Book Review: Waterloo Witnesses: Military and Civilian Accounts of the 1815 Campaign


by Kristine Hughes

Barnsley, Eng.,: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2021. Pp. x 292+. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN: 1399003623

Remembering the Hundred Days

A specialist in Regency and Victorian Britain, historian Hughes has collected scores of first-hand accounts by people – soldiers, merchants, duchesses, generals, diplomats, and others, all mostly rather ordinary folk, albeit largely British or Allied – who lived through the “100 Days”.

These excerpts frequently offer unique insights not only into how the particular man or woman experienced the events in which they found themselves caught up, but also frequently presents interesting and unique perspectives on the ways in which the campaign and battle unfolded. Hughes manages to link these accounts together with a running commentary on the events, and adds often extensive notes about the witnesses which not only help identify them, but also add interesting details about their later lives.

The main drawback of the book is that, given the notes identifying various people offer considerable detail about them and their lives, they would have been better placed at the foot of the page, rather than forcing the reader to flip to the back the book. In addition, a couple of simple outline maps would have helped improve the reader’s understanding of where these people were when the events they describe took place.

Waterloo Witnesses is a valuable read for anyone with an interest in the Campaign of 1815 and the Battle of Waterloo.




Note: Waterloo Witnesses is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium (

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close