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Scottish Military - Highland Regiments

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The Black Watch - The Formation

The design of rendering such a valuable class of subject available to the state by forming regular military corps out of it, seems not to have entered into the views of the government till about the year 1729, when six companies of Highlanders were raised, which, from forming distinct corps unconnected with each other, received the appellation of independent companies. Three of these companies consisted of 100 men each, and were therefore called large companies; Lord Lovat, Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell, and Colonel Grant of Ballindalloch, were appointed captains over them. The three smaller companies, which consisted of 75 each, were commanded by Colonel Alexander Campbell of Finab, John Campbell of Carrick, and George Munro of Culcairn, under the commission of captain-lieutenants. To each of the six companies were attached two lieutenants and one ensign. To distinguish them from regular troops, who, from having coats, waistcoats, and breeches of scarlet cloth, were called Saighdearan Dearg, or Red soldiers; the independent companies, who were attired in tartan consisting mostly of black, green, and blue, were designated Am Freiceadan Dubh, or Black Watch, from the somber appearance of their dress.

As the services of these companies were not required beyond their own territory, and as the intrants were not subjected to the humiliating provisions of the disarming act, no difficulty was found in forming them; and when completed, they presented the singular spectacle of a number of young men or respectable families serving as privates in the ranks. "Many of the men who composed these companies were of a higher station in society than that from which soldiers in general are raised; cadets of gentlemen's families, sons of gentlemen farmers, and tacksmen, either immediately or distantly descended from gentlemen's families, - men who felt themselves responsible for their conduct to high-minded and honorable families, as well as to a country for which they cherished a devoted affection. In addition to the advantages derived from their superior rank in life, they possessed, in an eminent degree, that of a commanding external deportment, special care being taken in selecting men of full height, well proportioned, and of handsome appearance.

The duties assigned to these companies were to enforce the disarming act, to overawe the disaffected, and watch their motions, and to check depredations. For this purpose they were stationed in small detachments in different parts of the country, and generally throughout the district in which they were raised. Thus Fort Augustus and the neighboring parts of Inverness-shire were occupied by the Frasers under Lord Lovat; Ballindalloch and the Grants were stationed in Strathspey and Badenoch; the MUnros under Culcairn, in Ross and Sutherland; Lochnell's and Carrick#s companies were stationed in Athole and Breadalbane, and Finab's in Lochaber, and the northern parts of Argyleshire among the disaffected Camerons and Stewarts of Appin. All Highlanders of whatever clan were admitted indiscriminately into these companies as soldiers; but the officers were taken, almost exclusively from the whig clans.

The independent companies continued to exist as such until the year 1739, when government resolved to raise four additional companies, and to form the while into a regiment of the line. For this purpose, letters of service, dated 25th October 1739, were addressed to the Earl of Crawford and Lindsay, who was appointed to the command of the regiment about to be formed, which was to consist of 1000 men. Although the commissions were dated as above, the regiment was not embodied till the month of May 1740, when it assembled on a field between Taybridge and Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, under the number of the 43d regiment, afterwards changed to the 42d, but still bearing the name of the Black Watch. "The uniform was a scarlet jacket and waistcoat, with buff facings and white lace, - tartan plaid of twelve yards plaited round the middle of the body, the upper part being fixed on the left shoulder ready to be thrown loose, and wrapped over both shoulders and firelock in rainy weather. At night the plaid served the purpose of a blanket, and was sufficient covering for the Highlander. These were called belted plaids from being kept tight to the body by a belt, and were worn on guards, reviews, and on all occasions when the men were in full dress. On this belt hung the pistols and dirk when worn. In the barracks, and when not on duty, the little kilt or philibeg was worn, a blue bonnet with a border of white, red and green, arranged in small squares to resemble, as is said, the fess chque in the arms of the different branches of the Stewart family, and a tuft of feathers, or sometimes, from economy or necessity, a small piece of black bear-skin. The arms were a musket, a bayonet, and a large basket-hilted broadsword. These were furnished by government. Such of the men as chose to supply themselves with pistols and dirks were allowed to carry them, and some had targets after the fashion of their country. The sword-belt was of black leather, and the cartouch-box was carried in front, supported by a narrow belt round the middle".

The officers appointed to this regiment were:

Colonel: John, Earl of Crawford and Lindsay, died in 1748.

Lieutenant-Colonel: Sir Robert Munro of Foulis, Bart., killed at Falkirk, 1746.

Major: George Grant, brother of the Laird of Grant, removed from the service by sentence of a court-martial, for allowing the rebels to get possession of the castle of Inverness in 1746.

Captains:

George Munro of Culcairn, brother of Sir Robert Munro, kiled in 1746.

Dugal Campbell of Craignish, retired in 1745.

John Campbell, junior, of Monzie, retired in 1743.

Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Bart., retired in 1748.

Colin Campbell of Ballimore, retired.

John MUnro, promoted to be Lieutenant-Colonel in 1743, retired in 1749.

Captain-Lietenant Duncan Macfarlane, retired in 1744.

Lieutenants:

Paul Macpherson.

Lewis Grant of Auchterblair.

John Maclean of Kingarloch and John Mackenzie (both removed from the regiment in consequence of having fought a duel in 1744)

Alexander Macdonald.

Malcolm Fraser, son of Culduthel, killed at Bergenop-Zoom in 1747.

George Ramsay.

Francis Grant, son of the Laird of Grant, died Lieutenant-General in 1782.

John Macneil.

Ensigns:

Dugal Campbell, killed at Fontenoy.

Dugal Stewart.

John Menzies of Comrie.

Edward Carrick.

Gilbert Stewart of Kincraigie.

Gordon Graham of Drains.

Archibald Macnab, son of the Laird of Macnab, died Lieutenant-General, 1790.

Colin Campbell

Dugal Stewart

James Campbell of Glenfalloch, died of wounds at Fontenoy.

Chaplain: Hon Gideon Murray.

Surgeon: James Munro, brother of Sir Robert Munro.

Adjutant: Gilbert Stewart

Quarter-Master: John Forbes.

In 1740 the Earl of Crawford was removed to the Life Guards and Brigadier-General Lord Sempill was appointed Colonel of the Highlanders.

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Part Two The Black Watch - The Mutiny

After remaining nearly eighteen months in quarters near Taybridge, the regiment was marched northward, in the winter of 1741-2 and the men remained in the stations assigned them till the spring of 1743, when they were ordered to repair to Perth. Having assembled there in March of that year, they were surprised on being informed that orders had been received to march the regiment for England, a step which they considered contrary to an alleged understanding when regimented, that the sphere of their services was not to extend beyond their native country. When the intention of employing them in foreign service came to be known, many of the warmest supporters of the government highly disapproved of the design, among whom was Lord President Forbes. In a letter to General Clayton, the successor of Marshal Wade, the chief commander in Scotland, his lordship thus expresses himself: "When I first heard of the orders given to the Highland regiment to march southwards, it gave me no sort of concern, because I supposed the intention was only to see them; but as I have lately been assured that they are destined for foreign service, I cannot dissemble my uneasiness at a resolution, that may, in my apprehension, be attended with very bad consequences; nor can I prevail with myself not to communicate to you my thoughts on the subject, however late they may come; because if that I am to suggest has not been already under consideration, it's possible the resolution may be departed from". After noticing the consequences which might result from leaving the Highlands unprotected from the designs of the disaffected in the event of a war with France, he thus proceeds: "Having thus stated to you the danger I dread, I must, in the next place, put you in mind, that the present system for securing peace of the Highlands, which is the best I ever heard of, is by regular troops stationed from Inverness to Fort William, along the chain of lakes which in a manner divides the Highlands, to command the obedience of the inhabitants of both sides, and by a body of disciplined Highlanders wearing the dres and speaking the language of the country, to execute such orders as require expedition, and for which neither the dress nor manner of the other troops are proper. The Highlanders, now regimented, were at first independent companies; and though their dress, language, and manners, qualified them for securing the low country against depredations; yet that was not the sole use of them; the same qualities fitted them for every expedition that required secrecy and dispatch; they served for all purposes of hussars or light horse, in a country where mountains and bogs render cavalry useless, and if properly disposed over the Highlands, nothing that was commonly reported and believed by the Highlanders could be a secret to their commanders, because of their intimacy with the people and the sameness of the language". Notwithstanding this remonstrance, the government persisted in its determination to send the regiment abroad; and to deceive the men, from whom their real destination was concealed, they were told the object of their march to England was merely to gratify the curiosity of the king, who was desirous of seeing a Highland regiment. Satisfied with this explanation, they proceeded on their march. The English people, who had been led to consider the Highlanders as savages, were struck with the warlike appearance of the regiment and the orderly deportment of the men, who received in the country and towns through which they passed the mostly friendly attentions.

Having reached the vicinity of London on the 29th and 30th April, in two divisions, the regiment was reviewed on the 14th of May, on Finchley Common, by Marshal Wade. The arrival of the corps in the neighborhood of the metropolis had attracted vast crowds of people to their quarters, anxious to behold men of whom they had heard the most extraordinary relations; but, mingled with these, were persons who frequented the quarters of the Highlanders from a very different motive. Their object was to sow the seeds of distrust and disaffection among the men, by circulating misrepresentations and falsehoods respecting the intentions of the government. These incendiaries gave out that a gross deception had been practiced upon the regiment, in regard to the object of their journey, in proof of which they adduced the fact of his majesty's departure for Hanover, on the very day of the arrival of the last division, and that the real design of the government was to get rid of them altogether, as disaffected persons, and, with that view, that the regiment was to be transported for life to the American plantations. These insidious falsehoods had their intended effect upon the minds of the Highlanders, who took care, however, to conceal the indignation they felt at their supposed betrayers. All their thoughts were bent upon a return to their own country, and they concentrated their measures for its accomplishment with a secrecy which escaped the observation of their officers, of whose integrity in the affair they do not, however, appear to have entertained any suspicion.

The mutiny which followed created a great sensation, and the circumstances which led to it formed, both in public and in private, the ordinary topic of discussion. The writer of a pamphlet, which was published immediately after the mutiny, and which contains the best view of the subject, and an intimate knowledge of the facts, thus describes the affair:-

"On their march through the northern counties of England, they were every where received with such hospitality, that they appeared in the highest spirits; and it was imagined that their attachment to home was so much abated, that they would feel no reluctance to the change. As they approached the metropolis, however, and were exposed to the taunts of the true-bred English clowns, they became more gloomy and sullen. Animated, even to the lowest private, with the feelings of gentlemen, they could ill brook the rudeness of boors - nor could they patiently submit to affronts in a country to which they had been called by invitation of their sovereign. A still deeper cause of discontent preyed upon their minds. A rumor had reached them on their march that they were to be embarked for the plantations. The fate of the marines, the invalids, and other regiments which had been sent to these colonies, seemed to mark out this service as at once the most perilous and the most degrading to which British soldiers could be exposed. With no enemy to encounter worthy of their courage, there was another consideration, which made it peculiarly odious to the Highlanders. By the act of parliament of the eleventh of George I, transportation to the colonies was denounced against the Highland rebels, &c as the greatest punishment that could be inflicted on them expect death, and, when they heard that they were to be sent there, the galling suspicion naturally arose in their minds, that 'after being used as rods to scourge their own countrymen, they were to be thrown into the fire!". These apprehensions they kept secret even from their own officers; and the care with which they dissembled them is the best evidence of the deep impression which they had been made. Amidst all their jealousies and fears, however, they looked forward with considerable expectation to the review, when they were to come under the immediate observation of his majesty, or some of the royal family. On the 14th of May they were reviewed by Marshal Wade, and many persons of distinction, who were highly delighted with the promptitude and alacrity with which they went through their military exercises, and gave a very favorable report of them, where it was likely to operate most to their advantage. From that moment, however, all their thoughts were bent on the means of returning to their own country; and on this wild and romantic march they accordingly set out a few days after. Under pretence of preparing for the review, they had been enabled to provide themselves, unsuspected, with some necessary articles, and, confiding in their capability of enduring privations and fatigue, they imagined that they should have great advantages over any troops that might be sent in pursuit of them. It was on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday (17th and 18th May) after the review that they assembled on a common near Highgate, and commenced their march to the north. They kept as nearly as possible between the two great roads, passing from wood to wood in such a manner that it was not well known which way they moved. Orders were issued by the lords-justices to the commanding officers of the forces stationed in the counties between them and Scotland, and an advertisement was published by the secretary of war, exhorting the civil officers to be vigilant in their endeavors to discover their route. It was not, however, till about eight o'clock on the evening of Thursday, 19th May, that any certain intelligence of them was obtained, and they had then proceeded as far as Northampton, and were supposed to be shaping their course towards Nottinghamshire. General Blakeney, who commanded all Northampton, immediately dispatched Captain Ball, of General Wade's regiment of horse, an officer well acquainted with that part of the country, to search after them. They had now entered Lady Wood between Brig Stock and Dean Thorp, about four miles from Oundle, when they were discovered. Captain Ball was joined in the evening by the general himself, and about nine all the troops were drawn up in order, near the wood where the Highlanders lay. Seeing themselves in this situation, and unwilling to aggravate their offence by the crime of shedding the blood of his majesty's troops, they sent one of their guides to inform the general that he might, without fear, send an officer to treat of the terms on which they should be expected to surrender. Captain Ball was accordingly delegated, and, on coming to a conference, the captain demanded that they should instantly lay down their arms and surrender as prisoners at discretion. This they positively refused, declaring that they would rather be cut to pieces than submit, unless the general should send them a written promise, signed by his own hand, that their arms should not be taken from them, and that they should have a free pardon. Upon this the captain delivered the conditions proposed by General Blackeney, biz, that if they would peaceably lay down their arms, and surrender themselves prisoners, the most favorable report should be made of them to the lords-justices; when they again protested that they would be cut in pieces rather than surrender, except on the conditions of retaining their arms, and receiving a free pardon. 'Hitherto', exclaimed the captain, 'I have been your friend, and am still anxious to do all I can to save you; but, if you continue obstinate an hour longer, surrounded as you are by the king's forces, not a man of you shall be left alive; and, for my own part, I assure you that I shall give quarter to none'. He then demanded that two of their number should be ordered to conduct him out of the wood. Two brothers were accordingly ordered to accompany him. Finding that they were inclined to submit, he promised them both a free pardon, and, taking one of them along with him, he send back the other to endeavor, by every means, to overcome the obstinacy of the rest. He soon returned with thirteen more. Having marched them to a short distance from the wood, the captain again sent one of them back to his comrades to inform them how many had submitted; and in a short time seventeen more followed the example. These were all marched away with their arms (the powder being blown out of their pans), and when they came before the general they laid down their arms. On returning to the wood they found the whole body disposed to submit to the general's troops.

