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The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader
Chapter V


BATTLE OF DUNKELD1

Colonel Canon succeeds Dundee—Cameronian Regiment petition for redress—They are posted at Dunkeld—Attacked by the whole Highland army—Narrative of the Action—Letter of Lieutenant Blackader.

After the death of Viscount Dundee, the command of the rebel army devolved on Colonel Canon, an Irish officer, hut destitute of the resolution and military talents of his predecessor. Their numerical loss, which had been but small, was speedily repaired by new accessions. On the braes of Mar, he was joined by the McGregors, the Frazers, the McFarlanes, and the Gordons of Strathdon and Glenlevit. But neglecting to improve his advantages, and failing in his first enterprises, he lost the confidence of his troops. He opposed the advice of the Clans, who were resolute to engage the,, enemy immediately, and follow up their success at Killicrankie, by a more complete victory..

For this, the accidental panic into which the government was thrown, certainly offered a fair opportunity. On the first rumour of the battle that reached Edinburgh, the consternation was extreme. It was reported by those that fled, that Mackay was defeated, and all his army cut to pieces. But the terror of the fugitives had multiplied their own losses, and spread a needless alarm; for in a few days, a disclosure of the real state of matters quited all apprehensions. Canon declined an engagement, and instantly marched northward to Aberdeen-shire; coasting along the skirts of the hills, followed by Mackay, and afraid to descend to the open plain, knowing that his safety consisted in keeping a position where cavalry could be of no avail. In this way the two generals continued, for nearly a month, traversing the whole range of the Grampian mountains, each unwilling to quit his ground, or resign his advantages to the other. Every day the armies were in sight of each other, and exchanging bravadoes, but without venturing to fight. # About the middle of August, Canon having got intelligence that the Cameronian Regiment were come to Dunkeld, he resolved to attack them, without delay, expecting to cut them off to a man, being in a defenceless place, and remote from any immediate succour. This regiment, as the reader will recollect, shortly after its formation, had been ordered to the Highlands to join Mackay. While they lay at Dunblane, in the beginning of July, the soldiers emitted a petition and declaration to be presented to Parliament, vindicating themselves from some aspersions of their enemies, and craving, that the church might be purged of Episcopacy, and the more notorious of their late persecutors legally impeached and punished. In making this latter request, they were not actuated by any vindictive desire of shedding blood. They considered themselves as called upon to demand justice on their oppressors ; and that without being guilty of any criminal intentions, they might pray the vengeance of government to overtake those, who, though not arraigned before any human tribunal, were condemned to the punishment of murderers by the laws of God, and the justice of all nations. They were provoked and scandalized to see them, not only indemnified, but continued in authority, and crowded into the ranks of the army; for many, they alleged, had sought a sanctuary under the royal standard, not from any love to the cause, but to screen themselves from the consequences of their past crimes.

These sentiments of the Cameronians were certainly just, though perhaps mistimed, considering the unsettled state of public affairs, and the growing progress of the insurrection in the North. The extreme leniency of William in not calling to some account the authors of the cruelties and extortions of the preceding reign, is unparalleled in the history of revolutions, and may be said to have left a political stain on his administration. Perhaps it may be attributed more to the unexpected difficulties with which the government had at first to contend, than to any extraordinary clemency, or culpable indifference in the crown; but assuredly the abettors of tyranny, who, by their flagitious counsels, had brought church and state to the brink of ruin, ought to have felt the weight of his resentment. , It would have been no trespass against the rules of equity, had mercy been meted out to them according to their own measure. This was only what the wrongs of the nation, and the injured honour of the laws demanded.

The blood of Russel and of Sidney required expiation: the oppressions of Lauderdale called aloud for retribution: the atrocities of Dalzell and Claverhouse demanded investigation and redress; the tears of many widows and orphans,—the blood of martyrs that perished on fields and scaffolds,—the miseries of those who languished in banishment or slavery in foreign plantations,—should have prevailed with the government to make some retaliatory sacrifices to the public justice of the country.

