Battle site of Killiecrankie (1789) ***

In this region: <<<<<   >>>>>


In 1789 the Scottish government was faced by a Jacobite rebellion led by Viscount (Bonnie) Dundee.

An army, consisting of Lowland Scots, English and Dutch forces, was assembled under the command of General Hugh Mackay. The Government troops marched to intercept the rebels at the Killicrankie Pass near Blair Castle, on the key route into the Highlands from Perth.

The Jacobites had taken up a commanding position on a ridge above the pass and, realising the futility of a frontal attack on such a strong defensive position, Mackay formed his troops in a line and simply ordered them to fire their muskets at the enemy.

With the coming of evening Dundee ordered his men to advance and the Government line was faced by a full blown highland charge. Mackay’s troops simply had no time to fix bayonets and the ensuing vicious hand-to-hand battle turned into a complete slaughter. The battle quickly turned into a rout.

Cameron of Locheil, Chief of Clan Cameron, and his men afterwards 'inspected' the field. They were shocked as the enemy lay in heaps almost in the order they were posted. So disfigured were the bodies, that even the highlanders themselves could not look upon the scene without surprise, revulsion and horror.

Although the Jacobites had secured their first victory of the rebellion, they had lost a third of their number as well as their inspirational leader Bonnie Dundee, who had been killed alongside his men in the charge.