The American Sharpe

The Adventures of an American Officer of the 95th Rifles in the Peninsular and Waterloo Campaigns

Gareth Glover

* James Penman Gairdner from Charleston South Carolina went to Britain, against the wishes of his father, to join the 95th Rifles an elite regiment of the British Army. Sharpe's regiment.

* He served throughout the Peninsular war and the waterloo campaign seeing action at most of the major engagements and suffering a number of wounds.

* A previou
Date Published :
March 2017
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
16 high quality color prints
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848327771
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


Sharpe and his adventures has made the 95th Foot renowned again and the discovery of an unpublished diary by an American from Charleston South Carolina who served, despite his father’s objections, as an officer in this elite regiment has caused great excitement.

James Penman Gairdner was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but he was sent back to the ‘Old Country’ for his education, receiving his schooling at Harrow. After school, rather than joining his father’s merchant business he decided to become a soldier, receiving a commission in the famous 95th Rifles.

He subsequently served, without a break, from the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812 until the end of the war in 1814. He then fought in the Waterloo campaign and formed part of the Army of Occupation. He was wounded on three occasions.

Throughout his service he kept a journal, which he managed to maintain on almost a daily basis. This journal, along with a number of letters that he wrote to his family, have been edited by renowned historian Gareth Glover and are presented here to the public for the first time.

Readers will not find dramatic stories of great battles or adventurous escapades. Instead, Gairdner, details the everyday life of one of Wellington’s soldiers; one of marches and billets, of the weather, the places and the people of the Iberian Peninsula and of Paris and Occupied France – the real nature of soldering.

His diaries also highlight the very strange relationship between these newly independent Americans and the ‘Old Country’ they had so recently fought with; which even allowed for a true American boy to fight in the British Army, but not in America!

About The Author

Gareth Glover is a former Royal Navy officer and military historian who has made a special study of the Napoleonic Wars for the last 30 years.


“This chronicle of an American who fought for Britain gives a unique perspective on the Napoleonic Wars. It contains the author’s historical research mixed with Gairdner’s own words in the form of his diaries and writings and gives the reader a look at the conflict through the eyes of a junior officer.”

- Military Heritage, May 2017

“The real strength of American Sharpe lies in his stories of what life was like for an officer on active service… It has been a while since a new set of accounts by a member of 95th Rifles has been published. American Sharpe is a welcomed addition to the ranks of British primary sources! Highly recommended!”

- Robert Burnham, The Napoleon Series

More from this publisher