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Operations of Sir David Baird's Division.
tulate. He therefore-directed Sir David Baird to discontinue his retreat, and to send on cavalry to Zancora. The intention of Sir John Moore was to relieve Madrid; and, on the 13th of December, he commenced his march from Salamanca, hoping, by this movement, to threaten the communication between France and Madrid. On the following day some intercepted dispatches from Buonaparte to Marshal Soult informed him of the surrender of Madrid, which induced Sir John Moore to an immediate change of his route. He had directed Sir David Baird to proceed to Benevento, and, instead of marching to ValJadolid, Sir John moved on to Toro, where he arrived on the 16th. Sir David Baird was now but thirty miles distant. On the 20th Sir John arrived at Maynga, and a junction with Sir David Baird was formed the same day. The forces amounted to 24,000 infantry, and about 2,500 cavalry. On the 21st, after a gallant attack made on 700 French cavalry, at Sahagun, by the 7th dragoons, in which Lord Paget particularly distinguished himself, the army proceeded to Sahayan. Sir John Moore's first intention was to attack Soult, who had conceutrated himself at Saldana, with a very inferior force, and which was much wished for by the Marquis de la Romana, who was at Leon. During the night of the 23d, when every preparation was made for a march, and for an attack on the following morning, information was received of reinforcements, to a great amount, having arrived at Carrion ; that a French corps had halted at Salamanca ; and that the enemy were advancing from the side of Madrid. Immediate orders were issued for the retreat: Sir David Baird's army was directed to retreat by Valencia de St. Juan, but, owing to the want of sufficient boats to transport the troops across the river, at a ferry near that place, he was obliged to retreat by Benevente. Generals Hope and Fraser reached the lastmentioned place or the 26th, and Sir John Moore, with the remainder of the forces, followed the route of those two Generals, viz. through Mayorga and Valderas,
The retreat of the enemy continued with great rapidity, and brigades progressively retraced their route towards Corunna. Frequently marches of six or seven leagues were made in a day, by divisions of from seven to ten thousand men, a distance nearly equal to thirty-two miles, in bad weather, and in horrid roads. The money in casks was bandied about, under any sort of guard ;-casks broken, --no one to take charge, no one knowing the contents, and casks marked 5,000 containing 5,300. It was considered most convenient to embark at Vigo, and to that place, through St. Jago, it was proposed to make the line of march : but very different was the reception the troops received ou returning to their former quarters, to that which they experienced whilst on the advance. The slothful luxurious inonks of Sobrado turned their backs
them, and forgot all the respect due to strangers, and to men who, from the motives of their visiting Spain, were entitled to attention, hospitality, and Operations of Sir David Baird's Division.
respect from the nation. At St. Jago the reverse was, if possible, still greater : with difficulty billets for officers were obtained ; and frequently the fatigued and wearied officers, after a long march, were driven froin the inhospitable roof with insult; the doors that flew open to receive them on the advance were closed with sullen violence.
The credulous Spaniards were accustomed, in the streets and in their houses, to assemble in parties, and, whilst one read the Madrid or Corunna Gazette, which coistained more of invention than matter of fact, the rest laid down positions for their nominal armies, generally amounting to 200,000 men; and the French army, which they wever admitted to exceed 50,000, were always being surrounded and annihilated. If the British officers attempted to describe the true state, they were disbelieved, and the Spaniards would only admit as fact such intelligence as was acceptable, and in their own favour.
The hasty order of retreat obliged the army to make some sacrifices : horses and ammunition were, in a great measure, destroyed; and although both Sir John Moore and Sir David Baird had given every necessary order for the removal of the sick, it was found impossible, and numbers were left behind.
