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Friday, September 21, 2007
Battle of Prestonpans
One of the few victories for the Jacobite cause came during this battle on 21 September 1745.

Sir John Cope was the general in charge of the Hanoverian forces in Scotland. He was ordered to raise a force to counter the uprising. Despite being a general, he had little experience in training the raw recruits he received. He was also hampered by the sickness of his best calvary officer and his other officers' assurances to the untrained recruits that there would be no battle. Things were not looking good when the Jacobites took Edinburgh on September 16 and Cope's forces arrived too late to do anything about it.

By the time Cope's forces reached Preston House, they had encountered the Highlanders' advance guard. Cope decided to stand his ground and engage the force. Remember those raw, untrained recruits who were told there would be no battle?

In the face of the Highlanders many turned and ran, leaving only Cope and a few to attempt to challenge a Jacobite force of nearly 1,500. The battle was over in less than 15 minutes with hundreds of Cope's troops killed and nearly 1,500 taken prisoner. Less than 100 Highlanders died.

Needless to say, it was a big shot in the arm for the Jacobite cause, which would fizzle and die out at the Battle of Culloden a mere seven months later.

Today's Question: The Battle of Prestonpans was a later name given to this battle because it occurred at Prestonpans, Scotland. What was the original name given to this particular battle?

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