Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Battle 'Royal' Is Looming.

The Duke of Cumberland spent more than four weeks in Aberdeen, where amongst other things, he set out to improve his infantry's proficiency in the use of the bayonet against the Highlanders, whose supremacy with broadsword and targe had been a decisive factor in the Jacobite victories until now. He left Aberdeen on 8 April, 1746 and marched to Cullen by the 11 April via Turriff and Banff. At Cullen he was joined by Lord Albemarle with the advanced guard. Cumberland was now in command of a highly trained force of 9,000 men, well fed and well equipped, and following them closely along the coast were ships of the Royal Navy, warships, transport and supply ships. This was a formidable government force, and at Cullen, Cumberland was only twelve miles from a Jacobite force of 2,500 men commanded by the Duke of Perth and his brother, Lord John Drummond and which was positioned on the far side of the River Spey. Important for the Jacobites to hold, Cumberland expected them to make a stand, but for some reason the 'Army of the Spey' had retreated and allowed the Hanoverian forces to continue to advance. This was a grave error which would have an important outcome in the days to come. Cumberland's army crossed the Spey, and by 14 April they had reached Nairn, where the Duke of Perth's rearguard were just leaving as the Duke of Kingston's Horse and the Campbells were entering from the other side of town. There was a running fight in which the Jacobites suffered some casualties. Charles now knew that Cumberland had crossed the Spey, and on the 14 April he rode out of Inverness at the head of his troops with pipers playing and colours flying to set his headquarters at nearby Culloden. His army began to strengthen with the addition of Lord George Murray's detachment, Locheil and his Camerons arriving from Achnacarry, some of Glengarry's men back from Sutherland and the the Duke of Perth returned with the 'Army of the Spey', a title surely now redundant. The Jacobite army camped in the grounds of Culloden House or on the moor nearby. With Cumberland only ten miles away, a battle now seemed certain, and Charles in his wisdom had chosen Culloden and Drummossie Moor for the encounter. Lord George Murray had been accused (unfairly) of previously keeping his Athollmen out of harm's way in earlier battles, and he now insisted that they should be placed on the right wing of the line. This outraged the Macdonalds, who since the time of King Robert the Bruce, had regarded the right of the line as theirs. The Prince agreed to give the right of the line to Lord George, as he knew that the latter resented not being consulted on the choice of ground. These jealousies and mistrust between the Jacobite officers would have a further bearing on the outcome of events. Lord George Murray rode out to survey the proposed site of battle. The moors of Culloden and Drummossie were fairly flat moorland, bounded on the east by the River Nairn and hills rising beyond the river. To Lord George it was apparent that this would be the ideal site for regular troops, supported by cavalry and cannon, ideal for the well drilled, well equipped army of Cumberland now only a few miles away. The Highlanders favoured hilly ground for their historic charge with broadsword and targe. As it stood, the Highlanders would be at a great disadvantage. Lord George sent two of his officers to make a reconnaissance of the higher ground beyond the river. They reported back that the ground there was more suitable for the Highlanders's way of fighting, where heavy casualties could have been inflicted on the government army. This argument was probably dismissed by O'Sullivan, and the battle would be where the Prince had decided, on Culloden Moor. Lord George Murray later wrote that "There never could be more improper ground for the Highlanders". One must ask why Murray and other senior Jacobites did not overide the Prince and O'Sullivan - they had done so before. Lord George dismissed O'Sullivan when he said that the latter "had forty-eight hours to display his skill and did it accordingly". However, news came through that Cumberland would not engage in battle that day, but would remain where he was in order that he and his troops might celebrate his 25th birthday which happened to fall on 15 April. Battle might come after the celebrations - a reversal of the natural order of things.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Lord Loudoun. An Historical Note.

