The retreat from Stirling was made with the utmost hurry and confusion. The evening before, Mr. O'Sullivan wrote from Bannockburn to Lord John Drummond ordering him to leave Stirling and cross the Forth by break of day, which order his lordship obeyed, and by 5 in the morning marched. This surprized the Highlanders, to whose officers it appears these orders were not communicate, and made them believe the enemy was near them, which occasioned such an universal consternation that they went from Stirling as every one was ready, and left most of their baggage, all the cloaths they brought from Glasgow, and some of their arms.
Lochiel, who had been wounded at Falkirk, not being able to ride or walk, went in a chaise with Mrs. Murray, and was driving through St. Ninian's when the church blew up. Some of the stones came very near them. The horses startled and threw Mrs. Murray on the street, where she lay speechless till she was taken up by some of the men. Had there been any intention to blow up the church, doubtless Lochiel, one of their principal officers, and the Secretary's lady had been apprized of it and put on their guard to avoid danger.
When the Prince join'd the body of the army a Council of War was held, in which it was debated whether the army should march in a body to Inverness by Aberdeen or take the Highland road, by which the chiefs could, with the greater ease, get such of their men to rejoin them as had gone home with plunder after the battle of Falkirk, which would considerably increase their army. The low-country men were of the former opinion, the Highlanders of the latter. It was put to the vote, and the latter carried it by a great majority. However, the Prince was positive for the Aberdeen road, with which Lochiel complied. But Cluny, going out, met Mr. Murray, and told him it was surprizing the Prince should be so positive in a thing contrary to reason and his own interest, especially when a great majority of the Council of War were of another opinion. His expressing himself with a little warmth made Mr. Murray speak to Sir Thomas Sheridan, who went to the Prince and prevailed upon him to agree with what had been the opinion of the Council of War. He marched with the Highlanders the Highland road by Ruthven in Badenoch, to Inverness, where it was resolved to attack Fort Augustus and Fort William. Of either I can give no distinct account, but that the first was taken and the siege of the other deserted.
Earl Cromertie and others were sent to different countries to cover the rising of some and to prevent that of others. This weakened the army, and tho' many joined the day before the battle of Culloden, a great number did not. Earl of Cromertie, tho' many expresses were sent to order his returning to Inverness, in place of doing as commanded, was surprized and taken prisoner, and these that did join were much fatigued. None had got pay after they left Tay bridge in their march north, and they were straitned in provisions for some days before the battle. Cumberland's army was not opposed in passing the Spey, tho' a considerable force had been sent there for that end. The Prince was in danger of being taken at MacIntosh's house, and his safety was chiefly owing to a mistake of Earl of Loudon's men.
On Monday, April 14th, Lochiel in his return from Fort William (from whence he had been called on Cumberland's crossing the Spey) marched through Inverness. His men were mustered at the Bridge-end, and being but two hours in town when informed that Cumberland's army was at Nairn, 12 miles from Inverness, he immediately marched to Culloden, tho' his men and he were much fatigued, having marched from Fort William in little more than two days, being 50 long miles. He arrived in the evening, and then his regiment, with a few of Glengarie's, were ordered to mount guard upon the Prince. They got a few sacks of meal, of which some baked bread. The body of the army lay on the hill above the house.
Next morning the whole army was drawn up in order of battle a little nearer Nairn than where the battle was fought, much in the same order as on the day following. In this situation they continued all day without meat or drink, only a biscuet to each man at l2 o'clock. About 7 at night they encamped on a dry hill without tents, being cold and hungry. Great numbers being dispersed through the country, many of them did not return. That night, betwixt 8 and 9, orders were given for their marching, with an intention to surprize the enemy in their camp. The word was King James. The attack was to be made with sword and pistol. They marched in one column, by which the rear was near a mile from the front, each rank consisting of 33 men only. Many were so much fatigued that they slept on the march. Others to a great number wandered, and by the time they came within three miles of Nairn, a person of distinction, observing the state of the army, and fearing all there would be cut off, told Lord George Murray the condition the army was in, and to prevent the loss of so many gallant men wished he would retreat in time. Lord George Murray was of his opinion, but, for reasons he gave him, desired he might inform the Prince of their situation, and bring him orders, which he undertook. But before he could return with the Prince's orders, Lord George Murray, observing day coming on, began to retreat, which occasioned some reflections, and confirmed several in their opinion formerly of him, though, I believe, without any just foundation. We came to Culloden about 9 next morning, being April 16th. The provisions being all spent, the Prince ordered each colonel to send some of their officers to Inverness with money to buy such as could be got, and sent orders to the inhabitants to send provisions to the army, otherwise he would burn the town.
Before the Prince left Inverness, on certain intelligence that Cumberland had passed the Spey, Major Kennedy went to Mr. John Hay who, in Mr. Murray's absence, officiated as Secretary, and told him that as the enemy was on their march towards them it was more than probable there would be a battle; and as the event was very uncertain, it was prudent to guard against the worst. They might get the better or be defeated. In this situation he wish'd he would propose to the Prince his sending a large quantity of provisions then in Inverness to some distance that, in case of the worst, scattered troops might join and have wherewithal to subsist them till rejoin'd by such as had not returned from their commands they had been out upon. If this was not done all must disperse, the cause must be given up, and the Prince behov'd to be in danger; for the neighbourhood of that country could not supply the smallest number of men for one week. Mr. Hay said nothing, nor do I believe he ever mentioned it to the Prince. But to return.
The Prince intended to give the army an hearty meal and a day's rest, and to fight next morning. But being inform'd that Cumberland's army was within half a mile, he resolved to fight that day. Lord George Murray and the chiefs of the clans, especially Lochiel, were against it. However they complied, though it was their opinion to keep the ground they were on and receive Cumberland, if he attack'd them, which they were still in doubt of. Our army came to the height of the muir before Cumberland came in view. The Prince ordered the men to be immediately formed in order of battle, but Lord George Murray begged to have a little time to view the ground and observe the motions of the enemy. Cumberland soon appear'd and was forming his men, on which ours began to form by the Prince's orders, who all the while stood with Lochiel and Mr. Sullivan, frequently complaining they were long in forming. A little after they were formed we observed the horse and the Argileshire men on the left of the enemy drawing to a distance from the main body and inclining to our right, on which the Athol and Cameron officers were afraid to be flanked. This made Lochiel send to Lord George Murray, then on the left with the Duke of Perth, to tell him of the danger. Lord George Murray (whom I heard formerly say that the park would be of great service to prevent our being flanked) on this took a narrower view of it, and sent three gentlemen, viz., Colonel Sullivan, John Roy Stewart, and Ker of Grydan to view it down to the Water of Nairn. At their return they said it was impossible for any horse to come by that way. The men still believed they might be flanked, and some proposed lining the park wall. The Duke of Perth, who came from the left, was of their opinion. But Lord George Murray, thinking otherwise, ordered Lord Ogilvie's regiment to cover the flank, told there was no danger, and to Lord Ogilvie said, he hoped and doubted not but he would acquit himself as usual.
The Prince, who with a body of horse was in the rear of the French, sent 8 or 10 times to Lord George Murray to begin the attack on the right; but that was not obeyed. He sent Sir John MacDonald to the Duke of Perth, who moved immediately with the left. The right, observing this, without orders from Lord George Murray, followed their example. Lord George behaved himself with great gallantry, lost his horse, his periwig and bonnet, was amongst the last that left the field, had several cutts with broadswords in his coat, and was covered with blood and dirt.
The Prince was in the heat of the action, had one of his grooms killed close by him, the horse he rode on killed by a musket bullet which struck him within an inch of the Prince's leg. Some of the Camerons on the right gave way, being flanked, as they expected, from the park wall, which the Argyle-shire men had broke down. Lochiel endeavoured to rally them but could not. On which under the greatest concern he returned to the action and was wounded by a flank shot. Thus did some of his men desert their chief and the cause they fought for, who at the battle of Gladesmuir and Falkirk behaved with so much intrepidity and courage. I more than once heard Major Kennedy tell that after the Highlanders were broke and the French engaged, he went to the Prince and told him they could not hold it long, that some dragoons had gone from the right and left of the enemy probably to surround the hill and prevent his escape, and begged he would retire. In this request he was joined by others. The Prince complied with great reluctance, retired in good order and in no hurry.
As the action was near over, as has been told, Lochiel was wounded in both his legs. He was carried out of the field by four of his men who brought him to a little barn. As they were taking off his cloaths to disguise him the barn was surrounded by a party of dragoons, but as they were entring the barn they were called off, which prevented his being taken. The dragoons were no sooner out of sight but his four men carried him out, put him on a horse, and brought him to Clunie's house in Badenoch, where he continued till next morning, and then went to Lochabar. When he left the barn he dismist two of the four men, the other two supported him on the horse.
At a meeting held at Murlagan, near the head of Loch Arkaig (present Lord Lovat, Lochiel, Mr. Murray, Major Kennedy, Glenbuicket, Colonel John Roy Stewart, Clanranald, Barrisdale, Lochgarie, Mr. Alexander MacLeod, Sir Stewart Threpland, Keppoch's nephew, and Barrisdale's son), it was agreed that they, viz., Lochiel, Lochgary, Clanranald, and Barrisdale, should assemble their men at Glenmallie and cross Lochie, where Clunie and Keppoch's men should join them. Lochiel got a body of 3 or 400 men, Barrisdale and Lochgerrie came with about 150 men each; but so soon as Lochgerrie got pay for his men, he went away, promising to return in a few days and at the same time to observe the Earl of Loudon's motions. But neither of these was done, for the Earl marched thro' Glengarry and had taken Lochiel but for some of his scouts as shall be told. Barrisdale, before Lord Loudon came to Achnecarie, told Lochiel he would go and bring more men, and left his son with a few. Early in the morning a body of men appear'd marching over a hill, whom Lochiel believed to be Barrisdale's men; but he was soon undeceived by some out-scouts he had placed at proper distances who told him these men were certainly Loudon's, for they saw red crosses in their bonnets. On this Lochiel dispersed his men and crossed the loch in a boat which he kept to prevent his being surprized. It prov'd as he had been told, and he owed his escape more to the red crosses than Barrisdale's honesty.
Lord Lovat and others took different routes. Mr. Murray continued with Lochiel till they came to Lochleven near Glencoe, and after being there some time Mr. Murray went from thence to Glenlion. Sir David Murray, Dr. Cameron, and I went with him. We continued there 12 or 14 days. From that we went to Glenochie, where he (Murray) was taken very ill. He desired we should return. Sir David Murray went south, and we to Lochiel. He bid us tell him that he would continue about Glenlion till he recovered, and if he could not in safety get south to provide a ship he would return to him. But we were soon informed that in 2 or 3 days after we parted from him he went south. Captain MacNab went with him to the Braes of Balquidder, and provided him in an horse and cloaths. I return to the battle.
As to the left of our army I can give no particular account but that the officers, nobility and gentry, behaved with great gallantry, in which all there did agree. The Duke of Athol had been ill at the time the Prince was at Inverness, and so was not in the action, but before Cumberland came there he left it. I was told by one that was with him that a little after the battle he met with John Hay and enquired what was become of the Prince. To which he replied he was gone off and desired none to follow him. On which the Duke took the road to Ruthven of Badenoch, where he met severals of tl1e unfortunate, who took different roads for their safety.
The Prince, as I have already told, being prevailed on to retire after the action, went to Invergary, Glengary's house; but that gentleman and his lady were not at home. However, he continued there that night without meat, drink, fire or candle except some firr-sticks and a salmon he brought, which he ate with gridiron bannocks. He was made believe his loss was much greater than it was; that Lochiel, Keppoch, and other leading men of the Highlanders were killed, and was advised by Sullivan, O'Neil, and John Hay to dismiss all that were then with him for greater security of his person, as in that situation he could trust none. Accordingly he dismissed all but the above three; but whether Sir Thomas Sheridan was then with him I have not been inform'd. Many would have followed him after the battle, but were forbid, as the Duke of Athol was.
From Invergary, where he was but one night, the Prince went by the head of Locharkeig to the west coast, where he embarked for the Island of Uist. How long he continued there at that time I know not. But from thence he went in an open boat to the Lewis in order to get a ship to carry him off. But being in that disappointed he returned to Uist, where he skulked, till he was informed that Major General Campbell, and a body of Argyleshire men and others were come to that island. To avoid them he went to Clanronald's house, continued there no longer than to dress himself in woman's cloaths, and with Miss MacDonald went in an open boat to the Isle of Sky. In his passage he met with a boat in which were some of the Argyleshire men, who seeing a small boat with two men and two women took no notice of them. On his landing in Sky he sent Miss MacDonald to Lady Margaret MacDonald, Sir Alexander's lady, to tell her of his being there and to know if he would be safe in her house if but for one night, as he was the day following to leave the island. What reception Miss had, or what return was made, I cannot say with any certainty (it being told in so many different ways), but certain it is the Prince went that night to Mr. MacDonald's of Kingsburgh, where he slept very well, and next day in an open boat left the island with the Laird of Mackinnon and another. He landed in Moidart, went to Angus MacDonald's house in Boradale, returned MacKinnon to Sky, changed his own dress, and sent for Glenaladale of Clanranald's family.
After the battle of Culloden many of the wounded who were not able to leave the field were that and the next day killed upon the spot, and few were made prisoners. Cumberland came to Inverness, where such as had been prisoners were released. The clans who were at the action dispersed, and such as were only coming on their march to join the Prince returned. Earl Cromerty and others were taken prisoners in Sutherland, and sometime after brought to Inverness. The French surrendred prisoners; and different parties were sent to take up the stragglers. After Cumberland had been sometime in Inverness he ordered Earl Loudon with a good body of men to Lochabar to prevent our coming to a body and receive such as would come and deliver up their arms to him. He met with no opposition, received a great number of arms, and gave protections. When he was encamped at Moy, three miles from Achnacarry (Lochiel's house), where he (Lochiel) had been, and six miles from Fort-William, Monroe of Culcairn was sent by Cumberland with a body of men to Earl Loudon with orders to him to burn Lochiel's house. On receiving these orders he told Culcairn that as he was to march from thence, he (Culcairn) might burn it. To which he answered he had done that already. The Earl, tho' as an officer he with exactness discharged his duty, yet behav'd with great humanity to the unfortunate, which I believe made Culcairn execute what he had no orders for.
At this time or soon after a line was formed from Inverness to Fort Augustus, from thence to Fort William to prevent the Prince or any others to escape; as also a line was formed from the head of Locharkaig to prevent coming in or going out of Lochabar.
While Cumberland was at Fort Augustus great liberties were taken by some officers sent on different commands, particularly Colonel Cornwallis, Major Lockheart, Monroe of Culcairn, Captain Caroline Scott, and Captain Grant, son to Grant of Knockando and Strathspey. Culcairn, after he had burnt and plundered from Moy to the head of Locharkeig, marched from thence to Kintale. Captain Grant, above mentioned, with about 200 men of Loudon's regiment, marched into Lochabar, stripped men, women, and children without distinction of condition or sex. He burnt Cameron of Cluns's house, took a few cows he had bought after Culcairn had formerly plundered him of all, stript his wife and some others naked as they came into the world. Thus was this unfortunate gentleman made partner in the miseries of his wife and children and deprived of all means of subsistence except five milk goats. From thence he marched by the wood of Tervalt to Locharkeig. He told he was going to carry off Barrisdale's cattle who had undertaken to apprehend the Prince, but had deceived them; which was owing more to its not being in his power than want of inclination. He burnt and plunder'd as he marched. The day he left Cluns he apprehended one Alexander Cameron, on the side of Locharkeig, who had a gun on his shoulder. This man, tho' he discovered the party at a distance made no attempt to run from them but came and delivered his arms. Being asked how he came not to deliver his arms sooner, he answered he saw these who had submitted to the King's mercy plundered as well as those who did not; that he had gone with his wife and children and cattle to a remote wilderness, which was the reason he had not delivered up his arms before that time. This to any but Captain Grant would have been a sufficient excuse, but so void was he of the least humanity that he ordered him immediately to be tied to a tree and shot dead by the highway in the wood of Muick. This party was joined in Knoidart by Monroe of Culcairn, who commanded 200 men and had been in Kintail. About eight days after, as they were returning with Barrisdale's cattle and some belonging to others, Culcairn was shot from a bush, not a gun-shot length or distance from that spot where Cameron had been (it may be said) murdered by Captain Grant. Evan MacHoule or Cameron, tho' he never had been out of the country or join'd the Prince's army or any part of it, came to deliver his arms to the first party that came to Lochabar then at the head of Locharkeig. He was desired to tell where arms were hid. He declared he knew not where any were hid with asseverations and oaths. But these did not save him, for he was immediately shot. I do not remember who commanded the party, but I believe it was Colonel Cornwallis. Archibald MacLauchlan, brother to John MacLauchlan of Greenhall, was an officer in that command. William Dow MacHoule and his brother going to a sheeling in Glenkengie were taken up on suspicion that one of the black horses was in their custody, and for this aggravating circumstance, viz., that a gun was found in one of their houses, were both immediately shot. The last that encamped in the Braes of Locharkeig, seeing what they believed to be a boat on the side of the loch, sent a party. But it proved to be no other than a large black stone. But that they might not return without some gallant action, on meeting a poor old man about sixty, begging, they shot him. Much about the same time meeting a poor old woman, blind of an eye, a beggar for several years before, they desired her to tell where Lochiel was; and for not telling what she did not know she was immediately shot. This is certain; but what is