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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruelling Napoleonic soldiering from a Dorsetshire Sheppard.
Numerous editions of this classic memoir exist; mostly all abridged. The publishers have done an excellent job here by provided Recollections of Rifleman Harris completely unabridged and unedited. The only liberty taken with the text is the establishment of chapters for clarity and ease. Also included is a 1928 introduction by Sir John Fortescue which neatly summarises...
Published on 18 Aug 2008 by Sean

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rifleman Harris, a good read
I just want to say that it was a good read and very interesting, especially if you're a fan of Sharpe and Bernard Cromwell. It gave a good look into the way Wellington's army was and the Rifles. It gave great insight, especially into the retreat in the Peninsula campaign and the Walcheren Expedition. The only down side was that it was very patchy in regards to the way it...
Published on 28 Nov 2010 by Mr Pink


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruelling Napoleonic soldiering from a Dorsetshire Sheppard., 18 Aug 2008
By 
Sean (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
Numerous editions of this classic memoir exist; mostly all abridged. The publishers have done an excellent job here by provided Recollections of Rifleman Harris completely unabridged and unedited. The only liberty taken with the text is the establishment of chapters for clarity and ease. Also included is a 1928 introduction by Sir John Fortescue which neatly summarises the history of the 95th Rifles.

Rifleman Harris was not long in the Peninsular War and most of his days of soldiering were occupied in lengthy marching and sickness. He was present at only two set-piece battles (Rolica and Vimeiro) and was involved in Moore's Retreat to Corunna and the disastrous Walcheren Expedition. In the final chapter Harris recounts how he ended up convalescing in a veteran's battalion being finally discharged in 1814. Despite his absence from bouts of fighting he seems to have stayed in firm contact with the trials and tribulations of the 'Old 95'; anecdotes of certain solders at later battle are recounted for example.

Harris is indispensable for those wanting to understand the social-history of army-life: recruiting, sickness, desertion, regimental-women etc etc. He is also prone to the amusing battle anecdote. We find Harris, regimental-cobbler, with seemingly the entire 95th's shoes during the opening salvo at the Battle of Vimeiro! He is particularly famous for his eulogies of Robert Craufurd, the firm disciplinarian of the Rifle-Brigade, who maintained their discipline during the infamous retreat. The retreat is usually named after Corunna where Moore fought his fatal battle and allowed the army to disembark for England. In actual fact Craufurd's Brigade split from the main body in order to disembark at Vigo. Nevertheless, their plight was the same as their comrades heading for the former port and Harris is essential for discovering the horrors encountered their. Harris in fact barely made it.

Recollections was first published in 1848, a whole thirty-nine years after Harris arrived back from Walcheren stricken with fever. He was illiterate; his account being transcribed to a half-pay officer, Captain Henry Curling of the 52nd Foot, in a rather un-chronological fashion. In a way this adds to the charm of the piece: his recollections have not turned into a literary masterpiece aka Kincaid and Leech. Despite its ominous birth this is the most honest and authenticated voice of the British Napoleonic foot-soldier. The only memoir which can possibly compete for that accolade is the Letters of Private Wheeler.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rifleman Harris, a good read, 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
I just want to say that it was a good read and very interesting, especially if you're a fan of Sharpe and Bernard Cromwell. It gave a good look into the way Wellington's army was and the Rifles. It gave great insight, especially into the retreat in the Peninsula campaign and the Walcheren Expedition. The only down side was that it was very patchy in regards to the way it told Harris story, but this is not a surprise as he did not recollect his story until many years after the events. All that beside it was a good read and well worth a look if you are in to the military history of that time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cobbler with no boots, 27 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
If you want to learn about the military strategy of the time you will learn nothing from reading this book. You will however learn of the conditions of English soldiery at the time, and of the experience of warfare. What strikes me in particular is the extreme lack of food, drink and clothing especially boots which they had to contend with. A marvellous book, as good as any war memoirs I have ever read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars colourful British soldier!, 23 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
I first read a version of this chap some years ago. This particular book is far easier to read.
Any ex-servicemen will identify with some of the goings on,even some of the bits where the truth may seem a little bit stretched! Whether you are into Napoleaonic history, or just want a good read, then this is a superb book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this as a gift, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
Got this for my partner who's a former rifleman, he's throughly enjoyed it.
It arrived quickly, not sure what else to say!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Napoleonic/Peninsula War era., 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Compleat Rifleman Harris: The Adventures of a Soldier of the 95th (Rifles) During the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (Paperback)
A brilliant book for anybody interested in the Napoleonic/Peninsula War era.
A brilliant book for anybody interested in the Napoleonic/Peninsula War era.
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