Military history pages..

Lord Macleod's Highlanders

Formerly Seventy-Third Regiment,

Now Seventy-First Or Glasgow

Highland Light Infantry.


Sobral - Zibriera - Fuentes d'Onor - Albuera - Arroyo-del-Molinos - Ciudad-Rodrigo - Badajoz - Almaraz - Fort-Napoleon - Salamanca - Alba-de-Tormes Vittoria - La Puebla - Maya - Lizasso - Eguaros - Doña Maria - Pyrenees - Altobispo - The Nive - St Pierre - Sauveterre - Orthes - Aire - Tarbes - Toulouse - Waterloo - Champs Elys

In May 1810, the battalion removed to Deal Barracks, and while here Lieutenant-Colonel Pack was removed from the regiment to become a brigadier in the Portuguese army. In the early part of September the battalion received orders to prepare six companies for foreign service, which was done by drafting into the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 6th, and 10th companies the most effective officers and men belonging to the other companies. When completed the companies, altogether consisted of 30 officers, 42 sergeants, and 615 rank and file. These companies sailed on the 15th September from the Downs in two frigates, and disembarked at Lisbon on the 26th of the same month, when the men were quartered in two convents.

"To my great joy," says the Journal of a Soldier of the 71st, "we paraded in the grand square, on the seventh day after our arrival, and marched in sections, to the music of our bugles, to join the army: having got our camp equipments, consisting of a camp-kettle and billhook, to every six men; a blanket, a canteen, and haversack, to each man. Orders had been given that each soldier, on his march, should carry along with him three days provision. Our mess of six cast lots who should be cook the first day, as we were to carry the kettle day about; the lot fell to me. My knapsack contained two shirts, two pairs of stockings, one pair of overalls, two shoe brushes, a shaving box, one pair of spare shoes, and a few other articles; my greatcoat and blanket above the knapsack; my canteen with water was slung over my shoulder, on one side; my haversack, with beef and bread, on the other; sixty round of ball-cartridge, and the camp-kettle above all."

At Mafra, to which place the detachment marched on the 2nd of October. it was joined by Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Henry Cadogan, who assumed the command. The detachment joined the army under Wellington at Sobral on the 10th, and was brigaded with the 50th and 92d regiments, under Major-General Sir William Erskine, in the first division under Lieutenant-General Sir Brent Spencer. We cannot do better than quote from the simple but graphic Journal already referred to:-

"We had not been three hours in the town, and were busy cooking, when the alarm sounded. There were nine British and three Portuguese regiments in the town. We were all drawn up and remained under arms, expecting every moment to receive the enemy, whose skirmishers covered Windmill Hill. In about an hour the light companies of all the regiments were ordered out, along. with the 71st. Colonel Cadogan called to us, at the foot of the hill, 'My lads, this is the first affair I have ever been in with you; show me what you can do, now or never.' We gave a hurra, and advanced up the hill, driving their advanced skirmishers, before us, until about half-way up, when we commenced a heavy fire, and were as hotly received. In the meantime the remaining regiments evacuated the town. The enemy pressed so hard upon us, we were forced to make the best of our way down the hill, and were closely followed by the French, through the town, up Gallows Hill. We got behind a mud wall, and kept our ground in spite of their utmost efforts. Here we lay upon our arms all night.

Next morning, by day break, there was not a Frenchman to be seen. As soon as the sun was fairly up, we advanced into the town, and began a search for provisions, which had now become very scarce; and, to our great joy, we found a large store-house full of dry fish, flour, rice, and sugar, besides bales of cloth. All now became bustle and mirth; fires were kindled, and every man became a cook. Scones were the order of the day. Neither flour nor sugar were wanting, and the water was plenty; so I fell to bake myself a flour scone. Mine was mixed and laid upon the fire and I, hungry enough, watching it. Though neither neat nor comely, I was anticipating the moment when it would be eatable. Scarce was it warm ere the bugle sounded to arms. Then was the joy that reigned a moment before turned to execrations. I snatched my scone off the fire, raw as it was, put it into my haversack, and formed. We remained under arms until dark, and then took up our old quarters upon Gallows Hill, where I ate my raw scone, sweetly seasoned by hunger. In our advance to the town we were much entertained by some of our men who had got over a wall the day before, when the enemy were in the rear; and now were put to their shifts to get over again, and scarce could make it out.

