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Scottish Regiments
The Black Watch -
1816 - 1854


WE have already narrated the proceedings at the meeting of the Highland Society, after the Egyptian campaign, with reference to the 42d. From 1811 to 1817, endeavours had been frequently made to establish a better feeling between the officers and the Highland Society, but in vain: the Egyptians would not yield, and in the meantime the vase remained at the makers.

After the return of the regiment from the Waterloo Campaign in 1816, H.R.H. The Duke of York became the mediator, and arranged that the vase should be accepted on the 21st March 1817, the anniversary of the battle of Alexandria. By this time only two of the officers who had served in Egypt were in the regiment, therefore the amicable arrangement was more easily arrived at.

It was at Armagh barracks, on Wednesday the 18th of June 1817, that the vase was presented to the regiment. At the time companies were detached to Newry, and several other detachments were absent from Armagh; therefore not more than about 3 companies were present at the ceremony. The parade was in review order, in side arms, and a square of two deep was formed. On a table in the centre was the vase, covered, and several small kegs of Highland whisky, brought over from Scotland for the express purpose. A portion of the correspondence with the Highland Society was read by the Adjutant: Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Henry Dick addressed the regiment: the casks of whisky were broached, and the cup filled. The Colonel drank to the officers and men, the staff officers followed, and afterwards the captains and officers drank to the health of their respective companies, and the cup, held by both hands, and kept well replenished, went three times down the ranks. All was happiness and hilarity, not only on the parade, but for the remainder of the day.

Thus was introduced to the regiment the beautiful vase, which, for elegance and design, is hardly to be surpassed.

The Vase

Of the officers and men present on the occasion, perhaps Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley is the only one now alive (1874). Of the officers in the regiment at the time, the last of them, Captain Donald M’Donald, died at Musselburgh, on the 24th September 1865, aged 82.

The day of "the Cup" was long remembered amongst the men, and it was always enthusiastically spoken of as to the quality and quantity of the whisky. The vase has lately (1869) been renovated, and placed on an ebony stand, which has given additional grandeur to its elegance.

The regiment left Glasgow in April of this year, and proceeded to Ireland, landing at Donaghadee, marching thence to Armagh, and detaching parties to all the adjacent towns. The regiment remained in Ireland till 1825, moving about from place to place, and occasionally taking part in the duties to which the troops were liable, on account of the disturbed state of the country. Many of these duties were far from pleasant, yet the 42d discharged them in such a manner as to gain the respect and goodwill of the natives among whom they adjourned.

In June 1818, the regiment marched to Dundalk; and in May 1819, to Dublin, where it remained upwards of twelve months, receiving highly commendatory notices in orders, from Major-General White, Major-General Bulwer, and Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant.

On the 29th of January 1820, the colonelcy of the regiment was conferred on Lieutenant-General John Earl of Hopetoun, G.C.B., from the 92d Highlanders, in succession to General the Marquis of Huntly.

From Dublin the regiment marched, in August, to Kilkenny and Clonmel, and while at these stations its appearance and discipline were commended in orders by Major-General Sir Thomas Brisbane, and Major-General Egerton.

The regiment marched, in October 1821, to Rathkeale, and took part in the harassing duties to which the troops in the county of Limerick were exposed during the disturbed state of the country, and its conduct procured the unqualified approbation of the general officers under whom it served.

In July 1822, the regiment marched to Limerick, and the orders issued after the usual half-yearly inspections, by Major-General Sir John Lambert, and Major-General Sir John Elley, were highly commendatory.

From Limerick the regiment proceeded to Buttevant, in July 1823, and afterwards occupied many detached stations in the county of Cork, where it preserved its high reputation for correct discipline, and for general efficiency, which procured for it the encomiums of the inspecting generals.

On the death of General the Earl of Hopetoun, G.C.B., the colonelcy was conferred on Major-General Sir George Murray, G.C.B., G.C.H. from the 72d, or the Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders, by commission, dated the 6th of September 1823.

The following details, for which we are indebted to Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley, will give the reader a vivid idea of the state of Ireland at this time, as well as of the critical nature of the duties which the 42d had to perform:-

The 42d, which was quartered at Rathkeale, were joined in these duties by the 79th and 93d; the former quartered at Limerick, and the latter at Ennis, County Clare. All three regiments were highly and deservedly popular with the inhabitants.

