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Journal of the bege of Turju.
svout an hour after night, the enemy accordmgly. approached close to the Pastern wall, and poured a quantity of musketry into the town, but being warmly received by the guards on the wall, they retired; not, however, without exciting a considerable degree of alarm, and the whole of the troops marched to their respective alarm posts; bul they soon returned to their quarters.
Al midnight i he enemy manifested another attack, by firing on all sides of the town; when the troops were again called out, and the three points of defence prepared for their reception. Suddenly the tiring ceased, and every thing remained quiet, till an hour before day-light, wher., from a particular movenient, it was found, that the enemy had made his retreat at midnight.
The guerillas, the 95ih, and light companies, advanced immediately to the trenchies Nothing, however, was in view at the dawn of day, but the enemy's rear guard, which was warmly pursued by the 951h and the light compavies, supporied by the gre adiers. They followed the flying enemy as far as the niver Salada, ard found its banks, as it had been in the year 1339, strewed with the bridies of these modern Saracens.
'I ne liubilco panies returned, bringing with them a few prisoners and deserters, who complained billerly of their sufferings, during the siege, from scary food, and inclement weather.
'j abandoned trenches exhibited immense quantities of carts, limbers, and intrenching tools; some destroyed, others left whole, and fit for imme
The enemy, notwithstanding their panic, found time, however, to spike their guns, and to burn the wheels of many of their limbers. The buried cannon, the broken machines of war, and the ghastly dead lying around, or Anating in the waters, afforded a melancholy picture of the horrors of war, and of the folly of that infatuation and presumption, which led the enemy to despise the courage of British troops, and bring on theinselves so much disgrace and misery.
Upop our return from the pursuit of the enemy, Colonel Skerrett issued the iollowing orders
TARIFA, January 9, 1812.-" 6.0. As the action-part of the campaign at Tarifa has been brought to a glorious issue, Colonel Skerrett feels it a bounden duty, in justice to the brave troops be has had the honour and bappiness to se've with, to bear testinong to the following acts of bravery and good conduci, ard to offer his best acknowledgments to the officers concern. ed; to all of which he has been an eye witness. He will submit the detail to the Lientenant-governor of Gibraltar, that, in addition to Captain Mitchell, of the royal arullery, and Captain Wren, 11th regiment, who appears in the general orders of the 5th of January, the officers mentioned in it may be made known to his Royal lighness the commander-in-chief.
“ '10 Lieutenant Corque, of that admirable corps, the 2d bussars, King's German legion, and the officers and soldiers of that detachment, (Captain Wense being at that time seriously ill) who, in a reconnoitring party, within
Journal of the Siege of Tarifa. half a mile of the enemy's cainp, three times put to tight an equal number of French dragouns sent to oppose him, although those dragoons were flanked by a very strong piquet of infantry, posted in a wood, within hulf-musket shot; and under a heavy fire, the hussars continued, with a most singular coolness, a long time.
“ To Captain Hughes, commanding the artillery, who, with the officers and men under his command, on the 20th December, the day on which the town was closely invested, kept the immense force of the enemy in check, for near an hour, with the two guns under his command, and did considerable execution. To Captain Jenkins, and his company of the 95th regiment, wbo, at the same time advanced against a very superior force of the enemy's troops, and drove them, keeping them in check during the time the guns were in motion: had Captain Jenkins been allowed to advance, his company alone would probably have taken the enemy's field pieces in front of them. To Major Broad, who commanded the piquets of the 47th and 87th regiments on that day; and who assisted in keeping the immense force of the enemny in check, and who advanced on the enemy, and repulsed thein.
And to Captaius Levesey and Summerson, of the light companies of the 47th and 87th regiments; and to Lieutenant Haines, of the royal artillery, who, on the 22d December, made a sortie with a field piece, and with the greatest intrepidity drove a very superior force of the enemy's light troops from their strong position in front of the convent, a fire from the gun doing great execution.