From Dunblane, the regiment marched to Perth, and thence to Dunkeld, being ordered to defend that post, which was considered as important, being at the mouth of the Highlands. The propriety of this measure was doubted, both from the insufficiency of the place for defence, and the unlikelihood of any advantage that could result from it. “They were posted there,” says Mackay, “separate from all speedy relief, and exposed to he carried by assault, without the least prospect of advancement to the service, but an assured expectation of being attacked; because the enemy had not such prejudice at any of the forces, as at this regiment, whose opposition, against all such as were not of their own sentiments, made them generally hated and feared in the northern counties: Whereby it might he easily judged, that the men of Athol, now fully declared for the rebellion, would not fail to lay hold of this occasion to cut them off, finding them so disadvantageously lodged; and therefore sent to give advertisement of the occasion to defeat them, to Colonel Canon, who, having passed the hills, thought to play his personage alone, in the County of Angus. Sir John Lanier had come to Brechin, but knew nothing that the Angus Regiment had been so disadvantageously posted, nor that Canon had received the message from the men of Athol concerning it, and the opportunity offered to cut it off. Meantime, if Providence had not blinded Canon, and disheartened his Highlanders for continuing their attack, the regiment had certainly been beat, for they had two full days time to cany them; and all their defence was but low garden-walls, in most places not above four feet high. But if a sparrow fall not to the ground without the permission of our heavenly fathex2, much more may we conclude, that- the lot of the children of men is over-ruled by his Providence.” The deserttion of this obstinate rencounter, in which an army of 5000 disciplined Highlanders was repulsed and defeated by a company of seven or eight hundred raw volunteers, who had never seen a pitched battle, and had scarcely been three months in the service, will be best given in their own language. As the document, I believe, is rare, and drawn up in a simple style, but with a picturesque and interesting minuteness, no apology will be required for inserting it at full length,

“The said regiment being then betwixt seven and eight hundred men, arrived at Dunkeld, on Saturn-days night the 17 of August, 1689, under the command of Lieutenant Collonel William Cleland, a brave and singularly well accomplished gentleman, within 28 years of age. Immediately they found themselves obliged to ly at their arms, as being in the midst of their enemies. Sunday, at nine in the morning, they began some Retrenchments within the Marquess of Athol’s yard-dykes, the old breaches whereof they made up with loose stones, and scaffolded the dykes about. In the afternoon, about 300 men appeared upon the hills, on the north side of the town, who sent one with a white cloth upon the top of a halbert, with an open unsubscribed paper, in the fashion of a letter, directed to the commanding officer, wherein was written as follows, We, the gentlemen assembled, being informed that ye intend to bum the town, desire to know whether ye come for peace or war, and do certifie you, that if ye burn any one house, we will destroy you.

“The Lieutenant-Collonel Cleland returned answer, in writ, to this purpose: We are faithful subjects to King William and Queen Mary, and enemies to their enemies; and if you, who send these threats, shall make any hostile appearance, we will burn all that belongs to you, and otherwise chastise you as you deserve. But in the mean time, he caused solemnly proclaim, in the mercat-place, his majesties indemnity, in the hearing of him who brought the foresaid paper.

"Munday morning, two troops of horse, and three of dragoons arrived at Dunkeld, under command of the Lord Cardross, who viewed the fields all round, and took six prisoners, but saw no body of men, they being retired to the woods.

