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Memoirs of the Life of the late Sir from the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
John MOORE, K. B. Commander in in the 51st, to that of Brigadier-GeneChief of the BRITISH FORCES in ral, and embarking with the troops, SPAIN.
he arrived in the West Indies in the
beginning of the following year. Af(Concluded from p. 88.)
ter taking Demerary, Issequibo, and COR *ORSICA was now in the hands Berbice, a considerable part of the ar
of the British ; and the Adjutant- my was dispatched to St Lucia, one General, soon after quitting the island, of the strongest islands in the posseswas succeeded by Colonel Moore, atsion of the French. The enemy had the recommendation of the comman- retired to Morne Chamot, a place of der in chief, who about the same time considerable strength, and it was also left the island, to the great regret therefore necessary to dislodge them of every one, and of none more than before any farther operations could the subject of these memoirs. Colonel take place. General Moore, with a Moore had, by his great personal cou- considerable force, marched a circuiTage, and zealous conduct in the ser- tous route, while Colonel J. Hope, who vice, excited the admiration of the na- had afterwards to perform the melantives ; by his affability and engaging choly duty of paying a tribute to the manners, he now procured their es- talents and the virtues of his friend, teem. But, happening to give um- was sent a more direct road, to form a brage to the Governor, (then Sir Gil- junction before the walls, and to cobert Elliot, now Lord Minto,) he was operate with him. By some unacrecalled from a situation, which his countable mistakes of the guides, his valour had, in a great measure, procu- troops fell in with an advanced picred, and to which his subsequent me- quet of the enemy, and, an alarm being ritorious conduct had given him the thus given, by a masterly and decisive most indubitable claim. The subse- movement, he stormed the place bequent organization of Corsica could fore Colonel Hope could arrive. not fail to incur the just reprehension After taking Morne Chamot, a forof those officers, who, from experi- mal attack was made by all the forces ence, best understood the dispositions upon Morne Fortune ; but, from some of the natives, and by what methods unfortunate circumstances, the plan they were to be reconciled to the failed, and the troops were obliged to British government. The result of retire, without effecting their purpose. the plan adopted by the governor is in the next attack, however, they were now sufficiently known ; a plan which more successful, for they were so forultimately expelled the British from tunate as to lodge a considerable body the island, without realizing any of of troops, which, under Gen. Moore, those expectations which had, at first, repulsed a sally of the enemy with been entertained.
great loss; and erecting a battery But the important services Colonel within 500 yards of the fort, they atMoore had rendered to his country tacked it with spirit and vigour. The did not pass unrewarded by the com- French desired a suspension of hostilimander in chief; by whom, upon his ties, and, next day, (May 25th 1796,) return, he was appointed to an impor- the garrison, to the number of 2000, tant command in the expedition des- surrendered themselves prisoners of tined to act against the French West war. After the surrender of St Lucia, India islands, under Sir Ralph Aber. St Vincent, with several small islands, crombie. Immediately before his de- surrendered to the British ; and, in parture, (Dec. 1795, he was raised February following, we find General March 1809.
Moore present at the taking of Tri- and although severely wounded, conpidad. ; In the end of the same year ţinued in action for nearly two hours, he returned to Britain, along with Sir until a second wound in the face obRalph Abercrombie.
liged him to quit the field +." In June 1798, he was raised to the But notwithstanding the success rank of Major-General, and, about that had hitherto attended the British the same time, represented a district arms, the French were only waiting of Scots boroughs * in Parliament; for a favourable opportunity to counbut he does not appear to have taken teract all the advantages their eneany active part in political discussions, mies had yet gained. Such an opporunwilling, perhaps, to allow them to tunity soon afterwards presented itinterfere with his favourite pursuit. self; and General Brune, by a master
An officer of General Moore's pro- ly movement in one engagement, refessional talents could not long remain trieved all the losses his troops had unemployed. No sooner was the at- sustained since the arrival of the Britack upon Holland planned, than he tish. The issue of the disastrous camwas appointed to a command in that paign is bụt too well known. Neiunfortunate expedition. The British ther the talents of Abercrombie, nor fleet, for the first time, appeared off of the other Generals, could prevent Holland, on the 19th August 1799; the calamities to which the army was but, owing to contrary winds, a land- reduced; and after a campaign, fraught ing was not effected till the 26th.-- with disasters, misfortunes, and deaths, The enemy,
in the inean time, had as- the wretched remains, returned home sembled in great numbers, under the the miserable victims of an expedition command of General Daendels, and that had terminated, in a manner, commenced an engagement, which, most disgraceful and ruinous to the after being maintained for upwards of British nation, ten hours, terminated at last in favour But a more extensive field was soon of the British. They immediately after opened for the farther developepursued their march to the Helder, ment of those talents which had alwhich, for some time, continued to ready been so eminently displayed. hold out, until a detachment, under By serving in two campaigns with Sir the command of General Moore, and Ralph Abercombie, an officer no less Lord (now Marquis of) Huntly, suc- distinguished for his just appreciation ceeded in driving them from it, and of merit, than for his readiness to pathe British forces entered without far- tronize it, he had gained the approba. ther opposition. He was shortly after tion of that consummate General; and wounded, and in the great battle of no sooner was he appointed commanthe 2d of October he was shot thro' der in chief of the expedition to the thigh, which, however, did not Egypt, than General Moore was choprevent him from continuing the en- sen to accompany him. On arriving gagement, till a second wound oblig- at the harbour of Marmorice, on the ed him, reluctantly, to leave the ranks. coast of Caramania, in Oct. 1800, it In this battle, his brigade had so emi- was judged requisite, that the arrangenently signalized itself, that the Duke ments for the future destination of the of York, in his dispatches, stated, troops should here be made, and that $6 that, by his abilities and personal proper measures should be adopted for exertions, he had very materially con- receiving the supplies which the Turks tributed to the success of the column; had promised, and which they now
seemed * Selkirk, Peebles, Linlithgow and Lanark.
