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Gordon of Glenbucket, acquainting him, that Sir John Lope was considerably advanced in his march to the north, and that he intended to cross Corriearrack. About the same time, he was visited by Fraser of Gortleg, who came to him in name of Lord Lovat, to assure him of his lordship's services. Fraser advised him to march north, and raise the Frasers of Stratherrick ; and assured him that Sir Alexander Macdonald, the laird of Macleod, and many of the Mackenzies, Grants, and Mackintoshes would join bini; but the proposal was opposed by the marquis of Tullibardine and secretary Murray, the latter of whom considered the early possession of Edinburgh, where he alleged there were many persons ready to join the ranks of the insurgents, of more importance than any advantages that might be derived by remaining in the Highlands. *
This opinion was adopted by Charles, who next morning proceeded to Abertarf in Glengary. He was joined at Low Bridge by two hundred and sixty of the Stewarts of Appin, under the command of Stewart of Ardshiel, and at Aberchallader, near the foot of Corriearrack, by six hundred of the Macdonells of Glengary, under the command of Macdonell of Lochgary; and by a party of the Grants of Glenmoriston. With these accessions the force under Charles amounted to nearly two thousand men. Charles now held a council of war to deliberate upon the course he should pursue,—whether to advance and give battle to Cope, or postpone an engagement till he should receive additional strength. It was clearly the interest of Charles to meet his adversary with as little delay as possible, and as his forces already outnumbered those opposed to him, he could not doubt but that the result of an engagement would be favourable to his arms. The council, every member of which was animated with an ardent desire to engage Cope, at once resolved to ineet him. This resolution corresponded with the inclinations of the clans, all of whom, to use the expression of Fraser of Gortleg on the occasion, were “in top spirits," – and making sure of victory.
The determination of the council, and the valorous enthusiasm of the clans, acting upon the ardent mind of the prince, created an excitement, to which even he, with all his dreams of glory and ambition, had before been a stranger. The generous and devoted people into whose hands he had committed the destinies of his house, struck with admiration by the condescension, and that easy yet dignified familiarity which never fails to secure respect, were ready to encounter any danger for his sake. No man knew better than Charles how to improve the advantages he had thus obtained over the minds and affections of these hardy mountaineers. Becoming, as it were, one of themselves, he entered into their views,showed an anxiety to learn their language, which he daily practised, and finally resolved to adopt their dress. This line of policy endeared him to the Highlanders, and to it may be ascribed the veneration in
• Lockhart Papers, vol. ii. p 412494.
+ Culloden Papers, p. 216.
which his memory is still held by their descendants, at the distance of almost a century. Having in this way inspired his faithful Highlanders with a portion of his own natural ardour, they in their turn, by the enthusiasm they displayed, raised his expectations of success to the highest possible pitch. A remarkable instance of this was exhibited before com mencing the march next morning, when, after putting on his Highland dress, he solemnly declared, when in the act of tying the latchets of his shoes, that he would not unloose them till he came up with Cope's army.*
Desirous of getting possession of the defiles of Corriearrack before Cope should ascend that mountain, Charles began his march from Aberchallader at four o'clock of the morning of the twenty-seventh of August. His army soon reached the top of the hill, and was beginning to descend on the south side, when intelligence was brought the prince, that Cope had given up his intention of crossing Corriearrack and was in full march for Inverness.t Cope had put his army in motion the same morning towards Garviemore ; but when his van reached Blarigg Beg, about seven miles and a half from Dalwhinnie, he ordered his troops to halt, to face about, and, in conformity with the opinion of his council, to take the road to Inverness by Ruthven. To deceive Charles, Cope had left behind, on the road to Fort Augustus, part of his baggage, two companies of foot, and his camp colours. The news of Cope's Alight (for it was nothing else) was received by the Highland army with a rapturous shout, which was responded to by the prince, who, taking a glass of brandy, drank" To the health of good Mr Cope, and may every general in the usurper's service prove himself as much our friend as he has done." Every man, by the prince's orders, drank this toast in a glass of usquebaugh.f The Highlanders immediately put themselves in motion, and marched down the traverses on the south side of the mountain with great celerity, as if in full pursuit of a flying enemy, on whose destruction they were wholly bent.
The Highland army continued the same rapid pace till it reached Garviemore, where it halted. A council of war was then held, at which various proposals were made for pursuing and intercepting the enemy; but none of them were agreed to. The council finally resolved tu abandon the pursuit of Cope,—to march to the south, and endeavour to seize Edinburgh; the possession of which was considered, particularly by secretary Murray, as of the highest importance. This determination was by no means relished by the clans, who were eager for pursuing Cope, whose army they expected to have annihilated; but their chiefs having concurred in the resolution, they reluctantly ac
. Culloden Papers, p. 216.
| Home says, that a deserter from Cope's army of the name of Cameron, was the bearer of this intelligence; but the author of the Journal and Memoirs, (an officer in the Highland army) says, that it was brought by a gentleman of the ilame of Maco pherson.
Henderson's History of the Rebellion, p. 34.
quiesced. A party of six hundred Highlanders, however, volunteered to follow Cope under cloud of night; and undertook to give a good account of his army, but the prince dissuaded them from the enterprise.*
From Garviemore, Charles despatched Macdonald of Lochgary with a party of two hundred men, to seize the small fort of Ruthven, in which there was a garrison of regular troops ; but the vigilance of the commander rendered the attempt abortive, and the Highlanders were repulsed with a trifling loss. A party of Camerons, commanded by Dr Cameron, was sent to the house of Macpherson of Cluny, the chief of the Macphersons, who commanded a company in the service of government, to apprehend him, and succeeded.t
On the twenty-ninth of Angust, the Highland army was again put in motion, and advanced towards Dalnacardoch. At Dalwhinnie, they were rejoined by Dr Cameron and his party, who brought along with them Macpherson of Cluny, who, after a short interview with the prince, promised to raise his clan for his service. On giving this assurance he was released, and went home to collect his men. Next day, Charles marched to the castle of Blair, which had been abandoned by the duke of Athole, on his approach. The inarquis of Tullibardine took possession of the castle as his own property, and immediately assumed the character of an host, by inviting Charles and the Highland chiefs to supper.f To make his guests as comfortable as possible, the marquis had written a letter from Dalnacardoch, to Mrs Robertson of Lude, a daughter of Lord Nairne, desiring her to repair to the castle, to get it put in proper order, and to remain there to do the honours of the house on the prince's arrival.
At Blair Charles was joined by Lord Nairne, and several other Perthshire gentlemen ; but the greater part of the resident gentry had fled on hearing of the entrance of the Highland army into Athole. Charles reviewed his army the morning after his arrival at the castle, when he found that a considerable number of his men were wanting. Some officers were immediately sent to bring them up, and the only reason they assigned for loitering behind, was that they had been denied tha gratification of pursuing Cope. ||
From Blair, Charles sent forward Lord Nairne, and Lochiel, with four hundred men, to take possession of Dunkeld, which they entered on: the morning of the third of September. In this town they proclaimed the Chevalier. After remaining two days at the castle of Blair, Charles repaired on the second of September, to the house of Lude, where he spent the night, ** and next day went to Dunkeld, whence he proceeded
• Jacobite Memoirs, p. 25. Lockhart Papers, vol. ii. p. 443485. * Henderson's History of the Rebellion, p. 36. Jacobite Memoirs, p. 26.
Kirkconnel MS. " At Lude Charles “ was very cheerful, and took his share in several dances, such as minuets, Highland reels, &c. The first reel the prince called for was · This is no mine ain house,' &c., and a strathspey minuet."Jacobite Memoirs, p. 26.