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Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815

More Waterloo American Scots

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 13:37:55 +0100

In St. John's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh at the end of Princess Street. There is an intriguing brass plaque is in the north isle in memory John Stuart Stuart Forbes. He was the second youngest brother of Sir William Stuart Forbes of Pitsligo and Monymusk, co. Aberdeen, 9th Baronet. Other memorials are British this plaque, however, is to a trooper in the United States 7th Cavalry killed in action 25th June 1876. He died with George Armstrong Custer's troops who were wiped out to a man by a massed force of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana.

Forbes joined the 7th Cavalry in 1872 under the name of John Stuart Hiley and it is by this name he is listed in the muster rolls of 1873 and 1876, and on the monument erected on the battle site in 1881. He was a member of "E" company, known as the gray horse company. The plaque is of solid brass measuring 2 feet and 5 inches by 8 and a quarter inches. There is a Forbes coat of arms on the top left corner,

In Memory of John Stuart Stuart Forbes
7th Reg''t United States Cavalry, born at Rugby
28th May 1849, Killed in Action 25th June 1876
St. James 4: 13-14-15 Romans 8: 35-37

John Stuart Stuart Forbes was of course not the only Scot or of Scots decent to serve in the 7th Cavalry no Sinclairs are listed on the muster rolls I can hardly believe that there was a fight we stayed out of.

Forbes' great uncle was Lt.Col. James MacDonell, Coldstream Guards, the hero of Hougomont, during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Waterloo Scots Sinclairs

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 14:02:02 +0100

Dear John,

I just sent you a little note that is actually a little spin off from my Waterloo reading. I know that it is very peripheral to your list but I'm hoping that it finds a thread somewhere (though I don't have any idea where). There are many interesting Waterloo anecdotes such as the one about Lord Uxbridge's left leg. He received a wound whilst sitting astride his horse next to the Iron Duke. A cannonball whizzed by his horse and struck his left leg. He looked down and said "My God, Sir, I have lost my left leg!". Wellington emotionlessly replied "My God, Sir, you have."

Mick Reid, who lives just down the road from Waterloo, said that Uxbridge's leg was not shot off completely but had to be amputated at 214 Chaussee de Bruxelles, Waterloo. Uxbridge's leg was buried in the garden. When Uxbridge died in 1854, the leg was exhumed, taken back to England and buried with Uxbridge.

The French writer, Victor Hugo, has a monument at Waterloo, erected in 1912. The oldest monument in Waterloo is the Gordon monument built in 1817. Like most movable dates, June 18th was then called June 10th.

As Ever,


From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 15:28:40 +0100

A great lion statue The Lion of Waterloo gazes from the summit of its 40-metre-high mound across the great battlefield of 18 June, 1815, with its farmhouses and rolling fields and the nearby villages of Braine-l'Alleud, Genappe, Plancenoit (Lasne) and Waterloo.

On 16 June, the first clashes took pace at Ligny and Quatre-Bras, as the opposing armies confronted each other. This lead to the retreat of the Allied troops commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Marshal Blüücher, and to the advance of the Emperor Napoleon's French army.

Napoleon spent the night of 17 June at Vieux-Genappe. Wellington slept in Waterloo while his army bivouacked a few kilometres to the south, close to the farm of Mont-Saint-Jean.

Blüücher's Prussians were to the east out of touch.

Sunday 18 June was the decisive day for both armies, whose troops took up their positions in the morning. Battle commenced half-an-hour before noon with a French attack on the fortified farm of Hougoumont, followed by an infantry assault on the Allies' main line. Both were beaten back, and a counter-charge of the British cavalry was stopped by French artillery.

The French cavalry under Marshal Ney, the 'bravest of the brave', then attacked, charging time and again but faring no better against Allied infantry and artillery. French infantry captured the fortified farm of La Haie-Sainte, clearing the way for a strike at the Allied centre.

With the Prussians attacking his flank at Plancenoit and the Papelotte farm, Napoleon threw his elite Old Guard at the Iron Duke. The same Old Guard he had bid fare well to in 20 April 1814 with this speach.

"Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have entailed deeper misfortunes on France.

I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country.

I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart." He then kissed the Tricolour and said "with this kiss remember me." The French army still does this today.

He threw the Old Guard desperately forward in a final effort to break Wellington's line. The Allies held firm and the Old Guard retreated under a storm of musketry, cannon balls and grape-shot. A general advance by the Allies turned the French defeat into a rout an aide de camp said to Wellington after surender had been refused by Ney "Your Grace we are commiting murder" Napoleon just escaped.

at Braine l'Alleud

Saint Stephen's Church became a hospital where nuns and local citizens did their best to alleviate the suffering On the day after the battle the mayor of Braine-L'Alleud organized assistance for the wounded.

