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sary to call in Sir John Hope's corps, my of General Blake, in which was latewhich had already advanced beyond ly incorporated the intautry of the MarMadrid, and to stop the advance of quis de la Romana's division, has been General Baird beyond Astorga. He defeated in several attacks since the was thus enabled to wait and determine sth inst. and is entirely dispersed. I
have not time to enter into detail of whether the main body of the French this unfortunate reverse, carrying with army was to be pushed forward upon it such serious consequences, for fear him, or whether it would take another of delaying the intimation of that which direction, and enable him to effect his is so essential to make known in genejunction. The remarks which he writes ral terms to the Commander of the Bri. to Mr Frere on the state of things ap- Galicia. The Estremaduran army has
tish army advancing from Portugal to pear to us to display very profound also experienced a reverse at Burgos. sagacity, and extensive views of mili. In short, the British army has nothing fary operations.
to depend upon in Las Montanos de
Santander. In Asturias there are but " I have been unable hitherto to un- a few battalions, totally undisciplined ; derstand the movements and positions and, by the last accounts, the French of the Spanish armies; but I have ta.
occupy from Reynosa to Burgos. Exken it for granted that they were form- cept what remains of the Estramuduran ed from local circumstances, and a
army, (of the position of which I am knowledge of the country, of which I ignorant) and the British army, there - was ignorant. I should otherwise have is nothing to prevent the energy from said they were upon a scale much too advancing towards Leon and Valladolid great for the strength of their armies. that I know of. I very much suspect I begin to fear that this is the case, and that he will avail himself of this movethat, if their system be not changed, we ment, to attack in detail the army of shall all of us very soon be beaten in Palafox and Castanos, united nominaliy; detail. To cover and protect the Bri. and all of which are placed under the tish army, whilst upon its march from
command of the Marquis de la Romasuch distant points in order to unite, na. The army has suffered principally never seems to have been in the con- from famine ; and I do not think that templation of the Spanish generals ; and it is possible to re-unite those who are now, from the position the French have flying in all directions, nearer than Astaken, the accomplishment of it is be. torga and Oviedo. It does not appear come exceedingly precarious. - The that there has been any want of spirit difference hitherto between the position in the men; and in many instances, esof the Spanish and French armies, as pecially of the divisions of the North, they have struck me, is this--the distinguished conduct. Some of the French, in order to concentrate, or to new Officers have not behaved so well. strenghthen either flank, move upon Santander was in the power of the enethe chord, the Spaniards upon the cir- my, after possessing the roads of Escucumference; the movements of the one do and Reynosa. The accounts of are short, and can be easily concealed, their having entered that town are not those of the other extended, and expo- yet received, however, The different sed to be interrupted.
P. 33. attacks have been at Zornosa (between The intelligence of thie affair at Durango and Biltoa,) Valmaseda, AranBurgos was soon succeeded by ano.
tia; and the total deroute, after a dether still more disastrous, contained bout 7000 re-assembled at Reynosa on
feat at Espinosa de las Montanax. A. in the following letter from General the 13th inst. but without any order; Leith :
from thence tliev retreated after dark, “ Renedo Valley of Caqueringa, Pro. balf starved and straggling mob, without
and have arrived in this valley, as a vince of Las Mlontanos de Santan.
oficers, and all mixed in utter confu. der, 15th Nov. 1808.
sion. Never has there been so injudi
cious and ruinous a system begun and “I regret to inform you that the ar. persisted in, as that which has led
to the serious disasters of the present “ There may be more character in omoment.
