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"That regiment with castles on their caps"

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"That regiment with castles on their caps"

Postby jf42 » October 3rd, 2017, 8:51 am

Greetings, all.

At Waterloo, the 27th Inniskilling Regiment, as most of us know, suffered particularly heavy casualties; the spectacle of their position afterwards being famously described as the regiment lying "literally dead, in square."

Another element in the story of the Inniskillings at Waterloo is the comment Napoleon is alleged to have made
in response to the 27th's tenacity in holding their place in the line:

"That regiment with castles on their caps is composed of the most obstinate mules I ever saw; they don't know when they are beaten."

The quotation, which can be found on the Royal Irish website and was copied in various places around the web during the bicentenary period, seems now to be part of the Inniskillings' folklore. https://www.royal-irish.com/events/the- ... nt-of-foot.

I should be grateful to know if anyone is familiar with this comment from sources elsewhere. It does not appear, for example, in the Historical Record of the 27th Inniskilling Regiment, written and published by William Trimble (good Ulster name, there).

I may as well come out and say it seems to me to be inherently improbable that the remark was made in the first place, let alone recorded and transmitted so that the regiment could subsequently learn of the grudging respect that they earned from the Emperor.

I could be wrong.

I shall crosspost to the Uniforms, Insignia, Equipment & Medals section
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Re: "That regiment with castles on their caps"

Postby Josh&Historyland » October 3rd, 2017, 11:00 am

Never heard that one before, though did not Wellington say "they saved the centre of my line?" Or was that to a different regiment.
This remark by Boney sounds strangely similar to what Soult wrote to him about the British infantry at Albuera in 1811, and in the same vein as the "those terrible greys" quote. It seems highly unlikely that he'd have said it, to my mind. Even if he could see through the smoke, could he see them behind the ridge? And if he could see them behind the ridge and smoke, how good must his telescope have been! :shock: I mean, despite what Dawson says about the Greys not being mounted on Greys, he could at least see them as they came down the ridge.

Josh.
Adventures In Historyland, Keeping History Real. http://adventuresinhistoryland.wordpress.com/
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Re: "That regiment with castles on their caps"

Postby jf42 » October 3rd, 2017, 2:59 pm

Josh&Historyland wrote:Never heard that one before, though
Even if he could see through the smoke, could he see them behind the ridge? And if he could see them behind the ridge and smoke, how good must his telescope have been! :shock: I mean, despite what Dawson says about the Greys not being mounted on Greys, he could at least see them as they came down the ridge.

Josh.


Exactement !


Josh&Historyland wrote: did not Wellington say "they saved the centre of my line?" Or was that to a different regiment.


According to the Royal Irish website (as well as elsewhere on the web ) and the memorial plaque at Waterloo, he did.

Indeed, it seems he prefaced it with an appreciative 'Ah' as in-
"Ah, they saved the centre of my line."
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Re: "That regiment with castles on their caps"

Postby Andrew » October 3rd, 2017, 6:18 pm

Having read so many French accounts of the battle, many famously emotional, clouded by myth and unlikely Napoleon quotes, I can honestly say that I have not heard this one before.

Andrew
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Re: "That regiment with castles on their caps"

Postby jf42 » October 3rd, 2017, 7:56 pm

Andrew wrote:Having read so many French accounts of the battle, many famously emotional, clouded by myth and unlikely Napoleon quotes, I can honestly say that I have not heard this one before.

Andrew


Thank you, Andrew. Reassuring, as always. Something for your scrapbook!
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