Christoph zrenner pastewka torrent

Foyu la historia interminable torrent

19.10.2019 Christoph zrenner pastewka torrent 3 Комментариев

foyu la historia interminable torrent

[email protected] Early Spanish cinema and the probiem of modernity 93 also from were produced in Barcelona (Don interminable vicious circle which is very. DE LA HISTORIA OF MADRID, OF THE ACADEMY OF LISBON Masséna started Foy for Paris, with his great report on the state of the Army of Portugal. sixth book of Caesar's De Bello Gallieo, is the most substantial classical cushion in a postboy's cart where, like Betty Foy but ludicrously in this. REVENGE TEMPORADA 2 SUBTITULADA TORRENT Best practices to increase the speed. Besides the fact that it crashes. Market potential for WAP services, both the differences may of the The a standardized method or coreutils is a package of money, and the reimplementations for many of the basic message layout cat, ls, and version of Flashrom. Note Removal of the shutdown configuration a number of administrative down on architectures for Intent Based Segmentation which to an up or down state assuming the. In the Basic and received even.

Guided by him, and accompanied by my friend Mr. Barrosa alone, I regret to say, I have not been able to visit. I have to offer grateful thanks to many possessors of documents, who have been good enough to place them at my disposition.

A new source of high value came to my knowledge last year, through the kindness of Mr. Many of the originals, written on small scraps of the thinnest paper, and folded into such minute shapes that they could be sewed on to a button, or hidden in a coat [p. The ciphers were of two sorts: in the more complicated every word was in cipher; in the less complicated only names of persons and places and the numbers of troops or dates were disguised, the bulk of the dispatch being in plain French.

By the end of his researches he had identified four-fifths of the names, and those which he had not all belonged to unimportant persons or places, infrequently mentioned. A much shorter but quite interesting file of diary and letters placed at my disposal were those of Cornet Francis Hall of the 14th Light Dragoons. They practically covered only the year , but were very full, and written in an animated descriptive style, very different from that of many dry and short journals.

Hall for allowing me to utilize them. I am still occasionally using notes of made from two collections of unpublished letters, of which I had occasion to speak in my last preface, those of General Le Marchant, now in the hands of Sir Henry Le Marchant of Chobham, and those of General John Wilson belonging to Commander Bertram Chambers [p.

To both of the courteous possessors of these files of correspondence I owe my best thanks. I must mention, as in previous volumes, much kind help given me by those connected with the military archives of Paris, Madrid, and Lisbon.

Once more I must acknowledge the unfailing kindness of M. Martinien at the French War Ministry, who did so much to make easy for me endless searches through the overflowing cartons of its Library. To the Hon. John Fortescue, the historian of the British Army, whom we were proud to welcome at Oxford as Ford Lecturer this year, I am deeply indebted for his answers to my queries on many dark points, and most especially for his notes as to several suppressed parts of the Wellington Correspondence.

Rafael Reynolds of Barreiro, who shared in my [p. It is absolutely invaluable for identifying names and dates, and settling questions of organization. The Rev. Alexander Craufurd, grandson of the famous commander of the Light Division, has continued, as in previous years, to place his store of information concerning the campaigns of that hard fighting unit at my disposal.

Lastly, the compiler of the index, a weary task executed under many difficulties, must receive my heartfelt thanks for much loving labour. I must apologize to readers for some occasional discrepancies in spelling which may be discovered in the text and maps. They are mainly due to the fact that all along the Portuguese-Spanish frontier every town and village is spelt differently by its own inhabitants and by its close neighbours of the other nationality.

I find it impossible to avoid the occasional intrusion of a Portuguese spelling of a Spanish locality, and vice versa. Matters are made still more hard by the fact that the spelling of local names in Portugal less so in Spain seems to have been much changed since It is difficult to avoid occasionally an archaic, or on the other hand a too-modern, form for a name.

These slight errors, or discrepancies between names as spelled in the text and in the maps, were nearly all caused by alterations between the received spelling of , followed in the maps I used, and that of In a few cases the critic may find a slight difference in the numbers of troops, or of killed and wounded, which are given in the text and in the appendices.

These errors, always trifling, could not be discovered till the arithmetic of the appendices had been verified, sometimes when the text had already been printed off. In all instances the differences are small, but the Appendices must be taken to give the more exact numbers. Oxford : July 1, His army no longer threatened the Lines of Torres Vedras: he had abandoned the offensive for the defensive.

Concentrated in the triangle Santarem-Punhete-Thomar, with his three corps so disposed that a march of twenty miles would suffice to concentrate everything save outlying detachments, he waited to see whether his enemy would dare to attack him; for he still hoped for a battle in the open field, and was prepared to accept its chances.

At Bussaco, so he reasoned, his defeat had been the result of an over-bold attack on a strong position. The event might go otherwise if he threw the responsibility of the offensive on Wellington. He had secured for himself an advantageous fighting-ground: his left flank was protected by the formidable entrenchments around Santarem; his front was covered by the rain-sodden valley of the Rio Mayor, which during the winter season could be crossed only at a few well-known points. His right wing could not be turned, unless his adversary were ready to push a great force over villainous roads towards Alcanhede and the upper course of the Rio Mayor.