P.40. ther parts. Enthusiasm, and an obstiThe following letter from General nate determination, not to submit to Moore to one of his brothers, gives
the French yoke, may do much. But
even in this case the Government has lively picture of his views on the pre- been improvident: arms, ammunition, sent state of affairs.
and other means are wanting. Upon entering Spain, I have found “ The probability therefore is, that affairs in a very different state from the French will succeed ; and if they what I expected, or from what they do, it will be from no talept having are thought to be in England.
sprung up, after the first effort, to take “I am in a scrape from which God advantage of the impulse and of the en: knows how I am to extricate myself. thusiasm which then existed. But, instead of Salamanca, this army “ I understand all is fear and confu. should have been assembled at Seville. sion at Madrid. The poor Spaniards deserve a better “ Tell James it is difficult to judge fate, for they seem a fine people; but at a distance. The Spaniards have not have fallen into hands who have lost shewn themselves a wise or a provident them by their apathy and ****** people. Their wisdom is not a wisdom
“ The Junta, jealous of their Generals, of action; but still they are a fine peogave them no power ; but kept them ple; a character of their own, quite at the head of separate armies, each in. distinct from other nations; and much dependent of the other. Thus they might have been done with them. Perhave prevented any union of action. haps they may rouse again. Pray for
“ They took no pains to recruit the me, that I may make right decisions : armies, or to furnish them with arms if I make bad ones, it will not be for and clothing. In short, during the in- want of consideration. terval that ihe French were weak, they “ I sleep little, it is now only five in did nothing either to overpower them the morning; and I have concluded before their reinforcements arrived, or since I got up, this long letter. to meet them with superior numbers when reinforced. “ When I marched into
this country, Sir
David Baird, who, with the first
Soon after, a letter arrived from in three divisions, from Corunna, Lis. bon, and round by Madrid, instead of division of his infantry, had arrived finding any army to cover the junction at Astorga. His views seem to be of the three corps, until our supplies still more gloomy than those of Moore; and stures came up, which were neces
he deprecates any farther advance till sary to enable us to act; I found that he has united the whole of bis army ; the Spanish armies were placed on each
and he concludes as follows : fank of the French; one in Biscay, and the other on the river Alagon; at “ As it could never be intended by such a distance as to be able to give no the British Government that our army sort of support to each othet, or to com- should engage in the defence of this bine their movements; and aving it Country unaided and unsupported by also in the power of the French to at- any Spanish force, I confess, my dear tack either army with their whole force, Sir John, I begin to be at a loss to disas soon as they were ready.
cover an object at this moment in Spain: “ That the Spaniards must be driven it being very evident that the Spaniards from Madrid is inevitable; they have are not at this moment in a situation to no furce to resist. When they will be capable of assembling a force compebring up, or if they will bring up at all, tent to offer any serious resistance to I cannot guess. In this province, and the progress of the French arms. throughout Old Castile, there is no “ It is very remarkable that I have mark of any intention to make any ef- not procured the least intelligence, or fort. The French cavalry are overrun- received any sort of communication, ning the plains, raising contributions, from any of the official Authorities at to which the people submit without re- Madrid, or either of the Spanish Genesistance.
rals." P. 49.
General Moore, however, notwith- at once formed the determination of štanding these unfavourable circum- falling back upon Portugal. In sevestances, determined still to form the ral letters to the different officers, he junction of his different divisions, and explains the motives of this resolution. to attempt something for the relief of He conceived, that as there was nothe Spaniards, and the honour of the thing now to prevent the French, who British name. Romana and Blake in- were in Old Castile, from pushing fordeed both informed him, that a strong ward, his junction with General Baird body of French troops, sufficient to was become impracticable, and even prevent this junction, had arrived in that with General Hope, loubtful. Leon; but he afterwards learnt that All that he could expect was, that the these reports had arisen merely, amid latter, by rapid marches, might be athe great dearth of authentic intelli- ble to join him, and their united army gence, from detached parties of horse reach Lisbon, to which Sir David spreading themselves over the country. Baird might repair by sea. There
