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For this purpose he detached General crowned with complete success. The Hill to destroy the bridge of Almarez British lost in this brilliant affair about across the Tagus, on the eastern fron. 30 killed, and 130 wounded; the loss tierof Estremadura, which formed their of the enemy was much greater, exonly remaining line of communication. clusive even of the prisoners, who, to -General Hill, on his approach, the number of 300, fell into the hands found the bridge strongly protected; of the conquerors.--The capture of both sides of the river were defended Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, and the with works, which the enemy had destruction of the bridge of Almarez, thrown up; while the castle and re. do immortal honour to the British doubts of Mirabete, situated at a short
In these memorable contests distance, added much to the difficulties the
every advantage of poof his enterprise. He determined, how- sition which nature and art could give ever, :o carry his object at all hazards ; him ; yet was he subdued in a shortin the expectation that he might arrive er space than other generals with other at the point of attack before day-light, troops require to make preparations and take the enemy by surprise, he for the protracted labours of a siege. ordered that the flank column of his The French, by their ingenuity in forarmy should be provided with ladders, tifying places which were so soon to and should attempt the forts by esca be reduced, established the most forlade. The extreme badness of the midable barriers for the future defence roads prevented him from arriving so of the peninsula against invasion. soon as he expected ; and he therefore The bridge of Almarez formed al. resolved to penetrate by the mountain most the only communication below path, leading through the village of Toledo, by which a large army
could Romangordo, although he thus lost
cross the Tagus ; and the French ge. the benefit of his artillery. He could nerals were of course fully aware of not form his columns before day-break; its importance. When Marmont heard the French were of course fully appri: of the movements of General Hill, he sed of his intentions, and opened a broke up from Salamanca, and moved heavy fire on the advancing columns ; to the south-east as far as Fort Veras, the British disregarded their utmost where he heard of the British successefforts, and advanced to the assault of es, and again retired upon Salamanthe fort which protected the left bank Here he employed himself in of the river. The works were in a throwing up additional fortifications ; moment escaladed at three different the late events appear to have
much points; the garrison still continued intimidated him, that he thought no their fire ; the British had recourse to works strong enough for the protecthe bayonet, and quickly settled the tion of his army.-In all the operaaffair. The enemy fled'in all direc- tions of the French generals, they tions, and attempted to escape by the grossly miscalculated the enterprise of bridge ; but their comrades on the their enemy; they made movements other side of the river had already de. in defence of fortresses which had alstroyed it. Those who escaped de- ready failen, and after a short advance, struction by the bayonet perished in were uniformly compelled to retrace the stream ;
the garrison which occu their steps. Thus did Marmont ad.. pied Fort Ragusa on the opposite bank vance to the relief of Ciudad Rodrigo, were panic-struck, and fled with pre- when he was astonished by the intel. cipitation towards Naval Moral ; and ligence, that the British had already the enterprise of General Hill was reduced it; thus also did Soult move
forward to the relief of Badajoz, when fortifications of Salamanca. These the intelligence reached him at Villa unprofitable movements, which seemed Franca, that it was already in posses- the effect of distraction rather than of sion of the enemy; and thus did Mar- system, proved the entire dependence mont move tardily to protect the bridge of the French operations on those of of Almarez, when it was already taken, their enemies, while they evinced the after which he was obliged to retire, paramount genius of the British comand amuse himself in strengthening the mander.
Progress of the Campaign. The British advance upon Salamanca. They
carry by Storm the Forts which the French had constructed in that Place. Marmont retires, but on being reinforced, resumes the Offensive. Battle of Salamanca. The British enter adrid and Valladolid. They besiege Burgos. Causes of the Failure of this Enterprise, and of the subsequent Retreat of the Allies.
Every preparation having been made munication, however, with the forta for the advance of the British into in Salamanca ; but Lord Wellington, Spain, they crossed the Agueda on by a masterly maneuvre, at last comthe 13th June, and the 16th pelled him to abandon them to their reached Salamanca. It was suppo- fate.—The forts had been finely consed that Marmont would have at- structed, and were well defended; they tempted to defend this city ; but on had been established in such a manner the advance of the British cavalry, as to support each other, and the difthe French troops which had been ficulties which opposed their reduc. left before it, retired, and crossed the tion were very considerable. In one of Tormes.-The enemy had fortified them, however, a practicable breach some convents in Salamanca, and had was effected ; but this fort could not left about 800 men for their defence, be taken till another which protected with whom Marmont's army still en
it had been reduced ; an attempt was deavoured to keep up a communica- therefore made to carry the latter by tion Major General Clinton, with assault. This enterprise was unsucthe sixth division of the British army, cessful, and Major-General Bowes, a was ordered to reduce them, while the very gallant officer, fell while leading rest of the British troops were kept on the storming party.-The conduct in readiness to oppose the army of of this officer was very gallant, and deMarmont, should it attempt the
recap serves to be remembered. So eager ture of the town. This attempt was
was he for the success of the enteraccordingly made ; the French having prise for which he had been selected, collected their whole force, moved that he advanced in person at the head forward on the 20th, but found Lord of the storming party and was woundWellington so advantageously posted, ed; but no sooner was his wound that they hesitated about offering bat- dressed than he returned to the post tle. They were soon attacked, how- of honour, and gloriously perished at ever, by a division of the army under the head of his brave soldiers. Sir Thomas Graham, and forced to The reduction of the forts had hi. retire. The
enemy still kept up a com- therto proved a work of greater diffi
of the army.
