Page:English Historical Review Volume 37.djvu/369

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1922 361 The Highland Forts in the ' Forty- Five ' SO much romance has attached itself to the history of the

  • Forty -Five ', and the ordinary narratives are so often tinged

with Jacobite sympathy, that the fact that there was another side to the story has been almost forgotten. Few people remember more than the misconduct of Cope's cavalry at Prestonpans, the adventurous advance into England, and the final crushing of the rebellion by the ' Butcher of Culloden '. The defence of the highland forts, which was far from unimportant for the fate of the rising and was distinguished by some gallant episodes, has passed almost unnoticed, and even Mr. Fortescue dismisses it (no doubt for sufficient reasons of space) in a brief paragraph. 1 An essential part of Marshal Wade's plans for the pacification of northern Scotland had been the construction of Fort George (at Inverness), Fort Augustus, and Fort William, in order to control the important line of communication by Loch Ness and Loch Lochy, which now forms the route of the Caledonian Canal. Though these forts were probably adequate for their original purpose of overawing the turbulent highland clans, they were not suited either in construction or equipment to meet the strain which the events of 1745 brought upon them. But their impor- tance was so obvious that when in the summer of that year Sir John Cope had to make his preparations to meet the threatened Jacobite rising, their defence was his first concern. He chose for this purpose Guise's Regiment, or the Sixth Foot, a corps which had taken part in the disastrous West Indian expedition of 1741-2 and returned home as a shattered fragment little over one hundred strong. It was in consequence almost entirely composed of young soldiers. Nevertheless, it was the most 1 The narrative here given is perforce founded for the most part on the original documents preserved at the Record Office, though some portion of Captain Scott's journal of the siege of Fort William was printed at the time in the Gentleman's Magazine and the Scots Magazine. Almost all the original documents are contained in State Papers, Scotland, series ii, bundles 25-32, covering the period from August 1745 to July 1746 ; many of them are enclosures in Cumberland's dispatches, which explains why different documents sometimes bear the same numbers (e. g. the numerous documents on 29, no. 14, and 30, no. 17). The letters of Duncan Forbes (with the exception of that of 12 July 1746) are printed in the Culloden Papers, though with occasional partial omissions.