Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

 

Historical Background

Proposed Organisation and Strength

Initial Organisation

Reinforcements & Reorganisation

Further Reinforcements & Reorganisation

The Attack on Bergen op Zoom

Later Changes & Reorganisations

Break-up of the Army

Notes


The British Army in the Low Countries, 1813-1814

By Andrew Bamford

 

Historical Background

In the closing months of 1813, with Napoleon’s forces largely expelled from Germany and the allied armies advancing towards the Rhine, insurrection began to break out in the Netherlands, then directly incorporated as part of France . Britain having a keen interest in this part of the world, and placing some importance on its being retained in friendly hands, it was decided to dispatch an armed force of around 7,000 men in order to aid the insurgents. Additionally, arms were dispatched, and political contact made through the offices of Major General Sir Herbert Taylor, a soldier-diplomat lately Secretary to King George III. Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham, previously Wellington’s second-in-command in Spain 1811-1813, was nominated to command the forces with the local rank of General. Six British battalions, and elements of the King’s German Legion, had been deployed to North Germany in 1813 to secure the Baltic ports; some of these troops, commanded by Major General Samuel Gibbs, could be drawn upon for the new army, but the remainder would have to come from units at home; all, including later reinforcements, were either single-battalion regiments or second, third, and fourth battalions. Most had seen no prior service, and none was at anything approaching full strength. In addition to Gibbs, who brought embarked four of his battalions from Stralsund to join the assembling force, and Taylor who was already in the Netherlands on his diplomatic duties, Graham was assigned Major Generals George Cooke, Kenneth Mackenzie and John Skerret as subordinate general officers.

The initial objective of Graham’s force, operating in conjunction with Bulow’s Prussian corps, was Antwerp and, more specifically, the French squadron based there. During the advance, two combats were fought at Merxem, on January 13th and February 2nd, the village being taken on the second occasion, and thereafter a bombardment of the French Fleet, was commenced, lasting from February 3rd to February 6th. However, the withdrawal of Bulow’s Prussians necessitated Graham also falling back, but as an alternative an ill-fated attack was launched against the fortress of Bergen op Zoom on March 8th. The repulse of this, and subsequent surrender of the greater part of those troops who had penetrated the French defences, brought an effective end to active operations, but with the ending of hostilities following the fall of Paris, Graham was ultimately able to negotiate the evacuation of both Bergen op Zoom and Antwerp by their French garrisons[1]

Proposed Organisation and Strength

In a Memorandum of November 21st 1813, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Lord Bathurst outlined the following proposed organisation for the force under Graham, with what he understood as the strengths of the units in question:[2]

3rd KGL Hussars– 480

Royal Artillery – 615

Major General Cooke’s Brigade

Detachment 1st Footguards – 800
Detachment 2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 400
Detachment 3rd Footguards – 400

Major General Mackenzie’s Brigade

2/35th ( Sussex – 600
2/37th (North Hampshire)  – 500
2/44th ( East Essex) – 500
2/52nd (Oxfordshire) Light Infantry – 300

Major General Skerret’s Brigade

55th (Westmoreland) – 400
3/56th ( West Essex) – 400
2/69th ( South Lincolnshire) – 500
3/95th Rifles – 250
1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 500

Major General Gibbs’ Brigade

2/25th (King’s Own Borderers) – 390
33rd (1st West Riding) – 600
54th ( West Norfolk) – 510
2/73rd ( Highland) – 560

This would give a total of 7,610 infantry, and 8,705 all arms. Staff was to comprise one Deputy Adjutant-General and one Deputy Quartermaster-General, with two Deputy Assistants in each department, medical staff sufficient for a force of 7,000, and a due proportion of officers from the commissary and paymasters departments.

