The martial spirit of the people soon became thoroughly roused, and recruits came in so rapidly that on the 10th of July, 1793, only four months after the letter of service to Seaforth, the Regiment was marched to Fort-George, inspected and passed by Lieutenant-General Sir Hector Munro, when five companies were immediately embarked for Guernsey and the other five companies were landed in Jersey in September, 1793, and afterwards sent to Holland.
On the 13th of October, the same year, Mackenzie offered to raise a second battalion for the 78th, and on the 30th of the same month the King gave him permission to raise five hundred additional men on the original letters of service. But this was not what he wanted, and on the 28th of December following he submitted to the Government three alternative proposals for raising a second battalion, On the 7th of February, 1794, one of these was agreed to. The battalion was to be formed of eight battalion and two flank companies, each to consist of 100 men, with the usual number of officers and noncommissioned officers.
He was, however, disappointed by the Government; for while he intended to have raised a second battalion for his own regiment, an order was issued signed by Lord Amherst, that it was to be considered a separate corps, whereupon the Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant addressed the following protest to Mr Dundas, one of the Secretaries of State:--
St Alban Street, 8th February, 1794.
Sir,--I had sincerely hoped I should not be obliged to trouble you again; but on my going to-day to the War Office about my letter of service (having yesterday, as I thought, finally agreed with Lord Amherst), I was, to my amazement, told that Lord Amherst had ordered that the 1000 men I am to raise were not to be a second battalion of the 78th, but a separate corps. It will, I am sure, occur to you that should I undertake such a thing, it would destroy my influence among the people of my country entirely and instead of appearing as a loyal honest chieftain calling out his friends to support their King and country, I should be gibbeted as a jobber of the attachment my neighbours bear to me. Recollecting what passed between you and me, I barely state the circumstance; and I am, with great respect and attachment, sir, your most obliged and obedient servant,
This had the desired effect the order for a separate corps was rescinded, and a letter of service was issued in his favour on the 10th of February, 1794, authorising him, as Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant, to add the new battalion, the strength of which was to be one company of grenadiers, one of light infantry, and eight battalion companies, to his own regiment. The regiment was soon raised, inspected and passed at Fort-George in June of the same year by Lieutenant-General Sir Hector Munro; and in July following the King gave permission to have it named, as a distinctive title, "The Ross-shire Buffs." The two battalions were amalgamated in June, 1796. Another battalion was raised in 1804--letter of service, dated 17th April. These were again amalgamated in July, 1817.
Although the regiment was not accompanied abroad by its Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant, he continued most solicitous for its reputation and welfare, as we find from the various communications addressed to him regarding it and the conduct of the men by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of Fairburn, appointed its Lieutenant-Colonel from the first battalion, [John Randoll Mackenzie, also from the first battalion, was appointed senior Major.] and then in actual command; but as the history of the 78th Highlanders is not our present object, we must here part company with it and follow the future career of Francis Humberston Mackenzie.
As a reward for his eminent services to the Government he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Ross, and, on the 26th of October, 1797, raised to the dignity of a peer of the United Kingdom, by the titles of Lord Seaforth and Baron Mackenzie of Kintail, the ancient dignities of his house, with limitation to the heirs male of his body.