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Pursuit of the Enemy.
It was dark before this point was carried by the 6th division, and the enemy fled through the woods towards the Torines. His Lordship immediately pursued them with the 1st and light divisions, and General Anson's brigade, and some squadrons of cavalry, under Sir Stapleton Cotton, as long as he could find any of them together, directing his pursuit upon Huerta, and the fords of the 'Tormes, by which the enemy had passed in their advance : but the darkness of the night was highly advantageous to the enemy, many of whom escaped under its cover who would otherwise have been made prisoners.*
Lord Wellington, with his gallant comrades, renewed the pursuit at break of day, and Bock's and Anson's brigades of cavalry, having come up in the night, and having crossed the Tormes, the pursuers were eneabled to come up with the enemy's rear-guard of cavalry and infantry, near Le Serna ; when they were immediately attacked by the two brigades of dragoons, and the cavalry fled, leaving the infantry to their fate. On this occasion, his Lordship observed, that he had never witnessed a more gallant charge than was now made on the enemy's infantry, the whole of which, three battalions, were made prisoners. The pursuit was continued until the evening of the 23d as far as Peneranza ; whilst the scattered remains of Marmont's army passed through Flores de Avelin, and afterwards by Arevalo towards Valladolid, where they were joined by the cavalry and artillery of the army of the north, but too late to retrieve their broken fortunes. It was difficult to ascertaita exactly the enemy's
commenced the action even then, if it had not been for Marmont's blunder in extending his line, and thereby affording his lordship, as he himself observed, the opportunity he had so anxiously wished for. It was, in faci, a military game of draughts !
* Owing to this darkness it unfortunately happened that Sir Stapleton Cotton was wounded by one of the British sentinels, after the army pad halted.
French report of the battle.
loss in this brilliant action; but the acknowledgment which has since been made by Marmont himself* 21. 3 P
* The plain and modest account of this decisive and gallant action, from the pen of the Marquis of Wellington, certainly requires no comment; yet so much justice, though unwillingly, has been done to his gallantry and skill, by the narrative of his rival, that we subjoin that account, in order to preserve and hand it down to posterity, as that document alone his sufficient to form the basis of his future fame. Report of Marshal the Duke of Ragusa, to the Minister at War.."
- Tudela, July 31. « Monsieur, The interruption of the communications with France, since the opening of the eampaign, having prevented me from giving you the successive accounts of the events which have passed, I shald commence this report from the moment at which the English began operations; and I am going to have the honour to place before you, in detail; all the movements which have been exeuted, to the unhappy event that has just taken place, and which we were far from expecting
** In the month of May I was informed the English army would open the campaign with very powerful means; I informed the Kiøg of it, in order that he might adopt such dispositions as he thought proper; and I likewise acquainted General Caffarilla with it, that he might take measures for sending me succours when the moment should have arrived.
“ The extreme difficulty in procuring subsistence, the impossibility of provisioning the troops, when assembled, prevented me from having more than eight or nine battalions in Salamanca ; but all were in readiness to join me in a few days.
“On the 12th of June, the enemy's army passed the Agueda ; on the 14th, in the morning, I was informed of it; and the orders for assėinbling was given to the troops. On the 16th, the English army arrived before Salamanca.
'“ Jo the night between the 16th and 17th I evacuated that town, leav. ing neverthe a garrison in the forts I had constructed ; and which, by the extreine activity used in their construction, were in a state of defence. I marched six leagues from Salamanca ; and there, having collected five divisions, I approached that town ; I drove before me the English advanced posts, and obliged the enemy's army to sbew what attitude it reckoned upon taking; it appeared determined to fight upon the fine "rising ground, and strong position, San Christoval. The reinainder of the army joined me; I manoeuvred round that position, but I acquired the certainty that it every where presented obstacles difficult to be conquered, and that it was better to force the enemy to come upon another field of battle, than enter into action with them upon ground which gave them too many advantages; besides, different reasons made me desire to prolong the operations, for I had just re.
renders it highly probable, that the estimate of 7000 prisoners was not too mach, as he ackuowledged
ceived a letter from General Caffarilli, which' announced to me, that. he had collected his troops, and was going to march to succour me, whilst my presence would have suspended the siege of the fort of Salamanca. Things remained in this state for soine-days, and the armies in presence of each other; when the jege of the fort of Salamanca was vigorously recommenced.
“ On account of the trifling distance which there was between the French army and the place, and by means of the signals agreed upon, I was every day informed of the situation of the place. Those of the 26th and 97th informed me the fort could still hold out five days; then I decided to execute the passage of the Tormes, and act upon the Jeft bank. The fort of Alba, which I had carefully preserved, gave me a passage over that river, a new line of operations, and an important point of support. I made dispositions for executing this passage on the night between the 28th and 291h.
“ During the night of the 27th the fire redoubled; and the enemy, fatigued with a resistance which to them appeared exaggerated, fired red-hot balls upon the fort. Unfortunately its magazines, coptained a large quantity of wood: it took fire, and in an instant the fort was a vast fire. It was impossible for the brave garrison, who defended it, to support at the same time the enemy's attacks, and the fire whicli. destroyed the defences, magazines, and provisions, and placed the soldiers themselves in the most dreadful situation. Ii. then obliged to surrender at discretion, after having had the honour of repulsing two assaults, and causing the enemy a loss of more than 1,300 men, viz, double their own force. This event happened on the 28th, at
full “The enemy, having no farther object in bis operations beyond the Tormes : and, on the other hand, every thing indicating that it would be prudent to await the reinforcements announced in a formal manner by the Army of the North, I decided on re-approaching the army of the Douro, secure of passing that river in case the enemy should march towards us, and there to take up a good line of defence, until sycbţiinę as the moment for acting on the offensive should appear..
