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Scottish Regiments
The Black Watch -
1856 - 1869


ON December 1856, the establishment was reduced to 12 companies. On July 31st 1857, the regiment proceeded to Portsmouth, and on the 4th of August following it was reviewed by Her Majesty the Queen, who expressed herself highly satisfied with the fine appearance of the regiment. Between this date and the 14th the corps embarked in six different ships for the east, to assist in putting down the Indian Mutiny, and arrived at Calcutta in the October and November following.

The headquarters, with five companies of the 42d Royal Highlanders, had orders to march for Cawnpore on the night of the 28th November; but the news of the state of affairs at Cawnpore having reached Allahabad, the column was recalled, and ordered to form an intrenched camp at Cheemee. Next morning the work was begun, and progressed favourably until the 1st of December. Meanwhile the party was reinforced by awing of Her Majesty’s 38th Regiment, a wing of the 3d battalion Rifle Brigade, a party of Sappers and Artillery, making in all a force of 1050 men, with two 8-inch howitzers and four field-pieces.

At 5 A.M. on the 2d December, a messenger arrived in camp with a despatch from the Commander-in-chief, ordering the column to make forced marches to Cawnpore. It marched accordingly at 8 P.M. on the same day, and reached Cawnpore about noon on the 5th, having marched a distance of 78 miles in three days, though the men were fairly exhausted through fatigue and want of sleep.

The position which the rebels held at Cawnpore was one of great strength. Their left was posted amongst the wooded high grounds, intersected with nullahs, and thickly sprinkled with ruined bungalows and public buildings, which lie between the town and the Ganges. Their centre occupied the town itself, which was of great extent, and traversed only by narrow winding streets, singularly susceptible of defence. The position facing the intrenchment was uncovered; but from the British camp it was separated by the Ganges canal, which, descending through the centre of the Doab, falls into that river below Cawnpore. Their right stretched out behind this canal into the plain, and they held a bridge over it, and some lime-kilns and mounds of brick in front of it.

The camp of the Gwalior contingent of 10,000 was situated in this plain, about two miles in rear of the right, at the point where the Calpee road comes in. The united force, amounting now, with reinforcements which had arrived, to about 25,000 men, with 40 guns, consisted of two distinct bodies, having two distinct lines of operation and retreat ;—that of the Nana Sahib (and under the command of his brothers), whose line of retreat was in rear of the left on Bithoor; and that of the Gwalior contingent, whose retreat lay from the right upon Calpee.

General Windham, commanding in the fort, opened a heavy fire from every available gun and mortar from the intrenchment upon the hostile left and their centre in the town, so as to draw their attention entirely to that side and lead them to accumulate their troops there. Brigadier Greathed, with his brigade of 8th, 64th, and 2d Punjaub infantry, held the line of intrenchment, and engaged the enemy by a brisk attack. To the left, Brigadier Walpolo, with the 2d and 3d battalion Rifle brigade and a wing of 38th foot, crossed the canal just above the town, and advancing, skirted its walls, marking as he reached them every gate leading into the country, and throwing back the head of every column which tried to debouch thence to the aid of the right; whilst to the left, Brigadier Hope, with his Sikhs, and Highlanders, the 42d and 93d, and the 53d foot, and Brigadier Inglis, with the 23d, 32d, and 82d, moved into the plain, in front of the brick-mound, covering the enemy’s bridge on the road to Calpee. Meanwhile the whole cavalry and horse artillery made a wide sweep to the left, and crossed the canal by a bridge two miles farther up, in order to turn the flank of the rebels.

The battle commenced on the morning of the 6th with the roar of Windham’s guns from the intrenchment. After a few hours this tremendous cannonade slackened, and the rattle of Greathed’s musketry was heard closing rapidly on the side of the canal. Walpole’s riflemen pushed on in haste; and Hope and Inglis’s brigades, in parallel lines, advanced directly against the high brick mound, behind which the enemy were formed in great masses, and their guns, worked with great precision, sent a shower of shot and shell upon the plain. The field batteries on the British side opened briskly, whilst the cavalry were seen moving on the left. The 42d skirmishers now rushed on and closed upon the mound, from which the enemy fell back to the bridge. Lieutenant-Colonel Thorold, commanding, riding in front of the centre of the regiment, here had his horse shot under him by a round shot, which swept through the line and killed private Mark Grant. The gallant old Colonel sprung to his feet, and with his drawn sword in hand, marched in front of the regiment during the remainder of the action, and the pursuit of the flying enemy.