Detachments were posted all over the country in every village or hamlet, where a house could be hired to hold from 12 to 30 men. But little could be done towards putting the White-boys down, as the only offence against the law was being caught in arms. But as soon as the Parliament met, the "Insurrection Act" was hurried through both houses, and became law Feb. 28, 1822. By the Act transportation for seven years was the punishment inflicted on any one found out of his dwelling-place any time between one hour after sunset and sunrise in a proclaimed district. It was harrassing duty patrolling over the country, sometimes all night, calling the rolls,* and apprehending such as had been found absent on former occasions. The law was carried out by what was called a "Bench of Magistrates," two or more, with a Sergeant-at-Law as president. All field officers and captains were magistrates, and seven years’ transportation was the only sentence the bench could give; the prisoner had either to be let off with an admonition or transported. When the prisoner was brought in, evidence was simply taken that he was found out of his dwelling-place at an unlawful hour, or that he was absent from his habitation on such a night when the roll was called. The local magistrates knew the character he bore, a few minutes consultation was held, when sentence was given, and an escort being already at the court-house door, the prisoner was handcuffed and put on a cart. The words were given "with cartridge prime and load, quick march," and off to the Cove of Cork, where a ship was at anchor to receive them. This summary procedure soon put an end to the nightly depredations. The convicted were at once sent off to Botany Bay, now Sydney. Here is one instance.

Every road leading out of Rathkeale had a guard or outpost to prevent a surprise, and near to the Askeaton-road guard lived a character known as "the red haired man," a noted White-boy (so named from wearing shirts over their clothes when on their nocturnal excursions), who had taken care of’ himself from the passing of the Insurrection Act, although still a leader and director of their doings. His house was close to the guard, and there were special orders to watch him, and at uncertain hours to visit the house, to find him absent, if possible. On an evening in June, the sentry called to the sergeant of the guard that "the red haired man," half an hour back, had gone into a house where he was still." The sergeant walked about, the retreat beat, and watch in hand, he kept his look-out; one hour after sunset "the red haired man" came out without his hat, and laughing heartily: he was taken prisoner, and next day was on his way to the Cove of Cork!

Pages could be filled with anecdotes connected with the doings of the several portions of the regiment in their various quarters. One more, to show the natural inborn Irish inclination for fighting.—The major commanding at Shannagolden, while standing on the street on a fair-day, was thus accosted by a tall, gaunt, wiry man, of some 60 years of age. "Good morning to your honour." " Good morning, Mr Sullivan." "I’ve a favour to ask of you, Major." "Well, Mr Sullivan, what can I do for you?" "Well, your honour knows that I’ve been a loyal man, that during thorn disturbed times I always advised the boys to give up the foolish night-work; that I’ve caused a great many arms to be given up to yourself, Major." Mr Sullivan’s detail of his services and his appreciation of them being much too long to go over, it ended in :—" It’s a long time, Major, since the boys have had a fight, and all that I want is, that yourself and your men will just keep out of sight, and remain at this end of the town, till me and my boys go up to the fair, and stretch a few of the Whichgeralds." (Fitzgeralds, the opposite faction.) "Oh, then, Major, we’ll not be long about it, just to stretch a dozen or two of them Whichgeralds, and then I’ll engage we’ll go home quietly." Much to Mr Sullivan’s dissppointment, the Major replied that he could not allow the peace to be broken, and grievously crest-fallen, Mr S. went to report the failure of his request to the fine set of young Sullivans who were in sight, waiting the issue of the singular application, and ready to be let loose on the Fitzgeralds. A Mr V—, a local magistrate, who was standing with the Major, said that it would tend much to break up the combination of Whiteboyism to let the factions fight among themselves, and that he could not do better than to wink at the Sullivans having a turn with their opponents; but the Major would not entertain the idea of having, possibly, half-a-dozen murders to think of.

In 1821, on the day the head-quarter division marched out of the city of Limerick, en route from Kilkenny to Ratlikeale, a man dropped out of the ranks without leave, parting with some friends of the 79th, then quartered in Limerick, when the rear guard came up; poor David Hill was found senseless on the road, with a deep cut on the back of his head, and his musket gone. On reaching Rathkeale, he was tried by a Court Martial held in a square, formed there and then, before the regiment was dismissed. He was sentenced to 300 lashes, and to pay for his musket. It was what would rightly now be considered an unnecessarily cruel individual suffering, though the most stringent discipline was required, as the regiment was virtually in an enemys country.

