With some research and digging in archives, we have now been able to collect more material on the role of the various volunteer jäger companies, especially a number of diaries written in 1815 itself!
One account is from a man from the town of Maastricht, who provides an all over insight in his adventures, two men from the Frisian foot company give us almost day by day look into what happened as the volunteers were attached to the 16th Jäger Battalion. For the light horse companies we have discovered several letters written to his parents from a volunteer from Rotterdam, and a diary from another volunteer who served in the company raised in Leiden. And finally there is the recently published diary from Major Jacobus Hojel, who gathered 45 volunteers at Deventer and attached these to the 5th National Militia Battalion.
The man on the right is Major Jacobus Hojel
We hope to add as much material as possible from their accounts in our next volume, and so once again make it a worthwhile read.
After the battle of Waterloo a number of volunteer jäger companies joined the Netherlands army when it was in France.
These volunteer companies were raised when news had arrived of the escape of Napoleon from Elba and as a consequence a general uproar of emotions raged through the higher classes of Dutch society. Civilians ('burgers') and students proclaimed their adherance to the Orange banner and demanded the right to form volunteer units. In the end King Willem I had to give in and grant the right to raise a number of volunteer companies, which were either on horse or foot. Several were raised in towns such as Rotterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, Arnhem and Leeuwarden.
These volunteer horse or foot companies marched to France and were added to the regular infantry battalions or cavalry regiments. Their story will be added into Volume Four that is due to be published in the Summer of 2017. And these stories include private accounts as well that date back to the actual year of 1815 itself.
Once again we will present you with another astounding addition to the 1815 fieldcampaign history.
Last year in May 2015 a new monument was inaugurated with great ceremonial attendance of the current Dutch horse artillery. The monument is that of a field gun from 1815 and remembers the role played by Captain Adriaan Bijleveld and his horse battery, that fought in three seperate engagements during the Waterloo campaign. On the 15th June it covered the retreat from Frasnes, followed the next day by its engagement at Quatre Bras and then ultimately at Waterloo.
The monument was unveiled in the village of Genappe, inbetween the battlefields Quatre Bras and Waterloo, near the Maison communal on the road l'Espace 2000.
Read all about Bijleveld's endeavours in our books!
Here at Sovereign House Books we pride ourselves to publish new insights on the 1815 campaign and its battles.
We do so by adding the hitherto almost unknown contribution of the Dutch-Belgian fieldarmy, including that of the Nassau troops which also were part of that same army. In fact a conglomarate Netherlands fieldarmy, that was part of the Duke of Wellington's army in 1815.
Our publications are based on long lost army reports, divisional and brigade journals, field orders, return strength states & losses, reports held secret by the Netherlands government at the time, as well as many other archival crossreferences to the distribution of medals, communications from the War department and the King's offices. And above all the private memoirs, autobiographies and private letters from both officers, NCOs and soldiers. Both published and in many cases untill now unknown and unpublished.
These few hundreds of accounts as wel as the many thousands of small and short field orders do not merely provide a new and more complete light to the role of this Netherlands fieldarmy, but these also add an enormous wealth to understand the 1815 campaign and its battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo.
Since we began publishing our books in 2012 we have had a major impact on the history of the battles and the campaign. Many historians have acknowledged that the input of our books is new, refreshing and finally fills the gap about the Dutch-Belgians. Since 2012 the history we present has become a vital part in over 30 publications by other Dutch and international authors who wrote about Waterloo and 1815.
Be part of that experience and order your copies here!
Our website also contains a wealth of other information, which you can consult through the menu News!
You can order our publications through the menu Books. And we remind you that we are currently having lots of discount actions! So keep coming back!!
Way back somewhere in 2005 when I still joined a re-enactment group portraying the Dutch 27th Jägers, I took a group with me of various re-enactors to the fields of Quatre Bras. As we walked along on this battlefield tour I explained to them various aspects of the fighting by the Dutch-Belgians in 1815 and showed the particular positions on the field. When we came to the Gémioncourt farm, the current owner and still active farmer, allowed us the rare opportunity to enter the courtyard.
In 1815 the farm held no tactical significance as it was positioned between two ridgelines in the low ground and therefore not occupied and fortified (N.B. see a report from Dutch engineers dating from late 1815 who mapped the battlefield, in Volume Two). Only during the retreat of the Dutch-Belgian troops in the opening hour of the Battle of Quatre Bras was it temporarily held by two companies of the 27th Jäger Battalion, reinforced by two companies of the 5th National Militia Btn. in the orchard immediately adjacent south of the farm. These scenes are described in full detail in Quatre Bras, Perponcher's gamble.
As many of you will perhaps never have this similar opportunity to visit Gémioncourt farm, I present a series of photos I took back then.
Our mixed group of Dutch-Belgian jägers, militia and line troopsRead more ...