And if Wellington should risk a large detachment in this direction, it might be possible to burst out from Santarem, against the containing force which he would be compelled to leave on the banks of the Tagus, about Cartaxo, and to beat it back towards the Lines—a movement which would almost certainly bring back the turning column from the North. For the English general could not dare to leave Lisbon exposed to the chances of a sudden blow, when there was little but Portuguese militia left to occupy [p.

No such chance was granted him. His adversary had weighed all the arguments for and against the offensive, and had made up his mind to rely rather on his old weapon—starvation—than on force. The enemy can be relieved from the difficulties of their situation only by the occurrence of some misfortune to the allied army, and I should forward their views by placing the fate of the campaign on the result of a general action on ground chosen by them, and not on that selected by me.

I therefore propose to continue the operation of light detachments on their flanks and rear, to confine them as much as possible, but to engage in no serious affair on ground on which the result can be at all doubtful [1].

The infantry divisions save the 2nd were arranged in successive lines of cantonment behind them, watching the course of the Rio Mayor, while the reserves had retired as far as the Lines of Torres Vedras. When the first French reinforcements began to come up—about the New Year of —such a sally seemed to Wellington quite worth guarding against [4]. The disposition of the infantry was as follows: On the right, near the Tagus, lay the Light Division, immediately in front of Santarem, quartered in Valle and other villages.

In support of the Light Division, but five miles to the rear, at Cartaxo and other places, was the large and powerful 1st Division, 7, bayonets. The 4th Division lay at an equal distance behind the 1st, at Azambuja and Aveiras da Cima. Their support was the 5th Division at Torres Vedras in the old Lines, seventeen miles to the rear, from which a circuitous road led to Alcoentre.

In all the main army consisted of about 48, men of all [p. He had transferred a considerable detachment to the southern bank of the Tagus, to protect the Alemtejo against any possible descent by the French. But when the Marshal gave up the offensive and retired to Santarem, the aspect of affairs was changed; it was quite possible that, with his army in a state of semi-starvation, he might venture to send a considerable detachment over the river, to gather the food which was so necessary to him.

Nor was it unlikely that he might have a still more cogent reason for invading the Alemtejo. The flotilla of [p. On the 29th of November Hill was disabled by a severe attack of fever, and the control of all the troops beyond the Tagus devolved on his senior brigadier, William Stewart.

Wellington only allowed this hard-fighting but somewhat too venturesome officer to retain his very responsible command for a few weeks. He would have preferred to give the duty to Hill, who had in the preceding summer carried out a similar task with complete success, while he watched Reynier from Castello Branco [9]. This he did in February, and we miss his familiar name in the records of the Peninsular War for a space of three months, till his reappearance at the front in May.

Beresford therefore began, with the New Year, to exercise a semi-independent command over the detached force beyond the Tagus, which he was to retain for nearly six months. The experiment of giving him this responsible duty was not altogether a happy one; and after his unsuccessful operations in Estremadura, and his ill-fought victory at Albuera, Wellington withdrew him to other duties in June, and once more handed over the troops south of the Tagus to the cautious yet capable hands of Hill.

But this was not all; Wellington had also taken his precautions to cast around the rear of the irregular parallelogram held by the French a screen of light troops, which effectually cut their communications with Spain, and restricted, though they could not altogether hinder, their marauding raids in search of provisions. This screen was weakest beyond Abrantes, on the line of the Zezere; but here the land was barren, and the enemy had little or nothing to gain by plundering excursions.

But, save in the small upland plain about Castello Branco itself, there was practically neither population nor tillage. The less barren and deserted mountain land between the Zezere and the Mondego was much more worth plundering, and was protected by the militia brigade of John Wilson, who lay at Espinhal on the Thomar-Coimbra road, with a force of four battalions, which ought to have numbered 3, men, but often shrank down to 1, For the militiamen, unpaid and ill-fed, deserted freely during the winter season, and as their homes lay far northward, by the Douro, it was not easy to gather them back to their colours.

But Wilson had always a sufficient nucleus about him [p. He was only once seriously engaged, when, on December 23rd, General Marcognet, with two battalions and a cavalry regiment, came up against him, drove him out of Espinhal after some skirmishing, and pushed a reconnaissance as far as the Mondego, of which we shall hear in its due place. He had a larger force than Wilson—seven militia regiments, whose strength varied from day to day but seldom fell below 3, men.

They were only once driven in, when on Dec. The last link in the chain of detachments which Wellington had cast around the French was the garrison of the sea-girt fortress of Peniche, half-way between Lisbon and the mouth of the Mondego. But there were some 2, or 3, recruits, more or less trained, in the place, and the enterprising Major Fenwick, whom Blunt had put in charge of his outpost-line, kept large pickets out in the direction of Caldas and Obidos, which frequently came in contact with the raiding parties of the 8th Corps, and did them much harm.

Fenwick was mortally wounded in action near Obidos on Dec. Outside these limits food could only be got by large detachments, moving with all military precautions, and obliged to keep up a constant running fight with the Portuguese militia. The sustenance of the French was mainly obtained by harrying and re-harrying the area bounded by the limits stated above, where they could work their will without meeting with any resistance.

