With special thanks to Malcolm MacGregor, Chieftain, ACGS, for granting me permission to share excerpts from the Year Book and to Jim MacGregor, ACGS, for taking the time to help me in my endeavor.........
The following excerpt is from the Year Book of the American Clan Gregor Society, proceedings of the Fifth Annual Gathering, 1913, and is written in context by permission of the American Clan Gregor Society.
From the address of Dr. Edward May Magruder, Chieftain, October 30, 1913:
Some time ago I saw in a newspaper the suggestion that the name MacGregor has never appeared upon the rolls of Congress. This may be so, and the proscription and persecution of the name may partially account for it, as those with MacGregor blood have frequently graced its halls. But this anon- that is not the kind of place to look for descendants of Clan Gregor, as these have ever been men of action rather than words. Where, then? Listen! Hear yon bugle's blast and cannon's roar? Let him follow those sounds who dares! There, with the red artillery and musket's rattle- there, whre men are needed in defence of country and that country's liberty- there is the place to find members of our race. You would not look for lions in a flower garden but out on the wide veldt where life is strenuous and only the fittest survive. This is no idle boast but evidence is abundant.
Of all the races of the earth none have ever exceeded in courage and fighting qualities the Highland Clans of Scotland, and in this respect Clan Gregor's reputation stands pre-eminent among these, their name with their fellow countrymen being regarded as a synonym for courage and devotion. Witness the battle of Glenfruin, in January, 1603, when two hundred MacGregors, with the loss of only two men, defeated, in fair fight, eight hundred Calquhouns with their allies, who left dead upon the field as many as the whole MacGregor force.
In that interesting and attractive little work, "Wild Scottish Clan," by our clansman, Arthur Llewellyn Griffiths, the claim is made (and I think history will support it) that the only defeat of a Highland army by that of any other race was at Culloden, Scotland, where the ragged, barefooted, half-starved, army of "Prince Charlie," scattered by a wintry storm in search of food and shelter, was surprised and routed by the well-equipped, overwhelming, forces of Government under the Duke of Cumberland. But this disaster was due to poor strategy and mismanagement of the Prince's commissary and had been preceded by a long series of brilliant victories (Prestonpans, Penrith, Stirling, etc) over the best troops of King George II, by these same Highlanders, among whom was a large number of MacGregors.
Since the union of England and Scotland the flower of Britain's splendid soldiers has ever been her Highland regiments which wrung from the Great Napoleon the eulogy, "I would have won at Waterloo if the English had left their damned women at home," the reference being to the Highlanders clad in their plaids and kilts.
The Russian Czar, in speaking of the Crimson War, said, "The English were bad enough, but their wives were very devils." And in the late South African War the Boers stated that "the best fighters in the British army were those who wore women's clothes."
In Spain the Highlanders contributed incalculably to the success of Wellington in the war against Napoleon's Marshals, and in the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 Marshal MacDonald, at the battle of Wagram, saved Napoleon's tottering throne.
The Highland regiments were largely instrumental in raising the siege of Lucknow and quelling the "Indian Mutiny" of 1857; and India, the brightest jewel in Britain's crown, was saved to the Empire by an alleged descendant of Clan Gregor, Lord Clyde, who, as commander-in-chief, suppressed that rebellion.
At the battle of New Orleans, in 1814, when the rest of the British army retired from the attack upon the impregnable works of Andrew Jackson, a Highland regiment stood up under the withering fire of the entrenched Americans and suffered themselves to be shot down almost to a man rather than turn their backs in retreat.
Persecution widely dispersed our Clan among other peoples and it is said that, in the sturggle between Great Britain and France for the possession of India, in the eighteenth century, one of the last strongholds of the French, Gingee, was held by a member of Clan Gregor, whose gallant defense against overwhelming odds so won the admiration of the British army that, when he was forced to capitulate, the English commander, refusing to take him prisoner, allowed him to march away with the honors of war.
The persecution, likewise, drove to Russia another Clansman, whose descendant, Admiral Gregorovitch, served the Czar in the Russo-Japanese War.
Nor have the American descendants of the gallant race shown themselves less worthy "chips of the old block"; and, though, as organized bodies, they have rarely appeared in the history of our land, yet, as individuals, their prowess ranks with that of Leonidas, Horatius, Bayard, Wallace, Bruce, and the Cid.
Highland blood, under the leadership of General Andrew Lewis, of Virginia, in 1774, helped to win the battle of Point Pleasant, which broke the red man's power upon the Ohio and freed our western frontier from the tomahawk and scalping knife; and Highland blood, in 1780, with Colonel Benjamin Cleaveland, largely gained the victory of King's Mountain which revived the fortunes of the American cause and instilled new life into a despairing people. The victors at New Orleans had a strong infusion of Highland blood.
Among the legions of our own immediate American kindred who bravely responded to their country's call to arms in its various wars there were:
IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
Colonel Zadock Magruder, Major Samuel Wade Magruder, Corporal James Magruder, Jr, William Offutt Magruder, Ninian Beall Magruder, and others, all of Maryland.
IN THE WAR OF 1812
Captain Samuel Magruder, Captain Richard B Magruder, Lieutenants Henry B Magruder, John R Magruder, and Peter Magruder, Surgeon's Mate Ninian Magruder, Ensign Jonathan Magruder, and others, all of Maryland.
