duced a great fortress, improved by all the resources of art, and defended by a strong garrison. The French, with great difficulty, wrested it from the Spaniards even when nothing had been done to strengthen the works, and when the besieged were under the #. of a man remarkable both or his folly and cowardice. This astonishing exploit was, like the former, rewarded by the thanks of parliament. The able and perspicuous oration of the Earl of Liver. pool, on moving a vote of thanks in the House of Peers, deserves to be recorded as an admirable comment on this great achievement. The Earl of Liverpool, in calling their lordships' attention to this gallant exploit, said, “It was hardly necessary for him to observe, that the operation combined in itself the two circumstances which had always been considered as constituting the best title to the honour of their lordships' thanks,—first, the importance of the object, and next, the magnitude of the effort. If they looked at the military history of Badajoz, in this as well as in former wars in the peninsula, they would find, that, situated on the southwest frontier of Spain, this fortress had always been regarded as an object of primary importance. In former wars it had stood many severe sieges;

and it was somewhat singular, that the

efforts then made to reduce it had never been successful. In the year 1658, when the struggle for Portuguese independenee took place, this fortress was deemed an important object for the Portugueze, and it was accordingly attacked with vigour. The Portuguese were more than four months in prosecuting the siege—they lost half their army, and, after all, the attempt proved unavailing, and the enterprise was abandoned. In the war of 1705, generally known by the name of the Succession War, Badajoz was

besieged by the English, Dutch, and

Portuguese troops, under the com: mand of an ancestor of a noble lord whom he had in his eye. A most gallant effort was made on that occasion; and had it not been for particular circumstances, it would in all probability have been successful; but in fourteen days from the opening of the trenches, the attempt was unavoidably given up as hopeless. In the course of the present war in the peninsula, also, Badajoz had been considered as an object of the greatest military importance. Their lordships might remember, that in the early part of the last year, the place was attacked by the French under the command of Marshal Soult. They broke ground on the 3d February, and met with a most gallant resistance on the part of the governor and the troops under his command. The resistance would, in all probability, have been effectual, or the capture of the place would have at least been so long delayed, as to have contributed essentially to ultimate success in the contest, had not the governor most unfortunately died early in the month of March; and whether from the misconduct of his successor, or from some more serious cause, on the 11th of March the fortress capitulated. But even here it was to be observed, that the French under the able, experienced leader whom he had mentioned, had not made themselves masters of the place till after a siege of thirty-six days. . At a subsequent period, their lordships knew Badajoz had been attacked by Lord Wellington when the French collected their troops from all quarters of the peninsula. Their northern army, which they called the army of Portugal, the southern army, the troops employed in the eastern parts of the peninsula, and detachments from the garrison of Madrid, all assembled to force the allied army to raise the siege, or risk a


general battle for the protection of its operations. With such a force advancing against him, Lord Wellington did not feel it prudent to continue the siege and give battle to the enemy at the same time; and therefore, with the greatest judgment and propriety, resolved to abandon the place. The siege could not then have been renewed till the month of June, a season of the year when, from the unhealthiness of that part of the country, the operations could not have been carried on without great loss. “In the present year, after the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo, Lord Wellington determined with the first opportunity to direct his efforts against Badajoz. It was fairly to be contemplated, that the French would do every thing in their power to obstruct these sieges; and, therefore, it was an object of the utmost importance to get possession of the fortresses in as short a time as possible from the commencement of the operations. Their lordships had already had an opportunity of expressing their opinion upon the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. That place had been taken with a rapidity altoge. ther unparalleled, and utterly astonishing even to the enemy, whose commander had calculated that he would have been in time enough for its relief, if he arrived there at a period, which turned out to be nine or ten days subsequent to the date of its capture. The exertions made in the siege of Badajoz were not less extraordinary than those which distinguished the attacks upon Ciudad Rodrigo. Their lordships had seen the proofs of the strenuous resistance made on that occasion,-of the difficulties encountered in the course of the siege; but, notwithstanding every opposition, in twelve days from the opening of the trenches, the place was in the possession of the British army. In looking at the circumstances attending this