reported to have been done to her before she was dead I incline not to repeat-things shocking to human nature. Colonel Cornwallis, when sent with a large body of men to the head of Locharkeig, in his march thro' Grant of Glenmoriston's country spied two men leading dung to their land. They were ordered to come to the party, but happening to turn their backs upon it they were instantly shot dead. John Cameron, brother to Lochiel, never join'd him or any of his servants. On the contrary when the Prince came to Glenfinan or before it, he went to his father-in-law, John Campbell's house in Broadalbin, where he continued till the Prince marched out of Lochabar, and so soon as he returned he waited upon Captain Campbell, deputy govenor of Fort William, continued some days with him and ever behaved himself peaceably, keeping at home. But that could not save his effects; for Captain Caroline Scott, the last that plundered that unfortunate country, took from him an hundred of his cows and all his small and young cattle. An order being given to apprehend, on suspicion, Peter MacLauchlan, taxman of a farm in Mull, belonging to the Duke of Argyle, he came within the time limited in Cumberland's proclamation, at least as soon as he was informed of it and surrendred himself and arms to Major General Campbell. But how soon the general went to the Isles, Captain Millar of Guise's regiment, formerly a prize-fighter, was sent with a party to Mull, as is believed by orders of Captain Caroline Scott, to burn and plunder some few tenants in MacKinnon's lands; which being done with great severity, he went to Peter MacLauchlan's house, burnt it, plundered everything that he had, horses, cows, and sheep, except a lame cow that could not travell.
Captain Caroline Scott came to Stewart of Ardsheill's house in Appin and took from his lady a few cows General Campbell had bought from the soldiers and made a present of to her. All Ardsheil's cattle being taken by the soldiers, the Captain desired she would give him her keys, which she did. He then demanded what he called her small keys which she had no sooner delivered than he offered her his hand, led her out of the house, and told her she had no more to do in it. She desired to know where she was to go. He replied to Appin's house. She then told him she could not leave her young children to starve, as he had taken all her provisions from her. On which he ordered her one boll of meal of her own to be given her. The Captain, after he had rummaged the house, took great care to have the slates and sarking taken from the roof. He gutted tile house and office-houses of all the timber in them with the least damage possible even to the drawing of the nails. He then had all the walls cast down, the free stone, lintels, rabats, etc., laid by themselves, all which he sold with the planting, which chiefly consisted of many large ash trees. It was this Captain Caroline who hanged three men neat Glenevis, that when some others were pursued, came and delivered their arms, expecting to get protection. In place of which the Captain told them, as others had not done the same they were to be hang'd. The poor men said it would be hard to punish them for the fault of others; and so little did they think he intended any such thing, but that he threatened to fright them, they were laughing when the soldiers were putting the ropes about their necks. But they were mistaken; for instantly they were hang'd and had not so much time as to beg God to have mercy upon their souls.
The same Captain, when he went to the island of Barra with a party to search for arms, he apprehended a man, being informed that he had been in arms, and ordered him immediately to be hang'd. The poor man begg'd he might delay for a few hours that he would prove by 50 he had never been out of the country or under arms in it. But this was not granted, tho' Captain Millar of Guise's regiment begged he might consider what he was doing-for tho' he (Scott) was an older Captain, yet he had served much longer. To which the other replied he knew very well what he was doing, which was not without orders. What made this the more surprizing is that tho' in the islands belonging to Barra there will be about 4 or 500 souls there is but one gentleman and 7 or 8 common people that are Protestants, of whom this poor unfortunate man was one.
I have hitherto confin'd myself to facts; but in this place must observe that all those who were hang'd or shot were Protestants; that in plundering the cattle, burning, etc., the Roman Catholick's countries, Braes of Lochabar, Glengary, Knoidart, Moidart, Arisaig, and Morar suffer'd little by burning or taking of cattle, and not one that I know of was hang'd or shot who was a Papist. How loud would the clamour have been had such burning and murders, etc., been committed by the Prince's army, or the like indulgence shown to Popish countries and Papists!
I have been told Major Lockheart came not short of Captain Caroline in many of the like actions. But as I was not then in that country, I leave it to others better informed. What I have told of the above plunderings, burnings, and killing may be absolutely depended on; and have left off to put them together, lest, if mention'd in their proper places, it might interrupt what more particularly concern'd the Prince, to which I return.
