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The Letters of Private Wheeler: 1809-1828

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  24 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
These are the letters - in the form of a frank and amusing diary - written by a private in Wellington's army who fought throughout the Napoleonic wars and it includes a colourful eye-witness account of the Battle of Waterloo.
Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Windrush Press (first published 1951)
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Monty Milne
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Written accounts of the Napoleonic wars by private soldiers are as rare as hens' teeth, and it is wonderfully serendipitous that a box full of Private (later Sergeant) Wheeler's letters survived in his family for several generations before finally being discovered and published in relatively recent times. Wheeler undoubtedly had a gift and his occasionally erratic spelling and grammar only give added power to his forthright style.

All of this is well worth reading. Wheeler wears his prejudices o
...more
Rob Markley
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, napoleonic
First rate memoir of a ranker... rare itself. Made even more interesting by the famous Liddell Hart editing and commenting.
James
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love first hand historical accounts. Wheeler describes his life in the British army from 1809 to 1828, through the Napoleonic wars and beyond. His perspective from the position of a common soldier gives you a different understanding than something written as an official account.

My interest in this book was to understand what was going on in Europe at this time, my having an ancestor in the British navy. I found it enlightening.
Rupert Matthews
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, just fantastic. Anyone with an interest in military or Napoleonic history must read this book. It is the collection of letters written by Private (later Sergeant) Wheeler back home to his family while he served in the Peninsular, then at Waterloo and later on garrison duty in the Med. I learned a huge amount about the battles and about daily life, routine and discipline as well as anecdotes about the famous commanders and all sorts of trivia. A brilliant read.
Ben
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Private Wheeler is just simply a great human being with a superb flair for letter writing. A great insight to the battles and day to day life in the British army serving in the Napoleonic war. You don't have to be a military buff to enjoy this book.
Marshall
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The soldier's point of view of war and peace in the 19th century. Excellent.
Adrian Greenwood
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best primary sources for the Peninsular War, expressed with great style. Highly quotable.
Bill
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
First rate personal account of life in the army of Great Britain during the Napoleonic wars and after.
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Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart usually known before his knighthood as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart was an English soldier, military historian and leading inter-war theorist.