Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Alison, Archibald

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ALISON, Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald, Bart., K.C.B., son of Sir Archibald Alison, the first baronet, author of "The History of Europe," was born at Edinburgh, Jan. 21, 1826, and received his education in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Entering the military service of his country in 1846, he became a captain in the 72nd Highlanders in 1853; brevet-major in 1856; lieutenant-colonel in 1858; and colonel in 1867. In the latter year he succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father. He served in the Crimea at the siege and fall of Sebastopol; in India, during the mutiny, as Military Secretary on the staff of the late Lord Clyde; and on the Gold Coast as Brigadier-General of the European Brigade, and second in command of the Ashantee Expedition in 1873–4. He commanded his brigade at the battle of Amoaful, the capture of Bequah, the action of Ordahsu, and the fall of Coomassie. He lost an arm at the relief of Lucknow. Sir Archibald was Deputy Adjutant-General in Ireland from Oct. 1874 to Oct. 1877, when he was promoted to the rank of Major-General. Subsequently he was appointed Chief of the Intelligence Department at the War Office. He commanded the 1st brigade, 2nd division, in the military expedition dispatched to Egypt in 1882. A few days after the bombardment of Alexandria by Sir Beauchamp Seymour a small body of British troops was landed (July 17), under the command of Sir Archibald Alison, who was, however, neither able nor authorized to strike a blow at Arabi's army. He confined his proceedings at first to occupying the line of railway which connected Alexandria with the suburb of Ramleh. At the decisive battle of Tel-el-Kebir he led the Highland brigade which fought so gallantly on that memorable occasion; and after Arabi's surrender a British army of occupation, consisting of 12,000 men, under the command of Sir Archibald Alison, was left in Egypt to restore order and to protect the Khedive. Sir Archibald was included in the thanks of Parliament for his energy and gallantry, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general (Nov. 1882). In May 1883, he was compelled by the state of his health to relinquish the command of the army of occupation in Egypt, and to return home. He published an able treatise, "On Army Organization," in 1869.