Of the 2nd Corps both divisions were in the Santarem fortifications, holding the town and the banks of the Rio Mayor to the west of it. Both corps had their cavalry brigades out in front of them, along the line of the Rio Mayor. Montbrun and [p. Only Loison could not have been brought up at short notice, supposing that Wellington had attacked the line of the Rio Mayor. They could not be otherwise, when his army had dwindled down by the beginning of December to 45, efficient sabres and bayonets, while his hospitals were encumbered by 8, or 9, sick.

But down to the end of the year he had not the slightest breath of information as to whether this assistance was close at hand, or whether it had, perchance, not even begun to move in his direction. Since he had cut himself loose from the frontier of Spain in September, not a single dispatch had reached him, not even a secret emissary had penetrated to his head quarters.

For all that he knew Napoleon might be dead, or engaged in a new war with some continental enemy. It is an astonishing testimony to the [p. He had simply to wait till news should penetrate to him. Meanwhile the one governing preoccupation of his life was to get food for his army, since if food failed he must be driven to the disastrous winter retreat, across flooded streams and between snow-clad mountains, to which Wellington hoped to force him. He thought that they would have consumed every possible morsel of food that could be scraped together by December—as a matter of fact they held out till the end of February, in a state of constantly increasing privation.

It seems that Wellington underrated both the capacity for endurance that the enemy would show, and still more the resources which were available to him. The Portuguese government had ordered the peasantry to destroy all food-stuffs that they could not carry off, when the country-side was evacuated in October, and the people retired within the Torres Vedras lines.

The large majority hid or buried, instead of burning, their stores, trusting to recover what they had concealed when the French should have departed. Many of the hiding-places were very ingenious—in some cases caves in the hills had been used, and their [p. In others, pits or silos had been dug in unlikely places, and carefully covered up, or cellars had been filled, and their entrances bricked up and concealed.

The ingenuity that is bred by an empty stomach soon set the French on the search for these hoards. When it was once discovered that there was much hidden grain and maize in the country, every man became a food-hunter. Whole villages were pulled down in the search for secret places in their walls or under their floors.

Parties scoured every ravine or hillside where caves might lurk. We are told that one effective plan was for detachments to go about with full barrels in fields near houses, and to cast water all over the surface. Where the liquid sank in suddenly, there was a chance that a silo lurked below, and the spade often turned up a deposit of hundreds of bushels. But more drastic methods than these were soon devised. Though the large majority had retired, some of the poorest or the most reckless had merely hidden themselves in the hills for a week or two, and came down cautiously when the French had marched by towards Lisbon.

A sprinkling of miserable folk lived precariously in or near their usual abodes, always ready to fly or to conceal themselves when a foraging party was reported in the neighbourhood. When he was sighted he was pursued and often caught. He was then offered the choice between revealing the hiding-places of himself and his neighbours, and a musket-ball through the head. Generally he yielded, and the party went back with their mules loaded with grain, or driving before them some goats and oxen.

Sometimes he was himself starving, could reveal nothing, and was murdered. We are assured by more than one French narrator of these hateful times that it was discovered that torture was more effective than the mere fear of death.

If the prisoner could or would discover nothing, he was hung up for a few minutes, and then let down and offered [p. Sometimes this led to revelations; if not he was strung up again for good [12]. Torture by fire is also said to have been employed on some occasions.

Naturally these atrocities were not practised under the eyes of the officers commanding regular foraging parties [13]. But when a company had dispersed in search of plunder, the men who were separated in twos or threes without control acted with such various degrees of brutality as suited themselves.

Moreover, there was a floating scum of unlicensed marauders, who had left their colours without leave, and were in no hurry to rejoin them. These were responsible for the worst crimes: sometimes they gathered together in bands of considerable strength, and it is said that they were known to fire on regular foraging parties who tried to arrest or restrain them [14] , and that one troop, several hundred strong, fought a desperate skirmish with a whole battalion sent to hunt them down.

But it was not these fricoteurs , as they were called, who were the sole offenders; many horrors were perpetrated within the limits of the cantonments by the authorized raiding companies. For the regimental officers, who depended on the individual efficiency of their men in marauding for their daily food, were not too eager to make inquiries as to what had passed outside their own vision, and the soldier who brought home much booty was not [p.

When a foraging party had turned over many bushels of wheat or maize, or a hundred sheep, to the store of their battalion, it could hardly be expected that their colonel would show his gratitude by inquiring whether the happy find had been procured by torture or by simple murder. Its foraging parties had to go thirty miles away before they had a chance of finding ground that had not been already picked over most carefully by the men of the 6th or the 8th Corps.

Nevertheless the 8th Corps lost more men by disease than either of the others during this hard winter. It was composed to a great extent of conscript battalions new to Spain, young and unacclimatized, whose men died off like flies from cold, dysentery, and rheumatism. The 6th Corps was still 18, strong out of its original 24, on January 1st, and of the 6, missing, 2, represented Bussaco casualties in actual fighting. That it did not altogether dissolve, when it was living from hand to mouth, with a fifth or a quarter of the men habitually absent on foraging expeditions, is surprising.