JOHN CAMPBELL, 4th EARL OF LOUDOUN(Loudoun in East Ayrshire) was born in 1705 (two years before the Act of Union of Scotland and England) and lived to the age of 76. He became Lord Loudoun on the death of his father. As a Campbell he was a supporter of the House of Hanover, and during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, he raised a regiment of twelve companies for the Government, with Loudoun as colonel, and John Campbell (later 5th Duke of Argyll) as lieutenant-colonel. At the Battle of Prestonpans, three of his companies were captured, 1n what was a great victory for the Jacobite army, at the outset of their campaign. Later, in 1746, he was based at Inverness with eight companies, and was involved in the 'Rout of Moy' (qv), where his 1500 men were so terrified by five local lads that Loudoun's men retreated in haste back to Inverness. This disgraceful event did not prevent future promotions for Loudoun in the British Army. He served as C-in-C of the British forces in North America during the Seven Years War, was later in Portugal fighting against the Spanish, and finally he was promoted to General, and saw out his days as Governor of Edinburgh Casle (from 1763), when peace had returned to the realm. Such a sinecure for a notable old soldier ! A HAPPY REUNION. Since the Rout at Moy, Lord Loudoun and the scattered remnants of his army pushed north across the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths pursued by Lord Cromarty (a Mackenzie kinsman) with a substantial force of men, but Loudoun was able to continually employ evasive action and avoid all contact with his pursuers. Lord Cromarty was 'doing no good, and the men had not much confidence in him'. Lord George Murray took over the command of this army, aided by the Duke of Perth. On landing on the other side of the firth, they encountered no opposition, and Lord Loudoun and Forbes, the Lord President had again managed to escape. But some others did not escape. One of these was the 'Laird of Macintosh' who was a captain in Lord Loudoun's regiment who 'surrendered himself prisoner' with a great many men under his command. The 'Laird of Macintosh' was none other than Aeneas (Angus) Macintosh, the husband of Colonel Anne, the 'Heroine of Moy'. Prince Charles gleefully instructed that he be handed over to his wife at Moy, where he would be safe and well treated. On being greeted by Anne with the words "Your servant, Captain", it was said that, just as succinctly, Macintosh replied "Your servant, Colonel".

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Letter to Mary Grant. The Rout of Moy.

Dear Mary, As you are aware, Inverness has not escaped the vicissitudes of the present troubles. You have had Hanovarian and Jacobite armies billeted in your midst, and more recently government forces under the command of Lord Loudon have occupied Inverness. On 15 February, Charles's force was just eight miles south of Inverness, and the army was quartered near the villages of Moy and Aviemore. On the next evening Charles visited Moy Hall, where he was welcomed by the now famous Colonel Anne Mackintosh, whose husband was on duty with the government forces. She was proud to play host to Prince Charles and provided 'a plentiful and genteel' supper for all of her seventy-five guests. News of Charles's whereabouts reached Lord Loudoun, who realised that fame and £30,000 could be won with a single blow. That night he left Inverness with some 1500 men to take the Prince by surprise at Moy. The Dowager Lady Macintosh, who like her daughter-in-law, Colonel Anne, was a true Jacobite. She lived in Inverness and heard of Loudoun's plan. She called on one of her clansmen, the 15 year old Lauchlan Macintosh, to set out for Moy to appraise the Prince of the grave danger which beset him. The Prince was wakened and left the castle with his bonnet on top of his nightcap and his shoes half-on. He and some of his men made their way down to the lochside. Meantime Colonel Anne was seen to be running through the vennels in her petticoat, shouting about the Prince's safety, 'running about in her shift like a madwoman', observed the ubiquitous Mr O'Sullivan. She then sent the blacksmith of Moy, one Donald Fraser, and four others to take up position on the roadside between Inverness and Moy to await the approach of Lord Loudon's men. When Loudoun's troops appeared, 'the Blacksmith' fired his pistol, followed by shots from the other four men and then all of them gave out loudly with the war cries of the Camerons,Macdonalds Macintoshes and those of other clans. This caused the greatest of panic in Lord Loudoun's vast army, and instantly they beat a retreat and returned to Inverness, imagining that the whole Jacobite army 'to be at their heels'. Colonel Anne Macintosh was now revered as "The Heroine" and the event came to be known as the 'ROUT OF MOY'. Loudoun's reasons or excuses for his army's disgraceful behaviour were the usual ones of surprise, panic and mass desertions. The Rout of Moy so demoralised Lord Loudoun's men that more than 200 troops deserted and the decision was taken by Loudoun to withdraw with his men to 'friendly' Ross and Cromarty to await the arrival of Cumberland's large army. Meanwhile Inverness fell to Charles's army without a shot being fired. On 20 February the garrison of the castle capitulated, after which the castle was entirely destroyed. Mary, as a resident of the 'dirty wee town' you will know about the events I have just related. Cumberland was exasperated and bewildered to hear how 1500 Hanovarian soldiers were routed by five men at Moy. Incomprehensible is a word Cumberland might use, but even that is inadequate to explain the lamentable cowardice of Loudoun and his troops. THE CHEVALIER JOHNSTONE related this sad story to me, which I share with you, Mary. "Monsieur Macdonald of Scothouse came to pass the day with me. He was a man of about forty years of age, endowed