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Just over three centuries ago, there was a major battle in Scotland that was to decide the fate of the newly established – and bitterly contested - union of England and Scotland. On one hand there was a numerically superior army, trained and armed but officered by men of varying experience. Facing them was a small, but better experienced and officered British Army. Both armies; one entirely Scottish and the other a mixture of Scots, English and Irish were led by Scottish noblemen. Victory to either side meant control of the gateway from the Highlands to the Lowlands and then England, where the political prize awaited.
The battle’s importance can only be appreciated by an examination of its context, in what happened in the campaign before the crucial clash of arms and in the months that followed it. Furthermore, an examination of the officers and men who made up the two armies is made in order to evaluate the human material without which there would have been no battle. Although the book covers the campaigning in the decisive theatre of central Scotland, it does not neglect the wider strategic concerns of both the Jacobite court and the British government, nor the international aspects of the rising.