THE clan Mackenzie was,
next to the Campbells, the most considerable in the Western Highlands,
having built its greatness upon the fallen fortunes of the Macdonalds.
Its military strength was estimated in 1704, at 1200 men; by Marshal
Wade in 1715, at 3000 men; and by Lord President Forbes in 1745, at 2500
men; but probably all these conjectures were below the mark.
The clan Mackenzie
furnished large contingents to the present 71st and 72nd Regiments when
they were first raised.
In 1793, Francis
Humberstone Mackenzie, heir-male of the family, and afterwards Lord
Seaforth, raised the present 78th Highlanders, and a second battalion in
the following year, when nearly all the men enlisted were from his own
or his clansmen~ez_rsquo~s estates in Ross-shire and the Lewis. Another second
battalion was subsequently raised in 1804,when, Lord Seaforth being
absent as Governor of Demerara, his personal influence was not of so
much avail. However, again the greater part of the men were recruited on
the estates of the clan by his brother-in-law, Colonel Alexander
Mackenzie of Belmaduthy (who afterwards adopted the additional surname
of Fraser, on succeeding to the Castle Fraser estates in right of his
mother) and Colonel J. R. Mackenzie of Suddie. Several Fencible,
Militia, and local Volunteer regiments were also raised among the
Mackenzies at the end of the last and beginning of the 19th century.
As the early history of
the 78th is a little complicated, owing to its having been twice
augmented with a 2nd battalion, it is as well to remember the following
1st Battalion~ez_mdash~Letter of
Service dated 7th March 1793.
2nd Battalion~ez_mdash~Letter of Service dated 10th February 1794.
amalgamated, June 1796.)
of Service, dated 17th April 1804.
amalgamated, July 1817.)
The regiment has ever
since remained as a single battalion.
As early as the autumn of
1787 (when the 74th, 75th, 76th, and 77th Regiments were ordered to be
raised for service in India), Francis Humberstone Mackenzie of Seaforth,
lineal descendant and representative of the old earls of Seaforth, had
made an offer to the King for the raising of a Highland corps on his
estates in Ross-shire and the Isles, to be commanded by himself. As the
Government, however, merely accepted his services in the matter of
procuring recruits for the regiments of Sir Archibald Campbell and
Colonel Abercromby (the 74th and 75th), he did not come prominently
forward. On the 19th of May 1790, he again renewed his offer, but was
informed that Government did not contemplate raising fresh corps, the
establishment of the army having been finally fixed at 77 regiments.
Undismayed, however, by
the manner in which his offers had been hitherto shelved, he was the
first to step forward, on the declaration of war, and place his great
influence in the Highlands at the disposal of the Crown. Accordingly, a
Letter of Service, dated 7th March, 1793, was granted to him, empowering
him, as Lieut. - Colonel Commandant, to raise a Highland battalion,
which, as the first to be embodied during the war, was to be numbered
the 78th. The strength of the battalion was to be 1 company of
grenadiers, 1 of light infantry, and 8 battalion companies. Seaforth
immediately appointed as his major his brother-in-law, Alexander
Mackenzie of Belmaduthy, son of Mackenzie of Kilcoy, a captain in the
73rd Regiment, and a man in every way fitted for the post. A notice was
then posted through the counties of Ross and Cromarty, and the island of
commissions now poured in upon Seaforth; and, besides his own personal
friends, many who were but slightly known to him solicited favours for
their relatives. The following is a list of those whose names were
approved by the King:~ez_mdash~
FIRST LIST OF OFFICERS.
H. Mackenzie, afterwards Lord Seaforth, Lieut.-Gen. 1808. Died 1815.
Mackenzie of Belmaduthy, afterwards of Castle Fraser, when he assumed the
name of Fraser. Lieut. -General 1808. Died 1809.
George, Earl of Errol, died
Alexander Mackenzie of Fairburn, Lieut. General 1809.
Alexander Malcolm, died 1798.
Thomas Fraser of Leadclune.
John Mackenzie (Gairloch).
Gabriel Murray, Brevet-Major, killed at Tuil, 1794.
Alexander Grant, died
J. R. Mackenzie of Suddie,
Major-General, killed at Tatavera 1809.
Hon. Geo. Cochrane, son
of the Earl of Dundonald.
Captain-Lieutenant~ez_mdash~Duncan Munro of Culcairn.
James Fraser, retired 1795.