The French pressed very hard on the rear of the forces at Astorga and Villa Franca, and some skirmishing took place. The British cavalry had a very contemptuous opinion of the French borse, and were continually anxious, and proposing to their officers to attack them. Ou the 4th of January the army retired to Lugo. The division which had inarched for St. Jago were ordered to return, and the idea was, that the army were to retire in one body. . Sir John Moore's intention was, to assemble the whole army at this place; hut Lieutenant-General Fraser's division being the most in advance, did not arrive till the 7th, when the French were rapidly approaching, and the commissary stores were completely exhausted. Sir John Moore, howerer, offered the enemy battle on the following day, but could not bring them to an action. The distresses of the troops, in having no supplies, obliged hiin to proceed on his retreat, and on the eighth, ať night, it again commenced. Vigo and Corunna were alternately fixed upon as the places of embarkation. At the former the transports awaited for the troops, but its distance from Lugo being much greuter than that of Corunna, and the impossibility of retreating with the artillery much farther, obliged Sir John Moore, who expected an attack before he could embark, to fix upon Corunna. An immediate order was dispatched, directing the transports to remove to that harbour. They arrived on the evening of the 14th, and the embarkation was to have commenced the next day. In the morning the movements of the French indicated their intention of attacking us, and to prevent our embarkation. Sir John Moore immediately determined to give them battle, and the whole day was spent in arrangements for that purpose. On the 16th the attack was made by the enemy, who Operations of Sir David Baird's Division.
were most gallantly repulsed, but not without much loss on our side. Sir John Moore fell a sacrifice, at the head of his troops, whilst nobly conducting the affair; and Sir David Baird, who had taken up a position on the outskirts of Corunna, had his arin shattered to pieces. The command now devolved upon General Hope, and the troops were directed immediately to embark, which the greater part of them effected during the same night, and the remainder early on the following morning.
To enter into the particulars of the brave and gallant Sir John Moore, and his last engagement, would be unnecessary. Details have been published, calculated to explain every action which guided his movements in the advance and retreat. I have no hesitation in saying, that such is my estimation of the abilities of Sir John Moore, that every thing which could be done for the houour of the country was ; and I lainent that this ill-fated expedition may, in some degree, diminish the lustre of his military character in the opinion of a few, who condemn the hasty retreat.
The conduct of the Spaniards was generally inhospitable ; but, on finding we had given up the affair, they were hostile. Much allowance may, however, be made. From the offensive conduct of some of our troops, individuals suffered; but the unanimous sentiment of antipathy, and the general disgust that was expressed, certainly must have arisen from the selfish, and, in many instances, inhuman treatment, from a part of our allies. Fearful of being obliged to receive the wet, hungry, wearied soldier, after a long march, they shut up their windows, and barred their doors ; nor would they reply to the intreaties of the poor soldiers, until they were forced, with their musquets, to force open the doors.
On the conduct of Sir David Baird, throughout this expedition, too great praise could not be bestowed ; but I am well aware that any commendation I might make use of cannot add to the general approbation he has unequivocally acquired, or to the lore borne to him both by officers and soldiers of the British army.
S. P. Mount-street, Grosvenor-square,
April 8, 1812.
JOURNAL OF THE CAMPAIGN OF 1809.
May, 1809.—THE English army was assembled in Coimbra on the 1st and gd of May, aud it was generally given out that operations would immediately commence on the arrival of Sir Arthur Wellesley from England. He arrived about the noon of the ed, and was received with the joy which his abilities and success liad so well merited. All
Journal of the Campaign in 1809.
the bells of the country were set to ringing; the city was illuminated, and the army almost clamorous with their transport.
May 4th. The ariny was reviewed on this day by Sir Arthur. The following is the list of the Stuff, and the order of the line of battle, as given out in General Orders:
Lieut.-General Sir A. WELLESLEY, Commander in Chief. Lieat. Colonel Bathurst, Military Secretary. Captaius Stanhope, Sounerset, Bouverie, and Canning, Aides-du-Camp. Major-Generals Sherbrooke, Payne, Walham, Bentivck, and Paget, with the local
rank of Lieut.-Generals, during the continuance of this service. Major-Generals--Cotton, Hill, Murray, Erskine, Mackenzie, and Tilson. Brigadier-Generals–S. Campbell, H. F. Campbell, R. Stewart, Cameron, Fane,
Drieberg, and Langworth.
