July 25 August 5.
Prince Charles returned to Paris not a little disappointed, but receiving no further encouragement from France nourished the hope of landing in Scotland and making his attempt with the aid of his British adherents only. Those adherents for their part had warned him that success was hopeless unless he should bring with him at least six thousand men and ten thousand stand of arms; but Charles was none the less determined to try his fortune. The defeat of the British at Fontenoy doubtless strengthened his resolution: in June 1745 he came to a definite decision, and on the 25th of July he landed at Loch-nan-Uamh, between Moidart and Arisaig, with seven companions, of whom one only besides himself, Sir John Macdonald, had any experience of the military profession. Three weeks before his actual arrival a rumour of his landing had reached Sir John Cope, the General commanding in Scotland, who recommended that all officers should be recalled to their posts, and that every precaution should be taken. Even so, however, Charles had been on Scottish soil a full week before Cope could believe the rumour to be true.
August 19 30 .
The three persons on whom the Government chiefly relied for the safety of Scotland were Cope himself, Andrew Fletcher, the Lord Justice-Clerk, and Duncan Forbes, the Lord President: but the only man in authority who at once betrayed serious apprehension was the Lord Advocate Craigie, who had been dreading some such complication ever since Fontenoy. Cope also was uneasy, owing to the extreme weakness of the force at his disposal. He had not, in all, more than three thousand men, for the most part new and raw regiments upon which he could repose little trust, and which in spite of his representations in the previous year were not even properly armed. He resolved, however, to march northward at once in order to overawe any waverers by a display of force: and on receiving at last, after long delay, absolute confirmation of the news of the Pretender’s disembarkation, he threw his most trustworthy regiment, the Sixth Foot, with two companies of the Royal Scots, into the forts which protected the line of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness. It was, however, impossible for him to move without first making provision for the subsistence of his little army, and this was a work of much time and difficulty. It was not until the 19th of August that he finally marched from Edinburgh for Fort Augustus with fifteen hundred men of the Forty-fourth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Foot, and a convoy of stores so large as greatly to impede his movements.
Meanwhile affairs had assumed a far more dangerous complexion. Charles had been active in summoning the leaders of the clans on which he counted; and though less favourably received than he had hoped he had secured Cameron of Lochiel, Macdonald of Keppoch, Macdonald of Glengarry, and others. On the 16th of August a party of Keppoch’s and Lochiel’s men succeeded in cutting off two companies of the Royal Scots which were on their way to Fort Augustus, killed a dozen of them, and took the rest prisoners: and on the 19th, the very day of Cope’s departure from Edinburgh, Charles raised his standard at Glenfinnan, to find himself on the next day at the head of sixteen hundred men.
Cope had not yet received full intelligence of these transactions, but it was pretty evident to him that his advance to the north was likely to be something more than a mere military promenade, and he became extremely unwilling to execute it. Yielding, however, to positive orders from the Lords-Justices he continued his march upon Fort Augustus, not a little disgusted to find that, though he had encumbered his train with several hundred stand of arms for distribution to loyal volunteers, no such volunteers were forthcoming to receive them. Charles, for his part, on receiving information of Cope’s approach, with great promptitude made a forced march to Corry Arrack, the worst pass on the road, and having disposed his troops with great skill, waited exultingly for the coming of the red-coats that he might overwhelm them during their passage of the defile. To his surprise not a man appeared. Cope had been made aware of his dispositions and had turned aside from Dalwhinnie to Inverness, leaving the road to the south open to the rebels. From Inverness he despatched urgent messages to Edinburgh for transports to convey his troops southward by sea.
Cope has always been greatly blamed for this movement, the contention being that he should either have maintained his ground in front of Charles or have fallen back on Stirling. All critics, however, overlook the crucial points, that not only was his force inferior to that of the rebels but that he could not trust a man of them. Charles’s Highlanders could march two miles to Cope’s one, and would have made short work of a large convoy in charge of undisciplined troops. Again, if Cope had halted, the rebels would have been on him in a few hours before he had had time to entrench himself, even supposing that he could have found entrenching tools. The fact that he sent for transports shows that he would not rely upon his troops in a retreat; the advance northward was undertaken contrary to his advice, and the misfortune that followed was simply the usual result of civilians’ interference with military operations.
Aug. 30 Sept. 10.
Sept. 4 15 .
Sept. 11 22 .