About three months afterwards an officer of the 79th was out snipe shooting, near to the scene of poor Hill’s misfortune. A countryman entered into conversation with the officer, watched his opportunity, knocked him over, and was off with the gun. Two of the 3d light dragoons on dispatch duty, from Rathkeale for Limerick, saw it; one of them leaped wall after wall, and apprehended the culprit. A special commission was at the time sitting in Limerick, by which he was tried next day, and hanged a day or two after. On the scafold he confessed that it was he who had knocked over the Highlander (Hill), and told the priest where the gun was hid. When it was recovered it was found cut down to make it a "handy gun." It was given over to Hill.

Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley, who was with the 42d at this time, was himself an ear-witness to the following :—About ten minutes after he and his comrade reached their billets at Rathkeale, the man of the house came in from his work, evidently not aware of the soldiers’ presence. From the kitchen and stable, one apartment, there was overheard the following catechism between the father and a child about four years old :—" Well Dan, have you been a good boy all day ?" "Yes, father." "Come to my knee, Dan ; now tell me, what will you do to the peeler, Dan ?" "I’ll shoot him, father, I will" "You’ll shoot him, will you ?" "Yes, father, when I’m big like brother Phill." "Ah, you’re a fine fellow, Dan; there’s a penny for you to buy bread." Comment is unnecessary.

In September 1823 the 42d, along with the other regiments in the Munster district, was taught the "Torrance" system of drill, which this year superseded the cumbrous old "Dundas." This system effected an entire change in the drill, particularly in the field movements and the platoon exercise. Before this the wheeling or counter-marching of a column was unknown. He was a rash commanding officer who attempted an echelon movement in quick time, and it was not to be presumed upon before a general officer. The marching past in slow time was such a curiosity, that it is worthy of record. At every angle, the command "Halt, left wheel, halt, dress, march," was given, and such work it was again to step off in time with the preceding company; about one in twenty could do it. Altogether, a drill book of "Dundas’s 18 manoeuvres" would be a curious study for the present day; and that corps was to be admired whose Colonel could put them through "the 18 manoeuvres." At present the whole could be done in 20 minutes, and as to skirmishing it was almost unknown, except in rifle and light infantry corps.

Long marches were common in those days. The following account of a long march while in Ireland, illustrates well the sad want of system at this time in connection with the army, and the little attention paid to the men’s welfare.

In the month of May 1819, the regiment was ordered from Dundalk to Dublin. The detachment (of one subaltern and twenty men) at Cootehill, in County Cavan, was ordered, when relieved, to march to Ardee, and thence to Drogheda, to join a division under a field officer for Dublin. The relieving party of the 3d Buffs did not arrive until after mid-day on the 21st of May, when the detachment of the 42d marched by Shercock under the belief that they would halt at Kingscourt for the night, 18 miles from Cootehill. But, alas! they marched on amidst pelting rain, and reached Ardee between 11 and 12 o’clock at night, 13 miles from Kingscourt, with the pipe-clay so thoroughly washed from their belts (cross in those days), that they were quite brown. The question will naturally arise, why did they not stop at Kingscourt ? even that distance being a long day’s march. There was a reason. The end of the month was the 24th day at this time, and from some neglect or mistake the officer was short of money to keep the men all night at Kingscourt. But 42d soldiers made no complaints, on any occasion, in those days. With the consolatory saying, "what we march to-day we will not have to march to-morrow," the march was, with few exceptions, made cheerfully, although every man carried his full kit.

At this period there was a lamentable want of organisation and good management in many particulars. For instance, there was a garrison field day every Thursday (in Dublin 1819—20), and the guards who went on at ten o’clock the previous day had nothing sent to them in the way of food from the scanty dinner of Wednesday, till they reached their barracks about seven or eight the following evening.

Pay-sergeants were always consulted in all matters of interior economy, whether it regarded the supply of necessaries or improvements in messing, and they looked upon it as an innovation on their rights to propose any plan for the good of the soldiers, by which the smallest portion of the pay would have been diverted from passing through their (the pay sergeants’) hands; and thus a great portion of the men were always in debt. A baneful system it was, when men were allowed to be in debt to the sergeant to the extent of several pounds.

During the time the regiment was quartered in Dublin in 1819, a breakfast mess was established, much to the benefit of the soldier, who until this time had pleased himself regarding that meal. Bread and water satisfied some, while others indulged themselves according to their taste or ability to procure what was agreeable to them.

