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French had re-established the bridge, then accomplished,—that of making a and covered it by strong batteries. In diversion in favour of Badajoz, and consequence of these movements, Lord enabling that fortress to prolong its Wellington raised the siege of Bada- resistance. It is now evident that the joz, hoping, however, still to maintain battle of Albuhera gained us at least the blockade, and advanced to Albu. twenty days, during which we were hera on the 13th. The enemy, how. enabled to makearrangements for bringever, had now collected all their troops ing up new reinforcements, and the arfrom the two Castilles, except a small my of Portugal was able to take part garrison at Madrid, all the remains of in the operations: thus the second obMassena's army, and all their force ject which I had in view in making my from Andalusia, except what was suf. first movement has been also accomficient for Sebastiani and Victor, to plished, and the troops which fought keep up a show of inactive strength in at Albuhera have not ceased a single positions where long experience had day to act upon the offensive against shown that no vigorous attack would be the enemy.” Beyond all doubt Marmade upon them. Thus they brought shal Soult is one of the ablest generals together a greater force than the allies of his age ; his operations at this time could oppose to them; and though were ultimately successful, but his ear. Lord Wellington was not so inferior nestness to prove that he had gained a in numbers as to have felt any fear, or victory at Albuhera, only shows how even doubt, concerning the issue of a deeply he felt the defeat. . battle, the relative resources of the al. The French government were high. lies in men, as those resources were ly elated with an advantage which came then managed, were not such that they so seasonably after the various disgraces could afford to win a second battle of which the French arms had suffered in Albubera. The blockade therefore the peninsula. “ The English,” said was raised, and the allies recrossed the they, 6 are again to learn, and by a Guadiana, taking up a line within the mighty thunderbolt, (the raising of the Portugueze frontier.
siege of Badajoz is a presage of it) Soult expressed his regret that a ge. that they cannot with impunity leave neral action had not been brought on the element of which they have usurp. He magnified the merit of the defence ed the empire." The English, how. of Badajoz, saying, that it would be ever, had long been accustomed to hear cited in military history as one of of these thunderbolts, and to defy the the most memorable exploits of its more tangible weapons of the enemy, kind; and he magnified the import. Soult said in his official account, “ that ance of the junction of the two armies they appeared to have given up Spain on the Guadiana, calling it one of the entirely, and to be concentrating them. most marked events of the war in Spain, selves for the defence of Lisbon : they
T'his general had a more than common felt their inability to support the coninterest in blazoning forth a success test, and every thing," he added, “inwhich, though certainly in itself of duced him to think that when the arconsiderable importance, was by no my of reserve should have arrived upon means such as he represented it. But it Almeida, they would feel the impossi. covered over his late defeat. « Thus," bility even of, maintaining themselves said he, “ the signal victory which was at Lisbon.” This army, he said, had gained at Albuhera has been ascertain. been announced to him. While the ed in favour of the imperial army : the enemy threw out these boastful antimain object which I had in view was cipations, Lord Wellington remained
in his position, watching their move it a post of respectable strength, from ments, and perfectly certain that they whence they domineered over the sur. could not long subsist the force which rounding country. Blake probably they had brought together. His line found it stronger than he expected; extended from Arronches to Jurumen- he attempted an escalade in the night ha, the advanced guard being at Cam. with ladders, which were not only too po Mayor : the French were upon the short, but too few, for the success of Guadiana from Merida to Badajoz. the enterprize ; consequently the at.
