Military history pages..

Lord Macleod's Highlanders

Formerly Seventy-Third Regiment,

Now Seventy-First Or Glasgow

Highland Light Infantry.


Raising of the Regiment - First Battalion in India - Perambaucum - Porto-Novo - Cuddalore - Number of Regiment changed to 71st - War with Tippoo Saib - Bangalore - Seringapatam - Nundydroog - Savendroog - Seringapatam - Ceylon.

This regiment took its original name from Lord Macleod, eldest son of the Earl of Cromarty, both of whom were engaged in the rebellion of 1745. Having on account of his youth, received an unconditional pardon for his share in that transaction, Lord Macleod went abroad in quest of employment in foreign service. He sojourned some time at Berlin with Field Marshal Keith, through whose interest, it is believed, he obtained a commission in the Swedish army. At this time his means were so limited that he was unable to equip himself for the service, but the Chevalier de St George, on the recommendation of Lord George Murray, sent him a sum of money to defray the expenses of his outfit. He is described by Lord George as "a young man of real merit," who, he was hopeful, would gain the good opinion of those under whom he was to serve. This expectation was fully realized, and after serving the crown of Sweden twenty-seven years with distinguished efficiency, he obtained the rank of Lieutenant-general.

Though exiled so long from his native country, his attachment to the land of his birth was not in the least abated, and, desirous of revisiting it he returned to England in the year 1777, and was presented to George Ill., who received him very graciously. At the suggestion of Colonel Duff of Muirtown, who had served in Keith's Highlanders, and encouraged by the favourable reception he met with in the North, he offered his services to raise a regiment. The offer was accepted, and although without property or political consequence, yet so great was the influence of his name, that 840 Highlanders were raised and marched to Elgin in a very short time. In addition to these, 236 Lowlanders were raised by Captains the Honourable John Lindsay, David Baird, James Fowlis, and other officers, besides 34 English and Irish, who were enlisted in Glasgow making in all 1100 men. The corps was embodied at Elgin, and inspected there by General Skene in April 1778. About this time letters of service were issued for raising a second battalion of the same size, as the first, a service which was speedily performed. The men of both battalions, of whom nearly 1800 were from those parts of the Highlands where the interest of Lord Macleod's family had once predominated, were of a robust constitution and of exemplary behaviour.


Colonel-John Lord Macleod.

Lieut.-Colonel-Duncan McPherson.



John Elphinston.

James Mackenzie.



George Mackenzie.

Hugh Lamont

Alexander Gilchrist.

Hon. James Lindsay.

John Shaw.

David Baird.

Charles Dalrymple.


Captain Lieutenant and Captain, David Campbell.



A. Geddes Mackenzie.

Simon Mackenzie.

Hon. John Lindsay.

Philip Melvill.

Abraham Mackenzie, Adjt.

John Mackenzie.

Alexander Mackenzie.

John Borthwick.

James Robertson.

William Gunn.

John Hamilton.

William Charles Gorrie.

John Hamilton.

Hugh Sibbald.

Lewis Urquhart.

David Rainnie.

George Ogilvie.

Charles Munro.

Innis Munro.



James Duncan.

George Sutherland.

Simon Mackenzie.

James Thrail.

Alexander Mackenzie.

Hugh Dalrymple.

John Sinclair.


Chaplain-Colin Mackenzie.

Adjutant-Abraham Mackenzie.

Quartermaster-John Lytrott.

Surgeon-Alexander MacDougall.



Colonel-John Lord Macleod.

Lieut.-Colonel-The Hon. George Mackenzie.



Hamilton Maxwell.

Norman Macleod.



Hon. Colin Lindsay.

Mackay Hugh Baillie.

John Mackintosh.

Stair Park Dalrymple.

James Foulis.

David Ross.

Robert Sinclair.

Adam Colt.



Norman Maclean.

Angus Mackintosh.

John Irving.

John Fraser.