In 1819 a regimental medal (bearing on one side the names Corunna, Fuentes D’Onor, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthès, Toulouse, Peninsula) was struck in Dublin, and issued to those entitled to wear it—at their own expense. The authority of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, at the time commander-in-chief, was obtained for the wearing of it. Many good and gallant soldiers wore them in the regiment for years, but they quickly disappeared, although few of them were discharged under 19 and 20 years’ service. The last of them were discharged between 1830 and 1834. Many inquiries have been made concerning this medal, which has puzzled collectors, but on the authority of Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley, the above is a correct account of its origin and history.

Leaving the province of Munster, in June 1825, the regiment received a highly commendatory communication from Lieutenant-General Sir John Lambert, expressing the high sense he entertained of the discipline and conduct of the corps. It afterwards marched to Dublin, where it was stationed three months.

The regiment was divided into six service and four depot companies, and the service companies received orders to proceed to the celebrated fortress of Gibraltar. They accordingly marched from Dublin, for embarkation at the Cove of Cork, on board His Majesty’s ship "Albion," and the " Sovereign" and Numa" transports the last division arrived at Gibraltar in the middle of December. The depot companies were removed from Ireland to Scotland.

On arrival at Gibraltar, the regiment occupied Windmill-hill Barracks, and was afterwards removed to Rosia, where it was stationed during the year 1827.

In February 1828, the regiment took possession of a wing of the grand casemates. As an epidemic fever prevailed in the garrison, from which the regiment suffered severely, it encamped, in September, on the neutral ground. Its loss from the fever was, Ensign Charles Stewart, 6 sergeants, and 53 rank and file.

The regiment returned to the grand casemates on the 9th of January 1829 ; again encamped in the neutral ground in July, leaving in barracks the men who had recovered from the fever. It returned within the fortress in October.

As there is little or nothing to record with regard to the doings of the regiment during the six years it was at Gibraltar, where it took its share of the usual garrison work, we shall again recur to Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley’s memoranda, and present the reader with some interesting notes on the manners, customs, &c., of the regiment about this time. Let us, however, note here, that in 1825, the regiment was armed with "The Long Land Tower" musket, being the only corps of the line to which it was issued; and again, in 1840, it was the first corps to receive the percussion musket, in both cases, through the interest of Sir George Murray, its colonel.

The bugle, for barrack duty, was introduced in 1828, whilst the 42d was encamped on the neutral ground, Gibraltar, during the epidemic fever. Before this the solitary bugler of the regiment sounded part of "quick march" for the guard, and had about half-a-dozen calls for the light company, whose knowledge of skirmishing barely extended to the covering of an advance in line. In the following year, and 1830, it was taken up in reality, and the corps soon became famous for their skirmishing: not that either the bugle calls for barracks or the light infantry drill was without its enemies. Indeed, in general, the officers were averse to the "new fangled innovations," and, in some instances, complained that they could not understand the bugle even for the men’s breakfast, dinner, &c., and wished a return to the drum! However, the innovations, with numerous others, were supported by the commanding officers, and in due time the 42d became equal to its neighbours.

While at Gibraltar, in 1830, a regimental library was started, and continued in a flourishing condition for many years. Its history, as told by one of its originators. Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley, is extremely interesting. It deserves to be recorded, as it was creditable to the corps, and equally so to the men who so nobly supported it. At this time, such institutions were unknown in the army; indeed, if anything, they were discouraged.

The regiment was quartered with the 43d in the grand casemates, in February 1830. The sergeant-major of that corps had a small library, his private property, collected at sales of books from time to time, from the famous garrison library; he from that formed a circulating library, lending books at a certain rate per month. It was spoken of in the orderly-room one day, after the finish of the morning’s duty, and Sir Charles Gordon expressed his surprise that in a Scotch regiment nothing of the kind had been instituted. As soon as he left, the pay sergeants were called, and desired, by nine o’clock the following morning, to give a return of the number of subscribers willing to pay six days’ pay of their rank, to be levied in three monthly instalments, and after the third month, to pay a subscription of sixpence a month. A return of 224 was given in, and it having willingly been approved of by Sir Charles, immediate steps were taken to establish the library. A large order was sent off to the Messrs Tegg, of London, and within a month, what from a purchase of old works from the garrison library, and donations of books from the officers, the library was in good reading order. The officers were most liberal in their donations. The members continued to increase, and various alterations were made from time to time, and in 1836 the subscriptions were reduced to fourpence. The funds were always fully able to meet any charge of conveyance whilst at home, from 1836 to 1841, and again from 1852 to 1854. On being ordered to Turkey in 1854, the whole of the books were disposed of, because the Government reading-rooms and libraries had been in force some time before this, and some corps had been ordered to do away with the regimental ones. At the time of its being broken up, it contained nearly 3000 volumes, and during its existence was highly creditable to the regiment.

