Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Major Gillies MacBean

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden.  Culloden was a decisive defeat for Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobites.  But even in defeat, there were heroes.

Painting from http://www.military-art.com/mall/more.php?ProdID=933

"Icy rain adds its misery to the bitter conflict on Drumossie Moor. In the shadow of the Black Isle, two English ships on the waters of the Moray Firth, await the outcome of the decisive battle. Pounded by Cumberland's gunners and raked by steady musketry, the Princes brave men can make no headway. Although the Irish and French regulars refuse to give ground, the Jacobite lines gradually disintegrate. Tired, cold and hungry men flea past Culloden House for the relative safety of Inverness. On the Scottish right the Argyll Militia, supported by Hawley's Dragoons, tear down the walls of the Culwiniac and Culchunaig enclosures in an outflanking attack. Avochie's men offer some resistance but Major Gillies McBean stands alone on the breach. He cuts down more than a dozen Argylls, including Lord Robert Kerr, who lies mortally wounded, but his foes are too many. The hero eventually falls to a vicious cut to the forehead, his thigh bone is also broken. Despite the cries of a mounted officer to save that brave man, the major is ruthlessly bayonetted, his back against the wall. The victory is complete and nothing more can be done. In the distance, the Young Pretender is forced to abandon the field and Scotlands hope of claiming the British Throne." from http://www.military-art.com/mall/more.php?ProdID=933

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