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the Duke of Cumberland joined him, the main body of the retreating army was already well on its way towards Carlisle. The rear-guard, under Lord Murray, which had remained a little behind in order to repair some of the baggage-wagons, was the only portion which came in contact with the English, whom they defeated in the brilliant combat of Clifton inclosures ; where Murray manœuvred with so much skill as to give his little army the appearance of double its number, and the Duke of Cumberland, but for a pistol's missing fire, would have been killed on the field.
On the 31st of December, the anniversary of the prince's birthday, the army reëntered Scotland. During the last few days it had been raining without intermission, and the worn tartans, the bare feet, and long beards of the men, showed what hard service they had been performing. This evil, however, was easily repaired by a contribution of the city of Glasgow, which, having all along been distinguished by its hostility, could with more justice be singled out as a fit subject for punishment.
But not so with the injurious impressions produced by the retreat, which, as Charles Edward had clearly foretold, was everywhere interpreted as a confession of inferiority. The Hanoverian magistrates had resumed their functions ; the English troops were returning into the kingdom ; the partisans of the existing government were rising to its support ; and several, who had hitherto kept aloof in order to judge by the result, now came forward and declared themselves against the restoration. Edinburgh had opened its gates to General Hawley, and all the Lowlands seemed upon the point of being reconquered by the house of Hanover with as much ease and rapidity as they had been won by their opponents. In England, Carlisle, the only point which an effort had been made to retain, had been compelled to surrender after a few days' siege, and its garrison of three hundred men were the first upon that dark roll of victims which marked the bloody triumph of Cumberland.
Bitterly as he had been disappointed, Charles Edward resolved to struggle to the last, and one more gleam of hope came to cheer him in his sorrow. Still, his confidence in his adherents had been shaken, and we shall no more find in him that buoyancy of spirit, that frankness of heart, that freshness and overflowing of feeling, which enthusiasm in
spires, until bitter experience comes to check its expansion by the proofs it brings, in far too great abundance, of the selfishness of human motives and the insincerity of man's professions. The army of reserve, which had not yet moved from Perth, was ordered to hasten forward in order to effect its junction with the main body, and with his united forces, nine thousand men in all, he proceeded to lay siege to Stirling. The town surrendered in two days, and the citadel, built, like that of Edinburgh, upon a precipitous rock, was immediately invested.
The loss of this important post might have produced another revulsion in public feeling, still wavering between the two parties. To prevent so fatal an occurrence, the English general resolved to advance and offer battle. Like Sir John Cope, he was too fully convinced of the superiority of his disciplined battalions to doubt for a moment the result; and accordingly, without waiting for the reinforcements which were hourly expected, he put himself at the head of the eight thousand men he had at hand, and marched rapidly forward towards Stirling. But before he set out upon his march, he caused five gibbets to be erected in one of the principal squares of Edinburgh for the more speedy punishment of those of the rebels who should be unhappy enough to escape death in the field.
Charles Edward's spirits revived at the prospect of a battle. He had with him nine thousand men, a larger army than he had ever commanded before, and
them were several regiments on whose discipline and experience he could fully rely. A thousand men were left to continue the siege, and with the rest he advanced to meet the enemy.
The two armies were thus nearly equal in number, the English having received on the eve of the battle a reinforcement of a thousand volunteers. If, as a whole, they were better armed, and trained by a more vigorous discipline, their adversaries had the advantage of a higher enthusiasm and the prestige of two victories. Hawley encamped in the plain of Falkirk, a name of bitter remembrance to the Scotch, for it was here that the first Edward had triumphed by treachery over the heroic valor of Wallace, and tradition still pointed out the withered trunk of the oak amid whose branches the unfortunate chieftain had sought shelter in his flight. But Bannockburn, too, was near, and at their head was the prince in
whose gallant bearing and noble countenance they had traced, with the fondest hopes, the air and the features of a Bruce.
The ground between Stirling and Falkirk was formerly covered by Torwood forest, some vestiges of which remain to the present day. Throughout its whole extent, it is an almost unbroken level, except about a mile to the southwest of Falkirk, where it rises into an irregular platform, which commands the plain, and affords an extensive view of the surrounding country. From this eminence the little stream of Carron descends, winding its course through the fields to the scene of Bruce's victory. On its banks you now find a forge, and, in place of the wild heather which once covered the plateau, a thick-grown plantation of trees; but in the
of Battle-field and Red-burn,* tradition still preserves the memory of the day when fortune smiled for the last time on the arms of the Stuarts.
