Blue Berg: Britain Takes the Cape
Anderson, Mark Robert Dunbar. Blue Berg: Britain Takes the Cape. [ South Africa ]: M.R.D. Anderson, 2008. 198 pages ISBN# 9780-620413367. Hardcover R353.40 ($37). Format: hardback with dust-jacket, a portion of which also serves as the frontispiece. Illustrations: 13 portraits, 5 battle-paintings, 4 other scenes, 1 map of the battle (18 pages). Tables: 1 table listing data pertaining to the warships accompanying the British invasion force, 2 tables providing particulars about strengths and command of the British and Batavian land forces (3 pages). No reference notes, bibliography, or index. Available from South Africa: http://www.readersforumbooks.co.za/tradesheets/Blueberg_LOW_.pdf
Mr. Anderson's examination of the obscure 1806 battle of Blaauwberg, just north of the Cape Town, is not only a voyage to South Africa, via India, and the East and West Indies, with stops in Britain, Holland, France, and Egypt, but a jaunt across wide seas of time and more general military, political, social, and intellectual history as well. The Dutch East India Company, which had founded the little colony at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, was dissolved in 1795, the year in which Cape Town fell to an earlier British expedition, leaving Holland's revolutionary incarnation, the Batavian Republic, to resume charge of the Cape Colony in 1803. Britain 's second seizure, in 1806, would initiate a long and expanding imperial presence in southern Africa.
The story's voyage to the Cape is a circuitous one. In comparison to those in contemporary Europe, the battle of Blue Mountain was a small action (perhaps some 7,000 combatants all told), and it is not a complicated one, but its consequences were momentous for Britain and southern Africa. Thus, this book casts welcome illumination on an often overlooked period of South African history. As Mr. Anderson makes clear, Britain 's decision to attack the Batavian Republic's South African enclave was the product of broad military and imperial calculations, the latter intimately linked to British interests in India and the East Indies. As Lord Castlereagh, Secretary of State for the War and the Colonies, observed: "the true value of the Cape to Great Britain is its being considered and treated at all times as an outpost subservient to the protection and security of our Indian possessions" (p.96).
The tale is colourfully told, offering rich descriptive textures. The reader acquires a vivid appreciation for the land – its topography, heat, vegetation, the sand which made movement such heavy going along the coast – as well as a compassionate interest in the individuals who populate the story and insight into the military and social cultures that surrounded them. The author's eye for detail creates an engaging visual and sensory tapestry that is particularly noteworthy in his chapters on the landing and on the battle itself, giving the reader a very "present" feel for the decisions, development, and experience of the engagement.
Mr. Anderson casts a broad net as he sails along, weaving many strands together to shape the context in which the invasion at the Cape and the campaign's single battle were conducted. The opening chapter examines "The Landing" at Losperd's Bay, north of Cape Town, on 6 January, from both the British and Batavian perspectives (18 pages). And a handsome and eye-catching watercolour, by Angus McBride, depicting the landing, serves as a dust-jacket and frontispiece. Ten subsequent chapters then take on a variety of subjects:
Finally, the reader arrives, more fully armed, at "The Battle", which picks up with the decisions facing the Batavian commander, as British forces came ashore some 13½ miles due north, across Table Bay (42 pages). "The Capitulation" describes the military and diplomatic maneuvers and dilemmas confronting the belligerents in the period between the battle itself, on 8 January, and the colony's final surrender on 22 January (12 pages). A short "Epilogue" ends the voyage (7 pages), and preceding all is a 4-page "Acknowledgements".
