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Operations on the East Coast of Spain 1812-13

Major General Ross[1] or officer commanding Cartagena

Alicant 28 September [1812]



The still doubtful movement of the army under the orders of Marshal Soult, have induced me to detach from this army the Spanish regiments, 2nd of Majorca, commanded by Major Joaquim Anonada, to assist in the defence of Cartagena, I should under other circumstances have detached a large reinforcement but Sir Sidney Smith[2] stated to me that 500 men would be sufficient to defend Cartagena against sudden attack.

I have reason to expect orders from Lord Wellington immediately to take the field with the army now under my orders. You will please to observe that these troops have my orders not to land in the event of the French army having passed Cartagena, and to remain onboard the transports until it is ascertained, when they are directed immediately to return to Alicant. John Mackenzie Major General


Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck

Alicant 28 September [1812]


My Lord,

I would have done myself the honour to address your lordship by the ship on board of which Lieutenant General Maitland sailed from hence, but that the situation and details of this army would be more fully explained to you by the lieutenant general, besides I was very little acquainted at the time with the general state of this army so as to be able to convey to your lordship an adequate knowledge of those points which must appear interesting. I trust however, that although his health was extremely bad when he left Alicant, the sea air and rest from the fatigues of his situation, will soon restore his usual health and enable him to give you the fullest information.

Since General Maitland’s departure the fieldworks in front of this town have been finished, it does not appear there is any more required to put Alicant in perfect security from any attempts less than the regular progress of a siege, which considering existing circumstances is not likely to take place for some time to come.

The movements in Suchet’s army have been daily for some time back, strong patrols have advanced within 18 miles of this place which the march of some troops from this army have made to retire. Large divisions have however assembled in the following towns, Sax, Villena, Requena, Jumilla and Almansa. King Joseph reviewed the division in Vilenna yesterday said to amount to 6,000 men, and it is now evident that many of these regiments [were] only meant to mask the march of the divisions above mentioned, nor can a doubt remain that the intention is to form a junction with Soult, whose advanced guard has passed the Segura at Cieza, the junction of both armies will take place it is said at Albacete and by every report sent to me, the whole will then march to Madrid. I have not been able to ascertain the strength of Soult’s force, but that of Suchet which is now cantoned in & has passed through the town I have already mentioned, is not less than 20,000 men, of all arms.

By letter from Cartagena that place was still supposed to be in danger of an attack from the rear of Soult’s army which has induced me to detach for its defence the 2nd Majorca Regiment. I have given the most positive orders to that regiment not to land in the event of Soult’s army having passed, to return without delay to Alicant.

This town and neighbourhood continues without a single case of malignant fever, the inhabitants as well as the troops are in perfect health, as can be expected at this season of the year. It is due to Lieutenant General Maitland to say that the measures taken by him either for the health of the inhabitants or for the security of the town have left me little to do, but to regret that he should have been under the necessity of quitting the army from indisposition.

I have had no communication with Madrid. The last account I had of Lord Wellington was from General Ellio, Captain General of this kingdom who mentioned having received accounts that his lordship was on the 13th of this month at Burgos.

The Tremendous[3] man [of] war came into this harbour three days ago, having on board 59,000 dollars destined for Messina, but as the chest here was very low, I have taken the liberty to request of the captain to land it here, which I hope your lordship will approve of and they are now in the hands of the Paymaster General.

Enclosed is a letter from Colonel Holcombe[4] commanding the artillery here, the contents of which I am well acquainted with, I have seen the difficulties he had had to contend with during the short march this army made in advance and I can assure your lordship that in action serious loss to the service may arise from not having proper drivers besides employing a set of men worthy of other employment. It is almost impossible for the artillery to move with rapidity as long as the guns are drawn by mules. Your lordship is however certainly a better judge of all that belongs to the subject and I will say no more than to assure your lordship that I remain &c John Mackenzie, Major General


Lt Colonel Prevost 67th Regiment[5]

Alicant, 2 October 1812



I have been honoured with your letter dated 30th of last month, and with you, have much reason to lament the loss the service has sustained by the death of General Ross[6] and society one of its most amiable members.

You may rest assured that no exertion of mine will be wanting to promote the general good of the service and it is distressing that my means should now be so limited, nevertheless I have ordered a staff surgeon and an assistant to proceed in the Thunder bomb which is all I can do for you now and these I shall be under the necessity of sending for by express if this army is ordered to take the field.

I recommend you immediately to embark your sick and send them to the island of Tabarca where I know General Ross intended at one time to send them in the event of extreme sickness in his garrison. The buildings on the island fit for an hospital have been cleaned out and are now in the best possible state of repair. The tanks have also been filled with water and the whole will accommodate near 200 patients. If you determine on embarking the whole or any part of your sick for Tabarca it will be necessary to send with them as much medecines as you can spare, as this army is by no means well supplied with that which is ever required for its use.

Although I have not the honour of your acquaintance I trust with confidence to your ability and zeal for the defence of the garrison now under your care and have the honour to be. John Mackenzie, Major General


His Excellency Field Marshal Soult

Alicant 4 October 1812



An officer belonging to the army under my command has, I understand, been made prisoner of war. It is possible that your excellency might be inclined to exchange that officer for any other of yours, of equal rank prisoner in the hands of the Spanish authorities. If such should be the case, I will not fail to use my endeavours to promote your wishes. In the meantime allow me to request that you will permit Captain Courant[7] to join this army, which if your excellency conceives too much to grant, I beg that he may be sent to any town in Spain where he can remain until an exchange is effected.

You may rest assured that if the Spanish authorities refuse your choice, Captain Courant shall be sent back again to the army under your command. John Mackenzie, Major General commanding.


Lt Colonel Prevost, 67th Regiment, Commanding at Cartagena

Alicant 7 October 1812



The army of Soult has now completed its junction with that of Suchet I therefore conclude that you can without risk return the Spanish regiment sent to your assistance; I can however easily conceive your anxiety having a garrison not yet perfectly recovered from excessive sickness. If therefore you think Cartagena really in danger, I will leave the regiment at your disposal.

When I wrote you desiring to have your sick sent to the island of Tabarca I did not expect there could have been any objection made to that plan by the government of this kingdom but I am sorry to say the admission of any sick from Cartagena is positively refused. John Mackenzie, Major General, commanding.


Colonel Torrens

Alicant, 7 October 1812



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to General Maitland dated 25 August and I take the earliest opportunity for the information of His Royal Highness the commander in chief to comply with its contents.

Lieutenant General Maitland after suffering extremely from fatigue and anxiety was on the 22nd ultimo under the necessity of quitting Alicant for Sicily and of leaving the command of this division of the army to me, since which period I have pursued the same measure adopted by him to put this town into the most perfect state of defence, which circumstances and time would admit of; and it is now so complete that I trust it is out of all danger from sudden attack and viewing the present state of affairs in the peninsula it is not likely the French army will formally lay siege to it. The abundant store of provisions now here; and the means employed to keep up a constant supply of fresh as well as salt provisions are fully adequate to all emergencies and leave no room to fear that future want can at all distress the army.

The army under Marshal Soult which was for some time back on its march from Andalusia, has now completed its junction with that under Marshal Suchet. The headquarters of the United Army at Yecla, not more than fifty miles from hence. Small detachments have been pushed to within 18 miles of Alicant, but these movements appear to have been more in search of bread, corn, barley and wine than from a desire to acquire information respecting the state of Alicant. The infantry is said to have suffered much in the long march to its present position which statement has been corroborated by French officer deserters, as well as by those employed to procure general information.

The army from Andalucia it is reported amounts to 5,000 cavalry and 42,000 infantry (10,000 of whom are Spaniards) who it is supposed are heartily tired of the French service; and I have endeavoured through various channels to induce them to return to the service of their legitimate sovereign. The number of sick is also very great. To this army is to be added Suchet’s and the remains of the army which marched with King Joseph from Madrid which cannot be less than 20,000 men.

An incredible number of Spaniards with their families have quitted the south of Spain and followed the fortunes of the French army. The line of baggage extended for miles, consisting of these unfortunate people’s effects, sick and plunder to an enormous amount, escorted by 1,000 chosen cavalry.

The combined army has not been many days together and common report says that preparations are making to march & to get repossession of Madrid. If reliance is to be placed in the reported condition of their infantry, an object of such magnitude cannot be attempted for some days to come, and considering the exhausted state of this kingdom so large an army will not be able to remain long even in its present position.

I received a dispatch today from General Ellio commanding the 2nd and 3rd Spanish armies dated Tarancon 2nd September, announcing the arrival at Toledo, of General Hill, and his whole army. I have likewise received (this moment) a dispatch from the Marquis of Wellington of the 20th September stating that he invested Burgos on the 19th and carried by storm the same night the horn-work which commands great part of the work of the castle of that place. His letter contains no other interesting intelligence.

It is gratifying to me to be able to state the high state of discipline of His Majesty’s troops and although the men have been hitherto without many of those comforts which might be looked for in any other country in Europe, they are in excellent health.

I receive the most cordial assistance from all ranks, both of the Navy and Army and the whole are in high spirits and anxious to share in the glory acquired by His Majesty’s arms in the peninsula.

I enclose for the information of His Royal Highness a Return of the Allied Army under my command. John Mackenzie, Major General commanding


Sir Henry Wellesley

Alicant, 8 October 1812



On the 22nd of last month Lieutenant General Maitland was under the necessity of leaving the army in extensive bad health and I have the honour to acknowledge your letter to him dated from Cadiz the 14th September as also to inform you that the money and stores mentioned in that letter have been received by the Commissary General’s department, by whom that part of the money destined for the use of General Whittingham’s division shall be paid.

I had yesterday the honour to receive a dispatch from Marquis Wellington who came before Burgos on the 19th and on the evening of the same day took by assault the hornwork which commands a great part of the works. The castle still continued to hold out on the 20th.

This army is in excellent health and the field works in front of the town completed so that at present I am under no apprehensions as to the safety of Alicant.

The armies of Marshall’s Soult and Suchet have joined and are now distributed in the towns and neighbourhood of Almansa, Yecla, Jumilla, Caudete, Villena and Sax. The army of Andalusia has suffered much from severe and long marches, want of regular supply of provisions and cloathing [sic], particularly coats and shoes. The cavalry have also suffered much, the different accounts I have received state that the whole is on the eve of departure from their present cantonment. John Mackenzie Major General


To His Excellency General Baron Harispe[8]

Commanding 2nd Division

Of the Imperial Army of Aragon

Alicant 10 October 1812



I have had the honour to receive your letter dated the 8th instant and regret most sincerely that it is out of my power to assure you that any promise of mine for the exchange of any officer now prisoner of war in England would be heeded to by the British government and more particularly so where the equality of rank is not mentioned.

I shall be ready at all times to come into any measures with you which can in any way alleviate the sorrows of war and I think I do not hazard too much, when I say that an exchange of British prisoners for any of France who are now either in Spain or the adjacent islands will be granted, but to prevent any doubt that may arise on a subject of such importance as that now in question, I have sent my Adjutant General to confer with your excellency.

I have the greatest satisfaction in having it in my power of complying with your wishes as to Flave of the 4th Hussars who was taken in the skirmish of the 8th especially as you inform me that he is a good old soldier about to be rewarded for his long and faithful services and I request the favour of you to send me in return the dragoon of the 20th in your hands, taken prisoner on the same occasion. I take this opportunity of assuring your excellency of the high respect with which I remain. John Mackenzie Major General commanding


To the Marquis of Wellington

Alicant, 11 October 1812


My Lord,

I had the honour to receive your lordship’s dispatch, addressed to Lieutenant General Maitland and you may rest assured that no means shall be left untried to defend this place if attacked.

I sent a detachment of the 81st Regiment under Major General Donkin to reconnoitre the Castle of Denia, where the enemy occasionally lodged grain and other stores by water to Valencia, and in the hope that the castle might be taken by assault, but the garrison had been reinforced some  days previous which determined General Donkin to retire, which was effected with the loss of one man killed, 2 officers & 15 wounded, the latter will in a short time be fit for duty. The advanced posts were yesterday attacked those of Tibi & Jijona were obliged to retire, those placed in the village of St Vicente [del Raspeig] within four miles of this town, were also attacked by 500 cavalry, 2 field pieces, a howitzer and 1,500 infantry (4th Hussars & 2nd Battalion 7th Line). The enemy forced to retire with the loss of 20 killed & wounded & several horses, I have however, to regret the loss of an officer and twenty five men of the Calabrian Free Corps, who were suddenly attacked and took refuge in a farmhouse and defended themselves, where 7 men were killed and I believe, the remainder taken prisoners. I have not yet received an exact account of the whole loss but the above is the amount stated to me.

It is said that Soult and Suchet are retiring toward Valencia and I believe it really to be the case. The attack on my outposts appears to have been determined on for the purpose of masking the movement made by Soult; these outposts were of consequence to me, but from the poverty of the villages can yield nothing to the French & I will endeavour to reoccupy them as soon as I know what troops are in Elda to Sax.

It is gratifying to us, confined as we are almost within the walls of Alicant, to hear of your lordship’s success and make little doubt of its continuance.

This army is in high health and eager to share in the future glories of your lordship’s army. I have the honour to be, sir , J Mackenzie


Don Gianuchino Camano, Governor of Alicant

Headquarters Alicant, 12 October 1812



I have heard with surprize that three juramentados[9] who deserted the French cause and come to the headquarters of the allied army here, on the faith of a proclamation issued by me, have been made prisoners by an officer of your staff without your knowledge, their horses seized on and disposed of with the same secrecy. Such a breach of trust if true, must not be passed over in silence; Spaniards have a right to expect that men holding offices of any description whatever, will faithfully perform the duties of their several stations, it is also the duty of every Spaniard to endeavour to detect the nefarious practices of all ranks, that the guilty may be brought to punishment.

It becomes a duty on my part to enquire most particularly into a transaction which strikes so deeply at the honour and faith of the allied army, which I have the honour to command. I have therefore to request that you will without delay cause an investigation to be made that so flagrant a breach of trust may be made public and that I may be enabled to make such a report to the high authorities of Spain and to the Minister of His Britannic Majesty as the case in question loudly calls for.

I place no difference between a Spaniard and an Englishman, we are fighting the same battles, and it is the duty of every honest man not only to prevent abuse but to take care that the honour of those at the head of armies or departments shall remain unsullied and the guilty brought to speedy and merited punishment.

I do not by any means pretend to the ultimate disposal of juramentados who return to their allegiance, but I claim the right of receiving all juramentados who shall arrive at this place while it remains the headquarters of this allied army, and of giving them up to the proper authorities of the Spanish government. John Mackenzie, Major General commanding



Copy of a letter from a British officer at Alicant dated 16 October 1812


As we have little or no news I avail myself of this moment to give you more information relative to the Spanish troops paid and clothed by us and now under the command of two English officers, Whittingham[10] & Roche [11] who have the rank of Major General in the Spanish service.

By agreement we pay, arm and clothe these two divisions and the Spanish government undertake to feed them & out of consideration to us, they have been placed under the command of two English officers.

All this as an outline appears fair & well enough, but there are vices in the details of the system which entirely prevent England from reaping all the advantage she could from an arrangement of that nature, but which increase the expense in an enormous degree; and after all, the disgust created in the Spanish armies wherever they come in contact with these comparatively pampered Anglo-Spaniards produces the effects, of which we have been witnesses. The Spanish national troops are naked & starving. These are doubly, trebly clothed, and have abundance of money. What, say the former, have these done to be thus selected & brought to fight the same battles on such different terms? However, it is not to these jealousies that I wish to call your attention, but to the abuses committed perhaps in the payment, but certainly in the clothing and equipment of these corps.

Day after day vessels arrive here from England laden with stores of all sorts, saddles, sabretaches, dolmans, pelisses, fur caps, even gloves, and other luxuries are heaped on these troops as profusely as they could be on any one of our own native British corps. Is this necessary?  Would it not be wiser to divide the expense of a hussar and equip with it three dragoons A l’Espagnole & thus triple our effective cavalry, for want of which we cannot now stir ten miles from the walls of Alicant?

Is it necessary too that the pay which we give should be twice as great (I believe more) than that nominally given to the Spanish troops? Which nominal pay is never issued, whereas our profuse allowance is regularly paid down. Would not the advantage of being paid regularly and exactly by us be enough without increasing the rate 2 or perhaps 3 fold? But this is not the worst – demands seem to me to be made (and acceded to at home) ad libitum by the commanders of these corps, and all the splendid paraphernalia of British cavalry & infantry down to the minutest want (I had almost said to toothbrushes) is supplied with a profusion which astonishes us; and when all this comes, behold it is at the absolute disposal of these commanders, who may issue as much or as little of it as they like, sell, give or destroy as much or as little of it as they please, without any check or control over them. All that I have said applies equally to both these corps; but I must now come to some rumoured, & I may almost say facts, I have them from such authority. They relate only to Major General Roche, for I must do Major General Whittingham the justice to say that I have never heard any suspicion expressed concerning him & in all I have seen of him he appears a very respectable & zealous officer.

With Major General Roche I have but little acquaintance & what little I have gives me not a very indifferent opinion of him as a soldier; but the stories they tell of him here, if only one half or one quarter be true, prove how unsafe it is to control men with public monies & stores without any check.

There is a regiment of cavalry raised for this division, but now by some means, with General Ellio’s[12] army near Madrid. This regiment was however raised by Roche and when I saw it some weeks ago, a colonel of cavalry, one of the best officers & most honourable men I have seen in Spain, pointed out to me their want of clothing, saddles & other equipment. This he assured me was owing to Major General Roche having sold & given away 240 sets of saddles, bridles and furniture to his friends & others who wanted them, at the same time cutting up the cavalry clothing & altering it for the infantry on whose backs most certainly is to be seen at this hour much cavalry clothing.

I am moreover assured on authority not to be doubted, that any officer of Major General Roche’s corps who wants a pair of English boots has only got to go to the general’s quarters and he got a pair for four dollars. Where came these boots? So the general, a merchant too and does he import them, or are they the cavalry boots sent out from England?

Our own regimental officers tell me that they can also buy for their men any given quantity of English ammunition, shoes, shirts and other military treasures in the shops of Alicant. Whence come they? The conclusion & the belief is that they are sold either by Roche or at least by his division and this is the way in which England’s monies are miss-applied.

Now I do not & cannot undertake to prove what I have told you. I send this as a private communication to you, and you know me well enough to be persuaded that if I had not believed it all to be true, I should not say a word upon the subject. I do firmly believe that the peculations of Major General Roche have been pushed to an enormous extent and I can fully credit the report that he has realised & remitted £20,000 out of 16 shillings per diem within these last three years.

But admit that the whole of the money & stores sent out to these corps is faithfully administered. Why, when check upon check is applied & so properly applied to every part of our non military expenditure, should these two officers have the uncontrolled distribution of pay, clothing & stone to an immense amount, without rendering any account whatever of them & without England’s knowing if the troops returned on paper are effective in the field; or if, being effective, the money & articles sent are given to them?

I have no objection to your communicating anything I have said to his majesty’s. It is impossible that thus, occupied as they are with the immense concerns of the kingdom at large, can have time to descend & enquire into such details as these, but I think it a duty I owe to my country as well as to myself, to tell you (and if you think proper then) what is going on.

I am sure the commander in chief who has regulated the whole fiscal system of the army with such labour, attention & such advantage to the soldier & the country cannot approve such a lax mode of paying & clothing troops as I have detailed.

If I might be permitted to suggest in part & in part only, a remedy, the first thing that should be done should be to appoint a man of business, a colonel or at least a lieutenant colonel in the army as inspector of these corps if they are continued. He should be well, that is adequately paid, by us, and he should be positively forbidden to receive any pay or rank whatever from the Spanish government. Officers who have been sent out here by England from the very beginning to give information to our government have deceived it, for they have begun by deceiving themselves. They have taken rank & sometimes pay in the Spanish army and instead of being judges faithfully to decide and report to their country on passing events, they have become parties and seeing everything through the medium of their own interests & passions, they have reported to our government what they wished & not what they knew.

To the inspector should be added a pay master & these two should see that the men were effective & that the money and stores were faithfully applied.

But besides these two chief checks, a great number of minor regulations are wanted, too long to enter on here. These divisions should I think be put under the command of one of our major generals with the rank of Lieutenant General and their numbers should be limited say to 10,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry & two brigades of artillery. The Spaniards are angry at our taking captains & majors, such men as Roche for instance, and making then major generals in their service; it hurts their pride severely, but there are very few men who are fit to command as lieutenant general such a corps as I am contemplating, much fact, much patience and a good knowledge of human nature would be necessary.

However it is time to have done. Allow me though to repeat that I am not prepared to prove anything I have said of Major General Roche, for nothing could induce me to stoop to look out for proofs, gratuitously, against any man.


PS If any reform is made in the organisation of these Spanish corps, much saving might be made in their clothing throughout, all of which (as well as the knickknackeries which should be wholly supressed) might be put on a much more economical plan. I think that with proper economy, the present expense would pay & clothe double the number; that is about 14,000.

Just this moment I learn that Roche has within a day or two disembarked new clothing for a regiment of hussars, which he boasts to be superior to any appointments of the sort ever made in England. He has even got red (rather scarlet) pantaloons for the men, full trimmed, for dress parades. It is unnecessary thus to rig out a nation struggling for her existence, at a time too when England herself scarcely can bear the expenses of the war. At a time too when thousands of Spaniards are not in arms for want of clothing; two thousand of whom might probably be clothed as well as Spanish troops wish to be clothed just now, out of the fripperies of this hussar corps? I do hope you will put your shoulders to this heap of abuses & upset it at once.


Colonel Torrens Military Secretary, Horse Guards, London

Alicant 22 October 1812



Since my last letter I have not had an opportunity of giving you any details of occurrences from this quarter for the for the information of HRH the Duke of York. Marshal Soult had then assembled the whole of his army on this side of the Jucar, where he remained for some time to recruit, it is supposed, after the fatiguing march from Andalucia. This country did not afford (Alicant excepted) any field for his usual activity, but the town and castle of Chinchilla [de Monte Aragon] which after six day’s attack he reduced, unfortunately threw into his hands much wealth, which had been deposited there and on the 8th, the division of General Harispe made an attack upon one of our outposts at the village of St Vicente [del Raspeig] in which the 4th & 6th Battalions of the KGL and the Calabrese Free Corps were stationed. The enemy were driven back with some loss, but I am sorry to say that one man of the 4th KGL & 7 of the Calabrese Free Corps were killed and of the latter two officers and 14 privates made prisoners, having attempted to defend themselves in a farmhouse, but surrounded by a large force were compelled to surrender. The Calabrese Free Corps under Major Carey[13] behaved with much bravery and confirms my belief that the utmost reliance may be placed in it.

For some days back the enemy has been gradually collecting cattle & carts and making requisitions to a large amount, particularly of bread & corn which in general the country has been able to comply with, and on the morning of the 17th, the division of General Harispe broke up from its cantonments and now occupies Caudete, [La] Font de la Figuera, Onteniente, St Felippe Abziza. I have pushed on detachments which occupy Monforte [del Cid], Novelda, Biar, Castalla, Tibi, Alcoy, Concentaina, and Jijona, from all the information I have been able to procure, the armies of Soult and Suchet retire from this country. A number [of] men have been employed demolishing the fortifications of Valencia, the heavy ordnance has been removed from the citadel and all the followers of King Joseph from Madrid have been ordered to set out for Zaragoza & Tortosa and it has been said by French officers that the whole army had orders to retire behind the Ebro.

The army is still in excellent health and the different cantonments plentifully supplied with whatever the soldier can require. The few complaints that remain occasioned by the season of the year will soon be got rid of when we shall be complete and fit for action. John Mackenzie, Major General


General Harispe

Alicant October 1812



I shall at all times have much satisfaction to meet your wishes whenever the opportunity offers, holding it a maxim that where duty does not interfere the sentiment of regard I have to you as a soldier and a man of honour ought not to be forgot.

I have detected the person alluded to in your letter and fortunately before his embarkation for England got possession of the sixteen hundred dollars in gold, which he robbed his master of & which the bearer, a British officer will deliver to you or to any person you may please to name for that purpose. Under other circumstance I should have been well pleased to have sent the robber, but on that subject, I make no doubt but you will understand my reasons and not condemn the line I have drawn.

Allow me to entreat that your excellency will interest yourself in the behalf of Captain Shearman[14] who was made prisoner in the affair of the 8th and who has been robbed of his watch and upwards of 200 dollars which I hope is not too late to recover and were it possible to exchange him for any French officer in the manner I mentioned, it would be perfectly gratifying to me. Allow me also to assure you that I remain with high respect and consideration. John Mackenzie, Major General


Right Honourable Lord W Bentinck

Alicant 25 October 1812


My Lord,

Since I had the honour to address your lordship, I was induced by various concurrent circumstances to direct a reconnaissance of the Castle of Denia; and if possible to take it by assault, for which purpose Major General Donkin embarked in HM ship Fame with five companies of the 81st Regiment and the Grenadiers [company] of De Rolls; and I now enclose for your lordship’s information the Major General’s letter to me on that subject. I have much pleasure in stating that he has since his return again, reported to me the distinguished conduct of the detachments placed under his orders.

The village of St Vicente [del Raspeig] in front of and distant five miles from Alicant, was on the 8th instant attacked by a considerable force of cavalry and infantry. I have much satisfaction in reporting the excellent conduct of the detachment entrusted with the defence of the village in which the Calabrese and rifle companies of the German Legion had the principal share. The enemy abandoned his attempt, after the loss of between 30 & 40 men and upwards of 20 horses in St Vicente towards the evening and retired in the direction of Monforte [del Cid], leaving our troops in quiet possession of their cantonment. I am sorry to state that a detachment of one captain, one subaltern and 25 men of the Calabrese, defending themselves in an advanced post in a farmhouse were surrounded and after the loss of one officer wounded and 7 privates killed were forced to surrender to the enemy. I am in hopes to get the officers exchanged for French officers of equal rank, prisoners in Majorca. John Mackenzie, Major General



Memorandum – In cypher by a Spanish messenger

Marquis Wellington

Alicant, 28 October 1812


Your lordship’s letter of 13th October from Villa Toro addressed to Major General Mackenzie was received by me here on the 26th instant. I arrived from Sicily on the 24th by Lord William Bentinck’s orders and have taken the command of the troops here.

In pursuance of your instructions, I am preparing if practical to move from hence. If I move, it will be by land towards Valencia. Suchet is still in force near us, at least 20,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. We have not above 360 cavalry of all sorts fit for service and the best equal only to patrolling. The army is healthy. The enemy is said to have the yellow fever among them and to have many sick at & in the vicinity of Valencia. I shall be careful to ascertain this if this army moves. At present I look to nothing more than a demonstration. Circumstances respecting the defence of Alicant itself ask for immediate attention. British have as yet no hold of the castle or even a gate of the town. I am inclined to be of opinion I cannot under present circumstances venture to move except indeed by embarking at once. I hope however this will not be necessary. WH Clinton, Major General


To His Excellency Brigadier General Don Joachim Caamano, Governor of Alicant

Alicant, 29 October 1812



I have received your excellency’s letter of this date in reply to that I had the honor of addressing to you yesterday relative to the occupying with a British force the castle of this town. Without entering at all into a discussion as to what may have been Lieutenant General Maitland’s[15] opinions relative to the defence of Alicant, and its dependent works, or what may have been agreed upon, between your excellency and that general officer, I must request again to call your attention to the main subject of my letter of yesterday; and that you will allow me to repeat to you, that I consider it to be of the utmost importance that there should be a detachment of British troops in the castle of Alicant. Under these circumstances it is my duty to urge your further serious consideration of the subject; and that I should acquaint you that I am firmly impressed with the opinion that it is essentially and absolutely necessary, both for the good of the cause in which we are engaged, for the safety of His Britannic Majesty’s ships and vessels at anchor in the bay and for the security of the allied troops which I have the honor to command onshore, that the application I have made to you should be complied with, without further hesitation or delay. I trust, therefore, that you will be induced to view this representation in a favourable light, and that you will see the propriety of acceding to my wishes, assured as your excellency may be, that nothing could have induced me to importune you on this subject, but the perfect satisfaction in my mind, that the measure is imperiously necessary; and that it would have been an unpardonable sight & negligence on my part, of the interests of both our countries, to have suffered, an arrangement so palpably expedient (in a military point of view to have remained unnoticed & unattended to. I have the honor &c Wm H Clinton.


To Vice Admiral Hallowell

Alicant, 30 October [1812]


Having received instructions from the Marquess of Wellington to endeavour under certain circumstances pointed out by him to obtain possession with the forces under my command of the town and kingdom of Valencia, I have to request your consideration of some points connected with the supposed move of the army from this place.

I first wish to know whether in your opinion the fleet could take up any anchorage on the coast of Valencia where it could securely attend upon the operations of the army.

2nd Whether in the event of the army entering the province of Valencia and being forced to retreat for the purpose of embarkation without being able to reach Alicant, there is any point on the neighbouring coast to which the march of the army could be directed and when there would be a probability of the troops being able to embark during the approaching season?

3rdly I would ask you whether you coincide in opinion with me in thinking that in the event of the allied force marching from hence (still however necessarily looking to Alicant as a place of safety and for possible embarkation) it is not highly expedient (not to say indispensably necessary) that the castle of St Barbara – I think it is called – should be occupied by a British force so that the garrison should at least be half British & half Spanish troops. I have the honor to be &c WHC[linton]


To B Athy Esq, His Majesty’s Vice Consul

Alicant 31 October 1812



Referring to the letter addressed to you by Mr Duff from Cadiz under date of the 9th October inclusive, in which he states to have sent by desire of Sir Henry Wellesley a quantity of dollars to be paced at the disposal of Lieutenant General Maitland then commanding the troops here, I request you will be pleased to let me have a certified copy of the receipt which was given to you on paying these dollars to government’s account accordingly in which I presume the exact amount has been specified. I have the honour to be Sir, your most obedient servant, WHC


Major General Roche

Alicant 31 October 1812



When I saw you the other day in Alicant you will recollect that I requested you to send me a letter setting forth the grounds upon which you considered that the issue of certain articles of provisions for part of the corps under your command, was indispensably necessary. I must request to remind you of what I then said, that I may have the document by me to which I then advocated in justification of the issue. I have the honour to be WHC


F Daniell Esq, Commissary General[16]

Alicant, 31 October 1812



With the accompanying warrant for fifty thousand dollars, payable to Major General Sandford Whittingham, I send annexed a form of receipt which you will be pleased in issuing the sum to take from the Major General in triplicate, both as a voucher of payment and also as a document to specify upon what grounds this sum is advanced to the Major General and under what circumstances it is to be expended to the credit of the public. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant WHC


Form of the Receipt alluded to in the above.


Alicant 31 October 1812

Received this day from Mr Deputy Commissary General Daniell, the sum of fifty thousand Spanish dollars for the use of the troops of the Spanish division under my command, which sum as appears by His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley’s letter to me bearing date 12 October was intended to have been consigned to me for the use of the troops under my immediate command, but which it would seem was directed through error by H[is] B[ritannic] M[ajesty’s] Consul at Cadiz, Mr Duff, to be handed over to the disposal of Lieutenant General Maitland then commanding at Alicant. I further hereby acknowledge that I received this sum of fifty thousand dollars on account, and that I hold myself responsible to refund the said sum to the British government should it hereafter appear that this money was not intended to be credited to my account; and that the proper document be not obtained for placing the same in my charge & for the purposes to which I am accountable.


His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley KB

Alicant, 31 October 1812



Major General Whittingham having shown me the letter you addressed to him on the 12th of this month which announced to him your having directed 50,000 dollars to be sent him onboard HM Ship Druid[17] for the service of the troops under his command; and having at the same time reported to me that the Druid had arrived by that by some mistake the Consul at Cadiz, Mr Duff had consigned the treasure to Lieutenant General Maitland at that time commanding the troops here, in consequence of which he would experience a very great disappointment in not being able to pay the Spanish troops of his divisions already considerably in arrears; I have not therefore, hesitated to cause and advance to be made from the public purse after seeing your excellency’s letter; and weighing the circumstance from possibly being on this use of – active operations with these troops – when it may be of vital consequence that Major General Whittingham should be able to satisfy all the fair demands his troops have for arrears of pay &c

Nevertheless, as your excellency must be aware that I have taken this responsibility upon myself without any authority to justify the measure; and that I am therefore personally accountable for the issue of this public money for extraneous service. I request your excellency’s particular consideration of the circumstance; and that you will be pleased at the earliest convenient opportunity to cause such explanation to be made of your intention having been that the specific number of dollars which arrived here in the ship Druid were intended to have been consigned to Major General Whittingham, and not to General Maitland, and that I may be justified in the advance of public money which upon the faith of your excellency’s letter, I have caused to be made to the Major General accordingly. I have &c WHC


To Sir Henry Wellesley KB[18]

Alicant 1 November 1812



I have to acquaint your excellency that by direction of His Ex[cellency] Lord Bentinck I am come here from Sicily, and have relieved Major General Mackenzie[19], in the temporary command of the allied force here and in the neighbourhood.

Your excellency I presume, has been some time aware that Lieutenant General Maitland, owing to his ill state of health, had been obliged to return to Sicily.

On my arrival here, I have found the army occupying the same ground, as when Major General Mackenzie wrote to you on [blank]. Many movements in the meantime, had been made by the enemy. Our people have been occupying for their numbers a very extended position. The object of this has been, as long as possible, to feed our two divisions of Spanish troops on the country, to avoid to the last moment to have recourse to our own resources of provisions. Of these there appears to be a tolerable supply in the hands of our commissariat, but should circumstances oblige us to withdraw within the works of, and near this place, the draft upon our magazines would become very considerable; and we must be looking to aid from without. I have been sorry to observe in the character of the governor of this town an indisposition and unwillingness to conciliate and to forward the means that have for their object the good of the cause in which we are engaged. Your excellency will probably hear from other quarters his violent and outrageous attack upon the governor of the province, Don Francis[co] Copons & the junta here. Both my predecessor and myself have kept ourselves clear of any interference with the parties; but it is impossible to see such things transpiring & to observe the general conduct in Don Joachim Caamano without apprehending that were any circumstances to arise which should force a closer intercourse between him & the British commanders here, than there is any necessity for at present, that at least very serious inconvenience, if not absolute impossibility would arise in carrying on the public service with such an impracticable man.

I have been much surprised on arriving here to find that no xxxxxx arrangement had been previously made with the governor for the occupying, with British troops, the Castle of Alicant, which completely commands the town, and all the exterior works; and is at present garrisoned with 1,000 Spanish troops. It struck me to be of such consequence that this work should be held by British troops, more especially when I considered what sort of person I had to deal with in the governor in the town, that I lost no time in addressing myself to Don Joachim Caamano (the governor of the province, Don Copons being in arrest and deprived of all authority) urging the importance of the measure. His reply was a reference to one of the arrangements made between him and General Maitland for the defence of the place & evading the main question by a complimentary speech of there being no necessity for our brave troops to be so employed. In answer to this I observed to him that I did not think it necessary to enter into a discussion of what might have been the plan arranged between him and General Maitland as to other points; but that I must repeat to him that I deemed it of the highest importance that a detachment of British troops were placed in the castle; and I urged his compliance with this request in the strongest terms I could. The governors reply to this (which I received only yesterday) was in substance to state that he could not, consistent with his duty, accede to my wishes, and observing that my request seemed to imply a want of confidence in him, but that I might be assured he would defend the castle to the last extremity, expressing however his firm determination not to come into my proposition.

In consequence of this; and being of opinion that it became necessary, that the governor should be perfectly aware, that it was not meant, to imply any want of confidence in him; and that it was not by my own judgement alone, that I was guided in commending the measure proposed, to be one of expediency. I waited upon him with Admiral Hallowell, who did me the honour to accompany me, together with Major General Mackenzie, Donkin & Whittingham, and Colonel Adam; and I acquainted the governor with my motive for the visit, and before these officers, stated my decided opinion, and expressed their concurrence with me, that the measure, now proposed to him, was one of the greatest consequence, connected with the operations of the allied force, under my command, and with the safety both of it, and of the ships of war &c, acting in cooperation with the army. The governor, on his part, stated that he had applied to General Ellio for orders, upon which I observed that, I had understood (and I appealed to several of those present with me, who asserted that it had been the case that when General O’Donnell[20] had been here, he had placed everything at Lieutenant General Maitland’s disposition. To this, however, the governor only observed, that he was not aware of such having been the case; in short, sir, our interview ended with perfect civility indeed; but upon my repeating to the governor, that I held it to be absolutely necessary, with a view to exterior, as well as interior arrangements, that the British commander here should possess the Castle of Alicant; and that it would be my duty to make the strongest representations, on this head, through a channel, which would reach his government, further warning him that his non-compliance with my proposition interfered already materially with arrangements of great importance & that he must abide by the consequence of the evils, which in my mind, must necessarily arise from his persistency in the time he had taken. The governor coolly replied he was ready to take this responsibility upon himself. I have not time to add more on this subject than to say that in my opinion, the occupying of the castle of Alicant by a British force, is absolutely necessary, and that no movement can be made from hence with safety, in the present state of things, without this hold. Alicant is the only point on this coast to which we can at present look as a depot of stores and provisions, during the approaching season, there can be no security of communication with the sea on the coast of Valencia. Should we be enabled by the retreat of the enemy to follow him in that line – should we move forward and by any reverse to ourselves, or by what might happen westward, a retreat upon this place should become necessary, and that this army should have to occupy this town, and its exterior works, as a defensive position, I am still more firmly of opinion that it is of the last importance, that the Castle of Alicant, should be entrusted to a British force, and that unless it be so, our situation here would become extremely precarious, nor will I be responsible for any disgrace that may befall this army, should events, in such a case, make it necessary to attempt an embarkation, this sir, may be perhaps considered to be an extreme case, nevertheless it is one that must not be lost sight of and I cannot but consider that the Marquis of Wellington must presume that the British force here is in full possession of all the necessary points, when in His Lordship’s dispatch to Lieutenant General Maitland dated the 20 September, he says in reference to this place. ‘It appears to me that as long as you can maintain the Castle of Alicant, and the hill to the south, your communication with the sea would be easy and certain, I should hope therefore, that it would not be impracticable to embark with the whole of the troops after you are of opinion that you can no longer maintain exteriorly your line’.

I shall only beg leave to add then, at this moment we not only have not a soldier in the castle, but that we have not hold of even one of the gates of the town. After saying this, it is not necessary that I should press your excellency’s early consideration of this subject and you will allow me to express a hope that it may not be long before I hear from you.

On the 26th ultimo the day after I landed here, I received a dispatch addressed to Major General Mackenzie from the Marquis of Wellington dated near Burgos the 13th October in substance directing that in the event of the enemy moving into La Mancha the force here should be employed in endeavouring to gain possession of the city and Kingdom of Valencia. Keeping the communication open with the sea, and avoiding the committing the army in a general action, particularly should the enemy be much superior in cavalry. In consequence of this and of the march of Soult towards Madrid. I have been preparing to move from hence, but I have hitherto been prevented from starting (from a position already too much extended for our numbers, and I may say almost without the assistance of cavalry) in consequence of the presence of Suchet, who has been left in his old position of San Felipe, and occupies a strong line with a force stated by reports (I have reason to rely on) to consist of 20,000 infantry; and above 2,000 cavalry, so that, sitting aside all other considerations, relative to this place, the precariousness at this season, of the communication with the fleet from any other point &c, I should not have been able to show myself in a country well adapted for an active cavalry, without exposing myself to immediate insult, to being forced to action with every disadvantage, and with the risk of the destruction of all the Spanish infantry of the two divisions acting with me. Upon the British and German infantry, I could have depended unless assailed by very superior numbers, but without cavalry even these fine fellows could do but little in the field.

We have of all sorts, fit for service about 360 cavalry the greater part of these are fit only for the duty of patrols, or reconnoitring, no dependence could be had on the Spanish cavalry for charging the enemy or covering a formation. 200 British dragoons then, is at this time the efficient cavalry of this army. I am now waiting events: should Suchet retire, or weaken himself so much by detachment as to give me any chance of attracting his attention, by a forward movement without at the same time compromising this little army; I shall move on the line of Valencia; but if he maintains his present position, I can do no more than watch him and endeavour to obtain the best intelligence of his movements & to preserve from the outrages of his light troops and foraging parties, as much of the country in my front as can be effected, without exposing my advanced parties to be cut off. In consequence of the exhausted state of that part of the country on our left, at Elda, Monforte [del Cid] &c and the inexpediency of extending our forces on that side, on also of the malignant fever in that neighbourhood, it has been found necessary to withdraw part of the troops from thence; and this has occasioned also some change in our posts on the right, which with a view to substinence, had been left rather exposed. Our present situation will be our right with a small detachment at Aigues and to the sea at Villajoyosa, our centre parts are at Tibi & in the neighbourhood, and one high by Monforte (as an advance of cavalry) to Eliche. I enclose to your excellency a despatch which arrived last night in the Comis for Marquis Wellington. I wrote to His Lordship by a courier in cypher on the 28th in reply to his dispatch I have alluded to. We know nothing of him of him later than the 15th ultimo when Burgos had not fallen. We have since heard Soult must be near General Hill though reports vary as to the possible line the French general has taken. I have &c WHC


His Excellency General Ballesteros

Alicant 1 November [1812]



Finding the Admiral Sir E Pellew is sending you arms in consequence of a representation made by your excellency some time since to the admiral and general commanding here. I take this opportunity of communicating with your excellency and acquainting you that I have taken upon myself the command of the British and Allied force here in the neighbourhood.

