Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1792–1862)

Prince Bernhard
Born (1792-05-30)30 May 1792
Died 31 July 1862(1862-07-31) (aged 70)
Schloss Belvedere, Weimar
Spouse Princess Ida of Saxe-Meiningen
Issue Princess Luise Wilhelmine
Prince Wilhelm Carl
Princess Amalie Auguste
Prince Edward, Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Prince Hermann
Prince Frederick Gustav
Princess Anna
Amalia, Princess Henry of the Netherlands[1]
Full name
Charles Bernhard
House House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Father Charles Augustus, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Mother Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
Religion Lutheranism

Prince Carl Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (30 May 1792 – 31 July 1862)[2] was a distinguished soldier, who, in 1815, after the congress of Vienna, became colonel of a regiment in the service of the king of the Netherlands.[3] He fought at the Battle of Quatre Bras and the Battle of Waterloo where he commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Dutch Division and became a Chief Commander of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army

Early life

Prince Bernhard, the seventh child of Charles Augustus, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, was born on 30 May 1792 in Weimar.[2] He enlisted in the Prussian army and in 1806 he fought in the army of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen. By 1809 he had enlisted in the Saxon army and he fought under Marshal Bernadotte at Wagram.

Waterloo campaign

Prince Bernhard's 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Dutch Division (Sedlnitsky) was the first of the Duke of Wellington's forces to arrive at the cross roads of Quatre Bras. Prince Bernhard's brigade (joined later by the 1st Brigade,) held the cross roads at Quatre Bras for almost 24 hours from the late afternoon of 15 June 1815, until about 3 p.m. on the 16 June, preventing Marshal Michel Ney with the left wing of the French L'Armée du Nord from taking the cross roads before the Duke of Wellington and substantial allied forces arrived to reinforce the 2nd Division and fight the Battle of Quatre Bras. The successful holding action by the two brigades of the Dutch 2nd Division was one of the most important actions by any of the coalition brigades in the whole of the Waterloo Campaign.

At the Battle of Waterloo Prince Bernhard commanded the allied forces holding the farms of Papelotte, Frischermont and La Haie on the extreme left of the Duke of Wellington's line of battle.[4] They were strategically important, not just because if the forces holding these positions gave way then the French could out flank Wellington, but because it was from that direction that Wellington expected and received Prussian support. Though in the course of the battle Durutte’s 4th French Division obtained a temporary foothold in Papelotte, it was never captured[5]

Commander Dutch East Indies Army

Bernhard was appointed commander of the army in Dutch East Indies on December 6, 1848 and arrived on April 14, 1849 to Java. Barely a few weeks after his arrival General Michiels died, commander of the third Balinese expedition, to his wounds obtained at Kasoemba and Van Saxony-Weimar, short after his arrival in the East Indies offered to be the Governor-General to take the leadership of the expedition, and to act according to the rules that were given to General Michiels. In the winter of 1849 he was promoted to general of the infantry and three years later (1852) he returned to the Netherlands, for his health, after many improvements and having accomplished to restore the East Indies army. He received on October 5, 1853 are honorable retirement.

Later life and family

Prince Bernhard traveled extensively in the United States in 1825-26. He published an account of his travels, Reise sr. Hoheit des Herzogs Bernhard zu Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach durch Nord-Amerika, in 1828. The work was translated into English and published in Philadelphia, also in 1828, as Travels through North America, during the Years 1825 and 1826.

In the years after Waterloo, Bernhard distinguished himself as commander of a Dutch Division in the Belgian campaign of 1831 (the Ten Days Campaign), and from 1847 to 1850 held the command of the forces in the Dutch East Indies.[3] He died 21 July 1862 in Liebenstein.[2]

He married Princess Ida of Saxe-Meiningen, daughter of Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, on 30 May 1816 in Meiningen.[2] Prince Bernhard's son, William Augustus Edward, known as Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar (b. 1823 - d. 1902), entered the British army, served with much distinction in the Crimean War, became colonel of the 1st Life Guards, and later a British Field Marshal.[3]

His daughter Amalia married Prince Henry of the Netherlands.

His granddaughter Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (through his son Prince Hermann) married Charles Augustus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.



Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
  1. Paul Theroff. "Saxony". Paul Theroff's Royal Genealogy Site. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Jens Verner Nielsen. "Descendants of Hans den Yngre af Sønderborg Ninth Generation". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  3. 1 2 3 Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Charles Augustus
  4. The Battle of Waterloo
  5. N. Gash. "Wellington and the Waterloo campaign" (PDF).

Further reading

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