with a fine figure and a prepossessing address, joined to that, an agreeable exterior. He had all the qualities of soul which ordinarily distinguish the honourable and gallant man - brave, polite, obliging, of fine spirit and sound judgement......Although I had not known him long, I formed with him the closest friendship, despite the disparity in our ages......He was naturally of a gay disposition, but I perceived his melancholy on entering my dwelling." His eyes bathed in tears, M. Macdonald explained that he would be part of the detachment which that evening would attack Lord Loudon's army. His adorable son was, he said, an officer in one of Loudon's regiments, a position he had been fortunate to obtain for his boy, "not being able to foresee the descent of Prince Charles Edward into Scotland." It was common at that time for the sons of gentlemen to seek a commmission in the army of Great Britain. The greatest fear he had as a father was that during the affray, he might accidentally shoot dead his son. On the other hand he might be able to save his life by going on this detachment, " If I do not march, some other may kill him." The next evening The Chevalier heard a great knocking at the door. "There was the good father holding a young man by the hand, a lad of a jolly figure, tears in his eyes, but still sparkling with joy. Macdonald had taken his son prisoner, "and when I had hold of him he embraced me fervently, not regarding the others who were present." The Chevalier, Monsieur Macdonald and his 'prisoner' son, celebrated this wonderful outcome with supper in the chambers of the Chevalier de James Johnstone ( from Edinburgh ).

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Cumberland In Pursuit.

With the Jacobite army now withdrawing north towards the Highlands, the Duke of Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh, staying at Holyroodhouse, where he called a council of war, and where it was decided to march against the 'rebels' the very next morning. The army left Edinburgh on 31 January, with the Duke travelling in a state coach drawn by twelve horses, all provided by the sycophant Earl of Hopetoun. They spent the night in the ancient Stuart Palace of Linlithgow, where Mary Queen of Scots had been born. The palace, by accident or design, went on fire, and only the walls survived. Cumberland was anxious, as he put it, for 'an opportunity of finishing this affair at once' and continued to pursue the Jacobites to Falkirk and Stirling, barely twenty-four hours behind Charles. Cumberland wanted to catch up with the Jacobite army before they reached the Highlands, 'before they got into their holes and hiding-places, where it will be impossible to follow them in a body'. (Letter to the Duke of Newcastle, Feb.2). Finally Cumberland and his army reached Perth on the 6 February. On the way there, they marched through the Strathallan estates of the Jacobite, Lord James Drummond, the Duke of Perth, where Cumberland saw fit to 'let the soldiers a little loose, with proper precautions, that they might have some sweet meats with all their fatigues'. Cumberland held Lady Perth and her daughter captive in their home, Drummond Castle, and demanded that she write to her Jacobite husband to release all government prisoners held by the enemy, under threat of burning the castle to the ground. Writing again to the Duke of Newcastle (5 Feb.) his final words were that ' I thought it a pity to let this troublesome old woman escape without making some use of her'. He had given up hope of an immediate engagement with the Jacobite army, and spent the next two weeks in Perth. He sent out raiding parties to collect stores and rations in the hinterland, and to harrass the ordinary people, all of whom he believed to be Jacobite supporters. He prepared for the next phase of his campaign. His army was greatly reinforced by the arrival at Leith of the 4,500 German force under Prince Frederick of Hesse. At the same time a large contingent of Argyll Militia reached Perth under the command of Major-General John Campbell of Mamore. They were sent to the West Highlands to support Lord Glenorchy, whose father, Lord Breadalbane, had once been a Jacobite. Cumberland could not get his head round the fact that the Campbells, being Gaelic-speaking Highlanders could be good Whigs and supporters of King George. He disliked the Scots in general and the Highlanders in particular, whom, to a man, he stated were privatedly Jacobite supporters who often 'aided the rebels'. On 15 February Cumberland returned briefly to Edinburgh for a council of war at the house of Lord Milton, the Lord Justice-Clerk. Asked their opinion, all of Cumberland's generals said that as far as they could see, the war was at an end. The remaining rebels could be flushed from their strongholds when spring weather returned. When pressed for his opinion, Lord Milton said that, from his knowledge of the Highlanders, the rebellion was by no means over. Cumberland said that he would therefore press on to end this campaign and prevent any future outbreaks by rebel forces. He sent three batallions of foot to Coupar-Angus, a regiment of dragoons to Dundee and left the Scots Fusiliers behind to protect Perth. On 20 February he set out with his main force for Aberdeen arriving there near the end of the month. At this time he sent a despatch to London , calling on Parliament to pass a short act which would make it easier for him to deal with the rebels in a manner which they deserved. He wrote "As yet, I have only taken up Gentlemen and yet all the jails are full, whilst the common people I pick up every day must remain unpunished for want of being unable to try such a number. So, they will rebel again when someone comes to lead them." Cumberland was wanting nothing less than the power of life or death over his Jacobite enemies.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Jacobites Withdraw to the Highlands.

