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The 48th Highlanders of Toronto
Chapter 2 - Highland Regiments in Canada


The first of the old Highland regular regiments to have been established was the "Black Watch"— the famous Forty-Second —regimented from six Companies of military police, which were formed in 1729, to keep the peace in the disturbed portions of the Scottish Highlands. It is interesting at this lapse of time to note that about one hundred and seventy years ago the duties of this military Police were the enforcement of the Disarming Act, the overawing of the disaffected, the prevention of convocations of the people, and "to check plunder and reprisals of cattle between rival clans, and more particularly the depredations committed on those of their more peaceable neighbours of the plains." These and four additional companies were formed into a regiment of the line in 1739, and the first muster took place in 1740. With the formation of the "Black Watch" into a regular regiment came the introduction of the Highland uniform into the British Army. The Highland uniform is a modification of the national costume of Scotland, suited to the arms and accoutrements of the soldier.

A description of that worn at first by the "Black Watch" cannot fail to be of interest to the Highland soldier of to-day. The uniform was a scarlet jacket and waistcoat, with buff facings and white lace, tartan plaid of twelve yards plaited round the middle of the body. the upper part being fixed on the left shoulder, ready to be thrown loose and wrapped over both shoulders and firelock in rainy weather. At night the plaid served the purpose of a blanket. These were called belted plaids, from being kept tight on the body by a beIt, and were worn on reviews, and on all occasions when the men were in full dress. On this bell hung the pistols and dirk when worn. In barracks, and when not on duty the little kilt or philabeg was worn. A blue bonnet, with border of white, red and green, arranged in small squares to resemble the fess chequey in arms of the different branches of the Stewart family, and a tuft of feathers, or sometimes a small black bearskin. Tartan hose with buckled shoes were worn, and sporrans of badger skins. The arms were a musket, a bayonet. and a large basket-hiked broadsword. Such of the men as chose to supply themselves with pistols and dirks were allowed to carry them, and some had targets. The sword belt was of black leather, and the cartouch-box was carried in front, supported by a narrow belt round the middle. The officers' dress-coats were slightly embroidered with gold the sergeants' jackets were trimmed with silver lace, which they provided for themselves.

In the spring of 1756 the 42nd (Black Watch) Highland Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Grant, embarked from Ireland for New York, to take part in the struggle for supremacy in North America, between France and Great Britain. Col. Francis Grant was a son of the Laird of Grant, and had joined the Forty-Second as a lieutenant in 1739, on the formation of the regiment. He was so popular with the men of the 42nd. that when a vacancy occurred in regiment, on promotion of Lieut.-Col. John Campbell, who afterwards became the celebrated Duke of Argyle, to the command of another regiment, they raised money to purchase for Major Grant the vacant colonelcy. He was, however, promoted without purchase and commanded the regiment in America until 1763, when he was transferred to the command of the 90th Irish Light Infantry. He subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

The 42nd formed part of Major-General Abercromby's division which reached Halifax in the summer of 1757 in the first expedition for Louisbourg, which was abandoned in consequence of the strength of the French force there. In the year following they made the memorable charge at Ticonderoga, described by an officer of the 55th thus:."With a mixture of esteem, grief and envy, I consider the great loss and immortal glory acquired by the Scots Highlanders in the late bIoody affair. Impatient for orders, they rushed forward to the entrenchments, which many of them actually mounted. They appeared as lions breaking from their chains. Their intrepidity was rather animated than damped by seeing their comrades fall on every side. ......their assistance we expect soon to give a good account of the enemy and ourselves." It was in this action that Major Duncan Campbell, of Inverawe, fell, whose premonition of death has formed the subject of eerie legend for the prose of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Bart., and the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. The regiment, 1.300 strong, lost in that engagement, 8 officers. 9 sergeants, and 297 men killed ,17 officers, 10 sergeants, and 306 men wounded. The king conferred the honour of "Royal" on the regiment at this time.

The Second battalion of the 42nd was raised in 1758 and joined the First battalion in 1759, the combined regiment taking part under General Amherst, in the operations ending in the capture of Montreal and the end of the war. After the Revolutionary War in which the 42nd bore a distinguished part it served in Nova Scotia, remaining there until 1789. On New Year's day, 1785, new colours were presented to the regiment by Major-General Campbell, commanding in Nova Scotia, The last visit of the regiment to Canada was in 1851-52, when it again settled in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. The officers and the band assisted at the annual meeting of the North British Society; and in a minute of that old institution records a donation of £7 10s. by the band and pipers to the charity fund of the society.


