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GUERILLA LEADERS.

217

This ce

country, merit record. In Old Castile the Gue- CHAP. VI. rillas were commanded by Juan Diaz Martin,

1809. better known by the title of the Empecinado. In Asturias, the chief of this body was Juan Diaz Porlier. In Navarre, Don Mariano de Renovales, who had distinguished himself by the defence of the Convent of St. Joseph, during the siege of Zaragoza, collected a band of mountaineers, and occasioned much annoyance to the enemy. High offers were made, in hope of inducing him to join the French service; but the patriotism of Renovales was inflexible.

Last, not least, was Xavier Mina. lebrated leader brought the system of Guerilla warfare to its greatest perfection. In the northern provinces he occasioned the most important losses to the enemy, by his boldness and perpetual vigilance. The most strenuous efforts were repeatedly made to surprise and annihilate hig force; but in vain. His band was like the Giant, in Ariosto, whose limbs, when severed by the sword of Astolfo, again united, and presented an antagonist, whom the most powerful efforts of hostility could not subdue.

In the year following, Mina was taken by the enemy, and sent prisoner into France.

VOL. II.

K

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SITUATION OF SPAIN.

1809.

CHAP. VI. His uncle, Espoz y Mina, succeeded him in com

mand; and, by that leader, the system of desul-
tory warfare was carried on with undiminished
vigour and success.

On the whole, since the commencement of the year, a material improvement had taken place in the prospects of the Spanish nation. The enemy had been compelled to a disgraceful abandonment both of Portugal and Gallicia ; a supply of money had been received from the American colonies ; Napoleon, in the prosecution of the war with Austria, had at Essling encountered a severe reverse, and a British army was preparing to advance into Spain, with the view of driving the invaders from the capital.

In the succeeding portion of this work, Spain will no longer be found exclusively dependent on her own energies and resources. From the period when Sir Arthur Wellesley returned to the Peninsula, a mightier agent was continually at work for her deliverance. It is to the operations of the British armies that the attention of the reader will henceforth be chiefly directed; and the narrowness of our limits demands that the efforts of the native troops-rarely attended by important or permanent success-should be noticed with comparative brevity.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE FRENCH FORCES.

219

CHAPTER VII.

CAMPAIGN OF WELLESLEY AND CUESTA.

On their return from Oporto, the British army

CHAP. VII. concentrated on the Tagus. Victor had with

1809. drawn from the frontier of Portugal to Talave

June. ra de la Reyna, where he was kept in check by Cuesta. Sir Arthur Wellesley, therefore, found himself at liberty to engage in operations for the liberation of Spain.

At the period in question, the distribution of the French armies was nearly as follows :Victor, with about twenty-three thousand men, was on the Tagus; à corps of eighteen thousand, under Sebastiani, was in La Mancha ; the corps of Ney, Mortier, and Soult, amounting in all to about sixty thousand men, were in Gallicia, Leon and Old Castile; ten thousand were in the neighbourhood of Madrid; in Ar

220

DISTRIBUTION OF THE ALLIES.

CHAP. VII. ragon and Catalonia there were about forty

thousand; and, in addition to the force already 1809. June.

enumerated, there was a division of cavalry, under Kellerman, in Old Castile, employed in maintaining the communication between Madrid and Burgos. Neither the army in Catalonia nor the force of Kellerman, however, could be considered as disposable for the general purposes of the war, unless in cases of the greatest emergency

The allied armies were disposed in the following manner :-The British, consisting of about nineteen thousand infantry, and fifteen hundred cavalry, were, in the neighbourhood of Abrantes, preparing to enter Spain; the Estramaduran army, under Cuesta, occupied the left bank of the Tagus, and commanded the bridge at Almaraz,-it consisted of about thirty-seven thousand men; a force of nearly eighteen thousand, under Vanegas, was in the Carolinas; the army of Romana, about fifteen thousand strong, was in Gallicia, and might be expected to hold in check the corps of Ney. Blake, with about twenty thousand men, was in Valencia.

Such was the relative position of the hostile armies. The plan of operations concerted by Sir

PROJECT OF OPERATIONS.

221

Arthur Wellesley and Cuesta was as follows :-CHAP. VII. The British army was to march on Placentia,

1809. and having formed a junction with that under

June. Cuesta, the combined armies were to advance on Madrid, with the view of liberating the capital. Twelve thousand Portuguese, under Beresford, with a Spanish force of about ten thousand men, commanded by the Duke del Parque, were to watch the operations of Soult, from the neighbourhood of Ciudad Rodrigo; and detachments of the Spanish army were, likewise, to be posted at Perales and Banos, to maintain these important passes, and check Soult's advance on Placentia. Vanegas was to descend from La Mancha, and advance on the capital from the south.

We would now say something of the country which is about to become the scene of operations, at once memorable and important. The frontier of Spain, between the Douro Memoir of

the Campaign and the Tagus, presents but two lines which an invading army can follow in advancing upon Madrid. The one runs by Salamanca, where it crosses the Tormes; the other by Placentia and the valley of the Tagus. The whole of the country between these two points is impracti

of 1809.

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