Next morning the French advanced to a mud wall, about forty yards in front of the one we lay behind. It rained heavily this day, and there was very little firing. During the night we received orders to cover the bugle and tartans of our bonnets with black crape, which had been served out to us during the day, and to put on our greatcoats. Next morning the French, seeing us thus, thought we had retired, and left Portuguese to guard the heights. With dreadful shouts they leaped over that wall before which they had stood, when guarded by British. We were scarce able to withstand their fury. To retreat was impossible; all behind being ploughed land, rendered deep by the rain. There was not a moment to hesitate. To it we fell, pell-mell, French and British mixed together. It was a trial of strength in single combat: every man had his opponent, many had two." In the first of these affairs the detachment had 8 men killed and 34 wounded. In Wellington's despatch concerning the affair of the 14th, the names of Lieutenant-Colonels Cadogan and Reynell were particularly mentioned. John Rea, a soldier of the 6th company of the 71st behaved on this occasion with so much gallantry, and so particularly distinguished himself, that he received a silver medal, inscribed "To John Rea, for his exemplary courage and good conduct as a soldier at Sobral, 14th October 1810."

On the 15th October the 71st retired between the lines at Tibreira, a continuation of those at Torres Vedras. Here the detachment remained along with the other regiments watching Marshal Massena, until the latter was compelled to retire from want of provisions in the nights between the 14th and 15th November. He was followed by the allied forces, and the 71st, along with the rest of its division, were quartered in and about Almoster from the 20th to the 26th. Massena took up a position in the vicinity of Santarem, and Wellington, after some manœuvring, placed himself in front of the enemy, having his headquarters at Cartano. The 71st was quartered in a convent at Alquintrinha, where the detachment remained until March 1811. In this month two companies of the 1st battalion arrived in the Peninsula to reinforce the regiment, other two coming out in July. On the night of the 5th of March, the French gave the British army the slip, deceiving the latter by placing wooden guns in their batteries, and stuffing old clothes with straw, which they put in place of their sentinels. It was two days before the trick was discovered. The British army immediately followed in pursuit, but did not come up with the enemy until they reached the Aguida on the 9th of April. The division, in which was the 71st, was posted at Abergaria, a small town on the frontiers of Spain, where it remained till the 30th April, when, on account of the movements of the enemy, the British army was moved out of its cantonments, and was formed in line on the, high ground about two miles in rear of Fuentes d'Onor.

"On the 3rd of May, at day-break, all the cavalry and sixteen light companies occupied the town. We stood under arms until three o'clock, when a Staff-officer rode up to our colonel, and gave orders for our advance. Colonel Cadogan put himself at our head, saying, 'My lads, you have had no provisions these two days; there is plenty in the hollow in front, let us down and divide.' We advanced as quick as we could run, and met the light companies retreating as fast as they could. We continued to advance at double-quick time, our firelocks at the trail, our bonnets in our hands. They called to us, 'Seventy-first, you will come back quicker than you advance.' We soon came full in front of the enemy. The colonel cried, 'Here is food, my lads, cut away.' Thrice we waved our bonnets, and thrice we cheered; brought our firelocks to the charge, and forced them back through the town.

How different the duty of the French officers from ours! They, stimulating the men by their example the men vociferating, each chafing each until they appear in a fury, shouting, to the points of our bayonets. After the first huzza, the British officers, restraining their men, still as death -- 'Steady, lads, steady,' is all you hear, and that in an under tone.

During this day the loss of men was great. In our retreat back to the town, when we, halted to check the enemy, who bore hard upon us, in their attempts to break our line, often was I obliged to stand with a foot upon each side of a wounded man, who wrung my soul with prayers I could not answer, and pierced my heart with his cries to be lifted out of the way of the cavalry. While my heart bled for them, I have shaken them rudely off.

We kept up our fire until long after dark. About one o'clock in the morning we got four ounces of bread served out to each man, which had been collected out of the haversacks of the Foot Guards. After the firing had ceased, we began to search through the town, and found plenty of flour, bacon, and sausages, on which we feasted heartily, and lay down in our blankets, wearied to death. Soon as it was light the firing commenced, and was kept up until about ten o'clock, when Lieutenant Stewart, of our regiment, was sent with a flag of truce, for leave to carry off our wounded from the enemy lines, which was granted; and, at the same time, they carried off theirs from ours. We lay down, fully accoutred, as usual and slept in our blankets. An hour before day we were ready to receive the enemy.

About half-past nine o'clock, a great gun from the French line, which was answered by one from ours, was the signal to engage. Down they came, shouting as usual. We kept them at bay, in spite of their cries and formidable looks. How different their appearance from ours! Their hats set round with feathers their boards long and black, gave them a fierce look. Their stature was superior to ours; most of us were young. We looked like boys; they like savages. But we had the true spirit in us. We foiled them in every attempt to take the town, until about eleven o'clock when we were overpowered, and forced through the streets, contesting every inch.

During the preceding night we had been reinforced by the 79th regiment, Colonel Cameron commanding, who was killed about this time. Notwithstanding all our efforts, the enemy forced us out of the town, then halted, and formed close column betwixt us and it While they stood thus the havoc amongst them was dreadful. Gap after gap was made by our cannon, and as quickly filled up. Our loss was not so severe, as we stood in open files. While we stood thus, firing at each other as quick as we could, the 88th regiment advanced from the lines, charged the enemy, and forced them to give way. As we passed over the ground where, they had stood, it lay two and three deep of dead and wounded. While we drove them before us through the town, in turn, they were reinforced, which only served to increase the slaughter. We forced them out, and kept possession all day."

