« ForrigeFortsett »
the reparation made to his good name ragona, the head-quarters, under Field be as solemn and public as the ag. Marshal Castro, being at Igualada : gression was cruel and scandalous. before his measures were completed
These proceedings satisfied the peo- for an intended attack upon the ene. ple, of whom the better sort were my, St Cyr, preventing grieved at the excesses which had him, fell, with far superior Feb. 16. been committed ; and their suspicions forces, upon his left, and against the marquis were in some de compelled it to fall back upon Iguagree removed when Don Felix Jones, lada, which Castro then found it neto whom his papers were delivered, cessary to evacuate, retreating todeclared that no indication of treason wards Cerrara. Reding was at this was to be discovered in them. time in Tarragona. Judging it now
A seasonable supply of necessary to reassemble his troops, Feb. 1. seven millions of dollars and collect them in that
arrived at Cadiz early in fortress, he set out from Feb. 20. the year from the colonial possessions thence with 300 horse, a of Spain : 600,000 of these were a battalion of his Swiss countrymen, patriotic contribution from Cartha- and six pieces of flying artillery, to gena, 300,000 from Cuba. This was effect this object ; the party who one main advantage which the legiti- were retreating from Coll de Santa mate government possessed over that Christina joined him, and he sent orof the intruder : they received the ders to Brigadier-General Irenzo, usual revenue from the colonies, while who with 1200 men had defended he, when the church.plate had once himself for two days in the monasbeen melted down, could raise no tery of Santa Cruz, to force a passupplies from the provinces which he sage that night, and effect a junction devastated. At present, before these with him. This that officer accom. provinces were quite exhausted, his plished without the loss of a man, or armies were contented with free plun- any part of the stores or baggage. der, the hope of ransacking the rich Proceeding from thence to Santa Co. cities of the south, and the confident lonia de Queralt, he collected other expectation that they should soon detachments there, his forces now complete the subjugation of Spain. amounting to 10,000 men ; but there A large proportion of their force be- he learned that the French had entercame disposeable after the fall of Za. ed Vals in order to cut off his retreat, ragoza ; but even those who formed and it was in consequence resolved the army of observation had been so ha- to make a retrograde movement. On rassed, notwithstanding their superi- the 23d he reached Montblanch. A ority, by the indefatigable Spaniards, party of the enemy having appeared that it was found necessary to allow in his rear, he held a council the folthem some repose. When they were lowing day, and it was determined sufficiently recruited, St Cyr return- that they should make the best of ed with his division into Catalonia. their way in the night. At Reding had made a daring attempt five in the morning the Feb. 25. to surprise Barcelona, in which he advance, under Castro, and was frustrated by the treachery of half the centre, had passed Vals, leasome of his officers. He took up a ving the enemy's camp.fires on the line of posts from Martorell to Tar- left. They were proceeding as silently as possible, and in good order, made no mention of his wounds ; but when, as Castro with his escort was they proved mortal, and he closed an passing a small bridge, a volley of honourable life by a death worthy of musketry opened upon him within his former atchievements. He fell pistol-shot. This unexpected attack in a foreign land, and in the service of occasioned a momentary disorder ; a foreign state; but the cause in which the troops, however, were soon judi. Theodore Reding fell was the same for ciously stationed,—the artillery on which his brother Aloys had fought both sides began to play ; the French amid their native mountains; it was descended from the heights of Vals the cause of his own countrymen as in several columns; the patriots ad. well as of the Spaniards, the cause of vanced against them, and attacked all good men in all countries. In them so bravely, that they drove ordinary wars, the motives for which them back, and made them fly to the they have been undertaken have been very summit ; there they received re- so mean and transitory, and come so inforcements and made a stand. By little to the heart of man, that when this time it was mid-day, and the a few years have elapsed all interest troops were exhausted with their night concerning them is exhausted ; and march : Reding concentrated them, even our nationality does not prevent and the whole of the baggage being us from feeling, that they, whose safe, again pursued his retreat. St lives have been expended in such conCyr meantime collected all his force, tests, have died rather in the exercise followed the retreating ariny, and at of their profession than of their duty. tacked them in three points. Their But the struggle of Spain against main effort was on the left, and this Buonaparte is of the same eternal they succeeded in forcing about half and unfading interest as the wars of after four; and the Spaniards then, Greece against Xerxes: at whatever unable longer to resist a very supe- distance of time its records shall be rior force, dispersed,—the less reluc- perused, they will excite in every tantly as they had a near point of honest heart the same indignant and shelter in Tarragona. They had ennobling sympathy. Not, therefore, been engaged for eleven hours, with. in an ungrateful service did Reding out showing the slightest sign of dis. lay down his life, for with those reorder till the fate of the day was thus cords his name must be perpetuafinally decided. In the whole of this ted: Switzerland will remember him long action Reding distinguished him with pride, and Spain with gratiself equally by his personal exertions tude. and his military skill, and he received Blake was appointed to succeed: five wounds. His aid-de-camp, Mr him in the command ; a more able Reed, an Englishman, bravely co- man could not have been chosen ; but vered the retreat of his disabled gene- he succeeded to a charge of extreme ral, till being himself severely wound. difficulty ; the most important fored with a sabre, he was taken prison- tresses and cities were in possesion er. Reding got into Tarragona that of the enemy, and he had to keep the night, where the greater part of the country against a force as much sudispersed troops, found their way, perior to his own in numbers as they some corps in good order, others in were in discipline and equipment, and small parties. In his dispatches he who, by way of Figueras or Pamplu.
