The Waterloo Association: Members Area

Journal of Captain William Smith 11th Light Dragoons

JOURNAL OF CAPTAIN WILLIAM SMITH 11TH LIGHT DRAGOONS

1811

Monday, May 13th

Monday, 6 o’clock a.m. His Majesty’s sloop Favourite, a gun brig, Captain Clements, Commander, and about thirty-two sail of transports in company, the 11th Light Dragoons for Lisbon, were ordered by signal to weigh anchor and stand out for the Sound, and about 9 p.m. went right ahead, put into Falmouth by 11 p.m. The fleet at anchor in Falmouth Roads.

Tuesday,14th Fine weather, taking in fresh water, most of the officers going on shore.

Wednesday, 15th Fine weather, Favourite made signals at 2 p.m. (just as I got half-way to shore) to weigh anchor. The wind being, however, nearly south, three transports having got foul of each other, carrying away the bowsprit of the Jane, the fleet again returned to their anchorage.

Thursday, 16th Fine weather, taking in hay.

Friday, 17th Falmouth. “Favourite” made signal to weigh anchor. Wind north with fine weather, at 11 a.m. becalmed, Lizard on our starboard bow.

Saturday, 18th Horses rather sick, distance the last twenty-four hours 108 miles.

Sunday, 19th Got up at 4 o’clock a.m. Tremendous sea in the Bay of Biscay and obliged to lay to to allow the vessels to come up.

Monday, 20th Stormy weather with a rolling sea, going eight knots, saw land on our larboard bow (coast of Galicia, distance, about seven leagues).

Tuesday, 21st very unpleasant weather, wind getting ahead.

Wednesday, 22nd At half past 4 o’clock a.m. made the coast of Portugal and expected to have enter’d the Tagus in the course of the day, saw the Purling Rocks distant about seven leagues. The fleet becalmed at 5 p.m. and losing way.

Thursday, 23rd At 7 a.m. the land we made yesterday disappeared and our hopes of getting on shore as distant as ever. 5 p.m., distance, hic die, four miles.

Friday, 24th We made the land again, our fleet of thirty-two sail reduced to ten or twelve.

Saturday, 25th A Portuguese pilot came on board about meridian from whom we made out two of our transports got in the evening before.

Sunday, 26th Becalmed until about 2 o’clock p.m., when we got a light breezw having the rock of Lisbon in sight and expecting to get to Fort St. Julian by 12 p.m., but soon after were becalmed.

Monday, 27th At 7 a.m. wind fair, and in sight of Fort St. Julian at 11 a.m. At about 1 p.m. a fleet of transports, 50 sail with invalids and French prisoners on board pased our stern, bound for Portsmouth. Arrived at Lisbon 4 o’c. p.m.

June 22nd Left Elvas Camp, after escaping from Captains Lutyen’s and Binney’s fate, by order of Genl. Long, for Estremoz, and arrived at 9 o’clock p.m., had nothing to eat the whole of the day.

June 23rd Stayed at Estremoz, attended the surgeon and called on Major Wellington, 3rd Regt., dined with him.

June 24th Marched for Lisbon by the following route:- Ariayolus, Monte-Mor-Novo, Vendas Novas, Pegoes, Aldea Galega.

June 27th Arrived at Lisbon, a great trouble with the boatman, took me to the very worst place to disembark my horses although near 10 o’clock at night. Got to Coles’ billet very late. Spent a very pleasant time at Belem, dined at Brassins generally with officers of different regiments; when inclined to visit the public places at Lisbon dined with my friend Colonel Ellis at Rua di Francesco, who generally felt inclined to indulge. Met with Captain Morley and several other friends.

Went to church to Cintra and spent two delightful days in very fair inn and tolerable dinners, visited the court and different convents, the rock of Lisbon and vale of Colarus, brought home some bottles of excellent wine for dinner, saw the palace and room in which the Convention was signed. The chapel of St. Roche well worth seeing at Lisbon.

August 3rd Commenced my march with Assistant Surgeon Tomlinson to join our regiment by the following route:- Saccavem, 2 leagues. Tomlinson taken ill and returns to Lisbon. I waited a day for him and then proceeded for the want of a better companion with a commissary clerk.

