Napoleon Series Archive 2004

Re: Sir Neil Campbell
In Response To: Sir Neil Campbell ()

Hi Bas,

This is a short biography on him.

COLONEL SIR NEIL CAMPBELL, KNIGHT BACHELOR

Sir Neil Campbell of the 54th Foot, "The man who let Boney go." This distinguished officer was second son of Captain Neil Campbell of Duntroon, Argyllshire and was born 1st May 1776. Joined 6th West India Regiment as Ensign in 1797. After three years service in West Indies returned to England and joined 95th Rifles as a Lieutenant and in the following year purchased a Company in the same regiment.

In 1805 was promoted Major in 43rd Foot and in 1806 was removed to the 54th Foot. Served with this regiment in Jamaica and in 1808 returned home. Again sent to West Indies as a Brevet Lieut.-Colonel on the staff and in that capacity was present at the capture of Guadaloupe. Commmanded a Portugese Regiment during the Peninsular war.

In February 1813 was sent to Russia by the British-Government and was employed by Gen. Lord Cathcart, British Ambassador at Petersburg to accompany a corps of the Russian Army and report on its force and military operations. In the autumn of 1813 was detached to the siege of Dantzig where a corps of 30,000 men were employed under Prince Alexander of Wurtemberg. On the 24th March 1814 was severly wounded at Fere Champenoise in France in a cavalry charge by a Cossack who mistook him for a French Officer and struck him to the ground.

In April 1814 was chosen by the British Government to accompany Napoleon from Fontainebleau to Elba. In the following spring whilst Col. Campbell was at Florence having left Elba for a few days on pressing business, Napoleon formed and carried out his plan of escape. Commanded the 54th in 1815 and was at the storming of Cambrai.

C.B., gold cross for the capture of Martinique and Gaudaloupe, siege of Ciudad Rodrigo and Battle of Salamanca. A Knight Bachelor, Major-General, Govenor of Sierra Leone, where he died of fever, 14th August 1827.

Regards,

Ron.

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