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The motion was of course carried them in the utmost confusion upon unanimously
Llerena, where the main
army The sagacity of Lord Wellington tired. On the same day Soult evain pressing the siege of Badajoz with cuated that place ; and the province such vigour, now became manifest. of Estremadura was thus entirely freed Soult was rapidly advancing to the re- from the presence of the enemy. lief of this important fortress ; and While these great operations were Marmont, after vainly attempting to going forward, the Guerillas in the
Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida by north of Spain were not inactive. The
de muin, was marching into the French had dared to consider the painterior of Portugal. The British triots as traitors, and had committed commander instantly moved forward many acts of wanton cruelty ; but an to check the progress of Soult, but ample retaliation was now to be taken that officer having, on his arrival at for these excesses. Don Geronimo Me. Villa Franca, been apprised of the fall rinocommonly called El Cura de Vilof Badajoz, began his retreat. Mar- loviado) a most able and enterprising mont penetrated as far as Castella Bran. Guerilla chief, succeeded in making ca, where he also learned the result of 500 prisoners, including 1 lieutenantthe siege, and commenced his retreat colonel and 11 other officers, after a so hastily, that he abandoned this resistance which cost the enemy 73 place the very same day on which he killed and 97 wounded. The prisoners entered it. He derived no other ad- immediately suffered in the proportion vantage from his movements than the of 20 for each of the three members of plunder of one or two provinces ; so the Junta of Burgos, who had been put inglorious had the efforts of the ene- to death by the enemy, and in the promy become under the commanding in- portion of 10 for each of Merino's fluence of Lord Wellington. Already soldiers, who lately shared the same did they feel the superiority of his ge- fate This act was accompanied by a nius, and were reduced to the necessi. declaration that in the same ratio, rety of regulating their movements by taliation would always be observed.his exploits. If he was engaged in a On the 28th, when retiring to Villa daring enterprise which promised to Franca with the remainder of his prioccupy
him for a few weeks, they re- soners, Merino took post with a part sumed their activity and advanced ; if of his forces at a cross road, where he he was successful, they retreated, and expected a rescue would be attempted, sunk once more into inaction.-Such Being apprised of the advance of the was the opening of a campaign which enemy in pursuit of the convoy, he was to exhibit events yet more brilliant dressed an ambuscade, into which the and astonishing.
enemy fell, and there left dead 36 The retreat of Soult was precipi- men, besides a considerable number of tate, but he was pursued with great wounded. alacrity by the British cavalry under The British commander prepared Sir Stapleton Cotton. On the even- for prosecuting the ulterior objects of ing of the 11th April, this gallant of the campaign. Marmont was at Sa. ficer came up with the enemy's rear lamanca ; Drouet at Aguazel ; and guard, consisting of 2500 cavalry, at Soult at Seville ; and Lord WellingVilla Garcia, on the confines of Estre. ton in the first instance directed his madura. Major General Le Marchant efforts to break up entirely the commu. with his dragoons charged the French nications betwixt the French armies of with such impetuosity, as to drive Portugal and of the south of Spain. 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 arms. In these memorable contests distance, added much to the difficulties the enemy had every advantage of poof his enterprise. He determined, how- sition which nature and art could give ever, io carry his object at all hazards; him; yet was he subdued in a shortin the expectation that he inight 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 alresolved 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 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 success. efforts, and advanced to the assault of es, and again retired upon Salaman. the 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 so much points; the garrison still continued intimidated him, that he thought no their fire ; the British had recourse to works strong enough for the protec. the bayonet, and quickly settled the tion of his army. In all the operaaffair. The enemy fled in all directions 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 fallen, 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 adpied 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 enterradrid 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 forts for the advauce of the British into in Salamanca ; but Lord Wellington, Spain, they crossed the Agueda on by a masterly manoeuvre, at last comthe 13th June, and on the 16th pelled him to abandon them to their reached Salamanca. It was suppo. fate.—The forts had been finely con. sed that Marmont would have ata 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 dif. the 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 enter. accordingly 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 ki. 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 reinforce. was 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 vernor, offering to capitulate after the The great victory which was after. lapse 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 commitso 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. The 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 pur. tuosity; 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 re. fort with very little loss. The gover- sistance.-In these speculations, bow. nor 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 now 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 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 in 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