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zeal of Dr Young, who had so ably conducted the hospitals in the West Indies, and who had been recommended by Sir Ralph Abercromby for the same duties in Egypt, the disease was prevented from spreading, and only one instance of it occurred in the camp before Alexandria. A French cavalry deserter had given his cloak to a soldier of the 58th, who was acting as clerk in the Adjutant-General's department. The soldier was seized with the plague the following night, and died. Fortunately, from his duty as clerk, he had a small tent exclusively for himself, in which he wrote and slept . This, with all that belonged to him, was burnt to ashes, and thus the pestilence was prevented from spreading to those in the neighbouring tents, who, though quite close, had had no personal communication with him.* The army sent from India, under the command of MajorGen. David Baird, to reinforce and act in conjunction with that under General Abercromby in Egypt, reached Cossier op tlie western shore of the Red Sea in June. After a harassing march across the Desart to Kenna, they descended the Nile in boats to Rosetta, and encamped there in August. Although various accidents occasioned so much delay as to prevent the full accomplishment of the combined plan of operations, which was to bring together two armies from such opposite points in the eastern and western hemisphere, yet the report of a reinforcement from India being expected, might probably have had some influence in quickening Belliard's surrender of Cairo. But however this might be, the
• I state the above case more particularly, as it is disputed among medical men, whether the plague spreads by infection or by contact. In Egypt it was clearly by contact. This case came under my immediate observation. I was badly wounded on the 21st of March, and sent on board ship, but being anxious to be with my regiment, I was carried on shore as soon as I could be moved; but unable to perform any active duty, I took a military superintendence of the convalescents in the hospital of the wounded, and thus had an opportunity of seeing and hearing much of what was passing among the sick. The corporal's tent was twelve yards in rear of mine, but, fortunately, the nature of his complaint was early discovered.
junction was highly gratifying to numbers in both armies; and it was interesting to witness so unexpected a meeting of old friends, school-fellows, and companions, in a country which, in the days of their first acquaintance, they no more thought of seeing than the land of Canaan or of Goshen.
This army was in high discipline, and in full order of service. It consisted of the 10th and 61st regiments, with large detachments of the 80th, 86th, and 88th British regiments, the 1st battalion of the 1st Bombay, and the 2d battalion of the 7th regiment, a detachment of Bengal volunteers, and a full proportion of artillery, in all 5227 rank and file, besides 1593 Lascars, servants, and followers of the camp.
To those who had never seen Asiatic troops, this opportunity was very gratifying; and as they had, on many occasions, sufficiently evinced their improvement under the discipline of British officers, and had distinguished themselves for all the moral, and many of the best military duties, in the field and in quarters, it was generally regretted that circumstances prevented them from meeting the troops of France in the field.
England—Highland Society of London—V2d reviewed by the KingSecond battalion—Scotland—England—Gibraltar—Spain— Corunna—Advance of Sir John Moore.
When the destinations were finally arranged, the three Highland regiments were included among those ordered home. The 42d, all healthy except those affected with ophthalmia, landed at Southampton, and marched to Winchester.
The 42d regiment had now reached the conclusion of an active war, in the course of which its conduct, both individually and collectively, may, in many respects, bear a comparison with that for which the corps had, at an earlier period, been distinguished. At different times, however, during this war, a laxity of principle interfered with that general correctness and sobriety for which the men had been so remarkable. But however irregular they may have occasionally been, so far as regarded a love of liquor, unknown in those times when the soldiers had their spirits served out to them only twice a-week, yet much moral principle remained, and there were but few instances of confirmed depravity. At the same time, it must be lamented that there were among them several poor creatures totally unfit for being soldiers, and with whom the ranks had been completed, from too great a desire to have numbers without paying a due regard to quality. It should have been recollected that such men are an incumbrance to an active and spirited corps, and that the conduct and appearance of a few individuals may affect the general character and estimation of a whole regiment. Instances of this must be familiar to military men, who will be aware how much more confidence a commanding officer in a campaign must feel, if at the head of 600 men of good principles, tried courage, and constitutional strength, than if commanding 800, of whom one-fourth, deficient in character and health, cannot be trusted when their services are most required.
