Author Topic: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars  (Read 5581 times)

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Offline kpetschulat

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2014, 08:11:54 pm »
Idk. I'm unsure what their personal lives were, and I'm unsure they're even my actual family, but the names of them are recent family (Max was the name of my Great-grandfather, and Hans-Juergen is my Grandfather).

Offline Hadhod

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2014, 12:18:43 am »
Thought I'd revive this, in case anyone else has some interesting stuff to tell :)

Offline Colonel Howe

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2014, 01:46:10 am »
My ancestor was Jean Baptiste Hertel. A French colonel who led a unit of natives to slaughter 54 Englishmen in the Deerfield massacre during Queen Anne's War. He was awarded the Cross of the Order of Louis (some prestigious medal around that name) and was given land in France and Canada.

Also had family who garrisoned French forts in Canada during the Seven Years War.

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Offline Hadhod

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2014, 12:49:11 pm »
Got some updates on my ancestor:


The Regiment was fighting in 1806 in the devastating Battle of Jena on the Prussian side. Luckily my ancestor wasn't enlisted at that time of he would have probably died there as the regiment was nearly completely wiped in the battle. After the capitulation of the Prussians in 1806 Saxony became a French client state and had to bring in 20.000 men into the French Army. One of the newly enlisted recruits must have been my ancestor. Since it was explicitly stated in the family tree that my ancestor took part in the Battle of Wagram I have to assume he was part of the normal Musketeers at that time as only the Musketeers participated there. Thus he was in 1807 with them and marched with the Grande Armée into Poland. There he participated in the nearly 3 months-lasting Siege of Danzig where the Regiment stayed for nearly 1 year afterwards. In 1808 he returned home in Saxony.

In 1809 the War of the Fifth Coalition broke out and Saxony again had its contingents in the French Army, this time marching into Austria. The regiment was part of the Battle of Linz-Urfahr, a minor skirmish between roughly 20.000 Allied and French/Saxon/Wurttembergian troops.
At the Battle of Wagram the Regiment served in the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Divison of the IX. Corps under Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte who was dismissed by Napoleon after the battle for his poor performance. There my ancestor was probably part of the charge on Deutsch Wagram itself against the Austrian's left flank as the regiment was part of the charge on a small village at that flank whioh ended in Saxons shooting each other as both Saxons and Austrians wore white coats at that time. By night Bernadotte let his men fall back from the village Aderklaa as they were in complete disorder. However Napoleon had ordered a further attack on the left flank so the next morning the Saxon/French Corps had to retake the village again under heavy casualities. The Austrians brought in fresh troops and after 2 hours the Saxon Infantry broke completely and routed the battlefield with Bernadotte not trying to rally them in order. By that time Napoleon in person came over to the left flank of the Battle and fired Bernadotte as his flank was in utter chaos and not usable for the battle anymore. Luckily my ancestors survived this slaughter at Anderklaa.

In 1812 my ancestor must have been part of the Grenadierbataillon "von Spiegel" (which was still part of the Infantry Reg. No5) as he went into Russia with Napoleon. However the "normal" musketeers of the regiment stayed in Northern Germany as garrison troops and only the 2 Grenadier Companies went into Russia. There those two companies took part in many minor skirmishes but did not participate in any major battles (like Smolensk or Borodino). From originally roughly 800 men only 50 returned from the Russian Campaign, with my ancestor being one of them.
Meanwhile in early 1813 the Musketeers who were still garrisoned around Lüneburg in Nothern Germany were completely wiped in the Battle of Lüneburg with their Eagle lost. So from now on only a few Grenadiers remained. They merged with other remaining Saxon Grens into the Grenadier Bataillon von Anger and fought for example in the Battle of Bautzen in the VII. Corps under Reynier.

Finally in late 1813 the Grenadiers were now part of the recreated Gren.Reg. "von Spiegel". Here they participated in a lot of minor battles and ultimately in the Battle of Nations. Still under the command of Reynier's VII. Corps the now famous incident took place: more than 5000 Saxons switched sides along with the Württembergian Cav and my ancestor was one of them :D

Lastly after the Battle of Nations the Regiment was renumbered once again into the 2nd Infantry Regiment and was part of the march into Flanders. There they remained as garrison until 1817. Right after returning from duty in July 1817 after 10 years of being in the military Ehregott Schmidt married his wife Susanna.

I hope this wasn't too boring and maybe some of you have the time and will to write down stories of their ancestors (if you got one in the Napoleonic Wars or anywhere else). I am very curious if you got some stories to share.

Offline Millander

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2014, 12:16:44 am »
Thats a really interesting story Hadhood. My family emigrated to Massachusetts from Ireland in the 1820's so there is a good chance an ancestor served in the British Army during the Nap Wars. I however have no contact with any Irish relatives I possibly could have and no records. I do know a fair bit about my Civil War ancestors however.
Of course, I also think lines should be able to move in double rank without having emotional breakdowns.

Offline kpetschulat

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2014, 12:45:31 am »
Please share.

Offline Millander

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2014, 01:35:54 am »
Oh he is a cool story. The breif version is he was born in Massachusetts and was working in New Hampshire when Sumter happened. 2 days after Sumter fell he enlisted for 90 days and served in Company H 1st New Hampshire. After this enlistment expired he enlisted as a Cpl in the 24th Massachusetts (New England Guards). in 1862 he server in North Carolina in 63 South Carolina 64 Florida and in 1865 his regiment garissened Richmond. During his stay he was offered to be the New commandant of Libby Prison after it was taken over by the Union. He served as wardan untill he was mustered out. During his career he rose from the rank of Private to Captain.

He moved out west on the 70th's and was blown to smithereens in a mining accident in California.

I own a couple letters from him. Apparently he had 2 other brothers who server. One server in the Navy while another was in another massachusets regiment. Apparently his brothers regiment got so chewed up it was mustered out. I dont know much about these 2 brothers for they were only mentioned in letters.
Of course, I also think lines should be able to move in double rank without having emotional breakdowns.

Offline kpetschulat

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 02:12:00 am »
Oh he is a cool story. The breif version is he was born in Massachusetts and was working in New Hampshire when Sumter happened. 2 days after Sumter fell he enlisted for 90 days and served in Company H 1st New Hampshire. After this enlistment expired he enlisted as a Cpl in the 24th Massachusetts (New England Guards). in 1862 he server in North Carolina in 63 South Carolina 64 Florida and in 1865 his regiment garissened Richmond. During his stay he was offered to be the New commandant of Libby Prison after it was taken over by the Union. He served as wardan untill he was mustered out. During his career he rose from the rank of Private to Captain.

He moved out west on the 70th's and was blown to smithereens in a mining accident in California.

As brief as it may be, sounds like the man was well accomplished and well deserving of his commissions.

Offline Crescent Glow

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2014, 02:16:00 am »
I had an ancestor (17? years old) who enlisted as a musician in the 159th New York. About half way through his service he was given a musket, he survived the war and worked for a newspaper afterwards.

Offline Commissar Jdf

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2014, 02:34:09 am »
Idk if this is really a good place to put this, but since there is no where else...

In that sort of "musket-era," I had an ancestor named Francis McCorkle that was a Major with some militia that fought all over NC and has a plaque at Kings Mountain, if anyone knows where that is.

I also had a few Civil War guys. One was around  6 at the time and remembers being herded into the trapdoor basement when Union soldiers went through his house looking for quartered troops. The last Civil War ancestor I know of fought all the way up to Gettysburg without being wounded and was coming back down South to build a church, but died of the flu.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 02:36:08 am by Commissar Jdf »

Offline Walko

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2014, 07:30:07 am »
I just found a day by day account of one of my ancestors of the civil war. If you guys want I can post some of the entries. Highlights are him enlisting as a Pte, and then becoming a 2Lt. Was captured and exchanged and was put in command of the 23rd United States Colored Infantry regiment. The book is truly phenomenal accounts from every day 1863-5
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Offline DarkLight

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2014, 06:53:50 pm »
My grandpa served with some of the anarchist and sindicalist brigades and columns during the spanish civil war, he was a commie and was put to the musket when the war ended, thats all igot ):

Offline DarkLight

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2014, 06:54:10 pm »
nvm

Offline Karth

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2014, 07:47:30 pm »
Damn very nice history, since I'm American I have no clue or records: / I'm sure I had some ancestors who fought for the Austrian Empire.

Offline kpetschulat

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Re: Ancestors serving in the Napoleonic Wars
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2014, 10:51:37 pm »
Damn very nice history, since I'm American I have no clue or records: / I'm sure I had some ancestors who fought for the Austrian Empire.

There were Americans who enlisted in the French army to fight the British in Europe... There's always that possibility.