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Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America
Chapter 13
Highland Regiments in American Revolution

The great Pitt, in his famous eulogy on the Highland regiments, delivered in 1766, in Parliament, said: "I sought for merit wherever it could be found. It is my boast that I was the first minister who looked for it, and found it, in the mountains of the north. I called it forth, and drew into your service a hardy and intrepid race of men; men who, when left by your jealousy, became a prey to the artifices of your enemies, and had gone nigh to have overturned the State, in the war before the last. These men, in the last war, were brought to combat on your side; they served with fidelity, as they fought with valor, and conquered for you in every quarter of the world."


These same men were destined to be brought from their homes and help swell the ranks of the oppressors of America. The first attempt made was to organize the Highland regiments in America. The MacDonald fiasco in North Carolina and the Highlanders of Sir John Johnson have already been noticed. But there were other Highlanders throughout the inhabited districts of America, who had emigrated, or else had belonged to the 42nd, Fraser’s or Montgomery’s Highlanders. It was desired to collect these, in so far as it was possible, and organize them into a distinct regiment. The supervision of this work was given to Colonel Allan MacLean of Torloisk, Mull, an experienced officer who had seen hard service in previous wars. The secret instructions given by George III. to William Tryon, governor of New York, is dated April 3, 1775: "Whereas an humble application hath been made to us by Allen McLean Eqre’late Major to our 114th Regiment, and Lieut-Col: in our Army setting forth, that a considerable number of our subjects, who have, at different times, emigrated from the North West parts of North Britain, and have transported themselves, with their families, to New York, have expressed a desire, to take up Lands within our said Province, to be held of us, our heirs and successors, in fee simple; and whereas it may be of public advantage to grant lands in manner aforesaid to such of the said Emigrants now residing within our said province as may be desirous of settling together upon some convenient spot within the same. It is therefore our Will and pleasure, that upon application to you by the said Allen McLean, and upon his producing to you an Association of the said Emigrants to the effect of the form hereunto annexed, subscribed by the heads of the several families of which such Emigrants shall consist, you do cause a proper spot to be located and surveyed in one contiguous Tract within our said Province of New York, sufficient in quantity for the accommodation of such Emigrants, allowing 100 acres to each head of a family, and 500 acres for every other person of which the said family shall consist; and it is our further will and pleasure that when the said Lands shall have been located as aforesaid, you do grant the same by letters patent under the seal of our said Province unto the said Allen Maclean, in trust, and upon the conditions, to make allotments thereof in Fee Simple to the heads of Families, whose names, together with the number of persons in each family, shall have been delivered in by him as aforesaid, accompanied with the said association, and it is Our further will and pleasure that it be expressed in the said letters patent, that the lands so to be granted shall be exempt from the payment of quit-rents for 20 years from the date thereof, with a proviso however that all such parts of the said Tracts as shall not be settled in manner aforesaid within two years from the date of the grant shall revert to us, and be disposed of in such manner as we shall think fit; and it is our further will and pleasure, that neither yourself, nor any other of our Officers, within our said Province, to whose duty it may appertain to carry these our orders into execution do take any Fee or reward for the same, and that the expense of surveying and locating any Tract of Land in the manner and for the purpose above mentioned be defrayed out of our Revenue of Quit rents and charged to the account thereof. And we do hereby, declare it to be our further will and pleasure, that in case the whole or any part of the said Colonists, fit to bear Arms, shall be hereafter embodied and employed in Our service in America, either as Commission or non Commissioned Officers or private Men, they shall respectively receive further grants of Land from us within our said province, free of all charges, and exempt from the payment of quit rents for 20 years, in the same proportion to their respective Ranks, as is directed and prescribed by our Royal Proclamation of the 7th of October 1763. in regard to such officers and soldiers as were employed in our service during the last War."

This paltry scheme concocted to raise men for the royal cause could have but very little effect. The Highlanders, it proposed to reach, were scattered, and the work proposed must be done secretly and with expedition. To raise the Highlanders required address, a number of agents, and necessary hardships. Armed with the warrant Colonel Maclean and some followers proceeded to New York and from there to Boston, where the object of the visit became known through a sergeant by name of McDonald who was trying to enlist "men to join the King’s Troops; they seized him, and on his examination found that he had been employed by Major Small for this Purpose; they sent him a Prisoner into Connecticut. This has raised a violent suspicion against the Scots and Highlanders and will make the execution of Coll Maclean’s Plan more difficult." [Governor Colderi to Earl of Dartmouth. New York Docs. Relating to Colonial History, Vol. VIII, p. 588.]

The principal agents engaged with Colonel Maclean in raising the new regiment were Major John Small and Captain Alexander McDonald. The latter met with much discouragement and several escapes. His "Letter-Book" is a mine of information pertaining to the regiment. As early as November 15, 1775, he draws a gloomy picture of the straits of the Macdonalds on whom so much was relied by the English government. "As for all the McDonalds in America they may Curse the day that was born as being the means of Leading them to ruin from my Zeal and attachment for government poor Glanaldall I am afraid is Lost as there is no account of him since a small Schooner Arrived which brought an account of his having Six & thirty men then and if he should Not be Lost he is unavoidably ruined in his Means all those up the Mohawk river will be tore to pieces and those in North Carolina the same so that if Government will Not Consider them when Matters are Settled I think they are ill treated" [Letter Book, p. 221.]

The commissions of Colonel Maclean, Major John Small and Captain William Dunbar bear date of June 13, 1775, and all the other captains one day later.

The regiment raised was known as the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment and was composed of two battalions, the first of which was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Allan Maclean, and was composed of Highland emigrants in Canada, and the discharged men of the 42nd, of Fraser’s and Montgomery’s High-landers who had settled in North America after the peace of 1763. Great difficulty was experienced in conveying the troops who had been raised in the back settlements to their respective destinations. This battalion made the following return of its officers:

Isle Aux Noix, 15th April, 1778.

The second battalion was commanded by Major John Small, formerly of the 42nd, and then of the 21st regiment, which was raised from emigrants arriving in the colonies and discharged Highland soldiers who had settled in Nova Scotia. Each battalion was to consist of seven hundred and fifty men, with officers in proportion. In speaking of the raising of the men Captain Alexander McDonald, in a letter to General Sir William Howe, under date of Halifax, November 30, 1775, says:

"Last October was a year when I found the people of America were determind on Rebellion, I wrote to Major Small desiring he would acquaint General Gage that I was ready to join the Army with a hundred as good men as any in America, the General was pleased to order the Major to write and return his Excellency’s thanks to me for my Loyalty and spirited offers of Service, but that he had not power at that time to grant Commissions or raise any troops; however the hint was improved and A proposal was Sent home to Government to raise five Companies and I was in the meantime ordered to ingeage as many men as I possibly Could, Accordingly I Left my own house on Staten Island this same day year and travelled through frost snow & Ice all the way to the Mohawk river, where there was two hundred Men of my own Name, who had fled from the Severity of their Landlords in the Highlands of Scotland, the Leading men of whom most Chearfully agreed to be ready at a Call, but the affair was obliged to be kept a profound Secret till it was Known whether the government approved of the Scheme and otherwise I could have inlisted five hundred men in a months time, from thence I proceeded straight to Boston to know for Certain what was done in the affair when General Gage asur’d me that he had recommended it to the Ministry and did not doubt of its Meeting with approbation. I Left Boston and went home to my own house and was ingeaging as Many men as I Could of those that I thought I could intrust but it was not possible to keep the thing Long a Secret when we had to make proposals to five hundred men; in the Mean time Coll McLean arrived with full power from. Government to Collect all the Highlanders who had Emigrated to America Into one place and to give Every man the hundred Acres of Land and if need required to give Arms to as many men as were Capable of bearing them for His Majesty’s Service. Coll McLean and I Came from New York to Boston to know how Matters would be Settled by Genl Gage: it was then proposed and Agreed upon to raise twenty Companies or two Battalions Consisting of one Lt Colonl Commandant two Majors and Seventeen Captains, of which I was to be the first or oldest Captain and was confirmed by Coll McLean under his hand Writeing."

At the time of the beginning of hostilities a large number of Highlanders were on their way from Scotland to settle in the colonies. In some instances the vessels on which were the emigrants, were boarded from a man-of-war before their arrival. In some families there is a tradition that they were captured by a war vessel Those who did arrive were induced partly by threats and partly by persuasion to enlist for the war, which they were assured would be of short duration. These people were not only in poverty, but many were in debt for their passage, and they were now promised that by enlisting their debts should be paid, they should have plenty of food as well as full pay for their services, besides receiving for each head of a family two hundred acres of land and fifty more for each child, while, in the event of refusal, there was presented the alternative of going to jail to pay their debts. The result of the artifices used can be no mystery. Under such conditions most of the able-bodied men enlisted, in some instances father and son serving together. Their wives and children were sent to Halifax, hearing the cannon of Bunker Hill on their passage.

These enlistments formed a part of the Battalion under Major Small,—five companies of which remained in Nova Scotia during the war, and the remaining five joining Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Cornwallis to the southward. That portion of which remained in Nova Scotia, was stationed at Halifax, Windsor, and Cumberland, and were distinguished by their uniform good behavior.

The men belonging to the first battalion were assembled at Quebec. On the approach of the American army by Lake Champlain, Colonel Maclean was ordered to St. Johns with a party of militia, but got only as far as St. Denis, where he was deserted by his men. When Quebec was threatened by the American army under Colonel Arnold, Colonel Maclean with his regiment consisting of three hundred and fifty men, was at Sorel, and being forced to decamp from that place, by great celerity of movement, evaded the army of Colonel Arnold and passed into Quebec with one hundred of his regiment. He arrived just in time, for the citizens were about to surrender the city to the Americans. On Colonel Maclean’s arrival, November 13, 1775, the garrison consisted only of fifty men of the Fusiliers and seven hundred militia and seamen. There had also just landed one hundred recruits of Colonel Maclean’s corps from Newfoundland, which had been raised by Malcolm Fraser and Captain Campbell. Also, at the same time, there arrived the frigate Lizard, with £20,000 cash, all of which put new spirits into the garrison. The arrival of the veteran Maclean greatly diminished the chances of Colonel Arnold. Colonel Maclean now bent his energies towards saving the town; strengthened every point; enthused the lukewarm, and by emulation kept up a good spirit among them all. When General Carleton, leaving his army behind him, arrived in Quebec he found that Colonel Maclean had not only withstood the assaults of the Americans but had brought order and system out of chaos. In the final assault on the last day of the year, when the brave General Montgomery fell, the Highlanders were in the midst of the fray.

Many of the Americans were captured at this storming of Quebec. One of them narrates that "January 4th, on the next day, we were visited by Colonel Maclean, an old man, attended by other officers, for a peculiar purpose, that is, to ascertain who among us were born in Europe. We had many Irishmen and some Englishmen. The question was put to each; those who admitted a British birth, were told they must serve his majesty in Colonel Maclean’s regiment, a new corps, called the emigrants. Our poor fellows, under the fearful penalty of being carried to Britain, there to be tried for treason, were compelled by necessity, and many of them did enlist." [Henry's Campaign Against Quebec, 1775, p. 136.]

Such men could hardly prove to be reliable, and it can be no astonishment to read what Major Henry Caldwell, one of the defenders of Quebec says of it:

"Of the prisoners we took, about 100 of them were Europeans, chiefly from Ireland; the greatest part of them engaged voluntarily in Col. McLean’s corps, but about a dozen of them deserting in the course of a month, the rest were again confined, and not released till the arrival of the Isis, when they were again taken into the corps." [Invasion of Canada 1775, p. 14.]

Colonel Arnold despairing of capturing the town by assault, established himself on the Heights of Abraham, with the intention of cutting off supplies and blockading the town. In this situation he reduced the garrison to great straits, all communication with the country being cut off. He erected batteries and made several attempts to get possession of the lower town, but was foiled at every point by the vigilance of Colonel Maclean. On the approach of spring, Colonel Arnold, despairing of success, raised the siege.

The battalion remained in the province of Canada during the war, and was principally employed in small, but harrassing enterprises. In one of these, Captain Daniel Robertson, Lieutenant Hector Maclean, and Ensign Archibald Grant, with the grenadier company, marched twenty days through the woods with no other direction than the compass, and an Indian guide. The object being to surprise a small post in the interior, which was successful and attained without loss. By long practice in the woods the men had become very intelligent and expert in this kind of warfare.

The reason why this regiment was not with the army of General Burgoyne, and thus escaped the humiliation of the surrender at Saratoga, has been stated by that officer in the following language: that he proposed to leave in Canada "Maclean’s Corps, because I very much apprehend desertions from such parts of it as are composed of Americans, should they come near the enemy. In Canada, whatsoever may be their disposition, it is not so easy to effect it." [State of the Expedition, p. VI.]

Notwithstanding the conduct of Colonel Allan Maclean at the siege of Quebec and his great zeal in behalf of Britain his corps was not yet recognized, though he had at the outset been promised establishment and rank for it. He therefore returned to England where he arrived on September 1, 1776, to seek justice for himself and men. They were not received until the close of 1778, when the regiment was numbered the 84th, at which time Sir Henry Clinton was appointed its Colonel, and the battalions ordered to be augmented to one thousand men each. The uniform was the full Highland garb, with purses made of raccoons’ instead of badger’s skins. The officers wore the broad sword and dirk, and the men a half basket sword.

"On a St. Andrew’s day a ball was given by the officers of the garrison in which they were quartered to the ladies in the vicinity. When one of the ladies entered the ball-room, and saw officers in the Highland dress, her sensitive delicacy revolted at what she though an indecency, declaring she would quit the room if these were to be her company. This occasioned some little embarrassment. An Indian lady, sister of the Chief Joseph Brant, who was present with her daughters, observing the bustle, inquired what was the matter, and being informed, she cried out, ‘This must be a very indelicate lady to think of such a thing; she shows her own arms and elbows to all the men, and she pretends she cannot look at these officers’ bear legs, although she will look at my husband’s bare thighs for hours together; she must think of other things, or she would see no more shame in a man showing his legs, than she does in showing her neck and breast.’ These remarks turned the laugh against the lady’s squeamish delicacy, and the ball was permitted to Proceed without the officers being obliged to retire." [Stewart’s Sketches of the Highlanders, Vol. II, p. 186.]

With every opportunity offered the first battalion to desert, in consequence of offers of land and other inducements held out by the Americans, not one native Highlander deserted and only one Highlander was brought to the halberts during the time they were embodied.

The history of the formation of the two battalions is dissimilar: that of the second was not attended with so great difficulties. In the formation of the first all manner of devices were entered into, and various disguises were resorted to in order to escape detection. Even this did not always protect them.