The 71st took 10 officers and 100 men prisoners, but lost about half their number in killed and wounded. Those killed were Lieutenants John Consell, William Houston, and John Graham, and Ensign Donald John Kearns, together with 4 serjeants and 22 rank and file.

Captains Peter Adamson and James McIntyre, Lieutenants William McCraw, Humphrey Fox, and Robert Law (Adjutant), Ensigns Charles Cox, John Vandeleur, and Carique Lowin, 6 serjeants, 3 buglers, and 100 rank and file, were wounded. Two officers, with several men, were taken prisoners.

In commemoration of the gallantry displayed in this prolonged action, the 71st subsequently received the royal authority to bear the words "Fuentes d'Onor" on the regimental colour and appointments.

Viscount Wellington particularly mentioned the name of Lieut.-Colonel the Honourable Henry Cadogan in his despatch, and being highly gratified with the conduct of the 71st on this occasion, directed that a non-commissioned officer should be selected for a commission. According to his Lordship's recommendation, Quartermaster - Serjeant William Gavin was shortly afterwards promoted to an ensigncy in the regiment.

The 71st, on the 14th of May, returned to Albergaria, where it remained till the 26th, when it was marched to reinforce Marshal Beresford's army, then besieging Badajoz. After a variety of marchings, the battalion went into camp at Toro de Moro, where it remained a month, and was recruited by a detachment of 350 from the 2d battalion, stationed at Deal. The battalion returned along with Wellington's army on the 20th of July to Borba, where it remained until the 1st of September, when it removed to Portalegre, and thence marched to Castello de Vido, on October 4th.

On the 22nd of October, we received information that General Girard, with 4000 men, infantry and cavalry, was collecting contributions in Estremadura, and had cut off part of our baggage and supplies. We immediately set of from Portalegre, along with the brigade commanded by General Hill, and, after a most fatiguing march, the weather being very bad, we arrived at Malpartida. The French were only ten miles distant. By a near cut, on the Merida road, through Aldea del Cano, we got close up to them, on the 27th, at Alcuesca, and were drawn up in columns, with great guns ready to receive them. They had heard nothing of our approach. We went into the town. It was now nigh ten o'clock; the enemy were in Arroyo del Molino, only three miles distant. We got half a pound of rice served out to each man, to be cooked immediately. Hunger made little cooking necessary. The officers had orders to keep their men silent. We were placed in the houses; but our wet and heavy accoutrements were, on no account, to be taken off. At twelve o'clock we received our allowance of rum; and, shortly after the serjeants tapped at the doors, calling not above their breath. We turned out, and at slow time continued our march.

The whole night was one continued pour of rain. Weary, and wet to the skin, we trudged on, without exchanging a word; nothing breaking the silence of the night save the howling of the wolves. The tread of the men was drowned by the pattering of the rain. When day at length broke we were close upon the town. The French posts had been withdrawn into it, but the embers still glowed in their fires. During the whole march the 71st had been with the cavalry and horse-artillery, as an advanced guard.

General Hill rode up to our colonel, and ordered him to make us clean out our pans (as the rain had wet all the priming), form square, and retire a short distance, lest the French cavalry had seen us, and should make an attack; however, the drift was so thick, they could not -- it blew right in their faces when they looked our way. The Colonel told us off in three divisions, and gave us orders to charge up three separate streets of the town, and force our way, without halting, to the other side. We shouldered our arms. The general, taking off his hat, said, 'God be with you-quick march.' On reaching the gates, we gave three cheers, and in we went; the inhabitants calling 'Live the English,' our piper playing 'Hey Johnny Cope;' the French swearing, fighting in confusion, running here and there, some, in their shirts, some half accoutred. The streets were crowded with baggage, and men ready to march, all now in one heap of confusion. On we drove: our orders were to take no prisoners, neither to turn to the right nor left until we reached the other side of the town.

As we advanced I saw the French general come out of a house, frantic with rage. Never shall I forget the grotesque figure he made, as he threw his cocked hat upon the ground, and stamping upon it, gnashed his teeth. When I got the first glance of him he had many medals on his breast. In a minute his coat was as bare as a private's.

We formed under cover of some old walls. A brigade of French stood in view. We got orders to fire: not ten pieces in a company went off, the powder was again so wet with the rain. A brigade of Portuguese artillery came up. We gave the enemy another volley, leaped the, wall, formed column, and drove them over the hill down which they threw all their baggage, before they surrendered. In this affair we took about 3000 prisoners, 1600 horse, and 6 pieces of artillery, with a great quantity of baggage, &c.

