Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gordon, Alexander (1786-1815)

GORDON, Sir ALEXANDER (1786–1815), lieutenant-colonel, was third son of George Gordon, lord Haddo, and grandson of George Gordon, third earl of Aberdeen. His mother was Charlotte, youngest daughter of William Baird of Newbyth, and sister of Sir David Baird. He was brother of George Hamilton Gordon, fourth earl of Aberdeen [q. v.], of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Gordon, diplomatist [q. v.], and of Lieutenant-colonel the Hon. Sir Charles Gordon 42nd highlanders, who died at Geneva 30 Sept. 1835 (see Gent. Mag. new Ser. iv. 667). He was born in 1786, educated at Eton, and in 1803 was appointed ensign in the 3rd foot guards (now Scots guards), in which be became captain and lieutenant-colonel on 23 Aug. 1813. He served as aide-de-camp to his maternal uncle, General Sir David Baird [q. v.], at the recapture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806, and to General Beresford with the force sent from the Cape to the Rio Plata [see Beresford, William Carr, Viscount]. He was employed by Beresford to treat with the Spanish authorities at Buenos Ayres. Afterwards he was again aide-de-camp to Baird at the capture of Copenhagen in 1807, and in Spain in 1808-9, including the battle of Corunna. In 1810 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Lord Wellington, in which capacity his brother Charles, then likewise a subaltern in the 3rd foot guards, also was employed for a time. Gordon served throughout the Peninsular campaigns. He brought home the despatches announcing the fall of Ciudad Rodrigo and was frequently mentioned in the despatches on other occasions (see Gurwood, vols. iii. iv. and v.) He received ten medals for general actions, and was made K.C.B. He was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington in Belgium, and received a mortal wound (thigh shattered) while rallying a battalion of Brunswickers, near La Haye Sainte, on 18 June 1815. He died a few hours after. Wellington alludes to him as an officer of great promise and a serious loss to the army (ib. viii. 154). Gordon appears to have been a great favourite in Brussels, and the principal residents in the city desired to bear the cost of the column erected to his memory on the field of Waterloo by his surviving sister and brothers.

[Foster's Peerage, under ‘Aberdeen;’ Gurwood's Wellington Desp. iii. 536, 538, 578, iv. 527, 555, v. 298, 447, 496, viii. 150, 154; Inscriptions sur les monuments à Waterloo (Brussels, 1838).]

H. M. C.