Long, Robert Ballard (DNB00)

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LONG, ROBERT BALLARD (1771–1825), lieutenant-general, one of the six children of Edward Long [q. v.], the historian of Jamaica, born at Seale, Surrey, 4 April 1771, was educated at Harrow School and at the university of Göttingen. On 4 May 1791 he was appointed cornet in the 1st king's dragoon guards, in which corps he became lieutenant in April and captain in November 1793. He served with his regiment in Flanders under the Duke of York in 1793-1794, and was deputy adjutant-general to General Sir George Don [q. v.] in the winter retreat to Germany in 1794-5. He returned home from Cuxhaven in January 1796, and after serving as brigade-major and aide-de-camp to General Sir William Pitt at Portsmouth, he obtained a majority in the York rangers, and was appointed lieutenant-colonel of Hompesch's mounted riflemen 7 Feb. 1798. He commanded that regiment in Ireland in 1798 when it was employed under General (Sir John) Moore in Wexford. In 1800 he was transferred to the York hussars, a very fine corps of foreign cavalry, which he commanded, chiefly at Weymouth, until it was disbanded at the peace at Amiens (cf. G. R. Gleig, The Hussar). After studying at the senior department Royal Military College, Great Marlow, Long was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the 16th light dragoons, whence he was transferred in December 1805 to the 15th light dragoons, of which Ernest, duke of Cumberland, afterwards Ernest I of Hanover [q. v.], was colonel. Under Long's command the regiment was converted in 1806 into a hussar corps. The scarlet cloth shako, long a distinctive headdress of the regiment, was copied from the York hussars. Long was appointed colonel on the staff in Spain in 1808. He landed 15 Jan. 1809 at Corunna, the night before the battle, at which he was present, but held no command. He was adjutant-general to Lord Chatham at Walcheren in the same year. In 1810 he joined Wellington's army in Portugal, with the rank of brigadier-general, and commanded a brigade of cavalry under General William Carr Beresford in the affairs of Campo Maior and Los Santos (Gurwood, iv. 720, 775), and under Sir Rowland Hill in the operations of 1811-12 (ib. v. 61, 352, vii. 11; Suppl. Desp. xiii. 566, 619, 656). He commanded a brigade, composed of the 9th and 13th light dragoons, at the battle of Vittoria (gold medal) and in Hill's operations in the Pyrenees and the investment of Pampeluna (cf. ib. vii. 629, xiv. 203, 209, 216). He was recalled by orders from home contrary to his wishes, apparently to make way for a more favoured officer, and declined an offer of a command in Scotland.

Long appears to have had difficulties with Marshal Beresford when under his command in the Peninsula. Some years after Long's death his nephew, Charles Edward Long [q. v.], published two pamphlets, vindicating successfully his uncle's conduct, more particularly at Campo Maior, from strictures contained In Napier s 'History of the Peninsular War,' and in some letters of Lord Beresford (see Nav. and Mil. Gazette, April and 31 Aug. 1833).

After his return home Long became a major-general in 1811 and lieutenant-general in 1821. He was retained as a supernumerary lieutenant-colonel of the 15th hussars up to his death, which took place in Berkeley Square, London, 2 March 1825.

[Army Lists; Gurwood's Wellington Desp. vols. iv. v. vi.; Wellington Suppl. Desp. vols. vii. viii. xiii. xiv.; Cannon's Hist. Rec. 15th Hussars, also 9th Lancers and 13th Light Dragoons; Gent. Mag. 1813, i. 659, 1825, i. 373.]

H. M. C.