LETTERS FROM AN OFFICER OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, FROM THE BRITISH ARMY IN HOLLAND, BELGIUM & FRANCE TO HIS FATHER, FROM THE LATTER END OF 1813 TO 1816.
208pp., illus., P.B. 2012.
In December 1813 Sperling embarked with the expedition under Sir Thomas Graham to assist the Dutch oust the French. On 8 March an attempt was made to storm Bergen op Zoom with four columns of attack. Sperling headed one column with Colonel Carleton, which effected an entrance by surprise, but was obliged to fall back after the death of its commander. Sperling is an important eyewitness to the movements of this column and his description is one of the best available. During the Waterloo campaign, Sperling joined Colonel Carmichael Smyth on the 17th from Antwerp and found the British army falling back after the battle of Quatre Bras. That night Sperling rode to order the sappers stationed at Hal to build defensive works at Braine l’Alleud, then on the next day he and Carmichael Smyth accompanied the Duke during the early part of the battle of Waterloo, but owing to their various duties, they were separated from Wellington, but Sperling remained, for the most part on the crest near the artillery, occasionally taking refuge in the infantry squares.