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Lieut. General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to Vice Admiral
the Hon. G. Berkeley. - My Dear Sir,
• Viseu, 1st April, 1810. 'I am very much obliged to you for your letter of the 25th March.
• The alteration of the arrangement for the command at Cadiz, and the orders given by Government to send to Lisbon all the transports, which in my opinion they might as well have left to us, render it impossible to draw any part of the corps from thence, whatever may be our necessities.
I do not find that the Government have sent any hospital ships, notwithstanding my request; and I shall therefore be much obliged to you if you will allow the fitting up of the number you mention (six) to be continued.
I have not yet heard from Colonel Fletcher about the telegraph, since he spoke to you. I am much obliged to you for the plan for the Portuguese troops. It will be very useful to them.
• Believe me, &c. Vice Admiral
· WELLINGTON. the Hon. G. Berkeley.'
Lieut. General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to Brigadier General
Cox, General of Almeida. « My dear Sir,
• Viseu, 1st April, 1810. 'I request you to pay Señor Echevarria all the expenses which he has incurred for the encouragement of desertion from the French army, and for the support of deserters, and to tell him that I request him to encourage desertion by the following measures. Let him send trusty persons to assure soldiers in the French army, induced to desert, that they shall be received here and treated in every respect as British soldiers; that their arms and horses if they should bring them, shall be bought from them and paid for ; that they shall have their option of enlisting into the British service or not; that if they choose to enlist, they shall receive a bounty and shall have the choice of enlisting into any of the Foreign corps with this army, or in England; and that if they do not choose to enlist, measures shall be taken to send them out of the Peninsula, and to facilitate their return to their own country.
'I request that all deserters may be sent to the head quarters of the army, and all expenses incurred on their account shall be paid.
• Believe me, &c. Brig. General Cox.'
Lieut. General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to C. Stuart, Esq. MY DEAR SIR,
Viseu, 1st April, 1810. ' I have received your letter of the 28th of March.
• In respect to the Patriarch's proposal to divide the king dom into districts, it is my opinion that the kingdom is already divided in a very convenient manner ; the magistrates are fully sufficient for the performance of the duty required of them; the laws and regulations are excellent; and all that is required is to put the whole in motion, and to carry the laws into execution.
I can have no objection to give Beresford any power; on the contrary the greater the power he has, the better it will be for the public service: but for his own sake, I should think it better to leave the execution of the laws in the hands of the ordinary magistrates. Settle it however in any way you think best.
I agree with you respecting the existing disposition of the inhabitants of Lisbon. In fact, all they wish for is to be saved from the French : they were riotous last winter, because they imagined, and with some reason, that we intended to abandon them; and they became quiet as soon as they found that a different system was adopted, and about to be acted upon.
· These facts would however lead to a conclusion that they would become riotous if they saw the enemy on the left of the Tagus, and heard of him at no great distance on the right of that river, knowing that we had made all our arrangements to embark. The riots and insurrections of the town of Lisbon can never do us any good; and I am therefore anxious that the system which I had proposed to you should be organised.
I have desired that you may have half the money come from England. The arrangement made by Government for the command of Cadiz will totally ruin us in the way of money.
· Has Lord Wellesley written to you respecting preparations to be made by the Government for embarking?
• I shall send off the messenger with the letters for England to-morrow evening, and he will be at Lisbon in the evening or early in the night of Wednesday. I enclose a letter from Colonel
- Believe me, &c. • C. Stuart, Esq.'
Lieut. General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to Lieut. General Hill. • MY DEAR Hill,
Viseu, 1st April, 1810. 'I have received your letter of the 26th March. We have not more cavalry than is required for the service of the British army, and I cannot allow it to be employed separately from the other troops.
· Believe me, &c. · Lieut. General Hill.'
Lieut. General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to Lieut. General Hill. • MY DEAR HILL,
• Viseu, 2nd April, 1810. I received last night your letter of the 30th March. The enemy's detachment which had moved through the Puerto de Baños has retired again into Castille; and I am convinced
that the only object of its movement into Estremadura was to oblige General Carrera to withdraw from Coria, which he did.
• I cannot understand what advantage the French can derive from the possession of Alcantara, the bridge over the Tagus being irreparably destroyed. It is the worst ferry on the river; I do not believe a gun could get to the boat on either side, which boat is very small, and could not contain two horses.
• The reports which you have on the Portuguese frontier south of the Tagus, will show you that the bridge of Alcantara being destroyed the enemy could not pitch upon a more inconvenient place than that from whence to make their movements; and it is the worst position that they could take for any other purpose: a small corps could not retreat from it.
• My opinion is that they have taken their position at Caceres because they could get no provisions at Truxillo, and because they found they could do so without inconvenience and in safety, as the Marquis de la Romana had detached a part of his corps to the Sierra Morena.
My opinion therefore is that the position of the enemy at Caceres has nothing to say to yours or to the Portuguese frontier. It is possible, however, as the Marquis de la Romana says, that the position of the enemy at Caceres may annoy the town of Badajoz, in the safety of which we are much interested, and the position of the corps under his command.
If you should find this to be really the case, I have no objection to your showing yourself beyond the Sierra, if you should be of opinion that your doing so will be of any advantage to them, and will not be inconvenient to your own troops.
You see what the opinion of people in England is of affairs here. My instructions so far concur with the general sentiment as to forbid any risk, or any unnecessary loss; and you will attend to that in any movement which
In respect to the relief of Colonel Wilson, General Beresford found it necessary to bring the Lusitanian legion, of which Colonel Wilson is the commanding officer, out of the mountains, with a view to their discipline; and they are replaced by another regiment; and Colonel Le Cor now commands in that part. You will find him equally active and intelligent with Colonel Wilson; but you must write to him in French. Communicate with him as soon as you can.
• Believe me, &c. ' Lieut, General Hill.'
you may make.