In 1832, the regiment received orders to leave Gibraltar and proceed to Malta, embarking on the 13th January, when the governor, Sir William Houston, expressed in garrison orders "that the 42d Royal Highlanders had embarked in a manner fully supporting their high character for discipline and good conduct, and he regretted their departure." After remaining at Malta till December 1834, the regiment was removed to the Ionian Islands, where it stayed till June 1836, having by that time completed a period of ten years and six months’ service in the Mediterranean.

The 42d left Corfu for Britain on the 30th of June, and was accompanied to the place of embarkation by the Lord High Commissioner, Major-General Sir Howard Douglas, who, on its being formed on the esplanade, addressed it in the following terms:-

"Colonel Middleton, Qfficers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Soldiers of the Royal Highlanders,

"I have come hither to assure you, that the conduct of the Forty-second has given me the highest degree of satisfaction during the time it has been under my orders, and I wish to express to you the deep regret I feel at the departure of this gallant and distinguished corps from the station under my command.

"The highest professional obligation of a regiment, is to act so as to render itself dreaded as well as respected by enemies. This the Forty-second has hitherto nobly and effectually done; and that power, though it exists unimpaired in the condition of this regiment, reposes for the present happily in peace.

"It is peculiarly the duty of a British soldier to conciliate, by personal demeanour and individual conduct, the esteem and regard of his fellow-subjects at home, and wherever he may be serving abroad, to cultivate the best terms, and gain the respect and good will of all classes of persons in the community of the place where he may be quartered. This, too, Forty-second, you have well done! The good terms which so happily subsist between the protector and the protected here, have not only been undisturbed, but cemented by your good conduct; and it affords me the greatest pleasure to have heard it declared by the highest authorities here, that you take with you the regard, respect, and good wishes of this population. As I was honoured by having this regiment placed under my orders, and I am highly satisfied with the conduct of the corps to the moment of its departure, so should I feel gratified if I should have the good fortune to have you again under my command. If this should be in peace, I shall have the pleasure of renewing the agreeable intercourse I have had with the officers, and the pleasing duties I have had to discharge with you. Should a renewal of the connection take place in war, it will afford me much delight and satisfaction, and I shall feel great honour conferred upon me by being again associated with a corps, which, I well know, would acquire fresh inscriptions to its own renown, and to the honour of our country, on the banners which have braved many a hard-fought battle-field, and which have waved triumphantly over many a victory Forty-second, farewell !"

The regiment, on landing at Leith, on the 7th September 1836, after 19 years absence from Scotland, was joined by the depot companies awaiting it in Edinburgh Castle. It remained till the spring of 1838, when it embarked from Glasgow for Dublin, where it remained until the beginning of 1841. While in Ireland, new colours were presented to the 42d, March 7,1839.

While at Limerick, Lieutenant-Colonel Middleton reluctantly retired from the command of the regiment, and issued the following pathetic farewell order

"NEW BARRACKS, LIMERICK,
12th August, 1S39.

"Regimental Order.

"The Lieutenant-Colonel is persuaded that the officers, non-commissioned officers, and the soldiers of the regiment will enter into his feelings, and easily believe that it caused him many a heart-rending struggle before he brought himself to the sad conclusion of severing ties which connected his destiny for thirty-six years with that of the 42d, and which, but for one consideration, nothing on this side the grave could have induced him to do. That consideration they cannot be ignorant of, and which he is sure they will duly appreciate.

"It remains with him, therefore, only to return them, collectively and individually, the warmest expression of his thanks for the cordial and unremitting manner with which they cooperated with him in the various duties connected with his command, which made his situation truly an enviable one; indeed, he may with truth assert without alloy, until now, when bidding the regiment farewell. In his sorrow, however, it affords him consolation to think that he resigns his proud and enviable charge into the hands of Major Johnstone, so capable in every way of maintaining their discipline, and watching over the best interest of the regiment. The Lieutenant-Colonel hopes the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, will give the same undeviating support to him that they have on every occasion given the Lieutenant-Colonel, the recollection of which can never be banished from his mind; and wherever his future lot may be cast, his heart will always be with the Royal Highlanders; in saying which, should a tablet be over his tomb. the only epitaph he would wish engraved upon it would be, that he once belonged to the 42d."