August 5th To Villa Franca, Azambuja, Santarem, Golegao, Punhete, Abrantes, Gavaio, Niza, Villa Velha, Sarnardas, Castle Branco, Loza, St. Miguel d’Arcey, Pene-Macor, Sabugal, Aldea Ponte, Ituero.

August 7th Marched from Ituero to Castellego, remained very quiet, messed with Ridout.

September 22nd Marched to the wood at night in rear of El Bodon. The comet extremely bright, did not dismount until very late, found ourselves very black in the morning from the wood having been burnt, remained until the 25th.

September 25th Paraded according to order an hour before daylight on the alarm ground near El Bodon. The French advanced about 8 o’clock very strong in cavalry, we saw them nearly the whole of the way and at first formed to receive them in front of El Bodon, but finding they kept to our left filed through and formed on the hill near the road leading to Fuenteguinaldo. Here we were engaged and obliged to keep continually charging. Lieutenant King was wounded in the arm, he commanded the right half of the 2nd squadron, myself of the right squadron, my horse was shot, retired to Fuenteguinaldo. About 3 o’clock received orders to go to the rear to feed our horses, remain an hour, and then come to the front again. In going to the front we received orders to say we may go to Castellego for the night, but parade an hour before daylight on the alarm ground at Fuenteguinaldo.

September 26th Paraded an hour before daylight on the alarm ground at Fuenteguinaldo, ordered to the front, remained in front the whole of the day. The French employed in getting up their troops from Ciudad Rodrigo, relieved at dark by the Royals, and had scarcely time to get into the wood near and make a fire than we were ordered to parade at 12 o’clock on the old ground at Fuenteguinaldo to cover the retreat of the Army. We followed the Light Brigade and marched as slow as foot could fall to Alfaiates.

September 27th The enemy came up in the evening and part of the Fourth Division were engaged. Our regiment formed to charge after the fire of the Light Brigade, but fortunately for us the enemy did not come on, or we were but ill prepared to receive them. I was sent at dusk to ascertain what column it was we saw on our right, it proved to be our own, the 12th Light Dragoons. Genl. Crawford was very near giving us a shot, had given orders, but in time found out who we were. Genl. Crawford very much enraged at the 95th.

September 28th At 2 o’clock a.m. we commenced our retreat to Soito where the chestnut trees afforded famous shelter. We stayed two days and then marched to a village on our right.

October 1st Marched to a village on our right where we expected to remain, but got orders at night to march.

October 2nd Marched to our old quarters, Gallegos, Ituero, etc., with exception of El Bodon. During our stay this time at Gallegos the governor of Ciudad Rodrigo was taken by Don Julian’s party. I at the time was at a court martial at Ituero, when they fancied it was the enemy again advancing, and in great confusion about baggage. Remained quiet until 25th of October.

October 25th A rainy morning, at length were permitted to go to the rear, the 12th Light Dragoons came to relieve us.

October 26th A complete wet day.

October 27th and 28th Marched to Adao, a most miserable village, poor O’Grady’s things were sold.

October 29th Marched to a village called Marmolara, somewhat better than the last but very bad, lived in the same house with Schreiber much disappointed in not getting letters for some time, last dated 21st September. And now 31st Oct.

November 1st Received very unexpected orders to march to Rubleda alias Rubleba in the frontier of Spain. Marched to Alfaiates, got in very late, a wretched place.

November 2nd Marched to Rubleda, still in the dark with respect to the utility of it, report says for the sake of cutting off supplies for Ciudad Rodrigo, but the Army arrived too late.

November 3rd Ordered over to Fuente Guinaldo at 5 o’clock, a very rainy morning, to know if there were any orders. There were none, but heard the Army were going back to their cantonments, reported it to the Colonel who ordered us to turn out immediately, and we marched back to Alphates. My poor old horse died.

November 4th We marched to Marmolara. During these four days’ march we lost upwards of twenty horses, I counted twenty-one myself.

November 5th Marmolara.

November 6th Marmolara.

November 7th Marched to Castinara, four leagues.

November 8th We marched to Coria. Fawkes and myself were sent on for quarters. The Colonel says I’ve put him with the jackdaws.