Hugh Munro, Captain of
William Douglas, son of
Brigton, Lieut.-Colonel 91st Regiment.
George Bayley, promoted to
Thomas, Lord Cochrane,
Captain Royal Navy.
John Macleod, Colonel 1813.
J. Mackenzie Scott, Captain
57th, killed at Albuera, 1811.
Charles Mackenzie (Kilcoy).
David Forbes, Lieut.
Alexander Rose, Major of
Alexander Downie, D.D.
He died in India.
The martial spirit of the
nation was now so thoroughly roused, and recruits poured in so rapidly,
that, on the 10th of July, 1793, only four months after the granting of
the Letter of Service, the regiment was inspected at Fort George, and
passed by Lieut.-General Sir Hector Munro. Orders were then issued to
augment the corps to 1000 rank and file, and 5 companies, including the
flank ones, under the command of Major Alexander Mackenzie, were embarked
for Guernsey. In October of the same year the remaining 5 companies were
ordered to join their comrades.
"This was an excellent
body of men, healthy, vigorous, and efficient; attached and obedient to
their officers, temperate and regular; in short, possessing those
principles of integrity and moral conduct which constitute a valuable
soldier. The duty of officers was easy with such men, who only required to
be told what duty was expected of them. A young officer, endowed with
sufficient judgment to direct them in the field, possessing energy and
spirit to ensure the respect and confidence of soldiers, and prepared on
every occasion to show them the eye of the enemy, need not desire a
command that would sooner and more permanently establish his professional
character, if employed on an active campaign, than that of 1000 such men
as composed this regiment.
knew his men, and the value which they attached to a good name, by
tarnishing which they would bring shame on their country and kindred. In
case of any misconduct, he had only to remonstrate, or threaten to
transmit to their parents a report of their misbehaviour. This was,
indeed, to them a grievous punishment, acting like the curse of Kehama, as
a perpetual banishment from a country to which they could not return with
a bad character."
After being stationed a
short time in Guernsey and the Isle of Wight, the 78th, in September 1794,
embarked with the 80th to join Lord Mulgrave~ez_rsquo~s force in Walcheren. While
detained by contrary winds in the Downs, fever broke out on board the
transports, which had recently brought back prisoners of war from the
West Indies, and had not been properly purified; thus several men fell
victims to the disease.
The British troops had
landed in Holland, on the 5th of March, 1793, and since then the war had
been progressing with varying success. Without, therefore, giving details
of their operations during the first year and a half, we shall merely
sketch the position they occupied when the 78th landed at Flushing.
On the 1st of July, 1794,
the allies having decided to abandon the line of the Scheldt, the Duke of
York retired behind the Pyle, and was there joined by Lord Moira and 8000
men. ~On the 22nd the Duke, having separated from the Austrians,
established himself at iRosendaal, and there remained inactive in his camp
the whole of August and the early part of September; but, on the 15th of
September, Boxtel having fallen into the hands of General Pichegru, he was
constrained to break camp and retire across the Meuse, and finally across
the Waal, establishing his head-quarters at Nimeguen.
At this juncture the 78th
and 80th reached Flushing, and found that Lord Mulgrave was ordered home.
They therefore embarked with the 79th, 84th, and 85th, to join the Duke~ez_rsquo~s
army. Early in October the 78th lauded at Tuil, and proceeded to occupy
the village of Rossem in the Bommeler-Waart, or Island of Bommel, where
they first saw the enemy, scarcely one hundred yards distant, on the
opposite side of the river. Here, through the negligence of a Dutch
Emigrant Officer, a sad accident occured. This person hearing voices on
the bank of the river, and dreading a surprise, ordered his gunners to
fire an iron 12-pounder, loaded with case shot, by which discharge the
officer of the day, Lieut. Archibald Christie, 78th, and a sergeant,
were seriously wounded while visiting a sentry. They both recovered, but
were unable to serve again; strange to say, the sentry escaped
untouched. While quartered here, by a tacit understanding, the sentries
exchanged no shots, but it was observed that the French frequently fired
howitzers with effect when the troops were under arms, and that, before
the fire commenced, the sails of a certain windmill were invariably put
in motion. The owner was arrested, found guilty as a spy, and condemned
to death, but was reprieved through the lenity of Lieut.-Colonel
Mackenzie, the commandant, with the full understanding that, on a
repetition of the offence, the last penalty would be enforced.