Rod. Mackenzie, senior.

Robert Arbuthnot.

Charles Douglas.

David MacCulloch.

Rod. Mackenzie, junior.

Murdoch Mackenzie.

Phineas Mackintosh.

George Fraser.

John Mackenzie. Senior.

John Mackenzie, junior.

Alexander Mackenzie.

Martin Eccles Lindsay.

Phipps Wharton.

John Dallas.

Laughlan MacLaughlan.

David Ross.

Kenneth Mackenzie.

William Erskine.



John Fraser.

John Forbes.

John MacDougal.

Æneas Fraser.

Hugh Gray.

William. Rose.

John Mackenzie.

Simon Fraser, Adjutant.


Chaplain--Æneas Macleod.

Adjutant--Simon Fraser.

Quartermaster-Charles Clark.

Surgeon-Andrew Cairncross.

The first battalion, under Lord Macleod embarked for the East Indies in January 1779, and arrived in Madras Roads on, the 20th of January 1780. The second battalion, under the command of the Honourable Lieut.-Colonel George Mackenzie, brother of Lord Macleod, was sent to Gibraltar, where, it landed two days before the arrival of the first battalion at Madras.

The second battalion formed part of the garrison of Gibraltar during the siege, which lasted upwards of three years. In this, the only service in which it was engaged, the battalion had 30 privates killed and 7 sergeants, and 121 rank and file wounded. In May 1783 it returned to England, and was reduced at Stirling in October following. The officers who were regimentally senior in rank had liberty granted to join the first battalion in India.

The first battalion joined the army under Major-General Sir Hector Munro, and assembled at St Thomas's Mount, near Madras, in July 1780. This force amounted to 5209 men, and, with the exception of one battalion of the Company's European troops and the Grenadiers of another and 800 Highlanders, consisted of native troops.