November 9th Making things comfortable in hope of staying some time.

November 10th been out shooting and much displeased at myself at not killing after getting three or four good shots. All goes on very quiet, shooting, coursing and card playing for them that like it.

Novembrer 24th The 1st Hussars march from their quarter Covilhao to Sabugal, for a short time, the Route mentioned the Hussars only. The River Azava and scenery about here beautiful, and fine frosty weather.

November 30th Lt.-Genl. Sir S. Cotton arrived at Coria and Capt. Cooks on his staff.

December 1st Lt.-Genl. Sir S. Cotton saw us in marching order and afterwards went to Covilhao.

December 3rd Lt.-Genl. Sir S Cotton saw us in marching order and afterwards returned to Covilhao.

December 4th The Hussars gave a ball to the ladies of Cavilhao. I did not go.

December 6th Col. Cummings got his leave of absence and goes from Covilhao.

December 14 We resumed our route for Abrantes by the following route:- Capina 2 leagues, Povo 3 leagues, Alcaius 3 leagues, through Castello Branco to Sarnardas 4 leagues, Niza 4 leagues, Gaviao 5 leagues, St. Miguel 5 leagues.

December 21st Arrived at St. Miguel, very badly put up. Col. Sleigh angry with me for not letting the troops remain at Abrantes.

December 22nd Colonel l. Sleigh marched the troops to Abrantes, but not withstanding he found it so much worse than St. Miguel that he marched us back in the evening.

December 25th.- Watkins dined with me, the priest, a very entertaining man, gave us plenty of snuff. The weather very fine, like an English summer. Our chief amusement cock shooting on the banks of the Tagus.

1812.

January 13th We marched to Chamusca, a very delightful quarter, and famed next to Oporto for wine. Ciudad Rodrigo besieged.

January 19th Ciudad Rodrigo taken.

February 2nd The Governor of Ciudad Rodrigo passed through Chamusca with the A.D.C. of the late Governor of Ciudad Rodrigo and two other officers. The loss on our part was very great, and severely felt in Genl. Crawford, who died shortly after of his wound. All things go on very quiet, shooting and playing at fives, excellent Tagus salmon.

March 5th Childers was fortunate enough to kill two bustards at one shot, by staying buried in the sand, very fine birds.

March 8th General Slade saw us at Chamusca and said we were much better than several regiments. He had inspected, but advised Colonel Sleigh not to hurry in getting his regiment to the army.

March 11th The regiments received a very unexpected route for Ponte de Sor as we were playing at fives.

March 12th The regiment marched to Ponte de Sor. I was left behind with a detachment of sick horses.

March 14th The regiment got orders to march to Borba; very uncertain weather about this time.

March 18th The batteries opened; all anxious for news.

April 7th We got possession of Badajoz by storm , out loss very considerable. I commenced my march from Quinta de Lima in company with Mrs. Tomlinson and Genl. Thorp for Borba, in hope of being in time for the fall of Badajoz, by the following route:- Ulme 3 leagues, Chinto 2 leagues, Galveas 5 leagues, Aviz 3 leagues, Canno 3 leagues, and Estremoz 3 leagues.

April 12th Arrived at Estremoz got information of the fall of Badajoz and of the Army returning to the north and that my regiment marched for Niza for further orders to arrive on the 19th.

April 13th Halted at Estremoz and got the horses of my detachment shod by the waggon train.

April 14th I march to Fronteira 4 leagues, Crato 5 leagues, Alter da Chao 3 leagues, Niza 6 leagues.

April 18th Arrived at Niza, the town completely filled and the heavy Germans bivouacked under the olive trees. Called on Colonel De Lancey, got his permission to halt, next day my regiment having marched to Lardoza, met with Dan Lutvens who was living at a Quinta.

April 19th A very rainy day, stayed with Dan at the Quinta until near dinner time when I received a letter from De Lancey to march immediately to Villa Velha, it rained at setting off but was fine afterwards. The men, assisted by the medical staff of the 32nd Foot, killed a strayed bullock at the Quinta.

April 20th Received a letter from Colonel De Lancey to march immediately to Villa Velha, a very rainy day, arrived near dark and very badly put up, my bedstead half its legs in dirt.