# Duke of York's dispatches,
seemed backward to furnish. General rable battle of the 21st of March, he Moore was dispatched to Acre, and commanded the reserve ; the most im afterwards to Jaffa, to require an im, portant post of an army, and that by mediate fulfilment of the engagement, which the fate of battles is most frebut he found, upon his arrival, that quently decided. He conducted it very little confidence could be placed with singular judgment. At the bein their professions : on this account, ginning of the action, an attack was the fieet was obliged to remain two threatened on our left, and General months at Marmorice, to procure those Moore had begun to move towards necessaries which were expected to that quarter ; but seeing, from the have been in readiness.
manner in which this charge was supAt last, however, on the 2d of ported, that it was merely a feint, and March 1801, the transports arrived rightly judging that the grand effort in the bay of Aboukir, and on the was intended to be made in the oppo3d it was determined to land. The site quarter, he immediately moved. French, in the mean time, were not towards the right. When, therefore, unprepared to receive them; for hay- a few minutes after, the tremendous ing erected formidable batteries on assault began, which had nearly overthe sand hills that commanded the whelmed that part of our army, he coast, they opened a destructive fire was soon in the thickest of the baton the boats as they approached the tle. His brigade bore the brunt shore. General Moore, who com- of the engagement; and while he was manded the reserve, was first ordered conducting his men with the most into land, and putting himself at the trepid bravery against a furious charge head of his men, he leaped on shore, of the enemy, he received a severe and was instantly followed by the wound in the head, which obliged troops under Major-Generals Ludlow him to quit the field.“ I regret (says and Coote. With unparalleled brave- General Hutchinson in his dispatches) ry they advanced amidst a shower of the temporary absence from the asgrape-shot and shells, and, at last, my of this highly valuable and meriforced the enemy to retire, although torious officer, whose counsel and cothey continued to the last to dispute operation would have been so highly every inch of ground. The landing necessary to me at this moment." of the troops, on this occasion, was Some time after this, he was employjustly esteemed one of the most mas- ed in escorting the French to Abouterly atchievements performed during kir after the surrender of Cairo; in the whole war; and even Bonaparte which, if it required not great military was heard to declare, that it could skill, it required at least no small share not have been surpassed by the ablest of circumspection, to maintain an exact Generals in Europe.
understanding among a motley collecTo the officers who conducted the tion of British, Turks, and French. debarkation every praise was due. The last service in which he was enThe troops had to row a space of six gaged, was the siege of the castle of miles in a rough sea, and effect a land- Marabout, in Alexandria, which was ing, exposed to a tremendous fire of attacked by Generals Moore and the enemy, prepared to receive them, Coote, and, after a resistance of sixteen and aided by every advantage the days, it surrendered to the British. place could afford.
After the conclusion of the war in But to follow the operations of the Egypt, he returned to Britain, and, army in this celebrated campaign, about the same time, obtained the would be to give a regular history of Colonelcy of the second battalion of the war in Egypt. On the memò. the 52d regiment; and after the death
of General Trepand, he obtained that to which his meritorious labours had of the first battalion.
so justly entitled him. Upon General By the campaign in Egypt, General Fox quitting his command in Sicily, Moore had now brought to maturity he was succeeded by Sir John; but those military talents which had com- this command was of very short dura. menced with so favourable auspices. tion, and he returned to Britain in He had already distinguished himself the end of December 1807. When in Corsica, the West Indies, and in General Whitelock's trial commenced, Holland; he now added fresh laurels he was one of the Generals appointed to those he had already gained, and to preside on that occasion, and from fully realized the sanguine expecta- his great professional skill and extentions that had been entertained of his sive knowledge, perhaps few officers future professional skill. Following were better qualified to decide on that the example and instructions of the disgraceful expedition. immortal Abercrombie, he could not In the support of our ally, the King fail to derive all the advantage and of Sweden, the Ministry had resolved improvement which an inquisitive and to send a British force to co-operate penetrating mind is ever ready to re- with his troops, and, accordingly, Sir ceive. He had, besides, to contend John Moore, with 12,000 men, sailed with some of the bravest troops of for this purpose from Britain about France, which, under its ablest lea- the beginning of April 1807. He ders, had already astonished Europe reached Gottenburgh about the mid'by the brilliancy and extent of their dle of the same month, and, after leavconquests. Thus circumstanced, it re- ing his troops at that city, he immequired all the energy of the British diately proceeded to Stockholm, to commanders to support the national concert measures with his Swedish character, and to testify to their coun- Majesty relative to the future destitrymen, that, to superiority of num- nation of the army.
