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Title: History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery Vol. 2 - Compiled from the original records
Author: Duncan, Francis
Language: English
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  VOL. II.


G.C.B. AND K.C.H.,












  “L’histoire de l’Artillerie est l’histoire du progrès des
  sciences, et partant de la civilisation.”

  NAPOLEON III. _Chislehurst, Nov. 22, 1872_.



  _The right of Translation is reserved._





  K.G., G.C.B., K.P., G.C.M.G.,








Unforeseen circumstances having arisen since the publication of the
First Volume of this work, which rendered it possible that the Author
might be unable to complete the narrative while holding the appointment
of Superintendent of the Regimental Records, it has become necessary to
modify the original plan. There were two alternatives,--either to
compress the history between 1783 and the present date into one volume,
sacrificing many matters of minor interest,--or to write, as fully as in
the former volume, the history of a period additional to that already
treated of, leaving the subsequent years and their campaigns to be
described either by the Author’s successor, or by himself at some future
time. After consultation with some of the senior officers of the Corps,
the latter alternative has been adopted; and the addition of certain
statistical tables, and of a copious index to both volumes, will, it is
hoped, render the work, as far as it goes, a complete one. Unless
anticipated by an abler pen, the Author does not despair of being able
to avail himself at some future time of the continued access to the
Regimental Records, now systematically arranged, which has been promised
to him by the Deputy Adjutant-General of the Corps,--with a view to
compiling narratives of the War in the Crimea, and of the Indian Mutiny.

       *       *       *       *       *

The almost unanimously kind reception given to the first volume, not
only by the press, but to a most cheering extent by his brother
officers, demands the Author’s grateful acknowledgments. It has
encouraged him in the labours, the results of which are now submitted to
the public; and has satisfied him that he did not err in the estimate he
placed upon a Regimental History, as a means of awakening and
intensifying _esprit de corps_.



  PREFACE      v



      I.--REACTION                                                     1

          ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY                                       30

    III.--WITH THE DUKE OF YORK IN FLANDERS                           54

     IV.--1796 TO 1799                                                70

      V.--THE CHRISTENING OF THE CHESTNUT TROOP                       88

     VI.--EGYPT                                                      104

    VII.--TO 1803                                                    134

   VIII.--THE EIGHTH BATTALION                                       138

     IX.--THE NINTH BATTALION                                        150

      X.--THE SIEGE OF COPENHAGEN                                    158

     XI.--MONTE VIDEO AND BUENOS AYRES                               168

    XII.--THE OLD TENTH BATTALION                                    185


    XIV.--WALCHEREN                                                  223

     XV.--PASSAGE OF THE DOURO, TALAVERA                             242

    XVI.-BUSACO AND TORRES VEDRAS                                    262

   XVII.--BAROSSA, BADAJOZ, ALBUERA                                  280

  XVIII.--CIUDAD RODRIGO AND BADAJOZ                                 307

    XIX.--SALAMANCA AND BURGOS                                       321

     XX.--VITTORIA AND SAN SEBASTIAN                                 338

    XXI.--CONCLUSION OF THE PENINSULAR WAR                           373

   XXII.--THE SECOND AMERICAN WAR                                    392

  XXIII.--WATERLOO                                                   412

                AT WATERLOO                                          444

                SURVEY OF 1840-8                                     465

                SERVICE                                              470

  INDEX TO VOL. I.                                                   479

     ”      ”   II.                                                  492


Having in the Preface stated the plan of this volume, it is incumbent on
the Author now to acknowledge, with gratitude, the assistance he has
received during its execution. Acting on a suggestion made by one of the
reviewers of the first volume, he has noted in the margin the various
authorities on which the narrative is based; and, as in many instances
these are manuscript letters in the Record Office, he has given the
dates of such,--to facilitate access to them by any one anxious to
obtain information in detail.

Among those to whom the Author is chiefly indebted, Sir Collingwood
Dickson--for the reason stated in the body of the work--stands first.
Not only the Author, but the Regiment at large, is indebted to him for
the generous confidence with which he entrusted the letters and journals
of his distinguished father to the writer of this history. The labours
of Captain G. E. W. Malet, R.A.--so visible in the tables at the end of
this volume--demand the next place in the Author’s acknowledgment;--and
the Reader will be able to judge how great has been the value, to this
narrative, of the published writings of Captain H. W. L. Hime, R.A.

Sir J. Bloomfield, Sir E. C. Warde, Sir D. E. Wood, General Burke
Cuppage, Major-Generals W. J. Smythe and C. J. B. Riddell, Colonel
Lynedoch Gardiner, Major H. Geary, and Lieutenant J. Ritchie, have
contributed valuable information connected with the history of the
Regiment to which they belong, and have greatly facilitated the Author’s
labours. The assistance of Sir Edward Perrott, and of Captain H. W.
Gordon, C.B., is also gratefully acknowledged.

To Mr. James Browne, the author of ‘England’s Artillerymen’ a double
debt is owing. His labour produced the Index to the first volume; and
his published work has been a mine of reference, the value of which
became more apparent, the more it was explored. Written without the
adventitious aids at the disposal of the custodian of the Regimental
Records, it is yet so exhaustive and accurate, that, when admiration of
it has ceased, it is only because that feeling has passed into envy.

The admirable Index to the present volume is due to the skill, ability,
and industry, eminently possessed by the Assistant-Superintendent in the
Record Office, R. H. Murdoch, Esq., R.A. These talents were generously
placed at the Author’s disposal, with a view to this work being made as
complete as possible.

The conducting a work of this description through the press,--although
the last occupation in point of time,--is not the least in point of
importance. Careful comparison with the MSS.,--much patient and merely
mechanical labour,--and watchfulness, lest errors of style should be
overlooked in the anxiety to secure rigid accuracy, or lest the latter
should be sacrificed to attempts at literary embellishment,--all these
are involved in the process. And all these have been displayed by one
who has assisted in this operation,--the Rev. G. Martyn Ritchie,
Chaplain to the Forces, whose services the Author acknowledges with

Not unfrequently the official letter-books differ from Kane’s List of
Officers in the spelling of proper names. Where the correct reading is
doubtful, that found in the letter-books is given in the body of the
work, and both are given in the Index.

History moves so rapidly, that even while this work has been in the
press, a slight alteration in the pay of the non-commissioned officers
and men of the Regiment has been made, making the rates given in the
following pages as those of the year 1873, accurate only up to the 1st
of October in that year. The reader can with ease make the requisite






Reaction and retrenchment followed the Peace signed at Versailles in
1783; and with them came dullness and despondency in the Regiment. Until
1787, when the state of France caused universal alarm in Europe, and
preparations for possible hostilities already commenced in England, the
prospects of promotion had been most disheartening. During the American
War, a large number of subaltern officers had been appointed by the
Generals serving with the English armies, and it was found, in 1783,
that in this respect the establishment of the Regiment had been
considerably exceeded. With somewhat distorted ideas of justice, it was
ruled that the pay of the supernumeraries should be provided by means of
stoppages from the officers of all ranks on the proper establishment,
and that no new appointments should be made until all the
supernumeraries had been absorbed,--an event which did not take place
until the 14th February, 1786.

Dullness, therefore, reigned during these years in the Warren at
Woolwich,--dullness in the Academy,--dullness in foreign stations, where
the detachments were at times forgotten altogether,--and dullness the
most stupendous in the offices of His Majesty’s Ordnance.

Uneventful, however, as this period of the Regimental History
undoubtedly was, it possesses to the student a peculiar interest. Its
domestic details invite attention, as representing the transition stage
of the Regiment from a past which had been glorious, to a future which
was to be more glorious still,--the last act, so to speak, of a drama in
which Artillery meant many things, but rarely implied mobility; and a
breathing-time, which admitted of much internal organisation being
perfected, which had been forgotten or overlooked in the midst of war.

In the years between 1783 and 1792 there was much to interest, much to
amuse, and not a little to cause pain; but the details, although
necessary to be told, are wholly domestic.

The strength of the Regiment remained until 1791 at four Service
Battalions, each consisting of ten companies, and ten companies of
invalids. In March 1791, two additional companies were formed for
service in the East Indies, but they belonged to no particular
Battalion. The companies, which had been reduced to a minimum in 1783,
were raised to a greater establishment in 1787, a year in which
recruiting on a considerable scale was ordered, and never was wholly
suspended until after Waterloo. The bounty allowed to each [Sidenote: R.
A. Reg^l. Orders.] recruit was five guineas.[1]

The promotion consequent on the formation of the East India Companies
mentioned above was as follows:--1 Major, 3 Captains, 5
Captain-Lieutenants, and 9 First Lieutenants.

[Sidenote: Letters to the Master-General, 1783-92.]

On the reduction in 1783, all men who were eligible were transferred to
the invalids, or to the out-pension list; and men who were not entitled
to that privilege, but who were ordered to be discharged on reduction,
received donations:--“If [Sidenote: M. S. Reg^l. Orders.] going to his
home in Ireland, 38 days’ pay; to Scotland, 28 days’ pay; and if to any
part of England, 14 days’ pay.”

Prior to the general recruiting in 1787, a special company of
artificers was raised--in 1786--for service in Gibraltar. As these men
were put under the officers of Engineers, a Royal Warrant was issued on
the 25th April, 1787, to define the proper position of that Corps, the
name of which was then changed from the Corps of Engineers to the Corps
of Royal Engineers. The Warrant said: “Our said Corps of Royal Engineers
shall rank in our Army _with_ our Royal Regiment of Artillery; and
whenever there shall be an occasion for them to take part with any other
Corps of our Army, the post of the Royal Corps of Engineers shall be on
the right _with_ the Royal Regiment of Artillery, _according to the
respective dates and commissions of the officers_ belonging to the Royal
Regiment of Artillery, and the Corps of Royal Engineers.”

The vagueness of this Royal Warrant, and the inconveniences which might
arise from it, were not lost upon the officers of the senior Corps, who
communicated their opinions to the Master-General through Colonel
Macbean, the Commandant at Woolwich. On the 25th October, 1787, the Duke
of Richmond, having taken His Majesty’s pleasure, replied: [Sidenote:
Duke of Richmond to Colonel F. Macbean.] “I have received the King’s
commands to acquaint you that His Majesty only meant the said Warrant to
relate to the circumstance when officers have occasion to parade by
themselves _without their men_, for a funeral or any other military
purpose; but that the directions contained in the said Warrant are not
to be understood to authorize any officer of the Corps of Royal
Engineers to take the command of any detachment of the Royal Regiment of
Artillery, although he may be senior in rank to the oldest officer of
the said detachment, unless such officer of the Corps of Royal Engineers
should be the senior officer of the whole Garrison or Command, when, by
virtue of his commission, he would of course take the command of the
Royal Regiment of Artillery with that of other troops. I am further to
signify to you His Majesty’s pleasure, that when any companies or
detachments of Royal Military Artificers and Labourers are to take post,
it is to be next to the Royal Regiment of Artillery, _and upon their
left_. And the officers of the Corps of Royal Engineers are on such
occasions to take post and fall in with such companies or detachments of
Royal Military Artificers and Labourers.”

Prior to the raising of this question of precedence between the two
Ordnance Corps, the general question of precedence over the rest of the
Army had been raised at Gibraltar in 1783, owing to the Governor having
directed the Artillery Guards to parade in the centre of the others, on
general guard-mounting parades. The commanding officer of Artillery,
Major Thomas Davies, having in vain protested, referred the matter to
the Master-General, who ordered the four Colonels-Commandant of
Battalions to assemble at Woolwich, and report to him on the origin of
the privilege claimed and exercised by the Royal Artillery. The result
was, that on the 1st July, 1784, the Secretary at War wrote to the
[Sidenote: War Office, 1/7/84, to Sir G. A. Eliott.] Governor of
Gibraltar as follows: “The Duke of Richmond having put into my hands
your letter to him of the 24th February last, together with the papers
it refers to, touching certain claims of the Royal Regiment of
Artillery, first stated in a representation of the officer commanding
that Corps at Gibraltar; and His Grace having desired me to take the
King’s pleasure thereon, I have accordingly had the honour of submitting
them to His Majesty, and am commanded to acquaint you, that as the
privilege claimed by the Royal Artillery of taking the right upon all
parades appears to have been acknowledged and confirmed by a Regulation
given out in public orders to the Army by His Royal Highness the late
Duke of Cumberland, when Commander-in-Chief; and, as that Regulation
hath not yet been cancelled, His Majesty considers the same to be still
in force, and is therefore pleased to direct that it shall be adhered to
on all occasions, when the compliance with it will not be attended with
material injury to the public service.”

Next in importance to these questions of precedence, among the
Regimental events contained in the period of which this chapter treats,
comes the formation of a Head-quarter office for the Regiment. Prior to
1783, each Battalion was ruled by its own Colonel-Commandant, wherever
the companies might be serving; and details, which should have been
under the control of the senior Artillery officer on the spot, were
regulated from a distance. The Ordnance Office was, in one sense, a
Head-quarter office for the Regiment; but a want existed of some _one
military and regimental_ channel through which the wants and
correspondence of the Battalions might reach the Board. In a letter to
Captain Macleod, who was the first to hold this much-needed office, the
want was well expressed. “The [Sidenote: Officer commanding R. A.,
Canada, to Captain Macleod, 7 Aug., 1783.] officers and men of different
Battalions, that generally compose commands of Artillery abroad, make
the post of a Brigade-Major obviously useful to prevent a multiplicity
of returns to different Battalions, which must often fall short of the
information required at home. The enclosed return, for instance, will
show that we have officers here without a knowledge of what Battalion
they belong to.” The appointment of Captain--afterwards Sir
John--Macleod was a very fortunate one. He was styled Brigade-Major,
when appointed in 1783; and in 1795 the designation was altered to that
of Deputy-Adjutant-General. In 1806 an Assistant-Adjutant-General was
added to the office; and in 1859, a Deputy-Assistant-Adjutant-General.
When Captain Macleod was first appointed, he was under the orders of the
Commandant of Woolwich Garrison; but in a very short time he made
himself so useful to the Master-General and the Board, and was so
conversant with all those details which could not possibly be familiar
to officers, who were so frequently changed, as the Commandants were in
those days, that most of the Regimental correspondence soon passed
_direct_ between him and the Board. So delicate a position required
great tact, and this quality Captain Macleod eminently possessed.
Appearing to act under the orders of the Commandant, and courteously
anticipating his wishes, he really was the mouthpiece of the Board in
controlling the affairs of the Regiment. His correspondence is a
masterpiece of courtesy, skill, and clearness. “The leading feature
[Sidenote: Memoir of Sir J. Macleod, ‘United Service Journal,’ July
1834.] of his character was the confidence he inspired in others, and
the unbounded trust they reposed in him; and thus, whether called upon
for counsel, or to act under unforeseen or sudden emergencies of
service, he was ever ready and prepared to meet its exigencies.... Of
every soldier he made himself the friend. To his equals in rank he was a
brother; to those beneath him a father in kindness and counsel; and to
the private soldiers a benefactor, ever watching over their comfort and
their welfare.... Throughout his long career he was never known to act
with the slightest approach to severity; and yet he never failed to
maintain discipline, to reprove fault, or to check irregularity. He
animated zeal, excited energy, and aimed at perfecting discipline by
always appealing to the better and nobler feelings that prevail with the
soldier’s character.” An office, which, with an ordinary man, would have
remained always subordinate, was raised by him so as to be the very
centre of the Regimental life; and although there have been times in its
history, when the progress and success of the Regiment have been rather
in spite, than by means of it, these occasions have been rare; and--as
in the case of the commencement of the Peninsular War--were forgotten in
the exertions which followed them. In a Regiment so large, and so
scattered, the value of some central organization, not merely for
_routine_, but also for maintaining and encouraging _esprit de corps_,
can hardly be overrated.

It has been said that Captain Macleod commenced to hold the new office,
as a Brigade-Major. It may be added that the ideas of a Brigade-Major’s
position were not exalted. From 1783 to 1790, Captain Macleod conducted
all his business in one small room, shared by his clerks, two in number;
but in 1790, offices having been provided for the Adjutants of the
Battalions, who had hitherto been made to work together, the
Brigade-Major was allowed the same privilege, and drew lots with the
others--according to custom--for a separate apartment. In a long
official correspondence, extending over a long lifetime, the only
irritation displayed by Sir John Macleod was at the official delays of
the Board for which he laboured. But, even then, his indignation took
the form of gentle irony. Whether writing, as he did in the end of the
year 1786, requesting that his travelling allowances for 1783 might be
sent him with as little delay as possible, or reminding the Board of a
demand for stationery sent in many months before, he was never disturbed
into strong language. “I hope you will forgive me,” he wrote, [Sidenote:
To B. of Ordnance, 9 Dec., 1784.] with reference to his last-named
demand, “for begging you to _give orders for its going through the
different forms_ with as much expedition as possible, the stationery of
last year being now entirely exhausted.” An amusing instance of his
quiet way of answering criticism from underlings at the Ordnance
occurred in 1785. Many people who had assisted the troops during the
American War came to England, and generally applied for Government
assistance. A negro, named James Buchanan, presented himself at the
Ordnance, and requested assistance, on the plea that he had been
employed during the war as a labourer with one of the companies on
service. The case was referred to the Brigade-Major, who replied that no
such man was to be found on the rolls of the men so employed. The man,
still adhering to his statement, was told to go to Woolwich and
endeavour to substantiate it. On doing so, he was at once recognized by
Captain Macleod as a man who had done duty with his own company; and he
reported accordingly.

The opportunity could not be resisted; and some official of the Board
wrote an offensive demand for explanation of the contradictory
statements made by the Brigade-Major. With quiet sarcasm, Captain
Macleod wrote: “The Board will easily understand my inconsistency in
disclaiming one day and acknowledging the next, when I inform them that
their petitioner _has acquired the name of James Buchanan, by being
christened since his arrival in England_.”

The dullness at the Board, consequent on the retrenchment which had to
be practised, was cheered by the genial kindness of the Master-General,
the Duke of Richmond, who displayed the greatest interest in the
military branch, down to the humblest individual. To the student it is
also varied by exasperating anecdotes, illustrating the perfection of
official doubt and criticism. The return from America of the companies,
many of whose men had been in prison at various periods during the war,
offered admirable opportunities for the practice of virtues which were
strongly represented at the Honourable Board. To a man landing at
Woolwich, the sympathy of the Ordnance took the doubtful form of a
peremptory order to refund, it might be, certain moneys which had been
drawn for him while a prisoner of war,--their welcome home was a
disallowance. As for the Captains of the returning companies, they were
allowed no peace. No consideration was given on account of their men
having been scattered over a whole continent; the same minuteness of
detail, the same superabundance of vouchers for every charge, was
demanded, as if their companies had never left Woolwich Warren. One
Captain, unable to give the exact dates and sufficient proofs of the
deaths of certain men, who had been killed on distant detachments, was
rash enough to question the justice of such a demand, and to point out
the difficulties in the way of its compliance. Misguided, miserable man!
Little did he know the system of audit, which prevailed in the year of
grace 1784. Argument was inadmissible; the full pound of flesh, in the
form of vouchers and authorities, was insisted on by the official
Shylocks; and if circumstances rendered this an absolute impossibility,
their remedy was simple. Of this wretched [Sidenote: Ordnance
Letter-book, 1784.] Captain, we read that “an order was sent to the
agent to stop his pay until the sum of 223_l._ had been paid.”

In the correspondence of the period, this officer’s name does not appear
again for some weeks,--but then in a startling manner. In a letter to
the Commandant of Woolwich from the Surgeon of the 4th Battalion, we
find that the ill-fated Captain “was so violent last night that I had to
put a strait waistcoat on him.” Had he received notice of a fresh
disallowance from his unfeeling auditors? This, indeed, does not appear;
but from the fact that he had been perfectly sane before this
correspondence, and recovered his sanity afterwards, it almost appears
as if his reason had tottered under the admirable system of audit,
which made no allowance, and would listen to no argument.

The consistency of these examiners was as admirable, as their
pertinacity or their indifference. They were no less reluctant to part
with money except on abundant evidence, than they were determined to
have it refunded unless similar evidence could be shown for its
retention. From the dull pages of the Brigade-Major’s letter-books we
learn of a just and lawful claim made by a gunner on his return from New
York. It does not appear that the claim was denied, but the line taken
by the suspicious officials was to doubt the man’s identity. The
difficulty of proving this may be imagined from what followed. The usual
evidence which the man himself could produce was, like his assertion,
scornfully rejected. A certificate from an officer under whom he had
served, and who was then at Woolwich, was not considered sufficient,
even when followed by a second and third of the same description, and
from different officers. According to their own documents, the examiners
said the man had died in New York; and they would hear of no
resurrection. The matter reached the Commandant, who took it up warmly.
A little alarmed, but not convinced, the auditors wrote to Bath to ask
General Pattison, who had commanded at New York at the date of the man’s
supposed death, whether it had not taken place. But they mistook their
correspondent. He replied that he had no means of answering their
question, but he added, “I should hope that certificates from three
respectable officers, accompanied with a recommendation from the
Commanding Officer of the Battalion, who I am very confident would not
have offered any but on the very surest grounds, will be deemed
sufficient vouchers of the poor man’s pretensions.” From the subsequent
cessation of the correspondence, it is presumed that the claimant’s
identity was at last admitted.

At no period of the Regiment’s history was the paternal rule of the
Board more detailed, and more inclusive of the veriest trifles. The
incessant references which had to be made by the Commandant, before he
could make the slightest change in the Garrison, and the constant petty
collisions between the civil and military departments, picture to the
student an intolerable _régime_. Nor was the overbearing of the civilian
officials confined to offensive correspondence. A story is handed down
of a mighty servant of the Board, rejoicing in the title of “Clerk of
the Cheque,” who paid periodical visits to Woolwich, and evinced his
scorn for the military branch in every way. On one day, the Commandant
had ordered the troops to parade for his inspection; and sentries were
placed at various points to keep back the crowd of sightseers, which had
assembled. Just as the Commandant came on the ground, a scuffle was
observed taking place between a sentry and one of the crowd. The
Garrison Sergeant-Major was sent to ascertain the cause; and on his
arrival he found the Clerk of the Cheque insisting on his right to
ignore any military control. The Sergeant-Major argued, but without
success; the intruder said he was Clerk of the Cheque, and demanded
admission. From verbal to physical persuasion was the next step; and
_both_ the military individuals flung themselves on their civil rival.
It was without result; strong in the majesty of his office, the Clerk of
the Cheque held his ground. The disturbance at length drew the
Commandant himself to the spot, and he took up the discussion; and, like
the Sergeant-Major, resorted to the argument of physical force. It was
an awful moment; as he reads of it, the student’s blood runs cold; for
the battle was now condensed into a fight for the superiority of the
civil over the military branch of His Majesty’s Ordnance. And for the
moment the Clerk of the Cheque prevailed:--pushing the Commandant on one
side, he swaggered across the enclosure. But his triumph was
short-lived; the matter was reported to the Master-General, who ordered
the offender to proceed to Woolwich and make a public apology.
Doubtless, however, he expiated the humiliation by some of the many ways
of paper irritation, which he had at his disposal.

The delay in executing repairs and meeting demands was excessive. Twelve
months were not considered too long a period to answer a requisition,
and much longer was generally taken. A fence happened to require repair
in front of the barracks, and its dangerous state was repeatedly pointed
out by the Commandant. But not until years had passed and an officer had
killed his horse, and broken his own collar-bone, did any steps occur to
the Board to remedy it. Even then, while they were brooding, accidents
continued, coming to a climax one night, when “the Chaplain, in walking
[Sidenote: General Cleaveland to B. of Ordnance.] home, fell in and
broke the principal ligament of his leg.”

A temporary chapel existed in the Warren, and, although the duties of
the Chaplains will be discussed hereafter, it may be mentioned, while
considering the Board’s delays, that in 1783 the Chaplain applied for “a
cushion and furniture for the pulpit, a surplice, Bible and
prayer-books, and a few hassocks, those in use having been purchased in

[Sidenote: 1787. Rev. E. Jones to B. of Ordnance.]

After patiently waiting for _four_ years, the Chaplain again sent in a
demand, stating that it was _impossible_ to use those he had _any

The procrastination of the Board led, as may be imagined, to many
inconveniences. A company in the Bahamas was ordered to be in readiness
to return to England, and no [Sidenote: Colonel Macbean to
Master-General, Feb. 9, 1787.] clothing was sent to it for the year
1784, as the Board promised to make immediate arrangements for its
transport; but 1784 passed, and also 1785, and then 1786, and no
transport was forthcoming, nor was any clothing sent for these three

It is a relief, however, to turn from the Board and its shortcomings,
and to study the purely Regimental details of the period. Tame, and
uninteresting, as they may appear beside the terrible seedtime in
France, where the dragon’s-teeth of discord, licence, and rebellion were
being scattered, to bring forth a thirty years’ harvest in Europe of
armed men, they cannot be passed by in any work pretending to tell the
story of the Regiment. They speak of an interior economy which has
utterly disappeared,--of a time which might fitly be called “the age of
the Colonels-Commandant.” So completely _honorary_ has that rank now
become in the Regiment, that the exercise of one small piece of
patronage--the nomination of the Brigade Adjutant and Quartermaster--is
the only link which connects those who hold it with the active duties of
the Corps.

On the 30th January, 1873, the Colonels-Commandant were invited to leave
their retirement, and to meet their brother officers once again at the
Regimental mess. This rare _réunion_ formed a marked contrast to the
days referred to in this chapter. _Then_, the Colonels-Commandant of the
four Battalions were entitled to live in barracks in the Warren; and an
attempt was made to place them on the same roster for duty as the
Colonels. Thanks to the conscientious and far-seeing judgment of the
officers who then held the rank, this order was cancelled. The following
protest, submitted by them to the Master-General, will sufficiently
explain the situation:--

[Sidenote: Letter to the Master-General, Sept. 1785, from Major-Generals
Cleaveland, Pattison, Brome, and Godwin.]

“With respect to the proposition of the 1st and 2nd Colonels of the
Battalion quartered at Woolwich to take the duty alternately of being
always on the spot, and commanding there, we beg leave to say (if by 1st
Colonel is meant Colonel-Commandant) that, as General Officers, we are
under the necessity of dissenting from it. We wish to look up to your
Grace as the guardian and protector, under our gracious Sovereign, of
the Corps of Artillery, as well _individually_ as _collectively_; and,
therefore, as this measure would be derogatory thereto, we trust that
your Grace, having condescended to ask our opinions, will be pleased to
relinquish it. Your Grace is sensible that by the custom of the Army
immemorially established, and confirmed by the Royal sanction, Colonels
having the rank of General Officers are exempted from being stationary
with their Regiments; and that, by a late regulation, even
Lieut.-Colonels having the rank of Major-General are not required to be
with their Regiments any further than they may judge necessary for
becoming responsible for their being in good order and discipline, the
care and command devolving upon the Major or senior Captain. However
faint, my Lord, our prospects may be of deriving equal advantages with
other General Officers, from the rank we have the honour to hold, we
have yet every reason to believe and expect that the privileges annexed
to it will be equally preserved to us. In the year 1773, the late
Master-General was pleased to give an order, which seemed to _require_
the residence of the Colonels-Commandant at Woolwich, whereupon the late
Generals Belford and Desaguliers had an audience of His Majesty, and
laid at his feet a memorial praying for redress, which His Majesty was
graciously pleased to grant.”

Although, however, relieved of a duty beneath their rank, the connection
of the Colonels-Commandant with their Battalions remained of the closest
description. No officer was allowed to be promoted, under the rank of
Field-Officer, without a recommendation from the Colonel-Commandant of
the Battalion in which he might be serving; nor was any exchange allowed
without the consent of both the Colonels-Commandant concerned. The
recruiting, clothing, and discharges of the men were under the same
control; and the private affairs of the officers were also frequently
the subject of their official consideration. It has been already hinted,
at the commencement of this chapter, that for some reasons the period
between 1783 and 1792 is a painful one to study. It is impossible to
give a sufficient reason; but as to the _fact_, there is no doubt that
there was then a bad spirit among some of the younger officers, which
manifested itself not unfrequently in acts of open insubordination. The
pages of the Ordnance letter-books of this time bristle with accounts of
courts-martial on officers, an occurrence most rare before or since. Nor
were they due to any stern, unforgiving discipline, visiting slight
offences with heavy punishment. The offences were all of one
description,--distinct and grave insubordination. Whether sufficient
care had not been taken in the appointment of officers during the
American War, or whether this war had engendered among some an unruly,
ill-disciplined, and impatient spirit, it is impossible now to say. Nor
was tragedy wanting. One case occurred, in 1785, of an officer who had
been commissioned in America during the war, and who, on his return to
England, had been repeatedly guilty of minor offences. A prolonged
absence without leave brought matters to a crisis. He was, after some
difficulty, traced to a low lodging-house in London, and, after many
unavailing orders to return to Woolwich, was at last brought down by
escort. A general court-martial was assembled for his trial at the Horse
Guards, where all such courts were then held; and from the official
registers it can be traced that he was convicted. Before, however, the
sentence was promulgated, we learn from a letter in the Brigade-Major’s
correspondence that he was found one morning dead in his room. No
explanation is given,--merely a brief report of the occurrence, leaving
the reader to his own conjectures as to the manner and the cause.

But, painful as it is to come across such passages, the pain is almost
forgotten in the pleasure which the same correspondence affords, when
treating of the earnest fatherly interest displayed by the
Colonels-Commandant in the young officers under their control. In later
days, the life and progress of the Regiment have been, as a rule, in the
keeping of its younger members; but, at the time now spoken of, it was
emphatically the devotion of the fathers of the Corps, which tided it
over the shoals of discontent, stagnation, and despair. A jealous love
of their noble traditions animated them; they had all shared the toils
and the honours, which had so welded the Regiment into a glorious unity;
and they laboured with an unselfish love to inspire the younger members
with an _esprit_, which should make them worthy channels of their own
deep feelings.

They expressed in the earnestness of their lives that which was said in
words by one of the Colonels-Commandant at the _réunion_ in 1873,
mentioned above: “The glory of our Regiment [Sidenote: General B.
Cuppage.] has been in our keeping; but we are now old and passing away,
and we commit it to you.” How much of the noble spirit which animated
the Corps in the commencement of this century was due to the unwearying
teaching of the older officers at the period now treated of can never
be told; but the student of the correspondence still preserved cannot
but attribute to it an abundant share.

One of the duties always performed at this time by the Field-Officers of
the Corps was the testing the value of new inventions. The list of such
during this period is long and quaint. The inventors were both
professional Artillerymen and amateurs; although it must be confessed
that the latter received greater encouragement than the former. It seems
hardly credible, but it is a fact, that in the year of grace 1790 the
Field-Officers of Artillery were repeatedly assembled to examine into
the merits of a 3-pounder _leather_ gun, invented by Sir John Sinclair.
Nor were rifled guns unknown at this time. One of the most persistent
inventors was a Mr. Wiggins, who produced rifled guns to fire belted
spherical shot. He succeeded with the smaller guns, 1 and 9-pounders;
but was not successful with the larger. An 18-pounder which he produced
before the Board was certainly not a success; for, on firing two rounds
with common proof-charge [Sidenote: Inspector of Artillery to
Commandant.] and one shot, “on the second round it burst into a great
number of pieces.” Although, however, the Field-Officers were available
for this duty, any interference with the manufacturing departments in
the Arsenal by the Garrison officials was not allowed nor tolerated.
There were repeated attempts made by successive Commandants to assume a
control over the Arsenal, but without success.

Another duty which occupied the senior officers at this time was
connected with the Regimental Hospital and the medical officers of the
Ordnance. Complaints were repeatedly made _by_ the Surgeons, and not
without reason; and complaints were often made _of_ them, but generally
without cause. The system of making the Surgeon find medicines for the
sick, out of a fixed and inadequate money allowance led to much
correspondence; and attempts made to extort from the military surgeon
any charges made by a civil practitioner for attendance on men on
furlough led to very stormy remonstrances. On the other hand, the
varying rate of stoppages made from the pay of the sick led to
discontent on _their_ part. It was actually proposed by the Board to
take away the whole of a man’s pay when in hospital, lest the Captains
of Companies should be induced to send men when in debt into hospital,
and to appropriate the balance of their pay. This unworthy suspicion was
resented by the Colonels-Commandant in the following dignified words:
[Sidenote: Dated 4 July, 1786.] “With regard to the temptation which
might induce a Captain to send his men to the hospital, and keep them
there as long as he could, in order to clear their debts by
stoppages--we hope, and, indeed, are confident, that there is no Captain
now in the Corps of so illiberal a mind as to be thus unworthily
attentive to his own interest in preference to that of His Majesty’s
service; and should there ever be hereafter any one of such bad
principles, a collusion must take place between him, the Surgeon, and
the Soldier, before his base purpose could be accomplished.”

The Regulations for the Ordnance Medical Department were embodied in a
distinct form in the years 1786 and 1787, but not without much meeting
of committees and examination of witnesses. Much of the labour and
expense which fell upon the medical officers at Woolwich were caused by
the presence in that Garrison of 150 men of the Invalid Battalion, who
were incessantly under treatment. It cannot be said that men were driven
out of the service in those days without every endeavour being made to
effect a cure. From the lists of men recommended for discharge in the
year 1791, which are deposited in the Record Office, we find that one
had been “sick in the country for _four years_;” another suffered from
rheumatism, loss of sight and of hearing; another had “an inveterate
sore leg of many years’ standing;” another was “insane, and burthensome
to the Battalion;” another “hectic, and subject to fits;” another “hurt
in the back, and otherwise infirm;” while a very common epithet was
“completely worn out.” There were other grounds, however, for
discharging men, than mere medical. One man has been handed down as
having been discharged because “he was unsightly,” another was
“unpromising,” a third “irregular,” while of a fourth the curt
characteristic placed against his name is the word “thief.”

History frequently repeats itself in small matters as well as large. The
legislation suggested by the present Secretary of State for War, with
reference to men who have occasion to go to hospital on account of their
own indiscretion, was in force in Canada for many years prior to
1791,--a fine of 10_s._ 6_d._ being levied from every Artilleryman in
such a position. A commanding officer, however, went to Canada who
declined to enforce this fine; and the question as to the origin and
duration of the custom was therefore referred to the Commandant at
Woolwich. He replied: “From the Brigade-Major I learn the custom has
long been abolished in Woolwich, and in other places, as tending to
induce the soldier to conceal his complaint, or apply to quacks for a
cheaper cure; both of which may be prejudicial to his constitution.”

[Sidenote: Whitehall, 23 May, 1786.]

The decisions arrived at by the Board in 1786, with reference to the
medical officers, may be briefly stated. The principal medical officer
at Woolwich was to be called Surgeon-General, and was to receive
half-pay of 10s. per diem, while he was to be relieved of the expense of
finding any medicines for the hospital. The Surgeon of the Battalion at
Woolwich had to provide all the medicines for his Battalion, “excepting
bark and wine,” in return for which he was allowed 120_l._ per annum.
The Surgeon of the Battalion detached in England remained at Woolwich
with such companies of the Battalion as might be stationed there,
providing the medicines required by them, and by the company in
Scotland, as well as all the companies of the Battalion _when on the
line of march_,--receiving in return remuneration at the rate of 12_l._
per company annually. The recruits of the Battalions abroad were also
under his care, and he received 12_l._ annually for each detachment of
fifty men, in return for the medicines he had to provide. So far, this
Surgeon had little to complain of. But the next burden was always
greater than he could bear. He had to take charge of the men of the
Invalid Battalion, not merely those at Woolwich, but also those on
detachment, furnishing them with medicines, in return for the annual sum
of 70_l._ When one bears in mind that no man entered the Invalid
Battalion until he was completely crippled, and that his daily medicine
was probably as necessary to him as the air he breathed, the inadequacy
of the Surgeon’s remuneration in this item becomes apparent. The
Surgeons of the Battalions, to which the companies at Gibraltar and in
Canada respectively belonged, went on service with these companies, and
received 12_l._ per annum for each company, in addition to their pay--in
return for which they had to provide all medicines “except bark and
wine.” The same allowance was paid for detached companies of the various
Battalions to the Ordnance Surgeon on the spot. Civil artificers and
labourers in the employ of the Ordnance were entitled to medical
attendance and medicines, by paying at the rates of one penny and one
halfpenny _per week_ throughout the year to the Ordnance medical officer
on the station. The rule with regard to officers was worded as follows:
“It is expected that the Surgeons of the Artillery and Ordnance at the
different places should give their attendance to the military and civil
officers without fee; but, with respect to supplying them with
medicines, it is recommended to the military and civil officers to
subscribe 2 guineas a year each, for which the Surgeon is to supply them
with medicines; otherwise they are to pay for such medicines as they

Such were the regulations for the medical officers of the
Ordnance,--revealing a system which was faulty and has disappeared, but
which it is interesting to reproduce in a history of the Corps. But
there were other non-combatants also--no longer represented in the
Regiment, but who deserve to be mentioned--the Regimental Chaplains.
These gentlemen, at the period treated of, did not belong, as now, to
one department for general Army service, but belonged to the various
Battalions of the Corps. This, however, did not imply that they did duty
with their Battalions; far from it. Excellent men, they drew their pay
with a punctuality worthy of all praise, but it was not among their
congregations in the Warren, but away in quiet rural rectories--in fat
livings which they held. They were pluralists; and they clubbed together
to pay a curate in Woolwich to perform their joint duties. It is sad to
have to say, also, that they did not pay their substitute very
liberally. They paid him each eighteen-pence a day--a sum so inadequate
that it drew forth the remonstrances of the Commandant, [Sidenote:
Commandant to Master-General, Nov. 14, 1787.] who wrote to the
Master-General that, “considering the reverend gentleman’s constant
residence and attendance, his dress and appearance, which are always
obliged to be decent, and the disadvantage of having no surplice fees to
add to it, it will not permit him even to eat at the mess--the cheapest
and best mode of living here.” The sum of two shillings and sixpence a
day from each Chaplain was requested for their substitute; such as was
given in other Garrisons. It will thus be seen that the system was
officially recognised; and, indeed, was but one of the many vicious
customs which have disappeared before public opinion. There were certain
occasions when the attendance of the Chaplains was insisted upon,
although they were few and far between. One such occurred in 1785, when
the King announced his intention of coming to Woolwich to review the
Regiment. The Chaplains were hurriedly written for, “in order,” wrote
the Brigade-Major, “that you may be at Woolwich in proper time to _march
by_ with the Regiment.” One of the number replied, that on account of
the distance at which he lived, and the fact of his being 86 years of
age, he would be unable to attend,--which he greatly regretted, as he
would have much liked to march past again before he died. The others
obeyed the summons, one only protesting a little on the ground that the
Battalion to which he belonged was at that time scattered in the West
Indies and Canada. A few years later, in 1792, when a camp was formed at
Bagshot, the Chaplains were ordered to attend and encamp with the
companies; and from that time their duties ceased, more and more every
year, to be so purely honorary as they had been.

Returning now to the combatant part of the Corps, there are certain
details connected with the dress of the officers and men, which can
hardly fail to be interesting, and which find a natural place in a
chapter like this. Owing to a circumstance arising out of the American
War, we are fortunately in possession of very circumstantial accounts on
this point. After the Convention of Saratoga, many of the officers of
Burgoyne’s army remained prisoners of war for nearly three years. On
their return to England, they claimed compensation for loss of their
equipment, &c., stating their case as follows:--“The subscribers wish to
represent the constant and unavoidable loss they sustained in the mode
of payment of their subsistence, as the impossibility of supplying the
Convention Army with specie laid them under an absolute necessity of
drawing their pay at very extravagant rates, being paid by public bills,
in the negotiation of which, from the Congress paper currency, they
suffered a discount which in the 1st year may be estimated at 20 per
cent.... We beg leave to observe that, in conformity to the wishes of
the Generals commanding the troops, we were under the necessity of
building huts at our own cost and charges, in order to take the more
effectual care of the men, to attend to their wants and to alleviate
their distresses. Much expense was incurred on this score. We have also
to observe that the Congress at different periods obliged us to remove
to most of the provinces in America; and in those several marches of at
least 1500 miles, it must naturally occur that many and heavy charges
were sustained by us. On being exchanged, we were unavoidably obliged to
come to New York individually, and there being no public conveyance, we
were necessitated to purchase horses, to transport ourselves and
baggage, from people who took every advantage of our distresses,” On the
claims of officers on this account reaching the Ordnance, the first step
was, simply, to refuse to admit them; on their being urged again in
stronger terms, the next step was to refer them to some one else to
ascertain the truth of the claimants’ statements, it being an official
axiom that any one demanding money was probably an impostor, and to be
treated accordingly; and, lastly, on being satisfied of the accuracy of
the claim, the invariable course was to offer something considerably
less than the sum demanded. From a remonstrance made against the offer
in this case we learn what was laid down by the Board of Ordnance in the
previous year, 28th June, 1782, as the equipment of an Artillery
Subaltern, and the cost at which it was to be valued in compensating for
its loss by shipwreck, or imprisonment. It was as follows:--

                                                         £  _s._  _d._
  _Regimentals._--1 suit of full uniform                12   12    0
                  1 frock suit of uniform                7    7    0
                  1 laced hat                            2   13    0
                  2 pairs of boots                       3    3    0
                  1 regimental great coat                3    0    0
                  1 plain hat                            1    1    0
                 12 shirts                               9    0    0
                 12 stocks                               2    2    0
                 12 pairs of stockings                   3   12    0
                  6 linen waistcoats and breeches        7    4    0
                 12 handkerchiefs, at 3_s._ 6_d._        2    2    0
                  1 pair of pistols                      4    4    0
                  1 regimental sword, belt, and clasp    2   12    6
                  1 sash                                 1   11    6
                  3 pairs of shoes                       1    4    0
  _Camp Equipage._--Bedstead and bedding complete       12   12    6
                  1 pair of canteens                     8    8    0
                  2 hair trunks                          3    0    0
                  1 case with bottles                    2    2    0
                  1 cask with kitchen utensils           3    3    0
                  Saddle and bridle                      4    4    0
                                                       £96   17    6

The contents of the knapsack of an Artillery soldier at this time were
as follows; the knapsack itself being made of painted canvas:--

  4 white shirts.
  1 check shirt.
  6 _false collars_.
  1 canvas frock.
  1 canvas pair of trowsers.
  1 leather cap.
  2 pairs of shoes.
  1 pair of black cloth gaiters.
  1 pair of white stockings (thread).
  1 _powder-bag and puff_.
  1 razor.
  1 shaving-box.
  1 pair of shoe brushes.
  1 cloth brush.
  1 twin screw and worm.
  1 brush and pricker.
  1 leather stock.
  1 rosette.
  1 pair of worsted stockings.
  3 pairs of Welsh yarn socks.
  1 pair of shoe-buckles.
  1 pair of knee-buckles.
  1 stock buckle.
  1 large and 1 small comb.

The annual issues of clothing were settled by the Master-General on 17th
March, 1788, to be as follows.

Each sergeant was to receive annually

  1 coat.
  1 white cloth waistcoat.
  1 white cloth breeches.
  1 _frilled_ shirt.
  1 black leather stock.
  1 pair of worsted stockings.
  1 gold laced hat.
  Black cloth with 3 dozen buttons for a pair of gaiters.
  5_s._ 3_d._ in lieu of a pair of shoes.

The same articles were supplied to the other ranks, with the exception
that while the corporal’s coat had two epaulettes, the bombardier’s had
only one; and that the hats of the drummers were plain, instead of
gold-laced. The drummers had also fur caps supplied to them when
required. In the West Indies the men received white linen waistcoats and
breeches, instead of cloth; and wore white gold-laced hats instead of

The men of the Invalid Battalion received the same articles as those of
the Marching Battalions, with this exception, that their coats were
lined with _red_ instead of white, and their waistcoats and breeches,
instead of being white, were _blue_.

So much for the clothing of the Regiment at this time; a few words must
now be said as to its drills. And perhaps this can be done most easily
by describing a field-day, which took place on the morning of the 9th
July, 1788, before the King. On the arrival of His Majesty, a salute of
21 guns, at intervals of 8 seconds, was fired by a company, which
immediately afterwards fell in on the left of the line. It was not until
the preceding year that the Regiment had [Sidenote: Order by
Master-General, 4 July, 1787.] been ordered to fall in in two ranks,
when under arms. The King having ridden down the ranks, the Regiment
broke into open column, and marched past in slow and quick time. The
line having been reformed, and the Manual Exercise practised, the
following marvellous evolutions commenced:--Two rounds were fired from
_flanks to centre_ of each Battalion; the line then retired one hundred
yards towards the Barracks, and fired two rounds from _centre to flanks_
of each Battalion; and then returned to its former ground. Here it fired
two rounds by grand divisions from flanks to centre of each Battalion;
then one round by wings of each Battalion; and, finally, each Battalion
fired a volley.

Having so rung the changes on small-arm firing, a certain number of the
men were detached to man 12 field guns, the line opening to allow these
guns to come up. As a contrast to modern Field Battery drill, the solemn
orders issued to the officer commanding these guns may be
quoted:--“Lieutenant-Colonel Walker will advance towards Woolwich Common
with his 12 guns, 4 in front, and in three lines. This column will
incline to the right, so that the right-hand gun may be near the
right-hand hedge. When they have got about halfway between the front of
the Barracks and the sunk fence, the 4 guns in the front line are then
to halt, while the 4 guns in the centre line form the left of the front
line. The 12 guns then in one line will fire two rounds from _flanks to
centre_, then change their front to the left by wheeling on the centre,
and in that position fire two rounds from _centre to flanks_. The 6 guns
on the right will then fall in with the rear of the 2nd Battalion, and
the 6 guns on the left will fall in with the rear of the 4th Battalion.”

It requires the reproduction of such elephantine movements as the above,
to realise sufficiently the progress made since that time in Field
Artillery. This most wooden style of drill was the fashion in England;
and we owe the change, which followed to the wars of the French
Revolution, which taught that a General, to win battles, must be
something more than a drill-sergeant, and that an army must learn not
merely to fight, but to move, and to move with rapidity. The only
element in the field-day just described which gives the student the
slightest relief, is a mention made that the Gentlemen Cadets were
employed as Light Infantry towards the end of the day. Of course this
was all wrong, and one would rather find that they had been employed on
a public occasion like this, as Artillerymen; but it is a relief to read
of anything implying rapidity of movement, after the dull, ponderous
description of the line moving solemnly backwards and forwards, firing
from flanks to centre, and centre to flanks.

To this style of drill our want of success in Flanders, in the campaigns
shortly to be described, was mainly due. Our Generals had their brains
so saturated with the drill-book, that on active service, if they
encountered an enemy who violated its rules, they were utterly
nonplussed. Had they won a victory by ignoring the regulations under
which they had been so strictly exercised, their satisfaction would have
been but a doubtful one. They had yet to learn that although drill and
dogged courage are admirable qualities in troops, they will not
compensate for the lack of those qualities in a General which are
necessary to ensure success.

Only one or two points remain to be noticed. First, the amalgamation of
the Royal Irish Artillery was contemplated as early as 1788, although it
did not take place until after the Union in 1801. The delay was mainly
caused by the protest of the officers of the Royal Artillery, who would
have suffered greatly from supersession,--the promotion in the Irish
corps having been much more rapid than in that from which it sprang.
Amalgamation must always produce this supersession to a certain extent;
and the Board listened to the remonstrances, and deferred the
incorporation of the Irish Artillery for some years. About the same date
that this question was being discussed, a long petition was forwarded
from Gibraltar, in which the officers of the Royal Artillery there
stationed pointed out how much better the position had become of
officers in the Royal Engineers of the same standing as themselves, than
their own. The wording of the petition was faulty, and its arguments
were unsound; thus giving the Master-General an opportunity, of which he
availed himself, to administer a dignified rebuke to the malcontents.
On one point, however, he admitted the force of their complaint. The
rank of Major had been abolished in the Royal Engineers, its holders
being made Lieutenant-Colonels, and thus obtaining a decided advantage
over their contemporaries in [Sidenote: Duke of Richmond, 10 March,
1788.] the Artillery. “This difference,” wrote the Master-General, “and
there being no rank of Major, is, I admit, an advantage in point of rank
in favour of the Engineers. The reason of the rank of Major being
suppressed in the Corps of Engineers was that there were no troops
belonging to them to be commanded in Battalions, and therefore there
could be no use for an officer of that description.” In the year 1827,
the rank of Regimental Major was abolished in the Royal Artillery, its
holders being made Lieutenant-Colonels, but with Majors’ pay; and in the
year 1872, the rank of Major was substituted for that of First Captain,
on account of the responsibility attached to the command of a Battery of

It was during this period that a blow was struck at the custom, which
had hitherto prevailed, of buying and selling the appointments of
Adjutant and Quartermaster. On the [Sidenote: Colonel Miller, Pamph.,
1868.] 24th February, 1783, the Master-General ordered that no such
appointment should in future be sold, with this exception, that any
officer who then held an appointment which he had obtained by purchase
would be allowed to sell it when he relinquished it, but must accept
100_l_. less than he gave for it; and that his successor must also sell
for 100_l_. less than that purchase-money; and so on until the price
should be extinguished. It was ruled, at the same time, that a
Captain-Lieutenant, holding an Adjutancy, should vacate it on being
promoted to a Company; and that as soon as any “warrant” of a
Quartermaster should become vacant without purchase, “some meritorious
non-commissioned officer should be recommended for the same.”

A privilege which the Regiment had hitherto enjoyed was abolished, and
with good reason, in 1785. Prior to that date no charge was ever made
for the subsistence of either officers or men of the Royal Artillery
when being conveyed by transports to foreign stations, an exemption
which was not accorded to the rest of the army. Doubtless the custom
arose from the fact that the Board of Ordnance, which in one capacity
governed the Artillery, in another capacity hired the transports; but
the case had only to be stated to ensure remedy. On the 27th August,
1785, it was ruled that a “stoppage of 3_d._ per diem (being the same as
is made from the rest of His Majesty’s troops) be made from _the
officers_, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the Royal
Artillery during the time they shall be on board ship.” Doubtless, the
same individuals would be glad if, in the year of grace 1873, they could
travel on board ship at the rate of 3_d._ per diem.

Perhaps of all the letters which the student finds in the official
correspondence of the period, the following is the most amusing. It
ought already to have been mentioned that when the Captain of a Company
retired on his pay, awaiting a vacancy in the Invalid Battalion, his
Captain-Lieutenant received certain allowances connected with the
command of the Company. Apparently, the regulations were not very clear
on the subject; or, as is very probable, decisions had been given in
individual cases, which had not been promulgated to the Regiment--a
pernicious custom which existed in the 18th century, and even since. A
Captain William Houghton had retired in this way; and from his
retirement the following cry of agony reached the [Sidenote: 2 April,
1789.] Commandant of his Battalion:--“Ever since the day your goodness
was made known to the Regiment in getting me leave of absence to retire
from duty till provided with an Invalid Company, I have never had a
moment’s peace with my Captains-Lieutenant. Their first claim was for
_one_ non-effective--I gave it; the next was for both--I gave them; and
was then told they had a right to the 6_l._ per annum allowed for
stationery--this I gave up also. They have now demanded my share of the
stock purse, and the 20_l._ per annum granted by His Majesty’s warrant,
27th July, 1772, to the Captains of Artillery, on account of the
slowness of promotion in the Regiment. Had I known these were to be the
hard conditions of a little rest before death, it would have been all
fair; but in that case I certainly should have remained with my Company,
provided I had done duty upon crutches.”

Only one point remains now to be mentioned before turning to the causes
which led to sudden augmentations in the Regiment, combined with the
commencement of hostilities. On the 26th August, 1792, volunteers were
called for from the Companies at Woolwich, to form part of a guard
ordered to attend His Excellency Viscount Macartney, who had been
appointed Ambassador to the Court of the Emperor of China, and also to
act as instructors in gunnery to the troops of that potentate. The
strength of the party was as follows:--One sergeant, 3 corporals or
bombardiers, 1 drummer, and 15 gunners, under the command of Lieutenant
Parish. An advance was made to the detachment of a year’s subsistence to
purchase necessaries, and a second suit of clothing was given to the
non-commissioned officers and men.

It has been difficult to confine this chapter to these purely domestic,
although necessary, details, because, after 1787, the whole firmament of
history has been lurid with the events in France, which were ripening
into a state of things such as has never been seen before, or since. In
1792 it became apparent that war between England and France was
inevitable. Recruiting had been brisk since 1787; in 1790 a free pardon
had been offered to all deserters, who should return to their Regiments;
in the first month of 1793 an augmentation to the Artillery was
authorized, which will form the subject of the next chapter; and in
October 1793, the following increase to the establishment was ordered,

  30 Gentlemen Cadets.

                             {  1 Sergeant.
  To each of the 40 marching {  2 Bombardiers.
    Companies of the 4       { 10 Second Gunners.
    Battalions               {  1 Sergeant Conductor on Sergeant’s pay.
                             { 10 Drivers upon Second Gunner’s pay.

      To each of the 4 marching }
        Battalions              } 1 Surgeon’s Mate.

Every officer, without exception, had been ordered to join in 1792; and,
although it was not until the beginning of 1793 that the French
Ambassador was dismissed from the Court of St. James’s, it was evident
that a sufficient _casus belli_ had been found in the operations of the
French army in the Low Countries, and the menace to England implied in
France obtaining the control of the River Scheldt.

A sufficient _casus belli_, it has been said; but the student of history
must indeed be blind who fails to see that this was but a secondary
reason. A panic had seized upon the most stable European governments, a
dread lest the revolutionary principles which animated the French people
should spread beyond the confines of France. Nor was their fear without
reason. Even England had been penetrated by Republicanism; societies
were formed, ostensibly for Parliamentary Reform, and under the title of
_Friends of the People_, which desired undoubtedly the overthrow of the
monarchy. An Englishman, the author of ‘The Rights of Man,’ had been
elected a member of the Assembly in Paris, on account of his advanced
political opinions; and, after his trial for sedition in England, an
English mob showed their sympathy by taking the horses out of his
advocate’s carriage, and drawing it themselves to his residence. That
unfailing barometer of political disturbance--the funds--told also a
tale of great uneasiness. [Sidenote: ‘Annual Register,’ 1792.] The Three
per Cents., which stood in January 1792 at 93⅜, fell before December in
the same year to 74; and all other Government securities were at a
corresponding discount.

The state of France was, indeed, enough to appal the most indifferent.
In the powerful language of the chronicler of the French Revolution,
France, roused by many causes, [Sidenote: Carlyle.] faced the world “in
that terrible strength of Nature which no man has measured;” and
“whatever was cruel in the panic-frenzy of twenty-five million
men--whatsoever was great in the simultaneous death-defiance of
twenty-five million men--stood there in abrupt contrast, near by one
another.” France was now “seeking its wild way through the New,
Chaotic--where Force is not yet distinguished into Bidden and
Forbidden--but Crime and Virtue welter unseparated, in that domain of
what is called the Passions.” ... “The Gospel of Man’s Rights was
preached abroad with the fearfullest Devil’s Message of man’s weaknesses
and sins;” and a whole nation was drunk with revenge, and terror, and

Penetrating with different effect into every class of men in England,
the tale of the French Revolution penetrated even the recesses of the
Ordnance. Raising their eyes from ledgers, and gazing across the
Channel, even the members of the Honourable Board were moved; and on the
first day of the New Year they resolved on a step, which should bring
Field Artillery more into accord with the era in the history of war
which was now to commence. Nor was it an hour too soon; for in three
weeks’ time, on the 21st January, [Sidenote: Carlyle.] 1793, “there was
in the streets of Paris a silence as of the grave--eighty thousand armed
men stood ranked, like armed statues of men; cannons bristled,
cannoneers with match burning, but no word or movement; it was as a city
enchanted into silence and stone: one carriage, with its escort, slowly
rumbling towards the Place de la Révolution, the only sound.” The last
of the dragon’s teeth was about to be sown, and a crime to be committed
which should bind the governments of Europe together against France, as
one man: to whom France should answer, [Sidenote: Danton.] “The
coalesced Kings threaten us: we hurl at their feet, as the gage of
battle, the Head of a King.”

Of a truth, the Honourable Board had not moved a day too soon. Let us
trace in our next chapter the development of that portion of the Corps
which dates its origin from that terrible month of January 1793.



Of all the so-called Battalion Records, which were kept at the various
Head-quarter offices at Woolwich up to the year 1859, and the details of
which are, at the best, of the most scanty description, perhaps the most
meagre and most disappointing are those of the Royal Horse Artillery.

From the well-known _esprit_ of this branch of the service, it might
have been expected that its earlier history would have been treated
almost with effusion by those in whose custody was a book purporting to
contain a record of its services. But it may be said with truth that for
one item of information obtained from the written records of this
brilliant arm, ten have been obtained from the traditions handed down
verbally, and fondly treasured by successive generations of officers;
and even a greater part of the required information has been obtained
from works of general military history, and from extant official

The first section of these old Record Books professes to treat of the
circumstances of the original formation of the particular part of the
Regiment concerned. In the Records of the Royal Horse Artillery this
section is compressed into two lines. “The Royal Horse Artillery was
formed as an additional corps to the Regiment of Artillery on the 1st
February, 1793.” Remarkable for its brevity, this account of the
formation of the Royal Horse Artillery is also remarkable for its
inaccuracy. It was _not_ an additional corps to the Royal Artillery, but
from the very commencement an essential, integral part of it. The Driver
Corps, formed in 1794, _was_ an additional corps to the Royal Artillery;
but its officers were, until after Waterloo, drawn from a different
source, and its men were never Artillerymen. The Royal Horse Artillery,
on the other hand, was invariably officered by the Royal Artillery, and
was recruited from its ranks. Of the wisdom, or otherwise, of this
policy, it will be necessary to treat hereafter; but of the fact there
can be no doubt. Yet again, in the brief record quoted above, are
compressed other inaccuracies. The Horse Artillery did not spring into
existence, as a corps, on 1st February, 1793, as the words would imply.
Two troops were authorised in January of that year, but not for twelve
years of straggling augmentations of staff-officers and troops, can it
be said to have attained its proper maturity. The earlier wars of the
French Revolution were the boyhood of the Royal Horse Artillery, as the
Peninsular campaign was its glorious manhood. After Waterloo, until the
Crimean War, its history was a blank page.

It is fortunate that an officer of the Regiment has been found, at once
so capable and so patient in tracing out the circumstances which
impressed on the world the necessity [Sidenote: Captain H. W. L. Hime,
Royal Artillery. Proceedings R. A. Institution.] of this arm, as the
author of the papers on ‘The Mobility of Field Artillery, Past and
Present.’ According to this writer, England was the last among the
leading nations in Europe to adopt the use of Horse Artillery. As early
as 1788, the subject had strongly attracted the attention of the
Master-General of the Ordnance; but, unfortunately, he referred it to a
committee. The period of gestation, so to speak, in committees on
military subjects is very great; in this particular instance the winter
of 1792 had arrived without any result from their labours.

The introduction of Horse Artillery into the Prussian service dates from
1759; and in 1792 this arm was introduced into the French and Swedish
armies. In other European countries improvement had been made in Field
Artillery, without, however, adopting the system of _mounted
detachments_; but this latter is the distinctive mark of Horse
Artillery. It has been asserted, and on good authority, that Horse
Artillery was used in India prior even to its adoption by Frederick the
Great--and dating as far back as 1756. If the existence of an Artillery
without mobility was sufficient to impress on the authorities in that
country a sense of the necessity of some improvements, the argument was
not wanting. In an engagement between the English [Sidenote: ‘History of
the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Hindostan,’ vol. i.
pp. 312-368.] and French troops near Trichinopoly in 1753, “the English,
_for more expedition_, marched without any field-pieces;” and when the
infantry advanced against the French in an action fought shortly
afterwards, “the _artillery, in the hurry, could not keep up with the
battalion_.” The advantage of a more mobile artillery must certainly
have been apparent after such melancholy exhibitions.

It has already been mentioned in this work that rapidity of movement,
more especially under fire, was rendered hopeless by the frequent
employment of peasants to act as drivers to the batteries. The formation
of the Royal Horse Artillery did not free the Field Batteries from this
evil. A quaint circumstance in proof of this is narrated by the
[Sidenote: Hime.] author already mentioned. “In 1798, the Commandant of
Woolwich inspected some guns manned by gunners of the 8th Battalion,
R.A. The guns were each drawn by three horses in single file, which were
driven by contract drivers on foot, hired for the occasion, dressed in
white smocks [Sidenote: ‘Aide-Mémoire to the Military Sciences,’ art.
‘Ordnance.’] with blue collars and cuffs, and armed with long carter’s
whips of the ordinary farm pattern. When this formidable array had been
reviewed, the Commandant, General Lloyd, and the Garrison Adjutant,
expressed their joint opinion that field artillery movements could not
be performed quicker.” The increase of mobility over that old system--of
which the above is a real, although, perhaps, exceptional
illustration--which followed the introduction of Horse Artillery can
best be shown by another and later instance. At the battle of Fuentes
d’Onor, Bull’s troop of Horse Artillery--now D Battery, B Brigade--was
surrounded and cut off by the French cavalry. It was at the time under
the command of the 2nd Captain, Norman Ramsay. [Sidenote: Gleig.] “Guns
thus dealt with are almost always lost, and consequently the army ceased
to think of Ramsay and his men, except as prisoners. Presently, however,
a great commotion was observed among the French squadrons; men and
officers closed in confusion towards one point, where a thick dust was
rising, and where loud cries and the sparkling of blades and flashing of
pistols indicated [Sidenote: Napier.] some extraordinary occurrence....
Suddenly the multitude became violently agitated; an English shout
pealed high and clear; the mass was rent asunder, and Norman Ramsay
burst forth, sword in hand, at the head of his troop, his horses,
breathing fire, stretched like greyhounds along the plain; the guns
bounded behind them like things of no weight, and the mounted gunners
followed close, with heads bent low, and pointed weapons, in desperate
career.” Between the crawling peasant-driven team on Woolwich parade,
and this glowing description of a Horse Artillery battery but a very few
years later, there is a contrast, which shows at a glance the immense
stride in the direction of mobility, which had followed the introduction
of that branch of the Regiment to whose story this chapter is devoted.
Much of this improvement was due to the fostering care of the
Master-General, and of the Deputy-Adjutant-General, afterwards Sir John
Macleod; much also was due to the encouragement of General Officers, who
found to their amazement a force of Artillery, which could conform to
their most rapid movements; and not a little was due to the practical
school of experience opened in the Peninsula; but, to their honour be it
stated, the rapid progress towards the standard of perfection attained
by the Royal Horse Artillery was mainly due to the labours, the
devotion, of the officers belonging to it, who were inspired by the same
_esprit_ and the same conscientious regard for their duties, as have
continued to animate the officers of that brilliant arm to this day.

While the Committee, appointed to decide the question of Horse Artillery
in connection with our service, was--according to wont--babbling
harmlessly and fruitlessly in the fourth year of its existence, a
virtual rupture took place between England and France. The Duke of
Richmond, then Master-General, immediately took the matter himself in
hand; and of three schemes, very dissimilar, over which the Committee
had been debating, he selected the following, as the basis of the
organization of a troop of Royal Horse Artillery.

  A. Horses.
  B. Drivers.
  C. Ammunition.
  D. Captains.
  E. Lieuts.
  F. N.C.O.’s.
  G. Gunners.
  H. Drummers.
  I. Civil Lists.

                             |    |   |    | Distribution of   |   |
                             |    |   |    |   detachments.    |   |
           Detail.           |    |   |    +---+---+-------+---+   |    Remarks.
                             | A. | B.|  C.| D.| E.| F.| G.| H.| I.|
  5½-inch howitzers (2)      |   8|  4| 160|  1|  1|  2| 20| ..| ..| 4 men held the
  Waggons (2)                |   8|  4|    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   horses in
                             |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   action.
  3-prs. (2)                 |   8|  4| 480|  1|  1|  2| 20| ..| ..| Ditto.
  Waggons (2)                |   8|  4|    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                             |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  6-prs., Col. Williams’ (2) |   4|  2| 160| ..|  1|  2| 20| ..| ..| Ditto.
  Tumbrils (2)               |   4|  2|    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  Horses for detachments     |  66| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
  2 Sergeants, Sergt.-Major,}|   2| ..|  ..| ..| ..|  2| ..| ..| ..|
    and Clerk of Stores     }|    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  Drummers to have          }|   2| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  2| ..|
    bugle horns, and        }|    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
    act as orderly men      }|    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  1 forge cart               |   3|  1|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
  1 waggon for Artificers’  }|   3|  1|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
    Stores                  }|    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  Officers’ horses not      }|    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
    included                }|  ..| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                             |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  CIVIL LIST.                |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                             |    |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  1 Commissary of horse      |   1| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  1|
  2 Conductors of horse      |   2| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  2|
  1 Collar-maker             |   1| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  1|
  1 Wheeler                  |   1| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  1|
  1 Blacksmith               |   1| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  1|
  1 Farrier                  |   1| ..|  ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  1|
    Total                    | 123| 22| 800|  2|  3|  8| 60|  2|  7|

The formation of the first two troops, A and B, took place at Woolwich,
having been ordered in January 1793. The Captains were R. Lawson,
afterwards so distinguished in Egypt, and the Brigade-Major of the
Regiment, J. Macleod, afterwards Deputy-Adjutant-General. In these--as
in the other troops subsequently formed--great care was taken to
appoint none but officers of well-known ability. This fact, combined
with the permission given to the Horse Artillery to select the best
recruits joining the Regiment, had the immediate effect of causing the
new branch to be looked on as a _corps d’élite_: as, indeed, was the
case in every other country in Europe, except Austria. Whether this has
proved a benefit, or otherwise, to the corps, will hereafter be
considered. The _esprit_ generally to be found in a _corps d’élite_ was
fanned by other, minor, considerations. It must be remembered that the
gunners of Field Artillery, other than Horse Artillery, and of Garrison
Artillery, were, and still are, interchangeable. But in the Horse
Artillery “the men were magnificently dressed, they were amply paid, and
they were not haunted by the constant dread of being suddenly and
forcibly torn from the Field Artillery service, which they loved, and
thrust into the Garrison Artillery service, [Sidenote: Hime.] which was
strange to them.” Only 4 guns per troop were granted at first; and the
establishment consisted, in addition to the officers, of 8
non-commissioned officers, 49 gunners, [Sidenote: R. H. A. Records.] and
35 drivers. On the formation of C and D Troops, on 1st November, 1793,
the armament of each troop was raised to 6 guns, and the establishment
per troop was 14 non-commissioned officers, 85 gunners, 45 drivers, and
187 horses.

The officers appointed to command the new troops were, E. Howorth,
afterwards Sir E. Howorth, who subsequently commanded the Artillery at
Talavera, Busaco, and Fuentes d’Onor, and J. M. Hadden, who afterwards
became Surveyor-General of the Ordnance. The reader will continue to
observe the selection always made of able officers to command the troops
of Horse Artillery. In 1794, E and F Troops were formed, and the command
given respectively to Captain W. Cuppage, an officer who afterwards held
for twenty-six years the appointment of Inspector of the Royal Carriage
Department, and to Captain J. Butler, an officer who afterwards became
Lieutenant-Governor of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.

In 1794, the number of guns per troop was augmented to 8; and this
remained the establishment until 1804, in which year the number was
reduced to 6; at which it continued until the reductions after the
battle of Waterloo. In 1794, when the number of guns was raised to 8,
the following was the establishment: 15 non-commissioned officers, 97
gunners, 71 drivers, 246 horses per troop. This was reduced in the
following year very considerably, and became 15 non-commissioned
officers, 85 gunners, 51 drivers, and 170 horses.

The next variation in the establishment was caused by the formation, in
Ireland, of G Troop, from detachments serving in that country. The
command of the new troop was given to Captain--afterwards Sir--G. B.
Fisher, an officer who in 1827 was appointed Commandant of Woolwich. For
two years after the formation of G Troop, the establishment of the
troops was as follows: 8 guns, 16 non-commissioned officers, 96 gunners,
58 drivers, and 190 horses. An augmentation of 1 non-commissioned
officer and 1 gunner per troop took place in 1803.

In 1804, the number of guns per troop having being reduced to 6, H Troop
was formed at Woolwich, and the command given to Captain A. Macdonald, a
smart officer, who subsequently had the good fortune to command the
Horse Artillery of the Cavalry Division at Waterloo. On the reduction to
6 guns, the strength of each troop was, 14 non-commissioned officers, 75
gunners, 46 drivers, and 142 horses.

In 1805, an augmentation of four troops took place--I, K, L, and M; and
the commands were given respectively to Captain W. Millar, an officer
who subsequently became Inspector of Artillery, and Director-General of
the Field Train Department; to Captain C. Godfrey, an officer who went
on half-pay a few years later, in 1811; to Captain N. Foy, who died in
1817; and to Captain the Hon. W. H. Gardner, who died as a
Colonel-Commandant in 1856.

For the few years following this augmentation, the establishment
remained virtually the same; but, in January 1813, 194 officers,
non-commissioned officers, and men were added to act as Rocket
Detachments, and also as a depôt to supply the troops on service. A
depôt for the Royal Horse Artillery has existed under various names,
and in somewhat chequered circumstances. It commenced--as stated
above--in 1813; it existed for many years in the form of an Adjutant’s
Detachment at Woolwich; in 1859 it was transferred to Canterbury; on a
somewhat larger scale it was transferred to Maidstone after the
amalgamation of the Royal and Indian Artilleries; for a short time
subsequently, the Horse Artillery Batteries at home acted as a depôt for
those serving abroad; and, at the date of the publication of this work,
the last-mentioned arrangement is supplemented by the existence of two
Horse Artillery Batteries in the general depôt for the Regiment.

In 1814, the various Rocket Detachments were combined, those at home
becoming the 1st, and those abroad the 2nd, Rocket Troop. The officers
appointed to command these were Captain W. G. Elliott, an officer who
retired from the Regiment in 1828, and Captain--afterwards Sir--E. C.
Whinyates, an officer whose ability, zeal, and services have hardly been
surpassed in the Regiment. He ultimately--after a long and active
career--became Commandant of Woolwich, where his kindly manners were
long remembered. He commanded the Rocket Troop at Waterloo, where he was
severely wounded.

Among the many heart-breaking reductions which exasperate the Artillery
student, perhaps none are more distressing, than the reduction of the
2nd Rocket Troop in 1816. _The 1st Rocket Troop had never been out of
England_; the 2nd had done good service at Leipsic and Waterloo. Neither
of them had had a long existence; but one had had a stirring, glorious
history. On the 16th May, 1815, the following order had been
issued:--“His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, in the name and on the
behalf of His Majesty, has been pleased to command that _the Rocket
Troop of Royal Artillery, which was present at the Battle of Leipsic_,
be permitted to wear the word ‘Leipsic’ on their appointments, in
commemoration of their services on that occasion.” And to the same troop
the reward fell, given to those who had been at the Battle of Waterloo.
Yet, when the pruning-knife came to be used, the troop which had earned
these honours was selected for reduction; and, as if adding insult to
injury, the word ‘Leipsic’ came actually to be worn by the surviving
troop, which had never been on active service at all! On its reduction,
the officers of the 2nd Rocket Troop were transferred to the Corps of
Royal Artillery Drivers.

Up to this point, we have traced the growth, _numerically_, of the Royal
Horse Artillery. The conclusion of hostilities after Waterloo led to
very extensive reductions. In 1816, besides the 2nd Rocket Troop, D, K,
L, and M Troops were [Sidenote: _Vide_ vol. i. p. 394.] reduced, with
the consequent changes of designation in the surviving troops. From a
total, of all ranks, amounting to 2675, in 1815, and 2621 horses, the
Horse Artillery fell in 1816 to 1181 men and 959 horses. Of the six
troops in France with the Army of Occupation, the following was the
establishment per troop, each troop having 6 guns:--

5 officers, 14 non-commissioned officers, 85 gunners, 56 drivers, 168

The troops on home service were allowed only 4 guns, and an
establishment of 5 officers, 11 non-commissioned officers, 56 gunners,
24 drivers, 102 horses.

But this was merely a beginning. In 1819, B and G Troops were reduced;
the troops in France were brought on the Home Establishment, and the
number of guns per troop reduced to 2. The strength was then 5 officers,
10 non-commissioned officers, 47 gunners, 18 drivers, 36 horses, per
troop; and the total strength of the Royal Horse Artillery did not
exceed 616 of all ranks, and 317 horses.[2]

At this miserable establishment the troops remained for some years. In
1828, the two troops on service in Ireland were raised to 4 guns, and
remained so; the relieving troops taking over 2 guns, and a suitable
proportion of men, from those they relieved. In 1848, _all_ the troops
were raised to 4 guns, with the required increase of men and horses;
and this lasted until 1852, when each troop was raised to 6 guns, the
present establishment.

In 1847, the Rocket Troop became I Troop: and rocket carriages were
added to the equipment of the whole.[3]

[Sidenote: Communicated by Sir D. E. Wood.]

The 4-gun Troops in Ireland had 2 ammunition waggons, 1 forge and 1
store waggon. On the augmentation to 6 guns in 1852, there were allowed
to each troop 6 waggons, 1 forge and 1 store waggon, and 1 captain’s

[Sidenote: Sir E. C. Warde.]

The augmentations after 1847 were due to “the foresight and
determination of Lord Hardinge, who was one of the best friends the
Corps ever had, being utterly without [Sidenote: Reports to House of
Commons, and to Lord Panmure, by Sir R. Gardiner, in 1848, 1849, and
1856.] and fully appreciating the value of an efficient, and of
sufficient, artillery.” But he was warmly aided by one within the Corps,
whose motives were as single as his arguments were sound, whose voice
was ever ready to plead for the corps in which he had spent a long,
pure, and illustrious life, Sir Robert Gardiner. Owing to these
augmentations, 42 guns of Horse Artillery were available for service
[Sidenote: R. H. A. Records.] in the field in 1854: and the total
strength of the Brigade stood at 1175 of all ranks, and 1054 horses.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Communicated by Sir D. E. Wood, K.C.B., Captain Gordon, C.B.,
and Colonel G. T. Field, R.A.]

The following was the establishment of a troop of Horse Artillery when
sent on active service to the Crimea in the Spring of 1854:--

  Officers                  6
  N.-C. Officers           15
  Gunners                  80
  Drivers                  77
  Trumpeters                1
  Farriers                  1
  Shoeing smiths            4
  Collar-makers             2
  Wheelers                  2

  Light 6-prs.              4
  12-pr. howitzers          2
  6-pr. ammunition waggons  5
  12-pr. howitzers          4
  6-pr. rocket carriage     1
  Forge                     1
  Store-limber waggon       1
  Store cart                1
  Spare gun carriage        1 (not horsed).

  Officers      12
  Troop        192
     Total     204

On the 29th November, 1855, the following was laid down as the detail of
a troop of Horse Artillery with the army in the Crimea.

  Officers         6
  N.-C. Officers  20
  Gunners         97
  Drivers        123
  Trumpeters       1
        Total    247

  Farriers         1
  Shoeing smiths   6
  Collar-makers    3
  Wheelers         2
        Total    259

  _Equipment_--4 9-pr. guns.
               2 24-pr. howitzers.
               6 gun ammunition waggons.
               5 howitzer waggons.
               1 store-limber waggon.
               1 spare gun carriage.
               1 forge.
               1 rocket carriage.
               1 store cart.
               1 medicine cart.
               2 forge waggons.
               3 water carts.
       Total  28 carriages.

         No. of Horses.
  Riding      92
  Draught    180
    Total    272

Of the troops which had been reduced after Waterloo, B was reformed as a
reserve half troop in 1855, and completed in the following year: and G
and K Troops were reformed in 1857.

The highest point reached between the reductions after Waterloo, and the
year 1857, was in February 1856, when the total of all ranks reached
1950, and the number of horses was 1370. The amalgamation of the Royal
with the Indian Artilleries brought the strength of Royal Horse
Artillery available for service to an unprecedented standard: at the
present moment there are in the regiment thirty-one _service_ and two
_depôt_ Horse Artillery Batteries. But this chapter relates solely to
the _old_ Royal Horse Artillery.

As yet the _numerical_ variations in the Royal Horse Artillery have
alone been treated. But there are many other details, mainly of interior
economy, which will doubtless be interesting to the modern
representatives of the arm, and which may here be briefly stated.

[Sidenote: Maj.-Gen. Brome to the Duke of Richmond, 6/9/17.]

At first, it was directed that recruits might be taken who were 5 feet
6¾ inches in height: but before six months had passed, the standard was
raised, at the urgent request of the Captains, to 5 feet 8 inches. There
was often difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of suitable
recruits, and even when the troops were complete, it was customary to
attach to each, when in the field, a few of the Driver Corps, with
[Sidenote: Lefroy.] additional horses or mules. Extra pay was granted
from the first to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and gunners
of Horse Artillery.

The exact relative _status_ of the new branch of the service was
speedily settled. On 21st February, 1797, the Board of Ordnance granted
the same allowance for forage to the officers, as was allowed to
officers of Cavalry; and so early had it been decided that the Horse
Artillery should take the right of all Cavalry, that, as will be seen by
the following letter, the Master-General would not in 1804 allow the
point to be disputed.

       *       *       *       *       *

  “Woolwich, June 9, 1804.


  [Sidenote: D. A. Gen. R.A., to Colonel Cuppage.]

  “I submitted to the Master General your letter of the 5th instant,
  relating to a conversation which took place with General Sir David
  Dundas, when the Horse Artillery marched past with the Cavalry, on
  the King’s birthday, in which Sir David, though the Horse
  Artillery _then_ led, expressed doubts as to the precedence and
  rank of the Horse Artillery on such future occasions.

  “Lord Chatham not being aware upon what circumstances Sir David’s
  doubts have arisen, and not considering the communication from you
  in any other light than as a wish to know how far, as commanding
  officer of Artillery, you are justifiable in making a claim to the
  right for the Horse Artillery when paraded with Cavalry, his
  Lordship has desired me simply to say that he considers the
  privilege so well established by practice, as well as opinion,
  that he is unwilling to suppose it can be disputed.

  “_His Majesty has never seen the Horse Artillery in any other
  place_: they were encamped on the right of all the Cavalry (of the
  Blues) at Windsor: and in all parades of ceremony and honour,
  placed on the right of the Cavalry.

  “I am, dear Colonel,
  “Your obedient Servant,

       *       *       *       *       *

Both by custom and regulation this precedence continued to belong to the
Royal Horse Artillery until July 1869, when it was ordered that the
Household Cavalry, _when the Sovereign should be present_, should have
the precedence awarded to a body guard.

It was laid down as a rule, that no officer should be appointed to the
Horse Brigade, who had not been on foreign service: but as this rule was
occasionally broken, it was decided in July 1805 that any officers who
had been appointed to the Horse Artillery, prior to having been on
foreign service, should “(to avoid any officers being confined to one
species of duty) be liable after three or four years’ service in the
Horse Brigade to be exchanged again into the Battalions, so that they
may take their share of duty on foreign service, and obtain that
experience which is necessary to an Artillery officer, as he advances in
the Regiment.” For the information of the general reader it should here
be stated, that prior to 1861, when the amalgamation of the Imperial and
East India Company’s armies took place, the Royal Horse Artillery never
went abroad except on active service. Since 1861, however, India has
opened a field of foreign service for this branch of the Regiment: and
fifteen batteries of service Horse Artillery are to be found in that
country, against sixteen at home.

[Sidenote: General Orders and R. H. A. Records, and MS. Notes of General
Belson, R.A., 1812.]

The changes in the dress of the Horse Artillery may be gathered from the
following statistics. An order dated 1st November, 1806, lays down the
following rules for the dress of officers:--“Except at dress parades the
blue Regimental overalls are to be worn till dinner-time in place of the
blue pantaloons, which is to be the afternoon dress when at home. At all
parades, whether mounted or dismounted, and during the day, the black
velvet stock is to be worn, with an inch of shirt collar over it: no
other white to be shown. In the evenings, it is requested that black
silk handkerchiefs may be substituted with the same proportion of shirt
collar over them. When officers are dressed for a ball, evening party,
or dine out, they are to wear the jacket open, white pantaloons, plain
white waistcoat (with sash over it), light sword, regulation sword-knot,
black belt, with cocked-hat and feather. In common a white leather
sword-knot is to be worn. Spurs with horizontal rowels to be worn at all

Prior to 1812, gaiters and knee-boots had been worn: but on the 14th
January in that year his Royal Highness the Prince Regent issued the
following order:--

“The officers of the Royal Horse Artillery are to wear jackets similar
to the private men, with an aiguillette. In parade dress, they are to
wear white leather pantaloons, and Hussar boots, with gold binding. On
ordinary duties or on march, they are to wear overalls of a colour
similar to the private men’s, and a short _surtout_, which is calculated
to be worn likewise as a _pelisse_ on service. When attending a
drawing-room or levee, they may appear in long coats, with lappels and
aiguillettes, the same as are worn with the jacket, but without lace on
the seams: or in the Regimental jacket, as they may prefer. The officers
of the Horse Artillery are likewise to wear cocked-hats, with the star
loop, with their _dress_ regimentals.”

[Sidenote: 1823.]

By General Order of 5th August, 1823, leather pantaloons and Hessian
boots were abolished, blue-grey overalls and Wellington boots being

[Sidenote: 1827.]

By General Order of 22nd December, 1827, helmets were abolished, and
chacos with tassels substituted.

[Sidenote: 1831.]

By General Order of 15th March, 1831, drivers’ jackets were assimilated
to those of the gunners.

[Sidenote: 1831.]

By General Order of 20th December, 1831, steel spurs for officers were
abolished, and brass spurs substituted.

[Sidenote: 1834.]

By General Order of 26th May, 1834, cross-belts were abolished, and
waist-belts substituted.

[Sidenote: 1837.]

In 1837 bearskin busbies were substituted for chacos. The plumes were
altered in 1839.

[Sidenote: 1853.]

Sealskin busbies were substituted for bearskin. The officers, however,
continued to wear the bearskin until 1855, when the sable busby was
adopted. The plume was shortened from 12 to 8 inches.

[Sidenote: 1854.]

The officers’ _pelisse_ was abolished in this year.

[Sidenote: 1855.]

The full-dress jacket was altered by reducing the amount of lace. A
cross-belt of gold lace with pouch was instituted for the officers; as
also a plain blue stable-jacket in place of the undress frock-coat and
red embroidered waistcoat.

[Sidenote: 1857.]

In this year booted leather overalls were instituted; and swan-neck
steel spurs for all ranks were substituted for the brass spurs of the
officers, and the straight steel spurs of the men.

       *       *       *       *       *

A more important thing, however, than the dress has been the armament of
the Royal Horse Artillery. Its greatest deeds have been wrought with the
6-pounder; but that was not its invariable weapon. Talking merely of the
pre-amalgamation days[4]--the days which belong to _history_ instead of
_to-day_, when rifled ordnance was unknown in Horse Artillery--there
were even then not unfrequent changes of armament. One troop, as we
shall see hereafter, went on service with 12-pounders; on the eve of
Waterloo, owing to the want of guns of position, three troops received
9-pounders, instead of the 6-pounders which they had brought from
England; and coming to later days, at the commencement of the Crimean
War, the two troops, C and I, which first left England were armed with
6-pounders; but, on reaching Varna, C Troop was ordered to exchange them
for 9-pounders; and I Troop would have been left behind, for inability
to do the same, had it not been that Lord Raglan yielded to the urgent
entreaties of its commander, Colonel Maude, to allow it to accompany the

During the Peninsular Campaign, the armament of a troop was as
follows:--2 9-pounders, or 2 heavy 6-pounders; 1 heavy 5½-inch
howitzer; 3 light 6-pounders; 6 ammunition [Sidenote: Lefroy.] waggons;
3 reserve waggons, and 4 other carriages. Compared with the simplicity
of modern Horse Artillery armament, the presence of three different guns
in the same troop, with the consequent necessity of a variety of
ammunition, seems a very complicated and undesirable arrangement. This
was frequently felt at the time; and at the change of armament made
before Waterloo, a foreshadowing of the modern harmony of weapons might
be detected in the arming of I Troop--Bull’s--with 5½-inch howitzers
only. And right noble was the service done by that troop on the 18th of

During the season of starvation between 1819 and 1848, the guns attached
to the skeleton troops were 6-pounders. With the augmentations, a
proportion of howitzers made its re-appearance.

The proper armament for Horse Artillery, in the days before the
substitution of rifled ordnance put an end to the discussion, was
exhaustively treated by Sir Robert Gardiner. His arguments are
interesting even at the present day, when the perfection of Field
Batteries, and their ability to carry more gunners into action by means
of the new-pattern carriage, have combined to make not a few question
the necessity of so expensive an arm as Horse Artillery being retained.
If we substitute the 9-pounder rifled gun for the old 6-pounder, and the
16-pounder for the old 9-pounder, in Sir Robert’s remarks, we shall find
his arguments as applicable [Sidenote: Report on the Artillery by Sir R.
Gardiner, 31 Mar. 1848.] to the later as to the former controversy.
“There can be no greater mistake than to put rivalry or comparisons, or
to expect the same results from the employment of Horse Artillery as of
Brigade (i. e. Field) Artillery. Though _one and the same arm_, they are
equipped and intended for totally distinct purposes. The necessary quick
movements of the Horse Artillery could not be attained by 9-pounders;
the telling effect of 9-pounders could not be expected from Horse
Artillery. One is intended to act with Cavalry, and, from the nature of
its equipment and the lightness of its metal, is expected to maintain at
all times, and under all circumstances, of bad roads, of rough, hilly,
or broken ground, the same pace as Cavalry; and, in short, to bring
artillery into action wherever Cavalry can act.... I can name two
instances in which, while acting with cavalry, any other than Horse
Artillery would have been perfectly useless. One, the affair of Morales,
in Spain; the other, the movement from Quatre Bras to the position of
Waterloo. Both were specially movements of Horse Artillery, and both
tried the wind and speed of our horses. In the latter movement
particularly, through a deep cross country, any Artillery differently
equipped would have inevitably fallen into the hands of the enemy. In
all light movements of the Infantry of an army, Horse Artillery is as
indispensably necessary and as exclusively effective, as it is with
cavalry. I have myself, in cases of reconnoissance, been withdrawn from
the Cavalry for the moment, to cover movements in which heavier
Artillery could bear no part.... On the other hand, if Horse Artillery
has its distinct advantages over heavier guns, so likewise the latter
have their distinct purposes, for which the employment of Horse
Artillery would be wholly inapplicable and inadequate.... I have known
Brigade Artillery as perfect, in its way, as Horse Artillery; but no
more comparison can be drawn between them than between Cavalry and

Then follows a remark, which shows how the writer anticipated the
changes which have come, and which have done so much to improve our
Field Artillery: “Our present Brigades would be greatly advanced in
efficiency if, like the Horse Artillery, or the Brigades with the Duke
of Wellington’s army in the Peninsula, they were placed under the
command and the responsibility of their captains. They should also, to
become effective Field Artillery, be placed on the same footing as the
Horse Artillery, for their contingent share in all garrison and general
duties. They should march to and from the outposts in relief in the same
manner as the Horse Artillery; they should combine, like the Horse
Artillery, the knowledge of the duties of Cavalry with those of
Artillery. They would thus gradually attain that perfection in their
own distinctive service, which I believe to be unequalled in the few
skeleton troops we possess of Horse Artillery.”

At the time these words were penned, Field Artillery had reached a point
of degradation which had hardly been surpassed even in the old days of
peasant drivers. Of the six batteries or brigades nominally at Woolwich,
two existed on [Sidenote: Sir R. Gardiner’s Report.] paper, having
neither men nor horses. “Two others,” wrote Sir R. Gardiner, “are so
little advanced in their necessary drill and training as to be quite
non-effective for the purposes of service, or even the common movements
of parade and review. Two only might possibly move without causing
interruption or confusion to other troops they might be acting with; but
that is as much as can be said of them.... The riding and driving of our
Brigade drivers is at this moment very bad. With the exception of the
Brigades stationed in Dublin, where they have occasional opportunities
of moving with other troops, they are unskilful, and ignorant of
Artillery movements; at Woolwich they are employed in _carter’s work_ in
the civil departments of the Arsenal; and, of course, as long as such a
system is pursued they can never become Artillery drivers.... The
Brigades in Ireland are more efficient, and fitted to move with other
troops, than the Brigades in England. But it is a delusion to say that
England has a Field Artillery. There is not a single 9-pounder horsed in
the British service--an astounding fact. Nor will it be believed, except
by those who know the truth, that the English army has been for years
without Artillery attached either to Cavalry or Infantry, for the common
purposes of drill and exercise in their combined movements.”

The progress of Field Artillery to its present excellence may be said to
date from 1848. Already, before 1856, the Light Field Artillery had
regained what it had lost during the economical era which followed
Waterloo; and since 1859, when the new brigade system put an end to the
incessant change of batteries from field to garrison service, the
progress has been continuous. But this progress would have been
impossible had it not been that a standard of Field Artillery
excellence had been maintained, even under the most adverse and
depressing circumstances, by those unequalled skeleton troops of Horse
Artillery, whose officers have, by their influence and exertions, done
so much to make what may be called _medium_ Field Artillery the
admirable service which it now is. It has been said that the influence
of the Horse Artillery, during the period between 1816 and 1848, was
injurious to the Field Batteries. If it were so, it was in the most
indirect manner possible. Economy in our military administration being
peremptorily demanded, the only alternative left to the Board of
Ordnance was between a very small force of admirable Field Artillery,
and a larger force of batteries starved in equipment and incapable of
service in the field. The officers of the Regiment, whose position
entitled them to be the advisers of the Board, were undoubtedly men
whose sympathies lay with the Horse Artillery, in which they had all
served; but they were also men who had seen, during the campaigns in the
Peninsula, Belgium, and France, what was possible with a well-equipped
Field Artillery of less mobility. In deciding on a small but perfect
force, rather than a larger and indifferent one, it must be admitted
that they acted wisely. The brilliant Field Artillery of the great war
would have otherwise become a mere tradition, whereas, under the system
adopted, it remained a reality, a model, and a standard. The adoption of
the other alternative would have vitally injured the Horse, without much
benefit to the Field Artillery; and it would have rendered the
reorganisation of both a more difficult, and a more tardy operation.
That the Field Artillery suffered terribly during the period mentioned,
is too true; but dispassionate study of the Regimental history proves,
not what has often been asserted, that the suffering was due to the
blighting influence of a _corps d’élite_ but merely to an unwise, an
unprofitable, and a singularly short-sighted economy.[5]

A much larger question arises when the policy of a _corps d’élite_, as a
part of a larger body on which it feeds, has to be considered. No
subject has been so fruitful of discussion in the Regiment; and nowhere
can a decision be more safely arrived at than in a careful study of the
Regimental history. There are strong arguments in favour of, and also
against, the policy which has existed since the formation of the Royal
Horse Artillery; and the best way of arriving at a conclusion is to
state these arguments, and to weigh their respective values.

It has been said that the existence of a _corps d’élite_ produces
[Sidenote: Trochu.] “l’énervation de la masse au profit des groupes.” In
[Sidenote: Hime.] stronger language it has also been said: “The more
ruthlessly the system of selection is carried out, the more rapidly do
the troops from amongst whom the selection is made lose their
self-respect and become at first apathetic, and at last inefficient. The
_corps d’élite_, the insatiable parasite, must degenerate in precisely
the same degree as the body which feeds it; and the end is, that in the
lapse of a few years the whole edifice crumbles, totters, and falls.
When the oak falls, the ivy that killed it must fall too.”

But those who apply such language to the existence, in the Royal
Artillery, of a _corps d’élite_ such as the Royal Horse Artillery,
forget several important considerations which distinguish it from such a
corps as the French _Chasseurs à pied_, of which it was said that
everything that was good, everything that was efficient, everything that
was soldierlike in the Infantry of the Line was seized upon with
unsparing hands, and remorselessly drafted into it. In the first place,
the selection for this branch of the Regiment is only made for the
purpose of officering it. The field battery which rejoices in smart
non-commissioned officers and men is in no dread of losing them to feed
a favoured corps. From the day a recruit joins the Horse Artillery, his
efficiency and his education depend on the officers of that arm; and
therefore to them is the credit due if their efforts are successful.

There have been occasions when the Horse Artillery was permitted to
select from the recruits of the other battalions; but these days have
passed away. No service battery of Field or Garrison Artillery has to
minister to the wants of our _corps d’élite_, and therefore the language
employed in [Sidenote: Hime.] another place by the able author quoted
above, in reference to the _Infantry corps d’élite_ in our service, is
more applicable than that used by him in reference to our Field
Artillery: “The recruits are selected with care; but they are selected
from society at large, not from regiments of the Line; and the result is
that this noble body of men, the Guards, are a source of wholesome
emulation, instead of contentious rivalry, to the rest of the army.”

The whole question, therefore, may be condensed into one point--the
wisdom or otherwise of _officering_ the Horse Artillery from the
Regiment at large. Such petty considerations as higher pay, special
privileges, &c., which are apt to embitter the minds of some, must be
put aside as unworthy. In a question affecting not merely the Regiment,
but our whole military life as well, we cannot be too careful in
clearing the ground of all but the purest argument. The opposers of the
existing system have always been able to argue with great force, because
there are undoubted anomalies, which can easily be described in such a
way as to appear ludicrous. As selection for employment in the Horse
Brigade has always been conditional on previous zeal and efficiency, it
follows that the reward for activity and knowledge in the performance
of, it may be, Siege and Garrison Artillery duties, is often employment
in a service totally dissimilar. This may be compared with rewarding an
Infantry officer for skill in battalion drill, by giving him a troop of
Horse! Yet, while admitting the anomaly, it is impossible to suggest a
better test, if both branches of the Regiment are to be officered from
the same list. The only test of efficiency which can be trusted is
efficiency already proved. It must be believed that a man who has been
faithful and zealous in one line of duty will display the same zeal and
conscience in another; and if selection _has_ to be made,--if there are
many candidates for any employment, their previous history, even under
very different circumstances, is the best witness for or against them.

But another argument employed against the existing system is, that an
officer, who has once served in the more brilliant branch, returns with
reluctance, on promotion, to the others, and is restless and
dissatisfied until he is reappointed. In other words, that _esprit_ for
the particular branch drowns that for the Regiment. History is the best
witness here.

Excluding the many living men, who have proved that Horse Artillery
service has not affected their Regimental _esprit de corps_, let us
recall the names of the men who have been most distinguished for
professional talent of every description since the formation of the
Royal Horse Artillery. Sir John Macleod, Sir Augustus Frazer, Sir
Alexander Dickson, Sir John May, Sir Robert Gardiner, and Sir E. C.
Whinyates, all served in the Horse Artillery, but never allowed
themselves to be blinded, by their love of that service, to the
interests of the Regiment at large. Their letters, their very lives, are
witnesses to their devotion to the whole Corps; and while serving with
the Siege or Garrison Artillery, their performance of duty was inspired
by the same zeal, as when serving in what may be called the more
attractive branch. They all saw and felt that the less showy was the
more scientific, that Garrison Artillery was the backbone of the
Regiment, and that, under favourable circumstances, it would dwarf, even
in popularity, the mounted batteries. The Peninsular and Waterloo
campaigns were conducive to the efficiency and popularity of Horse
Artillery; but let Siege Artillery have as many years of such service as
it went through at Sebastopol, with the mounted batteries acting merely
as carriers of ammunition, and its efficiency and popularity would be
quite as great.

History therefore does not support the theory that service in the Horse
Brigade injures the capacity, or the _esprit de corps_, of an officer
who returns to the other branches. The question at issue therefore
condenses itself into a still narrower field; viz., admitting that the
present system does not prevent Artillery officers from being
_generally_ efficient, would they not be much _more_ efficient if they
belonged to Field or Garrison Artillery during their whole career,
without the power of interchanging their services? If ability in field
battery service were rewarded by appointment to the Horse Artillery, and
skill in Garrison Artillery service were rewarded, either by special
employment or by appointment to some such corps as was recommended by
Sir Robert Gardiner--an Artillery of the Guard--would we not have better
officers of each branch than we now have? Logically, there can be but
one answer; and were this the only consideration, the argument would
terminate in favour of a separation of the officers of the various arms,
similar to that already existing between the non-commissioned officers
and men. We should then have probably _more_ skilled artillerists, in
point of number, in each branch; although perhaps no _individual_ more
skilled than those who have appeared under, or in spite of, the
anomalous system which has hitherto existed.

But would the Regiment in the end be a gainer by the change? Has not the
system of interchange been the best school possible for familiarising
the Artillery officer with the duties and movements of other arms, and
thus qualifying him for commands in the field? General Foy, in writing
of the days when such a thing as a command being given to [Sidenote:
Foy.] a General of Artillery was unknown, owing to jealousy of the
Ordnance, said: “On a trop en horreur les avancements hors de la règle
pour permettre qu’un artilleur qui se trouverait trop à l’étroit dans
son arme s’élançât dans le service général de la ligne. Jamais de
l’école de Woolwich ne sortira un Bonaparte.” The days of the Ordnance
have passed away: public opinion points more surely every day to the
employment of Generals who are not merely soldiers, but scientific
soldiers as well; and it would be a suicidal policy which would
recommend a change which, if carried out logically, would result in the
_certainty_ of admirable officers of high but _narrow_ professional
training, and the _impossibility_ of any whose experience of general
service would qualify them for a mixed command. The Garrison
Artilleryman who in his battery had attained a skill in his particular
groove, hitherto but rare, would feel every day his association with the
other arms getting less, and his consequent inability to command them
getting greater. If this consideration be carefully borne in mind, even
those who feel most strongly on the subject--and they are many--will
hesitate ere they precipitate a result which would inscribe on the walls
of the Academy the dismal prediction, “Jamais de l’école de Woolwich ne
sortira un Bonaparte.”

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Note._--The extra rate of pay to non-commissioned officers and
  gunners of the Royal Horse Artillery is based on the following
  General Order, dated 21 January, 1793:--

  “The Master-General directs that an allowance of twopence per day,
  in addition to their Regimental pay, shall be made to each
  non-commissioned officer and gunner of the Brigade of Horse
  Artillery, when and so long as he continues mounted, and having
  the care and management of an horse, in consideration of the
  extraordinary and constant attention required of such persons for
  the due performance of this particular service, which must deprive
  them of the occasional advantages arising from their being
  employed in works for which additional pay is given.

  “The dismounted non-commissioned officers and gunners of this
  Brigade not being in the same circumstances, nor deprived of their
  share in the works, will not be entitled to the said allowance;
  nor will the drivers of this Brigade, as they are to be enlisted
  merely for that special service, and will have but little of other
  duties to learn or perform.”

  _Note 2._--The style of horse considered suitable for Horse
  Artillery at first, may be ascertained from the following
  instructions, dated Woolwich, March 1810:--“The horses to be from
  four to six years old (when bought), to be short-legged,
  open-chested, and broad-winded; not to exceed 15 hands 2 inches,
  nor--four years old--under 15 hands ½ inch; to have good bone and
  action, the colours to be bay, brown, and dark chestnut.” The
  price allowed, after a month’s trial, was thirty guineas.



The _causes_ of a war are to a certain extent beyond the province of a
work which has mainly to deal with [Sidenote: Hist. R. A. Chap. i. vol.
ii.] its history. In the present instance, allusion has already been
made to the ostensible reason; but it is very difficult [Sidenote:
Stephen’s ‘Wars of the French Revolution.’] to arrive at the exact
truth. “From the guilt and odium of this new and disastrous conflict the
ruling parties in both nations anxiously endeavoured to vindicate
themselves.” There is no doubt that in 1792 England threatened to
declare war, unless France should renounce her views of aggression and
aggrandisement; or, in other [Sidenote: Ibid.] words, “relinquish all
her conquests, and confine herself within her own territory.” The answer
given by M. Chauvelin to Lord Grenville, on the 13th January, 1793, was:
“We will fight the English, whom we esteem, with regret; but we will
fight them without fear.” Matters were precipitated by the execution of
the French King; and on the 24th January M. Chauvelin received notice to
quit England within eight days. Once again the French attempted to
pacify the English Government, but without success. They therefore took
the initiative--declaring war, in the name of the French Republic,
against England and Holland on the 1st February, 1793; and this was
followed on the 11th February by a counter-declaration on the part of

On the 17th February the French army took the field, resolved to carry
the war into Holland; and speedily captured Breda, Klundert, and
Gertruydenberg. The siege of Williamstadt was not so successful; and
here good service was rendered by the Royal Artillery on board
bomb-vessels. Severe reverses having befallen another French army,
employed elsewhere in the Low Countries, the whole of the French troops
were withdrawn from this first expedition against Holland. Space
prevents any description of the operations between the Imperialists and
the troops of the Republic--the losses and defeats of the latter under
Dumouriez, and his subsequent defection. The movements of the Army under
the Duke of York will be all that it is necessary to study, to ascertain
the services of the Corps in this war.

[Sidenote: MS. Correspondence. Brigade-Major to B. of Ordnance.]

Although the main Artillery force for this expedition did not embark
until the 10th May, 1793, Woolwich was much disquieted after the end of
February with incessant demands for battalion guns and the requisite
detachments for the regiments under orders for the Low Countries. In no
English war was this pernicious system of battalion guns more
systematically urged and practised. Occasionally--as will be seen
presently--the guns were brigaded; and during the siege operations, as
at Valenciennes, the Artillery did duty by companies: but, as a rule,
the guns were attached in pairs to the different battalions. Only one
waggon accompanied [Sidenote: Ibid.] each pair of guns; and the
following was the strength of the Artillery detachment: viz., 1
subaltern, 2 non-commissioned officers, 8 gunners, 3 drivers, and 9
horses. The faults of this system have already been alluded to, but are
most [Sidenote: Captain H. W. L. Hime, R.A., on ‘Mobility of Field
Artillery.’] clearly shown in the following words:--“To prevent these
guns from impeding the movements of the infantry to whom they belonged,
their weight was reduced to an extent which made their fire under the
most favourable circumstances all but useless. Secondly, as a matter of
fact, they did seriously encumber their infantry. For, infantry
compelled to drag guns along with them could not be expected to march,
even on smooth and level plains, with the same order and rapidity as
infantry who marched free from such an encumbrance; and in a cultivated
country, intersected with ditches, hedges, and walls, the guns had to be
abandoned altogether. In this latter case they not only failed to fulfil
the very object of their existence, but left a gap in the line which, as
they were generally placed in the centre of the battalion, might produce
fatal consequences. Thirdly, as it was necessary for them to take part
in all the manœuvres of the battalion, the necessary time was not
afforded to the gunners for placing, loading, or laying their guns
carefully. No guns could have been effective under this system, which
violated _both_ the fundamental principles of Field Artillery tactics,
viz., that the movements of a battery in action should be minimum in
number, and should be made at a maximum speed. Fourthly, their constant
presence with their infantry led the latter to look upon the guns as
necessary to the safety of the battalion, and thus diminished that
self-confidence which infantry must possess to be successful. Fifthly,
as these guns were practically useless, not only was the money spent on
their construction wasted, but the regular columns or trains of
Artillery were deprived of a corresponding number of guns, which might
have been turned to good account by their own officers. In fine, this
bad system weakened the Artillery without strengthening the Infantry,
and raised a general prejudice against the use in the field of what was
regarded as a complicated and useless mechanism.”

At the special request of the Duke of York, Major--afterwards Sir
William--Congreve was appointed to command the Artillery of the
expedition. He embarked in May with the main body of his force. A party
under the command of Brevet-Major Wright left England earlier in the
spring of 1793, to take part in the siege operations with which the
English share of the campaign commenced. Its strength and the names of
the officers were as follows:--

[Sidenote: Ordnance Letter-books and Records of the 1st Battalion.]

  Brevet-Major Wright, in command.

  Capt.-Lieut. Borthwick.
  1st Lieutenant Thornton.
    ”     ”      Robe.
    ”     ”      Fenwick.
    ”     ”      De Ginkle.
    ”     ”      Watson.
  2nd Lieutenant J’ans.
  3 Sergeants, 7 Corporals, 4 Bombardiers.
  5 First Gunners, 94 Second Gunners.
  2 Drummers.

  Total of all ranks, 123.

Major Wright’s Company, which formed the chief part of this force, was
No. 2 Company, 1st Battalion, now B Battery, 1st Brigade.

The main Artillery force, which embarked at Woolwich on the 10th May,
1793, was as follows:--

[Sidenote: MS. returns to B. of Ordnance.]

  Major W. Congreve, in command.

