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THE BATTLE OF CULLODEN, SCOTLAND - 16th APRIL 1746

(The Duke of Cumberland acted as the Witness at a Baptism in Dundee to a son to William Skirline or Skirling, baker in Dundee.
The child was named Cumberland (CLICK HERE for 700kb graphic file of the Old Parochial Record).
This event took place only three weeks after the battle.)

Having spent upwards of five weeks at Aberdeen, the Duke of Cumberland began to prepare for his march to the north.  As it was his intention to proceed by the coast road, he had ordered a number of victualling ships to rendezvous at Aberdeen; and early in April, these vessels, escorted by several ships of war provided with artillery, ammunition, and other warlike stores, had arrived at their destination, for the purpose of following the army along the coast and affording the necessary supplies.

About this time the weather had become favourable, and though still cold, the snow had disappeared, and a dry wind which had prevailed for some days had rendered the river Spey, the passage of which was considered the most formidable obstacle to his march, fordable.  Accordingly, on the 8th of April the Duke left Aberdeen with the last division of his army, consisting of six battalions of foot and a regiment of dragoons.  The whole regular force under his command amounted to about 7,200 men, comprehending fifteen regiments of foot, two of dragoons, and Kingston's horse.  Besides these, there were the Argyllshire men and other militia, whose united numbers may be stated at 2,000.

At the time of the Duke's departure, six battalions, with Kingston's horse and Cobham's dragoons, under Major-general Bland, were stationed at Strathbogie, and three battalions at Old Meldrum, under Brigadier Mordaunt.  The Duke quartered the first night at Old Meldrum and the next at Banff, where two spies were seized and hanged.  One of them was caught while in the act of notching upon a stick the number of the Duke's forces.  On the 11th the Duke marched to Culloden, and at Portsoy he was joined by the remainder of his army, which had been stationed at Old Meldrum and Strathbogie.  The army being too numerous to obtain quarters in the town, the foot encamped for the night on some ploughed fields in the neighbourhood, and the horse were quartered in Cullen and the adjacent villages.  The Earl of Findlater, who, with his countess, had accompanied the army on its march from Aberdeen, on arriving at his seat at Cullen, made a present of two hundred guineas to the troops.

Next day, being Saturday, the 12th of April, the Duke put his army again in motion, and, after a short march, halted on the moor of Arrondel, about five or six miles from the river Spey.  He then formed his army into three divisions, each about half a mile distant from the other, and in this order they advanced towards the Spey.  The left division, which was the largest, crossed the river by a ford near Gormach, the centre by another close by Gordon castle, and the division on the right by a ford near the church of Belly.  In their passage, the men were up to their waists in the water, but, with the exception of the loss of one dragoon and four women, who were carried away by the stream, no accident occurred.

The Duke of Perth, who happened at this time to be with the Highland forces appointed to defend the passage of the Spey, not thinking it advisable to dispute the position against such an overwhelming force as that to which he was opposed, retired towards Elgin on the approach of the Duke of Cumberland.  The conduct of the Duke of Perth, and of his brother, Lord John Drummond, has been censured for not disputing the passage of the Spey, but without reason.  The whole of the Highland forces along the Spey did not exceed 2,500 men, being little more than a fourth of those under the Duke of Cumberland.  Notwithstanding this great disparity, the Highlanders, aided by the swollen state of the river, might have effectually opposed the passage of the royal army had it been attempted during the month of March, but a recent drought had greatly reduced the quantity of water in the river, and had rendered it fordable in several places to such an extent, that at two of them a whole battalion might have marched abreast.

As some of the fords run in a zig-zag direction, some damage might have been done to the royal army in crossing; but as the Duke of Cumberland had a good train of artillery, he could have easily covered his passage at these places.  The departure of the Duke of Cumberland from Aberdeen was not known at Inverness till the 12th, on the morning of which day intelligence was brought to Charles that he was in full march to the north with his full army.

Shortly after his arrival at Inverness, Charles had formed the design, while the Duke of Cumberland lay at Aberdeen, of giving him the slip, by marching to Perth by the Highland road, so as to induce the Duke to return south, and thus leave the northern coast clear for the landing of supplies from France.  With this view, he had directed the siege of Fort William to be pushed, and, calculating upon a speedy reduction of that fortress, had sent orders to the Macdonalds, the Camerons, and the Stewarts, who were engaged in the siege, immediately on the capture of the fort to march into Argyllshire, and, after chastising the Whigs in that district, and giving an opportunity to their friends there to join them, to proceed to Perth.  Charles, however, for the present, laid aside the intention of marching south, and knowing that the Duke of Cumberland would advance from Aberdeen early in April, he gave orders for concentrating his forces at Inverness, and, as soon as he was informed of the Duke's march, he renewed these orders, by sending expresses every where to bring up his men.

Those who had been at the siege of Fort William were already on their march, but Lord Cromarty was at a considerable distance with a large body of men, and could scarcely be expected to arrive in time if the Duke was resolved on an immediate action.  Besides the men who were absent on the expeditions in Lochaber and Sutherland, there were many others who had returned to their homes, either discontented with the situation in which they found themselves after they came to Inverness, or to see their families or friends.

Up to the period of their arrival there, they had received their pay punctually, but at Inverness the face of affairs was completely changed in this respect, and instead of money the troops were reduced to a weekly allowance of oatmeal.  The men murmured at first at the stoppage of their pay, but their clamours were quieted by their officers, who gave them assurances that a supply of money would soon be received from France.  This expectation would have been realised, but for the misfortune which befell the Prince Charles, and in consequence of that event, the soldiers began to murmur afresh, and some of them seeing no pressing occasion for their attendance, and choosing rather to enjoy a frugal repast with their friends at home than serve without pay, left the army.

These absentees, however, had no intention of abandoning the service, and were resolved to rejoin their colours as soon as they saw a probability of coming to action.  Accordingly, many of those who had returned to their homes set out on their own accord to rejoin the army, on hearing of the Duke of Cumberland's advance, though few of them arrived in time for the battle.  Reduced in numbers as the Prince's army was from the causes alluded to, they still burned with impatience to meet the enemy; and when intelligence of the Duke of Cumberland's march from Aberdeen reached Inverness, it was hailed with joy by the portion there assembled.

From the fatigues and labours they had experienced during the campaign, and the numerous inconveniences to which they had been subjected from the want of pay, there was nothing the Highlanders dreaded more then another march to the south; but the near prospect they now had of meeting the English army upon their own soil, and of putting an end to the war by one bold and decisive blow, absorbed for a while all recollection of their past sufferings.  By drawing the Duke if Cumberland north to Inverness, it was generally supposed that the Prince could meet him on more equal terms than at Aberdeen, as he would have a better and more numerous army at Inverness, than he could have carried south.  This unquestionably would have been the case had Charles avoided a battle till he had assembled all his troops, but his confidence on the present occasion got the better of this prudence.

After crossing the Spey, the Duke of Cumberland halted his army on the western bank, and encamped opposite to Fochabers, but the horse afterwards re-passed the river and took up their quarters in the town.  Here, as at Cullen, every precaution was taken to prevent surprise.  Early next morning he raised his camp, and passing through Elgin, encamped on the moor of Alves, nearly midway between Elgin and Forres.  The Duke of Perth, who had passed the previous night at Forres, retired to Nairn upon his approach.  The Duke of Cumberland renewed his march on the 14th and came to Nairn, where the Duke of Perth remained till he was within a mile of the town, and began his retreat in sight of the English army.

In this retreat, Clanranald's regiment, with the French piquets and Fitz-James's horse, formed the rear.  To harass the rear, and retard the march of the main body till some of his foot should come up, the Duke of Cumberland sent forward his cavalry.  Several shots were exchanged between the Duke's cavalry and the French horse, and in expectation of an engagement with the Duke's advanced guard, consisting of 200 cavalry and the Argyllshire men, the Macdonalds of Clanranald, and the Stewarts of Appin, were ordered back to support the French.  These regiments accordingly returned and took ground, and Fitz-James's horse formed on their right and left.  The Duke's advanced guard thereupon halted, and formed in order of battle, but as the main body of the English army was in full march the rear recommenced their retreat.  The advanced guard continued to pursue the Highlanders several miles beyond Nairn, but finding the chase useless, returned to the main body which was preparing to encamp on a plain to the west of Nairn.

