ページの画像
PDF
ePub

King for all that. I am not afraid; I never saw the man I was afraid of.

"I will not be cheated, nor do any thing by trick.

"I will not be transported to the Plantations, like a thief and a rogue.

"They told me I was to be sent out to work with black slaves: that was not my bargain, and I won't be cheated."

John Stewart of Captain Campbell of Carrick's company being interrogated, answered as follows:

"I did not desert: I only wanted to go back to my own country, because they abused me, and said I was to be transported.

"I had no leader or commander; we had not one man over the rest .

"We were all determined not to be tricked. We will all fight the French and Spaniards, but will not go like rogues to the Plantations.

"I am not a Presbyterian; no, nor a Catholic."

After the deserters were taken back to London, they were tried by a general court-martial on the 8th of June, found guilty, and condemned to be shot; but the capital

part of the punishment was remitted to all but three,

Corporals Malcolm and Samuel M'Pherson, (brothers,) and Farquhar Shaw, who were ordered for execution, and shot accordingly on Towerhili. The following account appeared in the St James's Chronicle, of the 20th July 1743.

land delinquency. * But it meant more; it was used to designate a character made up of negatives, who had neither ear for music nor taste for poetry, no pride of ancestry, no heart for attachment, no soul for honour; one who merely studied comfort and conveniency, and was more anxious for the absence of positive evil, than the presence of relative good. A Whig, in short, was, what all Highlanders cordially hated, a cold, selfish, formal character." f

* The Highlanders never forgave King William for Glenco; and for placing troops and garrisons in their country, and turning his arms against his "father-in-law. I have already noticed the strength of parental affection among the Highlanders. Living at a distance from the seat of government, they were ignorant of the political and religious distractions which occasioned the Revolution; and looking, therefore, to the single circumstance of King William and Queen Mary depriving their father of his kingdom, and driving him into exile and poverty, they considered them as monsters of filial ingratitude.

t Mrs Grant's Superstitions of the Highlanders.

"On Monday the 12th, at six o'clock in the morning, Samuel and Malcolm M'Pherson, corporals, and Farquhar Shaw, a private man, three of the Highland deserters, were shot upon the parade within the Tower, pursuant to the sentence of the court-martial. The rest of the Highland prisoners were drawn out to see the execution, and joined in their prayers with great earnestness. They behaved with perfect resolution and propriety. Their bodies were put into three coffiiu by three of the prisoners, their clansmen and namesakes, and buried in one grave, near the place of execution."

There must have been something more than common in the case or character of these unfortunate men, as Lord John Murray, who was afterwards colonel of the regiment, had portraits of them hung up in his dining-room. I have not at present the means of ascertaining whether this proceeded from an impression on his Lordship's mind that they had been victims to the designs of others, and ignorantly misled, rather than wilfully culpable, or merely from a desire of preserving the resemblances of men who were remarkable for their size and handsome figure.

Two hundred of the deserters were ordered to serve in different corps abroad, the distribution being as follows; viz. 50 sent to Gibraltar, SO to Minorca, 40 to the Leeward Islands, 30 to Jamaica, and 30 to Georgia. •

• It is impossible to reflect on this unfortunate affair without feelings of regret, whether we view it as an open violation of military discipline on the part of brave, honourable, and well-meaning men, or as betraying an apparent want of faith on the part of Government. The indelible impression which it made on the minds of the whole population of the Highlands, laid the foundation of that distrust in their superiors, which was afterwards so much increased by various circumstances to be detailed in the article on the Mutinies of Highland Regiments, and latterly still more confirmed by the mode of treatment pursued by northern landholders towards their people.

SECTION II.

FlandersFontenoy 1715Cover the retreat of the army after the battleEngland—Prestonpans 1745—Coast of France 1746— Ireland—Flanders 1747—Ireland 1748 Character.

