There are excellent resources out there, but this is the sort of thing that will inform what I'm trying to do. This map shows what happened in the afternoon, and this map shows what happened later in the day:
At this point, it becomes a rout:
At around 5.30pm Ney launched the final cavalry assault. There were too many regiments, fresh mingled with exhausted. The attack failed yet again.Ney now, far too late, launched the sustained infantry assault on La Haye Sante which was overwhelmed. By now the Prussian assault in the South East on Plancenoit was seriously threatening the French position.
Sure that the Allied line was at breaking point, Ney sent desperately to the Emperor for more troops to attack. Napoleon was at this point deploying the Guard to drive the Prussians back from Plancenoit. Once this had been achieved he resolved to launch the Guard at the main Allied line. By this time Wellington had reorganised his forces and the opportunity that Ney had, this time, correctly identified had passed.
The Guard marched up to La Haye Sante for the attack. There Napoleon stood aside and left the command to Ney. Ney led the five battalions up the left hand side of the Brussels road. As they climbed the ridge they came under fire from a curve of batteries assembled to meet them. A deserting French cavalry officer had warned of the Guard’s advance.
The Middle Guard threw back the British battalions of Halkett’s Brigade but were assaulted by the Belgian and Dutch troops of General Chassé and Colonel Detmers who drove them back down the hill.
The 3rd Regiment of Chasseurs approached the ridge opposite Maitland’s Brigade of Foot Guards (2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 1st Foot Guards). Wellington called to the brigade commander “Now Maitland. Now’s your time”. One authority had him as saying “Up Guards, ready”. The Foot Guards stood, fired a volley and charged with the bayonet driving the French Guard back down the hill.
The last of the French Guard regiments, the 4th Chasseurs came up in support as the British Guards withdrew back over the ridge.
Sir John Colborne brought the 52nd Foot round to outflank the French column as it passed his brigade, fired a destructive volley into the left flank of the Chasseurs and attacked with the bayonet. The whole of the Guard was driven back down the hill and began a general retreat to the cry of “La Garde recule”.
This map shows the battle at 8PM (it was June 18th, after all)
Some more tidbits:
- After the battle the 1st Foot Guards were given the title “the Grenadier Guards” to commemorate the regiment’s role in overthrowing the French Grenadiers of the Old Guard. All ranks were given the bearskin cap to wear.
- 14th Foot: The 3rd Battalion of the regiment fought at Waterloo. The battalion had been newly raised and was awaiting disbandment, having seen no service, when Napoleon escaped from Elba. The battalion crossed to Belgium and won the battle honour for the regiment. Most of the soldiers were under 20 years of age.
- The Emperor Napoleon, some years before Waterloo, presented to each of his marshals a silver snuff box. Marshal Ney’s snuffbox was looted from his carriage after the battle by a British officer. Some years later the snuffbox was presented to the officers of the 19th Foot, the Green Howards, who used it in their mess for formal occasions.
- The 27th Inniskilling Fusiliers, in the course of Ney’s cavalry attacks was bombarded by a French horse battery. By the end of the battle the battalion had suffered 478 casualties from a pre-battle strength of 750. An officer from a nearby battalion, Captain Kincaid, commented that the 27th seemed to be lying dead in its square. Kincaid, a veteran of the Peninsular War, said “I had never thought there would be a battle where everyone was killed. This seemed to be it.”
- The Duke of Wellington spent his early army service as the lieutenant colonel of the 33rd Foot. After the Duke’s death Queen Victoria permitted the 33rd to adopt the title “the Duke of Wellington’s”, a fitting attribution for one of the army’s most persistently successful regiments of foot.
- 79th Cameron Highlanders: As the French cavalry approached for the attack the regiment formed square. Piper Mackay marched around the square playing the pibroch “Peace or War”. The King subsequently presented Mackay with silver mounted pipes.
- In spite of their presence in the film “Waterloo”, the 88th Foot, Connaught Rangers, were not present at Waterloo. They were on the far side of the Atlantic fighting the Americans.
- The 95th had three battalions at Waterloo. After the battle the regiment was given the title of the “Rifle Brigade” in place of its number, which was reallocated to a newly raised infantry regiment.
- In the closing moments of the battle a cannon ball struck the Earl of Uxbridge as he rode with the Duke of Wellington. The Duke said “By God you’ve lost your leg.” The Earl said “By God, so I have.” The remains of the leg were amputated in a house nearby and the owner buried the leg in his garden where it was a place of interest for some years.
- Every year after 1815 the Duke of Wellington held a “Waterloo” banquet for his officers. The banquet is still held.