This wide context suits the fact that, from Dutch and British perspectives, the Cape's importance was largely as a way-station for their far-flung commerce with India and the East Indies, a very useful watering and provisioning point, offering good harborage and an awkward base for an enemy wishing to interdict Indian trade. The broad inter-connectedness of things reveals how it is, for instance, we find Javanese artillerymen at the center of the Batavian line of battle at the Cape. Mr. Anderson knits a fascinating web of relationships linking people across wide spaces and through time. We are reminded that the British commander, Baird, had visited the Cape in 1798, on his way to India (where he would more than once encounter Arthur Wellesley, future Duke of Wellington, himself a visitor to the Cape in 1796-7); he commanded an Indian army column sent in 1801 to combine with the British attack on the French forces Bonaparte had left behind at the north end of the African continent, the residue of a French design to threaten Britain's Indian empire. Baird would later command the auxiliary column sent to join Sir John Moore's army in the Iberian Peninsula, in 1808. Other future Peninsular figures we meet in the Cape include Lt-Col. Denis Pack (future commander of an independent Portuguese brigade), wounded while leading the 71st Highlanders ashore; Robert Wilson (future founder of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion, and later observer of the Russian army), commanding the detachment of the 20th Dragoons; Brig-Gen. William Carr Beresford (future Portuguese Marshal), who, detached with a force to Saldanha Bay, missed the battle; Brig-Gen. Ronald Ferguson, who would return to command a brigade in Wellington's first Peninsular campaign, to name several.
This wide-ranging voyage has required Mr. Anderson to gather and synthesize a tremendous range of information. The result is a commendable glimpse of a key moment in South African history. In fairness to the reader, however, the study also harbors serious flaws. There is no index. Much more fatally, there is no bibliography and no reference to sources. These are crucial for, as the author himself describes his work on the title page: "An account of the 1806 Battle of Blaauwberg and the participants as well as the causes leading up to this, the second Occupation of the Cape by the British." Lineage of information, indication of how the author comes to know what he presents to be factually true, authoritative or reputable sources provide an important basis for distinguishing "history" from "story-telling", fact from fantasy. Referenced sources help author and reader to understand how we know what we think we know about events that happened in the distant past.
The opening "Acknowledgements" stand in very poorly for a real listing of sources consulted, indicating only a fragment of the sources used, and cannot substitute usefully for the bibliography of a well-referenced investigation. It is as though helmsman Anderson had embarked without dependable charts that could assure his passengers of a knowledgeable journey ahead. Although an enjoyable telling, the historical account to some extent merges with novelistic elements, an impression which is perhaps strengthened by the lack of any references to sources used. Without sources, the reader may be forgiven for wondering, for instance, just how the author knew what various historical figures were thinking or feeling, a frequent contrivance in the narrative. How did the historian know that Baird's horse "loved the feel of cold water around his legs" (p.162)? Such novelistic touches give color, while undermining distinctions between what is offered as fact and what is provided as imaginative texture or simply fiction.
Without a bibliography or reference notes, the reader encounters assertions that he must discount as erroneous or doubtful, for they are at odds with established history. For example, Britain did not declare war on France in 1793 (p.50), rather it was the other way around. Napoleon Bonaparte was not crowned emperor of " France ", but of "the French" (pp.54 & 72), and war with Britain was not resumed on his coronation day (p.54), but had recommenced more than a year previously. Holland had not allied itself with France against Britain in 1793 (p.56), but was in alliance with Britain ; Holland did not fall to France until 1795. Other oddities leave the reader wondering what the sexual practices in the harem of Mysore's Tipoo Sultan have to do with the Cape (p.108)? Pitt is described, in 1805, as having "personally appointed [Nelson] Commander-in-Chief" (p.104) – of what? "Commander-in-Chief" was not a Royal Navy rank or appointment, but an appointment to command either a fleet or station, yet the author does not make clear of what naval command Nelson was thereby taking charge. Royal Navy Bomb ketches were ordinarily armed not with a howitzer (p.148), but with a large mortar. References to British "Light Bobs" (pp.23, 158, 170) strain an informal nickname for Britain 's light infantry to the point of appearing almost as though this were a form of official title. Where did the historian's perception of these things come from? Without a bibliography, we are left to guess.
