ScotWars - Scottish Military History and Re-enactment
Irish Contingents 1745-46
At Culloden the Prince was served on the left flank by a Franco-Irish cavalry regiment, Fitz-James's Horse, which had landed in Scotland in late 1745 from Ostend. Under it's commander, Colonel Robert O'Shea, it numbered only 70 at the Battle, many troopers having surrendered on the march northwards out of England. They were further handicapped by their horses having been captured at sea. Nevertheless, they were the only cavalry regiment on the Jacobite side at Culloden to fight the whole battle on horseback. The regiment was clothed in red coats turned up with blue, yellow skin breeches, black tricorn hats laced with silver, and beneath their coats black painted iron breast plates. Their weapons were carbines or muskets, pistols and straight brass-hilted swords.
Of the original four squadrons, only one had landed at Aberdeen, numbering about 120-130 men, the other three along with picquets of five Irish regiments of foot still being aboard transports. Unfortunately for the Prince, two of these transports were captured by Commodore Knowles on Feb 24th. This was a bitter loss, for the regiment had considerable experience in battle, having seen recent service in Italy and on the Rhine with the French army.

While the majority of the Irish picquets and Fitz-James Horse were captured, about 359 and 36 officers in all, a number of men from various regiments of the Irish Brigade did see action in the campaign. About 750 soldiers from the Irish regiments commanded by Brigadier Stapleton and Lord Drummond’s French Royal Scots had landed on the east coast at the end of 1745. The picquets were mainly Irishmen drawn from the six Irish infantry regiments in French service, and they along with their officers had distinguished themselves earlier in the year at Fontenoy against the same enemy. According to one eyewitness of the Irish troops who were captured at sea, ‘the men are all clothed in red, and the officers have mostly gold-laced hats. To speak impartially the officers are as proper men as I ever saw in my life, being mostly 5 feet 10 or 6 feet high and between 40 and 50 years of age; and common soldiers are very good looking men, and if they had landed might have done a great deal of mischief.’
The Irish picquets who fought at Culloden for the Jacobite cause were formed from three Irish regiments in French service - Dillon’s, Ruth’s, and Lally’s. The men wore red coats with the facings of their different regiments. - Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection.

Osprey Military: Campaign Series 12 : Culloden 1746 by Peter Harrington

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