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The regiment was formed in Oct. 1745. Recruited from men from highland or near highland areas, and from highlanders owing no particular allegiance to any chief.

Glenbucket also recruited from the Duke of Gordon's estates, where he gained a reputation as "A most terrifying press officer", driving in every able bodied man and boy he could find. He also took every horse, not excepting those belonging to the duke. The jacobite authorities demanded that landowners should supply an able bodied man for the army, for every £100 (scots) of landed rent, alternatively they could pay £5 (sterling) in lieu of a man. Allegations were rife at the time that the Jacobites were more interested in getting the money than the recruits. Old John Gordon of Glenbucket however always refused offers of money instead of men.

The original size of the regiment is not known, but at Culloden it is listed as being 200 strong, but by that time it may have been well down on its strength due to losses and desertion, as was the entire Jacobite army.

It is known that the regiment was quite well equipped as, Murray of Broughton recorded that Gordon of Glenbucket's and the first battalion of Lord Ogilvy's were both equipped with arms captured from Cope's army at Prestonpans. But evidence suggests that by the time of Culloden, the entire Jacobite army was armed with French and Spanish muskets to simplify the ammunition supply.

Ruthven barracks....

Ruthven barracks

It is also known that Glenbucket's had at least two cannon, which they used at Ruthven barracks. The regiment seems to have been quite well organised and disciplined, Colonel O'Sullivan, one of the Prince's Irish staff officers, commented that "John Gordon of Glenbucket was the only Scot I ever knew, who was able to start at the hour fixed".