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Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland


Part III

Military Annals of the Highland Regiments

Section VII

American War

America, 1776—Staten Island—Brooklyne—Battle of White Plains—Fort Washington—Pisquatua, 1777—Brandy Wine— Surprise of General Wayne's Detachment—German Town— Repulsed—White Marsh—Monmouth, 1778—Expedition to the Acushnet River — Egg Harbour — Chesapeak—Expedition to Verplanks, 1779—Stony Point—Charleston, 1780—New York, 1781-3—Peace, 1783—Nova Scotia, 1783-6—England, 1789 Scotland, 1790.

On the 14th of April, the regiment embarked at Greenock along with Fraser's Highlanders. After some delay, both regiments sailed on the 1st of May, under convoy of the Flora, Captain Brisbane, the Royal Highlanders being commanded by Colonel Stirling. Four days after they had sailed, the transports separated in a gale of wind. Some of the scattered transports of both regiments fell in with General Howe's army on their voyage to Halifax; and others, having got information of this movement, followed the main body, and joined the army in Staten Island, where Sir William Howe had returned, and landed on the 5th of August 1776.

Immediately on the landing of the three Highland battalions, a grenadier battalion was formed under the command of the Honourable Major (afterwards General Sir) Charles Stuart. [As a mark of regard to the 42d, the Commander-in-Chief took all the staff appointments of the grenadier battalion from the Highlanders.] A light infantry corps was also formed, and Lieutenant-Colonel Musgrave appointed to the command.

He was wounded some months afterwards, and was succeeded by Lieutenant- Colonel (now General Sir Robert) Abercromby, who commanded during the whole war. The flank companies of the 42d were attached to these battalions. The Highland grenadiers were remarkable for strength and height, and considered equal to any company in the army: the light infantry were quite the reverse, in point of personal appearance, as the commanding officer would not allow a choice of men for them. The battalion companies were formed into two temporary battalions, the command of one being given to Major William Murray, (Lintrose,) and that of the other to Major William Grant, (Rothiemurchus,) with an Adjutant and Quarter-Master to each battalion ; the whole being under the command of Colonel Thomas Stirling. These small battalions were placed in the reserve with the grenadiers of the army under the command of Earl Cornwallis. To these was added the 33d, his Lordship's own regiment.

From the moment of their landing, Colonel Stirling was indefatigable in drilling the men to the manner of fighting practised in the former war with the Indians and French bushmen, which is so well calculated for a close woody country. Colonel Stirling was well versed in this mode of warfare, and imparted it to the troops, by first training the non-commissioned officers himself, and then superintending their instruction of the soldiers. The Highlanders made rapid progress in this discipline, being, in general, excellent marksmen, and requiring only to have their natural impetuosity restrained, which often led them to disdain the idea of fighting in ambush.

State of the British Army in Staten Island, August 1776.

Commander-in-Chief,
General the Honourable Sir William Howe, K. B.

Second in Command,
Lieutenant-General Henry Clinton.

The whole force, including 13,000 Hessians and Waldeckers, landed in August, amounted to 30,000 men.

The campaign opened by a landing on Long Island, on and so eager to close with their antagonists. But General Howe formed a different opinion, and would not permit the troops to attack the position,—a resolution the more to be regretted, as he must have seen both the spirit which animated his own men, and the despondency of the Americans. By this cautious proceeding, and, as stated by General Howe, from a desire to save the lives of his soldiers, many thousands were afterwards sacrificed to recover what, on this occasion, was lost.

When the firing at Bedford was heard at Flat Bush, the Hessians under General De Heister attacked the centre of the American army, and, after a smart engagement, drove them through the woods, with the loss of three pieces of cannon. General Grant, with the left of the army, advanced from the Narrows by the edge of the bay, to attack the enemy in that quarter. The attack commenced with a smart cannonade, which was kept up on both sides till the Americans heard the firing at Bedford, when they retreated in great confusion. Unfortunately, the same caution, and the same want of confidence in the bravery of his troops, which characterized Sir William Howe, also influenced General Grant, and, consequently, the same loss of time took place as on the right. Instead of moving rapidly forward in pursuit of the enemy, who, having to retreat through a deep morass, intersected by a narrow path, must have surrendered had they been closely pursued, the General halted, and thus not only lost the opportunity of capturing a numerous body of the enemy, but also of intercepting those who had retreated from Flat Bush. Having thus retired from all points of attack, the Americans took shelter within their lines.

In this affair, the enemy lost 2000 men killed, drowned in the morass, or taken prisoners. Among the latter were Generals the Earl of Stirling, [This was a gentleman of the name of Alexander, born in America, who claimed and assumed the title of Earl of Stirling. The family must now extinct, as no claimant has appeared since this gentleman's death.] Sullivan, and Uddell. The British lost 5 officers and 56 non-commissioned officers and privates killed, and 12 officers and 245 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded. A party of marines, mistaking a detachment of the enemy for Hessians, were taken prisoners. The loss of the Highlanders was Lieutenant Crammond and 9 rank and file wounded, of the 42d; and 3 rank and file killed, and 2 sergeants and 9 rank and file wounded, of the 71st regiment.

The same evening (the 27th) the army encamped in front of the enemy's lines, and on the 28th broke ground opposite their left redoubt. But General Washington, who had crossed over from New York during the action, seeing no hope of resisting the force opposed to him, resolved on a retreat, which was conducted so skilfully, that 9000 men, with guns, ammunition, and stores, were, in the course of one night, transported over a broad ferry to New York, and with such silence and secrecy, that our army were not aware of their intention till next morning, when the last of the rear-guard were seen in their boats, and out of danger.

After the escape of the enemy, active operations were resumed on the 15th September; and the reserve, which the Royal Highlanders had rejoined after the action at Brooklyn, crossed over the island to New York, three miles above the town, and, after some opposition, took post on the heights. The landing being completed, the Highlanders and Hessians, who were ordered to advance to Bloomingdale, to intercept the enemy, now retreating from New York, fell in with and captured a corps of New England men and Virginians. That night the regiment lay on their arms, occasionally skirmishing with the enemy.

[This night Major Murray was nearly carried off by the enemy, but saved himself by his strength of arm and presence of mind. As he was crossing to his regiment from the light infantry battalion which he commanded, he was attacked by an American officer and two soldiers, against whom he defended himself for some time with his fusil, keeping them at a respectful distance. At last, however, they closed upon him, when unluckily his dirk slipped behind, and he could not, owing to his corpulence, reach it. Observing that the rebel officer had a sword in his hand, he snatched it from him, and made so good use of it, that he compelled them retreat, before some men of the regiment, who had heard the noise, could come up to his assistance. He wore the sword as a trophy during the campaign. He was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 27th regiment, and died the following year, much respected and beloved.]