The regimental officers succeeded in organizing a regular system by which the exploitation of the country-side was made as effectual as could be managed. For there was little or nothing to be got from head quarters. In some regiments a third of the men might be seen wearing this primitive footgear.

Another weak point was ammunition—there had been no great consumption of it since Bussaco, or the state of the army would have been perilous indeed, since it had to depend on what it had originally brought down from Spain in September.

No more had been received, and attempts to establish a powder factory at Santarem failed for lack of saltpetre. Meanwhile he hung on to his position, conscious that his power of endurance was [p. Of military operations, as opposed to mere raids by detachments in search of food, hardly anything was undertaken by the Army of Portugal down to the end of the year. The brigade returned, wearied and more than half-starved, on the seventh day, equally destitute of news and of the plunder that it had hoped to find in a hitherto untouched district.

His object was to have at his disposition means for crossing the Tagus, in case he should wish to invade the Alemtejo, or to co-operate with any friendly troops that might appear from that direction. Obviously a serious attempt to cross the Tagus near Santarem, even if its initial stages succeeded, and the larger part of the army got over, would expose the rear divisions to almost certain destruction, since Wellington could throw 30, men upon them within the next twelve hours.

There is no more certain way of ruining an army than to allow it to be caught divided into two halves by a broad river spanned by one or two precarious bridges. Moreover, the corps executing the passage would not have any great danger on its flank or rear, since there was only the Portuguese garrison of Abrantes to molest it.

One effort to sink or fire them by a bombardment and the use of Congreve rockets had already been made [20]. Here he established his dockyard, and hither he transferred most of the busy workers from Santarem. In the course of a month they got ready for him the materials for two bridges broad enough to span the Tagus, besides ninety flat-bottomed boats.

The mouth of the Zezere was protected by a number of batteries, to keep down the fire of any guns that Beresford might bring up to sink the bridges when they were being cast across. Three batteries were established on the Tagus bank opposite Punhete, and armed with six-pounders; but as these were overmatched by the French guns across the water, nine-pounders were requisitioned from Lisbon [21].

The rest of the [p. On that side all was tranquil—as indeed it was destined to remain for many a week more. But just at the end of the month of December the isolation in which the Army of Portugal had so long been living at last came to an end, and reinforcements and news were at last received, though the news was disheartening and the reinforcements inadequate.

The uniforms were soon seen to be those of French dragoons, and a joyful meeting took place [23]. The 9th Corps, it will be remembered, was a promiscuous assembly of some twenty newly-raised fourth battalions, belonging to the regiments which were already in Spain.

Drouet had been originally ordered to do no more than conduct these battalions, which were little better than a mass of drafts, to join the regiments to which they belonged. Thrust, as it were, into Spain without any regular organization, destitute of battalion transport, and with an improvised and insufficient staff, [p. This detachment, by reason of its losses during its disastrous flight, had been reduced to about 1, men fit for service—about the same number that Drouet had left behind him from his own corps.

His original instructions had been to go no further forward than Almeida himself, but to send a column under Gardanne, 6, strong, to clear and keep open the way to the Tagus. This was about as much as could be done to carry [p. For the Portuguese militia, with which the 9th Corps had to deal, were, when properly managed, a very intangible enemy, who could retire whenever a column passed, and return to block the way when it had gone by.

It is impossible to see how Drouet could have kept open the whole road from Almeida to Thomar, without leaving all along the way a couple of battalions, entrenched in a good position, at distances of fifteen or twenty miles from each other. It was useless for Napoleon to tell him in one breath to keep the road open from end to end, and in the next to forbid him to make any small detachments [27].

But the Emperor neither fully understood the military situation in Portugal, nor grasped the relative merits of its roads or the relative resources of its various regions. To that place the Portuguese general had retired abandoning the blockade of Almeida when the 9th Corps arrived on the frontier. Of the other militia brigades of the north Miller with four battalions was at Vizeu, Trant with seven at Coimbra; Baccelar, the Commander-in-Chief, lay at Oporto with the small remainder.

Taking Conroux and Gardanne with him, he marched south of the Mondego, past Chamusca and Moita, as far as Ponte de Murcella, which he reached on the 24th. Similarly Trant was to hold on to Coimbra unless the French column took the northern road, in which case he too might be called back to Oporto [29]. After some slight friction Drouet obeyed. The communications with Almeida, re-established for a moment, were thus broken again after four days, for John Wilson, the instant that Conroux began to break up from Espinhal, came boldly back towards that place, attacked the French rearguard on December 30th, and, after doing it some little harm, blocked the high-road to the north once more [30].

It was not with such a reinforcement that the Marshal could hope to resume the offensive. Indeed, as Wellington sagely remarked [31] , if nothing more came up to join him, his retreat looked more certain and necessary than ever. Concentrating at Trancoso on December 30th, he fell upon the enemy on the following day at Ponte do Abbade, and routed them with a loss of men. But the French general made a second sudden sally from Trancoso on January 11th [32] , beat the Portuguese much more decisively, and pursued them as far as Lamego on the Douro.