Before the allies retreated across the tempt failed, though the garrison did Guadiana, a plan was arranged between not consist of more than 300 men. He General Blake and Lord Wellington, remained three days before the place, that the former should make a move which gave the French governor of ment into the county of Niebla, dis- Seville time to take the field against tract the enemy's attention by threat- him, and make some prisoners before ening their rear, and take advantage of his army could reach the mouth of the whatever favourable opportunity this Guadiana, and re-embark for Cadiz. concentration of the French forces Great numbers of his men deserted might give him. Accordingly the during this ill-conducted expedition. Spaniards set out on the 18th from It is certain that Blake possessed conJurumenha, and on the 22d reached siderable talents, but the good which Mertola, the distance is about 110 those talents might have produced, miles, but it was a most exhausting when he was called to the regency, march in the midst of summer, through was in great measure frustrated by his a dry country, for troops nearly half jealousy of the English. At Albuheof whom were barefoot, and whose ra he seemed to have overcome this commissariat was in the most deplora. unworthy feeling, but it returned up ble state. The provisions were never on him, and Lord Wellington remarksufficient for full rations to be given; ed in his public dispatches, that nei. it is said that the Spaniards supported ther General Castanos nor himself had fatigue and hunger with their charac. received any intelligence from him since teristic patience ; but men will not he began his march from Jurumenha. continue to undergo such privations This movement, therefore, which without a strong hope that some ade- might have so considerably annoyed the quate success will recompense them, enemy, and of which such expectations and Blake had unhappily acquired had been raised, that it was at one time the character of being an unfortunate reported and believed that Blake had leader.
actually entered Seville, ended only From Mertola, he embarked his ar- in the diminution of the army, and of tillery for Ayamonte. The horse swam the general's reputation. Lord Wel the Guadiana, the men crosti it by a lington, however, had taken his mea. temporary bridge of boats, and after sures too wisely to suffer any other resting two days to refresh the troops, evil than that of disappointed hope
he marched against Nie- from this failure. He knew that the June 30. bla. Niebla is an old town, enemy could not possibly long con
which was fallen to such de. tinue to subsist their forces when thus cay, that its population at this time concentrated, and, as he expected, they did not exceed an hundred persons; broke up from the Guadiana about its walls, however, were less dilapida- the middle of July, having fortified the
ted than its houses, and the French old castles of Medellin and Truxillo to . had repaired its castle so as to render strengthen their hold upon Extremaa dura. Soult returned to Seville, and cantoned them in Lower Beira, where Marmont, re-crossing the Tagus at he remained, waiting till time and opAlmaraz, went again to his command portunity should offer for striking a in the North. Lord Wellington then blow. moved his whole army to the left, and.
Expedition from Cadiz under General Lapena. Battle of Barrosa. Vari
ance between the Spanish and British Generals, and consequent Failure of the Expedition. Death of the Duke de Alburquerque.
ALBUHERA was not the only field up with improving his estates, and with on which brave blood was sacrificed in literature : after eighteen years of hapunprofitable though glorious atchieve. piness his wife died on the way to the ments. When Soult marched against south of France, and Mr Graham, Badajoz, hoping to co-operate with seeking for relief in change of place Massena in the conquest of Portugal, and in active occupations, joined Lord he made such large drafts from the ar. Hood as a volunteer when Toulon was my before Cadiz, for the purpose of taken possession of in 1793. Here he encreasing his own, that it was thought distinguished himself greatly by his possible, by a well-concerted attack, exertions and intrepidity, and on his to raise the blockade. The plan was, return to England obtained permission that an expedition should sail from Ca. to raise a regiment, but not without diz, and force a landing between Cape great difficulty and express discourageTrafalgar and Cape de Plata, or at ment from the commander-in-chief. Tarifa, or at Algeciras. The Spa. He was at Mantua with Wurmser in nish forces at St Roques were then to 1796, and escaped captivity by cutting join, and a combined attack to be made his way through the besiegers in a upon the rear of the enemy's line ; night sortie': and he bore a distinguish, while, in the mean time, an attempt ed part at Malta when Sir Alexander should be made