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ing the disaffected, would be the prospect of an overwhelming opposition, the commander in chief made dispositions for instantly marching into the Highlands. Most unfortunately, however, various circumstances over which he had no power, retarded his movements. It was absolutely necessary that he should carry with him at least twenty days' bread, as he was to pass through a country where none was to be had; and though all the biscuit that Edinburgh and Leith could furnish, was bought up, and the bakers there, as well as in Perth and Stirling, were set to work night and day, the necessary quantity could not be obtained before the twentieth, and part of it only reached him on his march at Amulrie on the twenty-second. Money to subsist his troops was also necessary, and though he wrote for it on the third, he did not receive a letter of credit till the seventeenth of August. After all these delays, he arrived at Stirling on the nineteenth, and set out on his march to the north on the twentieth. His marches, however, were retarded every day for want of baggage horses; there being few enclosures on the way, it was necessary to graze them at night in the open country, and they were carried off by the drivers, so that he did not reach Dalwhinnie till the twenty-sixth.* · The Jacobites, in the meantime, exerted themselves to the utmost in spreading false and contradictory reports, to perplex and mislead the public mind. At one time they gave out that the prince, as they called him, had landed in the Western Isles, with ten thousand French-next day it was asserted, with equal confidence, that he had landed in the Highlands without any troops, but wherever he came, that the Highlanders, to a man, had taken arms; and, in opposition to both these, it was asserted that he was still in France, and had no intention of coming to Britain. This last account was particularly insisted upon by those Jacobites who were in the secret, by which, and by anonymous letters containing articles of intelligence the most absurd, which they afterwards published with scurrilous comments, they held up the commander in chief and his preparations to ridicule, in which they were very foolishly joined by
• Memoirs of the Rebellion, 1745, by the Chevalier de Johnstone,p. 11.- Note.
many who had no respect either for the pretender or his viceroy Charles. *
In the west Highlands there was no less bustle and preparation in forwarding the insurrection, than in the Lowlands for its suppression, but with this difference, that every thing was prepared to their hand in the former, while in the latter the very material to work upon was yet to be sought out. The rebel standard having been set up at Glenfinnin on the nineteenth, the twentieth was employed in carrying baggage, arms, ammunition, &c. from the head of loch Shiel to the head of Lochie, where Charles remained to the twenty-third. On the twenty-third he went to Fassefern, where he remained for the night, having sent a detachment of the Camerons with his baggage forward to Moy in Lochaber, whither he himself removed on the twenty-fourth. At Moy he remained till the twentysixth, when he crossed the water of Lochie, and was joined by the Stewarts of Appin, to the number of two hundred and twenty, or two hundred and sixty. He was this day informed by express from Glenbucket, that Sir John Cope had arrived in Badenoch, and was to march by Corryarrak, on which he ordered his men to pursue their route by night, that they might take possession of that important pass, which they did accordingly. Charles passed the night at the castle of Invergary, where he was waited upon by Frazer of Gortuleg, who assured him of the services of lord Lovat, who by this time had been put in possession of Charles? letter, and recommended as the surest way to promote the success of his cause, that he should march north and raise the Frazers of Stratherrick, and by the time he could reach Inverness, Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod would have time to join, as would a great many of the Mackenzies, some of the Grants, the Frazers, and Mackintoshes, &c. &c. This advice was opposed by the marquis of Tullibardine, who insisted upon his immediately appearing in Athol, that his brother the duke of Athol might be brought to join in the enterprise. Murray, the secretary, seconded this advice, and particularly insisted upon the propriety of hastening to Edinburgh, where, he assured them,
* Home's History of the Rebellion, p. 39. Scots Magazine for 1745.
there were a great many waiting to join them. This last ad. vice, seconded by their necessities, which, had they been confined for a short time to the Highlands, would have been ex. treme, prevailed, and Charles proceeded to Aberchalader, near the foot of Corryarrak. Here he was joined by the Grants of Glenmoriston and the Macdonalds of Glengary, to the number of six hundred.* By break of day on the twenty-seventh, the Highlanders began to ascend Corryarrak, and marching to the summit of the mountain, waited the approach of the king's army.