"It is beyond the power of Expression to give an Idea of the expence & trouble our Officers have Undergone in these expeditions into the Rebellious provinces. Some of them have been fortunate enough to get off Undiscovered—But Many have been taken abused by Mobs in an Outragious manner & cast into prisons with felons, where they have Suffered all the Evils that revengeful Rage ignorance Bigotry & Inhumanity could inflict— There has been even Skirmishes on such Occasions.*****It was an uncommon Exertion in one of our Offrs. to make his Escape with forty highlanders from the Mohawk river to Montreal havg. had nothing to eat for ten days but their Dogs & herbs & in another to have on his private Credit & indeed ruin, Victualled a Considerable Number of Soldiers he had engaged in hopes of getting off with them to Canada, but being at last taken & kept in hard imprisonmt for near a year by the Rebels to have effected his escape & Collecting his hundred men to have brot them thro’ the Woods lately from near Abany to Canada." [LetterBook, p. 856.]

Difficulties in the formation of the regiment and placing it on the establishment grew out of the opposition of Governor Legge, and from him, through General Gage transmitted to the ministry, when all enlistments, for the time being were prohibited. The officers, from the start had been assured that the regiment should be placed on the establishment, and each should be entitled to his rank and in case of reduction should go on half pay. The officers should consist of those on half pay who had served in the last war, and had settled in America. When the regiment had been established and numbered, through the exertions of Colonel Maclean the ranks were rapidly filled, and the previous difficulties overcome.

The winter of 1775-1776, was very severe on the second battalion. Although stationed in Halifax they were without sufficient clothing or proper food, or pay, and the officer in charge—. Captain Alexander McDonald—without authority to draw money, or a regular warrant to receive it. In January "the men were almost stark naked for want of clothing," and even barefooted. The plaids and Kilmarnocks could not be had. As late as March 1st there was "not a shoe nor a bit of leather to be had in Halifax for either love or money," and men were suffering from their frosted feet. "The men made a horrid and scandalous appearance on duty, insulted and despised by the soldiers of the other corps." In April 1778, clothing that was designed for the first battalion, having been consigned to Halifax, was taken by Captain McDonald and distributed to the men of the second. Out of this grew an acrimonious correspondence. Of the food, Captain McDonald writes:

"We are served Served Since prior to September last with Flower that is Rank poison at lest Bread made of Such flower— The Men of our Regiment that are in Command at the East Battery brought me a Sample of the fflower they received for a Months provision, it was exactly like Chalk & as Sower as Vinegarr I asked the Doctors opinion of it who told me it was Sufficient to Destroy all the Regiment to eatt Bread made of Such fflower; it is hard when Mens Lives are So precious and so much wanted for the Service of their King and country, that they Should thus wantonly be Sported with to put money in the pocket of any individuall."

It appears to have been the policy to break up the second battalion and have it serve on detached duty. Hence a detachment was sent to Newfoundland, another to Annapolis, at Cumberland, Fort Howe, Fort Edward, Fort Sackville and Windsor, but rallying at Halifax as the headquarters—to say nothing of those sent to the Southern States. No wonder Captain McDonald complains, "We have absolutely been worse used than any one Regiment in America and has done more duty and Drudgery of all kinds than any other Bn. in America these thre Years past and it is but reasonable Just and Equitable that we should now be Suffered to Join together at least as early as possible in the Spring and let some Other Regimt relieve the difft. posts we at present Occupy."

But it was not all garrison duty. Writing from Halifax, under date of July 13th, 1777, Captain McDonald says:

"Another Attempt has been made from New England to invade this province wch. is also defeated by a detachmt from our Regt & the Marines on board of Captn Hawker. Our Detachmt went on board of him here & he having a Quick passage to the River St John’s wch. divides Nova Scotia from New England & where the Rebells were going to take post & Rebuild the old fort that was there the last War. Immediately on Captn Hawker’s Arrival there Our men under the Commd. of Ensn. Jno McDonald & the Marines under that of a Lieut were landed & Engaged the Enemy who were abt. a hundred Strong & after a Smart firing & some killed & wounded on both Sides the Rebells ran with the greatest precipitation & Confusion to their boats. Some of our light Armed vessells pursued them & I hope before this time they are either taken or starving in the Woods."

Whatever may be said of the good behavior of the men of the second battalion, there were three at least whom Captain McDonaid describes as "rascales." He also gives the following severe rebuke to one of the officers:

"Halifax 16th Febry 1777

Mr. Jas. McDonald.

I am sorry to inform you that every Accot I receive from Windsor is very unfavorable in regard to you. Your Cursed Carelessness & slovenlyness about your own Body and your dress Nothing going on but drinking Calybogus Schewing Tobacco & playing Cards in Place of that decentness & Cleanliness that all Gentlemen who has the least Regard for themselves & Character must & does observe. I am afraid from your Conduct that you will be no Credit or honor to the Memories of those Worthies from whom you are descended & if you have no regard for them or your self I need not expect you’ll be at any pains to be of Any Credit to me for anything I can do for you. I am about Giving you Rank agreeable to Col. McLean’s plan & on Accot. of your having bro’t more men to the Regimt. than either Mr. Fitz Gerd. or Campbell You are to be the Second in Command at that post Lt. Fitz Ger’d. the third & Campbell the fourth. And I hope I shall never have Occasion to write to you in this Manner again. I beg you will begin now to mend your hand to write & learn to keep Accots. that you may be able to do Some thing like an officer if ever you expect to make a figure in the Army You must Change your plan & lay yr. money out to Acquire such Accomplishm’ts. befitting an officer rather than Tobacco, Calybogus and the Devil knows what. I am tired of Scolding of you, so will say no more."

But little has been recorded of the five companies of the second battalion that joined Sir Henry Clinton and lord Cornwallis. The company called grenadiers was in the battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, fought September 8, 1781. This was one of the most closely contested battles of the Revolution, in which the grenadier company was in the thickest and severest of the fight. The British army, under Colonel Alexander Stuart, of the 3rd regiment was drawn up in a line extending from Eutaw creek to an eighth of a mile southward. The Irish Buffs (third regiment) formed the right; Lieutenant Colonel Cruger’s Loyalists the center; and the 63rd and 64th regiments the left. Near the creek was a flank battalion of infantry and the grenadiers, under Major Majoribanks, partially covered and concealed by a thicket on the bank of the stream. The Americans, under General Greene, having routed two advanced detachments, fell with great spirit on the main body. After the battle had been stubbornly contested for some time, Major Majoribank’s command was ordered up, and terribly galled the American flanks. In attempting to dislodge them, the Americans received a terrible volley from behind the thicket. Soon the entire British line fell back, Major Majoribanks covering the movement. They abandoned their camp, destroyed their stores and many fled precipitately towards Charleston, while Major Majoribanks halted behind the palisades of a brick house. The American soldiers, in spite of the orders of General Greene and the efforts of their officers began to pillage the camp, instead of attempting to dislodge Major Majoribanks. A heavy fire was poured upon the Americans who were in the British camp, from the force that had taken refuge in the brick house, while Major Majoribanks moved from his covert on the

right. The light horse or legion of Colonel Henry Lee, remaining under the control of that officer, followed so closely upon those who, had fled to the house that the fugitives in closing the doors shut out two or three of their own officers. Those of the legion who had followed to the door seized each a prisoner, and interposing him as a shield retreated beyond the fire from the windows. Among those captured was Captain Barre, a brother of the celebrated Colonel Barre of the British parliament, having been seized by Captain Manning. In the terror of the moment Barre began to recite solemnly his titles: "I am Sir Henry Barre deputy adjutant general of the British army, captain of the 52d regiment, secretary of the commandant at Charleston—" Are you indeed ?" interrupted Captain Manning; "you are my prisoner now, and the very man I was looking for; come along with me." He then placed his titled prisoner between him and the fire of the enemy, and retreated.

The arrest of the Americans by Major Majoribanks and the party that had fled into the brick house, gave Colonel Stuart an opportunity to rally his forces, and while advancing, Major Majoribanks poured a murderous fire into the legion of Colonel Lee, which threw them into confusion. Perceiving this, he sallied out seized the two field pieces and ran them under the windows of the house. Owing to the crippled condition of his army, and the shattering of his cavalry by the force of Major Majoribanks, General Greene ordered a retreat, after a conflict of four hours. The British repossessed the camp, but on the following day decamped, abandoning seventy-two of their wounded. Considering the numbers engaged, both parties lost heavily. The Americans had one hundred and thirty rank and file killed, three hundred and eighty-five wounded, and forty missing. The loss of the British, according to their own report, was six hundred and ninety-three men, of whom eighty-five were killed.

At the conclusion of the war the transports bearing the companies were ordered to Halifax, where the men were discharged; but, owing to the violence of the weather, and a consequent loss of reckoning, they made the island of Nevis and St. Kitt’s instead of Halifax. This delayed the final reduction till 1784. In the distant quarters of the first battalion, they were forgotten. By their agreement they should have been discharged in April 1783, but orders were not sent until July 1784.

It is possible that a roll of the officers of the second battalion may be in existence. The following names of the officers are preserved in McDonald’s "Letter-Book":

Major John Small, commandant: Captains Alexander McDonald, Duncan Campbell. Ronald McKinnon, Murdoch McLean, Alexander Campbell, John McDonald and Allan McDonaid; Lieutenants Gerald Fitzgerald, Robert Campbell. James McDonald and Lachlan McLean; Ensign John Day chaplain, Doctor Boynton.

The uniform of the Royal Highland Emigrant regiment was the full Highland garb, with purses made of raccoon’s instead of badger’s skins. The officers wore the broad sword and dirk, and the men a half basket sword, as previously stated.

At the conclusion of the war grants of land were given to the officers and men, in the proportion of five thousand acres to a field officer, three thousand to a captain, five hundred to a subaltern, two hundred to a serjeant and one hundred to each soldier. All those who had settled in America previous to the war, remained, and took possession of their lands, but many of the others returned to Scotland. The men of Major Small’s battalion went to Nova Scotia, where they settled a township, and gave it the name of Douglas, in Hants County; but a number settled on East River.

The first to come to East River. of the 84th, was big James Fraser, in company with Donald McKay and fifteen of his comrades, and took up a tract of three thousand four hundred acres extending along both sides of the river. Their discharges are dated April 10, 1784, but the grant November 3, 1785. About the same time of the occupation of the East River, in Picton County, the West Branch was occupied by men of the same regiment; the first of whom were David McLean and John Fraser.

The settlers of East Branch, or River, of the 84th, on the East side were Donald Cameron, a native of Urquhart, Scotland; served eight years; possessed one hundred and fifty acres; his son Duncan served two years as a drummer boy in the regiment. Alexander Cameron, one hundred acres. Robert Clark, one hundred acres. Finlay Cameron, four hundred. Samuel Cameron, one hundred acres. James Fraser, a native of Strathglass, three hundred and fifty acres. Peter Grant, James McDonald, Hugh McDonald, one hundred acres.

On the west side of same river: James Fraser, one hundred acres. Duncan McDonald, one hundred acres. John McDonald, two hundred and fifty acres. Samuel Cameron, three hundred acres. John Chisholm, sen., three hundred acres. John Chisholm, jun., two hundred acres. John McDonald, two hundred and fifty acres.

Those who settled at West Branch and other places on East River were, William Fraser, from Inverness, three hundred and fifty acres. John McKay. three hundred acres. John Robertson, four hundred and fifty. William Robertson, two hundred acres. John Fraser, from Inverness, three hundred acres. Thomas Fraser, from Inverness, two hundred acres. Thomas McKinzie, one hundred acres. David McLean, a sergeant in the army, five hundred acres. Alexander Cameron, three hundred acres. Hector McLean, four hundred acres. John Forbes, from Inverness, four hundred acres. Alexander McLean, five hundred acres. Thomas Fraser, Jun., one hundred acres. James McLellan, from Inverness, five hundred acres. Donald Chisholm, from Strathglass, three hundred and fifty acres. Robert Dundas (four hundred and fifty acres), Alexander Dunbar (two hundred acres), and William Dunbar, (three hundred acres), all three brothers, from Inverness, and of the 84th regiment. James Cameron, 84th regiment, three hundred acres. John McDougall, two hundred and fifty acres. John Chisholm, three hundred acres. Donald Chisholm, Jun., from Inverness, four hundred acres. Robert Clark, 84th, one hundred acres. Donald Shaw, from Inverness, three hundred acres. Alexander McIntosh, from Inverness, five hundred acres, and John McLellan, from Inverness, one hundred acres. Of the grantees of the West Branch, those designated from Inverness, were from the parish of Urquhart and served in the 84th, as did also those so specified. It is more than probable that all the others were not in the Royal Highland Emigrant regiment, or even served in the war.

The members of the first, or Colonel MacLean’s battalion settled in Canada, many of whom at Montreal, where they rallied around their chaplain, John Bethune. This gentleman acted as chaplain of the Highlanders in North Carolina, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. After remaining a prisoner for about a year, he was released, and made his way to Nova Scotia and for some time resided at Halifax. He received the appointment of chaplain in the Royal Highland Emigrant regiment. He received a grant of three thousand acres, located in Glengarry, and having a growing family to provide for, each of whom was entitled to two hundred acres, he removed to Williamstown, then the principal settlement in Glengarry. Besides his allotment of land, he retired from the army on half pay. In his new home he ever maintained an honorable life.


The 42nd or Black Watch, or Royal Highlanders, left America in 1767, and sailed direct for Cork, Ireland. In 1775 the regiment embarked at Donaghadee, and landed at Port Patrick, after an absence of thirty-two years from Scotland. From Port Patrick it marched to Glasgow. Shortly after its arrival in Glasgow two companies were added, and all the companies were augmented to one hundred rank and file, and when completed numbered one thousand and seventy-five men, including serjeants and drummers.

Hitherto the officers had been entirely Highlanders and Scotch. Contrary to the remonstrances of lord John Murray, the lord lieutenant of Ireland succeeded in admitting three English officers into the regiment, Lieutenants Crammond, Littleton, and Franklin, thus cancelling the commissions of Lieutenants Grant and Mackenzie. Of the soldiers nine hundred and thirty-one were Highlanders, seventy-four Lowland Scotch, five English, one Welsh and two Irish.

On account of the breaking out of hostilities the regiment was ordered to embark for America. The recruits were instructed in the use of the firelock, and, from the shortness of the time allowed, were even drilled by candle-light. New arms and accoutrements were supplied to the men, and the Colonel, at his own expense, furnished them with broad swords and pistols.