This young and untried regiment had scarcely arrived in India, when Hyder Ali, forcing his way through the Ghauts, at the head of 100,000 men, burst like a mountain torrent into the Carnatic. He had interposed his vast army between that of the British, commanded by Sir Hector Monro, and a smaller force, under the command of Colonel Baillie, which were Endeavouring to form a junction. The latter having, though victorious, sustained a serious loss in an engagement with Hyder Ali's troops, sent to the commander an account of his difficult position, stating that, from the loss he had sustained and his total want of provisions, he was equally unable to advance or remain in his then situation. With the advice of a council of war, Sir Hector judged the only course was to endeavour to aid Colonel Baillie, with such reinforcement as would enable him to push forward in defiance of the enemy. The detachment selected for this enterprise consisted of about 1,000 men under Colonel Fletcher; and its main force was composed of the grenadier and infantry companies of Lord Macleod's regiment, commanded by Captain Baird. Hyder Ali having gained intelligence of this movement, sent a strong body to cut them off on their way, but, by adopting a long circuitous route, and marching by night, they at length safely effected a junction with Colonel Baillie. With the most consummate skill, however, Hyder, determining that they should never return, prepared an ambuscade, into which, early on the morning of the 10th of September, they unwarily advanced. The enemy, with admirable coolness and self-command, reserved their fire till the unhappy British were in the very midst of them. The army under the command of Colonels Baillie and Fletcher, and Captain Baird, marched in column. On a sudden, whilst in a narrow defile, a battery of twelve guns opened upon them, and, loaded with grape-shot, poured in upon their right flank. The British faced about; another battery opened immediately upon their rear. They had no choice therefore, but to advance; other batteries met them here likewise, and in less than half an hour fifty-seven pieces of cannon, brought to bear on them at all points, penetrated into every part of the British line. By seven o'clock in the morning the enemy poured down upon them in thousands: Captain Baird and his grenadiers fought with the greatest heroism. Surrounded and attacked on all sides, by 25,000 cavalry, by thirty regiments of Sepoy infantry, besides Hyder's European corps, and a numerous artillery playing upon them from all quarters, within grape shot distance, vet did this gallant column stand firm and undaunted, alternately facing their enemies on every side of attack. The French officers in Hyder's camp beheld with astonishment the British Grenadiers, under Captain Baird's command, performing their evolutions in the midst of all the tumult and extreme peril, with as much precision, coolness, and steadiness, as if upon a parade ground, The little army so unexpectedly assailed, had only ten pieces of cannon, but these made such havoc amongst the, enemy, that after a doubtful contest of three hours, from six in the morning till nine, victory began to declare for the British. The flower of the Mysore cavalry, after many bloody repulses, were at length entirely defeated, with great slaughter, and the right wing, composed of Hyder's best forces, was thrown into disorder. Hyder himself was about to give orders for retreat, and, the French officer who directed the artillery began to draw it off, when an unforeseen and unavoidable disaster occurred, which totally changed the fortune of the day. By some unhappy accident the tumbrels which contained the ammunition suddenly blew up in the centre of the British lines. One whole face of their column was thus entirely laid open, and their artillery overturned and destroyed. The destruction of men was great, but the total loss of their ammunition was still more fatal to the survivors. Tippoo Sahib, the son of Hyder, instantly seized the moment of advantage, and without waiting for orders, fell with the utmost rapidity, at the head of the Mogul and Carnatic horse, into the broken square, which had not had time to recover its form and order. This attack by the enemy's cavalry being immediately seconded by the French corps, and by the first line of infantry, determined at once the fate of our unfortunate army. After successive prodigies of valour, the brave Sepoys were almost to a man cut to pieces. Colonels Baillie and Fletcher, assisted by Captain Baird, made one more desperate effort. They rallied the Europeans, and, under the fire of the whole immense artillery of the enemy, gained a little eminence, and formed themselves into a new square. In this form did this intrepid band, though totally without ammunition, the officers fighting only with their swords and the soldiers with their bayonets, resist and repulse the myriad's of the enemy in thirteen different attacks; until at length, incapable of withstanding the successive torrents of fresh troops which were continually pouring upon them, they were fairly borne down and trampled upon, many of them still continuing to fight under the very legs of the horses and elephants. To save the lives of the few brave men who survived, Colonel Baillie had displayed his handkerchief on his sword, as a flag of truce; quarter was promised, but no sooner had the troops laid down their arms than they were attacked with savage fury by the enemy. By the humane interference, however, of the French officers in Hyder's service, many lives were saved. Colonel Fletcher was slain on the field. Colonel Baillie, severely wounded, and several other officers, with two hundred Europeans, were made prisoners. When brought into the presence of Hyder, he, with true Asiatic barbarism, received them with the most insolent triumph. The British officers, with a spirit worthy of their country, retorted with an indignant coolness and contempt. "Your son will inform you," said Colonel Baillie, "that you owe the victory to our disaster, rather than to our defeat." Hyder angrily ordered them from his presence, and commanded them instantly to prison. Captain Baird had received two sabre wounds on his head a ball in his thigh, and a pike-wound in his arm. He lay a long time on the field of battle, narrowly escaping death from some of the more ferocious of the Mysore cavalry, who traversed the field spearing the wounded, and at last being unable to reach the force under Munro, he was obliged to surrender to the enemy. The result of this battle was the immediate retreat of the main army under Sir Rector Munro to Madras. Colonel Baillie, Captain Baird and five other British officers were marched to one of Hyder's nearest forts, and afterwards removed to Seringapatam, where they were joined by others, of their captive countrymen, and subjected to a most horrible and protracted imprisonment. It was commonly believed in Scotland that Captain Baird was chained by the leg to another man; and Sir Walter Scott, writing in May 1821 to his son, then a cornet of dragoons, with his regiment in Ireland, when Sir David was commander of the forces there, says, "I remember a story that when report came to Europe that Tippoo's prisoners (of whom Baird was one) were chained together two and two, his mother said, "God pity the poor lad that's chained to our Davie!" She knew him to be active, spirited and daring, and probably thought that he would make some desperate effort to escape. But it was not the case that he was chained to another. On the 10th of May all the prisoners had been put in irons except Captain Baird; this indignity he was not subjected to till the 10th of November following.

