Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Culloden

Culloden (Gael. cul-oitir, 'back-lying coast-ridge'), an estate and a battlefield on the NE verge of Invernessshire, in the parishes of Inverness, Croy, Daviot-Dunlichity, and Petty. Culloden House stands 1¼ mile SE by S of Culloden station on the Highland railway, this being close to the Firth of Beauly and 3¼ miles ENE of Inverness. Backed by plantations, it commands a magnificent view, and ` has been renewed in an elegant style ' since 1746, when our engraving shows it to have been a plain four-storied edifice, with battlemented front and central bell-turret. Within it hang portraits of ` Grey ' Duncan Forbes (1572-1654), M.P. and provost of Inverness, who bought the estate from the laird of M'Intosh in 1626; of his great-grandson and namesake, the celebrated Lord President of the Court of Session (1685-1747); and of many others of the line-` a cluster,' Hill Burton observes, ` of open, handsome, and ingenuous countenances- ' The present and tenth laird, also a Duncan Forbes (b. 1851; suc. 1879), holds 5655 acres, valued at £4553 per annum-

About 1¾ mile ESE of the mansion is the battlefield, Culloden or Drummossie Muir, a broad, flat, sandstone ridge that from 500 feet above sea-level sinks gently to 300 feet along the left bank of the river Nairn. across which rise the steeper heights of Croy and Dalcross parish-Saddle Hill (1000 feet), Creagan Glas (1027), and Beinn Bhuidhe Mhor (1797). Planting and culture have somewhat changed its aspect, so that now it is but an opening in a wood,-an opening the size of a park of 6 or 8 acres,-traversed by a carriage road from Inverness to Nairn, and studded with grassy mounds that mark the graves of the slain. In the summer of 1881 these graves were cared for by the present proprietor, one stone being inscribed with the names of the clans M'Gillivray, M`Lean, and M`Lauchlan, whilst there are separate stones for Clan Stewart of Appin, Clan Cameron, and Clan M`Intosh, and two graves are marked ` Clans mixed.' Then on a new ` Great Cairn, ' 20 feet in height, a slab has been placed, with this legend:-` The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor, 16th April 1746. The graves of the gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland and Prince Charlie are marked by the names of their clans.'

The invasion of England over and the battle of Falkirk won, the Highland army, from besieging Stirling Castle, retired to Inverness, where, on 12 April 1746, news reached them, scattered and disorganised, that the Duke of Cumberland had marched from Aberdeen. Fording the deep and rapid Spey, he on the 14th entered Nairn, where the Prince's outposts halted till he was within a mile of the town, beginning their retreat in sight of the British army. Next day, the Duke's birthday, the royal camp was a scene of festivity, provisions being plentifully supplied by a fleet of storeships that had followed along the coast; but the Prince, enjoying no such advantage, found himself forced to hasten the issue of the contest by a third appeal to arms. It was therefore resolved in a council of war to attack the enemy's camp in the night, and thus to compensate, so far as might be, for inferiority of numbers, and yet more for the want of cavalry and cannon. But as a surprise, to be successful, must be effected with speed and concert, it is manifest that prompt obedience and accurate calculation are indispensable. The Highlanders did not finish their preparations till the evening was far advanced, and, the night being very dark, they could not complete their march until it was too late to hazard an onset with any prospect of advantage. Orders were therefore given for a retreat, and the wearied clansmen, retracing their steps under a load of melancholy and suspicion, resumed their original ground on Culloden Muir. In the opinion of the wisest among Charles's officers, his army, after a march at once so harassing and discouraging, should have taken up a position beyond the river Nairn, where the bank was high and inaccessible to cavalry. But to such reasonable proposals he turned a deaf ear, being moved by a romantic notion that it was unworthy of him to retire in the presence of an enemy, or even to avail himself of any superiority that might be attained by the judicious choice of a field of battle. He would rather await the onset of the Duke of Cumberland, who, profiting by the experience of Cope and Hawley, made his dispositions with much more skill and foresight than had been shown at Prestonpans or Falkirk.

