The United States declared War on Great Britain on June 12, 1812. The war was declared as a result of long simmering disputes with Great Britian. The central dispute surrounded the impressment of American soldiers by the British. The British had previously attacked the USS Chesapeake and nearly caused a war two year earlier. In addition, disputes continued with Great Britain over the Northwest Territories and the border with Canada. Finally, the attempts of Great Britain to impose a blockade on France during the Napoleonic Wars was a constant source of conflict with the United States.
In the 1950s Bill Martin, the author of this poem, was working rear Resaurie Pass, Inverness, helping to build roads. His excavator uncovered human remains and the police were summoned to the site.The remains were found to be those of a highlander who had been fleeing the slaughter of the aftermath of the battle at Culloden, Drummossie Moor.Martin spent a lonely night beside the grave of the unknown clansman who had lain undiscovered for over two hundred years.The Battle of Culloden, 16 April 1746, is not commemorated on any British Army Regimental Colours. A Father's Farewell,Culloden Moor, 16th April 1746 I am nameless now, and I will die here,Buried beside my son, beneath the bloody turfWith no lament or a prayerTo mark our passing.Do you remember, CalumWhen you held the banner, proudlyBefore the adventure, and how we stoodAt dawn, on the Drover's road by LochearnheadAnd mother wept as she waved farewell.Farewell for ever and ever, my husbandAnd my sixteen-year old.Now we charge, the last attackGlorious and futile, musketry rattlesAnd the grape-shot scythes through our ranksRupturing flesh and bone.See the scarlet coats advance,Hurrahing, their bayonets glinting,Moving towards us through the sulphurous smoke.As I cradle your body, lifeless and brokenIt's your mother that I see before meAnd our house, thatch and stone and earthAnd the rich dark peat we cut, together.Soon, we both, once againShall see our home,And the tall pines, by the water,Then the pain will be gone and we shall laughAs we lie in the heather on Benmore.Mo ghaol agad a'Chaluim, mo fheoil, mo fhuil, mo h'anam.*I whispered that, for you, as we stood in the terrible rain.I shall cover you with my plaid, as if you were sleeping, child,And this day shall pass into night.*I love you, Calum, my flesh, my blood, my soul.