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


Military Annals of the Highland Regiments

Fraser's Highlanders
or
Seventy-first Regiment
1775

The rapidity with which the ranks of Colonel Fraser's regiment of 1757 were completed, its honourable and important services, and the character it upheld, were known and acknowledged; and by none more than by his late Majesty, who, with enlightened views of the firm and incorruptible fidelity, and mistaken but generous loyalty of many of his northern subjects, omitted no opportunity of exhibiting towards them the greatest indulgence, of directing their loyalty into the proper channel, and of securing their affections to his person, family, and government, from which they had been long unconstitutionally and unfortunately alienated. Those principles which had withstood so many years of absence and exile, formed the best security for that loyalty which was now in its proper place; and, as this was fully proved by the services of Colonel Fraser and his regiment in the former war, he was by his Majesty, in the year 1774, rewarded with a free grant of his family estate, forfeited to the Crown in 1746. In 1775 he was farther countenanced by receiving Letters of Service for raising in the Highlands another regiment of two battalions.

By the restoration of his property, he was now in possession of all the power which wealth and territorial influence could command ; but his present purpose had less relation to the influence of wealth, than to the preservation of respect and attachment to his person and family. Relying on the latter alone, when in poverty, and without the means to reward, his influence had experienced no diminution, for in a few weeks he had found himself at the head of 1250 men. So much having been done in 1757 without the aid of property or estate, no difficulty was to be expected, now that the case was the reverse. Nor did he find any; for, with equal ease and expedition, two battalions of 2340 Highlanders were marched up to Stirling, and thence to Glasgow, in April 1776. The completion of this numerous corps must, no doubt, have been accelerated by the exertions of his officers, of whom six besides himself were chiefs of clans, and all of respectable families, or sons of gentlemen tacksmen, as will be seen by the following nominal list:


In the preceding list, Sir William Erskine, [Sir William Erskine entered the Scots Greys in 1743. He was a cornet at the battle of Fontenoy, and carried a standard, his father, Colonel Erskine, commanding the regiment. In the morning of the battle, Colonel Erskine tied the standard to his son's leg, and told him, "Go, and take good care of your charge; let me not see you separate; if you return alive from the field, you must produce the standard." After the battle, the young cornet rode up to his father, and showed him the standard as tight and fast as in the morning.]  Sir Archibald Campbell, Major Menzies, Major Macdonell of Loch-garry, and Major Lamont, were officers of great experience, and approved talents, while threes-fourths of the others were accomplished gentlemen. With such a selection of officers, and with soldiers of high spirit, good principles, and robust constitutions, the best state of discipline and exemplary conduct were doubtless to be expected. But there was not time to prove what might have been the effect of discipline, for such was the urgency of the service, that in a few weeks they were marched from Glasgow to Greenock, where they embarked for immediate service, without any acquired knowledge of the use of arms.

But, although their stay in Glasgow was short, they, in a special manner, attracted the notice of the inhabitants. At this period, 3400 Highlanders of the 42d and 71st, of whom 3000 were raised and brought from the North in ten weeks, were stationed in Glasgow. The respectable part of the inhabitants were much struck with the regular conduct of these men, so different from what they had perhaps been led to expect. But no part of this conduct was more conspicuous than "the cordial habits these strangers were in with the people, although so many of them spoke no English ; and more especially their attachment and respect to their officers, and the kindness and familiarity with which the officers talked to their men."

When the regiment was mustered at Glasgow, it was found that more men had come up than were required: these were accordingly left behind when the corps marched to Greenock. Officers who have been in the habit of embarking with troops, on a distant and dangerous service, have perhaps observed individuals who appeared as if they would not have been displeased to remain at home. In the present instance the case was different. Several of the men ordered to be left behind were so eager to accompany their countrymen and companions, that they left their officers in Glasgow, and, following the regiment, got on board in the dark and as their friends there were probably not anxious to inform against them, they were not discovered till the fleet was at sea.

While so many were thus eager to serve their country, others objected to do so, except on certain conditions. The ancient tenants of Captain Cameron of Lochiel had raised 120 men on his forfeited estate, and sent them to the regiment to secure him a company. He was himself confined in London, from a complaint of which he died that year. His men lamented extremely that they did not meet their chief and captain at Glasgow, and when the orders for embarkation arrived, he being still absent, they loudly expressed their sorrow. "They were Lochiel's men; with him at their head, they were ready to go to any part of the world, and they were certain some misfortune had happened, or he would have been with them;" and it required all the persuasive eloquence of General Fraser [While General Fraser was speaking in Gaelic to the men, an old Highlander, who had accompanied his son to Glasgow, was leaning on his staff gazing at the General with great earnestness. When he had finished, the old man walked up to him, and with that easy familiar intercourse which in those days subsisted between the Highlanders and their superiors, shook him by the hand, exclaiming, "Simon, you are a good soldier, and speak like a man: so long as you live, Simon of Lovat will never die;" alluding to the General's address manner, which, as was said, resembled much that of his father, Lord Lovat, whom the old Highlanders knew perfectly. The late General Sir George witnessed the above scene, and often spoke of it with much interest. ] (and he had a great deal) to explain to their satisfaction the situation of Lochiel, and that they could not more effectually serve him, and display their attachment and duty, than by embarking with their comrades. To this they consented with the more cheerfulness, as Captain Cameron of Fassafearn, a friend and near relation of Lochiel, was appointed to command them. [Lochiel was detained in London by a severe illness, of which he had not recovered when he heard of the conduct of his men, and of the cause. Forgetting his delicate state of health, he hurried down to Glasgow; but the fatigue of the journey brought on a return of his complaint with such violence, that he died a few weeks afterwards, universally respected and lamented.]

The transports with the 71st sailed in a large fleet, having the 42d and other troops on board. A violent gale, however, scattered the fleet, and several of the single ships 1 fell in with, and were attacked by, American privateers. A transport having Captain, afterwards Sir Ćneas Mackintosh, and his company on board, with two six-pounders, made a resolute defence against a privateer with eight guns, till all the ammunition was expended, when they bore down with an intention of boarding; the privateer, however, did not wait to receive the shock, and set sail, the transport being unable to follow.

At this period General Howe had evacuated Boston, and the ship left to give notice to vessels not to enter the harbour was blown off in a gale of wind. Owing to this circumstance, the transport with Colonel Archibald Campbell and Major Menzies on board sailed into Boston Harbour, where they were attacked by three privateers full of men. These they kept off, repulsing several attempts to board, till at last, when their ammunition was expended, and their rudder disabled by a shot, the ship grounded under a battery, and they were compelled to surrender. Major Menzies and seven men were killed, and Colonel Campbell and the rest were carried prisoners into Boston. The death of an officer of Major Menzies's judgment and experience was a severe loss to a corps, where so many of the officers, and all the sergeants and soldiers, were totally undisciplined. Sir William Erskine, the Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st battalion, was a bold and enterprising officer of Elliott's dragoons in Germany, and possessed a mind, perhaps, of too high a cast to take pleasure in superintending the drilling of a new corps. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, of the 2d battalion, was distinguished as an engineer, and. in the scientific parts of the profession, but he was a perfect stranger to the interior discipline of the line. He was afterwards Governor of Jamaica, and Commander-in-Chief in India. Could an hypothesis be grounded on a few facts, Fraser's Highlanders would prove, that men without discipline, depending entirely on their native spirit and energy, are capable of performing) in the most perfect manner, every duty of a soldier. few British regiments ever went into immediate service with less discipline than this regiment, except Keith's and Campbell's Highlanders in Germany. In what manner these corps performed the duty expected of them, the history of the times will show. Keith's regiment was, indeed, put to a more severe trial in being so early placed in competition with the veteran and chosen troops of France. The want of discipline of the troops opposed to Fraser's in America, rendered the duty in forcing them less arduous; but they entered on every enterprise with spirit, and were highly conspicuous for courage, success, and the terror with which their advances inspired the enemy.

