In the town of Sleaford, he recruited two old soldiers - Sharpe and Harper - who were trying to locate the lost 2nd battalion of the South Essex to make up the depredations of the 1st, and traveling under the names of Dick Vaughn and Paddy O'Keefe. He tried to recruit Harper on the strength of the man's own fame for capturing a French Eagle, telling him the South Essex was a great unit for the Irish. He went on to say he knew Sharpe when he was still in the ranks, and was more like a mentor than a sergeant to him. He, of course, knew neither man.
Havercamp was a skilled huckster and was usually successful, he also often emptied the local jails of minor offenders to add to his roster.
Once Sharpe and Harper revealed themselves, he happily told them all he knew of the crimping operation at the camp in Foulness, including the fact that he took a profit of about four pounds a week from cheating the recruits of their pay.
He told Sharpe he was a recruiting sergeant and a good one, so why would he be any good shipped off to Spain. Sharpe allowed that, and Havercamp remained a recruiting sergeant, his profits cut to only two fictional bounty jumpers a week.