Peel was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade as a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1815. His later steady rise through the ranks was obtained by purchase. Peel served as a lieutenant in the 71st Highlanders from 1819 to 1821 and in the Grenadier Guards from 1822 to 1825, as a Major in the 69th Foot from 1826 to 1827, as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 53rd Foot in 1827, when he was placed on half-pay. He was promoted to brevet Colonel in 1841, to Major-General in 1854 and to Lieutenant-General in 1859.
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