[An instance of this occurred at the battle of Guildford Courthouse, in Virginia, on the 15th of March 1781. This action was well contested, and although the enemy were driven back at every attack, they always rallied, and formed a new front, till towards the end of the action, when a rapid movement of Fraser's Highlanders brought the regiment so conspicuously in view of the enemy, and (as appears by the American General's dispatches) made such an impression, as to induce them to retreat with great precipitation, and never afterwards to attempt a rally. This impression on the nerves of the enemy must have been occasioned by their previous rencounters with the 71st regiment, as they did not wait an actual attack. Thus it will always be: when soldiers advance with spirit and energy, it not only ensures present victory, but inspires a terror that will paralyze an enemy on future occasions, and render their defeat more easy, if not a matter of certainty.]

Of the disposition and capability of the Highlanders as soldiers, Sir William Howe had formed an opinion from Fraser's Highlanders of the Seven Years' War, with whom he had served under General Wolfe. Influenced probably by this opinion, he brought forward the 71st to the front immediately on their landing. The Grenadiers were placed in the battalion under the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Stuart; the other companies were formed into three small battalions, and formed a brigade under Sir William Erskine, then appointed Brigadier-General. In this manner, and without any training, except what they got on board the transports from non-commissioned officers nearly as ignorant as themselves, these men were brought into action at Brooklyn, and on no future occasion, even after the experience of six campaigns, did they display more spirit or soldier-like conduct. Eight hundred men of the 42d, engaged on this occasion, were, indeed, as young soldiers as those of the 71st, but then they had had the advantage of the example of 300 old soldiers, on which to form their military habits and manners, together with a corps of able officers and sergeants of long experience, to teach them every necessary duty. Such, indeed, were the constant and active duties, and incessant marching, actions, and changes of quarters of the 71st, that little time could be spared; and, therefore, little attempt was made to give them the polish of parade discipline till the third year of the war. Field discipline, and forcing their enemy to fly wherever they met him, (except on two occasions, when the fault lay not with them), they understood perfectly; and with this knowledge of discipline, and being besides "trust-worthy and temperate, brave in the field, conciliating and regular in quarters, wherever duty called them they were to be found." Possessed of these qualifications as soldiers, Lords Cornwallis and Moira readily overlooked their want of polish, and of more correct parade movements. Towards the conclusion of the third campaign, Major M'Arthur was appointed to the command of the regiment. He had served in the Scotch Brigade in Holland, and in Keith's Highlanders, under Prince Ferdinand, and " no officer, in America, was more a master of mechanical formations and military manoeuvres. The effect was visible in the exterior of the 71st. It is a doubt with some, whether the military qualities of the corps were improved. Their conduct was good after they were drilled. It was equally good, perhaps more animated and heroic, before they received this military polish." [Dr Jackson on the Character of the Highlanders as Soldiers.] In their uncultivated state they were acknowledged to be one of the most hardy serviceable corps ever raised in the Highlands, and they contributed to demonstrate how little preparation is necessary for the execution of every military duty, when men possess the proper elements of the soldier.

The first proof they gave was, as I have already noticed, at the battle of Brooklyn. Towards the end of July 1776, they disembarked in America; and, in the month of August, a very important duty was assigned them, under their chivalrous commander, Sir William Erskine, namely, to support the Grenadiers and Guards, the elite of the British army. "Their spirit and intrepidity were universally acknowledged;" and if General Grant, who commanded the left wing of the army, had been permitted to advance with the same ardour which he himself exhibited at Fort du Quesne in 1758, when Major of Montgomerie's Highlanders, [See Vol. I. p. 322.] the battle of Brooklyn would probably have had a very different conclusion, and might have given a blow to the enemy which they could not have easily recovered. While the battalion companies gave this early promise under the command of Sir William Erskine, the Grenadier companies were no less fortunate in their commander, Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Charles Stuart, and in the approbation with which their conduct was noticed the same day on the right wing of the army. Here the same ardour was displayed by the troops, the same eagerness to push the enemy to the last extremity, and force them to surrender in the strong position in which they had taken shelter. But General Howe, desirous, as was said, of saving the lives of his troops, recalled them. Had they been allowed to advance, the sacrifice of lives would have been more than compensated by the success which appeared so certain, by the additional spirit which victory thus early would have infused into our troops, and by the despondency which so complete a discomfiture would have occasioned to the enemy.

In the skirmishing warfare of the next campaign, this regiment had constant employment, and particularly in the expeditions to Willsbrough and Westfield, with which the campaign of 1777 commenced. This was immediately previous to the embarkation of the army for the Chesapeak. In the battle of Brandy Wine they were actively engaged, and remained in Pennsylvania till they embarked for New York in November. Here they were joined by 200 recruits, who had arrived in September from Scotland. These men, with about 100 recovered men from the hospital, formed a small corps under Captain Colin (afterwards General) Mackenzie. This corps acted as Light infantry, and accompanied General Vaughan [General Vaughan, who commanded in the Jerseys during the winter months, placed such confidence in this regiment, that he kept them constantly near him, and seldom moved without a party of them.] in an expedition up the North River, in order to create a diversion in favour of General Bur-goyne's movements. On the 6th of October, Fort Montgomery was taken by assault. Captain Mackenzie's corps led the attack, and although so many were recruits, they exhibited conduct worthy of veterans.

In the year 1778, the 71st regiment accompanied Lord Cornwallis on an excursion into the Jerseys,

[On this occasion a corps of cavalry, commanded by the Polish Count Pulauski, were surprised and nearly cut to pieces by the Light infantry under Sir James Baird. Indeed, there was hardly a movement, however trifling, in which Sir James was not engaged. Whenever he was within reach he was generally first called upon, and he was almost always the first ready. No company in America was more frequently engaged with the enemy. It was said of Colonel Abercromby, that more balls passed him without injury than any other officer; and Sir James and his Light infantry, being always in front, had the credit of killing more of the enemy than any other company. ' He was not a Highlander, but when he was appointed to this company, he studied the character of the people he commanded, he sung their warlike songs, and was frank and familiar as a chief of old, at the same time preserving the full authority of a chief in his character of an officer. He so insinuated himself into their affections, that, though Highlanders have a predilection for Highland blood, no chieftain in his glen ever commanded the devotion of Gillien more unreservedly. They knew his meaning by his whistle, and they flew with eagerness to obey. He struck the key of the Highlanders' mind in such a manner, as to produce an action of perfect accord. "With great personal activity, ardent and fearless, he indulged the propensity of the Highlanders to close upon the enemy."—Dr Jackson.

Although I have avoided saying any thing in the praise of living individuals, leaving their actions to speak for themselves, (except in one great exception, where it was impossible to touch upon exploits unrivalled in military history, without giving expression to the feelings they created), I cannot keep back this notice of Sir James Baird and his Light infantry, which is from a valued friend, whose talents, penetration, and personal knowledge of the circumstances, enabled him to form an accurate opinion. The Marquis of Montrose, Lord Dundee, Sir Robert Murray Keith, and Sir James Baird, Lowlanders born, and originally strangers to the character, customs, prejudices, and language of the Highlanders, had the address and talent to secure their affections, and to attempt and accomplish very daring and remarkable exploits.]

and after a series of movements and counter-movements, the two battalions embarked at New York for Georgia in the month of November.