  Captain Trotter.
     ”    Wilson.
  Captain-Lieutenant Broadbridge.
     ”        ”      Cookson.
  First Lieutenant Roberton (Adj.)
    ”        ”     Wilson.
    ”        ”     Hooke.
    ”        ”     Depeyster.
    ”        ”     Bentham.
    ”        ”     Fead.
  Second Lieutenant Rudyerd.
    ”        ”      Downman.
    ”        ”      Foy.
    ”        ”      Phillott.
  Sergeants             4
  Corporals             5
  Bombardiers           9
  First Gunners         6
  Second Gunners      192
  Drummers              3
  Surgeon, W. Smyth.
  Surgeon’s Mate, Hearsley.
  Commissary and Paymaster, Captain Williamson.
  Commissary of Horse, Mr. Eastaff.
  Clerk of Stores, Mr. Meek.

         *       *       *       *       *

  1 Conductor of Stores.
  3 Wheelers.
  1 Cooper.
  1 Carpenter.
  3 Smiths.
  2 Collar-makers.
  1 _Farrier_.
  114 _Military_ drivers.
  84 Horses.

The total of the military branch, exclusive of the drivers, was 236.

There was also an extraordinary addition to a force proceeding on active
service, in the form of 21 women and 23 children.

Yet a third detachment left Woolwich for Flanders, on the 26th August,
1793, as follows:--

[Sidenote: Ibid.]

  Major Huddlestone, in command.

  Captain Laye.
  Capt.-Lieut. Boag.
  Lieutenant Lawson.
      ”      Geary.
      ”      Shrapnel.
      ”      Beevor.
      ”      Lacy.
      ”      Mann.
      ”      Waller.
  11 Non-Commissioned Officers.
  232 Gunners.
  3 Drummers.
  4 Waggoners.
  18 _Women_ and 7 _children_.

Various other officers joined the Army during the war, among whom can be
traced Lieutenants Schalch, Lefebure, Boger, and Spearman. The force of
Royal Artillery in Flanders reached its maximum in February 1794, when
it was as follows:--

    3 Field Officers.
    7 Captains.
   14 Subalterns.
   61 Non-Commissioned Officers.
  478 Gunners.

  There were also 224 _Gunner-drivers_ for service with the Field
  Brigades, the Driver Corps having been formed in 1794 for that
  purpose, the men being regularly attested soldiers. Hitherto, the
  Drivers were generally called _Waggoners_.

An additional expedition, under Lord Moira, sailed for the Low Countries
during the war; and the Artillery portion of the force comprised a
field-officer in command--the 5th Company of the 4th Battalion--now B
Battery, 9th Brigade--with [Sidenote: MS. Returns to B. O.] 110 of all
ranks, and also 114 sergeant-conductors and _gunner-drivers_.

The present designations of five of the companies known to have been
with the Duke of York’s force are--

  B Battery, 1st Brigade.
  No. 4 Battery, 5th Brigade.
  No. 4 Battery, 7th Brigade.
  B Battery, 9th Brigade.

  (No. 4 Company, 4th Battalion, which was also present, has since
  been reduced.)

The 6th Company, which was with the Army, cannot be traced with
accuracy, but it was probably No. 7 Battery, 2nd Brigade. There were two
bomb-vessels, the ‘Terror’ and ‘Vesuvius,’ which did good service, and
on board of which were Lieutenants Suckling and Ramsay, 2
non-commissioned officers, 18 gunners, and 2 artificers, of the Royal

[Sidenote: MS. Returns to B. O.]

The total strength of the Regiment at this time was 4857 of all ranks;
and its distribution at the end of 1794 was as follows:--

  Home Stations           6  Troops of Horse Artillery.
    ”     ”              18  Companies.
  Colonial Stations      22      ”
  Holland                 6      ”
  Toulon and Corsica      1      ”
         Total           53  Troops and Companies.

[Sidenote: Vol. i. p. 405.]

It will be remembered that the first five companies of a new Battalion,
the 5th Battalion, were raised in this year. In this estimate of the
strength of the Regiment, the Invalid [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] Companies
are not included. The companies on colonial service included 2 in the
East Indies, 7 in Canada, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, 9 in the West
Indies, and 4 at Gibraltar.

Returning to the war, it may be observed that it was at the blockade of
Condé that the English troops first took the field, forming part of the
Allied Army under the Prince de Cobourg. The French suffered reverses at
Famars and Quiévrain; but the first occasion on which the Artillery
received special mention was on the 8th May, 1793, at St. Amand, when
the Brigade of Guards was engaged in support of the Prussians, and
contributed greatly to the success of the day. The Battalion guns
attached to the Guards on this occasion were of great service,
succeeding in silencing the enemy’s artillery, and so breaking his
infantry that the charge ultimately made by the Guards was doubly
effective. The wording of the letter to the Master-General, in praise of
the conduct of the Artillery on this occasion, seems to imply that the
guns were brigaded, from the fact of Major Wright’s name being mentioned
as in command:--

       *       *       *       *       *

  “Tournay, May 10, 1793.


  “I have the utmost satisfaction in informing your Grace that the
  zeal and ability of Major Wright and of Lieutenants Watson and
  Fenwick have done them the highest credit. The guns commanded by
  these officers were the only ones brought into action. I was
  myself a witness of the promptitude with which Mr. Watson’s were
  served, and know that they had great effect.

  “I have the honour, &c.,


  “_To His Grace the_ DUKE OF RICHMOND, _&c. &c._”

       *       *       *       *       *

On this occasion the French General Dampierre was killed by a
cannon-shot from the English batteries. On the following day the enemy
was driven from his camp at Famars, and Valenciennes was invested by the
Allies. Condé was taken three months after the commencement of the
blockade. Valenciennes, having been approached in a methodical manner,
according to the strictest rule, did not suffer any serious attack until
the forty-first day of the siege. On the 25th July the outworks were
taken, mainly through the exertions and gallantry of the English under
General Abercromby; and on the following day, in answer to a second
summons, the place surrendered to the English and their allies. The
Siege Artillery used on this occasion was considerable in quantity, and
of its effect the following extract from the Duke of York’s despatch
will be the best proof: “The batteries were allotted at different times
to be worked by the Royal Artillery, and every commendation is due to
Major Congreve and to the officers and men of that Corps, who have upon
this occasion fully supported the reputation they have so long enjoyed.”
For his services on this occasion Major Congreve received on the 21st
August, 1793, the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

One or two minor actions took place before winter put an end to
hostilities. At Lincelles, on the 18th August, 1793, the Artillery
attached to the Brigade of Guards under General Lake again did good
service; and on this occasion the first officer of the Corps who fell
during the war lost his life--Lieutenant Depeyster. The official account
of this engagement, after lauding the gallantry of the Guards, went on
to say: “Equal praise is due to Major Wright and the officers and men of
the Royal Artillery attached to the Battalions.”

Ill-success followed. The siege of Dunkirk by the Duke of York proved a
failure. He was badly supported by his allies, and received little or no
assistance from the navy. He had therefore to retreat--certainly in good
order--but leaving behind him 32 heavy guns intended for the siege. At
Lannoy, on the 28th October, Lieutenant Thornton of the Royal Artillery,
afterwards Sir Charles Thornton, A.D.C. to King William IV., lost an
arm. It was by this time apparent to the Allies that the war, so far as
they were concerned, must be a purely defensive one; and they found it
extremely difficult to hold Austrian Flanders. The darkness of their
situation was lit up at the end of October by a successful attack on
Marchiennes, made by General Kray under the direction of the Duke of
York, in which the enemy lost 12 pieces of cannon, and 2000 killed and
wounded. In spite of this success, however, winter came upon the Allies,
finding them in a very different frame of mind from that in which they
had commenced the campaign. They did not, however, despair, but resolved
and prepared to commence with greater vigour than ever the campaign of

Their united strength on the 16th April amounted to 187,000 men; but it
was injudiciously divided into eight columns, to march on different
points; the fourth and fifth being under the command of the Duke of
York. The object of these two columns was the attack and capture of the
village of Vaux, which they undertook, and in which they succeeded on
the 17th April, 1794. Major-General Abercromby and Sir William Erskine
commanded the columns, and Colonel Congreve in person commanded the
Royal Artillery, whose well-directed fire on this day has been
acknowledged by all writers. The French lost 30 pieces of Artillery. One
of the companies of the Corps received on this day an honour,
unprecedented in the previous or subsequent annals of the Regiment.

[Sidenote: MS. Records of 4th Battalion.]

No. 1 Company, 4th Battalion--now No. 4 Battery, 7th Brigade--attracted
the admiration of the Duke of York to such an extent by its gallantry
and skill, that he made the whole army form up on the field of battle
while this company marched past him. He also published a General Order,
saying: “His Royal Highness desires that Captain Boag and Lieutenant
Fead of the Royal Artillery (the officers with the company) will accept
his thanks for the very spirited and able manner in which they conducted
the battery entrusted to their care.” If history is not utterly
powerless, the story of the 17th April ought to stir the hearts of this
battery, and make every man in its ranks strive to be not unworthy of
those, who proved themselves worthy of so rare and honourable a
distinction. To be singled out for bravery on a day when all were brave,
and to display a spirit and an ability which, amid all the confusion of
battle, attracted the observation of a preoccupied commander, surely
these are traditions which should fire the most generous emotions, and
awaken the most noble resolves. It is in such a belief, and with such a
hope as this, that men have been found to record such tales in
Regimental records, and that others have been found to transcribe them
fondly from faded pages, and give to them a new life and a wider

Encouraged by the success at Vaux, Landrecies was besieged by the
Allies, the English troops covering the operations towards Cambray.
Twice between the 23rd and 26th April did the Duke of York’s force
defeat the French; and on the 26th it was mainly owing to the
well-directed fire of the Royal Artillery, under Colonel Congreve, that
the French were dislodged from their position in the village of
Troisvilles, with a loss of 35 guns and 300 prisoners. Landrecies
surrendered on the 29th April; but this advantage, even when combined
with the Duke of York’s successes, did not atone for the severe defeat,
which had been experienced on the 26th April by the Allied Army under
General Clairfayt at the hands of a French army under General Pichegru.
There seems from this time to have been a want of harmony among the
Allies. Their armies melted away into more isolated columns every day;
and the system of incessant attack, irrespective and regardless of
frequent defeat, which was pursued by the French forces, seems to have
produced a nervous effect upon their opponents, under which each
commander seemed to play, so to speak, for his own hand. The
representatives of the old school of war were bewildered by the activity
of those of the new. They found themselves fighting, confined by strict
and wooden rules, by which their adversaries refused to be bound; and
the consequences proved fatal.

The English army continued to achieve minor successes at Lannoy,
Roubaix, and Monveaux; but met with a serious reverse on the 18th May,
1794, when Major Wright’s Battery was nearly cut to pieces. The French
succeeded in completely surrounding the English, who had actually to
effect a retreat through the enemy’s troops, in doing which Major
Wright’s battery, now B Battery, 1st Brigade, Royal Artillery, was
charged by the French cavalry, and suffered the loss of its commander, 5
men and 31 horses killed, and 2 subalterns, Lieutenants Boger and
Downman, 45 men, and 70 horses wounded. In fact, the battery was placed
completely _hors de combat_, as might have been expected when guns were
so hampered as to allow a charge of cavalry to be possible. Surrounded
as they were on all sides by mingled friends and foes, it was impossible
to come into action on the advancing hussars; and the many acts of
individual bravery failed to save them from virtual annihilation.

Fortune was more favourable a few days later--on the 22nd May--when the
English successfully resisted a general attack of the French under
General Pichegru; and their obstinacy on this occasion was the origin of
the barbarous order issued by the ruffians who held the reins of
government in Paris, forbidding any quarter to be given “to the slaves
of King George.” This was nobly answered by the Duke of York, who in a
General Order, dated 7th June, 1794, urged his troops to “suspend their
indignation, and to remember that mercy to the vanquished is the
brightest [Sidenote: Gen. Order.] gem in a soldier’s character.” In the
repulse of the enemy on the 22nd May the conduct of the Artillery was
such that “His Royal Highness the commander-in-chief begged to thank
Captain Trotter, with the Artillery under his command, for their great
display of intrepidity and good conduct, which reflected the greatest
honour on themselves, and at the same time was highly instrumental in
deciding the important victories of the 22nd.”

From this time, however, the Allies experienced nothing but disaster.
The capture of Charleroi and the battle of Fleurus proved the
increasing merits of the French army, while the welcome from the Belgian
cities, which one after another, including Brussels itself, fell into
the hands of the French, proved that the sympathy of the people was much
more with them than with the Allies. It is difficult to overrate the
value of such sympathy in war.

In the course of these disasters the Duke of York’s communications with
Ostend were interrupted, and the English Government, becoming seriously
alarmed, fitted out the expedition already referred to, which left
Southampton for the Continent, under the command of Lord Moira. After
many vicissitudes this second army succeeded in effecting a junction
with the Duke of York, after defeating the French at Alost and Malines.
The continued advance and repeated attacks made by the French army,
compelled the Duke to retire across the Meuse into Holland. The
surrender of the frontier fortresses followed; and then, while other
French armies were detailed to pursue the Continental part of the Allied
forces, Pichegru himself, with a much larger force than that under the
command of the Duke of York, resolved to invade Holland, and exterminate
the English. From this moment the Duke, being completely outnumbered,
was compelled steadily to retire. An action took place on the 15th
September, between his advanced guard and the French troops, at Boxtel,
the result of which was a further retreat, and the abandonment to their
own resources of Bois-le-duc, Breda, and Bergen-op-Zoom. The first-named
of these places was invested by the French on the 23rd September, 1794,
and surrendered on the 10th October. Without waiting to take the other
two, and leaving them in his rear, Pichegru, with the energy which
characterised the French armies of the Revolution, and with a contempt
for the laws of war which paralyzed his opponents, pushed on in pursuit
of the English, whose retreat in face of superior numbers was--it must
be confessed by every one--very skilfully managed. The Duke of York was
in position at Pufflech when the French came up, and on the 19th
October, 1794, a severe engagement took place, which ended in the
English army being compelled to retire behind the Waal, while the French
undertook the siege of various garrisons. On the 28th October, Venloo
was taken; followed, on the 5th November, by the capture of Maestricht;
and on the same day the siege of Nimeguen was commenced. Here gallant
service was rendered by the English, and, among others, General
Abercromby was wounded; but the impetuosity of the French was such that
the Duke of York, finding his intercourse with the garrison cut off,
retired a little farther to take up a fresh position, and, on the 8th
November, Nimeguen surrendered. The Duke of York was, for many reasons,
anxious to escape an engagement, and he intrenched himself strongly in
the lines of Nimeguen. The French commander, however, having received
peremptory orders from his Government not to desist hostilities,
notwithstanding the lateness of the season, prepared to cross the Waal,
but was prevented by the fire of the Allied Artillery. He gave up the
idea for the time, and confined himself to making the necessary
dispositions for invading Holland in the spring;--no easy task, when one
reflects on the facilities with which the whole country could have been
flooded. Most fortunately for him an exceptionally severe frost set in,
freezing the rivers and canals so that they could support troops and
artillery. Hostilities were at once recommenced by the French, and,
after taking several strong places in the end of December, fighting in a
temperature lower than it had been for thirty years, on the 11th
January, 1795, Pichegru, with his whole army, crossed the Waal. In the
attempt made by the British to prevent this, considerable loss was met
with, and, among others, two subalterns of Artillery, Lieutenants Walker
and Legg, were wounded.

From this time commenced a retreat which, for misery, discomfort, and
losses, has been compared with the French retreat from Moscow, although
on a much smaller scale. The English Government, having resolved on the
withdrawal of the army, directed it to retire on Bremen, there to embark
for home. This order rendered it necessary for the troops to traverse
the district called the Weluwe, a perfect [Sidenote: Cust.] desert, over
which the wind was drifting the snow into almost impassable
ridges--where the few scattered villages had been rendered hostile by
French emissaries, and where [Sidenote: Ibid.] “numbers of English
soldiers perished through want and weakness, and many were frozen to
death.” The hardships borne by the army did not interfere with their
discipline; and they were soothed by the sympathy of all classes in
England, and ultimately by a hearty welcome home. With the exception of
a small force under General Dundas, which remained on the Continent
until the following year, the whole army reached England in May 1795. It
was on the 8th of that month, that the six companies of Artillery
disembarked at Woolwich, from which station they were speedily removed
to Chatham and Portsmouth.

The barbarous order given by the French Government with reference to the
English soldiers, which has been mentioned above, was almost atoned for
by an act of chivalry on the part of the French troops at the end of the
campaign. During the retreat of the English, the 87th Regiment had been
left as part of the garrison of Bergen-op-Zoom. The Dutch Government,
dismayed by the continued successes of the French, and urged on by a
party in the country, by no means inconsiderable, which sympathised with
the Republican cause, came to terms with the French Commander, and
consented to the surrender of the various garrisons. Considerable
anxiety naturally existed as to the [Sidenote: Cust.] fate of the 87th
Regiment; “but, compromised by the defection of an ally, it was
generously permitted by the conquerors to separate itself from the
garrison, and to be sent back to England.”

One or two facts remain to be mentioned. It was during this campaign, at
the affair at Boxtel, that the Duke of Wellington, then in command of
the 33rd Regiment, first was under fire, and displayed the same coolness
and intrepidity which afterwards characterised him. It was also during
the concluding months of the war--after the resignation of the
Stadtholder--that the singular military episode occurred--more singular
even than that mentioned in the [Sidenote: Vol. i. p. 372.] annals of
the American War, when a fleet was defeated by a field battery--the
capture of a fleet by a charge of cavalry. The Dutch fleet was lying
ice-bound at the Helder--the harbour frozen over,--and was in this
position captured by a body of Dragoons who had penetrated to that place
in relentless pursuit of the French Royalist emigrants, who had fled
thither for refuge.

This chapter would hardly be complete without a short notice of an event
which occurred at Toulon in 1793, and which deserves special mention,
because then for the first time was the Royal Artillery brought face to
face with a young French Artillery officer, who was destined to become
famous, Napoleon Bonaparte. Toulon was held by the British on behalf of
the royal family of France; and part of the force employed was a company
of the Royal Artillery from Gibraltar, under Major Koehler, the
Captain-Lieutenant of the company. Among his subalterns were Lieutenants
[Sidenote: Browne.] Brady, Lemoine, John Duncan, Newhouse, and Alexander
Duncan; and although in December the town had to be evacuated, this was
not done until the greatest gallantry had been displayed by the British
troops. The loss in the Artillery was very great; and the following
order by General Dundas, dated on board the ‘Victory’ on the 21st
December, [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 17 Jan. 1794.] 1793, speaks well
as to their skill:--“Lieutenant-General Dundas reports, that after a
most gallant defence of Toulon, he was under the necessity of evacuating
it, from the very great superiority of the enemy’s army, and the report
of the Engineer and Artillery officers that it had become untenable.
After destroying the enemy’s men-of-war and stores in the Dockyard, the
army embarked on board our men-of-war. As the security of this operation
depended much on the protection afforded from the happy situation of
Fort La Malgere, which so effectually commands the neck of the
Peninsula, and the judicious use that should be made of its artillery,
this important service was allotted to Major Koehler with 200 men, who,
after seeing the last man off the shore, and spiking all the guns,
effected, from his activity and intelligence, his own retreat without
loss. At Fort Mulgrave, Lieutenant Duncan of the Royal Artillery was so
essentially useful that to his exertions and abilities that post was
much indebted for its preservation for so long a time.”

The officer last mentioned was Lieutenant John Duncan, who was promoted
in the following year, and was mentioned as follows for his conduct at
the capture of Bastia, in Corsica, the service in which the Toulon
garrison was [Sidenote: Admiral Lord Hood’s Despatch, ‘London Gazette,’
10 June, 1794.] next engaged:--“I cannot but express in the strongest
terms the meritorious conduct of Captain Duncan and Lieutenant Alexander
Duncan of the Royal Artillery, and Lieutenant de Butts of the Royal
Engineers; but my obligation is particularly great to Captain Duncan, as
more zeal, ability, and judgment were never shown by any officer than
were displayed by him, and I take the liberty of mentioning him as an
officer highly entitled to His Majesty’s notice.” Lieutenant Alexander
Duncan, who is also mentioned in this dispatch, afterwards commanded the
Royal Artillery during the defence of Cadiz in 1810-12, at the battle of
Barossa, and at Seville, at the last-mentioned of which places he was
accidentally killed.

During the service in Corsica, which resulted in its surrender by the
French, the Royal Artillery did duty with Nelson’s seamen,[6] and
received great credit for their exertions at the capture of Bastia and
Calvi. A fatal fever played havoc with the men; and it was found
necessary to send an additional company from England, which absorbed the
remnant of Major Koehler’s. That officer was made Quartermaster-General
to the forces in the island on its surrender to the English, and Major
Collier was sent to command the Artillery with the title of Inspector of

This garrison remained until the evacuation of the island by the English
in 1796.

Even thus early, and in spite of much inexperience on the part of their
commanders, the French armies of the Revolution had evinced merits,
zeal, and courage of no ordinary description. The new system of fighting
had already defeated the old; and when organized, as it eventually was,
by a master hand, Bonaparte, it was an engine before which the old
system, with its pedantry, sluggish precision, and winter-quarters, was
sure to go down like a house of cards. Happily for England, there were
in her army in Flanders men like Wellington and Abercromby, who could
see the faults of the school in which they had been trained, and at the
same time not be ashamed to own the superiorities [Sidenote: Major C. B.
Brackenbury, R.A., at U.S. Institution.] which might be possessed by an
enemy,--men, in fine, who, while “conservative of glorious traditions,
were fearless of all necessary changes--endeavouring to catch the
meaning of present progress, or, with prophetic eye, reaching forward to
anticipate future developments.”

Without such men, the glorious stories of Egypt and the Peninsula would
have been but repetitions of this futile war in Flanders.


1796 to 1799.

These years represent a period in the history of England of which
Englishmen must always be proud. Standing almost alone against the
French Republic, before whose victorious armies almost every other
nation in Europe succumbed, her Government and people never hesitated to
protest, both by word and deed, against the unlawful ambition of the
French Directorate. Blinding the French people to a sense of their
hardships and their rapidly-increasing debt by the glare of military
success, and attributing these same successes to the sudden development
of martial spirit and liberty which followed the downfall of the
monarchy, the selfish and dishonest leaders of the Republic were enabled
not merely to encourage their own army, but to sow doubt and dissension
in the ranks of their opponents. By flattering the people they ruled,
they were enabled to sin against every rule of good government, and by
creating discontent with existing authority among other nations, for
which purpose they spared no labour nor expense, they brought France in
1798 to a pinnacle of greatness, to which it had never yet attained.
England alone remained to defy them; and to conquer England, either by
means of invasion, isolation, or by fomenting rebellion, was their fixed
determination. The effect on England of suspended commerce and monetary
uncertainty can be realised by the point at which the Three [Sidenote:
Annual Registers.] per Cents. stood during these years. In 1796 they
fell to 66; in 1797, to 56½; in 1798, the year of the Irish rebellion,
they reached 49⅝; and, after its suppression, they rose again to 55. In
1796 the Bank of England suspended payment; and the discontent of the
Navy was such as to render very probable the mutinies, which took place
in the following year. The same dissatisfaction prevailed in the Army,
although to a less extent; but open expression of it was prevented by
the wisdom of the Duke of York in obtaining for the troops an increase
of pay, and thus removing the grievance, which provoked the discontent
among men, who could barely subsist on the miserable pittance that was
allowed them. The Board of Ordnance made a similar increase in the pay
of the two Corps under their control; and it may be interesting to state
the new rates allowed for the [Sidenote: B. O. Warrant, 27 May, 1797.]
Artillery. The Master-General, Lord Cornwallis, prefaces his Warrant on
the subject by reminding the Corps of their former good conduct and high
character, to which he had often been a witness on the most arduous
occasions, and to which he had often borne the most ample and honourable
testimony, when he had had the honour of commanding them. He felt sure,
he wrote, that it was not in the power of the most artful traitor to
seduce the soldiers of the Royal Artillery from their loyalty and
attachment to their King and country; and then he urged them never to
prefer unreasonable requests, whose inevitable refusal might produce
discontent,--but at the same time to rely upon his readiness to redress
any real grievance. The improvement in the pay of the soldier may be
briefly summarised from the lengthy verbiage of the Warrant. Up to 1797,
in addition to the provision made for his clothing, pension, quarters,
and medical assistance,--and also besides his allowance of beer, &c.,
provided in quarters, and of bread provided at a reduced rate when in
camp,--the soldier received a daily sum of 9½_d._, besides a further
daily sum of 2_d._, which under a previous Warrant had been given in
lieu of certain allowances; but, under the new Warrant, an additional
sum of 3¾_d._ was granted, making the daily pay of the soldier 1_s._
3¼_d._ Out of this sum, however, the extra price of the bread and meat
ration, which had hitherto been borne by the public, was now to be
deducted; and, as this averaged 1¾_d._, the net increase of pay was
2_d._ The pay of the various ranks after this Warrant stood as follows,

                         _s._  _d._
  Sergeant                2     2      per diem.
  Corporal                2     0¼        ”
  Bombardier              1    10¼        ”
  Gunner and Drummer      1     3¼        ” each.

In the year 1873, the date of the publication of this volume, the rates
of pay for the same ranks in the Corps are as follows, viz.:--

                         _s._  _d._
  Sergeant               3      0      per diem.
  Corporal               2      4         ”
  Bombardier             2      2         ”
  Gunner                 1      5¼        ”

As in 1797 beer was allowed _in kind_, in addition to the daily pay, the
one penny a day subsequently allowed in lieu of it has not been included
in the pay of the various ranks in 1873, given above.

The increase of pay produced a feeling of contentment in the whole army;
and if sedition had no chance of thriving in the Artillery before, it
certainly had none after. An unsuccessful attempt having been made at
Woolwich in 1797 to stir up discontent among the men, we gather, from a
General Order published shortly afterwards, that the non-commissioned
officers and men subscribed a sum of money, which they offered as a
reward for the detection of the offenders; and, further, signed
voluntarily a paper declaring anew their loyalty to the King and
fidelity to the country. This latter step--to modern eyes somewhat
superfluous in _attested_ soldiers--was doubtless called forth by
certain insults to the King which had been published, and which called
forth the indignation of the whole community; and also by the fact that
certain soldiers serving in Ireland had been seduced from their colours
by the rebels, who, under the name of United Irishmen, were traversing
the whole country. The same feeling which prompted this action at
Woolwich expressed itself in subscriptions from the Regiment at home
and abroad to Mr. Pitt’s Loyalty Loan. It is recorded that the “officers
and men of the Royal Artillery at Gibraltar, Martinique, and St.
Domingo, having, as tokens of their [Sidenote: Cleaveland’s MSS.] love
and attachment to their King and country, transmitted to England
subscriptions, as detailed underneath, the Master-General thought it his
duty to lay the same before His Majesty, and to observe to His Majesty
how rapidly the spirit, which had so laudably shown itself in the
Artillery at home, had spread to the detachments abroad. His Majesty, on
receiving the information, was graciously pleased to express his
approbation, and to permit the Master-General to communicate the same to
the Regiment. [Sidenote: B. O. 4 June, 1798.] ‘The Master-General,
Marquis Cornwallis, has the greatest satisfaction in obeying this His
Majesty’s command, and takes the opportunity of congratulating the Royal
Regiment of Artillery on that zeal and alacrity, which, in all services
and in all climates and countries, have uniformly marked the character
of the Corps.’

“_Subscriptions from Gibraltar._--Major-General Martin, 100_l._; Field
Officers and Captains, 30 days’ pay each; subalterns, 14 days’ pay;
non-commissioned officers and gunners, 7 days’ pay each.

“_From Martinique._--Officers, 30 days’ pay; non-commissioned officers
and gunners, 20 days’ pay each.

“_From Cape Nicholas Mole._--Officers and men, 10 days’ pay each.”

       *       *       *       *       *

This feeling of loyalty was general throughout the country, and was in
no way affected either by temptation from without, or vapouring sedition
within. And to this loyal feeling, and the noble successes of her
fleets, did England owe her continued maritime superiority and the
salvation of her commerce. [Sidenote: Annual Registers.] This latter had
been steadily increasing; her imports and exports had risen from 27½
millions in 1784, to 49¼ millions in 1796; and, although checked and
cramped by French legislation, her fleets kept the markets of the East
and West open. It was during this period that the great naval victories
of Camperdown and the Nile were gained, and that Nelson’s activity in
the Mediterranean insured the capture of Malta and Minorca by England.
Nor was any sea without the British flag. In 1799, there were in the
Navy no less than 100,000 seamen, besides 20,000 marines; and both in
the English seas and in the West Indies bomb-vessels, with artillerymen
on board, were numerous. In the East Indies our armies were gaining
renown; and in the West Indies hostilities were going on, in which the
Royal Artillery took an active part, which resulted in the retention of
all the English islands, and the capture from the French of St. Lucia,
Martinique, St. Domingo, Trinidad, Guadaloupe, Tobago, and Curacao. The
names of some of the officers of the Corps who were present during these
operations are given by the author of ‘England’s Artillerymen.’[7]
Consisting mainly of naval, or small detached military operations, the
wars in the West Indies possess, as a rule, little but local interest.
It may be mentioned, however, that they were much more fatal to our
troops through the fevers and pestilence which prevailed, than the
actual loss in battle.

The Board of Ordnance during this period did much good work in maturing
the defences of the country, which were [Sidenote: Annual Registers.]
under its control. In 1797, the cost of the Ordnance was 1,643,056_l._;
in 1798, 1,303,580_l._; in 1799, 1,570,827_l._; and [Sidenote: Vol. i.
p. 405.] in 1800, 1,695,956_l._ In 1795 the Board completed the Fifth
Battalion of the Regiment; and in 1799 the Sixth [Sidenote: Vol. i. p.
410.] Battalion was added. From the very first the Sixth was a most
efficient Battalion. It had as a nucleus the two companies known as the
East India Detachment; and the [Sidenote: Communicated by Sir E.
Perrott.] remaining companies were composed of trained English and
Scotch Militiamen, who were permitted to volunteer for service in the

It will thus be seen that, during a critical time, the courage and
determination of the people of England and their rulers saved the
country from much national hardship and danger. But while thus facing a
foreign enemy, another foe appeared in their midst. The student of this
chapter in British history finds that it includes the story of the great
Irish rebellion of 1798.

If ever the sins of the fathers have been visited on the children, it
has happened in the case of England’s connection with Ireland. The
fathers ate sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. If we
need a proof of the strength of history as a motive power, we cannot do
better than go to Ireland. Here is a brave, a genial, a chivalrous race,
shrewd and able in the affairs of life, and yet the mention of injustice
done to their forefathers produces to this day such a feeling of
indignation and resentment, as blinds them to the fact that the
descendants of those whose memory they detest are endeavouring, almost
to the opposite extreme, to remove all tokens of former injustice. The
history of Ireland, in its relations with England, repeats many familiar
truths; it proves that national sins no more go unpunished, than
personal; it shows that rebellion without organisation is useless; and
it tells most distinctly that reasonable demands have often been refused
from want of judgment in the time and manner of urging them. It proves,
also, most clearly, yet another point, for which no additional proof is
required--that the passions of a people are the very best instrument
with which unscrupulous men can work to obtain their own private ends;
and that, by stirring these up, they can so blind men to the real goal
which it is intended to reach, as actually to make them in time believe
their own--possibly legitimate--purpose to be identical with that of
their leaders, which, if presented to them in cold blood, would have
made them shudder. He who doubts this needs only to study the class of
men called the “United Irishmen,” as they were when first organized, and
as they became under the manipulation of cunning leaders, and in the
face of an imprudent, unreasoning opposition. The Government of England
would have yielded much to the quiet reformers, which they were bound to
refuse to rebels; and it was this knowledge that made the arch plotters
fan discontent into disturbance as quickly as possible, lest, with the
satisfaction of just demands and the removal of admitted grievances, the
discontent should disappear, and their own vocation with it.

The story of the rebellion in Ireland in 1798 is a sorry one; but it has
its place in this history because, at some of the more important
engagements between the troops and the rebels, such as those known as
the battles of Ross, [Sidenote: Now A Battery, A Brigade; B Battery, A
Brigade, and C Battery, A Brigade.] Wexford, and Vinegar Hill, that
portion of the Regiment which had so recently been created--the Royal
Horse Artillery--was present. Two guns of A, B, and C Troops
respectively were present on these occasions. With the exception of
these, and some Battalion gun detachments, the Artillerymen engaged
during the rebellion in Ireland belonged to the national Corps--the old
Irish Artillery--whose loyalty shone undimmed during that trying time.

Although the story of the rebellion itself needs not to be told here,
certain facts connected with the Artillery arrangements will probably be
found interesting.

From July 1795, care had been taken to impart some knowledge of
Artillery drills to the Infantry regiments in Ireland, the custodians of
the battalion guns being required to instruct in each regiment at least
30 rank and file, [Sidenote: G. O., 7 July, 1795.] under a subaltern and
two sergeants. At this date the battalion guns were not _brigaded_ on
field-days, as was afterwards done; but always marched past at the head
of [Sidenote: General Regulations for the march of the army in Ireland,
12 Nov. 1796.] the regiments to which they were attached. The ammunition
waggons _followed_ the column.

On the 20th February, 1797, battalion guns were issued to the following
regiments of Militia, viz., Donegal, Clare, Limerick City, Antrim,
Kilkenny, North Mayo, Queen’s County, and Armagh; and one “useful,
well-instructed” [Sidenote: G. O., 20 Feb. 1797.] gunner from the Irish
Artillery accompanied each pair of guns, which were “to be worked by
soldiers of the “regiments.” This had been approved by the
Lord-Lieutenant on the 13th February, and orders had been given for the
immediate instruction in Artillery duties of over 300 Militiamen. This
confidence in the loyalty of the Irish troops shows that the rebellion
had but little real hold in the country, except among those with whom it
will ever find a welcome, the ignorant and fanatic.

It had always been a dream of France to annex Ireland, or, failing that,
to secure its independence; and the time seemed favourable for the
purpose. But, owing to circumstances too long to be narrated here, the
practical assistance afforded by the French was almost nothing; and the
rebellion, although encouraged by French promises, received in the end
but little of French performance. It would really seem, after
dispassionate study, that the rebellion, in the absence of the excited
opposition of the Orangemen, would never have occurred; that the removal
of the disabilities of the Catholics would at first have completely
gratified those who, after a time, would accept nothing but national
independence; and that such removal would in all probability have been
granted, had not the moderate reformers among the United Irishmen
unfortunately accepted the leadership of men like Wolfe Tone and others,
about whose extreme and impossible views there was no doubt whatever.
The feeling of discontent was also increased by the intemperate language
of the priests, who, in the heated expressions of their opponents,
detected a possible future for their Church, even more gloomy than its
existing state; but this last-named reason had less to do with the birth
of the rebellion, than the causes already stated. To panic-stricken, and
therefore cruel, opposition on the part of the Protestants, and to the
association of injudicious leaders with their cause, is the fact due
that men, whose claims have been admitted by subsequent legislation to
be just, landed in 1798 in a most unfortunate rebellion.

In even the most solemn matters there is often an element of the
ludicrous; and one who is acquainted with the national character would
not be surprised to find such in an Irish rebellion. The guns which were
given to the Irish Militia were not at first horsed; and very great
difficulty was experienced in procuring horses for the purpose. The
loyal Colonel of the Tipperary Militia, Colonel Bagwell, offered to lend
his own horses for the purpose, and his [Sidenote: Dated “Royal
Hospital,” 25 Feb. 1797.] offer was readily accepted. A letter was then
sent to the commanding officers of other Militia Regiments, inviting
them to follow Colonel Bagwell’s example, and offering, on the part of
the Ordnance, to pay for the horses’ forage, &c., during the time they
should be employed. With very few exceptions, the invitation was
declined, and a further perusal of the official documents suggests a
very natural reason for what would at first sight seem somewhat
ungracious, if not disloyal. On the 27th February, 1798, a letter was
addressed to the officers commanding the various districts in Ireland,
pointing out that it had reached the ears of the Commander-in-Chief
“that the limbers of the guns attached to battalions are used for market
cars, and other conveniences for the officers and women of the
regiments, and that the horses are ridden by officers and their servants
about the country at all hours.” The knowledge of this by the officers
commanding the regiments would naturally make them reluctant to expose
their own horses to such treatment; and a result of these irregularities
was the change [Sidenote: Vol. i. p. 165, ‘Royal Irish Artillery.’]
which took place from _battalion guns_ to _brigades_, already described.
It may be here stated that a considerable number of the men of the Irish
Artillery were employed in gun-boats in the Shannon and elsewhere during
the rebellion.

The detachments of the Royal Artillery, which were present with the
battalion guns attached to the regiments from England, were six in
number, each detachment consisting of 1 non-commissioned officer and 9
men. The whole were under the command of Captain Henry Geary, assisted
by three subalterns. The regiments to which they were attached were the
Guards (three Battalions), the Queen’s, 29th, and 100th Regiments. A
reinforcement of two companies was asked for by General Lake, but the
successes at Wexford rendered it unnecessary to meet his demand.

[Sidenote: D. A. General to Lord Cornwallis, 28 June, 1798.]

At this time, H.R.H. the Duke of York ordered two 12-pounder guns to be
attached to each troop of Horse Artillery, and, as will be seen
hereafter, these guns remained part of the armament of the troop of
Horse Artillery which formed part of the expedition to the Helder, in
1799. Two guns, from four troops respectively, went to Ireland to assist
in quelling the rebellion, but only those belonging to A, B, and C
Troops took part in the active operations. The strength of the Horse
Artillery sent to Ireland was as follows:--

[Sidenote: Embarkation Returns, dated Woolwich, 26 Nov. 1797.]

   2  Captains.
   3  Subalterns.
   1 Assistant-Surgeon.
   2 Staff-Sergeants.
  12 Non-Commissioned Officers.
  92 Gunners.
  51 Drivers.
   6 Artificers.
   1 Trumpeter.
 177 horses (and 13 from Driver Corps).
   8 guns.
  15 ammunition waggons.
  N.B.--The guns were two 12-pounders, two 5½-inch howitzers, four 6-pounders.

The total strength of Horse Artillery left in England was as follows:
968 of all ranks, 920 horses, 42 guns, and 72 waggons.

This included a reserve of 5 guns at Woolwich.

After the rebellion had been quelled, the men of the Royal Artillery,
who during the operations had been under the Irish Branch of Ordnance,
returned to England; and the following table gives the distribution and
strength of the Royal Irish Artillery in the succeeding year. (_See_ pp.
80 and 81.)

Returning to England, the student will find not a few matters of
domestic interest which occurred during this period, and which are
worthy of being chronicled. A new organisation of the Ordnance Medical
Department took place; and on a recommendation of a committee it was
[Sidenote: B. O. Proceedings, 5 May, 1797.] resolved, on the 5th May,
1797, that, after the 1st July following, the system of obliging
surgeons to furnish the medicines for the troops out of a fixed money
allowance should cease, and that one of the Ordnance chemists should be
appointed Regimental apothecary. An increase of pay was also granted to
the medical officers.


  A. Lieut.-Colonels.
  B. Majors.
  C. Captains.
  D. Capt-Lieutenants.
  E. 1st Lieutenants.
  F. 2nd Lieutenants.
  G. Staff Sergeants.
  H. Sergeants.
  I. Corporals.
  J. Bombardiers.
  K. Drummers.
  L. Gunners.
  M. Total.

  |                                             | A.| B.| C.| D.| E.| F.| G.| H.| I.| J.| K.|  L. |  M. |
  |Brigades   { East  { Two at Island Bridge    |  1|   |  1|  2|  2|  1|  1|  3|  3|  4|  2|   80|   99|
  |           {       { One Naas                |   |   |  1|   |  2|   |   |  1|   |  3|   |   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Arklow              |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |  2|   |  2|   |   29|   35|
  |           {       { One Wexford             |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   22|   26|
  |                                             |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |     |
  |           { North { Two Charlemont          |   |  1|   |   |   |  3|   |  2|  3|  5|  1|   73|   88|
  |           {       { One Belfast             |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |  1|  1|  2|   |   36|   42|
  |           {       { One Omagh               |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   |   |  2|  2|   |   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Strabane            |   |   |   |   |  2|   |   |   |  4|   |   |   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Coleraine           |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   |  1|  1|  2|   |   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Dundalk             |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |   |  2|  2|   |   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Enniskillen         |   |   |   |   |   |  2|   |  1|   |  3|   |   32|   39|
  |                                             |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |     |
  |           { South { One Clonmel             |  1|   |  1|  1|   |  1|   |  1|  1|  4|  1|   50|   61|
  |           {       { Two Cork                |  1|   |  1|  1|  2|   |  1|  2|  5|  3|  1|   80|   97|
  |           {       { One Bandon              |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   |  2|   |  1|   |   32|   37|
  |           {       { One Limerick            |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |  1|  1|  1|  1|   32|   38|
  |           {       { One Tarbert             |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   |   |  1|  2|   |   32|   37|
  |           {       { One Waterford           |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |   |  2|  2|   |   29|   35|
  |           {       { One Kilkenny            |   |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |  1|  2|  1|   |   31|   37|
  |                                             |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |     |
  |           { West  { Two Athlone             |  1|   |  1|   |  1|  1|  1|  1|  4|  4|   |   81|   95|
  |           {       { One Galway              |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |  1|  2|  1|  1|   32|   39|
  |           {       { One { Carrick-on-Shannon|   |   |   |  1|  1|   |   |   |  1|   |   |   18|   21|
  |           {             { Castle-bar        |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   |  2|   |   16|   19|
  |Batteries. { Charlemont                      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|  1|  1|   |   12|   13|
  |           { Carrickfergus                   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|  1|   |    7|    9|
  |           { Cromie Head                     |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   |   |  7|  1|  2|   10|   12|
  |           { Tanitt                          |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |  1|  2|   |   |    9|   10|
  |           { Cork Harbour                    |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   |  2|   |   78|   92|
  |           { Charles Fort                    |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |  1|  2|   |   |   12|   15|
  |           { Duncannon                       |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   9 |   11|
  |           { Bantry                          |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|   |  1|   |   16|   21|
  |           { Tarbert                         |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   13|   14|
  |                                             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |                         Total               |  4|  2| 11| 10| 26|  9|  2| 25| 49| 53|  8| 1031| 1232|
  |                                             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |Five       { Present                         |   |   |  2|  5|  7|   |   |  4| 17| 15|   |  340|  399|
  |Companies  { Sick, leave, &c.                |   |   |  2|  1|  2|  3|   |   |   |   |   |     |    5|
  |in West    { To return to Ireland            |   |   |   |  1|   |  2|   |   |   |   |   |     |    1|
  |Indies.    { Under orders to proceed}        |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   |   |   |     |    4|
  |           {  from Ireland          }        |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  6|  3|  5|  1|   75|   92|
  |           { Wanting                         |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |     |
  |                                             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |                         Total               |   |   |  4|  7| 10|  5|   | 10| 20| 20| 10|  415|  501|
  |                                             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |Invalid    { On command { Duncannon          |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|  1|  1|   |   10|   12|
  |Company.                { Charlemont         |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    4|    5|
  |           { Sick--absent                    |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |   |   |   |     |    4|
  |           { Employed in the Line            |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |    4|
  |           { Serving in the Militia          |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|   |    1|    2|
  |           { At the Powder-mills             |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    2|    2|
  |           { Totally unfit for any duty      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  1|   |  1|   22|   22|
  |           { In and about Head-quarters      |   |   |   |   |   |  1|   |   |   |  1|   |    4|    7|
  |           { Wanting to complete             |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |    1|
  |                                             |---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |                         Total               |   |   |  1|   |  1|  1|   |  1|  2|  3|  1|   43|   53|
  |                                             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+
  |Joined lately from West Indies, and not }    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  4|  1|  2|  1|   11|   19|
  |  included in any of above numbers      }    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |     |     |

A change was also made in the Paymasters of the Regiment. It will be
remembered that Mr. Cox had been appointed Paymaster to the Artillery in
1759. He was [Sidenote: Cleaveland’s MSS.] succeeded in 1783 by Mr.
Adair, who was followed by Messrs. Meyrick. On the 1st July, 1797, the
Paymastership [Sidenote: Letters from D. A. G.] was resumed by Messrs.
Cox and Greenwood, and continued in that house (subsequently Messrs. Cox
and Co.) until [Sidenote: Confirmed by J. C. Woollacott, Esq.] abolished
on the 30th September, 1858, since which date they have been agents to
the Corps.

In 1797 the first Regimental School was established at Woolwich for
soldiers’ children. On the 13th August, Captain--afterwards Sir
William--Robe recommended its [Sidenote: MS. by Sir W. Robe, in R. A.
Record Office.] formation; and was strongly supported by the Commandant,
General Lloyd. A building, then unfinished, and now part of the Horse
Artillery Square in Woolwich Barracks, was procured for the purpose; the
Duchess of York subscribed 20 guineas for the purchase of books, and
this was followed by subscriptions from all the officers at
Head-quarters. A sergeant, named Dougherty, was appointed Schoolmaster;
and the success of the institution was so great as to induce the Board
of Ordnance to undertake its management and support. The first pupil was
a difficult, but very creditable subject. He was the son of a gunner in
the Invalid Battalion, who lost both his arms when firing the evening
gun at an out-station for his father. So remarkable was his progress at
school, that it attracted the attention of the military authorities; and
this, taken in conjunction with the way in which he had received his
injury, obtained for him from the Board a pension for life as a
drummer,--although he had never been enlisted as such.

There were a great many officers and men employed in the Bomb service
during this time; and as no stoppages were made for rations while the
men were employed on board the [Sidenote: Ordnance Letter-books, 20
Sept. 1797.] vessels, the service was a very popular one. Most of the
Bomb vessels were employed in the English Channel, the Mediterranean,
and among the West India Islands.

The employment of Artillery officers on the Staff of the Army became
more common than it had hitherto been; but, with great
short-sightedness, it was discouraged by the Board. It was, indeed, too
often made a great favour on the part of the Master-General to allow
officers to be so employed. Among the names of officers, who can be
traced as having received the requisite permission, are Major James M.
Hadden, R.H.A., who was appointed Adjutant-General in Portugal, with the
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, vice Sir J. Erskine, who resigned;
Lieutenant-Colonel Koehler, who was selected as Quartermaster-General in
the Eastern District; and Captain Duncan, who was employed on the
personal staff of H.R.H. the Duke of York. The nucleus of an
appointment, which to this day has more of a Regimental than an Army
nature, dates from this period. [Sidenote: D. A. Gen.’s Correspondence,
and Kane’s List.] On 9th June, 1797, Lieutenant A. T. Spearman was
appointed Garrison Adjutant in Woolwich. On 7th July, 1802, the title of
this office was changed to Brigade-Major, the same officer continuing to
hold it; and on 1st April, 1873, the title was again altered, the
incumbent, Major A. T. G. Pearse, being styled Assistant
Adjutant-General of the Woolwich District. The Director-General of
Artillery during the period treated of in this chapter was Major-General
Duncan Drummond; the Commandants were, successively, Generals
Farrington, Congreve, and Lloyd; and General Blomefield was Inspector of
Artillery. In 1797 the Committee of Field Officers, which met
periodically to consider warlike inventions, received a more permanent
form than hitherto, foreshadowing the Ordnance Select Committee which
subsequently came into existence,--Captain Maclean being on the 26th
February appointed a standing Secretary to the Committee.

On the 25th December, 1798, certain augmentations in the pensions of
widows of officers in the Army were granted; and the Board of Ordnance,
as was invariably the case--for in such matters the Artillery and
Engineers had no cause [Sidenote: B. O. Letter, 13 Jan. 1799.] for
complaint--followed suit. It was decided that widows of officers in the
Royal Artillery and Corps of Captain-Commissaries (or Driver Corps)
should receive pensions at the following rates:--

  Widow of Colonel, or Colonel Commandant       80  per annum.
     ”     Lieutenant-Colonel                   50    ”
     ”     Major                                40    ”
  Widow of Captain and Captain-Lieutenant       30    ”
     ”     First Lieutenant                     26    ”
     ”     Second Lieutenant                    20    ”
     ”     Chaplain                             20    ”
     ”     Surgeon-General                      30    ”
     ”     Surgeon                              26    ”
     ”     Assistant-Surgeon                    20    ”
     ”     Captain-Commissary                   30    ”
     ”     Lieutenant-Commissary                26    ”
     ”     Quartermaster                        20    ”

These rates, as is well known, have been increased since the Warrant of
1799, although still so inadequate as to render Regimental Provident
Funds a necessity; but the reader can hardly fail to be struck with the
disadvantage under which the widows of non-combatant officers laboured
in old times,--a disadvantage which disappeared with the introduction
into the Service of what is known as _relative rank_--an arrangement
which enabled non-combatant officers to acquire by length of service the
same privileges, as fell to the lot of their combatant brethren.

A few statistics may be appended here, as very few domestic chapters
will be given between 1799 and the date at which this work comes to an
end. The strength of the Regiment, at the commencement of the period
embraced by this chapter, was as follows:--

[Sidenote: Return rendered to H.R.H. the Duke of York, 26 Nov. 1795.]

  Royal Horse Artillery              1,085 of all ranks.
  Marching Battalions                5,560     ”
  Invalid Battalion                    505     ”
  Corps of Captain-Commissaries      1,466     ”
                        Total        8,616

These were distributed as follows:--

   6 Troops of Horse Artillery.
  52 Companies of Artillery.
   5 Companies of Driver Corps, or Captain-Commissaries.
  11 Companies of Invalids.
   1 Company of Gentlemen Cadets.

[Sidenote: Kane’s List.]

The geographical distribution of the Regiment, as far as the _combatant_
companies were concerned, was as follows,--the year 1797 being selected
as a year of comparative peace, _between_ the two Continental
Expeditions under the Duke of York:--

  On Home Stations                29 Troops and Companies.
  In Portugal                      1 Company.
  In Canada                        4  Companies.
  At Cape of Good Hope             2  Companies.
  At Gibraltar                     5  Companies.
  In East Indies                   2 Companies (belonging to no Battalions).
  In Jamaica                       4  Companies.
  In Newfoundland                  1  Company.
  In Nova Scotia and Cape Breton   2  Companies.
  In the West Indies (exclusive    8  Companies.
       of Jamaica).

Of these companies, as has already been stated, many men were employed
on board the bomb vessels. The companies stationed at the Cape of Good
Hope deserve special notice at this time, as also subsequently did those
at Gibraltar, for their loyalty at a time of mutiny among the other
forces on [Sidenote: D. A. General, R.A., 4 Feb. 1798, and Colonel
Cleaveland’s MS. Notes.] the station. On the 4th February, 1798, the
following letter was published to the Regiment by Colonel Macleod,
having been transmitted to him by order of Major-General Dundas,
commanding the troops at the Cape of Good Hope, who had in the first
instance addressed it to Lieutenant-Colonel Yorke, who commanded the
Royal Artillery on that station:--

  “Castle of Good Hope,
  “15 November, 1797.


  “The Corps of Artillery having had the greatest part of the
  extraordinary duty which the late disturbances on board the fleet
  have occasioned, as their alacrity in discharging their duty was
  no less conspicuous than on former occasions, when the Artillery
  have been called upon to act, I am directed by Major-General
  Dundas to express his entire approbation of their
  conduct,--honourable to themselves and to the Service.

  “I have, &c.,
  (Signed)  “P. ABERCROMBIE,
  “Major of Brigade.”

Commendation of loyal conduct in time of civil disturbance is as noble a
record to hoard in the story of a regiment, as the chronicle of valour
in the field. Military discipline is indeed a miserable weapon, if it is
not found true in time of national discontent, as well as in the hour of
national danger. The great lesson for a soldier to learn is obedience;
and if that obedience is to be conditional on the soldier’s inclination,
then the nation which trains an armed force is but cherishing a possible
enemy. The lesson of silent obedience is becoming every day more
difficult to learn; discipline in civil life is rarer than it was, and
impatience of control is almost a popular cry. What a noble mission,
then, an army may follow in time of peace! To show that men with skill
and power, and with a consciousness of these qualities, can yet
subordinate themselves for the good of the commonwealth, instead of the
individual, is surely a grand object for an army’s purpose. And in the
daily life of such a force a nation might read a lesson, which, if
taught from the mouths of rulers or the pulpits of preachers, would fall
on deaf, because doubting ears; for a suspicion dogs the heels of the
mere speaker, which vanishes before the open and consistent life of the

Yet a few more statistics before the chapter closes. It has been
necessary to talk with disparagement of the field brigades, as
distinguished from the troops of Horse Artillery in the conclusion of
the last century. But if the quality of the Field Artillery was
indifferent, its quantity would have [Sidenote: B. O. Return to H.R.H.
the Duke of York.] satisfied an alarmist. On the 19th February, 1798,
there were, in England alone, 126 battalion 6-pounder guns, besides
brigades and parks of artillery, consisting of 29 12-pounders, 36 long
6-pounders, and 28 5½-inch howitzers. These were distributed in
Newcastle, Hull, Woodbridge, Colchester, Warley, Canterbury, Dover,
Lewes, Plymouth, and St. Austell; and there was a further reserve at
Woolwich of 12 12-pounders, 30 long 6-pounders, 3 8-inch howitzers, 12
5½-inch howitzers, and 30 light 6-pounders.

This seems a formidable force on paper, and it doubtless soothed many a
terrified alarmist, and silenced many an honourable member on the
Opposition benches. But, alas! both these desirable ends may often be
attained by an official return, and yet the evil may not be removed. Had
the House demanded that the means of locomotion for this powerful force
of artillery should be produced, it is to be feared that the men would
have been scarce and the horses scarcer. And yet the official return had
its value. The authorities concerned always managed--it may be at great
expense--to produce the necessary armament at the eleventh hour; and the
balance was merely so much dust thrown in the eyes of honourable
members, as a sort of Parliamentary tribute.

Official returns may be misleading, and yet the units of the force to
which they relate may be worthy of all praise. Rising from the
contemplation of faded pages, and the analysis of the Regimental
correspondence between 1796 and 1799, the chronicler feels that there
were in the Corps at that time men whose hearts were so engrossed in
their work, even in this time of sad rebellion, of national depression,
of uninteresting warfare, that they could truly say, with the poet who
was to come in later years--and with no exaggeration, but merely in a
simple expression of what was uppermost in their daily thoughts--

    “I rather dread the loss of use, than fame.”



The course of our narrative brings us again to the Continent of Europe.
In the year 1798, an expedition was ordered from England, with a view to
the destruction of the basin, gates, and sluices of the Bruges Canal,
and the consequent injury to the internal navigation between Holland,
Flanders, and France. The prevention of a meditated invasion of England
by the French would, it was hoped, by this means also be ensured. The
naval part of the expedition was under the control of Captain Home
Popham, while the military force was commanded by General Sir Eyre
Coote. Eight companies of the Guards, the 11th Regiment, and the flank
companies of the 23rd and 49th Regiments, [Sidenote: D.A. Gen.’s
Correspondence.] constituted the Infantry employed; and the Artillery
consisted of two companies attached to a battery of four 6-pounders and
three light howitzers. The Artillery officers were Captain W. H. Walker
(in command), Captain--afterwards Sir Wiltshire--Wilson, Captain C.
Godfrey, Lieutenants Simpson, Hughes, Ilbert, and Holcroft. The guns
were carried in different vessels, and landed near Ostend. On the 19th
May, at daybreak, the troops disembarked, and commenced destroying the
works. In a few hours they undid the labour of five years, besides
burning a number of transports, which had been collected for the
conveyance of French regiments to England; but this was not effected
without considerable loss. When, however, the English force attempted to
re-embark, it was found to be impossible, owing to the high wind which
prevailed and the heavy sea. It was therefore found necessary, after
going through the empty form of summoning the citadel, to encamp for the
night on the sands. The English were attacked at daybreak by the enemy
in overwhelming numbers; and after a severe action, in which Sir Eyre
Coote was wounded, the whole force was compelled to surrender. The
conduct of the Artillery was worthy of their comrades in the battle; and
their commander, Captain Walker, received wounds from which he died. Of
the rest the following official mention was made:--“Captains [Sidenote:
‘London Gazette,’ 21 July, 1798.] Wilson and Godfrey, and Lieutenants
Simpson, Hughes, and Holcroft, all of the same distinguished Corps,
after having done everything men could do, spiked their guns and threw
them over the banks at the moment the enemy was possessing himself of
them. The latter gentleman, Lieutenant Holcroft, when all his men were
wounded except one, remained at his gun, doing duty with it to the
[Sidenote: D. A. Gen., R.A., to Lieut.-Gen. of the Ordnance, 14 Nov.
1798.] best of his ability.” From subsequent official correspondence we
learn that the following officers were permitted, with their
soldier-servants, to return to England on parole, viz., Captain Wilson,
Lieutenants Simpson, Hughes, and Holcroft, Captain Godfrey remaining at
Lille with the men. From a plaintive letter to the
Deputy-Adjutant-General, written by the last-named officer, it would
appear that the prisoners were in a very sorry plight; for he implored
an advance of pay for all, as they “wanted almost everything sorely.”

Next year an expedition on a larger scale took place, although not much
more fortunate. It has an especial interest to the Artilleryman, as
being the first expedition in which a general officer of Artillery was
considered necessary with the force, on account of the large proportion
present belonging to that arm. General Pattison, who had held a command
in America, did so as an _Army_ not as an _Artillery_ General; and
General Phillips, who also commanded in that war, was merely a
regimental field officer, with army rank as General. The expedition to
the Helder, in 1799, had a contingent of Artillery, consisting of one
troop of Horse Artillery, and eight companies of Marching Artillery, as
they were termed. The troop was A, or the Chestnut Troop, commanded by
Major Judgson; and although part of it had taken a share in the
suppression of the Irish rebellion, this was the first occasion on which
any portion of the Royal Horse Artillery proceeded on _foreign_ active
service; and, as will appear, the troop had rather a rough [Sidenote:
Vol. i. p. 378.] _baptême de feu_. General Farrington was selected for
the command of Artillery, receiving the following letter from the
[Sidenote: D. A. Gen.’s Correspondence.] Deputy Adjutant-General, on the
8th August, 1799:--“In conversation yesterday with Lord Howe, he
observed that if the expedition now embarked was to be followed by the
troops and Artillery ordered to be in preparation, he should consider it
necessary for them to be accompanied by not only an Artillery officer of
experience and abilities, but by one high in rank in the Corps; and
under that idea I was desired to address myself to you, to know if your
health would admit of his proposing you to the Commander-in-Chief for
the command of the whole....” The offer was eagerly accepted by the
General, and his appointment was confirmed. He selected
Captain--afterwards Sir William--Robe as his Brigade-Major, and Captain
Maclean as his Aide-de-Camp.

The expedition was in two divisions: the first, under Sir Ralph
Abercromby, going from Southampton, while the second, and main division,
was being assembled in Kent. When united, the command-in-chief was to be
assumed by the Duke of York. Sir R. Abercromby applied for
Lieut.-Colonel--afterwards Sir Francis--Whitworth to command the
Artillery of his division, and his request was complied [Sidenote: MS.
Returns to the Board of Ordnance.] with. The following was the strength
of General Abercromby’s Artillery, viz.: 1 field officer, 6 captains, 13
subalterns, 2 surgeons, 40 non-commissioned officers, 371 gunners, and 6
drummers. There were also present with him, belonging to the Driver
Corps, 1 subaltern, 3 quartermaster commissaries, 15 non-commissioned
officers, 152 drivers, 5 artificers, and 200 horses.

The main Artillery force, under General Farrington, which followed that
just given, was of considerable strength, including, [Sidenote: D. A.
Gen. R.A. Correspondence.] besides Major Judgson’s Troop,
Lieut.-Colonels Smith and Trotter, 9 captains, 14 subalterns, 1 surgeon,
43 non-commissioned officers, 412 gunners, and 8 drummers, besides a
detachment of the Driver Corps, consisting of 1 captain, 4
quartermaster-commissaries, 12 non-commissioned officers, 166 drivers, 9
artificers, and 400 horses. The strength of Major Judgson’s Troop was as
follows: 2 captains, 3 subalterns, 1 surgeon, 16 non-commissioned
officers, 97 gunners, 58 drivers, 7 artificers, and 1 trumpeter; making
a total of 185, besides 191 horses.[8] A second troop of Horse
[Sidenote: * Captain Scott’s Troop, now A Battery, B Brigade.]
Artillery[*] was put under orders, but did not embark; and of a further
detachment of the Driver Corps, which was held in readiness, consisting
of 226 men and 400 horses, about one-half ultimately went, if not more.

The whole Artillery force which it was at first intended should be
sent--including the Driver-Corps auxiliaries--amounted to 1857 officers
and men and 1344 horses; and of this number certainly 1600 men and 1000
horses accompanied the expedition. Among the names of officers not yet
mentioned, who accompanied the Army to the Helder, the letters of the
period include the following: Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Terrot, Major Lewis,
Captain Mudge, Captain--afterwards Sir Augustus--Frazer, Captain Riou,
Captain Nicholls, Captain Ramsey, Captain-Lieutenant Geary, Lieutenant
Knox, Lieutenant Morrison, and Assistant-Surgeon Jameson. From other
sources we learn that two officers, who subsequently attained great
distinction in the Corps, were [Sidenote: Memoir of Sir E. C.
Whinyates.] also present--Sir E. C. Whinyates and Sir John Michell--both
officers being then 2nd Lieutenants. Lieutenants [Sidenote: Kane’s
List.] Simpson and Eligée are also known to have been present,
[Sidenote: Browne’s ‘England’s Artillerymen.’] from the fact that both
were among the wounded in the actions which took place. The reason why
uncertainty prevails as to the regimental details of the Artillery force
on this expedition will appear at the end of this chapter.

It will be readily understood that so large a force was not collected
without difficulty. But of the extent of the labour involved no one can
adequately judge who has not had access to the official letter-books of
the time. The expedition to the Helder proved at once the necessity of a
head-quarters staff for the Royal Artillery, and the capacity of the man
who had been selected as the first Deputy-Adjutant-General of the Corps.
The later campaigns, in whose organization Sir John Macleod had so large
a share, were undoubtedly on a grander scale; but it is questionable
whether his zeal, tact, and activity were ever so prominent, as in the
arrangements for this unfortunate expedition to Holland. He did
everything, and made a point of knowing everything, himself: he gave
himself no rest until he accomplished his purpose; nor yet did the
amount of his official labours interfere with the courtesy to all ranks
for which he was so remarkable. A private letter of friendly notice
always preceded the order for movement, where such intimation could be
given without detriment to the Service; no unnecessary mystery attended
his actions: he was almost laboriously anxious to meet the convenience
of all concerned, and evinced in his letters a sympathy, such as he
could not have surpassed in his dealings with his own relations. His
correspondence with the various commanding officers, from under whose
control he had to steal detachments to bring the companies for service
up to their required strength, is a masterpiece. Never for one moment
leaving the line of action which necessity and the Board had imposed on
him, he yet seemed to consult and defer to the Generals whose divisions
he was weakening, and to obtain by their consent what he really was
taking by force. If ever a wrong system, such as the old dual government
of the Artillery was, could be made less detestable, it was made so by
Colonel Macleod’s tact and courtesy. And it is better that the
deformities of a military system should be laid bare in time of _peace_,
than on the eve of _war_, when the almost inevitable confusion cannot
afford to be increased by ill-timed revelations. An indifferent machine
well-worked is better than an admirable one whose powers are paralysed
by some temporary, but thorough disarrangement. It is not when breakers
are ahead, that men speculate on the beauties of their engines: it is
_then_ that--be they what they may--they are expected to work to the
utmost of their power. In the hands of Colonel Macleod the evils of a
wrong system were reduced to a _minimum_: but the system was a wrong one

His exertions to perfect the force which he had to organize were as
admirable, as were his endeavours to remove all possible friction. There
have been times in our military history, when the great wheel of
progress and success has--after much creaking--been set in motion by the
untiring exertions of unexpected leaders, or uncomplaining heroism in
the ranks, instead of the labours of those on whom the organization of
the armies depended. And at such times of unexpected fortune, it has
generally been found that the official flies have buzzed most loudly
around the revolving wheel, as if they had been the motive power. Not so
with Colonel Macleod in 1799. Nothing was beneath his notice; no
exertion was spared by him which could ensure the perfection, as well as
the harmony, of the machine. The same pages which reveal his
consideration for individuals show also his determination to render the
Artillery part of the expedition unrivalled: and his difficulties were
very great. In the single item of horses, he found an obstacle which bid
fair to be insurmountable; for the horses did not exist in the service,
and could hardly be bought. Such animals as were procured by scouring
the country were in so wretched a condition, that they could barely
crawl in harness. So important was every day of decent rations to the
sorry brutes, that to every party marching to the port of
embarkation--Ramsgate--Colonel Macleod sent orders to shorten the
marches, and to delay going on board as long as possible--and [Sidenote:
D. A. Gen.’s Correspondence.] at all hazards, “except,” he wrote, “that
of allowing it to be said, ‘We are waiting for the Ordnance.’”

Among other evils was the monotonous cry from distant colonies--not only
heard in 1799, nor by one Deputy Adjutant-General--of “More men from
England!” Every place was drained of every available man; even the old
gunners at the Tower were drafted away, and raw recruits sent in their
place: but the colonial wants were not satisfied. Militia regiments,
which were embodied, were also sending daily petitions for battalion
guns, followed by remonstrances and strongly-worded indignation. And
Colonel Macleod, in spite of his _personal_ opinions, was obliged to
strain every nerve to meet a wish, which was still supported by our
military system. His personal opinions, it has been said,--and truly:
for the correspondence of the period reveals the fact that Colonel
Macleod had commenced to detest the existing system of battalion guns.
He dared not say openly what he thought; but from a private letter
written at this time his opinion may be easily learnt. Writing of some
detachments which had been collected under an officer’s command,
[Sidenote: Letter to Colonel--afterwards Sir John--Smith.] he said: “I
believe they are intended for the battalion guns of the Infantry
Brigades, and I had some thoughts of drawing them to Chatham, where I
would have them drilled to the duty expected of them--appointing 1
non-commissioned officer and 7 gunners to each 6-pounder, and
accustoming them to make use of a horse to advance, _instead of
drag-rope men_--a custom which weakens the battalions they are attached
to without aiding the services of the Artillery. For, between you and I,
six men are _too few to drag guns_, and _too many to stand with ropes in
their hands to be shot at_.”

An incident, which occurred at this time, shows that the system of
drawing lots was not confined to choice of stations or barracks at home.
In a letter to the commanding officer at Newcastle--Colonel
Lawson--Colonel Macleod, in calling for one of the companies under his
command for service in the expedition, requested him to assemble the
Captains, and make them draw lots for the duty.

It was in August 1799 that the force sailed from England; and the
student, who has realised the labours of Colonel Macleod, will also be
able to conceive the feelings of relief with which he despatched, at 3
A.M. on a day at the beginning of that month, a mounted orderly, to
carry the intelligence from Woolwich to the Duke of York at Deal, that
the last man and horse of the Artillery had embarked. It will now be
necessary to follow the expedition, merely remarking here that the
casualties, which speedily occurred, rendered a fresh supply of
ammunition and horses necessary before many weeks had passed, and that
consequently Colonel Macleod had but a brief respite from his toil.

The expedition to the Helder was intended to effect two things--the
capture of the Dutch fleet, which in the hands of the French was an
unmistakable danger to England, and a military demonstration in Holland,
which should lead to a rising against the Republican Government. In the
first of these objects the expedition succeeded; in the second it
miserably failed. For an exhibition of fruitless gallantry, it has not
been surpassed in the annals of the British Army. But happily it was
the closing scene in the drama of military failure, with which the last
decade of the eighteenth century was surfeited. With the new century
came a spirit in England’s military operations, which made her campaigns
by land as glorious as her successes by sea. The wars of the nineteenth
century threw into the background the share taken by our armies in the
wars of the French Revolution, during the period which preceded the
overthrow of the Directorate in France and the virtual assumption of the
supreme power by Napoleon in the winter of 1799. But the Regimental
historian has to bring even fruitless and unsuccessful wars to light
again, in his search for stories of individual gallantry or for the
causes of failure.

England’s ally in the expedition to the Helder was Russia. It had been
arranged by the two governments that the land forces should comprise a
Russian contingent of 17,000 men, and an English army of 13,000. England
more than fulfilled her promise: for the actual force sent by her was as
much as that promised as the Russian contribution. In addition, England
furnished vessels to assist in the transport of the Russian troops from
the Baltic, and a powerful fleet, of more than sixty men-of-war, under
Admiral Lord Duncan. On the 21st August, 1799, the fleet and transports
arrived off the mouth of the Zuyder Zee, and anchored off the Helder:
but foul weather prevented a disembarkation until the 27th,--a delay
which gave undoubted advantage to the French and Batavian troops. The
enemy was at first under the command of General Daendels, but he was
almost immediately superseded by General Brune; and the army, which had
at first been 10,000 strong, rose in a few weeks to nearly treble that

[Sidenote: 23rd, 27th, 29th, 55th, and 85th Regiments.]

Abercromby’s division was the first to land, and after a very severe
engagement, in which the Infantry under Generals Sir James Pulteney and
Coote behaved most gallantly, the Dutch were driven back, and the
English took possession of the Kirkduin, and the fort of the Helder. The
Artillery was not landed till after this engagement: nor was the
[Sidenote: Cust.] ground favourable to the use of the Dutch artillery.
The fleet was summoned to surrender: and the Dutch Admiral, conscious
of a strong spirit of insubordination among his crews, ever since the
appearance of the British flag, consented to deliver over his ships,
unconditionally; and thus gave over to the English the complete control
of the Zuyder Zee. On this taking place, the Dutch troops retired, and
took up a position in front of Alkmaar, where they were joined by
General Brune and 7000 French. Abercromby occupied the ground vacated by
the Dutch, and strengthened it in every way possible, being resolved to
await there the arrival of the Duke of York and the Russian contingent.
General Brune, however, saw the advantage of an engagement before such a
junction could be effected; and therefore on the 10th September he
assumed the offensive, but without success,--being totally defeated with
a loss of 2000 men. [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 16 Sept. 1799.] The
Artillery was of great service to Abercromby; and it was in this
engagement--known as the action of Zyp--that Lieutenant Simpson was
wounded. The French resumed their old position in front of Alkmaar,
which they greatly strengthened; and confined their operations to
preventing Abercromby from advancing out of the contracted space in
which he was situated.

On the 12th September the Russians arrived, and on the day following the
Duke of York assumed the command, and resolved on leaving the position
where the army had been stationed, and on attacking the enemy with the
large force now at his disposal, numbering about 35,000 men. He divided
his army into four columns: the right being under General Hermann, and
composed entirely of Russians; the second, under General Dundas,
consisting partly of British, and partly of Russians; the third, under
Sir James Pulteney, with a large proportion of Artillery and Cavalry;
and the fourth, under Sir Ralph Abercromby, consisting entirely of
British troops; the last being intended to make a _détour_ on the
evening of the 18th September--the day before the intended battle--and
to turn the enemy’s right flank. The first three columns were ordered to
attack simultaneously at break of day on the 19th, moving on different
named points. These arrangements, which have been somewhat severely
criticised, would doubtless have succeeded, had the Duke’s orders been
obeyed; but unfortunately the first, or Russian, column precipitated the
engagement by attacking the enemy two or three hours before the other
columns were ready to move, and drove the enemy out of the village of
Bergen. General Brune brought up his reserve to recover his lost ground,
and fell upon the Russian troops when in a state of intoxication from
the excesses of which they had been guilty since the capture of the
village. A disgraceful scene followed, ending in the tumultuous flight
of the Russians with the loss of many prisoners. The Duke of York
accompanied the second column, but the retreat of the Russians on his
right compelled him to fall back, and to send orders to the third and
fourth columns to do the same. Great success had in the meantime
attended the efforts of Sir James Pulteney,--the Guards, 17th and 40th
Regiments, having greatly distinguished themselves; but, owing to the
change given to the whole plan by the mistake and misbehaviour of the
first column, when night came the Allies occupied precisely the same
ground as they held in the morning. The loss to the English amounted to
500 killed and wounded, and 500 taken prisoners;--and the Russians lost
3000 men; but an equal number of the enemy had been taken prisoners by
the Allies. In this engagement, known as the battle of Bergen or
Alkmaar, the loss of the Royal Artillery was as follows:--

[Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 24 Sept. 1799.]

  First Lieutenant Eligée, wounded and taken prisoner;

  Volunteer John Douglass, wounded;

  _Killed_: 5 gunners; 4 gunner-drivers; and 3 additional gunners.

  _Wounded_: 8 gunners; 6 gunner-drivers; and 4 additional gunners.

  _Missing_: 7 gunners, and gunner-drivers.

In the interval between this engagement and the severe battle on the 2nd
October,--when the event occurred which gives the title to the present
chapter,--both armies were employed in strengthening their positions on
shore, in obtaining reinforcements, and in arranging their respective
gun-boats in such a way as to obtain from them an enfilade fire, in
event of attack. The Duke of York felt the importance of making a final
effort, before the season was further advanced: and his dispositions on
the 2nd October were much the same as on the 19th September, except that
he gave the right column to General Abercromby, whose force consisted of
8000 Infantry and 1000 Cavalry, with Major Judgson’s [Sidenote: General
Farrington to D. A. G. 17 Sept. 1799.] troop of Horse Artillery. The
troop was partly armed with 12-pounders,--a very heavy armament for
Horse Artillery, and one never again used:--and it seems all the more
unsuitable, when we find that the battalion guns, which were merely
6-pounders, were in one instance brigaded into a battery under Captain
Frazer,--presenting the anomaly in the army, on this 2nd October, of a
_light_ field artillery, intended for rapid movements, being armed with
guns of twice the calibre of those used by what should have been the
_medium_ field artillery, and only required to accommodate itself to the
movements of infantry.

The second column was composed of Russian troops, under Count Essen; the
third was under General Dundas; and the fourth under Sir James Pulteney.
The main interest attaches to the first column, whose duty it was to
keep close to the seashore as far as Egmont-op-Zee, and thence menace
the French left and rear. The other columns were to drive back the
enemy’s line if possible; and, at all events, so to occupy him as to
prevent the left from being strengthened in such a manner as might
endanger the success of the first column. The exertions of General
Dundas’s brigade were marvellous, and were crowned by success; but they
were almost undone by the refusal of the Russians, at a critical moment,
to advance against the village of Bergen, which had been laid bare by
the retreat of the enemy before the impetuosity of the English troops.
This refusal was never forgotten, nor was there from that hour any
harmony between the allied troops. Encouraged by the impunity allowed
them, the enemy resumed the offensive; but, although unable to drive
them farther back, the English succeeded, although with great loss and
difficulty, in holding the ground they had taken.

The first column, under General Abercromby, reached Egmont-op-Zee
without difficulty; but there it found a large force of all arms, under
General Vandamme, drawn up in line of battle. The engagement which
followed was prolonged and bloody. Sir Ralph was at last successful; but
his advantage was short-lived, for reinforcements arrived from Alkmaar
in such numbers that it required all the skill of the English General,
and all the undaunted courage of his men, to prevent his left from being
broken before night put an end to the engagement. It was at this time
that the Chestnut Troop received its baptism of fire. By some oversight
on the part of the General, or possibly owing to ignorance as to the
powers of this new weapon--Horse Artillery,--Major Judgson’s Troop had
been advanced to a dangerous distance, and left with an inadequate
escort. General Vandamme observed this, and, placing himself at the head
of his Cavalry, swept down upon the guns. The scene which followed was
an exciting one. Taken by surprise, the gunners did not lose their
presence of mind, but fired into the advancing cavalry until they were
in their midst; and then, with any weapons they had, they struggled with
the troopers, who, in immense numbers, surrounded them, and sabred them
at their guns. According to one [Sidenote: Browne.] account, two only of
the guns were carried off by the [Sidenote: Cust.] cavalry when they
retired; according to another, the whole were captured. Be it as it may,
the prize was not left long undisputed, for Lord Paget, placing himself
at the head of the 15th Light Dragoons--now the 15th (King’s)
Hussars--charged the enemy’s cavalry, pursuing them for over a mile;
and, assisted by the explosion of one of the captive limbers, succeeded
in recovering all the guns. The story is calculated to create a friendly
sympathy between the Chestnut Troop and the gallant Regiment which
proved so staunch a godfather to it at this its christening, and is one
to be talked over by the camp-fire in days coming on. In the order which
was issued after the battle, Major Judgson [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’
24 Oct. 1799.] received special mention. “In the severe action on this
day His Royal Highness expressed his thanks to Lieutenant-Colonels
Whitworth and Smith, who commanded the Artillery of reserve, and to
Major Judgson, of the Horse Artillery. Captain Nicholls was wounded in
this action, and is since dead.”

Although the Allies had not driven the enemy back as far as they had
hoped, they nevertheless occupied the ground on which the French General
had taken up his position, at the commencement of the battle. The loss
to the British was severe, 1300 having been killed and wounded,
including 100 officers.

Another attempt was made by the Allies on the 7th October to drive the
enemy back, and to escape from the position in which they had been
cramped since the commencement of the campaign; but, although they
defeated with severe loss the troops to whom they found themselves
immediately opposed, the _cordon_ beyond still hopelessly surrounded
them. As there was no symptom of a popular rising in the country on
their behalf, and as reinforcements were daily reaching the French, the
Duke of York decided on opening negotiations with a view to the
evacuation of Holland by the Allies. These were ultimately successful;
and the only beneficial result of this campaign, which survived the
negotiations, was the retention of the Dutch fleet by the English.

The conclusion of the Artillery share in this campaign had an element of
the ludicrous in it. In the old letter-books, deposited in the Royal
Artillery Record Office, is the following one, showing the pitiable way
in which poor General Farrington, who had left with all the pomp and
circumstance of war, returned to his home. Writing from [Sidenote: To D.
A. General, Nov. 3, 1799.] Blackheath, he says:--“After a very fatiguing
voyage and journey, I am this moment arrived at my own house. Trotter,
Smith, Terrott, Robe, Maclean, Lieut. Knox, and Dr. Jameson, came over
passengers with me, and will be at Woolwich this night, or to-morrow
morning. The want of horses keeps them back, and my anxiety of mind to
arrive as early as possible led me to accept a passage in a post-chaise;
but I have a melancholy tale to unfold. The ship in which we came
passengers, mistaking the entrance into Yarmouth Harbour, ran on the
sands, on which she struck with such violence as, with the first shock,
to unship her rudder, and stave in her bottom; but, wonderful to tell,
after keeping us in a most distressed state for an hour, she passed the
sands with 4 feet of water in her hold, and, by the exertion of the
boats of the fleet, every soul on board was saved--about 70 in number;
and in about half an hour the ship sank in 10 or 11 fathoms of water.
The cargo, such as guns, shot, and shells, may be saved; the ammunition,
of course, destroyed; and _we are all reduced to our ship-dress only_;
everything else lost. It has been a most providential escape, and
sincerely ought we to offer up our prayers for His mercy.

“I am too unwell to wait upon Lord Howe, _nor have I things to see him
in_; but if you could ride over here to-morrow, I will tell you all I
can respecting the embarkation of the Artillery horses, &c., _for I have
not a paper left_.”

While sympathising with the ill-fated General, the student cannot
refrain from anathematising the blundering pilot, who mistook the
entrance to Yarmouth Harbour, and was thus the cause of papers being
lost, which would doubtless have been priceless to the compiler of a
narrative of the Artillery share in the campaign of 1799.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Return dated Woolwich, 5 Dec. 1799.]

The following return of the losses of the Royal Artillery, _exclusive_
of the Driver Corps, in this campaign, was rendered by the
Deputy-Adjutant-General to the Board of Ordnance:--

  Killed, and died of their wounds        25 of all ranks.
  Wounded                                 21      ”
  Prisoners and Missing                   15      ”
  Horses sent from England               910
  Received in Holland from the     }     200
    Commissary-General’s Department}
                      Total             1110
  Killed, dead, and left behind          654
  Returned to England                    456

  (Signed) J. MACLEOD,



The history of the Regiment in 1800 and 1801 has its main interest in
the operations of the English Army in Egypt. In these, so glorious in a
military point of view, so effective in a national,--for they were the
main instrument in bringing about the Peace of Amiens--the Artilleryman
finds much to interest him, and much of which he may be justly proud.

It is fortunate for the purpose of this history that the officer who
commanded the Artillery in Egypt placed on [Sidenote: Brig.-Gen.
Lawson’s MSS. on Egypt, deposited in the R. A. Library.] record many
most interesting details, which the general historian would have
certainly overlooked, and whose reproduction in these pages will give a
far more graphic sketch of the difficulties which were encountered, than
could be given by the most skilful writer who had not himself been an
eye-witness. The unpretending account of the means adopted to overcome
the difficulties cannot fail also to inspire any officer, who may find
himself in a similar position, with a resolution to yield to no

The reader will remember that in the year 1800 there was a French army
stationed in Egypt, which, although reduced from its original numbers,
was yet too strong to be overcome by the Turks. England resolved to
reinforce the Turkish army by means of an expedition from England, the
military part of which was to be commanded by Sir R. Abercromby; the
naval, by Admiral Lord Keith. The Artillery of the Expedition was placed
under the command of Colonel Lawson, who, after much importunity,
obtained from the Duke of York the rank of Brigadier-General. Officers
of his own standing had obtained that rank to command brigades of
Infantry on the Expedition; and Colonel Macleod, although, [Sidenote:
Correspondence of D. A. General, R.A.] as he wrote, “bewildered with
orders and projects, alterations and inventions,” fought loyally to
obtain from the Board a recommendation that the officer commanding the
Artillery should receive it also.

[Sidenote: Embarkation Return, rendered to B. O. on 9 April, 1800.]

The strength of the Royal Artillery ordered to embark for Egypt under
General Lawson was as follows:--

    1 Field Officer,
    7 Captains,
   12 Subalterns,
    3 Surgeons,
   54 Non-Commissioned Officers,
    7 Lance N.-C. Officers,
  450 Gunners,
    9 Drummers,

making a total of 543, besides 38 women and 7 children. The civil branch
of the Ordnance was represented by 1 paymaster, 1 paymaster’s clerk, 1
commissary of stores, 1 assistant commissary and 4 clerks, 6 conductors
of stores, and 19 artificers.

The names of the officers named at first were Colonel Lawson, Captains
Thomson, Lemoine, Evans, Meredith, and Miller; Captains-Lieutenant
Newhouse and Boger; Lieutenants Raynsford, Munro, Lawson, F. Campbell,
Fauquier, Cleaveland, Armstrong, Michell, and Trelawny; and 2nd
Lieutenants Kirby, Rook, and Nutt. This force was augmented in the
Mediterranean from Minorca and Malta, and received a contingent, which
will presently be mentioned, from Lisbon; certain changes, also, were
made in it by [Sidenote: Report to D. A. Gen. from Gen. Lawson.] landing
at Gibraltar a company of the 6th Battalion, receiving one of the 5th
Battalion in exchange. The battalions actually represented in Egypt were
the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th, and the companies, which were present are
detailed in the first volume of this work. The 3rd Battalion was at this
time mainly stationed in the West Indies.

On the 5th May, 1800, General Lawson reached Portsmouth to take command
of the Artillery of the Expedition, which he had been informed was on
the point of sailing. He had also been informed that all necessary
particulars had been communicated to him by the authorities; but in
neither respect was his information correct, and the official fountain
of his knowledge was found to have poured forth a somewhat muddy
stream. Three weeks elapsed before he sailed--three weeks of wild,
hopeless confusion--affairs having been complicated by the Government
having decided on a secret expedition elsewhere, the Artillery of which
was placed under the orders of Colonel Seward, then in command at
Portsmouth. An interchange of companies between his force and that of
General Lawson was threatened, and mutual drafts were made, as far as
officers and a few men were concerned. Another company, under Major
Cookson, who distinguished himself subsequently in Egypt, joined General
Lawson at Portsmouth--a fact of which the student first becomes aware by
finding a joint letter from the subalterns of the company, petitioning
the Board, with considerable presence of mind, for an advance of pay,
they “being quite out of cash.” It is presumed that their request was
granted, for, [Sidenote: Colonel Seward to Colonel Macleod, 25 May,
1800.] on the morning of the 25th May, Colonel Seward reported the
embarkation of this company “between eleven and twelve o’clock in _high
spirits_.” The whole of General Lawson’s force had sailed by the 3rd
June, and reached Gibraltar on the 22nd of the same month. The gallant
General’s existence had been embittered during the last few days of his
stay in England by the masterly silence, profound as the grave, with
which all his inquiries for information, reiterated daily, were received
by the Board. The subsequent difficulties which he encountered were
mainly due to this triumph of official reticence.

Leaving General Lawson’s force at Gibraltar, let the reader return for a
moment to that under Colonel Seward, which was to form part of the
Secret Expedition. The Royal Artillery employed consisted of 386 of all
ranks, besides that marvellous accompaniment of all expeditions in those
days, whether secret or open,--22 women and 11 children. The armament
consisted of 16 light 6-pounders. Three companies were taken complete,
commanded by Major [Sidenote: Embarkation Returns, D. A. General’s
Correspondence.] Borthwick, Captain Salmon, and Brevet-Lieut.-Colonel
Bentham; and the following officers accompanied the force:
Captains-Lieutenant S. G. Adye and A. MacDonald; 1st Lieutenants W. R.
Carey, E. Curry, T. Masson, R. Carthew, S. Maxwell, D. Campbell, W.
Holcombe, and L. Carmichael; 2nd Lieutenants W. Norman Ramsay, W. D.
Nicolls, J. Rollo, and H. B. Lane. Major Borthwick was appointed by
Colonel Seward Brigade-Major to the Artillery. Besides these three
companies, drafts from almost every company in England were taken to
complete them to their proper establishment, and to man the battalion
guns. This heart-breaking system of robbing one company to feed the
wants of another prevailed to a great and continual extent during the
earlier part of this century, and its evil results show the vast
improvement of the depôt system, which clothes the cadres of dwindling
batteries abroad, without taking from those at home the men trained in
and for themselves.

Considerable trouble was experienced by Colonel Seward in obtaining the
co-operation of commanding officers of regiments in matters relating to
the battalion guns; and this expedition acted as another nail, so to
speak, in the coffin of that objectionable system. But infinitely
greater was the trouble caused by the vacillation and uncertainty of the
authorities, who, after the embarkation of the whole force, sent orders
for it to disembark and encamp near Southampton, until they could arrive
at some decision as to its destination. This afforded an opportunity for
clerkdom to run riot. Questions as to ship rations and land rations,
ship pay and land pay, poured on the ill-fated captains of companies
every day; and seldom did a mail reach them without a disallowance.

At length the expedition set sail (the military part of the force being
placed under Sir James Pulteney), and made an attempt on Ferrol, in
whose harbour some large men-of-war were lying. The troops landed under
a covering fire from the English fleet, and in the skirmish which
followed they had [Sidenote: Cust’s ‘Annals of the Wars.’] the
advantage. But, Sir James Pulteney, becoming alarmed at the strength of
the Spanish works, and at the news he received of their preparations,
re-embarked the troops the same evening, and sailed for Gibraltar. Here
Colonel Seward transferred to Colonel Lawson many of his officers, men,
and stores; and with the remainder, and all the sick, he went to Lisbon,
whence--pending his return to England--he [Sidenote: D. A. General’s
Correspondence.] wrote the most gloomy letters, that ever crossed the
threshold of Colonel Macleod’s office. The transfer of his officers to
General Lawson’s command at Gibraltar, and the receipt of others from
the companies in garrison, account for the presence in Egypt of many who
did not embark with the latter from England, such as Major Sprowle,
Captains Duncan and Adye, and Lieutenants D. Campbell, Sturgeon, and
Burslem. One of the companies which sailed from [Sidenote: B. General
Lawson to Colonel Macleod.] England with General Lawson was landed at
Gibraltar in exchange for Major Sprowle’s; and by this means the glories
of Egypt were denied to Captain Meredith and Lieutenants Cleaveland,
Michell, and Nutt.

[Sidenote: Colonel Cuppage, R.A., to Colonel Macleod, 11 July, 1800.]

From Gibraltar General Lawson went to Minorca, which he reached on the
10th July, after a tedious passage of nineteen days. Here he landed his
men to await the return of Sir R. Abercromby, who had at first started
for Genoa, with all the troops he could collect from Minorca and
elsewhere. While on the passage, however, Sir Ralph received a message
from the Admiral, Lord Keith, informing him that the Austrians had
evacuated Italy. He therefore diverted his course to Leghorn, where he
remained a week, and then went on to Malta. When the citadel of Valetta
in that island was given up by the French in September, and Malta passed
into the hands of the English, General Lawson followed Sir Ralph, and
the expedition to Egypt was in that island finally organized.

During this time the English force in the Mediterranean had been
increased by the arrival of a body of 4000 men, under Lord Dalhousie,
from Belleisle, where they had at first been intended to act. This
reinforcement, with others [Sidenote: Cust.] which followed, brought Sir
R. Abercromby’s force up to 17,489 men before it finally left Malta; and
an additional force of 6000 men, under Sir David Baird, was expected to
meet them from India. The story of the Expedition after leaving Malta
will be told in General Lawson’s own words. But, in passing, it may be
stated that Minorca was the residence at this time of Colonel Cuppage
of the Artillery, whose correspondence with the Deputy Adjutant-General
reveals the fact that he was allowed a power over the Royal Artillery in
the Mediterranean of a very extensive and unusual description. As a
rule, as little power as possible was allowed to commanding officers on
out-stations; the movements of officers especially were carefully
regulated from England; but Colonel Cuppage evidently had the power, and
exercised it, of transferring officers and men from companies, even
belonging to different battalions,--of appointing officers to the bomb
service in the Mediterranean, and of disembarking others already
appointed; and, in a word, of exercising unlimited control over that
part of the Regiment which came within the area of his command. This is
mentioned because such control, however advisable, was rarely exercised
by the Board, which was jealous of anything approaching independence in
those under its orders;--and it is impossible to avoid expressing
surprise that a system which succeeded so admirably on this occasion did
not receive further trial. The fact of Minorca being the residence of
the Commanding Officer of Artillery must not be construed as implying
that the old Ordnance Establishment and Train, which disappeared with
the capitulation of Port Mahon in 1782, had been revived. His residence
there was almost accidental, and mainly on account of its
convenience,--previous to the capture of Malta,--as a rallying point for
the naval and military forces in the Mediterranean.

One instance must be given, before entering upon General Lawson’s
narrative, to show how infamously the arrangements of the civil branch
of the Ordnance were often conducted, after a campaign had been
undertaken, and how scandalously the shortcomings of the _civil_ were
left to be expiated by the _military_ branch. These instances will be
frequent as this work proceeds, and they are reproduced with a double
and deliberate purpose: first, to show under what difficulties our
armies obtained their successes; and second, to remind those who are
ever ready to criticise the slightest shortcoming of the same
description in the present day, that in our older campaigns, whose
glories are remembered when their blunders are forgotten, the faults
which are deprecated so loudly to-day existed in an appalling degree.

Major Cookson’s company was the first of General Lawson’s force to leave
Portsmouth. The earliest report of its movements is a letter written by
Major Cookson from the Island of Houat, where he found 132 of the 6th
Battalion, making, with his own company, a total force of Artillery
amounting to 227 of all ranks. With characteristic energy, he commenced,
after landing his company, to improve and strengthen his position. The
reader will be good enough to remember that Major Cookson’s company was
one of those, on the equipment of which the Board had expended unusual
energy; and had felt such confidence in the omniscience of their _civil_
officials, that they would not even reply to the hints and prayers of
the officers of Artillery, who were most deeply interested. Doubtless,
then, everything will be found as it should be. Yet let us hear what
Major Cookson reports: [Sidenote: Major Cookson, from I. of Houat, 24
June, 1800.] “I have only a moment to tell you how very much distressed
I am; and how much the Service is retarded for want of a _Clerk of
Stores_ who understands his duty. There is a man here who calls himself
Conductor of Stores, but he is very far from being adequate to the
situation, being, in the first place, _incapable of writing_.... I have
16 pieces of ordnance under my charge (10 6-pounders and 6 howitzers),
all of which I had to complete to 100 rounds each, on board of the
different vessels they were in, and to mount them ready to land in a
_chasse-marée_, which was cut down and prepared for the purpose, and
which I got done in two days; since which I have been obliged to land
some here, and to put others from the ‘Diadem’ and ‘Inconstant’ on board
the ‘John’ ordnance ship, and into boats. Conceive, then, how much I
must have been in want of conductors and clerks of stores! On board the
‘John,’ when in a hurry for completing the ammunition, we were much
annoyed to find _12-pounder flannel cartridges for the 5½-inch
howitzers_, and other like mistakes; however, I _set the women to work_
and got over that difficulty and many others.... _All the camp equipage
for the officers and men whom I brought out is deficient_; do, pray,
therefore, send me out the camp equipage for my company ... with a
hospital and laboratory tent, as soon as you possibly can; as also
camp-kettles, canteens, and haversacks. The whole of the men have been
uncommonly harassed for some days past.”

This is a charming picture of official foresight, and one which we shall
find painted again and again in the succeeding pages of English story.
Blind to the fact that the men, who were to use them, were also the best
judges of the things required and--

    “Being too blind to have desire to see,”

the civil branch of the Ordnance too often reasoned _à priori_--evolved
out of its own consciousness certain ill-defined wants, which the troops
might possibly have--and, with many blunders and shortcomings,
endeavoured to meet them. And then, with monotonous recurrence, came a
pitiful struggle to maintain its own dignity in the face of incessant

[Sidenote: Major Cookson, from Houat, 1 August, 1800.]

That the response to Major Cookson’s appeal was not wholly satisfactory
may be gathered from the following extract from a subsequent
letter:--“Conceive,” he wrote, “their sending me a common soldiers’ tent
for the sick, and five horsemen’s tents _without their poles_, which to
obtain here would be impossible, as all the men-of-war have expended
already every inch of wood that could be spared. You will see by the
return that we have 50 men ill, and, I am sorry to say, several of them
dangerously so.”

It is a relief to turn, now, to the words of a man eminently capable of
removing the difficulties with which he was surrounded.

[Sidenote: Brig.-Gen. Lawson, R.A., MSS. Narrative in R. A. Library.]

“The Expedition, under the orders of Admiral Lord Keith and General
Abercromby, proceeded from the Island of Malta on the 21st December,
1800, arrived at Marmorice Bay, in Asia Minor, on the New Year’s Day
following, and remained there, waiting the co-operation of the Turks
(being the time of their Ramadan), until the 20th February. During this
period every measure was taken the situation admitted of to lessen the
numerous difficulties expected to be met with in Egypt,--such as a
dangerous shore to land upon--a country destitute of wood, water, or
roads--where (as the Commander-in-Chief informed the General Officers,
assembled by order) nothing was to be looked for but a wild waste of
desert, and obstacles which the most unremitting exertions had only a
chance of surmounting, independent of a formidable opposition from the
French troops.

“Under these ideas, and the battering train (originally designed against
Belleisle only) having joined the army very indifferently provided
indeed for such an uncommon, arduous enterprise, no time could be lost.
All the artificers were landed, and strong working parties sent into the
woods to cut down timber for making additional spars, skids, and
various-sized rollers, to form gangways for landing the heavy ordnance
upon, assisting them over deep sandy beaches, and in crossing the canals
formed for conveying the rising waters of the Nile into the towns and
cultivated spots of the country.

“The generally acknowledged difficulty of travelling by wheeled
carriages in Egypt induced the trial of a number of contrivances to
lessen that evil also, the first of which were a kind of litters,...
termed ‘horse-barrows.’ No wood growing in this country proper for such
purposes, rendered it necessary to dig saw-pits, in order to cut the
pine timber into long scantling (16 feet in length, and about 4 inches
square), something near the shape of a common hand-barrow, preserving
the grain as entire as possible. Two movable cross-bars, which are
secured by two small bolts, keep these shafts at a proper interval, to
admit a horse at each end between them. Each horse or mule had a small
cart saddle with girth, back-band, breastplate, and crupper, and a
halter for leading it by. These barrows were particularly useful for
narrow paths and the trenches of an attack, or for conveying any
individual weight too heavy for a single horse, such as a small piece of
ordnance, standing carriage, large casks of provisions, &c. (The powder
and ammunition expended at the attack of Aboukir Castle were mostly
conveyed from the landing-place to the batteries in this manner.)
Besides these single barrows, a design was formed for double ones,
consisting of three shafts, to be carried by four horses in pairs; and
also others upon a still larger scale for camels, but neither time nor
materials admitted of their being put into immediate execution. A very
considerable number of carrying-poles, about 9 feet long each, were
formed out of the small-sized trees, to which rope-slings were added,
for the soldiers to convey kegs of musket-ball cartridges,
ammunition-boxes, or royal mortars with.

“A number of horses were purchased at Constantinople on the part of the
English Government, and sent to Marmorice, for remounting the Light
Dragoons, and those rejected by them were turned over to the Artillery
service. Such poor undersized animals as they were rendered it
absolutely necessary not only to take the harness entirely to pieces, in
order to bring it anything near fitting them, but also to lay aside all
the heavy parts, such as neck-collars, chain-traces, curb-bits, &c., and
replace them with light leather breast-collars, rope-traces, and pads
formed out of the waggon harness, a great part of which, fortunately,
was not likely to be otherwise called for.

“About 130 horses being thus completed with harness, some light
pieces--guns and howitzers--were landed, and a small park formed, in
order to drill them to the draught. Every reform possible was made to
lighten the travelling of the ordnance, and it was very much wished to
have exchanged the limber-shafts for poles also, on account of their
weight, as well as other considerations; but no proper wood could then
be procured--even at the Island of Rhodes--for the purpose. The
clock-trailed light 6-pounder carriages had ten horses allotted to each
for draught; but the framed ones required twelve when going over heavy
sand or shingle.

“A few of the most useful horse-artillery manœuvres were also practised
here, it being the Commander-in-Chiefs intention to establish some
pieces on that principle whenever horses could be procured for it.
Drivers were also very much wanted, several of those which came out
originally with the battering train having, with their officer,
returned, in a very unaccountable manner, from Lisbon to England, after
the attempt on Cadiz.

“The following considerations were submitted to the Commander-in-Chief
at Marmorice Bay, on 10th Jan., 1801:--

“1st. As the passage of the fleet to the coast of Egypt may probably be
short, it is humbly proposed to have the light field-pieces of the first
division of troops conveyed from hence on the decks of the ships of war,
so as to be at once lowered down altogether into the boats, having their
Artillery detachments along with them, without the necessity of any
other preparation after coming to anchor.

“2nd. The ordnance ships, in which the other pieces next for landing are
aboard, to be conducted and stationed by the agent himself (the masters
alone not being sufficient at such a crisis) as near to the shore as
safety will admit. And it will be necessary, on account of the crowded
manner in which they were loaded in England (being taken upon freight),
to have light vessels alongside of them to receive the water-casks, and
articles not immediately wanted, in clearing away to those sought for.

“3rd. Small vessels or decked boats, with field ammunition and
musket-ball cartridges, will be required (particularly if the coast
proves shallow) still nearer in shore, and to be stationed opposite the
centre of attack immediately after the landing of the first division of
the troops, distinguished by Ordnance Jacks. In order to furnish the
most speedy supply possible, a number of hand-carts and carrying-poles
may be thrown on shore from these boats, for the soldiers to take off
any ammunition wanting, until the horses can be landed.

“4th. The flat boats and launches of the ships of war are wished to be
employed in carrying the field ordnance, &c., ashore, instead of
transports’ long-boats, which (as was experienced at Cadiz), from their
want of hands and general size, are quite inadequate to the business.

“5th. Planks, joined together lengthways by staples and cordage, may be
necessary to travel the carriages upon over the heavy sands. The French,
it is said, made use of raw hides in passing the deserts with their
field-pieces. Perhaps lengths of rope, about 30 feet each, with narrow
netting between to receive the wheels upon, might be found as useful,
and, in our situation, more readily procured.

“6th. One thousand seamen, provided with drag-ropes or harness, will be
required to assist in landing and drawing up the heavy ordnance and

“7th. The mode of advancing into the country will depend upon the means
of draught found there; but, at all events, if a strong detachment of
seamen can be procured to remain with the Artillery, it will be highly
beneficial to service.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Agreeable to these representations, application was immediately made to
Lord Keith, who consented to take aboard each of the line-of-battle
ships two field-pieces, which were placed on the poops ready for
lowering down into the launches all together. Twenty-five seamen and
officers were allotted to each piece, with fifteen of the Artillery.
These 350 were all the seamen his Lordship could spare out of the 1000
demanded. Two general rehearsals of landing were then practised: the
guns got ashore very readily, and _quicker than the troops could leap
out of their boats_. Each ship-of-war formed its own boat’s gangway; the
best of them was made out of the fishing of a mast, which, being hollow,
secured the wheels of the carriage from slipping, without side-pieces.”

_Alterations made in Carronade Carriages._--“The moving of heavy
ordnance over the deserts of Egypt the French thought impracticable, and
attempted no larger calibre than 8-pounders or 12-pounders. Something
more, however, seemed necessary for us to make trial of against an enemy
so much more formidable than any they had had to contend with,
independent of the ambition of superior resource. Upon comparing all
circumstances together, it appeared likely that whatever works they
might have raised in the interior of the country since their possession
of it, could not be very solid ones, even if composed of masonry, for
want of time to settle and the cement to harden sufficiently in such
substances; and earth alone, in this climate, must soon crumble to dust
or sand, and easily be destroyed by shells. From these considerations it
was concluded that carronades might probably be found sufficiently
powerful to breach them in either case at moderate distances, and be
easily conveyed by the double horse or camel-barrow across the country
if necessary. The circumstance being suggested to Sir Ralph Abercromby,
and, at the same time, the means proposed of altering the carriages for
this purpose without affecting their sea-service in the smallest degree,
His Excellency communicated the idea to Lord Keith, who immediately
ordered several of these 24-pounder carriages (though larger ones were
wished for) ashore from the ships-of-war, to undergo the necessary
alteration. This operation being soon executed, some trials of shot and
shells were made there, and afterwards aboard the ‘Foudroyant,’ in
presence of the Admiral and the General, and much approved of.”

For the information of the non-professional reader, it may here be
mentioned that carronades are far lighter than guns of the same calibre.
The details by which General Lawson describes, in his MSS., the
modifications made by him to render the carronade-carriages suitable for
his purpose, are illustrated by carefully-prepared diagrams, without
which the description would hardly be intelligible. It may be stated
briefly that, by certain additions to the carriage--which could easily
be removed when again wanted on board ship--he produced something akin
to the modern dwarf traversing platform, requiring little or no ground
platform on which to be traversed. The navy officers who were present at
the experiments expressed their opinion that the alteration would be
very useful to their service also, for taking up posts occasionally

The MS. proceeds next to describe the arrangements made by General

“Many mistakes, as well as loss of time, happening on service by the
ammunition being sent into the field with the waggons accompanying the
guns in the same state as lodged in the storehouses; that is, round
shot, case shot, cartridges, and small stores, each article in separate
packing-boxes, it was thought advisable, especially on this occasion,
where the ammunition must be mostly carried on camels’ backs, to
complete each individual box with a certain number of rounds (one fourth
case), including small stores, and everything necessary to the firing of
them. This was effected by only raising the round-shot packing-case
about two inches higher, and the addition of a small board as a false
bottom, which admitted of stowings as follows, viz., for light
6-pounders, 15 rounds and a extra case-shot; light 12-pounders, 8
rounds; medium 12-pounders, 7 rounds. For the royal howitzer ammunition,
it was necessary to have two packing-boxes on this principle, viz., one
containing 9 live shells and 1 case-shot; the other with 2 case-shot and
all the articles for firing 12 rounds complete. This mode was found
extremely useful in the field, and is strongly recommended for all
immediate occasions of service, as no possible mistake can then happen,
either from ignorance or neglect, in supplying the guns or limber-boxes
with the utmost expedition.

“The ammunition for field-service was usually conveyed on camels’ backs,
each carrying four of the altered 6-pounder packing-boxes, two on each
side, in a sort of netted bag thrown over a pack-saddle; but, useful as
these animals are generally for great weights, there are inconveniences
attending them in this particular service; viz., when loaded (which, of
course, must be daily repeated) they move very slowly, therefore quite
unfit for Horse Artillery;--in order to load or unload, they must first
be made to kneel down, which in an action they are not always inclined
to, and sometimes become very refractory and unmanageable; also,
whatever quantity of ammunition is required for the gun must always be
taken equally from both sides at the same time, to preserve its
equilibrium, &c.

