« ForrigeFortsett »
routed, and the French being thus That the French obtained a complete victorious on that side, directed their victory is beyond doubt; the Spaniards whole force against the centre and have not attempted to conceal their the right.
A want of decision on defeats, nor to extenuate the loss, the part of General Eguia completed prone as they have been to underthe ruin of the army ; he did not rate the strength of the enemy ; but venture to vary his orders as necessi- that the conquerors purchased their ty required, without receiving fresh triumph dearly became manifest when ones from Cuesta, at a time when it was seen that they derived no adCuesta was in such a situation that it vantage from it. They pushed on a was impossible for them to commu- corps to the neighbourhood of Badanicate. The Spaniards fought brave- joz; but the Duke de Albuquerque ly; but the failure of their cavalry, was in that quarter, and being freed and the want of talent in their com- from the shackles of a commander of mander, rendered all individual cou- inferior talents, his military skill was rage fruitless. 7000, according to again displayed, 700 of the enemy the French accounts, were left upon were slam, and 200 sent prisoners to the field, 3000 made prisoners, 30 Seville. This loss, added to what pieces of cannon were taken. The they had already sustained, checked statement is not greatly exaggerated. their progress, and instead of advanCuesta reported that the loss was cing into Andalusia, as had been very considerable, though it had not boasted at Madrid, they retreated been ascertained, and that the number from Lobon and Talaveruala. Cuesta of officers whom he had lost amount- was then enabled, without molestaed to 170.
tion, to take up a position not many The day before the battle was leagues from the field of battle, hafought, Sebastiani, with 20,000 men, ving his advanced guard at Almenrouted the army of La Mancha be. dralejo. Here he collected the scat. fore Ciudad Real, without any resis. tered troops, reinforcements were tance, he says,-acircumstance which, sent him, and in a few days he was as if it were true, would be even more formidable as before the action. In disgraceful to the conqueror than to his general orders he thanked the arthe Spaniards, for in the same official my for their good conduct on that report it was added, that the cavalry day, excepting by name the regiments put more than three thousand of of cavalry which had precipitately them to the sword : 18 pieces of can- and disgracefully taken to flight, and non and 4000 prisoners, including thereby occasioned the defeat. For 197 officers, were the fruits of this this offence he suspended three colo. victory. Sebastiani was now at the nels from their rank,ếit does not apfoot of the Sierra Morena, on a line pear that any heavier punishment was with Victor, and it was announced at inflicted, grievously as it was deserMadrid that these victories secured ved. The privates were disgraced the conquest of Andalusia. Cuesta's by having one of their pistols taken army they represented as dispersed from them, till by some act of valour and annihilated, and their own loss as they should regain the honour which inconceivably little, not more than they had lost : a more injudicious three hundred in killed and wounded, mark of disgrace than this, which de. and less than one at Ciudad Real. prived them
of part of their weapons,
and thereby rendered them less effi- was their temptation to acknowledge cient in the field, could hardly have the intruder : property is a pledge of been devised.
attachment to a legitimate governIt was reported that the central ment; but in perilous times it has been junta, in consequence of the defeat, found that it usually becomes a pledge had Aed from Seville ; they, how- of submission to any usurpation. ever, were better informed of the
The intruder and his partisans holoss which the enemy had sustained, ped that the defeat and dispersion of than to be dismayed at the issue of two armies at the same time would the battle ; and their conduct was break the spirit of the government, if dignified as well as politic. They not of the nation, and that the su
decreed a pension to the preme junta might be induced to seApril 1. widows and orphans of all cure themselves and their own pos
those who had fallen, in sessions by submission. According. proportion to their rank and circum- ly a Spanish traitor, by name Joastances,-a badge of distinction to quim Maria Sotelo, ad all the corps whom the general should dressed a letter from April 12. commend, with double-pay for one Merida to the vice-presimonth, and they promoted all the dent, saying, that the greater numofficers who had distinguished them- ber of the provinces of Spain had sufselves. They declared that the ge- ficiently suffered from the horrible neral and the great body of the are effects of war and conquest, and now my had deserved well of their coun- the rest were threatened with the try, and they conferred the rank of same calamities. Filled with concaptain-general upon Cuesta. This sternation, he said, at the defeats of measure was censured, and with good Urbino and Cuesta, the honourable reason ; for Cuesta had committed Spaniards at the court of Madrid, important errors in neglecting to de- who could not contemplate without fend the Puente del Arzobispo with the most poignant grief, the utter an adequate force, in abandoning the desolation of their beloved country, strong pass of Miravete, where every had implored the king to alleviate advantage of position was in his fa. the distresses of such provinces as vour, and in risking a battle after were occupied by the French troops wards upon ground which the enemy and to prevent them in those which had chosen. The Duke de Urbino were not yet in their possession. To and Generals Lapena and Marina these prayers the king had attended
, were displaced on suspicion of trea- and had therefore ordered him to an
The great advantage which nounce his compliance to the junta, Cuesta enjoyed was, that his patriot. and authorised him to consult with ism was undoubted, and the soldiers such deputies as the junta might bad no fear of being betrayed by think fit to appoint, on the best him : the danger of being sold and means of fulfilling his wishes. He sacrificed by the officers and gene- could not suppose that they would rals was perpetually in their thoughts; refuse to take steps on which the and this was an additional evil arising salvation of Andalusia and the hapfrom the system of appointing men piness of the whole kingdom de. of high rank to the command. The pended. And, as the business was greater their possessions, the greater most important in its character, and most urgent in the present circum- when no place was secure, stances, Sotelo represented, that it they published a decree April 18. would be improper to conduct it in upon this subject. It bewriting, and that all the disputes and gan by an avowal, that in their anirregularities and doubtswhich it would xiety to provide a quick remedy for otherwise cause might be complete-. the calamities which had befallen the ly obviated by a personal conference. armies of La Mancha and EstremaOn this ground, he hoped, from the dura, they had imprudently hazarded honour and patriotism of the junta, their own safety by remaining at Sethat deputies would be named to con. ville. But having provided for the fer with him.