The Jacobites were unsure whether Falkirk really was a victory; some thought it was a battle half finished, that they should have pursued Hawley's demoralised army "with the rapidity of a torrent" according to the Chevalier Johnstone. In the end they decided to continue the siege of Stirling Castle, the Prince being the only one having any faith in the fatuous Monsieur Mirabelle. He wasted another ten days with no effect on the castle, ten days which tied up the whole Jacobite army, according to old General Blakeny. Meanwhile, Charles returned to Bannockburn House to be with the lovely Clementina. On 29 January, Lord George and the principal clan chiefs presented another memorandum to the Prince, no more acceptable to Charles than its predecessors. Basically, it told of widespread desertions in the Jacobite army, especially since Falkirk, the earlier loss and dumping of artillery, and saying that Charles' army was not in a fit state to meet the enemy. They recommended that they withdraw to the Highlands, where they could continue the war in their own territory, in country suited to their style of fighting. On receiving the memorandum the Prince was more than dismayed. He 'struck his head against the wall till he staggered, and exclaimed most violently against Lord George Murray'.(according to Hay of Restalrig). In the end Charles had to comply with the wishes of the majority. The retreat of the Highland army would begin on 1 February, but now came the news that the Duke of Cumberland and most of his large army had reached Linlithgow, not that far away. On the evening of 31 January Lord George and the clan regiments fell back on Bannockburn. Leaving a small cavalry unit at Falkirk to watch the enemy, and some troops to remain at Stirling, it was agreed that the Prince's army would rendezvous in a field just outside Stirling at nine that next morning. That morning, Lord George arrived at the appointed place to find not a soul there. The orders had been altered, or more probably disregarded by Charles and O'Sullivan. There was complete confusion as the Highlanders, in no order at all, streamed westwards in small groups. 'They left cannon and their carts upon the roads behind them'. Lord George was bitter and very angry and nothing could stop him from bursting in on the Prince at dinner 'after the most disrespectfull and impertinent manner', according to O'Sullivan. Lord George stated that 'it was a most shamefull and cowardly flight, Yet they were a parcel of villains who had advised him (The Prince) to it'. The fragmented Jacobite army headed north, some going to Doune and Dunblane, the Highland army marching to Crieff, while the rest of the army reached Perth. The Prince held a review of the army, and was able to establish that not more than 1,000 soldiers had deserted. A council of war was held that night in Crieff, and the atmosphere in that room was explosive in the extreme. Charles stated that 1,000 deserters was hardly a reason for a retreat, while Lord George was no less enraged by the total disruption of his plans for an orderly withdrawal. Mutual recrimination followed with even hints of treachery.'There never had been such heats and animosities as at that meeting'. Despite all of the ill-feeling, it was decided that the cavalry and the Lowland regiments march to Inverness along the coast (via Montrose and Aberdeen) under Lord George Murray, and the Prince with the clans would take the direct route to the Highlands. On 4 February both parts of the army set out for Inverness. Leaving Crieff on 4 February, the Prince spent two nights at Castle Menzies, reaching Blair Atholl on the 6th, where he stayed with Duke William until the 10th, 'hunting and hawking' according to information relayed to Cumberland. From Blair, Charles' army continued their march to Dalnacardoch, where the Prince stayed for two more nights, but his main army marched on to Ruthven, near Inverness. It was now the 12 February. By 19 February the Prince had taken over Culloden House, five miles from Inverness. This was the home of Duncan Forbes, Lord President of the Court of Session, an important government official who had vacated his home the day before, and left hurriely with Lord Louden. The Prince was joined two days later by Lord George Murray and his brother, Duke William of Atholl. Lord George related that his coastal march by way of Montrose and Aberdeen had been very difficult due to 'a vast storm of snow', making progress difficult, especially for the cavalry. It was not until 21 February that they finally reached Inverness.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Disgrace and Vexation.