Corryarrak lies direculy in the way from Stirling to Fort Augustus, and occupies one half of the last day's march from Garvamore to that place, the whole of which is only eighteen miles. On the south side, which, when viewed from a distance, seems to rise almost perpendicular, the military road is carried up to the summit of the mountain by seventeen traverses, and on the long descent to the level ground, where Fort Augustus stands, is carried down much in the same manner, passing through several glens with brooks and gullies, over which bridges are thrown to facilitate the passage, by breaking down which the road may at any time be rendered impracticable for regular troops. This natural fortification it would have been madness in the general to have attempted, though his numbers had been triple to what they were, much more when he was really inferior in numbers to the forces he had now opposed to him.t
Sir John Cope had left Stirling with not above one thousand four hundred infantry, the two regiments of dragoons, from the nature of the country he intended to occupy, where their services could not be effective, and the difficulty of subsisting them behoved to be great, being left the one at Leith, and the other at Stirling, and he carried arms along with him for one thousand well affected Highlanders, he was made to expect he would meet by the way, not one of whom he ever sav. Seven hundred of the arms he sent back to Stirling
• Lockhart Papers, vol. č. p. 442. Culloden Papers, p. 217.
+ There is a vast difference of statement regarding the number of the rebels both at this and other places, but by all accounts, even the most moderate that can at all be reconciled with probability, they must have been nearly, if not above, two thousand men.
when he had reached Crieff, and saw no prospect of being reenforced. At Dalnacardoch, on the twenty-fifth, he was met by captain Sweetnam, who had been ordered from the barrack of Ruthven to Fort William, to take the command of three companies of Guise's regiment, which were in garrison there, and on his way to that Fort had been made prisoner at Letter Findlay, half way between Fort Augustus and Fort William. He had been carried to the rebel camp, saw the standard unfurled at Glenfinnin on the nineteenth, and on the twenty-first, after giving his parole of honour, was allowed to depart. The number of the rebels when he left them, captain Sweetnam stated to be about fourteen hundred men, but he had met several parties on the road going to join them, and he had heard at Dalwhinnie that they were to wait on Corryarrak for the king's troops, at least three thousand strong. When the general arrived next day, the twenty-sixth, at Dalwhinnie, he received a letter by express from the lord president, Forbes, confirming the captain's account of the intention of the rebels to meet him on Corryarrak, and warning him to beware how he ventured upon that dangerous pass.
At Dalwhinnie the army was yet twenty-two miles from the beginning of the ascent of Corryarrak, and the general, evidently willing if any mistake had been committed, that it should be instantly rectified, called a council of war, to which was summoned every field officer and every commander of a separate corps in his little army, before whom he laid the secretary of state's positive orders to march into the Highlands, with the different accounts he had received of the situation, the number, and the intentions of the rebels, all of which when the council had considered, they were unanimously of opinion that the road by Corryarrak was impracticable. Being asked by the general what, under all the circumstances of the case, was most proper to be done? they gave it unanimously as their opinion, that it was more expedient and more agreeable to the orders of the secretary of state to march to Inverness, the only part of the chain of forts which it appeared practicable to reach, than either to remain where they were, or to march back to
• Home's History of the Rebellion, pp. 41, 42.
Scots Magazine for 1745.
Stirling. Acquiescing in these opinions of the council of war, which were delivered to him in writing, and signed by all the members, the general marched his army on the twenty-seventh towards Garvamore, and proceeded as far as Blarigg Beg, when he ordered the troops to face about, and take the road to Inverness by Ruthven.*
Sir John had in his army two additional companies of the forty-second when he marched from Stirling, and forty men of lord Loudon's regiment (Highlanders) joined him at Tay bridge, of whom several went off every night to their friends on the hills, carrying along with them their arms and accoutrements, together with what information they had been able to collect, and no sooner had the troops taken the road to Inverness, than another of them, named Cameron, a common soldier, deserted with the glad tidings to his countrymen,t who were thus left at liberty to pour down upon the Low Country at their pleasure, with the most perfect certainty, for a considerable time at least, of meeting with no opposition.
This march to the north, though advised by all the civil authorities in Scotland, and by some of those who ought to have known, yea, were supposed to know most perfectly the state of the Highlands, was certainly a very questionable measure, and could scarcely have been expected to end more favourably than it did. Had the general, however, been a man of less prudence, or less military talent, the consequences would have been still more mischievous. Had he been but one hundredth part the fool which the popular voice has represented him, he had certainly rushed into the Highlands, and been cut off with all his army; or he bad lingered about Dalwhinnie, or Garvamore, till famine had saved him from the swords of the rebels; or adopting what by many will be thought the best thing he could have done, he would have retreated to Stirling, bringing in one dense and destructive cloud, the whole savage north along with him. There cannot be a doubt but that he perceived the folly of the expedition he had set out upon before he reached Dalwhinnie, but be bad positive orders to proceed to the north, and he executed these orders, considering his circumstances, with as
• Scots Magazine for 1745.
+ Home's History of the Rebellion.