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Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland

Part III

Military Annals of the Highland Regiments

Section VI

Fraser's, Montgomery's, and Royal Highlanders.

St John's, Newfoundland, 1762—Bushy Run, 1763—Fort Pitt, 1764-—Ireland, 1767—Scotland, 1775.

We must now return to Fraser's Highlanders, who remained in America, and to the two companies of Montgomery's, who did not return to New-York from the expedition sent against the Indians in the autumn of 1761, in time to embark with the rest of the regiment for the West-Indies.

In the summer of 1762, a French armament appeared on the coast of Newfoundland, and, landing some troops, took possession of St John's. Commodore Lord Colville having received intelligence of the event, sailed immediately to blockade the harbour of St John's, and was soon followed by Colonel William Amherst, with a small force collected from New-York, Halifax, and Louisburg. This force consisted of the flank companies of the Royals, a detachment of the 45th, and two companies of Fraser's and Montgomery's Highlanders, with a small detachment of Provincials. Colonel Amherst landed on the 13th of September, seven miles to the northward of St John's, having experienced little opposition from the enemy; and, pushing forward, took possession of the strong post of Kitty Villey and two other fortified heights. On the i 7th, a mortar battery being completed, and ready to open on the garrison, Count de Hausenville, the commander of the French troops, surrendered by capitulation. The enemy's fleet, taking advantage of a heavy fog, had made their escape two nights before. The prisoners on this occasion were more numerous than the victors. The loss was 1 lieutenant and 11 rank and file killed; 3 captains, 2 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 32 rank and file, wounded. Captain Macdonell of Fraser's, and Captain Mackenzie of Montgomery's, died of their wounds.

After this service, the detachments joined their respective regiments in New-York and Louisburg, where they passed the ensuing winter. During the same season the Royal Highlanders were stationed in Albany. In the summer of 1763 they were put under the command of Colonel Bouquet of the 60th regiment, and ordered to the relief of Fort Pitt, along with a detachment of Bouquet's own regiment, and another of the 77th Highlanders; in all, 956 men.

A variety of causes had combined to irritate the Indians, whose passions were already inflamed by the intemperate use of spirituous liquors. But the principal causes of complaint were the encroachments of the colonial settlers, which were greatly exaggerated by French emissaries, who were naturally anxious to recover the territory they had lost, or at least to render the possession of as little advantage as possible to the British, by attempts to instigate and irritate the Indians against them. The consequence of these irritations was soon seen. The revenge of the Indians first broke forth against those settlers and traders who had chiefly provoked it. The warriors of different nations united, and attacked in succession all the small posts between Lake Erie and Pittsburgh, while the terror excited by their approach was increased by exaggerated accounts of their numbers, and of the destruction that attended their progress. So little suspicion of these designs had been entertained by our Government, that some of the posts were dependant on the Indians for their supplies of provisions. In those enterprises they displayed no small degree of sagacity, and a great improvement in their discipline and manner of fighting.

Colonel Bouquet, with his detachment and a convoy of provisions, reached Bushy Run about the end of July. Beyond this place was a narrow pass, having steep hills on each side, and a woody eminence at the further extremity. It was his intention to penetrate this pass in the night; but, towards the close of day, his advanced guard was suddenly attacked by the Indians. The Light infantry of the 42d regiment, being ordered to the support of the advanced guard, drove the enemy from the ambuscade, pursuing them to a considerable distance. But the Indians soon returned, and took possession of some neighbouring heights. From these they were again driven; but no sooner were they forced from one position than they appeared on another, till, by continual reinforcements, they became so numerous, that they soon surrounded the detachment, when the action became general. The enemy made their attacks on every side with increasing vigour, but were constantly repulsed. Night concluded the combat, which was renewed early the following morning by the enemy, who kept up an incessant fire, invariably retiring as often as any part of the troops advanced upon them. Encumbered by the convoy of provisions, and afraid of leaving their wounded to fall into the hands of the enemy, our troops were prevented from pursuing to any distance. The enemy becoming bolder by every fresh attack, a stratagem was attempted to entice them to come to closer action. Preparations being made for a feigned retreat, two companies, which were in advance, were ordered to retire and fall within the square, while the troops opened their files, as if preparing to cover a retreat. This, with some other dispositions, had the desired effect. The Indians, believing themselves certain of victory, and forgetting their usual precaution of covering themselves with trees or bushes, rushed forward with much impetuosity. Being thus fully exposed, and coming within reach, they were vigorously charged in front, while two companies, making a sudden movement, and running round a hill, which, concealed their approach, attacked them in flank. They were thus thrown into great confusion; and, in retreating, they were pursued to such a distance that they did not venture to rally. Colonel Bouquet resumed his march, and reached Port Pitt without farther molestation. In this skirmishing warfare the troops suffered much from the want of water and the extreme heat of the weather. The loss by the enemy was 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 1 sergeant, 1 drummer, and 44 rank and file, killed; and 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 1 volunteer, 5 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 49 rank and file, wounded. Of the Royal Highlanders, Lieutenant John Graham, and James Mackintosh, 1 sergeant, and 26 rank and file, were killed; Captain John Graham of Duchray, Lieutenant Duncan Campbell, 2 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 30 rank and file, wounded. Of Montgomery's Highlanders, 1 drummer and 5 privates were killed; and Lieutenant Donald Campbell and Volunteer John Peebles, 3 sergeants, and 7 privates, wounded.