The Jacobites losses at Falkirk had been 'small'(50 killed) while Hawley's losses had been much heavier, 20 or more officers killed and 'several hundred' other ranks. During the following two days, 'several hundred' more English prisoners were rounded up. When General Hawley reached Linlithgow, his mood was of great anger at the 'cowardice' of some section of his army. He had the unenviable task of writing a letter of explanation to his patron, HRH. The Duke of Cumberland, who had placed so much faith in him. "Sir, my heart is broke. I can't say why we are quite beat today.........We had enough to beat them for we had 2,000 men more than they. But suche scandalous cowardice I never saw before. The whole second line of foot ran away without firing a shot. Pardon me sir, your most unhappy, but most faithfull and dutifull your Royal Highness has. H. Hawley." To raise the morale and spirits of the army, he had thirty-one of Hamilton's Dragoons hanged for desertion, and thirty-two foot soldiers shot for cowardice. Executions, Hawley believed it was the best way 'pour encourager les autres'. Then there was the case of the poor Captain Archibald Cunningham of the Royal Artilley who had failed so badly during the battle. He was arrested, and after a failed suicide attempt, he was court martialled and sentenced to be cashiered 'with infamy'. This was a painful proceedure which involved having his sword broken over his head, his sash cut in pieces and thrown in his face and finally 'a kick on the posteriors' administered by a member of the Provost Martial's Office. After the news of the Jacobite's retreat from Derby, there had been great optimism in the capital, but now, with a retreating army defeating a large government force at Falkirk, there was now only consternation. When the news of the defeat was received at a gathering in St.James's Palace, there was the deepest gloom on all the faces, except that of Sir John Cope, who seemed quite cheerful. Hawley was no longer Commander-in-Chief, and it was now felt in London that only one man was capable of restoring the morale of Government forces in Scotland, HRH. the Duke of Cumberland, who arrived in Edinburgh on the 30 January to assume overall command. Meanwhile the Government forces received substantial reinforcements - a fresh artillery train with a complement of regular gunners, Campbells Royal Scots Fusiliers, Sempill's 25th Regiment and three squadrons of Lord Mark Ker's Dragoons. Further reinforcements were expected - Bligh's Regiment of Foot and between 4,000 and 5,000 German mercenaries from Hesse ie. the Hessians. On 8 February Cumberland's brother-in-law, Prince Frederick of Hesse landed at Leith with his Hessians. His 'Serene Highness' received various gun salutes from ships on the Forth, and from the garrison at Edinburgh Castle. He did the social rounds of the city being invited to balls, concerts and assemblies. " The Germans, both men and horses, looked well" and it took three or four days to land them. Hessian mercenaries had been employed by the British government 50 years earlier in the First Jacobite Rising (1715).

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Letter To Mary Grant. Persons and Places.