from the Isle of Leon Ball, under circumstances the most to open a communication with them. painful, and with means the most in. D. Manuel de Lapena was appointed adequate, by his wisdom and perseve. to the command. He had command. rance recovered that island from the ed the wreck of the Central Army du. enemy. Nevertheless the time of life ring the latter part of its memorable at which he had entered the army, and retreat, under circumstances in which the manner, operated as a bar to his prono military skill could be displayed, motion; and he would probably never but in which his patriotism and mode, have risen in rank if General Moore ration had been fully proved. Lieu. had not experienced great assistance tenant-General Graham, who com from him in his retreat, and at the bat. manded the British troops at Cadiz, tle of Coruna, and sent home so strong consented to act under him. This of. a recommendation that it could not be ficer was now in his sixty-first year. neglected. The former part of his life he had past The expedition, though upon no in all the enjoyments of domestic com- very extensive scale, was yet a great fort, amusing himself with rural sports, exertion for a government so poor in means as the regency, so feeble, and cinas, a pass in that chain of mountains with all its Branches so miserably dis- which, bounding the plain of Gibraltar organized. The bustle in the roads on the west, runs to the sea from the was visible from the enemy's lines, as Sierras of Ronda. To this point the well as from the city; in Cadiz the road had been practicable for carriages, highest hopes were excited, and Marshal some days labour having been thus emVictor felt no little degree of alarm. ployed : From thence it descends to He thought, and with good reason, those spacious plains which extend from that when Soult had so considerably the skirts of the chain to Medina Sido. weakened the blockading force, he nia, Chiclana, and the river Santi Petri: should at least have placed Sebastiani's the roads below.were in a dreadful state, army at his disposal, in case of need; the country being marshy, intersected this had not been done, and Mar. with a labyrinthof streams: one of which, shal Victor, seeing the naval prepara- the Barbate, which receives the waters tions, sent to Sebastiani, entreating him of the Lake of Janda, is a considerable to manœuvre so as to alarm the allies river. At Veger, which is about half upon their landing, and to endanger way between Tarifa and the Isle of them; but his entreaties were of no Leon, the French had three companies effect, and Victor afterwards complain- of infantry and 180 horse. They had ed in his public dispatches, that this also a small fort with two pieces of corps, though numerous, in good con- cannon at Casas Viejas, on the road to dition, and at leisure (for it was not Medina. These points it was hoped seriously employed) had not given the to surprise, and the troops therefore least assistance to him.
encamped on the side of the mountain, During the latter days of January taking every precaution to conceal and great part of the following month, their movements from the enemy. heavy rains delayed the expedition, and Lapena, when the troops commen. rendered all the roads impracticable by ced their march, addressed a proclamawhich the allies could have approached tion to them, which at once disclosed the enemy. On the 20th of February, the extent of his object, and the conthe troops were all embarked, waiting fidence with which he expected to re. a favourable opportunity to proceed alize it. “ Soldiers of the fourth ar. into the Straits : General Graham had my,” said he, “the moment for which about 4000 men, British and Portu. you have a whole year been longing is gueze, the Spaniards were 7000. The at length arrived : A second time An. British got to sea the next day, and dalusia is about to owe to you her li. not being able to effect a landing near berty, and the laurels of Mengibar and Cape Trafalgar, nor at Tarifa, disem. Baylen will revive upon your brows. barked at Algeciras, from whence they You have to combat in sight of the marched to Tarifa. The roads be whole nation assembled in its cortes ; tween the two towns were impassable the government will see your deeds ; forcarriages, and therefore the artillery, the inhabitants of Cadiz, who have provisions, and stores, were conveyed made so many sacrifices for you, will in boats, by the indefatigable exertions be eye-witnesses of your heroism; they of the searen, against every disadvant. will lift up their voices in blessings and age of wind and weather. The Spa. in acclamations of praise, which you nish transports were thrice driven back, will hear amid the roar of musketry but reached Tarifa on the evening of and cannon. Let us go then to con the 27th, and the next day they be. quer : my cares are directed to this gan their march to the Puerto de Fa. end, implicit obedience, firmness, and