After a moment’s pause, the infantry again pushed on, and rushed upon the bridge. The fire was heavy in the extreme, when the sound of heavy guns was heard, and Peel’s noble sailors, dragging with them their heavy 24-pounders, came up to the bridge, and brought them into action. The enthusiasm of the men was now indescribable; they rushed on, either crossing the bridge or fording the canal, came upon the enemy’s camp, and took some guns at the point of the bayonet. A Bengal field-battery galloped up and opened fire at easy range, sending volleys of grape through the tents. The enemy, completely surprised at the onslaught, fled in great haste, leaving everything in their camp as it stood;—the rout was complete. The cavalry and horse artillery coming down on the flank of the flying enemy, cut up great numbers of them, and pursued along the Calpee road, followed by the 42d, 53d, and Sikhs, for 14 miles. The slaughter was great, till at last, the rebels despairing of effecting their retreat by the road, threw away their arms and accoutrements, dispersed over the country into the jungle, and hid themselves from the sabres and lances of the horsemen. Night coming on, the wearied forces returned to Cawnpore, carrying with them 17 captured guns. The strength and courage of the young men of the Royal Highlanders was remarkable. Many of them were mere lads, and had never seen a shot fired before, yet during the whole of this day’s action and long march, not a single man fell out, or complained of his hardships.

As soon as the Gwalior contingent was routed on the right, a severe contest took place with the Nana Sahib’s men in the town, at a place called the Sonbadar’s Tank, but before nightfall all Cawnpore was in our possession.

The Nana's men fled in great confusion along the road to Bithoor, whither they were pursued on the 8th by Brigadier-General Hope Grant, at the head of the cavalry, light artillery, and Hope’s brigade of infantry (42d and 93d Highlanders, 53d, and 4th Punjaub rifles). Bithoor was evacuated, but the force pushed on, marching all night, and came upon the enemy at the ferry of Seria-Ghat on the Ganges, 25 miles from Cawnpore, at daylight on the 9th. The rebels had reached the ferry, but had not time to cross. They received the British force with a heavy cannonade, and tried to capture the guns with a charge of cavalry, but the horsemen of the British drove them away. Their infantry got amongst the enclosures and trees; but the whole of the guns, amounting to 15 pieces, were captured, together with a large quantity of provisions, camp equipage, and ammunition.

Lieutenant-Colonel Thorold, commanding the regiment, and Captain J. C. M’Leod, commanding the rear guard, are honourably mentioned by Brigadier-General Hope Grant, in his despatch dated 11th December 1857.

The grenadier company, when destroying some baggage-carts, &c., found a very large gong, which was kept as a trophy by the regiment. The troops encamped near the Ghat on the 9th and 10th, and on the 11th marched back to Bithoor, where they were employed till the 28th December, destroying the palace of the Xana Sahib, and searching for treasure,— a great quantity of which was found in a tank,— with a considerable amount of labour, the flow of water being so great that 200 men were employed night and day baling it out, so as to keep it sufficiently low to enable the sappers to work.

The remainder of the regiment—Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 companies—under the command of Major Wilkinson, joined at Bithoor on the 22d December 1857. Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron and Major Priestley, who had been left at Calcutta, joined head-quarters on the 12th December.

The Commander-in-chief with the forces at Cawnpore, marched towards Futteghur on the 25th December, and the column at Bithoor followed on the 2 8th, overtaking the headquarter’s column on the 29th at Merukie Serai. The regiment marched from the latter place, and at 1 o’clock, P.M. joined the head-quarters camp at Jooshia-Gunge—the whole force a few days after proceeding to Futteghur. After various skirmishes with the enemy during January 1858, about Futteghur, the force on the 1st February commenced a retrograde march on Cawnpore, which it reached on the 7th. On the 10th the 42d and 93d Highlanders crossed the Ganges into Oudh, as a guard on the immense siege-train which had been collected in Cawnpore for service at Lucknow. On the 11th they marched to Onao, where, with other troops the regiment remained, acting as convoy escort to the immense train of provisions and military materials being sent forward towards Lucknow.

On the 21st the regiment moved forward and on the morning of the 26th, met their old companions in arms, the 79th Highlanders, at Camp Purneah. A cordial greeting took place between old comrades, after which the regiments proceeded together to Bunteerah the same morning. Here the whole of the Commander-in-chief’s force assembled. The siege train, &c., was gradually brought forward, and all necessary preparations made for the attack on Lucknow.

The force marched from Bunteerah on the 1st March, and passing through Alum Bagb (the post held by Major-General Sir James Outram) and by the old fort of Jellalahabad on the left, soon met the enemy’s outposts, which, after a few rounds from their field-guns, retired to the city. The palace of Dalkoosh was seized without opposition, and being close to the river Goomptee, formed the right of the British position. The intervening space between this and the Alum Bagh on the left was held by strong bodies of troops posted under cover, for the hour of action had not yet arrived.