Neither at the time when Charles received intelligence of the Duke of Cumberland's march to Aberdeen, nor till the following day (Sunday), when news was brought to him that the English army had actually crossed the Spey, does Charles appear to have had any intention of speedily risking a battle.  He probably expected that with the aid of the reinforcements he had sent to support the Duke of Perth, his grace would have been able, for some time at least, to maintain a position on the western bank of the river, and that time would be thus afforded him to collect the scattered portions of his army, before being compelled, by the advance of the Duke of Cumberland, to come to a general engagement.  But whatever his intentions were anterior to the receipt of the intelligence of the English army having crossed the Spey, that circumstances alone made his determine to attack the Duke of Cumberland without waiting for the return of his absent detachments.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 14th, Charles ordered the drums to beat, and the pipes to play, as the signal for summoning his men to arms.  After those who were in the town had assembled in the streets, the Prince mounted his horse, and putting himself at their head, led them out to Culloden, about four miles from Inverness.  Leaving part of his men in the parks around Culloden house, Charles went onward with his first troop of guards and the Mackintosh regiment, and advanced within six miles of Nairn to support the Duke of Perth, but finding him out of danger, he returned to Culloden, where he was joined by the whole of the Duke's forces in the evening. Lochiel also arrived at the same time with his regiment.

That night the Highlanders bivouacked among the furze of Culloden wood, and Charles and his principal officers lodged in Culloden house.  Having selected Drummossie moor for a field of battle, Prince Charles marched his army thither early on the morning of the 15th, and drew his men up in order of battle across the moor, which is about half a mile broad.  His front looked towards Nairn, and he had the river of that name on his right, and the inclosures of Culloden on his left.  This moor, which is a heathy flat of considerable extent about five miles from Inverness and about a mile and a half to the south-east of Culloden House, forms the top of a hill which, rising at Culloden, dies gradually away in the direction of Nairn.  The ascent to the moor is steep on both sides, particularly from the shore.  In pitching upon this ground, Charles acted on the supposition that the Duke of Cumberland would march along the moor, which was better fitted for the free passage of his army than the common road between Nairn and Inverness, which was narrow and inconvenient.

In expectation that the Duke of Cumberland would advance, Charles sent forward on the road to Nairn some parties of horse to reconnoitre, but they could observe no appearance of any movement among the royal troops.  The ground on which the army was now formed had been chosen without consulting Lord George Murray, who, on arriving on the spot, objected to it, on the footing that though interspersed with moss and some hollows, the ground was generally too level, and consequently not well suited for the operation of Highlanders.  He therefore proposed to look out for more eligible ground, and at his suggestion Brigadier Stapleton and Colonel Ker were sent about ten o'clock to survey some hilly ground on the south side of the water of Nairn, which appeared to him to be steep and uneven, and of course more advantageous for Highlanders.

After an absence of two or three hours, these officers returned and reported that the ground they had been appointed to examine was rugged and boggy, that no cavalry could act upon it, that the ascent on the side next to the river was steep, and that there were only two or three places, about three or four miles above, where cavalry could pass; the banks of the river below being inaccessible.  On receiving this information, Lord George Murray proposed, in the event of Cumberland's forces not appearing that day, that the army should cross the water of Nairn, and draw up in line of battle next day, upon the ground which had been surveyed; and that, should the Duke of Cumberland not venture to cross after them and engage them upon the ground in question, they might watch a favourable opportunity of attacking him with advantage.

In the event of no such opportunity offering, his lordship said he would recommend that the army should, with the view of drawing the Duke after them, retire to the neighbouring mountains, where they might attack him at some pass or strong ground.  This proposal met with the general approbation of the commanding officers; but Charles who, two days before (when a suggestion was made to him to retire to a strong position till all his army should assemble), had declared his resolution to attack the Duke of Cumberland even with a thousand men only, declined to accede to it.  His grounds were that such a retrograde movement might discourage the men, by impressing them with a belief that there existed a desire on the part of their commanders to shun the English army; that Inverness, which was now in their rear, would be exposed, and that the Duke of Cumberland might march upon that town, and possess himself of the greater part of their baggage and ammunition.

Concluding from the inactivity if the Duke of Cumberland that he had no intention of marching that day, Charles held a council of war in the afternoon, to deliberate upon the course it might be considered most advisable to pursue in consequence of the Duke's stay at Nairn.  According to Charles's own statement, he had formed the bold and desperate design of surprising the English army in their camp during the night; but, desirous of knowing the views of his officers before divulging his plan, he allowed all the members of the council to speak before him.  After hearing the sentiments of the chiefs, and the other commanders who were present, Lord George Murray proposed to attack the Duke of Cumberland during the night, provided it was the general opinion that the attack could be made before one or two o'clock in the morning.

Charles, overjoyed at the suggestion of his lieutenant-general, immediately embraced him, said that he approved if it, that in fact he had contemplated the measure himself, but that he did not intend to have disclosed it till all the members of the council had delivered their sentiments.

Had the army been in a condition to sustain the fatigue of a night-march of ten or twelve miles, the plan of a night attack was unquestionably the best that could have been devised under existing circumstances.  If surprised in the dark, even supposing the Duke to have been on his guard, a night attack appeared to afford the only chance of getting the better of his superiority in numbers and discipline, and of rendering his cavalry and cannon, in which his chief strength lay, utterly useless.  But the Highland army, from some unaccountable oversight on the part of the persons who had the charge of the commissariat department, was in a state bordering upon starvation, and consequently not able to perform such a fatiguing march.  Although there was a quantity of meal in Inverness and the neighbourhood sufficient for a fortnight's consumption, no care had been taken to supply the men with an allowance on leaving Inverness, and the consequence was, that during this and the preceding day very few of them had tasted a particle of food.

To appease their hunger a single biscuit was distributed to each man, but this pittance only increased the desire for more; and hunger getting the better of patience, some of the men began to leave the ranks in quest of provisions.  In spite, however, of the deprivation under which they laboured, the army was never in higher spirits, or more desirous to meet the enemy; and it was not until all hopes of an immediate engagement were abandoned that the men thought of looking out for the means of subsistence.

The expediency of a night attack was admitted by all the members of the council, but there were a few who thought that it should not be ventured upon until the arrival of the rest of the army, which might be expected in two or three days at farthest.  Keppoch with his Highlanders had just come up and joined the army; but the Mackenzies under Lord Cromarty, a body of the Frasers whom the Master of Lovat had collected to complete his second battalion, the Macphersons under Cluny, their chief, the Macgregors under Glengyle, a party headed by Mackinnon, and a body of Glengarry's men under Barisdale, were still at a distance, though supposed to be all on their march to Inverness.

The minority objected that, should they fail in the attempt, and be repulsed, it would be difficult to rally the Highlanders,-that even supposing no spy should give the Duke of Cumberland notice of their approach, he might, if alarmed by any of his patrols, have time to put his army in order in his camp, place his cannon, charged with cartouche-shot, as he pleased, and get all his horse in readiness to pursue the Highlanders if beat off.  Besides these objections, they urged the difficulty of making a retreat if many of their men were wounded, from the aversion of the Highlanders to leave their wounded behind them.  They, moreover, observed that they had no intelligence of the situation of the Duke's camp; and that even could a safe retreat be made, the fatigue of marching forwards and backwards twenty miles would be too much for men to endure, who would probably have to fight next day.

All these arguments were however thrown away upon Charles, who, supported by the Duke of Perth, Lord George Murray, Lord John Drummond, Lochiel, and others, showed the utmost impatience for an immediate attack.  Those who supported this view were not insensible to the danger which might ensue should the attack miscarry; but, strange to say, they were urged to it from the very cause to which the failure was chiefly owing, the want of provisions.  Apprehensive that if the army was kept on the moor all night, many of the men would go away to a considerable distance in search of food, and that it would be very difficult to assemble them speedily in the event of a sudden alarm, they considered an immediate attack, particularly as Charles had resolved to fight without waiting for reinforcements, as a less desperate course than remaining where they were.  To prevent the Duke of Cumberland from obtaining any knowledge of the advance of the Highlanders from the spies who might be within view of his army, Charles fixed upon eight o'clock for his departure, by which time his motions would be concealed from observation by the obscurity of the evening.

Mean while the commanding officers repaired to their respective regiments to put their men in readiness; but between six and seven o'clock an incident occurred which almost put an end to the enterprise.  This was the departure of a large number of men, who, ignorant of the intended march, went off towards Inverness and adjacent places to procure provisions and quarters for the night.  Officers from the different regiments were immediately despatched on horseback to bring them back, but no persuasion could induce the men to return, who gave as their reason for refusing that they were starving.  They told the officers that they might shoot them if they pleased, but that they would not go back till they got some provisions. By this defection Charles lost about 2,000 men, being about a third of his army.

This occurrence completely changed the aspect of affairs, and every member of the council who had formerly advocated a night attack now warmly opposed it.  Charles, bent upon his purpose, resolutely insisted upon the measure, and said that when the march was begun the men who had gone off would return and follow the rest.

The confidence which he had in the bravery of his army blinded him to every danger, and he was prompted in his determination to persist in the attempt from an idea that Cumberland's army having been that day engaged in celebrating the birth-day of their commander, would after their debauch fall an easy prey to the Highlanders.  Finding the Prince fully resolved to make the attempt at all hazards, the commanding officers took their stations, waiting the order to march.  The watchword was, "King James the VIII.," and special instructions were issued to the army, that in making the attack the troops should not make use of their fire-arms, but confine themselves to their swords, dirks, and bayonets; and that on entering the Duke of Cumberland's camp they should cut the tent strings and pull down the poles, and that wherever they observed a swelling or bulge in the fallen covering, they should strike and push vigorously with their swords and dirks.

Before marching, directions were given to several small parties to possess all the roads, in order to prevent any intelligence of their march being carried to the Duke of Cumberland.  In giving his orders to march, Charles embraced Lord George Murray, who immediately went off at the head of the line, about eight o'clock, preceded by two officers, and about thirty men of the Macintosh regiment, who from their knowledge of the country were to act as guides.  Though the whole army marched in one line, there was an interval in the middle as if it consisted of two columns.  The Athole men led the van, and next to them were the Camerons, who were followed by the other clans.  The low country regiments, the French piquets, and the horse, formed the rear. Lord John Drummond was in the centre, or at the head of the second column; and the Duke of Perth and Charles, who had Fitz-James's and other horse with him, were towards the rear.

Besides the party of Macintoshes, who served as guides in front, there were others of the clan stationed in the centre and rear, and generally along the line, to prevent any of the men from losing their way in the dark.  The plan of attack, as laid down by Lord George Murray, was as follows:- The army was to have marched in a body till they passed the house of Kilraick or Kilravock, which is about ten miles from Culloden, on the direct road to Nairn.  The army was then to have been divided, and while Lord George Murray crossed the river Nairn with the van, making about one-third of the whole, and marched down by the south side of the river, the remainder was to have continued its march along the north side till both divisions came near the Duke's camp.  The van was then to have re-crossed the river, and attacked the royal army from the south, while the other part was to have attacked it at the same time from the west.

With the exception of Charles, who promised upon his honour not to divulge it to any person, and Anderson, who acted as guide at he battle of Preston, no person was made privy to the plan, as its success depended upon its secrecy. In the outset of the march the van proceeded with considerable expedition, but it had gone scarcely half a mile when Lord George Murray received an express ordering him to halt till joined by the rear column, which was a considerable way behind.  As a halt in the van always occasions a much longer one in the rear when the march is resumed, Lord George did not halt but slackened his pace to enable the rear to join.  This, however, was to no purpose, as the rear still kept behind, and although, in consequence of numerous expresses enjoining him to wait, Lord George marched slower and slower, the rear fell still farther behind, and before he had marched six miles he had received at least fifty expresses ordering him to either halt or to slacken his pace.

The chief cause of the stoppage was the badness of the roads.  About one o'clock in the morning, when the van was opposite to the house of Kilravock, Lord John Drummond came up and stated to Lord George Murray that unless he halted or marched much slower the rear would not be able to join.  The Duke of Perth having shortly thereafter also come up to the front and given a similar assurance, his lordship halted near a small farm-house called Yellow Knowe, belonging to Rose of Kilravock, nearly four miles from Nairn, and about a mile from the place where it was intended the van should cross the river.  In the wood of Kilravock the march of the rear was greatly retarded by a long narrow defile occasioned partly by a stone wall; and so fatigued and faint had the men become, by the badness of the road, and want of food, that many of them, unable to proceed, lay down in the wood.

This circumstance was announced to Lord George Murray by several officers who came up from the rear shortly after the van had halted.  Nearly all the principal officers, including the Duke of Perth, Lord George Murray, Lord John Drummond, Lochiel, and General O'Sullivan, were now in the van, and having ascertained by their watches, which they looked at in a little house close by, that it was two o'clock in the morning, they at once perceived the impossibility of surprising the English army.  The van was still upwards of three, and the rear about four miles from Nairn, and as they had only been able to advance hitherto at a rate little more than a mile in the hour, it was not to be expected that the army in its exhausted state would be able to accomplish the remainder of the distance, within the time prescribed, even at a more accelerated pace.

By a quick march the army could not have advanced two miles before day-break; so that the Duke of Cumberland would have had sufficient time to put his army in fighting order before an attack could have been made.  These were sufficient reasons of themselves for abandoning the enterprise, but when it is considered that the army had been greatly diminished during the march, and that scarcely one-half of the men that were drawn up the day before on Drummossie moor remained, the propriety of a retreat becomes undoubted. Lord George Murray, - who had never contemplated any thing but a surprise, and whose calculation of reaching Nairn by two o'clock in the morning would have been realised had the whole line marched with the same celerity as the first four or five regiments, - would have been perfectly justified in the unexpected situation in which he was placed, in at once ordering a retreat; but desirous of ascertaining the sentiments of the officers about him, he requested them to state their views of the course they thought it most advisable to adopt.

There were several gentlemen present, who, having joined the Athole brigade as volunteers, had marched all night in the front: and as the Duke of Perth, Lord John Drummond, and the other officers, seemed at a loss what to resolve upon, Lord George Murray requested the volunteers to give their free opinion, ass they were all equally interested in the consequences.  Without hesitation all these gentlemen, eager to come to an engagement, were of a different opinion, in which they were backed by Lord George Murray, who observed that if they could have made the attack within the time prescribed they would certainly have succeeded, especially if they could have surprised the enemy; but to attack in daylight an army that was nearly double their number, and which would be prepared to receive them, would be considered an act of madness.

Among the volunteers the most conspicuous was Mr. Hepburn of Keith. While arguing for an attack with Lord George Murray, the beating of a drum was heard in the Duke of Cumberland's camp.  "Don't you hear," said Lord George; "the enemy are alarmed; we can't surprise them."  "I never expected," said Hepburn, "to find the red coats asleep; but they will be drunk after solemnising the Duke of Cumberland's birth-day.  It is much better to march on and attack them than to retreat, for they will most certainly follow, and oblige us to fight when we shall be in a much worse condition to fight them than we are now."

While this altercation was going on, Mr. John hay, then acting as interim-secretary to the Prince instead of Secretary Murray, who was unwell, came up and informed Lord George that the line had joined.  Gathering from the conversation he overheard that a retreat was resolved upon, he began to argue against it, but being unsuccessful he immediately rode back to Charles, who was in the rear of the first column, and told him that unless he came to the front and ordered Lord George to go on nothing would be done.  Charles, who was on horseback, rode forward immediately towards the front, to ascertain the cause of the halt, and on his way met the van in full retreat.  He was no doubt surprised at this step, and in a temporary fit of irritation, is said to have remarked that Lord George Murray had betrayed him.

The army marched back in two columns, by a different but more direct route than that by which it had advanced.  In returning they had a view of the fires in the Duke of Cumberland's camp.  The greater part of the army arrived at Culloden, whither it had been agreed upon to proceed, about five o'clock in the morning, and the remainder did not remain long behind.  The quick return of the army suggests an idea that had it marched in double columns towards Nairn by the shortest route, it might have reached its destination at least an hour sooner than the time contemplated by Lord George Murray, but there was great danger, that, by adopting such a course, the Duke of Cumberland would have obtained notice of the advance of the Highlanders.