noble effort, it was impossible for any heart not to feel a glow of admiration at the skill and decision of the commander, and the gallantry of the officers and troops. The conduct of General Picton had inspired a confidence in the army, and exhibited an example of science and bravery, which had been surpassed by no other officer. His exertions in the attack on the 6th could not fail to excite the most lively feelings of admiration. It appeared that three practicable breaches had been made, that the enemy had expected the attack to be made by these breaches, and had employed every imaginable means for effectual resistance. That resistance (he had this from an eye-witness) was one of the most formidable efforts that had perhaps ever been made in any war. Their lordships, indeed, might judge of the nature of that effort, when they considered its effect upon troops certainly not liable to be deterred by difficulties in the execution of any hazardous enterprize, whatever might be the obstacles to be surmounted. On the one hand, General Picton, and on the other General Walker, had succeeded by escalade, at the extremities of the place. It was impossible to contemplate without admiration, the conduct of the latter attack, which was only designed as a feint at first, to be turned into a real attack afterwards, if circumstances should allow. That division had got into the fortress by escalade, where there was no breach, and in the face of a strong bastion. It was impossible to contemplate this occurrence without feeling it due to General Walker to say, and a higher praise could not well be bestowed,— that his conduct had sustained the reputation which he had acquired on former occasions. He hoped he would live to give his country the benefit of those farther services which he had proved himself so capable of render

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ing. This was the officer who had distinguished himself so highly at the battle of Vimiera, where he commanded the 50th regiment, and manoeuvred it in such a manner as to defeat the

efforts of a body of the enemy five

times the number of his own troops. So conspicuous had been his merit on that occasion, that the French general who was then taken, without knowing who General Walker was, earnestly desired to be introduced to him, stating that he had done what he had never seen done before in any battle. He thought it due to General Walker to advert to this circumstance, and he had only farther to say, that the vigour, promptitude, and spirit, which this excellent officer had displayed at Vimiera, were at least equalled by his conduct in the attack of Badajoz. It would be in vain to attempt to particularize the conduct of other officers where all had so eminently distinguished themselves. The public dispatches must have apprised their lordships of the gallant conduct of Generals Colville, Kempt, Bowes, and the other officers concerned in this gallant enterprize. There was one circumstance, however, which he must not omit to mention, as it was worthy of particular observation. It happened, that, owing to the indisposition of some other officers, the command of a most important division of the troops, the light division, fell upon a young officer, not above the rank of lieutenant colomel. This was Colonel Barnard, whose conduct had been spoken of with the admiration which it deserved. He was induced by several considerations to advert to this circumstance. He mentioned it because he had the honour to know this gallant officer, and was proud that he had had an opportunity of so highly distinguishing himself. But he mentioned it chiefly with another and more important view, that of calling their lordships' attention to

the race of young officers that were rising under the auspices and command of the distinguished leader of the combined armies. Here was a body of officers forming under Lord Wellington, which would constitute a shield of strength, such as had, perhaps, never before existed in any other country, or indeed in this, on any former occasion. Having said thus much of the gallant exploit for which he called for their lordships' thanks, and of the merits of those concerned in it, he felt it impossible not to touch on the loss which our army had sustained. On that subject there could be but one feeling in the House, and in the country at large. But he hoped the friends and relatives of those who so gloriously fell would derive consolation from the fame of the illustrious dead; from the reflection that they had had performed the most eminent service to their country, and that if they had fallen, they fell not in vain. They had died in a glorious cause, under a commander who was regarded by the army with the most enthusiastic admiration, and in the discharge of a duty the most essential for promoting the farther success of the war. In looking at this part of the subject as a parliament and a nation, they must have observed, that there was no point of Lord Wellington's conduct more remarkable than his anxiety on all occasions to spare the lives of the men under his command as much as possible. He had had an opportunity of knowing more fully than most others, that it was the ruling principle of his conduct, never to endeavour to gain by a battle that which he could gain without it. This was a proper principle on all occasions, and under all circumstances; but more particularly with regard to this country. Their lordships had seen how perseveringly Lord Wellington had acted on this principle in the operations at Torres Vedras. His language then was this, “I have an opportunity of attacking the enemy with a full confidence of success; but I think I can accomplish my purpose without it, and therefore I shall not expose the lives of my men to unnecessary hazard.” On other occasions Lord Wellington had acted on the same principle. The attainment of the present object had been indeed attended with great loss to the British army; but it ought to be recollected, that nothing was more to be avoided than a pro

tracted operation; and even with a view to the preservation of the lives of the soldiers, as well as to the ultimate success of the war, the attack upon Badajoz ought to be considered as a most judicious enterprize. The loss ought to be compared with the magnitude of the object; and in this view

it would be found to be less in the pre

sent instance than in many operations at the most distinguished period of our military history. If their lordships would look at the operations under the Duke of Marlborough, they would find that at the siege of Lisle the allied armies had lost 12,000 men; at the siege of Douay, 8000; at the siege of Aire; 7000 men; and at the siege of Toulon, where they failed, 13,000 men. The loss in an attack such as that on Badajoz might indeed be severe ; but, however much to be regretted, it must be regarded as in all probability less than that of a protracted siege. There was one other point to which he was desirous of calling their lordships’ attention before he concluded. Their lordships must have observed with peculiar satisfac. tion, that the military operations of this country had, within these few years, assumed an entirely new character. This he said without by any means undervaluing its efforts in for. mer wars; but such was now the state of the world, that in addition to strength and resources, a nation, in

order to be secure, must combine with

that strength all the advantages of art and science The operation now under consideration could not fail to suggest the remarks which he had just made.