So far as actual service is concerned no Highland regiment has been so closely identified with Canadian history as Fraser's Highlanders, the old 78th regiment. It is in connection with this body of men that Pitt's famous utterance regarding the Highland regiments, is most often quoted. Pitt's speech was delivered in the House of Lords in 1766, but nine years before that time - in 1757 - he made a recommendation to King George II. that he appoint the Honourable Simon Fraser, the eldest son of Lord Lovat (beheaded on Towerhill) as Lieut.-Col. Commandant of it battalion, to be raised on the forfeited estate of his own family, and on those of his kinsmen and clan. "Without estate, money or influence; beyond the influence which flowed front attachment to his family, person and name, this gentleman."-- writes General Stewart -- in a few weeks, found himself at the head of 800 men. recruited by himself. The gentlemen of the country and the officers of the regiment added more than 700; and thus it battalion was formed of 13 companies of 105 rank and file each, making in all 1460 men including 65 sergeants and 30 pipers and drummers." The men wore the full Highland dress, with musket and broadsword. The bonnet was raised or cocked on side and had two or more black feathers. Stewart remarks that the ostrich feathers in the soldiers' bonnets were a modern innovation. The regiment embarked at Greenock, in company with Montgomerie's Highlanders, and landed at Halifax in June. 1757. Every account of its conduct in garrison and field agrees as to the courage and soldierly bearing of the men. At Louisbourg they bore themselves with distinction, and won the confidence and praise of General Wolfe of whose army they formed an important part. It was at Quebec, however, that the regiment found its great opportunity, and its name will go down with Wolfe's immortal victory. At the
critical point in the attack on Quebec Wolfe decided on the woody precipices above the city, so as to occupy the Plains of Abraham. The Highlanders were, as they were wont to be, at the front, and to Captain Simon Fraser of Balnain, belonged the honour of leading the advance, and first encountering the French sentinels. Smollert gives the following interesting note: ''The French had posted sentries along the shore to challenge boats and vessels, and give the alarm occasionally. The first boat that contained the British troops being questioned accordingly, a captain of Fraser's regiment, who had served in Holland, and who was perfectly well acquainted with the French language and customs, answered without hesitation to Qui Vive?—which is their challenging word—la France; nor was he at it loss to answer the second question, which was much more particular and difficult. When the sentinel demanded, a quel regiment? the captain replied. de la reine', which he knew, by accident. to be one of those that composed the body commanded by Bougainville." The boats proceeded without further question. The Highlanders and light infantry were soon at the top of the cliff, and the sentries slain or captured. The part played by the 78th on the eventful battlefield is history. The Canadian poet, Duncan Anderson, describes it

"And the shrill pipe its coronach that wailed
On dark Culloden moor o'er trampled dead.
Now sounds the "Onset" that each clansman knows.
Still leads the foremost rank, where noblest blood is shed."

After the surrender of Quebec. General Townshend embarked for England, leaving an effective force of 5000 men in command of General the Hon. James Murray. Fraser's Highlanders formed part of that force, and in the subsequent fighting Colonel Fraser commanded the left wing of the army, and his Highlanders behaved with valour and generally lost heavily. The regiment remained in Quebec until the summer of 1762. when it joined the expedition to retake St. John's, Newfoundland, and the year following it was disbanded, many of the officers and men remaining as settlers in Canada.

During their stay in Quebec the Highlanders became favourites with the people but their national garb was not viewed with favour. The Gray Nuns especially considered that the limbs should be covered during the severe cold of winter. and they improvised garments for them accordingly. The idea took hold of some of the officers in high authority and it proposal was seriously made to change the uniform. But the officers and men so strenuously opposed the change that the commander-in-chief agreed to allow the Highland dress to be worn, and this is the testimony of the regiment: "We were allowed to wear the garb of our fathers, and in the course of six winters, showed the doctors that they did not understand our constitutions, for in the coldest winters our men were more healthy than those regiments who wore breeches and warm clothing." From 1758 to 1762 Fraser's Highlanders lost 4 Captains. 10 subalterns. 4 sergeants. 2 pipers. 103 rank and file, killed; and 2 field officers, 9 captains. 35 subalterns. 17 sergeants. 383 rank and file, wounded. The battles they were engaged in were Louisbourg, Montmorency. Plains of Abraham, Quebec. and St John's.

The connection of Fraser's Highlanders with Canada is also interesting from the Masonic standpoint. The first military lodge which sprang into existence at Quebec was St. Andrews', established October 20th. 1760, in the 78th Highlanders. by Colonel Simon Fraser, then Provincial Grand Master Mason of Canada, to which position he was elected on the 24th June previously. He was the second Provincial Grand Master in Canada.

