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Major Generals

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Major Generals

Postby Student of 1812 » September 10th, 2011, 1:57 pm

I'm trying to get a feel for the number of major generals in the British Army around the time of 1812. I've read that on 4 June 1811 there was a block promotion to Major General of colonels of seniority between 1805 to all colonels of 1808. My source indicates that this exceeded 79 officers. Does anyone have a handle on the establishment for substantive Major Generals around this time or an Army List that shows the numbers. I guess that many were in administrative employment and I think all (?) brigades were commanded by Major Generals (Brigadier being an appointment). What prompted the timing of block promotions? Any words of wisdom on the subject appreciated.
Last edited by Student of 1812 on September 11th, 2011, 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Major Generals

Postby Waggoner » September 10th, 2011, 4:39 pm

Dear Student,

Have you looked at the Army Lists that are available through Google Books? Then there are substantive promotions vice brevet ones. I suspect that many of the ones you were referring to might have been brevet or "while so employed" promotions. Good luck with your search.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Major Generals

Postby Waggoner » September 11th, 2011, 6:22 pm

Dear Student,

My suggestion as to why there was the large number of promotions is that they were due to the "exigenices of the service". This was practice was not restricted to Colonels. In March 1813, Prevost promoted all the majors under his command in the Canadas to the "Local and Temporary Rank of Lieuts Colonels" And not all substantive Colonels were promoted to Major Generals. Colonel Halkett only received a brevet of Brigadier in 1813 and lucky he was to receive that as he had ticked Prevost off. Hope this helps.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Major Generals

Postby Student of 1812 » September 12th, 2011, 10:17 am

Thanks Gary - re Prevost, what was the reaction was from Dunn & Co. when Prevost appointed Brock president and administrator of the government in Upper Canada on Gore's return to England in 1811? It seems to be a significant move in much the same way as when Templer was given supremo powers in the Malayan campaign in 1952. Given the "run-ins" that Brock had previously had with the civil authorities (reminiscent of Percival trying to prep his defences in Sigapore in 1942) it must have been an important step in his preparations for war. Presumably Prevost had the power to do this but for a cautious and political operator it seems a confrontational move?
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Re: Major Generals

Postby Waggoner » September 13th, 2011, 1:06 am

That I can't answer. My interest is more in the war in New Brunswick and the rest of the Maritimes. If you are keen to get a reply, send me a PM and I will put you in contact with a friend in Ontario who may be able to comment.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Major Generals

Postby Student of 1812 » September 13th, 2011, 7:30 am

No worries, thanks.It was only of passing interest. I've now seen a letter from Prevost which indicates the tensions in the assemblies.
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