Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Siege of Fort William is lifted - On this day in Scottish Military History – 1746

Using the guns captured at Fort Augustus and with other siege guns the Jacobites then moved down Great Glen to besiege Fort William. This was no tactical move against the Hanoverians; instead it was an attack by the Camerons and MacDonalds on their old foe Clan Campbell.

On 20th March 1746 the Jacobite force reached Fort William. This was to be no push-over like Fort Augustus and with the Royal Navy supplying it from Loch Linnhe Fort William easily held out. For two weeks the Hanoverians battered the Jacobite besiegers, taking out their cannon one by one.

The final straw was a sally from the Fort on 31st March which destroyed the last of the Jacobite siege guns. That effectively ended the siege but it took another three days for Cameron of Lochiel to admit defeat and it was on this day 265 years ago that the Jacobites marched north to rejoin the main army at Inverness.

Precious guns and men which would have been better used against Cumberland’s army were wasted in a revenge attack on a rival clan. Once again petty Highland in-fighting thwarted a concerted Jacobite effort against the Hanoverians.

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