H M S Diadem & General Sir Ralph Abercrombie-1801

  Proclaimer 12:39 13 Jul 2010

I have an original hand written letter here dated 26th March 1801 and it appears to be an account of General Sir Ralph Abercrombies' landings in Egypt on or around that date from the Ship HMS Diadem.

I am scanning the letter, (8 long pages) if you want to read it but mostly I just wanted to know if anyone can find anything on Rear Adjutant Menou who appears to have signed the letter.

Any other info is appreciated.

  Woolwell 13:13 13 Jul 2010

The letter could be valuable.

The general died 2 days later having been wounded earlier. click here

  Quickbeam 13:19 13 Jul 2010

I would think a letter to The British or Imperial War museums would get a more positive response than a speculation here.

  Woolwell 13:28 13 Jul 2010

Menou -almost certainly the officer in command of the French Army in Egypt click here

  Proclaimer 13:45 13 Jul 2010

Ah, Jacques-François Menou;

Ok reading more of the letter it appears that there is reference to a copy of a captured French Document, Orders from Menou to his Cavalry Commander, perhaps General Roij, or Rozj. Hard to make that name out.

He was killed in Action on 21st March 1801.

If I could read the writing it would be an interesting read.

  Proclaimer 13:59 13 Jul 2010

It could be Brigadier Roize as mentioned click here

This letter talks about the 42nd Highlanders defending against this Cavalry attack.

Quickbeam; Imperial War museum only deal with The Great War and WW2 as far as I know.

  Proclaimer 14:36 13 Jul 2010

Part of it says in reference to the death of Sir Ralph Abercrombie

"His fall has certainly been most noble to himself but I fear at this juncture, most unfortunate for his country-who they will send out to supply his place I have not the least guess, though I look with hope of it's being Sir Charles Stewart, indeed he is the only person I know who has the talent capable of efficiently completing the intent of this arduous undertaking; and he must also bring with him considerable reinforcements;-

For though our last Victory has greatly checked the presumptions of the French, yet they are still superior to us and we must therefore have some assistance finally to expell them from Egypt."

There is no clue to the author of this letter and that is but one paragraph from the eight pages; I wonder who could have written this and to whom it would have been sent...

I think it could be in part a diary entry, in which case I will never know who wrote it. But it does read as though it were from a high ranking officer.

  Woolwell 15:10 13 Jul 2010

Pure conjecture but it could be General Moore. Piers Mackesy has written a book about the campaign. If you google it you will find that you can read excerpts. It may be worthwhile contacting him.

  Proclaimer 15:33 13 Jul 2010

It seems Sir Charles Stewart did not take command. General John Hely-Hutchinson, 2nd Earl of Donoughmore did.

"Following Abercromby's death in March after being wounded at the Battle of Alexandria, Hely-Hutchinson took command of the force. In reward for his successes there, the Ottoman Sultan Selim III made him a Knight, 1st Class, of the Order of the Crescent."

  jack 17:11 13 Jul 2010

Curator of military, British Library
[which is a division of the British Museum]

click here

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