In 1775 Fraser's Highlanders was reorganized in two battalions consisting of 2.340 officers and men. The Colonel-in-chief was the Hon. Simon Fraser. of Lovat, the Lieut.-Colonel of the first battalion, Sir William Erskine, of Torry, and of the second battalion. Archibald Campbell. It was numbered the 71st, and served with conspicuous distinction in the Revolutionary War.


This regiment was named after the Hon .Archibald Montgomerie. son of the Earl of Eglinton, to whom letters of service were issued in 1757 for recruiting it. The regiment was thoroughly Highland, and embarked for Halifax with Fraser's Highlanders. They were attached to General Forbes' corps. and operated against Fort du Quesne (now Pittsburg) Little Keorne, Estatoc, Martinique. Havannah. and St. John's. They were ably commanded and had it full share in the onerous work of Indian warfare, as well as in the conflicts with the regular troops of the enemy. Quite it of the men settled ill Nova Scotia and the Eastern States and fought in the 84th regiment in the Revolutionary War.


The Royal Highland Emigrants, or the old 84th regiment, should possess a special interest to Scottish-Canadians, for of Scottish-Canadians, Scottish settlers in Canada was it formed. After the peace of 1763, a considerable number of the men and officers of Fraser's Highlanders (78th batt.). Montgomerie's Highlanders (77th batt.). and of the 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch). were allowed to remain in North America, obtaining substantial grants of laud according to rank. At that time there was but a limited emigration from the Highlands, but the veterans of the regiments named and other Highlanders in Canada and the eastern States were embodied as the Royal Highland Emigrants in 1775, afterwards numbered the 84th. The regiment was made up of two battalions - the 1st raised and commanded by Lieut.-Col, Allan Maclean, of Torloisk, and the 2nd by Captain John Small, a native of Strathardle in Athole, a splendid soldier, who rose high in the service and died it Major-General and Governor of Guernsey in 1796.

Colonel Maclean's battalion was raised mainly in the States, that of Major- Commandant Small in Nova Scotia. In April, 1775. Col. Maclean went secretly into Carolina, and with the assistance of Capt. Alexander MacLeod, formerly of Fraser's Highlanders, he raised a company which he left under the command of Capt. MacLeod to bring North, while he went to other parts of the intervening States to arouse the old soldiers. When all the companies met, Col. Maclean marched with his regiment to Quebec, and to him and his command have been credited the chief honour of saving that ancient fortress from the arms of Generals Arnold and gallant Montgomery. The skill and generalship of Maclean were conspicuous throughout the siege. and his services have been placed by military writers among the most distinguished of the Revolutionary War. The 2nd battalion also made a fine record in Nova Scotia, where five of the ten companies composing it remained during the war, the other five joining Lord Cornwallis in his operations to the southward. In 1778 the two battalions were designated the 84th regiment, and Sir Henry Clinton was appointed Colonel-in-Chief, the two commandants remaining as before. The uniform was the lull Highland garb, with sporrans made of racoons' instead of badgers skins. The officers wore the broadsword and dirk, and the men a half-basket sword. In 1783, on the conclusion of the war, the regiment was disbanded, and the soldiers again became settlers. The most of Colonel Maclean's battalion (the 1st) settled in Ontario, while that of Colonel Small preferred Nova Scotia and settled in the township of Douglas. The captains obtained grants of 3000 acres of land each, the subalterns 500 acres, the sergeants 200 acres, and the privates 100 acres each. Many of the most prominent public men in Canada during the century can trace their origin to the veteran soldier-settlers of the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment.


The old Seventy-Fourth regiment or Argyle Highlanders were embodied in 1778, having been raised by Colonel John Campbell, of Barbreck, a distinguished soldier of the Seven Years' War. The regiment was 960 rank and file, and formed part of Brigadier-General Francis Maclean's command in Nova Scotia in the fall of 1778. They served at Charlestown and Penobscot, and shared in the brilliant campaign conducted in these sections by General Maclean until the peace, when they were disbanded at Stirling. Scotland.

The foregoing are the old Highland regiments who, in active service, touched Canada. Other Highland corps of last century, but not coming within scope of this sketch, as they did not serve in Canada, were :--

Loudon's Highlanders (1745-1748). which gave the famous Colonel Allan Maclean his first experience in the Army, having joined it as lieutenant.

Old 87th and 88th Keith's and Campbell's Highlanders (1775-1783), which saw service on the continent of Europe only.

