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The Battle of Culloden

Gordon of Avochy Advances to Prevent Flanking Manoeuver


Meanwhile, Lord George Murray, observing that a squadron of the English dragoons and a party of foot, consisting of two companies of the Argyleshiremen, and one of Lord Loudon's Highlanders, had detached themselves from the left of the royal army, and were marching down towards the river Nairn, and conceiving that it was their intention to flank the Highlanders, or to come upon their rear when engaged in front, he directed Gordon of Avochy to advance with his battalion, and prevent the foot from entering the enclosure; but before this battalion could reach them, they broke into the inclosure, and throwing down part of the east wall in the rear of the second line, made a free passage for the dragoons, who formed in the rear of the prince's army. Upon this, Lord George ordered the guards and Fitz-James's horse to form opposite to the dragoons to keep them in check. Each party stood upon the opposite sides of a ravine, the ascent to which was so steep, that neither could venture across in presence of the other with safety. The foot remained within the inclosure, and Avochy's battalion was ordered to watch their motions. This movement were moving forward to the attack.

It was now high time for the Highlanders to come to a close engagement. Lord George had sent Colonel Kerr to the prince, to know if he should begin the attack; the prince ordered him to do so, but his lordship, for some reason or other, delayed advancing. It is probable he expected that the duke would come forward, and that by remaining where he was, and retaining the wall and a small farm house on his right, he would not run the risk of being flanked. Perhaps he waited for the advance of the left wing, which, being not so far forward as the right, was directed to begin the attack, and orders had been sent to the Duke of Perth to that effect; but the left remained motionless. Anxious for the attack, Charles sent an order by an aid-de-camp to Lord George Murray to advance, but his lordship never received it, as the bearer was killed by a cannon-ball while on his way to the right. He sent a message about the same time to Lochiel, desiring him to urge upon Lord George the necessity of an immediate attack.


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