"While this was doing in the country", continues our author, "there was nothing but the flight of the Highlanders talked of in town. The wiser sort blamed it, but some of their hot-headed countrymen were for comparing it to the retreat of the 10,000 Greeks through Persia; by which, for the honor of the ancient kingdom of Scotland, Corporal M'Pherson was erected into a Xenophon. But amongst these idle dreams, the most injurious were those that reflected on their officers, and by a strange kind of innuendo, would have fixed the crime of these people's desertion upon those who did their duty, and staid there.

"As to the rest of the regiment, they were ordered immediately to Kent, whither they marched cheerfully, and were from thence transported to Flanders, and are by this time with the army, where I dare say it will quickly appear they were not afraid of fighting the French. In King William's war there was a Highland regiment that, to avoid going to Flanders, had formed a design of flying into the mountains. This was discovered before they could put it into execution; and General M'Kay, who then commanded in Scotland, caused them to be immediately surrounded and disarmed, and afterwards shipped them for Holland. When they came to the confederate army, they behaved very briskly upon all occasions; but as pick-thanks are never wanting in courts, some wise people were pleased to tell King William that the Highlanders drank King James's health, - a report which was probably true. The king, whose good sense taught him to despise such dirty information, asked General Talmash, who was near him, how they behaved in the field? 'As well as any troops in the army', answered the general, like a soldier and a man of honor. 'Why then', replied the king, 'if they fight for me, let them drink my father's health as often as they please'. On the road, and even after they entered London, they kept up their spirits, and marched very cheerfully; nor did they show any marks of terror when they were brought into the Tower".

Though it was evident that the Highlanders were led to commit this rash act under a false impression, and that they were the unconscious dupes of designing men, yet the government thought it could not overlook such a gross breach of military discipline, and the deserters were accordingly tried before a general court-martial on the 8th of June. They were all found guilty, and condemned to be shot. Three only, however, suffered capitally. These were corporals Malcolm and Samuel M'Pherson, and Farquhar Shaw, a private. They were shot upon the parade within the Tower, in presence of the other prisoners, who joined in their prayers with great earnestness. The unfortunate men met their death with composure, and acted with great propriety. Their bodies were put into three coffins by three of the prisoners, their clansmen and connections, and were buried together in one grave at the place of execution. From an ill-judged severity, one hundred of the deserters were equally divided between the garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca, and a similar corps in the Leeward islands, Jamaica and Georgia, - a circumstance which, it is believed, impressed the Highlanders with an idea that the government had intended to deceive them.

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That was an interesting read! Way to go!

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Keep it coming!!,

Do you have any info about the Scottish regiments involvement in the French Indian War, and The American Revolution, such as battles fought and the like? I have the Osprey Men-at-Arms #261 18th Century Highlanders which covers Scots in the British Army, good illustrations.

I also know ( from Riverkilt) about the two books Sons of the Mountains which talk about the regiments in the colonies, and the book A Highlander in the French Indian Wars. I want to pick up both eventually.

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I'll see what I can find for you, So keep your eyes open....

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Part Three The Black Watch - Flanders

Near the end of May the remainder of the regiment was sent to Flanders, where it joined the army under the command of Field-Marshall the Earl of Stair. During the years 1743-44, they were quartered in different parts of that country, and by their quiet, orderly, and kind deportment, acquired the entire confidence of the people among whom they mixed. The regiment "was judged the most trust-worthy guard of property, insomuch that the people in Flanders choose to have them always for their protection. Seldom were any of them drunk, and they as rarely swore. And the elector-palatine wrote to his envoy in London, desiring him to thank the king of Great Britain for the excellent behavior of the regiment while in his territories in 1743 and 1744, and for whose sake he adds, 'I will always pay a respect and regard to a Scotchman in future'.

Lord Semphill, who succeeded the Earl of Crawford in the colonelcy of the regiment in 1740, being appointed in April 1745 to the 25th regiment, Lord John Murray, son of the Duke of Athole, succeeded him as colonel of the Highlanders. During the command by the titles of its successive commanders, as Lord Crawford's. Lord Semphill's, and Lord John Murray's Highlanders.

Baffled in his efforts to prevent the elevation of the Grand Duke of Tuscany to the imperial throne, the King of France resolved to humble the house of Austria by making a conquest of the Netherlands. With this view he assembled an immense army in Flanders under the command of the celebrated Marshal Saxe, and having with the dauphin joined the army in April 1745, he, on the 30th of that month, invested Tournay, then garrisoned by 8000 men, commanded by General Baron Dorth, who defended the place with vigor. The Duke of Cumberland, who arrived from England early in May, assumed the command of the allied army assembled at Soignies. It consisted of twenty battalions and twenty-six squadrons of British, five battalions and sixteen squadrons of Hanoverians, all under the immediate command of his royal highness; twenty-six battalions and forty squadrons of Dutch, commanded by the Prince of Waldeck; and eight squadrons of Austrians, under the command of Count Konigseg.

Though the allied army was greatly inferior in number to the enemy, yet as the French army was detached, the duke resolved to march to the relief of Tournay. Marshall Saxe, who soon became aware of the design of the allies, drew up his army in line of battle, on the right bank of the Scheldt, extending from the wood of Barri to Fontenoy, and thence to the village of St. Antoine is sight of the British army.

The allied army advanced to Leuse, and on the 9th of May took up a position between the villages of Bougries and Maulbre, in sight of the French army. In the evening the duke, attended by Field-Marshall Konigseg and the Prince of Waldeck, reconnoitered the position of Marshall Saxe. They were covered by the Highlanders, who kept up a sharp fie with French sharp-shooters who were concealed in the woods. After a general survey, the Earl of Crawford, who was left in command of the advance of the army, proceeded with the Highlanders and a party of hussars to examine the enemy's outposts more narrowly. In the course of the day a Highlander in advance observing that one of the sharp-shooters repeatedly fired at his post, placed his bonnet upon the top of a stick near the verge of a hollow road. This stratagem decoyed the Frenchman, and whilst he was intent on his object, the Highlander approaching cautiously to a point which afforded a sure aim, succeeded in bringing him to the ground.

Having ascertained that a plain which lay between the positions of two armies was covered with some flying squadrons of the enemy, and that their outposts commanded some narrow defiles through which he allied forces has necessarily to march to the attack, the Duke of Cumberland resolved to scour the plain, and to dislodge the outposts, preparatory to advancing upon the besieging army. Accordingly at an early hour next morning, six battalions and twelve squadrons were ordered to disperse the forces on the plain and clear the defiles, a service which they soon performed. Some Austrian hussars being hotly pressed on this occasion by the French light troops, a party of Highlanders was sent to support them, and the Frenchmen were quickly repulsed with loss. This was the first time the Highlanders stood the fire of the enemy in a regular body, and so well did they acquit themselves, that they were particularly noticed for their spirited conduct.

Resolving to attack the enemy next morning, the commander-in-chief of the allied army made the necessary dispositions. Opposite the space between Fontenoy and the wood of Barri, he formed the British and Hanoverian infantry in two lines, and posted their cavalry in the rear. Near the left of the Hanoverians he drew up the Dutch, whose left was towards St Antoine. The Franch in their turn completed their batteries, and made the most formidable preparations to receive the allies. At two o'clock in the morning of the 11th of May, the Duke of Cumberland began his march, and drew up his army in front of the enemy. The engagement began about four by the guard and the Highlanders attacking a redoubt, advanced on the right of the wood near Vezon, occupied by 600 men, in the vicinity of which place the dauphin was posted. Though the enemy were entrenched breast-high they were forced out by the guards with bayonets, and by the Highlanders with sword, pistol, and dirk, the latter killing a considerable number of them.

The allies continuing steadfastly to advance, Marshal Saxe, who had, during three attacks, lost some of his bravest men, began to think of a retreat; but being extremely unwilling to abandon his position, he resolved to make a last effort to retrieve the fortune of the day by attacking his assailants with all his forces. Being far advanced in a dropsy, the Marshall had been carried about the whole day in a litter. This he now quitted, and mounting his horse, he rode over the field giving the necessary orders, whilst two men supported him on each side. He brought forward the household troops of the King of France: he posted his best cavalry on the flanks, and the king's body guards, with the flower of the infantry in the center. Having brought up all his field-pieces he, under cover of their fire and that of the batteries, made a combined charge of cavalry and infantry on the allied army, the greater part of which had, by this time, formed into line by advancing beyond the confined ground. The allies, unable to withstand the impetuosity of this attack, gave way, and were driven back across the ravine, carrying along with them the Highlanders, who had been ordered up from the attack of the village, and two other regiments ordered from the reserve to support the line. After rallying for a short time beyond the ravine, the whole army retreated by order of the duke, the Highlanders and Howard's regiment (the 19th) under the command of Lord Crawford, covering the rear. The retreat, which was commenced about three o'clock in the afternoon, was effected in excellent order. When it was over his lordship pulled off his hat, and returning thanks to the covering party, said "that they had acquired as much honor in covering so great a retreat, as if they had gained a battle". The carnage on both sides was great. The allies lost, in killed and wounded, about 7,000 men, including a number of officers. The loss of the French is supposed to have equaled that of the allies. The Highlanders lost Captain John Campbell of Carrick, whose head was carried off by a cannon-ball early in the action. (Captain John Campbell of Carrick was one of the most accomplished gentleman of his day. Possessing very agreeable manners and bravery, tempered by gaiety, he was regarded by the people as one of those who retained the chivalrous spirit of their ancestors. A poet, a soldier, and a gentleman, no less gallant among the ladies than he was brave among men; he was the object of general admiration; and the last generation of Highlanders among whom he was best known, took great pleasure in cherishing his memory, and repeating anecdotes concerning him. He married a sister of General Campbell of Mamore, afterwards Duke of Argyll). Ensign Lachlan Campbell, son of Craignish, and 30 men; Captain Robert Campbell of Finab; Ensigns Ronald Campbell, nephew of Craignish, and James Campbell, son of Glenfalloch; 2 sergeants, and 86 rank and file wounded.

Before the engagement, the part which the Highlanders would act formed a subject of general speculation. Those who knew them had no misgivings; but there were other persons, high in rank, who looked upon the support of such men with an unfavorable eye. So strong was this impression "in some high quarters, that, on the rapid charge made by the Highlanders, when pushing forward sword in hand nearly at full speed, and advancing so far, it was suggested that they inclined to change sides and join the enemy, who had already three brigades of Scotch and Irish engaged, which performed very important services on that day". All anxiety, however, was soon put an end to by the decided way in which they sustained the national honor.

Captain John Munro of the 43d regiment, in a letter to Lord-president Forbes, thus describes the battle: - "A little after four in the morning, the 30th of April, our cannon began to play, and the French batteries, with triple our weight of metal and numbers too, answered us; about five the infantry was in march; we (the Highlanders) were in the center of the right brigade; but by six we were ordered to cross the field, (I mean our regiment, for the rest of our brigades did not march to attack), a little village on the left of the whole, called Fontenoy. As we passed the field the French batteries played upon our front, and right and left flanks, but to no purpose, for their batteries being upon rising ground their balls flew ovr us and hurt the second line. We were to support the Dutch, who, in their usual way, were very dilatory. We got within musket-shot of their batteries, when we received three full fires of their batteries and small arms, which killed us forty men and one ensign. Here we were obliged to skulk behind houses and hedges for about an hour and a half, waiting for the Dutch, who, when they came up, behaved but so and so. Our regiment being in some disorder, I wanted to draw them up in rear of the Dutch, which their general would scarce allow of; but at last I did it, and marched them again to the front. In half an hour after the Dutch gave way, and Sir Robert Munro thought proper we should retire; for we had then the whole batteries from the enemy's ground playing upon us, and three thousand foot ready to fall upon us. We retired; but before we had marched thirty yards, we had orders to return to the attack, which we did; and in about ten minutes after had orders to march directly with all expedition, to assist the Hanoverians, who had got by this time well advanced upon the batteries upon the left. They behaved most gallantly and bravely; and had the Dutch taken example from them, we had supped at Tournay. The British behaved well; we (the Highlanders) were told by his royal highness that we did our duty well. By two of the clock we all retreated; and we were ordered to cover the retreat, as the only regiment that could be kept to their duty, and in this affair we lost sixty more; but the duke made so friendly and favorable a speech to us, that if we had been ordered to attack their lines afresh, I dare say our poor fellows would have done it". (Culloden Papers, No. CCXLIII. "On this occasion the Duke of Cumberland was so much struck with the conduct of the Highlanders, and concurred so cordially in the esteem which they had secured to themselves both from friends and foes, that, wishing to show a mark of his approbation, he desired it to be intimated to them, that he would be happy to grant the men any favor which they chose to ask, and which he could concede, as a testimony of the good opinion he had formed of them. The reply was worthy of so handsome an offer. After expressing acknowledgements for the condescension of the commander-in-chief, the men assured him that no favor he could bestow would gratify them so much as a pardon for one of their comrades, a soldier of the regiment, who had been tried by a court-martial for allowing a prisoner to escape, and was under sentence of a heavy corporal punishment, which, if inflicted, would bring disgrace on them all, and on their families and country. This favor, of course, was instantly granted. The nature of this request, the feeling which suggested it, and, in short, the general qualities of the corps, struck the Duke with the more force, as, at the time he had not been in Scotland, and had no means of knowing the character of its inhabitants, unless, indeed he had formed his opinion from the common ribaldry of the times, when it was the fashion to consider the Highlander 'as a fierce and savage depredator, speaking a barbarous language, and inhabiting a barren and gloomy region, which fear and prudence forbade all strangers to enter").

