Upon being appointed one of The Duke of Wellington's senior commanders in the Peninsular War, General Sir William Erskine had alread been confined to a lunatic asylum twice. When Wellington objected to the appointment, the Military Secretary replied:
"No doubt he is a little mad at times, but in his lucid intervals he is an uncommonly clever fellow; and I trust that he will have no fit during the campaign, though I must say he looked a little mad as he embarked."
That was not all however; Erskine's eyesight was so bad that in battle he needed someone to point out to him which direction the enemy was. In the battle of Sabugal in 1811 he managed to send his troops in the wrong direction and during the siege of Almeida he was having a dinner party and simply forgot to dispatch his troops until it was too late.

After a nervous breakdown he eventually committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1813. His last words, while lying in the street, was "Why on earth did I do that?".

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.