We were again marched back to Portalegre, where the horses were sold and divided amongst the men according to their rank. I got 2s. 6d."

The 71st remained in Portalegre till March 1812, having taken part, during the January of that year, in the expulsion of the French from Estremadura. After the capture of Badajos by Wellington on the 6th of April, the 71st, and the other troops under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, retired into Andalusia. Wellington, having armed the Tagus against Marshal Marmont, Sir Rowland Hill's force took post at Almendralejos for the purpose of watching Marshal Soult. Here the 71st remained from the 13th April to the 11th May, when it along with the rest of Sir R. Hill's corps marched to Almaraz to destroy the bridge of boats there. On the 18th of May it reached the height on which the castle of Mirabete stands, five miles from Almaraz.

"On the evening of the third day, General Hill ordered our left companies to move down to the valley, to cover his reconnaissance. When he returned, the officers were called. A scaling ladder was given to each section of the company of the left wing, with the exception of two companies. We moved down the hill in a dismal manner; it was so dark we could not see three yards before us. The hill was very steep, and we were forced to wade through whins and scramble down rocks, still carrying the ladders. When day-light, on the morning of the 19th, at length showed us to each other, we were scattered all over the foot of the hill like strayed sheep, not more in one place than were held together by a ladder. We halted, formed, and collected the ladders, then moved on. We had a hollow to pass through to get at the battery. The French had cut a part of the brae-face away, and had a gun that swept right through into the hollow. We made a rush past it, to get under the brae on the other side. The French were busy cooking, and preparing to support the other fort, thinking we would attack it first, as we had lain next to it.

On our approach the French sentinel fired and retired. We halted fixed bayonets, and moved on in double-quick time. We did not receive above four shots from the battery, until we were under the works, and had the ladders placed to the walls. Their entrenchment proved deeper than we expected, which caused us to splice our ladders under the wall during which time they annoyed us much, by throwing grenades, stones, and lop over it; for we stood with our pieces cocked and presented. As soon as the ladders were spliced, we forced them from the works, and out of the town, at the point of the bayonet, down the hill and over the bridge. They were, in such haste, they cut the bridge before all their men had got over, and numbers were either drowned or taken prisoners. One of our men had the honour to be the first to mount the works.

Fort Napoleon fired two or three shots into Fort Almaraz. We took the hint from this circumstance, and turned the guns of Almaraz on Fort Napoleon, and forced the enemy to leave it.

We moved forward to the village of Almaraz, and found plenty of provisions, which had been very scarce with us for some days."

The whole of this brilliant affair was concluded in about 15 minutes, the regiment losing Captain Lewis Grant, 1 sergeant, and 7 rank and file, killed; Lieutenants William Lockwood and Donald Ross, 3 sergeants, and 29 rank and file wounded. The names of 36 non-commissioned officers and soldiers were inserted in regimental orders for conspicuous bravery on this occasion, and "Almaraz" was henceforth inscribed upon the regimental colours. Both in the Brigade and General Orders, the 71st was particularly mentioned.

From this time to the 7th of November the 71st was occupied with many tedious marchings and countermarchings in accordance with the movements of the enemy. It occupied Alba de Tormes from the 7th till the 13th of November, and during that period sustained a loss in action with the enemy, of 1 sergeant and 6 rank and file killed, and 1 bugler and 5 rank and file wounded. The army retired from this part and began to return to Portugal; and after various slight skirmishes with the enemy, reached Puerto de Baños in December, where it remained till April 1812, being then removed to Bejar, which it occupied till May 21st. In December the 1st Battalion was joined by a draft of 150 men from the 2nd. On the 20th of June the battalion along with the rest of its division encamped at La Puebla, in the neighbourhood of Vitoria.

On the morning of the 21st, the two armies being in position, the 71st was ordered to ascend the heights of La Puebla to support the Spanish forces under General Morillo. Forward they moved up the hill under a very heavy fire, in which fell mortally wounded their commander Colonel Cadogan, who, in falling, requested to be carried to a neighbouring height, from which he might take a last farewell of the regiment and the field.

"The French had possession of the top, but we soon forced them back, and drew up in column on the height, sending out four companies to our left to skirmish. The remainder moved on to the opposite height.

Scarce were we upon the height, when a heavy column, dressed in great-coats, with white covers on their hats, exactly resembling the Spanish, gave us a volley, which put us to the right about at double-quick time down the hill, the French close behind, through the whins. The four companies got the word, the French were on them. They likewise thought them Spaniards, until they got a volley that killed or wounded almost every one of them. We retired to the height, covered by the 50th, who gave the pursuing column a volley which checked their speed. We moved up the remains of our shattered regiment to the height. Being in great want of ammunition, we were again served with sixty rounds a man, and kept up our fire for some time, until the bugle sounded to cease firing.