The 89th Highland Regiment (1759.1765) —service in the East Indies only. Various reasons are sometimes assigned for the raising of regiments of soldiers other than those of patriotism and the public weal. The motive assigned for the offer to raise the old 89th is thus given by a credible writer: "At the solicitation of the Dowager Duchess of Gordon, Major Staates Long Morris, to whom she had been lately married, was appointed to raise the regiment, and to strengthen his interest amongst the youth of the North, her eldest son by her former husband, the late Duke of Gordon, then a youth at college, was appointed a captain, his brother, Lord William, a lieutenant, and his younger brother, Lord George, an ensign. The object of the duchess in obtaining these appointments was to counteract the political influence of the Duke of Argyle during the minority of her son. Major Morris was so successful that, in a few weeks, 760 men were collected at Gordon Castle." The regiment had a brief but brilliant career in India.

Johnstone's Highlanders 101st (1760-1763) embodied at Perth. and named after Sir James Johnstone, of Westehall, major-commandant of the regiment. They saw no active service.

Macdonald's Highlanders, Old 76th (1777-1784). Raised by Lord Macdonald, in the Highlands and Isles. The first lieutenant-colonel was Major John Macdonald, of Lochgarry, from Fraser's Highlanders. They served in the Revolutionary War, in New York and Virginia.

Athole Highlanders, Old 77th (l77-l783). Did garrison duty only in Ireland.

Aberdeenshire Highland Regiment, Old 81st, (1777-1783). Garrison duty only in Ireland.

These regiments were disbanded when the purpose of their organization had been accomplished. The Highland regiments succeeding them, which remain to the present day are ten in number, viz.:--

'l'be 71st Highland Light Infantry, formerly Lord McLeod's Highlanders (73rd).
The 72nd. Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders, formerly Seaforth's Highlanders and the 78th regiment.
The 73rd Regiment.
The 74th Highlanders.
The 75th Regiment (Stirlingshire).
The 78th Highlanders, or Ross-shire Buffs.
The79th Cameron Highlanders, at first named the "Cameronian Volunteers."
The 91st Argyle Highlanders. formerly the 98th Highlanders.
The 92nd Gordon Highlanders.
The 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.

Before these comes the 42nd Black Watch, the oldest Highland regiment in the British Army, making in all eleven Highland regiments in the Imperial service. They are regimented thus :-

The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)—Depot, Perth.
42nd - 1st Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).
73rd. - 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

The Highland Light Infantry—Depot, Hamilton.
71st— 1st Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry.
74th--2nd Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry.

Seaforth Highlanders - Depot, Fort George.
72nd --1st Battalion of Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs. Duke of Albany's).
78th - 2nd Battalion of Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's).

The Gordon Highlanders Depot, Aberdeen.
75th—I St Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders.
92nd-2nd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders.

The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders— Depot, Inverness.
79th 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders.

Princess Louise's (Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders)—Depot, Stirling.
91st—1st Battalion of Princess Louises (Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders.)
93rd-2nd Battalion of Princess Louise's (Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders.)

It now remains to refer briefIy to the Highland regiments which were stationed in Canada from the earlier part of this century down to the time when the Imperial forces were practically withdrawn from the Dominion. Following the numerical order consecutively, we have, first, the Seventy-First Regiment Highland Light Infantry. After a career of exceptional brilliancy from the time of its organization in 1777. as Lord MacLeods Highlanders, this regiment rested in Ireland for three years before 1824, when it embarked at Cork for Canada. It landed at Quebec, where the establishment was augmented from eight to ten companies (six service and four depot) and where headquarters were fixed. Companies were stationed at Sorel and Three Rivers. In 1827 the headquarters were removed to Montreal, and remaining there one year. were transferred to Kingston in 1828, and to Toronto in 1829. that city being then known as York. From Toronto headquarters, one company was stationed at Niagara, one at Amherstburg, one at Penetanguishene, and a small number of men occupied the naval pore at Grand River, Lake Erie. occupying these stations for about two years. Sir Gordon Drummond was then colonel of the regiment, and was succeeded by Major-General Sir Cohn Hackett. In 1831 the regiment moved to Quebec and embarked for Bermuda. Passing thence to Britain and thence to Ireland, the six service companies embarked again from Cork to Canada in 1838. In 1840 the six service Companies were at St. John. New Brunswick, whence they went to Montreal in 1842, where they were joined by the reserve companies of the regiment, under Lieut.-Colonel James England, the six service companies being under the command of 'Major William Denny, who, upon the arrival of Lieut.-Colonel England, took command of the reserve companies and took up quarters at Chambly. The service companies. now forming the 1st battalion of the regiment, left almost immediately afterwards for the West Indies. leaving the reserve companies, or 2nd battalion, at Chambly. The movements of Major Denny's command were frequent. In 1845 the headquarters and three companies were removed to Kingston; in 1846 from Kingston to La Prairie; in 1847 front La Prairie to Chantbly same year front to St. John, N. B. in 1849 from Johns to Montreal in 1850 to Toronto, where a year was spent; and in 1852 to Kingston, where Lieut.-Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple. Bart., who had been in command, retired from the service, and was succeeded by Lieut-Colonel Nathaniel Massey Stack. In 1854 the battalion in Canada returned to Great Britain, and took ,art in the Crimean War.