It will be noted that the brigades of Mackenzie and Skerret comprise the units drawn from the home station, split by seniority, whilst Gibbs’ Brigade contains all the units from Germany . The Footguards detachments were all to come from the standing Second Guards Brigade, which comprised the second battalions of the three Footguards regiments and functioned largely as a depot; nevertheless, it had been called upon for active service before, sending its flank companies to Walcheren and providing troops for a provisional brigade at Cadiz 1810-1811. Mention of the 3rd KGL Hussars would seem to be in error for the 2nd regiment, since the former was already in Germany whilst the latter was available at home; a subsequent proposal for shipping the force list the 2nd KGL Hussars, and it was indeed this regiment that initially went out with Graham.[3]

Unfortunately, Bathurst’s conception of the strength of the available forces did not correspond with the reality:

Unit

Strength as per
Bathurst Memo

Total Strength
December 25th 1813

Effective Strength
December 25th 1813

Detachment 1st Footguards

800

761

696

Detachment 2nd Footguards

400

516

490

Detachment 3rd Footguards

400

546

509

1st Royal Veteran Bn.

500

461

459

2/25th

390

316

316

33rd

600

530

502

2/35th

600

461

453

2/37th

500

298

279

2/44th

500

422

406

2/52nd

300

197

191

54th

510

406

395

55th

400

356

340

3/56th

400

280

262

2/69th

500

487

487

2/73rd

560

450

402

3/95th

250

305

287

Totals Strengths

7,610

6,792

6,474

Figures for December are from monthly return in National Archives WO17/1773; those for 3/95th refer to the provisional rifle battalion (see below). Other than the shortfall in numbers, the main organisational change highlighted by the table is the composition of the contingent supplied by the Footguards. Whilst the total number of troops sent is roughly on a par with Bathurst’s proposal – in fact, at 1,823 total and 1,695 effective, it slightly exceeds it – but these men are distributed fairly equally between the three regiments rather than, as Bathurst seems to have envisaged, an organisation similar to that utilised at Cadiz with a full battalion from the 1st Footguards and a provisional battalion formed out of men from the other two regiments. What happened in reality, there being plentiful influx of militia transfers to swell their ranks, was that each regiment deployed the effective part of its second battalion, subsequently providing reinforcements over the course of the following months as more fit men became available. The three battalions were initially prepared for service with a six-company organisation, with the 2/1st Footguards adding a seventh company before departure.[4] Once the shortfall in numbers became apparent, the decision was taken to reinforce Graham’s force with the following battalions.[5]

From Jersey:

2/30th (Cambridgeshire), assumed strength about 600 rank and file.
2/81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers), assumed strength about 490 rank and file.

From Leith

2/21st (Royal North British Fusiliers), assumed strength about 380 rank and file.
2/78th (Ross-shire Buffs Highland), assumed strength about 400 rank and file.

Additionally, a reinforcement of 550 rank and file was prepared to go out to join the three Footguards battalions.[6]

It was further envisaged that the British and KGL units serving as part of General Wallmoden’s Corps in Bernadotte’s Army of the North would be sent to reinforce Graham, these being the 3rd Hussars and 1st and 2nd Horse batteries of the KGL, and the 1st Rocket Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. Wallmoden wrote to Graham, however, explaining that some delay would be involved before these forces could be expected to arrive.[6a]

Initial Organisation

Once fully disembarked, Graham organised his forces in the following fashion.[7] Unit strengths, given as total/effective, are from Monthly Return for December 25th, in National Archives WO17/1773 as above.

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham

Guards Brigade: Major General Cooke

2/1st Footguards – 761/696
2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 516/490
2/3rd Footguards – 546/509

Light Brigade: Major General Mackenzie

2/35th – 461/453
2/52nd – 197/191
2/73rd – 450/402
Provisional Bn./95th Rifles[8] – 305/287

First Brigade: Major General Skerret

2/37th – 298/279
2/44th – 422/406
55th – 356/340
2/69th – 487/487
1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 461/459

Second Brigade: Major General Gibbs

2/25th – 316/316
33rd – 530/502
54th – 406/395
3/56th – 280/262

Royal Artillery: Lt Colonel Sir George Wood – 787 total, 660 effective with 109 detached “on command”, 503 horses.

Rogers’ Brigade (2nd Co./3rd Battalion)
Truscot’s Brigade (5th Co./3rd Battalion)
Fyers’ Brigade (9th Co./3rd Battalion)
Tyler’s Brigade (6th Co./5th Battalion)
Hawker’s Brigade (4th Co./9th Battalion)[9]

In addition there were detachments of Royal Engineers and Royal Sappers and Miners, 78 total strength, and Royal Wagon Train, 32 total strength and 52 horses. Lt. Colonel Carmichael Smyth commanded the engineers.

