« ZurückWeiter »
the respect of the soldiers placed under and the interest of truth were so nearly his command, but to rob him of that connected, that they could not be sepa. confidence which his Majesty had been rated; nor should he enter into any pleased to repose in him. The object details which could not regularly como of this paragraph was to defame his before this tribunal. character, and to rescue that of a more He was extremely happy that he was favoured Officer ; but, in what he was placed in the situation in which he now about to say on the subject, he was far stood ; but if any individual had chosen from wishing to shrink from the respon. to prefer specific charges against him, sibility, and still less to disclaim the he had no doubt but he could have jussbare he had in making an armistice, tified his conduct with regard to the which, in the event, the more it was transactions in Portugal; and there was considered, the more it would be ap- not a single officer of whose services his proved.
Majesty had been deprived by him with [Sir Hew Dalrymple here read the a view to the present investigation. paragraph to which he alluded-insinu- Sir Arthur Wellesley hoped, that in deating that he (Sir Hew) had torn the livering in his narrative to the Board, he laurels from the brow of an Officer should be justified in making a few ob(Sir A. Wellesley) who had deserved servations upon what had fallen from the admiration of his country for a Sir Hew Dairymple. Certain paragraphs splendid victory ; and that he compel. had appeared in the newspapers, which led that same Officer to sign an armi- had ventured to speak upon his conduct stice which would for ever remain on in the late transactions in Portugal, as if record as a disgrace to his Majesty's the writers of them had received any arms.]
authority or information from him or Sir Hew Dalrymple begged leave most from his friends, as to the truth of the solemnly to affirm, on the word and facts there stated. He had never au. honour of an officer, that the conference thorized any person connected with with General Kellerman, which lasted him in the service, or any of his friends, from two o'clock in the day, till nine to give an authority to publishers of at night, on the 22d of August, was newspapers to state that he was compelcarried on by Sir A. Wellesley, Sir H. Jed, or even ordered, to sign the armisBurrard, and himself ; during the whole tice in question. of which Sir A. Wellesley made what Sir Arthur Wellesley then delivered in observations be thought proper upon his statement, and the Court adjourned the treaty, and took that prominent at a quarter before four o'clock till Sapart in the discussion which the victory turday. he had recently gained, and the local
Third day, November 19. knowledge he possessed of the country, seemed to justify. The conference was The Judge Advocate rose, and was held in the French language ; and when about to read some documentary evihe (Sir H. D.) advanced to the table, dence he held in his hand, when in order to place his signature to the ar- Sir Arthur Wellesley observed, that as mistice, he was informed by Gen. Kel. he was not prepared to answer the statelerman, that he, as a General of Divi. ment made by Sir Hew Dalrymple on sion, was unable to treat with the Com, Thursday, so explicitly as he could have mander in Chief of the British forces; wished at the moment, he entreated perand, therefore, it was proposed that Sir mission now to give that answer, and A. Wellesley should place his name to that the same might be considered as a the armistice, and Sir H. Dalrymple did document in the Board's proceedings.not recollect that a single objection was Sir Arthur then tendered a paper to the at that time made by Sir Arthur to the President, who signified the propriety provisions of the treaty, excepting so of his first reading it aloud to the Board. far as related to the duration of the ar- Sir Arthur immediately acquiesced, and mistice. Şir Hew Dalrymple did not the contents of the statement were to mean, upon any account, to avail bim- the following effect :-"I cannot but self of any other means of retrieving his lament with Sir Hew Dalrymple that character than what the established laws any attempts should have been made, of the country allowed ; his interest, through the medium of the public prints,
to wound his feelings or injure his repu. A variety of other documents were then tation; but I have also cause to com- read; some addresses from the Portuguese plain, as well as the Commander in expressed satisfaction at the removal of the Chies, and I do solemnly protest, that I French from Portugal, and others protested never authorised any publisher, nor did in the strongest terms against the articles any of my frieods authorise any publish of the convention. er to state that I had been compelled
to evidence, Sir Arthur Wellesley rose, and
After the conclusion of the documentary sign the treaty of armistice by the or- read a narrative of the proceedings from ders of my superior officer. It is true the time that he took the command of the I was present when the terms of that army. Sir Arthur sailed from Cork on the armistice were discussed with Gen.
