BARNES, Sir Edward (1776-1838). Manuscript General Order Book for the army in the Low Countries and France, 10 May 1815 - 13 January 1816, 254 pages, 8vo (slight wear at corner of first page, affecting one word), lower cover blind-stamped with regimental arms, lacking fore-edge ties, upper cover modern cardboard, backed with modern tape.
The order book of Wellington's adjutant-general, a valuable and unpublished source on the condition of the allied army before and after the Battle of Waterloo. Sir Edward Barnes's order book, which begins part-way through an order, is an important source above all for study of the organisation and discipline of Wellington's army. The period of Waterloo itself is marked only by the note 'no General orders on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th & 19th', and by Wellington's thanks to the army and censure of the behaviour of deserters on the day of the battle. However the records of appointments, restructuring and provisioning in the days before Waterloo provide valuable insight into the process of preparation for battle - notably in a series of orders on 28 and 31 May 1815 aimed at reducing both the baggage train and the individual loads carried by infantrymen. It is for the period after Waterloo that the order book is most valuable: the numerous reports of courts martial (with sentences of up to 1000 lashes), the majority of them on charges of desertion or of plunder, bear witness to the persistent difficulty of maintaining discipline after the battle. Above all the order book provides abundant evidence for the comparatively unstudied period of the allied army's march on Paris: Wellington's anxiety to maintain discipline and prevent pillaging in French territory is made clear in a series of censorious general orders, typically on 27 June charging officers not to allow soldiers to fall out on the march and noting 'It is scandalous to see the Number that straggle from many of the Regiments of the Army solely for the sake of Plunder'.
A veteran of the Peninsular campaigns, Sir Edward Barnes held the rank of major-general at the time of Waterloo; he lost a leg at the battle. He was Governor of Ceylon from 1824-1831, and Commander-in-Chief in India from 1831 to 1833.