April 14, 1776, the Royal Highlanders, in conjunction with Fraser’s Highlanders, embarked at Greenock to join an expedition under General Howe against the Americans. After some delay, both regiments sailed on May 1st under the convoy of the Flora, of thirty-two guns, and a fleet of thirty-two ships, the Royal Highlanders being commanded by Colonel Thomas Stirling of Ardoch. Four days after they had sailed, the transports separated in a gale of wind. Some of the scattered transports of both regiments fell in with General Howe’s army on their voyage from Halifax; and others, having received information of this movement, followed the main body and joined the army at Staten Island.

When Washington took possession of Dorchester heights, on the night of March 4, 1776, the situation of General Howe, in Boston, became critical, and he was forced to evacuate the city with precipitation. He left no cruisers in Boston bay to warn expected ships from England that the city was no longer in his possession. This was very fortunate for the Americans, for a few days later several store-ships sailed into the harbor and were captured. The Scotch fleet also headed that way, and some of the transports, not having received warning, were also taken in the harbor, but principally of Fraser’s Highlanders. By the last of June, about seven hundred and fifty Highlanders belonging to the Scotch fleet, were prisoners in the hands of the Americans.

The Royal Highlanders lost but one of their transports, the Oxford, and at the same time another transport in company with her, having on board recruits for Fraser’s Highlanders, in all two hundred and twenty men. They were made prizes of by the Congress privateer, and all the officers, arms and ammunition were taken from the Oxford, and all the soldiers were placed on board that vessel with a prize crew of ten men to carry her into port. In a gale of wind the vessels became separated, and then the carpenter of the Oxford formed a party and retook her, and sailed for the Chesapeake. On June 20th, they sighted Commodore James Barron’s vessel, and dispatched a boat with a sergeant, one private and one of the men who were put on board by the Congress to make inquiry. The latter finding a convenient opportunity, informed Commodore Barron of their situation, upon which he boarded and took possession of the Oxford, and brought her to Jamestown. The men were marched to Williamsburgh, Virginia, where every inducement was held out to them to join the American cause. When the promise of military promotion failed to have an effect, they were then informed that they would have grants of fertile land, upon which they could live in happiness and freedom. They declared they would take no land save what they deserved by supporting the king. They were then separated into small parties and sent into the back settlements; and were not exchanged until 1778, when they rejoined their regiments.

Before General Sir William Howe’s army arrived, or even any vessels of his fleet, the transport Crawford touched at Long Island. Under date of June 24, 1776, General Greene notified Washington that "the Scotch prisoners, with their baggage, have arrived at my Quarters." The list of prisoners are thus given: "Forty second or Royal Highland Regiment: Captain John Smith and Lieutenant Robert Franklin. Seventy-first Regiment: Captain Norman McLeod and lady and maid; Lieutenant Roder- ick McLeod; Ensign Colin Campbell and lady; Surgeon’s Mate, Robert Boyce; John McAlister, Master of the Crawford transport; Norman McCullock, a passenger; two boys, servants; McDonald, servant to Robert Boyce; Shaw, servant to Captain McLeod. Three boys, servants, came over in the evening." [Am. Archives, Fourth Series, Vol. VI, p. 1055.]

General Howe, on board the frigate Greyhound, arrived in the Narrows, from Halifax, on June 25th, accompanied by two other ships-of-war. He came in advance of the fleet that bore his army, in order to consult with Governor Tryon and ascertain the position of affairs at New York. For three or four days after his arrival armed vessels kept coming, and on the twenty-ninth the main body of the fleet arrived, and the troops were immediately landed on Staten Island. General Howe was soon after reinforced by English regulars and German mercenaries, and at about the same time Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Parker, with their broken forces came from the south and joined them. Before the middle of August all the British reinforcements had arrived at Staten Island and General Howe’s army was raised to a force of thirty thousand men. On August 22nd, a large body of troops, under cover of the guns of the Rainbow, landed upon Long Island. Soon after five thousand British and Hessian troops poured over the sides of the English ships and transports and in small boats and galleys were rowed to the Long Island shore, covered by the guns of the Phoenix, Rose and Greyhound. The invading force on Long Island numbered fifteen thousand, well armed and equipped, and having forty heavy cannon.

The three Highland battalions were first landed on Staten island, and immediately a grenadier battalion was formed by Maor Charles Stuart. The staff appointments were taken from the Royal Highlanders. The three light companies also formed a battalion in the brigade under Lieutenant-Colonel Abercromby. The grenadiers were remarkable for strength and height, and considered equal to any company in the army. The eight battalion companies were formed into two temporary battalions, the command of one was given to Major William Murray, and that of the other to Major William Grant. These small battalions were brigaded under Sir William Erskine, and placed in the reserve, with the grenadiers and light infantry of the army, under command of lord Cornwallis.

Lieutenant—Colonel Stirling, from the moment of landing, was active in drilling the 42d in the methods of fighting practiced in the French and Indian war, in which he was well versed. The Highlanders made rapid progress in this discipline, being, in general, excellent marksmen.

It was about this time that the broadswords and pistols received at Glasgow were laid aside. The pistols were considered unnecessary, except in the field. The broadswords retarded the men when marching by getting entangled in the brushwood.

The reserve of Howe’s army was landed first at Gravesend Bay, and being moved immediatelv forward to Flat Bush, the Highlanders and a corps of Hessians were detached to a little distance, where they encamped. The whole army encamped in front of the villages of Gravesend and Utrecht. A woody range of hills, which intersected the country from east to west, divided the opposing armies.

General Howe resolved to bring on a general action and make the attack in three divisions. The right wing under General Clinton seized, on the night of August 26th, a pass on the heights, about three miles from Bedford. The main body pushed into the level country which lay between the hills and the lines of General Israel Putnam. Whilst these movements were in process, Major-General Grant of Ballindalloch, with his brigade, supported by the Royal Highlanders from the reserve, was directed to march from the left along the coast to the Narrows, and make an attack in that quarter. At nine o’clock, on the morning of the 22nd, the right wing having reached Bedford, attacked the left of the American army, which, after a short resistance, quitted the woody grounds, and in confusion retired to their lines, pursued by the British troops, Colonel Stuart leading with his battalion of Highland grenadiers. When the firing at Bedford was heard at Flat Bush, the Hessians advanced, and, attacking the center of the American army, drove them through the woods, capturing three cannon. Previously, General Grant, with the left of the army, commenced the attack with a cannonade against the Americans under lord Stirling. The object of lord Stirling was to defend the pass and keep General Grant in check. He was in the British parliament when Grant made his speech against the Americans, and addressing his soldiers said, in allusion to the boasting Grant that he would "undertake to march from one end of the continent to the other, with five thousand men." "He may have his five thousand men with him now—we are not so many—but I think we are enough to prevent his advancing further on his march over the continent, than that mill-pond," pointing to the head of Gowanus bay. This little speech had a powerful effect, and in the action showed how keenly they felt the insult. General Grant had been instructed not to press an attack until informed by signal-guns from the right wing. These signals were not given until eleven o’clock, at which time lord Stirling was hemmed in. When the truth flashed upon him he hurled a few of his men against lord Cornwallis, in order to keep him at bay while a part of his army might escape. Lord Cornwallis yielded, and when on the point of retreating received large reinforcements which turned the fortunes of the day against the Americans. General Grant drove the remains of lord Stirling’s army before him, which escaped across Gowanus creek, by wading and swimming.

The victorious troops, made hot and sanguinary by the fatigues and triumphs of the morning, rushed upon the American lines, eager to carry them by storm. But the day was not wholly lost. Behind the entrechments were three thousand determined men who met the advancing British army by a severe cannonade and volleys of musketry. Preferring to win the remainder of the conquest with less bloodshed, General Howe called back his troops to a secure place in front of the American lines, beyond musket shot, and encamped for the night.

During the action Washington hastened over from New York to Brooklyn and galloped up to the works. He arrived there in time to witness the catastrophe. All night he was engaged in strengthening his position; and troops were ordered from New York. When the morning dawned heavy masses of vapor rolled in from the sea. At ten o’clock the British opened a cannonade on the American works, with frequent skirmishes throughout the day. Rain fell copiously all the afternoon and the main body of the British kept their tents, but when the storm abated towards evening, they commenced regular approaches within five hundred yards of the American works. That night Washington drew off his army of nine thousand men, with their munitions of war, transported them over a broad ferry to New York, using such consummate skill that the British were not aware of his intention until next morning, when the last boats of the rear guard were seen out of danger.

The American loss in the battle of Long Island did not exceed sixteen hundred and fifty, of whom eleven hundred were prisoners General Howe stated his own loss to have been, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, three hundred and sixty-seven. The loss of the Highlanders was, Lieutenant Crammond and nine rank and file wounded, of the 42d; and three rank and filed killed, and two sergeants and nine rank and file wounded, of the 71st regiment.

In a letter to lord George Germaine, under date of September 4, 1776, lord Dunmore says:

I was with the Highlanders and Hessians the whole day, and it is with the utmost pleasure I can assure your lordship that the ardour of both these corps on that day must have exceeded his Majesty’s most sanguine wish."

Active operations were not resumed until September 15th, when the British reserve, which the Royal Highlanders had rejoined after the action at Brooklyn, crossed the river in flat boats from Newtown creek, and landed at Kip’s bay covered by a severe cannonade from the ships-of-war, whose guns played briskly upon the American batteries. Washington, hearing the firing, rode with speed towards the scene of action. To him a most alarming spectacle was presented. The militia had fled, and the Connecticut troops had caught the panic, and ran without firing a gun, when only fifty of the British had landed. Meeting the fugitives he used every endeavor to stop their flight. In vain their generals tried to rally them; but they continued to flee in the greatest confusion, leaving Washington alone within eighty yards of the foe. So incensed was he at their conduct that he cast his chapeau to the ground, snapped his pistols at several of the fugitives, and threatened others with his sword. So utterly unconscious was he of danger, that he probably would have fallen had not his attendants seized the bridle of his horse and hurried him away to a place of safety. Immediately he took measures to protect his imperilled army. He retreated to Harlem heights, and sent an order to General Putnam to evacuate the city instantly. This was fortunately accomplished, through the connivance of Mrs. Robert Murray. General Sir William Howe, instead of pushing forward and capturing the four thousand troops under General Putnam, immediately took up his quarters with his general officers at the mansion of Robert Murray, and sat down for refreshments and rest. Mrs. Murray knowing the value of time to the veteran Putnam, now in jeopardy, used all her art to detain her uninvited guests. With smiles and pleasant conversation, and a profusion of cakes and wine, she regaled them for almost two hours. General Putnam meanwhile receiving his orders, immed— iately obeyed, and a greater portion of his troops, concealed by the woods, escaped along the Bloomingdale road, and before being discovered had passed the encampment upon the Ineleberg. The rear-guard was attacked by the Highlanders and Hessians, just as a heavy rain began to fall; and the drenched army, after losing fifteen men killed, and three hundred made prisoners, reached Harlem heights.

"This night Major Murray was nearly carried off by the enemy, but saved himself by his strength of arm and presence of mind. As he was crossing to his regiment from the battalion which he commanded, he was attacked by an American officer and two soldiers, against whom he defended himself for some time with his fusil, keeping them at a respectful distance. At last, however, they closed upon him, when unluckily his dirk slipped behind, and he could not, owing to his corpulence, reach it. Observing that the rebel (American) officer had a sword in his hand, he snatched it from him, and made so good use of it, that he compelled them to fly, before some men of the regiment, who had heard the noise, could come up to his assistance. He wore the sword as a trophy during the campaign." [Stewart's Sketches, Vol. I, p. 360.]

On the 16th the light infantry was sent out to dislodge a party of Americans who had taken possession of a wood facing the left of the British. Adjutant-General Reed brought information to Washington that the British General Leslie was pushing forward and had attacked Colonel Knowlton and his rangers. Colonel Knowlton retreated, and the British appeared in full view and sounded their bugles. Washington ordered three companies of Colonel Weedon’s Virginia regiment, under Major Leitch, to join Knowlton's rangers, and gain the British rear, while a feigned attack should be made in front. The vigilant General Leslie perceived this, and made a rapid movement to gain an advantageous position upon Harlem plains, where he was attacked upon the flank by Knowlton and Leitch. A part of Leslie’s force, consisting of Highlanders, that had been concealed upon the wooded hills, now came down, and the entire British body changing front, fell upon the Americans with vigor. A short but severe conflict ensued. Major Leitch, pierced by three balls, was borne from the field, and soon after Colonel Knowlton was brought to the ground by a musket ball. Their men fought on bravely, contesting every foot of the ground, as they fell back towards the American camp. Being reinforced by a part of the Maryland regiments of Griffiths and Richardson, the tide of battle changed. The British were driven back across the plain, hotly pursued by the Americans, till Washington, fearing an ambush, ordered a retreat.

In the battle of Harlem the British loss was fourteen killed, and fifty officers and seventy men wounded. The 42nd, or Royal Highlanders lost one sergeant and three privates killed, and Captains Duncan Macpherson and John Mackintosh, Ensign Alexander Mackenzie (who died of his wounds), and three sergeants, one piper, two drummers, and forty-seven privates wounded.

This engagement caused a temporary pause in the movements of the British, which gave Washington an opportunity to strengthen both his camp and army. The respite was not of long duration for on October 12th, General Howe embarked his army in flat-bottomed boats, and on the evening of the same day landed at Frogsneck, near Westchester; but on the next day he re-embarked his troops and landed at Fell’s Point, at the mouth of the Hudson. On the 14th he reached the White Plains in front of Washington’s position. General Howe’s next determination was to capture Fort Washington, which cut off the communication between New York and the continent, to the eastward and northward of Hudson river, and prevented supplies being sent him by way of Kings-bridge. The garrison consisted of over two thousand men under Colonel Magaw. A deserter informed General Howe of the real condition of the garrison and the works on Harlem Heights. General Howe was agreeably surprised by the information, and immediately summoned Colonel Magaw to surrender within an hour, intimating that a refusal might subject the garrison to massacre. Promptly refusing compliance, he further added: "I rather think it a mistake than a settled resolution in General Howe, to act a part so unworthy of himself and the Dritish nation." On November 16th the Hessians, under General Knyphausen, supported by the whole of the reserve under earl Percy, with the exception of the 42nd, who were to make a feint on the east side of the fort, were to make the principal attack. Before daylight the Royal Highlanders embarked in boats, and landed in a small creek at the foot of the rock, in the face of a severe fire. Although the Highlanders had discharged the duties which had been assigned them, still determined to have a full share in the honors of the day, resolved upon an assault, and assisted by each other, and by the brushwood and shrubs which grew out of the crevices of the rocks, scrambled up the precipice. On gaining the summit, they rushed forward, and drove back the Americans with such rapidity, that upwards of two hundred, who had no time to escape, threw down their arms. Pursuing their advantage, the Highlanders penetrated across the table of the hill, and met lord Percy as he was coming up on the other side. By turning their feint into an assault, the Highlanders facilitated the success of the day. The result was that the Americans surrendered at discretion. They lost in killed and wounded one hundred and about twenty-seven hundred prisoners. The loss of the British was twenty killed and one hundred and one wounded; that of the Royal Highlanders being one sergeant and ten privates killed, and Lieutenants Patrick Graeme, Norman Macleod, and Alexander Grant, and for sergeants and sixty-six rank and file, wounded.