On the 16th, the light infantry were sent out to dislodge a party of the enemy, who had taken possession of a wood facing the left of the British. The action becoming warm towards the evening, and the enemy pushing forward reinforcements, the Highlanders were sent to support the light infantry, when the Americans were quickely driven back to ther entrenchments. Perceiving that our force was small, they returned to the attack with 3000 men ; but these were likewise repulsed, with considerable loss. In this affair our loss was 14 killed, and 5 officers and 70 men wounded. The 42d lost 1 sergeant and 3 privates killed, and Captains Duncan Macpherson and John Mackintosh, Ensign Alexander Mackenzie (who died of his wounds), and 3 sergeants, 1 piper, 2 drummers, and 47 privates, wounded. [This, although only an affair of outposts, was one of the briskest engagements on a small scale during the war; but no proper detailed account of it was ever published.]

No farther operations of any importance occurred for some days. The enemy, who at first appeared much disheartened by their late defeats, were now gradually recovering spirit and confidence. To encourage this rising confidence, and for the purpose of forming a chain of detached corps along the heights from Kingsbridge to the White Plains, Washington made a general movement of his army, and established them on strong grounds in the rear of the Plains. General Howe, who had hitherto been occupied in throwing up entrenchments, as if expecting to be attacked, resolved to make a movement, with the view of inducing the enemy to quite their strong position. In consequence of this determination, the army embarked on the 12th of October, in flat-bottomed boats, and, passing through the intricate passage called Hell Gate, landed the same evening at Frogs-neck, near West Chester. Here it was found that they could not proceed, as a bridge, by which this latter place was connected with the mainland, had been destroyed by the enemy. The troops, therefore, re-embarked on the 13th, and proceeding along the coast, landed on Pell's Point, at the mouth of Hudson's River. Moving forward, they lay that night on their arms, their left being on a creek opposite to East Chester, and their right near Rochelle; and, the following day, reached White Plains, where the enemy had concentrated their whole force. Both armies being now in front of each other, it was determined to begin the attack by forcing a rising ground where the enemy had posted 4000 men. This post was carried with great spirit by the 28th and 35th regiments; but the position was found too distant to allow any impression to be made from it on the enemy's camp. General Howe, after a few ineffectual movements to bring the enemy to action, gave up the attempt, and retired from White Plains. [Soon after the accounts of this affair reached England, Lord Bannatyne travelled on horseback through Badenoch, and meeting a respectable looking tacksman, or gentleman farmer, he inquired if he came from the Lowlands, and what were the latest news from America. When informed that the British army had retired from White Plains without fighting, he exclaimed, "What! did they not attack the enemy?—surely the 42d was not there—they would not turn their backs on an enemy without fighting." Such being the opinion entertained of the regiment, it forms a ready solution of the alacrity with which young men in those days joined a body of troops they thought so brave and invincible.] He then proceeded against Fort Washington and Kingsbridge, the former being very strong by nature, and rendered considerably more so by art. As it cut off the communication between New York and the continent, to the eastward and northward of Hudson's river, and prevented supplies from being sent by the way of Kingsbridge, it was necessary to reduce it, in order to open the communication. The garrison consisted of nearly 3000 men, and the strong grounds round the fort were covered with lines and works. The principal attack was to be made by General Knyphausen with the Hessians, supported by Major-General Earl Percy with the whole of the reserve, except the 42d, who were ordered to make a feint on the east side of the fort. On this side, the hill was so steep and rugged, that the enemy thinking its summit inaccessible, had taken no measures to secure it. Before day break of the 16th of November, the 42d marched from their encampment, and embarked in boats, to be conveyed to a small creek at the foot of the rock, where they were to land, and to make demonstrations to ascend the hill, for the purpose of diverting the attention of the enemy from the principal attack. The morning was well advanced before the boats with the 42d reached their station. The enemy, seeing their approach, opened a smart fire, which could not be returned, owing to the perpendicular height of the enemy's position. The instant the Highlanders landed, they formed hastily, and forgetting that their duty was intended only as a feint, they resolved to attempt an assault, and scrambled up the precipice, assisted by each other, and by the brushwood and shrubs which grew out of the crevices of the rocks. On gaining the summit, they rushed forward, and attacked the enemy with such rapidity, that upwards of 200, who had no time to make their escape, threw down their arms; while the Highlanders, pursuing their advantage, penetrated across the table of the hill, and met Lord Percy's Brigade as they were mounting on the opposite side: and thus the Highlanders, with their characteristic impetuosity, turned a feint into a real attack, and facilitated the success of the day. The enemy, seeing General Knyphausen approach in another direction, surrendered at discretion. Of the enemy 2700 men were made prisoners. The loss of the British was 1 captain, 2 sergeants, and 17 rank and file, killed; and 4 subalterns, 8 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 88 rank and file, wounded: the proportion of the Royal Highlanders being 1 sergeant and 10 privates killed, and Lieutenants Patrick Graeme, (Inchbrackie,) Norman Macleod, and Alexander Grant, and 4 sergeants and 66 rank and file, wounded.

[This hill was so perpendicular, that the ball which wounded Lieutenant Macleod, entering the posterior part of his neck, ran down on the outside of his ribs, and lodged in the lower part of his back.

One of the pipers, who began to play when he reached the point of a rock on the summit of the hill, was immediately shot, and tumbled from one piece of rock to another till he reached the bottom.

Major Murray being a large corpulent man, could not attempt this steep ascent without assistance. The soldiers, eager to get to the point of their duty, scrambled up, forgetting the situation of Major Murray, when he, in a melancholy supplicating tone, cried, "Oh soldiers, will you leave me?" A party leapt down instantly, and brought him up, supporting him from one ledge of the rock to another till they got him to the top.]

The next attempt was to get possession of Fort Lee, in order to secure the entire command of the North River, and to open an easy communication into the Jerseys. With the Grenadiers, Light infantry, Royal Highlanders, and 33d regiment, Lord Cornwallis was ordered to attack this post. Landing in the Jerseys, on the 18th November, eight miles above Fort Lee, his Lordship instantly pushed forward, in the hope of surprising the enemy; but they were apprised of his approach (by a deserter), and retreated in great confusion, leaving guns, ammunition, and stores behind them. On the following day, the enemy retired from Newbridge, at the approach of the Grenadiers and Light infantry, under Major-General Vaughan. Lord Cornwallis, reinforced at this place by the two battalions of Fraser's Highlanders, continued the pursuit to Elizabeth Town, Newark, and Brunswick. In the latter town he was ordered to halt, to the great relief of the enemy, who were flying before him, unable to make the least resistance, and having apparently no other object than to keep a day's march a-head of their pursuers. Lord Cornwallis halted for eight days at Brunswick, when the Commander-in-Chief, with the army, moved forward, and reached Prince Town in the afternoon of the 17th of November, an hour after it was evacuated by General Washington, who calculated with such exactness that his rear-guard were retiring from Trenton at one end while the British troops entered at another.

Winter having now set in, the army went into winter-quarters. Fraser's Highlanders and the 33d regiment were quartered at Amboy. The Royal Highlanders serving independently, were stationed on the advanced posts. These were occupied, from Trenton to Mount-holly, by the Hessians, the Highlanders being the only British regiment in the front. This force was under the command of the Hessian Colonel, Count Donop.

