In 1815 he commanded the Dutch and Belgian contingents, and won high commendations for his courage and conduct at the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, at the latter of which he was wounded.
His earliest poem is the Livre des quatre dames, written after the battle of Agincourt.
His education was begun at the College des Quatre Nations, where he obtained a smattering of the classics; but, his artistic talent being already obvious, he was soon placed by his guardian in the studio of Francois Boucher.
Instead of drawing his corps together and retreating en masse up the Fleurus road, Zieten wisely withdrew on two roads, using those to Quatre Bras and Fleurus.
Prince Bernard, in command of a brigade at Quatre Bras and Frasnes, recognizing the pressing danger that threatened on the Brussels road, retained his position there to check the French advance, instead of drawing off westwards and massing with the rest of his division at Nivelles; and in this action he was firmly supported by his immediate superiors.