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about 250 yards in a straight line. Batteries might also have been erected on the low grounds near the river, and it would not have required more than two hours to reduce the fort, if battered in breach.
Captain Squires, of the engineers, confirmed Capt. Frazer's statement.
Lieut.-Col. Torrens examined.-Q. Was you with Gen. Whitelocke during the 5th of July? A.-Part of the day I was repeatedly absent from him, conveying orders. Q.-State what orders you received that day? A.-It having been reported, about nine o'clock that morning, that a body of the enemy's cavalry had formed in our rear, Capt. Whittingham and I went, by the General's orders, to reconnoitre them, accompanied by 16 mounted dragoons of the 17th, and about 30 dismounted of the 9th. When proceeded a considerable way, I found that this force was more considerable than I imagined, and I sent Capt. Blake, the Assistant Adjutant General, to report that I thought it my duty to pursue them; we were absent on this duty about three hours, when we returned to the Coral. having succeeded in dispersing this force, which might have consisted of about 900 horse. About three o'clock Gen. Whitelocke desired me to write a note to Capt. Whittingham, who commanded in the centre, to express his surprise at having been told that the men were plundering the abandoned houses, and ordering him to use every exertion to prevent such irregularities. When Capt. Whittingham returned from having reported Sir Samuel Auch muty to be in possession of the Plaza del Toros, the General desired me to write to Sir Samuel, ordering him to maintain his position, and remain on the defensive till he joined him in the morning. Capt. Whittingham and I were walking, together with some officers of the staff, on the Coral, and General Whitelocke came up a little after two o'clock, and said he did not like to order any of us, but would feel obliged to any officer that would go to the left, and bring information relative to Sir Samuel Auchmuty's situation. Capt. Whittingham immediately offered his services, and was desired to select a sufficient escort. He took ten or twelve dragoons, and thirty or forty infantry. I understood he proceeded to the Recolita, as a marked point, and found his way to the Plaza del Toros, through a great many armed people, who repeatedly fired, but having cleared the hedges with his infantry, there was no further difficulty to his progress. Capt. Whittingham thought it so essential to bring a report without loss of time, that he left the infantry at the Plaza del Toros, and galloped back with the dragoons. He reported Sir Samuel
Auchmuty's success, and his having taken 30 pieces of cannon and above 600 prisoners, the arsenal containing stores and ammunition, and had opened a communication with the navy. Sir Samuel Auchmuty recommended to Gen. Whitelocke to move to the Plaza, as his head quarters, that night.
This witness's cross-examination produced nothing of importance. Asked what reason Gen. Whitelocke assigned for not repairing to the Plaza, according to Gen. Auchmuty's wish, he said, he understood that the General would not quit the centre until he received a report from the right flank. He knew of no attempt having been made by Gen. Whitelocke, personally or otherwise, to co-operate with the columns of the army, except the order given to Capt. Whittingham, and that the carabineers, and a detachment of the 9th dragoons, were pushed up one of the central streets, but repulsed with loss; and that Brig.-Major Crossley was sent to force his way to the right with a few dragoons, but he returned in a few minutes, and said it was impracticable.
Col. Mabon examined.-He received the orders of the 4th July at Reduction on the morning of the 5th. He immediately marched, and coming to the bridge at the Chuelo, between five and six in the evening, and finding it abandoned, he crossed it. From the firing that he heard, he had reason to believe that the British troops were attacking the town. His troops (in number 1800) were in a state to have co-ope rated with the attacking columus. His column passed the night of the 5th in a village near the bridge. About eleven on the 6th, he received orders to march to headquarters, and join the Commander in Chief. He accordingly marched to the Miserari, where he remained the whole of the 7th. On the 8th, he received orders to join Gen. Whitelocke at the Plaza del Toros. Had he known the distressed state of the army, he could have co-operated with it on the night of the 5th.
