Editor says, what if the Jacobite Night Attack at Nairn was a stunning success? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Generals thread.
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Editor says, in authoring this article we explore an idea from Richard Roper and have repurposed significant amounts of content from Wikipedia which concludes ~ The Jacobite force however started out well after dark at about 20:00. Murray led the force cross country with the intention of avoiding government outposts. This however led to very slow going in the dark. Murray's one time aide-de-camp, James Chevalier de Johnstone later wrote, "this march across country in a dark night which did not allow us to follow any track, and accompanied with confusion and disorder". By the time the leading troop had reached Culraick, still 2 miles (3.2 km) from where Murray's wing was to cross the River Nairn and encircle the town, there was only one hour left before dawn. After a heated council with other officers, Murray concluded that there was not enough time to mount a surprise attack and that the offensive should be aborted. Sullivan went to inform Charles Edward Stuart of the change of plan, but missed the prince in the dark. Meanwhile, instead of retracing his path back, Murray led his men left, down the Inverness road. In the darkness, while Murray led one-third of the Jacobite forces back to camp, the other two-thirds continued towards their original objective, unaware of the change in plan. One account of that night even records that Perth and Drummond made contact with government troops before realising the rest of the Jacobite force had turned home. Not long after the exhausted Jacobite forces had made it back to Culloden, reports came of the advancing government troops. By then, many Jacobite soldiers had dispersed in search of food, while others were asleep in ditches and outbuildings. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.