Dear Mary, We hope that you are in rude health, and that the Inverness Courant continues to prosper. We hope that our reports are reaching you safely, as we are spending a pretty penny on sending them by courier. I'm sure that you will see us recompensed for the expensive express mail that is regularly delivered to you, and which makes the Courant the ' best informed newspaper in Great Britain'. Despite our rash promise at the outset, we had no idea that things could be so expensive on Tir Mor (Gael. mainland). Here are a few items for your delectation which you might print as they stand, or incorporate in some existing articles. 1. JEANIE( JENNY )CAMERON. This lady was born in Glendessary in Knoydart in 1695 and sent to school in Edinburgh. At the age of 16 she was caught up in a sexual scandal and sent to France for a convent education but the nuns found her difficult to handle. She returned to Glendessary on her father's death. She was a fervent Jacobite and raised 250 local men for Charles Stuart's cause. She was present at the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan, and was described at the time (she was aged 50) as a buxom, middle-aged lady and widely rumoured to be the Prince's mistress. She followed the Jacobite army in her horse-drawn carriage, and once carried with her the Prince (disguised as a women) at Kendal during the army's retreat. 2. CALLENDAR HOUSE. This house, just outside Falkirk, was the seat of Lord Kilmarnock, who commanded one of the Prince's troop of cavalry, and whose attractive wife, the Countess, was an ardent Jacobite herself. It was her misfortune that in the days before and during the Battle of Falkirk, she was compelled to entertain the enemy general, General Hawley, and surprisingly she did so with reasonably good grace. Hawley rode out to review his troops and do a reconnaissance of a possible battle site, when a young officer of the Glasgow Militia told the General that he had heard tnat some officers had seen the enemy moving on the Torwood. The Glasgow officer said that "although, I saw nothing, neither did Mr. Hawley." Convinced that he had done a recce of the area, Hawley was happy to return to Callendar House, convinced that an attack was unlikely. He would take tea with the lovely Countess. Later that morning, Hawley's troops saw some movement of the Prince's army which later withdrew again to Plean. Hawley's army stood down and went in search of their mid-day meal, which was not easy to find. About one o'clock, two officers of the Old Buffs climbed a tree, and using a telescope could clearly see that the main Highland army were moving rapidly to the south of the Torwood. Colonel Howard, commanding the Old Buffs, galloped off to Callendar House to relay this disturbing news to Hawley, who was still unwilling to believe an attack was in the offing. Nothing would disturb him from partaking of the lavish repast now being offered by the charming Lady Kilmarnock. The only thing he told Colonel Howard was that his troops " should put on their equipment, without however standing to arms." Meanwhile he was left alone to enjoy his meal in his charming hostess's company. It was only after a desperate message to Hawley, did the General leave the Countess and Callendar House to return to the fray. He arrived on the scene at a gallop with no hat and " the appearance of one who had left an agreeable table." Lady Kilmarnock had used all her womanly wiles in an attept to delay the English General. 3. BANNOCKBURN HOUSE. Before he embarked on the siege of Stirling, Charles marched on 3 January 1746 to Bannockburn, about three miles from Stirling where his 9,000 strong army was assembling. The Prince stayed three days at Bannockburn House, the guest of Sir Hugh Paterson, a loyal Jacobite, where he met Sir Hugh's niece, Clementina Walkinshaw a handsome girl of twenty-three, named after the Prince's own mother. On the 19 January, when the clan regiments moved to Falkirk, the Prince once again took up residence at Bannockburn House in the pleasing company of the handsome Clementina. It was she who ministered to the Prince, who was told to stay in bed with 'a feverish cold'. The Prince was sufficiently taken with her to neglect his immediate military duties, and, feeling a little guilty, made some lame excuse to the upright Lord George Murray on the 23 January. Lord Elcho asserted that the star struck couple were indeed lovers. So, here we had two Commanders-in-Chief of opposing armies, General Hawley and HRH Prince Charles, only six miles apart, being cosseted and comforted by two fine ladies. One can appreciate their reluctance to rejoin the fray. 4. The final story is told by the Chevalier James de Johnstone in his own words. It is a cautionary tale of greed and despair. During the rout of the English cavalry at Falkirk, "The English in their flight made a prisoner in a very singular way. A Mr. Macdonald, a major of the Glengarry Regiment, having killed and pulled an English officer from his horse, took possession of this beautiful animal, and immediately mounted it. When the English cavalry took flight, the horse ran off with the unfortunate Macdonald, in spite of all his efforts to restrain him, and he never stopped till he was at the head of the regiment, of which, to all appearances, his master had been the commandant. One can imagine the miserable and laughable figure the poor Macdonald made, seeing himself thus the victim of his ambition for a fine horse. This cost him his his life on one of Hawley's scaffolds." One can not be sure of the sympathy or otherwise of the Chevalier for Major Macdonald. 5. COLONEL ANNE. In Inverness-shire, the Macintoshes were mostly Jacobite in sympathy, but strangely they lacked a leader, because their chief Angus had 'signed up with the other side' before Charles Stuart arrived in Scotland. Angus had decided to accept a commission in the government regiment, the Black Watch at 'half a guinea a day and half a guinea the morn'. Into the breach stepped Angus's handsome and lively young wife, Anne, herself a fervent Jacobite. Her dress was of Macintosh tartan trimmed with lace and with a blue bonnet on her head and a pair of pistols at her saddle-bow. 'Colonel Anne' rode far and wide recruiting people for the Prince, enough to make up a battalion, which joined with the force of of Lord Lewis Gordon as they marched south to Perth at the end of December 1745. Lady Anne won herself lasting fame in the annals of the Jacobite Rising.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Battle Is Joined On Falkirk Muir.