April 21st To Castello Branco where I expected to have found the regiment but it had marched.

April 22nd Marched to Lardoza, 3 leagues, where a corporal was left with orders for me to proceed the same day to Attilia, a league further and following day to Campillo, 3 leagues, if the enemy had left it.

April 23rd On my march to Campillo I overtook Genl. Picton, who informed me the regiment had marched forward and occupied two places, Biencressa 4 leagues and Escarigo 5 leagues, at the latter of which I found my squadron, and much delighted I was.

April 24th Marched to Villa Boa 4 leagues, which was the depot of the French cavalry, from which collected sheep and oxen from the other parts of the country and drove away their chief cargo, eight days before we arrived the poor inhabitants were coming from the mountains almost starved.

April 24th Marched to Aldea Ponte 3 leagues.

April 26th To our old quarters Ituero and Fuenteguinaldo where we remained until the 3rd May.

May 3rd Marched to Aldea Ponte.

May 4th Marched towards the north to Morella and Sordeira.

May 5th Marched to Lemigal Saffardao.

May 6th Marched to Ervestendras, here we received an order to halt very unexpectedly.

May 7th Halted and received another order saying the cause for halting was removed and desired to proceed.

May 8th Marched to Tominhos and Equelheiro.

May 9th Marched to Guadueros, a very quiet comfortable village, our horses in famous condition and go to grass twice a day from 6 o’clock in the morning until 9 and from 3 o’c until 6 p.m. Quite in the dark, sometimes fancying we shall go into Galeira. Dine at the doctor’s, Schreiber’s Patrone, very good mutton and very good Douro wine. Baron Orton sometimes pays us a visit for the sake of cards, what he calls reading the books.

June 1st Rode to Invoens to pay Colonel Ellis a visit, dined with Captain Hawtyn, gave us most excellent wine.

June 2nd Went out wild boar shooting, all dined at Colonel Ellis’s. Hammerton came over, exceeded moderation both days.

June 3rd Colonel Ellis returned with us, wine bad.

June 4th Our routes arrived, Colonel Ellis returned home.

June 5th Marched to Cotimas.

June 6th Halted.

June 7th Marched to a village near Lamigal, walked in the evening with Lye, met with a (illegible) washed in the spring.

June 8th Marched to Treingo.

June 9th Marched to Almeida for tents, not able to get a billet and obliged to go on to Villa de Mula? Doctor and Mrs Tomlinson came with me, badly put up.

June 10th Overtook the regiment at Gallegos, marched afterwards to the bivouac. Col. Cumming joined with the remount. Saw Hammerton in the evening.

Thursday, 11th Marched to a bivouac on the left bank of the Agueda, opposite the ford.

Friday 12th Halted and reviewed by Lord Wellington, General Le Marchant’s and Anson’s Brigade and General Alten’s.

June 13th Crossed the Agueda to a bivouac near St. Espireta?

June 14th To a bivouac.

June 15th Immediately after the march ordered on picquet, but contrived to get breakfast. Went to Robliga, the doctor’s wife very civil gave me wine and something to eat, the people civil.

June 16th Joined the Army on the march and arrived before Salamanca about mid-day, skirmished with the French cavalry, they afterwards retired under their batteries. The Hussars charged and were charged, our squadron appeared in very good time. After placing the picquet retired for the night. Lye on picquet.

June 17th Marched to a little field very near Salamanca, where we remained that night, our troops (English) entered the town the night before.

Thursday June 18th Crossed the Tormes and marched to Moresco, went the same day to Salamanca, very much pleased with the town, had a good view of the fort from the college tower.

June 19th Rode to Salamanca, saw the cathedral, extremely beautiful, one shot from the fort had struck it.

June 20th Turned out at 2 o’clock a.m. ordered for baggage guard, went to bed again, called at 6 o’clock to go with the baggage as quick as possible to the rear. When I arrived at the next village unloaded and thought we should be quiet for the night, but got an order about 3 o’clock to re-cross the Tormes immediately, all the old women running about as if mad, slept under a wall that night with Lutyens, Mr. T. and little Williams.

