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Battle of Falkirk

ANALYSIS AFTER THE VICTORY


The victory would have been complete by the utter annihilation of the English army, had the prince taken the usual precautions to preserve unity of action among the different sections of his undisciplined host.

Early in the morning, Lord George Murray had submitted a plan of the battle to his royal highness, and requested that he would name the officers that were to command, and assign them their stations; but with the exception of Lord George himself, who was appointed to march at the head of the army, and who consequently had the command of the right wing, no other appointment appears to have been made. It seems to have been understood by Charles himself, that Lord John Durmmond was to have commanded the left wing; but if such was the case, Lord John could have obtained no distinct notification thereof, as he never appeared in his place.

It is maintained by Lord George Murray, that had there been an officer in command on the left, to have brought up two or three battalions from the second line, or from the corps de reserve so as to have extended the first line still farther to the left, and thus to have faced the English regiments which outflanked them, the whole of Hawley's foot must have been taken or destroyed, and that few even of the horse would have escaped, as the Highlanders would not have given over the chase till they had reached Linlithgow, - and that, in short, had the three regiments which outlined the Highlanders been faced, the battle would oF have lasted ten minutes, as these regiments, instead of keeping their ground, pouring in part of their fire on the left flank of the Highlanders, and compelling those who attacked the right and centre of Hawley's foot sword in hand to retire to their former ground, would have given way with the rest of the main body.

In the absence of Lord John Drummond, it was the duty of O'Sullivan, who, as adjutant-general, was chiefly intrusted by the prince with the formation of the left wing, to have brought up men for the purpose of extending the line; but instead of riding along the line as he should have done before the action, none of the officers of the first line of the Highland army saw him till the battle was over. While Lord John Drummond could not but be sensible of the error which had been committed on the left, he retaliated upon the lieutenant- general, by ascribing the escape of Hawley's army to the conduct of Lord George himself, who prevented part of the right wing from joining in the charge upon the foot, after the flight of the dragoons.


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