Waterloo : Letter from William Turnor to J.P. Clarke

Turnor, William.


<p style='text-align: justify;'>In this letter, begun on the morning after Waterloo, Captain William Turnor, of the 14th Regiment of Foot, conveys the exhilaration, confusion and savagery of ‘the most bloody as well as the most decisive battle that has been fought since the commencement of the French revolution’. Although his own regiment, stationed on the right of the line, was spared the fiercest fighting, Turnor passed on rumour and gossip in an authentically breathless style. The British infantry had ‘immortalised’ themselves, but some were saying that Allied heavy cavalry units had been remiss in their duty. The brave French cavalry had charged British squares ‘four, five, six times, but they were not to be broken’. Veterans of the Peninsular campaign reckoned the battles in Portugal and Spain mere ‘combats’ in comparison, ‘and this may easily be credited when we reflect that Napoleon fought for a crown, and was opposed to the greatest General of the age’.</p>

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