Glenaladale, as I have related, being sent for, came; and the Prince being better inform'd as to Lochiel, Keppoch, and others, that his loss had not been as Sullivan and O'Neil told him, proposed going to Lochabar where he believed Lochiel was. But as all the passes were then guarded, this was represented to be impracticable. He continued a few days in that country and was advised to go to the Braes of Glenmoriston, and there and in Lord Lovat's country to continue till the passes were opened. Accordingly he went attended by Glenaladale, his brother, and a son of Angus MacDonald's, two young boys. They sent for Donald Cameron of Glenpean to be their guide to the Braes of Locharkeig. He came, and in the night conducted the Prince safe thro' the guards that were on the pass so close to their tents as to hear every word they spoke. When the Prince sent for Donald Cameron of Glenpean, the said Donald went along with the messenger to the place the Prince had appointed, and according to the Prince's orders took along with him all the provisions he had, which was no more than two or three handfulls of oatmeal and about a pound of butter. And when the messenger had conducted the said Donald Cameron to the place appointed for meeting the Prince, by some accident or other the Prince had left that place and they missed him. Upon which they were very uneasy and resolved to go different ways to see to find him out. And there happening a great fog or mist to come on at that time they wandered a considerable while in the hill. At last the said Donald Cameron by mere accident met the Prince, who being in great want of provisions, the said Donald gave him the oatmeal and butter he had, of which he ate very heartily, and which subsisted the Prince and other three persons who were with him for four days. As the lines of the regular troops were then all formed with a design to surround the Prince, he advised with the said Donald Cameron if there was any possibility of getting through the lines and in what manner. Upon this the said Donald replied that it was a most hazardous attempt and next to an impossibility, as the sentries were all placed so close that they were each of them within speech of the other. But the Prince being determined to penetrate through the lines at all hazards, having nothing else left for his escape, the said Donald told him that there was one pass with a hollow to go down over a very high rock, which was exceedingly hazardous, but was the only place he could advise the Prince to attempt. Upon this they went to the said precipice, being then dark night, and Donald Cameron went first over the pass and the Prince followed. But as he was coming down the hill to the top of the rock where the pass was, his foot slipped, and the hill being so steep he tumbled to the very top of the rock and would certainly have fallen one hundred fathoms perpendicular over the rock had not he catched hold of a tree on the very top of the rock with one of his legs, after his body passed the same and which he kept hold of betwixt his leg and his thigh till the next person that was following catched hold of him by the breast and held him till the said Donald Cameron returned back and came to them and recovered both. At last they got over this so dangerous pass, by which they passed the first line of the troops, and different nights after this they passed the other four lines of the troops creeping on their hands and feet betwixt the sentries.
The above account was taken from the said Donald Cameron his own mouth, so it can be depended upon.
When they came to Glenmoriston they got six stout trusty men, but spoke not a word of English, with whom and Glenaladale the Prince continued betwixt the Braes of Glenmoriston and Glen Strathferrar till the guards were removed and all the passes opened.
About the begining of August he went to Lochabar with the above retinue, came to Achnasual on the side of Locharkeig, two miles from Achnacarie. They had no provisions, but expected to be supplied in that country, in which they were disappointed, it having been plundered, and all the people were fled to the mountains to save their lives. In this situation the Prince was in danger of being starved, when one of the Glenmoriston men discovered a large fine hart and shot him. The day following the Prince was inform'd that Lochgarie, Cluns, and Achnasual were in the neighbouring mountains, and sent for them, and dispatched one to inform Lochiel, then about 20 miles distant, of his being in that country. But Lochiel, some days before, hearing a surmise of the Prince's being come to the continent had sent his brother (the doctor) and me by different roads to get all the intelligence we could of the Prince. The person who was sent to Lochiel met the Doctor within a few miles of the place where Lochiel was, who was obliged to return with two French officers that were likewise in quest of the Prince.
This faithful person would not own he knew anything about the Prince, his orders being only to tell Lochiel. However, he said he had business of the utmost consequence. The Doctor brought him and the two officers to his brother. The next day Lochiel sent the Doctor to the Prince, and the officers to the care of one of his friends with whom they were to continue till further orders. In the mean time, after travelling and searching several days to no purpose, I met the Doctor at Achnacarie as he was going to the Prince. He had four servants with him, who, as the river was not passable, raised a boat Culcairn had sunk after his searching the Isle of Locharkeig, where from former experience he expected to get a great deal of plunder.
