Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/86

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a peaceful and idle, for an active life, and sought the king's permission to serve as a volunteer in the Russian army, under field marshal Munich, then en- gaged with the Imperialists, in a war against the Turks. Having obtained the royal permission to take this step, he embarked at Gravesend in April, 1738, for Petersburg. On his arrival there he immediately waited upon the Czarina, who received him with the most expressive indications of kindness and favour, and instantly appointed him to the command of a regiment of horse, with the rank of general in the Russian service.

Invested with these appointments, his lordship left Petersburg in the mid- dle of May to join the army, which he effected after a dangerous and tedious journey of a month's duration. Several sanguinary engagements with the Turks soon followed, and in all the earl eminently distinguished himself, both by his military skill, and fearless intrepidity. In one of these murderous con- flicts, which took place on the 26th of July, and in which the Turks and Tar- tars were repulsed with great loss, his lordship, who was at the head of a party of Cossacks, excited the astonishment and admiration of even these bold and skilful riders, by his dexterity in horsemanship. Nor were they less delighted with the gallantry also which he exhibited in this battle, in the instance of a single combat with a Tartar, whom, after a desperate encounter, he sabred and stript of his arms. The latter he afterwards brought to England with him as objects of curiosity. ,

The season being now far advanced, marshal Munich thought it advisable to retire from the scene of operations, and accordingly retreated to Kiow, whither he was accompanied by the earl, who remained with him for three weeks after the cessation of hostilities. He then left Munich, and joined the Imperialists near Belgrade. The earl had now acquired a large stock of military knowledge, and had been especially improved in the art by his experience under Munich, whom he justly reckoned the first captain of the age. Six weeks after he joined the Imperial army, it was marched into winter quarters. On this occasion he attached himself to prince Eugene's regiment, and proceeded with that corps to Comorra, thirty-three miles S.E. of Presburg. Here, and at Vienna, to which he occasionally resorted, he remained till the middle of April, 1739. During this leisure his lordship employed himself in reducing to method and system the military knowledge which he had acquired, by drawing plans, and writing observations on the Russian campaign ; thus availing himself of every means and opportunity that offered, of improving himself in that art, to attain an eminence in which had been from his earliest years the great object of his am- bition, and of his fondest hopes.

His lordship now joined the Imperialists assembled near Peterwaradin, un- der the command of marshal Wallis, and attached himself to his old friend and fellow soldier, the prince of Waldeck, lieutenant-general of infantry. In a short time after, the battle of Krotzka, near Belgrade, was fought In this engagement, the earl, while fighting the Turks at the head of Palfi's cuirassiers, had his favourite black horse killed under him : another was immediately brought him, but he had scarcely gained the saddle when he himself was struck with a musket ball, which entering the outside of his left thigh, shattered the bone to pieces, and brought him to the ground.

Here he lay for some time in a state of utter insensibility, when he was ac- cidentally discovered by general count Sucheri, who, on perceiving him, ordered some grenadiers to raise him up, and place him on one of his horses. This, however, was all the attention which the urgency of the moment would permit. Having been mounted on the horse he was left to his fate, and received no fur- ther assistance until the following morning, when he was found by one of his