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cessible, was at Navedeaver, and the turned the right of the 7th division, head-quarters at Villa Fermosa. A between this place, and Navedeaver, fine line of battle Massena called it ; from whence D. Julian had been oblibut he thought it was not without dan- ged to fall back. According to Masger to the troops that held it, for they sena's account, General Montbrun now had the rocky bed of the Coa behind charged our cavalry in columns, with them, and only a single carriage com- the greatest success, overthrew twenty munication, and that sufficiently diffi-' squadrons of them successively, and cult, by the little townof Castello Bom. drove them more than a league before This communication, therefore, it was him : but we know from Lord Welhis plan to seize, and for this purpose, ligton, that two or three squadrons of while with a part of his army he kept British dragoons met the charge of the centre of the allies in check, he Montbrun's advanced guard, drove proceeded in force against their right, them back, and took the colonel of the and attacked Fuentes d'Onoro, which 13th chasseurs prisoner; that their main stands partly on the front of the hill, body was checked and compelled to and is hidden by the nature of the retire by the fire of General Housground. They began the attack in the toun's division, and that the charge was afternoon ; Lord Wellington instantly repulsed. The Chasseurs Britannicomprehended the plans of his anta- ques, under Lieutenant-Colonel Eusgonist, and reinforced the village as oc- tace, and a detachment of the Duke of casion required; the enemy had at Brunswick’s light infantry, distinguishone time obtained possession of part of ed themselves on this occasion. They the disputed post ; but when night were on the flank of the
enemy, someput a stop to the action, they had what concealed by a rising ground: been driven out. The next day, Mas- Availing themselves of this, they suffersena employed himself in making dis-ed the main body of the cavalry to positions for a freshattack, and thought come in a line with their front, and he had found an accessible ground be. then rising up, threw in a well-direct, tween Navedeaver and Poço Velho. ed volley, which checked them, and Lord Wellington, from the course of compelled them to retire. his reconnoisance, divined his purpose, Lord Wellington had occupied Poço and therefore in the evening moved Velho and the adjoining ground, in the 7th division under Major-General hopes of maintaining the communicaHouston to protect, if possible, the pas. tion across the Coa by Sabugal, as sage of the Duas Casas at Poço Velho, well as providing for the blockade. where the French intended to cross, These objects were now incompatible in the hope of gaining possession of with each other ; placing therefore the Fuentes d'Onoro in that direction, and light division in reserve, in the rear of of the ground behind the village. the left of the 1st, he ordered the 7th
On the morning of the fifth, one of to cross the river Turon, and take post the enemy's corps appeared in two co- on some commanding ground, which lumns in the valley of the Duas Casas, protected the right dank and rear of opposite to Poço Velho, having the the 1st, covered the communication whole of their cavalry on the left, with the Coa, and prevented that of under General Montbrun. General the enemy with Almeida, by the roads Houston's advanced guard was com- between the Coa and the Turon. The pelled to retire with some loss, but in British position thus extended on the good order : The French being thus high ground from the Turon to the established in this village, their cavalry Duas Casas. The 7th division on the
left of the Turon covered the rear of he marched upon this attempt to rethe right, which was formed by the 1st trieve his superiority, were found updivision in two lines. Colonel Ash- on some of the dead. They were in worth's brigade, in two lines, was in these words : “ Soldiers of the army of the centre, and the third division in two Portugal, after six months of glorious lines on the left. Don Julian's infan, and tranquil operations, you have retry joined the 7th in Freineda, and he turned to the first scene of your triand his cavalry were sent to interrupt umphs; but the enemies of Napoleon the enemy's communication with Ciu. the Great have the audacity to blockdad Rodrigo. Fuentes d'Onoro was ade a fortress which they durst not in front of the left. Against this previously attempt to defend. Sol. place, the chief efforts of the French diers, if your valour then intimidated were directed, as the possession of it their columns, will it not now punish would have given them the advantage. them for their temerity? Will not you It was many times won and lost in the bring to their recollection, that you course of the day; but the enemy were are still the same 'brave men who finally driven through it by Colonel drove them to their trenches at LisMackinnon, and when night closed, bon? Some regiments of cavalry, and four hundred of their dead were lying reinforcements from his majesty's in the village, and our men held the guards, conducted by the marshal post. In his official dispatches, Mas- of the district, assist in your efforts sena claimed a victory, and said that, and your duties. Forget not that in order to profit by the advantage, he it is your courage which must mainintended to approach Almeida; but tain that superiority of heroism and inhe had gained no advantage by which trepidity which forms the subject of to profit. Two days the armies remain- the admiration, and the envy
