This is the official World Wide Web site of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, of Lafayette, Indiana, in the USA. We portray the 42nd Royal Highlanders (Today's Black Watch) as they appeared, in North America circa 1777, and wish to share the history of this famous regiment. This site is in no way an official representation of the British Army, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, or the Black Watch, nor are we the place for geneological inquries.
(The official web page for the Black Watch is here. Service records can be traced with the help of The Museum of the Black Watch)
The 42nd Regiment of Foot
In the year 1739, the six independant companies of the "Highland Watch", along with four newly-raised companies, were incorporated into a Regiment of Foot under John, the Earl of Crawford. This Regiment was originally numbered the 43rd Highland Regiment, but was renumbered as the 42nd in 1749.
The new Regiment continued to serve as the Highland Watch, in Scotland, but the British command sent the regiment as reinforcements in Flanders and Germany, in the war of the Austrian Succession. This resulted in a mutiny in 1743, but ended without bloodshed. (Save the executions of those responsible!) The regiment received its baptism of fire in the Battle of Fontenoy, 1745, and returned in 1745 during the Jacobite Rebellion, where they were stationed in the south, in anticipation of a French invasion. In 1747, they were garrisoned in Ireland, where they remained for 9 years.
The 42nd was sent to New York in 1756, and fought in the first battle of Fort Ticonderoga in 1758, losing over half its troops in a valiant assault on the breastworks. Prior the the action at Ticonderoga, the 42nd was given the distinction of being a "Royal" regiment, changing the uniform's facings from buff to royal blue, and earning the right to bear a distinctive seal on the colours and drums. The regiment was known from then on as The 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment or Royal Highlanders. The Regiment took part in actions throughout North America, traveling as far west as Fort De Chartres, on the Mississippi River in Illinois.
The 42nd later served in the American Revolution, the Penninsular Wars - at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, the Crimean War, served in India, both World Wars, Korea, and was the last British regiment in Hong Kong before its return to China. In the 21st Century, the Black Watch fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. While no longer the 42nd Regiment, the traditions of the Black Watch live on as the The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS).
The Regiment still has ties in North America, through the Black Watch of Canada in Montreal.
For a more complete history, a timeline of the Regiment's history in North America.
The 42nd Royal Highlanders Band of Music, Lafayette, Indiana
Today, the 42nd Royal Highlanders Band of Music is America's premier 18th century band of pipes, fifes, and drums, and has performed for audiences across the country, from the New England coast to the Mississippi River, and from Wisconsin to Fort Ticonderoga in New York, Vermont, and south to Alabama.
The Band of Music regularly performs at historical reenactments, fife and drum musters, Scottish cultural events, pub performances, and civic parades. Additionally, musicians from the band are available for private performances at weddings, funerals, educational programs, and other functions.
A performance by the 42nd will feature the pipes, fifes, and rope-tension drums, as well as highland dancers and Infantry demonstrations by the band's colour guard. At multi-day performances, the band is based out of a recreated 18th century military camp.
The 42nd performs a wide repertoire of music - drawing primarily from 18th century sources, but incorporating selections from 20th century bagpipe collections.
The 42nd also serves as the Lafayette, Indiana area's Scottish society, hosting events celebrating Scottish culture, and a Robert Burns Supper every January on the anniversary of his birth.
Schedule of Events, 2021
The 42nd performs a unique show, from either the piping or historical perspective, due to its mixed roots and unique instrumentation. We invite everybody to see us perform, and if you have any questions or comments, send an email.
Last modified: April 12, 2021
Copyright © 2013
Preston M. Smith and the 42nd Royal Highlanders, Inc.
All rights reserved.