In 1869 Herdman received a major commission from The Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland to create a painting of his choice that would be ‘capable of furnishing a powerful and effective engraving’. The engraving by Francis Holl was subsequently issued to the society’s subscribers. The subject Herdman chose was not based on any known literary source. His description of the wounded covenanting soldier being tended by a sympathetic family was intended to be fully self-explanatory. Herdman captured the anguish and concern for the soldier in each of the figures’ faces. He skilfully integrated the individuality of each figure into a cohesive monumental scene, which honours the plight of the lowly soldier on a heroic scale.