So far was General Hawley from dreaming of being attacked, that he had pitched his camp in the plain, without taking any measures to secure the possession of ihe eminence, and was enjoying a late breakfast at Callander castle, to which he had been invited, with a species of treacherous hospitality, by the Countess of Kilmarnock, when news was brought him that Charles Edward had already crossed the Carron. Positive as the report was, he refused to credit it, and it was only upon the arrival of a third messenger, that he could tear himself from the pleasures of the table. When he reached his camp, the troops were already under arms, and a few bodies of the enemy were beginning to make their appearance on the plateau. The plain was covered with men, women, and children, flying, with whatever they could carry with them, from a spot which was so soon to become the scene of mortal strife. Some few, bolder than the rest, had climbed the steeple of the village-church in order to the fight. And to increase the wildness of the scene, a violent storm had arisen, with wind and rain, fit precursors of the tempest which was so soon to rage beneath. The wind blew from the southwest, driving the rain full in the faces of the English, and the clouds, gathering fold upon fold, gave a double gloom to the evening shadows which were already approaching
* Those who love to compare traditions will remember the Sanguineto of Thrasymene. Will the name of Red-burn last as long ?
Hawley drew up his men in two lines, with the Glasgow volunteers and the clan of Campbell for a reserve.
Among the officers in the first line was one whose name was one day to become glorious in the battle-fields of the New World, the gallant Wolfe. The British general had easily divined the enemy's intention in taking possession of the plateau, and sent forward a regiment of cavalry in order to seize upon it before they could make good their hold. But it was too late. The advantage of position was already lost, and it now remained to be seen what discipline and experience could do towards atoning for the neglect.
The prince's army came out upon the plateau in two columns, which, displaying to the right and left, were quickly formed in line of battle. On this day the MacGregors shared with the MacDowals the post of honor on the right. Lord George Murray commanded on the right, and Lord Drummond on the left. In the second line were the regiments which had recently arrived from France. “ Lally," said Charles Edward, as he rode along the line, “those English know you ; they fought at Fontenoy.” “True, my prince,” replied the gallant veteran ; 6 but to renew our acquaintance, my officers and I would like to be a little nearer to the first fire."
Hawley had often boasted that a single troop of horse would be enough to scatter the mountaineers ; but as the day was far advanced and the tempest increasing, he ordered his whole cavalry to charge together, and the infantry to advance to their support. “ Hold your fire till they come within fair gun-shot," was Murray's order to his line, and it was strictly obeyed. “'T is certain death that we are going to !” murmured the horsemen, on hearing the order to charge ; but they spurred forward their horses and rushed to the attack. The Highlanders let them come near enough to make their aim sure, and then, pouring in one tremendous volley, the whole line was, in an instant, enveloped in a dense veil of smoke. As the wind swept it away, the ground was seen covered with horses and horsemen, wounded and dead overthrown together, while the survivors were flying broken and disordered at the top of their speed. Only one battalion dared to charge. It was led by a young officer by the name of Whitney, who, as he drew nigh to the enemy, recognized in their ranks an old friend of former
days, John Roy Stewart. “We shall be with you in an instant,” cried Whitney to his friend, as his troop came thundering on. “ You will be right welcome,” reply ; and at the same instant a bullet from the Scottish ranks struck the gallant officer from his horse. His men rushed on to avenge his fall, and in the shock of the encounter overturned the first rank and trampled down several officers
But the second rank, slipping under the horses' bellies, stabbed them with their dirks, and then grappled the riders as they fell. The defeat of the cavalry was complete.
The infantry now advanced to the charge, and Murray again called to his men to let the enemy come close up before they fired. But the blood of the mountaineers was now warmed by the contest, and the MacDowals, springing forward and loading their pieces as they ran, threw in a close fire, which broke the English ranks almost before they had time to return it. A few only ventured to make a stand in a ravine on the right, where a small body of Cobham's dragoons rallied behind them, and sustained the combat a few moments longer.
The MacDowals hesitated, and began to fall back for fear of ambuscade. Charles Edward, seeing their hesitation, advanced to their support at the
ead of his reserve, and in a moment the whole English army was driven from the field. " Where are they ? ” said the officers to one another, as they looked around them for
“ It is a ruse," cried Lord Drummond, in order to draw us into an ambuscade; those are the royal Scots, who fought so well at Fontenoy.” And this it was that saved the English army from total extermination. Hawley had fled with the cavalry ; but General Huske, profiting by the mistake of the Scotch, drew off the remnants of his right wing and dragoons, which had held firm to the last, and retreated in good order towards Edinburgh, leaving six hundred dead on the field, and six hundred wounded and prisoners in the hands of the enemy. The prince's loss was forty killed and eighty wounded.
Had Charles Edward now marched directly upon Edinburgh, it can hardly be doubted that he might have easily gained possession of the city, and effaced by the éclat of this double triumph the unfavorable impressions which had been produced by his retreat from Derby. The hope, too, of another battle and the excitement of immediate action