“ On the 28th the army departed, and took a position on the G4. arena : on the 29th, on the Trabunjoss where it sojourned. The ene; my having followed the movements with the whole of his forces, the army took a position on the Zapardiel ;jand on the 2nd it passed the Douro at Tordesillas, a place which I chose for the pivot of my motions, The line of the Douro is excellent; I made in detail every disposition which might sender sure a good defence of this river; and I had no cause to doubt my being able to defeat every enterprise of the enemy, in case they should attempt the passage... es The 3rd; being the day after that on which we passed the Douro, lıç
Positions of the army.
6000 hors de combat. There were also taken nearly twenty pieces of cannon, ammunition waggons, two
3 P 2
made several 'assemblages of his forces, and some light attempts to effect this passage at Pollos, a point which for him would have been very advantageous. The troops which I had disposed, and a few can, non-shot, were sufficient to make him immediately give up his enterprise.
“ In continual expectation ofreceiving sụccours from the arruy of the North, which had been promised in so solemn and reiterated a mano ner, * I endeavoured to add, by my own industry, to the means of the army. My cavalry was much inferior to that of the enemy. The English had nearly 5000 horse, English or German, without counting the Spaniards, formed into regular troops ; I had no more than 2000. With this disproportion in what manner could one maneuvre his enemy? How avail one's self of any advantage that might be obtained ? I had but one means of augmenting my cavalry, and that was by taking the useless horses for the service of the army, or such as belonged to individuals who had no right to have them, or from such, as had a greater number than they are allowed. I did not hesitate, making use of this means, the inininent interest of the army, and the success of the operations, being at stake. I therefore ordered the seizure of such borșes as, were under this predicament; and I likewise seized a great number which were with a convoy coming from Andalusia; all upon estimation of their value, and making payment for them. . This measure, executed with security, gave, in the space of eight days, 1000 inore horsemen; and my cavalry, reunited, amounted to more than 3000 combatants. Meanwhile I no less hoped to receive succours from the ariny of the North, wbich continued its promises, the performance of which appeared to have coinmenced, but of which we have not hitherto seen any effect.
“The eighth division of the army of Portugal occupied the Asturias; these troops were completely isolated from the army, by the evacuation of the provinces of Leon and Benevente; they were without sucçours, and without any communication with the army of the North ; because on the one side the Trincadores, who should have come from Bayonne, could not be sent to-Gijon ; and, on the other side, the General-in-Chief of the army of the North, although he had formally promised, to do so, had dispensed with throwing a bridge over the Deba, ť and there establishing posts. This division had been able to bring only very little ammunition, før want of means of carriage; and this
* This succour, which had been sent, could not join the army of Por: tugal till after the battle, and at the moment of retreat.
+ Particular circumstauces appear to have opposed the execution of this measure.
Prisoners. &c. taken.
eagles,* six colours, one General, three Colonels, three Lieutenant-Colonels, 130 officers of inferior
was in part consumed; nor did they know how to replace it. Its posió tion might every moment become more critical, and the enemy seriously occupied himself with it; inasınuch as if it were still thus.isaJated, it would remain entirely uncomnected with the importaot events which were taking place in the plains of Castile. General Bonnet, calculating on this state of matters, and considering, according to the knowledge he has of the country, that it is much easier to enter than depart out of it, according as the enemy might oppose the entrance or departure, he decided on evacuating this province, and on taking a position at Reynosa. There, having learnt that the army of Portugal was in presence of the English army, and that they were on the point of engaging, he did not hesitate in putting himself in motion, and rejoining it.
" Strongly impressed with the importance of this succour, and with the augmentation which my cavalry was about to receive; not having learnt any thing positive farther concerning the army of the north ; and being besides informed of the march of the army of Gallicia, which, in the course of a few days, would necessarily force me to send a de. tachment to repulse them, I thought it my duty to act without delay. I had to fear that my situation, which was become much meliorated, might change, by losing tiine; whilst that of the enemy would, by the nature of things, become better every moment.
“ I therefore resolved on recrossing the Douro ; but this operation is difficult and delicate : it cannot be undertaken without inuch art and circumspection, in presence of an army in condition for battle. I em: ployed the days of the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th of July, in making a number of marches and countermarches, which deceived the enemy: I feigned an attention to turn by Toro, and turned by Tordesillas, making an extremely rapid marcb. 'This movement succeeded so well, that the whole army could pass the river, move to a distance from it, and form itself, without meeting with a single enemy.
“ On the 17th, the army took a position at Nava del Rey. The eneiry, who was in full march for Toro, could only bring two divisions with celerity to Tordesillas de la Orden ; the others were recalled from different parties to re-unite themselves.
“ Ou the 18th, in the morning, we found these two divisions at Toro desillas de la Orden. As they did not expect to find the whole army joined, they thought they might, without peril, gain some time. Nevertheless, when they saw our masses coming forward, they endeavoured to effect their retreat to a ridge which commanded the vil. lage to wbich we were marching.
“ We had already reached them. If I had a cavalry superior, or equal, to that of the enemy, these two divisions would have been-destroyed. We did not, however, pursue them the less with all posible