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son’s brigade, consisting of the 1st German light dragoons, and the 23d dragoons, with General Fane's brigade of heavy cavalry, were ordered to charge them. The French formed in two solid squares: they were protected by a deep ditch, which was not seen till the horses were close to it, and they kept up a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry. This was the most destructive part of the whole action; numbers of men and horses fell into the ditch— numbers were mown down—still these regiments advanced, and made a desperate charge upon the solid and impenetrable squares of the enemy. They suffered dreadfully in this attack, the 33d especially, which was almost annihilated. The heavy brigade advanced to their support, and brought off the remnant who survived. They failed in breaking the enemy; but the matchless resolution with which they had advanced upon almost certain destruction, and the shock which their charge had given, effectually impeded the enemy's plans, and no further attempt was made upon the hill, which was now covered with dead, dying, wounded, and exhausted troops. The attack upon the centre was made at the same time. Here General Campbell was supported by the Spanish Generals Eguia and Henestrosa, and by a regiment of Spanish horse; the Allies repulsed the enemy, and while the Spaniards turned their flank, the English took their cannon. The attack upon General Sherbrooke was repulsed by a charge of bayonets from the whole division; but the brigade of guards advanced too far, and laid themselves open on the left flank both to the fire of the enemy's batteries and of their retiring columns. The enemy seized the advantage, and it was of such importance, that at that moment the fate of the day appeared worse than doubtful. On this occasion, the foresight of Sir Arthur Wellesley secured the victory, which had been so long and so nobly contested. Seeing them advance, he moved a battalion of the 48th from the heights to their support, and this timely succour, with the assistance of the 2d line of General Alton's brigade of cavalry, enabled the guards to return under cover. During this action the same circumstance occurred as at the battle of Wagram. “ The shrubs caught fire, and many of the wounded were burnt. When the day had closed, the enemy had been repulsed at all points; and it appears, by the official accounts of the French themselves, as well as by their unequivocal movements after the battle, that they were effectually defeated. They affirm that the line which the Allies occupied at the beginning of the action was, in a great measure, at its close in possession of the intruder's army. There were, however, two essential points in this line, Talavera on the left, and the hill which had been so often disputed on the left; these they could not pretend to have won; but they asserted that the British artillery upon the hill was either withdrawn or silenced, and that it had been discovered, in some reconnoiterings about Talavera, that there was a much smaller number of troops there than there had been: every thing, in short, they say, announce that nothing but a vigorous blow was wanting to overthrow the enemy. Unluckily for the French it was too late to strike that blow; the intruder, however, had determined to strike it the next morning, when, still more unluckily, contradictory reports were brought him concerning the state of Victor's corps, some officers reporting that Victor was of opinion another attack must insure the victory; others that his right had been turned, and that he could not possibly keep his ground. In this dilemma, Joseph, who had been a spectator of the whole action, wrote to Victor to ascertain which was the true report, and retired to rest, in full expectation of having the most favourable one confirmed, the reserve bivouacing round him: but at day-break he was awakened by Sebastiani, who had fallen back with his corps upon the reserve during the night, and who came with tidings that he had been compelled to make this retrograde movement, because Victor was retreating along the foot of the hill, to Cassalegas. This intelligence put an end to all doubt, and left no time for deliberations. The intruder immediately began to retreat also, but in perfect order. Milhaud's division formed the rear, and Latour Maubourgh brought offmany of the wounded. Twenty pieces of cannon were taken by the conquerors: the prisoners were not many. The French state their own loss at 600 killed, 4000 wounded, that of the Allies at 10,000. The reverse statement would approach more nearly to the truth. Our loss had been very heavy; 801 killed, 3913 wounded, 653 missing. The Spaniards had 1250 killed and wounded. Generals Mackenzie and Langworth fell on our side. Two bullets passed through Sir Arthur's clothes, and he received a severe contusion on the shoulder from a spent musket-ball. Such being the loss on the part of the conquerors, it is obvious that of the defeated army must have been materially greater, especially when it is considered that they were in the proportion of more than two to one to the troops whom they engaged; for during the second action no attack was made upon the main body of Cuesta’s army; the position was too strong, and the French rightly judged, that if, by bringing their whole force to bear upon the English army, they could defeat that, Cuesta's discomfiture must necessarily follow. The British entered the field 18,300 effective men; they were opposed to not less than 48,000. Unquestionably the presence of the Spaniards was of vital importance, by the security which they afforded to the right of our army, and essential service was afforded by those who came into action on the second day, especially by Albuquerque and Bassecourt, and by two battalions under Brigadier-General Whittingham, who came forward to support the Guards; but the brunt of the battle was borne by the British, as the loss which they sustained evinces. From their loss that of the defeated enemy might fairly be computed, if the numbers left upon the field had not afforded surer ground. Both Spaniards and English state it at not less than 10,000 men; the number of their dead was so great, that Cuesta ordered out his troops by battalions to burn them. The Spanish, where they were well commanded, behaved as was to be expected from brave men; but melancholy proofs were given of the inefficient state of their armies.—The whole of their Commissariat took flight as soon as the action began, with all the people belonging to them, so that after the battle the Allies found them. selves in total want of food and resources. Three or four corps threw down their muskets without having once discharged them, and dispersed; some of them even plundered the baggage. The most vigorous punishment was inflicted; the men were decimated, and a third or fourth part of the officers put to death. The day after the action, a light brigade, 3000 strong, and a troop of horse artillery, under Brigadier-General Crawfurd, arrived from Lisbon to reinforce the British army, which thus found itself nearly as strong as before the action. But a battle so well-contested, and so gloriously won, was rendered of no avail, by the complicated misconduct of the Supreme Junta and of the Spanish General. The same want of provisions and means of transport which had compelled Sir Arthur to halt at Talavera, prevented him from pursuing his victory; the inhabitants of that town concealed the stores which they had laid in, both from the English and from their own countrymen; and such was their brutality, the criminal negligence of the Spanish General, and the forbearance of Sir Arthur, in this instance carried too far, that in so large a city proper accommodations were not provided for the wounded, and many of these poor wretches, French, English, and Spaniards, as they were brought in promiscuously from the field, were laid in the streets, and in the squares. The intruder, ignorant of the almost incredible misconduct of the Junta, and the distress of the British, trembled for Madrid, expecting every hour to hear that Venegas, Sir Robert Wilson, and the combined forces were marching to that city, where the people were eagerly looking out for their deliverers. Some insurrectionary movements had already appeared, which Belliard had been able to suppress; but it was certain that the moment an army came to the assistance of the citizens, he would no longer be able to keep them down. Joseph’s only hope therefore, was from an attack upon the rear of the combined armies, to be made by the collected forces of Soult, Ney, and Mortier, under the command of the former.