Lucknow had been fortified by every means that native art could devise to make a strong defence. The canal was scarped, and an immense parapet of earth raised on the inner side, which was loop-holed in all directions. Every street was barricaded, and every house loop-holed. The Kaizerbagh was so. strengthened as to form a kind of citadel, and the place was alive with its 50,000 mutinous sepoys, besides a population in arms of one kind, or other of double that number.

Brigadier Franks, who had marched from Benares with a column, by way of Sultanpore, having been joined by the Nepaulese contingent under General Jung Bahadoor, reached Lucknow on the 5th March; and on the 6th a division, under command of Sir James Outram, crossed the Goomptee, opposite the Dalkoosha park, and moved round towards the old Presidency. driving in the enemy’s posts. Sir James Outram, from his position on the opposite bank of the river, was enabled to enfilade, and take in reverse a great portion of the great canal embankment, and effectually to shell the enemy within his works.

The enemy’s most advanced position was La Martinibre, a large public building surrounded on three sides by high walls and ruined houses, and its front covered by the river.

The plan of attack having been arranged the 42d Highlanders were ordered to storm the Martiniere, which they did in gallant style on the 9th. Four companies, under Major E. R. Priestley, advanced in extended order, the remaining five advanced in line under Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron. The Highlanders went steadily on until within two hundred yards of the place, when, giving three cheers, they rushed on in double time, the pipers playing "The Campbells are coming." The enemy became so alarmed, that they bolted from their trenches without waiting to fire more than their first round. Thus, the first position in Lucknow was gained without the loss of a single man.

Till the flying enemy, having been joined by reinforcements at their second line of intrenchment, summoned fresh courage, and showed battle to the four skirmishing companies who had followed up; a very smart affair ensued, in which the regiment suffered several calamities. The enemy from behind their works were enabled to do this without themselves being seen.

The five companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron were ordered to take position in an old village to the right of La Martinicre about 300 yards, in passing to which they were exposed to a heavy fire upon the great parapet of the canal; but on reaching the village it was observed that the parapet near the river was undefended, having at that end been enfiladed by General Outram’s guns. The 42d, with the 4th Punjaub rifles, under Major Wyld, making steps in the face of the parapet with bayonets, &c., scrambled up, and taking ground to the left, cleared the line of work as far nearly as Bank’s bungalow. Reinforcements were brought up, and the position was held for the night. Early next morning, the several companies of the regiment were collected together, and the order was given to occupy Bank’s bungalow and the houses and gardens adjacent. These points were also carded with little opposition, the enemy nowhere attempting to stand, but keeping up a constant fire of all kind of missiles from the tops of houses, loop-holes, and other points.

The regiment was now close under the Begum Kcotee, an extensive mass of solid buildings, comprising several courts, a mosque, bazaar, &c. This place was strongly fortified, and became an important post. Two 68-pound naval guns were at once brought up and commenced breaching; within Bank’s bungalow were placed 16 mortars and cohorns, from which shells were pitched at the Kootee that day, and all night, until the following day about 2 o’clock (March 11th), when the 93d Highlanders stormed the breach, and carried the place in gallant style. Upwards of 500 corpses told the slaughter which took place within those princely courts. During the attack, the 42d grenadier and light companies were ordered to protect the left flank of the 93d, in doing which several casualties took place, caused by the fire of the enemy from a loop-holed gateway near which the light company had to pass. After occupying Bank’s bungalow, two companies of the 42d were sent under Major Priestley to clear and occupy some ruined houses on the left front. This party, having advanced rather farther than this point, got hotly engaged with the enemy, but held their original ground.

A large section of the city being now in possession of the British, operations were commenced against the Kaizer Bagh, from the direction of the Begum Kootee, as well as from Sir James Outram’s side. He took the Mess-house by storm, and other outworks in that direction, and on the morning of the 14th got into this great palace. The place was now almost wholly in possession of the British forces; at no one point did the enemy attempt to make a stand, but fled in every direction.

By the 20th the rebels had been everywhere put down, and peace partially restored. On the 22d the 42d Royal Highlanders were moved to the Observatory Mess-house and old Presidency, where they remained doing duty until the 2d April. During this time the men suffered greatly from fever, brought on by hardship and exposure to the sun. They had now been a whole month constantly on duty, their uniform and accoutrements never off their backs; and the effiuvium arising from the many putrid half-buried carcases in the city, especially about the Presidency, rendered the air very impure. Notwithstanding the hard work performed by the regiment at Lucknow only 5 rank and file were killed, and Lieutenant F. E. H. Farquharson and 41 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded. Lieutenant Farquharson was awarded the Victoria Cross "for a distinguished act of bravery at Lucknow, 9th March 1858."

