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Letter of Service for Raising the Seventy-Ninth Regiment
from George Yonge to Alan Cameron of Erracht, Esq.
August 17, 1793

War Office,


I am commanded to acquaint you that His Majesty approves of your raising a Highland Regiment of foot, without any allowance of levy money, to be completed within three months, upon the following terms, viz :-

The corps is to consist of one company of Grenadiers, one of light infantry, and eight battalion companies.

The Grenadier company is to consist of one captain, two lieutenants, three sergeants, three corporals, two drummers, two pipers, and fifty-seven private men; the light infantry company of one captain, two lieutenants, three sergeants, three corporals, two drummers, and fifty-seven private men; and each battalion company of one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, three sergeants, three corporals, two drummers, and fifty-seven private men, together with the usual staff officers, and with a sergeant-major and quarter-master-sergeant, exclusive of the sergeants above specified.

The captain-lieutenant is, as usual, included in the number of lieutenants above mentioned.

The corps is to have one major with a company, and is to be under your command as major with a company.

The pay of the officers is to commence from the dates of their commissions, and that of the non-commissioned officers from the dates of their attestations.

All the officers, the ensigns and staff officers excepted, are to be appointed from the half pay, according to their present ranks; and you will be pleased to transmit to Lord Amherst the names of the gentlemen whose appointment to your regiment you conceive will essentially conduce to the more speedy completion of the corps, taking care, however, to recommend such officers only as have not taken any difference on their being placed on half pay, and that the gentlemen recommended for ensigncies are upwards of sixteen years of age.

In case the corps should be reduced after it has been once established, the officers will be entitled to half pay.

No man is to be enlisted above thirty-five years of age, nor under five feet five inches high.  Well made growing lads between sixteen and eighteen years of age may be taken at five feet four inches.

The recruits are to be engaged without limitation as to the period or place of their service, but they are not to be drafted into any other regiment, and whenever the reduction is to take place they shall be marched into their own country in a corps, and disembodies therein.

The non-commissioned officers and privates are to be inspected by a general officer, who will reject all such as are unfit for service or not enlisted in conformity to the terms of this letter.

When established the regiment is to be called the Seventy-Ninth, or Cameronian Volunteers.

In the execution of this service I take leave to assure you of every assistance which my office can afford.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient servant,

George Yonge

Editor's Notes:  This letter of service was in response to several applications that Alan Cameron had made.  On receipt of this communication Alan wrote to his father-in-law, Mr. Phillips, and the necessary funds to raise the regiment were placed at his disposal.  By early November of that same year Alan would travel north to Fort William, to begin a search for willing Lochaber natives.

 These "Cameronian Volunteers" would eventually become the famed "Cameron Highlanders."  They had absolutely no connection to the previous "Cameronians," a regiment with absolutely no Lochaber connection.