite Army with more respect, and not as a rabble of untrained yokels from the wild north of the kingdom.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Battle Is Finally Joined at Prestonpans

It was the opinion of many Jacobites that General Cope had various opportunities of engaging in battle, but until now his army would only approach the Prince's army at a safe distance, and for reasons best known to Cope, it would withdraw and make off in some other direction. It was said that, using these tactics, Cope could monitor the strength of Charles' army, and its progress southwards. A more informed view would be that Cope had no intention of doing battle with an army of Highlanders in the hills and glens, where they were unbeatable. The two armies were now a few furlongs apart in the Lothians, where the topology of the site must surely be more to the liking of Cope's soldiers. Neil and Donald caught sight of the Chevalier Johnstone resting under a large oak tree beside his horse. He was a colourful character who , born in Edinburgh, had spent many years in France. His military training in France required him to study the great generals of old. He could easily recount long passages (often in Latin)of strategy, tactics or the philosophy of war credited to generals, such as Maherbal( the brother of The Carthaginian Hannibal), Suntse, a Chinese general, Polybius, the Roman historian, Montesquieu, Descartes etc. On approaching the Chevalier, they were addressed as "Mes Amis" and offered a share in his lunch of beef, bread and red wine. They presented their credentials as reporters which amused the Chevalier. Neil and Donald did mention the delay there had been in joining battle, and asked the Chevalier Johnstone for his opinion. The Chevalier de Johnstone immediately spoke : " Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator (280-203 BC) was the Roman Dictator and General during the Second Punic War against Hannibal and his vast Carthaginian army of 50,000. The word 'cunctator' is the Latin for 'delayer', and this agnomen (cunctator) was scathingly used by the senate back in Rome for Fabius seemingly never engaging directly in battle with Hannibal. But Quintus Fabius knew what he was about. His tactic was to avoid battle with Hannibal directly, but to target his supply lines. Together with a comprehensive scorched earth policy denying grain to Hannibal's soldiers, this was a war of attrition that exhausted the Carthaginian army. To this day, Fabius Cunctator is credited as the 'father' of guerrilla warfare. He kept Hannibal busy and away from Rome. In contrast, in 217 BC, a later Roman General, Gaius Flaminius, was lured into open battle by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene where the Carthaginian army annihilated the Roman legions. In describing the forthcoming battle, we will quote from the "Memoirs of the Chevalier de Johnstone" and those "Memoirs" of Lord Elcho who were both there on that day. On 20 September, the army of General Cope consisting of 4000 regular troops had made their way from Haddington and Cope eventually drew up his army on Birsley Brae between Tranent and Prestonpans on the Forth estuary. The position adopted by Cope was skillfully chosen, "fortified by nature" and in the opinion of the Jacobites, inaccssible on all sides. On their right, Cope's army had two enclosures surrounded by high stone walls. In front of him, Cope had another enclosure surrounded by a deep ditch twelve feet broad and full of marshy water. On his left he had a morass ( marsh/bog ) which terminated in a very deep pond and behind him the sea. This was a truly impregnable position which Cope had adopted for his army, and one which the Jacobite leaders realised that, as things stood, there was no means of attacking Cope without being hewn to pieces. Around nightfall a man called Henderson, the owner of the morass and a Jacobite sympathiser, came to see the Prince to tell him that there was a way through the morass which he used daily while shooting game. The Prince sent a party to find this passage and was relieved to know that it could be traversed by his troops but only in single file. Since Cope assumed that no one could cross this morass, he neglected to place guards there. During the night and in strict silence the Highlanders passed across the morass without alerting the enemy. Now on firm ground they reformed their ranks with the column extending along the sea shore. At first light Cope thought that the Jacobite first line which was in battle order and about 200 yards in front of him was a line of bushes. These 'bushes' were in fact the front line of 1200 men of the Jacobite army, behind which was the second line of those that were badly armed. Mr. Macgregor, a Captain in the Duke of Perth's regiment improvised by having well-sharpened scythes attached to the ends of eight foot poles, the ends of the scythes pointed like lances. They were in fact the 'most murderous of weapons'. Lord George Murray, at the head of the first line, did not leave the English any time to recover from their surprise. He advanced quickly allowing Cope little time to get his army in battle order. The Highlanders, shouting their clan war cries, attacked the enemy with broadswords in hand. The Highlanders had a fear of horses in battle, but had been taught to 'deal their sword strokes on the noses of the horses without attacking the horsemen.' These poor horses were in great pain, and bolted in all direction putting the whole squadron in total disarray. The English cavalry were now in disorder, which panicked Cope's infantry. The Macgregor company with their 'pikes' made the most dreadful carnage of horses and horsemen. "The Highlanders