Without source notes, the knowledgeable reader is left charitably to suppose that a number of discrepancies are the product of typographical error. Alternatively, a closer accountability to sources might have avoided inadvertencies. Thus, Britain 's administrators of the first occupation could not have departed in 1804 (p.114), for they had sailed for home in early 1803. Frederick the Great was, of course, a great captain of the eighteenth century, not one from the "fifteenth century" (p.146). The British landing was on the 6th of January, not of February (p.148). The Russians, not the Prussians, had joined the British expedition to Helder in 1799 (p.156). Britain 's 24th Foot, not the 38th, came ashore with the 59th and 83rd on 7 January – the 38th Foot was debarking separately under Beresford at Saldanha Bay (p.161), a 70-mile march to the north. The table of organization for the "Batavian Dutch" (p.199) numbers the French at 224, but the narrative twice describes them with 240 (pp.137, 175).
These things might be considered relatively minor slips, but the absence of evidence for sources, for information used, and which authorities were relied upon, seems to have engendered a considerable number of avoidable errors. Some of these appear to arise out of a jumbling of data.
The sequencing of units as mapped and then as described is significantly contradictory. So what was the Batavian battle-array? According to what source(s)? Further, with regard to the Waldecker Jägers, whose position in line is mapped, we have been told that they were not present, but detached to protect Algoa Bay (p.129).
The failure to handle sources skeptically seems to have ambushed
the author into promulgating a remarkable claim for a Wellesley relative
who did not, in fact, exist. Guarding British supplies on the beach
after the landing were cadets heading out from England to join the
Honourable East India Company's army, "under a Lieutenant-Colonel
Wellesley of the Bengal Establishment"
(p.122), who was "a relation of the Duke of Wellington" (p.161).
Baird's despatch reporting the battle, however, indicated that a "Lt.
Col. Willet of the Bengal Establishment" was responsible for
the cadets. Baird
is unlikely to have mistaken the name of Wellesley. It appears that
Mr. Anderson may have been led astray by a slip in the pages of one
of Baird's early biographers, who
inexplicably substituted "
for "Willet" in his reproduction of Baird's 12 January
despatch. The role of Willet is confirmed by reference to the despatch
published in the London Gazette,
With so many historical strands from which the author weaves his story, the transparency of sources would have helped assure the author's credibility, or avoidance of error. Perhaps with so much to cover it was inevitable that the author seems to have over-reached himself on some points.
With regard to the particular topic of the book, the Blaauwberg campaign, lack of sourcing similarly hobbles the resulting historical analysis.
This reviewer sought in vain, however, for any hint that Allemand's squadron was of particular concern to the planners of the Cape expedition, or that he nearly caught Popham's convoy. One history notes that having sailed just before receiving orders to rendezvous with Villeneuve for the events that would lead up to Trafalgar, Allemand's squadron consequently "wandered aimlessly about in the Bay of Biscay, out of touch with his colleagues, and performing no useful service." No mention of having just missed the Cape-bound expedition. While Allemand's squadron had captured the Ranger, 16 guns, and the Calcutta, 54 guns, on the 17th and 25th of July, respectively, nothing in the documentation suggests that Allemand would have taken on Popham's four escorting line-of-battle ships with his own five (admittedly much heavier) line-of-battle ships, since his primary objective was to rendezvous with Villeneuve, not engage independently in major actions. Without knowledge of Mr. Anderson's sources, it appears that this aspect of the drama may be over-played.
There are elements of Mr. Anderson's study that touch on British military practice or history that appear to be at odds with established facts or actual usage. This reviewer is not familiar with military sources for Dutch or Batavian practices. Again, the reader would have profited from being made aware of the book's sources of information.