“These reasons determined a trial of light carriages in their stead,
first beginning with royal howitzer ammunition, it being the most
dangerous and liable to injury. Some of the hand-carts were selected for
this purpose, and, in order to travel the better, converted to
curricles. The poles were accordingly lengthened, and cross-bars fixed
to support them in front of the horses’ collars, much in the same manner
as the 3-pounder carriages formerly used in the Horse Artillery, only
more simplified. These carriages were drawn by four horses each, and
went through all the marches of the army to and from Grand Cairo
remarkably well, travelling very rapidly with 48 rounds of the howitzer
ammunition completed for immediate service, as already mentioned.”

_Light 3-pounder Carriages altered for Cavalry._--“Our Cavalry, from
their want of proper horses, being found very unequal to the
capitally-mounted French dragoons, it became necessary to aid that
defect by the attachment of Artillery. Four light 3-pounders (brought
from Malta) were first prepared for this service. Their original mode of
travelling with shafts and single line of draught was altered to a
double one by cutting off the shafts of the limber at the cross-bar, and
introducing a pole instead of them, together with other improvements.
(For example, a block of wood was fixed by two bolts to the back of the
axletree, and the iron pintail removed from the centre of it to this
block to receive the trail of the carriage upon. This was done in order
to make room for a 6-pounder ammunition-box, to be fixed crossways in
the front. The old side-boxes belonging to the carriage being rejected
entirely, _their places furnished seats for two gunners_. At small
expense an ammunition-box, containing 8 rounds, was made to fit in
between the cheeks of the gun-carriage, after the French manner. _A
copper tray or drawer was introduced under one of the gunners’ seats to
contain the slowmatch, instead of carrying a lintstock._) Four or six
horses, with two drivers (according to the ground), drew the carriage.
These pieces were served by four Artillerymen, _two on the carriage and
two mounted on the off draught-horses_. They went through the service to
Grand Cairo, and travelled much better than was expected from the
lowness of the limber-wheels, which defect there was no remedy for in

“Four light 6-pounders upon block-trail carriages, with two royal
howitzers, were also equipped (as nearly as the means would admit) for
Horse Artillery service. Seven Artillerymen and three drivers, with ten
horses, were allotted for the service of each piece, the gunners riding
the horses in draught, but the non-commissioned officer mounted single
for the purpose of advancing to examine roads, reconnoitring the enemy,
&c. These block-trail carriages, from their lightness, short draught,
and quick turning, passed over the inundation dykes and desert with
great ease, while the framed carriages with more horses were attended
with difficulty and delay, and once in the desert, were obliged to be
left behind.

“The success of the curricle carts (for field ammunition) induced a
trial if something might not be done with the waggons also, hitherto
looked upon as out of all question, except the local duties of the park.
Some of them were taken to pieces, and all the heaviest parts laid
aside--that is, the bolsters, sides, and shafts. The bottoms were then
contracted both in length and breadth, so as just to receive nine or ten
of the altered packing-cases only. The hoops were lowered, and the
painted covers made to fit exactly. Poles were used instead of shafts,
and the usual swingle trees reduced fewer in number. The rejected parts
being weighed, no less than six hundred pounds appeared saved in the
draught by this simple operation, and a larger proportion of ammunition
conveyed by it at the same time with less labour. The immense weight and
bulk of the platform and devil carriages rendered them totally useless;
some of these altered waggons were substituted as a light class of the
former kind, by taking away the bottoms entirely, and fixing in their
stead a couple of very strong planks to each, with an interval between
them resembling the original. These light platform carriages proved very
useful in withdrawing the ordnance and stores from our lines across very
heavy sands for re-embarkation.”

The next subject treated of in the MS. is “Heavy weights raised without
a Gin,” as follows:--

“The two-wheeled trench-cart (of which there were luckily a number on
the Expedition) is a most useful little carriage for carrying articles
of moderate bulk to a ton in weight; indeed, even so far as 10-inch iron
mortar-beds of 23 cwt. were transported in them, but in these cases it
was necessary, of course, to make use of a gin also. To obviate this
circumstance and render the cart of more independent utility, an
inclined plane was attached to the rear of it, and a small windlass
fixed in the front, with a rope and iron block hooked to the weight,
having rollers to ease the purchase, the weight being thus brought up on
the cart by turning the windlass. By this simple means six men were
sufficient to mount upon the cart, and deliver at a battery any article
the strength of the axletree and wheels could bear, without making the
appearance or drawing the attention of the enemy, which such large
machines as devil carriages and sling carts constantly do, besides
taking into consideration the vast difference, in point of weight,
between these carriages in themselves. Another considerable advantage is
that this contrivance is only occasionally applied, and the cart may be
immediately worked in its original capacity.

[Sidenote: Narrow wheels prevented from sinking in the sand.]

“It being apprehended that extraordinary heavy weights might cause the
low, narrow wheels of the trenched cart to sink so much into the sand as
to retard the draught considerably, a contrivance was thought of to
prevent this from happening, by occasionally increasing the breadth of
the fellies. The staves of casks being strong, and of a favourable shape
for the purpose, and still more valuable from their being easily
procured at the Commissary-General’s store, it was proposed to cut them
into lengths of seven or nine inches each piece, having two small iron
staples fixed at an interval, the breadth of the _felley_. A rope equal
in length to the circumference of the wheel is run through each of these
lines of staples, secured so as not to slip out, but keep the staves
parallel at one inch and a half asunder. They are then applied to the
wheels, and fixed by small lashings to the spokes, to keep the whole
from any alteration in travelling.”


1st. “The original intention of the Expedition did not appear to have
Egypt for its object, and for a considerable while was very
inauspicious. In the first instance it proved too late to be any use to
the Austrians in Italy, and afterwards became unsuccessful at Cadiz.
Much time appeared to be lost before it reached the _rendezvous_ at
Marmorice Bay; and it was then thought by the Turks a very unseasonable
part of the year for any attempt on the coast of Egypt, besides which it
happened to be the time of their Ramadan, when no operations of any kind
are undertaken by them. This last delay, however, although much
regretted, turned out advantageous to the future proceedings of the
army. Some useful arrangements were made then, besides the opportunity
it gave of landing the sick after a long confinement on board ship, by
which many recovered; and the Island of Rhodes, just in the
neighbourhood, afforded hospitals for the remainder.”

2nd. “All the field ordnance, which had been landed at Ferrol with
Lieutenant-General Sir James Pulteney’s army, and afterwards joined
General Sir Ralph Abercromby, were re-embarked there in so disorderly a
manner that no one piece was found fit for immediate service. This
circumstance will for ever unfortunately occur, _unless the direction of
the business is left entirely to the Artillery Corps_, whether navy
boats and ships of war or those of the Ordnance only receive them. It
cannot be expected that the navy officers are in the first place fully
acquainted with the real importance of keeping all the parts of such
carriages, ammunition-boxes, &c., exactly sorted together, or that they
can bestow much consideration on the subject, hurried as they generally
are upon such occasions.”

3rd. “The turning over only rejected horses from the Dragoons to the
Artillery services was not so well judged as might be expected. It would
have been fortunate (the best of theirs bearing no comparison with the
French cavalry) to have rendered the movement of the Ordnance more
effectual; as it was, both corps remained insufficient; the effects of
which were fully experienced in the action of the 13th March, when, had
only a part of the number of pieces then in the field been very well
horsed, the fate of Alexandria (it is more than probable) might have
been decided on that day. The French, on the other hand, _constantly
applied the very prime of their strong horses (those belonging to the
officers not excepted) to the draught of their ordnance_, which were
chiefly on the Horse Artillery establishment, with 8-pounder guns and
6-inch howitzers, opposed to light 6-pounders and royals only.”

4th. “The disembarking of ordnance, unless in the instance of
field-pieces let down into the boats ready mounted from ships of war,
however regularly performed, is always liable to some confusion. This
principally arises from the parts of the same natures of carriages not
corresponding so correctly as they might do, particularly in the
diameters of the wheels and arms of the axletrees, which should likewise
be as general throughout the whole as possible. The waggons and carts
being frequently made by contract, are very defective in these points,
even to the fitting of their head and tail-boards; and, trifling as this
may appear to a workman at home, it often occasions delays of
consequence to the service, or credit of those concerned in it abroad.
No nation, in point of economy alone, requires so much attention to the
construction and solid stowage of its military carriages and stores as
Great Britain does, on account of their frequent embarkations, the
expenses of which in the course of a war are prodigiously great.”

5th. “The considerations submitted to the Commander-in-Chief respecting
the first landing of the ordnance and stores, were much approved, and
happily executed with great despatch, notwithstanding some very serious
impediments, arising from the manner of loading the ships _by freight_
(carrying as much as possible without order), instead of being regularly
assorted. The embarking troops also on board such ships is always
attended with, not only great inconvenience, but considerable damage,
from the quantity of water necessary to carry for them, the waste and
leakage of which injures the carriages and stores considerably
underneath, besides the difficulty it occasions of getting at them when
required for service. In the preparations for landing at Cadiz, seventy
tons of water were obliged to be first removed from one ship only. Great
inconveniences were also found from the magnitude of some of the ships,
which could not be brought within some miles of the shore. They should
for such services never exceed 600 tons, and a moderate draught of

6th. “Carronades might certainly be employed in the land service to
considerable advantage in many situations, particularly on the flanks or
firing over the parapets of fortifications and for field-works in
general. It would also be very well worth while to have some experiments
tried with them in breaching walls and earthworks. The common objection
made to their shortness injuring the embrasures has more of imagination
than reality in it. They may be advanced the extent of any gun mounted
upon a travelling carriage, and much farther than the largest garrison
howitzer, with less explosion of powder. If their present carriages are
found to recoil too far, it is easily checked by only laying a few
filled sand-bags upon them, and in the rear, as was practised in Egypt
with perfect success; or it may be checked by small iron wedges with
chains, placed to receive the fore-trucks upon.”

7th. “The arrangement made of the spare field-ammunition on the passage
from Marmorice Bay to the coast of Egypt was very fortunate, as it
proved impossible to have carried any quantity forward otherwise, for
want of conveyance, excepting a few camels taken from the enemy on the
first landing in Aboukir Bay.”

8th. “The 3-pounder light guns, patched up as they were, gave
considerable confidence to the Dragoons. This calibre might be rendered
very useful to Cavalry in general by an increase of dimensions, to 4½
feet in length, and about 4 cwt. in weight, with carriages upon a quick
travelling construction, not overloaded with ammunition, which our
service is rather liable to.

“Foreigners frequently observe the singularity of shafts being preferred
in the British Artillery carriages to poles, made use of by all other
nations as being simpler, lighter, and cheaper; added to which the
experience of having travelled over the most difficult features of
Europe, and ground of every description with them, fully evinces their
perfect sufficiency. A strong instance of the inconvenience of shafts
occurred to us at Rahmanich: just as one of the 6-pounders was limbering
up, the shaft-horse was killed by the enemy; much time was lost in
clearing the carriage from him, and the harness being also damaged,
rendered it difficult to apply another in his place.

“In the marching of the 12-pounders to Grand Cairo (drawn by oxen with a
horse in the shafts) the want of double or travelling trunnion-boxes was
much regretted. Some few carriages were formerly so constructed for the
Horse Artillery, but why discontinued remains unknown, as they are
undoubtedly very advantageous to a heavy draught or indifferent horses.

“In moving the 24-pounder guns across the country from the first
position near Cairo (where a bridge of boats to communicate with the
Grand Vizier’s army was thrown over the Nile) for the attack of Gizeh,
the axletrees of the sling-carts giving way, the medium 12-pounder
carriages were appropriated to this purpose, the trench-carts carrying
the mortars, standing carriages, &c.”

9th. “No carriage appears to want reform more than the common Artillery
waggon. There is too much of it merely for carrying ammunition, and it
is too narrow for baggage or bulky stores. In the alterations made for
the proposed arrangement of spare ammunition, the boxes will require for
hard roads to be more securely fixed than was necessary for travelling
in Egypt.”

10th. “The inclined plane, or purchase for raising weights upon the
trench-carts, might prove very useful, upon a larger scale, for mounting
or dismounting heavy ordnance without being obliged to make use of a
gin, which not only requires a number of men to work, and a carriage to
convey it to a battery, but when fixed there becomes a considerable
object to the enemy besieged. This proposed machine being quite free
from all these inconveniences makes it extremely well worth while to try
the experiment for such occasions.”

11th. “If the mode mentioned of preventing narrow wheels from sinking in
deep sandy situations should have the appearance of possessing more
fancy than judgment, it must be placed to the variety of obstacles which
hourly presented themselves in Egypt, and called for every assistance
the mind could catch at to surmount. And still perhaps the idea may lead
to something useful even in a northern climate, passing over snow, &c.”

12th.... “The extraordinary heavy weights of the iron mortars and beds
proved a great embarrassment without any peculiar advantage derived from
them. Indeed, where no considerable extent of range is required--as is
the case in most attacks--brass mortars mounted upon proportional iron
beds seem in general much preferable, at least under 13 inches in

13th. “Flat boats are the best and most useful conveyance for troops,
and ordnance, possible; every means, therefore, should be employed to
preserve them from injury. Though apparently slight, it is surprising
what they can bear. In moving the stores up Lake Etcho, for the attack
of Fort Julian, some of them were dragged three miles over sand and
mudbank. The battering-pieces for this service were obliged to be landed
on the open sea-beach, and conveyed four miles across the deserts and
swamps to their batteries. These laborious and difficult operations were
frequently repeated during the expedition. Upwards of thirty 24-pounders
were disembarked from the ordnance ships, conveyed by boats up Aboukir
Lake, and landed near the head of it for the attack of Alexandria. From
thence twenty were returned to the ships in Aboukir Bay, conveyed to the
mouth of the western branch of the Nile, disembarked and taken over that
dangerous bar by _sea-jerms_, landed at Fort St. Julian, re-embarked
there in _river-jerms_, in order to proceed up the Nile. Several were
landed within four miles of Grand Cairo, and conveyed from thence twelve
miles across the country, for the attack of Gizeh;--returned back after
the surrender of Cairo by the same route, and exactly in like manner to
Alexandria;--relanded there for further operations of attacks carrying
on both on the eastern and western side of it,--the capitulation of
which concluding the campaign, they were again conveyed to the ships in
Aboukir Bay.

“Besides the articles already detailed, numerous minute circumstances
happened in the course of the campaign, which necessity continually
urged the imagination to provide against. Every movement by land or
water was attended with infinite labour and difficulties; added to which
the violent heat of the sun, and shocks received by passing over the
formidable cracks it occasioned in the ground (annually overflowed by
the Nile) on the march to Cairo operated so powerfully on the carriages,
as to require perpetual attention and daily repair--without the most
common materials for such occasions, either of wood or iron, to be found
in the country.

“N.B. The oxen drew very well upon common ground, but in deep sand they
generally became restive. The large-sized mules were excellent in
draught when well-disposed; but, from their natural obstinacy, it was
found best to intermix them with horses.”


                                                No. of Pieces.
  In the Field    On the 8th March                     5
                  On the 13th  ”                       3
                  On the 21st  ”                       2
                  On the 22nd August                   7
  Garrisons       Aboukir Castle                      11
                  Fort Julian                         15
                  Fort Burlos                          5
                  Grand Cairo and Dependencies       121
                  Gizeh Lines and Arsenal            530
                  Alexandria Arsenal                 411
  Island of Marabout                                  10
  Damietta and Walls of Lesbie, &c.                   54
  Ships of war in the Harbour of Alexandria           77
                      Total number of pieces        1251

  N.B.--Besides the above, the French were allowed to embark 50
  field-pieces from Cairo, and 10 from Alexandria.

The extremely interesting notes just quoted, although relating more to
questions of _matériel_ than _personnel_, still give a clear idea of the
difficulties attending the movements of the Artillery in Egypt, the
overcoming of which was no less honourable, if, indeed, not more so,
than their marked courage in the field. In alluding to the latter, a
very brief sketch of the campaign will suffice.

On the morning of the 8th March, 1801, the English army disembarked in
Aboukir Bay under a heavy fire, and drove back the French with a loss of
five guns. On the 13th the severe action known as the affair of
Nicopolis took place, in which the French were again defeated, but not
[Sidenote: Cust.] without a loss to the English of 1300, killed and
wounded. The siege of Aboukir Castle followed, the bombardment
[Sidenote: Browne.] being conducted by Major Cookson, and it surrendered
on the 19th. On the 21st, the memorable battle of Alexandria was
fought,--memorable not merely for its victorious result, but also for
the irreparable loss which the English army suffered in the death of Sir
R. Abercromby. The conduct of the Artillery in the battle attracted
great attention; the [Sidenote: Stewart’s ‘Highlanders of Scotland.’]
precision of their fire was strongly commended, and, but for the
wretched animals with which the guns were horsed, an advance of the army
might have then taken place, which would have ensured the immediate fall
of Alexandria. [Sidenote: Browne.] Lieutenants H. Sturgeon, J. G.
Burslem, and D. Campbell, of the Royal Artillery, were wounded. The
battle had been waged mainly on the right of the English army, and
before the end of the day the ammunition of both Artillery and Cavalry
on the English right was all but exhausted, so much so that “on an
attempt of the French to advance anew against this flank, the soldiers
of the 28th actually [Sidenote: Cust.] pelted them with stones.”
Unfortunately for the modern Artilleryman, General Lawson was a very bad
correspondent during the war; and when the student commences anxiously
to search for his despatches to the Ordnance, he finds, [Sidenote:
Colonel Macleod to General Lawson.] instead, indignant remonstrances
addressed to the gallant General for his silence. He was so occupied
with overcoming the natural difficulties of the expedition, that he had
no time for writing; and he valued no words of commendation, which were
spoken with regard to his services, so much as those referring to the
chief engineer and himself, which formed part of a despatch written by
General Hutchinson, [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 22 October, 1801.] the
successor of Sir R. Abercromby:--“The skill and perseverance of those
two officers have overcome difficulties which at first appeared almost

The arrival of a Turkish division, 6000 strong, to support him, on the
3rd April, 1801, induced General Hutchinson, who succeeded Sir R.
Abercromby in the command, to carry the war farther up the Nile, instead
of waiting before Alexandria. He commenced with some detached
operations: Rosetta surrendered on the 8th, and Fort St. Julian, after
[Sidenote: Browne’s ‘England’s Artillerymen.’] a bombardment, on the
19th. “On the 18th April a mortar battery, erected against Fort St.
Julian, under the direction of Captains Lemoine and Duncan, fired some
shells with remarkable accuracy: one of them pitched on the centre of
the roof, and tore away the flagstaff and colours, which the French
never dared to erect again.”

The great events of the campaign were the surrender of Cairo on the
28th June, 1801, and of Alexandria on the 2nd September. It was during
the march on Cairo that the ingenuity and endurance of the Royal
Artillery were most severely tried. Other writers have borne
testimony--in glowing, but not exaggerated terms--to the gallantry of
the other arms of the service in this campaign; and it must not be
assumed that the necessary allusions to a particular corps in a work
like this imply any assertion of superiority; such conduct would be at
once unjust, and subversive of the main purpose of this history. There
are regiments, the very mention of whose names brings instinctively to
the hearer’s memory the brave story of Egypt; but, where all were brave,
the special professional duties of Artillerymen obtained for those, who
served in that capacity, opportunities of displaying energy and
ingenuity which were denied to others. There have been campaigns where
the exertions of the Infantry have dwarfed those of the other arms;
there have been occasions--sung by poets, and boasted of with just pride
by all Englishmen--when the honour of England was entrusted to her
Cavalry, and was brought back with redoubled lustre; it is, therefore,
in no spirit of depreciation of the other arms that the services of the
Artillery are especially pointed out, during a campaign where the
hardest work was not in battle, and in a work which hopes to hand down
to their successors the merits of those who, in Egypt, were responsible
for their Regiment’s reputation. It is with such a hope that words like
the following, referring to the siege [Sidenote: Stewart’s ‘Highlanders
of Scotland.’] of Alexandria, are reproduced:--“The proceedings against
Alexandria showed to what a pitch of perfection the British Artillery
had arrived. The battery on the Greenhill opened at six o’clock on the
morning of the 26th August, and before mid-day the enemy were completely
silenced, their batteries destroyed, and their guns withdrawn. On the
west of Alexandria, the tower of Marabout was bombarded from a battery
commanded by Captain Curry,[9] of the Royal Artillery. The first shot
struck the tower, four feet from the ground; every succeeding shot
struck the same spot; and in this manner he continued, never missing his
mark, till a large hole was in a manner completely bored through, when
the building fell, and, filling up the surrounding ditch, the place was
instantly surrendered.”

At the surrender of Cairo no fewer than 13,754 French were present, and
were allowed to evacuate Egypt; and at Alexandria, where General Menou,
the French Commander, [Sidenote: Cust.] was stationed,--11,000 French
soldiers, exclusive of civilians, surrendered to the English. In a
campaign which lasted only from March to September, the power of the
French in Egypt, and even their presence, disappeared. Prior to the
capitulation of General Menou, he made a strong effort to drive the
English from before Alexandria. This took place on the 22nd August, and
in the general orders issued after the engagement the following words
appeared:--“The brunt of the day fell on the Artillery, under the
command of Major Cookson, and the advance corps, who used every
exertion, and showed much discipline.” It is also mentioned by a
[Sidenote: Browne, author of ‘England’s Artillerymen.’] writer often
quoted in these pages, whose industry becomes more and more apparent the
more his work is studied, that “the celerity with which the guns at the
siege of Alexandria had been brought up was a remarkable instance of
zeal, as they had to be carried over almost inaccessible rocks.”

Two events occurred during the campaign, which deserve mention. A
contingent of troops arrived from India under Sir David Baird, including
some of the East India Company’s Artillery. The first instalment arrived
on the 10th June, and was present at the surrender of Cairo by the
French; and Sir David, with the main body, arrived in sufficient time to
witness the successful termination of the siege of Alexandria, and with
it the conclusion of the war.

The second event involves some explanation. In 1798 a detachment of the
Royal Artillery was ordered to Turkey to assist in the instruction and
organization of the Turkish Artillery, and in the strengthening of their
fortifications. The officer in command was Brigadier-General Koehler,
who had as a subaltern attracted attention during the great Siege of
Gibraltar, and who had been almost continuously employed on the Staff of
the army since that time. The Artillery officers who accompanied him
were Majors Hope and Fead, Captain Martin Leake, and Assistant-Surgeon
Wittman. The duties of these officers, as far as can be learned from the
correspondence which is extant, were of a somewhat motley
order,--embracing artillery, engineering, archæology, and military
organization. Their travels in Turkey, Greece, Syria, and Egypt were
very extensive; and if we may judge from a quaint manuscript in the
Royal Artillery Record Office, describing a journey made by them to
Jerusalem, they must have travelled as royal personages. General Koehler
died on the 29th December, 1800, of a malignant fever, which had carried
off his wife and many of his detachment; and the regret and positive
grief, which were felt by English and Turks alike, were strongly
expressed [Sidenote: Major Hope, R.A., to D. A. General, January 1801.]
in Major Hope’s reports to England. After his death, Major Hope, with
the remainder of the detachment, accompanied the Grand Vizier and the
Turkish contingent, which went to Egypt to swell the English forces, and
earned well-deserved praise before Cairo, where the union between them
and the latter took place. Major Hope’s abilities as an Artilleryman
received favourable mention from the Grand Vizier. After the conclusion
of the campaign, Captain Leake obtained special employment in the
Turkish dominions, and that he attained no mean position in the
scientific and literary world may be gathered from the [Sidenote:
Obituary notice of Lieut.-Col. W. M. Leake, R.A., in Address of the
President of the Royal Geographical Society, May 1860.] following
obituary notice:--“On the 6th January, 1860, Colonel Leake passed from
us, after a short and sudden illness. His intellect never weakened; his
energies scarcely relaxed, notwithstanding the weight of eighty-three
years. The Greek minister, at his own desire, followed him to the grave,
expressing thereby the gratitude of his country to one who had spared no
effort on behalf of the Greek nationality, and had done so much by his
works towards elucidating the remarkable features of the land of Greece,
and the scenes of her glorious history. In him we have lost not only a
scholar and an antiquary, but one other link (when so few survived) that
connected us to the politics, the literature, and the society of the
foregone generation.”

On the 16th November, 1801, an order was issued for the withdrawal of
the companies from Egypt, under which Captain Beevor’s company of the
3rd Battalion, and Captain Cookson’s, Major Sprowle’s, and Captain
Wood’s of the 5th, returned to England; and Major Borthwick’s, Captain
Lemoine’s, and Captain Adye’s proceeded to Gibraltar. Major Borthwick
remained in command of his company during the war, although, by the
records of the 2nd Battalion, to which it belonged, Captain Mudge had
been posted to it some time previously, an appointment which must have
been subsequently cancelled, doubtless owing to his being employed by
Government on the Trigonometrical Survey of Great Britain. In this
occupation he was engaged during the greater part of his life, and his
admirable conduct of the survey procured for him numerous literary and
scientific distinctions.

Among the officers of artillery who received special mention for their
services in Egypt, besides General Lawson, [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] were
Major Cookson, who, in addition to receiving high praise in general
orders and despatches, was appointed, on the 29th October, 1801,
commandant of the ancient Pharos Castle and of all the Artillery in
Egypt, and was presented with a gold medal by the Grand Vizier; Captains
Lemoine, A. Duncan, and S. G. Adye. Major Thompson, who had received
brevet rank of Colonel during the war, died of wounds received on the
9th May, 1801, near Ramanieh; and it should be mentioned that General
Lawson himself was severely wounded at the battle of Alexandria.

By General orders of 31st October and 1st November, 1803, the officers,
non-commissioned officers, and men of the various companies which had
served in Egypt were permitted to wear the “Sphynx,” with the word
“Egypt” on their regimental caps; but the distinction was a _personal_
one, and not to be perpetuated in the companies. In regiments of the
Line the distinction is perpetuated by emblazonment on their colours.
Although, however, the decoration itself was but personal, the
traditions of the deeds which it commemorated are the inheritance of the
batteries, whose predecessors fought under the shadow of the Pyramids.
Let them treasure the memories of gallantry and of difficulties
overcome, and in the hours of their own toils and dangers let them
“remember Egypt.”

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Note._--Detachments of two, if not three companies, in addition
  to those named above, were present in Egypt, and will be found
  mentioned in the tables in Volume i.


To 1803.

So many important events will demand detailed notice presently, that
this chapter must be confined to a bare statement of facts, necessary to
keep the chain of the Regimental history complete. The circumstances,
under which the Royal Irish Artillery was incorporated as the 7th
[Sidenote: Vol. i. pp. 163 & 417.] Battalion of the Regiment, have
already been mentioned. No sooner had the amalgamation taken place, than
a questionable step was taken by the authorities at the Ordnance: they
ordered the 5th Battalion to proceed to Ireland, and relieve the 7th;
and the six companies of the 7th Battalion, which were serving in their
native land, were promptly shipped off to the West Indies to relieve the
companies of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Battalions. This instant use of the
new battalion to garrison an unpleasant station can hardly have had a
conciliatory effect; and doubtless the sudden and unpleasant change of
quarters awakened occasional doubts as to the value of the Union--in a
military point of view,--if not occasional mental growlings on the
subject of “Justice to Ireland,” among those who had to exchange the
pleasures of Dublin for the disadvantages of the tropics. Be this as it
may, in 1802 the new battalion was ordered to the West Indies.

The arrangements of the Board for the reliefs of the companies at this
time reveal a very distinct attempt to secure, as far as possible, that
companies of the same battalion should serve on the same station. For
example, it was decided that, in 1803, the whole of the companies at
Gibraltar should belong to the 6th Battalion; that the 1st and 2nd
Battalions should be collected in England; the 5th in Ireland; and that
the detached commands, and the wants of Canada should be supplied by the
3rd and 4th Battalions. The scheme was marred by an occasional company
of a battalion, which it was hoped to concentrate, being found to be at
the Cape of Good Hope, or Ceylon; but the effort was honestly made, and
with the best intentions. That it utterly failed during the tempest of
war, which was so soon and so long to rage, was not the fault of those
who hoped to produce a very different state of affairs; but the result
of inevitable causes. The American War had proved the inconvenience of a
battalion’s head-quarters being on the scene of hostilities: the lesson
was accepted, and the various head-quarters were located at Woolwich;
and therefore, the fact having been once admitted that the necessary
control could be exercised, at a distance, over an individual company,
all ideas of _symmetry_ had to yield to necessity: and whencesoever a
company could be most readily obtained, from that station it was taken,
irrespective of the battalion to which it belonged. The test of a system
frequently does not occur until the system must vanish before it; and
this was the case in the wars between 1807 and 1815, which proved most
satisfactorily that the official dreams of the Ordnance in 1802 and 1803
were not worth the paper on which they were written. Out of the web
which was so honestly spun, the company, in time of war, made its
inevitable escape, and asserted yet again its right to be called the
Artillery unit.

On the signing of the Treaty of Peace, at Amiens, on the 27th March,
1802, immediate reductions were ordered in the military forces of
England. In the Royal Artillery they took the form of reductions in the
strength of the companies; and the following was the scheme, approved by
the Master General, on the recommendation of Colonel Macleod. The
short-lived amity between the French and English Governments did not
admit of the reductions being altogether carried out; but it is
interesting to see how they were proposed to be conducted.

[Sidenote: Proposal agreed to on 7 Dec. 1801.]

                      |Serge-|Corp- |Bombar-|Gunn-|Drum-|Non-       |Total.
                      |ants. |orals.|diers. |ers. |ers. |effectives.|
  Present strength of |      |      |       |     |     |           |
    one Battalion     |  40  |  40  |   70  |  980| 30  |     30    |1,190
  Proposed strength   |  30  |  30  |   60  |  700| 30  |     30    |  880
  To be reduced       |  10  |  10  |   10  |  280| ..  |     ..    |  310
  Total reduction in }|      |      |       |     |     |           |
  seven Battalions   }|  70  |  70  |   70  |1,960| ..  |     ..    |2,170

  _N.B._ Of the above number of men to be reduced, there were about
  680 men from the Militia, who were entitled to their discharge.

This reduction left the proportion of non-commissioned officers to
gunners the same as before, viz. 1 to 6. During the American War, it had
been as 1 to 5; after the peace of 1783, it fell to 1 to 7; and during
the earlier wars of the French Revolution it rose to 1 to 6.

The strength of the Corps of Gunner-drivers in 1802 was as follows:
Seven troops, each consisting of--

    1 Captain-Commissary.
    2 Lieutenants-Commissary.
    2 Staff-Sergeants.
    4 Sergeants.
    6 First Corporals.
    6 Second Corporals.
    6 Farriers.
    3 Smiths.
    4 Collar-Makers.
    4 Wheelers.
  150 Gunner-drivers.
   25 Riding Horses.

  _Staff._--1 Quartermaster.
          1 Veterinary Surgeon.

The gunner-drivers attached to, and doing duty with the Horse Brigade,
are not included above, being by a Royal Warrant of 1st September, 1801,
mustered and paid with the Troops to which they were attached. These
were in number 336. There were also 18 quartermaster-commissaries
awaiting absorption, having been struck off the establishment on
reduction. The number of horses belonging to the Corps of Gunner-drivers
at this time included 2300 draught-horses, and 178 riding-horses.

Colonel Macleod remained Deputy Adjutant-General: General Lloyd was
commandant of Woolwich: General Blomefield, Inspector of Artillery: Sir
William Congreve, Comptroller of the Laboratory; and General Duncan
Drummond, Director-General of Artillery.

Chevrons were put on the arms of non-commissioned officers, according to
the rules of the Army generally, instead of epaulettes, in the year
1802. The Royal Artillery Band was increased from 10 to 21 in the same

Two allusions to methods of discharging men at this time, which are
found in the official correspondence, speak for themselves. The first is
an order to discharge a man for his bad conduct, and to _hand him over
to the press-gang_: and the second is a reply to a request from Lord
Napier, that a man might be discharged, to enable him to support his
[Sidenote: Colonel Macleod to Colonel Hadden, 9 Jan. 1802.] family; and
is as follows: “Charles Copeland; 5 feet 11 inches in height; a wife and
_two_ children. It is observed that he would have been discharged, if he
had been lucky enough to have three.”

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Note._--By inadvertence, it was omitted to be noticed in the
  first volume of this work, in giving the list of Masters-General
  of the Ordnance, that Lord Chatham held that appointment from 18th
  June, 1801, to 14th February, 1806, and was _reappointed_ on 4th
  April, 1807, the date given in vol. i. as that of his first
  appointment. Lord Moira was Master-General from 14th February,
  1806, to 4th April, 1807.



The Treaty of Amiens was not destined to be carried out in its entirety
by the nations concerned. Napoleon’s hostility to the English could not
be concealed; and the evacuation of Malta, Alexandria, and the Cape of
Good Hope, which had been commenced by the latter, in accordance with
the terms of the Treaty, was never fully completed. On the 13th March,
1803, Lord Whitworth, the English Ambassador, was publicly insulted by
Napoleon at the Tuileries; and on the 6th May he quitted Paris. The
recommencement of hostilities with France was aggravated by another
insurrection in Ireland, which was happily quelled with little
difficulty. But the general state of affairs was so serious that an
augmentation of the military forces in England became urgently
necessary, as well as renewed activity on the part of the fleet. The
Government received warm and cordial support from the people, both as a
body and individually. Lord Chatham, then Master-General of the
Ordnance, received [Sidenote: Mr. J. Bagot, London, to Lord Chatham,
dated 11 July, 1803.] on the 18th July a letter from a Mr. John Bagot,
to the following effect:--“Being anxious in the present awful crisis to
come forward in any line that my services can be of use to my King and
country, I beg leave to offer, for the consideration of your Lordship,
to raise a Battalion of Artillery, of 300 men, for the war or such
further period as may be necessary, and on such terms as your Lordship
or His Majesty’s Government may direct....”

The state of recruiting in England was, however, so favourable, that the
Master-General was not compelled to have recourse to private enterprise
to obtain the necessary augmentations to the Regiment. The number of
non-commissioned officers and men in the Horse Brigade and Marching
[Sidenote: Mem. to Master-Gen^l. from Colonel Macleod, 13 Aug. 1803.]
Battalions of the Royal Artillery on the 1st January, 1803, was 6777; on
the 1st June, notwithstanding the loss of 306 men by death or discharge,
the total had increased to 7119; and in two months more, it stood at
7439, besides 131 recruits in the country districts, not yet posted. The
Corps of Gunner-drivers had increased in the same period by 1109 men. It
was therefore resolved to increase the Regiment by another battalion,
the 8th, and the first intimation of this resolution is found in a
private letter from [Sidenote: Colonel Macleod to Lieut.-Colonel
Willington, dated 7 Sept. 1803.] the Deputy Adjutant-General. “It is at
last, I believe, determined,” he wrote, “to increase the Artillery, even
under all the disadvantages of a deficiency in officers. The cadets are
doubled; and the winter may do a good deal for us: in the mean time we
take twenty of the most forward. Our companies will only have two 1st
Lieutenants: there will be hardly a 2nd Lieutenant upon the

On the 13th September seven companies were formed, and on the 6th
December, three additional companies were added to the battalion. The
establishment of each company was as follows:--

[Sidenote: Lieutenant Kane to R. H. Crew, Esq.]

   1 Captain.
   1 Captain-Lieutenant.
   2 First Lieutenants.
   1 Second Lieutenant.
   4 Sergeants.
   4 Corporals.
   8 Bombardiers (and 3 non-effective, _i.e._ _paper_ men).
  97 Gunners.
   3 Drummers.

Many of the men for the 8th Battalion were obtained by calling for
volunteers from the Army of Reserve; and although every obstacle was
thrown in the way of this method of obtaining recruits, by the officers
commanding the Reserve Battalions, which were this year called out for
service, very many excellent men were thus obtained.

It is unfortunate that the Battalion record-book of the 8th Battalion
has been lost since 1859, the year when Battalion Head-quarters were
abolished, because, although these books were, as a rule, very meagre in
the information they afforded, they nevertheless supplied facts which
it would have been difficult to obtain elsewhere without great
[Sidenote: Lieut. J. Ritchie, Staff-Officer, Coast Brigade, R.A.]
labour. That labour, in the case of the 8th Battalion, has been readily
undertaken by an officer at Head-quarters, and to his industry the
reader is indebted for the following tables.

Unfortunately, the history of the companies of the 8th and 9th
Battalions, after 1850, must be postponed until the separate work on the
Crimean services of the Artillery shall be written. But these tables
give the earlier history, and the various stations--down to about
1850--on which the companies served, as well as the succession of
Captains: and the war services of most of the companies will be found in
the subsequent accounts of the various campaigns.


Now “H” BATTERY, 1st BRIGADE, R.A.[10]

  Succession of Captains.      |            Stations.
  1803 F. Walker.              |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1803 J. Hawker.              |             --
  1803 W. Scott.               |1803 Dec., Gibraltar.
  1803 R. Hope.                |1808 Aug., Portugal. (Exp^{n.})
  1804 R. W. Adye.             |1815 Feb., Woolwich.
  1804 23rd Oct., A. Bredin.   |1819 Feb., Dover.
  1816 22nd May, J. Taylor.    |1822 Feb., Mauritius.
  1819 1st Feb., A. Munro.     |1830 15th Dec., Woolwich.
  1823 3rd July, T. Greatley.  |1834 1st Feb., Jersey.
  1828 23rd Nov., J. Sinclair. |1840  29th Aug., Woolwich.
  1841 25th Oct., W. Greenwood.|1841  27th Nov., China.
  1848 30th May, P. Ellis.     |1848 4th March, Woolwich.
                               |1848 22nd Nov., Ireland.



  Succession of Captains.         |            Stations.
  1803 H. Owen.                   |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1803 A. Macdonald.              |1803 Dec., Malta.             --
  1803 1st Dec., C. Baynes.       |1805 Oct., Sicily. (Exp^{n.})
  1806 6th Nov., H. Hickman.      |1807 May, Alexandria.
  1823 24th July, H. Baynes.      |1807 Nov., Sicily.
  1826 12th Dec., A. Macdonald.   |1815 May, Naples.
  1833 23rd May, J. A. Chalmers.  |1815 July, Genoa.
  1841 23rd Nov., J. H. Griffin.  |1816 Feb., Malta.
  1847 19th Sept., D. W. Paynter. |1819 July, Woolwich.
                                  |1823 Oct., Guernsey.
                                  |1827 July, Woolwich.
                                  |1827 Oct., Jamaica.
                                  |1833 May, Woolwich.
                                  |1838 Jan., Ireland.
                                  |1842 Oct., Woolwich.
                                  |1842 Nov., West Indies.
                                  |1848 April, Woolwich.
                                  |1849 Feb., Scotland.


Afterwards “1” Battery, 11th Brigade; “3” Battery, 14th Brigade; “C”
Battery, 14th Brigade, and “8” Battery, 13th Brigade. (_Vide_ vol. i. p.

_Reduced 1st February, 1871._

  1803 G. Desbrisay.            |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1804 1st June, J. Dyer.       |             --
  1806 9th March, W. M. Leake.  |1804 Aug., Sevenoaks.
  1808 12th Feb., W. Morrison.  |1804 Oct., Woolwich.
  1811 31st May, G. Skyring.    |1804 Nov., Gibraltar.
  1820 6th Nov., J. P. Adye.    |1808 9th June, Exp^n under
  1831 27th Oct., P. V. England.|    General Spencer.
  1833 3rd Nov., J. Longley.    |1808 27th July, Gibraltar.
  1838 28th June, J. Pascoe.    |1821 10th Sept., Woolwich.
  1842 13th April, C. Gostling. |1826  7th July, Dublin.
  1847 5th March, T. A. Shone.  |1827  28th Sept., Ballincollig.
  1850 28th Sept., G. Gambier.  |1828  16th April, Ionian Islands.
                                |1836 2nd Sept., Woolwich.
                                |1841 29th March, Ireland.
                                |1844 9th May, Woolwich.
                                |1844 19th October, Malta.


Now “7” BATTERY, 12th BRIGADE, R.A.

        Succession of Captains.       |          Stations.
  1803 13th Sept., T. Boger.          |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1803 13th Sept., C. Baynes.         |            ----
  1803 1st Dec., A. Macdonald.        |1804 May, Colchester.
  1804 1st June, W. R. Carey.         |1804 Dec., Woolwich.
  1812 23rd April, W. Scott.          |1805 March, Exp^n under Sir J. Craig.
  1814 25th Dec., H. Pierce.          |1805 Oct., Malta.
  1819 1st Feb., J. P. Cockburn.      |1822 April, Woolwich.
  1819 23rd Feb., C. H. Fitzmayer.    |1826 Dec., Portugal.
  1819 22nd April, R. Douglas.        |1828 April, Woolwich.
  1826 21st Dec., W. Wylde.           |1831 Nov., Ireland.
  1839 24th Nov., E. J. Bridges.      |1838 Feb., Woolwich.
  1842 13th April, C. H. Mee.         |1838 July, Halifax, N.S.
  1850 16th July, C. C. Young.        |1845 Nov., Woolwich.
                                      |1847 Dec., Dover.
                                      |1850 Jan., Woolwich.



  1803 13th Sept., B. Fenwick.     |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1803 1st Nov., P. Drummond.      |            ----
  1804 1st Dec., R. Pym.           |1804 Nov., Plymouth.
  1815 28th Oct., G. C. Coffin.    |1805 March, Sicily. (Exp^{n.})
  1817 1st April, J. Maclachlan.   |1807 May, Alexandria.
  1825 29th July, F. Arabin.       |1807 Nov., Sicily.
  1832 18th July, T. Cubitt.       |1810 Jan, Exped^n under Sir J. Stuart.
  1836 25th May, W. E. Locke.      |1810 Sept., Sicily.
  1846 12th Dec., J. Hill.         |1814 Feb., Genoa.
                                   |1814 May, Exp^n to America.
                                   |1815 June, Woolwich.
                                   |1819 Feb., Dublin.
                                   |1821 June, Limerick.
                                   |1821 Dec., Dublin.
                                   |1822 June, Ionian Islands.
                                   |1828 Aug., Woolwich.
                                   |1833 May, Ireland.

“_G_” _Battery, 1st Brigade continued_--

        Succession of Captains.       |          Stations.
                                      |1839 April, Halifax, N.S.
                                      |1845 Nov., Woolwich.
                                      |1847 Nov., Weedon.
                                      |1848 April, Birmingham.
                                      |1850 Jan., Woolwich.
                                      |1850 Oct., Gibraltar.



  1803 13th Sept., J. S. Williamson.  |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1803 1st Oct., R. Buckner.          |      ----
  1808 15th May, J. S. Williamson.    |1803 Nov., Canterbury.
  1814 25th Dec., J. P. Adye.         |1804 Feb., Chatham.
  1819 1st March, J. A. Clement.      |1806 July, Sicily. (Exp^{n.})
  1827 31st Dec., E. Barlow.          |1809 May, Sir J. Stuart’s Exp^{n.}
  1828 30th June, E. Cruttenden.      |1809 July (about), Sicily.
  1841 25th Jan., H. Williams.        |1809 Sept., Zante.
  1842 19th Nov., C. R. Dickens.      |1811 Dec., Sicily.
  1845 14th June, J. E. Dupuis.       |1812 July, Spain.
  1846 16th Nov., H. Pester.          |1814 May, Genoa.
  1847 30th Jan., F. S. Hamilton.     |1816 Feb., Malta.
                                      |1816 July, Ionian Islands.
                                      |1822 Dec., Woolwich.
                                      |1827 March, Portsmouth.
                                      |1830 March, Mauritius.
                                      |1842 March, Woolwich.
                                      |1843 Aug., Channel Islands.
                                      |1846 March, Woolwich.
                                      |1847 Jan., Malta.



  1803 13th Sept., R. Douglas.        |Formed 1803, 13th Sep., Woolwich.
  1804 1st Oct., E. Curry.            |      ----
  1806 1st June, R. Dickinson.        |1805 Nov., Exeter.
  1806 15th Sept., T. S. Hughes.      |1807 May, Plymouth.

“_H_” _Battery, 8th Brigade continued_--

        Succession of Captains.     |          Stations.
  1808 29th June, R. Lawson.        |1807 Dec., Exp^n under General Spencer.
  1819 1st May, F. Knox.            |1808 May, Gibraltar.
  1832 23rd Dec., J. H. Ward.       |1808 Aug., Exp^n under General Spencer.
  1844 1st April, F. Miller.        |1808 Aug., Portugal and Spain.
  1844 24th Aug., A. R. Harrison.   |1814 Aug., Dublin.
  1846 16th Nov., J. W. Fitzmayer.  |1816 Aug., Pendennis and Exeter.
  1847 14th May, G. Maclean.        |1818 Sept., Ballincollig.
                                    |1821 July, Gibraltar.
                                    |1822 July, Ionian Islands.
                                    |1828 Jan., Woolwich.
                                    |1830 March, Leith.
                                    |1833 June, Woolwich.
                                    |1835 Nov., Bermuda.
                                    |1842 May, Woolwich.
                                    |1843 Oct., Ireland.
                                    |1846 Aug., Woolwich.
                                    |1847 July, Ceylon.


Now “1” BATTERY, 7th BRIGADE, R.A.

  1803 6th Dec., H. Fraser.           |Formed 1803, 6th Dec., Woolwich.
  1815 16th May, H. B. Lane.          |      ----
  1819 1st March, E. C. Whinyates.    |1806 May, Warley.
  1823 3rd July, J. S. Bastard.       |1806 July, Malta.
  1836 26th April, L. S. B. Robertson.|1809 June, Sicily.
  1838 16th Nov., G. Spiller.         |1809 June, Exp^n under Sir J. Stuart.
  1843 18th May, W. Berners.          |1811 Nov., Zante.
  1845 21st May, G. Bingham.          |1814 July, Corfu.
                                      |1822 Dec., Woolwich.
                                      |1827 June, Guernsey.
                                      |1829 May, Woolwich.
                                      |1830 Feb., Cape of Good Hope.
                                      |1842 March, Woolwich.
                                      |1843 Oct., Leith.
                                      |1846 May, Woolwich.
                                      |1847 July, Ceylon.


Now “7” BATTERY, 17th BRIGADE, R.A.

[Sidenote: 11th Battalion Records.]

        Succession of Captains.       |          Stations.
  1803 6th Dec., J. Vivion.           |Formed 1803, 6th Dec., Woolwich.
  1803 6th Dec., R. W. Adye.          |      ----
  1804 1st Jan., R. Hope.             |1806 Nov., Sevenoaks.
  1804 20th July, R. T. Raynsford.    |1807 April, Exeter.
  1811 18th Nov., R. W. Gardiner.     |1807 Dec., Plymouth.
  1813 23rd Jan., S. Du Bourdieu.     |1808 May, Exp^n under Sir A. Wellesley.
  1813 23rd July, L. Carmichael.      |1808 Oct., Spain.
  1816 7th June, C. F. Sandham.       |1809 Jan., Chatham.
        *  *  *  *  *                 |1810 Sept., Exeter.
  1848 7th Aug., G. C. R. Levinge.    |1810 Oct, Plymouth.
  1854 A. C. L. Fitzroy.              |1811 April, Portugal, Spain, and France.
  1854 H. F. Strange.                 |1814 May, Exp^n to North
  1856 F. R. Glanville.               |1814 Oct., Jamaica.
                                      |1814 Nov., New Orleans.
  N.B.--This Company was in the Crimea|1815 June, Belgium and France.
  from 1854-56, and was present at the|1816 Feb., Woolwich.
  Battle of Inkerman.                 |_Reduced at Woolwich, 31st Jan., 1819._
        (_11th Battalion Records._)     |_Reformed at Woolwich, 7th Aug., 1848._
                                      |Transferred to 11th Battalion as
                                      |No. 8 Company, on 1st November,
                                      |1848. Became 7 Battery, 5th Brigade,
                                      |on 1st July, 1859, and 7 Battery, 17th
                                      |Brigade, on 1st Oct., 1867.


_Reduced at Woolwich on 28th February, 1819._

  1803 6th Dec., R. Pym.              |Formed 1803, 6th Dec., Woolwich.
  1804 1st Dec., P. Drummond.         |      ----
  1806 1st Jan., W. Millar.           |1806 Feb., Sevenoaks.
  1806 27th March, P. Meadows.        |1806 Nov., Woolwich.
  1811 5th Sept., J. P. Eligé.        |1807 July, Copenhagen.
  1812 20th Jan., T. A. Brandreth.    |1807 Nov., Chatham.
                                      |1807 Nov., Woolwich.
                                      |1807 Dec., Exeter.
                                      |1809 March, Plymouth.
                                      |1810 Oct., Portugal and Spain.
                                      |1814 Aug., Shorncliffe.
                                      |1816 July, Portsmouth.
                                      |1816 Dec., Ireland.
                                      |1819 Feb., Woolwich.

[Sidenote: Vol. ii. chap. 2.]

Between the formation of the 8th and 9th Battalions, an augmentation of
five troops of Horse Artillery took place, as has been mentioned
elsewhere. Very little interest attaches to this period, except that in
1806 the commencement of a garrison of Royal Artillery in Italy and
Sicily took place, which remained in these countries for some years. In
1806, six companies of the Royal Artillery were stationed there; in 1807
there were five; in 1808, four; in 1809, five; in 1810, five; and in
1814, the last year of the occupation, there were four. The war in
Italy, which was distinguished in 1806 by the English victory of Maida,
is thus described by the officer who commanded the Royal Artillery on
the [Sidenote: Major Lemoine, R.A., to Brig.-Gen^l. Macleod.]
expedition. “On the 28th June (1806) I received orders from the
Commander-in-Chief to have in readiness for a particular service a
detachment of Artillery with some light guns. In consequence I made a
collection, and on the 30th embarked with the greater part of the army,
the Commander-in-Chief (Sir John Stuart) taking the field. On the 2nd
July we anchored on the coast of Calabria, near St. Eufemia, and landed
immediately. After taking a position, and reconnoitring the country, we
moved forward at daylight on the 4th to the Plains of Maida, near where
the enemy, under the command of General Regnier, had assembled. On our
approach, he descended to the plains, and having formed his line, which
we had already done, the two armies met near the centre of the plain,
and came to immediate action, which lasted nearly an hour and a quarter,
when the French were charged by our Light Infantry, and their left
completely turned; the right also gave way shortly after. We pursued
them the whole extent of the plain, nearly six miles, and gained a
complete victory. The prisoners acknowledge to have had in action 8000
men: the British army had 4600. Our loss very trifling--only one officer
killed, 41 men, and 253 wounded. The loss of the enemy cannot be
correctly ascertained, though we have taken and killed upwards of 2000.
Many of their wounded got off to the mountains, and General Regnier
among them, severely wounded. General Piegri was killed; General Coupère
wounded, and prisoner; the rest of the army has retired in a confused
state some distance, and is much harassed by the natives. Sir John
Stuart, finding the army retiring so fast, thought it most desirable to
return to the coast, and marched to this place (Monteloine) on the 8th,
where we found 200 French, and great quantities of stores, which we are
now embarking. There are also two or three other posts along the coast
which they left in the same manner, and which are now in our possession.
I understand that as soon as everything is embarked, the army will
return to Messina. I have the honour to enclose you the General Orders
of the 4th instant, and have to add that the whole of the Artillery in
this little expedition were in the front of the action, and behaved in
the most cool and gallant manner. Captain Pym, on the right of the
Grenadiers, with two 6-pounders and a howitzer, repulsed two squadrons
of cavalry in attempting to break our line. Lieutenant Bailey, with two
4-pounders, in front of the Light Infantry, made good use of his
case-shot, till that corps charged, when they ran over his guns; indeed
every officer and soldier gave me his utmost assistance, and I should be
wanting in gratitude to them did I not acknowledge it; though to you,
sir, I should be doubly wanting, did I not take the earliest
opportunity of thanking you for having entrusted to my command a
detachment of Artillery that have so gallantly distinguished themselves,
before an enemy nearly double their numbers.”[12]



This Battalion of the Royal Artillery was formed in an eventful year.
Whether we regard it from a political or a purely military point of
view, the year 1806 had an important influence on those which followed

The previous year, the year of Austerlitz, had witnessed the collapse of
Pitt’s coalition against Napoleon, and the consequent isolation of
England. But it was also the year of Trafalgar; and left England still
mistress of the seas.

With 1806 came the Battle of Jena, Napoleon’s triumphal entry into
Berlin, and the issue of his famous declaration against English
commerce, which, if obeyed to the letter, would have put England
virtually in a state of blockade. It was a critical year for a country
whose commerce was her very life-blood; and in this very year, those who
had so long steered the ship of the State, William Pitt and Charles
James Fox, were removed by death. But the country took up the gauntlet
thrown down by Napoleon, and from this year conducted with sternness and
determination a war which, from being one of _resistance_, became one
for _existence_ as well.

It was a year, too, which should be remembered fondly in the annals of
the British Army--the year of the Battle of Maida, described in the last
chapter, where the gallantry of the British troops against Napoleon’s
tried legions obtained a victory, which had a moral influence both in
England and on the Continent, which is perhaps rarely realised now.

Grasping the importance of the situation, and greatly assisted by the
ease of obtaining recruits, the Board of Ordnance resolved on an
augmentation of the Royal Artillery to the extent of yet another
battalion. The strength of the Regiment, and its periodical increase
and decrease, are ascertainable from a return which used to be furnished
annually to the Board, called the “Wear and Tear of the Regiment for the
year ending,” &c. From this return it would appear that during the year
1805, the number of gunner-recruits who joined the Horse Artillery and
Marching Battalions was no less than 2574. But the _wear and tear_ by
death, transfer, desertion, &c., during the same period was 1017, so
that the net increase was 1557; the Regiment rising from 10,203, at
which it stood on 1st January, 1805, to 11,760, its strength on the 31st
December in the same year. During the same period the Corps of Royal
Artillery Drivers, and Drivers attached to the Horse Brigade, had
received 489 recruits, and, allowing for the wear and tear during the
year, had increased from 4897 to 4986 of all ranks, excluding officers.

It is hardly possible that this large increase to the establishment had
been allowed by the Board without a motive; and it may indeed be assumed
with tolerable certainty that the formation of the 9th Battalion had
been to some extent contemplated during Napoleon’s successes in 1805.
This impression is confirmed by reference to the returns for the year
1806, which show that the increase to the Regiment during that year was
only half what had taken place during the year preceding.

The increase which had been permitted during the year 1805 proved to be
greater than was necessary for the wants of the new Battalion; and the
establishment of the Regiment was found on the 1st May, 1806, to have
been exceeded by over 400 men. This excess, however, was soon swallowed
up by the year’s wear and tear, which in 1806 amounted to 874 men.

The promotions consequent on the formation of the new Battalion were
gazetted on 22nd May, 1806, and Major-General Thomas Blomefield was
appointed Colonel-Commandant. The record-book of the Battalion, like
that of the 8th, has been lost since the introduction of the Brigade
system. It was permitted to accompany the head-quarters of the 9th
Brigade, and during their frequent changes of station it has been
mislaid--offering another argument, if one were needed, in favour of the
centralization of all military records. As in the case of the 8th
Battalion, so in [Sidenote: Lieut. J. Ritchie, Staff-Officer Coast
Brigade, R.A.] the present instance the Regiment is indebted to an
officer at Head-quarters for the following facts connected with the
companies prior to 1850. Their present designations, and the stations in
which they served, have been given, and the succession of Captains down
to a certain date. The war services of some companies will be found
mentioned in the succeeding narrative, and the tables will be completed,
should the compilation of the separate work on the Crimea be at some
future time accomplished.



    List of Captains down to 1850.  |Stations on which the Company has served.
  1806 Captain J. S. Robison        |1806 Woolwich.
  1808    ”    J. T. Cowper.        |1807 Ireland.
  1819    ”    W. D. Nicolls.       |1816 Jamaica.
  1833    ”    G. Durnford.         |1825 Woolwich.
  1842    ”    R. B. Rawnsley.      |1827 Ireland.
  1845    ”    H. G. Teesdale.      |1833 Woolwich.
  1846    ”    R. M. Poulden.       |1833 Gibraltar.
  1846    ”    A. J. Taylor.        |1842 Woolwich.
  1850    ”    T. Elwyn.            |1843 Ireland.
                                    |1846 Woolwich.
                                    |1847 Barbadoes.



  List of Captains who have commanded|List of Stations where the Company has
              down to 1846.          |          served down to 1850.
  1806 Captain J. Smith.             |1806 Woolwich.
  1807    ”    J. W. Tobin.          |1807 Ireland.
  1814    ”    S. Bolton.            |1815 Holland and France.
  1815    ”    W. Clibborn.          |1816 Woolwich.
  1819    ”    C. Wilkinson.         |1822 Barbadoes.
  1825    ”    T. Dyneley.           |1828 Woolwich.
  1825    ”    J. Darby.             |1831 Scotland.
  1827    ”    C. Cruttenden.        |1835 Woolwich.
  1827    ”    P. W. Walker.         |1836 Gibraltar.
  1840    ”    R. Clarke.            |1845 Woolwich.
  1846    ”    C. V. Cockburn.       |1847 Guernsey.
                                     |1849 Woolwich.
                                     |1850 Jamaica.


Afterwards “8” Battery, 11th Brigade; then “7” Battery, 14th Brigade;
then “G” Battery, 14th Brigade;


    Names of Captains down to 1843.  |Stations on which the Company served
                                     |            down to 1847.
  1806 Captain J. M. Close.          |1806 Woolwich.
  1819    ”    H. Pierce.            |1807 Plymouth.
  1824    ”    H. A. Scott.          |1810 Ireland.
  1836    ”    T. G. Higgins.        |1816 Jamaica.
  1842    ”    F. Holcombe.          |1825 Woolwich.
  1843    ”    J. Tylden.            |1828 Ireland.
                                     |1833 Gibraltar.
                                     |1842 Woolwich.
                                     |1844 Ireland.
                                     |1847 Woolwich.
                                     |1847 Barbadoes.


Now “6” BATTERY, 12th BRIGADE, R.A.

  Captains who have commanded the Company|Stations on which the Company has served
                  to 1846.               |                to 1848.
  1806 Captain H. Crawford.              |1806 Woolwich.
  1807    ”    W. Lloyd.                 |1808 Canterbury.
  1808    ”    N. W. Oliver.             |1809 Walcheren.
  1810    ”    S. Maxwell.               |1809 Canterbury.
  1812    ”    J. Hawker.                |1813 Holland.
  1814    ”    C. G. Alms.               |1815 France.
  1819    ”    P. J. Hughes.             |1816 Woolwich.
  1825    ”    W. B. Dundas.             |1819 Ireland.
  1833    ”    C. Cruttenden.            |1825 Jamaica.
  1838    ”    G. T. Rowland.            |1830 Woolwich.
  1846    ”    G. Innes.                 |1833 Newcastle, Leeds, &c.
                                         |1838 Woolwich.
                                         |1840 Jamaica.
                                         |1846 Woolwich.
                                         |1848 Ireland.


Now “2” BATTERY, 3rd BRIGADE, R.A.

  Captains who have commanded the Company|Stations on which the Company has served
                  to 1846.               |                to 1849.
  1806 Captain J. May.                   |1806 Woolwich.
  1807    ”    J. W. Tobin.              |1809 Chatham.
  1807    ”    J. W. Smith.              |1809 Chatham.
  1809    ”    H. Stone.                 |1809 Walcheren.
  1813    ”    J. Michell.               |1809 Chatham.
  1830    ”    M. Louis.                 |1811 Portsmouth.
  1837    ”    C. Otway.                 |1812 Peninsula and France.
  1837    ”    R. Palmer.                |1814 America.
  1846    ”    W. H. Forbes.              |1815 Holland and France.
                                         |1816 Woolwich.
                                         |1819 Weedon.
                                         |1824 Woolwich.
                                         |1824 Jamaica.
                                         |1830 Woolwich.
                                         |1834 Ireland.
                                         |1840 Woolwich.
                                         |1841 Mauritius.
                                         |1849 Woolwich.


_Reduced 28th February, 1819._

  Names of Captains.                |Stations on which the Company served.
  1806 Captain F. Griffiths.        |1806 Woolwich.
  1808    ”    P. J. Hughes.        |1808 Battle.
                                    |1810 Cadiz.
                                    |1814 Woolwich.
                                    |1816 Plymouth.


This Company became No. 6 Company on March 1st, 1819; was called No. 8
Battery, 14th Brigade, on July 1st, 1859; its designation was again
altered on January 1st, 1860, to No. 8 Battery, 13th Brigade; and on the
1st October, 1862, it became, what it now is,


  Names of Captains who commanded it|Stations on which the Battery has served
             down to 1848.          |             down to 1849.
  1806 Captain B. Macdonald.        |1806 Woolwich.
  1806    ”    H. F. Holcombe.      |1808 Chatham.
  1807    ”    G. Massey.           |1809 Walcheren.
  1812    ”    J. E. Jones.         |1809 Canterbury.
  1828    ”    J. E. G. Parker.     |1810 Dover.
  1833    ”    R. Heron.            |1814 Halifax, N.S.
  1841    ”    R. L. Garstin.       |1826 Woolwich.
  1848    ”    C. R. Wynne.         |1829 Ireland.
                                    |1834 Gibraltar.
                                    |1843 Woolwich.
                                    |1845 Devonport.
                                    |1848 Woolwich.
                                    |1849 Corfu.


_Reduced on 28th February, 1819._

  Name of Captain who commanded it. |Names of Stations on which the Company
                                    |         served down to 1819.
  1806 Captain A. Munro.            |1806 Woolwich.
                                    |1807 Chatham.
                                    |1808 Canterbury.
                                    |1809 Walcheren.
                                    |1809 Canterbury.
                                    |1812 Shorncliffe.
                                    |1814 Portsmouth.
                                    |1814 America.
                                    |1815 Brussels.
                                    |1816 Canterbury.
                                    |1816 Shorncliffe.
                                    |1816 Dover.
                                    |1819 Woolwich.


This Company became No 7 Company on 1st March, 1819; and No. 8 Battery,
10th Brigade, on the 1st July, 1859. It was reduced on 1st February,

  Names of Captains who commanded it|Stations on which the Company served
             down to 1850.          |            down to 1846.
  1806 Captain J. P. Cockburn.      |1806 Woolwich.
  1806    ”    J. F. Ogilvie.       |1808 Chatham.
  1807    ”    J. S. Sinclair.      |1809 Portsmouth.
  1808    ”    T. J. Forbes.        |1810 Ireland.
  1823    ”    C. Mosse.            |1817 Barbadoes.
  1831    ”    W. Greene.           |1827 Woolwich.
  1834    ”    C. Dalton.           |1829 Devonport.
  1834    ”    J. C. Petley.        |1833 Woolwich.
  1837    ”    A. Wright.           |1834 Jamaica.
  1840    ”    F. Warde.            |1841 Woolwich.
  1842    ”    B. Cuppage.          |1843 Devonport.
  1849    ”    T. de Winton.        |1845 Woolwich.
  1850    ”    A. T. Phillpotts.    |1846 Gibraltar.


This Company became No. 8 Company, 9th Battalion, on 1st March, 1819;
and on the introduction of the Brigade system, in 1859, it became No. 5
Battery, 9th Brigade, or, as now called,


  Names of Captains who commanded it|Names of Stations on which it served
             down to 1842.          |          down to 1842.
  1806 Captain J. Chamberlayne.     |1806 Woolwich.
  1810    ”    R. Douglas.          |1808 Chatham.
  1814    ”    G. Turner.           |1809 Walcheren.
  1820    ”    A. Bredin.           |1809 Chatham.
  1823    ”    W. Clibborn.         |1810 Woolwich.
  1834    ”    A. B. Rawnsley.      |1810 Exeter.
  1837    ”    A. O. W. Schalch.    |1811 Plymouth.
  1841    ”    R. R. Drew.          |1812 Peninsula and France.
  1842    ”    W. L. Kaye.          |1814 Canada.
                                    |1824 Woolwich.
                                    |1827 Ireland.
                                    |1831 West Indies.
                                    |1837 Woolwich.
                                    |1842 Ireland.



The decree of the French Emperor, dated 20th November, 1806, forbidding
all commerce and correspondence between the countries under his
influence, and Great Britain, received an alarming force from his
subsequent rapid successes, culminating in the Treaty of Tilsit.

After that date it was evident that, in addition to injuring the
commercial marine of England, Napoleon was resolved to make a great
effort to overthrow her yet unquestionable naval supremacy. This he
hoped to effect by a union of his own fleet with those of his allies and
subjects; and one of the most powerful which he hoped to secure for his
purpose was the Danish fleet.

The English Government resolved on a bold step, in order to defeat
Napoleon’s aim. They decided to request the Danish Government to hand
over their fleet to England for safe keeping, and they supported their
petition by the presence of a large naval and military force. This
determination was arrived at on the 19th July, 1807; and before the 29th
the whole force was ready to sail. The fleet [Sidenote: Cust.] consisted
of 17 ships of the line, between 30 and 40 frigates, and other smaller
ships of war, counting 90 pendants; together with 300 transports, having
on board 20,000 troops, a number subsequently increased to 27,000. The
[Sidenote: Official MS. Returns, R. A. Record Office.] Artillery force
was as follows: Royal Artillery, 989; Royal Artillery drivers, 525;
German Legion Artillery--horse, 182, and foot, 512.

The command of this large Artillery force was given to Major-General
Thomas Blomefield on the 28th July, 1807, in the following terms.

  “Woolwich, 28 July, 1807.


  “The Master-General has directed me to notify officially an order
  for your embarking upon the present expedition with the command of
  the Artillery, and that you place yourself under the orders of
  Lieutenant-General Burrard, or the General commanding the troops.

  “I have the honour to be, Sir,
  Your most obedient humble Servant,


  “Having performed the _ex officio_ part, let me wish you every
  success and every happiness, and a safe return to Shooter’s Hill,
  where we shall talk over all your performances. The ordnance is
  all embarked, but not a ship arrived as yet for the officers and

  “Believe me
  Very truly yours,

General Thomas Blomefield, who joined the Regiment on 1st January, 1759,
had seen active service at the Havannah, in the West Indies, and during
the American War. He had been severely wounded during the last-mentioned
campaign. In 1780 he was made Inspector of Ordnance at Woolwich; and for
many years held this appointment in a manner most advantageous to the
country. He was a good mathematician, an excellent chemist, and most
laborious in experiments in gunnery. His private character is thus
described [Sidenote: Family MSS.] by one who knew him
intimately:--“There was no display of his merits shown in his manner;
all his duties and improvements were silently and unassumingly carried
on, with a natural reserve and undeviating correctness, so that it was
only the close observer who could duly appreciate his value. His being
generally and greatly esteemed arose as much from his being the perfect
gentleman as from the ingenuous turn of his mind, for there was no glare
or obtrusive view, but rather a strong desire to improve the service
with as little parade as possible.” The marked improvement in English
ordnance while he was Inspector, was tested at the very siege over which
he was to preside, and is thus alluded to by the same writer. “The late
sieges of Copenhagen and in the Peninsula, where the mode of battering
assumed a rapidity of firing unknown on former occasions, strongly
marked the confidence his gallant brother officers had in the weapons
placed in their hands, and surprised the enemy, who were known to
declare that they could not have put their iron ordnance of this
description to such a severe test. The complete success of these objects
of his most serious and careful pursuit will be duly appreciated by
those capable of judging of their merits. To such as are not, it may be
allowed to suggest that many gallant lives have been saved to their
country and families by the constant and most anxious endeavours he at
all times pursued to put safe and perfect machines into the hands of the
brave defenders of His Majesty’s dominions.”

The following is a nominal list of the officers of the Royal Artillery
who accompanied General Blomefield to Copenhagen:--

Lieutenant-Colonels Harding, Cookson, and Robe; Captains May, Cockburn,
Franklin, Newhouse, Fyers, P. Drummond, Brome, and Meadows; 2nd Captains
Bolton, J. P. Adye, Paterson, Unett, Whinyates, Sandham, Holcroft, and
Kettlewell; 1st Lieutenants Darby, Stewart, Collyer, Orlebar,
Molesworth, Cubitt, Campbell, Sinclair, Coxwell, Dyneley, Macbean,
Rayner, Cavines, Hunt, Somerville, and Lord; 2nd Lieutenants Wright,
Swabey, Lyon, Wilson, Thomson, Fuller, Forster, and Maling.

Captain Fyers acted as Aide-de-Camp to General Blomefield, and Captains
Drummond and Whinyates were on his Brigade Staff.

No less than 185 pieces of ordnance accompanied the Expedition. Of
these, 84 were field guns, including 6, 9, and 12-pounders, and 5½ and
8-inch howitzers. The last-named, although included among the
field-guns, were evidently for use in the trenches. The guns taken for
siege purposes were as follows:--

[Sidenote: General Blomefield’s MS. Returns.]

  20 24-pounders.
   5 10-inch howitzers.
   6 68-pounder carronades.
  70 mortars, of 5½, 8, 10, and 13-inch calibre.

The number of rounds of ammunition sent was 61,472; but only 11,378 were
expended when the city surrendered. There was considerable difficulty in
getting transports at so short a notice for the Artillery and their
horses. When writing on the 28th July, the Deputy-Adjutant-General had
heard of no ships at all for the purpose; but at 2.30 A.M. on the 29th,
an express reached him from Gravesend, informing him of their arrival,
and that the embarkation was required to take place immediately.
Collecting all the boats he could find, he embarked the men at Woolwich,
and sent them down to Gravesend with the tide. In writing subsequently
to the Master-General, he said: “It is but fair to the officers and men
to say that, without previous notice, they were all assembled at 9, and
at the waterside by 10, in complete order, and with all their baggage.”

The main part of the Expedition sailed from Yarmouth, and General
Blomefield embarked there, on board the ‘Valiant,’ on the 2nd August.
Lord Cathcart, who was to command the whole of the land forces, did not
join until [Sidenote: Cust.] their arrival in the road of Elsineur.

The British Infantry numbered 15,351, and was commanded by General
Burrard. The 1st Division was commanded by Sir George Ludlow, assisted
by Major-General Finch and Brigadier Warde; the 2nd Division by Sir
David Baird, assisted by Major-Generals Grosvenor and Spencer and
Brigadier Macfarlane. The Reserve was under the command of Major-General
Sir Arthur Wellesley, and included [Sidenote: Blomefield MSS.] ten
companies of the 95th, or Rifle Corps, besides three other battalions.
The King’s German Legion, under the command of the Earl of Rosslyn,
numbered 9951 of all ranks.

At 5 A.M. on the morning of the 16th August, 1807, the Reserve of the
army, under Sir A. Wellesley, landed at Webeck, about twelve miles from
Copenhagen. Captain Newhouse’s and Captain Brome’s Light Brigades of
Artillery, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Cookson, were attached to
the Reserve. No opposition was made to the landing. The remainder of the
army, with the exception of General Spencer’s Brigade, landed at the
same place, and in the [Sidenote: Blomefield MSS.] afternoon the whole
moved forward in three columns towards Charlotte-lund, about five miles
from Copenhagen, off which place the transports, convoyed by the fleet,
anchored the same evening. On the following morning, General Spencer’s
Brigade landed at Charlotte-lund, and marched to the left of Sir David
Baird’s head-quarters, where, on the 20th, it was joined by Captain
May’s Brigade of 6-pounders. Captain Unett’s Brigade of 6-pounders was
attached to Sir David Baird’s Division, and Captain Paterson’s, of
9-pounders, was placed on the left of the line. The city of Copenhagen
was now completely invested by the army, and the landing of guns and
stores for the siege commenced. The difficulties which seem to have been
inseparable from our campaigns in those days, as far as supply of
stores, &c., was concerned, [Sidenote: Lieut.-Col. Harding to Colonel
Macleod.] were present on this occasion. “We should have been greatly
distressed in the horse department if Colonel Robe had not taken it. No
Captain-Commissary or Veterinary Surgeon has arrived. We are in great
distress for horses; I am obliged to send the two brigades preparing,
without cars. We shall want ammunition for the 9 and 6-pounders; there
are only 300 rounds per gun, and a considerable quantity is already
gone. Pray get some more sent, and a greater supply of Shrapnel’s
shells: there is a great call for them, and we have with us only 27 per
gun.... Pray send us a few extra subalterns; we work day and night at
unloading. Lieut.-Colonel Cookson is advanced with the four first
brigades; Lieut.-Colonel Robe encamps the horses and carriages, which is
full employ; and I attend unloading and supplying demands. General
Blomefield is at head-quarters. _We are distressed by so many different
things being put in the store ships; the things at bottom are required
first, in many instances, and we half unload the ship to get at them._”

The operations in which the expenditure of ammunition took
place--alluded to by Colonel Harding--were prior to the investment of
Copenhagen, and were conducted by Sir A. Wellesley with complete
success. During their progress, a very gallant Artillery officer,
Lieutenant Lyons, was killed by a 3-pounder shot, from a gun which had
been placed by the enemy on the Copenhagen road. On account of the
facilities offered by the coast, and a continuance of fine weather, the
Danish gun-boats took part in these operations. The conduct of the Royal
Artillery was thus mentioned by [Sidenote: Sir A. Wellesley to Lord
Cathcart, Kioge, 29 Aug. 1807.] Sir Arthur Wellesley:--“I cannot close
this letter without expressing to your Lordship my sense of the good
conduct of the troops. All conducted themselves with the utmost
steadiness; but I cannot avoid to mention particularly the British
Artillery under the command of Captain Newhouse.”

From the 21st August to the 1st September, the Artillerymen were
employed in making and arming the batteries necessary for the
bombardment. The distribution of these batteries when the bombardment
commenced, on the 2nd September, was as follows:--

[Sidenote: MS. Official Returns, and Gen. Blomefield’s Diary.]

                                           No. of Guns.   Nature.

  Gun battery on the right                      6       24-prs.

  On its left, and advanced                     4       10-inch mortars.

  Still farther advanced                        4       8-inch    ”

  In the road, on the left of the battery       2       8-inch howitzers.

  Right mortar battery                         { 2      13-inch mortars.
                                               { 8      10-inch   ”

  Centre mortar battery                        { 2      13-inch   ”
                                               { 8      10-inch   ”

  On its left, and advanced                    { 2      10-inch howitzers.
                                               { 2      8-inch    ”

  Left mortar battery                          { 2      13-inch mortars.
                                               { 8      10-inch   ”

  Windmill battery                             { 11     24-pr. guns.
                                               {  1     8-inch howitzer.

  On its right, and advanced                    2       10-inch mortars.

  Flèche                                        { 3     24-pr. guns.
                                                { 1     8-inch howitzer.

Making a total of 20 guns, 40 mortars, and 8 howitzers.

The erection of the batteries was not carried on without molestation
from the enemy; but on the 1st September they were so near completion,
that the city was summoned to capitulate, prior to the commencement of
the bombardment. The summons having been refused, the batteries opened
at 7.30 P.M. on the 2nd, and the fire continued, with but little reply,
for twelve hours. The city was set on fire by the first flight of shells
(not _rockets_, as stated by Sir E. Cust, which would appear to have
been used as a siege weapon for the first time, subsequently, at
Flushing), and continued burning all night. During the afternoon of this
day, another battery of eight 24-pounders had been armed by the Royal

The expenditure of ammunition during the first night having been
considered excessive, orders were given that no more than one shell per
hour should be fired from each battery during the day, but that at 7
P.M. on the 3rd September, firing should commence at the rate of one
shell in every three minutes, from each battery, for the space of
sixteen hours. The same orders were obeyed on the night of the 4th, the
city suffering terribly from fires in all parts, and no fewer than 1500
of the inhabitants having been killed. Towards 4 A.M. on the 5th, the
principal steeple in the city fell, and at 8 P.M. on that day, a flag of
truce was sent out, and the bombardment was suspended. On the 6th, two
additional batteries were armed, and sailors were landed from the fleet
to man them; but a second flag of truce having been sent from the city,
Sir A. Wellesley, Sir H. Popham, and Colonel Murray went in the evening
into the town, having received directions to order a continuation of the
bombardment on their return, should their proposals not be accepted.
They did not return until next morning, bringing, however, the
intelligence that the terms of the capitulation had been agreed to.
_These included the unconditional surrender of the Danish fleet._ During
the evening of the 7th the citadel was taken possession of by the
Grenadiers, accompanied by a detachment of the German Rifle Corps, a
troop of Dragoons, and a brigade of Artillery. On the same evening the
following General Order was published:--

[Sidenote: Headquarters, Hellerup, 7 Sept. 1807.]

“The Commander of the Forces cannot delay expressing his warmest thanks
to all the General Officers and Staff for the great and able assistance
he has received from all of them, in their several ranks and stations.
And he feels himself, in like manner, obliged to all the officers
commanding brigades or regiments, and the officers and soldiers under
their command.

“He must, however, be allowed, in a particular manner, to express his
thanks to Major-General Blomefield and Colonel D’Arcy, and the officers
and corps of the Royal Artillery and Engineers, whose laborious science
and success, collectively and individually, have been most remarkable,
and reflect great honour on that branch of His Majesty’s service.”

The naval stores captured were very valuable, and their weight exceeded
20,000 tons. No fewer than 3500 pieces of ordnance were also taken. By
the 20th October the whole army had re-embarked, and reached England
without loss. One cannot but regret that the object of the Expedition
could not have been attained in a different manner; and that the means
employed were not as justifiable as they were successful.

There are various points of interest connected with the services of the
Artillery during the siege, which seem worthy of mention. The following
extracts from General Blomefield’s letters to Lord Chatham speak for
themselves: [Sidenote: Dated 9 Sept. 1807.] “... It is with great
satisfaction that I have to congratulate your Lordship on the fortunate
issue of our Expedition, and on the distinguished share which fell to
the lot of our corps in accomplishing so desirable an event; and I
should do them great injustice were I not to mention their exertions in
the strongest manner, as well in the laborious task of landing and
transporting the Artillery and stores to the batteries, from four to
eight miles distance, as in the active and intelligent use of them when
employed.... I believe there are very few instances of so powerful an
effect being produced in so short a time, and with so little loss of
lives. Six thousand shells and carcases were thrown into the town (which
is very spacious), from mortars, howitzers, and guns, during the short
period of two nights and one day.”

[Sidenote: Dated 12 Sept. 1807.]

Again: “I cannot sufficiently commend the conduct of the officers and
men under my command. Your Lordship will observe by the enclosed sketch
of the batteries, how formidable the attack must have been under those
three excellent officers, Lieut.-Colonels Harding, Robe, and Cookson;
and nothing could resist so heavy a fire.”

The satisfaction of the Master-General may be gathered from his reply:--

[Sidenote: Lord Chatham to General Blomefield, Sept. 19, 1807.]

“I received your letter of the 7th inst., and rejoiced most truly in the
prosperous issue of the Expedition to Zealand. The satisfaction I
derived from this event was, I assure you, much increased from the very
highly honourable and distinguished part borne in this enterprise by the
Corps of Royal Artillery under your command, and whose exertions are the
theme of general admiration. I am sincerely happy in communicating to
you that His Majesty has announced his gracious intentions of conferring
upon you the dignity of a Baronet, as a testimony of the sense
entertained of your eminent services on this occasion.... What a sad
contrast is the miserable business of Buenos Ayres!”

On the 28th September, Lord Cathcart received a despatch from Lord
Castlereagh, expressing His Majesty’s high approbation of the army’s
performance; and this was communicated to the troops on the same
evening. Lord Cathcart [Sidenote: Gen^l Order, 28 Sept. 1807.] took the
opportunity of thanking them again “for the patience, discipline, and
exertions of all regiments, corps, and departments, to which, under the
blessing of Providence, he was indebted for the complete success of the
Expedition, and for the most gracious approbation which His Majesty has
been pleased to declare of the whole service.” Military science has
advanced, and may continue to advance, with prodigious strides; but
success will never be possible without the same weapons as those to
which Copenhagen surrendered--patience, discipline, and exertion.

A long-standing right was claimed for his corps by General [Sidenote:
Letter dated 12 Sept. 1807.] Blomefield, from Lord Cathcart, after the
siege. “It being an invariable custom in our service, whenever a place
capitulates after a siege, to allow the officer commanding the Royal
Artillery a claim of the bells in the town, and its dependencies, or a
compensation in lieu of them,--which has twice occurred upon services in
which I have been employed, viz. the sieges of the Havannah, and Fort
Royal in Martinique,--I conceive it to be my duty which I owe to my
brother officers, as well as myself, to express my hope that in the
present instance it will not be dispensed with.”

On the 3rd November, 1807, General Blomefield was created a Baronet; and
the story of the Expedition concludes with the thanks of the Houses of
Parliament being voted to the army and the fleet which had been engaged.
This was communicated by Sir Thomas Blomefield--now at Woolwich--to the
officers and men who had served under him, both belonging to his own
corps and to the Artillery of the King’s German Legion. In the language
used by him in addressing the former, may be detected the strength in
his bosom of that Regimental feeling which it is the main object of this
work to strengthen. “It therefore only remains with the General,” he
wrote, “to add his sincere thanks for their highly meritorious conduct,
by which they have acquitted themselves no less to their own credit than
to that of the corps in which they have the honour to serve.”

NOTE.--It may have been merely accidental, but it is worthy of note that
while the Master-General corresponded _directly_ with General Blomefield
during this service, the Deputy Adjutant-General corresponded with the
Lieutenant-Colonels employed on the Expedition.



In a letter from Lord Chatham, quoted in the last chapter, allusion is
made to a campaign in South America which contrasted unfavourably with
the successful siege of Copenhagen. The plan of this work requires that
the reader should now turn to this unsuccessful Expedition, and see how
bravely English troops endeavoured to compensate by their exertions for
want of generalship in their leaders. To the Artilleryman this chapter
will have a special interest,--from the fact that two of the officers
who took a prominent part in the campaign were destined to become very
eminent in their corps and profession--Sir Augustus Frazer, and Sir
Alexander Dickson.

[Sidenote: Letter to D. A. Gen. 12 Jan. 1806.]

On the 12th January, 1806, Major Spicer, who commanded the Artillery
with Sir David Baird’s Expedition to the Cape of Good Hope, reported
that, two days previously, Cape Town had fallen into their hands. During
the operations which resulted in this important capture, the officers
and men under his command behaved in a “persevering, cool, and steady
manner.” The heavy surf prevented him from landing more than six
6-pounders and two 5½-inch howitzers, the whole of which were in action
and did good service, although outnumbered, three to one, by the
artillery of the enemy. Captains Turner and Ogilvie received special
mention for their conduct on the occasion.

In the beginning of April, Major Spicer went on a tour of inspection
round the outposts, leaving Captain Ogilvie--his Brigade-Major--sick at
Cape Town. He had barely started, when the Admiral, Sir Home Popham,
resolved--on his own responsibility, and entirely without the knowledge
of the English Government--to proceed with a naval and military force
to South America, for the purpose of attacking the Spanish settlements,
and securing the trade of the country for England. General Beresford was
put in command of the military part of the Expedition; and the
detachment of the Royal Artillery, which was at first ordered to
accompany it, consisted of Lieutenant A. Macdonald, 1 bombardier, 1
_lance_-bombardier, 18 gunners, 1 conductor, 1 wheeler, 1 collar-maker,
1 corporal and 9 men of the Gunner-driver Corps, and 18 horses. Captain
Ogilvie having offered to resign his staff appointment if allowed to
accompany the force, his offer was accepted; and in a letter which he
wrote from St. Helena, _en route_, he was able to announce that the
detachment under his command had been augmented by an officer and 100
gunners of the St. Helena Artillery. The fleet consisted of 5
men-of-war, and the military force, in addition to the Artillery, was
composed of a detachment of the 20th Light Dragoons, a few Engineers,
and the 71st Regiment. The Expedition reached a point about twelve miles
distant from Buenos Ayres, and on the 25th June, 1806, a landing was
effected. Advancing boldly, and driving the Spanish troops before them,
the English reached the city, and on the 28th June summoned the Governor
to surrender--a summons to which he immediately yielded. So small,
however, was the force under General Beresford’s command, that he could
not hold the city; and in a very short time the English troops had
actually to surrender as prisoners of war. Sir Home Popham continued to
blockade the river for some time; but was soon ordered home to be tried
by court-martial for his unauthorized proceedings. Thus ended the first
act of this unfortunate drama.

The English Government, although disapproving of the original
Expedition, was compelled to take some steps to avenge the disaster to
Beresford’s force. The fleet, now under the command of Admiral Sterling,
had already been [Sidenote: Captain Watson to D. A. Gen. 8 Oct. 1806.]
considerably increased; and reinforcements from the Cape of Good Hope
had arrived, including a few Artillerymen under Captain A. Watson, four
troops of the 20th,--and two of the 21st, Light Dragoons, the 38th,
47th, and a detachment of the 54th Regiment. A further force of 3000
men under the command of Sir S. Auchmuty was ordered to the River La
Plata, and arrived on the 5th January, 1807; the Artillery being under
the command of Captain Dickson. Captain Watson shortly after this date
returned to the Cape of Good Hope, and the command of the Royal
Artillery devolved for the time on Captain Dickson. Prior, however, to
this taking place, Sir S. Auchmuty decided on an attempt on Monte Video,
and took the place by assault on the 3rd February, 1807. The conduct of
the Artillery on this occasion may be ascertained from the following
extract from the General Order, which was published immediately after
the capture of [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 13 April, 1807.] the
town:--“The established reputation of the Royal Artillery has been
firmly supported by the company under my orders; and I consider myself
much indebted to Captains Watson, Dickson, Carmichael, and Wilgress, for
their zealous and able exertions.” On this occasion Captain Wilgress,
who acted as Adjutant to the Artillery, was wounded.

On the 2nd June, an additional force of 4200 men, under General
Craufurd, arrived at Monte Video from England; and the command of the
whole army devolved upon a most incapable officer, General Whitelocke.
With this last reinforcement came a troop of Horse Artillery, now C
Battery, B Brigade, under Captain A. Frazer, who, being senior to
Captain Dickson, now assumed command of the Artillery, and retained it
until the active operations were over, when he was relieved by
Lieut.-Colonel Schalch, who reached Monte Video on the 26th July, 1807.

General Beresford’s force still remained prisoners of war--some
remaining at Buenos Ayres, the others divided in small detachments among
the various villages in the neighbourhood. General Linières, the French
commander of the Spanish forces, was most kind and courteous to the
prisoners, and did all he could to promote their comfort. But the
feeling of the people, more especially of the Roman Catholic clergy, was
very bitter against the English, and led to a painful occurrence. On the
14th January, Captain Ogilvie, while riding with Colonel Pack of the
71st Regiment--who was also a prisoner of war--was assassinated; and his
companion with difficulty escaped. Captain Ogilvie had been severely
wounded at the first attack on Buenos Ayres, and his loss was deeply
regretted. The command of the captive Artillery now devolved upon
Lieutenant Alexander Macdonald, who had received two wounds in the
attack on Buenos Ayres, and who had been recommended by Captain Ogilvie
as a most deserving and zealous young officer.

General Whitelocke decided on a second assault on Buenos Ayres; having
first, and unsuccessfully, attempted to persuade General Linières to
release his prisoners. The failure of his attempt on the city will,
perhaps, be more readily understood, if a few words of description of
Buenos Ayres, as it was in 1807, precede the narrative.

[Sidenote: Major Nicolls’ 45 Regiment, MS. Journal in R. A. Record

The city extended for nearly three miles along the banks of the Rio de
la Plata, and its breadth at the widest point was about a mile and a
half. The population, including the suburban villas or _quintas_, was
about 70,000. Like most modern cities in the United States and Canada,
it had been [Sidenote: Captain Frazer’s and Capt. Dickson’s Letters to
D. A. Gen.] built on a fixed plan, not left to the distorted tastes of
individual proprietors--as is not unfrequently the case in England. Its
streets and squares were large, broad, and convenient; and although the
individual houses did not always harmonise, and were rarely impressive,
they did little injury to the general effect. Most of them were
two-storeyed, and built in Moorish fashion, in the form of a square,
with one large entry, the different apartments on the ground floor
opening into the square, and the roof flat, and occasionally terraced.
The Fort, or Citadel, was a miserable work, with a parapet of little
more than two feet in height. In many places it was incapable of
resisting artillery fire, and, at the best, was of little use save in
overawing a mob, or as a receptacle for the city treasure and the public
records. The most important public buildings were the Cathedral, and the
churches of St. Francisco, St. Domingo, St. Michael, and the
Jesuits--all imposing enough externally, but with gaudy interiors, which
offended the sober taste of English travellers. There was also a large
civic hall, known as the Cabildos; and the Plaza de Toros, where the
passion of the inhabitants for bull-fighting was gratified, was a very
striking place. The Custom-house, Arsenal, and theatres were small and

For many reasons Buenos Ayres was admirably adapted for defence against
an enemy whose attack should develop itself in the form of street
fighting. The barracks were scattered over the city in low, retired
squares, and the houses were like so many small fortifications. Their
shape rendered each perfectly distinct, and not easily assailable save
from a neighbouring roof. This one weak point led to the passing of a
law, which might have led at times to embarrassing results, under which
the proprietor of one house was permitted to _fire at any stranger whom
he might detect on the roof of an adjoining one_. The gates and doors of
the houses were very strong, made of wood several inches thick, and
heavily bolted and barred; the windows had strong iron railings outside,
and heavy wooden shutters with iron fastenings within; and the flat
roofs were very useful, both for offence and defence. Altogether, it was
as awkward a city to take in the way unhappily chosen by General
Whitelocke, as can be imagined.

In most of the squares enclosed by the larger houses there were wells;
but the water was brackish, and the inhabitants preferred the water from
the river, which was sold in the streets, and which, although somewhat
muddy, became clear when allowed to stand, and, with the addition of a
little alum, was believed to have peculiar virtues for clearing and
strengthening the voice. The river, between Buenos Ayres and Colonia,
was about thirty miles in breadth; and it should be mentioned that the
latter place had already surrendered to a force of 800 English troops,
under Colonel Pack of the 71st, who had made his escape from Buenos
Ayres shortly after the assassination of Captain Ogilvie. The Artillery
with this force was commanded by Captain Wilgress, who had recovered
from the wound he received at Monte Video, only to receive a second and
more severe injury at Colonia. His detachment manned two light
6-pounders and two light 3-pounders; and he had in addition eight
Spanish 16-pounders, with which it was intended to arm the defensive
works proposed to be erected at Colonia. Had these last-mentioned guns,
and the siege ordnance left at the village of Reduccion and at Monte
Video, been brought against Buenos Ayres, with a view to its
bombardment, there is no doubt that the city, whose streets proved a
tomb to the attacking forces, would have been their prize.

The country round Buenos Ayres was well wooded, and the land in the
immediate vicinity rich and singularly productive. Thanks to the
inquiring minds of General Beresford’s force, it was ascertained that
beef, mutton, fowls, and river fish, were cheap and abundant, bread
excellent, and the markets filled daily soon after sunrise with
wild-fowl, quails, and partridges in abundance. The last-named birds
must have resembled the Canadian tree partridge, as they were caught
with ease, even in the immediate suburbs, by means of a noose at the end
of a stick. There was abundance of larger game in the country, both
four-footed and winged, and [Sidenote: Major Nicolls’ Diary.] “vultures
and birds of that class, luckily, very common too, otherwise the air
would be infected by the quantity of carrion left after the men, dogs,
and pigs had been satisfied.... Bullocks are here what the cocoa-trees
are in India. They turn them to the following uses: food, fuel, shoes,
ropes, trunks, sacks, covering for houses, beds, bridles, saddles,
bird-cages, drinking-cups, &c..... Their horses are the accidental breed
of the country, descended from those originally brought by the
Spaniards. They are undersized, but show some blood, are very tractable,
and hardy. Each proprietor affixes his mark on his droves, makes
geldings of them, and they run wild till required for use or sale. They
are driven in now and then for inspection. The King of Spain is a
proprietor; his mark is the tip of the left ear cut off. They are of
very trifling value in the drove--not more than half a dollar each. It
is not uncommon for a traveller whose horse is jaded to catch another
and leave his own. The Peons, or country people, who have more Indian
than Spanish blood in them, are very expert horsemen. They tame a wild
horse in a few hours, but by severe treatment. Their bridles are those
used by the Mamelukes, and they use stick and spur without reluctance.”

The chief exports from Buenos Ayres were hides, tallow, skins of
valuable animals, bark, coffee, and spices; the imports were cloths,
wearing apparel, glass, earthenware, cutlery, &c. So extensive was the
trade of the place, and so keen were the inhabitants for its
development, that it is not to be wondered at that, in the first flush
of short-lived conquest, the English commanders dwelt on its possible
advantage to Great Britain in terms, which the hope of justifying an
unauthorized expedition may possibly have made somewhat fervent.

The moral aspect of Buenos Ayres in 1807 seems to have been very
uninviting. Immorality of the grossest description prevailed in both
sexes and in all classes; indolence and intemperance characterized the
lower orders, and the whole community was priest-ridden to an
intolerable extent. The Bishop, in particular, tyrannized over all ranks
and classes; and when he went anywhere in state every one knelt to him,
the guards even presenting arms to him kneeling. During the short time
that General Beresford commanded, the Bishop demanded the same ceremony
from the English troops; but it was refused, and he never forgave it. He
was a very crafty man, and to the last he affected good-will to the
English; but by his orders every pulpit was used for fulminating threats
against them, and for inventing and exaggerating tales of English
atrocity. To such an extent was this carried, that the better class of
the inhabitants did not dare to make any advances to the English
officers, or show them open kindness, although they always welcomed them
to their houses if they came uninvited. The revenue of the Bishop was
very great, and included a fourth part of all sums paid as fees at
births, marriages, and funerals, the amount of which varied with the
will and ability of the parties concerned, or their friends. Another
fourth went to the King, and the remainder to the canons of the church
in which the necessary ceremony was performed. The priests of Buenos
Ayres were very numerous, and their private life was said to be most
immoral. As regarded the people generally, Major Nicolls wrote: “With
respect to religion, they appear to attend pretty regularly to its
exterior forms, especially the women, who attend mass daily, in which,
however, the men do not show so much zeal. Since, however, vice of every
description follows, it does not appear likely that forms of this nature
would be very useful, either in this world or as a preparation for that
to come. On General Beresford’s taking the city many thousands of
indulgences and remissions of all kinds were found, which have ever
proved a source of revenue and power to the Roman Catholic clergy, and
are here made the tools of Government.[13] The Bishop amuses the high
and low every week with some pompous procession or ceremony to make the
great remember that there is such a thing as religion. To the sick he
holds out forty days’ plenary indulgence for going to mass and giving
alms; and the poor are governed by a promise that their sins shall be
forgiven. On our landing, the Bishop induced the people to swear they
would defend the place to the last, for which their sins should be

Against this city General Whitelocke resolved to move the greater part
of his force, leaving small garrisons in Monte Video and Colonia. Before
describing the Expedition, an anecdote is worthy of mention, as showing,
what has so frequently been shown already, the evil effects of the dual
government of the Artillery which existed in the days of the Board of
Ordnance. There is deposited in the Royal [Sidenote: Dated Monte Video,
6 June, 1807.] Artillery Record Office the original order to Captain
Frazer, signed by General Whitelocke, desiring him, as commanding
officer of Artillery and representing the Ordnance Department, “to pay
the sum of _forty pounds_ sterling for every field-piece that may be
captured from the enemy during the approaching service at Buenos Ayres,
according to the established usage of the service in such cases.”

In the same office is a correspondence in which Captain Frazer is
_forbidden_ by the Board to make any such payment. The question for
consideration is not whether the General or the Board was right in the
interpretation of the Regulations. The error of the system was that the
officer who received an order from the General, under whom he was
immediately serving, was made the channel for conveying to that General
an intimation that his order was wrong, and was not to be obeyed. The
marvel is that, under such a system, harmony was _ever_ possible between
the commanding officer of Artillery and his General; and, certainly, if
tact could have been imparted to a cadet at the Academy, along with his
mathematics, he would probably have found it the more useful
accomplishment of the two in his after career.

The arrangements made by Captain Frazer for the transport and service of
the Artillery were admirable and exhaustive. In General Whitelocke’s
report of the subsequent operations, he used the following terms of
commendation:--“I [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette’ extraordinary, 13 Sept.
1807.] cannot sufficiently bring to notice the uncommon exertions of
Captain Frazer, commanding the Royal Artillery, the fertility of whose
mind, zeal, and animation, in all cases left difficulties behind.” That
Captain Frazer was staunchly supported by the officers and men under his
command is apparent from his letters. Captain Dickson, whom he had
superseded, and under whom, singularly enough, he was destined to serve
in the Peninsula, was most loyal in his [Sidenote: Captain Frazer to D.
A. Gen. 21 June, 1807.] exertions, and earned the following
acknowledgment:--“I have met with so much assistance from Captain
Dickson, whom I found in command of the Artillery on my arrival, that it
is at once my duty and my inclination to report to you the sense I
entertain of his valuable assistance. But it is unnecessary for me to
mention more than the name of a brother-officer who is at once so highly
and so deservedly valued.” And again, after the conclusion of the
campaign: “If, in my several letters to you, I have not mentioned
Captains Hawker and Dickson, you will, I trust, impute this to the real
cause--a delicacy in venturing to express an opinion of officers of
equal standing in the Regiment with myself, and with whom, in many
cases, I should feel myself flattered to be compared.”

Captain Frazer had urged the propriety of heavy artillery accompanying
the army, with a view to a bombardment of the city, prior to an assault;
and in answer to an argument employed--that Monte Video would be left
unprotected--he drew out a detailed statement showing that no less than
145 guns, mortars, and howitzers would be left mounted in that city,
besides 270 dismounted. He further showed that there was an abundance of
ammunition for these guns; and he detailed three officers to remain
behind, of whom he was [Sidenote: Captain Frazer to D. A. G. R. A.]
afterwards able to say: “Colonel Brown, Commandant of the Garrison of
Monte Video, has expressed to me his high sense of the exertions of
Captain Durnford and Lieutenants England and Stopford, whose exertions
were unremitting during our temporary absence.” But his appeal was to no
purpose. General Whitelocke had determined to land at a place about
thirty miles from Buenos Ayres, called Enfinada de Barragon, and thence
march over the swamps which intervened, and which would have made the
movement of heavy artillery very difficult. With great difficulty,
Captain Frazer obtained permission to take three 24-pounders, two
12-inch Spanish mortars, and two 5½-inch howitzers as a reserve, in
addition to his field guns; but these, which would have been so useful
in the subsequent attack, were not allowed to proceed farther than the
village of Reduccion, where the first encounter with the enemy took
place. The following was the detail of the Royal Artillery which
actually took part in the attack on Buenos Ayres, on the 5th July,

[Sidenote: MS. Returns in R. A. Record Office.]

  1st Brigade--Captain A. S. Frazer.       }  98  N.C. officers and men.
               2nd Captain W. D. Nicolls.  }   4  6-pounder guns.
               Lieutenant Lloyd Down.      }   2  3-pounder   ”

  2nd Brigade--Captain James Hawker.       } 100 N.C. officers and men.
               2nd Captain Henry Lane.     }   5 4-pounder guns.
               Lieutenant Thomas Trotter.  }   1 5½-inch howitzer.

  3rd Brigade--Captain Alexander Dickson.   { 100 N.C. officers and men.
               Lieutenant J. Mackonochie.   {   3 12-pounder guns.
                   ”      Falkner Hope.     {   4  6-pounder   ”
                                            {   2  5½-inch howitzers.

Captain Frazer erred rather in being too minute in his arrangements,
than the reverse; he wrote his orders with his own hand, and knowing the
nature of the country which the men would have to traverse after
disembarkation, he issued the most detailed instructions before leaving
Monte Video, as to dress, diet, horses, &c. These are too long for
reproduction, but some are quaintly amusing, and one suggests a new use
for foot-straps to a gunner dismounted. “The men will land with one
great coat and blanket each, with a flannel waistcoat, brush, comb,
razor, and shaving-brush rolled up in the blanket; and with such
proportion of cooked provisions as may be directed. _Every man to have
shoe-straps tied round his shoes to keep them on in boggy ground_; the
men’s hair to be plaited up behind, not tied in a queue; the great coats
and blankets to be rolled up so as to leave them as much as possible the
full and free use of their limbs.”

To each Brigade of guns was attached a cart containing long troughs,
which were laid over very swampy ground or across ditches, and in which
the gun-wheels were made to travel, which otherwise would have sunk to
the axletrees. In fact everything which ingenuity could devise to
lighten the difficulties of the operation was thought of by Captain
Frazer. That he was rewarded by success is apparent by [Sidenote:
Captain Frazer, R.H.A., to D. A. Gen.] the following extract:--“During
the advance the Artillery exerted themselves to the admiration of the
whole army; the Artillerymen pulling at the drag-ropes up to their
waists in water.... In the most difficult ground they were continually
obliged to restrain their zeal, lest they should outmarch the army,
whose repeated intimations of ‘Easy the Artillery!’ were most
gratifying.” Of the services of his own troop of Horse Artillery,
Captain Frazer wrote: “The conduct of the officers and men was
admirable, yet it were better that the praise due to
Quartermaster-Sergeant Hay and the men of the Horse Artillery should
come from any other pen than mine; but their gallantry and intelligence
have ensured the respect of the whole army. It would be injustice not to
mention in terms of the most unequivocal commendation
Quartermaster-Sergeant Hay, in whom the valuable qualities of clear
arrangements and undaunted courage are joined to the greatest zeal; this
man is cast in no ordinary mould.”

On arrival at Buenos Ayres, after two engagements at Reduccion and Passo
Chico, in which the English were successful, General Whitelocke
completely invested the city. The plan of attack on which he decided was
to enter the place in separate columns by totally different entrances
[Sidenote: ‘Gazette,’ 13 Sept. 1807.] and streets; each column to march
“along the street directly in its front, till it arrived at the last
square of houses next the River La Plata, of which it was to possess
itself, forming on the flat roofs, and there wait for further orders. No
firing was to be permitted until the columns had reached their final
points and formed.” The reader, who has already been informed of the
size of Buenos Ayres, and the style of the houses, will at once see the
madness of such a method of attack; but the extraordinary thing to be
noted is that General Whitelocke employed, as an argument for the course
he adopted, the very circumstance which should have forbidden him to
hazard his troops in the dangerous and unsatisfactory occupation of
street fighting. “The knowledge,” he wrote, “that the enemy meant to
occupy the flat roofs of the houses gave rise to the plan of attack.”

The guns accompanied the columns; but “the detachments of the Horse
Artillery were not mounted, and of the Cavalry only two squadrons had
their horses.” The attack took place on the 5th July, and if endurance
and courage among the troops could have redeemed their General’s
blunder, this would have been done. At the end of the day no fewer than
2500 men were killed, wounded, or prisoners. The battle was just what
might have been foreseen. In General Whitelocke’s own words, “The nature
of the fire to which the troops were exposed was violent in the
extreme. Grape shot at the corners of all the streets, musketry, hand
grenades, bricks, and stones from the tops of all the houses; every
householder with his negroes defended his dwelling, each of which was in
itself a fortress, and it is not, perhaps, too much to say that the
whole male population of Buenos Ayres was employed in its defence.”
General Whitelocke’s subsequent conviction by court-martial for
incapacity might have been assured on his own testimony.

The only real gain to the English army at the end of the day was the
possession of the Plaza de Toros: and its situation was such, that, if
fortified, it would have commanded the town, and perhaps compelled the
inhabitants to insist on a surrender. Captain Frazer urged this without
success: he pointed out that with some guns captured that day from the
Spaniards he could construct a battery of 26 guns, immediately
serviceable, and strengthen it by unspiking 10 other pieces of ordnance
which had been for a time rendered unserviceable by the enemy, prior to
their capture: he assured the General that there were not less than 600
barrels of powder, captured that day in the Arsenal of Buenos Ayres, and
an apparent abundance of every requisite for the service of a battery;
and he reminded him that each gun which they had brought from Monte
Video was provided with 200 rounds: but all was to no purpose. A
loop-hole for an escape without utter disgrace, as he thought, was
opened to General Whitelocke, of which he availed himself, and which he
thus described in his official report:--“On the morning of the 6th inst.
General Linières addressed a letter to me, offering to give up all his
prisoners taken in the late affair, together with the 71st Regiment and
others taken with General Beresford, if I desisted from any other attack
on the town, and withdrew His Majesty’s forces from the River Plata,
intimating at the same time, from the exasperated state of the populace,
he could not answer for the safety of the prisoners, if I persisted in
offensive measures. Influenced by this consideration (which I knew from
better authority to be founded on fact), and reflecting of how little
advantage would be the possession of a country, the inhabitants of which
were so absolutely hostile, I resolved to forego the advantages which
the bravery of the troops had obtained, and acceded to the annexed
Treaty, which I trust will meet the approbation of His Majesty.”

