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The Battle of Culloden on 16th April 1746 was the last pitched battle on British soil and brought the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 to a bloody end. Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, had taken his largely Highland Army as far as Derby, before retreating north to Inverness, pursued by Government forces under the Duke of Cumberland. On the morning of the battle, many of the Prince's troops were exhausted after an aborted attack on the Government army camped at Nairn. The ground chosen for the battle was partly marsh, wholly unsuited to the favoured tactic of the Highland charge. Moreover, on this occasion the Jacobites were no match for the well-trained, disciplined, Government troops. They were also slightly outnumbered. The battle lasted less than an hour and was a decisive victory for the Government. Afterwards, Cumberland ordered his troops to ruthlessly pursue and search out any surviving rebels and a shameful bloodbath ensued.
The National Trust for Scotland runs an impressive visitor centre at Culloden, where there is a detailed explanation for the Jacobite Rebellion, an impressive audio-visual experience and various talks and tours. It is possible to explore much of the battlefield, which the NTS is in the process of returning it to its appearance in 1746, taking in the opposing lines and the sad burial markers.
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