« ZurückWeiter »
consisting of the brigade of guards, the THI CHE campaign of the British army in 4th, 43d, and goth regiments, under
Spain has terminated, not without Lord William Bentinck. Here Sir Jobu honour to themselves, but without afford. Moure and Sir David Baird were both Ing those advantages to the cause of the in person. The enemy were repulsed, Spaniards, that were reasonably looked and disappointed likewise in their at: for at its commencement. The successo tempt to tarn that wing. Sir David sive defeats unfortunately sustained by Baird was wounded, early in the action, the Spanish armies, while the British in the left arm, and obliged to quit the were marching to their assistance, left field. Immediate amputation was nethe latter entirely to their own resour. cessary, but he is doing well. Some time ces, and gave the enemy an opportu. after, Sir John Moore was struck on the nity of directing his whole force against shoulder by an almost spent cannon-ball. them. It became therefore necessary He was immediately removed into the for the British General to lose no time town, where he died about 12 o'clock in securing his retreat ;-the more es. at night. The command then devolved pecially as the army stores were greatly upon General Hope. The enemy, dis. exhausted, and the country destitute of appointed in their attempts upon the all kinds of subsistence for man or beast. right wing, attacked the centre, but
On the 30th of December, the army were equally repulsed in that quarter; began to move in divisions from Astor. . their last attempt was upon the left, in ga, and on the uth of Jan. the whole which they also failed. Our troops reached Corunna, after a very rapid but then prepared to charge with their bay, masterly retreat; but unfortunately the onets. But the French would not stand transports were detained by cross winds, the charge, but instantly fied, and did and did not get round till the evening not attempt to molest our army for 14 of the 13th, and every thing was pre- hours after. The embarkation then pared to begin the embarkation next commenced, and all the troops were got day. A hundred more transports arri. on board the transports and the ships of ved on the 14th, and the rest on the war without any further loss. The ar15th. Meanwhile the enemy, who, in tillery was also shipped, but most of the consequence of this delay, had time to horses were slaughtered, and great part come up in force, were seen upon the of the baggage left behind. heights making preparations to attack The following official dispatches on us, and on Sunday the 15th they sent this subject were published in a London forward their advanced guard to harrass Gazette extraordinary of January 25. us with skirmishes under the walls, and
Downing - Street, Jan, 24. the whole of Sunday was one continued skirmish. Sir John Moore, aware of
The Hon. Capt, Gordon arrived late the intentions of the enemy, and con
last night with a dispatch from Lieut.. vinced that the embarkation could not
Gen. Sir David Baird to Lord Viscount be completed without an action, pre: cipal Secretaries of State, of which the
Castlereagh, one of his Majesty's Prinpared for it, and drew up bis force un. der the walls fronting the enemy's po. following is a copy : sition. On Monday the 16th, the ene His Majesty's ship Ville de Paris, at sea, my having received very considerable
January 18. reinforcements, descended from the My LORD, heights to attack us. Their number is By the much-lamented death of Lieusupposed to have been 30,000, while the tenant Gen. Şir John Moore, who fell British forces opposed to them did not in an action with the enemy on the 16th exceed 13,000, or 14,000. The first at. inst. it has become my duty to acquaint tack was upon the British right wing, your Lordship, that the French army
attacked the British troops in the posi- Commander of the forces, and by your. tion they occupied in front of Corunna, self, at the head of the 42d regiment, at about two o'clock in the afternoon and the brigade under Major-Gen. Lord of that day.
William Bentinck.—The village on your A severe wound, which compelled right became an object of obstinate conme to quit the field a short time pre. test. vious to the fall of Sir John Moore, ob I lament to say, that soon after the liges me to refer your Lordship for the severe wound which deprived the army particulars of the action, which was long of your services, Lieut. Gen. Sir Jobn and obstinately contested, to the enclo Moore, who had just directed the most sed report of Lieut. Gen. Hope, who able dispositions, fell by a cannun-shot. succeeded to the command of the army, The troops, though not unacquainted and to whose ability and exertions, in with the irreparable loss they had susdirection of the ardent zeal and uncon- tained, were not dismayed, but, by the querable valour of his Majesty's troops, most determined bravery, not only reis to be attributed, under Providence, pelled every attempt of the enemy to the success of the day, which termina: gain ground, but actually forced him to ted in the complete and entire repulse retire, although he had brought up fresh and defeat of the enemy at every point troops in support of those originally enof attack.
gaged. The Hon. Capt. Gordon, my Aid-de. The enemy, findiag himself foiled in camp, will have the honour of deliver- every attempt to force the right of the ing this dispatch, and will be able to position, endeavoured by numbers to give your Lordship any further informa turn it. A judicious and well-timed tion which may be required.
movement, which was made by MajorI have the honour to be, &c. General Pager with the reserve, which
D. BAIRD, Lieut. Gen. corps had moved out of its cantonments LETTER Gen. Hope to Sir D. Bairdo vigorous attack defeated this intention.
to support the right of the army, by a His Majesty's ship Audacious, off Corunna, The Major-General having pushed forJan. 18.
ward the 95th (rifle corps) and ist bat. SIR,
talion 52d regiment, drove the enemy In compliance with the desire con before him, and in his rapid and judici. tained in your communication of yester. ous advance threatened the left of the day, I avail myself of the first moment enemy's position. This circumstance, I have been able to command, to detail with the position of Lieut. Gen. Fraser's to you the occurrences of the action division (calculated to give still further which took place in front of Corunna on security to the right of the line), indu. the 16th inst.
ced the enemy to relax his efforts in that It will be in your recollection, that, quarter. about one in the afternoon of that day, They were, however, more forcibly the enemy, who had in the morning re. directed towards the centre, where they ceived reinforcements, and who had pla were again successfully resisted by the ced some guns in front of the right brigade under Major-General Manningand left of his line, was observed to be ham, forming the left of your division, moving troops towards his left flank, and a part of that under Major-General and forming various columns of attack Leith, forming the right of the division at that extremity of the strong and under my orders. Upon the left, the commanding position which, on the enemy at first contented himself with an
morning of the 15th, he had taken in attack upon our piquets, which, howe . our immediate front.
ever, in general maintained their ground. This indication of his intention was Finding, however, his efforts unavailing immediately succeeded by the rapid and on the right and centre, he seemed den determined attack which he made upon termined to render the attack upon the your division, which occupied the right leít more serious, and had succeeded in of our position. The events which oc- obtaining possession of the village thro' curred during that period of the action which the great road to Madrid passes, you are fully acquainted with. The and which was situated in front of that first effort of the enemy was met by the part of the line. Froin this post how, Feb. 1809.
ever, he was soon expelled with consi. whole of the army were embarked with derable loss, by a gallant attack of some an expedition which has seldum been companies of the 2d battalion 14th re- equalled. With the exception of the giment, under Lieut. Col. Nicholls; be. brigades under Major. Generals Hill and fore five in the evening, we had not on. Beresford, which were destined to rely successfully repelled every attack main on shore, until the movements of made upon the position, but gained the enemy should become manifest, the ground in almost all points, and occu. whole was afloar before day-light. pied a more forward line than at the The brigade of Major-General Beres. commencement of the action, whilst the ford, which was alternately to form our enemy confined his operations to a can rear-guard, occupied the land front of nonade, and the fire of the light troops, the town of Corunna; that under Ma. with a view to draw off his other corps. jor-Gen. Hill was stationed in reserve At six the firing entirely ceased. The on the promontory in the rear of the different brigades were reassembled on town. the ground they occupied in the morn The enemy pushed his light troops ing, and the piquets and advanced posts towards the town soon after three o'. resumed their original stations.