"When they were about," says his biographer, "to put the irons on Captain Baird, who was completely disabled in his right leg, in which the wound was still open, and whence the ball had just then been extracted, his friend Captain Lucas, who spoke the language perfectly, sprang forward, and represented in very strong terms to the Myar the barbarity of fettering him while in such a dreadful state, and assured him that death would be the inevitable termination of Captain Baird's sufferings if the intention were persisted in. The Myar replied that the Circar had sent as many pairs of irons as there were prisoners, and they must be put on. Captain Lucas then offered to wear two acts himself, in order to save his friend. This noble act of generosity moved the compassion even of the Myar, who said he, would send to the Kellidar, (commander of the fort) to open the book of fate. He did so, and when the messenger returned, he said the book had been opened, and Captain Baird's fate was good; and the irons were in consequence not put on at that time. Could they really have looked into the volume of futurity, Baird would undoubtedly have been the last man to be spared." Each pair of irons was nine pounds weight. Captain Lucas died in prison. Captain Baird lived to revenge the sufferings which he and his, fellow-prisoners endured by the glorious conquest of Seringapatam on the 4th of May, 1799.

Some time after the battle of Conjeveram, Lord Macleod took ship for England, having, it is said, differed in opinion with General Munro on the subject of his movements, particularly those preceding Colonel Baillie's disaster. He was succeeded in the command of the 73d by Colonel James Crawford, who, with the regiment now reduced to 500 men, joined the army under Sir Eyre Coote on the morning of the 1st of July 1781, when about to attack the enemy at Porto Novo.

General Coote's army did not exceed 8000 men, of which the 73d was the only British regiment. The force under Hyder Ali consisted of 25 battalions of infantry, 400 Europeans, between 40,000 and 50,000 horse, and above 100,000 matchlock men, peons, and polygars, with 47 pieces of cannon. Notwithstanding this immense disparity of force, Sir Eyre Coote determined to attack Hyder, and, accordingly, drew up his army in two lines, the first commanded by Major-general Hector Munro, and the second by Major-general James Stewart. A plain divided the two armies, beyond which the enemy were drawn up on ground strengthened by front and flanking redoubts and batteries. General Coote advanced to the attack at nine o'clock, and, after a contest of eight hours, the enemy was forced from all his entrenchments, and compelled to retire.

The 73d was on the right of the first line, and led all the attacks, to the full approbation of General Coote, whose notice was particularly attracted by one of the pipers, who always blew up his most warlike sounds whenever the fire became hotter than ordinary. This so pleased the General that he cried aloud, "Well done, my brave fellow, you shall have a pair of silver pipes for this!" The promise was not forgotten and a handsome pair of pipes was presented to the regiment, with an inscription in testimony of the General's esteem for its conduct and character.

After a variety of movements, both armies again met August 27th, near Perambaucum, the spot so fatal to Colonel Baillie's detachment.

"Perhaps there come not within the wide range of human imagination scenes more affecting or circumstances more touching than many of our army had that day to witness and to bear. On the very spot where they stood lay strewed amongst their feet the relics of their dearest fellow soldiers and friends, who near twelve months before had been slain by the hands of those very inhuman monsters that now appeared a second time eager to complete the work of blood. One poor soldier, with the tear of affection glistening in his eye, picked up the decaying spatterdash of his valued brother, with the name yet entire upon it, which the tinge of blood and effects of weather had kindly spared. Another discovered the club or plaited hair of his bosom friend, which he himself had helped to form, and knew by the tie and still remaining colour. A third mournfully recognised the feather which had decorated the cap of his inseparable companion. The scattered clothes and wigs of the flank companies of the 73d were everywhere perceptible as also their helmets and skulls, both of which bore the marks of many furrowed cuts.

