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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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receive the thrust of that weapon on their targets, then raising the target arm, and with it the enemy's point, they rushed in upon the defenceless soldier, killed him at a blow, and were in a moment within the lines, pushing right and left with sword and dagger, often bringing down two men at once. The battle was thus decided in an almost incredibly short time, and all that followed was mere carnage.
"We, " says Balmerino, referring to the Highlanders, "had killed on the spot Captain Robert Stuart of Auchshiell's battalion, Captain Archibald M'Donald of Keppoch's, Lieutenant Allan Cameron of Lindevra, and Ensign James Cameron of Lochiel's regiment, Captain James Drummond, alias Macgregor, mortally wounded, of the Duke of Perth's, and about 30 privates killed, and 70 or 80 wounded.
" The enemy had in killed and wounded, including Colonel Gardiner, mortally wounded, and Ensign Forbes, about 900, besides which we have taken about 1, 400 prisoners, all their cannon, mortars, several colours, standards, abundance of horses and arms, together with all their baggage, equipage, etc. Of 2,500 infantry brought into the field, about 200 escaped. "
General Cope, by means of a white cockade in his hat, similar to that worn by the Highlanders, passed through their midst without recognition, and made his way along the avenue —that strip of trees forming the old post road opposite. Bankton House. With the assistance of the Earls of Home and Loudan, he mustered, towards the east end of. Preston village, about 450 horsemen. If the above figures are correct, they account for 2,700 Royalists, but these he could not again entice to face the Highlanders. So, wheeling about, they passed the old farm steading of Milligan's Mains, which stood then nigh where Prestonpans railway stationhouse now stands, proceeded up the Bankton Road (which on the old county survey maps still bears the name of Johnnie Cope's Road), got up over Birslie Brae, retreated by way of Soutra Hill to Lauder, and reached Coldstream that same night, about forty miles' march from the morning's battlefield.
Though acquitted on trial for cowardice, Cope has been consigned to eternal and well-merited infamy, more particularly in the ballad literature of his day, for the want of courage he displayed in this memorable battle. The well-known song of " Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauken yet?" is said to pretty accurately interpret the feeling entertained towards him by his contemporaries.

It is pleasing to reflect that no sooner had contention ceased, than the greatest friendship prevailed between the victors and their wounded enemies. The Highlanders hastened in all directions in search of water to quench the thirst of those unable to assist themselves. In one case, a Highlander came upon an English soldier so badly wounded that he could proceed no farther; he took him on his back, and carrying him to a place of safety, set him down, and gave him sixpence to pay for his night's lodging.
Notwithstanding the many kindnesses shown towards the wounded on the field, rifling the pockets of the dead, and plundering otherwise seems to have been very much resorted to. Some of the cases recorded of those engaged in this heartless pursuit are not altogether awanting in drollery.

One stalwart Highlander was observed carrying off the field across his broad shoulders a huge military saddle. This he had wrenched off a dead or dying charger; and when questioned by a comrade concerning his burden, said he purposed taking it back to his mountain home, for the use of his little pony
Quite a number of the private soldiers, some of them whose garments were actually in tatters, got themselves arrayed in the fine laced coats and cocked hats of the stricken-down English officers.
A good many packages of chocolate were found among the General's baggage. Chocolate was a thing unknown to the rank and file of the Highland army, at all events it was so to the plundering party of that Highland host. They supposed it to be a healer of wounds, and hawked it about as an ointment, which they entitled " Johnnie Cope's Salve. "
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