It will be seen that this organisation, though maintaining the Footguards as a single brigade as was their traditional prerogative, sought to mix the four battalions from Germany , which had come direct from Stralsund with only a pause onboard transports in Yarmouth Roads,[10] with the less experienced units out from Britain . As the co-trainer, with Sir John Moore, of the original Light Brigade at Shorncliffe, Mackenzie was well fitted to lead the army’s light troops, bolstered though they were with two line battalions: of these latter, however, the 2/73rd at least was an experienced unit, recently in action at Gohrde, and this may explain its assignment to the Light Brigade.

Reinforcements and Reorganisation

The above organisation was almost immediately supplemented by the arrival of the 2nd KGL Hussars on December 27th, and subsequently by the reinforcements from Leith, the 2/21st and 2/78th, which joined on January 10th 1814. The 2/21st was assigned to the First Brigade, displacing the 1st Royal Veteran Battalion, which went into garrison, and the 2/78th was posted as a reinforcement to the Second Brigade. Simultaneously, the army as a whole assumed a divisional organisation,[11] these changes creating the following order of battle. Unit strengths, again given as total/effective, are from the return of January 25th 1814 in National Archives WO17/1773. It must be noted, however, that numerous detachments were made in order to cover the flanks of the main force advancing towards Antwerp, and to provide garrisons for Tholen and Willemstadt;[12] where significant portions of a unit were detached, “on command”, this has been indicated, but it is not entirely clear from the returns whether whole units were detached from their brigades: one may nevertheless infer that the 2/21st and 2/37th were not engaged in active operations with so many men detached.

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham

First Division: Major General Cooke

Guards Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby[13]

2/1st Footguards – 761/708
2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 516/479
2/3rd Footguards – 544/499

First Brigade: Major General Skerret

2/21st – 282/174 (and 107 “on command”)
2/37th – 298/90 (and 179 “on command”)
2/44th – 420/399
55th – 355/295
2/69th – 483/433

Divisional Artillery

Rogers’ Brigade[14]

Second Division: Major General Mackenzie

Light Brigade: Major General Gibbs

2/35th – 455/432
2/52nd – 196/185
2/73rd – 530/474
Provisional Bn./95th Rifles – 304/255

Second Brigade: Major General Taylor

2/25th – 382/319
33rd – 585/502
54th – 467/439
3/56th – 281/255
2/78th – 315/262

Divisional Artillery

Fyers’ Brigade[15]

Cavalry: Lt. Colonel Baron Linsingen

2nd KGL Hussars – 480/451, with 517 horses

In Garrison

1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 458/330 (and 102 “on command”)

Unassigned Artillery: Lt Colonel Wood

Truscot’s Brigade
Tyler’s Brigade
Hawker’s Brigade

Royal Artillery had 794 total strength, with 709 horses. 737 listed as “on command”, which presumably indicates service with the various batteries rather than with headquarters. Royal Wagon Train increased to 105 total strength, with 136 horses, whilst Royal Engineers and Royal Sappers and Miners remained at 78 total strength.

The alternative divisional order of battle given by Fortescue in his History of the British Army, transposes the First and Guards Brigades, placing them in the wrong divisions; he furthermore does not seem to have used Graham’s monthly returns for his strength figures, some of which appear to be taken from the inaccurate Bathurst memorandum given above.[16]

Major General Skerret did not take part in the initial advance on Antwerp, command of the First Brigade being assigned instead to Taylor, who was relieved in turn at the head of the Second Brigade by Lt. Colonel John Macleod of the 2/78th (the battalion being commanded in his absence by Lt. Colonel Martin Lindsay).[17] Whilst commanding the Second Brigade, Macleod was wounded during the first attack on Merxem, “but did not quit command of the brigade till he became week from loss of blood”.[18] By the time of the second attack, Skerret had rejoined and he and Taylor resumed their initial commands.[19] After the return from the abortive bombardment of the French Fleet, Mackenzie was injured after falling from his horse, and relieved by Gibbs, Lt Colonel William George Harris of the 2/73rd stepping up to take temporary command of the Light Brigade.[20]