clock in the morning of the 17th, and Notwithstanding the decided supe. shortly after occupied the heights of St riority which at this moment the gal. Lucia, which command the harbour. lantry of the troops had given them oo But notwithstanding this circumstance, ver an enemy, who, from his number, and the manifold defects of the place, and the commanding advantages of his there being no apprehension that the position, no doubt expected an easy vic: rear-guard could be forced, and the dis. tory, I did not, on reviewing all cir. position of the Spaniards appearing to cumstances, conceive that I should be be good, the embarkation of Major-Gewarranted in departing from what I neral Hill's brigade was commenced and knew was the fixed and previous deter- completed by three in the afternoon, mination of the late Commander of the Major-Gen. 'Beresford, with that zeal forces, to withdraw the army on the e and ability which is so well known to vening of the 16th, for the purpose of yourself and the whole army, having embarkation, the previous arrangements fully explained, to the satisfaction of the for which had already been made by his Spanish Governor, the nature of our order, and were in fact far advanced at movement, and having made every prethe commencement of the action. The vious arrangement, withdrew his corps troops quitted their position about ten from the land front of the town soon af. at night, with a degree of order that did ter dark, and was, with all the wounded them credit. The whole of the artillery that had not been previously moved, that remained unembarked having been embarked before one this morning, withdrawn, the troops followed in the Circumstances forbid us to indulge the order prescribed, and marched to their hope, that the victory with which it has respective points of embarkation in the pleased Providence to crown the efforts town and neighbourhood of Corunna. of the army, can be attended with any The piquets remained at their posts un very brilliant consequences to Great -zil five on the morning of the 17th, when Britain. It is clouded by the loss of they were also withdrawn with similar one of her best soldiers. It has been orders, and without the enemy having atchieved at the termination of a long discovered the movement.
and harrassing service. The superior By the unremitted exertions of Cap. numbers and advantagevus position of tains the Hon. H. Curzon, Gosselin, the enemy, not less than the actual si. Boys, Rainier, Serret, Hawkins, Digby, tuation of this army, did not admit of Carden, and Mackenzie, of the Royal any advantage being reaped from sucnavy, who, in pursuance of the orders It must be, however, to you, to of Rear Admiral de Courcy, were in- the army, and to our country, the sweet. trusted with the service of embarking est reflecrion that the lustre of the Brithe army; and in consequence of the tish arms has been maintained, amidst arrangements made by Commissioner many disadvantageous circumstances, Bowen, Captains Bowen and Shepherd, The army which had entered Spain, a: and the other agents for transports, the midst the fairęst prospects, had no soon,
er completed its junction, than, owing to action, for a zealous offer of his person-
not exceed in killed and wounded from You are well aware with what, dili. 700 to 800; that of the enemy must regence this system has been pursued. main unknown, but many circumstan
These circumstances produced the ces induce me to rate it at nearly dounecessity of rapid and harrassing march- ble the above number. We have some es, which had diminished the numbers, prisoners, but I have not been able to exhausted the strength, and impaired obtain an account of the number; it is the equipment of the army. Not with not, however, considerable. Several ofstanding all these disadvantages, and ficers of rank have fallen, or been woundthose more immediately attached to a ed, among whom I am only at present defensive position, which the imperious enabled to state the names of Lieut." necessity of covering the harbour of Col. Napier, 92d regiment, Majors NaCorunna for a time had rendered impos- pier, and Stanlıope, soth regiment, kill. sible to assume, the native and undaun. ed; Lieut.-Col. Winch, 4th regiment, ted valour of British troops was never Lieut. Col. Maxwell, 26th regiment, more conspicuous, and must have ex Lieut.-Col. Fane, soth regiment, Lieut.ceeded what even your own experience Colonel Griffith, Guards, Majors Miller of that invaluable quality, so inherent and Williams, 81st regiment, wounded. in them, might have taught you to ex To you, who are well acquainted pect. When every one that had an op. with the excellent qualities of Lieut.portunity seemed to vie in improving Gen. Sir John Moore, I need not expait, it is difficult for me, in making this tiate on the loss the army and his counreport, to select particular instances for try have sustained by his death. His your approbation. The corps chiefly fall has deprived me of a valuable friend, engaged were the brigades under Ma- to whom long experience of his worth jor-Generals Lord William Bentinck, had sincerely attached me. But it is Manningham, and Leith ; and the brio chiefly on public grounds that I must gade of Guards, under Major-General lament the blow. It will be the conWarde.