na, could receive stores and reinforce. however, the severity of the revenue ments more easily from France than laws opened for bold and mutinous spihe could draw them from the ex- rits the least injurious channel in which hausted provinces of Spain. Such, they could be employed, and they, however, was the skill, and such was who in other times would have been the activity of the Catalans, that, un-robbers, became smugglers. Of such derall disadvantages, the patriots kept men the Miquelets consisted in the their ground, and for some months commencement of the contest ; their prevented the French from attempt. hardy habits, their daring and ading any important operation. No
No venturous disposition, and that inticountry has ever produced a braver mate knowledge which, in the course or more enterprizing race of men of their former occupation, they had than Catalonia, and grievously as acquired of all the mountain paths, their liberties have suffered since their made them the best soldiers for such union, first with Aragon and after- warfare as the state of Spain requi. wards with Castile, the people have red; and the peasantry, or the citinever lost their characteristic quali. zens, who, having been utterly ruinties which ennobled them in former ed, had no other course left them, times, when they were the masters of than to stand or fall with their counthe sea. The irregular troops, who try in the field, acquired the same severely annoyed the French from the title when they formed themselves .commencement of the struggle, were into irregular companies. Their in. called Miquelets, or Michelets. In genuity supplied the deficiency of the old wars between Aragon and arms; they manufactured wooden France, they had been known by the cannons, and by means of this artilappellation of Almogavares: their lery sometimes obtained advantages patience under every kind of priva- over their enemies. tion, their savage habits and appear. Catalonia, however, was not the ance, and their dexterity in the use side to wbich the French were now of their weapons, made them the ter. directing their efforts. Their object ror of their enemies. These men was by aconjoined operation to destroy were originally the scouts and out- the armies of La Mancha and Estreposts of the Christians against the madura at the same time, and make Moors, and lived in a perpetual state themselves masters of Seville. While of warfare ; when that contest was Sebastiani was preparing to march terminated they became banditti in against the former army, Victor was their own country, or soldiers of for. concentrating his forces for an attack tune abroad, and, losing their Moor- upon the latter. His plans were imish appellation, acquired their pre. peded by the Duke de Albuquerque, sent name from Michelot de Prats, who held a command under the Duke one of their leaders, who served with de Urbino in the army of La Man. distinction in Italy, and became the cha. He attempted to surcompanion of Cæsar Borgia, and the prise a detachment of the Feb. 18. main agent in many of his atrocities. enemy, who occupied the Wherever the administration of jus- town of Mora ; by the mistake (not tice is corrupt and feeble, men will the treachery) of a guide, the differ. always be found who live in a state ent parties of bis troops were pre: of continual outlawry ;-in Spain, 'vented from uniting at the appointed spot, and surrounding the French ardice in the field, and they were delibefore their approach was discover vered over to a military commission. ed. The success, however, was still The success of the Duke de Al. considerable ; the French suffered buquerque retarded the plans of the great loss before they fell back upon enemy for a month, and had the artheir head-quarters, abandoning their my been under his command, greater baggage, and Mora, with all the ad. things would have been accomplishjacent posts, were left in possession of ed; the men had full confidence the Spaniards. The operations of in him, but his commander had nei. the enemy against the army of Es- ther the same spirit of enterprize, tremadura were thus for a while frus- nor the same talents, and withheld trated. The Duke now projected him from any further offensive opefresh enterprizes on the side of Ma- rations by positive orders. This was drid; but the distinguished proofs exceedingly unfortunate; the troops of ability which he had given in the were in high spirits ; they had the plan and conduct of this attack, the greatest love for their leader, and he discipline which he had introduced was equally popular among the peointo his troops, and the confidence ple of La Mancha. The French, with which he had inspired them, ex. freed from the disquietude which cited the apprehension of the French; his active measures would have given and collecting a force of 11,000 in- them, had leisure to complete their fantry, and 3000 horse, they attempt- preparations, and about the mid
ed to surprise him at Con- dle of March Victor began to put Feb. 22.
