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victory. MacKay, when he found himself free from pursuit, declared his conviction that his opponent had fallen in the battle. And such was the opinion of Dundee's talents and courage, and the general sense of the peculiar crisis at which his death took place, that the common people of the low country cannot, even now, be persuaded that he died an ordinary death. They say, that a servant of his own, shocked at the severities which, if triumphant, his master was likely to accomplish against the Presbyterians, and giving way to the popular prejudice of his having a charm against the effect of lead-balls, shot him, in the tumult of the battle, with a silver button taken from his livery coat. The Jacobites, and Episcopal party, on the other hand, lamented the deceased victor as the last of the Scots, the last of the Grahams, and the last of all that was great.
Cannon succeeds Dundee, and is defeated at Dunkeld-The Cameronian Regiment—Skirmish at Cromdale-Pacification of the Highlands, through the instrumentality of the Earl of Breadalbane-Company of Jacobite Officers in the French Service as Privates—Reduction of the Bass-Settlement of Church AffairsThe Assurance.
THE Viscount of Dundee was one of those gifted persons upon whose single fate that of nations is sometimes dependent. His own party believed, that, had he lived to improve the decisive victory which he had so bravely won, he would have soon recovered Scotland to King James's allegiance. It is certain, a great many of the nobility only waited a gleam of success to
return to the Jacobite side; nor were the revolutionary party so united amongst themselves as to have offered a very firm resistance. The battle of Killiecrankie, duly improved, must have delivered the whole of Scotland north of the Forth into the power of Dundee, and rendered even Stirling and Edinburgh insecure. Such a flame kindled in Scotland, must have broken many of King William's measures, rendered it impossible for him to go to Ireland, where his presence was of the last necessity, and have been, to say the least, of the highest prejudice to his affairs.
But all the advantages of the victory were lost in the death of the conquering general. Cannon, who succeeded to the chief command on Dundee's decease, was a stranger to Highland manners, and quite inadequate to the management of such an army as that which chance placed under his command. It was in vain that the fame of the victory, and that love of plunder and of war, which made part of the Highland
character, brought around him, from the remote recesses of that warlike country, a more numerous body of the mountaineers than Montrose had ever commanded. By the timidity and indecision of his opponent MacKay gained time enough to collect, which he did with celerity, a body of troops sufficient to coop up the Jacobite general within his mountains, and to maintain an indecisive war of posts and skirmishes, which wearied out the patience of the quickspirited Highlanders.
Cannon attempted only one piece of service worthy of mention, and in that he was foiled. In the extremity of the alarm which followed the defeat of Killiecrankie, the newly raised regiment of Cameronians had been dispatched to the Highlands. They had advanced as far as Dunkeld, when Cannon for once showed some activity, and getting free from MacKay by a rapid and secret march, he at once surrounded, in the village and castle of Dunkeld, about twelve hundred Cameronians, with more than double
their own forces. Their situation seemed so desperate, that a party of horse who were with them retired, and left the hill-men to their fate.
But the newly acquired discipline of these hardy enthusiasts prevented their experiencing the fate of their predecessors at Bothwell and Pentland. They were judiciously posted in the Marquis of Athole's house, and neighbouring enclosures, as also in the churchyard and the old cathedral; and with the advantage of this position they beat off repeatedly the fierce attacks of the Highlanders, though very inferior in numbers. This advantage restored the spirits of the King's troops, and diminished considerably that of the Highlanders, who, according to their custom, began to disperse and return home.
The Cameronian regiment lost in this action their gallant Lieutenant-Colonel, Cleland, and many men. But they were victorious, and that was a sufficient consolation.