IN THE MEXICAN WAR
Lieutenant-Colonel John Bankhead Magruder of Virginia and Lieutenants John W Magruder and Lloyd Magruder of Maryland.
IN THE CIVIL WAR
Brigadier-General (Surgeon) David Lynn Magruder, of Pennsylvania; Captain William Thomas Magruder and our fellow member, Colonel Spencer Cone Jones, both of Maryland; Major Alexander Magruder, of Kentucky; Lieutenant-Colonel James A. Magruder, of New York; our fellow member, Captain Versalius Seamour Magruder, of Ohio; Major-Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, Major-General Edward Jones Magruder, Colonel John Bowie Magruder, Captain John Hillery Magruder, Lieutenant James Watson Macgruder, David Watson Magruder, George Shelton Magruder, and our fellow members, Horatio Erskine Magruder and Edward Magruder Tutwiler, all of Virginia; James Elwood Watkins, of Tennessee; and our fellow members, William Howard Magruder, of Mississippi, and John Burruss Magruder, of Texas.
IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
Our fellow member, Commander Thomas Pickett Magruder, of Mississippi, who took part in the battle of Manila, Major John Williams Magruder, of Virginia, and the gallant Major Francis Montgomery Magruder Beall, of Maryland.
It was Lieutenant-Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, of Virginia, who, when General Scott entered the City of Mexico, it is said, threw himself in front of his chief to protect him for the hail of Mexican bullets and who afterwards as a brigadier and major-general on the Peninsula in Virginia, is 1862, with about 10,000 men, withstood McClellan's invading host of more than 100,000 in their advance on Richmond.
Read the romantic story of the five "Frescati Magruder Boys," of Virginia, in the Civil War - three killed and two desperately wounded in battle; and it was Captain John Hillery Magruder, one of the immortal five, the "Arnold Winkelreid of America," who volunteered, though he knew the price would be death, to lead his squadron in a charge through the encircling foe, in order to enable the brigade to which he belonged to escape through the breach; and, while his object was attained, he gave up his life's blood from seven wounds, whose stains can still be seen on the floor of his "Frescati" home.
John Bowie Magruder, of Virginia, Colonel at the age of twenty-three years, fell mortally wounded while leading his regiment in Pickett's charge, at the battle of Gettysburg, which outranks Leonidas at Thermopylae, Miltiades at Marathon, Ney at Waterloo, and the Six Hundred at Balaclava, and, had he survived that battle, he would have been made brigadier-general before his twenty-fourth birthday.
Our own Edward Magruder Tutwiler, Deputy Chieftain for Alabama, was a member of the battalion of the Virginia Military Institute cadets, composed of boys in their teens, who won immortal fame in the battle of New Market, in 1864. Of the behavior of these boys, the Federal captain, F.E. Town, who witnessed the battle, said: "I do not believe that the history of wars contains a record of a deed more heroic, more daring, or more honorable, than the charge of these boys to a victory of which seasoned veterans might well boast."
These are only a few but they are sufficient to prove the truth of the claim that our American Clansmen have always been among those who jeopardized life and property in defence of right and native land, and that, though they have frequently held high and honorable civil positions (congressional, gubernatorial, legislative, judicial, professional, and the like), yet the battlefield rather than civic hall has been most familiar with their tread.
And, in this connection, I will take the opportunity to say that, while in our great Revolutionary War our Clansmen were united and fought for the same cause, in our great Civil War our people were divided and we had Clansmen on both sides bravely battling for the principles in which they believed and for which they were ready to shed and did shed their blood. Those on both sides were honest and courageously did their duty and it is our duty and intention to record the worthy deeds of Clansmen no matter under which flag they fought - whether under the triumphant "Stars and Stripes" that presided at the birth of the American nation and that we now all hope will wave triumphant to the end of time; or under the "Starry Cross" that almost "saw the birth of a new nation" and that went down in honorable defeat, but which will live revered and beloved in the hearts of its defenders and of their children's children till the last trump shall sound the end of all things. The one is an ever-present reality, whose folds first proclaimed the liberties of mankind and whose protecting power is respected of all nations. The other, once representative of the loftiest ideals in men and government and since justified by the highest judicial minds, is now only a memory but one that will survive respected in history, the admiration of the world, to direct future generations along the paths of duty, courage, patriotism, and self-sacrifice. Dear to us all are the "Stars and Stripes" which our ancestors helped to unfurl and which we, their children, expect forever to defend as the bulwark of human liberty against the encroachments of the old-time tyranny; and dear to us of the Southland is the "Starry Cross" whose memory and honor we of Dixie will likewise forever defend and which, in our eyes, is surrounded by a halo sanctified by the blood of our kindred and emblazoned with the glory of their immortal deeds. We had heroes on both sides, and we will honor our heroes, regardless of flag or creed.
"The Star Spangled Banner-
O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave
"Furl that (other) banner! True, 'tis gory,
Yet 'tis wreathed around with glory,
And 'twill live in song and story,
Though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages-
Furl its folds though now we must.
Visit the American Clan Gregor Society Page
My Race is Royal, or, Scotland's Only Scottish Clan Another story from the ACGS Year Book of 1913
to Debbies Genealogy Page
Return to the Main page