The Seventy-Third Regiment was stationed in Nova Scotia in 1838, remaining in garrison until 1841, when it. was withdrawn.

The 74th Highlanders—whose distinguished services are second to none embarked at Cork for Halifax in 1818. Companies were stationed at St. John's, Newfoundland; St. John. New Brunswick, with headquarters and five companies at Fredericton, N. B. In 1823 headquarters were removed to Halifax, remaining until 1828, when the regiment embarked for Bermuda, whence in 1830 it reached Ireland. In 1841 it was once more stationed in Canada, with headquarters at Quebec, Montreal. and La Prairie. It moved to Nova Scotia in 1844. and left for Britain in 1845, and in 1846 the tartan was restored to it for trews, and the plaid cap became the head-dress.

The Seventy-Eighth Highlanders. That so distinguished a Highland regiment as the 78th. Ross-shire Buffs, should receive a most cordial welcome to Canada, from the enthusiastic Scottish clansmen, is only what might have been taken for granted. The patriotic, yea, the old national feeling was fairly roused. The regiment under the command of Lieut -Colonel Alexander Mackenzie, of Belmaduthy, arrived it Montreal from Gibraltar in July, 1867. A course of musketry instruction was taken at Charnbly and work was put on the fortifications at Quebec. An event of interest in the military history of Canada and of the regiment took place on the 30th of May, MS, when new colours were presented to it on the Champ de Mars, Montreal.

The old colours bore the stain and tatters of many a hard-fought field, in which the fate of the day was not seldom sealed by the bravery of the regiment and the new colours did not take their place in succession without due homage and ceremony. The presentation was made by Lady Windham in the presence of ten thousand spectators. The Rev. Joshua Fraser offered the consecration prayer, after which the colours were handed over to Ensigns Waugh and Fordyce. Lieut. -General Windham, the Commander-in-Chief, addressed the regiment in terms of the highest praise. The 78th Highlanders, he said, had always conducted themselves bravely and with unsullied loyalty. The old colours were sent to Dingwall, Ross-shire, to be there preserved. In May. 1869, the regiment left Montreal for Halifax. Before leaving Montreal all couched in complimentary terms, was presented to the regiment by the St. Andrews Society, of Montreal. The regiment remained in Nova Scotia until 1871, companies doing duty regularly at St. John, N. B., and in November of that year it embarked for Britain.

The Seventy-Ninth, Cameron Highlanders. Embodied in 1793, the Cameron Highlanders, when it arrived in Canada in 18, had already it long and distinguished career behind it,- the glories of Waterloo, immortalized by Byron:-

"And wild and high the 'Cameron's Gathering' rose,
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard, and heard too, have her Saxon foes:-
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills
Savage and shrill! But with the breath that fills
Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years
And Evan's Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears."

Dr. A. Anderson, regimental surgeon, tells that in 1809 "the 79th did what no other regiment did. In January of that year they were in Spain at the Battle of Corunna and returned to Britain in February, when 700 men and several officers suffered from a dangerous typhus fever, yet not a man died. In July they embarked 1002 bayonets for Walcheren, were engaged during the whole siege of Flushing in the trenches, yet not a man rounded, and whilst there lost only one individual in fever-.Paymaster Baldock, the least expected of any one. During the three months after their return to Britain, only ten men died, and in December of that same year again embarked for the Peninsula. 1032 strong." Men with such impervious constitutions and good luck "were not horn for nothing,' and the Camerons well-merited the application of the adage.

In the spring of 1825 the 79th embarked at Cork for Canada under command of Colonel Sir Neil Douglas. Headquarters were fixed at Quebec, where the regiment remained until 1818, when they removed to Montreal. On the anniversary of Waterloo, the 18th of June, 1828, the regiment was presented with new colours at Montreal, the gift of Lieut.-General Sir R. C. Ferguson. who had succeeded l.ieut.-General Sir Alan Cameron in the colonelcy of the regiment. The ceremony was performed by Lady Douglas. on the Champ de Mars. in the presence of a vast concourse of people. In 1833 headquarters were removed to Quebec, where the regiment was stationed during its further stay in Canada—until 1,S36. The 79th was again stationed at Quebec from July. 1848, until August, 1851 when before leaving, the mayor and council in a letter addressed to Lieut -Colonel the Honourable Lauderdale Manic, bears testimony to the excellent conduct of the men. The officers and men erected in St. Andrew's Church, a marble tablet to the memory Of the non-commissioned officers and men who died (luring the period of service in Canada.

