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Feeding Wellington's Army in the Peninsula (Hardback)

The Journal of Assistant Commissary General Tupper Carey - Volume I

Military > Biographies > Military Biographies Military > By Century > 19th Century Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic P&S History > By Century > 19th Century

By Gareth Glover
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 296
Illustrations: 16 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399041416
Published: 14th November 2023

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Transcribed for the first time from Commissary General Tupper Carey's handwritten journals, this is the first of two volumes which cover the lively career of a Commissary who served throughout the Peninsular war and Waterloo campaign.

Written with vivid detail, these journals offer a truly unique window into the life of a Commissary and the campaigns in which he served. Although a civilian and greatly discouraged from putting himself in mortal danger, Tupper was often to be found watching the fighting from some nearby vantage point and often describes the actions he witnessed, particularly where it affected his own charge, whether a battalion, a brigade or even later an entire division. Interspersed with these primary roles, he was often seconded to form supply bases in the rear of the army, or to hastily remove or destroy stores when threatened by enemy advances. He also talks freely about fellow officers, and being a private journal written simply for the eyes of his immediate family, he is not shy in giving his honest opinions of both his subordinates or indeed his superiors.

This first volume covers Tupper's early life, joining as a clerk and his early years as a Commissary up until the spring of 1813, just before the Duke of Wellington launched his troops on that memorable campaign, designed to drive the French back out of Spain, across the Pyrenees. Also detailed are Tupper's role in the Corunna campaign, The Border War, Battle of Salamanca and the Siege of Burgos.

The rest of Tupper’s incredible career will be covered in the second volume.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Transcribed from handwritten journals, this first of two volumes chronicles Commissary General Tupper Carey’s dynamic career during the Peninsular War. Offering a unique perspective, the candid journals emphasize his vital role supplying the troops while offering insider observations of historical battles and figures.

This book is interesting, easy to read, and well annotated. Because it’s a journal, the content is episodic and reflects the prejudices of the time. The book is informative for anyone with an interest in the Napoleonic Wars.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An extraordinary book compiled from the journals of Commissary General Tupper Carey, who supported the British Army under Wellington, in Portugal and Spain. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect when I started to read the book - Carey wasn't a famous general or politician, but an everyday fellow who chose the life of a non-combatant alongside Wellington's army.
The journals give a detailed insight into the awful privations and conditions that both the army, and those supporting it, had to endure. Carey found himself in some very dangerous situations, especially with the ever-changing military advances and reverses of the Peninsular campaign.
The journals were surprisingly easy to read, and Glover the author, gave useful explanatory notes where some of the words and slight errors needed to be clarified.
I particularly enjoyed understanding through his journals, how he matured over the years from a young, slightly bigoted, clerk to a mature Commissary General who was willing to stand his ground against senior officers.
In summary, a really interesting book from the military history aspect, well compiled and a pleasure to read. I am looking forward reading Part 2!

NetGalley, Peter Coxall

A compelling read that seamlessly blends personal experiences with the broader canvas of war. Can't wait for Volume 2 to unfold the rest of Carey's remarkable journey.

Reader review
 Gareth Glover

About Gareth Glover

Gareth Glover is a former Royal Navy officer and military historian who has made a special study of the Napoleonic Wars for the last thirty years. In addition to writing many articles on aspects of the subject in magazines and journals, his books include From Corunna to Waterloo, Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo, An Eloquent Soldier, fourteen volumes of The Waterloo Archive, Waterloo: Myth and Reality, The Forgotten War Against Napoleon: Conflict in the Mediterranean 1793-1815, The Two Battles of Copenhagen 1801 and 1807: Britain and Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars and Marching, Fighting, Dying: Experiences of Soldiers in the Peninsular War.

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