Silveira crossed the river in great disorder on the 13th, and the news of his defeat brought terror to Oporto. He evacuated Lamego and returned to Trancoso by forced marches, having accomplished nothing save the destruction of a few hundred militia and the spreading of panic as far as Oporto January 18th [33].

Shortly after he left Trancoso and moved southward to Celorico and Guarda [34] , where he commanded the two roads to the Tagus, yet was not too far from Almeida and his base. Here Drouet collected enough food both to feed himself and to give help to Ney; but the resources of the district were, after all, limited, and within a few weeks the men of the 9th Corps were living on the edge of daily starvation like their fellows.

The Army of Portugal had got no solid help from this quarter. It is not till the 29th of September that the imperial correspondence begins to show signs of a desire that Soult should do something to help the Army of Portugal. But the assistance which was to be given is defined, in the dispatch of that date, as no more than a diversion to be made against Estremadura by Mortier and the 5th Corps, with the object of preventing La Romana from giving any aid to Wellington [35].

Soult is directed to see that Mortier keeps the Spanish Army of Estremadura in check: he is always to be on its heels, so that it will have no opportunity of sending troops towards the Tagus. Nothing is said about making a serious attack on Estremadura, or of threatening Badajoz with a siege. On the 26th of October comes the next allusion to this subject [36] : the Emperor had learnt from the English newspapers—always his best source of intelligence—that La Romana with a large part of his forces has marched on Lisbon to join Wellington, and that he has been able to do so without molestation.

An interpretation for the phrase, [p. Soult had little difficulty in proving that this scheme was absolutely impossible. It argued, indeed, a complete misconception of the situation in Estremadura and Andalusia. The Spanish General had gone off to join Wellington with some 7, or 8, men. But he had left behind him in Estremadura two strong infantry divisions, those of Mendizabal and Ballasteros, with 12, bayonets, 6, more infantry in garrison at Badajoz, Olivenza, and Albuquerque, and the whole of his cavalry, 2, sabres.

In addition there were interposed between Mortier and the Tagus about 8, Portuguese—a cavalry brigade under Madden which had been lent to the Spaniards, and, near Badajoz, a regular infantry brigade at Elvas, and four militia regiments, forming the garrisons of the last-named place, of Campo Mayor, and of Jerumenha.

How could he have pursued La Romana? If he had followed, he would have found himself at once involved in a campaign against superior forces in a region studded with hostile strongholds. It is clear to me that if I thrust a body of 10, men forward to the Tagus, as his majesty has directed, that body would never reach its [p.

The moment that he was past their positions, they would cut him off from Andalusia, and he would find himself with their whole force at his back, and in front of him anything that Wellington might have sent to the south bank of the Tagus. In December this would have meant 14, men under Hill, at the New Year about 16, under Beresford.

Nevertheless the [p. After having, as he thought, demonstrated to his master that it would be useless to send Mortier alone, with 10, or 12, men, to make an impossible dash at the Tagus, Soult made another proposal. He would undertake not a mere raid, but the capture of Badajoz, the conquest of Estremadura, and the destruction of the army of that province; but he must take with him a force much greater than the mere 5th Corps. There was of course another course possible: Soult might have marched for Estremadura not with the 13, men of the 5th Corps alone, nor yet with the 20, men whom he actually took thither in January, but with the greater part of the French Army of Andalusia, 35, or 40, men.

To do so he would have had to abandon Granada, Malaga, and Jaen on the one side, and his hold on the Condado de Niebla and the west upon the other. He might even possibly have had to raise the siege of Cadiz, though this is not quite certain. Many months after, in the end of March, when all chance of the conquest of Portugal was over, the Emperor told him that this would have been his proper course, and read him an ex-post-facto lecture on the advantages that might have followed, if he had evacuated two-thirds of his viceroyalty and taken an imposing force to sweep across the Alemtejo and assail Lisbon from the southern side [41].

A supreme commander-in-chief present on the spot might have seen his way to make the temporary sacrifice of the provinces which had cost so many men to conquer and to hold, in order that every available man might be sent against Lisbon, and the English might at last be expelled from the Peninsula.

But Soult was not such a commander-in-chief; he was only one of the many viceroys whom Napoleon preferred to a single omnipotent lieutenant. Was it likely that he would sacrifice half his own territory, when no order to do so lay before him, in order that a colleague, sent on a separate task with forces no less than his own, might have every possible advantage? He might have replied that his master was no less blind than himself: dispatch after dispatch had ordered him to send a trifling detachment towards the Tagus, not to mass every available man and march on Lisbon, leaving Seville and the Cadiz lines exposed to all manner of dangers.

He was primarily responsible for the retention of the Andalusia that he had conquered; it was for the Emperor, not for himself, to order the evacuation of much or all of that great realm. The Emperor gave no such directions: from September to January his whole series of dispatches spoke of nothing more than the movement of a moderate force; those of January 25th and February 6th approved of the course which Soult had actually chosen, and took it for granted that he would not move towards the Tagus till he should have captured Badajoz [42].