When Culcairn was in this island he discovered some new-raised earth, and believing money or arms to be hid there had it dug up, and only discovered the corpse of a man without a coffin, which had not been many days buried. On the corps there was a good Holland shirt, which made him believe it to be Lochiel, and sent an express to Cumberland to tell that he had found Lochiel's corps, who had died of his wounds. From this it was put in the newspapers. This was the corps of John Cameron, brother to Allan Cameron of Callart, who was taken at Culloden and sent prisoner to London. The shirt was taken from the corps and it left to be food for the birds of prey, etc.
The Prince at this time was in a small hutt built for the purpose in the wood betwixt Achnasual and the end of Locharkeig. Observing some men in arms by the water side, we sent two of Cluns' children to know who they were. We soon discovered them to belong to Cluns, sent the boat for them, and dismist the four servants on pretence we were going to skulk in the wood for some days; and that keeping such a number together might be dangerous. We cross'd the river and went to the hutt. The Prince with Achnasual had gone a little from it; but being informed what we were, came immediately to us. He was then bare-footed, had an old black kilt coat on, a plaid, philabeg and waistcoat, a dirty shirt and a long red beard, a gun in his hand, a pistol and durk by his side. He was very cheerful and in good health, and, in my opinion, fatter than when he was at Inverness.
When we told him what we were and from whence we came, and that Lochiel was well and recovered of his wounds, he thanked God thrice for it, and expressed an uncommon satisfaction. They had kill'd a cow the day before, and the servants were roasting some of it with speets. The Prince knew their names, spoke in a familiar way to them and some Erse. He ate very heartily of the roasted beef and some bread we had got from Fort Augustus, and no man could sleep sounder in the night than he. He proposed going immediately where Lochiel was. But we knew by the newspapers the Government had been inform'd some time before that he had pass'd Corierag with Lochiel and 30 men, which probably might occasion a search in those parts. This made him resolve to continue for some time where he was. Some days after Lochgary and the Doctor were sent to Lochiel and Glenaladale, and the faithful Glenmoriston men were dismist. The Prince continued in the hutt with Cluns's children. Captain MacRaw of Glengary's regiment, one or two servants, and I had the honour to add one to the number.
The two officers who, I told, went to Lochiel with the Doctor, came from Dunkirk in a small vessel with sixty other young gentlemen, who had formed themselves in a company of volunteers under the command of the foresaid two officers, some time before they could hear of the battle of Culloden. They came in June to Polliew in Seaforth's country, where four of them landed to deliver their dispatches, of whom two were taken; and the other two wandered in Seaforth's country till Lochgarie, hearing they had letters for the Prince, sent Captain MacRaw and his own servant for them, that they might be sent to Lochiel, since the Prince was not to be found. This happen'd about the middle of July. When they came to Lochiel they told him they had left their papers with Mr. Alexander MacLeod, one of the Prince's aid de camps, then skulking in Seaforth's country. Tho' this prov'd true, yet as they themselves had not told it to Lochgary or any other, made him (Lochiel) suspect them to be Government spies. The Prince wanted much to see them. But we told him what Lochiel and we were afraid of, which made him resolve to act in this with greater caution. He said it was surprizing that two men, strangers, and without one word of Earse, could escape from the troops, who were always in motion in quest of him and his followers. But to see them in safety, he wrote a letter to them himself to this purpose,-that to avoid falling into the hands of his enemies he was under a necessity to retire to a remote country where he had none with him but one, Captain Drummond, and a servant, and as he could not remove from where he was without danger to himself and them, he had sent Captain Drummond with this letter; and as he could repose entire confidence in him, desired whatever message they had to him, to tell it to the bearer, Captain Drummond, and take his advice as to their conduct. This letter he proposed to deliver to them himself under the name of Captain Drummond, for both of them told Lochiel they had never seen the Prince. They were sent for, and when they came, were introduced to the Prince under his borrowed name. He delivered the letter to them with which they were very well pleased, and told him everything they had to say, which he afterwards said was of no great consequence as his affairs then stood. They continued two days with us, asked the fictitious Captain Drummond several questions about the Prince's health and manner of living. His answers they heard with the utmost surprize. The Prince, believing the pacquet left with Mr. Alexander MacLeod might be of use to him, sent for it; but as it was cyphers and directed to the French ambassador, he could make nothing of it.
