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the instances of gallantry displayed by the British in this action. But the death of the distinguished Colonel Cameron, who fell at the head of the 92d regiment, which he had so often led to victory, was deservedly distinguished by peculiar regret. Nor is it possible to omit the touching circumstances attending the fate of Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, who, when mortally wounded in the attack on the Bois de Bossu, desired to see the colours of the regiment once more ere he died; they were waved over his head, and the expiring officer declared himself satisfied. He also expressed to his intimate friend Colonel Thomas, his satisfaction that he himself should have met this fate rather than his friend, who had been but lately married. Alas! ere the hour had expired, Colonel Thomas had shared the fate which his dying friend wished should be exhausted by his own misfortune. Such scenes must not escape the notice of history, as too minute for her annals; they give life, feeling, and truth to her sombre pictures of indiscriminate carnage, connecting the direful events which she records with the kinder feelings of our nature, and holding up to posterity the character of the British soldier as it exists, gentle in his bravery, and carrying alike his kindness and his enthusiasm into the field of battle, and the hour of honourable death.
During the night of the 15th, and the succeeding day, the Prussians, without annoyance from the French, united themselves with the division of Bulow, and evacuating Sombref, Brie, and the other villages, which Thielman had maintained during the action of Ligny, concentrated their whole army upon the small river Dyle, in the vicinity of Wavre, about six leagues to the rear of their former position, and considerably farther dis
joined from the line of the Duke of Wellington's operations. The march of the Prussians was followed and observed by Marshal Grouchy, with the third and fourth corps, and the cavalry of General Pajol. The rest of the French army, under Napoleon's immediate command, made a movement to their left, and thus united themselves with Ney, with the purpose of attacking the English general in his position at Quatre Bras.
It required some hours ere this movement could be executed; and it was about eleven o'clock when the whole French army was drawn out in line of battle on the heights of Frasnes, in expectation of immediate battle. But they did not, as they expected, find the Duke of Wellington in the position which he had so well defended on the preceding day. He had masqued, with great skill, a retreat, which, corresponding in extent with that of Blucher, might again place him in communication with the unwearied veteran. The French soldiery regarded this manoeuvre as the symptom of an easy triumph, and made little doubt that the English were on the full march to embark at Antwerp. The most gasconading letters were dispatched to Paris, announcing the annihilation both of the English and Prussian armies, complete victory, and unalloyed triumph. The little that might remain to be done, it was confidently prophesied, would be easily achieved." The emperor is here!" The pontoons were anxiously hurried forward, which the French soldiers took as an omen that they were soon to pursue the enemy among the canals of Holland.
In the meanwhile, amid torrents of rain, which rendered the roads very bad, and the fields impracticable for the passage of troops, the English army, in no very triumphant mood, were winning their way to a position
down with its weight, and overset totally the ranks which opposed them. The lancers, and cuirassiers who supported them, fled in great disorder, and gave no further disturbance to the English retreat. At five o'clock, the British army arrived on the ground which long before the Duke of Wellington had caused to be surveyed by the quarter-master-general, as a favourable situation, in case circumstances should require a stand to be made before Brussels.
nearer to Brussels and the Prussians, than that which they had left. The best and bravest among them scarcely hoped that the Prussians, after a day of such slaughter as that of Ligny, would be speedily organized, and they themselves leaving, in the position of Quatre Bras, the only advantage they had derived from the ac tion of the 15th, were, in all probability, now to contend, unaided, with the whole French army. The hostile cavalry, indeed, were not long in making their appearance on the causeway to harass the retreat. But the fields were rendered so deep by the rain as to make it impossible for them to act upon the flank of the British, who occupied the causeway; and it was only near the village of Genappes that they of fered any serious interruption or annoyance to the English army. Genappes is a small town, situated on the causeway to Brussels, which passes through its confined street, and crosses the Dyle, a deep and sluggish stream, over a long narrow bridge, forming a defile very unfavourable for a retreating army. A corps of lancers here attacked the rear of the British, while they were engaged in filing through the village. The Earl of Uxbridge ordered the 7th hussars to attack the lancers. They advanced gallantly to the charge; but, from the length of the enemies' weapons, and the manner in which they were drawn up, having each flank well secured, and a mass of cavalry in their rear, the British regiment sustained a repulse. The lancers kept their ranks, but were nevertheless somewhat disordered by the vivacity of the attack, when Lord Uxbridge ordered the life-guards to attack them. The long swords, strong horses, and tall men of these fine regiments, effected what the hussars had been unable to accomplish. Their charge bore
The field of Waterloo, as this memorable spot is now most generally named, is very easily described. The army occupied a chain of heights, extending from a small village on the right called Merke Braine, to a hamlet called Ter la Haye on the left. The extent may be a mile and a half. This line of heights corresponds with a similar, but somewhat higher, chain, running parallel to those on which the English army was posted. The two lines are divided from each other by a valley, which winds betwixt them, of various breadth at different points, but, generally speaking, not exceeding half a mile. The declivity on each side has a various, but, generally speaking, a very gentle slope, and is diversified by a number of undulating banks, which seem as if formed by the action of water, though no stream flows through the little valley. This ground is traversed by two highroads, or causeways, both leading to Brussels, the one from Charleroi through Genappes, by which the British army had just retreated, and the other from Nivelles. After intersecting the valley and reaching the summit of the heights, these two roads unite at the hamlet of Mont Saint Jean, which is considerably to the rear of the British position. The farm of Mont Saint Jean, which must be distinguished from the village, is more immediately close to the rear;
and another farm-house, called La Haie Sainte, (from the only hedge in the neighbourhood, which runs along the ridge behind it,) is situated upon the Charleroi causeway, near the foot of its descent from the heights into the valley. Exactly fronting Mont Saint Jean, on the opposite eminence, and on the same road from Charleroi, is La Belle Alliance, another small hamlet; and these two points form nearly the respective centres of the French and English positions. Farther
to the east, and about the centre of the British right-wing, is the mansion of Hougoumont, an old-fashioned Flemish villa, with a chapel and courtyard, a garden surrounded by a wall and a hedge, and about two acres of park-ground filled with tall beech trees. The rest of the valley is open ground, and was then covered with rye and wheat of great height. Such was the aspect and bearings of the ground, which, after few hours, was to become immortal in history.