reinforcement and equipment of the The junta replied, not to this trai. troops, and furnished all the supplies tor himself, but to Cuesta. “They had which were requisite for the defence not forgotten, they said, the sacred of the four kingdoms of Andalusia, character with which they were in- they had in cool consideration reflect. vested, and the solemn oath which ed, that their security was inseparathey had taken, in unison with the ble from that of the state ; that the wishes of the whole Spanish nation. preserval of the deposit of the sove. If Sotelo were the bearer of powers reignty entrusted into their hands sufficiently extensive to treat for the was the first of their obligations ; restitution of their beloved king, and and that they could not again expose for the immediate evacuation of the it to the danger of being destroyed, Spanish territory by the French without doing wrong to the nation troops, let him publish them in the which had confided it to them. The usual form adopted by states, and they precipitation with which the tyrant would be announced to the allies of of Europe advanced against Madrid Spain. The junta had no authority to in November, and sent troops tolisten to any treaty, or terminate any wards Aranjuez, made it apparent transaction, which was not founded on that a principal object of his ferothe basis of eternal justice. Any other cions policy was to strike a mortal principle of negociation, without be, blow at the government, and, seizing nefitting the empire, would only tend the body which administered it, cut to degrade the junta, which had en- all the bonds of political association, tered into the most aweful engage- and then throw the nation into conments to bury itself beneath the ruins fusion. These were still his objects : of the monarchy, rather than sanction trusting more to his cunning than his any proposition which should dimi- force, he still pursued the governnish the honour and independence of ment, hoping to get its members in the Spanish people. This answer his power, and then renew the infathey desired Cuesta to transmit to mous scenes of Bayonne, by compelthe intruder's agent, and they pub- ling them to authorize his usurpalished the proposal and the reply. tion, or sacrificing them to his rage Perceiving, however, of what import. if they resisted his seductions and his ance the safety of the government menaces. Thus to degrade the gowas to the patriotic cause, and the vernment in the eyes of the nation itdanger therefore of associating it in self would, he thought, be the best the minds of the people with any means of degrading the nation also, particular place of residence, in times and reducing it to that utter servitude, which, in the insolence of his fortune, the defence, the well-being, and the this tyrant designed to inflict upon prosperity of the nation. And they Spain. To frustrate these aims, the declared, that, whatever the accidents junta decreed, that, whenever the of the war might be, the junta would place of their residence was threaten• never abandon the continent of Spain, ed, or when any other reason should while a single spot could be found in convince them of the utility of so do. it where they could establish theming, they would transfer the seat of selves for the defence of the coun. government elsewhere, where they try against the force and fraud of its might preserve the august deposit perfidious enemy, as they had soof the sovereignty, and watch over lemnly sworn to do.
State of the War in Galicia. Soult enters Portugal. Capture and Recap.
ture of Chaves. General Freire killed by his Troops. Capture of Porto, and Massacre in that City. The Spaniards recover Vigo. Success of Romana at Villafranca. Perilous Situation of Soult.
The plans of the intruder were, that, will existed, had been appointed gowhen Sebastiani and Victor had de- vernor of Galicia. He had still a feated the armies of La Mancha and predominant force after Soult’s army Estremadura, the former should ad- was departed; there were garrisons vance into Andalusia, and make him- in every town which was sufficiently self master of Seville, while the latter important, either for its size or situashould enter Portugal by the side of tion, to require one, and the French Badajos, and co-operate with Soult, had complete military possession of who was to advance from Galicia the country. But they had yet to through the northern provinces. Suc- subdue the spirit of the people; and cess was considered as so certain, that, the Galicians, who had no longer an when the news of Cuesta's defeat example of panic and disorder bereached Paris, the Moniteur affirmed fore their eyes, carried on the war in that this engagement had laid Seville their own way.. Captain M-Kinley open to the French armies, and that in the Lively frigate, with the Ploprobably by that time the capital of ver sloop under his command, ar. Portugal was in their possession also. rived off the coast to assist them. The unexpected and unexampled ra- He discovered none of that apathy pidity with which the Spanish troops for their own country, none of that again assembled after their disper. contented indifference who was to be sion, and the shock which Victor re- their master, none of that sullen and ceived from the Duke of Albuquerque, ungrateful dislike of the English, of frustrated the intended movements which the retreating army had come on the side of the Sierra Morena and plained so loudly; he heard from of Alentejo. Soult meantime, igno- them nothing but expressions of grarant of this fortune, (for the commu- titude to the British government and nication by way of Salamanca was cut praise of the British nation ; he peroff by Sir Robert Wilson's indefa- ceived in them the true feelings of tigable legion) proceeded to execute loyalty and patriotism, and saw in all his part of the combined operations. their actions the most enthusiastic
Marshal Ney, between whom and ardour, regulated by a cool and deSoult no very cordial feelings of good. termined courage. The French atVOL. II. PART 1.