Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

The drasts of many letters of 1812, as stated in the Introduction, are missing from the Duke of Wellington's papers. Some addressed to Sir Howard Douglas are among the number, and there is one to that Officer dated 25th May, 1812, the précis of which, according to the Index, is as follows :-“ Not to obey the Instructions of the 6th instant until he receives further orders from the Secretary of State." This letter has not been transmitted by Sir H. Douglas to the Compiler in time for insertion in this edition, but it will be hereafter published with others in au Appendix.

It appears that Sir Howard Douglas, in his interference with the Spanish authorities in Galicia, to prevent the embarkation of the Spanish troops for South America, acted under orders from the Secretary of State, of which Lord Wellington was not aware when he wrote the letter of the 6th May, 1812, at p.

115.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

THE

DISPATCHES

OP

FIELD MARSHAL THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,

IN

THE PENINSULA,

IN

1812.

MY LORD,

6

To the Earl of Liverpool.

'Camp before Badajoz, 20th March, 1812. According to the intention which I announced to your Lordship in any dispatch of the 13th instant, I broke

up

the cantonments of the army on the 15th and 16th instant, and invested Badajoz, on the left of the river Guadiana, on the 16th instant, with the 3rd, 4th, and light divisions of infantry, and with a brigade of Lieut. General Hamilton's division on the right. These troops are under the command of Marshal Sir William Beresford and Lieut. General Picton.

We broke ground on the following day, and have established a parallel within two hundred yards of the outwork called the Picurina, which embraces the whole of the southeast angle of the fort.

The work has continued ever since with great celerity notwithstanding the very bad weather which we have had since the 17th.

* The enemy made a sortie yesterday from the gate called La Trinidad, on the right of our attack, with about 2000 men. They were almost immediately driven in, without effecting any object, with considerable loss, by Major Gene. ral Bowes, who commanded the guard in the trenches.

We lost, upon this occasion, a very promising officer, Captain Cuthbert

, aide de camp to Lieut. General Picton, killed; and Lieut. Colonel Fletcher was slightly wounded,

VOL. IX.

B В

but I hope that he will soon be able to resume his duties. I have not got the returns, but I believe that our loss since the commencement of these operations amounts to 120 men killed and wounded.

On the same day that Badajoz was invested, Lieut. General Sir Thomas Graham crossed the Guadiana with the Ist, 6th, and 7th divisions of infantry, and General Slade's, and General Le Marchant's brigades of cavalry, and directed his march upon Valverde and Sta Marta, and thence towards Llerena; while Lieut. General Sir Rowland Hill, with the 2nd and Lieut. General Hamilton's divisions, and Major General Long's cavalry, marched from his cantonments near Alburquerque upon Merida, and thence upon Almendralejo.

· These movements induced General Drouet to retire from Villa Franca upon Hornachos, in order, I conclude, to be in communication with General Darricau's division, which was about La Serena.

I have heard from Sir Thomas Graham and from Sir Rowland Hill to the 19th instant. The former was at Los Santos and Zafra, with General Slade's cavalry at Villa Franca, and the latter at Almendralejo. Lieut. General Hill took thrce officers and a few hussars prisoners in Merida.

I have reports from the neighbourhood of Ciudad Rodrigo of the 17th instant, and from Salamanca of the 16th instant. The enemy had sent a small detachment to Bejar, principally with a view to plunder; but there was no appearance of

any

immediate movement. • The 6th division had moved from Talavera through the Puerto del Pico on the 8th and 9th instant, and the 4th division from Toledo on the same days, through the Guadarrama, and the 1st division only remained on the Tagus, near Talavera. The march of these divisions was directed, as I understand, upon Valladolid ; and I conclude either that the reports are founded which have been in circulation, that the Guards had been withdrawn from Spain, or that the enemy intend to endeavor to divert my attention from the attack of Badajoz, by making some movement upon Galicia, or upon the north of Portugal.

• The rain, however, which has annoyed us here, it may be expected, will have filled the rivers in the north; and I

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »