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The number of troops landed with Sir Ralph Abercromby was,
Artillery, - - 6S0
Cavalry, (without horses,) - - 1,063
Infantry, ... 12,171
Reinforcements joined afterwards, - 3,250
Army from India, - - 5,226
Grand total in Egypt, 22,340
The killed and wounded of the British in the different actions are stated in the following return. The three principal actions happening previously to the arrival of the reinforcements, the weight fell on those who first landed, and who, as formerly stated, did not, from sickness and various causes, exceed 12,934 in the field.
Return of Killed and Wounded of the British Army during the Campaign in Egypt.
Thus, after a campaign of more than five months, from the landing on the 8th of March till the surrender of Alexandria, the service was completed in a manner honourable to the talents of the commanders, and the bravery, discipline, and steady conduct of the troops.* No time was to be lost in making the necessary arrangements for settling, in quarters, the troops who were destined to remain in the country, and to embark those who were ordered to other stations.
Dispatch in embarking the troops was the more necessary, as ophthalmia and dysentery had increased to an alarming degree. Fortunately the plague, which had got into the British camp in April, now disappeared, or became of so mild a nature, as to be in nowise dangerous, and indeed to give little inconvenience. This frightful disease was introduced among the troops by accident, A vessel from Smyrna, with the plague on board, had lost eleven out of tliir
* The good conduct of the troops was conspicuous on other occasions than when opposed to the enemy. From the difficulty of procuring specie to subsist the army, no pay was issued to the soldiers for eight months; and, except when officers made advances from their private resources, (which was done at great loss, as upwards of twenty per cent, was lost by the exchange,) the soldiers had not wherewithal to purchase the most common necessaries of life. Living entirely on their rations, in a country abounding in every luxury and fruit, particularly the musk and water-melon, so grateful in hot climates, they could not command a melon or a pound of grapes for the want of money, and yet there was not a murmur.
It has often been remarked with surprise, how submissive French troops have been when irregularly paid; but it ought to be recollected, that, in an enemy's country, and sometimes in that of their friends, they were allowed much freedom in obtaining what they required; and, if the supplies were not given voluntarily, they showed no hesitation in helping themselves. In Egypt, every thing was paid for by the British as if purchased at Less denhall or Covcnt Garden market; and, with the thoughtless generosity of their character, they always raised every market by offering more than demanded. Such extravagant folly, however, was checked in this instance; and, when the soldiers got subsistence money, any one who offered to forestall, or give a higher price than that established by the general orders, was checked and reprehended.
teen of her crew on the passage, and the two survivors, steering for the first land, unluckily reached the spot, on the western shore of Aboukir Bay, where a camp had been formed as an hospital for the sick and wounded, and running the vessel aground, stuck close to the tents. Some men went on board, and, on seeing the state of the crew, the alarm was given, but too late ;—the contagion was caught, and it soon spread. Every precaution was now adopted to prevent any communication with the rest of the army. A line of sentinels was immediately placed round the hospital ground; no intercourse whatever was allowed; and if any individuals went within the line, they were not permitted to return. Provisions and all necessaries were left on the line of demarcation by those on the outside, and when they had removed to some distance, those within came and took them away. * By these strict precautions, and the unremitting
• Dr Budian, Physician to the Forces, had at this time arrived from Edinburgh, where he had been in private practice; and, with a fearless and honourable zeal, volunteered the duty of the Pest Hospital, though Dr Finlay, and other medical officers, had already died of the plague. To cross this line, and enter the den of death, as it was called, and undergo all the consequent privations, exposed, under a canvas tent, to the chilling dews of night and the fiery heat of an Egyptian mid-day sun, formed no common contrast to the comforts of Edinburgh practice. Such zeal met with well-merited good fortune, so far, that he was very successful in the treatment of the disease. Mare than one-half of those who were attacked, that is, 400 out of 700 men, recovered under his judicious arrangements. How few recovered under the practice of Turkish surgeons (if surgeons they may be called) is well known. Dr Buchan farther proved his successful practice. He himself recovered from two attacks of the plague j Assistant-Surgeon Webster of the 90th also overcame two attacks; and it at last became of so mild a nature, that, in the month of July, when the cook of the hospital was seized, it was with so little fever, that he never gave up his work, nor complained, till he found it necessary to apply for some dressings when the sores occasioned by the disease had suppurated. The plague is always most violent in cold weather; but it first abates, and then disappears altogether, as the hot season approaches to its height. On the other hand, the yellow fever of New York, generated by heat, is destroyed by cold. As to the fever of the West Indies, it appears and disappears without any visible cause.-?
zeal of Dr Young, who had so ably conducted the hospitals in the West Indies, and who had been recommended by Sir Ralph Abercromby for the same duties in Egypt, the disease was prevented from spreading, and only one instance of it occurred in the camp before Alexandria. A French cavalry deserter had given his cloak to a soldier of the 58th, who was acting as clerk in the Adjutant-General's department. The soldier was seized with the plague the following night, and died. Fortunately, from his duty as clerk, he had a small tent exclusively for himself, in which he wrote and slept . This, with all that belonged to him, was burnt to ashes, and thus the pestilence was prevented from spreading to those in the neighbouring tents, who, though quite close, had had no personal communication with him.. The army sent from India, under the command of MajorGen. David Baird, to reinforce and act in conjunction with that under General Abercromby in Egypt, reached Cossier op the western shore of the Red Sea in June. After a harassing march across the Desart to Kenna, they descended the Nile in boats to Rosetta, and encamped there in August. Although various accidents occasioned so much delay as to prevent the full accomplishment of the combined plan of operations, which was to bring together two armies from such opposite points in the eastern and western hemisphere, yet the report of a reinforcement from India being expected, might probably have had some influence in quickening Belliard's surrender of Cairo. But however this might be, the
o I state the above case more particularly, as it is disputed among medical men, whether the plague spreads by infection or by contact. In Egypt it was clearly by contact. This case came under my immediate observation. I was badly wounded on the 21st of March, and sent on board ship, but being anxious to be with my regiment, I was carried on shore as soon as I could be moved; but unable to perform any active duty, I took a military superintendence of the convalescents in the hospital of the wounded, and thus had an opportunity of seeing and hearing much of what was passing among the sick. The corporal'* tent was twelve yards in rear of mine, but, fortunately, the nature of his complaint was early discovered.
junction was highly gratifying to numbers in both armies; and it was interesting to witness so unexpected a meeting of old friends, school-fellows, and companions, in a country which, in the days of their first acquaintance, they no more thought of seeing than the land of Canaan or of Goshen.
This army was in high discipline, and in full order of service. It consisted of the lOth and 61st regiments, with large detachments of the 80th, 86th, and 88th British regiments, the 1st battalion of the 1st Bombay, and the 3d battalion of the 7th regiment, a detachment of Bengal volunteers, and a full proportion of artillery, in all 5227 rank and file, besides 1593 Lascars, servants, and followers of the camp.
To those who had never seen Asiatic troops, this opportunity was very gratifying; and as they had, on many occasions, sufficiently evinced their improvement under the discipline of British officers, and had distinguished themselves for all the moral, and many of the best military duties, in the field and in quarters, it was generally regretted that circumstances prevented them from meeting the troops of France in the field.
England —Highland Society of London—Mid reviewed by the King
Corunna—Advance of Sir John Moore.
When the destinations were finally arranged, the three Highland regiments were included among those ordered home. The 42d, all healthy except those affected with ophthalmia, landed at Southampton, and marched to Winchester.