June 21st Marched at 2 o’clock to a wood in the rear and remained that day and night.

June 22nd Received an order to bring the baggage to the side of the water, Tormes, arrived about 10 o’clock.

June 23rd Got an order to march with the baggage to Moresco, the French having retired from there; joined the regiment at Moresco.

June 24th Marched to the field and after remaining some time looking at the French Army, am ordered on picquet, placed very near the enemy’s camp, our regt. recrossed the Tormes, in the evening I was relieved by an officer and party of General Le Marchant’s Brigade. 5th Dragoon Guards, found our regiment after a long march in the dark, had just time to get something to eat when our troop was ordered to cover the guns at Pilo Bravo.

June 25th Remained Pilo Bravo, the regt. joined us in the course of the day.

June 26th Remained at Pilo Bravo.

June 27th The fort at Salamanca surrendered at 12 o’clock.

Sunday, June 28th The regiment received a route and marched for Aldea Rubea while Schreiber and self were in Salamanca, we went afterwards and called upon Colonel Ellis when he was in Salamanca.

June 29th Marched at 3 o’clock for Canizal, were too late and obliged to trot past the infantry.

June 30th Marched to Torricilla, went on picquet. Sergeant Havelock whom I sent to reconnoitre was taken prisoner in a skirmish, a little time afterwards sergeant was taken (by outflanking a stronger than his own) but afterwards exchanged. My vedette was shot at during the night, left my coffee-pot in the town the enemy had now possession of.

July 1st Joined my regiment on the march to Nova del Rey and recovered my coffee-pot.

Thursday, 2nd Our squadron ordered to the 1st Division under the command of Genl. Graham, and marched with them to near Medinha del Campo, our squadron to a farm house, walked into the town after dinner.

July 3rd Remained at the farmhouse, Lindsell, Greaves and Rotton joined us in the evening.

July 4th Remained at the farmhouse.

July 5th Marched to join our regiment at La Seca now in General Anson’s Brigade.

July 6th Turned out on the alarm ground at daylight, afterwards ordered and marched back to the old farm house near Medinha del Campo.

July 7th Marched into Medinha del campo.

July 8th Remained in Medinha del Campo, invited in the evening to Macdonald’s camp to see the Spanish girls dance.

July 9th Rode in the evening round the infantry camp, where the Spanish girls walk to and dance every evening.

July 10th Rode to one of the German bands and saw a very pretty girl, met Major Cocks in the ice shop.

July 11th Bought a Shabraj, went in the evening on picquet to a village called Gallinas, the people very civil. Sent patrols to Bajasmiguel bridge leading to Alcazaren and Palacios bridge leading to Olmedo, both on the Adaja River.

Sunday, July 12th The squadron received orders to march and my picquet was recalled at 6 in the morning. The squadron marched at 9 o’clock to Villa Verde and on to Campillo.

July 13th Halted at Campillo.

July 14th Marched to La Seca, went in the evening to Sir S. Cotton’s ball, danced with my landlord’s daughter.

Wednesday, July 15th Marched at 9 o’clock at night to Rueda.

July 16th Marched at 10 o’clock at night through Medinha del Campo to Canizal.

July 17th Sent to ascertain whether General Bock’s Brigade or the French were in Aleyos, neither there but the enemy’s advanced parties marching to it as I left it.

July 18th The enemy drove in our picquets and our brigade advanced to support them, a very heavy cannonading. Poor William wounded who died since in consequence. Captain Jenkin’s horse shot, retired on the left of Torricilla with the French line parallel with ours to the position in front of Canizal.

Sunday, July 19th All quiet and had just got into a wood to shade us from the sun, when a note came about 4 o’clock to say there was an alarm at all posts. Turned out and marched to the right, covered Major Bull’s guns which set fire to a French tumbril, not able to remain there long the enemy bringing too many guns to bear. Bivouacked on this ground a little in the rear expecting next morning a general engagement.

Monday, July 20th Everything appeared as if they intended to attack us and were formed in position to receive them, but they moved off to our right, and us again in parallel lines with them, halted in their old position near Moresco.

