Research Subjects: Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Stevenart, Emmanuel-Joseph

By Geert van Uythoven

Stevenart was born in Obaix (Brabant, present day Belgium) on 6 June 1785. He started his military career in the French army, as a gunner in the 8me regiment d’artillerie à pied on 1 November 1805. He climbed up through the ranks: corporal (1 May 1807); sergeant (9 September 1807); sergeant-major (22 September 1810); and 2nd lieutenant (15 June 1813). From 1805 until 1811 he served in various garrison postings throughout France. In 1812 he took part in the Russian campaign, and in 1813 and 1814 in Germany and France. Asked and received his discharge on 9 July 1814. Stevenart immediately joined the ‘southern’ army on 15 July 1814.

Stevenart received command of a ‘southern’ company of the 4th Line artillery battalion, making mobile a foot artillery battery. Being assigned to De Perponcher’s 2de Nederlandsche Divisie for the Waterloo campaign, this battery was present at Quatre-Bras on 16 June. The Netherlands troops were in order of battle about 2,000 paces south of the crossroads. Foot artillery battery ‘Stevenart’ was deployed with four cannon and two howitzers just west of Gemioncourt. They were covered by the 3rd battalion of the 2nd Regiment Nassau. To the left and slightly in front of them, the Horse artillery battery ‘Bijleveld’ was deployed. The 4th section of two cannon, commanded by Lieutenant Winssinger, was deployed more to the west, just south of Bois de Bossu and behind Grand Pierrepont, to reinforce the right wing of the Brigade Saxen-Weimar. This section was covered by two companies of the 1st bat/2nd Regiment Nassau in skirmish order. All vehicles of the battery were left behind Quatre-Bras itself. During the morning of the 16th only some minor skirmishing took place, but around 1.30 p.m. Marshal Ney started his attack in earnest. The French deployed two batteries (14 guns) just north of Frasnes, which concentrated their fire on Captain Bijleveld’s horse artillery battery first. As a result Bijleveld had to retreat his remaining four guns to a new position between Gemioncourt and Quatre-Bras. Next, the French gunners turned their attention to Stevenart’s battery, which by order of Prince William of Orange also retreated to a new position at the edge of Bois de Bossu, from where it could deliver flanking fire on the chaussee from Charleroi. Deployed again Captain Stevenart resumed fire, but immediately all French guns concentrated their fire on the battery again, and having fired only a few shots Stevenart was killed by an exploding shell.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: December 2013

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