Charles, on his side, lost no time in following up his advantage, and at once pushed rapidly southward. One of his parties was, indeed, repelled by the minute English garrison which held the post at Ruthin, but his men indemnified themselves by bringing in Macpherson of Cluny a prisoner, and thereby gaining Lord Lovat and the Frasers to the cause. By the 30th of August Charles had reached Blair Athol, and on the 4th of September he entered Perth, where he was joined by James Drummond, titular Duke of Perth, and Lord George Murray, both of them valuable acquisitions for the following that they brought with them, while Murray was, in addition, a very skilful officer. Resuming his march on the 11th, he avoided the guns of Stirling Castle by fording the Forth eight miles above the fortress, and took up his quarters in the town of Stirling, which had opened its gates to him. By the 15th he was within eight miles of Edinburgh.
Sept. 16 27 .
Sept. 17 28 .
The city was in consternation over his approach. The Castle of Edinburgh was, indeed, provided with an adequate garrison, but the town was absolutely defenceless; nor were there any regular troops at hand excepting the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dragoons, both of them young regiments, raw and untrained. On the morning of the 16th these two corps, together with a party of the town-guard, were drawn up at Coltbridge, when their picquets were suddenly driven in by the pistol-shots of a few mounted gentlemen of the rebel army. The picquets were seized with inexplicable panic, which presently communicated itself to the main body; and in a few minutes both regiments, despite the entreaties of their officers, were off at full gallop to the south, never stopping until they reached Preston. They had not been there long before the panic was rekindled. One of the dragoons, while in search of forage after dark, fell into a disused coal-pit full of water and shouted lustily for help. Instantly the cry was raised that the Highlanders were on them, and the men, rushing to their horses, galloped away once more through the night, and could not be halted till they reached Dunbar. The “Canter of Coltbrigg,” as this ludicrous but shameful flight was dubbed, was the source of all the subsequent success of the Pretender. So petty are the causes that will go near to overset a throne. Probably, if the truth of the matter could be known, it would be found that a few raw horses, unbroken to fire-arms, among the picquets were the cause of the whole disaster. For the moment, however, the panic was decisive in its results. Charles entered Edinburgh without resistance on the following day and took up his quarters at Holyrood; but halting for no more than twenty-four hours in the capital he pursued his march to the south. His troops by this time had swelled to twenty-five hundred men, though many of these were indifferently armed, and the force was absolutely destitute of artillery. Still happy chance had sent panic in advance of him, and he wisely followed it with all possible speed.
Sept. 19 30 .
Sept. 20 October 1.
Cope, meanwhile, on hearing of the march of the rebels southward had moved from Inverness to Aberdeen, where, on the arrival of transports from Edinburgh, he embarked his men and arrived safely on the 16th of September at Dunbar. On the two following days the troops were disembarked, and the army, being reinforced by two hundred Highland levies under Lord Loudoun, and by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dragoons, was raised to a total of twenty-three hundred men, with six guns. On the 19th Cope marched northward along the coast road, and on the following day caught sight of the rebels, not, as he had expected, to westward, but to southward of him, quietly halted on the brow of Carberry Hill. He at once took up a strong position, with his rear resting on the sea, his left being covered by a marsh and his right by two enclosures with walls seven feet high, between which ran the road to the village of Prestonpans. In his front lay another enclosure surrounded by a ditch from ten to twelve feet broad; and thus naturally entrenched, Cope’s force might well have seemed unassailable. The rebels, however, moved down from the hill and took up their position opposite to the marsh on Cope’s right. Cope therefore changed front to the left so as to rest his right on the ditch and his left on the sea, thus presenting his front to the marsh, an alteration which appeared to offer the rebels little advantage. In the course of the evening, however, a man well acquainted with the marsh pointed out to the rebel commanders a passage by which it might safely be traversed; and in the course of the night Charles threw his army safely across and formed it for attack in two lines—twelve hundred men in the first, and the remainder, who were but ill-armed, in the second line. His new position was not more than two hundred yards from the English camp, for Cope, deeming the marsh impassable, had omitted to post a single guard or sentry on that side.
Sept. 21 October 2.
A little before daybreak the alarm was given in Cope’s camp, and the General hastened to form his line of battle, with his infantry, as usual, in the centre, the Thirteenth Dragoons on his right wing, and the Fourteenth Dragoons on his left. The Highlanders were no sooner formed than Charles gave the signal for attack. They rushed forward with a yell upon the artillery before Cope’s front, and drove the gunners, who were seamen from the fleet, away from their guns. Then, firing a volley at the dragoons, they rushed straight upon them with the broadsword and slashed furiously at the noses of the horses. The dragoons, already too well inured to panic, at once wheeled about in confusion. The infantry, though uncovered on both flanks, remained steady and poured in a destructive fire, but the Highlanders immediately closed with them, and the bayonet was no match for broadsword and target. In a few minutes the English were broken and flying for their lives. Four hundred were cut down on the spot and over a thousand more were taken prisoners, one hundred and seventy only succeeding in making their escape. The loss of the rebels was no more than thirty killed and seventy wounded. The whole action did not last ten minutes, and yet never was victory more complete. The dragoons were so thoroughly scared that, after galloping first to Edinburgh, where the Governor indignantly refused to admit them to the Castle, they turned round and hurried south to Berwick, where Cope had already arrived before them.