It may be here mentioned that the Treaty was carried out; the English
army returning to Monte Video, and [Sidenote: MS. Narratives of Captains
Hawker and Nicolls, and Lieut. Trotter, relative to attack on Buenos
Ayres.] thence to England. But as, fortunately, an immense number of
private and unpublished papers on this subject had been accumulated by
Sir A. Frazer, and ultimately reached the Royal Artillery Record Office
with a view to embodiment in some such work as this, it seems desirable
to analyze the conduct of General Whitelocke at this crisis, and to
ascertain, as far as is practicable, whether any other course would have
been successful.

[Sidenote: Major Nicoll’s Diary, and Official Report. Captain Frazer’s
Diary, &c.]

First, the threat of murdering the prisoners should have been dismissed
from General Whitelocke’s mind at once. With his powers of retaliating
after any such atrocity,--being, as he was, in possession of part of the
town,--the threat was an empty one; and between civilized communities
most unlikely of execution, even if the control of the General had been
weak. But, as a matter of fact, General Linières’ power and popularity
among the inhabitants at the time were very great;--a rumour of his
having fallen during the day produced a profound depression, which made
the reaction of joy the more intense when it was found that he was
uninjured. That such a crime against humanity would have been allowed by
one who was admitted by all to be chivalrous in the extreme, is utterly
improbable; and the use of the threat merely showed that he found it
necessary to make use of every argument, real and unreal, to secure his
purpose;--that his position was not sufficiently strong to dictate terms
to an enemy, even in the first hour of his discomfiture;--and, possibly,
that he measured the man with whom he had to deal, and acted

Secondly, the very eagerness of General Linières to let the troops go,
and his ready permission to let them take all the guns, &c., which they
had captured, should have suggested to General Whitelocke that these
were not the characteristics of a General confident in his own strength,
and in his enemy’s inferiority.

And, thirdly, _were_ the inhabitants so bitterly hostile to the English,
as General Whitelocke assumed? Doubtless they were not likely to evince
much amiability while having to fight for their lives and homes; but,
had a different mode of attack been adopted--blockade with a threatened
bombardment, followed by the occupation in force of one or two
commanding points--would it not have been possible so to foster English
trade with the inhabitants as to ensure a thoroughly friendly feeling?
This was evidently believed by those whose written opinions are
extant--opinions formed in the city, and after careful inquiry. They
said that had the Bishop been strictly watched, and warned that he would
be sent to Europe, should he be detected in any political conspiracy, or
countenancing any irregularity;--had all the Spanish officers and
regular troops been sent to England immediately, and all the arms and
ammunition of the inhabitants removed;--had the chief public officers
been removed, but no injury done to the private inhabitants, and had
honesty and uprightness been displayed in the English administration,
the country might have been easily retained as a very useful appendage
to Great Britain. The presence of an English army would have raised the
price of nearly every commodity, and at the same time the system of
ready-money payment would have benefited the local trade, and would have
given the stock-owners a very strong interest in the presence of the
English. The people of all ranks in Buenos Ayres were fond of copying
English fashions in dress and furniture, and the facilities for
comparing these would have been favourable to the invaders. The people
born in the country, who were despised by the Spaniards, would have been
raised to a degree of consideration unknown to them previously; and it
would have been politic to place many of them in the situations of which
the Castilians had been deprived. As for the Indians, the gain to them
would have been immense, for their skins would have met with a ready
sale at an increased price. Commercial intercourse between England and
Buenos Ayres once established, every vessel that sailed between their
ports would have spun another thread in the web which bound them
together, until what at first might have been a mere commercial
alliance, would have ended in a firm friendship and union.

All these possibilities were frustrated by the ignorance of a General.
His landing so far from the city was one great blunder: his sub-division
of his army, leaving part at Reduccion and part at Colonia, was another:
his dispensing with siege artillery was a fatal error; and his crowning
folly was the employment of a trained soldiery in street fighting, thus
depriving them of the opportunity of exercising the qualities which a
disciplined army possesses, and compelling them to meet an enemy under
the very circumstances which that enemy would himself have chosen.
General Whitelocke had sufficient troops to prevent the entry of
supplies into the city if he had chosen;--or he might have entered
Buenos Ayres two days before, when there was nothing but the wildest
confusion within;--or he might have confined the attack to the side of
the Ritoro, and approached the Citadel by regular parallels, using the
streets to a great extent for that purpose, and ending by an assault
which would have certainly been successful.

But he took the very course which was certain to be fatal; and the army
he commanded, after performing useless prodigies of valour, had to
succumb to terms which were openly talked of at Monte Video, while the
army was awaiting embarkation for England, as disgraceful.

And with this irritating consciousness of failure, there came among the
troops, when at Monte Video, not a little demoralization. Crime was
general; desertions frequent; insubordination not unknown; and capital
punishment was resorted to to enforce discipline. It is with pride that
the Artilleryman learns from Captain Frazer’s letters, that not a single
desertion occurred from the ranks of the Royal Artillery.

The possible consequences of a General’s incapacity ought to stir every
officer to a determination to master his profession. The thought that
his ignorance may some day be the cause of unnecessary slaughter, or may
neutralise the bravest efforts of his men, and tarnish his country’s
honour, ought to make a man afraid of being found wanting when called
upon. In the success of a great General, the officer who loves his
profession traces means and maxims which he himself may study; and in
the failures of an incapable commander, he searches for blunders which
he may avoid. The study of both will be found useful to the man who may
some day have to lead others, and would fain lead them to victory.

The last letter written by Captain Frazer from Monte Video was one
imploring that he and his troop might be attached to any portion of the
army which might be on active service. He seemed eager to drown the
recollection of failure in the excitement of successes under some more
able leader. And, as this history will show, he was not disappointed.
The time was near when England was to draw the sword on behalf of
suffering Spain, nor to sheathe it again until the invader had been
driven from Spanish soil, albeit at a terrible cost to herself of life
and treasure. But with all their attendant sufferings and cost, those
were days to gloat over; now, alas! is it not too often found that--

[Sidenote: Rossetti.]

    “... Man is parcelled out in men
    Even thus:--because for any wrongful blow
    No man not stricken asks, ‘I would be told
    Why dost thou strike:’ but his heart whispers then,
    ‘He is he, I am I!’ By this we know
    That the earth falls asunder, being old.”



It is necessary to distinguish this battalion as above, because it was
reduced after Waterloo, and another 10th Battalion added to the Regiment
subsequently, in 1846. As, however, there was no connection between the
two in any way, not even a battalion head-quarters, or a company cadre,
however small, left of the old 10th, this chapter differs from all the
preceding histories of the battalions, in being merely a sketch of a
part of the Regiment, whose traditions can be handed down to no lineal
descendant, and are the property of the Corps at large.

In the year 1807 the Regiment consisted of 12 troops of Horse Artillery,
90 marching companies, and 12 companies of invalids, besides the
Riding-house establishment, the last-named of which had been formed in
1806. There were also 10 companies of the Driver Corps. The Board of
Ordnance decided on augmenting the Regiment by another battalion of 10
companies; and this was the last augmentation of this description which
took place during the great wars with France. The _second_ 10th
Battalion, as has been stated above, was not formed until 1846; and the
others as follows: 11th and 12th Battalions in 1848; 13th Battalion in
1854; and 14th Battalion in 1855. All the augmentations which took place
between the formation of the _old_ 10th and the Battle of Waterloo, were
in the form of additional numbers to the ranks of the existing troops
and companies.

[Sidenote: Colonel Macleod to R. H. Crew, Esq., B. of Ordnance.]

The receipt in Woolwich, in the winter of 1807, of 1000 stand of arms,
was followed in February 1808 by the formation of a new battalion of 10
companies, in every respect like those already existing. The staff of
the brigade was as follows.

[Sidenote: MSS. R. A. Record Office.]

  Colonel-Commandant     Robert Lawson.
  Colonels             { John Schalch.
                       { Henry Hutton.
                       { G. A. Wood.
  Lieutenant-Colonels  { R. Dickenson.
                       { Thomas Charlton.
  Major                  William Dixon.
  Adjutant               1st Lieutenant William Wylde.
  Quartermaster          Samuel Barnes.

The officers appointed to the various companies on their formation were
as follows:--

                 Captains.       Second Captains.  First Lieutenants.

  No. 1 Company  J. Maclachlan.  Wm. Butts.        E. Sheppard.
                                                   G. M. Graham.
  No. 2   ”      W. J. Lloyd.    H. Scott.         F. Wells.
                                                   F. Strangways.
  No. 3   ”      J. Addams.      W. Green.         G. Mathias.
                                                   J. T. Ellison.
  No. 4   ”      R. Dyas.        R. Cairnes.       E. Seward.
                                                   H. Wyatt.
  No. 5   ”      W. Shenley.     J. Mallett.       R. Godby.
                                                   S.  Wyatt.
  No. 6   ”      W. Roberts.     Hon. H. Gardner.  W. Dunn.
                                                   E. C. Vinicombe.
  No. 7   ”      J. Fead.        J. Marlow.        W. H. Hill.
                                                   J. F. Frere.
  No. 8   ”      R. H. Birch.    L. Carmichael.    A. W. Hope.
                                                   W. A. Gordon.
  No. 9   ”      B. T. Walsh.    F. Bedingfeld.    G. M. Baynes.
                                                   D. Patullo.
  No. 10   ”     W. M. Leake.    W. Millar.        G. F. Roberts.
                                                   J. O. Burton.

There were no 2nd Lieutenants appointed to the companies on their first

The following changes took place among the Captains during the short but
eventful existence of the battalion:--

  No. 2 Company,  Brevet Lieut.-Col. Power,  _vice_ Lloyd:    29th July, 1815.
  No. 4   ”       Captain (Sir A.) Dickson,  _vice_ Dyas:      1st June, 1808.
    ”     ”          ”             Taylor,   _vice_ Dickson:   1st April, 1815.
    ”     ”       Brevet-Major Bredin,       _vice_ Taylor:    1st June, 1815.
  No. 5   ”       Captain Chester,           _vice_ Shinley:   6th Oct., 1813.
  No. 9   ”       Brevet Lt.-Col. Thornhill, _vice_ Walsh:     1st Jan., 1810.
    ”     ”       Captain Gilmore,           _vice_ Thornhill: 6th June, 1815.
  No.10   ”          ”    Cobbe,             _vice_ Leake:     1st May, 1815.

The history of each company may be shortly stated.

_No. 1 Company._--This company formed part of the Expedition to
Walcheren in 1809, returning the same year. Its next foreign service was
during the second American [Sidenote: Captain J. Maclachlan. 2nd Capt.
J. Mackonochie. 1st Lieut. Shippard. 1st Lieut. G. Hunter. 2nd Lieut. R.
Tomkyns.] War. It embarked at Plymouth in March 1814, and landed at
Quebec on the 3rd June, accompanied by the whole of its officers. On the
5th June it left Quebec, in boats, and arrived at Fort George, on the
Niagara River, in the end of the month. On the 3rd July the Americans
crossed the river into Canada; and on the 5th, part of the company, with
Captain Mackonochie and Lieutenants Shipperd and Hunter, was in action
with the enemy at Chippewa. For his conduct on this occasion, Captain
Mackonochie was mentioned [Sidenote: ‘Annual Register,’ 1814.] in
despatches by General Riall. On the 10th July, part of the company, with
two field guns, under Lieutenant Tomkyns, was engaged with the enemy
near Fort George; and was thanked in General Orders. On the 25th July,
the whole company was engaged with the Americans near Niagara Falls, and
Captain Maclachlan was severely [Sidenote: Ibid.] wounded, losing the
use of his right arm. He, Captain Mackonochie, and Lieutenant Tomkyns
were specially [Sidenote: General Drummond’s Despatches, 27 July, 1814.]
mentioned by General Drummond in his despatches. On the 13th and 14th
August, the company, with its three subaltern officers, was engaged in
the batteries at Fort Erie; and on the 15th August, at the assault on
the same place. From the 16th August to 16th September, they [Sidenote:
Ibid. 15 Aug. 1814.] were engaged in the batteries at Fort Erie; and on
the [Sidenote: Ibid. 17 Sept. 1814.] 17th September, assisted in
repulsing a _sortie_ made from the Fort by 5000 Americans. On the 30th
September, the company, with its subaltern officers (both Captains being
sick in hospital), was engaged in repulsing a general attack on the
British lines on the Chippewa; after which the Americans, having
completely failed in obtaining possession of Upper Canada, recrossed the
Niagara River into the United States. In October the company took part
in fresh operations at Fort George and Fort Niagara; and Lieutenant
Tomkyns, with two 6-pounders, was attached to the 37th Regiment, when
sent to drive a strong party of Americans out of the country, who had
remained on the British side, plundering the inhabitants in the
neighbourhood of Turkey Point, on Lake Erie. In the spring of 1815, the
company was sent to Amherstburg; on the 23rd July, 1817, it returned to
England; and on the 31st of the same month it ceased to exist.

_No. 2 Company._--This company, under Captain Lloyd, and with 2nd
Captain Marlow, 1st Lieutenants Baker and Wells, and 2nd Lieutenant
Manners, took part in the Expedition to Walcheren in 1809. Its next
foreign service was very important. It embarked at Plymouth on 14th
January, 1815, and sailed for Cork to join the fleet destined for the
American Coast: after remaining there ten weeks it proceeded to sea; but
the second day after doing so, it received counter orders to proceed to
Ostend, where it arrived in the end of April.

The company, with Captains Lloyd and Rudyerd, and Lieutenants Wells,
Phelps, and Harvey, was engaged against the French on the 16th, 17th,
and 18th June, commencing at Quatre Bras and ending at Waterloo. During
these engagements, Captain Lloyd was mortally wounded, and died at
Brussels on the 29th July following; and Lieutenant Harvey lost his
right arm. To any one familiar with the story of the Artillery at
Waterloo, the subsequent reduction of this gallant company seems almost
a crime. It accompanied the army into France, where it remained until
March 1816; returning then to England, it disembarked at Ramsgate, and
proceeded to Woolwich, where, on the 28th April, 1817, it fell a victim
to the reductions which economy rendered necessary, but which the
Artilleryman must always bitterly regret.

_No. 3 Company._--This company, with Captain Adams, 1st Lieutenants
Otway and Moore, and 2nd Lieutenant Weston, took part in the Expedition
to Walcheren in 1809.

On the 16th March, 1814, the company, with Captains Adams and King, 1st
Lieutenant Day, and 2nd Lieutenant Pickard, embarked at Portsmouth for
North America, and disembarked at Quebec on the 30th May. In the July
following Captain King and Lieutenant Picard, with part of the company,
were ordered to march to Chambly, where they were attached to a battery
of 6-pounder field guns, for duty with that part of the army serving
under Major-General De Rottenburg. In the beginning of August, this
detachment, with two 6-pounders, and one 5½-inch howitzer, was ordered
to the frontier to act with the army under the command of General De
Watterville; and on the 4th September it moved forward with the army
commanded by Lieut.-General Sir George Prevost to Plattsburg, at which
place it was removed from its field guns, and posted to a battery of two
8-inch mortars, for service against the American lines and gun-boats.
From this place the army retreated on the 11th September. No part of the
company was engaged subsequent to this date; and the head-quarters
remained at Montreal, under Captain Adams. On the 17th June, 1817, it
embarked at Quebec for England, landing at Woolwich on the 23rd July. On
the 31st of the same month, the company was reduced.

_No. 4 Company._--If regret is unavoidable when one reads of the
reduction of the companies already mentioned, a much stronger feeling
inspires the Artilleryman--a feeling of righteous indignation,--when he
finds that this, Sir Alexander Dickson’s own company, shared the same
fate. Just as its Captain--in his position of confidential adviser to
the Duke of Wellington--raised the position of an Artillery commander on
service, so did the company, under its gallant 2nd Captain, Cairnes--who
was killed afterwards at Waterloo--contribute no mean share to the meed
of glory, and work well done, which attached to the representatives of
the Corps in the Peninsular campaigns. What battery is there now in
existence, but would give a great price to be able to say that the
following records of No. 4 Company, 10th Battalion, were its own
property by right of uninterrupted descent? And yet, perhaps, it is well
that praise, earned in such words as recognized the labours of Sir
Alexander Dickson’s company, should be viewed as a regimental, instead
of a battery inheritance. Let the record be briefly stated.

In February 1810, the company embarked at Woolwich on board the troop
ship ‘Alert,’ and disembarked at Cadiz on the 1st April. The officers of
the company present with it were Lieutenants Woolcombe, Raynes, and
Talbot; 2nd Captain Cairnes joined it in June 1810, and Lieutenant
Bridges in September 1811. It was stationed at the Isla de Leon during
the siege of Cadiz, taking its tour of duty in the advanced batteries.
The blockade continued from April 1810 to August 1812. In the beginning
of 1811, 30 non-commissioned officers and gunners, with small arms, were
told off under Lieutenant Mainwaring, Acting Quartermaster, as an escort
to the ammunition accompanying the expedition under Lieut.-General
Graham, which resulted in the battle of Barossa, on 5th March, 1811.
This detachment was present at that battle, as were also Captain Cairnes
and Lieutenant Raynes, who were attached to Major Roberts’ brigade of
guns; and Lieutenant Woolcombe, who acted as Adjutant to Major Duncan,
who commanded the Artillery. Lieutenant Woolcombe was mortally wounded,
and died on the following day.

In the month of September 1812, Colonel Skerrett was ordered to join
Lord Wellington’s army with 4000 men of the Cadiz division. Captain
Cairnes with the whole of the company marched from the Isla de Leon on
the 12th September, and on their arrival at Seville they were posted to
a brigade of 9-pounders. Captain Cairnes, having been severely wounded
by the explosion of a powder-mill near Seville a few days previously to
the march of the division, was left behind. The brigade, under the
command of Lieutenant Raynes, marched from Seville on the 30th
September, and joined the army under Lieut.-General Hill at Val de
Moros. On 30th October it was present at the affair of Puente Largo,
near Aranjuez, but was not engaged. At the close of this year’s
campaign, the brigade was stationed at Val de la Mula, on the Portuguese
frontier. Here it was rejoined by Captain Cairnes, and shortly
afterwards moved to Pena ma Cor.

On the 6th June, 1813, the brigade joined the 7th Division of the army
at Villalba, the following officers being present with it: Captain
Cairnes, Lieutenants Raynes, Bridges, Talbot, and James, and
Assist.-Surgeon Kenny. It was present at the battle of Vittoria, and
received the following mention in orders:--

  _Extract from Division Orders by the Earl of Dalhousie._

  “Camp in front of Vittoria,
  22 June, 1813.

  “The Lieut.-General desires to express his high admiration of the
  conduct of the 1st Brigade, and of Captain Cairnes’ brigade of
  guns yesterday. Nothing could surpass the steadiness and bravery
  of the men and officers. To Captain Cairnes, the officers, and men
  of the brigade of guns, the Lieut.-General offers his warmest
  acknowledgments for the steadiness and excellence of their fire at
  the different points where Captain Cairnes brought it to bear
  during the day.

  (Signed) “F. D’OYLEY, A.-A.-G.”

The brigade was afterwards employed in the blockade of Pampeluna in
conjunction with the Spanish troops. On the 27th July, the right wing
being driven back from Roncesvalles, after a series of actions
commencing on the 25th, Captain Cairnes’ brigade was ordered to take up
a position on the heights near the village of Oracain, commanding the
high road to Pampeluna. On the 28th July, the Artillery of the 6th
Division not having arrived, Lieutenants Raynes and James were detached
with two guns to the support of that division; and during the action
Lieutenant Talbot joined with another gun. General Packe, who commanded
the division, stood near the guns, and afterwards was pleased to say:
“The guns were brought up at a most critical moment, and served with all
that gallantry for which the Corps is remarkable.” On the 29th July,
this detachment rejoined Captain Cairnes, who was ordered to take up a
fresh position, and on the following day an action commenced at
daybreak. The enemy had previously endeavoured to surprise the advanced
posts, but was soon driven back. The brigade was heavily engaged from
daybreak till noon, when the enemy, driven back at all points,
retreated. These two actions of the 28th and 30th July formed part of
what are known as the “Battles of the Pyrenees.” The brigade remained in
the neighbourhood of Pampeluna until the 1st November, when the place

On the 10th November, the brigade was present at the battle of
Nivelle--held in reserve. On the 20th of the same month, it was ordered
to the rear and cantoned near Fuenterabia, where it remained during the
winter. In consequence of a deficiency of horses for the pontoon train,
those belonging to the brigade were given up for that service.

On the 11th February, 1814, Captain Cairnes having been appointed to the
Royal Horse Artillery, the command of the company fell to Lieutenant
Raynes. On the 19th February, it marched to St. Jean de Luz, to take
charge of rockets to be given over to Captain Lane.

On the 22nd February, Lieutenant Raynes received the following order:--

“Lieutenant Raynes with three non-commissioned officers and 4 gunners,
with spikes, will cross with the first party, and spike the guns of the
battery at the mouth of the Adour; which being accomplished, Lieutenant
Raynes will return to the left bank of the Adour, and take charge of the
rocket detachments on that side, which will have been previously told
off as follows, viz.:

“One half to be employed against the ‘Sappho’ frigate: for this duty,
Lieutenant Bridges.

“The other half against the enemy’s vessels, should any attempt to come
down the river: for this post, Lieutenant Elgee.

“The parties under Lieutenants Bridges and Elgee to accompany the
18-pounders on their march. Lieutenant Raynes to accompany the pontoons.

  (Signed) “A. G. FRAZER, Lieut.-Colonel.

  “22 February, 1814.”

On the 23rd February, the passage of the Adour took place. The company
remained before Bayonne until 8th March, when it was ordered to Reuterix
(Spain) to assist in preparing the battering-train for the proposed
siege of Bayonne.

On the 11th June Captain Close joined and took command of the company;
and on the 20th of the same month it embarked for England,--disembarking
on 12th July at Woolwich, and proceeding to Chatham.

It should have been mentioned that when the company was not actively
employed, its officers often volunteered for other services. For
example, from October 1811 to February 1812, Lieutenant Raynes was
employed with another company at the siege of Tarifa. Lieutenants
Bridges and Talbot, also, took part in the Expedition to Carthagena.

The company went from Chatham to Ireland, and was reduced, while serving
in that country, on the 31st May, 1817.

_No. 5 Company._--This company embarked at Woolwich on 28th February,
1810, for Cadiz, and landed at that place on the 1st April. The officers
who accompanied it were Captain Shenley, 2nd Captain Mallett, 1st
Lieutenants Maitland and Godby, and 2nd Lieutenant Cator. The company
was employed in the batteries and lines in the defence of Cadiz until
June 1812, when the French abandoned the siege. On the 16th August,
1814, it embarked at Cadiz for England, and landed at Woolwich on 27th
September, 1814. On the 28th February, 1818, it ceased to exist.

_No. 6 Company._--This company embarked at Gravesend on 28th February,
1810, for Cadiz, and landed there on 1st April. The company was employed
in the batteries and lines in the defence of Cadiz until the abandonment
of the siege by the French in June 1812. The officers with the company
were Captain Roberts, 1st Lieutenants Dundas and Cozens. During the
siege Lieutenant Cozens lost a leg. Part of the company, under Captain
Roberts, was detached in February 1811 on an expedition to Algaziras,
and afterwards was present at the battle of Barossa. Second Captain
Gardiner joined the company in 1811, but exchanged shortly afterwards.

On the 9th August, 1812, part of the company, under Captain Roberts,
with Lieutenants Raynes, Maitland, and Brett attached, embarked at Cadiz
with a brigade of 6-pounders under the command of Colonel Skerritt, and
was present at the taking of Seville on the 27th of the same month. Here
Lieutenant Brett was killed, and Lieutenant Maitland so severely wounded
that he died a few weeks after. From Seville the detachment returned to
Cadiz, where on the 16th August, 1814, they embarked for England with
the whole company, arriving at Woolwich on the 27th September, 1814. The
company was reduced after Waterloo on the 31st March, 1817.

_No. 7 Company._--This company served in Gibraltar from March 1810 to
April 1817. On its return to Woolwich, it was reduced,--on 31st May,
1817. Its reduction dislocated no traditions.

_No. 8 Company._--The history of this company tallies, even to the dates
of embarkation, with that of No. 7.

_No. 9 Company._--This company served at the Cape of Good Hope from
March 1811 to August 1817. It was reduced at Woolwich on 31st December,

_No. 10 Company._--This company served in Malta from December 1810 to
March 1817. It was reduced while in Malta, the men being transferred to
the 1st Battalion, to a company which is now called A Battery, 11th
Brigade, Royal Artillery.

The battalion head-quarters and Adjutant’s detachment were reduced on
28th February, 1818.

This summary of the history of the old 10th Battalion companies should
be read in connection with, and in amplification of, the chapters on the
Peninsular and Second American Wars.



    Time, like a pulse, beat fierce
    Through all the worlds.”


The history of the Regiment between 1808 and 1814 is concentrated in the
Peninsular campaigns,--with the one exception of the Expedition to
Walcheren. As the war in Spain drew to a close, the Second American War,
which had in the meantime arisen, increased in importance, reaching its
culminating point in 1814.

It is proposed in this chapter to treat of that section of the wars in
the Peninsula, which terminated in the sad but glorious victory of
Corunna. After a diversion on the subject of the Walcheren Expedition,
the Peninsular narrative will be resumed, and be continued
uninterruptedly to its close.

The reader will doubtless remember that in the spring of 1808 the
Spaniards rose as one man to resist the schemes of Napoleon, who had
placed his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain. The English
Government, always ready to assist any country which defied the French
emperor, placed a force of 9000 men under the command of Sir Arthur
Wellesley, who sailed for Portugal on the 12th July, to co-operate with
the Spanish forces. This force was subsequently increased to nearly
30,000; but the conflicting instructions given by Government, and the
utter ignorance of the real state of affairs in Spain, prevented the
possibility of harmony of action among the English forces, and had
ultimately much to do with the abrupt and mistaken Convention of Cintra.
Portugal had recently suffered dismemberment at the hands of Napoleon as
a penalty for its friendship with England; the English expedition had
therefore a double motive,--the delivery of Portugal, and co-operation
with the Spaniards. How terrible the errors of the English Government
were in organizing this Expedition can only be [Sidenote: Napier, vol.
i., book i., chapter iii.] realised by a study of the celebrated and
standard history of the war; and such a study is necessary to enable one
fully to realise the marvellous genius of Wellington, and his determined
vigour. It is sufficient for the purpose of this work to show that, if
the Royal Artillery shared the glories of Wellington, they also from the
very first shared his difficulties--which were certainly not lessened in
their treatment by the Ordnance. The conflicting instructions given by
Government to Sir Arthur Wellesley were matched by the total absence of
any information from the Board to Colonel Robe, who had been appointed
to command the Artillery of the Expedition. A man full of zeal--one of
the best practical Artillerymen whom the Regiment has ever produced--he
naturally sought by every means in his power to ensure the completeness
in every respect of the equipment of the force under his control. How
completely he was foiled by the masterly silence of the Board will be
seen by the following letters written by him after his arrival in
Portugal. That, in spite of all his difficulties, he succeeded in
earning the warm commendations of a chief, who was rarely guilty of many
words of praise, is merely another instance of the truth [Sidenote:
‘Times,’ 13 Jan. 1873.] of the saying of a recent writer: “The student
who reads the history of the Royal Artillery can hardly fail to be
struck by proof after proof that the progress of the Regiment has been
due to the energy and manly courage of individual officers within its
ranks in spite of the withering cold of officialism.... So it must be,
and ever will be. Boards and clerks will bind chains in peace round the
men of talent, who will either break them when a crisis comes, or die in
the effort to do so.”

The correspondence was as follows.

  “‘Kingston’ Transport,
  Mondego Bay,
  July 30, 1808.

  [Sidenote: Lieut.-Col. Robe to Brig.-Gen. Macleod.]

  “... I shall therefore take the liberty of mentioning to you some
  points which it may be essential should on future occasions be put
  right on the embarkation of Artillery.... It appears to me
  necessary that the officer appointed to command Artillery on any
  expedition should know something more of the nature of the service
  intended than I did, and that he should not be made to take upon
  trust that everything necessary for his service will be found on
  board his ships. Our equipment is not yet arrived at the state of
  perfection to render such a mode efficient; and if it is
  practised, the commanding officer of Artillery will find, as I
  have, that his brigades will be wanting in articles extremely
  necessary, and be very short indeed in stores intended for repair
  or for keeping them in good order. He will perhaps find also, as I
  have, that intrenching tools, and even platforms, are sent with
  the Engineer’s department for a species of service for which he
  has not a gun, nor a mortar, nor a round of ammunition. I do not
  make this a matter of complaint to you. I complain not of
  anything, because I can go no further than use to the best of my
  ability the means put into my power; but I confess it would have
  been much more satisfactory to me had I been permitted an
  opportunity of stating before I embarked what might have been sent
  with me for the real benefit of the service, and I don’t think it
  would have occasioned an hour’s delay to the embarkation, or have
  added a shilling of expense to the country, because the essential
  articles, if not supplied, _must_ be purchased. I have so often
  mentioned _horses_ that I ought perhaps to apologise for again
  recurring to that subject; and perhaps it may be said that I have
  no reason to mention them, having the horses of the Irish
  Commissariat ordered to be turned over to me on landing.
  Fortunate, indeed, I think myself to have even _them_. I know not
  what figure we should have cut without them; but when you learn
  that they are acknowledged to be _cast horses from the Cavalry_
  turned over to the Commissariat, you will readily think that we
  are not likely to make a very capital figure with them. I have
  been also fortunate enough to obtain with them a promise of shoes
  from that branch, sufficient, with the _one hundred sets_ supplied
  to me, to shoe them on first going off. Future service must be
  supplied as it can, and I shall not let it go unsupplied.” ...

This letter was written by Colonel Robe before he had realised the whole
of his wants, and how admirably the Honourable Board had succeeded in
proving their ability “How not to do it.” The truth dawned on him very
soon, and his language of remonstrance became stronger. His next letter
is dated the 7th August, 1808, from the camp above Lavos, Mondego Bay,
and contains the following passages:--

[Sidenote: Lieut.-Col. Robe to Brig.-Gen. Macleod.]

  “I now deem it my duty (which were I to neglect I should be highly
  culpable) to point out to you in the strongest manner the impolicy
  of sending Artillery to a foreign country without horses. Even the
  horses we have now, old, blind, and casts from the Cavalry as they
  are, we find superior to what we can obtain from the country. The
  latter are good of their kind, but small, and not of sufficient
  weight for our carriages. Three hundred good horses would have
  cost the country no more for transport than as many bad ones, and
  what we shall do for the brigade now to be landed remains to be
  decided.... I must also mention the proportion of general stores
  which you, sir, know Artillery cannot do without, and which ought
  to be sent out with every embarkation. Had I been made acquainted
  with what was to have been embarked, I should not have gone on
  board ship till the proper proportion had been furnished. _I did
  everything in my power to obtain the information from the Board,
  and was referred to Mr. ----, who himself at the time was not
  furnished with any information._ I did at hazard request Mr.
  Spencer to put on board one hundred sets of horse-shoes and some
  nails, thinking them an addition to what would be provided for us.
  _These are all I have had for the horses of three brigades_; and
  had I not obtained some more from the Commissary-General,
  belonging to the horses delivered to us, the horses must have
  taken the field _barefoot_. I have made demands for some, and for
  such things as are most immediately required, and what may be
  wanted in the meantime must be purchased here.

  “I write this to you officially, and must not be considered as
  individually complaining or making difficulties. My people of all
  classes exert themselves, and I am determined to get on; but I
  know that, engaged in a department where much is expected, I am
  doing my country greater service by pointing out what may render
  that department as complete as it is supposed to be, than if I
  were to remain for ever silent on the subject.”

Then followed the battles of Roliça and Vimiera, to be alluded to
hereafter, and merely mentioned here to show that before the date of his
next letter Colonel Robe had been able to form a very practical opinion
of the Board’s shortcomings. Writing after Vimiera, on the night of the
[Sidenote: Lieut.-Col. Robe to Brigadier Macleod.] 21st August, 1808, he
says: “My men are staunch, and the admiration of the army; and had they
been properly supplied with horses and with stores, as artillery _should
have_ embarked from England, Europe would not have produced a more
efficient artillery. I shall have occasion to write to you and to the
Board on the latter subjects, as soon as I can obtain time; but give me
leave to say now that never more will I leave England taking my
provision of Artillery upon trust, and coming upon an army burthened
with cast horses, or no horses at all, or with brigades unsupplied with
any one store to make repair, and scarce a shoe to put on horses when I
could beg them. This may be strong; but I have reason to use the
expressions after suffering the inconveniences occasioned by the want of
these supplies.”

[Sidenote: Lieut.-Col. Robe to Colonel Harding.]

On the 1st September, 1808, Colonel Robe pointed out to Colonel Harding,
who had arrived to take command of the Artillery in Portugal, that “not
less than two hundred and fifty horses would be required to render that
Artillery efficient for taking the field for a length of service. Those
received originally from the Irish Commissariat were old cast horses of
Cavalry, and many of them blind. They now fall off very fast.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader will be eager to see how the Board explained its
shortcomings, and what reparation it proposed to make to the brave
officer, who had gained honour for his Corps in spite of official
blunders. For calm, cool assumption, perhaps, [Sidenote: Board of
Ordnance to Lieut.-Col. Robe.] the reply sent by the Board is
unsurpassed. It bears date the 6th October, 1808, after the news of the
English successes, and the gallantry of the Artillery under Colonel
Robe, had reached England, and after Colonel Robe had been twice
specially mentioned by Sir A. Wellesley in his despatches. It was
written, let the reader remember, on behalf of a Board whose errors were
not confined to those quoted above; which had actually sent guns without
their ammunition, and ammunition which would have been useless, had not
Colonel Robe succeeded in borrowing suitable guns from the navy. It was
addressed to an officer who had been straining every nerve, night and
day, to remedy the defects due to official ignorance, or to what is much
the same, official affectation of omniscience;--to an officer who, in
spite of the remonstrances which had been extorted from him by his
discovery of the Board’s incapacity, had never attempted to shelter
himself behind the faults of others, but had, instead, toiled to remedy
them. Let the reader bear these facts in mind, as he attempts to realise
the feelings with which Colonel Robe must have perused the following
lines:--“In reply to the parts of your public correspondence in which
you have so very warmly complained of some omissions and deficiencies,
particularly in the Light Brigade of Artillery shipped at Plymouth, I am
to say that his Lordship has, upon inquiry, ascertained that there
_were_ _some irregularities_ in the embarkation, and that he has, in
consequence, expressed his displeasure through the Board to the parties
concerned, in a manner to make a lasting impression. His Lordship has,
besides, issued such orders, and made such regulations, as must
effectually preclude every plea or excuse for irregularity or omission
in future.

“The Master-General, in desiring me to give you the above information,
has directed me to add that, although he is willing to ascribe much of
the style and many of the expressions in the letters to your known zeal
for the service, and the anxiety attending an officer during the moments
of preparation for the field, yet his Lordship cannot but regret that,
instead of forwarding a complaint, which it would be the wish and the
interest of the Ordnance to attend to, you should have allowed yourself
to arraign, with such improper and unmerited asperity, the conduct of
the Ordnance Department in general.”

The old, old story! Officialism, on being detected in error, hurriedly,
and with attempts at dignity, assumes an air of injured innocence, and
neither forgives nor forgets the unhappy soldier who is the means of
revealing its shortcomings. What a contrast does Colonel Robe’s
dignified and soldierlike acknowledgment of this reprimand present!
Having first acknowledged the congratulations of the Master-General on
the conduct of the Artillery at Roliça and Vimiera, which he had caused
to be read to the men on parade, and entered in all the order-books,
thereby, as he wrote, “awakening every joyful feeling that could arise
in the breasts of [Sidenote: Lisbon, 7 Jan. 1809.] soldiers,” he
proceeded as follows:--“The latter part of your letter is indeed a great
source of grief to me, and has hurt me more than I can express. I had
hoped to have obtained for my whole conduct the approbation of his
Lordship the Master-General and the Board of Ordnance. I set out with
the most earnest desire to fulfil, to the extent of my abilities, every
duty I might be honoured with, and to abide in the strictest manner by
their orders, for which purpose I applied for instructions and such
information as the very limited time prior to my departure would admit.
The shortness of that time, our expected destination (which, as you
know, we had reason to believe was far more distant than it proved
afterwards to be[14]) certainly produced in me an anxiety that the
branch of service entrusted to me should be supplied in the manner most
conducive to the end for which it was sent out. This anxiety may have
caused a warmth of expression not deemed advisable in public
correspondence, however good the intention. And that an unfavourable
impression has been received in His Lordship’s mind I, with pain,
perceive, and submit in the most respectful manner to the animadversion
you have received His Lordship’s commands to make.... Whatever the
warmth of my feelings might have been which impelled me to the remarks
that have caused His Lordship’s displeasure, I entreat that they may be
ascribed to the peculiar situation in which I was placed. My letter to
you was written on the ground of, and almost during, the action, and,
consequently, that degree of coolness was not attended to which ought to
have been manifested.”

The difficulties of the campaign of August 1808 were increased by the
insincerity and disunion of the Spaniards, the feebleness of the
Portuguese support, and the extraordinary conduct of the English
Government in sending General after General with conflicting
instructions. The supersession of Sir Arthur Wellesley at a critical
moment, uncalled for and undeserved, would have paralysed a less
determined commander. To his resolution, his singleness of purpose, and
his tact in dealing with the Portuguese authorities, is the fact due
that, brief as the campaign was, it was marked by two brilliant
engagements, and established already the military reputation of the
English troops. The British army in Portugal, in 1808, was gathered from
the four winds of heaven, without harmony either in instructions or
management, and destitute of adequate equipment or supplies. The main
body, which sailed from Cork, had been intended for South America; the
contingent brought by Sir John Moore had been sent in the first instance
to Sweden, on an errand rendered fruitless by the obstinacy of the
Swedish monarch; and the rest of the army was gathered in instalments
from Gibraltar, Madeira, and various parts of England. The annexed
table, prepared from the embarkation returns, shows the method in which
the Artillery portion of the army was collected:--at first destitute of
horses, and, later, embarked with so much precipitation, that in many
instances the horses died from long confinement on board ship; and in
others it was found that animals had been hurriedly purchased, and
embarked afflicted with fatal and infectious diseases, which spread
rapidly among those which were healthy. The horses which were purchased
in the country were small, and unfitted for Artillery work. The roads
round Lisbon, and in the district traversed by Sir A. Wellesley’s force,
were of the worst description; and Colonel Robe and his successor,
Colonel Harding, wrote to the Board, expressing their thankfulness that,
for the three brigades engaged at Roliça and Vimiera they had been able
to procure _oxen_ to draw the guns, with horses as leaders! The
remonstrances of Colonel Robe and his successors succeeded in procuring
from England, as the annexed table will show, a suitable supply of
horses as the year advanced; but the honours gained by the Corps had
been earned before these arrived (_see_ p. 204).

[Sidenote: Now 3 Battery, 2 Brigade, and 7 Battery, 17 Brigade.]

In addition to the companies (Captain Geary’s and Captain Raynsford’s)
which embarked with Colonel Robe to form part of Sir A. Wellesley’s
force, 161 of the King’s German Artillery were also detailed. The
services of this Corps during the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns were
of the highest order. The head-quarters of the Corps were at this time
at Porchester, and the strength in 1808 was as follows:--

[Sidenote: Muster-Rolls of K. G. Artillery, 1808.]

Field officers, 4; staff officers, 6; staff sergeants, 3. Two troops of
Horse Artillery, consisting in all of 372 officers and men, and 186

RETURN of the OFFICERS and MEN of the ROYAL ARTILLERY, and of Officers’
or Draught Horses, or others under the Ordnance, which were sent from
various Stations to Spain or Portugal during the Year 1808, with the
Dates of their respective Embarkations.

  A. Officers.
  B. N. C. Officers.
  C. Gunners.
  D. Drummers.
  E .Total.
  F. Officers.
  G. N. C. Officers.
  H. Drivers.
  I. Trumpeters.
  J. Artificers.
  K. Total.
  L. General Total.
  M. Horses.

  |                                           |    Date of   |     ROYAL ARTILLERY.     |              R. A. DRIVER CORPS.          |
  |                                           | Embarkation. |---------+-----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+
  |                                           |              | A. | B. |  C. | D. |  E. | F. | G. |  H. | I. | J. | K.  | L.  | M.  |
  |Embarked with Sir A. Wellesley             |June, 1808    |  10|  27|  204|   4|  245|   2|  18|  143|   2|  10|  175|  420|     |
  |Embarked with General Spencer from       } |June 13, 1808 |   3|   6|   53|   1|   63|    |   1|   13|    |    |   14|   77|  360|
  |  Gibraltar for Cadiz                    } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |     |     |
  |Embarked with Sir J. Moore for Sweden,   } |April 30, 1808|  24|  62|  406|   8|  500|   3|  18|  276|   2|  30|  329|  829|  309|
  |  and then for Spain                     } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |     |     |
  |Embarked with Generals Ackland and       } |July 23, 1808 |  10|  29|  187|   4|  230|   3|  13|  178|   2|  14|  210|  440|     |
  |  Anstruther                             } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |           |       |
  |Embarked from Gibraltar by order of Sir  } |Aug. 13, 1808 |   8|  27|  186|   3|  224|    |    |     |    |    |     |  224|     |
  |  H. Dalrymple                           } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |     |     |
  |Embarked from Madeira for Portugal       } |Aug. 17, 1808 |   3|  14|   94|   2|  113|    |    |     |    |    |     |  113|  300|
  |  with General Beresford                 } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |     |  300|
  |Embarked with Sir D. Baird from Cork       |Sept. 23, 1808|   8|  26|  205|   3|  242|   2|  20|  181|   2|  16|  221|  463|  296|
  |Embarked with Sir D. Baird from Woolwich   |Sept. 22, 1808|  10|  26|  200|   2|  238|   2|  20|  181|   1|  15|  219|  457|  304|
  |Embarked from Woolwich: Horse Artillery    |Oct. 5, 1808  |  12|  28|  100|    |  200|    |    |  109|   2|  14|  125|  325|  600|
  |Embarked from Portsmouth: Horse Artillery  |Nov. 18, 1808 |  10|  26|  161|    |  197|    |    |  108|   2|  14|  124|  321|     |
  |Embarked from Portsmouth                   |Dec. 8, 1808  |   2|    |    1|    |    3|   4|  28|  213|   3|  19|  267|  270|     |
  |         Total embarked for Portugal or  } |              | 100| 271| 1857|  27| 2255|  16| 118| 1402|  16| 132| 1684| 3939| 2469|
  |           Spain in the year 1808        } |              |    |    |     |    |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |     |     |

N.B. The return given by Napier in vol. 1. p. 590, of his ‘History,’
neither includes the R. A. drivers, nor the officers and N. C. officers
of the R. A. of several of the detachments mentioned above, but merely
the gunners. It, however, does include the King’s German Artillery,
which is not shown in this purely regimental return.

Four marching companies, in all 714 officers and men--with 67 horses.

One of these companies was stationed in the Mediterranean.

An addition to Colonel Robe’s force of a doubtful value was received
from Gibraltar. Lieut.-Colonel George Ramsey was ordered from Gibraltar
with three companies to meet the Artillery expected from England, and a
_car brigade_ of guns, as it was termed, was issued from the Ordnance
stores, for the service. Two of the companies, and Colonel Ramsey, were
sent back to Gibraltar immediately on their arrival in Cadiz:--only one,
Captain Morison’s[15] being allowed to proceed in charge of the guns.
Colonel Ramsey, however, had time to inspect the car brigade which had
been issued to him, and his official report on it was not complimentary
to [Sidenote: To D. A. G. from Cadiz, 21 July, 1808.] the store-keepers.
A similar brigade, it would appear, had been sent to Sicily, a few weeks
before; and the clerk of stores had hopelessly confused the two. The
shafts for the howitzers had been sent with the 6-pounders; seven
gun-wheels had been put on board for use with the waggons,--although not
interchangeable,--and one waggon was entirely useless. The stores were
inadequate and unsuitable; and there was neither a commissary, nor an
artificer, with the detachment. A little further vacillation on the part
of the authorities led to two companies leaving Gibraltar for Portugal
immediately after the return of those under Colonel [Sidenote: Now 1
Battery, 6 Brigade.] Ramsey; and one of these, Captain Skyring’s, had
the good fortune to join Colonel Robe in time for the battle of Vimiera.

Colonel Robe’s force anchored in Mondego Bay on 28th July; and on the
following day Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had preceded the army, and had
been engaged in diplomatic as well as military duties, arrived, and gave
orders for the disembarkation. The French withdrew from the coast, and
the inhabitants showed symptoms of co-operation with the English, which
were, however, sadly neutralised by the conduct of their rulers; while
Sir A. Wellesley pressed forward, on the 9th August, to Leiria, hoping
to cover the disembarkation of the additional troops which he now knew
were on their way from England, and perhaps at the same time to strike
an effective blow, as near to Lisbon as possible, with the force under
his command. This would have the effect of inspiring the Portuguese with
courage; of asserting the right of the English to control the military
operations of the Allies; and of disarranging the plans of the French.
The English army was augmented at Lavos on the 6th August by General
Spencer’s contingent; and was divided into six brigades, under Generals
Hill, Nightingale, Crawford, [Sidenote: G. O. dated Lavos, 7 Aug. 1808.]
Bowes, Ferguson, and Fane. A demi-battery of Artillery was attached to
each brigade; howitzers being attached to the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th
Brigades, and the 9-pounders being kept in reserve. On the line of
march, the Artillery always moved in front of the brigades to which they
were attached, and the Artillery of the reserve followed the Infantry.

The advance of Sir Arthur Wellesley was perfectly successful; he
succeeded in cutting the line of communication between Generals Loison
and Laborde, and in inducing the French Commander-in-Chief, Junot, to
quit Lisbon, and take the field with the reserve. The cowardice and
self-interest of the Portuguese leaders robbed him, however, at a
critical moment, of several thousand troops; so that in his first
engagement with the enemy he had the assistance of no more than 1650
Portuguese. That engagement was the one known as the combat of
Roliça--fought on the 17th August, with superior numbers on the side of
the English, but against a General, Laborde, who was not only very able,
but also occupied a position of great natural strength.

The attack of the English, who, with the Portuguese, numbered 14,000,
was made in three columns, the left commanded by General Ferguson,--the
right composed of the Portuguese,--and the centre, consisting of three
brigades, commanded by Sir Arthur in person. The Royal Artillery had 18
guns, one half of which came into action to cover the advance of the
Infantry. So determined was that advance, and so critical did General
Laborde’s position become, as the left column, under General Ferguson,
closed in upon his right, that he fell back to a new and parallel
position, on the heights of Zambugeira. The steep heights, and dense
brushwood, which had to be traversed in the advance of the English,
rendered the attack of this new position a more difficult and costly
one, and the losses of the 9th, 29th, and 82nd Regiments were especially
heavy. The ardour of the troops was, however, irresistible; and Laborde
again fell back, handling his troops with the utmost skill. In a very
short time, after one or two attempts to make a stand, the [Sidenote:
Napier.] French were in full retreat--“leaving three guns on the field
of battle, and the road to Torres Vedras open to the victors.”

The loss of the French was admitted by themselves to be [Sidenote:
Wellington Supplementary Despatches, vol. vi. p. 116.] 600 killed and
wounded; but it was probably much greater. Sir Arthur Wellesley, writing
on the following day, said the loss had been reported to be 1500; and
Colonel Robe, in his despatch to the Ordnance, said that the loss of the
French far exceeded that of the English, which amounted to 479 killed
and wounded. The loss of the Royal Artillery on this occasion was, as
Colonel Robe wrote, irreparable. Captain Henry Geary, an officer of
great promise and experience, [Sidenote: Col. Robe to D. A. Gen., R.A.
18 August, 1808.] was killed. “He was, by his own desire, and as senior
Captain, in charge of guns with the Light Brigade, and was killed while
pointing his gun within one or two hundred yards of the enemy. I regret
him as an officer, for he was invaluable; and as a friend and old
fellow-campaigner, by no means less. His loss to his family cannot be
appreciated; but it will always be a comfort that he died as he had
lived, in the very act of doing his [Sidenote: Napier, vol i. p. 591.]
duty to his country, and a true Christian.” The force of Artillery under
Colonel Robe’s command at Roliça numbered 660 of all ranks.

The next engagement between the French and English forces took place
under singular circumstances. Sir Arthur Wellesley had been reinforced
by the brigades under Generals Ackland and Anstruther,--thus bringing
his force up to 16,000 men, besides 660 Artillery, and 240
Cavalry,--exclusive of the Portuguese under Colonel Trant. The greatest
number which Junot could bring against this army could--it was
known--hardly exceed 14,000. Further English reinforcements being known
to be on the way, Sir A. Wellesley decided on assuming the offensive.
Unfortunately, Sir H. Burrard, one of the three Generals sent out by the
English Government to assume the command, arrived on the night of the
20th August, and Sir A. Wellesley was obliged to wait on him for orders.
No arguments that he could employ could persuade Sir H. Burrard to
attack before the arrival of the expected reinforcements; and Sir Arthur
parted from him with feelings of the most bitter disappointment.
Fortunately for him, and for the army, Junot, who by this time had
reached Torres Vedras, resolved himself to assume the offensive; and to
attack the English in their position near the village of Vimiera. The
battle commenced at seven o’clock on the morning of the 21st August, and
deserves a special mention in this work. For at Vimiera, for the first
time, as Napier and Oust show, did the French realise the difference
between the English forces and those with whom they had hitherto been
contending;--for the first time did they appreciate those qualities with
which they were so soon to be familiar: “the stolid firmness and
resolute thrust of the Infantry, and the wonderful skill and precision
of the Artillery.” No chronicler of this battle fails to speak of the
“murderous fire of Robe’s Artillery;”--a fire which told with admirable
effect at the most critical periods of the engagement. The number of
guns present was small,--only 18, as at Roliça; but on this occasion all
were engaged,--the reserve as well as the divisional Artillery being
brought into play.

The right wing of the English army consisted of the 1st Brigade, under
General Hill; the centre, of the 6th and 7th, under Generals Fane and
Anstruther; the left, of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 8th, under Generals
Ferguson, Nightingale, Bowes, and Ackland; and the reserve was composed
of the 5th Brigade, under General Crawford.

The attack of the French was made with great gallantry, in spite of many
difficulties caused by the broken and wooded nature of the ground, and
was directed against the English centre in the first instance, and
mainly against General Fane’s brigade. That officer, wisely availing
himself of a discretionary power granted him, and seeing that the
position was a favourable one for the employment of his Artillery
against the advancing columns, brought up the guns of the reserve at
once, and with those of his own division formed [Sidenote: Cust.] a
battery, which played on the advancing foe with “such a shower of shell
and grape as might have been sufficient to stop any troops;” and
although the French troops _did_ reach the summit of the hill on which
the English stood, they were, as Napier writes, so “shattered by the
terrible fire of Robe’s Artillery,” that they fell an easy prey to the
gallant charges of the 50th Regiment. At another part of the line, where
skirmishing between Anstruther’s brigade and the French was going on,
the Artillery played an equally important part. A column of Grenadiers
had been sent forward by Kellermann to share in this part of the battle,
[Sidenote: Napier.] and “coming at a brisk pace, these choice soldiers
beat back the advanced companies of the 43rd Regiment; but to avoid
Robe’s artillery, which ransacked their left, they dipped a little into
the ravine on the right, and were immediately taken on the other flank
by the guns of the 4th and 8th Brigades; then, when the narrowness of
the way, and the sweep of the round shot, were crushing and disordering
their ranks, the 43rd, rallying in one mass, went down upon the very
head of the column, and with a short but fierce struggle, drove it back
in confusion.” Yet again: in the attack upon General Ferguson’s brigade
made by Solignac, who expected to find a weak force on the left to
oppose him,--but found it strengthened with the same forethought and
skill as marked, in days coming on, the tactics of Wellington at
Waterloo,--we read of the “powerful artillery which swept away their
foremost ranks.” As the reader finishes the account of this battle, and
reads of the French retreating in confusion, leaving thirteen of their
guns on the field, he can scarcely realise that the whole Artillery
force of Sir A. Wellesley was little more than the captured guns
represented. How much of the effect of this force, small as it was, was
due to the individual exertions of all ranks may be gathered from the
following extract from Colonel Robe’s despatch to the Ordnance:--“Never
[Sidenote: Col. Robe to D. A. Gen. Vimiera, 21 Aug. 1808.] was man
better supported by his officers and soldiers than I have been. I would
not change one of them, from the Major to the youngest subaltern, for
anything in the world; and only regret my son was not with me. My men
are staunch and the admiration of the army.” It may interest the
professional reader to know that great part of Colonel Robe’s report
after Vimiera was occupied with praises of Shrapnel’s spherical case, of
which he begged large additional supplies. He concludes with a sentence
which proves the _entente cordiale_ which existed between himself and
his superiors. “Nothing but the unexampled assistance and attention of
Sir A. Wellesley, and the general officers, could have brought this
artillery into the field in an efficient manner; and I am proud to say
they have never yet stopped an hour for us.”

Sir H. Burrard, with the chivalrous courtesy which has so often been
repeated in the annals of the English army, did not interfere with Sir
A. Wellesley’s command during the battle, but at its termination he
declined to accede to the proposal of the latter to undertake an
energetic pursuit, which would doubtless have ended in an unconditional
surrender of the French troops. Of Sir Arthur’s bitter
disappointment,--of the further complication caused by the arrival of
yet another General to supersede Sir H. Burrard--Sir Hew Dalrymple,--of
the singular Convention of Cintra, which while it certainly succeeded in
procuring the evacuation of Portugal by the French, did so on terms
which were very disproportionate to the success of the English
arms,--and of the indignation in England which followed the news of this
marvellous treaty,--it is beyond the province of this work to treat. The
state of affairs in Portugal--the absence of [Sidenote: Wellington
Supplementary Despatches, &c., vol. vi. p. 129.] all harmony of plan or
action, was such as to call from Sir Arthur Wellesley the expression,
“Considering the way in which things are likely to be carried on here, I
shall not be sorry to go away.”

The recall of Sir Hew Dalrymple, Sir H. Burrard, and Sir A. Wellesley to
England, on account of the Court of Enquiry ordered to investigate the
circumstances under which the Convention had been agreed to, left the
command of the English forces in Portugal with Sir John Moore. An army
of 28,000 men was concentrated at Lisbon under that General. The command
of the Artillery, which had been considerably reinforced, had been given
to Colonel Harding, who endorsed every complaint which had been made by
Colonel Robe, but who seems to have been somewhat more of an optimist
than that officer; for in one of his letters, describing his field
artillery, he wrote that “four oxen and two horses bring along a gun
famously.” On his arrival at Lisbon, he found that he had to arrange for
the proper equipment not merely of his own batteries, but also of the
artillery of a force of 4000 Spaniards at Lisbon, whom the Convention
had set free, and who, when armed and equipped, marched for Catalonia.
Sir John Moore decided on taking the field in October 1808, but being
misinformed as to the state of the roads, he decided on breaking up his
army, so as to march by different roads, and to unite at Salamanca with
another army under Sir David Baird, which had landed at Corunna. The
Artillery was ordered to march through the Alemtejo and by Badajos to
Talavera, [Sidenote: Colonel Harding to D.-A.-Gen.] and was arranged by
Colonel Harding as follows. He himself, Lieut.-Colonel Wood, Major
Viney, with the following companies, Thornhill’s, Drummond’s, Wilmot’s,
Raynsford’s, Crawford’s, Carthew’s, and Skyring’s, went with the army;
the guns being four brigades of light 6-pounders, and one of 9-pounders.
He was unable to take a brigade for each company, for lack of horses.
Colonel Robe was left in command at Lisbon, with Major Hartmann and
three companies of the King’s German Artillery, Captain Bredin’s company
of the Royal Artillery, and half a company of the same under Captain
Lawson. The guns to which these were attached consisted of a 12-pounder
brigade, three brigades of light 6-pounders, a few howitzers, and the
car brigade of 3-pounders from Gibraltar, mentioned above. The force of
Artillery with Sir David Baird’s army, which had landed at Corunna, was
commanded by Colonel Sheldrake, and consisted of four companies and a
proportion of drivers. The guns used by this force, and by the Horse
Artillery under Colonel George Cookson, which arrived--also at
Corunna--on the 8th November, 1808, were as follows:--One 9-pounder
brigade and three brigades of light 6-pounders, which moved on to
Betanjos: one 9-pounder brigade, and one of light 6-pounders, which
remained at [Sidenote: Colonel Cookson to D.-A.-Gen. Corunna, 9 Nov.
1808.] Corunna; and one light 6-pounder brigade, and a brigade of
mountain artillery, for service with the Cavalry, as soon as horses and
mules could be obtained.

Of all the difficulties encountered in the winter campaign of 1808 by
the Royal Artillery, the scarcity of horses was the greatest. The table
given in a former part of this chapter shows that after the first gross
omission in the case of Colonel Robe’s force, the Ordnance Department
endeavoured, as far as numbers were concerned, to send an adequate
supply of horses to ensure that mobility without which field artillery
is a sham. But that the simplest precautions as to quality and soundness
were overlooked is too evident from the monotonous protests of all the
officers who found themselves in a position of responsibility. Colonel
Harding, writing from Lisbon, reported that he had obtained permission
to sell the Artillery horses he had received from England, as useless
and worn out, and to purchase those of the French army, which was then
embarking under the provisions of the Convention of Cintra. Colonel
Cookson had not reached the Downs ere he had to report the appearance of
glanders among the horses entrusted to him; and Colonel Robe had to
report the death, immediately after landing, of 75 out of 300
horses--more than half occasioned by the same complaint. The officer in
charge of the drivers attached to the Artillery under the command of
Colonel Sheldrake, reported that “all his horses were in dreadful order
when they embarked, that he had lost many, and that he attributed it in
a great measure to the horses being a great many very old.” Mules were
difficult to obtain--the horses of the country were few and of small
size; and in spite of the plaintive appeals from successive officers
that “it cost no more to the country to keep a good horse than a bad
one,” shipload of cripples from England followed shipload, and nothing
but superhuman exertions on the part of all on the spot enabled the
Artillery to move at all. The desperate state of affairs may be gathered
from a report of Colonel Robe’s, in which he described the means left to
him for horsing the brigades in his charge, after Colonel Harding’s
force had left Lisbon with Sir John Moore. With 52 field guns, liable to
be demanded at any moment by Colonel Harding, he had only 500 men; but
this number was lavish compared with that [Sidenote: Col. Robe to
D.-A.-Gen. 1 Nov. 1808.] of his horses. “The following,” he wrote, “is a
state of the horses left with me on the departure of the army for

                                       Horses.  Mules.
  Effective                               15      3
  Sick or lame                            49      4
                                          --     --
                                          64      7
  Since died of general decay, or }        7      1
  destroyed for glanders          }
                                          --     --
  Remaining                               57      6
                                          --     --

The sick of these are reported to be in a very bad condition; and nearly
the whole of them to be at present unserviceable, from lameness, age,
and sore backs.”

So great was the scarcity of horses, that when the Horse Artillery
landed at Corunna, the officers’ horses were taken on repayment--without
their consent, and they were left to purchase any animals they could
find in the country. That Colonel Robe had good reason to fear a demand
being made on his small depôt may be seen from the following account of
the number of horses, which the state of the roads between Lisbon and
Spain had rendered absolutely necessary [Sidenote: Official Return to
Sir H. Burrard, Nov. 1, 1808.] for the brigades which had marched with
Colonel Harding. Every artillery carriage, of whatever description, had
6 horses; the long 6-pounder gun had 8, and the 12-pounder had 10.
Besides this, horses were required for the officers, non-commissioned
officers, and for park duties; and the ammunition waggons, for
conveyance of such as could not be carried on the limbers, were drawn by
a motley collection of horses, mules, and oxen. Six days after this
return was [Sidenote: Colonel Robe to D.-A.-Gen. 6 Nov. 1808.] prepared,
Colonel Robe’s supply had decreased to 40, and the demands from the
front were such that he declared no less than a reserve of 600 horses
would be required to meet them.

There is a danger, in perusing the noble story of the Peninsular War,
lest all the reader’s admiration should be given to the courage and
endurance of the men, or the skill of the leaders. But there were men
who would infinitely rather have endured bodily suffering, than the
charge which neglect or ignorance at home had thrust upon them. To feel
in all its terrible reality the starvation of equipment, without which
no adequate results can be expected either from skill or courage;--to
know that if that equipment is not in some way forthcoming, the disgrace
of failure or consequent disaster will be transferred from those to whom
it is due, and will be visited on themselves;--and at the same time to
be certain that any responsibility which they may assume is at their own
peril, and can only be exercised with a halter round their neck of
possible disallowances, reprimands, and suspicion,--all these produce in
men a state of mind, beside which danger or bodily hardship seems almost
repose. And it was in such a condition that many of England’s best
soldiers had to live during the war in Spain--enduring more than has
formed the theme of song and story--and yet bearing it without sympathy,
without acknowledgment.

No one can thoroughly understand Sir John Moore’s campaign in Spain
without bearing in mind the boasting and lying of the Spanish Generals,
with whom it was intended that he should co-operate, and the yet more
extravagant falsehoods of the Spanish Government. Deluded by these, Sir
John Moore, even after he had heard of the surrender of Madrid to
Napoleon, pressed on to Majorga in the hope of effecting a junction with
the Marquis Romana, and of receiving Sir David Baird’s reinforcement
from Corunna. With an English army of 25,000 men he pressed still
farther on to Sahagan, where for the first time he heard the whole
truth, and realised the strength of the French armies which were being
directed against him, under Napoleon himself. With every Spanish General
already beaten in detail, Madrid in the hands of the enemy, and greatly
superior forces hurrying to meet him, he commenced a retreat which has
become famous,--the first step of which is thus described [Sidenote:
Colonel Harding to D.-A.-Gen. Majorga, 25/12/1808.] by Colonel
Harding:--“We fully expected to have engaged the enemy on the 23rd,
about five leagues from Sahagan; the army was in full march at 8 o’clock
on the night of the 23rd, and hoped to have fallen in with them early in
the morning of the 24th. An intense hard frost, and the whole of the
roads one sheet of ice from the snow thawing during the day, was much
against the march of Artillery, as we had not time to rough all the
horses. The march of the troops was stopped an hour after they marched
off; some of the troops, particularly Downman’s troop, were out till 2
in the morning. The General received some information immediately after
the troops marched off, which caused their sudden return. We now seem to
be pointing towards Corunna, and forming depôts that way. Our movements
have lately been so intricate and unexpected, that if I had had time to
write to you, I could give you little information.... Lieutenant-Colonel
Cookson has the command of the three brigades on the right of the line,
Evelegh’s, Bean’s, and Wilmot’s. Lieutenant-Colonel Wood has charge of
those on the left of the line, Downman’s, Drummond’s, and Carthew’s.
Four reserve brigades with the park are Raynsford’s (9-pounders),
Crawford’s, Brandreth’s, and Wall’s (light 6-pounders) brigades. The
park, stores, and ammunition are under Major Thornhill. The depôts
advanced are under Captain Skyring. There is a brigade of mountain guns
somewhere, which I hope will not join us, but return to Corunna. We have
lately received 59 prize horses, which, although not good, are a great
help to us, from our great loss.”

English troops are apt to become demoralized during a retreat; and in
the retreat to Corunna, irregularity was increased by the intense cold,
suffering, and hardship which the men had to endure. The conduct of the
rear-guard and of the Cavalry was, however, beyond all praise; and was
due in a great degree to the constant presence of Sir John Moore
himself, whose skill, firmness, and powers of persuasion never shone
more clearly than at this time. But, even when irregularity was
greatest, it vanished when an engagement appeared probable: it was at
such times as these, that perfect discipline prevailed. The Artilleryman
reads with pleasure that while 2627 men strayed from the English army
during the retreat, not one belonged to his corps; and [Sidenote:
Cadell.] that Sir John Moore himself was so struck by this fact and by
their general conduct, that he wrote, “The Artillery consists of
particularly well-behaved men.” These words are the more gratifying as
the strength of the Artillery was considerable--eleven brigades of
guns,--and the duties of the men were very arduous.

Several affairs of small importance took place between the two armies,
but the English came in sight of Corunna without any general engagement.
The dismay which seized every one on learning that the transports had
not yet arrived may be imagined; fortunately it was short-lived, as they
soon made their appearance.

The story of the Artillery at the end of the retreat, and during the
battle of Corunna, may be summarised from Colonel Harding’s reports. On
the 11th January the army took up a position about five miles from
Corunna; but on the 14th, being unable, with their reduced numbers,
sufficiently to occupy this ground without danger of being outflanked,
they withdrew to a position about three miles nearer the town, leaving
their original ground to be occupied by Soult, before the battle. On the
12th all the Artillery, except the brigades required for outpost and
rearguard duties, was ordered by Sir John Moore to be embarked; and at
the same time a magazine containing 12,000 barrels of powder, situated
about four miles from Corunna, was blown up with great skill, under the
supervision of Colonel Cookson. This was not done, however, until some
400 barrels had been carried for the use of the Artillery, along
dreadful roads, for a distance of four miles, on the shoulders of the
Artillerymen; while at the same time serviceable arms were issued from
the stores to all the troops, in exchange for those which had become
useless during the retreat. A supply of ammunition at the rate of 70
rounds per man was also given out. These measures had the double effect
of destroying valuable stores which must have inevitably fallen into the
hands of the enemy, and of giving an advantage to the English army in
the battle which ensued, which was denied to their opponents, whose arms
and ammunition had suffered greatly during the harassing marches of the
preceding days.

All the Artillerymen, who could be spared from the embarkation of guns
and stores on the 14th and 15th, were employed in the destruction of the
guns and mortars on the sea front of Corunna (which would otherwise have
been used against the English fleet, on the occupation of the town by
the French), and also of those mounted on a small island in the bay.
Upwards of 50 heavy guns and 20 mortars were dismounted, spiked, and
thrown over the precipice, and their carriages and beds destroyed. In
this the men were assisted cheerfully by the inhabitants, although, as
Napier points out, they were aware that the English army would
ultimately embark, and that they would incur the enemy’s anger for
having taken part in any military operations. This conduct, so
inconsistent with the insufficient defence made by the Spaniards as a
nation, drew forth from the historian a remark, which the events of 1873
have strangely justified: “Of proverbially vivid imagination and quick
resentments, the Spaniards feel and act individually, rather than

[Sidenote: Official MS. Return, signed by Colonel Harding.]

The Artillery of the outposts, on which the brunt of the action of the
16th fell, was commanded by Major Viney, and consisted of 145 officers
and men of the Royal Artillery, and 94 officers and men of the Royal
Artillery Drivers. The guns employed were seven light 6-pounders, one
5½-inch howitzer, and four Spanish 8-pounders.

The names of the officers serving under Major Viney’s command were as
follows: Captains Truscott, Wilmot,[16] Godby, and Greatley; Lieutenants
Sinclair and King; and Assistant-Surgeons Price and Hutchison. The
officers of the Royal Artillery Drivers were Lieutenants Abercromby and

A slight affair of picquets took place on the 15th; but even as late as
noon on the 16th, Sir John Moore told Colonel Harding that he did not
think the enemy meant to attack, and therefore he continued the
embarkation. Most of the horses and appointments belonging to Downman’s
and Evelegh’s troops of Horse Artillery had been lost during the
retreat; and their guns, and those of several of the other brigades, had
been placed on board ship; so that many of the Artillerymen, who had
been present during the retreat, and were under fire on the 16th, were
without their guns on that day, and were employed in bringing up
ammunition for the army. The Artillery of the outposts, although lightly
armed, did good service; but the ground was not calculated for the
manœuvring of guns, either on the side of the French or of the English.

On Monday the 16th, at 3 P.M., Soult advanced with all his army in three
columns, his cavalry and artillery remaining on the heights to cover his
formations. Two divisions of the English army, under General Hope and
Sir David Baird, occupied the most advanced ground on their side, with
their left to the Bay of Corunna; a third division, under General
Frazer, was posted on some heights to the right--more
retired--commanding the approaches to Corunna from the [Sidenote: To
D.-A.-G. 23 June, 1809. N.B. Capt. Gardiner was Brigade-Major to the R.
A.] Vigo Road. Captain Gardiner wrote: “The action became general about
3 o’clock, and an uninterrupted fire of cannon and musketry was kept up
till one hour after dark. They evidently pushed for our right, which was
our weakest point, but the firmness of our line was in no way to be
shaken. At one time I feared they would outflank us from their numbers;
but this was prevented by the movements of the reserve under General
Paget. At a little after 6 o’clock Soult retired, leaving us masters of
the field, and in possession of a village he occupied in the morning.”
This village, Elvina, had been to the battle of Corunna what Hougomont
and La Haye Sainte were afterwards to that of Waterloo. The battle, at
various periods of the day, raged fiercely round it. Here Sir David
Baird received the wound which compelled him to leave the field; and it
was when watching the attack by the English reserve on the French troops
in possession of this village late in the day, that Sir John Moore
received the wound which proved fatal. Its retention by the English at
the close of the day was therefore a distinct proof of victory.

[Sidenote: Despatch to Sir D. Baird.]

But it was not a victory, as General Hope well said, which could be
attended by any very brilliant consequences to Great Britain. The utmost
that could be hoped for was the embarkation of the army without
molestation. Thanks to the defeat of the French, their want of
ammunition, and the friendly courage of the inhabitants of Corunna, the
whole army, with the exception of the rear-guard, was embarked with
perfect order during the night of the 16th. The incessant rumble of
wheels over the field denoted the gathering of the wounded, and their
conveyance in the artillery carts and waggons to the beach. The guns
which had been engaged during the day were taken for embarkation to a
sandy bay, south-west of Corunna, but, as Colonel Harding wrote, “The
weather would not permit it: the guns were spiked; the carriages
destroyed; and the whole thrown over a precipice into deep water.”

The rear-guard had been detailed by Sir John Moore himself, to assist
the Spaniards in manning the guns on the land front of Corunna,--to keep
possession of the small island in the bay,--and to cover the embarkation
of the troops from the citadel. The Artillery attached to it was
commanded by Major Beevor, assisted by Major Thornhill, Captains
Truscott, Beane, Brandreth, and Greatley, and Lieutenants Maling,
Wright, and Darby. There were 36 non-commissioned officers and 253 men.
The whole of the rear-guard was embarked, but with difficulty, on the
evening of the 18th and morning of the 19th. The voyage to England was
tempestuous in the extreme. Many officers and men died on the passage;
many others, including Colonel Harding himself, only survived their
hardships a few months. The whole army landed in England at various
ports in such a state of destitution, that the whole nation was shocked,
and could not believe it possible that the story of the final success
was true. These skeleton regiments, starved and half-clothed, had not
the appearance of an army fresh from victory; and for many years the
skill displayed in the retreat upon Corunna, and the subsequent success,
received little, if any, credit from the people.

So ended Sir John Moore’s campaign in Spain;--and with it--his life. A
type of the same individuality of which the Duke of Wellington was the
perfection,--in which a sense of duty rises above every other
feeling,--he yet possessed charms of character, denied to his great
comrade, which won for him the love, as well as the confidence, of his
troops. A disciplinarian, indeed, he was--what leader can be great who
is not?--but, with all his strictness, there was something so winning in
his disposition, that even after a lapse of fifty years, the writer of
these pages has seen tears in the eyes of a man who had served under
him, at the mere mention of his name.

The many letters from the various officers, whose correspondence with
the Ordnance is extant, tell in simple [Sidenote: Colonel Harding to D.
A. Gen.] words the worth of the leader who fell at Corunna. “You have
heard,” writes one, “of our terrible loss: we could [Sidenote: Captain
(afterwards Sir R.) Gardiner to D. A. Gen.] not believe he was dead.”
Another writes: “General Hope’s despatches will acquaint you with our
affecting loss. You will imagine how severely I felt it. I saw him after
he received the wound, but he was talking with such firmness, that I did
not apprehend the danger he was in.” General Hope’s words cannot be too
frequently read. “The [Sidenote: Despatch to Sir D. Baird, 18 Jan.
1809.] fall of Sir John Moore has deprived me of a valuable friend, to
whom long experience of his worth had sincerely attached me. But it is
chiefly on public grounds that I must lament the blow. It will be the
consolation of every one who loved or respected his manly character,
that after conducting the army through an arduous retreat with
consummate firmness, he has terminated a career of distinguished honour
by a death that has given the enemy additional reason to respect the
name of a British soldier. Like the immortal Wolfe, he is snatched from
his country at an early period of a life spent in her service: like
Wolfe, his last moments were gilded by the prospect of success, and
cheered by the acclamation of victory: like Wolfe, also, his memory will
for ever remain sacred in that country which he sincerely loved, and
which he had so faithfully served.”

There is a pathos about these words, which is not surpassed even in the
lines which have given an eternal place in English verse to the battle
which has just been described. But all the regret of friends, all the
eloquence of admirers, all the hymns of poets, fade into nothing beside
the simple words of the dying chief,--who uttered with his last breath
no appeals for praise, no boastings of difficulties overcome, no
chidings against those who had disappointed or deceived him, but the
quiet, confident expression of a soldier whose duty is done: “I hope
that my country will do me justice.”

The following return shows the strength of the Royal Artillery left in
Portugal, after the evacuation of Spain by Sir John Moore’s army. It
also shows the number who had returned at various times from the
Peninsula, prior to 27th February, 1809, having proceeded thither with
the various contingents detailed in the preceding table. (_See next

belonging to the Royal Artillery Drivers, relanded from Spain or
Portugal before the 27th February, 1809.

  A. Officers.
  B. N. C. Officers.
  C. Gunners.
  D. Drummers.
  E. Total.
  F. Officers.
  G. N. C. Officers.
  H. Drivers.
  I. Trumpeters.
  J. Artificers.
  K. General Total.
  L. Total.
  M. Horses.

  |                               |        ROYAL ARTILLERY.      |        ROYAL ARTILLERY DRIVERS.       |
  |                               +---+----+------+---+------+---+---------------------------------------+
  |                               | A.|  B.|   C. | D.|   E. | F.|  G.|   H. | I.|  J.|   K. |   L. |  M.|
  |Relanded in Great Britain and }| 64| 178| 1,215| 16| 1,473| 14| 105| 1,116| 14|  97| 1,346| 2,819| 764|
  |  Ireland, fit for service    }|   |    |      |   |      |   |    |      |   |    |      |      |    |
  |                               |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |      |   |    |      |      |    |
  |In Portugal, per return of     |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |      |   |    |      |      |    |
  | 1st January                   | 31|  84|   556| 11|   682|  2|   7|   219|  2|  28|   258|   940|    |
  |                  Total        | 95| 262| 1,771| 27| 2,155| 16| 112| 1,335| 16| 125| 1,604| 3,759| 764|

N.B. There had been purchased, or otherwise obtained, in Portugal, and
still remained effective, 146 horses and 78 mules; but as they had not
been sent from England they are not included in the above table.



An expedition has now to be described, to whose conception and partial
execution justice has not been done by historians. Remembered, if at
all, for its miserable termination, it is not unfrequently classed among
the military operations which an Englishman had better forget. And yet
there was a strategic value in the idea, which was proved even by its
incomplete realisation; and there was a determination, and an
uncomplaining suffering among the English troops, worthy of note in
military story, which have been ill repaid by the nameless graves which
crowd the island of Walcheren, and by the national forgetfulness of the

To an Artilleryman the Walcheren Expedition has an interest which well
repays him for turning his eyes and thoughts from the Peninsula to this
strange island in the Northern Sea. Here no less than seventeen troops
and companies of his Corps were present; and so important was their duty
considered, that the Master-General, Lord Chatham, who was also
Commander-in-Chief of the forces employed, requested the
Deputy-Adjutant-General, Brigadier Macleod, himself to accompany the
army in command of the Artillery. And on this island, so baneful to our
troops, and yet so beautiful, a singular historical question connected
with the Regiment was settled, which will receive detailed notice in
this chapter.

Forming the right bank of the West Scheldt at its mouth, the islands of
South Beveland and Walcheren, now united by a railway embankment,
present to the traveller the most singular appearance. Rich and fertile
beyond measure, they are yet only saved from submersion by the sea by
means of costly dykes, kept efficient by incessant labour. In most
places the island of Walcheren, especially, is many feet below the level
of the sea; and even its highest points, the towns of Middleburg and
Flushing, have frequently suffered great injury from the inroads of the
ocean. One such inundation had occurred in 1808, and tended to make the
autumn of 1809 exceptionally unhealthy. Dykes now not merely surround
the island itself, but also the individual villages and farmhouses on
its surface, giving a curious fortified appearance to the whole.

Flushing and Antwerp, in the hands of Napoleon, strongly fortified, and
offering protection and anchorage to his fleets, were a strong and
perpetual menace to England, and gave an appearance of probability to
his threats of invasion, both in the eyes of the English people and
their Government. One of the strongest arguments against the Walcheren
Expedition has always been that it was a dissipation of England’s
military resources, which, if concentrated on the Peninsular campaign,
would have produced infinitely greater results. But it is easy to argue
thus with the wisdom which follows the fact. The danger which was
involved in the fortifications of Antwerp and Flushing was very present
to the English people; and immunity in that respect seemed then more
desirable than victory at a distance, even although that victory might,
in the end, have been a more serious blow at Napoleon’s power. And the
importance of Flushing, armed as it was, may be now better realised by
imagining it in the hands of a powerful Continental dynasty,--not
dismantled and disarmed, as it has been since the siege to be treated of
in this chapter,--but with batteries sufficiently strong to protect the
anchorage in front, and with a fleet riding there, within a few hours of
the English coast. Were such a thing ever to occur again--and it is by
no means impossible--Englishmen would perhaps confess that there was
more wisdom in the Expedition of 1809, which rendered Flushing
harmless, than has generally been allowed.[17]

Much of the unpopularity attending it, and all the incompleteness of
execution, were due to a want of harmony between the naval and military
commanders, which has never yet been satisfactorily explained, but which
undoubtedly was the main cause of the first part of the scheme--the
capture of Flushing--being the only part that was executed. Lord Chatham
would appear to have been much to blame in the matter; but there has
been a mystery connected with it all, which cannot be cleared up. Of
that nobleman’s military incapacity there is, however, no doubt; nor is
the reader surprised to find that his name disappeared, soon after this
Expedition, from the list of the Masters-General of the Ordnance.

The troop of Horse Artillery which accompanied the force was that
commanded by Captain A. Macdonald, and is now D Battery, A Brigade. The
sixteen companies will be found enumerated in the various tables of the
battalions. General Macleod took Captain--afterwards Sir
Robert--Gardiner as his Brigade-Major; and it is from the private
diaries of these officers that the main Regimental incidents connected
[Sidenote: Sir J. T. Jones’s ‘Sieges.’] with this Expedition have been
obtained. Captain Drummond was the General’s Aide-de-camp. The field
officers who accompanied the Artillery were Colonel Terrot,
Lieut.-Colonels Dixon, Franklin, Cookson, and Wood, and Majors
Griffiths, Dixon, and Waller. The immense battering train included 70
guns and 74 mortars; and we learn that not merely was a large supply of
Congreve’s rockets taken for [Sidenote: A.-A.-Gen. to Colonel Neville,
18 July, 1809.] employment as siege weapons, but also that every man in
the Regiment who had been trained to the use of rockets was ordered to
embark with the army.

The name of nearly every Artillery officer with the Expedition will
appear in the course of the narrative. In the meantime the following
numerical return of the force under General Macleod’s command will be
found worthy of perusal. (_See opposite page._)

The Second Division of the army, which General Macleod accompanied,
sailed from the Downs on Saturday, the 29th July, 1809, and anchored the
same evening in the Stein Diep. On the following day they weighed
anchor, and moved into the Room Pot, where they found the First
Division, and where orders were at once given for the troops to land in
light marching order. At 4 P.M. the first six battalions landed, without
opposition, at the Bree Zand, and during the night the remainder of the
troops, under the command of Sir Eyre Coote, continued to disembark,
with the several brigades of Artillery attached to them,--the last named
being under the command of Colonel Terrot. The following detail shows
the Artillery attached to this part of the army:--

  Captain Marsh’s Light 6-pr. Brigade, attached to Lieut-Gen. Frazer.
     ”    Webber Smith’s         ”        ”        Major-Gen.  Graham.
     ”    Massey’s               ”        ”        Lieut.-Gen.  Lord Paget.

There was also a Heavy Brigade under Captain S. Adye.

About 3 P.M. the reserve, under Sir John Hope, proceeded to South
Beveland (immediately adjoining Walcheren), accompanied by Captain
Wilmot’s Light 6-pounder Brigade.

On Monday, the 31st July, Ter Veer, a village at the opposite end of the
island of Walcheren from Flushing, was invested, two guns of Captain
Macdonald’s troop and two 8-inch mortars having been landed to assist;
and it surrendered the following day. Until the fall of Flushing, Ter
Veer was employed as a landing-place and depôt for ordnance stores,--the
Balaclava of the Walcheren Expedition. The army then advanced across the
island, and proceeded to invest Flushing. During the siege, frequent
reinforcements of the French garrison took place, their troops being
transported by sea from Cadsand, and the weather being such as to render
it very difficult for the English fleet to intercept them. The defence
made by the French was very gallant, although the wretched inhabitants
were the main sufferers during the bombardment. By Napoleon’s positive
order, and notwithstanding the remonstrances of the French Commandant,
one of the dykes near Flushing was partly cut, and the sea poured into
the English trenches to a considerable extent, increasing the discomfort
and difficulties which the heavy and almost incessant rains had already

CHATHAM, in 1809.


  A. Field Officers.
  B. Captains.
  C. Subalterns.
  D. Surgeons.
  E. N. C. Officers.
  F. Gunners.
  G. Drummers.
  H. Total.
  I. Officers.
  J. N. C. Officers.
  K. Drivers.
  L. Artificers and Trumpeters.
  M. Total.
  N. General Total.
  O. Horses.

  |Number of Troops and Companies,|       ROYAL ARTILLERY.               |ROYAL ARTILLERY DRIVERS.|      |      |
  |   with Drivers attached;      +---+---+---+---+----+------+---+------+---+----+----+---+------+------+------+
  |  also Ports of Embarkation.   | A.| B.| C.| D.| E. |  F.  | G.|   H. | I.| J. | K. | L.|   M. |   N. |   O. |
  |                               |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |PORTSMOUTH.                    |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |Eight companies                |  4| 16| 24|  4| 104|   800| 16|   968|  2|  10|  90|  8|   110| 1,078|   150|
  |                               |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |RIVER THAMES.                  |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |One troop: Royal Horse    }    |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |  Artillery (now D Batt., }    |   |  2|  3|  1|  13|    81|   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |  A Brigade)              }    |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |   100|   |    |  54|  8|    62| 162  |   162|
  |                               |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |Eight companies                |  4| 16| 24|  4| 104|   800| 16|   968|  7|  41| 308| 37|   393| 1,361|   515|
  |                               |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |With the battering train       |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |  7|  54| 500| 42|   603|   603| 1,000|
  |                               |   |   |   |   |    |      |   |      |   |    |    |   |      |      |      |
  |          Total                |  8| 34| 51|  9| 221| 1,681| 32| 2,036| 16| 105| 952| 95| 1,168| 3,204| 1,827|

N. B. A few casualties occurred prior to the sailing of the Expedition.
About 50 additional horses were embarked, and rather more than 100 men
were left behind sick, and for other causes; but these are the numbers
prepared from the official returns, both in Record Office and United
Service Institution.

The English army was drawn up against Flushing as follows: General
Graham’s division on the right, General Grosvenor’s next; then Lord
Paget’s at West Zouberg, and General Houston’s at Oust Zouberg. Six
batteries were formed, five of which were manned by the Royal Artillery,
and one by seamen. The former were numbered and armed as follows:--

  No. 1 Battery.--[18]1200 yards from the town.
  13 24-prs.           }This was evidently No. 5 Battery, according
   2 8-in. howitzers   }  to the numbering of the Engineers;
   6 8-in. mortars     }  _vide_ Jones’s ‘Sieges.’

  No. 3 Battery.--2200 yards from the town.
   6 10 in. mortars    {This was evidently No. 1 Battery in the Engineers’ catalogue.

  No. 4 Battery.--1600 yards from the town.
   4 10-in. mortars.
  10 24-pounders.

  No. 5 Battery.--1600 yards from the town.
   2 10-in. howitzers. {  This was evidently No. 7 Battery in the
                       {    Engineers’ catalogue.

  No. 6 Battery.--1760 yards from the town.
   3 24-pounders.
   4 10 in. howitzers.

  N.B.--Two additional batteries, Nos. 7 and 8, were afterwards
  armed: No. 7 with 2 10-inch mortars, No. 8 with 6 24-pounders.

These batteries were opened on the 13th August, at 1 P.M. At early
morning on the 15th August Flushing surrendered. Including the
ammunition expended by the sailors from No. 2 Battery, which was armed
with six 24-pounders, and opened on Sunday, the 14th August, the
following was the expenditure of ammunition, other than rockets, during
the short siege:--

  24-pr. guns         6582
  10-in. mortars      1743
   8-in.   ”          1020
  10-in. howitzers     269
   8-in.     ”         380
            Total     9994

  N.B.--Sir R. Gardiner’s MS. agrees exactly in this particular with
  Sir J. T. Jones’s ‘Sieges.’

Rockets had been used before the opening of the batteries, and continued
to be employed in great profusion, and with fatal effect. Great part of
the city, including the Hôtel de Ville, was burnt to the ground, and
hundreds of the inhabitants were killed. To this day shot may be seen in
the walls of many of the houses,--handing down from one generation to
another the traditions of the siege.

The chief labour and hardship, however, to the English troops preceded
the opening of the batteries. It was during their construction that the
energies of officers and men were most severely tried. The roads between
Ter Veer and the trenches became almost impassable with constant traffic
and rain; the landing of the guns and stores was attended with great
difficulty; it was impossible to procure cattle in sufficient quantities
for purposes of draught; and many of the horses intended for the later
operations had to be landed at Walcheren to draw the stores from Ter
Veer. As for the trenches themselves, a few extracts from Sir R.
Gardiner’s diary will enable the reader to realise the conditions under
which the Artillerymen worked:--

“August 10th. Ascertained, by the saltness of the water, that the dyke
had been cut.... The water making great progress in the communication
from the right to West Zouberg. The cross-roads very deep and bad;
great difficulty in drawing the guns from the park to the several

“August 11th. A violent thunder-storm and incessant rains during the
night precluded all work the greatest part of it. The water rose in the
gun-battery on the left about six inches.

“August 12. The roads much worse, and the water rose very high in the
trenches. The water-gauge showed the rising of the water to be 4 inches.
The magazine of No. 1 Battery on the right was filled with water during
the night from the heavy rains, and it was feared would not be ready to
receive the ammunition. _The exertions of the men, however, overcame
every obstacle._”

Three companies, commanded by Captains Drummond, Campbell, and Fyers,
had landed at Ter Veer on the 8th August, and proved of great service in
the batteries at Oust Zouberg; but the Artillery before Flushing had
been weakened the previous day by the removal of the detachments of
Captains Buckner’s and Brome’s companies, with Captains Adye and Light,
under the command of Colonel Cookson, to join the force in South
Beveland, in consequence of a letter received from Sir John Hope. There
was considerable anxiety in South Beveland. The forts had, certainly,
been occupied by the English; and Captain Wilmot had succeeded in
unspiking and rendering serviceable almost all the guns which they
found; but there were many reasons for disquiet. Provisions were not so
easily obtained as had been expected in such a country; the inhabitants,
without exhibiting actual hostility, were decidedly cool and unfriendly;
rumours were spread, which magnified every hour, announcing large
reinforcements, not merely to Antwerp, but to every Dutch garrison, and
describing swarms of French troops being pushed forward in waggons and
boats to form a large army at Bergen-op-Zoom, or some such place, with a
view to assuming the offensive; the drains made on their resources by
the army in Walcheren alarmed the military chiefs; and the disagreement
between the Admiral and Lord Chatham as to the method of conducting
future operations had already ceased to be secret. It does not,
therefore, surprise the reader to find that when, after the fall of
Flushing, all the troops and horses which had been originally intended
for the second operation, as the design on Antwerp was termed, were
about to return to South Beveland, a decided hesitation manifested
itself among the authorities, which ended in a suspense from further
action. Before the end of August, the whole of the Horse Artillery,
Cavalry, and all the horses of the battering train had returned to
England;--Captains Wilmot’s, Buckner’s, and Brome’s companies were
ordered to follow, after dismantling the forts in South Beveland;--on
the 2nd September, Lord Chatham’s head-quarters were moved to
Middleburg, in Walcheren;--on the 3rd, the embarkation of much of the
ordnance, stores, &c., for England commenced;--on the 10th, Lord Chatham
announced that he had received the King’s commands to return home; and
on the 14th, accompanied by his staff, including General Macleod, he
sailed from Flushing.

The much-vaunted Expedition was therefore at an end; and with the
exception of the garrison of Walcheren, the army returned home by
instalments. But in the successful part of the campaign,--the capture of
Flushing, there is more than a crumb of comfort for the Artilleryman who
is in search of incidents creditable to his corps. The words penned
after the siege by Lord Chatham, who was observant, although incapable,
are worthy of a high place in the Regimental records. “It is
_impossible_,” he wrote, [Sidenote: Lord Chatham’s Despatch announcing
the surrender of Flushing.] “for me to do sufficient justice to the
distinguished conduct of the officers and men of the Royal Artillery,
under the able direction and animating example of Brigadier-General
Macleod.” And in a letter presently to be quoted, the reader will see
that in the duller work of dismantling the works, under circumstances of
great difficulty and sickness, the men of the Royal Artillery earned
noble words of commendation.

Walcheren has been remembered for the sickness which scourged the
English army in 1809, when it has been forgotten as to everything
else;--and the sickness certainly was fearful; although perhaps due more
to exposure, injudicious diet, and inefficient hospital arrangements,
than to any local influences, such as were conceived by superstition and
fear. The former, it is known, _did_ exist; and their results have been
seen in later days, during the first winter of the war in the Crimea,
much as they were in Walcheren. But the latter,--the mysterious local
fevers, which were believed to be indigenous to this island,--seem to
have marvellously disappeared, or to be innocuous, as far as the
healthy, contented, and long-lived inhabitants of its beautiful villages
are concerned. Be that, however, as it may; the sickness among the
English troops in 1809 was very great. On the 30th August there were
5000 sick; on the 3rd September the number increased to 5745; on the 5th
September it rose to 8000; and on the 8th it was no less than 10,948,
with fresh cases occurring every hour. The sickness in the Artillery may
be gathered from a return which is extant. On the 27th September there
had been left in Walcheren a total strength of 1089 officers and men
belonging to the Royal Artillery and Royal Artillery Driver Corps.
Before the 16th October,--in less than three weeks,--255 had been sent
sick to England, 396 were sick at Walcheren, and 109 were in their
graves. From a return of the officers who were invalided to England, we
find the names of many not yet mentioned, including Captains Oliver,
Monro, Parker, Wallace, Greene, and Scott; and Lieutenants J. Evans,
Parker, Dalton, Pringle, Grant, Chapman, and Drawbridge. The names of
others, who remained to the date of the evacuation of the island, will
be mentioned presently.

After Lord Chatham’s departure, it was intended at first to strengthen
the island for defence in the event of a French attack. Napoleon being,
however, as he said, perfectly satisfied that the English should die in
Zealand without any assistance from him, and the continued sickness
appalling the authorities, it was decided to dismantle the newly-armed
batteries with a view to the evacuation of the place. This was done
under the control and supervision of Major William Dixon, R.A., assisted
by the remnants of the twelve companies, left as part of the garrison of
the island. On his arrival in Woolwich, with these companies, he made a
report to the Deputy Adjutant-General, which cannot fail to be
interesting. “It would be of no use now, [Sidenote: Major Dixon to
D.-A.-Gen., 3 Jan. 1810.] sir,” he wrote, “to enter into a detailed
account of the state of defence in which Walcheren was placed at the
moment the order came to withdraw; but, in justice to the officers and
men I had the good fortune to command, you will permit me to state that,
up to the 15th November, every possible exertion was made to withstand
an attack in the field, or a siege in the fortified places. All the
Dutch mortars and many of the guns were exchanged for English; the extra
foreign ammunition sent off to England; Flushing, Veer, and Rammekens
completed; the coast strengthened by batteries mounted with heavy
ordnance; the field brigades distributed to the different corps of the
army; and depôts of ammunition established throughout. These labours
were effected without any assistance from the troops of the Line, and
under circumstances peculiarly trying;--the companies diminished by
sickness to one-third of their original strength, and even then jaded
and worn by an oppression and feeling from climate, which I cannot
describe, but which actually did not amount to disease. Yet, sir,
notwithstanding this, I am happy to say they performed every part of
their duty without a murmur, and obeyed every order with zeal and

“It will be plain to you, sir, that as we had risen to this state of
defence, so in proportion were our labours increased when we came to
dismantle. All that was done had to be undone; and every article of
guns, ammunition, and stores throughout the island, to be embarked in
the least possible time. The same diligence was continued, and within
the given period not a trace remained in the works of the ordnance with
which they had been defended.... Without meaning to take at all from the
general report of the good conduct of the officers and men employed in
the island of Walcheren, but as you are aware that, from various causes,
there are degrees even in excellence itself, I hope I shall not be
considered as acting inconsistently when I recommend the following
officers as more particularly deserving your approbation. To Captains
Maitland and Light I am greatly indebted for their activity and zeal in
completing the defences of Walcheren. To Captain Adye I owe everything
for the assistance he gave in dismantling the works, and embarking the
guns, ammunition, and stores; and to his name, which, in every respect,
deservedly stands first, I beg leave to add those of Captains Rawlinson,
Maitland, and Macartney, in the same undertaking. The whole of the
subalterns went through every part of the duties imposed on them with
zeal and goodwill, even in serving on board the _shutes_ with parties of
gunners to load and unload these vessels. I could place no reliance on
the Dutch who navigated them, but was thus compelled to ensure their
services by guarding against their escape. The navy, I presume, could
not (for they certainly _would_ not) grant us any assistance. Nautical
skill we were not supposed to possess, but necessity, at length, helped
us to find it. I shall conclude, sir, by recommending to your favour
Lieutenant Anderson, the acting Adjutant, whose zeal and activity
neither sickness nor fatigue could arrest, and I cannot hesitate in
pronouncing him one of the finest young men I ever met in my life.”

The amount of ordnance and stores captured in the islands of South
Beveland and Walcheren, and either sent to England or destroyed, was
very considerable. Summarised, according to date of capture, the
following is a list of the guns and mortars which were taken.[19]

_List of Captured Ordnance._

      Date.    |    Place.       |      Guns.           |      Howitzers.       |  Mortars.
  Aug. 1, 1809 |Action on       }|  4 6-prs.            |                       |
               | landing        }|  1 3-pr.             |                       |
               |                 |                      |                       |
  Aug. 1809    |Fort Haak       {|  4 24-prs.           |                      }| 3 coehorn.
               |                {|  3 12-prs.           |                      }|
  Aug. 1, 1809 |Camp Veere       |  5 18-prs (iron)     |{ 3 7½-in. howitzers|
               |                 |  2  ”     (brass)    |{ 1 5½-in. howitzer |
               |                 |  9 24-prs.           |                       |
               |                 |  6 12-prs.           |                       |
               |                 | 14 6-prs.            |                       |
  Aug. 1809    |Camp Veere       |  3  brass wall-pieces|  1 8½-in. howitzer |     8
               | Arsenal         |  2 swivel guns       |                       |
               |                 |  1 18-pr.  ”         |                       |
               |                 |  4  8-pr.  ”         |                       |
               |                 |  4  6-pr.  ”         |                       |
  Aug. 4, 1809.|Fort Rammekens   |  4 18-pr.  ”         |                       |     1
               |                 |  6 12-pr.  ”         |                       |
               |                 |  3 6-pr.   ”         |                       |
               |                 |  3 2-pr.   ”         |                       |
  Aug. 1, 1809 |Coast Batteries,}| 12 26-prs. ”         |                       |     7
               | Walcheren      }|                      |                       |
  Aug. 1809    |Fort Bathz,     }| 15 24-prs. ”         |{ 3 8-inch            }|     4
               | S. Beveland    }|                      |{ 8 6-inch            }|
  Aug. 1809    |Waarden Battery,}| 12 24-prs. ”         |                       |
               | S. Beveland    }|                      |                       |
               |                 |                      |                       |
               |West Borselin   }| 12 24-prs. ”         |                       |
               | Battery        }|                      |                       |
               |                 |                      |                       |
               |East Borselin   }|  8 24-prs. ”         |                       |
               |Battery         }|                      |                       |
               |                 |                      |                       |
               |Barland Battery }| 12 24-prs. ”         |                       |
               |                 |                      |                       |
               |Ounderskirk     }|  6 24-prs. ”         |                       |
               | Battery        }|                      |                       |
  Aug. 16, 1809|Flushing        {| 96 brass guns        | 22 howrs. (brass)    {| 56 mortars
               |                {|                      |                      {|   (brass)
               |                {| 70 iron  ”           |                       |
               |                {|122  ” carronades     |                       |

There were, in addition to the ordnance mentioned above, very large
supplies of ammunition and stores of every description, of which the
islands were denuded on their evacuation by the English.

The embarkation of the troops from Walcheren was conducted under
circumstances of great difficulty. The weather was unfavourable, and for
many days after the men were on board, the wind was so adverse as to
prevent the ships from sailing. A rear-guard had been left on shore to
guard against any attack from the enemy, whose vessels had been
accumulating for some weeks in the neighbourhood; and the troops on
board the English ships were held in readiness for immediate
disembarkation, should the expected attack take place. Some
reinforcements which reached the island from England during the
embarkation, including two companies of Artillery under Lieut.-Colonel
Gold and Major Carncross, were not required to land, but their arrival
had a moral effect in ensuring a peaceable evacuation of the place. From
Colonel Gold, who landed for a few hours, a graphic description of the
state of Walcheren was forwarded to General Macleod in Woolwich. Major
Dixon had previously boasted of the thoroughness of his measures in
destroying [Sidenote: Major Dixon to D.-A.-Gen., 4 Dec. 1809.] the
fortifications. “I am most happy,” he wrote, “to say that not an article
in point of honour or value will be found in the island when the enemy
again takes possession: never was there a clearer sweep (I mean in a
military point of view); and I am satisfied that he will not for years
be enabled to use the Bason for the purposes of the navy. All the
parapets are also thrown down, and not a vestige is to be seen of gun,
ammunition, or store throughout the island.” This picture was confirmed
and completed by [Sidenote: Colonel Gold to D.-A.-Gen., 10 Dec. 1809.]
Colonel Gold, who wrote as follows: “I arrived just in time to witness
the destruction of the Arsenal, which is completely effected; the
entrance to the Bason, in which the French navy were sheltered last
winter, is entirely choked up by blowing up the pieces of the
flood-gates. Never was a scene of greater _public mischief_. On putting
foot on shore I found Macartney in the midst of a wreck of carriages,
and, at Flushing, Pilkington and Dixon surrounded by their own
conflagrations; while Middleburg presented the most pacific appearance,
and even at a church in Flushing, immediately opposite to the scene of
destruction, divine service going on as if nothing unusual had
occurred.... I have been across the island to-day, and although, from
the many good descriptions I had heard, I was fully prepared, I could
not have conceived any country so intolerably bad for military
operations; and that you (General Macleod) made your batteries and got
your guns into them is surprising.”

From these extracts, it will be seen that the first object of this
much-abused Expedition was completely effected, and Walcheren rendered
innocuous, as a means of menacing England. That this was mainly owing to
the energy and perseverance of the troops has, it is hoped, also been
made apparent. Alas! that the story of this Expedition, as of so many
others from England, would be incomplete without the mention of failures
in the supply departments of the army. Three months after the fall of
Flushing, the troops were [Sidenote: Dated Flushing, 14 Nov. 1809.]
still suffering from want of necessary comforts. “It will be doing us a
very great favour,” wrote Major Dixon, “if you can by any means expedite
the arrival of the _bedding_. It is now miserably cold, and I am
convinced that much of our indisposition arises from the want of
necessary accommodation and comfort. By a letter from the Honourable
Board (two packets ago) I expected bedding for the whole of the Ordnance
Department, but nothing of the kind has yet appeared.” From complaints
like these the reader cannot fail to suspect that much of the
exaggerated abuse of the climate of Walcheren was employed to shield
those departments, whose members, in this as in other wars, have evinced
a belief that the army exists for them, not they for the army.

It only remains to tell the singular story, whose conclusion has
affected the regimental privileges of the Royal Artillery from the fall
of Flushing to this day. Mention has been made several times in this
work of a custom, which placed the bells of a captured city, or an
equivalent, at the disposal of the commanding officer of the Artillery
of the besieging force. The privilege--as the reader will remember--had
been exercised so recently as at the siege of Copenhagen. After the
surrender of Flushing, General Macleod preferred [Sidenote: Lieut.-Col.
Mosheim to Lieut.-Colonel Wood, 4/9/1809.] the usual claim. The Mayor
and Corporation replied through the Commandant that they acknowledged
with due respect a right established by custom immemorial that the bells
belonged to the commanding officer of the Royal Artillery, if he
thought proper to enforce his claim, but that they were persuaded he
would grant consideration to their already sufficiently distressed
condition, and not deprive the unfortunate town of its bells, which they
would be as incapable of replacing, as they felt unable to tender any
compensation for them. On the following day, General Macleod replied
that, in consideration of the destruction brought upon the town of
Flushing by the system of defence which the French General had thought
proper to adopt, he had no wish to add to the misery of the inhabitants
by seizing the bells, or by demanding a strict compensation to the full
amount of their value. In consenting, however, to sacrifice to a great
extent his own rights and pretensions, he could not, he said, in any
degree compromise those of the Corps. He must, therefore, demand a
modified sum in order specifically to mark the transaction, and to
enable him at the same time to contribute to the comforts of the
officers and men who had partaken in the artillery duties of the siege.

Valuing the bells at 2000_l._, General Macleod expressed his readiness
to accept 500_l._ This offer was communicated [Sidenote: M. Becker to
Lieut.-Colonel Mosheim, 6 Sept, 1809.] by the French commandant to the
Mayor of Flushing, but was received with indignation:[20] “On nous a
rapporté,” wrote the Mayor, “que Messieurs les officiers de l’Artillerie
Royale persistoient dans leur demande à ce que la ville de Flussingen
leur offrit un compromis en indemnité des cloches, qui--suivant une
ancienne coûtume Anglaise--leur reviendroient, comme une récompense de
leur service contre une place assiégée, qui s’étoit rendue par
capitulation aux troupes de sa Majesté Britannique, et qu’ayant supposé
les dites cloches à 2000_l._ _sterling_ ils avoient fait grâce à la
ville, en considération de son malheur, des trois quarts de cette somme,
et se contentoient par conséquent d’un quart, montant à 500_l._
_sterling_. Vivement pénétré du sentiment de la situation malheureuse à
laquelle la ville de Flussingen et ses pauvres bourgeois sont réduits,
nous ne cessons cependant pas d’être nés descendans des anciens
Hollandais, et tous les désastres que nous avons éprouvés ne nous ont
pas tellement enlevé cet esprit franc et sincère, qui caractérise notre
nation, et qui rivalise en ce point avec la nation Anglaise, que nous ne
sentirions pas l’offense qui nous est faite, et que nous n’oserions
l’exprimer. Oui, Monsieur! malgré tout ce qui puisse nous en arriver,
nous ne pouvons que regretter l’offre qui nous est faite.... Nous avons
de la peine à nous persuader que la demande qu’on nous a faite a été
autorisée par le Commandant en chef. Comment, Monsieur? La ville de
Flussingen, ses malheureux habitans qui excitent la compassion de tout
le monde, qui sont ruinés, sans ressource, qui n’ont pas de quoi pouvoir
dans leur propres besoins; cette ville de Flussingen, ces habitans, qui
à plus d’un titre méritent la considération particulière du Gouvernement
Anglais, et qui, nous n’en doutons pas, deviendroient les objets de sa
moralité! Cette ville, et ces habitans, disons-nous, seroient-ils, après
avoir passé par tous ces malheurs, réduits à cette extrémité de voir
laisser enlevé ses cloches, faute de moyen de représenter la valeur
supposée? Non, Monsieur, il est impossible que le Gouvernement Anglais
autorise une pareille demande envers la ville de Flussingen, et nous
sommes fermement résolus de lui emporter nos plaintes, en cas que
Messieurs les Officiers de l’Artillerie persistent dans leur demande
contraire à l’équité et à la capitulation; et nous ne doutons pas que
l’âme généreuse de sa Majesté Britannique n’y fasse droit. Vous-même,
Monsieur, qui connaissez la situation de Flussingen, qui savez qu’une
somme de 5500f. de Hollande est au-dessus de nos forces, et qui avez
déjà montré compassion à nos maux, ne manquerez pas--nous nous en
flattons--d’employer vos efforts auprès de Messieurs les Officiers de
l’Artillerie pour qu’ils désistent de leurs prétentions. Nous prenons la
liberté de vous adresser un double de notre lettre, vous priant de
l’adresser à son Excellence _My Lord_ Chatham, et d’appuyer auprès de
son Excellence nos réclamations raisonnables.”