Capt. Foster, aid-de-camp to Gen, Whitelocke, gave evidence as to his having gone to the town on the 5th, and made reports to the General of the little information that from circumstances he was able to get at. During the time that he was with the Ge neral on the 5th, the latter did not personally make any attempt to ascertain the position of the attacking columns. In answer to a question from Gen. Whitelocke, he said, he went into the town on the 6th and 7th of July, in execution of Gen. Whitelocke's orders. He proceeded-On the afternoon of the 7th, I was ordered by Gen. Whitelocke, in consequence of the repre sentations he had received from Gen. Li
Trial of Lieut.-General Whitelocke.
niers, that the British posts within the
made by the General, personally or other-
Lieut.-Colonels Bourke and Bradford were the last witnesses examined for the prosecution. It is unnecessary to enter into any detail of their evidence, as it was to the same effect as that of the other officers who were with General Whitelocke on the 5th of July. They were both of opinion that the General, at the head of the forces under Colonel Mahon, and those at head-quarters, could have penetrated to the centre of Buenos Ayres on the 5th of July, and that the co-operation of that force would have afforded the best prospect of success, and of restoring the fortune of the day. Of the General's reasons for remaining stationary in the rear, separated from his army, instead of forcing his way to join it, and direct its future operations, they were unable to give any account.
of the prosecu
He began by stating the satisfaction which he felt in being at length permitted to claim the attention and indulgence of the Court. He had long looked forward to this opportunity of explaining his conduct in South America, and the causes which led to the result which constituted the subject of the investigation in question. The disappointment of his hopes had prepared him to meet a strong and general feeling corresponding with his own, the natural and almost necessary attendant upon public disappointment. But feeling conscious that he had zealously endeavoured to perform his duty, it was with surprise and mortification that he found opinions to his prejudice entertained in higher quarters, and that calumnies injurious to his character had been made the subject of official discussion. And when the editors of the daily papers, on hearing that Government had determined on an investigation of his conduct, actuated by a sense of decent propriety and common justice, immediately forbore any further comments, a subaltern officer employed on the expedition, with the knowledge of his being under arrest, had published a libel upon the conduce of himself and others, which libel had been patronized and distributed by a Field Officer of another regiment. Irritated by the se attacks, he still abstained from answering
Capt. Whittingham's evidence was to the same effect as that of the preceding witness. He was of opinion that a communication might have been opened with the Residencia on the 5th; but no attempt was
any of the calumnies which had been propagated against him, and awaited his day of trial for his justification. This he mentioned, lest it should be conceived that he had countenanced a vindication of his conduct which had been published by some person unknown to him. He considered his trial as an appeal from popular clamour to honourable and candid minds; and he Battered himself that he should, in this res pect, have found a protector even in his prosecutor; and that, considering his ano malous, he hoped he might say, without effence, his almost incompatible duties, he would have divested himself of every feeling connected with public prejudice; and have permitted his trial to have commenced at last, without the extraordinary comment which had excited so much surprise in all who heard it-" a comment," said General Whitelocke," which, in the situation he fills, and considering the last character he is to sustain after the proceedings are completed, and your deliberations commence, of an adviser on points on which you may require his assistance, I can hardly think, could be deemed justifiable at any period of such a trial, after any evidence, however strong, had been adduced."
The Judge-Advocate had stated, indeed, that he should follow the example of his predecessors upon similar occasions, by abstaining, in this stage of the proceedings, from any detailed observations upon the charges. The only case of importance, he believed, in which a Judge-Advocate had stood in a similar situation to the present, was on the trial of the late Lord Sackville, on which occasion the late Sir Charles Morgan, then Mr Gould, made no address whatever to the Court on opening the prosecution; and, in his reply, most studiously avoided offering a single observation that could in the most distant way be considered as addressed to the passions of the Court, although the circumstances which gave rise to that trial had excited more of popular feeling than any which had before occurred; so much so as to leave it, possibly for ever, a subject of historical dispute, whether the judgment of the Court was not in some manner influenced by that feeling.
He put it to the liberality and candour of the Right Honourable the Judge-Advocate, whether he had not some little right to complain, and cause to lament, that he had not followed the example of his predecessor, and abstained from stating to the public (for such an address could not be intended for the Court) that hopes had been (as he was pleased to say) justly as well as generally entertained of discovering new markets for our manufactures, and giving a wider scope to the spirit of mercantile
enterprise, and opening new sources of trea sure, although every information as to the state of South America, and the hostile and implacable spirit of its inhabitants towards us, had proved that those hopes were completely fallacious. He repeated his regret that the Judge-Advocate had not abstained from calling in aid of those charges the attempts daily made to exclude our trade from the Continent of Europe. Well might reports to his (the General's) prejudice survive and continue, if, in a Court of Justice, these topics could be enforced with such studied strength of expression, by a person, whose rank, and station in life, and public character, could not but stimulate the already too much exasperated state of the public mind upon the transactions now in question.