On arriving at Culloden, the Prince gave orders to bring provisions to the field; but the calls of hunger could not brook delay, and many of the common men as well as officers slipped off to Inverness and the neighbourhood inquest of refreshment.  Others, from absolute exhaustion, lay down on the ground, and sought a momentary respite in the arms of sleep.  Charles himself, with his principal officers, went to Culloden house, where, sullen, dejected, and silent, they for a time stared at one another with amazement, instead of deliberating upon the course they ought to pursue at this critical juncture.

A search was made for food, but with the exception of a little bread and a small quantity of whisky, which was procured for the Prince with great difficulty, no refreshment of any kind could be obtained.  After a short repose the men were aroused from their slumbers by their officers, who informed them that the Duke of Cumberland's army was approaching.  There were others whom hunger had kept awake, and who having seized and killed some cattle and sheep which they found at Culloden, were preparing a repast, but few of them had time to make any thing ready before the alarm was given.

The intelligence of Cumberland's advance was first brought to Culloden house about eight o'clock by one Cameron, a lieutenant in Lochiel's regiment, who, having fallen asleep at the place where the halt was made, had been left behind.  As Fitz-James's horse and others had gone to Inverness to refresh, and as those who remained were, from the hard duty they had performed for several days and nights, unfit for patrolling, Charles had no means of ascertaining whether the troops that were approaching were merely an advanced party, or the whole of the English army.  That nothing might be left to conjecture at such an important crisis, some officers were instantly despatched to Inverness, to bring back the men whom hunger had driven thither, and the Highlanders at Culloden were got ready as quickly as possible, and marched through the parks of Culloden in battalions, as they happened to be lying, to Drummossie moor, on a part of which, about half a mile to the west of the place where they had been drawn up the day before, the army halted.

Lord George Murray now renewed his proposal to pass the water of Nairn, and take up a position on the ground which had been surveyed the previous morning, as being much better fitted for Highlanders than the level on which they stood. An additional reason for passing the Nairn was, that Macpherson of Cluny, who was expected every moment with his clan, was to come on the south side.  Charles, however, again rejected this judicious advice, for the reasons he had formerly given.

By retiring beyond Inverness, or among the fastnesses to the south of the water of Nairn, an action might have been easily avoided for several days; and, as the projected night attack had miscarried, it would certainly have been a wise course to have shunned an engagement till the men had recovered their strength and spirits; but Charles, over-sanguine in all his calculations, and swayed by his creatures and sycophants, was deaf to the suggestions of wisdom.  It seems strange that a retreat to Inverness was not proposed.  By retiring into the town, and occupying the grounds in the neighbourhood, a delay of twenty-four hours might have been obtained, as it is not likely that the Duke of Cumberland would have attempted to force the town, or a strong camp, the same day he marched from Nairn.

By postponing the engagement till next day, a very different result might have happened, as the Highlanders, who were in a starving condition, would have had time to procure provisions and recruit from their fatigue; and numbers, who were not able to come up in time to Culloden, would have rejoined the ranks at Inverness.  The Duke of Cumberland had been informed of the night march towards Nairn by some Highland spies whom he had in his pay, and who had mixed with the insurgents as they marched; but the spies were ignorant of the intended surprise, which was kept a profound secret from the Highland army.  Judging from the intelligence brought by the last parson that arrived in his camp, that the Highlanders were coming directly in his front, the Duke considered himself free from surprise, as the Argyllshire men lay on the plain to the west of his camp, while a party of dragoons patrolled all night between Nairn and the sea.  He therefore ordered his men to take some rest, but to keep their arms in readiness.

He appears not to have anticipated an attack during the night, but to have imagined that Charles merely meant to take ground during the night, and to attack him early next morning.  In expectation of a battle, the Duke had formed his army by break of day, and, having ascertained that the Highland army had retreated, he began his march towards Inverness about five o'clock.  The English army had, as anticipated, celebrated the birth-day of their commander; but although they were amply supplied with bread, cheese, and brandy, at the Duke's expense, the men had not exceeded the bounds of moderation.

Before commencing the march, written instructions, which had been communicated to the commanders of the different regiments, were read at the head of every company in the line.  These instructions were, that if the persons to whom the charge of the train or baggage horses was entrusted should abscond or leave them, they should be punished with immediate death; and that if any officer or soldier misconducted himself during the engagement, he should be sentenced.

The infantry marched in three parallel divisions or columns, of five regiments each, headed by General Huske on the left, Lord Sempill on the right, and General Mordaunt in the centre.  The artillery and baggage followed the first column on the right, and the dragoons and horse, led by Generals Hawley and Bland, were on the left, forming a fourth column.  Forty of Kingston's horse and Argyllshire men formed the van.  The charge of forming the Highland army in line of battle on this important occasion was entrusted to O'Sullivan, who acted in the double capacity of adjutant and Quarter-master general.  This officer, in the opinion of Lord George Murray, a high authority certainly, was exceedingly unfit for such a task, and committed gross blunders on every occasion of moment.  In the present instance, he did not even visit the ground where the army was to be drawn up, and he committed a "fatal error" by omitting to throw down some park walls upon the left of the English army, which were afterwards taken possession of by the Duke of Cumberland, it being found afterwards impossible to break the English lines, from the destructive flank-fire which was opened from these walls upon the right of the Highland army, as it advanced to the attack.

While the Duke of Cumberland was forming his line of battle, Lord George Murray was very desirous to advance and throw down these walls; but as such s movement would have broken the line, the officers about him considered that the attempt would be dangerous, and he therefore did not make it.  The Highland army was drawn up in three lines.  The first, or front line, consisted of the Athole brigade, which had the right, the Camerons, Stewarts of Appin, Frasers, Macintoshes, Maclauchlans, Macleans, John Roy Stewart's regiment, and Farquharsons, united into one regiment; the Macleods, Chisholms, Macdonalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, and Glengarry.  The three Macdonald regiments formed the left. Lord George Murray commanded on the right, Lord John Drummond in the centre, and the Duke of Perth on the left, of the first line.

There had been, a day or two before, a violent contention among the chiefs about precedency of rank.  The Macdonalds claimed the right as their due, in support of which claim they stated, that as a reward for the fidelity of Angus Macdonald, Lord of the Isles, in protecting Robert the Bruce for upwards of nine months in his dominions, that prince, at the battle of Bannockburn, conferred the post of honour, the right, upon the Macdonalds, - that this post had ever since been enjoyed by them, unless when yielded from courtesy upon particular occasions, as was done to the chief of the Macleans at the battle of Harlaw.  Lord George Murray, however, maintained that, under the Marquis of Montrose, the right had been assigned to the Athole men, and he insisted that that post should be now conferred upon them, in the contest with the Duke of Cumberland's army.  In this unseasonable demand, Lord George is said to have been supported by Lochiel and his friends.

Charles refused to decide a question with the merits of which he was imperfectly acquainted; but, as it was necessary to adjust the difference immediately, he prevailed upon the commanders of the Macdonald regiments to waive their pretensions in the present instance.  The Macdonalds in general were far from being satisfied with the complaisance of their commanders, and, as they had occupied the post of honour at Gladsmuir and Falkirk, they considered their deprivation of it on the present occasion as ominous.  The Duke of Perth, while he stood at the head of the Glengarry regiment, hearing the murmurs of the Macdonalds, said, that if they behaved with their usual valour they would make a right of the left, and that he would change his name to Macdonald; but these proud clansmen leant a deaf ear to him.  The second line of the Highland army consisted of the Gordons under Lord Lewis Gordon, formed in column on the right, the French Royal Scots, the Irish piquets or brigade, Lord Kilmarnock's foot guards, Lord John Drummond's regiment, and Glenbucket's regiment in column on the left, flanked on the right by Fitz-James's dragoons, and Lord Elcho's horse-guards, and on the left by the Perth squadron, under Lord Strathallan and Pitsligo, and the Prince's body-guards under Lord Balmerino. General Stapleton had the command of this line.