On the evening of the 2d April, the regiment marched to camp at the Dalkoosha, having been ordered to form part of the Rohilcund field force under Brigadier Walpole. On the morning of the 8th the regiment marched from camp, accompanied by the 79th and 93d Highlanders, to the Moosha Bagh, a short distance beyond which the brigade encamped; and having been joined by the remainder of the force and the new Brigadier, commenced a march through Oudh, keeping the line of the Ganges. Nothing of note occurred until the 15th. On reaching Rhoadamow, Nurpert Sing, a celebrated rebel chief, shut up in Fort Ruhya, refused to give his submission. The fort was situated in a dense jungle, which almost completely hid it from view. Four companies of the 42d, with the 4th Punjaub rifles, were sent forward in extended order, to cover the guns and reconnoitre, and were brought so much under the enemy’s fire from the parapet and the tops of trees, that a great many casualties occurred in a very short time. Brigadier Adrian hope and Lieutenants Douglas and Bramleyhere received their death wounds. Alter remaining in this exposed condition for six hours, and after losing so many men, the Brigadier withdrew his force about sunset, and encamped about two miles off. During the night, the rebel chief retired quietly with all his men and material. Besides the two officers above mentioned, 1 sergeant and 6 privates were killed, and 3 sergeants and 34 privates wounded. Quarter-Master Sergeant John Simpson, Lance-Corporal Alexander Thompson, and Private James Davis were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Nothing of importance occurred till the force reached Bareilly, when they came up with the enemy’s outposts at daybreak on the 5th May. After a short cannonade for about half-an-hour, the enemy fell back from the bridge and nullah, and occupied the topes (clumps of trees) and ruined houses in the cantonments. In this position it was necessary to shell every tope and house before advancing, which caused considerable delay all the time the sun was shining on the troops with full force. About 10 A.M. the enemy made a bold attempt to turn the British left flank, and the 42d were ordered forward in support of the 4th Punjaub rifles, who had been sent to occupy the old cavalry lines, but were there surprised by the enemy in great numbers. Just as the 42d reached the old lines, they were met by the Punjabees in full flight, followed by a lot of Gazees carrying tulwars and shields. These rushed furiously on, and the men for a moment were undecided whether they should fire on them or not, their friends the Punjabees being mixed up with them when, as if by magic, the Commander-in-chief appeared behind the line, and his familiar voice, loud and clear, was heard calling out, "Fire away, men; shoot them down, every man jack of them!" Then the line opened fire upon them; but in the meantime, some of these Gazees had even reached the line, and cut at the men, wounding several. Four of them seized Colonel Cameron in rear of the line, and would have dragged him off his horse, when Colour-Sergeant Gardner stepped from the ranks and bayoneted them, the Colonel escaping with only a slight wound on his wrist. For this act of bravery Gardner was awarded the Victoria Cross. In this affair 1 private was killed, and 2 officers, 1 sergeant, and 12 privates wounded. No. 5 company 42d took possession of the fort which was abandoned, and a line of piquets of the 42d and 79th Highlanders was posted from the fort to the extreme right of the commander-in-chief’s camp. Next day the place was cleared of rebels.

The regiment was told off as a part of the Bareilly brigade, and on the 5th June detached a wing to Mooradabad under command of Lieutenant Colonel Wilkinson. This wing marched to Bedaon with a squadron of carbineers, and joined Brigadier Coke’s force, but received orders to leave the carbineers with Brigadier Coke, and proceed to Mooradabad. On this march the men suffered from exhaustion and the heat. Indeed, the men who were still under canvas now began to suffer very much from sun-stroke, fevers, diarrhoea, &c. Every exertion was made to get them into temporary barracks, but this was not effected until the middle of July, just in time to escape the rains.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Cameron died of fever on the 9th August, and Lieutenant Colonel F. G. Wilkinson succeeded to the command of the regiment.