The Ninety-Third, Sutherland Highlanders.—The 93rd was ordered to Canada in December of 18, co-incident upon the rising of 1837, there. In January, 1838, the regiment, in two divisions, embarked at Cork, one under Lieut.-Colonel Duncan MacGregor, and the other under command of Major Arthur. Both divisions were united at Halifax. During the troubles in Canada the regiment had not an opportunity of meeting the enemy except at Prescott, at the attack and capture in the \Vindmill. At this period the regiment was very much divided, but before the end of the year, 1838, the companies came together at Toronto, where Lieut.- Colonel Spark took command in succession to Lieut.-Colonel MacGregor. Its stay in Canada extended over ten years. It remained in Toronto from the beginning of 1838 until the 17th June, 1845, with the exception of one year—May. 1840, to May, 1841—when it was stationed at Drummondsvillie, near Niagara Falls. While in Toronto in 1842 an order from the Horse Guards pays a high tribute to its morale, and by implication the reverse of a compliment to that of the Toronto of those days. It runs: "This line regiment still continues to maintain its character for comparative sobriety and good order amidst the dissipation with which it appears to be surrounded. and that it is as remarkable for its splendid appearance in the field, and the correctness of its evolutions, as for the quiet and orderly habits of its men in their quarters." In May, 1845, the 93rd proceeded to Montreal, where it was joined by a part of the regiment which had been stationed for several months at Kingston. About a year was spent at Montreal and nearly three in Quebec, when in 1849 it returned to Scotland, later on to win the undying glories of the Crimea and India.

From the ranks of these regiments Canada drew not a few citizens who have distinguished themselves in every line of enterprise, in commerce, finance, the professions and in public life. Men who having the hardy training of soldiers, and the sterling character of their race, have done incalculable service in laying the foundations of this young country and in building upon them a superstructure of which their descendants need not feel ashamed.


Some of the officers and men who came to Canada with the Highland regiments above referred to settled down to the peaceful avocations of life in the new land instead of accompanying their regiments back to the land of their fathers for their discharge there. We find them turning their military knowledge to the advantage of Canada in connection with the militia of the country. Those with strong Highland proclivities naturally favoured corps on the plan of the Highland regiments in which they had served, even to the dress and name. Evidences of their activity are to be met with at Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Whitby, Hamilton, and London, Ont., where Highland Companies were formed, but they had had precedents to go by in the far past. One of the earliest is the Highland Company which composed the left of the Queen's Rangers, commanded in the Revolutionary War by Colonel Simcoe. Colonel Stephen Jarvis says of it: '' was eye witness to a very brave exploit performed by the left division, the Highland Company, under the command of Captain, afterwards Major-General Æneas Shaw. One of the field pieces belonging to the Light Infantry had got fast in a quagmire, and at last was abandoned by the artillery attached to it. The rebels gave a shout: Huzza! the cannon is our own,' and advanced to take possession when Captain Shaw ordered his division to the right about, charged the enemy and brought off the cannon which was ever after attached to the regiment."

Highland Company of Montreal. The Highland sentiment so unmistakeablv traced in the military life of Montreal. at an early date manifested itself in the formation of a Highland Company which became a part of the Prince of Wales Regiment. This regiment was the first which was formed under the Militia Act of 1859, having been constituted on the 17th of November, 1859. and therefore, having the honour of being named the "First Battalion," Canadian Militia. The regiment was formed of companies which had been in existence previously as independent rifle companies of volunteers. The first of these companies was organized on the 31st of August, 1855, and the others between that date and the 4th of April. 1857, when the ninth company was formed. Two and a half years later they were united in a battalion. No. 7 Company was raised on 16th October. 1856 and was authorized as a Highland Company. The command of the company was entrusted to John Macpherson, a member of No. 1 Company, the first lieutenant being George McGibbon, and the first ensign Peter Muir. On the embodiment of the battalion Captain John Macpherson continued in command of the Highland Company, with Peter Moir as lieutenant. Duncan Macpherson as ensign. and George Brown as supernumerary ensign. The dress was a green coat faced with red and gold, tartan MacKenzie trousers, tartan shoulders plaid, Highland bonnet with ostrich plumes and red feather. The officers wore the dirk and broadsword, and the piper. the full Highland costume, the kilt and its accoutrements. The members of the company were described, on the occasion of a visit to Portland, Maine, in 1858. as "thoroughly Scotch in features, spare and sharp. and in their native tartan, like true followers of the Bruce.'