About the end of October
the 78th proceeded to Arnheim, the Duke of York~ez_rsquo~s headquarters, and
thence, by a night march, to Nimeguen, against which place the French
were erecting batteries, On the 4th of November a sortie was made, when
the 78th was for the first time under fire, and did such execution with
the bayonet, as to call forth the highest encomiums from experienced and
veteran officers. The loss of the regiment in this engagement was
Lieutenant Martin Cameron (died of his wounds) and seven men, killed;
wounded, Major Malcolm, Captain Hugh Munro, Captain Colin Mackenzie,
Lieutenant Bayley, 4 sergeants, and 56 rank and file.
On the 6th the regiment
marched from Nimeguen to Arnheim, and finally to Dodewaart on the Waal,
where they were brigaded with the 12th, the 33rd, under Lieut.-Colonel
Arthur Wellesley (afterwards Duke of Wellington), and the 42nd under
Major Dickson. The General going home on leave, the command devolved on
Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of the 78th, who, however, still remained
with his regiment.
On the 2nd of December
the Duke of York quitted Arnheim for England, and handed over his
command to Lieut.-General Harcourt.
On the 29th of December
General Daendels, having crossed the Waal on the ice and driven back the
Dutch, Major-General Sir David Dundas was ordered to dislodge him, he,
therefore, marched towards Thiel by Buren and Geldermalsen, and came up
with the enemy at Tuil, which village he carried at the point of the
bayonet with comparatively little loss, though Brevet Major Murray and
three men of the light company, 78th, were killed by the bursting of a
shell thrown from a distant battery. After the action the troops lay on
their arms in the snow until the evening of the 31st, and the French
recrossed the Waal.
On the 3rd of January
1795 the French repossessed themselves of Tuil, and on the 5th they
drove in the British outposts at Meteren, capturing two three-pounders,
which were, however, recovered later in the day. They then attacked
Geldermalsen. The 78th were in advance, supported by the 42nd, when they
were charged by a Republican cavalry corps, dressed in the same uniform
as the French Emigrant Regiment of Choiseul. They advanced towards the
Highlanders with loud cries of "Choiseul ! Choiseul !" and the
78th, believing them to be that regiment, forbore to fire upon them
until they were quite close, when, discovering the mistake, they gave
them a warm reception, and those of the enemy who had penetrated beyond
their line were destroyed by the 42nd. The infantry then came up, the
officers shouting "Avanšez, Carmagnoles !" but the 78th,
reserving their fire till the foe had almost closed with them, poured in
such a withering volley, that they were completely demoralised and
retreated in great confusion. It was remarked that in this action the
French were all half drunk, and one officer, who was wounded and taken,
was completely tipsy. The loss of the 78th was four men killed, and
Captain Duncan Munro and seven men wounded. It was on this occasion that
a company of the 78th, commanded by Lieutenant Forbes, showed an example
of steadiness that would have done honour to the oldest soldiers,
presenting and recovering arms without firing a shot upon the cavalry as
they were coming down. The whole behaved with great coolness, and fired
nearly 60 rounds per man.
On the night of the 5th
the troops retired to Buren. On the 6th the British and Hanoverians
retired across the Leek, with the exception of the 6th Brigade, Lord
Cathcart~ez_rsquo~s, which remained at Kuilenburg. On the 8th both parties
assumed the offensive, but the British advance was countermanded on
account of the severity of the weather. It happened, however, luckily
for the picquet of the 4th Brigade, which was at Burenmalsen, opposite
to Geldermalsen, that the order did not reach Lord Cathcart until he had
arrived at Buren, as being driven in, it must otherwise have been taken.
Here a long action took place, which ended in the repulse of the French.
The 4th and a Hessian Brigade went into Buren, and the British into the
The day the troops
remained here, a man in the town was discovered selling gin to the
soldiers at such a low price as must have caused him an obvious loss,
and several of the men being already drunk, the liquor was seized, and
ordered by General Dundas to be divided among the different corps, to be
issued at the discretion of commanding officers. Thus what the French
intended to be a means of destruction, turned out to be of the greatest
comfort and assistance to the men during their fearful marches through
ice and snow. During the afternoon a man was apprehended at the
outposts, who had been sent to ascertain whether the trick had taken
effect, and whether the troops were sufficiently drunk to be attacked
Hammerstein having been unable to reach Thiel, were, with Wurmb~ez_rsquo~s
Hessians, united to Pandas at Buren. On the 10th the French crossed the
Waal, and General Regnier crossing the Oeg, drove the British from
Opheusden, back upon Wageningen and Arnheim, with a loss of fifty killed
and wounded. Abercromby, therefore, withdrew, and the British retired
across the Rhine at Rhenen. This sealed the fate of Holland, and on the
20th General Pichegru entered Amsterdam.