The regiment had been only a short time at Winchester, when the men caught a contagious fever, supposed to have proceeded from the prisoners over whom they stood sentinels at the jail. Captain Lamont and several of the men died of the fever. *
* Captain Lamont was an excellent man; he had a considerable dash of eccentricity, combined with the warmest zeal for his profession, and affection for his brother officers and soldiers. Indeed, he fell a sacrifice to his kind attachment to his men; for when the fever was at its height,
At this period a circumstance occurred which caused some conversation, and to which I have alluded in a note on the French standard taken at Alexandria. The Highland Society of London, much gratified with the accounts given of the conduct of their countrymen in Egypt, resolved to bestow on them some mark of their esteem and approbation. This society being composed of men of the first rank and character in Scotland, and including several of the Royal Family as members, it was considered that such an act would be honourable to the corps and agreeable to all. It was proposed to commence with the 42d as the oldest of the Highland regiments, and with the others in succession, as their service offered an opportunity of distinguishing themselves. Fifteen hundred pounds were immediately subscribed for this purpose. Medals were struck with a head of Sir Ralph Abercromby, and some emblematical figures on the reverse. A superb piece of plate was likewise ordered. While these were in preparation, the society held a meeting, when Sir John Sinclair, with the warmth of a clansman, mentioned his namesake, Serjeant Sinclair, as having taken or having got possession of the French standard, which had been brought home. Sir John being at that time ignorant of the circumstances, made no mention of
although he knew its contagious nature, he could not be kept away from the sick. He was always anxious, and always imagining that they were in want of some comfort or cordial. He caught the fever, which carried him off in a few days, lamented by all who knew his worth; and as none knew his value more than his regiment, his loss was proportionally regretted by every individual. His own hopes and happiness seemed to be centered in his corps, from whom he never wished to be absent. Although he had an estate in Argyleshirc, and was often offered leave of absence, he would not quit the regiment; and in the year 1795 declined a step of promotion, to which he was appointed, in another corps, preferring an inferior commission among his old friends. He lamented, when dying, that he should go out of the world like a manufacturer, quietly in his bed, when he might so frequently have died a soldier's death. He had served in the 76th, or M'Oonald's Highlanders, in America, and was put on the full pay of the 43d in 1787.
the loss of the ensign which theserjeant had gotten in charge. This called forth the claim of Lutz, a soldier of Stuart's regiment, accompanied with some strong remarks by Cobbett, the editor of the work in which the claim appeared. The society then asked an explanation from the officers of the 42d regiment. To this very proper request a reply was given by the officers who were then present with the regiment. The majority of these happened to be young men, who expressed, in warm terms, their surprise that the society should imagine them capable of countenancing any statement implying that they had laid claim to a trophy to which they had no right. This misapprehension of the society's meaning brought on a correspondence, which ended in an interruption of farther communication for many years. By this unfortunate misunderstanding, a check was given to the intention of the society to present marks of their esteem to those of their countrymen who, either in collected bodies as regiments, or individually, had distinguished themselves, and contributed by their actions to support the military character of Scotland. The approbation of such a body as the Highland Society of London, composed of men of the first rank and talent, and every way competent to appreciate the character and actions of our national corps, would, unquestionably, have acted as an incitement to the youth of the North, to establish future claims to their notice. That a purpose so well intended should have suffered a temporary interruption, was therefore a matter of regret.
However, as a prelude to a fresh correspondence and intimacy between the society and the Highland regiments, the communication with the 42d was again renewed in 1816. I was then one of the vice-presidents of the society; and being in the full knowledge of the circumstances, although absent from the regiment when the first correspondence took place, and knowing that the whole originated in mistake and misapprehension, I was requested, by the society, to open a communication with the regiment. This ended