The third line, or reserve, consisted of the Duke of Perth's and Lord Ogilvy's regiments, under the last-mentioned nobleman. The Prince himself, surrounded by a troop of Fitz-James's horse, took his station on a very small eminence behind the centre of the first line, from which he had a complete view of the whole field of battle.  The extremities of the front line and the centre were each protected by four pieces of cannon.

The English army continued steadily to advance in the order already described, and, after a march of eight miles, formed in order of battle, in consequence of the advanced guard reporting that they perceived the Highland army at some distance making a motion towards them on the left.  Finding, however, that the Highlanders were still at a considerable distance, and that the whole body did not move forward, the Duke of Cumberland resumed his march as before, and continued to advance till within a mile of the position occupied by the Highland army, when he ordered a halt, and, after reconnoitring the position of the Highlanders, again formed his army for battle in three lines, and in the following order.  The first line consisted of six regiments, viz. the Royals, (the 1st,) Cholmondeley's, (the 34th,) Price's, (the 14th,) the Scots Fusiliers, (the 21st,) Monro's (the 37th,) and Barrels's, (4th). The Earl of Albemarle had the command of this line. In the intermediate spaces between each of these regiments were placed two pieces of cannon, making ten in all.

The second line consisted of five regiments, viz. those of Pulteney, (the 13th,) Bligh, (the 20th,) Sempil, (the 25th,) Ligonier, (the 48th,) and Wolfe's, (the 8th,) and was under the command of General Huske.  Three pieces of cannon were placed between the exterior regiments of this line and those next them.  The third line or 'corps de reserve' , under Brigadier Mordaunt, consisted of four regiments, viz. Battereau's (the 62nd,) Howard's, (the 3rd,) Fleming's, (the 36th,) and Blakeney's, (the 27th,) flanked by Kingston's dragoons, (the 3rd).

The order in which the regiments of the different lines are enumerated, is that in which they stood from right to left.  The flanks of the front line were protected on the left by Kerr's dragoons, (the 11th,) consisting of three squadrons, commanded by Lord Ancrum, and on the right by Cobham's dragoons, (the 10th,) consisting also of three squadrons, under General Bland, with the additional security of a morass, extending towards the sea; but thinking himself quite safe on the right, the Duke afterwards ordered these last to the left, to aid in the intended attack upon the right flank of the Highlanders.  The Argyle men, with the exception of 140, who were upon the left of the reserve, were left in charge of the baggage.

The dispositions of both armies are considered to have been well arranged; but both were better calculated for defence than for attack.  The arrangement of the English army is generally considered to have been superior to that of the Highlanders; as, from the regiments in the second and third lines being placed directly behind the vacant spaces between the regiments in the lines respectively before them, the Duke of Cumberland, in the event of one regiment in the front line being broken, could immediately bring up two to supply its place.  But this opinion is questionable, as the Highlanders had a column on the flanks of the second line, which might have been used either for extension or echelon movement towards any point to the centre, to support either the first or second line.  In the dispositions described, and about the distance of a mile from each other, did the two armies stand for some time gazing at one another, each expecting that the other would advance and give battle.

Whatever may have been the feelings of Prince Charles on this occasion, those of the Duke of Cumberland appear to have been far from enviable.  The thoughts of Preston and Falkirk could not fail to excite in him the most direful apprehensions for the result of a combat affecting the very existence of his father's crown; and that he placed but a doubtful reliance upon his troops, is evident from a speech which he now made to his army.  He said that they were about to fight in defence of their King, their religion, their liberties, and property, and that if they only stood firm he had no doubt he would lead them on to certain victory; but as he would much rather, he said, be at the head of one thousand brave and resolute men than of ten thousand if mixed with cowards, if there were any amongst them, who, through timidity, were diffident of their courage, or others, who, from conscience or inclination, felt a repugnance to perform their duty, he requested them to retire immediately, and he promised them his free pardon from doing so, as by remaining they might dispirit or disorder the other troops, and bring dishonour and disgrace on the army under his command.

As the Highlanders remained in their position, the Duke of Cumberland again put his army in marching order, and, after it had advanced, with fixed bayonets, within half a mile of the front line of the Highlanders, it again formed as before.  In this last movement the English army had to pass a piece of hollow ground, which was so soft and swampy, that the horses which drew the cannon sank; and some of the soldiers, after slinging their firelocks and unyoking the horses, had to drag the cannon across the bog.  As by this last movement the army advanced beyond the morass which protected the right flank, the Duke immediately ordered up Kingston's horse from the reserve, and a small squadron of Cobham's dragoons, which had been patrolling, to cover it; and to extend his line, and prevent his being outflanked on the right, he also at same time ordered up Pulteney's regiment, (the 13th,) from the second line to the right of the royals and Fleming's, (the 36th,) Howard's, (the 3rd,) and Battereau's (the 62nd,) to the right of Bligh's, (the 20th,) in the second line, leaving Blakeney's, (the 27th,) as a reserve.

During an interval of about half an hour which elapsed before the action commenced, some manoeuvring took place in attempts by both armies to outflank one another.  While these manoeuvres were making, a heavy shower of sleet came on, which, though discouraging to the Duke's army, from the recollection of the untoward occurrence at Falkirk, was not considered very dangerous, as they had now the wind in their backs.  To encourage his men, the Duke of Cumberland rode along the lines addressing himself hurriedly to every regiment as he passed.  He exhorted his men to rely chiefly upon their bayonets, and to allow the Highlanders to mingle with them that they might make them "know the men they had to deal with."  After the changes mentioned had been executed, His Royal Highness took his station behind the royals , between the first and second line, and almost in front of the left of Howard's regiment, waiting for the expected attack.

Meanwhile, a singular occurrence took place, characteristic of the self-devotion which the Highlanders were ready on all occasions to manifest towards the Prince and his cause.  Conceiving that by assassinating the Duke of Cumberland he would confer an essential service on the Prince, a Highlander resolved, at the certain sacrifice of this own life, to make the attempt.  With this intention, he entered the English lines as a deserter, and being granted quarter, was allowed to go through the ranks.  He wandered around with apparent indifference, eyeing the different officers as he passed along, and it was not long till an opportunity occurred, as he conceived, for executing his fell purpose.  The Duke having ordered Lord Bury, on of his aides-de-camp, to reconnoitre, his lordship crossed the path of the Highlander, who, mistaking him, from his dress, for the Duke, (the regimentals of both being similar,) instantly seized a musket which lay on the ground, and discharged it at his lordship.  He missed his aim, and a soldier, who was standing by, immediately shot him dead upon the spot.

In expectation of a battle the previous day, Charles had animated his troops by an appeal to their feelings, and on the present occasion he rode from rank to rank encouraging his men, and exhorting them to act as they had done at Prestonpans and at Falkirk.  The advance of Lord Bury, who went forward within a hundred yards of the insurgents to reconnoitre, appears to have been considered by the Highlanders as the proper occasion for beginning the battle.  Taking off their bonnets, the Highlanders set up a loud shout, which being answered by the royal troops with a huzza, the Highlanders about one o'clock commenced a cannonade on the right, which was followed by the cannon on the left; but the fire from the latter, owing to the want of cannoneers, was after the first round discontinued.  The first volley from the right seemed to create some confusion on the left of the royal army, but so badly were the cannon served and pointed, that though the cannonade was continued upwards of half an hour, only one man in Bligh's regiment, who had a leg carried off by a cannon-ball, received any injury.

After the Highlanders had continued firing for a short time, Colonel Belford, who directed the cannon of the Duke's army, opened a fire from the cannon in the front line, which was at first chiefly aimed at the horse, probably either because they, from their conspicuous situation, were a better mark than the infantry, or because it was supposed that Charles was among them.  Such was the accuracy of the aim taken by the royal artillery, that several balls entered the ground among the horses' legs, and bespattered the Prince with the mud which they raised; and one of them struck the horse on which he rode two inches above the knee.  The animal became so unmanageable, that Charles was obliged to change him for another.  One of his servants, who stood behind with a led horse in his hand, was killed on the spot.

