The story of
Kolonel de Jongh.

Original signature of De Jongh.

Kolonel de Jongh did write his own memories. It's a marvelous story of somebody who was actually on the battlefield. It's in Dutch, but your webmaster is intending to place a translation as soon as possible. Click on the pictures below to enlarge the pages and read the story! Enjoy.

Some questions can be raised regarding De Jongh's story. So his work is also made digital. It is also discussed and remarks are made. This is mainly done by Mr Erwin Muilwijk. You can read his article here.

De Jongh
Portrait of Luitenant-Kolonel de Jongh with the "Militaire Willems Orde" 3rd class (medal.)
Painted around 1816. Courtesy of the Munniks de Jongh Luchsinger family.

About Lt-Colonel Wybrand Adriaan De Jongh

Lt-Colonel Wybrand Adriaan De Jongh was born on 16-12-1776 in Lommel, Belgium as the child of Jan De Jongh and Elisabel Maria Laats.

His military record shows the following:

Dutch Service.
  • 25-3-1790; Kadet with the Infanterie Regiment No.1 'de Schepper" in Leeuwarden (he was only 14 by then).
  • 18-8-1793; Vaandrig with the same regiment.
  • 11-6-1795; 2nd Luitenant with the Dutch 1 battalion, 4 1/2 brigade.
  • 1-3-1796; 1st Luitenant with the Dutch 1 battalion, 4 1/2 brigade. This unit became later the 10th battalion, later the 8th and finally the 9th regiment (see below).

Campaigns during this period:
In 1793 en 1794 he was in Brabant and Vlaanderen under the orders of the Prince of Orange. During the battle of Lincelles (18-8-1793) his regiment was defeated. He then joined the the Britisch Guards under Mac Donald as a volunteer in a counter attack on some redoubts. Then he joined the regiment 'Van Welderen" in an other counter attack. He was mentioned in the dispatches for this and promoted to Vaandrig on the same day by the Prince of Orange (later King Willem 1). For more information of the battle of Lincennes click here or go to the website of Mr Geert van Uythoven, go to the "Revolutionary Wars' article 2 (thanks for the information Geert).

In 1796 is was on the Rhine under generaal Daendels. In 1797 he went into French service while located at the iland of Texel.

French Service.
  • 1-3-1797; 1st Luitenant with the 9th Regiment of the line of the Dutch army in French service.
  • 1-9-1805; 1st Luitenant with the 4th Regiment of the line of the Dutch army in French service.
  • 1-1-1807; Kapitein and transferred to the regiment 'Garde jagers van Koning Lodewijk' (part of the Dutch army in French service). Lodewijk was de French King of the Netherlands. He received the "Orde van de Unie", a medal..
  • 22-3-1807; Kapitein with 3rd Jager regiment of the Dutch army in French service.
  • 25-8-1809; Luitenant-Kolonel with same regiment.
  • 12-3-1811; Luitenant-Kolonel with the 33rd French Light Regiment (Chausseurs). After the incorporation of the Dutch army into the French the 3rd became the 33rd.
  • 17-11-1812; Made prisoner by the Russians at the battle of Krasnoé.
  • 13-6-1813; Returned from Russian Imprisonment. Following an old family story he could escape imprisonment because of his freemasons dagger that was recognized by a fellow freemason because of the imprints on the weapon. This dagger is still in the possession of the family.

The original dagger of De Jongh. Courtesy of the Munniks de Jongh Luchsinger family.

Campaigns during this period:
In 1799 in North-Holland, against the Britisch. In 1801 by Wurtzburg, Swaben and Wartenburg. At the end of 1801 he went back to Texel. In 1803 he camped on the Dutch coast. In 1805 he embarked at Texel with the 4th regiment and was in the Austrian campaign on the Donau.
In 1806 and 1807 in the campaign in Prussia. Between 1801 and 1807 he was under command of Generaal Du Monschau.
In 1809 he was in Zeeland.
In 1812 he went to Russia with the 33rd Light regiment (under the command of Colonel Marguerye).

French Service; the Russian campaign.


In 1812 kolonel De Jongh went to Russia with the 33rd Light regiment (under the command of Colonel Marguerye). The 33rd was part of 1ste Brigade Barbanegre (contains only the 33rd Light), 4th Division (Dessaix), I corps (Davout). The 33rd joined the battle on 10 & 29 September and 2 & 6 October 1812 in Wyasma and at 17-november at Krasnoé. He was made prisoner at Krasnoé, just like the biggest part of the regiment. Only 77 men made it back to the depot later that year.

The complete history of the 33rd Lights is published in the literature mentioned below. The story below is thus a summary.

