Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (235)

(237) next ›››

  from each column and quickly spread out into
  lines of skirmishers, extending all along the
  plain from right to left.
  The French batteries tiring over the heads
  of their own advancing countrymen, caused
  great havoc in the allied ranks. A brigade of
  Dutch Belgians forming Picton's front line
  posted on the ridge, fairly bolted, ran through
  his second line to the rear without firing a
  shot; so great was their eagerness to get out of
  harm's way that they nearly ran over the
  grenadier company of the 2Sth amid the
  hootings, jeers, and execrations of the British.
  Some of the Royal Scots could scarcely be
  refrained from fii'ing upon them, but nothing
  could restrain their flight till they found them-
  selves safe behind the British ranks.
  Wellington keenly watched the formation and
  advance of this formidable body of the enemy
  upon his left and right centre. Appreciating
  its enormous strength and the weakness in
  numbers of Picton's division, the flight of the
  Dutch Belgians, and no other infantry support
  at hand, he called upon Lord Uxbridge to move
  the Household cavalry, commanded by Lord
  Edward Somerset, and take post to the right-
  rear of Picton's right brigade ( Kempt s), and
  the '• Union " brigade to advance and take post
  to the rear of his left brigade (Pack's). Ux-
  bridge rode ofi' to Lord Edward Somerset, and
  ordered him to form his brigade into line and
  wait his return. He then galloped to the
  "Union" brigade, and ordered Sir \V. Ponsonby
  to advance and take post nearer the infantry of
  Pack. The order to advance was given, and
  received with the greatest exultation. These
  gallant horsemen were impatient of being
  spectators of a scene in which they had no
  part, they now felt that their turn was at hand,
  and they were determined to give a good
  account of themselves. The lioyals, Linis-
  kiUens, and Scots Greys advanced, and in the
  most masterly style wheeled into lines to the
  rear of the infantry, presenting a beautiful
  front of about 1,200 sabres. The Scots Greys
  were ordered to form a reserve for the other
  two regiments. This done, Uxbridge rode
  down the lines, and was received with a g(;neral
  shout and cheers from the gallant brigade.
  Before leaving he gave orders that in his
  absence the brigade commanders should always
  take ujjon themselves to conform to, and
  support oli'ensive movements in their front, as
  he could not be everywhere at the proper
  moment to give orders. He also sent orders
  to Vivian and Vandeleur, who commanded the
  two brigades of light cavaky on the extreme
  left, to come to the support of the "Union"
  brigade should the necessity arise, and then
  galloped away to place himself at the head of
  the Household cavalry. He determined in his
  own mind to make that day the British cavalry
  famous in Europe, and he did,
  (7'o be continued.)
  By the late Cuthbeet Bede.
  •g^J^ T the time of which I am speaking,
  A^^ some seventy years ago, smuggling
  JP^i^ was conducted on a large scale in
  this peninsula, and with great ingenuity and
  success. The long, narrow form of (Jantire
  and its extensive sea-board, with the proximity
  of numerous islands at brief distances on
  every side, combined to give to this district
  of the Western Highlands unusual facilities
  for the dealers in contraband spirits. Despite
  the hazard and lottery that attend the
  business of smuggling, yet, like gambling, it
  had its peculiar fascinations, and hundreds
  were found to engage in it with the greatest
  alacrity, while not a few made fortunes by their
  ventures. At that time the islands of Guernsey,
  Jersey, and Man, were free ports, and swil't-
  sailing vessels were prepared to carry to and
  from those islands tobacco, tea, rum, brandy,
  wine, and aU other articles on which a heavy
  duty was imposed when thej' were sold within
  the bounds of the three kingdoms. So that
  when a smuggler ran a good cargo and escaped
  a seizure, he made a considerable profit by it.
  The Campbeltown herring-fleet, with my
  father on board one of the vessels, was lying
  in harbour in a certain loch, when a large
  smuggling craft came to anchor among them.
  It was by no means an imwelcome visitor, for
  the herring fishers had always a fine time of it
  during the stay of a smuggler, as they got
  jsleutj' of spirits and tobacco at a cheap rate.
  But this was not to last long, for a war-ship
  got information about the smuggler and came
  in search of her, and finding that she was with
  the herring-fleet in the harbour, the king's ship
  made for it. Now, at the mouth of the harbour
  was a lofty rocky island, on the northern side
  of which the harbour could alone be navigated,
  so that the war-shii) had to sail round the back
  of the island before getting into the hai'bour.
  The smugglers saw their enemy standing in,
  and the war-ship also got a view of what they
  considered to be their rich prize. But, while
  the king's vessel was passing out of sight round
  the other side of the rocky island, the smugglers
  hove short, taking in their anchors, except one
  that they could take in very quickly ; then they

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence