Sunday, 16 January 2011


Towards the end of June John Dunne set up an English Battalion in Parlermo with forty englishmen, a number of sicilians joined it and it grew to 1,500 and became a brigade.Dunne commanded. He was a great star of the European liberal movement and he had gained military experience in India and Crimea. He later went to fight for Poland and denmark.Garibaldi praised the brigade for its performance at milazzo. after this Hugh forbes proposed the idea of a British Legion. The idea was recieved with enthusiasm by john Peard and Alfred Styles and Percy Wyndham and Peter Cunningham. All were english garibaldini.Another was Lieutenent Blakeney.Dunne was the most serious of all of these and he agreed to form one but only if he could vet every man.It was thus put into action but it was a total disaster.The British Legion became reality on 15October when Garibaldi was in Naples during his advance on the Bourbons.all black and white photograophs show the aftermath of the assault on Gaeta see my earlier post
 The General saw that the British lacked discipline and they created every kind of problem for the Southern army. The great General wanted the British disbanded but he let them try to sort things out.
They fought well in the field but was dogged by problems including a leader who wasn't a leader. Things had started well, Styles had gone to London trying to get volunteers, he found many but he left its organisation to Captain Boyle Minchen who assigned the various commands to officers of the volunteer rifle corps rather than proven front line troops, this was like giving command in Iraq today to those who run volunteer national guard units and police units  and who have never seen a war and like sending territorial weekend soldiers to the Stan. According to another font and this is most likely the
recruitment started with the arrival of the American, Chatham Roberdeau Wheat.
Boyle Minchens methods insulted many of the real soldiers who withdrew service or enlisted privately in Dunnes brigade or in other divisions. The Garibaldi fund in London was grossly mismanaged as well, the volunteers waited weeks for pay or sustenance on the streets of london. But the worst error was Garibaldi making Peard the leader of the legion. He was forty nine and had fought with the hunters of the alps the previous year as an ordinary volunteer. He had guts but he wasn't a leader. years later he tried to place the blame on others. He wrote."Many of the officers had no discipline and some worse than that. I thank God that the legion no longer exists"
But Peard was the most responsible.In fact, nearly all the Englishmen who had joined and had fought at Milazzo had now been disbanded, being 'excessively insubordinate' and refusing to submit to the rigours of the campaign without either pay or the opportunity to plunder. 'This is not the place for Englishmen,' Forbes decided. 'One of the great features of this army is its sobriety. I have never seen or heard of a Garibaldian the worse for liquor, consequently discipline is easy. What our countrymen would be under the great temptations of a cheap wine country, is not so certain.' Forbes, op.cit., 274.
Among the british there may have  may have been Robert Stephenson the Ripper candidate who was a field surgeon at 18. Could this be possible?

Forbes's opinion was confirmed some weeks later when the British Legion or the Garibaldian Excursionists, as they have called themselves in England--arrived in Naples. There were about 600 of them, and although some of them behaved well and fought bravely in the few minor engagements in which their late arrival permitted them to take part, there were too many hooligans amongst them for the Legion as a whole to be welcome. 'Last night,' the British Minister in Naples commented the day after their arrival, 'they immediately distinguished themselves in a truly national manner by getting drunk and disorderly, and in sleeping on and under the tables in the principal cafes which have today been closed in consequence.'

The performance of the Legion was a disgrace to many but other Brits showed they were made of the right stuff,for instance the sailors of the Agamemmon and Renown deserted to join and under the command of Lieutenant Cooper fought well on the Volturno manning a battery. There were also Wyndham's Zouaves and the battalion of Forbes. Charles Stuart Forbes who was thirty ended his career as commodore in the British fleet. There was Dowling who joined Garibaldi with a battery of whitworth cannon, he became inspector General of the Garibaldian artillery. There were Jarvis and Weeks who left the navy to join Garibaldi.The most outstanding of all was a woman but we'll talk of her in another post. She was Jessie White Mario.

On  October 14, 1860 he was aboard the ship Emperor, with 650 men of the British Legion. Wheat even participated in military action in the Battle of Volturno [2nd phase] and Garigliano and in the seige of Capua, with rank of Brigadier General bestowed by Garibaldi whom he met in New York in 1850.

General Wheat was assisted [in the recruitment] by Captain Bradford Smith Hoskiss,(below) vetran of the British Army.

A strange thing happened ,at the notification of Lincoln's election as President of the United States [in November], Wheat, as a supporter of Breckenridge [States' Rights Democrats], knew if Southern succession occurred, as predicted, civil war was a concrete possibility. He asked Garibaldi if he could recruit captured Bourbon soldiers and ship them to Lousiana. [1800 later disembarked in New Orleans]..dead Bourbons at Gaeta
Around 1,600 Bourbon troops finally arrived in the confederacy at New Orleans as the war came to a conclusion and as New Orleans was about to fall, most were put into diverse regiments and therefore did not fight as an integral unit.

