Re: [WarOf1812] intro and research request
- Nora, in the colonies I know of James Fitzgibbon of the 49th Reg't of Foot who was raised from the ranks. His niece (?) wrote a biography about him which is quite good. As far as I know about the US they didn't encounter this type of "problem" since they elected/appointed their officers so if you were popular and spent money on beer then you were a Captain! :-)
Also the Canadian/Canadien Militia didn't have a purchase system either. I don't think the French purchased either.
These Republicans will just let anyone command won't they! Also check into military lists that show quartermasters. They tended to be sergeants or sergeant majors that were commissioned as officers, but given the crappy jobs of wagons and lists.
> I'm working on an historical and have a question regarding the British military which I haven't been able to find in any of the books I've read. Specifically, how rare (or not) was the "mustang" officer in the British military? Does anyone know of instances where an enlisted man was elevated to officer rank either via a field commission or other method, and are there any books to which I might refer?
> Also the Canadian/Canadien Militia didn't have a purchase systemeither. I don't think the French purchased either.
> These Republicans will just let anyone command won't they!I would have two comments on the foregoing statements:
1.- In the Militia your officer's rank was determined by how many men
you enlisted. An employer of a large work force was able to achieve
higher rank if he could coerce enough of his employees to enlist.
This of course does not jibe with the concept that every able bodied
man between 16 and 60, who had two oposing teeth to bite the
cartridge, was automatically expect to serve. Maybe some "experts"
care to comment
2,- One of the few rights granted to the rank and file in the British
army was to be commanded by gentlemen.
- Try and get of Wellingtons Army by Sir Charles Oman. There is a good
chapter on British army officers and the purchase system. It's
published by Grenhill here in the UK and by Stackpole in the States.
In it he states, "There was, throughout the war,(Peninsula) a
perceptible proportion of officers who had risen from the ranks."
I'll see what else I can find,
All the best,