I have requested Lord Frederick Bentinck who is intended to be the bearer of this to endeavour to have a personal interview with your excellency & that with a view to forwarding the service that he should proceed afterwards to Almeria, with as little delay as possible, there to make arrangements for the delivery of the arms should it appear after consulting with your excellency, that is the point, as I understand you to have before proposed, at which the arms can be handed to the troops to whom you are of opinion you can entrust them. Should your excellency have removed too far from Granada to enable Lord F Bentinck to communicate with you, his lordship has directions to return to me here immediately. It then remains with your excellency to acquaint me at what point you can best communicate with me when I shall again make a point of sending an officer of rank to you. Should Lord F B[entinck] be so fortunate to meet your excellency, I request you will entrust to his lordship such dispatches as you may think fit to send to me; and I further request that you will furnish him with such confidential information in respect to your force and means also your intentions as may interest me on points upon which it is extremely desirable in the present state of things I should learn relative to your excellency and Lord Frederick Bentinck communicate to your excellency all information relative to our situation here, also what accounts we have of Lord Wellington’s movements and those of the enemy. I have &c WHC


PS Admiral Hallowell just informs me that on Saturday next the 7 November, the vessel with the arms will sail from hence for Almeria, so that your excellency will be able to make your arrangements with Lord F Bentinck for the move of your force to receive them at that place, accordingly in the event of His Lordship having a personal communication with you &c.


Lieutenant Colonel Prevost, 67th Cartagena

Alicant 1 November 1812



I have first to apprise you that by His Excellency Lord William Bentinck’s directions I have proceeded here for the purpose of taking the command of the allied force in this place and its vicinity. I have next to acquaint you [Urubel?] was in agitation, a few days ago, to have called for the battalion, under your command, for the purpose of bringing it here. In this case it would have been necessary that you still had remained in your present command, the battalion proceeding under that of the Honourable Colonel Acheson[21], with such of the convalescents, as in the opinion of the medical men with you, would have been in condition to have landed, when the period of the quarantine, which would have been exacted, should have expired. The measure heretofore referred to is for the present laid aside, but it is very possible it may be deemed expedient, to adopt it ere long, in the meanwhile, I expect you will let me know what is the exact strength of the British troops with you of every denomination, and also as near as you can that of the Spanish part of the garrison. I have heard with much satisfaction that the sickness at Cartagena is decreasing; I trust the ensuing cold season will drive it all away. We have no accounts of Lord Wellington later than the 15th ultimo, at that time Burgos had not fallen. Much is said of the good appearance of Castanos’s army, he is supposed to have near 30,000 men. The last I hear of General Hill was that he was at Aranjuez. Soult, it is supposed, must be very near him. Be pleased to give the accompanying letter to Colonel Acheson, which you will be so good to tell him, I brought with me from Palermo.

A communication having by my direction been made by the Principal Medical Officer here, to Staff Surgeon Campbell[22], at a time when the move of the battalion under your command, was in agitation; you will please to apprize the staff surgeon, that the measure is at least suspended. At the same time I wish you to inform him that having been desirous of obtaining precise accounts of the state of the sickness among our troops at Cartagena; I have been given to understand that he has omitted to send me such reports and that I therefore desire that he will not fail to do so and thereby comply with the instructions he may have received, from the head of the medical department at this place. I have &c WHC


Lieutenant Colonel Prevost 67th Commanding at Cartagena

Alicant 2 November 1812



Your letter of the 21st ultimo addressed to Major General Mackenzie was delivered to me soon after I landed here. In reply to the subject of it, I have first to express my concern at the very unsatisfactory account you give of the state of the Spanish part of the garrison at Cartagena. In the next place, I have to observe to you that circumstanced as I find myself here, (had I even authority which I have not, for complying with your request) I should hesitate at the present to turn to break in upon the resources I have here, and therefore I can but recommend to you to take the earliest opportunity of addressing yourself to Sir Henry Wellesley, who is the best judge whether any relief can be afforded on this occasion by the British government and from whence such can be furnished or whom interference with the Spanish government to obtain relief for the garrison of Cartagena it may be presumed, will have the greatest weight. I have &c WHC



Alicant 3 November 1812

To His Excellency Brigadier General Don Joachim Caamano Governor of Alicant



Upon reference to Lieutenant General Maitland’s correspondence I observe that a letter was addressed to your excellency on the 14 September on the subject of the defence of this place, and its exterior works. It has occurred to me, it may be considered that, except upon the point to which the correspondence I have lately had with your excellency refers, I am presumed top adopt without deviation, the plan laid down by General Maitland; I take this opportunity of apprizing you therefore that there are some points in which I differ in opinion from the general; and that I consider some further arrangements essential, both for the safety of the place and in order the more effectually to employ the force in and near it, in annoying the enemy, retarding his operations; and preventing him from acting with any hope of speedy success, against our troops in the exterior works. That no time therefore may be lost in considering this subject, I propose to visit, as soon as possible, all the works of the place interior and exterior, and I request the favour of your excellency to give directions, that there may be no hindrance made his people. Yours WHC



To Lord Frederick Bentinck

No. 1

Alicant 4 November 1812


My dear Lord,

I hope this will find you as soon as you reach Almeria and that you will yourself by no means the worse for your excursion. I hope too, that you have been able to see General Ballesteros, and that what you have seen will enable you to make a satisfactory report. Captain Kersteman of the 10th Regiment[23] has been directed to proceed to Almeria with 6,000 stand of arms, and he has further been directed to follow such instructions, respecting the disposal of them, as you may give him. You will be pleased to have it clearly understood by this officer, that he is on no account to land the arms until the Spaniards, to whom General Ballesteros wishes them to be given, actually arrive at Almeria and you will caution him, at all events, to land them even gradually as he can distribute them, for if all are put ashore at once, there will be risk of confusion, or a scramble in delivery, beside which it will be impossible for him in this case, to keep any account of the number of arms distributed, or be sure that they are placed in the hands of those intended to receive them. I presume that General Ballesteros will have appointed proper officers to accompany his people to the seaside to receive them, or our officer will have difficulty in executing the commission with which he is charged. It will be necessary to see that General Ballesteros’s officer or officers, shall be present at the delivery, and that there may be some document showing the due delivery of the arms. You will be pleased to direct the officer having them in charge, to take a receipt for the number he may give out and to report to you immediately on his return what may have been the precise number given out, and if the men should be classed in regiments, then to specify the regiments. If not regimented, then to state how clothed & what description of troops they appear to be. You will please further to instruct the officer that he must be punctual to account for all the chests or packages in which the arms are packed (if so secured) stating in the report to you what number there may be, and giving the same in charge of the master of the vessel in which he may be embarked, from whom he is to take an acknowledgement for the number of chests or packages so delivered to him. I am my dear Lord, Every Obediently Yours, WHC


Since writing the above I find from Admiral Hallowell that Sir Edward Pellew mentions the having sent accoutrements also with the 6,000 stand of arms for General Ballesteros’s use, you will be pleased therefore to take these into account in the instructions you may give to Captain Henderson[24].



Governor of Cartagena

Alicant 5 November 1812



I have many excuses to offer to your Excellency for not having sooner replied to the letter you addressed on the 21st ultimo to the officer commanding H[is] B[ritannic] M[ajesty’s] troops here. I had but just landed and assumed the command here, when your letter came and I have since been so much taken up with business, that although I can assure your excellency that I have not been unheedful of the interesting subject, to which you refer and that I had even fully intended to have written to you, by the same opportunity as that in which I wrote to the officer commanding the British troops at Cartagena, I was so much hurried by attention to occurrences here at the time that I could not get my letter for your excellency ready. Your excellency will have heard from Lieutenant Colonel Prevost that it is out of my power to attend to the representation you thought proper to make to me & I grieve to say that I can only repeat, what I have already observed to the lieutenant colonel. I have requested that officer however, to send me a return of your numbers when I shall be glad to consider what possibility there may be of providing for some temporary conveyance to meet present circumstances, although I can by no means hold out a certainty to you of my being able to effect anything, and your excellency will permit me in the meantime earnestly to recommend to you that you take every opportunity of writing to Cadiz; and that you should even communicated with General Ballesteros who, though he may not have the means of relieving your wants, may be instrumental in procuring in what you require upon the government, by pressing a speedy decision upon your representations. I should mention to your excellency that His Excellency Don Francisco Copons, the Captain General, wrote to me soon after I came on shore here, most earnestly and particularly stating to me the situation of the troops & garrison under your command & upon this subject (as I could have the advantage of seeing him here). I answered him verbally, in substance what I since have said to the commander of the British troops at Cartagena. I have &c WHC


Alicant 6 November 1812

His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley



I avail myself of the opportunity of a vessel going to Gibraltar to address myself again to your excellency to state to you that we are without any further accounts either from the Marquis of Wellington or General Hill. Of the enemy we hear that Soult’s whole corps is assembled at or near Ocana, and intelligence upon which it is said, reliance may be placed, makes it probable that Suchet has moved with the greater part of his force from this neighbourhood towards Requena with the view and is supposed to join Soult. He has however left a cavalry now superior to anything we have and although the officer commanding in Suchet’s absence, may not chuse to risk action he can, should I move forward, mark all the movements of the French he has with him, and were I to venture to any distance from Alicant, he might I apprehend, without any risk to himself, by a raid move, cut off my supplies & force me to get back as well as I could. However should no intelligence in the meanwhile, reach me to induce me to change my plan, it is my present intention to tryt the effect of a forward movement and if the enemy should retire I shall endeavour to push my right on towards the Xucar at the same time as long as he keeps the 12 or 1500 cavalry near me which I understand him to have, I shall be unable to move into the open country without the risk of being forced to action against a great superiority of that arm, which the Marquis of Wellington has particularly directed to be avoided. I have since I set off my last dispatch to your excellency, made another made another application to the governor relative to the Castle of Alicant, he must look to himself for the consequence; and with the concurrence of Admiral Hallowell I have further stated to him that neither the admiral or I will be responsible for any disaster that may happen to this place if a British garrison be not suffered to occupy the castle. To this I have as yet received no reply; but from all I can learn, the governor has no intention of departing from the determination he has made. There are two battalions of Spanish troops not attached either to General Whittingham or to General Roche’s corps; over these I have no command. Should any favourable circumstances arise to carry us forward, I should apprehend that at least one of these battalions might be actually employed in the field. Even in this event, I am clear that the British ought to hold the castle, 250 of such men, who are not equal, to long marches and fatigue, would be ample. I am the more induced to recommend this, because all reports agree that Valencia is rendered as a military post untenable; and that as long as this little army is acting thus detached; and is liable to be called on to embark at the shortest notice, Alicant must be held for this purpose. At this season of the year there is no dependence for embarkation from any part of the coast of Valencia north of Cape de la Voa. I herewith transmit a duplicate of the letter I wrote to your excellency of the 1st instant having to request you will allow me to correct the error of a word – compromise having been written instead of the word commit in the latter part of the letter when adverting to what I proposed to do should Suchet retire. I have sent Lord Frederick Bentinck to endeavour to communicate with General Ballesteros for whom Sir Edward Pellew has sent 6,000 stand of arms. We know not exactly where the general is; Lord Frederick is gone to Granada. The officer commanding at Cartagena writes me word that the Spanish garrison there is in a wretched state for the want of supplies of every kind. I have apprized Colonel Prevost I cannot afford wherewithal from hence. I have the honour &c WHC



To Lord Frederick Bentinck,

Alicant 7 November 1812


My dear Lord,

Just as the ship was preparing to proceed with my letter to you of yesterday’s date, herewith transmitted, I received such extraordinary intelligence relative to General Ballesteros, as induced me to ask the admiral for some delay in forwarding my dispatches. It was stated to me that on it being announced to General Ballesteros, that the Marquis of Wellington was to be or was actually, Captain General of the kingdom, the general in a most public, and most indecorous manner, had resigned his command, declared his determination not to serve under the Marquis and the intelligence further went to show that in consequence of this refusal, on the part of General Ballesteros and of the very improper means in which it had been made, the supreme government at Cadiz had caused the general to be arrested. I understand that some part of this intelligence has been published in the Grenada Gazette; I therefore apprehend there hardly can be a doubt of the authenticity of it, as I must presume, if you have been on the spot & have actually seen General Ballesteros, that you cannot be uninformed or unaware of such an extraordinary event. You will please to consider my letter no.1 before referred to, as cancelled and you will instruct Captain Kersteman (to whose charge you will perceive by that letter the arms have been consigned) that he is to return here and to join his battalion; you on your part communicating all these circumstances to Captain Bathurst (of Hellship fame[25]) which ship I understand Admiral Hallowell intends to send to Almeria on this occasion. On the other hand, should your lordship have undoubted reasons for knowing that the intelligence this letter contains relative to General Ballesteros, is an absolute fabrication and that you have good cause for being assured that General Ballesteros is in command of the army, as he was presumed to be when you were dispatched from hence and that he is acting heartily in co-operation with the Marquis of Wellington and by no means objecting to acknowledge His Lordship in the high command reported to have been bestowed on him by the Spanish government, further that you may have arranged measures with General Ballesteros for the march of his men to Almeria for the purpose of receiving the arms mentioned in my letter no.1. You will in that case please to act according to the instructions therein contained. I have the honour &c WHC


Private and Confidential

Alicant 8 November

Vice Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Bart


Dear Sir Edward,

I have to offer you my best thanks and acknowledgements for the favour of your letter of the 1st of this month. I feel perfectly convinced of the sincerity of the offer you are pleased to make of your services in our favour here, and should circumstances arise to call forth those services, I have the fullest confidence on the hearty assistance I should receive from you and from every individual under your command. The manner in which you are so obliging as to express yourself on this occasion is most flattering and encouraging to me, I have already experienced every possible attention from Admiral Hallowell although I had not the pleasure of his previous acquaintance, I feel as assured of his cordial cooperation with me, as had I known him all my life.

With respect to my situation here it is not the most promising. Soon after I landed I received instructions from Lord Wellington to endeavour to make myself master of the city and province of Valencia, should the enemy march, into La Mancha; at the same time I was cautioned not to risk an action, especially against superior cavalry. Upon this I prepared to move but I felt, decidedly of opinion that unless I could advance into the country it was of no avail to stir from hence merely by way of making no show of advancing, a plan which the enemy could not but penetrate, and could answer no good end, while it exposed me to be affronted and to be obliged to retire if not with loss of men, at least with the certainty of the enemy gaining credit by forcing us back to our present position. When however I found Suchet had actually moved, which I first ascertained on the 3rd of this month, I had the intention of taking a forward position, and trying the ground in my front. The enemy still having a great superiority of cavalry, in the meanwhile we have received such accounts from the west, as shown Lord Wellington’s plan of operations to have been entirely broken in upon, and yesterday I learnt that Suchet who had marched with 10,000 men had returned to Valencia, and that his army was again coming back to that city, and to the position of San Felippe, which of course puts all movement of my little army out of the question. This force according to the best accounts I can get, amounts to about 20,000 infantry and near 3,000 cavalry, part of the latter excellent. To this I can oppose, 13,000 of all arms, of these near 8,000 are Spaniards, and 360 cavalry of all sorts, of these 200 only are British. In short sir, I have nothing more than what is absolutely necessary to employ in patrolling. I think (should there be any reverse to us in the west, that Suchet will draw the line as close about us as he can, nor do I see what can prevent him from driving us in near the walls of this place. By this he will gain in part a country comparatively plentiful, while he will distress us to feed the hungry Spaniards & to provide for the maintenance here, or by forcing them elsewhere, of a very numerous civil population. As far as we are concerned, I have no apprehension we have plenty for some time, but imagine we have been here above 2 months & as yet not only we have not hold of the castle or the key to the other works, but we have not a single gate of the city. My predecessor had agreed with the Governor Don Caamano in case of attack, that he was to occupy the interior positions, the governor defending the castle and walls of the town, with his raw Spanish troops. In vain I have endeavoured to obtain possession of the castle for British troops, the governor has positively refused me the possession. At length I have told him with Admiral Hallowell’s concurrence that we will not take any responsibility for what may happen, if a British force is not placed in the commanding point, and that he must look to himself, should the British commander think it prudent under such circumstances, to abandon Alicant, to the means he may have defending the place. Thus matters rest at present, you must I think see the awkward situation in which we are placed here, and now without the means of receiving instructions from Lord Wellington. I have not time to say more now, than that the army is healthy, and I trust likely to continue so. I am WHC


To Sir Henry Wellesley at night

Alicant, 8 November [1812]



In addition to what I said to your excellency in my letter of the 6th, I have now to apprize you that we have accounts of General Hill as late as the 30th ultimo; and that in consequence of the Marquis of Wellington’s orders he was retiring on the Escurial. We hear too that General Ellio was near Cuenca on the 2nd of this month; and yesterday undoubted intelligence was received that Suchet who had marched the end of last month, had returned himself on the 3rd October to Valencia and his troops (10,000) were following him; and this evening I hear that he has strongly reinforced his advanced posts at Albayd and Ontimente and threatens an attack on Alcoy, where we have a corps of Spaniards of General Whittingham’s Division. The colonel commanding has orders to retire (if attacked in force) as the object in holding that remote post, has been subsistence for the troops. I am inclined however to think that the French will not confine their advance to Alcoy, but that they will now endeavour to drive us within our position here. Suchet knows how necessary the country we have occupied has been to us and that it must seriously distress us to force these Spanish corps back on Alicant. Unless the supreme government suspect our intentions, they ought to give us any hold of the place we can want, together with the disposal of the Spanish troops in the garrison; there will be no going on without such control. Since writing my letter of the 6th to your excellency, I have another from the governor of Cartagena, Don Francesco Oriabi, date 4th November, in which he describes the state of his garrison (about 3,500 men) to be most deplorable, that he had subsistence for 4 or 5 days only, that bread was the only article remaining; that for the last three months the men had had, only bread and 6 quarter per diem, stating therefore but once in the 24 hours; that in this state he was waiting supplies, from the supreme government. In consequence of this, in the hope that the supreme government will see the necessity of causing some relief to be sent without delay; and that at such a moment of distress, the British government will approve of the measure that the officer commanding the allied forces here should under such pressing circumstances afford some temporary relief to the Spanish garrison at Cartagena. I propose therefore to enquire whether it may not be possible to spare without the risk of encroaching on our own supplies, about ten days of a scanty return of biscuit with some salt fish (which can be purchased here) and also a small quantity of oil. It will be satisfactory to me to hear that your excellency is of opinion, that this measure is one of expediency, your excellency being aware that that I am expected to have an eye to Cartagena, that any success against our army in Castile, though even only temporary, may induce Suchet to make an attempt on Cathagena, informed as no doubt he is of its distress. Since writing my dispatch of the 6th instant, I have also heard of the extraordinary conduct of General Ballesteros[26] and Lord Frederick Bentinck[27] writes me word on the 3rd from Almeria that he had heard of the circumstance on landing of course, the army intended to be sent to General Ballesteros will not be delivered but will be received for other services connected with this army. I have the honour WHC


To the Right Honourable Earl Bathurst[28]

Alicant, 9 November 1812


My Lord,

On my arrival here from Sicily on the 24th ultimo, I took the command of the forces, Lieutenant General Maitland having some time previously returned in bad health to Sicily, leaving Major General Mackenzie in the temporary command. I have now the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship’s letter, addressed to Lieutenant General Maitland and dated the 9th September transmitting for his information the copy of a letter from your lordship to Lord Wellington, on the subject of the expedition placed under the Lieutenant General’s command. The contents of these papers I have attentively read & with the other dispatch transmitted by your lordship to Lieutenant General Maitland, I shall be prepared to act accordingly. Since the general’s letter of the 19th September nothing of moment has occurred here. On the 8th of last month indeed the enemy made a strong reconnaissance, he brought a considerable body of cavalry with him & evidently meaning to ascertain what was our force in that arm, previous to the intended move towards Madrid; Major General Mackenzie who then commanded the British force obliged the French General Harispe to retire & he lost some men killed and wounded in the affair. On our side there was about 20 men killed, wounded & missing, chiefly belonging to the Calabrian Corps of whose conduct on the occasion Major General Mackenzie speaks in high terms. Soon after I landed, I received an order from the Marquis Wellington to endeavour to make myself master of the city & kingdom of Valencia should the enemy march into La Mancha & be able to move without risking action with very superior numbers, especially of cavalry; I prepared to move accordingly, but until the 3rd of this month I had reason to suppose Suchet still present in my front, with 20,000 infantry and about 2,000 cavalry; and when on the 6th I was prepared for a start, in consequence of the presumed march of Suchet, with a considerable corps in the direction of Requena. I received undoubted intelligence that Suchet had returned to Valencia, followed by the 10,000 men with whom he had moved westward the latter end of last month. I am thus reduced to a mere defensive; but if Suchet is obliged to keep 20,000 men to watch the force I have here, this defensive warfare cannot be said to be useless; and should he detach in force, I shall endeavour to be prepared to avail myself of any fair opportunity there may be of annoying the enemy without risking this little army against superior numbers. With the force constituted however as that I have, is all enterprize is forbidden me. I have about 13,000 of all arms, of these near 8,000 are Spaniards, of the divisions of Generals Whittingham and Roche; and my total of cavalry is 360; 200 of which only are what may be called British and of these about 120 of the 20th Light Dragoons & 70 of a foreign troop attached to that regiment, principally Germans. I am thus particular in my statement, that your lordship may be aware that if this little army does not act with all the enterprize that might be expected of it, the total want of cavalry is the grand cause. Most of the country leading to the enemy is one, in which cavalry can act. He has a numerous body, and from the reports made to me, great part of it is excellent. I have endeavoured to apprize Lord Wellington of this circumstance, but at present all communication except by sea, is cut off with him. With respect to our prospects here, should Suchet be able to move forward in sufficient force, I do not see how I can prevent him from occupying the open country in our front and towards Murcia, into which country (certainly unexhausted) he will soon have no fear of entering, the sickness having nearly subsided. In this case we must abandon all that part of the country on our right and front extending towards Alcoy, upon which our Spanish troops for the last two months have been subsisting; and they will be necessarily thrown upon our commissariat, which will increase our consumption of provisions to at least as much again, as at present. This evil will certainly be distressing to us, and must be looked to, and in the long sun, should it not be in Lord Wellington’s power to open the country to us, the expense of the maintenance of this army must become enormous. I do not apprehend the French will attempt a siege – that would be an immense operation and would require numbers far beyond Suchet’s present force. I think the former of these cases is much more to be apprehended – there is a monstrous population here at present, owing to refugees from the country. Of these, in case of siege, I would in great measure get rid; and indeed of all the inhabitants not able to subsist themselves, but if only blockaded at a distance, there would be some difficulty, in getting this population out of the way. Another circumstance, too I shall shortly mention to your lordship, which is that having found on arrival here, that the castle of this town, was still garrisoned by Spanish troops; and that we have not possession of even one gate of the place, it appears to me that occupying of the castle with a British force was absolutely necessary, I lost no time therefore in applying to the governor here for the admission of some of the troops. This has, however, been refused, and though Admiral Hallowell has remonstrated with me, both in person and by letter. The governor declines to attend to any representation, I apprehend that in case of matters coming to extremity, this would be of great moment to us. I have therefore written most particularly, to Sir Henry Wellesley on the subject, and as far as I could bring the subject before Lord Wellington in a cyphered letter (sent in the smallest compass I could manage) I submitted the circumstance to him in one I wrote to him on the 20th ultimo.

I take this opportunity of forwarding to your lordship the proceedings of an investigation I directed to be made here a few days since which seems to deserve some consideration. I have reason for believing that the sale of arms, accoutrements and cloathing, has been carrying on here and elsewhere in a most shameful degree. It has not been possible as yet, to bring the direct charge home to any individual, but I would beg to submit to your lordship, from what has transpired, whether if certain articles sent out here for the Spaniards are really not wanted by them, it may not be expedient that other articles should be substituted in England, and the exchange not left to the control and direction of any individual here, and I would further submit to you that I apprehend a considerable saving would be made to the public and the service essentially benefitted. Were there a respectable individual appointed (a military man) who should have the whole control and management of the many concerns of these corps of troops; and who, with proper persons under him, should see to the close distribution of the several articles of clothing and accoutrements (of which he should keep a regular account) further at such times, as it might be deemed expedient to appoint, muster the corps and ascertain that there be no extravagant or insurmountable distribution of the public stores. I an inclined to think that were such an arrangement deemed proper to be made, the officers themselves who might be at the head of these corps, would find themselves relieved from a great deal of embarrassing business and responsibility, while the public would still have a right to look to them as being agreeable for the efficiency of their respective corps & that the public interests in the general formation & character of the troops they undertake to form shall not be forgotten. I have the honour &c WHC.


Copy of a letter from His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley KB, His Majesty’s Ambassador extant at Cadiz, to Major General Clinton, in reply to the Major General’s letter of 31 October 1812

Cadiz 9 November 1812



In reply to your letter of the 31st instant, I have the honour to inform you that the 50,000 dollars sent on board the Druid was intended for the pay of the corps under the command of General Whittingham and that it was entirely owing to a mistake in the Consul’s Office that that sum was consigned to General Maitland. I have … H Wellesley



Messieurs Moore & Co.

Alicant 10 November 1812



I have received your letter of yesterday’s date with certain papers enclosed herewith returned to you, upon the subject of which I can only say, that I apprehend there will be no questions arising in England, as to the due discounting by the Lords Commisioners of His Majesty’s Treasury, of the bills drawn by Mr Commissary General Burgmann[29] & negotiated here by Mr Daniell the Deputy Commissary General to the Army serving under the command of Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck. I have &c HWC


F Daniell Esquire, Deputy Commissary General

Alicant 10 November 1812



I have to request that you will cause rations for 10 days for 4,000 men of the following articles, namely of biscuit, salt fish & oil in the proportion per man as in the margin, to be shipped onboard the Tranby transport and consigned to be placed at the disposal of Lieutenant Colonel Prevost, commanding the British troops at Cartagena, for the issue of which provisions from the public stores, this shall be your voucher.

I have likewise to request that you will cause 13,000 pounds weight of flour to be issued & to be at the disposal of the Admiral Hallowell, for the use of the crews of His Majesty’s ships under his command, for the issuing of which to the admiral, this shall be your voucher. I have &c WHC


B Athy Esquire, Alicant

Alicant 11 November [1812]



I have just received your letter, of this date, relative to a certain number of hard dollars in your hands, which I understand to be public money and which you offer to pay to my order. In reply to which, I have to request that whatever sum of public money you may have in your possession, of which you may have considered to be payable to Lieutenant General Maitland, had he been present & commanding His Majesty’s force here. You may now hand over to Mr Deputy Commissary General Daniell, for the purpose of being at the disposal of the officer commanding the British forces here and in the vicinity, in aid of public expenditure, taking the Deputy Commissary General’s receipt for the same, which shall be your voucher. I have the honour &c WHC


Francis Daniell Esquire Deputy Commissary General

11 November [1812]



I have just received a letter from Mr Vice Consul Athy of this place, acquainting me that he has a certain number of hard dollars in his possession; which I understand to be public money and which Mr Athy offers to pay to my order. In consequence of this I have requested that whatever public money Mr Athy may have in his hands which he considers to have been made payable to Lieutenant General Maitland when commanding the British forces here & to have been at his disposal for the use of the troops here, may be forthwith paid to you on account of and to be at the disposal of, the officer commanding the British Majesty’s forces here for the time being, you giving him a receipt for the amount accordingly as his voucher. I have to request therefore that you will take measures for receiving this money & placing it to the credit of the public, granting Mr Athy the necessary acknowledgement and all those whom may concern of the precise sum received & for which you will thus become accountable. I have &c WHC


Lieutenant Colonel Prevost 67 Foot Cartagena

Alicant 11 November 1812



I take the opportunity of a vessel being ordered to proceed to Cartagena, whenever a convoy can be provided, to refer to your letter & enclosures of the 4th of this month. I am sorry to observe what you say as to the few effectives you have at present with you but I trust that in a few weeks, hence your force will be again fit for duty. I was also sorry to see that part of the extract you sent me from General Cooke which mentions the death of some old family of mine. The account of the state of Cartagena as to health is satisfactory, but I regret to see that so much time had elapsed from the date of your last letter on the subject & that no relief had been received from the Spanish government for their troops in the garrison. With your letter I received one from His Excellency the governor Oriarti, and as it appears from it; and the statements you have twice made to me that the distress is likely to be very great. I have taken upon myself, on this occasion, therefore to direct a ration of biscuit, of saltfish & of oil for 10 days for 4,000 souls to be sent to Cartagena by the same conveyance as this goes by, which articles will be consigned to you for the use of the Spanish troops of the garrison. I have at the same time written to the governor and have told him that you will be desired to hand over to His Excellency these provisions which you will be pleased to do, accordingly taking his acknowledgement for the articles of provisions thus forwarded to him; and acquainting His Excellency that this is meant as a temporary relief; and in the full confidence that before the period for which these provisions are intended to last, shall have expired, the supreme government at Cadiz will have taken effectual means for providing for the necessities of his brave garrison, and at all events that he will husband these resources (trifling as they may appear to be) as it is not at all probable it will be in my power or that I shall be warranted in affording to His Excellency any further supply.  I have desired Dr Brown[30] to communicate with the principal medical officer at Cartagena on the subject of his letters & relative to medicines wanting. You will be pleased by the first opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of this letter. I have &c WHC


His Excellency the Governor of Cartagena, Don Francisco Oriarti

Alicant 11 November 1812


I have been much concerned to read the very distressing statement made by your excellency in your letter of the 4th of this month, related to the wants of the Spanish troops composing part of the garrison of Cartagena. In the letter I addressed to your excellency on the 5th I acquainted you that when I should be made aware of the number of your garrison I should be glad to consider how far it might be possible to contribute some temporary relief under the very pressing circumstances in which your excellency stated yourself to be in respect of the subsistence of the troops under your command since that time circumstances have occurred to enable me to set apart from our supplies ten days rations of biscuit for 4,000 souls; and I have taken upon myself to direct the officer at the head of our commissary department here to purchase or provide a quantity of salt fish & oil, also for 4,000 men for 10 days. These articles I shall request the British admiral here to be pleased to forward to Cartagena. They will be consigned to Lieutenant Colonel Prevost & he will be directed to hand them over to your excellency for the use of the Spanish troops under your command, your excellency giving him acknowledgement for the receipt thereof. The ration 1lb biscuit, 8 ounces salt fish and one ounce gil per man has been calculated in proportion as per margin. In sending you this supply (trifling as it may appear to your excellency to be) I must request to observe that I take this entirely upon myself in consequence of the evident exigency of circumstances as represented by your excellency & corroborated by Lieutenant Colonel Prevost who bears strong testimony to the exertions your excellency has made to provide for the maintenance of your brave garrison. At the same time I must request to add that I trust your excellency will take the most effectual measures for drawing the prompt attention of your government to the necessitous state of the garrison of Cartagena, and that no circumstance will arise to induce a question in future of recourse being had to the source from whom the supply is now afforded as not only is it improbable that there will be the means of making any further issue on such amount; but also that the measure could not be considered warrantable or justifiable in future without special authority from the British government or by the formal act of its ambassador or His Excellency the Marquis of Wellington officially communicated to the officer having the control of such issues of provisions. I have… WHC


Francis Daniell Esq, Deputy Commissary General

Alicant 11 November 1812



Referring to my letter of the 21st of October, transmitting to you a warrant for the payment to Major General Sandford Whittingham of 50,000 dollars, upon a receipt to be handed to you by the general, conformable to the tenor of one then transmitted to you; I now forward to you a certificate copy of a letter I have received from Sir H Wellesley HM Ambassador at Cadiz in explanation of a mistake which had arisen in the consignency of the dollars in the first instance and I request you will be pleased to deposit this letter, together with the certified copy of that from Sir H Wellesley to me with the receipt furnished to you by Major General Whittingham as further documents to show the regularity of the transaction on the issue of that public money from our military chest to Major General S Whittingham. WHC Major General


To His Excellency Brigadier General Don Joao Caamano, Governor of Alicant

Alicant, 13 November 1812



I have received your excellency’s letter of the 10th of this month in reply to those I had the honour to address to you on the 3rd and I take the opportunity of expressing my thanks to you for several papers you have sent to me conformably to the request I then made to you.

I observe what your excellency never says relative to the Castle of Santa Barbara in reply to what I had submitted to your consideration and I am sorry to see that you still continue to dissent to the proposition then made to you that the castle should be occupied by British troops.

I now address myself to you at a most critical moment when the allied force under my command is under orders to march & that part of it will probably move in the course of tomorrow, my object being to put myself in communication with General Ellio. Your excellency knows the general position. Before I march however, I express to your excellency, that I consider it to be absolutely necessary, that part of my troops shall previously be put in possession of the Castle of Santa Barbara. I don’t think that I am called upon to state specific reasons for the measures I think right to procure. They are conversant with the orders of the Marquis of Wellington, Duc of Ciudad Rodrigo, I must presume that he well knows, what is likely to be most conducive to the success of the plan he has conceived. It is upon these grounds then that I keep the consideration of the subject on your excellency.



Captain Codrington HMS Blake

Alicant 14 November 1812



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo, with its enclosures. At the same time a dispatch was detained [sic] to me, which I understand to be from you to the Marquis of Wellington, which I took the opportunity of the Bustard brig proceeding to England to forward under cover to Sir H Wellesley, the communication by land with Lord Wellington from hence being no longer safe and very circuitous. I have the honour &c WHC


To the Governor of Alicant

16 November 1812



Requesting to refer your excellency to the correspondence  which has passed with His Excellency Don J Caamano on the subject of  a British garrison being admitted into the Castle of Santa Barbara, I take the current opportunity of writing to Your Excellency on your appointment to command in Alicante to acquaint you that I have this day received a dispatch from Sir H Wellesley H. B. M. Ambassador  to the Spanish government dated Cadiz 10th of this month, in which his excellency acquaints me that the representation I had felt it my duty to make to him, that the Castle of Santa Barbara  should be occupied by British troops had been assented to on an application made to that effect by him, on the part of the Spanish government & that an authority would be expedited to sanction the measure accordingly. Under these circumstances I address myself to your Excellency and in the full confidence, that Your Excellency will feel yourself justified in acceding to the wishes I have the honour to impart to you, I would suggest to you, that I may in consequence be allowed to send a detachment of British troops into and to occupy the castle of Santa Barbara tomorrow afternoon by three o’clock, your excellency making such distribution of the Spanish force  now in the castle, as may appear most expedient to you, with a view to the  general defence of Alicant and the works in its vicinity, WHC


Sir Edward Pellew Bart.,

Alicant 17 November 1812


Dear Sir Edward,

I presume that Admiral Hallowell will communicate to you the information generally that such are here since writing to you. On the 8th, we remained undisturbed in our position here, until the day before yesterday, when the enemy pushed on a corps of 2,000 infantry, 200 cavalry & 2 pieces of artillery  and drove in our post at Alcoy, a town we occupied merely for the convenience of supplies for the Spanish troops. A detachment of General Whittingham’s Division occupied the place & retired as directed to the heights of St Anton, 9 miles in the rear. The enemy did not attempt to pursue. I have not yet heard what has been our loss, but I understand it does not exceed 20. The enemy left Alcoy again yesterday morning. I had thought that this was a general movement, but I cannot discover that it was connected with anything else. I think nothing can well be worse off than we are in this army for information. At this moment I cannot speak to any certainty whether Suchet is or is not in Valencia.

A report has reached us today that he is gone with a force to the northward; but this report is Lyna, means confirmed. It may be correct however, for it is now three days, that except as what has passed at Alcoy. I know naught of the enemy  in my front, the officer I sent to General Ellio (to confirm with him) on the 11th has not yet returned, I am hourly expecting him & upon his report, I shall hope to be able to come to some decision for a plan of operations to be concerted between us. Composed however as this little army is; with so large a proportion of Spaniards, part of whom (General Roche’s Division) may be called from us by General Ellio (or any Spanish officer senior to Roche) and day.  And considering how completely unprovided with cavalry I am; I shall be obliged to be very circumspect as to how this army can be employed in cooperation with that of General Ellio.

The late events to the westward may cause a great alteration in Lord Wellington’s view in respect to the issue here & at the same time that I must not lose sight of the possibility of a sudden order for embarkation for Sicily, it behoves me also to calculate on what the Marquis of Wellington may direct under particular circumstances to be effected, not aware to his future operations. In the meantime we are ready for moving at a moment’s warning. Admiral Hallowell will have mentioned to you, that I have received a satisfactory dispatch from Cadiz on the subject of the castle here being occupied by British troops. We are just going to march a detachment in. I feel myself much indebted to Admiral Hallowell for his promptitude in getting my dispatch off to Sir H Wellesley, by whose interference with the Spanish government this point has been carried. WHC


To Sir Henry Wellesley

Alicant, 17 November 1812



Mr Lepper acquaints me that he is going to send an express off to Cadiz, I would not therefore lose the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your Excellency’s letter of the 10th, which arrived here yesterday in the Rainbow sloop of war[31], as however I do not consider the conveyance to be altogether safe, I forebear to say more than that the contents of your Excellency’s dispatch are very satisfactory and that they [allow me] to offer your excellency my thanks both for the early consideration you gave to the subject submitted to you in my letter from hence of the 1st of the month and also for the very obliging terms in which your excellency’s letter is expressed. I hope in a few days to have an opportunity of writing to you more fully. Things remain here nearly as when I last wrote to your excellency on the 8th by the Bustard[32] then sailing for England, except that the enemy have attacked & entered Alcoy, which they have absolutely sacked and then abandoned again. WHC M General



Major General Roche

Alicant 17 November 1812]



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to Major General Donkin, dated yesterday at 10 am.

I likewise acknowledge your letter to me also of yesterdays date sent off at 5 pm, which came to hand this morning.

I shall be glad to hear more from you on the subject of the intelligence contained in your letter & I wish you when you write to state whether your information is derived from a source on which reasonable dependence as to main points may be had.

I trust you also so nearly as you can to ascertain what is passing at Mogente & La Font de la Figuera. WHC



Major General Whittingham

Alicant, 18 November 1812



I have received your letter of yesterday’s date enclosing Colonel Campbell’s report of the affair at Alcoy and expressing your sense of the good conduct of the colonels, officers & the troops on the occasion. I have read with attention and with much satisfaction the detail of the operations which Colonel Campbell appears so judiciously to have directed the business has been very creditable to him and all those concerned with him. I have thought that so much good management and conduct on the part of Colonel Campbell and the officers acting under him & such steadiness, good discipline & cool bravery as seems to have been evinced by the Spanish soldiers on the occasion, deserves as much notoriety & credit as it is in my power to bestow, I have therefore promulgated the opinion I have been induced to form of the affair in the general orders of this day.

In addition to this I request that you will be pleased to take an opportunity of making it known to Colonel Campbell in the manner you may think most satisfactory to him. My approbation of his conduct & that I have not failed to remark the very handsome manner in which he speaks of Major Monet, Deputy Assistant to Jos Ferrano and under other officers acting under his command on the occasion. WHC


Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant 18 November 1812


I have desired Major General Donkin to write to you by this opportunity to acquaint you, what has occurred on the side of Alcoy, you must be on the alert. At the same time I do not imagine that the enemy will attempt anything, with the force he is yesterday supposed to have had at Alcoy (about 2,000 infantry and 300 cavalry) in the difficult ground between Alcoy and Jijona.

Nevertheless I consider your post at Aldia to be exposed and I have desired it to be withdrawn. Embarkation at this season is uncertain, we must not depend on that. The admiral as a measure of precaution has sent the means of taking you off should you be hard pressed, but nothing but the last necessity should induce you to think of embarking any part of your force. You will be pleased to send me direct any intelligence you may receive of the movements or intentions of the enemy, requesting whenever you do transmit such, whether you have good grounds for supposing the information may be relied on. We ought to have had some warning of the move in force against Alcoy. WH Clinton Major General


To General Campbell, Gibraltar

Alicant, 18 November 1812


My dear General,

I have to offer you my best thanks for your letter acknowledging the one sent to you on the 1st of the month. I have also to thank you for securing the quick conveyance of my dispatch to Sir Henry Wellesley, who has acted most promptly. A detachment of the 81st occupied the castle of Santa Barbara last night, so that business is settled. I am still where I was, the enemy drove in my post at Alcoy, which has been occupied for near 2 months by a detachment of General Whittingham’s Division, for the convenience of subsistence. He came with such a superior force that the handful of Spaniards could not resist. However, they disputed 3 miles of ground with him above four hours. We lost between 30 & 40 on the occasion. The circumstance of his being the attacked have prevented us from finding out what has been his loss; but the people of Alcoy tell us near 100. He remained in Alcoy 13 hours, but he completely sacked the unfortunate place. I cannot discover what the enemy are about, reports are so various & our information so abominably faulty. In this country we ought to have the best intelligence, but the contrary is the fact; while I have but two good reasons for thinking that he knows all we do, or talk of doing. We hear no more of General Hill and since the 9th, I have no further accounts from General Ellio then at Albacete, I am expecting hourly an officer I sent to him on the 11th instant, when he returns I shall be able to judge what can be done conformably to what I understand to be Lord Wellington’s views with respect to us here and with a more always to avoiding the committing ourselves in any general affair against any great superiority of numbers. Lord F Bentinck who I told you had been with Ballesteros’s headquarters, has returned here, having seen the 1st Division of that army at Jaen on its march towards Alcara & he speaks in favourable terms of it. All the other divisions (2) are likewise in march to join General Ellio at or near Alicant. These will be large numbers collected, the question will be, whether the Spanish general has abilities to manage such a body; I find he is well spoken of. WHC



His Excellency Don Louis Requelme & Governor of Alicant

Alicant, 18 November 1812



I have many excuses to make to your excellency for not having immediately acknowledged the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date. I now request to be permitted to correct a misstatement which in the hurry of business I made in that I addressed to your excellency on the 16th on the subject of a detachment of British troops occupying the Castle of Santat Barbara. I find on referring again to His Excellency Sir H Wellesley’s dispatch to me, that I was not correct in the expression I made use of in the letter I addressed to your excellency that the Spanish government had absolutely assented to the British troops being placed in the Castle of Alicant. But that I should more properly have said that from the communication made to me by His Excellency on the subject, there was every reason for supposing that the measure was assented to by the government & that its sanction could be forwarded accordingly.