The hill, up which the Highlanders charged, was so steep, that the ball which wounded Lieutenant Macleod, entering the posterior part of his neck, ran down on the outside of his ribs, and lodged in the lower part of his back. One of the pipers, who began to play when he reached the point of a rock on the summit of the hill, was immediately shot, and tumbled from one piece of rock to another till he reached the bottom. Major Murray, being a large and corpulent man, could not attempt the steep assent without assistance. The soldiers eager to get to the point of duty, scrambled up, forgetting the position of Major Murray, when he, in a supplicating tone cried, "Oh soldiers, will you leave me !" A party leaped down instantly and brought him up, supporting him from one ledge of rocks to another till they got him to the top.

The next object of General Howe was to possess Fort Lee. Lord Cornwallis, with the grenadiers, light infantry, 33rd regiment and Royal Highlanders, was ordered to attack this post. But on their approach the fort was hastily abandoned. Lord Cornwallis, re-enforced by the two battalions of Fraser’s Highlanders, pursued the retreating Americans, into the Jerseys, through Elizabethtown, Neward and Brunswick. In the latter town he was ordered to halt, where he remained for eight days, when General Howe, with the army, moved forward, and reached Princeton in the afternoon of November 17th.

The army now went into winter quarters. The Royal Highlanders were stationed at Brunswick, and Fraser’s Highlanders quartered at Amboy. Afterwards the Royal Highlanders were ordered to the advanced posts, being the only British regiment in the front, and forming the line of defence at Mt. Holly. After the disaster to the Hessians at Trenton, the Royal Highlanders were ordered to fall back on the light infantry at Princeton.

Lord Cornwallis, who was in New York at the time of the defeat of the Hessians, returned to the army and moved forward with a force consisting of the grenadiers, two brigades of the line, and the two Highland regiments. After much skirmishing in advance he found Washington posted on some high ground beyond Trenton. Lord Cornwallis declaring "the fox cannot escape me," planned to assault Washington on the following morning, but while he slept the American commander, marched to his rear and fell upon that part of the army left at Princeton. Owing to the suddenness of Washington’s attacks upon Trenton and Princeton and the vigilance he manifested the British outposts were withdrawn and concentrated at Brunswick where lord Cornwallis established his headquarters.

The Royar Highlanders, on January 6, 1777 were sent to the village of Pisquatua on the line of communication between New York and Brunswick by Amboy. This was a post of great importance, for it kept open the route by which provisions were sent for the forces at Brunswick. The duty was severe and the winter rigorous. As the homes could not accommodate half the men, officers and soldiers sought shelter in barns and sheds, always sleeping in their body—clothes, for the Americans gave them but little quietude. The Americans, however, did not make any regular attack on the post till May 10th, when, at four in the morning, the divisions of Generals Maxwell and Stephens, attempted to surprise the Highlanders. Advancing with great caution they were not preceived until they rushed upon the pickets. Although the Highlanders were surprised, they held their position until the reserve pickets came to their assistance, when they retired disputing every foot, to afford the regiment time to form, and come to their relief. Then the Americans were driven back with precipitation, leaving upwards of two hundred men, in killed and wounded, The Highlanders, pursuing with eagerness, were recalled with great difficulty. On this occasion the Royal Highlanders had three sergeants and nine privates killed: and Captain Duncan Macpherson, Lieutenant William Stewart, three sergeants, and thirty-five privates wounded.

"On this occasion, Sergeant Macgregor, whose company was immediately in the rear of the picquet, rushed forward to their support, with a few men who happened to have their arms in their hands, when the enemy commenced the attack. Being severely wounded, he was left insensible on the ground. When the picquet was overpowered, and the few survivors forced to retire, Macgregor, who had that day put on a new jacket with silver lace, having besides, large silver buckles in his shoes, and a watch, attracted the notice of an American soldier, who deemed him a good prize. The retreat of his friends not allowing him time to strip the sergeant on the spot, he thought the shortest way was to take him on his back to a more convenient distance. By this time Macgregor began to recover; and, perceiving whither the man was carrying him, drew his dirk, and, grasping him by the throat, swore that he would run him through the breast, if he did not turn back and carry him to the camp. The American, finding this argument irresistible, complied with the request, and, meeting Lord Cornwallis (who had come up to the support of the regiment when he heard the firing) and Colonel Stirling, was thanked for his care of the sergeant; but he honestly told him, that he only conveyed him thither to save his own life. Lord Cornwallis gave him liberty to go whithersoever he chose."

Summer being well advanced, Sir William Howe made preparations for taking the field. The Royal Highlanders, along with the 13th, 17th, and 44th regiments were put under the command of General Charles Gray. Failing to draw Washington from his secure position at Middlebrook, General Howe resolved to change the seat of war, and accordingly embarked thirty-six battalions of British and Hessians, and sailed for the Chesapeake. Before the embarkation, the Royal Highlanders received one hundred and seventy recruits from Scotland, who, as they were all of the best description, more than supplied the loss that had been sustained.

After a tedious voyage the army, on August 24th, landed at Elk Ferry. It did not begin the march until September 3rd, for Philadelphia. In the meantime Washington marched across the country and took up a position at Red Clay Creek, but having his headquarters at Wilmington. His effective force was about eleven thousand men while that of General Howe was eighteen thousand strong.

The two armies met on September 11th, and fought the battle of Brandywine. During the battle, lord Cornwallis, with four battalions of British grenadiers and light infantry, the Hessian grenadiers, a party of the 71st Highlanders, and the third and fourth brigades, made a circuit of some miles, crossed Jefferis’ Ford without opposition, and turned short down the river to attack the American right. Washington, being apprised of this movement, detached General Sullivan, with all the force he could spare, to thwart the design. General Sullivan, having advantageously posted his men, lord Cornwallis was obliged to consume some time in forming a line of battle. An action then took place, when the Americans were driven through the woods towards the main army. Meanwhile General Knyphausen, with his division, made demonstrations for crossing at Chad’s Ford, and as soon as he knew from the firing of cannon that lord Cornwallis had succeeded, he crossed the river and carried the works of the Amercans. The approach of night ended the conflict. The Amercans rendezvoused at Chester, and the next day retreated towards Philadelphia, and encamped near Germantown.

The British had fifty officers killed and wounded and four hundred and thirty-eight rank and file. The battalion companies of the 42nd being in the reserve, sustained no loss, as they were not brought into action; but of the light company, which formed part of the light brigade, six privates were killed, and one sergeant and fifteen privates wounded.

On the night of September 20th, General Gray was detached with the 2nd light infantry and the 42nd and 44th regiments to cut off and destroy the corps of General Wayne. They marched with great secrecy and came upon the camp at midnight, when all were asleep save the pickets and guards, who were overpowered without causing an alarm. The troops then rushed forward, bayoneted three hundred and took one hundred Americans prisoners. The British loss was three killed and several wounded.

On the 26th the British army took peaceable possession of Philadelphia. In the battle of Germantown, fought on the morning of October 4, 1777, the Highlanders did not participate.

The next enterprise in which the 42nd was engaged was under General Gray, who embarked with that regiment, the grenadiers and the light infantry brigade, for the purpose of destroying a number of privateers, with their prizes at New Plymouth. On September 5, 1778, the troops landed on the banks of the Acushnet river, and having destroyed seventy vessels, with all the cargoes, stores, wharfs, and buildings, along the whole extent of the river, the whole were re-embarked the following day and returned to New York.

The British army during the Revolutionary struggle took the winter season for a period of rest, although engaging more or less in marauding expeditions. On February 25, 1779, Colonel Stirling, with a detachment consisting of the light infantry of the Guards and the 42nd, was ordered to attack a post at Elizabethtown, in New Jersey, which was taken without opposition.

In April following the Highland regiment was employed on an expedition to the Chesapeake, to destroy the stores and merchandise at Portsmouth, in Virginia. They were again employed with the Guards and a corps of Hessians in another expedition under General Mathews, which sailed on the 30th, under the convoy of Sir George Collier, in the Reasonable, and several ships of war, and reached their destination on May 10th, when the troops landed on the glebe on the western bank of Elizabeth. After fulfilling the object of the expedition they returned to New York in good time for the opening of the campaign, which commenced by the capture, on the part of the British, of Verplanks and Stony Point. A garrison of six hundred men, among whom were two companies of Fraser’s Highlanders, took possession of Stony Point. Washington planned its capture which was executed by General Wayne. Soon after General Wayne moved against Verplanks, which held out till the approach of the light infantry and the 42nd, then withdrew his forces and evacuated Stony Point. Shortly after, Colonel Stirling was appointed aide-de-camp to the king, when the command of the 42nd devolved on Major Charles Graham, to whom was entrusted the command of the posts of Stony Point and Verplanks, together with his own regiment, and a detachment of Fraser’s Highlanders, under Major Ferguson. This duty was the more important, as the Americans surrounded the posts in great numbers, and desertion had become so frequent among a corps of provincials, sent as a reinforcement, that they could not be trusted on any military duty, particularly on those duties which were most harassing. In the month of October these posts were withdrawn and the regiment sent to Greenwich, near New York.

The winter of 1779 was the coldest that had been known for forty years; and the troops, although in quarters, suffered more from that circumstance than in the preceding winter when in huts. But the Highianders met with a misfortune that greatly grieved them, and which tended to deteriorate, for several years, the heretofore irreproachable character of the Royal Highland Regiment. In the autumn of this year a draft of one hundred and fifty men, recruits raised principally from the refuse of the streets of London and Dublin, was embarked for the regiment by orders from the inspector-general at Chatham. These men were of the most depraved character, and of such dissolute habits, that one-half of them were unfit for service; fifteen died in the passage, and seventy-five were sent to the hospital from the transport as soon as they disembarked. The infusion of such immoral ingredients must necessarily have a deleterious effect. General Stirling made a strong remonstrance to the commander-in-chief, in consequence of which these men were removed to the 26th regiment, in exchange for the same number of Scotchmen. The introduction of these men into the regiment dissolved the charm which, for nearly forty years, had preserved the Highlanders from contamination. During that long period there were but few courts-martial, and, for many years, no instance of corporal punishment occurred.

With the intention of pushing the war with vigor, the new commander-in-chief. Sir Henry Clinton, who had succeeded Sir William Howe, in May, 1778, resolved to attack Charleston, the capital of South Carolina. Having left General Knyphausen in command at New York, General Clinton with his army set sail December 26, 1779. Such was the severity of the weather, however, that, although the voyage might have been accomplished in ten days, it was February 11, 1780, before the troops disembarked on John’s Island, thirty miles from Charleston. So great were the impediments to be overcome, and so cautious was the advance of the general, that it was March 29th before they crossed the Ashley river. The following day they encamped opposite the American lines. Ground was broken in front of Charleston on April 1st. General Lincoln, who commanded the American forces, had strengthened the place in all its defences, both by land and water, in such a manner as to threaten a siege that would be both tedious and difficult. When General Clinton, anticipating the nature of the works he desired to capture, sent for the Royal Highlanders and Queen’s Rangers to join him, which they did on April 18th, having sailed from New York on March 31st. The siege proceeded in the usual way until May 12th, when the garrison surrendered prisoners of war. The loss of the British forces on this occasion consisted of seventy-six killed and one hundred and eighty—nine wounded; and that of the 42nd, Lieutenant Macleod and nine privates killed, and Lieutenant Alexander Grant and fourteen privates wounded.

After Sir Henry Clinton had taken possession of Charleston, the 42nd and light infantry were ordered to Monck’s Corner as a foraging party, and, returning on the 2nd, they embarked June 4th for New York, along with the Grenadiers and Elessians. After being stationed for a time on Staten Island, Valentine’s Hill, and other stations in New York, went into winter quarters in the city. About this time one hundred recruits were received from Scotland, all young men, in the full vigor of health, and ready for immediate service. From this period, as the regiment was not engaged in any active service during the war, the changes in encampments are too trifling to require notice.

On April 28, 1782, Major Graham succeeded to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Royal Highland Regiment, and Captain Walter Home of the fusileers became major.

While the regiment was stationed at Paulus Hook several of the men deserted to the Americans. This unprecedented and unlooked for event occasioned much surprise and various causes were ascribed for it but the prevalent opinion was that the men had received from the 26th regiment, and who had been made prisoners at Saratoga, had been promised lands and other indulgences while prisoners to the Americans. One of these deserters, a man named Anderson, was soon afterwards taken, tried by court—martial, and shot. This was the first instance of an execution in the regiment since the mutiny of 1743. The regiment remained at Paulus Hook till the conclusion of the war, when the establishment was reduced to eight companies of fifty men each. The officers of the ninth and tenth companies were not put on half-pay, but kept as supernumeraries to fill up vacancies as they occurred in the regiment. A number of the men were discharged at their own request, and their places supplied by those who wished to remain in the country, instead of going home with their regiments. These were taken from Fraser’s and Macdonald Highlanders, and from the Edinburgh and duke of Hamilton’s regiments.

The 42nd left New York for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on October 22, 1783, where they remained till the year 1786, when the battalion embarked and sailed for Cape Breton, two companies being detached to tile island of St. John. In the month of August, 1789. the regiment embarked for England, and landed in Portsmouth in October. In May, 1790, they arrived in Glasgow.

During the American Revolutionary War the loss of the Royal Highlanders was as follows:


The breaking out of hostilities in America in 1775 determined the English government to revive Fraser’s Highlanders.

