Two days before the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon sent Marshal Ney to engage Wellington and stop him meeting up with Blucher and his Prussians and to drive a wedge between the two forces if possible. Ney engaged Wellington at the cross roads of Quatre Bras, but delayed in using his Superior numbers to good effect, allowing Wellington to re-enforce his meager holding force and a full scale battle developed.
Due to the undulating ground and high crops of the area, many Battalions were leapt on by squadrons of cavalry before they could form their defensive squares. Most were simply ridden into the ground but the brave, hard fighting men of 'Blackwatch' managed to fight back to back and hold off the attacks. By the end of the murderous day, some 300 officers and men of the 42nd lay dead. Never was a regiment more deserving of being singled out for praise than the 42nd in Wellington's report that day.