The Highlanders on this occasion were commanded by Sir Robert Munro of Fowlis, their lieutenant-colonel, in whom, besides great military experience, were united all the best qualities of the soldier. Aware of the importance of allowing his men to follow their accustomed tactics, he obtained leave of the Duke of Cumberland to allow them to fight in their own way. He accordingly "ordered the whole regiment to clap to the ground on receiving the French fire; and instantly after its discharge they sprang up, and coming close to the enemy, poured in their shot upon them to the certain destruction of multitudes, and drove them precipitately through their lines; then retreating, drew up again, and attacked them a second time after the same manner. These attacks they repeated several times the same day, to the surprise of the whole army. Sir Robert was everywhere with his regiment, notwithstanding his great corpulency, and when in the trenches he was hauled out by the legs and arms by his own men; and it is observed that when he commanded the whole regiment to clap to the ground, he himself, stood upright, receiving the whole fire of the enemy; and this because, (as he said) though he could easily lie down, his great bulk would not suffer him to rise so quickly. His preservation that day was the surprise and astonishment not only of the whole army, but of all that heard the particulars of the action".

The gallantry thus displayed by Sir Robert and his regiment was the theme of universal admiration in Britain, and the French themselves could not withhold their need of praise, "The British behaved well", says a French writer, "and could be exceeded in ardor by none but our officers, who animated the troops by their example, when the Highland furies rushed in upon us with more violence than ever did a sea driven by tempest". I cannot say much of the other auxiliaries, some of whom looked as if they had no great concern in the matter which way it went. In short, we gained the victory; but may I never see such another!". Some idea may be formed of the havoc made by the Highlanders from the fact of one of them having killed nine Frenchmen with his broadsword, and he was only prevented from increasing the number by his arm being shot off.

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Part Four The Black Watch - Ireland & the 42d

In consequence of the rebellion in Scotland, eleven of the British regiments were ordered home in October 1745, among which was the 43d. The Highlanders arrived in the Thames on the 4th of November, and whilst the other regiments were sent to Scotland under General Hawley to assist in quelling the insurrection, the 43d was marched to the coast of Kent, and joined the division of the armt assembled there to repel an expected invasion. When it is considered that more than three hundred of the soldiers in the 43d had fathers and brothers engaged in the rebellion, the prudence and humanity of keeping them aloof from a contest between duty and affection, are evident. Three new companies, which had been added to the regiment in the early part of the year 1745, were, however, employed in Scotland against the rebels before joining the regiment. These companies were raised chiefly in the districts of Athole, Breadlabane, and Braemar, and the command of them was given to the laird of Mackintosh, Sir Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre, and Campbell of Inverawe, who had recruited them. The subalterns were James Farquharson, the younger of Invercauld; John Campbell, the younger of Glenlyon and Dugald Campbell; and Ensign Allan Grant, son of Glenmoriston; John Campbell, son of Barcaldine. General Stewart observes that the privates of these companies, though of the best character, did not convey that rank in society for which so many individuals of the independent companies had been distinguished. One of these companies, as has been elsewhere observed, was at the battle of Prestonpans. The services of the other two companies were confined to the Highlands during the rebellion, and after its suppression they were employed along with detachments of the English army in the barbarous task of burning the houses, and laying waste the lands of the rebels, - a service which must have been very revolting to their feelings.

Having projected the contest of Quebec, the government fitted out an expedition at Portsmouth, the land forces of which consisted of about 8000 men, including Lord John Murray's Highlanders, as the 43d regiment was now called. The armament having been delayed from various causes until the season was too far advanced for crossing the Atlantic, it was resolved to employ it in surprising the Port l'Orient, then the repository of all the stores and ships belonging to the French East India Company. While this new expedition was in preparation, the Highland regiment was increased to 1100 men, by draughts from the three companies in Scotland.

The expedition sailed from Portsmouth on the 15th of September, 1746, under the command of Rear-Admiral Lestock, and on the 20th the troops were landed, without much opposition, in Quimperlu bay, ten miles from Port l'Orient. As General St Clair soon perceived that he could not carry the place, he abandoned the siege, and retiring to the seacoast re-embarked his troops.

Some of these forces returned to England; the rest landed in Ireland. The Highlanders arrived at Cork on the 4th of November, whence they marched to Limerick, where they remained till February 1747, when they returned to Cork, where they embarked to join a new expedition for Flanders. This force, which consisted chiefly of the troops that had been recalled in 1745, sailed from Leith roads in the beginning of April 1747. Lord Loudon's Highlanders and a detachment from the three additional companies of Lord John Murray's Highlanders also joined this force; and such was the eagerness of the latter for this service, that when informed that only a part of them was to join the army, they all claimed permission to embark, in consequence of which demand it was found necessary to settle the question of preference by drawing lots.

To relieve Hulst, which was closely besieged by Count Lowendahl, a detachment, consisting of Lord John Murray's Highlanders, the first battalion of the Royals and Bragg's regiment, was order to Flushing, under the command of Major-general St. Roque, ordered the Royals to join the Dutch camp at St Bergue, and directed the Highlanders and Bragg's regiment to halt within four miles of Hulst. On the 5th of May the besiegers began an assault, and drove the outguards and picquets back into the garrison, and would have carried the place, had not the Royals maintained their post with the greatest bravery till relieved by the Highlander regiment, when the French were compelled to retire. The Highlanders had only five privates killed and a few wounded on this occasion. The French continuing on the siege, St Roque surrendered the place, although he was aware that an additional reinforcement of nine battalions was on the march to his relief. The British troops than embarked for South Beveland. Three hundred of the Highland regiment, who were the last to embark, were attacked by a body of French troops. "They behaved with so much bravery that they beat off three or four times their number, killing many, and making some prisoners, with only the loss of four or five of their own number".

A few days after the battle of Lafeldt, July 2d, in which the Highlanders are not particularly mentioned, Count Lowendahl laid siege to R-Bergen-op-Zoom with a force of 25,000 men. This place, from the strength of its fortification, the favorite work of the celebrated Cosehorn, having never been stopped, was deemed impregnable. The garrison consisted of 3000 men, including Lord London's Highlanders. Though Lord John Murray's Highlanders remained in South Beveland, his lordship, with Captain Fraser of Culduthel, Captain Campbell of Craignish, and several other officers of his regiment, joined the besieged. After about two months' siege, this important fortress was taken by storm, on account of the too great confidence of Constrom the governor, who never anticipated an assault. On obtaining possession of the ramparts, the French attempted to enter the town, but were attacked with such impetuosity by two battalions of the Scottish troops in the pay of the States-General, that they were driven from street to street, until fresh reinforcements arriving, the Scotch were compelled to retreat in their turn; yet they disputed ever inch of ground, and fought till two-thirds of them were killed on the spot. The remainder then abandoned the town, carrying the old governor along with them.

The different bodies of the allied army assembled in the neighborhood of Raremond in March 1748, but, with the exception of the capture of Maestricht, no military event of any importance took place in the Netherlands; and preliminaries of peace having been signed, the Highlanders returned to England in December, and were afterwards sent to Ireland. The three additional companies had assembled at Prestonpans in March 1748, for the purpose of embarking for Flanders; but the orders to ship were countermanded, and in the course of that year these companies were reduced.

In 1749, in consequence of the reduction of the 42d regiment (Oglethorpe's), the number of Black Watch was changed from the 43d to the 42d, the number it has ever since retained.

During eight years - from 1749 to 1756 - that the Highlanders were stationed in Ireland, the utmost cordiality subsisted between them and the inhabitants of the different districts where they were quartered; a circumstance the more remarkable, when it is considered that the military were generally embroiled in quarrels with the natives. So lasting and favorable an impression did they make, that upon the return of the regiment from Americas, after an absence of eleven years, applications were made from the towns and districts where they had been formerly quartered, to get them again stationed among them. Although, as General Stewart observes, the similarity of language, and the general belief in a common origin, might have had some influence with both parties, yet nothing but the most exemplary good conduct on the part of the Highlanders could have overcome the natural repugnance of a people who, at that time, justly regarded the British soldiery as ready instruments of oppression.

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Cactus Jack -

I hope you regard this as appropriate additional information to this great read and not to do one-up.

It's the Black Watch Monument located in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. I took these photos last September.

BWmon.jpg

BWmon2.jpg

Slainte yall,

steve

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No problem Steve, Glad you could add those here, They are fantastic.....Thanks.

I hope you will enjoy the rest after I get it all finished, It's quite extensive to say the least, There's a lot of history with this Regiment..

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Nice pic addition. Thanks!

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No problem Steve, Glad you could add those here, They are fantastic.....Thanks. I hope you will enjoy the rest after I get it all finished, It's quite extensive to say the least, There's a lot of history with this Regiment..

Copy that.

A close friend lives near Aberfeldy - which has a fantastic Indian restaurant on the main drag.

His son-in-law is a color sergeant in the Watch and has done tours in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, & Iraq as part of the famed Desert Rats.

Same SIL is a bass drummer in the pipeband and the regimental (though now probably battalion) kiltmaker.

The people in that part of Scotland view the Black Watch with nothing short of reverence.

Slainte yall,

steve

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Steve, If you have any more feel free to add them..

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Part Five The Black Watch - Preparations for America

In consequence of the mutual encroachments made by the French and English on their respective territories in North America, both parties prepared for war; and as the British ministry determined to make their chief efforts against the enemy in that quarter, they resolved to send two bodies of troops thither. The first division, of which the Highlanders formed a part, under the command of Lieutenant-general Sir James Abercromby, set sail in March 1756, and landed at New York in June following. In the month last mentioned, 700 recruits, who had been raised by recruiting parties sent from the regiment previous to its departure from Ireland, embarked at Greenock for America. When the Highlanders landed, they attracted much notice, particularly on the part of the Indians, who, on the march of the regiment to Albany, flocked from all quarters to see strangers, whom, from the similarity of their dress, they considered to be of the same extraction as themselves, and whom they therefore regarded as brothers.

Before the departure of the 42d, several changes and promotions had taken place. Lieutenant-colonel Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyll, who had commanded the regiment during the six years they were quartered in Ireland, having been promoted to the command of the 54th, was succeeded by Major Grant, who was so popular with the men, that, on the vacancy occurring, they subscribed a sum of money among themselves to purchase the lieutenant-colonelcy for him; but the money was not required, the promotion at that time being without purchase. Captain Duncan Campbell of Inveraw was appointed major; Thomas Graham of Duchray, james Abercromby, son of General Abercromby of Glassa, the commander of the expedition, and John Campbell of Strachur, were made captains; Ensigns Kenneth Tolme, James Grant, John Graham, brother of Duchray, Hugh M'Pherson, Alexander Turnbull of Barcaldine, were raised to the rank of lieutenants. From the half-pay list were taken Lieutenants Alexander Mackintosh, James Gray, William Baillie, Hugh Arnot, William Sutherland, John Small, and Archibald Campbell; the ensigns were James Campbell, Archibald Lamont, Duncan Campbell, George MacLagan, Patrick Balneaves, son of Edradour, Patrick Stewart, son of Bonskeid, Norman MacLeod, George Campbell and Donald Campbell.

The regiment had been now sixteen years embodied, and although its original members had by this time almost disappeared, "their habits and character were still sustained by their successors, to whom they were left, as it were, in charge. This expectation has been fulfilled through a long course of years and events. The first supply of recruits after the original formation was, in many instances, inferior to their predecessors in personal appearance, as well as in private station and family connexons; but they lost nothing of that firm step, erect air, and freedom from awkward restraint, the consequence of a spirit of independence and self-respect, which distinguished their predecessors.

The second division of the expedition, under the Earl of Loudon, who was appointed commander-in-chief of the army in North America, soon joined the forces under General Abercromby; but owing to various causes, they did not take the field till the summer of the following year. Pursuant to an attack on Louisburg, Lord Loudon embarked in the month of June 1757 for Halifax with the forces under his command, amounting to 5300 men. At Halifax his forces were increased to 10,500 men, by addition of five regiments lately arrived from England, including Fraser's and Montgomery's Highlanders.

When on the eve of his departure from Halifax, Lord Loudon received information that the Brest fleet had arrived in the harbor of Louisburg. The resolution to abandon the enterprise however, was not taken till it clearly appeared from letters which were taken in a packet bound from Louisburg to France, that the force was too great to be encountered. Leaving the remainder of the troops to New York, taking along with him the Highlanders and four other regiments.

By the addition of three new companies and the junction of 700 recruits, the regiment was now augmented to upwards of 1300 men, all Highlanders, for at that period none else were admitted into the regiment. To the three additional companies the following officers were appointed; James Murray, son of Lord George Murray, James Stewart of Urrard, and Thomas Stirling, son of Sir Henry Stirling of Ardoch, to be captains; Simon Blair, David Barklay, Archibald Campbell, Alexander Mackay, Alexander Manzies and David Mills, to be lieutenants; Duncan Stewart, George Rattray, and Alexander Farquharson, to be ensigns; and the Reverend James Stewart to be assistant chaplain.