Lit 134. Geschiedenis van het 33ste Regiment Lichte Infanterie (Het Oud-Hollandsche 3de Regiment Jagers) onder Keizer Napoleon I / door F.H.A. Sabron. Luit-Kol De Jongh diende eerst in het 33ste regiment, en werd daarmee in Rusland gevangen genomen. Aanwezig in de KB. Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda 1910. S.H. Met name pagina 45, 71 -75, 99-109,

The story

Luitenant-Kolonel De Jongh was de commander of the 1st battalion of the regiment. His colleges were Lt-Kol La Serre, of the 2nd battalion, Lt-Kol A. Schuurman of the 3rd and Lt-Kol Patin of the 4th. They were under the command of the mentioned Kolonel Marguerye and the Adjudant-Major H.P. Everts. Both Schuurman and Everts wrote memoirs and based on these, together with regular army dispatches and figures, the above mentioned literature was written.

The battalion was formed in September 1810 and was made of the formal Dutch 3rd jager battalion. It consisted of 4 field- and 1 depot battalion.

Early 1812 the regiment prepared itself for the Russian adventure. All 4 battalions were marching East without much problems or fighting.

Between the 26th of June and 11th of July 1812 they marched the 480 km from Wilna to Minsk. The regiment lost about half it strength (1000 man) during the march from Germany to Minsk. And they were not the only regiment with such losses. The roads and surroundings of every bigger village and city along the march line of the French army was filled with stragglers. At the 16th of July the Adj-Majoor Everts got the order to take the 33rd and bring back as many stragglers back to Minsk as he can find. Any deserter taking up arms should be shot immediate. The first day the brought in around 500 man. In the following 8 days he brought in hundreds more per day. After Adj-Majoor Everts returned the Lt-Kolonel De Jongh got the same task. It is not said that they found men from the 33rd as well. But in a muster roll document from the 1st of August the 33rd still had 917 man 'missing or left behind".

The 2nd and 3rd battalions were leaving Minsk at the 1st of August. They were marching towards Moskou and were passing the Borodino battlefield. At the 28th of September they were engaged in a small battle near Perkuschkowo. They lost 2 officers and 120 man. Later that month they were entering Moscow.

During these months the 1st (with De Jongh) and the 4th, both battalions under overall command of Adj-Majoor Everts, stayed at Minsk and formed its garrison.

On the 13th of October the rank and file of the 4th battalion was added to the 1st battalion and the officers send home to the depot to raise a new 4th battalion. Adj-Majoor Everts became commander of a new mixed-brigade of all kind of detachments that was made up to bring the Imperial-treasury to Moscow. De Jongh was still commander of the 1st battalion. While on the road to Moscow they received the order, being as far as Dorogobusch, to return to Smolensk with the treasury. After delivering the treasury to Smolensk the 1st battalion returned to Dorogobusch again, arriving there at the 1st of November. Napoleon had started his general withdrawal at the 18th of October.

On the 7th of November the 2nd and 3rd battalion were retreating with the main French army and entering Dorogobusch as well. There they found their 1st battalion and Adj-majoor Everts. After a few days rest the complete regiment marched the four days to Smolensk where they were stationed outside the city, west of the Dnieper river on a high terrain. There was no shelter and 8 sacks of flour for the complete regiment while the winter came in, in force. In their first night at this location the temperature dropped to -19 and 60 man were dead in the morning.

After this they retreated with the rest of the army and at the 17th of November the division were the 33rd belongs to (the 4th), had the Russian army in view near a place called Mikulina. A skirmish line was deployed, first with a few companies, later the complete 1st battalion and later even de complete regiment. The rest of the day they were protecting the division (and Davout's corps) left flank, all the while retreating. They lost 40 man en 2 officers that day.

Near Krasnoé, at the end of the day, the 33rd formed the rearguard of the corps. Strong, 5-600 man (the complete regiment), the regiment was ordered to take a small piece of forest just outside the town. Marching outside of the town it became clear that the task was impossible. Cossacks and other troops were everywhere. Nevertheless they received orders to stay outside the town to act as the rearguard of the 4th division, which was at the back of Davout's corps. Thus being the very last unit of the corps they prepared to withdraw 'in echelon" and follow the rest of the corps at 300 paces. This was at 15.30 hours and it was starting to get dark.

