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UNITED SERVICE JOURNAL.
THE CRISIS AT WATERLOO.
MAJOR GAWLER'S ANSWER TO SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN'S " REPLY," &c.
Belfast, Aug. 3, 1833. I felt much regret at being prevented, by some of those unavoidable occupations to which military men in active employment are subject, from replying in the last Journal to your objections. Like regret in many other cases, however, this I believe had no just foundation ; for the subject at issue is not of a nature that interest in it should fade in a month, and the delay enables me to be more sure that I continue to adhere to a resolution, with which I, from the first, set out, of advancing neither assertion - nor argument without good grounds and careful consideration.
The accuracy of your account of the movements and charges of your own brigade, allowing for those minor misconceptions from which, under such circumstances, no man can be surely exempt, I will not presume to question. No one then present can have a better, and few so good a claim to correctness on those points as yourself. I therefore gladly receive your details, as far as they are positively defined, as valuable additions to the history of Waterloo ; and will take the liberty of turning them to advantage in a future corrected account of the crisis and close. But while admitting, almost without a doubt, the correctness of your narrative of facts, I must dispute, to a great extent, the justice of your inferences; for while in matters of fact our narratives may be shown to be in almost complete accordance, in matters of inference, they certainly are at almost as complete variance ; and having made public both facts and inferences, I am bound to defend either, without respect of persons, against all assailants, as far as I continue to believe them to be consistent with truth.
The paramount feature of inference, in which your reply differs from my account is this: You conceive, that the crisis of Waterloo extended to the British attack upon the French position * ; while I describe the crisis as terminating with the last repulse of the French from the British position. In pursuing this question, it is of course essential
* " When I had fully quitted the position, and was probably about midway towards that of the enemy,” is your description of the ground on which the 6th brigade formed for its first charge.-U. S. Journ., p. 316.
U.S. JOURN. No. 58. Sept. 1833.