The moral effect of Prestonpans was prodigious. Twice the English troops had faced the Highlanders, and each time they had fled in panic. On the first occasion no blood had been shed, but Prestonpans brought with it a memory and a tradition of horror, for all of the slain English had perished by the sword, and the field presented a frightful spectacle of severed limbs and mutilated bodies. Charles was for taking advantage of the moment and marching immediately upon London; and if he had done so it is probable that he would at least have reached the capital. There was little or no enthusiasm among the English for the cause of the Guelphs, and there were few or no troops to stand in Charles’s way; there was only one fortified place, Newcastle, to trouble him to the south of the Tweed, and the whole district was profoundly scared. But the Highlanders were already hurrying homeward with the plunder gained by the action, diminishing the strength of his force by one-half; so that it was deemed more prudent to return to Edinburgh.
Charles’s great object now was the reduction of Edinburgh Castle, which with Stirling Castle and the forts in the Highlands was practically all of Scotland that remained to the Guelphs. A blockade of a few weeks would have forced it to submission by famine, but General Guest, the Governor, threatened to lay the town in ashes if his supplies were cut off. A few shots from his cannon showed that he was in earnest, and, in deference to the entreaties of the townsfolk, Charles was fain to let him have his way. The circumstance might in itself have sufficed to show the futility of military operations on such terms, but the gain of certain prominent Scottish nobles to the cause, and the addition of several hundred volunteers to the rebel army, seemed to afford some compensation for this enforced inactivity. By the end of October Charles’s force was augmented to six thousand men, five-sixths of them excellent material, while its efficiency was further heightened by the arrival of several French and Irish officers, who brought with them money, five thousand stand of arms, and six pieces of field artillery.
Meanwhile military preparations went forward in England with feverish activity. Cumberland, as has already been told, received orders to send back first a part, and then the whole of his army: and now the full peril of the situation in Flanders can be realised. It is plain from Ligonier’s letters that Saxe had it in his power to destroy the British force encamped at Vilvorde, and that one good soldier at least lived in daily dread of the catastrophe. Had Ligonier’s apprehension been fulfilled the throne of the Guelphs must have fallen: and the fault would have been King George’s own, for his folly in trifling with the war for two campaigns instead of pursuing it vigorously as Stair had advised. As things were, however, the British passed the North Sea in safety, together with certain Dutch and Hessians who had been summoned, as in 1715, the help of England in pursuance of the Treaty. The Dutch indeed arrived before the British could be despatched, and thus of ten battalions placed under the command of Marshal Wade for the defence of the kingdom no fewer than seven were foreign. Pending the arrival of the troops from over sea frantic efforts were made to fill the ranks, as usual much depleted by drafts, of the regiments at home. On the 6th of September a bounty of no less than six pounds was offered to every recruit who would join the Guards before the 24th, and of four pounds to any enlisting between the 24th and the 1st of October. The spirit of the country also began slowly to kindle: and the newspapers fanned the rising flame by an incessant blast of “No popery, no arbitrary power, no wooden shoes.” Fifteen leading noblemen offered to raise and equip two regiments of horse and thirteen of foot at their own expense. The gentlemen of Yorkshire raised a Royal Regiment of Hunters, first germ of our present Yeomanry, which served without pay. Companies of volunteers were formed in London. The peaceful Quakers combined to present every soldier with a flannel waistcoat for the coming winter campaign: and a subscription was started in the City to provide a blanket and two paillasses to each tent, thirty watch-coats to each battalion, and a pair of worsted gloves to every man. The militia also was called out in several counties: and finally Cope was removed from the command in Scotland and replaced by General Handasyde.
Oct. 31 Nov. 11.