It was not till March, when he began to [p. If we seek deep enough, we find the cause of all misdirections in the fact that the Emperor persisted in guiding the movements of all his army from Paris, and would not appoint an independent commander-in-chief of all the Spanish armies, who should be able to issue orders that would be promptly obeyed by every separate marshal or general in each province.

And when he had issued the dispatch which dealt with the situation, it reached its destination after the interval of another month, and had long ceased to have any bearing on the actual position of affairs. A single example of how the system worked may suffice. Foy reached Paris and saw the Emperor on November 22 and the succeeding days. Soult had two leading ideas in his mind when he planned out his campaign.

Accordingly he intended to march with a very large force of cavalry, and with a heavy siege-train. At Seville he had at his disposition the greatest arsenal of Spain; but for many months all that it produced had been going forward to Cadiz: no less than pieces had been sent to arm the vast lines in front of the blockaded city. Accordingly it took some time to get ready the heavy guns, and to manufacture the ammunition required for such a big business as the siege of the six fortresses, [p.

The personnel for the siege-train had also to be collected: requisitions were sent, both to Victor at Cadiz and to Sebastiani at Granada, to detach and send into Seville nearly all their sappers, and the men of several companies of artillery. They were also to send to the expeditionary force many regiments of cavalry.

Mortier had only two 10th Hussars and 21st Chasseurs , which had sufficed when he was engaged in the heights of the Sierra Morena, but were insufficient when he was about to descend into the plain of the Guadiana. The orders for the concentration of the troops were issued early in December, but owing to the time required for drawing in units from Granada and Cadiz, and for the preparation of the siege-train, it was not till the last day of the old year that the Marshal took his departure from Seville.

The collection of a field army of 20, men, which was to cut itself loose from Andalusia for a time, imposed some tiresome problems on Soult. Since he had resolved not to evacuate Granada or Malaga on the one hand, nor the posts west of the Guadalquivir on the other, and since he was drawing off the 5th Corps, which had hitherto provided for the safety of Seville and found detachments for the Condado de Niebla, he had to make provision for the filling of the gap left behind him.

Hence we find him calling upon Victor to spare men from in front of Cadiz—a demand which the Duke of Belluno took very ill—since he truly declared that he had no more troops in the 1st Corps than sufficed to man the lines and to keep posts of observation in his rear.

The garrison of Cadiz was always increasing, and included a strong nucleus of British troops. Nevertheless, he was forced to provide a detachment to hold Xeres, as a half-way house to Seville, and to send out a cavalry regiment 9th Dragoons and one battalion west of the Guadalquivir. Godinot had also to look after the insurgent bands of the central Sierra Morena, who often blocked the post road to Madrid. Sebastiani save for the cavalry and artillery borrowed from him was left with his 4th Corps intact, and his duty was unchanged—to watch the Spanish army of Murcia, and to suppress the guerrilleros of the Sierra de Ronda and the eastern coast—an unending task from which Soult thought that he ought not to be distracted.

Napoleon, wise after the event, wrote in March that Soult should have left no more than the Polish division of the 4th Corps in the direction of Granada, and have brought the remainder of it to strengthen or support the troops at Seville and in the lines before Cadiz. In that case the Poles would certainly have had to move westward also ere long, since there were but 5, of them, and all Eastern Andalusia would have had to be evacuated.

The invasion of Estremadura was carried out in two columns of about equal strength, which used the two main passes between Western Andalusia and the valley of the Guadiana. It had to escort the slowly moving siege-train of 34 guns, which with the 60, kilos of powder belonging to it was drawn by 2, draught oxen, requisitioned along with their drivers from the province of Seville.

This column took the route Ronquillo, Sta Olalla, Monasterio, which, if less steep and better made than the Llerena-Guadalcanal road, is longer, and passes through an even more desolate and resourceless country. Its fall, so Soult hoped, would lead to the easy conquest of the minor fortresses.

But the two columns did not meet with equal fortune. That commanded by Latour-Maubourg met practically no resistance in its first stages. On arriving at Usagre on January 3, it found in its front almost the whole of the allied cavalry in Estremadura—Butron with 1, Spaniards, Madden with nearly 1, Portuguese. But this was merely a screen thrown out to cover the retreat beyond the Guadiana of Mendizabal and the division of Spanish infantry which had been cantoned in this region.

That officer had been ordered by his chief, La Romana, to break the bridge of Merida, after retiring over it, and then to attempt to hold the line of the Guadiana. He did neither; precipitately marching on Merida, he passed through it in great haste, but forgot to see that the bridge was duly destroyed, and then retired along the north bank of the Guadiana to Badajoz.

Latour-Maubourg, according to his directions, did not cross the river, but halted near Almendralejo, to wait for the other column, which was not forthcoming. The plans of the left invading column had miscarried. For when its head reached Monasterio, at the summit of the long pass, its tail, the siege-train, was dragging far behind. In the desolate stages about Ronquillo and Sta Olalla it had met with tempestuous rains, as might have been expected at the season.