[Sidenote: Dated Middleburg, 8 Sept. 1809.]

This appeal was answered by General Macleod to the effect that he could
not, under any consideration, relinquish the rights of his Corps: that
he persisted in his claim, which had received the perfect approbation of
Lord Chatham; but that, in consideration of the representations made by
the magistrates, he again renounced the idea of deriving emolument to
himself at the expense of the distresses of the inhabitants, but would
persist in the right of his Corps, unless the magistrates should consent
to pay the still further reduced sum of one hundred guineas in
establishment of the right;--“to be disposed of in charity to the
soldiers’ wives and widows of the Royal Artillery, as may be thought
proper hereafter.”

As General Macleod was on the eve of leaving Walcheren for England, he
transferred the correspondence to Colonel Terrot, with the intimation
that he himself would have no objection to an appeal to the English
Legislature, should [Sidenote: Dated Middleburg, 9 Sept. 1809.] the
magistrates of Flushing insist on it; but “in that case,” he wrote, “it
is to be understood that the appeal is for the _whole_ of the bells, or
for the full amount of their value. The appeal leaves no room for
generosity on either side.”

The magistrates were obstinate, and the appeal was forwarded to England.
On the 12th November intimation was sent to Major Dixon, in Walcheren,
now in command of the Artillery, that the decision was unfavourable to
the claims [Sidenote: Dated Doctors’ Commons, 26 October, 1809.] of the
Corps. The following extract from the decision, addressed by Sir Charles
Robinson to the Earl of Liverpool, explains the grounds on which it was
based. “With respect to the bells of the church, the demands of the
Artillery are, I conceive, altogether unsustainable. It is apparently
not supported on the part of the Prize Commissioners, since they do not
advert to this claim in their letter of the 4th of October. Anciently,
there prevailed a law of pillage, which assigned to different corps and
to different individuals a privileged claim to particular articles.
Whether this was a privilege of the Artillery under the ancient custom
of England, as described in the Petition, I am not informed; but in the
modern usage of respecting property and public edifices, and more
particularly those set apart for divine worship, such a demand cannot, I
conceive, be sustained. What the custom may be,--whether deserving of
any compensation in the division of what is properly _prize_, or from
any other quarter,--may be a subject of consideration according to
circumstances. But I am of opinion that the demand ought not to be
enforced against the town.”

From subsequent correspondence which is extant, and which passed between
General Macleod and Sir Anthony Farrington, it is evident that the
former felt much regret that an old Regimental privilege should have
disappeared during operations in which he had occupied so prominent a
place; but the reader will admit that no one could have conducted the
cause of the Corps in a more unselfish, chivalrous, and yet resolute

  N.B.--The comments of an officer of the sister corps, on the
  conduct of the Artillery at the siege of Flushing, were very
  favourable. Two extracts from Sir J. Jones’s work may be given.

  “The guns of the batteries on the right of the attack were more
  particularly directed to enfilade and take _en écharpe_ the
  rampart of the western sea-line, in order to silence the fire of
  its artillery on the fleet, now preparing to force the passage of
  the Scheldt. This they accomplished very effectually, by disabling
  or very severely wounding many of the traversing platforms and
  their carriages, and much injuring the guns themselves.”


  “Discharges of carcasses and shells from the mortar batteries,
  with powerful flights of rockets intermixed, were kept up
  throughout the night on the devoted town, and frequently large
  portions of it burned with fury.”--JONES’S ‘Sieges,’ vol. ii. pp.



  “The deliverance of the Peninsula was never due to the foresight
  and perseverance of the English ministers, but to the firmness and
  skill of the British Generals, and to the courage of troops whom
  no dangers could daunt and no hardships dishearten, while they
  remedied the eternal errors of the Cabinet.”--NAPIER.

In resuming the story of the Peninsular War, it will be seen that the
narrative has to go back to an earlier date than that of the expedition
described in the last chapter,--Sir Arthur Wellesley having returned
from England to Lisbon, to take command of the army, so early as the
22nd April, 1809. But it has been thought better to clear the ground, so
to speak, of the Walcheren Expedition, and thus to enable the reader to
follow uninterruptedly the story of the operations, which terminated in
the glorious victory of Talavera, and the subsequent withdrawal of the
English troops from Spain to Portugal.

The British Government still resolved that the English army in Spain
should be merely an auxiliary one, and remained still undeceived as to
the real state of the Spanish forces. Perhaps it was as well, therefore,
that the army entrusted to Sir Arthur Wellesley was not a larger one;
for the difficulty he encountered in obtaining provisions and transport
from the Spaniards would have been insurmountable, had the forces under
his command been more numerous. [Sidenote: Merida, 25 Aug. 1809.] “I do
not think,” wrote Sir Arthur to Lord Castlereagh, “that matters would
have been much better if you had sent your large expedition to Spain
instead of to the Scheldt. You could not have equipped it in Galicia, or
anywhere in the north of Spain. If we had had 60,000 men instead of
20,000, in all probability we should not have got to Talavera to fight
the battle, for want of means and provisions. But if we had got to
Talavera, we could not have gone farther, and the armies would probably
have separated for want of means of subsistence, probably without a
battle, but certainly afterwards.” The campaign of 1809, from beginning
to end, was marked by obstinacy on the part of Spanish Generals, and
faithlessness on the part of the Spanish Government; by inadequate
supplies of money from England, and by difficulties with the Portuguese
troops, not the less annoying because they were often petty; as well as
by hardships which tried the discipline of the English troops quite as
much as the retreat to Corunna, and which drew from [Sidenote: To Lord
Castlereagh, dated Abrantes, 17 June, 1809.] Sir Arthur Wellesley the
bitter words: “We are an excellent army on parade, an excellent one to
fight; but we are worse than an enemy in a country; and, take my word
for it, that either defeat or success would dissolve us.” The success
which he almost dreaded came: the 27th and 28th July witnessed as
gallant an exhibition of English courage as has ever been seen; but in a
few days Sir Arthur wrote: “A starving army is actually worse than none.
The soldiers [Sidenote: To Marquis Wellesley, dated Deleytosa, 8 August,
1809.] lose their discipline and spirit; they plunder even in presence
of their officers. The officers are discontented, and are almost as bad
as the men; and, with an army which a fortnight ago beat double their
numbers, I should now hesitate to meet a French corps of half their
strength.” The administration which has so often marked our campaigns
with passages like this, cannot be too distinctly held up to view as a
perpetual warning. No troops, as Sir Arthur wrote, can serve to any good
purpose unless they are regularly fed; and yet it is in this very
point--the question of supply--that our military history abounds with

The army which had landed in England from Corunna was speedily
organized, and sent back to Portugal. Sir J. Cradock commanded the
troops at Lisbon, some 14,000 in number; Marshal Beresford had been
appointed to the command of the Portuguese forces, and was assisted in
his task of organizing them by several British officers. All
arrangements were made for taking the field; and this was done
immediately on the arrival of Sir Arthur Wellesley, who was appointed
Marshal-General of the united armies. Colonel Kobe had remained in
command of the Artillery in Portugal during the interval between Corunna
and Sir Arthur’s arrival; but he was now superseded by
Brigadier-General--afterwards Sir E.--Howorth. The number of troops and
companies in the Peninsula in 1809 was only seven. There were, in
addition, five at Gibraltar, five in Italy, and three in Malta.

The Artillery officers first appointed for duty with Marshal Beresford
were Captain--afterwards Sir J.--May and Captain Elliot, of the Royal
Artillery, and also Captain Arentschild, of the King’s German Artillery.
Lieutenant Charles was attached to the Portuguese force raised by Sir
Robert Wilson; and Captain P. Campbell and Lieutenant Wills were
employed with the Spanish troops at Seville and Cadiz respectively.

General Howorth, on his arrival in Lisbon in the beginning of April,
arranged, with Colonel Robe’s assistance, the equipment of five brigades
of guns, to take the field with the army, viz., one brigade of heavy
6-pounders, three of light 6-pounders, and one of 3-pounders. These were
all he could equip; and, notwithstanding the opportune arrival, from
Ireland, of 170 drivers and 298 excellent horses, he yet complained of
the want of mobility from which they suffered, mixed as they were with
the horses of the country, mules, and oxen. However, like Colonel
Harding, he took a cheerful view of matters, and pronounced the mules to
be very fine [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. Lisbon, 8 April, 1809.] animals, and
“the oxen, though slow, a steady, good draught.” The development of the
Field Artillery during the Peninsular War, from the wretched batteries
employed at its commencement to those which attracted such admiration at
its close, will appear in the course of this work. Suffice it, at
present, to remind the Artilleryman, by way of contrast, while the
picture of the batteries of 1809 is yet fresh in his recollection, that
before the conclusion of the Peninsular War, it was admitted by the
artillerymen of the country with which England was engaged in
hostilities, [Sidenote: ‘Le passé et l’avenir de l’Artillerie,’ tom. v.
p. 64.] that “the English _matériel_ might have been taken as a model by
any nation in Europe;”--that, shortly before Waterloo, Marshal Marmont
remarked that the equipment of the English Field Artillery was in every
respect very superior to anything he had ever seen; and that the French
Committee appointed in 1818 to compare the Artillery of [Sidenote:
Hime.] the various countries represented in the review held that year in
Paris, expressed unqualified delight with that of England.

On Sir Arthur Wellesley’s arrival in Lisbon, he found that Soult was in
possession of Oporto, and Victor in Estremadura. He promptly resolved to
attack them in detail; and, making Lisbon the base of his operations, he
requested the Spanish General, Cuesta, to watch Victor’s movements,
while he himself should march to the north against Soult. The moral
effect of driving the French out of Portugal would, he felt, be very
great--all the more so as his arrival had produced a sudden hopefulness
among the Portuguese, which it was desirable not to disappoint.

Accordingly, on the 1st May, he moved his head-quarters to Pombal and
Coimbra, and found himself in command of an army which, after deducting
the sick and absent, numbered [Sidenote: Napier.] 20,653 rank and file,
with 30 guns. On the 9th he left Coimbra with the main body, and arrived
on the Douro, opposite Oporto, on the 12th, after a march of eighty
miles [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. Oporto, 14 May, 1809.] over infamous roads.
“But,” wrote General Howorth, “neither difficulty nor danger impedes Sir
Arthur: he is all fire, and establishes confidence in the troops.”

On the 10th, the left column of the army, which marched from Aveiro,
fell in with the enemy at Algabaria Nova. A slight affair ensued, in
which the Artillery and Cavalry were chiefly engaged; and the enemy was
repulsed with the loss of a gun. On the 11th, the right column, which
marched on the Vouga, came up with the French between Algabaria Nova and
Grijon, and an engagement followed which lasted two hours, ending in the
retreat of the enemy. On the arrival of the English at Villa Nova,
opposite Oporto, it was found that the French had destroyed the bridge
across the Douro, and removed every available boat to their own side of
the river. It was of the utmost importance that the English troops
should cross, so as to co-operate with Marshal Beresford, who, having
crossed the river higher up, was now menacing the left and the rear of
Soult’s army. The crossing was effected in a gallant, and yet singular
and romantic way, whose details, too long for reproduction here, render
the passage of the Douro one of the most interesting episodes in the
Peninsular War. Wellesley saw a building on the other side of the
river--here three hundred yards wide--called the Seminary, surrounded by
a walled yard, capable of containing two battalions. Close to where he
himself stood was a rock, called Serra, from which artillery would well
command the passage of the river, and where he therefore desired General
Howorth to place eighteen guns. The guards on the other side seemed few
and negligent. Soult expected no danger on the part of the river above
the town, and had posted himself to the westward; if, therefore, boats
could but be obtained, Wellesley resolved to cross. A small skiff was
found, and Colonel Waters, a staff officer, crossed, and found three
large barges, which he towed back to the Villa Nova side of the river.
The men were ordered to embark, and, in the face of an army of ten
thousand men, the passage was effected. Very few, however, had crossed
ere the alarm was given, and the French troops poured down upon the
Seminary. The alarm acted in one respect favourably to the English; for
some of the citizens hastened to unmoor some boats, and cross to Villa
Nova, thus facilitating the embarkation and passage of the troops. All
this time the fire of the Royal Artillery from the Serra told with great
effect; and, as it completely swept one side of the Seminary, it soon
limited the attack to the other. The gallantry of the Infantry was
unrivalled. General Sherbrooke had crossed the river a little lower
down, and was now in possession of the town of Oporto, and pressing,
with the Guards and 29th Regiment, on the rear of the French troops as
they poured out towards the Seminary. The Buffs and their comrades in
the enclosure rained showers of bullets on the disorganized French; and
in a short time they were [Sidenote: Napier.] in full retreat, “the
artillery, from the Serra, still searching [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. 14
May, 1809.] the enemy’s columns as they hurried along.” General Howorth,
in describing the battle, said that he never saw anything like the
gallantry of the English troops. Their firmness was irresistible; nor
could the French make any impression; and, from the position which he
occupied, he was able to form a good opinion, as he could see
everything. [Sidenote: To Lord Castlereagh, dated Oporto, 12 May, 1809.]
Sir Arthur, in his despatch announcing the victory, after enumerating
the various officers who had especially distinguished themselves, said,
in describing the services of the regiments engaged: “I had every reason
to be satisfied with the Artillery.” That his satisfaction was also
extended to the previous operations and to the severe march of eighty
miles over most difficult country, may be gathered from General
Howorth’s words. “I have reason,” he wrote, “to believe that Sir Arthur
is perfectly satisfied with the Artillery; and, it must be owned, never
was Artillery put to such trial.” The French ordnance captured at the
recovery of Oporto included 56 brass guns and 3 brass howitzers. A
considerable supply of ammunition was also taken.

The pursuit of Soult’s army was undertaken by Sir A. Wellesley with as
little delay as possible, although not with sufficient promptness to
satisfy the demands of certain military critics, who are ready to find
fault, but slow to acknowledge difficulties in the way of armies. That
it was sufficiently prompt to ensure the success of the English
General’s purpose, may be gathered from the fact that on the 18th May
Soult and his army crossed the frontier into Spain, having been driven
out of Portugal with the loss of artillery, stores, and baggage, and of
no fewer than 6000 men; while of those who remained, many were without
arms [Sidenote: Napier.] and accoutrements, the majority without shoes,
and all utterly exhausted and miserable; and, further, that the English
army did not delay in the pursuit from any effeminate ideas of comfort
or luxury, may be gathered from the following letter from General
Howorth: “The extraordinary [Sidenote: To General Macleod, dated
Oporto, 24 May, 1809.] rapidity of events in this country, which have
been accompanied by a succession of the most triumphant operations
against the enemy, left me no leisure to communicate them as they
occurred. However, I am at last returned here, after passing eight days
in continued marches over the worst roads I ever saw, through incessant
rain, a depopulated country, quartered in uninhabited houses, and with
no supplies whatever, but what was scantily provided by the Commissariat
Department. During the greater part of this march the luxury of a bed,
or a change of clothes, which were always wet, was unknown to me.... We
pursued to Montalagree, where the enemy turned short to the left, over
the mountains, and took the shortest way into Galicia.”

During the pursuit, the English overtook Soult at Salamonde, and his
rear-guard being in a confined space, some guns were brought to bear on
them with fearful effect. [Sidenote: Napier.] “Man and horse, crushed
together, went over into the gulf; and the bridge, rocks, and the defile
beyond were strewed with mangled bodies.” The furious peasantry also
turned on the French troops, and rendered their retreat--which has been
compared with that of the English on Corunna--infinitely more horrible.

[Sidenote: Wellington Despatches.]

As Soult sacrificed artillery and baggage in order to move more rapidly,
it was but natural that he should outmarch an army which had not so
disencumbered itself. But this pursuit has an importance to the
Artilleryman in being a text on which much useful argument was hung by
General Howorth and others, in favour of greater mobility than had yet
attended the brigades of Field Artillery employed in the Peninsula. The
3-pounder brigade was the only one which was able to march with the army
during its more [Sidenote: Dated Oporto, 24 May, 1809.] rapid movements;
and therefore General Howorth made a demand for additional brigades of
that nature, suggesting, with the assistance of Colonel Robe, various
improvements in the equipment. Among other changes, he recommended
double instead of single draught, both for guns and waggons; and that
the brigades should be of four guns instead of six, the howitzers being
dispensed with, and a liberal supply of spherical case being issued for
the guns. Another very suggestive recommendation was made by him: “to
have a small forge with each brigade of four guns; the forge to be
placed on the frame of a small limber waggon; _it can then follow the
brigade, which is not the case with the present one_.” The absence of a
forge on the line of march must at times have sadly crippled the
batteries. He also suggested that the span of the wheels should be
narrowed to 4½ feet, and (to prevent liability to upset from this cause)
that the gun should be lowered on its carriage by adopting _a bare iron
axletree_. His next recommendation reveals a starvation of equipment
which would account for almost any shortcomings on the line of march. He
urged the authorities “to have spare shafts, wheels, axles, spokes,
felloes, and pintails supplied, _none having been sent with the present
brigades_, and now much needed.” He also made suggestions which would
ensure greater mobility to the heavier brigades of 6-pounders. The
Artilleryman may therefore date to the campaign of the Douro some of the
most valuable lessons taught in the Peninsular War, and can trace to it
that change in the opinions and experience of the military authorities,
which resulted in so extended a use of Horse Artillery in the Peninsula,
and in so marked an improvement in the brigades of Field Artillery
before the conclusion of the war.

Marshal Victor, on hearing of the disastrous termination of Soult’s
operations, fell back on Almaraz and Torremocha; so that Sir A.
Wellesley, who had commenced his southward march through Traz-oz-Montes,
resolved to halt at Abrantes, and to commence a thorough reorganization
of his army, [Sidenote: Wellington Despatches and Supplementary
Despatches.] now sadly undisciplined. The correspondence of Sir Arthur
at this time reveals what one is apt to forget in reflecting on the
glories of the Peninsular campaigns. The military genius of the Duke of
Wellington and the courage of English soldiers are too often considered
to have been the only necessary causes of success; but a study of the
appeals made by him at Abrantes to officers and men,--of the strict
orders, on even the smallest matters, which he found it necessary to
issue,--and of the letters to ministers and friends, in which he never
failed to tell the truth about the army, however unpalatable,--reveals
another most necessary element in the success which attended him in all
his operations. As the first thought in his own mind always was _duty_,
so the first and last thing which he held before his troops, as that
without which they would be worse than useless, was _discipline_. The
arguments he used have a value for all time, and a special value for
England at a time when she possesses an armed force of Volunteers, who
might possibly consider that drill, instead of discipline, is the chief
end of a soldier’s life; but whose discipline, on the other hand, if
thorough, would be nobler than that of regular troops, in being more
self-imposed, and less dependent on a penal code. As for the Duke of
Wellington’s remarks on the discipline of the Spanish troops, they apply
in a singularly exact way to the [Sidenote: To Lord Castlereagh, dated
25 Aug. 1809.] armies of Spain in the anarchy of 1873. “In Spain,” he
wrote, “the business of an army is little understood. They are really
children in the art of war; and I cannot say that they do anything as it
ought to be done, with the exception of running away and assembling
again in a state of nature.... The Government have attempted to govern
the kingdom in a state of revolution by an adherence to old rules and
systems, and with the aid of what is called _enthusiasm_; and this last
is, in fact, no aid to accomplish anything, and is only an excuse for
the irregularity with which everything is done, and for the want of
discipline and subordination of the armies. People are very apt to
believe that enthusiasm carried the French through their Revolution, and
was the parent of those exertions which have nearly conquered the world;
but if the subject is nicely examined, it will be found that enthusiasm
was the _name_ only, but that _force_ was the instrument which brought
forward those great resources, under the system of _terror_, which first
stopped the Allies.” In his correspondence with Marshal Beresford, who
found great difficulty in organizing the Portuguese troops, he laid
down [Sidenote: Dated Badajoz, 8 Sept. 1809.] what may be considered a
military creed. “They want the habits,” he wrote, “and the spirit of
soldiers,--the habits of command on one side, and of obedience on the
other--mutual confidence between officers and men: and, above all, a
determination in the superiors to obey the spirit of the orders they
receive, let what will be the consequence; and the spirit to tell the
true cause, if they do not.” Poor Marshal Beresford had, indeed, need of
support and sympathy [Sidenote: Supplementary Despatches of Duke of
Wellington, vol. vi. p. 362.] in his task. Long habits of disregard to
duty, and of consequent laziness, made it impossible for the senior
officers to pay any regular or continued attention to the duties of
their situations, and neither reward nor punishment would induce them to
bear up against fatigue. By replacing these by younger officers, or
English officers detached from the various regiments, he ultimately
succeeded in making the Portuguese contingent a most valuable force; but
this was only done by impressing on them the necessity of discipline and
unhesitating obedience. More than sixty years have passed away, and the
same lesson, though more difficult to learn, is not the less vitally
necessary. The spirit of criticism spreads with the growth of education,
and considerably out of proportion with it. The reasoning obedience
which a soldier should yield is, perhaps, confused with an obedience
which requires to know the reason of an order, instead of that which is
readily yielded in the belief that what may be unintelligible in detail
is necessary for the general plan. That such obedience is not easy
always to give may be true enough. The possession, with a strong will,
of but pigmy power, is undoubtedly trying; but the self-denial which is
demanded stands among the highest of all military virtues, as it is the
very alphabet of all military training. He only is fit to rule who has
first learned to obey.

Reference has been made to the association of English officers with the
Portuguese forces. The appointment of Captain--afterwards Sir
Alexander--Dickson, to the Portuguese Artillery, which took place after
the Douro campaign, was productive of so important results, that it
deserves detailed notice. As Captain Dickson, he had acted as
Brigade-Major to General Howorth during the recent operations. He had,
however, come to Portugal with the intention of obtaining employment in
a higher local rank with the Portuguese Artillery, and had only been
deterred by difficulties which had arisen as to the _status_ and pay of
officers so attached. On the 4th June, he quitted Oporto with General
Howorth, who had been indisposed for some time, and proceeded to
Abrantes to join the army, and also to speak to Marshal Beresford on the
subject of employment [Sidenote: Captain Dickson to D. A. Gen. 3 July,
1809.] with the Portuguese troops. Fortunately, on his arrival, he found
that Captain May, then in command of a division of Portuguese Field
Artillery, was on the point of resigning, in accordance with
instructions from England; and Marshal Beresford readily appointed
Captain Dickson as his successor,--Captain May, in exchange, assuming
the duties of Major of Brigade. So far all was well; but Captain Dickson
soon found that he had no pleasing position. The local rank of Major,
which had been conferred on his junior officer, Captain Arentschild of
the King’s German Artillery, was refused to him by Marshal Beresford,
who had been irritated by contradictory orders from the English and
Portuguese Governments; so that he found himself under the orders of his
junior. The Portuguese officers were also very jealous of their English
comrades; and the seniors, without incurring any risk themselves, made
every difficulty in their power, when any suggestion was made which they
disliked. Letters from the British to the Portuguese officers on
official matters, and all applications for supplies, were left
unanswered; and yet “these same men,” wrote Captain Dickson indignantly,
“are embracing you as often as they meet!” He would gladly have given up
his new appointment, had he not felt bound by his promise to Lord
Chatham to retain it; so he set to work, in a true soldierlike spirit,
to perfect the two 6-pounder Portuguese batteries which had been placed
under his charge, and of which, even at the beginning, he was able to
write in terms of the warmest approbation. As this narrative will show,
he was rewarded for remaining at his post. The local rank was given to
him ultimately; and by its means he found himself commanding many
brother officers, much senior to himself regimentally, and ultimately at
the head of the Artillery of the armies of the Duke of Wellington, while
only a Captain in his own Corps.

It is now necessary to follow the movements of Sir Arthur Wellesley. The
English Government continued to overrate the value of the Spanish
armies; and the pressure brought to bear upon the English General was
such as he could not resist. He therefore proposed to the Spanish
General, Cuesta, to co-operate with his army against Victor’s forces,
and ultimately against Madrid. Cuesta, whose treatment of Sir Arthur
Wellesley was, on all occasions, of the most obstinate and boorish
description, had an army of 33,000 men. [Sidenote: Napier.] Sir Arthur’s
army, when he quitted Abrantes, numbered 20,997 men of all arms, with 30
guns. The advance of the united armies against Madrid by the valley of
the Tagus had been foreseen by Napoleon, and he had ordered Soult, at
the head of a powerful army, to concentrate his forces in such a manner
that, on the advance of Wellesley, he could pass by his left rear, and
cut him off from the base of his operations,--Lisbon and its surrounding
country. The English General was far from correctly informed either of
the strength or position of Soult’s army; he was urged by the English
representative, Mr. Frere, and by his own Government, to take the
offensive; the vacillation of Joseph Buonaparte tempted him to march on
Madrid before further union could be effected among the French armies;
he was further assured of the courage of the Spanish armies, the
enthusiasm of the peasantry, and the abundance of supplies. On the 27th
June, therefore, he broke up his camp at Abrantes, and marched towards
Oropesa, to effect a junction with Cuesta. The farther he advanced, the
more doubtful did he become of the sincerity of the Spaniards--a doubt
which exhibited itself in the pertinacity with which he demanded from
Cuesta and the Junta solemn promises to keep the English army supplied,
during any farther advance, with the requisite transport and supplies.
The reader does not require to be reminded how shamefully these promises
were broken;--how thwarted Wellesley was, alike by the intrigues of the
Junta and the conceited obstinacy of Cuesta;--nor how faithful he was,
amid all his difficulties, to the duty which England had imposed upon
him. Standing beside Cuesta like a better angel,--and receiving the
treatment not unfrequently bestowed on such,--calm under insult, his
judgment never heated by an indignation which would have been
righteous,--he ultimately succeeded in placing the united armies in the
very position in front of Talavera which he had selected, when he saw
that a general action with the combined forces of Victor and Sebastiani
was inevitable, if not, indeed, desirable. But not until the morning of
the 27th July, nor until Cuesta’s folly and rashness had courted and
received, at Alcabon, a well-deserved defeat, did the English General
succeed in placing the Spanish forces in [Sidenote: Gurwood’s
Despatches: Selections, p. 278.] the position he had chosen. The quiet
irony of the memorandum of Sir Arthur Wellesley on the battle of
Talavera cannot be seen without remembering the defeat just mentioned,
and a disgraceful panic which seized on the Spanish troops at the
appearance of some French cavalry, on the afternoon of the 27th, when
10,000 Infantry and all their Artillery fled, terror-stricken, to the
rear. Part of these were recovered before the following day; but the
Spanish contingent was weaker by the greater part of its Artillery, and
6000 of its Infantry. With such troops as allies, no wonder that Sir
Arthur wrote: “The position of Talavera was well calculated for the
troops that were to occupy it. The ground in front of the British army
was open; that in front of the Spanish army was covered with
olive-trees, intersected by roads, ditches, &c.” In other words, the
offensive part of the battle was to fall on the British, while a
masterly and imposing inactivity was reserved for the Spaniards.

The battle of Talavera was fought on the 27th and 28th July. The loss of
the Spanish Artillery in the panic mentioned above was very serious, as
the English had only 30 guns, very badly horsed and of small calibre,
to oppose to 80 guns, admirably served by the enemy. Fortunately, the
few guns of the Spanish Artillery, which _were_ brought into action,
were gallantly fought; and of those of the Royal and King’s German
Artillery, both the officers present and all military historians speak
in the highest terms. At the defeat of the 4th French Corps by
Campbell’s division, the British Artillery, as Napier wrote, played
vehemently upon their masses:--at the critical moment, later in the day,
when the English centre was almost broken on account of the injudicious
advance of the Guards, and of the confusion which seized the King’s
German Legion, the marvellous effect which followed the arrival of the
48th Regiment, moving, amid all the confusion, with the steadiness, of a
parade, was greatly heightened by the conduct of the Artillery, which,
as the same historian says, “battered the enemy’s flanks without
intermission.” Sir Arthur Wellesley, in addition to an expression of his
satisfaction with the Corps in the General Order after the battle, made
use of the following expression in his despatch to Lord Castlereagh:
“The Artillery, under Brigadier-General Howorth, was also, throughout
these days, of the greatest service.”

Compared with the loss of the other arms, that of the Artillery was but
small. On the 27th, only two men were wounded; on the 28th, the loss was
as follows:--

  Royal Artillery.--1 officer and 7 men killed; 3 officers and 21
  men wounded.

  King’s German Artillery.--1 sergeant and 2 men killed; 3 sergeants
  and 27 men wounded.

The officer who was killed was Lieutenant Wyatt; those who were wounded
were Lieut.-Colonel Framingham, and Captains Baines and Taylor. In
reporting the severe wound of Colonel Framingham, and applying for a
pension, General Howorth said: “If it were possible that any testimony
or [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. Dated Badajoz, 20 Oct. 1809.] praise of mine
could add to the weight of this application, or to the merit and
brilliancy of Lieut.-Colonel Framingham’s gallant conduct in the action
of the 28th July, at Talavera, I should most freely have bestowed it;
but, as he distinguished himself on that occasion by a most skilful
discharge of his duty, I have only to wish him sincerely a reward equal
to his merits.” On the retreat of the army from Talavera, Captain
Taylor, whose wound prevented his removal, fell into the hands of the
French, and remained a prisoner to the end of the war.

There are several points connected with the battle of Talavera which
stand out prominently, and seize the attention of the student at once.
The weakness of King Joseph in playing into the hands of the English
General, and allowing him to fight under the terms most advantageous to
himself;--the hard, honest fighting, as Napier calls it, of the English
troops, who, for hours, were closely engaged with a force of double
their own numbers;--the watchful tactics of Sir A. Wellesley, who never
missed a point during the whole engagement, and was always ready at
critical moments with the necessary remedies; and the heavy losses on
both sides--over 6000 being killed and wounded on the side of the
English, and more than 7000 on that of the French;--these are points
which cannot escape the most superficial reader. But to the soldier
there are several precious instances of steadiness and discipline among
particular regiments, which [Sidenote: Wellington Despatches.] shed a
glow over this well-fought field,--the 45th and 5th Battalion of the
60th being conspicuous for these qualities on the 27th, and the
“stubborn old 48th” on the 28th. Napier’s pages glow with the enthusiasm
of a soldier as he describes the movements of the last-mentioned
regiment on the occasion referred to above. “At first,” he writes, “it
seemed as if this regiment must be carried away by the retiring crowds;
but, wheeling back by companies, it let them pass through the intervals,
and then, resuming its proud and beautiful line, marched against the
right of the pursuing columns, and plied them with such a destructive
musketry, and closed upon them with such a firm and regular pace, that
their forward movement was checked.”

The changes which have become necessary in the art of war, owing to the
improvement in fire-arms, may have forbidden the use in battle of the
line which the gallant 48th showed at Talavera; but, in whatever form
troops may be called upon to fight, the qualities which animated that
regiment will still, if present, entitle their possessors to the same
epithet, and the perfection of their drill and discipline will still
claim the words, “proud and beautiful.”

The horrors of a battle-field, when the deadly encounter is over, were
aggravated at Talavera by a fire, which caught the dry grass, and which
licked the ground where the dead and wounded were lying, adding a new
agony to the sufferings of the latter, and hideously scorching the
bodies of those whose pain was for ever at an end. This incident gives a
ghastly element to the recollection of a field, on which English courage
was so ably proved.

A. Captain.
B. Second Captain.
C. Lieutenants.
D. Assistant Surgeon.
E. N.-C. Officers.
F. Trumpeters.
G. Artificers.
H. Gunners.
I. Drivers.
J. Total.
K. Women.
L. Children.
M. Officers’.
N. Troop.
O. Total.
P. 6-pounders.
Q. 5½ in. Howitzers.
R. Ammunition Wagons.
S. Baggage Wagons.
T. Wheel Carriage.
U. Forge Cart.
V. Baggage Cart.
W. Total.

Captain H. D. Ross.

                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |      HORSES.    |  ORDNANCE AND CARRIAGES.  |
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   +---+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
  Ships’ Names  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  and           |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  Masters.      | A.| B.| C.| D.| E.| F.| G.| H.| I.|  J.| K.| L.| M.|  N.|  O.| P.| Q.| R.| S.| T.| U.| V.| W.|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Rodney’--    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  G. Bowes      |  1| ..|  1|  1|  3|  1|  3| 19|  8|  37| ..| ..|  7|  26|  33| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Phœnix’--    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  R. Oswell     | ..|  1|  2| ..|  3| ..|  2| 15|  9|  32|  2| ..|  7|  24|  31| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Amphitrite’--|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  R. Stevenson  | ..| ..| ..| ..|  2| ..| ..| 10| 13|  25| ..| ..| ..|  32|  32| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Jane’--      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  J. Jackson    | ..| ..| ..| ..|  2| ..|  1| 15| 10|  28| ..| ..| ..|  30|  30| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Ruby’--      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  S. Chapman    | ..| ..| ..| ..|  2| ..|  1| 13| 12|  28| ..| ..| ..|  34|  34| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Ganges’--    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  J. Nisbett    | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  2|  2|   4| ..| ..| ..|   2|   2| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  ‘Blessing’--  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  R. Armstrong  | ..| ..| ..| ..|  1| ..| ..|  7| ..|   8|  1| ..| ..|  ..|  ..|  5|  1|  6|  3|  1|  1|  1| 18|
  Total         |  1|  1|  3|  1| 13|  1|  7| 81| 54| 162|  3| ..| 14| 148| 162|  5|  1|  6|  3|  1|  1|  1| 18|
  _Ramsgate, 8th June, 1809._      (Signed) H. D. Ross, _Captain Commanding R. H. A._

On the 29th, Wellesley’s army was strengthened by the arrival of
Crawford’s brigade, consisting of the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th Regiments,
with Captain Ross’s, “The Chestnut,” troop of Horse Artillery,[21]
which, in their eagerness to reach the field of battle, and undeterred
by the lies of the flying Spaniards, had marched no less than sixty-two
miles in twenty-six hours, in the hottest season of the year, and in
heavy marching order. But news reached the English General which
determined him to fall back, and to have done with the assistance of
Spanish troops, whose worthlessness he had now thoroughly tested.
Hearing that Soult was pressing on by rapid marches, and with increased
forces,--had already gained possession of one of his most important
communications with Portugal, and was threatening the others,--he
resolved to leave his wounded at Talavera, and to fall back into
Portugal. He did so by means of rapid marches; but he still conducted
them so as to show no appearance of flight, such as would have injured
the reputation of his army in the eyes of the Spaniards--a most
important [Sidenote: To D. A. G. Dated Badajoz, 26 Oct. 1809.]
consideration. General Howorth, in alluding to the retreat from
Talavera, emphasises this point. “We made a retrograde movement,” he
wrote, “with a dignified deliberation perfectly suitable to the gravity
of Spanish deportment.” The whole of his brigades of Artillery returned
from Talavera complete, with the exception of one 6-pounder gun which
had been damaged in the battle of the 28th, and which, the General
wrote, had been _privately buried_, perhaps out of consideration for
Spanish deportment also. But all the spare ammunition and stores had to
be abandoned, as the carts were required to carry the sick. No less than
150 carts were so employed; for the sickness during the retreat, and
even after the troops went into cantonments at Merida, was very great.
The well-known sickness in the Chestnut Troop, which so nearly led to
its return to England, took place at Merida after the retreat. So
severely did it suffer, that, in sending in his returns of available
Artillery force at this time, General Howorth wrote: “I have one troop
of Horse Artillery, Bull’s,[22] and half a one, Ross’s. The latter has
suffered severely by sickness and death of men and horses.” The sickness
was aggravated by a dearth of medical officers; and the unfortunate
Chestnut Troop, which required medical assistance to an extraordinary
extent, was robbed of its own surgeon in an inglorious manner. “Poor
Doctor O’Brien,” wrote General Howorth, “of Ross’s troop, died last
night, owing to his servant’s getting drunk, and giving him too strong a
dose of opium, which destroyed him.” Ere many weeks passed, the attempt
to cope with the havoc made in the troop was almost abandoned. Two guns
and their waggons were sent into store, from want of men and horses to
work them; and orders were given that, on the arrival of another troop
(Lefebure’s) from England, the surviving men and horses of the Chestnut
Troop should be handed over to it, and Captain Ross and his officers
return to England to organize a new troop. Luckily for him, Captain
Lefebure’s troop suffered so much from a storm on its way to the
Peninsula that, on its arrival, it was little more efficient than the
one it was [Sidenote: Memoir of Sir H. D. Ross.] meant to relieve; so,
to Captain Ross’s delight, he had his vacancies completed from the new
arrivals, and Captain Lefebure had, instead, the duty of rebuilding his

The head-quarters of the English General, on whom the title of Lord
Wellington was bestowed after Talavera, were at Badajoz until the end of
1809. He devoted himself to the strengthening of his position, with the
double motive of ensuring to himself the possession of Lisbon and the
Tagus, and of securing the unmolested embarkation of his troops, should
reverses render it necessary. The lines of Torres Vedras, which were to
play so important a part in the campaign of 1810, were matured in the
winter of 1809. Lord Wellington had given up all hope of succeeding by
means of the Spaniards; but he by no means despaired of offering an
effectual resistance to the most powerful French attacks by means of the
combined English and Portuguese army under his command. He felt
confidence in his troops. As [Sidenote: Lord Wellington to Colonel
Malcolm, Badajoz, 3 Dec. 1809.] he boasted to a correspondent, “I
command an unanimous army.” Supplies in Portugal were better arranged
than in Spain; and, with the remembrance fresh in his mind of Talavera,
which he himself pronounced “the hardest-fought battle of modern days,
and the most glorious in its results to the English troops,” he looked
forward to the next campaign with quiet confidence, and displayed during
the winter an industry in strengthening his position which, at all
events, deserved success.

  NOTE.--Although the Peninsular War eclipses in point of interest
  any other operations in which the Royal Artillery was engaged in
  1809, it would be a great omission, were no allusion made to the
  services of the Corps, in the beginning of 1809, during the
  operations in the West Indies under General Beckwith and Sir
  George Prevost, which resulted in the capture of the French
  colonies of Cayenne and Martinique. Over 500 officers and men of
  the Royal Artillery were present under the command of
  Brigadier-General Stehelin, and the value of their services may be
  ascertained from the following extract from the General Order
  issued at the termination of the campaign:--

  [Sidenote: G. O. Dated 8 March, 1809.]

  “To Brigadier-General Stehelin, commanding the Royal Artillery,
  for his regularity in all interior arrangements, and especially
  for that order and system established in this distinguished Corps,
  which led to those eminent services rendered by them during the
  bombardment, and which brought the siege to an early and glorious
  termination ... the Commander of the Forces is anxious to renew
  all those assurances of public and individual consideration, to
  which from their distinguished services they are fully entitled,
  and he requests, as an old soldier, that he may live in their
  remembrance and friendship.”

  [Sidenote: B. G. Stehelin to D.-A.-Gen. 23 March, 1809.]

  The officers of the Royal Artillery who were present during these
  operations were--in addition to Brigadier-General
  Stehelin--Captains Blaney Walsh, Unett, Phillott, St. Clair,
  Cleeve, Story, Du Bourdieu, Clibborn, Butts, and Rollo; and
  Lieutenants Spellen, Bell, Gordon, Lewis, Mathias, Tucker, Turner,
  Heron, Scriven, Simmons, and F. Arabin.



It may not be uninteresting to the reader, before resuming the
consideration of the Peninsular War, to study some statistics connected
with the Regiment in the year 1810, the period to be treated of in this
chapter. The number of troops and companies remained as before,
112--exclusive of the invalid battalion. They were distributed as
follows:--16 [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] in the Peninsula, 5 in Italy and
Sicily, 56 on home stations, 4 in Canada, 3 at the Cape of Good Hope, 3
in Ceylon, where they had been engaged on active service during the
previous year, 6 in Gibraltar, 4 in Jamaica and 6 in the rest of the
West Indies (these ten companies being actively engaged in the defence
of the colonies), 1 in Madeira, 4 in Malta, 1 in Newfoundland, and 3 in
Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

The following tables show the strength of the battalions, and the
proportions of the various ranks. They also show the pay of the various
ranks, _less_ the charges for agency, which are not deducted in the pay
tables published in Kane’s List. But, in addition to the strength of the
Royal Artillery, the reader will find detailed statements of the other
corps which swelled the total Artillery force of Great Britain. It is
hoped that, by publishing these tables in this form, reference will be
easier, and lengthy description may be dispensed with. It cannot be too
often repeated that the services in the Peninsula of the King’s German
Artillery, the detail of which is given in the annexed tables, were of
the most gallant description, unsurpassed by those of the corps to which
they were attached. The active service of the corps, named the Royal
Foreign Artillery, was chiefly in the West Indies.

[Sidenote: From MS. Returns in Library of the Royal United Service



  _a._ STAFF.

          Rank.                            Pay per diem.
                                            £. _s._ _d._

     1 Master-General     } No pay on the
     1 Lieutenant-General } establishment.
    10 Colonels-Commandant            each  2 14  4
    20 Colonels                         ”   1  6  0
    30 Lieutenant-Colonels              ”   0 17 11
    10 Majors                           ”   0 16  9
     1 Deputy-Adjutant-General              1  0  0
    10 Adjutants                      each  0  8  6
    10 Quartermasters                   ”   0  7 10
     1 Chaplain                             0  9 11
    10 Sergeant-Majors                each  0  3  7¼
    10 Quartermaster-Sergeants          ”   0  3  7¼


     1 Captain                              1  4  7¾
     1 Second Captain                       0 13  0
     2 First Lieutenants              each  0  6 10
     1 Second Lieutenant                    0  6 10
   200 Gentlemen Cadets               each  0  2  0
     1 Drum-Major                           0  2  4
     1 Fife-Major                           0  2  4


    10 Captains                       each  0 11  0
    10 Second Captains                  ”   0 11  0
    20 First Lieutenants                ”   0  6 10
    10 Second Lieutenants               ”   0  5  7
    40 Sergeants                        ”   0  2  5¼
    40 Corporals                        ”   0  2  3¾
    90 Bombardiers                      ”   0  2  1¾
  1240 Gunners                          ”   0  1  5¾
    30 Drummers                         ”   0  1  5¾
  1490 being the total for each battalion, and
          therefore 14,900 for the ten.
  _d._ INVALIDS.

     1 Colonel-Commandant                   2 14  4
     2 Second Colonels                each  1  0  0
     2 Lieutenant-Colonels              ”   0 19  9
     3 Second Lieutenant-Colonels       ”   0 17 11
     1 Major                                0 16  9
     1 Adjutant                             0  9  0
     1 Quartermaster                        0  7 10
     2 Staff Sergeants                each  0  3  7¼
    12 Captains                         ”   0 11  0
    12 First Lieutenants                ”   0  7 10
    12 Second Lieutenants               ”   0  5  7
    48 Sergeants                        ”   0  2  5¼
    48 Corporals                        ”   0  2  3¾
   108 Bombardiers                      ”   0  2  1¾
   100 First Gunners                    ”   0  1  9¾
   620 Second Gunners                   ”   0  1  5¾
    12 Drummers                         ”   0  1  5¾
    48 Non-effectives                   ”   0  1  5¾


     1 Colonel-Commandant                   2 19  3
     2 Colonels                       each  1 12  0
     3 Lieutenant-Colonels              ”   1  6  9
     1 Major                                1  2  8
     1 Adjutant                             0 16  6
     1 Quartermaster                        0 10  9
     1 Regimental Staff Sergeant            0  3  9¼
     1 Regimental Sergeant (for Staff)      0  2  7¼
     2 Farriers and Carriage Smiths   each  0  3  5¼
     1 Collar-maker                         0  3  5¼
     1 Trumpet-Major                        0  2  3¾
    12 Captains                       each  0 15 11
    12 Second Captains                  ”   0 15 11
    36 First Lieutenants                ”   0  9 10
    24 Troop Staff Sergeants            ”   0  3  9¼
    36 Sergeants                        ”   0  2  7¼
    36 Corporals                        ”   0  2  3¾
    72 Bombardiers                      ”   0  2  1¾
   480 Gunners mounted                  ”   0  1  5¾
   628 Gunners dismounted               ”   0  1  5¾
   720 Drivers                          ”   0  1  5¾
    12 Farriers and Shoeing Smiths      ”   0  3  5¼
    12 Carriage Smiths                  ”   0  3  5¼
    24 Shoeing Smiths                 each  0  2  3¾
    24 Collar-makers                    ”   0  2  1¼
    12 Wheelwrights                     ”   0  2  1¼
    12 Trumpeters                       ”   0  2  1¾


     1 Captain                              0 15  0
     1 Lieutenant, at                       0 15  0
     1     ”       at                       0 13  0
     1     ”       at                       0 11  0
     1 Quartermaster                        0  7 10
     2 Staff Sergeants                each  0  3  2
     3 Sergeants                        ”   0  2  2
     3 First Corporals                  ”   0  2  0
     3 Second Corporals                 ”   0  1 10¼
     1 Trumpeter                            0  1 11¼
     1 Farrier                              0  3  2¾
     1 Collar-maker                         0  1 10¾
    44 Riders                         each  0  1  3¼


    1 Chief Commissary.
    5 Commissaries.
   24 Assistant Commissaries.
  113 Clerks of Stores.
  115 Conductors.
   13 Military Conductors.
    1 Foreman.
    7 Smiths.
    6 Collar-makers.
    7 Wheelers.
    2 Carpenters.
    1 Painter.


     1 Major                                1   1  0
     2 Adjutants                      each  0  10  0
     8 Veterinary Surgeons              ”   0   8  0
    11 Captain-Commissaries             ”   0  15  0
    55 First Lieutenants                ”   0   9  0
    11 Second Lieutenants               ”   0   8  0
    55 Staff Sergeants                  ”   0   3  2
   165 Sergeants                        ”   0   2  2
   165 First Corporals                  ”   0   2  0¼
   165 Second Corporals                 ”   0   1  10¼
    22 Rough-riders                   each  0  1  3¼
    55 Farriers                         ”   0  3  2¾
   165 Shoeing Smiths                   ”   0  2  1¼
   110 Collar-makers                    ”   0  1 10¾
   110 Wheelers                         ”   0  1 10¾
    55 Trumpeters                       ”   0  1 11¼
  4950 Drivers                          ”   0  1  3¼


    1 Major.
    4 Captains.
    4 Second Captains.
   12 Lieutenants.
    6 Sergeants.
    4 Corporals.
   17 Bombardiers.
  124 Gunners.
    8 Drummers.



   1 Colonel Commandant.
   1 Lieutenant-Colonel.
   2 Majors.
   8 Captains.
   8 Second Captains.
  16 First Lieutenants.
  16 Second Lieutenants.
   1 Captain Commissary.
   1 Paymaster.
   1 Adjutant.
   1 Quartermaster.
   1 Surgeon.
   3 Assistant Surgeons.
   1 Veterinary Surgeon.

  Sergeants and    Horse Artillery.  Foot Artillery.
  Rank and File.

  Staff Sergeants         4                  3
  Sergeants               6                 14
  Corporals               8                 18
  Bombardiers            14                 23
  Trumpeters              8
  Farriers                2
  Smiths                  6
  Collar-makers           4
  Wheelers                2
  Gunners               186                372
  Drivers               116   Drummers       9


  Sergeants and Rank and File.

    4 Sergeants.
    8 Corporals.
    4 Farriers.
    9 Smiths.
    8 Collar-makers.
    5 Wheelers.
  189 Drivers.

[Sidenote: MS. ‘Wear and Tear’ Returns for 1809, to B. of Ordnance.]

The recruiting for the Regiment during the year 1809 had been
successful, no fewer than 1820 gunners and 868 drivers having been
enlisted. The establishment just given was nearly maintained, and even
occasionally exceeded, during 1810; and the usual decrease, caused by
the discharge of men by purchase, did not occur during that year, all
such discharges being forbidden. A falling off in the strength of the
Regiment became apparent, however, in the winter of 1810.

The “wear and tear” among the horses of the Royal Horse Artillery and
the Royal Artillery Driver Corps had been excessive during the year
1809, owing to the Peninsular Campaigns and the Scheldt Expedition. No
fewer than 2786 had either died or been destroyed; and 3367 had to be
purchased to compensate for these losses, and to meet the
ever-increasing demand. Very large numbers were sent to Portugal during
the year 1810; and, owing to the consequent [Sidenote: D.-A.-Gen. to
Gen. Howorth, 28 Oct. 1816.] increase in the numbers of the Driver Corps
attached to Lord Wellington’s armies, it was decided to appoint a field
officer to command them. This duty, with cavalry pay, was given to
Colonel Robe.

The numerical force of Artillery, serving under General Howorth in the
Peninsula, in the end of 1809, was as follows.

[Sidenote: MS. Returns, compiled from the Monthly Returns, dated
Woolwich, 17 Dec. 1809.]

                         { 187 of all ranks, besides a contingent
  Royal Horse Artillery  { of drivers attached to the Troops,
                         { numbering 106.

  Foot Artillery           627 of all ranks, with 545 drivers.

  King’s German Artillery  322 of all ranks, with 160 drivers.

  The total being 1957, of whom 821 belonged to the Driver Corps. Of
  this number 357 were returned as sick; and there were in addition
  39 prisoners of war.

  The number of horses attached to the Artillery in the Peninsula
  was 951, of which 256 were returned as sick; and there were 132
  mules, chiefly attached to the brigades of field and King’s German

[Sidenote: MS. Returns, Dated Woolwich, 11 Sept. 1810.]

The following tables will show that before a year had elapsed a very
considerable increase to this force had taken place; and are also
useful, as showing the companies which were present, and the names of
the senior officers. (_See opposite page._)

It is difficult, without a study of the correspondence of this period,
to realise the energy with which General Macleod endeavoured to meet the
wants of the Regiment abroad. Unfortunately, there was not similar
energy in the other public departments. Large reinforcements, both of
men and horses, were ready early in the summer of 1810; but no ships
could be found for their conveyance until the end of December. From the
nature of these drafts, and from various remarks in General Macleod’s
letters, it was clear that the remonstrances made by the various
officers concerned on the subject of the want of mobility of the field
brigades had produced their effect, and the rapid increase in the force
of Horse Artillery in the Peninsula which took place between 1810 and
1814 was the consequence. Anticipating that Lord Wellington would prefer
a complete troop of Horse Artillery to more of the sluggish field
brigades, General Macleod suggested that the remnant of Captain
Lefebure’s troop, which was under orders for England, should remain in
Portugal; and he despatched men and horses to complete it in that
country. At the same time he did everything in his power to improve the
field brigades in the point of mobility, by sending out large numbers of
horses. No fewer than 500 were embarked in the first week of January

_Artillery Force in the Peninsula._

  A. Colonels.
  B. Field Officers.
  C. Captains.
  D. Subalterns.
  E. Surgeons and Asst.-Surgs.
  F. N.C. Officers.
  G. Gunners.
  H. Drivers.
  I. Artificers.
  J. Drummers & Trumpeters.
  K. Total.
  L. Horses.
  M. Mules.

  |         |Data of Last   |Colonels, Field Officers,  |Battalions|   |   |   |   |   |    |     |    |   |   |     |     |    |
  |Stations.|Returns.       |and Captains of Companies. |and Corps.| A.| B.| C.| D.| E.|  F.|   G.|  H.| I.| J.|   K.|  L. | M. |
  |Portugal.|1st July, 1810.|Brig.-Gen. Howorth         |   H.B.   |  1|   |   |   |   |    |     |    |   |   |     |     |    |
  |         |               |Lieut.-Col. Framingham     |     1    |   |  1|   |   |  5|    |     |    |   |   |    9|     |    |
  |         |               |Lieut.-Col. Robe           |     3    |   |  1|   |   |   |    |     |    |   |   |     |     |    |
  |         |               |Lieut.-Col. Fisher         |    10    |   |  1|   |   |   |    |     |    |   |   |     |     |    |
  |         |               |Major Hartmann             |  K.G.A.  |   |  1|   |   |  2|    |     |    |   |   |    3|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Bull               |   H.B.   |   |   |  2|  3|  1|  12|   81|  73|  7|  1|  180|  157|    |
  |         |               |Captain Lefebure           |   H.B.   |   |   |  2|  3|  1|  13|   45|  10|  5|  1|   80|   70|    |
  |         |               |Captain Ross               |   H.B.   |   |   |  2|  3|  1|  13|   81|  75|  8|  1|  184|  156|    |
  |         |               |Captain May                |     1    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  14|  107|    |   |  1|  127|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Glubb              |     5    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  14|  109|    |   |  2|  130|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Thompson           |     7    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  14|  105|    |   |  1|  125|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Bredin             |     8    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  13|   99|    |   |  1|  118|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Lawson             |     8    |   |   |  2|  4|   |  13|  117|    |   |  2|  137|     |    |
  |         |               |Detachmt. of British Art.  |          |   |   |  2|  4|   |   6|   26|    |   |  1|   39|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Heise              |  K.G.A.  |   |   |  1|  4|   |  14|   80|  53|  6|  1|  159|  60 |  57|
  |         |               |Captain Gesenius           |  K.G.A.  |   |   |  2|  4|   |  13|   80|  30|  5|  2|  136|   7 |    |
  |         |               |Captain Arentschild        |  K.G.A.  |   |   |  2|  4|   |  13|   80|  37|  6|  2|  144|  107|   7|
  |         |               |Captain Purner             |  R.A.D.  |   |   |  1|  3|  1|  31|     | 221| 25|  4|  286|  218|  50|
  |         |               |Captain Lane               |  R.A.D.  |   |   |  1|  4|   |  35|     | 318| 33|  4|  395|  330|  72|
  |         |               |                           +----------+---+---+---+---+---+----+-----+----+---+---+-----+-----+----+
  |         |               |   Total in Portugal       |          |  1|  4| 25| 47| 11| 218| 1010| 817| 95| 24| 2252| 1105| 186|
  |Cadiz.   |1st July, 1810.|Major Duncan               |     6    |   |  1|   |   |  3|    |     |    |   |   |    4|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Campbell           |     2    |   |   |  1|  3|   |   7|   53|    |   |   |   64|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Owen               |     5    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  14|   98|    |   |  2|  119|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Hughes             |     9    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  13|  100|    |   |  1|  119|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Dickson            |    10    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  13|   98|    |   |  2|  118|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Shenley            |    10    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  12|   99|    |   |  1|  117|     |    |
  |         |               |Captain Roberts            |    10    |   |   |  2|  3|   |  12|   97|    |   |  1|  116|     |    |
  |         |               |Lieutenant Wilkinson       |  R.A.D.  |   |   |   |  2|   |  12|     | 134| 10|  1|  159|  218|    |
  |         |               |                           +----------+---+---+---+---+---+----+-----+----+---+---+-----+-----+----+
  |         |               |   Total in Cadiz          |          |   |  1| 11| 20|  3|  84|  545| 134| 10|  8|  816|  218|    |

[Sidenote: MS. Returns, Dated Woolwich, 19 Nov. 1810.]

The numerical division of the Regiment for home and foreign service in
the year 1810 was as follows:--

                                       At Home.     Abroad.
                                      All ranks.   All ranks.

  Horse Brigade (including drivers)      1499         433
  Marching Battalions                    8235        5940
  Invalid Battalions                      822          39[23]

[Sidenote: MS. Returns, Dated Woolwich, 11 Sept. 1870.]

The force in the Mediterranean garrisons, which was considered available
in event of sudden demands from the Peninsula, appears in the following
tables (_see pp._ 271 _and_ 272), which also show the names of the
senior officers. With these the statistics for the year to be treated in
this chapter will terminate, and the consideration of the campaign be

The campaign of 1810 in the Peninsula was, in one sense, the least
active of any during the war. Napoleon certainly made a great effort to
completely subdue the country, and to expel the English armies. For this
purpose, Marshal Massena was placed in command of the French troops; but
the duty proved to be beyond his powers. It is doubtful if in any period
of the Duke of Wellington’s military career he displayed more ability,
more patience, more foresight, than he showed during the first nine
months of the year 1810. Not merely had he to contend with local
influences, but he failed to secure the requisite support from the
English Government. There was at home a fear of losing power, which led
English statesmen to commit unworthy actions, and to display a
nervousness in administration, which demoralized such of their agents as
were not above the ordinary standard. The wisdom of publishing the
private letters of a great man is certainly questionable; but once
published, they become the historian’s legitimate property. From the
letters of the Duke of Wellington we have a [Sidenote: Gurwood’s
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington.] graphic picture of the Government
in 1810. “What,” he wrote to Admiral Berkeley, “can be expected from men
who are beaten in the House of Commons three times a week? A great
deal might be done now, if there existed in England less party, and more
public sentiment--and if there was any Government.” Again, in pleading
his inability to carry out certain operations, he urged, in a letter to
the Right Hon. H. Wellesley, that he would have been able to do so, “if
the Government possessed any strength, or [Sidenote: Gurwood’s
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington.] desire to have anything done but
what is _safe_ and _cheap_.” The same hands that applauded the conqueror
at Talavera strove, in timorous anxiety, to drag him back from any
further operations. The terror of the French armies, which had obtained
possession of the Portuguese Government and people, seems to have
reached London. The Government despatches to Lord Wellington breathed
nothing but advice to guide him _when he should be expelled from
Portugal_. While _he_ was ensuring in a masterly manner the safety of
Lisbon, _they_ were urging on him the claims of Cadiz. Their letters and
the tone of the public press swelled the despondency, the presence of
which in Portugal Lord Wellington lamented; and his protests, assuring
the Government that he had left nothing undone,--whether the event
should be defeat or victory,--were treated as idle words, or as the
heated expression of a mere soldier’s hopes. Had Wellington been a
weaker man, the lines of Torres Vedras had been got ready in vain, the
battle of Busaco had never been fought, and the unpaid arrears of the
French troops would have been liquidated by the plundering of Lisbon and

_Artillery in Mediterranean Garrisons._

  A. Colonels.
  B. Field Officers.
  C. Captains.
  D. Subalterns.
  E. Surgeons and Asst.-Surgs.
  F. N.C. Officers.
  G. Gunners.
  H. Drivers.
  I. Artificers.
  J. Drummers & Trumpeters.
  K. Total.
  L. Horses.
  M. Mules.

  |          |Data of Last   |Colonels, Field Officers,  |Battalions|   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |                            |
  |Stations. |Returns.       |and Captains of Companies. |and Corps.| A.| B.| C.| D.| E.| F.|  G.| H.| I.| J.|  K.|  L.| M.|        Remarks.            |
  |Gibraltar.|1st July, 1810.|Major-General Smith        |     3    |  1|   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |N.B. At Ceuta,              |
  |          |               |Lieut.-Colonel Ramsay      |     2    |   |  1|   |   |  2|   |    |   |   |   |   5|    |   |1 captain, 1 subaltern,     |
  |          |               |Lieut.-Colonel Wright      |     5    |   |  1|   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |3 N.-C. officers,           |
  |          |               |Captain Godby              |     1    |   |   |  1|  3|   | 14|  87|   |   |  2| 107|    |   |and 11 gunners.             |
  |          |               |Captain Dodd               |     2    |   |   |  1|  2|   | 17| 117|   |   |  4| 141|    |   |                            |
  |          |               |Captain Smyth              |     4    |   |   |  2|  2|   | 11|  81|   |   |  2| 100|    |   |At Tarifa, 1 subaltern,     |
  |          |               |Captain Morrison           |     8    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 13|  86|   |   |  2| 105|    |   |6 N.-C. officers, and       |
  |          |               |Captain Birch              |    10    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 13| 102|   |   |  2| 120|    |   |61 gunners included in      |
  |          |               |Captain Fead               |    10    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 13| 101|   |   |  1| 120|    |   |the general total.          |
  +----------+---------------+---------------------------+----------+---+-------+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+                            |
  |          |               |   Total in Gibraltar.     |          |  1|  2|  8| 15|  2| 81| 576|   |   | 13| 698|    |   |                            |
  +----------+---------------+---------------------------+----------+---+-------+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+                            |
  |Malta.    |1st June, 1810.|Colonel Bentham            |     7    |  1|  1|   |   |  1|   |    |   |   |   |   8|    |   |A detachment of 1 subaltern,|
  |          |               |Lieut.-Colonel Harris      |     2    |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |2 N.-C. officers, and       |
  |          |               |Captain Vivion             |     2    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 13|  93|   |   |  2| 113|    |   |25 gunners belonging to     |
  |          |               |Captain Reynell            |     5    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 13|  88|   |   |  2| 108|    |   |these companies serving     |
  |          |               |Captain Carey              |     8    |   |   |  2|  2|   | 10|  71|   |   |  1|  86|    |   |in Sicily, and not included |
  +----------+---------------+---------------------------+----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+in the general total.       |
  |          |               |   Total in Malta          |          |  1|  1|  6|  8|  1| 36| 252|   |   |  5| 310|    |   |                            |
  +----------+---------------+---------------------------+----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+                            |
  |Sicily.   |1st May, 1810. |Lieut.-Colonel Lemoine     |     5    |   |  1|   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |                            |
  |          |               |Lieut-Colonel Dickinson    |    10    |   |  1|   |   |  4|   |    |   |   |   |   6|    |   |At Zante,                   |
  |          |               |Captain Gamble             |     6    |   |   |  1|  2|   | 13|  99|   |   |  1| 116|    |   |2 captains,                 |
  |          |               |Captain Williamson         |     8    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 14|  98|   |   |  2| 119|    |   |2 surgeons,                 |
  |          |               |Captain Fraser             |     8    |   |   |  2|  3|   | 14|  98|   |   |  2| 119|    |   |13 N.-C. officers           |
  |          |               |Captain Pym                |     8    |   |   |  2|  2|   | 13|  99|   |   |  1| 117|    |   |and 80 gunners              |
  |          |               |Captain Hickman            |     8    |   |   |  2|  2|   | 14|  99|   |   |  1| 118|    |   |included in the             |
  |          |               |Detachment of Artillery }  |          |   |   |  2|  1|   |  2|  25|   |   |   |  28|    |   |general total.              |
  |          |               |  from Malta            }  |          |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |    |    |   |                            |
  |          |               |Captain Bussman            |   K.G.A. |   |   |  2|  2|  1| 16| 105| 39|  6|  2| 175|    |   |                            |
  |          |               |Lieut. G. Smith            |   R.A.D. |   |   |   |   |   |  5|    | 32|  2|   |  40| 109| 45|                            |
  +----------+---------------+---------------------------+----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+                            |
  |          |               |   Total in Sicily.        |          |   |  2| 11| 18|  5| 91| 623| 71|  8|  9| 838| 109| 45|                            |

But his difficulties were not confined to the chilling advice of the
Government. At a time when he required the best men in the army to aid
him, the exercise of home patronage inflicted on him the most incapable
assistants. Not merely did he suffer from useless subordinate staff
officers, but even his general officers were not always what he wished.
[Sidenote: Supplementary Despatches, vol. vi. p. 582.] “Really,” he
wrote to Colonel Torrens, “when I reflect upon the characters and
attainments of some of the general officers of this army, and consider
that these are the persons on whom I am to rely to lead columns against
the French Generals, and who are to carry my instructions into
execution, I tremble; and, as Lord Chesterfield said of the Generals of
his day, ‘I only hope that when the enemy reads the list of their names,
he trembles as I do.’” And at the very time that these men were being
sent out to him, he was debarred from offering reward, in the shape of
promotion, to any one under his command whose gallantry might seem to
him to have earned it. No subject is more frequently alluded to in his
letters than this. The Government would gladly make political capital
out of his successes,--would greedily gather votes by making
appointments to his army, but declined to strengthen him by trusting his
military knowledge, or increasing his legitimate authority.

But the aggravation to which he had to submit in 1810 did not cease
here. While the French were advancing into Portugal, and the English
Government as little realised the strength of the lines which Wellington
had prepared for his troops as Massena himself, the cry was always to
embark,--to quit Lisbon,--to devote his energies to Cadiz; yet when
strategical reasons and absolute necessity compelled him to leave Ciudad
Rodrigo to its fate, the same voices, in querulous terror, remonstrated
with him on his inaction. When he gained the victory of Busaco, the
first idea with the Government was, not recognition of his merits, but
political capital. And when, after a fruitless and self-destructive
residence before the lines of Torres Vedras, Massena was obliged to
retire from Portugal, who so loud in their cries for pursuit as the very
men who had scoffed at the bare possibility of offering resistance to
the French invaders?

The year 1810 was, however, not merely a year which tested the
marvellous ability and patience of Wellington;--it was also the year
which placed on the Portuguese troops the seal of ability to face their
dreaded French enemies. At Busaco, the courage of the Portuguese, under
English discipline, was nobly manifested,--and the value of this
discovery [Sidenote: Supplementary Despatches, vol. vi. p. 606.] was
beyond expression at that most critical time. As Lord Wellington said,
the battle had the best effect in inspiring confidence in the Portuguese
troops; it removed an impression, which had been general, that the
English intended to fight no more, but to retire to their ships; and it
gave the Portuguese a taste for an amusement to which they were not
before accustomed, and which they would not have acquired in a position
less strong than that of Busaco. Had the battle been productive of no
other gain than this, it ought to have found favour with a Government,
whose members desired that their successes might be “_cheap_.”

When the campaign commenced, the head-quarters of the English army were
at Celorico; and Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo were organized for defence.
The latter city, which was defended by Spaniards, capitulated on the
10th July, after a month’s siege; and Almeida, a small place with a
Portuguese garrison, followed suit on the 28th August. During the siege
of the latter place, the combat of the Coa, as it was termed, took
place; and, as the Chestnut Troop took part in it, it deserves some
notice. Crawford, who commanded the Light Division, and had the outpost
duties to perform, had retired before the French, after the fall of
Ciudad Rodrigo, under the walls of Almeida. The position which he took
up was very dangerous. The river Coa, crossed by a single bridge, was in
his rear, and an open country in front. He had been ordered to cross
this river on the approach of the French, but had foolishly
remained--with a small force of 5000 men and one battery of Artillery,
the Chestnut Troop--awaiting the arrival of Ney’s force, of more than
three times the number. Regardless of the fire from the guns of Almeida,
Ney availed himself of Crawford’s blunder, and attacked him with
vehemence. The crossing of the bridge, now absolutely necessary, was
most difficult, and could not have been effected but for the gallantry
of the regiments, and the precision of the fire of the Chestnut Troop,
which had been sent across the bridge early in the affair to occupy some
rising ground, and to cover the retreat of the other troops. The bridge
was crowded by the retiring columns of the English, so as to be almost
impassable; and when, ultimately, the whole had succeeded in crossing,
the pursuing columns of the French blocked the passage in a similar
manner, and, under a heavy fire, were reduced into heaps of killed and
wounded, level with the parapet of the bridge. A [Sidenote: Cust.]
tremendous storm of rain, which set in, flooded the pans of the French
muskets, and put an end to the engagement, which, in point of losses,
had been on both sides very severe. Of the Artillery on this occasion,
Napier wrote that it played on both sides across the river and ravine,
the sounds repeated by numberless echoes, and the smoke, slowly rising,
resolving itself into an immense arch, spanning the whole chasm and
sparkling with the whirling fuzes of the flying shells. Cust, in his
‘Annals of the Wars,’ describes the Chestnut Troop, from the high
ground, sending well-directed shot over the heads of the skirmishers.
The gallant officer who [Sidenote: ‘Memoirs of Sir H. Ross,’ pp. 11,
12.] commanded the troop wrote as follows: “General Crawford ordered a
retreat. Lieutenant Bourchier, of the Artillery, brought me the order to
retire, as rapidly as in my power, across the bridge, and to get my guns
into position on the opposite heights. At this time we had five guns in
action.... Our fire was excellent, and broke them two or three times.”
Captain Ross’s brother, an officer of Engineers, who was serving with
the army, writes of this combat of the 24th July: “Hew’s guns did their
duty.” The loss on the English side during this engagement was over
three hundred killed and wounded; that of the French was over a

But a battle on a larger scale has now to be mentioned. Lord Wellington
retreated towards Coimbra, followed by Marshal Massena on the north hank
of the Mondego. The English General resolved to make a stand on the
Sierra de Busaco, a high ridge which extends from the Mondego in a
northerly direction about eight miles. In the battle which followed,
Lord Wellington displayed an ignorance of Artillery tactics, from the
results of which he was happily saved by the intelligence and gallantry
of the representatives of that arm. This want of knowledge, which he
never overcame, was the cause of a not unfrequent irritation against
Artillery [Sidenote: Capt. T. B, Strange, R.A., on Practical Artillery.]
as an arm, and a tendency to depreciate its value. At Busaco, instead of
massing his Artillery in reserve until the attack should develop itself,
the guns were placed, as a rule, in the easiest parts of the position,
where it was supposed the French _would_ attack; and they were massed
in these positions so as to form an excellent mark for the enemy’s fire.
This was more especially the case with Major Arentschild’s 6-pounder and
9-pounder brigades of Portuguese Artillery. Fortunately, the Artillery
was well served, and, [Sidenote: ‘Life of Sir J. Burgoyne,’ vol. 1.] as
Sir John Burgoyne wrote, “the guns had great effect.” Captain Thompson’s
company of the 7th Battalion--now D Battery, 11th Brigade, Royal
Artillery, was of essential service, although it was broken up into
divisions during the [Sidenote: MS. Letter among Cleaveland’s MSS.]
battle. Captain Lane, who was 2nd Captain of the company, thus describes
the conduct of one division: “My men did their duty. Lieutenant F.
Bayley’s conduct was admirable. It was the first time he had been in
action, and no old soldier could have acted better. The French
Voltigeurs (37th Regiment) came close to the guns; and one was killed
only eight paces off. An immense column showing themselves in the
ravine, we, with three cheers, gave them a few rounds of case and
round-shot together, at about seventy paces distance, which drove them
back.” The same officer, who was quoted above as alluding to the
services of his brother’s troop at the Coa, wrote of Busaco: [Sidenote:
‘Memoirs of Sir H. D. Ross.’] “I will venture to assert that the
greatest loss the enemy sustained was by our Artillery; and the guns
that had the most duty, and, I believe I might say, that were best
placed for effect--even if nothing is said of the admirable manner in
which the guns were fought--were those of Hew’s troop.... Several
officers who remained on the field the day after the retreat, among
others General Crawford himself, were convinced, more than those who
only looked on it from the heights, of the immense slaughter the enemy
sustained from the Shrapnel shells thrown from my brother’s guns, aided
for a short time by those of Captain Bull’s troop.” This opinion, which,
coming from a brother, might perhaps be considered more indulgent than
just, was confirmed by the great historian of the war. In the resistance
offered to the attack of Loison’s division, Napier says that Ross’s guns
were worked with incredible quickness, and their shot swept through the
advancing columns. The attack having failed, Crawford’s Artillery, with
which was the gallant Chestnut Troop, was equally useful against the
attack of Marchaud’s division, which followed. “It heavily smote,”
writes Napier, “the flank of Marchaud’s people in the pine-wood; and
Ney, who was there in person, after sustaining this murderous cannonade
for an hour, relinquished that attack also.” [Sidenote: Lord Wellington
to Lord Liverpool, dated Coimbra, 30 Sept. 1810.] Well might Lord
Wellington say, “I am particularly indebted to ... Brigadier-General
Howorth and the Artillery.”

The force under Lord Wellington’s command on this occasion did not
exceed 50,000, and extended over a distance of eight to ten miles. The
French are estimated by Napier to have been 65,000 in number; but
Wellington considered that [Sidenote: Ibid. dated Pero Negro, 3 Nov.
1810.] they exceeded that number by 5000 men. The French loss amounted
to 4500 killed and wounded, while that of the Allies was under 1300, the
English having lost 631, and the Portuguese 622. The absence of
Artillery on the side of the French, who overrated the difficulties of
the ground, and the great activity shown in the use and service of the
guns of the Allies, accounted for the great difference in the number of
casualties. Much of the efficacy of the fire of the Royal Artillery was
due to the use of Shrapnel’s spherical case-shot,--a projectile which
was daily increasing in favour,--with no one more than with Lord
Wellington himself. [Sidenote: Dated Sabugal, 23 Feb 1812.] “At the
battle of Busaco,” wrote Major May to Colonel Shrapnel, “your shells
were of the utmost use, and their destruction plainly perceived from the

Marshal Massena, finding it impossible to cross the Sierra de Busaco by
either of the two direct roads, while such an enemy lined the heights,
but being resolved to press on to Coimbra, turned the position by its
left flank,--Wellington continuing the retreat which he had varied by so
noble an episode. Massena reached Coimbra just as the English rear-guard
quitted it; and his troops were there guilty of the grossest licence.
The English army continued slowly to retire to the lines which its
prudent commander had prepared for it; and when Massena came up he found
it in a position which was almost impregnable, while his own
communications were interrupted, and his flanks and rear annoyed by
levies of Portuguese Militia. The lines of Torres Vedras were an emblem
of military sagacity and of engineering skill. Seated behind them the
Allied Army received a training which proved fruitful in the campaign of
the following year; the Portuguese contingent was made more efficient;
and the folly of the Portuguese Government received repeated rebukes
from the mouth of a General whose prudence and determination were never
more clearly shown than in the history of Torres Vedras and Busaco.
Croakers, as he wrote, might include the latter among useless battles;
but an encounter, which made each Portuguese soldier feel himself a
match for a Frenchman, was the best assistance which fortune could throw
in Lord Wellington’s way. Having realised the value of this beforehand,
his next task was to ensure it _independently_ of fortune.



Leaving Massena in front of Torres Vedras, the reader is requested to
turn towards Cadiz. Here Spanish pride had long resisted offers of
English assistance, hoping without foreign aid to raise the siege of the
city; but here the English Government thought it very desirable that
some demonstration should be made. In 1810 the presence of a British
contingent was at length tolerated; and the Artillery [Sidenote: Vide
page 269.] element has been detailed in the preceding chapter. Major
Duncan and the companies under his command had originally embarked for
Gibraltar; but the opening in Cadiz [Sidenote: General Macleod to Major
Duncan, dated 23 April, 1810, and 8 May, 1810.] led to their proceeding
to that city instead. Their arrival having been reported, steps were
immediately taken by General Macleod to equip them for service in the
field; and with this view, three batteries of six guns each, with the
necessary equipment, were despatched from England, and a small supply of
horses, seventy-four in number,--to form a nucleus of a larger

[Sidenote: D.-A.-Gen. to Major Duncan, 13 May, 1810.]

It had been intended that Colonel Framingham should be the officer to
command the Artillery at Cadiz, as soon as the Spaniards should deign to
admit any. Fortunately for Major Duncan, it was found impossible to
spare that officer from the head-quarters of the army; and at the urgent
request of General Graham, who commanded the English troops at Cadiz,
the command of the Artillery with his force was left in Major Duncan’s
hands, and remained so until 1812, when he was accidentally killed by
the explosion of a powder-mill at Seville.

In the records already given of the services of the companies of the
10th Battalion, reference has been made to the duties of the Royal
Artillery at Cadiz. In this chapter it is proposed to describe a battle
which was fought by General Graham’s force, and in which,--it has been
said, the Artillery [Sidenote: General Graham to Lord Liverpool, 6
March, 1811.] covered themselves with glory. The gallant General stated
that Artillery had never been better served; but it may be added that it
had never been better handled than by him. His contingent was but
small--ten guns--but it was never idle, and always in the right place.
The circumstances which led to the battle of Barossa may be summarised
as follows:--An attempt had been resolved upon by the Anglo-Spanish
leaders in Cadiz to raise the French siege, the opportunity being
favourable, as the besieging force did not at the time exceed 12,000
men. The English had 4200, and the Spaniards nearly 10,000. To
facilitate matters, General Graham consented to serve under the Spanish
General La Pena, although the event proved that there never was a man
less fitted to hold a command. The plan of action was to transport the
allied force to Tarifa, disembark there, and effect a junction with
another Spanish force; and then countermarch the whole on the rear of
the besieging force at Chichlana. Inclement weather prevented the first
part of the scheme from being carried out; and the [Sidenote: Cust’s
Annals.] landing was effected, not at Tarifa, but at Algesiras. The
whole army, however, effected a junction at the former place on the 28th
February, 1811, and, driving the French before them, reached a place
known as the Vigia de la Barrosa, or Barossa, at noon on the 5th March.
Here they were encountered by the French Marshal, Victor, who had been
warned of the expedition, and who promptly availed himself of the
numerous openings which the blunders and incompetency of the Spanish
General offered. The tale of these is too long to reproduce in a merely
Regimental history; suffice it to say that, owing to them, General
Graham found himself in an extraordinary and embarrassing position.
Having been ordered to march from the height of Barossa, which was the
key of the whole position, and to proceed to Bermeja through a difficult
pine-wood, he obeyed, but with regret. Assuming that the important point
he had just quitted would be occupied by the Spaniards, he left his
baggage with a small guard. To his amazement, he soon learned that no
such precaution had been taken; that the French Marshal, detecting the
omission, was already ascending the height; and that his own
baggage-guard was in extreme and imminent danger. Retracing his steps as
rapidly as the nature of the wood would admit of, he arrived in time to
see the enemy in complete possession of the height,--himself face to
face with the French, and utterly unsupported by the Spaniards. By what
has been called by Napier an inspiration--but such an inspiration as
never comes to the short-sighted or ignorant--he realised that retreat
would be folly, and that his only hope of success lay in immediately
assuming the offensive. Massing his Artillery, he desired Major Duncan
to keep up a powerful fire, while he organized his force into divisions
for the attack. Of this fire Napier writes that it ravaged the French
ranks. As soon as the Infantry had formed, General Graham advanced his
Artillery to a more favourable position, whence, as he afterwards wrote,
it kept up a most destructive fire on the French columns now advancing.
The right division of the English, under General Dilkes, and the left,
under Colonel Wheatley, encountered respectively the French divisions
under Generals Ruffin and Laval. The Infantry regiments engaged were the
Guards, 28th, 7th, 67th, and 87th,--the flank companies of the 1st
Battalion 9th Foot, 2nd Battalion 47th, and 2nd Battalion 82nd, besides
part of the 20th Portuguese Regiment. Where all behaved with gallantry,
it may seem invidious to select any particular regiment for notice; but,
at a most critical moment, the defeat of General Laval’s division was
completed by a magnificent advance of the 87th Regiment. Both the French
divisions were borne backwards from the hill; and, uniting, attempted to
reform and make another attack. But their attempt was frustrated by the
fire of the Artillery, which from being terrific, as Napier termed it,
became now [Sidenote: Napier, vol. iii. p. 446.] “close, rapid, and
murderous, and rendered the attempt vain.” Marshal Victor, therefore,
withdrew his troops from the field, and the English, having been
twenty-four hours under arms and without food, were too exhausted to

In this battle, which only lasted one hour and a half, over 1200 were
killed and wounded on the side of the English, and more than 2000 on the
side of the French. Six guns and 400 prisoners also fell into the hands
of the conquerors. Of the conduct of his troops generally, General
Graham wrote to Lord Liverpool that nothing less than the almost
unparalleled exertions of every officer, the invincible bravery of every
soldier, and the most determined devotion to the honour of His Majesty’s
arms in all, could have achieved this brilliant success, against such a
formidable enemy so [Sidenote: To Admiral Sir C. Cotton, dated Cadiz, 7
March, 1811.] posted. Sir Richard Keats, the Admiral on the station, who
had superintended the transport of the troops to Algesiras, wrote that
the British troops, led by their gallant and able
commander,--forgetting, on the sight of the enemy, their own fatigue and
privations, and regardless of advantage in the numbers and situation of
the enemy,--gained by their determined valour a victory uneclipsed by
any of the brave achievements of the British army.

The special expressions used by General Graham in his despatch with
reference to the services of the Royal Artillery on this occasion are
well worthy of a place in the records of the Corps. “I owe too much,” he
wrote, “to Major Duncan and the officers and corps of the Royal
Artillery, not to mention them in terms of the highest approbation:
_never was artillery better served_.” He recommended Major Duncan for
promotion, and the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel was accordingly
conferred upon him.

The losses of the Artillery at Barossa were as follows:--

Died of his wounds, Lieutenant Woolcombe.

Wounded: Captains Hughes and Cator,--Lieutenants Mitchell, Brereton,
Manners, Maitland, and Pester.

Three rank and file killed, and 32 wounded: besides of the Royal
Artillery Drivers, 1 sergeant, 2 rank and file, and 18 horses killed: 1
sergeant, 7 rank and file, and 22 horses wounded.

The ordnance captured from the French was as follows:--

[Sidenote: Major Duncan to General Graham.]

Two 7-inch howitzers, 3 heavy 8-pounders, 1 4-pounder,--with their
ammunition waggons, and a proportion of horses.

The fruits of the battle of Barossa might have been very considerable,
had the Spanish General been capable of understanding even the rudiments
of his profession. As he was at once ignorant and proud, General Graham
found it necessary to return with his force to Cadiz; the object of the
expedition had failed, for the siege was not raised,--but Marshal Victor
had received a check which alarmed him considerably, and which led to
eager demands for reinforcements. In his conduct, both in the action of
the 5th March, and in his withdrawal to Isla de Leon on the following
day, when he separated from the Spaniards, General Graham received the
warmest support from Lord Wellington, to whose movements the reader is
now invited to return.

After an inactivity of five months before the lines of Torres Vedras,
Massena commenced to evacuate Portugal. He had no siege artillery with
which to attack the fortifications behind which his enemy was securely
sheltered; and his supplies were becoming every day more difficult to
obtain; he therefore had no other alternative. As he retired, he was
closely followed by the English army, and many smart affairs took place
between the advanced guards of the latter and the rear-guard of the
French army, in which the Royal Horse Artillery did good service. The
limits of the largest work and the patience of the most enduring reader
would be exhausted were these minor actions given in detail. Suffice it
to say, that the Artillery engaged on these occasions included the
troops commanded by Captain Ross and Captain Bull,--that the names of
the various actions are given in the first volume of this history at
pages 396 and 401, and that the way in which they performed their duty
may be gathered, in the first place, from Lord Wellington’s despatches,
and, in the second, from the exhaustive narrative of Napier. In writing
of the actions of the 11th, 12th, and 13th March, 1811, at Pombal,
Redinha, and Cazal Nova, [Sidenote: To Lord Liverpool, dated 14 March,
1811.] Lord Wellington said that the troops of Horse Artillery under
Captains Ross and Bull particularly distinguished themselves. At the
affair of Foz d’Arouce, on the 15th March, he also wrote that the Horse
Artillery, under Captains [Sidenote: Ibid. dated 16 March, 1811.] Ross
and Bull, distinguished themselves. Later, in the affair which took
place on the 7th April, during a reconnaissance, in which the English,
under Sir W. Erskine, drove a division of the French army before them
across the [Sidenote: Ibid. dated 9 April, 1811.] Turones and Dos Casas,
Lord Wellington wrote that “Captain’s Bull’s troop of Horse Artillery
did great execution on this occasion.”

[Sidenote: Vol. ii. chap. ii.]

At the celebrated engagement of Fuentes d’Onor,[24] the dashing affair
mentioned in an early part of this work took place, in which Captain
Norman Ramsay, of Bull’s troop, so greatly distinguished himself. On
this occasion the losses of the Artillery were as follows:--

Royal Horse Artillery--1 rank and file and 3 horses killed: 1 rank and
file, and 3 horses wounded.

Royal Foot Artillery--1 sergeant, 4 rank and file, and 9 horses killed;
1 captain, 2 subalterns, 18 rank and file, and 21 horses wounded.

The officers wounded were Captain Thompson,--whose brigade did as good
service as it had done at Busaco, and the practice made by which
attracted universal admiration,--Lieutenant Martin, and a subaltern of
the same name as the officer who fell at Barossa, Lieutenant Woolcombe.
The total casualties on the side of the Allies amounted to 1786: those
of the French to 2665. The battle resulted in the evacuation of Portugal
by Massena, and the capture of Almeida by the English, although,
unfortunately, not until the garrison had made its escape.

During these continued successes, Lord Wellington was afflicted by a
want of adequate supplies and money,--and by discouraging letters from
England. With a temerity such as few commanders would have displayed, he
did not hesitate to point out to the Government how weak and mistaken
their vacillating, timorous policy was. Still undeceived as to the
worthlessness of Spanish promises, the English rulers urged upon
Wellington to make Spain the theatre of his operations, and yet declined
to make him independent of the Spanish authorities. His protestations,
also, in favour of Portugal as a base of operations fell on doubting and
unwilling ears. English statesmen seemed to live in a fools’ paradise:
and from their dreams it seemed impossible to [Sidenote: To Lord
Liverpool, dated Santa Marinha, 23 March, 1811.] wake them. On the 23rd
March, 1811, Lord Wellington had actually to write, beseeching the
Government to forego an intention which appeared to have been formed of
withdrawing the troops from Portugal on account of the expense of the
war. He had already urged on them the folly of starving an expedition in
the hope of securing popularity for their party; and he now boldly
asserted that if they carried out their intention, and freed the French
from the pressure of military operations in the Continent, they must
prepare to meet a French army in England. “Then,” he wrote, “would
commence an expensive contest;--then would His Majesty’s subjects
discover what are the miseries of war, of which, by the blessing of God,
they have hitherto had no knowledge.” It was a difficult task which Lord
Wellington had to perform,--not merely to fight his country’s battles
under difficulties and discouragement,--not merely to be exasperated by
advice, the folly of which was glaring,--but also in his few moments of
leisure to have to take up his pen, and teach her senators wisdom. The
superiority of England’s greatest General cannot be realised without a
careful study, not merely of his campaigns, but also of his

It is necessary now to turn to Marshal Beresford’s force, with which
was Major Dickson, now serving in command of the Portuguese Artillery.
It had been hoped that this army would reach Badajoz in sufficient time
to raise the French siege of that city; but a slight delay in
Beresford’s movements, combined with undoubted treachery on the part of
the garrison, frustrated this hope, and rendered it necessary to prepare
for a siege of the city with its now French garrison. From this time,
the reader will enjoy an advantage which cannot be overrated, and which
appears now for the first time in any narrative of the Peninsular War.

Sir Alexander Dickson was not merely a great Artilleryman, but also a
most methodical and industrious collector and registrar of details which
came under his notice. During the various sieges in the Peninsula which
were conducted by him, he kept diaries mentioning even the most trifling
facts: and on his return to England he procured from General Macleod the
whole of the long series of letters which he had written to him between
1811 and 1814. The mass of information which he thus possessed was
arranged, and at his death the whole passed into the hands of his son,
Sir Collingwood Dickson. In the hope that the papers of the most
prominent Artilleryman of the Duke of Wellington’s armies would be
useful in framing a history of the Corps in which he spent his life, Sir
Collingwood kindly placed them at the disposal of the author of this
history. Priceless under any circumstances, they are even more so from
the fact that several of the letter-books of the
Deputy-Adjutant-General’s department during the Peninsular War have been
mislaid;--and these refer chiefly to the periods covered by the
manuscripts of Sir Alexander Dickson. On the latter, therefore, the
narrative of the period between 1811 and 1814 will be chiefly based: and
it is hoped that the reproduction of the opinions and statements of one,
so able to express the former with confidence and the latter with
authority, will be a welcome addition to the literature of England’s
wars in the Peninsula.[25]

On the 9th April, 1811, Marshal Beresford advanced from the Guadiana and
invested Olivença. When he reconnoitred the place, Major Dickson pointed
out an inclosed lunette in front of the gate of San Francisco, from
which he knew, by a former visit to Olivença, that the curtain could be
battered in breach. Approving of the suggestion, Marshal Beresford
despatched Major Dickson to Elvas that night to bring up the siege
artillery. This consisted of six heavy brass 24-pounders, each provided
with all necessary stores, and with ammunition at the rate of 300 rounds
per gun. To move this battery and equipment from Elvas to Olivença 104
pairs of bullocks were required, and a company of Portuguese Artillery
attended as escort. On the 13th April the guns arrived at the camp
before Olivença, and immediately proceeded to the neighbourhood of the
point of attack. The breaching battery for four 24-pounders had been got
in complete readiness, and an attempt was accordingly made at once to
put the guns in battery. It was found, however, impossible to effect
this on that day, on account of the dreadful state of the roads, and the
circuit which the guns were obliged to take. By the night of the 14th,
the communications had been made practicable, and four guns were placed
in the battery, with ammunition and stores, in readiness to open fire at
dawn. Two field batteries of the King’s German Artillery were also
placed so as to keep the enemy’s fire in check. The field-pieces
employed by these were five 6-pounders and one 5½-inch howitzer.

The breaching battery did not open fire until 8 A.M., on the 15th, the
point aimed at being the curtain to the left of the San Francisco gate,
and the distance being about 340 yards. At 11 A.M. the enemy showed a
flag of truce, which occasioned a cessation of fire; but nothing
definite resulting, it was resumed, and after a few more rounds the
enemy surrendered at discretion. Major Dickson was much pleased with
the practice made by the young Portuguese Artillerymen under his
command. Only 320 rounds had been fired in the four hours, and yet the
breach was almost practicable. A brisk fire from five or six guns had
been kept up by the enemy against the breaching battery, and had
inflicted some slight loss; but the field guns of the German Artillery
did much to moderate it, firing about sixty rounds a gun.

[Sidenote: Sir. A. Dickson’s MSS.]

On taking Olivença the following ordnance was secured:--_Mounted_.
Brass, one 8-pounder and two 4-pounders; iron, five 12-pounders, two
8-pounders, and two 6-pounders. _Dismounted._ Brass, one 8-pounder;
iron, two 12-pounders.

On the 17th April, Major Dickson waited on Marshal Beresford at Zafra,
and received orders to proceed to Elvas to make preparations for the
siege of Badajoz. On the 20th Lord Wellington arrived at Elvas, and
issued instructions for the carrying on of the siege to Marshal
Beresford, Colonel Fletcher of the Engineers, and Major Dickson, the
last-named officer being appointed to direct the Artillery department of
the operation. From the 21st April to the 10th May, the greatest
exertions were made, both at Elvas and around Badajoz, to prepare the
necessary ordnance and stores for the siege, transport them, and make
and arm the batteries. The following shows, in a tabulated form, the
nature and distribution of the ordnance employed:--

[Sidenote: Prepared from various returns among Sir A. Dickson’s MSS.]

TABLE A.[26]


  April 23, 1811.--Ordnance selected for the Siege:--

  Sixteen brass 24-pounder guns.
  Eight     ”   16-pounder  ”
  Two 10-inch brass howitzers.
  Six 8-inch    ”      ”

  The ammunition to be at the rate of 800 rounds per gun, and 400
  rounds per howitzer.

  The following distribution of ordnance was determined on for the
  first operations of the siege, on the 8th May, 1811:--

  1. For the attack of St. Cristoval:

  24-pounders           3 } 5
  8-inch howitzers      2 }

  2. For the false attack on Pardaleras:

  24-pounders           3 } 4
  8-inch howitzer       1 }

  3. For the false attack on Picurina:

  24-pounders           3 } 4
  8-inch howitzer       1 }

  On the 9th May, the following additional ordnance was sent from
  Elvas for the St. Cristoval attack, viz.:

  24-pounders           2 } 3
  8-inch howitzer       1 }

  Four brass 12-pounders were at the same time ordered from Elvas to
  enfilade the bridge of Badajoz. Four guns for the attack of St.
  Cristoval were replaced on the 11th May--having been damaged--by
  three heavy 12-pounders and a field howitzer.

  On the 12th May, four 24-pounders were sent from the great park to
  the Cristoval attack.

On the 13th May the siege was ordered to be raised, as will hereafter be

       *       *       *       *       *

Badajoz was invested on the right bank on the 8th May, and on the
morning of the 11th the breaching battery against San Cristoval opened.
Being, however, totally unsupported, and having to resist a very heavy
fire from that fort and the Castle, the young Portuguese Artillerymen
proved unequal to the contest. Their practice, after a few rounds,
became very uncertain; and in the course of the morning the battery was
silenced, all the pieces being disabled except one howitzer.

On the night of the 11th, the battery intended to enfilade the bridge
was armed, and the disabled ordnance in the breaching battery exchanged.
Captain Hawker, commanding a 9-pounder field brigade of the Royal
Artillery, lately arrived from Lisbon, was directed to place himself
under the orders of Major Dickson, although regimentally senior to that
officer, and was placed in charge of the Artillery operations against
San Cristoval.

The commencement of the siege was very disheartening. On the day before
the solitary battery opened fire, the Allies had met with a severe loss
during a sally made by the garrison; and now, in a few hours their one
battery was silenced. Beresford was also disquieted by rumours which
reached him that Soult was on his way to raise the siege, and that he
would certainly arrive before the city could be taken. He therefore sent
for Major Dickson late on the night of the 11th, and desired him not to
bring forward any more ammunition or stores from Elvas, and to be in
readiness to remove at the shortest notice what had already arrived.
Colonel Fletcher also was ordered not to break ground that night against
the Castle. In event, however, of the operations proceeding, it was
arranged that four 24-pounders should be moved from the south attacks to
that of San Cristoval, and that they should be replaced by six
additional guns of the same calibre from Elvas.

On the morning of the 12th intelligence reached Beresford which led him
to doubt the accuracy of the reports which had reached him on the
previous day, and he ordered active operations to recommence at once.
Additional guns were therefore sent forward from the park at Elvas, and
at night ground was broken for the batteries against the Castle. The new
activity, however, was but short-lived; for positive information was
received at midnight as to the enemy’s movements. On the morning of the
13th the siege was ordered to be raised, and Major Dickson directed to
send the heavy ordnance, ammunition and stores back to Elvas. This duty
was admirably performed. As many pieces of ordnance were at once
despatched, as the means of conveyance would permit; and in the first
instance it was thought sufficient to take the pieces across the flying
bridge, and to park them in a situation not visible from Badajoz. On the
Cristoval side the guns were removed from the battery on the night of
the 13th; and at the same time the battery in the false attack against
Picurina was dismantled. The 14th May was spent in carrying away the
ordnance and stores in such a way as to conceal from the enemy the fact
that the siege was being raised; and by noon on the 15th the whole of
the besieging artillery and ammunition from the great park had been sent
across the river, and the flying bridge removed, while the park of the
Cristoval attack had been taken back to the vicinity of Elvas.

The investing troops on the south bank were then withdrawn; but a corps
remained on the north bank to cover the removal of the heavy artillery
to Elvas. Of the duty performed by Major Dickson on this occasion, under
Marshal Beresford’s orders, Napier writes that “the arrangements for
carrying off the stores were admirably executed; ... and that the
transactions were so well masked by the 4th Division, which, in concert
with the Spaniards, continued to maintain the investment, that it was
only by a sally on the rear-guard, in which the Portuguese piquets of
the 4th Division were very roughly treated, that the French knew the
siege was raised.”

The same author visits the failure of this siege, and the heavy losses
attending all the subsequent sieges carried on by the British in Spain,
on the absence of any properly-equipped corps of Sappers and Miners to
assist the officers of Engineers. The want of such a corps, with the
necessary implements, rendered, according to Napier, the British sieges
a mere succession of butcheries. But Sir Alexander Dickson was ready to
accept part of the responsibility of this failure for his own
department. In his diary of the first siege of [Sidenote: Sir A.
Dickson’s MSS.] Badajoz he wrote: “Every praise was due to the
Portuguese Artillery for the activity, zeal, and willingness they
displayed in this service. Indeed, nothing could exceed their personal
exertions; but, from their professional inexperience, Major Dickson has
great doubts whether a satisfactory result would have been obtained
without the assistance of a proportion [Sidenote: Dated Elvas, 22 May,
1811.] of better-trained Artillerymen.” At the same time, however, he
distinctly stated, in a letter to General Macleod, that his wish was not
to begin the fire from any one battery until the whole attack should be
more advanced, and that the Cristoval attack should be supported from
other points. He added that the battery against the Picurina, although
well placed as an auxiliary for general attack, afforded no support to
that against San Cristoval. In these points, he wrote, “my opinions
coincide entirely with those of Colonel Fletcher (R.E.), with whom it is
a pleasure to serve.”

Marshal Beresford was brave, but was better as an administrator in peace
than as a General in war. No praise can exceed his deserts in reference
to the organization and training of the Portuguese army, or his fidelity
to Wellington; but his abilities as a commander in the field were
feeble, and the success of his troops in the battle which followed the
raising of the siege of Badajoz was won in spite of, rather than by him.
Albuera was one of the fiercest battles of the Peninsula; with it the
name of Beresford will always be associated; but its chronicler will
always have to register with the stories of its gallantry that of his
incapacity. The policy of fighting the battle at all--a question which
lies with a General alone--was more than doubtful; but, even admitting
that it was wise, his tactics were extremely faulty, and the errors were
expiated only by the courage and losses of his men. With a General like
Soult against him, the arrangement of his army on the morning of the
16th May revealed a childlike innocence, which, in a General charged
with the lives of men, was criminal. Part of his army was still at
Badajoz, and could not possibly reach his position in time for the
battle;--part had barely succeeded in doing so on the eventful
morning;--he had, on the previous day, allowed the French to occupy a
wood on the other side of the Albuera River, where they could conceal
their intentions;--and, with marvellous blindness, he had allowed them
to secure a hill in the immediate front of his own right, behind which
they organized the famous attack, which so nearly proved fatal.

On the afternoon of the 15th, Major Dickson, having completed his duties
at Badajoz, proceeded to Albuera, where the army had taken up its
position, and resumed the command of his two brigades of Portuguese
Field Artillery. About the same hour on the morning of the 16th as that
on which General Cole’s division happily succeeded in joining
Beresford’s army, the enemy showed himself in force. The first
appearance was the advance of seven or eight squadrons of cavalry, some
light infantry, and a troop of horse artillery, from the wood towards
the bridge of Albuera by the Seville road. This was a feint, but not
immediately recognized as such by Marshal Beresford. They drove in the
English piquets, and formed in the plain, where they opened an artillery
fire towards the village of Albuera, a small place, which, with the
exception of its church, was almost in ruins, and which was without
inhabitants. This fire was answered by some of Major Dickson’s and of
the German Artillery, which directed their practice against the cavalry.
At first Major Dickson thought it was merely a reconnoissance; but it
was soon seen that the real attack was intended against the right, which
was composed of Blake’s Spanish troops. Beresford sent orders to Blake
to throw back the right at right angles to the line; but the command was
not obeyed until he went in person to enforce it, by which time the
French were upon them, harassing them, as they wheeled, with a murderous
fire. From the position occupied by Major Dickson near the bridge, which
was opposite the centre of the line, he first saw a column of infantry
advancing to the bridge by the same road as had been taken by the
cavalry, on which a brigade of General Stewart’s division was at once
sent to the village to support Baron Alten, who commanded there. Very
soon afterwards, however, he saw another column moving through the wood
in the direction of the Allied right, and as, at the same time, the
column approaching the bridge first halted, and then commenced to
retire, it was evident that the real French effort would be made
against the right. Stewart’s British brigade, therefore, at once marched
from the village to the right, followed by the rest of the division, and
Cole’s division formed up in support.

By this time a heavy shower of rain had commenced, which greatly
favoured the approach of the French columns against the Spaniards on the
right, and during which they passed the river, and advanced upon and
came round the height which the latter occupied, and on which they were
then, in great confusion, wheeling into a new position. In describing
the conduct of the Spanish troops at Albuera, Major Dickson, referring
to this particular episode in the [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 22 May,
1811.] battle, wrote to General Macleod as follows: “The fact is, the
Spaniards, once in line, could not be moved--I mean, could not
manœuvre--and the Marshal was obliged to use the British, that knew how
to move, or else our flank must have been completely turned.”

This quite corroborates Napier’s account of the battle. It was on the
hill occupied by the Spanish that the contest was decided; it was there
that the gallantry of the French Cavalry and the heroism of the English
Infantry were manifested; there a murderous artillery fire of grape at
close range was maintained incessantly on both sides; and it was there
that the grand final episode took place which was [Sidenote: Napier.]
described with poetic fervour by the great historian. “The Fusileer
battalions of Cole’s division advanced in gallant line, but, struck by
the iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships. But, suddenly
and sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies; and then
was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights....
Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of
undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm, weakened the stability of
their order; their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their
front, their measured tread shook the ground, their dreadful volleys
swept away the head of every formation, their deafening shouts
overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the
tumultuous crowd, as, slowly and with a horrid carnage, it was pushed
by the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the
height.... At last the mighty mass gave way, and, like a loosened cliff,
went headlong down the steep. The rain flowed after in streams
discoloured with blood; and eighteen hundred unwounded men, the remnant
of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers, stood triumphant on the
fatal hill!” Before this final charge took place, Beresford thought the
battle was lost, and commenced arrangements for a retreat. He ordered
the withdrawal of Alten’s Germans and Major Dickson’s guns from Albuera
bridge. This was strongly asserted by Napier, although denied by one of
his critics; and it is confirmed [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. 22 May, 1811.]
by a passage in one of Major Dickson’s letters. “The Marshal himself,
for a moment, thought he was defeated, as I received an order to
retreat, with my Artillery, towards Valverde, and Baron Alten
absolutely, by order, quitted the village for a moment. All this was,
however, soon countermanded and rectified.” To Colonel Hardinge was due
the credit of ordering the final and successful advance.

The Artillery force at Albuera, on the side of the Allies, comprised:--

[Sidenote: Sir A. Dickson to General Napier, dated 16 Dec. 1830, and to
Lord Beresford, dated 19 March, 1831, in correction of the former.]

    Captain Lefebure’s Troop of Royal Horse Artillery, consisting of
        4 6-pounders.
    Captain Hawker’s Brigade of Royal Artillery, now No. 4 Battery,
        7 Brigade, R.A., consisting of 4 9-pounders.
    Captain Cleeve’s Brigade, King’s German Artillery, consisting of
        5 6-pounders and 1 5½-inch howitzer.
    Captain Sympher’s Brigade, King’s German Artillery, consisting of
        5 6-pounders and 1 5½-inch howitzer.
    Captain Braun’s Brigade, Portuguese Artillery, consisting of
        6 9-pounders.
    Captain Arriaga’s Brigade, Portuguese Artillery, consisting of
        6 6-pounders.
    Spanish Artillery, consisting of 6 6-pounders.

No explanation is given in any of the Regimental records why Captain
Lefebure had only four guns; it may, however, be assumed that his troop
had not yet recovered the drain on its resources which was made on its
arrival in the Peninsula, when it was called upon to fill up the
vacancies in the Chestnut Troop.

A detailed statement of the services of the Artillery at Albuera was
forwarded by Major Dickson to General Howorth, for transmission to
England, but, unfortunately, was lost. The student has, therefore,
merely a private letter from Major Dickson to General Macleod to rely
upon, whose details are, of course, less ample than could be wished. In
it he mentioned that the cannonade on both sides was tremendous during
the whole battle, and that probably on few such occasions had there been
more casualties from artillery fire. Major Hartmann was in command of
the British and German Artillery; Major Dickson of the Portuguese. These
latter behaved admirably. Captain Lefebure’s troop also distinguished
itself, one gun having been, for a short time, taken, but afterwards
recovered. Captain Hawker’s brigade, from Major Dickson’s personal
observation, did great execution. General Cole spoke in the highest
terms of Captain Sympher’s brigade; and Captain Cleeve’s guns went
through a number of vicissitudes. Being placed on the hill, where the
great attack was made, the whole of them fell into the enemy’s hands,
but were afterwards recovered, with the exception of one howitzer. They
were admirably served until the French were actually amongst them; and
then retreat was impossible, the enemy’s cavalry having swept round the
hill, and taken them in rear.