of other ed in their positions, the French not nations. Through you the honour chusing to repeat an attempt, in which of the French armies will render rethey had been so severely handled, and nowned the hitherto unknown banks Lord Wellington, from the inferiority of the Coa, as you have made the ri. of his numbers, and the wretched state vers of Italy and of the North to be of his cavalry, not chusing to risk a for ever memorable. Soldiers, a vic. general action. On the night of the tory is necessary, in order to procure 7th, Massena began to retire, and re- you that repose which the equipment crossed the Agueda, leaving Almeida and administration of the regiments reto its fate, thus failing entirely in the quire. You will obtain it, and you object for which the movement had will prepare yourselves in the leisure been undertaken and the battle fought. that will result from it to march to' Our loss on both days amounted to new triumphs.” 1378 killed and wounded, and 317 Defeated in the field, and dissapointprisoners. That of the French was ed in his hope of saving Almeida, not ascertained ; they admitted the Massena sent orders to the Governor loss of only 400; we estimated it at as General Brenier to blow up the works, many thousands ; that it must have and retire with the garrison upon Barbeen greater than ours is certain, be. ba de Puerco. Brenier having precause the action was well fought, and viously received instructions from Besthey were defeated under circumstan- sieres and from Berthier to prepare ces in which courage decided the event. for thus evacuating the place, should
Massena's general orders, which he it be necessary, had made 140 cavities had issued at Ciudad Rodrigo, before ready to be charged before the end of April ; but knowing that Massena had been posted to support the pic. would make every effort to retain pos. quéts. Brenier, who had been long session of this fortress, which was the preparing for this attempt, had studied only fruit of his six months campaign the ground so well that he would not in Portugal, he had prepared also for take a guide ; a guide, he thought, a vigorous defence, hoping to hold would only make him hesitate and per. out till the first of June. The battle haps confuse him ; the moon served as of Fuentes d'Onoro put an end to his his compass, the different brooks and hopes ;-the firing was heard in Al. rivers which he crossed were so many meida, and proved that it was a serious points which insured his direction, and action, and as the communication he placed his baggage at the tail of which he every moment expected did each column, in order that it might not arrive, Brenier could not doubt serve as a lure to occupy
the enemy, what had been the event. Massena's for to save' it he well knew was imposorders reached him on the 7th. Im- sible. On the part of the blockading mediately the cavities were filled, the troops there was certainly a culpable balls and cartridges thrown into the negligence ; for as the garrison had ditch, and the artillery destroyed by frequently attacked the nearest pic. discharging cannon into the mouths of quets, and fired cannon in the night the pieces. Two days were employed during the whole blockade, but more in this work, and on the morning of the particularly while Massena was be10th he assembled the officers, and tween the Duas Casas and the Az
zava, having read to them his instructions, they thought this attack was nothing told them, that when the place was more than one of the ordinary sallies, once destroyed, the intentions of their and did not even move at the sound of sovereign would be perfectly fulfilled; the explosion, till its cause was ascerthat that single object ought to ani. tained. Brigadier-General Pack howmate them ; that they were French. ever, who was at Malpartida, joined the men, and ought to prove to the uni. picquets upon the first alarm with his verse that they were worthy of being wonted alacrity, and continued to fol80. They continued to work in de- low and fire upon the enemy, as a guide stroying stores and artillery, and com
for the march of the other troops. pleating the mines, till the moment of The 4th regiment, which was ordered their departure, and at ten at night, to occupy Barba del Puerco, missed all being assembled with the greatest the way, and to this Brenier was chief. silence, General Brenier gave as a ly indebted for his escape. Regnier watch-word, Buonaparte and Bayard, was at the bridge of San Felices to reand set off, he says, under the auspices ceive him, and there he effected his of glory and honour. In coupling junction, having lost, in this hazardous these names together, he seems not to and well-executedescape, bythe French have felt how cutting a reproach they official account, only sixty men. The conveyed to every honourable French- falsehood of this account is attributable
to the system of the French government About one the mines exploded, and morethanto Brenier himself, whose loss at the same time the garrison attack- was at least tenfold what was there ed the picquets which observed the stated. For though the lure of the place, and forced their way through baggage was not thrown out in vain, them. They marched in two columns, and too many of his purguers stopt or fired as little as possible, and passed turned aside to secure their booty when between the bodies of troops which the horses and mules were cast loose, he was followed and fired upon by Gene- from Llerena, fell back to Guadalcaral Pack's party, and by a part of the nalg it was deemed of considerable im36th regiment, the whole way from portance to push them as far off as posAlmeida to the Agueda, and
490 pri- sible during the intended siege, and a soners were brought in ; the number of combined movement of Colonel Colkilled and wounded must have been borne, Ballasteros, and the Conde proportionably great.
de Penne Villamur, who commanded The English and their general did full the cavalry of the Spanish army in Exjustice to the abilities with which Bre- tremadura, to which Castanos had now nier performed his difficult attempt. been appointed, made Latour MauMassena made use of it to colour over bourg retire to Constantino. This his late defeat, and represented the eva- service having been successfully percuation and not the relief of Almeida as formed, the investment of Badajoz was the object for which the battle of Fuen- commenced on the 4th of May; the tes d'Onoro was fought. “ The ope- heavy artillery was brought from El. ration," he said, “ which had put the vas, and placed in the batteries, and army in motion was thus terminated.” the siege was prosecuted with vigour Shortly afterwards he returned to on both sides, till on the night of the France with Generals Ney, Junot, 12th, Marshal Beresford received inand Loison, leaving behind them names, telligence that Soult with 15,000 men which will long be execrated in Por. had left Seville on the 10th, with the tugal, and which will for ever be infa- avowed intention of coming to Badamous. Marmont, who in the Corsican’s joz, and that Latour Maubourg had peerage
is called Duke of Ragusa, suc- returned upon Guadalcanal and Llere. ceeded him in the command.