versation of every one who loved or reTo these officers, and the troops un spected his manly character, that, after der their immediate orders, the greatest conducting the army through an ardupraise is due. Major-Generals Hill and ous retreat with consummate firmness, Catlin Crawfurd, with their brigades on he has terminated a career of distinguishthe left of the position, ably supported ed bonour by a death that has given the their advanced posts. The brunt of the enemy additional reason to respect the action fell upon the 4th, 42d, and goth, name of a British soldier. Like the and sist regiments, with parts of the immortal Wolfe, he is snatched from his brigade of Guards, and the 26th regi- country at an early period of a life spent ment. From Lieutenant-Col. Murray, in her service; like Wolfe, his last nioQuarter-Master-General, and the offi ments were gilded by the prospect of cers of the General Staff, I received the success, and cheered by the acclamamost marked assistance. I had reason tions of victory; like Wolfe also, his to regret, that the illness of Brigadier- memory will for ever remain sacred in General Clinton, Adjutant-General, de- that country which he sincerely loved, prived me of his aid. I was indebted and which he had so faithfully served. to Brigadier-General Slade, during the It remains for me only to express my
hope, that you will speedily be restur- o'clock at night; that Sir Dav. Baird lost ed to the service of your country, and an arm ; that several officers and many to lament the unfortunaie circumstance men have been killed and wounded; that removed you from your station in and that the shups of war have received the field, and threw the momentary all such of the latter as they could accommand into far less able hands. 1 commodate, the remainder being sent to have the honour to be, &c.
The weather is now tempestuous, John Hope, Lieut. Gen.
and the difficulties of the embarkation Admiralty-Office, Jan. 24. 1809.
are great. All except the rear guard Copy of a letter from the Hon. Mi.
are embarked, consisting perhaps, at
the present moment, of 2600 men. The chael De Courcy, Rear-Admiral of the White, to the Hon. William Wellesley overhanging ihe beach, have forced the
enemy having brought cannon to a hill Pole, dated on board his Majesty's ship the Tonnant, at Corunna, the 17th and majority of the transports to cut or slip.
Embarkation being no longer practica18th instant.
ble at the town, the boats have been orJanuary 17, 1809. dered to a sandy beach near the lightSIR-Having it in design to dispatch house ; and it is hoped the greater part, the Cossack to England as soon as her if not all, will still be embarked, the boats shall cease to be essential to the ships of war having dropped out to faembarkation of the troops, I seize a mo. cilitate the embarkation. ment to acquaint you, for the informa.
January 18th. tion of the Lords Commissioners of the The embarkation of the troops hav. Admiralty, that the ships of war, Ville ing occupied the greater part of last de Paris, Victory, Barfleur, Zealous, night, it has not been in my power to Implacable, Elizabeth, Norge, Plantas detach the Cossack before this day ; genet, Resolution, Audacious, Endy, and it is with satisfaction I am able to mion, Mediator, and transports, under add, that, in consequence of the good the orders of Rear.Admiral Sir Samuel order maintained by the troops, and the Hood and Commissioner Bowen, arriv, unwearied exertions of Commissioner ed at this anchorage from Vigo on the Buwen, the Captains and other officers 34th and 15th inst. The Alfred and of the navy, the agents, as well as the Hindostan, with some transports, were boat's crews, many of whom were for left at Vigo to receive a brigade of three two days without food and without reChousand five hundred men, that had pose, the army have been embarked to taken that route under Generals Alten the last man, and the ships are now in and Crawford.
the offing, preparatory for steering to In the vicinity of Corunna the enemy England. have pressed upon the British in great The great body of the transports bav. force. The embarkation of the sick, the ing lost their anchors, ran to sea withcavalry, and the stores went on. The out the troops they were ordered to renight of the 16th was appointed for the ceive, in consequence of which there general em barkation of the infantry; are some thousands on board the ships and, mean time, the enemy prepared of war. Several transports, through misfor attack. At three P. M. an action management, ran on shore. The sea. cominenced; the enemy, which had men appear to have abandoned them, been posted on a lofty hill, endeavour- two being brought out by the boat's ing to force the Brix.sh on another hill crew of the men of war, two were burnt, of inferior height, and nearer the town. and five were bilged.
The enemy were driven back with I cannot conclude this hasty stategreat slaughter; but very sorry am I to ment, without expressing my great obadd, that the British, though trium ligations to Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel phant, have suffered severe losses. I am Hood, whose eye was every where, and unable to communicate further particu. whose exertions were unremitted. Jars, than that Sir John Moore received I have the honour to be, &c. a mortal wound, of which he died at 12
M, DE COURCY.