The object of this expedition—which, along with the Highlanders, consisted of two regiments of Hessians, a corps of Provincials, and a detachment of artillery, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, (who had been exchanged this year),—was to take possession of the town of Savannah, in order to afford support to the loyalists in the province. Captain Hyde Parker commanded the convoy. The fleet sailed from Sandy Hook on the 29th of November 1777, and, after a stormy passage, reached the river Savannah by the end of December. The 1st battalion of the 71st, and the Light infantry, under the immediate command of the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland, landed without opposition at a short distance below the town of Savannah. Captain Cameron immediately pushed forward to attack the advanced post of the enemy stationed beyond the landing place. As the Light infantry advanced, the enemy fired a volley, by which Captain Cameron, an « officer of high spirit and great promise," and three men, were killed'; the rest instantly charged the enemy, and drove them back on the main body, drawn up in line on an open plain in rear of the town of Savannah. The disembarkation, with the necessary arrangements for an attack on the enemy, were soon completed. Savannah was then an open town, without any natural strength, but covered on both sides with woods. Colonel Campbell formed his troops in line, and detached Sir James Baird with the Light infantry through a narrow path, to get round the right flank of the enemy, while the corps, which had been Captain Cameron's, was sent round the left. The army remained drawn up in front, making demonstrations to attack. This so occupied the attention of the enemy, that they did not perceive the intentions of the flanking parties, till the signal was given that our troops had got to their ground. Colonel Campbell instantly advanced, when the enemy, seeing themselves surrounded, fled in the greatest confusion. The Light infantry, closing in upon both flanks of the retreating enemy, they suffered exceedingly; upwards of 100 men being killed, and 500 wounded or taken prisoners, while the loss on the part of the assailants consisted only of 4 soldiers killed and 5 wounded. So easily did the British gain possession of the capital of Georgia, together with 45 pieces of cannon, shipping, and stores.

Anxious to follow up this favourable commencement, Colonel Campbell made immediate preparations for advancing against Augusta, a considerable town in the interior of the province, 150 miles distant from Savannah. The enemy, not having recovered from the recent disaster, made no opposition, and the whole province quietly submitted. Colonel Campbell established himself in Augusta, and detached Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, with 200 men, to the frontiers of Georgia. During these proceedings, General Prevost had arrived at Savannah from Florida, and assumed the command. He ordered Augusta to be evacuated, and the boundaries occupied by the British to be narrowed. The Americans, emboldened by this retrograde movement, collected in great numbers, and hung on the rear of the British, cutting off stragglers, and frequently skirmishing with the rear guards. But although uniformly repulsed, this retreat dispirited the Loyalists, and left them unprotected, unable, and now perhaps unwilling, to render assistance.

As General Prevost did not encourage the establishment of a provincial militia, the Loyalists were left without arms or employment, and the disaffected formed bands and traversed the country without control. To keep these in check, inroads were made into the interior; and in this manner the winter months passed. Colonel Campbell, who had acted on a different system, obtained leave of absence and embarked for England, Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland succeeding him in the command of the 71st regiment.

In the month of February 1779, the enemy collected a force of nearly 3000 men at Brien Creek, for the purpose of cutting off the communication, and checking the incursions of the foraging parties. This position was strong, and defended by upwards of 2000 men, besides 1000 in detached stations. In front was a deep swamp, rendered passable only by a narrow causeway, and on each flank were thick woods, nearly impenetrable except on the dryer parts of the swamps which intersected them; but the position was more open in the rear. Thus situated, the enemy were enabled to cause considerable annoyance; it was, therefore, determined to dislodge them. For this purpose, Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Macpherson, [This gentleman was son of Macpherson of Clunie, the chief to whom his clan evinced such disinterested fidelity and affection in 1743, and the nine subsequent years. The castle of Clunie, as has been already stated, was burnt by the troops after the battle of Culloden. During the chief's long confinement in the cave, his lady fitted up an old malt-kiln as a kind of temporary residence. Here she was delivered of the son who commanded in this expedition. As the Highlanders always marked any extraordinary circumstance, whether personal or otherwise, by some name or phrase characteristic of the fact, Colonel Macpherson was called Duncan of the Kiln.] with the first battalion of the Highlanders, was directed to march upon the front of the position; Colonel Prevost, and Lieutenant-Colonels Maitland and Macdonald, with the 2d battalion of the Highlanders, the Light infantry, and a detachment of Provincials, were ordered to attempt the rear by a circuitous route of many miles. Notwithstanding this long march through a difficult country, the movements were so admirably planned, and so correctly executed, that in ten minutes after Colonel Macpherson appeared at the head of the causeway in front, Colonel Maitland's fire was heard in the rear; and Sir James Baird, with the Light infantry, in "his usual manner," rushing through the openings in the swamps on the left flank, the enemy, unable to make any effectual resistance, were quickly overpowered; the loss of the Highlanders being only 5 soldiers killed, and 1 officer, and 12 rank and file, wounded.

This strong detachment being thus dislodged, General Lincoln collected a considerable force on the South Carolina side of the river. Determined to attack this post, General Prevost took the command of the troops, who had been so successful at Brien's Creek, and crossed the river ten miles below the position of the enemy. The two battalions of the 71st were directed to take a circuit of several miles, with a view of coming on the enemy's rear, while the General advanced on their front. They entered a woody swamp at 11 o'clock at night, and, guided by a party of Creek Indians, penetrated through, the water reaching to their shoulders in the deeper and softer parts of the swamps. In this condition, with their ammunition destroyed, they emerged from the woods at 8 o'clock in the morning, less than half a mile in rear of the enemy's position, and without waiting for the co-operation of General Prevost, who had not moved from his position ten miles below, the Highlanders instantly rushed forward, and drove the enemy from their position at the first charge, and this with such expedition that they suffered no loss, nor did the enemy, from their short stand and quick retreat, suffer much.