The inclemency of the
season increased, and the rivers, estuaries, and inundations froze as
they had never been known to do before, so that the whole country, land
and water, was one unbroken sheet of ice.
The Rhine was thus
crossed on the ice on the night of the 9th of February, and for two more
nights the 78th lay upon their arms in the snow, and then marched for
Wyk. On the 14th Rhenen was attacked by the French, who were repulsed by
the Guards, with a loss of 20 men; however, the same night it was
determined to abandon the Rhine, and thus Rhenen, the Grand Hospital of
the army, fell into the hands of the French, who, nevertheless, treated
the sick and wounded with consideration. After resting two hours in the
snow during the night, the 78th resumed their march, passed through
Amersfoort, and about 11 A.M. on the 15th lay down in some
tobacco barns, having marched nearly 40 miles. It had been decided to
occupy the line of the Yssel, and Deventer therefore became the
destination. On the 16th at daybreak the regiment commenced its march
across the horrible waste called the Veluwe. Food was not to be
obtained, the inhabitants were inhospitable; with the enemy in their
rear, the snow knee deep, and blown in swirls by the wind into their
faces, until they were partially or entirely blinded, their plight was
They had now a new enemy
to encounter. Not only was the weather still most severe, and the
Republicans supposed to be in pursuit, but the British had, in
consequence of French ermissaries, a concealed enemy in every Dutch town
and village through which they had to pass. Notwithstanding the severity
of the climate,~ez_mdash~the cold being so intense that brandy froze in bottles~ez_mdash~the
78th, 79th (both young soldiers), and the recruits of the 42nd, wore
their kilts, and yet the loss was incomparably less than that sustained
by the other corps.
After halting at Loo to
allow the officers and men to take off their accoutrements, which they
had worn day and night since the 26th December, they on the 18th marched
to Hattern on theYssel. Finally, on the 28th of March the 78th entered
Bremen, and the army being embarked, the fleet sailed on the 12th of
On the 9th of May, 1795,
the shores of Old England brought tears into the eyes of the war-worn
soldiers, and the first battalion of the Ross-shire Buffs landed at
Harwich, and proceeded to Chelmsford, where they took over the barracks.
After making up the returns, and striking off the names of all men
supposed to be dead or prisoners, the regiment, which had embarked on the
previous September 950 strong, and in excellent health, was found to be
reduced to 600 men, which number included the disabled and sick who had
not been yet invalided. The 78th remained three weeks at Chelmsford, and
marched to Harwich, where it was brigaded with the 19th, under command of
General Sir Ralph Abercromby. It then proceeded to Nutshalling (now
Nursling) Common, where a force was assembling under the Earl of Moira,
with a view to making a descent on the French coast.
On the 18th of August the
78th, in company with the 12th, 80th, and 90th Regiments, and some
artillery, embarked under the command of Major-General W. Ellis Doyle, and
sailed for Quiberon Bay; the design was to assist the French Royalists.
They bore down on Noirmoutier, but finding the island strongly reinforced,
and a landing impracticable, they made for L~ez_rsquo~Ile Dieu, where they landed
without opposition. Here they remained for some time, enduring the
hardships entailed by continued wet weather and a want of proper
accommodation, coupled with an almost total failure of the commissariat,
but were unable to assist Charette or his royalist companions in any way.
Finally, the expedition embarked in the middle of December, joined the
grand fleet in Quiberon Bay, and proceeded with it to Spithead.
On the 13th of October
1793, Seaforth made an offer to Government to raise a second battalion for
the ~ez_lsquo~78th Highlanders; and on the 30th Lord Amherst signed the king~ez_rsquo~s
approval of his raising 500 additional men on his then existing letter of
service. However, this was not what he wanted; and on the 28th of December
he submitted three proposals for a second battalion to Government.
