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The Napoleon Series > Biographies > Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Du Bois, Lodewijk Hendrik

By Geert van Uythoven

Du Bois was born in Heusden (present day Netherlands) on 22 May 1786. As a 1st lieutenant, he was appointed to the Foot artillery battery no.2. In 1806 the company, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel A. Gey, was assigned to the 3rd (Dutch) Division (Lieutenant-General Jean Baptiste Dumonceau), taking part in the capture of the fortresses Hameln and Nienburg. He was present at the siege of Stralsund 1807. As a 2nd captain, he took part in the 1809 campaign in Germany. On 31 May Stralsund, the fortress-city in which Von Schill had sought refuge, was attacked by Dutch troops, Du Bois taking part in the duel with the cannon on the city walls. In 1814, he joined the Netherlands army.

As a captain, Du Bois received command of the ‘northern’ 5th company of the 2nd Line artillery battalion. Including the train, on 12 June 1815 the battery had a strength of 13 officers, 200 others, and 22 horses. In garrison in The Hague, the company ‘Du Bois’ was ordered to ‘s Hertogenbosch to make mobile a 12-pdr battery. On 14 April it left for the Mobile Army to Aerschot, with a strength of 4 officers and 119 others, the horse teams formed with 214 requisitioned horses. This battery was assigned to the artillery reserve. On 16 June it was at Braine le Comte, with still only 22 of the necessary 230 horses present. When on 16 June the battle of Quatre-Bras was fought, Du Bois advanced to Nivelles and deployed his battery in the front line of the Netherlands troops positioned there. Virtually useless however because of the lack of horses, during the retreat on the 17th it was ordered to move to Brussels to the main reserve park. Therefore, it was not present during the battle of Waterloo on the 18th. During the first days of July the battery, which was at Mons by now, was provided with a train detachment of the train battalion of the militia, finally enabling it to take the field. Joining the Netherlands Mobile Army, Du Bois was assigned to the 2nd Netherlands Army Corps (Prince Frederick of Orange), as this corps had the task to besiege French fortresses when necessary during its advance into France. The battery saw no action as such though. After the Waterloo campaign the battery marched back to the Netherlands, being garrisoned in Mons, where its personnel was gradually replaced by men of the southern Netherlands.

Promoted lieutenant-colonel on 21 July 1828. He was commander of the 4de Bataljon Veldartillerie in 1830. Pensioned out of the army on 16 June 1840, with a pension of 1,500 guilders. He lived in ‘s Hertogenbosch (NL), still alive in 1865.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2013