« 前へ次へ »
Colonel Andrew Hay (afterwards Major-General, and killed at Bayonne) the quota of those counties which had already furnished their men. The others soon followed, amounting to 1343 men, who composed the second battalion 42d regiment. Almost all the men furnished by the counties of Perth and Argyle were substitutes; they were too near the insuring societies of Perth and Glasgow. With the exception of gentlemen's sons, and some others who had situations which they could not leave, all from the northern counties were principals. Many of these were either married men, who had small farms, or tradesmen; all, except the young lads, had some occupations from which they were now taken on a short warning; consequently there were numberless applications for leave to return home to settle their affairs. As it would have been both impolitic and cruel to refuse an indulgence in such circumstances, I gave liberty to all who required it . I notice the circumstance as creditable to the men who obtained this indulgence, and who did not in one instance abuse the confidence reposed in them. The numbers who obtained leave of absence amounted to 235, yet every man returned at his appointed time, except when detained by boisterous weather at ferries, or by other unavoidable causes, which were certified by some neighbouring gentleman. It afforded satisfaction to assist and oblige men who showed themselves so deserving and trust-worthy. Several of the gentlemen wrote me very feelingly on the state in which many of them had left their families, and on the struggle they had in parting from them. However, Government provided for these privations, as the families of men balloted by the Army of Reserve Act were entitled to receive the same allowance as those of the militia. But while a humane provision was thus made for families left without a husband or father, it was a most mischievous and effectual check to prevent men from extending their service; for while a man's family was to be maintained if he continued on the home service, whenever he engaged to go abroad and expose himself to the dangers of climate and war, the provision ceased. In such circumstances no wellprincipled man possessing any regard for his family would think of extending his service. However, as the principal object of the act was to raise men who would ultimately enter the regular army, a bounty was offered to all who would volunteer. On this occasion, much exertion was made to encourage the men to volunteer into the first battalions of the 42d, the 92d, and other regiments. So many had engaged to serve for life, that when I resigned the command to Col. James Stewart, the men for limited service were reduced to 800. There were no desertions, nor had I occasion to bring a man to a court-martial. Some slight irregularities were committed by a few of the substitutes, who had been soldiers formerly; but a few days' confinement, and a regimen of good bread and fresh water, proved a sufficient check. No such restraint was required for the men who had now for the first time left their native country. During the time I commanded, and when the men were thus exemplary, there was much money in the garrison, from the bounty given to the volunteers for the line; consequently there was no want of liquor, the usual incitement to misconduct in our army.
In November the second battalion embarked at Fort George, to join the first in Weeley Barracks, Essex. Both battalions continued together throughout the year. Several changes occurred among the officers this year. In April Captain David Stewart was appointed Major, and Lieutenants Robert Henry Dick and Charles McLean Captains, to the second battalion of the 78th regiment. In September Colonel Dickson was appointed Brigadier-General, Lieutenant-Colonels James Stewart and Alexander Stewart retired. They were succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonels Stirling and Lord Blantyre; Captains M'Quarrie and James Grant became Majors; Lieutenants Stewart Campbell, Donald Williamson, John M'Diarmid, John Dick, and James Walker, were promoted to companies; and Captain Lord Saltoun was removed to the Foot Guards. * health. This is evident from the number of deaths, which, in the three years of 1805, 1806, and 1807, amounted only to 31 men, in this regiment of 850 men. Judging from this and other circumstances, Gibraltar may be considered as one of the most salubrious stations m the British dominion;, abroad. As to the violent inflammatory fevers which have been so destructive since their first appearance in 1804, they were infectious diseases brought in from other places, and in no instance endemic.
The two battalions remained together in Lieutenant-General Hope's brigade till September 1805, when General Fox, Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar, requiring a reinforcement in consequence of the removal from that garrison of the Queen's, I3th, and 54th regiments, the 1st battalion of the Royal Highlanders from Weeley, and the 2d battalion of the 78th or Seaforth's Highlanders from Shorncliff, were marched to Portsmouth and embarked there early in October, whence they sailed for Gibraltar; and, after being driven into Lisbon by stress of weather, reached that fortress in November.
