Military General Service Medal, 8 bars, Corunna, Barrosa, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Capt. W. H. Hartman, 28th Foot, Maximum Entitlement to an Officer of the 28th.
“The outlying picquets of the brigade, under the command of Captain Hartman of the 28th, were attacked by a strong force of the enemy. Captain Hartman gallantry defended his post for 7 hours, until turned on both flanks, and when obliged to retire, he covered the retreat of some Portuguese, who were hard pressed, for which he received the thanks of Sir Rowland on his rejoining of the brigade….. In the Afternoon, some more Portuguese were giving way, on being attacked by a superior force of the enemy, when Captain Hartman, fortunately for him, happened to be near Sir Rowland, with 2 companies of the 28th. Captain Hartman was ordered to their support, with instructions to rally the Portuguese and then drive the enemy down the hill; the first instruction was instantly accomplished, and the point of the British Bayonet very soon effected the other: on their return Colonel Rook was sent by Sir Rowland to thank Captain Hartman.”
Provenance, ex Glendinings March 1903, and part of Leyland Robinson Collection, Glendining 1952. Christies November 1990, DNW March 2002, the collection of John Seabrook.
Officially impressed: “W. H. Hartman, Captn. 28th Foot” His rank appears to have been neatly corrected as the roll shows him as a Subaltern.
An extraordinary medal to a heavily involved officer in the Peninsular Wars, who was rapidly promoted without purchase throughout his career.
William Henry Hartman first entered into service as an Ensign in the 28th Foot on 9th July 1803, he was promoted to Lieutenant on 28th March 1805 and Captain on 30th October 1812, all without purchase.
He first served in the expedition to Hanover during 1805-6, then at the Siege of Copenhagen in 1807, followed by service in Portugal and Spain during 1808-9, including the actions relating to the retreat of the Army and Battle of Corunna.
He then took part in the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition during 1809, followed by further service in the Peninsula and France, including the Defence of Tarifa and Cesar Viegas, The Battle of Barrosa, the actions at Arroyo Del Molino and Almarez, Maya Pass, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Bayonne, Orthes, the Affair at St Palais and the Battle of Toulouse.
Following the battle of Barrosa in 1812, Hartman made representations to H.R.H. the Duke of York for promotion to a Captaincy, there being then several vacancies in his regiment, stating ‘that in the action of Barrosa he was the Senior Lieutenant of that Army in the Field which induced him to Memorial the Commander in Chief Sir David Dundas through the medium of Lieut General Graham, and the reply to that Memorial induced Memorialist to indulge the utmost hopes of Promotion’.
These representations appear to have had the desired effect and Hartman was duly promoted to Captain in October 1812.
After the battle of Vittoria, Captain Hartman distinguished himself in the action on the heights of El Ariba, when the outlying picquets of the brigade, which he commanded, were attacked by a strong force of the enemy. Hartman gallantly defended his post for seven hours, until turned on both flanks, and when obliged to retire, he covered the retreat of some Portuguese, who were hard pressed, for which he received the thanks of Sir Rowland Hill on his re-joining the brigade.
Later that afternoon, some Portuguese were giving way on being attacked by a superior force of the enemy, when, fortunately for Sir Rowland, Captain Hartman happened to be close by with two companies of the 28th. Hartman was ordered to their support, with instructions to rally the Portuguese, and then drive the enemy down the hill. The first instruction was instantly accomplished, and the point of the bayonet very soon effected the other. On their return, Colonel Rook was sent by Sir Rowland to thank Captain Hartman.
He continued his service for many years into the 1840s becoming a Major and transferring to the 9th Foot.
On 24th November 1877 ‘The Broad Arrow’ published a list of still living officers who have fought in campaigns previous to 1815, including Hartman who was at the time a Major, it amounted to only about 98 men.