On the 15 January,1746, the opposing armies formed battle lines on Falkirk Hill. We quote from Lord Elcho's Memoirs. " The Prince's army consisted of three lines drawn up in battle order. The clans made the first line, the Lowland foot the second and Lord John Drummond formed the third line of the Prince's army. The whole army consisted of 6,000 foot and 360 horse. General Hawley's army consisted of 12 battalion of foot, making about 6,000 men, three regiments of horse (ie.six squadrons of dragoons),900 men, 1500 Glasgow and Paisley malitia and 1,000 Highlanders under a Campbell colonel, fighting for the government side. There were in all about 9,400 men commanded by Lt. General Hawley, Major General Huske and Brigadeers General Cholmondely and Mordaunt.. The Prince commanded the Corps de Reserve of his army, Lord George Murray the right wing and Lord John Drummond the left." The English were very surprised to see the Highlanders appear over the summit of Falkirk Hill. "General Hawley arranged his order of battle in two lines, being three regiments of infantry with his cavalry placed before his infantry, to the left of his first line." Because of the nature of the terrain, the opposing lines of the armies were not as one would expect, right wing of one army opposite the left of the other, left wing opposite right wing etc.. As such, they found a wing of their battle line directly opposite cavalry at the centre of the enemy line. There was much confusion, and some officers were not sure of their command or what to do. "The Engish commenced the attack by a corps of cavalry of 100 men, who advanced quite safely against the right of our army, and did not stop till about the distance of about twenty paces from our first line, on purpose to await our fire," says the Chevalier de Johnstone. " The Highlanders advanced slowly and as they were trained to wait 'till about touching muzzles' and at the moment the cavalry halted, they let go their discharge which brought down to ground about twenty four men, every one aimed at a horseman." One of those killed was the officer in charge of the cavalry who had led from the front. The English cavalry managed to regroup and rushed at the Highlanders at a great trot, driving all before them, and trampling the Highlanders under the horses' feet. In a unique and remarkable tactic, the Highlanders lay flat on their backs on the ground, and with their dirks pointing up, they thrust them into the horses' bellies. Others seized the horsemen by their clothing, pulling them down and dispatching them with their dirks or pistols. In this melee there was no room to wield their claymores. In time, the English cavalry broke ranks and were forced to retreat, but as usual, the Highlanders pursued the fleeing horsemen with sabre strokes, keeping up with the horses at speed. The English cavalry rushed through their own infantry positioned behind them on the battlefield. There the cavalry fell into disorder, and dragged their army along wth them in this rout. The Chevalier, an expert on ancient and modern military theory, says in one of his many pronouncements that " The battle of Falkirk confirms me in my opinion that it is a very bad disposition to place cavalry in front of infantry." As night fell, the English army entered Falkirk and many fires were lit throughout their camp. The enemy had retired, and we were left with the feeling that our victory was far from complete and that today's battle had advanced us nothing. The Jacobites had no reason to believe that they had lost the battle since the English army had left the field. The opinion in the Prince's camp was that the battle was indecisive, mainly caused by the disorder which had spread through their ranks. The Highlanders were in the greatest confusion, with all their corps intermingled, and in the darkness which had fallen, many did not know whether they had won or lost until the next morning. Lord Elcho says that "General Hawley's army had between 500 and 600 killed and 600 taken prisoners, few upon the field. Among the slain were 30 officers. They lost seven piece of cannon which were never fired, three standards and several colours and all their camp and baggage. The Prince's army had about fifty killed and sixty wounded." This, in some small way, resembled the outcome of the Battle of Killiecranckie during the First Jacobite Rising of 1689 for which was penned the song "Some say that we won, and some say that they won, And some say that nane won at a' "

Battle of Falkirk Looms Large.