We continued in this wood and that over against Achnacarie (having three hutts in different places to which we removed by turns) till I think about the 10th of August, on which day Cluns's son and I went to the Strath of Cluns for intelligence. We were not half an hour in the hut, which Cluns had built for his family (after his house was burnt), when a child of six years old went out and returned in haste to tell that she saw a great body of soldiers. This we did not believe, as Lochgary had promised to Lochiel to have a guard betwixt Fort Augustus and this place to give intelligence. We went out to know the truth and it proved as the girl had said. Cluns skulked to observe the motions of the party. His son and I went to inform the Prince. He was that day in one of the hutts on the other side of the Water Kiaig a short mile from Cluns. Crossing the ford of that water under cover of the wood, and coming within pistol shot of the hutt, I observed the party advancing. The Prince was then asleep, being about 8 in the morning. I wakened him and desired him not to be surprized, for that a body of the enemy were in sight. He with the utmost composure got up, called for his gun, sent for Captain MacRaw and Sandy, Cluns's son, who with a servant were doing the duty of sentries about the wood. We concluded by our having no intelligence of the party marching from Fort Augustus, as had been promised, there was treachery in it and that we were surrounded. Cluns came soon up to where we were. However tho' but eight in number we were determined, rather than to yield, to be butchered by our merciless enemies to sell our lives dear and in defence of our Prince to die like men of honour. We left the hut and marched to a small hill above the wood from whence we could see a great way up Glenkingie and not be discovered. We got there unobserved, which was owing to the cover of the wood. The Prince examined all our guns, which were in pretty good order, and said he hoped we would do some execution before we were killed. For his part he was bred a fowler, and could charge quick, was a tolerable marksman, and would be sure of one, at least. He said little more, but sent Cluns and me to take a narrow view of the party, and resolved that night to goe to the top of Mullantagart, a very high mountain in the Braes of Glenkengie, and to send one to us to know what we discover'd or were informed of. When we came to the Strath of Cluns the women told us that the party was of Lord Loudon's regiment, consisting of about 200 men, commanded by one Captain Grant, son to Grant of Knockando in Strathspey; that they had carried away ten milk cows which Cluns had bought after he was plundered, and found out the hutt we had in the wood of Tervalt, and that they gave it out that they were going to bring Barrisdale's cattle to the camp, who had promised to apprehend the Prince but had deceived them. I have told you already how this Captain Grant, I may say, barbarously murdered Alexander Cameron on the side of Locharkeig. In the evening Cluns' son came to us from the Prince, with whom we returned, told him as we were informed, and brought some whiskie, bread, and cheese. This was about 12 at night. He was on the side of the mountain without fire or any covering. We persuaded him to take a hearty dram and made a fire, which we durst not keep above half an hour lest it should be seen by the people in the neighbourhood. By daylight we went to the top of the mountain, where we continued till eight in the evening without the least cover, and durst not rise out of our seats. The Prince slept all the forenoon in his plaid and wet hose, altho' it was an excessive cold day, made more so by several showers of hail. From thence we went that night to the Strath of Glenkengie, killed a cow and lived merrily for some days. From that we went to the Braes of Achnacarie. The Water of Arkeg in crossing came up to our haunches. The Prince in that condition lay that night and next day in open air, and though his cloaths were wet he did not suffer the least in his health.
In a day or two after Lochgary and Dr. Cameron return'd from Lochiel (to whom they had been sent) and told it was Lochiel's opinion and theirs that the Prince would be safe where he (Lochiel) was skulking. This pleased him much and the next night he set out with Lochgary, the Doctor and Sandy (Cluns's son), myself and three servants. We travell'd in the night and slept all day, till we came to Lochiel, who was then in the hills betwixt the Braes of Badenoch and Athol. The Doctor and I went by another road on a message to Badenoch. I return'd about September 13th and the next day was sent south. The Prince by moving from place to place and but few with him had hitherto escaped the narrow and strict search of the troops. But as the like good fortune might not always continue he ordered Lochiel to send south to have a ship freighted to bring him and others off by the East Coast. The ship was provided, and one sent to inform the Prince of it, who with Lochiel and others was to come where the ship lay. But before this messenger came to where the Prince had been, two of Lochiel's friends that had orders to watch on the West Coast came and told that two French ships were arrived at Moidart. Upon this, the night following, the Prince set out from where they were, and at the same time sent to inform others skulking in different places. Some arrived in time; but others by some accident or other had not that good fortune.
I have told you what I was witness to or informed of by such as I could absolutely depend upon. I shall only add that the Prince submitted with patience to his adverse fortune, was chearful, and frequently desired those that were with him to be so. He was cautious when in the greatest danger, never at a loss in resolving what to do, with uncommon fortitude. He regretted more the distress of those who suffered for adhering to his interest than the hardships and dangers he was hourly exposed to. To conclude, he possesses all the virtues that form the character of a HERO and GREAT PRINCE.