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which first induced them to set the to attach so much importance to the example of resistance to the usurper, possession of Burgos; that this single will induce them to make exertions in fortress could never have enabled the the cause of their country, which will beaten enemy to keep the field ; nor be more efficacious than those formerly could it, even in the most unfavourable made.” Had the Spaniards acted event for the British army, have prethus, the independence of their coun- sented any serious obstacle to a retreat. try might have been established in the That, in point of fact, the plan pura course even of this single campaign, sued by Lord Wellington was at. which had already become so glorious ; tended with this consequence, that the British armies might have won Soult, Suchet, and Joseph Buonaelsewhere those laurels which they parte were enabled to unite their arwere still destined to gather in Spain ; mies, and with the remains of Marthe sufferings of humanity might have mont's force, to compel the British, been abridged, and the destinies of the whom they far outnumbered, to reworld more easily fixed and secured. tire. Such are the opinions which It will be a painful task to record, have been professed by some judges how far the Spanish nation was from not wholly incompetent ; but there fulfilling these expectations.

are others who have taken a different Doubts have been entertained by and apparently a juster view of the some persons, whether the plan formed conduct of the British commander. by Lord Wellington at this great con- It was expected that the strong exjuncture, was quite conformable to the pedition under General Maitland, by wisdom which generally marked his uniting with the Spanish troops in operations. It has been said, that it that quarter, would have been able to should have been the great object of co-operate in another and a more bethe British general to have united the neficial way with the grand army. whole of the allied forces in the

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so strong an army in ninsula, and completed the separation that part of Spain, it was supposed, of the different corps of the enemy; would have operated as a check upon that, with this view, leaving a body Soult and Suchet, and prevented them of troops to prevent the passage of the from attempting any thing, while Douro, he should have marched direct. Lord Wellington was completing his ly upon Alicant, threatened the armies plan of operations in the north but of Suchet and Joseph Buonaparte, pre- these well-founded expectations were vented their junction with Soult, and entirely disappointed by a series of established his own communications accidents, which could not have enwith General Maitland ; that thus uni- tered into the contemplation of the ted the allied army would have had no British chief. The expedition undifficulty in accomplishing any object der General Maitland was inadequate to which it might have been directed; to any active operations without the while the enemy's forces, so widely aid of the Spaniards ; and it unfortu. separated, must have been incapable nately happened, that, just about the of attempting any operation of im- time when the expedition was disemportance. The capital after this barked at Alicant, the Spaniards commight easily have been preserved ; and manded by General O'Donnell were the unexpected disasters which follow. defeated by the French under Harispe, ed might have been avoided. That it and the plan of the campaign was thus is not easy to discover the reasons in a great measure deranged. General which induced the British commander Maitland was unavoidably cooped up

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VOL. V. PART I.

X

in Alicant by the very superior force ged in the siege of Cadiz manifestly which was brought against him ; and depended. But General Hill with a Lord Wellington, whose plans had large British force was now upon the been formed on the supposition that confines of Estremadura ; a Spanish he would be actively supported by the army was on the Niebla, and Ballastecombined English and Spanish armies ros, who had hitherto discovered much in the east, was totally abandoned by activity and patriotism, was stationed them, and exposed to the concentrated on the Ronda. Soult perceived the attack of all the enemy's forces. The dangers to which he was exposed; he fate of this expedition to Alicant was saw that if he were unable to maintain such as to excite against the Spaniards, his communication with the besieging whose obstinacy occasioned its entire force, that force must be withdrawn failure, the ridicule and indignation of altogether; and he accordingly came the British army. It could not be im. to the determination of retreating. puted as a fault to Lord Wellington, The harangues which he addressed to therefore, that he did not discontinue his soldiers before he had recourse to his operations in the north to proceed this painful alternative, were distinupon Alicant; but it was the fault or guished by a circumstance which may misfortune of those to whom that ex. well be considered as singular in French pedition was entrusted, and by whom accounts of military operations, and he ought to have been supported, that could no where appear more extraor. his operations were not attended with dinary than in an oration of Marshal all those great consequences to which Soult-a confession that “misfortunes they promised at one time to have had befallen the imperial eagle," and led.

