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Sierra de Aya, and the other, on that side fruitless, the enemy took the morning of the 31st, leaving advantage of the darkness of a viothe 9th Portuguese brigade on the lent storm to retire their troops heights between the convent and from this front entirely. Vera, and Lezaca.
Notwithstanding that, as I have Major-general Inglis's brigade above informed your lordship, I of the 7th division was moved on had a British division on each flank, the 30th to the brigade of Lezaca ; of the 4th Spanish army, I am and I gave orders for the troops in happy to be able to report, that the the Puertos of Echalar, Zugarra- conduct of the latter was so con-; murdi, and Maya, to attack the spicuously good, and they were so enemy's weakened posts in front of capable of defending their post those positions.
without assistance, notwithstandThe enemy crossed the Bidassoa ing the desperate efforts of the by the fords between Andara, and enemy to carry it, that finding the destroyed the bridge on the high ground did not allow of my makroad, before day-light on the morn- ing use of the 1st or 4th divisions ing of the 31st, with a very large on the flanks of the enemy's ata force, with which they made a tacking corps, neither of them most desperate attack along the were in the least engaged during whole front of the position of the the action.
. Spanish troops on the heights of Nearly at the same time that the San Marcial. They were driven enemy crossed the Bidassoa in front back, some of them even across of the heights of San Marcial, they the river, in the most gallant style, likewise crossed that river with by the Spanish troops, whose con- about three divisions of infantry in duct was equal to that of any two columns, by the fords below troops that I have ever seen en- Salin, in front of the position occugaged ; and the attack having been pied by the 9th Portuguese brifrequently repeated, was, upon gade. I ordered major-general every occasion, defeated with the Inglis to support this brigade with same gallantry and determination. that of the 7th division under his The course of the river being im- command ; and as soon as I was mediately under the heights on the informed of the course of the eneFrench side, on which the enemy my's attack, I sent to lieut-gen. had placed a considerable quantity the earl of Dalhousie to request of cannon, they were enabled to that he would likewise move tothrow a bridge across the river, wards the Bidassoa, with the 7th about three quarters of a mile division, and to the light division, above the high road, over which in to support major-gen. Inglis by the afternoon they marched again every means in their power. Majora considerable body, which, with gen. Inglis found it impossible to those who had crossed the fords, maintain the heights between Lemade another desperate attack zaca and the Bidassoa, and he upon the Spanish positions. This withdrew to those in front of the was equally beat back; and at convent of San Antonio, which he length finding all their efforts on maintained.
In the mean time major-general murdi, with the 6th Portuguese Kempt moved one brigade of the brigade, on the 31st; and the light division to Lezaca, by which hon. major-general Colville made he kept the enemy in check, and col. Douglas attack the enemy's covered the march of the earl of posts in front of the pass of Maya, Dalhousie to join major-gen. Inglis. on the same day, with the 7th Por
The enemy, however, having tuguese brigade. All these troops completely failed in their attempt conducted themselves well. The upon the position of the Spanish attack made by the earl of Dalarmy on the heights of San Mar. housie delayed his march till late cial; and finding that major-gen. in the afternoon of the 31st, but Inglis had taken a position from he was in the evening in a favourwhich they could not drive him; able situation for his farther proat the same time that it covered gress; and in the morning of the and protected the right of the Spa- Ist, in that allotted for him. nish army, and the approaches to In these operations, in which a San Sebastian by Oyarzun, and that second attempt by the enemy to their situation on the left of the prevent the establishment of the Bidassoa was becoming at every allies upon the frontiers has been moment more critical, retired dur. defeated, by the operations of a ing the night.
part oaly of the allied army, at the The fall of rain during the even- very moment at which the town of ing and night had so swollen the St. Sebastian was taken by storm. Bidassoa, that the rear of their co- I have had great satisfaction in ublumn was obliged to cross at the serving the zeal and ability of the bridge of Vera. In order to effect officers, and the gallantry and disthis object, they attacked the posts cipline of the soldiers. of major-general Skerrett's brigade The different reports which I of the light division, at about three have transmitted to your lordship in the morning, both from the from lieut.-gen. sir Thomas GraPuerto de Vera, and from the left ham will have shewn the ability of the Bidassoa. Although the na- and perseverance with which he ture of the ground rendered it im- has conducted the arduous enterpossible to prevent entirely the pas- prize intrusted to his direction, sage of the bridge after day-light, and the zeal and exertion of all the it was made under the fire of a officers employed under him. great part of major-gen. Skerrett's I fully concur in the lieutenantbrigade, and the enemy's loss in general's report of the cordial asthe operation must have been very sistance which he has received from considerable. Whilst this was going captain sir George Collier, and the on upon the left of the army, Ma- officers, seamen, and marines unriscal de Campo Don Pedro Giron der his command; who have done attacked the enemy's posts in front every thing in their power to faciof the pass of Echalar, on the 30th litate and ensure our success. The and 31st. Lieut.-general the earl seamen have served with the artil. of Dalhousie made gen. Le Cor lery in the batteries, and have upon attack those in front of Zugarra, every occasion manifested that spiBritish navy
rit which is characteristic of the and these corps were distio.
guished. I cannot sufficiently applaud the Throughout these operations conduct of Mariscal de Campo I have received every assistance Don Manuel Freyer, the com- from the adjutant-general, majormander-in-chief of the 4th Spa. generalPakenham, and the quarternish army, who, whilst he made master · general, major - general every disposition which was proper Murray, and all the officers for the troops under bis command, of the staff, and of my own set them an example of gallantry, family. which having been followed by the I transmit this dispatch by mageneral officers, chiefs, and other jor Hare, acting assistant adjutantofficers of the regiments, ensured general with this army, attached the success of the day. In his re- to lieutenant-general sir Thomas port, in which I concur, the ge- Graham, whom I beg leave neral expresses the difficulty which to recommend to your lordship's he finds of selecting particular in- protection. stances of gallantry, in a case in I have the honour to be, &c. which all have conducted them
WELLINGTON. selves so well; but he has particularly mentioned general Mendiza- P. S. I enclose a return of the bel, who volunteered his assistance, killed and wounded in the operaand commanded on the height of tions of the 31st ult. and 1st inst. San Marcial; Mariscal de Campo and returns of the loss before San Losado, who commanded in the Sebastian from the 28th of July to centre, and was wounded; Maris. the 31st of August. cal de Campo Jose Garcia de Paredes, the commanding officer of
Oyarzun, Sept. 1, 1813. the artillery; brigadiers Don Juan My lord; In obedience to your Diaz Porlier, Don Jose Maria Es- lordship's orders of the preceding peleta, Don Stanislas Sanchez Sal- day, to attack and form a lodgment vado; the chief of the staff of the on the breach of St. Sebastian, fourth army, and Don Antonio which now extended to the left, Roselly; and colonel Fuentes Pita, 80 as to embrace the outermost the commanding engineer, Don tower, the end and front of the Juan Loarte, of the regiment de la curtain immediately over the left Constitution, and Don Juan Uarte bastion, as well as the faces of the Mendia.
bastion itself, the assault took place Major-general Inglis, and the at eleven o'clock, a. m. yesterday; regiments in his brigade of the and I have the honour to report seventh division, conducted them to your lordship, that the heroic selves remarkably well. The 51st perseverance of all the troops conregiment, under colonel Mitchell, cerned was at last crowned with and the 68th, under lieut.-colonel success. Hawkins, covered the change of The column of attack was formposition by the troops from the ed of the second brigade of the heights between the Bidassoa and 5th division, commanded by majorLezaca, to those of San Antonio : general Robinson, with an imme
diate support of detachments as per least 20 feet to the level of the margin,* and having in reserve streets: so that the narrow ridge the remainder of the 5th division, of the curtain itself, formed by the consisting of major-general Sprye's breaching of its end and front, Portuguese brigade, and the first was the only accessible point. brigade under major-general Hay, During the suspension of the opeas also the 5th battalion of Caça. rations of the siege, from want of dores of general Bradford's brigade, ammunition, the enemy had preunder major Hill; the whole under pared every means of defence the direction of lieutenant-general which art could devise, so that sir James Leith, commanding the great numbers of men were cover5th division.
ed by entrenchments and traverses, Having arranged every thing in the horn-work, on the ramparts with sir James Leith, I crossed the of the curtain, and inside of the Urumia to the batteries of the town opposite to the breach, and right attack, where every thing ready to pour a most destructive could be most distinctly seen, and fire of musketry on both flanks of from whence the orders for the the approach to the top of the narfire of the batteries according to
row ridge of the curtain. circumstances, could be immedi- Every thing that the most deterately given.
mined bravery could attempt, was The column, in filing out of the repeatedly tried in vain by the right of the trenches, was, as be- troops, who were brought forward fore, exposed to a heavy fire of from the trenches in succession.' shells and grape shot, and a mine No man outlived the attempt to was exploded in the left angle of gain the ridge: and though the the counterscarp of the horn-work, slope of the breach afforded shelter which did great damage, but did from the enemy's musketry, yet not check the ardour of the troops still the nature of the stone rubin advancing to the attack. There bish prevented the great exertions was never any thing so fallacious of the engineers and working paras the external appearance of the ties from being able to form a breach; without some description, lodgment for the troops, exposed the almost insuperable difficulties to the shells and grape from the of the breach cannot be estimated. batteries of the castle, as was parNotwithstanding its great extent, ticularly directed, in obedience to there was but one point where it your lordship’s instruction: and, at was possible to enter, and there all events, a secure lodgment could by single files. All the inside of never have been obtained without the wall to the right of the curtain occupying a part of the curtain. formed a perpendicular scarp of at In this
almost desperate state of
One hundred and fifty volunteers of the light division, commanded by lieutenant-colouel Hunt, of the 52nd regiment; four hundred of the first division (consisting of two hundred of the brigades of guards, under lieutenant-colonel Cooke; of one hundred of the light battalion, and one hundred of the line battalions of the King's German Legion), under major Robertson; and two hundred volunteers of the fourth division, under major Rose, of the 20th foot.
the attack, after consulting with tempt should be made to storm the colonel Dickson, commanding the horn-work. royal artillery, I ventured to order 'It fell to the lot of the 2nd brithe guns to be turned against the gade of the 5th division, under the curtain. A heavy fire of artillery command of colonel the honourwas directed against it ; passing a able Charles Greville, to move out few feet only over the heads of our of the trenches for this purpose, troops on the breach, and was kept and the 3rd battalion of the Royal up with a precision of practice Scots, under lieutenant-colonel beyond all example. Meanwhile Barnes, supported by the 38th, I accepted the offer of a part of under lieutenant-colonel Miles, major-general Bradford's Portu- fortunately arrived to assault the guese brigade to ford the river near breach of the curtain, about the its mouth. The advance of the 1st time when an explosion on the battalion, 13th regiment, under rampart of the curtain (occasioned major Snodgrass, over the open by the fire of the artillery) created beach, and across the river; and some confusion
enemy. of a detachment of the 24th regi- The narrow pass was gained, and ment, under lieutenant. colonel was maintained, after a severe conM'Bean, in support, was made in Alict, and the troops on the right the handsomest style, under a very of the breach having about this. severe fire of grape. Major Snod time succeeded in forcing the bar. grass attacked and finally carried ricades on the top of the narrow: the small breach on the right of line wall, found their way into the the great one, and lieut.-colonel houses that joined it. Thus, after M’Bean's detachment occupied the an assault which lasted above two right of the great breach. I ought hours, under the most trying cir-" not to omit
to mention, that a si. cumstances, a firm footing was obe' milar offer was made by the 1st tained. Portuguese regiment of brigadier- It was impossible to restrain the general Wilson's brigade, under impetuosity of the troops, and in lieutenant-colonel Fearon; and an hour more the enemy were that both major-general Bradford, driven from all the complication of and brigadier-general Wilson, had, defences prepared in the streets, from the beginning, urged most suffering a severe loss on their reanxiously the
employment of their treat to the castle, and leaving the respective brigades, in the attack, whole town in our possession. as they had so large a share in the Though it must be evident to labour and fatigues of the right your lordship, that the troops were attack.
all animated with the most enthuObserving now the effect of the siastic and devoted gallantry, and admirable fire of the batteries that all are entitled to the highest against the curtain, though the commendation; yet I am sure enemy was so much covered, a your lordship will wish to be in- ' great effort was ordered tobe made formed more particularly concernto gain the high ridge at all ha- ing those, who, from their situazárds, at the same time that an at- tions, lad opportunities of gaining