na, and forced Penne Villamur to retire. The army, which still called itself This intelligence came from the Rethe Army of Portugal, went into its gent, General Blake, who had left Ca. cantonments upon the Tormes ; and diz to take advantage of the success Lord Wellington set out for the south, of the allies in Portugal. As this gesummoned by intelligence from Marshal neral had come down to Fregenal, and Beresford that Soult, notwithstanding Ballasteros from Monasterio had pushthe previous rumours, how he was oc- ed his advances within a league of Sea cupied in fortifying Seville, and prepa. ville, Marshal Beresford thought it ring to stand on the defensive in An- possible that Soult's movements might dalusia, was advancing into Extrema. merely be intended to make them redura. These tidings reached Lord tire, and leave him undisturbed ; but Wellington on the night of the 15th; fresh dispatches in the middle of the he set out on the following morning, night from various quarters made it but it was too late, for on that day the beyond all doubt that the French ge. expected battle was fought.
neral was rapidly advancing, and all When the British commander had that had been done towards the siege been recalled from Badajoz to secure of Badajoz was now to be undone, for the recovery of Almeida, Beresford, 'it was thought better to meet and give pursuant to his instructions, placed his him battle with all the force that conld troops at Almendralejo, Villa Alva, be collected, Spanish, Portugueze, and Merida, Montijo,and Talaveruela, wait- British, than, by looking at two objects ing till the Guadiana should fall suffi. at once, to risk the loss of both. ciently forhim to re-establish the bridge. The labour of eight precious days The French under Latour Maubourg, therefore was demolished, the guns tawhen they had been forsed to retire ken from the batteries, and carried
back to blow up the stores which had tle, for which we must prepare ournearly been completed. In this, as selves.” in everything where his exertions could Our cavalry, with that of Castanos, extend, the Portugueze governor of under the Conde de Penne Villamur, Alentejo, General Leite, afforded falling back as the enemy advanced, every possible assistance by his zealous was joined at Santa Martha by Geneand indefatigable activity ; General ral Blake's cavalry. The British and Cole's division, and about 2000 Spa- Portugueze infantry, except the diviniards, were left to cover the removal. sion which was left to cover the reBeresford, meantime, met General moval of the stores to Elvas, occupied Blake and Castanos at Valverde on the a position in front of Valverde ; but '14th, and they agreed to give the ene- as this, though stronger than any which
Any possible jealousy could be taken up elsewhere in this which might have arisen concerning part of a wide and open country, the command had been obviated by a would have left Badajoz entirely open, previous arrangement between Gene. Beresford determined to take up such ral Castanos and Lord Wellington, as he could get directly between the equally honourable to the liberality city and the enemy. He therefore and wisdom of both. Lord Welling- assembled his force on the 15th at the ton, in a written memorial concerning village of Albuhera, where the roads the operations which ought to be pur. meet which lead to Badajoz and to sued in Extremadura, had proposed Jurumenha by Valverde and Olivenza. that whenever different corps of the A little above the village a brook callallied armies should be united to give ed Ferdia falls into the little river battle to the enemy, the general who Albuhera, one of the tributary streams was possessed of the highest military of the Guadiana ; between these rivurank, and of the longest standing, lets, and beyond them, is one of the should take the command of the whole. open and scattered woods of evergreen This would have given the command oak which are common in this part of to Castanos; but he, with that wise and the country: There is a bridge over the disinterested spirit which always dis- Albuhera in front of the village. The tinguished him, proposed, as a more village had been so completely destroyequitable arrangement, that the gene. ed by the enemy, that there was not ral who had the greatest force under a single inhabitant in it, nor one house his orders should have the chief come with a roof standing. The cavalry mand, and that the others should be having been forced in the morning to considered as auxiliaries. Lord Wel. retire from Santa Martha, joined here, lington perfectly approved of the al. and in the afternoon the enemy appearteration. It was my duty," said he, ed. General Blake's corps making a “ in a point so delicate as that of the forced march, joined in the night; allied troops acting in concert, to sub- General Cole with his division, and mit a proposition so reasonable in itself the Spanish brigade under D. Carlos as to obtain universal assent; but it D’Espana, not till the following mornwas becoming the manly understand. ing. The 15th had been a day of ing, candour, and knowledge of exist- heavy rain, and both these divisions, ing circumstances which characterise from forced marches, and the latter your excellency to make an alteration from its excessive fatigue in dismantling in it, substituting another proposal the works before Badajoz, were not better calculated to please those of the in the best state for action. allies who have most to lose in the bat. The whole face of this country is