Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
The monument is surrounded by thistle and heather and the sighs of more than 1500 Jacobites who lost their lives April 16, 1746 on Culloden Moor.
The plaque on the monument reads:
"The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor, 16th April, 1746. The graves of the gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland and Prince Charlie are marked by the names of their clans."
It had been a long and bitter morning, made the more unbearable by the long cold, march the night before. Exhausted, soldiers had slipped away before dawn to snatch a bit of rest or perhaps a bite of food. The army that was rallied at dawn, April 16, 1746, was not the same as the one Prince Charlie had commanded only hours before.
They lined up on Culloden Moor, a difficult place for a battle, as its boggy ground did not allow for much progress from either the Jacobite or the Government side. Bombarded by mortar and cannon shot, the Jacobites held back, awaiting the command to charge. The air was filled with smoke, hail, gunfire and canister shot. When at last given the command to attack, the Jacobites fought ferociously, though many never reached the government lines. The feared Highland Charge was countered by a new bayonet tactic by the government soldiers, and it is believed more than 700 Jacobite soldiers were killed within a few minutes of intense hand-to-hand fighting. The Jacobite charge broke through the government line, but was forced back.
I walked the moor--drained years ago and not boggy this day. The sky lowered, promising rain. Visitors slipped past me, searching for cairn markers, remnants of the battle. And the ghostly voices of soldiers dipped and swayed above the moor.
You can almost hear the rattle of musketry in the rustle of the tall grass, smell the smoke in the heavy clouds.
And perhaps even see the flutter of Prince Charlie's flag in the dip and sway of the wildflowers.
The moor casts its spell on all who linger. And the ghosts whisper their betrayal and sorrow to those who believe.
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