We lay on the height for some time. Our drought was excessive; there was no water upon the height, save one small spring, which was rendered useless. At this time the major had the command, our second colonel being wounded. There were not 300 of us on the height able to do duty, out of above 1000 who drew rations in the morning. The cries of the wounded were most heart-rending.

The French, on the opposite height, were getting under arms: we could give no assistance, as the enemy appeared to be six to one of us. Our orders were to maintain the height while there while there was a man of us. The word was given to shoulder arms. The French at the same moment got under arms. The engagement began in the plains. The French were amazed, and soon put to the right about, through Vitoria. We followed, as quick as our weary limbs would carry us. Our legs were full of thorns, and our feet bruised upon the roots of the trees. Coming to a bean field at the bottom of the, heights, the column was immediately broken, and every man filled his haversack. We continued to advance until it was dark, and then encamped on a height above Vitoria.

This was the dullest encampment I ever made. We had left 700 men behind. None spoke; each hung his head, mourning the loss of a friend and comrade. About twelve o'clock a man of each company was sent to receive half a pound of flour for each man at the rate of our morning's strength, so that there was more than could be used by those who had escaped. I had fired 108 rounds this day."

The loss of the regiment in the battle of Vitoria was dreadful. Colonel the Honourable Henry Cadogan, Captain Hall, Lieutenants Fox and Mackenzie, 6 serjeants, 1 bugler and 78 rank and file were killed; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Cother; Captains Reed, Pidgeon and Grant; Lieutenants Duff, Richards, McIntyre, Cox, Torriano, Campbell, Cumineline; 13 serjeants, 2 buglers and 255 rank and file were wounded.

The enemy retired to Pamplona, followed by the British, who afterwards marched towards the Pyrenees the 71st reached Maya upon the 8th July. At Maya, on July 25th, --of which, as of other Peninsular battles, details will be found in the account of the 42nd,--the 71st behaved with marked bravery, maintaining their position to the last, and, when their ammunition was exhausted, hurling stones upon the enemy to impede their advance. The 71st had 3 sergeants and 54 rank and file killed and 6 sergeants and 77 rank and file wounded.

The army under General Hill continued retiring until the 30th of July, when a strong position was taken up at Lizasso. Here they were attacked by the French, the 71st taking an active part in the engagement, and losing 1 sergeant, and 23 rank and file killed, and 2 sergeants and 34 rank and file wounded.

In the action in the pass of Doña Maria on the 31st, the 71st distinguished itself, and had 1 sergeant and 29 rank and file killed, and 2 sergeants and 45 rank and file wounded. For the part taken in these engagements the 71st was authorised to bear the word "Pyrenees" on its colours and appointments. Between the 14th of June and the, 7th August, the regiment lost in killed and wounded 33 officers 6 buglers, and 553 rank and file.

For nearly three months after the last engagement the regiment was encamped on the heights of Roncesvalles, where the men were principally engaged in the construction of block-houses and batteries, and with the formation of roads for artillery, during which they suffered dreadfully from the inclemency of the weather. On the night of October 11th a strong party of the French made an attack upon an advance of 15 men of the 71st under Sergeant James Ross, but the small band, favoured somewhat by their position and the darkness, maintained its ground, and forced the enemy to retire. At the request of Lieutenant-General Sir William Stewart, each of the 16 men was presented with a medal.

After the battle of Nivelle, in which the 71st did not take part, the regiment occupied part of the town of Cambo, and was there joined by a detachment of 16 men of the 2nd battalion (then in Glasgow), under the, command of Lieutenant Charles Henderson. On the 9th of December the 71st crossed the Nive without loss, the regiment forming upon the top of the opposite height, and sending out two companies after the enemy, who, however, eluded pursuit. The enemy retired on Bayonne, and General Hill disposed his army with the right on the Adour, the left above the Nive, and the centre, in which was the 71st, at St Pierre, across the road to St Jean Pied-de-Port.

"All the night of the 11th December we lay in camp upon the face of a height, near the Spaniards. In the afternoon of the 12th, we received orders to move round towards Bayonne, where we were quartered along the main road. There we remained until we received orders to march to our own right, to assist a Spanish force which was engaged with superior numbers. We set off by day-light on the morning of the 13th towards them, and were moving on, when General Hill sent an aide-de-camp after us, saying, 'That is not the direction, -- follow me.' We put to right-about, to the main road towards Bayonne. We soon came to the scene of action, and were immediately engaged. We had continued firing, without intermission, for five hours, advancing and retreating, and lost a great number of men, but could not gain a bit of ground. Towards evening we were relieved by a brigade which belonged to another division. As many of us as could be collected were, drawn up. General Hill gave us great praise for our behaviour this day, and ordered an extra allowance of liquor to each man. We were marched back to our old quarters along the road-side. We lay upon the road-side for two or three days, having two companies three leagues to the rear, carrying the wounded to the hospital. We were next cantoned three leagues above Bayonne, along the side of the river. We had strong picquets planted along the banks. The French were cantoned upon the other side. Never a night passed that we were not molested by boats passing up and down, the river, with provisions and necessaries to the town. Our orders were to turn out and keep up a constant fire upon them while passing. We had two grasshopper guns planted upon the side of the river, by means of which we one night sunk a boat loaded with clothing for the army, setting it on fire with red-hot shot.