Under any circumstances I should have been desirous of forwarding this statement to Your Excellency, but to Your Excellency personally, since it more particularly, from having experienced every possible attention from you since you have been at the head of the government & from your having testified to me and towards all those serving with me, that generous confidence which ought always to exist between allies, a confidence which Your Excellency may be assured is not ill founded or misplaced HWC.



To His Excellency Sir H Wellesley

Headquarters, Alicant 18 November 1812


The Rainbow sloop of war brought me your excellency’s dispatch of the 10th of this month and its enclosure the day before yesterday. I beg leave to offer my acknowledgements to your excellency for the ready attention you [have] been pleased to pay to the subjects of my letters of the 31st inst & 1st inst. It has been very satisfactory indeed to have obtained leave for garrisoning the castle here with British troops, to which measure I found Brigadier General Requelme the acting governor perfectly disposed to accede, as soon as I named the subject to him. I have lost no time in availing myself of the permission, a British detachment having occupied it yesterday evening.

I thank your excellency for the communication of the accounts from the Marquis Wellington. I had hear here by means of General Ellio of General Hill so late as the 3rd at the Escurial, but as our communication must now be considered to be cut off, I shall be obliged to Your Excellency for any information you may be so good as to forward to me relating to the Marquis’ or General Hill’s movements which cannot fail to be most interesting to us here.

In the letter I wrote to Your Excellency on the 4th I acquainted you of the probability of my making a forward move. In that of the 8th I apprized you of the return to Valencia of Suchet and his army, with which he had marched on the line of Madrid; this induced me to pause and the same reason has operated with me in inducing me to remain in the position in which I found the army on my arrival here.

With a view however to entering upon a more active scene I have sent an officer to General Ellio, who since the 9th of this month I understand to be at Albacete to ascertain certain points of information with him, it being my intention on this officer’s return, if it shall appear advisable to advance my left for the purpose of assuring direct and easy communication with the Spanish General and to be enabled to act in cooperation with him at once against the enemy in Valencia, should General Ellio be in a state to advance and to undertake anything that may appear likely to prove advantageous to the common cause, bearing always in mind that I must not risk the loss of my  communication with this place and that composed as the army is, which I have the honour to command, I must not put myself in a situation to be exposed by a great force of cavalry as I apprehend, it would not be deemed proper or expedient that I should entirely depend on that which General Ellio may have with him, should he even place a part of it at my absolute disposal.

On Sunday last the 15th, the enemy advanced with about 3,000 infantry & 300 cavalry and four pieces of cannon towards Alcoy. A detachment of Major General Whittingham’s division of Spanish troops behaved extremely well in retarding the movements of the enemy. His numbers however nearly ten to one obliged the Spaniards (to retire and according to orders not to defend the town, with a view if possible to prevent it from pillage) the detachment fell back 3 miles in the rear of the place and were not pursued. We have lost between 30 and 40 men in this affair. I imagined this had been combined with some other attack, but the enemy has not yet shown himself at any other point. I cannot send you any information relative to the enemy movements or as to his probable strength opposite to us in which I can depend. We are wretchedly off for information. Uncertain when his letter may reach your excellency as the ship that takes it from hence does not go direct to Gibraltar. I shall say no more at present than that I shall bear in mind what your excellency says relative to the provisions of the Spanish troops attached to this army and that I shall as much as possible guard against their intruding upon our resources, having however to observe to your excellency that if we continue here and are actively engaged in the field, the garrisoning of these troops must be looked to or from the almost the exhausted state of the country, they will become an ineffective force.

On the other head, if forced to a defensive, within the exterior lines of this place as there would be then no means of obtaining rations from the country, they must be subsisted by us. Might it not be expedient to consign a certain quantity of provisions to the officer commanding the allied force here and be put in depot in the Island of Tabarca[33], or elsewhere, with an understanding with such officer that it should remain untouched for the use of the Spanish troops attached to this army in case of necessity. I have the honour to be &c WHC


To Marquis Wellesley

Alicant, 20 November 1812


I have the honour to acquaint your lordship that General Ellio has assembled his army in the neighbourhood of Alicant, where also he will be joined by the 22nd or 23rd instant, by the army lately commanded by General Ballesteros.

An officer whom I sent to confer with General Ellio, on the general’s invitation to form some plan of operation to be acted on by his and by the allied forces here, tells me that the general has not above 9,000 men, a great part of whom from the want of clothing & being badly provisioned are in a wretched state. The officer saw also the Second Division of the 4th Army, of which he speaks more favourably, for the tete [head] of this last army, 3,000 firelocks have been delivered at Almeria. As I understand General Ellio’s Corps will be advanced by tomorrow on the enemy right and threatening his rear (though at a comfortable distance from him) and that General Villacampa[34] will also be near the Guadalaria (as General Ellio tells me) I propose to place myself in nearer communication with General Ellio and for this purpose, the whole British force will be assembled at and near Monforte [del Cid] about 14 miles from hence by the 22nd instant. The corps of General Roche about 3,000 men be also in the neighbourhood at Elche and Aspe. I hope tomorrow to meet General Ellio at Elda.

I understood that he proposes to move upon the enemy’s right and rear and that he presumes on his retiring in consequence from his posts at  Fuente de Figuera  [La Font de la Figuera], Antenuale and some other places in our front, in which case he wishes me to move on. I do not think his approach will have this effect, and if it does, unless he gives me an efficient body of cavalry, it will not be safe for me to show my force against such a superiority in this arm, as the enemy possesses.

I understand however that General Ellio does mean to send a corps of cavalry to me to act with this army and if so, your lordship may rest assured, I shall do all in my power to meet what I conceive to be your lordship’s views with respect to the employment of the British and allied force in this quarter.

Should General Ellio not be called for to act in another quarter, which he seems now to expect, it is my intention to propose to him to avoid the committing himself in the field against Suchet’s army, but rather to hover upon his flank and rear, endeavour to cut off his supplies, if he advances upon him to retire, and as Suchet retires from him to go up to him again – to keep him in constant alarm, but never to give the enemy prize of him, and above all things not to venture to measure himself with him in an attack of position. I am inclined to think that could we but once establish this sort of warfare, Suchet would be much annoyed by it, and had we anything to be able attached to us in this way of cavalry, the force here might in that case be kept actively and usefully employed. I have the satisfaction to acquaint your lordship that owing to the interference of his excellency Sir Henry Wellesley an order has been obtained for the garrisoning of the castle of Alicant with a British force and I have accordingly occupied it with all the men of this army who would not march well, a detachment of artillery not intended to move from hence and by the corps of artificers. I have the honour to be, my lord &c WH Clinton Major General



His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley Bart, Cadiz

Headquarters Alicant 20 November 1812



Having detached an officer from the staff of the army for the purpose of communicating with General Ellio, commanding the 2nd & 3rd Armies of Spain, and at the same time of collecting information and reporting upon the general state of the country. I think it incumbent in me to submit to your excellency the following short statement of its present situation.

Captain D’Aguilar Assistant Adjutant General, has travelled through the whole of Murcia and a considerable part of La Mancha, both which provinces he has found in a situation equally necessitous and distressing. The march of the French army under Marshal Soult through these districts has laid them waste completely and such has been the insatiable spirit of requisition which has practised, that the peasantry are literally without grain to sow their fields for the ensuing year. Under these circumstances it has occurred to Admiral Hallowell & myself as an act worthy of the generosity of the British nation, as well as conducive to the future subsistence and comfort of the allied armies in this quarter to purchase a cargo of grain from the nearest port and distribute it in such proportions as shall be recommended by General Ellio and the authorities of the wasted districts, and shall be found most calculated to answer the intended effect.

The expense likely to be incurred is computed at from twenty to five and twenty thousand dollars. It is with this view I address this letter to your excellency soliciting your sanction & authority for an act, which however persuaded I may be of its beneficial consequences (considered as well in a political as a military point of view) I do not feel warranted in my own person to give effect to without your approbation. As the season is advancing I request the favour of your immediate reply & have the honour to be &c WH Clinton, Major General



Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant 20 November 1812


I have this morning received your letter of yesterday’s date. I must refuse the discussion of it generally till I shall see you. In the meantime having to acquaint you, that the movement I have called upon you to make to the left is part of the one in progress with a view to ulterior operations against the enemy. You will see that there can be no change now made in that prosecuted for the corps under your command. WH Clinton Major General


Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant 20 November 1812


Your letter dated Villajoyosa at 4 o’clock pm of this date, reached me an hour ago. To a letter you addressed to me yesterday on the subject of your remaining in your then quarters, I replied this morning. I wish circumstances would have enabled me to consider the representation you have made, but arrangements intimately connected with what is going on or in agitation, make it necessary that no change should now be made in the instructions transmitted to you. WH Clinton Major General


His Excellency Colonel Copons

Headquarters Alicant 24 November 1812


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of yesterday’s date and return you my thanks for the communication. At the same time, I beg to assure you that I am sorry any circumstances should have occurred to occasion a change in your excellency’s intention, being opinion (notwithstanding I have the honour only of so slight an acquaintance) that it would have been your excellency’s endeavour to have promoted that good understanding & confidence with the British forces and their commander here, which is so essential to the cause in which our respective nations are contending and which it would have been my study to have maintained with your excellency on every occasion.

I beg leave to add that I hope the active situation to which your excellency is called, will be as agreeable to your wishes, as I doubt not, it will be advantageous to the publick. I have the honour to be, your excellency &c WH Clinton Major General


His Excellency General Compigny Marquis

Alicant 25 November 1812


A proposal having been made by the French General Marshal Suchet for the exchange of two British officers of the army under my command, who were taken prisoners a short time since, for two French officers of equal rank, (whose names I have the honour to enclose) and who are supposed to be within the limits of your excellency’s command, I have no hesitation in applying to your excellency for their immediate release in the perfect conviction that your excellency will feel pleasure, in having an opportunity of returning from captivity two British officers who have lost their liberty in the defence of the Spanish nation  and the cause in which we are engaged.

The first of these officers is assuredly within the Balearic Isles, and we are inclined to believe the second is there likewise. If this is not the case, another name will be given in on the part of the French General instantly. In the meantime I have to request (if your excellency has the goodness to comply with my request), that no opportunity may be lost of forwarding the one gentleman to Alicant by the first vessel of war proceeding to these quarters, the captain of which I have no doubt will readily take charge of them on being duly acquainted with this application. I have the honour to be &c WH Clinton Major General


Names of the officers

Monsieur Coulomb Captaine 108 Regiment, ex Lieutenant 67 Regiment, prisonier a Majorca depuis un an

Monsieur Coole Desnoyck Capitaine de l’Armee du Midi, fait prisonier desarmement[35] a Seville


Mr Daniel Esquire Assistant Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant, 25 November 1812


I am desired by Major General Clinton to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date and in reply, to acquaint you, that having taken into consideration the prices of the several rations of forage submitted to him as well as the peculiar situation of the muleteers & their attendant expenses as set forth in the said letter. He is of opinion that a reasonable degree of liberality may be extended to these people, with a due regard at the same time to the economy of the publick service and that the deduction of only four reals in the first two instances and of 2/17 in the third may be permitted agreeably to your suggestions.

You will be pleased therefore to order these deductions to take place accordingly. I have the honour to be George D’Aguillar, Adjutant General, Military Secretary


Alicant 26 November 1812

To Sir Edward Pellew


Since writing to you on the 17th of the month I have seen General Ellio, who comes here from Albacete on the 20th. On the morning of that day I had moved a corps to Monforte which I had intended on the following day to have brought to whole of the force I had in the immediate vicinity of Alicant to the same point and had posted the Spanish Division of General Roche at Elche that I might have been perfectly ready to have acted in concert with General Ellio, should such have appeared to him a practicable measure after meeting him, as then hoped on the 21st at Elda.

I was the more induced to make this forward movement because I had reason to hope that by the 20th General Ellio’s army would have been in sufficient force on the right flank of the enemy to have caused him some harassing and that he might have been induced to have withdrawn his force from La Font de la Figuera and other places in my front, when I might have moved on to Villena and got into close communication with General Ellio’s army and might have drawn to the 500 cavalry, which it was proposed to have lent to me to have acted under my immediate orders. However, General Ellio’s arrival at Alicant caused a change in all their arrangements. In a conversation I had with him on the 20th I found that two divisions (late Ballesteros’s) on which he had reckoned in the plan of operations he had wished me to consider, had been halted at Alcaraz, that he now did not know what part or if any of the 4th Army would be placed under his command, moreover, that very possibly, the army immediately under his orders, might be directed to take the route of La Mancha, with a view to watch the motions of the enemy, some of whose divisions might be marching on that line. In short the result was that I found it requisite to suspend all further move on our part, had General Ellio further having expressed his decided opinion that any movement made by this army, with a view to cooperation with his force, then should be deferred till he had assembled his army, and had approached nearer to the enemy, that he did not see the utility of an advance to Monforte but that in his opinion we should for the present be much better where we had been near Alicant. I therefore was induced to order back the corps which had marched to Monforte.

General Ellio left this yesterday morning on his return to Alicant. He has promised to communicate all intelligence received from Lord Wellington’s army or elsewhere as soon as possible and should he have the means, to act hostilely and in close cooperation with the force here. It has been unfortunate that the French surprized a post of cavalry of General Ellio’s at Yecla a few night’s ago and from all I have heard though their numbers are considerable, say 2,000, the Spanish general’s cavalry are in a sad state and it would be impossible to feel any confidence in them. Had I even 500 effective British cavalry, I could, be keeping them well in hand, and with the fine infantry I have here, move towards the enemy and still avoid committing myself in a general action. At present I repeat to you, that if I go into the open country, he can force me to return when and where he pleases, while were I even to obtain any chance success, it would not be possible to push my advantage, unprovided as I am with cavalry. We have no later accounts from Lord Wellington than the 3rd November, then at Tordecillas. In our front, things remain as before. The enemy gives out that he is marching on this place but I do not believe it. Should he do so, I think he may repent it, as there is wherewithal here to meet any infantry he can bring and by manoeuvre his cavalry may be avoided, should he nearly approach this place. It is a great advantage to have got possession of the castle. WHC



Lieutenant Colonel Prevost, commanding Cartagena

Headquarters Alicant, 27 November 1812


I am favoured with your letter of the 21st instant and am pleased to understand such beneficial effects have arisen from the supply of provisions I was enabled to forward to the governor of Cartagena.

I regret to find the troops under your command are liable to such severe relapses of the disease, from which they have already so much suffered.

Ignorant as I am of the local at Cartagena I cannot undertake to counsel at this distance what measures are the most advisable to adopt in your situation. Whatever I should say on this subject would probably have been intercepted by yourself, but I am strongly inclined to recommend the removal of the troops from their present position to some other part of the city or the defences, which as the disease is no longer endemical would probably assist in promoting their recovery in as much as it would be removing them from the original seat of the contagion.

This measure is of course to be considered as purely temporary and founded upon the supposition that the original position might be reoccupied without difficulty or loss of time whenever the exigencies of the service required. I beg to thank you for your communication respecting Burgos and have the honour to be &c WH Clinton


PS A courier came in last night from Madrid, which without bringing me any official letters affords the following intelligence from private communications.

Bassecourt’s cavalry still at Madrid, his infantry at Alcala. The enemy from the Puerto de Guadarama to Arevalo. The allied army between Alba de Tormes & Salamanca 18 November 1812.


Major General Campbell

Malta 27 November 1812


Captain Fenton 37th Regiment[36] who was in General Orders some months since as one of my aide de camps, having joined me. I request he may appear on the Returns as with me and with the same leave of absence. Captain Molloy 27th was with me for the time, until Captain Fenton should arrive. F Maitland Lieutenant General.



To His Excellency General Ellio

Headquarters, Alicant, 30 November 1812


I received last night between Eleven & Midnight the letter of your excellency sent to me bearing date the 27th. I thank you for the information it contains. I regret that your excellency is not able to follow up the move you suggested, and which I have reason to think would have before this proved of such advantage. I still hope you may yet be able to realize your plan.

I shall be prepared to take advantage of circumstances as they may occur in favour of the object we have in view. The admiral request me to acquaint your excellency that Lieutenant Colonel Puys will be sent to his destination in a man of war, which will possibly leave this tomorrow evening. I have sent the letter enclosed in your excellency’s letter to Madame Ellio by Captain D’Aguilar[37]. WH Clinton Major General


Major General Campbell, Alicant

His Majesty’s Ship Caledonia[38], Port Mahon, 30 November 1812


Michael Smith, servant of a surgeon embarked in the transport No 251, took a boat here to go on board, the evening before they sailed.

The boatman took advantage of his being drunk, knocked him down, robbed and threw him overboard, but his cries being heard from the Edinburgh[39] he was picked up, the boat pursued and the [would be] assassin taken.

It is necessary to have deposition taken at Alicant to bring him to punishment. I request you will cause such to be made before the chief magistrate or first military authority, to be forwarded to me the first opportunity. Ed Pellew



His Excellency H Wellesley

Alicant, 30 November 1812


I avail myself of a Spanish ship of war going as I am informed direct to Cadiz, to address myself to your excellency.

In my letter of the 18th of this month which was dispatched on the Rainbow, then proceeding to Gibraltar, I acknowledged the receipt of your Excellency’s letter of the 10th and I expressed my acknowledgements to you for the ready attention you had shown of my former letter, thence I now request to repeat to your excellency. I acquainted you likewise with the acquiessence on the part of the Deputy Governor here, Brigadier General Requelme that the Castle of Santa Barbara should be occupied by a British garrison. I now request to call your excellency’s attention to this subject and Brigadier General Requelme having urged me to submit to your excellency the circumstance of his having complied with my wish in respect to the castle, without any absolute sanction or authority from his government, and farther, that it is of great importance to him, that his conduct on this occasion, be approved and that he be, able if necessary to produce such approval, I am therefore induced to ask of your excellency that you will be pleased to intercede with the Spanish government accordingly and I feel the man desirous to obtain this satisfactory document for Major General Requelme, having experienced from him, from the moment of his appointment to the situation, every possible attention and accommodating in all his communications it has been necessary to have with him, either personally or by means of others.

In my letter before referred to, I acquainted your excellency of my having sent an officer for the purpose of communicating with General Ellio. Since then this officer is returned and on the 20th General Ellio himself arrived at Alicant. I should mention to your excellency that on finding from communications previously made by the general, that his army as well as the 4th would be assembled at no great distance from Albacete by or about the 20th instant and that he proposed to move towards Suchet’s corps in a conjunct operation with the allied force here. I had determined to advance the left of the army here that I might the more easily communicate with General Ellio and concert measures with him for the employment of our force combined against the enemy. With this view, part of the army had already occupied Monforte about 16 miles from hence.

On the general’s arrival at Alicant however, I had a conversation with him and I was sorry to learn, from him not only that he could no longer reckon upon any part of the 4th Army (some of the divisions  having been ordered to halt in their progress to join him) but that he did not even feel himself at liberty at this moment to undertake any operation with the 2nd and 3rd Armies immediately under his command. So that the proposed move against Suchet was thus suspended, if not (as far at least as the cooperation of General Ellio is concerned) & set aside altogether.

On the 25th General Ellio left this on his return to Albacete, and there appearing to me, as well as to General Ellio, that there was no manner of use in the advance of the British force to Monforte, I called back the detachment I had sent them and the army returned its original position.

In this state. Things remain at present. From all the information I have been able to obtain (which is scanty indeed) but which in this respect at least agrees with what General Ellio tells me, he has collected, the enemy was at present, from 14 to 15,000 troops of all arms on this side the Xerxes of which 1,500 at least are stated to be cavalry. It is presumed that in an emergency from Valencia Requena  and he could collect 5,000 more to oppose any attack made on him from hence. Against such a force I could not cope single handed, and if I should enter the country in front of my line of out posts (already far advanced towards the enemy) I must expose myself either to be brought to return by a very superior cavalry, or I must immediately return to my present situation, which I cannot but think would have a worse effect than any possible advantage I can perceive as likely to be gained by such a move which must be too evident to our wary enemy to be viewed in any other light, than what it would in fact be, a mere demonstration.

I sincerely hope that favourable circumstances may arise to put us in activity or that at least General Ellio (who seems to be an active, enterprising and intelligent officer) may be enabled to employ a sufficient number of troops as that combined with the allied force here, we might not with some probability of success against Suchet. In which case, I am inclined to think that Lord Wellington’s object in driving the French from Valencia might yet be accomplished before the winter shall have elapsed.

As your excellency may imagine, we are looking most anxiously for accounts of the Marquis Wellington of whom we know nothing for certain since your excellency’s letter of the 10th instant. We have indeed reports through Madrid of as late a date as the 21st when it was understood the allied army was nearly in presence of the French, but that as late as the 16th there had been no action. I have the honour to be WH Clinton Major General


Answered by Lieutenant Colonel Prevost in a letter dated 28 November, in which he appears to have anticipated as much as lay in his power Major General Clinton’s suggestions.


Duke Requeno Governor of Alicant

30 November 1812



I am under the necessity of representing to your excellency that there are three officers of rank in the army under my command that are in want of quarters.

The first is the Deputy Adjutant General, the second the officer commanding the artillery. These officers do possess quarters, but the quarters are very bad & very ill suited to their rank. The third is a lieutenant colonel in HM service, who has arrived here lately and is entirely unprovided with a lodging of any kind.

I am induced to address your excellency on this subject in person, well aware of your excellency’s kindness and requesting that you will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements without delay. WH Clinton Major General


Colonel Torrens

Alicant 2 December 1812


In forwarding the resignation of Lieutenant Reid of the 81st Regiment[40] which I request you to lay before HRH the Commander in Chief in order that it may be submitted to the Prince Regent for HRH acceptance. I have at the same time to represent to you, for the Commander in Chief’s information, that under the circumstances of this officer being at such a distance from home and of the delay and consequent expense at which he must necessarily be in returning to England from hence (opportunity so seldom occurring of vessels going there direct). I have caused an advance to be made to him of three month’s pay from the 25th of this month of which I shall trust that HRH will be graciously pleased to approve and that HRH will be further pleased to obtain HRH the Prince Regent’s consent, that the resignation of this officer, be not considered as having taken effect until the 25th of March next, to which the advance pay as Lieutenant in the 81st Regiment has been granted to Lieutenant Reid. WH Clinton Major General


His excellency the Duke del Parque commanding 4th Army

Alicant, 2 December 1812


I have to acknowledge the receipt of the letter your excellency addressed to Lieutenant General Maitland whom I have succeeded in the temporary command of the allied force here. I have to express to you my acknowledgements for the very handsome manner in which you express yourself both in your letter and in the message delivered to me by the officer your excellency entrusted it to.

In all probability the force here which has this day been considerably augmented and which probably in the course of a few days more will be still further increased, will fall under the command of another officer, His Excellency Lord William Bentinck being expected here, to assume the command, in the meanwhile, your excellency may be assured that I shall have much pleasure in communicating to you  any intelligence that may appear to me either interesting or expedient that you should be informed of, and I shall rely on your excellency having the goodness to transmit to me any important intelligence that your excellency may receive from any quarter, more particularly from the Marquis Wellington of whose situation, we know nothing here at present later than the 1st of last month. WH Clinton, Major General


PS I take this opportunity of informing your excellency in pursuance of a request made by General Ballesteros for a supply of arms to complete a part of this army which was unprovided, 3,000 stand were provided and landed at Almeria where they were given over to an officer appointed by General Versues to receive them on the 26th November.


Alicant, 3rd December 1812

To His Excellency General Ellio


I lose no time in informing your excellency that we have been joined yesterday by a considerable reinforcement, from Sicily and that we look forward to the still further increase of our force very shortly. I cannot in this letter enter into particulars but I am happy to inform your excellency, that we are expecting with every probability the arrival of His Excellency Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck who will in that case assume the command of this army and direct its future operations.

In the meantime I venture to request that your excellency will continue on every occasion your communications, satisfied as I am that you will find his lordship on his arrival possessed of every favourable disposition to the cause in which we are engaged that your excellency could desire. I beg to assure your excellency of my respect and confidence in you. I have the honour to be, WH Clinton, Major General


PS I beg leave to notice to your excellency that I have omitted to mention to you that Major General Campbell[41] is arrived here in command of the reinforcement and I submit to your excellency that any future communication you may have to make previous to the arrival of Lord William Bentinck should be addressed to Major General Campbell who now commands the allied force here.


2PS At the moment of closing this dispatch I am favoured with your excellency’s letter of the 1st instant, the contents of which I have communicated to Major General Campbell, who begs me to say, that he looks forward to further accounts from your excellency, both with regard to your own movements as well as the retreat of the enemy, and that he shall hold the force here in perfect readiness to sound your views and to avail itself of every favourable opportunity that may present itself for promoting the public advantage. WH Clinton Major General


To Don Louis Requeleme, Governor of Alicant

Alicant, 3 December 1812


I have the honour to apprize your excellency that a considerable reinforcement of British and allied troops have arrived in the roadstead under the command of Major General Campbell, and that with your permission it is proposed to land them this morning, from whence they will proceed to the quarter allotted to them in the vicinity of this place. I take this opportunity of acquainting your excellency of a further reinforcement of troops maybe we long expected under the command of His Excellency Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck and as a very considerable addition of staff officers have preceded him and will arrive with him who must necessarily be in the first instance at least at Alicant, your excellency will, I trust see the expediency of giving directions that suitable quarters may on application be provided for such officers, the inconvenience to which this city may be put to on the occasion, having if I may be allowed to express an opinion of probably short duration I have to apologize to your excellency that an earlier communication on these subjects was not made to your excellency, which I trust will be accounted for and excused by your excellency on the score of a multiplicity of business having occupied me until too late yesterday to enable me to make such communication. WH Clinton Major General


The Marquis of Wellington

Alicant, 3 December 1812


Your lordship will find by the receipt of the letter from Major General Campbell, that accompanies this, that he has arrived here from Sicily with a considerable reinforcement and has taken the command of the allied force here and in the vicinity. On the 20th ultimo I had the honour to address your lordship via Gibraltar and Cadiz, in which letter I acquainted your lordship of the state of things generally here and what had occurred here, I wrote to your lordship on the 28 October.

In the hope that these letters will long ere this, have found their way to your lordship, I shall say no more by this rather intense opportunity, than that no change has taken place since I forwarded my cyphered letter to your lordship on the 28th October to enable me to act on the provisional instructions contained in your communication bearing date the 13th of that month. All the information received of the enemy’s force, inducing me to believe that he has all along maintained his great superiority of cavalry and that he has moreover had a considerable body of infantry under Suchet on this side of the Huescar with the power of bringing together in case of emergency, 5,000 more from his other garrisons and posts in Valencia.

In concluding my communications with your lordship as no longer commander of the allied force here, I cannot but express a hope that your lordship, on a due consideration of all the circumstances attending this army and the temporary command I have held of it, will find satisfactory grounds for approving the defensive measures which I have considered it my duty to pursue. I have the honour to be WH Clinton Major General


To Sir H Wellesley

Alicant 3 December 1812


I use the freedom of forwarding under your excellency’s cover a letter addressed to Marquis Wellington left open for your perusal and to be conveyed to His Lordship by such means as you may desire the best and most expedient.

To this enclosure I refer your excellency for further particulars and have the honour to be J Campbell, Major General.


Marquis Wellington

3 December 1812


I deem it incumbent in me to forward to you this, Sir Henry Wellesley at Cadiz which has been recommended to me as the most safe and speedy channel of conveyance to your lordship intelligence of my arrival at this place yesterday from Sicily with a reinforcement consisting of the corps named in the margin, but to guard against accident and for reasons will were easily suggest themselves to your lordship, I do not state their numbers.

I am fully in hopes to hear that that Lord William Bentinck has by this time embarked for this coast, bringing with him two more corps of our allies, who were not prepared to move when the force accompanying me hither, took its departure.

I find nothing so material at this place as to make it necessary for me to enter into any more particular detail, leaving it to Major General Clinton who has been for some weeks on the spot, to state any such occurrences as he conceives may prove interesting to your lordship.

I find the army here assembled, though respectable in every other view, to be merely incapable of any useful or effectual exertion, from its very inadequate means of encountering the superior cavalry of the enemy in a country which is represented to me as peculiarly adapted to that arm.

Under all these circumstance I have only to await your lordship’s commands and until Lord William Bentinck shall arrive to express myself anxious & ready as senior officer to avail myself of any favourable circumstances which may here occur, or that may be taken advantage of in forwarding the common causes. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency General Compigny commanding the Balearic Isles

Alicant 5 December 1812


I request to refer your excellency to a letter I had the honour of addressing to you on the 25th ultimo, relative to the release of two French officers prisoners named in the margin[42], and are supposed to be within the limits of your excellency’s command, in the island of Majorca or Ivica [Ibiza] with a view to their being permitted to be exchanged for two British officers belonging to the allied army in the vicinity of this place. An opportunity offering direct for Majorca I request your excellency will allow me to renew my application and that the vessel (which takes this letter to your excellency) may be suffered to receive on board the two French officers before named, the first of whom there is every reason to believe is within the Balearic islands, the other thought to be there also. For this purpose, application has been made to Admiral Hallowell commanding H[is] B[ritannic] M[ajesty’s] ships in this station who has given directions that these two persons or either of them, that may be forthcoming may be received on board as soon as your excellency shall have expressed your consent, it being very advisable that the exchange to which the French Marshal Suchet has agreed should be completed with as little delay as possible.

I take this opportunity of apprizing your excellency that Major General Campbell arrived here on the 2nd of this month with a considerable reinforcement of troops and that we are hourly expecting His Excellency Lord William Bentinck with a further reinforcement. Of the motions of Lord Wellington or the armies of Soult & Massena we know nothing except by report. But by accounts from Madrid of the 26th there was reason for supposing that the enemy had been checked in his progress, though nothing official had been heard there. The cavalry of Empecinado was watching the movements of the enemy at Arevalo. I have the honour to be &c WH Clinton Major General


Colonel Torrens

Alicante 6 December 1812


I herewith transmit to you the resignation of Lieutenant Tabouillot of the regiment of Dillon, which I request you will be pleased to lay before His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief in order that the case may be submitted to the Prince Regent, for His Royal Highness’s approbation and acceptance.

At the same time I request that you will submit to the Commander in Chief the accompanying letter addressed by Lieutenant Tabouillot to the commanding officer of his regiment, having on my part and in behalf of the lieutenant to solicit His Royal Highness’s gracious consideration of the prayer it contains, and that in consequence of the length of service of this officer, and of his having been wounded during the period, he may be allowed to retire with the half pay of his rank. WH Clinton Major General


His Excellency General Ellio

7 December 1812


I have had the honour to receive your excellency’s letter of the 3rd of the present month addressed to Major General Clinton and beg to express my proper sense of the clear and distinct detail of the objects your excellency has in view and with which you have favoured me.

Having now ascertained your excellency’s situation I shall lose no time in acting upon & aiding them by such movements of the force for the present under my orders, as you have suggested, trusting that it may prove beneficial to your exertions and at the same time never losing sight of the instructions I have received from my immediate superiors and necessarily dependent on the means in my power in a country so much impoverished as we at present occupy, both of provisions itself as well as of the requisites for its conveyance, the which your excellency is no doubt fully aware of.

At the same time I cannot but express to your excellency my great regret that in execution of the plan, your excellency appears to have in view, and the arrangements you may have made in consequence, that you have not been enabled to avail yourself of the preference, at least if not the entire co-operation of the 4th Army which I was given to understand by Major General Clinton, it was intended in the original plan of operations proposed by your excellency to have actively employed on the occasion in conjunction with the army immediately under your excellency’s orders.

I have paid due attention to the communication your excellency has made me regarding the detached corps of General Freire towards [Carrer] Montalegre and other places you have named and shall not fail to acquaint that officer with any important occurrence or undertaking in this direction.

We have no intelligence we can with certainty rely upon but various reports are received by us of the enemy being in motion at his post in this side the Heucar and apparently undecided as to what point to direct himself, no doubt occasioned by your movement and his uncertainty as to its objects and combinations. I sincerely pray your excellency may have all the success you so evidently merit. It would appear presumptuous for me to offer anything like advice on the practise of caution to an officer of your judgement & ability, more particularly when I reflect upon my own inexperience of this kingdom and the many essential matters dependent thereon. I am only prompted to hint at this subject by my earnest wish to witness the furtherance of the anxious object of our respective governments, namely the deliverance of Spain and the honour of its arms. Campbell, Major General


General Ellio

7 December 1812


In this separate dispatch I acquaint your excellency that about 40 Spanish soldiers now enrolled in the British Army at this place and vicinity having indicated a wish to serve in the same ranks with their own country men and to unite with them their exertions in the service of their sovereign, I have taken it upon myself most readily to acquiesce in their desire as I am well aware in doing so I meet the intentions of His Britanick Majesty’s government. These men have served as faithfully and well and were therein our forces in the course of the numberless events and changes inseparable from warfare.

Should your excellency be disposed to accede to the wishes of these brave men, to join their brothers in arms serving under your orders, I request you will signify to me your pleasure as to the method and the time of their being conveyed to you. J Campbell Major General


Earl Bathurst

Head quarters Alicant, 8 December 1812


My Lord,

Major General Clinton has reported to your lordship the position & other particulars of the British force at this place down to the 9th ultimo and I am now to acquaint you that having been detached from Sicily by Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck in charge of an additional body of troops with which I reached Alicant on the 2nd instant. The command for the present and (until Lord William Bentinck shall assume it in person), which I very speedily look for, has devolved upon me.

The changes which have ensued and the important operations which have taken place in other parts of the peninsula, no doubt occupy entirely the attention of Marquis Wellington, in so much that this division has received no orders or communications from his lordship since the 13th of October when his lordship was before Burgos, and it is my intention, under these circumstances, and viewing the undecided posture of concerns where the larger armies are operating to abide by the circumspect and cautious line of conduct adopted by my predecessors in the charge of this division of his majesty’s troops being fully apprized of the consequences which government attaches to the conservation of it unbroken for the service and security of Sicily and such other important objects as may present themselves in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, though so recently arrived and as yet but partially acquainted with the country and its real situation, I venture to offer my opinion that the troops here mentioned, in conjunction with the Spanish corps under General Ellio on the borders of Murcia & near Castille have afforded sufficient jealousy and alarm to Marshal Suchet commanding the French troops in Aragon and Catalonia & Valencia to prevent any possibility of his detaching to reinforce the army’s of Soult and Massena in their continued movement towards Marquis Wellington.

Though no pains or expense is spared to procure the best information and intelligence of the enemy’s force and positions. I regret to say we have no positive knowledge which can be relied on with any confidence, unless it be regarding such French corps as are posted in this side the River Heucar from St Felippe by Albaida and Mogente to [La] Font de la Figuera and even these accounts are very frequently fluctuating and contradictory. I lean to the opinion however that in Sicily sufficient credit was not given to Marshal Suchet on the score of strength and shall do my endeavour to procure the best account I can of his actual force to accompany this letter.

The manifest advantage, he decidedly possesses in a very superior & well-equipped body of cavalry, to the application of which in the field, for the purposes of masking his own movements or harassing ours, this open country is peculiarly adapted and of which advantage the enemy I find appears to be thoroughly sensible in all the movements, he has hitherto made in reconnoitring towards Alicant since the arrival of the British at this point. Your lordship also will not fail to have remarked in the detailed Return forwarded to you by Lord William Bentinck, of the forces which accompanied me hither, that the two British corps & the German Legion are all that I can or ought to place any reliance on.

The Italian corps recently embodied in Sicily and composed of deserters and prisoners of war and the Neapolitans of His Sicilian Majesty’s service, which formed full one half of this reinforcement, I feel justified in doubting as to their energy and exertion until experience shall warrant a more favourable sentiment. The former has the advantage of being well commanded by a zealous and experienced officer Lieutenant Colonel Grant[43], who has bestowed much pains on them. But of His Sicilian Majesty’s troops, I am yet to learn, as I never saw the corps together till it debarked at Alicant in strength only about 400. One of their transports having been forced to quit the convoy and return to Palermo the day we sailed, in consequence of damage received by stress of weather. From all which circumstances your lordship will perceive that I consider no more than one half of the troops, which I brought hither to be of such materials as I could with common prudence, oppose to an active and enterprising enemy in the open field.

The very full and detailed statement made to your lordship on the 9th ultimo by my predecessor Major General Clinton and in whose views & proceedings I fully concur and mean to abide, renders it necessary for me to enter more minutely into detail. It only occurs to me further to state that in consequence of the representations of Sir Henry Wellesley to the regency at Cadiz. The castle of Alicant has been made over to us, and is now in charge of a British garrison which has removed a considerable source of anxiety from whosoever may be placed in the same charge where I at present find myself. I have the honour to be James Campbell Major General


Sir Henry Wellesley KB

Headquarters Alicant, 8 December 1812


I avail myself of a ship of war proceeding to Gibraltar to forward your excellency duplicates of my letter to yourself and Marquis Wellington of the 3rd instant dispatched from hence by overland courier of that date. No material occurrence has since then taken place in this quarter except that in consequence of the suggestion made by General Ellio in his communication, a copy of which I have herewith enclosed, I have been induced to advance the Spanish Division of Major General Whittingham forward Alcoy, in the hope to excite the jealousy of the army as to their own front and prevent their detaching to interrupt General Ellio’s movement on the Quena.

I offer any comment upon this general’s proceeding in the present instance with great deference and a due sense of my own inability as a stranger in this quarter to pronounce thereon.  It appears to me however to be a hazardous undertaking, viewing the enemy’s strength & efficient force both between Valencia and the Heuscar and between the latter river & this place, which by the best digested and most probable accounts I have received does not number less than 22,000 of a regular and well appointed body which much exceeds the ideas formed in Sicily of his strength as far I had access to view. Under these circumstances and although the numerical strength which accompanied me to this army, is specious, still I feel that actually I can confide only on the two British and one German battalion which composed this reinforcement, and which with all deductions I estimate at 2,000 I shall certainly be very cautious of committing it in the open field against a foe so amply provided with cavalry as that opposed to us, more particularly as from all observation I can collect and every intelligence (such as it is) that I can presume it appears to me that the posture of this corps, though no further in advance than this position has contributed by awakening the enemy’s apprehension regarding Valencia to prevent his detaching in numbers to reinforce the French armies in their operations in the north of Spain, which I find from the correspondence of Major General Clinton, he on more than one occasion appeared disposed to carry into effect. J Campbell, Major General


NB The letter from General Ellio alluded to as enclosed, will be found with its annexed translation among the papers docketed ‘Spanish documents’


To Colonel Torrens

Headquarters Alicant 8 December 1812


I herewith enclose for the information of HRH the Commander in Chief the copy of a letter which I have by this occasion addressed to Earl Bathurst.

It is so fully explanatory of my mind and ideas that I have only to express the earnest hope that the conclusions I have drawn and the conduct I have adopted (as merely in the temporary command of this division) may be such as merit HR Highness’s approbation.

I look for Lord William Bentinck’s speedy arrival from Sicily and with considerable anxiety, feeling of how much importance his present appearance is here, be the future operations or proceedings what they may. J Campbell Major General


General Ellio

Alicant, 8 December 1812


Your excellency’s letter of the 6th December addressed to Major General Clinton has been delivered to me. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt thereof.

The major general had already fully apprized me of your excellency’s plans and the very handsome offer your excellency had made to him of acting with the 2nd corps 4th Army (had the latter been consigned to your excellency’s authority) against the army of the enemy under Marshal Suchet. Major General Clinton has likewise acquainted me of your excellency’s visit to Alicant, of the cause of the non-execution on the intended movement and of your excellency’s views for future operations, in the event of the 4th Army being still brought forward in aid of operations in your part of the country.

Major General Clinton has given me likewise to understand that a communication has been received since your excellency’s departure, from his excellency the Duke del Parque but in which no mention whatever is made of any intended junction or of the 4th Army, with the corps under your excellency’s command.

I observe what your excellency is pleased to say on the subject of your having made a retrograde movement from Requena and what had led to your excellency’s deciding on this measure.

At the same time it is gratifying to be assured that your excellency has made such a disposition as is calculated in your excellency’s opinion to accomplish the objects in view.

Under these circumstances, I do not hesitate to assure you, that under the consideration of your having been unsupported by the 4th Army in the operations your excellency had begun, any regret I might have been induced to feel from a deviation of your excellency’s first intentions, with a view to benefitting the common cause is more than counter balanced by the satisfaction I experience in reflecting that your excellency’s corps will be thus placed out of the reach of all possible annoyance. And if as your excellency observes the objects in view are still likely to be accomplished, I think there can be no doubt that the decision your excellency has thought proper to make on this occasion is in every respect, highly judicious.

