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dition to which the grand army was
Colonel Graham, whom I bad the ho. reduced.
nour of knowing at Mr Stuart's. “ I think it my duty to announce to
App. p. 76. you, as our good and faithful Ally, that Immediately before receiving the having been sent to this Army of the intelligence which induced him to reCentre, to endeavour to hasten its arri. val to the Capital, in order, if possible, treat, Sir John writes to Mr Frere; to save it ; but not having been able to “Buonaparte is dating his proclamasucceed in my design, and preparing in tions from Madrid; and as to the Briconsequence to join the Supreme Junta, tish army, if it were in a neutral, or edeI have found myself obliged by the Ge- my's country, it could not be more com: nerals, and forced by circumstances, to pletely left to itself. If the Spaniards take the command of the Army till I are enthusiasts, or much interested in receive the decision of the Junta. It this cause, their conduct is the most was unfortunately the spirit of insurrec- extraordinary that ever was exhibited. tion and discontent among the soldiery " The movement I am making is of which placed me at the post I now oc- the most dangerous kind. I not only cupy; and it is certainly a very disa. risk to be surrounded every moment by greeable situation, to have to correct in- superior forces, but to have my commu. veterate evils, and to set out with the nication intercepted with the Gallicias. measures necessary to re.establish that I wish it to be apparent to the whole order and discipline which have been world, as it is to every individual of the 10tally neglected.
army, that we have done every thing in I cannot describe to you the state in our power in support of the Spanish which I found this body of famished cause, and that we do not abandon it, troops-without shoes, most of them until lung after the Spaniards had aban. without uniforms, wanting ammunition, doned us.
P. 162. . having lost the greatest part of their baggage, reduced to about nine thousand
The following account is given of infantry and two of cavalry, and, to
the positions, at this time, of the Bri: crown all, having totally lost all confi. tish army, and of that under Soult: dence in their commanders. From these The British were collected between çircumstances I thought it right to fol. Sahagun, Grahal, and Villada, consist
. low the plan adopted by my predeces- ing of twenty-five thousand four bun. sor, of coming to this mountainous dred men. country for a few days, in order to re- The Duke of Dalmatia, after the deorganise a little the troops ; to give an feat of his cavalry at Sahagun, had with opportunity to some stragglers and re
drawn a detachment from Guardo, and cruits to join me, to give shoes and re.
concentrated his troops, to the amount pose to the men and horses, and then to set forward on some new operations. Carrion. Seven thousand were posted
of eighteen thousand, behind :hę river But it is very important for their suç- at Saldana, and five thousand at the cess, that these should be in concert
town of Carrion; and detachments with those of the other armies, especial.
were placed to guard the fords and ly of the English ; and it would be, con. bridges. It was also known that the sequently, indispensably necessary that head columns of Junot's corps (the sth) we should be made acquainted with were between Vittoria and Burgos. each other's plaos. Colonel Whitting
P. 161. kam is ill at this moment; I therefore wish that H. E. General Moore, the
The following is General Moore's Commander in Chief, should send me
answer to the letter from Romana, anan experienced and confidential officer, nouncing the intelligence which he who can give me an account of the plan had received of the movement of the adopted by the General for this cam.
French paign, and inform him of what we shall
from Madrid :
army have agreed upon together, relative to "I had the honour of your Excellenthe part which this division of the army cy's letter of the 22d this afternoon, and can take in its execution. I shall be have to thank you for the information delighted if he choice should fall upon which it contains; the probability of
its truth is confirmed to me by informa- being intercepted ; and that I desire
A particular account, probably cor.. iended march of a corps of the French rect, of the views and intentions of to Badajos has been stopped, when its Buonaparte was received through Maadvanced guard had reached Talavera jor Napier, who, having been taken de la Reina.
prisoner at the battle of Corunna, was “ Your Excellency knows my obe treated with the utmost politeness by ject in marching in this direction was
Generals Soult and Ney, and 'dined to endeavour to free you from a troublesome neighbour, and to strike a blow frequently at their table. They talkat a corps of the Enemy, whilst it was
ed with apparent frankness, and there still imagined that the British troops does not appear any motive which they had retreated into Portugal. I was a
could then have had to deceive.
