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Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

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Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

Postby Josh&Historyland » February 23rd, 2017, 9:14 pm

Would anyone have any info about Chathams brigade in 1799, I'm asking on behalf of another who has already done some research but has found gaps.. Seems they got cut up awfully by French cavalry while trying to support the Russians. Details are scarce but from what I've been told the brigade was big. 4 battalions (1 of the 34th Foot & 3 of the 4th Foot) the latter alone apparently numbering around 3,000 men! Apparently the 34th had been in the West Indies & was made up to strength by large militia drafts, the 4th (presumably the 1/4th) had come from Canada and supposedly all three battalions were also heavy on militia.
It seems to have occurred that the Russians got into a needless scrap with the French, & a division of Abercrombie's command was sent to support them. Unfortunately the visibility was bad, Lord Chatham whom Fortescue calls incompetent was wounded, & the Russians to their front took flight at the approach of the French cavalry. I gather they passed through Chatham's intervals. There's a gap in what happens next. It's implied that the brigade was largely broken & cut up losing 250 KW & 533 captured. Mostly sustained by the 4th.

Any info appreciated.
Josh.
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Re: Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

Postby Andrew » February 23rd, 2017, 9:49 pm

Josh,

do you know what the French cavalry type was?

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Re: Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

Postby Josh&Historyland » February 23rd, 2017, 10:06 pm

Only that General Brune might have lead them. I'd presume light cavalry. I'll check. Is there significance if there is a specific type?

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Re: Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

Postby Josh&Historyland » February 24th, 2017, 12:31 am

Page 204, https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-59bAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=general+brune's+army+on+the+helder&source=bl&ots=qAplFAT-1H&sig=Tf0jQQcEy3l-6VclfDlhjzoHSjg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjulpiou6fSAhWmLcAKHf8ABfQ4ChDoAQgfMAM#v=onepage&q=general%20brune's%20army%20on%20the%20helder&f=false%20says Brune attacked first with Chasseurs and dragoons. And yet again with Dutch Hussars.

Page 58-59 of this describes the initial charge being lead by General Barbou, and that Brune lead the Hussar attack that checked the British light cavalry under Paget.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=72wBAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=Castricum&f=false
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Re: Chatham's Brigade at Castricum, 1799.

Postby Skarpskytten » February 24th, 2017, 7:35 am

Digby Smith, The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book gives british losses as 4 officers, 91 men killed, 36 officers, 696 men wounded, 19 officers, 593 men "missing" and notes that "most" were from Chathams brigade. No specific source is given, but see below.

For the Battle of Bergen some days before he has Chathams brigade composed of three batallions (!) from the 4th and 31st.

The french cavalry in Brune's army at Bergen and Castricum were: 10e dragoons, 4e chasseurs cheval, 5e chasseurs cheval, 16 chasseurs cheval; 5e had 1 sqdron, the other regiments 4. (There were also som batavian horse in the army).

He lists four soruces for these two battles
- Fortescue, A History of the British Army
- Sir W L Clowes, The Royal Navy
- William James, The Naval History of Great Britain from the Declaration of War by France in 1793 to the Accession of George IV
- Alexander Michaelovsky-Danielevsi, Geschicht des Kriegess Russlands mit Frankreich under der Regierung Kaiser Paul I, 1799
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