Before commencing the march, written instructions, which had been communicated to the commanders of the different regiments, were read at the head of every company in the line. They ran, that if those to whom the charge of the train or baggage horses was entrusted should abscond or leave them, they should be punished with instant death; and that if any officer or soldier misconducted himself during the action, he should be sentenced. The infantry marched in three parallel divisions or columns, of five regiments each, headed by General Huske on the left, Lord Sempill on the right, and General Mordaunt in the centre. The artillery and baggage followed the first column on the right; and the dragoons and horse, led by Generals Hawley and Bland, were on the left, forming a fourth column. Forty of Kingston's horse and Argyllshire men led the van. The charge of ranging the Highland army in line of battle on this important occasion was entrusted to O'Sullivan, who acted in the double capacity of adjutant and quartermaster-general. This officer, in the opinion of Lord George Murray, a high authority certainly, was utterly unfit for such a task, and committed gross blunders on every occasion of moment. In the present instance, he did not even visit the ground where the army was to be drawn up, and committed a 'fatal error' in omitting to throw down some park walls on the left of the English army, which being afterwards taken possession of by the Duke of Cumberland, it was found impossible to break the English lines from the destructive flank-fire opened therefrom on the right of the Highland army, as it advanced to the attack. While the Duke of Cumberland was forming his line of battle, Lord George Murray was very desirous to advance and demolish these walls; but as such a movement would have broken the line, the officers about him considered that the attempt would be dangerous, and he therefore did not make it.

The Highland army was drawn up in three lines. The first, or front line, consisted of the Athole brigade, which had the right, the Camerons, Stewarts of Appin, Frasers, M`Intoshes, M `Lauchlans, M `Leans, John Roy Stewart's regiment, and Farquharsons, united into one regiment; the M`Leods, Chisholms, M `Donalds of Clanranald, Keppoch, and Glengarry. The three M `Donald regiments formed the left. Lord George Murray commanded on the right, Lord John Drummond in the centre, and the Duke of Perth on the left, of the first line. There had been, a day or two before, a violent contention among the chiefs about precedency of rank. The M`Donalds claimed the right as their due, in support of which claim they stated, that as a reward for the fidelity of Angus M `Donald, Lord of the Isles, in protecting Robert the Bruce for upwards of nine months in his dominions, that prince, at the battle of Bannockburn, conferred the post of honour, the right, on the M`Donalds, -.that this post had ever since been held by them, unless when yielded from courtesy, as to the chief of the M`Leans at the battle of Harlaw. Lord George Murray, however, maintained that, under the Marquis of Montrose, the right had been assigned to the Athole men, and he insisted that that post should now be conferred upon them. In this unseasonable demand, Lord George is said to have been supported by Lochiel and his friends. Charles refused to decide a question with the merits of which he was imperfectly acquainted; but, as it was necessary to adjust the difference immediately, he prevailed upon the commanders of the M `Donald regiments to waive their pretensions in the present instance. The M `Donalds in general were far from being satisfied with the complaisance of their commanders, and, as they had occupied the post of honour at Prestonpans and Falkirk, they considered their deprivation of it on the present occasion ominous. The Duke of Perth, while he stood at the head of the Glengarry regiment, hearing the murmurs of the M `Donalds, said, that if they behaved with their wonted valour they would make a right of the left, and that he would change his name to M `Donald; but the haughty clansmen paid no heed to him.

The second line of the Highland army consisted of the Gordons under Lord Lewis Gordon, formed in column on the right, the French Royal Scots, the Irish piquets or brigade, Lord Kilmarnock's foot guards, Lord John Drummond's regiment, and Glenbucket's regiment in column on the left, flanked on the right by Fitz-James's dragoons, and Lord Elcho's horse-guards, and on the left by the Perth squadron, under Lords Strathallan and Pitsligo, and the Prince's body-guards under Lord Balmerino. General Stapleton had the command of this line. The third line, or reserve, consisted of the Duke of Perth's and Lord Ogilvy's regiments, under the last-mentioned nobleman. The Prince himself, surrounded by a troop of Fitz-James's horse, took his station on a very small eminence behind the centre of the first line, from which he had a complete view of the whole field of battle. The extremities of the front line and the centre were each protected by four pieces of cannon.

The English army continued steadily to advance in the order already described, and, after a march of eight miles, formed in line of battle, in consequence of the advance guard reporting that they perceived the Highland army at some distance making a motion towards them on the left. Finding, however, that the Highlanders were still at a considerable distance, and that the whole body did not move forward, the Duke of Cumberland resumed his march, and continued to advance till within a mile of the enemy, when he ordered a halt, and, after reconnoitring the position of the Highlanders, re-formed his army for battle in three lines, and in the following order.

