Recollections of Rifleman Harris: (Old 95th) With Anecdotes of His Officers and His Comrades - Napoleonic War Autobiography (Paperback)
The Recollections of Rifleman Harris constitute one of the few sources which depict the Napoleonic Wars from the viewpoint of an infantry soldier.
Benjamin Harris was born in Portsmouth, England around 1781. He saw his first military action at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1807. Victorious, he and his regiment sailed back to English soil upon captured Danish vessels, and spent time recuperating. The following year, Harris and his comrades in arms were sent to Portugal - there they met stiff resistance in a series of battles, taking losses at Roli a and Vimiero. Their expedition was finally trapped in northern Spain with the remaining army of John Moore, their state dire, depleted yet determined.
Harris eventually managed to depart from Vigo in Galicia, his constitution severely impacted by harsh conditions. Nevertheless, in summer of 1809 he was again ready for a new expedition: the Walcheren Campaign on the Dutch coast. Conceived as a means of opening a new front in the ongoing War of the Fifth Coalition, this mission proved ill-fated: though the troops swiftly seized the Walcheren marshlands, feverish sickness rapidly spread through the ranks, killing thousands.
Transcribed from Harris' dictation in the 1830s and published in 1848, this work remains a classic wartime memoir.