The regiment was soon restored to order, and, towards the end of May, embarked for Flanders, where it joined the army under the command of Field-MarshaI the Earl of Stair. Unfortunately, it arrived too late to be present at the battle of Dettingen; but although the men had not then an opportunity of showing themselves good soldiers in the field, all the accounts agree that, by their conduct, they proved themselves decent and orderly in quarters. "That regiment (SempuTs Highlanders) was judged the most trust-worthy guard of property, insomuch that the people in Flanders chose to have them always for their protection. Seldom were any of them drunk, and they as rarely swore. And the Elector Palatine wrote to his envoy in London, desiring him to thank the King of Great Britain

From the evidence of eye-witoesses, and of those who wrote and published at the time, it appears evident that the men considered their service and engagements of a local nature, not to extend beyond Scotland, not even beyond the Highland boundary. The Lord President Forbes, Major Grose, and the author from whom I have so liberally quoted, furnish proof of this belief on the part of the men. The last being an Englishman, who wrote on the spot, and published in London immediately after the mutiny, his impartiality, so far as regarded the soldiers, and the accuracy of his information with regard to the whole, may be considered as undoubted. The public opinion at the time may be collected from the communication of the departure of the regiment from Scotland, given in the Caledonian Mercury, an old and excellent record of events in Scotland. It is there expressly stated that their march to England was for the purpose of being reviewed by the King.

For the excellent behaviour of the regiment while in his territories in 1743 and 1744; i and for whose sake,' he adds, ' I will always pay a respect and regard to a Scotchman in future.' *

The regiment was not engaged in active service during the whole of 1743 and 1744, but was quartered in different parts of the country, where it continued to maintain the same character. By several private letters written at that period from the Continent, it appears that they had gained the good opinion and entire confidence of the inhabitants, who expressed their anxious desire to have a Highland soldier quartered in each of their houses, "as these men were not only quiet, kind, and domestic, but served as a protection against the rudeness of others."

In April 1745, Lord Sempill, being appointed to the 25th regiment, was succeeded, as colonel of the Highlanders, by Lord John Murray, son of the Duke of Atholl.

The season was now well advanced, and the King of France, with the Dauphin, had joined his army in Flanders, under the command of Marshal Count Saxe, who, having been strongly reinforced, determined to open the campaign by laying siege to Tournay, then garrisoned by eight thousand men, under General Baron Dorth. Early in May, the Duke of Cumberland arrived from England, and assumed the command of the allied army, which consisted of twenty battalions and twenty-six squadrons of British, five battalions and sixteen squadrons of Hanoverians, all under the immediate command of his Royal Highness; twenty-six battalions and forty squadrons of Dutch, under the command of the Prince of Waldeck; and eight squadrons of Austrians, under Field-Marshal Konigseg.

With this force the allied generals resolved to raise the siege of Tournay, before which the French had broken ground on the 30th of April. The French army was more numerous, but the whole of their force could not be brought

• Dr Doddridge's Life of Colonel Gardiner, London, 1749.

forward, as large detachments were left in front of Tournay and other places. Marshal Saxe was soon aware of the intention of the Allies, and prepared to receive them. He drew up his line of battle on the right bank of the Scheldt, extending from the wood of Barri to Fontenoy, and thence to the village of St Antoine. Entrenchments were thrown up at both these places, besides three redoubts in the intermediate space, and two at the corner of the wood of Barri, whence a deep ravine extended as far as Fontenoy, and another from that village to St Antoine. A double line of infantry in front, and cavalry in the rear, occupied the whole space from the wood to St Antoine, while an additional force of cavalry and infantry was posted behind the redoubts and batteries. A battery was also erected on the other side of the river, opposite to St Antoine. The artillery, which was very numerous, was distributed along the line, and in the village and redoubts.

Such was the position pitched upon by Marshal Saxe to receive the Allies, who moved forward on the 9th of May, and encamped between the villages of Bougries and Moubray, at a short distance from the outposts of the enemy. On the evening of that day, the Duke went out and reconnoitred the position chosen by the French general. The Highland regiment was ordered to the advanced post, "when his Royal Highness, with Field-Marshal Konigseg and the Prince of Waldeck, went out to reconnoitre, covered by the Highlanders, who kept up a sharp fire with the grassins * concealed in the woods. After this service was performed, Lord Crawford, being left in command of the advance of the army, proceeded with the Highlanders and a party of hussars to examine the outposts more narrowly. In the course of this duty, a Highlander in advance, observing that one of the grassins repeatedly fired at his post, placed his bonnet upon the top of a stick, near the verge of a hollow road. This stratagem decoyed the Frenchman;

* Sharpshooters

« 前へ次へ »