The Battle of Culloden 1746
This Afternoon a Message arrived from
the Duke of Cumberland; with the
INVERNESS, April 18,
On Tuesday the 15th the Rebels burnt Fort Augustus, which convinced us of their Resolution to stand an Engagement with the King's Troops. We gave our Men a Day's Halt at Nairn, and on the 16th marched from thence between Four and Five, in Four Columns. The three Lines of Foot (reckoning the Reserve for one) were broke into three from the Right, which made the three Columns equal, and each of five Battalions. The Artillery and Baggage followed the first Column upon the Right, and the Cavalry made the fourth Column on the Left.
After we had march'd about eight Miles, our advanced Guard, composed of about Forty of Kingston's and the Highlanders led by the Quarter-Master General, perceived the Rebels at some Distance making a Motion towards us on the Left, upon which we immediately form'd; but, finding the Rebels were still a good Way from us, and that the whole Body did not come forward, we put ourselves again upon the March in our former Posture, and continued it within a Mile of them, where we again formed in the same Order as before.
After reconnoitering their Situation, we found them posted behind some Walls and Huts, in a line with Culloden House. As we thought our Right entirely secure, General Hawley and General Bland went to the Left with the two Regiments of Dragoons, to endeavor to fall upon the Right Flank of the Rebels, and Kingston's Horse was ordered to the Reserve. The ten Pieces of Cannon were disposed, two in each of the Intervals of the first Line, and all our Highlanders (except about one Hundred and Forty which were upon the Left with General Hawley, and who behaved extremely well) were left to guard the Baggage.
When we were advanced within 500 Yards of the Rebels, we found the Moras upon our Right was ended, which left our right Flank quite uncovered to them, His Royal Highness thereupon immediately order'd Kingston's Horse from the Reserve, and a little Squadron of about 60 of Cobham's which had been patrolling, to cover the Flank; and Pultney's Regiment was ordered from the Reserve to the Right of the Royals. We spent half an Hour after that trying which should gain the flank of the other; and his Royal Highness having sent Lord Bury forward within a hundred Yards of the Rebels, to reconnoiter somewhat that appeared like a battery to us, they thereupon began firing their Cannon, which was extremely ill served, and ill pointed; Ours immediately answer'd them, which began their Confusion. They then came running on in their wild manner; and upon the Right, where his Royal Highness had placed himself, imagining the greatest Push would be there, they came down three several times within a hundred Yards of our Men, firing their Pistols and brandishing their Swords; but the Royals and Pultney's hardly took their Firelocks from Their Shoulders , so that after those faint Attempts they made off; and the little Squadrons on our Right were sent to persue them.
General Hawley had, by the Help of our Highlanders, beat down two little Stone Walls, and came in upon the Right Flank of their second Line. As their whole first Line came down to attack at once, their right somewhat out flank'd Barrel's Regiment, which was our Left, and the greatest Part of the little loss we sustain'd was there; but Bligh's and Sempil's giving a Fire upon those who had out flank'd Barrel's soon repulsed them, and Barrel's Regiment and the Left of Monroe's fairly beat them with their Bayonets; There was scarce a Soldier or Officer of Barrel's, and of that Part of Monroe's which engaged, who did not kill one or two Men each with their Bayonets and Spontoons.
The cavalry which had charged from the Right and Left, met in the Center, except two Squadrons of Dragoons, which we missed, and they were gone in Pursuit of the Runaways; Lord Ancram was order'd to pursue with the Horse as far as he could; and did it with so good Effect, that a very considerable Number was killed in the Pursuit.
As we were in our March to Inverness, and were near arrived there, Major General Bland sent the annexed Papers, which he received from the French Officers and Soldiers surrendering themselves Prisoners, to his Royal Highness. Major General Bland had also made great Slaughter, and took about 50 French Officers and Soldiers Prisoners, in his Pursuit.
By the best Computation that can be made, 'tis thought the Rebels lost 2000 Men upon the Field of Battle, and in the Pursuit. We have 222 French, and 326 Rebel Prisoners, Lieutenant Colonel Howard kill'd an Officer, who appeared to be Lord Strathallan, by the Seal, and different Commissions from the Pretender found in his Pocket. 'Tis said Lord Perth, Lord Nairn, Lochiel, Keppoch and Appin Stuart, are also kill'd. All their Artillery and Ammunition were taken, as well as the Pretender's and all their Baggage. There were also 12 colours taken. All the Generals, Officers and Soldiers, did their utmost in his Majesty's Service, and showed the greatest Zeal and bravery on this Occasion.
The Pretender's Son it is said, lay at Lord Lovat's House at Aird, the Night after the action. Brigadier Mordaunt is detached with 900 Volunteers this Morning into Frazier's Country, to attack all the Rebels he may find there. Lord Sutherland and Lord Reay's People continue to exert themselves, and have taken upwards of 100 Rebels, who are sent for; and there is great Reason to believe Lord Cromarty and his Son are also taken. The Monroes have killed Fifty of the Rebels in their Flight. As it is not known where the greatest Bodies of them are, or which Way they have taken their Flight, his Royal Highness has not yet determined which Way to march.
On the 17th, as his Royal Highness was at Dinner, three Officers, and about sixteen of Fitz James's Regiment, who were mounted, came and surrendered themselves Prisoners. The kill'd, wounded, and missing of the King's Troops amount to above 300. The French Officers will be all sent to Carlisle, till his Majesty's Pleasure shall be known. The Rebels, by their own Accounts make their Loss greater by two Thousand that we have stated it. Four of their principal Ladies are in Custody, viz. Lady Ogilvie, Lady Kinloch, Lady Gordon and the Laird of M'Intosh's Wife. Major Grant, the Governor of Inverness, is retaken; and the Generals Hawley, Lord Albemarle, Huske and Bland, have Orders to enquire into the Reasons for his surrendering of Fort George.
P.S., Lord Cromarty, Lord M'Cleod his son, with some other Officers and 152 private Men, Prisoners, are just brought in from Sutherland by the Hound Sloop, which his Royal Highness had sent for them, and they are just now landing.
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