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the want of cavalry. Our motions were slow, 'as the army was often obliged to halt for the 'artillery, which, not being drawn by horses, but
va VETERAN CAVALRY.” On the 24th Oct. 1800, the orders arrived for the expedition to Egypt. On the 12th Jan. 1801, the wisdom of the late ministers produced the following addition to our army, as recited by Captain Walsh: “ The 12th and 26th light dragoons arrived this day from Lisbon, but unfortunately without their horses. The officers were the only mounted men in the regiments. This circumstance was the more distressing, as the four or five hundred horses we had received from the interior of the country were so miserably weak and bad as to be totally unfit to mount our cavalry. No idea can be formed of the wretched and motly assemblage of horses with which we were furnished. They were of all colours and sizes, and their backs and feet in a miserable condition. From this and several other circumstances it appeared but too plainly that no great reliance was to be placed on our tardy allies, the "Turks.” P. 50.
It appears also, by the same author, that the regiments wero occasionally landed and practised in forming hollow and solid squares, “ as the best and most efficient mode of repelling the attacks of cavalry, in which consisted the principal force of the enemy, and in which we were so deficient.” P.51.
On the 23d. January, General Moore returned from Jaffa, whither he had been sent to know the grand vizier's plans; but “says the same author, p. 54. “ the result was such as might have been expected.” He then proceeds to compare the . Turkish army to a confused and crowded fair, without order discipline, magazines, and afflicted with the plague.
Two French frigates, l’Egyptienne and la Justice, had arrived at Alexandria with a reinforcement of troops, and a supply
by men, was dragged with great difficulty and labour through the heavy sands. The French, on the contrary, were provided, not only with cavalry, but with flying artillery, admirably ap- ,' poiâted and served. We had no corps of guides, and scarcely anything to trust to but the skill of our generals, and the valour of our troops. In the action of the 13th of March, says Captain Walsh, in his Journal of the Expedition, “ we had not two hundred and fifty cavalry mounted, and those so wretchedly, as to be scarcely able to act. They had upwards of six huna dred, mounted on excellent and remarkably well trained horses. In artillery, their superiority was still more considerable; as they had in the field near forty pieces of cannon, and most of them curricle guns, while the few that we had were slowly, and with difficulty dragged along, by sailors and soldiers*.” This deficiency was
of ammunition; and on the 1st of March, while our army was in sight of the shore of Egypt, the French frigate, la Regeneréé arrived, at Alexandria with 200 men of the 51st demi-brigade, 609 artillery, and a great quantity of ammunition; and the' brig Lodi arrived there the same day, with intelligence of a reinforcement of five THOUSAND MEN, in Gantlienume's Heet. Ibid. p. 70, 71.“
This was the universal complaint.'
so alarmingly great that no man, the least acquainted with military affairs, can read the statements of Captain Walsh, without horror and indignation *
If, in addition to this scandalous want of foresight, to this unpardonable mode of equipping an army, we compute the relative force of the British and French, it will be apparent that the authors of the expedition to Egypt were wholly ignorant of the state of that country, and consequently, deeply criminal for having committed the flower of our army to the turns of fortune. Their advocates must alledge some more substantial reason than the sorry one which has been lately preferred in their behalf t...,' . ,
•*" At one time, during the engagement, (on the memorable 21st of March,) we were in the greatest distress imaginable for want of ammunition; several guns were left with scarcely one round, and many regiments were in a similar situation. This circumstance was owing to the want of means of conveyance. Had it not been for this temporary deficiency, the loss of the enemy would have been much mure considerable." P. 105.
t“ It is not improbable that the ministers might have been acquainted with circumstances totally unknou'n to the officers of the army, which, in their judgment, would sufficiently counteract any disparity of force between us and our enemies." Plain Answers to the Cursory Remarks, p. 16. This is the first time,
At the time of our landing in Egypt, the number of the French in that country amount ed to thirty thousand nine hundred and fifty, whereof nearly twenty one thousand were fight ing men. The effective force of the British was fourteen thousand nine hundred and sixty. seven, destitute of cavalry. If we subtract from this number our losses on the 8th, 13th, 18th, and 21st of March, together with six hundred sick, and five hundred and thirty marines, left before Aboukir castle, it will be found that our effective strength, wherewith we were to reconquer Egypt, after the battle of the 21st, was reduced to ten thousand two hundred and ninety-five men. That this force was insuf ficient no one can doubt, for a moment, when told that the French force at Cairo alone, at the time of the surrender of that place, amounted to eight thousand two hundred and twenty-thres fighting men, exclusive of auxiliaries, and thatele yen thousand five hundred men were entrenched within the fortifications of Alexandria, besides
I believe, it has been thought necessary to avow the propriety of keeping officers in the dark, concerning favourablc circumstances, which they were to find in the face of an enemy, superior in numbers, furnished with every means of defending a country, which they hadı been masters of for thiree years,
different garrisons, stationed at the various forts, and other troops scattered over the surface of the country. It will not be pretended that much reliance could be placed on the co-operation of the Turks, who, devoid of discipline and order, bught to be considered rather as an incumbrance than an useful auxiliary to a regular army.* ... Bu • The only possible benefit which an áble general could have derived from them, was, to employ them at a distance from the operations of our own army, in order to create diversions, and divide the force of the enemy: But it was not until the 27th of April that the grand Vizier had arrived at Salahieh, and it was the 11th of May before he concentrated his whole force at Bélbeis, amounting to about fifteen thousand men, without magazines, in a state of total disorganization, and collected chiefly under the hope of plunder. .. Fusisi ni? į Such was the strength of our force, and that of our auxiliaries, with which the English ministers had promised... themselves the conquest of Egypt. Had Admiral Gantheaume succeeded
* In the battle of the 21st, the few who had joined us, re mained in the rear during the whole action. ..