Further Reinforcements and Reorganisation

Taylor left the army in early February with dispatches, being back in London by the 4th of that month;[21] he was replaced as Brigade commander by Lt. Colonel Browne of the 3/56th.[22] In the early February further reinforcements arrived in the shape of the 2/30th and 2/81st from Jersey, and the 4/1st (Royal Scots) and 2/91st (Argyllshire Highland), which had marched overland from Germany under Brigadier General Arthur Gore, late commanding officer of the 33rd until his promotion the previous year, who had been left in command at Stralsund after the departure of Gibbs. The first two battalions were assigned to the Second Division, going to the Light and Second Brigades respectively; the two battalions from Stralsund remained as an independent brigade under Gore. This brigade does not seem to have been assigned to either division, although it operated with the First; Graham still speaks of it as an independent entity in his dispatch of March 10th 1814, however.[23] Gore also brought with him nine men detached from those units brought from Stralsund by Gibbs, and “100 foreign recruits for the 33rd Regiment.”[24] In addition to the reinforcements, there was some rearrangement of battalions within the Second Division, creating the following order of battle for February.[25]

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham

First Division: Major General Cooke

Guards Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby

2/1st Footguards – 914/692 (including 182 “on command”)[26]
2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 647/546 (including 50 “on command”)
2/3rd Footguards – 716/601 (including 51 “on command”)

First Brigade: Major General Skerret

2/21st – 283/157 (including 116 “on command”)
2/37th – 302/119 (including 165 “on command”)
2/44th – 419/300
55th – 348/272
2/69th – 477/416

Divisional Artillery

Rogers’ Brigade

Second Division: Major General Mackenzie

Light Brigade: Major General Gibbs

2/25th – 377/311
2/30th – 464/449
2/52nd – 197/171
54th – 461/401
2/73rd – 519/417
Provisional Bn./95th Rifles – 278/242

Second Brigade: Lt. Colonel Browne

33rd – 580/348 (including 161 “on command”)
2/35th – 456/413
3/56th – 274/223
2/78th – 312/257
2/81st – 376/351

Divisional Artillery

Fyers’ Brigade

Independent Brigade: Brigadier General Gore

4/1st – 955/729[27]
2/91st – 490/442

Cavalry: Lt. Colonel Baron Linsingen

2nd KGL Hussars – 479/393 (including 69 “on command”), with 517 horses

In Garrison

1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 454/292 (including 131 “on command”)

Unassigned Artillery: Lt Colonel Wood

Truscot’s Brigade
Tyler’s Brigade
Hawker’s Brigade

Royal Artillery had 827 total strength, of whom 750 listed as “on command”, with 703 horses. Royal Wagon Train at 110 total strength, with 163 horses, whilst Royal Engineers and Royal Sappers and Miners remained at 78 total strength. Later in February the reinforcements from Wallmoden’s Corps finally arrived. Despite the arrival of the 3rd KGL Hussars, no cavalry brigade was formed and the regiment operated independently under its commander, Lt. Colonel Lewis Meyer.

The Attack on Bergen op Zoom

On March 8th 1814, Graham launched his attack on the fortress of Bergen op Zoom, using forces drawn from the First Division and Gore’s independent brigade, plus the 33rd from the Second Division. The need to provide a number of storming parties meant that the established organisation of these formations was largely broken up, creating the following order of battle for the attacking forces as outlined in Graham’s dispatch.[28] Strengths are all given by Graham in round numbers, but these may not be far off the actual figures since it would seem that in most cases the forces committed to the storm represent picked detachments rather than entire units; only the battalions assigned a supporting role seem to have gone in as full-strength units.

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham
Commander of Assaulting Forces: Major General Cooke

First Column: Colonel Lord Proby

Storming Party – 600[29]
Supports – 400

Second Column: Lt. Colonel Charles Morrice, 2/69th

55th – 250 (Storming Party)
2/69th – 350 (Storming Party)
33rd – 600 (Supports)

Third Column: Lt. Colonel Robert Henry, 2/21st[30]

2/21st – 100
2/37th – 150
2/91st – 400

Fourth Column: Lt. Colonel Hon. George Carleton, 2/44th

2/44th – 300 (Storming Party)
Flank Coys. 2/21st and 2/37th – 200 (Storming Party)
4/1st – 600 (Supports)

Major General Cooke accompanied the First Column; Major General Skerret and Brigadier General Gore the Fourth. Each column had a detachment of the Royal Sappers and Miners, Lt. Colonel Smyth, in command, accompanying the First Column. Graham’s figures give a total attacking force of 3,950 rank and file.

