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The Napoleon Series > Biographies > Biographies

Foot Artillery Officers of the Netherlands Serving from 1813 to 1815: Wijnands, Pieter

By Geert van Uythoven

Wijnands was born in Zierikzee (present day Netherlands) on 5 May 1780. He enlisted in the field artillery on 13 May 1799 as a gunner. Climbing through the ranks, he finally became a captain on 22 January 1814 when joining the Netherlands army. He received command of the ‘northern’ 2nd company of the 1st Line artillery battalion. Battery ‘Wijnands’ was one of the first batteries that was made mobile, on paper being part of the ‘occupation army’ in the southern Netherlands that was commanded by Prince Frederick of Orange. It took much too long before this battery was able to take the field, and therefore it was soon replaced by the Horse artillery battery ‘Petter’. Being properly organised and its train detachment finally receiving enough horses, it joined the field army again on 20 May 1815, relieving the Foot artillery battery ‘Scheffer’ which was still in no shape to take the field and returned to Breda. The battery was assigned to the 2nd Brigade (d’Eerens) of the 1st Division (Stedman). This Division saw no action during the battles of Quatre-Bras and Waterloo, being part of Prince Fredericks troops at Halle. However, during the advance on Paris Wijnands took part in the capture of the fortress-city Le Quesnoy, bombarding the place from 26 until 29 June. After that, it took part in the capture of Valenciennes (20 July). After the Waterloo campaign, the battery marched back to the Netherlands, being garrisoned in Tournay, where its personnel was gradually replaced by men of the southern Netherlands.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: December 2013