Charles in the meantime was anxious to move southward with the least possible delay, and fight the motley force which was gathered together under Wade at Newcastle; but his Scottish adherents were most unwilling to move, and it was only when he declared his determination to enter England alone, if no one would follow him, that they grudgingly consented to march for a little distance over the border. Lord George Murray with great wisdom advised that the advance should be through Cumberland rather than Northumberland, which would compel Wade to harass his troops by marches along bad roads through a difficult country. If Wade should remain inactive, which his previous behaviour in command suggested to be more than likely, the rebels would be at liberty to move whither they pleased. The better to conceal the true direction of the advance the army was divided into two columns, the one under Charles himself to march by way of Kelso and the other by way of Moffat, both to converge ultimately on Carlisle. Thus at length, on the 31st of October, the rebels began their advance southward, but still in no very good heart. The letters of the chiefs show that they looked upon the whole enterprise as desperate, and that they longed to be at their homes reaping their harvest, and looking to the wintering of their herds. The rank and file of the Highlanders did not write letters, but simply betook themselves in scores to their homes.
Nov. 8 19 .
Nov. 17 28 .
Nov. 20 Dec. 1.
Murray’s plan of invasion succeeded admirably. On his arrival at Kelso Charles sent forward an advanced party to order quarters at Wooler, and having thus alarmed Wade for Newcastle turned sharply to the westward and entered Cumberland by Liddesdale. On the following day he was joined by the other column, and the united army, some five thousand strong, proceeded to the investment of Carlisle. The town was held only by a garrison of militia, but the commander and the mayor refused to surrender, and the siege was delayed by a false alarm that Wade was marching to rescue. On the 13th of November, however, batteries were raised by the rebels, whereupon the mayor’s courage evaporated and his worship requested a capitulation for the town. Charles refused to grant it unless the Castle also was included, and the result was that he gained both Castle and town with the loss of hardly a man. Wade, when it was too late, started to relieve Carlisle, but, being stopped by a fall of snow, returned again to Newcastle, and sent General Handasyde with two battalions of foot and a regiment of dragoons to re-occupy Edinburgh. This movement increased the anxiety of the Highlanders to return home: but after some debate it was decided to continue the advance. Two hundred men were left to garrison Carlisle, and with a force greatly reduced by desertion Charles, on the 20th, renewed his march to the south without the least molestation from Wade. On the 27th he passed the Ribble, that barrier so often fatal to Scottish invasion, at Preston, where he was well received, and a few recruits were added to his army. Acclamations, too, greeted him on his way to Wigan and Manchester, but the people refused to accept the arms that were offered to them or to enlist themselves for his cause. Only at Manchester the exertions of Mr. Francis Townley, a Roman Catholic of a very old family in the county, availed to raise a couple of hundred men. It was but a trifling addition compared with that expected by the Highland chiefs, and served to confirm their misgivings as to the desperate character of the enterprise.
English troops now began to close in upon the little rebel army from every side. Wade was moving down upon it from the north; Cumberland lay before it with eight thousand men at Lichfield, while a still larger force of militia, stiffened by battalions of the Guards, was in process of concentration at Finchley Common for the defence of London. Still the rebels pursued their march southward, the people staring at them as they passed, amused but indifferent, and apparently hardly able to take the matter seriously. At Cambridge sensible middle-aged men talked of taking a chaise to go and see them on the road; and Hogarth, to the great good fortune of posterity, could see nothing in the march of the Guards to Finchley but an admirable subject for the exercise of his pencil and the indulgence of his satire. Yet there was still a panic in store for London. From Macclesfield Lord George Murray sent forward a small force to Congleton, which pushed away a party of horse that lay there and pursued it for some way along the road to Newcastle-under-Lyme. Cumberland, thinking that the rebels were about to advance by that line or turn westward into Wales, turned also westward to Stone to intercept them, and Murray, making a forced march eastward, reached Ashbourne and on the following day entered Derby. By this man?uvre the rebel army had gained two marches on Cumberland and successfully passed by the most formidable force interposed between it and London. The capital was in consternation. Business was suspended, all shops were shut, and the Bank of England only escaped disaster by making its payments in sixpences in order to gain time. Cumberland on discovering his mistake hurried his cavalry by desperate marches to Northampton in order to regain, if possible, the ground that he had lost, but the only result was utter exhaustion of the horses; and the Duke of Richmond, who was in command of this cavalry, frankly confessed that he did not see how the enemy could be stopped. The rapidity of the rebels’ movements, the difficulty of moving regular troops during the winter along execrable roads, and above all the want of an efficient head at Whitehall to replace the timid and incompetent Newcastle, served to paralyse the whole strength of England.
Dec. 6 17 .
Dec. 18 29 .
Jan. 3 14 .