The first line consisted of six regiments, viz., the Royals (the 1st), Cholmondeley's (the 34th), Price's (the 14th), the Scots Fusileers (the 21st), Monro's (the 37th), and Barrel's (the 4th). The Earl of Albemarle had the command of this line. In the intermediate spaces between each of these regiments were placed two pieces of cannon, making ten in all. The second line consisted of five regiments, viz., those of Pulteney (the 13th), Bligh (the 20th), Sempill (the 25th), Ligonier (the 48th), and Wolfe's (the 8th), and was under the command of General Huske. Three pieces of cannon were placed between the exterior regiments of this line and those next them. The third line or corps de reserve, under Brigadier Mordaunt, consisted of four regiments, viz., Battereau's (the 62d), Howard's (the 3d), Fleming's (the 36th), and Blakeney's (the 27th), flanked by Kingston's dragoons (the 3d). The order in which the regiments of the different lines are enumerated is that in which they stood from right to left. The flanks of the front line were protected on the left by Kerr's dragoons (the 11th), consisting of three squadrons, commanded by Lord Ancrum, and on the right by Cobham's dragoons (the 10th), consisting also of three squadrons, under General Bland, with the additional security of a morass, extending towards the sea; but, thinking himself quite safe on the right, the Duke afterwards ordered these last to the left, to aid in an intended attack upon the right flank of the Highlanders. The Argyll men, with the exception of 140, who were upon the left of the reserve, remained in charge of the baggage.

The dispositions of both armies are considered to have been well arranged; but both were better calculated for defence than for attack. The arrangement of the English army is generally considered to have been superior to that of the Highlanders; as, from the regiments in the second and third lines being placed directly behind the vacant spaces between the regiments in the lines before them, the Duke of Cumberland, in the event of one regiment in the front line being broken, could immediately bring up two to supply its place. But this opinion is questionable, as the Highlanders had a column on the flanks of the second line, which might have been used either for extension or échelon movement towards any point to the centre, to support either the first or the second line.

In the dispositions described, and about the distance of a mile from one another, did the two armies stand for some time, each expecting the other to advance. Whatever may have been the feelings of Prince Charles on this occasion, those of the Duke of Cumberland appear to have been far from enviable. The thoughts of Prestonpans and Falkirk could not but raise. in him direful apprehensions for the result of a battle affecting the very existence of his father's crown; and that he placed but a doubtful reliance upon his troops is evident from a speech which he now made to his army. He said that they were about to fight in defence of their king, religion, liberties, and property, and that if only they stood firm he had no doubt he should lead them on to certain victory; but that as he would much rather be at the head of one thousand brave and resolute men than of ten thousand mixed with cowards, if there were any amongst them, who, through timidity, were diffident of their courage, or others, who, from conscience or inclination, felt a repugnance to perform their duty, he begged them to retire immediately, and promised them free pardon for so doing, since by remaining they might dispirit or disorder the other troops, and bring dishonour and disgrace on the army under his command.

As the Highlanders remained in their position, the Duke of Cumberland again put his army in marching order, and, after it had advanced, with fixed bayonets, within half a mile of the front line of the Highlanders, it again formed as before. In this last movement the English army had to pass a piece of hollow ground, which was so soft and swampy, that the horses which drew the cannon sank; and some of the soldiers, after slinging their firelocks and unyoking the horses, had to drag the cannon across the bog. As by this last movement the army advanced beyond the morass which protected the right flank, the Duke immediately orderes up Kingston's horse from the reserve, and a small squadron of Cobham's dragoons, which had been patrolling, to cover it; and to extend his line, and prevent his being outflanked on the right, he also at the same time ordered up Pulteney's regiment (the 13th), from the second line to the right of the Royals; and Fleming's (the 36th), Howard's (the 3d), and Battereau's (the 62d), to the right of Bligh's (the 20th) in the second line, leaving Blakeney's (the 27th) as a reserve.

During an interval of about half an hour some manœuvring took place, in attempts by each army to outflank the other. Meanwhile a heavy shower of sleet came on, which, though discouraging to the Duke's army, from the recollection of the untoward occurrence at Falkirk, was not considered very dangerous, as they had now the wind at their backs. To encourage his men, the Duke of Cumberland rode along the lines addressing himself hurriedly to every regiment as he passed. He exhorted his men to rely chiefly upon their bayonets, and to allow the Highlanders to mingle with them, that they might make them ` know the men they had to deal with. ' After the changes mentioned had been executed, His Highness took his station behind the Royals, between the first and the second line, and almost in front of the left of Howard's regiment, waiting for the expected attack. Meanwhile, a singular occurrence took place, characteristic of the self-devotion which the Highlanders were ready on all occasions to manifest towards the Prince and his cause. Conceiving that by assassinating the Duke of Cumberland he would confer an essential service on the Prince, a Highlander resolved, at the certain sacrifice of his own life, to make the attempt. With this intention he entered the English lines as a deserter, and, being granted quarter, was allowed to go through the ranks. He wandered about with apparent indifference, eyeing the different officers as he passed along, and it was not long till an opportunity occurred, as he conceived, for executing his fell purpose. The Duke having ordered Lord Bury, one of his aides-de-camp, to reconnoitre, his lordship crossed the path of the Highlander, who, mistaking him, from his dress, for the Duke (the regimentals of both being similar), instantly seized a musket from the ground, and discharged it at his lordship. He missed his aim, and a soldier, who was standing by, shot him dead on the spot.