Although disinherited of his estates Colonel Fraser, through the influence of clan feeling, was enabled to raise twelve hundred and fifty men in 1757, it was believed, since his estates had been restored in 1772, he could readily raise a strong regiment. So, in 1775, Colonel Fraser received letters for raising a Highland regiment of two battalions. With ease he raised two thousand three hundred and forty Highlanders, who were marched up to Stirling, and thence to Glasgow in April, 1776. This corps had in it six chiefs of clans besides himself. The regiment consisted of the following nominal list of officers:


Colonel: Simon Fraser of Lovat; Lieutenant-Colonel: Sir William Erskine of Torry; Majors: John Macdonell of Lochgarry and Duncan Macpherson of Cluny; Captains: Simon Fraser, Duncan Chisholm of Chisholm, Colin Mackenzie, Francis Skelly, Hamilton Maxwell, John Campbell, Norman Macleod of Macleod, Sir James Baird of Saughtonhall and Charles Cameron of Lochiel; Lieutenants: Charles Campbell, John Macdougall, Colin Mackenzie, John Nairne, William Nairne, Charles Gordon, David Kinloch, Thomas Tause, William Sinclair, Hugh Fraser, Alexander Fraser, Thomas Fraser, Dougald Campbell, Robert Macdonald, Alexander Fraser, Roderick Macleod, John Ross, Patrick Cumming, and Thomas Hamilton; Ensigns: Archibald Campbell, Henry Macpherson, John Grant, Robert Campbell, Allan Malcolm, John Murchison, Angus Macdonell, Peter Fraser; Chaplain: Hugh Blair, D.D.; Adjutant: Donald Cameron; Quarter-Master: David Campbell; Surgeon: William Fraser.


Colonel: Simon Fraser of Lovat; Lieutenant-Colonel: Archibald Campbell; Majors: Norman Lamont and Robert Menzies; Captains: Angus Mackintosh of Kellachy, Patrick Campbell, Andrew Lawrie, AEneas Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Charles Cameron, George Munro, Boyd Porterfield and Law Robert Campbell; Lieutenants: Robert Hutchison, Alexander Sutherland, Archibald Campbell, Hugh Lamont, Robert Duncanson, George Stewart, Charles Barrington Mackenzie. James Christie, James Fraser, Thomas Fraser, Archibald Balnevis, Dougald Campbell, Lodovick Colquhoun, John Mackenzie, Hugh Campbell, John Campbell, Arthur Forbes, Patrick Campbell, Archibald Maclean. David Ross, Robert Grant and Thomas Fraser; Ensigns: William Gordon, Charles Main, Archibald Campbell, Donald Cameron, Smollet Campbell, Gilbert Waugh, William Bain and John Grant Chaplain : Malcolm Nicholson; Adjutant : Archibald Campbell; Quarter-Master: J. Ogilvie; Surgeon: Colin Chisholm.

At the time Fraser’s Regiment, or the 71st, was mustered in Glasgow, there were nearly six thousand Highlanders in that city, of whom three thousand, belonging to the 42nd, and 71st, were raised and brought from the North in ten weeks. More men had come up than were required. When the corps marched for Greenock, these were left behind. So eager were they to engage against the Americans that many were stowed away, who had not enlisted. On none of the soldiers was there the appearance of displeasure at going.

Sometime after the sailing of the fleet it was scattered by a violent gale, and several of the single ships fell in with, and were scattered by, American privateers. A transport having Captain, afterward Sir AEneas 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 the intention of boarding; but, the privateer not waiting to receive the shock, set sail, the transport being unable to follow.

As has been previously noticed, General Howe, on evacuating Boston, did not leave a vessel off the harbor to warn incoming British ships Owing to this neglect, the transport with Colonel Archibald Campbell and Major Menzies on board sailed into Boston Harbour. The account of the capture of this transport and others is here subjoined by the participants. Captain Seth Harding, commander of the defence, in his report to Governor Trumbull, under date of June 19, 1776, said:

"I sailed on Sunday last from Plymouth. Soon after we came to sail, I heard a considerable firing to the northward. In the evening fell in with four armed schooners near the entrance of Boston harbor, who informed me they had been engaged with a ship and brig, and were obliged to quit them. Soon after I came up into Nantasket Roads, where I found the ship and brig at anchor. I immediately fell in between the two, and came to anchor about eleven o’clock at night. I hailed the ship, who answered, from Great Britain. I ordered her to strike her colors to America. They answered me by asking, What brig is that? I told them the Defence. I then hailed him again, and told him I did not want to kill their men; but have the ship I would at all events, and again desired them to strike; upon which the Major (since dead) said, Yes, I’ll strike, and fired a broadside upon me, which I immediately returned, upon which an engagement begun, which continued three glasses, when the ship and brig both struck. In this engagement I had nine wounded. but none killed. The enemy had eighteen killed, and a number wounded. My officers and men behaved with great bravery; no man could have outdone them. We took out of the above vessels two hundred and ten prisoners, among whom is Colonel Campbell, of General Frazer’s Regiment of Highlanders. The Major was killed.

Yesterday a ship was seen in the bay, which came towards the entrance of the harbor, upon which I came to sail, with four schooners in company. We came up with her, and took her without any engagement. There were on board about one hundred and twelve Highlanders. As there are a number more of the same fleet expected every day, and the General here urges my stay, I shall tarry a few days, and then proceed for New London. My brig is much damaged in her sails and rigging."

Colonel Campbell made the following report to Sir William Howe, dated at Boston, June 19, 1776:

"Sir: I am sorry to inform you that it has been my unfortunate lot to have fallen into the hands of the Americans in the middle of Boston harbor; but when the circumstances which have occasioned this disaster are understood, I flatter myself no reflection will arise to myself or my officers on account of it. On the 16th of June the George and Annabella transports, with two companies of the Seventy-First Regiment of Highlanders, made the land off Cape Ann, after a passage of seven weeks from Scotland, during the course of which we had not the opportunity of speaking to a single vessel that could give us the smallest information of the British troops having evacuated Boston. On the 17th, at

daylight, we found ourselves opposite to the harbor’s mouth at Boston ; but, from contrary winds, it was necessary to make several tacks to reach it. Four schooners (which we took to be pilots, or armed vessels in the service of his Majesty, but which were afterwards found to be four American privateers, of eight carriage-guns, twelve swivels, and forty men each) were bearing down upon us at four o’clock in the morning. At half an hour thereafter two of them engaged us, and about eleven o’clock the other two were close alongside. The George transport (on board of which were Major Menzies and myself, with one hundred and eight of the Second Battalion, the Adjutant, the Quartermaster, two Lieutenants ,and five volunteers, were passengers) had only six pieces of cannon to oppose them: and the Annabella (on board of which was Captain McKenzie, together with two subalterns, two volunteers, and eighty—two private men of the First Battalion) had only two swivels for her defence. Under such circumstances, I thought it expedient for the Annabella to keep ahead of the George, that our artillery might be used with more effect and less obstruction. Two of the privateers having sta— tioned themselves upon our larboard quarter and two upon our starboard quarter, a tolerable cannonade ensued, which, with very few intermissions, lasted till four o’clock in the evening, when the enemy bore away, and anchored in Plymouth harbor. Our loss upon this occasion was only three men mortally wounded on board the George, one killed and one man slightly wounded on board the Annabella. As my orders were for the port of Boston, I thought it my duty, at this happy crisis, to push forward into the harbor, not doubting I should receive protection either from a fort or some ship of force stationed there for the security of our fleet.

Towards the close of the evening we perceived the four schooners that were engaged with us in the morning, joined by the brig Defence, of sixteen carriage-guns, twenty swivels, and one hundred and seventeen men, and a schooner of eight carriage-guns, twelve swivels. and forty tiien, got under way and made towards us. As we stood up for Nantasket Road, an American battery opened upon us, which was the first serious proof we had that there could scarcely be many friends of ours at Boston: and we were too far embayed to retreat, especially as the wind had died away, and the tide of flood not half expended. After each of the vessels had twice run aground, we anchored at George’s Island, and prepared for action; but the Annabella by some misfortune, got aground so far astern of the George we could expect but a feeble support from her musketry. About eleven o’clock four of the schooners anchored right upon our bow, and one right astern of us. The armed brig took her station on our starboard side, at the distance of two hundred yards, and hailed us to strike the British flag. Although the mate of our ship and every sailor on board (the Captain only excepted) refused positively to fight any longer, I have the pleasure to inform you that there was not an officer, non-commissioned officer, or private man of the Seventy-First but what stood to their quarters with a ready and cheerful obedience. On our refusing to strike the British flag, the action was renewed with a good deal of warmth on both sides, and it was our misfortune, after the sharp combat of an hour and a half, to have expended every shot that we had for our artillery. Under such circumstances, hemmed in as we were with six privateers, in the middle of an enemy’s harbor, beset with a dead calm, without the power of escaping, or even the most distant hope of relief, I thought it became my duty not to sacrifice the lives of gallant men wantonly in the arduous attempt of an evident impossibility. In this unfortunate affair Major Menzies and seven private soldiers were killed, the Quartermaster and twelve private soldiers wounded. The Major was buried with the honors of war at Boston.

Since our captivity, I have the honor to acquaint you that we have experienced the utmost civility and good treatment from the people of power at Boston, insomuch, sir, that I should do injustice to the feelings of generosity did I not make this particular information with pleasure and satisfaction. I have now to request of you that, so soon as the distracted state of this unfortunate controversy will admit, you will be pleased to take an early opportunity of settling a cartel for myself and officers.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Archibald Campbell.
Lieut. Col. 2d Bat. 71st Regiment.

P. S. On my arrival at Boston I found that Captain Maxwell, with the Light-Infantry of the first battalion of the Seventy— First Regiment, had the misfortune to fall into the hands of some other privateers, and were carried into Marblehead the 10th instant. Captain Campbell, with the Grenadiers of the second battalion, who was ignorant, as we were, of the evacuation of Boston, stood into the mouth of this harbor, and was surrounded and taken by eight privateers this forenoon.

In case of a cartel is established, the following return is, as near as I can effect, the number of officers, non-commissioned officers, and private men of the Seventy-First Regiment who are prisoners-of-war at and in the neighborhood of Boston:

The George transport: Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell; Lieutenant and Adjutant Archibald Campbell: Lieutenant Archibald Balneaves; Lieutenant Hugh Campbell; Quartermaster William Ogilvie; Surgeon’s Mate, David Burns; Patrick McDougal, private, and acting Sergeant-Major; James Flint, volunteer: Dugald Campbell, ditto; Donald McBane, John Wilson, three Sergeants, four corporals, two Drummers, ninety private men.

The Annabella transport: Captain George McKinzie; Lieutenant Colin McKinzie; Ensign Peter Fraser; Mr. McKinzie and Alexander McTavish, volunteers: four Sergeants, four Corporals, two Drummers, eighty-one private men.

Lord Howe transport: Captain Lawrence Campbell; Lieutenant Robert Duncanson; Lieutenant Archibald McLean Lieutenant Lewis Colhoun; Duncan Campbell, volunteer: four Sergeants, four Corporals, two Drummers, ninety-six private men.

Ann transport: Captain Hamilton Maxwell; Lieutenant Charles Campbell; Lieutenant Fraser; Lieutenant - — ; four Sergeants, four Corporals, two Drummers, ninety-six private men.

Archibald Campbell,
Lieut. Col. 2d Bat. 71st Regiment."

On account of the treatment received by General Charles Lee, a prisoner in the hands of Sir William Howe, and the covert threat of condign punishment on the accusation of treason, Congress resolved, January 6, 1777, that "should the proffered exchange of General Lee, for six Hessian field-officers, not be accepted, and the treatment of him as aforementioned be continued, then the principles of retaliation shall occasion first of the said Hessian field-officers, together with Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, or any other officers that are or may be in our possession, equivalent in number or quality, to be detained, in order that the same treatment, which general Lee shall receive, may be exactly inflicted upon their persons."

In consequence of this act Colonel Campbell was thrown into Concord gaol. On February 4th he addressed a letter to Washington giving a highly colored account of his severe treatment, making it equal to that inflicted upon the most atrocious criminals; and for the reasons he was so treated declaring that "the first of this month, I was carried and lodged in the common gaol of Concord, by an order of Congress, through the Council of Boston, intimating for a reason, that a refusal of General Howe to give up General Lee for six field-officers, of whom I was one, and the placing of that gentleman under the charge of the Provost at New York, were the motives of their particular ill treatment of me."

Washington, on February 28, 1777, wrote to the Council of Massachusetts remonstrating with them and directing Colonel Campbell’s enlargement, as his treatment was not according to the resolve of Congress. The following day he wrote Colonel Campbell stating that he imagined there would be a mitigation of what he now suffered. At the same time Washington wrote to the Congress on the impolicy of so treating Colonel Campbell, declaring that he feared that the resolutions, if adhered to, might "produce consequences of an extensive and melancholy nature." On March 6th he wrote to the president of Congress reaffirming his position on the impolicy of their attitude towards Colonel Campbell. To the same he wrote May 28th stating that "notwithstanding my recommendation, agreeably to what I conceived to be the sense of Congress, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell’s treatment continues to be such as cannot be justified either on the principles of generosity or strict retaliation; as I have authentic information, and I doubt not you will have the same, that General Lee’s situation is far from being rigorous or uncomfortable." To Sir William Howe, he wrote June 10th, that "Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell and the Hessian field-officers, will be detained till you recognise General Lee as a prisoner of war, and put him on the footing of claim. * * * The situation of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, as represented by you, is such as I neither wished nor approve. Upon the first intimation of his complaints, I wrote upon the subject, and hoped there would have been no further cause of uneasiness. That, gentleman, I am persuaded, will do me the justice to say, he has received no ill treatment at my instance. Unnecessary severity and every species of insult I despise, and, I trust, none will ever have just reason to censure me in this respect." At this time Colonel Campbell was not in the gaol but in the jailer’s house. On June 2d Congress ordered that Colonel Campbell and the five Hessian officers should be treated "with kindness, generosity, and tenderness, consistent with the safe custody of their persons."

Congress finally decided that General Prescott, who had been recently captured, should be held as a hostage for the good treatment of General Lee, and Washington was authorized to negotiate an exchange of prisoners.

March 10, 1778, in a letter addressed to Washington by Sir William Howe, he concludes as follows:

"When the agreement was concluded upon to appoint commissioners to settle a general exchange, I expected there would have been as much expedition used in returning Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, and the Hessian field-officers, as in returning Major-General Prescott, and that the cartel might have been finished by the time of the arrival of General Lee. If, however, there should be any objection to General Prescott’s remaining at New York, until the aforementioned officers are sent in, he shall, to avoid altercation, be returned upon requisition."

To this Washington replied:

"Valley Forge, 12 March, 1778.

Sir :—Your letter of the 10th came to hand last night. The meeting of our commissioners cannot take place till the time appointed in my last.

I am not able to conceive on what principle it should be imagined, that any distinction, injurious to Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell and the Hessian field officers, still exists. That they have not yet been returned on parole is to be ascribed solely to the remoteness of their situation. Mr. Boudinot informs me, that he momentarily expects their arrival, in prosecution of our engagement. You are well aware, that the distinction originally made, with respect to them, was in consequence of your discrimination to the prejudice of General Lee. On your receding from that discrimination, and agreeing to a mutual releasement of officers on parole, the difficulty ceased, and General Prescott was sent into New York, in full expectation, that General Lee would come out in return. So far from adhering to any former exception. I had particularly directed my commissary of prisoners to release Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, in lieu of Lieutenant Colonel Ethan Allen."