While the Highlanders wasted their time with the 'siege'of Stirling Castle, the Government forces were being completely reorganised by the Duke of Cumberland. Cumberland had returned to London from Carlisle to confront the supposed threat of a French invasion, and in place of the aged Marshal Wade who had retired, Cumberland's replacement was Lieutenant-General Henry Hawley, reputedly a bastard son of George I. Hawley was known to be brutal and possibly a psychopath. Hawley's brigade-major was James Wolfe, who would later command the English armies in Canada against the French. Wolfe had this to say about Hawley. "The troops dread his severity, hate the man and hold his military knowledge in contempt." Walpole wrote that "Frequent and sudden executions are Hawley's rare passion." Hawley's army was composed of the best troops of the Duke of Cumberland and Marshal Wade, and numbered in the region of 8,000 men. As it was thought likely that Charles would again attempt to take Edinburgh, Hawley began moving his army north from Newcastle, an army which now included two infantry battalions and three regiments of cavalry (Ligonier's, Hamilton's and Cobham's Dragoons.) At the end of December, 1745, ten regular infantry battalions, most recently returned from Flanders, were dispatched to Edinburgh and arrived there by 10 January, 1746. With the regulars already in Edinburgh, the city now played host to 12 infantry battalions,and three militia units, the Edinburgh Volunteers, the Yorkshire Blues and Lord Home's 'Glasgow Regiment of Enthusiasts'. On his arrival in Edinburgh on 6 January, Hawley, true to form, had gallows erected in the Grassmarket, and on the roadside at Leith, "executions being a rare passion of Hawley." On 13 January, Major-General Huske, Hawley's second-in-command, set out westwards from Edinburgh with five regular infantry battalions, Hamilton's and Ligonier's Dragoons and some militia. Meanwhile, part of the Jacobite army under the Prince's command were stationed near Bannockburn, while the remainder of five clan regiments and part of the cavalry were under Lord George Murray near Falkirk, about ten miles east of the Prince's army. At the same time, some cavalry under Lord Elcho patrolled the roads leading to Edinburgh. Elcho had reported that government forces were growing by the hour, and that " there was a very large body of horse and foot advancing towards them." Lord George Murray crossed the River Avon at a bridge just to the west of Linlithgow, waiting here to attack the English army " when a half should pass the bridge", but "none of them passed it." The Hanoverians preferred to remain drawn up on the other side," with very abusive language passing betwixt both sides." Lord George realised that a major battle was in the offing, and seeing no advantage in engaging in some minor skirmish, he ordered his troops to return to Falkirk. The Highland army began their advance after midday on the 17 January and their first objective, it was decided, should be the Hill of Falkirk, a steep ridge on moorland to the south west of the town. They marched in two columns, the left-hand column under Lord George Murray and the right-hand commanded by the Prince. Barely had the army marched half a mile when John William O'Sullivan came riding over to Lord George to say that he and the Prince had decided to delay action until night. Lord George continued to ride, explaining all the time to O'Sullivan why now was the time. I think O'Sullivan was 'right annoyed' at this reception. Lord George wrote that "I did not halt and O'Sullivan went back to His Royal Highness." The Chevalier Johnstone takes up the story. "By using side roads and a grand detour, the Jacobite army were able to conceal from the English the knowledge of our march." They reached the top of Falkirk Hill, and much to the surprise of General Hawley whose troops were just over on the other side of the hill. The Chevalier Johnstone said that " a strong wind prevailed with a great rain full in the face, which the Highlanders, by their position, had it to their backs, while it blew full in the faces of the English, and the rain pelting in their eyes blinded them; they had besides this the inconvenience of the smoke of our firing, and the rain pouring into the priming pans, the half of their muskets would not give fire." The English endeavoured to change position to gain the advantage of the wind, but the Prince by his manouevering was able to preserve that advantage. The Battle of Falkirk was about to begin in earnest, one in which many lives were sacrificed, a battle marked by disorder and one where outright victory would be difficult to claim.