The Earl of Loudon having been recalled, the command of the army devolved on General Abercromby. Determined to wipe off the disgrace of former campaigns, the ministry, who had just come into power, fitted out a great naval armament and a military force of 32,000 men, which were placed under commanders who enjoyed the confidence of the country. The command of the fleet was given to Admiral Boscawen, and Brigadier-generals Wolfe, Townsend, and Murray, were added to the military staff. Three expeditions were planned in 1758; one against Louisberg; another against Ticonderoga and Crown Point; and a third against Fort du Quesne.

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Part Six The Black Watch - Ticonderoga

General Abercromby, the commander-in chief, took charge of the expedition against Ticonderoga, with a force of 15,390 men, of whom 6337 were regulars (including Lord John Murray's Highlanders), and 9024 provincials, besides a train of artillery.

Fort Ticonderoga stands on a tongue of land between Lake Champlain and Lake George, and is surrounded on three sides by water; part of the fourth side is protected by a morass; the remaining part was strongly fortified with high entrenchments, supported and flanked by three batteries, and the whole front of that part which was accessible was intersected by deep traverses, and blocked up with felled trees, with their branches turned outwards and their points first sharpened and then hardened by fire, forming altogether a most formidable defence. On the 4th of July 1758 the commander-in-chief embarked his troops on Lake George, on board 900 batteaux and 135 whale-boats, with provisions, artillery, and ammunition; several pieces of cannon being mounted on rafts to cover the landing, which was effected next day without opposition. The troops were then formed into two parallel columns, and in this order marched towards the enemy's advanced post, consisting of one battalion, encamped behind a breast-work of logs. The enemy abandoned this defence without a shot, after setting the breast-work on fire and burning their tents and implements. The troops continued their march in the same order, but the route lying through a wood, and the guides being imperfectly acquainted with the country, the columns were broken by coming in contact with each other. The right column, at the head of which was Lord Howe, fell in with a detachment of the enemy who had also lost their way in the retreat from the advanced post, and a smart skirmish ensuing, the enemy were routed with considerable loss. Lord Howe unfortunately fell in the beginning of this action. He was much regretted, being "a young nobleman of the most promising talents, who had distinguished himself in a peculiar manner by his courage, activity, and rigid observance of military discipline, and had acquired the esteem and affection of the soldiery by his generosity, sweetness of manners, and engaging address".

Perceiving that his men were greatly fatigued, General Abercromby ordered them to march back to their landing place, which they reached about eight o'clock in the morning. having taken possession of a saw-mill in the neighbourhood of Ticonderoga, which the enemy had abandoned, General Abercromby advanced towards the place next morning. It was garrisoned by 5000 men, of whom 2800 were French troops of the line, who were stationed behind the traverses and felled trees in front of the fort. Receiving information from some prisoners that General Levi, with a force of 3000 men, was marching to the defence of Ticonderoga, the English commander resolved to anticipate him by striking, if possible, a decisive blow before a junction could be effected. He therefore sent an engineer across the river on the opposite side of the fort to reconnoitre the enemy's entrenchments, who reported that the works being still unfinished, might be attempted with a prospect of success. Preparations for the attack were therefore instantly made. The whole army being put in motion, the picquets, followed by the grenadiers, the battalions and reserve, which last consisted of the Highlanders and the 55th regiment, advanced with great alacrity towards the entrenchments, which they found to be much more formidable that they expected. The breast-work, which was regularly fortified, was eight feet high, and the ground before it was covered with an abbatis or chevauz-de-frize, projecting in such a manner as to render the entrenchment almost inaccessible. Undismayed by these discouraging obstacles, the British troops marched up to the assault in the face of a destructive fire, and maintained their ground without flinching. Impatient in the rear, the Highlanders broke from the reserve, and, pushing forward to the front, endeavoured to cut their way through the trees with their broadswords. After a long and deadly struggle, the assailants penetrated the exterior defences and advanced to the breast-work; but being unprovided with scaling ladders, they attempted to gain the breast-work, partly by mounting on each other's shoulders, and partly by fixing their feet in the holes which they made with their swords and bayonets in the face of the work. No sooner, however, did a man reach the top, than he was thrown down by the troops behind the entrenchments. Captain John Campbell, with a few men, at length forced their way over the breast-work, but they were immediately despatched with the bayonet. After a desperate struggle, which lasted about four hours under such discouraging circumstances, General Abercromby seeing no possible chance of success, gave orders for a retreat. It was with difficulty, however, that the troops could be prevailed upon to retire, and it was not till the third order that the Highlanders were induced to retreat, after more than one-half of the men and twenty-five officers had been either killed or desperately wounded. No attempt was made to molest them in their retreat, and the whole retired in good order, carrying along with them the whole of the wounded, amounting to 65 officers and 1178 non-commissioned officers and soldiers. Twenty-three officers and 567 rank and file were killed.

The loss sustained by the 42d was as follows, viz - 8 officers, 9 sergeants, and 306 soldiers wounded. The officers killed were Major Duncan Campbell of Inveraw, Captain John Campbell, Lieutenants George Farquharson, Hugh MacPherson, William Baillie, and John Sitherland; Ensigns Patrick Stewart, brother of Bonskeid, and George Rattray. The wounded were Captain Gordon Graham, Thomas Graham of Duchray, John Campbell of Strachur, James Stewart of Urrard, James Grant, Robert Gary, John Campbell, William Grant, John Graham, brother of Duchray, Alexander Campbell, Alexander Mackintosh, Archibald Campbell, David Miller, Patrick Balneaves; and Ensigns John Smith and Peter Grant.

The intrepid conduct of the Highlanders on this occasion was made the topic of universal panegyric in Great Britain, and the public spirits teemed with honourable testimonies to their bravery. If anything could add to the gratification they received from the approbation of their country, nothing was better calculated to enhance it than the handsome way in which their services were appreciated by their companions in arms. "With a mixture of esteem, grief, and envy (says an officer of the 55th), I consider the great loss and immortal glory acquired by the Scots Highlanders in the late bloody affair. Impatient for orders, they rushed forward to the entrenchments, which many of them actually mounted. They appeared like lions breaking from their chains. Their intrepidity was rather animated than damped by seeing their comrades fall on every side. I have only to say of them, that they seemed more anxious to revenge the cause of their deceased friends, than careful to avoid the same fate. By their assistance, we expect soon to give a good account of the enemy and of ourselves. There is much harmony and friendship between us". The following extract of a letter from Lieutenant William Grant, an officer of the regiment, seems to contain no exaggerated detail: - "The attack began a little past one in the afternoon, and about two the fire became general on both sides, which was exceedingly heavy, and without any intermission, insomuch that the oldest soldier present never saw so furious and incessant a fire. The affair at Fontenoy was nothing to it: I saw both. We laboured under insurmountable difficulties. The enemy's breast-work was about nine or ten feet high, upon the top of which they had plenty of wall-pieces fixed, and which was well lined in the inside with small arms. But the difficult access to their lines was what have them a fatal advantage over us. They took care to cut down monstrous large oak trees which covered all the ground from the foot of their breast-work about the distance of a cannon-shot every way in their front. This not only broke our ranks, and made it impossible for us to keep our order, but put it entirely out of our power to advance till we cut our way through. I have seen men behave with courage and resolution before now, but so much determined bravery can hardly be equalled in any part of the history of ancient Rome. Even those that were mortally wounded cried aloud to their companions, not to mind or lose a thought upon them, but to follow their officers, and to mind the honour of their country. Nay, their ardour was such, that it was difficult to bring them off. They paid dearly for their intrepidity. The remains of the regiment had the honour to cover the retreat of the army, and brought off the wounded as we did at Fontenoy. When shall we have so fine a regiment again? I hope we shall be allowed to recruit. Lieutenant Grant's wish had been anticipated, as letters of service had been issued, before the affair of Ticonderoga was known in England, for raising a second battalion. Moreover, previous to the arrival of the news of the affair at Ticonderoga, his majesty George II had issued a warrant conferring upon the regiment the title of Royal, so that after this it was known as the 42d Royal Highland Regiment.

This information was sent in by Murray McCombs

The 42nd Blackwatch Highlander, 1st Battalion, Muster Roll, Oct 24, 1758

Sources: "The Ontario Register" Vol 3, 1970, p 223, by Mary McCall Middleton, Orange, NJ

The following is the roll of Capt. John Reid's Company of the 42nd, which was commanded by Capt. James Murray during the expedition. Taken from Atholl Records, page 440, vol. III.

In the bibliography for this article (Appendix O), the Atholl records are shown as "Chronicles of the Atholl and Tullibardine Families". Collected and arranged by John, Seventh Duke of Atholl, K.T., in five volumes, Ballantyle Press, 1908.

Lake George Camp - Ticonderoga Oct. 24, 1758

John Reid Capt.

Kenneth Tolmie Lt

David Mill Lt

Charles Menzies Ensign

James McNabb Sergeant

John McAndrews Sergeant

John Watson Sergeant

Alexander ###### Sergeant

John ###### Corporal

Jonnathen Grant Corporal

Angus McDonald Corporal

John Stewart Corporal

Walter McIntyre Drummer - Killed 8th July 1758

Allan Campbell Drummer

PRIVATES:

William Anderson

Alexander ######

William Carmichall

Angus Cameron

Hugh Christy

Hugh Fraser

Donald Fraser

Donald Fraser

Alexander Fraser

John Forbes

Donald Grant

James Grant

John Grant

John Grant

William Grant

John Graham

William Gordon

James Gordon

Donald Kennedy

Donald Kennedy

John Kennedy

James Michall

James Murray

Donald Murray

Alexander McKenzie

Rodrick McKenzie

Hugh McKenzie

Hugh McKenzie

John McKenzie

Gillis McF-----

Angus McDonald

Achibald McDonald

Lachlin McDonald

John McDonald

Donald McDermid

Robert McGregor

Alexander McGregor

Doanld McGregor

John McIntosh

Donald McIntyre

Alexander McIntyre

Leonard McGlashon

John McGillivarie

Donald McColl

Neill McMillion

Rodrick McLean

Neill McNeill

John McLaren

John McArthur

Neill McEarchern

John McPhie

Hugh McPhie

Neill McLeod

Donald McLish

Donald McLish

William McLinnion

George McAdam

Hugh McKeay

Hector McInven

Donald McPherson

Alexander McPherson

Donald Robertson

Alexnader Reid

James Rea

John Ross

Donald Ross

Alexander Ross

Walter Spalding

John smith

Neill Shaw

Alexander Stewart

Robert Urquhart

Donald Watson

Donald Wheet

Duncan Wright

William Wishart

KILLED 8th JULY 1758:

John Buchanan

Hugh Cameron

Donald Carr

James Farquharson

Hugh Fraser

James McDonald

Archibald McDonald

William McDonald

James McIntyre

Donald McQueen

Dugall McLachlan

Donald McNeil

John McKenzie

Peter McFarlane

Norman McLeod

Hugh Ross

Doanld Stewart

Walter Stewart

Charles Stewart

John Sinclair

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Additional Battle Information

Excerpt from:

"Merchant and Redcoat: The Papers of John Gordon MACOMB (aka McCOMB), July 1757-1760, by Joesph Francis J. Meany Volume 2 pp 849-859

French and Indian Wars, Northern Theatre

Abercromby's attack on Fort Ticonderoga 8 July 1758.

The French lines consisted of eight to nine foot wall "made of tree trunks lying one on top of the other" with loop holes cut between the chinks of the logs. The French infantry behind the wall could fire out from a position of almost total protection. "The line followed the top of the ridge, along which it zig-zagged in such a manner that the whole front could be swept by flank-fires of musketry and grape." [37]

To this formidable defense was added an additional filip; a vast abatis made from the tops of the trees that formed the wall whose cut and sharpened branches gave the effect of "chebaux-de-frise." "The army worked with such ardor that the line was in a defendable state the same evening." The French continued to improve the position through the night [38].

More reinforcements arrived on the night of the 7th in the form of the light companies recalled from the Mohawk Valley expedition and now reunited with their parent battalions.

" between six and eight in the evening the light companies of our troops detached with the Chevalier de Levis, reached camp. They had been most diligent (paddling) day and night despite contrary winds to join their comrades whom they knew were about to be attacked; they were received by our little army with the same joy as were Caesar's legions by those Roman cherts blockaded with cicero by a multitude of Gauls. [39]

That night the army slept in the open along the entrenchments. At dawn "to arms" was beaten and Montcalm place his army in position to receive the expected British attack; "At the left of the line were the battalions of LaSarre and Languedoc and two of the light companies [that] arrived the night before..." 460 and 426 officers and men respectively. "The center was occupied by the battalions of Royal Roussillon, the first battalion of Berry and the remainder of Chevalier de Levis' light companies." 480 and 450 officers and men respectively. "La Reine, Bearn and Guyenne defended the right..." 365, 410, and 470 officers and men respectively"...and in the plain between the escarpment of the right and the St. Frederick river they placed the Canadiens and the troops of La Marine (250 and 150 officers and men respectively) who were also protected by the abatis. [40]

The french defense totalled 3,526 officers and men. "The Chevalier de Levis was charged with the right, Sieur de Bourlamaque with the left and the Marquis de Montcalm remained in the center to be within range of all parts." Lawrence Henry Gipson noted: "There were now opposing Abercromby the three best field officers that the French army had in North America." Thus disposed, the French army waited behind their defenses. "Half an hour after noon the English army advanced on us." [42} In total they outnumbered the French by about five to one.