made a slaughter of the English, principally at the entry of the road between the two enclosures which was blocked by fleeing English soldiers, and also along the enclosures themselves, where they were killed without difficulty as they clambered over the walls, making for the road. The strength of the English camp ironically proved to be the source of their destruction. The field of battle was a spectacle of horrors, strewn with arms, legs, mutilated corpses, all the result of sword strokes". The enemy had 1300 men killed and 1500 prisoners taken. Various pieces of cannon, £2500 in the military chest and many colours and standards were taken after the battle. Lord Elcho in his "Memoirs" says that 500 were killed, 900 wounded and 1400 taken prisoner. Modern assessment would suggest that thes numbers ( de Johnstone and Elcho) are exaggerated. General John Cope, wearing a plain coat and a Jacobite white cockade (rosette) on a borrowed hat, made his escape on horse, heading for England. The battle called Gladsmuir or more generally Prestonpans was fought on the 21 September, 1745 and was over in less than quarter of an hour. This defeat of a professional army by unruly Highlanders was of great concern to the Government in London. The Jacobite Army would have to be taken very seriously from hereon in.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Edinburgh Falls to the Jacobite Army

General John Cope got word that the Jacobite Army was heading for Edinburgh. He left Inverness bound for Aberdeen, where ships were waiting to transport him and his troops to Dunbar on 17 September 1745. He was joined there by two regiments of dragoons under Brigadier Fowkes and many of the high and mighty of Edinburgh, particularly Lord Home, Lord Napier and some more of the capital's elite, but as Elcho say in his "Memoirs", "they did not all remain with him when the prospect of an Engagement (battle) drew nigh." The Prince in a letter to the bailies of Edinburgh said that if they were to capitulate, no harm would come to any of the city's people nor to their property. Various groups of magistrates came and went from the city to meet Charles hoping to extend the deadline of the Prince's ultimatum (to attack Edinburgh), in the hope that Cope's army, a day's march away at Dunbar, would come to their rescue. After three such attempts at "negotiation", the Prince knew 'he was being trifled with' and had 500 Camerons secreted near the West Port to force open the gates, but ironically the coach carrying the last group of magistrates back to the city via the West Port were a little tardy in closing the gates and this allowed Locheil's men to rush in, to the consternation of its citizenry. The local militia of about 1000 untrained men, at the urging of their wives, went to The Csstle Armoury to hand back their weapons. Some say that they came to this decision on seeing and hearing a ragged man on a grey horse proclaim that the Prince had 16,000 Highlanders waiting nearby at Duddingston. On 16 September, Lord Elcho arrived in Edinburgh to join the Prince, and donated 1500 guineas to the Jacobite war chest. Edinbugh had been taken without firing a shot, and 1000 stands of arms had been seized, which pleased the Prince and his army, as they were in great need of them. The Jacobite Army entered Edinburgh on 16 September with Lorg Strathallan leading on horse, and behind him the Prince on horseback flanked by Lord Elcho on his left and the Duke of Perth on the right, followed by Lord George Murray at the head of a column of infantry. Elcho says that " the army was met by vast multitudes of people, who by their repeated shouts and 'huzzas' expressed a great deal of joy to see the Prince." The Prince occupied the Gallery and the Duke of Hamilton's apartments ( vacated by that Government stalward) within the Royal Palace of Holyrood. It was from here he made the speech proclaiming his father King. The Prince was the man of the moment and entertained the prominent and fashionable personages of that time, including the Earl of Kelly, Lord Balermino, Hepburn of Keith, Lockart of Carnwath, Sir David Murray (and several other gentlemen of distinction). "But," says Elcho, "not one of that mob who were so fond of seeing him ever asked to enlist in his service, and when he marched to fight Cope he had not one of them in his army." At night various ladies of fashion came to meet the Prince and to kiss his hand. He was cool towards them, not having much experience of women's company, and was often embarrassed in their midst. On the morning of the 18 September, the Prince sent Lord Elcho to the City Magistrates with a list of demands "under pain of military execution if not complied with." viz. 1000 tents, 2000 targes (shields), 6000 pairs of shoes and 6000 canteens. The magistrates readily agreed to all their demand, and workmen were set to work on this vast order toute suite. They figured that when the Jacobite Army left town to meet General Cope, they would order the workmen to cease immediately. They did not take account of a very overhung Highlander who was left behind by his comrades who left Edinburgh the night before. Alone and staggering a little he was confronted by some people and "asked why he was not with the rest of the Highlandmen. The fellow said that there were 300 more Highlanders in town lurking in cellars." (Elcho's Memoirs). This piece of quick thinking ( not so inebriated !) had the magistrates believe this story and they restarted the work on the tents, shoes etc,

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Protagonists of the Jacobite Army ( 1745-1746 )