Next day we were encamped in the rear of the town, being relieved by a brigade of Portuguese. We remained in camp two or three days, expecting to be attacked, the enemy having crossed above us on the river. We posted picquets in the town, near our camp. At length, receiving orders to march, we moved on, until we came to a river on our right, which ran very swift. Part of the regiment having crossed, we got orders to come to the right-about, and were marched back to our old camp ground. Next morning, we received orders to take another road toward Salvatierra, where we encamped that night, and remained until the whole army assembled the following day.

About two o'clock in the afternoon we were under arms, and moved towards the river, covered by a brigade of artillery. We forded, and continued to skirmish along the heights until the town was taken. We lost only one man during the whole time. We encamped upon the other side of the town; and next morning followed the line of march, until we came before a town called Aris. We had severe fighting before we got into it. We were led on by an aide-de-camp. The contest lasted until after dark. We planted picquets in different streets of the town; the enemy did the same in others. Different patrols were sent out during the night, but the French were always found on the alert. They retired before day-light, and we marched into the town with our music at the head of the regiments. The town appeared then quite desolate, not worth twopence; but we were not three days in it, until the French inhabitants came back, opened their shops and houses, and it became a fine lively place."

In the action of the 13th December the 71st lost Lieutenant-Colonel Mackenzie, Lieutenants Campbell and Henderson, 2 sergeants, and 24 men killed; Captains Barclay and Grant, Lieutenants McIntyre and Torriano, and 37 men wounded. For these services the, regiment bears "Nive" on its colours. On the 26th February 1814 the regiment was in action at Sauveterre, and on the 27th took part in the battle of Orthez, although it appears that in the latter it sustained little or no loss. It bears "Orthez" on its colours.

Two divisions of the French army having retired to Aire, after the action of the 27th of February, Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill moved upon that town to dislodge them. Upon the 2d of March the French were found strongly posted upon a ridge of hills, extending across the great road in front of the town, having their right on the Adour. The second division attacked them along the road, seconded by a Portuguese brigade, and drove them from their position in gallant style. Lieutenant James Anderson and 17 rank and file, were killed; Lieutenant Henry Frederick Lockyer, 1 sergeant, and 19 rank and file, were wounded.

A detachment from the second battalion, consisting of 1 captain, 4 subalterns, and 134 rank and file, under the command of Major Arthur Jones, joined at Aire.

On the 25th of March part of the battalion was engaged in an affair at Tarbes, in which Lieutenant Robert Law was wounded, and upon the 10th of April was in position at Toulouse, where some of the companies were employed skirmishing, and sustained a loss of 1 sergeant and 3 rank and file killed; 6 rank and file were wounded.

On the 10th of April the regiment marched to Toulouse, in order to attack it. It was drawn up in column behind a house, and sent out the flank companies to skirmish; the French, however, evacuated Toulouse on the night of the 11th, when the 71st and the other regiments entered the town. The following interesting incident, in connection with the attack on Toulouse, is narrated by a soldier of the 71st in his Journal:-

"I shall ever remember an adventure that happened to me, towards the afternoon. We were in extended order, firing and retiring. I had just risen to run behind my file, when a spent shot struck me on the groin, and took the breath from me. 'God receive my soul!' I said, and sat down resigned. The French were advancing fast. I laid my musket down and gasped for breath. I was sick, and put my canteen to my head, but could not taste the water; however, I washed my mouth, and grew less faint. I looked to my thigh, and seeing no blood, took resolution to put my hand to the part, to feel the wound. My hand was unstained by blood, but the part was so painful that I could not touch it. At this moment of helplessness the French came up. One of them made a charge at me, as I sat pale as death. In another moment I would have been transfixed, had not his next man forced the point past me: 'Do not touch the good Scot,' said he; and then addressing himself to me, added, 'Do you remember me?' I had not recovered my breath sufficiently to speak distinctly: I answered, ' No.' 'I saw you at Sobral,' he replied. Immediately I recognised him to be a soldier whose life I had saved from a Portuguese, who was going to kill him as he lay wounded. 'Yes, I know you,' I replied. 'God bless you!' cried he; and, giving me a pancake out of his hat, moved on with his fellows; the rear of whom took my knapsack, and left me lying. I had fallen down for greater security. I soon recovered so far as to walk, though with pain, and joined the regiment next advance."

On the afternoon of April 12th word came that Napoleon had abdicated, and shortly after peace was proclaimed, and a treaty concluded between France and England.

