Culloden is the story of a battle and of what followed,
the destruction of a way of life and the persecution of a people.
There is little in this book about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the
other principals of the last Jacobite Rising of 1745 - this is
the story of the ordinary men and women involved in the Rebellion,
the 'common men'. Culloden recalls them by name and action,
presenting the battle as it was for them, describing their lives
as fugitives in the glens or as prisoners in the gaols and hulks,
their transportation to the Virginias or their deaths on the gallows
at Kennington Common.
The book begins in the rain at five o'clock on the
morning of Wednesday, 16 April 1746, when the Royal Army marched
out of Nairn to fight the clans on Culloden Moor. It is not a
partisan book, its feeling is for the common men on both sides
- John Grant charging with Clan Chatten and seeing the white gaiters
of the British infantry suddenly as the east wind lifted the cannon
smoke, and Private Andrew Taylor in a red coat waiting for Clan
Chatten to reach him, likening it to a 'troop of hungry wolves'.
Culloden reminds us, too, that many of the men who harried
the glens as ruthlessly as the Nazis in Occupied Europe were in
fact Scots themselves, and that many men in Prince Charles' army
had been forced to join him.
The detail for the story has come from regimental
Order Books, from contemporary newspapers and magazines, from
the letters and memoirs of soldiers and officers, and eye-witness
accounts of atrocity and persecution. Culloden is the story
not of a Prince, but of a people.