The men of the Black Watch were not filled with enthusiasm when they were told in 1758 they were expected to row 20 miles down Lake George in what is now New York State. So, they decided to use their plaids as sails and let the wind aid their voyage towards the French-held fort at Ticonderoga. Plaids also came handy when the 78th Fraser Highlanders took to the water for the invasion of Cape Breton in what is now Canada that same year. The Highlanders used the plaids to plug the holes punched in their boats by shore-based French artillery.

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