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PENINSULAR WAR -- WILSON, Sir James (1780-1847). Autograph manuscript journal of his service in the Peninsula as brevet lieutenant colonel commanding the 48th Foot up to the entry into France and the occupation of Paris, 18 March 1813 - 27 March 1814, on 8vo leaves interleaved with Wilson's autograph manuscript book of General Orders and Dispatches, June 1813 - May 1814 (diary entries for April and May 1814 on spare pages of General Order book), together approximately 136 pages, 8vo, and 111 pages, 4to, red roan (scuffed).
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PENINSULAR WAR -- WILSON, Sir James (1780-1847). Autograph manuscript journal of his service in the Peninsula as brevet lieutenant colonel commanding the 48th Foot up to the entry into France and the occupation of Paris, 18 March 1813 - 27 March 1814, on 8vo leaves interleaved with Wilson's autograph manuscript book of General Orders and Dispatches, June 1813 - May 1814 (diary entries for April and May 1814 on spare pages of General Order book), together approximately 136 pages, 8vo, and 111 pages, 4to, red roan (scuffed).

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PENINSULAR WAR -- WILSON, Sir James (1780-1847). Autograph manuscript journal of his service in the Peninsula as brevet lieutenant colonel commanding the 48th Foot up to the entry into France and the occupation of Paris, 18 March 1813 - 27 March 1814, on 8vo leaves interleaved with Wilson's autograph manuscript book of General Orders and Dispatches, June 1813 - May 1814 (diary entries for April and May 1814 on spare pages of General Order book), together approximately 136 pages, 8vo, and 111 pages, 4to, red roan (scuffed).

A VIVID AND DETAILED DIARY OF THE PENSINSULAR WAR, BY ONE OF WELLINGTON'S SENIOR OFFICERS. The journal includes long descriptions of the battle of Vitoria and the operations in the Pyrenees, in which Wilson played a significant part and was twice wounded, as well as of the advance to the Garonne and the battle of Toulouse, in which he was again wounded and was mentioned in dispatches (for the third time). In addition to Wilson's meticulous eye for military detail, the diary also records much of the incidental detail of Peninsular life; a number of passages, including some apparently recording Wilson's liaisons with Spanish and French women, are in shorthand.

'June 21, 1813, Vittoria ... The enemy's position was attacked right, left and centre ... Success attended our arms & the enemy was driven from height to height and village to village, as rapidly as we could move ... The position was an excellent one, which defended by nearly seventy thousand men and good artillery, ought never to have been forced ... One hundred and fifty two pieces of artillery fell into our hands, the whole of their military chests, Provisions, all the baggage of the King with the public and private Papers, plans &c &c relative to Spain, w[hi]ch have passed between Napoleon and José [sic]. The precipitate flight of the Enemy was such, that not more than fifteen hundred Prisoners fell into our hands ... Our men followed them for miles, at their heels like a pack of hounds'. At the Battle of Sorauren in the Pyrenees, 'I received a musket ball entering at the right shoulder & passing out of the left. The man who shot me was within six yards. I was galloping towards some of their Cavalry and in the act of drawing my sword. I saw the fellow, & considered it w[oul]d be best to present my side to him ...'.

The diary also provides a lively depiction of the British entry into Paris, with much accompanying sight-seeing including a a visit by Wilson to Napoleon's stables and library at St Cloud. Sir James Wilson began his military career as an ensign in the 27th Foot in 1798, and in 1803 transferred to the 48th Foot, with whom he was to remain for the rest of his active career. His distinguished record in the Napoleonic wars included service in the Egyptian campaign of 1801, and took in virtually every significant battle of Wellington's Peninsula campaigns; his first two mentions in dispatches were for the battles of Badajoz and Salamanca.
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