On the night of his arrival at Derby Charles discussed at length the question of the dress which he should wear on his entry into London; but on the following day his officers represented to him the danger of further advance, with Wade and Cumberland closing in upon his rear. News had arrived of the landing of French troops at Montrose; it would be better, they urged, to retreat while there was yet time and to join them. Charles combated the proposition hotly for the whole day, but yielded at last; and on the morrow the retreat was begun. Cumberland, who had 佛山桑拿论坛888 fallen back to Coventry, at once caught up four thousand men and followed the rebels by forced marches, but did not overtake them until the 18th, when his advanced parties made an attack on Murray’s rear-guard at Clifton Moor, a few miles to the south of Penrith. The English, however, were repulsed with the loss of a hundred men, a misadventure easily explained by the fact that the action was fought after dark, when the musket was a poor match for the claymore. Still the repulse was not creditable to the royal troops nor encouraging for further attempts upon the rebel rear-guard. Wade meanwhile made no attempt to intercept the northward march of Charles, who crossed the Esk into Scotland unmolested on the 20th of December, and six days later occupied Glasgow. His force, despite many days of halt, had covered the distance from 佛山夜生活上门 Edinburgh to Derby and from Derby back to Glasgow in exactly eight weeks. A few days later he resumed his march to Stirling, where he was joined by the French, who had landed at Montrose, and by other levies which, notwithstanding General Handasyde’s entreaties that they might be attacked from Edinburgh and Inverness, had been allowed to assemble in the north. These reinforcements augmented his strength to nine thousand men: and since the French had brought with them battering guns Charles resolved to besiege the Castle of Stirling and so to secure for himself, if possible, all Scotland north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde.
Meanwhile Cumberland after recovering Carlisle had been recalled to the south of England with most of his infantry to guard the southern coast in case of a French invasion. Wade, who was quite worn out 佛山桑拿部长qq with age and infirmity, was also removed from his command, and at Cumberland’s nomination General Hawley was appointed to be Commander-in-Chief in Scotland. Hawley was a man of obscure origin, rough and brutal in manners, but a strict disciplinarian of the ruder school which was beloved of Cumberland, and very far from an incapable soldier. On his arrival at Edinburgh he found himself entrusted with twelve battalions and four regiments of dragoons, and with absolute liberty to do with them as he thought best. Still his difficulties were considerable. Artillery had been given to him but no gunners, his instructions being that he should draw the latter from the garrisons of Berwick and of Edinburgh. On being summoned, however, these gunners proved to be civilians who had been foisted on to the establishment for the sake 佛山桑拿兼职qm女 of their votes, and were not intended to be of any other service. The same principle could be traced in every other detail relating to these two garrisons, for the trail of corruption was over all. Many of the battalions again were no better than militia, and the infantry generally was in so bad a state that it was hard to raise above three or four thousand men fit for service from the whole of it. “I hope we shan’t be blamed,” wrote Hawley, in explaining his inaction, “but it is not the name of twelve battalions that will do the business. No diligence in me shall be wanting, but a man cannot work without tools. The heavy artillery is still at Newcastle for want of horses, which were sent to Carlisle for no use. The major of artillery is absent through sickness. I suspect his sickness to be a young wife: I know him. 佛山桑拿按摩包吹 I have been obliged to hire a conductor of artillery, and seventy odd men to act as his assistants for the field-artillery. I was three days getting them from the Castle to the Palace-yard and now they are not fit to march.” At length by great exertion the whole force of twelve battalions and three regiments of dragoons, with its artillery, was made ready for the field. Hawley then moved up to Falkirk on the way to relieve the beleaguered Castle of Stirling, and encamped on the western
side of the town.
Jan. 17 28 .
