Page images
PDF
EPUB

!

thing else was going on well for the of this place were tolerably strong, cause of the continentof Europe, and and there were entrenchiments both of Britain ; while lord Wellington above and below it. Against this was victoriously driving the enemy position sir Thomas Graham, with beyond the western Pyrenees; and the 1st and 5th British divisions, while the allies in Germany were and the 1st Portuguese brigade, stimulated and encouraged by his was directed to proceed: his corps lordship's successes to perseverance crossed the river in four columns. and glorious efforts, we could not At the same time, a little higher up, appeal to the operations of our the greatest part of the fourth army in the north-east of the pe, Spanish army, under the command ninsula with any satisfaction or con- of don Manuel Freyre, crossed in fidence. As nothing further was three columns, in order to carry. done in this part of Spain, let us the entrenchments on the Montagne turn our thoughts and attention to Verte, and on the heights of Man-the operations and movements of dal. Both these divisions performlord Wellington's army,

ed their duty in the most exemAfter the defeat of Soult in his plary and successful manner: the attempt to relieve St. Sebastian, British and Portuguese took seven the British army took up its posi- pieces of cannon in the redoubts tion on one side of the small river which they carried; and the SpaBidassoa, which divides France niards one piece of cannon in the refrom Spain; while the French ar. doubt carried by them. There my occupied the other side of the seems indeed, on this occasion, to river: detached posts of the latter have been between the Spaniards occupied the right bank from the and British and Portuguese a great mouth to the pass of Vera, and a degree of emulation ; the one vying mountain at the distance of about with the other in steadiness, gallantwelve miles. The French had try, and perseverance ; so that the rendered their positions extremely enemy had no chance of standing formidable by field-works skilfully against either of them. contrived and well furnished with These operations took place in artillery. There would not how. the extreme left of the allied army; ever have been much difficulty in and, while they were going on, attacking them, had the celebrated other bodies were ordered to cross wooden bridge, over which the the Bidassoa higher up.

The high road formerly passed, been French entrenchments at the pass of. still in existence; but it had been Vera were attacked by the British for some time broken down. It light division under the command was therefore necessary for the of baron Alten, supported by the British army to cross the river by Spanish division of brigadier-genethe fords; and in order to render ral Longa; while the entrenchtheir operations successful, it was ments on the mountain of La Rhone necessary to cross it at various were attacked by the Andalusian points at the same time, and simul. army of reserve under the command taneously to attack the enemy in of generałGiron. Here, also, both the his entrenchments.

British and Spaniards behaved ad. At Andaye near the mouth of mirably; the light division charged the river the French had their with the bayonet, and carried every principal position: the fortifications thing before them, taking upwards

of

of four hundred prisoners and three official di paiches, the most marked pieces of cannon. The heights on approbation; and indeed, both on which that part of the enemy were this occasion and on others where posted, and against which the Anda. the Spanish troops were entirely lusian army advanced, were very under his lordship's command, and steep and difficult of acces: never- where morcover they were mixed theless they succeeded in establish with the British, they showed them. ing themselves on the same ridge selves by no means deficient in diswith the enemy, and were only pre- cipline, skill, or valour. What yented by the utter inaccessibility then might they not have done of one rock from dislodging them how much more might they not entirely before night-fall of the 7th. have contributed towards the libera. As it was of the utmost consequence tion of their country than they ac, to the future operations of the army tually did-had their government to dislodge them entirely from this been wise and patriotic enough to rock, every effort was made for that have placed them at the commencepurpose ; but they were favoured ment of the war completely and reby the intervention of a thick fog; gularly under the direction and and till that cleared away no attack command of British officers ! could be made upon them with any

The result of this attack on the prospect of success. As soon as it positions of the enemy was to fix did clear away, lord Wellington the British head-quarters securely himself reconnoitred the rock; and and permanently within the bound. observing that on the right side it aries of France : what a subject for appeared to be in a small degree ac. reflection, and how proud a day for fessible, he directed an attack to be England! That country invaded, made in this quarter. As the An- which, not eighteen months before, dalusians had had the honour and had given the law to nearly the glory of driving the enemy from whole continent of Europe, and exery part of the heights but this, invaded too by troops belonging to his lordship resolved that they a nation who hitherto, whatever should possess a still further oppor. might have been their naval tritunity of distinguishing themselves: umphs, had not greatly distinguish they were therefore ordered to at. ed themselves by land! Bonaparte tack this formidable position ; and had threatened to drive our army this order they instantly obeyed in the peninsula into the sea ; and with the utmost alacrity, storming that army was now driving his best the entrenchment in a most gallant troops and most experienced genestyle. As by this operation the ral to seek refuge within the terriFrench camp at Sarre was entirely 'tory of France! exposed, they were under the new Pampeluna still held out, but it cessity of abandoning all the other was destined soon to fall; and lord works which covered it, and in the Wellington, with a delicate and course of the night the camp itself. laudable attention to national feelThe loss of the allies on this occasion ing, delegated to a Spanish general amounted to nearly 1,600 men; that the command of the blockade, and of the enemy was

