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of her changeable dispensation, could of the French through the mountains. not have afforded them relief. To They abandoned their dwellings at this it was replied, by Lord Liver- our approach, drove away their carts, pool, that the conduct of administra. oxen, and every thing that could be tion was to be judged by their acts. of the smallest aid to the army. The If any proceedings had been adopted consequence has been, that our sick contrary to the instructions, then it have been left behind : and when our was their business to bring forward horses or mules failed, which, on such those instructions, and thus exone- marches, and through such a coun. rate themselves. They were ready try, was the case to a great extent, to take upon them all the acts which baggage, ammunition, stores, and had been done, and so far to give even money, were necessarily destroyevery information moved for ; but ed or abandoned.” This was a hea. these instructions he could not con- vy charge against the Spaniards, and sider it proper to make public. Ac. it was triumphantly repeated by cordingly they were refused. those who, being the opponents of

The last dispatch of Sir John ministry, became thereby the enemies Moore was therefore made public. of the Spanish cause.

Yet it might No detailed account of the retreat have occurred to them that it was had hitherto appeared: all that was neither generous nor prudent to reknown was, that the army had suf- proach an undisciplined peasantry fered severely from forced marches, for not attempting to defend defiles but had been finally victorious ; and through which the finest army that reports had been sedulously propaga. had ever left England, with a man ted of the apathy of the Spaniards, who was supposed to be their best and their indifference, or even inhu- general at its head, was retreating manity, towards their allies. This faster than ever army had retreated charge was made in strong terms by before. If these passes were not de. General Moore. “Had the British, fensible, why should we accuse the he said, “ been withdrawn without Galicians for not defending them? If attempting any thing, the loss of the they could have been defended, why cause would have been imputed to did the British army run through, their retreat; and it was necessary to leaving their baggage, stores, and amrisk the army, to convince the people munition, their money, their horses, of England, as well as the rest of their sick, their dying, and their dead, Europe, that the Spaniards had nei- to track the way? The consternation ther the power nor the inclination to and flight of the British general make any efforts for themselves. It would alone have excused the couwas for this reason,” he pursued, duct of the Galicians. " that I made the march to Saha- This, however, was not their only gun. As a diversion it succeeded.

exeuse. Sir John Moore added, “ Í I brought the whole disposeable am sorry to say, that the army whose force of the French against this army, conduct I had such reason to extol and it has been allowed to follow me, on its march through Portugal, and without a single movement being on its arrival in Spain, has totally made to favour my retreat. The changed its character since it began people of Galicia, though armed, to retreat. I can say nothing in its made no attempt to stop the passage favour, but that when there was a prospect of fighting the enemy, the out to them, order was instantaneousmen were then orderly, and seemed ly restored, they were themselves pleased, and determined to do their again, and, in spite of alltheir fatigues duty.”-Lord Liverpool warned his and sufferings, manifested that inopponents, that if they insisted upon vincible courage which, happily for the production of this dispatch, they themselves and for their country, they would see the impropriety of making were allowed to prove upon the it public, when too late. Something, French at Coruna. no doubt, in this part had been sup- It is not a little remark. pressed.—“ Of what nature,” it was able, that when this dis- Jan. 24. asked, “was this misconduct with patch was first called for which General Moore so roundly ac- by Mr Whitbread, General Stewcused a whole army, almost with his art expressed his hope it might be dying breath? Did the officers be- published; because, he said, he was have ill, or the men, or both ? Did satisfied that it would be to the arthey refuse to fight, or did they re- my the greatest gratification they fuse to iy? What had they done, could receive. A stigma upon the or what had they omitted to do !" discipline of the troops could not, inThese questions were asked by the deed, have appeared at a more unfor. wiser part of the public, and the nar- tunate season: for at this time a hearatives of the campaign, which were vy charge was pending against his afterwards published, amply answer- Royal Highness the Commander-ined them. It then appeared that the Chief; and immediately after the first army, from the hour in which it was debate upon that subject, the Earl turned into a rout, considered them- of Suffolk made a speech selves like sailors after a shipwreck in praise of the army, as Jan. 31. -released from all discipline by the an act of justice towards common ruin ;-that they plundered, him ; and instanced the conduct of burnt, and destroyed before them ;- these very, troops in this very' rethat while many of the officers mur- treat, as the effect of his ablé admured against the conduct of the ministration. The whole object," commander, the men cried out loudly he said, “ of the illustrious duke against the disgrace of running a. had been to bring the army to that way ;—that order, discipline, temper- state of perfection which, by its reance, and even humanity, were laid a- cent demeanour, it had so nobly pro. side by them in their desperation; but ved. It was that discipline which enthat they had never forgotten the ho. abled our troops, after a march of nour of England; and that whenever a upwards of 400 miles, through a barhope * of facing the enemy was held ren tract of country, and at an in

• A passage from Milton was most appositely quoted upon this subject in the Quarterly Review.