The headquarters and left wing were ordered to Peeleebheet on the 14th October, where it remained encamped till the 24th November. when, in order the better to guard against the rebels crossing from Oudh into Rohilkund, Colonel Smyth, Bengal Artillery, in command of a small column, was ordered to take up a position on the banks of the Sarda, to watch the Ghauts. No. 6, Captain Lawson’s company, joined Colonel Smyth’s column. At the same time, Major M’Leod was ordered, with the troops under his command, viz., 4 companies 42d Royal Highlanders, 2 squadrons Punjaub cavalry, 1 company Kumaon levies, and 2 guns, to proceed to Madho-Tanda, being a central position whence support might be sent in any direction required. This force subsequently moved close to the Sarda, in consequence of the numerous reports of the approach of the enemy, but all remained quiet until the morning of the 15th January 1859. The enemy having been pursued in the Khyreegurh district by a force under command of Colonel Dennis, attempted to force his way into Rohilkund, with the view, as was supposed, of getting into Rampore. Early on the morning of the 15th the enemy, about 2000 strong, effected the passage of the Sarda, at Maylah Ghaut, about three miles above Colonel Smyth’s camp, at daylight. The alarm having been given, the whole of the troops in camp moved out with all speed, and attacked the rebels in the dense jungle, close to the river. Ensign Coleridge, 42d, was detached in command of a piquet of 40 men of Captain Lawson’s company, and 40 men Kumaon levies, and was so placed as to be cut off from the remainder of the force. The jungle was so dense, that the cavalry could not act; the Eumaon levies were all raw recruits, who were with difficulty kept to their posts, so the fighting fell almost wholly to the lot of the 37 men under command of Captain Lawson. The enemy, desperate, and emboldened by the appearance of so small a force before them, made repeated attempts to break through the thin line of skirmishers, but the latter nobly held their ground. Captain Lawson received a gun-shot wound in his left knee, early in the day; Colour Sergeant Landles was shot and cut to pieces, two corporals-—-Ritchie and Thompson—were also killed, and several other casualties had greatly weakened them. The company now without either officers or noncommissioned officers, yet bravely held on their ground, and, cheered on by the old soldiers, kept the enemy at bay from sunrise to sunset. Privates Walter Cook and Duncan Miller, for their conspicuous bravery during this affair were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Major M’Leod’s force was then at a place called Sunguree on the Sarda, 22 miles from Colonel Smyth’s force. About 8 A.M. when the numbers and nature of the enemy’s attack were discovered, a Sowar was despatched to Major M’Leod (in temporary command) for a reinforcement of two companies, and ordering the remainder of the force to proceed with all speed to Madho-Tanda to await the result of the battle. No. 7 and 8 companies were dispatched from Sunguree about noon, but did not reach the scene of action till after 5 P.M. Their arrival turned the tide of battle altogether. Such of the enemy as could recrossed the river in the dark, and next morning nothing remained on the field, but the dead and dying, 2 small guns, and some cattle belonging to the rebels. Lord Clyde complimented the regiment very highly on this occasion, and in particular, spoke of Captain Lawson’s company as a pattern of valour and discipline.

General Walpole having received intelligence about the 22d that a body of rebels were hovering about, under Gooiah Sing, in the Khyrugher jungles, two companies of the 42d Royal Highlanders at Colonel Smyth’s camp, a squadron of the Punjaub cavalry, a squadron of Crossman’s Horse, and three companies of Ghoorkhas, under command of Colonel Wilkinson, were ordered to cross the river at the spot where the rebels came over, and march to Gulori, 40 miles in the interior, under the Nepaul hills. Gulori was reached in 4 days, but Goolah Sing had secured himself in a fort under Nepauleese protection. Colonel Dennis, with a force from Sultanpore had orders to march on a village 20 miles from Gulori, and also sweep the jungles and communicate with Colonel Wilkinson. As he never arrived, and the jungles being free from rebels, the force recrossed the river and returned to camp.

The left wing of the 42d remained on the Sarda until the 14th of March, when it returned to Bareilly, and joined the right wing, which had returned from Mooradabad on the 18th February, having been relieved by a wing of the 82d regiment; but information having been received that the rebels were again appearing in force in the Khyreegurh districts, the right wing, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Priestley, was sent to the Sarda to join Colonel Smyth on the 13th March, where it remained until the 15th May 1859, when it returned to Bareilly, the weather being by this time very hot and the district perfectly quiet. About this time, Lieutenant-Colonel Wilkinson went on leave to England, and was appointed to a depot battalion, and on the 27th September Lieutenant-Colonel Priestley succeeded to the command of the regiment.

The regiment occupied the temporary barracks at the old Kutchery, Berkley’s House, and the Jail, during the hot and rainy seasons. The men were remarkably healthy, and very few casualties occurred.

His Excellency, Sir Hugh Rose, Commander-in-chief in India having been invited on the 18th September, by Lieutenant-Colonel Priestley in the name of the officers and soldiers of the 42d Royal Highlanders, to present new colours to the regiment, arrived in Bareilly for that purpose on the 1st of January 1861. After the old colours had been lodged, and the new been presented by His Excellency, and trooped with the usual ceremonies, Sir Hugh Rose addressed the regiment in the following speech:-

"42d Royal Highlanders,

"I do not ask you to defend the colours I have presented to you this day. It would be superfluous: you have defended them for nearly 150 years with the best blood of Scotland.

"I do not ask you to carry these colours to the front should you again be called into the field; you have borne them round the world with success. But I do ask the officers and soldiers of this gallant and devoted regiment not to forget, because they are of ancient date, but to treasure in their memories the recollection of the brilliant deeds of arms of their forefathers and kinsmen, the scenes of which are inscribed on these colours. There is not a name on them which is not a study; there is not a name on them which is not connected with the most important events of the world’s history, or with the pages of the military annals of England.