General Hope had now passed Ma- they might either act as a diversion in drid, and there seemed to be a fair pros- favour of the Spaniards, or they might pect of the three divisions of the army be ready to co-operate with them in any being speedily united, when news arri- quarter where the spirit of resistance, ved of the compleat defeat of the only which in the North seemed entirely aSpanish army remaining. The Spa- sleep, should chance to arise. If fornish force had been drawn up in a ced to leave Lisbon, they could land manner which has attracted the gene- in Andalusia, which seemed the only ral censure of military observers the part of Spain from which any thing two wings being placed at a distance
now was to be hoped. He would from each other, without even the ap- thus be reinforced by the part of the pearance of a centre to connect them army which had been left in Portugal, together.—This arrangement was not and could either afford the Spaniards quite so irrational as may at first sight any assistance which was likely to be appear; for, considering the undiscip- useful to them; or, should this appear lined character of the troops, it was on- impracticable, would be enabled to efly in the mountains of Biscay and Ar- fect his retreat unmolested. ragon, that they could have any chance
General Moore called a council of of maintaining themselves; while in officers, not to ask their advice, but the intermediate plain of Old Castile, merely to communicate his determi. they could scarcely have stood the nation to them. The narrator here first shock of the French armies. By candidly admits, that this means, however, it became easy
The idea of retreating was very gefor Buonaparte, according to his usual nerally disapproved of at Salamanca by system, to turn his whole force succes- the Army. The murmurs against it sively against both wings, and beat from Officers of_rank were heard in them in detail. Blake's army had al- every quarter. Even the Staff Officers ready, after an honourable struggle,
of Sir John Moore's family lamented it; been completely defeated and dispersed. dom of his decision. He, however, afe
and, for the first time, doubted the wisThat of Castanos, having a greater terwards learnt, that General Hope aforce accumulated against it, was van- greed with himn completely on this, as quished still more easily, and though on all other points. the slaughter seems not to have been It seems still difficult to form a corvery great, yet the rout and dispersion rect opinion on this much-contested were very coinplete. Mr Stuart come question. The above determination municated immediate intelligence of was evidently founded, in part, on a this disaster to General Moore, who mistaken expectation that Buonaparte, October 1809.
after defeating all the Spanish armies, ceeded with Madrid it is needless to would immediately push forward to say. Nor was he less industrious prevent the junction of the English in the third part of his plan. His divisions; whereas it proved, that he great object was to draw the English preferred advancing against Madrid. army into the centre of Spain, where Independent of this consideration, we Buonaparte, doubtless, expected to be would
that the retreat was advan- able to surround and overwhelm it.tageous in a military, but disadvanta- With this view, he procured a confergeous in a political point of view.-- ence with General Hope and Lord It certainly afforded both the safest William Bentinck. These able offiand most efficient mode of disposing cers do not seem to have entertained of the army : but the entire abandone- any suspicion of his real designs; they ment of the Spanish cause, which it merely complain, that no specific plan must, in the first instance, have seemed was presented to them, and that all to involve, and the general desponden- they could make out was, that Morla cy, thence arising, were evils perhaps was anxious, that as much of the Brimore than sufficient to counterbalance tish army as possible should be united these advantages. Of this indeed in the centre of Spain. This wish he General Moore seems to have been again urged in a letter to Gen. Moore sensible ; for, after learning that, by written on the 2d of December, at the the new direction of the French force, very moment he was treating with his junction would be rendered prac- Buonaparte for the surrender of Madticable, he chose rather to form it, than rid. Mr Frere, who was not a milito proceed in his former plan. tary man, became an easy convert to
Meanwhile, not only weakness, but this opinion, and urged it in those welltreachery, reigned in the Spanish coun- known letters, written with consideracils. No man had hitherto maintain- ble acuteness and ingenuity, but in a ed a higher reputation for loyalty and stile of petulance and asperity, altogeability than Morla. This man, whe-ther indecent and undiplomatic. He ther from the beginning of the revolu- even went so far as to prefer a request, tion, or whether after seeing fortune that a Col. Charmily, whom he sent inclining with such mighty preponde. to Moore, should be examined before rance on the side of the
