This collection of letters from survivors of the Waterloo Campaign was gathered in the 1830s and 1840s when Captain William Siborne was trying to verify the chronological events of the day of the battle, to ensure the accuracy of his model diorama of Waterloo. Hundreds of replies from the people who had fought in the battle were sent to his circular letter requesting information, covering all aspects of the campaign. A total of 180 letters give first-hand accounts of all of the principal phases of the Battle of Waterloo, from the receipt of intelligence from the Allied outposts which sent a hasty concentration of troops towards the line of the French advance through all the stages of this momentous battle up to the final defeat of the French. The letters are from every branch of the British Army including the General Staff, cavalry, artillery and infantry officers. This edition also includes numerous maps, plans of the battle and sketches of the various troop positions.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM SIBORNE became an ensign in the 9th Foot in 1813 and was sent to France in 1815 as part of a battalion to reinforce Wellington's army. A first-class topographer, he also believed the use of models of battles important from an educational viewpoint. He completed two models of the battle of Waterloo in the 1840s, at which time he was also writing his History of the Waterloo Campaign, still considered a classic work on the subject. Captain Siborne's second son Herbert collected this valuable archive into volume form, now recognised as a classic contribution to the study of the Napoleonic Wars.