General Prevost being thus far successful, was encouraged to penetrate farther into the country; and, meeting with no opposition, he moved upon Charlestown with such celerity, and arrived before it so unexpectedly, that, had it been attacked before the garrison had time to recover from their surprise, it is probable it would have been taken with little difficulty. The town was summoned to surrender, but time being allowed to consult, a dispatch arrived in the mean time from the American General Lincoln, giving notice of his approach to its relief. General Prevost had no means to carry on a siege, and as the American force under General Lincoln was stated to be greatly superior to his own, he thought it advisable to commence a retreat to his old quarters in Georgia under somewhat gloomy circumstances. He could not retrace his steps, the Americans being in arms, and the principal pass on the route occupied. He was, therefore, under the necessity of attempting to return by the sea-coast, a course which exposed the troops to much suffering, as they had to march through unfrequented woods, and salt water marshes and swamps, experiencing a consequent want of fresh water. Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost, the Quartermaster-general, and a person of the name of Macgirt, [This man, with a band of followers, had accompanied the General from Florida, and from his character and marauding habits, was a very improper guard to the Quartermaster-General, to whom all the odium of the excesses and pillage of Macgirt and his band attached, greatly increasing the disaffection and irritation of the people.] with a party under his orders, had gone on a foraging excursion, and were not returned from their operations; and as it was thought necessary that they should be protected, Colonel Maitland, with a battalion of Highlanders and some Hessians, was placed in a redoubt of hasty construction at Stono Ferry, an important pass, while the rest of the troops crossed over to John's Island. The communication had been kept up by a bridge of boats, but several of the boats having been removed by the Quartermaster-General, when he arrived with the fruits of his forage, the communication was interrupted. This separation of the British force was not to be neglected by the enemy, who had 5000 men in the immediate neighbourhood. They, accordingly, pushed forward 2000 men with the artillery. When their advance was reported, Captain Colin Campbell, [This gallant officer was son of Campbell of G!endaruel, in Argyleshire.] with 4 officers and 56 men, was sent out to reconnoitre, and to act according to circumstances. A thick wood covered the approach of the enemy till they reached a clear field on which Captain Campbell's party stood. Disregarding this great inequality of numbers, and anxious to give time to those in the redoubt to prepare, he instantly attacked with such vivacity, that the enemy were obliged to form to defend themselves. A desperate resistance ensued; all the officers and non commissioned officers of the Highlanders fell, seven soldiers only remaining on their legs. It was not intended that the resistance should be of this nature. But most of the party were men who had recently joined from prison, being some of those taken in Boston Harbour early in the war; and this being their first appearance before an enemy, they had not yet learned to retreat, nor had they forgotten what had been always inculcated in their native country, that to retreat was disgraceful. "When Captain Campbell fell, he desired such of his men as were able to make the best of their way to the redoubt; but they refused to obey, as it would bring lasting disgrace upon them all to leave their officers in the field, with none to carry them back. "However, the enemy either struck with this unexpected check from so insignificant a force, or waiting till the main body came up, ceased firing. The seven men retired carrying their wounded officers along with them, and accompanied by those of the soldiers who were able to walk. They were soon followed by the whole force of the enemy, determined to overpower Those in the redoubts. In this they had in one part a partial success; the Hessians having got into confusion in the redoubt which they occupied, the enemy forced an entrance, but the 71st having driven back those who had attacked their part of the redoubt, Colonel Maitland was enabled to detach two companies of the Highlanders to the support of the Hessians. The enemy were instantly driven out of the redoubt at the point of the bayonet, and while they were preparing for another attempt to storm, the 2d battalion of the Highlanders came up, when the Americans, despairing of success, retreated at all points, leaving many men killed and wounded.

The resistance offered by Captain Campbell, though not intended, and contrary, perhaps, to common practice in such cases, was, notwithstanding, highly honourable to those who made this determined stand ; for no men need approach nearer to invincibility than those who fight against the most fearful odds, while life or the power of motion remains. This undaunted resistance also apparently saved the redoubt and those who defended it, for the time lost by the enemy in forcing their way through this little band of true soldiers, afforded time to their friends in the redoubt to prepare, and likewise to the 2d battalion in the island to march by the difficult and circuitous route left open for them.

[The destruction of the bridge of boats by Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost was the cause of the delay in bringing to their support the 2d battalion from the is-land, and, indeed, had nearly prevented their assistance entirely. Two temporary ferry-boats had been established, but the men who had charge of them being frightened by the firing, ran away and left the boats fixed on the wrong side. The enemy perceiving this from a height on the opposite side, opened a galling fire from their great guns on the men as they stood on the banks of the river, without a cannon to return a shot. Lieutenant Robert Campbell, followed by a few soldiers, plunged into the water and swam across, returned he boats, and thus enabled the battalion to cross over to the support of their friends. This brave and zealous officer was drowned some years afterwards in an attempt to save an old domestic who had fallen from a boat into the sea, in crossing from one of the islands in the Hebrides.]

Nor was the firm resistance of those within the redoubt (if embankments, hastily thrown up without guns or any other strength, may be so called) less honourable, seeing that 520 Highlanders and 200 Hessians successfully resisted all the efforts of an enemy 5000 strong, (excepting the momentary impression on the Hessian part of the redoubt,) and this in comparison of the service performed with a trifling loss, which was only 3 officers and 32 soldiers killed and wounded, while that of the enemy exceeded the total strength of those attacked.

The port at Stono Ferry being thus secured, and the Quartermaster-General having returned with his foraging part}', it was evacuated, and Colonel Maitland retired to the island of Port Royal, where he was left with 700 men, while General Prevost, with the main body of the army, continued a difficult and harassing march to Savannah.

In this station General Prevost remained till the month of September 1779, when the Count D'Estaing arrived on the coast of Georgia with a fleet of twenty sail of the line, two fifty gun ships, seven frigates, and a fleet of transports, with a body of troops on board for the avowed purpose of retaking Savannah. This town, situated on a sandy plain gently inclining towards the south, was still open; the river Savannah was in front, with low and swampy grounds on both flanks; the back of the town was protected by an ab-batis, in such a state of ruin, as to present little impediment to any enemy. The successful defence of the garrison, and their ultimate success, were to be calculated more from their energy and firmness than from their numbers, or the strength of artificial protection. The garrison consisted of two companies of the 16th regiment, two of the 60th, one battalion of Highlanders, and one weak battalion of Hessians; in all, about 1100 effective men. The combined French and American army was said to amount to more than 12,000 men. With such a preponderance of force, and with no natural and very trifling artificial defences, the enemy, it was believed, would have attacked the moment they landed, but Count D'Estaing preferring regular approaches, summoned the town to surrender on capitulation. Time was demanded, and granted; and, in the absence of Colonel Maitland's detachment in Port-Royal, delay was of the utmost importance. The instant this officer was apprised of the appearance and intentions of the enemy, he set out for Savannah; but the enemy having taken possession of the principal passes and fords on the creeks and swamps, he was obliged to take a circuit through morasses and woods unfrequented, and hitherto supposed impassable. But all difficulties were overcome by the spirit and perseverance of this excellent officer, while his detachment were always ready to execute his most arduous attempts. He arrived at Savannah at a most critical moment, when General Prevost was hesitating what answer he should return to the summons of Count D'Estaing. The arrival of Colonel Maitland determined his answer, and immediate preparations were made for the most determined resistance. The zeal and talents of Captain Moncrieff, the chief engineer, and the unremitting exertions and labour of the officers and soldiers, assisted by the negro population, completed a line of entrenchments with intervening redoubts, which covered the troops, and placed the town in a tolerable slate of defence. This important object was complet-ed in less time than the enemy required for their preparatory approaches. Such was the celerity with which the works were carried on and completed, that the French officers declared that the English engineer made his batteries spring up like mushrooms. Such being the zeal and energy in preparing for the defence, it may be imagined that the enemy were not permitted to carry on their advances unmolested; although General Prevost, owing to the weak-ness of his garrison, was averse to sorties. However, in the morning of the 24th of September, Major Colin Graham, with the Light company of the 16th regiment, and the Highland battalion, dashed out, attacked the enemy, drove them from their outworks, and then retired with the loss of Lieutenant Henry Macpherson of the 71st, and 3 privates killed, and 15 wounded, while the enemy lost 14 officers, and 145 men, killed, wounded, and prisoners.

In the same manner Major Macarthur, with the picquets of the Highlanders, advanced on the enemy with such caution and address, that, after firing a few rounds, the French and Americans, mistaking their object, commenced a fire on each other, by which they lost 50 men; while, in the mean time, Major Macarthur retired silently without loss, leaving the combatants to discover their own mistake at their leisure.

Irritated by these interruptions, impatient of the slow progress of the siege, and having his fleet riding in an open sea, exposed to an attack from the British, and in danger of being blown off the coast, D'Estaing determined on a general assault, in the hope of finishing the enterprise at one blow; and, confiding in the number and experience of his troops, he fixed on the 9th of October for making the attempt. This was done before day-light with the whole French and American force. Owing to a thick fog, it was still too dark to enable the garrison to ascertain from what point the principal attack was intended. However, they were not long in suspense; for the enemy were seen advancing in three columns, D'Estaing in person leading the right. The left column, taking too large a circuit, got entangled in a swamp, and, being exposed to the guns of the garrison, fell into confusion, and was unable to advance. The others made the attack in the best manner; but the fire from the batteries was so well directed and effective, that the heads of the columns suffered exceedingly. Still they persevered; those in rear supplying the places of those who fell in front; and, pushing forward till they reached the first redoubt, the contest became desperate. Many entered the ditch, and some even ascended and planted the colours on the parapet, where they were killed. Captain Tawse, of the 71st, who commanded the redoubt, plunged his sword into the first man who mounted, and was himself shot dead by the man who followed. Captain Archibald Campbell then assumed the command, and maintained his post till supported by the Grenadiers of the 60th, when the enemy's column being attacked on both sides, was completely broken, and driven back with such expedition, that a detachment of the 71st, ordered by Colonel Maitland to hasten to and assist those who were so hard pressed by superior numbers, could not overtake them. The other columns, seeing the discomfiture of their principal attack, retired without any farther attempt.

In this complete repulse and discomfiture of an important and apparently irresistible enterprise, was exemplified the ruinous consequences of hesitation and delay. Had D'Estaing attacked immediately on landing, before any defences had been raised, and before Colonel Maitland's detachment had joined, a weak garrison and open town could have hardly been expected to have made a successful resistance. General Prevost at Charlestown, and Count D'Estaing at Savannah, fell into similar errors, and were forced to retreat, whereas an immediate and resolute attack would, in all probability, have been crowned with complete success.

The loss of the enemy was estimated at 1500 men killed, wounded, and prisoners; that of the garrison was 1 captain, 2 subalterns, 4 sergeants, and 32 soldiers, killed; and 2 captains, 2 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 56 soldiers, wounded. 1 he French and Americans kept possession of their lines till they withdrew their artillery and stores, when the latter retired towards South Carolina, and the former to their ships; and thus ended the attack on Savannah, which, from the state of the place and the force of the enemy, promised a very different result; but the talents of the officers, the firmness of the troops, and the excellent, though hastily constructed, defences, thrown up under the direction of Captain Moncrieff, the chief engineer, supplied the deficiency of numbers and strength of walls. [Captain, afterwards Colonel Moncrieff, and chief engineer under the Duke of York in Flanders, was killed at Dunkirk, in 1793, universally respected and lamented, as an able and accomplished engineer, and a brave and high spirited officer.] The troops in Savannah Were sickly before the place was attacked; but the soldiers seemed reanimated, and sickness in a manner suspended, during active operations. As usual in such cases, however, sickness returned with aggravated violence after the enemy had been repulsed, and all incitement ceased. Disease, increased by inactivity and lassitude after extreme exertion, fell with particular severity on the Highlanders. The battalion under Colonel Maitland had not ten men sick in the march through the swamps, nor during the siege, but now one-fourth of their number was in hospital.

[One of the first who died, after the cessation of hostilities, was the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland, son of the Earl of Lauderdale. He was originally in the Marines, but as this service did not afford a sufficient field for his active and enterprising mind, he was transferred to the line, and appointed Major to Fraser's Highlanders. His arrival at Savannah, at a most critical moment, inspired confidence in his friends, while it struck the enemy with surprise, as they did not expect he would be able to penetrate by a circuitous route, after they had secured the fords and passes. Colonel Maitland lived in the trenches with the soldiers, and, " by his courage, his kindness of heart, and affability to his men, secured their affection and fidelity. His dialect was Scotch:—proceeding from a tongue which never spoke in disguise, it carried conviction to all. Equally brave, generous, and unassuming, his memory will be respected while manly fortitude, unstained honour, and military talents, are held in estimation. "

During the skirmishing warfare in the Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the years 1776 and 1777, he was particularly active. Ever on the alert, and having his Highlanders always ready, he attracted the particular notice of General Washington. Some communications having passed between them as old acquaintances, although then opposed as enemies, Colonel Maitland sent intimation to the American commander, that in future his men would be distinguished by a red feather in their bonnets, so that he could not mistake them, nor avoid doing justice to their exploits, in annoying his posts, and obstructing his convoys and detachments; adding, that General Washington was too liberal not to acknowledge merit even in an enemy. Fraser's Highlanders wore the red feather after Colonel Maitland's death, and continued to do so till the conclusion of the war. Such was the origin of the red feather subsequently worn in the Highland bonnet, about which some idle tales have been repeated. In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.]

While the battalion companies of the 71st regiment were thus employed in Georgia and Carolina, the Grenadiers were at Stoney Point, in the state of New York, having a small detachment of the corps at the post of Verplanks, in the immediate neighbourhood. These two posts had been recently taken from the enemy, who were anxious to regain possession of them; and this service offering an opportunity to General Wayne of atoning for his recent disaster in allowing his post to be surprised by Sir Charles Grey, the execution of this duty was intrusted to him.(See Vol. I. p. 395.) A body of troops was accordingly placed under his command; and, at eight o'clock in the evening of the 15th of July 1779, he took post in a hollow, within two miles of the forts, and remained there unperceived till midnight, when he formed his men into two columns, Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury and Major Stewart leading the advance. A gun-boat, which had been stationed to cover the principal approach, was absent that night, and the picquet being placed considerably to the right, one column gained the summit of the ground on which the fort stood before they were perceived. The troops being thus unprepared, made a feeble resistance, and surrendered with the loss of 19 soldiers killed, and 1 captain, 2 subalterns, and 72 soldiers, wounded. The principal part of this loss fell upon the picquet, commanded by Lieutenant Cumming of the 71st, which resisted one of the columns till almost all the men of the picquet were either killed or wounded, Lieutenant Cumming being among the latter.

This misfortune was not attributed to any want of spirit in the troops. Unfortunately, many British officers undervalued the military talents of the enemy, which led to a want of vigilance, and a neglect of procuring proper intelligence ; an object of primary importance in military operations, particularly on outposts in front of an enemy. It was an error of this nature that caused the loss of the Hessian post at Trenton in December 1776, which disaster produced a total change in the aspect of the war, and led to the most important consequences. The Hessian commanding officer, ignorant of the language, despising the Americans, and disregarding even the most common precautions, the enemy easily discovered the nature of his post, the disposition of his men, and their negligent manner of conducting the duty; and were thus encouraged to hazard an attack, the success of which gave them confidence in themselves, and lowered their respect and dread of their opponents, to a degree which they had never known before. This affair of Stoney Point operated in a similar manner.

I now return to Savannah, where the troops who had so bravely defended it remained in quarters during the winter months of 1779 and 1780, in expectation of the arrival of a force from New York sufficient to undertake the siege of Charlestown in the spring. In the month of March, this force arrived, with Sir Henry Clinton at its head. The place was immediately invested, and the siege pushed with vigour. The defence was good, and the loss of the besiegers considerable. The commanding engineer, Captain Moncrieff, was indefatigable; and being fearless of danger in his own person, he was the less careful of the lives of others. He had now served two years with the 71st, and "believing that he could not gratify a Highlander of that regiment more than by selecting him for honourable and dangerous service, he generally expressly applied for a party of the corps for all exposed duties." [Dr Jackson.]

