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The Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden
Paul W. McDonough, MD, has practiced spine surgery at Orthopedic Associates of Abilene in Texas for more than 16 years. Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys learning about British history in his free time and served for two years as a missionary to Scotland.

Although entrenched in popular culture as a massive armed conflict between England and Scotland, the Battle of Culloden more accurately represented the last gasp of the Stuart attempt to reclaim the throne from King George II and the Hanoverian line. The Stuart rebellion under the leadership of Charles Edward Stuart, known colloquially as the Bonnie Prince Charlie. The prince had arrived on British soil in July 1745, just under a year before Culloden, in an attempt to restore his family to the British throne that they had occupied for more than 100 years.

Charles gathered support for his cause, known as the Jacobite rebellion among the Highland clans. Those he succeeded in drawing to his side headed south in late 1745 and moved through London for almost three months. In December, however, the army received word that their support from England and France was not coming.

Despite a few victories following its retreat into Scotland, Charles's army was becoming demoralized. Funds and personnel were running low when the English army advanced across the River Spey on April 12. A failed surprise attack by the Jacobites led to their retreat to Culloden Moor, where they began planning the next battle. 

The site chosen for the battle was Drumossie Moor. The boggy terrain made it a difficult site, as it would not allow the Jacobites to employ their signature charge, but the Jacobite leaders could not identify a better option. That, combined with the far greater British numbers of 9,000 to the Jacobite 6,000, gave the English a distinct advantage.

Chaos ensued. The English began firing, delaying the Jacobite charge, and the English sent the Jacobites retreating once more. Prince Charlie returned to France as the English sought out his remaining supporters, determined to quell them once and for all.
The Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden
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The Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden

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