The Royal Highland Regiment passed the winter in Fort Pitt; and early in the summer of 1764 was again employed under Colonel Bouquet, now appointed Brigadier-General. Continued encroachments on the territories of the Indians increased their irritation to a high degree, and they retaliated with great fury on the back settlers. To repress their attacks two expeditions were ordered; one from Niagara, under Sir William Johnson, and another under Brigadier-General Bouquet. The latter consisted of eight companies of the 42d, the Light infantry of the 60th regiment, and 400 Virginian marksmen, with a detachment from Maryland and Pennsylvania, having their faces painted, and their clothes made in the Indian fashion. In this service the troops traversed many hundred miles, cutting their way through thick forests, and frequently attacked by, and attacking, skirmishing parties of the Indians, who were at length so harassed with this constant state of warfare, that they sued for a cessation of hostilities. This was granted, and was soon followed by a peace, which was not interrupted for many years. If this species of warfare was harassing to the Indians, it must have been no less so to the troops, who were allowed no rest from the month of July 1764 to January 1765, when they returned to Fort Pitt, two months after the winter had commenced with great severity. Although forced to march through woods of immense extent, where the snow had attained a depth unknown in Europe, it is a remarkable fact, that, in these six months, three of which they were exposed to extreme heat, and two to an equal excess of cold, with very little shelter from either extreme, and frequently disturbed by an active, though not a formidable enemy, the Highlanders did not leave a man behind from fatigue or exhaustion. [In the month of August 1765, Captain (afterwards General Sir Thomas) Stirling was detached with Lieutenants Macculloch and Eddington and 100 men, and sent first down the Ohio, and then 1500 miles up the Mississippi, to Fort Chartres in the Illinois, of which he took possession in October. He occupied the Fort during the winter and spring : in June he returned to Philadelphia, and joined the regiment. Captain Stirling must have performed this service with great prudence and attention; for, after a journey and voyage of more than 3000 miles, and an absence of ten months, he brought his whole detachment back in perfect health, and without an accident.] Three men died of sickness; and when they returned to Fort Pitt, there were only nineteen men under charge of the surgeon. [Regimental Reports.]

The regiment was now in better quarters than they had been for several years. They were much reduced in numbers, as might have been expected from the extent, nature, and variety of service in which, amidst the torrid heats of the West Indies, and the rigorous winters of North America, they had been for so many years engaged. During the following year they remained in Pennsylvania; and, in the month of July 17G7, embarked at Philadelphia for Ireland. Such of the men as chose to remain in America, rather than return home, were permitted to volunteer into other regiments. The second battalion had been reduced in 1763, and ] captain, 12 lieutenants, and 2 ensigns of the first battalion, were placed on half-pay. Captain Small, [Afterwards well known and highly respected as a general officer and lieutenant-governor of Guernsey.] who was reduced to half-pay, but immediately put on the full pay of the Scotch Fusileers, being deservedly popular among the men, drew along with him into that regiment a great proportion of those who volunteered for America. The volunteers were so numerous, that, along with those who had been previously discharged and sent home as disabled, and others who were discharged in America, where they settled, they reduced the number of the regiment to a very small proportion of that which had left Scotland.