The 71st marched from Toulouse to Blaachfort, where it was encamped for about a fortnight, after which it proceeded to Bordeaux, where it embarked on the 15th of July, arriving in Cork on the 28th of that month. Shortly afterwards the regiment proceeded to Limerick, where it lay for the rest of the year, and where Colonel Reynell assumed the command in December. In January 1815 the first battalion of the 71st embarked at Cork, and proceeded to America but peace having been concluded with the United States, its destination was changed, in consequence of Napoleon having again broken loose, and resumed his former dignity of Emperor of the French. Thus England was once more embroiled in war. The 71st was in consequence transhipped in a small craft, and sent to Ostend, where it disembarked on April 22nd. It was then marched to Leuze, where, quartered in the surrounding villages, it lay till June 16th, 1815, under the command of Colonel Reynell. It was brigaded with the first battalion of the 52nd, and eight companies of the 95th regiment (Rifles), the brigade being commanded by Frederick Adam, and the division by Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton. The first battalion had at this time 997 rank and file. The regiment was drilled every day, and on the morning of June 16 was proceeding to its drill-ground as usual, when it was ordered immediately to advance upon Nivelles, where it arrived late at night. On the same day Blucher had been attacked at Ligny, and Wellington had successfully at Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras, in which action the 71st had no chance of taking part, although they had their own share of the fighting at Waterloo. On the morning of the 17th the 71st took the road to Waterloo, and along, with the other regiments of the brigade took up a position behind Hougoumont, where they lay under arms, amid pouring rain, all night. Two hours after daybreak, General Hill came down and took away the 10th company to cover his reconnaissance, and shortly after, the regiment set to cleaning their arms, and preparing for action. All the opposite heights were, covered by the enemy.

"The artillery had been tearing away since daybreak in different parts of the line. About twelve o'clock we received orders to fall in for attack. We then marched up to our position, where we lay on the face of a brae, covering a brigade of guns. We were so overcome by the fatigue, of the two days' march, that scarce had we lain down until many of us fell asleep. We lay thus about an hour and a half, under a dreadful fire, which cost us about 60 men while we had never fired a shot. The balls were falling thick amongst us.

About two o'clock a squadron of lancers came down, hurrahing, to charge the brigade of guns: they knew not what was in the rear. The general gave the word, 'Form square.' In a moment the whole brigade were on their feet, ready to receive the enemy. The general said, 'Seventy-first, I have often heard of your bravery, I hope it will not be worse to-day than it has been.' Down they came upon our square. We soon put them to the right-about.

Shortly after we received orders to move to the heights. Onwards we marched, and stood, for a short time, in square, receiving cavalry every now and then. The noise and smoke, were dreadful. We then moved on in column for a considerable way, and formed line; gave three cheers, fired a few volleys, charged the enemy and drove them back.

At this moment a squadron of cavalry rode furiously down upon our line. Scarce had we time to form. The square was only complete in front when they were upon the points of our bayonets. Many of our men were out of place. There was a good deal of jostling for a minute or two, and a good deal of laughing. Our quarter-master lost his bonnet in riding into the square; got it up, put it on, back foremost, and were it thus all day. Not a moment had we to regard our dress. A French general lay dead in the square -- he had a number of ornaments upon his breast. Our men fell to plucking them off, pushing each other as they passed, and snatching at them.

We stood in square for some time, whilst the 13th dragoons and a squadron of French dragoons were engaged. The 13th dragoons retiring to the rear of our column, we gave the French a volley, which put them to the right-about, then the 13th at them again. They did this for some time; we cheering the 13th, and feeling every blow they received.

The whole army retired to the heights in the rear; the French closely pursuing to our formation, where we stood, four deep, for a considerable time. As we fell back, a shot cut the straps of the knapsack of one near me: it fell, and was rolling away. He snatched it up, saying 'I am not to lose you that way, you are all I have in the world,' tied it on the best manner he could, and marched on.

Lord Wellington came riding up. We formed square, with him in our centre, to receive cavalry. Shortly the whole army received orders to advance. We moved forwards in two columns, four deep, the French retiring at the same time. We were charged several times in our advance. This was our last effort; nothing could impede us. The whole of the enemy retired, leaving their guns and ammunition, and every other thing behind. We moved on towards a village, and charged right through, killing great numbers, the village was so crowded. We then formed on the other side of it, and, lay down under the canopy of heaven, hungry and weary to death. We had been oppressed, all day, by the weight of our blankets and greatcoats, which were drenched with rain, and lay upon our shoulders like logs of wood."

The 71st had Brevet Major Edmund L'Estranege, aide-de-camp to Major-General Sir Denis Pack, and Ensign John Tod killed. The following officers were wounded: the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the battalion, Colonel Thomas Reynell; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Jones; Captains Samuel Reed, Donald Campbell, William Alexander Grant, James Henderson, and Brevet Major Charles Johnstone; Lieutenants Joseph Barrallier, Robert Lind, John Roberts, James Coates, Robert Law, Carique Lewin, and Lieutenant and Adjutant William Anderson.