Modern battles may dwarf those of the Peninsula in point of the numbers
engaged; but it is questionable if the British courage displayed at
Albuera, and the proportionate losses to the number engaged, have ever
been surpassed.

The severe fighting lasted about four hours; and in that time nearly
7000 of the Allies, and over 8000 French, were killed or wounded. On the
side of the Allies, over 4000 of the casualties were among the British
troops, only 1800 of the total number engaged being untouched. Major
Dickson, in describing the scene, said that every one declared they had
never seen such a field; that on the hill where the great struggle had
been, in the space of from 1000 to 1200 yards, there were certainly not
less than 6000 lying dead or wounded. Napier’s description of the field
after the battle is characteristically graphic, and leaves an indelible
impression on the reader’s mind. Such was the crippled and famished
state of the Allies, that, had the French attacked again on the 17th,
resistance would have been impossible. Fortunately, Soult resolved to
retire; and Lord Wellington, reaching Albuera on the 19th, sent
Beresford to watch his movements, while he himself proceeded to reinvest
Badajoz. The order issued by Marshal Beresford, after the battle,
included the following paragraph:--“To Major Hartmann and Major Dickson,
and to the officers and soldiers of the British, German, and Portuguese
Artillery, the greatest praise is due, and the Marshal returns them his
best thanks.” In [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated Elvas, 29 May, 1811.]
forwarding to the Ordnance a copy of this order, Major Dickson, with
soldierlike generosity, added: “The Marshal’s orders are not strong
enough in favour of the Fusileer Brigade, who really saved the day.” In
Lord Wellington’s letter to Admiral Berkeley, dated 20th May, 1811, he
said that he considered the battle of Albuera one of the most glorious
and honourable _to the character of the troops_ of any that had been
fought during the war. In Marshal Beresford’s report to Lord Wellington,
dated 18th May, 1811, he said: “I have every reason to speak favourably
of the manner in which our Artillery was served and fought. Captain
Lefebure’s troop of Horse Artillery did great execution.”

On the 19th May, 1811, Lord Wellington, Colonel Fletcher, and Major
Dickson arrived at Elvas, from Albuera, to make preparations for
resuming the siege of Badajoz. Colonel Framingham had joined at
head-quarters, and assumed command of the Royal and other Artillery; but
Lord Wellington expressed a wish that Major Dickson should continue to
direct all the arrangements for the siege, and communicate directly with
himself. This distinction caused no jealousy in Colonel Framingham’s
mind; on the other hand, that officer spoke of Major Dickson to Lord
Wellington in the highest terms, and during the siege assisted him in
every way. This was the beginning of a confidence between Lord
Wellington and Major Dickson, which only increased as the war went on;
and it is interesting to find, even thus early, the latter officer speak
of his great chief as follows: [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated Elvas, 29
May, 1811.] I have transacted business with many Generals, but never
such an one as Lord Wellington, both for general knowledge, and
attention to reason and suggestion.”

The story of the second unsuccessful siege of Badajoz, as of the first,
may be prefaced by showing in a tabular form some of the more important
Artillery statistics connected with it. These have been extracted from
the voluminous diary and almost daily correspondence of Major Dickson,
on which the summary, given afterwards in the form of narrative, is also



  May 22, 1811.--The following was the appropriation of ordnance
  determined upon for the siege:--


  24-pounders (brass)      12     24-pounders (brass)      14
  16-pounders               4     10-inch howitzers         2
  10-inch howitzers         2      8-inch howitzers         4
   8-inch howitzers         4                              __
                           __                              20
                           22                              __

  In reserve: 24-pounders (brass)  4

  Detail of men for siege artillery:--

  1st Regt. Portuguese Artillery: officers and men      100
  2nd           ”          ”         ”          ”       100
  3rd           ”          ”         ”          ”       300
  Royal Artillery          ”         ”          ”       110

Many of these guns were replaced during the siege, as may be gathered
from the following table:--

                                                    10-in.      8-in.
                                     24-pounders.  howitzers   howitzers.

  Disabled by the fire of the enemy        3           ..           3
  Disabled by the effects of their }      15            2           1
  own fire                         }
                                          __           __          __
         Total                            18            2           4 = 24.
                                          __           __          __

  The expenditure of ammunition during the siege was as follows:--

                                    24-pr.  24-pr.  16-pr.     Shell.
  No. of rounds.                    round   grape   round
                                    shot.   shot.   shot.    10-in. 8-in.

  North, or San Cristoval Attack      5950     200    1134      62     989
  South, or Castle Attack             8419     441      ..     640    1090
                                     _____     ___    ____     ___    ____
  Total                              14369     641    1134     702    2079
                                     _____     ___    ____     ___    ____

  N.B.--The totals given above, and in the first table (Table A),
  agree with those given by Sir J. Jones; but the details here are
  more minute. It was but natural that Sir J. Jones, being an
  Engineer officer, should devote more space and detail to the
  labours of his own corps; but his artillery details in most sieges
  in the Peninsula were obtained from Sir A. Dickson and Sir J. May,
  and generally agree with the MSS. of the former.

On the 10th June Lord Wellington determined on raising the siege.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the night of the 30th May the trenches were opened on both attacks,
and great progress was made. The whole of the guns for the batteries
were also set in movement, with ammunition at the rate of 300 rounds per

Captain Rainsford’s company (now No. 7 Battery, 17th Brigade) having
arrived from Lisbon, the Artillerymen were divided as follows:--


  Major Dickson commanding.

                                                          Officers’ Names.

  Royal Artillery                 55 officers and men.    Captain Rainsford.
  1st Reg. Portuguese Artillery  100      ”               Captain Latham.
  2nd ” ”                        100      ”               Lieut. Saunders.
  3rd ” ”                         50      ”               Lieut. Willis.
                    Total        305


  Captain Cleeves, (K.G.A.), commanding under Major Dickson.

                                                          Officers’ Names.

  Royal Artillery                 55 officers and men.    Lieut. Hawker.
  3rd Reg. Portuguese Artillery  250      ”               Lieut. Connel.
                       Total     305

[Sidenote: Lord Wellington to the Earl of Liverpool, dated 13 June,

This gave but a very small relief; and Lord Wellington remarked, after
the raising of the siege, that some of the Royal Artillery were
indefatigable, and had never quitted their batteries.

Captain Latham was the 2nd Captain of Captain Hawker’s Field Brigade,
and was lent for the service of the siege train. [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G.
dated 13 June, 1811.] Of him Major Dickson afterwards said: “I assure
you the assistance I derived from his professional knowledge and
activity can never be forgotten by me.” Instances like this, and others
hereafter to be mentioned, when even Horse Artillerymen served in the
trenches, are arguments against the necessity of any _complete_ divorce
between the Field and Garrison branches of the Artillery service. Of
Captain Rainsford’s company--now 7 Battery, 17th Brigade--Major
[Sidenote: Ibid.] Dickson wrote: “It was of wonderful assistance; it is
an uncommon fine one.”

[Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. 20 June, 1811.]

On the 1st June the batteries on both sides were in a very forward
state, and two on the north side received their armament. On the south
side several guns were brought into the parallel, ready for mounting on
the following night, when the batteries should be prepared for them. By
half-past 8 o’clock on the morning of the 3rd everything was ready; and
on the south side a fire was commenced with fourteen guns against the
point which it was intended to breach. The fire was most vigorous, and,
although well replied to, gave considerable hopes of success. Two of the
guns became disabled from the effects of their own fire,--a casualty
whose recurrence during the siege was most monotonous. On the north side
No. 1 Battery was partly employed to breach San Cristoval, and partly to
enfilade the Castle front; No. 2 to breach San Cristoval; No. 3 against
the defences of the same fort; and No. 4 to keep in check the tête de
pont and enfilade the bridge. The breach in San Cristoval was begun in
the shoulder to the right of the work, where it formed a dead angle; and
in firing at this from a battery on the north side, a gun, on the very
first night, became disabled by muzzle-drooping. These incidents will
prepare the reader for the verdict of condemnation which was
unanimously passed on the armament of the Allied siege trains in the
earlier Peninsular sieges.

The howitzers were used as mortars, by taking the wheels off the
carriages and inventing means of elevating them. Major Dickson had
carefully tested what was the extreme elevation at which they could be
used with safety, and found the _maximum_ was an angle of 30°.
Righteous, therefore, was his indignation when he learnt that, in spite
of his own and Captain Cleeves’ positive orders, an officer on duty on
the north side, whom he tersely stigmatised as “a brute of a Portuguese
Captain,” had thought proper to elevate them to 40° or 42°, with a
charge of 2½ lbs. to 3 lbs., the result being that both carriages were
rendered entirely unserviceable, without any means of replacing them.

On the 4th June, the fire from the south side continued, but with less
effect, the shot entering the wall without bringing down any part of it
worthy of mention. On this day another gun was disabled at the vent by
the effect of its own fire; and one was rendered unserviceable by that
of the enemy. On the 4th very considerable progress was made in the
breach at San Cristoval. During the night a new battery was opened in
the south attack, and the guns from No. 1 Battery removed to it.

The 5th of June was a very disheartening day. The progress in the breach
of the south attack was little more hopeful than on the 4th; and before
afternoon the batteries were reduced--principally by their own fire--to
nine serviceable guns. Major Dickson, therefore, proceeded to Lord
Wellington, and obtained his permission to bring six _iron_ 24-pounders
from Elvas to the south attack. The breach in San Cristoval made by the
north attack made apparent progress, but was not yet deemed practicable.
Here, also, one or two of the guns showed symptoms of giving way.

On the 6th June, Lieutenant Hawker of the Royal Artillery was killed in
the north attack:--a gallant young officer, of whom Major Dickson wrote,
“He has never been out of No. 1 Battery from the commencement of the
fire.” In the south attack, a steady fire was kept up from the nine
serviceable guns during this day, and more progress was made in
breaching the wall, than had been effected during the two preceding
days. Before night, the breach was practicable for a single person. In
the evening, the breach at San Cristoval was also considered practicable
for an assault, which accordingly was ordered, but repulsed. The enemy
had previously cleared the breach, leaving a certain portion of the wall
standing perpendicular: and their fire was so warm that the troops could
not face it at the breach for any time. Attempts were made to escalade
at one or two other points, but the ladders were too short; so the party
had to retire with a loss of 130 men.

On the 7th June, another battery of the south attack, No. 3, was
completed; and the iron guns, having arrived from Elvas, were mounted
during the night. The breach on this side was a little improved, but the
resistance of the wall was far in excess of Major Dickson’s

On the 8th June, under a fire from 16 24-pounders in the south attack,
the breach on that side seemed large enough to admit several persons
abreast. On the north side, the fire continued, but the breach was not
yet deemed again practicable. During the night of the 8th, grape-shot
was fired from the south side, but the Portuguese grape was extremely
bad, and the enemy was successful in clearing away all the rubbish from
the breach, in spite of the fire, leaving to view a considerable height
of wall yet uninjured. A quantity of 3-pounder shot was therefore
brought up from Elvas, which, when tied up in bags containing eight or
ten each, formed a better description of grape. Various guns in both
attacks showed symptoms of distress during this day.

On the 9th June, there were only twelve or thirteen guns left
serviceable on the south side after the day’s firing, but the breach was
decidedly larger, and grape was fired all night to prevent the enemy
working at it. On the north side, there were only eight or nine guns
left undisabled in in the evening, but the breach at San Cristoval was
pronounced practicable; and another attempt was made, at 9 o’clock, to
carry it by assault. It was, however, again repulsed; for it was found
that, notwithstanding the appearance of the breach, there was a
perpendicular wall about 6 or 7 feet high still standing, which had been
concealed from view by the counterscarp: and the enemy had taken every
precaution to keep it clear of the _débris_ of the breach. The gallantry
of the assailants was as great, as the defence [Sidenote: Major Dickson
to D.-A.-G. 26 June, 1811.] of the French was resolute. The ladders were
thrown down,--grenades thrown among the stormers in great abundance, and
masses of stone hurled down upon them. With the loss of 150 men, the
assailants were obliged to retire.

On the following morning it was found that the grape-shot from the south
attack had been successful in preventing the enemy from working at the
breach, and preparations for resuming the battering had been ordered,
when Major Dickson received a summons from Lord Wellington. He met him
[Sidenote: Dickson’s MSS.] with Colonel Fletcher on the north side: and
they were informed that he had decided on raising the siege. He
mentioned his reasons; but he particularly pointed out the impossibility
of getting possession of San Cristoval without advancing to the crest of
the _glacis_;--the still difficult situation of the main breach on the
south side;--the imprudence of attempting it, even when practicable,
without first having Cristoval;--the strong entrenchments which the
enemy had had time to construct within the breach;--and finally the
approach of the enemy in such force that prudence would not allow him to
be caught by them in the midst of a siege. [Sidenote: Major Dickson to
D.-A.-G.c Elvas, 13 June, 1811.] Soult was at this time in force at
Llerena, and Drouet’s corps was reported as having joined him; while the
Northern French army under Marmont was also in motion.

Major Dickson immediately set to work, and by the evening of the 12th
the whole of the guns, stores, and ammunition were either in Elvas
again, or at such a distance as to be in perfect safety in all

“Thus,” wrote Major Dickson to General Macleod, “ended this siege, in
which everything that artillery could do was done, considering our
miserable means; and this Lord Wellington was good enough to express,
both to Colonel Framingham and myself. The brass guns could not stand
the necessary fire, and their destruction, I am of opinion, was
considerably occasioned by the lowness of the shot, which generally had
so much windage that you could put your fingers in between the shot and
the bore.... On the whole I have to observe that our batteries were too
far off.... The whole principle of the attack was founded on the
supposed weakness of the Castle wall, which it was thought could be beat
down at a distance. On discovering the difficulty of this, the batteries
were thrown forward as far as they could, at the same time avoiding the
fire of the modern fronts, nor could they be advanced farther until
Cristoval was in our hands. Indeed, if that had been carried, I think we
should have got the place.... Lord Wellington was good enough to say
that everything that could be done on our parts, had been done.”

The casualties among the Artillery during the siege were as follows:--

  Officers, Royal Artillery           Lieut. E. Hawker, killed.
                                      Lieut. W. Saunders, wounded.

  Officers, Portuguese Artillery      Captain Barreiros, wounded.
                                      Lieut. Lopez, wounded dangerously.

                                               Killed.  Wounded.

  N.-C. officers and men, Royal Artillery           0        4
          ”        ”      Portuguese Artillery      6       28
                                                   __       __
                                         Total      6       32
                                                   __       __

  The total loss of the Allies amounted to 118 killed, and 367
  wounded and taken prisoners.

In his despatch to Lord Liverpool, announcing the raising of the siege,
in addition to expressing his great satisfaction with the Corps, Lord
Wellington said that the British service had derived great advantage in
the different operations against Badajoz from Major Dickson’s zeal,
activity, and intelligence.

The subsequent sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and of Badajoz, which took place
in 1812, were in marked contrast to those described in this chapter; and
the rapidity with which the breaches were then made was mainly due to
the employment of iron ordnance from England, instead of the miserable
brass Portuguese guns which were employed in the sieges of [Sidenote: To
Lord Liverpool, 13 June, 1811.] 1811.[27] Of these guns, Lord Wellington
truly said that they were very ancient and incomplete, and that their
fire was very uncertain. It had at first been intended to fire at the
rate of 120 rounds a gun _per diem_: but that was soon found to be
impossible with the wretched brass pieces at the disposal of Major
Dickson. It was therefore reduced to 80 rounds; but even with this
limited expenditure the guns were repeatedly disabled by the effect of
their own fire.

The Peninsular sieges cannot be thoroughly understood without two points
being borne in mind. First, the besieged cities belonged to, and were
inhabited by, the allies of England, and the war was only with the
garrison. The Artillery fire, therefore, was confined to breaching, and
dismounting the ordnance in battery,--not used for bombardment.
Secondly, the sieges were mere episodes in Wellington’s general
operations, not goals to which these operations tended. Hence, in 1811,
the raising of sieges, without hesitation, after but a brief
continuance; and hence, also, in 1812, the rapidity and loss of life
with which he stormed cities, rather than complicate his plans by
indulging in siege operations of a longer and, perhaps, more regular



The enemy approaching in force, after the raising of the second siege of
Badajoz, the Allies crossed the river on the 17th June, 1811, and on the
19th encamped between Elvas and Campo Maior. Elvas had been put in a
state of siege, and a position had been marked out behind Campo Maior,
in case the French should show any inclination to attack. The bold front
which Lord Wellington here showed deceived the two French Marshals,
Marmont and Soult, who had now united their armies, and entered Badajoz
in triumph, [Sidenote: Major Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. dated 26 June, 1811.]
congratulating its gallant governor, Philippon. They concluded that he
must have received great reinforcements; and although they crossed the
Guadiana with a great body of cavalry supported with infantry, and one
or two small affairs with the outposts took place,--they declined a
general engagement. A want of _entente cordiale_ between Marmont and
Soult led soon to a separation,--the latter moving towards Seville,
whither Wellington despatched Blake’s Spanish troops,--and the former
marching away by the valley of the [Sidenote: Cust.] Tagus towards
Almaraz. Thus relieved of their presence, Lord Wellington took up his
quarters at Pontalegre, and allowed his army to have some repose after
its recent exertions.

This seems a favourable moment for placing before the reader a tabular
return (_see next page_) which shows the gradual increase in the
Artillery element of Lord Wellington’s army in the Peninsula. Prepared
from the monthly returns, it shows the numbers at different periods,
distinguishing between the Royal and Foreign Artilleries. The point
which will doubtless strike the reader most is the steady increase in
the force of Horse Artillery and Artillery drivers, which took
place; marking the growing recognition of that which had hitherto been
overlooked to a great extent,--the value of mobility in Field Artillery.

under the Command of the DUKE of WELLINGTON in the PENINSULA and FRANCE
at the undermentioned periods.

(_Extracted from the Monthly Returns._)

  |                                              |    1811.   |      1812.    |        1813.        |      1814.    |
  +                                              +------+-----+--------+------+-----+-----+---------+--------+------+
  |                                              |March.| May.|January.|April.| May.|July.|December.|January.|April.|
  |1. General, Field, and Staff Officers, not  } |     8|    8|       9|    10|   11|   11|        9|      10|     8|
  |     included on Company Rolls              } |      |     |        |      |     |     |         |        |      |
  |2. Royal Horse Artillery                      |   495|  499|     699|   728|  926|  988|    1,016|   1,007| 1,021|
  |3. Royal Foot Artillery                       |   884|1,111|     996| 1,327|1,876|1,862|    1,950|   1,985| 1,966|
  |4. Royal Artillery Drivers                    |   777|  858|   1,040| 1,159|2,154|2,150|    2,683|   2,719| 2,734|
  |5. Ordnance Medical Staff                     |     9|   10|      18|    18|   27|   26|       29|      29|    29|
  |6. Field Train or Commissariat Department   } |    84|   86|     129|   121|  130|  128|      153|     154|   148|
  |     of the Ordnance                        } |      |     |        |      |     |     |         |        |      |
  |     General Total of Royal British Artillery | 2,257|2,572|   2,891| 3,363|5,124|5,165|    5,840|   5,904| 5,897|
  |King’s German Artillery                       |   421|  412|     449|   434|  450|  446|      430|     439|   412|

N.B.--The Field Train Department attached to the Engineers is not
included, as it did not appear in the Monthly Returns of the Artillery.

General Howorth vacated the command of the Artillery in the Peninsula in
July 1811, being obliged to return to England on account of
ill-health,--and was shortly afterwards succeeded by General Borthwick.
This officer was wounded at Ciudad Rodrigo, and returned to England,--a
coolness having sprung up between him and Lord Wellington, which
recurred with one of his successors, and continued until the command of
the Artillery devolved upon his favourite, then _Colonel_ Dickson, a few
months after the siege of Burgos.

[Sidenote: Major Dickson D.-A.-G. dated Castel Branco, 23 Jul. 1811.]

On the 19th July, 1811, Lord Wellington sent for Colonel Fletcher,
Colonel Framingham, and Major Dickson, and informed them that it was his
intention to attempt the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo; and after a little
conversation as to the means of transport, &c., he desired Major Dickson
to proceed to Oporto, to superintend the conveyance of the English
battering train up the Douro to Lamego, and thence by land to Francoso,
whence it would also be conveyed by land to its final destination. This
battering train had arrived in Lisbon in the first instance, and had
been carried secretly to Oporto, with a view to the proposed siege of
Ciudad Rodrigo, its ostensible destination being Cadiz.[28] Two new
companies of Artillery which had arrived in Lisbon were now ordered to
Oporto to assist Major Dickson. In all these arrangements Lord
Wellington underrated the strength of the French army in the north of
the Peninsula.

[Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated Oporto, 27 Aug. 1811.]

Major Dickson reached Almeida, on his way to Oporto, on the 28th July,
and arrived at the latter place on the 3rd August, where he found
Captain Bredin’s and Captain Glubb’s companies--now H Battery, 1st
Brigade, and 5 Battery 5th Brigade--waiting his orders. Before the 13th
the whole of the train had been embarked in boats, about 160 in number,
and despatched to Lamego; but the work and the climate proved too much
for Major Dickson, and before he could follow the train he was struck
down with a violent fever, accompanied by delirium. When first attacked,
he requested Lord Wellington to send some one to take up his duties,
and, accordingly, his friend Captain May was sent, and superintended the
movement of the train until the 5th September, when the gallant Dickson,
only half recovered, and travelling in a litter, arrived at Lamego. Here
he found that all the guns and stores had marched for Villa da Ponte,
and that Captain May was on the point of following [Sidenote: Major
Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. dated Villa da Ponte, 13 Sept. 1811.] them. On the
8th Major Dickson left Lamego, and reached Villa da Ponte on the 10th,
where he fell an immediate victim to a relapse of fever, which lasted
acutely several days. Captain Bredin’s company had, in the meantime,
been recalled to the head-quarters of the army, to take over the brigade
of guns from Captain Thompson’s, which was almost _hors de combat_ from
sickness.[29] The troops left with the battering train were therefore
reduced to Captain Glubb’s company of Royal Artillery, about 250
Portuguese Artillery, and from 1200 to 1400 Portuguese Militia, intended
to assist on the march. Captain Holcombe’s company of Royal Artillery
was hourly expected. That company is now No. 4 Battery 2nd Brigade.

[Sidenote: Ibid. 20 Sept. 1811.]

On the march, the battering train had been arranged by Captain May as
follows. It was divided, as far as the ordnance was concerned, into five
divisions; each gun marched with 350 rounds, and each howitzer and
mortar with 160 rounds. An officer was placed in charge of each
division, and each division marched separately. The remaining stores and
ammunition requisite to furnish a total of 800 rounds per gun, and 400
for each howitzer and mortar, were under the charge of the Commissary
and other officers, and marched in rear.

While at Villa da Ponte, awaiting orders from Lord Wellington for a
further advance, Major Dickson’s correspondence was of a nature which
reveals to the reader more of the personal element than his letters, as
a rule, allow to become visible. The alternate hoping and despairing as
to orders for advance,--the _ennui_ produced by enforced idleness,--the
impetuous way in which he would fling himself into professional
discussions with General Macleod, merely to occupy his leisure,--the
spasmodic fits of zeal in improving the arrangement of the immense
train,--all unite to present to the reader a very vivid picture of him
whose hand, so long still, penned these faded letters. His recurring
attacks of fever--followed by apologies like the following: “The fact
is, when I am well I forget all, take violent exercise at all times and
seasons, and knock myself up; but I am determined to be more careful in
future”--followed by an inevitable relapse, in proof of the failure of
his good resolutions,--combine to bring before the reader a very lovable
picture of a very earnest man. It is by such study alone that the
Artilleryman can realise the characters of the great among his
predecessors in the Corps, and by such links that he can bind them to
himself with that almost family tie, of which the Regimental union is
but an expansion.

[Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 27 Sept. 1811.]

The extent of the battering train under Major Dickson’s command was as
follows:--34 24-pounders, 4 18-pounders, 16 iron 5½-inch howitzers, 2
8-inch howitzers, and 8 10-inch mortars; and much of his leisure at
Villa da Ponte was devoted to improving and renewing the somewhat
shattered [Sidenote: Ibid. 22 Nov, 1811.] carriages of this ordnance. On
the 16th November he received an order from Lord Wellington to commence
moving the battering train to Almeida; and by the 21st the last
[Sidenote: Ibid. 4 Dec. 1811.] division, spare carriages, &c., had left.
The march was most successful. No fewer than 1100 bullocks were employed
for the divisions alone, apart from the reserve of stores; and in no
case did the march occupy more than six days, although the country was
very mountainous; nor did a single accident occur. The bringing up the
reserve of ammunition and stores was delayed by want of means of
conveyance; and pending its arrival, Lord Wellington requested Major
Dickson to superintend the unspiking of the ordnance in Almeida, and the
placing the batteries in a state of defence. In this occupation the
reader is requested to leave him while he returns to the movements of
Lord Wellington, which were now assuming an active form.

The English General had moved northward, with the view of besieging
Ciudad Rodrigo; and a summary of his movements may be given from some
admirable MS. letters, written by Captain May on his return to the
head-quarters of the army. On the 23rd September the enemy’s advanced
guard was near Ciudad Rodrigo. The French army was under Marmont and
Dorsenne, and numbered 60,000 men, including 6000 cavalry. On the 24th,
the whole of this cavalry had crossed the Agueda, about 10,000 infantry
remaining on the other side. On the 25th the enemy advanced, and
Wellington disputed the ground, retiring gradually to the position at
Fuente de Guinaldo. In this advance the enemy’s cavalry and artillery
were principally engaged; and on the side of the Allies, the Cavalry,
Portuguese Artillery, and Cole’s and Picton’s divisions of Infantry.
During this forward movement the enemy, by a charge of cavalry, gained
possession of five Portuguese guns, which, however, were speedily
recaptured by the 5th Regiment of Foot, in a most gallant and intrepid
manner. On the 26th, the Allies remained all day in the position of
Guinaldo, which extended from the right and front of the town for four
miles towards Ituero, the woods being occupied by two Infantry brigades
from the right down to the Agueda. Thus posted, they witnessed the
arrival of the whole French army, the last of which did not arrive until
sunset. On satisfying himself as to their numbers, and bearing in mind
the great extent of country to be watched, Lord Wellington determined to
retire in the evening to a more favourable position for concentration
and battle. The army, therefore, began its march to the rear at 10 P.M.,
and next day, the 27th, everything was in the neighbourhood of the new
position, which occupied a length of about six miles. The left was near
Reudon, on the Coa, and the right in the rear of Çouta, resting on the
mountains. When daylight revealed to the enemy the masterly retreat
which had taken place, some cavalry and infantry were pressed forward,
and the Allied piquets were driven in; but Wellington, suddenly assuming
the offensive, drove them back from Alfaites to Aldea da Ponte, his
troops occupying the latter village. After sunset, however, the enemy
advanced in such force, in front and also on the flanks of the village,
that the officer commanding there wisely withdrew his troops to
Alfaites. This final advance of the French was made to cover a retreat
which had now been determined on. On the morning of the 28th nothing
could be seen of them; and on the 29th it was learnt that they were
moving back on Ciudad Rodrigo. After they had thrown provisions into
that city, they continued to retire, and went into cantonments in the
neighbourhood of Salamanca. The British army did the same between the
Coa and the Agueda, Lord Wellington, with his head-quarters at Freneda,
keeping watch on the city which he had determined to take.

The only brilliant affair which took place between this time and the
successful sieges, which will now have to be mentioned, was the surprise
of Girard’s division by General Hill, at Arroyo de Molinos. As, however,
the Artillery with Hill’s force was Portuguese,--Major Hawker’s
9-pounder brigade of Royal Artillery having been unable to get up on
account of the state of the roads,--its further notice in this work will
be unnecessary.

Taking advantage of the French troops being scattered in their
cantonments, and having ascertained that large reinforcements from
Marmont’s army had been detached to Valencia, Lord Wellington resolved
on a short, sharp siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. In the end of December he
sent for [Sidenote: Major Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. 1 Jan. 1812.] Major
Dickson, and directed him to move forward the battering train and stores
from Almeida, Galegos being made the intermediate depôt. To the latter
place the army head-quarters were moved on the 7th July.

The main interest to the military reader in the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo
and Badajoz, in 1812, attaches to the gallantry of the Infantry. The
monotonous, albeit shortlived, work in the batteries is drowned in the
recollection of the scenes of valour at the final assault. In these
pages, therefore, the Artillery share in the sieges will assume, of
necessity, the form of a few dry statistics.

The Artillery present at the siege included 185 of the Royal Artillery
and 370 of the Portuguese. The names of the officers of the Royal
Artillery who were present were General Borthwick, Major Dickson,
Captains Holcombe, Thompson, Power, Dundas, and Dyneley; Lieutenants
Bourchier, Love, Johnstone, Ingilby, Smith, and Grimes; and Captain May,

The batteries opened in the afternoon of the 14th January, 1812, the
guns having narrowly escaped being spiked in the morning of that day. On
the night of the 19th, the breaches were pronounced practicable, and
Wellington announced in orders, “Ciudad Rodrigo _must_ be stormed this
evening.” Except on the 16th and part of the 17th, the weather was clear
and admirably suited for artillery practice, and the batteries were in
action daily for an average of eight and a half hours.

The guns employed were as follows:--On January 14th, 20 24-pounders and
2 18-pounders; on January 15th, 23 24-pounders and 2 18-pounders; on
January 16th and 17th, the same; on January 18th, 30 24-pounders and 2
18-pounders; and on January 19, 30 24-pounders.[30]

The expenditure of ammunition during this short siege was as
follows,--the total number of guns in battery having been 34
24-pounders, and 4 18-pounders:--

    24-pr. guns: Round shot, 8950. Rounds expended per gun, 263.
    18-pr. guns: Round shot, 565. Rounds expended per gun, 141.

The absence of mortars and howitzers from this siege was explained by
the increased amount of transport required for shell, compared with
shot, and by the fact that Lord Wellington had resolved on an assault
the moment a breach was practicable, without any other siege operations.
Shot were, therefore, all that was necessary, except for keeping the
enemy from working at the breach.

[Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 29 Jan. 1812.]

The following extract from a letter written by Major Dickson after the
siege, is interesting:--“Lord Wellington has certainly made a most
brilliant _coup_, and, I am convinced, astonished the enemy by the
rapidity of his operations. They intended to relieve the place and raise
the siege about this day (29th January). We were certainly favoured by
the most delightful weather--excessively cold, but perfectly dry. It was
not even necessary to put the powder under the laboratory tents, which I
was enabled to spare to keep the poor fellows from the pinching frost;
for we were nearly without cover.... I am hard pressed for time, but I
must say a word in favour of our fine fellows of the Corps. They were
(Portuguese and all) at relief and relief, off and on; but nothing could
exceed their zeal and activity, and their work speaks for itself. _Never
was better practice made._ I had only 430 Artillerymen of both
nations,--about 130 British, and the rest Portuguese. We had somewhere
more than 50 Artillerymen killed and wounded, but no officer materially
hurt. The latter days, to make it up, I had some help from our own field
Artillery:--part of Lawson’s company was one day in the trenches, and
part of Sympher’s German company another.”

[Sidenote: MS. Return dated 26 Jan. 1812.]

The actual number of killed and wounded between the 14th and 19th
January,--while the siege lasted,--was as follows (excluding Portuguese

  Captains Dyneley and Power, wounded.

  Captain Glubb’s company, now 5 Battery, 5th Brigade; 2 gunners
  died of their wounds; 2 gunners wounded slightly.

  Captain Holcombe’s company, now 4 Battery, 2nd Brigade; 1 gunner
  killed; 17 non-commissioned officers and men wounded.

  Captain Lawson’s company, now H Battery, 8th Brigade; 1 gunner
  died of his wounds; 2 gunners wounded.

  Captain Sympher’s company (K.G.A.); 1 gunner killed; 3 gunners

The ammunition expended was:--8950 rounds from 24-pounders, and 565 from

[Sidenote: To Lord Liverpool, dated 20 Jan. 1812.]

In Lord Wellington’s despatch, announcing the successful termination of
the siege, he--after extolling Major Dickson’s conduct of the Artillery
operations--proceeded to say: “The rapid execution produced by the
well-directed fire kept up from our batteries affords the best proof of
the merits of the officers and men of the Royal Artillery, and of the
Portuguese Artillery, employed on this occasion; but I must particularly
mention Brigade-Major May, and Captains Holcombe, Power, Dyneley, and
Dundas, of the Royal Artillery.”

General Borthwick’s name is not mentioned, either in the despatch or
among the wounded; but he appears in Kane’s list--generally most
accurate in its details--as having been in command of the Artillery, and
also as having been wounded, during the siege.

Ciudad Rodrigo had hardly fallen, before Lord Wellington resolved to
attempt a third siege of Badajoz,--now that he had suitable ordnance. He
ordered Major Dickson to proceed on the 30th January to Setubal, calling
at Elvas to make some necessary arrangements. From Setubal he was
directed to send 16 24-pounders of a new battering train, which had
arrived, to Elvas,--as well as 20 guns of the same calibre, which were
to be furnished from the navy. The whole of these guns were to travel on
block carriages. The difficulty of sending the heavy guns of the train
at Almeida to Elvas led to this arrangement: but it was decided to send
the 24-pounder howitzers, as being much lighter, and also a number of
24-pounder carriages, which were stored at Almeida. By this means it was
hoped to have speedily equipped at Elvas a new battering train of 36
iron 24-pounder guns, and 16 24-pounder howitzers,--an armament very
different from the brass Portuguese guns which had assailed the
stronghold of Philippon twice before.

So incessant was the work which now devolved on Major Dickson that he
had no time for correspondence, and there is a great blank, where the
student had hoped to find much that was interesting. From other sources,
therefore, the Artillery details of a siege, which can never be
forgotten, must be procured. As at Ciudad Rodrigo, the Infantry share in
the operations dwarfs all other;--but it dwarfs it to even a greater
extent. The story of the storming of Badajoz is one which will thrill
the heart of every Briton for all time; which will bind together by
sacred memories the regiments which were so nobly represented on that
day; and which will impress on all, who study it, the truth of Napier’s
words, that “a British army bears with it an awful power.” The scene on
the night of the 6th April, 1812, was one before which the energy, zeal,
and proficiency of the Artillery on the preceding days pale away into
nothingness; and the chronicling of their humble statistics seems almost
an impertinence. For, the night of the 6th [Sidenote: Napier.] was,
indeed, one in which “many died, and there was much glory;” it was one
in which death took many and hideous forms,--“the slain dying not all
suddenly, nor by one manner of death; some perishing by steel, some by
shot, some by water, some crushed and mangled by heavy weights, some
trampled upon, some dashed to atoms by fiery explosions;” and yet it was
a night in which the most cruel death was fair to look on,--because
hallowed by marvellous courage and rare devotion.

[Sidenote: Tables published by an officer of Artillery in 1819.]

The breaches, which were rendered famous by this combat “so fiercely
fought, so terribly won,” were virtually made between the 30th March and
the 6th April. On the 30th March 8 18-pounders were in action for purely
breaching purposes; on the following day, this number was increased, by
12 24-pounders, and 6 18-pounders, to 26 guns; and these remained in
action, for 13 hours a day, until the storming of the place. Of round
shot, alone, no fewer than 18,832 24-pr., and 13,029 18-pr., were
expended during the short siege; besides 1163 24-pounder grape shot,
and 496 of the same from the 18-pounders. Of the round shot, 23,896 were
employed in forming the three breaches. Besides the breaching guns,
there were 10 24-pounder and 18-pounder guns, and 16 5½-inch howitzers,
employed for enfilading and other fire. From the last mentioned, 507
common shell and 1319 spherical case were fired during the siege.

[Sidenote: Tables published by an officer of Artillery in 1819.]

The three breaches were rendered practicable from a distance of between
600 and 700 yards; and the curtain breach was made in one day, the day
of the assault. To the rapidity of the making of this breach was much of
the success in the final storming due; because, had several days been
required, measures would have been adopted by the defenders during the
intervening nights to render it wholly impracticable. In making this
curtain breach, 14 guns were employed, with an expenditure of 3514

Colonel Framingham commanded the Allied Artillery during the siege, but
Major Dickson virtually directed the operations. From a rough MS. diary
in the Record Office, in the handwriting of the latter officer, it would
appear that the strength of the Artillery was as follows:--

                                                        N.-C. officers
                                                          and men.

  Captain Holcombe’s company                                110
  Captain Gardiner’s ditto[32]                              110
  Captain Glubb’s (commanded by Captain Power)  company      78
  Captain Rettberg’s (King’s German Artillery)  ditto        30

There were also 377 of the 3rd Regiment, and 249 of the 2nd Regiment, of
Portuguese Artillery.

[Sidenote: To Lord Liverpool, 7 April, 1812.]

In his despatch, after the storming of the city, Lord Wellington said:
“Major Dickson conducted the details of the Artillery service during
this siege, as well as upon former occasions, under the general
superintendence of Lieut.-Colonel Framingham, who, since the absence of
Major-General Borthwick, has commanded the Artillery with this army. I
cannot sufficiently applaud the officers and soldiers of the British and
Portuguese Artillery during this siege, particularly Lieut.-Colonel
Robe, who opened the breaching batteries, Majors May and Holcombe,
Captain Gardiner and Lieutenant Bourchier, of the Royal Artillery;
Captain de Rettberg, of the King’s German Artillery; and Major Tulloh,
of the Portuguese. Adverting to the extent of the details of the
Ordnance Department during this siege, to the difficulty of weather,
&c., with which Major Dickson had to contend, I must mention him most
particularly to your Lordship.” Besides the officers named in the
despatch, there were present in the batteries Captains Power, Latham,
Dundas, and Dansey; and Lieutenants Weston, Connel, Grimes, and Love.

The loss of the Royal Artillery during the siege was as follows:--

    Killed: Captain Latham, Lieutenant Connel, and 23 non-commissioned
        officers and men.
    Wounded: Captain Dundas, Lieutenants Grimes and Love, and 48
        non-commissioned officers and men.[33]
    Major Tulloh, an officer of the Royal Artillery attached to the
        Portuguese, was also wounded.

The troops of Horse Artillery commanded by Majors Bull and Ross were
present at the investment and siege of Badajoz; and although not
included in the detail made [Sidenote: Major Ross to Sir H. Dalrymple, 8
April, 1812.] out by Major Dickson for duty in the trenches, it is
evident that they must have taken part in the operations, for Major Ross
was severely wounded by a grape-shot. But his name does not appear in
Lord Wellington’s lists.

The losses in the other arms of the service employed in the siege were
very great. No fewer than 5000 officers and men fell during the siege,
and of that number 3500 fell on the night of the 6th April. Sixty
officers and upwards of seven hundred men were slain on the spot.

[Sidenote: Napier.]

No wonder that, “when the extent of the night’s havoc was made known to
Lord Wellington, the firmness of his nature gave way for a moment, and
the pride of conquest yielded to a passionate burst of grief for the
loss of his gallant soldiers.”

The recollections of such a night are among the greatest treasures which
an army can cherish. Even the reaction after success, the irregularities
and licence displayed by the troops in the captured city, while
certainly dimming, could not permanently injure the glory of the
marvellous assault. Such traditions are a weapon for discipline, which
only a soldier can estimate. Inspired by them, men will feed the lamp of
their present lives with the oil of past glory, and strain every nerve
to make the flame burn pure and clear.

Perhaps one of the highest motives, which can influence a soldier, is
the desire to be worthy of his predecessors, and true to the reputation
which they have earned for their corps. It carries him at once out of
himself, and introduces an unselfish element even into his own ambition
and aims. Only those who have served long in a regiment which they love
can understand the fond jealousy for its honour, which will inspire its
members. Its history never dies; the deeds of the years that are gone
are the living possession of all; the valour which may have been
exhibited in former days lives again in the breasts of those, who hunger
for an opportunity of similar display; and the men who, by their courage
and skill, may have earned honour for their corps, still haunt in no
shadowy form the dreams of the young aspirant, and the memories of the

       *       *       *       *       *

  NOTE.--In alluding to the services of the two scientific corps at
  this siege of Badajoz, Sir J. Jones wrote that “as an engineer and
  artillery operation, it succeeded to the utmost letter.”



After the fall of Badajoz, Lord Wellington decided on marching
northward, and carrying the war into Spain. In the meantime, however, he
directed General Hill to storm the forts at Almaraz, a great French
depôt,--and so weaken the chance of union between the armies of the
North and [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated Elvas, 6 May, 1812.] South.
Colonel Dickson[34] was detailed as commanding officer of the Artillery
for this service, which consisted of a brigade of 24-pounder howitzers,
horsed by the mules of one of the Portuguese Field Brigades, and manned
by Captain Glubb’s company of the Royal Artillery, and a Portuguese
company. The ammunition, which was carried in Spanish mule carts,
comprised 600 24-pounder round shot, 300 5½-inch common shells, 240
5½-inch spherical, and 60 [Sidenote: General Sir R. Hill to Lord
Wellington, dated 21 May, 1812.] 5½-inch common,--case shot. Six
pontoons accompanied the guns on this expedition, which was perfectly
successful; and in which General Hill was pleased to say that he found
the exertions of Colonel Dickson, and his officers and men, to be

Before turning to Lord Wellington’s movements in the north, which
culminated in the battle of Salamanca, and the temporary occupation of
Madrid, a statement of the strength of the Artillery force of England
during this eventful year may possibly be found interesting. Two dates
have been chosen, and it will be seen that the numbers--already large in
the beginning of the year--continued to increase; more especially in the
item of drivers for the brigades in the Peninsula. These tables give
one an idea of the strain on the resources of England [Sidenote: MS.
‘Wear and Tear Return’ of the Regiment for 1811.] which was caused by
the Peninsular War. No fewer than 1811 recruits joined the Artillery
alone, and over 1200 became non-effective from various causes during the
same period.

RETURN of the ARTILLERY FORCES OF ENGLAND on the 25th June, 1812,
distinguishing the ROYAL ARTILLERY from the ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY, and
specifying the Numbers serving at home and abroad.

  |                         |      AT HOME.    |       ABROAD.    |       TOTAL.     |
  |                         +---------+--------+---------+--------+---------+--------+
  |                         |         |  N.-C. |         |  N.-C. |         |  N.-C. |
  |                         |Officers.|Officers|Officers.|Officers|Officers.|Officers|
  |                         |         |and Men.|         |and Men.|         |and Men.|
  |Royal Horse Artillery    |       49|   1,417|       21|     696|       70|   2,113|
  |Royal Artillery          |      391|   8,812|      331|   6,599|      722|  15,411|
  |R. A. Drivers            |       63|   3,521|       24|   1,950|       87|   5,471|
  |King’s German Artillery  |       21|     430|       28|     587|       49|   1,017|
  |Royal Foreign Artillery  |        6|     158|       15|     327|       21|     485|
  |      General Total      |         |        |         |        |      949|  24,497|
  |  RETURN of the ARTILLERY FORCES of ENGLAND on 25th Dec. 1812, &c.                |
  |Royal Horse Artillery    |       51|    1,452|       19|    733|       70|   2,185|
  |Royal Artillery          |      405|    8,723|      333|  6,817|      738|  15,540|
  |R. A. Drivers            |       70|    3,554|       25|  2,305|       95|   5,859|
  |King’s German Artillery  |       21|      392|       27|    638|       48|   1,030|
  |Royal Foreign Artillery  |        7|      123|       15|    348|       22|     471|
  |      General Total      |         |         |         |       |      973|  25,085|

The year 1812 was the most eventful in the Peninsular War. Already
marked by the successful sieges described in the last chapter, it was to
be distinguished by events, both in Spain and elsewhere, which were to
have a great effect on subsequent hostilities. The English General--who
opened the year with an unexpected attack on Ciudad Rodrigo--was
destined, ere it should be much more than half over, to defeat his enemy
in a pitched battle, drive him ignominiously before him, and enter the
capital of Spain in triumph. These successes were to be further
heightened by Soult raising the long-continued siege of Cadiz, in alarm
at the intelligence of the French disasters in the north. Scarcely,
however, were these advantages to be realised, ere the whole picture
should change. The conqueror at Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz should find
himself fretting hopelessly before the castle of Burgos; and the
General, who entered Madrid in triumph at the head of a victorious army,
should lead that same army--in disorder and semi-mutiny--from Salamanca
to Portugal, in retreat. The light and shade in the military operations
of the Peninsula were also to be intensified by news from without, which
should mightily affect the powers whose armies had faced one another for
so many years. Another war should be thrust upon England’s preoccupied
people;--her own children in America should seize the opportunity of
gratifying a seemingly undying jealousy;--while, away in the colds of
Russia, the greatest army that even Napoleon had ever commanded, should
dissolve, as utterly as the snows amid which they died should melt
before the strengthening sun.

It was, indeed, a year of great events: but of these the two with which
this history has most interest were the battle of Salamanca and the
siege of Burgos.

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. dated Orbada, 30 June, 1812.]

Colonel Dickson, with the brigade of howitzers which he had commanded at
Almaraz, left Elvas on the 5th June to join Lord Wellington’s army in
the north. Passing the Tagus at Alcantara, he joined the army at
Salamanca by way of Zarza, Fuente Guinalda, and Ciudad Rodrigo.
Wellington was engaged at this time, with very limited means, in
endeavouring to reduce the French Fort St. Vincent at Salamanca, a
strongly entrenched work, having a large convent as its stronghold, and
mounted with 36 pieces of ordnance. The Allied siege
Artillery--previous to Colonel Dickson’s arrival--consisted of only 4
18-pounder guns, and a battery of long 6-pounders, under Lieut.-Colonel
May.[35] That officer had performed his duty, with inadequate means, in
a manner which called forth universal admiration; and Colonel Dickson
when he arrived with his howitzers to assist him, expressed the great
satisfaction it afforded him to be able now to repay, in a small degree,
the many acts of kindness and co-operation, which he had enjoyed at
Colonel May’s hands. Several points of the defence were breached by the
fire of the Allied Artillery, but the whole work was so strong, and the
defences so connected, that no assault could be attempted on the body of
the work. An assault made on two outworks failed at first, but the gorge
of one of them having been subsequently breached, they were carried with
little or no loss a few hours before the surrender of the chief fort.
The means at their disposal being very small, Colonels May and Dickson
employed hot shot from the howitzers against the Convent, and succeeded,
after firing 260 rounds, in setting fire to it, and destroying the whole
of the enemy’s provisions. The surrender followed almost [Sidenote:
Despatch dated Fuente la Pena, 30 June, 1812.] immediately. These
operations had been mainly conducted by General Clinton, under the
supervision of Lord Wellington; and, in his despatch, Lord Wellington
reported that that officer had mentioned in strong terms Lieut.-Colonel
May, who commanded the Royal Artillery under the direction of Colonel
Framingham, and the officers and men under his command. The capture of
the forts was delayed until the 27th June, it having been necessary to
send to the rear for more ammunition, a step which caused a delay of six
days. As soon as they fell, the French army commenced to retire, pursued
by the Allies.

The loss of the Royal Artillery at the siege of these forts was as

Killed: Captain Eligé, and 9 rank and file.

Wounded: 1 lieutenant (Love), and 25 rank and file.

In the various movements of both armies between the 27th June and the
22nd July, 1812, on which day the great engagement known as the battle
of Salamanca was fought, no use appears to have been made of the
Artillery, with the exception of the Horse Artillery attached to the
Cavalry division. In one affair, on the 18th July, at Castrejou, when
the troops under Sir Stapleton Cotton were attacked, Lieutenant Belson,
an officer in the Chestnut Troop, was wounded. For honest, conscientious
hard work, and staunch performance of his duty, this officer was
unsurpassed by any in the Regiment. On reference to his record of
service, it appears that between the 3rd August, 1809, and 14th April,
1814, Lieutenant Belson was present in no fewer than thirty-three
engagements. Beside such services, which received but little official
recognition, those of men in more recent campaigns, who have received
lavish, although merited, rewards, sink into insignificance.

It is impossible, without exceeding the limits of this work, to describe
in detail the services of the Horse Artillery in the Peninsula,--the
branch of the regiment to which young Belson belonged. The tables at the
end of the preceding volume give some idea of what these services were,
but are totally inadequate. The history of some of the individual troops
would alone fill a volume; and the writing of such a history will
doubtless be undertaken by some officer, who may find himself in the
proud position of commanding one. Their active duties were incessant;
even during the sieges, when they ostensibly formed part of the armies
of investment or observation, they were ready to volunteer at all times
to do additional duty in the trenches. At San Sebastian, as will be seen
shortly, their services in the sieges, as siege artillerymen, were
invaluable. The details of their services in the great battle now to be
described are, unfortunately, not given in any of the documents in the
Record Office. The fact of the presence of three troops, Ross’s, Bull’s,
and Macdonald’s, is known, but little more. They were included in the
general mention of the Corps, by Lord Wellington, after the battle, when
he [Sidenote: Despatch dated Flores de Avila, 24 July, 1812.] said that
“The Royal and German Artillery under Lieutenant-Colonel Framingham
distinguished themselves by the accuracy of their fire;” but no further
details are given. From another pen we learn that the whole of the
[Sidenote: Browne.] troops and batteries were more or less engaged
during the eventful day; but this general statement is neither
satisfying, nor quite exact. In a letter from Colonel Dickson, written
three days after the battle, he mentions that one of his heavy brigades
was not ordered up, but was kept in the rear, ready to move in case of
retreat. Possibly this brigade may have been manned by Portuguese, and
the howitzer brigade, which he commanded during the battle, may have
been manned by Captain Glubb’s company, which was under his orders;--in
which case the author referred to would be right; but it is extremely
rare in Colonel Dickson’s correspondence to find him alluding to any
action, in which he commanded men of his own Corps, without
particularizing some by name. On the other hand, it must be admitted
that Napier describes Colonel Dickson’s howitzers as being manned by
British and Portuguese brigaded together.

Lord Wellington’s letters show that he was by no means anxious for a
general action at this time, if it could have been avoided; and this
fact was apparent to those around him. When it was inevitable, he found
that the enemy had a better position than himself; and but for the
unexpected [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 25 July, 1812.] opening given by
Marmont, in the over extension of his left, it would have been a very
doubtful issue. “I really believe,” wrote Colonel Dickson, “that Lord
Wellington fought against his inclination, and that if Marmont by his
manœuvres had not pushed him so hard, he would quietly have fallen back,
and relinquished Salamanca to the French. The audacity of the enemy was
such, however, that British honour required it should be checked; and
most severely Marshal Marmont has been punished for playing tricks with
such a leader as Lord Wellington. When at last his Lordship determined
to attack the attacker, his dispositions were splendid, and his
operations rapid and overpowering. I can compare the close-fighting
part of the battle more to one of those battles between the French and
Spaniards, of which there have been so many, with always the same
result, than to a contest between armies equally powerful. It was a
rapid succession of overthrows, with some failures, but none that for a
moment impeded the grand result.”

There were two hills on the left of the Allied line, called Dos Arapiles
or Los Hermanitos, situated within easy artillery range of one another.
The French had obtained possession of the loftier of these, and by this
means had acquired an undoubted advantage. But this advantage was
modified by the artillery fire on the left of Lord Wellington’s line,
which was very effective. It was here that Colonel Dickson’s howitzer
brigade was in action, taking part in an Artillery duel, which is
mentioned in the correspondence of [Sidenote: To Colonel Shrapnel, dated
9 May, 1813.] several Artillery officers who took part in it. Major
Macdonald, who commanded a troop of Horse Artillery on the occasion,
said that the French artillerymen were driven from their guns on the
hill opposite, and prevented from returning, by the destructive fire of
Shrapnel shell from the [Sidenote: Lieut. Sinclair, R.A., to Colonel
Shrapnel, dated 22 Oct. 1814.] English guns. In another letter, from an
officer who was also present, the same statement is endorsed; and the
reader learns that the brigades of Artillery chiefly engaged were
Ross’s, Bull’s, and Macdonald’s troops, Colonel Dickson’s and Captain
Douglas’s brigades, and Major Sympher’s of the King’s German Artillery.
From the same sources it is ascertained that in the staunch final
advance of the enemy against the village of the Arapiles, the fire of
Shrapnel shell from the howitzers of the English Artillery produced
great effect; and that, on another important occasion during the battle,
a battery of the enemy’s guns was disabled by the same means. It will be
in the recollection of the military student that Marmont’s extension and
weakening of his left sprang from a desire to cut off the retreat of the
Allies on Ciudad Rodrigo, while he should yet retain the strong position
on his right, afforded by the possession of the hill already mentioned.
The division Thomières was selected for the flank movement, and against
it Pakenham’s division was despatched by Lord Wellington, accompanied
by 12 guns. The service performed by these guns was most valuable. Being
placed in a commanding position, they suddenly took the French troops in
flank, and aided materially in ensuring a victory, which Lord
Wellington’s quick judgment and military skill had placed in the way of
his troops. Then followed the stern battle all along the line, which
resulted in the “beating of forty thousand men in forty minutes;” the
French seeing General after General fall, and fighting at times in
bewilderment, for want of orders;--the English fighting with all the
courage of their race, and all the confidence which a General like
Wellington inspired,--who seemed to be always at the right place at the
right time:--then the French falling back from their first position only
to make a new effort; and then the utter rout and confusion, redeemed
but by the coolness and skill of the brave Foy, who with his rear-guard
strove to cover the headlong flight of the others.

The strength of the Allied army at Salamanca was 46,000, that of the
French 42,000; but the superiority in point of numbers on the side of
the Allies was caused by the presence of some utterly useless Spanish
troops. The French had 74 guns on the field, the Allies only 60. These,
according to Napier, were as follows:-

  Royal Horse Artillery. Three troops               18 guns.
  Royal Foot Artillery. Two 9-pounder brigades      12  ”
  Royal Foot Artillery. Two 12-pounder ”            12  ”
  King’s German Artillery. One 9-pounder ”           6  ”
  Portuguese and British brigaded together           6 24-pr. howitzers.
  One Spanish battery                                6 guns.
                                    Total           60 pieces.

There would certainly appear to be an error in this statement. In none
of Colonel Dickson’s manuscripts can it be traced that there were more
than five 24-pounder howitzers with his brigades; it would therefore
seem that the strength of the Allied Artillery at Salamanca was even
more disproportionate than that given, and that Lord Wellington had only
59 guns against Marmont’s 74.

The losses on both sides at Salamanca were very heavy. The Allies lost 1
General, 24 officers, and 686 men killed; and 5 Generals, 182 officers,
and 4270 men wounded. The loss of the French has never been exactly
stated. They lost 7000 prisoners alone, besides 11 guns and other
[Sidenote: Cust’s ‘Annals of the Wars.’] trophies. An approximation to
their real loss has been obtained by taking General Clausel’s statement
of the army on the 18th of the following month. He had succeeded Marshal
Marmont in the command, on the latter being wounded; and on the 18th
August he reported that the army, which had been 42,000 strong on the
22nd July, had fallen to 21,800, with 50 instead of 74 guns. Much of the
loss may have occurred during the pursuit after the battle, but the
whole was virtually attributable to the contest of the 22nd.

Important as the results of the victory were, they would have been more
so, had not the retreat of the French across the Tormes been facilitated
by a blunder of the Spanish General, Espana, who left the bridge of Alba
open to them. This enabled Clausel to get as far as Peneranda with far
less punishment than an army so beaten as his was should have received
from his pursuers.[36] Wellington followed him to Valladolid, but failed
to overtake him; so, while Clausel continued his flight to Burgos,
Wellington, after a pause of some days, turned towards Madrid, to free
the capital from the presence of Joseph Buonaparte and his army.[37] He
entered it in state on the 12th August, Joseph having quitted it without
waiting for the Allies; and he remained there until the 1st September,
receiving from the Spaniards a perpetual ovation, and learning from
England how valuable his services were deemed, by their further
recognition in the form of a Marquisate.

Affairs in the Peninsula forbade longer repose, nor was Wellington the
man to risk his army finding a Capua in Madrid. Soult, alarmed at the
news from the north, raised the siege of Cadiz, and let Seville fall
into the hands of the Allies, while he moved northward himself. An
expedition from Sicily landed in the east of Spain, to co-operate with
Lord Wellington, of which it must suffice here to say that the Royal
Artillery accompanying it was commanded by Captain--then Brevet
Lieut.-Colonel--Holcombe, the same officer whose company had been at the
sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. And, lastly, the French General,
Clausel, had reorganized his army, and was taking the offensive against
the Allied troops left in the north. Of the operations of Wellington to
check this General, and to defeat him again before Soult’s army could
join him from the south, it is proposed to select one, as being a
specially Artillery subject--the siege of the Castle of Burgos.

[Sidenote: Dickson’s MSS.]

After the fall of the forts at Salamanca, the heavy Artillery employed
there continued to be attached to the reserve Artillery under Colonel
Dickson, and followed the movements of the army during the campaign. It
consisted of three 18-pounder guns on travelling carriages, and five
24-pounder howitzers, to which were attached Captain Glubb’s company of
the Royal Artillery, commanded by Captain Power, and a company of
Portuguese Artillery, commanded by Major Arriaga, with some additional
detachments of the Artillery of both nations. After the battle of
Salamanca, the whole eight pieces were brought forward to the
neighbourhood of Madrid, preparatory to the attack of Fort la Chine,
which was still occupied by the French, but which ultimately surrendered
without a contest. On the 1st September, Lord Wellington quitted Madrid,
to proceed to Arevalo, where the 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th Divisions were
ordered to assemble preparatory to a movement to the northward; and
Colonel Dickson, with his 18-pounders and howitzers, was ordered to
accompany this corps.

Previous to this movement, measures had been taken to bring forward from
Ciudad Rodrigo the following proportion of ammunition, viz.--

  24-pr. round shot       600
  18-pr. ”                800
  with powder, and all necessary small stores.

On the 9th September, this small siege-train arrived at Valladolid, and
on the following day continued its march towards Burgos. On the 19th,
the Castle of Burgos was invested, the Artillery park being formed near
Villa Toro.

That Lord Wellington undertook this siege with wholly inadequate means
has been well known; but how inadequate these means were will appear
from the following statement. First, as regards _personnel_: how many
Artillerymen had he to carry on the duties in the batteries against a
place which held a commanding situation, and was powerfully armed? He
had merely

No. of men.

  Capt. Glubb’s company, under Capt. Power             45
  Lieut.-Col. May’s company under Lieut. Elgee         45
  Major Arriaga’s company of Portuguese Artillery      57
                             Total                    147

As mentioned above, he had only eight guns; and the following was the
total ammunition of all sorts, including the additional supply from
Ciudad Rodrigo.

  24-pr. round shot         900
  24-pr. common shell       208
  24-pr. spherical case     236
  18-pr. round shot        1306
  18-pr. spherical case     100

To swell this amount, Colonel Dickson offered a reward for bringing in
any shot fired by the enemy. He found that the enemy’s 16-pounder shot
fitted his own 18-pounder guns, and that his 8-pounder shot would fit
the 9-pounders of the English field brigades. Before the end of
September, about 1400 shot were brought in, in this way. Colonel Dickson
also obtained detachments from the Horse and Field Brigades
occasionally, to give his siege artillerymen relief; but the duties of
the Field Artillery were so active at this time round Burgos that men
could with difficulty be spared.

The names of the officers of the Royal Artillery engaged in the siege
were as follows:--

  Lieutenant-Colonel Robe, commanding.

  Lieutenant-Colonel Dickson, in immediate charge of the operation.

  Captain Power    }
  Lieutenant Robe  }  Present during
  Lieutenant Pascoe}  the whole
  Lieutenant Elgee }  operation.
  Lieutenant Hough }

  Captain Greene   }  Belonging to
  Captain Dansey   }  Field Brigades,
  Captain Gardiner }  but
  Lieutenant Monro }  occasionally
  Lieut. Johnstone }  employed.

  Captain Blachley, joined 1st October.

Of the Royal Artillery, small in numbers, the casualties were very great
in proportion. Fifteen men were killed, and forty wounded, during the
siege, and in the operations immediately attending or succeeding it. The
officers who were wounded were Colonel Robe, Captains Dansey and Power,
Lieutenants Elgee and Johnstone.

After severe loss, a hornwork in front of the castle had been carried by
assault on the night of the 19th September, and on the following night a
battery for five guns was commenced. This battery was armed on the night
of the 22nd with two 18-pounders and three 24-pounder howitzers, in
readiness to open on the inner lines, in the event of an assault, which
had been determined on for that evening on the outer line, proving
successful. At the same time, a second battery for six guns was
commenced to fire against the keep of the castle. The assault, which was
premature, failed; and its leader was killed. On the night of the 24th,
the two 18-pounders were taken out of No. 1 Battery, and drawn along a
trench, part of the way towards No. 2, being replaced in the former by
howitzers. On the 25th, the five howitzers in No. 1 Battery opened a
fire to destroy some palisades, which were used to flank the works of
the castle. The fire was not successful; the howitzers were found to be
very deficient in precision when firing round shot; and the result was
inadequate to the expenditure of ammunition,--141 rounds,--a
consideration of some importance under the existing circumstances.[38]
Lord Wellington, conscious of the deficiency of his guns, worked now by
means of mining; and on the night of the 29th September, a mine was
sprung which threw down part of the outer wall. An assault was
immediately ordered; but from the darkness of the night the detachment
missed its way, and those who were leading--having gained the top of the
breach--were driven down again for want of support. The whole,
therefore, returned to the trenches.

On the 30th September, the howitzers in No. 1 Battery were of essential
service. About 10 A.M. they opened fire, with the addition of a French
6-pounder gun, taken in the hornwork, to demolish a stockade upon the
top of a tower in the outer line a little to the enemy’s right of the
breach, from which the French with musketry annoyed the English in the
sap,--the fire being so close that every man, who exposed himself in the
slightest degree, was sure to be hit. The stockade was strengthened by
sand-bags, &c., but, after three hours’ firing, it was utterly
destroyed. The ammunition expended for this purpose was 136 rounds;--90
24-pounder shot, 40 6-pounder French shot, and 6 5½-inch common shell.
It was on this day that Captain Dansey, who had volunteered for service
in the trenches, was wounded.

The next episode in the Artillery portion of the siege was the moving
the three 18-pounders into a breaching battery so close to the outer
wall, that the guns of the upper work could not bear on them. The French
commander, Dubreton, lost no time, however, in bringing down a howitzer
and a light gun from the upper work, followed by others as quickly as he
could; and as the breaching battery was very slight, [Sidenote: Napier,
and ‘Memoir of Sir Hew Ross.’] the result was serious. “The defences of
the battery were quite demolished, two of the gun-carriages were
disabled, a trunnion was knocked off one of the 18-pounders, and the
muzzle of another was split.” A second, stronger, breaching battery was
then formed, but the plunging fire from the castle was too severe; the
guns which were yet serviceable were therefore removed back to No. 1
Battery, on the hill of San Michael. From this position, on the morning
of the 4th October, they opened again on the old breach; and a mine
having been exploded with great effect in the same evening, another
assault took place,--the fourth during the siege. This was more
successful, and a lodgment was effected; but on the following evening, a
large body of the enemy charged down upon the guards and workmen, and
got possession of the old breach, besides killing and wounding 150
[Sidenote: Napier.] men, and destroying their works. On the 7th, the
besiegers, who had continued their advance, and were now close to the
wall, were again charged with fatal effect by the garrison; and the guns
from San Michael, although effecting a great breach in the second line,
suffered severely from the artillery fire of the enemy,--another
18-pounder losing a trunnion. Guns were, however, too few and too
valuable to be considered unserviceable, even after so serious an injury
as this; and the ingenuity of Colonel Dickson produced a species of
carriage, from which the damaged ordnance could fire with reduced
charges. Between the 7th and the 10th October, the San Michael guns
continued to make breaches in the works; on the 10th, some ammunition
arrived from Santander; on the 18th, another breach was pronounced
practicable, and Wellington ordered a fifth assault. This also was
unsuccessful; the Allies lost 200 men killed and wounded; and the siege
was at length raised--on the 20th--by Lord Wellington, who had received
alarming intelligence of the approach of a French army to relieve
Burgos, and of the movements of Soult.

The siege of Burgos is a blot on the military reputation of the Duke of
Wellington; and revealed an ignorance of what artillery could and could
not do, which every now and then [Sidenote: Sir Hew Ross to Sir Hew
Dalrymple, dated Madrid, 18 Oct. 1812.] manifested itself in his
military operations. If Sir Hew Ross was correctly informed, the error
made by Lord Wellington was almost criminal, as there was no necessity
for attempting such a siege with so inadequate a siege-train. “Why he
should have undertaken the siege of such a place,” wrote Major Ross from
Madrid, “with means so very inadequate appears very extraordinary,
_especially as there was little or no difficulty in augmenting it to any
extent_, either from the guns and ammunition found here, or the ships at
St. Andero.” That Sir Hew wrote with reason seems all the more probable
from the fact that, while the last assault was actually taking place,
two 24-pounders sent from Santander by Sir Home Popham had passed
Reynosa on [Sidenote: Napier.] their way to Burgos. But it may be urged
that the responsibility of undertaking a siege with insufficient
Artillery lay not with the General, but with the Artillery commander.
Those who are familiar with the character of the Duke of Wellington, as
shown in the various narratives of the Peninsular War, will not make use
of this argument. It was not his wont to allow his plans to be altered
by the representations of his subordinates, nor was he addicted to the
habit of consulting them. Besides, in this particular instance, he
officially relieved the Artillery and Engineer officers of the
responsibility. “The officers,” he wrote, “at [Sidenote: To Lord
Bathurst dated Cabeçon, 26 Oct. 1812.] the head of the Artillery and
Engineer departments, Lieut.-Colonel Robe and Lieut.-Colonel Burgoyne,
and Lieut.-Colonel Dickson, who commands the reserve Artillery, rendered
me every assistance; and the failure of success is not to be attributed
to them.” The Duke of Wellington believed in the bayonet beyond any
other weapon; and if a legitimate belief became occasionally credulity,
it is hardly to be wondered at, when one reflects on the gallantry of
the Infantry which it was the Duke’s good fortune to command. What
seemed to be impossibilities, when ordered by him, were proved possible
in the result; and the consequently increased belief in the power of the
bayonet seems but natural. But his creed was supported at a terrible
cost. When we find Napier himself,--Wellington’s idolater,--pronouncing
his sieges a succession of butcheries, the criticism of a more temperate
student may be excused. Doubtless, the want of adequate ordnance was
often severely felt by the Duke of Wellington, and compelled him to an
exaggerated use of the other arms; but this fact was hardly an excuse
for neglecting its employment, when available in sufficient quantities,
and obtainable with moderate exertions.

Nor was the fact that he--as he justly complained--_never_ had a proper
amount of Artillery with his armies any excuse for his making
occasionally but an indifferent use of that which he had. Fortunately,
the Duke of Wellington had merely to encounter Napoleon’s Marshals in
Spain: had he had to meet their master, it is probable that the creed
which he believed and practised might have received some rude assaults.
If one could free oneself of all but purely professional considerations,
one would wish, for the sake of the student in the art of war, that
Napoleon, instead of Marmont and Clausel, had faced Wellington in the
campaign of 1812. The result would, doubtless, have been the same; but
the ways and means would have been very different. As it happened,
Wellington’s sole encounter with Napoleon took place on ground chosen by
himself, and under circumstances which yet further assisted his military
creed, by testing yet again that which he had so often extravagantly
proved, the marvellous endurance, discipline, and courage of the British

The results of the mistaken siege of Burgos are curtly described by Sir
J. T. Jones, in his ‘Journal of the Sieges in the Peninsula.’ “By its
means,” he writes, “a beaten enemy gained time to recruit his forces,
concentrate his scattered armies, and regain the ascendancy.” The same
author writes, with regard to the service of the Royal Artillery during
the siege: “It is a pleasing act of justice to the Artillery officers,
employed in this attack, to state that they vied with each other in
their exertions and expedients to meet the hourly difficulties they
encountered, and that no set of men could possibly have drawn more
service than they did from the limited means at their command.”



The threatening appearance of the various French armies in Spain, which
compelled Lord Wellington to raise the siege of Burgos, compelled him
ultimately to withdraw into [Sidenote: Despatch to Lord Bathurst, dated
26 Oct. 1812.] Portugal for winter quarters. In leaving Burgos he found
the activity of the commanding officers of Artillery very beneficial. It
enabled him to carry off all his serviceable guns and stores in a single
night; but the absence of cattle prevented his removing the few French
guns which he had captured in the storming of the hornwork. During the
retreat, the services of the Horse Artillery, under Major Downman, were
of a high order, and called forth the commendation of Lord Wellington.
The troop which most distinguished itself was Major Bull’s, commanded by
Captain Norman Ramsay, Major Bull having been twice wounded,--on one
occasion so severely,--when in advance with the Cavalry at Torquemada on
the night of the 12th September, 1812,--that he was obliged to be
invalided. He does not reappear in the story of his gallant troop until
the battle of Waterloo.

The retreat terminated on the 24th November, and the troops went into
cantonments, the head-quarters being stationed at Frenada, and the
Artillery at Malhada Sourda, three miles distant.

An old friend reappears, in the winter of 1812-13, to the burrower among
Artillery records. Captain--now Brevet-Major--Frazer, who last was
mentioned in this work in the account of the operations at Monte Video
and Buenos Ayres, arrived to take command of Major Bull’s troop during
that officer’s absence. His own troop being on home service, he more
easily obtained permission to assume this duty. He had not been many
weeks in the Peninsula before he received a more important
command,--that which had hitherto [Sidenote: Sir A. Frazer’s Letters,
page 89.] been held with such distinction by Major Downman,--the command
of the Royal Horse Artillery with Lord Wellington’s armies. Although a
reserved man in public, and fond of solitude, he was almost diffuse in
his correspondence. Happily for those who have succeeded him in the
Corps, his letters from the Peninsula have been collected and published
by one who served in his troop for seven years,--General Sir Edward
Sabine. These letters, and the unpublished letters of Sir A. Dickson,
give together a most graphic picture of the operations of 1813, 1814,
and 1815, which cannot but lose by the necessary condensation of the

In the beginning of 1813, Lord Wellington proceeded to Lisbon to make
the necessary arrangements for the coming campaign. The intelligence of
the French disasters in Russia had reached him; rumours also came that
Soult and many of the best troops in the French Peninsular armies had
gone to France; and, from his preparations at Lisbon, it is evident that
he had already resolved on offensive operations, which should, if
possible, have the effect of driving the French out of the Peninsula.
That he succeeded is well known to the reader; it remains to single out,
in this and the following chapter, some of the more salient points in
the campaign.

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson, to D.-A.-G. Lisbon, 16 Jan. 1813.]

Colonel Dickson had been ordered to Lisbon, to consult as to some means
of making the Portuguese Artillery more available for service than it
had as yet been; and while there, he was sent for by Lord Wellington,
who had also [Sidenote: Ibid. dated Lisbon, 30 Jan. 1813.] arrived, and
was directed to superintend the equipment of a pontoon train of
thirty-four large pontoons, which was to be sent by river to Abrantes,
and there handed over to the master-pontonier, for use in the coming
operations of the army. This train was destined to be a sore grievance
to the Artillery. It had always to be horsed _first_, even at the
expense of the Artillery brigades; and its possible wants in that
respect haunted, like a nightmare, the commanding officer of the Corps.
At this interview Lord Wellington also expressed considerable anxiety
about the brigade of 18-pounder guns, which, he said, he was determined
to have early in the field, as the French were understood to be
[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 24 Feb. 1813.] fortifying
positions everywhere. Some new 18-pounders were expected daily from
England; and, on their arrival, he desired that they should be sent up
the Tagus to Abrantes. This was safely effected; and bullocks were
ordered to bring them thence to head-quarters, at Malhada Sourda.

They were ultimately manned by Captain Morrison’s and Captain Glubb’s
companies of the Royal Artillery; and the number of carriages in the
brigade was no less than 57, viz.:--

[Sidenote: Ibid. dated 18 April, 1813.]

   6 18-pr. guns on travelling carriages.
   2 spare carriages.
   6 platform waggons.
   2 forges.
  18 ammunition (limber) waggons.
   3 store waggons.
  20 bullock carts.

  N.B.--Ammunition was carried at the rate of 150 rounds per gun.

The guns, and nine of the ammunition waggons, had horses in addition to
their bullocks; the remaining carriages were drawn by bullocks only.

[Sidenote: Ibid. dated 24 Feb. 1813.]

About the same time as the 18-pounders arrived from England, another
troop of Horse Artillery, under the command of Captain Webber Smith,
also reached Lisbon. A change in the armament of the troop, from
6-pounders to 9-pounders, was immediately ordered by Lord Wellington,--a
change which, on more than one occasion, and in more than one campaign,
has been ordered in the armament of the Royal Horse Artillery. At this
time, also, a recognition was made by the Portuguese Government of the
services of the Artillery,--Colonels Robe and Dickson being made knights
of the Tower and Sword.

[Sidenote: Ibid. dated 28 March, 1813.]

The old difficulty as to horses reappeared in the beginning of 1813. The
sickness among these animals during the winter had been excessive; and
the difficulty of purchasing any in the country seemed daily to
increase. This led to many changes. Among others, Lord Wellington
reduced the whole of the Portuguese Artillery for service in the field
to three brigades,--one 9-pounder and one 6-pounder brigade to be with
Sir Rowland Hill’s force, and one 9-pounder brigade to be attached to
the general Artillery reserve of the army. These three were made very
efficient by this means, and the purchase of a considerable number of
horses avoided.

The campaign of 1813 was distinguished by a feature of considerable
importance. Lord Wellington was now Commander-in-Chief of all the
Spanish armies, and all necessary correspondence came direct to him,
instead of through Cadiz. The assistance of the _Spanish_ regular troops
was never of much value, even under the new system, except at the combat
of San Marcial and the Bidassoa; but the part taken by the Partidas, or
irregular forces, during the campaign was not unimportant, and increased
the difficulties of the French troops.

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated Corilhaa, 4 April, 1813.]

The French commenced to fall back from Salamanca towards Burgos, and in
the beginning of April had not above a thousand men in the former place.
At the same time, supplies were arriving from England weekly, and were
disembarked in the northern ports of the Peninsula, with a view to the
advance of the English army. An organization of the Allied troops was
taking place, superior to anything which had yet been witnessed; and the
Corps, whose history is treated in these pages, improved with the other
arms in this respect. It seems a suitable time to touch on the
improvement in the Field Brigades which had already taken place; and, at
the risk of wearying the reader, to place before him a specimen of these
in the spring of 1813.

The brigade, i.e. battery, which it is proposed to describe belonged to
the 10th Battalion, and was commanded by the 2nd Captain, R. M. Cairnes,
a gallant officer, who afterwards fell at Waterloo. It was pronounced by
various inspecting officers to be the best field brigade with the army;
but Captain Cairnes in his correspondence declined to accept this
honour, as he considered others equally efficient. It may, therefore, be
accepted as a fair type. From a letter written by Captain Cairnes
himself, the following particulars [Sidenote: Captain Cairnes to
Captain Bedingfield dated Penamacor, 4 April, 1813.] are obtained; and
they exhibit a startling contrast to the oxen-draught brigades of the
commencement of the Peninsular War. His system was based on that of the
Horse Artillery, now universal in field batteries, in which each officer
was wholly and solely responsible to the captain for his division,
whether in matters of men or _matériel_. He declined to allow the
officer of the Driver Corps, who commanded the drivers attached to the
brigade, to have any control over his men, except as far as their pay
and subsistence were concerned; and by thus giving his own officers
complete responsibility, he received the reward which such conduct
generally ensures, and was able to say, “My subalterns, Raynes, Bridges,
James, and Talbot, are all most excellent, full of zeal, activity, and
intelligence; they run before me in everything I can desire concerning
their respective charges, and are never more happy than when in
stables.” The chief difficulty in field brigades had always been in the
divided allegiance of the men of the Driver Corps. The solution of this
difficulty, which was adopted by Captain Cairnes, gradually obtained
favour, and ended in a most natural manner,--the abolition of the Driver
Corps and the absorption of the drivers into the Regiment. It took,
however, some years to educate the authorities up to this point; and not
until 1822 was the corps actually [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] abolished.
Another point in Captain Cairnes’s system to which he attached great
importance, and which he said had been generally adopted in the other
brigades, was that of having promotion among the non-commissioned
officers to go, not by _battalion_, but by _company_ seniority; and of
waiving even the question of seniority in the presence of undoubted
superiority. There were faces in Woolwich which grew very long, and
fossil old gentlemen whose remaining hairs stood on end, at such a
perversion of the old order of things; but Lord Wellington supported the
captains of companies in a measure which on service gave them a powerful
engine for discipline. So, time after time, does the reader find the
real Artillery unit asserting itself.

The artificers with a brigade were 2 wheelers, 2 collar-makers, 1
farrier, 1 jobbing smith, and 4 shoeing smiths. The non-commissioned
officers of the Driver Corps attached to a 9-pounder brigade were, 1
staff-sergeant, 2 sergeants, and 6 corporals, one of whom acted as
forage sergeant, under the acting storekeeper of the brigade (a
_company_, not _driver_ non-commissioned officer), who, again, was under
an assistant commissary-general attached to the brigade (under the
immediate orders of the Captain commanding). This officer was
responsible for the rations and the supply of corn, for which purpose he
had a number of forage mules, at the rate of one mule to two horses.

Sixteen round tents and two horsemen’s tents were carried; and, for the
convenience of the artificers, two store waggons accompanied the
brigade. The other extra carriages were the forge waggon, spare wheel
carriage, and the captain’s cart. The brigade itself consisted of 6 guns
and howitzers, 6 ammunition waggons, and 2 reserve ammunition waggons.
The proportion of ammunition carried was as follows:--

  For each 9-pr. gun: 70 round shot, 34 spherical case, and 12
  common case. Total 116 rounds.

  For each 5½-in. howitzer: 44 spherical case, 8 common case, and 32
  common shell. Total 84 rounds.

  In each reserve ammunition waggon there were 57 round shot, 21
  spherical case, and 6 common case. Total 84 rounds.

The number of drivers with a brigade was one hundred. Five of the spare
carriages were drawn by mules; those being selected which were the least
likely to go under fire.

This was altogether a most desirable command for a young 2nd Captain to
have on active service; and keenly did Captain Cairnes enjoy it. His
dismay may therefore be imagined, on receiving, on the 5th May, 1813, a
letter from Colonel Fisher, then commanding the Artillery in the
Peninsula, announcing that Lord Wellington had decided to take away the
horses of his brigade for the service of the pontoon train, leaving him
to the chance of any horses which might hereafter come from Lisbon. He
was not allowed any time to brood over his troubles, but was ordered to
meet the pontoons at Sabugal in three days’ time, and hand over to the
Engineer the whole of his stud. Colonel Fisher’s letter, which was a
private communication, sent a few hours in advance of the official
order, held out hopes of a speedy restoration (which fortunately took
place) of the equipment of his brigade for the field.[39] Captain
Cairnes’ reply to this letter was so soldierlike, that it is well worthy
[Sidenote: Dated 6 May, 1813.] of a place in the records of his Corps.
“I return you,” he wrote, “my dear Colonel, my sincere thanks for your
communication of yesterday’s date, anterior to the arrival of any
_order_, which would, I think, have set me perfectly _crazy_. As it is,
I have read your letter over twenty times, and am yet very unwilling to
understand it. Lord Wellington having fixed on this brigade, I trust we
shall be entitled to every consideration, when it is recollected that a
junior one in all respects is within a league of the same distance from
Sabugal as this place. The pain of urging anything prejudicial to my
valued friend Parker is superseded by the promise held out to us of a
speedy re-equipment.... I know, my dear Colonel, that you cannot avert
the blow from us, and that the necessity of the service has forced Lord
Wellington to this measure; therefore, however sorely affected and hurt
we may now feel, you will assure yourself that the whole shall be given
over to the pontoons in as complete and efficient a manner, as if they
were going to be put to our own carriages. I am full of dread and alarm
that our new equipment of horses and harness will not come up in time to
march with the army; and that (without being so extravagantly sanguine
or conceited as to _build on_ future successes and good fortune) we
shall be too late for the golden opportunity that a few days will
probably offer to other brigades.”

This allusion of Captain Cairnes to the other Artillery brigades with
Lord Wellington’s army suggests the propriety of placing before the
reader their distribution at the opening of the campaign of 1813. This
would appear to have been as follows:--

  With 1st Infantry division: Captain Dubourdieu’s Brigade, R.A.
   ”   2nd    ”        ”      Captain Maxwell’s      ”       ”
   ”   3rd    ”        ”      Captain Douglas’s      ”       ”
   ”   4th    ”        ”      Major Sympher’s K. G. Artillery.
   ”   5th    ”        ”      Captain Brandreth’s Brigade, R.A.
   ”   6th    ”        ”      Major Lawson’s         ”      ”
   ”   7th    ”        ”      Major Gardiner’s Troop, R.H.A.
   ”   Light Division:        Major Ross’s       ”      ”
  1st  Division of Cavalry:   Major Frazer’s (Bull’s) Troop, R.H.A.
  2nd     ”          ”        Captain Beane’s           ”      ”
                             {Captain Webber Smith’s Troop, R.H.A.[40]
  Reserve                    {Captain Cairnes’ Brigade, R.A.
                             {Captain J. Parker’s ”      ”

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 19 May, 1813.]

In the middle of May the plan of the campaign was arranged. The army was
ordered to move in two columns, the head-quarters to leave Frenada on
the 22nd May. One column was to cross the Douro at the mouth of the Coa,
and to advance by Miranda de Douro; the other was to go by Ciudad
Rodrigo. Lord Wellington was to accompany the latter column, which
consisted of Sir Rowland Hill’s corps, the Light Division, Cavalry, &c.
The other column, composed of the rest of the army, was under Sir T.
Graham; and with it went the pontoon train. It was decided to lay the
pontoon bridge across the Douro, near Miranda, and thus unite the two
columns; this operation to be followed by the siege of Zamora, which,
when concluded, would leave the [Sidenote: Ibid. dated Matilla, 25 May,
1813.] Allies masters of the Douro. Following the head-quarters, the
reader finds that they moved to Ciudad Rodrigo on the 22nd May, to
Tamames on the 23rd, and to Matilla, about six leagues from Salamanca,
on the 25th. On the way, Lord Wellington inspected the Portuguese
Division, commanded by General Silveira, and found the men better
equipped than they had ever yet been. The brigades of Artillery with
them were commanded by Colonel Tulloh, an officer of the Royal
Artillery, whose zeal and ability were repaid by the efficiency of the
men under his control. The whole of the reserve Artillery of Lord
Wellington’s army, with the exception of the brigade under Captain
Cairnes, which was now re-equipped, had gone with the main body, under
Sir T. Graham.

Colonel Dickson was now in command of the Artillery, although junior to
many in point of regimental rank; and as the way in which he obtained
the command is not so generally known in the Regiment as the fact, it
seems desirable to state it. While he was at Corilhaa, preparing the
reserve Artillery for the coming campaign, Colonel Fisher, who had
succeeded to the command of the Artillery after Colonel Robe was
disabled at Burgos, but who had not held the command as yet in the
field, wrote to him, requesting his attendance at head-quarters without
loss of time. On his arrival, he ascertained that a misunderstanding had
arisen between Lord Wellington and Colonel Fisher, which had ended in
the latter’s requesting permission to resign, and return to England.
Lord Wellington inquired of Colonel Dickson whether he was senior to
Colonel Waller, who had arrived in Lisbon, and on learning that he was
not, he said, “Colonel Dickson, then, will take the command of all the
Artillery in the field, both British and Portuguese; and Colonel Waller
and General Roza, as commandants of the Artillery of the two nations,
will remain at Lisbon for the purpose of forwarding supplies.” He then
desired Colonel Fisher to give such explanations of the state of affairs
as would enable Colonel Dickson to enter on his charge.

There would seem to have been considerable hastiness and injustice on
the part of Lord Wellington in this matter. Colonel Dickson himself,
while naturally flattered, could not [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 25
May, 1813.] but say, “I am convinced, if Lord Wellington had known
Colonel Fisher’s talents and abilities, he would never have allowed any
such circumstance to take from him such an officer; and I hope you will
forgive my thus presuming to discuss in so particular a manner the
merits of a superior, which I am only induced to do in order that you
may better know the merits of an officer I love and esteem; and I am
sure every man of sense or ability in the Corps of Artillery in the
Peninsula will subscribe to what I now state.”

The honour paid to Colonel Dickson was an embarrassing one. Although his
Portuguese rank placed him over all officers under the rank of Colonel,
many such were senior to him regimentally. This fact demanded great tact
from him in the execution of his duty. Fortunately, he met with ready,
soldierlike co-operation from all; and one, who had commanded him on
service before, in writing to his friends on the subject, expressed the
general feeling [Sidenote: Letters of Sir A. Frazer, page 101.] when he
said: “I shall get on very well with Dickson; he was second to me in the
South American Expedition, and then obeyed my orders with the implicit
readiness which I shall now transfer to his. He is a man of great
[Sidenote: Ibid. page 106.] abilities and quickness, and without fear of
any one.” And again: “Colonel Fisher left us the day before yesterday,
sincerely regretted by all. I hope Dickson’s reign may be long for the
sake of the service, but the times are [Sidenote: Ibid. page 110.]
slippery.” Yet once more: “Dickson showed me yesterday a very sensible,
plain letter, which he had written to Colonel Waller, and was just going
to send off. Dickson, too, feels himself awkwardly off, but will bear
his honours well. There is an open, manly simplicity about Dickson very
prepossessing. I hope and trust he will long enjoy the confidence of the
Marquis; and this I should desire for the sake of the service,
independently of any regard I might have (and I have a very sincere one)
for Dickson.”

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson. to D.-A.-G. dated 6 June, 1813.]

To return, however, to the movements of the army. On the 26th May the
head-quarters moved forward in the direction of Salamanca, on
approaching which place columns of the enemy’s infantry were observed,
halted at each side of the town, a part of their cavalry being, however,
on the left bank of the river to watch the movements of the Allies. As
the latter advanced, the cavalry retired across the bridge into
Salamanca, but the infantry for a considerable time remained unmoved.
In the meantime, Sir Rowland Hill’s Cavalry and Captain Beane’s troop of
Horse Artillery were ordered to push for the ford of Santa Martha, a
little above the town. As soon as the French saw these troops approach
the river, they moved off with their whole force, which included about
2500 infantry, two or three squadrons of cavalry, and three or four
guns. General Fane, who was in command of Sir R. Hill’s Cavalry, passed
the river in a moment, and came up with the French before they had gone
three miles from Salamanca. They were retiring _by squares_ along the
Arivalo road, which leads up the Tormes by Aldea Langua; and, on
overtaking them, the Horse Artillery opened upon their squares with
considerable execution. The pursuit was thus continued for five or six
miles, the Horse Artillery cannonading them from every available point.
The Artillery fire was interfered with by the repeated interposition of
the Cavalry between the guns and the enemy; but was nevertheless very
efficient. According to Colonel Dickson,--of 400 killed, wounded, and
prisoners, lost by the enemy,--100 were victims to the Artillery fire
alone; and the squares were so shaken by it, that, if the regiments
moving on the flank had pushed on, the whole force might have been
captured. Lord Wellington, however, seeing that the pursuing Cavalry
were somewhat exhausted, desisted from further pursuit. The
head-quarters halted at Salamanca on the 27th May, and orders were
issued for their transfer to the other army, north of the Douro. On the
28th, therefore, the head-quarter staff proceeded to Almeida, and on the
29th to Miranda, crossing the Douro at a ferry near the latter place.
Lord Wellington, himself, remained one day later at Salamanca; and on
the 29th proceeded the whole distance to Miranda. On the 30th the
head-quarters were moved to Carvajales, and on the same evening the Esla
was reconnoitred, and preparations made to cross it on the following
morning. Small parties of the enemy were seen on the opposite bank with
two guns. Early on the morning of the 31st, the Hussar Brigade,
Gardiner’s and Webber Smith’s troops of Horse Artillery, and two
regiments of Infantry crossed,--upon which the French parties
immediately retired. The Infantry found the greatest difficulty in
crossing,--the river being both deep and rapid,--and several men were
drowned. A pontoon bridge was therefore made in a couple of hours, over
which the rest of the army passed, with the exception of the Cavalry,
Artillery, and waggons, which forded the river. A special pontoon bridge
was made for the 18-pounder brigade, over which it passed with safety.
On the 1st June head-quarters proceeded to Zamora, and the army
completed the passage of the Esla,--the French evacuating Zamora as the
Allies approached.

“Thus,” wrote Colonel Dickson, “we succeeded in our manœuvre of turning
the Douro, and getting possession of that river without sustaining the
smallest loss. It has been a bold one; but, by his Lordship’s rapidity
in moving the army, and transferring himself from one point to the
other, I think the French did not succeed in discovering our real
intention until it was too late for them to hinder it. Otherwise, we
found the Esla such an obstacle, that if they only had had ten or twelve
thousand men on that river, the passage of it would have been a serious
operation to us, and could not have been effected without either great
loss of time or of men, and probably both.”

On the 2nd June, the French abandoned Toro, and Wellington’s
head-quarters proceeded there,--remaining over the 3rd, on which day,
and on the 4th, the force which had advanced by Salamanca, under Sir R.
Hill, crossed the Douro. On the 4th, the army moved forward in three
columns,--the right, under Sir R. Hill, in the direction of Valladolid;
the centre upon La Mota, and the left under Sir Thomas Graham towards
Rio Seco. The head-quarters proceeded to La Mota on the 4th, to Castro
Monte on the 5th, and to Ampudia on the 6th; the French abandoning
Valladolid, as the Allies advanced, and retiring upon Palencia and
Duenas. The armies continued to keep within a day’s march of one
another: indeed, when the Allies reached Palencia, on the 7th June, the
rear-guard of the enemy was clearly visible from the high ground. On the
12th (the pursuit still going on steadily, and Wellington continuing
this, his greatest, march in the most persevering, relentless manner)
the French army had reached Monasterio and the neighbourhood of
Burgos,--but indicated no sign of discontinuing its retreat. Warned by
past experience, Wellington had decided to take no active measures
against Burgos, but merely to blockade it with part of the Spanish army,
leaving the English troops undiminished. In the meantime, Sir Thomas
Graham, with the left column of the army, inclined to his left in the
direction of the upper part of the Ebro; with the view, it was believed,
of turning or crossing that river. The events of the next few days,
however, modified matters very much. On reaching Villa Diego, Lord
Wellington ascertained that the Castle of Burgos had been blown up by
the French, and was in utter ruins. Sir Richard Fletcher, of the
Engineers, accompanied by Colonels Dickson and May, and Major Frazer of
the Artillery, penetrated into the place, although the French rear-guard
was still close at hand, and brought back the report. Joseph Buonaparte
had meditated taking up a position at Burgos, but it having been
pronounced unwise, he continued to retire on Vittoria. His army--which
was known to be _en route_ for France--was embarrassed with huge convoys
of spoils,--and crowds of followers, male and female, who were unwilling
to be left in Spain, unprotected by the French troops. Lord Wellington
now executed a very brilliant [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G.
dated 19 June, 1813.] strategical manœuvre,--the crossing of the Ebro.
The route by which he abruptly moved his army was unfrequented and
considered impracticable. The descent to the river by the Puente de
Arenas was by a very narrow and steep pass, opening into a small but
fertile valley, entirely surrounded by high mountains, with the river
running through it. The _sortie_ from the valley of Puente de Arenas was
by a road running for a considerable distance close to the river, with
stupendous rocks overhanging on either side. Had this movement been
foreseen, a very small body of the enemy could have impeded the passage
of the army. The advantages of this manœuvre were many. The [Sidenote:
Cust’s ‘Annals of the Wars.’] French communications with the coast were
cut off, and a new base was opened for the operations of the Allies. The
English fleet entered Santander, and commissariat communication was
opened with the coast. Wellington was also in a position to threaten the
communications between Vittoria and the Pyrenees, and the French found
the English already in rear of their right. An engagement took place
between Sir Thomas Graham and the French General, Reille, who had been
detached to protect the communications between the French army and their
own country; and the [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. 19 June,
1813.] Light Division--with which Lord Wellington himself was--succeeded
in surprising General Mancune’s division on the march,--killing a good
many, dispersing one brigade, and capturing an immense quantity of
baggage, and 300 prisoners. But these were merely the preliminaries to a
battle, which, in its results, was unsurpassed in the whole narrative of
the Peninsular War. Writing on the evening of the 19th June, from
Subijana de Morillas, three leagues south-west of Vittoria, Colonel
Dickson said: “We can see the whole French army on their march to
Vittoria;--the column is not more than six or seven miles off. To-morrow
we expect to move forward upon Vittoria, which, I think, must lead to

In proceeding to discuss the share of the Royal Artillery at the battle
of Vittoria, it has unfortunately to be premised that the most valuable
letter on the subject has been mislaid, or lost. In writing to General
Macleod after the [Sidenote: Dated 23 June, 1813.] battle, Colonel
Dickson said: “I know Frazer has given you some account of it, so I will
not enter into further details at present, except on our own matters.”
And in two subsequent letters, he said: “Frazer’s letter will have
explained everything.” Now, in the published letters of Sir Augustus
Frazer, this letter is not to be found; nor is there much in his
allusions to the battle in his other letters to assist the Artilleryman
in tracing the services of his Corps. The loss of the letter is, to a
certain extent, compensated by details given in subsequent letters from
Colonel Dickson, but still remains irreparable.

It would be beyond the province of this work to describe the battle of
Vittoria, as a whole. In the pages of the _general_ military historian
such a description can be found. In these, the regimental statistics
alone need be reproduced. The general plan of the battle is, doubtless,
familiar to all:--the plain in front of Vittoria, into which--as into a
trap--Joseph Buonaparte poured all his troops and convoys;--the one road
available for the retreat of his forces to France, which was
menaced--but not with sufficient decision--by Wellington’s left;--the
confusion in the space between the French army and the town of Vittoria,
where mobs of terrified fugitives were mingled with heaps of vehicles
and stores;--the three-handed assault of the Allies, advancing with
steadfast purpose from three quarters at once;--the frequent Artillery
duels, in which the Artillery on both sides so greatly distinguished
themselves;--the grand final effort of the French artillery, [Sidenote:
Napier.] when “more than eighty guns, massed together, pealed with such
a horrid uproar, that the hills laboured and shook, and streamed with
fire and smoke, amidst which the dark figures of the French gunners were
seen, bounding with a frantic energy;” and then the wild rout, the
headlong flight of an army leaving its guns and everything behind
it;--the shrieks of women, the terror of men, rising so vividly before
his mind as he wrote, that Napier exclaimed, “It was the wreck of a
nation!” But no such ambitious description is required in detail from
the mere regimental historian. What is demanded from him is the
narrative, from old records that have never seen the light, of the share
taken by his corps on this eventful day.

[Sidenote: Official Report to the Master-General, dated 23 June, 1813.]

Let the distribution of the various troops and brigades of Artillery at
Vittoria first be given. Colonel Dickson was in command, assisted by the
following field officers:--

    Lieut.-Colonel Hartmann, K.G.A., commanding the reserve Artillery.
    Major Carncross, with Sir Rowland Hill’s column.
    Major Buckner, with column of 3rd and 7th Divisions.
    Major Frazer, commanding the Horse Artillery.

The troops of Royal Horse Artillery were distributed as follows:--

    Captain Webber Smith’s, with the Reserve.
    Major Ross’s, with Light Division.
    Captain Beane’s, with General Fane’s Cavalry.
    Major Gardiner’s, with the Hussars.
    Captain Ramsay’s, with the Cavalry Division.

The Field Brigades were distributed as follows:--

    Major Lawson’s, with 5th Division.
    Captain Douglas’s, with 3rd Division.
    Captain Maxwell’s, with 2nd Division.
    Captain Dubourdieu’s, with 1st Division.
    Major Sympher’s (K.G.A.), with 4th Division.
    Captain Cairnes’, with 7th Division.
    Captain Parker’s, with the Reserve.
    Lieut.-Colonel Tulloh, R.A., commanded two Portuguese brigades with
      Sir R. Hill’s corps, and Major Arriaga commanded the Portuguese
      Reserve Brigade.
    Lieut.-Colonel May acted as Assistant Adjutant-General, and Lieut. Woodyear
      acted as Brigade-Major. Lieutenants Ord, Harding, and Pascoe,
      were employed as staff officers by Colonel Dickson.

The number of guns, exclusive of the Spanish, which were brought into
action by the Allies at Vittoria was ninety; but the French had
considerably more. There happened in this battle, on the 21st June,
1813, what rarely happens;--_every_ brigade of Artillery was brought
into action. In his official report, Colonel Dickson said that he had
reason to be satisfied with the conduct of the officers and men of the
Royal Artillery on this occasion; that their skill and bravery were
highly conspicuous, as were their exertions in bringing forward the
Artillery through a difficult and intersected [Sidenote: Dated 23 June,
1813.] country, both during the attack and the pursuit. “In short,” he
added, “I can safely assert that artillery could not be better served;
and, to the credit of the officers, I have to add that from the
beginning of the day to the last moment of the pursuit, it was always to
be found where it was wanted.” In his private letter to General Macleod,
Colonel Dickson particularised some of the officers who had especially
distinguished themselves; and the following extract deserves
publication: “I cannot close this letter without mentioning the valuable
assistance my friend Frazer afforded during the whole business. I may
truly say he flew from one troop to another,--accompanying them into
action and attending to their supply, or looking out for roads for them
to move. You, who know Frazer so well, can easily anticipate what he
would be on such an occasion.”

The massing of the English Artillery was effected at Vittoria to an
unprecedented extent, and with most happy results. It might at first be
assumed that the admirable use made of this arm on that occasion is a
sufficient reply to any insinuations against Lord Wellington’s knowledge
of Artillery tactics. Unfortunately for him, a letter has survived which
proves, on the best authority, that to accident alone was this artillery
display due. “The nature of the country,” wrote Colonel Dickson, “and
want of roads, was the means of throwing a large proportion of our
Artillery together, away from their divisions, which I availed myself
of, and by employing them in masses it had a famous effect. This was
adjoining to the great road to Vittoria; and the French brought all the
artillery they could to oppose our advance, so that the cannonade on one
spot was very vigorous. In none of our Peninsular battles have we ever
brought so much cannon into play; and it was so well directed that the
French were generally obliged to retire ere the Infantry could get at
them. There were few or no instances of the bayonet being used during
the day.”

[Sidenote: MS. Official Return to D. A. Gen.]

Considering the duration of the battle, the casualties among the
Artillery were singularly few. They were as follows:--

  Staff.--_Wounded_: Colonel May, and Brigade-Major Woodyear (died
  of wounds).

                             Killed.  Wounded.  Missing.
  Royal Horse Artillery         4        36        2
  Royal Artillery               8        19       ..
  Horses of R. H. A.           28        23        8
  Horses of R. A.              15         2       ..

[Sidenote: Ibid.]

The number of guns captured from the enemy was no less than 151, besides
415 caissons. Of gun ammunition 14,249 rounds were taken, besides
40,668 lbs. of gunpowder and 1,973,400 musket ball-cartridges. The other
spoils were countless; and it is difficult to conceive a more complete

Lord Wellington’s account of the battle contains the following short,
but satisfactory, allusion to the services of the [Sidenote: To Lord
Bathurst dated 22 June, 1813.] Artillery:--“The Artillery was most
judiciously placed by Lieut.-Colonel Dickson, and was well served; and
the army is particularly indebted to that Corps.” During the pursuit of
the enemy after the battle, Colonel Dickson kept the Artillery well
up,--and was rewarded, as will be seen from [Sidenote: Extract from the
private Journal of F. S. Larpent, Esq., Judge-Advocate-General to the
British forces in the Peninsula. Published by Sir G. Larpent, page 142.]
the following anecdote:--“In the pursuit after Vittoria, in the bad
roads, Lord Wellington saw a French column making a stand, as if to halt
for the night. ‘Now Dickson,’ said he, ‘if we had but some Artillery
up!’ ‘They are close by, my Lord.’ And in ten minutes, from a hill on
the right, Lieut.-Colonel Ross’s Light Division guns began; and away
went the French two leagues farther off.” The same author from whom this
quotation is made says: “Dickson, though only a Captain in the Royal
Regiment of Artillery, now conducts the whole department here, _because
he makes no difficulties_.”

[Sidenote: Lord Wellington’s Despatch, dated 24 June, 1813.]

During the pursuit, the only remaining guns--two in number--taken away
by the French from the field, were captured,--one being disabled by the
fire of the Chestnut Troop, and the other being taken within a league of
Pampeluna, [Sidenote: ‘Memoirs of Sir Hew Ross,’ page 41.] in which
direction the French had retreated.

The results which followed the battle of Vittoria are summarised by
Napier in his description of the campaign, in which that battle was the
chief incident. “In this campaign of six weeks,” he wrote, “Wellington,
with 100,000 men, marched 600 miles, passed six great rivers, gained one
decisive battle, invested two fortresses, and drove 120,000 veteran
troops from Spain.” The fortresses referred to were Pampeluna and San
Sebastian; and it is now proposed to treat of the double siege of the
latter, as an episode of essential importance in the history of the
Regiment, and one concerning which Sir Alexander Dickson left much
valuable information, yet unpublished. Before doing so, however, there
are two incidents which deserve to be mentioned.

In the _brevet_ which followed Vittoria, Majors Frazer and Ross were
made Lieut.-Colonels, and 2nd Captain Jenkinson (of the Chestnut Troop)
was made Major. Captain Jenkinson’s brevet promotion was the first which
had been received by a 2nd Captain of Artillery. In the beginning of the
year 1813, the 2nd Captains serving in the Peninsula had memorialised
Lord Wellington on the subject. The [Sidenote: Sir Henry Torrens to Lord
Wellington, 3 March, 1813.] memorial having been referred to England, a
favourable reply was given, and Captain Jenkinson’s promotion was the
first fruits. In addition to the somewhat scanty recognition of the
Artillery in this _brevet_, a boon was granted, which is described in
the following extract from a letter written by the Master-General of the
Ordnance, Lord Mulgrave, to [Sidenote: Dated 16 July, 1813.] Colonel
Dickson:--“On receipt of your letter, addressed to Major-General
Macleod, I did not fail to bring under the consideration of the Prince
Regent the very striking and unexampled circumstance of the whole of the
British Artillery having been brought into action at the battle of
Vittoria, and the whole of the enemy’s Artillery having been captured in
the glorious victory which crowned the exertions of the Allies on that
ever-memorable occasion. His Royal Highness has been graciously
pleased--in consideration of the peculiar circumstances above stated--to
mark His Royal Highness’s approbation of the particular and successful
activity of the Corps of Royal Artillery under your orders, by granting
severally to the officers entrusted with the command of divisions or
brigades an allowance for good service in the following proportions:--To
the officers commanding divisions, each 10_s._ per diem; to the officers
commanding brigades, each 5_s._ per diem; and to yourself a similar
allowance for good service of 20_s._ per diem.”

Better, far better, that these words had never been penned, and that the
generous thought had died in its conception! For the day was to come
when a reference to this precedent after Vittoria should call forth
from him under whom the representatives of the Corps had so often and so
bravely fought, a letter as cruel and unjust to those of whom [Sidenote:
Vide Appendix A.] it treated, as it was unworthy of him who penned it.

The other incident is one which has become a household word in the
Regiment. If there is one name more familiar than another to the
Artilleryman, it is that of Norman Ramsay. From public orders and the
pages of history his gallantry and professional skill may be learnt; but
it is from the pages of private correspondence that one ascertains how
lovable he was. He joined the Regiment in 1798, and he fell at Waterloo;
and yet in that short space of seventeen years he had gained the love of
his brother officers without exception, the devotion of his men, and the
admiration of all. A man _sans peur et sans reproche_, he reminds one of
the knights of Arthur, whose pleasure was to

    “Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the king.”