With the view of affording your excellency all the assistance suggested in your letter, I had already moved forward a strong division of the army to Alcoy, to disquiet the enemy in front and had thrown out smaller detachments in the roads leading to his other posts, to alarm his jealousy and procure the effect you desired.  In reference to that part of your excellency’s former communication in which you speak of the detached corps under the command of General Freyre (but of which no mention is made in your last letter), I beg to be acquainted with your intentions, with regard to the movements and situation of that officer, feeling that if he is left in advance, I shall not be able to afford him that assistance under the circumstances of your excellency’s retrograde movement, which I might otherwise have felt inclined to afford conforming always to the instructions of my immediate superiors and the orders I have received for the regulation of my conduct.

Under the circumstances that exist I can do little more than keep open my communications with that officer and give him all the intelligence of the enemy’s movements in my power.

I beg leave to offer your excellency my cordial congratulations on the favourable news we have received from Russia, and which Major General Clinton will have the pleasure of transmitting more at length in a letter from himself. I entertain the ardent hope that its effects will be felt in this country and operate favourably to the advancement of the common cause. J Campbell Major General


Major General Freire – This letter was transmitted in French

Alicant 9 December 1812


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant and thank you for the early communication you have made me of your movements.

At the same time I am desirous to observe to you, that that the retrograde movement of General Ellio from Requena and his return to Albacete, (with which you will no doubt by this time be acquainted) must interfere materially with any active cooperation on the part of this army & must preclude me from giving you that support which under a different disposition of events, I should have felt every inclination to afford you consistently with the orders of my immediate superiors and the instructions I have received for the regulation of my conduct.

I have pushed forward a strong division of the army to Alcoy to unquiet the enemy in front and have thrown out smaller detachments on the roads leading to his other posts, to excite his jealousy and direct his attention from your movements, but when I bear in mind, his active and enterprising disposition, connected with the disposition recently received of the operations of the larger armies, in the Peninsula, I feel excited for the liberty I take in recommending to you the utmost caution and alertness, and a frequent and uninterrupted communication with your immediate commander. I shall in the meantime observe the enemy’s movements with attention and furnish you all the intelligence in my power. J Campbell Major General


To Sir Henry Wellesley

Alicant, 10 December 1812


Since I closed my letter of the 8th instant, to your excellency, I have received your dispatch of the 1st instant addressed to Major General Clinton in reply to his proposal for the purchase of grain to a certain extent for the relief of the peasantry of their districts through which the enemy has passed and giving your sanction to the same to the certain extent. In consequence of which I have this day authorized the Commissariat officer at the head of that branch, with this division of His Majesty’s troops to complete the purchase of a cargo of seed wheat now in this harbour consisting of 4,500 bushels English or 800 Cahiz Spanish[44] to be applied to the use and purpose above mentioned. On consulting with Admiral Hallowell and Major General Clinton relative to the most proper mode of distributing this seed grain so as to answer the purpose for which it has been purchased. It has been agreed to take the opinion and advice of General Ellio upon that subject and I am about to dispatch a confidential staff officer to the quarters of that general to confer with him on the subject as likewise to assist & see that the grain in question is distributed in the manner best calculated to meet the humane intentions of His Majesty’s government. The price of this 4,500 bushels amounts to 18,000 dollars (or three boats), which is within the estimated sum specified by Major General Clinton to your excellency and I have only now to request your instructions for the mode of its repayment into the military chest of the troops in this quarter, from whence as a ready money purchase in hard cash, has been necessarily in the first instance advanced. James Campbell Major General


No. 11

To Henry Clinton

Alicant, 10 December 1812


My dear brother,

You will I trust long ere this have heard of my being here, that I reached this on on the 24th October succeeding to Maitland, who had previously been obliged to go away from the broken state of his health. I wrote to you by messenger who started from here on the 28th October to carry a cyphered dispatch to Lord Wellington. I likewise wrote to you on the 18th November via Gibraltar, in which I gave you a more detailed account of myself & proceedings here. I acknowledged also your letter of the 4th October (No. 7) which I got be the merest chance, discovering a letter addressed to me under Lord Wellington’s cover, which I ventured to break, having been near 4 months without any intelligence of you. It is a sad nuisance to be so near, and not to hear anything of you. Of your army we have heard to the 19th ultimo but not a syllable from Lord Wellington since the 13th October.

Before I say anything of what has been passing here since I wrote I must tell you that I have been relieved of the burden of the temporary command by the arrival here on the 2nd of this month of Major General Campbell from Sicily, with about 5,000 men reinforcement. I confess his arrival was unexpected, and I had no idea indeed that Lord William could be able to get away from Sicily, much less to send a reinforcement. We now hear that in addition to about 2,000 infantry he is bringing, that he has been exerting himself to assemble some cavalry. British he has none, it must therefore be Sicilian. The name of cavalry may be something, but in reality ever will be nothing, however we shall now have near 8,000 fine infantry and a good proportion of artillery to make up for our want of cavalry. Lord William expected to be able to leave Sicily about the beginning of this month. He was however to take Cagliari in his way, also Mahon. At the former place, they will probably delay him, however he wrote us in haste to get here. I flatter myself that he will appear what I have done and then he will be of opinion, independent of the bearing of Lord Wellington’s instructions not to risk the loss of communication with the sea, or to command myself against a great superiority of numbers especially of cavalry, that it would not have been judicious with an army composed as this was to resume again solid operations. Shortly to encapsulate circumstances, Suchet had on the side the Xuca according to the best information I could get, 15,000, including 1,800 – 2,000 good cavalry, I understand in an emergency he could have assembled 5,000 men more. To oppose this I had 14,000 of all arms, of which near 8,000 were Spaniards of the division of Roche & Whittingham and our whole cavalry consisted of 360, of which 160 Spaniards, the remainder 120 of the 20th Light Dragoons & about 80 of a foreign troop attached to that regiment. I need not say more about cavalry force.

Soon after I sent off my letter to you however, I was on the point of entering on active operations in consequence of the reports of the Spanish General Ellio, to move with the 2nd, 3rd  & 4th Spanish armies, in cooperation with the force here against Suchet. I had actually begun the movement, when General Ellio came very unexpectedly to Alicant, acquainted me that the 4th Army (late Ballesteros) had been halted by the way, had been given to the Duque del Parque in command & that he had no longer any control as [to] its movements upon which he had depended in the plan he proposed to execute. NB this army is about 12,000 of all arms. The plan thus fell to the ground & I resumed with this army the former position as I found it. I hear a sad account of the Duque del Parque that he is fat and unwieldy & from some infirmity he cannot ride, also that he is one of those who accepted service under Joseph and was actually captain of his bodyguard, if these statements be true, the nomination of this man seems something like infatuation. Referring to your letter and to what you say of this place. I do not think it is likely that the French should attack this place, defended by an army in the exterior position; but it is by no means unattachable as you appear to have been led to imagine. There are some strong points about it, but it would require a large army to occupy them on the right to be required to secure them. I wish you would have come here, and Mackenzie have gone to Lord Wellington’s army & dare say he would have had no objection. You would have been at home in such a situation, I have not been so. Where I have not found a single man except Lord Frederick Bentinck, who I ever saw before & I have not found one man except him & except an officer who have had acting as military secretary, who has shown any degree of consideration for the awkward situation in which I have been placed, as a mere lower tenens. You may imagine I am heartily glad this responsibility is over and now I suppose, and hope that I shall recover from hence, as I presume they will hardly expect me to serve as a Major General here, while William Stewart is serving with an higher rank. There is however on one to think of this for me and so I suppose things will remain till a brevet removes me. I never heard from you on the subject of Salamanca, I shall ask Bentinck to show me your letter, I suppose it was to him you wrote. So as wise acres, it was evident why the evident [sic] suffered you so quietly to carry on the siege of Burgos, but I suppose we are mistaken. This of course is reference to what you say of the siege. I am sorry to be obliged to answer so interesting letter as yours so shabbily and hastily. The fact is my head is nearly knocked up with the writing I have had for this opportunity, having been desirous of letting my friends in England news what I have been about, & opportunities in seldom of going. I have written volumes & I can now hardly hold my pen to say any more. I hope soon to be able to write to you, when I am more collected & less concerned.

I hope we may rely on it, that Bonaparte is in a scrape, in Russia. We have heard good reports to the 18 October, Murat’s defeat & the evacuation of Moscow, likewise Wittgenstein’s business at Polotysk, and the return of the Austrians. Surely if this be true, Bonaparte must retire with digrace. As for Spain, from the little I have seen of it. I should say, that comparatively she does nothing for herself, I see nothing like public spirit, but a great deal of bigotry & ignorance. Did see a great deal of bell ringing & fiestas & such sort of things, which in peaceable times are not to be endured, but its ever a country fighting for everything most dear. No this country must be saved by us, it never can by itself in the sad state in which it is. I greive to hear of the captain of E Paget, he is too good a fellow to lose and I am very sorry for him individually. We heard this via Cadiz, when I heard of the offer of your situation in Ireland having been made to Campbell, I immediately wrote to the Duke of Newcastle, alas, it must be too late. We have both been ill treated, but you much more than I. We have no friends to exert themselves for us and if the merit of your services cannot save you from slights & ill treatment, what can I expect. I am quite any of honour with people & things. So the more I learn of this letter the better. I hope I shall write my next in better trim. In the meanwhile I shall be anxious to receive some further accounts of you. If Lord Wellington should be able to make head against such numbers, we shall go on presently and we may yet meet ere long, but this is expecting a great deal.  I shall have an opportunity of writing to you & if you will send your letters to General Campbell, in Gibraltar. He will be so good to forward them to us. Affectionately yours WHC


PS I may as well take this opportunity of sending you a letter which has by some mistake made a sad round about journey. Having arrived the other day with my letters from Sicily, I think it must have been in one of the packets and whether from Salvator or Ms Bollerton I know not. Pray let me know whether you receive it safe as it goes in a separate cover.



His Excellency General Ellio

Alicant 10 December 1812


I have to acquaint your excellency that the British Admiral Hallowell and my predecessor in the charge I at present hold, Major General Clinton, having proposed to His Britannic Majesty’s minister and representative resident at Cadiz, that a quantity of seed corn should be purchased by the British government for the purpose of distributing to the peasantry of the county through which the enemy has passed and with the view of enabling them to sow their lands. The reply received yesterday to this proposal has been such as I could wish, and I have this day purchased a cargo of 4,500 bushels English, being 800 Cahiz Spanish, for the express purpose of its being applied in the manner above detailed.

It has been deemed the most expedient and efficacious mode of procuring the certain means of converting this grain so as to fullfill the object for which it has been purchased, that the well established patriotism and judgement of your excellency should be reported to for advice and I only wait the receipt of your reply to this letter with your sentiments as to the mode and districts for distribution, when a staff officer of the British army shall repair to your excellency’s head quarters or wherever else you may point out, to regulate with your excellency on behalf of the British government the readiest means of carrying into effect the humane intentions which suggested this mode of relief to the oppressed and suffering peasantry.

Your excellency will be aware that to render this aid of real utility no time must be lost, in the distribution of this grain as the season is advancing. I only wait to receive your ideas upon what point to direct the corn to be conveyed, and the means to be provided by the country and those whose intents are most immediately concerned for its conveyance, when it shall be in perfect readiness to take its departure and at the same time the staff officer will commence his journey towards you. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency General Ellio

Head quarters Alicant 12 December [1812]


Your excellency’s dispatch from Albacete of the 9th instant was forwarded to you by General Freire[45] under the charge of his aide de camp, Don Thomas Dominguez. I have only to say in reply that I am full aware of the good policy and expediency in a military point of view as well as of the necessity on the score of subsistence which has induced your excellency to forego for the present any forward movement and to take such portions towards La Mancha as may best conduce to watch the movements of the enemy on the side of Madrid (again in his occupation) as to provide for the provisioning of the army under your command.

It appears to me that any effectual or combined movement of the allied troops in this quarter must be governed as well as regulated by the current of events in the interior of Spain and the results of the operations of the larger armies to the westward and we are yet to learn what these results are likely to be, or what direction the tide of warfare is to take.

Meanwhile I trust we are sufficiently respectable to give the enemy in the province of Catalonia and Valencia no opening for detaching any portion of his force and to avail ourselves of any favourable circumstances which may present themselves.

I shall hold myself prepared to communicate if required with the detachment of 400 cavalry you have directed to remain at Montalegre and its vicinity, to observe the enemy in that direction.

By a ship of war from England so late as the 17th of last month we have received official information from the British minister at St Petersburg of the very important successes of the Russian troops against the French down to the 22 October. On that day they were compelled to evacuate Moscow and the bulletin of the French armies are such as to admit and confirm this very interesting intelligence, a short transcript of the heads of which I enclose to your excellency. Repeating my assurances of confirmed respect and esteem. I have the honour to be J Campbell Major General.


Since writing the above, I have been fortunate enough to obtain a French translation of the intelligence alluded to, which I have the pleasure of forwarding to your excellency with its details in length.


His Excellency General Ellio

Head quarters Alicant 14 December 1812


Yesterday I was honoured with your excellency’s despatch of the 11th accompanied by three papers of intelligence relative to a reported movement upon Requena on the part of the Conte de Montijo with 7,000 men and 3 pieces of cannon by the route of Villagordo [del Cabriel] and Utiel; and this morning I am favoured with another letter from headquarters at Bonete under date the 12th this month, stating that in consequence of the re-occupation of [La] Font de Riquera by the enemy, as well as for the causes your excellency very fully detailed in a former communication, you had resumed the idea of falling back upon La Mancha, and had directed General Freire to do the same, leaving in the neighbourhood of Yecla and Montealegre [del Castillo] two corps of cavalry to observe the enemy in these directions, and to give such information to the force assembled here as might deem to be essential.

That the enemy had quitted [La] Font de Figuera, we had notice some days ago, but I am of opinion that he was led to that measure by the appearance of the troops at Alcoy and the forward movements to Tibi and Jijona which took place from hence in the course of the last week, and in concert with those projects which your excellency had formed of marching upon Requena with the army under your orders.

But having learnt, as no doubt he did, that your excellency had abandoned that enterprize and the corps of this army having also withdrawn from Alcoy, it was to be expected that the post of [La] Font de Figuera would again be resumed by him.

I learn with much pleasure that your excellency has received intelligence from Lord Wellington, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, and that it has proved so very satisfactory to your excellency by the approbation of all the steps you have taken since your retreat from Yecla.

The counsel of precaution which Lord Wellington forwards to your excellency accords with the latest orders he transmitted to this army, and I wait with much impatience & anxiety for further instructions from the British general in chief, whose future projected movements, and whose intentions for the prosecution of the campaign, and the advancement of the common cause, most necessarily considerably influence the operations of the army assembled near this place. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant, 14 December 1812


It has been with sentiments of cordial satisfaction, though blended with feelings of commiseration and pity, that both Admiral Hallowell and myself have perused your excellency’s pathetic reply to the proposition made to you in the name and behalf of the British government for the distribution of seed corn, to the distressed inhabitants and peasantry who have suffered from the unavoidable evils of war and the insatiate ravages of a merciless and devastating enemy.

Introducing the proposed relief through the mediation and agency of your excellency both the admiral & myself are impressed with the conviction that we have acted conformably to the liberal principles which have invariably characterized the British government and the British nation in administering to the wants and relieving the distress of suffering humanity. I have perused with due attention and perfectly comprehend the well regulated and judicious mode of distribution as arranged by your excellency for carrying into effect sowing of the sands in Murcia.

But I should deviate from that openness and candour with which I have and shall ever continue to conduct my communications and correspondence with your excellency, did I not remark upon the idea more than once alluded to in your excellency’s letter that a portion of the seed corn is intended for immediate consumption by the unhappy sufferers as food. Nor can I abstain from impressing it most forcibly on your mind, that the corn in question was purchased by the sanction of the British minister at Cadiz for the sole and express purpose of being sown for the production of a future supply.

It is full in my persuasion that your excellency will enter into my sentiments and at once perceive how totally inadequate the quantity of grain in question is to the extensive demands of the peasantry on the score of food, and the necessity of confining it as much as possible to the great object which was in contemplation when the purchase was made. J Campbell, Major General


Brigadier General Baron de [Sort?]

Headquarters Alicant, 15 December 1812


I have the honour to forward by flag of truce, Hospital Mate Louis Wurms of the French army made prisoner by the Spaniards in the neighbourhood of Valencia, and since conducted by them to this place.

Major General Clinton my immediate predecessor in this command was induced in consequence of the peculiar situation of the prisoner, (to which the Major General’s attention was directed by his memorial) and by the consideration of his being a non combatant to make application to the Spanish government that he might be given over to him and I now beg leave to forward him with an additional release to the French lines.

At the same time I trust it may be explained to his excellency Marshal Suchet, that I am induced to take this early opportunity of marking the liberal principles in which the British nation is desirous of conducting the present warfare, in the earnest hope that such an example will not be lost sight of, whenever an opportunity presents for imitation by the French commanders. J Campbell Major General


F Daniel Esq, Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant 18 December 1812


Pursuant to the permission and authority transmitted to Major General Clinton my predecessor in command by His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley, His Majesty’s Minister at Cadiz. In a letter, the copy of which is hereto annexed, you are hereby directed to purchase a cargo of seed wheat now in this harbour to the extent of 800 cahir at 3812 pezzos per cahir or 23,200 dollars namely, which you will distribute according to such further directions as you shall from me receive, to answer the purpose for which the purchase has been made, viz, the relief and assistance of the peasantry of those districts which have suffered by the ravages and incursions of the enemy.

I have written to Sir H Wellesley on the subject of the amount of this purchase being refunded to the Military Chest of this army. J Campbell Major General


+ The original of the letter here alluded to will be found with paper dockets ‘Sir H Wellesley’s correspondence’ in the Office Chest


F Daniel Esq, Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant, 18 December 1812


I am directed by Major General Campbell to forward you the annexed copies of correspondence from General Ellio on the subject of distribution of corn to the Spanish peasantry of those districts which have suffered by the ravages and incursions of the enemy.

In order to simplify as much as possible the distribution of the corn, it has been judged advisable to furnish the peasantry commissioned by General Ellio to receive it, with an order from Adjutant General Military Secretary for the quantity required.

This order will be addressed to yourself and will specify the number of fanegas and the name of the person to whom they are to be delivered, as well as the village on whose account. The order will remain in your hands and be at once both a receipt & voucher.

I shall retain copies of each which will be duly numbered and deposited with the papers in this office. It only remains to request that when the corn is nearly expended, you will be pleased to afford me the necessary information, that I may regulate myself accordingly, and when the final issue takes place, that a general return may be made out of the whole quantity delivered, with the names of the persons ere to whom delivered for the Major General’s information. George D’Aguillar Adjutant General Military Secretary


NB It has not been thought necessary to annex the copies of correspondence from General Ellio in this place, the originals being deposited with Spanish Documents No. 2 in the Office Chest.


Lord William Bentinck

Headquarters Alicant, 18 December 1812


Since I last addressed you by His Majesty’s Ship Barfleur[46] which touched here on her way to Mahon. Reports have from time to time reached us relative to the approach of a division of the enemy’s force from the interior in the direction and a courier last night from the Spanish General Ellio has confirmed these rumours, and ascertained the movement of a strong division of Soult’s army by the Madrid road towards Andalucia, which had actually reached Manzanares in La Mancha at a short distance from the Sierra Morena. I forward herewith a transcript of General Ellio’s letter from the latter part of which your lordship will perceive, he feels as yet no apprehensions with regard to the 2nd and 3rd armies under his immediate direction, but as the changes in the sentiments and plans of these Spanish commanders are very rapid and sometimes contradictory, it has been judged expedient by Admiral Hallowell and myself to give this the chance of meeting you at Mahon, since the wind hangs so perseveringly to the westward, as may occasion your detention there.

Should this division of Soult’s force cross the Sierra Morena (relieved as it feels for the moment from any apprehension from Lord Wellington) and should it persevere in its course towards Andalucia, Cadiz may be its object. If it turns short to the left, after crossing the sierra, Cartagena may be risked and in either of these cases it may possibly be expected that relief should be sent from this army; these are contingencies however upon which I feel equally with Admiral Hallowell, that we are altogether without orders from our superiors for the regulation of my proceedings.

Two days ago a courier arrived from Marquis Wellington with a letter partly in cypher; a transcript of which I enclose dated 26 November.

The courier left him three days later, viz the 29th, when the headquarters were at a village called Freineda 5 leagues from Ciudad Rodrigo and on the Portuguese frontier. This is our latest information from that quarter. The enemy’s force towards Valentia and on this side the Heucar remains as heretofore between [La] Font de la Figuera by Mogente, St Felippe and Albaida making occasional movements in small divisions for the purpose of collecting subsistence and raising contributions.

The corps of Ellio, or in other words the 2nd and 3rd armies are dispersed by battalions towards La Mancha, as he lately wrote to me, not being able to keep them together on account of the devastated state of the country, and the scarcity of subsistence, which ill accords with the scheme of cooperation of which he speaks so confidently in the accompanying translation of his last letter herewith enclosed. J Campbell Major General


General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant, 18 December 1812


In the course of last evening I received your excellency’s dispatch from Tobarra, under date the 15th instant containing intelligence of the movement of a strong division of Soult’s army towards the Sierra Moreno by the Madrid road to Andalucia and its actual arrival at Manzanares. I thank your excellency for this information, as all the ventures of the enemy, released us then for a certain period from any immediate apprehension. Relative to the Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Marquis Wellington) cannot fail to be interesting to me, and may operate materially in the subsequent employment or distribution of the army, for the present under my command, more particularly if he pursues this march upon Andalucia.

The detailed account your excellency has been so obliging to transmit me relative to the force of Marshal Suchet is very acceptable and as far as it goes corresponds with our information, on the same subject derived from other sources. Your excellency however, is I have no doubt, fully apprized, that the statement therein set forth has reference only to the divisions and sections of the French force on this side of the River Xucar and that it is capable of being very considerably augmented and without loss of time, should any menace or emergency render it necessary so to do, as will appear evident to your excellency if you refer to the former return of the enemy’s army which you intercepted and forwarded to Major General Clinton.

I shall look with anxiety further for the continuation and frequency of your excellency’s correspondence and the intelligence in the present posture of affairs and the confidence with which I rely on your zeal, judgement and activity is the best evidence of the perfect esteem and consideration with which I remain your excellency’s. J Campbell Major General


General Ellio No 2

Headquarters, Alicant 18 December 1812


I have the honour in this separate dispatch to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of the 15th with its enclosure in the subject of the distribution of the corn.

Every arrangement your excellency has made on this occasion appears to me so clear, so judicious and satisfactory, that I have really nothing to suggest in addition to it. If I had I would offer it with all the candour which your excellency’s letter is so well calculated to call forth. I have only to entreat that as you have been good enough to take upon yourself the arrangement and distribution of this business for the villages, whose names you have enclosed me, so you would extend your attention to those in the neighbourhood of your immediate headquarters (Tobarra). Your knowledge of their sufferings and their wants and your means of acquiring the necessary information on both these subjects must be superior to any within my reach and I feel besides I cannot do these villages more justice than by having their cause in your excellency’s hands. I beg therefore to be favoured with lists of them as before.

Two peasants from Bonete and Montealegre [del Castillo] have already appeared with your excellency’s passports and have been dispatched forthwith with the quantity specified therein, which they were to receive. I beg to assure you that there will be neither delay nor difficulty in the delivery of the grain and that these poor people shall be furnished with protections from me to enable them to pass our lines without impediment or molestation. J Campbell Major General


I have omitted to say, in reply to the last paragraph of your letter, that your excellency’s future recommendation of any village or villages that may merit consideration and shall have been by any accident overlooked, shall meet with every due attention from me, as far as the means of supply extend.

The cargo of corn, contains 800 cahiz or 3,600 fanegas[47], so that near 1400 more still remain at your excellency’s disposal.


General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant 19 December 1812


I omitted mentioning to your excellency in my last dispatch that I had heard from Marquis Wellington, but the fact is there is so little in the letter connected with our own movements that it escaped my attention.

Lord Wellington’s letter is dated the 26 November. The courier that brings it left his lordship’s headquarters 3 days later so that we have intelligence down to the 29th. His lordship was then at Freineda, a village on the frontier of Portugal, a few leagues distance from Ciudad Rodrigo.

Lord Wellington effected a junction with Sir Rowland Hill on the 8th last month on the Tormes and pursued his retreat from thence without any material interruption from the enemy & but little loss, except what was occasioned by the society of the worst weather his lordship has known in the peninsula.

Our troops are cantoned upon the frontier and Lord Wellington thinks it probable that the enemy, who is highly requiring repose will canton likewise between the Douro and Tagus.

The army continues healthy & effective and we have every confident hope that the reinforcements arrived and arriving from England will enable his lordship to resume operations in the ensuing campaign with vigour. J Campbell Major General


Major General Freire

Headquarter, Alicant 20 December [1812]


I have been duly favoured with the dispatch of your excellency dated from Yecla the 10th conveyed to me by you’re aide de camp Don Thomas Domingues and enclosing a letter from his excellency General Ellio, to which I return a reply respecting your excellency will take the trouble of forwarding it to him. I am to regret though I am fully sensible of the necessity and circumstances which have led to General Ellio’s move into La Mancha, and under every view of the enemy’s force and position, not only in this immediate vicinity, but in consideration of recent events and the position of the larger armies operating in the interior of the kingdom, together with the re-occupation of Madrid by the French. His excellency’s resolve as far as I have been enabled to judge, has been judicious and most admirable, both as a military measure as in the account of subsistence.

I will be prepared to communicate with the officer you have left in command of the squadrons of the Regiment of Jaen, at & near Yecla on all matters relative to the common cause and shall esteem myself for taste if the prosperous current of events shall lead me to form a more intimate and personal acquaintance with your excellency. Meanwhile I have the honour to remain with all consideration & esteem, J Campbell Major General


To General Ellio

Headquarters, Alicant 21 December 1812


I have had the satisfaction to receive your excellency’s letter of the 19 December & return you my best acknowledgements for the description & movements of the enemy, who has dispersed himself as it would appear in various directions for the purpose of subsistence and profiting by the state of inactivity in which the badness of the season and his harassing retreat from Burgos to the frontier of Portugal has necessarily obliged Marquis Wellington to remain.

On our immediate front the enemy from St Felippe have made a reconnaissance to and beyond the town of Alcoy, which terminated as all such their incursions do in the plunder and ill treatment of the towns through which their march was directed and on the night of the 19th he again retired to Albaida.

In the absolute want of intelligence respecting Lord Wellington’s movements which you have mentioned to me, I am happy in having communicated to your excellency in my letter of the 19th the dispatch which his lordship addressed to the British general at this place on the 26th ultimo.

No more occurs to me on the present occasion with which to intrude upon your excellency’s time and avocations. I rely with confidence in your exertions and information and shall ever deem myself fortunate in having had this opportunity given me of corresponding and communicating with an officer whose conduct and character have long impressed me with sentiments of respect when I could have had no hope or idea of being more intimately known to him. J Campbell Major General


To General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant 21st October 1812


I lost no time in communicating with the British Admiral Hallowell who conducts the naval details of the British force here assembled respecting the assurance of 2,500 recruits of the division of General Bassecourt[48] from Alicant to Port St Mary’s [El Puerto de Santa Maria near Cadiz] and he is equally anxious with myself to pay every attention to any request or suggestion of your excellency. It is requisite however you should understand that at this particular crisis both the admiral & myself are unwilling to alienate so many transport ships as the operation will require, as we are in the daily expectation of the arrival from Sicily of Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck commander in chief of the British forces in the Mediterranean who may have objects & movements in contemplation which might be essentially counteracted if any number of our transports were absent.

Your excellency may rest assured however that I shall make your letter on this subject a point of the earliest communication to the commander in chief on his arrival, nor have I a doubt but he will grant it his ready acquiessence should there be no call for the shipping for the immediate services of our own army. And with regard to the rations of provisions which they are embarked, I apprehend no difficulty will be experienced. I am requested however, by Admiral Hallowell to state to your excellency, that should the embarkation be carried into effect, it is desirable that these 2,500 recruits should be landed at Algeciras, from whence the march to Cadiz is short and of no difficulty, since their debarkation there is every way more convenient to our naval department and its arrangements, than entering the Bay of Cadiz. J Campbell Major General.


To Marquis Wellington

Headquarters Alicant 22 December 1812


My Lord,

I avail myself of an opportunity that present for Gibraltar to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship’s dispatch (part in cypher) which of the 26 November last addressed to Major General Clinton. In my letter of the 3rd of December last forwarded in duplicate, I had the honor of notifying to your lordship my arrival here with a reinforcement from Sicily.

Since this period the army has continued stationary, waiting with considerable anxiety the arrival of Lord William Bentinck, whose appearance can be only delayed by the long continuance of the westerly winds which have prevailed for some time past in this quarter.

The enemy’s position towards Valencia and on this the Xucar remains as heretofore, between [La] Font de la Figuera by Mogente, St Felippe and Albaida.

His strength however, has been increased by the arrival at St Felippe of 3 battalions from Tortosa which may be estimated from 1,800 to 2,000 men and is intended I presume as a counter balance in some degree to the reinforcement that accompanied me from Sicily.

His movements hitherto have been confined to occasional marches in small divisions for the purpose of collecting subsistence and raising contributions. In other respects he has remained wholly inactive.

I am in constant communication with General Ellio who forwards me with great regularity all the intelligence within his reach.

Your lordship will doubtless be aware that the enemy (relieved from all apprehension for a time of your lordship’s army)  has poured himself out in small divisions over Castille and a considerable portion of La Mancha. Subdividing his force for the purpose of obtaining provisions in a country already so much exhausted.

By the last accounts from General Ellio, the enemy had extended himself from Almaraz and Talavera with his left appuie[49] on the high road from Andalucia to Madrid. Part of the force under the command of King Joseph had likewise extended towards Guadalajara and a small division of cavalry had even made its appearance so low down as Manzanares in La Mancha.

I do not present this to your lordship as information, but simply with the idea of enabling your lordship to compare our accounts with your own better intelligence.

In the meantime it will easily occur to your lordship, that the imposing manner in which the enemy has pushed down these divisions, is intended to have the double effect of obtaining supplies and keeping the operations of this army in check, by holding out the prospect of a sudden reinforcement to the corps under Marshal Suchet, in case of necessity.

The headquarters of General Ellio are at present at Tobarra. His battalions are separated and dispersed over the country for the purposes of more ready subsistence.

From the 4th Army I have no immediate intelligence nor am I indeed in any regular communication. I am informed however by General Ellio that that it is intended to occupy the villages and passes in the vicinity of the Sierra Morena, a position which appears under all circumstances the most favourable it could adopt and the best calculated for the protection of Andalusia from the enemy. J Campbell Major General.



F Daniel Esq Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant 24 December 1812


I have the honour to forward you by order of Major General Campbell the annexed extract of a letter from Major General Campbell commanding at Gibraltar (addressed to Major General Clinton) for your information and guidance. George D’Aguillar Adjutant General Military Secretary




Gibraltar 8 December 1812


I take this opportunity of informing you that instructions have been received from His Majesty’s ministers by the last packet to furnish on you a requisition for such provisions as can be supplied from the Commissariat stores of this place as an additional supply is to be immediately sent out and deposited here for that purpose. Colin Campbell Lieutenant General[50]


Lieutenant General Campbell, Gibraltar

Headquarters, Alicant 27 December 1812


Conformably to the contents of your letter under date the 8th December addressed to the General officer in command of the division of the forces here stationed, respecting a depot of provisions, for its use being arranged at Gibraltar. I am now to acquaint you that the necessities of the service call for a supply of a month’s salt meat or 360,000 lb (for 12,000 men) to be forwarded to this place as soon as the means of its conveyance can be procured and which it is presumed the naval department at Gibraltar will grant on your application.

The Commissariat officer in charge of that branch here writes on this subject to the principal officer of the department at your garrison as also with respect to the low state of the military chest with the troops on this coast, which must shortly require to be replenished to enable it to meet the current and unavoidable expenses of the army and to which subject I beg leave to draw your attention, well persuaded you will also in the essential requisite assist us as far as may be in your power. The supply of cash in this place though a commercial town, being very precarious and unproductive. J Campbell Major General


Captain John Fenning, Catalonia

Alicant 27 December [1812]


I am directed by Major General Campbell at present in command of the allied force here, to acknowledge the receipt of your letters addressed to Major General Clinton of the 15th and 27th November last, with their respective enclosures, as likewise that of the 12th December just come to hand. G D’Aguillar, Acting Military Secretary


To Major General Whittingham

Headquarters, Alicant, 27 December 1812


I have perused your letter under date the 25 December addressed to the Quarter Master General with two enclosures, which go to point out the necessity of the division under your command being otherwise cantoned for the sake of obtaining means of subsistence. On the system established for the provisioning either your division or the other troops of the Spanish army, it is not for me to remark, nor have I had any discussion on the subject except as regards the division under your command.

I have also since my arrival at Alicant and in consequence of my seniority of commission having taken upon me, for a time, the charge of the troops here, seen no publick nor official document which authorises me to subsist the Spanish divisions (circumstanced as the allied army at present is) from the British commissariat stores. It is therefore my indispensable duty to avoid both the consumption and expense which must ensue by such an additional drain to our stores of provision by every practicable means which may appear to me best calculated to answer that end. I fully enter into your ideas, that armies living upon the country must, when not assembled for military operations, occupy such cantonments as can afford them the means of subsistence.

Upon that principle, I can have no objection to a portion of your division proceeding to Lorca (as you suggested that place) in the adjacent province of Murcia, but I certainly cannot give my concurrence to your proceeding there with your whole division in a body and I conceive the cavalry and flank battalion thereof to be indispensable for the furtherance of the publick service in this vicinity.

In like manner, as you have it in contemplation to submit to the Spanish government, that nothing has been wanting on your part, and that you have taken every step in your power, for the preservation of the division intrusted to your charge, so shall I report to the British minister at Cadiz, The measures I have deemed it my duty to adopt, nor have I any hesitation in accepting the responsibility that may thereby be incurred, until a decision is obtained on the subject at issue, from the superior authorities.

I have only further to remark, that in all the cantonments of the British troops both in Alicant & its vicinity, there seems no appearance of scarcity. Bread and other articles of provision are exposed for sale at the doors of the peasantry nor does the British commissariat draw any wheat from this neighbourhood, confining itself to supplies of straw, wine, fuel and some oil. J Campbell Major General


To His excellency General Ellio

Head Quarters Alicant, 28 December 1812



Your letter to me without date or mention of place, but which enclosed a copy of a dispatch to your excellency from Lieutenant General Sir Rowland Hill I have now the honour to acknowledge. The only occurrence of any interest in this quarter, is an attack made early in the morning of the 26th on the detachment of the Spanish division of Whittingham, stationed at Elda consisting of 50 cavalry and 200 infantry; which was assailed by very superior numbers and sustained some loss. Among other deserters, the captain commanding was wounded & taken prisoner.

The occupation of this post at Elda was altogether for the purpose of extending the means of procuring provision for this Spanish division and as the town has been represented to me as completely sacked and plundered by the merciless French, consequently neither it not Alcoy, can further for the present be depended on as sources of supply.

I am thus particular in my detail to your excellency that you may know me are not exempt here from the miseries and privations of which prevail in other parts of the country, and so much are our resources drained, that I fear we shall be obliged to find two or more regiments of our Spanish divisions into the lower part of the adjacent province of Murcia, on account of subsistence, of which necessity and the motives that compel me to it, I feel it my duty to apprize your excellency requesting at the same time you will be assured, that under the circumstances of the temporary command with which I am only for the moment invested. It has been my duty and shall continue so, to retain both the British and Spanish divisions of this army as much together as possible and to give them over entire and unbroken, to the superior and more capable direction of his excellency Lord William Bentinck, whose arrival I look forward to with considerable anxiety and not devoid of impatience. Assuring your excellency of my high consideration and confirmed esteem. I have the honour to be &c J Campbell Major General

I beg to mention to your excellency that as yet only 5 peasants have made their appearance to receive the grain held ready for distribution. The villages of Bonete, Montealegre [del Castillo], Yecla, Albatana and Caralambis are supplied. I am anxious that the remaining ones should receive their proportion before the best weather and advanced state of the season interferes with the advantages they would otherwise receive from this assistance. May I request your excellency to hasten the appearance of the villagers by your influence & recommendation?

I take this opportunity of adding that the 40 Spanish soldiers respecting whom I have been already in correspondence with your excellency; were duly given over on the 24th of this month to Brigadier General Requeleme, who has attached them (I believe) for the present to the Regiment of Liria and will doubtless communicate with your excellency on this subject. J Campbell Major General


To the Constitutional Junta of Alicant

Headquarters 29 December 1812



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th instant enclosing a list of the names of the several superintendents of police and various officers with their respective distinctions.

In reply I beg to inform you that I have promulgated the contents of your letter to the whole of the troops under my command and that I have given particular directions to the corps that furnish the military duties of Alicant, to pay every respect and give every due assistance to the lawfully constituted authorities in the execution of their civil duties.

The constitutional junta may be assured that nothing shall be wanting on my part to promote the publick welfare and preserve the internal tranquillity of this city, and that every effort shall be made to maintain that harmony and concord between our respective nations which is essential to their mutual happiness and the final success of the common cause in which we are engaged.

At the same time I cannot lose the favourable opportunity that is presented to me by the patriotic spirit and enlightened feeling which has dictated the constitutional junta’s letter to inculcate that moderation and amicable forbearance towards each other in the mutual discharge of our respective duties, of which I shall be ready on all occasions to set myself the example and which I am satisfied will prove a sure and permanent bond of union between the British and the Spanish nation. J Campbell Major General



Captain Vial serving with Staff of the troops of His Sicilian Majesty

Headquarters Alicant 29 December 1812


I have received your letter of this date stating the request and setting forth the reasons of the officers of His Sicilian Majesty’s troops attached to the division of the British army at this place, that they should be paid monthly in advance and not in arrears, and thereby to be placed on the same footing as the forces of His Britannic Majesty, with whom they are serving and have to acquaint you in reply that whatever may be my own individual sentiments on that subject, it does not fall within the limits of my authority to alter or counteract the regulations made by His Excellency Lord William Bentinck at Palermo in concert with the ministers of His Sicilian Majesty, by which it was arranged that the officers composing the corps of the Colonna mobile were to be paid monthly under arrear, which you will find to be amply explained in the instructions given by the inspector of this corps to His Deputy Lieutenant Pauli who has accompanied the Sicilian troops to Alicant.

No authority less than Lord William Bentinck’s can possibly sanction such innovation upon the upon the compact made at Palermo. J Campbell, Major General


His Excellency Marquis General Coupigny[51] Majorca

Alicant 30 December 1812


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letters of the 14th and 15th December addressed to my predecessor in command of this division of HM forces, Major General WH Clinton.

Permit me to offer to your excellency my best thanks for the very ready and handsome manner in which you have granted the solicited release of two French officers in return for two British captains of this army who were taken prisoners in defence of the cause in which we are commonly engaged.

The names of these officers I have the honour to place in the margin for your excellency’s information.

The first mentioned officer will be the first exchanged, as it appears only one of the French officers whose names were transmitted, is within the limits of your excellency’s command, but I shall take an early opportunity of mentioning another to your excellency after having communicated with Marshal Suchet on the subject or of availing myself of your offer of any other indefinite person of equal rank with the gentleman who is not forthcoming.

I renew to your excellency the assurance of my acknowledgement and consideration and have the honour to remain J Campbell Major General.


Note in margin

No 1 Captain A Courant Roll’s Regiment

No 2 Captain O Shearman 62nd Regiment attached to Calabrian Free Corps


To Sir H Wellesley

Head Quarters Alicant, 31 December 1812


It has become necessary for me to forward to your excellency copies of a correspondence which has taken place between Major General Whittingham and the Spanish division of Majorca and myself on the subject of provisioning the corps under his command. I am for my own part fully aware that the time of your excellency is dedicated to many avocations of so much superior weight and importance, that should scarce have intruded upon you with these papers, had it not been for the direct notice which Major General Whittingham conveys to me, that he has it in contemplation to lay his grievances and privations; such as they are, or such as they may be by him represented, before the Spanish government.

My own abode in this country has been so short and my temporary charge of this division of troops, so soon likely to terminate, that I should have willingly have waved any discussion of this description and indeed, have done so, if the subject has been pressed upon me, and my individual responsibility in a manner so little equivocal, as to be misunderstood, as renders it necessary for me to state to your excellency that according to such information, the best in my power to procure, both from the Spanish authorities as well as from the officers of our own commissariat, to whom the resources and capabilities of the country are known, there does not really exist that penury of provision, which Major General Whittingham’s letters and assertions imply, and I confess my own personal observation leads me though little conversant in these subjects to the adoption of a similar opinion.

It does not belong to me to enter into any latitude of remark upon the mode of subsisting this division of Majorca sanctioned and proscribed by the Spanish government, but I cannot refrain from observing that where an uncontrolled license is given to draw provisions from any district of country. Without limitation, as to numbers of people to be fed, or in other words, rations to be drawn, it is an authority which holds forth many openings to waste and misapplications, which the reliance that seems to prevail in the event of failure, in that mode of supply, upon the British commissariat, is apt to engender a negligence, as also a carelessness of arrangement and an inattention to economy, which it is my duty to check and no better mode suggests itself to me for correcting that opinion, than withholding my aid from the British stores, so long as my own common sense and observation, joined to the best ideas I can collect from intelligent and well informed persons tells me that the positive necessity of resorting to our commissariat stock does not exist.