Hougoumont Manor-Farm was one of three farms involved in the action-the others being La Haie-Sainte and Papelotte-Hougoumont it was a heavily defended outpost protecting the Allied right wing. Napoleon opened the battle by assaulting it at 11.30am. Although only intended as a diversionary attack, the fighting here continued until 7pm and was among the most violent and costly of the whole day. The farm defenders repulsed the valiant attack by heroic defence. Only the manor chapel, part of a wall and traces of the stairway saw the end of the battle.

At Lasne - Plancenoit

A bronze imperial eagle monument, badly injured and carrying a French flag in its talons is dedicated to the last soldiers of Napoleon's Grand Army, and was erected where it is believed that the Imperial Guard formed a square for a last stand against the Allies.

At Lasne - Plancenoit

6,700 Prussians fell at Waterloo, there is a monument at Plancenoit, where an artillery battery of von Bulow's Fourth Corps had stood.

The inscription, in German Gothic script translates: "To The Dead Heroes From A Grateful King And Country. May They Rest In Peace. Belle Alliance, 18th June 1815".

La Haie-Sainte Farm farm was transformed into a fortress by the Allied army, garrisoned by six companies of the King's German Legion, which were later reinforced by two companies of Nassau( Dutch) troops. From 2pm onwards they were subjected to furious attack and were finally forced to withdraw. The French finally captured the farm but incurring such a loss of lives and time that they could not exploit their success. Two plaques commemorate the ferocious struggle that took place here.

At Genappe

The Brussels-Charleroi road bisects from north to south, the Genappe the area saw the all the armies .

Le Roi d'Espagne Inn

On 16 June, the Duke of Wellington spent the night here; on the 17th his place was taken by the French Prince Jerome and General Reille. Further illustrating the fortunes of battle, the Prussian Marshal Blüücher moved in on the 18th, while General Duhesme was being treated in an adjoining room where he died on the 20th.

There is a Monument to General Duhesme at Ways the French General Count Duhesme, Commander of the Young Imperial Guard, who was mortally wounded at Plancenoit, died in the Roi d'Espagne Inn and was buried at Ways.

There is a monument erected to the memory of the Belgians killed during the battle of Quatre-Bras.

at Baisy-Thy

Erected in memory of Frederick-William, fourth son of the Duke of Brunswick, who was killed in action on 16 June at Quatre-Bras, during fierce fighting between the Allies and a French force commanded by Marshal Ney.

1990 the Dutch raised a monument commemorating their Cavalry men who fell at the battles of Quatre-Bras and Waterloo.

At Waterloo

there is a Monument to the Belgians erected in 1914, it honours the sacrifice made by Belgian soldiers killed at the Battle of Waterloo. The granite stela bears the inscription: "In Defence Of The Flag And The Honour Of The Armies", it depicting the Belgian lion surrounded in laurel, beneath a shot-torn flag.

The Mont-Saint-Jean Farm belonged to the Templar Order since 1230 before being rebuilt in 1778 by the Knights of Malta. It was used as a field-hospital by the British during the battle, and comprises a large square of whitewashed brick, stone and granite.

The French and Allied armies deployed during the morning.

11.30 Battle commences with a French attack on the fortified farm of Hougoumont.

13.30 Attack on the Allied main line by the French First Infantry Corps under General Drouet d'Erlon.

14.00 D'Erlon's troops are repulsed.

14.30 British cavalry counter-attack, but press their charge too far and are forced to retreat.

15.00 The French infantry assault ends in failure.

15.30 Massed charge of the French cavalry.

16.30 By now, four cavalry charges have been delivered, all unsuccessfully. The first Prussians arrive, engaging the French feast of Plancenoit. The Prussian Fourth Corps under von Büülow attacks.

18.00 Fresh Prussian troops launch a major assault on Plancenoit.

19.00 Napoleon has his Imperial cavalry charge. consisting of the 3th Corps (Kellermann) except for the carabineers, the survivors of the 4th Corps (Milhaud) and the Division of light cavalry of the Guards (Lefèèbvre-Desnoëëttes) and the heavy cavalry (Guyot).

19.30 More Prussian troops come into action at the Papelotte farm. The French begin to withdraw.

20.15 The whole Allied line goes over to the offensive.

20.30 Panic and flight of the French army.

21.00 Victory of the Allied forces. Wellington and Blüücher shake hands on their success.

Last changed: 00/06/22 21:38:33 [Clan Sinclair]