On the 10th of February 1794, Lieutenant-Colonel
Dun-can Campbell of Lochnell received Letters of Service to raise a
regiment in Scotland, with permission to select his officers: he was
appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant.
The regiment was embodied at Stirling in the autumn
of that year. I know not exactly how many men were from the Highlands;
but, judging from the captains of companies, of whom seven were of the
name of Campbell, besides two others natives of Argyle, the proportion
must have been considerable. The regiment was early removed to the Cape
of Good Hope, and remained there till that colony was restored to the
Dutch in 1801. In 1798 the number was altered to the 91st, and in 1809,
the Highland garb was discontinued; consequently, the future movements
do not come within my plan. As no county is more purely Highland than
Argyle, which comprehends every characteristic of mountains, glens, and
language ; it has excited some surprise that such a district could not
supply a sufficient number of men, and that the garb of the Gael should
be taken from the regiment of a county which has, both in ancient and
modern times, produced so many Highland warriors of talent and
celebrity, and of as true Celtic origin as any race in Gaelic history.
The regiment formed a part of the army under Lord
Wellington, and in the actions from the Pyrenees to Toulouse was
actively engaged. On the latter occasion, the support given by this
regiment to the 42d, when attacked by overwhelming numbers, was as
prompt as it was effectual.
[A soldier of this regiment deserted, and emigrated
to America, where he settled. Several years after his desertion, a
letter was received from him, with a sum of money for the purpose of
procuring one or two men to supply his place in the regiment, as the
only recompense he could make for "breaking his oath
to his God, and his allegiance to his King, which preyed on his
conscience in such a manner, that he had no rest night nor day."