Sketches of The
Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
Military Annals of the Highland Regiments
Queen's Highlanders, &c. and
List of Officers of Independent
Companies raised in the year 1745.
I have now completed that part of my plan which
embraces a sketch of the military service of the regular corps raised
since the year 1740, under the denomination of Highland. These were 50
battalions;—and of this number 34 battalions were employed on foreign
service, and 33 have been introduced separately to the notice of
the reader in the succession in which they were raised.
[These battalions were the Black Watch, and Loudon's
Highlanders, of the War ending in 1748; Montgomery's and Fraser's, the
second battalion of the 42d, Keith's Campbell's, Johnstone's, and the
89th regiments, of the Seven Years' War; Fraser's, (two battalions,)
Macleod's, (two battalions,) Argyle, Macdonald, Athole, Seaforth,
Aberdeenshire, Royal Highland Emigrants, (two battalions,) and the
second battalion of the 42d, of the War ending in 1783; Campbell's and
Abercromby's, or 74th and 75th regiments, of 1787; Seaforth's, (three
battalions,) Cameron's, Strathspey, Argyle, Gordon, second battalion of
the 42d, and Sutherland, (two battalions,) of the War ending in 1815,]
Besides these 33 regiments, Major Colin Campbell of
Kilberrie raised a Highland regiment, which was embodied at Stirling in
1761, and placed on the establishment as the 100dth regiment of the
line. Immediately after inspection, the regiment was ordered for
Martinique; and, having been stationed there till 1763, was ordered to
Scotland, and reduced.
Colonel David Graeme of Gorthy, who had been
appointed to attend her late Majesty Queen Charlotte to
England in 1761, raised a corps of two battalions, which were embodied
at Perth in 1762, under the designation of the Queen's Highlanders, and
numbered the 105th regiment. Both battalions were ordered to Ireland,
and reduced in 1763. In 1761, a corps was
raised and called the Royal Highland Volunteers and numbered the 113th
regiment. Major James Hamilton was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel
Commandant. This corps was never sent on foreign service, and was
disbanded at the peace. Captain Allan Maclean of Torloisk also raised a
regiment, of which he was appointed Major Commandant. This corps
furnished a good supply of recruits to the Highland regiments serving in
Germany and America, and was reduced in 1763.
The Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment of 1775 was not
embodied in Scotland; but consisting entirely of native Highlanders, or
the sons of Highland emigrants, and having proved itself true to its
King and country, it is introduced here as forming a part of the
Highland military of that period.
In the year 1794, Major-General Alexander Campbell of
Monzie raised a regiment under the designation of the Perthshire
Highlanders, which was numbered the 116th. After being a short time
stationed in Ireland, the men were drafted into other regiments. Some of
the officers accompanied the soldiers, while others remained on full
pay, and unattached till provided for in other regiments. In 1794, also,
Colonel Duncan Cameron of Callart raised a regiment, which was numbered
the 132d. This corps was soon reduced, and the men and officers
transferred to other regiments. In the same year, Colonel Simon Eraser
(afterwards Lieutenant-General) recruited a regiment, which was placed
on the establishment immediately after the 132d. The 133d was broken up
in the same manner as the 132d, and the men and officers transferred.
The second battalions of the 7Ist, 72d, 73d, 74th, 79th, 91st, and 92d
regiments contained in their ranks a numerous and efficient body of
Highlanders; but, as the garb and designation of several of them were
changed, and the 79th and 92d not having been on service, they are not
included. The second battalion of the 91st was employed in Holland,
under General Graham in 1814, and in Flanders in 1815. The second
battalion 73d served also in Flanders in 1815, commanded by the
Honourable Colonel Harris; but I regret that I was precluded, by the
change in their name and uniform, and the nature of my plan, from
noticing the share those battalions had in the duties of that short but
brilliant campaign. At Quatre Bras and Waterloo, the loss of the 73d in
killed and wounded was considerable: in officers killed, the regiment
was nearly as unfortunate as the third battalion of Royal Scots, which
had 8 officers killed, and 26 wounded.