The Chevalier de Johnstone (see later) relates in his "Memoirs" that he was aide-de-camp to LORD GEORGE MURRAY, and from extracts of these Memoirs he seems to give a fairly balanced view of the man he knew so well. You may recall that Murray had taken part in previous uprisings (1715,1719)and like others, he spent some time in exile in France, before he was pardoned and returned to Scotland. Johnstone says of Murray " Lord George Murray was Lieutenant-General and had charge of the entire Jacobite army. He had a natural genius for war, and with his study of military art, was truly one of the greatest generals in Europe." This may be an exaggeration as Murray never had much in the way of battle field experience. Johnstone continues " He was tall, robust and brave and was the ideal man to lead the Highland clansmen in the only manoeuvre they knew, rushing the enemy with targe and sword as soon as they came in sight of them." In truth, there was none in the high command who would countermand an order from him, except the Prince on occasions. "He was not without his faults. fierce, haughty and proud, he desired always to dictate eveything by himself, and knowing none his equal, he did not wish to receive their advice." He disliked the Irish contingent, from which the Prince invariably sought advice, nor "could he derive any enlightenment from the Irish subaltern officers, with the exception of M. Sullivan. Subalterns' military knowledge consisted generally in knowing how to mount and relieve guard." An able general he may have been, but he was a difficult and irascible person to engage with. After his pardon by the Hanovarian authorities, Lord George had led a blameless political life, and seemed to have forgotten his Jacobite past. He was seen to have become an adherent of the House of Hanover. He had recently in a letter to someone, referred to Prince Charles as the "Young Pretender", something no Jacobite would ever say. As Deputy Sheriff for Perthshire (a government appointment) and only days before, he had visited General Cope to discuss provision of food and transport horses for Cope's army, then at Crieff. Deep down, Lord George Murray was always a Jacobite, so, in this sudden turn about renouncing his allegiance to King George, the decision to join Charles' army at Perth was not an easy decision for this 51 year old man to take. His wife viewed his decision with dismay. In a letter to his brother, James, Duke of Atholl, he said " My Life, my Fortune and the Happiness of my wife and children are all at stake (and the chances are against me),and yet a principle of (what seems to me) Honour and my Duty to King and Country outweighs everything." Such words seem to have been spoken by a man who felt trapped between accepting the status quo of peace under King George, and joining the Jacobites, as the Atholl Murrays had always done. His heart won over his head, but his head told him that this was an ill-fated venture. Murray was a pragmatist who knew the ultimate fate of this small army, whose demise he could foresee. JAMES DRUMMOND, 3rd titular Duke of Perth was, along with Lord George Murray, the other Lieutenant-General of the Jacobite army. He was brought up in Drummond Castle by his mother until his father's death, after which she took James and his younger brother to France to receive a Catholic education at Douai and Paris. Reaching manhood he returned to Scotland, but his father's estates were confiscated. He interested himself in agriculture and manufacturing. In July 1745, the authorities intended to arrest him as a precautionary measure, but he escaped to join Charles Edward Stuart at Perth. A highlight of his career was the manner in which he conducted the successful siege of Carlisle, actually ignoring the orders of Lord George Murray, who resigned in high dudgeon, only to sign on again ! The Duke of Perth was not at the Battle of Falkirk as he was left to continue the Siege of Stirling. He was very popular for the way he took Lord Loudon's camp by surprise at the Dornoch Firth. He and his men captured few prisoners, but came into possession of a great deal of booty. At Culloden he commanded the Jacobite left wing. made up of the various Macdonald clans who historically occupied the right of the line. Their resentment was such that they refused to move or fight, and many of them left the field of battle entirely. After Culloden he escaped to France on a French ship, but he died on board and his body was committed to the deep on 13 May 1746. His brother, John Drummond, also fought for the Jacobites in 1745-46 THE CHEVALIER DE JOHNSTONE (1719-1800) James Johnstone was born in Edinburgh, the son of a well-connected merchant, with Jacobite sympathies. He was swept up in the excitement caused by the arrival of Charles Stuart in Scotland, and joined the Jacobite army in Perth - He was 26 years old. He was appointed aide-de-camp to the Prince and Lord George Murray - a busy man. He did not distinguish himself at the Battle of Culloden, where he fought timidly and escaped the field with those around him. But in doing so, he wrestled with another man, and with the help of a Cameron friend took his horse from him, galloping off, leaving that man to his fate. He escaped to Holland and later served with the French in Canada in various theatres. He was eventually aide-de-camp to General Montcalm. He wrote about his experieces in the Jacobite Rising and his time with the French in Canada. Presumably it was the French who gave James Johnstone from Edinburgh the grand appellation of "Chevalier de James Johnstone." LORD ELCHO, David Wemyss (1721-1787) was a Scottish Episcopal peer and Jacobite officer, whose father was the 5th Earl of Wemyss, and his mother was the daughter of Colonel Francis Charteris (from of a rich family.) He was a