When Buonaparte received intelli. corps between me and my communica.gence that the British were moving to tion.
the Duero, he said, “ Moore is the only “ My movement has in some degree I shall advance against him in person.'
General now fit to contend with me; answered its object, as it has drawn the
Orders were then sent to the Duke of enemy from other projects, and will give the South more time to prepare.
Dalmatia to give way, if attacked, and to With such a force as mine I can pretend decoy the British to Burgos, or as far
Eastward as possible ; and at the same to do no more. It would only be losing this army to Spain and to England
time to push on a corps towards Leon,
on their left flank. And should they atto persevere in my march on Soult,
tempt to retreat, he was ordered to imwho, if posted strongly, might wait, or if not, would retire and draw me on un
pede this by every means in his power.
The corps on the road to Badajos was til the corps from Madrid got behind
stopt, and ordered to proceed towards me : in short, single handed, I cannot
Salamanca ; while he himself moved rapretend to contend with the superior pidly with all the disposable force at numbers the French can bring against Madrid, and the Escurial, directly to
Benavente, Neither Buonaparte nor " I received your Excellency's letter at six, and the troops were to have any of his Generals had the least doubt marched from this to Carrion at eight 60 and 70,000 men before they could
of surrounding the British with between this evening. I countermanded them,
P. 168. and shall take iinmediate measures for retiring on Astorga. There I shall A retreating army is not easily prestand; as my retreat thence, if neces, served from disorder ; and there were sary, will be secure. I shall be in the
at present several circumstances which way to receive the supplies and the re- augmented this tendency. Our troops inforcements which I expect from Eog. land. At the worst I can maintain
were indignant at the want of Spanish
myself, and, with your Excellency's aid, co-operation, and not less at the undefend the Gallicias, and give time for willingness the natives shewed to afthe formation of the armies
of the South, ford our army supplies, either of proand that which you command to be pre- visions, or of any description. On the pared, when a joint effort may be made other hand, the Spaniards, it may
be which can alone be efficacious. It is supposed, were not in the best humour, playing the Enemy's game to draw him
at seeing themselves abandoned by the to attack our armies in rotation. " I hope this plan will meet your api ed every means in his power to put a
English army. The General employprobation; you may rest assured that I shall not retreat a foot beyond what is stop to these irregularities. Several necessary to secure my supplies from proclamations are given, in which re
monstrances and threats are addres- It seems to have excited greatly the sed both to the officers and men; the indignation of our officers, that no atlatter for committing, and the former tempt should have been made, by the for not doing all in their power to pre- armed Spaniards, to retard the approach vent them. The following may serve of the enemy. We cannot help lookas a specimen of these :
ing upon this expectation as somewhat
unreasonable. That troops, constitu“ Head Quarters Bena
ted as they were, should encounter the vente, 27th Dec. “ The Commander of the forces has allies who were flying from them,
enemy, merely to cover the retreat of observed with concern, the extreme bad conduct of the troops at a moment
would have required a very extraorwhen they are about to come into con- dinary degree of intrepidity. The tact with the Enemy, and when the activity with which they removed to greatest regularity and the best conduct a distance every thing which could be are the most requisite. He is the more of use to the English cannot be so concerned at this, as until lately, the easily excused. behaviour of that part of the army, at
As no official detail has appeared of least, which was under his own imme. diate command, was exemplary, and the action at Cacabelos, the following did them much honour.
account will be interesting : “ The misbehaviour of the troops in The reserve halted at Cacabelos, and the column which marched by Valderas the greatest part of the cavalry at Villa. to this place, exceeds what he could franca. On arriving at this town the have believed of British soldiers. It is General heard with vexation, that great disgraceful to the Officers; as it strong- irregularities had been committed there ly marks their negligence and inatten- by the preceding divisions. The Comtion.