"Munday night they had intelligence of a great gathering by the fiery cross; and, Tuesday morning, many people appeared on the tops of the hills, and they were said to be in the woods and hills about Dunkeld, more than 1000 men. About eight of the clock, the horse, foot and dragoons made ready to march out, but a detached party was sent before of fourty fusiliers, and fifteen halbertiers, under command of Captain George Munro, and thirty horse with Sir James Agnew, and twenty dragoons with the Lord Cardross his own cornet; after them, followed ensign Lockhart, with thirty halbertiers. The halberts were excellent weapons against the Highlanders’ swords and targets, in case they should rush upon the shot, with their accustomed fury. They marched also at a competent distance before the body. One hundred fusiliers were under the command of Captain John Campbel, and Captain Robert Hume, two brave young gentlemen; and upon the first fire with the enemy, Captain Borthwick and Captain Haries, with 200 musquetiers, and pikes, were likewise commanded to advance towards them; the Lieutenant-Collonel having proposed, by that method, to get advantage of the enemy in their way of loose and furious fighting. The body followed, having left only 150 foot within the dykes.

“The first detached party, after they had marched about two miles, found before them, in a glen, betwixt two and three hundred of the rebels, who fired at a great distance, and shot Cornet Livingston in the leg. The horse retired, and Captain Monro took up their ground, and advanced, fireing upon the rebels to so good purpose, that they began to reel and break, but rallied on the face of the next hill, from whence they were again beat. About that time, the Lieutenant Collonel came up, and ordered Captain Monro to send a serjeant, with six men, to a house on the side of a wood, where he espyed some of the enemies. Upon the serjeant’s approach to the place, about twenty of the rebels appeared against him, but he was quickly seconded by the Captain, who beat them over the hill, and cleared the ground of as many as appeared without the woods; and upon a command sent to him, brought off his men in order. Thereafter, all the horse, foot, and dragoons retired to the town; and that night, the horse and dragoons marched to Perth; the Lord Cardross, who commanded them, having received two peremptory orders for that effect. The second was sent to him, upon his answer to the first, by which answer, he told they were engaged with the enemy, and it was necessary he should stay.

“In that action, three of Captain Monro’s party were wounded, one of which died of his wounds. William Sandilands, a cadee, nephew to the Lord Torphichen, and a very young youth, being of that party, discharged his fusie upon the enemy eleven times. The prisoners taken the next day told, that the rebels lost about thirty men in that action.

“After the horse and dragoons were marched, some of the officers and souldiers of the Earl of Angus’s Regiment, proposed that they might also march, seeing they were in an open useless place, ill provided of all things, and in the midst of enemies, growing still to greater numbers; the vanguard of Canon’s army having appeared before they came off the field. The brave Lieutenant Collonel, and the rest of the gentlemen officers amongst them, used all arguments of honour to perswade them to keep their post; and for their encouragement, and to assure them they would' never leave them, they ordered to draw out all their horses to be shot dead. The souldiers then told them they needed not that pledge for their honour, which they never doubted; and seeing they found their stay necessar, they would run all hazards with them.

On Wednesday with the mornings light, the rebels appeared, standing in order, covering all the hills about, (for Canon’s army joined the Athole men the night before, and they were repute in all, above 5000 men.) Their baggage marched alongst the hills, towards the west, and the way that leads into Athole, consisting of a train of many more than 1000 horses. Before seven in the morning, their cannon advanced down to the face of a little hill, close upon the town, and 100 men, all armed with back, breast, and head piece, marched straight to enter the town, and a battalion of other foot close with them. Two troops of horse marched about the town, and posted on the south-west part of it; betwixt the foord of the river and the church, and other two troops posted in the north-east of the town, near the cross, who, in the time of the conflict, shewed much eagerness to encourage and push on the foot.

“The Lieutenant Collonel had before possessed some out-posts, with small parties, to whom he pointed out every step for their retreat. Captain William Hay and ensign Lockhart, were posted on a little hill, and the Ensign was ordered with twenty-eight men, to advance to a stone dyke at the foot of it. They were attacked by the rebels who were in armour, and the foresaid other battalion. And after they had entertained them briskly with their fire for a pretty space, the rebels forced the dyke, and obliged them to retire, firing from one little dyke to another, and at length to betake themselves to the house and yard-dykes; in which retreat, Captain Hay had his leg broken, and the whole party came off without any more hurt.

