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neglected their duty ; the regency uttered no proclamations to call upon the people to bestir themselves; the bridges on the line of retreat were left

; unrepaired, so that the roads were nearly impassable ; and as the rainy season was coming on, the army was placed in serious danger. The Portuguese pleaded falsely that they had no money for these operations, which, if true, was entirely owing to their own negligence ; for, with the exception of devastated districts, the people were richer than they had ever been, not in goods, but in hard cash, derived from the great expenditure of the British army.

Thus were Wellington's hands hampered, and difficulties heaped upon him, besides the men resisting a greatly superior force ; neither necessity nor remuneration could obtain for him adequate assistance and supplies : while Marmont and his generals had only to issue orders to the Spaniards through the prefects of the provinces, if they wished to be punctually provided with transports or other help.

A notable saying is recorded of Lord Wellington as he was preparing to quit Ciudad Rodrigo. A Spanish General, of great zeal and gallantry, to whom the British hero was much attached, observed to him,—“Why here you have a couple of weak divisions in front of the whole French army, and you seem quite at your ease ;-it is enough to put any man in a fever.”_6 I have done according to the very best of my judgment, all that can be done,” said Wellington ; “ therefore I care not either for the enemy in front, or for anything which they may say at home.” This is an illustration of the whole character of this great man, always to make the best of present circumstances

and means, to use all foresight and prudence, and then leave the issue to Providence.

The only other military operations of consequence performed by the British troops in 1811, was a daring enterprise of Sir Rowland Hill's. At Aroyo de Molinos, he surprised by a rapid march a body of 5,000 men, who were incommoding Castanos in his efforts to organise an army in Estramadura ; committed great havoc among them, taking 1,500 prisoners, with all their artillery, stores, and baggage.

CHAPTER XI.

Siege and Capture of Ciudad Rodrigo-Siege of Badajos

Communications between Soult and Marmont interrupted
--Victory of Salamanca-Retreat of the Enemy-Allied
Army enters Madrid-Lord Wellington leaves Madrid -
Attempt upon Burgos--Retreat of Lord Wellington-
Created a Marquis-Marquis Wellington's Preparations-
Reception at Cadiz and Lisbon.

WHILE the army was lying in cantonments, Lord Wellington's active mind was occupied with plans for securing more regular supplies. As the country's means of transport for stores and provisions, even when conjoined with the commissariat mules attached to each division, had proved insufficient and comparatively ineffective, orders were given for the construction of a train of army-waggons upon the most approved model ; 600, each capable of containing a load of 8cwt., formed into divisions and subdivisions, with an appropriate force

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attached, were allotted to the different parts of the army. Another method of approved conveyance was effected by the engineer force ; the Douro was made navigable to the confluence of the Algueda, a point forty miles higher than boats had before been able to proceed. By this much land carriage was saved, at a period when all available means of transport was needed to carry the battering-train required for the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo.

So well satisfied was Marmont that this fortress was in no danger, that he remained perfectly quiet in his cantonments on the Tagus. Perhaps General Hill's activity in the south of Estramadura, made him suppose that a large part of the British army had been sent to the Alentejo. Under this impression he suffered his forces to be much divided : Montbrun was sent to Valencia, Bonnet to the Asturias, and Dabreton to the district of Las Montanas.

Lord Wellington, thoroughly acquainted with all these proceedings, resolved instantly to lay siege to Ciudad Rodrigo. Fascines and Gabions were prepared, and by the 6th of January, 1812, every thing was ready for the attack. A bridge had been laid down at Salices, the stores brought up, and the place already surrounded by the light troops. The head-quarters were removed to Gallegos ; and on the 7th Lord Wellington, attended only by Colonel Fletcher and a few officers, forded the Algueda, and reconnoitred the defences. The investment was fixed for the following day. Four divisions were appointed for the siege ; no camp equipage was taken with them, and as the ground was open and afforded no cover, they took up their quarters in the nearest villages ; one division, carrying a day's provision ready cooked, it was ar

ranged should ford the river every twenty-four hours, and thus alternately carry on the works.

The first object was to capture a redoubt situated on the upper T'ison, which, after some trouble and loss, was effected. Ground was immediately broken upon its flank, and, though the soil was stony, by daylight the work was three feet deep and four wide. On the 9th, 1,200 workmen commenced three batteries for eleven guns each, under a heavy fire of shells and grape. Before the next morning the labourers were under cover, and a ditch sunk in front to provide earth; for the batteries were made eighteen feet thick at top, to resist the very powerful artillery of the besieged. Next day the 4th division laboured in the trenches, exposed to a heavy fire, and by night the communication from the parallel to the works was opened. The day after the magazines in the batteries were ex

excavated, and the approaches widened, but the fire was destructive, and the shells came so fast into the ditch in front that the troops were withdrawn, and thė earth raised from the inside. Much loss was sustained by salvos of shells, with long fuses, whose simultaneous explosion cut away the parapets in a remarkable manner. The French also brought a howitzer to bear from a near point, by which many men were killed and wounded. During the night little progress was made, as the weather was very cold, and the enemy's fire was briskly kept up. On that of the 13th the convent of Santa Cruz was carried, and a lodgment effected in it. Lord Wellington now heard that Marmot was collecting succours for the place ; he resolved, therefore, to deviate from the regular method, in order to gain time ; to open a breach with his counter-batteries, which were not so much as 600 yards from the curtain, and then

storm without blowing up the counter-scarp. The whole army was brought up from the distant quarters, and posted in the villages on the Coa, prepared if necessary to cross the Algueda, and give battle.

On the 14th the French made a sally and overturned the gabions of the sap ; they even penetrated to the parallel, and had nearly entered the batteries, when a few workmen collected and kept them back till support came, and thus saved the guns. This accident, together with the death of the engineer on duty, and the fire kept up from the ramparts, delayed the opening of the breachingbatteries until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when a cannonade from twenty-five heavy pieces commenced upon the "fausse braye,” and the rampart, two pieces being likewise pointed against the convent of St. Francisco. “Then,” says Napier, “was beheld a spectacle at once fearful and sublime. The enemy replied to the assailants' fire with more than 50 guns, the bellowing of 80 large cannon shook the ground far and wide, the smoke rested in heavy volumes upon the battlements of the place, or curled in light wreaths about the numerous spires ; the shells, hissing through the air, seemed fiery serpents leaping from the darkness, the walls crashed to the stroke of the bullet, and the distant mountains faintly returning the sound, appeared to mourn over the falling city. And when night put an end to the turmoil, the quick clatter of musketry was heard like the peltering of hail after a peal of thunder, for the 40th regiment a-saulted and carried the convent of St. Francisco, and established itself in the suburb on the left of the attack.” Next day so much impression was made on the ramparts that the breach was commenced at the turret, and five more guns were mounted. On the 16th, operations

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