Observing that the wall on the right flank of the Highland army prevented him from attacking it on that point, the Duke ordered Colonel Belford to continue the cannonade, with the view of provoking the Highlanders and inducing them to advance to the attack.  These, on the other hand, endeavoured to draw the royal army forward by sending down several parties by way of defiance.  Some of these approached three several times within a hundred yards of the right of the royal army, firing their pistols and brandishing their swords; but with the exception of the small squadron of horse on the right, which advanced a little, the line remained immoveable.

Meanwhile, Lord George Murray, observing that a squadron of the English dragoons and a party of foot, consisting of two companies of the Argyllshire men, and one of Lord Loudon's Highlanders, had detached themselves from the left of the royal army, and were marching down towards the river Nairn, and conceiving that it was their intention to flank the Highlanders, or to come upon their rear when engaged in front, he directed Gordon of Avochy to advance with his battalion, and prevent the foot from entering the enclosure; but before this battalion could reach them, they broke into the inclosure, and throwing down part of the east wall in the rear of the second line, made a free passage for the dragoons, who formed in the rear of the Prince's army.  Upon this, Lord George ordered the guards and Fitz-James's horse to form opposite to the dragoons to keep them in check. Each party stood upon the opposite sides of a ravine, the ascent to which was so steep, that neither could venture across in presence of the other with safety.  The foot remained within the inclosure, and Avochy's battalion was ordered to watch their motions.

This movement were moving forward to the attack.  It was now high time for the Highlanders to come to a close engagement.  Lord George had sent Colonel Kerr to the Prince, to know if he should begin the attack; the Prince ordered him to do so, but his lordship, for some reason or other, delayed advancing.  It is probable he expected that the Duke would come forward, and that by remaining where he was, and retaining the wall and a small farm house on his right, he would not run the risk of being flanked.  Perhaps he waited for the advance of the left wing, which, being not so far forward as the right, was directed to begin the attack, and orders had been sent to the Duke of Perth to that effect; but the left remained motionless.

Anxious for the attack, Charles sent an order by an aid-de-camp to Lord George Murray to advance, but his lordship never received it, as the bearer was killed by a cannon-ball while on his way to the right.  He sent a message about the same time to Lochiel, desiring him to urge upon Lord George the necessity of an immediate attack.  Galled beyond endurance by the fire of the English, which carried destruction among the clans, the Highlanders became quite clamorous, and called aloud to be led forward without further delay.  Unable any longer to restrain their impatience, Lord George had just resolved upon an immediate advance, but before he had time to issue the order along the line, the Macintoshes, with a heroism worthy of that brave clan, rushed forward enveloped in the smoke of the enemy's cannon.  The fire of the centre field-pieces, and a discharge of musketry from the Scottish Fusiliers, forced them to incline a little to the right; but all the regiments to their right, led on by Lord George Murray in person, and the united regiment of the Maclauchlans and Macleans on their left, coming down close after them, the whole moved forward together at a pretty quick pace.

When within pistol-shot of the English line, they received a murderous fire, not only in front form some field-pieces, which for the first time were now loaded with grape-shot, but in flank from a side battery supported by the Campbells and Lord Loudon's Highlanders.  Whole ranks were literally swept away by the terrible fire of the English.  Yet, notwithstanding the dreadful carnage in their ranks, the Highlanders continued to advance, and, after giving their fire close to the English line, which from the density of the smoke, was scarcely perceptible even within pistol-shot, the right wing, consisting of the Athole Highlanders and the Camerons, rushed in sword in hand, and broke through Barrel's and Munroe's regiments, which stood on the left of the first line.  These regiments bravely defended themselves with their spontoons and bayonets; but such was the impetuosity of the onset, that they would have been entirely cut to pieces had they not been immediately supported by two regiments from the second line, on the approach of which they retired behind the regiments on their right, after sustaining a loss in killed and wounded of upwards of 200 men.

After breaking through these two regiments, the Highlanders, passing by the two field-pieces which had annoyed them in front, hurried forward to attack the left of the second line.  They were met by a tremendous fire of grape-shot from the three field-pieces on the left of the second line, and by a discharge of musketry from Bligh's and Sempill's regiments, which carried havoc through their ranks, and made them at first recoil; but, maddened by despair, and utterly regardless of their lives, they rushed upon an enemy whom they felt but could not see, amid the cloud of smoke in which the assailants were buried.

The same kind of charge was made by the Stewarts of Appin, the Frasers, Macintoshes, and the other centre regiments, upon the regiments in their front, driving them back upon the second line, which they also attempted to break; but finding themselves unable, they gave up the contest, not, however, until numbers had been cut down at the mouths of the cannon.  While advancing towards the second line, Lord George Murray, in attempting to dismount from his horse, which had become unmanageable, was thrown; but, recovering himself, he ran to the rear and brought up two or three regiments from the second line to support the first; but, although they gave their fire, nothing could be done, - all was lost.  Unable to break the second line, and being greatly cut up by the fire of Wolfe's regiment, who had formed 'en potence' on their right flank, the right wing also gave up the contest, and turning about, cut their way back, sword in hand, through those who had advanced and formed on the ground they had passed over in charging to their front.  In consequence of the unwillingness of the left to advance first as directed, Lord George Murray had sent the order to attack from right to left; but, hurried by the impetuosity of the Mackintoshes, the right and centre did not wait till the order, which required some minutes in the delivery. had been communicated along the line.

Thus the right and centre had the start considerably, and quickening their pace as they went along, had closed with the front line of the English army before the left had got half way over the ground that separated the two armies. the difference between the right and centre and the left was rendered still more considerable from the circumstance, as noted by an eye-witness, that the two armies were not exactly parallel to one another, the right of the Prince's army being nearer the Duke's army than the left.  Nothing could be more unfortunate for the Prince than this isolated attack, as it was only by a general shock of the whole of the English line that he had any chance of a victory.  The clan regiments on the left of the line, apprehensive that they would be flanked by Pulteney's regiment and the horse which had been brought up from the 'corps de reserve', did not advance sword in hand. After receiving the fire of the regiments opposite to them, they answered it by a general discharge, and drew their swords for the attack; but observing that the right and centre had given way, they turned their backs and fled without striking a blow.

Stung to the quick by the misconduct of the Macdonalds, the brave Keppoch, seeing himself abandoned by his clan, advanced with his drawn sword in one hand and his pistol in the other; but he had not proceeded far, when he was brought down to the ground by a musket-shot.  He was followed by Donald Roy Macdonald, formerly a lieutenant in his own regiment, and now a captain in Clanranald's, who, on Keppoch's falling, entreated him not to throw away his life, assuring him that his wound was not mortal, and that he might easily join his regiment in the retreat; but Keppoch refused to listen to the solicitations of his clansman, and, after recommending him to take care of himself, the wounded chief received another shot, and fell to rise no more.  Fortunately for the Highlanders, the English army did not follow up the advantages it had gained by an immediate pursuit.  Kingston's horse at first followed the Macdonalds, some of whom were almost surrounded by them, but the horse were kept in check by the French piquets, who brought them off.  The dragoons on the left of the English line were in like manner kept at bay by Ogilvy's regiment, which faced about upon them several times.

After these ineffectual attempts, the English cavalry on the right and left met in the centre, and the front line having dressed its ranks, orders were issued for the whole to advance in pursuit of the Highlanders.  Charles, who, from the small eminence on which he stood, had observed with the deepest concern the defeat and flight of the clan regiments, was about proceeding forward to rally them, contrary to the earnest entreaties of Sir Thomas Sheridan and others, who assured him that he would not succeed.  All their expostulations would, it is said, have been in vain, had not General O'Sullivan laid hold of the bridle of Charles's horse, and led him off the field.  It was, indeed, full time to retire, as the whole army was now in full retreat, and was followed by the whole of Cumberland's forces.

To protect the Prince and secure his retreat, most of his horse assembled about his person; but there was little danger, as the victors advanced very leisurely, and confined themselves to cutting down some defenceless stragglers who fell in their way.  After leaving the field, Charles put himself at the head of the right wing, which retired in such order that the cavalry sent to pursue could make no impression upon it.  At a short distance from the field of battle, Charles separated his army into two parts.  One of these divisions, consisting, with the exception of the Frasers, of the whole of the Highlanders and the low country regiments, crossed the water of Nairn, and proceeded towards Badenoch; and the other, comprising the Frasers, Lord John Drummond's regiment, and the French piquets, took the road to Inverness.  The first division passed within pistol-shot of the body of English cavalry, which, before the action, had formed in the rear of the Highland army, without the least interruption.

