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as implied in the spirit of the instruc- not appear to the Prince Regent to tions; and the intentions of the com- call for the admonition pointed out by mander of the forces should have ope. the court. rated as the strongest inducement to · No blame could be attached to mi. employ every precaution, and to act nisters for the result of this expedition. with the utmost zeal and activity, for Marquis Wellesley took occasion to the prevention of such disasters. But declare,“ that with respect to the force admitting for a moment that not only from Sicily, he would not now enter the refusal to give battle, but the into the topics which had been a sub. hasty re-embarkation also, and the ject for consideration on a former oc. material losses sustained in consequence, casion; he would merely observe, that might all be justified by an anxious the great defect had been the want of desire to comply with the instructions, a unity of command in the peninsula. how could General Murray do other. This defect had been remedied in the wise than condemn himself, upon the present campaign, and the force at very same principles, for again, and Alicant had been embarked by Lord that almost immediately and volunta. Wellington's orders, and had landed rily, acting in direct contradiction to near Tarragona, precisely according to the same instructions, according to that noble Lord's plan. A report had his own interpretation of them, by reached London that this force had placing himself in the same situation been defeated. He hoped in God that of danger from which he had but just this report would prove to be untrue ; made such sacrifices to extricate him, but when ministers had chosen a fit self? This he did also at a time when object, had prepared adequate means, the strong temptations to run such and had applied them in due season, forbidden risks, viz. a wish for the they had done all that was in their preservation of a very material part of power—the rest they must leave to his important trust, and the natural God and to the sword; and were the anxiety which he must have felt to rumour to prove correct, he should cer. preserve the glory of the British arms tainly not blame them--they had done untarnished, had altogether ceased to all in their power." operate.
General Murray was succeeded in Such were the views taken of the the command by Lord William Benconduct of Sir John Murray by his tinck, who ordered the troops back to accusers. The whole of these import- Alicant. While Suchet marched toant but unfortunate transactions were wards Tarragona, the Spanish generals afterwards submitted to a court of mi. the Duke del Parque, Elio, and Villalitary enquiry ; by which, after a most campa, advanced from different points ample investigation, this officer was on Palencia. Suchet, on receiving inacquitted of all the charges brought a. telligence of the re-embarkation of gainst him, except that by which he was General Murray, immediately hurried accused of having unnecessarily aban. back, in hopes of striking a blow doned a considerable quantity of artil. against some one of these corps ; but lery and stores which he might have they all succeeded in making their reembarked in safety, such conduct being treat without loss. detrimental to the service.” This part
Lord William Bentinck did not at. of his conduct was ascribed by the tempt to renew the expedition against sentence of the court to a “ mere er- Tarragona ; but, joining himself to the ror in judgment ;" and nothing follow. Spanish armies, proceeded, in concert ed upon the decision, as the case did with them, to attack the French forces in Palencia. What resistance Suchet along the Llobregat. Lord Bentinck might have made in other circumstan- therefore established his army at Villa ces, it is impossible to conjecture; but Franca, and in the villages in its front, the triumphant passage of the Ebro extending as far as the Llobregat by Lord Wellington left him no mountains. The advance, under Ge. choice but to retreat. On the ath of neral Sarsfield, was placed in the pass July he evacuated Palencia, and retired of Ordal, a post of very great strength, towards the Ebro, leaving garrisons in and commanding the high road from Peniscola, Murviedro, and Denia. The Barcelona. Intelligence arrived that allied army, however, was not detain- Suchet was collecting his army; and ed by these barriers; but, after invest. that 12,000 men had been united at ing the fortresses, it advanced, and Molino del Rey; Lord Bentinck, crossed the Ebro at Pinaras. The however, placed such reliance on the French having retired upon Barcelona, strength of the position at Ordal, as to the allies blockaded Tortosa, advanced be under no apprehensions on that to Villa Franca, and prepared to form side." He conceived the army to be the siege of Tarragona. Suchet how. assailable only by turning its left, at ever determined on making an effort Martorell ; but, even supposing the to relieve this place. Uniting to his enemy to have suceeded in that attempt, army all the troops which could be the retreat could still have been effected spared from Barcelona and the neigh- without molestation. At midnight of bouring garrisons, he assembled a force the 12th, however, the French attack. of from twenty to twenty-five thou- ed the pass of Ordal, with numbers so sand men ; on the 14th he advanced to greatly superior, that the Spanish corps Altafulla ; and on the 15th drove defending it was driven from its posiback the advanced posts of the British tion, surrounded, and forced to save army. Lord William Bentinck was itself by dispersing among the moununable to derive any aid from General tains. A considerable number of priElio, who was blockading Tortosa : soners, and four pieces of cannon, fell his force was thus inferior to that un- into the hands of the enemy. The der Suchet ; and he had not been able British army immediately broke up, to gain any advantageous position. and set out in full retreat towards He therefore determined to fall back, Tarragona, closely pressed by the eneand allow Suchet to enter Tarragona. my. The British cavalry in the rear, The French general, however, did not however, though far inferior in numattempt to preserve the place, or to bers, covered the retreat by its gallanmaintain this advanced position ; ha. try; and the army arrived without ving destroyed the works, he withdrew loss in front of Tarragona. the garrison, and again retired towards As it was judged expedient that the Barcelona.
