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"Journal of Sergeant David Robertson 92nd Foot 1795-1818" Topic


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124 hits since 21 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 4:03 p.m. PST

"The journal of Sergeant D Robertson is already well known (in parts) and is often quoted, so it may be wondered why I have therefore chosen to re-print it now. The reason is simply so that readers can enjoy the entire journal, probably for the first time, as the original publication of his journal, during his own lifetime, is extremely rare (only two are listed in British collections) and although a reprint was issued by Maggs & Brothers in 1982, they only produced it in a limited edition of 100 copies. Therefore, the journal remains very rare indeed in its original full form and almost all collectors of Napoleonic memoirs that I know have not got a copy and have it as top of their ‘wish list', I include myself in those numbers.
Edward Bruce Low published a few short sections of Robertson's journal in his book With Napoleon at Waterloo , including his description of the Battle of Corunna and the march to Burgos, the action at Arroyo de Molinos as well as Waterloo – despite the title – whilst Lieutenant Colonel Gardyne quoted numerous odd passages from the journal in Volume I (1794-1816) of his The Life of a Regiment; The History of the Gordon Highlanders but neither quotes extensively and are not satisfactory. I have therefore obtained a copy of the entire original 1842 publication from the National Library of Scotland with the intention of publishing it at a reasonable cost to finally allow it to be readily available and thoroughly enjoyed by all, as the high quality and entertaining journal of a soldier of the 92nd (Gordon Highlanders) who fought from Egypt, to Corunna, Walcheren, the Peninsular war, to Waterloo.


Unfortunately, the private life of David Robertson (not Duncan as stated by Gardyne and many sources since) begins in a great deal of obscurity, but we have some hints. We know from an analysis of Army records, that David Robertson was born at Dunkeld in Perthshire in 1781 although no definite baptism in either Dunkeld Cathedral or the nearby Church of Scotland Presbytery has been found . Because of the surprisingly large numbers of Robertson's in the Dunkeld area, it has proven impossible to identify David's exact family, although he almost certainly had a number of siblings…."
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