Culloden: The Night March
The Night March: 15th - 16th April 1746
On the evening of the 15th April 1746 the Jacobite led by Bonnie
Prince Charlie prepared to surprise the sleeping Government forces of
the Duke of Cumberland in a night attack.
The night march was a disaster as the trailing column of 3000 men
began to disintegrate across rough moor and thick woodland. Hungry and
exhausted the Jacobites became disorientated in the pitch black of
night and with the element of surprise lost the march was eventually
abandoned. As dawn approached the Jacobites made their way back having
marched 20 miles in the cold and wet. That morning the Jacobites faced
a well fed and rested Government Army and ultimately their defeat on
Culloden Moor, 16th April 1746.
The Night March, organised by the Director of the Centre for
Battlefield Archaeology Dr Tony Pollard, aims to retrace the steps of
the Jacobite army as accurately as possible. The team, some dressed in
traditional plaid, will walk the 20 miles beginning on the evening of
the 15th April and arriving at Culloden Moor in the early hours of the
16th April as the Jacobites did 263 years ago.
“It will give us and idea of how long the march took and how
exhausted the men would have been. It was pouring of rain and freezing
cold, so it must have been absolutely horrific. At the end of it we can
look forward to a hot cup of tea. The best that some could look forward
to was a very violent death” Dr Tony Pollard.
The march is in aid of the Centre’s adopted charity Erskine, caring for ex service men and women. If you would like to support this event and Erskine please donate generously via this fundraising page www.justgiving.com/nightmarch.
The Times 16 April 2009: In the steps of the Culloden night raiders