Descent and fall
To us is adverse: Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear,
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? the ascent is easy then.

hospitable season, to give battle to table consequence of such a retreat. their adversaries, and gain over them But Sir John Moore's dispatch cona signal victory; it was that discip- tained a more melancholy and startling line which enabled them to sustain avowal. “He had been advised,” he all the hardships and all the priva- said, “ to propose terms to the enetions which they endured in that re- my, that he might be permitted to treat, and finally to secure and save embark quietly.” This was indeed themselves from a tremendous enemy. an unexpected shock. What! were This was the effect of the discipline there then officers in this army, and introduced and acted upon through- of such rank in it as to offer advice out the British forces."

But it now

to the general, who were for asking appeared that all discipline had been leave of the French to embark, and at an end as soon as the army began purchasing by a convention, which to fly. What else could be expected, might, by its blacker dishonour, have when they fled with such precipita- put that of Cintra out of rememtion? The dragoons marched 72 brance, that safety which half the miles in 26 hours, during 24 of army, without horse, and almost withwhich they were actually on horse. out artillery, won for themselves back. When the 1st regiment, or gloriously, at the bayonet's point! Royals, reached Betanzos, they only From this inexpiable disgrace Sir mustered, with the colours, nine offi- John Moore had saved us; redeeming cers, three serjeants, and three privates: his own honour, and that of the Brithe rest had dropt on the road; and tish troops. But who were the men many of those who joined at all, did who had so little confidence in Bri.. not join for three days.

There was

tish valour, that they would have a memorable instance, in this part of robbed us of the battle of Corur.a ? the retreat, of what might have been who were they who despaired of accomplished by presence of mind. victory, when victory was so possiA party of invalids, between Lugo ble, that half our force obtained it? and Betanzos, were closely pressed Who were they who, instead of relyby two squadrons of French cavalry. ing upon their own hearts and hands, Sérjeant Newman, of the 2d battalion would have solicited terms from 43d, was among them : he made an Marshal Soult, and set the Spaniards effort to pass three or four hundred an example of pusillanimity which of these poor men, then halted, ral. would for ever have disgusted them, lied round him those who were capa. and to which every coward or every ble of making any resistance, and di- traitor among them might have aprected the others to proceed as they pealed, as a precedent for any baseness? could. This party he formed regu. Some pledge ought to have been larly into divisions, and commenced called for from government, that these firing and retiring in an orderly manner, men should never, on any future occa. till he effectually covered the retreatsion, be trusted with command. But of his disabled comrades, and made not a single comment was made in the cavalry give up the pursuit. Parliament upon this subject, nor

However grievous it might be to upon any of the information containhear thus of the misconduct of our re- ed in the long-withheld dispatch. It treating army, thething itself was what furnished no matter of reproach a. might have beenexpected, as the inevi- gainst ministers, and therefore it was pot the kind of information which sures, by arguing that the campaign their opponents wanted. Ministers might have turned out well, or at least themselves could make no use of it ; less disastrously, if the commander for, having it in their hands, they had had acted with more vigour and more past a vote of thanks to the officers enterprise, they asserted that every and men, of whose previous miscon. thing had been ably executed, as well duct they possessed these proofs; and as wisely planned. instead of defending their own mea.

CHAP. IV.

Proceedings respecting Mr Frere's Correspondence with Sir John Moore.

Earl Grey's Motion of Censure against Ministers, for the Conduct of the War in Spain, Pension granted to the Brother of Sir John Moore. Earl Temple's Motion of Cersure. Attack upon Colonel de Charmilly. General Moore's conduct examined.

Mr Frere's letters to Sir John an enterprise without plan, combinaMoore were among the papers laid tion, or foresight, and equally illbefore Parliament. The opposition timed and misdirected.” The mo

had now obtained what tion was introduced by a long speech, April 18. they wanted. Earl Grey in which he argued that the reverses

affirmed there could now of the Spaniards had arisen from one be no doubt that the fatal event of of two causes ;—either because there the campaign was in consequence of was not a persevering spirit of paMr Frere's interference; and Earl triotism in Spain, or because, if the Darnley thought the House would elements of such a spirit existed, there be wanting in their duty, if they did was not a government capable of pronot move an address to his Majesty perly directing it : whichever were

for the immediate recal of the case, the English ministers were April 21. that minister. Shortly af- blameable. Either they had inform

terwards, Earl Grey mo. ation, or they had not :-if they had ved an address, declaring the full con- not, they stood charged with culpa. viction of the House that, “owing ble negligence; if they had, and held to the rashness and mismanagement out hopes which that information did of n.inisters, the hopes which the na- not justify, they stood in a much tion had been led to entertain had higher degree responsible for their been disappointed ; a large and use. conduct. After reasoning at great less expenditure of the means and re- length upon these points, he came to sources of the country had been in- the subject of Mr Frere's corresponcurred; a great and dangerous acces. dence ;-" a gentleman,” said he, sion of political, naval, and military “who, whatever may be his talents strength had already been obtained in other respects, and however painby the enemy; and above 7000 of ful and unpleasant it may be to me his Majesty's brave troops, together to make the observation, appears to with their gallant commander, had be wholly unqualified, from his folly, been sacrificed without advantage, in ignorance, and presumption, for that

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