The operation failed with heavy losses, Major General Skerret, Brigadier General Gore, and Lt. Colonel Carleton being amongst the killed. Overall casualties amounted to a total of 3,183 all ranks, the bulk of these being prisoners. These latter were returned on parole and sent to England , with the exception of three officers and 119 men exchanged immediately for French prisoners taken by Graham’s forces.[31] The distribution of casualties by type and rank was as follows:[32]

 

Killed

Wounded

Taken Prisoner

Totals

Officers

17

54

93

164

Sergeants

29

28

93

150

Musicians, Rank and File

341

451

2,077

2,869

Totals

387

533

2,263

3,183

More specifically, the return for March 25th, National Archives WO17/1773, shows the following losses over the previous month, which are given here for the units involved in the assault. Figures are for rank and file only.

Unit

Dead

Taken Prisoner

Deserters

Totals

2/1st Footguards

50

171

0

221

2/2nd Footguards

1

8

0

9

2/3rd Footguards

5

24

0

29

4/1st

46

572

10

628

2/21st

19

55

2

76

33rd

29

55

1

85

2/37th

37

131

1

169

2/44th

41

219

0

260

55th

8

62

0

70

2/69th

21

215

0

236

2/91st

46

187

12

245

R. Sappers & Miners

0

10

0

10

Totals

303

1,709

26

2,038

Figures for wounded are not included, there being no attempt in the return to differentiate those in hospital from wounds from those there through illness. Whilst these figures represent wastage over a whole month, it should be noted that total losses for the remainder of the army amounted over the same period to twelve dead and eight deserters, from which it may be inferred that the vast majority of the casualties given in the above table were sustained during the attack on Bergen op Zoom. The greater proportion of desertions amongst the attacking troops should therefore be noted, although no doubt this may partly be represented by men “missing” during the attack. It is to be assumed that the prisoners immediately exchanged did not make it into this return, not, in effect, being losses.

Pending the release from parole of Cooke, and the arrival of replacement General officers from home, Gibbs took over the First Division, Lt. Colonel Harris again having the Light Brigade. The organisation of the army as a whole therefore worked out as follows:[33]

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham

First Division: Major General Gibbs

Guards Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby

2/1st Footguards – 699/503 (including 132 “on command”)
2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 636/596
2/3rd Footguards – 686/412 (including 215 “on command”)

First Brigade: No commander named

2/21st – 215/174
2/37th – 144/61 (including 52 “on command”)
2/44th – 172/117
55th – 324/239
2/69th – 297/197

Divisional Artillery

Rogers’ Brigade

Second Division: Major General Mackenzie

Light Brigade: Lt. Colonel Harris

2/25th – 375/295
2/30th – 463/429
2/52nd – 197/165
54th – 483/419
2/73rd – 554/460
Provisional Bn./95th Rifles – 298/227

Second Brigade: Lt. Colonel Browne

33rd – 611/448
2/35th – 449/402
3/56th – 274/234
2/78th – 313/257
2/81st – 377/355

Divisional Artillery

Fyers’ Brigade

Cavalry: No Brigade commander.

2nd KGL Hussars – 485/423, with 510 horses
3rd KGL Hussars – 657/620, with 683 horses

Unattached Infantry

1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 453/141 (including 295 “on command”)
4/1st – 380/216
2/91st – 264/159

Unassigned Artillery: Lt Colonel Wood

Truscot’s Brigade
Tyler’s Brigade
Hawker’s Brigade
1st KGL Horse Battery
2nd KGL Horse Battery
1st Rocket Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

Royal Artillery (including KGL Artillery) strength 1,255 total; Royal Wagon Train 110 total; Royal Engineers and Royal Sappers and Miners, 67 total.

