154 Route 11. LA HAYE SAINTE. Battle Field
Fitzroy Somerset, afterwards Lord Raglan, the Duke’s military
secretary, lost his arm.
About 4/4 M. to the right rises the Mound of the Belgian Lion,
200 ft. in height, thrown up on the spot where the Prince of
Orange was wounded in the battle. The lion was cast by Cockerill
of Liége (p, 257), with the metal of captured French cannon, and
is said to weigh 28 tons. The French soldiers, on their march to
Antwerp in 1832, hacked off part of the tail, but Marshal Gérard
protected the monument from further injury. The mound commands
the best survey of the battlefield, and the traveller who is furnished
with the plan and the sketch of the battle, and has consulted the
maps at the Hotel du Musée, will here be enabled to form an idea of
the progress of the fight. The range of heights which extends past
the mound, to Smohain on the E. and to Merbraine on the W., was
occupied by the first line of the Allies. As the crest of these
heights is but narrow, the second line was enabled to occupy a shel-
tered and advantageous position on the northern slopes, concealed
from the eye of their enemy. The whole line was about 41/) M.
in length, forming a semicircle corresponding to the form of the
hills. The centre lay between the mound and the Hanoverian mon-
The chain of heights occupied by the French is 1 M. distant,
and separated from the Allied position by a shallow intervening
valley, across which the French columns advanced without maneu-
vring, being, however, invariably driven back. The Allied centre
was protected by the farm of La Haye Sainte, situated on the right
of the road, about 100 paces from the two monuments. It was
defended with heroic courage by a light battalion of the German
Legion, commanded by Major von Baring, whose narrative is ex-
After giving a minute description of the locality and the disposition of
his troops, he graphically depicts the furious and repeated assaults suc-
cessfully warded off by his little garrison, and his own intense excitement
and distress on finding that their stock of ammunition was nearly
expended. Then came the terrible catastrophe of the buildings taking
fire, which the gallant band succeeded in extinguishing by pouring water
on it from their camp-kettles, although not without the sacrifice of several
more precious lives. ‘Many of my men”, he continues, ‘ although
covered with wounds, could not be induced to keep back. ‘As long as
our officers fight, and we can stand’, was their invariable answer, ‘we
won't move from the spot!’ I should be unjust to the memory of a rifle-
man named Frederick Lindau, if I omitted to mention his brave conduct.
He had received two severe wounds on the head, and moreover had in his
pocket a purseful of gold which he had taken from a French officer.
Alike regardless of his wounds and his prize, he stood at a small side-
door of the barn, whence he could command with his rifle the great en-
trance in front of him. Seeing that his bandages were insufficient to
stop the profuse bleeding from his wounds, I desired him to retire, but
he positively refused, saying: ‘A craven is he who would desert you as
long as his head is on his shoulders!? He was, however, afterwards taken
prisoner, and of course deprived of his treasure.” He then relates to
what extremities they were reduced by the havoc made in the building by
the French cannonade, and how at length, when their ammunition was
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K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience
Baedeker, Karl, Belgium and Holland, including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg: handbook for travellers, K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience