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BOOK - Fix Bayonets! A Royal Welch Fusilier at War, 1796-1815
By Donald E. Graves.

Hardcover...39.95 (C$)

Fix Bayonets! will be of interest to Canadian and American readers because it contains detailed accounts of Chrysler's Farm, Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie, as well as other engagements that Thomas Pearson fought in.

This long-anticipated major new book from Donald E. Graves describes the military exploits of Thomas Pearson. We follow his remarkable career through wars and battles major and minor, including Egypt, Holland, Copenhagen, the Peninsular War and the War of 1812. Graves, "master of the battlefield narrative," includes the most detailed account of the Battle of Albuera yet published.

Thomas Pearson faught in them all (and was wounded twice). In doing so, he not only taught young General Winfield Scott how to conduct a delaying action but came to have a high regard for his Yankee enemies, describing them as "the bravest men I have ever seen" - high praise from a veteran soldier who had fought against some of the toughest armies of all time.

Fix Bayonets! is the story of a soldier and the famous regiment in which he served. Set against the background of the Napoleonicwars, the book records the true-life adventures of Thomas Pearson, a country parson's son, who was commissioned in teh Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1796 and campaigned in Europe, North America and North Africa.

Pearson fought in 15 major battles, countless minor skirmishes, was wounded 5 times, received two battlefield promotions, was captured by an American privateer, and ended his career as a lieutenant-general. He saw combat in jungles, deserts, mountains and on the oceans; he fought against the Germans, Poles, and Americans; and he served alongside Spanish guerillas, Egyptian mamelukes and North American Mohawks.

Fix Bayonets! is a portrait of one of the most colourful periods of history as seen through the eyes of one soldier and his regiment.

The reader following their adventures will learn about war, wine women and song in a fascinating epoch and will meet a cast of famous characters, including King George III, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, THomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, French Marshalls Nicolas Soult and Andre Massena, Lord Nelson and Major General William Stewart.

The centrepiece of Fix Bayonets! is a detailed, blow-by-blow account of the bloody battle of Albuera which took place may 1811. For six hours, 60,000 British, French, German, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish soldiers fough a bitter action under a downpour of rain, and when the last shots died away, 20,000 men lay dead or wounded in an area about the six of five modern foorball fields. Albuera was the high point of Pearson's combat career - he went into is as a junior major in his brigade and came out as the brigade commander becasue he was the only officer above the rank of captain still on his feet. The detailed account of this famous action, written by an author with an international reputation as a master of battlefield narratives, is based on new sources and is the most comprehensive account of this famous engagement yet to see print.

Fix Bayonets! will appeal to those interested in Napoleonic history, including the War of 1812, musket-period tactics, as well as the general reader who likes a "good read" that is well written and well documented.

Fix Bayonets! will be of interest to Canadian and American readers because it contains detailed accounts of Chrysler's Farm, Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie.

About the author:
Donald E. Graves, one of Canada's best known and rspected military historians, is the author, co-author or editor of 16 full-length books dealing with the War of 1812 and the Second World War.

512 pages
6 x 9 inches
About 150 illustrations and maps
ISBN: 978-1-896941-27-1 (bound)

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