After the surrender of Charlestown, Lord Cornwallis was appointed to command the southern provinces. The 71st composed part of his force, and advanced with him into the interior. In the beginning of June the army reached Cambden, a central place fixed upon for the head-quarters.

In July the enemy having assembled in force in the frontiers of the province, the British outposts were called in, and the whole collected and encamped in the neighbourhood of Cambden, the number of firelocks not exceeding 2500, while the enemy, under General Gates, exceeded 7000 men stationed at Rugley's Mill, nearly twelve miles distant. The British general moved from Cambden at 12 o'clock on the night of the 15th of August, with an intention of surprising and attacking the enemy. The American general moved from his ground at the same hour, and with a similar view of attacking the British. The hostile armies met half way, before 3 o'clock in the morning. The moon was full, and the night without a cloud. Some shots were exchanged by the advanced guards, but both generals, ignorant of each other's force, declined a general action, and lay on their arms till morning. The ground on which they lay was a sandy plain with straggling trees, but a part of the ground on the left of the British was soft and boggy. Each army formed the line of battle. The Light infantry of the Highlanders, and the Welsh Fusileers, were on the right; the 33d regiment, and the Volunteers of Ireland, occupied the centre; the Provincials were on the left, with the marshy ground in their front. While the army was thus forming, Captain Charles Campbell, who commanded the Highland Light companies on the right, placed himself on the stump of an old tree to reconnoitre, and observing the enemy moving as with an intention of turning his flank, he leaped down, saying to himself, "I'll see you damned first;" and calling to his men, "Remember you are Light infantry; remember you are Highlanders:—charge!"—The attack was rapid and irresistible, and being made before the enemy had completed the movement by which they were to surround the right of the British, they were broken and driven from the field, before the battle commenced in the other parts of the line. When it did commence it was well supported on both sides, the centre of the enemy gaining ground. There was a pause for some minutes, neither side firing or advancing, when Lord Cornwallis ordered the corps in the centre to open to their right and left, till a considerable space intervened; he then directed the Highlanders, "who began to be impatient at being left in the rear, while their friends were fighting in front," to move forward and occupy the vacant space. When this was done, his lordship cried out, "My brave Highlanders, now is your time!" They instantly rushed forward; "the charge was like a torrent; the 33d and Volunteers of Ireland accompanied the Highlanders, the enemy was penetrated and completely overthrown." [Letter from Dr Chisholm of Bristol, an eyewitness.] But the British charge did not strike on the whole of the American line. The thickness of the smoke prevented distinct vision, and such parts of the enemy's line, particularly the right, as had not been acted on by the charge, continuing to advance, gained the ground on which the Highlanders had been originally placed as a reserve. Here they gave three cheers for victory; but the smoke clearing up, they quickly saw their mistake; and a party of the Highlanders turning up on them, the greater part threw down their arms, while the remainder fled in all directions. The victory was complete, and decided by the bayonet, a very decisive instrument in a firm and steady hand. The loss of the British was 1 captain, 1 subaltern, 2 sergeants, and 64 soldiers, killed; 2 field officers, 3 captains, 12 subalterns, 13 sergeants, and 213 soldiers, wounded. The Highlanders lost Lieutenant Archibald Campbell, and 8 soldiers, killed; and Captain Hugh Campbell, Lieutenant John Grant, 2 sergeants, and 30 privates, wounded. [In a letter from a respectable and intelligent eyewitness, Dr Chisholm of Bristol, the writer states, that there were many acts of individual prowess, the troops having several times closed on the enemy. "One will suffice. A tough stump of a Sutherland Highlander, of the name of Mackay, afterwards my own bat-man, entered the battle with his bayonet perfectly straight, but brought it out twisted like a cork-screw, and with his own hand had put to death seven of the enemy."]

The battle of the 16th of August was decisive as a victory, so far as related to the field of action; but General Sumpter, with a strong corps, occupied positions on the Catawba River, which commanded the road to Charlestown, and from which it was necessary to dislodge him. For this purpose, Colonel Tarleton was appointed to command the Cavalry and a corps of Light infantry, under Captain Charles Campbell of the 71st regiment. The heat was excessive ; many of the horses had failed on the march, and not more than forty of the infantry were together in front, when, on the morning of the 18th, they came in sight of Fishing Creek, and saw a smoke at a short distance on their right. The sergeant of the advanced guard halted his party, and went forward with caution to ascertain the cause of the smoke. In a few minutes he saw an encampment, with arms piled, and with few sentinels, and no picquets. No persons were stirring except a few employed in cooking; the rest lay in groups apparently asleep, as if harassed by a long march. The sergeant reported what he had seen to Captain Campbell, who commanded in front, and as not a moment was to be lost, as a discovery of their situation might have led to serious consequences, Captain Campbell, with his usual promptitude, formed as many of the cavalry as had come up, and with the forty of the Highland Light infantry, rushed forward, and directing their route to the piled arms, quickly secured them and surprised the camp. The success was complete; a few men were killed; nearly 500 prisoners surrendered, and the rest dispersed in all directions. General Sumpter fled without his coat. Thus the object of the expedition was in a few minutes accomplished, (before Colonel Tarleton came up), and with trifling loss, had it not been for the death of Captain Campbell, who was killed by a random shot, which in a great measure counterbalanced the joy of so easy a victory. " His death rendered his own men in a manner frantic, for he had secured the affections of those he commanded in a most singular degree." [Captain Campbell was son of Mr Campbell of Ardchattan. "He was a young man of promptitude and decision, and gave promise that he would be an honour to his profession and to his country."]

These partial successes were soon followed by a reverse. The Americans rallied, and threatened the frontiers of South Carolina, cut off Major Ferguson at King's Mountain, [Major Fergusson was brother of Pitfour. He was appointed Major to Fraser's Highlanders, but commanded a corps of Riflemen which bore his name. "He possessed original genius, was ardent and enthusiastic, and considered as visionary by the disciples of the mechanical school of war. By zeal, animation, and a liberal spirit, he gained the confidence of the mass of the people, and laid foundations on which the loyally disposed, who were numerous in the southern provinces, would have been organized and disciplined, and greatly outnumbered the disaffected. No man in that army was better calculated for such a task; his ardour was not to be checked by common difficulties. Directing the conduct of men unaccustomed to strict discipline; instead of commanding obedience, silence, and close attention to the routine of duty, he, with an address which none but a man who studies and applies the principle which regulates the actions of the human mind could be supposed to possess, led them step by step to accomplish the duties of experienced soldiers. At King's Mountain he was overpowered by numbers, and fought and fell like a Spartan." (Dr Jackson.)] and fought Colonel Tarleton at Blackstocks, and also at Cowpens.