· Regimental titles. The British regimental tiles given are anachronistic. The 24th Foot carried the title of "2nd Warwickshire", from 1786, but did not become the "South Wales Borderers" (p.120) until 1881. The author links the title "Highland Light Infantry" to the 71st Foot from as early as the late 1770s (p.107, also see p.123), but the 71st Foot was not styled (nor specifically trained) as "Light Infantry" until Royal authority was granted on 20 March 1809, and was not titled as the "Highland Light Infantry Regiment" until April 1810. Indeed, the author's mention of the 71st's light company (p.161) gives the clue that it was still a regiment of the line, for light battalions had no "light company" – they were all light. It isn't clear that the 72nd Foot retained its appellation of "Seaforth" (p.124) after the reductions following 1783 and its renumbering from the 78th Highland, though it would regain it by 1881. The 83rd Foot did not acquire the title of "Royal Ulster Rifles" (p.122) until 1881, and was never the "Irish Rifles" (p.161) – indeed, they had no rifles at all during the wars of 1793-1815. The 93rd Foot did not receive the title of the "Sutherland" (p.125) until 1861. Meanwhile, the 59th Foot actually had a regimental title overlooked in the chapter on units (p.121): the "2nd Nottingham" Regiment, from 1782.
On the other hand, the title of "Jamaica Light Dragoons" associated with the 20th Light Dragoon (p.119) had been extinguished by the time of the Cape expedition. The dragoon regiment bearing the number "20" was at least its fourth incarnation, having been formed, disbanded, and formed again multiple times. While it had, indeed, been formed as the "Jamaica Light Dragoons" in 1792 (the 20th Light Dragoons having last been disbanded in 1783), where it served until 1802, that title was not retained upon its transfer from the Jamaican to the English Establishment with the Peace of Amiens, when it became simply the "20th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons".
· British light infantry. Not until 1803, with the commencement of specialized training under Sir John Moore, did Britain begin to reinstitute entire regiments of "light infantry". None were present with the expedition to the Cape. Yet, a light company had been an integral element of line battalions for some time. Mr. Anderson seems not to have understood this chronology when describing the light companies' operation under Major Graham - these companies were emphatically not "a new part of the British forces" (p.170), nor "newly-constituted" (p.23).
During the Napoleonic Wars, it was common British practice to group the light companies of the battalions forming a brigade into an ad hoc "battalion of light infantry" under the command of a field officer. The author displays a solid grasp of the practice when describing the British landing, noting the presence of the "battalion of light infantry made up from the light companies of the 71st, 72nd, and 93rd Highlanders" (p.25), the three regiments constituting Ferguson's brigade. Did he lose track of practice or did his sources specify which companies were formed under Major Graham for the battle on 8 January? Uniting light companies from different brigades was not a typical practice, and implies either that Graham controlled all of the two brigades' skirmishers, or that he was employing some companies selected for light service to cover just the advance of the 1st Brigade, leaving the 2nd Brigade without a screen of skirmishers (it is true, however, that no skirmishers in front of the Highland Brigade are discussed). One wishes that a source had been offered for the activities of Graham's light companies, for Mr. Anderson indicates were gathered under Graham from both brigades.
· Brigade numbering and seniority. Most unfortunately, the author has reversed the numbering of the British brigades on the Cape expedition (battle-map & pp.165, 170): in fact William Carr Beresford, as the senior brigadier-general (based on his seniority as colonel), commanded the 1st Brigade, and Ronald Ferguson, his junior, commanded the 2nd (or Highland) Brigade. The contemporary records make this explicitly clear. Curiously, Mr. Anderson gets the numbering right in a late reference to the 1st Brigade as composed of the 24th, 59th, and 83rd Regiments (p.176) and in his table of organization (p.198).
In Beresford's absence, Lt-Col. Joseph Baird, as senior regimental officer, would have assumed command of the brigade, as a matter of normal procedure, though this would not have changed the relative seniority of the brigades, which rested upon the relative status of the encumbent commanding officers (Beresford and Ferguson).
· Post of honor. Customary posts of honor may be thought arcane, but the author has misunderstood their place in the British army of 200 years ago. He writes that Baird "had already decided that the Scots would have the honour of the charge – traditionally a Scottish general's wont – especially so as amongst them was his old command, the senior regiment present, the 71st Highlanders, and as such it took the centre position in the Highland Brigade" (p.167); some pages later, he repeats: "The 71st, having claimed their right as senior regiment present to be placed in the centre of the Highland Brigade…" (p.173).