12th July, landed ac Corunna on the 30th; Kellerman, and it is also true that I heard there of the defeat of the Spaniards took part in that discussion ; but I never at Rio Seco; had frequent conferences with did, nor ever will say, that I signed it the Junta of Gallicia, offered them the asby the order of my superior officer, and sistance of his army, but was expressly told that it was not in my power to disobey. that they did not want men, but money, At the same time I must state, that I arms, and ammunition, and that the most did differ in more points than one, res.
valuable service that he could render to pecting that armistice, but I fully con
Spain would be to drive the French from curred in the principle and the necessity Portugal. After leaving Corunna, he went of the French evacuating Portugal.- Portugueze force consisted of about 6000
to Oporto, learnt from the Bishop that the When I spoke of the Commissariat be. regulars and militia, about 1500 scatrered ing ill compused, I had no intention
over the country, and 1500 Spaniards. The whatever of casting a reflection upon Bishop promised mules for the conveyance any persons employed in that important of the artillery and ammunition waggons. department of the army, and it was not Sir Arthur next visited Sir C. Cotton, so my wish that my remarks ou that oc. consult with him on the means of entering casion should go forth to the public. the Tagus, and attacking the forts in the My motive for giving this explanation vicinity of Lisbon. When there, he receiis to remove the impression, if any has
ved a letter from General Spencer off Cabeen made, that I eant to reflect on
diz, intimating that he waited his orders the individuals connected with the de- ohject was to drive the French from Por
It being Sir Arthur's opinion that the first partment in question.”.
tugal, and understanding that the Junta of Sir Arthur having finished his state- Seville did not think Gen. Spencer's prement, the paper. was handed in, and
sence absolutely necessary to the operations placed before the Members of the Board. in Andalusia, he ordered the General to
The judge Advocate then read some join him. He was at first informed that dispatches from Sir.Heu Dalrymple to the French force in Portugal was about Lord Castlereagh; one duted ihe 3d of 16,000 or 17,000 men, of which about September, was published in the Ga- 14,000 were in Lisbon and the forts in the -zeite ; others stating, that the terms of neighbourhood, and the remainder disperthe armistice. bad been communicated to
sed in small garrisons in the different strong the Portuguese General, and who had places; but he afterwards learnt that they
were nearly 24,000. In these circumstannot objected to them until after the con
ces, he conceived that it would be extreme. clusion of the negociation, and the con- ly dangerous to attempt a landing in any - vention had been signed. "A letter in of the small bays to the nor:h of the TaFrench, from the Portuguese General, gus, where he would be immediately ex. objecting to the terms of the convention, posed to an attack fron the main body of and an answer from Sir Hew Dalrym. the French army. He therefore resolved ple, stating, that the good faith of the on landing at Mondego Bay, where he country was pledged to carry these con- could speedily co-operate with the Portuditions in to effect. Some other letters gueze force which had proceeded to Coimwere also read relating to points of detail. bra. When off the Bay, he was informed, · In one of these letters, Sir Hew Dal: by a letter from Lord Castlereagh, tha:
5000 men under General Anstruther, and rymple expresses his surprise that so
above 10,000 more under Sir John Moore, Jarge a sum as 40,cool. mentioned in the were proceeding to join him. He also heard protest, should have been carried off, of Duponr's defeat, and that Loison, with and declares his intention of ordering 4000 or 5000 French, had been detached to restitution:
che province of Alentejo, to suppress an iffsurrection in the south of Portugal. The hausted; when the troops halted more than landing in Mondego Bay was effected on one day in a place, and latterly a sufficient the 5th, with considerable difficulty. Ge. supply could not be obtained; and it was peral Spencer landed on the 7th and 8th. also soon found, that without killing the Having ascertained the enemy's force, he draught bullocks in the country people's wrole a letter to Sir H. Burrard, with a carts, the supply of cattle was not sufficient plan of operations for the corps that he was in Portugal for a large army. In fact, beto bring into Portugal, and on the 9th the fore Sir Arthur quitted the ariny, more advanced guard of the army marched for than half the food was in salt provisions, ward towards Lisbon. On that day he and afterwards, he believes, the whole. Sir heard of Joseph Bonaparte having left Arthur believed the expulsion of the French Madrid, and of the probability of Marshal from Portugal to be an object of the highBessieres making an irruption into the north est importance to the Spanish nation. of Portugal. It was necessary to gain some Captain Malcolm, of the Donegal, des iinporcant advantages before this plan should scribed the dangerous nature of the coast, be effected, and the army continued its and the extreme difficulties of the debarkmarch. The Portugueze Generals soon ation. Many of the transports were insufdemanded to be supplied with provisions ficient ; out of 200, 60 lost their anchors'
: ; from the British stores, which it was im- and cables, and had the hard weather conpossible to comply with. The Portugueze tinued, the whole must have gone to the separated, and continued to remain separate bottom ; about 20 fat bottomed boats were from the British till after the 22d of Au- lost, and seven or eight men drowned. gust. Sir Arthur did every thing to induce
Sir Hew Dalrymple then came forward. them to co operate; he demanded only a reinforcement of 1000 infantry, 400 light and read his narrative of the operations troops, and 200 cavalry, and promised that of the army under his command. On they should receive provisions from the the i5th of July, he received dispatches British stock ; but even to this the Porcus announcing his appointment to the chief gueze General would not consent ! We command of the armies in Spain and have then the battle of Roleia, with á re. Portugal, with instructions, not only to ference to the Gazette for particulars. Be: expel the French from Portugal, but to fore that action, Sir Arthur had thought of cut off their retreat from Spain, with an attacking the Freuch posts upon the coast, outline of measures to be pursued when but being so miserably disappointed of the these objects were accomplished. Ora Portugueże co-operation, and having wit. Bessed the gallantry of the French in the embarking on the 13th of August, he action of the 17th, he resolved to change his
was informed by Lord Collingwood of plan, and to make towards the French po
the French having abandoned Madrid, sițion of 'Torres Vedras. General Anstru: probably with a view to more active other's force landed on the 20th. We have perations in conjunction with Bessieres then the battle of Vimiera, with a reference He also heard of the landing of Sir Ar. to the Gazette for particulars, and with it thur Wellesley in Mondego Bay. On terminated Sir Arthur's cuaimand, and of the 19th he had an interview with Adcourse his narrative ends.
