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Miscellany: The Horrors Of War: General Ponsonby On The Fiel...

Miscellany: The Horrors Of War: General Ponsonby On The Fiel... image
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The late General Ponsonby gave the following account of bis wóunded at Waterloo: - In ihe melee I was almost instantly disabled in bnth of my arms, first my sword, then my rein, and foliowed by a few ofmy men, who were instantly cut down, I was carried aionor Dy my horse, till, receiving a blow from a sabré, I feil senseless on my face to the ground. Recovering, I raised oiyself a little lo look rounJ, being at thut tune, I believe, able to get up and run away, when a lancor passing by struck his lance tnrough by back. My head droppcd, the blood gushed mto my mouth, a difficulty of öreathing carne on, and I tliought all was over. Not long afterwards, (it was then inipoBStble to measure time. but I must. baye fallen in less thnn ten minutes aft er the onset,) a tiraüleur Stopped to plunder me, threaieniag my life; I directed him to a small sid.; pocket, in wlnch he found three dollars; all I had. But he contiimed to threaten, and I ëaid he might searcJi me. This he did immediately, unloosing my stock, and tcanng open my waistcoat, and leaving me in a very uneasy posture. But he was no sooner gone than an officer bringing up some troops to whicli the lirailleur probably belonged, and happeningto nalt wnere 1 lay, stooped down and ad - öressed me, saying he feared I waa badiy wounded. I answered that I was, and expressed awish to lie carried to thorear. Ho Boid it was against their orders to remove even their own men; but that jf they ained the day, (and he understood that the Duke of Wellington was killed, and that eix of our battalions had eurrendered,) evcry attention inhis power should be shown to me. I cómplained of tfjirst, and be held liis boitle to my lips, directing one of his soldiers to lay me straight on my side, and placed a kmpsack uriiér my head. He then pas.-cd on into actioo, soon, perhaps to want, bnt not to receivc the sf:me assistance, and I phall never know to whoso generosity I was indebted, as I believe, for my üfe. By and by anotlier tirailfeur carne up, a younr man fnll of ardour. He knelt down and fired over me many times, and conversed with me very g-aily all thé while; at last he ran off, saying, Vous sercz bein arise et apprendre, que nws allons vevs retir er. Bonjour, mon ami ! (You will be ;Ieased to hear that we are going to retire Good day, my friend.) It tt'as dusk, when twosqnadron? of Prns?ian cavalry, e.ich of them two deep, carao (crosá the vnlley and passed me in full trot, iftfng me frorn tlie ptüuikI, and tunibÜDg Ine iboiit cniellv. The clnttor oftlmir Bonrofli.iiand apprehensions they excitcd, may be ensily j imagined. A gun that direcüon must havo dcstroyed me. The battle was now at an end, or removed to a distance. The shouts and imprecations. the outcnes 'Vive V Empe.reur,' and discharges of musketry and cannon were over, and the groans of the wounded all round me became every instant more nnd more audible. I thonght the night would never end. Mnch about this timf, I fuund a soldier lying across my le;rs. He had probably erawled thither in his agony; and his weight, his conviilsive molions, his noises, and the air running thrbugo a wotind in his side, distressed me greatly; the last circunutance most of a 11 i?, I liad a wound of the same natmv. myself. It was not a dark nighf, and parties were wandering about to plunder. Several s(.r igglers looked at me as they passed by, one after another, and at last one siopped "to examine me.I told Iiim as well as I wás able, for I spoke Germán very impnrfcctly, that I was a British officer, and had been pkindercd already; he did not desist however, and pulled me about roughly. An hour before imdniaht, I sav? a man in an English uniform walkíng towards me; he was, T sospéct, on the same orraud, and he carne and looked me in the face. I spoke ínstantly, telling Iiim vho I was, and tíssiiring him of a réward if he would remain with me. He said lie belonged to the 40th, and had missed his regiment; he released me from a dyincr soldier; and stbdd over me as a sentinel, parinir backwards and forwiird?. - Day bmke, and at six o'clock in tlie momin? some Enphïh were seen at a distènee. He rnn to them. A messenoer beinrr pent to Hervey, a cart cart carne for me, and I was placed in it, and carriel to the villne oí Waterloo. a mile and a half off, and hid in the iron bed from which Gorden, as I nndersfeod afterwards, had just been carricd out. I h;id receivfid eoven wounds


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