"A Lieutenant was posted at the east end of the town with men, who had three advanced sentinels ordered, upon the rebels close approach, to fire and, retire, which accordingly they did; and the Lieutenant, after burning of some houses, brought in his party.

“Lieutenent Stuart was placed in a baricado at the cross, with twenty men, who, seeing the other Lieutenant retire, brought his men from that ground, and was killed in the retreat, there being a multitude, of the rebels upon them.

“Lieutenant Forrester, and Ensign Campbell were at the west end of the town, within some little dykes, with twenty-four men, who fired sharply upon the enemies horse, until great numbers of foot attacked their dykes, and forced them to the church, where were two Lieutenants, and about 100 men.

“All the out-posts being forc’d, the rebels advanced most boldly upon the yard-dykes all round, even upon those parts which stood within less than fourty paces from the river, where they crowded in multitudes, without regard to the shot liberally pour’d in their faces, and struck with their swords at the souldiers on the dyk, who, with their pikes and halberts, returned their blows with interest. Others, in great numbers, possest the town houses, out of which, they fired within the dyks, as they did from the hills about: And by two shots at once, one through the head, and another through the liver, the brave Lieutenent Collonel was killed, while he was visiting and exhorting the officers and souldiers at their several posts. He attempted to get into the house, that the souldiers might not be discouraged at the sight of his dead body, but fell by the way. And immediately thereafter, Major Henderson received several wounds, which altogether disabled him, and whereof he died four days after. Captain Caldwal gained him considerable influence among the suffering Presbyterians. He was chosen one of their officers, immediately on his leaving the University, and before he reached his eighteenth year. He first distinguished himself at Drumclog or Louden-Hill—the only rencounter in which the Covenanters were successful, where Claverhouse was repulsed, and nearly taken prisoner. Hamilton was commander of the party, but the victory was, by many, ascribed to a stratagem of Cle-land’s, who when the enemy presented their pieces, made his men fall flat on the ground, so that they quite escaped their fire. At Bothwell-bridge, he held the rank of a Captain. After that defeat he fled, and continued some time in Holland. In 1685, he was again in Scotland, “being under hiding among the wilds of Lanark and Ayrshire.” The failure of Argyle’s expedition, obliged him to escape a second time to the Continent; and in 1688, as was already noticed, he was one of the commissioned agents, sent by the Scottish emigrants to prepare his countrymen for their long expected deliverance. From that time, until the raising of the Cameronian Regiment, he resided much with the Marquis of Douglas, at his Castle, his son, the Lord Angus, having a great attachment to him. The Colonel was father to William Cleland, Esq. one of the Commissioners of the Customs in Scotland, author of the Prefatory Letter to Pope’s Dunciad, and said to have been the original of the celebrated Will Honeycomb in the Spectator. As a poet, Cleland, considering the state of society, and the disadvantages under which he wrote, will rank very high. His effusions are honourable to the Scottish Muse, and superior to any thing produced in that age, in his own country. His vein seems to have been chiefly humorous and satirical, though he was capable of rising to the more elevated and dignified heights of poesy. His principal pieces are, ‘A Mock Poem on the Expedition of the Highland Host, in 1678.’ ‘Effigies Clericorum.’ ‘Halloo my Fancy, with Ballads and smaller Poems.’ Of the rhapsody entitled Halloo my Fancy, which has been admitted by a competent judge of poetry, though a reviler of Cleland’s party and principles, (Minstrelsy of Scot. Border, vol. i.) to display considerable imagination, only the latter half is his. It was written when he was a student, and very young. The part he wrote, begins at the stanza, “In conceit, like Phaeton, I’ll mount Phoebus’ chair,” &c. His genius, however, considering his untoward and premature fate, breast, and is not like to recover. Captain Borthwick was shot through the arm, going with succours to the church; and Captain Steil got a wound in the shoulder, which he caused pance, and returned again to his post.

