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As I have mentioned a few times, my parents are in the midst of a trip to Scotland. During the trip, my parents have been acting as “roving reporters”. Today’s post involves some interesting facts about the Battle of Culloden – one of the sites mentioned in the Outlander books and TV series. For previous posts in the series, see
- I’m going to Europe (for 250,000 miles)
- Getting ready for a week in Scotland
- Turkish Airlines Lounge review Washington Dulles / IAD
- “Today was the worst day of my life“
- Riding the Hogwarts Express – the Jacobite Steam train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct
- Aer Lingus Business Class review IAD-DUB
- Scotland’s amazing Falkirk Wheel
- What to do with two days in Edinburgh Scotland
- 9 traditional Scottish foods to try (besides haggis)
Today’s post comes from my Mom who reports on the battlefield that they visited at the Battle of Culloden
On Wednesday, we drove from Fort William to Culloden. The Battle of Culloden was a famous / infamous battle site in Scotland. Bonnie Prince Charlie, who had a claim to the thrones of Scotland and England, decided to come over from France to try to take “his” throne by force. The French were allegedly going to help him, but that didn’t materialize. He was charming, Catholic, and Scottish, and was able to raise up the highland clans to support him. There were some early victories against the government, but it eventually came to a head at the battlefield of The Battle of Culloden Moor.
The Scots were vastly outnumbered but brave and full of heart. There choice of a battle site left much to be desired. The night before, the English were camped and partying, as it was the Duke of Cumberland’s birthday. The Scots did and all night march to give them a surprise battle, which, if it had worked, might have made a difference. Despite it being Scotland, and their home territory, the Scots got lost, never found them, and marched back to Culloden. Obviously fatigued after the all night journey, Prince Charlie decided that they would fight there.
A map of the Culloden Battlefield Trail at the Battle of Culloden, Scotland
The home field advantage being to the Scots, you would have thought that they would take to the hills, being so outnumbered. They knew every nook and cranny at the Battle of Culloden, were used to the altitude, and were fighting people who fought in long straight lines with muskets and cannon, whereas the Scots were mostly using swords and shields. Over the boggy moor they charged, and were mowed down by cannonballs and cannon shot, and by muskets that were fired three times per minute. 700 Scots died in three minutes, and the whole battle lasted only about an hour.
The Duke of Cumberland earned his nickname of “the butcher”, as no quarter was given. They killed any wounded Scots, hunted down and killed any Scot who was in the battle. They beheaded all clan chieftains, regardless of whose side they had taken in the war. The wearing of the tartan and the playing of bagpipes were forbidden. They imprisoned so many Scots that they didn’t have the means to try them. So, they divided them into lots of twenty, tried one of the group, and carried out his sentence on the other nineteen. Sentences were either death (hung, drawn and quartered), indentured servitude in the colonies, or joining the English army that had just devastated them. If they joined the army, paradoxically, they were allowed to wear tartan and use the bagpipes. Here’s the Battle of Culloden house
The Battle of Culloden totally changed the face of Scotland, and also of America, as so many Scots were sent here.
BTW, the book, OUTLANDER, was brought up several times by people in museums, etc., describing what was and was not real at the Battlefield of Culloden
The entire battlefield is considered a graveyard.
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