that it would require all the efforts of The restoration of Madrid to the his army to repair these disasters. He Spaniards was not the only immediate immediately began to evacuate Andaconsequence of the victory of Salaman- lusia ; and on the 24th of August, ca; the raising of the siege of Cadiz the siege of Cadiz was raised. was another which might at that time What then was the actual condition have been turned to very great advan- of Spain at this auspicious moment? tage by the Spaniards. The command Gallicia, Leon, and the Asturias were of the French armies in the south of entirely freed from the presence of the Spain had been entrusted to Marshal enemy, while Madrid, the greater part Soult, who enjoyed the highest repu- of New Castile and La Mancha, had tation of all the French generals, and been by one great blow recovered to seemed to merit the confidence of his the Spaniards. The French in Biscay government not less, by his zeal than were concentrating to evacuate that by his ability. He was obstinately province also, and to join the wreck bent on retaining his hold over the of Marmont's army-the siege of Casouthern provir.ces, and had determi- diz had been raised, and Soult was prened never to evacuate them but in the paring to evacuate Andalusia. Arralast extremity. The victory of Sala- gon was partly in possession of the manca, however, made a wonderful im- Spaniards, and partly in that of the pression on his mind; and the fears enemy---in Catalonia a spirited resist. which he began to entertain for his ance was maintained, which rendered own safety prevailed over all other the enemy's hold of the province very considerations. He had long main- precarious ; and in Navarre, the pare tained his position at Seville, upon iizan Mina had not only operated with which the safety of the troops enga great effect against the enemy by cutting off his straggling parties and in- period, gave the French an advantage tercepting his supplies, but had fre- which they little expected. The abquently penetrated into France, where sence of Lord Wellington at Madrid he spread terror and devastation, and was in some measure favourable to their took an imperfect revenge for the suf- views, for it afforded them an opporferings of his country. In Murcia tunity of rallying, and, with the aid of and Valencia, where Suchet command- the reinforcements which they received, ed, and where, from the beginning he of attempting once more to act upon had been but inadequately opposed by the offensive. They sent strong dethe undisciplined armies of Spain, the tachments along the Douro--they raienemy maintained a doubtful domini. sed the sieges of Toro and Zamora, on ; but from these provinces also it and were enabled to withdraw the garwas to be expected that the French risons established in these forts. They would soon be driven by the allied hoped to be successful in saving Asforces which were collecting against torga, which was besieged by the Brithem.

tish troops ; but in this instance they The enemy, on the other hand, still found themselves anticipated by the possessed a very formidable army in superior activity of the assailants, to the peninsula. The whole forces un- whom the fortress had surrendered. der Clausel, (who had succeeded Mar. The army which endeavoured to remont) Suchet, Soult, and Joseph Buo. lieve this place returned to Valladolid, naparte, amounted to 150,000 men ; but was speedily compelled to retreat and as the misfortunes of the French before Lord Wellington, who had by had hitherto arisen in great part from this time retired from Madrid. So their separate and disjointed plans of great was the panic with which they operations, they determined to profit were seized on the approach of the by experience, and, if possible, to avoid British, that they not only abandoned 60 great an error in future. Their Valladolid, but left Burgos wholly plan was, that the remainder of Mar- defenceless, and retreated towards the mont's

army, reinforced by the troops Ebro. from Biscay, should move in the di- Burgos had at one time been consirection of Burgos, and watch the dered by the Spaniards as among the British troops destined for thế siege most important of their strong-holds ; of that place, while Soult with Jo. but this opinion was formed at a peseph Buonaparte and Suchet should riod when the artifices of modern war. advance upon Madrid, and compel the fare were almost wholly unknown. British to evacuate it. They hoped TH characteristic indolence of the that Lord Wellington would thus Spaniards had suffered it to fall into be placed in critical circumstances- such decay, and the defence of it was that the enemy's approach to Ma- upon the whole so feeble, that the indrid and to Burgos at the same time vader in his progress through Spain would ultimately force him either to found but little difficulty in reducing fight on disadvantageous terms, or to it. The French, however, employed

To execute this extensive themselves with their usual diligence plan, they hesitated not to make any and skill in improving the fortificasacrifices, and considered even the eva. tions ; they made Burgos the centre cuation of the north and south of Spain of their operations in the north of as of comparatively trifling importance. Spain, and zealously employed them

A very unfortunate combination of selves for two years in rendering it one circumstances, which happened at this of the strongest places in the perinsula.

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retreat.

sion.

The British general was severely · it was on the castle which commanded censured for wasting so much valua- the neighbouring, roads, and on the ble time at Madrid, and neglecting hill of St Michael's, that the French to follow up his successes ; but a sa

had exhausted all the efforts of their tisfactory explanation may easily be skill. Lord Wellington had obvious given of his conduct on this occa- reasons for pushing the siege with vi.

He considered himself with gour ; and he therefore ordered the great justice as the ally only of the Spa- outwork upon the hill to be imme. nishiation ; he did not imagine that diately stormed.