ON THE PAYMENT OF THE ARMY IN NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL NOTES.
To the Editor of the Military Panorama.
AS your Work is read by Military Men of all ranks, and consequently by numbers whose experience and general knowledge of the service will fully enable them to supply the best possible information upon subjects connected with the profession, I trust and hope some one of them will afford me information on the following facts, or reply to the following queries.
The first fact I shall state is, that in Ireland, the troops are paid in National Notes and Cash: no Provincial Notes are permitted to be issued on any pretence whatever to the army; and so strictly is it prohibited by that Government, that monthly certificates to that ef. fect are given by the Commanding Officer, Paymaster, and Adjutant
The second fact is, that the whole of the pay, subsistence as well as allowances of all denominations, are issued to the troops in England in Provincial Notes: the Captains receive the subsistence of their companies in this paper. The whole of the officers' pay is issued in the same. The Mess-man receives his month's bills from the officer also in these notes. The Quarter-Master, probably, may have some hundreds of pounds for necessaries, &c. &c. in hand, of this Provincial bank paper. The meat, and extra price of bread, and, in short, every pecuniary transaction, is carried on in a regiment solely by the use of this paper. ...
My first query, therefore, and on which I request information, is to whom are the Captains of Companies, the Quarter-Master, the
Mess-man, the officers of a regiment, and, in short, every individual who has been paid in this paper, to look to for retribution in the event of the failure of the banker who has issued these notes? Secondly, By what authority, or for whose convenience or advantage, are the troops in this country paid in Provincial, instead of Bank of England Notes? Lastly, I request to be informed what just and good reason can exist for causing corps or individuals on the British Establishment to be exposed to inconvenience, or the chance of losses, by the issue of Provincial bank paper, when this evil might be so effectually prevented by adopting the mode practised in Ireland?
July 25th, 1813. Miles veter Anus. - –m
Correspondence from the Theatre of War in the Peninsula. [Continued from page 548.
Camp, Pyrenees Mountain, July 11, 1813–We yet continue our camp on these wet and dripping mountains, generally enveloped in cloud, and being so far above the world, we seem out of reach of communication. There is a dearth of even camp-news; all our employment now is to keep our gallant heroes from committing devastation, robbing, and plundering; and I give you my word we are obliged to see every man each passing hour—and to add to our labour and pain, we are troubled with the fair sex, and their atrocious conduct; the greatest rogues, thieves, &c. and, with other bad propensities, they get more men into scrapes by them than by any other means. They are of no use whatever, but an abominable incumbrance; and should we have another campaign, I will not allow one female to follow the camp: the natives, dwelling in good comfortable houses in the fertile vallies, suffer dreadfully from our depredations. Poor unfortunate people! victims to the Vandals' barbarity, and sufferers by our wants. They fled from the French, and returning, find themselves plundered by their protectors, British, Spanish, and Portuguese; the latter, I fear, have not the restraint upon them we exert ourselves to enforce: with us there exists no kind of excuse ; we are abundantly supplied. The Portuguese do not draw so much ration as we do, but yet they have ample for their wants. Lord W. has signified, in General Orders, his commands, that while we are in the French frontier, we are not to treat the French peasantry hostilely; he tells us, their Ruler forces the war on them and us, and so we must not, on any account, injure them; but I fear his most just and humane orders will not be of any avail. Spaniards and Portuguese will retaliate for the barbarities committed by the Vandals in their kingdom. Had we now 30,000 more British troops, and 6000 cavalry, we would make the despot tremble in his palace; as it is, our peeping over his country will create alarm, even to Bourdeaux: Lord W. talks of visiting that place—at all events he must talk big—the effect will be felt in the North. You will find the runaways will make us 200,000 men, when, in fact, by counting the regiments that bawe lost men, you will see we had not 50,000 engaged, and not 80,000 in the field; they say we had 40,000 cavalry—we had 7000, and they could not act. If the Spaniards will come up, as they should do, we may soon have 200,000 men. We have closely invested Pamplona, erected forts about 1200 yards round it, and, by this time, given the business up to the Spaniards, who are also besieging St. Sebastian. Mina, who combines in himself gallantry, intelligence, and activity, has