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Hugh Halkett

Hugh Halkett

British-Hanoverian general
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British-Hanoverian general
Gender male
Birth 30 August 1783 (Musselburgh)
Death 26 July 1863 (Hanover)
The details

General Baron Hugh Halkett, GCH, CB, (30 August 1783 Musselburgh; 10 December 1863 in Hanover, Germany) was a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars and later a general of infantry in the Hanoverian service.

Early career

Halkett was born in Musselburgh, Scotland. He was second son of Major-General F. G. Halkett and brother of Lieutenant General Colin Halkett.

From 1798 to 1801, Halkett served in India in the Scottish Brigade, which his father had been instrumental in raising. In 1803 as senior captain, he joined the 2nd Light Infantry Battalion of the newly formed King's German Legion (KGL), which was under the command of his brother Colin. The 2nd Light were involved in the Cathcart's expeditions to Hanover, Rügen and Copenhagen. During this time he was promoted to major and his bold initiative on outpost duty won a commendation.

From 1808 until 1813 Halkett fought in the Peninsular War, except in 1809 when he took part in the Walcheren Expedition. He fought at the Battle of Albuera in Charles Alten's independent KGL brigade. When his brother was promoted to lead the brigade, Halkett took over command of the 2nd Light Infantry Battalion, KGL. At the Battle of Salamanca, his battalion fought in John Hope's 7th Division. In the Siege of Burgos campaign, he distinguished himself at the Battle of Venta del Pozo. In 1813 he joined the new Hanoverian army. At the Battle of Göhrde he led a brigade of Hanoverian troops in Count Wallmoden's army. He captured a Danish standard at the action of Sehestedt.

Waterloo and later career

At the Battle of Waterloo, Halkett commanded four battalions of Hanoverian landwehr (militia), which were sent to the front with the regulars. These units were organised into the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade of Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton's 2nd Division. Halkett's brigade was held in reserve on the right flank for most of the battle. After the defeat of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, the Duke of Wellington sent Halkett to pursue the disintegrating French forces. He is remembered for capturing General Cambronne while his Osnabrück Battalion engaged the French Imperial Guard.

After Waterloo, Halkett stayed in the Hanoverian service. He rose to be a general and inspector-general of infantry. He led a Federal Army Corps in the First War of Schleswig (also known as the Prussian-Danish War of 1848), and defeated the Danes at the Battle of Oeversee, a rear-guard action at Sankelmark.

Halkett held many foreign orders, including the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle, the Pour le Mérite and the Russian Order of St. Anna. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1815 and promoted to Knight Grand Cross in 1851. In 1862, he was ennobled (heritable) to a Freiherr (Baron) by King George V of Hanover.

Battle Order of the 3rd Brigade at The Battle of Waterloo
Unit Commander Number of Men Casualties
3rd Hanoverian Brigade Colonel Hugh Halkett 2,541 240
Landwehr Battalion "Bremervörde" Lieutenant Colonel von Schulenberg 655 49
Landwehr Battalion "Salzgitter" Major von Hammerstein 644 83
Landwehr Battalion "Osnabrück" Major Count Münster 633 94
Landwehr Battalion "Quakenbrück" Major Baron C. W. von Hünefeld 609 14


Halkett married Emilia-Charlotte, daughter of Sir James Lamb, 1st Baronet on 25 May 1810.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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