From reasons, bers, not to superiority of courage and which have not yet been allowed to discipline, the splendid victories of the transpire, he suddenly returned with* French were to be ascribed. Whilst out affording the assistance that was almost every officer supported the na- at first intended. Various opinions tional reputation, the courage and have been formed of this unaccountconduct of General Moore were pre- able conduct; but the most probable, eminently displayed on every occasion. and indeed the only explanation that The best encomium that can be be- has yet been given for his return, was stowed upon his services, is to consi- a demand which the King was said der the important and dangerous en- to have made, that our troops should terprizes in which he was engaged, attack a fortress deemed impregnable, and the ability with which they were and which Sir John could not con*all executed.
sistently with his instructions underHis Majesty, in consideration of his take. It was expected that the two important services, conferred upon him armies should have united, and endeathe honour of knighthood ; and, as an voured to wrest Norway from the additional proof of his approbation, hands of the Danes, who seemed very the order of the Bath was conferred inadequate for its defence. The serat the same time.
vice to which his Swedish Majesty Sir John Moore, for some time af- had destined our troops, was considerter his arrival in Britain, held an im- ed by their commander as a wanton portant command in the south of and unjustifiable sacrifice of
men, in an England, and enjoyed, for a time, undertaking which, whatever was the that repose from more active service result, could be attended with little honour to his men, or advantage to in much better circumstances; for inhis ally; and rather, therefore, than stead of meeting with that cordial reexpose them to almost inevitable des- ception and mutual co-operation which truction, he abruptly left the Swedish had been expected, he was scarcely dominions, and returned (June 29th) joined by a single Spaniard of note to Britain. Whatever was the cause since his arrival in the country; the of his return, Ministry seem to have well-disposed having joined the patriobeen fully satisfied with his explana- tic army in different quarters, while the tion ; and no sooner had he returned, disaffected waited only the arrival of than he was appointed to a command the French to espouse their cause. At in the army serving in Portugal, and last, however, Sir David Baird arrishortly after, sailed from Britain, to ved; but it was only to return agair which he was destined never to re- to Corunna. Castanos, on whose exturn. Arriving off the coast of Por- ertions in that quarter the principal tugal, he was prevented a considerable hopes depended, had been defeated, time from landing, by the roughness and by the dispersion of his army na of the sea, till at last this was happily farther assistance from his party was effected, by the uncommon exertions to be expected. Bonaparte was thus of that able officer, Captain Malcolm, enabled to pour an immense army inof the Donegal, who covered the de- to Spain, and laid siege to Madrid, barkation.
which was expected to have made a After continuing some time in vigorous resistance, and to have checkPortugal it was at last determined ed for a time his farther operations ; that the troops should proceed by land but after a feeble opposition it capito Spain, and there form a junction tulated, and thus left him at liberty with the troops that were expected to to prosecute his success without fararrive from different routes. On the ther molestation. 11th Oct. the army left Lisbon, and Such a concurrence of events all after a tedious and fatiguing march, conspired to render the situation of which the unremitting attention of the the army more precarious, and a precommander in chief had in a great cipitate retreat was the only alternameasure alleviated, the army reached tive left to save them from inevitable the eastern part of Leon, where it ruin. Soult had been dispatched with was expected that all the British a large body of forces to bring them and Spanish forces should have been to an engagement, or, by making a concentrated, and have commenced diversion, retard their march till Bothe most vigorous operations against naparte could arrive, and thus overthe French. Sir David Baird had ar- whelm them by superiority of numrived with a considerable force at Co- bers. The winter had now set in runna about the time the army left with extreme severity; the army
hack Lisbon, but was prevented from land- to travel the distance of 200 miles ing until he had received the sanction over a barren inhospitable country, of the central Junta. During this covered with snow, or deluged with fatal and injudicious delay, the forces, continual rain ; harassed by an enewhich should have immediately march- my triple their number attacking their ed to join those already in Leon, were rear and opposing their progress,
It obliged to remain in inactivity on was now that his great talents and board the transports before Corunna, professional skill called for their full and the was lost the favourable rtion. All the stratagenis of war inoment which might have given a and the resources of his comprehendifferent aspect to the campaign. Nor sive mind were here to be called into srere the troops under Sir John Moore action. The zeal and ability of the