The rebels so far had made little progress with the siege. The French engineer with them, who was a coxcomb of little skill, had chosen wrong sites for his batteries, and General Blakeney, who was in command of the garrison, had made him sensible of the fact by a most destructive fire. On the 16th of January Charles, hearing of Hawley’s march upon Falkirk, left a few hundred men to maintain the blockade of the Castle, and advanced with the remainder to Bannockburn, where he drew them up, as on a field of good omen, in order of battle. Hawley, however, declined to move, his artillery being but just come up: so on the following day Charles determined to attack him. While he was moving forward Hawley was enjoying the hospitality of Callendar House from Lady Kilmarnock, wife to one of the rebel leaders, having left General Huske, an excellent officer, in command. Man?uvring with a small detachment to distract Huske’s attention to the northward along the road that leads to Stirling, Charles led his army to the south of the English camp, and then advanced upon it towards a ridge of rugged upland known as Falkirk Muir. The English drums promptly beat to arms, and urgent messages were despatched to Callendar House for Hawley, who presently galloped up at speed without his hat. Hastily placing himself at the head of the three regiments of dragoons he hurried with them in the teeth of a storm of rain and wind to the top of Falkirk Muir, ordering the foot to follow with bayonets fixed. The rebels however reached the summit of the ridge before him; and Hawley then formed his army on the lower ground, drawing up the infantry in two lines, with the cavalry before them on the left of the first line. His left was covered by an impassable morass, and thus it came about that the left of the rebels, who were also formed in two lines, stood opposite to his centre. The numbers of each army were about nine thousand men. The formation of the British being complete, Hawley, who had great faith in the power of cavalry against the Highlanders, ordered the dragoons to attack. They advanced accordingly. The Highlanders waited with perfect coolness until they were within ten yards of them, and then poured in an effective volley. Therewith the evil tradition of panic seized at once upon the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dragoons, which turned about and galloped off in disorder. The Ninth Dragoons showed more firmness, but the Highlanders throwing themselves on the ground thrust at the bellies of the horses with their dirks, and they also were beaten back. Then the Highlanders advanced, and the foot, shaken by the defeat of the horse and blinded by wind and rain, fired an irregular volley. One-fourth of the muskets missed fire owing to the rain, and every regiment excepting two at once turned and fled. No efforts of their officers, who behaved with the greatest gallantry, had the least effect in stopping them, though many were regiments of famous reputation; and the Highlanders pursuing with the claymore made not a little havoc among the fugitives. On the right of the first line, however, the Fourth and Forty-eighth stood firm, their front ranks kneeling with bayonets fixed while the middle and rear ranks fired, and repulsed the left wing of the rebels: the Fourteenth soon rallied and joined them, the Royal Scots and Buffs rallied also, and these troops keeping up a steady fire made, with the Ninth Dragoons, an orderly retreat. The losses did not exceed two hundred and eighty of all ranks, killed, wounded or missing, the two regiments that stood firm coming off with little hurt, the Forty-eighth indeed without injury to a man.
The action cannot be called a great defeat if a defeat at all, but it was a disgrace, and Hawley felt it to be so. “My heart is broke,” he wrote to Cumberland, “I can’t say we are quite beat, but our left is beat and their left is beat…. Such scandalous cowardice I never saw before. The whole second line of foot ran away without firing a shot.” It may well be that Hawley’s absence during the preliminary man?uvres of the rebel army and his hurried arrival immediately before the action contributed to make the troops unsteady, but in reality there was nothing to excuse their precipitate flight except that, as Hawley had himself written from Edinburgh, they were little better than militia. The truth was, that by constant talk of the desperate prowess of the Highlanders and by endless gloating, such as the ignorant delight in, over the horrors of the field of Prestonpans, the men had worked themselves into a state of almost superstitious terror. Such a thing is not rare in military history and has, unless I am mistaken, been seen again in our own army within our own time.
Hawley was soon able to report that the whole of his force had recovered itself with the exception of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dragoons, which appear to have been hopelessly demoralised. Nor can it be denied that the General’s remedies were stern enough. “There are fourteen deserters taken,” he wrote, a fortnight after the action, “shall they be hanged? Thirty-one of Hamilton’s dragoons are to be hanged for deserting to the rebels, and thirty-two of the foot to be shot for cowardice.” Still it was felt that there was but one way thoroughly to restore the spirit of the troops, namely that the Duke of Cumberland should take command of them in person. The Duke no sooner received his orders than he hurried to Edinburgh, travelling night and day with such speed that he accomplished the journey from London in less than six days. Neither he nor the King blamed Hawley. Indiscipline was in his opinion the reason for the failure, and he came up to Scotland fully resolved to put an end to it. He seems in fact to have joined the army, asking in scornful and indignant surprise what was the meaning of this foolish flight of English infantry before wild Highlanders: and this attitude was almost sufficient in itself to put the soldiers upon their mettle.
Feb. 1 12 .
Hawley had made all preparations for an advance against the Duke’s arrival, and on the 31st of January Cumberland moved forward to Falkirk with twelve battalions of foot, two regiments of dragoons, in which neither the Thirteenth nor the Fourteenth was included, and several companies of loyal Highlanders. The rebels thereupon raised the siege of Stirling and retired, much against the will of Charles, to Inverness, leaving their battering guns in the trenches behind them. Cumberland at once sent forward his dragoons in pursuit, and pushed on as rapidly as possible to Perth. He was in no amiable mood, and gave an indication of his feelings towards the rebels by granting his troops licence to plunder the estates of rebel leaders on the march. Arriving at Perth he was detained for several days by the difficulty of collecting supplies and transport. Nevertheless the campaign was at last to be conducted with common sense. Cumberland was careful to give his troops special training against their enemy, prescribing for the infantry the formation so successfully adopted by the Fourth and Forty-eighth at Falkirk, and directing that when at close quarters with Highlanders each soldier should turn his bayonet not against the enemy immediately before him, but against the man on his own right front, where the target could not parry the thrust. But this, though creditable to Cumberland, was of small importance compared to the change in the general situation. The rebels were in full retreat from the fertile lowlands into the barren mountains, and their supplies from France were cut off by British ships of war, while Cumberland’s force was fed from the sea. When one army is full and another starving, lead and steel are hardly needed to decide the victory.
