Meanwhile the 8th Corps had reached Pernes with one division, and Alcanhede with the other and its cavalry: these were the points at which Junot had been ordered to stay his retreat.The British general was well aware of the dilapidated state in which the enemy had reached his base, and calculated that it would take many weeks for Masséna to get his army into fighting trim again.Wellington’s constant sallies out of that country upon the French flank, in Leon and Estremadura, detained such large forces to protect the valleys of the Central Douro and Tagus that enough men were never found to finish the conquest of the south and east.‘It was a shame and a scandal that he had retired to Seville: the 5th Corps had orders to be always at La Romana’s heels, and to prevent him from moving into Portugal, so that the news of its return to Seville roused the Emperor’s surprise and anger.Accordingly he set the whole civil population to work on constructing barricades across the streets and lanes of the south-eastern part of the city, in the rear of the threatened points, and turned every block of houses into an independent fort by building up all the doorways and windows facing towards the enemy.
But if they had not charged at all, the pass would have been forced none the less, and only five minutes later than was actually the case.The Duke of Abrantes first tried to induce Siniavin to put out from the Tagus, to fall upon scattered British convoys, and to distract the attention of the blockading squadron under Cotton.
Nevertheless some time was hereby gained for the broken French infantry to reform.But General Habert came up with a force from the garrison to reinforce the 117th, and the attack had to be given up almost as soon as it was begun.267] who had been lying there for the last three weeks.He had duly brought up the picquets from Hartum before Hahlen, as directed, but had halted instead of clearing the French out of the village, and had thereby delayed the deployment of the whole of Sp?rckes column.It was only on November 5 that the army crossed the Pyrenees, by the great pass between Bellegarde and La Junquera.148] on the bay of Cadiz, looked at the situation, did not find it reassuring, and wrote to his imperial brother to propose that he should send out his Toulon fleet to attack the place on the sea side.271] Cantabrian Hills, Northern Portugal and Galicia were left undisturbed in September.If the Cortes refused to treat, the Emperor would regard himself as free from any previous engagements made with his brother or the Spanish nation.235]As might have been expected, Soult’s dispositions were completely successful.
The inspection over, the Duke dismounted and waited till Eugene should be ready.So the fight wore on till the dusk lowered down and the flashes of the guns turned from yellow to orange and from orange to red.But they have shown themselves equal to do so little for themselves, that it would only be sacrificing this army, without doing any good to Spain, to oppose it to such numbers as must now be brought against us.He has troops échelloned as far as the Vouga, and he could get to Oporto in three marches, because he possesses the Oporto-Coimbra chaussée, while the French army, moving by worse roads, would require five marches to reach it.Monacjee fell back before Lally step by step to the city of Tanjore, but his cavalry never ceased to harass the French foraging-parties, to drive off the cattle which they had collected, and to intercept supplies.The French were in Scotland in considerable force, and, as the Council pointed out, France was a state military, while England was established for peace.
the right wing of the British 45th under Colonel Meade, and the Portuguese 8th of the Line which had just been aiding in the repulse of Merle.This had entered Madrid 000 strong on August but one of its regiments had been left behind at Aranjuez to guard the Junta.25 1809The Spaniards had not fought amiss: St.The Spanish horse made a half-hearted attempt to attack them, but were repelled by their rolling fire before they came to close quarters, and drew back.Even so, however, the choice has not been easy.The allies worked out their plans undisturbed by any interference on the part of the old enemies whom they had beaten on the battle day.
Villars, bound by his instructions, would not come out and fight; his lines could not be forced by an army of inferior strength, and they could therefore be passed only by stratagem.The knowledge of it did much to sicken the French soldiery of the whole war, and to make every officer and man who entered Spain march, not with the light heart that he felt in Germany or Italy, but with gloom and disgust and want of confidence.The only assistance that he received from without was that the miqueletes and somatenes of the Ampurdam and the mountain region above Hostalrich were always skirmishing with Verdier’s outposts, and once or twice cut off his convoys of munitions on their way from Figueras to the front.203] on 21st January, who took 400 men with him and never returned.Its front post was at Montalv?o beyond the Zezere, only five miles from the Portuguese fortress; its remaining battalions were ranged along the river from Punhete as far north as Dornes.His squadron, however, was almost immediately caught by three British men-of-war, when after a short action Thurot was killed and every one of his ships captured.It was conducted by an elastic cordon of four or five thousand miqueletes, supported by no more than 000 infantry of the regular army and possessing five or six field-guns.Putting aside all personal considerations, I give the command of the united army to the Duke of Dalmatia, as the senior marshal.