In January 1841, the six service companies left Ireland for the Ionian Islands, and in May following, the depot companies left Dublin for Scotland, being stationed at Stirling, which they quitted in March 1842, for Aberdeen.

The 42d and eight other regiments having been augmented to an establishment of 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 12 captains, 14 lieutenants, 10 ensigns, 6 staff officers, 67 sergeants, 25 drummers, and 1200 rank and file; the Royal Highlanders received upwards of 400 Scots volunteers from other corps (80 of whom were furnished by the 72d, 79th, 92d, and 93d Highland regiments), towards the completion of their new establishment; and the depot was moved to Aberdeen in May, where it was formed into 6 companies, to be termed the Reserve Battalion, and its organisation rapidly proceeded.

In August 1842, when her Majesty the Queen Victoria visited Scotland, the reserve battalion of the Royal Highlanders furnished a guard of honour for Her Majesty at Dupplin, Tayrnouth, Drummond, and Stirling Castles, and the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel was conferred on the commanding officer, Major James Macdougall.

In November 1842, the reserve battalion embarked from Cosport for Malta, to be joined by the first battalion from the Ionian Islands.

The head-quarters and three companies of the first battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone, embarked at Cephalonia, and landed at Malta on the 20th February; the other three companies arrived at Malta from Zante on the 27th March.

When the regiment embarked at Cephalonia, the Regent, the Bishop, and all the dignitaries saw Colonel Johnstone, the officers and men to the boats, and the leave-taking was nearly as touching as the one at Corfu in 1836. The Regent of the Island and the Civil authorities subsequently sent a large gold medal to Colonel Johnstone, with Cephalos and his dog on one side of it, and the Colonel’s name on the other.

On the 29th of December 1843, General the Right Honourable Sir George Murray, G.C.B., was removed to the 1st, or the Royal Regiment of Foot, in succession to General Lord Lynedoch, deceased; and the colonelcy of the 42d Royal Highlanders was conferred on Lieutenant-General Sir John Macdonald, K.C.B. (Adjutant-General of the Forces), from the 67th regiment. Sir George Murray on his removal, addressed a letter to Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron, commanding the regiment, from which the following are extracts:-

"I cannot leave the command of the Forty-second Royal Highlanders without requesting you to express to them, in the strongest terms, how high an honour I shall always esteem it to have been for upwards of twenty years the colonel of a regiment, which, by its exemplary conduct in every situation, and by its distinguished valour in many a well-fought field, has earned for itself so large a share of esteem and of renown as that which belongs to the FORTY-SECOND regiment.

"Wherever the military service of our country may hereafter require the presence of the Royal Highlanders, my most friendly wishes and best hopes will always accompany them, and it will afford me the greatest pleasure to learn that harmony and mutual goodwill continue, as heretofore, to prevail throughout their ranks; and that discipline, so essential to the honour and success of every military body, is upheld amongst them, not more by the vigilance and the good example of those in command, than by the desire of all to discharge regularly, faithfully, and zealously, the several duties which it belongs to each respectively to perform. Whilst the Royal Highlanders persevere (as I feel confident, by my long acquaintance with them, both before and during the period of my having the honour to command them, that they always will) in the same path of duty which they have hitherto allowed, they will never cease to add to that high reputation which they have already achieved for themselves, and for their native land."

Until the 42d went to Corfu, in December 1834, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Wheatley, no Highland regiment had ever been seen there, and the natives flocked from all parts of the island to see the wonderful soldiers. Many of the natives, no doubt, had heard something of the dress, but could only think of it as being like the Albanian kilt, nor would they believe that the knees were bare. The Greeks, says the Colonel, are very stoical, but at the parade next day (Sunday), on the esplanade, they could not conceal their excitement. Both the officers and men of the 42d were very popular at Corfu; and when, after an absence of four years and a-half on home service, the regiment returned to the island in 1841, the islanders regarded it as a compliment, and declared that "the regiment had only been sent to England to get percussion muskets."