ADJUTANT-GENER AL'S DEPARTMENT. Brigadier. General Hon. C. Stewart, Adjutant-General ; Lieut.-Colonels Danrock,
30th Regiment ; Lord Aylmer, Coldstream; Edward Heimber, 68th Regiment; Elley, Horse-Guards; Majors Tidely, 14th Regimeut; Williamson, 30th ; Berkeley, and C. Campbell.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERALS, Captains Cotton, Elliot, Dashwood, Graham, Cockburn, Mellish, and During.
QUARTER-MASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT. Colonel Murray, 3d Guards, Quarter-Master-General. Lierit.-Colonel Delancey, Deputy Quarter-Master-General. Lieut.-Colonels Bathurst, Buurke, and Majors Blaquiere and Northey, Assistant
Quarter-Master Generals. Captains Morris, Sutton, Langton, Kelley, Heairfield, Scovil, Waller, and Beresa.
ford, Dep. Assistant Quarter-Master-Generals. The Army was brigaded and closed in Line as follows:
Lieut.-General Payne and Major-General Cotion. 14th Light Dragoons, Colonel Hawker. 20th Ditto, Major Blake. 3d King's German Light Hussars, Lieut.-Col. Abrentschild. 16th Light Draguons, Colonel Anson.
Brigadier-General H. F. Campbell. 1st Battalion Coldstream, Lieut-Colonel Hulse. 1st Battalion 3d Regiment, Uon. Culonel Stopford. Ist Company Goth Regiment, Capt. Ilaines.
First Brigade, Major-General Hill 3d, or Buffs, Lieut.-Colonel Muter. 66ta Regiment, 2d Battalion, Major Murray. 45th Ditto, Lieut-Colonel Duckworth. VOL. IV. NO. 19.
Journal of the Campaign in 1809.
3d Brigade, Major-General Tilson, 60th, five Companics, Major Woodgate. 88th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Major Vandeleur. Ist Buttalion Portuguese Grenadiers. 87th Regiment, 2d Baltalion, Major Gough.
5th Brigade, Brigadier-General A. Campbell, 7th Regiment, 2d Battalion, Lieut.-Col. Sir W. Myers. 53d Ditto, Lieut.-Col. Bingham. 16th Portuguese, Ist Battalion, Lieut.-Col. Clives. 60th Regiment, i Company.
7th Brigade, Brigadier-General Cameron. 9th Regiment, Lieut.-Col. Molle. joth Portugese, 2d Battalion. 83d Regiment ditto, Lieut.-Colonel Gordon. 60th Regiment, ist Company.
6th Brigade, Brig.-General R. Stewart. Detachments ist Battalion, Lieut.-Colonel Bunbury. 16th Portuguese Regiment, Lieut.-Colonel Doyle. 29th Regiment, Lieut.-Colonel White.
4th Brigade, Brigadier-General Sontara Detachments 2d Battalion, Lieut.-Colonel Copson. 16th Portuguese. 97th Regiment, Lieut.-Colonel Lyon. 6oth Regiment, i Company.
2d Brigade, Major-General Mackenzie. 27th Regiment, 3d Battalion, Lieut.-Colonel Maclean. 45tb Ditto, ditto, Lieut-Colonel Gnard. 31st Ditto, 2d Battalion, Major Watson. King's GERMAN LEGION.--Major-General Murray and Brigadier-Generals Drie,
berg and Langworth. Royal ARTILLERY.-Brig.-General Howarth, Lieut.-Colonels Framlingham and
Robe. May 8th.-On the morning of the 8th, Lieutenant-General Payne, with the brigades of cavalry and infantry under the command of MajorGenerals Cotton and Hill, marched from Coimbra towards Oporto.Major-General Hill went by Aveiro, at which place the infantry was to embark for Ovar, and turn the enemy's right by the road on the sea coast. The first and immediate object of the Commander-in-Chief was to dispossess the enemy of Oporto; and whilst the principal force.was thus directed in the line for that point, Marshal Beresford was ordered to proceed with his division by Lamego, on the Upper Dourn, and to cross the river at that point, for the purpose of diverting the enemy's attention.
The following was understood to be the position of the enemy, against whom the army were now in full march :-Marshal Soult, with the