In fact, historical precedence not only in England and Scotland both, but throughout Europe, favored the right flank as the "first post of honor", it was a custom whose roots stretched back at least two millennia to Classical Greece, if not to the Trojan Wars of Homer's Iliad. In the European tradition, the "second post of honor" was on the left flank, with least honorable post being that in the center. These honors were distributed by seniority: seniority of unit within the brigade and seniority of commander for higher commands. In the British army at this time, regimental seniority was reflected in the regiment's numerical sequence, thus making the 71st Foot senior to the 72nd Foot.
The physical distribution of the most senior regiment to the right, and the next senior to the left flank does, indeed, play out in the mapped and described battle-array of the 1st Brigade. The 2nd Brigade, however, does not reflect this pattern, nor the inverted pattern that often obtained for the left-most brigade (with the senior regiment on the far left). This is not to say that the 2nd Brigade was not arranged as the author describes (this reviewer could locate no definitive statement of the 2nd Brigade's battle-array), but if so, it was not for the reason that any British officer thought the center to be a post of honor. Nor can Scottish custom be cited, for even at Prestonpans (1745) and at Culloden, the last great battle of a Highland army (1746), the Clans disputed as to which had claim to the post of honor upon the right of their line of battle.
The uncertainty about the Highland Brigade's battle-array is only deepened by differences between the earlier version of the battle-map, accompanying an article in on Blaauwberg in The South African Military History Society's Military History Journal, and that published here. There, the Highland Brigade's battalions were depicted in numerical order, from left to right, as 71st – 72nd – 93rd. Mr. Anderson offers no evidence for why it is changed here. More is the pity a bibliography and notes are absent.
Relatedly, Mr. Anderson asserts: "As was usual with a Scottish general, the Highlanders would be in the van" (p.163). Evidence of such an historical dynamic would be welcome. Although no mention of a "van", or advance guard, appears in the contemporary sources that this reviewer could locate, it is more likely that the army was simply marched with its brigades in customary array, with the junior 2nd Brigade of Highlanders on the left of the 1st Brigade, stations determined by the seniority of their encumbent brigade commanders. It is nevertheless true that Scottish regiments had often doubled informally as "light" troops, and to the extent that a general lacking a considerable body of light infantry felt he required one, Highland troops were not uncommonly employed as a van, regardless of the commanding general's national background. Accordingly, if the commanding general placed a highland battalion in advance it was because of the frequent use of such battalions as light infantry, not due to the nationality of the general, or because of some notion that such units focused on the charge.
· Rank and command. Mr.
Anderson is not the first to be caught out by arcane details of rank
and procedure. The assumption of command of the 71st Foot
by Robert Campbell, after Lt-Col. Pack was wounded, was not by virtue
of his brevet (and, thus, army) rank of colonel, as the narrative
seems to imply (p.124), but in consequence of his junior regimental rank
of lieutenant-colonel, to which he had been promoted on 25 September
1803. Pack had been promoted on
He appears also to misunderstand the succession of Baird's younger brother, Joseph, to brigade command. As the lieutenant-colonel commanding the 83rd, his accession to command of the 1st Brigade would not have come merely (or nepotistically) as the result of Gen. Baird's desire, but presumably in consequence of being the senior regimental officer in the brigade. Nor would his assumption of command have garnered him the rank of "brigadier-general" – Gen. Baird would have possessed no such powers of appointment (p.159) – though Lt-Col. Baird could have been described as a "brigadier" insofar as he was the acting commander of the brigade in Beresford's absence.