At this time the enemy were greatly dispirited by their late reverses, and were still apprehensive of continued pursuit. The advance of our troops, although hitherto slow, had been successful, and, if continued with spirit, would probably have reduced the Americans to the last extremity. But the British Commander suspended all active operations, and made another fruitless attempt at negotiation. General Washington availed himself of this opportunity for improving the discipline of his army, by partial attacks on the British posts. His occasional success reanimated the drooping spirits of his soldiers, who were rapidly acquiring experience, even from their defeats. The circumstance of the Hessians being in front, greatly favoured Washington's plans. As they were ignorant of the language of the country, and indulged in habits of pillage, which rendered them hateful even to the Loyalists, who avoided all communication with them, it was impossible that their commanders could obtain accurate intelligence of the movements of their opponents. Accordingly, on the 22d of January 1777, General Washington, by a successful stratagem, surprised and completely defeated the detachment of Hessians stationed at Trenton. By this reverse, the situation of the Royal Highlanders, who formed the left of the line of defence at Mount-holly, became extremely critical, and they were, in consequence, ordered to fall back on the Light infantry at Prince Town.

Lord Cornwallis, who was in New York, and on the eve of embarking for England, returned to the army when he heard of the defeat of the Hessians; and, making immediate preparations to dislodge the Americans from Trenton, moved forward with a force consisting of the Grenadiers, two brigades of the line, and the two Highland regiments. After much skirmishing in the advance, he found General Washington posted on some high ground beyond Trenton. A heavy cannonade commenced on both sides, which continued till night, with occasional skirmishing between the advanced guards. Lord Cornwallis determined to renew the attack next morning, but the Americans had decamped during the night, leaving large fires burning to deceive their adversaries and, proceeding towards Prince Town, by a road parallel to that by which our army had marched on the preceding day, and divided from it only by a small rivulet, they effected their retreat in safety and good order.

The object of Washington was to decline a general engagement, and, at the same time, to surprise that part of our army which Lord Cornwallis left at Prince Town. His Lordship had ordered the commander of this detachment, Colonel Mawhood, to follow him with the 17th, the 40th, and the 55th regiments. As he was preparing to execute this order, the Americans suddenly appeared on his flank and rear. Such was the secrecy and despatch with which they had marched, that the report of a smart discharge of musketry in his rear was the first notice of their approach. By cutting away a bridge over a brook, which separated the two armies, the detachment might have avoided an engagement, and made good their retreat to Maidenhead. Conceiving, however, that some good might result from delaying the progress of the Americans, Colonel Mawhood resolved to hazard an action. Accordingly, he formed his regiments, and when the enemy advanced, he poured in, a heavy discharge of artillery, which, as they were not yet formed, did great execution. The advanced body of the enemy being observed in some disorder, the 17th regiment charged and drove them across a ravine in their rear. Separated by their ardour from the rest of the detachment, the 17th charged again another body on their right, and cutting their way through the enemy, marched unmolested to Maidenhead. The 40th and 55th being themselves vigorously attacked by the enemy, were not able to support the 17th. These attacks were so sudden and unexpected, that, without any concerted plan, or opportunity of giving orders, each corps fought and defended themselves separately, and, while the 17th made good their retreat to Maidenhead, the other corps retired on Brunswick, with a great loss of men in killed and wounded, the greater part of the latter being taken prisoners.

Lord Cornwallis established his head quarters at Brunswick, where he passed the winter. On the 6th of January 1777, the Royal Highlanders were detached from head quarters to the village of Pisquatua, on the line of communication between New York and Brunswick by Amboy. This was a post of great importance, as it kept open the communication by which provisions were conveyed to the British forces at Brunswick, which communication the enemy were most anxious to interrupt and cut off. The duty here was severe, and the season rigorous. As the houses in the village could not accommodate half the men, officers and soldiers were intermixed in barns and sheds, sleeping always in their body-clothes, as the enemy were constantly sending down nocturnal parties, to fire at the sentinels and picquets. While employed in exciting these nightly alarms, they, however, kept at a respectful distance, never making any regular attack on this post, as they frequently did on that of the Hessians, for whom they began to lose much of their former dread. [When the Hessians first landed in America, they were held in great dread by the people. To remove this impression, General Washington ordered the prisoners taken at Trenton to be led through several towns, to accustom the people to the sight of these formidable looking soldiers, whose whiskers, beards, and rough caps, inspired such awe. The surprise at Trenton dispelled this childish terror; and whiskers, fierce looks, and fur caps, lost their effect.]

In this manner passed the winter and spring. On the 10th of May, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the American Generals, Maxwell and Stephens, attacked the Royal Highland regiment with 2000 men. Advancing with great secrecy, and being completely covered by the nature of the country, their approach was not perceived till they rushed forward on a small level piece of ground in front of the picquets. These they attacked with such promptitude, that the men had hardly time to seize their arms. Notwithstanding this unexpected and sudden attack, they kept the enemy in check till the picquets in reserve came to their assistance. Pushing forward fresh numbers, the enemy became at length mixed with the picquets, who retired, disputing every foot, to afford more time to the regiment to turn out. The soldiers were less in readiness than the picquets, being all employed in different avocations, or taking the rest they could not enjoy at night. But the resistance made by the picquets allowed them time to assemble, and the enemy were driven back, with great precipitation, leaving upwards of 200 men in killed and wounded. The Highlanders, pursuing with great eagerness, were with difficulty recalled, and were only prevented by the approach of night from pushing on to attack the enemy's camp. The loss of the Highlanders was 3 sergeants and 9 privates killed; and Captain Duncan Macpherson, Lieutenant William Stewart, and 3 sergeants and 30 privates, wounded.

[On this occasion, Sergeant Macgregor, whose company was immediately in the rear of the picquet, rushed forward to their support, with a few men who happened to have their arms in their hands, when the enemy commenced the attack. Being severely wounded, he was left insensible on the ground. When the picquet was overpowered, and the few survivors forced to retire, Macgregor, who had that day put on a new jacket with silver lace, having, besides, large silver buckles in his shoes, and a watch, attracted the notice of an American soldier, who deemed him a good prize. The retreat of his friends not allowing him time to strip the sergeant on the spot, he thought the shortest way was to take him on his back to a more convenient distance. By this time Macgregor began to recover; and, perceiving whither the man was carrying him, drew his dirk, and, grasping him by the throat, swore that he would run him through the breast, if he did not turn back and carry him to the camp. The American, finding this argument irresistible, complied with the request, and, meeting Lord Cornwallis (who had come up to the support of the regiment when he heard the firing) and Colonel Stirling, was thanked for his care of the sergeant; but he honestly told them, that he only conveyed him thither to save his own life. Lord Cornwallis gave him liberty to go whithersoever he chose. His Lordship procured for the sergeant a situation under Government at Leith, which he enjoyed many years.]

