Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/365

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11 S. XI. MAY 8, 1915.]



General plainly told him that it would be vain to give it, as they would not obey it." No wonder the A.D.C. rode off in disgust. Even when the Imperial Guard had been defeated, first by Maitland, then by Colborne, and all that was wanting was the order " Now every man must advance," the Dutch - Belgians do not appear to have exhibited any undue alacrity, for at that moment Sir Felton Hervey rode up to our 18th Hussars to exchange his wounded horse. " Lord Wellington has won the battle [he exclaimed] if we could but get the d d

B s to advance." " I perfectly recollect

this remark of Col. Hervey's," wrote Sir Hussey Vivian to Siborne twenty years afterwards. And yet we are now told by Houssaye that not very many minutes previously these same Dutch -Belgians had routed what he would have us believe was the first French column. Gredat Judceus. When the general advance took place, a little later perhaps than 8 o'clock, Ditmer's troops then, but not till then, cam into the first line. They marched on the left of Maitland 's troops, and at once attracted the sharp eyes of young Macready, who has thus described the final scene :

" A heavy column of Dutch infantry the first we had seen passed, drumming and shouting like mad, with their shakos on the top of their bayonets, near enough to our right for us to see and laugh at them."

This, I submit, is what General Chasse afterwards magnified into a bayonet charge, when he had the happiness, as he expressed it, of seeing the French Guard give way before them an expression, by the way, that certainly does not savour of any terrific struggle. To corroborate Macready I will quote an officer of Maitland's Guards, who wrote : " On our advance to La Belle Alliance several battalions of Belgians accompanied us on the left, having taken no part in the battle." Wellington afterwards, referring to his having been nicknamed a Sepoy general, said that his Indian experi- ence had been invaluable to him at Waterloo, for in that battle he had some troops that he could not trust at all, others whom he could barely trust, while others were not properly trained. The new Dutch levies served to fill gaps, and he knew where to place them.

In a foot-note Houssaye refers to p. 338, ' Waterloo Letters,' where Lieut. Anderson, 69th Regiment, states that he saw a foreign corps in rear of Halkett's left a short time before the advance of the Imperial Guard. Houssaye seizes the opportunity. This

foreign corps, he says, must have been Dit- mer's brigade, and if the Imperial Guard disappeared, no wonder ! Ditmer drove them down the slope. I think he is alto- gether mistaken. He omits to say that Anderson adds that the foreign corps had shakos covered with white. Now Kruse's Nassau contingent was a foreign corps, and it was stationed next to the left of Halkett, and it wore a rifle-green uniform, and a white-cased cap. At p. 180, ' Waterloo Letters,' Major-General Hon. H. Murray states that about this period some Nassau troops with white caps fell back upon the horses of the 18th Hussars, but were forced forward. But what was the foreign corps - doing in the rear of Halkett's left ? The following extract from a letter written by a very active member of the staff, Major Dawson Kelly, enlightens us on that point, and incidentally shows what wretched material was included in Wellington's vic- torious army :

" Lord Anglesey rode up to observe the ad- vancing columns, when I pointed out to him a vacant interval on our left, and suggested the necessity of sending something to occupy it. He replied that he would do so, and shortly after a battalion dressed in green came up in close column ; but the officer refused to deploy, saying he had no orders, and I positively assert that as soon as the advancing columns commenced their fire, which they did on rising the hill, the green jackets to a man turned about and ran to the rear."

I do not think Houssaye would have claimed this foreign corps as Ditmer's brigade if he had known of this letter.

In conclusion, it will be seen that the opinion I have formed of Houssaye's correct- ness is adverse to him. But I should be glad if some deus ex machind with hitherto unpublished letters could intervene autho- ritatively to settle the points in dispute between us before 18 June, 1915.


1, New Court, Temple, E.C.


(See ante, pp. 313, 335.)

I WILL now deal with the three other Characters indebted to the ' Arcadia ' mentioned above together with another,

  • An Improvident Yaung Gallant,' which

borrows from Florio's ' Montaigne ' in the same way, quoting first from the ' New Characters,' next parallels from the * Ar- cadia ' or essays, as the case may be, and. finally from Webster.