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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Blind Alick's Soldier son


BLIND ALICK, the "Glasgow Homer," had three sons, two of whom died in early life. But his third, and favourite son, delighted perhaps with his fatherís stories about the battle of Culloden and other whigmaleerie things, determined, without his fatherís consent, to become a soldier. And so Alick Macdonald, the younger, enlisted into the 71st Regiment, then stationed in Glasgow, under the command of the Honourable Colonel Cadogan. The war was at that time raging fiercely between this country and France on many bloody fields, and the brave and illustrious Wellington, then Sir Arthur Wellesley, was careering with the British troops in Spain.

An esteemed citizen of Glasgow, connected with one of the flourishing banks of the city, told Mr. Peter Mackenzie, of the Reformersí Gazette, who recorded it, that he saw the 71st Regiment leave the barracks, in the Gallowgate of Glasgow, to reinforce Wellington in Spain, and that Blind Alick convoyed his smart young boy all the way to the Gallowgate toll, where they parted never to meet again. The same gentleman also saw, on that occasion, an old widow woman, who had a grocery in the Gallowgate, convoying her three sons, all newly enlisted in the same regiment. She had a clean linen mutch (or cap) upon her head, with a significant black ribbon tied around it.

We may here tell the famous but true story over again, namely, that at the great battle of Fuento DíHonore, in Spain, the brunt fell on the 71st Regiment, which has, ever since, been appropriately called the Glasgow Regiment. It was at the commencement of the awful and decisive bayonet charge, on that occasion, that the gallant Colonel Cadogan, waving his hat, addressed the regiment:

"Now, my lads, charge them down the Gallowgate!" at which thrilling words the Glasgow heroes undoubtedly carried everything before them. But, alas! the son of Alick fell; and, sadder still, the three sons of that poor widow fell dead in the same battle.


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