Not One in Ten Thousand Know Your Name: the Officers of the British 1st Battalion of Detachments in 1809 -- Lieutenant William Garland 91st Foot
By Robert Burnham and Ron McGuigan
William Garland was commissioned as an ensign in the 4th Foot on 22 August 1799. He would be promoted to lieutenant on 30 January 1801. In 1802, the Treaty of Amiens brought peace to Europe and the British disbanded many of the second battalions in the infantry regiments. Lieutenant Garland was placed on half-pay, most likely when the 2nd Battalion 4th Foot was disbanded in October 1802. On 30 October 1805, he came off half-pay by exchanging into the 91st Foot.
Lieutenant Garland went to Portugal with his regiment in August, 1808 and fought with them at Roliça and Vimeiro. He was not wounded in either battle, but probably became too ill to march with the regiment when it moved into Spain with the rest of the army. In February 1809, Lieutenant Garland was attached to the 1st Battalion of Detachments and was the battalion’s paymaster. He would serve with the battalion during the Douro and Talavera Campaigns.
After the battle of Talavera, Lieutenant Garland disappeared and was reported missing since 3 August. On 12 August 1809, a general order was put out for his arrest:
The order also instructed the
Lieutenant Garland was apprehended in late August. On 30 August, General Orders were issued for a court-martial to convene in Merida, Spain, appointing Major General Christopher Tilson as the president. Captain Stephen Goodman, 48th Foot, was the Acting Deputy Judge Advocate. The 1st Division was directed to provide 2 field officers, 4 captains, and 2 subalterns. The 2nd Division was to send 2 field officers, 3 captains, and 1 subaltern. “A list of the Officers and their dates of commissions will be sent in the course of this day, directed to Captain Goodman, Deputy Judge Advocate, at the Adjutant General’s Office.” The officers were ordered to report to the Adjutant General’s office at 10 o’clock the next day (31 August). The proceedings of this court martial were published in the General Orders of 7 September 1809:
The court was
Lieutenant Garland returned to Great Britain in September 1809, when the 1st Battalion of Detachments was disbanded. He was stationed in southern England at several different barracks including Canterbury, Ramsgate, Ashford, and Chatham.
In June 1811, Lieutenant Garland was promoted to captain without purchase in the Royal Corsican Rangers, with a date of rank of 20 June 1811. The Royal Corsican Rangers were raised in 1803 in Malta. He was one of the few officers who were neither Corsican nor Italian. By 1812, he was in the Mediterranean Sea and stationed in the Ionian Islands. In March 1814, he was the commandant of the British forces on the island of Paxo. About this time, Ali Bey, the Pasha of Ioannina, decided to take as much of the Dalmatian region from the French before the British claimed it for themselves. One of his targets was the citadel at Parga, which was still garrisoned by French troops. Captain Garland was approached by Greek patriots, who had risen up against the Ottomans and wanted to place Praga and its citadel under British protection.
 Army List: 1802
 Frederick: p. 100
 Army List: January 1809; London Gazette: 2 November 1805
 General Orders: 7 September 1809 p. 156
 General Orders: 21 August 1809, p. 131
 General Orders: 12 August 1809, p. 126
 General Orders: 30 August 1809; pp. 142
 General Orders: 7 September 1809; pp. 156 - 157
 Groves; p. 11
 London Gazette: 25 June 1811
 Army List: November 1811; Chartrand: p. 37
 Hughes: p. 351
 De Bosset: p. 70
 Army List: July 1814
 Comstock: 127 - 128
 Chartrand: p. 38; Army List: December 1816
 Army List: 28 February 1820
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