“ To Captain Levesey and the officers and men of the light company of the 47th regiinent, and the remaining officers and men of his detachment, amounting to one hundred of the 47th regiment, who, in the first instance, defended the east tower, and Hanked the right of the breach, during the assault; and who, with admirable coolness, kept their position under & heavy fire from the cannon and musketry, and afforded, on that distinguished occasion, the most essential service. To the zeal and activity of Captain Campbell, 47th regiment, who, with a very small detachment, twice entered the enemy's intrenchments, and brought away a wall-piece, and a great many intreucbing tools. And particularly to that active, intelligent, and brave officer, Lieutenant Guantee, deputy-assistant-quarter-master-general, who has been present, and engaged in almost the whole of the above affairs, and the loss of whose services, Colonel Skerrett sincerely regrets. Colonel Skerrett is happy to bear due testimony to the zeal and bravery of Major Broad, 47th regiment, who has offered himself on almost every occasion, on public service. To Brigade-major Banbury, and Captain O'Donahe, ofn y personal staff, who have always shewn the greatest zeal and activity, the last of whom has been wounded.
“ To Lieutenant-colonel Lurd Proby, 1st guards, Colonel Skerrett is on every occasiou bigbly indebted, for the great assistance he has affo,ded him,
Journal of the Siege of Tarifa. for his military experience, great zeal, and activity: in most of the above affairs bis lordship has been personally present.
“ To Major King, of the 82d regiment, and to Captain Thompson, royal marines, all forming the garrison of the island; and to Captain Wren, of the 11th regiment, who commanded the recoubts of Santa Catalina, during the whole of the siege, Colonel Skerrett is much indebted for their zeal and activity, for the assistance they have afforded the town, and for the fire kept up from the island, on the enemy's lines.
“ The royal marines will join their ship at the earliest opportunity.
“ Colonel Skerrett cannot part with this valuable detachment, without requesting Captain Thompson, with his officers and men, to accept his best thanks for their services, their zeal, and good conduct, and the good humour with which they bore all their hardships and fatigue, on a species of service so new to them.
“ Colonel Skerrett is bappy to bear testimony of the zeal and exertions of Mr. Deputy-assistant-commissariat-general Dobre, and the officers of his department; as also to Surgeon Harper, as long as be continued at the bead of the medical department; and to all the medical officers under bim, since the period of this brigade Icaving Cadiz."
Thus ended siege of seventeen days, during seven of which there was apparently a practicable breach, the wall in front of the besieged town, being but one yard thick, and incapable of bearing heavy artillery. From the first day it had been battered in breach, and was capable of returning little opposition, but in musketry. It was demonstrated, therefore, that the weakest points, when gallantly defended, can check the progress of boasting Invincibles. In fine, it appeared, that the losses suffered by the enemy in this fruitless attempt on this poor post, might safely be computed at about 2500 men, exceeding that of the garrison they assailed.
PRESENT STATE OF THE TOWNS OF SPAIN.
SEVILLE AND THE COUNTRY AROUND IT.
WE (i. e. the travellers from whom this itinerary is taken) left Cadiz about noon, in the middle of the month of September 1809, for Seville, being resolved to travel at our leisure, that we might see the surrounding country. We crossed the bay, and landed at St. Mary about two o'clock. We lost no time, but immediately got into a coach, which was waiting for us, and were off. Our equipage was a coach and six mules; the coach resembled those which may be seen in French prints of the age of Louis XIV. solid, stately, and lined with yellow plush. It was roomy, bowever, and therefore cool and comfortable.
Present State of the Towns of Spain.
The country around St. Mary's is very pleasant. The Alameda, or public walk, which we passed in going out of the city, is extremely shady and beautiful. The country around is delightful; the trees and plants are those of the south of Europe, and the scenery united all the beauties of culture, and a fertile soil. The hedges are formed of the aloe, and prickly pear; and as they are plentifully intermixed with flowers of all hues and odours, they produce a very beautiful appearance.
The road to Xeres, our first day's journey, was crowded with carts, loaded with stores; with horses, mules, and asses, carrying fruits and vegetables for the markets of Cadiz; together with flocks of sheep, and droves of oxen, attended by the owners wellmounted on Andalusian horses, and each of them with a gun slung over his shoulder. The road was occasionally bordered by extensive fields of wheat, mixed with vineyards and olive trees.