culty than was at first expected ; but said, was at this time separated both success was now to crown the efforts from Bonnet, who occupied the Astu
On the 27th of June, rias, and from the army of the centre ; a practicable breach was made in one and the opportunity ought to have of the principal forts, and at the same been seized of bearing down upon time, the other which protected it him, before he could receive reinforcewas discovered to be on fire. The ments. When supported by the other assault was immediately ordered; but armies, he once more became superior before the troops had advanced, a pro- in numbers to the British, and was posal was received from the French go. enabled to turn upon his pursuers. vernor, offering to capitulate after the The great victory which was afterlapse of some hours. Lord Welling- wards gained must be ascribed chief. ton was not to be deceived by an offer ly, we are told, to the errors commit. so insidious ; he knew that it had no ted by the French marshal, at a time other object but to gain time for ex when all the chances of war were in tinguishing the flames ; and he return- his favour ; chances which had aried for answer, that the garrison must sen during the time employed in resurrender immediately. Ï'he governor ducing the forts at Salamanca. These made another trial of artifice ; Lord forts could not, even in the most unWellington answered him, by ordering favourable circumstances, have offered
the troops to advance to the assault. any considerable obstacle to the British # So much were they accustomed to en army, and it would have been more
terprises of this character, that they prudent, therefore, it has been said, received this order with the utmost to have left a small force to blockade joy; advanced with a resistless impe. them, and to have hastened the purtuosity; drove the French before them, suit of Marmont, while he was in no and made themselves masters of the condition to have offered a serious refort with very little loss. The gover- sistance.--In these speculations, hownor saw that all further resistance must ever, it seems to be forgotten, that the be vain, and capitulated on the terms forts were found to be much stronger which were dictated to him by the than had been anticipated ; that there British general. -For three years had would have been scarcely any delay in the French been employed in con- taking them, strong as they were, but structing these fortifications, and so for an accidental scarcity of ammunistrong did they consider them, that tion, which suspended the operations they had formed them into a depot for for some days; that the French constores of all kinds, which nog fell into sidered Salamanca, with its forts, as of the hands of the British. Lord Wel. sufficient importance to induce them lington himself, when he examined the to risk a battle in its defence, and forts
, is said to have expressed surprise that in the condition to which the at the rapidity with which they had French armies might have been redubeen carried ; and the French marshal ced, the considerable depot established was, as usual, filled with astonishment. at Salamanca was an object, of which
Some doubts have been insinuated it was important that Lord Welling. as to the policy of Lord Wellington, ton should deprive them - But it is
waiting for the reduction of these time to return from these idle critiforts, by which he was prevented for cisms, to the narration of the events of a time from following up the advan- the campaign. tages which he had gained over Mar So soon as the forts were reduced, mont. The French marshal, it is Lord Wellington put the army in
motion, and Marmont hastily retired When he perceived that his efforts to across the Douro; destroyed the turn the left of the British had been bridges, and concentrated his forces counteracted, he made a similarattempt at Tordesillas. He left his rear-guard on the opposite flank, which met with at Rueda ; Sir Stapleton Cotton, with the same result. Had he acted wisely, his cavalry, attacked it with great he would have waited till the army of impetuosity, and drove it in confu- the centre, and the other succours, sion upon the main body. The whole which were advancing, had given him French army immediately took up a so decided a superiority, as must have strong position on the Douro. left his adversary no choice in his move,
A series of brilliant maneuvres suc ments; but, elated as he was by the ceeded. Lord Wellington thought it partial success which for a time had atwould be imprudent to attack the ene. tended his plans, he forgot, or despised, my in his strong position; and instead all the ordinary rules of prudence. Lord of advancing upon Valladolid, he Wellington was in no condition to ha. threatened the Spanish capital. Mar- zard a battle unnecessarily; his army mont, who had been joined by Bonnet, was inferior in numbers to that of the and whose army had thus become su enemy, and was but ill supplied with perior in numbers to that of his anta stores and ammunition : although he gonist, determined to undertake offen. did not decline an engagement, theresive operations. He extended his right fore, neither did he court it. While he as far as Toro, repaired the bridge at provided for the retreat of his own that place, and ordered a part of his army, he kept a watchful eye on the army to cross the river, as if to turn movements of his adversary; and with the British left.--He hastily withdrew that admirable presence of mind, which these troops ; made a rapid march with nothing could confound, he prepared his whole army thirty miles up the ri- to take advantage of any error which ver to Tordesillas ; crossed at that the French marshal might commit. point, and succeeded in turning the Several days were thus spent in a sucHank of the allied army at Castregon. cession of movements than which mo. This brilliant movement threatened dern warfare can boast nothing more for a moment to change the aspect of brilliant, and neither party appeared the campaign ; it re-established the to have gained any advantage over the communications of the French marshal other. It is true, that by threatening with Madrid, and enabled the armies the British communications with Pora of the north and centre of Spain to tugal, the French had succeeded in unite, and bear down with an over accelerating the retreat of their enewhelming superiority on the British. my; but it is no less certain, that all But Lord Wellington was not to be the skilful attempts made to turn the easily disconcerted; he made arrange. British flanks, and to compel Lord ments for the retreat and junction of Wellington to fight at disadvantage, the different divisions of his army, and had proved abortive. By the 21st of took up a position, in which he offer. July the allied army was concentrated ed battle to the enemy. This Marmont on the Tormes ; and on the same day wisely declined ; but instead of wait. the French also crossed the river, ing for the arrival of the reinforce- and again appeared to threaten Ciudad ments which were hastening to his sup- Rodrigo.
persevert d in his maneuvres That great event, so long expected, to turn the British flanks, and incau. was now approaching ; but a new se. tiously exposed himself to attack, ries of manœuvres was first to be exe