Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Wartensleben, Alexander, Graf von

Wartensleben, Alexander, Graf von

Born on 29 October 1744 in Berlin. On 12 October 1758, he became a candidate to enter the Order of St John. He entered Prussian military service on 17 November 1758 as Gfkpl in the IR Markgraf Karl Nr 19. On 1 November 1760, he was promoted Frch. From 1761 – 1762, he fought in the Seven Years War as Adj to the Markgraf, and on 25 November 1762, he was commissioned as Sklt in the 1st Bn Garde. On 1 October 1764, he became a knight in the Order of St John. On 15 May 1769, he was transferred to IR von Stutterheim Nr 51, and on 3 August 1769, was promoted to Prlt. On 3 April 1773, he was promoted to Kpt and Kiech of a company in his regiment, now Füs R von Krockow Nr 51. From 1778 – 1779, he served in the war against Austria, and on 8 June 1782, was promoted Maj. On 29 April 1784, he was given command of the 1st Bn of his regiment. On 6 October 1784, he was appointed to command the 2nd Bn. On 15 January 1787, he was appointed Amtsmann (steward) of Ziesar, between Magdeburg and Berlin. Wartensleben was a close friend of Fredrick the Great`s nephew, the futire King Friedrich Wilhelm II, and was blamed by the king for his nephew`s bad habits. On 31 January 1769, the king wrote to Wartensleben`s father: `Votre fils et un mal gouverner, qui debauche ici Mon Neveu et se conduit fort mal. Je serai oblige de l`eloinger.` (Your son is a bad governor, who has debauched my nephew and his misconduct continues. I am obliged to remove him)

Soon afterwards he sent young Wartensleben to East Prussia. After the death of Fredrick the Great on 17 August 1786, Friedrich Wilhelm II recalled him to Berlin and made him Chef of IR von Raumer Nr 36 on 10 March 1787. On 30 June 1788, was promoted Obstlt. On 23 September 1791, he was awarded the PLM, and on 18 May 1792, was  given command of IR  Prinz Heinrich Nr 35. From 1792 – 1795, he  fought in thewar against France, at the battles of Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens, Moorlautern and on 17 November 1793, took part in the raid on Bitsch fortress in Lorraine, in which he was very distinguished  and was awarded a pension of 450 Thlr. On 14 January 1795, he was promoted GM, and on 21 May 1795, was appointed Chef of the IR Graf Anhalt Nr 43. On 19 June 1797, he was awarded the RAO, and on 2 May 1802, was promoted GL. On 24 January 1803, he was appointed Chef of the newly raised IR Nr 59. On 10 February 1803, he was appointed governor of Erfurt fortress. He took the field in1806, and fought in the battle of Auerstädt on 14 October, although sick; he suffered a bad fall from his horse during the action. He was captured at the capitulation of Magdeburg on 11 November 1806 and placed on the inactive list as of that day. On 25 September 1809, he was cashiered and sentenced to life imprisonment in Neisse fortress for his treasonable conduct in the surrender of Magdeburg. He was pardoned on 30 May 1814; he died in Breslau (now Wroclow) on 24 October 1822.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2012


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