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An accident occurred about the same time, which had a most prejudicial effect in thinning the ranks of the Highland army. The Highlanders, pleased with the fire-arms they had picked up upon the field of battle, were frequently handling and discharging them. Afraid of accidents, the officers had issued orders prohibiting this abuse, but to no purpose. One of Keppoch's men had secured a musket which had been twice loaded. Not aware of this circumstance, he fired off the piece, after extracting one of the balls, in the direction of some officers who were standing together on the street of Falkirk. The other ball unfor.
tunately entered the body of Æneas Macdonell, second son of Glen'gary, who commanded the Glengary regiment. He survived only a short time, and, satisfied of the innocence of the man that shot him begged with his last breath that he might not suffer. To soothe the Glengary men, under their loss, the prince evinced by external acts that he participated in their feelings, and, to show his respect for the memory of this brave and estimable youth, attended his funeral as chief mourner; but nothing the prince could do could prevent some of the men, who felt more acutely than others the loss of the representative of their chief, from returning to their homes.
On Sunday the nineteenth, the prince returned to Bannockburn, leaving Lord George Murray with the clans at Falkirk. At Bannockburn he issued, by means of a printing-press which he had carried with him from Glasgow, an account of the battle of Falkirk, a modest document when compared with that of Hawley, who gravely asserted that had it not been for the rain his army would have continued in his camp, “ being masters of the field of battle !"*
* The following is the account published by the Highland army:-“ Falkirk, Jan. 17th. -- Early this morning the Prince Regent, (having left the duke of Perth with several battalions to push on the siege of the castle of Stirling,) drew up his army in line of battle a mile east from Bannockburn, which was the head quarters; being in. formed that the enemy, who were encamped at four miles distance, a little below the lown of Falkirk, were advancing to give him battle. But finding, about mid-day, they did not move, he resolved, in a council of war, to march and attack them. And immediately Lord George Murray marched at the head of the army in two columns, hold. ing above the Torwood, as the high-road leading from Stirling to Falkirk was too narrow. T'he army passed the water of Curron at Dunnipace, the two columns keeping always an equal distance of about two hundred yards. They were then in sight of thu enemy, being about two miles and a half distant. At the same time Lord Juhu Drummond, who commanded the left wing, had gone with most of the horse to reconnoitre the enemy, and made a movement as intending to march the highway through the Torwood.
“ The two columns continued their march without the least stop, and went up the hill of Falkirk to take the advantage of the wind and rising ground. The enemy were perceived to be in motion from the time we past the water, and were marching up the hill. Their cavalry being in their front, and a good way before them, had now taken possession of a rising ground opposite to our right, and within hall cannon-shot; upon which we immediately formed, being betwixt three and four o'clock in the afternoon. As it was believed their foot were forming close behind them, orders were given by his royal highness for the first line to marcb softy forwards, (the second line keeping the usual distance,) to drive them from that eminence; which was done accordingly, with the utmost regularity and exactness; for when they were within pistol-shot, the dragoons hore down towards us at the trot, in order to break us; then our men gave part of their fire so a propos, that they entirely bruke them, doing great execution,
After the battle of Falkirk, the duke of Perth again summoned the castle of Stirling to surrender, but the governor returned the same & swer he had sent to the first message. The prinoe therefore resumed the siege on his return to his former head quarters, and fixed his troops in their previous cantonments. An able mathematician, named Grant, who had been employed many years with the celebrated Cassini, in the observatory at Paris, and who had conducted the siege of Carlisle, hal at the commencement of the siege communicated to the prin ce a
“ So soon as our men who had fired charged their muskets again, which they did in their march, they advanced to attack the infantry; but the ground was so unequal, being interspersed with risings and hollows, that they could not perceive what was doing ou their left, only heard the firing upon that side.
