This article argues that there were significant disagreements in the highlands over the utility of military recruitment. The difference between authority and jurisdiction provoked contentious debates that ran parallel to the extension of the fiscal-military state in the region. This article utilizes the correspondence of local authorities, ministers and landowners to highlight the considerable resistance to military rule, undermining the current assumption that a unified elite acted in partnership with the state upon an enfeebled poor. It asserts that recruitment must be seen as an ideological process, which divided the region's population along lines of personal interest, rather than socio-economic taxonomy.