Feb. 18 March 1.
Nevertheless, even after his retreat from Stirling Charles met with some trifling successes. Inverness, when he reached it, was held by Lord Loudoun with some raw Highland levies. Loudoun made a night march in the hope of seizing Charles’s person at Moy Castle, some ten miles distant; but half a dozen of the rebel Highlanders, firing a few shots and raising the war-cry of their clans, kindled the inevitable panic, and Loudoun’s men ran away to Inverness in such disorder that he decided to evacuate the town, and retired across the Moray Firth. In the course of the evacuation panic again overtook his men, and fully a third of them deserted. Charles occupied the town on the following day, and thus obtained a port into which such French ships as might elude the British cruisers could bring him supplies. Another of his parties, again, contrived to capture Fort Augustus, together with three companies of the Sixth Foot which formed its garrison. But his attempts against Fort William and Blair Castle were fruitless, for both posts though besieged, and the latter indeed hard pressed, held out with the greatest firmness and determination. Thus the barrier of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness was never wholly broken through.
During all this time Cumberland’s temper was steadily rising. For all his impatience, his operations were delayed by bad weather and difficulties of transport; though his troops scoured the country overawing and disarming the inhabitants he could obtain no intelligence of the rebels whatever; and the petty defeat of Loudoun, though of no very great importance, was from its moral effect extremely irritating. Throughout the month of March he remained at Aberdeen unable to move; and meanwhile a further revival of the spirit of panic exasperated him beyond measure. Five thousand Hessians under Prince Frederick of Hesse-Cassel had been taken into British pay, landed in Scotland, and posted at Perth to check any attempt of the rebels to return to southward. On the intelligence of a petty inroad of rebel parties upon Blair and Rannoch Prince Frederick actually decided to evacuate Perth and fall back to Stirling. Cumberland was no sooner apprised of this decision than he ordered the Hessians forward to relieve Blair Castle, but the Prince from sheer timidity shrank from any attempt to execute the command. Fortunately Blair was able to defend itself: but Cumberland did not fail to let the Prince know what he thought of his conduct.
April 15 26 .
At length on the 8th of April the Duke was able to advance from Aberdeen, and having crossed the Spey successfully on the 12th, pushed forward by forced marches upon Nairn. On the evening of the 14th his advanced parties had a brush with the rebels’ rear-guard, and he knew that his enemy lay at last within his reach. Charles lodged for that night at Culloden House, some twelve miles from Nairn, while his troops, now reduced to five thousand starving, dispirited men, bivouacked on Culloden Moor. On the following day he drew up his army in order of battle; but the Duke had granted his troops a halt at Nairn after their exertions, and the more readily since the 15th was his birthday. Charles therefore formed the bold design of surprising him in his camp on that same night; but though his troops were actually set in motion for the purpose, the men were too weak from privation to traverse the distance within the appointed time; and they fell back weary and despondent, having fatigued themselves to no purpose. Charles’s officers were now for moving to some stronger position, but the young Prince’s head seems to have been turned by his previous successes, and he resolved to accept battle where he stood.
April 16 27 .
Between four and five in the morning of the next day the Duke broke up from Nairn, and after a march of eight miles received intelligence from his advanced parties that the rebels were in his front. He at once formed in order of battle, but finding that the enemy did not come forward, continued his march. The rebels were formed in two lines, their right resting on some straggling park walls and huts, their left extending towards Culloden House. The Duke’s army was disposed in three lines, the two first consisting each of six battalions of infantry and two regiments of dragoons, while the Highland irregulars formed the third line. The entire force numbered about ten thousand men with ten guns, which were stationed in pairs between the battalions of the first line. “Now,” said the Duke, turning to his men when all was in order, “I don’t suppose that there are any men here who are disinclined to fight, but if there be, I beg them in God’s name to go, for I would rather face the Highlanders with a thousand resolute men at my back than with ten thousand half-hearted.” The men answered with cheers, and there could be little doubt as to the issue of the battle. Hawley and the dragoons were then sent forward to break down the enclosures on the enemy’s right, and at ten o’clock the rebels opened the action with a discharge from their artillery.