The advance of Lord Bury to within a hundred yards of the insurgents appears to have been considered by the Highlanders as the proper occasion for beginning the battle. Taking off their bonnets, they set up a loud shout, which being answered by the royal troops with a huzza, the Highlanders about one o'clock commenced a cannonade on the right, which was followed by the cannon on the left; but the fire from the latter, owing to the want of cannoneers, was, after one round, discontinued. The first volley from the right seemed to create some confusion on the left of the royal army, but so badly were the cannon served and pointed, that though the cannonade was continued upwards of half an hour, only one man in Bligh's regiment, who had a leg carried off by a cannon-ball, received any injury. After the Highlanders had continued firing for a short time, Colonel Belford, who directed the cannon of the Duke's army, opened fire from the cannon in the front line, at first aiming chiefly at the horse, probably either because from their conspicuous situation they offered a better mark than the infantry, or because it was supposed that Charles was among them. Such was the accuracy of the aim taken by the royal artillery, that several balls entered the ground among the horses' legs and bespattered the Prince with the mud that they raised; and one of them struck the horse on which he rode two inches above the knee. The animal became so unmanageable, that Charles was obliged to change him for another, and one of his servants, who stood behind with a led horse in his hand, was killed on the spot. Observing that the wall on the right flank of the Highland army prevented him from attacking on that point, the Duke ordered Colonel Belford to continue the cannonade, with the view of provoking the Highlanders and drawing them on to attack. They, on the other hand, endeavoured to lure the royal army forward, and sent down several parties by way of defiance. Some of these approached three several times within a hundred yards of the right of the enemy, firing-their pistols and brandishing their swords; but with the exception of the small squadron of horse on the right, which advanced a little, the line remained immovable.

Meanwhile, Lord George Murray, observing that a squadron of the English dragoons and a party of foot, consisting of two companies of the Argyllshire men, and one of Lord London's Highlanders, had detached themselves from the left of the royal army, and were marching down towards the river Nairn, conceived that it was their intention to flank the Highlanders, or to come upon their rear when engaged in front, so directed Gordon of Avochy to advance with his battalion, and prevent the foot from entering the enclosure. But before this battalion could reach them, they had broken into it, and throwing down part of the east wall, and afterwards a piece of the west wall in the rear of the second line, made a free passage for the dragoons, who formed in the rear of the Prince's army. Upon this, Lord George ordered the guards and Fitz-James's horse to form opposite to the dragoons to keep them in check. Each party stood upon one side of a ravine, the ascent to which w as so steep, that neither could venture across in presence of the other with safety. The foot remained within the enclosure, and Avochy's battalion was ordered to watch their motions. It was now high time for the Highlanders to come to a close engagement. Lord George had sent Colonel Kerr to the Prince, to know if he should begin the attack; the Prince ordered him to do so, but his lordship, for some reason or other, delayed advancing. It is probable he expected that the Duke would come forward, and that by remaining where he was, and retaining the wall and a small farmhouse on his right, he would avoid the risk of being flanked. Perhaps he waited for the advance of the left wing, which, being not so far forward as the right, was directed to begin the attack, and orders had been sent to the Duke of Perth to that effect; but the left remained motionless. Anxious for the attack, Charles sent a fresh order by an aide-de-camp to Lord George Murray, but his Lordship never received it, as the bearer was killed by a cannon-ball while on his way to the right. He sent a message about the same time to Lochiel, desiring him to urge upon Lord George the necessity of an immediate attack.