A thorough master of his profession, he earned the respect as well as
the love of those whom he commanded: and let all remember that the love
of men for their commander must have that element in it to make the gift
worth having. The personal qualities of an officer may attract the
affection of his men; but if he is deficient in knowledge of his
profession, there will be in their love an element approaching pity,
which will be fatal to their confidence in the hour of trial. It will be
like the love for a child,--pure, warm, and sincere,--but not such as
will demand from the soldier, in the day of battle, blind confidence and
unhesitating obedience. In Norman Ramsay were combined all the virtues
which compel affection, and all the skill which demands respect. But
there was more: he possessed that professional enthusiasm, which hallows
the dullest tasks, and gilds the severest hardship. His pride in his
troop made its men strive to be worthy of his good opinion; and it is in
this way that a commander can with certainty generate _esprit de corps_
among his men. Let him but place before them a standard of perfection,
even although unattainable, and, in their voluntary efforts to reach
it, they will rise far higher, than if driven by order, or goaded by
fear of punishment.

Successful in all his aims, Norman Ramsay was yet so fortunate as to
escape jealousy. The letters of his brother-officers,--written for
private eye alone, but subsequently published,--show this to a singular
extent. Sir Alexander Dickson, Sir Augustus Frazer, Sir Hew Ross, Major
Cairnes, and others,--all men of different characters and
disposition,--rarely wrote without a loving word or kind inquiry about
Ramsay. If his troop distinguished itself, they all rejoiced as if it
had been their own; if he met with any grief, they longed to share it;
and if sorrow came upon themselves, their first instinct was to confide
it to him. In October, 1813, a distinguished Artilleryman, Sir Howard
Douglas, lost in action a brother whom he deeply loved. Older than
Ramsay, one yet finds without surprise that it [Sidenote: Sir A.
Frazer’s Letters, page 314.] was to him he went, “bitterly lamenting his
loss.” So also when any of them came within his reach at any time, the
letters always speak alike,--as if every one would readily understand
the writers’ longings--“I _must_ go and see Ramsay.”

In these pages, later on, the story will have to be told how, in the
midst of the din of battle, there seemed to fall a silence like a pall,
as he, the brave and much-loved, met with a soldier’s death; but the
grief was then that of his friends. The incident now to be told tells of
a grief which was his own,--which never quitted him while he lived, and
which was said by many who knew him to have led him to court unnecessary
exposure on the day in which he died. At Vittoria, Bull’s troop,
commanded by Ramsay, had done special service. On the following day,
during the pursuit, [Sidenote: Published Letters of Sir A. Frazer, page
183.] “Lord Wellington spoke to Ramsay as he passed; desired him to take
his troop for the night to a village near, adding that if there were
orders for the troop in the course of the night, _he would send them_.”
No orders came; but at 6 A.M. an Assistant Quartermaster-General
arrived, and ordered him to join the brigade to which he belonged. The
troop at once marched, but was shortly afterwards overtaken by a written
order from General Murray, the Quartermaster-General [Sidenote:
Published Letters of Sir A. Frazer, page 186.] of the army, directing
“Captain Ramsay’s troop to rejoin General Anson’s brigade.” The troop
halted, while Ramsay rode on to discover the road; and at this moment
Lord Wellington rode up, and called repeatedly for him. “His Lordship,”
wrote Sir Augustus Frazer, “then called for Dickson, whose horse being
unable at the instant to clear a wide ditch over which we had just
passed, I rode up to mention the circumstance to Lord Wellington, who
ordered me to put Captain Ramsay in arrest, and to give the command of
the troop to Captain Cator. This I accordingly did.... It appears that
Lord Wellington had intended that Ramsay’s troop should not have moved
that morning till he himself sent orders, and his Lordship declared that
he had told Ramsay so. This Ramsay affirms he never heard or understood;
and his Lordship’s words, repeated by Ramsay, young Macleod, and a
sergeant and corporal, all at hand when his Lordship spoke to Ramsay,
are precisely the same, and do not convey such a meaning. I spoke
instantly to Lord Fitzroy Somerset on the subject, who, together with
every other individual about head-quarters, was, and is, much concerned
at the circumstance. Nay, two days afterwards, when the despatches were
making out, every friendly suggestion was used by several that Ramsay
might be mentioned as he deserved; but I have reason to believe that he
is not. There is not, among the many good and gallant officers who are
here, one of superior zeal or devotion to the service to Ramsay, who has
given repeated proofs of spirit and good conduct. Admitting, contrary to
all evidence, that he had mistaken the verbal orders he received, this
surely is a venial offence, and one for which long-tried and faithful
services should not be forgotten.... Few circumstances have engaged more
general attention, or occasioned more regret. It has naturally been
expected that after the first moment was over, a deserving officer
would, at least, have been released from a situation most galling to a
gallant spirit. ... I trust this will soon be the case; but ... I am at
a loss to account for the delay in a point so easily settled. In the
meanwhile, Ramsay bears up with great fortitude, although he deeply
feels.” Writing on the same [Sidenote: ‘Memoir of Sir Hew Ross,’ page
46.] subject, some weeks later, Sir Hew Ross said: “Norman Ramsay is at
present with his troop in this neighbourhood, and we are much together.
He is quite well, and bears his unjust treatment, and consequent
disappointment, in the manly and proper way that might be expected of
him.” For a considerable time he was kept under arrest; and the numerous
applications on his behalf, including a very urgent one from Sir Thomas
Graham, seemed to have the effect of irritating Lord Wellington. The
consciousness of having done an unjust act is rendered more difficult to
bear, when the victim has been one for whom affection has been
entertained; and it was believed in the army that, as far as his
undemonstrative nature would allow, Lord Wellington had a strong liking
for Norman Ramsay. There was no doubt of the devotion of the latter for
his great chief; and the keen suffering caused by injustice from a
person whom one loves must be realised to be fully understood. He was
happily released from arrest in time to carry his brave troop through
the many actions, with which the war concluded; and he received a
_brevet_ promotion for these services; but he was never the same man. At
Waterloo, on the morning of the battle, as the Duke rode along the line,
he saw Ramsay at the head of his troop for the first time since his
arrival in [Sidenote: Communicated by Sir J. Bloomfield, R.H.A.]
Flanders. He accosted him cheerfully as he passed. Ramsay merely bowed
his head sadly, until it nearly touched his horse’s mane, but could not
speak. In a few hours he was where sorrow and injustice are unknown.

It is necessary now to turn to the siege of San Sebastian. Pampeluna was
blockaded and ultimately starved into submission; but stronger measures
were adopted with San Sebastian, into which place Marshal Jourdan had
thrown a [Sidenote: Jones’s ‘Sieges of the Peninsula,’ vol. ii. chap.
ii.] garrison of between 3000 and 4000 men. On the land side, it was
invested by the left wing of the Allied army, under Sir Thomas Graham;
and on the sea side it was blockaded by a squadron under Sir George
Collyer. On the 4th July, 1813, Lord Wellington wrote as follows to
Colonel Dickson: [Sidenote: Dated Lanz, 4 July, 1813.] “From what I have
heard of San Sebastian, I am inclined to form the siege of that place,
and I shall be very much obliged to you if you will send an officer to
Bilbao to order [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 10 July,
1813.] the train from thence to Passages.”[41] The order was immediately
obeyed, and Captain Morrison’s 18-pounder brigade was also directed to
proceed to Passages for the same purpose. On the 12th, Lord Wellington
reconnoitred San Sebastian, and on the 14th, he departed to join the
army on the field, leaving Colonel Dickson to conduct the Artillery part
of the siege. Lord Wellington’s operations in the field were at this
time of a very delicate nature. The Allied army in the east of Spain had
failed, and had raised the siege of Tarragona; while, in his front and
on his right, there were menacing French armies. French garrisons in
Pampeluna and San Sebastian also weakened his available force, by
demanding troops to watch them.

Before entering on the details of the double siege, the following list
of artillery officers, who were present, may be interesting.

[Sidenote: MS. Returns dated 12 Sept. 1813.]

  ST. SEBASTIAN under LIEUT.-COLONEL DICKSON, commanding the
  Artillery under the MARQUIS OF WELLINGTON.

                                            First       Second
                                          Operation.   Operation.

  Lieut.-Colonel May, A. A. General           1           0
         ”       Frazer, R. H. Artillery      1           1
  Major Buckner                               0           1
   ”    Dyer                                  0           1
   ”    Webber Smith, R. H. Artillery         1           1
  Captain Morrison                            1           1
    ”     Douglas                             0           1
    ”     Dubourdieu (killed)                 1           0
    ”     W. Power                            1           1
    ”     Green                               0           1
    ”     J. B. Parker                        1           1
    ”     Deacon                              1           1
    ”     Dansey                              1           0
    ”     C. Gordon                           0           1
    ”     A. Macdonald, R. H. Artillery       1           0
  Lieutenant J. W. Johnstone                  1           1
       ”     Henry Blachley, R. H. Artillery  1           1
       ”     R. H. Ord                        1           1
       ”     W. Brereton, R. H. Artillery     1           0
       ”     J. Wood                          0           1
       ”     Basil Heron                      1           1
       ”     G. Mainwaring                    0           1
       ”     R. Hardinge                      1           0
       ”     R. Harding, R. H. Artillery      1           1
       ”     R. F. Phillips                   0           1
       ”     J. Pascoe                        1           1
       ”     R. Manners                       0           1
       ”     W. Dennis                        0           1
       ”     Hugh Morgan                      0           1
       ”     C. Shaw                          1           1
       ”     H. Stanway                       1           1
       ”     R. Story                         1           1
       ”     H. Slade                         0           1
       ”     H. Hough                         0           1
       ”     F. Monro                         1           0
       ”     H. Hutchins                      0           1
       ”     John Bloomfield                  1           1
       ”     H. Palliser                      0           1
       ”     T. G. Williams                   1           1
       ”     A. Macbean                       1           1
                                             --          --
                                             25          33
                                             --          --

  Lieut. England’s name also appears in some of the Journals of the
  First Operation, and in Jones’s ‘Sieges,’ and should be included

  Total, exclusive of King’s German Artillery, present at St.

    _First Operation._--Colonel Dickson and 25 officers of the Royal Artillery.
    _Second Operation._--Colonel Dickson and 33 officers of the Royal Artillery.

  Extract from a letter dated Passages de la Calçada, 12 Sept. 1813:

  “These officers vied with each other in their endeavours to
  forward the object in view in the most indefatigable

The story of San Sebastian divides itself into three parts,--viz.: the
first siege, terminating in an unsuccessful assault; the blockade; and
the second and successful siege. The _matériel_ at the disposal of the
Artillery at the first siege was inadequate, even when supplemented by
field guns, and guns borrowed from the navy; but during the second siege
the supply was ample, and the fire most efficient. In sieges, the
association of the Artillery with the breach made by them ceases when
the assault commences; but this was not so in the second siege of San
Sebastian, when the assault would certainly have failed but for the
powerful fire maintained by the Artillery over the heads of the
assailants. Of this, however, more hereafter.

[Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D. A. G.]

San Sebastian is built on a neck of land jutting out into the sea; and
the first point which it was necessary to secure on the land side was a
place which had been fortified,--the convent of St. Bartholomew. This
was taken, after four days’ vigorous cannonade, by assault, on the 17th
July, 1813. [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson’s Diary; and Jones’s ‘Peninsular
Sieges.’] The guns employed against the convent and the adjoining
redoubt were placed in the batteries of the left attack, numbered 1 and
2, and were four 18-pounders and two 8-inch howitzers. Before the
assault, however, Sir Thomas Graham, who had been left by Lord
Wellington in command, [Sidenote: Sir Thomas Graham to Colonel Dickson,
dated 15 July, 1813.] directed as many field guns as possible to be
brought into play in support. This was done; and they were found to be
of material assistance, and were served with great effect during the
assault. The number of rounds expended against the convent and redoubt
was 3000: a large [Sidenote: Jones’s ‘Sieges.’] quantity of hot shot was
employed; and in his despatch announcing the success of the assault, Sir
Thomas Graham [Sidenote: To Lord Wellington, dated 18 July, 1813.] said:
“I cannot conclude this report without expressing my perfect
satisfaction with all the officers and men of the Royal Artillery, both
in the four-gun battery employed for three days against the convent, and
on the opposite bank of the river, whence several field-pieces were
served with great effect.”

The batteries against the town had been in course of preparation during
the bombardment of the convent; and the following tables extracted from
Sir A. Dickson’s letters and returns will show at a glance much that
would otherwise occupy much space in description. The numbering of the
batteries differs from that of the Engineers; but where possible, _both_
have been shown.

The batteries were divided into those of the right and left attacks.
Lieut.-Colonel May assisted, during the first siege, under Colonel
Dickson; the left or detached attack was under Colonel Hartmann, K.G.A.,
and the batteries were armed, manned, and superintended as follows:--


  No. 1 Battery (No 11 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’)     {2 24-pr. guns   {Against the Mirador
                                                {4 8-in. hows.   {and castle,
                                                                 {and to enfilade
                                                                 {the land fronts.

  No. 2 Battery (No. 12 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’)    2 24-pr. guns    {Against defences:
                                                                 {only used two

  No. 3 Battery (No. 13 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’)    4 24-pr. guns    For breaching.

  No. 4 Battery (No. 14 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’[42]) 12 24-pr. guns   For breaching.

  No. 5 Battery (No. 15 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’)    {4 68-pr.        {Against breach,
                                                {carronades      {and to annoy

  No. 6 Battery (No. 16 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’)    {4 10-inch       {Against land front
                                                {mortars         {and castle.
                       Total                    32 pieces.

    Major Webber Smith, R.H.A., was in charge of Nos. 1, 2, and 6 Batteries.
    Lieut.-Colonel Frazer, R.H.A., was in charge of Nos. 4 and 5
        (the breaching) Batteries.
    Major Arriaga, Portuguese Artillery, was in charge of No. 3.

    The officers in the various batteries were as follows:--

    No. 1 Battery.--Captain Macdonald, and Lieutenants Brereton, Heron,
            and Williams.
    No. 2 Battery.--Captain Deacon and Lieutenant England.
    No. 3 Battery.--Captain Rosières and Lieutenant Costa (Portuguese).
    No. 4 Battery.--Captains Dubourdieu and Parker, and Lieutenants
            Hardinge and Bloomfield of the Royal Artillery, and
            Lieutenants Silva and Judice of the Portuguese Artillery.
    No. 5 Battery.--Captain Dansey and Lieutenant Johnstone.
    No. 6 Battery.--This was not manned at first.


  No. 1 Battery 4   18-prs.      {Against the convent up to
                                 { 17 July, 1813.

  No. 2 Battery 2   8-inch hows.  Ditto. ditto.

  No. 3 Battery 6   18-prs.      {To annoy defences of land
  No. 4 Battery 2   8-inch hows. { front, and support attack.
                                 { Doubtless these included
                                 { the guns from Nos. 1 and
                                 { 2 Batteries.

  The officers of the Royal Artillery engaged in the left attack,

  Captain    Morrison.
     ”       Power.
  Lieutenant Shaw.
     ”       Oldham.
     ”       Story.
     ”       Stanway.

  The strength of the companies of Artillery before San Sebastian,
  on the 18th July, 1813, was as follows:--

  Captain Morrison’s (18-pr. brigade)    162 of all ranks.
  Major Lawson’s                          57    ”
  Captain Dubourdieu’s                    66    ”
  Captain Parker’s                        68    ”
  Detachment                              17    ”
  Portuguese Artillery                   107    ”
                                Total    476

  The ammunition expended during the first siege amounted to 27,719
  rounds, and, as the batteries did not open until the 20th July,
  and the assault took place on the morning of the 25th, the
  rapidity of fire must have been excessive. In alluding to this,
  General Jones says: “The expenditure from the breaching battery
  alone, on the 22nd July, amounted to 350 rounds a gun, expended in
  about 15 hours of daylight. Such a rate of firing was probably
  never equalled at any siege, great accuracy of range being at the
  same time observed.” Captain Dubourdieu of the Royal Artillery was
  mortally wounded in the batteries on the first day; and the total
  loss of the Corps and the Portuguese Artillery during the first
  operation was 12 _killed_, and 44 _wounded_.

  On the morning of the 24th July, two breaches were deemed quite
  practicable, but the assault which was first intended to take
  place on that day was postponed until the 25th at 5 A.M. It
  completely failed: a certain amount of gallantry was shown by the
  attacking troops, but there was a feeling of depression among
  them, which seemed to have arisen from exaggerated ideas of the
  difficulty of the task. Sir Thomas Graham, while giving due credit
  for the courage which was shown, and which was proved by the list
  of casualties, felt that his troops were not in the same mood as
  those who stormed Badajoz. In a letter to Colonel Dickson
  [Sidenote: To Colonel Dickson, dated 8 p.m. 25 July, 1813.] on the
  night of the assault, he said: “It is evident to me that _the
  troops here_ never will carry this breach, unless every annoyance
  but the castle fire (which is not come-at-able at present) be
  removed.... The approach to the breach is certainly very
  unfavourable, and does not admit of attempting to feed or renew
  the attack, as all must go in one narrow column over rough,
  slippery stones,--and _that_, with an enfilading and flanking
  fire, occasioned the complete failure; nor would it have been
  possible at last to get any other fresh men from the trenches to
  have advanced.” Further than keeping up a fire which would not
  interfere with the attacking party, the Artillery had nothing to
  do with the assault; but Sir Thomas Graham in reporting the
  failure took the opportunity of referring to their services on the
  preceding days, in the following gratifying terms:--“The
  [Sidenote: To Lord Wellington, dated 27 July, 1813.] conduct,
  throughout the whole of the operations of the siege hitherto, of
  the officers and men of the Royal Artillery and Engineers, never
  was exceeded in indefatigable zeal, activity, and gallantry; and I
  beg to mention particularly to your Lordship Lieut.-Colonels
  Dickson, Frazer, and May, and Major Webber Smith, of the Royal

  [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. dated 12 Aug. 1813.]

  Lord Wellington came in person to look at the state of affairs,
  and as it was not deemed prudent to repeat the assault, and the
  ammunition of the Artillery was nearly expended, the operations
  against the place were brought to a close;--greatly to the
  disappointment of many. After the failure of the assault, Lord
  Wellington ordered, for security, that all the guns, with the
  exception of a few pieces, should be removed from the batteries,
  and a blockade substituted for a siege. The forward movement of
  Soult’s army, which will be discussed hereafter, produced a
  further order to embark the guns and stores. On the French being
  driven back, Colonel Dickson received orders to land them again;
  the batteries also were repaired, new ones constructed, and
  everything put in readiness for a second siege as soon as
  ammunition should arrive from England. The arrival of this was,
  however, delayed beyond the endurance of Sir Thomas Graham, who
  was not so familiar with the dilatory habits of the Civil branch
  of the Ordnance, as Colonel Dickson was. In one of his numerous
  letters to the latter [Sidenote: Dated 7 Aug. 1813.] during this
  period, he wrote: “It is too provoking to think of such mistakes
  and delays at home, where they have nothing else to do or think
  of, but the execution of demands made at an early enough period to
  give full time for preparation.” Sir Thomas Graham’s
  correspondence shows at this time a feverish, almost fretful,
  anxiety about the preparations for the second siege, which was not
  unnatural in a General anxious to wipe out the recollection of
  failure. The reader of his letters cannot resist a wish to have
  seen his face when the incident occurred, described by Napier:
  “With characteristic negligence, this enormous armament (i.e. two
  new battering trains) had been sent out from England with no more
  shot and shells than would suffice for one day’s consumption.” At
  length, everything was in readiness, and the batteries opened on
  the 26th August, 1813. Before entering on the narrative of the
  siege, a list of the batteries with their respective armaments
  will be given, extracted not merely from Sir A. Dickson’s official
  returns, but also from private letters written at the time,--with
  all the necessary information at his hand.

  To commence with the _Left Attack_. The only batteries used before
  the storming of the city on the 31st August were those numbered 5
  and 6,--containing 7 24-pounders, 2 8-inch howitzers, and Captain
  Morrison’s brigade of six 18-pounders. Others will be given,
  hereafter, which were used at the bombardment of the castle. The
  object of the fire of the left attack was to breach the right face
  of the left demi-bastion, and the curtain over it; also, the face
  of the left demi-bastion of the hornwork, and generally to annoy
  the defences. Lieut.-Colonel Hartmann, K.G.A., again commanded the
  left attack.

  The _Right Attack_ was under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Frazer,
  and consisted of the following batteries, according to Colonel
  Dickson’s numbering:--

  No. 1 (evidently No. 11 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing  2 8-inch howitzers.

                                                          { 1 12-inch Spanish
  No. 3 (evidently No. 13 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing { mortar, and 5 10-inch
                                                          {  mortars.

                                                          { 5  8-inch howitzers.
  No. 4 (evidently No. 14 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing { 4 68-pr. carronades.
                                                          { 6  24-pr. guns.

  No. 5 (evidently No. 15 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing 15 24-pr. guns.

  No. 6 (evidently No. 16 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing  4 10-inch mortars.

  No. 7 (evidently No. 17 in Jones’s ‘Sieges’) containing  6 10-inch mortars.

  The breaching batteries were Nos. 4 and 5, but more especially the
  latter. Field officers were detailed for duty alternately in these
  two batteries, while the firing was going on: Majors Dyer and
  Webber Smith being in No. 4, and Majors Buckner and Sympher,
  K.G.A., in No. 5.

  According to Sir J. Jones, the batteries opened with a general
  salvo from 57 guns;--according, however, to Colonel Dickson, only
  48 were in action. The whole commenced by signal, and as Sir
  Thomas Graham wrote to Colonel Dickson, [Sidenote: Dated 26 Aug.
  1813.] “Nothing could be more imposing than the opening of your
  fire this morning.” The guns in the left attack were found to be
  too distant for the effect required; but the fire from the
  batteries of the right attack was so destructive, [Sidenote:
  Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. 1 Sept. 1813.] that in the course of
  five days, from the 26th to the 30th, the demi-bastion was
  demolished, a breach made in the curtain behind it, the towers on
  each side of the former breach laid down, and the wall laid open
  which connected the curtain with the left of the first breach. The
  batteries of the left attack laid open a hornwork; and four guns
  having been brought forward into a battery (No. 7) which was much
  nearer the works, they breached the right face of the
  demi-bastion, and greatly assisted in bringing down the end of the

  About 11 o’clock A.M. on the 31st August, the column for the
  assault, which had now been ordered, moved forward, and arrived at
  the breach with comparatively little loss. The defence of the
  French was such, however, that no lodgment could be
  effected,--more than one attempt having been repulsed; and as the
  enemy occupied a higher position than his assailants, he was able
  to fire down upon them and inflict great loss. It was at this time
  that Sir Thomas Graham ordered the Artillery to commence a fire,
  which has received the greatest praise at the hands of historians,
  and of which the following graphic description, from Colonel
  Dickson’s pen, cannot fail to interest the reader:--“The great
  body of our cannon, howitzers, and carronades fired upon the great
  curtain and behind it--over the heads of our own men (_only a few
  feet perpendicular lower down_), with a vigour and accuracy
  probably unprecedented in the annals of artillery. It was the
  admiration and surprise of Sir Thomas Graham, and Marshal
  Beresford, and all who beheld it. No one could say there was a
  single error to the disadvantage of our own people; and the force
  of the fire entirely prevented the enemy making any effort along
  the rampart to drive us from the breach. I must say the enemy
  stood with great firmness, firing over the parapet as well as they
  could, notwithstanding numbers had their heads taken off by our
  round shot. In short, on this occasion, our artillery was served
  in such a manner that I would not have believed it, had I not seen

  Sir J. Jones says of the Artillery fire at this time, that it was
  admirable, and occasioned no casualties among the assailants; and
  Napier describes the stream of missiles, like a horrid tempest, in
  its fearful course strewing the rampart with the mangled limbs of
  the defenders. It was a critical time; and a want of precision on
  the part of the Artillery [Sidenote: Dated Oyarzun, 1 Sept.
  1813.] would have produced a fatal panic among the assailants. In
  his despatch to Lord Wellington, announcing the success of the
  assault, Sir Thomas Graham admitted that, prior to the Artillery
  coming into action on this occasion, the state of the attack was
  desperate; and he described the fire (which after consultation
  with Colonel Dickson he ventured to order) as having been “kept up
  with a precision of practice beyond all example.” The ultimate
  success was almost accidental. A large number of shells and
  combustible materials had been accumulated above the breach to
  throw down on the storming party. This was fortunately ignited by
  the fire of the Allied Artillery, and a great explosion followed,
  killing many of the French, and producing a disorder which enabled
  the troops to establish themselves on the curtain, which they
  fought from traverse to traverse. Some additional troops having
  entered the town by another breach near the Towers, the curtain
  was abandoned, and the fighting confined to the streets; but very
  soon the French were driven into the castle, which alone remained
  in their hands at the end of the day. The Allies lost 500 killed,
  and 1500 wounded in this assault.

  To ensure the surrender of the castle, a bombardment from mortars
  was kept up, until two batteries were made ready in the left
  attack (Nos. 9 and 10), which were armed with 17 24-pounders,--and
  2 24-pounders with 1 8-inch howitzer, respectively. No. 9 was to
  breach the Mirador and Battery de la Reyna, and No. 10 to operate
  against the lower defences of the castle, and to enfilade the
  [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 12 Sept. 1813.] back
  of the hill. On the morning of the 8th September, the preparations
  being complete, the whole of the batteries opened on the castle.
  Colonel Dickson describes the bombardment as having been conducted
  in beautiful style, and carried on so vigorously, that in two
  hours the enemy hoisted a flag of truce. Sir J. Jones says that
  the fire was so extremely rapid and well directed, and of so
  overpowering a nature, that the castle scarcely returned a single
  shot. The terms of the capitulation having been agreed to, two
  batteries of the castle were delivered up the same evening, and on
  the next day the garrison marched out with the honours of war,
  and laid down their arms. Colonel Dickson was one of the three
  officers detailed to arrange the terms of the capitulation.

  The sufferings of the garrison, and of the prisoners in the
  castle, during the bombardment, were excessive, as may [Sidenote:
  Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. 12 Sept. 1813.] readily be imagined
  when one learns that “they had not a bomb-proof in it except for

  The siege of San Sebastian has an especial interest for the Royal
  Artillery,--more especially for that part of the Regiment, the
  duties of which are confined to the use of heavy ordnance. This
  episode was selected by an able and dispassionate historian, as
  one reflecting especial honour on [Sidenote: Gleig’s ‘Military
  History.’] the Corps. “It offers,” he wrote, “an example of
  precision of aim, and absolute coolness on the part of the
  gunners, never surpassed.... Such services as these were rendered
  thirty years ago by no other artillery in the world; and as the
  same spirit still prevails, which prevailed then, in the
  magnificent corps of which we are speaking, it cannot be doubted
  but that when the opportunity offers again, they will prove
  themselves worthy of the renown that attaches to them.”

  These words corroborate what has been so frequently urged in this
  work, that a regimental history differs essentially in its aim
  from all others. The glow, which it endeavours to throw over past
  events, is not meant to conceal defects, or to distort facts, but
  to awaken the spirit of emulation;--the boastful way in which
  special honours are recounted, and distinctive triumphs sung, is
  not egotistical pride, or aggressive conceit, but merely the fond
  treasuring of a glory which has been gained by others, and
  transmitted to their successors for safe keeping;--and the anxious
  gleaning among the fields of former action is but to find herbs,
  which in times of peace shall brace the gleaner for coming days
  of work or danger. The more truly a soldier knows and values the
  deeds and honours of those who have gone before him in his
  corps,--the more certain will he be to emulate them. There is no
  jealousy of the dead. Admiration of their qualities passes
  unconsciously into a love for their memories; and this love
  inspires a longing not to be unworthy. It may seem to some but a
  poor ambition, to use the weapons well which have been given to
  us,--to sacrifice one’s will unmeaningly,--and never to be
  downcast by discomfort or failure; but it is the highest ambition
  to which a soldier can aspire. Nor is it easy for him to conceive
  a higher. Cheerful obedience and conscientious zeal imply most of
  the higher qualities of humanity; and a perfect soldier must
  possess both. The great poet of England in these days has been the
  noblest preacher, to whom her army has ever listened. As he places
  before his readers the ideal of a true knight, the soldier sees a
  standard which he should never cease to gaze upon. He sees, it may
  be for the first time, that opposite virtues should not rebel, but
  mingle; and that such should be found in himself as

    “Utter hardihood, utter gentleness,
     And loving, utter faithfulness in love,
     And uttermost obedience to the king.”

  And, once realising this,--with the knowledge, possibly, in his
  heart that there have been in his corps before him men who
  approached even the standard of Arthur’s knights,--he must, as he
  reads of their deeds, long

                        “To sweep
    In ever-highering eagle-circles up
    To the great sun of glory, and thence swoop
    Down upon all things base, and dash them dead.”



  The absence of Colonel Dickson from the head-quarters of the army
  during the sieges of San Sebastian has had the effect of leaving
  the Artillery share in the operations [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson
  to D.-A.-G. dated 18 Sept. 1813.] known as the battle of the
  Pyrenees, unwritten. He did not rejoin head-quarters until the
  17th September, 1813: the period, therefore, between the battle of
  Vittoria and that date is, as far as the operations of Lord
  Wellington’s army are concerned, almost ignored in his
  correspondence. In the chapter on the Old Tenth Battalion, in this
  volume, some allusion to the services of the Artillery at this
  time will be found; and one or two facts are mentioned in Sir Hew
  Ross’s memoir; but, really, the chief work fell upon the Infantry
  during these operations. Soult had been sent to take command of
  the army of Spain, with orders to assume the offensive at once;
  which he did, with the ostensible [Sidenote: Lord Wellington to
  Lord Bathurst, 1 Nov. 1813.] view of relieving the blockade of
  Pampeluna. This he failed to do, and that city ultimately
  surrendered on the 31st October, 1813, relieving Lord Wellington
  of a great drag on his movements. The mountainous country, in
  which the combats which constituted the battle of the Pyrenees
  were fought, was unsuited to the movements of Artillery;
  [Sidenote: ‘Memoirs of Sir H. Ross,’ p. 45.] and the Chestnut
  Troop, which may be taken as a sample of those engaged, had its
  carriages completely shaken to pieces. Soult, having failed to
  relieve Pampeluna, made an attempt to raise the siege of San
  Sebastian; and, on the very day when the city was stormed, the
  31st August, he attacked the Spanish forces on San Marcial for
  this purpose, but was defeated with loss. The conduct of the
  Spanish on this occasion was much commended by Lord Wellington;
  and it was a singular and happy coincidence that this engagement,
  [Sidenote: To Lord Bathurst, dated 2 Sept. 1813.] so creditable to
  the Spanish troops, was the last fought on Spanish soil. Soult
  withdrew his forces across the frontier, and assumed the
  defensive. For six weeks Lord Wellington remained inactive,
  pending intelligence from the Allies in the north, who were then
  concentrating their forces against Napoleon, and would shortly
  demand from Lord Wellington a diversion in the south.

  During these six weeks, much was done to render the equipment of
  the Artillery suitable for a rough and winter campaign; measures
  were taken to expedite the arrival, from Lisbon, of some
  additional horses which had been sent from England; and, in the
  meantime, the troops and [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. dated 3 Oct.
  1813.] brigades were, as Colonel Dickson wrote, “kept above water”
  by the purchase of mules and French horses.

  On the 7th October, Lord Wellington made a forward movement into
  France by crossing the Bidassoa. This has always been considered
  one of the ablest movements made [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to
  D.-A.-G. dated 10 Oct. 1813.] by the great English General. The
  passage was effected as follows. The 5th Division and two
  9-pounder brigades forded at Fuentarabia. The 1st Division, and
  General Wilson’s brigade, with one 9-pounder brigade, and Webber
  Smith’s Troop of Horse Artillery, crossed at Irun; the Artillery
  of this column being commanded by Major Dyer. The passage of the
  1st Division column was covered by the 18-pounder brigade and a
  troop of Horse Artillery. General Freire’s Galician army passed at
  two fords higher up, covered by a 9-pounder brigade, Bull’s troop
  of Horse Artillery, and a brigade of Spanish Artillery. The
  passage of the river was effected, and the French position carried
  with great ease. The most difficult duty fell upon the Spaniards,
  who behaved well. The French, on the other hand, behaved ill. The
  18-pounder brigade was especially useful in covering the passage
  of the troops.

  The attack upon the Puerto de Vera was made by the Light Division
  and General Giron’s Spanish reserve army, supported by the 4th
  Division, who were successful in getting possession of the pass
  and adjoining heights; but not until the 9th October did the
  French quit the Montagne de la Rhune.

  The night prior to the crossing of the Bidassoa had been very
  stormy, and aided in concealing the movements of the Allies. But
  Soult never imagined such a thing possible as [Sidenote: Cust.]
  “the astonishing hardihood of passing columns by fords where the
  tide rose 16 feet, and where the sands were half a mile broad, to
  force such a river as the Bidassoa at its mouth.” In his
  description of the crossing of the Bidassoa, Sir Augustus Frazer
  mentions that, when he reached Irun with Ramsay’s troop and
  Michell’s (late Parker’s) brigade, he found 400 Infantry waiting
  to pull the guns over the mountain to the places from which they
  [Sidenote: ‘Frazer’s Letters,’ p. 290.] were to cover the crossing
  of the army. “But,” he adds with pride, “_Bull’s (Ramsay’s) horses
  never want assistance_; they were soon posted on a height with
  some Spanish [Sidenote: Dated Vera, 10 Oct. 1813.] “Horse
  Artillery.” From a subsequent official return to the
  Master-General, it appears that the 9-pounder brigade which
  accompanied the 1st Division was Captain Dansey’s; and that the
  9-pounder brigade which accompanied the 5th Division was Lawson’s,
  commanded by the 2nd Captain,--Mosse. Captain Morrison still
  commanded the 18-pounder brigade; and Lieut.-Colonel Ross’s troop
  of Horse Artillery was held in reserve, moving from one point to
  another as most required. Including Major Arriaga’s Portuguese
  brigade, and the other troops and brigade already mentioned, there
  were 48 British and Portuguese guns engaged at the passage of the
  Bidassoa; and the Master-General was informed that the fire of the
  Artillery on the occasion was well directed, and that the
  exertions made by the officers in bringing forward their
  respective brigades to the point of attack were most satisfactory.
  Lieut.-Colonel May was Assistant Adjutant-General to the
  Artillery, Lieutenant Ord was Brigade-Major, and Lieutenant Pascoe
  Adjutant. Lieut.-Colonel Hartmann was in charge of the artillery
  in position, and Lieut.-Colonel Frazer and Major Dyer
  superintended the bringing forward of the guns.

  Further inaction followed the passage of the Bidassoa, until the
  fall of Pampeluna, already mentioned, set Lord Wellington free for
  a further advance. During this time, attempts were [Sidenote:
  Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 17 Oct. 1813.] made to supply
  mountain batteries for the coming service. Marshal Beresford
  brought a few 3-pounders from Lisbon; but it was found almost
  impossible to procure mules for them. Three guns of the same
  calibre, which had been taken from the French, had been
  temporarily equipped for single draught, and placed under the
  command of Lieutenant Robe, the son of the gallant officer who
  commanded at Roliça and Vimiera. This young officer subsequently
  fell at Waterloo, [Sidenote: Ibid. 24 Oct. 1813.] having seen more
  battles than years. A medley equipment was found for the guns
  brought from Lisbon,--the Artillerymen being Portuguese, but the
  drivers and mules being British. These guns were carried on the
  backs of the mules, and three of them were added to Lieutenant
  Robe’s command. A detachment for rocket-service was also sent from
  England, but received by Lord Wellington with very mixed feelings,
  as he had rather a horror of the rocket as [Sidenote: Ibid. 31
  Oct. 1813.] a weapon of war. The Chestnut Troop and Douglas’s and
  Sympher’s field brigades were also got over the mountains to Vera,
  for outpost duty, and to be in readiness to support the attack on
  the enemy’s position, which Lord Wellington had decided to make as
  soon as Pampeluna should surrender. The difficulty in getting
  these guns over was very great, and was aggravated by the
  tempestuous weather which prevailed; [Sidenote: Ibid. 7 Nov.
  1813.] but it was effected without accident. When the news arrived
  from Pampeluna, which should have set the army free for forward
  movement into France, the weather had become such that movement
  was impossible. At Roncesvalles, the fall of snow was so heavy and
  unexpected, that three of Captain Maxwell’s guns had to be
  abandoned in a redoubt,--the guns being buried under ground and
  the carriages concealed under the snow. Ross’s, Douglas’s, and
  Sympher’s guns had, however, been advanced still farther to
  support in the meditated attack on the position of Sarre; Robe’s
  mountain guns were attached to the 6th Division, and the
  Portuguese 3-pounders to the Light Division and Giron’s army;
  while no fewer than 54 guns had been attached to the left of the
  army under Sir John Hope,--Colonel Hartmann being in command. It
  will thus be seen that all necessary arrangements had been made,
  as far as the Artillery department was concerned.

  [Sidenote: Official Report to Master-General, dated St. Pé, 14
  Nov. 1813, and Letter from Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. of same

  The attack--which is known as the battle of La Nivelle--took place
  on the 10th November, and resulted in the enemy’s entrenched
  position being carried at every point, from St. Jean de Luz to the
  front of the Puerto de Maia; and in the capture of 51 French
  pieces of ordnance, and 1500 prisoners. The following was the
  distribution of the Artillery during the battle; and it will be
  seen that the greater part remained on the left of the army,--the
  nature of the country rendering it extremely difficult to move
  Artillery, except by the high road from Irun:--

  With Sir Rowland Hill’s corps--

  Lieut-Col. Tulloh’s Portuguese brigades  { One of 9-prs.
                                           { One of 6-prs.

  With the 6th Division: Lieutenant Robe’s mountain guns.

  To support the attack of the 4th      { Lieut.-Col. Ross’s troop, R.H.A.
  and 7th Divisions on the redoubts and { Major Sympher’s brigade of 9-prs.
  position of Sarre.                    { Captain Douglas’s brigade of 9-prs.

  With General Giron’s Spanish reserve: a half brigade of Portuguese 3-prs.

  With the Light Division: a half brigade of Portuguese 3-prs.

  With Lieut.-General Sir John Hope’s corps--
              Lieut.-Col. Webber Smith’s troop, R.H.A.
              Captain Ramsay’s troop, R.H.A.
                 ”    Carmichael’s brigade of 9-pounders.
                 ”    Mosse’s brigade of heavy 6-pounders.
                 ”    Greene’s brigade of 9-pounders.
                 ”    Cairnes’ brigade of 9-pounders.
                 ”    Michell’s brigade of 9-pounders.
              Major   Arriaga’s Portuguese 9-pounders.
                ”     Morrison’s 18-pounders.

  There was also a brigade of Spanish Artillery with General
  Freire’s army.

  The Artillery with Sir John Hope’s column was but little engaged,
  as its advance depended on the success of the right; but it kept
  up a heavy and successful cannonade, and met with a few
  casualties. The Artillery on the right, in support of the attack
  on the redoubts, was, however, of essential service; and was
  skilfully handled by the field officers in charge,
  Lieut.-Colonels Frazer and Buckner. They opened a vigorous fire on
  the first redoubt, while the 4th Division was moving forward to
  assault it, and the effect of the fire was such as to compel the
  enemy to abandon the redoubt without waiting for the assault. At
  this time the Chestnut Troop distinguished itself especially. “I
  must particularly notice,” wrote Colonel Dickson, “the gallant
  manner in which Lieut.-Colonel Ross’s troop was moved to an
  advanced position, when it reopened its fire at the distance of
  350 yards from the work, and covered the approach of the others.
  In this operation Lieutenant Day was severely wounded.” As soon as
  the enemy quitted the first redoubt, the guns moved forward to
  support the 7th Division in the attack of the second, but after a
  few rounds it also was abandoned. In the subsequent operations on
  the right, the Artillery were unable to take much part, on
  [Sidenote: Cust.] account of the difficulty in moving the guns.
  The frightful state of the roads also aided the ultimate escape of
  the enemy without pursuit. To use Sir Augustus Frazer’s words, the
  [Sidenote: Frazer’s ‘Letters,’ p. 342.] ground over which the
  battle of La Nivelle was fought was “so rugged, that it would be
  difficult to attempt a sketch of it. You must fancy rocks, and
  hills, and woods, and mountains, interspersed with rough heaths
  and rivers, and everything but plain ground.” The casualties in
  the Artillery were as follows:--

  Lieut.-Col. Rosa’s troop--
      Killed: 1 man, and 1 horse.
      Wounded: 1 officer, 10 non-commissioned officers and men, and 4 horses.

  Lieut.-Col. Smith’s troop--
      Killed: 1 man, and 2 horses.
      Wounded: 6 non-commissioned officers and men, and 7 horses.

  Major Bull’s (Ramsay’s) troop--
      Killed: 1 man, and 1 horse.
      Wounded: 2 non-commissioned officers and men.

  Captain Michell’s brigade--Wounded: 3 gunners.

  Captain Carmichael’s brigade--Wounded: No officers or men. 1 horse.

  Lieutenant Robe’s brigade--Killed: 1 mule.

      Total--Killed: 3 men, 4 horses, 1 mule.
             Wounded: 1 officer, 21 non-commissioned officers and men, 12 horses.

  The entire losses of the Allies at La Nivelle amounted to 2694
  killed and wounded. The conduct of the Artillery during the battle
  was such as to excite the following comments: [Sidenote: Frazer’s
  ‘Letters,’ p. 335.] “Flattering compliments were paid by all on
  the undoubted service of the three batteries of Artillery on
  [Sidenote: Official Despatch, 14 Nov. 1813.] this occasion, i.e.
  the attack on the redoubts.” “I beg you will further state to the
  Master-General,” wrote Colonel Dickson, “that I have every reason
  to be satisfied with the conduct of all the field officers,
  officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, employed on this
  occasion; as also of Lieut.-Colonel May, and the officers of the
  Artillery Staff.” In his private letter to General Macleod,
  Colonel Dickson wrote: “The attack of the first redoubt at Sarre
  it was expected would be a very obstinate operation, and for that
  reason all the eighteen guns were brought up against it; however,
  their fire was so active and well directed, and Frazer pushed the
  guns up so close, [Sidenote: Dated St. Jean de Luz, 21 Nov. 1813.]
  that the enemy could not stand it.” In another report, Colonel
  Dickson said that the mountain guns under Lieutenant Robe, and the
  Portuguese guns of similar calibre, were most active and useful,
  accompanying their respective corps during the day, and supporting
  the advance of their [Sidenote: Major Dyer to Lieut.-Col.
  Hartmann, 12 Nov. 1813.] light troops. Captain Ramsay’s troop and
  Captain Carmichael’s brigade, with Sir J. Hope’s force, were
  especially mentioned;--the former for having repeatedly silenced
  the guns opposed to him, and dismounted one in the redoubt in
  front of the 12th and 16th Dragoons; and the latter for having
  repeatedly driven back the enemy’s skirmishers, silenced their
  guns, and dismounted one in the redoubt opposite the 1st German
  Regiment of Infantry. Lord Wellington, [Sidenote: To Lord
  Bathurst, dated St. Pé, 13 Nov. 1813.] in his despatch, said: “The
  artillery which was in the field was of great use to us; and I
  cannot sufficiently acknowledge the intelligence and activity with
  which it was brought to the point of attack, under the direction
  of Colonel Dickson, over the bad roads through the mountains, at
  this season of the year.”

  The success of the Allies on the right obliged the enemy to
  abandon the works at St. Jean de Luz, but any further immediate
  advance was forbidden to Lord Wellington by the [Sidenote: Colonel
  Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 28 Nov. 1813.] incessant rain which fell
  for some days. During this period of compulsory inactivity, every
  endeavour was made to generate confidence among the French
  inhabitants, and although rendered difficult by the irregularities
  committed by the Allied troops, the attempts were ultimately
  successful. Writing on the 5th December, 1813, Colonel Dickson,
  after his usual announcement that it had never ceased raining, and
  that the country was quite impassable, went on to say: “The
  inhabitants continue to return to their homes, and we are the best
  friends possible.” The dulness of the weather at St. Jean de Luz,
  and the inactivity which Colonel Dickson abhorred, were cheered by
  an announcement that the Portuguese Government had been pleased to
  promote him to the rank of Colonel in their service, in
  recognition of his recent services.

  [Sidenote: Lord Wellington to Lord Bathurst, dated 14 Dec. 1813.]

  The weather having at length sufficiently moderated to admit of
  further operations in the field, Lord Wellington forced the
  passage of the Nive at Ustaritz and Cambo, on the 9th December,
  with the view of extending his right towards the Adour. On the
  10th, Soult made an attack on [Sidenote: MS. Return to the
  Master-General, dated 15 Dec. 1813.] the Allies’ left, near
  Biarritz, and on the Light Division near Arcangues; but he failed
  in both. The services on this occasion of Captain Ramsay’s troop,
  and of a division of Captain Mosse’s brigade, were very
  conspicuous. A similar attempt was made on the 11th, in which the
  French were [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to General Macleod, dated
  15 Dec. 1813.] again repulsed; Captain Ramsay’s troop, and the
  whole of Captain Mosse’s brigade, again rendering most valuable
  assistance in the defence of the position. Marshal Soult, being
  thus disappointed in his hopes of making an impression on the
  Allied left, drew the greater part of his force back to Bayonne on
  the night of the 12th December, and in the early morning of the
  13th, made a determined attack with great force on Sir Rowland
  Hill’s corps, which was in position on the right of the Nive. His
  attempts were, however, vigorously repulsed, and he had eventually
  to retire into his entrenched camp, with great loss. The Artillery
  with Sir Rowland Hill consisted of the Chestnut Troop and Colonel
  Tulloh’s Portuguese brigades. With reference to their conduct,
  Colonel Dickson wrote: “Nothing could be stronger than the manner
  in which Sir Rowland expressed to me his satisfaction at the
  conduct of both these corps.” Colonel Tulloh was wounded on this
  occasion. At the same time as the passage of the Nive was forced,
  Sir John Hope’s corps on the left reconnoitred Bayonne. General
  Hay, who commanded the 5th Division with this corps, wrote as
  follows with reference to two guns of Captain Ramsay’s troop,
  which were attached to him. [Sidenote: General Hay to Colonel
  Dickson, dated 12 Dec. 1813.] “I take the first spare moment to
  mention to you how much I was pleased, on the 9th instant, with
  the very gallant, zealous, and skilful conduct of Captain Cator,
  who commanded two guns of Captain Ramsay’s troop of Horse
  Artillery attached to me on that day, which were of the greatest
  use in assisting me to dislodge a very superior body of the enemy
  opposed to me.”

  The attacks made on the 13th by Soult were admirably planned, but
  the dogged courage of the five Infantry brigades, which was the
  whole force which Sir Rowland Hill had at first to oppose to him,
  was invincible. Although driven back into his intrenchments, his
  position was one which was most objectionable to the Allies. His
  attacks were like _sorties_ from a fortress,--which he could make
  in great force upon any point, and if he failed, his retreat was
  short and [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-G. 15 Dec. 1813.]
  easy. It was resolved, therefore, to strengthen the position
  occupied by the Allies,--to fortify one or two salient
  points,--and to place some guns of position. The army then went
  into cantonments,--the Spaniards recrossing the Bidassoa for that
  purpose,--but, as may be imagined, winter quarters in front of an
  enemy, known to be very active, did not conduce to any sense of
  repose among the commanders. The conduct of the Artillery at the
  action of the 13th December [Sidenote: To Lord Bathurst, 14 Dec.
  1813.] was thus noticed by Lord Wellington: “The British Artillery
  under Lieut.-Colonel Ross, and the Portuguese Artillery under
  Colonel Tulloh, distinguished themselves.” In the same despatch,
  the name of Norman Ramsay appears, as having been favourably
  mentioned by Sir John Hope. Like that brave General, Ramsay had
  also been twice wounded during the operations on the Nive.

  During the few weeks which preceded the resumption of hostilities
  in 1814, the mortality among the Artillery horses exceeded
  anything that had yet been witnessed.[44] An accident, which
  occurred to a supply sent from England to reinforce them, by which
  many were killed on board the transports during a storm, was
  particularly ill-timed. And, to crown the evil, Lord Wellington,
  having decided on the passage of the Adour, ordered the pontoon
  train to be increased, and horsed without delay. There was no
  alternative but to take the horses from one of the Artillery
  brigades; and the unfortunate Captain Cairnes was again the
  victim. Luckily for him, the promotions consequent on the
  formation of the Rocket troops had just been notified from
  England; and as Norman Ramsay received his promotion to the rank
  of 1st Captain, and returned to England, the command of his troop
  was given to Captain Cairnes.

  The movements in the spring of 1814 were important, and on a
  considerable scale. In the end of January, the enemy showed
  considerable activity on the Adour, and fitted out several
  gun-boats to keep the navigation open, and to [Sidenote: Colonel
  Dickson to D.-A.-G, dated 30 Jan. 1814.] annoy the posts of the
  Allies. Against these Lieutenant Robe’s mountain brigade was first
  employed, but it was soon found necessary to supplement it with
  guns of a heavier calibre. But in the following month, a change in
  the weather--from rain to frost--induced Lord Wellington to
  commence the execution of operations, which he had been quietly
  designing for some weeks. These included the passage of the Adour
  near its mouth,--a feat deemed by Soult impossible,--and a
  simultaneous attack on the left of the French army to conceal his
  real intention from Soult. Colonel Dickson was sent to assist Sir
  John Hope in the former operation, which the reader knows was
  well and skilfully executed. While the covering fire of the
  Artillery at the passage of the Adour was generally effective,
  that of the now famous 18-pounder brigade was especially so. Lord
  Wellington superintended the operations on the right; and as his
  numbers were now superior to his enemy’s, he was able without risk
  to carry out both parts of his scheme at the same time, and to
  drive Soult’s forces back from their position. The various
  operations, which culminated in the battle of Orthes, are too long
  to reproduce in a work of this description; suffice it to give an
  account of the services of the Artillery at that great battle.
  Colonel Dickson being away, the command of the Artillery with the
  right of the army fell to Major Carncross. Colonel Frazer had been
  ordered to go with Sir John Hope’s army to the Adour, in charge of
  Captain Lane’s rocket detachments, which did good service during
  the passage of the river. It may here be mentioned, that during
  the operations prior to the investment of Bayonne, which followed
  the passage of the Adour, Colonel Frazer was wounded. Although,
  however, Major Carncross was senior officer of Artillery on the
  field, yet, being with Sir Howland Hill’s column, he did not
  participate in the action so much as Major Dyer, who was with
  Marshal Beresford’s column, and from whose reports the services of
  the various batteries can more readily be traced. On the morning
  of the 27th February, the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and light [Sidenote:
  Major Jenkinson, R.H.A., to Colonel Frazer, dated 4 March, 1814.]
  divisions of Infantry, Colonel Vivian’s and Lord Edward Somerset’s
  brigades of Cavalry, Ross’s and Gardiner’s troops of Horse
  Artillery, and Maxwell’s, Sympher’s, Turner’s (late Douglas’s),
  and Michell’s brigades of Field Artillery, had crossed the river
  Pau, over which a pontoon bridge had been placed during the night.
  Colonel Ross was no longer with [Sidenote: ‘Memoirs of Sir Hew
  Ross,’ p. 55.] the Chestnut Troop, he having returned to England
  on leave, and given the command to his 2nd Captain, Major
  Jenkinson. The enemy was found to be in full force on a strong
  [Sidenote: Major Jenkinson, 4 March, 1814.] height near the
  villages of St. Marie and St. Boe’s, and his left covering Orthes,
  and the fords between Depart and Biron. The battle commenced early
  in the day, and ended after severe fighting, and a loss to the
  Allies of 2200 killed and wounded, in the total defeat of the
  French, with a loss, which--if the numerous deserters be included,
  who came [Sidenote: ‘Cust’s Annals.’] over afterwards--has been
  estimated at no fewer than 14,000. Although the verdict of Lord
  Wellington might [Sidenote: Despatch to Lord Bathurst, dated 1
  March, 1814.] satisfy the most fastidious Artilleryman, “The
  conduct of the Artillery throughout the day deserved my entire
  approbation,”--a few extracts from the correspondence of the
  officers present at the battle cannot fail to be interesting;--and
  the opinions of Generals of division must be [Sidenote: Colonel
  Dickson to D.-A.-G. dated 4 March, 1814.] deemed valuable. Taking
  the latter first, it is recorded that Sir Thomas Picton expressed
  himself in terms of the highest praise with reference to Captain
  Turner’s brigade; and Sir Lowry Cole did the same in regard to
  Major Sympher’s. The last-named officer, who had done such good
  and continuous service in the Peninsular War, was killed at
  Orthes, at the very commencement of the action. Major Jenkinson
  wrote in general terms, that “all the General Officers speak in
  high terms of the services of Ross’s and Gardiner’s troops, as
  also of poor Sympher’s brigade.” Major Dyer, in his [Sidenote: To
  Colonel Dickson, dated 3 March, 1814.] report, wrote: “I had the
  satisfaction about one o’clock to get Lieut.-Colonel Ross’s and
  Gardiner’s troops of Horse Artillery, and the German brigade of
  Artillery attached to the 4th Division, into position opposite the
  enemy’s strongest columns: the fire from their guns was
  tremendous, and, being admirably served, soon caused the enemy to
  retire. The brigades then took up separate positions and annoyed
  the enemy. About 4 o’clock the guns ceased firing, the enemy
  retreating in great confusion, leaving some pieces of cannon on
  the field. I have to regret the loss of Major Sympher and many
  valuable Artillerymen.” [Sidenote: Dated 3 March, 1814.] In his
  official report to Marshal Beresford, Major Dyer wrote: “I should
  really feel that I omitted a duty imposed upon me if I did not
  recommend to your Excellency’s notice the conduct of Major
  Sympher, Major Gardiner, and Major Jenkinson on that brilliant
  day.” Captain Beane’s troop of Horse Artillery was with Sir
  Rowland Hill’s force, under Major Carncross; and that officer was
  [Sidenote: Major Carncross to Colonel Dickson, dated 10 March,
  1814.] able to speak with pride of the steady, well-directed, and
  destructive fire kept up by it, although exposed to a very severe
  fire of musketry. On the 2nd March, Sir Rowland Hill’s force came
  up with the enemy, and Captain Beane’s troop performed services
  for which it was specially mentioned in orders. Four guns
  belonging to it were brought into action with great effect; and
  one of them, under Lieutenant Brereton, after a few rounds,
  silenced two of the enemy’s, and forced them to retire. On this
  day, Captain Macdonald, of Captain Beane’s troop, distinguished
  himself in leading on the Portuguese troops, who had been forced
  back; and received Sir Rowland Hill’s thanks in public orders on
  the following day. Sir Rowland took the opportunity of assuring
  Major Carncross that, on the several occasions on which the troop
  had been recently engaged, he had been much satisfied with the
  officers, non-commissioned officers, and men composing it.

  A period of inactivity followed the battle of Orthes; and not
  until April did Wellington resume active operations; but in the
  meantime Marshal Beresford, with a considerable force, proceeded
  to Bordeaux, and was received with great delight. Louis XVIII. was
  proclaimed, and the badges of the Empire were doffed by the
  magistrates. During this time Colonel Dickson’s life had become a
  burden to him. Innumerable accidents and delays occurred to the
  horses which were on the way to reinforce his brigades; and at the
  same time the drain on his resources to meet the wants [Sidenote:
  To D.-A.-G. dated 2 April, 1814.] of the pontoon train daily
  increased. “The pontoon equipment,” he wrote, “has become such a
  _sink_ of horses under the stupidity, inability, and inactivity of
  the Driver officers, that I have been obliged, in consequence of
  the continued observations of Lord Wellington, to place Artillery
  officers to superintend the care of the horses, until the arrival
  of the Alicante army, when officers and men of the Royal Artillery
  are to be posted to the pontoon train, by which the bridge
  department will revert to the Corps it always belonged to. The bad
  state of the concern in its mode of organization enabled me to
  convince his Lordship of the benefit that would arise by having
  it under one head and managed by the same officers. _He was
  ignorant of its having formerly been an Artillery concern; and he
  added that he did not know how it had got into the hands of the
  Engineers at first._”

  To return, however, to the movements of the army. Marshal Soult,
  having learnt what had taken place at Bayonne, commenced to retire
  upon Toulouse, and Wellington followed [Sidenote: Cust.] in
  pursuit, but very leisurely. The Allies had 40,000 bayonets and 60
  guns to oppose to Soult’s 28,000 and 38 guns; but a reinforcement
  was expected by the latter in the shape of Suchet’s army from the
  east of Spain; and the position at Toulouse, on which he was
  retreating had been strengthened by gradual intrenchments during
  the past few weeks. In the commencement of Soult’s retreat, one or
  two smart actions had taken place between divisions of the Allies
  and the French, but without any result other than perhaps
  increasing the rapidity of Soult’s movements. Toulouse was an
  important strategic post for the French; it commanded the passage
  of the Garonne; a number of roads met there, which would enable
  Soult to carry out many different schemes; and it was the chief
  military arsenal in the south of France. Here, if ever, something
  might be done to benefit the fast-failing fortunes of the French
  Emperor, whom the Allies in [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to
  D.-A.-Gen. 13 April, 1814.] the north were hunting relentlessly to
  his doom. When Wellington reached the Garonne, his first intention
  was to cross it above Toulouse; but this was found so difficult
  that the idea was given up, and a flank march having been made on
  the 3rd April to a convenient situation about a mile above
  Grenade, and below Toulouse, the pontoon bridge was laid early in
  the morning of the 4th, and three divisions (the 3rd, 4th, and
  6th) with their artillery, as also six regiments of Cavalry with
  Major Gardiner’s troop of Horse Artillery, crossed without
  opposition. During this operation, however, the river rose
  considerably, owing to the rains which had fallen during the
  previous night; and at last the further passage of troops was
  suspended. Heavy rain fell again on the night of the 4th, and the
  river increased so much that the pontoons were obliged to be
  drawn into the banks, and the army was thus divided into two
  parts. Strangely enough, Marshal Soult did not avail himself of
  this circumstance, although it was the morning of the 8th before
  the river was sufficiently low to admit of the bridge being
  relaid. The Spanish corps, Colonel Arentschild’s Portuguese
  Artillery, and the head-quarters staff passed over on that day.
  The bridge was then moved a little farther up the river, and early
  on the [Sidenote: MS. Official Despatch to the Master-General,
  dated Toulouse, 13 April, 1814.] morning of the 10th April the
  Light Division crossed. On this day was fought the battle of
  Toulouse. The offensive was taken by Lord Wellington, who attacked
  a strong position which the enemy had fortified to cover the city
  of Toulouse, and succeeded in obtaining entire possession of it
  after an obstinate resistance. In consequence of this defeat,
  Soult evacuated Toulouse during the night of the 11th, retiring by
  the route to Carcassone. The distribution and services of the
  Artillery of the Allies were as follows. The Portuguese Artillery,
  consisting of ten 9-pounder guns, under Colonel Arentschild,
  covered the attack made by the Spaniards on the left of the
  enemy’s position. This Artillery was warmly engaged during the
  best part of the day, and distinguished itself greatly by its
  firmness and correct firing. A German brigade, under Captain
  Daniel, and Captain Brandreth’s 9-pounder brigade, both under
  Major Dyer, were for some time employed in covering the movements
  of Marshal Beresford’s column in its attack on the right of the
  position; and on that being carried, they moved up to higher
  ground, and assisted in taking the remainder of the position, and
  also in moderating the fire of the enemy from the opposite side of
  the canal, across which the French were ultimately driven. The
  enemy’s fire from that point had greatly annoyed the Allies; and
  Colonel Dickson expressed himself highly satisfied with the
  counter-effect produced by the fire of Captain Brandreth’s and
  Captain Daniel’s guns.

  Major Gardiner’s troop of Horse Artillery was at first employed in
  supporting the left of the Spanish attack, and afterwards moved to
  the ridge carried by Marshal Beresford, where Colonel Dickson
  reported that it was “of infinite service.” While these
  operations were going on, the 3rd and Light Divisions were
  employed in threatening the enemy’s position along the canal,
  towards the point where it joined the Garonne. In this service,
  Captain Turner’s (late Douglas’s) brigade was engaged. Captain
  Bean’s troop and Captain Maxwell’s brigade (now No. 4 Battery, 7th
  Brigade) were on the opposite side of the river with Sir Rowland
  Hill’s corps, engaged in the attack made upon the tête de pont.
  The officers on the Staff of the Artillery at the battle of
  Toulouse were Lieut.-Colonel May, Lieut.-Colonel Frazer, and
  Lieutenants Ord and Bell. From these officers Colonel Dickson
  reported that he had received every assistance. [Sidenote: MS.
  Return to B. O.] The casualties among the Artillery engaged
  amounted to 1 officer (Lieutenant Blumenbach, K.G.A., killed) and
  58 non-commissioned officers and men killed and wounded. Among the
  horses, 28 were killed and 13 wounded. The casualties among the
  Royal Horse Artillery engaged amounted to 8 men and 4 horses; and
  among the Royal Artillery brigades to 29 men and 23 horses. The
  remaining casualties occurred among the Germans and Portuguese.

  [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. 13 April, 1814.]

  Early in the morning of the 12th, the Allies took possession of
  Toulouse, and the white flag was hoisted. Lord Wellington was
  received by the corporation at the Town Hall, and addressed them,
  pointing out the necessity of weighing well the step which they
  were about to take at a moment when a congress was possibly
  sitting, for the purpose of making peace with Napoleon. _Vive le
  Roi!_ however, was heard from every lip, and every one mounted a
  white cockade. In the evening of the 12th, a messenger arrived
  from Paris with the intelligence of Napoleon’s abdication, and the
  restoration of the Bourbons. The intelligence was very welcome to
  the inhabitants of Toulouse, who could not but feel rather nervous
  after the step which they had taken. The same messengers carried
  to Marshal Soult the news of the Allies entering Paris, and of the
  official dethronement of Napoleon by the Senate; but he would give
  them no credence. How faithfully Napoleon was served by his
  Lieutenants, and how devotedly they clung to his cause, must be
  apparent to the most superficial reader of his history. In him,
  who has been called the incarnation of war in all its bad as well
  as good attributes, they saw but one who was _facile princeps_ in
  the profession which they loved;--seeing this, they clung to his
  cause to the bitter end; and with a hungering in their hearts for
  his leadership, even while serving another prince, they turned to
  him, after his escape from Elba, with an enthusiasm more like the
  love of a woman than the cold, reasoning affection of a man.
  Soldiers, indeed, have many of the qualities of the other sex.
  Once let them believe in a leader, and no disasters, no slanders
  will upset their creed; and from a leader, whom they love, even
  many harsh words will be forgotten in the presence of one word of
  kindness. There are those who think that a soldier’s mind is like
  a blank page, on which their own views and wishes may with ease be
  inscribed. And in one sense they are right. Let skill and courage
  once be visible in a commander, and the obedience and enthusiasm
  of his men will be his; but let him supplement these qualities by
  thoughtful consideration, by kind words, by ready participation in
  hardships, and he will earn from them a love which shall pass even
  the love of women. But the kind words will not win it without the
  skill, nor the consideration without the courage.

  [Sidenote: Colonel Dickson to D.-A.-Gen. dated Toulouse, 18 April,

  On Soult’s refusing to credit the intelligence from Paris, Lord
  Wellington made arrangements for moving forward with the army. On
  the 16th, however, a French officer arrived from Paris with
  despatches for Marshal Soult; and this was followed by an officer
  arriving from the French army to treat with Lord Wellington. Had
  the despatches but arrived a little sooner, a loss of life would
  have been saved at Bayonne. A _sortie_ was made from the city, on
  the 14th April, which, although unsuccessful, resulted in the
  death of General Hay and not a few brave officers, and in the
  capture of that most brave and chivalrous leader, Sir John Hope.

  The war was now over; but, before closing this chapter, let a word
  be said with reference to the services of an officer of the Corps
  who commanded with distinction the rocket detachments attached to
  the Allied army at Leipsic in 1813, and who met a soldier’s death
  many years after, at the battle of Inkermann--Thomas Fox
  Strangways. At Leipsic he commanded, from the circumstance that
  his Captain, Bogue, fell early in the day. He was then but a
  subaltern; but ere he left the field, at the head of his brigade
  he received the personal [Sidenote: From a Letter written by Lady
  Fox Strangways.] thanks of the Allied sovereigns; and the Emperor
  of Russia, taking from his breast the order of St. Anne, placed it
  upon that of the young officer whose services had been so eminent
  on that day. In recounting the story of the battle, Sir Edward
  Cust says that such was the fearful effect of the rockets, that a
  whole brigade surrendered after enduring their fire for a few
  minutes; and it has also been recorded, on the best evidence,
  that, at a most critical time of the battle, the Crown Prince of
  Sweden rode up to him, and implored him to advance his brigade, as
  nothing else would save the day. To his exertions at Leipsic was
  the subsequent organization of regular rocket troops due; and on
  this taking place the command of the brave men, who had
  distinguished themselves at Leipsic, passed into the hands of one
  both able and brave,--one who had done noble service in the
  Peninsula, which he was to repeat at Waterloo,--gentle and yet
  enthusiastic,--the late Sir E. C. Whinyates.

  In closing this narrative of the services of the Artillery in the
  Peninsula, it is impossible to avoid feeling that it has fallen
  immeasurably short of the narrative to which these services are
  justly entitled. It is felt that the attempt to place before the
  reader the chivalry, courage, and endurance of those who
  represented the Corps in the great wars with France, has been
  defeated by considerations of space, as well as by the writer’s
  inexperience. To realise these qualities thoroughly, it will be
  necessary for the reader to clothe these skeleton pages with the
  noble drapery of Napier.

  But if these qualities, which are matter of history, have failed
  to receive adequate description, how much greater has been the
  shortcoming in endeavouring to picture those virtues, which can
  only be detected in the intimacy of private friendship, or the
  study of private correspondence! It is only from the latter that
  the student is now able to see how almost brotherly was the
  relationship between the officers of the Corps in Lord
  Wellington’s army. For example:--on hearing of Colonel Dickson’s
  promotion by the Portuguese Government, in the winter of 1813,
  what were the words of the man whom he had superseded, and who was
  as able as himself? “I wish,” wrote Sir Augustus Frazer, “that he
  were a General; he fully deserves all that can be given him either
  as honour or reward.” And as he felt, so did all. In the letters,
  also, announcing the Artillery losses at the various battles in
  that war, of which it has been said that the Allies “left 40,000
  of their own number dead on [Sidenote: Cust.] the plains and
  mountains of the Peninsula,” how fervently does the loving,
  brotherly spirit appear! Each good quality in the dead is fondly
  dwelt upon; and as one gazes on the loving words, written on pages
  now so faded by hands so long still, there rises a picture of a
  Regimental unity which it were a sacrilege now to disturb by
  internal differences. It is, indeed, well at times to close our
  eyes to the present, and to look back at the past;--a standard is
  often to be found there which shall dwarf that which we may have
  set up in our self-esteem, and thought colossal. Possibly, never
  in the whole history of the Regiment has there been a time of such
  intellectual life among its members, as at the present day; but as
  the great school of experience, which in the beginning of this
  century made giants of our Artillerymen, is not now open, it may
  be that there is almost a danger in this mental activity, unless
  it be tempered by the study of comrades, who in days gone by were
  the embodiments of duty, courage, and hardihood. Thus history may
  furnish to the student a stability, which shall allay present



  The Canadian incidents in this war have been glanced at in the
  chapter on the Old Tenth Battalion; and the actions, in which the
  various Companies were engaged, have been given in the tables of
  the Battalions to which they belonged. No allusion has, however,
  been yet made to the disastrous chapter in the history of the war,
  in which the scene was laid at New Orleans; and, as the largest
  Artillery force together during the campaign was with the army on
  that service, it is proposed in this chapter to devote the chief
  space to the incidents connected with it.

  The story of the second American War may be summarised as follows.
  On the 18th June, 1812, the Government of the United States
  declared war against Great Britain. It is not uncharitable to
  repeat what is matter of history, that the United States have
  always found their grievances against the mother-country more
  intolerable, when that country has happened to be engaged in war.
  It was so in 1812; and the dream of annexing Canada, which has
  haunted American statesmen for nearly a century, seemed likely to
  be realised. But, then, as since, the United States underrated the
  loyalty of the Canadians; and their attempted invasion in 1812
  proved a ludicrous failure. Their first [Sidenote: Cust.] attempt
  was made with a force of 2500 men under a General Hall, who
  invaded Upper Canada, but was successfully resisted by a force of
  Regulars and Militia under a British General, Brock, and had to
  retire to the American side of the St. Lawrence, where he took
  shelter in Fort Detroit. Here he was followed by General Brock, to
  whom he surrendered on the 16th August. A similar fate awaited the
  second attempt made by the United States. A force of 1400 men,
  under General Wadsworth, crossed into Canada, near Niagara, in
  October 1812. The reception he met was a warm one; the American
  fort at Niagara was captured by the English; and after a few minor
  operations, in which, unfortunately, General Brock was killed, the
  American General surrendered himself, with 900 men, to General
  Sheaffé, who had succeeded to the command on the death of General
  Brock. A third invasion, on a larger scale, was then decided on.
  One detachment crossed the frontier between Chippewa and Fort
  Erie, but was repulsed with loss; while the main body menaced
  Montreal. Such, however, were the preparations made by the English
  General, Prevost, at the latter place, that the Americans withdrew
  into their own country without an engagement.

  The operations during the year 1813 were on a larger scale, and
  success was not always on the side of the British. The year
  commenced with the defeat of the Americans at Fort Detroit by a
  mixed force under Colonel Procter; but was followed by the capture
  of York, the capital of Upper Canada. The lakes became the scene
  of very active hostilities. A severe engagement took place at the
  rapids of the Miami, a river flowing into Lake Erie, in which the
  English were successful, but could not maintain their position.
  [Sidenote: Russell.] The loss of Fort George, at Niagara, by the
  English followed; and this became for a time the American
  General’s head-quarters. Disasters on the lakes, which ensued,
  made the English position in Upper Canada very feeble; but affairs
  brightened in the autumn with the discomfiture of the Americans in
  their attempted invasion of Lower Canada. Operations were
  therefore ordered to be resumed in the west with vigour; and it
  having been found that the Americans had evacuated Fort George and
  set fire to many Canadian villages, the English followed them
  across the frontier, and took Fort Niagara and Buffalo, setting
  fire to the latter city in retaliation for the injury done to the
  Canadian settlements.

  The attempts made by the Americans in the beginning of 1814 to
  invade Lower Canada were so unsuccessful, that the [Sidenote:
  Cust.] war was now limited to the more western districts, where
  they had the advantage on the lakes. The commencement of the
  campaign in the west was favourable to the Americans, but the
  arrival of reinforcements from the Duke of Wellington’s army in
  France speedily gave a change to the aspect of affairs. While the
  British troops were retreating in good order before the Americans,
  they were joined by General Drummond, with these fresh troops, and
  had hardly formed up before they were attacked by the enemy, and
  the combat known as the battle of Lundy’s Lane followed. It was a
  very fierce engagement, and lasted till midnight; and [Sidenote:
  Ibid.] so closely was it fought, that “several of the British
  Artillerymen were bayoneted at their guns;” but it ultimately
  resulted in the precipitate retreat of the Americans. This part of
  the enemy’s force was subsequently cooped up in Fort Erie, which
  was invested by General Drummond during the rest of the war. The
  strength of the Royal Artillery [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] in Canada
  had increased in 1814 to eight companies, under the command of
  Major-General Glasgow.

  The commanding officers of Artillery at the various affairs which
  took place during the war in Canada, hardly worthy of the name of
  battles, were as follows:--

  [Sidenote: Browne’s ‘England’s Artillerymen.’]

    At Detroit: Lieutenant Felix Troughton.
    At Queenstown: Captain Holcroft.
    At Fort Erie, in Nov. 1812: Lieutenant King, who was wounded, and
        subsequently died of his wounds.
    At Frenchtown, in Jan. 1813: Lieutenant Troughton:--wounded.
    At Fort George, in 1813: Major Holcroft.
    At Black Rock, in July 1813: Lieutenant R. S. Armstrong.
    At Christler’s Farm, in Nov. 1813: Captain H. G. Jackson.
    At Fort Niagara: Captain Bridge.
    At Fort Oswego, 1814: Captain Edwin Cruttenden.
    At Lundy’s Lane, 1814: Captain Mackonochie.
    At Fort Erie, 1814: Major Phillott, assisted by Captain (now Sir
        Edward) Sabine.
    At Moose Island, 1814: Captain W. Dunn.
    At Hamden, 1814: Lieutenant Garstin.
    At Castine, 1814: Major G. Crawford.
    At Machias, 1814: Lieutenant J. Daniel.

  It had been decided by the English Government to carry the war
  into the enemy’s country in another direction, and the energy of
  the officer who commanded the expedition against
  Washington--Major-General Ross--was a marked contrast to the
  nervous indecision of Sir George Prevost, in the operations of the
  latter against the States from Canada. General Ross’s force came
  from France, and the companies of Artillery were those commanded
  by Captain--afterwards Sir John--Michell, Captain Carmichael, and
  Captain Crawford. Some rocket detachments, under Captain Deacon,
  formed part of the force. The engagements in which this army was
  engaged were the battle of Bladensburg, the capture of Washington,
  and the battle of Baltimore; on all which occasions--as in the
  previous operations in Canada--the Artillery earned the
  commendations of the Generals under whom they served. In one
  despatch it was said, that “the Royal Artillery, in the laborious
  duties they performed, displayed their usual unwearied zeal.” It
  is pleasant to find how often, in various campaigns, the services
  of the Corps are alluded to in almost these words. Courage is
  expected from every soldier; but a zeal, which no labour can
  weary, is a nobler, and as necessary a quality.

  The next episode in the war is one which it is intended to treat
  at somewhat greater length,--the New Orleans expedition. On the
  25th November, 1814, a squadron arrived [Sidenote: MS. Journal of
  the operations against New Orleans by Major Forrest, A.
  Q.-M.-Gen.] from England, with a body of troops under the command
  of Major-General Keane, and cast anchor in Negril Bay, Jamaica.
  Here the force, lately commanded by General Ross, who had been
  killed at the battle of Baltimore, was also assembled; and General
  Keane, as senior officer, assumed command of the whole, viz.:--


                     1 squadron 14th Light Dragoons  160
                     Royal Artillery                 320
                     Captain Lane’s Rocket Brigade    40
  1st Brigade,      {93rd Regiment                   907
  Major-Gen. Keane  {1st West India Regiment           0
                    {5th      ”        ”             643
  2nd Brigade,      {4th Foot                        893
  Colonel Brooke,   {44th  ”                         647
  44th Regiment     {21st  ”                         995
  Advance,          }  85th Light Infantry           456
  Colonel Thornton, }  95th Rifles                   488
  85th Regiment     }
                                         Total     5,549

  It will be observed, that the numbers of the 1st West India
  Regiment are not given. This is because at the date of both forces
  uniting, only seventy men of that Regiment had yet arrived.

  Some modifications in the strength of the Royal Artillery took
  place during the campaign, but it may be as well to anticipate
  matters, and to give now the exact details of the force as it
  ultimately stood, on Christmas Day, 1814.

  The information is obtained from the MS. official returns of that
  date; and those shown as “on board ship” were those who had not
  landed in time for the engagement on the 23rd December. They were
  landed immediately after the arrival of Colonel Dickson on the
  25th December, which is mentioned hereafter.

           ROYAL ARTILLERY.                    ROYAL ARTILLERY DRIVERS.

                               N.-C. O.                            N.-C. O.
                                  and                                and
                     Officers.    men.                   Officers.   men.
  Effective present     14        224
   ” Rocket Brigade      2         96                        2        62
                        --        ---                       --        --
  Total present         16        320   Total present        2        62
  On board ship          1        114   On board ship        0       184
                        --        ---                       --       ---
  General Total         17        434   General Total        2       246
                        --        ---                       --       ---


  Major Alex. Munro.
    ”   J. Michell.
  Captain L. Carmichael.
     ”    H. B. Lane.
     ”    Charles Deacon.
     ”    Adam Crawford.
     ”    W. C. Lemprière.
  1st Lieutenant John Crawley.
         ”       Charles Ford.
         ”       R. A. Speer.
         ”       Francis Weston.
         ”       Benson E. Hill.
         ”       Alexander Ramsay.
         ”       Frederick Bayley.
         ”       James Christie.
         ”       Henry Palliser.
  2nd Lieutenant T. G. Williams.
         ”       B. L. Poynter.
         ”       Henry Williams.

  The fleet sailed from Jamaica on the 27th November, 1814, General
  Keane and the Admiral, Sir A. Cochrane, having preceded the others
  to make the necessary arrangements.

  [Sidenote: Sir A. Dickson’s MSS.]

  On the 24th December, a frigate from England joined the fleet,
  having brought out Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham, as Commander
  of the Forces, accompanied by Colonel Dickson and Colonel
  Burgoyne, as commanding officers, respectively, of Artillery and
  Engineers. On their arrival they learnt that--certain difficulties
  in the way of a passage to New Orleans through the lakes having
  been removed--the army had landed at a creek at the head of Lake
  Borgne on the 24th December. Being very anxious to join them, Sir
  Edward Pakenham and his staff pushed on in a boat without delay,
  for a distance of forty miles, through a number of dismal
  reed-covered islands, reaching the ‘Britannia’ transport at 10
  P.M. Here they learnt that General Keane had landed on the morning
  of the 23rd with 2000 men at the upper part of a creek called
  Bayou Catalan, at the head of Lake Borgne;--that he had advanced
  to the bank of the Mississippi, and on the evening of the same day
  had been attacked by a strong force of the enemy, which he had
  repulsed, but not without considerable loss;--that the army had
  not yet moved farther forward, but was waiting for more troops to
  join,--only 2000 having been landed at first, and the remainder
  having gone up the creek in schooners, many of which had gone
  aground. By rowing all night, and adding thirty miles to the
  journey already made, Sir Edward Pakenham and his staff reached
  the head-quarters of Sir Alexander Cochrane, which were
  established in a few fishermen’s huts,--the only habitations that
  existed for miles round in that most melancholy and unhealthy
  district. By 11 A.M. on the 25th December, they succeeded in
  reaching the landing-place at the head of the creek; and
  ascertaining that the army head-quarters were only 2½ miles
  farther on, they proceeded to join them. The road which they
  traversed was merely a wretched marshy footpath along the bank of
  a little canal or _bayou_, which extended from the creek almost
  to the Mississippi, and was navigable for canoes to within 1000
  yards of that river. On arriving at headquarters, they found the
  army on the ground on which they had fought on the 23rd; the
  number of men landed having been increased to 3500. The Artillery,
  which had been landed and equipped, was as follows:--

          2 9-prs. with 110 rounds per gun.
          4 6-prs. with 120   ”     ”   ”
          1 heavy 5½-inch howitzer, with 60 rounds.
          1 light      ”     ”           ”
          4 light 3-prs. with 150 rounds per gun.
  Total  12 guns.

    Captain Lane’s rocket equipment, with 150 field rockets.
    Three 5½-inch mortars (brass) under Captain Lawrence, of the Marine
        Artillery, with 20 rounds each.

  The officers and men who had already landed were as follows:--

  Royal Artillery:  16 officers, and  320 non-com. officers and men.
  R. A. Drivers:     2    ”      and   61       ”                ”

  Sixty-four horses had also been landed.

  The Marine Artillery numbered 1 officer and 26 men, and they were
  assisted by 3 naval officers and 39 seamen.

The guns were distributed as follows:--

  2 9-prs.} Major Michell.
  2 6-prs.}
  4 light 3-prs.: Captain Deacon.
  2 6-prs.                 } Capt. Carmichael.
  1 light 5½-inch how^r.   }
  1 heavy 5½-inch how^r.   : Capt. Crawford.

The first duty which Colonel Dickson had to perform was to place what
guns he had in battery, to destroy a 14-gun corvette, which lay in the
Mississippi, and annoyed the camp. The gallant Colonel had a weakness
for hot shot, and having made the necessary arrangements, placing all
his guns on the levée (as the river embankment was called), except his
3-pounders, which were sent on with the advanced guard, he opened fire
at 8 A.M. on the morning of the 27th December. He fired hot shot from
his 9-pounders and shell from the other guns. He got the exact range
almost at once, and the practice was excellent. The enemy returned a few
random shots, and then the crew made for the shore; and until half-past
10, when the vessel blew up, not another shot was fired from it. The
number of rounds expended in destroying this corvette was 191.

The army now prepared to advance against New Orleans; but, from want of
horses, Colonel Dickson was obliged to leave two 6-pounders and a light
howitzer behind; and as it had been resolved to make the ground which
was their first head-quarters a sort of depôt for stores, &c., Captain
Crawford was also left behind to superintend the forwarding of the
necessary ammunition, &c., for the Artillery. The cold was so intense
that the men of the West India Regiments suffered greatly, many dying
from its effects, and all being more or less torpid. It seems
superfluous to inform the reader that no change had been made in their
dress or equipment, on leaving the West Indies, to prepare them for the
change in temperature and the continued exposure.

On Sir E. Pakenham’s arrival, a rearrangement took place among the
troops of the divisions. Major-General Gibbs was placed in command of
the 4th, 44th, 21st, and 1st West India Regiments; and Major-General
Keane in command of the 85th, 93rd, 95th, and 5th West India Regiments.
The Artillery was distributed, as follows, for the advance:--Captain
Deacon’s 3-pounder brigade and half the rocket equipment under
Lieutenant Crawley, were to advance with General Gibbs’s brigade by a
road leading through the fields to the main piquet-house of the enemy,
against which they were to be employed to drive the enemy from the post,
and to cover the advance of the column. The small mortars, and the other
half of the rocket equipment, under Captain Lane, were attached to
General Keane’s brigade, ordered to advance by the chief road, running
along the bank of the river. Major Michell’s two 9-pounders and heavy
howitzer, and Captain Carmichael’s two 6-pounders, were to be in
reserve, and to move with General Keane’s column. The guns left behind
with Captain Crawford were placed in battery on the river, to prevent
boats or vessels passing up or down.

On the morning of the 28th December, at daybreak, the army moved
forward; but the results of the day’s operations were far from
favourable. General Gibbs’s column marched against the enemy’s
piquet-house, known as La Ronde’s, and the 3-pounders and rockets having
opened on it, it was soon evacuated by the American troops. Both columns
then pressed on, and suddenly, at a turn of the road, found themselves
within 700 or 800 yards of the enemy, whose force was drawn up behind an
entrenchment flanked on either side by the river and a wood. A corvette
was at anchor in the stream, to assist the American troops. A brisk
cannonade was immediately opened against the English, and, although
heartily replied to, the advantages of the enemy’s position were such
that it was found advisable to withdraw to a distance of about 2200
yards from the enemy’s line, and to take up a position parallel to that
of the Americans, and flanked by the river and the wood. Captain
Carmichael’s 6-pounders had been disabled by the enemy’s fire, and were
therefore exchanged for those left behind at the depôt. Entrenchments
were thrown up in front of the 9-pounders, and a battery commenced in
which it was proposed to place two 18-pounders which had been brought
from the ships, transported on bullock-waggons originally intended for
the conveyance of sugar hogsheads. This battery was at the angle of a
field adjoining the high road to New Orleans, which ran parallel to the
river. It was placed under the command of Lieutenant Speer, with a
detachment of twenty gunners; and, as might have been expected from
Colonel Dickson’s well-known proclivities, it was speedily supplied with
the necessary apparatus for heating shot.

As Sir Edward Pakenham had decided on deferring any assault on the
enemy’s position until some effect had been produced by heavy artillery,
every exertion was used to land 18-pounder guns and 24-pounder
carronades from the ships, and to draw them as far as La Ronde’s house,
to remain there until the batteries should be got ready. Ammunition was
also landed; but it was found necessary to take all the made cartridges
to pieces and make fresh quantities, for which purpose all the
available cotton and sheeting were taken from the houses in the
neighbourhood, and all the regimental tailors were employed in making
cartridges. The want of any artillery machines for the transport or
placing of heavy ordnance was severely felt; the necessary guns however
having been brought up on the 31st December, and ammunition having been
prepared at the rate of 68 rounds per gun and 40 for each carronade, Sir
Edward Pakenham directed that batteries should be made and armed that
evening, as follows,--their position being where the army had penetrated
when the first encounter with the enemy behind his entrenchments took
place--about 800 yards distant from the American line:--

  1. On the high road, and immediately adjoining the river, two
  18-prs., with 50 rounds a gun, to fire upon the enemy’s defences
  on the right: officer in charge, Captain Lemprière. This battery
  was the most advanced of all.

  2. A little in rear, and to the right of No. 1, was a battery of
  three 5½-inch mortars, with 30 shells each, under Captain
  Lawrence. A little in front of this battery, Captain Lane with the
  rocket battery was stationed.

  3. To the right of the rocket battery a 7-gun battery was erected
  for Major Michell’s two 9-prs. and one heavy howitzer, and Captain
  Carmichael’s three 6-pounders (one of the disabled 6-prs. having
  been repaired) and his light howitzer. This battery was to be
  employed against the enemy’s guns, and the centre of his line.

  4. On the centre road, which was parallel to the river and main
  road, and at right angles to the enemy’s entrenchments, there was
  a 10-gun battery, consisting of six 18-prs. under Captain
  Crawford, R.A., and four 24-pr. carronades under Captain Money,
  R.N. These guns were to be employed in the first instance against
  the enemy’s artillery, and afterwards to break down the
  entrenchment a little to the left of the centre.

  5. To the right of the 10-gun battery was a second rocket battery
  under Lieutenant Crawley.

As these batteries had to be erected between 8.30 P.M. on the 31st
December, 1814, and 5.45 A.M. on the following day, they could not be
very strong. They were constructed of sugar casks filled with earth
_not_ rammed, one cask in thickness, and backed up. They were only one
cask in height, and, as the platforms were also a little raised, it
followed that the gunners, when standing erect, were head and shoulders
above the parapet. The platforms were very ill-laid, uneven, and

The night was very dark, and the working parties were not collected
without much difficulty; but on Sunday morning, New Year’s Day, 1815, at
daylight, all was ready. A heavy fog, however, came on at 4 o’clock, and
not until 9 o’clock was it possible to see the enemy’s works. During the
interval, the columns of Infantry moved to their respective posts to be
in readiness for the assault.

On the fog clearing away, the English batteries opened vigorously, and
at first a little confusion was apparent among the Americans. This soon
disappeared, however; and, as their batteries were strong, and the
embrasures strongly constructed with cotton bags, they soon served their
guns admirably, and their heavy shot, penetrating the slight English
batteries, caused a considerable number of casualties. After about three
hours’ firing, the ammunition in the 10-gun English battery was nearly
exhausted, the 7-field-gun battery had been silenced, a cheek of the
heavy howitzer carriage was shattered, and several other injuries to the
gun-carriage had been received. The heavy guns had, fortunately,
received no injury; but want of ammunition soon compelled them to be
silent also, to the great delight of the enemy. Even, however, if the
ammunition had not failed, the nature of the batteries was such that the
men could not have gone on much longer. The Americans fired from ten to
twelve guns in their lines, and from four to five on the other side of
the river, many of them being heavy guns--32-pounders and
24-pounders;--and although several of them had been dismounted by the
fire of the English, the remainder were as active at the last moment as
at any time during the day. The casualties among the Royal Artillery
were as follows:--

  Lieutenant Alexander Ramsay: mortally wounded.
  12 Artillerymen killed.
  13      ”       wounded.

Owing to the uneven and loose state of the platforms, the ship
carriages were found to be very awkward and unmanageable, so that the
fire did not attain the necessary precision, nor could it be kept up
with the rapidity necessary to silence the enemy’s guns. The carronades
recoiled off the platform every round. The insufficient strength of the
batteries, and the fact of the men being so unprotected, also tended to
make the fire less active, and to prevent its silencing guns which were
protected by good and solid cover. Colonel Dickson, in his report, said
that if he had had heavy ordnance on proper travelling carriages, he was
convinced that, with the same quantity of ammunition, he would have
silenced or dismounted every gun in the American lines. It has been
urged, and with reason, that it was a mistake to commence with so small
a quantity of ammunition; but it must be remembered that there was no
immediate certainty of a further supply, and the necessity of doing
something had become every hour more urgent, as the Americans were busy
daily in strengthening their position.

In consequence of the failure on the 1st January, Sir Edward Pakenham
resolved to defer further action until the arrival of some
reinforcements which he knew to be on the way, and in the meantime to
withdraw the guns from the batteries, and the troops from the advanced
position which they had taken up. The removal of the guns was not
effected without great difficulty. The rain, which was falling
continuously, had made the batteries and roads knee-deep with mud; but,
thanks to the energy of Sir Edward himself, the whole was effected
before daylight on the 2nd.

Although superfluous, it will confirm what has been so often said in the
course of this history, with reference to the supply department of the
Ordnance, if a few words written by Colonel Dickson be now quoted, with
reference to the expedition against New Orleans, which had begun so
unfortunately, and was to end so disastrously. “With respect,” he wrote,
“to our own ammunition and stores, great quantities of articles have
been sent that are perfectly unnecessary and never have been demanded,
whereas others greatly required have never been sent, although demanded
in the most urgent manner.” In this respect the narrative of the
services of the Royal Artillery is singularly monotonous.

On the 3rd January, General Lambert arrived at head-quarters, and on the
following day the 7th and 43rd Regiments marched in. The attack, which
was now decided upon, cannot be understood without some preliminary
explanation. It must be borne in mind that the Americans did not content
themselves with remaining idly behind their entrenchments. They had
erected flanking works at each end of their line, and had also made and
armed batteries on the other side of the river, which were useful both
for direct and enfilade fire. It was therefore resolved to send a column
across the river, to attack and, if possible, capture the batteries
there, prior to the general assault on the enemy’s main work. To do this
it was necessary to obtain boats: and a canal was dug from the head of
the lake to within a few yards of the river, up which forty-two ships’
boats were brought, ready to be launched in the river on the night of
the attack. Considerable changes were made in the position and armament
of the English batteries. In order to support the attack on the other
side, the following guns were placed so as to command the river and fire
at the enemy’s batteries on the right bank:--

  4 18-prs. manned by R. A.  } Under the superintendence
  2   ”        ”      seamen }   of Lieutenant Speer.
  2 24-pr. carronades, manned by Marine Artillerymen.
  4 field-guns, under Captain Carmichael.

The batteries against the main entrenchment on the left bank were two in
number, containing four 18-pounders and four 24-pounders. It was first
intended that Captain Michell’s brigade of heavy howitzers and
9-pounders should be sent across the river, if the attack on that side
should prove successful; but this plan was subsequently altered, and
Captain Michell’s brigade, with Captain Deacon’s, was employed in the
main attack on the enemy’s line.

The attack took place on the morning of Sunday, the 8th January. As soon
as it was dark on the previous night, the operation of carrying the
boats from the canal to the Mississippi commenced, but was found to be
more difficult than had been anticipated. There was scarcely any water
in the opening which had been cut in the _levée_,--and between that and
the stream the water was shallow, and the mud very deep. The greater
part of the night was spent in getting the boats afloat. At 3.15 A.M.
only thirty boats had been launched into the deep water, and the 85th
Regiment alone had been embarked. The fatiguing nature of the work
passed description, and the exertions made by all to overcome the
difficulties were beyond praise. Many of the working parties were
obliged to stand in mud which almost reached their waists; and yet there
was not a word of complaint. Had the determination of the troops in the
battle of the 8th been equal to that displayed on the night preceding, a
painful chapter in English history need never have been written. The
difficulties experienced in getting the force under Colonel Thornton
transported across the river were almost equalled by those experienced
in getting the batteries ready for the main attack. The ground over
which the guns had to be transported was very heavy, and intersected
with ditches: and at 4.30 A.M. the batteries were not yet half finished.
The reader will bear in mind that it was necessary to defer the erection
and armament of these batteries until the night preceding the
engagement, in order to deceive the enemy.

When Sir Edward Pakenham quitted his quarters at 5 A.M. on the 8th, he
was surprised to hear that Colonel Thornton’s party had not yet crossed
the river; and, as it was so nearly daylight, he hesitated as to the
wisdom of letting them go, as there would not be time for them to get
possession of the works on the other side, and to bring up artillery to
enfilade the enemy’s line in support of the general attack, which was to
take place at daylight. Still, bearing in mind that, at the worst,
Colonel Thornton’s movements would operate as a timely diversion, he
sent to enquire how many men had been embarked: and, having been
informed that the 85th Regiment, with some Marines--amounting in all to
460--had been put on board, and that there was room for 100 more,--he
ordered that additional number to be embarked, and the whole to cross
without delay.

Too literal obedience to orders is often fatal. Had the officer
superintending the launching of the boats made use of a smaller number,
and made more frequent trips with them across the river, there is little
doubt that he would easily have succeeded in transporting the whole
force in sufficient time. But, having received orders to launch
forty-two boats, he obeyed his orders to the letter; nor did the
unexpected difficulties which he encountered suggest to him the
propriety of consulting Sir Edward Pakenham, with a view to modifying
his orders, and bringing them into accord with the altered
circumstances. The hurried embarkation at the end, and the smaller force
employed, produced the alteration already mentioned in the disposition
of the Artillery intended to accompany Colonel Thornton’s force. Major
Michell, without his guns, and Captain Lane’s rocket detachments alone
crossed the river.

[Sidenote: MS. Journal of Sir A. Dickson.]

At 5.30 A.M. Sir Edward proceeded to the front. Colonels Dickson and
Burgoyne followed him; and the description of the battle may be
summarised from the voluminous account of the former officer. Day was
fast breaking, and, as they passed the house known as La Ronde’s, a
rocket was fired, which, they afterwards learned, was a signal for the
advance of the columns to the attack. They had not proceeded much
farther when the fire of musketry commenced, followed by that of
artillery; and, as they proceeded to a point about 600 yards distant
from the enemy’s line, they observed the reserve troops moving forward
by a road on their flank. It was evident that the attack should have
been made a little earlier in the morning, as the Americans could not
have directed their fire with such certainty against the English
columns, which, as Colonel Dickson rode forward, he perceived must be
distinctly visible from the enemy’s lines. At first the musketry fire
was scattered along the line; it then became more general, although not
so incessant as might have been expected. The fire of artillery was
heavy, and kept up with the utmost vigour; but as Colonel Dickson
advanced, he observed the infantry fire to be slackening,--heard that
Sir Edward Pakenham was badly wounded,--and met the troops coming back
in great confusion, the 1st Brigade, however, which had been in reserve,
continuing to advance in good order. Seeing the field Artillery on his
left slowly retiring, Colonel Dickson rode up, and ascertained from
Captain Carmichael that he had moved forward according to order, taken
up a position, and opened as soon as the musketry fire commenced; but
that he had scarcely fired five rounds a gun when the attacking columns
broke at the head, and such numbers of men came in front of his guns
that he was obliged to cease firing; and being under a most heavy fire,
without the power of returning it, he had thought it best to fall back.
One 3-pounder gun had been dismounted, both gun-wheels having been shot
away. It was soon apparent that the attack had entirely failed; but the
sight of the 1st Brigade continuing to advance, and the 2nd commencing
to re-form, gave some hopes of its renewal. These were, however, soon
dissipated; the artillery and musketry fire of the enemy continued
unslackened; and the 1st Brigade, followed by the other troops, was soon
observed to move to the right towards the wood, and to lie down under
cover. During the whole of these events, the fire from the Royal
Artillery batteries, under Major Munro, was kept up with the greatest
vigour. Colonel Dickson then moved the brigades of Artillery, and formed
line for action on the road. While doing this, he heard that both
General Gibbs and [Sidenote: MS. Journal of Sir A. Dickson.] General
Keane were wounded,--the former mortally. “A little afterwards,” he
wrote, “I heard of the death of Sir Edward Pakenham, who perished in a
noble effort to re-establish the confidence of the troops, which had
halted from panic just as they were arriving at the line of the
enemy,--a panic which no exertion could restore, and which occasioned
their total repulse and defeat. Major Macdougal, Sir Edward’s
aide-de-camp, informed me that at the moment the column of General
Gibbs’ brigade stopped they began firing front and rear, and Sir Edward,
who was at some distance behind to observe the operation, immediately
galloped up to the head of the column, exclaiming, ‘Lost from want of
courage!’ and was trying to encourage the troops on, which he succeeded
in doing for a few yards, when he was wounded in the thigh, and his
horse killed. Major Macdougal having extricated and raised him from the
ground, he was in the act of mounting Macdougal’s horse when he was hit
again, and fell into Macdougal’s arms, ejaculating a few words, which
were the last he spoke. He expired just as he was conveyed to General
Gibbs’ house, thus falling a sacrifice to the misconduct of his troops,
by which Great Britain lost one of her ablest and bravest soldiers, and
myself one I must ever regret both as a commander and a friend.”

The troops advanced until very near the enemy’s line; but, the enemy’s
fire becoming extremely heavy, they stopped, and began firing; and,
confusion taking place, nothing could induce them to advance farther; so
that, after losing a great number of officers and men, they fell back. A
party, consisting of the light companies of the 7th, 43rd, and 93rd
Regiments, with one hundred negroes, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel
Rennie, 21st Regiment,--taking with them a spiking party of Artillery,
under Lieutenant Ford,--attacked the advanced work on the right of the
enemy’s line, which they succeeded in carrying, but not without great
loss, Colonel Rennie and many officers and men being killed. They kept
possession of the outwork for some time, and at last were obliged to
leave it, in consequence of the heavy fire from the main work. This
force was the advanced part of General Keane’s column, which consisted
of the 93rd Regiment, with two companies of the 95th. It had been
arranged that, in the event of Colonel Thornton succeeding in capturing
the works on the other side of the river, General Keane’s column should
press after Colonel Rennie’s force, and endeavour to turn the right of
the enemy’s line through the small outwork. Unfortunately, the delay in
sending Colonel Thornton’s force across caused Sir Edward Pakenham to
alter this plan; and General Keane’s column was ordered to join the left
of the 2nd Brigade in the main attack. What was the result? General
Keane complied with the new order, and attacked the line to the left of
the 2nd Brigade; but the ditch was found to be too deep at this place,
and, after the most gallant exertions, his attack was repulsed with
heavy loss. Had Colonel Rennie’s force, on taking the outwork, been
followed by the 93rd Regiment, it is extremely probable that, by means
of the open communication between it and the main work, the latter might
have been entered and carried.

In the meantime, Colonel Thornton’s force, which had crossed the river
without opposition, advanced rapidly, and carried everything before
them. They turned and captured with great gallantry the whole of the
enemy’s entrenchments, becoming possessors of the flanking batteries,
which it had been decided, if possible, to secure and silence before the
main attack commenced. These batteries contained sixteen [Sidenote:
Major Michell to Colonel Dickson, 8 Jan. 1815.] guns and howitzers; and
on one of the latter was found the inscription, “Taken at the surrender
of York Town in 1781.” Major Michell’s conduct during this attack was
thus described in Colonel Thornton’s despatch: “Major Michell of the
Royal Artillery afforded me much assistance by his able direction of the
firing of some rockets, it not having been found practicable in the
first instance to bring over the artillery attached to his command.” Had
the attack on the left bank of the Mississippi been as well carried out
as that on the right, the defeat of the Americans would have been
certain. As it was, General Lambert, to whom the command fell on the
death of Sir Edward Pakenham, seeing how desperate the state of affairs
was, and bearing in mind that no fewer than 2000 men had been killed or
wounded, decided on withdrawing the army to its old encampment, which
was to be strengthened to prevent surprise--should the enemy adopt the
offensive. He also recalled Colonel Thornton’s force from the other
bank, but not until that gallant officer had demolished the captured
batteries and spiked their guns. He then decided on abandoning the
expedition;--levelling the batteries which had been thrown up;--and
rendering the heavy ordnance unserviceable. The boats were removed from
the river and placed in the canal, and the wounded were sent away as
rapidly as the limited boat accommodation would permit. In answer to
some proposals made by General Lambert, the Americans agreed that all
prisoners should be returned on both sides; and promised that the
wounded in their possession should be sent down the river to the English

The retreat of the English army towards the landing-place, where they
were to re-embark, was admirably conducted in the face of great
difficulties. The design was so effectually concealed from the enemy,
that by the 18th January the whole army, with its field artillery and
stores, had moved, and the bridges in its rear had been destroyed,
without attracting the enemy’s notice. It may interest the reader to
know that the rocket detachments acted as the Artillery of the
rear-guard. On the evening of the 28th January the whole of the army had
embarked on board the fleet. In the despatch from General Lambert
reporting the [Sidenote: ‘London Gazette,’ 8 March, 1815.]
re-embarkation of the army, he wrote: “Lieut.-Colonel Dickson, Royal
Artillery, has displayed his usual abilities and assiduity: he reports
to me his general satisfaction with all the officers under his command,
especially Major Munro, senior officer of the Royal Artillery previous
to his arrival, and the officers commanding companies.”

Before the news of the Peace, which had been concluded between England
and America, reached the army which had been discomfited at New Orleans,
a successful affair for the English arms took place. General Lambert had
now proceeded with his force against Fort Bowyer, Mobile, and, after
deliberate approaches by the Engineers, and the erection of powerful
batteries, the fort was summoned. After a short parley, its Governor
surrendered: begging, however, to be permitted to defer its evacuation
until the following day, _as so many of his men had got drunk_. This was
agreed to: but the gate of the fort was immediately given over to a
company of British Infantry, and the British flag was hoisted. On the
12th February, the garrison marched out; and on the 13th, the arrival of
the news of the Peace, which had been signed at Ghent, put an end to
further operations.

The Second American War was unjustifiable in its commencement--was
unpopular with the majority of the Northern States--and failed to effect
either of the two great objects desired by the Americans--the annexation
of Canada, or the coercion of embarrassed England into their own terms.
Sixty years have passed away; and the first of these dreams is as
visionary as it ever was. The loyalty of Canada is undimmed; and her
power for self-defence is marvellously increased. She remains a Naboth’s
vineyard in the eyes of American Ahabs: but their power for gratifying
their lust is diminishing yearly with the development of Canadian
resources, and the political manhood of the Canadian people. What is to
be said of the second of the two objects which inspired the men who
declared the war of 1812? For nearly three years--while they were
fighting obscure and petty battles in the north and west, in which the
combatants were numbered by hundreds only--the country, which they had
attacked so wantonly while bearing her Titanic burden of war, was
writing on the pages of history tales of conquest in Europe, which shall
never die. Not until her hands were free again did England suffer the
disaster at New Orleans: as if the fates grudged her unfilial sons their
wish to strike with disaster the parent country, while in the agony of
another struggle. And ere they obtained this one solace from New
Orleans, the hand of the invader had reached the American capital.

But what better description of the uselessness of this war can be given
than the words used by a modern historian in describing the Peace agreed
to between the two countries? [Sidenote: Russell’s ‘History of Modern
Europe.’] “_No notice whatever_,” he writes, “was taken of the
circumstances which occasioned the war.”



The year, with which this narrative must for the present be brought to
an end, was an eventful one. The same year which witnessed the great
battle of Waterloo was the hundredth of the Regiment’s existence. How
marvellous was the development of England’s Artillery between 1716 and
1815, cannot be better seen than in contrasting the two struggling
companies of the former year with the magnificent force of Artillery
collected in Belgium in 1815, of which its commander, [Sidenote: To D.
A. G. dated Brussels, 16 May, 1815.] Sir George Wood, wrote: “I do
believe there never was in the world such a proportion of Artillery so
well equipped. The result must be felt by Europe.”

The growing importance of the arm is apparent from the following
statistics. The proportion of guns per 1000 men in the British armies at
Marlborough’s three famous battles was as follows: Blenheim, 1·2;
Ramilies, 2; and Malplaquet, 1·1. In the Peninsula, the proportion was
somewhat higher: at Corunna, 3; Talavera, 1·2; Albuera, 1·2; Salamanca,
2; Vittoria, 1·3; Nivelle, 1·3; Orthes, 1·3; and Toulouse, 1·2. But
during the whole of the Peninsular War, the Duke of Wellington
complained that he was inadequately supplied with Artillery; and as soon
as war was inevitable in 1815, he urged upon the Government at home to
send him a large proportion of that arm. The result was that in the
British army at the battle of Waterloo the proportion of guns per 1000
men was no less than 3·7.