The Duke’s cannon instantly took up the challenge; but the duel could not last long, for Charles’s guns were ill-aimed and ill-served, whereas the British fire was most accurate and destructive. The right and centre of the Highlanders, unable to endure the grape, presently rushed forward, swept round the left of the British line upon the flank and rear of the Fourth and Twenty-seventh Regiments, and for a short time threw them into some confusion. At every other point, however, they were speedily driven back by a crushing fire, and the Fourth and Twenty-seventh, recovering themselves, turned bayonet against claymore and target for the first time with success. In utter rage at this repulse the rebels for a few minutes flung stones at the hated red-coats; but by this time Hawley had broken through the enclosures and turned four guns upon Charles’s second line. On the left of the rebels the Macdonalds, sulking because they had not the place of honour, refused to move, and now the English dragoons burst in upon the Highlanders from both flanks, and, charging through them till they met in the middle, shivered them to fragments. The rout of the enemy was complete and the dragoons galloped on to the pursuit. One thousand of Charles’s troops were killed on the spot, and five hundred prisoners, of whom two hundred were French, were taken. The remainder fled in all directions. The loss of the Duke’s army was slight, barely reaching three hundred men killed and wounded, of whom two-thirds were of the Fourth and Twenty-seventh. The victory was decisive: the rebellion was crushed at a blow, and all hopes of a restoration of the Stuarts were at last and for ever extinguished.
The campaign ended, as a victorious campaign against mountaineers must always end, in the hunting of fugitives, the burning of villages, and the destruction of crops. To this work the troops were now let loose, as they had already been in the march to Perth, though now with encouragement rather than restraint, and with no attention to “proper precautions.” But enough and too much has been written of the inhumanity which earned for Cumberland the name of the butcher; his services were far too valuable to be overlooked, and himself of far too remarkable character to be tossed aside with the brand of a single hateful epithet. Charles Edward, and Murray, the ablest of his officers, had turned the gifts which fortune gave them, and the peculiar powers of their little force in rapidity of movement and vigour of attack, to an account which entitles them to very high praise as commanders. It was by such bold actions as Falkirk and Prestonpans, and by such skilful man?uvres as left Wade astern at Newcastle and Cumberland at Stone, that our Indian Empire was won. Thus it was against no unskilful leaders that Cumberland was matched; and on taking the command he found the British regular troops in a state of demoralisation, through repeated panic, which is almost incredible. Whole regiments were running away on the slightest alarm, in spite of the heroism of their officers; and even a General, a foreigner and a royal prince, Frederick of Hesse-Cassel, prepared to retreat at the mere rumour of the approach of a few score of Highlanders. To all this, Cumberland, by the prestige of his position and rugged force of character, put an end. He was called up, young as he was, to a duty from which almost every General in Europe, of what experience soever, would have shrunk—a winter campaign in a mountainous country. Ninety-nine men out of a hundred would have waited for the summer, and indeed such delay was expected of Cumberland, but he pressed on to his task at once. He restored the confidence of his troops partly by the dignity of his station, partly by his own ascendency as a man, partly by his skill as a soldier, encouraging them not by mere words only, but also by training them to meet the peculiar tactics of a peculiar enemy by a new formation and a scientific, if simple, method of using the bayonet. He pursued his work persistently, despite endless difficulties, disappointments, and vexations, and did not rest until he had achieved it completely. Jacobitism, which had been the curse of the kingdom for three quarters of a century, was finally slain, and the Highlanders, who had been a plague for as long and longer, were finally subjugated, for no one’s advantage more than for their own. The methods employed were doubtless harsh, sometimes even to barbarity, being those generally used by barbarians towards each other and therefore held inexcusable among civilised men; but it is not common for half-savage mountaineers—and the Highlanders were little else—to be brought to reason without some such harsh lesson. Military execution, as it was called, was not yet an obsolete practice in war, whether for injury to the enemy or indulgence of the troops, while Tolpatches, Pandours, and other irregular bands, whose barbarities were unspeakable, were esteemed a valuable if not indispensable adjunct to the armies of the civilised nations of Europe. Moreover, French regular troops behaved quite as ill in Germany during the Seven Years’ War as any of the irregulars. Still wanton brutality and outrage, however excused by the custom of war, must remain unpardoned and unpardonable, on the score not only of humanity but of discipline. But though the blot upon Cumberland’s name must remain indelible, it should not obscure the fact that, at a time of extreme national peril, the Duke lifted the army in a few weeks, from the lowest depth which it has ever touched of demoralisation and disgrace, to its old height of confidence and self-respect.