Alternate History

Battle of Golspie (Napoleon's World)

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The Battle of Golspie was a military engagement at the village of Golspie in northern Scotland on March 23, 1860, contested between the Royalist forces loyal to the King David V (made up primarily of soldiers drafted from the Lowlands or volunteers from the Chattan Confederation) and the rebel Sutherlands and a handful of fighters from other tribes. Dealt a defeat under cannon fire and outnumbered five-to-one, 320 men surrendered after 145 casualties on the beaches at Golspie while a small contingent retreated a mile away to the nearby Dunrobin Castle. Every prisoner was suddenly and swiftly coralled by the water and executed by the Royalists in a volley of gunfire and bayonetting, leaving no survivors. The murder of the prisoners had been personally ordered by the King, who believed that the Highlands did not respect his authority and would only respond to violence.

The immediate fallout of Golspie was outrage, especially after the events at Dunrobin Castle two weeks later, when Royalist forces, who had been camped outside of underdefended castle since the battle, entered the building, slaughtered almost everyone inside including women and children, and burned the ancient castle to the ground. The two wanton massacres of the Sutherlands nearly dealt a death-blow to the powerful clan and quickly forced permanent peace agreements with the other four rebellious clans that had participated in the Second Clan Rebellion, but severely undermined the image and trustworthiness of the Mackintosh line at Inverness and the Chattans as a whole across the Highlands, sewing the seeds for conflicts throughout the late 1870's and full-scale rebellion in the 1880's, culminating in the 1889 Spalding War.

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