His apparent presumption that rifles were widely issued to Britain 's "light infantry" (p.170) is misplaced. The 5th battalion, 60th Foot and the 95th Foot were the only rifle-armed British units on the British Establishment (and much of the personnel in the 5/60th was German). A number of foreign regiments contained rifle-armed companies or sharpshooter elements at this time, such as the Hanoverian battalions of the Kings German Legion (the line battalions had sharpshooters, and a growing percentage of each of its light battalions possessed rifles), while specialized rifle-companies were also found with the de Rolls', the Bourbon, and the 1st Ceylon Regiments. Earlier, the British had retained the services of a host of foreign rifle-armed corps, such as The York Rangers, and Waldstein's, Löwenstein's, and Hompesch's Chasseurs (many of whom were subsequently drafted into the 5/60th, or provided rifle-armed elements to the 60th's other battalions in the New World); later on, a number of British line regiments would informally employ rifles in their light companies, including the 1/23rd Foot (at Martinique and Guadeloupe, in 1810), the 1/14th, 1/59th, 169th and 1/78th Foot boasted an additional "rifle company" (at Java, in 1811), and there were additional rifle-armed foreign corps, such as the Royal West India Rangers, Royal York Rangers, and three companies of the Brunswick Oëls Jägers.
Britain clearly recognized the utility of riflemen. In fact, Baird had specifically requested the inclusion of 600 "Rifle Troops" in his force to "act against the Hottentots, which, in Lt. General Dundas's opinion, are as good light Troops as any in the World." Ironically, for all the discussion of British rifles, it appears that they were all on the Batavian side, among the Waldecker Jägers (p.129), the French naval infantry (p.137), and one-third of the Batavian Jägers (pp.130, 171), as long-barrelled rifles were certainly found in the hands of many of the burgher cavalry (pp.133, 155, 169, 186-7) and possibly among the Hottentot light infantry (the description of the landing leaves a possible implication of this). Oddly, for all these rifles, no evidence is offered in the description of the battle that the Batavian forces actually employed rifle-armed troops as skirmishers to cover their own main line of battle at Blaauwberg.
While the story of the battle itself is vividly told, it is marred by some oddities that reference to sources might have clarified.
After the Highlanders delivered fire, an "order to charge again came out of the billowing smoke", to cross the "now open ground with only a few hundred yards to go. The Scottish regiments tore across the blasted hot earth…." (p.173). But in spite of the subsequent description of the 71st Foot capturing Batavian artillery in the center and the disintegration of the Batavian right, the British seem not to have yet contacted the main Batavian line of battle, for we then read of Janssens' wounding while the Scots were still at some distance:
By Anderson's own measure, the Highlanders, in full kit, soft sand, and South African summer heat, after 4 months cooped up on board naval transports, trotted or ran, roughly 650 yards (well over one-third of a mile!) to contact, halting to fire at least two stationary volleys along the way. A remarkable achievement of breath, endurance, and discipline! One pines for reference to his sources for this accomplishment.
In spite of how far afield this voyage to Blaauwberg travels, Mr. Anderson leaves some interesting stones unturned.
The book's format also harbors some unfortunate choices. An English-language publication has, quite naturally, an English-reading audience in view. Consequently, quotations in foreign languages merit translation for the English-speaking reader. While this reviewer reads French, his Dutch and Afrikaans is virtually nil – most other English-speaking readers are likely also to be similarly non-conversant in Dutch or Afrikaans (pp.33, 149, 151), rendering such quotations ineffective by virtue of their incomprehensibility. A parenthetical or footnoted translation of non-English phrases or sentences would have been helpful for non-South African readers.
Little experiences of déjà-vu also lurk in the story's structure. The reader frequently meets the same fact or vignette in different chapters, without necessarily greater amplification or new insight from a different angle. Instead, it almost seems as if the many wide-ranging chapters had been independently written and so, at times, independently reference the same incidents or persons without much correlation.