missaries reported that the Magazines “ The Commander of the Forces re. had been plundered, stores of wine had fers to the General Orders of the 15th been broke open, and a great quantity of October, and of the 11th of Novem- of forage and provisions spoiled. One ber. He desires that they may be again man who was detected in committing read at the head of every company of the these atrocities was made an example army: he can add nothing but his de of, in the hope of preventing such termination to execute them to the fuls crimes in future: and to convince the lest extent. He can feel no mercy to soldiers of the miserable consequences wards Officers who neglect in times like of their drunkenness, and of quitting these essential duties, or towards Soltheir corps, some of those stragglers who diers who injure the country they are had been shockingly mangled by the casent to protect. The Spanish forces valry, were shewn through the ranks. have been overpowered ; and until such Thus every measure was adopted that rime as they are re-assembled, and rea- prudence could devise, to put a stop to dy again to come forward, the situation this bad conduct. of the army must be arduous, and such On the 3d of January four or five as to call for the exertion of qualities thousand French cavalry were seen (at the most rare and valuable in a military one o'clock in the forenvon) advancing body. These are not bravery alone, cautiously within a league of Cacabelos. but patience and constancy, under fa- The 95th and a detachment of British rigue and hardship, obedience to com. cavalry occupied a hill about half a mand, sobriety, firmness and resolution, league in front of the town, through in every different situation in which which a shallow river ran, and part of they may be placed. It is by the dis the reserve was posted on the opposite play of such qualities alone, that the ar- bank. my can expect to deserve the name of Sir John Moore commanded the 95th Soldiers; that they can be able to with. to retire through the town and over a stand the forces opposed to them, or to bridge. But while the two rear, comfulfil the expectations of their Coun- panies were passing along a narrow P. 176. Street, the cavalry piquet retreated pre
cipitately through them, and the Ene. Enemy appeared about mid-day, but
dismounted one of the Enemy's guns. The 95th were directed to retreat up Towards the evening some French resome bilis among vineyards ; which giments attacked the right of the Bric they did slowly in a very galladt man- tish, and were chiefly opposed by the ner, galling the Enemy with a well- Guards and General Leith's brigade. aimed fire from their rifles,
Sir John Moore then observed the The French cavalry charged up the Enemy moving to his left, his light road, but were driven back with consi. troops skirmishing with the picquets. derable slaughter by the 95th. General He conceived that the principal attack Colbert, who commanded the advanced would be made on that point, and the guard of the French, was among the proper orders were immediately given. slain.
The divisions were all at their posts, A large column of the enemy was and he galloped to the spot. next abserved descending the hill on the A part of the 76th regiment at first opposite side of the river. Immediate- retired before a strong column of the ly the artillery attached to the reserve Enemy, at the head of which was their opened upon this column'a severe fire, much esteemed 2d light infantry batwhich stopped their movement. In this talion, which advanced rapidly. attack the enemy suffered much. Sir The General, by accident, found him. Jobin Moore towards the evening with- self in front of the 51st regiment, in drew the reserve to Villa-franca ; and which he had served as an Ensign. He being aware that the greater part of the addressed them in an animated tone, enemy's army were very near, he resol. and commanded them to advance ; ved to make a night march to Herreri. when the light company of the 76th
P. 188, rushed forward with charged bayonets,
and drove the enemy down the hill with Although there was a position at considerable loss. Villa Franca, Sir John did not con- In this sharp skirmish, Captain Ro. ceive it advisable to stop there, as berts of the sist was shot in the hand, there was another road by which the but before the Frenchman could recover enemy might have entered Gallicia, his musket he was transfixed by a soland taken him in the rear. He de
dier of the oth named Canner. This
brave fellow bayoneted 2 other Frenchtermined, however, to offer battle at
men, and was rewarded by promotion. Lugo, as the only way of retarding
The General having witnessed this the enemy's progress. He sent orders, gallant attack, bestowed deserved praitherefore, for all the divisions to stop ses upon the 76th. at that place. Unfortunately, the or
It soon appeared, however, that the derly dragoon whom Sir David Baird French were determined not to atsent forward to General Fraser, got tack our army, at least till they had drunk, and lost his dispatches ; so that received reinforcements. Sir John his division had the fatigue of marching Moore then conceived it necessary to a day on the Vigo road, and afterwards retreat to the coast. The French, sureturning
perior in number and strongly posted, Nothing, however, took place at could not be attacked with any prosLugo beyond a mere skirmish, of which
pect of advantage. Their numbers the following is an account :
continually augmenting, they might eiOn examining the ground near Lugo, ther force his position, or push on in oa position was found on which he would ther directions, and surround him.have been happy to have engaged. The Besides, he had not provisions for two
days, nor means of procuring any. He probably thought it peculiarly re
.. By different letters which he wrote at quisite to follow this rule here, as the the commencement of his retreat, it position of his right wing was bad ; appears that he had hoped to maintain and if the troops on that point gave a footing in Galicia. It does not ap- able.