In 1860 the Commissioned Officers were: John Macpherson, Captain; Peter Moir, Lieutenant: George Brown, Ensign ; Alex. Graham Lindsay. Supernumerary Ensign. Non-Commissioned Officers: Colour Sergeant, James Stenhouse Sergeants, Thomas McWilliams, David Laurie, W. C. Slack, James Scott, John Villock. James Ridley: Corporals: Walter McGrath, Murdoch McKenzie, John Buchanan, Robert Slater, Donald Hamilton; Pipers: James Macdonald and Archibald McGinnis: Bugler, Ashley Cole.

The Company afterwards joined the 5th Royals, which later became the 5th Battalion Royal Scots of Canada.


Among the things around which military memories linger in Toronto is the Company of Highland Rifles, at one time attached to the Queen's Own Rifles. The veterans of to-day delight, as veterans only do, in reminiscences of the time when they served in its ranks, and to them it is a source of regret that no adequate account of it has been preserved.

Within the scope of this work only a brief notice is permissible; yet. as a company in which the Highland idea of soldiering was enthusiastically upheld and exemplified, a short sketch is obviously in place in this volume.

The company was raised on the 18th of September. 1856, those chiefly instrumental in its organization being: A. M. Smith, at one time in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders; A. T. Fulton. merchant; John Gardner, at one time in the 71st Highland Light Infantry: Robert Sutherland and Mr. R. H. Ramsay. The first officers were: A. M. Smith, Captain: A. T. Fultin. Lieutenant; John Gardner. Ensign: Francis McMannus Russell. Surgeon. It was then known as No. 3 Independent Volunteer Rifle Co. of Toronto. When the independent companies were formed into No. 2 Battalion Queen's Own Rifles, the Highland Company was designated No. 4 (Highland). At that time Captain A. M. Smith was appointed Major in the Queen's Own Rifles, and his place was taken in the captaincy of the Highland Company by Lieutenant Fulton. Ensign Gardner becoming Lieutenant, and John Sheddon, Ensign. This was in May. 1860. Captain Fulton is said by Mr. Chadwick to have been "a splendid drill, and aided by the natural steadiness of the Highlanders, soon obtained a reputation for his company which they ever afterwards maintained." In 1863 Captain Fulton retired. and Lieutenant John Gardner was, on the 21st August of that year, appointed to the command of the company, with R. H. Ramsay as Lieutenant, and Donald Gibson as Ensign. ln 1866 Captain Gardner retired from active command and was succeeded by Lieutenant Ramsay as Captain with Ensign Gibson as Lieutenant. and Mr. Henry Scott as Ensign. These were the officers of the company at the time of its dissolution.

Although No. 4 of the Queen's Own Rifles, at first, the company was, being dressed in the kilt, always placed on the left of the line of the parade, and for this reason the number was changed from 4 to 10, the latter number being the one by which it is familiar to the survivors of those connected with it.

In 1866 Captain Gardner was associated with Captain Ramsa in the Fenian Raid expedition, and commanded at Ridgeway. It is related with pride how the Highland Rifles was the last to retire from the field. Mr. Matheson, druggist, Toronto. acted as company bugler that day, and when the "retreat" was sounded he did not interpret it as a retire call. Some one in the front ranks called out to Captain Gardner that he had heard a retire call. That officer was enraged at the idea and shouted back: "If you say it again I'll cut you down with my sword. It's a charge. Are you ready?" Pouches were examined and those who had three or more cartridges left had to share one or more of them with those who had only one or none. The ammunition was nearly all spent. These are said to have been Captain Gardner's orders We are now to charge. Steady men! Go forward at the double, keeping steady as if on parade. You know how to do it, you've done it often at drill. Keep steady as you march on, but cheer for all you're worth." The company advanced about twenty paces at the double when an officer rode up and shouted Halt! where are you going with these men, sir? Can't you see the line has retired?" The order was then given: "The shortest way to the reserve." and the company retired. Among those wounded were John Whyte and Forbes McHardy.

The company lay at Stratford for some weeks, and there a photograph was taken of the company, with its officers in front, which is a much cherished relic in many homes now scattered over Canada and the United States, for members of the Highland Rifles have followed Fortune wherever her smile beckoned. On the 1st of October, 1863, the company disbanded because the Government refused to grant an allowance in lieu of the ordinary uniform: or perhaps it would be more correct to say that for the sake of uniformity the military authorities insisted upon the company adopting the same uniform as the other companies of the regiment wore and as the Highlanders were not permitted to wear the kilt, they declined re-enrollment under the Militia Act of 1868. and so became extinct.