Disposition of the British Army.-The French come on the Ground.-Their Dispositions.-The Action commences.-Attack on Hougoumont-And on the British Right.-The Mode of receiving it.-It is finally unsuccessful. Attack on the British Centre and Left.-Death of Picton.-Cavalry Engage ment.-Bulow's Corps begins to enter into Action.-Reiterated Attacks of the French.-Personal Conduct of the Duke of Wellington.-Great Loss of the British Troops.-Attack by the Imperial GuardsIt is totally defeated.-The British attack in Line.-The Prussians come up in Force.-The French are totally Routed.-Flight of Buonaparte.-Movements of the Prussians.-Affair at Wavre.-Pursuit of the French by Blucher.-Loss of the Armies engaged.
To the memorable field on which was fought the battle of the eighteenth of June, the Prussians gave the name of La Belle Alliance, from that of a small hamlet, or cabaret, in the centre of the French position, which seemed to Blucher to bear a happy allusion to the confederacy of the victors. The French call it the battle of Mont Saint Jean, from a farmhouse and hamlet in the centre of the British line. But the British have given the action a name from the little town of Waterloo, the nearest village of any consequence, although two miles in the rear of the actual scene of battle. It was in Waterloo that Lord Wellington established his head-quarters on the night of the 17th, and we retain that name as most familiar to the British ear and imagination.
The evening was spent in disposing the army in order of battle for the next day. The arrangement was simple and compact. The British
troops were drawn up in two lines, the centre being nearly in front of the farm of Saint Jean, and the left extending along the ridge until the extreme flank reached a hamlet called Smouhen, and a farm-house named Papelotte, where it was sufficiently covered by buildings, inclosures, ravines, and thickets. From Smouhen, the country to the left is covered with thickets and wood, which extend as far as Wavre, and by the broken roads which intersect this difficult ground a communication was maintained with Blucher's army. The right of the British army extended along the same heights, but following their direction sloped semi-circularly backwards, until the extreme right flank rested on Merke- Braine, where it was protected by a ravine. The troops were disposed as follows: The right consisted of the second and fourth English divisions, the third and sixth Hanoverians, and the first Belgians, under Lord Hill. The cen
tre was composed of the corps of the Prince of Orange, with the Brunswickers and troops of Nassau, having the guards, under Gen. Cooke, on the right, and the division of General Alten on the left. The left wing consisted of the divisions of Picton, Lambert, and Kempt. The second line was in all instances formed of the troops deemed least worthy of confidence, or which had suffered too severely in the action of the 16th to be again exposed until extremity. It was placed behind the declivity of the heights to the rear, in order to be safe from the cannonade, notwithstanding which it suffered greatly from the shells thrown at venture beyond the eminence by the French. The cavalry was placed in the rear of the infantry, ready to pour through the intervals, and act as opportunity offered. It was distributed through all the line, but the greater proportion was placed in the left of the centre, or to the east of the main causeway from Charleroi. The farm-house of La Haye Sainte served as the key to the centre, lying immediately under the middle of the British line. It was fortified as well as the time admitted, and garrisoned with Hanoverians. The chateau and garden and park of Hougoumont formed at once a very strong advanced post, and the key to the British right. The castle and garden were occupied by a detachment of the guards, under Lord Salton and Colonel Macdonell, the wood or park by the sharp-shooters of Nassau.
Such was the order of battle, in which the British troops slept on their arms. Their ground was not strong enough to merit the name of a military position, but it was a fair field, upon which battle might be offered or accepted with little advantage to either party. In case of disaster, the wood of Soig nies, a close and extensive forest of beech trees, lay within two miles, and
its verge might, by a few resolute troops, be made good against almost any force, as there is no way to penetrate into it for several miles, save by the causeway from Charleroi to Brussels, already so often mentioned. Thus posted, Wellington dispatched a message to Blucher, to apprize him, that if he could spare him the support of two corps of his army, he was determined to abide the fate of battle on the ground he now occupied. The gallant veteran immediately offered to join the English general with his whole army, and in case Buonaparte should fail to accept the battle offered him by Wellington, he proposed they should attack him with their united strength on the ensuing day.
The night was tempestuous and rainy in the extreme, and the British. officers and soldiers suffered much by being exposed to its rigour in their open bivouac. The thunder rolled unremittingly, with such sheets of lightning and deluges of rain as are seldom seen but in a tropical climate. The French were even yet more exposed to the severity of the weather, for they had to deploy out of the line of battle which they had formed in the morning, with a view of attacking the position of Quatre Bras, and this operation consumed some time. The English, upon the 17th, were therefore long upon their ground for the night ere their enemies appeared. It was nearly twilight when Buonaparte, with his advanced guard, reached a little farmhouse called Caillou, about a mile in the rear of La Belle Alliance, where he established his head-quarters. His artillery, placed on the corresponding range of heights to those of Mont St Jean, cannonaded the British position, and were answered by the Duke's artillery. But most of his troops remained at the little town of Genappes, or in the vicinity, and were not again marched until the ensuing