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"Wellingto's Commander of Cavalry: The Early..." Topic

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192 hits since 19 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2019 7:47 p.m. PST


"Despite a long career filled with victories, many modern readers think of the Duke of Wellington in terms of his greatest military success, the Battle of Waterloo. This leads them to believe that his leader of cavalry was his brother-in-law, Henry Paget, who rode at the Duke's side on that eventful day in June 1815. In fact, through the long campaigns of the Peninsular War, Wellington's cavalry was commanded by Stapleton Cotton, the subject of this book. Troops referred to him as the ‘Lion d'Or' in consequence of his habit of riding into battle, heedless of his personal safety, attired in the glittering extremes of military fashion adopted by a senior cavalry officer of the period. There can be little doubt that Cotton was a fine leader of cavalry and if not a favourite of Wellington's, then at least regarded as superior in ability to any officer who might have otherwise held the post. Perhaps, Cotton's finest hour came at the Battle of Salamanca where his superb management of the mounted arm caused the duke to proclaim, ‘By God, Cotton, I never saw anything so beautiful in my life-the day is yours!' Our editors have created this Leonaur original by carefully editing the substantial two volume biography of Sir Stapleton Cotton-later Lord Combermere-so that this text focuses entirely on Cotton's military career during the Napoleonic period, from his experiences in the disastrous Flanders campaign as a young officer to his first contacts with the future Duke of Wellington during the Mysorean War in India. The Peninsula War against Napoleon's French army is covered here in considerable detail that draws upon many documents written by Cotton and those who served with him. A concise biography of Stapleton Cotton, that outlines his entire career, has been appended, making this book an essential reference work for all those interested in both the man and the Napoleonic Wars."
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