“The Lieutenent Collonel being dead, and the Major disabled about an hour after the action began, (which was before seven in the morning) the command fell to Captain Monro, who left his own post to Lieutenent Stuart of Livingstoune: And finding the soldiers galled in several places by the enemies shot, from the houses, he sent out small parties of pikemen, with burning faggots upon the points of their pikes, who fired the houses; and where they found keys in the doors, lock’t them, and burnt all within; which raised a hideous noise from these wretches in the fire. There was sixteen of them burnt in one house, and the whole houses were burnt down, except three, wherein some of the regiment were advantageously posted. But all the inhabitants of the town, who were not with the enemy, or fled to the fields, were must be estimated rather from what it promised, than what it performed. And if his talents have numbered him one of the Scottish Poets, his bravery will entitle him to rank among the Scottish Heroes. His career was short, but it closed with honour. His conduct, during the action narrated above, was marked by all the coolness, skill, and intrepidity of a veteran; and his effort to retire when he had received the fatal wound, lest the sight of his dead body might discourage his soldiers, throws an air of chivalry over his death, and discovers a species of heroism truly noble and sublime. This note has swelled to too great a length, and I quit the subject with this regret, that our limits admit not of paying a more worthy tribute to his memory; and that this brief notice will avail so little to draw from unmerited obscurity the name of one who was at once a polite Gentleman, an able Poet, a devoted Patriot, a brave Soldier, and a pious Christian.

“Notwithstanding all the gallant resistance which these furious rebels met with, they continued their assaults uncessantly, until past eleven of the clock. In all which time, there was continual thundering of shot from both sides, with flames and smoake, and hideous cryes filling the air : And, which was very remarkable, though the houses were burnt all round, yet the smoake of them, and all the shot from both sides, was carryed every where outward from the dyks upon the assailants, as if a wind had blown every way from the center within.

“At length the rebels, wearied with so many fruitless and expensive assaults, and finding no abatement of the courage or dilligence of their adversaries, Who treated them with continual shot from all their posts, they gave over, and fell back, and run to the hills in great confusion. Whereupon, they within beat their drums, and flourished their colours, and hollowed after them with all expressions of contempt and provocations to return. Their commanders assay’d to bring them back to a fresh assault, as some prisoners related, but could not prevail; for they answered them, they could fight against men, but it was not fit to fight any more against devils.

“The rebels being quite gone, they within began to consider, where their greatest danger appeared in' time of the conflict; and for rendering these places more secure, they brought out the seats of the church, with which they made pretty good defences; especially they fortified these places of the dyk which were made up with loose stones, a poor defence against such desperate assailants. They also cut down some trees on a little hill, where the enemy gall’d them under covert. Their powder was almost spent, and their bullets had been spent long before, which they supplyed by the diligence of a good number of men who were imployed, all the time of the action, in cutting lead off the house, and melting the same in little furrows in the ground, and cutting the pieces into sluggs to serve for bullets. They agreed that in case the enemy got over their dyks, they should retire to the house, and if they should find themselves overpower’d there, to burn it, and bury themselves in the ashes.

“In this action fifteen men were killed, besides the officers named, and thirty wounded. The account of the enemies loss is uncertain; but they are said to be above 300 slain, amongst whom were some persons of note.

“That handful of unexperienced men was wonderfully animated to a steadfast resistance against a multitude of obstinat furies. But they give the glory to God, and praised him, and sung psalms after they had fitted themselves for a new assault. Amongst many who shewed extraordinary courage, some young gentlemen, cadees, deserve a special testimony and remembrance; as William Sandilands, above named; James Pringle of Hultrie; William Stirling of Mallachen; James Johnstoun, a reformed Lieutenant, and several others.