had a council of war, in the evident especdetermined to sacrifice fame and duty tation of controlling the opinion of the at the shrine of interest. But his commander in chief by that of his infetreachery was veiled by such deep dis- rior officers, Moore seems to have simulation, that not the slightest sus- behaved with extreme propriety on picion arose. On the contrary, he this trying occasion; and while he had acquired the entire confidence of shews a deep sense of the injurious the Junta, especially in every thing conduct adopted towards him, carefulthat related to military affairs. They ly avoids its leading to any quarrel by appointed him President of their Mili- which the public service might be intary Board ; they intrusted him with jured. By these channels, however, the defence of Madrid, and they fixed he learned that Buonaparte was direct. upon him to concert operations with ing his principal efforts against Madthe English Generals. At his instiga- rid, and that this city was exhibiting tion, the Spanish Generals had been symptoms of resistance. Sir John never compelled to abandon that cautious seems to have been sanguine on this system which they had hitherto pur subject ; less so, indeed, we think, than sued: hence their immediate discomfi- he was entitled to be ; since even on ture, which might otherwise have been the French accounts it appears evident, delayed, if not averted, How he pro- that, had its chiefs been tolerably able
and faithful, the inhabitants were well not lose above 1000 men in their late disposed to defend themselves. He was actions with the French ; a proof not of assured, however, that large armies the weakness of the French, but of the were, besides, collecting in the South, In fact, the French light troops decided
incapacity of the Spaniards to resist them. and, as the obstacles to his junction the contest ;-the Spaniards filed before were now reinoved, it would, he con
a desultory fire;--they saved themselves, ceived, be dishonourable for the Bri- and now claim merit for having escaped, tish army to withdraw, while there " By a repetition of such Aights and was any appearance of the Spaniards re-assembling, the Spaniards may, in standing firm in their own cause.
He the end, become soldiers, and greatly therefore stopt General Baird, who harass the enemy; but, as we cannot had begun his retreat, and both ar
pursue that mode of warfare, our allies
are not much calculated to be uf use to mies directed their course towards
us on the day of battle, when we must Toro, midway between Salamanca and either conquer or be destroyed. Astorga.
" I do not mean to undervalue the The subsequent events must be fa- spirit or patriotism of the Spaniards, miliar to all our readers; we shall not
which I highly respect, and which, in therefore attempt to carry on any con
the end, may effect their deliverance; nected analysis, but shall merely glean
but they are not now, nor can they for some of the most interesting particulars the art of war, to be co-adjutors with
long time be, sufliciently improved in with which the public was unacquaint- us in a general action : we must, thereed, previous to the publication of this fore, stand or fall through our own meuns ; volume.
for, if we place any reliance on Spanish The description given by Colonel aid for success in the field, we shall, I Symes of the composition of the Spa- fear, find ourselves egregiously deceived.
P. 133 nish army, is extremely judicious and interesting :
And elsewhere he says, My motive for doubting, whether “ The troops here, although they can. the aid which he (Romano) inight bring not be relied on to influence materially would be of any importance, arises from a the result of a general action, yet may sense of the inefficient state of his army, be brought into use as auxiliaries, to enand the want of discipline in the men, gage the actention of a part of the It is morally impossible that they can Enemy's force ; and in the event of the stand before a line of French infantry. Enemy being broken, may prove an acA portion, at least one third, of the tive instrument to complete his destruc. Spanish muskets will not explode'; and tion. When I say this much, I say all a French soldier will load and fire his that can possibly be expected from them piece with precision three times, before under the present appearance." a Spaniard can fire his twice. Men,
P. 160. however brave, cannot stand against such odds; as to charging with the There are several letters from the bayonet, if their arms were fit for the Marquis de la Romana, which give us purpose, the men, though individually
a very high idea of that nobleman; as gailant as possible, have no collective confidence to carry them on, nor Offi
an idea justified both by his former cers to lead them ; they will therefore and his subsequent atchievements. disperse, probably on the first fire, and They display a correctness of informa. can never be rallied, until they volun. tion, with an union of caution and entarily return to their General's standard, terprize, which, had they been more as in the case of the Marquis de la Ro- generally diffused, might have saved mana's present army, almost wholly
Spain from many calamities. composed of fugitives from the battles
About this time a letter occurs from of the North. A striking instance of this is given by the Marquis himself, the Duke de l'Infantado to Mr Frere, who assured me that the Spaniards did which gives a lively picture of the con