The approach to Xeres is striking; the entrance is by the end of the Alameda, a pleasant, and well shaded walk. The streets of Xeres are wider than those of Cadiz; there is a good paved footpath, and it is well lighted; some of the houses are splendid, and that belonging to Mr. James Gordon, a gentleman to whom we had letters, possesses every accommodation to be expected in an English habitation. This gentleman's family has been long established at Xeres, having sought a refuge here in consequence of its attachment to the House of Stuart. Mr. James Gordon, though married to a Spanish lady, sent his daughters to England for their education: they resided for some years in the convent at York, and then returned to this city. One of them is married to a colonel in the Spanish army. Mr. Gordon, besides being a wine merchant and distiller, is a very large farnier; he has purchased 2400 acres of good land, which is mostly in tillage, and which he farms upon the improved plan of English agriculture.
The rent of land is extremely low, being only about seven shillings and six-pence per acre, and the purchase money about £10. It is noble land, and an English farmer would raise a fortune on a very small capital, in three years. The greatest difficulty is to procure labourers.
The Roman walls are in excellent preservation. They divide the new from the old city, and are so thick that the wine merchants have formed excavations in them for their cellars. The parish church of St. Jago, is a fine pile of Gothic architecture, as well as those of St. Mathew and Mark, The church of St. Michael, however, is the finest building, and its tower is an excellent specimen of the Græco Roman architecture. About two miles from Xeres, stands the most celebrated couvent in Spain, belonging to the Carthusians. The building is very magnificent, it is in the Gothic style.
We had a fine prospect of the surrounding country, froin a new house which Mr. Gordon is building in the midst of a vineyard just above the city: the scene is thickly wooded with olive trees, and the fields are small, snug, and richly hedged round with aloes. The view extends to the grounds about St. Lucar, but the principal beauty of the scene is the view of the
Present State of the 1:174** of Spain.
bay of Cadız, with that city at a distance; still nearer, the cities of Medina, Puerto Real, Santa Maria, St. Lucar, and Rota, rise in succession, whilst just beneath, Xeres, with its lofty towers, and magnificent edifices, completes the attractions of this enchanting spot.
There is a bridge over the Guadaleta at Xeres. This river, though small, is very celebrated in Spanish history, on account of the great battle fought on its banks, between the Gothic Christians in Spain, and the Moors of Africa, in the year 711, which decided the fate of Spain, during several successive centuries, and established the power of the Moors, who conquered nearly the whole peninsula, and whose empire continued till the year 1493, when it was extinguished by the conquest of Granada.
We left Xeres very early on the following morning, in continuation of our journey, proposing to reach Lebrixa, our next principal resting place, at an early hour. The road lay through corn fields. The country, immediately on leaving Xeres, was very pleasant and beautiful, abounding in gardens and vineyards, and enclosed within hedges of aloes and flowering shrubs. The face of the country is rendered still more agreeable by the intermixture of olive trees, whose dark green hue forins a pleasing variety, as contrasted with the lighter shade of the hedges. We passed a number of farmers with their wives, mounted on horses, mules, and asses, going to a fair about thirty miles distant, near Medina. This fair continues three days, and is the most considerable cattle fair in all Andalusia, being particularly fanous for its horses. We passed over some extensive plains, leaving the high mountains of Borno on the right hand, and the Guadalquiver, at a considerable distance on the left. We had a distant view of the city of St. Lucar, and though we did not approach within eight miles of it, the clearness of the atmosphere was such, that the objects were more distinct than they would have appeared in England, at the short distance of a mile,
Our first view of Lebrixa was very impressive. Near the town is a Roman camp, situated on an eminence, over-looking the surrounding country, from the centre of which rises a once magnificent castle, built in times, and improved by the Moors; which now lies partly in ruins, and partly converted into a convent, adding great solemnity to the scene. The town is by no means well built, though some of the public edifices have the appearance of magnificence. The brilliancy of the atmosphere gives an unusual air of liveliness to the town and scenery. We went to view the castle. The lower part of the walls is very thick, and built with Roman bricks: the upper part is evidently of Moorish construction. The Romaus built as they wrote--for ever.
At the side of an archway, which leads to the castle, there is a marble statue of a female, as large as life; it is undoubtedly a Roman work; the drapery is admirably executed. During the wars between Julius Cæsar and Pompey, this town was the head quarters of the army of the latter, and is remarkable from having been the place where three Roman knights, Bebius,