These horrid spectacles, too melancholy to dwell upon, while they melted the hardest hearts, inflamed our soldiers with an enthusiasm and thirst for revenge such as render men invincible; but their ardour was necessarily checked by the involved situation of the army."

Hyder Ali, in anticipation of an attack, had taken up a strong position on ground intersected by deep water courses and ravines. The British commander formed his line of battle under a heavy fire, which the troops bore with firmness. An obstinate contest took place, which lasted from nine in the morning till sunset. Hyder then abandoned his position, leaving General Coote master of the field of battle. The loss of the British was upwards of 400 killed and wounded, almost all native troops.

Colonel Crawford having become second in command, in consequence of the departure of General Munro for England, and the disabling of General Stewart in the last-mentioned action, Captain Shaw assumed the command of the 73d regiment. It continued attached to General Coote's army, and was present at the battles of Sholungar on the 27th of September 1781, and of Arnee on the 2d of June 1782.1

Having obtained reinforcements from England, General Stewart, who had recovered from his wounds, and succeeded to the command of the army on the death of General Coote, who died in April 1783, resolved to attack Cuddalore, the garrison of which had also obtained considerable additions from the Isle of France. General Stuart accordingly appeared before the place on the 6th of June 1783, and as M. Bussy, who commanded the garrison, was active in increasing his means of defence he determined to make a speedy attack, and fixed the morning of the 13th for that purpose. The firing of three guns from a hill was to be the signal for a simultaneous assault at three different points; but in consequence of the noise of the cannonade which was immediately opened, the signals were not distinguished, and the attacks were not made at the same time. The enemy were thus enabled to direct their whole forces against each successive attack, and the result was, that one of the divisions was driven back. In the ardour of the pursuit, the besieged evacuated their redoubts, which were instantly taken possession of by Lieutenant-colonel Cathcart with the Grenadiers, and Lieutenant-colonel Stuart "with the precious remains of the 73d regiment." Though Colonel Stuart's party were forced to retire from the more advanced posts, yet as they retained possession of the principal redoubts, the advantage already was on the side of the British. In the belief that the French would retire from all their advanced posts during the night, General Stuart did not attempt to carry them. This expectation was realised. In this affair the 73d had Captains Alexander Mackenzie. and the Honourable James Lindsay, Lieutenants Simon Mackenzie and James Trail, 4 sergeants and 80 rank and file killed; and Captain John Hamilton, Lieutenants Charles Gorrie, David Rainnie, John Sinclair, James Duncan, and George Sutherland, 5 sergeants, and 107 rank and file wounded. The casualties of the enemy exceeded 1000 men.

The following flattering compliment formed part of the general orders issued by the Commander-in-chief at the conclusion of the battle:- "I am also grateful to Captain Lamont and the officers under his command, who gallantly led the precious remains of the 73d regiment through the most perilous road to glory, until exactly one half of the officers and men of the battalion were either killed or wounded."

With the aid of 2400 men from the fleet, under Admiral Suffrein, Bussy made a spirited sortie on the 25th of June, but was driven back with great loss. Hostilities terminated on the 1st of July in consequence of accounts of the signature of preliminaries of peace between Great Britain and France having been received. The army returned to St Thomas's Mount at the conclusion of the definitive treaty of peace, in March, 1784.

In consequence of the arrangements made when the second battalion was reduced, the Honourable Lieutenant-Colonel George Mackenzie, and some other officers of that corps, joined the regiment in 1785. Next year the number of the regiment was changed to the 71st, on which occasion it received new colours. The same year the corps sustained a heavy loss by the death of Colonel Mackenzie, when Captain (afterwards General Sir David) Baird was appointed Major. Lord Macleod died in 1789, and was succeeded in the Colonelcy by the Honourable Major-General William Gordon. The strength of the regiment was at this time about 800 men, having been kept up to that number by occasional detachments from Scotland.

