Waterloo General (ePub)
The Life, Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby 1772 - 1815
As featured in the Evening Standard as part of their ‘Best Books of 2016’ feature
At the Battle of Waterloo Sir William Ponsonby, a man who the Duke of Wellington stated had ‘rendered very brilliant and important services and was an ornament to his profession’, was killed by French lancers after leading the Union Brigade (the three Dragoon Regiments of the Royals, Iniskillings and Scots Greys) in a charge that wrecked a French advance that threatened Wellington with defeat. Sir William was a career soldier who had led his regiment in the decisive charge at the Battle of Salamanca and served with great distinction during the Peninsular War. Yet historians have blamed him because the charge at Waterloo got out of hand.
In this book John Morewood uses family sources, including Sir William’s letters, as well as French and German accounts, to restore his reputation and, by shedding new light on the battle, establishes what really happen to him on that fatal afternoon. It is also a biography of a man whose bravery and professionalism distinguished him as one of the outstanding cavalry commanders of the age.
Having considered all the evidence the author in this fine biography of one of the most outstanding cavalry commanders during the Napoleonic Wars gives what must be the final word as to that which most likely occurred.Military Historical Society
Feature article extracted from Waterloo General as featured inIreland's Military Story, Summer 2017
As featured on Army Rumour Service!ARRSE
Best Books of 2016Evening Standard
Mr. Morehouse teases the reader with the title of the book: Waterloo General: the Life,Napoleon series
Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby. Does he deliver
on what the title promises? He definitely does. Waterloo General is an excellent
biography of a British general who was destined for obscurity until fate placed him in the
right place at the right time that allowed him lead the epic charge that led to the defeat
of Napoleon’s Army. Unfortunately he died in the charge and was never able to enjoy
the many accolades that ensued. Waterloo General is well written and is a valuable
addition to our literature on the Napoleonic Wars.
Read the full review here!
All in all an excellent book for the historian, the gamer and even the casual reader: something for everyone here. Well written and an easy read, I found it hard to put down once I had started as I got engrossed in the events and suffered from 'just the end of the chapter' syndrome, but then found myself sitting reading on until my wife moaned too much about the bedside lamp being on.Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, December - January 2017 - reviewed by Ian Beal
As featured inHarpenden Now
As featured inThe Herts Advertiser
This new work provides a full biography of this officer who was killed after leading the charge of the Union Brigade at Waterloo 1815, describing the circumstances of the charge and Sir William’s death. He was a career soldier who had led his regiment in a decisive charge at the battle of Salamanca and indeed, had served with distinction throughout the Peninsular War. Some opinions have expressed criticism of his actions at Waterloo, when his Union Brigade (1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons) of cavalry got out of hand after cutting up a French advance which threatened Wellington with defeat. In this book the author has used family sources, including Sir William’s letters, plus French and German accounts, to restore the General’s reputation, as well as establishing just what really happened to him at Waterloo. Following a Preface then Prologue, the author then recounts the life and passing of the Major General in some detail. The text is rounded off with three Appendices: Sir William’s brother and sister; The 5th Dragoon Guards and Sir William’s Sword. Notes, a bibliography and an index round off the text, which is supported by nearly 40 monochrome illustrations of varied subjects. This really is an excellent addition to the Napoleonic bookshelf.Stuart Asquith, author