It is very natural to suppose that the proportions of provisions are very scarce to the furnishing of it for no other payment, that the piece of paper under the form of a Bon or Receipt, which Major General Whittingham is instructed to grant to them, but your excellency will at once comprehend, that I have no concern, with this system, though it cannot be a subject of surprize that the proprietor should give a preference to ready money, candidates had by every means in his power withheld his property from those who offer him nought of an equivalent in return for it, but the abundance of supply to the market at this place though exorbitant in price, is to me a convincing proof, joined to other sources of information on which I with confidence rely, that no actual severity exists and as long as this conviction remains upon my mind and that I have no contrary orders, from my superiors. I shall undoubtedly be very averse to throwing open the stores of the British commissariat to any of the divisions of the Spanish forces as we find them no more than adequate to our own present exigencies, and these precautionary measures which it behoves us never to lose sight of, to answer for events which may possibly ensue.

I shall close my observations on this subject, with which I fear I have already trespassed too long on your excellency’s time by bringing to your notice, that the division of Major General Whittingham independent of its drawing provisions, hitherto free, at the country’s expense, is paid each man in cash as per margin monthly which places him on a footing much superior in point of advantage to the soldiery of the other Spanish divisions in this quarter.  J Campbell Major General


Allowance per month

Light cavalry 64 reals

Cavalry line 61

Infantry 57


To Sir H Wellesley

Head Quarters Alicant


Last evening I had intelligence from Lord William Bentinck dated Palermo 9 November and I have also information of his being still at that capital on the 14th though making every exertion to extricate himself from the political concerns of the Sicilian government, with the view of placing himself in command of the army here assembled, where his presence will be essentially beneficial and is most anxiously looked for and by no one more than myself.

In the course of yesterday afternoon transports came to anchor here with a strong British battalion from Sicily, and other reinforcement to the troops at this place; and Lord William Bentinck appears so anxious, that Marquis Wellington should be acquainted with the details of affairs in the north of Europe, and the severe sufferings and privations of the French army in Russia, as forwarded to him by Mr Liston, the British minister at Constantinople, that I have thought it requisite to dispatch  a courier to Cadiz with this letter and copies of these papers, that your excellency may transmit them to the commander in chief, the latest intelligence from whom received at Palermo, was as far back as the 30th yesterday.

Nothing materially interesting has recently occurred in this quarter, except it be that the enemy’s force on this side the Heucar, has received an addition of three battalions from Tortosa since I last had the honour to communicate with your excellency in numbers from 1,800 to 2,000 men; the remains in the occupation of the same line of cantonments occasionally throwing forwards large divisions of cavalry, with some infantry in quest of provisions towards our outposts, in one of which incursions, he recently (on the 26th instant) surprised a small detachment of the Spanish division of Major General Whittingham at Elda which sustained some loss; the captain commanding being wounded and taken prisoner.

It is not my intention to intrude on Marquis Wellington by this occasion. Should your excellency deem any portion of my letters of sufficient consequence I presume you will convey it to him.

We look forward with anxiety to the subsequent operations of the principal army immediately under his direction, whose future movements & the objects it may have in contemplation must needs materially influence the proceedings of all the subordinate and detached divisions of the allied forces.

My attention is in the mean time directed to the equipment and preparation for active operations of the several corps, which have from time to time arrived from Sicily, and which in this country, which has suffered so recently both from pestilence and the ravages of the enemy, as well as being called upon to support no inconsiderable number of Spanish troops, I find it very easy to be accomplished; nor can I state to your excellency, that the disposition of Alicant and its vicinity towards the accommodation of the British troops, of that ready and cordial description, which the discipline we maintain and the strict justice of our proceedings in all our intercourse with the inhabitants, might lead us to expect.

Our latest intelligence from England is of the 5 December and contains the favourable news conveyed from St Petersburg and Stockholm together with the 28th Bulletin[52] of the French army.

J Campbell Major General


To Sir H Wellesley

31 December 1812


I avail myself of this opportunity of informing your excellency that having made the necessary arrangements with General Ellio for the distribution of the seed corn, on the subject of which I have been already in communication with your excellency, every means has been taken to give effect to the benificent intentions of His Majesty’s government and to succour the wasted district with an aid as timely as it has been charitable.

A considerable number of the villages in Murcia are already supplied, and the peasantry are daily coming in with passports and certificates from General Ellio to receive the allotted proportions for the remainder. The effect of this humane assistance is generally felt by all ranks of people independent of the military advantages that must issue from it by replenishing an exhausted country for the subsistence of our armies in the ensuing year. I have every reason to believe that in a moral and political point of view it will not fail of producing its advantage. It only remains for me to state to your excellency that the officer at the head of the commissariat with this division was mistaken when he estimated the last expense (as communicated to your excellency in a former letter) at 18,000 dollars only, it having been found that the cargo of seed corn which was particularly applicable to the purpose in view amounted to 23,200. Which is however, within the original expense which your excellency was pleased to sanction.

To the subject of repayment into the military chest, which is at present extremely low, I have already drawn your excellency’s attention and beg to have the manner put entirely to your disposal. J Campbell Major General


To Major General Whittingham

Headquarters Alicant 31 December 1812


In rely to your letter of yesterday’s date I beg to acquaint you I see no reason to object to the movements of the corps of your division as therein suggested viz.

Cordova from Tibi To Villajoyosa & Murcia to San Joan [d’Alacant] and have signified the same to Major General Donkin Quarter Master General that he may take with you, the necessary measures and make the requisite arrangements accordingly.

A corps of the British division will occupy Libi and a battalion of the same be sent to Xixona [Jijona].

I have had no information whatever from General Ellio of any portion of the 2nd army falling back upon Murcia, and some time has elapsed since I apprized that officer of the strong probability there was, of a portion of your division being moved in that direction on account of subsistence. In regard to the division of Major General Roche, I understand from my predecessor in command, it was moved to it’s present quarters for the express purpose of leaving the Huerta & Alicant and districts adjacent open to yours.

It therefore appears to me that in common justice it ought not to be dispossessed again for a similar reason, from the Elche district and the contiguous places at present in its occupation.

I regret as much as any person can the unprovided state of the country as to you, and by you, represented, but I must repeat my objections to any reliance being placed upon the British commissariat, the demands upon which have already increased in a very material degree since I received your letter to which this is a reply. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Marquis Coupigny Majorca

Headquarters Alicant 1 January 1813


I avail myself of the departure of the Thunder bomb of war proceeding to Palma to present your excellency on the opening of the new year, with the compliments of the season and to offer you my best wishes for the continuance of your health and prosperity.

The Thunder proceeds in charge of a convoy of transports to Palma for the purpose of purchasing straw for this army, and perfectly aware as I am from former experience, of your excellency’s inclination to assist our views on all occasions, whether small or important. I take the liberty of presenting the commander with this letter to your excellency and of requesting that every facility may be afforded him in accomplishing the purchase in view. J Campbell Major General


Captain Molloy[53]

Headquarters Alicant 2nd January 1813


I am directed by Major General Campbell to forward you the annexed copy of a letter received by him from Lieutenant General Maitland for your guidance and information. G D’Aguilar, Assistant Military Secretary


To Marquis Wellington

Headquarters Alicant 3 January 1812 [1813]


My Lord,

A British officer of rank in the Spanish service and in whom I have the most entire confidence, being about to depart this evening for Cadiz overland, I avail myself of this occasion to report to your lordship, that in the course of the last 3 days a still further supply of troops has reached this place from Sicily, composed as noted in the margin[54] and in round numbers about 3,000 of all classes and descriptions. I have heard from Lord William Bentinck so late as the 14 December, at which period he had fixed no present time for his departure from Palermo to take the command of this increased division: his movements being necessarily regulated by the interesting political events occurring daily on that island and also in no small degree influenced by the apprehension and anxiety with which the partisans of and the duke react to [the] British connection, view his departure from among them.

I shall freely admit to your lordship that I was not prepared for this delay in Lord William Bentinck’s movements; I had calculated seeing his reaching this coast very soon after myself and confident my charge of the forces here assembled altogether temporary, in so much as to have no way made up my mind to so arduous responsible a trust as it has now become.

Thus situated my lord, I have only to assure you of my best and unremitting exertions till I consign it into abler hands, which I shall do with no reluctance and should I in the meanwhile fail by my proceedings in meeting the wishes and fulfilling the ideas of your lordship in the publick, it will be error of judgement and not from any deficiency in an anxious and zealous desire to obtain the approbation of both.

I have herewith enclosed for your lordship’s information a sketch of the corps forming now this division of the army, which will show at the same time its estimated force and also it’s composition, it behoves me to remark however that respecting the former I have given the most favourable and extensive view, although I am thoroughly persuaded that the numbers therein set forth could never be brought effective into the field though they are nevertheless forthcoming on the score of subsistence and the supply of various wants.

In respect to the component parts of this body your lordship will at once perceive wherein and how much it falls short in reality and in confidence of what the same numbers might be considered made up of our own national and gallant soldiers.

It was not until yesterday that the last received portion from Sicily came in there, and the aggregate force in the vicinity now occupies a line of cantonments extending from Villajoyosa near Altea Bay to Elche and Orihuela on the frontier of Murcia, a space upwards of 30 miles in extent. The Spanish divisions of  Major General Whittingham and Roche, being one on each extreme flank of this cordon for the facility of procuring provisions and which article I regret to say is daily falling short from the devastated state of the country, first occasioned by the ravages of the enemy and subsequently called upon to contribute to the no less oppressive supply of our allies.

The British had foreign corps with the exception of two for the requisite duties of Alicant, are cantoned in the surrounding villages, our front extending to Libi and Jijona and detachments of Spanish cavalry are pushed forward for observation to Monforte [del Cid] and Elda.

From the last information to be procured and in which very material point I am sorry to remark we are extremely deficient. The enemy continues to occupy the same chain of posts he has done for the last month, his right at [La] Font de la Requiera and extending by Mogente, St Felippe and Albaida, his force as far as we can learn, no way differing from what it was on my arrival, except it be by the occasion of these additional battalions of the line, which within the last fortnight, reached St Felippe from Tortosa, making the force we could concentrate at a very short notice on this side the Xucar upwards of 16,000, including  a [sizeable?] and superior body of cavalry far exceeding in numbers as well as in composition any we could oppose to them, if we except the small detachment of British which belongs to this army.

The force which it is probable  Marshal Suchet could call together between Valencia and the Xucar I cannot speak of with so much certainty, but it is estimated at 8,000 disposable of for field service.

I have been thus particular in laying before your lordship the situation & circumstances of this division, that you may be fully aware of its powers and its depots and thereby be enabled to appreciate its capacity.

I am as yet without any precise instructions from any of my superiors for the regulation of my conduct, beyond the precautionary admonition addressed by your lordship to my predecessor and of which I by no means conceive myself warranted to loose [sic] sight notwithstanding the increased numbers of the division. It is therefore my intention to await events, at the same time holding myself prepared to take advantage of any occurrence which may present a favourable occasion for acting offensively. It would reflect very little credit on my judgement to do so prematurely and thereby incur the hazard of falling back upon Alicant with a crippled and disabled army, which might render it incapable of cooperation in and of future and important services that may be in your lordship’s contemplation for the opening of the campaign, nor does it become me to lose sight of the value which attaches to these troops for such possible events as may arise throughout the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean for which this army was formed.

I shall intrude no longer upon your lordship’s valuable time than may be necessary to repeat the very particular satisfaction I shall experience from the arrival of Lord W Bentinck, to exonerate me from my present charge, the weight and responsibility of which I am abundantly sensible of, as well as the conviction that it merits being placed under the direction of more talent, capacity & experience than any I presume to aspire to. Meanwhile your lordship may rest satisfied that I shall exert myself to the best of my ability and judgement in the arduous task which has devolved upon me. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant 5 January 1813


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of the 30th December. I have suspended for the present the movement of the Spanish battalions in the direction I mentioned to your excellency and shall be happy to await the communication of your intentions on this subject.

I observe with satisfaction the measure adopted by your excellency of sending an officer of such distinguished merit as the chief of your staff to attend the Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo [Wellington] at Cadiz.

Such a mark of attention will be equally flattering to his lordship and productive of beneficial effect to the publick service.

I enter most cordially into everything your excellency observes upon the subject of future cooperation and am sanguine in the hope that the day is not far distant when all your excellency’s patriotic wishes on this subject will be realised. I need not assure you, how happy I should be to be instrumental in any degree to carrying them into effect. Since the receipt of your excellency’s letter a further reinforcement has arrived from Sicily, consisting of British troops and allies, amounting of all classes and descriptions to about 3,000 men. Lord William Bentinck had not left Palermo on the 14th, but it was hoped no great delay would take place before he effected his departure. His presence here is anxiously looked for and feeling as I do, the importance of it to the publick service, by none more sincerely than myself.

The publick news from Russia continues favourable, as your excellency will observe by the paper I have the pleasure to enclose you and we have other sources of intelligence of a more private, though not less trustworthy and confidential nature, that corresponds with this account. A report reached us yesterday from Catalonia of another battle in the neighbourhood of Minsk, in which the French are said to have lost 10,000 men upon the field, but this intelligence wants confirmation.

I take my leave of your excellency for the present, with the assurance of my esteem and consideration and in the fervent hope that the ensuing campaign will terminate the sufferings of an oppressed & gallant people, which has shown itself by its conduct worthy of the liberty to which it aspires. J Campbell, Major General


General Ellio

Alicant 6 January 1813


The enclosed papers which I have forwarded herewith to your excellency was handed to me by Major General Roche, to whom I had given permission to send a battalion of his division to the City of Orihuela for subsistence.

Regarding the arrangements entered into by the Spanish government for the providing of food for their armies in general, it is not for me to remark. But it is my duty to apprize your excellency distinctly and explicitly that in the present position of the divisions of the Spanish armies of all and every description, I have no authority or no instructions to concern myself in their means of subsisting and that I make no exception whatever on this head; respecting those divisions which are under Major Generals Whittingham and Roche, notwithstanding they have been more immediately in conjunction with the division of the British army in this province and acting by the orders of its commander.

It has been by me, fully explained both to Major General Whittingham and Major General Roche, that they must place no reliance, on any aid or assistance from the British magazines or from the exertions of the British commissariat and it is requisite that your excellency should also be made acquainted with my orders as well as my determination to feed only the British and allied corps which came hither from Sicily, until I shall receive positive instructions to do otherwise from my direct superiors.

Our magazines are no more than equal to our own consumption and I hesitate not to take upon me the responsibilities which may arise out of this refusal to supply the wants of any other soldiers beyond those I have already specified and I am thus candid and open with your excellency that you may in your future arrangements on the score of subsistence, grant that consideration to your countrymen armed for the same common cause which I am prompted to here, your own liberality and justice would lead you to when all the circumstances of the case are explained to you, as I have used the freedom of doing in this letter. J Campbell, Major General


Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant


Your letter of the 7th instant did not reach me till last night. I found it waiting my arrival from Libi. I regret the embarrasement under which the movement and position of General Ellio’s troops has placed the division under your immediate orders on the score of subsistence. Nor have I yet had any reply from him to my letter, written on this subject at your suggestion.

Be that however as it may, I am fixed in my principle of considering the feeding of the Spanish armies or divisions as no concern of mine. Neither does my authority extend to dictating to General Ellio what particular districts of a country he is to occupy.

The whole system of procuring food to the Spanish armies throughout I conceive to be bad, oppressive to the country and consequently injurious to the common cause, but it is no affair of mine, nor have I the power of doing more than to state my sentiments as I have already done to General Ellio, and will do so again if you desire it. Repeating to you that I hold myself no way concerned in the victualling any of the divisions of the Spanish armies situated as they now are and that I consider it no part of the duties or the trust, with the exerting of which I am for the present charged. J Campbell Major General


Captain Vial on the Staff of the troops of His Sicilian Majesty

6 January 1813


I have this day received the letter addressed to me by the officer commanding the First Regiment of Esteri in the service of His Sicilian Majesty recently disembarked at this place, on the subject of their pay and I have to request you will inform him that it is altogether out of my power to comply with his suggestion, relative to the advance of pay to himself and the officers of that corps for the present month of January, as in doing so I should not only impinge upon the compact entered into, between His Sicilian Majesty’s government and His Excellency the British minister at Palermo relative to the payment of the troops composing the Colonna Mobile but also otherwise countenance a deviation from the positive instructions given by the Inspector and Paymaster to his deputy serving with this division of the army. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Sir H Wellesley

Headquarters Alicant 7 January 1813


Understanding that there is at this moment a considerable quantity of American flour on hand at Cadiz and the expediency of securing a certain position of it for the troops of this army having been suggested by the Commissariat officer at the head of that depot. I am induced to take the liberty of requesting that your excellency would be pleased to cause 4,000 barrels to be purchased and forwarded by the first convenient opportunity to Alicant.

I should not have presumed to trouble your excellency on this subject, were I not encouraged to it by a sense of your excellency’s disposition on every occasion to meet the wants and assist the demands of the public service.

Since my last letter under date 30th December, nothing has transpired worthy of communicating. I hold myself ready however to forward to your excellency whatever may occur to interest in this quarter. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Don Luiz Requeleme Brigadier General

Head quarters Alicant 8 January 1813


I have to suggest to your excellency that in the present situation and increased numbers of the allied army, there is frequent occasion to receive reports and to dispatch Staff officers and dragoons with orders in the course of the night and after the hours when the gates of the garrison of Alicant are shut. There is now no cause to be apprehensive of any approach of the enemy to this immediate vicinity, it is rather to be desired that he would so far commit himself. I am (under these circumstances) prompted to solicit the favour of your excellency to permit the keys of the Puerto della Reyna to remain with the officer commanding the guard at that gate and to give directions that officers and orderly dragoons on duty may be permitted to pass to and fro, mounted, as the public service may require. If your excellency is any way desirous of it, I shall direct an intelligent and steady British non-commissioned officer to attend at the guard of the Puerto della Reyna from the hour the gate is shut until it is again opened in the morning, that he may aid and assist the officers of the guard on such occasions as any question may arise. J Campbell Major General commanding



His Excellency, Vice Admiral Sir E Pellew

Alicant, 10 January 1812 [1813]


Conformable to your letter under date 30th November, I have herewith enclosed the deposition of Michael Smith, servant to a surgeon embarked on board the transport No 251 relative to the robbing and throwing overboard of the said Smith at Mahon by a boatman of that place. This deposition was made before the deputy judge advocate doing duty with this division of the army and would have been transmitted earlier, had not the transport No. 251 being absent on duty at Majorca. J Campbell Major General


Adjutant General of the Forces, Horseguards, London

Alicant 10 January 1813


For the information of His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, it is my painful duty to report to you, that no less than nine men, of the 4th and 6th Battalions of King’s German Legion have been sentenced by a General Court Martial; one shot to death for desertion in the course of the last three days at this place. The proceedings of these courts martial are forwarded through the customary channel to the Judge Advocate General. Prior to resorting to this act of the last rigour & severity, every effort which clemency and humanity dictated were put in practise but in vain. These corps deserted by six and eight at a time and many of them while on duty. No excuse can be made in extenuation of this crime, as the brigade & corps of the King’s German Legion serving with this division of the army, I have ascertained to be treated with justice and attention & kindness and to experience no description of hardship or privation, on the contrary their wants have been and continue to be abundantly supplied.

We have had desertions also in other corps annexed to this army, principally Frenchmen who to avoid starvation in Spanish prisons enrolled themselves in His Sicilian Majesty’s troops and were transferred to our new foreign corps. In common justice the extremity of the law could not be put in force against men so circumstanced, I have therefore preferred the sending them to resume their footing of prisoners of war in the depot at Malta, which I trust HRH will approve. J Campbell Major General



Don P Quinette comandante 2nd Army

Alicant 10 January 1813


The officer at the head of the commissariat of this division of HM forces having laid before me your letter of the 24th December, I am called upon to express to you my sincere regret at the distress experienced by the Spanish troops of the 2nd Army.

But I should be wanting in that openness and candour which is due equally to your application and my own situation,  did I not clearly and distinctly express to you that I have neither the means nor the authority under existing circumstances to the subsistence of the Spanish troops.

I have been under the necessity of refusing this to the divisions of Major General Whittingham and Roche which are acting immediately in conjunction with the troops under my orders and whose necessities (if anything could induce a deviation from the general principle upon which I have considered it my duty to proceed) must naturally be the first to claim my attention and assistance, but situated as the British troops are here, with regard to numbers and deriving their supplies altogether from external and distinct quarters, I am under the painful necessity of repeating once more that I must withhold my sanction to the assistance solicited by you from the head of the British commissariat on this occasion. J Campbell Major General commanding



Sir H Wellesley

Head quarters Alicant 11 January 1813


I send to your excellency by this occasion a transcript of the 29th Bulletin from the French armies of the north. It has occurred to Admiral Hallowell as well as to myself that in all probability this bulletin and the papers which accompany it from the coast of Catalonia will convey to you nothing you are not already fully apprized of. Nevertheless the urgent and repeated manner in which Captain Codrington[55] presses their being forwarded to your excellency & for the information of the Marques Wellington, has decided me to dispatch them to Cadiz. Nothing of material importance has taken place in this place quarter since I last wrote to your excellency on the 31 December, nor have we had any further tidings from Lord William Bentinck or of his approach.

The enclosed report of intelligence was forwarded to me yesterday and though I am inclined to doubt its contents to their full extent. I am well aware that considerable corps of Marshal Soult’s army have been for the last month spread over upper La Mancha and New Castille, paying contributions of money and subsistence and ready if requisite to concentrate and move where so ever their presence might be required. All I can say further is that we shall hold ourselves prepared here to act as circumstances and the further and ascertained movements of the enemy shall demand or give us the opportunity.

I cannot close this letter without stating to your excellency the incessant and pressing applications made to me by the Spanish divisions of the Major General’s Whittingham and Roche on the score of their subsistence.

It is to me most distinctly apparent that both these officers have habituated themselves to the idea that because they are acting with a British army, they are therefore to place a reliance when other sources fail upon being fed by our commissariat. To this however, I have hitherto & shall continue to withhold consent as your excellency must be already aware if my dispatch of the 31st December (forwarded by the Spanish post) exclusively on this subject has reached you and I am the more induced to abide by this. My resolve from the increase that has lately taken place in the numbers we have to supply, which at the same time not any proportionate augmentation has been made to our stock of provision. The unprovided state of these divisions I am nevertheless certain in such as to call for the prompt and effectual aid of the Spanish government. J Campbell Major General


Major General Whittingham

Headquarters Alicant 11 January 1813


In reply to your letter of yesterday evening I have only in the first instance to observe that the proposed march of your dismounted dragoons to Murcia (a measure as you stated to me taken by order of the Spanish government) preceded by many days the projected march of your whole division to that province recently suggested, nor did I understand until the receipt of your letter above alluded to, that General Ellio had objected to all or any part of this arrangement. These however are abstract matters, separate & apart from the question more immediately in discussion. I am fixed in the opinion and must maintain that I have no right and certainly no orders or authority to take upon myself the subsistence of either yours or any other division of the Spanish armies while situated as your division at present is. Common foresight might have predicted and ought to have provided against the crisis that has arrived. That responsibility rests with you, or with the Spanish government. It is not for me to decide which, but it is for me to prevent the exhaustion of the British stores in remedying such want of precaution let it have occurred or originated which way it may.

Under this view of the case I cannot (as you suggest it) withhold my acquiessence to the departure of the regiments of Burgos, Murcia, and Cordova to Granada. I shall regret their absence but must do as well as I can without them. The corps you propose to retain here as detailed in your letter of the 10th accords with my ideas already communicated to you. I am also desirous that your cavalry (Almanza at least) should remain, but I can enter into no stipulation of rations to be furnished. That must depend upon various circumstances and contingencies not to be foreseen at this moment. Our own means are much too limited to admit of any sudden increase or extra expenditure and as for ulterior instructions, either from your superiors or my own, I have only to assure you that I have submitted the point at issue and all its relations to their view, from the first moment the present question has agitated betwixt us, and that you charged me with the responsibility of its results, from which I have no desire to recede, and I shall await in consequence precise orders prior to entering into any material innovation of the system as it at present stands & which was arranged between the British and Spanish governments respectively so distinctly as in my opinion to enquire no elucidation. J Campbell, Major General


General Ellio

Alicant, 12 January 1813


I am again induced to press upon the consideration of your excellency the critical situation and daily increasing wants of the divisions of the Spanish armies under the Major Generals Whittingham and Roche. From me they have nothing to expect on the score of subsistence. My means do not admit of supplying them; even if my orders authorised me or my inclination prompted me to do so and I have given them explicitly to understand that they must place no reliance whatever on any assistance from our magazines which are scarcely equal to our own necessities.

Under these circumstances I can only again recommend the case of these divisions to your excellency’s consideration & liberality and express my hope, that you may be able to make such arrangements as will enable you to share with them the supplies you expect to draw from the province of Murcia. At all events, that it may be in your power to leave them the district of Ampudia. I am also desirous of suggesting to your excellency that Alicant may be garrisoned by two or more corps of these divisions and the present regiments doing duty there withdrawn. On the whole I am perfectly disposed to do all that upon me depends, to alleviate the sufferings and privations of these corps, but their principal reliance must be after all on the bounty & indulgence of your excellency, as from the first moment of my arrival here, I have continued to assure both the Generals Whittingham and Roche that they must not depend upon any supplies from the stores of the British army. J Campbell Major General


Lieutenant Dale[56]

Alicant 12 January 1812 [1813?]


I forward you by instruction from Major General Campbell, an order on the Commissary General for one hundred dollars on account of cloathing &c for deserters from the enemy, which you will account for to that officer when expended. George D’Aguillar Acting Military Secretary


Major Farrer[57], commanding 81st Regiment

Headquarters, Alicant 12 January 1813


I have the honour to inform you that the Major General commanding admits the claim of Major Gillman and Captains Bowles and Cole of the 81st Regiment to the allowance of bat, baggage and forage money as granted to officers embarking to join their regiments on foreign stations under Circular No. 141, War Office, 19th October 1812. The Major General however under the present low state of the military chest, directs me to say that the payment of this claim will be the subject of his future consideration when convenient opportunity presents. George D’Aguillar Acting Military Secretary.


His Excellency Lieutenant General Campbell, Gibraltar

Alicant 12th January 1813


Referring to my letter of date 27th ultimo on the subject of a supply of salt meat to this army, I am now under the necessity on account of the increased numbers of the same, to request that you will be pleased to augment the requisition therein stated to the amount of 850,000lbs being two months provision for 15,000 men; should the former demand have been already forwarded prior to receiving this letter, I have only to request you will be so good as to take measures for conveying to us the remainder to complete to the full amount of 850,000 with as little delay as possible and the exigency’s of the public service will admit. J Campbell Major General


Lieutenant Pauli, Deputy Inspector [Foreign Levies]

Alicant 13 January 1813


I am desired by Major General Campbell to acquaint you that according to the enclosures herewith sent, the Alfiere [Ensign] Michiele Mango of the Esteri Regiment, promoted to that rank on the 14th December ultimo, from cadet, appears to have a well  grounded claim to the allowance or gratification granted to the other subalterns of that corps on embarking and that you are consequently authorized to pay it to him. George D’Aguillar, Assistant Military Secretary


Major General Roche

Alicant 14 January 1813


The accompanying translation of a letter received this morning from General Ellio is so full and so satisfactory an answer to your several communications on the subject of the subsistence of your division, that I think it necessary only to enclose it for your information without entering into a formal reply. J Campbell, Major General


NB This letter was translated and forwarded in French!


Major General Whittingham

Headquarters Alicant 14 January 1813


I am just favoured with your letter of this date and beg to acquaint you in reply that although on your suggestion and the apparent urgency of the case I concurred in the march of the regiments of Cordova, Murcia, and Burgos, to Granada for subsistence and consequently to enable you with more facility to provide for the wants of the portion of the division that would then remain in this vicinity; I am by no means disposed to accede to the idea of your heading in that direction your cavalry and efficient artillery as I conceived to have been sufficiently indicated in my letter of the 11th instant in reply to yours of the preceding day.

In the letter above alluded to you propose to remain here with the ‘5th Battalion of Grenadiers, the Cazadores of Majorca, two 4 pounders and two howitzers with 40 horses & mules and the men necessary to serve the pieces as foot artillery.’ To which I again express my acquiessence, but must in addition desire that the cavalry of your division (at least that portion of it detached towards Monforte [del Cid] & Elda or a similar detail in strength) may remain for the observation of the enemy in that direction.

As to the march of the 3 battalions above named and your dismounted dragoons (if you think proper) in the direction of Granada, I conceive it to be the most efficacious expedient you can adopt in the present situation of the means of subsistence; and if my concurrence can then will you the responsibility of adopting and without further delay, that measure, before you hear further from government, I am quite ready to partake it with you.

I think the colonels of Murcia and Burgos are quite right in sending you official statements to exonerate themselves as to the effect which may be produced by the want of provision.

I shall reply separately to your letter about the dragoons of the 13th Hussars. J Campbell Major General


Lieutenant Pauli, Deputy Inspector Foreign Levies

Headquarters, Alicant, 14th January 1813


Your letter of the 13th instant has been duly laid before me. In reply I have to acquaint you, that it appears to me just and reasonable that the dollar should be issued to the troops of His Sicilian Majesty according to its rate of currency in the country viz at 12 Taris the dollar; and agreeable to the same principle that has directed its issue to the Calabrian Free Corps and Italian Levy serving with this army.

Under these circumstances you are hereby authorized to issue the dollar in payment to the troops of His Sicilian Majesty at 12 Taris the dollar, preserving the original of this correspondence and forwarding copies to the superior Inspector Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Dalrymple, as vouchers for this proceeding till the final decision of His Excellency Lord W Bentinck is obtained upon this subject.

Aware as I am of the perfectly good intention with which you were induced to make this payment in advance without consulting me, I am not disposed to make any other comment upon it, beyond a recommendation, on all future occasions to refer everything connected with your public account to the immediate decision of the officer commanding whoever he may be. J Campbell Major General commanding


To the officer commanding the advanced posts of the French army

Headquarters Alicant, 15 January 1813


Enclosed I have the honour to forward you a list containing the names of 14 prisoners of war originally taken at Seville by the allied army, and who have been sent to this place from Cadiz and Gibraltar for the express purpose of being given up to the French army in this province. I have arranged with the admiral commanding the British squadron here assembled that these prisoners shall be sent by parlementaire to the coast at or near Valencia, wheresoever it may be judged best to receive them within the French lines and they are to be considered as released from captivity on a regular receipt being granted to the officer who will be sent in charge of them. My aide de camp Captain Angelo[58] is the bearer hereof and will furnish any farther explanation which may be required relative to the subject of this letter. Accept sir the offer, of my best consideration with which I have the honour to remain &c. J Campbell Major General commanding


Major General Whittingham

Headquarters Alicant, 15 January 1813


In reference to your letter of yesterdays date on the subject of pay of British soldiers attached to your division. I am to acquaint you, that on the estimates for their full pay being forwarded to me with the alterations suggested by the commissary of accounts in your signature, I shall have no difficulty in countersigning the account and directing payment to be made forthwith accordingly.

Instructions will be issued to the officer commanding 20th Light Dragoons at Muchamiel to receive the two corporals of the 13th and attach them to his command till further orders. J Campbell Major General Commanding



General Ellio

Head Quarters Alicant 15 January 1813


Your excellency’s letter to me without date, has been handed to me by Colonel Catanable and the measures you have so readily and generously adopted by relinquishing the district of Orihuela to the necessities of the division of the Spanish army under Major General Roche, is at once the best evidence of your zeal to forward the publick service as well as your consideration & feeling for the privations of your countrymen and fellow soldiers. The wants of these two divisions more immediately annexed to the British Army, have indeed been most urgently and repeatedly pressed upon me and I have experienced their importunity with the more anxiety, because I felt how totally it was beyond my means to alleviate these privations, which I cannot help thinking, a small proportion of common foresight might have beheld and provided against.

So desperate has Major General Whittingham reported the state of his division to be that I am content to lose the services of three battalions of his infantry and grant him my permission and authority to canton them as he thinks fit in procuring sustenance as also some of his cavalry mounted and dismounted, who he tells me he cannot provide for, and as certainly it is not in my power to do so.

I enclose your excellency two copies of a Gazette Extraordinary sent to me from England. I congratulate you in the reverses which have been sustained by the common enemy and trust they are not yet drawn to a close.

We have endeavoured to give every publicity here to these important events by circulating copies throughout the country translated into the Spanish language. I shall no longer intrude on the valuable time of your excellency, than may suffice to renew the experiences of the confirmed respect and esteem with which, I have the honour to be &c &c. J Campbell, Major General


Sir H Wellesley KB

Alicant 16 January 1813


I have had the honour to receive yesterday your excellency’s dispatch of the 9th instant with the gazette’s enclosed, containing the official details of the important and successful occurrences in the north of Europe, to which I have ordered all possible publicity to be given in this and the adjoining provinces by having printed copies struck off and promulgated throughout the several parts of the British and allied army.

I send to your excellency a brief summary of the intelligence received here within the last week, requesting you will have the goodness to forward it to Marquis Wellington, if you conceive it to be of sufficient importance to merit his notice or that I will convey to him any tidings, of which he may not hitherto have been aware.

The conclusions I have myself drawn from this information is that the enemy in this quarter has certainly some movement beyond the common in contemplation, the object or the intention of which cannot yet be pronounced.

We shall however be prepared for any form it may assume, whether offensive or retrograde with the best exertions of our ability or our diligence.

No accounts have reached me from Lord William Bentinck since the 14th ultimo, I am therefore in great conjecture that the interesting political concerns of Sicily and thinking no immediate active operations to be likely to ensue in the peninsula have induced him to suspend his departure. Had he relinquished altogether his intention of proceeding hither, I am persuaded he would ere this have given me notice. J Campbell, Major General


Summary of intelligence enclosed in the preceding letter.


10 January 1813

Information received that 10,500 infantry and 1,500 cavalry, the flower of Soult’s army, under General Carrera[59] had been detached to reinforce Suchet and had actually reached Belmonte in upper La Mancha with that intention. Supposing this force to join his army Suchet’s numbers would then by our best estimation amount to:


Cavalry    3,600

Infantry 32,500



The French hold out that they mean to attack Alicant. NB Subsequent accounts from General Ellio and other quarters confirm the above intelligence with the force at Belmonte.


15 January

A considerable corps of the enemy’s infantry and cavalry reported to have marchd from San Felippe & Mogente towards Valencia and that the 12,000 French under [Coursevour?] at Belmonte continue stationary.


Immediate from Villene

Our enemy’s posts in our front reported to be concentrating at [La] Font de Figuera bringing with them all their equipage, the general conversation among them is that they are about to change their position. The rations they have drawn from this town, they insist upon having in 24 hours, assuring us that the next month they will ask for nothing.


Captain Kersteman 10th Regiment

Headquarters, Alicant 16 January 1813


In reply to your letter of this days date which has been duly laid before Major General Campbell. I am directed to acquaint you that the Major General is of opinion that this application for reimbursement should have been made at an earlier period and addressed more immediately to Major General Clinton under whose orders the service took place. Major General Campbell begs therefore the business may be referred to Major General Clinton for his decision. George D’Aguilar Acting Military Secretary


Captain Vial

Headquarters Alicant, 16 January 1813


Considering that the whole conduct of Lieutenant Napoli of the Royal Sicilians forces is both contumacious [wilfully disobedient] and insubordinate as well as disrespectful  to his immediate commanding officer as well as to his superiors in general, it is my intention as soon as I make the necessary arrangements to remove him to the castle of Alicant, there to remain under arrest until his improper behaviour shall be represented as it merits. It is also my intention that no farther pay or allowance beyond his ration of provision shall be issued to the said Adjutant Napoli till he signs for the sums he has already received upon the equitable and fair terms proposed to him, of all which you are desired to acquaint him of my determination and that the commissary Lieutenant Pauli shall receive my directions accordingly. J Campbell Major General commanding


To the Provincial Junta of the Kingdom of Valencia, Alicant

Alicant 18 January 1812 [1813?]


I have the honour to inform you that I have laid your letter before His Excellency the Major General commanding.

His excellency directs me to acknowledge its receipt, with respect to the first subject presented to the Major General’s consideration viz the embargo of mules, carts &c of travellers and private individuals. The Major General agrees most fully, both in its inconvenience and impropriety and directs me to say that he has this day published an order forbidding any individual with the exception of the duly authorised authorities (the chiefs of the commissariat of the allied armies) to take this liberty in future.

With regard to the second, the release of the horses, mules &c in the public service the Major General sincerely regrets that it is out of his power to accede to the wishes of the Junta (with a view of explaining his motives more clearly) that however practicable it may appear in civil policy it is entirely incompatible with military arrangements and operations. George D’Aguilar acting Military Secretary



His Excellency General Ellio

Headquarters Alicant 18 January 1813


I am favoured with your excellency’s letter of the 14th instant from Murcia as likewise with that presented to me by Lieutenant Colonel Catanelli.

I beg your excellency to accept my best acknowledgements for the very handsome manner in which you have conducted your correspondence with me throughout on the subject of the Spanish divisions & their subsistence and to be assured that I am not more sensibly affected by their necessities, than alive to your excellency’s liberality and consideration on this occasion.

I do not hesitate to say that the principal of accommodation which has directed your excellency on every occasion in which I have been fortunate enough to communicate with you, is duly appreciated by me and must extend its beneficial effects to the common cause in which we are united. I do not presume to express an opinion to your excellency on the subject of your reference to the Spanish government regarding the occupation of Granada, but I sincerely hope that your excellency’s views so fully directed to the promotion of the publick service, may meet on every occasion the consideration which they merit.

As the dis-occupation of Orihuela by the troops of your excellency furnishes at once the division of Major General Roche with the means of subsistence, I have really no right to ask more from your excellency under all the privations of your own situation, and shall conclude my letter therefore with a repetition of my sincere acknowledgements and the assurance of my perfect consideration. J Campbell, Major General


Major General Roche



I have been honoured with your letter of yesterday’s date and I am perfectly aware of the situation of responsibility you are now placed in, as well as of the constant state of activity you are kept in, but viewing the high discipline on which I have been made to understand you have reported the corps under your immediate orders I have reason to expect much and rely with confidence on your further exertions in our honourable cause. The zealous and anxious case with which the Spanish government has hitherto prevented its national troops from being placed under the orders of British generals is known to me and it remains with every British officer to put an end to sentiments fraught with so much mischief and without any foundation of truth. I must beg leave also to say that no British general has ever assumed the command of Spanish troops until they were placed under his orders with that manly confidence which I trust will hereafter mark the Spanish character and the British officer by a faithful discharge of his duty continues to merit.

It does not appear to me that there exists any inequality in the quantum of duty allotted to any portion of this army, nor can any reflect more credit on individuals than the advanced first duty of an army, when constant vigilance is required, but where also the talents and steady bravery of the officers and soldiers may be fairly called forth.


Colonel Torrens

Headquarters Alicant, 19 January 1813


I have the honour to enclose herewith the joint memorial of Captain & Brevet Major O’Brien and Lieutenants Shee, Lewis and Briggs of the 58th Regiment[60] which I request you will be pleased to lay before the commander in chief for His Royal Highness’s favourable consideration, J Campbell Major General commanding


Colonel Torrens

Headquarters, Alicant 19 January 1813

I have the honour to enclose herewith the recommendation of Mr E Brown (senior officer on the medical staff of this army) in favour of Assistant Surgeon William Bamfield of the 58th Regiment[61] which I request you will be pleased to lay before the commander in chief, for His Royal Highness’s favourable consideration. J Campbell Major General commanding


Captain Vial on the Staff of HSM [His Sicilian Majesty’s] troops

Headquarters Alicant, 20 January 1813



I have received your letter enclosing one from Captain Gorwein of the Sicilian artillery. For my own part I am unacquainted with the usages of your service. You should know them more correctly and I have to request as the principal staff officer annexed to the division of His Sicilian Majesty’s troops serving with this army, that you will desire they will govern themselves in all points of etiquette by the same maxims they have hitherto done. J Campbell Major General commanding


Major General Campbell, Alicant

Elche 21 January 1813



I do myself the honour to transmit you copy of a letter from General Ellio to the Intendente of the province who as well as yourself and the Junta de Govinne had the goodness to represent the impossibility of this division existing unless that general would be pleased to evacuate Orihuela.

You will perceive sir, how different General Ellio’s answer to the intendente upon this subject is to that received by you a copy of which had the kindness to send me on the 14th instant, since which period I have patiently waited for the fulfilment of his previous promise for to his force, that one soldier has been removed from Orihuela and I have myself received an addition of 350 men of regiment of Almansa to subsist. I have the honour to be, Sir, with respect your most obedient and very humble servant, P Roche Major General



Provincial deputation of the province of Valencia

Headquarters Alicant 22nd January 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant. In reply, the Major General regrets that he can only reiterate the contents of my former letter of the 16th instant on this subject.

The Major General is persuaded that the Provincial deputation has been directed in all its observations and representations by a strict and earnest desire to combine individual convenience with the public good.

The Major General begs to assure the Junta that the same principle has done and will continue to direct his public conduct, but that it is totally out of his power in this instance to concede to the wishes of the Junta.