The number of serjeants, buglers, and rank and file killed amounted to 29; 166 were wounded, and 36 died of their wounds."

The 71st afterwards marched to Paris with the rest of the army, and was encamped in the Champs Elysées, continuing there till the beginning of November, when it proceeded to Versailles, and to Viarmes in December. On the 21st of December the second battalion was disbanded at Glasgow, the effective officers and men being transferred to the first battalion.

In January 1816 the regiment marched to the Pas de Calais, where it was cantoned in several villages. On the 21st of June the 71st was formed in hollow square upon the bruyère of Rombly for the purpose of receiving, the medals which had been granted by the Prince Regent to the officers and men for their services at Waterloo, when Colonel Reynell addressed the regiment as follows :

"SEVENTY-FIRST,-The deep interest which you will all give me credit for feeling in everything that affects the corps, cannot fail to be awakened upon an occasion such as the present, when holding in my hands, to transfer to yours, these honourable rewards bestowed by your sovereign for your share in the great and glorious exertions of the army of His Grace the Duke of Wellington upon the field of Waterloo, when the utmost efforts of the army of France, directed by Napoleon, reputed to be the first captain of the age, were not only paralysed at the moment, but blasted beyond the power of even a second struggle.

"To have participated in a contest crowned with victory so decisive, and productive of consequences that have diffused peace, security, and happiness throughout Europe, may be to each of you a source of honourable pride, as well as of gratitude to the Omnipotent Arbiter of all human contests, who preserved you in such peril, and without whose protecting hand the battle belongs not to the strong, nor the race to the swift.

"I acknowledge to feel an honest and, I trust, excusable exultation in having had the honour to command you on that day; and in dispensing these medals, destined to record in your families the share you had in the ever memorable battle of Waterloo, it is a peculiar satisfaction to me that I can present them to those by whom they have been fairly and honourably earned, and that I can here solemnly declare that, in the course of that eventful day, I did not observe a soldier of this good regiment whose conduct was not only creditable to the English nation, but such as his dearest friends could desire.

"Under such agreeable reflections, I request you to accept these medals, and to wear them with becoming pride, as they are incontestable proofs of a faithful discharge of your duty to your king and your country. I trust that they will act as powerful talismans, to keep you, in your future lives, in the paths of honour, sobriety, and virtue."

The regiment received new colours on the 13th of January 1817; they were presented by Major-General Sir Denis Pack, a name intimately associated with some of our Highland regiments. On this occasion he addressed them as follows :-

"SEVENTY-FIRST REGIMENT, Officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, it affords me the greatest satisfaction, at the request of your commanding officer, Colonel Reynell, to have the honour of presenting these colours to you.

"There are many who could perform the office with a better grace, but there is no one, believe me, who is more sensible of the merit of the corps, or who is more anxious for its honour and welfare.

"I might justly pay to the valour and good conduct of those present the compliments usual on such occasions, but I had rather offer the expression of my regard and admiration of that excellent esprit-de-corps and real worth which a ten years' intimate knowledge of the regiment has taught me so highly to appreciate. I shall always look back with pleasure to that long period in which I had the good fortune to be your commanding officer, and during which time I received from the officers the most cordial and zealous assistance in support of discipline; from the non-commissioned officers proofs of the most disinterested regard for His Majesty's service and the welfare of their regiment; and I witnessed on the part of the privates and the corps at large a fidelity to their colours in South America, as remarkable under such trying circumstances as their valour has at all times been conspicuous in the field. I am most happy to think that there is no drawback to the pleasure all should feel on, this occasion. Your former colours were mislaid after a féte given in London to celebrate the Duke of Wellington's return after his glorious termination of the peninsular war, and your colonel, Gms, or the glory of the British empire more pre-eminent than at this moment, an enthusiastic recollection of which the sight of theseneral Francis Dundas, has sent you three very handsome ones to replace them. On them are emblazoned some of His Grace's victories, in which the 71st bore a most distinguished part, and more might be enumerated which the corps might well be proud of. There are still in our ranks valuable officers who have witnessed the early glories of the regiment in the East, and its splendid career since is fresh in the memory of all. Never, indeed, did the character of the corps stand higher; never was the fame of the British are colours must always inspire.

"While you have your present commanding officer to lead you, it is unnecessary for me to add anything to excite such a spirit; but were I called upon to do so, I should have only to hold up the example of those who have fallen in your ranks, and, above all, point to the memory of that hero who so gloriously fell at your head."

After remaining in France until the end of October 1818, the 71st embarked for England, and arrived at Dover on the 29th of that month, proceeding to Chelmsford, where the establishment was reduced from 810 to 650 rank and file.