“ Our left not being fully formed when the allack began on the right, a considerable body of the enemy's horse came up also to attack them; but receiving part of their fire, they broke and ran off. Their infantry coming in upon that side with six pieces of cannon, were attacked by some battalions, who, receiving the fire of the enemy, went in sword in hand, and drove them down the bill with great impetuosity and slaughter. But not perceiving our right, (by reason of the unevenness of the ground,) they made a stop till such time as the two wings should join in the centre, and the second line come up.
“ His royal highness, who was mostly in the centre, (attended by the French ambas. sador,) and whose attention was turned to all parts, seeing that the enemy had outlined us on the left wing, sent Brigadier Stapleton, and the piquets of the Irish brigade, with some other troops, to take up that space upon the left. Then the whole army marched dwn towards the enemy, who were retreating on all sides in great disorders but by reason of the unevenness of the ground, and night coming on, with great wind and rain, they could not overtake them, as they were positively ordered to keep their ranks. Had the enemy staid a quarter of an hour longer on the ground they must have inevitably been cut to pieces; however, they went off with the utmost precipitation; and were just got to the east end of the town of Falkirk, when Lord John Drummond entered on that side, Lord George Murray in the middle, and Lochiel in the west end. Lord John Drummond was slightly wounded in the arm by a musket-shot, at the end of the town, by one of the soldiers whom he was taking prisoner.
“We took all their cannon, consisting of two large ones, five field-pieces, all of brass, three iron cannon, several mortars and cohorns, with a great number of shells, all their ammunition, waggons, tents, (which we found almost all standing, few of them having been consumed by the fire which they had themselves set to their camp,) three standards,' two sland of colours, a kettle drum, many small arms, their baggage, clothing, and generally every thing they had not burned or destroyed. We made above seven hundred prisoners, besides officers; and we reckon above six hundred were killed on the field of battle, besides what we were told were drowned in fording the river Avon.
“We had not above forty men killed on our side, among whom were two or three captains and some subaltern officers. There was near double that number wounded, amongst whom was young Lochiel, on the ancie, but so slightly, that it did not hinder him from marching in pursuit of the enemy to the town of Falkirk. His brother was likewise wounded
« His royal highness's first care, early next morning, was to send up to the field of battle, to cause bury the dead, as well those of the enemy as our own people ; and some of their officers that could be distinguished, (of which it is said are Sir Robert Munro and Colonel Whitney,) were brought down to the town, to be decently interred in the same manner as our own officerg were.
“Had not the night come on, and so stormy, his royal highness's army would have gut betwixt them and Linlithgow, and would have utterly destroyed them. All the officers and private men behaved with invincible courage; and the order which they kept in their marching and attack surprised even the officers who had been in the for. mer and present wars abroad.
“'The Irish officers were of vast use in going through the different posts of the army, and assisting in the various dispositions that were made."
plan of attack, by opening trenches and establishing batteries in the church-yard. He had assured the prince that this was the only place where they could find a parallel almost on a level with the batteries of the castle; and that if a breach were effected in the half-moon, which defended the entry to the castle, from a battery in the church-yard, the rubbish of the work would fill the ditch, and render an assault practicable through the breach. In consequence, however, of a reinonstrance from the inhabitants, who stated that the fire from the castle in the direction of the church-yard, would reduce the greater part of the town to ashes the prince abandoned this plan, and he consulted M, Mirabelle, with the view of ascertaining whether there was any other practicable mode of making an attack on the castle with effect. To borrow an expression of the Chevalier Johnstone, in reference to the conduct of Mirabelle on this occasion, that it is always the distinctive mark of ignorance to find nothing difficult, not even the things that are impossible, this eccentric person, without the least hesitation, immediately undertook to open the trenches on the Gowling or Gowan hill, a small eminence to the north of the castle, about forty feet below its level.*