As soon as the 33rd started to withdraw a loud "Hurrah" sounded and the Cossacks were attacking. The 33rd formed square and the Cossacks withdrew. The 33rd was marching again when they were attacked again, this time by 3 squadrons of Guard Cuirassiers. The attack was repelled. But the Cuirassiers stayed nearby and the 33rd was unable to start to march again. The 4th division was not waiting and the distance between the 33rd and the division was becoming bigger and bigger. And then the Russian infantry and artillery was arriving. Two guns were opening up a lively fire. Kolonel Marguerye was trying to send out skirmishers to force the artillery crews to withdraw. But the skirmishers were unable to go far, because the Cuirassiers were nearby. Then several companies of Guard infantry were approaching in open lines and starting to exchange fire. Due to this and the artillery fire many men where soon dead or wounded. The left side of the square was so much opened up that Kolonel Marguerye ordered the officers to pick up muskets and add their fire. But the openings were too big. The Guard Cuirassiers were attacking, followed by the infantry with drawn bayonet and a close combat was the result. Almost all remaining man where killed by sable or bayonet by the furious Russians. It was only because of some of the 33rd officers were asking Russian officers for protection that the battle was ended. Some of the 33rd officers were freemasons and their "signs" were recognized by Russian officers, also freemasons, and thus protection was secured (page 109).

17 officers were killed (under which Lt-Kol La Serre) and 21 wounded. The Kolonel Marguerye was wounded at 4 places. Of the rank and file only 60 remained, all wounded, except for 25 man. All were thus captured. Except one: the Kapitein adjudant-majoor T.C.C Veeren of the 3rd battalion escaped and reached the Netherlands in the spring of 1813. The regiment was thus totally destroyed.

After being captured more officers died from their wounds. In the end only 9 reached the Netherlands again. Of the rank and file no precise figures are known although it is said that in total 77 made it back to the depot (but that includes the 900 or so "missing and man left behind, mentioned earlier). The captured officers were brought to Mglin were they stayed till the 21st of June 1813 (almost 6 months). Then they were transported to Tambow were they arrived in October 1813. The following surviving officers stayed there till February 1814:

  • Adj-Majoor Everts,
  • Lt-Kol de Jongh, and A Schuurman.
  • Kapitein G.W van Winsheym, J.H de Hart, and G.J.J van Ingen,
  • Luitenant J.D.B Wilkens, F Hellewich and J.C. Noot.
At the 19th of February 1814, after 14 months of imprisonment, they were released and free to go home. De Jongh returned to the Netherlands at the 13th of June 1814 and joined the Dutch army again.

Dutch Service again.

  • He returned to the Netherlands and joined the new Dutch army at 13 June 1814.
  • He became Lt-colonel of the 15th Line battalion on 14-11-1814.
  • He became commander of the 8th militia 24-4-1815 in the same rank.
He was wounded by a piece of a howitzer grenade at Quatre Bras at his left side and received the 3th class MWO medal for his performance during the battles.

Campaigns during this period:
Quatre Bras and Waterloo in 1815. See his full story elsewhere at this site. In the Dutch archives many letters of the Jongh can be found as well. They are all in copy of the autor. See for an example here. It's a letter from 21 July 1815 explaining the status of the brigade. De Jongh was acting brigade commander at this time. It's written somewhere along the route to Paris. He writes the letter to Van Zuylen van Nyevelt, chief of staff 2nd Division.

After Waterloo.

During the March to Paris, after Waterloo the 8th took Peronne, a mid size town in France. De Jongh became commander of the Garrison. Later on that year he became 2e colonel and commander of the 16de Afdeling (sort of regiments) at 8-10-1815.

He returned to the Netherlands with the rest of the army around January 1816. The 16de afdeling was garrisoned at Yperen in Belgium. From 27-7-1820 onwards the rank of 2nd Kolonel no longer exists and he becomes 'Kolonel". He Married at 31-12-1807 in Deventer with Anna Geertruida Noot. They got one son and five daughters.

He was a famous person in Yperen because A certain Mr Poortugal wrote in 1880 the following about his father in the 16th Afdeling:

