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Scottish Regiments
The Black Watch - Martinique and Havannah


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

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

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

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

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

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