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From Lieutenant William Parker Carrol

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE LEFT

Badajoz 22 June, 1810

My Dear Sir,
I am just favored with your letters of the 20th instant on my return from Elvas, where I went pour prendre congé  of Lieutenant Colonel Stewart of the Cacadores, who has marched with his corps to join General Hill’s Division.

About one o’clock yesterday, the enemy having advanced from La Roca, arrived in front of this city in force nearly 2,000 Cavalry and 6,000 or 7,000 Infantry with 12 field pieces, the Infantry & guns with part of the cavalry took post on the right bank of the river, the main body of cavalry on the Talavera road. Some smart skirmishing took place during the day in which the spirit of the peasantry and soldiers who advanced in guerillas was, I understand very conspicuous. The enemy were very much fatigued, and did not evince much energy having declined to decide some partial re-encounters in which the carabineers were very forward, at 7 o’clock this morning the last regiment of the enemy retreated towards Montijo, the enemy’s loss is supposed to be 10 or 15 killed and double that number wounded – the Spaniards lost 6 men killed and about 15 wounded.

The information in your letter, is most interesting. I do not by any means think Massena’s Army can amount to 50,000 men; in all Castille he has not more than 35,000 men, 25,000 or 26,000 of which are before Ciudad Rodrigo, and I think there can be little doubt of Lord Wellington’s taking possession of all their heavy guns – indeed the present fate of the operations in Spain depends on the contest at Ciudad Rodrigo.
With respect to the sheep I shall attend to your wishes, 3,370 are safe on their march to Aldeia Galega, 1,000 more were in much danger yesterday but are now safe, however in no case, can you run any risqué [sic], as I have stipulated with the Junta, that the responsibility rests with them, until the sheep are delivered over on the borders of Spain. The last 1,630 shall go to Abrantes agreeably to your directions. I beg you will not consider the trifling assistance that I may be able to give Mr. Romero as by any means giving trouble. Excuse great haste as the post is ready to start. I am my dear Sir, faithfully yours, William Parker Carrol

Badajoz 25 June, 1810

 

My Dear Sir, Your second lot of sheep are on their way to Lisbon. I got a passport from General Leite124, Mr. Romero having informed me that he had not received the one’s you alluded to, and that the former ones were all sent with the First Division. I wish you would inform me particularly on the subject – in my opinion the passports should be delivered up on their arrival, by the shippers at Lisbon, lest any flocks belonging to other persons might be sent under the sanction of your name.

I last night wrote to General Leite requesting that he would direct that no impediment should be made to the shepherds remaining with that part of the flocks of Bolar destined for you, in the vicinity of Elvas.

No news here, I received letters from Lord Wellington 21st and 22nd no news. I think Massena will be very cautious of bringing up his heavy artillery against Ciudad Rodrigo, when once they shall have been planted, I consider them as British property. In three or four days your sheep will proceed to Abrantes. I shall apprise the senior officer there of their departure. The Marquis of Monsalud125 and the Junta have for month’s past been applying to me to obtain permission from my government to allow them to purchase arms etc. – The Marquis of Monsalud has told me they would pay for them in wool or sheep he also spoke to Colonel Downey on the subject – I beg to submit the affairs entirely to you. Ever yours my dear Sir, most faithfully, William Parker Carrol P.S. Mr. Romero received the 6 passports by this day’s post.

 

Badajoz 25th June, 1810

 

My Dear Sir, Having been requested by several officers here, whom I wish to oblige to write to Ensign Corrigan to make some purchases for them at Lisbon, I am apprehensive that he may not have sufficient money for that purpose, & as I have not a mode of sending him money immediately not meeting any person in whom I could confide going to Lisbon. I take the liberty of requesting that you would be so kind as to advance Ensign Corrigan for me, such sums as he may require as far as 200 dollars. Which I shall pay either to Mr. Romero or any one you appoint to receive it – I trust you will excuse the

liberty I thus take in troubling you. Ever my dear Sir most faithfully yours William Parker Carrol To His Excellency, Charles Stuart

 

Badajoz 29th July, 1810

 

My dear Sir,

I was favoured with your letter of the 25th inst. The possession of Santona is of the greatest importance it has upwards of eighteen months been a favourite of mine, a great deal may be done in Biscay. I have the satisfaction to transmit you copies of intercepted letters which I think you will deem interesting. I trust you will forward them to England with all possible dispatch. I hope and trust you consider the cause to be in a prosperous state, and that a little exertion will speedily bring it to a favorable termination now is the moment for exertion. From the high situation you hold, your perfect knowledge of the state of the Peninsula, together with the information you have from all parts, no person is so proper as yourself, to recommend the measures the plans and exertions which the present crisis requires. In my mind the French army in Spain might be most materially diminished if not destroyed by the aid of the press supported by a million of dollars, the Spaniards are not aware how powerful an engine the press is when well directed. I am persuaded many French officers of rank might be induced to quit the ranks of the tyrant bringing with them entire regiments, the half measures we are adopting only serve to protract the war. The enemy themselves and the intercepted letters point out to us the line of conduct we should pursue.

