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Battle of Falkirk


Afraid that, after the flight of the dragoons, the Highlanders would commence a disorderly pursuit, Lord George Murray ordered the Macdonalds of Keppoch to keep their ranks, and sent a similar order to the two other Macdonald regiments. But notwithstanding this command of the lieutenant-general, and the efforts of the officers, who, with drawn swords and cocked pistols, endeavoured to restrain them from an immediate pursuit, a considerable number of the men of these two regiments, along with all the regiments on their left, as far down as the head of the ravine, rushed down the hill in pursuit of the enemy. They were received with a volley from some of the regiments on the left of the first line of the royal army, and having returned the fire, the Highlanders threw away their muskets, and drawing their swords, rushed in upon the enemy.

Unable to resist the impetuosity of the attack, the whole of the royal army, with the exception of Barrel's regiment, and part of the regiments of Price and Ligoniers, gave way. At first the Highlanders supposed that the rout was complete, and General Hawley himself, who was huddled off the field among a confused mass of horse and foot, was of the same opinion; but the Highlanders were undeceived, when coming near the bottom of the hill, they received a fire in flank from these regiments, which threw them into great disorder, and obliged them to retire up the hill. The Camerons and the Stuarts, who were on the opposite side of the ravine, suffered also from the fire of this body, and were likewise obliged to fall back.

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