In December 1780, the American General Morgan made an inroad into South Carolina with about 1100 men. Colonel Tarleton was detached to oppose him with the 7th or Fusileers, the first battalion of Fraser's Highlanders, (both weak in numbers), a detachment of the British Legion, and 300 cavalry. On the morning of the 17th January 1781, intelligence was received that General Morgan was in front, with his force drawn up on a rising ground, thinly covered with pine trees; the front line being on the crown of the rising ground, and the second 400 paces in rear of the first line. The British were hastily formed: the Fusileers, the infantry of the Legion, and the Light infantry, were in front; the Highlanders and Cavalry formed the Reserve. The line was ordered to advance rapidly, as soon as it was formed. Exhausted by running, it received the fire of the enemy at the distance of thirty or forty paces. The effect of the fire was considerable: it produced something like a recoil, but not to any extent. The fire was returned, but not with vivacity or impression; and it continued ten or twelve minutes in a state of balance, both parties keeping their ground. The Light infantry made two attempts to charge, but were repulsed with loss. The action making no progress, the Highlanders were ordered up; and, rapidly advancing in charge, the enemy's front line moved off precipitately ; and the second, which had as yet taken no share in the action, observing confusion and retrograding in their front, suddenly faced to the right, and inclined backwards; a manoeuvre by which a space was left for the front line to retreat, without interfering with the ranks of those who were now to oppose the advance of the Highlanders, "who ran in, with characteristic eagerness, desirous to take advantage of the confusion which appeared among the enemy." But the confusion was only in the front line; for Colonel Howard, commanding the enemy's Reserve, threw in a fire upon the 71st when within forty yards of the hostile force. The fire was destructive; nearly one-half of their number fell; and those who remained were so scattered, having run over a space of five hundred yards at full speed, that they could not be united to form a charge with the bayonet, "the mode of attack in which their superiority lay." They were checked; but they did not fall back immediately, probably expecting that the first line and cavalry would push forward to their support. This did not happen ; and, after some irregular firing between them and Colonel Howard's Reserve, the front line of the latter rallied, returned to the field, and pushed forward to the right flank of the Highlanders, who now saw no prospect of support, while their own numbers were diminishing, and the enemy increasing. They began to retire, and at length to run, the first instance of a Highland regiment running from an enemy!!! This retreat struck a panic into those whom they left in the rear, who fled in the greatest confusion: order and command were lost; the rout became general; few of the infantry escaped; and of the cavalry, who put their horses to full speed, not a man was taken.

The fate of the action was decided by the destructive fire of the Americans' second line. The Highlanders, when they were checked and repulsed, being five hundred paces in advance of the others, stood at some distance in the rear, after they retreated, and had formed into some compact order. If they had been supported, they might have . made a soldier-like retreat, or taken a position till relieved by Lord Cornwallis's army.

[The panic seemed general. A party of the cavalry retreated with such expedition, that they lost their way, and encountered a party of the enemy's cavalry of nearly the same strength. Each party marched up at full trot, threatening mutual destruction. They drew up at the distance of ten paces, and dared each other to advance. Both were timid, and not a man moved. Cornet Paterson, of the 17th Light Dragoons (a troop of which was attached to Tarleton's Legion), coming up at that instant, and indignant at seeing such backwardness in British troops, penetrated the ranks, dashed at Colonel Washington, who commanded, and, in the act of making a stroke at him, was cut down by the colonel's orderly sergeant. The enemy immediately retired; the British followed a few paces, but did no execution.]

The action of the Cowpens was serious, if not disastrous, in its consequences to the array, inasmuch as it inspired confidence into the enemy, and brought defeat and disgrace on our troops, who, in every other instance, had been victorious. The name of the officer who commanded had been connected with frequent victories, and his corps was particularly dreaded by the Americans. The affair of Cowpens converted this feeling into one of a very different description. To the Highlanders it was particularly unfortunate, as being the first instance of defeat. But, as they were the most advanced in the attack, and the last in the retreat, and as their conduct before and afterwards was unexceptionable, it may be presumed, that, if they had been properly led on and supported, their conduct at Cowpens would have been worthy of the reputation they had acquired in all the other actions in which they had been engaged. The troops who fought at Stono Ferry ought to have died in the field at Cowpens. In this affair, as in almost all defeats, the loss was considerable, in killed, wounded, and prisoners: it exceeded 400 men.

The dispositions made by the enemy on this occasion appear to have been judicious; and the conduct of the American Colonels, Howard and Washington, in wheeling and manoeuvring their corps, and in throwing in such destructive volleys on the Highlanders, would have been creditable to the most experienced veterans. The former success, which had uniformly attended the numerous enterprises of the officer who commanded the British on this occasion, had given him a degree of confidence that in a great measure led to the disaster which followed. The troops were hurried into action, without any previous examination of the ground, or of the disposition of the enemy; and so strong was the impression on the minds of the officers of the Highland regiment that the fault did not lie with their men, that they made a representation to Lord Cornwallis, not to be employed again under the same officer. His Lordship complied with their request.

After this affair, increased exertions were made to follow the main body of the American army, under General Green, who retreated northward. All superfluous baggage was destroyed; officers only reserving a few necessaries. The two battalions of the 71st, now much reduced, were consolidated into one, and formed in brigade with the Welsh Fusileers and 33d regiment. The country was so open, that there was no chance of forcing an action with the enemy; but much skirmishing took place on the march to Guildford Court House, where, on the 16th of March, General Green, believing himself sufficiently strong to oppose his assailants, drew up his army in order of battle. This was done in three lines: the first occupied the edge of a wood, with a fence in front of Hogstie Farm; the second was at some distance in the rear, in a wood of stunted oaks; the third was posted in the more open parts of the woods, and some cleared ground.

The British line was formed of the German regiment of De Bos, the Highlanders, and Guards, under the Honourable General Leslie, on the right; and the Welsh Fusileers, 33d regiment, and second battalion of Guards, under Brigadier-General Charles O'Hara, on the left; the Cavalry were in the rear, supported by the Light infantry of the Guards and the German Yagers. The attack commenced at one o'clock. The Americans, covered by the fence in their front, maintained their position with confidence, and reserved their fire till the British were within thirty or forty paces. At this short distance, their fire was destructive to Colonel Webster's brigade, nearly one-third being killed or wounded. The Brigade returned the fire, and rushed forward on the enemy, who abandoned their fence, and retreated on the second line. The ground was level, but the wood was so thick and difficult, that, though the fire rolled in torrents, few were killed on either side. It was different on the more open ground, where the regiment of De Bos and the 33d regiment met with more determined resistance, having retreated and advanced repeatedly before they succeeded in driving the enemy from the field. In the mean time, a party of the Guards pressed on with eagerness, without observing a body of cavalry placed on the right flank as a reserve, who charged them in flank, broke their line, and killed several men. The enemy, who had retreated, seeing the effect of this charge, halted, turned their face to the field, and recommenced firing. In this state, and while the Hessians were hotly engaged, the Highlanders, who had rapidly pushed round the flank, appeared on a rising ground in the rear of the left of the enemy, and, rushing forward with shouts, made such an impression on the Americans, that they immediately fled, abandoning their guns and ammunition, without attempting farther resistance.

Thus ended the battle of Guildford, in which, from the intricacy and difficulty of the ground, and the closeness of the woods, which rendered the bayonets useless, the enemy retreating from one spot, and re-appearing on another, the different corps fought separately, each depending on its own firmness; and, as the contest was carried on against an enemy greatly more numerous, the issue was for some time doubtful. But, although Lord Cornwallis gained the battle, General Green reaped the fruits. The British placed those who were badly wounded in a house in the neighbourhood, and left them and the country to the mercy of the enemy. The total loss of the British was 7 officers, 8 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 93 soldiers, killed ; and 20 officers, 26 sergeants, 5 drummers, and 388 rank and file, wounded. The Highlanders lost Ensign Grant, and 11 soldiers, killed; 4 sergeants, and 46 soldiers, wounded.

