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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


E10 G RAP H I C AL S K E T C HE S. 225 Eo. CCXLVI. MAJOR CHARLES JOHNSTONE, WHEX AN ENSIGN IN THE HOPETOUN FENCIBLES. THEl ate MAJORJ OHNSTwaOs dNesEce nded from the Johnstones of Poldean, in the parish of Wamphray, an old family in that district. His great-grandfather was 'CVilliam Johnstone of Granton, a property situated at the head of the vale of Annandale, but which is no longer in possession of the family. His grandfather was an officer in the Scots Greys, and at one period aide-de-camp to John Duke of Argyle. His father had also been in the army-had held the commission of lieutenant in the third Buffs-and was an officer in the Hopetoun Fencibles at the same time with his son. When the Print was executed by Kay, in 1795, the Hopetoun Fencibles were quartered in the Castle of Edinburgh. Johnstone was then only in his fifteenth year, but had much of the soldier in his manner and appearance. Fired with the ambition of militaryglory, the young Ensign did not long remain in the Fencibles. In 1796 he obtained an ensigncy in the second battalion of the Royals, and with that regiment served with much ardour and gallantry in the expedition to Holland in 1799. During one of the actions in which he was engaged, having incautiously advanced too far in front of his men, he was separated from them among the sand hills, and taken prisoner by the enemy, who proceeded to plunder him. On his sword being demanded, he presented it with the scabbard ; but at the moment the Frenchman took hold of it, the painful thought shot across his mind, of the grief his revered father would feel on hearing that he had delivered up his sword, and actuated by a sudden impulse, he quickly drew it out of the scabbard, disengaged himself with it from his enemies, and safely rejoined his companions, who were advancing at no great distance, with no other injury than a musket-ball, fired at him in his retreat, having struck the heel of his boot. In the course of the campaign, howeven he received a severe contusion on the breast, from a spent ball, the effects of which, it is believed, he never entirely recovered In the beginning of the year 1800 he was promoted to a lieutenancy in the fourth Regiment of Foot; and, at his own request, was again removed to the second battalion of the Royals. With this corps he served in Egypt during the campaigns of 1801. At the landing, on the 8th of March, a grapeshot passed through the crown of his hat, without injuring him; but, at the battle of Alexandria, fought on the 21st, he was severely wounded by a musket-ball, which lodged among the small bones of his foot, and was not extracted for six VOL 11. 2 6
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