The lieutenant and 3 sergeants were disabled for life, as well as many of the men from the severe wounds naturally to be expected in such close fighting. Six sergeants, all men of the best conduct and character, were considered a great loss to the regiment.

Summer being now well advanced, preparations were made for taking the field. Much time had been already lost in waiting for supplies of camp equipage and stores from England. The 42d, along with the 15th, 17th, and 44th regiments, were this campaign put under the command of Major-General Charles Grey.

Sir William Howe, having assumed the command about the middle of June, attempted to draw General Washing-ton from his station at Middle Brooke, a place too strong to be prudently attacked. The American Commander was so sensible of the advantage of his situation, that General Howe could not induce him to abandon it. The British General pushed on detachments, and made movements, as if he meant to march towards the Delaware, and advanced in front of the enemy's lines, where he continued four days, exploring the approaches, in the hope that some unguarded opening for an attack might be discovered. General Washington, though he could not be tempted from his position, detached a part of his troops under the command of Major-General Lord Stirling. These, falling in with the Guards and some battalions of Hessians, were routed with considerable loss.

Seeing no prospect of making any effectual impression on the enemy, General Howe determined to change the seat of the war. Accordingly, he embarked and sailed for the Chesapeak, with 36 battalions of British and Hessians, including the flank battalions of Grenadiers and Light infantry. Before the embarkation, the Royal Highlanders were joined by a detachment of 170 recruits from Scotland, who, as they were all of the best description, more than supplied the loss which the regiment had sustained from different casualties.

After a tedious voyage, the army landed at Elk Ferry on the 24th of August, but it was the 3d of September before they were ready to move from the head of the Elk, and to march to Philadelphia. From this unfortunate delay Washington had time to march across the country, and to take an advantageous position at Red Clay Creek, whence detachments were pushed forward, with the intention of annoying the British troops, by partial skirmishes, on their march. As the country was difficult, woody, and full of defiles, this march was necessarily slow; consequently, it was not till the middle of September that General Howe reached the Brandy Wine River, beyond which the enemy had taken up a strong position, with a seeming determination to make a stand there, and to oppose the further advance of the Royal Army. The different fording places were therefore secured and defended by the enemy; and at Chad's Ford, where it was thought most probable that the British would attempt to cross, batteries were erected, and entrenchments thrown up, to command and defend the passage. While the attention of the enemy was occupied at this place, Lord Cornwallis, with four battalions of British Grenadiers and Light infantry, the Hessian Grenadiers, a party of the 71st Highlanders, and the 3d and 4th brigades, made a circuit of some miles, crossed Jeffrey's Ford without opposition, and turned short down the river, to at tack the enemy's right. General Washington, being informed of this movement, detached General Sullivan, with all the force he could spare, to oppose his Lordship's division. The American General having posted his men advantageously, Lord Cornwallis was obliged to consume some time in forming a line of battle. That being done, the troops rushed on the enemy, and drove them from all their posts, through the woods, towards the main army. In the mean time, General Knyphausen, with his division, made demonstrations of passing the river at Chad's Ford, keeping the enemy in suspense till Lord Cornwallis's movement was ascertained. As soon as this was known by the firing of cannon in that quarter, he advanced, and, crossing the river, carried the batteries and entrenchments of the enemy; and, following up his advantage, while Lord Cornwallis was pushing forward on the right, a general rout ensued, and the enemy retreated on all points. General Washington, with the corps he was able to keep together, fled with his cannon and baggage to Chester, whence he proceeded next morning to Philadelphia, for the purpose of collecting the remains of his scattered army.

Such was the issue of the battle of Brandy Wine, in which the troops on both sides gave many proofs of gallantry. The loss of the British was less than might have been expected in a battle fought against an enemy stationed on strong ground of their own choice. The total number was 3 captains, 4 lieutenants, 3 sergeants, and 63 rank and file, killed; and 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 16 captains, 20 lieutenants, 5 ensigns, 35 sergeants, 4 drummers, and 333 rank and file, wounded.

The battalion companies of the 42d regiment being in reserve, sustained no loss, as they were not brought into action; but of the flank companies, which formed part of the light brigade, 4 privates were killed, and 2 sergeants and 15 privates wounded. In this action were present the Marquis de la Fayette, and several other French officers, who had joined the American cause, and who exerted themselves in a very conspicuous manner.

In this unfortunate war, it was the fate of the British army, that their victories led to no important consequences; on the present occasion, instead of pursuing a broken and defeated army, preventing their reassembling, and capturing their stores and magazines, General Howe made no forward movement, but permitted the American General to recruit his army, and collect new stores at his leisure.

On the 22d September 1777, the British army were to ford the Schuylkill river at Valley Forge. The American General ordered a select brigade of his light troops, under the command of General Wayne, to take post six miles in rear of the British, and to embrace every opportunity of attacking and harassing them while fording the river. Sir William Howe, having received intelligence of Wayne's post and intentions, ordered a detachment to march at 11 o'clock at night, consisting of a party of Light dragoons, the 2d battalion of Light infantry, under the command of the honourable Major Maitland, and the 42d and 44th regiments, the whole commanded by Major-General Charles Grey, to attack General Wayne's Camp. General Grey directed the soldiers to make use of their bayonets only. The detachment marched with great secrecy and despatch, and came on the enemy at midnight, when the picquets and out-guards were overpowered in an instant, without causing any alarm. The troops then rushed forward, and before the Americans had time to seize their arms, bayoneted more than 300, and took 100 prisoners; the rest owed their escape to the darkness of the night. The loss of the British, as might have been expected, in such a complete surprise, was trifling, being 1 officer, 1 sergeant, and 1 private killed, and a few wounded.

On the 25th, the army moved forward to German Town, and the following morning the Grenadiers advanced to Philadelphia, of which they took peaceable possession, as the enemy had previously retired.

General Washington, having received considerable reinforcements, and wishing to show how little he had suffered, and how soon he had recovered from the effects of his defeat at Brandy Wine, determined on an enterprise equally bold in itself, and unexpected on the part of the British general. He marched from his ground, on the evening, with an intention of surprising and attacking the British at German Town, where he arrived about three in the following morning. The 40th, and a battalion of Light infantry, flew to their arms, and, forming hastily, made a vigorous resistance. They were, however, forced to give way to the number of the enemy, and the vivacity of their attack, but the judgment and foresight of Lieutenant-Colonel Musgrave saved the army from a surprise, which might have led to serious consequences. With six companies of the 40th, he threw himself into a large stone house, from which he annoyed the assailants with such effect as to arrest their farther progress, till Major-General Grey arrived with his brigade, and, supported by Brigadier-General Agnew, with the 4th brigade, forced the Americans to retreat. In this short, but brisk engagement, the loss on both sides was greater than in the action of Brandy Wine, and although the enemy were repulsed, the attack itself, and the manner in which it was conducted, proved how little they had been intimidated by their late defeat, and how much they had improved both in courage and discipline.