An English officer, who had the temerity to advance a few paces to seize a Highlander, was instantly cut down by him and killed on the spot.  The Highlander, instead of running away, deliberately stooped down, and pulling out a watch from the pocket of his victim, rejoined his companions.  From the plainness of the ground over which it had to pass, the smaller body of the Prince's army was less fortunate, as it suffered considerably from the attacks of the Duke's light horse before it reached Inverness.  Numerous small parties, which had detached themselves from the main body, fell under the sabres of the cavalry; and many of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, who, from motives of curiosity, had come out to witness the battle, were slaughtered, without mercy by the ferocious soldiery, who, from the similarity of their dress, were perhaps unable to discriminate them from Charles's troops.  This indiscriminate massacre continued all the way from the field of battle to a place called Mill-burn, within a mile of Inverness.

Not content with the profusion of bloodshed in the heat of action and during the pursuit, the infuriated soldiery, provoked by their disgraces at Preston and Falkirk, traversed the field of battle, and massacred in cold blood the miserable wretches who lay maimed and expiring.  Even some officers, whose station in society, apart altogether from the feeling of humanity, to which they were utter strangers, should have made them superior to this vulgar triumph of base and illiberal minds, joined in the work of assassination.  To extenuate the atrocities committed in the battle, and the subsequent slaughters, a forged regimental order, bearing to be signed by Lord George Murray, by which the Highlanders were enjoined to refuse quarters to the royal troops, was afterwards published, it is said, under the auspices of the Duke of Cumberland; but the deception was easily seen through.  As no such order was alluded to in the official accounts of the battle, and as, at the interview which took place between the Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmerino, on the morning of their execution, both these noblemen stated their entire ignorance of it, no doubt whatever can exist of the forgery.

The conduct of Charles and his followers, who never indulged in any triumph over their vanquished foes, but always treated them with humanity and kindness, high as it is, stands still higher when contrasted with that of the royal troops and their commander.  From the characteristic bravery of the Highlanders, and their contempt of death, it is not improbable that some of those who perished, as well on the field after the battle as in the flight, did not yield their lives without a desperate struggle; but history has preserved one case of individual prowess in the person of Golice Macbane, which deserves to be recorded in every history relating to the Highlanders.  This man, who is represented to have been of the gigantic stature of six feet four inches and a quarter, was beset by a party of dragoons.  When assailed, he placed his back against a wall, and though covered with wounds, he defended himself with his target and claymore against the onset of the dragoons, who crowded upon him.  Some officers, who observed the unequal conflict, were so struck with the desperate bravery of Macbane, that they gave orders to save him; but the dragoons, exasperated by his resistance, and the dreadful havoc he had made among their companions, thirteen of whom lay dead at his feet, would not desist till they had succeeded in cutting him down.

According to the official accounts published by the government, the royal army had only 50 men killed, and 259 wounded, including 18 officers, of whom were killed.  Lord Robert Kerr, second son of the Marquis of Lothian, and a captain of grenadiers in Barrel's regiment, was the only person of distinction killed; he fell covered with wounds, at the head of his company, when the Highlanders attacked Barrel's regiment.  The loss on the side of the Highlanders was never ascertained with any degree of precision.  The number of the slain is stated, in some publications of the period, to have amounted to upwards of 2,000 men, but these accounts are exaggerated.  The loss could not, however, be much short of 1,200 men.  The Athole brigade alone lost more than the half of its officers and men, and some of the centre battalions came off with scarcely a third of their men.  The Mackintoshes, who were the first to attack, suffered most.  With the exception of three only, all the officers of this brave regiment, including Macgillivray of Drumnaglass, its colonel, the lieutenant-colonel, and major, were killed in the attack.  All the other centre regiments also lost several officers.  Maclauchlan, colonel of the united regiment of Maclauchlan and Maclean, was killed by a cannon ball in the beginning of the action, and Maclean of Drimmin, who, as lieutenant-colonel, succeeded to the command, met a similar fate from a random shot.  He had three sons in the regiment, one of whom fell in the attack, and, when leading off the shattered remains of his forces, he missed the other two, and, in returning to look after them, received the fatal bullet.  Charles Fraser, younger of Inverallachie, the lieutenant-colonel of the Fraser regiment, and who, in the absence of the Master of Lovat, commanded it on this occasion, was also killed.

When riding over the field after the battle, the Duke of Cumberland observed this brave youth lying wounded.  Raising himself upon his elbow, he looked at the Duke, who, offended at him, thus addressed one of his officers: "Wolfe, shoot me that Highland scoundrel who thus dares to look on us with so insolent a stare."  Wolfe, horrified at the inhuman order, replied that his commission was at his royals highness's disposal, but that he would never consent to become an executioner.  Other officers refusing to commit this act of butchery, a private soldier, at the command of the Duke, shot the hapless youth before his eyes.  The Appin regiment had 17 officers and gentlemen slain, and 10 wounded; and the Athole brigade, which lost fully half its men, had 19 officers killed, and 4 wounded.  The fate of the heroic Keppoch has been already mentioned.  Among the wounded, the principal was Lochiel, who was shot in both ankles with some grape-shot, at the head of his regiment, after discharging his pistol, and while in the act of drawing his sword.  On falling, his two brothers, between whom he was advancing, raised him up, and carried him off the field in their arms.  To add to his misfortunes, Charles also lost a considerable number of gentlemen, his most devoted adherents, who had charged on foot in the first rank.  Lord Strathallan was the only person of distinction that fell among the low country regiments.  Lord Kilmarnock and sir John Wedderburn were taken prisoners.  The former, in the confusion of the battle, mistook, amidst the smoke, a party of English dragoons for Fitz-James's horse, and was taken.  Having lost his hat, he was led bare-headed to the front line of the English infantry.  His son, Lord Boyd, who held a commission in the English army, unable to restrain his feelings, left the ranks, and going up to his unfortunate parent, took off his own hat, placed it on his father's head, and returned to his place without uttering a word.

At other times, and under different circumstances, a battle like that of Culloden would have been regarded as an ordinary occurrence, of which, when all matters were duly considered, the victors could have little to boast.  The Highland army did not exceed 5,000 fighting men; and when it is considered that the men had been two days without sleep, were exhausted by the march of the preceding night, and had scarcely tasted food for forty-eight hours, the wonder is that they fought so well as they did, against an army almost double in point of numbers, and which laboured under none of the disadvantages to which, in a more especial manner, the overthrow of the Highlanders is to be ascribed.

Nevertheless, as the spirits of the great majority of the nation had been sunk to the lowest state of despondency by the reverses of the royal arms at Preston and Falkirk, this unlooked-for event was hailed as one of the greatest military achievements of ancient or modern times; and the Duke of Cumberland, who had, in consequence, an addition of 25,000 per annum made to his income by parliament, was regarded as the greatest hero of ancient or modern times.

In its consequences, as entirely and for ever destructive of the claims of the unfortunate house of Stuart, the battle was perhaps one of the most important ever fought.  Though vanquished the Highlanders retired from the field with honour, and free from that foul reproach which has fixed an indelible stain upon the memories of the victors.  After the carnage of the day had ceased, the brutal soldiery, who, from the fiendish delight which they took in sprinkling one another with the blood of the slain, "looked," as stated by one of themselves, "like so many butchers rather than an army of Christian soldiers," dined upon the field of battle.  After his men had finished their repast, the Duke of Cumberland marched forward to take possession of Inverness, and on his way received a letter, which had been addressed to General Bland, signed by six of the French officers in the insurgent army, offering in behalf of themselves and their men to surrender unconditionally to his royal highness.

As he was about to enter the town he was met by a drummer, who brought him a message from General Stapleton, offering to surrender and asking quarter.  On receiving this communication, the Duke ordered Sir Joseph Yorke, one of his officers, to alight from his horse, who with his pencil wrote a note to General Stapleton, assuring him of fair quarter an honourable treatment.