Under these circumstances His Excellency can have no objections to the Junta making such representations to the superior authorities as their judgement may think fit.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant, George D’Aguilar Military Secretary


Provincial deputation of the province of Valencia

Headquarters Alicant, 22 January 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell to acknowledge your two letters of yesterday, dated with their respective enclosures.

In reply to the first, which contains a complaint against and a correspondence with Major General Whittingham on the subject of the manner in which he has lately levied subsistence in Muchamiel and his adjutants. I am directed by the Major General to inform that Major General Whittingham regulates the subsistence of the Spanish troops immediately with the Spanish government. The Major General commanding is no way concerned responsible for the same. If individuals or the publick is aggrieved it will be necessary to prefer their complaints on this head to the Spanish government from whom Major General Whittingham receives his orders for the regulation of his conduct in everything that respects this particular. It is not within His Excellency’s province to interfere.

With regard to the second letter of the Junta which encloses the memorial of a peasant of San Vicente respecting the undue embargo of his mules. I am directed by the Major General commanding to inform the Junta that he has directed the necessary enquiries to take place immediately with the view of obtaining for the peasant every just and equitable redress. I have the honour to be gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant George D’Aguilar Military Secretary



Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant, 22 January 1813



I am favoured with your letter of yesterday’s date and can only again express my regret that you should experience so much difficulty in the support of your division, but neither the exigency or its remedy belongs to me, nor can I farther interfere in the concern more than I have already done. I am however induced to think from the general tenor of General Ellio’s conduct, that he will pay every attention in his power to any direct application you may make to him in the scene of provisions. To me it is needless to appeal, as I must decline any farther interference in what no way concerns me and has already fruitlessly occasioned to me no small share of anxiety as well as terrible. J Campbell Major General


Major O. Carey, Commanding Calabrian Free Corps[62]

Headquarters Alicant, 23 January 1813



I have had the honour of laying your letter of yesterday’s date before the Major General commanding.

In reply I am directed to acquaint you that Major General Campbell can make no exception in favour of the captain of the corps under your immediate orders.

These officers I am instructed to observe are victualled and provisioned like the rest of the army and possessing this great advantage in common with the rest, must submit in every other respect to the same privations. G D’Aguilar Acting Military Secretary


Don Luis Requeleme, Governor of Alicant

Headquarters Alicant, 23 January 1813



Sensible as I am of your Excellency’s disposition to grant all reasonable accommodation to the troops of His Britannick Majesty in this vicinity and equally well persuaded that nothing is solicited on our part that is unreasonable, I regret to have to trouble your excellency upon a point so important and at the same time so trivial, as some extra hospital accommodation, which has already been before your excellency and with which we cannot dispense. I have therefore requested Captain D’Aguilar to call upon your excellency and to explain that if the magazine given up to the British troops by Mr Thomas Moore[63], is not forthwith cleared of the stores with which it is now occupied, I shall be under the disagreeable necessity of removing them by my own means, since I cannot permit the soldiers under my command to languish under the purpose of sickness without the requisite necessaries and those best adapted for procuring them relief. J Campbell Major General


Captain Vial on the Staff of HSM troops

Headquarters Alicant 23 January 1813



I have received your letters enclosing one from the captain of the Sicilian artillery at Palamos and a specimen of biscuit issued to the troops under his command. I have made the requisite enquiries and can assure you and Captain Garzise, that the biscuit such as it is, (and certainly it is not of the best quality) is the same which is given to His Britannick Majesty’s troops, between whom and those of his ally, the King of the Two Sicilies, we are neither so illiberal or so ungenuous as to make any difference or distinction as to the quality of the rations. J Campbell Major General


Captain Vial on the Staff of HSM troops

Headquarters Alicant, 24 January 1813


I return you the three enclosed which accompanied your letter of this date.

The 1st. I find the Deputy Inspector and Paymaster has no instructions to defray, it must necessarily therefore be referred to Sicily.

The 2nd. Does not come within my power or authority to interfere with.

The 3rd. I cannot comply with for the same reasons already given upon the same subject.

J Campbell Major General


Provincial deputation of the Kingdom of Valencia

Headquarters Alicant 25 January 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell to acquaint you that on a due and particular enquiry into the merits of the memorial forwarded by the deputation of the Kingdom of Valencia for his consideration, His Excellency has really found the whole business equally beneath his as well as the Junta’s attention. George D’Aguilar, Acting Military Secretary


Sir E Pellew

Headquarters Alicant 25 January 1813



The principal commissariat officer in charge of that department with this army, has suggested to me the expediency of requesting you to spare for its use, 1,000 quarters if such supply can be granted to us without material inconvenience to His Majesty’s Naval service or too much exhausting its depots. J Campbell Major General


Don Vincente Ponse y Leon, Principal Magistrate at Gamla

Headquarters Alicant 31 January 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell commanding the division His Brittanick Majesty’s at this place to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th January with its enclosure, and to thank you for the prompt & efficacious measures taken to forward the dispatches addressed to his care to their destination, evincing by this means your readiness and desire to promote the publick service.

The Major General has not failed to make due mention of this circumstance in his dispatch to Sir H W Wellesley, His Britannick Majesty’s Ambassador in Cadiz.

Should the courier who met with the accident be able to pursue his journey without difficulty, the despatches in possession of the bearer will be entrusted to him; should you however be of opinion neither delay or difficulty will be incurred by this measure.

The Major General begs that the bearer may be permitted to proceed on such other trusty messenger you may think proper.

You will observe by this passport the bearer has received 2,000 Reals Vellor for which he is accountable to the publick. George D’Aguillar, acting Military Secretary


Major General Whittingham

Headquarters Alicant 2 February 1813


Dear Sir,

On perusing the paragraph of Lord Wellington’s letter to you relative to Captain Foley[64] and his paymastership of your division I can perceive no tie by which he can claim to be annexed to the British division, his functions being peculiarly Spanish and lest I should establish a precedent which might prove inconvenient and extensive,  I must decline the issue of any rations to Captain Foley in the above described capacity. It occurs to me to add that if Captain Foley’s nomination was meant to be considered British and as such entitled to rations from our stores, his office would certainly have been notified to the British commanding general.

The object is so trivial altogether that I can assure you I hesitate only in adherence to the principle I have hitherto acted upon and not from any other consideration, particularly as I am aware others are only awaiting the result of this claim to prefer similar applications or to withhold them. J Campbell Major General


M A Matthey, Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant 2 February 1813



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date, which has been duly laid before the Major General commanding.

In reply I am directed to inform you that however inclined Major General Campbell might be to comply with your request on the subject of additional allowance of bat and forage money. He is prevented from doing so by the recollection of similar applications having been made from different quarters to Lord William Bentinck at Palermo and having met with a decided refusal. It appears to the Major General that so long as there remains a head of the department with the army in the Mediterranean the officers serving with detached divisions cannot be permitted to claim the additional allowances of superior rank without giving birth to a precedent equally extensive and inconvenient in its effects. George D’Aguilar Acting Military Secretary


The Adjutant General of the forces, Horseguards London

Headquarters Alicant, 2 February 1813



Referring to your letter of the 25th November addressed to Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck in Sicily and by him forwarded to me at this place. I am to acquaint you that Captain Bignall and Hamilton of the 3rd Battalion 27th Regiment[65] have received orders to proceed from hence to Lisbon for the purpose of joining the same. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Bart

Headquarters Alicant, 6 February 1813



Availing myself of your kind offer somewhat time past made to me and not having received certain supplies of salt meat which we had by this period occasion to expect from Gibraltar, I am induced to request the favour of you to issue to this army from 2 to 400,000 lbs of salt provisions. If such can be done without inconvenience from the naval depot at Mahon. J Campbell Major General


Don Manoel Solar de Vanegas, Chief Alcalde, Alicant

Headquarters Alicant, 8 February 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell commanding the division of His Britannick Majesty’s forces in Alicant and the vicinity, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date together with its enclosure.

His Excellency begs me to express to you his acknowledgement for the copy of the notice about to be published by the chief magistrate of this city, prohibiting its inhabitants from purchasing articles of any description from soldiers or followers of the British army. The Major General has no doubt it will be productive of a beneficial effect.

With regard to the evacuation of the sheds in the Raga de Rommera for the convenience of the naval people, his excellency directs me to express his readiness to meet your wishes whenever other and equal accommodation shall be procured by you for the cattle that now occupies them.

So far from His Excellency’s being able to relinquish the ships upon any other principle; he begs me to add that he is on the eve of soliciting further accommodation from the city of Alicant for cavalry daily expected. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Don Manoel Solar de Vanegas, Chief alcalde Alicant


Head[quarters] Alicant 11 February 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Major General Campbell to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date.

In reply I am instructed to acquaint you that the British alluded to and in command of the regiment occupying the Hospital Real, in the faubourg St Anton has received the Major General’s instructions to allow no wine or aguardiente or other spirits of any description to be sold to the troops in his vicinity.

The licence which has long prevailed calls for immediate remedy, the sale of liquor is prejudicial to the health, the description and the morals of the army, and the Major General is strongly inclined to think that if you are pleased to enquire particularly into the acts complained of, it will found that the British officer on whose moderation and measure of propriety His Excellency has every reliance, has done no more than his duty.

With regard to the tinglado[66] in the Rayo Rammira, I am directed to state that so soon as equally good accommodation shall be procured for the cattle &c now in possession of it, the necessary orders will be issued to give it up for the purposes desired. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Colonel Torrens

Headquarters Alicant, 14 February 1813



I have the honour to enclose you herewith the memorial of brevet Major Price of the 58th Regiment[67] which I request you will be pleased to submit [to] the commander in chief for His Royal Highness’s favourable consideration. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Lieutenant General Campbell

Headquarters Alicant, 14 February 1813



I have herewith the honour to forward you a letter addressed to me by Lieutenant Colonel Holcombe commanding the artillery at this place, together with a report of a board of survey held upon some leather lately arrived from Gibraltar.

To this is added a return of other stores lately received with remarks upon the deficiencies and mistakes that have occurred in the transmission of them to this quarter, and to which I take the liberty to draw your attention. J Campbell Major General


Lieutenant Colonel Blomart commanding Grenadier battalion

Headquarters Alicant, 15 February 1813


I have had the honour of submitting your letter of the 14th February to the consideration of Major General Campbell with its enclosure.

The necessary instructions will be given to the Deputy Paymaster General to issue to Captain Brinckmann 8th Battalion King’s German Legion[68], the full pay of his company for the present month, but the Major General desires me distinctly to explain to you, that this is an indulgence founded upon the very particular circumstance you have brought before his notice and will in no degree be considered as a precedent to future example. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


W Salter Esquire, Deputy Paymaster General[69]

Headquarters Alicant 15 February 1813



I am instructed by Major General Campbell to request that you will be pleased to issue to Captain Brinckmann of the 8th Battalion King’s German Legion, the full pay of his company for the present month.

Peculiar circumstances have induced the Major General to grant this indulgence to Captain Brinckmann, but which will on no account be considered as a precedent for future example. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


The provincial deputation, kingdom of Valencia

Headquarters Alicant, 20 February 1813



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant.

It would really afford me pleasure to be able to grant satisfaction to you on every occasion, however trifling or however important, but I cannot as I have already explained in my letter of the 11th of February to the Chief Alcalde of this city, permit the sale of wine and spiritous liquor in the heart of a British cantonment.

The general officer who has presented this has done so with the best of motives, and upon a principle of the strictest propriety.

To admit it, would be productive of infinitely more detriment to the publick service and the publick cause than any possible benefit that could arrive to the individual complainant. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Lieutenant General Campbell

Headquarters Alicant, 23 February 1813



Embarked on board His Majesty’s Ship Leopard[70] are the 40 men named in the accompanying list, they are natives of France and were incorporated in a foreign levy, recently raised in Sicily and sent to join this division.

Certain symptoms of insubordination and desertion to an alarming height having manifested themselves in this corps while at the advance posts, I was under the necessity of disarming it, and am now employed in expelling from it all the suspicions and bad subjects upon whom no dependence can be placed and among the rest these native Frenchmen, who are sent to your garrison for the express purpose of being replaced upon the footing from whence they were taken, namely as prisoners of war.

These circumstances and the steps I have taken have been regularly reported to Earl Bathurst His Majesty’s Secretary of State for the War and Colonial Department, and to Marquis Wellington.

Had occasion offered I should have transferred these men to the prison of Malta (where indeed some of the same description were previously sent) but situated as we are here, it is most desirable to remove them from amongst us, and to return them to that situation from whence it would have been as well they had never been removed. J Campbell Major General


Colonel Torrens, Horseguards London

Headquarters Alicant 23 February 1813



I have herewith the honour to transmit the memorial of Lieutenant FH Von Stieg of Dillon’s Regiment which I request you will be pleased to submit to the commander in chief for His Royal Highness’s consideration. J Campbell Major General


His Excellency Major General Campbell

Headquarters Alicant, 23 February 1813



I have had the honour to receive your communication of the 23rd and 30th of January last, and learn with much regret that on account of the salt meat promised by government not having reached your garrisons it was not possible for you to comply with the requisition I made for that article in behalf and for the use of the army here assembled to the extent requested. It is necessary however I should explain to you in reference to your dispatch of the 30th January, that the officer in charge of the commissariat department here, made no direct application to the Commissary General at Gibraltar for money and provisions, as both Mr Daniell and myself were fully aware that such would be irregular unless coming from the head quarters of the division to you. He had my permission nevertheless to correspond with the Commissary General at Gibraltar relative to such requisitions as I had transmitted, which has no doubt led to the idea that they had proceeded immediately from himself which was never in contemplation. I have only to add on this subject that the increased numbers to be fed of this division, is such as will render most acceptable any farther aid which the stores of your garrison can spare to us.

The invoice of stores and sand bags (50,000) for the engineer department has been raised and a list of the corps composing the British portion of this army will be forwarded that you may be enabled to take the requisite measures provided by government respecting the clothing. J Campbell Major General


Colonel Pastori, commanding Jijona

Headquarters Alicant, 28 February 1813



I am favoured with your letter of yesterday’s date and have to return you my best thanks for the sentiments expressed in it as well as the manner in which they are conveyed.

As the duties of your command must necessarily interfere with the satisfaction I should have experienced from an immediate introduction to you, I shall take an early opportunity of visiting your post and of procuring myself the pleasure of your personal acquaintance as well as that of the officers of His Sicilian Majesty’s troops under your orders. J Murray Lieutenant General


F Daniell Esq, Deputy Commissary General

Alicant, 2 March 1813


I have it on command from Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to request that you will take the necessary measures for the purchase of mules for the guns and spare ammunition of the artillery, and likewise for the conveyance of the camp kettles &c of the soldiers which will be attached at the rate of one for each company to the corps of this army. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Monsieur Mansa Chef de Brigade commanding officer Ivica

Headquarters Alicant, 2 March 1813



I am directed by His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir John Murray commanding the British allied army in Alicant and its vicinity, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter from Ivica, together with those of Messrs Belinski, Lourd, Hartman, Martin, Didier, Schultz, Aubrey, Tautier, Aubisson, Diecke, Fish, Durander, Mulman, Katticener, non-combatants and prisoners of war at the same place.

It is with real regret His Excellency instructs me to inform you, that he has no power whatever to interfere with the arrangements of the Spanish authorities respecting the treatment of their prisoners of war.

His Excellency has taken the only measure that is permitted him, to alleviate their situation by submitting the various letters that have reached him to Sir Henry Wellesley, His Britannick Majesty’s Ambassador at Cadiz, whose humanity, he doubts not will dictate to him the best mode of directing the attention of the Spanish government to their contents.

With regard to yourself, sir, His Excellency the Lieutenant General (unable as he is from the circumstances I have above stated to comply with your request) does not conceive himself at liberty to enter into a question of personal feeling but instructs me to say, that the honour of a brave man can never be subjected to more than a temporary acquaintance and will he doubts not, ultimately prove superior to the ungenerous attacks to which you allude. George D’Aguilar, Military secretary


Captain Muller, Regiment of Rolls[71]

Headquarters Alicant, 4 March 1813



I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday’s date.

The Lieutenant General in reply instructs me to say that he is not sufficiently acquainted with the subject matter of it to give an opinion or indeed to represent it to His Royal Highness the commander in chief in the manner you seem to desire, but if you will address a letter to Colonel Torrens, His Royal Highness’s Military Secretary setting forth what is contained in your communication to the Lieutenant General, and at the same time soliciting an explanation of Colonel Torrens reply to your former representation. The Lieutenant General will be happy to forward it by the first opportunity for the commander in chief’s consideration. George D’Aguilar Military Secretary


F Daniell Esq Commissary General

Headquarters Alicant 9 March 1813


I have to request that you will be pleased to deliver to the bearer Don Francisco Benetti the sum of forty thousand hard dollars shipped onboard His Majesty’s Brig Charger[72] for the service of the army under the command of His Excellency General Ellio (agreeably to a letter from Sir Henry Wellesley, His Majesty’s resident minister at Cadiz, copy of which is herewith enclosed) and which has been consigned by mistake to purchase for the use of the troops under my command.  J Murray Lieutenant General


Original from Sir H[ew] Halkett will be found in the office chest in my Spanish papers


Officer commanding British troops Sicily

Headquarters Alicant, 9 March 1813


My Lord,

The proper equipment of this army will be much expedited and a considerable sum of money saved if you can spare one hundred artillery horses and fifty drivers from the establishment in Sicily. Unacquainted as I am with the resources your lordship may have and with the services required I can press this supply no further than assuring your lordship that what I have applied for will be of essential use with this army. J Murray Lieutenant General


H Salter Esq, Deputy Paymaster General

Headquarters Alicant, 12 March 1813



I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to desire that you will receive from Captain Davy of the Royal Navy[73].  [Blank] chests said to contain 30,000 dollars on account of the Spanish divisions under the command of Major General Whittingham and that you will pay the freight of the above army from Gibraltar to Alicant at the rate of one per man to Captain Davy and place it to Major General Whittingham’s account. George D’Aguilar, Assistant Military Secretary


Lieutenant Bernard Dommit

Headquarters Alicant, 17 March 1813



I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 17th instant and have laid it before Sir John Murray.

The Lieutenant General instructs me to inform you in reply that under the general privation of pay which is extended to the whole of this army, he cannot allow any consideration of convenience to the Inspector General in forwarding his publick concern, to constitute an expression in favour of the Calabrian Free Corps of which payment you have charge. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Right Honourable Lord Frederick Bentinck

Headquarters Alicant, 17 March 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship’s letter of this day’s date addressed to the lieutenant general commanding.

In reply Sir John Murray begs also to acquaint you that he has every consideration for the peculiar circumstances of Lieutenant St Felix’s[74] situation and will grant that officer three month’s leave of absence to proceed to England where he will report himself to the Adjutant General and make any further application that may be necessary to His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief. Lieutenant St Felix resignation is considered as withdrawn. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Major A’Court, Military Secretary at Palermo[75]

Headquarters Castalla, 21 March 1813



I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to forward you the enclosed letter to Colonel Torrens from Captain Muller of Rolls Regiment with the request that you will submit it to His Excellency Lord William Bentinck for transmission (should his lordship approve it) to His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief. George D’Aguilar, Military Secretary


Lieutenant General Clinton

Castalla 21 March [1813]


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter addressed to the lieutenant general commanding, enclosing the memorial of Brevet Major O’Brien of the 58th Regiment, forwarded through Lieutenant Colonel Walker[76] commanding the corps.

In reply, Sir John Murray instructs me to acquaint you that however desirous he might be to attend to the claims of Major O’Brien, there appears to him no staff situation vacant at present in the army suited to Major O’Brien’s rank. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Major General Roche

Headquarters Alicant, 23 March [1813]


As I am in want of a number of great coats for the use of the troops under my command and understand you have a good many in store I have to desire you would direct 300 to be delivered over to the commissary at Alicant with the least possible delay.

I will take upon myself to explain this arrangement to Sir Henry Wellesley and His Majesty’s ministers and will request that a similar number may be sent out to replace those I require. J Murray Lieutenant General


Major General Whittingham

Headquarters, Alicant 28 March 1813



In reply to your letter relative to musket ammunition, I beg in the first place to say that there appears to have been a very great consumption since you occupied Alcoy.

I left with you 100,000 rounds I believe and your men complete. I beg to observe that I do not know that I have any authority to issue ammunition to the corps under your command. I understand that you should be supplied by the Spanish government and if such is the case, I have to request you will make immediate application for it.

I agree with you that Canada if it occasions no delay is fully as convenient a place for incorporating the regiments as any other. I certainly though have proposed this place yesterday, had I known where the regiments were. I have now made application to Sir H Wellesley that Alicant may be ordered to supply them, but that need not interfere with any arrangement which you may think most convenient. I am glad to hear that the mounted squadron of Almanza and the horse artillery are probably on the march.

I shall communicate with the admiral relative to the embarkation of the 2nd Battalion 2nd Regiment of Majorca; and communicate to you the arrangement made on the subject. J Murray Lieutenant General


Mr F Daniell Esquire, Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Castalla, 2 April 1813



I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to inform you that on enquiry he finds the establishment of the department under your charge, extremely deficient and that in his opinion it is absolutely impossible for Mr Smidkin[77] to carry on the important duties with which he is charged.

I have it further in command to acquaint you that it is the general’s order that with the least possible delay you send to Mr Smidkin an establishment according to the enclosed return and that as it may not be practicable to complete the number, you do send to him every person belonging to the department who can be spared from Alicant, or any other place in the rear. Sir John desires me to add that you are rather to be prepared yourself than leave Mr Smidkin when duties are so much more important and urgent without the necessary assistants, you are further directed by the lieutenant general to give every aid in your power to assist Mr Smidkin in his accounts and Sir John desires me to say that in his opinion that the plan proposed by that gentleman viz of sending the vouchers to you appears not only to be great relief to him but as a means of expediting the arrangement of your own accounts. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary



Commissariat required for the army in the field


Bakery for from 16 to 17,000 rations daily

Officer in charge

2 clerks

4 store keepers

2 head bakers and 20 bakers



For each depot from whence no issues are made

1 storekeeper and 1 assistant


For headquarters and 1st Division

1 commissioned officer

3 clerks in the office

2 storekeepers

8 assistants and issuers

1 cooper


2nd Division

1 commissioned officer

2 clerks in the office

2 storekeepers

8 assistants and issuers

1 cooper



1 commissioned officer

1 clerk

1 storekeeper

4 assistants and issuers

1 cooper


Attached to the Deputy Commissary General in charge

1 general clerk to make payments, keep copy of correspondence

And 2 assistants for field work



Officer in charge

2 pay clerks

Conductors &c


A Smidkin, Deputy Commissary General


Right Honourable Lord William Bentinck KB

Headquarters Alicant, 3 April 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour to forward to your lordship herewith the resignation in duplicate of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Henry of the 58th Regiment[78].

In consideration of the long services of this officer, I beg leave to recommend the Lieutenant Colonel Henry should be permitted to sell the commission which he has purchased. J Murray, Lieutenant General


Lieutenant Park[79]

Castalla 5 April [1813]


I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to acquaint you that a certain number of necessaries being required for the 1st Regiment Italian levy commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Burke[80], you will be pleased to furnish the necessary advance to purchase a shirt & one pair of shoes for each man, in that corps and place it to the account of the regimental fund. G D’Aguilar Military Secretary


F Daniell Esq, Deputy Commissary General

Headquarters Castalla, 8 April 1813



I am directed by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray to acquaint you that he is decidedly of opinion that the commissariat has not the means of performing its important duties with this army and he directs that you do make the most urgent representation on this subject to the commissary in chief and Mr Commissary Burgmann and he further directs me to require of you to procure if possible the persons at Alicant to assist in the various branches of your extensive department. Your letter of the 3rd instant, has been laid before the lieutenant general and he desires me to repeat his orders to you that every possible assistance may be given to Mr Smidkin.

Sir John Murray has been informed that a very considerable supply of cattle can be procured from Catalonia and he is desirous of ascertaining whether that is the case or not. If cattle can be procured there the supply will be much more certain than from Barbary. Sir John therefore desires you will take steps to ascertain this point which can be best done by sending some person to that country with a letter to Captain Adam and he hopes that Assistant Commissary General Basnett[81] may not only be fit for this duty, but benefited as to his health by it. A vessel it is believed will sail for Catalonia in the course of a day or two and Sir John desires you would apply to the admiral on this subject. George D’Aguilar Assistant Military Secretary


Headquarters Castalla, 13 April 1813


My Lord,

I have the satisfaction to inform your lordship that the allied army under my command defeated the enemy on the 13th instant commanded by Marshal Suchet in person.

It appears that the French general had for the purpose of attacking this army for some time been employed in collecting his disposable force.

His arrangements were completed on the 10th and on the morning of the 11th he attacked and dislodged a Spanish corps posted by General Ellio at Yecla with some loss, which threatened his right whilst it supported our left flank.

In the evening he advanced in considerable force to Bellona, and I am sorry to say that he captured on the morning of the 12th a Spanish garrison which had been thrown into the castle by the Spanish general for its defence. On the 12th about noon, Marshal Suchet began his attack on the advance of this army posted at Biar under the command of Colonel Adam. Colonel Adam’s orders were to fall back on Castalla, but to dispute the passage of the enemy, which he did for five hours, though attacked by a force infinitely superior to that which he commanded. The enemy advance occupied the pass that evening and Colonel Adam took up the ground on our position which had been allotted to him.

On the 13th at noon the enemy’s columns of attack were formed composed of three divisions of infantry, a corps of cavalry consisting of 1,600 men and a formidable train of artillery. The position of the allied army was extensive. The left was posted on a strong range of hills, occupied by Major General Whittingham’s Division of Spanish troops and the advance of the allied army under Colonel Adam. This range of hills terminates at Castalla, which and the ground to the right was occupied by Major General Mackenzie’s Division and the 58th Regiment from that of Lieutenant General Clinton’s. The remainder of the position was covered by a strong ravine, behind which Lieutenant General Clinton was stationed supported by three battalions of Major General Bowle’s Division as a column of reserve. A few batteries had been constructed in this line and in front of the Castle of Castalla. The enemy necessarily advanced on the left of the position. The first movement that he made was to pass a strong body of cavalry along the line threatening our right which was refused. Of this movement no notice was taken. The ground to which he was fronting was favourable for cavalry and as the movement was foreseen the necessary precautions had been taken. When this body of cavalry had nearly passed the half of our line of infantry Marshal Suchet advanced his columns to the foot of the hills and certainly his troops, with a degree of gallantry that entitles them to the highest praise, stormed the whole line, which is not less than two miles and a half in extent. But gallantly as the attack was made, the defence of the heights was no less brilliant at every point the enemy was repulsed, at many with the bayonet.

He suffered a very severe loss; our gallant troops pursued him for some distance, and drove him, after a severe struggle, with precipitation on his battalions of reserve upon the plain. The cavalry, which had slowly advanced along our right, gradually fell back to the infantry. At present his superiority in that arm enabled him to venture this movement, which otherwise he should have severely repented.

Having united his shattered battalions with those which he kept in reserve, Marshal Suchet took up position in the valley; but which it would not have been creditable to allow him to retain. I therefore decided on quitting mine, still however, retaining the heights and formed the allied army in his front, covering my right flank with the cavalry, whilst the left rested on the hills. The army advanced in two lines to attack him a considerable distance, but unfortunately Marshal Suchet did not choose to risk a second action with the defile in his rear.

The lines of the allies were scarcely formed when he began his retreat and we could effect nothing more than driving the French into the pass with defeat, which they had exultingly passed in the morning. The action terminated at dusk, with a distant but heavy cannonade.

I am sorry to say that I have no trophies to boast of. The enemy took no guns to the heights and he retired too expeditiously to enable me to reach him. Those which he used in the latter part of the day, were posted in the gorge of the defile, and it would have cost us the lives of many brave men to take them.

In the dusk, the allied army returned to its position at Castalla, after the enemy had retired to Biar. From thence he continued his retreat at midnight to Villena, which he quitted again this morning in great haste, directing his march upon Font de la Figuera and Onteniente.

But although I have taken no cannon from the enemy, in point of numbers his army is very considerably crippled; and the defeat of a French army, which boasted it never had a check, cannot fail, I should hope, in producing a most favourable effect in this part of the Peninsula.

As I before mentioned to your lordship, Marshal Suchet commanded in person.

The Generals Harispe, Habert and Robert, commanded their respective divisions. I hear from all quarters that General Harispe is killed[82]; and I believe, from every account that I can collect, that the loss of the enemy amounts fully to 3,000 men; and he admits 2,500. Upwards of 800 have already been buried in front of only one part of our line; and we know that he has carried off with him an immense number of wounded.

We had no opportunity of making prisoners, except such as were wounded; the numbers of which have not yet reached me.

I am sure your lordship will hear with much satisfaction, that this action has not cost us the lives of many of our comrades.

Deeply must be felt the loss, however trifling, of such brave and gallant soldiers; but we know it is inevitable, and I can with truth affirm, that there was not an officer or soldier engaged who did not court the glorious termination of an honourable life, in the discharge of his duty to his king and to his country.

The gallant and judicious conduct of these that were engaged, deprived much more than half the army of sharing in the perils and glory of the day; but the steady countenance with which the divisions of General Clinton and Mackenzie remained for some hours under a cannonade and the eagerness and alacrity with which the lines of attack were formed, sufficiently proved to me what I had to depend on from them, had Marshal Suchet awaited the attack.

I trust your lordship will now permit me to perform the most pleasing part of my duty, that of humbly submitting, for his Royal Highness the Prince Regent’s approbation, the names of those officers and corps which have had the fortunate opportunity of distinguishing themselves, in as far at least as has yet come to my knowledge.

Colonel Adam, who commands the advance, claims the first place in this honourable list. I cannot sufficiently praise the judicious arrangements he made and the ability with which he executed his orders on the 12th instant.

The advance consists of only of the 2nd Battalion 27th Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Reeves; the 1st Italian Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Burke; the Calabrian Free Corps, commanded by Major Carey; one rifle company of the 3rd and 8th battalions King’s German Legion, commanded by Captains Lueder and Brauns[83] of those corps; and a troop of foreign hussars , under the orders of Captains Jack of the 20th Dragoons, with four mountain guns, in charge of Captain Arabin Royal Artillery[84].

The enemy attacked this corps with from 5 to 6,000 men and for five hours (and then only in consequence of order) succeeded in possessing himself of the pass.

This fact alone says more in favour of Colonel Adam, and in praise of those he commands, than any words of mine can express. I shall, therefore, confine myself to assuring your lordship, that the conduct of all engaged in this brilliant affair, merits, and has met with my highest approbation.

Colonel Adam was wounded very early in the attack, but continued, and still continues, in charge of his division.

On the 13th, the attack of the enemy on Colonel Adam’s Division was very severe, but the enemy was defeated at every point, and a most gallant charge on the 2nd [battalion] 27th, led by Colonel Adam and Lieutenant Colonel Reeves, decided the fate of the day, at that part of the field of battle.

The skill, judgement and gallantry displayed by Major General Whittingham and his division of the Spanish army, rivals, though it cannot surpass the conduct of Colonel Adam and the advance.

At every point the enemy was repulsed: at many, at the point of the bayonet. At one point in particular I must mention, where a French grenadier battalion had gained the summit of the hill, but was charged and driven from the heights by a corps under the command of Colonel Casans.

Major General Whittingham highly applauds and I know it is not without reason, the conduct of Colonel Casans, Colonel Romero, Colonel Campbell,  Colonel Casteras and Lieutenant Colonel Ochoa, who commanded at various points of the hills. To the chief of his staff, Colonel Serrano, he likewise expresses himself to be equally obliged on this, as well as many other occasions; and he acknowledges with gratitude the services of Colonel Catinelli of the staff of the Italian Levy, who was attached to him during the day.

These, my Lord, are the officers and corps that I am most anxious to recommend to His Royal Highness’s notice and protection; and I earnestly entreat your lordship most respectfully, on my part, report their merits to the Prince Regent, and to the Spanish government.

It now only remains for me to acknowledge the cordial co-operation and support I have met with from the several general officers and brigadiers, as well as from the various officers in charge of departments attached to this army.

To Major General Donkin, Quartermaster General, I am particularly indebted for the zeal and ability with which he conducts the duties of his extensive department, and the gallantry he displays on every occasion.

Major Kenah[85], who is at the head of the Adjutant General’s department, affords me every satisfaction. Lieutenant Colonel Holcombe and under his orders, Major Williamson, conducted the artillery branch of the service in a manner highly creditable. The different brigades of guns, under Captains Lacy[86], Thomson[87] and Gilmour[88] (and Garcia of the Sicilian Army) and Lieutenant Patten[89] of the flying [horse] artillery, were extremely useful and most gallantly served; and the Portuguese artillery supported the reputation their countrymen have acquired.

The army is now in march. I proceed to Alcoy, in the hope, but not the sanguine hope, that I may be enabled to force the Albaya pass, and reach the entrenched position of the enemy of San Felipe, before he can arrive there.

I consider this movement as promising greater advantages than a direct pursuit, as the road which he has chosen being very favourable for cavalry, in which arm he is so much superior. I should probably be delayed too long to strike any blow of importance.

I beg leave to enclose a return of killed and wounded of the allied army. I have the honour to be &c J Murray Lieutenant General


PS I have omitted to mention, that in retiring from Biar, two of the mountain guns fell into the hands of the enemy; they were disabled, and Colonel Adam very judiciously directed Captain Arabin who then commanded the brigade to fight them to the last, and then to leave them to their fate. Captain Arabin[90] obeyed his orders and fought them till it was impossible quite to get them off, had such been Colonel Adam’s desire.


Return of killed, wounded and missing

General total – 4 lieutenants, 1 sergeant, 1 drummer, 139 rank & file killed; 1 colonel, 1 major, 1 captain, 12 lieutenants, 1 ensign, 15 sergeants, 1 drummer and 449 rank & file wounded; 42 rank & file missing; 8 horses killed; 10 horses wounded, 1 horse missing. Thomas Kenah, Major, Assistant Adjutant General.


To Sir Henry Wellesley

11 pm Castalla, 14 April 1813


Captain d’Aguilar my military secretary will have the honour of delivering to your excellency copy of a dispatch addressed to the Marquis of Wellington and at the same time the original which I beg may be forwarded to his lordship with the least possible delay. Captain d’Aguilar proceeds to England with despatches to Lord Bathurst. I beg to congratulate your excellency on the success which has attended the allied army on the 13th instant and it gives me a sincere pleasure to bear testimony of the gallant behaviour of the Spanish troops under the command of General Whittingham and I venture to request your excellency to acquaint the Spanish government how much the Major General and his division merited and met with my approbation. J Murray Lieutenant General.


Earl Bathurst

The enclosed despatch will have given your lordship I hope a very clear idea of the operations of this army to the period of the Battle of Castalla. The consequences will show to be of consequence, although I do not make any further advance at present. The enemy’s view was to defeat this army, that he might be enabled to disperse his troops which are now obliged to keep together. His communications are at present much interrupted and I should hope will soon be nearly cut off as the Marquis of Villa Campo is approaching Regnia and General Sarsfield is in his rear at no great distance from Valencia but the success of all these chiefs depends on this army being enabled to keep the field, which I fear it will not be enabled to do with effect, when I shall send away the the remainder of the troops as ordered by Lord Wiliam Bentinck. Hereto without exposing His Majesty’s to disgrace or defeat that has been impossible, but I can only delay it but a short time longer. I wait Lord Wellington’s decision as to future operations or some decided movement of retreat on the part of the enemy. I may certainly then detach without risk, but a further advance will be impracticable because the enemy will become more concentrated and stronger by the junction of the corps which he is now obliged to keep in his rear. This separation of the force is attended with another inconvenience resulting from the mixed composition of the army. The Spaniards in a fixed position have conducted themselves most admirably but still I should be very unwilling to risk an action if I was the attacking party because they have not the facility and so his infantry movement, that such an operation would require. I must say the same of the Sicilians and when your lordship remembers that these two form more than two thirds of my corps and that I shall have only about 5 or 6,000 British and Germans to oppose the finest French army, wishing I may hope that your lordship will think it not unusual that I express my apprehensions of the result of the campaign in this quarter.

My object in seeming to alude having been frustrated by the rapid retreat of the enemy I shall probably return to my late cantonments at Castalla and there wait Lord Wellington’s orders. I do not believe Marshal Suchet will attack me here again and I shall be equally well posted with a more easy communication with Alicant, so I am not settled upon publicly report on General Ellio’s army. I have touched but slightly on his corps but I believe they amount to about 2,500 men unfortunately of his best troops. I always thought his position at Yecla dangerous, but he was of another opinion. I rather believe the corps was surprised, because I know it was not his intention to engage the enemy on that ground. General Ellio was not with that corps himself. The battalion lost at Villena was very unnecessarily exposed and the officer commanding it made no defence. That corps ought to have been with Colonel Adam when much as he did, he still would have done much more. He would equally have given up the pass but the enemy loss would have been much more severe.

I venture to hope your lordship will take all our wants into consideration and enable us to support the credit of the British arms. J Murray Lieutenant General


To Colonel Torrens

Headquarters Castalla 18 April 1813


I have the honour to enclose for the information of His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, the copy of a despatch addressed this day to the Marquis of Wellington.

I venture to hope that His Royal Highness will be satisfied with the conduct of the troops engaged who have as the success has proved, done their duty to their king and country. J Murray Lieutenant General





No. 24

To Henry Clinton

Onil, 24 April 1813


My dear brother, I wrote to you a few days ere by Captain d’Aguilar, late my military secretary, now in that capacity with Murray, introducing him to you, I now find he is gone to England direct instead of by Lord Wellington’s headquarters. In case therefore that letter dated 17th sent from Alcoy & numbered 23 should not have reached you, I now write a few lines to be in readiness for an opportunity to go to you. Suchet drove in our advance on the 12th & attacked us in the position Castalla on the 13th April, his attack was on our left, strongly posted, and it was a most rash one. The 2nd battalion [27th] charged the head of the attack & drove it headlong down to rocky ground in its front. The 1st Battalion Italian Legion joined in the pursuit. The British stopped short, just at the point they should & retired to their position, after killing some 150 or 200 of the enemy.  Failing on this point & have lost certainly not less than 600 men in the attack, the enemy withdrew & he had strong ground for his retreat, but I think he might have been roughly handled before he got there. As it was the day ended in a bad disposition for attack & an unmeaning cannonade. Had the enemy been enterprising he might have made us pay for our bad disposition, but he had yet respect for us. It is supposed in the few days he lost 1,200 men, the 2nd 27th behaved well, Colonel Reeves[91] has much merit, for having shown he had his battalion so well in hand. He was warmly engaged on both days. I am quite ignorant of all Sir John’s plans, I believe he acts a great deal for himself, but I think he might be a little more considerate with me. What we are now to do, I have no guess, I suppose we are expecting news from you. Our last accounts of the 5th instant.

I thank you for your letter written on your birthday which I did not forget at Elda, delayed and I drank your health. Your letter reached me the 16th April, it is numbered 20, I think in mistake. I had received 18 dated 22nd February, did you write between that and 9th March? If so the letter is missing. I observe what you say about Murray, these are a sneaking set. I am anxious to hear about you & yours.