The Highlanders were not present in this action, having been sent on a detachment with the 10th regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stirling, to drive the enemy from a post at Billingspoint. On the 8th of October, however, they returned to the 3d Brigade under General Grey, and bore a part in all the future operations of the campaign. The most important of these was an attempt of Sir William Howe to bring General Washington to a general action at White Marsh, a strong position about fourteen miles from Philadelphia. Finding all his endeavours ineffectual, he returned to Philadelphia on the 8th, and ordered the army into winter quarters.

The winter passed without any remarkable occurrence, [Lieutenant- Colonel Stirling, with the Queen's Rangers and 42d regiment, was ordered on a foraging party into the Jerseys. In an excursion through the woods, a Highland soldier came unexpectedly in sight of an American, when their pieces happened to be unloaded. Each flew behind a tree to cover himself while loading; but fearing that the first who ventured out of cover would be brought down by the other, both kept possession of their trees, till at last the Highlander, losing patience, pushed his bonnet beyond the tree on the point of his bayonet. The American shot his ball through its centre, when his opponent starting forward, made him surrender instantly.] and, in the month of May 1778, Sir William Howe was recalled, and General Clinton appointed Commander-in-Chief. The new commander opened the summer campaign with the evacuation of Philadelphia, crossed the Delaware, and reached Monmouth on the 28th of June. In the neighbourhood of this place the American general had posted his army in considerable force. The extreme heat of the weather and an immense convoy of provisions, retarded General Clinton's movements, and afforded a favourable opportunity to the Marquis de la Fayette, who was eager to distinguish himself in the cause of his new friends, and who, accordingly, being supported by General Lee, made several attacks on the rear of the British column. [When the Grenadier Brigade lay on their arms, before the commencement of the action, the Marquis de la Fayette, accompanied by a number of officers, rode up, and halting at the distance of 300 yards, asked, "What troops are these,'' when Captain Graham, of the 42d, answered, "The British Grenadiers;" "Very well," said La Fayette, "be prepared and we will soon be up with you." Accordingly, in less than an hour, he made his attack with great briskness, but was driven back with such precipitation, that General Lee, with a strong body of men in support, could not save him, and both were compelled to retreat in great disorder. Lee was sharply questioned by General Washington, why he allowed himself to be beaten. "Sir," answered Lee, "you know not the troops I opposed, they were the English Grenadiers." General Lee knew them well, having served many years as Lieutenant and Captain in the Grenadiers of the 44th regiment. He was tried by a Court-martial for his conduct on this occasion, and suspended for six months from rank and pay.]

They were uniformly repulsed, but, as they occasioned considerable delay, General Clinton resolved to attack the main body of the enemy, who were drawn up in line, behind Monmouth Court-house. The ground being favourable, the cavalry made several successful charges, when the Grenadiers and Guards advanced rapidly on the enemy's front line, which made a vigorous resistance, but was, at length, forced to give way. A reinforcement being ordered up in support of the Guards, they again advanced, and attacked the enemy in a second position which they had taken. This attack was also resisted for some time; but unable to maintain their ground, the enemy at length re-treated, and again formed on a third position, but in such good order, and on ground so strong, that General Clinton did not think it advisable to push the attack, and withdrew the troops who had suffered extremely from the heat of the weather, (numbers dropping down in the ranks, and expiring in a few minutes,) to the advantageous position whence the first attack had been made. Here they halted till ten in the evening, when they resumed their march, and passed over to Staten and Long Islands, and from thence to New York. The loss on this occasion, as well as on all others where the enemy were opposed on open ground, was moderate, being only 3 officers and 56 soldiers killed, and 16 officers, 7 sergeants, and 137 rank and file, wounded.
A short time after the army had reached New York, a new enemy appeared in a French fleet of twelve sail of the line, and six frigates, under the command of the Count D'Estaing. The fleet under Lord Howe, though inferior to that of the enemy, was nevertheless formidable, from the state of the crews and equipments, and the character of the officers. It consisted of six ships of the line, and four of fifty guns, with several frigates and smaller vessels. D'Estaing anchored off New York, with an apparent intention of entering the harbour and attacking the British admiral; but, after remaining eleven days at anchor, he proceeded to co-operate with the American general Sullivan, at the head of a force of 10,000 men, in an attack upon Rhode Island. On the 8th of August, D'Estaing's fleet anchored above the town of Newport, in Rhode Island, whither he was fol-lowed by Lord Howe. On the 11th, the French admiral put to sea, when Lord Howe offered him battle; but, after some days manoeuvring, both fleets were dispersed by a heavy gale of wind.

The land forces were now left to themselves. General Pigot, who commanded in Rhode Island, was reinforced by General Prescot, with five battalions. Either from being disappointed in the expected co-operation of the French fleet, or from some other cause, the enemy deserted in such numbers, that General Sullivan found it necessary to make a precipitate retreat, which he effected with little loss, and, crossing to the main land at Holylands Ferry, avoided the intended attack of Sir Henry Clinton, who had arrived from New York with a body of troops for the relief of Rhode Island.

The next enterprise was under the direction of Major-General Charles Grey, who embarked with the Grenadiers, the Light Infantry brigade, and the 42d regiment, for the purpose of proceeding to the Acushnet river, to attempt to destroy a great assemblage of privateers, which, with their prizes, lay at New Plymouth. This expedition was completely successful. The troops landed on the banks of the Acushnet on the 5th of September, and, by noon the following day, the whole were reimbarked, having destroyed seventy vessels, with all the stores, cargoes, wharfs, and buildings, along the whole extent of the river. After this exploit they returned to New York.

Another expedition of the same nature was soon afterwards undertaken against Egg Harbour, and some parts of the Jerseys, where a number of vessels and store-houses were destroyed. In the mean time, the corps of cavalry known by the name of Lady Washington's dragoons, commanded by Colonel Bellairs, was surprised and nearly annihilated by the second light infantry, commanded by Major Ferguson. In this manner the war was carried on by petty expeditions, unpleasant and fatiguing in themselves, and productive of little honour or satisfaction either to the officer or soldier.