The war between Tippoo Sahib and the East India Company, which broke out in 1790, brought the regiment again into active service. In May of that year, the 71st and Seaforth's Highlanders (now the 72d), joined a large army assembled at Trichinopoly, the command of which was assumed by Major-General Meadows. The right wing was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel James Stuart, and the left by Lieutenant-Colonel Bridges, while the two Highland regiments formed the second brigade. In the campaign against Tippoo, the 71st followed all the movements of the army. The flank companies were employed in the attack on Dundegul, and the regiment was after the capture of that place, engaged in the siege of Palacatcherry.

Lord Cornwallis joined the army early in 1791 as Commander-in-chief, and, after various movements, encamped close to Bangalore on the 5th of March. He made an assault on the 21st, and carried the place with little loss. The attack was led by the flank companies, including those of the 71st, all under the command of the Honourable John Lindsay and Captain James Robertson, son of Principal Robertson the historian.

Having obtained a reinforcement of 10,000 well-mounted native cavalry and some European troops from the Carnatic, Lord Cornwallis advanced upon Seringapatam, and on the 13th of May came within sight of the enemy, drawn up a few miles from the town, having the river on their right, and the heights of Carrighaut on their left. On the 15th the enemy were forced from a strong position, and driven across the river into the island on which the capital stands. In this affair the 71st had Lieutenant Roderick Mackenzie, and 7 rank and file killed; and Ensign (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel of the 50th regiment2) Chas. Stewart, and 74 rank and file wounded.

The advanced state of the season, and other unfavourable, circumstances operating against a siege, Lord Cornwallis retired to Bangalore. From this place he detached Major Gowdie to attack Nundydroog, a strong fortified granite rock of great height. Except on one side this fortress was inaccessible, and care had been taken to strengthen that part by a double line of ramparts; and an outwork covered the gate, by a flanking fire. Notwithstanding its great elevation, and very steep ascent, Nundydroog could still be approached, though it required immense labour to render the approaches available. After fourteen days intense exertion, the besiegers succeeded in drawing up some guns, and erecting batteries on the face of a craggy precipice, from which they made two breaches, one on the re-entering angle of the outwork, and the other in the curtain of the outer wall. Moving with his whole army towards Nundydroog, on the 18th of October, Lord Cornwallis made preparations for storming the place. An assault by night having been determined upon, Lieutenant Hugh Mackenzie, (afterwards paymaster of the 71st,) with twenty grenadiers of the 36th and 71st regiments, was to lead the attack on the right, and Lieutenant Moore, with twenty light infantry, and two flank companies of the same regiment, under the command of Lieutenants Duncan and Kenneth Mackenzie, was to lead the left. The whole was under the command of Captain (afterwards Lieutenant-General) James Robertson, supported by Captain (afterwards Major-General) Burns, with the grenadiers, and Captain Hartly with the light infantry of the 36th regiment. Whilst waiting the signal to advance, one of the soldiers whispered something about a mine. General Meadows overhearing the observation, took advantage of the circumstance, by intimating that there was a mine, but it was "a mine of gold." This remark was not thrown away upon the troops.

Apprehensive of an assault, the enemy had provided themselves with huge masses of granite to hurl down upon the besiegers when they should attempt to ascend the rock. The assault was made on the morning of the 19th. of October, in a clear moonlight, and in spite of every obstacle the assailants effected a lodgement within one hundred yards of the breach. Driven from the outward rocks, the enemy attempted to barricade the gate of the inner rampart; but it was soon forced, and the place, carried with the loss of 30 men amongst the native troops killed and wounded, principally from the stones which were rolled down the rock.