"The soldiers of the 42d cannot have a better or more instructive history than their regimental records. They tell how, 100 years ago, the 42d won the honoured name of ‘Royal' at Ticonderoga in America, losing, although one battalion, 647 killed and wounded. How the 42d gained the ‘Red Heckle’ in Flanders. How Abercromby and Moore in Egypt and in Spain, dying in the arms of victory, thanked, with parting breath, the 42d. Well might the heroes do so! The fields of honour on which they were expiring were strewed with the dead and wounded soldiers of the 42d.

"The 42d enjoy the greatest distinction to which British regiments can aspire. They have been led and commanded by the great Master in War, the Duke of Wellington. Look at your colours: their badges will tell you how often—and this distinction is the more to be valued, because his Grace, so soldierlike and just was he, never would sanction a regiment’s wearing a badge, if the battle in which they had been engaged, no matter how bravely they may have fought in it, was not only an important one, but a victory.

"In the Crimea, in the late campaign in this country, the 42d again did excellent service under my very gallant and distinguished predecessor, Lord Clyde. The last entry in the regimental records shows that the spirit of the ‘Black Watch’ of 1729 was the same in 1859, when No. 6 company of the 42d, aided only by a company of the Kumaon levy, four guns, and a squadron of irregular cavalry, under Sir Robert Walpole, beat back, after several hours obstinate fighting, and with severe loss, 2000 rebels of all arms, and gained the day. Lord Clyde bestowed the highest praise on the company that a general can do,—His Lordship thanked them for their valour and their discipline.

"I am sincerely obliged to Lieutenant. Colonel Priestley for having, on the part of the 42d Royal Highlanders, requested me to present them with their new colours. It is an honour and a favour which I highly prize, the more so, because I am of Highland origin, and have worn for many years the tartan of another regiment which does undying honour to Scotland— the 92d Highlanders.

"I have chosen this day—New Year’s day- for the presentation of colours, because on New Year’s day in 1785 the colours were given to the 42d under which they won their red plume. Besides, New Year’s day, all over the world, particularly in Scotland, is a happy day. Heaven grant that it may be a fortunate one for this regiment."

On the 3d, after inspecting the regiment, His Excellency desired Lieutenant-Colonel Priestley to thank them for the admirable condition in which he found them, and for their regularity and good conduct. His Excellency further called several officers and soldiers to the front of the battalion and thanked them for their gallant conduct on various occasions, and No. 6 company for the valour and discipline evinced by them on the occasion alluded to in His Excellency’s speech.

On the 8th of March three companies were detached to Futteghur. On 23d March headquarters moved from Bareilly to Agra, where they arrived on the 8th of April, and were garrisoned along with the 107th regiment. On 27th July the regiment moved into camp, on account of cholera having broken out, and returned to barracks on 12th August, having lost from cholera 1 officer and 40 non-commissioned officers and men. After returning to barracks, the regiment was prostrated by fever and ague, so many as 450 men having been at one time unfit for duty out of seven companies.

On 12th September the regiment was delighted by having its old name reconferred upon it, as a distinguished mark of honour. A notification was received that on 8th July 1861 Her Majesty had been pleased graciously to authorise The Royal Highland Regiment to be distinguished, in addition to that title, by the name by which it was first known— "The Black Watch."

In March 1862, Lieutenant-General, the Marquis of Tweeddale, was appointed Colonel in place of the deceased Sir James Douglas. The Marquis, however, in September of the following year, removed to the 2d Lifeguards, and was succeeded by the regiment’s former commander, who led them up the slopes of Alma—Major-General Sir Duncan Cameron.

On 6th December 1863, the Black Watch marched by forced marches from Lahore to Rawal Pundee, on account of active operations having been commenced against some of the hill tribes. It arrived at the latter place on December 19. Affairs on the frontier having, however, assumed a favourable aspect, the regiment returned to Dugshai, which it reached on the 13th February 1864, but returned to Rawal Pundee, where on 14th December it was put into garrison with the 79th. It left the latter place in October 1865, and proceeded to Peshawur, where it was in garrison with the first battalion of the 19th regiment, and subsequently with the 77th. In 1867, while at Peshawur, cholera broke out in the cantonments, and on the 21st of May five companies, under Major Macpherson, were removed to camp; these were followed on the 25th by headquarters and the other five companies. From the 20th to the 31st May, 66 men, 1 woman, rnd 4 children died of cholera. On the 1st of June the regiment commenced its march ho Cheroat, a mountain of the Kultoch range, where headquarters was established on the 15th. The health of the regiment was not, however, immediately restored, and the number of deaths at Cheroat were 1 officer, 15 non-commissioned officers and men, 2 women, and 1 child. The total deaths in the regiment, from 20th May to 17th October, including casualties at depot, were 2 officers, 86 non-commissioned officers and men, 5 women, and 9 children ;— altogether 102, or nearly one-sixth of the whole regiment.