A very considerable, and certainly a very desirable alteration had taken place in the garrison since the 42d had been quartered therein 1797 and 1798. The moral habits of the troops had undergone a marked improvement; and although it is not easy to prevent soldiers from drinking, when wine may be had at threepence the quart, and they have money to pay for it, yet what was now consumed did not materially affect their discipline, and in no degree their
* At this period a circumstance occurred of an unpleasant nature. A soldier of the name of Munro, irritated to a degree of madness by a supposed or real affront he had received from his officer, struck him in the ranks. A detail of the circumstances of this unfortunate case would tend to give strength to the opinions I have frequently presumed to give, on the propriety of selecting officers to regiments, composed of men with a turn of mind and disposition differing from what is commonly met with. In this instance, a man who had, in the course of several years' service, showed himself a good man and a brave soldier, found his feelings so outraged and tormented by what he supposed indignities, trifling, perhaps, in themselves, but to a bigb-spirited soldier so extremely irritating, that his reason was overcome, and the loss of his officer's life and the forfeiture of his own bad nearly been the consequence. Had the officer a proper knowledge of or penetration to discover the soldier's true character, he would not have pursued a line of conduct to unsuitable to the men he commanded. It would appear that this was known at the proper place, and the circumstances understood; for his Majesty granted a pardon to the soldier from the sentence to be shot, to which be had been condemned by the court martial before which he had been tried.
I know not whether it is from reliance on the goodness of the climate, or from a principle of economy, that in a garrison of such magnitude and importance, requiring so many men for its defence, and which has been upwards of 100 years in the possession of Britain, there is no general hospital, nor any receptacle for sick soldiers, except some small rooms attached to the barracks. In Minorca, which was for nearly 80 years a British garrison, the case is the same; but in both places there are excellent and complete naval hospitals.
Nothing worthy of notice occurred while the regiments were in Gibraltar. Great cordiality subsisted between the officers of the garrison and those of the Spanish troops at St Roque and Algesiras, and the asperities of war were softened by a frequent and friendly interchange of visits and civility. In the different attacks made by the Spanish gun-boats on our fleets and ships, sailing out of, or entering the bay, the opposing officers would afterwards meet at the tables of General Fox or General Castanos, the governor of Algesiras, fight their battles o'er again, and discuss their respective merits and manoeuvres. This amicable disposition was in a great measure to be ascribed to the character of the two commanders. Liberal, candid, and sincere, their mutual confidence descended to those under them; the gates of the hostile line of defence were opened to give a free passage to the officers of the garrison, on producing a few lines of a passport, and permission was even given them to form a race-ground on the Spanish territories.
These indulgences contributed to the health of the officers, and rendered the garrison in every way more agreeable. They also seemed to influence the conduct of the soldiers, who appeared satisfied and contented with their confinement within the garrison. At least there were no desertions, nor any unruly conduct; and indeed, altogether, their behaviour was very different from, and much superior to what it had been in 1797 and 1798.
In the winter of 1805 and 1806, two flank battalions were formed in the garrison: the command of the grenadier battalions was given to Major John Farquharson of the *2d regiment, and that of the light infantry battalion to Major David Stewart of the 78th Highlanders. These battalions were broken up when the flank companies of the 78th embarked with the regiment for Sicily in the month of May 1806.*
• The colonel, Sir Hector Munro, died this year. He was a brave officer, and possessed of a firm mind, of which he exhibited an instance before the battle of Buxar in 1764*. He did not interest himself much about his regiment, nor seemed to regard them with that feeling which might have been expected from a countryman of their own, who, with an affluent fortune, and the influence it commanded, might have materially contributed to the welfare and good name of his regiment. Although the first and second battalions were a considerable time quartered at Fort George, in the neighbourhood of his country-seat, he never came near them, except once, when he stopped to change horses in the garrison on his way to London. He was succeeded by Major-General the Marquis of Huntly. The son of the greatest chief of the North, the Marquis derives from his personal character an influence over men's minds and actions, which even his high rank and great fortune could never give; and, of all men in his Majesty's service, he combines in the greatest proportion the necessary qualifications to make him the most proper commander of a Highland corps. Although, as I have said, in speaking of Lord John Murray, the army is now under such happy auspices that a corps has less occasion for a zealous and friendly colonel to Bee that proper officers be appointed, and justice distributed, with less regard to political influence, and more regard to talent, zeal, and length of service, yet a regiment is most fortunate in having a man at their head who has their honour and * See the account of tire 89th Highland regiment.