The British retired southward in the direction of Cross Creek, the Americans following close in the rear; but nothing of consequence occurred. Cross Creek, a settlement of emigrant Highlanders, had been remarkable for its loyalty from the commencement of the war, and they now offered to bring 1500 men into the field, to be commanded by officers from the line, to find clothing and subsistence for themselves, and to perform all duties whether in front, flanks, or rear; and they required nothing but arms and ammunition. This very reasonable offer was not accepted, but a proposition was made to form them into what was called a provincial corps of the line. This was declined by the emigrant Highlanders, and after a negotiation of twelve days, they retired to their settlements, and the army marched for Wilmington, where they arrived on the 17th of April, expecting to find supplies, of which they now stood in great need. [Among these settlers was a gentleman of the name of Macneil, who had been an officer in the Seven Years' War. He joined the army with several followers, but soon took his leave, having been rather sharply reprimanded for his treatment of a republican family. He was a man of tall stature, and commanding aspect, and moved, when he walked among his followers, with all the dignity of a chieftain of old. Retaining his loyalty, although of. fended with the reprimand, he offered to surprise the republican garrison, governor, and council, assembled at Willisborough. He had three hundred followers, one-half of them old country Highlanders, the other half born in America, and the offspring of Highlanders. The enterprise was conducted with address, and the governor, council, and garrison, were secured without bloodshed, and immediately marched off for Wilmington, Macneil and his par-tv travelling by night, and concealing themselves in swamps and woods by day. However the country was alarmed, and a hostile force collected. He proceed- . ed in zig-zag directions, for he had a perfect knowledge of the country, but without any provisions except what chance threw in his way. When he had advanced two thirds of the route, he found the enemy occupying a pass which he must open by the sword, or perish in the swamps for want of food. At this time he had more prisoners to guard than followers. "He did not secure his prisoners by putting them to death;" but, leaving them under a guard of half his force on whom he could least depend, he charged with the others sword in hand through the pass, and cleared it of the enemy, but was unfortunately killed from too great ardour in the pursuit. The enemy being dispersed, the.party continued their march disconsolate for the loss of their leader; but their opponents again assembling in force, the party were obliged to take refuge in the swamps, still retaining their prisoners. The British commander at Wilmington hearing of Macneil's enterprise, marched out to his support, and kept firing cannon in expectation the report would reach them in the swamps. The party heard the reports; and knowing that the Americans had no artillery, they ventured out of the swamps towards the quarter whence they heard the guns, and meeting with Major (afterwards Sir James) Craig, sent out to support them, delivered over their prisoners half famished with hunger, and lodged them' safely in Wilmington. Such partisans as these are invaluable in active warfare.]

After a short delay at Wilmington, Lord Cornwallis re- solved to penetrate to Peterborough, in Virginia, and to form a junction with Major-General Philips, who had recently arrived there from New York with 3000 men. And now the British had to traverse "several hundred miles of a country chiefly hostile, frequently deserted, and which did not afford one active or zealous friend; where no intelligence could be obtained, and no communication established." On the 26th of April the army marched from Wilmington, and reached Peterborough on the 20th May, here the united forces amounted to 6000 men, and proceeded thence to Portsmouth, on the march to which, and when preparing to cross the river at St James's Island, the Marquis de la Fayette, ignorant of their number, made a gallant attack with 2000 men on Colonel Thomas Dundas's brigade. Fayette was repulsed, but not without a art resistance, the approach of night favouring his retreat.

After this skirmish Lord Cornwallis marched to Portsmouth, and thence to Yorktown, where a position was taken on the York river on the 22d of August. This encampment was formed on an elevated platform, nearly level, on the bank of the river, and of a sandy soil. A ravine of about forty feet in depth, and more than one hundred yards in breadth, extended from the river on the right of the position; a line of entrenchments, with a horn-work, formed the centre; and an extensive redoubt beyond the ravine on the right, and two smaller redoubts on the left, also advanced beyond the entrenchments, constituted the principal defence of the camp. These defences had not been completed when the enemy took up a position at the distance of two miles from the British camp. Previous to this period, they had received great reinforcements both by sea and land. The Count de Grasse had arrived with a strong fleet, having troops on board, and General Washington and the Count de Rochambeau had united their forces, amounting in all to 7000 French, and 12,000 Americans. The troops in Yorktown did not exceed 5950 men.

The enemy lost no time in commencing operations; batteries were erected, and approaches made in the usual manner. During the first four days the fire was directed against the redoubt on the right, which was reduced to a heap of sand, but no storm was attempted, the enemy directing their whole force to the left, as the redoubts on that side were considered more assailable. A storm was attempt-i the redoubts were carried, and the guns turned on the other parts of the entrenchments. [One of these redoubts had been manned by some soldiers of the 71st. Although the defence of this redoubt was as well contested as that of the others, the regiment thought its honour so much implicated, that a petition was drawn up by the men, and carried by the commanding officer to Lord Cornwallis, to be permitted to retake it. There was no doubt of the success of the undertaking by men actuated by such a spirit, but as the retaking was not considered of importance in the existing state of the siege, the proposition was not acceded to.] The situation of the besieged was now become very critical; the whole encampment was open to assault, exposed to a constant and enfilading fire, and numbers were killed in carrying on the common duties. In this dilemma it occurred to the General to decamp at midnight with the elite of his army,—to cross the river, and leave a small force in the works to capitulate for the sick and wounded, the former being very numerous. The measure was bold, and would have succeeded, had it not been defeated by the accident of a violent squall of wind, which;, rendered the passage of the river dangerous, if not impracticable. The first division had embarked, and some boats had gained the opposite shore at Gloucester Point, when the storm commenced, and induced the General to countermand the enterprise, and to make immediate proposals of capitulation. The terms were drawn up in the usual manner, and the troops marched out with their arms and baggage on the 8th October 1781, and were afterwards sent to different parts of the country.

The loss of the garrison was 6 officers, 13 sergeants, 4 drummers, and 133 rank and file, killed; and 6 officers, 24 sergeants, 11 drummers, and 284 soldiers, wounded: the 71st lost Lieutenant Thomas Fraser and 9 soldiers killed; and 3 drummers and 19 soldiers wounded.

And thus ended the military service of this army, which had marched and countermarched nearly two thousand miles in less than twelve months, during which they had had no regular supply of provisions, or of necessaries,—had forded many large and rapid rivers, some of them in face of an enemy,—had fought numerous skirmishes and two pitched battles, and in every skirmish and every battle, one affair only excepted, had been victorious; and yet such was the unfortunate issue of all their exertions, that no success, however gallantly achieved, led to the usual confluences of victory. On all occasions where Lord Cornwallis met General Green, the former gained the day, but afterwards retired and left the country open, surrendering the advantages usually resulting from a victory to the enemy he had beaten.

Fraser's Highlanders were now prisoners, and not being exchanged till the conclusion of hostilities, they did not perform any other service. In what manner they discharged the duties which they were called to perform, will be partly seen by the foregoing narrative. The numerous military details, and the consequent necessity of compression, have prevented me from particularly noticing the moral conduct of these men. I may now, however, state shortly, that it was in every way equal to their military character. Disgraceful punishments were unknown. Among men religious, brave, moral, and humane, disgraceful punishments are unnecessary. Such being the acknowledged general character of these men, their loyalty was put to the test, and proved to be genuine. When prisoners, and solicited by the Americans to join their standard and settle among them, not one individual violated the oath he had taken, or forgot his fidelity or allegiance; a virtue not generally observed on that occasion, for many soldiers of other corps joined the Americans, and sometimes, indeed, entered their service in a body.

On the conclusion of hostilities the men were released, ordered to Scotland, and discharged at Perth in 1783.


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