Henry Clinton

Onil, 25 April 1813

No. 25


It was but yesterday that I sent off no. 24, to you, however I hear now that Captain Gray of the 95th[92] who has been with General Whittingham all winter, is just setting off for Portugal, therefore I will not lose such an opportunity of writing to you. The affairs of the 12th & 13th are now so old that I cannot imagine but that you must have heard fully of them. The fact too the driving in by the enemy of our advance posted in a gorge between two high hills, it consisted of 3 battalions, the 27th (2nd battalion), a battalion [of] Calabrese & the First Italian Legion. The example of the 27th, did everything, the enemy was long detained & suffered a severe loss, not less than from 4 to 500 men. But the 13th he attacked our left, I was on the right & had nothing to do. On this occasion the 27th again distinguished itself, and a charge made very apropos, and pursued with judgement, turned the fate of the day at once, been defensive was good. An offensive which began, as soon as the 27th made their charge, was but a poor performance. What Murray’s reasons may have been I know not, but certainly he lost an opportunity of making Suchet pay dearly for the advance of his cavalry to our right. For he certainly might have met him in the narrow part of the valley of Castalla, with a great superiority of ordnance & pounded them roundly. I cannot but think too, that he might have followed the retreat of Suchet both that night, which was a fine moonlight & the next day;  & by all accounts it was a most horrid business, however at 4, next day (14) & not till then, we marched to our right, as appeared to gain a march on him, & arrive at St Felipe, before him, but we went no farther than to show ourselves opposite the Puerto Albaida, & there display our whole force, but there has been [preparation?] to rear, but I know nothing,  there may therefore have been some good reason for all this marching & countermarching. In case of your not receiving my last I must repeat my acknowledgement of your letter of the 9th of March, which reached me at Alcoy on the 17th instant, I am anxious to hear of your movements, I wish most sincerely that justice may have been done you ere you left England, but after what had occurred I expect more from the quarter from whence you had a right to look for it. I am truly glad to find they have given Susan her rank, it ought to have been long since done. I have just received Murdoch’s valuable present of the nations of Europe & pamphlet, of which you sent to me. It is indeed most valuable. Colonel Smith is arrived at Alicant, by him I hope to get letters from you, whence my last received are 9th of March. I presume we are waiting for news from your side, our latest accounts are of the 6th of April, from Freineda, as I understand Murray. From Bentinck nothing direct since 1st April, there are letters speaking of him as late as the 10th, in consequence I have some hopes of seeing him here soon. The business seems at an end, at the same time we have lost 2 fine battalions which he had called for. We have still a fine little army here & our force grows, the Sicilian force arrived whence employed, we still are but ill off in cavalry. Though no enterprise was shown by the French the other day, we expect the 67th hourly, and the 44th was coming this way unless counter ordered. We hear daily reports of Suchet and his army, but so contradictory we know not what to believe. I however read he has retired to Valencia with part of his army. If Bentinck comes here I shall be satisfied, if he should be prevented, I shall be glad the service came at an end. I must now wrap up my letter, I hear a famous account of your health from Louisa, keep stout & well, & take care of yourself as people at home seem so little disposed to take care of you. I hope you left poor Susan tolerably well, I’m sure can be improved when you are at Lisbon. Ever affectionately yours HWC


Fama off Tarragona 12 June 1813


My dear brother,

Without knowing when I may be able to send this off, I begin a letter to you to give you some account of myself since I last wrote. No. 28 was sent off under cover to William Stewart[93] by his adc Major Steige, who was proceeding from Alicant. Well I have a sad history to relate of our proceedings in that time. Murray has made a wretched business of it. He has completely failed in his attack on this place, he has, it is true, saved his army, but he has lost cannon and a considerable quantity of stores. We arrived off this on the 2nd June, on the 3rd the whole army except cavalry was landed, then began his hesitation. For three days but 100 cavalry were brought on shore. On the 5th the first guns commenced against the the place and here again he erred, so we began by a pitiful cannonade of 2-24 pounder & 2 howitzers, at the distance of 700 yards which you may be sure was roughly handled. We went on in this dribbling way until the 11th, when two new batteries, of 2-24’s & 5 howitzers & 5 mortars were opened., making in all nineteen pieces of ordnance, this with the operations of our gunboats at length brought under the fire of the enemy & the Fort Reale an outwork on our right was besieged & declared on the 11th in a practicable state for storming; on this day Sir John set off to look as he said, at a position on the road towards Barcelona,  putting me as he left in temporary command, that if the Chief Engineer stated its practicablity, the fortress to be stormed that night. I escorted him at ___ but giving me such a commission, I am to attempt the dirty work to do. Having previously shown me no sort of attention or confidence, and well knowing at the time had by no means made up his mind, as to whether he would persist in the siege, should he even on this occasion succeed. I felt so assured of this, that I set about the job with great reluctance, feeling that if we were either to march towards the enemy or to abandon the siege entirely, it was not expedient to risk so many lives. However Major Machins as engineer of the day pronounced the breach to be practicable & that it was expedient to attack it & was settled and agreed on, and the time was fixed for ten on the night of the 15th  before 8 however, Sir John returned to his quarters & relieved me from the unwilling weight he had imposed on me. Then a great hesitation showed itself, at first he confirmed all I had ordered, but in half an hour he decided the attack should be given up. Well then, at day break yesterday I received an order to proceed with part of my division and 3 battalions of Whittingham’s Spaniards, to a position pointed out on the road to Barcelona. While preparing to move, came another order to assemble at a small village in my rear, half an hour after that, to send off baggage to Balaguer, after then to march on head quarters & to abandon all our guns in the batteries in my front, then not to abandon them, but that they would be supported by Whittingham’s division, then again an order to spike all the guns which was declared to me to be the final decision, the [exchange?] ended there. The guns were spiked, our people now set fire to the carriages in the works evidently where they were abandoning them, the firing ceased from near 2 o’clock in the day, the troops might be confided to embarkation and all the evening embarking, still no appearance of his Ex[cellency] entreating us. Still we proceeded, still Sir John determined to abandon his guns & stores, aye even there on the beach. In short by 12 at night every man was in the boats & not one musket was fired at us. I give myself some credit, by having completely deceived the enemy by keeping 300 men of my division at the advanced posts to the last instant, so that during the whole night be kept firing occasionally shot & shells at this side. Sir John certainly gave me no credit for this, or for any exertion I made, indeed had quit with no encouragement from him [or] later render for him. Another piece of indecision and mismanagement has been shown by Sir John in his detaching yesterday part of the 20th Dragoons, a brigade of guns and half the 27th towards Balaguer, for reason I cannot guess and now we know not whether these can be got off. You may imagine Sir John is not a little despondent and has no idea, he had so little means & resources. I look upon it again as the case of Maitland, his [error?] has been the having about him that dreadful fellow Donkin, who is enough to distract anyone. He can appear to men all flair, he seems to me a devious man but create alarm without providing at all for their removal, and in the way of his department he does nothing. However, though I believe Sir John hates him, he is such a meddling busy fellow that he ventures always to make himself of consequence & when Sir John sets out dilemmas he is always at hand to ensure then what would be for the army that the fellow when even away so deemed himself had known best, had he [acted properly the artillery and stores could?] have been saved, so much for this sad business. No further account of Bentinck what about or whether gone we know not. Whatever he plans to do I know not. We are as anxious of Balaguer as at which place Suchet has shown himself with 4,000 men, if we move we might to eat him up. This little army may by some action in the field come to take credit if it is used. As to the progress of his cavalrymen not by any good management of his, thus he will gain him success. I am anxious to hear of you. I send this to Sir C Stuart at Lisbon. In haste farewell, affectionately yours HWC



  1. Position at ½ past 8 am 16 June
  2. Points at which the detachment of the 1st Army ought to have been at 8 – but where not still 11
  3. Points at which the 1st Army appeared at 10
  4. Points at which the enemy showed himself at our first attack
  5. Enemy retiring along the main road to Barcelona

OOO Plain flat practicable ground & the river fordable except after heavy rains in most places

NB The bridge at Molins de Rei, is so intrenched that it would require a siege almost to take it. I did nothing [as nothing] is worth the sacrifice of a man to take it. The plan was a coup de main, it failed for the reason I have stated in the meanwhile, the Spaniards had the satisfaction of seeing the enemy ran before them. No British were engaged except my guns (2), the Spaniards had 1 officer killed 3 wounded, 13 men killed & 47 wounded.



Hospitallet [de Llobregat]                     10th & 58th Regiment & cavalry brigade

Esplugues [de Llobregat]                       81st, 67th & Roll Dillons Regiment

Near Sans                                                    2nd, 27th, 4th German Legion, & Calabrese

Sant Feliou [de Llobregat]                     Sicilian Brigade

Sarria                                                             General Sarsfield’s division


Statement of Lieutenant Cole, agent for transports. 12 June 1813


At ½ past 5 am, [I] received an order from Captain Withers, the principal agent for transports, to repair on shore immediately with the boats &c as directed by him, to superintend the embarkation of the heavy ordnance, and other stores, from the beach to the respective ordnance and other store ships.

At 6 am landed and in company with Lieutenants Bussell and Prye Agents for transports and Mr Longstaff, master of the Ellice, acting as agent for transports, commenced embarking the heavy ordnance and other stores, belonging to the Royal Artillery as your order.

About 8 am every department of our army appeared to be in the greatest confusion, the commander in chief, Sir John Murray, came to the beach, without any attendants, neither aide de camp nor any of his personal staff being with him, and asked me for Rear Admiral Hallowell. I told him, I believed he was onboard the Malta, on which he requested a boat, and went off in mine, which I gave him for the purpose of seeing the rear admiral.

About 9 am Major General Donkin, the Quarter Master General to the forces, came down to the beach on horseback, and called to me, and desired I would immediately desist from embarking the heavy guns, stores &c and keep the boats in momentary readiness for the embarkation of the troops, which was of more consequence than our guns and stores, as the enemy was at this time, (which I believe to have been as above stated at about 9 am) within two hours and a half march of our army, who would be obliged to retreat. Just at this moment Captain Withers, came to that part of the beach where I was standing, close to the Quarter Master General, when he (Major General Donkin) said ‘Oh, here is Captain Withers’ and immediately addressed Captain Withers, repeating nearly the same words he had before used to me, but in stronger language, adding (on Captain Withers hesitating about complying with his request) that he, (Major General Donkin), would go and bring Captain Withers, the commander in chief’s orders, or some words to that effect, which as was going on with the embarkation of the guns and stores, I did not pay much attention, so during the conversation between Major General Donkin and Captain Withers, one of the Gynns, which we were using for the purpose of embarking the guns &c, which Lieutenant Bussel was attending, upset, and with the gun hanging to it, fell over towards the sea, and some time was lost, before this Gynn was again fitted in its place, in consequence of Major General Donkin’s request (as before stated) that we should desist, and let the guns and stores alone, and keep the boats in readiness for the reception of the troops, but on Rear Admiral Hallowell coming to this part of the beach, and directing us to use every effort in our power, to get the guns, stores &c embarked, this gynn, one of the two we were before using, was again replaced and we proceeded on in getting the guns and stores from the beach as before.

About 10 am (or it might have been sooner, for I cannot speak exactly to the time) the commander in chief, Sir John Murray, again appeared on the beach, without any of his personal staff being with him (as before) and appeared to be quite at a loss, asking several trivial questions from those about him, one of which, I think was to Mr Longstaff, enquiring whether the gun carriages could be swam off or not.

About 11 am I heard Major Williamson[94], the commanding officer of the Royal Artillery, who had been most actively employed on this part of the beach nearly the whole of the morning, give some directions about spiking the guns and mortars at our batteries, and observed Rear Admiral Hallowell, who appeared very much hurt on the occasion, conversing with him (Major Williamson) on the subject. The rear admiral seemingly much disappointed at the haste our army was about to retreat in, saying there was no occasion for it, and some warm language passed between him (the rear admiral) and Major General Donkin, the Quartermaster General on this occasion.

About twelve, the mortar and gun carriages were set fire to at our batteries, when I heard Rear Admiral Hallowell exclaim ‘My God, what a sight; setting fire to our carriages &c at noon-day, in the face of the enemy’.

From noon, few stores of any considerable consequence were embarked, most of the boats being kept in readiness for the reception of the troops, who did not commence embarking until about 2 pm and at the embarkation of whom, Rear Admiral Hallowell personally attended. The last of our army, consisting of Major General Clinton’s Brigade, did not embark until about 2 or 3 on the following morning, making from the time Major General Donkin told us to desist from the embarkation of the guns, stores &c and keep the boats in readiness for the reception of the troops, as the enemy was within two hours and a half march of them (as before stated) a loss of about eighteen hours, and no enemy of any description appeared in sight, during which time we could no doubt, have brought off the whole of our guns, mortars, stores &c, which were abandoned and destroyed and those guns, mortars, and stores that were embarked from the beach near the commissariat’s tents, by the officers and crews of His Majesty’s ships, who were employed under the superintendence of Captain Inglefield; and those from that part of the beach near Major Williamson’s and the Royal Artillery’s tents, embarked by the transports seamen, would have been likewise destroyed and abandoned, had not Admiral Hallowell, contradicted the orders given to that effect by Major General Donkin.

About 6 in the morning of the 13th I went up to the end of the bay where the embarkation of the horses and mules belonging to the army, was still going on, under the superintendence of Captain Bathurst of His Majesty’s Ship Fame and Lieutenant Collett, Agent for transports, where I met General Donkin, who requested I would lend him my boat to embark him on board, His Majesty’s Ship Bristol, which I complied with.

On my returning to my pendant ship, the Ellice, I was ordered by Captain Withers, to proceed to Balaguer, where I arrived at 8pm on the same evening and where I found His Majesty’s Ships Malta and Invincible, with a great proportion of the transports, when such a confused scene of embarkation and debarkation, from orders and counter orders, was I am confident never before witnessed by any officer, or man, either military or naval, as the whole army must be able to bear testimony of.

Being at this time completely fatigued, with my feet so much swelled, from over exertion, that I was no longer able to perform my duty, I was obliged to confine myself to my ship, where I was attended by Doctor Gibb, of His Majesty’s Ship Malta.

J Cole[95] Lieutenant RN and Agent for Transports.



To Mr Charles Adam

First National Army Headquarters Vila-rodona 14 June 1813


The general in chief of this army directs me to say to you that being unacquainted with what occurred these some days past, he wishes to know as follows:


1st If the British army under the command of General Murray has already marched towards Alicant.

2nd If the squadron under Vice Admiral Sir Edward Pellew has made any diversion at Rosas.

3rd What is the state of the fort of Coll de Balguer and if provisions have been left for the Spanish garrison in that fort.

Which I require by the direction of this said general, for you to inform him as soon as possible.

The Chief of the General Staff, F A Cabanos


To Colonel Cabanos, Chief of the Staff, Head quarters, Vila-rodona

His Majesty’s Ship Malta off the Coll de Balaguer 15th June 1813



I have just received your letter of yesterday’s date, addressed to Captain Adam[96], and you will please to communicate to His Excellency General Copons, the following answers to the questions you have stated in his name.

1st The army of Sir John Murray is not moving towards Alicant, but is going out to bring Suchet’s army to action in the neighbourhood of Balaguer.

2nd The fleet under Sir Edward Pellew is actually making a diversion in the Bay of Rosas in favour of the allied army

3rd The fort of Balaguer is in our possession, the Spanish garrison is to march to Reus, and the fort will be occupied by the English. I have the honour to be, Sir, Ben Halowell


To Admiral Hallowell

Diana[97], Col de Balaguer 15 June 1813


Having received your directions to report my proceedings when employed in the re-embarkation of this army from before Tarragona, on the 12th instant.

I beg to state to you that in obedience to the orders I received from you at one o’clock on the morning of that day, directing that preparation should immediately be made for the embarkation of the Battering Train, military stores of every description and provisions. I made the requisite disposition of the transports boats for carrying the same into effect and they were accordingly assembled under the direction of the several agents, at the different points of the beach where the stores were brought down soon after daylight.

During the operation and after we had sent off several of the heavy guns, and other military stores, the Quarter Master General rode down to the beach where I was standing, to the best of my recollection between 8 & 9 o’clock and requested that the embarkation of the guns should be immediately stopped & the boats cleared for the embarkation of the troops adding that men & not guns or horses were to be embarked, that the general’s object was to embark the troops in preference to every other object.

Upon my expressing surprise at an arrangement so different from the orders which I had only received from you in the early part of the morning, and which did not seem to imply any particular urgency, he informed me, that the enemy were within two hours, or two & a half hours march of us, I am not positive which and that such were the orders of Sir John Murray.

I then demanded if any part of the infantry were coming down to the beach for embarkation, or when we might expect them, and he replied that Lieutenant General Clinton’s division would be down in ¾ of an hour or thereabout.

I then left him to make the same known to Captain Inglefield, who was superintending the embarkation of the guns at another part of the beach, and afterwards went in search of you, whom I found in conversation with Major Williamson and communicated the information I had thus received from the Quarter Master General.

You directed me however to go on with the embarkation of the guns until you had seen Sir J Murray, soon afterwards I received your orders to continue embarking the guns and stores till two o’clock, after which hour the boats were to be cleared and reassembled at the beach, for the embarkation of the troops.

It was about three before the boats were got together, in any considerable numbers, when the embarkation of the troops commenced, and was continued without interruption till some time after sunset, when the whole of the troops were embarked excepting Lieutenant General Clinton’s division, part of which did not arrive at the beach till some time after eleven and about 12 all were embarked without accident.

During the time the embarkation was going on at this part of the beach, the staff horses of the army with a part of the 20th Dragoons, were embarking at the western cove, when by your orders, I had caused a stage to be constructed for that purpose. This operation however was considerably delayed in consequence of the greater part of the boats being recalled from that point at two o’clock, to re-embark the troops and the embarkation was continued although slowly, during the night until the following morning, when all that came to that part for embarkation, were safely embarked. I have the honour to be very respectfully Sir, your most obedient honourable servant, Thomas Withers Ret[ired] P Agent



To Marquis Wellington

At sea, 19 June 1813


My lord,


I have the honour to inform your lordship that I joined the army on the evening of the 19th. I found it stationed near the Col de Balaguer. Sir John Murray in concurrence with the general officers had decided upon the re-embarkation of the troops the same evening and the execution had only been suspended in consequence of my appearance having been notified by signal to the admiral.

The question therefore of remaining in Catalonia or returning to Valencia was to be determined by me and I had no hesitation in resolving to return immediately to Alicant or to such nearer point on the coast of Valencia as the position of the French and Spanish armies might allow.

My decision was made on the following grounds:

I was informed by Sir John Murray[98] that from 8 to 12,000 men of Suchet’s army were at Tortosa. Intelligence was brought while I was with Sir John Murray, that 7,000 men under General Maurice Mathieu[99] were at Cambrils. If I had resolved to return to Tarragona, I would easily have driven back the corps of General Mathieu but I could not have prevented him from throwing a considerable garrison in Tarragona, which without any relief from without would have caused a very protracted siege.

But it was no longer possible to carry Tarragona by a fresh attack as directed by your lordship’s  orders, because a considerable portion of the battering train, seventeen pieces, in which number were included all the howitzers together, with the fascines, platforms had fallen into the enemy’s hands. To have removed all these preparations must have occupied a considerable number of days. The interval would have given time to the enemy to have collected a force sufficient to raise the siege, or in the course of his leaving Catalonia to its own numerous posts and fortresses to have driven back the Duque del Parque[100] or to have detached to the western side of Spain.

The horses, mules and equipments of the army very limited at first had also very much suffered from the different embarkations and the army would not in any event have been immediately fit for active operations. We had only twelve field guns and the Spanish Catalonian army, as I am told, have none.

Upon an attentive consideration therefore of the objects stated in your lordships orders, it appeared to me that under the present circumstances the only certain mode either of clearing the open part of Valencia and of effecting diversion in your favour on this side of Spain was to go back to Alicant, to re-equip the army and to act in concert with the Duque del Parque and I hope this resolution may meet your lordship’s approbation.

The embarkation began on the night of the 17th, on the 18th at night, all the British troops, cannon and stores, were safely embarked, and on the 19th the admiral hoped, if the weather abated to be able to bring off the guns taken in the Col de Balaguer. The fort on the Col de Balaguer was completely blown up.

On the 18th we received  intelligence that the corps of General Mathieu had retired from Cambrils towards Tarragona. The embarkation of the troops did not meet with any molestation. I attribute this retreat of the enemy to the arrival of the fleet under Sir Edward Pellew[101] who accompanied me from Rosas Bay, and which might have given rise to an idea that a reinforcement had arrived.

I have left the 2nd Regiment de Burgos belonging to General Whittingham’s division in Catalonia according to your lordship’s orders. It has been embarked on board the Invincible[102] and two transports for the purpose of being landed to the northward.

I am preceding the fleet with Admiral Hallowell[103] to ascertain the situation of the Spanish Army and the practicability of continued [sic] at Valencia.

Not a moment shall be lost in putting the troops in motion as soon as the means of carrying the stores and provisions of the army can be provided.

Sir John Murray has requested leave to return to England which I have given him, and Sir Edward Pellew has given the Thames frigate[104] for his conveyance, which will sail as soon as I shall arrive at Alicant. W[illiam] Bentinck


PS Alicant 23 June


Upon my arrival here I found that Sir John Murray has relinquished his idea of going to England and he will in consequence proceed to Sicily according to Lord Bathurst’s[105] orders. WCB



Lieutenant General H Clinton, commanding a division of the army under the command of the most noble Marquise of Wellington

Valencia 13 July 1813


My dear brother,

I have your letter 26 & 27 before me. This of mine ought to be 32, for since I wrote 30 on the 28 June, I sent you a letter not numbered on the 2nd July as I left Alicant which I sent to Lord William to forward. I trust this will find you well. What a tedious passage to Lisbon. I hope you have not an unpleasant journey up the country, & then you find your division in good order. We hear here that Lord Wellington are marching on Bayonne. Suchet it is said is retiring, but in what direction I know not. I heard last night part of his army, have gone towards Saragossa so as to be formed even mingled beforehand with him there. In Murviedeo he has left 1,800 men, it is very strange & must be prepared for a long defence. At Tortosa it is said he has 5,000 men. We march in 2 or 3 days for the Ebro. What we are to do I believe remains undecided till we ge there & know what is the state of things. The army is much assured on the presence of an old chief. He is niow universally beloved. He has made some trifling alteration in the brigadeing & divides Sir John, he has now one strong division & one of Whittingham’s that he has a reserve of 3 battalions & an advanced guard of 2 battalions under Adam. The weather has been quite delightful, & although warm, but never equal to the burning parched heat of Alicant. The country is the same I was last year. The plain of Valencia extends a considerable distance is everywhere highly cultivated. It is watered artificially in all its parts & this means the ground is constantly producing. I conclude you are following our proceedings away from Tarragona, we need not to have seen, but I do not think Sir John charges have been justified in staying much longer, Suchet and Decaen would have been too much for us. Murray however suffered himself to be sadly bothered by Donkin, who kept constantly warning him of the risk he saw if he remained & persisted and yet such a chatterbox of a fellow, given was that neither directly nor indirectly did he command the raising of the siege. I can not exactly say what was his private language to Sir John, but I have understood that he pointed out the probable arrival of the enemy uniform & powerful in Sir J’s considerations then he must prepare to fight, and very much exaggerated the enemy’s force & now calculated his march. Independent of this however, what can he say to justify the despondent language he held on the 12th June (day of embarkation) publicly on the sea beach, to this effect. When asked why there was such hurry for embarking the troops, ‘Sir, the enemy are within 2 hours of Tarragona and every man that remains on shore after 5 o’clock this evening will be cut to pieces. Why is such language warrantable in a great public officer, would it be in anyone? The man is mad I think, at all events he is a mischievous fellow and as I had occasion to tell him the other day. I thought what talents he possessed were turned to the purposes of making mischief. This attack on him by me was caused by his going to Lord W Bentinck with a request relative to an officer commanding a brigade in my division, tending to charge him with having been guilty of some impropriety in the irregular way he has quartered his troops. I had reason to know that the officer, had not infringed any order. Meeting Donkin therefore, I told him that I wished that before he made a report to Lord William which tended to implicate the conduct of any officer under my command, thus I wished he would first inform himself of the correctness of the charge he might have to make against him, observing that had he done so in the instance to which I alluded, he would have found Lord W Bentinck might have been spared the trouble of having this report. I cannot find time for more but I hope soon to be able to write again, affectionately yours WH Clinton.


PS Alicant. We hear a report of a great victory on the 21st June or may have been well after it.



To Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton KB, commanding a division of the army under the command of the most noble Field Marshal Marquis of Wellington. Marked ‘Gone Home’

No 3 York Street, New Road

Bivouac before Tarragona 9 August 1813


I have now before me 26, 27, 28 & 29, the two last received here on the on the 6th of this month. An opportunity may offer in a few days, I must not lose it. We have been here since the instant owing to the slow progress of the Spaniards & to their inefficiency as an army. The French have not been as much pressed in their retreat on this side, as they might have been. Lord William had had all sorts of difficulties to deal with, hitherto he has surmounted them but I doubt the enemy are too strong forces & that we shall have to retire, but of this more. Let me first congratulate you on you at length obtaining what you ought to have had before. I think the time chosen to give you the ribband has however been considerately chosen and as it has been done singly, it has been the more marked. I hope you have reason to view this in the same light it strikes me. It was kindly meant on the part of the Duke to give you the battalion of the 60th.  Though it is no great catch considering what Messr Wynyard & others have got still this too, has marked the Duke’s opinion of you and I expect it has been done. I can assure you, I have never had one moment’s more thought on the subject, that I have been passed over in these instances. When Wynyard & others my juniors have got regiments. I have felt annoyed because it has been absolute favouritism, but I feel there are many not offered & may yet to see get regiments before me, who on the score of service have nought to boast. I have written to you many more letters which you do not appear to have received you have not acknowledged the following, 12th March, forwarding 21st, 25th & 28th March, the 1st, 24th & 25th of April, the latter inserted to Captain Gray 95th Foot General Whittingham’s adc. I have also written to you on the 29th finished 30th May, by Major Steiger William Stewart’s adc which I gave to Colonel Adam to give him to take for me. Then on the 13th and 28th June, 2nd & 13th July, last number 31, which I requested Lord William to forward by courier from Valencia. In this last I acknowledged the receipt of your numbers 26 & 27, the last dated from Lisbon in June. I hope you will have since received all these safe. Your last letters are very interesting to me, though of so long a date, for I hear that at Vineroz Lord William received dispatches from Lord Wellington as late as the 20th July. We are four days from his head quarters. I would that we now knew where you are & what about. We have reports that on the 23rd July there had been an affair, which ended favourably to us. Since that & within a few days the enemy has fired a feu de joie for a supposed victory, of which however it appears they have not yet any official account, but we hear Suchet is moving against us with all his forces & we have sent all our baggage to the rear in consequence. On the other hand from the side of Tarragona we hear that, that place has fallen to the Spaniards, & that Lord W[ellington] has gained a splendid victory & dispersed Soult’s army. If this be true it is to be hoped Suchet must leave Tarragona to its fate. In the mean while our situation is not the most amenable, a Spanish force left to guard our bridge over the Ebro, below Tortosa, has suffered the garrisons to come out & completely to destroy it, so is obliged to fall back (as we may be) we have nothing but Balaguer to bring us up & that is a sad barren region without water, & where a communication with the ships is precarious at the finest season. Lord W[ellington] has taken measures for securing a supply of water but I am by no means clear, he can secure it in the quantity we should want.

I have no accounts from any one [at] home later than the 10th of May from Lord Sheffield. I have a letter of the 23rd of that month, this is a great denial we have in this army. I trust all is really well in the meanwhile it made me very anxious to be so long without a syllable of them. You must have been very comfortable with White Buttons in your passage, aye, but what a tedious passage it was. Our White seems to have made himself quite popular at Messina. Mrs White made his home by all accounts very pleasant & the corporal seems to have been quite the gentleman & her home the fashionable resort of Messina. He established himself in the citadel, a casemated building of solid masonry, without a green blade to be seen but then he was king & he appears to have enjoyed himself much until nearly carried off by an obstinate bowel complaint. I can say no more now than that I am well & that I trust the men find you quite stout. Give my love to him of my old acquaintance, Augusta sent me a long account of him; he appears to have behaved extremely well in a very unpleasant business, which he appears to have unavoidably got into. Ever my dear brother, affectionately yours WHC


Sir W Bentinck showed me in a paper of the 7th of July, the publication of your having been presented with the Order of the Bath, so I avail myself of this, so to hail you my dear brother.


No 9

From Lord William Bentinck to Field Marshal the Marquis Wellington

Cambrils 16 August 1813


My Lord,

On the 3rd the Duque del Parque’s corps came up to Tarragona, as did the division of General Sarsfield[106]. On the 11th General Ellio could not spare the three regiments of the division of Migares’[107] which I had requested him to send me.

On the 10th I heard that Marshal Suchet had returned to Vilafranca [del Penedes] from Barcelona and had brought with him 5,000 men. The reports of the succeeding days left no doubt of its being his intention to move forward and on the 14th I learnt from the Baron de Eroles[108] and Colonel Mauzo that besides collecting all he could from the garrisons, he had been joined by Decaen[109] with 6,000 men.

In consequence of this intelligence, I suspended all operations for the siege of Tarragona, except the making of fascines and landed neither artillery nor stores.

There was no position on the [River] Jaca as I had in my former letter supposed. There are only two carriageable roads across it, but they are at a distance of ten miles from each other. The river having no water in it and being only impracticable from the steepness of its banks is passable for infantry everywhere. A corps placed in the centre could not reach either flank in time to prevent the passage of the enemy. General Whittingham whom I had sent with his corps to the cols of San Christina and Lleorne, reported them not to be defendable with so small a forces as we could allot to this object.

I had intended to have pushed on to the Llobregat, Suchet’s army was at one time divided between Barcelona and Vilafranca [del Penedes] and its environs. A rapid movement might possibly have enabled me to fall separately upon his advanced corps and of obtaining possession of the ridge on mountains on this side the Llobergat before he could have time to bring up his troops from Barcelona. I would not execute this movement before being joined by Sarsfield and previously Suchet had concentrated his force in Vilafranca and its neighbourhood. Suchet’s force has been variously calculated from 20 to 25,000 men, my whole infantry was 30,000, of which 4,000 would have been required to contain the garrison of Tarragona.

The immediate vicinity of Tarragona offered a very good position in itself, but it may be completely turned by an enemy who crossing the cols should approach Tarragona by Valls and Reus. The movement would be a handy one and not practicable against good troops. But if it had been attempted and the army beat in this position not a man would have escaped and exclusively of your lordship’s orders, neither prudence nor any object worth the risk to me appeared to me to justify so deep a game.

On the 14th Suchet moved a large corps upon [Torredembarra] Altafulla, but the road being close to the beach, the gunboats prevented him from passing if such were his intention. On the 15th he drove back the posts on the cols of San Cristina and Llecore and afterwards forced the corps at Brasea by which they were supported, to retire. His whole army marched by this route. Upon Suchet continuing to advance towards Tarragona, I resolved upon retiring in the night and the army arrived here this morning without any loss and without receiving any molestation from the enemy. I confess that I should have been most anxious to have avoided the bad effect of a second retreat from Tarragona upon the spirit of Catalonia; if there had been any fair chance of success, I would certainly have given the enemy battle.

For this purpose when no position could be found, I consulted the best Spanish officers upon the capability of the Spanish troops to meet upon equal terms the French in the field. Their uniform opinion was that in the present state that army, distrustful of themselves, distrusted by their own officers, not yet recovered from their numerous defeats and not accustomed to manoeuvre and the principal corps of the Duque del Parque being very ill commanded, no reliance should be placed in the steadiness of the troops. It has been always their opinion, that the troops should not fight except in a strong position, already known to them and in this opinion I entirely agree. It would have been better had the army not advanced so far, but this advance was made under other circumstances, when Suchet seemed to be retiring altogether from Catalonia when he had actually resolved upon the destruction of one if not more of his fortresses. To take advantage of his retreat, to offer the chances of the greatest degree of benefit to the cause.

But Bonaparte’s determination to resume the offensive had changed for the moment the aspect of affairs. Suchet probably received the same orders as Soult but it was to[o] late for me, even if I had thought it politic to make any alteration in my plan till compelled by necessity to do so. The report of your lordship’s victory announced nearly at the same time with the return of the French army induced me to believe that Soult’s defeat must influence Suchet’s movements. I had also a hope that Suchet’s disposable numbers would not be able to contend with those which I should be able to collect. In consequence of a correspondence of General Copons[110], but he has not certainly been as attentive to my wishes as all the other Spanish officers with whom I have been acting. The Catalonian army is said to be superior to any other army in Spain. I shall be much gratified if your lordship should approve the reasons which have determined my conduct.


To Sir Henry Clinton, 3 York Street, Portman Square, London – corrected to Porstmouth


Villa Seca 6 miles from Tarragona  26 August 1813


My dear brother,

I will have no time in beginning a letter to acknowledge your numbered 31, and dated Passage 25th July, which reached me last night & was a great satisfaction to me to hear from you, I had not had a line since the 9th of July and from William Stewart’s letter alone, I had heard of your illness & he speaking of course in the presumption I knew of the circumstance. Your letter number 30 has not reached me. In since receiving 32 I acknowledged the receipt of your letters 26 to 29. This letter I presume will have found you in England, where I trust this will also & that you will not think of resuming your station till free from any apprehension of relapse. In two months more the campaign must cease, if indeed a peace does not come before which I cannot help hoping will be the case. If the war continues after this campaign, I hope we are led to it. Since 32, I have twice written without numbering my letters, having been in bivouac with little or no baggage, for when we marched away from Tarragona on the 16th ultimo it was a very near thing, a few hours more & Bentinck must have faced about & fought. You may pretty well guess why we did not fight, when you look to the composition of our force, which by the way, the publication of Murray’s letter about Tarragona unveils most completely. Surely it is an odd circumstance to see that in the French papers; was it then intercepted? Bentinck tried to impose on Suchet but however pressed he might be for time, Suchet was not to be made believe, and it was necessary either to fight or to move off. Bentinck I am convinced can make out a satisfactory statement, but I dare say, John Bull will grumble, because there were no bloody noses. By the way, there was a fight too, for the detachment of the Brunswick Hussars, with Colonel Schrader at their head, did turn upon a squadron of the enemy’s 4th Hussars, very superior to them & drove them back with loss of 17 men & 13 horses. In our retreat we were unmolested, the French evidently showed, that the destruction of Tarragona & securing the retreat of its garrison was all [they] wanted. You knew of us at Balguer, where we went for 2 days. When on the retreat of the forces and destruction of the works at Tarragona, I was ordered on here with the 1st Division of this army , one brigade under Colonel Adam, the cavalry and a division of Spaniards of about 5,000 men, the commander being determined in conjunction with the Spaniards to mask the siege of Tortosa. Possibly the last movements of French which seem to indicate a rapid move out of the country, of at least part of their force, may change the plan of operations, as I cannot help hoping, but that Bentinck will leave the Spaniards, to blockade or besiege Tortosa & will with his elite & the best of the Spaniards, joined to the Catalonian army, move rapidly on to annihilate what remains to Suchet; and if it has force, that he will for the moment more than 12,000 including the garrison of Barcelona. What might we not hope from a well combined move against him. At present the French have near Barcelona 24,000 men and at this force with our heterogenous body we cannot look. I cannot feel sanguine as to the issue of this campaign, Bonaparte will have gained so much time, I fear he will outmanoeuvre the Russians, and at this late period of the campaign, the junction of Austria even would effect but little she would commence hostilities with every disadvantage just at the end of the summer. His army would become sickly and at best would be able to act defensively only. You will say this is my accustomed gloomy view so enough. I have no letter from home since the 26th June, rarely do we get letters under 2 months & lately it was nearly 3 since I had heard. This is one of the disagreements of this army. Thanks for your account of St Sebastian, I quite agree with you, in what are any our engineers. We had a specimen at Tarragona, and had we tried it again, I think it would have been a tedious job. I have replied to Pack’s acquaintance who I suspect to have committed a small error, and that his memory will be found to have served him for part of what I may have said, but have failed him for the rest. I have written officially to Torrens upon the business & if he be not too great a man to notice my application, he ought to enable me to explain the the business. The fact is that the brevet 1802 to which cousin refers to, was previous to my being an officer & the decision for omitting his name made by my predecessor Brownrigg, whose decision as received from the Duke, whatever it might have been I delivered to the colonel; but enough of him.

Your letters 28 & 29 of the 2nd & 9th of July, I have already acknowledged when I found you had made such evident exertion to get up to the army. I dreaded the effect on your health, however I have but to hope you have by means of good advice cared [for] yourself, and I shall depend on you driving you to [hard] will have a relapse, I repeat that before you can join, the campaign must be nearly over, & the rains set in.  In your letter 29, you observe speaking of this army, that money will render us independent as bread is everywhere to be had, but alas, money is likely to fail us, for owing to Malta being shut up by plague, commerce is stopped & there is no means of getting cash without it. Now this is not perhaps a more masterly, though more diabolical coup than what possibly may be the case and with such a man as we have seen in Egypt & elsewhere, may it not be suspected, that Bonaparte may by his devilish tricks have contrived to introduce the plague at Malta. Could he more effectually criupple us, than he does in the Mediterranean by such a scourge. At the moment, our fleet off Toulon is on short provisions & our army shabbily paid, our operations cramped, by the inability to make the necessary purchases. What is to be done, if this continues, it must be many months ere Malta’s trade be again in activity & in the meanwhile, with every possible exertion from whence is money to be got for this army? You may feed our fleet, but money is not to be got. Calvert in his kind letter to quote of things of main consideration, as I cannot look with confidence of public matters less Calvert tells me. Augusta has said she [understands?] I have a regiment, to which he observes, he thinks it should be a good one, as though I am better as I am, in which I quite agree with him. Let me just repeat what I have said in answer to him, (which concerned him & I wished to serve my friend, I should show to the Duke) I say ‘You tell me my lord is in anxiety I should have a regiment, for my part, my good friend, I feel confident, the Duke of York will not let me be passed over when an opportunity may offer of giving me, what would reall be acceptable to me & when it can be done without prejudice to those whose business give them a superior claim to consideration. It is true that there have been some above & some under me, who have received regiments which I think I may fairly say, had no right to be served before me, but on the other hand I am aware I have no great pretence as to consideration for my personal service alone & it is not for me, to bring interest to my support, when the question is of favour to be shown by the Duke, from whom I have had so many proofs of the greatest kindness.

I have already congratulated you on your having the Bath, those who feel they deserve honours, such decorations are an honour, long may you wear it, my dear brother, and deserve & receive yet many more ere your career be at an end. Bathurst first showed me the notification in the paper. I rejoice too that you have got a battalion which may I hope be only the fore runner of something better. If we are to remain abroad would that we could meet in Sicily and pass the winter there, where your health might possibly be much benefited. I trust at all events that nothing will place me, this only for a time at the head of the army. I am convinced even as permanent chief neither credit or honour is to be gained. It has all the disadvantages without any of the advantages of belonging to Lord Wellington. I had rather anything, aye even a division with his army, (in my case I consider not very desirable) than the temporary, nay even the permanent command of this heterogenous body, Bentinck with all his sense, firmness, good temper & conciliating manners, & the high rank he holds of a Captain General, in evident difficulty, manage the machine. How could I hope to get on. Great changes may take place, and circumstances may arise to induce me to view things differently, but if they continue as at present, I pray I may be saved even from temporary command. So Mr Donkin is off, it is a shame to reward that man, after the language he held on the beach at Tarragona, but he is such a plausible gentleman that he will get on in spite of all that can be said of him and of the detestation in which generally he is held in this army. This letter is intended to be sent home By Elliot of the engineers[111], a son of his was gun commander at Dresden, I believe a fine young man. God bless you my dear brother, remember me most kindly to Lady Susan & believe me to be ever affectionately yours, WHC


Tarragona 1st September 1813


My dear brother,

I just hear, as I have come over here from Villa Sucera? To see Lord William Bentinck, that there is an opportunity for England. I must therefore write a few hurried lines. A few days ago, I sent away a long letter to you by a private hand (Lt Elliott in the engineers). I there acknowledged all your letters to the 25th of July inclusive from Passages, except that unnumbered 30 (I think) dated 21st of July which has not yet reached me. Since I last wrote I have nothing much to tell you, I then mentioned our retreat from before Tarragona (which Lord Wellington has apoproved) our assembling at Balaguer. The decision to make the Siege of Tortosa with the reserve of our army & 15,000 Spaniards & there I was left at Villajoyosa to march off with the 1st and 2nd Division of this army & having as an advance corps General Sarsfield & 5,000 Spaniards. Since then Lord William went to arrange everything with General Ellio & the Duc del Parque, when alas we found that a siege for present was out of the question, from the old want in the Spanish armies, provisions. It was therefore become necessary to make some new arrangement & I hope he will be able to do something more satisfactory. At this moment nothing is fixed on. It is well Suchet has detached 15,000 men, if so he could have [no] more than 10 or 12 left in this province, & we ought to cut him up. You may guess why we do not, look at our composition. This ought to be considered in England. I cannot here enter into subjects I should like to talk to you on, I must be short. You must not be surprised to see B[entinck] leave this army or to see me follow him. As yet the latter thing is uncertain, but I fear the former sure. You may see ‘a sure’ the affairs of Sicily are the cause. When he goes, I cannot however lose, and I trust it may be managed, for I should not even as a temporary arrangement like to find myself as the head of this army. It is rely on it, the least covetable command. Mention as much as you like of this to Louisa, I shall not be able to write more than a very scrap to her. What is to be done here I cannot say, they will with difficulty find such a man as Lord William to conciliate men & measures. I hope Lord Wellington will at once send some one in whom he has confidence. I cannot expect he would have such in me, so little known as I am to him & indeed with so little to inspire confidence in anyone. If I am to remain here and that we get a soldier to command us, I shall make up my mind, though I shall not cease to regret B[entinck’s] departure.

Donkin has just taken his departure, glad I made use of such language, as he did on the beach at Tarragona Bay on the 11th of June, I should never have been able to hold up my head afterwards. This man is rewarded with nearly the best place the Regent can bestow. This is encouragement. How can people be deceived by that fellow’s spouse’s language. Though I ought not to be surprised, for General Campbell (his late colleague) that he did not really know the man the last winter. I am sorry for our country that men so undeserving, should meet with the rewards due to meritorious characters only. Our powerful agent of transports told me, that Donkin came to him & called loudly out to him as he was embarking stores on the 12th June, ‘do not embark any more stores in, embark men not stores’, and upon the agent venturing to ask him, whether the business pressed so much, Donkin added, ‘Sir, It is General Sir J Murray’s order that you embark men, not stores. The enemy are within a few hours march & everyman that is left on shore by 5, the enemy will be cut to pieces.’ This speech was made loud & in the hearing of hundreds, nor was it to the officers only, that Donkin expressed himself, but I must have done, though this business does annoy me & to see the fellow walk off, holding us all apparently so cheap.

I depend on hearing from you by all opportunities, Bentinck told me today that he had letters from England of the 11th August. I had you hoped you had now arrived, but it appears from Lord William’s letters not. I hope to hear good accounts for you & Susan. God Bless you my dear brother. Affectionately yours WHC.


I hope this day year we shall be shooting in Sussex, or at your home.