grand effort against France should be In the beginning of September, the made on the side of the Western Py. allied army again undertook a forward renees, the third Spanish army was movement, encouraged by the belief detached to co-operate with Lord Wel. that a very considerable part of the lington. The remainder of the troops French forces in the principality had in the east of the peninsula continued been recently withdrawn. The re. to act on the defensive. mainder continued at Barcelona, and
Spanish Affairs continued.-Battles of the Pyrenees.-Fall of St Sebastian
of Pampluna.- Invasion of France by the British Army.
The grand operations in the north grand army had been swept out of of Spain were still carried on with the Spain ; when the frontier barriers were most brilliant success, under the eye of about to fall, and to leave the finest Marquis Wellington. The siege of provinces of France itself exposed to St Sebastian was maintained with ex. invasion, alarm seized him, and he pertraordinary vigour. One of the prin- ceived that this was a contest which, cipal out-works had been already ap- even under the most urgent pressure proached; and on the morning of the of other wars, could not be disregard17th of July General Graham deter. ed. Of the immense levies which were mined to hazard an assault. The va- at this time raising, a part was destilour of the troops surmounted every ned to fill up the exhausted ranks of obstacle : the place was stormed; the the army now stationed within the enemy driven down the hill on which French frontier ; and Soult, whose tait is situated ; and forced, after burn- lents appeared equal to such an exiing the village of St Martino, to with. gency, hastened from Germany to redraw precipitately into the town of St assume the chief command. The crisis Sebastian. The trenches were imme. was urgent; and 80 soon as the orgadiately opened against the body of the nization of the army was in any degree place, and there appeared a fair pros- established, he felt that he was impepect of its being compelled to surren- riously called upon to make a grand der.
effort for the relief of the two fortress. Buonaparte, while occupied with the es, the reduction of which must give great contest which he was about to a fatal blow to all the prospects of wage on the banks of the Elbe, had French dominion. in some measure neglected the opera- Lord Wellington was at this mo. tions of which the peninsula was the ment beset with considerable difficul. theatre. He had recalled thence many ties. He had to maintain and to cover of his generals, and even Soult, who two sieges, conducted at a considerable had long held the chief command. But distance from each other; and it was now, when in one short month, his thus impossible to avoid the inconvenience of dividing his army. The Py- diet in a peculiar manner fit them for this renees indeed afforded strong posi. species of operations; andeveryone will tions ; yet were they unfavourable in recollect how important were the advanseveral respects to the present ar. tages which they acquired in Switzerrangement of his force. As they con. land by their mountain operations unsist of a number of long and deep val. der Lecourbe. The whole range of the lies, separated from each other by lof. movements they had now to make was ty parallel chains of mountains, the comparatively small; for the eye might troops who defended these vallies were from the top of the highest of the thus in a great measure cut off from all mountains have taken in the positions communication with each other. The of all the columns of ihe two armies enemy could choose the line of his ad- the positions of above 100,000 men. vance, throw his whole force into it, These columns were placed among and push before him the division by mountains where cavalry could not act, which it might be guarded, while the and cannon could not be conveyed. other corps, separated by almost im. The allied armies had possession of passable barriers, could lend no assist the principal passes of the mountains. ance. Upon this position of the allies In front of Soult, at St Jean Pied de Soult founded his plan of operations. Port, was General Byng's brigade; He hoped by attacking separately one Morillo's corps was at the pass of Ronof the covering armies, to defeat and cesvalles ; behind was Sir Lowry Cole, drive it before him, and then throw with the 4th division, at Piscarret ; himself on the flank and rear of the General Picton's division being in reother army. He expected not only serve, at Olaque. Between the valley to relieve the blockaded fortresses, but of Roncesvalles and the Port de Maya to drive the whole of the allied armies there is a large space which does not in confusion behind the Ebro.