It was not, however, until May 5, 1778 that Washington succeeded in exchanging Colonel Campbell for Colonel Ethan Allen. His imprisonment did not have any effect on his treatment of those who afterwards fell into his hands.

The death of Major Menzies was an irreparable loss to the corps, for he was a man of judgment and experience; and many of the officers and all the sergeants and soldiers totally inexperienced. Colonel Campbell was experienced as an engineer, but was a stranger to the minor and interior discipline of the line. But when it is considered that the force opposed to Fraser’s regiment was also undisciplined, the duty and responsibility became less arduous.

The greater part of the 71st safely landed towards the end of July, 1776 on Staten Island and were immediately brought to the front. The grenadiers were placed in the battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Stuart, and the light infantry in Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Abercromby’s brigade; the other companies were formed into three small battalions in brigades, under Sir William Erskine, then appointed Brigadier-General. In this manner, and, as has been noticed, without training, these men were brought into action at Brooklin. Nine hundred men of the 42nd, engaged on this occasion, were as inexperienced as those of the 71st, but they had the advantage of the example of three hundred old soldiers, on which to form their habits, together with officers of long experience.

The first proof of their capacity, energy and steadfastness was at the battle of Brooklin, where they fully met the expectations of their commander. They displayed great eagerness to push the Americans to extremities, and to compel them to abandon their strong position. General Howe, desiring to spare their lives, called them back. The loss sustained by this regiment, in the engagement was three rank and file killed, and two sergeants and nine rank and file wounded.

The regiment passed the winter at Amboy, and in the skirmishing warfare of the next campaign was in constant employment, particularly so in the expeditions against Willsborough and Westfield, with which the operations for 1777 commenced. Immediately afterwards the army embarked for the Chesapeake. In the battle of Brandywine, a part of the 71st was actively engaged, and the regiment remained in Pennsylvania until November, when they embarked for New York. Here they were joined by two hundred recruits who had arrived from Scotland in September. These men along with one hundred more recovered from the hospital, formed a small corps under Captain Colin Mackenzie and acted as light infantry in an expedition up the North river to create a diversion in favor of General Burgoyne’s movements. This corps led a successful assault on Fort Montgomery on October 6th, in which they displayed great courage. Captain Mackenzie’s troops led the assault, and although so many were recruits, it was said that they exhibited conduct worthy of veterans.

In the year 1778, the 71st regiment accompanied lord Cornwallis on an expedition into the Jerseys, distinguished by a series of movements and counter-movements. Stewart says that on the excursion into the Jerseys "a corps of cavalry, commanded by the Polish count Pulaski, were surprised and nearly cut to pieces by the light infantry under Sir James Baird." This must refer to the expedition against Little Egg Harbor, on the eastern coast of New Jersey, which was a noted place of rendezvous for American privateers. The expedition was commanded by Captain Patrick Ferguson, many of whose troops were American royalists. They failed in their design, but made extensive depredations on both public and private property. A deserter from count Pulaski’s command informed Captain Ferguson that a force had been sent to check these ravages and was now encamped twelve miles up the river. Captain Ferguson proceeded to surprise the force, and succeeded. He surrounded the houses at night in which the unsuspecting infantry were sleeping, and in his report of the affair said:

"It being a night-attack, little quarter, of course, could be given; so there were only five prisoners !"

He had butchered fifty of the infantry on the spot, when the approach of count Pulaski’s horse caused him to make a rapid retreat to his boats, and a flight down the river. Such expeditions only tended to arouse the Americans and express the most determined hatred towards their oppressors. They uttered vows of vengeance which they sought in every way to execute.

An expedition consisting of the Highlanders, two regiments of Hessians, a corps of provincials, and a detachment of artillery, commanded by Lieutenant—Colonel Archibald Campbell, sailed from Sandy Hook, November 29, 1778, and after a stormy passage reached the Savannah river by the end of December. The 1st battalion of the 71st, and the light infantry, under the immediate command of Lieutenant—Colonel Maitland, landed, without opposition a short distance below the town of Savannah. Captain Cameron, without delay, advanced to attack the American advanced posts, when he and three of his men were killed by a volley. The rest instantly charged and drove the Americans back on the main body, drawn up in a line on an open plain in the rear of the town. The disembarkation, with the necessary arrangements for an attack was soon completed. At that time Savannah was an open town, without any natural strength, save that of the woods which covered both sides. 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 Americans, while the corps, which had been Captain Cameron’s, was sent round the left. The main army in front made demonstrations to attack. The Americans were so occupied with the main body that they did not perceive the flanking movements, and were thus easily surrounded. When they realized the situation they fled in great confusion. The light infantry closing in upon both flanks of the retreating Americans, they greatly suffered, losing upwards of one hundred killed and five hundred wounded and prisoners, with a British loss of but four soldiers killed and five wounded. The town then surrendered and the British took possession of all the shipping, stores, and forty-five cannon.

Flushed with success Colonel Campbell made immediate preparations to advance against Augusta, situated in the interior about one hundred and fifty miles distant. No opposition was manifested, and the whole province of Georgia, apparently submitted. Colonel Campbell established himself in Augusta, and detached Lieutenant—Colonel Hamilton, with two hundred men to the frontiers of Georgia. Meanwhile General Prevost, having arrived at Savannah from Florida, assumed command. Judging the ground occupied to be too extensive, he ordered Augusta evacuated and the lines narrowed. This retrograde movement emboldened the Americans and they began to collect in great numbers, and hung on the rear of the British, cutting off stragglers, and frequently skirmishing with the rear guard. Although uniformly maintaining themselves, this retreat dispirited the royalists (commonly called tories), and left them unprotected and unwilling to render assistance.

It appears that the policy of General Prevost was not to encourage the establishing of a provincial militia, so that the royalists were left behind without arms or employment, and the patriots 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, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland in command of the 71st regiment.

The regiment remained inactive till the month of February 1779, when it was employed in an enterprise against Brier Creek, forty miles below Augusta, a strong position defended by upwards of two thousand men, besides one thousand occupied in detached stations. In front was a deep swamp, rendered passable only by a narrow causeway, and on each flank thick woods nearly impenetrable, but the position was open to the rear. In order to dislodge the Americans from this position Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Macpherson, with the first battalion of the Highlanders, was directed to march upon the front of the position; whilst 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 forty-nine miles. Notwithstanding the length of the march through a difficult country, the movements were so well regulated, 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 rushed through the openings in the swamp on the left flank. The attack was made on March 3rd. The Americans under General Ashe were completely surprised. The entire army was lost by death, captivity and dispersion. On this occasion one fourth of General Lincoln’s army was destroyed. The loss of the Highlanders being five soldiers killed, and one officer and twelve rank and file wounded.

General Prevost was active and next determined to invade South Carolina. Towards the close of April he crossed the Savannah river, with the troops engaged at Brier’s Creek, and a large body of royalists and Creek Indians, and made slow marches towards Charleston. In the meantime General Lincoln had been active and recruited vigorously, and now mustered five thousand men under his command. Whilst General Prevost marched against General Lincoln’s front, the former ordered the 71st to make a circuitous march of several miles and attack the rear. Guided by a party of Creek Indians the Highlanders entered a woody swamp at eleven o’clock at night, in traversing which they were frequently up to the shoulders in the swamp. They emerged from the woods the next morning at eight o’clock with their ammunition destroyed. They were now within a half mile of General Lincoln’s rear guard which they attacked and drove from their position without sustaining loss. Reaching Charleston on May 11th General Prevost demanded instantly its surrender, but a dispatch from General Lincoln notified the people that he was coming to their relief. General Prevost, fearing that General Lincoln would cut off his communication with Savannah, commenced his retreat towards that city, at midnight, along the coast. This route exposed his troops to much suffering, having to march through unfrequented woods, salt water marshes and swamps. Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost, the Quartermaster-General, and a man of the name of Macgirt, and a person under his orders, had gone on a foraging expedition, and were not returned from their operations; and in order to protect them Colonel Maitland, with a battalion of Highlanders and some Hessians, was placed in a hastily constructed redoubt at Stono Ferry, ten miles below Charleston. On June 20th these men were attacked by a part of General Lincoln’s force. When their advance was reported, Captain Colin Campbell, with four officers and fifty-six men, was sent out to reconnoitre. A thick wood covered the approach of the Americans till they reached a clear field on which Captain Campbell’s party stood. Immediately he attacked the Americans and a desperate resistance ensued; all the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Highlanders fell, seven soldiers alone remaining on their feet. It was not intended that the resistance should be of such a nature, but most of the men had been captured in Boston Harbor, and had only been recently exchanged, and this being their first appearance before an enemy, and thought it was disgraceful to retreat when under fire. When Captain Campbell fell he directed his men to make the best of their way to the redoubt; but they refused to obey, and leave their officers on the field. The Americans, at this juncture ceased firing, and the seven soldiers carried their officers along with them, followed by such as were able to walk. The Americans advanced on the redoubts with partial success. The Hessians having got into confusion in the redoubt, which they occupied, the Americans forced an entrance, but the 71st having driven back those who attacked their redoubt, Colonel Maitland was enabled to detach two companies of Highlanders to the support of the Hessians. The Americans were instantly driven out of the redoubt at the point of the bayonet, and while preparing for another attempt, the 2d battalion of Highlanders came up, when despairing of success they retreated at all points, leaving many killed and wounded.

The resistance offered by Captain Campbell afforded their friends in the redoubts time to prepare, and likewise to the 2d battalion in the island to march by the difficult and circuitous route left open for them. The delay in the 2d battalion was also caused by a want of boats. Two temporary ferry-boats had been established, but the men in charge ran away as soon as the firing began. The Americans opened a galling fire on the men as they stood on the banks of the river. Lieutenant Robert Campbell plunged into the water and swam across, followed by a few soldiers, returned with the boats, and thus enabled the battalion to cross over to the support of their friends. Five hundred and twenty Highlanders and two hundred Hessians successfully resisted all the efforts of the Americans twelve hundred strong, and this with a trifling loss in comparison to the service rendered. When the Americans fell back, the whole garrison sallied out, but the light troops covered the retreat so successfully, that all the wounded were brought off. In killed and wounded the Americans lost one hundred and forty-six and one hundred and fifty missing. The British loss was three officers and thirty-two soldiers killed and wounded. Three days afterwards, the foraging party having re— turned, the British evacuated Stono Ferry, and retreated from island to island, until they reached Beaufort, on Port Royal, where Colonel Maitland was left with seven hundred men, while General Prevost, with the main body of the army, continued his difficult and harrassing march to Savannah.

In the month of September 1779, 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 transports, with a body of troops on board for the avowed purpose of retaking Savannah. 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 eleven hundred effective men. The combined force of French and Americans was four thousand nine hundred and fifty men. While General Lincoln and his force were approaching the French effected a landing at Beuley and Thunderbolt, without opposition. General McIntosh urged count D’Estaing to make an immediate assault upon the British works. This advice was rejected, and count D’Estaing advanced within three miles of Savannah and demanded an unconditional surrender to the king of France. General Prevost asked for a truce until next day which was granted, and in the meanwhile twelve hundred white men and negroes were employed in strengthening the fortifications and mounting additional ordnance. This truce General Lincoln at once perceived was fatal to the success of the beseigers, for he had ascertained that Colonel Maitland, with his troops, was on his way from Beaufort, to reinforce General Prevost, and that his arrival within twenty—four hours, was the object which was designed by the truce. Colonel Maitland, conducted by a negro fisherman, passed through a creek with his boats, at high water, and concealed by a fog, eluded the French, and entered the town on the afternoon of September 17th. His arrival gave General Prevost courage, and towards evening he sent a note to count D’Estaing, hearing a positive refusal to capitulate. All energies were now bent towards taking the town by regular approaches. Ground was broken on the morning of September 23rd. and night and day the besiegers plied the spade, and so vigorously was the work prosecuted, that in the course of twelve days fifty-three cannon and fourteen mortars were mounted. During these days two sorties were made. The morning of September 24th. Major Colin Graham, with the light company of the 16th regiment, and the two Highland battalions, dashed out, attacked the besiegers, drove them from their works, and then retired with the loss of Lieutenant Henry Macpherson of the 71st, and three privates killed, and fifteen wounded. On September 27th, Major Macarthur, with the pickets of the High-landers advanced 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 fifty men; and, in the meantime Major Macarthur retired. These sorties had no effect on the general operations.

On the morning of October 4th, the batteries having been all completed and manned, a terrible bombardment was opened upon the British works and the town. The French frigate Truite also opened a cannonade. Houses were shattered, men, women and children were killed or maimed, and terror reigned. Day and night the cannonade was continued until the 9th. Victory was within the grasp of the besiegers, when count D’Estaing became impatient and determined on an assault. Just before dawn on the morning of the 9th four thousand five hundred men of the combined armies moved to the assault, in the midst of a dense fog and under cover of a heavy fire from the batteries. They advanced in three columns, the principal one commanded by count D’Estaing in person, assisted by General Lincoln; another column by count Dillon. The left column taking a great circuit got entangled in a swamp, and, being exposed to the guns of the garrison, was unable to advance. The others made the advance in the best manner, but owing to the fire of the batteries suffered severely. Many entered the ditch, and even ascended and planted the colors on the parapet, where several 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 assaulting 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 and assist those who were so hard pressed by superior numbers, could not overtake them. The other columns, seeing the discomfiture of the principal attack, retired without any further attempt.

It is the uniform testimony of those who have studied this siege that if count D’Estaing had immediately on landing made the attack, the garrison must have succumbed. General Lincoln, although his force was greatly diminished by the action just closed, wished to continue the siege; but count D’Estaing resolved on immediate departure. General Lincoln was indignant, but concealed his wrath; and being too weak to carry on the siege alone, he at last consented to abandon it.

The French loss, in killed and wounded, was six hundred and thirty-seven men, and the American four hundred and fifty-seven. The British lost one captain, two subalterns, four sergeants, and thirty-two soldiers, killed; and two captains, two sergeants, two drummers, and fifty-six soldiers, wounded. Colonel Maitland was attacked with a bilious disease during the siege and soon after died. The British troops had been sickly before Savannah was attacked; but the soldiers were reanimated, and sickness, in a manner, was suspended, during active operations. But when the Americans withdrew, and all excitement had ceased, sickness returned with aggravated violence, and fully one fourth the men were sent to the hospital.

