1815 – The Waterloo Campaign
During the Waterloo campaign the 1st Battalion 42nd (Royal) Highland Regiment of Foot "Black Watch" was part of Wellington's reserve forces, the 5th Division under General Picton. Together with the 1st Battalion 92nd "Gordon" Highland Regiment of Foot, the 3rd Battalion 1st "Royal Scots" Regiment of Foot ant the 2nd Battalion 44th "East Essex" Regiment of Foot they formed Pack's brigade.
On the June 16th Wellington deployed his reserve forces to Quatre Bras to delay the French advance until he had organised his main force. When Picton's troops reached Quatre Bras the French were already attacking. The 1st Battalion 42nd (Royal) Highland Regiment of Foot "Black Watch" took position to the East of the vital crossroads. Later it was deployed forward and found itself soon under heavy French artillery fire. The commander of the 1st Battalion 42nd (Royal) Highland Regiment of Foot "Black Watch" was killed when the Regiment formed square to counter an attack by French cavalry pursuing Dutch troops. Unfortunately some French cavalrymen were already inside the square when it was closed and had to be brought down in close quarter combat. Despite the French artillery bombardment the regiment staid in square formation for the rest of the day due to the permanent threat of further cavalry attacks. Therefore the number of casualties was quite high, of 875 soldiers 54 were killed and 242 wounded.
During the battle of Waterloo on June 18th, 1815, the regiment formed part of Wellington's defensive line in a position Norht-East of La Haye Saint. In the afternoon the 1st Battalion 42nd (Royal) Highland Regiment of Foot "Black Watch" saw action in the repulse of the infantry corps led by the French General D'Erlon. Later the day the battalion fought off several French cavalry attacks and in the evening joined the allied general attack.
After again serving as occupation forces in Paris the regiment returned to Scotland in December 1815. Here its men were greeted as heroes and during a 7-day celebration in Edinburgh "No lives were lost, though many a bonnet and kilt changed owners", as an eyewitness reports.