A great and important expedition had failed, and as no difficulty could have existed as to the selection of particular events and facts which led to this failure, little did he expect that he should have been called upon to recollect and defend every act, every order, every expression, and almost every thought, not of himself only, but of others-every detail, however minute-in short, as the prosecutor had avowed and stated, not merely the causes which prevented the reduction of Buenos Ayres, but his whole conduct in the expedition. Still less could he have supposed that the protection of the Court was necessary to prevent a prosecutor, educated in legal habits, from pursuing him even to his private moments, and requiring his secretary to state all the conversations that, in the confidence of their relative situations, had passed between them; and yet it was at this point only that, through the interposition of the Court, the prosecutor had stopped his inquiries.
He entreated the Court calmly to review the evidence, and to separate and throw aside the opinions as to his operations founded upon the experience acquired by misfortune, and not upon any thing that was or could be previously known,up on which alone he could have acted, and upon which he was to be judged. He would put it to the Members of the Court, who had commanded importans expeditions, whether any long train of military operations, however successfully terminated, could stand the test of such an inquiry as had been instituted into the present. He most earnestly entreated the attention of the Court to these and a variety of other less important general observations; that they would bear them in mind, as applicable to many observations which he should have to make upon the evidence in detail.
He then proceeded to the subject of in
quiry. He maintained, that he should prove false information to have been given to Government, both by his instructions, and the evidence produced and to be produced. This was necessary to his defence; for unless the political situation of that country, and the dispositions of the inhabitants towards us, were fully understood, no judgment could be formed upon the propriety of his conduct; and the fallacy, and consequent disappointment of our hopes, had given rise to the greater part of the exasperated feeling which had been excited. It had been conceived, that the dissatisfaction which had been excited in South America, by the restrictive jealousy of the Spanish Government, had rendered that country ripe for revolt from the parent state. was never conceived that such a rooted antipathy could exist against us as their deliverers, as to justify the assertion that we had not, when we arrived in America, one single friend in the whole country: little was it conceived that the whole population were originally hostile to us; still less that they had become hostile from any thing that had occurred in the capture of Buenos Ayres, or while we retained possession of it. The first admission would have condemned the original attack; and the last would have implicated the conduct of those who took, and for a short time retained the possession of Buenos Ayres.
Monte Video had been represented as containing a small garrison of disaffected troops; and his instructions actually supposed, that after effecting his first object, 3000 men would, in any case, in addition to the troops he might raise in the country, be amply sufficient to retain and keep possession of the settlement. He was directed to use precaution as to the forming this local force-and it was stated in his instructions, "that much aid might be derived from this source towards securing bis Majesty's possessions, and avoiding the necessity of too large a demand on the regular forces of the country." Such was the impression of this country and Government on his accession to the command. The able officer who commanded at Monte Video had discovered the reverse of this to be true, that they were equally inimical to us and their own Government; and on a disorder arising, in which the Viceroy was said to have been made prisoner by his own people, Sir Samuel Auchmuty wrote to those who possessed the supreme government in Buenos Ayres, making them an offer of British protection. His letter was answered by Gen. Liniers, the Audienza, and the Cabildo, all of whom treated his offer with indignation and contempt; and in this sentiment Sir Sam. Auchmuty found
the whole population to partake, who had been inflamed against the English, by every species of exaggeration and falsehood. The natives of the country were indeed disposed to follow the steps of the North Americans, and to erect an independent state. If we could promise them independence, they would instantly revolt against the Government; but though nothing but independence would perfectly satisfy them, they would prefer our Government, either to their present anarchy, or the Spanish yoke, provided we would promise not to give up the country to Spain at a peace; but, until such a promise was made, we must expect to find them open or secret enemies. The truth of this information, received from Sir Samuel Auchmuty, was confirmed by every day's experience. They were unable to procure intelligence upon which they could place the least reliance. They could neither procure guides, nor accurate accounts of the country. Force procured them all they possessed, good-will nothing. Having gone through this second serious of preliminary remarks, the General then replied more particularly to the charges.
Before proceeding to give a detailed narrative of the proceedings against Buenos Ayres, he would call the serious attention of the Court to the manner in which the prosecution had been conducted against him. He meant nothing personal with respect to the learned and respectable Gentleman, whose high official situation naturally intrusted him with this department of the trial: he had no hesitation in ascribing this to the Honourable Gentleman's zeal for the service of his country.
