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OF

FIELD MARSHAL

THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,

DURING HIS VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS

IN

INDIA, DENMARK, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, THE LOW

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LONDON : PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS,

Stamford Street.

THE DISPATCHES

OP

FIELD MARSHAL THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,

IN

THE PENINSULA,

IN

1811 AND 1812.

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To Lieut. General Sir Brent Spencer, K.B. MY DEAR SPENCER, Quinta de Granicha, 11th June, 1811. • I have received your letter of the 9th June.

I do not exactly understand what orders have been given to General Pack, and in what manner affairs are situated at Almeida.

• My memorandum to you of the 15th May was founded on a supposition that it might be necessary for you to retire from the frontier, and I expressed a particular anxiety “ that that place (Almeida) should not be abandoned till it should be necessary."

• My letter to you of the 1st instant was founded on a supposition that the enemy were about to move through the mountains towards the Tagus; and, after having requested you to make a corresponding movement, I requested that General Pack's brigade might remain at Almeida, and in the neighborhood, till relieved by the militia.

• I did not think it probable that, if you should make the movement to the south directed by my letter of the 1st instant, there could exist any necessity for abandoning and destroying Almeida, and I did not advert to it in that letter. But it appears by your letter of the 8th instant,

VOL. VIII.

B

1

6

which I received yesterday, that you had directed General Pack “ to consider his secure retreat as a primary object, and that, upon evacuating the place, he should blow up the remainder of the fortifications, and destroy the military stores," adverting, of course, to my memorandum to you of the 15th May. According to this memorandum, Almeida should not have been abandoned till it was necessary; and yet it appears, by your letter of the 9th instant, to have been so little necessary, that General Pack left in that neighborhood one regiment of his brigade, which is there still.

• There can be no reason whatever why that regiment should now remain at Almeida. The place, and everything it contained, are destroyed, and the regiment should be directed to join the brigade; but as I have had a good deal of correspondence with the Government upon the subject of Almeida, and they have taken some pains and incurred some expense in preparing to repair the place, it is desirable that I should have a copy of the orders sent to General Pack, and his official report of the mode in which he executed them; and that the necessity for abandoning and destroying the place should be made clear. Upon this last point, it would be desirable to have in detail the reports of the enemy's situation on the 6th, 7th, and Sth, and the situation of Barbacena's cavalry and of our posts.

* I requested Colonel Murray to write to you yesterday respecting the passage of the Tagus by the troops under your command; since which I have received Captain Grant's letter of the 7th, from the enclosures in which it would appear that the passage of the Tagus by the army of Portugal, although a probable operation, is not absolutely decided. I request, therefore, that the following disposition may, for the present, be made of the troops under your command, instead of that directed in Colonel Murray's letter of yesterday: the Light division, and one brigade of cavalry, at Niza, as therein directed; the 1st division, the right at Villa Velha, the left in the villages between Villa Velha and Castello Branco, and one brigade of cavalry in front of Castello Branco, towards Salvaterra; the 5th division in the cantonments, as directed in Colonel Murray's letter of yesterday.

• I have seen Mr. Kennedy regarding your supplies.

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