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FIELD MARSHAL THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,
General the Earl of Wellington, K.B., to the Lady Sarah Napier * MY DEAR MADAM,
Gallegos, 20th January, 1812. • I am sorry to tell you that your son George was again wounded in the right arm so badly last night, in the storm of Ciudad Rodrigo, that it was necessary to amputate it above the elbow. He, however, bore the operation remarkably well; and I have seen him this morning, quite well, free from pain and fever, and enjoying highly his success before he had received his wound. When he did receive it, he only desired that I might be informed that he had led his men to the top of the breach before he had fallen. 6
Having such sons, I am aware that you expect to hear of those misfortunes which I have more than once had to communicate to you; and notwithstanding your affection for them, you have so just a notion of the value of the distinction they are daily acquiring for themselves, by their gallantry and good conduct, that their misfortunes do not make so great an impression upon you.
• Under such circumstances, I perform the task which I have taken upon myself with less reluctance, hoping at the
* This, and the two following letters, were omitted to be inserted according to their dates in the last volume.
same time that this will be the last occasion on which I shall have to address you upon such a subject; and that your brave sons will be spared to you.
• Although the last was the most serious, it was not the only wound which George received during the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo: he was hit by the splinter of a shell in the shoulder on the 16th.
Believe me, &c. • The Lady Sarah Napier.
General the Earl of Wellington, K.B., to Lieut. Colonel Torrens,
Military Secretary to the Commander in Chief. MY DEAR Torrens,
• Gallegos, 28th January, 1812. • I have received your very kind letter of the 4th instant, and I beg you will take an opportunity of assuring the Duke of York that I am obliged to His Royal Highness for his recollection of me, as much as if his recommendation of me had been successful.
· I should think that his Royal Highness the Prince Regent must have misunderstood Lord Wellesley, when His Royal Highness supposed that he intended to convey to His Royal Highness that a Military Government was no object to me, and that I had other views. Lord Wellesley must have said that I had never spoken or written to him or any body else respecting such an object; but he could not have said that I had other views. Indeed I do not know what views I could have, excepting to serve the country to the best of my ability.
• I have never stated to any body a wish to have a Military Government, because I make it a rule never to apply to any body in any manner for any thing for myself; and I have always been convinced from his known character, as well as from experience, that if it was expedient and proper that I should receive such a favor, the Duke of York would recommend me for it, without any application from myself or my friends.
• I should have been very happy to receive, at the recommendation of His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, the mark of the favor of the Prince Regent which was proposed for me
* I have not much time to attend to my own affairs; and I do not know exactly how I stand with the world at present. The pay of Commander of the Forces, which is all that I receive in this country, does not defray my expenses here, while my family must be maintained in England; and I think it probable that I shall not be richer for having served in the Peninsula. A Military Government, therefore, would be desirable as an addition to my income.
I believe that we shall have General Officers in sufficient numbers, when those recently appointed shall arrive, notwithstanding the loss of Mackinnon and Craufurd, who died of his wounds four days ago. I propose to appoint Clinton or Charles Alten to his situation. It will be very desirable to get rid of
and but not in a manner to mortify them. • Pack has long wished to return to the British service, but I doubt whether it would come to his turn to have a British brigade, even now that Craufurd and Mackinnon are gone. As soon as it shall come to his turn, I will remove him to the British service, and will apply to have him made a Brigadier General.
• Believe me, &c. • Lieut. Colonel Torrens.'
General the Earl of Wellington, K.B., to Major General
· MY DEAR SIR,
• Freneda, 5th March, 1812. 3 P.M. • I propose to set out for the Alentejo to-morrow morning, and General Leith with the 5th division, the greater part of which has already been removed from Ciudad Rodrigo, will have marched from thence on the 9th instant. The General will probably stay there himself for a day or two after the troops, but upon this subject he will communicate with you. I send this letter to him for his perusal.
• As I am about to undertake an important operation in Estremadura, which will require some time to complete it, I am anxious to take advantage as much as possible of the difficulties which the enemy experience in obtaining intelligence, to gain time. With this view, I have remained so long in this part of the country after the body of the army had marched ; and I have detained here the 5th division, and
I am desirous that you should remain in this part of the country for some time longer.
• I beg you to circulate in the country the report that I am going to hunt on the banks of the Huelva and Yeltes, and you might even have a house arranged for the hounds at Aldea de Yeltes.
• The 2nd division of the army of Portugal has marched from the Province of Avila, through the Puerto del Pico to Talavera de la Reyna; and there are now four divisions of that army on the Tagus. There remain, however, four divisions on the Tormes and Douro; viz., the 3rd division at and in the neighbourhood of Valladolid, where Marmont's head quarters are; the 5th division at Salamanca, Alba de Tormes, Peñaranda (where there is a small body of cavalry), and Medina del Campo (where the artillery is); the 7th division at Ledesma, and on the road to Zamora, as far as Zamora ; and the 8th division at Benavente, and in that neighbourhood,
• If the enemy should advance upon Ciudad Rodrigo, or should move to cross the Agueda below the town, you will fall back across the Agueda, and thence gradually, taking care not to commit yourself, upon Sabugal, and from Sabugal in the same manner, by Penamacor on Castello Branco.
• If you should find that Marmont's head quarters move from Valladolid towards Talavera ; or if the 3rd or the 5th division should move to the south, or the 7th division, you will march, by easy marches, so as not to injure the horses, by Sabugal, Penamacor, Castello Branco, Portalegre, to Elvas, apprizing me of your marches.
· The Commissary General leaves in this part of the country an officer of his department, supplied with money for the wants of the 1st hussars; and measures will be taken to supply the men and horses on the march they will have to make through Lower Beira into Alentejo; upon which your Commissary will receive his instructions from the Commissary General.
• I beg you to desire Major Grant of the 11th regiment, who is, I believe, at Tamames, and Lieut. Blanckley, of the 23rd regiment, who is at Bejar, to give you constant intelligence of the enemy's movements. Desire the latter to tell the Portuguese officer who is at Plasencia, likewise to correspond