By their courage in the field, and their integrity and orderly conduct in quarters, this body of men seem to have made the same impression on the Americans as elsewhere. One of the numerous proofs of this favourable impression will be found in the following extracts from an article published in the Virginia Gazette, dated the 30th July 1767. "Last Sunday evening, the Royal Highland Regiment embarked for Ireland, which regiment, since its arrival in America, has been distinguished for having undergone most amazing fatigues, made long and frequent marches through an unhospitable country, bearing excessive heat and severe cold with alacrity and cheerfulness, frequently encamping in deep snow, such as those that inhabit the interior parts of this province do not see, and which only those who inhabit the most northern parts of Europe can have any idea of, continually exposed in camp and on their marches to the alarms of a savage enemy, who, in all their attempts, were forced to fly." The article then proceeds: "And, in a particular manner, the freemen of this and the neighbouring provinces have most sincerely to thank them for that resolution and bravery with which they, under Colonel Bouquet, and a small number of Royal Americans, defeated the enemy, and insured to us peace and security from a savage foe; and, along with our blessings for these benefits, they have our thanks for that decorum in behaviour which they maintained during their stay in this city, giving an example that the most amiable behaviour in civil life is no way inconsistent with the character of the good soldier; and for their loyalty, fidelity, and orderly behaviour, they have every wish of the people for health, honour, and a pleasant voyage." [Virginia Gazette, July 1767.]

Having continued the history of the regiment to the termination of hostilities, and its safe arrival in a friendly country, I subjoin a general list of the total loss in killed and wounded during the war.

Comparing the loss sustained by this regiment in the field with that of other corps, it has generally been less than theirs, except in the unfortunate affair of Ticonderoga. I have conversed with several officers who served in the corps at that period, and they uniformly accounted for the moderate loss from the celerity of their attack, and the use of the broadsword, which the enemy could never withstand. This, likewise, was the opinion of an old gentleman, one of the original soldiers of the Black Watch, in the ranks of which, although a gentleman by birth and education, he served till the peace of 1748. He informed me that, although it was believed at home that the regiment had been nearly destroyed at Fontenoy, the thing was quite the reverse; and that it was the subject of general observation in the army, that their loss should have been so small, considering how actively they were engaged in different parts of the field. "On one occasion," said the respectable veteran, who was animated with the subject, "a brigade of Dutch were ordered to attack a rising ground, on which were posted the troops called the King of France's own Guards. The Highlanders were to support them. The Dutch conducted their march and attack as if they did not know the road, halting and firing, and halting, every twenty paces. The Highlanders, losing all patience with this kind of fighting, which gave the enemy such time and opportunity to fire at their leisure, dashed forward, passed the Dutch, and the first ranks giving their firelocks to the rear rank, they drew their swords, and soon drove the French from their ground. When the attack was concluded, it was found that of the Highlanders not above a dozen men were killed and wounded, while the Dutch, who had not come up at all, lost more than five times that number."

During the preceding war, the regiment was fortunate in possessing an excellent corps of officers, men of respectable character, education, and family; several of whom were distinguished for superior professional acquirements, and for their accomplishments as gentlemen. The number of officers in the year 1759, including the chaplains and medical staff of both battalions, was 83. Of this number, seven only rose to be general officers, Francis Grant, brother of the chief of the Grants; John Reid of Strathloch, or Baron Reid; Allan Campbell, brother of Barcaldine; James Murray, (son of Lord George Murray); John Campbell of Strachur; Thomas Stirling of Ardoch; and John Small. Those who became field-officers were, Gordon Graham; Duncan Campbell of Inneraw; Thomas Graham of Duchray; John Graham, his brother; William Murray, brother of Lintrose; William Grant, son of Rothiemurchus; James Abercromby of Glassa; James Abercromby, junior; Robert Grant; James Grant; Alexander Turnbull of Strathcathro; Alexander Donaldson ; Thomas Fletcher of Lindertis; Donald Robertson; Duncan Campbell; Alexander Maclean, and James Eddington. Colonels Fletcher and Eddington attained their rank in the East-India Company's service, in which they entered after the peace of 1763; Captains Stewart of Urrard, Campbell of Melford, Stewart of Stenton, and Sir William Cockburn, sold oat, and the others retired, and died on half-pay as captains or subalterns. A corps of officers, respectable in their persons, character, and rank in private society, was of itself sufficient to secure the esteem of the world, and to keep their men in an honourable line of conduct, even had they manifested a contrary disposition. While the Colonel was unremitting in his exertions to procure the appointment of good officers, and the men possessed the moral virtues of a pastoral and agricultural life, elevated by love of country, respect for their own character, and a spirit of independence, the corps could not fail to acquire that character for which it was so greatly distinguished). All these remarks apply with equal justice to Fraser's and Montgomery's Highlanders, of whom it was said, "That the officers were gentlemen, and the men were soldiers."

The regiment landed at Cork, where their arrival was thus announced: "General Lord John Murray, who has been here for some weeks, waiting the arrival of his regi-ment, marched in this morning at their head, himself and his officers dressed in the Highland garb, with broadsword, pistols and dirk." [Dublin Newsman.] Recruiting parties were sent to the Highlands, and, on the '28th of May following, when reviewed by General Armiger in Galway, the regiment was complete to the then establishment, and all, except two, born north of the Tay.

[At this time, the words of "The Garb of Old Gaul" were composed by "Captain, afterwards Sir Charles Erskine. Major Reid set them to music of his own composition, which has ever since been the regimental march. Peace and country quarters affording leisure to the officers, several of them indulged their taste for poetry and music. Major Reid was one of the most accomplished flute-players of the age. He died in 1806, at the age of eighty-five, a General in the army, and Colonel of the 88th, or Connaught Rangers. He left the sum of L. 52,000 to the University of Edinburgh, assigning the interest to his only daughter, who has no family, during her life. Then, as the will expressed it, "being the last heir-male of an ancient family in the county of Perth,'' he bequeathed, after the death of his only daughter, the sum of L.52,000, in the 3 per cents., to the Principal and Professors of the University of Edinburgh, where he was educated, and passed the happiest years of his life, to be under their sole charge and management, on condition of their establishing a Professorship of Music in the College, with a salary of not less than L.300 per annum, and of holding an annual concert in the hall of the Professor of Music, on the anniversary of his birth-day, the 13th of January; the performance to commence with several pieces of his own composition, for the purpose of showing the style of music in his early years, and towards the middle of the last century. Among the first of these pieces is the Garb of Old Gaul. He also directs that a portrait of himself shall be hung up in the hall, one painted in 1745, when he was a Lieutenant in Lord Loudon's Highlanders, one in the uniform of a General Officer, and a third as Colonel of the Connaught Rangers. Mr Maclagan, the chaplain, composed Gaelic words to the same air, as also did a soldier of the regiment. An intelligent officer, who, nearly sixty years ago, commenced a service of thirty years in the 42d regiment, states, "I cannot at this distance of time recollect the name of the man who composed the Gaelic words of the "Garb of Old Gaul;" but he was from Perthshire, as also John Dhu Cameron, who was drum-major when I joined, and who sung and repeated several of this man's poems and songs. Before my time, there were many poets and bards among the soldiers. Their original compositions were generally in praise of their officers and comrades who had fallen in battle, or who had performed some gallant achievement; but they had great stores of ancient poetry. Their love songs were beautiful; and their laments for the fallen brave, and recollections of their absent friends, and distant glens and rocks, have often filled my eyes with tears. There were four Serjeants of the names of Mackinnon, Maclean, Macgregor, and Macdonald, who had a peculiar talent for these repetitions and songs. They all died or were discharged before the American war. The soldiers were much attached to Colonel Reid for his poetry, his music, and his bravery as a soldier."]

At this period, the uniform of the corps had a very dark and sombre appearance. The jackets were of a dull rusty coloured red, and no part of the accoutrements was of a light colour. Economy was strictly observed in the article of clothing. The old jacket, after being worn a year, was converted into a waistcoat, and the plaid, at the end of two years, was reduced to the philibeg. The hose supplied were of so bad a quality, that the men advanced an additional sum to the Government price, in order to supply themselves with a better sort. Instead of feathers for their bonnets, they were allowed only a piece of black bearskin ; but the men supplied themselves with ostrich feathers, in the modern fashion, [Officers and non-commissioned officers always wore a small plume of feathers, after the fashion of their country; but it was not till the period of which I am now writing, that the soldiers used so many feathers as they do at present.] and spared no expense in fitting up their bonnets handsomely. The sword-belts were of black leather, two inches and a half in breadth; and a small cartouch-box, fitted only for thirty-two rounds of cartridges, was worn in front, above the purse, and fixed round the loins with a black belt, in which hung the bayonet. In these heavy colours, and dark blue facings, the regiment had a far less splendid appearance at a short distance than English regiments, with white breeches and belts; but on a closer view, the line was imposing and warlike. The men possessed what an ingenious author calls "the attractive beauties of a soldier; sun-burnt complexions, a hardy weather-beaten visage, with a penetrating eye, and firm expressive countenance, sinewy and elastic limbs, traces of muscles strongly impressed, indicating capacity of action, and marking experience of service." [Dr Jackson's European Armies.] The personal appearance of the men has, no doubt, varied according as attention was paid to a proper selection of recruits. The appointments have also been different. The first alteration in this respect was made in the year 1769, when the regiment removed to Dublin. At this period, the men received white cloth waistcoats, and the Colonel supplied them with white goatskin and buff-leather purses, which were deemed an improvement on the vests of red cloth, and the purses made of badgers' skin.

