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11)Stuart, John (1759-1815)

 

From Wikisource

 

STUART, Sir JOHN (1759–1815), lieutenant-general, count of Maida, colonel of the 20th foot, son of Colonel John Stuart, was born in Georgia, North America, in 1759.

 

Stuart's father, John Stuart (1700?–1779), was born about 1700. He went to America in 1733 with General James E. Oglethorpe, and was in Fort Loudoun during the French war when it was invested by the Cherokee Indians. He made terms with Oconostota, who, having agreed that the garrison should march out with their arms and have free passage to Virginia, treacherously massacred them on the way; but Stuart, who was popular with the Indians, was saved. In 1763 he was appointed general agent and superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern department. He had a deputy with each tribe, and exerted great influence over the southern Indians. He took a prominent part on the royalist side in the war of independence, and, returning to England, died in 1779. His property in America was confiscated by the American government in 1782.

Educated at Westminster school, young Stuart obtained a commission as ensign in the 3rd foot guards on 7 Aug. 1778, and joining the battalion, then serving in the army under Sir Henry Clinton at New York, took part in the operations against the colonists in the war of American independence. He was present at the siege and capture of Charleston on 6 May 1780, and remained in South Carolina with the force under Lord Cornwallis. He took part in the battle of Camden on 16 Aug. and in the march into North Carolina in September and return in October. He was at the battle of Guildford on 15 March 1781, and at the surrender of the army at Yorktown on 18 Oct. following. He was severely wounded during the campaign. He was promoted to be lieutenant in the 3rd foot guards and captain in the army on 6 Nov. 1782.

After ten years of home service, he went, on the outbreak of the war with France, with his regiment to Flanders, landing with the troops under the Duke of York at Helvoetsluys on 5 March 1793. On 25 April he was promoted to be captain in the 3rd foot guards and lieutenant-colonel in the army. He was present at the battle of Famars on 23 May, at the investment and siege of Valenciennes, which capitulated on 28 July, and at the operations on the line of the Scheldt in August. He took part in the brilliant action at Lincelles on 18 Aug., was present at the siege of Dunkirk, at the actions of 6 and 8 Sept., and at the attack on Launoy on 28 Oct. He went with his battalion into winter quarters at Ghent in November. In 1794 he commanded his battalion at the siege of Landrecy, which fell on 30 April, at the battle of Tournay or Pont-à-Chin on 23 May, at the retreat behind the Dyle on 8 July, and to Nimeguen on 6 Oct., evacuating it on 7 Nov. He served with Dundas when the French were driven across the Waal on 30 Dec. He was with the army in its painful retreat across the Weluwe waste, and in its embarkation at Bremen and return to England in April 1795.

Stuart was promoted to be brevet colonel on 3 May 1796. He was appointed to a command on 30 Nov. as brigadier-general in the force under General the Hon. Charles Stuart in Portugal. He raised the queen's German regiment in 1798, and was appointed colonel of it on 26 Dec. This regiment was numbered on 6 June 1808 the 97th foot, and was disbanded in 1818. He went on the expedition to Minorca, and took part in its capture on 15 Nov. 1799, having been gazetted on 10 Nov. a brigadier-general in the force for Minorca.

From Minorca Stuart went to Egypt in 1801 as brigadier-general, under Sir Ralph Abercromby. He commanded the foreign brigade at the battle of 21 March on the plain of Alexandria, and at a critical moment brought up his brigade to the assistance of the reserve. Stuart's action was declared, in general orders of 23 March, to have been ‘as gallant as it was prompt, and [to have] entirely confirmed the fortunate issue of that brilliant day.’ At the close of the Egyptian campaign Stuart proceeded on a political mission to Constantinople, and thence returned to Egypt to take command of the British troops at Alexandria. He received knighthood of the order of the Crescent from the Sultan of Turkey; he was promoted to be major-general on 29 April 1802, and returned to England the same year.

On 17 Oct. 1803 Stuart was appointed to command a brigade of the force massed on the east coast of Kent in readiness to repel the threatened French invasion; he held the command until 24 March 1805, when he accompanied Lieutenant-general Sir James Craig, who had been appointed to the command of the British military forces in the Mediterranean. He arrived on 13 May at Gibraltar, where a protracted stay was made, and reached Malta on 18 July. On 3 Nov. he sailed with Craig's army from Malta to co-operate with the Russians under General Lascy from Corfu for the protection and assistance of the kingdom of Naples. The British disembarked on 21 Nov. at Castellamare in the bay of Naples, and, with the Russians, were distributed across Italy from Pescara to Gaeta. The battle of Austerlitz caused the Russian emperor in January 1806 to direct Lascy at once to seek safety by embarking his force and returning to the Ionian Islands. The British followed suit, retired to Castellamare, embarked on 14 Jan., and entered Messina harbour on the 22nd. The French, under Marshal Masséna and General Reynier, crossed the frontier on 9 Feb., and occupied the kingdom of Naples, except the fortress of Gaeta, which was held for King Ferdinand by the Prince of Hesse-Philipsthal, and was at first blockaded and then besieged by Masséna. The king and queen fled from Naples to Palermo. Stuart landed with the British troops at Messina on 17 Feb. By 24 March the French posts and picquets lined the straits of Messina on the Calabrian coast. In April, on account of ill-health, Craig resigned his command, and Stuart succeeded to it as next senior

 

 

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