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Waterloo Campaign (15 June - 8 July 1815)

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    Francis Lieber (March 18, 1798[1] or 1800 – October 2, 1872), known as Franz Lieber in Germany, was a German-American jurist, gymnast and political philosopher. He edited an Encyclopaedia Americana. ...
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  • Henry Brierly (1780 - 1867)
    Regiment: 1st Battalion 52nd Regiment of Foot Sub Unit: Captain Robert. Campbell's Company Fate: Wounded Source: UK, Waterloo Medal Roll, 1815
  • John Brierly (1764 - d.)
    23rd Regiment of Foot. Captain Brown's (Major) Company No.4. Source Information:, comp. UK, Waterloo Medal Roll, 1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations,...
  • Andrew King (c.1801 - 1815)
    Said to have been killed in the Battle of Waterloo (1815). Name could be James Henry King (unlikely). The Battle of Waterloo, which took place in Belgium on June 18, 1815, marked the final defeat of Fr...

Waterloo Campaign (15 June - 8 July 1815)

The Waterloo Campaign (15 June - 8 July 1815) was fought Between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies, An Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army. Initially the French army was commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, but he left for Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Command then rested on Marshals Soult and Grouchy, who were in turn replaced by Marshal Davout, who took command at the request of the French Provisional Government. The Anglo-Allied army was commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army by Prince Blücher.

The war between France and the Seventh Coalition became inevitable when the other European Great Powers refused to recognise Napoleon as Emperor of the French on his return from exile on the Island of Elba. Rather than wait for the Coalition to invade France, Napoleon decided to attack his enemies and hope to defeat them in detail before they could launch their combined and coordinated invasion. He chose to launch his first attack against the two Coalition armies cantoned in modern day Belgium, then part of the Netherlands but until the year before part of the First French Empire.

Hostilities started on 15 June when the French drove the Prussian outposts in crossed the Sombre at Charleroi placing their forces at the juncture between the cantonment areas of Wellington's Army (to the west) and Blücher's army to the east. On 16 June the French prevailed with Marshal Ney commanding the left wing of the French army holding Wellington at the Battle of Quatre Bras and Napoleon defeating Blücher at the Battle of Ligny. On 17 June, Napoleon left Grouchy with the right wing of the French army to pursue the Prussians while he took the reserves and command of the right wing of the army to pursue Wellington towards Brussels.

On the night of 17 June the Anglo-allied army turned and prepared for battle on a gentle escarpment, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village of Waterloo. The next day the Battle of Waterloo proved to be the decisive battle of the campaign. The Anglo-Allied army stood fast against repeated French attacks, until with the aid of several Prussian corps that arrived on the east of the battlefield in the early evening they managed to route the French Army. Grouchy with the right wing of the army engaged a Prussian rearguard at the simultaneous battle of Wavre, and although he won a tactical victory his failure to prevent the Prussians marching to Waterloo meant that his actions contributed to the French defeat at Waterloo. The next day (19 June) he left Wavre and started a long retreat back to Paris.

After the defeat at Waterloo Napoleon chose not to remain with the army and attempt to rally it, but returned to Paris to try to secure political support for further action. This he failed to do and was forced to resign. The two Coalition armies hotly pursued the French army to the gates of Paris, during which the French on occasion turned and fought some delaying actions, in which thousands of men were killed.

Initially the remnants of the French left wing and the reserves that were routed at Waterloo were commanded by Marshal Soult while Grouchy kept command of the left wing. However on 25 June Soult was relieved of his command by the Provisional Government and was replaced by Grouchy, who in turn was placed under the command of Davout.

When the French Provisional Government realised that the French army under Marshal Davout was unable to defend Paris, they authorised delegates to accept capitulation terms which led to the Convention of St. Cloud (the surrender of Paris) which ended hostilities between France and the armies of Blücher and Wellington.

The first Prussian troops entered Paris on 8 July. The same day Louis XVIII was restored to the French throne, and a week later on 15 July Napoleon surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon. Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in May 1821.

Under the terms of the peace treaty of November 1815, Coalition forces remained in Northern France as an army of occupation under the command of the Duke of Wellington.

Order of battle of the Waterloo Campaign