By the morning of 8 July, Abercromby was aware that Montcalm was erecting entrenchments across the base of the premonitory on which stood Fort Carillon (Fort Ticonderoga). Shortly after dawn he ordered a reconnaissance party, consisting of Capt. James Abercromby, 42nd Regt of Foot, his nephew and Aide-de-Camp, and Lt Matthew Clark, 27th (Inniskillings) Regt of Foot, a military engineer, with a party of rangers, to reconnoiter the French works from the top of Rattle-snake hill, modern Mt. Defiance. From there the officers examined the French lines, through their "perspective glasses." It was mid to late morning when the reconnaissance party returned. Clarke reported that the French were in the process of erecting a breastwork across the low wooded hills about 1000 yards from the fort. His observation, that the French works were not complete, was tragically mistaken and he compounded the error by rendering the fatal judgement that the works could be easily assaulted [43]

Abercromby, obsessed by the possibility of imminent French reinforcement, resolved to attack immediately, without waiting for his artillery. The guns were, at the moment, being moved from the camp at the landing to the French saw mill where a new bridge would have to be built across the Riviere de la Chute to move the guns up. Abercromby deemed this entirely too long to wait. He summoned his senior commanders to a Council of War, really and "orders group", which duly concurred in his concept of the attack.

The actual assault would be led by the pickets or light companies, commanded by Major Thomas Proby, 55th Regt of Foot, with the grenadier companies, under Lt. Col. Frederick Haldimand, 60th Regt of Foot, in direct support.

The right wing of the provincials, New York and Massachusetts Bay troops under Col. Jedediah Preble of the later colony, to form line two hundred yards from the enemy entrenchements leaving gaps in the line through which the battalion or "hat' companies of the regular battalions would pass. The regular battalions, less their flank companies, were to attack in the three original brigades organized by Lord Howe. The first brigade under Col. William Haviland, 27th Regt of Foot, and comprising the 27th and the first and fourth battalions of Royal Americans were posted on the British right, the third brigade, under Lt. Co.. John Donaldson, 55th Regt of Foot, and comprising his own and the 44th Regt of Foot, was assigned the center of the British line and the second brigade, under Lt. Col. Samuel Beaver, 46th Regt of Foot, and comprising his own and the Royal Highland Regt. were posted on the British left. The assault was to go in simultaneously. The regulars were under orders "to carry the woks with the bayonet."

The provincial left wing, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut troops under Col. Phynias Lyman of the latter colony, to form a second line, face to the rear and erect breastworks in order to cover the assault. Col. Timothy Ruggles Massachusetts Regt were detached to hold the French saw mill at the Rivier de la Chute [44] "Before the last order had been issued, the rangers and light infantry were hotly engaged in the usual prelude to attack, the attempt to drive in the enemy picket guards. [45]

As the british regulars first saw the French positions there must have been consternation and dismay in the ranks. Ahead lay a swath of cleared land at least a hundred yards in depth. There a vast interwoven tangle of fallen trees lay with the ends of their branches, trimmed and sharpened. No modern barbed wire entanglement could be any more effective in breaking up the cohesion of an infantry assault. Behind the abatis lay the massive log wall. Only the colours of the French regiments were visible above the wall. The french lines were not at all 'incomplete."[46] At least one British officer, Major Eyre of the 44th, quailed at the prospect of assaulting them. Eyre recommended the assault formations be altered from line to column in order to better keep cohesion as they forced their way through the abatis. He was overruled. "It was said this would cause confusion: in short, it was said, we must attack any Way, and not be losing time in talking or consulting how. [47]

The assault commenced, as Bougainville noted, about 12:30pm, 8 July 1758. The pickets or light companies of the regular regiments advanced under Major Thomas Proby of the 55th, supported by the grenadiers of the regular regiments under Lt. col. Frederick Haldimand, 60th Regt of Foot. As the pickets reached the fringe of the abatis the waiting French opened a withering fire. Proby was killed in the initial volley.[48]

Along the line the regular battalions moved up through the provincial screen although their assaults were not delivered simultaneously. The three battalions of the 27th and 60th Regt of Foot went in first while some confusion delayed the advance of the 44th and 55th regiments in the centre and the 42nd and 46th regiments on the left.[49] Even if delivered simultaneously, as planned, it is doubtful that the result would have been materially different, for everywhere the story was the same. The redcoats, in battalion line three ranks deep, were unable to advance through or across the abatis. The formations lost cohesion and momentum. Forward motion, essential in a frontal assault, stopped. The assault collapsed but the slaughter continued. The redcoats found themselves trapped in the maze of fallen trees that, beaten by relentless fire from a totally protected enemy, became a hideous killing ground.

"The scene was frightful: masses of infuriated men who could not go forward and would not go back; straight for an enemy they could not reach, and firing at an enemy they could not see; caught in the entanglement of fallen trees; tripped by briers, stumbling over logs, tearing through boughs, shouting, yelling, cursing and pelted all the while with bullets that killed them in scores.[50]

Many were simply driven to ground, desperately seeking protection behind tree limbs and earth...

"others, more courageous or better disciplined or angrier, continued to load and fire at the Frenchmen who made such a poor target behind the breastwork. Formal organization was lost. The best leaders, whoever and wherever they were, tried to organize the men around them and to fight through the mass of branches and brush that lay between them and the enemy. The efforts of these men can be read in casualty lists, for the regular officer corps suffered far out of proportion to its numbers [51]

On the left, the 42nd and 46th Regt of Foot attacked last. The Highlanders, with their large, basket-hilted claymores, were best able to hack their way through the abatis. An officer of the 55th who watched them wrote....

"With a mixture of esteem, grief and envy, I am penetrated by the great loss and immortal glory acquired by the Highlanders engaged in the late bloody affair. Impatient for the fray, they rushed forward to the entrenchments which many of them actually mounted, their intrepidity was rather animated than dampened by witnessing their comrades fall on every side. They seemed more anxious to avenge the fate of their deceased friends than to avoid a like death. [52]"

Alone among the attacking battalions, the Black Watch, or part of it, actually reached the French breastwork, but the assault was too fragmented, its energy spent and the French were able to dispatch those few berserk furies,such as Capt. John Campbell, 42nd Regt of Foot who, incredibly, succeeded in penetrating their defenses. [53] Finally the men of the Compagnes de la Marine on the right of the French line, were able to fire into the flank of the highlanders on the British left.

"The storm raged in full fury for an hour. The assailants pushed close to the breastwork; but they were stopped by the bristling mass of sharpened branches which they could not pass under the murderous cross file that swept them from front and flank. At length, they fell back....[54]

Shy notes that "No one person could regain control of the attacking force, extricate and reorganize it, and send it in a second, or-ordinated assault, "The attack however was not cancelled. Instead, it was allowed to continue, the British regiments renewing their assaults piecemeal throughout that long summer afternoon. [55] Behind the French lines, the Marquis de Montcalm, in his shirt and waistcoat, declared that between one and seven o'clock, six successive assaults were made on his position. [56]

" At about five o'clock, after bitter fighting...a furious concentrated charge of the British battalions was launched against the entrenchments of the French centre where the regiments of Guyenne and the left wing of that of Bearn were posted; this seemed to present such a threat that both Montcolm and de Levis were impelled to rush reinforcements to that point to support the defenders. Then at six o'clock the attack shifted [again] to the French left...against the Royal Roussillon and Berry battalions...The assailants hewed their way to the foot of the breastwork; and though again and again repulsed, they again and again, renewed the attack...[57]

The 42nd and 46th Regt of Foot bore the brunt of this last assault and again were defeated when the Compaignes de la Marine were able to take them in flank. The Black Watch "shattered itself against the wall of French fire, and ....left a grisly monument of kilted corpses to attest to its courage."[58] Actually "it was this attack which came closest to breaking through" but Montcalm was able to reinforce the threatened sector with reserves drawn from his center and left. "At seven o'clock the assaults ceased and Abercromby's army - deprived now of many of its best regimental and company officers - began to retreat covered by the fire of the light troops."[59] The defeated regulars fell back to the breastworks at the reserve position erected by Col. Lyman's provincials. The last assaults of the day were carried out by Col. Preble's provincial right wing but these half-hearted attempts were easily repulsed by the French. At sunset orders were issued to occupy Lyman's breastwork for the night while some attempt was made to get in the wounded.[60]

Casualties among the regulars, particularly the regular officers, were appalling. Of the 6370 regular soldiers mustered on 30 June, 464 were now lifeless corpses hanging in the French abatis, 1117 were wounded and requiring attention. Twenty-nine were missing in action, prisoners or dead. Officer casualties totalled 118 killed and wounded.[61] French casualties totalled 177.[62] It was one of the worst defeats in the history of British arms.

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Thats some good reading Larry, Thanks for the heads up Professor!!

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Part Seven The Black Watch - The West Indies - Guadaloupe

So successful were the officers in recruiting, that within three months seven companies, each 120 men strong, which, with the three additional companies raised the preceding year, were to form the second battalion, were raised in three month, and embodied at Perth in October 1758. The officers appointed to these seven additional companies were Francis MacLean, Alexander Sinclair, John Stewart of Stenton, William Murray, son of Lintrose, Archibald Campbell, Alexander Reid, and Robert Arbuthnot, to be captains; Alexander MacLean, George Grant, George Sinclair, Gordon Clunes, Adam Stewart, John Robertson, son of Lude, John Grant, James Fraser, George Leslie, John Campbell, Alexander Stewart, Duncan Richardson, and Robert Robertson, to be lieutenants; and Patrick Sinclair, John Mackintosh, James MacDuff, Thomas Fletcher, Alexander Donaldson, William MacLean, and William Brown, to be ensigns.

Government having resolved to employ the seven new companies in an expedition against Martinique and Guadaloupe, 200 of the 840 men, embodied at Perth, were immediately embarked at Greenock for the West Indies, under the convoy of the Ludlow Castle, for the purpose of joining the armament lying in Carlisle Bay, destined for that service. The whole land force employed in this expedition amounted to 5560 men, under the command of Major-generals Hopson and Barrington, and of Brigadier-generals Armiger, Haldane, Trapaud, and Clavering. They sailed from Barbadoes on the 13th of January 1759, for Martinique, which they descried next morning; and on the following day the British squadron entered the great bay of Port Royal. About this time the other division of the seven newly raised companies joined the expedition. On the 16th, three ships of the line attacked Fort Negro, the guns of which they soon silenced. A detachment of marines and sailors landing in flat-bottomed boats, clambered up the rock, and, entering through the embrasures with fixed bayonets, took possession of the fort, which had been abandoned by the enemy. The whole French troops retired to Port Royal, leaving the beach open, so that the British forces landed next morning at Cas de Navire without opposition. No enemy being in sight, the grenadiers, the 4th or king's regiment, and the Highlanders, moved forward about ten o'clock to reconnoiter; but they had not proceeded far when they fell in with parties of the enemy, who retired on their approach. When within a short distance of Morne Tortueson, an eminence that overlooked the town and citadel of Port Royal, and the most important post in the island, the advanced party halted till the rest of the army came up. The advancing and retiring parties had kept up an irregular fire when in motion, and they still continued to skirmish. It was observed on this occasion, "that although debarred the use of arms in their own country, the Highlanders showed themselves good marksmen, and had not forgot how to handle their arms". The inhabitants of Martinique were in the greatest alarm, and some of the principal among them were about sending deputies to the British commander to treat for a surrender, but General Hopson relieved them from their anxiety by re-embarking his troops in the evening. The chief reason for abandoning the enterprise was the alleged impracticability of getting up the heavy cannon. The British had one officer killed and two wounded, one of whom was Lieutenant Leslie of the Royal Highlanders. Sixty privates were killed and wounded.

In a political point of view, the possession of Martinique was an object of greater importance than Guadaloupe, as it afforded, from its spacious harbor, a secure retreat to the enemy's fleets. By taking possession of St Pierre, the whole island might have been speedily reduced; and the British commanders proceeded to that part of the island with that view; but alarmed lest they might sustain considerable loss by its capture, which might thus cripple their future operations, they absurdly relinquished their design, and proceeded to Guadaloupe. On the expedition reaching the western division of the island, it was resolved to make a general attack by sea upon the citadel, the town, and the batteries by which it was defended. Accordingly, on the 20th of January, such a fire was opened upon the place that about ten o'clock at night it was in a general conflagration.

The troops landed at five o'clock in the evening of the following day without opposition, and took possession of the town and citadel, which they found entirely abandoned. The Chevalier D'Etreil, the governor of the island, taking shelter among the mountains yielded the honor of continuing the contest to a lady of masculine courage named Ducharmey. Arming her slaves, whom she headed in person, she made several bold attempts upon an advanced post on a hill near the town, occupied by Major (afterwards General) Melville, opposite to which she threw up some entrenchments. Annoyed by the incessant attacks of this amazon, Major Melville attacked her entrenchments, which he carried, after an obstinate resistance. Madame Ducharmey escaped with difficulty, but some of her female companions in arms were taken prisoners. Ten of her people were killed and many wounded. Of the British detachment, 12 were slain and 30 wounded, including two subaltern officers, one of whom, Lieutenant MacLean of the Highlanders, lost an arm.

Finding it impracticable to carry on a campaign among the mountains of Basseterre, the general resolved to transfer the seat of war to the eastern division of the island, called Grandeterre, which was more accessible. Accordingly, on the 10th February, a detachment of Highlanders and marines was landed in that part of the island in the neighbourhood of Fort Louis, after a severe cannonading which lasted six hours. The assailants, sword in hand, drove the enemy from their entrenchments, and, taking possession of the fort, hoisted the English colors.