much

greater. the authority to conclude a capitu. In this affair the Spaniards, and lation : and don Carlos d'Espana especially the army of Andalusia, showed himself fully worthy of this behaved in such a manner as to re. confidence and honour. The ene. ceive from lord Wellington, in his my made several sorties, but in all

of

1

of them they were repulsed with them by British valour and British
•very considerable loss. "A circum- blood, they must be for ever safe
stance is mentioned by his lordship from the invasion of the French.
very honourable to the gallantry Lord Wellington has taught them
and patriotism of don Carlos d'Es- that the French may be beaten; he
pana : in repulsing one of the sorties has even enabled them to beat them
he had the misfortune to be wound themselves; he has driven the ene-
ed; yet anxious to see his country's my beyond the natural boundaries
standard planted on a fortress so of their country; and these bound.
basely stolen from her, he hastened aries, strong by nature, he has ren-
to report himself able to discharge dered still more so by art. The
his duty, and was accordingly con- Spanish nation, therefore, secure
tinued in the command by. lord from foreign tyranny, may, if they
Wellington. The garrison, not- are so disposed, have sufficient lei
withstanding the ill success of all sure and opportunity to bring back
their sorties, and the conviction their character to what it was for.
they must have felt that there was merly; and may again resume their
no prospect of relief or reinforce- proper and just place among the na-
ment, continued to hold out till the tions of Europe. Let us hope that
26th of October, when they pro- they will act in this manner.
posed to capitulate on condition that Lord Wellington was not content
they should be permitted to march with driving the enemy beyond the
into France with six pieces of can- Pyrenees, and with establishing his
non. These terms being perempto- head-quarters within the boundaries
rily refused, they then proposed to of France ; he resolved to advance
capitulate, and engage not to serve further : indeed, the nature of the
against the allies for the space of a country and the season of the year
year: when this condition also was rendered a movement further into
rejected, they declared that they France absolutely necessary; for at
would never submit to be made pri- the foot of the Pyrenees an army
soners of war. In the short space could not possibly exist during the
of five days, however, they altered winter. But Soult, not dispirited
their tone and determination, and by his defeats and losses, and, where-
consented to be marched to the port ever he was, still displaying the
of Passages as prisoners of war. first-rate military talents, had taken

As soon as lord Wellington had up a position naturally very strong ;
succeeded in completely freeing this and this he had fortified, particular-
part of the peninsula from the pre. ly on his right, in such a manner
sence of the enemy, he directed his that lord Wellington did not deem
attention to the fortifying of the it expedient to attack it in front;
passes of the Pyrenees ; and in a and his plan of attacking it he had
very short time the n.ost important not a sufficient number of troops to
of them were rendered nearly as carry into execution till the fall of
strong and unassailable as the cele- Pampeluna.
brated lines of Torres Vedras. If, As soon, however, as the right
therefore, the Spaniards are true to of his army was disengaged from
themselves; if they are not most covering the blockade of that place,
grossly and culpably negligent; if he commenced his movements før
they are at all worthy of the libera- the attack of the enemy; but the
tion and national' independence state of the roads, in consequence
which has been wrought out for of the very heavy rains, obliged

bina

him to defer his ultimate operations their strong positions, which they longer than he intended. "On the had fortified with so much skill and 10th of November, however, the labour. By a few other judicious attack was practicable ; the object movements and operations lord of it to force the centre of the ene- Wellington succeeded in establishing my, and to establish the British ar- his army in the rear of the enemy's my in the rear of their right wing: right, which our readers will recolthe attack was made in columns lect was the principal object he had of divisions, each led by the ge. in view in making this attack. The neral officer commanding it, and day however was now too far spent each forming its own reserve.