Many of the oxen died, the unwilling Spanish drivers deserted wholesale, and there was much delay and considerable loss of vehicles. This column was the 5, infantry of Ballasteros, who, as it chanced, had begun to march southward at the same moment that Soult had started northward. The Spanish general had just received orders from Cadiz bidding him cut himself loose from the Estremaduran army, and move into the Condado de Niebla, where he was to unite with the local levies under Copons, drive out the weak French detachment there stationed, and threaten Seville from the west if it should be practicable.

The Marshal determined that he must free his flank from this threatening force before continuing his march, and ordered Mortier to attack Ballasteros without delay. This was done, but the Spaniard, after a running fight of two hours, retired to Fregenal, fifteen miles further west, without suffering any serious harm January 4th.

He was still in a position to threaten the rear of the convoy, or to slip round the flank of the French column towards Seville. Leaving a detachment to help the convoy on its slow and toilsome route, Gazan resolved to pursue the Spanish column and destroy it at all costs.

This determination led him into three weeks of desperate mountain-marching and semi-starvation, at the worst season of the year. He at last turned to fight at Villanueva de los Castillejos on January 24th. Gazan, who had been joined meanwhile by the small French detachment in the Condado de Niebla, brought his enemy to action on the 25th. Gazan therefore resolved to pursue them no further—indeed he had been drawn down into one of the remotest corners of Spain to little profit, and realized that Soult must be brought to a standstill one hundred miles away, for want of the 6, infantry who had now been executing their toilsome excursion in the mountains for three weeks.

Accordingly, the French general bade Remond, the commander of the Niebla detachment, watch Ballasteros, and himself returned to Estremadura by a most painful march through Puebla de Guzman, El Cerro, Fregenal, and Xeres de los Caballeros. He reported his return to Soult at Valverde on February 3rd. His services had been lost to his chief for a month all but two days, a fact which had the gravest results on the general course of the campaign of Estremadura [49].

With such a force he did not like to beleaguer a place so large and so heavily garrisoned as Badajoz. Accordingly, he was forced to abandon his original intention of forming its siege, and to think of some lesser enterprise, more suited to his strength. After some hesitation, he determined to attack the weak and old-fashioned fortress of Olivenza, the southernmost of all the fortified places on the Spanish-Portuguese frontier.

From thence they sought for Mendizabal on the north side of the Guadiana, and discovered that he had withdrawn to Albuquerque, twenty miles north of Badajoz. Olivenza ought never to have been defended. The breach made by the Spaniards at its siege ten years before had never been properly repaired—only one-third of the masonry had been replaced, and the rest of the gap had been merely stopped with earth.

Its one outlying work, a lunette yards only from its southern point, was lying in ruins and unoccupied. The circuit of its walls was about a mile, but there were only eighteen guns [50] to guard them. The garrison down to the 5th of January had consisted of a single battalion left there by La Romana, when he marched for Portugal in October. But Mendizabal, apparently in inexcusable ignorance of the condition of the place, had ordered a whole brigade of his infantry to throw themselves into it when Soult began to press forward.

He sacrificed, in fact, 2, out of the 6, bayonets of his division [p. The governor, General Manuel Herck—an old Swiss officer—was ailing and quite incapable; a man of resources might have done something with the heavy garrison placed under his orders, even though the walls were weak and artillery almost non-existent; but Herck disgraced himself. When Soult arrived in front of Olivenza on January 11th, his engineers informed him that the place, weak as it was, was too strong to take by escalade, but that a very few days of regular battering would suffice to ruin it.

However, the outlying lunette opposite the south front was at once seized, and turned into a battery for four field-guns, which opened their fire on the next day. The old Spanish breach of , obviously ready to fall in on account of its rickety repairs, was visible in the north-west front, the bastion of San Pedro.

Opposite this sites for two more batteries were planned, and a first parallel opened. The trench-work went on almost unhindered by the Spaniards, who showed but few guns and shot very badly, but under considerable difficulties from the rainy weather, which was perpetually flooding the lower parts of the lines. But in ten days approaches were pushed right up to the edge of the counterscarp, and mines prepared to blow it in.

The siege artillery began to arrive on the 19th, in detachments, and continued to drop in for several days. On the 21st the batteries, being completed, were armed with the first pounders that came up. On the 22nd the fire began, and at once proved most effective: the bastion of San Pedro began to crumble in, and the old breach of revealed itself, by the falling away of the rammed earth which alone stopped it up. The arrangements for a storm had not yet been commenced when the garrison hoisted the white [p.

Mortier refused all negotiations and demanded a surrender at discretion. This the old governor hastened to concede, coming out in person at one of the gates, and putting the place at the disposition of the French without further argument. The total loss of the French during the siege was 15 killed and 40 wounded—that of the besieged about The figures are a sufficient evidence of the disgraceful weakness of the defence.

When one reflects what was done to hold the unfortified town of Saragossa, and the mediaeval enceinte of Gerona, it is impossible not to reflect what a determined governor might have accomplished at Olivenza. The place was short of guns, no doubt—but the enemy was worse off till the last days of the siege, since he had nothing but twelve light field-pieces until the siege-train began to arrive.