I communicated to the Junta the contents of your letter of the 22nd inst they will petition government for permission to have 12,000 stand of arms exported from England. They desired me return you their thanks for your kindness in saying you would be glad to forward the attainment of their object, they wish to contract with some merchants and bring out the arms to Lisbon where they would pay for them in sheep or wool.

I translated your letter for Mr. Romero, he is getting the necessary certificates relative to the breed of the sheep, he wrote to have the 45 sheep sent to Lisbon. I trust they have arrived by this time, as Mr. Corrigan wrote to Extremos and Montemor 10 days since to have them forwarded immediately, if capable of marching. I beg you will command my sources in any way I may be useful. I have the honor to be my dear Sir your most obedient humble servant, Wm Parker Carrol

 

P.S. I sincerely hope the Marquis will not quit this army, I believe there has been some slight misunderstanding relative to the carrying into effect the plan of Blake for the formation of the Estado Mayor. One thing I am concerned of: namely that Romana should be invariably supported by the British and held up to the view of the Spanish people as possessing the full confidence of the British people; if once the great share of popularity which he possesses should be diminished, the cause would suffer most considerably – Romero has just informed me that the Secretary of the Junta refuses to give any other certificates than those given, I shall go to the Junta this Evening and get them. The Marquis of Romana wishes me to procure two good armourers wither from England or Lisbon to superintend and to work themselves, at the repairing of a quantity of broken firelocks that are in store here, could two armourers with their implements be [procured?] in Lisbon?

I beg to trouble you on a subject relative to self, I have got some engravings, 104 folio prints which I am desirous of getting safely conveyed to England or Ireland. I should be distressed to lose them and as perhaps the duty might be high, the original cost to me here being nearly £50.

 

To Sir Charles Stuart

Salvaleon 7 August [1810]

 

My dear Sir, I was favoured with yours of the 1st inst. I have been constantly on the move with my regiment since the 31st ultimo. I fancy we shall soon come to close quarters with the enemy. I have this instant learned that the Marquis is arrived at Olivenza with 5,000 men from Badajoz. As soon as I see his excellency I may be able to let you know our plans. We have been expecting to bring them to action on our own ground, as we have here good positions but they do not appear disposed to quit Burguillos [del Cero] or Xeres [de Los Caballeros]. I send you the certificates that I got the night before I left Badajoz. I hope they may answer. I have taken the liberty of giving a letter of introduction in favour of my friend Don Manuel Pereyra a most respectable gentleman in Lisbon if it should come in your way to do him a kind office it would be serving a most worthy man and much oblige. My dear Sir, ever most sincerely yours W P Carrol. My regiment is just going to march for Salvatierra

[de los Barros] it appears the enemy is in motion. C. Please to send the adjoined letter to Senor Pereyra who lives opposite your excellency’s house. To His Excellency Charles Stuart

 

Salvatierra 31 August 1810

 

Dear Sir, I have the honour to transmit you the adjoined letter containing reports made to the Marquis of Romana. no news here the enemy, seems to have retired. I have the honor to be your most obedient humble servant. Wm Parker Carrol To His Excellency Charles Stuart

 

Olivenza, 29 April 1811

 

My Dear Sir,

No events of any great importance having taken place since I joined General Castanos I omitted trespassing on your attention. The arrival of Lord Wellington, who is the main spring and soul of active operations has been most timely, during his short stay he made arrangements which if not tardy in the execution, will be productive of infinite benefit to the cause, would to heaven that the Spanish Armies, or more properly speaking the skeletons of the armies were under his Lordship’s command and auspices. We might in that case do great things, but alas! Our pride seems to increase with our misfortunes and is only equalled by our ignorance. Is it not lamentable that the exertions and zeal of the crown and as fine soldiers as any in Europe should be paralysed and rendered nugatory by the positive ignorance of an inept government? I shall be happy to hear of your being well whenever your leisure may present your favouring me with a line and if I can be in any way useful to you in this country command, for by the grace of my dear Sir, yours very faithfully, Wm Parker Carro

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