On 17th October was commenced the march towards Kurrachee, preparatory to embarkation for England. On January 17, 1868, the regiment embarked at Kurrachee for Bombay, and on the 21st was trans-shipped to the Indian troopship "Euphrates," which landed it at Suez on 15th February. On the 18th it embarked at Alexandria on board the "Serapis," which reached Portsmouth on the 4th of March, when the regiment immediately left by sea for Scotland and landed at Burntisland on the 7th, headquarters and 1 company proceeding to Stirling Castle, 5 companies to Perth, and 4 to Dundee. Colonel Priestley came home with the regiment from India, and carried on his duties till the 24th of March, the day before his death. He was succeeded by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel M’Leod, who joined the regiment in 1846. On 12th October headquarters moved by rail from Stirling to Edinburgh Castle, and the detachments from Perth and Dundee followed soon after. The reception accorded to Scotland’s favourite and oldest regiment, on its arrival in Edinburgh, was as overwhelmingly enthusiastic as in the days of old, when the military spirit was in its glory. The reader will have an idea of the enthusiasm with which this regiment is still regarded, and will be so so long as its ranks are mainly recruited from Scotland, by the following account of its reception, for which we are indebted to the Scotsman newspaper of the day following the regiment’s arrival :—" The train arrived at the station about 10 minutes past 1, but long before that hour large and anxious crowds had collected on the Waverley Bridge, in Princes Street Garden, on the Mound, the Calton Hill, the Castle, and every other point from which a view of the passing regiment could be obtained. The crowd collected on the Waverley Bridge above must have numbered several thousands. The scene altogether was very imposing and animated. Such a turn-out of spectators has not been witnessed on the occasion of the arrival of any regiment here since the 78th Highlanders came from India, nearly ten years ago. Immediately after the train entered the station, the bugle sounded, and the men were arranged in companies, under the command of their respective captains. The regiment was under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. M’Leod, assisted by Major Cluny M’Pherson, Major F. C. Scott, and Adjutant J. E. Christie, and was drawn up in 8 companies. On emerging from the station the band struck up ‘Scotland yet,’ and the appearance of the regiment was hailed with hearty cheers from the spectators. The crowd in Canal Street was so great that it was with some difficulty the soldiers managed to keep their ranks. Their line of march lay along Princes Street, and every window and housetop from which a view of the gallant 42d could be obtained was crowded with spectators. The regiment proceeded by the Mound, Bank Street, and Lawnmarket, and was loudly cheered at every turn. On the Castle esplanade the crowd was, if possible, more dense than anywhere else. A large number of people had taken up their position on the top of the Reservoir, while every staircase from which a view could be obtained was thronged with anxious spectators. Large numbers had also gained admission to the Castle, and all the parapets and embrasures commanding a view of the route were crowded with people.

"On the regiment arriving at this point, loud cheers were raised by the immense crowd assembled on the esplanade, which were immediately taken up by those in the Castle, and enthusiastically continued. On arriving at the Castle gate, the band ceased playing, and the pipes struck up a merry tune. Even after the regiment had passed into the Castle, large numbers of people, including many relatives of the soldiers, continued to linger about the esplanade. It is now thirty-two years since the regiment was in Edinburgh, and certainly the reception which they received yesterday was a very enthusiastic one. Four companies came from Perth, and joined the headquarters at Stirling, and the whole regiment proceeded from thence to Edinburgh."

We cannot refrain here from quoting some verses of a short poem on the Black Watch, which appeared about this time, so happy and spirited that it deserves a more permanent resting-place than a newspaper.

THE BLACK WATCH
A Historic Ode, by Dugald Dhu
Written for Waterloo Day, 1868.

Hail, gallant regiment! Freiceadan Dubh!
Whenever Albion needs thine aid,
"Aye ready" for whatever foe,
Shall dare to meet "the black brigade !" 
Witness disastrous Fontenoy,
When all seemed lost, who brought us through?
Who saved defeat! secured retreat?
And bore the brunt ?—the "Forty-Two !’

So, at Corunn’s grand retreat,
When, far outnumbered by the foe, 
The patriot Moore made glorious halt,
Like setting sun in fiery glow.
Before us foam’d the rolling sea, 
Behind, the carrion eagles flew;
But Scotland’s "Watch" proved Gallia’s match, 
And won the game by’ Forty-Two !"

The last time France stood British fire 
"The Watch" gained glory at its cost;
At Quatre Bras and Hugomont,
Three dreadful days they kept their post. 
Ten hundred there, who form’d in sguare,
Before the close a handful grew;
The little phalanx never flinched, 
Till " Boney" ran from Waterloo!