At that period the winter was more a season of rest than has been the case in the course of later campaigns. It was not till the 2,5th of February that Colonel Stirling, with the Light infantry of the Guards, and the 42d regiment, was ordered to attack a post at Elizabeth Town, commanded by the American General Maxwell. The detachment met with no resistance, the enemy retreating as they approached. In April the Highland regiment was employed on an expedition to the Chesapeak, to destroy the stores and merchandise at Portsmouth in Virginia. On the 30th General Mathews, with the Guards, the 42d regiment, and a corps of Hessians, sailed under the convoy of Commodore Sir George Collier, in the Reasonable, and several ships of war, and reached their destination on the 10th of May, when the troops landed on the Glebe, on the western bank of Elizabeth. Having completed the object of the expedition, the whole were re-embarked, (having met with no casualties, except four wounded), and returned to New York in good time for the opening of the campaign, which commenced by an expedition to Verplanks and Stony Point; the former a regular work, which commanded the communication, by King's Ferry, on the Hudson river, between the eastern and western States. This service being likewise accomplished without opposition or loss, the army fell back on the 4th of June to Kingsbridge, and there encamped. Another expedition was projected against New London; but while preparations were going forward for that purpose, an account was received, which evinced the increasing enterprise of the enemy, in the surprise and capture of Stony Point, a strong post garrisoned by 600 men, (among whom were two companies of Fraser's Highlanders,) the commander of which fell a sacrifice to too great confidence, and an unfortunate habit of despising his enemy,—a prejudice which has frequently brought discomfiture and disgrace on military men. On this occasion, success was followed by its natural consequences; the hopes and enterprise of the enemy were animated and emboldened. A proof of this was an immediate attack by General Wayne on the post of Verplanks, which was garrisoned by the 33d regiment under Colonel Webster. The garrison held out, till General Wayne, receiving accounts of the approach of Colonel Stirling, with the Light infantry, and the 42d, retreated from Verplanks, and having also evacuated Stony Point, Colonel Stirling took possession, and assumed the command of the whole;
This officer being now appointed aide-de-camp to the King, and a brigadier-general, the command of the 42d devolved on Major Charles Graham, to whom also was intrusted the command of the posts of Stony Point and Verplanks, together with his own regiment, and a detachment of Fraser's Highlanders under Major Ferguson, and the Light infantry of the 82d regiment under the command of Lieutenant Robert Hamilton, now an advocate and a Principal Clerk of the Court of Session. This duty was the more important, as the enemy surrounded the posts in great numbers, and desertion had become so frequent among a corps of Provincials, sent as a reinforcement, that they could not be trusted on any military duty, particularly on those duties which are most harassing—the outposts fronting the enemy. In the month of October these posts were withdrawn, and the regiment fell back on Greenwich, in the neighbourhood of New York. During these various movements and transactions, General Washington remained in a strong position beyond Stony Point and Verplanks, and showed no disposition to quit a situation where he could not be attacked without great disadvantage to his assailants.

The winter of 1779 was the coldest that had been known in that climate for forty years; and the troops, although now in quarters, suffered more from that circumstance than in the preceding winter when in huts. But the Highlanders met with a misfortune of a more grievous kind,—a misfortune from which it took several years to enable them to recover. In the autumn of this year a draft of 150 men, recruits raised principally from the refuse of the streets of London and Dublin, was embarked for the regiment by orders of the Inspector-General at Chatham. These men, as might have been expected, were of the most depraved characters, and of such dissolute habits, that one-half of them were unfit for service; 16 died in the passage, and 75 were sent to the hospital from the transports as soon as they disembarked. [In the year 1776 the three battalions of the 42d and of Fraser's Highlanders embarked 3248 soldiers: after a stormy passage of more than three months, none died: they had only a few sick, and these not dangerously.] By men so temperate and regular in their habits as the Highlanders, both officers and men, the contamination of the dregs of large cities could not fail to be regarded as a great calamity. On this subject General Stirling made strong representations to the Commander-in-Chief; and in consequence, these men were removed to the 26th regiment, in exchange for the same number of Scotchmen. When it is considered that the ranks of the 42d regiment might easily have been filled from the country where it was originally raised, chiefly because the young Highlanders believed that they would meet with countrymen only, it is not easy to account for this arrangement of the Inspector-General, which, if persevered in, would have been productive of much evil, without any apparent good to counterbalance it. The feelings of an honourable old soldier were outraged, when he saw himself associated with men collected from the police offices and streets of London. By such society the moral principles of the young soldiers were not only endangered, but it dissolved that charm and expectation of companionship, which had hitherto so greatly favoured recruiting, and it destroyed that national feeling
which influenced the men, who believed, that, while they were all Scotsmen, they were bound to support the honour of Scotland. In the honour of their new comrades of St Giles's and Tothil Fields, Westminster, they could hardly be expected to take the same lively interest. This measure will appear the more remarkable when it is recollected, that a desperate mutiny, by which many lives were lost, occurred this year at Leith, in consequence of two detachments of recruits belonging to the 42d and Fraser's Highlanders being ordered to join other corps, instead of those for which they were originally enlisted. [See article on the Mutiny of Highland Regiments.] Thus while, on the one hand, the good name of the regiment was in danger of being tarnished by the depravity of those men who were forced upon them, the lives of several spirited youths fell a sacrifice to their desire to join this regiment; and the whole became amenable to the laws for the mutinous manner in which, in their ignorance and despair, they endeavoured to prevent their original engagements from being violated.

[A more mischievous and unnecessary measure than this could not well have been devised : it exposed the corps to almost certain degradation, besides the danger of the young and virtuous soldier becoming familiar with the view of vice, which he might at first abhor, but would in the end, perhaps, learn to imitate. Every delinquency of their new comrades would necessarily lower the whole regiment in the estimation of the public, who could not distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. Of this we have many instances in Highland corps, where the guilt and depravity of a few (and these few aliens and strangers to the country whose name is borne, and whose character is represented by the regiment), have brought discredit upon an honourable body of men. It is said, that, in some Highland corps, who have a considerable mixture of strangers, the same firmness in the field, and the same urbanity and regular habits in quarters, are evinced. If this statement is correct, it would be desirable to ascertain the share of praise due to the strangers.]

I have noticed, that, at the conclusion of the Seven-years' War, the officers of the regiment were highly respectable, and many of them both accomplished gentlemen and able officers. At the present period also the regiment was fortunate in this respect. How much the authority and example of such officers will influence the conduct of the soldiers is evident. The regiment was now in its fifth campaign; but the men preserved so completely their original habits of temperance and moderation, that, while rum and all spiritous liquors were served out daily to the other troops, the Highlanders received their allowance every third or fourth day, in the same manner as the officers. This was continued till it was found inconvenient for the soldiers to carry more than one clay's allowance on long marches. At that period all the soldiers were natives of the country from which the regiment took its denomination; and, consequently, they carried with them to the military ranks those ha-bits of temperance and sobriety which, as I have noticed in the preliminary sketch of the manners and customs of the Highlanders, formed a marked trait in their character. That they did not abuse this honourable confidence, is evident from the circumstance of its never having been withdrawn, except for the convenience of the soldiers. These five campaigns embraced many movements, and from affinity of language, and from the promises and allurements which the Americans held out, there were, of course, many inducements to desertion. Desertions from other corps were, indeed, very frequent; but in this regiment it was otherwise; not a man deserted; and of more than 1000 men of whom the corps consisted, there was only one punished during the whole of these five years. This man had asked leave of absence, stating that he had business of consequence to transact; but, as there was a general order against granting leave, Colonel Stirling was obliged to refuse him. However, the man was determined, and went away without leave, and having, as he said, settled his business, returned to his regiment. This defiance of orders could not be passed over. He was tried and punished. But the unfortunate man endured a double punishment. The soldiers considered the honour and character of the corps implicated and tarnished, when they saw one of their number thus publicly brought to shame; and such was their horror of the castigation, and of the disgrace attached to it, that not a soldier in the regiment would mess with him. The second punishment was, in some respects, more severe than the first, and in every way, more efficient in preserving correct principles and conduct.