Later Changes and Reorganisations

In the aftermath of the failed assault, the paroled men of the 4/1st were sent back to Britain , from where the battalion subsequently was sent to North America. The 1st Foreign Veteran Battalion was sent out to join the army from Lisbon. The casualties amongst the army’s General Officers, and the departure of Taylor, meant that there was a great need for senior officers, with the result that Lt. General Ronald Ferguson, Major General William Eden, and Brigadier General Colin Halkett being placed on the staff. The first and last named had seen considerable service in the Peninsular campaigns, but Eden had served largely in staff capacities; his tenure was short-lived in the extreme, however, for although the Army List has him on the staff for April 1814, he appears neither in the return of March 25th nor that of April 25th, indicating actual service of less than one month between these two dates; he was, however, present on April 15th, being included in the distribution of forces on that date from which the following order of battle is derived.[34]

Commander of Forces: General Sir Thomas Graham

First Division: Lt. General Ferguson

Guards Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby

2/1st Footguards – 696/633
2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – 634/499 (including 104 “on command”)
2/3rd Footguards – 681/527 (including 107 “on command”)

First Brigade: Major General Eden

33rd – 618/486
54th – 483/437
Provisional Battalion[35] – 539/229 (including 251 “on command”)

Divisional Artillery

Rogers’ Brigade

Second Division: Major General Cooke

Second Brigade: Major General Gibbs

2/25th – 372/296
2/44th – 223/107
55th – 322/233
2/73rd – 550/473

Third Brigade: Brigadier General Halkett

2/35th – 521/473
3/56th  - 444/384
2/69th – 302-210
2/91st – 247/183

Divisional Artillery

Fyers’ Brigade

Reserve: Major General Mackenzie[36]

2/30th – 462/430
2/52nd  – 277/248
2/78th – 312/268
2/81st – 374/351
Provisional Bn./95th – 296/260

Cavalry: No Brigade commander

2nd KGL Hussars – 487/417, with 512 horses
3rd KGL Hussars – 632/590, with 632 horses

In Garrison

1st Royal Veteran Bn. – 452/228 (including 209 “on command”)
1st Foreign Veteran Bn. – 475/167 (including 301 “on command”)

Unassigned Artillery: Lt Colonel Wood

Truscot’s Brigade
Tyler’s BrigadeHawker’s Brigade
1st KGL Horse Battery
2nd KGL Horse Battery
1st Rocket Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

Royal Artillery (including KGL Artillery) strength 1,370 total; Royal Wagon Train 237 total; Royal Engineers and Royal Sappers and Miners, 77 total.

This organisation remained in force until after the closing of hostilities, with only a few small changes. After the departure of Eden, Brevet Lt. Colonel Crawford of the 2/73rd took temporary command of the First Brigade, whilst Major General Victor von Alten came out in June to assume command of the cavalry.[37] In May the 1st Royal Veteran Battalion and two troops of the Royal Wagon Train were ordered home to be reduced, whilst the 55th also returned to England , “being ord[ere]d home about a Court Martial by the Commander in Chief”.[38] Graham, or Lord Lynedoch as he had become in May, finally left the army on June 13th, being relieved temporarily by Ferguson and then, permanently, by the Prince of Orange the following month.[39]

Break-up of the Army

Even prior to the attack on Bergen op Zoom, demands in other theatres had led to the decision to withdraw the bulk of Graham’s army. In a dispatch to Graham dated February 28th 1814, and marked “Secret”, Lord Bathurst had notified Graham that the bulk of his forces were to be withdrawn and sent to North America whilst the Footguards were to join Wellington’s Army in the south of France.[40] It has been argued since that this dispatch prompted the Bergen op Zoom assault; in any case it was overtaken by events and only the 4/1st was sent to Canada , as noted above. In fact, the ending of European hostilities, and subsequent political need to maintain a military presence in the Netherlands , meant that, although some battalions were withdrawn, the force was ultimately reinforced, first by Hanoverian troops and then by more British and KGL units, to become the nucleus of the Army that Wellington led at Waterloo. The subsequent services of those remaining units from Graham’s original army were as follows:[41]

2/1st Footguards – Remained in Netherlands ; First Brigade, First Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/2nd (Coldstream) Footguards – Remained in Netherlands; Second Brigade, First Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/3rd Footguards – Remained in Netherlands; Second Brigade, First Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/21st – Left Netherlands September 1814; no further overseas service.