Galled beyond endurance by the fire of the English, which carried destruction among the clans, the Highlanders grew clamorous, and called aloud to be led forward without further delay. Unable any longer to restrain their impatience, Lord George had just resolved upon an immediate advance; but before he had time to issue the order along the line, the M `Intoshes, with a heroism worthy of that brave clan, rushed forward enveloped in the smoke of the enemy's cannon. The fire of the centre field-pieces, and a discharge of musketry from the Scotch Fusileers, forced them to incline a little to the right; but all the regiments to their right, led on by Lord George Murray in person, and the united regiment of the M `Lauchlans and M `Leans on their left, coming down close after them, the whole moved forward together at a pretty quick pace. When within pistol-shot of the English line, they received a murderous fire, not only in front from some field-pieces, which for the first time were loaded now with grape, but in flank from a side battery supported by the Campbells, and Lord Loudon's Highlanders. Whole ranks were swept away by the terrible fire of the English. Yet, notwithstanding the carnage in their ranks, the Highlanders continued to advance, and, after giving their fire close to the English line, which, from the density of the smoke, was scarcely visible even within pistol-shot, the right wing, consisting of the Athole Highlanders and the Camerons, rushed onward sword in hand, and broke through Barrel's and Monroe's regiments, which stood on the left of the first line. These regiments bravely defended themselves with their spontoons and bayonets; but such was the impetuosity of the onset, that they would have been cut to pieces had they not been supported by two regiments from the second line, on whose approach they retired behind the regiments on their right, after sustaining a loss in killed and wounded of upwards of 200 men. After breaking through these two regiments, the Highlanders hurried forward to attack the left of the second line. They were met by a tremendous fire of grape from the three fieldpieces on the left of the second line, and by a discharge of musketry from Bligh's and Sempill's regiments, which carried havoc through their ranks, and made them at first recoil; but, maddened by despair, and utterly regardless of their lives, they rushed upon an enemy whom they felt but could not see amid the cloud of smoke in which the assailants were wrapped. By the Stewarts of Appin, the Frasers, the M `Intoshes, and the other centre regiments, a charge as fierce was made on the foe before them, driving them back upon the second line, which they also attempted to break; but, finding themselves unable, they gave up the contest, not, however, until numbers had been cut down at the cannon's mouth. While advancing towards the second line, Lord George Murray, in attempting to dismount from his horse, which had become unmanageable, was thrown; but, recovering himself, he ran to the rear and brought up two or three regiments from the second line to support the first; but though they gave their fire, nothing could be done,-all was lost. Unable to break the second line, and terribly cut up by the fire of Wolfe's regiment, and by Cobham's and Kerr's dragoons, who had formed en potence on their right flank, the right wing also gave up the contest, and, turning about, cut their way back, sword in hand, through those who had advanced and formed on the ground they had passed over in charging to their front.

In consequence of the unwillingness of the left to advance first as directed, Lord George Murray had sent the order to attack from right to left; but, hurried by the impetuosity of the M `Intoshes, the right and centre did not wait till the order, which required some minutes in the delivery, had been communicated along the line. Thus the right and centre had considerably the start, and, quickening their pace as they went along, had closed with the front line of the English army before the left had got half way over the ground that separated the two armies. The difference between the right and centre and the left was rendered still more considerable from the circumstance, as noted by an eye-witness, that the two armies were not exactly parallel to one another, the right of the Prince's army being nearer the Duke's than the left. Nothing could be more unfortunate for the Prince than this isolated attack, as it was only by a general shock on the whole of the English line that ho had any chance of victory.

The clan regiments on the left of the line, fearful that they would be flanked by Pulteney's regiment and the horse which had been brought up from the corps de reserve, held back. After receiving the fire of the regiments opposite to them, they answered it by a general discharge, and drew their swords for the attack; but, observing that the right and centre had given way, they turned their backs and fled without striking a blow. Stung to the quick by the misconduct of the M 'Donalds, the gallant Keppoch advanced with drawn sword in one hand and pistol in the other; but he had not gone far when a musket-shot brought him down. He was followed by Donald Roy M `Donald, formerly a lieutenant in his own regiment, and now a captain in Clanranald's, who, on Keppoch's falling, entreated him not to throw away his life, assuring him that his wound was not mortal, and that he might easily join his regiment in the retreat; but-with the exclamation, ` My God ! have the children of my tribe forsaken me?,-Keppoch refused to listen to the solicitations of his clansman, an d, after recommending him to look to himself, and receiving another shot, he fell to rise no more. Fortunately for the Highlanders, the English army did not follow up the advantage it had gained by an immediate pursuit. Kingston's horse at first chased the M `Donalds, some of whom were almost surrounded by them; but they were kept in check by the French piquets. The dragoons on the left of the English line were in like manner kept at bay by Ogilvy's regiment, which faced about upon them several times. After these ineffectual attempts, the English cavalry on the right and left met in the centre; and, the front line having dressed its ranks, orders were issued for the whole to advance in pursuit. Charles, who, from the small eminence on which he stood, had observed with the deepest concern the defeat and flight of the clans, was about to advance to rally them, contrary to the earnest entreaties of Sir Thomas Sheridan and others, who assured him that he would not succeed. All their expostulations would, it is said, have failed, had not General O'Sullivan laid hold of the bridle of Charles's horse, and led him off the field. It was, indeed, full time to retire, as the whole army was now in full retreat, followed by Cumberland's forces. To protect the Prince and secure his escape, most of his horse assembled about his person; but there was little danger, as the victors advanced very leisurely, and confined themselves to cutting down defenceless stragglers who fell in their way. After leaving the field, Charles put himself at the head of the right wing, which retired in such order that the cavalry sent to pursue could make no impression on it.

