Nevilles general order

Wellington's general order issued at Nevilles, 20 June  (1815) 
by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

After the 7th Coalition's victory at the Battle of Waterloo the Allied and Prussian armies crossed the frontier into France and marched on Paris. Shortly after he crossed the border into France the Duke of Wellington issued an order of the day at Nevilles. Similar but not identical wording was also issued in an order of the day.


Nivelles, 20th June, 1815.

General Order.

1. As the Army is about to enter the French territory, the troops of the Nations, which are at present under the command of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, are desired to recollect that their respective Sovereigns are the Allies of His Majesty the King of France; and that France ought, therefore, to be treated as a friendly country. It is therefore required that nothing should be taken, either by Officers or soldiers, for which payment is not made. The Commissaries of the Army will provide for the wants of the troops in the usual manner; and it is not permitted either to soldiers or Officers to extort contributions. The Commissaries will be authorised either by the Field Marshal, or by the Generals who command the troops of the respective Nations, in cases where their provisions are not supplied by an English Commissary, to make the proper requisitions, for which regular receipts will be given; and it must be strictly understood that they will themselves be held responsible for whatever they obtain in way of requisition from the inhabitants of France, in the same manner in which they would be esteemed accountable for purchases made for their own Government in the several dominions to which they belong.

2. The Field Marshal takes this opportunity of returning to the Army his thanks for their conduct in the glorious action fought on the 18th instant, and he will not fail to report his sense of their conduct in the terms which it deserves to their several Sovereigns.

(signed) Wellington.