The "Forty-Second" never dies— 
It hath a regimental soul;
Fond Scotia, weeping, filled the blanks 
Which Quatre Bras left in its roll.
At Alma, at Sevastopol,
At Lucknow, waved its bonnets blue! 
Its dark green tartan, who but knows?
What heart but warms to " Forty-Two!"

But while we glory in the corps,
We’ll mind their martial brethren too;
The Ninety-Second, Seventy-Ninth,
And Seventy-First—all Waterloo!
The Seventy-Second, Seventy-Fourth— 
The Ninety-Third—all tried and true!
The Seventy-Eight, real, "men of Ross;" 
Come, count their honours, "Forty-Two!"

Eight noble regiments of the Queen, 
God grant they long support her crown!
"Shoulder to shoulder," Hielandmen!
United rivals in renown!
We’ll wreath the rose with heath that blows 
Where barley-rigs yield mountain dew;
And pledge the Celt, in trews or kilt, 
Whence Scotland drafts her "Forty-Two!"

It is worthy of remark, that from the time that the regiment embarked at Leith for England in May 1803, until October 1868, a period of upwards of 65 years, it was quartered in Edinburgh only 15 months—6 months in 1816, and 9 months in 1836—7. At its last visit it remained only about a year, taking its departure on November 9, 1869, when it embarked at Granton in the troop-ship "Orontes," for Portsmouth, en route for the camp at Aldershot, where it arrived on the 12th. The enthusiasm of the inhabitants of Edinburgh appears to have been even far greater to the Black Watch on its departure than on its entry into the northern metropolis. During their residence in Edinburgh the Highlanders conducted themselves in such a manner as to win the favourable opinions of all classes of the community, and to keep up the ancient prestige and unbroken good name of the regiment. The following is the Scotsman’s account of its departure:

"After a sojourn in Scotland of eighteen months, twelve of which have been passed in Edinburgh, the 42d Royal Highlanders departed yesterday from the city, taking with them the best wishes of the inhabitants. Since the arrival of the 78th Highlanders, immediately after the close of the Indian mutiny, such a degree of excitement as was displayed yesterday has not been witnessed in connection with any military event in the metropolis. It was generally known that 9 A.M. had been fixed for the evacuation of the Castle by the Highlanders, and long before that hour the Lawnmarket and the esplanade were crowded with an eager and excited multitude. At 9 o’clock the crowd increased fourfold, by the thousands of work-people, who, set free at that time, determined to spend their breakfast-hour in witnessing the departure of the gallant ‘Black Watch.’ At half-past nine, the regiment, which had assembled in heavy marching order in the Cast]e Square, began to move off under the command of Colonel M’Leod, the band playing ‘Scotland Yet,’ and afterwards ‘Bonnets o’ Blue.’ As the waving plumes were seen slowly wending down the serpentine path which leads to the esplanade, an enthusiastic and prolonged cheer burst from the spectators. As soon as the regiment had passed the drawbridge, a rush was made by the onlookers to get clear of the Esplanade. The narrow opening leading to the Lawnmarket was speedily blocked, and the manner in which the living mass swayed to and fro was most alarming—the din created by the crowd completely drowning the music of the band. The pressure of the crowd was so great that for a time the ranks of the regiment were broken, and a word of praise is due to the Highlanders for their forbearance under the jostling which they received from their perhaps too demonstratively affectionate friends. The line of route taken was Lawnmarket, Bank Street, the Mound, Hanover Street, Pitt Street, Brandon Street, to Inverleith Row, and thence by the highway to Granton. The whole way to the port of embarkation the regiment had literally to force its passage through the dense masses which blocked the streets, and every now and again a parting cheer was raised by the spectators. The crowd, as has already been mentioned, was the largest that has been seen in Edinburgh for many years, and has been roughly estimated as numbering from fifty to sixty thousand persona. 

During the march to Inverleith toll, the band played ‘Scotland for Ever,’ the ‘Red, White, and Blue,’ ‘Home, sweet Home,’ and ‘Loudon’s bonnie Woods and Braes.’ Shortly after pressing through the toll, and when within a mile of Granton, the Highlanders were met by the 90th Regiment of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers), who were en route to Edinburgh to succeed the ‘Black Watch’ as the garrison of the Castle. According to military custom, the junior regiment drew up alongside the roadway, and presented arms to the Highlanders, who fixed bayonets and brought their rifles to the shoulder as they marched past. At this interesting ceremony the band of the Highlanders played ‘Blue Bonnets over the Border,’ while that of the 90th struck up the ‘Gathering of the Grahams.’ Granton was reached about 11 o’clock, and as the Highlanders marched along the pier, ‘Auld Langsyne’ was appropriately played by the band. The slopes leading down to the harbour and the wharfs were thickly covered with spectators, who lustily cheered the Highlanders, and who showed the liveliest interest in the process of embarkation."


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