While these operations were going on in Georgia and South Carolina a disaster overtook the grenadiers of the 71st who were posted at Stony Point and Verplanks, in the state of New York. Washington planned the attack on Stony Point and deputed General Wayne to execute it. So secretly was the whole movement conducted, that the British garrison was unsuspicious of danger. At eight o’clock, on the evening of July 15, 1779, General Wayne took post in a hollow, within two miles of the fort on Stony Point, and there remained unperceived until midnight, when he formed his men into two columns, Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury leading one division and Major Stewart the other. At the head of each was a forlorn hope of twenty men. Both parties were close upon the works before they were discovered. A skirmish with the pickets at once ensued, the Americans using the bayonet only. In a few moments the entire works were manned, and the Americans were compelled to press forward in the face of a terrible storm of grape shot and musket balls. Over the ramparts and into the fort both columns pushed their way. At two o’clock the morning of the 16th, General Wayne wrote to Washington:

"The fort and garrison, with Colonel Johnson, are ours. The officers and men behaved like men who were determined to be free."

The British lost nineteen soldiers killed, and one captain, two subalterns, and seventy two soldiers, wounded; and, in all, including prisoners, six hundred. The principal part of this loss fell upon the picket, commanded by Lieutenant Cumming of the 71st, which resisted one of the columns till almost all of the men of the picket, were either killed or wounded, Lieutenant Cumming being among the latter. The Americans lost fifteen killed and eighty-three wounded.

The force which had so ably defended Savannah remained there in quarters during the winter of 1779 and 1780. In the month of March 1780, Sir Henry Clinton arrived before Charleston with a force from New York, which he immediately invested and rigorously pushed the siege. The chief engineer, Captain Moncrieff was indefatigable, and being fearless of danger, was careless of the lives of others. Having served two years with the 71st, and believing it would gratify the Highlanders to select them for dangerous service, he generally applied for a party of that corps for all exposed duties.

After the surrender of Charleston, on May 12, 1780, to the army under Sir Henry Clinton, the British forces in the Southern states were placed tinder the command of lord Cornwallis. The 71st composed a part of this army, and with it advanced into the interior. In the beginning of June, the army amounting to twen ty-five hundred, reached Camden, a central place fixed upon for headquarters. The American general, Horatio Gates, having, in July, assembled a force marched towards Camden. The people generally were in arms and the British officers perplexed. Major Macarthur who was at Cheraw to encourage the royalists, was ordered to fall back towards Camden. Lord Cornwallis, seeing the gathering storm hastily left Charleston and joined lord Rawdon at Camden, arriving there on August 13th. Both generals of the opposing forces on the night of August 15th moved towards each other with the design of making an attack. The British troops consisted of the 23d and 33d regiments, under Lieutenant-Colonel Webster; Tarleton’s legion; Irish volunteers; a part of Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton’s North Carolina Regiment; Bryan’s corps of royalists, under lord Rawdon, with two six and two three pounders commanded by Lieutenant McLeod; and the 71st regiment. Camden was left in the care of Major Macarthur, with the sick and convalescents.

Both armies were surprised, and each fired at the same moment, which occurred at three o’clock on the morning of August 16th. Both generals, ignorant of each other’s force, declined general action, and lay on their arms till morning. When the British army formed in line of battle, the light infantry of the Highlanders, and the Welsh fusileers were on the right: the 33d regiment and the Irish volunteers occupied the center; 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 Americans moving as with the intention of turning his flank, leaped down, and giving vent to an oath, called to his men, "Remember you are light infantry; remember you are Highlanders:

Charge !" The attack was rapid and irresistible, and being made before the Americans had completed their movement by which they were to surround the British right, they were broken and driven from the field, prior to the beginning of the battle in other parts of the line. When the battle did commence the American center gained ground. Lord Cornwallis opened his center to the right and left, till a considerable space intervened, and then directed the Highlanders to move forward and occupy the vacant space. When this was done, he cried out, "My brave Highlanders, now is your time." They instantly rushed forward accompanied by the Irish volunteers and the 33d, and penetrated and completely overthrew the American column. However the American right continued to advance and gained the ground on which the Highlanders had been placed originally as a reserve. They gave three cheers for victory; but the smoke clearing up they saw their mistake. A party of Highlanders turning upon them, the greater part threw down their arms, while the remainder fled in all directions. The victory was complete. The loss of the British was one captain, one subaltern, two sergeants, and sixty-four soldiers killed; and two field officers, three captains, twelve subalterns, thirteen sergeants, and two hundred and thirteen soldiers wounded. The Highlanders lost Lieutenant Archibald Campbell and eight soldiers killed; and Captain Hugh Campbell, Lieutenant John Grant, two sergeants, and thirty privates wounded. The loss of the Americans was never ascertained, but estimated at seven hundred and thirty two.

General Sumter, with a strong corps, occupied positions on the Catawba river, which commanded the road to Charleston, and from which lord Cornwallis found it necessary to dislodge him. For this purpose Colonel Tarleton was sent with the cavalry and a corps of light infantry, under Captain Charles Campbell of the 71st regiment. The heat was excessive; many of the horses 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 on their right saw the smoke at a short distance. The sergeant of the advanced guard halted his party and then proceeded to ascertain the cause of the smoke. He saw the encampment, with arms piled, but a few sentinels and no pickets He returned and reported the same to Captain Campbell who commanded in front. With his usual promptness Captain Campbell formed as many of the cavalry as had come up, and with the party of Highland infantry, rushed forward, and directing their route to the piled arms, quickly secured them and surprised the camp. The success was complete; a few were killed; nearly five hundred taken prisoners, and the rest dispersed. But the victory was dampened by the loss of the gallant Captain Campbell, who was killed by a random shot.

These partial successes were soon counterbalanced by defeats of greater importance. From what had been of great discouragement, the Americans soon rallied, and threatened the frontiers of South Carolina, and on October 7th overthrew Major Ferguson at King’s Mountain, who sustained a total loss of eleven hundred and five men, out of eleven hundred and twenty-five. At the plantation of Blackstocks, November 20th, Colonel Tarleton, with four hundred of his command, engaged General Sumter, when the former was driven off with a loss of ninety killed, and about one hundred wounded. The culminating point of these reverses was the battle of the Cowpens.

A new commander for the southern department took charge of the American forces, in the person of Major-General Nathaniel Greene, who stood, in military genius, second only to Washington, and who was thoroughly imbued with the principles practiced by that great man. Lord Cornwallis, the ablest of the British tacticians engaged in the American Revolution, found more than his equal in General Greene. He had been appointed to the command of the Southern Department, by Washington, on October 30, 1780, and immediately proceeded to the field of labor, and on December 3rd, took formal command of the army, and was exceedingly active in the arrangement of the army, and in wisely directing its movements. His first arrangement was to divide his army into two detachments, the larger of which, under himself was to be stationed opposite Cheraw Hill, on the east side of the Pedee river, about seventy miles to the right of the British army, then at Winnsborough. The other, composed of about one thousand troops, under General Daniel Morgan, was placed some fifty miles to the left, near the junction of Broad and Parcolet rivers.

Colonel Tarleton was detached to disperse the little army of General Morgan, having with him, the 7th or Fusileers, the 1st battalion of Fraser’s Highlanders, or 71st, two hundred in number, a detachment of the British Legion, and three hundred cavalry. Intelligence was received, on the morning of January 17, 1781, that General Morgan was drawn up in front on rising ground. The British were hastily formed, with the Fusileers, the Legion, and the light infantry in front, and the Highlanders and cavalry forming the reserve. As soon as formed the line was ordered to advance rapidly. Exhausted by running, it received the American fire at the distance of thirty or forty paces. The effect was so great as to produce something of a recoil. The fire was returned; and the light infantry made two attempts to charge, but were repulsed with loss. The Highlanders next were ordered up, and rapidly advancing in charge, the American front line gave way and retreated through an open space in the second line. This manoeuvre was made without interfering with the ranks of those who were now to oppose the Highlanders, who ran in to take advantage of what appeared to them to be a confusion of the Americans. The second line threw in a fire upon the 71st, when within forty yards which was so destructive that nearly one half their number fell; and those who remained were so scattered, having run a space of five hundred yards at full speed, that they could not be united to form a charge with the bayonet. They did not immediately fall back, but engaged in some irregular firing, when the American line pushed forward to the right flank of the Highlanders, who now realized that there was no prospect of support, and while their number was diminishing that of their foe was increasing. They first wavered, then began to retire, and finally to run, this is said to have been the first instance of a Highland regiment running from an enemy. This repulse struck a panic into those whom they left in the rear, and who fled in the greatest confusion. Order and command were lost, and the rout became general. Few of the infantry escaped, and the cavalry saved itself by putting their horses to full speed. The Highlanders reformed in the rear, and might have made a soldier—like retreat if they had been supported.

The battle of the Cowpens was disastrous in its consequences to the British interests, as it inspired the Americans with confidence. Colonel Tarleton had been connected with frequent victories, and his name was associated with that of terror. He able on a quick dash, but by no means competent to cope with the solid judgment and long experience of General Morgan. The disposition of the men under General Morgan was judicious; and the conduct of Colonels Washington and Howard, in wheeling and manoeuvering their corps, and throwing in such destructive volleys on the Highlanders, would have done credit to any commander. To the Highlanders the defeat was particularly unfortunate. Their officers were perfectly satisfied with the conduct of their men, and imputing the disaster altogether to the bad dispositions of Colonel Tarleton, made representations to lord Cornwallis, not to be employed again under the same officer, a request with which compliance was made. This may be the reason that Colonel Tarleton gives them no credit in his "History of the Campaigns," published in 1787. He admits his loss to have been three hundred killed and wounded and near four hundred prisoners.

After the battle of the Cowpens lord Cornwallis with increased exertions followed the main body of the Americans under General Greene, who retreated northward. The army was stripped of all superfluous baggage. The two battalions of the 71st now greatly reduced, were consolidated into one, and formed in a brigade with the 33d and Welsh Fusileers. Much skirmishing took place on the march, when, on March 16th, General Greene believing his army sufficiently strong to withstand the shock of battle drew up his force at Guilford Court House, in three lines.

The British line was formed of the German regiment of De Bos, the Highlanders, and guards, under General Leslie, on the right; and the Welsh Fusileers, 33d regiment, and second battalion of guards, under General Charles O’Hara, on the left; the cavalry was in the rear supported by the light infantry of the guards and the German Yagers. At one o’clock the battle opened. The Americans, covered by a fence in their front, maintained their position with confidence, and withheld their fire till the British line was within forty paces, when a destructive fire was poured into Colonel Webster’s brigade, killing and wounding nearly one-third. The brigade returned the fire, and rushed forward, when the Americans retreated on the second line. The regiment of De Bos and the 33d met with a more determined resistance, having retreated and advanced repeatedly before they succeeded in driving the Americans from the field. In the meantime, a party of the guards pressed on with eagerness, but were charged on their right flank by a body of cavalry which broke their line. The retreating Americans seeing the effect of this charge, turned and recommenced firing. The Highlanders, who had now pushed round the flank, appeared on a rising ground in 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.

This battle, although nominally a victory for the British commander, was highly beneficial to the patriots. Both armies displayed consummate skill. Lord Cornwallis on the 19th de— camped, leaving behind him between seventy and eighty of his wounded soldiers, and all the American prisoners who were wounded, and left the country to the mercy of his enemy. The total loss of the British was ninety-three killed, and four hundred and eleven wounded. The Highlanders lost Ensign Grant, and eleven soldiers killed, and four sergeants and forty-six soldiers wounded. It was long a tradition, in the neighborhood, that many of the Highlanders, who were in the van, fell near the fence, from behind which the North Carolinians rose and fired.

The British army retreated in the direction of Cross Creek, the Americans following closely in the rear. At Cross Creek, the heart of the Highland settlement in North Carolina, lord Cornwallis had hoped to rest his wearied army, a third of whom was sick and wounded and, was obliged to carry them in wagons, or on horseback The remainder were without shoes and worn down with fatigue. Owing to the surrounding conditions, the army took up its weary march to Wilmington, where it was expected there would be supplies, of which they were in great need. Here the army halted from April 17th to the 26th, when it proceeded on the route to Petersburg, in Virginia, and to form a junction with General Phillips, who had recently arrived there with three thousand men. The march was a difficult one. Before them was several hundred miles of country, which did not afford an active friend. No intelligence could be obtained, and no communication could be established. On May 25th the army reached Petersburg, where the united force amounted to six thousand men. The army then proceeded to Portsmouth, and when preparing to cross the river at St. James’ Island, the Marquis de Lafayette, ignorant of their number, with two thousand men, made a gallant attack. After a sharp resistance he was repulsed, and the night approaching favored his retreat. After this skirmish the British army marched to Portsmouth, and thence to Yorktown, where a position was taken on the York river on August 22nd.

From the tables given by lord Cornwallis, in his "Answer to the Narrative of Sir Henry Clinton" the following condition of the 71st at different periods on the northward march, is extracted:

January 15, 1781, 1st Battalion 249 2nd Battalion 237 Light Company 69
February 1, 1781, " — " 284
March 1, 1781, " — " 212
April 1, 1781, " — " 161
May 1, 1781, Two Battalions 175
June 1, 1781, Second Battalion 164
July 1, 1781, " " 161
August 1, 1781, " " 167
Sept. 1, 1781, " " 162
Oct. 1, 1781, " " 160

The encampment at Yorktown was formed on an elevated platform, nearly level, on the bank of the river, and of a sandy soil. On the right of the position, extended from the river, a ravine of about forty feet in depth, and more than one hundred yards in breadth; the center was formed by a horn-work of entrenchments; 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 defences of the camp.

On the morning of September 28, 1781, the combined French and American armies, twelve thousand strong, left Williamsburg by different roads, and marched towards Yorktown, and on the 30th the allied armies had completely invested the British works. 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. On the left the redoubts were taken by storm 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 good and well contested as that of the others, the regiment thought its honor 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. The proposition was not acceded to, for the siege had reached such a stage that it was not deemed necessary.

Among the incidents related of the Highlanders during the siege, is that of a soliloquy, overheard by two captains, of an old Highland gentleman, a lieutenant, who, drawing his sword, said to himself, "Come on, Maister Washington, I’m unco glad to see you; I’ve been offered money for my commission, but I could na think of gangin’ hame without a sight of you. Come on."

The situation of the besieged daily grew more critical, the whole encampment was open to assault, and exposed to a constant and enfilading fire. In this dilemma lord Cornwallis resolved to decamp with the elite of his army, by crossing the river and leaving a small force to capitulate. The first division embarked and some had reached the opposite shore at Gloucester Point, when a violent storm of wind rendered the passage dangerous, and the attempt was consequently abandoned, The British army then surrendered to Washington, and the troops marched out of their works on October 20th.