At a short distance from the field of battle, Charles separated his army into two parts. One of these divisions, consisting, with the exception of the Frasers, of the whole of the Highlanders and the low country regiments, crossed the river Nairn, and proceeded towards Badenoch; the other, comprising the Frasers, Lord John Drummond's regiment, and the French piquets, took the road to Inverness. The first division passed within pistol-shot of the body of English cavalry which, before the action, had formed in the rear of the Highland army, without the least interruption. An English officer, who had the temerity to advance a few paces to seize a Highlander, was instantly cut down by him and killed on the spot. The Highlander, instead of running away, deliberately stooped down, and, pulling out a watch from the pocket of his victim, rejoined his companions. From the evenness of the ground over which it had to pass, the smaller body of the Prince's army was less fortunate, as it suffered considerably from the attacks of the Duke's light horse before it reached Inverness. Numerous small parties, which had detached themselves from the main body, fell under the sabres of the cavalry; and many of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, who, from motives of

Curiosity, had come out to witness the battle, were slaughtered without mercy by the ferocious soldiery, who, from the similarity of garb, were perhaps unable to distinguish them from Charles's troops. This indiscriminate massacre continued all the way from the field of battle to a place called Mill-burn, within a mile of Inverness. Not content with the profusion of bloodshed in the heat of action and during the pursuit, the infuriated soldiery, provoked by their disgraces at Prestonpans and Falkirk, traversed the field of battle, and massacred in cold blood the maimed and dying. Even some officers, whose station in society, apart altogether from feelings of humanity, to which they were utter strangers, should have made them superior to this vulgar triumph of base and illiberal minds, joined in the work of assassination. To extenuate the atrocities committed in the battle, and the subsequent slaughters, a forged regimental order, bearing to be signed by Lord George Murray, by which the Highlanders were enjoined to refuse quarter to the royal troops, was afterwards published, it is said under the auspices of the Duke of Cumberland; but the deception was easily seen through. As no such order was alluded to in the official accounts of the battle, and as, at the interview which took place between the Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmerino, on the morning of their execution, both these noblemen stated their entire ignorance of it, no doubt whatever can exist of the forgery. The conduct of Charles and his followers, who never indulged in any triumph over their vanquished foes, but always treated them with humanity and kindness, high as it is, stands higher still in contrast with that of the royal troops and their commander.

From the characteristic bravery of the Highlanders, and their contempt of death, it is likely that some of those who perished, as well on the field after the battle as in the flight, did not yield their lives without a desperate struggle; and history has preserved one case of individual prowess, in the person of Golice Macbane, that deserves to be recorded. This man, who is represented to have been of the gigantic stature of 6 feet 4¼ inches, was beset by a party of dragoons. Assailed, he set his back against a wall, and, although covered with wounds, defended himself with target and claymore against the onset. Some officers, who observed the unequal conflict, were so struck with the desperate bravery of Macbane, that they gave orders to save him; dreadful havoc he had made among their companions, thirteen of whom lay dead at his feet, would not desist till they had cut him down.