On the 7th of February
1794, the Government agreed to one battalion being raised, with eight
battalion and two flank companies, each company to consist of "one
hundred private men," with the usual complement of officers and
non-commissioned officers. But Seaforth~ez_rsquo~s services were ill requited by
Government; for while he contemplated raising a second battalion to his
regiment, Lord Amherst had issued orders that it was to be considered as a
separate corps. The following is a copy of the letter addressed to Mr
Secretary Dundas by Lieut.-Colonel Commandant F. H. Mackenzie:
"ST ALBAN~ez_rsquo~S STREET
'8th Feb, 1794
sincerely hoped I should not be obliged to trouble you again; but on my
going to-day to the War Office about my letter of service (having
yesterday, as I thought, finally agreed with Lord Amherst), I was, to my
amazement, told that Lord Amherst had ordered that the 1000 men I am to
raise were not to be a second battalion of the 78th, but a separate
corps. It will, I am sure, occur to you that should I undertake such a
thing, it would destroy my influence among the people of my country
entirely; and instead of appearing as a loyal honest chieftain calling
out his friends to support their king and country, I should be gibbeted
as a jobber of the attachment my neighbours bear to me. Recollecting
what passed between you and me, I barely state this circumstance; and I
am, with great respect and attachment, Sir, your most obliged and
This argument had its
weight; Lord Amherst~ez_rsquo~s order was rescinded, and on the 10th February
1794, a letter of service was granted to Seaforth, empowering him, as
Lieut.-Colonel Commandant, to add a second battalion to the 78th
Highlanders, of which the strength was to be "one company of
grenadiers, one of light infantry, and eight battalion companies."
Stewart states that of
this number 560 men were of the same country and character as the first,
and 190 from different parts of Scotland; but he alludes to the first
six companies, as the regiment was almost entirely composed of
The following is a listof the
officers appointed to the regiment
- F. H. Mackenzie of Seaforth.
Lieutenant-Colonel. - Alexander
Mackenzie of Fairburn, from first battalion.
J. R. Mackenzie of Suddie,
from first battalion.
Michael Monypenuy, promoted to 73d, dead.
J. H. Brown, killed in a duel
William Campbell, Major,
killed in Java, 1811.
Patrick M~ez_rsquo~Leod (Geanies),
killed at El Hamet, 1807.
Hercules Scott of Benholm, Lieut. -Colonel 103d Regiment, 1814, killed in Canada.
John Macleod, Colonel, 1813,
from first battalion.
Archd. C. B. Crawford.
Norman Macleod, Lieut. - Colonel Royal Scots.
Alexander Sutherland, sen.
Alexander Sutherland, jun.
B. G. Mackay.
Hon. W. D. Halyburton,
George Macgregor, Lieut.
-Colonel 59th Regiment.
Chaplain.~ez_mdash~The Rev. Charles
The records of this battalion
having been lost many years since, the only knowledge we can derive of its
movements is to be obtained from the Seaforth papers. The regiment was
inspected and passed at Fort-George by Sir Hector Munro in June 1794. In
July his Majesty authorised the regiment to adopt the name of "The
Ross-shire Buffs" as a distinctive title. In August six companies
embarked for England, and proceeded to Netley Camp, where they were
brigaded with the 90th, 97th, and 98th. The troops suffered much from
fever, ague, and rheumatism, the situation being very unfavourable; but
here again the 78th was found to be more healthy than their neighhours. The young battalion was
chafing at this enforced idleness, and longed to go on active service. On
the 5th of November, the regiment marched from Netley, four companies
proceeding to Poole, one to Wimborne, and one to Wareham, Corff Castle,
In the end of February 1795,
the second battalion of the 78th Highlanders, Lieut.-Colonel Alexander
Mackenzie of Fairburn in command, embarked, under Major-General Craig,
with a secret expedition. Major J. R. Mackenzie of Suddie, writing to
Seaforth under date "Portsmouth, 4th March 1795," narrates the
following unpleasant circumstance which happened on the day previous to
"The orders for marching
from Poole were so sudden that there was no time then for settling the men~ez_rsquo~s
arrears. They were perfectly satisfied then, and expressed their utmost
confidence in their officers, which continued until they marched into this
infernal place. Here the publicans and some of the invalids persuaded the
men that they were to be em barked without their officers, and that they
would be sold, as well as lose their arrears. This operated so far on men
who had never behaved ill before in a single instance, that they desired
to have their accounts settled before they embarked. Several publicans and
other villains in this place were guilty of the most atrocious conduct
even on the parade, urging on the men to demand their rights, as they
called it. Fairburn having some intimation of what was passing, and
unwilling that it should come to any height, addressed the men, told them
it was impossible to settle their accounts in the short time previous to
embarkation, but that he had ordered a sum to be paid to each man nearly
equal to the amount of their credit. This was all the publicans wanted,
among whom the greatest part of the money rested. Next morning the men
embarked in the best and quietest manner possible, and I believe they were
most thoroughly ashamed of their conduct. I passed a most miserable time
from receiving Fairburn~ez_rsquo~s letter in London till I came down here, when
it had all ended so well; for well as I knew the inclinations of the men
to have been, it was impossible to say how far they might have been
"There is little doubt of
the expedition being intended for the East. It is said the fleet is to run
down the coast of Guinea, proceed to the Cape, which they hope to take by
negotiation; but if unsuccessful, to go on to the other Dutch
The fleet sailed on the morning
of Sunday the 1st of March. 1 major, 1 ensign, 4 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 124
privates were left behind; and the most of them, with others, were
incorporated with the first battalion, on its amalgamation with the second
Holland having entirely
submitted to France, as detailed in the record of the first battalion, and
Britain being fully aware that submission to France became equivalent to a
compulsory declaration of war against her, it behoved her to turn her
attention to the Dutch colonies, which, from their promixity to India, would
prove of immense importance to an enemy.