As there were not above fifteen inches depth of earth above the rock, it became necessary to supply the want of earth with bags of wool and earth, an operation which occupied several days. On breaking ground a fire was opened on the trenches from the castle, which was renewed from time to time during the progress of the works, and was answered from the trenches, but the fire from the castle was not sufficiently strong to hinder the operations, which, from the commanding position of the castle guns, could have been easily prevented. The design of General Blakeney in thus allowing the besiegers to raise their works, was, it is understood, to create a belief among them, that the castle would not be tenable against their batteries, and by this impression to induce the Highland army to remain before the fortress till Hawley should be again in a sufficiently strong condition to advance from Edinburgh. Having completed the battery on the Gowan hill, which consisted of three pieces of cannon, on the evening of the twenty-eighth, they quickly raised another on a small rocky eminence called the Ladies hill, on the south-east of the town. They were both unmasked on the morning of the twenty-ninth of February, and immediately opened with a brisk fire, which shattered two of the embrasures of the castle. As the guns of the batteries were pointed upwards the balls generally went over the castle, and the few that struck the walls produced little effect; but the case was totally different with the besieged, who, from their elevated situation, from which they could see even the shoe-buckles of the French artillerymen behind the batteries, poured down a destructive fire upon the besiegers from two batteries mounting together thirteen pieces, which dismounted their guns, broke their carriages, and forced the besiegers to
retire with considerable loss. Thus defeated in their attack, the besiegers abandoned the siege after wasting three weeks in a fruitless attempt to obtain possession of a post, which could have been of no essential service to them, and before which they lost some of their best men, chiefly among the French piquets, whom least of all they could spare.
Arrival of the duke of Cumberland at Edinburgh-His march to the west-Siege of
Stirling castle raised—Retreat of the Highlanders to the north-Reasons for the retreat-Council of war held at Crieff by Prince Charles-Arrival of the duke of Cumberland at Stirling-Crosses the Forth and marches to Perth-Arrival of the Hessian troops at Leitb-Charles arrives at Moy castle Ineffectual attempt of Lord Loudon , to seize him-Rout of Moy-Flight of Lord Loudon from Inverness-Charles enters Inverness and takes the castle-Duke of Cumberland arrives at Aberdeen-Expeditions of the Highlanders, who take Fort Augustus—Expedition against Lord Loudon and dispersion of his forces-Expedition of Lord George Murray into Athole Duke of Cumberland's advanced detachments take possession of Old Meldrum and Strathbogie Retreat of the insurgents across the Spey-A party of the royalists surprised at Keith-Loss of the Prince Charles, formerly the Hazard, sloop-of-war-Siege of Fort William–Its abandonment.
UNWILLING any longer to intrust the management of the war to a general who had given such a signal proof of incapacity as Hawley had done, the government, immediately on receipt of his despatches, sent down the duke of Cumberland to Scotland, to take the command of the army, and to retrieve if possible the lost reputation of the heroes of Dettingen and Fontenoy. The duke was beloved by the army, and enjoyed its confidence, circumstances which rendered him peculiarly fitted to supersede Hawley, who, after his return to Edinburgh with his army, had by his severities become unpopular with the soldiers. Another reason for putting the duke at the head of the army.opposed to Prince Charles, was the favourable effect which, it was supposed, the appearance of a prince of the blood would have upon the minds of the people of Scotland, and which, it was expected, would neutralize the influence of his kinsman. But apart from his rank as the son of the king, Prince William had little to recommend him to the especial notice of a nation, rather fastidious in its respect for princes. His conduct while in Scotland showed that humanity, the brightest ornament which can adorn the soldier and hero, had no place in the catalogue of his virtues. With a cruelty which fortunately has few parallels among civilized nations, he pursued his unfortunate victims, the misguided but highminded adherents of the fallen dynasty, with a relentless perseverance which disgusted even his own partizans ; but a bare recital of his enormities, which shall be given in their proper place, will be the best justification for the execration in which his memory is held by the Scottish nation.
Having received his instructions, the duke lost no time in preparing for his journey. He left London on the twenty-fifth of January, at one