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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.

Cherokee Revolt at Little Keowee & Fort Loudon, Jun-Aug, 1760

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: Montgomery's Highlanders (77th)
  • Other Regiments: the Royals; and Provincials
  • Battle Under General Command of: Colonel Archibald Montgomery; and recently exchanged Major James Grant (later Lieutenant Colonel).

Abridged text: Montgomery's Highlanders passed the winter of 1758 and 1759 in Fort DuQuesne, after it had been occupied by Brigadier-General Forbes. In the month of May 1759, they joined and formed part of the army under General Amherst in his proceedings at Ticondroga, Crown Point, and the Lakes. The zest with which the Cherokees prosecuted their renewed hostilities in the spring of 1760, alarmed all the southern English colonies, and application was, in consequence, made to the commander-in-chief for assistance. He therefore detached the Honourable Colonel Montgomery, an officer of distinguished zeal and activity, with 400 men of the Royals, 700 Highlanders of his own regiment, and a strong detachment of Provincials, with orders to proceed as expeditiously as possible to the country of the Cherokees (South Carolina), and after chastising them, to march to New York, and embark for the expedition against Montreal.

In the middle of June, he reached the neighbourhood of the Indian town Little Keowee, and resolving to rush upon the enemy by surprise, he left his baggage with a proper guard, and marched to Estatoe, detaching on his route the light companies of the Royals and Highlanders to destroy Little Keowee. This they performed with the loss of a few men killed and wounded; but on their arrival at Estatoe, they found the enemy had fled. Colonel Montgomery then retired to Fort Prince George; but finding that the recent chastisement had had no effect, he paid a second visit to the middle settlement. On this occasion, however, he met with more resistance, for there were 2 officers and 20 men killed, and 26 officers and 68 men wounded. Having completed this service, he again returned to Fort Prince George. Meanwhile, the Indians were not idle. They laid siege to, or rather blockaded, Fort Loudon, a small fort on the confines of Virginia (Tenn.?), defended by 200 men under the command of Captain Denure, and possessing only a small stock of provisions and ammunition. The garrison, too weak to encounter the enemy in the field, was at length compelled by famine to surrender (Aug 8th), on condition of being permitted to march to the English settlements; but the Indians observing the convention no longer than their interest required, attacked the garrison on their march, and killed all the officers except Captain John Stewart.1

These transactions detained Colonel Montgomery and his regiment in Virginia, and prevented their joining the expedition to Montreal, as was intended.

Several soldiers of this and other regiments fell into the hands of the Indians, being taken in an ambush. Allan Macpherson, one of these soldiers, witnessing the miserable fate of several of his fellow-prisoners, who had been tortured to death by the Indians, and seeing them preparing to commence the same operations upon himself, made signs that he had something to communicate. An interpreter was brought. Macpherson told them, that, provided his life was spared for a few minutes, he would communicate the secret of an extraordinary medicine, which, if applied to the skin, would cause it to resist the strongest blow of a tomahawk, or sword, and that, if they would allow him to go to the woods with a guard, to collect the plants proper for this medicine, he would prepare it, and allow the experiment to be tried on his own neck by the strongest and most expert warrior amongst them. This story easily gained upon the superstitious credulity of the Indians, and the request of the Highlander was instantly complied with. Being sent into the woods, he soon returned with such plants as he chose to pick up. Having boiled these herbs, he rubbed his neck with their juice, and laying his head upon a log of wood, desired the strongest man among them to strike at his neck with his tomahawk, when he would find he could not make the smallest impression. An Indian, levelling a blow with all his might, cut with such force, that the head flew off to the distance of several yards. The Indians were fixed in amazement at their own credulity, and the address with which the prisoner had escaped the lingering death prepared for him; but, instead of being enraged at this escape of their victim, they were so pleased with his ingenuity, that they refrained from inflicting further torture on the remaining prisoners.

Footnotes:

1 This officer, who was of the family of Stewart of Kinchardine in Strathspey, and father of the late General Sir John Stuart, Count of Maida, acted the same part towards the Indians as Sir William Johnson, and, so far as his more confined power and influence extended, with equal success. (NB: Stewart was the friend of Chief Attakullakulla of the Cherokee, who was the one who had rescued and delivered him to Colonel Byrd.)


77th Highland Officers Killed (only 1 sergeant, and 6 soldiers):

  • Nil recorded (possibility of more men killed near Fort Loudon)
77th Highland Officers Wounded (plus 1 sergeant, 1 piper, and 24 soldiers):
  • Captain: Nichol Sutherland
  • Lieutenants: ? Macmaster; and ? Mackinnon.
  • Assistant-Surgeon: ? Monro

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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