suegra early on the morn- his plans in execution. He had to
ing of the 22d. In this cross to the left bank of the Tagus ; they were defeated by his vigilance ; the point where he designed to ef the advanced guard of the Spaniards fect his passage was at the Puente gave the alarm in time, and opposed del Arzobispo, or the Archbishop's the enemy steadily, the remainder bridge, so called from its founder, of his division instantly formed ; they, Don Pedro Tenorio. A wooden in the face of superior numbers, ef. bridge which existed in his days was fected their retreat in good order swept away by the flood, and as it through the pass of La Gineta, and was here that all pilgrims from the took up their position at Villalta. western side of the river passed to The French, after an action of six pay their devotions to the famous hours
, had only advanced a mile, when image of our Lady of Guadaloupe they gave up the attack at the ex. he built the present edifice, founded pence of more than 400 horse, a an hospital for their accommodation, chest of ammunition, and two of their and a town which he named Villa cannon, which they were obliged to Franca, but which now takes its apspike. The Viscount de Molina, pellation from the bridge. Six thouwho had distinguished himself at the sand men had been stabattle of Baylen, acquired fresh repu- tioned to defend this March 16. tation in this action ; which, in deed, point ; due precautions, was greatly to the honour of the however, had not been taken, the Spaniards ; only seven of the army passage was won, and on the follow. discovered either treachery or cow. ing. morning the French attacked the
Spanish positions at Meza de Ibor This was not the only error which and Fresnedoso. The patriots, though Cuesta committed. He knew at this consisting mostly of raw levies, made time that he might expect an English an obstinate resistance to the supe. army to act in co-operation with him. rior force which was brought against Sir Arthur Wellesley had, in the end them, and when compelled to retreat of February, resigned his seat in Parthey fell back in good order, taking liament, and the
chief secretaryship up new positions, till early on the of Ireland, preparatory to taking the next day they joined the main body command, and General Beresford was of Cuesta's army at Miravete. already arrived at Lisbon. His po
This column of the French then licy, therefore, should have been by divided into two bodies; pro- all means to avoid a general actions ceeded by the circuitous way of De Having, however, formed a junction leytosa and Torrecillas, to take post with the Duke de Albuquerque's dibetween Truxillo and Miravete, and vision, and hearing that Victor had thus cut off Cuesta's communication detached part of his troops from and supplies, and attack him in the Miajadas to Merida and Medellin, rear, while the force from Almaraz, he resolved to march in search of passing the river in boats, or upon him, and give him battle. Accordrafts, should attack him in front. The ingly on the 27th of March he put other columns directed their march his army in motion; the next mornto the bridge of Almaraz, to turn ing he discovered that Victor had Cuesta's advanced guard, who were concentrated his whole force, condefending that bridge against the sisting of about 3000 horse and enemy on the right bank. Henes- 20,000 foot, in frontof Medellin. This trosa, who commanded here, abandon- discovery, however, did not divert ed this important post and fell back him from his rash resolution. The to Miravete, with such precipitation French infantry were formed in large and evident misconduct or treachery, close columns, their flanks covered that he was put under arrest, brought by the cavalry, their front by six to a summary trial, and shot within batteries. Cuesta ordered some of three hours. Cuesta himself gave his columns to deploy, others to no proofs either of firmness or abili- storm these batteries,--the town bety. Miravete is a difficult pass ; the fore them was the birth-place of Herforce which was marching round to nan Cortes, and that recollection alone get in his rear did not exceed six might have given them courage. The thousand men, against whom he left wing of the Spaniards advanced might have sent a detachment of suf. steadily, within pistol-shot of the first ficient strength, and still have been battery, and carried it with fixed strong enough to maintain so advan- bayonets. Victor, with a strong ditageous a post. He, however, fell vision, both of horse and foot, char. back as soon as the troops from the ged to retake it ; the Spanish infan. Puente del Arzobispo joined him, try advanced resolutely to meet ther, retreated beyond Truxillo, and took but the cavalry failed in their duty; up a position at Santa Cruz, thus instead of charging the enemy at full leaving Estremadura open to the ene- gallop according to their orders, they my. His magazines at Truxillo fell threw their own troops into disorder, into their hands.
-the left wing was consequently