July 21st Marched to Moresco intelligence having arrived the enemy were crossing at Alba de Tormes, and were ordered to cross the Tormes that night and remained in a ploughed field the night, a very rainy night, much thunder and lightning, the 5th D. Gds. Losing their horses by squadrons.

Wednesday, July 22nd Marched from our ground on the bank of the Tormes to the scene of action, our squadron ordered to cover the guns and got into a cross fire from the enemy, and retired as well as we could the guns one by one and us two and threes, went afterwards upon a hill, as an amateur, saw our infantry press under a very heavy fire, our brigade then moved to the right where our infantry gallantly charged and carried the hill, we charged but it was a very easy day for us, the 5th Foot appeared to suffer most, a very heavy fire at the fall of night, our squadron on picquet, found the 1st Hussars on the ground we were ordered to occupy, remained with them all night.

Friday, July 23rd Our squadron left without orders, came up to Army just after the heavy Germans made an excellent charge on the French infantry and made a great many prisoners. Our regt. and the 16th also charged some cavalry here advanced a little and at night retired to a bivouac near this place.

July 24th Marched through Penaranda, here we were informed Marshal Marmont had lost an arm, to Cabesa de posa.

July 25th Marched to Bernia Sapardeal.

July 26th Marched to Arevalo, a very good town where the Royal granaries are.

July 27th Marched to Almenara.

July 28th Marched to Ornillos.

July 29th Marched to Pedraco and Aldea Mayor.

July 30th Crossed the Douro, marched to the hills near Valladolid, to shew ourselves, whilst his Lordship entered the city, great exclamations on his entering the square where the Spanish were drawn up to receive him.

July 31st Rode to Valladolid in the morning and again to the theatre in the evening, saw the French hospital with a great many sick in it, they had regular beds and everything very clean and comfortable. The theatre and performance bad.

August 1st Marched to Villavanez, a very bad village where we remained some time.

August 8th Our regiment alone marched to Penafiel an excellent village (or town), everything to be bought, the people very civil. Paid the convent a daily visit, one very pretty nun.

August 9th Colonel Sleigh and Duberly dined with us, Schreiber’s Patrone gave us excellent wine, killed a brace of hares this day.

August 10th The regiment mustered.

August 11th and 12th All quiet.

August 13th Went on picquet to Pisquera on the Douro, met with John Thomas, a Guerilla chief, who gave me an excellent supper.

August 14th Received a letter from Colonel Cumming at daylight to say the regt. was marching to Quentanilla de Abazo where I was to proceed with my party, turned out in the evening and remained in a wood all night.

August 15th Returned to Quintanilla de Abaxo and marched in the evening about 4 o’clock to Tudela.

August 16th Turned out on the alarm ground at daybreak our squadron went on picquet.

August 17th Relieved Lindsell about 6 o’clock. The 12th Light Dragoons relieved us about 10.

August 18th The French came on about 9 o’clock which gave us time to unload our baggage (which was always loaded when we turned out) and was just going to breakfast when an orderly came in to say the enemy was coming on. Wishing to make good the little time I had, commenced running, a stone caught my foot and down I came, however I made a tolerable breakfast. We retired across the Douro to the artillery and supported them. Poor Lindsell was killed charging on the bridge with his party by a musket ball. We lost a great many artillery men by the enemy firing from the windows and roofs of the houses, retired at night to Parilla bivouac.

August 19th Marched to Parilla.

August 20th Received intelligence the French were gone back from the picquets.

August 21st Marched at 5 o’clock to aldea mayor dined with Colonel Cumming on a short notice, the French picquets in their old station.

August 22nd and 23rd All quiet.

August 24th Turned out before daylight, advanced towards the picquets and remained out four hours. The French drums made the devil of a noise as if all their men were deaf, the melons and grapes just coming in.

August 25th Nothing occurred until the following date.

September 3rd I went on picquet to Tudela and eat my dinner in the chapel and plenty of melons and grapes.

September 4th At daybreak the French came down, drove my vedettes in. I saw great part of their force and then retreated to the outside the wood, they brought forward thro’ the wood two companies of infantry with three squadrons and then retired.