The members continued to meet at their old rendezvous, and not having now the bond of military duty to keep them together, the idea occurred to some of them that they should form themselves into a Scottish society. About that time the old Highland Society of Toronto was less active than usual, and an amalgamation was brought about between it and the members of the Highland company, the combined body being named the "Caledonian Society of Toronto," including Highlander and Lowlander, under the Gaelic name "Caledonia," usually derived from "CoilIe daoine." "Woodlanders." It is interesting to note that the society thus formed. should, twenty-three years afterwards, in 1891, have retained so lively a recollection of the experiences associated with the old Highland Rifles as to be among the most enthusiastic promoters and generous donors of the 48th Highlanders at the period of its organization.

The interesting list of the original members is as follows: the officers as already mentioned Quarter-Master-Sergeant George Ocil. Col.-Sergeant Robert Sutherland, Sergeants Robert Morrison and James Gray. Corporals Robert Jaffray and Wm. Ramsay. Piper Donald MacRae, Bugler Wm. Wallace, Privates Archie McFarlane, Wm. Bansley, Alexander Barrie, Henry Braid, John Calver, William Cos, Nicholas Cumming, Andrew Fleming, Peter Gardner. George Gilchrist, William Goldie. George Gratton, Alexander Gray, Allan Walker, Walter Wilson, Daniel Rose, James Mowan, John Atchison, Neil Johnston, Wm. G. Kemp. Alexander Moodie, Malcolm Morrison, Joseph McGeorge, Wm. McGeorge. Alaistair MacDonald. Thomas MacIntosh. Duncan MacKjnnon, Alistair H. Oliphant. Henry McLeod, Robert H. Ramsay, Adam Reid, David Ross, Alexander Thorburn, George Wills, James Wilson, and Sam. Hutcheson.

The uniform was the same as that of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, with the exception of the feather bonnet the glengarry being worn —and the tunic, which was of green material with red facings.

Another Highland company which was connected with the Queen's Own Rifles. Toronto, was "F" or No.6 company of Whitby. It was incorporated with the Queen's Own on the formation of the latter in 1860. It does not appear to have ever paraded with the regiment although not gazetted out until November. 1862. It is now No. 1 Company of the 34th regiment.


The 5th Battalion "Royal Scots of Canada", Montreal, need merely be mentioned. They were embodied in 1862. as the 5th Royals, with six companies. They now wear full Highland uniform (kilts). The badge is the popular clan badge, a boar's head, and the motto "Ne obliviscaris", the same as those of the 91st Princess Louise's (Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders).

The 20th. "Lorne Rifles," Halton, under Lieut-Colonel Allan an enthusiastic Highland soldier, wore tartan trews and diced bonnets. Except the name, nothing now remains to indicate the Highland influences which at one time dominated it.

The 15th, "Argyle Light Infantry," Belleville, bears a Highland name, and as a badge has the Campbell Boars Head, with the motto. "Nulli secundus".

The 78th battalion, "Colchester, Hants and Pictou," headquarters, Truro, Nova Scotia, has the title :Highlanders" after their designation, evidently in honor of the number 78th, though there should be no lack of good Highland material in Pictou to fill the ranks of the regiment.

So with the 79th battalion. Shelford, Waterloo, Quebec. The word "Highlanders" is used in the name, and more pronounced still are:

The 94th "Victoria" battalion, "Argyll Highlanders," with headquarters at Baddeck, Cape Breton, where men of Highland blood, aye and speech too, are numerous, and the Celtic sentiment strong.

A few years ago a few Highlanders in Hamilton. Ont., headed by Mr. John Niven Macdougall, made an effort to raise one or two Highland companies, which it was proposed should be attached to the 13th Regiment. The object in view was maturing, it was thought favorably, when some unaccountable obstacle arose in connection with the relation which the company should have to the 13th. and the project was, for the time being. abandoned. But the money for the uniforms and the men to wear them, were then available.

Recently the movement has been launched on a more ambitious plan. The idea now is to organize it battalion, and the following gentlemen are acting as a Committee for the promoters:.—Messrs. Cohn MacLeod (chairman), George Upsdell, H, Ward, J. Eves, J. Coombes, W. G. Reid, J. R. Graham. and Dr. Gibson. It is said that public feeling in Hamilton is strongly in favour of the formation of a Highland regiment for that city, and no insuperable difficulty seems to stand in the way of accomplishing their desire.

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