WIN74-01 Captain A. B. Campbell, 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot
At the Battle of Assaye in 1803 casualties were so high, every officer in the regiment was killed or wounded and what was left of the unit had to be led out of action by its regimental sergeant major.
From an initial strength of about 500, the 74th lost ten officers killed and seven wounded, and 124 other ranks killed and 270 wounded.
The predominant arm in India was the infantry. The King’s and EIC native battalions were organized on similar lines, with the only difference being that the EIC battalions had 2 Grenadier companies and no light company, as it was believed that the native Indian soldier was considered a poor skirmisher.
The 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot wore kilts and plaids of Government tartan from the time they were raised in 1787. However, they were soon ordered to India, where the regiment spent 18 years. On arrival at Madras the kilt was discontinued as unsuitable. In 1803 the soldiers wore linen white trousers and black round hats.
Captain A. B. Campbell of the 74th, who had on a former occasion lost an arm, was seen in the thickest of the action with his bridle in his teeth, and a sword in his right hand, “dealing destruction around him”. He was to survive the battle although “one of the enemy in the charge very nearly transfixed him with the bayonet, which actually pierced his saddle”.