...."Wachten scheen minder raadzaam; liever greep men dus de gelegenheid aan, die zich voordeed, om als Kadet bij het Bataljon Jagers No. 35 van de 16de Afdeeling Infanterie in dienst te treden. Den 27sten December 1817 werd hij alzoo bij dat Jager-bataljon Kadet. Na een kort verblijf bij het Depôt der Afdeeling te Gent, werd hem Yperen, waar de Staf zich bevond, als garnizoensplaats aangewezen. Voor ontwikkeling van militairen geest, goede vormen en toon was die plaatsing als uitgezocht. De Kolonel de Jongh - militair op-end-op - had voor Waterloo de 3de klasse van de Militaire Willemsorde ontvangen; de Commandant van het Jager-bataljon, de helft van de Kapiteins en eenige Luitenants droegen het Legioen van Eer, in Napoleon's veldslagen verdiend. Vooral bij deze Afdeeling heerschte in hooge mate de militaire 'chic' van dien tijd, en hoe dikwerf mijn vader later het uitrukken van de Afdeeling beschreef, het was altijd met welgevallen en met droeve herinnering tevens aan het schoone verleden, dat, volgens hem, bij veel meer poëzie ook meer innerlijke waarde bezat. Met zulke levendige kleuren werd mij dat schoone korps dan afgemaald, dat ik het als 't ware zag defileeren. Een 'tête de régiment', zoo als Longuet ze in zijne Méditations de caserne beschrijft. Voorop de reusachtige tamboer-majoor met zijn traditioneelen stok en de 'Bijlenmannen' met hunne, echte of valsche, lange baarden; vervolgens een uitgelezen korps muziekanten, waarvan de dragers der met afhangende paardenstaarten versierde halve manen en bellen, alsmede de bekkenslagers Mooren waren, die in hun fantastisch costuum van witte met rood afgezette wollen stof, waarop hunne zwarte tronies sterk afstaken, door voortdurende grillige bewegingen met hunne glinsterende koperen instrumenten, elken zonnestraal schenen te willen opvangen en weerkaatsen. Dan kwam de Kolonel op zijn prachtigen Andalusiër uitmuntend bereden, een Chef, die met zijn Ridderkruis op de borst, dat ieder wist hoe welverdiend het was, achting en vertrouwen afdwong, voorts het Jagerbataljon, omstreeks 800 man sterk, allen vrijwilligers, waarvan verscheidene evenals met een deel van 't Kader het geval was, onder den grooten Keizer op verschillende slagvelden van Europa hadden gestreden en waarbij de tradities van den 'Petit Caporal' levendig waren gebleven; eindelijk de bataljons der militie en achteraan de marketentsters, waarvan één, door een ieder 'la mère' genoemd, bekend was voor hare bijzondere zorgen voor 'ses enfants' tijdens den Russischen veldtocht, dien ze op haar Kozakkenpaardje mede had bijgewoond. Is het te verwonderen dat dit alles aangrijpend moet zijn geweest voor het voor indrukken zoo vatbaar gemoed van den jeugdigen, uit Gouda nieuw aangekomen, Kadet. De jongere officieren van het Jager-bataljon behoorden meest allen tot de voornaamste Belgische familiën. Men had er bij een Graaf de Limingue, een Bar. van Rode van Schellenbroek, Graaf de Cupers van Remenan, de Pottelsberghe e.a. Omgang en gesprekken konden niet nalaten hun invloed te doen gelden, te meer daar het de begeerte van den Kolonel de Jongh was, dat de Kadets niet de kazerne, maar kamers in de stad bewoonden, dat zij buiten dienst officiers-uniform - natuurlijk zonder het distinctief - droegen, aan de officierstafel dineerden, lid van de Societeit waren en de bals, assemblées en recepties bijwoonden. De 'tenue' voor die partijen was steeds in rok, korte wit cachemieren pantalon met gouden gespen, zijden kousen en fantaisiedegen. Bij het beoordeelen van die maatregelen houde men in het oog, dat het gewone leven, zelfs de uitspanningen, toen veel minder kostten dan thans, en men bijv. voor 12 redoutes, 12 comedies en 12 concerten te zamen slechts één dag traktement behoefde te betalen. Die maatregelen werkten heilzaam, want de kadet bleef er fatsoenlijk man door, en zij hielden hem terug van andere min beschaafde gezelschappen."

Source: DBNL . Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde, 1880 Levensberichten der Afgestorvene medeleden van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde. Bijlage tot de Handelingen van 1880. Leiden, E.J. Brill. 1880.Levensbericht van Diederic Jacob Den Beer Poortugael.

De Jongh died at age 44, on 18-5-1821 in Yperen (Ieper), Belgium. He was then still commanding officer of the 16th afdeling. He fellow officers placed a memorial stone on his grave with the following text:

Devant ce Mausolée, arrête-toi, ;ecteur!

En ces lieux git De Jongh, le modéle des braves.

Jeune encor, sous Nassau, sur le champ de l'honneur.

On le vit s'illuster dans les ranges des Bataves.

Non, jamais ne mourra sa gloire, sa valeur.

Généreux citoyen, tender époux et bon pére.

Héla! La mort eût dû respecter sa carriére!.

Unfortunally his grave was not maintained and thus cleared from the cemetry in Ieper in 1976. For the complete genealogy of the Family 'De Jongh", click on this link. Your webmaster is in contact with his present family..

And here is his private report:

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