poor student at Eton and the military academy at Angers, France. Fellow students said he could be violent at times. While in Rome (1740-41) he met James Stuart ("The Old Pretender") and Charles Edward Stuart ("The Young Pretender") whom he tried to dissuade from invading Britain unless he could raise a force of 30,000 men and a great deal of money. Lord Elcho was not impressed with the young prince. A few years later, when the army of Charles Stuart reached Edinburgh, Elcho finally joined the Jacobite Army in September, 1745, after a great deal of soul searching. He became an aide-de-camp to Prince Charles and Lord George Murray and was invited to join the Jacobite Council. He had friends in high places. He fought at Prestonpans,Falkirk and Culloden and after the Jacobite's final defeat, he escaped to France aboard the frigate, Le Mars, in May, 1746. All his lands and titles were forfeited, but he served in the French army of Louis XV and died in Paris in 1787, aged 65. Lord Elcho was an able and fearless soldier who gave no quarter. (He was brutal to the enemy, especially at Prestonpans). He detested Charles' coterie of Irish advisors, and in his "Memoirs" had a poor opinion of Charles Stuart. It was said that as Prince Charles left the battle fieled of Culloden, Elcho was said to shout "There you go, for a damned cowardly Italian." This is highly unlikely as Lord Elcho accompanied the Prince all the way to Arisaig, where they hoped a French vessel was waiting to take them to France.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Charles' Army Continue South Unhindered.

The Jacobite army arrived at Blair Atholl on 31 August to find that James, the present Duke of Atholl had left the castle over a week earlier in the care of Mr. Bissat, the factor to Duke James. This was to show that he would have no truck with the Jacobites, as his older brother Duke William had in previous Jacobite risings, and for which he was 'attainded', forcing him into exile in France for the last 30 years. The factor Mr. Bissat was not exactly complimentary about the Prince and the Jacobite army. Of the Prince he said that "He seemed to be good natured, but I do not think that he has very much in him" Of the Seven Men of Moidart, still sticking close to he Prince, Bissat remarked that they " were old useless fellows as ever I saw." Of the Highland army, he said that the Highlander amounted to only 2000, of which "two thirds are the poorest naked like creatures imaginable and indifferently armed with less than one half of the guns capable of firing. Some of them have guns without swords, and some have swords without guns." I don't think that Mr. Bissat had anything good to say about this Highland army, especially since the army stayed at Blair for seven days during which they lived well off the land. Old Duke William did not manage to raise many of the Atholl men for the Prince's army, even though, as their old duke, he was well liked and respected in these parts. But one man who had just arrived at Blair was the Gaelic poet and soldier of fortune, Colonel John Roy Stewart from Strathspey, once Quartermaster of the Scots Greys, and later in service with the French army. Charles knew him from France to be a very flamboyant officer, who "always went very gay." Charles formed a high opinion of John Roy's military successes and immediately sent him on a mission to Lord Lovat and to raise troops from among Clan Grant. Neil and Donald thought the Blair Atholl factor, Mr.Bissat, a 'soor-faced and carnapcious fellow,' but entre les deux, they could understand how galling it must have been to be left to contend with thousands of ravenous Highlanders, with His Grace nowhere to be seen. They also agreed with Bissat that the Jacobite army was in poor shape and badly armed. The Dalmore lads always spoke in Gaelic to the Highland men who were at times quite forthright in their views. Some insisted that unless they did battle with the Redcoats, and pretty soon, they would be going home for the harvest. An update of the Jacobite's progress was sent to Miss Grant in Inverness and appeared in a separate supplement of the Courant. The major British papers were given access to the 'Dalmore Reports' always a few days later and for a goodly price. The information in these reports was eagerly digested by the cognoscenti, but they struck awe in those, especially in the large cities, who followed the Hanovarian line. Mr Bisset was delighted to see the Prince and his army (and the old Duke William) leave Blair Atholl heading for Dunkeld, where King James was proclaimed King. When Charles arrived in Dunkeld, he took up residence there in Dunkeld House, which happened to be another house belonging to the Dukes of Atholl. As it happened, Duke James had been staying there (away from Blair and these Highlanders), but at the approach of the Jacobites (again) he had left Dunkeld, possibly back to Blair Castle ! The Jacobite army left Dunkeld on 4 September on their way to Perth, and that evening the Prince entered the City of Perth at the head of his troops, wearing his favourite tartan suit, trimmed with gold lace. As he and his troops marched through Perth, the Prince was happy with the enthusiastic welcome of the crowds of onlookers. Charles was quartered for some time in Perth at an inn, now called the Salutation Hotel. He would remain in Perth for the next week, where he would be joined by certain important personages, none more famous nor controversial that Lord George Murray, the younger brother of the 'two' Dukes of Atholl, and recognised as a most able and experienced military commander.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Jacobite Army Moves Down Through Scotland.

The newly raised Jacobite army ( about 1600 to 1800 strong) remained in Glenfinnan for two more days (August 20,21) before moving off, reaching Kinlocheil, from where Charles sent out a large number of letters to the supporters of the Cause throughout Scotland, asking for money and arms. During the last two weeks Neil and Donald had cultivated the company of the young Macdonald officer who had kept them informed of matters in the Jacobite camp. They rode beside young Seamus Macdonald from Keppoch in the van of a large body of Highlanders. It was while resting at Kinlocheil that Seamus shared this hardly believable piece of information. Seamus : "Last evening while the Prince was at Kinlocheil, he was shown a proclamation of the London Government offering £30,000 for his person, dead or alive. This was something entirely new for a king to offer a reward for the capture of his royal cousin. Charles felt that this was beneath contempt." Donald : " This is a huge amount of money, which shows how serious the government is to capture the Prince and crush the rebellion ." Neil : "Seamus a' bhalaich (Gael. 'lad'), one could buy the Island of Lewis three times over for that money." Seamus : "Can you see anyone in the Highlands claiming that reward, and staying around to enjoy it?" While still at Kinlocheil, Charles received word that General Cope was heading for Fort Augustus. This pleased the Highlander mightily, as they were frustrated that they had not yet joined battle with the 'English'. On reaching Invergarry on Loch Ness side, the Prince received some more reinforcements, where he was joined by 260 Stewarts of Appin, and further groups of Macdonalds from Knoydart and Morar, who impressed the Prince with their handsome appearance, but probably more by the fact they were completely armed. And skulking nearby was an emissary from Fraser, Lord Lovat, probably the most two-faced and duplicitous wretch in the Highlands. Seamus Macdonald : " Lovat has just told the Prince that because of his old age and infirmities, he would not be able to serve him in person, although he wished the Prince well. The Lovat man, Fraser of Gortleg, reminded the Prince that during a previous campaign, the Prince's father King James had issued two commisions, one making Lovat 'Lord Lovat' or 'Lord Beaufort', the other appointing him Lord-Lieutenant of Inverness-shire. Charles said he would give his requests serious consideration. But the strangest of Lovat's requests was that the Prince authorise the murder of Lord President Forbes ( as one does). Forbes of Culloden was 'a near neighbour' of Lovat, a staunch Hanoverian and since 1737 Lord Advocate of the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh. And to cap it all, Lovat was advising the Prince to take his army north to Inverness, where waiting there to join him were the Frasers (but not old Lovat himself),the Macleods, the Macdonalds of Sleat and the Mackenzies. These last three clans had declared early on that they would not join the Prince's Cause." Neil : " Who in the hell is this man ? He is deranged and certainly talks through his arse.. Why would Prince Charles have any dealings with this man ? " On August 27, Charles left Invergarry for Aberchalder, and on this march he wore Highland dress for the first time since landing, which delighted his Highland men. At the end of this march he picked up more recruits, 400 extra Macdonalds from Glengarry and 120 Glencoe Macdonalds. However, on the debit side, a number of Keppoch' Macdonalds who were granted a day's leave of absence, chose to leave permanently and desert. It began to look as if the two armies were 'dancing round each other' keeping a distance from one another.. The Government army under Cope was certainly averse to engaging in battle with the Highlanders, who were a formidable force in the mountains and glens, the playgrounds of their youth. Even when scouting parties were sent out to find the Hanoverian forces, none were seen. In council, Charles decided or was persuaded that while Cope was up north near Inverness, the Jacobite army should leave immediately for the Lowlands, now entirely unprotected. On August 29 and 30, Charles and his army rested at Dalwhinnie and later at Dalnacardoch, which is near Blair Atholl. It looked as if Charles might have a clear run on his march south.