This group portrays a group of soldiers from the highlands of Scotland during the American Revolution. It is important to understand the rich history of this group to fully understand the significance of their presence.
In the 1700's, the highlands were unsafe. Many areas were ruled by clans, which were often warring for more power, not to mention rebels against the king and robbers. To keep the King's peace, six independent companies of highland soldiers were raised in 1725. Essentially, these were to act as a military police force to prevent robbery, murder, and animal theft. These groups earned the name the "black watch" from their dark tartan plaids and their work suppressing violence and crime in the night hours. An example of a Blackwatch tartan is found to the left.
The companies were so successful that in 1739 King George II ordered them formed into the 43rd regiment of the British Army, becoming the first highland regiment. This regiment later became known as the 42nd. In 1758, the group was honored with the title "Royal Highland Regiment" in recognition of their heroism at Fort Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.
Some early depictions of the group can be seen to the right. Depictions showing French and Indian war dress can be seen below.
The Royal Highland Regiment returned to America in 1776 to help combat the American Revolution, called at that time The American Insurrection. They were recorded fighting at Long Island and during the recapture of New York City in 1776. In 1777, they were at the battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania, and at the great battle of Monmouth New Jersy in 1778. In addition, they were present during several smaller actions from New York to Georgia, extending as far as the Carribean. The Black Watch remained at New York City until 1782.