“Diverse officers besides those above specified, viz. another Captain John Campbell; Captain Haries; Lieutenant Henry Stuart; Lieutenant Charles Dalzell; Lieutenant Oliphant; Lieutenant Thomas Had-do; Ensign William Hamilton, and most of all the other officers behaved very worthily, at their several posts, throughout the whole action, and deserve well to he recorded, as men of worth and valour. And the whole souldiers did every thing with such undaunted courage, and so little concern in all the dangers and deaths that surrounded them, and stared them in their faces, that they deserve to he recommended as examples of valour to this and after ages, and to have some marks of honour fixt upon them. And it is expected, his majesty will be graciously pleased to take notice both of officers and souldiers.

"Upon the Saturday immediately after those actions, the young Laird of Bellaclian, came into Dunkeld, to treat for the benefit of his majesties indemnitie, for all those Athole. And he declared, that Lord James Murray was willing to accept thereof.

“But Major General M‘kay, who by his gallant and wise conduct, prevented the conjunction of ill-affected people with the rebels, and baffled all their designs upon the low countries, is now in the Highlands with a brave army. And, with the blessing of God, will shortly give a good account of them all, and put an end to the troubles of this kingdom.”

This engagement gave rise to a great deal of surmise and discourse. The regiment was everywhere commended for their bravery and intrepid conduct. Their unparalleled courage was the subject of universal admiration. It so intimidated the rebels, that they never attempted to appear in any great body afterwards, or attempted to disturb the peace of the country. It lowered their esteem of Colonel Canon; for after the first repulse, the Highlanders could never be induced to offer a second attack.

Every thing certainly operated to their discouragement, overwhelmed as they were with numbers, abandoned to the fury of their most implacable enemies, and intercepted from all possibility of retreat. Their friends, and some of themselves, were of opinion they had been betrayed, and sent to that remote, defenceless pass, with a design to be cut off. In tbis, the Duke of Hamilton was blamed, and Col. Ramsey, who, having sent three troops of dragoons from Perth for their assistance, had ordered them back, “judging that they could not add much to the defence of that post.” These charges, in all probability, were without any just foundation, and most likely originated from their own suspicions. There might be imprudence or impolicy in leaving so small a body to sustain the whole force of the enemy, but there is scarcely room to suspect treachery.

In addition to the foregoing account of the battle, I shall here give an original Letter of Lieutenant Blackader, written on the spot, to his brother in Edinburgh, about two hours after the engagement. As it was printed and circulated in the periodical papers of the time, it is most probably one of the documents from which the preceding narrative was drawn up. I may venture, however, even at the hazard of making some repetitions, to insert it at full length, both on account of the neatness and modesty of expression, and as furnishing an early illustration of that piety and humility which marked his whole conduct in future life,

(The exact copy of a Letter written and sent by Lieutenant John Blackader, in E. of Angus his Regiment, about two hours after the Ingagement.)

Dunkell, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 1689. D. B.—-I have taken this first opportunity to shew you I am in good health, because I believe many false reports will, by this time, be come to your ears anent our Ingagement, which was this same day; hut for your certain information, the manner and way was thus: On Saturday last we came to this town at night, and camped within some walls between the church, and a house belonging to the M. of Athol, On Sabbath morning, the country people, and Athol-raen appeared on the Hills round us in tens and twenties; and about four afternoon a party of 60 or 80 men drew up on a hill above us, and within a little while, sent down a letter to our Lieut. Coll. full of threatenings and boastings, the which he answered as briskly, and after carried up the Indempnity, and proclaimed it in the Messenger’s hearing, and so he retired. Mean time notice had been given to St. Johnstown, to the forces there, to come up to our help, and accordingly on Monday morning came Lord Cardross with four troops of dragoons, and one troop of horse; upon which, the Lieut. Coll. detached out the most part of the Regiment, who, with the Horse, went to meet the Enemy, who appeared in several parties, to the number of about 5 or 600 men (ours being about the same number) Some small parties went out and skirmished; but Cardross, after an Hour or two’s stay, brought in his men to the town; our Lieut. Coll. did the like. An hour after, Cardross told the Lieut. Coll. he must needs go back to St. Johnstown, being expressly ordered by Coll. Ramsay so to do. Our men were mightily discouraged to hear this; but whatever could be said, the Horse would not stay, and it was much for us to keep our men from going along with them whether we would or not, but the Lieut, Coll. compelled them and told them, That tho’ every man went away, he resolved to stay himself alone; so we past Tuesday night also in Arms,