Percy Wyndham was the son of a cavalry officer, Capt. Charles Wyndham, and was born in 1833. The military career of this man, before and after Garibaldi, would require a book to tell the story, but I'll summarise in a few lines. Already 15 years he left home  to participate  in the Paris revolution of 1848 .When  Louis Napoleon,  took over as President of the Republic,  he returned to England to join England's Royal Artillery, but shortly after went into Austria as a Hussar Officer (13th Uhlanen Regiment).
The fact that Austria was an enemy of Italy, did not discouraged him siding with Garibaldi .It  Was in Sicily Under Garibaldi that he rose rapidly to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was knighted for bravery, thereafter bearing the title Sir Percy Wyndham.Wore and fought as an old soldier of 600 and his figure was recognizable by the enormous Moustache.
15mm italian wargame
In 1861 he left Garibaldi for the American civil war, where he received the command of the 1st n. Jersey Cavalry,During the American Civil War, he was captured, paroled, and later received a leg wound at Brandy Station, VA. He was mustered out of service 5 Jul 1864 and rejoined Garibaldi's army in 1866.

  In 1879 died in India (Mandalay, Burma) on a balloon that took fire "Recruiting in Philadelphia, Pa., for the Bucktail Pennsylvania Regiment, August, 1862. This famous regiment suffered so much that recruiting became necessary. As it was a Pennsylvania pet regiment, Philadelphia was all alive with the resounding music of the horns, calling upon all who had killed a buck in fair combat to accept an invitation to their supper of glory.
Our artist has, however, told more with a few dashes of his pencil than we can in a column. The Bucktails were a splendid set of fellows, and deserved the reputation they achieved. The fight at Dranesville, the Valley of the Shenandoah and the battle of Cross Keys have been consecrated by their valor. It will be remembered that when Colonel Sir Percy Wyndham of the First New Jersey Cavalry fell into an ambuscade the gallant Bucktails volunteered to his rescue, and were terribly cut up."— Frank Leslie, 1896

Here is our commercially avaible 54mm Rifleman of the Indian revolt . You can easily turn this piece into a Garibaldian with simple conversion of the hat. We have about three left.Then thats it
The 9 February 1849 Roman Republic was proclaimed, it was short lived, in spite of the defensive reaction of Giuseppe Garibaldi. On 24 April a body of French  under the command of General Charles-Victoir Oudinot disembarked in Civitavecchia with intent to return to Rome  Pius IX who had fled to Gaeta. After a first defeat at Porta San Pancrazio, they received reinforcements and  the French launched at the beginning of June, the decisive attack:

the  gianicolense hill was bombed and stormed to nothing, and the defensive barricades of the Mazziani and Garibaldini and followers becme legend. The story of the heroism of those brave fighters assures them as an  example of struggle for freedom and for the fatherland and it all became epic. In 1883 the new institutions of the  "Italian", State and Municipality, bought the area  dedicating it to the memory of the defence of Rome.

The arrangement on the Gianicolo as regards a  public garden was started, in fact, already under the Pontifical Government, with the placement, in 1857 of  a bust to Torquato Tasso at the old oak where the poet withdrew to meditate.

the busts of the garibaldians here you will find peard

Between 1865 and 1868, on a project of the municipal engineer Federico Archangels it was constructed, the road that from today's via Garibaldi rises to hairpins towards San Pietro in Montorio: the walk has the appearance of a tree-lined street of elms, locust, plane trees and Apple trees and azedarach, and the area now occupied by the Ossuary was fitted with a Giuseppe Garibaldi English garden.
anita garibaldi immortalised on the gianicolo

Already the master plan of 1873 was the creation of a "walk Margherita" on the ridge of the Hill to create a link between Borgo Santo Spirito and Porta San Pancrazio. We must however wait until 1881 when there was launched the preparation of the new Plan, the public promenade and the del Gianicolo became a reality.From the outset they thought such a decoration "celebratory" everyone could recall the daring of the history of the patriotic. On top of the promenade (piazzale Garibaldi), in the square where the casino Corsini is, the Municipal Council decided to erect a monument in honour of Giuseppe Garibaldi. In 1884 the Committee responsible for examining the projects chose the proposal of Emilio Gallori. It was a large equestrian statue on top base decorated with bronze groups depicting episodes of the battles and also that of garibaldine allegories of Europe and America. The monument, in which the artist began working in 1886, was inaugurated on September 20, 1895.

Meanwhile, with a resolution of July 26, 1884, the City Council of Rome had accepted the proposal of the Commission Busts and gravestones to allocate the walk of the Gianicolo "to busts of Patriots who fought for the Defense and for the liberation of Rome".

So, between 1885 and 1888 were placed at the Gianicolo numerous busts of  heroes followered. Still in the first half of the 20th century there were  different busts made by prominent sculptors, such as, among others, Ettore Ximenes, Ettore Ferrari, John Prini, John Nicolini, Publius Morbiducci.

Today there are 84: among them, to exalt the idea of a "transnational" risorgimento, including  "foreigners": English John Peard (John Paganucci, 1860, placed in 1904), the Finnish Herman Lijkanen (Bino Bini, 1961), the Hungarian István Türr (Róbert Csíkszentmihályi, 1998-1999) and the Bulgarian Petko Voivoda (Valentin Starcev, 2004).

A woman got pride of place , the equestrian monument to Anita Garibaldi, realized by Mario Rutelli and opened in 1932, and the lighthouse donated to the city by the Italians in Argentina on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the unification of Italy and Rome to commemorate the capital (September 19, 1911).

According to the old Ripper Notes article from July 2002 which featured the famous repartee between Des McKenna and Melvin Harris....Mr.Harris claims that a ripper possible called D'onston registered with the Italian leader's forces in August 1859...He was 18 years and 4 months old....but according to Mr.Harris,claimed to be 22 on his enrollment papers.
References to Colonel Peard and Speeche from the Diary of one of Le Mille, author Giuseppe Cesare Abba:

post finishes here


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