Lieutenant General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan KCB (16 October 1797 – 28 March 1868) was an officer in the British Army who commanded the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. He was reported to have been a man of, at times, extraordinary incompetence but generous to his men and genuinely brave. An arrogant aristocrat whose most notorious exploit took place during the Crimean War on 25 October 1854 when, in command of the Light Cavalry Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, he led the Charge of the Light Brigade reaching the Russian guns before returning, personally unscathed, in a manoeuvre that cost the lives of about 107 out of the 674 men under his command who took part in the charge (although others may have died of wounds later). The extent to which Lord Cardigan was to blame is unproven, since he attacked only after expressing his doubts and receiving a direct order in front of the troops from his immediate superior Lord Lucan, commander of the Cavalry Division. The two men were barely on speaking terms as Lucan was married to one of Cardigan’s sisters and, as Cardigan believed, did not treat her well. The order had been conveyed by Captain Louis Nolan, who died in the charge, and both Lucan and Cardigan blamed him for passing on the order incorrectly. Cardigan’s first action on his return from the charge was to report the undisciplined behaviour of Captain Nolan (whom he did not know to be dead) in riding ahead of him at the start of the attack.