way, the ruin of the army was inevit. pear exactly at what time, and from
Lord William Bentinck's brigade, what motives, this design was given up. consisting of three incomparable regiIt would seem, however, that the cir- ments, the 4th, 42d, and goth, maincumstances of nothing being done by tained this dangerous post. The Guards the Spaniards, either in the South or
were in their rear; and, to prevent the North, the very harassing nature of right being turned, Captain Napier was the retreat, the consequent loss of bag- bring up the reserve to the right of
dispatched to desire General Paget to gage and equipments, and general ex- Lord William Bentinck. hausted state of the army, had finally Sir David Baird leading on his divi. determined him to consult its safety sion had his arm shattered with a grape alone, and to return to England. shot; and was forced to leave the field. On the arrival of the
army at Lugo,
The French artillery plunged from it was consiederd that the march to
the heights, and the two hostile lines of Corunna was much shorter than to Vi- infantry mutually advanced, beneath a
shower of balls. go, and that the former place was
They were still separated from each more convenient for embarking troops. otber by stone walls and hedges, which Orders were therefore given to the intersected the ground: but as they ciotransports to proceed round to it. It sed, it was perceived that the French
that this plan was adop- line extended beyond the right flank of ted somewhat too late. Its propriety the British'; and a body of the Enemy seems to have been evident, from the
were observed moving up the valley to
turn it. An order was instantly given, moment that the resolution was taken
and the half of the 4th Regiment, which of falling back by the way of Astorga, formed this fiank, fell back, refusing rather than by that of Orense. their right, and making an obtuse angle
The remainder of the retreat was with the other half. In this positionconducted with a disastrous degree of they commenced a heavy fanking fire ; rapidity, rendered necessary by the and the General, watching the mapressure of a superior army in its
nouvre, called out to them, “ That
was exactly what I wanted to be done." The army, however, being collected
He then rode up to the soth regiat Betanzos, somewhat greater order ment, commanded by Majors Napier was observed in the rest of its march. and Stanhope ; who got over an incloIts arrival at Corunna, and the subse- sure in their front, and charged most quent events, must be fresh in the re- gallantly. The General, ever an admi.' collection of our readers. The author
rer of valour, exclaimed, “ Well done estimates the force of the British en
the fiftieth! well done, my Majors * !** gaged at somewhat less than 15,000, lage of Elvina, with great slaughter.
They drove the Enemy out of the vil. that of the enemy at fully 20,00.
In The accounts of Sir John Moore's conduct and fall is interesting. cromby, under whom he commanded the It was the opinion of Sir John Moore, his full confidence, yet he told the author,
reserve in Egypt; and though he possessed that the presence of the chief in com
that in the hottest fire he usually found Sir mand near to the point where the great
Ralph at his elbow, struggle occurs, is often most useful *.
* Sir John used this expression from hav
ing recommended them for the rank they Perhaps Sir John Moore learnt this held. The Honourable Major Stanhope doctrine from the practice of one of his was second son to Earl S:anhope, and nemasters in the art of war, Sir Ralph Aber- phew to the late Mr Pitt. The General
cromby, entertained a sincere friendship for him.