Clues to Culloden friendly fire

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A chapter in Culloden: The History and Archaeology of the Last Clan Battle said the risk of friendly fire was a"very real one".

Archaeologists found shrapnel from mortar shells close to where frontline infantry had stood.

Sites where fallen government soldiers were buried have also been discovered.

University of Glasgow's Dr Tony Pollard, who edited the book, said large pieces of shrapnel were found close to where the Barrel's and Munro's regiments were lined up against the Jacobites during the battle, near Inverness, in April 1746.

He said:"Mortar shells were being dropped very close to the government troops and the risk from friendly fire must have been very high, and something not likely to be recorded in government accounts.

"It suggests the government troops on the left were under huge pressure and the mortars were fired on the Jacobites to break up their charge.

"There is a reference which we found late on that tells of mortar known as 'royals' being brought forward to break up the Jacobite charge as it was starting to fall back."

Dr Pollard said the precise location of where fallen government soldiers may be buried was a breakthrough as the graves had been previously unknown...

... Researchers also uncovered clues which suggest the Jacobites were well armed with muskets - dispelling a myth that Charles Edward Stuart's forces were mostly equipped with sword and targe...

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