At Waterloo he was wounded in the right arm and had to undergo amputation, but he quickly learned to write with his left hand, and on the conclusion of the war resumed his duties as secretary to the embassy at Paris. From 1818 to 1820, and again in 1826–29, he sat in the British House of Commons as member for Truro. In 1819 he was appointed secretary to the Duke of Wellington as master-general of the ordnance, and from 1827 till the death of the duke in 1852 was military secretary to him as commander-in-chief. He was then appointed Master-General of the Ordnance, a Privy Counsellor (16 October 1852) and was created Baron Raglan (20 October 1852).General and appointed to the command of the British troops sent to the Crimea in co-operation with a strong French army under Marshal St Arnaud and afterwards, up to May 1855, under Marshal Canrobert. Here his diplomatic experience stood him in good stead in dealing with the generals and admirals, British, French and Turkish, who were associated with him; however, the trying winter campaign of the Crimean War showed that becoming a General was a step too far for Raglan.
Lord Raglan and his staff were at the time blamed by the press and the government for the hardships and sufferings of the British soldiers in the terrible Crimean winter before the Siege of Sevastopol, owing to shortages of food and clothing. Lord Raglan was to blame not only for representing matters in a too sanguine light, but also refusing to purchase supplies of wood from the Ottomans to be used for making floors for the tented buildings of the British camp and also to allow the troops to light fires, essential in the bitter damp winter. During this unhealthy winter, the British contingent had 23,000 men unfit for duty due to ill health and only 9,000 fit for duty.
It was afterwards suggested that the chief neglect rested with the home authorities, and indeed the appalling logistical support from England no doubt exacerbated an already poor situation, but the chief cause of the problems is without doubt the wholesale incompetence of the British command on the scene of battle.
His failure to give coherent or timely commands on the field of battle led to numerous mistakes, and his blind ignorance of the growing rivalry between the Earl of Lucan and the Earl of Cardigan would have tragic consequences in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade. At Balaklava and Inkerman he displayed a complete lack of any tactical acumen, sending small British units against large Russian contingents; on several occasions this resulted in the complete destruction of the British units. Despite this lack of competence on his part, the battle resulted in an Allied victory, and he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.
During the trying winter of 1854–55, the suffering he was compelled to witness, the censures which he had to endure, and all the manifold anxieties of the siege seriously undermined his health, and although he found a friend and ardent supporter in his new French colleague, General Pélissier, disappointment at the failure of the assault of 18 June 1855 finally broke his spirit, and very shortly afterwards, on July 9, he died of dysentery. His body was brought home and interred at Badminton.
Lord Raglan had two sons:
There is a blue plaque outside his house in Stanhope Gate, London W1.