This service was it was his duty to fight their battles performed during the night, with the without

support; he expected the ac- same success which had marked all tive co-operation of the Spaniards the other operations of the army ; but themselves in vindicating their indepen- so thick was the darkness, that some dence; and upon reaching their capital, mistakes were committed by the ashe was naturally desirous of bringing sailants, in consequence of which their their principles and feelings to some loss was more than usually severe, test. He despised the feeble system of amounting to 300 men killed, and government to which the destinies of wounded. The French stationed in the Spain were committed ; and he was works were 500 in number, only 63 anxious to countenance and promote of whom were made prisoners, the resome great political changes. He was mainder having perished in the fury of not less a politician than a soldier; the assault. The possession of these he knew well, that by such military heights enabled the British to take a exertions as Spain was able to make more accurate survey of the strength in her degraded condition, she could of the castle ; and they soon perceived never resist with effect the force op- that they would have a formidable re. posed to her; and he was anxious, sistance to encounter. It may be therefore, to infuse into the Spaniards presumed, however, that their energy those noble and generous sentiments and perseverance would have triumphwhich were necessary to their situa. ed over all resistance, but for a series tion. It was his great object, there- of untoward events, which for a season fore, on entering the Spanish capital, interrupted their career of glory. to revive and elevate the people to The rapidity of Lord Wellington's inspire them with true patriotism, and advance had prevented him from to excite in them a feeling of heroic bringing up his heavy artillery, withperseverance, which, under any change out which nothing but the imperious of circumstances, must have rendered necessity which he felt at this time for them invincible. Such was the grand the most vigorous operations, could object of his stay at Madrid; and if have justified him in attempting to he failed in his purpose, the fault lay take the castle of Burgos. He was with the Spaniards, and not with him, thus compelled to abandon the ordinary who had delivered them from oppres. method of attack, for want of a prosion, and who, if the destinies of Spain per artillery train, and to resort to the had been committed to his care, would slower and more uncertain process of have elevated a race of men, whom an sapping the works. The defence was odious tyranny had so long debased. conducted with great skill and resolu

The French armies retired on the tion by the garrison ; the governor approach of Lord Wellington to the had instructions to hold out to the siege of Burgos. The city presented last extremity. So soon as the Brino serious obstacle to the besiegers ; tish had got possession of St Michael's

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whole army:

hill, they erected a battery, which holds, which had already been wrested
commanded the outer line of the from the enemy.- But a series of ac-
works, connecting the fortress with cidents occurred, to prevent the ful.
the town. This line was escaladed filment of these expectations.
at two points by a British and Portua The defeat of the Spaniards under
gueze detachment ; the Portugueze, O'Donnell

, and the consequent inac. however, failed in their attempt, and tivity of the expedition which had the British had advanced so far, that been sent to Alicant, have already it was not without some difficulty been mentioned, and these unfortunate they were drawn off. The French circumstances were of themselves sufafter this did not remain altogether ficient to have deranged the whole on the defensive ; they made succes- plan of the campaign. But other mis. sively two sorties against the works of fortunes, neither less serious nor unexthe besiegers, which, however, were pected, happened about this time to not attended with very important con- embarrass the British general, and to sequences. The loss of Major Collier, deprive him of all chance of reaping the the field officer, in the trenches, who full advantages of his lateachievements. fell while rallying the troops during When Lord Wellington advanced to the second of these sorties, was deeply the north, he expected to have received regretted by Lord Wellington and the the support of the Gallician army; an

army which was said to consist of The besiegers, in spite of all the 30,000 disciplined troops, in the highefforts of the garrison, still continued est state of order and equipment, and to make rapid progress ; they esta. commanded by officers of talent and blished themselves within 100 yards experience. These magnificent proof the enemy's interior line ; they ef.: mises, however, were sadly belied by fected a breach in another part of the the result; and Lord Wellington had same line; accomplished a lodgement, the mortification to find, that this and carried on their mines under Spanish army consisted of 10,000 in. ground with the utmost celerity. On stead of 30,000 men, without disci. the 11th of October, a mine was suc-' pline, without equipments of any kind, cessfully sprung ; the breaches were and commanded by men who had yet instantly stormed, and the lines esca- to learn the rudiments of their proladed, and part of the British troops fession. Severe, indeed, must this disactually entered the works ; but the appointment have been to the British fire from the garrison was so heavy, chief, and disgraceful to the Spaniards that they were unable to sustain them- were the misrepresentations by which selves, and retired after suffering some they had deceived their generous

allies. loss. The recollection, however, of Deeper mortifications, however, yet what had been done at Ciudad Rode awaited Lord Wellington ; and the rigo and Badajoz; the astonishing Spaniards were, in the person of one progress which had already been made of their most popular leaders, to give even before Burgos, and the universal a striking example of that melancholy confidence reposed in the intrepidity infatuation which so long retarded the of the troops,

and the fortumes of their deliverance of their country. commander, filled the British nation General Ballasteros, one of the most with the most. sanguine hopes that successful of the Spanish chieftains, this place was destined very soon to commanded an army of his countryfollow the fall of the other strong, men in the south, where he had already

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