History of the Stewarts | Battles and Historic Events
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The Jacobites had gained the advantage of the high ground but Mackay took up a suitable position to meet a charge, on a terrace just to the north east of the then main road. Having doubled his files to provide a wider frontage and enable salvo fire from his whole force, the government army waited. After a period of desultory firing Dundee attacked late in the evening. The rebel force had limited numbers of muskets, the main weapon being sword, but the disordered Highland charge suffered substantial losses to the single musket volley. Despite as many as 600 being killed, the charge carried.
In hand to hand fighting the Jacobites had considerable success. Mackay responded with a cavalry charge but this was countered by Dundee’s horse. Though the Jacobites had the better of the action and the government forces were routed, the firepower of the government right wing regiments allowed them to withdraw in good order, wounding Dundee during one of the cavalry charges. The government army had been severely mauled, losing a large numbers of troops killed or captured.
This was the first and most significant of the battles of the first Jacobite rebellion. Although it was an important victory for the Jacobites, it also resulted in the death of the Jacobite leader, Viscount Dundee, a major factor in the subsequent collapse of the uprising.