General Hopson died on the 27th. He was succeeded by General Barrington, who resolved to complete the reduction of the island with vigor. Leaving, therefore, one regiment and a detachment of artillery under Colonel Debrisay in Basseterre, the general re-embarked the rest of the army and proceeded to Grandeterre, where he carried on a series of successful operations by means of detachments. One of these consisting of 600 men, under Colonel Crump, carried the towns of St Anne and St Francis with little loss, notwithstanding the fire from the entrenchments. The only officer who fell was Ensign MacLean of the Highlanders. Another detachment of 300 men took the town of Gosier by storm, and drove the garrison into the woods. The next operation of the general was an attempt to surprise the three towns of Petit Bourg, St Mary's, and Gouyave, on the Capesterre side, the execution of which was committed to Colonels Crump and Clavering; but owing to the extreme darkness of the night, the the incapacity of the negro guides, the attempt was rendered abortive. Resolved to carry these towns, the general directed the same commanders to land their forces in a bay near the town of Arnonville. No opposition was made to their landing by the enemy, who retreated behind a strong entrenchment they had thrown up behind the river Licorn. With the exception of two narrow passes which they had fortified with a redoubt and entrenchments mounted with cannon, which were defended by a large body of militia, the access to the river was rendered inaccessible by a morass covered with mangrove; yet, in spite of these difficulties, the British commanders resolved to hazard an assault. Accordingly, under cover of a fire from the entrenchments from their field-pieces and howitzers, the regiment of Duroure and the Highlanders moved forward, firing by platoons with the utmost regularity as they advanced. Observing the enemy beginning to abandon the first entrenchment on the left, "the Highlanders drew their swords, and, supported by a part of the other regiment, rushed forward with their characteristic impetuosity, and followed the enemy into the redoubt, of which they took possession".

(By private accounts, it appears that the French had formed the most frightful and absurd notions of the Sauvages d'Ecosse. They believed that they would neither take nor give quarter, and that they were so nimble, that, as no man could catch them, so nobody could escape them; that no man had a chance against their broadsword; and that, with a ferocity natural to savages, they made no prisoners, and spared neither man, women, nor child; and as they were always in the front of every action in which they were engaged, it is probable that these notions had no small influence on the nerves of the militia, and perhaps regulars of Guadaloupe". It was always believed by the enemy that the Highlanders amounted to several thousand. This erroneous enumeration of a corps only eight hundred strong, was said to proceed from the frequency of their attacks and annoyance of the outposts of the enemy, who "saw men in the same garb who attacked them yesterday from one direction, again appear t0-day to advance from another, and in this manner ever harassing their advanced position, so as to allow them no rest". - Letters from Guadaloupe).

Several other action of minor importance afterwards took place, in which the enemy were uniformly worsted; and seeing resistance hopeless, they capitulated on the 1st of May, after an arduous struggle of nearly three months. The only Highland officer killed in this expedition was Ensign MacLean. Lieutenants MacLean, Leslie, Sinclair, and Robertson, were wounded; and Major Anstruther and Captain Arbuthnot died of the fever. Of the Royal Highlanders, 106 privates were killed, wounded, or died of disease.

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Part Eight The Black Watch - Evacuation of Crown Point

After the reduction of Guadaloupe, the services of the second battalion of Royal Highlanders were transferred to North America, where they arrived early in July, and after reaching the head quarters of the British army, were combined with the first battalion. About this time a series of combined operations had been projected against the French settlements in Canada. Whilst Major-general Wolfe, who had given proofs of great military talents at the siege of Louisburg was to proceed up the St Lawerence and besiege Quebec, General Amherst, who had succeeded General Abercromby as commander-in-chief, was to attempt the reduction of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, after which he was to cross Lake Champlain and effect a junction with General Wolfe before Quebec. Brigadier-general Prideaux was to proceed against the French fort near the falls of the Niagra, the most important post of all French America. The army under General Amherst, which was the first put in motion, assembled at Fort Edward on the 19th of June. It included the 42d and Montgomery's Highlanders, and when afterwards joined by the second battalion of the Royal Highlanders, it amounted to 14,500 men. Preceded by the first battalion of the last named regiment and the light infantry, the main body of the army moved forward on the 21st, and encamped in the neighborhood of Ticonderoga. The enemy seemed at first resolved to defend that important fortress; but perceiving the fort, after having in part dismantled the fortifications, and retired to Crown Point.

On taking possession of this important post, which effectually covered the frontiers of New York, General Amherst proceeded to repair the fortifications; and while these were going on, he directed batteaux and other vessels to be prepared, to enable him to obtain the command of the lakes. Meanwhile the enemy, who seems to have had no intention of hazarding an action, evacuated Crown Point, and retired to Isle aux Noix, on the northern extremity of Lake Champlain. Detaching a body or rangers to take possession of the place the general embarked the rest of the army and landed at the fort on the 4th of August, where he encamped. The general then ordered up the second battalion of the Royal Highlanders from Oswego, with the exception of 150 men under Captain James Stewart, who were left to guard that post. Having by great exertions acquired a naval superiority on Lake Champlain, the general embarked his army in furtherance of his original plan of descending the St Lawrence, and co-operating with General Wolfe in the reduction of Quebec; but in consequence of contrary winds, the tempestuous state of the weather, and the early setting in of winter, he was compelled to abandon further prosecution of active operations in the mean time. He then returned to Crown Point to winter. A detailed account of the important enterprise against Quebec will be found in the history of Fraser's Highlanders.

After the fall of the fort of Niagra, which was taken by Prideaux's division, and the conquest of Quebec, Montreal was the only place of strength which remained in possession of the French in Canada. General Murray was ordered to proceed up the St Lawrence to attack Montreal, and General Amherst, as soon as the season permitted, made arrangements to join him. After his preparation wee completed, he ordered Colonel Haviland, with a detachment of troops, to take possession of the Isle aux Noix, and thence to proceed to the banks of the St Lawrence by the nearest route. To facilitate the passage of the armed vessels to La Galette, Colonel Haldimand with the grenadiers, light infantry, and a battalion of the Royal Highlanders, took post at the bottom of the lake. Embarking the whole of his army on the 10th of August, he proceeded towards the mouth of the St Lawrence, and, after a dangerous navigation, in the course of which several boats were upset and about eighty men drowned, landed six miles above Montreal on the 6th of September. General Murray appeared before Montreal on the evening of the same day, and the detachments under Colonel Haviland came down the following day on the south side of the river. Thus beset by three armies, who, by a singular combination, had united almost at the same instant of time, after traversing a great extent of unknown country, Monsieur Vandreuil, the governor, seeing resistance hopeless, surrendered upon favorable terms. Thus ended a series of successful operations, which secured Canada to the Crown of Great Britain.

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Part Nine The Black Watch - Martinique and Havannah

The Royal Highlanders remained in North America until the close of the year 1761, when they were embarked along with ten other regiments, among whom was Montgomery's Highlanders, for Barbadoes, there to join an armament against Martinique and the Havannah. The land forces consisted altogether of eighteen regiments, under the command of Major-general Monckton. The naval part of the expedition, which was commanded by the expedition, which was commanded by Rear-admiral Rodney, consisted of eighteen sail of the line, besides frigates, bomb-vessels, and fire-ships.

The fleet anchored in St Anne's Bat, Martinique, on the 8th of January 1762, when the bulk of the army immediately landed. A detachment, under Brigadiers Grant (Ballindalloch) and Haviland, made a descent without opposition in the bat of Ance Darlet. Re-embarking his troops, General Moncjton landed his whole army on the 16th near Cas de Navire, under Morne Tortueson and Morne Garnier. As these two eminences commanded the town and citadel of Fort Royal, and were their chief defense, great care had been taken to improve by art their natural strength, which, from the very deep ravines which protected them, was great. The general having resolved to attack Morne Tortueson first, he ordered a body of troops and 800 marines to advance on the right along the sea-side towards the town, for the purpose of attacking two redoubts near the beach; and to support this movement, he at the same time directed some flat-bottomed boats, each carrying a gun, and manned with sailors, to follow close along the shore. A corps of light infantry was to get round the enemy's left, whilst, under cover of the fire of some batteries which had been raised on the opposite ridges by the perseverance of some sailors from the fleet, the attack on the center was to be made by the grenadiers and Highlanders, supported by the main body of the army. After an arduous contest, the enemy were driven from the Morne Tortueson; but a more difficult operation still remained to be performed. This was to gain possession of the other eminence, from which, owing to its greater height, the enemy annoyed the British troops. Preparations were made for carrying this post; but before they were completed, the enemy descended from the hill, and attacked the advanced posts of the British. This attempt was fatal to the assailants, who were instantly repulsed. "When they began to retire, the Highlanders, drawing their swords, rushed forward like furies, and being supported by the grenadiers under Colonel Grant (Ballindalloch), and a party of Lord Rollo's brigade, the hills were mounted, and the batteries seized, and numbers of the enemy, unable to escape from the rapidity of the attack, were taken". The militia dispersed themselves over the country, but the regulars retired into the town, which surrendered on the 7th of February. The whole island immediately submitted, and in terms of the capitulation all the Windward Islands were delivered up to the British.

In this enterprise the Royal Highlanders had 2 officers, viz, Captain William Cockburn and Lieutenant David Barclay, 1 sergeant, and 12 rank and file killed; Major John Reid, Captains James Murray and Thomas Stirling; Lieutenants Alexander Mackintosh, David Milne, Patrick Balneaves, Alexander Turnbull, John Robertson, William Brown, and George Leslie; 3 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 72 rank and file, were wounded.

The Royal and Montgomery's Highlanders were employed the following year in the important conquest of the Havannah, under Lieutenant-general the Earl of Albemarle, in which they sustained very little loss. That of the two battalions of the 42d consisted only of 2 drummers and 6 privates killed, and 4 privates wounded; but they lost by disease Major Macneil, Captain Robert Manzies (brother of Sir John Menzies), and A. Macdonald; Lieutenants Farquharson, Grant, Lapsley, Cunnison, Hill, and Blair, and 2 drummers and 71 rank and file.

Shortly after the surrender of the Havannah, all the available forces in Cuba were removed from the island. The first battalion of the 42d and Montgomery's regiment embarked for New York, which they reached in the end of October. Before leaving Cuba all the men of the second battalion of the Royal Highlanders fit for service were drafted into the first. The remainder with the officers returned to Scotland, where they were reduced the following year. The junior officers were placed on half pay.

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Part Ten The Black Watch - Relief of Fort Pitt and the return home

The Royal Highlanders were stationed in Albany till the summer of 1763, when they were sent to the relief of Fort Pitt, then besieged by the Indians. The management of this enterprise was intrusted to Colonel Bouquet of the 60th regiment, who, in addition to the 42d, had under his command a detachment of his own regiment and another of Montgomery's Highlanders, amounting in all to 956 men. This body reached Bushy Run about the end of July. When about to enter a narrow pass beyond the Run, the advanced guards were suddenly attacked by the Indians, who had planned an ambuscade. The light infantry of the 42d regiment moved forward to the support of the advanced guard, and driving the Indians from the ambuscade, pursued them a considerable distance. The Indians returned and took possession of some neighboring heights. They were again compelled to retire; but they soon re-appeared on another position, and continuing to increase in numbers, they succeeded in surrounding the detachment, which they attacked on every side. Night put an end to the combat; but it was renewed next morning with increased vigor by the Indians, who kept up an incessant fire. They, however, avoided coming to close action, and the troops could not venture to pursue them far, as they were encumbered with a convoy of provisions, and were afraid to leave their wounded, lest they might fall into the hands of the enemy. Recourse was, therefore, had to stratagem to bring the Indians to closer action. Feigning a retreat, Colonel Bouquet ordered two companies which were in advance to retire, and fall within a square which had been formed, which, as if preparing to cover a retreat, opened its files. The stratagem succeeded. Assuring themselves of victory, the Indians rushed forward with great impetuosity, and whilst they were vigorously charged in front, two companies, moving suddenly round a hill which concealed their approach, attacked them in flank. The assailants, in great consternation, turned their backs and fled, and Colonel Bouquet was allowed to proceed to Fort Pitt without further molestation. In this affair, the loss sustained by the Royal Highlanders was as follows:- Lieutenants John Graham and James Mackintosh, 1 sergeant, and 26 rank and file, killed; and Captain John Graham of Duchray, Lieutenant Duncan Campbell, 2 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 30 rank and file, wounded.

battleofbushyrunchargeofthehighland.jpg

Highlanders at The Battle of Bushy Run. (Picture submitted by Kilted Carver.)

After passing the winter at Fort Pitt, eight companies of the Royal Highlanders were sent on a new enterprise, in the summer of 1764, under Colonel Bouquet, now promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. The object of this expedition was to repress the attacks of the Indians on the back-settlers. After a harassing warfare among the woods, the Indians sued for peace, which was granted, and the detachment returned to Fort Pitt in the month of January, after an absence of six months. Notwithstanding the labors of a march of many hundred miles among dense forests, during which they experienced the extremes of heat and cold, the Highlanders did not lose a single man from fatigue or exhaustion.

The regiment passed the following year in Pennsylvania. Being ordered home, permission was given to such of the men as were desirous of remaining in America to volunteer into other regiments, and the result was, that a considerable number availed themselves of the offer. The regiment, reduced almost to a skeleton, embarked at Philadelphia for Ireland in the month of July 1767. The following extract from the Virginia Gazette of the 30th of that month shows the estimation in which the Highlanders were held by the Americans:-

"Last Sunday evening the Royal Highland regiment embarked for Ireland, which regiment, since its arrival in America, had been distinguished for having undergone most amazing fatigues, made long and frequent marches through an inhospitable country, bearing excessive heat and severe cold with alacrity and cheerfulness, frequently encamping in deep snow, such as those that inhabit the interior parts of this province do not see, and which only those who inhabit the northern part of Europe can have any idea of, continually exposed in camp, and on their marches, to the alarms of a savage enemy, who, in all their attempts, were forced to fly... In a particular manner, the freemen of this and the neighboring provinces have most sincerely to thank them for that resolution and bravery with which they, under Colonel Bouquet, and a small number of Royal Americans, defeated the enemy, and insured to us peace and security from a savage foe; and, along with our blessings for these benefits, they have our thanks for that decorum in behavior which they maintained during their stay in this city, giving an example that the most amiable behavior in civil life is no way inconsistent with the character of the good soldier; and for their loyalty, fidelity, and orderly behaviour, they have every wish of the people for health, honor, and a pleasant voyage.

With the exception of the unfortunate affair at Ticoneroga, the loss sustained by the 42d in the field during this war was comparatively smaller than that of any other corps. The moderate loss the Highlanders suffered was accounted for by several officers who served in the corps, from the celerity of their attack and the use of the broadsword, which the enemy could never withstand. "This likewise", says General Stewart, "was the opinion of an old gentleman, one of the original soldiers of the Black Watch, in the ranks of which, although a gentleman by birth and education, he served till the peace of 1748. He informed me that although it was believed at home that the regiment had been nearly destroyed at Fontenoy, the thing was quite the reverse; and that it was the subject of general observation in the army that their loss should have been so small, considering how actively they were engaged in different parts of the field. 'On one occasion', said the respectable veteran, who was animated with the subject, 'a brigade of Dutch were ordered to attack a rising ground, on which were posted the troops called the King of France's Own Guards. The Highlanders were to support them. The Dutch conducted their march and attack as if they did not know the road, halting and firing, and halting every twenty paces. The Highlanders, losing all patience with this kind of fighting, which gave the enemy such time and opportunity to fire at their leisure, dashed forward, passed the Dutch, and the first ranks giving their firelocks to the rear rank, they drew their swords, and soon drove the French from their ground. When the attack was concluded, it was found that of the Highlanders not above a dozen men were killed and wounded, while the Dutch, who had not come up at all, lost more than five times that number'".

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Part Eleven The Black Watch - Discipline and Embarking to America

At the period of their arrival in Ireland the uniform of the regiment had a very somber appearance. "The jackets were of a dull rusty-colored red, and no part of the accoutrements was of a light color. Economy was strictly observed in the article of clothing. The old jacket, after being worn a year, was converted into a waistcoat, and the plaid, at the end of two years, was reduced to the philibeg. The hose supplied were of so bad a quality that the men advanced an additional sum to the government price, in order to supply themselves with a better sort. Instead of feathers for their bonnets, they were allowed only a piece of black bear-skin; but the men supplied themselves with ostrich feathers in the modern fashion, and spared no expense in fitting up their bonnets handsomely. The sword-belts were of black leather, two inches and a half in breadth; and a small cartouche-box, fitted only for thirty-two rounds of cartridges, was worn in front above the purse, and fixed round the loins with a thick belt, in which hung the bayonet. In these heavy colors and dark-blue facings the regiment had a far less splendid appearance at a short distance than English regiments with white breeches and belts; but on closer view the line was imposing and warlike. The men possessed what an ingenious author calls 'the attractive beauties of a soldier; sun burnt complexions, a hardy weather-beaten visage, with a penetrating eye, and firm expressive countenance, sinewy and elastic limbs, traces of muscles strongly impressed, indicating capacity in action, and marking experience of service". The personal appearance of the men has, no doubt, varied according as attention was paid to a proper selection of recruits. The appointments have also been different. The first alteration in this respect was made in the year 1769, when the regiment removed to Dublin. At this period the men received white cloth waistcoats, and the colonel supplied them with white goat-skin and buff leather purses, which were deemed an improvement on the vests of red cloth, and the purses made of badgers' skins.

"The officers also improved their dress, by having their jackets embroidered. During the was, however, they wore only a narrow edging of gold-lace round the borders of the facings, and very often no lace at all, epaulettes and all glittering ornaments being laid aside, to render them less conspicuous to the Indians, who always aimed particularly at the officers. During their stay in Ireland the dress of the men underwent very little alteration. The officers had only one suit of embroidery; this fashion being found too expensive was given up, and gold-lace substituted in its stead. Upon ordinary occasions they wore light hangers, using the basket-hilted broadsword only in full dress. They also carried fusils. The sergeants were furnished with carbines instead of the Lochaber axe or halbert, which they formerly carried. The soldiers were provided with new arms when on Dublin duty in 1774. The sergeants had silver-lace on their coats, which they furnished, however, at their own expense".

The regiment remained in Ireland after its return from North America about eight years, in the course of which it was occasionally occupied in different parts of that country in aid of the civil powers, a service in which, from there conciliatory disposition, they were found very useful. While in Ireland, a new company was added, as was the case with all the other regiments on the Irish establishment. Captain James Macpherson, Lieutenant Campbell, and Ensign John Grant, were in consequence appointed to the 42d.

In 1775 the regiment embarked at Donaghadee, and landed at Port Patrick, after an absence from Scotland of thirty-two years. Impelled by characteristic attachment to the country of their birth, many of the old soldiers leaped on shore with enthusiasm, and kissed the earth, which they help up in handfuls. From Port Patrick the regiment marched to Glasgow.

The conduct of the regiment and its mode of discipline while in Ireland is depicted by an intelligent officer who served in it at that time, and for many years both before and after that period, in a communication to General Stewart. He describes the regiment as still possessing the character which it had acquired in Germany and America, although there were not more than eighty of the men remaining who had served in America, and only a few individuals of those who had served in Germany previously to the year 1748. Their attachment to their native dress, and their peculiarity of language, habits, and manners contributed to preserve them a race of men separate from others of the same profession, and to give to their system of regimental discipline a distinctive and peculiar character. Their messes were managed by the non-commissioned officers, or old soldiers, who had charge of the barrack-room; and these messes were always so arranged that in each room the men were in friendship or intimacy with each other, or belonged to the same glen or district, or were connected by some similar tie. By these means every barrack-room was like a family establishment. After the weekly allowances for breakfast, dinner, and small necessaries had been provided, the surplus pay was deposited in a stock purse, each member of the mess drawing for it in his turn. The stock this acquired was soon found worth preserving, and instead of hoarding, they lent it out to the inhabitants, who seemed greatly surprised at seeing a soldier save money. Their accounts with their officers were settled once in three months, and, with the exception of a few careless spendthrifts, all the men purchases their own necessaries, with which they were always abundantly provided. At every settlement of accounts they enjoyed themselves very heartily, but with a strict observance of propriety and good humor; and as the members of each mess considered themselves in a manner answerable for one another's conduct, they animadverted on any impropriety with such severity as to render the interference of further authority unnecessary.

Shortly after the arrival of the regiment in Glasgow two companies were added, and the establishment of the whole regiment augmented to 100 rank and file each company. The battalion, when complete, amounted to 1075 men, including sergeants and drummers. Little inducement was required to fill the ranks, as men were always to be found ready to join a corps in such high estimation. At this time the bounty was a guinea and a crown. It was afterwards increased to three guineas; but this advance had little effect in the north where the esprit de corps ad greater influence than gold.

Hitherto the officers had been entirely Highland and Scotch; but the lord-lieutenant of Ireland, contrary to the remonstrance's of Lord John Murray, who saw the advantage of officering the regiment with natives of Scotland, prevailed with the government to admit two English officers into the regiment. His excellency even went so far as to get two lieutenants' commissions in favor of Scotchmen cancelled, although they had been gazetted.

In consequence of hostilities with America, the regiment was order to embark for that country. Before its departure the recruits were taught the use of the firelock, and, from the shortness of the time allowed, were drilled even by candle-light. New arms and accoutrements were supplied to the men by the government, and the colonel furnished them with broadswords and pistols, iron-stocked, at his own expense. The regiment was reviewed on the 10th of April 1776 by General Sir Adolphus Oughton, and being reported quite complete and unexceptional, embarked on the 14th at Greenock, along with Fraser's Highlanders.

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Part Twelve The Black Watch - Skirmish at New York and White Plains

In conjunction with Fraser's Highlanders, the 42d embarked at Greenock on the 14th of April 1776, to join an expedition under General Howe against the American revolutionists. The transports separated in a gale of wind, but they all reached their destination in Staten Island, where the main body of the army had assembled. A grenadier battalion was immediately formed under the command of the Hon. Major (afterwards General) Sir Charles Stewart, the staff appointments to which, out of respect to the 42d, were taken by the commander-in-chief from that regiment. A light infantry corps was also formed, to the command of which Lieutenant-colonel Musgrave was appointed. The flank companies of the 42d were attached to these battalions. "The Highland grenadiers were remarkable for strength and height, and considered equal to any company in the army: the light infantry were quite the reverse in point of personal appearance, as the commanding officer would not allow a choice of men for them. The battalion companies were formed into two temporary battalions, the command of one being given to Major William Murray (Lintrose), and that of the other to Major William Grant (Rothiemurchus), with an adjutant quarter-master in each battalion; the whole being under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Thomas Stirling. These grenadiers were placed in the reserve with the grenadiers of the army, under the command of Earl Cornwallis. To these were added the 33d, his lordship's won regiment".

The whole of the British force under the command of Sir William Howe, including 13,000 Hessians and Waldeckers, amounted to 30,000 men. The campaign opened by a landing on Long Island on the 22d of August 1776. The whole army encamped in front of the villages of Gravesend and Utrecht. The American army, under General Putnam, was encamped at Brooklyn, a few miles intersected the country from east to west, divided the two armies.

The British general having resolved to attack the enemy in three divisions, the right wing, under General Clinton, sized, on the 26th of August, at night-fall a pass on the heights, about three miles from Bedford. The main body then passed through, and descended to the level country which lay between the hills and General Putnam's lines. Whilst this movement was going on, Major-general Grant (Ballindalloch) with his brigade (the 4th), supported by the Royal Highlanders from the reserve, was directed to march from the left along the coast to the Narrows, and attack the enemy in that quarter. The right wing having reached Bedford at nine o'clock next morning, attacked the left of the American army, which, after a short resistance, retired to their lines in great confusion, pursued by the British troops, Colonel Stuart leading with his battalion of Highland grenadiers. The Hessians, who had remained at Flat Bush, on hearing the fire at Bedford, advanced, and, attacking the center of the American army, drove them, after a short engagement, through the woods, and captured three pieces of cannon. General Grant had previously attacked the right of the enemy, and a cannonade had been kept up near the Narrows on both sides, till the Americans heard the firing at Bedford, when they retreated in disorder. Notwithstanding these advantages, neither General Howe nor General Grant ventured to follow them up by pursuing the enemy, and attacking them in their lines, although they could have made no effectual resistance. The enemy lost 2000 men, killed, drowned, and taken prisoners. The British had 5 officers, and 56 non-commissioned officers and privates killed; and 12 officers and 245 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded. Among the latter was Lieutenant Crammond and 9 rank and file of teh 42d.

About this time the broadswords and pistols which the men received in Glasgow were ordered to be laid aside. The pistols being considered unnecessary, except in the field, were not intended, like the swords, to be worn by the men by getting entangled in the brushwood. "Admitting that the objection was well-founded, so far as regards the swords, it certainly could not apply to the pistols. In a close woody country, where troops are liable to sudden attacks and surprises by a hidden enemy, such a weapon is peculiarly useful. It is, therefore, difficult to discover a good reason for laying them aside. I have been told by several old officers and soldiers, who bore a part in these attacks, that an enemy who stood for many hours the fire of musketry, invariably gave way when an advance was made sword in hand. They were never restored, and the regiment has had neither swords nor pistols since".

The army encamped in front of the enemy's lines in the evening of the 27th of August, and next day broke ground opposite their left redoubt. General Washington had crossed over from New York during the action at Brooklyn, and seeing resistance hopeless, resolved to retreat. With surprising skill he transported 9000 men, with guns, ammunition, and stores, in the course of one night, over to New York; and such was the secrecy with which this movement was effected, that the British army knew nothing of it till next morning, when the last of the rear-guard were seen in their boats crossing the broad ferry and out of danger.

Active operations were not resumed till the 15th of September, when the reserve, including the Royal Highlanders, crossed over to New York, and, after some opposition, took possession of the heights above the town. The Highlanders and Hessians fell in with and captured a body of New England men and Virginians. Next day the light infantry were sent out to dislodge a party of the enemy from a wood opposite the British left. A smart action ensued, and, the enemy pushing forward reinforcements, the Highlanders were sent to support the light infantry. The Americans were then driven back to their entrenchments; but they renewed the attack with an increased force, and were again repulsed with considerable loss. The British had 14 men killed, and 5 officers and 70 men wounded. The 42d had 1 sergeant and 5 privates killed; and Captains Duncan Macpherson and John Mackintosh, and Ensign Alexander Mackenzie (who died of his wounds), and 1 piper, 2 drummers, and 47 privates wounded.

General Howe, in expectation of an attack, threw up entrenchments; but General Washington having no such intention, made a general movement, and took up a strong position on the heights in the rear of the White Plains. To induce the enemy to quit their ground, General Howe resolved to make a movement, and accordingly embarked his army on the 12th of October in flat-bottomed boats, and passing through the intricate narrow called Hell Gate, disembarked the same evening at Frogsneck, near West Chester. In consequence of the bridge which connected the latter place with the mainland having been broken down by the enemy, the general re-embarked his troops next day, and landed at Pell's Point, at the mouth of Hudson's river. On the 14th he reached the White Plains in front of the enemy's position. As a preliminary to a general engagement, General Howe attacked a post on a rising ground occupied by 4000 of the enemy, which he carried; but General Washington declining battle, the British general gave up the attempt, and proceeded against Fort Washington, the possession of which was necessary in order to open the communication between New York and the continent, to the eastward and northward of Hudson's river. The fort, the garrison of which consisted of 3000 men, was protected by strong grounds covered with lines of works. The Hessians, under General Knyphausen, supported by the whole of the reserve, under Major-General Earl Percy, with the exception of the 42d, who were to make a feint on the east side of the fort, were to make the principal attack. The Royal Highlanders embarked in boats on the 16th of November, before day-break, and landed in a small creek at the foot of the rock, in the face of a smart fire. The Highlanders had now discharged the duty assigned them, but determined to have a full share in the honour of the day, they resolved upon an assault, and assisted by each other, and by the brushwood and shrubs which grew out of the crevices of the rocks, scrambled up the precipice. On gaining the summit, they rushed forward, and attacked the enemy with such rapidity, that upwards of 200, unable to escape, threw down their arms; whilst the Highlanders, following up their advantage, penetrated across the table of the hill, and met Lord Percy's brigade as they were coming up on the opposite side. On seeing the Hessians approach in another direction, the enemy surrendered at discretion. In this affair the Royal Highlanders had 1 sergeant and 10 privates killed; and Lieutenants Patrick Graham (Inchbrakie), Normal Macleod, and Alexander Grant, and 4 sergeants and 66 rank and file wounded.

