Research Subjects: Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Gun(c)kel, Carel August

By Geert van Uythoven

Gunkel was born 20 January 1775 in The Hague (present day Netherlands). He was a cadet in 1790, serving in the army of the Dutch Republic and from 1795 in the Batavian army. Under King Louis Bonaparte during the Kingdom of Holland, on 18 July 1806 he was appointed captain, commanding the 4th Horse artillery company. His appointment lasted only months, as he was promoted lieutenant-colonel already on 24 November of that same year. On 12 November 1807, retaining his rank, he was appointed commander of the Horse Artillery of the Guard.

Returning to Netherlands service, he became effective lieutenant-colonel and titular colonel on 12 February 1814, and commander of the field artillery battalions on 4 March. On 18 March he was promoted to effective colonel and assigned to the artillery staff. On 21 April 1815 he was promoted major-general of the artillery. He was as such appointed as the first commanding officer of the Netherlands field artillery, later serving in that function with the 1st Netherlands Army Corps (Prince of Orange). Distinguished himself during the siege and bombardments of the fortress-cities Le Quesnoy (26 – 29 June) and Valenciennes (29 June – 20 July). He was appointed a knight 3rd class of the Militaire Willemsorde (‘Military order of William) on 18 July 1815. Finally promoted to lieutenant-general of the artillery on 15 July 1826. He became the first governor of the Koninklijke Militaire Academie (Netherlands ‘Royal Military Academy’) on 21 April 1828. he was pensioned out of the army on 13 February 1834, and died on a high age.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2013

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