The charges had been attempted to be made out in a most unprecedented manner; not by direct, nor even by circumstantial evidence only, but witnesses were repeatedly invited to give their opinions, who in most instances had not even the sanction of experience to entitle them to form correct notions of the particular service upon which they were acting: it was also peculiarly unfair, he thought, to put questions tending to produce a recital of conversations which the witnesses either overheard or were parties to, and which sometimes they could only detail from hearsay; and what made the inconsistency of this kind of procedure more striking, many of the conversations alluded to had taken place among persons not at all implicated, either as witnesses or parties. The defence then stated, at full length, from the instructions given by Ministers at his setting out, the reasons which induced them to fit out an additional armament for the complete subjugation of that country.
The defence then went into a narrative of
of the measures taken by Gen. Whitelocke, from the period of his landing at Monte Video, to ensure the success of the expedi tion. The great exertions he made to procare horses for mounting the cavalry had been proved by every witness examined, and the difficulties attending the procuring of guides, or accurate information respecting the country, were great beyond all measure. These difficulties arose partly from a want of confidence of the inhabitants in the British army, and partly from the immoral and unprincipled dispositions of the natives themselves. Our readers will find the General's narrative of the march zo Buenos Ayres at full length in our account of the evidence. When he came to speak of the mistakes that had arisen from his not effecting a junction with Gen. Gower at the Chuelo, the defence entered at great length into this branch of the evidence, tending to attach the blame to Gen. Gower. With respect to the attack itself upon the town, and the circumstances which led to the adoption of the plan, the defence endeavoured to prove that it was the best which could have been adopted under similar circumstances; although he hoped the Court would recollect that it was proved, by almost all the witnesses, that it seemed to be a plan extremely repugnant to his feelings. The defence concluded with a solemn and impressive appeal to the Court; what was dearer to him than his life was in their hands, and he fully relied upon their candour and justice.
The General's counsel then proceeded to read to the Court extracts of letters from Sir Samuel Auchmuty, while at Monte Video, detailing the peculiar difficulties attending the subjugation of the country. Two parties Sir Samuel stated to exist in South America: one was ready for revolt at all times, and the other only waited for an opportunity of joining the strongest par ty, whether British or Spaniards.
The public dispatches from the West Indies, in the year 1794, in which Lieut.-Col. Whitelocke is mentioned as having displayed the greatest possible gallantry and intrepidity, were then read.
The General proceeded next day to call, as witnesses, Lieut -Col. Burke and Gen. White. Col. Burke spoke to the handwriting of Gen. Gower, in a letter written by him to Gen. Whitelocke on the morning of the 3d of July, in which Gen. Gower expresses it to be his intention to turn the head of the Chuelo, and not to ford the river at the Chico pass; and Col. Burke also swore, that this was the substance of the conversation he had with Gen. Gower at the moment he delivered the let
ter into his hands, to carry it to Gen. Whitelocke.
General White was then called; and, in the opinion of this witness, no officer could have a higher character for gallantry and personal bravery, or knowledge of his duty as an officer, than Gen. Whitelocke. This evidence alluded to Gen. Whitelocke's services when a Lieut.- Colonel in the year 1794, and when engaged in the attack of Port-au Prince in St Domingo.
General Whitelocke having then intimated that his defence was concluded,
The Judge Advocate then addressed the Court at great length. Before he made any observations on the charges themselves, he should, he said, take notice of the very unexpected attack made on him by Gen. Whitelocke in the opening of his defence, in which the General complained of the manner in which he had conducted the prosecution. He therefore felt himself called to vindicate his own character, and the Court was also called to maintain its own dignity. The conduct of the prosecution fell upon him, who was wholly unacquainted with military operations. General Whitelocke, in his defence, complained of the Judge Advocate's endeavouring to inflame the popular prejudice against him, when, on the contrary, he did unnecessarily go out of his way to impress the Court with the necessity of attending to the evidence, and that only; and to divest their minds of all prejudices and opinions; and he appealed to the judgment of the Court, how far he deserved that such imputations should be thrown out against him.
The next point the General complained of was, his calling evidence, and examining them by narration, in which he intimated much illegal evidence was admitted. The Court, however, was aware how necessary it was that the statement of transactions was before them, to enable them to form a just judgment.
Gen. Whitelocke next complained that the original charges were altered. It was well known, that in cases like these the charges are not made public, until the King has signed the warrant for holding the Court Martial; but when he sent a copy of the original charges to Gen. Whitelocke, previous to the warrant being issued, he expressly and decidedly stated, that it was probable some alterations might be made in them. But Gen. Whitelocke had advanced another point, which obliged him to state a circumstance not before referred to; Gen. Whitelocke asserted, that the evidence had been collected to convert public report and public clamour into matters of