This morning about six of the Clock, the Enemy appeared on the Hills, and whereas we expected only the Enemy we had seen the day before, we saw to the number of 3 or 4000 Men draw up above us, which proved to be the whole force of Coll. Canon, the which one of the prisoners we took, gave out to be 4000 men, besides the addition of the Countrey. Our Lieut, Coll. making a virtue of necessity, being nothing discouraged, posted the men so as they might most annoy the enemy, planting them behind dykes and ditches, which he caused to be cast up, and in the Church and Steeple, and in Athol’s house. When he had done so, the enemy approached very fast, the Highlanders came running on like desperate villains, firing only once, and then came on with sword and target; a troop of the Enemies horse, brave horse, and all gentlemen) beset one side, on purpose, we think to have cut us off when we fled, which they nothing doubted off. A Party was sent out under the command of Capt. Hay (Park Hay’s Son,) to keep them up, which fired on them, and then retired, not being able to restrain their great number and fierceness, pressing in upon us to the very cross in the middle of the town, where another party of our men fired on them, and they retired in order. After which, the Highlanders came swarming in on all sides, and gave a desperate assault in four places all at once, first firing their guns, and then running in on us with sword and target. But it pleased God, that they were also bravely repulsed, our men still firing on them; where they came on thickest. In this hot service we continued above three horn's, the Lord wonderfully assisting our men with courage, insomuch that old soldiers, that were with us said, They never saw men fight better, for there was not the least sign of fear to be seen in any of them, every one performing his part gallantly. But (which is never enough to be lamented) our dear and valiant Lieut. Coll. at the beginning of the action going up and down encouraging his men, was shot in the head and immediately died; our Major also received three wounds, so that I fear he will not live.

Notwithstanding all these discouragements, our men fainted not, but fought so, that the Enemy at last found themselves necessitated to flee back on all hands, leaving a number of their dead carkasses behind them, and a great many of them getting into houses, to fire upon us, our men went and sett fire to the houses, and burnt and slew many of them. One of the prisoners we have taken, told us, That after they were gone off, their officers would have had them come back, and give us another assault, but they would not hear of it, for they said we were mad and desperate men. Upon their retreating, our men gave a great shout, and threw their caps in the air, and then all joined in offering up praises to God a considerable time for so miraculous a victory. I must really say, The Lord’s presence was most visible, strengthening us, so that none of the glory belongs to us, but to His own great name; for we clearly saw, It was not by might, or our power, nor by conduct, (our best officers being killed at first, or disabled) so that we have many things to humble us, and to make us trust and eye him alone, and not Instruments. I pray God help me, not to forget such a great mercy I have met with, not receiving the least hurt, notwithstanding several falling on my right and left hand, This is a true and impartial account of the whole affair, which you may communicate to others in case of misrepresentations. The Enemy retired, as we hear, to the Castle of Blair, We expected still they would assault us again, but word being sent to St. Johnstown at 12 o’Clock, we expect speedy help from thence, This in haste from

Your affectionate Brother,

(Sic Subscribitur) J. BLACKADER.

The Cameronian Regiment, after the affair at Dunkeld, marched northward to Aberdeen, and thence to Montrose, where they remained most of the time they were in Scotland. They defeated a small party of the rebels near Cardross. The terror of their name served to keep the country in awe; for a body of Highlanders, having come to plunder about Montrose, so soon as the Cameronians shewed themselves, fled with precipitation, without daring to stand or offer the least resistance.


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