In June 1795 a British fleet
under Sir G. Elphinstone arrived off the Cape, having Major-General Craig and
the 78th Highlanders (second battalion) on board; and the commanders
immediately entered into negotiations with Governor Slugsken for the cession
of the colony to Great Britain in trust for the Stadtholder. A determination
to resist the force having been openly expressed, the commanders determined to
disembark their troops and occupy a position. Accordingly, the 78th and the
Marines were landed at Simon~ez_rsquo~s Bay on the 14th, and proceeded to take
possession of Simon~ez_rsquo~s Town without opposition. The Dutch were strongly
posted in their fortified camp at Muysenberg, six miles on this side of
Capetown; and accordingly a force of 800 seamen having been sent to co-operate
with the troops on shore, the whole body moved to its attack; while the ships
of the fleet, covering them from the sea, opened such a terrific fire upon the
colonists that they fled precipitately. Muysenberg was taken on the 7th of
August, and on the 9th a detachment arrived from St Helena with some
field-pieces; but it was not till the 3rd of September, when Sir A. Clarke, at
the head of three regiments, put into the bay, that an advance became
practicable. Accordingly, the Dutch position at Wineberg was forced on the
14th, and on the 15th Capetown capitulated, the garrison marching out with the
honours of war. Thus, after a two months campaign, during which they suffered
severely from the unhealthiness of their situation, the scarcity of
provisions, and the frequent night attacks of the enemy, this young battalion,
whose conduct throughout had been exemplary in the highest degree, saw the
object of the expedition accomplished, and the colony taken possession of in
the name of his Britannic Majesty.
Under date "Cape of Good
Hope, 19th September 1795," Lieut.-Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of
Fairburn, commanding the second battalion of the 78th Higlanders, sends a long
account of the transactions at the Cape to Lieut.-Colonel F. H. Mackenzie of
Seaforth. We are sorry that our space permits us to give only the following
"I think if you will not
be inclined to allow that the hardships have been so great, you will at all
events grant that the comforts have been few, when I assure you that I have
not had my clothes off for nearly nine weeks, nor my boots, except when I
could get a dry pair to put on.
If the regiment is put on the
East India establishment, which is supposed will be the case, it will be
equally the same for you as if they were in India. I must observe it is
fortunate for us that we are in a warm climate, as we are actually without a
coat to put on; we are so naked that we can do no duty in town.
"I cannot tell you how
much I am puzzled about clothing. The other corps have all two years~ez_rsquo~
clothing not made up, and I should not be surprised if this alone was to turn
the scale with regard to their going to India. General Clarke advises me to
buy cloth, but I fear putting you to expense; however, if the clothing does
not come out in the first ship I shall be obliged to do something, but what, I
am sure I don~ez_rsquo~t know. I hope your first battalion may come out, as there
cannot be a more desirable quarter for the colonel or the regiment. We are
getting into excellent barracks, and the regiment will soon get well of the
dysentry and other complaints. They are now immensely rich and I shall
endeavour to lay out their money properly for them. I shall bid you adieu by
saying that I do not care how soon a good peace may be brought about. I think
we have at last turned up a good trump card for you, and I daresay the
Ministry will play the negotiating game as well."
In Capetown the regiment
remained quartered until the arrival of the first battalion in June 1796.