The officers also improved their dress, by having their jackets embroidered. During the war, however, they wore only a narrow edging of gold-lace round the borders of the facings, and very often no lace at all, epaulets and all glittering ornaments being laid aside, to render them less conspicuous to the Indians, who always aimed particularly at the officers. During their stay in Ireland, the dress of the men underwent very little alteration. The officers had only one suit of embroidery: this fashion being found too expensive, was given up, and gold-lace substituted in its stead. Upon ordinary occasions, they wore light hangers, using the basket-hilted broad-sword only in full dress. They also carried fusils. The Serjeants were furnished with carbines, instead of the Lochaber axe or halbert, which they formerly carried. The soldiers were provided with new arms when on Dublin duty in 1771. The Serjeants had silver-lace on their coats, which they furnished, however, at their own expense.

At this period, the regiment was held in such respect in the Highlands, and young men so readily enlisted into it, that recruiting parties of other regiments, in order to allure the Highland youth, frequently assumed the dress of the old Highland regiment, for which they affected to be recruiting. When the regiment lay in Dublin, a party of recruits arrived from the Highlands to join the 38th regiment, then in Cork. When the recruits saw their countrymen, they refused to go any farther, saying they had engaged to serve in the Black Watch. The officer who had them in charge ordered several of the men to be confined, and reported the business to Major-General Dilkes, who commanded in Dublin Castle, and likewise to the late Lord Blaney, Colonel of the 38th. The Lord Lieutenant, Lord Townshend, ordered a court of inquiry, and, after a full investigation, it was found that the officer and party had gone to the country in the Highland dress; that it was the general belief that they were recruiting for the 42d regiment; and that, although the 38th was inserted in the attestations, no explanation was made to the recruits, who, ignorant of the English language, considered that their engagement was to serve in the regiment of their own country, and not among men whose language they did not understand, and whose dress they so much disliked. On a clear proof of the circumstances being led, they were all discharged, when they immediately re-enlisted into the 42d regiment.

This was one of many deceptions practised on these people, who, originally open and unsuspscious, are now said to be frequently distrustful. Were I to judge from my own experience, I should not credit the reality of such a change; for in the course of twenty-one years service in the Highland corps, and in my different transactions with soldiers, of whom I recruited a very considerable number in the North, many of them left their bounty-money and other sums in my hands, till they should have occasion for the money, or till it could be remitted to their relations. In a variety of little pecuniary transactions of this kind, I was never asked for a receipt for money so lodged; and when I offered an acknowledgment, it was declined.

The regiment being removed from Dublin to Donagha-dee, Belfast, and other towns, was actively employed in different parts of the country in aid of the civil power. Four companies were afterwards removed to the Isle of Man. On the 21st of September 1771, orders were issued for adding a company to each regiment on the Irish establishment, the officers to be taken from the half-pay, Captain James Macpherson, Lieutenant Campbell, and Ensign John Grant, were, in consequence, appointed to the 42d.

In 1772 the regiment was stationed in Galway. At this period, fresh disturbances had broken out in the county of Antrim, and other quarters, owing to disputes between the Catholics and Protestants, and between landlords and tenants. In this delicate service, the Highlanders were found particularly useful, both from their knowledge of the language and from their conciliating conduct towards the Irish, the descendants of the same parent stock with themselves.

Nothing worthy of notice occurred till the year 1775. The regiment was then embarked at Donaghadee, and landing at Port-Patrick, marched to Glasgow, after an absence from Scotland of thirty-two years, since the march to Finchley in 1748. [Many of the old soldiers on this occasion evinced the force of that attachment to the country of their birth, which is attributed to Scotchmen in general and particularly to Highlanders. They leaped on shore with enthusiasm, kissing the earth, and holding it up in handfuls.]