Such was the Royal Highland regiment, while it was preserved as a national and unmixed body. The Inspector-General dissolved the charm. Punishments being found indispensable for the men newly introduced, and others becoming more habituated to the sight, much of the sense of disgrace was necessarily lost. While Captain Peebles [Captain Peebles served as a volunteer with Montgomery's Highlanders, and was promoted to the 42d for his gallant conduct at Bushy Run, in 1763. He retired from the service at the conclusion of the war in 1783, and when the former editions were printed, was the last surviving officer of those who served with Montgomery's and with the Royal Highlanders in the Seven Years' War. He died in 1834, in his eighty-seventh year.] commanded his company, there was not a complaint made to the commanding officer. His successor was constantly preferring complaints, and calling for punishment. The reason is plain. He misunderstood the character of his men, and knew not how to manage them, When he saw them looking sour and discontented at the suspicion and reproach thrown on their conduct by his harshness, his threatenings, and complaints, he called them mutinous; and, if he had not been checked, he would have made them so. Had this officer looked back to the five years previous to his joining the regiment, and reflected that 1000 men had continued to live together with so little cause for suspicion or reflection on their general behaviour, that no severity was necessary, it might have occurred to him, as it did to his commanding officer, that many faults which he saw in the men proceeded from some uncommon cause, or perhaps from his ignorance of their character, and from the harsh measures and intemperate language which he used towards them, and against which their spirit revolted; while, had he pursued a contrary line of conduct, they would probably have been as quiet and obedient to his orders as they had formerly been to his predecessors.

To return to the army at New York. Sir Henry Clinton, wishing to prosecute the war with vigour, and undertake some enterprise of importance, determined to make an attack on Charlestown, the capital of South Carolina. Having made his arrangements for this purpose, he left General Knyphausen in the command, and, embarking the troops intended for Charlestown, sailed from New York on the 26th of December. Such was the severity of the weather, however, that, although the voyage might have been accomplished in ten days, it was the 11th of February 1780 before the troops disembarked on John's Island, thirty miles from Charlestown. Several of the transports were driven out of their course; others were taken; and a great proportion of the horses, both of cavalry and artillery, died on the voyage. So great were the impediments to be overcome, and so cautious was the advance of the General, that it was the 29ih of March before the besieging army crossed Ashley River. The following day they encamped opposite the American lines.

On the 1st of April they broke ground in front of Charlestown. The American General Lincoln commanded in the town, and had strengthened the place in all its defences, both by land and water, in such a manner as threatened to render the siege both a tedious and difficult undertaking; Being probably aware of this, the Commander-in-Chief ordered the Royal Highlanders and Queen's Rangers to join him before Charlestown, which they did on the 18th of April, having sailed from New York on the 31st of March. After this the siege proceeded in the usual manner, till the 12th of May, when the garrison surrendered prisoners of war. The loss of the British and Hessians, on this occasion, was 76 killed, and 189 wounded; and that of the 42d, Lieutenant Macleod and 9 privates killed, and Lieutenant Alexander Grant [The wound of Lieutenant Grant was remarkable for its apparent severity, but having a good constitution, and a healthy habit of body, he soon recovered. A six pound ball struck Mr Grant on the back in a slanting direction, near the right shoulder, carrying away the entire scapula, with several other bones, and leaving the whole surrounding parts in such a state, that he was allowed to remain on the ground, the only care of the surgeons being to make him as easy as possible for the short time they believed he had to live. He was afterwards removed to his quarters, and, to the surprise of the surgeons, they found him alive the following morning, and free of fever and all bad symptoms. In a short time he recovered completely, and served many years in perfect health. He died in 1807, major on half pay of the 78th regiment. He was son to Colonel Grant of Moy, who died in April 1822, and who is noticed in the Appendix as having been taken up on suspicion of having shot Munro of Culcairn in 1746.] and 14 privates wounded.

After the troops had taken possession of Charlestown, the 42d and Light infantry were ordered to Monck's Corner on a foraging party, and, returning on the 2d, they embarked on the 4th of June for New York, along with the Grenadiers and Hessians. After being encamped for some time on Staten Island, Valentine's Hill, and other stations in the province of New York, they went into winter quarters in the capital of the province. From this period, as the regiment was not engaged in any active service during the war, the changes of encampments and cantonments are too trifling to be noticed. About this time 100 recruits arrived from Scotland, all young men in the full vigour of health, and ready for immediate service.

Having, on the 15th of October 1781, received information that Lord Cornwallis was surrounded by a superior force at York Town, Sir Henry Clinton immediately embarked with 7000 men for his relief; but on reaching the capes of the Chesapeak, and receiving accounts that his Lordship had surrendered, he returned, and disembarked the troops at New York and Staten Island.

On the 28th of April 1782, Major Graham succeeded to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Royal Highland regiment in the room of Colonel Stirling, promoted to the 71st, vice General Fraser deceased; Captain Walter Home of the Fusileers succeeded Major Graham.

While the regiment was quartered at Paulus Hook, the advanced post from New York leading to the Jerseys, some occurrences took place equally new and disgraceful. Several of the men deserted to the enemy. This unexpected and unprecedented dereliction of duty occasioned much surprise, and various causes were assigned for it: the prevailing opinion was, that the men who had been received from the 26th regiment, and who had been made prisoners at Saratoga, had been seduced while in the hands of the Americans, by promises of grants of lands, and other indulgences. Such was their infatuation, that when this happened it was quite well known that they would soon have their discharge, with a government grant of land to each man. One of the deserters, a man of the name of Anderson, was soon afterwards taken, tried by a court-martial, and shot.

The regiment remained in Paulus Hook till the conclusion of the war, when the establishment was reduced to eight companies, of fifty men each, the officers of the ninth and tenth companies being kept as supernumeraries in the regiment, to succeed as vacancies occurred. A number of the men were discharged at their own request, and their place was supplied by those who wished to remain in the country, instead of going home with their regiments. These were taken from Fraser's and Macdonald's Highlanders, and from the Edinburgh and the Duke of Hamilton's regiments. From these corps a sufficiency of good men, for so small an establishment, was easily obtained.

Subjoined is a list of casualties from the year 1776 to the peace. The nature of the service during the latter period of the war was more fatiguing than dangerous, and consequently the loss was moderate.

* Ensign Mackenzie, killed on this occasion, although an officer of approved merit, had been fourteen years an ensign : so slow was promotion in those days.