According to the official accounts published by the government, the royal army had only 50 men killed, and 259 wounded, including 18 officers, 4 of whom were killed. Lord Robert Kerr, second son of the Marquis of Lothian, and captain of grenadiers in Barrel's regiment, was the only person of distinction killed; he fell covered with wounds, at the head of his company, when the Highlanders attacked his regiment. The loss on the opposite side was never ascertained with any degree of precision. The number of the slain is stated, in some publications of the period, to have amounted to upwards of 2000 men, but these accounts are exaggerated. The loss could not, however, be much short of 1200 men. The Athole brigade alone lost more than the half of its officers and men, and some of the centre battalions came off with scarcely a third of their men. The M 'Intoshes, who were the first to attack, suffered most. With the exception of three only, all the officers of this brave regiment, including M 'Gillivray of Drumnaglass, its colonel, the lieutenant-colonel, and major, were killed in the attack. All the other centre regiments also lost several officers. M `Lauchlan, colonel of the united regiment of M `Lauchlan and M `Lean, was killed by a cannon-ball in the beginning of the action, and M `Lean of Drimmin, who, as lieutenant-colonel, succeeded to the command, met a similar fate from a random shot. He had three sons in the regiment, one of whom fell in the attack, and, when leading off the shattered remains of his forces, he missed the other two, and, in returning to look after them, received the fatal bullet. Charles Fraser, younger of Inverallochie, lieutenant-colonel of the Fraser regiment, and, in the absence of the Master of Lovat, commander of it on this occasion, was also killed. When riding over the field after the battle, the Duke of Cumberland observed this brave youth lying wounded. Raising himself upon his elbow, he looked at the Duke, who, offended at him, said to one of his officers: ` Wolfe, shoot me that Highland scoundrel who thus dares to look on us with so insolent a stare. ' Wolfe, horrified at the inhuman order, replied that his commission was at his royal highness's disposal, but that he would never consent to become an executioner. Other officers refusing to commit this act of butchery, a private soldier, at the command of the Duke, shot the hapless youth before his eyes. The Appin regiment had 17 officers and gentlemen slain, and 10 wounded; and the Athole brigade, which lost fully half its men, had 19 officers killed and 4 wounded. The fate of the heroic Keppoch has been already mentioned. Among the wounded, the principal was Lochiel, who was shot in both ankles with grape-shot at the head of his regiment, after discharging his pistol, and while in the act of drawing his sword. On falling, his two brothers, between whom he was advancing, raised him up, and carried him off the field in their arms. To add to his misfortunes, Charles also lost a considerable number of gentlemen, his most devoted adherents, who had charged on foot in the first rank.

Lord Strathallan was the only person of distinction that fell among the low country regiments. Lord Kilmarnock and Sir John Wedderburn were taken prisoners. The former, in the confusion of the battle, mistook, amidst the smoke, a party of English dragoons for FitzJames's horse, and was taken. Having lost his hat, he was led bare-headed to the front line of the English infantry. His son, Lord Boyd, who held a commission in the English army, unable to restrain his feelings, left the ranks, and, going up to his unfortunate parent, took off his own hat, placed it on his father's head, and returned to his place without uttering a word. At other times, and under different circumstances, a battle like that of Culloden would have been regarded as an ordinary occurrence, of which, when all matters were duly considered, the victors could make small boast. The Highland army did not exceed 5000 fighting men; and when it is considered that they had been two days with out sleep, were exhausted by the march of the preceding night, and had scarcely tasted food for forty-eight hours, the wonder is that they fought so well as they did, against an army almost double in point of numbers, and labouring under none of the disadvantages to which, in a more especial manner, the overthrow of the Highlanders is to be ascribed. Nevertheless, as the spirits of the great majority of the nation had been sunk to the lowest state of despondency by the reverses of the royal arms at Prestonpans and Falkirk, this unlooked-for event was hailed as one of the greatest military achievements of ancient or modern times; and the Duke of Cumberland, who had, in consequence, an addition of £25,000 per annum made to his income by parliament, was regarded as the greatest hero of ancient or modern times. In its consequences, as entirely and for ever destructive of the claims of the unfortunate house of Stuart, the battle was one of the most important ever fought. Though vanquished, the Highlanders retired from the field with honour, and free from that foul reproach which has fixed an indelible stain upon the memories of the victors.

After the carnage of the day had ceased, the brutal soldiery, who, from the fiendish delight which they took in sprinkling one another with the blood of the slain, ` looked, ' as stated by one of themselves, ` like so many butchers rather than an army of Christian soldiers, ' dined on the field of battle. After his men had finished their repast, the Duke of Cumberland marched forward to take possession of Inverness, and on his way received a letter, which had been addressed to General Bland, signed by six of the French officers in the insurgent army, offering in behalf of themselves and their men to surrender unconditionally to His Royal Highness. As he was about to enter the town he was met by a drummer, who brought him a message from General Stapleton, offering to surrender and asking quarter. On receiving this communication, the Duke ordered Sir Joseph Yorke, one of his officers, to alight from his horse, and pencil a note to General Stapleton, assuring him of fair quarter and honourable treatment. The town was then taken possession of by Captain Campbell, of Sempill's regiment, with his company of grenadiers. Notwithstanding the massacres which were committed immediately after the battle, a considerable number of wounded Highlanders still survived, some of whom had taken refuge in a few cottages adjoining the field of battle, while others lay scattered among the neighbouring inclosures. Many of these men might have recovered if ordinary attention had been paid to them; but the stern Duke, considering that those who had risen in rebellion against his father were not entitled to the rights of humanity, entirely neglected them. But, barbarous as such conduct was, it was only the prelude to enormities of a still more revolting description. At first the victors conceived that they had completed the work of death by killing all the wounded they could discover; but when they were informed that some still survived, they resolved to despatch them. A Mr Hossack, who had filled the situation of provost of Inverness, and who had, under the direction of President Forbes. performed important services to the government, having gone to pay his respects to the Duke of Cumberland,- found Generals Hawley and Huske deliberating on this inhuman design. Observing them intent upon their object, and actually proceeding to make out orders for killing the wounded Highlanders, he ventured to remonstrate against such a barbarous step. ` As his majesty's troops have been happily successful against the rebels, I hope, ' he said, ` your excellencies will be so good as to mingle mercy with judgment. ' Hawley, in a rage, cried out, ` D-n the puppy ! does he pretend to dictate here? Carry him away ! ' Another officer ordered Hossack to be kicked out, and the order was obeyed with such instantaneous precision, that the ex-provost found himself at the bottom of two flights of steps almost in a twinkling.

