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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

For all discussions relating to the Hundred Days and Napoleon's final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby MarkW » June 18th, 2017, 3:10 pm

but how high is your corn
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby jf42 » June 19th, 2017, 2:22 am

Iain wrote:
jf42 wrote:
unclearthur wrote:
We are two days short of the Waterloo anniversary and late last evening I saw a tractor pulling a cart full of straw. (big round disc shapes) Unaware of this post, my wife remarked “they’re late this year”!
As such, Hougoumont was probably well stocked up with both hay and straw.
(and our apples are only 1cm in diameter)

…, Iain.



Now, Iain, concentrate. Even with your focus on the eco-system of Chateau Hougoumont, deep down you must know that in mid-June 1815, for miles around, the fields were chock full of cereal crops yet to be reaped; green; tall as a Highlander's bonnet...

As it is, we already know there was a pile of straw (last year's) in the steading on 18th June, as Clay reported. So-...well, I don't know. Are we going back to fire-steps?


Is it me or is it hot in here?

(I am fairly sure that Belgian farmers harvest their wheat in August like the rest of NW EUrope)
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby Iain » June 19th, 2017, 2:16 pm

jf42 wrote:
Iain wrote: (I am fairly sure that Belgian farmers harvest their wheat in August like the rest of NW EUrope)


Lol...
Yes..., quite so, the cereal had not yet been reaped.
Nonetheless, they had been making hay for quite some time and due to the hot weather prior to the battle, some of it must have been transferred to the barns; providing the ignition points.

I'll speak with my farmer neighbour Daniel and keep you all updated. ;)
Plus a few photos.

..., Iain.
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby Iain » June 19th, 2017, 2:21 pm

PS
If this is straw and not hay, dozens of tractors have been passing our house with tons of the stuff over the past week or so.
https://libreshot.com/straw-on-the-field/
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby jf42 » June 19th, 2017, 6:52 pm

Iain wrote:
jf42 wrote:
Iain wrote:
Nonetheless, they had been making hay for quite some time and due to the hot weather prior to the battle, some of it must have been transferred to the barns; providing the ignition points.


Not really..... :geek:
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby Iain » June 30th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Hi All...

It would not be correct if I didn't mention that I updated a couple of posts on page 4.
Seems to me that the field between the farm and the French was wheat and not corn. Of course, not being there on the day and certainly not being a farmer, I can only take 2017 into consideration relative to the harvest.

..., Iain.
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby jf42 » June 30th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Iain, in British English wheat is corn and vice versa, unless you mean sweetcorn (Indian corn ) or maize. Are you perhaps thinking of rye?
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby Iain » July 3rd, 2017, 5:22 pm

Lol…, Hi JF.

Confused and not very proud of myself !

I learned how to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor at the tender age of 7 in Scotland…, with the men behind loading the cart with corn that had been left out to dry in ‘pyramid’ stacks for a certain time. ('oats' acording to the image below) They’d then be taken to the farm to be thrashed. The stalks of which I always thought to be straw; which have been passing in front of our house over the past few weeks in large disc-shaped bales.
As Matthew Clay said, “beyond the western hedge was the cornfield.”! Is it possible he was talking about wheat ?

Surf ‘corn’ on Google and you find nothing ! (except sweat corn…, which was impossible in those days)
As such, what's a 'cornfield'?

…, perplexed !

PS Still not found the time to speak with my farmer-neighbour !
PPS Learning a lot on this forum ! ;)
PPPPPPS: Sorry Mark for the change of subject !
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby Iain » July 3rd, 2017, 5:37 pm

MarkW wrote:no worries, Iain, for letting the topic slip on to another branch, all related really i suppose :)

I actually brought up the haystack as i was wondering why the Duke had mentioned it etc, it was answered but led to further questions from others, i.e. did the French send over flammable material etc....

The first cannon fire was from the KGL as we know now...not a large French bombardment nor the three gun signal etc that was in the film...was that ever used to start a Napoleonic battle?

Movement from Jerome and likely a Nassau private fired the first shot from the wood into the French moving into it...or was it the cannon as it disrupted the columns moving forward? Time? 11:30am?

Clay was, by then, posted near the western wall of Hougoumont? By the time the fighting got to him, 11:55am?


Mark…, Hi !

To get back to your question about the haystack…
I knew John had mentioned it somewhere but it’s only today that I found the details.
In this reply, he talks about a letter written by Macdonnell.
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=3245

Just before your remark “of course John, of course.” ;)
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Re: First cannon fire at Waterloo, on 18th...

Postby jf42 » July 3rd, 2017, 7:10 pm

Iain wrote:Lol…, Hi JF.

Confused and not very proud of myself !

I learned how to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor at the tender age of 7 in Scotland…, with the men behind loading the cart with corn that had been left out to dry in ‘pyramid’ stacks for a certain time. ('oats' acording to the image below) They’d then be taken to the farm to be thrashed. The stalks of which I always thought to be straw; which have been passing in front of our house over the past few weeks in large disc-shaped bales.
As Matthew Clay said, “beyond the western hedge was the cornfield.”! Is it possible he was talking about wheat ?

Surf ‘corn’ on Google and you find nothing ! (except sweat corn…, which was impossible in those days)
As such, what's a 'cornfield'?

…, perplexed !

PS Still not found the time to speak with my farmer-neighbour !
PPS Learning a lot on this forum ! ;)
PPPPPPS: Sorry Mark for the change of subject !


Iain - greetings,

It is a bit of a mine field.

In non-technical parlance, 'corn' in 1815 could have been any cereal or grain-producing crop. Today, though, in that context it will normally be used to refer to wheat, although I suspect most people today wouldn't know the difference.

When we talk today about "rolling cornfields" or when our fragrant prime minister confesses to running through a cornfield, it will still be wheat that is meant rather than maize (sweetcorn). The quirks of our language are such that we will talk of a 'cornfield' but when we want to be more specific we might as likely to speak of "a field of wheat."

In this instance, however, when Clay referred to a 'cornfield' he might well have meant a field of rye. I believe it is rye that is most commonly mentioned in relation to the battles of 16th & 18th June. Not that it couldn't have been wheat; I just don't know. How much does it matter? I would not be surprised if someone somewhere has mapped out exactly what was growing where in and around the battlefield on 18th June 1815. That is out of my ken, however. (Maize where found, would probably have been described as 'Indian corn' ).

Speaking of barley, I feel a thirst coming on. Hope that helps anyway
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