The Dutch Indian Brigade
On 13th August 1814, the former Batavian/Dutch colonies
were given back to the Dutch government by the Treaty of
London. At 18th August the strength for the troops to be
sent to the colonies was established at:
Troops Designated for the East Indies
A European line infantry regiment of two battalions,
each of two flanker and four fusilier companies. This
regiment would receive the number 5, because all the
Dutch units were numbered consecutively.
Six native line infantry battalions, each with two
flanker companies consisting of Europeans and four native
fusilier-companies. These battalions would receive the
numbers 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
Two native garrison battalions, each of six companies.
These battalions would receive the numbers 25 and 26.
A cavalry regiment with three squadrons each of two
companies. Two squadrons would be European, 1 squadron
native. This regiment would be composed of hussars,
receiving number 7.
An artillery battalion of ten companies. One company
would be horse artillery, two companies would be native.
This battalion would receive number 5.
A battalion of pioneers, with a company of European
engineers and four companies native pioneers.
Troops Designated for the West Indies
Two European jäger battalions. These battalions
would receive numbers 10 and 11.
A European artillery battalion of three companies.
This battalion would receive number 6.
In the native companies and squadrons all cadre would
be European. The units would receive no colours.
As was to be expected, finding the men for these units
was difficult. For example, on 22 February, an agreement was
made with Count Bentinck, sovereign of Inn und Kniphausen,
to take into Dutch service an infantry battalion consisting
of two flanker and four fusilier companies, who were
destined for the East Indies.
Because of this problem, at the outbreak of war in 1815
the troops were still in the Netherlands, and were promptly
incorporated in the so called Indian Brigade.
The Indian Brigade
Commander-in-Chief: Lieutenant-General C.H.W.
Chief-staff: General-Major H.M. de Cock
Adjutants: Captain J.P. Anthing
Captain J.R.A. Clignett
1st Class Lieutenant-volunteer C.P.J. Elout
Adjoint: Captain A.Th. Raaff
East Indian Regiment Number 5 (General-Major G.M.
Busman, Chief-Staff Major van Deelen), consisting of the
1st Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel B. Bischoff) and the
2nd Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel F. Stoecker).
1st Battalion Flankers, composed of the flanker
companies of Battalions number 19 and 20 (total strength
four companies) (2nd Class Colonel W. Schenck).
Battalion West Indian Jagers Number 10 (Colonel H.W.
Battalion West Indian Jagers Number 11
(Lieutenant-Colonel F. Knotzer).
Foot Battery Number 3 (8 x 6pounder guns)(Captain C.J.
Train (1st Class Lieutenant H.B. Deijermans)
On 12 June 1815 the strength of these units was:
East-Indian Regiment Number 5
1st Battalion Flankers
West Indian Jägers Number 10
West Indian Jägers Number 11
Foot Battery Number 3 (8 guns)
Uniform of the Indian Brigade
A. East Indian Regiment Number 5 and the 1st
Short dark blue coat with light blue lapels closed
till the middle. Lapels with seven horizontal rows of
yellow loops and piped red. Collar light blue with red
piping and two rows of yellow loops. Cuffs light blue,
also with yellow loops. Shoulder straps light blue piped
red. Pocket flaps piped red and with three rows of yellow
loops. Yellow buttons with the regimental or battalion
number. Turnbacks light blue with red piping. Dark grey
breeches, worn over the gaiters. Gaiters and shoes black.
Black French shako with brass shako plate (a crowned
'W'), orange cockade, yellow loop and button, and brass
chin scales. White pompon with light blue top. Yellow
linen pack with white straps. White belts, black
cartridge box. Greatcoat dark grey. No infantry sabre.
Fusiliers with a musket and a bayonet, flankers were
armed with rifles. White musket-slings. Flankers had blue
wings with yellow fringe.
Officers wore a long coat, and all loops were gold.
They also wore a shako. Drummers, pipers and buglers had
the same uniform, with light blue swallownests and yellow
bullions. They were armed with sabres.
