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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Cameron of Clunes


Upon the 13th of August they crossed the water of Casina, and passing near the house of young Chisholm, arrived at a place called Fassanacoil in Strathglass, about two o'clock in the morning. They concealed themselves in a thick wood, and some of the party were despatched as scouts to the Braes of Glengarry and Lochaber, to ascertain whether the search for the prince was over, and if the troops had returned to their camp at Fort Augustus. Having ascertained on the return of their spies that the government troops had returned to their head-quarters, the whole party left the wood, where they had remained three days, and, on the morning of the 17th of August, set out through an unfrequented road, and again reached the Braes of Glenmoriston. Passing the day on the top of a hill, they continued their journey at night; but they had gone scarcely a mile, when they received information that a strong party of military were among the heights of Glengarry in quest of the prince. They, therefore, stopped short in their journey till they should ascertain the motions of the enemy, and passed the remainder of the night in a shieling.

Charles being now extremely desirous of opening a communication with his friends in Lochaber, which was by this time almost free from troops, despatched two messengers on the morning of the 18th of August to Loch Arkaig in quest of Cameron of Clunes, to inform him that Glenaladale wished to meet him at a convenient place. Another of the party was, at the same time, sent to the Braes of Glengarry to ascertain if the troops were still in that quarter. Having ascertained, by the return of this messenger, who came back next day, that the roads were clear, Charles and his party, consisting altogether of ten persons, set out in the afternoon of the 19th, and passing under the favour of a fog through Glenmoriston and Glenlyne, arrived late at night in the Braes of Glengarry. The river Garry was swollen to a great height by the heavy rains which had fallen for some days; but some of the party having ascertained that it was fordable, Charles and his friends waded across with the water up to their middle. After passing the river, they proceeded onward about a mile in a very dark night, and finding no covert, remained on the side of the hill during the night, without shelter, amid a torrent of rain. Next morning they continued their course over hills and moors till they reached a height near a place called Achnasalt, or Achnasual, where the messengers sent to Loch Arkaig had been appointed to meet them. The rain having poured down without intermission all night and during the day, the situation of these forlorn wanders had become very uncomfortable; and, to add to their distress, their whole stock of provisions was exhausted. As none of the messengers had arrived, they were exceedingly perplexed what to do; but they were soon relieved from their anxiety by the appearance of Peter Grant, one of the most active of the seven men, who brought notice from Cameron of Clunes that he could not meet Glenaladale that night, but that he would visit him at the appointed place of rendezvous next morning, and in the meantime directed him to pass the night in a wood about two miles distant. Before setting out for their new quarters, of which they received a favourable report from two of the party, who were sent to examine the place, Glenaladale, with the consent of the prince, sent a messenger to Lochgarry, who lay concealed a few miles off, acquainting him with their arrival at Achnasual, and requesting him to meet them in the wood. After entering the wood, fortune threw a buck in their way, which one of the party immediately shot. Having kindled a fire, they roasted the flesh, and made a hearty meal, but without bread or salt. Lochgarry joined them the same night.

At ten o'clock next morning, August the 15th, Cameron of Clunes came to the wood, and conducted Charles to another forest at the foot of Loch Arkaig, in which he lay all night. With the exception of Hugh Chisholm and Peter Grant, all the Glenmoriston men took their leave. Charles expressed a wish to go to Rannoch, or Badenoch, where Lochiel and Cluny were; but upon Clunes informing him that he could not pass without great danger, as all the ferries were strictly guarded, he gave up his design, and, early next morning, sent a messenger to Lochiel, desiring his attendance. Concluding that Charles was to the north of the lakes, these chiefs had, about this period, sent Dr Cameron and the Rev John Cameron by different routes, to obtain information respecting the prince. On arriving within a few miles of the place where Lochiel was, Charles's messenger met the Doctor and the two French officers who had lately landed. As the messenger was desirous to communicate no information about Charles to any person but Lochiel himself, he declined to answer any questions respecting the prince; but having stated that he had business of the utmost importance with Lochiel, the Doctor conducted him to his brother. Lochiel being unable, from the state of his wounds, to travel to a distance, then sent his brother to wait upon the prince, and to make his apology.

Dr Cameron, accompanied by two servants, arrived at the foot of Loch Arkaig on the 19th of August, and when near the place of Charles's concealment, he met Cameron of Clunes. At this time Charles and one of Clune's sons were sleeping on the mountain, and Peter Grant was keeping watch; but, nodding upon his post, Grant did not observe the approach of the party till they were pretty near. He instantly awakened Charles and his companions. Cameron and Grant proposed that they should flee to the top of the mountain, but Charles thought differently. He said he considered there was more danger in attempting to escape than in remaining where they were; and he proposed that they should take up a position behind some stones, take aim, and fire upon the party when they came nearer. He said that, as Grant and he were good marksmen, they would certainly do some execution, and that he had in reserve a brace of pocket pistols, which, for the first time, he produced. Fortunately, however, before a single shot was fired, the person of Clunes was recognised among the party. The joy of Charles and of young Cameron, at the narrow escape which the friends of the one and the father of the other had made, may be easily conceived. When informed by Dr Cameron that Lochiel was well, and almost recovered from his wounds, the prince expressed the unbounded satisfaction he felt by fervently returning thanks to God three times. The appearance of Charles at this time was singular, and even terrific. He was bare-footed, and his beard had grown to great length. He wore a dirty shirt, an old black tartan coat, a plaid, and a philibeg, carried a musket in his hand, and wore a pistol and dirk by his side. Had he not had one of the best and soundest constitutions ever enjoyed by a prince, he must ere this have fallen a victim to the numerous privations he had suffered; but his health remained unimpaired, and his flow of spirits continued. His companions had killed a cow on the present occasion, and when Dr Cameron arrived a part of it was prepared for dinner, Charles partook heartily of the beef, which was seasoned by a supply of bread from Fort Augustus, a commodity to which he had been for some time unaccustomed.

Next day the party went to a wood called Torvuilt, opposite to Achnacarry, where they held a council. Charles now prepared to ho south, and join Lochiel; but one of the party mentioning that he had seen a paragraph in some newspapers, that had been brought from Fort Augustus, which stated that he and Lochiel had passed Corryarrick with 30 men, he judged it advisable to defer his journey for a few days, as a search might be made for him about that mountain. In the meantime it was agreed that Dr Cameron should visit Lochaber to procure intelligence, and that Lochgarry should go to the east end of Loch Lochy, and remain upon the isthmus between the lakes, to watch the motions of the troops. They accordingly left Charles the same day, and Cameron and Clunes, after conducting the prince and his party to another hut in the neighbourhood, also took leave.


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