On February 10th, 1846, was killed in action at Sobraon in India, Major-General Sir R. H. Dick, who had entered the 42d as ensign in 1800. He served with the second battalion of the 78th in Sicily in 1806; was wounded at the battle of Maida; was in Calabria and Egypt, in 1807; and was severely wounded at Rosetta. He was in the Peninsula from 1809, and was wounded at Waterloo. In the entrance of St Giles’ Church, Edinburgh, is a tablet to his memory, erected by the officers of the 42d in 1846.

The two battalions remained at Malta until 1847, when both were ordered to Bermuda. The first sailed on the 27th February, and landed three companies (head-quarters) at Hamilton, and three companies at Ireland Island on the 16th April. The reserve battalion embarked in March, and landed at St. George’s Island on the 24th of April.

On the 1st April 1850, the reserve battalion was consolidated into the first, forming a regiment of ten companies of 1000 rank and file. In May 1851, three companies were separated from the regiment to be sent to Scotland, to be joined by the depot company from the Isle of Wight, and on 4th June, the six service companies embarked on board the "Resistance," and on the following day sailed for Halifax (Nova Scotia), where they arrived on the 12th, sending out detachments to Prince Edward’s Island, Cape Breton, and Annapolis, in all 200 officers and men.

The regiment was relieved by the 56th at Bermuda, and replaced the 88th at Halifax, ordered home. The depot left Bermuda for Aberdeen on 13th July.

Before leaving, a letter, complimenting the regiment highly on its commendable conduct while in Bermuda, was forwarded to Colonel Cameron by his Excellency the governor. We give the following address from "the Corporation and other inhabitants of the town and parish of St. George," which was presented to Colonel Cameron on June 3d, 1851.

"To Lieutenant-Colonel D. A. Cameron,
42d R. H. Commandant, &c, &c, &c.

"Sir,—As Her Majesty’s 42d regiment under your command is about to leave these Islands, we cannot allow its departure without expressing our esteem for the kindly feelings which have existed between the inhabitants and the 42d, during the four years’ residence in this garrison. The urbanity and affability of the officers, the steady and upright conduct of the non-commissioned officers and men, have been eminently conspicuous. To our knowledge, not a man of your gallant and distinguished corps has been convicted of any crime before the civil authorities of this colony; a very gratifying circumstance, and bespeaking the high state of discipline of the regiment.

"To yourself, Sir, officers, and men, we sincerely tender our best wishes for your future welfare; and assured are we, that should the time arrive for the ‘Forty-second’ to be called into active service, they will display that loyalty and valour for which they are so justly renowned. Wishing you a safe and pleasant passage,—We have time honour to be, Sir, your obedient, humble servants:-

"(Signed by the Mayor, Corporation, and other Inhabitants of the town and parish of St George.)"

To this Colonel Cameron made a suitable reply.

This shows the esteem in which the regiment was held by the inhabitants of Bermuda, and it was well deserved. Not a man had been convicted before the civil authorities; it was something new to the Bermudans, and a subject which they often dwelt upon.

The mean strength of the regiment in the Islands for four years and two months, viz:- April 1847 to June 1851, was 1090 and the deaths, including accidents, &c., were only 31, being much less than the usual mortality at home. The regiment that the 42d had relieved (1st and reserve battalions of the 20th) sustained a heavy loss—several hundreds—from cholera; and the 56th, which replaced it, lost 6 officers and 224 men, in the autumn of 1853.

Early in 1852, the several detachments rejoined at Halifax, and on the 29th May the regiment (again in the "Resistance") embarked to return home, and on July 16th anchored at Greenock. They landed on the 19th, and proceeded by rail to Stirling, three companies going to Perth, and two to Dundee. The depot was waiting the arrival of the service companies in Stirling Castle. The regiment had been absent from Scotland upwards of 14 years, viz., since embarking at Glasgow for Dublin in 1838.

Early in April 1853, the regiment was ordered to be in readiness to proceed to England. On the 22d headquarters left Stirling, and proceeded to Weedon, detaching two companies to Northampton. On the 14th of June left Weedon for Chobham. It was there encamped with the 1st Life Guards; 6th Dragoon Guards; 13th Light Dragoons; 17th Lancers ; 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards; 1st Battalion Scots Fusiliers; 1st Battalion Coldstreams; 38th, 50th, 93d, and 95th regiments; and 2d Battalion Rifle Brigade, &c., &c.

On the 14th July, the whole of the troops were replaced, and the regiment proceeded to Haslar and Gosport (Fort Monckton), detaching three companies, under Major Cumberland, to Weymouth.


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