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The Napoleon Series > Biographies > Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Spies, Johannes Nicolaas

By Geert van Uythoven

On 1 June 1793 Spies became a cadet-élève in the Dutch artillery. He took part in the 1794 campaign in Flanders, and the 1800 – 1801 campaign in Germany. As a 1st lieutenant he took part in the 1805 campaign in Germany. Serving with the artillery continuously, Spies was finally promoted to 1st captain on 12 May 1813. In 1814 he joined the Netherlands army.

Spies received command of the ‘northern’ 4th company of 2nd Line artillery battalion. In garrison in The Hague, the company remained there for the time being, but later went to Delft to make mobile a 6-pdr battery, probably during April 1815. On 23 and 25 May the battery moved to Breda in two halves, using requisitioned horses. On 15 June, this battery was still there without any horse teams. Finally during July 1815, the artillery battery ‘Spies’ received enough horse teams to take the field, giving the Netherlands mobile army a total of ten artillery batteries. Spies was assigned to the 2nd Netherlands Army Corps (Prince Frederick of Orange) instead of the Foot artillery battery ‘Riesz’, which had left the Mobile army on 16 August to follow its original destination the Dutch East Indies. After the Waterloo campaign, the battery marched back to the Netherlands, being garrisoned in Maastricht.

Spies was promoted major on 14 December 1818, and in this rank he transferred to the 3de Bataljon Artillerie Nationale Militie on 29 February 1819.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: December 2013