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The Batavian Army at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in 1805

The Batavian Army at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in 1805, Opposing the British under General Janssens

By Geert van Uythoven

Regular Troops:

22e Bataljon Infanterie van Linie:

On 5 February 1802 it was decided to form, from ‘scheepssoldaten’, two marine battalions and a jager company. On 22 March 1802 ( so after 1 1/2 month already!), both marine battalions were renamed ’22e and 23e Bataljon Infanterie, and destined for the colonies. They consisted of 1 grenadier- and 7 fusilier-companies. During the second half of 1802, both battalions embarked for their destination; the 22e Bataljon to Kaap de Goede Hoop.

After the capitulation, in 1806 the remains of the battalion returned to Holland. By decree of 18 July 1806, the battalion was disbanded and the remaining men divided over infantry regiments: the grenadier-company was merged with the grenadier-company of the 2e Regiment Infanterie; three fusilier-companies were merged with the 3e Regiment Infanterie (according to another source with the 7e Regiment Infanterie).

I have no data about its commander. However, 1st Lieutenant J. von Ziegler was quartermaster of the battalion, and their seems to exist a portrait of him, although I don’t know were it is. Further, there are a few aquarelles by J.A. Langendijk.

5th Battalion Waldeck:

Consisting of 1 jager- and 6 fusilier companies. Went to Kaap de Goede Hoop in 1802. The battalion was disbanded in 1806 when returning from prisoner of war.

Colonel-commander:1 April 1794 Gerhard Heinrich von Heldring (until 1802).
Lieutenant-Colonel: 18 January 1803 C. Müller
Major: 18 January 1803 C. von Gilten

So apparently Müller was in command.

Compagnie Auxilaire Infanterie

Bataljon Hottentotse Lichte Infanterie: consisting of 4 fusilier companies.

9e Bataljon Jagers: Apparently formed from the jager companies from the marines , consisting of 4 companies. When returning in 1806 the remnants were merged with the 2e Regiment Lichte Infanterie.

Kaapsche Jagers: consisting of 2 companies.

‘Kaapse Dragonders’, a two-company dragoon-squadron, also known as the 5e Regiment Dragonders. It had a detachment of horse artillery with four light field pieces (another sources states 2 horse artillerie companies). Part of them seemed to have formed the ‘Lijfwacht des Gouverneurs van Kaap de Goede Hoop, Generaal Janssens’. J.A. Langendijk made also an aquarelle of them. When returning in 1806 the remnants were taken into various guard and line cavalry units.

5e Bataljon Artillery: consisting of 4 companies. When returning in 1806 the remnants were merged with the 3e bataljon Artillerie.

Auxilaire Artillerie: consisting of 2 companies.

Javaansche Lichte Artillerie te voet (light foot artillery), Rijdende Artillerie (horse artillery) and Veldtrein (field train): coming from the East Indies; Java.

Gewapende Burgermagt (‘National Guard’):

Infanterie van Kaapstad: consisting of 2 companies.

Cavalerie van de Drostdij Stellenbosch: consisting of 3 companies.

Cavalerie van het Kaapsche Buitendistrikt: consisting of 1 company.

Cavalerie van Kaapstad: consisting of 1 company

Drostdij Stellendam: 1 company

For more information about the events that took place, see my article on General Janssens


Place on the Napoleon Series: November 2013



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