It has been already mentioned, that, before the regiment left Glasgow, in the year 1776, the men had been furnished with broadswords and pistols. The latter were of the old Highland fashion, with iron stocks. These being considered unnecessary except in the field, were not intended, like the swords, to be worn by the men in quarters. When the regiment took the field on Staten and Long Island, it was said that the broadswords retarded the men by getting entangled in the brushwood, and they were, therefore, taken from them, and sent on board the transports. Admitting that the objection was well founded, so far as regarded the swords, it certainly could not apply to the pistols. In a close woody country, where troops are liable to sudden attacks and surprises by a hidden enemy, such a weapon is peculiarly useful. It is, therefore, difficult to discover a good reason for laying them aside. Neither does there appear to have been any objection to the resumption of the broadsword, when the service alluded to terminated. The marches through the woods of Long Island were only a few miles; whereas we have seen that the two battalions of the 42d, and Fraser's and Montgomery's Highlanders in the Seven Years' War, carried the broadsword on all their marches, through woods and forests of many hundred miles in extent. In the same manner, the swords were carried in Martinique and Guadaloupe, islands intersected with deep ravines, and covered with woods no less impervious than the thickest and closest woods of America. But, on that service, the broadsword, far from being complained of as an incumbrance, was, on many occasions, of the greatest efficacy when a decisive blow was to be struck, and the enemy were to be overpowered by an attack hand to hand. I have been told by several old officers and soldiers who bore a part in these attacks, that an enemy who stood for many hours the fire of musketry, invariably gave way when an advance was made sword in hand. It is to be regretted that a weapon which the Highlanders could use so well, should, together with the pistol, which is peculiarly serviceable in close woody countries, have been taken from the soldiers, and after the expense of purchase had been incurred, sent to rust and spoil in a store. They were never restored, and the regiment has had neither swords nor pistols since. It has been said that the broadsword is not a weapon to contend with the bayonet. Certainly, to all appearance, it is not; yet facts do not warrant the superiority of the latter weapon. From the battle of Culloden, where a body of undisciplined Highlanders, shepherds and herdsmen, with their broadswords, cut their way through some of the best disciplined and most approved regiments in the British army, (drawn up, too, on a field extremely favourable for regular troops,) down till the time when the swords were taken from the Highlanders, the bayonet was in every instance overcome by the sword.

On the 22d of October 1783, the regiment removed to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, where they enjoyed the best health, and where they remained till the year 1786, when the battalion embarked, and sailed for the island of Cape Breton, two companies being detached to the island of St John.

Some difficulties occurred this year with regard to the promotion of officers in both battalions. As the second was serving in India, it was thought that the vacancies in each battalion should be filled up as in a distinct regiment. This question being referred to a Board of General Officers, it was determined that the promotions should go on in both battalions as in one regiment; and that on a reduction, the juniors of each rank should first be reduced, without regard to which battalion they belonged. This was thought to bear hard on the officers of the first battalion, all the juniors of which except the younger ensigns had served longer than those of the second. Lieutenants James and Alexander Stewart, the two senior lieutenants, declined purchasing two companies that became vacant, from a dread of the reduction, as these companies would be the juniors. So slow was promotion, that it was not till the year 1791 that another opportunity offered for those gentlemen to purchase. No reduction, however, took place; for in the year 1786, the second battalion was formed into a distinct regiment, and numbered the 73d, with the facings green instead of blue.

In consequence of preparations for war with Holland in 1787, two companies were added to the regiment. Captains William Johnstone and Robert Christie, who had purchased the companies refused by the Lieutenants Stewarts, and had hitherto remained in second, succeeded to the additional companies. Ensign James Rose, and Lieutenant Robert Macdonald, brother of Sanda, from the half pay of Fraser's regiment, were appointed lieutenants, and Ensign David Stewart, Garth, from the half pay of the Athole Highlanders, and James Stuart, nephew of the Earl of Moray, ensigns on the augmentation.

[On the 1st of June this year, Lord John Murray died, in the forty-second year of his command of the regiment, and was succeeded by Major-General Sir Hector Monro. It is said that Lord Eglinton was much disappointed on that occasion. He had formed an attachment to the Highland soldiers, when he commanded his Highland regiment in the Seven-years' War; and, owing to Lord J. Murray's great age, had long looked to the command of the Royal Highlanders. In Lord North's administration, and likewise in Mr Pitt's, he had, in some measure, secured the succession; but the King had previously, and without the knowledge of his ministers, assented to an application from Sir H. Munro. Lord Eglinton was appointed to the Scots Greys on the first vacancy. Till Lord John Murray was disabled by age, he was the friend and supporter of every deserving officer and soldier in the regiment. The public journals during the German or Seven-years' War give many instances. I shall notice one. When the disabled soldiers came home from Ticonderoga in 1758, to pass the Board at Chelsea, it is stated, " That the morning they were to appear before the Board, he was in London, and dressed himself in the full Highland uniform, and, putting himself at the head of all those who could walk, he marched to Chelsea, and explained their case in such a manner to the Commissioners, that all obtained the pension. He gave them five guineas to drink the King's health, and their friends with the regiment, and two guineas to each of those who had wives, and he got the whole a free passage to Perth, with an offer to such as chose to settle on his estate, to give them a house and garden." (Westminster Journal.) This, it is added, was soon known in the North, and greatly encouraged recruiting. At that time, indeed, the regiment got more men than they required. Lord John was attentive to the interest of the officers, and vigilant that their promotion should not be interrupted by ministerial or other influence. On several occasions, he got officers removed who had been put over his own. Once he came express from Ireland, and had an audience of the King, in consequence, as has been already mentioned, of two lieutenants having been appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, while the ensigns of his regiment were passed over. In the first instance he failed, but the two were afterwards removed.

In those days the value of such a friend to support his officers was of more importance than now, when equal justice is done to all.]

In the month of August 1789, the regiment embarked for England, and landed at Portsmouth in October, after an absence of fourteen years. Immediately on landing, they marched to Guildford, and thence continued their route to the North, passing over Finchley Common, where numbers flocked to see them, no Highland corps having been in that neighbourhood since the year 1745, when the same regiment, then the 43d, or Sempill's Highlanders, was stationed there for a few weeks on its return from Flanders. In November they reached Tynemouth barracks, where they passed the winter. While there they were reinforced by 245 young recruits, raised by the officers who had been left at home for that purpose. [At this time there took place a small alteration in the military appointments of the men. The black leather belts for the bayonet were laid aside, and white buff' belts supplied. Officers' epaulettes, which had formerly been very small, and only cost eighteen shillings, were then enlarged to the present size.]

In the month of May 1790, they marched to Glasgow, through Berwick and Edinburgh. In Scotland, as well as in England, their reception was warm and cordial, but not so enthusiastic as that expressed on the return of the regiment at the conclusion of the wars of 1802 and 1815. In America the service was far less brilliant, and the interval that had elapsed between the war and their arrival rendered the recollection of their services less vivid.

Fortunately their stay in Glasgow was short; for the hospitality with which the men were treated, and the facility of procuring ardent spirits, led to an evident relaxation of discipline. This evil, however, was only transient, and of no considerable extent. But the circumstance attracted more notice, both on account of the estimation in which the regiment was held, and the hostile spirit of the Glasgow populace against the military, the source of many broils and disputes. The kindred feelings of cordiality and kindness which then existed, was therefore the more remarkable. [Such was the hospitality of the inhabitants, that it was difficult to prevent them from going about with bottles of whisky, forcing drams on the sentinels on duty.]


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