The loss of the garrison was six officers, thirteen sergeants, four drummers and one hundred and thirty-three rank and file killed; six officers, twenty-four sergeants, eleven drummers, and two hundred and eighty-four wounded. Of these the 71st lost Lieutenant Thomas Fraser and nine soldiers killed; three drummers and nineteen soldiers wounded. The whole number surrendered by capitulation was a little more than seven thousand making a total loss of about seven thousand eight hundred. Of the arms and stores there were seventy-five brass, and one hundred and sixty iron cannon; seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-four muskets; twenty-eight regimental standards; a large quantity of cannon and musket-balls, bombs, carriages, &c, &c. The military chest contained nearly eleven thousand dollars in specie.

Thus ended the military service of an army, proud and haughty, that had, within a year marched and counter-marched nearly two thousand miles, had forded streams, some of them in the face of an enemy, had fought two pitched battles and engaged in numerous skirmishes. With all their labors and achievements, they accomplished nothing of real value to the cause they represented.

Fraser’s Highlanders remained prisoners until the conclusion of hostilities. During their service their character was equal to their courage. Among them disgraceful punishments were unknown. When prisoners and solicited by the Americans to join their standard and settle among them, not one of them broke the oath he had taken, a virtue not generally observed on that occasion, for many soldiers joined the Americans. On the conclusion of hostilities the 71st was released, ordered to Scotland, and discharged at Perth in 1783.


The particulars of the 74th or Argyle Highlanders, and the 76th, or Macdonald’s Highlanders, are but slightly touched upon by Colonel David Stewart of Garth, in his "Sketches of the Highlanders, by Dr. James Browne, in his "History of the High— lands, and by John S. Keltie, in his "History of the Scottish Highlands." Even Lieutenant-General Samuel Graham, who was a captain in the 76th, in his "Memoirs," gives but a slight account of his regiment. So a very imperfect view can only be expected in this narration.

The 74th or Argyle Highlanders was raised by Colonel John Campbell of Barbreck, who had served as captain and major of Fraser’s Highlanders in the Seven Years’ War. In the month of December 1777 letters of service were granted to him, and the regiment was completed in May 1778. In this regiment were more Lowlanders, than in any other of the same description raised during that period. All the officers, except four, were Highlanders, while of the soldiers only five hundred and ninety were of the same country, the others being from Glasgow, and the western districts of Scotland. The name of Campbell mustered strong; the three field-officers, six captains, and fourteen subalterns, being of that name. Among the officers was the chief of the Macquarries, being sixty-two years of age when he entered the army in 1778.

The regiment mustering nine hundred and sixty, rank and file, embarked at Greenock in August, and landed at Halifax in Nova Scotia, where it remained garrisoned with the 80th and the 82d regiments; the whole being under the command of Brigadier-General Francis Maclean. In the spring of 1779, the grenadier company, commanded by Captain Ludovick Colquhoun of Luss, and the light company by Captain Campbell of Bulnabie, were sent to New York, and joined the army immediately before the siege of Charleston.

In June of the same year, the battalion companies, with a detachment of the 82d regiment, under the command of Brigadier-General Maclean, embarked from Halifax, and took possession of Penobscot, with the intention of establishing a post there. Before the defences were completed, a hostile fleet from Boston, with two thousand troops on board, under Brigadier-General Solomon Lovell, appeared in the bay, and on July 28th effected a landing on a peninsula, where the British were erecting a fort, and immediately began to construct batteries for a regular siege. These operations were frequently interrupted by sallies of parties from the fort. General Maclean exerted himself to the utmost to strengthen his position, and not only kept the Americans in check, but preserved communication with the shipping, which they endeavored to cut off. Both parties kept skirmishing till August 13th, when Sir George Collier appeared in the bay, with a fleet intended for relief of the post. This accession of strength disconcerted the Americans, and completely destroyed their hopes, so that they quickly decamped and retired to their boats. Being unable to re-embark all the troops, those who remained, along with the sailors of several vessels which had run aground in the hurry of escaping, formed themselves into a body, and endeavored to penetrate through the woods. In the course of this attempt they ran short of provisions, quarrelled among themselves, and, coming to blows, fired on each other till their ammunition was expended. Upwards of sixty men were killed and wounded; the rest dispersed through the woods, numbers perishing before they could reach an inhabited country.

The conduct of General Maclean and his troops met with approbation. In his dispatch, giving an account of the attack and defeat of his foes, he particularly noticed the exertions and zeal of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Campbell of the 74th. The loss of this regiment was two sergeants, and fourteen privates killed, and seventeen rank and file wounded.

General Maclean returned to Halifax with the detachment of the 82d, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Campbell of Monzie with the 74th at Penobscot, where they remained till the termination of hostilities, when they embarked for England. They landed at Portsmouth whence they marched for Stirling, and, after being joined by the flank companies, were reduced in the autumn of 1783.


In the month of December 1777, letters of service were granted to lord Macdonald to raise a regiment in the Highlands and Isles. On his recommendation Major John Macdonell of Lochgarry was appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant of the regiment. The regiment was numbered the 76th, but called Macdonald's Highlanders. Lord Macdonald exerted himself in the formation of the regiment, and selected the officers from the families of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, Morar, Boisdale, and others of his own clan, and likewise from those of others, as Mackinnon, Fraser of Culduthel, Cameron of Callart, &c. A body of seven hundred and fifty Highlanders was raised. The company of Captain Bruce was principally raised in Ireland; and Captains Cunningham of Craigend, and Montgomery Cunnngham, as well as Lieutenant Samuel Graham, raised their men in the low country. These amounted to nearly two hundred men, and were kept together in two companies; while Bruce’s company formed a third. In this manner each race was kept distinct. The whole number, including non-commissioned officers and men, amounted to one thousand and eighty-six. The recruits assembled at Inverness, and in March 1778 the regiment was reported complete. The men on their arrival were attested by a justice of the peace, and received the king’s bounty of five guineas. As Major John Macdonell, who had been serving in America in the 71st or Fraser’s Highlanders, was taken prisoner, on his passage home from that country, the command devolved on Captain Donaldson, of the 42d or Royal Highland Regiment. Under this officer the regiment was formed, and a code of regulations established for the conduct of both officers and men.

Soon after its formation the 76th was sent to Fort George where it remained a year. It so happened that few of the noncommissioned officers who understood the drill were acquainted with the Gaelic language, and as all words of command were given in English, the commander directed that neither officers nor non-commissioned officers ignorant of the former language should endeavor to learn it. The consequence was that the Highlanders were behind—hand in being drilled, as they had, besides other duties, to acquire a new language. But the Highlanders took uncommon pains to learn their duties, and so exact were they in the discharge of them that upon one occasion, Colonel Campbell, the lieutenant-governor was seized and made prisoner by the sentry posted at his own door, because the man conceived a trespass had been committed on his post, nor would the sentinel release the colonel until the arrival of the corporal of the guard.

In March 1779 the regiment was removed to Perth, and from there marched to Burnt Island, where they embarked on the 17th. Major Donaldson’s health not permitting him to go abroad, the command devolved on lord Berridale, second major, who accompanied them to New York, where they landed in August. The fleet sailed from the Firth of Forth for Portsmouth, and in a short time anchored at Spithead. While waiting there for the assembling of a fleet with reinforcements of men and stores for the army in America, an order was received to set sail for the island of Jersey, as the French had made an attempt there. But the French having been repulsed before the 76th reached Jersey, the regiment returned to Portsmouth, and proceeded on the voyage to America, and arrived in New York on August 27th.

On the arrival of the regiment in New York the flank companies were attached to the battalion of that description. The battalion companies remained between New York and Staten Island till February 1781, when they embarked with a detachment of the army, commanded by General Phillips, for Virginia. The light company, being in the 2d battalion of light infantry, also formed a part of the expedition. The grenadiers remained at New York.

This year, lord Berridale, on the death of his father, became earl of Caithness, and being severely wounded at the siege of Charleston, soon after returned to Scotland. The command of the 76th regiment devolved on Major Needham, who had purchased Major Donaldson’s commission.

General Phillips landed at Portsmouth, in Virginia, in March. A number of boats had been constructed under the superintendence of General Benedict Arnold, for the navigation of the rivers, most of them calculated to hold one hundred men. Each boat was manned by a few sailors, and was fitted with a sail as well as oars. Some of them carried a piece of ordnance in their bows. In these boats the light infantry, and detachments of the 76th and 80th regiments, with the Queen’s Rangers, embarked, leaving the remainder of the 76th, with other troops, to garrison Portsmouth. The detachment of the 76th which embarked consisted of one major, three captains, twelve subalterns, and three hundred men, under Major Needham. The troops proceeded up the James river destroying warlike stores, shipping, barracks, foundaries and private property. After making many excursions the troops marched to Bermuda Hundreds, opposite City Point, where they embarked, on May 2d; but receiving orders from lord Cornwallis, returned and entered Petersburg on May 10th.

When the 76th regiment found themselves with an army which had been engaged in the most incessant and fatiguing marches through difficult and hostile countries, they considered themselves as inferiors and as having done nothing which could enable them to return to their own country. They were often heard murmuring among themselves, lamenting their lot, and expressing the strongest desire to signalize themselves. This was greatly heightened when visited by men of Fraser’s Highlanders. The opportunity presented itself, and their behavior proved they were good soldiers. On the evening of July 6th, the Marquis de Lafayette pushed forward a strong corps, forced the pickets, and drew up in front of the British lines. The pickets in front of the army that morning consisted of twenty men of the 76th and ten of the 80th. When the attack on the pickets commenced, they were reinforced by fifteen Highlanders. The pickets defended the post till every man was either killed or wounded.

A severe engagement took place between the contending armies, the weight of which was sustained on the part of the British by the left of Colonel Dundas’s brigade, consisting of the 76th and 80th, and it so happened that while the right of the line was covered with woods they were drawn up in an open field, and exposed to the attack of the Americans with a chosen body of troops. The 76th being on the left, and lord Cornwallis, coming up in rear of the regiment, gave the word to charge, which was immediately repeated by the Highlanders, who rushed forward with impetuosity, and instantly decided the contest. The Americans retired, leaving their cannon and three hundred men killed and wounded behind them.

Soon after this affair lord Cornwallis ordered a detachment of four hundred chosen men of the 76th to be mounted on such horses as could he procured and act with the cavalry. Although four-fifths of the men had never before been on horseback, they were mounted and marched with Tarleton’s Legion. After several forced marches, far more fatiguing to the men than they had ever performed on foot, they returned heartily tired of their new mode of travelling. No other service was performed by the 76th until the siege and surrender of Yorktown. During the siege, while the officers of this regiment were sitting at dinner, the Americans opened a new battery, the first shot from which entered the mess—room, killed Lieutenant Robertson on the spot, and wounded Lieutenant Shaw and quartermaster Barclay. It also struck Assistant Commissary General Perkins, who happened to dine there that day.

The day following the surrender of lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown (October 20th), the British prisoners moved out in two divisions, escorted by regiments of militia one to the direction of Maryland, the other, to which the 76th belonged, moved to the westward in Virginia for Winchester. On arriving at their cantonment, the officers were lodged in the town on parole, and the soldiers were marched several miles off to a cleared spot in the woods, on which stood a few log huts, some of them occupied by prisoners taken at the Cowpens. From Winchester the regiment was removed to Lancaster in Pennsylvania. After peace was declared they embarked for New York, sailed thence for Scotland, and were disbanded in March 1784 at Stirling Castle.

This regiment maintained a very high standard for their behavior. Thefts and other crimes, implying moral turpitude, were totally unknown. There were only four instances of corporal punishment inflicted on the Highlanders of the regiment, and these were for military offences. Moral suasion and such coercion as a father might use towards his children were deemed sufficient to keep them in discipline or self-restraint.

In the year 1775, George III. resolved to humble the thirteen colonies. In the effort put forth he created a debt of £121,267,993, with an annual charge of £5,088,336, besides sacrificing thousands of human lives, and causing untold misery ; and, at last, weary of the war, on July 25, 1782, he issued a warrant to Richard Oswald, commissioning him to negotiate a peace. The definite articles of peace were signed at Paris. September 3, 1783. Then the United States of America took her position among the nations of the earth. George III. and his ministers had exerted themselves to the utmost to subjugate America. Besides the troops raised in the British Isles there were of the German mercenaries twenty-nine thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven. The mercenaries and British troops were well armed, clothed and fed. But the task undertaken was a gigantic one. It would have required a greater force than that sent to America to hold and garrison the cities alone. The fault was not with the army, the navy, or the commanding officers. The impartial student of that war will admit that the army fought well, likewise the navy, and the generals and admirals were skilled and able in the art of war. The British for— eign office was weak. Nor was this all. The Americans had counted the cost. They were singularly fortunate in their leader. Thirty-nine years after his death, lord Brougham wrote of Washington that he was "the greatest man of our own or of any age.* * * This eminent person is presented to our observation clothed in attributes as modest, as unpretending, as little calculated to strike or to astonish, as if he had passed unknown through some secluded region of private life. But he had a judgment sure and sound; a steadiness of mind which never suffered any passion or even any feeling to ruffle its calm; a strength of understanding which worked rather than forced its way through all obstacles, - removing or avoiding rather than over-leaping them. His courage, whether in battle or in council, was as perfect as might be expected from this pure and steady temper of soul. A perfectly just man, with a thoroughly firm resolution never to be misled by others any more than by others overawed: never to be seduced or betrayed, or hurried away by his own weaknesses or self-delusions, and more than by other men's arts, nor ever to be disheartened by the most complicated difficulties any more than to be spoilt on the giddy heights of fortune—such was this great man, - whether we regard him sustaining alone the whole weight of campaigns, all but desperate, or gloriously terminating a just warfare by his resources and his courage."

The British generals proved themselves unable to cope with this great and good man. More than six thousand five hundred Highlanders left their homes amidst the beautiful scenery of their native land, crossed a barrier of water three thousand miles in width, that they might fight against such a man and the cause he represented. Their toils, sacrifices and sufferings were in vain. Towards them Washington bore good will. Forgetting the wrongs they had done, he could write of them:

"Your idea of bringing over Highlanders appears to be a good one. They are a hardy, industrious people, well calculated to form new settlements, and will, in time, become valuable citizens." [Letter to Robert Sinclair, May 6, 1792. Spark’s Writings of Washington, Vol. XII, p. 304.]

War is necessarily cruel and barbarous; and yet there were innumerable instances of wanton cruelty during the American Revolution. No instances of this kind have been recorded against the soldiers belonging to the Highland regiments. There were cruelties perpetrated by those born in the Highlands of Scotland, but they were among those settled by Sir William Johnson on the Mohawk and afterwards joined either Butler’s Rangers or else Sir John Johnson’s regiment. Even this class was few in numbers.

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