Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

Notes on Wellington’s Peninsular Regiments: 62nd Regiment of Foot (The Wiltshires)

By Ray Foster

Facings: Buff                                                                   
Lace: Silver


17th October 1813 (brigaded under Major General Matthew Aylmer)                                                                                         
No figures given

It is necessary to read Wellington’s Dispatches to discover the early doings of this unit, arriving as a totally 'green' battalion of young recruits they were put into Aylmer's care and with others of the same calibre were expected to improve sufficiently to be able to become 'regular' and march up from the Biscay coast to join the army. To give them the appearance of service Aylmer was told off to put the Biscay seaport of Santona under a blockade with a view to an eventual siege and to threaten even a storm. Being designated a kind of basic training brigade [I dub them 'the chocolate soldiers] they never came close to putting Santona under any stress and indeed that place and its Governor only surrendered, at its own leisure when hostilities had come to a halt. On 10th December 1813 however we see that in those confused combats around the Barrouillet as a part of Lieutenant General John Hope's left wing of the army 2/62nd recorded one man wounded we also notice that Ensign William Kirkpatrick died on the same day but this, coincidentally, of natural causes.

That then sums up the Wiltshire's record in this war.

They were not to be present at Waterloo.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2010


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