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Sons of the Mountains: A History of the Highland regiments in North America during the French & Indian War, 1756-1767,
Three proud Highland regiments fought in North America during the Seven Year's War - the 77th Foot (Montgomery's Highlanders), the 78th Foot (Fraser's Highlanders), and the famous Black Watch, more correctly known at the time as the Royal Highland Regiment. Undoubtedly, the exploits of the 42nd, 77th and 78th Highlanders in some of the most bloody and desperate battles on the North American continent were a critical factor in transforming the overall image of Highlanders from Jacobite rebels to Imperial heroes in the latter half of the 18th century.  But the everyday story of these regiments - how they trained, worked, played, fought and died from their own point of view - has never been seriously told.  

Sons of the Mountains: A History of the Highland regiments in North America during the French & Indian War, 1756-1767, is a two-volume set due to be co-published Spring 2006 by Purple Mountain Press and the Fort Ticonderoga Museum.  It chronicles the Highland regiments' fighting performance and experiences from the time they were raised in the Highlands and stepped ashore in North America, to their disbandment in 1763; or, as in the case of the 42nd, reduced in establishment and left on lonely garrison duty in the American wilderness until their recall and return to Ireland in 1767. 

Volume One of Sons of the Mountains follows all three regiments on their various campaigns in the different theatres of war. As they range from the wilderness of the Ohio Forks to the wind-swept crags of Signal Hill in Newfoundland, and from the waters of the Great Lakes to the torrid swamps and cane fields of the "Sugar Islands", the reader will be exposed to all the major conflicts and actions of the "Great War for Empire" as seen though the eyes of the Highland soldier.

Cluny, the 27th Hereditary Chief of Clan Macpherson, writes from Blairgowrie, Scotland:

      As a direct descendant of a Clansman who was present on the Heights of Carillon and at  Fort Ticonderoga in July 1758 I feel that I understand now far better how my forebear and his fellow Highlanders must have felt and lived and fought, and relate much more closely to those "Sons of the Mountains" of long ago.  I warmly commend Lt Colonel McCulloch's book to readers across the Atlantic and here in Scotland. He has done a great service to the memory of those who fought and died with these distinguished Regiments.

Volume Two of Sons of the Mountains will appeal to all families of Scottish descent and serious genealogists.  It features comprehensive biographical histories of every regimental officer from all the major clans (over 350 entries) who served in North America. For example,

John Sinclair* (1729-1787)
Ensign: Dutch-Scots Brigade;
Lieut: Dutch-Scots Brigade;
Capt: 2 June 1747, Drumlanrig's, Dutch-Scots Brigade; 4 January 1757, 77th Foot; half-pay, 24 December 1763; exchanged 7th Foot, 13 December 1765; retired, 3 June 1774.

Born in 1729, John was the 3rd son of John Sinclair of Ulbster, the hereditary Sheriff of Caithness.  He came to the 77th as an experienced half-pay officer of the Dutch Scots Brigade.  The Scots Magazine in 1747 listing officers of Lord Drumlanrig's Regiment, then raising in Scotland, shows him as "brother to Ulbster" (his father had been succeeded by his older brother George) and a captain. Commissioned in Montgomery's Highlanders as the senior captain on 4 January 1757, and according to recruiting documents, raised his men in Sutherland and Caithness.  He fought in all the major campaigns of the 77th (Fort Duquesne, 1758; Ticonderoga, 1759; Crown Point, 1759; and, the 1761 Cherokee Expedition) with the exceptions of the capture of Montreal and the subsequent Caribbean campaigns.  >From late 1760 until the regiment's disbandment in 1763, he and his company garrisoned Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia.  He commanded one of the two composite companies drawn from the five Nova Scotia companies that were sent to recapture St John's, Newfoundland in September 1762 under Colonel William Amherst. Sinclair was passed over for promotion five times.  On the departure of the 77th's two original majors on promotion in 1761, Captain John Maunsell (in room of Grant) came in from the 35th and Alexander Monypenny (in room of Campbell), an aide of Amherst, came in from the 55th Foot.  Monypenny was almost immediately transferred to the majority of the 22nd Foot and his place taken by Captain Patrick Sutherland, 45th Foot, who was actually already serving in NS.  Sinclair was passed over for command a fourth time when Captain Robert Mirrie, the senior captain of the 2nd/1st Foot in Halifax, NS was promoted 2nd Major of the 77th in order to take eight companies of the regiment to the Caribbean.  For Sinclair, it was a blessing in disguise, for Mirrie died of fever at Havana, as did many of the 77th officers, Mirrie being replaced by Captain Samuel Zobel, the senior captain of the 22nd Foot then at Havana.  Thus John Sinclair was the senior captain of Montgomery's Highlanders for the entire war and went out on half-pay in December 1763.  In 1765, his old comrade-in-arms, Lt-Colonel Alex Campbell, son of Barcaldine, married his 18 year-old niece, Helen Sinclair, after which he returned to active service, exchanging from half pay to captain in the 7th Foot in December 1765.  He retired 3 June 1774 at the age of 45.  During the American Revolution, he joined the Sutherland Fencibles commanded by his old regimental comrade, Lt. Colonel Nicholas Sutherland (See below) as its senior captain.  On the latter's death in 1781, he was made the Sutherland Fencible's major and died himself in 1787.

General Return, 1757; Officers List, 1756; CBs; SBs; BALs; Stewart, Sketches, I-II, in passim; DSB, 389, 425;
WO/1/974:  f. 139; Caithness Records, 1767   ************************************************************************************

Also included in the glossaries are regimental muster rolls and land petitions of discharged Highlanders. Marie Fraser editor of Canadian Explorer, newsletter of the Clan Fraser Society of Canada writes:

      Besides being compelling Highland history, SOTM is a valuable genealogical resource for all of Scottish heritage.  With over 350 officers' biographies, career details and genealogical notes in the annexes, McCulloch has identified the complex ties of kinship, marriage and friendship that bound the most prominent Scottish families of the day together during the Seven Years War between Britain and France fought in North America, known to some as the French & Indian War.

Lavishly illustrated with artwork by Robert Griffing, Steve Noon, Peter Rindisbacher, Gary Zaboly, Charles Stolz and John Buxton, as well as with contemporary prints, maps and portraits from the collections of the Black Watch Museums of Scotland and Canada, the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, the Fort Ligonier Museum, the William L. Clements Library, the National Army Museum, Chelsea, the David M. Stewart Museum, Montreal, the National Archives of Canada and the Library of Congress,
Sons of the Mountains is a visual delight.

Without a doubt, Sons of the Mountains is the most complete and informative work on the history of early Highland regiments of the British army in North America to date and will be published in Spring 2006.  To learn more about the author and for a sneak preview of the Introduction and excerpts from both volumes of Sons of the Mountains go to http://www.electricscotland.com/history/scotreg/mcculloch/index.htm

Further details on pre-ordering and prices will be posted soon at Purple Mountain Press website at http://www.catskill.net/purple/order.htm or write for details at: Purple Mountain Press, Ltd., PO Box 309, Fleischmann's, NY, 12430-0309. Phone: 1-845-254-4062.

Beaumont Hamel


Beaumont Hamel was the objective of the Newfoundland Regiment on 1st July 1916 who sustained very heavy losses.  It was finally taken by the Highland Division in November.  The  Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial was opened in 1925.




Vimy Memorial