2/25th – Remained in Netherlands; Seventh Brigade, in garrison, during Waterloo campaign.

2/30th – Remained in Netherlands; Fifth Brigade, Third Division, during Waterloo campaign.

33rd – Remained in Netherlands; Fifth Brigade, Third Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/35th – Remained in Netherlands; Sixth Brigade, Fourth Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/37th – Remained in Netherlands; Seventh Brigade, in garrison, during Waterloo campaign.

2/44th – Remained in Netherlands; Ninth Brigade, Fifth Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/52nd – Remained in Netherlands; effectives absorbed into 1/52nd April 1815, cadre returned home and subsequently disbanded.

54th – Remained in Netherlands; Sixth Brigade, Fourth Division, during Waterloo campaign.

3/56th – Left Netherlands September 1814; disbanded October 1814.

2/69th – Remained in Netherlands; Fifth Brigade, Third Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/73rd – Remained in Netherlands; Fifth Brigade, Third Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/78th – Remained in Netherlands; independently assigned to garrison duties during Waterloo campaign.

2/81st – Remained in Netherlands; Tenth Brigade, Sixth Division, during Waterloo campaign.

2/91st – Left Netherlands September 1814; no further overseas service.

Provisional Bn./95th Rifles – Coys. of 1/95th and 2/95th rejoined parent units in May and April 1815 respectively; Coys. of 3/95th with Third Brigade, Second Division, during Waterloo campaign.

Foreign Veteran Battalion – Remained in Netherlands; independently assigned to garrison duties during Waterloo campaign.

2nd KGL Hussars – Remained in Netherlands; Fifth Cavalry Brigade during Waterloo campaign.

3rd KGL Hussars – Remained in Netherlands; Seventh Cavalry Brigade during Waterloo campaign.

Of the senior officers remaining with the army, Ferguson returned home when Orange assumed the command; this being necessitated by Orange being his junior. Victor von Alten remained in the Netherlands through the Waterloo campaign in nominal command of the Hanoverian cavalry. Cooke remained in the Netherlands , and commanded the First Division in the Waterloo campaign. Mackenzie remained in the Netherlands , though not fully recovered from his fall, and commanded the Seventh Brigade, on garrison duties, during the Waterloo campaign. Gibbs left the Netherlands in October 1814, subsequently commanding a brigade during the expedition against New Orleans where he was killed. Halkett remained in the Netherlands and commanded the Fifth Brigade in the Waterloo campaign. Lord Proby was promoted to Major General in June 1814, but had returned to England by August and was struck off the staff in the Netherlands in December, his leave having expired the previous month, and replaced by Major General Maitland. Sir George Wood remained as commander of the Royal Artillery in the Netherlands , with the brevet rank of Colonel, and served through to Waterloo.[42]

Notes:

[1] Historical summary largely from HMSO, British Minor Expeditions 1746-1814, Compiled in the Intelligence Branch of the Quartermaster General’s Department (London, 1884); Hon. J.W. Fortescue, A History of the British Army (Thirteen Vols. London, 1899-1930), Vol.X, pp1-11, 33-55.

[2] See National Archives, WO6/16, pp.18-19

[3] See “Return of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, Drummers and Private men who are ready, or who are expected to be prepared for embarkation for Holland” in National Archives, WO1/198, p.3

[4] See Lt. Gen. Sir F./W. Hamilton KCB, The Origin and Service of the First or Grenadier Guards (3 Vols. London, 1874), Vol.II, pp.484-485.

[5] See Torrens to Bunbury, December 19th 1813, in National Archives WO1/198, p.39.

[6] See Torrens to Bunbury, December 30th 1813, in National Archives WO1/198, p.55.

[6a] See Wallmoden to Graham, January 18th 1814, in National Archives WO1/199, p.509.

[7] See “Cantonments of the Army under General Sir Thomas Graham” dated December 27th 1813, in national Archives WO1/199, p.245.

[8] Comprised of two companies 3/95th and one company each from 1/95th and 2/95th, and commanded from January by Brevet Lt. Colonel Cameron of the 1/95th; see Sir Wiliam H. Cope, The History of the Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own) Formerly the 95th (London, 1877). Sources often refer to the whole as 3/95th, but the detachments from the other two battalions continued to be present.

[9] For individual units, see Major Francis Duncan, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, (Two Vols, London, 1879): Service histories in these volumes do not list Fyers’ Brigade as present in the Netherlands until 1815, but Graham explicitly mentions that unit in a dispatch of January 14th 1814 and HMSO, British Minor Expeditions 1746-1814, Compiled in the Intelligence Branch of the Quartermaster General’s Department (London, 1884), does state five companies as present in December 1813 whereas Duncan only gives four; it would therefore seem reasonable to conclude that Fyers’ was the fifth company present from the outset.

[10] See HMSO, Minor Expeditions, p.81.

[11] See HMSO, Minor Expeditions, p.82.

[12] See HMSO, Minor Expeditions, p.81.

[13] Captain and Lt. Colonel John, Lord Proby, of the 1st Footguards, serving as Colonel on the staff.

[14] It is assumed that this was the battery assigned, as it is the only one recorded as being at Merxem; see Duncan, Royal Regiment of Artillery, Vol. I, p.223.

[15] Whilst Duncan only gives Rogers’ Brigade as having been at Merxem, Graham specifically notes that Fyers’ was attached to the Second Division there, leading to the assignments conjectured as per this order of battle. See Graham to Bathurst, January 14th 1814, in Alex. M. Delavoye, Life of Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch ( London, 1880) pp.703-705

[16] See Fortescue, History of the British Army, Vol.X, p.8.

[17] See Graham to Bathurst, dated January 14th 1814, in Delavoye, Life of Thomas Graham,  pp.703-705.

[18] See Graham to Bathurst, dated January 14th 1814, in Delavoye, Life of Thomas Graham,  pp.703-705.

[19] See Fortescue, History of the British Army, Vol.X, p.11.

[20] See Graham to Bathurst, dated February 6th 1814, in Delavoye, Life of Thomas Graham, pp.707-710.

[21] See The Times, London, February 5th 1814.

[22] See “Description of the Troops under the command of his excellency General Sir Thomas Graham KB” in National Archives WO1/658, p.567.

[23] Printed in The Times, London, March 15th 1814.

[24] See return of Gore’s Brigade, dated Breda, February 28th 1814, in National Archives, WO1/200, p.37.

[25] Derived from Table of Cantonments for February 10th 1814, in National Archives WO1/199, p.613; strengths from return of February 25th 1814 in National Archives WO17/xxx

[26] Men “on command” from Guards Brigade largely reinforcements marching to join; see [ref]

[27] The large discrepancy here is accounted for by no less than 209 men sick; 22% of the battalion’s strength.

[28] Dispatch of March 10th 1814, printed in The Times, London, March 15th 1814; see also HMSO, Minor Expeditions, pp.84-85.

[29] Both parties drawn from the men of the three Footguards battalions.

[30] This column made a diversionary attack, and was not broken up into Storming Party and Supports as the others were.

[31] See HMSO, Minor Expeditions, p.88

[32] Data from HMSO, Minor Expeditions, p.87.

[33] See “Description of the Troops under the command of his excellency General Sir Thomas Graham KB” in National Archives WO1/658, p.567; strengths from return of 25th march in National Archives WO17/1773

[34] See Graham to Bathurst, April 15th 1814, WO1/200, pp.553-557

[35] Formed from 2/21st and 2/37th.

[36] With “1 squadron of Hussars and 4 guns of Horse Artillery of KGL” attached.

[37] See Table of Cantonments dated June 30th 1814 in National Archives WO1/201, p.13.

[38] See Lynedoch to Castlereagh, May 30th 1814, in National Archives WO1/201, pp.769-770.

[39] See Ferguson to Bathurst, June 13th 1814, Orange to Bathurst July 15th 1814, in National Archives WO1/201, pp.185-187 and 233-234 respectively.

[40] Quoted in full in Delavoye, Life of Thomas Graham, p.714.

[41] Compiled from returns in National Archives WO17/1773; service histories at www.regiments.org, and Waterloo campaign order of battle at www.napoleon-series.org/xxxx

[42] Largely summarised from notes accompanying monthly returns in National Archives WO17/1760, /1773

 

 

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