September 6th Lord Wellington returned from Madrid, and the Army advanced to the hills in front of the enemy’s picquets, remained the whole day in a vineyard and retired at night to the fir wood in rear of it. Met Captain Annesley, 61st Regt., and Major Ebrington, 7th Foot, in the morning.

September 7th Advanced to Valladolid, the enemy blew up the bridge and retired along the Pisuerga in front of us, we bivouacked in a wood on the right of Valladolid on the river.

September 8th Remained in the wood, Colonel Cumming giving it the preference to a village.

September 9th Advanced to a wood farther in front where we bivouacked.

September 10th Went on picquet with the squadron, taken ill and went back to a village, an artillery woman very civil to me.

September 11th Followed the regiment to Baniez Pusadro.

September 12th Marched to Torquemada, Childers had a good deal of skirmishing, saw a French man run through the breast on the road.

September 13th Regular marches until the 16th.

September 16th Left the brigade and marched on the other side, or right bank, of a little river to Toro. The enemy fired two shots at us, one bounded directly over the regt. Bivouacked in rear of the village, a very rainy night.

September 17th Waited a long time for orders and at last marched without them, found we were very late and obliged to trot out to pass the infantry and heavies to join the brigade. Our squadron sent to cover the guns,

September 18th At daylight our regt. sent to relieve the three squadrons on duty, passed to the front of Burgos by the left out of range of the batteries. Had a fine view of the French Army as they marched from Villa Carto, where we remained the night.

September 19th Marched to Villa Fria. The castle was attacked and part of the outwork taken.

September 20th Remained at Villa Fria.

September 21st Remained at Villa Fria. Rode into Burgos, where the people gave me a bottle of spirits.

September 22nd Marched to Monestario always in a state of alarm not without reason, for we had turn out continually, remained until the 12th October.

October 12th Marched to Quintana Palla expecting to be very quiet.

October 13th Turned out, the French having advanced a party. Childers’ squadron on duty at Monestario. Lieutenant Colonel Ponsonby wounded skirmishing. The enemy retired.

October 15th Our squadron sent to relieve Childers’ squadron at Monestario.

October 16th and 17th All quiet.

October 18th The enemy again advanced and obliged us to leave Monestario, bur returned to it at night.

October 19th Turned out before daylight and retired to the heights above Monestario. The French entered the town about 9 o’clock, went at night to Quintana Palla.

October 20th Turned out before daylight. The enemy came to Quintana Palla in the evening as we evacuated it. Olmas was defended by the light companies under Col. Hackett. The siege of Burgos raised at night.

October 21st The army commenced its retreat, went on picquet about 2 o’clock, received orders at night to withdraw my videttes and march at 3 o’clock.

October 22nd Withdrew my videttes at 3 o’clock unperceived by the enemy and marched to Villa Toro where I came up with the regiment. Halted here for some time for bullock carts, etc, to pass. The scene between Villa Toro and the high road was shocking, the number of men lying in the road drunk, some dead, others dying, bisket and rum casks broken, dead horses, oxen and mules, together with the two 18-pounders, far exceeded whatever before I could conceive. Soon after we arrived on the high road, the enemy advanced from Burgos, indulged us with a cannonade which obliged us to retreat farther than was intended, and we got under cover considerably after dark.

October 23rd The enemy came up with us at daybreak , cannonading for some time, they then charged our skirmishers and pressed us so hard that one squadron of the 16th Light Dragoons and our regiment were obliged to charge in front of Cellada del Camino, some confusion, and retired behind the Hormaza on which were placed Lt.-Col. Hackett’s infantry, when we again got in order and retired, a squadron occasionally charging. The German Brigade joined us near Vanta del Pozo, they charged , came back in disorder. Our brigade also charged, got intermixed and the confusion all together not to be described. Had the enemy behaved well that day they must have played the devil with us.

October 24th The Army halted at Duenas and Villa Muriel. The enemy came up and attacked us at Villa Muriel.

October 25th Halted at Duenas and Villa Muriel on the Carrion.

October 26th Marched to Cabezon del Campo, crossed the Pisuerga, remained here.

Remained in position at Tordesillas from the 30th October to the 6th November.

He died near Philibhit on the Gogra in Oudh, India, on the 4th May 1824, aged 39.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.