Monday, April 16, 2012

Royal Ecossais at Culloden

Today marks the Battle of Culloden, the battle that ended the Jacobite Rising of 1745. After a lengthy campaign, the Duke of Cumberland brought the Jacobites to battle at Culloden Moor. Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite leader, ordered his men to stand and fight. His right wing charged and smashed Barrell's 4th and Monro's 37th, but was decimated in a counter-attack by more British infantry. The Jacobite left did not charge and withdrew at the same time the survivors from the right wing fled. All the Jacobites were fleeing for Inverness. Cumberland's cavalry was brought up, ready to cut many of the Highlanders down...

Illustration by the author

In God's Providence, the French had sent two regiments to support him: Royal Ecossais (in English Royal Scots) and detachments from the Irish Brigade. The Royal Ecossais was in reserve at Culloden, and valiantly covered the retreat. They distracted the cavalry and saved many Jacobites from being cut down. One battalion of the Royal Ecossais was captured, but the other escaped.

The captured battalion was exchanged for captured British soldiers and the Royal Ecossais served gallantly for several more years until they were disbanded in 1762.

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