Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

History and Organisation of the Dutch 8th Militia Battalion: After Waterloo: June - December 1815

By Marco Bijl


Editor's Note: This article is first appeared on the Dutch 8th Militia website and is used with the author's permission.

Author's Note: This article is based on research in primary sources only. All information is coming directly from archives, libraries and museums in the Netherlands and Belgium. Numbers between ( ) brackets are referring to numbers in the bibliography. The author has a copy of all documents mentioned in the text.

After Waterloo

After a few days rest, the brigade joined the rest of the army to occupy France. All the brigade's troops were reorganized into 2 battalions under the command of De Jongh. One battalion was made out of the 8th, 5th, and 7th Militia Battalions. The second was formed by the remaining two battalions. It was with this organization they reached France (8, 18, 41).

A few weeks after the battle, on 26 June, the strength of the 8th Militia Battalion was back to normal: 23 officers and 536 enlisted for a total strength of 559 (14, 15).

There could be two reasons for this: Back in the depot around 294 men were waiting to join the battalion, I am not sure when they arrived at battalion headquarters, but probably in July 1815(14, 15).

From June till December 1815

And now it was on to Paris. But that was a long march! (All places below are based on the sources. 10, 11, 41, 56)

On 25 June they were in Cateau Cambresis and its surroundings. On the evening of the 26th, they arrived in Peronne. The next day the took the city without a fight. On 15th July, they arrived at the Camp de Boulogne, the big Allied army camp near Paris. Disaster stroke the battalion there, as diseases were going through the units. Between 15 July and 23 December, 41 men were hospitalized, 40 dismissed because of illness and other things, and one died from the disease. But they were still lucky. The 1st and 2nd Nassau Regiments had 1521 man in the hospital, of which 123 died (29). In September, 1815 the battalion, now 637 men strong, was billeted in several villages: Chauvry, Berthemont, Villiers Adam, Meriel .

8 October 1815: The 8th Militia Battalion was designated as the 1st Battalion of the 9th Afdeling. An Afdeling was similar to a regiment. The 9th & 15th Militia Battalions and the 12th Line Battalion formed the other 3 battalions of the Afdeling. Their new depot was located at Dordrecht (22).

In December 1815, the battalion was sent back to the Netherlands. They arrived in their barracks in Dordrecht later that month (10, 11, 56). In 1816, almost all veterans of the campaign were dismissed from further service and new recruits were drafted into the unit (15).




Placed on the Napoleon Series: June 2008

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