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    Red Hackle day

    Greetings all. Happy New Year & Salutations for Red Hackle Day.

    Although as we know the story of the Red Hackle remains mysterious, there was nonetheless a fight at the village of Geldermalsen on 5th January 1795, in which the 42nd Royal Highlanders were engaged, and suffered their only fatal casualty of the campaign.

    Here, in a less familiar account of the action, is a rarely told episode involving the Black Watch. The recapture of the guns, omitted in this version as well as in Stewart's history of the 42nd in the same work, was not their only contribution that day.

    'The army lay on the snow for two nights, and, on the 31st, were put into barns till they were removed to Gildermalsen, on which place the enemy advanced in force on the 5th of January 1795.

    The 78th was drawn up in two wings in front of the village, leaving the road open between the wings, and having the Light company, with two howitzer guns, in advance. The 42d, in support, occupied the different avenues to the village; the 12th and 19th regiments were at some distance to the right, and the 33d, with a squadron of the 11th dragoons, in the advanced post of Meteren. The enemy made his attack with such vivacity, that the outposts were quickly driven in.

    A regiment of French Hussars, dressed in an uniform similar to that of the emigrant regiment of Choiseul in our service, pushed forward under cover of this deception, and galloped along the road, with great fury, crying "Choiseul, Choiseul!" This so far succeeded, that they were allowed to get close to the advanced company of the 78th before the truth was discovered, when they were instantly attacked and checked, but not sufficiently to prevent a part pushing, at full speed, through the intervals between the two wings towards the village. Here they were met by the Light company of the 42d, whose fire drove them back, and scattered them in an instant.'

    '78th or Ross-shire Buffs. Military Annals,Sketches of the Highlanders, etc.' Col. David Stewart, 1822.

    Nemo me impune lacessit
    Last edited by Jf42; 5th January 2018 at 19:02.


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