Encouraged by this success, Lord Cornwallis next laid siege to Savendroog, the strongest rock in the Mysore, and hitherto deemed impregnable. This stronghold was considerably higher than Nundydroog, and was separated by a chasm into two parts at the top, on each of which parts was a fort, but each independent of the other. The arduous duty of reducing this stronghold was entrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, who had already distinguished himself in other enterprises. Some of the outworks were battered, preparatory to an assault, which was fixed for the 21st of December. Accordingly on the morning of that day, the flank companies of the 52d, the two Highland regiments and the 76th, were assembled under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Nisbet of the 52d, and at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the party advanced to the assault to the air of Britons Strike Home, performed by the band of the 52d regiment. The assailants then ascended the rock, clambering up a precipice which was so nearly perpendicular, that after the capture of the place the men were afraid to descend. The citadel on the eastern top was soon carried, and eventually the whole of the rock, the assailants losing only two men. This success was soon followed by the capture of all the other strongholds in the Mysore.

Bent upon the capture of the Sultan's capital, the possession of which would, it was supposed, finish the war, Lord Cornwallis, in the month of January 1792, put his army in motion for Seringapatam, of which place he came in sight on the 4th of February. On the evening of the 6th he formed his army into three columns; the right column consisting of the 36th and 76th regiments, being under the command of General Meadows; the centre one, consisting of the 52d, with the 71st and 74th Highland regiments, under Lord Cornwallis, with Lieutenant-Colonels James Stuart and the Honourable John Knox; and the left column, being the 72d Highland regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell. The native troops were divided in proportion to each column. General Meadows was to penetrate the enemy's left, after which he was to attempt to open and preserve the communication with Lord Cornwallis's division, by directing all his efforts towards the centre. Part of the centre division, under Colonel Stewart, was to pierce through the centre of the enemy's camp, and attack the works on the island, while Colonel Maxwell with the left wing was directed to force the works on Carrighaut Hill, and descending thence to turn the right of the main division, and unite with Colonel Stuart. The three columns began to move at eight o'clock in the evening. "The head of the centre column led by the flank companies of the regiment, after twice crossing the Lockary, which covered the right wing of the enemy, came in contact with their first line, which was instantly driven across the north branch of the Cavery, at the foot of the glacis of the fort of Seringapatam. Captain Lindsay, with the grenadiers of the 71st, attempted to push into the body of the place, but was prevented by the raising of the drawbridge a few minutes before he advanced. He was here joined by some grenadiers and light infantry of the 52d and 76th regiments. With this united force he pushed down to the Loll Bang, where he was fiercely attacked by a body of the enemy, whom he quickly drove back with the bayonet. His numbers were soon afterwards increased by the Grenadier Company of the 74th, when he attempted to force his way into the Pettah (or town,) but was opposed by such overwhelming numbers that he did not succeed. He then took post in a small redoubt, where, he maintained himself till morning, when he moved to the north bank of the river, and joined Lieutenant-Colonels Knox and Baird, with the troops who formed the left of the attack. During these operations the battalion companies of the 52d, 71st, and 72d regiments forced their way across the river to the island, overpowering all, that opposed them. At this moment, Captain Archdeacon, commanding a battalion of Bengal sepoys, was killed. This threw the corps into some confusion, and caused it to fall back on the 71st, at the moment that Major Dalrymple was preparing to attack the Sultan's redoubt, and thus impeded his movements. However, the redoubt was attacked, and instantly carried. The command was given to Captain Sibbald, who had led the attack with his company of the 71st. The animating example and courage of this officer made the men equally irresistible in attack, and firm in the defence of the post they had gained. The enemy made several vain attempts to retake it. In one of these the brave Captain Sibbald was killed. Out of compliment to this officer, the Commander-in-chief changed the name from Sultan's to Sibbald's redoubt. In this obstinate defence the men had consumed their ammunition, when, by a fortunate circumstance, two loaded oxen of the enemy, frightened by the firing, broke loose from their drivers, and taking shelter in the ditch of this redoubt, afforded an ample and seasonable supply. The command of this post was assumed by Major Kelly of the 74th regiment, who had gone up with orders from the Commander-in-chief, and remained there after the death of Captain Sibbald. The Sultan seemed determined to recover this redoubt distinguished by his own name, and directed the French troops to attack it. But they met with no better success than the former, notwithstanding their superior discipline."