In terms of the cruel instructions alluded to, a party was despatched from Inverness the day after the battle to put to death all the wounded they might find in the inclosures adjoining the field of Culloden. These orders were fulfilled with a punctuality and deliberation that is sickening to read of. Instead of despatching their unfortunate victims on the spot where they found them, the soldiers dragged them from the places where they lay weltering in their gore, and, having ranged them on some spots of rising ground, poured in volleys of musketry upon them. Next day parties were sent to search all the houses in the neighbourhood of the field of battle, with instructions to carry thither all the wounded Highlanders they could find and despatch them. Many were in consequence murdered; and the young laird of M ` Leod was heard frankly to declare, that on this occasion he himself saw seventy-two persons killed in cold blood. The feelings of humanity were not, however, altogether obliterated in the hearts of some of the officers, who spared a few of the wounded. In one instance the almost incredible cruelty of the soldiery was strikingly exemplified. At a short distance from the field of battle there stood a small hut, used for sheltering sheep and goats in cold and stormy weather, into which some of the wounded had crawled. On discovering them the soldiers immediately secured the door, to prevent egress, and thereupon set fire to the hut in several places, and all the persons within, to the number of between thirty and forty, perished in the flames. Another in stance of fiendish cruelty occurred the same day. Almost immediately after the battle, nineteen wounded officers of the Highland army, unable to follow their retiring companions, secreted themselves in a small plantation near Culloden House. Thence they were afterwards carried to the courtyard of the mansion, where they remained two days in great torture weltering in their blood, and without the least medical aid or attention but such as they received from the President's steward, who, at the hazard of his own life, alleviated the sufferings of his unhappy countrymen by several acts of kindness. These wretched sufferers were now tied with ropes by the brutal soldiery, thrown into carts, and carried out to a park wall at a short distance from Culloden House. Dragged out of the carts, they were ranged in order along the wall, and were told by the officer in command of the party to prepare for death. Such of them as retained the use of their limbs fell down upon their knees in prayer; but they had little time allowed them to invoke mercy, for in a minute the soldiers received orders to fire, and, from a distance of only two or three yards, the unfortunate gentlemen were almost all instantly shot dead. To complete the butchery, the soldiers were ordered to club their muskets and dash out the brains of such as showed any symptoms of life, an order which, horrible to tell, was actually fulfilled. A gentleman named John Fraser, who had been an officer in the Master of Lovat's regiment, alone survived. He had received a ball, and, being observed to be still alive, was struck on the face by a soldier with the butt end of his musket. Though one of his cheek-bones and the upper part of his nose were broken, and one of his eyes dashed out by the blow, he still lived, but the party, thinking they had killed him, left him for dead. He would probably have expired, had not the attention of Lord Boyd, son of the Earl of Kilmarnock, when riding past, been fortunately attracted by the number of dead bodies lying together. Espying, at a little distance from the heap, one body stirring, his lordship went up, and having ascertained from the mouth of the sufferer who he was, ordered his servant to carry Mr Fraser to a cottage near at hand, where he lay concealed for three months. He lived several years afterwards, but was a cripple for life. See The Culloden Papers, 1625 -1748 (1815); Hill Burton's -Life of-Duncan Forbes (1848), and vol. viii., pp. 486-496, of his History of Scotland (ed. 1876); Robert Chambers's History of the Rebellion (1847); and Alex. Charles Ewald's -Life and Times of Prince Charles Stuart (2 vols., 1876).

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "an estate and a battlefield"   (ADL Feature Type: "land parcels")
Administrative units: Inverness Shire ScoCnty
Place names: CULLODEN     |     CUL OITIR
Place: Culloden

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