Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/266

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[1314 A.D.
Robert the Bruce.

being in the formation called "en schiltrome."[1] The position seems to have been slightly different to that occupied on the previous day,[2] and it is doubtful if the Borestone Hill was occupied by more than a vedette. The right division, under Edward de Brus, held the higher ground between Gray Stale and New Park, its right flank resting on the Bannock, at the point where its banks become precipitous. The central division, under Randolph, lay along the north-west extremity of Halbert's Bog; and the left division, under the Steward and Douglas, posted on the slopes nearest to St. Ninian's church.[3] The left and centre lay along the lines now marked by the road between Gray Stale and St. Ninian's. The reserve, consisting of the men of Carrick and Argyll, with the Islanders under Sir Angus of Bute, was held in command of King Robert in person, in rear of the general line. In military language, the whole army was in echelon by the right: that is to say—the centre was thrown back from the right, and the left from the centre. The non-combatants camp-followers, baggage guard, and servants—were sent

  1. A military term used by Gray and Barbour to express the formation of infantry in a dense column, which could be turned into a square to resist cavalry by halting, facing the rear ranks to the right-about, and turning the flank sections outwards.
  2. In analysing the position of the Scottish army, I have had the advantage of studying a paper drawn up by Major (now General Sir Evelyn) Wood, who critically inspected the ground in 1872.
  3. The site of this church is marked by the tower of one erected long after the date of the battle. The building of which this tower formed part, was used by Charles Edward's troops in 1746 as a powder magazine, and blown up by them on their retreat.