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by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

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Battles of the 42nd, 77th and 78th Highland Regiments with Lists of the "Killed and Wounded"

Thanks goes to Deborah for this series of articles, which she generously donated to The Canadian Military Heritage Project and which is used here with consent.

After years of warlike activity with France, England officially declared war on May 18, 1756, beginning the Seven Year's War in Europe. But the focus of the war soon shifted away from the continent to the colonies. Echoeing the conflicts in Europe, the final struggle for the empire was to take place in North America and in the West Indies. British regulars and American militia joined forces against France and her Indian allies in a campaign commonly known as the French and Indian Wars. After suffering numerous defeats and disappointments, England and her colonies successfully reversed the course of events and conquered the Canadian and regular armies of France. Peace between Britain and France was proclaimed with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763; however, warfare against the Indians endured for sometime after.

The following accounts of the French-Indian Wars focus mainly on the involvement of the Highland Regiments in the battles and expeditions listed below. However, a list of other regiments involved, and the field officers in general command during these battles, have been noted in order to facilitate further research.

Attack and Surrender of Dominique, June 1761

Source: "Sketches of the Character, Manners and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland; with details of The Military Service of The Highland Regiments", by Major-General David Stewart, Vol I & II, (1825), Edinburgh.

  • Highland Regiments: six companies of Montgomery's Highlanders (77th)
  • Other Regiments: the Grenadiers; Light infantry of the 4th and 22nd; small garrison force; and four ships of war.
  • Battle Under General Command of: Colonel Lord Rollo; Lieutenant-Colonel Melville; and Commodore Sir James Douglas.

Abridged text: Every object for which war had been undertaken in America being now accomplished, the attention of Government was called to the West Indies, where the possession of Martinique gave the enemy great opportunities of annoying our commerce in those seas. The feeble attempt made by General Hopson and Commodore Moore, in 1759, showing the French their danger more clearly, had induced them to make every exertion to strengthen their fortified posts, and to maintain a larger garrison in the island than formerly; so that what might at first have been accomplished with comparatively little loss, was now likely to be a work of time, bloodshed, and labour.

Orders were sent to North America to prepare a larger body of troops for the West Indies. Among these, the Highland battalions were particularly specified; "as their sobriety and abstemious habits, great activity, and capability of bearing the vicissitudes of heat and cold, rendered them well qualified for that climate, and for a broken and difficult country." Owing to the differences in the cabinet at home, and the change of ministers, these orders were not followed up, and only a few troops reached the West Indies from North America. Our commanders being thus unable to attempt Martinique, undertook an expedition against Dominique.

The transports from New York, conveying nearly 2000 men, were scattered in a gale of wind. A company of Montgomery's, in a small transport, were attacked by a French privateer, which they beat off, with the loss of Lieutenant McLean and 6 men killed, and Captain Robertson and 11 men wounded.

Arriving off Dominique on the 6th of June 1761, they immediately landed and marched, with little opposition, to the town of Roseau. From some entrenchments above the town, the enemy kept up a galling fire. The Lord Rollo resoved to attack without delay, particularly as he had learned that enemy reinforcements from Martinique was shortly expected. This service was performed by his Lordship and Colonel Melville, at the head of the Grenadiers, Light infantry, and Highlanders, with such vigour and success, that the enemy were driven, in succession, from all their works. So rapid was the charge of the Grenadiers and Highlanders, that few of the British suffered. The Governor and his staff being taken prisoners, surrendered the colony without more opposition. This was the only service performed in the American seas during the year 1761. In the following year, it was resolved to resume active operations, and to attempt Martinique and the Havannah.


77th Highland Officers Killed (plus 6 soldiers):
  • Lieutenant: James McLean (on voyage)
77th Highland Officers Wounded (plus 11 soldiers):
  • Captain: ? Robertson (on voyage)

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information on The Olive Tree Genealogy pages, all transcriptions are subject to human error, and researchers should always check the original source of any list.


 
 

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