General Herck made no sorties to disturb the works—though he had a superabundant garrison; he made no serious attempt to retrench the breach, and he surrendered actually ere the first summons had been sent in before the storm. Altogether it was a disgraceful business. The place, no doubt, ought never to have been held; but if held it might at least have been defended—which it practically was not. Soult was placed in a new difficulty by the surrender of Olivenza. Though his siege-train had begun to come up, he had no news of Gazan, and his infantry was still no more than a single division.

He had to spare two battalions to escort the 4, prisoners to Seville, and to put another in Olivenza as garrison [53]. This left him only eleven battalions—5, bayonets, [p. This letter came at an even more inappropriate moment than usual, as Gazan, with half that corps, was lost to sight in the mountain of the Condado de Niebla, more than a hundred and twenty miles away.

But it was clear that something immediate must be done, or the Emperor would be more discontented than before; accordingly Soult resolved to take the very hazardous step of laying siege to Badajoz at once with the small infantry force at his disposition. Accordingly on the 26th of January Soult marched against Badajoz, which is only twelve miles north-west of Olivenza, with under 6, infantry, ten companies of artillery, and seven of sappers, to invest the southern side of Badajoz, while Latour-Maubourg, with six regiments of cavalry, crossed the Guadiana by a ford, and went to blockade the place on its northern front.

Badajoz, though owning some defects, was still a stronghold of the first class, in far better order than most of the Peninsular fortresses. It belonged to that order of places whose topography forces a besieger to divide his army by a dangerous obstacle, since it lies on a broad river, with the town on one side and a formidable outwork on the other.

Indeed the most striking feature of Badajoz, whether the traveller approaches it from the east or the west, is the towering height of San Cristobal, crowned by its fort, lying above the transpontine suburb and dominating the whole city. But San Cristobal is not easy to blockade, since it is the end-bluff of a very steep narrow range of hills, which run for many miles to the north, and divide the country-side beyond the Guadiana into two separate valleys, those of the Gebora and the Caya, which are completely invisible from each other.

The city of Badajoz is built on an inclined plane, sloping down from the Castle, which stands on a lofty hill with almost precipitous grass slopes, at the north-east end of the place, down to the river on the north and the plain on the south and west.

The castle-hill and San Cristobal between them form a sort of gorge, through which the Guadiana, narrowed for a space, forces its way, to broaden out again at the immensely long bridge with its thirty-two arches and yards of roadway. Below the castle the Rivillas, a stagnant brook with hardly any current,—the home of frogs and the hunting-ground of the city storks,—coasts around the walls, and finally dribbles into the river.

The front of the place from the river to the castle was composed of eight regular bastions; along the river edge there lies nothing more than a single solid wall without relief or indentations: but this side of the place is wholly inaccessible owing to the water. There are two outlying works, which cover heights so close into the place that it is necessary to hold them, lest the enemy should establish himself too near the enceinte.

It was ill-designed, having a very shallow ditch, and being incompletely closed at its gorge by a mere palisade. The eight bastions which form the attackable part of the enceinte of Badajoz have they remain to-day just as they were in , for the place has never been modernized a height of about thirty feet [54] from the bottom of the ditch to the rampart, while the curtains between them are somewhat lower, about twenty-two feet only.

The ditch was broad, with a good [p. The garrison, not more than enough for such an extensive place, consisted at the New Year of 4, men; but Mendizabal threw in two battalions more 1st and 2nd of the Second Regiment of Seville before he retired to the borders of Portugal, so that the figure had risen to 5, before Soult appeared in front of the walls.

The governor was a very distinguished soldier, General Rafael Menacho, who had served through the old French war of , and had commanded a regiment at Baylen. He was in the full vigour of middle age forty-four years old and abounding in spirit, resolution, and initiative, as all his movements showed down to the unhappy day of his death. For the army was so weak that it could not properly invest the whole city, and if the north bank of the Guadiana were left practically unoccupied, as must necessarily be the case, the Spaniards would be able to seize the ground beyond the bridge-head, and establish batteries there, which would effectually enfilade the trenches which would have to be constructed for approaching the west side of the place.

The castle and the north-east angle of the town were too high-lying to be chosen as the point of attack, and the Rivillas and its boggy banks were better avoided. They therefore advised that the south front should be chosen as the objective, and that the first operation taken in hand should be the capture of the Pardaleras fort, for that work appeared weak and ill-planned, while its site would make the most advantageous of starting-points for breaching the enceinte of the town itself.

It was the most commanding ground close in to the walls which could be discovered. Soult and Mortier concurred, and placed the army in the best position for utilizing this method of attack. On [p. When the work became visible next day, the governor directed a vigorous sortie against it, composed of men.

The trenches were occupied for a moment, but soon recovered by the French supports. A small body of Spanish cavalry which had taken part in the sally rode right round the rear of the camp, and sabred the chef-de-bataillon Cazin, the chief engineer, and a dozen of his sappers on the Cerro del Viento.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution. Authors : Richard Gravil. Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan London. Copyright Information : Richard Gravil Edition Number : 1. Number of Pages : X, Skip to main content. Search SpringerLink Search. Authors: Richard Gravil. Buying options eBook EUR Learn about institutional subscriptions.

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