The town was then taken possession of by Captain Campbell, of Sempill's regiment, with his company of grenadiers.  After securing his prisoners in the town, the Duke of Cumberland released the soldiers who had been confined in the church of Inverness by the insurgents, and who, if the government accounts be correct had suffered great hardships.  They had indeed, about a week before the battle of Culloden, been almost stripped of their clothes by an officer of the Highland army, to clothe a new corps he had raised; but a complaint having been brought to Lord George Murray on the subject, he obtained an order from the Prince, in consequence of which the clothes were restored.  The Duke on the present occasion presented each of these men with a guinea, and gave orders that they should be taken care of.  Besides the military prisoners, several gentlemen supposed to be disaffected to the government were apprehended by the Duke's orders, shut up with the common prisoners, and were for some time denied the use of bedding.  Nor did the softer sex, whose Jacobite predilections had pointed them out as objects of displeasure, escape his resentment.  Several ladies, among whom were Ladies Ogilvy, Kinloch, and Gordon, were seized and kept in durance in the common guard, and were limited along with the other prisoners of the miserable pittance of half-a pound of meal per day, with scarcely as much water as was necessary to prepare it for use.

As the wounded prisoners were utterly neglected, many who would have recovered, if properly treated, died of their wounds; and so much were the rites of Christian sepulture disregarded by the royal officers, that the bodies of these unfortunate victims were carried naked through the streets by beggars, who were employed to inter them in the churchyard.  Knowing that there were several deserters from the royal army among the insurgents, the Duke ordered a strict inspection to be made of the prisoners in order to find them out.  No less than thirty-six were recognised, and being brought to a summary trial, were convicted, and suffered the death of traitors.  Among these was one Dunbar, who had been a sergeant in Sowle's regiment.  He had taken a suit of laced clothes from Major Lockhart at the battle of Falkirk, which being found in his possession, he was dressed in them, and hanged, and his body exposed for forty-eight hours on the gibbet.  A young gentleman of the name of Forbes, a relative of Lord Forbes, is also said to have perished on this occasion.  He had served as a cadet in an English regiment, but, being from principle attached to the Jacobite interest, had joined the standard of the Prince.  An incident occurred after the execution of this unfortunate gentleman, which assumed an alarming appearance, and might have led to serious consequences had the war been continued.  Before Forbes was cut down from the gibbet, an English officer, with a morbidness of feeling which seems to have seized the officers as well as the common soldiers of the army, plunged his sword into the body of Forbes, exclaiming, at the same time, that "all his countrymen were traitors and rebels like himself."  This exclamation being heard by a Scottish officer who was standing hard by, the offended Scotsman immediately drew his sword, and demanded satisfaction for the insult offered to his country.  The Englishman instantly accepted the challenge, and in a short time the combat became general among the officers who happened to be on the spot.  The soldiers, seeing their officers engaged, beat to arms of their own accord, and drew up along the streets, the Scottish on one side and the English on the other, and commenced a warm combat with fixed bayonets.

Information of this affray having been brought to the Duke of Cumberland, he hastened to the scene of action, and by his persuasions put an end to the combat.  He found the Scottish greatly excited by the affront offered them; but he soothed their wounded feelings by complimenting them for their fidelity, their courage, and exemplary conduct.  Notwithstanding the massacres which were committed immediately after the battle, a considerable number of wounded Highlanders still survived, some of whom had taken refuge in a few cottages adjoining the field of battle, while others lay scattered among the neighbouring inclosures.  Many of these men might have recovered if ordinary attention had been paid to them; but the stern Duke, considering that those who had risen in rebellion against his father were not entitled to the rights of humanity, entirely neglected them.  But, barbarous as such conduct was, it was only the prelude to enormities of a still more revolting description.

At first the victors conceived that they had completed the work of death by killing all the wounded they could discover; but when they were informed that some still survived, they resolved to despatch them.  A Mr. Hossack, who had filled the situation of provost of Inverness, and who had, under the direction of President Forbes, performed important services to the government, having gone to pay his respects to the Duke of Cumberland, found Generals Hawley and Huske deliberating on this inhuman design.  Observing them intent upon their object, and actually proceeding to make out orders for killing the wounded Highlanders, he ventured to remonstrate against such a barbarous step.  "As his majesty's troops have been happily successful against the rebels, I hope (observed Hossack) your excellencies will be so good as to mingle mercy with judgment."  Hawley, in a rage, cried out, "D-n the puppy! does he pretend to dictate here? Carry him away!"  Another officer ordered Hossack to be kicked out, and the order was obeyed with such instantaneous precision, that the ex-provost found himself at the bottom of two flights of steps almost in a twinkling.

In terms of the cruel instructions alluded to, a party was despatched from Inverness the day after the battle to put to death all the wounded they might find in the inclosure adjoining the field of Culloden.  These orders were fulfilled with a punctuality and deliberation that is sickening to read of.  Instead of despatching their unfortunate victims on the spot where they found them, the soldiers dragged them from the places where they lay weltering in their gore, and, having ranged them on some spots of rising ground, poured in volleys of musketry upon them.

Next day parties were sent to search all the houses in the neighbourhood of the field of battle, with instructions to carry all the wounded Highlanders they could find thither and despatch them.  Many were in the consequence murdered; and the young laird of Macleod was heard frankly to declare, that on this occasion he himself saw seventy-two persons killed in cold blood.  The feelings of humanity were not, however, altogether obliterated in the hearts of some of the officers, who spared a few of the wounded.  In one instance the almost incredible cruelty of the soldiery was strikingly exemplified.

At a short distance from the field of battle there stood a small hut, used for sheltering sheep and goats in cold and stormy weather, into which some of the wounded had crawled.  On discovering them the soldiers immediately secured the door, to prevent egress, and thereupon set fire to the hut in several places, and all the persons within, to the number of between thirty and forty, perished in the flames.  Another instance of fiendish cruelty occurred the same day.  Almost immediately after the battle, nineteen wounded officers of the Highland army, unable to follow their retiring companions, secreted themselves in a small plantation near Culloden House, whence they were afterwards carried to the court-yard of that mansion, where they remained two days in great torture weltering in their blood, and without the least medical aid or attention but such as they received from the president's steward, who, at the hazard of his own life, alleviated the sufferings of his unhappy countrymen by several acts of kindness.  These wretched sufferers were now tied with ropes by the brutal soldiery, thrown into carts, and carried out to the park wall at a short distance from Culloden House.  Being dragged out of the carts, they were ranged in order along the wall, and were told by the officer in command of the party to prepare for death.  Such of them as retained the use of their limbs fell down upon their knees in prayer; but they had little time allowed them to invoke mercy, for in a minute the soldiers received orders to fire, and, being posted at the distance of only two or three yards from the prisoners, the unfortunate gentlemen were almost instantly shot dead.  That the butchery might be complete, the soldiers were ordered to club their muskets and dash out the brains of such of their miserable victims as exhibited any symptoms of life, an order which, horrible to tell, was actually fulfilled.

A gentleman named John Fraser, who had been an officer in the Master of Lovat's regiment, alone survived.  He had received a ball, and being observed to be still in life, was struck on the face by a soldier with the butt end of his musket.  Though one of his cheek bones and the upper part of his nose were broken, and one of his eyes dashed out by the blow, he still lived, and the party, thinking they had killed him, left him for dead.  He would probably have expired on the spot, had not the attention of Lord Body (Boyd), son of the earl of Kilmarnock, when riding past, been fortunately attracted by the number of dead bodies he observed lying together.  Espying , at a little distance from the heap, a body in motion, his lordship went up, and having ascertained from the mouth of the sufferer who he was, he ordered his servant to carry Mr. Fraser to a cottage, near at hand, which he named, where he lay concealed for three months.  He lived several years afterwards, but was a cripple during life.


(If you find errors, or text which should be amended please notify the webmaster - C&P the paragraph/s as appearing above and then with the suggested change/s.  Name spellings can vary over the years and from different sources.  The original source of this material is unknown and was provided to the webmaster.)

The 'missing verse' of the British National Anthem, added after the battle :-

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

 

 

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This page was amended on 09 December, 2014