miral Cotton, who informed him that Fourth day, Nov. 21.–Answers were read to a number of questions in writing the coast, and that he relied chiefly on
Sir A. Wellesley was proceeding along given in to Sir Arthur Wellesley by the President, in which there is nothing of the victualling transports for provisions. importance. Lord Moira asked whether The Admiral thought lightly of the Sir Arthur thought the force under his French force at Lisbon, but Sir Hew command sufficient to drive the French did not think with him. He also refrom Lisbon and the forts on the Tagus? solved to land' at Mondego Bay, but The answer was in the affirmative. His not to interfere with the plans of Sir Lordship then asked to what extent pro. Arthur in that separate command for visions had been supplied by the country, which he had been selected, as he had and whether it could have afforded a suf- been recommended to his particular ficiency for the wants of the army, if means confidence ; great confidence was ex. had been employed to collect them? Sir Arthur replied, that no exertions would pressed in his well known talents, and have drawn from the Portugueze a supply
a sort of wish was expressed that every of bread sufficieat for the army. The attention which the rules of the service country afforded no provisions but beef and would allow, should be paid to his ad. winc ; of these there was at first abundance, vice and opinion. On learning that Sir but wine was afterwards frequently ex- H. Burrard had taken the command of
the army, he landed on the 22d, pertect possible, as many of the artillery horses ly ignorant of the state of the Portu- were insufficient ; and if it had been regueže insurgents, their numbers, discip. solved on to attack the enemy, the Bri. line, and efficiency, and had shortly af- tish army must have been confined to a ter an interview with Sir Arthur Wel. position near the sea, to ensure the lesley. He found the army in the same junction of Sir John Moore. (Some position that it occupied the day before, uninteresting conversation with a Porand his first order was for it to move for. tugueze General respecting the armi. ward. He knew not why other officers stice is then detailed.) On the 24th thought that, if the army had advanced Col. Murray returned from Sir C. Cor. on the 21st, the result of the action ton, and was sent off to Lisbon to rewould have been more important; it port the Admiral's objection to the arwas true that the French had lost more ticle respecting the Russian feet. The men than we in the battle of Vimiera; French Commander agreed that the ar. but the great loss which we sustained ticle should be expunged. On the 29th in our very small body of cavalry in a Captain Dalrymple returned with the great measure balanced that advantage. convention. Of some of the articles he None of the officers saw any difficulty disapproved, and assembled all the prinin forcing the French to cross the Ta. cipal officers for their advice. The ar. gus;.but he himself had not had time to mistice expired next morning, so that learn the strength of the Portugueze or he must either have ratified the conven. of the French, or the state of the Bri. tion or recommenced hostilities. With tish ordnance, orofthe Commissariat. A the approbatiou of Generals Burrard, short time after his landing, the French Wellesley, Moore, Hope, &c. he did raappeared to be moving forward, and it tify it. He conceived the chief respon+ was expected that another action was sibility of the measure to lie upon him, to be fought on the same ground; but it and he should therefore give his reasons proved to be the cavalry attending Ge. for agreeing to it. The first was the neral Kellerman, who came to solicit an probability of a scarcity of provisions, armistice. There were few objections in consequence of which, and of the made to the conditions of the armistice, danger of the surf, it had been deter. As to the article respecting private pro. mined that Sir J. Moore's corps should perty, about which such a clamour had bė landed gradually, and that each di. beca raised in this country and in Por- vision should bring along with it provitugal, it was nothing different from the sions sufficient for its own use. Such customary articles on all similar occa was the state of the weatlier, that on the sions; he might instance the capitula. very day after the signature of the contions of Malta, Alexandria, and Egypt. vention, the whole British fleet was dri. It never was intended to include any ven out to sea, and there was no cal. sort of merchandise or public property ; culating how long such weather might it was declared by Kellerman himself to last ;-thus was the provisioning of the mean nothing but what was strictly the army most uncertain, for no supply of private property of the French; but it corn could be had from the Portugueze, was not to be expected that we should and the sole dependence was on our own be able to restore to the Portugueze the victualting ships. Farther, the attack full effects of eight months of French of the førts on the Tagus was not the plunder ; when he (Sir He:v) heard of light matter that had been represented. some attempts to carry off plunder, he Fort St Julien was in the best state of declared that any persons, whatever defence, and could not have been re. their rank, presuming to carry off what duced without battering cannon; and was not strictly private property, should if it had been resolved to attack the be detained as prisoners of war. If the French in their strong positions, much armistice had not been agreed to, the time must have been required for ma. army must have marched forward, not king the necessary preparations--much exceeding 16,000 mea, exposed perhaps more for reducing the enemy to such a to the horrors of famine as well as those condition as would have obliged him to of war, and, being once embarked in so surrender at discretion. A battle must hazardous a service, rapidity of move- have been fought almost in the city of ment was every thing ; but this was im. Lisbon, and Kellerman's threat of de
struction to that city would most pro. judiced against him. When Kellerman's bably have been realised. But, if Por approach was announced, Sir A. asked tugal was the only object of the expe• Sir H, if he should go to the outposts dition, the convention was no doubt to speak to him? The answer was, no; most improper, for certainly, by a delay that Kellerman had inquired for the of some months, the French force might Commander of the Forces, and that he have been completely reduced; but he must be brought to head. quarters. Sir always understood that the expulsion of Arthur corrected a statement of Sir the French from Portugal was a mere Hew's, in which he stated, that it was in preliminary to the great and the ulti- consequence of a suggestion of General mate object of the expedition-a co-o. Kellerman, and not by any desire experation of the British army in the de. pressed from Sir H. Dalrymple himself, fence of Spain. If he was right, there that he (Sir A.) signed the preliminary was no room for delay; if the British articles, Sir Arthur declared that he was force had been detained a month or two in another room, when Sir H. came to longer, the heavy rains would have rea. him, and informed him that Kellerman dered it impossible for them to join the had said, when he (Sir H.) was going Spaniards before the middle of spring. up to sign the preliminary treaty, that These were his reasons for ratifying a , it was not proper for him, the Comconvention, which would be the more mander of the Forces, to sign such a approved the more it was investigated. paper with a General of Division. He He received dispatches from Ministers (Sir H.) therefore asked Sir A. if he had after the convention, which induced him any objections to sign the paper, when to think that they approved of his cun- he said he would sign it as any other duct, He had a letter from Lurd W. paper that he might be desired to sign Bentinck approving of the convention. by his authority. But Sir Arthur disHe had letters of thanks from the chief claimed all responsibility, when his su. Magistrate of Lisbon, from the Bishop perior officer, the Commander of the of Oporto, from General Castanos, and Forces, was himself present ; was in fact from various public bodies, and he felt the negotiator of the treaty, had stepped that he had dune his duty to his coun. forward to sign it himself, and was only try.
prevented by General Kellerman on a Fifth day, Nov. 22.- -Sir Arthur Wel. point of etiquette. Upon the whole, he lesley read some observations on the declared that Sir H. Dalrymple decided narrative of Sir Hew Dalrymple. Af. for himself on every proposition, and he ter a defence of his military operations, (Sir Arthur) never saw the convention he made the important declaration, that till be landed in England. Sir H. Dal. “ At the moment when his command rympic replied, that in the negotiation ceased, it had been his object to have of the armistice, Şir Arthur certainly turned the enemy's position at Torres discussed the points for some time at Vedras, and he could assert that, at that the table with General Kellerman, moment, however much the difficulty Sixth day, Nov, 24.--Colonel Torrens might have been, the means existed in and Captain Malcolm were called by Sir his hands of bringing the contest to a A. Wellesley, chiefly to prove that Sir fortunate conclusion." But this plan A. disapproved of many points of the not having been adopted, Sir Arthur a: armistice ; that he had not the confidence gain expressed his approbation of the of Sir H. Dalrymple ; and that the lat. principle of the convention, although he ter had paid no attention to his recom. totally dissented from particular points mendation of advancing the army, until in it. He wished, for instance, that thic the necessity of it was again urged by negotiation should not extend beyond Sir A. to Col. Murray. Sir Hew Dal. the suspension of hostilities; that, in. rymple then read answers to a number of stead of " private property," the words written questions given him by the Pre"arms and baggage” might be substitusident, chiefly relating to his proceedings red; and that nothing should be intro- on landing ; the steps he took to obtain duced about the Russian fleet. In none information, and the knowledge he obof these did the Commander agree with tained of the comparative state of the him; and he certainly appeared, instead British and French force, their numbers of cultivating his friendship, to be prç. and resources, previous to the armistice.