The loss of the enemy in this affair was estimated at 4000 men and 80 pieces of cannon. That on the side of the assailants was 535 men killed and wounded. Of the 71st, Captain Sibbald and Lieutenant Baine, 2 sergeants, and 34 rank and file were killed; and Ensigns Duncan Mackenzie, and William Baillie, 3 sergeants, and 67 rank and file wounded.

On the 9th of February Major-General Robert Abercromby, with the army from Bombay, consisting of the 73d and 75th Highland, and 77th, besides some native regiments, joined the besieging army. Operations for the siege were begun the same day; but nothing particular occurred till the 18th, when Major Dalrymple, to cover the opening of the trenches, crossed the Cavery at nine o'clock at night, and surprised and routed a camp of Tippoo's horse. During the three following days traverses were finished; and on the 22d the enemy, after a warm contest, were defeated by a part of the Bombay army under General Abercromby. This was the last effort of the Sultan, who sued for peace, and obtained it at the expense of nearly one-half of his dominions, which he ceded to the East India Company.

On the termination of the war, the 71st, now under the command of Lieutenant-colonel David Baird, was marched to the neighbourhood of Trichinopoly, where they remained till the breaking out of the war with France, in 1793. The flank companies were employed on the expedition against Ceylon, in the month of August that year, in which enterprise Captain Gorrie was severely wounded, and 11 men were killed and wounded.

On the 2d of January 1797, the regiment, was inspected by Major-general Clarke, who issued the following general order:

"Major General Clarke has experienced infinite satisfaction, this morning, at the review of His Majesty's 71st regiment.

"He cannot say that on any occasion of field exercise he ever was present at a more perfect performance.

"When a corps is so striking in appearance, and so complete in every branch of its discipline, little can occur to the Commander in-chief to particularise. He cannot but notice, however, that the 71st regiment has excited his admiration for its expertness in those parts of its exercise which are most essential, and most, difficult to execute. He alludes to its order and regularity when moving in line; its extreme accuracy in preserving distances, and the neatness and promptitude that so evident in all its formations. So much perfection in a corps, whose services in India will long be held in remembrance, does the greatest honour to Lieut.-Colonel Baird and all his officers, to whom, and the corps at large, the Commander-in-chief desires to offer his best thanks."

In October 1797, in, consequence of orders, all the soldiers fit for service amounting to 560 men, were drafted into the 73d and 74th, regiments; those unfit for service, along with the officers and non-commissioned. officers, sailed from Madras for England on the 17th of October, and arrived in the Thames in August 1798. The regiment was then removed to Leith, and thence to Stirling, after an absence of nearly 18 years from Scotland.3

As a mark of indulgence, a general leave of 2 months was granted to the officers and men of the, 71st to enable them to visit their friends and families, after so long an absence from their native country.


1. In these encounters the regiment suffered little loss, Munro in his narrative mentions the following case: "I take this oppportunity of commemorating the fall of John Doune Mackay, coporal in Mcleod's Highlanders, son of Robert Doune, the bard whose singular talent for the beautiful and extemporaneous composition of Gaelic poetry, was held in such esteem. This son of the bard had frequently revived the spirits of his countrymen, when drooping in a long march, by singing the humorous and lively productions of his father. He was killed by a cannon -shot, and buried with military honours by his comrades and same evening." <return>

2. He died in Spain, in the year 1810. <return>

3 On the 23d of May 1821, His Majesty King George the Fourth was graciously pleased to authorise the 71st to bear on the regimental colour and appointments the word "HINDOOSTAN," in commeration of its distinguished services in the serveral actions in which it had been engaged, while in India, between the years 1780 and 1797. <return>