B. West Indian jäger
Short dark green coat with lapels closed with 7 yellow
buttons, piped yellow. Yellow collar piped green. Cuffs,
cuff-flaps and turnbacks yellow. Epaulettes green fringed
yellow and a yellow horn embroidered for corporals and
jägers; NCO's fringed gold and a gold horn
embroidered. Dark grey breeches, black shoes. Black
French shako with brass shako plate (hunting horn with in
it the letter 'W', above it a crown), orange cockade
without loop and yellow button. Jagers had a green
pompon, flankers a green pompon with yellow top and
yellow shako cords. light brown leather pack with black
straps. Black belts, black cartridge box. Armed with a
rifle and a sword bayonet. Also short infantry sabres
were issued. Black musket-slings.
Officers wore the same uniform, only of a better
quality. On the turnbacks a gold embroidered hunting
horn. Gold epaulettes. Black boots. Shako with a gold
edge on the peak, gold shako plate and gold chin scales.
Orange cockade with gold loop and button, gold shako
cords. Orange sash across the body. Armed with a sword.
About the musicians nothing is known. Probably the same
uniform with only minor distinctions as
C. Foot Battery Number 3 and Train.
The artillery uniform as for the East Indian infantry,
with the following changes: Red collar, shoulder straps,
turnbacks and cuffs. Collar, cuffs and turnbacks piped
dark blue. Yellow buttons with two crossed gun barrels on
them. Dark grey breeches. On the shako a red pompon with
black top. White belts. Officers had a long coat with
gold loop. Further the same as for infantry.
The Waterloo Campaign
The Indian Brigade saw no action during the battles of
Quatre-Bras and Waterloo, being part of Prince Fredericks
troops at Halle. However, during the advance on Paris they
took part in the blockade of Quesnoy. On 24 June, the Indian
Brigade started digging trenches, but without proper tools
and the help of sappers progress was slow. During the night
of 26 - 27 June the city was bombarded, at the same time,
the Battalion West-Indian Jägers Number 11 advanced to
the fortress in skirmishing order and fired during the whole
night at the French gunners manning the guns on the walls.
Netherlands losses as a result of this night's fighting were
four killed and ten wounded. As a result of this
bombardment, on 28 June Quesnoy capitulated. Quesnoy was
garrisoned by the 2nd Battalion of the East Indian Regiment
The remainder of the Indian Brigade marched to
Valenciennes to blockade this fortress, and to observe
Condé. In the morning of 1 July, 200 French troops
left Condé to cut the southern dike along the river
Scheldt. They were attacked by the Netherlands outposts, 40
men of the West Indian Jägers Number 10 and some
dragoons of the Regiment Dragonders Number 5, commanded by
Captain Matile. The French were driven back with three dead
and some wounded, while two French were taken prisoner. The
Netherlands troops received no losses. At the same time,
another French detachment tried to take some cattle near
Fresnes, but this was also prevented by some jägers.
Valenciennes was bombarded, and skirmishes between patrols
took place, until on 26 July when hostilities came to an
On 10 July King William of Orange informed Wellington
that he would like to send the Indian Brigade to their
original destination, the East and West Indies. This was
laid down in a Royal Decree of 9 August 1815. As a result,
Wellington fixed their departure date as 16 August. Arriving
in the Netherlands, the Colonial Brigade was taken out of
the mobile army on 6 September. During October and November,
the units left for their various destinations.
Bas, F. de Prins Frederik der Nederlanden en zijn tijd
III, IV (Schiedam 1903-1904)
Bas, F. de & t'Serclaes de Wommersom, Comte J. La
Campagne de 1815 aux Pays-Bas, d'après les rapports
officiels Néerlandais I-III (Bruxelles
Raa, F.J.G. ten De uniformen van de Nederlandsche Zee-
en Landmacht hier te lande en in de koloniën ('s
Wüppermann, W.E.A., gen-maj De vorming van het
Nederlandsche leger na de omwenteling van 1813 en het
aandeel van dat leger aan den veldtocht van 1815 (Breda