Glenalmond

Montrose realized that he needed a victory quickly to have any chance of arousing Scotland for the King.

Montrose's Army passing through Glenalmond. The Irish Brigade is in the van followed by Badenoch, Inchbrackie, and Atholl levies

Montrose’s Army passing through Glenalmond. The Irish Brigade is in the van followed by Badenoch, Inchbrackie, and Atholl levies

All of the country was now being raised against his rebel (from the view point of the Covenanting Government) army and he took the decision to strike at Perth City BEFORE the opposition could be fully mustered. The most direct way was to follow the River Tay which flowed into Perth from the north but he moved away from the river to the east. This was due partly to make an attempt to raise Clan Menzies to the cause (which failed) but perhaps also to make contact with other kinsmen who were half-heartedly raising forces for the Covenant. Whether by accident or design,  he encountered part of the Perthshire Levy/Militia somewhere along the River Almond to the west of Perth.

Montrose, on the left and now mounted, meets with Lord Kilpont and other friends and relatives. A contingent of MacDonald of Keppoch archers (far right) have also joined the growing army

Montrose, on the left and now mounted, meets with Lord Kilpont and other friends and relatives.
A contingent of MacDonald of Keppoch archers (far right) have also joined the growing army

This force was of about 500 and commanded by his kinsman, John Graham, Lord Kilpont and included Montrose’s brother-in-law, David Drummond (later Lord Maderty). This being essentially a family reunion, the Perthshire contingent went over to Montrose.

Since I Identify all of the units on the wargame table by their flags, I have generally resorted to imaginary ones to help me keep everything straight. Combat pieces are interchangeable (at least within a given faction) so it is the flags that identify the assembled units and they are used over and over again to represent different units at different times.

Scottish Royalist Militia First, Second, Third

Scottish Royalist Militia
First, Second, Third

The flags used to represent the militia deployed by every faction are entirely imaginary and have no historic significance although I do try to capture the spirit of the time. In this case the Royalist militia carry flags that have  red and yellow bars to echo the royal banner of Scotland.

Lord Kilpont’s levy/militia is a mixture of a variably trained and equipped ad hoc unit of the time. They are drawn up in three companies (using third militia Royalist banners) with musketeers on the flanks and pikes with a few muskets in the center. Since their actual possession of pikes in any number is problematic they will fight as infantry thus reducing the number of muskets present which seems historically accurate.

Lord Kilpont's force of Perthshire levies stand in the middle foreground as Montrose's army passes by

Lord Kilpont’s force of Perthshire levies stand in the middle foreground as Montrose’s army passes by

After this meeting Montrose’s force is complete (although it will vary considerably in the future campaign). In the early morning light of September 1st, 1644, the army advances toward Perth City and in a few hours will engage the government forces in the fields of Tippermuir.

The Royalist Army passes out of the Highlands along the River Almond on its way to Perth City

The Royalist Army passes out of the Highlands along the River Almond on its way to Perth City

 

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