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Cope's Need to Bake Bread in a Hurry in August

The Challenge of Getting Redcoat Troops Ready to Engage The Prince in August 1745

Any army marches on its stomach. Getting sufficient supplies of bread to advance into the Highlands where it could scarcely be baked on the scale required was an early headache for Cope as he sought to find and do immediate battle with The Prince during August 1745. But there were other issues too.

Cope needed a line of credit at the bank to subsist the troops [requested August 3rd but could not be drawn down until August 19th] and he was without any gunners in the whole of Scotland. The dragoons' horses were out to grass and the foot soldiers were scattered across the Low Country of Scotland. He resolved to gather them as swiftly as possible in Stirling ready to march and intercept the Prince. He also had word [misleading as it transpired] of 2000 French having landed and no reliable intelligence of the numbers of disaffected Highlanders who had joined the Prince.

He conducted a regular [lagged] correspondence with the Secretary of State for North Britain, the Marquis of Tweeddale, in all these matters and it was agreed that from Stirling the army should proceed directly to Fort Augustus.

But bread was necessary. "The ovens at Leith, Stirling and Perth were kept at work day and night, Sunday not excepted, to provide the biscuit which was no other way to be got .... Notwithstanding whereof we were obliged to halt a whole day in Creif waiting for a hundred horse load of it which was not quite ready when we marched from Stirling".

Published Date: October 17th 2007

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