appear to have been occupied by any Of the two fortresses St Sebastian force. To Port de Maya, in the val. alone was in immediate danger; it ley of Bastan, and to Roncesvalles, the seemed probable, therefore, that the distance is nearly equal from St Jean first grand attack of the enemy would Pied de Port. The valley of Bastan was be against the force by which this siege occupied by General Hill, with the sewas covered. Such seems to have been cond division, and by the Conde d'. the expectation of Lord Wellington Amaranthe's Spanish corps. On one when he established his head.quarters flank were the light and 7th divisions, at Lesaca, at a small distance from St at Pera, Port de Echelar, and on the Sebastian. The two roads leading from heights of Barbura ; the 6th division Pampluna were, however, covered by was in reserve at St Estevan, on the divisions of the British army ; one,
Bidassoa. General Longa extended under General Hill, in the Puerto de the line of communication from the Maya; the other, under General Byng, Bidassoa to the Urumea-from a divion the extreme righi, at Roncesvalles. sion posted at St Echelar to Sir Tho. Against these troops a very formidable mas Graham’s, employed before St Se. attack was directed.
bastian.-Soult had one great object The British troops were now about in view in the first instance, and to efto be engaged, almost for the first time, fect this he made two movements or in that system of mountain warfare in attacks, the one real, and the other a which the French had been hitherto feint. By the first he hoped to secure unrivalled. Their habits of body and his immediate object, and by the other
to keep the attention and force of his British position ; but a Spanish and antagonists employed in such a manner Portuguese regiment, with the 40th as to prevent their disturbing him in British, defended it against all his efhis operations. From St Jean Pied de forts. On the 28th another British Port he proceeded in two directions. division arrived ; and the enemy, also He led on a force of 35,000 men him. reinforced, began a contest of the most self; and, bursting through the pass of furious character. His main effort was Roncesvalles, he hoped to confound directed against the fourth division, his enemy and to reach Pampluna. The under General Picton ; but the French other part
of his army moved upon the were every where repulsed, unless at valley of Bastan, to force the British one point, where a Portuguese battaposition at Port de Maya. At these lion having been overpowered, the iwo points, Roncesvalles and Port de enemy were enabled to establish them. Maya, the British force was greatly selves on the line of the allies. By the inferior to that of the enemy. efforts of some British regiments, how.
On the 24th of July Soult attacked ever, they were driven from the heights in great force the position occupied by with immense loss, and were entirely General Hill, who though driven from disabled. In the course of the 28th it at first by superior numbers, instant. Generals Hill and Dalhousie arrived ly recovered the most essential point with their divisions, and placed themof it, and would soon have regained selves in line with the rest of the Bria the whole. But in the meantime an tish force. On the 29th and 30th these attack on a much greater scale, with two great armies continued to view between 30 and 40,000 men, was made each other, neither daring to attack upon General Byng's position at Ron- the formidable heights on which its cesvalles; and although reinforced by antagonist was posted. But in the another division, under Sir Lowry course of these days the enemy silently Cole, the allies were at length over. withdrew a considerable body of troops powered, and compelled to give way. from the front where the former acThey took post at Zerbiri ; and Ge. tions had taken place, and moved them neral Hill, whose rear was now threat to the right, with a view of attacking ened, fell back upon Irurita. These the British left under Sir Rowland corps had thus lost their direct com- Hill, trusting to the natural strength munication with Lord Wellington, and of the original position, that the troops were left alone to defend the blockade still remaining would be able to mainof Pampluna against the overwhelming taia it. On the 30th, accordingly, force with which the enemy was pour. General Hill was attacked, and obliged ing in to relieve it. In these circum. to fall back from the range of hills stances, two British divisions, with a which he occupied to the one immedi. small part of the Spanish force cover- ately behind. But Lord Wellington ing the blockade, took a position im- seeing the enemy's line weakened, in. mediately in front of the place. stantly seized his opportunity; he de
On the 27th, Soult arrived in sight tached Lord Dalhousie and General of the walls of Pampluna, and immedi. Picton to drive the enemy from the ately began operations for its relief. formidable heights on which his right Not having yet brought up all his and left rested; and the operation troops, he contented himself with at. having been rapidly accomplished, the tacking a column placed upon a hill, centre advanced to join in the attack. wbich formed an important part of the These efforts were crowned with the