#OnThisDay 1650 The Confederate Army of Ulster was annihilated by Cromwell’s New Model Army at the Battle of Scarrifholis in Donegal during the War of the Three Kingdoms. In a political move to prevent infighting among the Irish leaders, Bishop Heber MacMahon replaced the recently deceased & extremely capable Eoghan Rua O’Neill, despite having no military training.
Lord Coote commanded the Parliamentarians comprised of Protestant settlers.
MacMahon initially camped on the higher ground which would have been difficult for the Parliamentarians to dislodge (or he could have simply disengaged if he thought the outcome would not have been in his favour) but showing his ineptitude he marched his army down the hill. His skirmishers out front of his massed infantry engaged the enemy but were pushed back into the main body. Panic spread as the mass could not be deployed properly. The Parliamentarians surrounds MacMahons men in two flanking movements and killed thousands of them.
The vast majority of the death were on the battlefield and not in the rout afterwards which is very unusual in this types of battle at this time.