The book offers only a single map: that of the battle. A map of the Cape, encompassing Cape Town, Saldanha Bay, and Hottentots Kloof, would have been very helpful for orienting the reader to territory that will be unfamiliar to most. The battle-map itself is welcome, but it is plagued by several problems. The lack of scale is regrettable, though probably inevitable in view of the map's three-dimensionality. Other difficulties with regard to units have been already discussed above, but one more aspect remains: the name of the battle's eponymous elevation draws attention to the work's title and the fundamental challenge of juggling original and translated names. The map indicates "Blue Berg Hill" – which is, of course, redundant, since "berg" means hill or, more accurately, "mountain". In Afrikaans, the (modern) name is "Blaauwberg", in Dutch it is "Blauweberg", and contemporary English documents use variations, while offering the translation as both "Blue Mountain" or Blue Hills" (either in the singular or plural). The title, and reference through the book, fails, however, either to honor the original name of the topographical feature or to completely translate it into English, leaving us with an unsatisfactory hybrid. And that might be emblematic of the work as a whole: neither story nor history, but an uncomfortable melding of the two, with little to distinguish where the one becomes the other.
Thus, while it is a generally interesting and enjoyable study, as a work of history, Blue Berg must be acknowledged as deeply flawed by its failure to make accessible to the reader the sources used to develop this account of the battle of Blaauwberg. Without knowledge of those sources (both as bibliography and through reference notes), the reader is left with nothing by which he may separate fact from fiction, no way to determine what is reasonable or reliable, and is left without tools with which to evaluate conflicting information. By the end of the book, it is impossible to know how we know what we think we know about the events described. Mr. Anderson has clearly labored hard to synthesize and make sense of a tremendous range of information, and he has produced an otherwise thoughtful result. It is to be hoped that he arms himself and his readers with better charts for his next voyage.
 The battle does not even appear in Digby Smith’s exhaustive The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards and Artillery, 1792-1815 (1998).
 Capt. W.H. Wilkin, The Life of Sir David Baird (1912), p.175.
 John Fortescue, A History of the British Army (1906), vol.4, pt.1, p.385.
 An accurate description
supported by Baird to Castlereagh,
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 Furthermore, Dodwell
and Miles, Alphabetical List of the Officers of the Bengal Army (1838),
pp.268-9, give a listing for Thomas Willet, Lt-Colonel on
 Fortescue, British Campaigns in Flanders, 1690-1794 (1918) [drawn from his multi-volume A History of the British Army], pp.370-1, 401-2.
 Ibid., p.399.
 Ibid., pp.401-2.
 Fortescue, A History of the British Army (1906), vol.4, pt.1, p.407 & 409.
 John E. Mueller, The Remnants of War (2004), p.41, and fn.8 on pp.188-9.
 Hutchinson’s obituary in The Gentleman’s Magazine (Sept. 1832), p.265.
 Army List, October 1803.
 Ibid, for composition and command.
 Fortescue, The County Lieutenancies and the Army, 1803-1814 (1909), p.303.
 Records of the Cape Colony from February 1793 (1899), vol.5, p.223.
 The composition of this squadron, about which Mr. Anderson makes much, is never given. According to documents presented in the Naval Records Society, Publications of the Navy Records Society (1902), vol.21, p.285, in June, the entire Rochefort fleet consisted of 1 1st rate, 2 84s, 3 74s, 3 frigates, and 2 brigs; Admiral Marin reported the 17 July departure of the Rocheforte squadron under Captain (appointed chef de division) Allemand, composed of the Majestueux, 118, Magnanime, Suffren, Jemmapes, and Lion, 74s, with the frigates l’Armide, la Gloire, and la Thétis, 44s, but lightened to 18 guns, as well as the brigs Sylphe, 18,and Palinure, 16, to rendezvous with Villeneuve. James, The Naval History of Great Britain … (1859), vol.4, p.287, lists the ships as Majestueux, 120, Ajax, Jemmappes, Lion, Magnanime, and Suffren, 74s, one frigate and one brig-corvette, and makes no mention of a threat by Allemand to the Cape expedition (p.186).
 The expedition sailed on 31 August, even though it appears Baird may possibly to have been aware, as of 10 August, of this squadron (understood to be 3 ships-of-the-line) - Baird to Cooke, 10 Aug. 1805, in Records of the Cape Colony from February 1793 (1899), vol.5, pp.234.