The circumstances, which led to this great battle, must first be briefly
stated. It will be in the reader’s recollection that in February 1815,
Napoleon quitted Elba; and on the 20th March entered the Tuileries. As
he had foreseen, the army rallied round him; but to his mortification he
found coldness and even mistrust on the part of the Chambers, and a
decided apathy on the part of the civil population. He beheld also the
whole of continental Europe resolving to arm against him,--to stamp out
the man, who had so audaciously violated the solemn Convention of Paris;
while England--to compensate for the weakness of her military
contingent--furnished money to the other Powers, and a General whose
name was in itself a host. No uncertain sound came from the European
council, which sat at Vienna; and Napoleon saw before him a stern and
growing resolution for war to the bitter end. He was not sorry. If he
could win battles, he knew that he would have found a cure for all
coldness at home:--the army, which had again placed him on the throne,
would, if victorious, consolidate his power, and make him independent of
all who distrusted him. He commenced, therefore, to reorganize and equip
a force which should sweep all before it. He hastened his preparations,
in the hope of encountering his enemies in detail, before they should
have effected that concentration of their armies along the entire
eastern frontier of France, which he knew they contemplated. It will be
seen, hereafter, that on more than one occasion during this last of
Napoleon’s campaigns, he was guilty of unaccountable lack of energy; but
no one can fail to admire the spirit and ability with which in the short
spring of that fatal year he organized the army, which was to ensure his
complete success, or witness his utter ruin.

To realise his difficulties, one must bear in mind the state [Sidenote:
Hooper.] of the country which he governed. “France had exhausted her
vigour in the unrestrained indulgence of her passion for military glory.
Her blood was impoverished,--her muscles relaxed, her nerves unstrung,
her moral force debilitated by twenty-three years of almost
uninterrupted warfare. The laurels gathered in a hundred battles were
poor compensation for a paralyzed industry and a crippled commerce,--for
desolate corn-fields and half-cultured vineyards. She was ’la belle
France’ no longer;--she had used her prime in the debauch of war!” And
yet from this country, Napoleon, before the middle of June, had raised
the effective force of the regular army to no less than 276,000 men;
besides having 200,000 other and inferior troops.

He determined to carry the war first into Belgium. For concentrating an
army with this view, the line of fortresses on the French frontier to
the north-east offered special advantages. And, on crossing it in force,
he hoped to defeat the Prussians and English separately,--to make by
this means the war and the Government unpopular in England,--and to
detach from the Allies some whom he believed to be but half-hearted in
their opposition to him. Another and important reason for selecting
Belgium as the theatre of his operations, was the undoubted presence in
that country of many who on his first success would flock to his

On the night of the 14th June, Napoleon had collected on the French side
of the frontier an army ready to march on the following morning,
consisting of 128,000 men, and 344 guns. Of this number, 22,000 were
cavalry; and the whole force was divided into five corps d’armée,
besides the Imperial Guard, and four corps of reserve cavalry. On that
night he slept at Avesnes, which he made his head-quarters, and from
which he issued a characteristic address to his troops. Leaving him
there,--with the great mass of his [Sidenote: Hooper.] army “gathered,
so to speak, to a head at Beaumont,” and pointing directly upon
Charleroi,--the reader is invited to turn to the English army, and
examine its constitution and disposition.

A force of Artillery had been in Holland for some time with Sir T.
Graham,--under the command of Sir G. A. Wood; and this formed the
nucleus of the contingent of that arm in the Duke of Wellington’s army
in Belgium. Many names familiar to the reader re-appear in the lists of
those who fought at Waterloo. Colonel--now Sir Alexander--Dickson was
still in America; but arrived in time for the battle. Others, who had
received honours for their Peninsular services, were also there: Sir
Augustus Frazer, Sir John May, Sir Hew Ross, and Sir Robert Gardiner.
Norman Ramsay, transferred to another troop in order to be present, had
also joined; and was already, as Sir Augustus Frazer [Sidenote: Frazer’s
Letters, p. 532.] wrote, “adored by his men:--kind, generous, and manly,
he is more than the friend of his soldiers.” Other names will appear, as
the narrative proceeds; suffice it at present to say that it is doubtful
if ever in one field, or even in one generation, the Regiment has had so
many able men gathered together.

Sir George Wood was enthusiastic, and revelled in his command. His
enthusiasm, while not forbidding him to point out his wants, aided him
in remedying or bearing them. They were at first but two in number; but
they were rather important to a force, for they were officers and men.
Fortunately for him and the Corps, General Macleod was still Deputy
Adjutant-General of the Royal Artillery, and was indefatigable in
supplying Sir George Wood’s demands. As fast as the companies and
drivers arrived from America, they were sent to Belgium; but the demand
still exceeded the supply. Only six days before the battle, it is
recorded that no fewer than 1000 drivers were wanting. This had been
partly caused by the Duke of Wellington insisting on the formation of
three brigades of 18-pounders, to be placed under the command of Sir
Alexander Dickson; and partly by the demands of the small-arm ammunition
trains. He would neither hire nor enlist Belgian drivers, saying that he
placed too much consequence on his Artillery to trust it to such a crew;
and he ordered Sir George Wood to write to General Macleod, requesting
that four companies of foot Artillery might be sent out to act as
drivers. It was not often that the Duke tried to coax the Board, or
honoured [Sidenote: Sir G. Wood to D. A. G. Brussels, 9 June, 1815.] it
with his reasons; but on this occasion he did. He said that he was well
aware that it was not the particular duty of Artillery soldiers to take
care of horses, but he was confident that should the Master-General be
pleased to allow that duty to be performed by gunners for the present,
the service would receive much greater benefit,--“the Artillery officers
having more power over their own men, than any given number from the
Line;” and that in the case of a siege they might do their Artillery
duties in the trenches, as at Antwerp in 1814.

It was on the 4th April, 1815, that the Duke of Wellington reached
Brussels. Less fortunate than Sir George Wood, he found that his
demands, at first, were merely made excuses by the authorities at home
for the exercise of official patronage. He at last ironically suggested
to them that it would be well, before sending him any more Generals, to
send him some men for them to command. The local arrangements, as far as
the Artillery was concerned, are graphically described in Sir A.
Frazer’s letters, and in General Mercer’s journal of the Waterloo
campaign. The historian must, however, draw his information from a less
sparkling stream,--the official letters of Sir George Wood and others.
From these it is ascertained that Ostend was the principal port of
disembarkation for artillery and stores: that Sir George Wood himself,
and afterwards Sir A. Frazer and Lieutenant-Colonel S. G. Adye,
superintended the arrival of these at Ostend, and their removal to
various places; and that in these matters they were assisted by a man
whom all united to pronounce marvellously able, Mr. Commissary Stace.

[Sidenote: Sir G. Wood to D. A. G. Ostend, 1 May, 1815.]

It appears that the urgent demands for more Horse Artillery came from
Sir A. Frazer, who was appointed to the command of that branch; whereas
the Duke himself at first seemed more anxious to get drivers for the
brigades, and foot Artillerymen for the garrisons of Mons, Oudenarde,
Ghent, and Ath. As early as the beginning of May, the Duke almost broke
Captain Whinyates’s heart by deciding on changing his rocket troop into
an ordinary troop: nor was it without much difficulty and pleading, that
Sir G. Wood succeeded in obtaining permission for him to carry
[Sidenote: Mercer’s Journal, vol. i. p. 166.] a proportion of 12-pounder
rockets with his guns. The Duke’s prejudice against rockets was
unmistakable; and his unofficial language on this occasion was somewhat
unfeeling; but the official reason he gave was that when he [Sidenote:
Sir G. A. Wood to D. A. G. 1 May, 1815.] had a proper proportion of
Artillery attached to his army, as all other nations had, then he would
bring the Rocket Corps into play; but that he thought, situated as he
was, the gun a superior weapon. The argument, which had most weight in
support of the request to retain a proportion of [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G.
8 May, 1815.] rockets, was thus stated by Sir G. Wood: “The Duke was
determined at first to place the rockets in depôt, but after the good
appearance of our friend Whinyates’s troop, and the plan and mode he
suggested to his Grace, he has permitted him to take into the field
eight hundred rounds of rockets with his six guns, which makes him very

The horsing of the Horse and Field Batteries during the Waterloo
campaign was admirable; but the Field Artillery excelled in this
particular to such an extent, that Sir George [Sidenote: Ibid.] Wood
wrote: “the Horse Artillery are really jealous of their appearance.” The
Duke had inspected the 9-pounder Field Brigade, commanded by Captain C.
F. Sandham, and had been so pleased that he desired General Maitland to
write to that officer as follows: “The Duke of Wellington has desired me
to communicate to you (and I have to request you will do so to the
officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers under your command),
his _unqualified approbation_ of the appearance of the brigade. I feel
gratified in being able to assure you that he commented on the horses,
appointments, and every part of it, with peculiar approbation.” This
company, which was No. 9 of the 3rd Battalion, and fired the first shot
at Waterloo, was--alas!--reduced in 1819. In forwarding a copy of the
above complimentary letter to the Ordnance, Sir G. Wood said: “All the
other brigades are equal, if not better, in horses.” What a contrast to
the Field Brigades of Egypt, and the first years of the Peninsula!--how
staunchly had the lessons taught by the experience of the latter been
studied and accepted!

[Sidenote: Sir G. Wood to D.-A.-G. Brussels, 12 May, 1815.]

On the 12th May, the Duke desired Sir G. Wood to write to the Ordnance,
requesting that two troops of Horse Artillery, in addition to the six
already in Belgium, should be sent out; stating, as his reason, the
deficiency of Field Brigades, and the impossibility of getting drivers
in sufficient numbers. He would gladly have taken 1000 drivers over his
actual artillery wants, for service with the small-arm ammunition
waggons, which he had succeeded in horsing in the country. Sir H.
Ross’s, the Chestnut Troop, and [Sidenote: Frazer’s Letters, p.
530-533.] Major Beane’s, were accordingly despatched; and arrived, the
former, at Ghent, on the 9th June, and the latter on the 10th, at

Constant changes in the armament of the troops of Horse Artillery in
Belgium had been suggested with a view to increasing the weight of
metal, and some of a tentative description were made in the beginning of
May. On the 16th of that month, the following armament was finally
[Sidenote: M.S. Return to D.-A.-G. with Letter from Col. Adye, 30 May,
1815, and Sir G. Wood, to D.-A.-G. 2 June, 1815.] decided upon:--

  -----------------------------+------+------+-- ------+------+------+------+---------+---------+------
                               |             Guns.            |      Ammunition Carriages.
                               |9-prs.|Light |Hvy.     |Total.|9-prs.|Light |Hvy.     |Caissons.|Total.
                               |      |6-prs.|5½-in.|      |      |6-prs.|5½-in.|         |
                               |      |      | how^s.  |      |      |      | how^s.  |         |
  Sir H. D. Ross’s        Troop|   5  |  5   |    1    |   6  |   7  |  7   |   2     |         |   9
  Sir R. Gardiner’s         ”  |      |  5   |    1    |   6  |      |  7   |   2     |         |   9
  Lt.-Col. Webber Smith’s   ”  |      |      |    1    |   6  |      |      |   2     |         |   9
  Captain Mercer’s (G)      ”  |   5  |      |    1    |   6  |   7  |      |   2     |         |   9
  Major Ramsay’s            ”  |   5  |      |    1    |   6  |   7  |      |   2     |         |   9
  Major Bull’s              ”  |      |  5   |    6    |   6  |      |  5   |   9     |    6    |   9
  Captain Whinyates’s       ”  |      |      |    1    |   6  |      |      |   1     |         |  12
                               |  15  | 15   |   12    |  42  |  21  | 19   |  20     |    6    |  66

  N.B.--Major Beane’s Troop, when it arrived, was armed like Sir H.

This change of armament proved very beneficial at Waterloo; but the
credit of introducing it seems to have been ascribed, without reason, to
the Duke of Wellington. [Sidenote: Frazer’s Letters, p. 551.] Writing
two days after the battle, Sir A. Frazer said: “I must be allowed to
express my satisfaction, that, _contrary to the opinion of most, I
ventured to change (and under discouraging circumstances of partial
want of means) the ordnance of the Horse Artillery_.” And again: “I
bless my stars that I had obstinacy enough to persist in changing the
guns of the Horse Artillery.” The forethought was certainly more
consistent in one who was an able and enthusiastic Horse-Artilleryman,
than in one who, like the Duke of Wellington, knew little of Artillery
details or tactics.

[Sidenote: Mercer’s Diary, vol. i. p. 160.]

The arrangement and constitution of a troop of Horse Artillery at
Waterloo are given with minuteness by General Mercer in his Diary.
Taking the troop, which he commanded, although only its 2nd Captain,[45]
as a sample of those more heavily armed, it appears that each gun, and
the howitzer, were drawn by 8 horses, and each waggon by 6. Each of the
six mounted detachments required 8 horses; 5 were required for the
staff-sergeants and farriers; 18 for the spare-wheel carriage, forge,
curricle-cart, baggage-waggon, &c.; 17 horses for officers, and 6 mules,
and 30 spare, additional horses. This gave a total of 226 per troop.
There were 23 non-commissioned officers, artificers, and trumpeters; 80
gunners, and 84 drivers. On parade, the 5½-inch howitzer was the right
of the centre division of the troop. It was of this troop that Blücher
said, at the review near [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 217.] Grammont on the 29th
May, that “he had never seen anything so superb in his life;” concluding
by exclaiming, “Mein Gott! dere is not von orse in dies batterie wich is
not goot for Veldt-Marshal!”

There is in the official correspondence of May and June 1815, a
collection of quaintly amusing letters from various 2nd Captains of
Artillery in Belgium, who, prior to the war, had been left in
undisturbed command of their batteries,--their 1st Captains being
specially employed--and who now wrote begging that the latter should not
be allowed to join, and thus rob them of their chances of distinction
and preferment. One of these--Captain Napier--wrote direct to the
Master-General, protesting against the appointment of Captain Bolton to
command his battery; which, he wrote, “hurt him much.” Little did he
think as he wrote that a mightier hand than the Master-General’s was in
a very few days to cancel the appointment, and that ere the first battle
should be over, he should resume the command, vacant by his senior’s
death! Pages might be filled with instances of this resentment at the
presence of a 1st Captain; nor were they confined to attempts to prevent
the seniors from joining. One 2nd Captain, whose commanding officer was
wounded at Quatre Bras, wrote off immediately, begging the
Master-General to appoint no one in his place, but to leave the command
in his hands.

When the Allies were ready, as far as equipment was concerned, Brussels
remained the head-quarters of the Duke of Wellington, and the army was
scattered through the country, in a way which has excited much criticism
among continental writers. Napoleon, when he fought the battles of Ligny
and Quatre Bras, had hoped to find the English army still in its
cantonments; but he was disappointed, for it had quitted them, and
commenced to concentrate on the 13th and 14th June. His intention had
been to defeat the Prussians, and compel them to retire on the base of
their communications and supplies, and to compel the advanced part of
the Anglo-allied army to retire from Quatre Bras on Brussels. In neither
particular were his hopes fulfilled. He certainly compelled the
Prussians, after their defeat at Ligny on the 16th June, to retire; but
they quitted the main road to Namur, along which Napoleon expected that
they would continue their retreat, and marched to Wavre by a road
parallel to that occupied by Wellington between Quatre Bras and
Brussels. This brilliant movement was unsuspected by Napoleon, whose
remissness after Ligny and during the early part of the 17th was
unaccountable. Disappointed in his [Sidenote: Sir G. Wood to D.-A.-G.
24/6/15.] plans with regard to the Prussians, he failed also in his
purpose against the English. Marshal Ney with two corps attacked part of
the Allied force at Quatre Bras, a place in front of the village of
Genappe, where two main roads--from Genappe to Charleroi, and Namur to
Nivelle--cross one another. The endurance of the Allies was tried to the
utmost by having to wait the arrival of reinforcements, and to fight
against superior numbers, but it was rewarded by a [Sidenote: Cust.]
complete, although costly, victory. The first attack was received by the
Belgians; but Picton’s English division, over 7000 strong, soon came up,
followed by over 6,500 Brunswickers and Germans. The battle commenced at
2 P.M. on the 16th; and at 4 o’clock the Duke of Wellington came on the
field with a brigade of foreign cavalry, and assumed the command. Later
in the evening, the 1st British division, under Generals Cook and
Maitland, with its artillery, arrived from Enghien, having marched for a
period of fifteen hours;[46] and with the approaching darkness came the
retreat of the French on Frasnes. This defeat ruined the French
Emperor’s plans, and paved the way for the greater defeat of the 18th.

[Sidenote: Sir G. Wood to D.-A.-G. 24/6/15.]

The following field-officers, troops, and brigades of Artillery were
present at the battle of Quatre Bras:--

  Lieut.-Colonel S. G. Adye, commanding the Artillery of the 1st Division.
         ”       Sir A. Frazer, commanding Royal Horse Artillery.
         ”       Sir J. Hartmann, commanding King’s German Artillery.
         ”       Sir J. May, Assist. Adjutant-General.
         ”       Sir A. Dickson.
  Captain Sandham’s Brigade, R.A.   }
  Major Kuhlmann’s Troop, K. G. L.  } Attached to the 1st Division.

  Major Lloyd’s Brigade, R.A.       }        ”        3rd Division.
  Capt. Cleeve’s   ”     K. G. L.   }

  Major Roger’s    ”     R.A.                ”        5th Division.

Major Heise, with Captain Rettberg’s brigade of Hanoverian Artillery,
was also engaged.

The Horse Artillery and British Cavalry did not come up until after the
battle; and the want of the latter was severely felt during the day, the
French being very strong in that arm.

[Sidenote: Sir A. Frazer’s Letters, p. 541.]

Major Lloyd’s and Major Rogers’ batteries were warmly engaged at Quatre
Bras. Two guns belonging to the former were lost, but were afterwards
recovered. The troop of [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 540.] German Horse Artillery
was of great service, sustaining the reputation which that corps had
earned in the Peninsula. But the losses among the Artillerymen were
small in proportion to those among the regiments of Infantry. Of 3750
British killed and wounded at Quatre Bras, only 28 belonged to the Royal
Artillery. The losses were, however, very severe among the horses, and
crippled the batteries very much. In Sir George Wood’s despatch
announcing the [Sidenote: To D.-A.-G. 24 June, 1815.] battle, he wrote:
“I beg you will be pleased to mention to his Lordship, the
Master-General, the good conduct of that part of the Artillery which was
engaged on the 16th. They were warmly engaged, being several times
charged by the French Cavalry,--and tended much to the success of the
day.” The merits of Quatre Bras, as a scene on which English courage and
endurance were nobly displayed, are too often forgotten in the
recollections of the greater battle, by which it was so speedily

In consequence of the Prussians moving on Wavre, it became necessary for
the Duke of Wellington to fall back also; and orders were given on the
17th for the army to retire to Mont St. Jean, not far from the village
of Waterloo. This position had been carefully selected and examined by
the Duke, with a view to the event which was now at hand. The retreat
through Genappe was effected with the greatest order, and was covered by
the Horse Artillery and Cavalry. [Sidenote: Mercer’s Diary, vol. i. p.
270.] Captain Mercer’s and Captain Whinyates’s troops were the last to
retire, the former officer having been detailed for that duty--the
latter having exceeded his orders, and remained behind, hoping to come
in for some fighting. For the Horse Artillery and Cavalry, the retreat
was no bed of roses. The heavy rains had made the roads and fields
almost impassable. Genappe is in a hollow; and as the Horse Artillery
mounted the slopes towards La Belle Alliance, pursued by the French
Cavalry, they had to move at a gallop through fields, which would have
tried them even at a walk. Sir Robert Gardiner’s troop was especially
taxed in this way; and he used frequently to say that it was fortunate
that his 6-pounder armament had not been exchanged for the heavier
nature; for his guns would certainly have been captured had this been
done. The nature of the ground which was traversed may be gathered from
the fact that not a horse in Sir Robert’s troop reached Mont St. Jean
without losing at least [Sidenote: Communicated by Colonel L. Gardiner,
R.-H.-A.] one shoe. The whole night of the 17th was spent in shoeing the
horses, and getting the troop ready for the work of the following day.

On the morning of the 18th June, the French army was drawn up on the
south side, and the Allies on the Brussels side, of a long hollow, which
common _parlance_ has inaccurately named the “field of Waterloo.” The
strength of the French army, according to the industrious
Siborne--checked by later writers--was, in round numbers, 72,000; that
of the Allies, about 68,000. The French had, in addition, Marshal
Grouchy’s force of 33,000 men, fourteen miles away, on a blind chase
after the Prussians, who were already six miles nearer Waterloo than
their pursuers; and Wellington had a division of 18,000 men on
detachment to his right, towards Hal, at a distance of ten miles. This
extra precaution--this strange nervousness about his right--has been
much and justly condemned by critics. When one reflects of what value
that force would have been at different times during the 18th, one
cannot but feel that if the Allied information to the right had been as
carefully procured, as it had been to the left of the army, the whole of
these 18,000 men might have been drawn in to the main body. However,
even admitting this to be a blunder, the French were nevertheless
utterly outmanœuvred. Napoleon’s remissness on the night of the 16th,
and his idleness on the morning of the 17th, were now to receive the
punishment which such qualities in the face of an enemy always deserve,
and generally get.

[Sidenote: Sir George Wood to D.-A.-G. 24 June, 1815.]

The Artillery engaged on the side of the Allies was as follows:--

  Sir G. A. Wood commanding.
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Frazer, commanding R. H. A.
         ”       S. G. Adye,        ”      Artillery of 1st Division.
         ”       Gold,              ”           ”       2nd Division.
         ”       Williamson,        ”           ”       3rd Division.
         ”       Sir J. Hartmann,   ”      King’s German Artillery.
         ”       A. Macdonald,      ”     {Six troops of H. A. attached
                                          {to Cavalry.
  Major Drummond,                   ”      Reserve Artillery.
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Dickson.

The troops of Horse Artillery attached to the Cavalry were those
commanded by--

  Lieut.-Colonel Webber Smith,
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir R. Gardiner,
  Major R. Bull,
  Major N. Ramsay,
  Captain Mercer, and
  Captain Whinyates.

The divisional Artillery was as follows:--

  Captain Sandham’s Brigade, R.A.}
  Major Kuhlmann’s Troop, K.G.A. }1st Division.

  Captain Bolton’s Brigade, R.A. }
  Major Sympher’s Troop, K.G.A.  }2nd Division.

  Major Lloyd’s Brigade, R.A.    }
  Captain Cleve’s Brigade, R.A.  }3rd Division.

  Major Rogers’ Brigade, R.A.     5th Division.

The reserve Artillery--the whole of which came into action early in the
day--consisted of--

  Lieut.-Colonel Sir H. D. Ross’s Troop, R.H.A.
  Major Beane’s                     ”      ”
  Captain Sinclair’s Brigade, R.A.

Major Heise, and two brigades of Hanoverian Artillery, were also

It will thus be seen that the number of troops and brigades of the Royal
Artillery engaged at the battle of Waterloo was thirteen, or a force of
78 guns, exclusive of the German and Hanoverian Artillery. Some
companies of the regiment were also present with the small-arm
ammunition for the army.

Captain Baynes acted as Brigade-Major to the Artillery; and Captain
Pakenham, Lieutenants Coles, J. Bloomfield, and W. Bell, acted as staff

[Sidenote: _Vide_ vol. ii. Appendix A.]

The description of the battle which will now be given will be brief; as
it will be necessary subsequently to enter with more detail into the
services and conduct of the Artillery during the day.

The battle of Waterloo was--as Sir James Shaw Kennedy expresses it--a
drama in five acts. The first was the attack on Hougomont at 11.30 A.M.,
many precious hours having been wasted by Napoleon; the second was the
attack by the French on La Haye Sainte, at half-past 1; the third was
the celebrated succession of cavalry attacks on the Allied line between
Hougomont and La Haye Sainte, commencing at 4 o’clock; the fourth was
the successful attack by Marshal Ney on La Haye Sainte, at 6
o’clock,--an event which if properly used by Napoleon might have had a
very grave effect on the result of the battle, for it caused a great gap
in the very centre of the Allied line; and the fifth was the celebrated
attack on the Allied centre made by 12 battalions of the Imperial Guard,
strengthened by the co-operation of [Sidenote: Kennedy.] other
divisions, and supported “by a powerful Artillery, and what remained of
the Cavalry.”

In the attack on Hougomont, the battery which most distinguished itself
was the famous old I Troop--now D Battery, B Brigade, R.H.A.--under
Major R. Bull, whose Peninsular history rivals that of the Chestnut
Troop. It was armed with howitzers; and cleared the wood in front of
Hougomont of the French troops,--firing shell with wonderful accuracy
over the heads of the English Infantry; an operation [Sidenote: Frazer’s
Letters, p. 556.] so delicate, as to make the Duke remark to Sir
Augustus Frazer, who ordered it, that he hoped he was not undertaking
too much. But Sir Augustus said that he could depend on the troop; and
the event proved that he was right: for after ten minutes’ firing, the
French were driven out of the wood. Webber Smith’s troop was also hotly
engaged during this first attack, and suffered during the day very
severely, not merely--as all did--from the French skirmishers, but also
from having been on one occasion enfiladed by one of Prince Jerome’s
batteries. Captain Bolton’s field brigade, which was to have so great
glory at a critical period in the day, was in action at the first attack
on Hougomont; and when subsequently moved more to the centre of the
Allied line, its place to the left of Hougomont was taken by Norman
Ramsay’s troop. It has already been mentioned that the first shot fired
by the Allied Artillery at Waterloo was fired by Captain Sandham’s
brigade. This was in reply to the first attack on Hougomont; and during
the day no fewer than 1100 rounds of ammunition were fired by this
single brigade.[47] Although beyond the province of this work to enter
into the Infantry details of the battle, it must yet be said that, even
in a day when the British Infantry showed a valour and endurance which
have never been surpassed, their defence of Hougomont shines with
especial lustre. Knowing its value, as strengthening the right of his
line, the Duke had taken precautions on the previous night by loopholing
the walls to render its defence more practicable. Although set on fire,
and attacked repeatedly by superior numbers, it was never lost; its
defenders showing a tenacity and courage, unexampled almost in the
annals of war.

In the second act of the drama--the first attack on La Haye
Sainte--Captain Whinyates’s troop and Major Rogers’ field brigade were
first engaged; and it is important to [Sidenote: _Vide_ Appendix A.]
remember, with a view to the argument, which is to come, that it was
during this act that the Artillery of the reserve was brought up. Sir
Hew Ross’s and Major Beane’s troops suffered at this time great loss.
Among the officers alone, Major Beane was killed, and both 2nd captains
and two subalterns wounded.

The third act, the charges of the French cavalry, will be fully
discussed in the argument, which will be found in the Appendix. Suffice
it to say, at present, that they were preceded by clouds of skirmishers,
and by a tremendous artillery fire; and that at no period of the day
were the losses among the Artillery more severe. Among those who fell
then was Norman Ramsay; and it was the lot of his [Sidenote: Frazer’s
Letters, p. 548.] dearest friend to witness and to tell the
circumstances. “In a momentary lull of the fire,” wrote Sir Augustus
Frazer, “I buried my friend Ramsay, from whose body I took the portrait
of his wife, which he always carried next his heart. Not a man assisted
at the funeral who did not shed tears. Hardly had I cut from his head
the hair which I enclose, and laid his yet warm body in the grave, when
our convulsive sobs were stifled by the necessity of [Sidenote: Nivelle,
20 June, 1815.] returning to renew the struggle.” Two days later, the
same hand wrote: “Now that the stern feelings of the day have given way
to the return of better ones, I feel with the bitterness of anguish not
to be described, the loss of my friend Ramsay. Nor for this friend
alone, but for [Sidenote: Dated 6 July, 1815.] many others, though less
dear than poor Norman.” And yet again, writing from Paris, Sir A. Frazer
said: “I cannot get Ramsay out of my head; such generosity, such
romantic self-devotion as his, are not common.” It was written of
Ramsay, “Sibi satis vixit,--non patriæ;” and it is difficult to conceive
a nobler eulogy. A man who never tampered with temptation, but trampled
on it instead,--he left behind him the story of a life, which is a model
for his successors in the Corps to imitate. There is a Waterloo going on
daily in a soldier’s life: his enemies are more skilled than
Napoleon--they are as relentless as death: they come dressed in many
garbs, but their names are sloth, ignorance, and vice; and the weapon by
which alone they can be overcome is an earnest and conscientious
performance of duty. This weapon must be grasped most firmly, and
wielded most mercilessly, when the duties to be performed are monotonous
or uninviting; but its unfailing use, even through a life of
uninteresting routine, will earn for the soldier, when the night comes,
the same words as were spoken of Norman Ramsay, “Satis sibi vixit,--non

The fourth act of the drama witnessed, at 6 o’clock, the capture of La
Haye Sainte by the French, after a magnificent defence by Major Baring
and part of the King’s German Legion, which only failed from want of
ammunition. There seems little doubt that the Duke of Wellington had
underrated the importance of this position; indeed, he is said in later
years to have admitted it. Fortunately, Napoleon did not sufficiently
note the advantage he had gained; and contented himself with using its
now friendly cover in preparation for his great final effort.

The Prussians had by this time arrived, and were in force on the French
right. At the village of Planchenoit, they were already in such numbers
that the French General, Loban, required 16,000 men to keep them in
check. On the extreme left of the English, at Papillote, the advanced
parties of another Prussian column had also arrived; and, all fear for
his left being now at an end, the Duke of Wellington was enabled to
strengthen his centre, and his right centre, by moving Vivian’s and
Vaudeleur’s Cavalry Brigades from the left, accompanied by Sir Robert
Gardiner’s troop of Horse Artillery.

The necessity of a great final effort was now apparent to Napoleon; and
the curtain rose on the fifth act of the drama at half-past 7 o’clock.
It is a point which the Artilleryman should never forget, that, in this
majestic advance of the Imperial Guard, its head was broken and thrown
into confusion by the fire of Captain Bolton’s guns, before the 52nd
Regiment, and the Guards, did their celebrated work. It was at this time
that Captain Bolton was killed, and that the Duke personally gave his
orders to Captain Napier,--the 2nd Captain,--as the French approached,
to load with canister.

While the advancing columns of the enemy were in the hollow, their
artillery carried on a cannonade over their heads, more terrible than
had been witnessed during the day. The following description of Mercer’s
battery at the end of the day will give the reader an idea of the
murderous [Sidenote: Mercer’s Journal, vol. i. p. 331.] fire to which
the Allies were exposed. “Of 200 fine horses,” he wrote, “with which we
had entered the battle, upwards of 140 lay dead, dying, or severely
wounded. Of the men, scarcely two-thirds of those necessary for _four_
guns remained; and those so completely exhausted, as to be totally
incapable of further exertion. Lieutenant Breton had had three horses
killed under him; Lieutenant Hincks was wounded in the breast by a spent
ball; Lieutenant Leathes on the hip by a splinter; and although
untouched myself, my horse had no less than eight wounds. Our guns and
carriages were all together in a confused heap, intermingled with dead
and wounded horses, which it had not been possible to disengage from
them.” And this was but typical of most of the batteries engaged.

As for the Infantry, words cannot paint too highly their endurance on
that long day. One regiment had 400 men killed or wounded, before they
were allowed to fire a trigger; and all suffered heavily. Yet there was
not a word of distrust as regarded their great commander. They pined
with all their hearts for permission to attack, instead of lying where
they often were--being shot by scores; but discipline was stronger than
desire. Even at the worst times, a word from the Duke, or a report that
he was coming, sufficed to produce a silence and a steadiness, as
perfect as if on parade in a barrack-square. For those who were present,
Waterloo was thus a double victory,--over their enemies, and over
themselves. True discipline is a succession of such victories.

With the noble charge of the 52nd, followed by the general advance of
the whole line, the French retreat became a rout,--the most disastrous,
as has been said, on record: but the record referred to did not include
the Titanic battles of the last few years. The Prussians took up the
pursuit, and the Allied Army bivouacked on the field of battle.

So much detail connected with the services of the Artillery at Waterloo
must of necessity be given in the Appendix, that it has not been thought
advisable to anticipate it here. But there are several interesting
Regimental matters connected with the battle, for the insertion of which
this seems the most suitable place.

In the first place, the names of the officers belonging to the troops
and brigades, which were present, may be given.

  present at WATERLOO, according to MS. RETURNS TO BOARD OF
  ORDNANCE, dated Paris, 18th September, 1815.


  Major R. Bull’s Troop, now “D” Battery, B Brigade.


  2nd Captain Brevet-Major R. M. Cairnes  }
  Lieutenant Louis                        }  168
      ”      Smith                        }
      ”      Townsend                     }

  Lieutenant Colonel Webber Smith’s Troop, now “B” Battery, B Brigade.

  2nd Captain E. T. Walcott               }
  Lieutenant Edwards                      }  167
      ”      Forster                      }
      ”      Crawford                     }

  Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Robert Gardiner’s Troop, now “A” Battery, B Brigade.

  2nd Captain T. Dyneley                  }
  Lieutenant Harding                      }  174
      ”      Swabey                       }
      ”      Ingilby                      }

  Captain Whinyates’s Troop (reduced in 1816).

  2nd Captain Dansey                      }
  Lieutenant Strangways                   }
      ”      Wright                       }  194
      ”      Ward                         }
      ”      Ord                          }

  2nd Captain Mercer’s Troop, now “C” Battery, B Brigade.

  2nd Captain Newland                     }
  Lieutenant Leathes                      }  164
      ”      Hincks                       }
      ”      Breton                       }

  Major Ramsay’s Troop, now “D” Battery, A Brigade.

  2nd Captain A. Macdonald                }
  Lieutenant Brereton                     }
      ”      Sandilands                   }  173
      ”   Robe                            }

  Lieutenant-Colonel Sir H. D. Ross’s Troop, now “A” Battery, A Brigade.

  2nd Captain and Brevet-Major Parker     }
  Lieutenant Hardinge                     }
      ”      Day                          }  159
      ”      Warde                        }
      ”      Onslow                       }


  Major Beane’s Troop (reduced in 1816).

  2nd Captain Webber                              }
  Lieutenant Maunsell                             }  169
      ”      Bruce                                }
      ”      Cromie                               }


  Captain C. F. Sandham’s Brigade (reduced in 1819).

  2nd Captain Stopford                            }
  Lieutenant Foot                                 }  105
      ”      Baynes                               }
      ”      Jago                                 }

  This and all the other Field Brigades were armed, each with five
  9-pounders and one 5½-inch howitzer.

[Sidenote: MS. Returns, dated 30 May, 1815.]

  Captain Bolton’s Brigade, now “E” Battery, 8th Brigade.

  2nd Captain Napier                              }
  Lieutenant Pringle                              }
      ”      Anderson                             } 101
      ”      Spearman                             }
      ”      Sharpin                              }
      ”      B. Cuppage                           }

  Major Lloyd’s Brigade (reduced in April, 1817).

  2nd Captain S. Rudyerd                          }
  Lieutenant  Phelps                              }   97
      ”       Harvey                              }

  Captain Sinclair’s Brigade, now “4” Battery, 3rd Brigade (Captain Gordon being absent).

  2nd Captain F. Macbean                          }
  Lieutenant  Wilson                              }
      ”       Poole                               }  104
      ”       Burnaby                             }

  Major Roger’s Brigade, now “7” Battery, 13th Brigade.

  Lieutenant R. Manners                           }
    (_Other officers’ names not given._)            }   94

These were the only troops and brigades which were engaged. There were
others, which were in the vicinity, but not present at the battle; and
there were also detachments of other brigades present with small-arm
ammunition. Lieutenants E. Trevor, W. Lemoine, J. Bloomfield, and others
already named, were present on staff or unattached duty.

Of the officers named above, the following were killed or wounded at the
battle of Waterloo:--

[Sidenote: Sir George A. Wood to Master-General, 24 June, 1815.]

  Major W. N. Ramsay, R.H.A.,   Killed.
    ”   R. M. Cairnes   ”      ”
    ”   G. Beane        ”      ”
    ”   J. B. Parker    ”    Severely wounded: leg amputated.
    ”   R. Bull         ”    Slightly wounded.
  Captain Whinyates     ”             ”
    ”     Dansey        ”             ”
    ”     Macdonald     ”             ”
    ”     Webber        ”             ”
  Lieutenant Strangways ”             ”
      ”      Brereton   ”    Severely, not dangerously.
      ”      Robe       ”        ” (since dead).
      ”      Smith      ”    Slightly wounded.
      ”      Cromie     ”    Severely: both legs amputated.
      ”      Forster    ”       ”      not dangerously.
      ”      Crawford   ”    Slightly wounded.
      ”      Day        ”            ”
  Major H. Baynes      R.A.  Slightly wounded.
  Captain Bolton        ”    Killed.
  Major Lloyd           ”    Severely wounded (died).
  Captain Napier        ”    Severely wounded.
  Lieutenant Spearman   ”            ”
      ”      R. Manners ”    Severely (since dead).
      ”      Harvey     ”       ”     right arm amputated.
      ”      Poole      ”       ”     not dangerously.

[Sidenote: Dated 24 June, 1815.]

The numerical losses, as shown by Sir George Wood in his official return
to the Ordnance, were as follows:--

                           Officers.  Sergeants.  and    Horses.
  Royal Horse Artillery--
              Killed           3          1        31      229
              Wounded         14          8       107       59
              Missing          0          0         7       21
                              --         --       ---      ---
              Total           17          9       145      309
                              --         --       ---      ---

  Royal Artillery--
              Killed           1          0        19       80
              Wounded          7          4        61       34
              Missing          0          0         2       12
                              --         --       ---      ---
              Total            8          4        82      126
                              --         --       ---      ---

  King’s German Legion Artillery--
              Killed           1          1        10       47
              Wounded          6          1        47       44
              Missing          0          0         1        3
                              --         --       ---      ---
              Total            7          2        58       94
                              --         --       ---      ---
              General Total   32         15       285      529
                              --         --       ---      ---

There were two field brigades, which formed part of the Duke of
Wellington’s army, but which were not brought up in time for the battle,
although they were of great importance during the subsequent siege
operations against the fortresses. Their armament was the same as that
of the [Sidenote: _Vide_ ‘Hist. R.A.’ vol. i. p. 221.] others; and one
of them, Captain Brome’s, would appear to have been in position,
although not engaged;--possibly detached at Hal. The officers with
these, and their numbers, were as follows:-

                                                            of all

      Captain Brome’s Brigade, now 2 Battery, 13th Brigade, R.A.

  2nd Captain J. E. G. Parker                              }
  Lieutenant Saunders                                      } 106
       ”     Cater                                         }
       ”     Molesworth                                    }

      Major G. W. Unett, now 3 Battery, 7th Brigade, R.A.

  2nd Captain Browne                                       }
  Lieutenant Lawson                                        } 106
       ”     Montagu                                       }

These brigades received the boon service granted for the battle of
Waterloo under a Horse Guards’ decision, which was promulgated in Paris
on the 5th September, 1815, including among Waterloo men all troops,
which had on the 18th June been employed either in the village of
Waterloo, or had been detached to the right to prevent the advance of
the enemy towards Brussels by Hal.

The companies which were present with small-arm ammunition, or which
furnished detachments for that service, will be found in the chapters on
the various battalions.

The commendations passed on the corps generally for its services at
Waterloo will be found in Appendix A, in support of the argument therein
contained. But it may be interesting to the friends or descendants of
individual officers, who were present, and who specially distinguished
themselves, to read extracts from the reports sent to the Ordnance.
These [Sidenote: Dated Le Cateau, 24 June, 1815.] will be given without
comment. “I feel,” wrote Sir George Wood, “that I should particularly
mention that I wish Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John May may succeed to one
of the vacant troops; and I do assure you the conduct of Major Lloyd was
conspicuous to the whole army. This officer and Captain Mercer[48] are
candidates for the other vacant troop. Captain Mercer was the senior
second captain in the field, and behaved nobly. I must also mention that
Lieutenant Louis commanded Major Bull’s troop for some time. Lieutenant
Sandilands was the only officer left with the command of poor Major
Ramsay’s troop, the rest of the officers being wounded. I beg to mention
him to your protection, as well as Lieutenants Coles and Wells, whom I
have appointed to do duty with the Horse Artillery, and I beg you will
use your interest with the Master-General that they may be confirmed....
I shall certainly give in the name of Captain Macdonald for brevet
promotion; it was with great difficulty that he could be made quit the
field when severely wounded,--as well as Lieutenant Brereton, who
remained in the field of battle until Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald
ordered him to the rear, to have his wounds dressed.... Although
Lieutenant-Colonel Gold was in command of a Division of Artillery in the
field, I beg you will mention to the Master-General that I have received
great benefit from his advice and zeal, during the time I have commanded
the Artillery in the Pays-Bas.... I beg leave to mention that Lieutenant
Bloomfield was both days in the field with me; and should he wish at
some future time to be posted to the Horse Brigade, I hope he will not
be forgot.” In another despatch to General Macleod, Sir George Wood
wrote as follows: “I must call your particular attention to the officers
who attended me personally in the field, whose merits I beg to recommend
to the consideration of His Lordship the Master-General.” These officers
were Lieutenant-Colonel Sir A. Frazer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir J.
Hartmann, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir A. Dickson, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir J.
May, Captain Baynes, Brigade Major, Lieutenants Coles, Bloomfield, Bell,
and Meëlmann--all of whom were mentioned by name.

[Sidenote: To Sir G. A. Wood, 24 June, 1815.]

Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald thus described the services of his
Adjutant: “In justice to the conduct of Captain Pakenham, who acted as
my Adjutant in the battle of the 18th, I feel it a duty I owe this most
promising officer to state to you that he made himself equally
conspicuous by his coolness and bravery, and the precision with which he
conveyed my orders to the troops of Horse Artillery I had the honour to
command on that occasion.” Sir Augustus Frazer spoke in equally
favourable terms of his Adjutant: [Sidenote: Ibid. 23 June, 1815.] “I
beg to submit my hope that, in the promotion which may be expected, the
Horse Artillery may not lose the services of Lieutenant Bell, who, both
here and in the Peninsula, has acted as Adjutant of Horse Artillery, and
is an officer of much professional merit, whose judgment, intelligence,
and unceasing application to the duties of his office, have rendered him
very valuable.”

Major Bull thus described the conduct of his gallant troop, now D
Battery, B Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery: [Sidenote: Major Bull to Sir
A. Frazer, 19 June, 1873.] “I consider it a duty I owe equally to the
officers, non-commissioned officers, gunners, and drivers, to say that,
throughout the day, and in every situation, nothing could exceed their
coolness, intrepidity, and strict attention to orders; and as a proof of
their zeal in the service, at one period of the evening when we were
short of ammunition, and H Troop” (Major Ramsay’s) “on our left rather
short of gunners, on an application for assistance, several of my men
volunteered joining their guns, until our ammunition came up; and as
far as was prudent or necessary, I granted their request. I must also
beg leave to say that, from Major Cairnes having unfortunately fallen
very early in the action, I received the greatest assistance throughout
the day from Lieutenant Louis’s activity; and it is but justice to this
officer to add, that, when I was under the necessity of quitting the
field for half an hour, in consequence of my being wounded, he commanded
the troop during my absence in a manner that did himself great credit,
and gave me perfect satisfaction at a very arduous period of the

[Sidenote: To Sir G. A. Wood, dated 15 July, 1815.]

General Colquhoun Grant, in writing of Captain Walcott, said: “I beg to
recommend this gallant and meritorious officer to your attention.” He
added: “I have great pleasure in embracing this opportunity to mention
my entire and full approbation of the conduct of Lieut.-Colonel Webber
Smith, and the officers and men of his troop” (now B Battery, B Brigade,
Royal Horse Artillery), “during the whole of the period they have been
attached to the brigade under my command.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald,--an enthusiastic Horse Artilleryman--in
addition to the letter quoted above, wrote [Sidenote: Ibid. dated 16
July, 1815.] as follows: “In addition to the names of the various
officers belonging to the six troops of Royal Horse Artillery, attached
to the Cavalry, whose lot it was to command troops on the memorable day
of the 18th June, it has occurred to me to be no less my duty to express
to you my admiration of the cool and determined conduct of Captain
Walcott, who was some time detached from his troop on that day; and who,
in the handsomest manner, after the whole of his ammunition was
expended, volunteered to take charge of some of the guns of Major
Ramsay’s troop, after it had suffered much by the loss of officers. It
is also highly satisfactory to me to report to you the equally gallant
conduct of Captain Dansey, of Captain Whinyates’s Rocket Troop, which I
also had an opportunity of witnessing; and who was wounded when detached
with rockets in the _chaussée_, which crossed the centre of the
position. You are already aware, from your own observation, how much all
the officers of these troops distinguished themselves on the occasion,
and what a noble example they set to the non-commissioned officers and
men by whom it was so gallantly initiated. Words are indeed inadequate
to express my sense of the conduct of all, where the reputation, which
the Horse Artillery had before obtained, was so nobly sustained, if not
even surpassed; and which I must plead as my excuse for extending the
limits of this communication beyond my original intention, viz., that of
drawing your attention to the merits of Captains Walcott and Dansey.”

In reporting the death of Major Lloyd, from his wounds, [Sidenote: Dated
Paris, 3 Aug. 1815.] Sir George Wood wrote: “I can, without hesitation,
affirm that a braver, or more zealous officer, never entered a field of
battle; and who did his duty on the 16th and 18th to the satisfaction of
every General officer.” A few days later, in enclosing a letter from
Lieutenant Brereton, Sir [Sidenote: Ibid. 17 Aug. 1815.] George said: “I
have received from every commanding officer the handsomest testimony of
the conduct of Lieutenant Brereton, both in the Peninsula, and at the
battle of Waterloo; and I have it from General Byng to say that, on the
battle of the 16th (the Horse Artillery not being engaged on that day),
he proffered his service to act as aide-de-camp, which service he
performed to the great satisfaction of the General.” At a subsequent
date, in forwarding an application from Major Percy Drummond, [Sidenote:
Ibid. 8 Oct. 1815.] Sir George Wood said: “I have ever found Major
Drummond a most active, zealous, and attentive officer, having been
under my command on several occasions, particularly in the battle of
Waterloo.” In acknowledging a letter from [Sidenote: Ibid. 28 Jan.
1816.] Major Rogers, Sir George said: “Your company at all times did you
every justice, and proved it under your command at the battle of
Waterloo, in which your brigade bore a distinguished feature.” Almost
every officer who served in the Artillery at Waterloo, received from his
gallant commander some official commendation; and, by this means, many
Regimental incidents connected with the battle have been handed down.
In writing, for example, about an officer who lived to be a revered
General in the Corps, Sir George Wood said: [Sidenote: Dated
Valenciennes, 29 Feb, 1816.] “Lieutenant William Anderson has conducted
himself in every situation as a good and zealous officer. On the 18th
June,--on many occasions during that day,--he carried my orders, and
brought off some disabled guns under a severe fire. Having my horses
shot, I was forced to dismount him.”

[Sidenote: Sir George Wood to Gen. Macleod, dated 3 July, 1815.]

At the battle of Waterloo, the Artillery expended 10,400 rounds of
ammunition. The amount fired by one battery, Captain Sandham’s, has
already been stated; and it may be mentioned here that Captain
Whinyates’s troop fired 309 shot, 236 spherical case, 15 common case,
and 52 rockets.

[Sidenote: Memoir of Sir E. C. Whinyates, p. 3.]

The subsequent operations of the English army during the year, in which
this history comes, for the present, to an end, will merely be glanced
at. The main body of the army marched at once towards Paris; and the
damage suffered by the Artillery during the battle was so quickly
repaired, that [Sidenote: Sir George Wood to D.-A.-Gen., dated 3 July,
1815.] Sir George Wood was able to take every gun with him that had been
on the field, with four 18-pounders in addition; making a total of 123
pieces of ordnance, and over 20,000 rounds of ammunition, with which the
army marched on Paris. The collapse of any opposition, and the ultimate
occupation of that city by the Allies, are facts well known to the
reader. There were, however, some Artillery operations against the
French fortresses, in which some brigades of Artillery, under Sir
Alexander Dickson, were engaged. Maubeuge surrendered on the 12th July,
and was taken possession of on the 14th, after three days’ open
trenches, and firing. Landrecy surrendered on the 21st, and was taken
possession of on the 23rd July, after two day’s open trenches,
[Sidenote: Sir A. Dickson, to D.-A.-G., dated 12 Aug. 1815.] and about
two hours’ firing. Marienbourg surrendered on the 28th, and was taken
possession of on the 30th July, after one day’s open trenches and heavy
bombardment. Philippeville was taken possession of on the 10th August,
having surrendered on the 8th, after one day’s open trenches and heavy
bombardment. Sir Alexander Dickson spoke in the highest terms of the
officers and men under his command; he attributed to their energy the
fact that at every place he was able to collect, previous to commencing
operations, sufficient ordnance and ammunition to have reduced it, as he
said, by main force. At Maubeuge, he had 60 guns--30 of which were
24-pounders,--20,000 round shot, and 26,000 shells. At Landrecy he had
60 guns, 24,000 round shot, and 22,000 shells. At Marienbourg, he had 15
mortars, with 3000 shells; and 6 24-pounders arrived, just as the place
surrendered. At Philippeville, he had 66 pieces of ordnance, with 17,000
round shot, and 23,000 shells. During these operations, the Artillery
was attached to a corps of the Prussian army, by which the sieges of the
fortresses were conducted. The terms on which the duties were performed
were somewhat peculiar. “Our line of duty,” wrote Sir [Sidenote: Sir A.
Dickson to D.-A.-G., dated 12 Aug. 1815.] A. Dickson, “is to move the
battering-train, keep it in order, fix the shells, fill the cartridges,
and, in short, do every individual thing except fighting the guns: which
my instructions neither authorize me to do, nor would it be pleasant to
do, if they did; for we should not get the credit we ought, when working
in competition with the Prussian Artillery: whereas, as the duty is
conducted now, every fair and just credit is allowed for our exertions,
and the service goes on with the utmost cordiality. Prince Augustus of
Prussia is chief of the Artillery of that kingdom, and he takes into his
own hand very much the application of the artillery; which is very
pleasant for me, as I receive all the arrangements and instructions,
direct from his Royal Highness. An application is given in every morning
at the park during a siege, expressing the ordnance and ammunition
required for the next day; and in the evening the Prussian Artillery
come to receive their demands. I have, however, a few officers and men
of the Royal Artillery in the trenches, to afford any assistance when
required; and also to watch the practice, report about the fuzes, &c.”

[Sidenote: Ibid. dated 22 Aug. 1815.]

After the fall of Philippeville, Major Carmichael’s company, with the
advanced division of the battering-train, consisting of thirty-three
mortars and howitzers, reached a point near Rocroy, on the 15th
August:--followed by Major Michell’s and Major Wall’s companies with
ten 24-pounders, and a large supply of ammunition. The Prussians opened
the trenches on the night of the 15th, and batteries were prepared for
twenty-one mortars and howitzers. With such effect were these opened on
the morning of the 16th, that before 9 A.M. Rocroy capitulated. After
this event, Prince Augustus expressed himself highly satisfied with the
exertions of the British Artillery attached to the battering-train; and
orders reached Sir Alexander Dickson from the Duke of Wellington to
bring the second battering-train, which was at Antwerp, to Brussels, and
to land it forthwith. The next operation of any importance was against
the town of Givet, against which no fewer than one hundred guns were
collected. Before the bombardment commenced, however, the Governor
consented to give up the place, and retire into Charlemont; which he did
on the 11th September.

A force under Sir Charles Colville had been sent against Cambray,
immediately after Waterloo, and the place--after a short siege--was
carried on the 25th June. Of the conduct [Sidenote: To the Duke of
Wellington, 26 June, 1815.] of the Artillery on this occasion, Sir
Charles wrote: “The three brigades of Artillery under Lieutenant-Colonel
Webber Smith, and Majors Unett and Brome, under the direction of
Lieutenant-Colonel Hawker, made particularly [Sidenote: Sir George Wood
to D.-A.-G., Paris, 4 Sept. 1815.] good practice.” The services of Major
Unett’s brigade (now 3 Battery, 7th Brigade) received special mention in
a report from Sir Charles Colville to Sir George Wood; and the following
extract from a letter written by its gallant commander may interest the
officers and men now serving in [Sidenote: Major Unett to Sir G. Wood,
dated 3 Aug. 1815.] the battery. “My brigade, being in reserve, had not
an opportunity of witnessing the late glorious battle of Waterloo, but
it afterwards proceeded with the 4th Division of the army for the
purpose of reducing the fortress of Cambray; and, in justice to my
officers, I must be permitted to say that my three subalterns, never
having been under fire before, deserve much praise for their cool and
steady behaviour at their guns (within four hundred yards of the curtain
of the citadel, in an open field), and which was clearly evinced by the
uncommon good practice made, which so completely silenced the enemy as
to cause (by driving them from their guns and ramparts) a most trifling
loss to our Infantry when they stormed the place.” The French king
entered Cambray on the day after it was taken: and on the same day,
Peronne was taken by General Maitland and the Guards.

Arrangements for concluding hostilities, and entering upon a treaty,
were soon made in Paris. One of the conditions inflicted on the French
people was that an army of occupation should be left in France for
five--afterwards reduced to three--years; and considerable difficulty
was found in apportioning the various arms in the English contingent of
that army.

The Duke of Wellington decided on reducing the Artillery share to a
point far below what Sir George Wood thought desirable; and the latter
urged his views very strongly, but, as he said, “What can a
Lieut.-Colonel do against a Field-Marshal?”[49] However, his importunity
succeeded in obtaining an addition of two companies to the Artillery
force which was at first intended to remain in France.

[Sidenote: MS. Return to B. of Ordnance, dated Paris, 10 Dec. 1815.]

The following was the number ultimately decided upon:--

  1 Colonel                 }  for duty as the Regimental Staff of the Royal
  1 Assistant Adjutant-Gen. }  Artillery in the Army of Occupation.
  1 Brigade Major           }

  Three troops of Royal Horse Artillery to be attached to the
  Cavalry, and to amount to 542 of all ranks, with 516 horses.

  Seven brigades of Foot Artillery, having a company of Artillery to
  each; six of which were to be attached to the three divisions of
  the army, and one to be in reserve. The total of all ranks, with
  these brigades, amounted to 790; and there were in addition 599
  officers and men of the Royal Artillery Drivers, and 770 horses.

  For duty with the small-arm ammunition brigades for the three
  divisions of the army, there were three officers of Royal
  Artillery; 150 non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal
  Artillery Drivers; and 210 horses.

  There was also a company of Royal Artillery in reserve, numbering
  111 of all ranks.

  One Lieut.-Colonel and one Major were attached to the Royal Horse

  Two Lieut.-Colonels and one Major were attached to the Royal

  And one Lieut.-Colonel was attached to the Royal Artillery

The following were the five troops of Horse Artillery selected to return
to England, when the above establishment was decided upon:--

[Sidenote: MS. Return to B. of Ord. dated Paris, 10 Dec. 1815.]

                                                                        R. A.
                                         Strength.          Horses.   Drivers
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir R. Gardiner’s troop  179 of all ranks.  198         22
         ”       Webber Smith’s      ”    176     ”          197         20
         ”       Sir H. D. Ross’s    ”    189     ”          219         30
  Major Whinyates’s                  ”    223     ”          219        nil.
  Captain Mercer’s (late Beane’s)    ”    176     ”          196         26
  Detachment R. H. A.                      59     ”          156         83

Orders for the shipment of the battering-train also arrived in the end
of 1815, with a view to its return to England; and, as Sir Alexander
Dickson’s active duties on the continent then ceased, it seems but
justice to the memory of one whose name has occupied so prominent a
place in these pages, to quote a passage from a letter written by Sir
George Wood, proving that his exceptional Peninsular honours had
[Sidenote: To D.-A.-G., R.A., dated Cambray, 2 April, 1816.] not
unfitted him for serving, when required, in a subordinate
position:--“You may expect Sir A. Dickson in the course of the next week
at Woolwich. I have found him the same good officer and man, as you well
know him.”

The reductions, which followed the battle of Waterloo have been
frequently alluded to in these volumes. They would furnish but a gloomy
topic for the historian, for the pruning-knife was used without regard
to sentiment, and some of the best companies in the regiment were the

It is more pleasant to close this story in 1815, when the Corps was at
the greatest strength attained since its birth,--a hundred years before.
Suffice it to say that from 114 [Sidenote: Kane’s List.] troops and
companies in that year, it fell to 79 before 1819, and even these were
mere ghosts or skeletons of their former selves. For nearly thirty
years, after 1819, the history of the Regiment was almost a blank page,
and hopelessness and depression weighed heavily on its members.

But 1815 is the year in which this narrative ends; nor is it meant to
close it with any gloomy foreshadowing of the years of inaction and
despondency, which rolled on with dismal monotony, until the Regimental
firmament was lit by the lurid fires of the Crimean struggle. In 1815
the military reputation of England was at a maximum. She possessed an
army which had graduated with honours in the sternest school, and a
General to whose words the Sovereigns of Europe listened with deference.
Determination, single-mindedness, and an exalted sense of duty were the
qualities which had animated the Duke of Wellington through his whole
career. Their reward was found in his successes; and his successes were
crowned in Paris. Imperfections exist in the most able, and even in the
most conscientious; and England’s greatest General was certainly no
exception to this rule. But, if we allow for the irritation caused by
frequent and injudicious interference,--and for occasional hastiness,
which led him to speak without always testing the accuracy of his
information,--we must admit the Duke of Wellington to have been the most
perfect type of an English soldier ever presented in the pages of our
history. When, however, the Artilleryman seeks for something that is
genial and lovable in the soldiers of that victorious age,--he turns
from the cold and undemonstrative Chief, and dwells fondly on the men
who had by their exertions raised Artillery, as a science, to an
unprecedented point, and had elevated with it the Corps [Sidenote:
Hime.] they loved. The researches of a recent writer have brought to
light words spoken by a chivalrous enemy, which should be emblazoned in
the records of every battery, and impressed [Sidenote: General Foy.] on
the mind of every Artilleryman:--“Les canonniers Anglais se distinguent
entre les autres soldats par le bon esprit qui les anime. En bataille
leur activité est judicieuse, leur coup d’œil parfait, et leur bravoure
stoïque.” Of the latter three qualities, two may be ensured by diligence
in peace, and the third is tested by the difficulties and dangers of
war: but the history of the great and the good in the Corps must indeed
have been feebly written, if it do not strengthen among its living
members that which exists now, as of old, “le bon esprit qui les




[Sidenote: Jones’s Sieges, vol. i., p. 222.]

In the first volume of Sir J. T. Jones’s ‘Sieges in Spain,’ edited by
Lieutenant-Colonel H. D. Jones, the following passage occurs: “It
becomes the duty of the Editor to remove the very injurious and
unmerited censure cast upon the officers of Engineers who were employed
at the Siege of Badajoz, and which is contained in a letter from the
Earl of Wellington to Major-General G. Murray, a copy of which is
published in the collection of the Despatches of the Duke of

The Editor then proceeds to prove, most clearly and successfully, that
the hasty language used with reference to the Engineers was not only
injurious, but also unmerited.

The same great General is also convicted by his admirer, Napier, of
hasty inconsistency in his private correspondence. It was of the very
same troops, and referring to precisely the same time, that the Duke of
Wellington wrote in one [Sidenote: Napier’s ‘Peninsular War,’ vol. vi.,
p. 166.] letter: “The soldiers are detestable for everything but
fighting; and the officers are as culpable as the men:” and in another,
“that he thought he could go anywhere, and do anything with the army
that fought on the Pyrenees.”

Well might Napier say that the vehemence of the censure in the former of
the quotations is inconsistent with the latter, and now celebrated,

It now becomes the painful, and yet necessary, task of the chronicler of
the services of the Royal Artillery, as of the member of the sister
corps already quoted, “to remove a very injurious and unmerited censure”
cast upon the Regiment, in a private letter, written by the Duke of
Wellington, with reference to its conduct at the battle of Waterloo. Of
this letter’s existence the world was ignorant until the year 1872, when
it made its appearance in a volume of ‘Supplementary Letters and
Despatches of the Duke of Wellington,’ published by his son. The
sensation which it was certain [Sidenote: ‘Athenæum.’] to produce was
foretold by one of the reviews, and was anticipated by the noble Editor.
As, however, his object was to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth, the present Duke did not feel justified in
withholding from publication any letter, which was found among his
father’s papers, merely because it might wound the feelings of its
readers, or give a new interpretation of historical events. And although
the indiscriminate publication of a man’s private correspondence is a
doubtful tribute to his memory, and a severe test of his reputation, it
is, on the whole, fortunate for the Royal Artillery that this letter
made its appearance, while officers were yet alive, who had taken a part
in the battle referred to in its pages, and clearly remembered its

The original letter was written by the Duke of Wellington to Lord
Mulgrave, then Master-General of the Ordnance, on the 21st December,
1815. The published letter was from a copy, or draft, of the original,
which was found among the Duke’s papers. The hope that perhaps there may
have been modifications in the original, which did not exist in the
draft or copy, disappears before the fact that Lord Mulgrave’s answer
was also found among the Duke’s papers, expressing his amazement at the
letter he had just received. The harsh statements in the published
draft, or copy, were doubtless, therefore, left in the original when
forwarded. The circumstances under which the letter were written were as
follows. The field officers of the Royal Artillery, who had been present
at Waterloo, applied to the Master-General [Sidenote: ‘Hist. R. A.,’
vol. ii. p. 356.] of the Ordnance for the same pensions for service as
had been given after Vittoria. The indignation with which the Duke of
Wellington had heard of the Vittoria pensions was well known in the
Regiment: nor can one avoid sympathising with him. Discipline must
suffer if the power of rewarding, or recommending for reward, be
independent of the commander of the forces as a channel. The special
interference of the Ordnance on behalf of the Corps, which was their
_protégé_, was not merely a breach of discipline, to which a man like
the Duke of Wellington was not likely tamely to submit, but must have
had an irritating effect on the rest of the army. When, therefore, the
field officers of Artillery present at Waterloo resolved to apply for
the same reward as had been given after Vittoria, they had the
alternative before them of making their request through the Duke, basing
it upon a precedent which was detestable in his eyes, or of availing
themselves of the dual government, under which they served, by making a
direct application to the Ordnance. Of these alternatives, the former
would have been the more soldierlike, but was not likely to succeed: the
latter, therefore, was unfortunately adopted.

The application was not couched in a very official form, nor was it
officially pressed by Sir George Wood. The only reference to it which
can be traced in that officer’s correspondence is in a letter announcing
Major Lloyd’s death, [Sidenote: Dated Paris, 3 Aug, 1815.] in which he
writes:--“Should Lord Mulgrave, in his goodness, be inclined to grant
pensions to field officers and captains commanding brigades, similar to
the battle of Vittoria, I hope and trust that the late Major Lloyd’s
family may receive the benefit his service deserved.” The precedent of
Vittoria was not quite a parallel case to that of Waterloo: in the
former every brigade with the army had been in action; while, in the
latter, some had been detached. It seems to have been on this
distinction, mainly, that Lord Mulgrave based his refusal to grant the
reward. To justify himself, he referred the matter to the Duke of
Wellington, who approved of the refusal, as might have been expected,
but did so in terms which reveal an inaccuracy, and a hastiness,
unparalleled in his Grace’s correspondence. He wrote as follows:--


  “Paris, _21st December, 1815_.


  “I received yesterday your Lordship’s letter of the 10th,
  regarding the claim of the field officers of the Artillery,
  present in the battle of Waterloo, to the same measure of favour
  granted to those in the battle of Vittoria.

  “In my opinion you have done quite right to refuse to grant this
  favour, and that you have founded your refusal on the best
  grounds. I cannot recommend that you should depart from the ground
  you have taken. To tell you the truth, I was not very well pleased
  with the Artillery in the battle of Waterloo.

  “The army was formed in squares immediately on the slope of the
  rising ground, on the summit of which the Artillery was placed,
  with orders not to engage with artillery, but to fire only when
  bodies of troops came under their fire. It was very difficult to
  get them to obey this order. The French cavalry charged, and were
  formed on the same ground with our Artillery in general, within a
  few yards of our guns. In some instances they were in actual
  possession of our guns. We could not expect the artillerymen to
  remain at their guns in such a case. But I had a right to expect
  that the officers and men of the Artillery would do as I did, and
  as all the staff did, that is, to take shelter in the squares of
  the Infantry till the French cavalry should be driven off the
  ground, either by our Cavalry or Infantry. But they did no such
  thing; they ran off the field entirely, taking with them limbers,
  ammunition, and everything: and when, in a few minutes, we had
  driven off the French cavalry, and had regained our ground and our
  guns, and could have made good use of our artillery, we had no
  artillerymen to fire them; and, in point of fact, I should have
  had no Artillery during the whole of the latter part of the
  action, if I had not kept a reserve in the commencement.

  “Mind, my dear Lord, I do not mean to complain; but what I have
  above mentioned is a fact known to many; and it would not do to
  reward a corps under such circumstances. The Artillery, like
  others, behaved most gallantly; but when a misfortune of this kind
  has occurred, a corps must not be rewarded. It is on account of
  these little stories, which must come out, that I object to all
  the propositions to write what is called a history of the battle
  of Waterloo.

  “If it is to be a history, it must be the truth, and the whole
  truth, or it will do more harm than good, and will give as many
  false notions of what a battle is, as other romances of the same
  description have. But if a true history is written, what will
  become of the reputation of half of those who have acquired
  reputation, and who deserve it for their gallantry, but who, if
  their mistakes and casual misconduct were made public, would not
  be so well thought of? I am certain that if I were to enter into a
  critical discussion of everything that occurred from the 14th to
  the 19th June, I could show ample reasons for not entering deeply
  into these subjects.

  “The fact is, that the army that gained the battle of Waterloo was
  an entirely new one, with the exception of some of the old Spanish
  troops. Their inexperience occasioned the mistakes they committed,
  the rumours they circulated that all was destroyed, because they
  themselves ran away, and the mischief which ensued; but they
  behaved gallantly, and I am convinced, if the thing was to be done
  again, they would show what it was to have the experience of even
  one battle.

  “Believe me, &c.,

  (Signed)  “WELLINGTON.

  “P.S.--I am very well pleased with the field officers for not
  liking to have their application referred to me. They know the
  reason I have not to recommend them for a favour.”

In discussing this letter, it is proposed to examine what may be termed
the internal and external evidences of its inaccuracy, commencing with
the former.

In his despatch of the 19th June, 1815, announcing the victory, the
Duke wrote: “The Artillery and Engineer departments were conducted _much
to my satisfaction_ by Colonel Sir George Wood and Colonel Smyth.”
Evidently, then, the fact “known to many” of the Artillerymen running
off the ground had not been known to him when he wrote his despatch, or
he could hardly have described the Artillery department as having been
conducted much to his satisfaction. Nor does the fact, even when made
known to him, seem to have produced the effect upon his Grace’s mind,
which misconduct among the troops under his command, in the face of an
enemy, would at any other time have instantly created. Were not the
genuineness of the letter beyond all question, some of the
contradictions and inconsistencies in it would have justified the reader
in pronouncing it a forgery, invented to throw discredit on the
reputation of England’s greatest General. Was it the Duke of Wellington
who, after writing the words, “They ran off the field entirely, taking
with them limbers, ammunition, and everything,” proceeded to say, “The
Artillery, like others, behaved most gallantly”? Was it the Iron Duke
who, after saying, “In point of fact, I should have had no Artillery
during the whole of the latter part of the action, if I had not kept a
reserve in the commencement,” went on, with the resignation of a martyr,
to say, “Mind, my dear Lord, I do not mean to complain”? The
inconsistency with his known character is astounding.

After describing the disappearance of his Artillerymen, and the straits
to which he was consequently reduced, he proceeds in this letter to say:
“It would not do to reward a corps under such circumstances.” If he were
correctly informed as to these circumstances, there would not have been
a single individual in the whole of his army who would have differed
from him as to his conclusion. But, unfortunately for him, he
endeavoured to prove too much. Not content with giving, as a reason for
withholding rewards, an assertion which, if accurate, would have more
than justified him, he must needs strengthen an already overwhelming
case by a mysterious insinuation in the postscript of the letter,
respecting some other unexpressed ground of his displeasure, with which
the field officers must be familiar as a cause for his refusing to
recommend them for reward. Was there not, in this piling of Pelion upon
Ossa, some consciousness of the necessity of self-justification?

But these are merely striking self-contradictions and inconsistencies in
style. It is when the truth of the statements made by the Duke in this
letter is inquired into, that one stands astounded at the inaccuracy of
his informants, and the hasty assumptions of the writer himself. The
letter is so involved,--so confusing in its mixed references to the
Artillery and to the army generally,--so laden with marvellous didactic
sentences as to the propriety of writing a history of the battle of
Waterloo,--that it is not always easy to ascertain the connection
between argument and conclusion. So slovenly, indeed, is the style at
the end of the letter, that it reads as if the whole army ran away! Let
two sentences be reproduced: “The fact is, that the army that gained the
battle of Waterloo was an entirely new one, with the exception of some
of the old Spanish troops. Their inexperience occasioned the mistakes
they committed, the rumours they circulated that all was destroyed,
because they themselves ran away, and the mischiefs which ensued; but
they behaved gallantly.” ... One rises from a perusal of these words
with a bewildered feeling that gallant behaviour among troops is
identical with running away;--and that the whole army, with the
exception of some of the old Spanish troops, exhibited their gallantry
in this singular manner. But, as the statement, that the army was
entirely a new one, is used apparently in the first instance to account
for the Artillery running off the field, it may be interesting to glance
at the troops and brigades, whose inexperience seemed--in the Duke’s
mind as he wrote--to have made their flight almost natural.

Of the eight troops of Horse Artillery present at the battle of
Waterloo, five were the old tried troops of the Peninsula, whose gallant
services had been recorded year after year by the Duke’s own hand: Sir
Hew Ross’s, Sir Robert Gardiner’s, Colonel Webber Smith’s, Major
Beane’s, and Major Bull’s. A sixth, Captain Whinyates’s, was the famous
Rocket Troop of Leipsic; and of the other two, one had fought at Buenos
Ayres, and the other in Walcheren. It was to one of these latter and
more inexperienced troops, Captain Mercer’s, that the victory at one
period of the day [Sidenote: Battalion Records of the Royal Artillery.]
was due. With regard to the field brigades of this new army, it would
seem that Major Rogers’s company had been engaged for two years past in
the operations in Holland, and had been in the Walcheren Expedition
previously; that Captain Sinclair’s brigade had been at Copenhagen,
Corunna, and Walcheren; Captain Sandham’s at Copenhagen and Walcheren;
Major Lloyd’s at Walcheren; and that Captain Bolton’s, the only brigade
without war service, happened to be the one whose effect in breaking the
head of the columns of the Imperial Guard has become historical,--and
whose inexperience would therefore hardly appear to have been very
detrimental. From this statement it is evident that the Artillery
element in the Duke’s army at Waterloo was veteran, rather than
new;--for, if the troops and brigades possessed such records as are
given above, much more did the majority of the field and staff officers
present deserve the title of veterans.

But the next inaccuracy is more unpardonable; and the informants of the
Duke on the subject were guilty of errors for which there was no excuse.
“In point of fact,” wrote the Duke, “I should have had no Artillery
during the whole of the latter part of the action, if I had not kept a
reserve at the commencement.” Fortunately for the exposure of this grave
inaccuracy, there is no point on which there is more full and official
information both in Sir George Wood’s and other despatches, and more
detailed notice in private correspondence, than on the subject of the
Artillery reserves at Waterloo. As stated in the last chapter of this
volume, it was composed of Sir Hew Ross’s and Major Beane’s troops of
Horse Artillery, and Captain Sinclair’s Field Brigade. So far was this
force from being kept in reserve, and being brought forward
providentially at the end of the action to replace the runaways, that
it was actually in action--every gun--almost at the _commencement of the
day_, and suffered the heaviest losses before half-past one. By a happy
coincidence, the Artillery, which must have been represented to the Duke
as his reserve, is mentioned by [Sidenote: Frazer’s Letters, p. 559.]
Sir Augustus Frazer: “Some time before this--i.e., the massing of the
second line _during the cavalry attacks_--the Duke ordered me to bring
up all the reserve Horse Artillery, which at that moment were _Mercer’s_
and _Bull’s troops_.” But, instead of these troops being a reserve kept,
as the Duke’s letter says, “from the commencement,”--they also had both
been in action from the beginning of the day, and Bull’s troop had
actually been sent to the [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 557.] centre of the second
line “to refit and repair disabled carriages!”

The importance of this inaccuracy in the letter cannot be overrated. If
the Artillery, which the Duke admits having had at the end of the day,
was not the reserve, which he had kept in hand,--and it certainly was
not,--what was it? The asserted flight of the gunners with their limbers
and ammunition hangs upon the truth, or otherwise, of there having been
reserves in hand to replace them. But the fact of these reserves having
been in action from the beginning of the day is incontestable; and is
proved by the correspondence of Sir Hew Ross, who commanded one of the
reserve troops, as well as by the official and semi-official
correspondence of others. It is possible that the arrival of Sir Robert
Gardiner’s troop, with Vivian’s and Vandeleur’s brigades, from the left
of the line, at the end of the day, may have deceived the Duke’s
informant, and led him to imagine that it was fresh Artillery from the
reserve. That it was not so, however, but merely moved with the division
to which it was attached, is a matter of fact; and at no time in the day
was this troop ever in reserve. Therefore, in a vital point, the Duke’s
letter is unquestionably inaccurate.

The next statement in the letter, which demands scrutiny is the
following: “The Artillery was placed with orders not to engage with
artillery, but to fire only when bodies of troops came under their
fire. It was very difficult to get them to obey this order.” Sir John
Bloomfield, who was on Sir George Wood’s staff, carried this order to
all the troops and brigades, and is confident that, with one exception,
it was rigidly obeyed. He remembers that the Duke saw a French gun
struck by a shot from one of the English batteries,--and, under the
impression that it came from Captain Sandham’s brigade, he sent orders
to have that officer placed in arrest. This was not done, some
satisfactory explanation having been given,--relieving Captain Sandham
of the disobedience. Singularly enough, the offender was never
discovered, until, in 1870, with the publication of General Mercer’s
Diary, came the confession of the crime. [Sidenote: ‘Mercer’s Diary,’
vol. i. p. 301.] “About this time, being impatient of standing idle, and
annoyed by the batteries on the Nivelle road, I ventured to commit a
folly, for which I should have paid dearly had our Duke chanced to be in
our part of the field. I ventured to disobey orders, and open a slow,
deliberate fire at the battery, thinking, with my 9-pounders, soon to
silence his 4-pounders.” As Captain Mercer’s troop was placed near
Sandham’s brigade at this time, it is evident that this occurrence, and
that mentioned by Sir John Bloomfield, are identical. Sir John, whose
duties carried him to all parts of the field, and whose recollection of
the day is as clear as possible, asserts positively, that in no other
instance was the order disobeyed; and it will be seen from accounts,
both French and English, to be quoted hereafter, that the order to fire
upon bodies of troops approaching was literally obeyed with the most
marked results. Was it, then, quite worthy of the Duke of Wellington to
reason from the particular to the general, and to visit the disobedience
of one officer [Sidenote: Colonel Gardiner, R.H.A.] upon a whole corps?
As has been well said by the son of one of the bravest Artillery
officers on the field, Sir Robert Gardiner: “If a Regiment of Infantry
had run away, and all the others had behaved splendidly,--would the
whole arm have been similarly condemned? Would it not have been more
just to reward those who deserved it?”

The mention of reward suggests the next amazing inconsistency in the
Duke’s letter,--and makes it almost certain that it was written on
receiving some subsequent information from another source,--not from his
personal observation. In this letter, dated six months after the battle,
he wrote: “It would not do to reward a corps under such circumstances;”
and again: “The field officers know the reason I have not to recommend
them for a favour.” How are these sentences to be reconciled with the
following extract from the ‘London Gazette,’ which immediately followed
the battle, and was issued while all its details must have been fresh in
the Duke’s recollection?

[Sidenote: Dated Whitehall, 22 June, 1815.]

“His Royal Highness the Prince Regent has further been pleased to
nominate and appoint the undermentioned officers to be Companions of the
said most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, _upon the
recommendation of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, for their
services in the battles fought upon the 16th and 18th of June last_:”

  Lieut.-Colonel S. G. Adye, Royal Artillery.
  Lieut.-Colonel R. Bull,          ”
  Lieut.-Colonel C. Gold,          ”
  Lieut.-Colonel A. Macdonald,     ”
  Lieut.-Colonel J. Parker,        ”
  Major T. Rogers,                 ”
  Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Smith,      ”
  Lieut.-Colonel J. S. Williamson, ”
  Colonel Sir G. A. Wood, Kt.,     ”

_This list includes the very field officers of whom the Duke wrote
afterwards, “They know the reason I have not to recommend them for a
favour._” Was it no favour to be recommended for the Order of the Bath?

Again: “It would not do,” wrote the Duke in December, 1815, “to
recommend a corps under such circumstances.” Let the reader glance at
the following picture of an unrewarded corps.

Out of thirteen troops and brigades, with the requisite staff, the
following officers obtained rewards, in addition to the nine
appointments to the Order of the Bath, quoted above. It must be
remembered that the number eligible excluded subalterns, and was further
reduced by the death of Majors Beane, Lloyd, Ramsay, Cairnes, and
Captain Bolton.

_Brevet promotion_, for service at Waterloo:

  Major R. Bull to be Lieut.-Colonel, dated 18th June, 1815.
  Major J. Parker        ”     ”              ”
  Captain E. Whinyates to be Major            ”
  Captain T. Dynely            ”              ”
  Captain A. Macdonald         ”              ”

Brevet promotion for services at Waterloo was also conferred in January
1819 on

  Captain C. Napier,
  Captain W. Webber,
  Captain W. Brereton, }
  Captain R. H. Ord,   } Subalterns at Waterloo.

[Sidenote: Dated Paris, 2 Aug. 1815.]

[Sidenote: Ibid. 21 Aug. 1815.]

At the request, also, of the Duke of Wellington, Sir George Wood
obtained permission to accept a knighthood of the Order of Maria
Theresa, from the Emperor of Austria; and, a few days later, the Order
of St. Wladimir, from the Emperor of Russia.

[Sidenote: Ibid. 8 Oct. 1815.]

Yet again, at the request of the Duke of Wellington, the following
officers obtained permission to accept from the Emperor of Russia the
Order of St. Anne, “in testimony of His Majesty’s approbation of their
services and conduct, particularly in the late battles fought in the

  Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. May,    K.C.B., R.H.A.
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir H. Ross,     ”       ”
  Lieut.-Colonel Sir R. Gardiner, ”       ”
  Lieut.-Colonel R. Bull,         ”       ”
  Major A. Macdonald,             ”       ”

It is unnecessary to add that the boon service granted for the battle of
Waterloo, and the Waterloo medals, were given to the Artillery present,
without exception. It would, therefore, appear that for a corps which
did not deserve to be rewarded, it did not fare badly; and that its
merits were only called in question when pensions based on an unpopular
precedent were asked for. It is also impossible that the Duke could have
been so generous in his original recommendations, had he known of his
own personal observation, that which he stated in his letter of the 21st
December, and which must now receive grave consideration; the asserted
flight from the field of battle of many of the Artillerymen with their
limbers, &c.

In ascertaining the unmistakable inaccuracy of this cruel and hasty
assertion, which must have been made by the Duke of Wellington on the
most worthless evidence, the advantage of the late publication of the
letter has become apparent. Much of the evidence, which will be adduced
to rebut it, was not written with the view of meeting such an
accusation, but is merely extracted from the simple narrative of a
battle, in which the facts are stated without any idea of their being
questioned. Had the Duke’s letter been published while the writers of
many of the letters to be quoted were alive, their answers would not
have had half the historical value they now possess, for they would have
been regarded as the pleadings of interested defendants. The statements
of disinterested historians will conclude this brief argument.

When the celebrated charges of the French cavalry at Waterloo took
place, the English guns lined the crest of the position, and the
Infantry was formed in squares in their rear. The order given by the
Duke was that the Artillerymen should stand to their guns as long as
possible, and then take refuge in the Infantry squares; and that _the
limbers should be sent behind the squares_. This order was carried to
the various batteries by Sir John Bloomfield, and was obeyed to the
letter. “The idea of six limbers,” writes Colonel Gardiner, “with six
horses in each limber, going into a [Sidenote: Communicated by Sir J.
Bloomfield.] square of Infantry, was of course an impossibility, and
never contemplated.” The gunners had cartouche-bags slung round them,
containing ammunition, and invariably, with the exception of those of
Captain Mercer’s troop, took refuge in the adjacent squares, or under
the bayonets of the kneeling ranks. When the cavalry retired, on each
occasion the gunners ran out, and, as a rule, the guns were in action
against the retreating cavalry before they had gone sixty yards. The
delay of a few moments occurred once or twice, while shot were being
brought from the limbers; and Sir John Bloomfield remembers an
expression of impatience escaping the Duke on one of these occasions.
Nor was it unnatural. “To lose,” writes Colonel Gardiner, “an
opportunity of inflicting destruction on the French cavalry, directly
they turned their backs, and before they could get out of the range of
canister, must have been very tantalizing.” But that the delay ever
exceeded a few moments, or that a single limber ever left the ground,
Sir John Bloomfield is confident is an utter delusion. Such an
occurrence as is described in the Duke’s letter could not have happened
without being well known. The Duke himself said, “It is known to many;”
and yet Sir John lived for three years with the headquarter staff in
Paris, and never heard even an insinuation on the subject. Another
Waterloo survivor writes on this point: [Sidenote: General B. Cuppage,
R.A., to the Author.] “I never did hear, nor any one else, of the
artillery misbehaving at Waterloo. Sir Alexander Dickson took me with
him into Brussels after the battle. We saw every officer who came in,
and the action was in every part the constant theme of conversation,
both in our private, as well as more general moments. Had anything
bearing such a term taken place, it would certainly have been canvassed.
I was in daily conversation with our wounded in the town. Surely I may
say, but that the Duke of Wellington says it, it is as cruel as it is

If known to many, it could hardly have escaped the commanding officer of
the corps most interested. The fact that Sir George Wood did not write
his despatches to the Ordnance until the 24th June,--that during the six
days’ interval since the battle he had been constantly with the
Duke,--and yet that he could write as follows, proves most clearly that
the Duke himself cannot have been aware of what he afterwards wrote to
Lord Mulgrave, and that his letter must have been based on subsequent
malicious and worthless testimony. The wording of Sir George Wood’s
letters have an almost providential bearing on the point at issue; and
could not have been used, had there been even a doubt as to the conduct
of the Corps.

[Sidenote: Dated Le Cateau, 24 June, 1815.]

“I beg leave,” he wrote, “to call the attention of His Lordship the
Master-General to the skill and intrepidity so eminently displayed by
the British and German Artillery. The accompanying return of their loss
will show how much they participated in the action, and I can assure His
Lordship the Master-General, that, notwithstanding their being
outnumbered by the Artillery of the enemy, _their merits never shone
more conspicuous_ than on this occasion. It now remains for me to
express with much pleasure and satisfaction that _every officer and man
in the field of battle did their duty_.”

With his despatch, Sir George wrote a private letter to General Macleod,
in which the following passage occurs: [Sidenote: Ibid.] “I do assure
you, I have not words to express the extreme good conduct of the Corps.
All exerted themselves, both officers and men, and such a conflict of
guns never was in the memory of man.”

But there are recorded, also, the opinions of the Generals of other
arms, under whose immediate command various troops and brigades served:
and who would have known had any misconduct occurred among them, better
than the Duke himself, on account of the more limited field of their
observation. General Colquhoun Grant’s complimentary [Sidenote: _Vide_
p. 436.] order with reference to Colonel Webber Smith’s Troop has
already been quoted. The following order was issued by [Sidenote: Dated
Nivelle, 20 June, 1815.] Lord Hill: “The highly distinguished conduct of
the 2nd Division, and Colonel Mitchell’s Brigade of the 4th Division,
who had the good fortune to be employed in the memorable action, merit
His Lordship’s highest approbation; and he begs that ... Colonel Gold,
commanding Royal Artillery of the 2nd Corps, ... Major Sympher,
commanding a troop of Horse Artillery, King’s German Legion, Captain
Napier (to whose lot it fell to command the 9-pounder Brigade, 2nd
Division, on the death of Captain Bolton), will accept his best thanks
for their exemplary conduct, and will be pleased to convey his
sentiments to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men under
their command.”

The following extract from the 5th Division orders, by Sir James Kempt,
speaks equally favourably of another [Sidenote: Dated 19 June, 1815.]
brigade: “The British Brigade of Artillery commanded by Major Rogers,
and the Hanoverian Brigade commanded by Major Heisse, were most nobly
served, and judiciously placed; and these officers and men will be
pleased to accept of his--i.e. the Major-General’s--particular thanks
for their service.”

References to the services of other brigades, and of the Horse
Artillery, by the officers of the Corps under whom they served, have
already been quoted; and in every case commendation of the warmest
description was passed upon them. The following quotation from Sir
Augustus Frazer’s correspondence is interesting here, as asserting what
was denied by the Duke in his letter to Lord Mulgrave, that the
[Sidenote: Frazer’s Letters, p. 559.] men took shelter in the squares.
“The repeated charges of the enemy’s noble cavalry were similar to the
first: each was fruitless. Not an infantry soldier moved; and, on each
charge, abandoning their guns, our men sheltered themselves between the
flanks of the squares. Twice, however, the enemy tried to charge in
front; these attempts were entirely frustrated by the fire of the guns,
wisely reserved till the hostile squadrons were within twenty yards of
the muzzles. In this, the cool and quiet steadiness of the troops of
Horse Artillery was very creditable.” This was written two days after
the battle; and no man had better opportunity of seeing the conduct of
his Corps than the writer. Every historian of the battle endorses this
version: and the testimony of an impartial historian always represents
the carefully sifted testimony of many. Sir Edward Cust, the laborious
military annalist, writes thus: “Suddenly some bugles were heard to
sound, and all the Artillerymen, abandoning their guns and tumbrils,
ran back into the infantry squares.... In a moment, the Artillery
gunners quitted the protection of the squares, and running up to their
guns, which were most of them ready loaded, opened heavily with grape
and with every species of projectile.... The cavaliers again mounted the
plateau; again the gunners abandoned their guns, and took refuge within
the squares.” Creasy writes: “As the French receded from each attack,
the British Artillerymen rushed forward from the centre of the squares,
where they had taken refuge, and plied their guns on the retiring
horsemen.” The same is the account given by every historian of the
battle. Were they all dreaming? or were they in some conspiracy to
conceal the truth? And if so, did the Duke himself join it? In the
thirty-seven years of his life after Waterloo, he never contradicted the
numerous accounts of the battle, all of which agreed in their statement
of the eminent services of the Artillery. Was it consistent in one, who
professed belief in an occurrence “known to many,” and who gave that
belief as a ground for the refusal of favours,--to allow such passages
as the following to be published without contradiction, unless indeed he
had subsequently ascertained the worthlessness of his information?[50]
“There,” wrote [Sidenote: ‘Battle of Waterloo,’ by G. R. Gleig,
Chaplain-General.] Gleig, “every arm did its duty; the Artillery from
the beginning to the close of the day.” Again: “In the course of the day
every battery was brought into action; and not even the records of that
noble Corps can point to [Sidenote: Ibid.] an occasion in which they
better did their work.” Sir James Shaw Kennedy, in summing up his
description of the [Sidenote: Sir J. S. Kennedy’s ‘Waterloo,’ p. 179.]
battle, says: “Full scope was thus given for the British Cavalry and
Artillery to display their surpassing gallantry and excellence; and they
did not fail to display these qualities in an eminent degree.”

But it has been admitted that Captain Mercer’s troop was an exception to
the others; that his men did not take [Sidenote: Mercer’s ‘Diary,’ p.
312.] shelter within the Infantry squares. Let him tell his own story.
“Sir Augustus, pointing out our position between two squares of
Brunswick Infantry, left us with injunctions to remember the Duke’s
orders (to retire within the squares) and to economise our ammunition.
The Brunswickers were falling fast ... these were the very boys whom I
had but yesterday seen throwing away their arms and fleeing,
panic-stricken, from the very sound of our horses’ feet.... Every moment
I feared they would again throw down their arms and flee.... To have
sought refuge amongst men in such a state were madness; the very moment
our men ran from their guns, I was convinced, would be the signal for
their disbanding. We had better, then, fall at our posts than in such a
situation.” He accordingly made his men stand to the guns, until the
cavalry were within a few feet of them; and on each occasion the havoc
he wrought among them--as he drove them back--was frightful. The immense
heap of dead, lying in front of Mercer’s guns, was such that Sir
Augustus Frazer said that, [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 343.] in riding over the
field next day, he “could plainly distinguish the position of C Troop
from the opposite height by the dark mass, which, even from that
distance, formed a remarkable feature in the field.”

Captain Mercer’s men, therefore, were those who did not obey the Duke’s
order. It was a fortunate act of disobedience, [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 313.]
and it saved the Brunswickers; but Captain Mercer was severely punished
for it. He was not recommended for brevet rank; and, on his appointment
by Lord Mulgrave to a vacant Troop, he was deprived of it by the Duke of
Wellington, who got it summarily reduced in 1816. Did, however, the
limbers of Captain Mercer’s battery ever leave the ground? That they did
not, can be shown most clearly. In his diary, he describes the state of
his Troop after a heavy fire, to which it was exposed _after_ the
charges of the French [Sidenote: Ibid. p. 326.] cavalry. In the
description, he says: “The guns came together in a confused heap, the
trails crossing each other, and the whole _dangerously near the limbers_
and ammunition waggons.” The same description also proves that the
frightful losses suffered by the troop took place during the very time
when, according to the Duke’s letter, the men and limbers would have
been off the field. In going to take up the position, they moved at a
gallop, and in so compact a body, that the Duke cried out: “Ah! that’s
the way I like to see Horse Artillery move!” In a short time, such was
the havoc committed among men and horses, that Captain Mercer wrote: “I
sighed for my poor troop; it was already a wreck.”

With regard to the insinuation as to the lack of artillery at the end of
the battle, it is shown clearly by Siborne, in his model of the battle
as it was at a quarter before 8 P.M., that thirteen Troops and Brigades
of the Royal Artillery were in action, when the final attack took place;
_this being the entire number with the army_. Of these, some were so
crippled by losses--as Mercer’s was--that they were unable to join in
the pursuit; and possibly some recollection of this fact may have been
in the Duke’s mind when he wrote. That the artillery fire, however, at
the end of the day was slack from the cause stated in the Duke’s letter
is an utter mistake; nor do the French seem to have found it very slack,
as will be seen presently.

One word before appealing to a few other historians. If such conduct had
taken place, as is described in the letter under consideration, it would
have been bruited over the whole army. Concealment, or collusion, would
have been impossible; enquiries would have been officially instituted.
To believe that such an occurrence could have been kept quiet, requires
a considerably greater stretch of credulity, than to believe that the
Duke of Wellington was misinformed. In fact, that such unanimity of
testimony to one version, and such a general agreement to be silent to
another, should be possible, unless the former were true, and the latter
imaginary, would be nothing short of a miracle. One or two miracles of
this description would demolish all belief in history.

In the earliest and most detailed account of the Battle of Waterloo, the
tenth edition of which was published in 1817, and which is called ‘The
Battle of Waterloo, also of Ligny, and Quatre Bras, described by the
series of accounts published by authority, by a near observer;’ edited
by Captain G. Jones, the following passage occurs: “No account yet
published of the battle, seen by the Editor, has mentioned in adequate
terms the effect of our artillery at Waterloo--no _English_ account at
least. _The enemy felt_ it, and in their manner of expressing themselves
have passed the greatest compliments. A French account, given in our
preceding pages, says: ‘The English artillery made _dreadful_ havoc in
our ranks.’... ‘The Imperial Guard made several charges, but was
constantly repulsed, _crushed by a terrible artillery, that each minute
seemed to multiply_.’[51] These invincible grenadiers _beheld the
grape-shot make day through their ranks_; they closed promptly and
coolly their shattered ranks.”... “In proportion as they ranged up the
eminence, and darted forward on the squares, which occupied its summit,
_the Artillery vomited death upon them, and killed them in masses_....
In an account given by an officer of the ‘Northumberland,’ of Napoleon’s
conversation on board that ship, he says: ‘Bonaparte gives great credit
to our Infantry and Artillery.’” Again: “The artillery on both sides was
well served, but Bonaparte had upwards of 250 pieces in the field.
Notwithstanding our inferiority in this arm, which was still more
apparent from the size of the enemy’s guns (being 12-pounders, ours only
9 and 6), than from their numbers, ours were so well fought, that I
believe it is allowed by all they did equal execution.... See also the
account of Captain Bolton and Napier’s Brigade of Foot Artillery, from
which it appears the Artillery had turned the enemy, previous to the
advance of the Guards. The French displayed the greatest rage and fury;
they cursed the English while they were fighting, and cursed the
precision with which the English grape-shot was fired, which ‘was
neither too high nor too low, but struck right in the middle.’”

From the many writers who have done credit to the exertions and courage
of the Artillery at Waterloo, three more extracts will be made.

In proof of the activity of the Corps at the end of the day, the
following quotation, from an author already mentioned, [Sidenote:
Gleig.] is given. In describing the reception given to the French
Imperial Guard, he says: “The English gunners once more plied their
trade. It was positively frightful to witness [Sidenote: Kennedy, p.
142.] the havoc that was occasioned in that mass.” Sir James Shaw
Kennedy also describes the strength of the British artillery fire at the
end of the day.

In a Paper on ‘The Campaign of Waterloo,’ which appeared in the ‘United
Service Journal,’ in 1834, the following passage occurs: “If we admit
that, during this arduous and terrible day, the British Infantry acted
up to the right standard of soldiership, which their long career of
victory had established, it must be added that _the Artillery actually
surpassed all expectation_, high as, from their previous conduct, that
expectation naturally was. In point of zeal and courage, the officers
and men of the three arms were of course fully upon a par; but the
circumstances of the battle were favourable to the Artillery; and
certainly the skill, spirit, gallantry, and indefatigable exertion which
they displayed, almost surpasses belief.”

Only one more witness will be called from the ranks of historians.
Hooper, in his work on Waterloo, to which he devoted eight years, and in
the compilation of which he used every known authority on both sides,
made use of words which appropriately close this argument: “The
Artillery, so devoted and effective, gathered another branch from the
tree of honour.”



After the peace of 1815 officers of Royal Artillery had little
opportunity for active employment or staff duty. Among other officers
who turned their attention to employments out of the ordinary routine
were General Sir Edward Sabine and the late Colonel Colquhoun. The
latter officer made a voyage to the Arctic Seas as an amateur whaler,
took employment in connection with a South American Mining Company, and,
before his appointment to the Carriage Department, in which he did most
excellent service for many years--till nearly the date of the Crimean
war--commanded the Artillery of Sir de Lacy Evans’s Spanish Legion, and
was employed with the naval expeditions sent to Spain and to the coast
of Syria.

Sir Edward Sabine began a long scientific career by accompanying the
late Sir Edward Parry to the North Polar Seas in 1819-20, as the
scientific observer of his expedition. His interest in scientific
pursuits, and especially in the determination of the figure of the Earth
and in the science of terrestrial magnetism, has continued to the
present date. He filled the office of Secretary of the Royal Society
from 1828 to 1829, that of Foreign Secretary from 1845 to 1850, and that
of Treasurer from 1850 to 1861; and he was President from 1861 to 1871,
when he retired from office. In 1839, the Royal Society and British
Association procured the sanction of the Government for a naval
expedition to the Antarctic Seas, and for the establishment of four
fixed magnetic and meteorological observatories at four stations widely
apart, namely, Hobarton, in Van Diemen’s Land, Cape Town, St. Helena,
and Toronto. The station at Hobarton was undertaken by the Admiralty,
and given to officers of the late Sir James Ross’s Antarctic expedition.
The establishment of the other observatories was, under the authority of
the Master-General and Board of Ordnance, entrusted to Royal Artillery
officers, with non-commissioned officers as assistants, who were
employed under the orders of the Deputy Adjutant-General and of Sir
Edward (then Major) Sabine, as an ordinary staff duty. The officers
successively employed were Lieutenants (now Major-Generals) F.
Eardley-Wilmot, W. J. Smythe, J. H. Lefroy, C. J. B. Riddell, and H.
Clerk; Lieutenant (now Colonel) Younghusband and the late Colonel H. J.

The magnetic instruments employed, of singular elegance and precision,
were designed by the Rev. Humphrey Lloyd (now Provost) of Trinity
College, Dublin, by whom the officers were instructed in their
manipulation at the Magnetic Observatory in the College grounds, the
only one then existing in the United Kingdom. The discovery which had
been made of the simultaneous manifestation of magnetical disturbance
over a wide extent of the globe rendered it desirable that the
observations at all the stations should be taken at the same moment of
absolute time; and, in compliment to Professor Gauss, to whom magnetic
science was so deeply indebted, Goettingen time was universally adopted.
Observations of the three elements--Declination, Horizontal Force, and
Vertical Force--were made every two hours, day and night, and with such
strictness that, if by any accident the right moment was lost, the
observation was entered in red ink, with a note of the number of seconds
elapsed. Once a month, on what was called “Term Day,” the observations
were prosecuted at intervals of a few minutes for twenty-four hours
uninterruptedly, and a similar course was adopted whenever a magnetic
storm declared itself, and persevered in until the storm passed away, a
period, occasionally, of as much as thirty hours.

The observatories were established originally for three years, but were
continued, in the case of the Cape and St. Helena, for a second term of
the same length, and in that of Toronto for three terms. At the
conclusion of these terms the St. Helena observatory was discontinued,
and the remaining observatories were taken over by the local

Lieutenant Clerk commenced his magnetic employment by a cruise in the
Antarctic Seas for a magnetic survey. Lieutenant Lefroy carried out a
magnetic survey of a considerable portion of the Hudson’s Bay
territories, and Lieutenant Eardley-Wilmot a survey of the Cape Colony.

The observations made at the Ordnance and Naval Observatories have been
published under the direction of Sir Edward Sabine, who has had an
office for the purpose at [Sidenote: In November, 1871.] Woolwich, which
has been subsequently removed to the Kew Observatory.

The brief summary given above of the operations which earned for so many
Artillery officers the blue riband of Science,--Fellowship of the Royal
Society,--would establish to a great extent that which its most
distinguished officers have always sought to secure for the Regiment,--a
scientific reputation. But in the career of Sir Edward Sabine, so
briefly alluded to, there has been one continued proof of the
possibility of a soldier attaining the highest eminence in the world of
science. Although personally unknown to many of his brother officers,
his fame has been the pride of all; and has been felt to reflect a
lustre, unprecedented in the profession, upon the Corps of which he is a
member. Many readers of these pages will remember the reception given to
him when, with the other Colonels-Commandant, he was persuaded during
the present year to revisit the head-quarters of the Regiment. In the
enthusiasm with which he was greeted by old and young, there was an
unmistakable evidence of an _esprit de corps_, which, while admitting
the claims of the scientific world at large upon their distinguished
comrade, yet determined that it should be known to him that his honours
were doubly dear to them because he was one of themselves.

In the sketch of the Magnetic Survey of the Globe given above, there
would be a great omission if it were not stated how much the employment
of Artillery officers in these operations was due to the previous
labours and successes of Sir Edward Sabine. It was in 1817, two years
after the conclusion of the war, that the first Polar Expedition was
prepared. The Admiralty, to whom the preparations were entrusted,
applied to the President and Council of the Royal Society to recommend a
person who should be competent to conduct the researches in Physics and
Natural History. General Mudge--already mentioned in this work--was then
at the head of the British Trigonometrical Survey, and was a member of
the Council of the Royal Society. It may be here mentioned, in passing,
that in those days the Artillery and Engineers had the alternate
direction of the Trigonometrical Survey, now apparently vested
exclusively in the latter. Sir Edward Sabine was already favourably
known, not merely to General Mudge, but also to other leading members of
the Council of the Royal Society, such as Young, Kater, Wollaston, and
Davy,--on account of some works which he had written, one being on the
Birds of North America, in which country he had served during the war of
1812-14. After passing a severe examination, with great credit, Sir
Edward Sabine’s appointment to the Polar Expedition was sanctioned by
Lord Mulgrave, then Master-General of the Ordnance: and early in 1818 he
sailed in the ‘Isabella,’ making his first Pendulum station at Hare
Island, in Baffin’s Bay, in the spring of 1818. The results of his
experiments, then and subsequently, appeared in the ‘Philosophical
Transactions,’ and in a work entitled ‘Pendulum and other Experiments,’
published in 1825, at the cost of Government, on the recommendation of
the Duke of Wellington, who had succeeded Lord Mulgrave as
Master-General of the Ordnance.

It was Sir Edward’s hope--in which, however, he was disappointed--that a
series of Pendulum experiments on the continental surface comprised
between the high Canadian latitudes and the shores of the Mexican Sea,
should also be undertaken. He has lived, however, to see the same object
admirably accomplished on the continent of British India between Cape
Comorin and the Higher Himalaya, under the able direction of Colonel
Walker of the Royal (Indian) Engineers,--and to take himself a final
part in the completion of the series, at the Kew Physical Observatory,
by Captain Heaviside, R.E., and the men of the Indian Engineers,
employed on that service by Colonel Walker. It may be said without
exaggeration that the support given by Sir Edward--as President of the
Royal Society--to Colonel Walker’s propositions, and the earlier
experiments made by himself in the same field, have been among the
highest services rendered by any man to science. Among the many
Artillery officers who, since the peace of 1815, have sought to make a
return to their country by their devotion to physical science, Sir
Edward Sabine stands _facile princeps_:--and he has had the satisfaction
of living to see, not merely his experiments carried to maturity, but
also the inferences, which he did not hesitate to draw with confidence
from his own earlier experiments, confirmed by the results of the
labours of others. The results of his experiments, which claimed to be
sufficiently extensive to justify the conclusion which they [Sidenote:
Transactions of Royal Astronomical Society.] were held to establish of
the measure of the ellipticity in the northern portion of the globe,
have received an increased value since the published results of a
similar series in the southern hemisphere by Captain Henry Foster, from
the fact of their mutual agreement.

These earlier services of Sir Edward Sabine supplied the ground on which
the then Master-General (Lord Vivian) justified,--and on which Sir
Robert Peel, as head of the Government, approved,--his nomination to the
superintendence of the Magnetic Observatories in 1839, fourteen years
after the publication by him of the work mentioned above, ‘Pendulum and
other Experiments.’ It was while he held this appointment, that he
directed the Magnetic Survey of the Globe, in which so many Artillery
officers had the good fortune to take a leading part.



N.B.--The reader should look at the explanatory notes before using the

  Battery.|Brigade.|Designation, previous to Introduction of the     | When
          |        |                Brigade System.                  |formed.
      A   |    A   |A Troop, Royal Horse Artillery                   |  1793
      B   |    ”   |B   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1793
      C   |    ”   |C   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1793
      D   |    ”   |G   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1804
      E   |    ”   |K   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1857
      A   |    B   |D Troop, Royal Horse Artillery                   |  1794
      B   |    ”   |E   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1794
      C   |    ”   |F   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1801
      D   |    ”   |H   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1805
      E   |    ”   |I   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1805
      F   |    ”   |C Troop, Madras Horse Artillery                  |  1816
      G   |    ”   |D   ”      ”     ”       ”                       |  1825
      H   |    ”   |---------       Royal Horse Artillery            |  1871
      A   |    C   |*1st Troop, 1st B^{de}., Bengal Horse Artillery  |  1800
      B   |    ”   | 1st   ”    3rd  ”    ”      ”       ”           |  1809
      C   |    ”   | 2nd   ”    1st  ”    ”      ”       ”           |  1825
      D   |    ”   | 2nd   ”    3rd  ”    ”      ”       ”           |  1825
      E   |    ”   | 3rd   ”    1st  ”    ”      ”       ”           |  1826
      A   |    D   |A Troop, Madras Horse Artillery                  |  1805
      B   |    ”   |B   ”      ”      ”       ”                      |  1809
      C   |    ”   |(a)Leslie’s Troop, Bombay Horse Artillery        |  1811
      D   |    ”   |   3rd Troop, 3rd B^{de}., Bengal Horse Artillery|  1826
      E   |    ”   |   2nd Troop, Bombay Horse Artillery             |  1820
      F   |    ”   |   5th Troop, 1st B^{de}., Bengal Horse Artillery|  1858
      G   |    ”   |