Saturday, 12 July 2014

After Culloden. Death and Destruction.

With the battle now over and victory declared, the British infantry hung around the battlefield enjoying a meal of biscuits, cheese, brandy and rum, courtesy of the Royal Navy. Between mouthfuls, they killed any wounded men they saw crawl out from the heaps of Highland dead. The rest of Cumberland's army were marching on Inverness with drums beating and colours flying. Going on ahead, on the Duke's instructions, a company of Sempill's under Captain James Campbell of Arkinglas took formal possession of the town. The first thing they did was to open the jails, releasing all government soldiers and sympathisers, and packing them with the large number of Jacobites, who until now had escaped the sabre or the bayonet. There were nineteen Highland officers lying wounded in the grounds of Culloden House when a detachment of Royal Scots happened on them. They carried the officers outside and leaning them against a wall, told them to prepare themselves for death. All nineteen Highlanders were shot from a range of six feet. The Royal Scots took to burning huts and bothies with the Highlanders inside. In one case 18 men were burned alive, locked inside a hut. A Jacobite prisoner, John Farquarson, described the scene in the prisons "....the wounded festering in their gore and blood, some dead bodies covered quite over with pish and shit, and the living standing in the middle of this, their groans would have pirsed a heart of stone." Lieut-Col. Thomas Cockayne of Pulteney's Regiment was ordered by the Duke to proceed to Moy House, with 2 Captains, 6 Subalterns and 200 'volunteers' to arrest Lady Anne Macintosh, the great Jacobite heroine, 'Colonel Anne'. When a young officer came to her house and started hammering at her door, calling for that 'bloody rebel', Lady Macintosh. Anne opened the door and calmly asked them to come into her home. Colonel Cockayne's officrs were taken aback by her youth and beauty and her dignified demeanour. Later, Anne mounted her horse and was taken under armed escort to Inverness where she was interviewed by Cumberland. She spent the next six weeks in the guard room, where Colonel Anne received visits from young Hanoverian officers with whom she drank tea. ' I drank tea yesterday with Lady Macintosh. She really is a very pretty woman. Pity she is a rebel,' wrote one young officer to his brother. Cumberland's policy was to inflict terror throughout the Highlands, which was designed to stamp out any remaining resistance. He issued orders calling on all sheriffs and magistrates to report on any persons who had been at any time 'in arms against His Majesty'. In every town in Scotland, proclamations were read out, demanding, under pain of hanging, the surrender of all arms, the laying of information against hidden rebels, and the surrender of the Young Pretender. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, meeting in May 1746, one month after the slaughter at Culloden, presented Cumberland with an address praising his valour, referring to the 'public blessings which the House of Hanover had conferred on mankind'. In May the Duke moved his main force from Inverness to Fort Augustus with the purpose of controlling and terrorising all of the Highlands. General Blakeney would hold Inverness with four battalions, while Brigadier Mordaunt with three battalions went to Perth and Aberdeen. In the West, General John Campbell of Mamore took over operations in Lochaber and Appin. The Royal Navy patrolled the West Coast against any French vessel, which may have been sent to rescue the 'fugitive', Charles Edward Stuart. The news of his son's victory reached George II at St.James's Palace on the 25 April. The King was greatly moved, and on hearing that his son came through unscathed, he said "Then, all's well with me". 'Unable to speak for joy', he withdrew to a quiet room, but outside the guns were firing salutes and the bells were ringing out from every steeple in London. The Duke of Cumberland, William Augustus would soon be known as 'Sweet William' in Whig circles, after the small pink and white flower which had been named after him.

No comments:

Post a Comment