On all occasions, indeed, British troops had shewn the most distinguished and pre-eminent valour in the #. but in the course of the last century they had been but little accustomed to the science of attack upon fortified places. If they had still been defective in that species of warfare therefore, we ought not to have been disheartened,—we ought to have known that our soldiers would, from experience, acquire this. art if essentially necessary; but we had the satisfaction to find, from the attacks upon Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, that if our troops were the best in Europe in the field, which he supposed none would dispute with us, they were also not less formidable in attacks upon fortified places. It was well known what resistance these places were capable of making, and had made, against other forces; and it was known, also, that before the British army, under Lord Wellington, Ciudad Rodrigo had fallen in eleven days, and Badajoz in twenty. All this must afford peculiar satisfaction to those who looked upon the course of the war in the peninsula as affording the best hopes of ultimate success in the contest. They must feel the high importance of this operation : and even to those who doubted, or thought differently, if any now did so, it must appear a great advantage. They could not but see what strength it afforded for the defence of the country, if the battle were to be fought on our own

ground, in the discipline and skill

which must be acquired in the course of these operations, by such a British

army, under such a leader.” He con

cluded by moving, “ The Thanks of

the House to the general, the officers,

and troops, in the usual manner.”—

The motion was of course carried unanimously. The sagacity of Lord Wellington in pressing the siege of Badajoz with such vigour, now became manifest. Soult was rapidly advancing to the relief of this important fortress; and - Marmont, after vainly attempting to carry Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida by a coup de main, was marching into the interior of Portugal. The British commander instantly moved forward to check the progress of Soult, but that officer having, on his arrival at Villa Franca, been apprised of the fall of Badajoz, began his retreat. Mar'mont penetrated as far as Castella Branca, where he also learned the result of the siege, and commenced his retreat

so hastily, that he abandoned this.

place the very same day on which he entered it. He derived no other advantage from his movements than the lunder of one or two provinces; so inglorious had the efforts of the enemy become under the commanding influence of Lord Wellington. Already did they feel the superiority of his genius, and were reduced to the necessity of regulating their movements by his exploits If he was engaged in a daring enterprise which promised to occupy him for a few weeks, they resumed their activity and advanced; if he was successful, they retreated, and sunk once more into inaction.—Such was the opening of a campaign which was to exhibit events yet more brilliant and astonishing. The retreat of Soult was precipitate, but he was pursued with great alacrity by the British cavalry under Sir Stapleton Cotton. On the evening of the 11th April, this gallant of. cer came up with the enemy's rear §. consisting of 2500 cavalry, at Villa Garcia, on the confines of Estremadura. Major General Le Marchant with his dragoons charged the French with such impetuosity, as to drive

them in the utmost confusion upon Llerena, where the main army had retired. On the same day Soult evacuated that place; and the province. of Estremadura was thus entirely freed from the presence of the enemy. While these great operations were going forward, the Guerillas in the north of Spain were not inactive. The French had dared to consider the patriots as traitors, and had committed: . acts of wanton cruelty ; but an ample retaliation was now to be taken for these excesses. Don Geronimo Merino commonly called El Cura de Villoviado) a most able and enterprising Guerilla chief, succeeded in making 500 prisoners, including 1 lieutenantcolonel and 11 other officers, after a resistance which cost the enemy 73 killed and 97 wounded. The prisoners. immediately suffered in the proportion of 20 for each of the three members of the Junta of Burgos, who had been put to death by the enemy, and in the proportion of 10 for each of Merino’s soldiers, who lately shared the same fate. This act was accompanied by a declaration that in the same ratio, retaliation would always be observed.— On the 28th, when retiring to Villa Franca with the remainder of his prisoners, Merino took post with a part of his forces at a cross road, where he expected a rescue would be attempted.

Being apprised of the advance of the

enemy in pursuit of the convoy, he dressed an ambuscade, into which the enemy fell, and there left dead 36. men, besides a considerable number of wounded. The British commander prepared for prosecuting the ulterior objects of the campaign. Marmont was at Salamanca; Drouet at Aguazel; and Soult at Seville; and Lord Wellington in the first instance directed his efforts to break up entirely the communications betwixt the French armies of Portugal and of the south of Spain

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