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respondence, had been fain to abscond from that CHAP. city; that the disbanded soldiers had reassembled; and that the insurgent peasantry, in such numbers as to be truly formidable, were moving against him from all parts of the two northern try harass provinces. The news of his retreat was presently known throughout the whole country between the Tua and the Cavado ; expresses and telegraphs could not have communicated it more rapidly than it was spread by the voluntary bearers of good tidings. One column came from Villa Real, one from Amarante, a third from Guimaraens; a motlier assemblage had never taken the field; .. the commonest weapons were pikes and long poles armed with reaping-hooks at the end; and there were as many abbots, monks, friars, and parochial clergy in command, as officers. The three columns united at Regoa, too late to impede or molest the French in their passage of the river. The enemy halted for part of the night at Lamego, and resumed their retreat at two in the morning. The Portugueze came up with them that day at Juvantes, and harassed them during three days. The total want of discipline, order, and authority, rendered their great superiority of numbers unavailing; and after they had reached Castro d’Airo, dispersing as irregularly as they had collected, they gave up the pursuit, less in consequence of the loss which they sustained in a few brisk encounters, than because they were too numerous Neves, iii. to find sustenance, and every man was eager to Thiebault,

1808. June.

The peasan

his retreat.




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to Viseu.

CHAP. report the retreat of the enemy and the share he

had borne in the success. F. José Joaquim de 1898: Assumpçam, a friar of orders gray, distinguished

himself in this expedition, by his activity, his strength, and his unerring aim.

The loss on either side, in this pursuit, appears not to have been great; the pursuers were too disorderly and too ill armed to make any serious impression upon the enemy, and the French were not strong enough to act upon the offensive with effect. They lost two pieces of artillery, and some of their ammunition and baggage; and a few rich uniforms which fell into the hands of the Portugueze were suspended as trophies in the churches of N. Senhora da Oliveira at Guimaraens, and of S. Gonçalo de Amarante, in the town which was under his peculiar patronage. Being freed from his pursuers, Loison, sending part of his force by the road of Moimenta da Beira, which was the shorter but rougher line to Almeida, took himself the way of Viseu. This

was the movement which alarmned the people at Coimbra in Coimbra, and induced them to recall Zagalo from of his move- Figueira. It was not improbable that his in

tention was to march upon that important city, ånd there place himself in communication with

Lisbon: his own judgement would dispose him Thiebault, to this, and indeed no fewer than five-and-twenty

dispatches, instructing him so to do, had been sent, not one of which had reached him. But he had received an exaggerated report of the proceedings in Coimbra, brought by some par

Alarm at




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1808. June.


to Almeida,

tizans of the French, who had fled to save their CHAP. lives, on the night of the insurrection, when their houses were broken open, during the suspension of all order and authority. Their testimony concerning the temper and unanimity of the inhabitants could not be doubted; it was added, that they were busy in constructing for- Neves, iii. midable works of defence, and that an auxiliary force of 12,000 Spaniards was expected there. Such strange events were now every day occurring, that nothing seemed too extraordinary to be believed ; and Loison, it is thought, in consequence of these rumours, judged it best to change his purpose, and return to Almeida, He returns The Portugueze general who commanded in Beira resided at Viseu ; upon the approach of the French he summoned the magistrates and members of the Camara, and they determined not to oppose a premature and unavailing resistance. Loison, though notorious for rapacity, in the most rapacious army that ever disgraced its profession and its country, was at this time sensible how desirable it was, if possible, to obtain a character for moderation and equity. He encamped his troops for the night without the city, in the open space where the fairs were held, took

up his own lodging in the general's house, and on his departure the next day, paid for every thing with which the men had been supplied. He also released three or four prisoners, who, in the late skirmishes, had fallen into his hands. At Celorico, where an insurrectionary movement


1808. June,

CHAP. had commenced, it was suspended by the pru

dence of the magistrates and the just fears of the people, till the enemy had passed by. The peasantry of the adjacent country were less cautious; 'they appeared in arms upon the heights, and Loison therefore sent two companies to burn the village of Souropires. Being now within easy reach of Almeida, and knowing that the country about Trancoso and Guarda was in a

state of insurrection, his intention was to employ Thicbault

, himself in reducing it to submission; but here

the only one of the numerous dispatches from Lisbon which reached its destination found him, and, in pursuance of its orders to draw nearer

the capital, he hastened to Almeida, to make the Neves, iii. necessary arrangements for his march. On the

way he began to sack the city of Pinhel, which the inhabitants had deserted at his coming; but upon the tidings that a corps from Tras os Montes had arrived at Trancoso, and that Viseu was now in arms, he hastened forward, and on the 1st of July re-entered Almeida.

When Loison, upon the first apprehension of danger, was sent to occupy Porto, General Avril was instructed, at the same time, to take possession of Estremoz and Evora, for the purpose of holding Alem-Tejo in subjection, and to give orders for securing Algarve. General Maurin commanded for the French in this kingdom, as it is designated, the smallest but richest province in Portugal: owing to his illness the command had devolved upon Col. Maransin, who received


Insurrection at 01ham.


1808. June.

instructions to occupy Mertola as well as Al- CHAP. coutim, for guarding the Guadiana against the Spaniards; and to protect the coast from Faro, the greatest port in that province, to Villa Real, the frontier town, at the mouth of the river. Maransin, however, was not left at leisure to do this. Junot's proclamation, announcing the seizure of the Spanish troops, expressing his satisfaction with the Portugueze for their peaceable deportment, and promising to instruct them in the art of war, had been fixed upon the church door at Olham, a small fishing village about four miles from the city of Faro. The governor of Villa Real, Col. José Lopes de Sousa, happening to be in that village on the day of the Corpo de Deos, as he was going into the church stopped to see what the people were reading. The language of that proclamation proved how little Junot understood the character of the nation to which it was addressed; it wounded that high sense of national honour for which the Portugueze are remarkable, and Lopes, giving way to an honourable feeling of indignation, tore the paper down, and trampled upon it; then turning to the bystanders, exclaimed, “ Ah, Portugueze, we no longer deserve that name.. we are nothing now!” But they answered, that they were still Portugueze, and swore that they were ready to lay down their lives for their religion, their Prince, and their country. Though the impulse had thus been given, and the determination of the parties formed, they did not neglect the re

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