Research Subjects: Eyewitness Accounts

British Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars: Commissary Department

By Robert Burnham

The Commissary Department of the army consisted of the Commissary General, Deputy Commissary Generals, Assistant Commissary Generals, Deputy Assistant Commissary Generals, and clerks. Each division was authorized an Assistant Commissary General, at least two Deputy Assistant Commissary Generals, and clerks. A brigade was authorized a Deputy Assistant Commissary General and clerks.

Buckham, E. Personal Narrative of Adventures in the Peninsula during the War in 1812 -13 Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 1995., 339 pages. ISBN: 0-946879-57-5

Notes:  It is written by an officer in the Staff Corps Regiment of Cavalry, yet his duty was primarily as a commissary officer. Great descriptions of Almeida and buying cattle for the army.

Carey, Tupper. "Reminiscences of Waterloo" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume VI: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2014. Pages 233 - 240

Notes: was an Assistant Commissary General in the 2nd Division at Waterloo.

Chesterton, George Laval. Peace, War, and Adventure: an Autobiographical Memoir of George Laval Chesterton. London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1853. 2 vols.

Notes: Volume 1 covers war in Catalonia in 1812 – 1814.

Dallas, Alexander. Felix Alvarez, or, Manners in Spain Containing Descriptive Accounts of Some of the Prominent Events of the Late Peninsular War. New York: J. Eastburn; 1818.  3 vols.

Daniel, John Edgecombe. Journal of an Officer in the Commissariat Department: 1811 – 1815. Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 1997. 503 pages.

Notes: was a deputy assistant commissary general in the Peninsula 1812 - 1814; on the Army staff and 3rd Division; at Waterloo.

Graham, William. Travels through Portugal and Spain, during the Peninsular War. London: Richard Phillips, 1820. 92 Pages.

Notes: was part of General Ponsonby's Cavalry Brigade in 1813.

Graham, William. "Campaign in Portugal and Spain" in Officers & Gentlemen: Two Accounts of British Officers during the Peninsula War. Leonaur, 2009. 212 pages.

Notes: also contains "Officer of Light Dragoons"by Captain Peter Hawker of the 14th Light Dragoons.

Henegan, Richard.  Seven Years Campaigning  in the Peninsula and the Netherlands, from 1808-1815. 2 vols. Stroud: Nonsuch, 2005. 376 pages.

Notes: was a Military Commissary in the Field Train, in the Peninsula from August 1808 - January 1809, April 1809 - summer 1809; served in the Walcheren Expedition in 1809; Peninsula May 1810 - April 1814; was the Ordnance Commissary for the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, making him responsible for all ammunition and stores for the artillery.

Robinson, James. "Letter to General Henry Clinton dated 31 August 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume VI: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2014. Pages 224 - 225

Notes: was a storekeeper and captured on 17 June 1815.

Routh, Randolph I. Observations on Commissariat Field Service and Home Defences. London : Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1852.

Notes: was an assistant commissary general and deputy commissary general in the Peninsula from June 1810 - December 1813; served in the 1st and 2nd Divisions.

Schaumann, August L. On the Road with Wellington: the Diary of a War Commissary in the Peninsular Campaigns. Anthony Ludovici, (ed.) London: Greenhill; 1998. 440 pages.

Notes: was a deputy assistant commissary general in the Peninsula 1808 - 1813; 1st KGL Hussars 1810; 7th KGL Infantry 1811; 9th Light Dragoons 1812; 18th Hussars 1812-1813.

Thompson, William. "Visit to Waterloo on 2 November 1818" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume VI: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2014. Pages 278 - 282

Notes: was a deputy commissary general. Was not at Waterloo. Good descriptions of the battlefield as it was in 1818.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2013; last updated October 2016.

 

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