Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Wahlen - Jürgass, Alexander Georg Ludwig Moritz Konstantin Maximilian , Freiherr von

Wahlen - Jürgass, Alexander Georg Ludwig Moritz Konstantin Maximilian , Freiherr von, Colonel (1208)

Commander of the Cavalry Brigade, I Corps in 1813.

Born on 5 January 1758 in Ganzer, Kreis Ruppin, north of Berlin, into an old Prussian military family; his father was a retired Maj from the IR Garde Nr 15a. His brother, the younger Wahlen-Jürgass, died on 8 November 1833 in Ganzer, still a bachelor. Alexander entered military service in 1772 in the Berlin military academy; on 1 August 1775, he was promoted to EstJk in the R Gends d`Armes Nr 10, and on 6 February 1777, was commissioned as Kornett. From 1778 – 1779, he served in the war against Austria, and fought at Jägerndorf (now Kmov), north of Olmütz. On 30 May 1781, he was promoted Lt, and on 31 May 1789,  promoted to StRitt; on 2 December 1800, he was promoted Ritt. On 15 May 1803, he was promoted Maj. In the 1806 he fought at Auerstädt on 14 October, in the 1st Reserve Division and at was wounded at Wichmannsdorf, fighting Beaumont`s 3rd Drag Div but escaped with 49 of his regiment and a standard to join Hohenlohe`s corps. The main body of his regiment was forced to capitulate on the battlefield. He then escaped the capitulation of Prenzlau and joined General von Bila`s group; he was finally captured at Anklam, southeast of Greifswald, on the Baltic coast on 1 November 1806, where the remaining regimental standard was taken. From 1807 - 1809 he spent his time on the family estate and became good friends with Prinz Wilhelm von Preussen. On 24 April 1809, he was appointed EsCh in the Brandenburg Kür R, and on 30 June 1809, was promoted to Major and given command of the Brandenburg Drag R `Prinz Wilhelm` with a monthly salary of Thlr 158 and 8 Grosschen. On 8 February 1812, he was promoted to Obst Lt; he fought  - and was repeatedly distinguished - in Russia at Schlockhof (22 August) and Garrossenkrug (1 October). On 18 October, he was awarded the PLM, and on 1 March 1813, was promoted to Obst. On 5 March, he was given command of a brigade in Blücher`s corps; on 2 May he was wounded at Grossgörschen (for which action he was awarded the EK II). He was wounded again at Haynau, on 26 May, where his horse was shot from under him (for this action he won the EK I). On 4 August, he was given command of the Res Cav Bde in I Corps. He then fought at Goldberg, the Katzbach and Leipzig. He was very distinguished at Möckern on 16 October, where his cavalry charge decided the day. In his report on this action he said:

`Ohngefähr gegen ein Uhr war es endlich der Infanterie gelungen, in das Dorf einzudringen, und der Kommandierende General (von Yorck) befahl, dass die Kavallerie vorgehen und den feindlichen linken Flügel angreifen sollte. Ich fuehrte diesen Befehl sogleich aus, indem ich mit dem 1. westpreussischischen Dragoner-Regiment und dem neumärkischen Landwehr-Kavallerie-Regiment vortrabte, zu deren Soutien ich das lithauische Dragoner-Regiment in einer kleinen Entfernung folgen liess. Das westpreussische Dragoner-Regiment stiess zuerst auf den Feind, hieb auf einige Schwadrone Chasseurs ein, warf dieselben ueber den Haufen, eroberte mehrere (4) bespannte Kanonen und Munitionswagen und verfolgte in Verbindung mit den anderen Regimentern den Feind bis vor das Dorf Gohlis, wobei mehrere Hundert Gefangene gemacht und eine bedeutende Anzahl niedergehauen wurde. Währenddem entdeckte man in unsere linken Flanke mehrere Kolonnen feindlicher Infanterie, welche noch geschlossen und geordnet waren. Ich liess darauf das westpreussische Dragoner-Regiment vor dem Defilee von Gohlis, wo der Feind sich wieder gesetzt hat, halten, befahl den übrigen Regimentern, sich rasch wieder zu rangieren, da sie, wie das bei allen Kavallerie Angriffen zu geschehen pflegt, sobald der Feind eine Strecke weit verfolgt worden, etwas auseinander gekommen waren, das lithauische Regiment aber, welches völlig rangiert war, schwenkte mit Zügen rechtsumkehrt, warf sich auf das nächste Karee und hieb ein ganzes Bataillon nieder, wie dies der Anblick des Schlachtfeldes gezeigt hat.`

(At about 1 o`clockthe infantry had finally managed to enter the village and the GOC (von Yorck) ordered the cavalry to advance and to attacke the enemy left wing. I carried out this order at once, in that I trotted forward with the 1. Westpreussische Dragoons and the Neumärkischen LWKR, with the LithauischeDragoons a little to the rear as supports. The Westpreussische Dragoons were first to hit the enemy, clashed with some squadrons of Chasseurs, overthrew them, captured several (4)guns with teams and ammunition wagons and chased the enemy, together with the other regiments up to the village of Gohlis, capturing several hundred prisoners and cutting downa considerable number of others. While this was happening, we discovered several columns of enemy infantry to our left flank, which were still intact and in good order. I ordered the West Prussian Dragoons to halt in front of the defile of Gohlis, where the enemy had taken a new position, and ordered the other regiments to reform quickly, because, as so often happens with cavalry charges, the units tend to become dispersed after having pursued the enemy for some distance. But the Lithuanian Regiment, which was fully formed, wheeled right by sections, charged the nearest square and cut down an entire battalion, as could be seen on the battlefield.)  

The enemy to left and right of this successful charge scattered; those directly in front of it fell back in disorder into such a dense mob, that the cavalry could not force their way through them. At last, the Prussians gave up the attempt and the French escaped in the darkness. On 26 October, he was again distinguished at Eisenach; on 8 December 1813, he was promoted to GM and awarded oakleaves to his PLM for his actions at Leipzig (Möckern). In 1814, he fought at La Chausee, Montmirail, Laon, on the Aisne, Oulchy-le-Chateau, Sezanne, Claye (awarded the Russian OStA I). On 23 March 1815, he commanded a brigade, and was wounded in the right shoulder at Ligny (awarded the RAO II with oakleaves) and a gift of Thr 2,000. On 15 October 1816, he retired as GL, and on 18 June 1825, was awarded the RAO I and a gift of Thr 1,000.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2012


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