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Killiecrankie and the Bayonet

Casting aside their plaids and other impediments, the line set forward in characteristic fashion, and with a loud and ringing shout which told of assured victory. With their fire, especially on the right wing, the Covenanters did much execution, but the Highlanders sped on without flinching, and reserved their fire till they were close at hand, when they poured in a murderous volley. Then, casting away their firelocks, they rushed down the
incline, broadsword in hand, and hurled themselves upon the enemy before the latter had succeeded in unscrewing their unhandy bayonets.

It should be remembered, to the credit of General Mackay, that the lesson taught by the battle led to his devising the simple plan of fixing the bayonet by means of a socket to the outside of the barrel, instead of being inserted in the inside as formerly, one of the most important inventions of war.



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