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The Black Watch at Ticonderoga and Major Duncan Campbell of Inverawe

Frederick B. Richards

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
A residence of ten years in Ticonderoga inspired me with an appreciation of the history of that most historic spot in America, and when as secretary of the Ticonderoga Historical Society I was instrumental in securing the erection of the Black Watch Memorial in that village, I became particularly interested in the record of that famous Highland Regiment which this building commemorates. It has for several years been my wish to write so complete an account of the Black Watch at Ticonderoga that one would need look in no other place for any detail in the history of that regiment from the time it left Scotland in 1756 until after the capture of Ticonderoga by Amherst in 1759. As a meeting of the New York State Historical Association on Lake Champlain seemed an appropriate time to present such a paper and the printed histories of that period give only meagre accounts on this subject, Mrs. Richards and I made this an excuse for a trip to the British Isles and a large part of August and September, 1910, was spent on a Black Watch pilgrimage. We had a very enjoyable trip and gained many interesting facts but I am sorry to say that the story is still far from complete. The reason for the lack of more detailed information about the Regiment in the Ticonderoga period is found in the following which is copied from the preface of Stewart of Garth’s first edition: “The origin of these Sketches and Military Details was simply this: When the Forty-second regiment was removed from Dublin to Donaghadee in the year 1771, the baggage was sent round by sea. The vessel having it on board was unfortunately driven on shore by a gale of wind, and wrecked; the greater part of the cargo and baggage was lost, and the portion saved, especially the regimental books and records, was much injured. A misfortune somewhat similar occurred, when the army, under the Earl of Moira, landed at Ostend in June, 1794. The transports were ordered round to Helvoetsluys, with orders to wait the further movements of the troops. But the vessels had not been long there, when the enemy invaded Holland in great force, and, entering Helvoetsluys, seized on the transports in the harbour. Among the number of vessels taken were those which had conveyed the Forty-second to Flanders, having on board every article of regimental baggage, except the knapsacks with which the officers and soldiers had landed at Ostend in light marching order. Along with the baggage, a well-selected library, and, what was more to be regretted, all that remained of the historical records of the regiment, from the period of its formation till the year 1793, fell into the hands of the enemy.