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The Battle of Culloden

The English Army Advance


The English army continued steadily to advance in the order already described, and, after a march of eight miles, formed in order of battle, in consequence of the advanced guard reporting that they perceived the Highland army at some distance making a motion towards them on the left. Finding, however, that the Highlanders were still at a considerable distance, and that the whole body did not move forward, the Duke of Cumberland resumed his march as before, and continued to advance till within a mile of the position occupied by the Highland army, when he ordered a halt, and, after reconnoitring the position of the Highlanders, again formed his army for battle in three lines, and in the following order.

The first line consisted of six regiments, viz. the Royals, (the 1st,) Cholmondeley's, (the 34th,) Price's, (the 14th,) the Scots Fusileers, (the 21st,) Monro's (the 37th,) and Barrels's, (4th). The Earl of Albemarle had the command of this line. In the intermediate spaces between each of these regiments were placed two pieces of cannon, making ten in all. The second line consisted of five regiments, viz. those of Pulteney, (the 13th,) Bligh, (the 20th,) Sempil, (the 25th,) Ligonier, (the 48th,) and Wolfe's, (the 8th,) and was under the command of General Huske. Three pieces of cannon were placed between the exterior regiments of this line and those next them. The third line or corps de reserve , under Brigadier Mordaunt, consisted of four regiments, viz. Battereau's (the 62d,) Howard's, (the 3d,) Fleming's, (the 36th,) and Blakeney's, (the 27th,) flanked by Kingston's dragoons, (the 3d). The order in which the regiments of the different lines are enumerated, is that in which they stood from right to left. The flanks of the front line were protected on the left by Kerr's dragoons, (the 11th,) consisting of three squadrons, commanded by Lord Ancrum, and on the right by Cobham's dragoons, (the 10th,) consisting also of three squadrons, under General Bland, with the additional security of a morass, extending towards the sea; but thinking himself quite safe on the right, the duke afterwards ordered these last to the left, to aid in the intended attack upon the right flank of the Highlanders. The Argyle men, with the exception of 140, who were upon the left of the reserve, were left in charge of the baggage.

The dispositions of both armies are considered to have been well arranged; but both were better calculated for defence than for attack. The arrangement of the English army is generally considered to have been superior to that of the Highlanders; as, from the regiments in the second and third lines being placed directly behind the vacant spaces between the regiments in the lines respectively before them, the Duke of Cumberland, in the event of one regiment in the front line being broken, could immediately bring up two to supply its place. But this opinion is questionable, as the Highlanders had a column on the flanks of the second line, which might have been used either for extension or echelon movement towards any point to the centre, to support either the first or second line.


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