Military Wiki
For the Canadian parliamentarian see James Macdonnell (Canadian politician)

General Sir James Macdonnell, GCB, KMT, KCH (1781- 15 May 1857) was the third son of Duncan Macdonnell of Glengarry.

Military career

In 1794, he was a lieutenant in the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot; in 1795, he was Captain in the 17th Dragoons. He joined the 19th Foot in 1796; he was major in the 78th Foot, and was awarded the Army Gold Medal for Maida in 1806. He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1811 as a Lieutenant Colonel, and served in the Peninsular War.[1]

He is most famous for his command of the light troops defending Hougoumont at the battle of Waterloo, 1815, where he fought with great distinction, including leading the vital closing of the gates, with his sergeant, James Graham. He was wounded slightly in the battle.[2][3]

He commanded the Brigade of Guards in Canada from 1838 to 1841. He was promoted general in 1854.


He was awarded Order of the Bath, Knight's Cross of Maria Theresa, and Royal Guelphic Order for his service at Waterloo.

He was appointed Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath in 1855, Colonel-in-Chief of the 71st (Highland) Light Infantry.



  • Julian Paget & Derek Saunders (1992); Hougoumont: The Key to Victory at Waterloo; Pen and Sword Books (paperback 2001) ISBN 0-85052-716-3

External links

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