Besides the 50 Highland battalions embodied since the
year 1740, there were numerous other bodies of troops raised in the
Highlands. Two regiments were raised in Argyleshire in 1745, under the
designation of the Campbell or Argyle Highlanders. These two battalions
were actively employed during the Rebellion, and were reduced at the
peace. The other troops were not regimented, but acted independently, in
one or more companies, under the command of the gentlemen who raised
them, or served together when assembled for any general purpose. In the
year 1745, there were twenty companies, of 100 men each, raised in the
counties of Inverness and Ross. The following list will show the names
of the officers, accompanied by a certificate from the Lord President,
who was appointed to recommend proper officers, and to superintend the
List of Officers of Independent Companies raised in
the year 1745.
William Mackintosh, Esq.
Hugh Macleod, Esq.
Alexander Mackenzie, Esq.
Colin Mackenzie of Hilltown, Esq.
James Macdonald, Esq.
George Monro, Esq.
Alexander Gun, Esq.
Patrick Grant, Esq.
George Mackay, Esq.
Peter Sutherland, Esq.
John Macleod, Esq.
Norman Macleod of Waterstein, Esq.
Norman Macleod of Bernera, Esq.
Donald Macdonald, Esq.
John Macdonald, Esq,
Hugh Mackay, Esq.
William Ross, Esq,
Colin Mackenzie, Esq.
I certify, that, pursuant to the trust reposed in me
by his Majesty, Commissions were by me delivered to the officers of the
Independent Companies above mentioned; and that these Commissions were
not delivered until their respective companies were complete.
(Signed) Dun. Forbes.
At the same period, also, the Laird of Grant
assembled 1100 men, but only 98 joined the Duke of Cumberland's army.
The Laird of Macleod was nearly as unsuccessful, as he was only followed
by 200 out of 1000 men whom he had assembled at his Castle of Dunvegan.
But, in the county of Ross, Munro of Culcairn, and other gentlemen of
that loyal clan, were very successful, and armed a considerable body of
men. The Earl of Sutherland raised and appointed a brigade of 2400 men
at his own expense. In Perthshire, the influence of the loyal
proprietors completely failed. The Duke of Atholl and the Earl of
Breadalbane could not bring out a man in arms. Powerful as the Duke of
Atholl was by feudal rights and privileges, popular in his personal
character, and attracting the notice of the people, in a peculiar
manner, by his affability and graceful majestic appearance, he could not
raise a man, as his principles and opinions were contrary to those of
his people; while his brother, Lord George Murray, found himself in a
few days at the head of a brigade of 1400 men of Athole, anxious to be
led to the field. So little did the people regard feudal authority, and
so independent were they when submission to their superiors interfered
with what they called their loyalty: And yet these people are generally
believed to have been such slaves to the caprice and will of their
imperious chiefs, that whichever side they took their vassals followed.
The Duke of Atholl's agents were particularly active in the service of
Government; the clergy also, with one exception, were zealous in their
exhortations, and exerted themselves in support of the Duke's authority,
but to no effect. [Previous to the
commencement of the Rebellion, upwards of 500 men were raised in Athole
and Breadalbane, for Loudon's Highland regiment, by Captain John Murray,
afterwards Duke of Atholl; by Lieutenant Robertson, afterwards of
Strowan; Stewart of Urrard; Macdonell of Lochgarry; the late Generals
Reid and Macnab; and other officers in that corps.]
The Earl of Breadalbane was equally unsuccessful,
although highly respected as an honourable, humane, and indulgent
landlord. While such was the case in Perthshire, in Argyleshire it was
different; two battalions, or a brigade of 1200 men, were raised, and
were actively employed during the whole of the troubles of that
In the Seven Years' War, many independent companies
were raised, and a great number of men recruited by Highland officers,
for which they got commissions of different ranks in the new regiments
formed in the south, in which the Highland recruits were embodied.
Previous to this period, large bodies of Highland youths enlisted for
the Scotch Brigade in Holland, and followed the fortunes of those young
gentlemen of family, and others, who could get no employment under their
own Government; but, in consequence of the war, the recruiting for the
brigade in Holland was suspended. [It was
remarked that Colonel Macleod of Talisker, and the gentlemen of the Isle
of Skye, who joined the brigade in Holland, were particularly
successful. They always found a ready supply of young soldiers.]
Having in the preceding sketch endeavoured to give a
general view of the military service of that portion of the Highland
population embodied with the regular army, I shall now give a few short
notices of the Fencible Corps, raised for the internal defence of the
country, with an enumeration of the whole corps of Fencible infantry,
wearing the garb of the ancient Gael, commencing with the Argyle and
Sutherland Fencibles of 1759, the first corps of this description raised