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Re: [WarOf1812] Units and individuals both at Waterloo and at New Orleans

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  • Ray Hobbs
    Jeez folks, I did not mean to open such a can o worms ;- ) The officer in question was a junior officer in one of two regiments who were nowhere near the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 25, 2003
      Jeez folks, I did not mean to open such a can o' worms ;->) The
      "officer" in question was a junior officer in one of two regiments who
      were nowhere near the Peninsular Campaign or Waterloo. Yet his wife's
      obituary, based on her conversations with her second husband's
      children, claims that this was so.
      As I said before I have more than one such claim from obits of several
      old soldiers who were great heroes of the war of 1812 and every other
      going on at the time.
      I have another in my files from an old soldier of the 41st, William
      Bent, who claims to have been at Queenstown, Fort Niagara (Christmas
      1812 believe it or not) under the command of General Brock, Fort
      Detroit (where he was seriously wounded in his left ear when capturing
      the US flag), was at the storming of Buffalo, Oushley's Farm "near the
      Great Falls of Niagara" - IN THIS PRECISE ORDER. This from an obit
      that appeared in the Newark Advertiser, 25th April, 1866.
      In literary historical terms, there is a 'genre' (type) of literature
      out there which is patently false. One common characteristic is that
      the genre always makes the subject look better than he was, never worse.

      I am looking in to the need for this kind of enhancement of one's, or
      one's loved one's reputation. There are common patterns. Fading
      memory is not a sufficient reason to account for the similarities in
      their patterns.

      Re: the officer in question, noted above. He just does not exist as an
      officer. But the same name does appear as a Private. The name of the
      widow's father - also claimed to be an officer in the same regiment -
      appears as a corporal.

      My thesis - and this takes one into social, rather than military
      history - is that there was an overwhelming need to be recognised in
      Upper Canadian society after the war, and that one's activities in the
      war played a big part in one's social standing. Just follow the career
      of John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto, Allan McNab etc. Susannah
      Moodie's "Roughing it in the Bush" from the 1830s also bears this out.

      I guess that is more than two cents' worth. Ain't history fun?


      PS: Of course we all know that Richard Sharpe was just about
      everywhere, including Trafalgar, so there is a precedent for this kind
      of lying. Now I duck to avoid incoming. ;->)

      On Wednesday, June 25, 2003, at 08:43 PM, Larry Lozon wrote:

      > Thanks Rog, that is what I wanted
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Roger Fuller" <fullerfamily@...>
      > Harry Smith, ADC at New Orleans and in the Chesapeake, was a member of
      > the
      > 95th, and he was in America, then came back to Europe on the Royal
      > Oak. At
      > least he of the 95th was definitely at Waterloo and in the US
      > campaigns. As
      > for the rest of those men of the 3/95th who had been at New Orleans,
      > more
      > below...
      > But at Waterloo, Harry Smith was the Assistant Quartermaster-General
      > to Sir
      > John Lambert, another veteran of New Orleans, who commanded the 10th
      > British
      > Brigade, of the 6th Anglo-German Division, made up of the 1/4th Rgmt
      > of Foot
      > , under Lt-Colonel Francis Brooke, the 1/27th Rgmt of Foot, under
      > Captain
      > John Hare, the 1/40th Rgmt of Foot, under Major Arthur R Heyland, and
      > the
      > 2/81st Rgmt of Foot, who stayed in reserve.
      > From the autobiography of Sir Harry Smith, Chapter 24
      > http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~awoodley/harry/harry24.html :
      > "When we reached Ghent we found Sir John Lambert had reached it the day
      > before. Louis XVIII. was there, his Court and idlers, and Ghent was in
      > as
      > great a state of excitement as if the Duke of Marlborough was again
      > approaching. I found our Brigade were all New Orleans Regiments ~
      > three of
      > the best regiments of the old Army of the Peninsula, the 4th, 27th, and
      > 40th, and the 81st in garrison at Brussels. We were ordered to be in
      > perfect
      > readiness to take the field with the warning we had been so many years
      > accustomed to."
      > "During our stay at Ghent we had Brigade parades almost every day, and
      > my
      > General, an ex-Adjutant of the Guards, was most particular in all guard
      > mountings, sentries, and all the correct minutiae of garrison. The
      > three
      > regiments were in beautiful fighting trim, although the headquarters
      > ship
      > with the Grenadiers, the 27th, had not arrived from America. Poor
      > 27th! in a
      > few days they had not two hundred men in the ranks."
      > "....General Lambert sent me on to the Duke for orders. I was to find
      > the
      > Duke himself, and receive orders from no other person. About I I
      > o'clock I
      > found his Grace and all his staff near Hougoumont. The day was
      > beautiful
      > after the storm, although the country was very heavy. When I rode up,
      > he
      > said, "Hallo, Smith, where are you from last?" "From General Lambert's
      > Brigade, and they from America." "What have you got?" "The 4th, the
      > 27th,
      > and the 40th; the 81st remain in Brussels." "Ah, I know, I know; --but
      > the
      > others, are they in good order?" "Excellent, my lord, and very strong."
      > "That's all right, for I shall soon want every man.' "
      > The famed officer of the 3/95th, William Surtees in his autobiography,
      > Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade, says that he and the 3/95th
      > companies (approx 500 men) who had served in the New Orleans campaign
      > were
      > due to go back to Thorncliffe (sic) via Harwich, England, but rec'd
      > word en
      > route that Napoleon was back in power, so, they headed to their
      > barracks,
      > met "three companies of my battalion, and five or six of the other
      > two....We
      > continued at Thorncliffe (shouldn't that be Shorncliffe? R.F.) for some
      > time, but busily preparing once more to take the field; and had
      > Bonaparte
      > not been so precipitate in his movements, we might have shared in the
      > glory
      > of his final overthrow."
      > "But at length the news of the memorable battle of Waterloo arrived,
      > and we
      > had no share in it."
      > The companies of the 3/95th, who had been at New Orleans, only arrived
      > back
      > on the continent on 13 July 1815 at Ostend, thence to France for
      > occupation
      > duty, missing the Battle of Waterloo. The other three companies, who
      > had
      > remained in England, had already left and participated in the Battle of
      > Waterloo as part of Adam's British Light Brigade, along with the
      > 2/95th,
      > under Col. Sir Andrew Barnard, the 1/52, under Sir John Colborne, and
      > the
      > 1/71 HLI under Lt Col Thomas Reyell, a grouping that brought back
      > reminders
      > of its role as the Light Division, later re-styled the Light Brigade,
      > in the
      > successful Peninsula War.
      > Roger Fuller
      > The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds
      > of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
      > THOUSANDS of square miles...
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

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