The following notice of the conduct of the regiment, and its mode of discipline, during a residence of eight years in Ireland, is extracted from the communication of a respectable and intelligent freind, who served in it at that period, and for many years both before and afterwards. He describes the regiment as still possessing the character which it had acquired in Germany and America, although there were not more than eighty of the men remaining who had served in America, and only a few individuals of those who had served in Germany, previously to 1748. Their attachment to their native dress, and their peculiarity of language, habits, and manners, contributed to preserve them a race of men separate from others of the same profession, and to give to their system of regimental discipline a distinctive and peculiar character. Their messes were managed by the non-commissioned officers, or old soldiers, who had charge of the barrack-room; and these messes were always so arranged, that, in each room, the men were in friendship or intimacy with each other, or belonged to the same glen or district, or were connected by some similar tie. By these means, every barrack room was like a family establishment. After the weekly allowances for breakfast, dinner, and small necessaries had been provided, the surplus pay was deposited in a stock-purse, each member of the mess drawing for it in his turn. The stock thus acquired was soon found worth preserving, and instead of hoarding, they lent it out to the inhabitants, who seemed greatly surprised at seeing a soldier save money. [In this manner, a species of savings bank was established by these military economists.]

Their accounts with their officers were settled once in three months, and, with the exception of a few careless spendthrifts, all the men purchased their own necessaries, with which they were always abundantly provided. At every settlement of accounts they enjoyed themselves very heartily, but with a strict observance of propriety and good humour: and as the members of each mess considered themselves in a manner answerable for one another's conduct, they animadverted on any impropriety with such severity, as to render the interference of farther authority unnecessary.

The standard height was five feet seven inches for full grown men, and five feet six for growing lads. When companies were complete on parade, none under five feet eight inches were allowed to be in the front rank. The grenadiers were always a body of tall men. But although the standard was nominally kept at the above height, there were men of five feet five in the centre rank, and those undersized men were frequently able to undergo greater fatigues than any other in the corps.

Lord John Murray exerted himself to procure for the regiment Scotch and Highland officers, well knowing how much their influence would assist in procuring men from the country, and sensible also of the advantage of possessing officers who understood perfectly the peculiar disposition and character of the men. Soon after the regiment arrived in Glasgow, two companies were added, and the establishment of the whole regiment augmented to 100 rank and file each company, thus making, when complete, a battalion of 1075 men, including sergeants and drummers.

Officers with parties were detached on the recruiting service, to those districts of the Highlands where they had acquaintance and influence. Their object was speedily obtained: young men were proud of belonging to the corps, and old men regarded it as a representative and memorial of the achievements of their forefathers. Hence the establishment was completed in a few weeks. The bounty offered at this period was, in the first instance, one guinea and a crown; it was afterwards raised to three guineas, but in the North the increase had not the smallest influence on the success of recruiting. The inclinations of the people were chiefly swayed by the expectation of meeting their countrymen in the regiment; and when the bounty was increased, those who took it generally left it, or sent it to their parents or families.

At this time, there was a keen struggle between the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and Lord John Murray, the former wishing to introduce some southern officers into the regiment, which the latter strenuously resisted. The influence of the Lord Lieutenant prevailed, and Lieutenants Littleton and Franklin were appointed, and the commissions of Lieutenants Grant and Mackenzie, whom Lord John had procured to be gazetted, were afterwards cancelled. The officers brought from the half-pay, were Captain Duncan Macpherson, Lieutenants Henry Munro, Alexander Munro, John Macdonald, John Robertson, John Macgregor, Norman Macleod, John Grant, George Mackenzie, William Stewart, Sergeant-Major Hugh Fraser, and Quartermaster-Sergeant Smith, Adjutant and Quartermaster. On the 10th of April 1776, the regiment being reviewed by General Sir Adolphus Oughton, was reported so complete, and unexceptionable, that none were rejected. [Of the soldiers 931 were Highlanders, 74 Lowland Scotch, 5 English, (in the band) 1 Welsh, and 2 Irish.]

Hostilities having commenced in America, every exertion was made to teach the recruits the use of the firelock, for which purpose they were drilled even by candle-light. New arms and accoutrements were supplied to the men, together with broad-swords and pistols, iron-stocked, the swords and pistols being supplied at the expense of the colonel.

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