The Story of the Highland Regiments
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Title: The Story of the Highland Regiments
Author: Frederick Watson
Release Date: September 13, 2018 [eBook #57897]
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THE STORY OF THE HIGHLAND REGIMENTS
The Camerons at Fuentes De Onoro.
It is a perplexing thing when the making ofhistory is often terrible, sometimes tragic, buthardly ever tedious, that the reading of historyshould be considered uniformly grey. In compilingthe present book I shrank from the word‘History’—I altered it to ‘Story.’ It is the samething, but it does not sound so depressing.
The Story of the Highland Regiments is notmerely a narrative of regimental gallantry—it isalso the story of our Empire for nearly twohundred years, the story of strange lands andpeoples, of heroism and endurance, of the opensea and the frontier. It is even more than that—itis the story of self-sacrifice, of courage, ofpatriotism.
Long ago, when my father related to me how,as a little boy, he had watched the Highlandersmarch into Edinburgh after the Crimean War, Idetermined to secure a book that would tell me,in simple words, without any dates whatever,about the ‘Thin Red Line’ at Balaclava, therelief of Lucknow, and the charge of the Greys.It was just because no such book existed that Iwas encouraged to write a narrative history thatwould cover, no matter how slightly, the entireperiod.
Whatever may be the faults of this bookthere are pictures, and there are not many dates.I have also, where I could, allowed the actualcombatants or eye-witnesses to tell their story intheir own way, and on occasions I have insertedverses that have either won popularity or deserveto do so.
It is also my hope that, despite the simplicityof treatment, this story of the campaigns inwhich the Highland regiments took their part,will interest not only young people, but, for thesentiment of all things Scottish, their elders too.
In some chapters minor campaigns may appearto receive an undue attention, and greater wars,such as the Peninsular, to be treated in outline.The reason for this is obvious. This record mustfollow in the footsteps of the Highland regiments,and the greater the campaign the less accentuatedare individual achievements. For this reason,too, I have not attempted to treat the presentWar in any detail, for no detail is so far to hand,and in the vast forces raised since August 1914the Highland regiments have passed into armies,and cannot be treated as single battalions. Butalready one thing calls for no chronicler. Neversince those old days when the clans first foughtbeneath the British flag has the imperishablestar of the Highland regiments—whether of theOld Army or the New, Colonial or Territorial—gleamedmore steadily throughout the long nightof War. In answer to the last and greatestsummons of the Fiery Cross, the tramp of marchingfeet came sounding from the farthest outpostsof the Empire.
Of the books that have provided me withmuch of my working material I must acknowledgeas the basis of this volume Browne’s History ofthe Highlands, vol. iv., Cromb’s The HighlandBrigade, Archibald Forbes’ The Black Watch,the various regimental records, and for theirrespective campaigns—Maclean’s Highlanders inAmerica, Napier’s War in the Peninsular, Dr.Fitchett’s Wellington’s Men and The Tale of theGreat Mutiny, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’sThe Great Boer War. For the chapter on AfghanistanI have drawn upon Miss Brooke-Hunt’sBiography of Lord Roberts, and for the lastchapter I have to thank the proprietors ofthe Scotsman for permission to quote someextracts from their files. I should also like toexpress my indebtedness to many other writers,whose books I have named where possible inthe text.
|1. The Formation of the Black Watch||1|
|2. Flanders and Fontenoy||8|
|3. The Black Watch at Ticonderoga||17|
|4. With Wolfe and Fraser’s Highlanders at Quebec||26|
|5. Red Indian Warfare||33|
|6. The American War of Independence||43|
|7. With the Highland Light Infantry at Seringapatam||55|
|8. The Winning of the Hackle||63|
|9. With Abercromby in Egypt||70|
|10. The Retreat on Corunna||79|
|11. The Camerons in the Peninsular||91|
|12. The Gordons at Quatre Bras||105|
|13. With Wellington at Waterloo||114|
|14. The Highland Brigade at the Alma||126|
|15. The ‘Thin Red Line’ at Balaclava||135|
|16. From Meerut to Cawnpore||142|
|17. With Sir Colin Campbell and the Sutherlands to Lucknow||158|
|18. With Wolseley and the Black Watch to Coomassie||178|
|19. With Roberts and the Seaforths in Afghanistan||187|
|20. Majuba Hill||204|
|21. The Highland Brigade at Tel-el-Kebir||212|
|22. From El-Teb to Omdurman||218|
|23. Chitral and Dargai||234|
|24. Outbreak of War in South Africa||241|
|25. The Highland Brigade at Magersfontein||255|
|26. Paardeberg and the Gordons at Ladysmith||264|