On to make any further movement. the right the second division moved, The next day the enemy manifested under lieutenant-general Stewart; a disposition to retire without waitand the sixth division, under ge- ing to be again attacked; and in neral Clinton, along with some the night of the 11th they retreated Spanish and Portuguese troops, at- into an entrenched camp which they tacked the positions of the French had formed in front of Bayonne. behind Anhoue. The fourth divi. In the whole of this attack, which sion, under the command of gene- required a series of combined moveral Cole, attacked the redoubts in ments and operations, the military front of the village of Sarre,' and skill of lord Wellington is eminently the heights behind it; in the attack conspicuous ; nor are the discipline, they were supported by the army the steadiness, and the bravery of of reserve of Andalusia. The po- the soldiers, Portuguese, Spanish, sitions of the enemy on La Rhune and British, less worthy of admira. were attacked and carried by the tion. Many people were apprehenlight division and general Longa's sive, when his lordship was first apSpanish division ; and these troops, pointed to the command of the Brias soon as they had succeeded, co- tish army in the peninsula, that he operated with the right of the cen- would be rash ; and that his love tre in the attack of the heights be- of glory and his spirit of enterprise hind Sarre.

would induce him to be lavish of The attack began at break of the blood of his soldiers. Neither of day; and general Cole having com- these anticipated evils has taken pelled the enemy to evacuate the place ; there is no rashness about redoubts on their right, in the front him; and the event which we have of Sarre ; and the redoubt in the just recorded, as well as many front of the left of the village having other operations of the peninsular been also evacuated; general Cole war, fully prove that, wherever took possession of the village, which skill can be brought into action so was at the same time turned on its as to save the lives of his men, lord left by the third division. The ene- Wellington always prefers it to a my's positions on La Rhure being downright attack carried through also carried, the whole of the Bri- by numbers or hard fighting. tish attacking army co-operated in Soon after the defeat of the the attack on the enemy's main po- French at Vittoria, at least as soon sition behind the village : this at- as Soult assumed the command tack was so well concerted, and in consequence of that defeat, they carried on in all its parts with so formed an entrenched camp close much skill and bravery, that the under Bayonne, extending semicir. enemy were obliged to abandon cularly on the south side of the

Adour,

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

onne.

Adour, above and below the junc- had now an opportunity of recon. tion of the river Nive. Bayonne noitring their entrenched camp is a strongly fortified town, it is more closely: he found it to be said, in the opinion of the celebrated under the fire of that city; the right Vauban who fortified it, one of his reşting on the Adour, and the front most scientific and perfect works,) covered by a morass formed by a lying on the northern bank of the rivulet which falls into the Adour. Adour, near the point where the 'The right of the centre of the en. Nive falls into that river from the trenchied camp rested on the same south. While lord Wellington morass, and the left on the river continued on the side of the Nive Nive: the left was between the next the Pyrenees, supplies of all Adour and the Nive. In conse. sorts were brought down the Adour quence of lord Wellington's having to Bayonne ; and as the entrenched succeeded in crossing the Nive, he camp was uncommonly strong, nearly inclosed the French camp, and bade defiance to all attacks, commanded the navigation of the his lordship could not expect to Adour, and had it always in his drive the enemy from it by main power to throw detachments across force: it therefore became neces. that river, above the city, either ior sary to pass the Nive, in order to the purpose of intercepting convoys, intercept the supplies that were or even of bombarding the town, brought down the Adour to Bay- or storming the works to the north

This movement was also of Bayonne. expedient from another considera- It is evident from this account tions for though, by the last de- of the relative situation of the two feat of Soult, and consequent ad. armies, after the passage of the vance of the British army, they Nive by the British, that Soult had got beyond the excessive cold could not safely continue in his enof the Pyrenees, yet being still at trenched camp, while our army the bottom of those mountains, was between the Nive and the they were obliged to encamp in a Adour; he therefore resolved to very, moist and unhealthy situation, attempt to drive us back to our and were also cramped for want of former position: for this purpose

he assembled his troops in consiAs soon, therefore, as the state derable force on a range of heights of the weather and the roads per. which run parallel with the Adour, mitted lord Wellington to collect keeping the village of Ville Franche the materials necessary for throw. on their right. This village lord ing bridges over the Nive, he re. Wellington ordered to be attacked, solved to pass that river: this did and it was carried in a very gallant not occur till the 8th of December. style by a Portuguese regiment He then gave orders for the right (the 9th caçadores) and the British of the army, under the command light infantry battalions of the 6th of general Hill, to pass on the 9th division: as soon as they gained at one place, while the 6th division possession of the village, they prounder general Clinton passed at ceeded to the attack of the heights, another place : both these opera- which they also carried in the same tions succeeded completely ; and gallant style. It was lord Wel. the enemy were driven from the lington's intention to have pushed right bank of the river, and retired these advantages still further ; but towards Bayonne. His lordship he was not able to proceed, in con

sequence

room.

« PreviousContinue »