This is absolutely brilliant and not to be missed (this kind of stuff is why I troll The Daily Mail and know more than I every wished to about a certain family whose name begins with "K"). A letter home after the battle of Waterloo has been found and is set to be auctioned. It is from a corporal in the Household Heavy Brigade. It reads in part:
"We had very hard fighting and with men of no despicable size or appearance. I received a cut on my bridle hand, had a sword run through my jacket in the shoulder. We drove them under their own cannon into their own lines and stay'd their (sic) too long, for the infantry began to play upon us. I had my horse shot in a charge against a solid column of infantry...he received another ball, he tumbled over another horse... about 20 yards from the face of the column of 15 hundred or 2 thousand men. I struggled to get clear, they saw me and sent some musket shot at me but they struck the horses. My poor horse had a great many balls in him. I got my legs clear looked over his neck, and saw more approaching to bayonet me. I mustered all my strength and run off faster than I ever went to school in my life, their flankers fired after me ... This was a Glorious Charge we returned and was Huzza'd by the infantry which they had threatened with destruction. Our swords reeked with French Blood."
I love this kind of stuff and am always happy when I stumble across it, it makes everything so vivid. And military stuff like this always makes me think of Heyer's brilliant An Infamous Army...I really need to reread that.