Research Subjects: Eyewitness Accounts

British Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars: Brigade Majors

By Robert Burnham

Within each infantry and cavalry brigade, plus in the army level Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery organizations, there was a staff officer called a brigade major. He was responsible for all staff functions within the unit other than the commissary. This was a highly sought after assignment, because in addition to the increase responsibility and exposure, the officer would receive additional pay.

Baynes, Henry. "Letter # 69, dated 21 December 1834" in Letters from the Battle of Waterloo: Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers. Gareth Glover (ed.). London: Greenhill; 2004. Pages 129

Notes: was a captain and the brigade major for the Royal Artillery at Waterloo, where he was wounded.

Benne, John F. L. "Letters # 12, 13, and 14 " in Letters from the Battle of Waterloo: Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers. Gareth Glover (ed.). London: Greenhill; 2004. Pages 38 - 42

Notes: was a lieutenant in the King's German Legion; was a brigade major at Waterloo; letters are signed Lewis Benne.

Blair, Thomas H. "Waterloo Letters # 121 and 122, dated 1 May and 29 November 1835' in Waterloo Letters. Herbert T. Siborne (ed.). London: Greenhill, 1993. Pages 278 - 280

Notes: was a major in the 91st Foot and brigade major of the 3rd Brigade 2nd Division at Waterloo.

Bunbury, Thomas. Reminiscences of a Veteran. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press in association with the National Army Museum, 2009.  3 volumes.

Notes: Only the first volume covers the Napoleonic Wars; spent 1808 – 1809 in 3rd Foot. served as the adjutant of the 1st Battalion of Detachments after Talavera; captain in the 20th Portuguese Regiment in October 1809,served as a brigade major for for a year from July 1811 - September 1812, commanded a company in the 5th Caçadores, command the 6th Caçadores at Toulouse, and would end the war serving as a major in the 3rd and then the 4th Caçadores.

Campbell, James. A British Army, as It Was, -- Is – and Ought to Be. London: T&W Boone, 1840.

Notes: was in the 1st Battalion 45th Foot and the Brigade Major of the 1st Brigade 3rd Division April 1812 - April 1814.

Heimburg, Christian von. "Letter # 195, dated 2 March 1839" in Letters from the Battle of Waterloo: Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers. Gareth Glover (ed.). London: Greenhill; 2004. Page 299

Notes: was a captain and the brigade major of the 4th Hannoverian Brigade 6th Division at Waterloo.

Oldfield, John. "Letter # 196, dated 12 March 1845" in Letters from the Battle of Waterloo: Unpublished Correspondence by Allied Officers from the Siborne Papers. Gareth Glover (ed.). London: Greenhill; 2004. Pages 299 - 300

Notes: was a captain and the brigade major for the Royal Engineers at Waterloo.

Smith, Harry. The Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith: 1787 - 1819 London: Constable; 1999. 333 pages. ISBN: 0-09479-740-4

Notes: 1st Battalion; Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Coruna, Peninsula 1809 - 1814; Washington, New Orleans; Brigade Major for General Lambert's brigade at Waterloo.

 

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

 

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