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OF THE DIFFERENT BOOKSELLERS.
WATERLOO MEDALS, Presented to the 12th Regiment of Light Dragoons, on the
PLAINS OF AGINCOURT.
ÓN the 17th of May, 1816, a highly gratifying military spectacle took place on the plains of Ağincourt—these plains so celebrated for british valour were the scene chosen to reward the gallantry of those modern heroes, who again proved on the plains of Waterloo the invincibility of british spirit. The 12th (or Prince of Wales's) Light Dragoons having received the medals granted by His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, were assembled in review at one o'clock on Agincourt's plain. After performing several evolutions with their usual correctness, the regiment formed a square, and the commanding officer having previously ordered the medals to be prepared for distribution, spoke as follows:
“Officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers of the 12th Light Dragoons; I consider the present epoch the happiest of my life, having been ordered to distribute to you those honorary badges of distinction, which our gracious prince has been pleased to present each of us with, who were present at the glorious combat of Waterloo. I am convinced words are useless to impress upon the mind of each hero, the value of this proud mark of distinction which will adorn his bosom. It will be transmitted to posterity as the reward gained, to commemorate the triumph of british valour, over the hireling minions of ephemeral tyranny. In looking round, I, with concern, perceive the absence of several whose individual gallantry so eminently contributed to the glories of the field—of many whose dooms were sealed on that ever memorable day. Though friendship bids the tear to flow for the memory of the brave, still she finds consolation in reflecting that they have fallen upon the bed of honour, resigned their lives amidst the joys of conquest, and, filled with England's glory, smiled in death. I could have wished our gallant Colonel (The Honorable Frederick Ponsonby) were present to have listributed to you these medals, but his severe wounds, gained on the glorious day, still prevents us from possessing a man who has always been foremost in leading you to glory and to victory, and under whose command you have gathered those laurels with which the Peninsula war adorns your brow. Soldiers! your country is satisfied with you—your prince invests you with marks of his royal favour—your brethren in arms acknowledge and applaud your undaunted bravery.—Continue then that discipline which has hitherto supported you in the day of battle, and you will continue to gather new laurels.—Your names will appear on record in the calendar of the brave; and admiring posterity will with gratitude exclaim“He too fought at that great battle on the plains of Waterloo."
This speech was delivered with graceful ease and impressive eloquence, and the medals being adjusted to the men's persons, “God save the King” was played by the excellent band of the regiment, standards and officers saluting; the tune concluding, the men cheered three times three, proud in the consciousness of having obtained their deserts.
(THOMAS BROWN, THIRD REGIMENT OF DRAGOONS.)
A private soldier at the battle of Dettingen, in 1743, had two horses shot under him, and lost two fingers on his left hand; these obstacles instead of checking his valour raised it. The cornet being wounded in the wrist, let the standard drop; Brown started from the ranks, shot the gen d'armes who had seized it, and clapped it between his legs: he was instantly surrounded by the enemy; but, with the resolution of a hero, fought his way about eighty yards through the enemy, with eight wounds in his face, head, and neck, three balls through his hat, and two lodged in his back, joined his regiment with the prize, who welcomed him with three huzzas! The fame of this daring adventure rang through the whole country, and His Majesty. George II. would have given him a commission, but he was ignorant of letters: however, he placed him in the life guards; but as it soon appeared that the balls could not be extracted, he quitted the service, and His Majesty gave him £30. per annum, upon which he retired to Yarm, (where there still is a sign that commemorates his volour,) and died in this retirement in January, 1746.
POINT OF HONOUR.
When the French were besieging Mahon, the wine of Minorca being very cheap and very strong, the soldiers were constantly getting drunk; reproaches, prohibitions, and punishments, were all tried in vain. The Duke de Richlieu not knowing what steps to take, to prevent this disorder; M de Beauvau advised him, to insert in the general orders, that, no soldier who was found drunk, should be allowed to march to the assault. From that moment not a drunken man was seen in the camp: A convincing proof, that the french soldiers'were more attached to the Point of Honour, than to good wine.