(Major Murray, being a large corpulent man, could not attempt this steep ascent without assistance. The soldiers, eager to get to the point of their duty, scrambled up, forgetting the situation of Major Murray, when he, in a melancholy supplicating tone, cried, 'Oh soldiers, will you leave me!'. A party leaped down instantly, and brought him up, supporting him from one ledge of the rocks to another till they got him to the top").

To secure the entire command of the North river, and to open an easy entrance into the Jerseys, Fort Lee was next reduced, in which service the Royal Highlanders were employed. The enemy, pursued by the detachment which captured that post, retired successively to Newbridge, Elizabeth Town, Newark, and Brunswick. On the 17th of November General Howe entered Prince Town with the main body of the army, an hour after it was evacuated by General Washington. Winter having now set in, General Howe put his army into winter quarters. The advanced posts, which extended from Trenton to Mount-holly, were occupied by the Hessians and the Royal Highlanders, who were the only British regiments in front.

If, instead of suspending active operations, General Howe had continued occasionally to beat up the quarters of the Americans whilst dispirited by their late reverses, it is though that he would have reduced them to the last extremity. General Washington availed himself of the inactivity of the British commander, and by making partial attacks on the advanced posts, he not only improved the discipline of his army, but, in consequence of the success which sometimes attended these attacks, revived the drooping spirits of his men. On the 22d of January 1777, he surprised and completely defeated the detachment of Hessians stationed at Trenton; in consequence of which reverse, the Royal Highlanders, who formed the left of the line of defense at Mount-holly, fell back on the light infantry at Prince Town.

During the remainder of the season the Royal Highlanders were stationed in the village of Pisquatua, on the line of communication between New York and Brunswick by Ambuy. The duty was severe, from the rigor of the season and the want of accommodation. The houses in the village not being sufficient to contain one-half of the men, the officers and soldiers were intermixed in barns and sheds, and they always slept in their body-clothes, as the enemy were constantly sending down nocturnal parties to fire at the sentinels and picquets. The Americans, however, always kept at a respectful distance, and did not make any regular attack on the post till the 10th of May 1777, on which day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, a body of 2000 men, under the command of Maxwell and Stephens, American generals, attempted to surprise the Highlanders. Advancing with great secrecy, and being completely covered by the rugged nature of the country, their approach was not discovered till they had gained a small level piece of ground in front of the piquets, when they rushed forward, and attacked them with such promptitude, that the piquets had hardly time to seize their arms. At this time the soldiers were either all differently employed, or taking the rest they could not obtain at night; but the piquets, by disputing every inch of ground, gave time to the soldiers to assemble, who drove he enemy back with great precipitation, leaving behind them upwards of 200 men in killed and wounded. On this occasion the 42d had 3 sergeants and 9 privates killed; and Captain Duncan Macpherson, Lieutenant William Stewart, 3 sergeants, and 35 privates wounded.

"On this occasion Sergeant Macgregor, whose company was immediately in the rear of the piquet, rushed forward to their support with a few men who happened to have their arms in their hands, when the enemy commenced the attack. Being severely wounded, he was left insensible on the ground. When the picquet was overpowered, and the few survivors forced to retire, Macgregor, who had that day put on a new jacket with silver-lace, having, besides, large silver buckles in his shoes, and a watch, attracted the notice of an American soldier, who deemed him a good prize. The retreat of his friends not allowing him time to strip the sergeant on the spot, he thought the shortest way was to take him on his back to a more convenient distance. By this time Macgregor began to recover; and, perceiving whither the man was carrying him, drew his dirk, and grasping him by the throat, swore that he run him through the breast if he did not turn back and carry him to the camp. The American finding this argument irresistible, complied with the request, and meeting Lord Cornwallis (who had come up to the support of the regiment when he heard the firing), and Colonel Stirling, was thanked for his care of the sergeant; but he honestly told them that he only conveyed him thither to save his own life. Lord Cornwallis gave him liberty to go whithersoever he chose. His lordship procured for the sergeant a situation under government at Leith, which he enjoyed many years".

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Finnally got caught up, but I guess by the time I type this you'll have more homework for me??? :unsure:

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Part Thirteen The Black Watch - Verplanks, Stony Point and end of American War





The British troops again too the field about the middle of June, when General Howe attempted to draw Washington from his station at Middle Brook; but the American commander knew too well the value of such a strong position to abandon it. Not judging it prudent to attack it, the British general resolved to change the seat of war. Pursuant to this resolution, he embarked 36 battalions of British and Hessians, including the flank battalions of the grenadiers and light infantry, and sailed for Chesapeak. Before the embarkation the Royal Highlanders received an accession of 170 recruits from Scotland.

The army landed at Elk Ferry on the 24th of August, after a tedious voyage. It was not till the 3d of September that they began their march for Philadelphia. The delay enabled Washington to cross the country, and to take an advantageous position at Red Clay Creek, whence he pushed forward detachments to harass the British troops on their march. General Howe did not reach the Brandy Wine River till the middle of September, in consequence of the difficulties he met with in traversing a country covered with wood and full of defiles. On reaching that river, he found that the enemy had taken up a strong position beyond it, with the view of opposing the further advance of the royal army. The Americans had secured all the fording places, and in expectation that the British would attempt to cross at Chad's Ford, they had erected batteries and thrown up entrenchments at that place to command the passage. Making a circuit of some miles, Lord Cornwallis crossed Jeffrey's Ford with one division of the army without opposition, and turning down the river fell in with the American general, Sullivan, who had been detached by Washington to oppose him. An action took place, and the Americans were driven from all their posts through the woods towards the main army. Meanwhile General Kynphausen, with his division, made demonstrations for crossing the river at Chad's Ford, and as soon as he knew from the firing of cannon that Lord Cornwallis's movement had succeeded, he passed the river, and carried the batteries and entrenchments of the enemy. A general rout ensued, and Washington, with the corps he was able to keep together, fled with his baggage and cannon to Chester. The British had 50 officers killed and wounded in the battle of Brandywine, and 438 rank and file, including non-commissioned officers. The flank companies of the 42d, being the only ones engaged, had 6 privates killed, and 1 sergeant and 15 privates wounded.

On the 25th, the army marched to German Town, and the following morning the grenadiers took peaceable possession of Philadelphia. The 42d took part in the operations, by which the British commander endeavored to bring the enemy to a general engagement at White Marsh, and was afterwards quartered at Philadelphia.

The next enterprise in which the Royal Highlanders were engaged, was under Major-General Charles Grey, who embarked with the grenadiers, the light infantry brigade, and the 42 regiment, for the purpose of destroying a number of privateers, with their prizes, at New Plymouth. The troops landed on the banks of the Acushnet river on the 5th of September, and having destroyed seventy vessels, with all the stores, cargoes, wharfs, and buildings, along the whole extent of the river, the whole was re-embarked the following day, and returned to New York.

Matters remained quiescent till the 25th of February 1779, when Colonel Stirling, with a detachment consisting of the light infantry of the Guards and the 42d regiment, was ordered to attack a post at Elizabeth Town, which was taken without opposition. In April following the Highland regiment was employed in an expedition to the Chesapeak, to destroy the stores and merchandise at Portsmouth in Virginia. They were again employed with the Guards and a corps of Hessians in another expedition under General Mathews, which sailed on the 30th, under the convoy of Sir George Collins, in the Reasonable and several ships of war. This expedition reached its destination on the 10th of May, when the troops landed on the glebe on the western bank of Elizabeth. They returned to New York after fulfilling the object of the expedition.

The campaign of 1779 was begun by the capture of the part of the British, of Verplanks and Stony Point. A garrison of 600 men, among whom were two companies of Fraser's Highlanders, took possession of this last post; but owing to the too great confidence of the commander, it was surprised and re-captured. Flushed with this success, the American general, Wayne, made an immediate attack upon Verplanks, which was garrisoned by the 33d regiment; but receiving accounts of the advance of Colonel Stirling with the light infantry of the 42d, he retreated from Verplanks and abandoned Stony Point, of which Colonel Stirling took possession. This officer being shortly thereafter appointed aid-de-camp to the king, and a brigadier-general, the command of the 42d regiment devolved on Major Charles Graham.

The Royal Highlander, with the Grenadiers and Hessians, re-embarked on the 4th of June for New York, and, after several movements in the province, went into winter quarters. Here they received an accession of 100 recruits from Scotland. The regiment was not again employed in any active service during the remainder of the war.

Whilst the war lasted, the Americans held out every allurement to the British soldiers to induce them to desert their ranks and join the cause of American independence. Many were, in consequence, seduced from their allegiance; but during five campaigns, and until the unfortunate draft of men from the 26th regiment, not one man from the 42d deserted its ranks. About the close of the war the regiment was stationed at Paulus Hook, an advanced post from New York leading to the Jerseys, and here, for the first time, several of the men deserted to the enemy. One of these deserters, by name Anderson, was afterwards taken, tried by a court-martial, and shot.

After the peace the establishment of the regiment was reduced to 8 companies of 50 men each. The officers of the ninth and tenth companies were not put on half-pay, but kept as supernumeraries to fill up vacancies as they occurred in the regiment. Many of the men having been discharged at their own request, their places were supplied by drafts from Fraser's and Macdonald's Highlanders, and from the Edinburgh and Hamilton regiments, some of the men in these corps having preferred rather to remain in America than return home with their regiments.

In October 1783, the regiment was sent to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, where it remained till the year 1786, when six companies were removed to the island of Cape Breton, the remaining two companies being detached to the island of St John. Next year two companies were added to the regiment, in consequence of preparations for war with Holland. Captains Willian Johnstone and Robert Christie succeeded to these companies. Lieutenant Robert Macdonald, brother of Macdonald of Sanda, from the half-pay of Fraser's regiment, and Ensign David Stewart (afterwards major-general and author of the Sketches), and James Stewart, nephew of the Earl of Moray, ensigns.

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Part Fourteen The Black Watch - Awarding of new Colours and return to Scotland

On the 1st of January 1785, new colors were presented to the regiment by Major-General John Campbell, commanding the Forces in Nova Scotia, who made an eloquent address on that occasion:-

"Forty-second, Royal Highlanders - With particular pleasure I address you on this occasion, and congratulate you on the service you have done your country, and honor you have procured yourselves, by protecting your old colors, and defending them from your enemies in different engagements during the late unnatural rebellion.

"From those ragged, but honorable, remains, you are now to transfer your allegiance and fidelity to these new National and Regimental Standards of Honor, now consecrated and solemnly dedicated to the service of our King and Country. These Colors are committed to your immediate care and protection; and I trust you will, on all occasions, defend them from your enemies, with honor to yourselves, and service to your country, with that distinguished and noble bravery which has always characterized the Royal Highlanders in the field of battle.

"With what pleasure, with what peculiar satisfaction, nay, with what pride, would I enumerate the different memorable actions where the regiment distinguished itself. To particularize the whole would exceed the bounds of this address: let me therefore beg your indulgence while I take notice only of a few of them".

He then in glowing language alluded to the numerous engagements in which the regiment had distinguished itself, from Fontenoy to Pisquata, and concluded by urging upon the men ever to try to sustain the high character of the regiment, and never to forget they were citizens of a great country, and Christians as well as soldiers.

About this time the regiment had to regret the loss of its colonel, Lord John Murray, who died on the 1st of June 1787, after commanding the corps forty-one years. He was the steady friend of the officers and men. Major-General Sir Hector Monro succeeded him in the command.

The regiment embarked for England in August 1789 and landed in Portsmouth in October, after an absence of fourteen years. They wintered in Tynemouth barracks, where they received a reinforcement of 245 young recruits. At this time a small alteration was made in the military appointments of the men. Instead of the black leather belts for the bayonet, white buff belts were substituted. The epaulettes of the officers, formerly very small, were then enlarged.

The regiment was removed to Glasgow in the month of May 1790, where they were received with great cordiality by the inhabitants. From an ill-judged hospitality on the part of the citizens, who compelled some of the soldiers to drink copiously of ardent spirits, the discipline of the regiment was relaxed; but its removal to Edinburgh Castle in the month of November cured that evil.

Warlike preparations having been made in 1790, in expectation of a rupture with Spain, orders were received to augment the regiment; but, from recent occurrences in the Highlands, the regiment was not successful in recruiting. Several independent companies were raised, one of which, a fine body of young Highlanders, recruited by the Marquis of Huntly (afterwards Duke of Gordon), joined the regiment along with his lordship, who had exchanged with Captain Alexander Grant.

The regiment was reviewed in June 1791, by Lord Adam Gordon, the commander-in-chief in Scotland, and was marched to the north in October following. The head quarters were at Fort George; one company was stationed at Dundee, another at Montrose, two at Aberdeen, and one at Banff. The regiment assembled at Fort George in the spring of 1792, and after having been marched south to Stirling, and reviewed by the Hon. Lieutenant-General Leslie, returned to their former cantonments along the coast. The men had however scarcely returned to their quarters, when they were ordered to proceed by forced marches into Ross-shire, to quell some tumults among the tenantry who had been cruelly ejected from their farms. Fortunately, however, there was no occasion for the exercise of such an unpleasant duty, as the poor people separated and concealed themselves on hearing of the approach of the military. After a series of marches and countermarches, the regiment returned to its former cantonments.

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