fifth year, was to command the army as brigadier;
next him in rank was Donald Macleod
The first return to Martin
represented that the loyalists were in high spirits; that their force would amount even to six thousand men; that they were well furnished with wagons and horses; and that by the twentieth or twenty fifth of February at furthest they would be in possession of Wilmington
, and within reach of the king's ships.
On receiving their commission, William Campbell
, Neil MacArthur
, and Donald Macleod
issued circular letters, inviting all their associates to meet on the fifth of February at Cross Creek
, or, as it is now called, Fayetteville
At the appointed time all the Scots appeared, and four only of the rest.
, who could promise no more than seven hundred men, advised to await the arrival of the British
troops; the other royalists, who boasted that they could bring out five thousand, of whom five hundred were already embodied, prevailed in their demand for an immediate rising.
But the Highlanders
, whose past conflicts were ennobled by their courage and fidelity to one another, whose sorrows, borne for generations with fortitude, deserved at last to find relief; were sure to keep their word: from a blind instinct of kindred, they took up arms for a cause in which their traditions and their affections had no part; while many of the chiefs of the loyalists shrunk from danger to hiding places in swamps and forests.
Employing a few days to collect his army, which was composed chiefly of Highlanders and remnants of the old Regulators, Macdonald
, on the eighteenth, began his march for Wilmington
, and at evening his army, of which the number was very