 E.g., the exploit is unmentioned in: de Beauchamp’s Biographie moderne, ou Dictionnaire biographique, de tous les hommes morts et vivans qui ont marqué à la fin du 18e siècle et au commencement de celui-ci… (1807), vol. P-Z, p.81, which is repeated in Boisjolin, Biographie universelle et portative des contemporains… (1826), vol.1, p.81; in James’ Naval History of Great Britain (1826), vol.4, p.393ff, or in Thursfield’s Naval Warfare (1913).
 Acton et al, Cambridge Modern History (1906), vol.9, p.227.The introduction of Publications of the Navy Records Society (1902), vol.21, p.xxxvii, describes Allemand’s squadron as 5 sail-of-the-line and 3 frigates which, failing to meet Villeneuve, owing to missed orders relating the revised planning, it occupied itself with commerce raiding. Fortescue, A History of the British Army (1910), v5, p.262. echoes this: “Allemand had vague instructions to make a raid upon Ireland so as to draw off some of the British ships from before Brest, then to slip away, join Gourdon not earlier than the 3rd of August….”
 John Leyland, Dispatches and Letters Relating to the Blockade of Brest, 1803-1805 (1902), vol.2, p.334.
 Richard Cannon, Historical Record of the 71st Highland Light Infantry (1852), p.76 & 80.
 Christopher Chant, The Handbook of British Regiments (1988), p.47; entry for Sir Robert Rollo Gillespie [lieutenant-colonel of the regiment at the time of its transfer], in Leslie Stephen & Sidney Lee, Dictionary of National Biography (1890), vol.21, p.364.
 See Records of
the Cape Colony from February 1793 (1899), vol.5, for Return
 Rory Muir, Bob Burnham, Howie Muir, Ron McGuigan, Inside Wellington’s Peninsular Army, 1808-1814 (2007)., pp.87-91.
 Rory Muir, Bob Burnham, Howie Muir, Ron McGuigan, Inside Wellington’s Peninsular Army, 1808-1814 (2007), pp.91-100.
 E.g., Lang, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Chevalier (1903), pp.154-5.
 Willem Steenkamp, “The Battle of Blaauwberg 200 Years Ago”, in the Military History Journal (vol.13, No. 4, 2006).
 Philippart, The Royal Military Calendar (1820), vol.3, pp.270 & 378.
 Willoughby Verner, History of the Rifle Brigade (1912), vol.1, pp.43 & 44.
 Ibid., vol.2, pp.6-9.
 Baird’s enclosure
 Keith Over, Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars (1976), p.18.
 Oddly, while Batavian artillery positions are shown and numbers given, British artillery is omitted from the map.
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 Wilkin, The Life of Sir David Baird (1912), p.177, also states “16”, but is equally lacking any sources for the figure.
 General Return of
Ordnance in the several Batteries of Cape Town and its dependencies,
 Return for
 Paton, Historical Records of the 24th Regiment (1892), p.89; also reproduced in Records of the Cape Colony from February 1793 (1899), vol.5, p.260.
 In Records of the Cape Colony from February 1793 (1899), vol.5, pp.222, 224, & 223.
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 From Woodruff, at
St. Helen’s Roads,
 It was forwarded
on to Popham: Barrow to Popham,
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 The source of Anderson’s figures is not cited, but his numbers do correspond broadly to those in Wilkin, The Life of Sir David Baird (1912), p.177: 2000 men. Frustratingly, Wilkin provided no sources either. Further, not only did he fail to explain the discrepancy between his totals and the estimate of enemy strength Baird gave in his dispatch, Wilkin simply dismissed it without further ado (p.179).
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 Baird to Castlereagh,
 Embarkation Return, in ibid., pp.236.
 Baird to Castlereagh,
pp.222 & 224, 242; also, Castlereagh to Baird,
 Mr. Smuts’ map, as it accompanied an article on the battle in The South African Military History Society’s Military History Journal in 2006 (“The Battle of Blaauwberg 200 Years Ago”, vol.13, No. 4), simply gave it its Afrikaans name, “Blaauwberg”.
Reviewed by Howie Muir.
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