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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Barbarities committed by the Royal troops


Notwithstanding the massacres which were committed immediately after the battle, a considerable number of wounded Highlanders still survived, some of whom had taken refuge in a few cottages adjoining the field of battle, while others lay scattered among the neighbouring inclosures. Many of these men might have recovered if ordinary attention had been paid to them; but the stern duke, considering that those who had risen in rebellion against his father were not entitled to the rights of humanity, entirely neglected them. But, barbarous as such conduct was, it was only the prelude to enormities of a still more revolting description. At first the victors conceived that they had completed the work of death by killing all the wounded they could discover; but when they were informed that some still survived, they resolved to despatch them. A Mr. Hossack, who had filled the situation of provost of Inverness, and who had, under the direction of President Forbes, performed important servies to the government, having gone to pay his respects to the Duke of Cumberland, found Generals Hawley and Huske deliberating on this inhuman design. Observing them intent upon their object, and actually proceeding to make out orders for killing the wounded Highlanders, he ventured to remonstrate against such a barbarous step. "As his majesty's troops have been happily successful against the rebels, I hope (observed Hossack) your excellencies will be so good as to mingle mercy with judgement." Hawley, in a rage, cried out, "D-n the puppy! does he pretend to dictate here? Carry him away!" Another officer ordered Hossack to be kicked out, and the order was obeyed with such instantaneous precision, that the ex-provost found himself at the bottom of two flights of steps almost in a twinkling.

In terms of the cruel instructions alluded to, a party was despatched from Inverness the day after the battle to put to death all the wounded they might find in the inclosure adjoining the field of Culloden. These orders were fulfilled with a punctuality and deliberation that is sickening to read of. Instead of despatching their unfortunate victims on the spot where they found them, the soldiers dragged them from the places where they lay weltering in their gore, and, having ranged them on some spots of rising ground, poured in volleys of musketry upon them. Next day parties were sent to search all the houses in the neighbourhood of the field of battle, with instructions to carry all the wounded Highlanders they could find thither and despatch them. Many were in the consequence murdered; and the young laird of Macleod was heard frankly to declare, that on this occasion he himself saw seventy-two persons killed in cold blood. The feelings of humanity were not, however, altogether obliterated in the hearts of some of the officers, who spared a few of the wounded. In one instance the almost incredible cruelty of the soldiery was strikingly exemplified. At a short distance from the field of battle there stood a small hut, used for sheltering sheep and goats in cold and stormy weather, into which some of the wounded had crawled. On discovering them the soldiers immediately secured the door, to prevent egress, and thereupon set fire to the hut in several places, and all the persons within, to the number of between thirty and forty, perished in the flames.

Another instance of fiendish cruelty occurred the same day. Almost immediately after the battle , nineteen wounded officers of the Highland army, unable to follow their retiring companions, secreted themselves in a small plantation near Culloden house, whence they were afterwards carried to the court-yard of that mansion, where they remained two days in great torture weltering in their blood, and without the least medical aid or attention but such as they received from the president's steward, who, at the hazard of his own life, alleviated the sufferings of his unhappy countrymen by several acts of kindness. These wretched sufferers were now tied with ropes by the brutal soldiery, thrown into carts, and carried out to the park wall at a short distance from Culloden house. Being dragged out of the carts, they were ranged in order along the wall, and were told by the officer in command of the party to prepare for death. Such of them as retained the use of their limbs fell down upon their knees in prayer; but they had little time allowed them to invoke mercy, for in a minute the soldiers received orders to fire, and, being posted at the distance of only two or three yards from the prisoners, the unfortunate gentlemen were almost instantly shot dead.

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

By the capture of Inverness, a considerable quantity of ordanance and military stores fell into the hands of the royal army. Including those taken on the field of battle, there were some 30 pieces of cannon, 2,320 fireloacks, 190 broadswords, a large quantity of musket cartridges, 1,019 cannon balls, a quantity of musket shot, 37 barrels of gunpowder, and 22 ammunition carts, besides tents, cantines, pistols, saddles, &c. To encourage the soldiers to collect the arms which the Highlanders had left on the field, they were allowed half-a-crown for every musket, and a shilling for every broadsword which they brought into the camp at Inverness. For every stand of colours the sun of sixteen guineas was allowed, and no less than fourteen of these were captured or picked up upon the field, all of which were burnt on the 4th of June at the market cross of Edinburgh, by the hands of the common hangman, after being carried in mock procession from the castle by a party of chimney-sweeps.


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