To Henry Clinton

33 But in fact 37 for I wrote on the 21 & 27 August and the 1st September (unnumbered)

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 6 September 1813


My dear brother,

I wrote to you on the 1st from Tarragona via Lord Wellington’s headquarters. I hear the Brune frigate[112] is going direct to England, I will not therefore lose the opportunity of writing by him. In my last I told you of Lord William’s probable immediate return to Sicily. He will be a sad loss to this Army, I do not know how they can go on without him. At the time I told him, I could not endure the stresses of commanding this army, he would know the situation is not amiable, with all the advantage he has of rank, respectability &c, he can with difficulty conciliate people. How could I expect to do so, besides, though the Spaniards acknowledge his rank of Captain General to command them, my subordinate rank they could not acknowledge and with the Sicilians too there would be all sorts of difficulties, in short my mind is made up to think anything better than the command of this army composed & situated as it is. Lord William called on me yesterday & asked me whether I had thought any more about what he had said the other day on the subject his leaving the army &c. I told him I had thought a good deal & that I thought nothing less enviable than the command of the army. He then said, ‘but what do you think of going to Sicily?’ I told him that if a senior man from Lord W[ellington] [came] here, I should think I might retire & should be most glad to be with him, but that I doubted whether Lord Wellington would approve of this. He then said that he had written to Lord W[ellington] on the subject, asking to take me with him to Sicily and that for this purpose he might send an officer to take the command & should this not be approved of, then I understood Lord William to intend to send General Macfarlane (who you know is Marshal in Sicily) to take the command here, who then at once steps into Lord William’s plan here, a chief of the Sicilian Army. In which case, I should be called as a thing of course to Sicily, to take the 2nd in command there. Murray having been ordered to Gibraltar for a special purpose, the papers tell us, in order for an investigation of his conduct, but nothing of this is known at the army. I think that this last arrangement may probably take place, in which case I shall be obliged to take the command of the troops here till Macfarlane can arrive, when I shall proceed to Palermo. A few days will determine this, as Lord William wrote to Lord Wellington on the 1st & we are not above 5 days from him. If Beresford or Hill came here or Sir T[homas] Graham I should cheerfully serve with them and unless Macfarlane comes here, I shall not be able to go to Sicily. But I cannot say I should like to serve as second to others. However it would be time to consider this, when the event may be and you will I fear think I have given you enough about myself. But one word more then & that is, that I think you had better continue sending as heretofore, as there will always be opportunities to Sicily & you will soon find out whether I go there or stay here. We are now collected here, in our whole force, what we are to do, I do not yet know, the reports of the enemy’s force vary. I cannot but think but that Suchet has detached largely. He seems to be endeavouring to make us believe that he is still in considerable force at the same time that he is strengthening himself in Barcelona & preparing for siege. If we are strong enough to draw him under the walls of Barcelona we may distress him much, but we cannot suppose him unprepared for such an event.  On the [Page Missing]


… have made themselves respected by the enemy, but these troops cannot be trusted in a position & yet as I have before said, I believe they are the best troops we have among the Spaniards. I may be able to write to you more in a few days about all this, for the meantime what I have said, may serve to show you what our situation is. The enemy’s force we do not exactly know, he is understood to have but 5,000 men on the Llobregat, the rest advance the Catalonian corps near Sabadell, Suchet with his reserve is in rear the city of Barcelona.



The foregoing may serve to give you some idea of our situation. I have not seen the ground, in a few days I shall be able to see something of that. Ld W[illiam] seems indefatigable, he is in constant activity. At Sant Boi [de Llobregat] the French have made a temporary bridge, both to cover for a ready communication, in case of fresh’s coming down & rendering the ford of the Llobregat impassable and also to facilitate their carrying wood to Montjeuil, there is no other ford or passage of the road between that & Molins de Rei, where they have a tete du pont with artillery, but as this is 5 miles from Barcelona they cannot mean to defend it, if we can turn the position by forcing the unfortified point of Martorell.

It must appear very beastly, to have said nothing about yourself, however believe me I am anxious to hear, I know nothing since your letter 25th July from Pasajes. You must I fear have had a long passage home, Lady William writes to B[entinck] on the 11th August, you was not then arrived. I hope soon to receive some account of you soon. Continue directing to me rather via Lord Wellington’s Army, between which there must be constant communication & confidentially by Gibraltar, as if I go to Sicily, I shall approach Lt Campbell, and now God bless you my dear brother, remember me most kindly to Lady Susan, Of above I hope you will be able to send me good accounts & believe me to be ever affectionately yours WHC


38 ammended to 34

To Henry Clinton

Tarragona 18 September 1813


I could not write to you saving to give you an account of our feats on the 13th at & near Vilafranca [del Penedes]. From Calvert and others you will have heard what happened. I daresay the French will have called out victory, but they have little to boast of, which if one except the beating the advance at the pass, nothing could be more imposing, or more orderly than the retreat made by the allied force. Colonel Adam & Reeve Having been wounded early in the attack, was the cause of of the hurried retreat of the corps advanced occupying the strong pass of Urdal against the front the enemy in their sight from the 12th to the 13th brought the whole of his force. We began a most vigorous attack soon after 12. Our force consisted of 1,300 British & Calabrians & 2,500 Spaniards with 2 x 6pdrs & 2 mountain guns. The Spaniards seconded our troops well, but the contest was unequal and the enemy pressing forward, our troops had nothing for it, but to defend, & to endeavour to gain the higher ground on their flanks, and I say that the greater part succeeded.  I reckon our loss at little more than 700 (including Spaniards) on the occasion. Flushed with success the enemy now pushed on along the main road to Villafranca [del Penedes], but about 5 miles from there, he was met by our cavalry & about 4,000 under Mackenzie, with 8 pieces of cannon. Lord W[illiam] Bentinck had no intention of disputing their advance, unless he could have it done it at the pass. Our troops therefore skirmished & retired and during the 7 miles, the enemy followed us, he never could once gain the smallest advantage. As far as Vilafranca [del Penedes] the ground favoured us, after that it was as much to his advantage and here he attempted to check our retreat and to turn to account his very superior cavalry (he had about 600 sabres in the field, he nearer 2,000) we then suppose he pushed his light cavalry; to our right (left) & retiring with his guns and cuirassiers he kept the main road. Against those on the right about 200 of the 20th & some Sicilians made a most timely charge, in which the French 24th Dragoons (2 squadrons) were very roughly handled and about the same time Colonel Schrader of the Brunswick Hussars, finding his people pressed on the road, he wheeled about and moved against the heavy cavalry of the enemy which in its turn was checked & thrown into confusion. With these charges ended the offensive move of the enemy. We continued our retreat over a very ugly barrauca and he halted on the opposite side & saw us complete it within loss & nine pounders fired from a little elevation in the rear, had the effect of checking a movement begun by his cuirassiers towards our (left) and our return was then continued unmolested to [El] Vendrell. We hear from various quarters that the enemy sent sixty carts with wounded into Barcelona. [Missing section]


Sicily, at all events (if even thought of) by Lord W[illiam] I must decline the chief command here, though in general health stands. I must have rest after the campaign & to Sicily, England or somewhere out of the woods I must go, or next year & shall be unfit for anything. My case puzzles the medical men here, but all agree that rest is requisite. Patience my dear brother, I am anxious to hear of you, I cannot write to Louisa today, I have written very often lately & sent a letter via Lord Wellington’s headquarters only yesterday, affectionately your WHC


My Lord Wellington

Tarragona 23 September 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour to apprize you that Lord WC Bentinck embarked yesterday evening on board HM Ship Swiftsure[113] and sailed immediately for Sicily. Previous to his departure, his lordship directed me to take the temporary command of the troops here, which since the 15th of this month have been halted near to this place.

I do not find that Lord William has had any intimation that your lordship had received his letter of the 1st instant, in which I believe he noticed his being obliged to go to Sicily. The army has been busily employed since its return here in working at the breaches lately made by the French, so as if possible to render the place tenable and much has been done, but it has been found I believe by the engineers, that at best this is but a poor place as a fortress and though as a position for an army it may perhaps be considered respectable, it cannot without going to a great expense of money and labour be rendered secure for many hours against an enemy attacking it in form. According to reports received this morning from Vilafranca [del Penedes] & the neighbourhood, the enemy occupied nearly his old position in the Llobregat. This afternoon however a report has been received from General Copons from Igualada of yesterday stating that he understands the enemy were in movement, in what number not stated, but that it was said he was directing his march towards Llerida. Should this be ascertained to be the case, it is my intention to move towards Vilafranca [del Penedes] with such force as I can get together from thence to watch his movements and to endeavour as opportunity may offer, to act in cooperation with General Copons, but as the Spanish infantry of Major General Whittingham’s division is unable (from want of provisions or the means of conveying them had it the articles) to move with us. I am apprehensive I cannot look for any greater addition to the British & Sicilian force I can take with me, than about 3,000 of Major General Sarsfield’s division, who I have reason to believe are now at Vilafranca [del Penedes], so that should the enemy turn his column on this side, I shall be under the necessity of retiring to this place and here await his attack, should he be disposed to follow up his movement.

I hope before long to know the decision your lordship may have been pleased to make relative to the command of this army, having to express an earnest wish that your lordship may have found it convenient to send someone more worthy than myself to replace Lord W Bentinck and more likely, than I can possibly expect to be, to possess the confidence so conspicuously shown to his lordship by this army. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell Commissary General

Taragona 24 September 1813



I have to request by the desire of Lieutenant General Clinton commanding, that you will be pleased to give to Lieutenant Scott 20th Light Dragoons[114] his Staff pay as Brigade Quarter Master to the cavalry brigade from the 25th July to 24th September 1813. WB Kersterman Acting Military Secretary


Major General Sarsfield[115]

Taragona 24 September 1813



I have the honour to apprize you that His Excellency Lieutenant General Lord WC Bentinck who has for a short time left this army, has directed me to take the temporary command of it; in consequence of which I have established my quarters for the present in this place. I have now to request, that you may be good enough to keep me apprized of any movement made by the enemy, or which you may think it advisable to make with the troops under your command; and having for special reasons been induced to send on a division of this army to Valls, I have further to request that you will be pleased to station at [L’]Arboc and at La Bisbal[116] small detachments of cavalry, with a view to a ready communication with a part of our cavalry, which I have directed to occupy [Banyares del Penedes?] so that by this means Major General Mackenzie commanding the troops at Valls, may have the earliest information of what may be passing in his front, and should anything material occur, I shall request the favour of your communicating with Major General Mackenzie direct.

As it is possible the enemy in any movement he may make this way, may move also by [El] Vendrell, I would suggest that at that place and at Roda de Bara you might station a corporal and 3 men of your cavalry, so as that the information from your excellency might be brought to me here in the least possible time, and with the least inconvenience or harassing of your cavalry. I request you will be pleased to acknowledge the receipt of this letter by the return of the messenger. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant General Campbell

Tarragona 25 September 1813



The absence of Lieutenant General WC Bentinck who has left this army the 22nd instant, places me in the temporary command of it, on which occasion I have the honour now to address you. I am likewise led to take the earliest opportunity of writing to you, as upon enquiry I find that our stock of salt meat for the army is very small indeed, and our supply of fresh, does not exceed at present six days. Now therefore that our commissary as I imagine, may be able to pick up hereabout a considerable quantity of sheep and oxen, still looking forward to the approaching winter when possibly our communication with our shipping may be cut off for many days, it behoves me to take measures in securing a supply of provisions in depot. I have therefore to request, that you may be pleased by the earliest opportunity to send for the use of this army as much salt pork and beef as can be spared, causing if practicable the officer commanding this army to be apprized of the probable time of the departure from Gibraltar of this provision. WH Clinton Lieutenant General commanding


This letter was forwarded by the Perseus transport


Major Williamson Royal Artillery

Tarragona 25 September 1813



Looking over the works of the place these two last days, I have observed a great number of guns and carriages which appeared to me to be in good condition, and that might be rendered serviceable. I wish no time to be lost in getting these into battery; at all events that they may be ready to be placed the moment the flat forms may be ready for them. I wish therefore that without delay you could look to this, and should you require any assistance in enabling you to mount the guns, or to clear them or carriages from the publick in which they are.

If you will let me know about what no. of men you may require, I will see that they are directed to attend at the place you may point out. At your earliest convenience, I request that you will send me replies to the following queries.

1st. What number of iron guns have been ordered to be landed, and of what calibre.

2ndly. How many of each class has been landed.

3rdly. Whether any and what mortars or howitzers may have been landed.

4thly. What number of guns, mortars or howitzers have been left by the enemy in a state to be rendered serviceable & what are their dimensions.

5thly. What is the shortest time in which all this could be put in a serviceable state.

WH Clinton Lieutenant General commanding.


Major General Whittingham

Tarragona 25 September 1813


Dear General,

It seems to be of great moment that you should visit your division of infantry cantoned partly at Reus, part in this place. On Lord W Bentinck leaving this on the 22nd instant, he desired me to take upon myself the temporary command of this army, until it be decided what Lord Wellington may determine in respect to it. I now find that your infantry are perfectly unable to move from not having any depot of provisions from which to subsist and also from being without the means of conveying their provisions had they the wherewithal to take with them. You must be aware how much this must cripple the operations of the other part of the allied force under my command. Referring him to what Field Marshal the Marquis of Wellington has said upon the subject of provisioning of your corps and relying upon your zeal & activity in furthering the public service, I must look to you at this moment, and must urge you to seriously consider what can best be done and that you should forthwith proceed this way, both to ascertain the real state of things, and also to consult with the Captain General of this province what means must be procured to meet the intentions of Lord Wellington in rendering the fine body of men of which generality your division is composed, effective & serviceable. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Hayter[117] took it [the letter] in charge.


His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley KB Cadiz

Tarragona 26 September 1813



Circumstances of which I conclude you are aware, having obliged Lord W Bentinck to proceed to Sicily, he embarked from hence on the 22nd instant leaving me to take the temporary command of this army, which I have thus the honour to notify to your excellency.

I am very sorry to have to accompany this notification by making a representation to your excellency, but I am urged by a report which has been made to me by the Deputy Commissary General Daniell of the low state of our supply of salt provisions (not exceeding 17 days consumption for this army) to submit the circumstance to your excellency and to request you may direct whatever assistance that can be given from Cadiz to be sent here with as little delay as possible.

The enemy has not made any movement of consequence since his return to the Llobregat after the affair of the 13th instant. He still however continues in considerable force on that river and by the last accounts had concentrated his force near Molins del Rei. He gives out his intention to go to the relief of Tortosa or Lerida. I apprehend however, that unless very materially re-imposed, he cannot without much risk make this movement. The army hereabout is thus distributed after having been since [the] 15th diligently employed in working at the ruined fortifications of this place, viz.


3 Brigades of British in & near Tarragona

3 brigades at Valls

2 brigades Spanish Tarragona

2 brigades Spanish Reuss

The British cavalry at Reuss


Major General Sarsfield with his troops at Vilafranca [del Penedes] watching the enemy’s movements. I am sorry to add that I find General Whittingham’s infantry division & the 2 battalions of Major General Roche’s serving with it with this army perfectly unable to move in case a forward move were desirable. These troops being totally without any depot of provisions, the means of buying any, or if they had any provisions the ability to carry it with them on the march, so that in vain should I look for the active assistance of these, in other respects fine body of men, unless it was thought expedient not only to give these people provisions from our own stores, but also to convey these provisions for them, in the circumstance reducing our own present scanty supply of salt meat, in the other diminishing at least one third our means of conveying on subsistence for the troops. I request your excellency’s consideration of the subject of this letter. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus Transport


His Excellency Lieutenant General Campbell, Gibraltar

Tarragona 26 September 1813



I request the favour of your forwarding the enclosed letter by the earliest opportunity to His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley at Cadiz and that you will also be pleased by the first opportunity offering this way to acknowledge the receipt of this letter. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus Transport


This letter was received by General Campbell on the 4th October and the enclosure forwarded to Sir H Wellesley to Cadiz.


Colonel Torrens

Tarragona 27 September 1813



The enclosed memorial Lieutenant Peter Page of Dillon’s Regiment having been left by His Excellency Lord W Bentinck, I have the honour of transmitting the same to be laid before Field Marshal His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief when a favourable opportunity offers. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus Transport


Colonel Torrens

Tarragona 27 September 1813



The accompanying letter & memorial has just been handed to me and having reason from what I have myself observed of Lieutenant Schaumann’s[118] zeal and activity and intelligence to think he is a very deserving officer & that Lieutenant Colonel Carey is perfectly borne out in what he says of the lieutenant’s merits. I do not hesitate in forwarding these papers to you and requesting you will take a favourable opportunity of submitting them to Field Marshall His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus Transport


Colonel Torrens

Tarragona 27 September 1813



I have the honour to inform you that Lieutenant General Lord W Bentinck embarked from hence on the 22nd instant on his return to Sicily and on leaving this directed me to take the temporary command of this army.

In notifying this to you for the information of His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, I have to observe that nothing material has occurred since the retreat of the army from Vilafranca [del Penedes] on the 13th instant. The enemy not having followed up our movements further than to [El] Vendrell and Banyeres [del Penedes] and having since retired to his original position behind the Llobregat.

The allied force consisting of the British and Sicilian & the Spanish infantry division of Major General Whittingham’s and Sarsfield are thus distributed.


Major General Sarsfield – Vilafranca [del Penedes]

Major General Whittingham – has 4 battalions at Reus and has 4 battalions at Tarragona

The British & Sicilian force consisting of two divisions

1st Division – Tarragona

2nd Division – Valls

Cavalry – Reus


Until the 23rd the greater part of the force was employed in repairing the works of this place. The weather since that period has made it necessary to put the troops under cover, so that four brigades only are now employed in these works, but I have reason to think that in a week’s time this place will be tolerably secure & if the Spanish authorities give the assistance required & the works proposed by Lord W Bentinck to be repaired can be completed, there will I think be no reason to apprehend anything from the attempts of the enemy, unless events enable him to set down in form before the place. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus Transport


His Excellency Lord W Bentinck

Tarragona 27 September 1813


My Lord,

The accompanying papers have been given to me by Captain Waldron of the 2nd Battalion of the 27th Regiment[119] with the understanding that your excellency had previous to your departure from hence approved of that officer submitting his claims for reward for meritorious services to your consideration. I do not hesitate in sending these papers to you, requesting only at the same time that may be allowed to add, that from all I have heard and from what I have seen of Captain Waldron’s conduct, I consider him to be a brave, intelligent & most zealous officer. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Hopkins

Tarragona 28 September 1813



In consequence of a reference made by the Quarter Master General relative to officers of the Spanish service employed upon the Staff in the Quarter Master General’s Department. I have to inform you that they are to be placed upon the same footing as regimental officers in respect to receiving their pay from that department. W B Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Zehnphenning[120]

Tarragona 28 September 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the 24th & 25th instants and to acquaint you that the messenger went away by mistake without waiting for an acknowledgement of your last letter.

I have observed what you say relative to the enemy’s movements and the intelligence about the destination of the battery at Mincada agrees with information from other quarters. In answer to your query in your last letter, it appears to me, for the present, that you had better remain at Vilafranca as directed by Lord W Bentinck. In case your being at any time aware that the enemy are actively moving forward, whether on this side or towards Llueda, I wish you then to communicate with Major General Mackenzie at present commanding the British corps at Valls. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Hayter took charge of it.


His Excellency Field Marshal Suchet

Tarragona 28 September 1813



In the absence of His Excellency Lord W Bentinck, I have been directed to take the temporary command of this army, it becomes my duty therefore to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency’s letter addressed to his lordship without date, but brought in here on the return of Colonel Otto[121], who had been charged by Lord W Bentinck with a particular commission to your excellency.

In reference to your excellency’s letter, I am directed to acquaint you, that Lord W Bentinck in compliance with your request has written to the Marquis of Wellington relative to the exchange of your excellency’s brother in law the Chef d’escadron Anthonus and that it will give his lordship much satisfaction, should it prove that he may have been instrumental in bringing relief to the sufferings of a person so nearly connected with your excellency and for whom your excellency appears to take so lively an interest.

Observing that it is your excellency’s wish that the chef d’escadron Bugaud should be exchanged, I do not hesitate in sending that officer to your excellency without any further delay on parole of honour, with full confidence that no difficulty will arise in settling the terms for that officer’s regular exchange, for which purpose as well as to terminate a plan of general exchange of prisoners proposed to be acted upon between your excellency and myself, Colonel Otto is again sent & with your permission will proceed to your excellency’s headquarters. I have further to apprize your excellency of the receipt of the letter you addressed to Lord W Bentinck bearing date the 20th instant, and in his name I have to offer you my acknowledgements for your excellency’s polite attention in your ready compliance with his lordship’s wishes.

I cannot close this letter without availing myself of the opportunity it gives me to express to your excellency the great satisfaction I felt in hearing the report made by Colonel Otto of the extremely considerate treatment our wounded soldier prisoners in your hands meet with in the French hospitals, a line of conduct so highly creditable to the great nation your excellency serves and bespeaking that noble generosity of sentiment which has been the characteristic of both our countries in our most obstinate way, whenever the circumstances of such have appeared to prevent the alleviating the sufferings and hardships of individuals.

Your excellency will also be pleased to accept my acknowledgements for the great civility and attention shown by your excellency personally and by all those around you to Colonel Otto during his late visit to Barcelona, which the colonel has not failed to speak of in terms the most grateful. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Colonel Otto 10th Regiment


Earl Bathurst

Tarragona 28 September 1813


My Lord,

I beg to represent to your lordship that Lord W Bentinck when lately leaving this for Sicily, gave me a power for convening general courts martial, the power is not made to extend to approval of sentence to be carried into execution & it appearing to me to be highly expedient for the sake of maintaining order and the good discipline of this army, that the officer in command of it, should (as far as concerns non commissioned officers & soldiers at least) have such extended power, I therefore submit to your lordship that a warrant to this effect may be forthwith sent to the officer commanding the forces here for the time being. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


By Perseus transport



Mr Barnes[122]

Tarragona 28 September 1813



It is necessary for the security of the health of the place that the commissariat carts should not be allowed to remain in the town, the filth and dirt caused by the animals with rendering the streets and places open, they are quite unwholesome (you will be pleased therefore to give the necessary directions, that after delivering their loads at the magazine, they immediately repair to the spot, that may be found convenient to park them in. I request that this may be acted upon without fail tomorrow, it remaining with you to reserve any small number of carts in this city, which for any special purpose you may think necessary.

I have to request that you will tomorrow  allot eight carts for the purpose of being employed in removing dirt & filth from the barracks of the British & Sicilian troops in this city & also from the hospital where our troops are. These carts to be in charge of the provost martial [marshal] who will be directed to see them paraded and returned to the park when the work is done. I request you will let me know what measures have been taken in forming a depot in the magazines here of ten days provisions, as I agreed with you should be the case two days since. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Earl of Bathurst

Tarragona 28 September 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour to acquaint your lordship that his excellency Lord W Bentinck left this place on the 22nd instant, and directed me to take the command of the allied army here. Since the 15th of the month the troops have been assembled near this place and have been occupied in repairing the works, the enemy not having followed the retrograde movement made by Lord W Bentinck from Vilafranca [del Penedes] on the 13th instant further than [El] Vendrell and La Bispal [del Penedes] and having since remained nearly [in] his former position on the Llobregat. Since his lordship’s departure I have followed up the plan he had decided on of putting this place into as respectable a state of defence as the means afforded by the Spanish government would admit, aided by the reactions of the troops for which purpose from the 15th to the day of Lord W Bentinck’s departure, from 4 to 6,000 men have been employed on the works. From the 22nd however the appearance of bad weather made it advisable to secure shelter for the army and this received place not being calculated to contain the whole, I have been obliged to detach a considerable part to cantonments in the neighbourhood; nevertheless with 4 Spanish, 2 Sicilian & 2 British regiments left here, a considerable number of workmen have still been kept on the works, and progress has been made, though much remains to be done to render the place at all secure.

It now becomes my duty to represent to your lordship the state in which I have found the public purse and the means of subsistence of this army. With respect to the former of these, I find the average expenditure of this army amounts to something more than £50,000 per month and that there is not now in the military chest more than will be required in the course of six weeks from the present time and in the meanwhile there is little or no prospect of remittances from Gibraltar, Sicily or elsewhere.

With respect to the subsistence of this army, the stock of salt meat is extremely small, there not being more than about 17 days consumption for that army, notwithstanding the arrangements Lord W Bentinck made some time since of a short issue of meat twice every week.

I have written on this subject to the Lieutenant Governor of Gibraltar at which place in consequence of a former representation from the officer commanding this army. I had understood it was intended there should be kept a constant supply (disposable) of 3 month’s salt meat for 10,000 men, but which from all I have been able to learn, I do not find is or has been the case. I have likewise written to Sir Henry Wellesley pointing out the wants of this army in this respect, and am in hopes from one or other of these quarters relief may be looked for, without which more especially in case events enable the enemy to force us to a strict defensive here, considerable difficulty will be found in feeding this army, as fresh meat will not I apprehend be found in the great quantity requisite for such a force and the poor state of the public treasure will besides throw considerable impediment in the way of our commissary general in obtaining such supplies. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr F Daniell

Tarragona 30 September 1813



Captain Milner[123] being about to proceed to join His Excellency Lord W Bentinck in Sicily, I have to request that you will be pleased to order payment to be made of the amount of his battalion and forage money and as it will be equally convenient to Captain Milner to receive an order upon the Commissary General in Sicily, I have to request that it may be so arranged. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Gore[124]

Tarragona 30 September 1813



By the desire of Lieutenant General Clinton I herewith send you a letter he has obtained from General Ellio to the Governor of Alicant authorising your receiving prisoners (Italians, Germans &c) for the purpose of recruiting the Italian Levy.

He has further to request that you will transmit the enclosed to some purpose in Alicant, you may think most proper for the carrying this service into effect.

As an opportunity will offer tomorrow for Alicant, the Lieutenant General hopes you will avail yourself of the same. W Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary.


Major Williamson

Tarragona 30 September 1813



I request you will make application for the conveyance to Vinaroz of two thousand – twelve-pound shot, which you will please to hand over to the order of General Ellio for the use of the Spanish force employed in the bombardment of Morella. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant Colonel Thackeray[125]

Tarragona 1 October 1813



It has been represented to me, that some small repairs are wanting to the roof of the hospital, which it is essentially necessary should be done forthwith to enable us to receive our sick. I request then that you will spare six masons this afternoon at the disposal of Mr Brown at the hospital, who will see that these men are returned to you, the instant the work shall be completed, which he thinks will be in the course of tomorrow, WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Tarragona 1 October 1813



I have laid the enclosed papers before the Lieutenant General commanding and have to request that you will be pleased to decide upon the amount which ought to be paid for the twelve mules which were lost when attached to the Calabrian Free Corps. WB Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Earl Bathurst

Tarragona 1 October 1813


My Lord!

I did myself the honour some days ago to address your lordship to acquaint you of Lord W Bentinck’s having left this on the 22nd ultimo on his return to Sicily & that on embarking he had directed me to take the command of the army. At the same time, I reported to your lordship the low state in which I had found the public purse, considering that at the moment there was no prospect of getting any supplies before the fund must be very low indeed. I likewise adverted to the small quantity of salt meat which was reported to me to be in depot (namely for about 17 days consumption of the whole force), I now again request to bring these subjects before your lordship and to observe that although every means is taken to reduce the consumption of that article, that it is nevertheless likely that our stock of salt meat will be exhausted unless a supply be actually on the way to us. Previous to his departure Lord W Bentinck had already judiciously ordered the issue of 2 days rice in the week, on which days ½ pound of meat only is issued, I am apprehensive however that this and the issue of 2 fresh rations per week is all the saving of our salt provisions, that we can possibly look for.

I trust that your lordship will not be displeased that I should again press on you the consideration of this subject. I have now further to represent to your lordship that it has been reported to me, that this army is likely to want shoes, there being but few remaining in store and though I have pointed it out to apprise commanders of regiments that they must endeavour to purchase a supply in the country, still as the army has latterly received but the half of its pay, I am apprehensive that the captains of company’s will be but little able to fit their men out, and that unless a seasonable supply of shoes be sent out (I would submit not less than 20,000 pairs) the soldiers of this army will be much distressed for this article. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Postscript to the above, not included in the first one sent.


A report having reached us that a bad fever has broken out in Gibraltar, I beg to submit to your lordship, that any stores be intended for this army, had best in the first instance be sent to Mahon.


To Henry Clinton

37 Taragona 1 October 1813


I must not lose the good opportunity which offers of a ship (L’Espoire)[126] going direct to England to send a letter, that I have written in scraps volumes very lately. You will have heard Lord William Bentinck left this on the 22nd. I can nerr quite make out this set of half one & half another thing, a man should be either an albagado [lawyer] or a soldier. But at all counts, though he may own the 2 capacities in one place, it has impressed me no one can fulfil both duties. Lord W[illiam] B[entinck] either should not have come down here or being here he should have remained. I hope my friends at home will not fail to see and to consider what my situation is & that they will clearly understand I was here in command very much against my inclination. It may be said that it is all plain sailing with me, that Lord Wellington is to do all the hard work. This may be true, but there are other points of views to[o], in which my situation is to be viewed. Providing Lord Wellington does not send anyone to relieve me, I shall now apply to him to do so. I am content if neccessary to remain second, but unless ordered I will not take the responsibility of first in command. To you I may say, our situation here is likely to be critical, my opinion is our business so far, if we had a little means & that there certainly has been considerable want of precaution in bringing us thus far,  the army is or will be even without supplies of any kind, money, saltmeat, shoes & store originally. We have 10,000 Spaniards with us, who have not more food than the day’s (generally). We have good men (the army of Catalonia) which cannot move beyond the province, on the other hand the French are greatly superior to us in cavalry & have above 20,000 infantry, now behind us is Tortosa, Bruscela & Murviedro, and again Bunol without any regular established communication. Our late measures in case of an advance of the enemy in Exlar [a] half ruined place, as an intrenched position, it may be made respectable as a fortress, it is out of our power to make it so. It is astonishing to me that the siege of Tortosa should be talked of by Lord William or Lord Wellington, why to blockade it only, closely, we should have at this season half our army in the hospital, and at the end of 3 months our force would be annihilated by the pestiferous air about it, supposing we are unable to besiege the place. In less than 6 weeks it could not be reduced with the greatest extremes in the measures of the army before it, would be ruinous by sickness alone. General Ellio at present blockades it à la distance with above 8,000 men, 2,000 of these poor fellows have the tertian ague. How can people be so inconsiderate? Since then some half of our siege artillery has been landed here to furnish their defenceless works. The enemy had destroyed most effectually all our mortars & guns. Then we must look to this place at present as our only calculation. If our means to keep Catalonia, for if we retire beyond the Ebro, Suchet immediately is everywhere triumphant, the Catalonian army cannot look at him. It may be said why not move forward succours [to] the enemy. You can lately see was the effect of Lord W Bentinck’s movement, it has been thus good. Thus it gave the French a respect for our soldier’s steadiness on retreat and it induced Lord William to set to on his position and the repair of this work. Not one stone having been touched in it from the time of the French evacuating it, until we began to work on it on the 16th of September. These I mean to work on, all I could go on with would be the British and Sicilians, for unless I can force the Spaniards and carry their food for them, they cannot stir from the spot. Why what a joke it is to talk of this army. Bentinck has left us in a most unpleasant situation; & how I shall get out of it, God knows, unless favourable [ac]counts arrive, I cannot [see] how the army can escape a disastrous finale.  Your little scrap of the 23rd August, was the first I knew of your return to England. I trust it may be true you feel yourself as well as your [steel?], but I trust you will not have thought of going to Spain again, at such a season a relapse must be certain. Why not if you wish for a more interesting scene than home at these times, try to get a mission to the continent. Can it be possible, they are sending Lord Burghesh as a military resident with the Austrian army, you should have been sent there. For my part I wish you had a very comfortable situation in Ireland, which we hear  has been bestowed on that jackdaw Donkin. I should have thought this man would have been too well known to have had such a favour bestowed on him, but he is well at court and the people know nothing of people in service. Donkin is the most self-sufficient vain coxcomb ever saw or heard of. I find old Calvert protects him, he is wrong, he cannot know the fellow.


This may appear very gloomy, but it is not less a true state of things. The affairs of Sicily have drawn Lord W Bentinck away, but they have also received him at a moment when he has even reason to rejoice in leaving such a command. It now seems, strange as it appears to me that he is intending to go home, for I hear he has sent his horses to Valencia and he took no aide de camp to Sicily, besides which it has confidentially hinted to me that it is B[entinck]’s intention. Now is this the moment for him to leave this part of the world, it quite astonishes me. With regard to the army, it sadly wants a leader, a general, a man that knows how to make the most of it & whose experiences enables him to judge of times, men & things. I confess myself unequal to the task & I am determined not to remain in command. If I am not soon relieved, I shall write to the Duke to request he will relieve me, indeed subject as I am to natures of a complaint which has lately taken a very unpleasant turn, I am on this account alone unfit for any great exertion. I require quiet and good congenial advice. In respect to the present state of things here (by voice). The enemy since he retired to the Llobregat after the business of the 13th & his advance to Vendrell, has been making severe indications & the general opinion is he is intending some movement, but whether to release garrisons, come here or to go by Vic to Figueras, remains to be seen. He has latterly been busily occupied at [unreadable] and seems to be preparing the defences of Barcelona, and what remains, which he is pulling down most unmercifully. I incline to think that considering the composition of this army, he will seek us, before he quits the country (should such be his intention) and if he does, he may make a desperate attempt to carry a great object. I trust he may be finished but a place ill provided with water, with an inneficcient person in charge as a governor & crowded population are base concerns to have to do with. The following is the state of the fortresses recently, but bear in mind the Spaniards are immovable. Copons with the Catalonian armies is on the road from Igualada to Vic. One of his brigades at Esparraguera, General Sarsfield with above 5,000 is at Vilafranca [del Penedes], acting after the advance of the army. I have here 4 battalions Spaniards, 1 battalion German Legion, 1 Calabrese Free Corps, finally 4 battalions Spaniards at Reus. We are busily working at this place, but 19 breaches require time to repair, and we have little means of civilian workhorses, means &c. Our engineer too, is a slow, plodding, punctilious blockhead, who is quibbling about everything & the most self-opinionated man I ever met with. You may guess what sort of person he is, when I tell you that Bentinck himself, with all his good temper was always and off humour with him. Add to this, that the Spanish authorities will or can do little or nothing, and that place is generally a retarding weight in everything, our attempts to do, towards putting things in a good state, I shall persevere however. I have written to Lord Bathurst to see their army as likely to be without money, as food or stores. These are disagreeable facts but they must be told. Can you imagine that from the 20th or 22nd August, when that place was abandoned by the French no measures were taken to repair then, part of the acqueduct, which supplies the great cistern of the city, so that at this moment, if shut in by Suchet, the want of water is to be apprehended. In vain, I have endeavoured to impress this on the mind of the governor. Don J Roche a naval officer of the old regime. But I must make an end of this scrawl.


PS I have asked Bentinck, if he returns me by Macfarlane to let me go home. My complaint requires it, though in general health is constant.


PPS My dear brother,

As I am sending off my letter, I’ve received reports of the most favourable complexion from the fleet & via Vienna from Bohemia it seems that there has been a grand conflict & that Bonaparte has been much worsted, let us hope this will bring the fellow to reason & moderate terms. It is high time something of this fleet should come to our aid, for this plague & pestilence in Gibraltar & Malta was very serious to second the cause here. No money, no provisions, no trade, no commerce. Bentinck has left me in no pleasant predicament I assure you. I hope he can send Macfarlane to relieve me. I then return to my division and await events. Lord Wellington says he cannot relieve Lord William. I am writing by a courier and shall send you a few lines, I hope soon to hear more of you. The accompanying letter came via Lord Wellington’s head quarters. I do not make our Lord W Bentinck going to Sicily with the intention as we are under orders of going home. How he can manage to leave things in such a state in Sicily. I am much disappointed in him. I had expected to have seen more of a general in him. He is too sanguine & needs calculate & is by no means provident, but he is a fine bold fellow. I assure my dear brother, ever affectionately yours WHC



Weekly State of the British and Sicilian Force commanded by Lieutenant General WH Clinton

Headquarters Tarragona 1st October 1813




Divisions Brigades Regiments & Corps Officers Present Sergeants Drummers Rank & File Horses Mules Alterations
Sick Sick Sick
Colonels Lieutenant Colonels Majors Captains Subalterns Staff Present fit for duty Present Absent Command Total Present fit for duty Present Absent Command Total Present fit for Duty Present Absent Command Total Divisional Forage Hired Joined Dead Discharged Deserted Transferred Promoted Reduced
Cavalry 20th Light Dragoons 1 1 3 4 4 23 2 4 29 4 4 193 19 93 305 308 10 2
Brunswick Hussars 1 1 4 6 5 19 4 5 28 3 1 4 192 16 83 291 280 9
Foreign Troops 1 4 6 1 7 2 2 71 10 58 139 98 7 2 1
Sicilian Cavalry 1 2 6 3 6 6 3 2 5 146 11 46 203 174 14
    Total Cavalry   2 3 10 20 12 54 6   10 70 12 3     15 602 56   280 938 860   40 2 3          
Royal Artillery & Drivers 2 10 14 9 34 3 4 41 11 11 845 75 24 56 1000 480 822 19 4 1
Royal Engineers 1 4 7 5 5 2 2 87 18 105 25 14 40
Royal Staff Corps 1 1 1 12 12 3
    Total   1 2 15 21 9 40 3   4 47 13       13 944 43 24 56 1117 508 836 59   4     1    
First Right Grenadiere Real 1 1 9 9 5 18 2 20 19 19 457 51 8 516 8 34 1
1st Regiment of Estero 1 1 8 32 10 30 4 1 35 35 2 37 1059 109 3 1181 7 41 4 4 1 2
Centre 1st Batt 27th Regiment 1 4 11 5 38 4 6 48 15 1 1 17 667 92 74 833 7 31 12 1
1st Batt 44th Regiment 1 7 23 5 37 5 6 2 50 20 1 21 833 28 74 20 955 8 17 4
Left 1st Italian Regiment 1 2 7 24 8 42 3 17 62 16 2 18 894 5 100 284 1283 14 18 1 1
2nd Italian Regiment 1 2 7 23 6 42 3 45 16 16 803  41 100 944 11 10 1 1
Reserve First 1st Batt 10th Regiment 1 1 4 13 1 31 5 6 42 13 1 3 2 19 490 21 139 227 877 9 40 11 3 1
1st Batt 58th Regiment 8 7 5 33 1 7 6 47 17 3 1 21 623 13 87 32 755 11 30 11 2 1 1
Second 2nd Batt 27th Regiment 2 1 9 5 19 16 2 37 13 1 1 15 332 214 38 584 10 7 15 2
4th Batt KGL 2 8 13 5 41 3 6 50 14 2 1 17 712 23 59 84 878 10 41 12 3
Calabrian Free Corps 1 7 10 9 33 5 3 41 11 1 12 431 75 4 510 13 24 14 2
Rolls Rifle Company 1 1 2 1 3 1 1 2 43 14 57 1 2 2
Third 1st Batt 81st Regiment 2 6 22 4 47 5 10 62 18 2 1 21 830 14 156 123 1123 14 41 21 1
Batt of Detachments 3 1 8 30 5 56 2 13 5 76 24 1 2 2 29 896 10 146 79 1131 12 45 3 2 1
    Total Infantry   9 16 85 227 73 469 8 72 69 618 232 2 21 9 254 9080 114 1357 1076 11527 135 381 98 15 13 1 6 3 4 1
    General Total   12 21 110 268 94 563 17 72 83 735 257 5 21 9 262 10626 263 1381 1412 13882 1503 1217 197 17 20 1 6 4 4 1



Horses Sick

20th Light Dragoons         3                                                                                                         Sick

Brunswick Hussars           26                                                           Last State                            1625                                       C A A’Court

Foreign Troops                  24                                                           This State                            1759                                       Lieutenant Colonel Deputy Adjutant General

Sicilian Cavalry                  23

Royal Artillery                    14                                                           Increase                               134

Total                                      90


Adjutant General of the Forces

Tarragona 2 October 1813



I do myself the honour of transmitting to you the accompanying statements of the clothing of the 1st Battalion of 58th Regiment and 2nd Battalion 67th Regiment, and I beg leave very particularly to call your attention to the naked situation to which, by the negligence of the clothing, these corps are now reduced. The officer commanding the 67th Regiment has been obliged to purchase the cast-off clothing of the 10th Regiment; the 58th Regiment not having had such advantages has scarcely a serviceable article of clothing in its possession. It is especially necessary that the clothing of this corps for the years 1813 & 14 should be forwarded to the Mediterranean and receiving the length of quarantine to which vessels touching at Gibraltar are subject. I beg strongly to recommend that it may be sent direct to Minorca from whence it can be readily transhipped for this place. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Colonel Torrens

Tarragona 2 October 1813



I have to request you will acquaint His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief, that Lieutenant General Lord W Bentinck embarked from hence on the 22nd ultimo, when he directed me to take the temporary command of the forces here. Since His Lordship’s departure, I have followed up his plans of putting this place in the best state of defence circumstances would present, and when Tarragona is considered as defended by an army in an intrenched position, it may be viewed as respectable, whenever the intended repair of the works, the securing a plentiful supply of water and the construction of some field works shall have been completed.

The weather having been latterly miserable, I have put the army under cover for the moment, and until circumstances may seem to render it expedient to approach nearer to the enemy, or to undertake some active operations. The troops continue pretty healthy, but at this season the endemical complaints of this country are very general in all the low irrigated plains & where the dipping of hemp is practised on this line of coast; and at this moment the 3rd Spanish Army of General Ellio occupied in blockading Tortosa & Pensicola, have a great many sick. The general informed me the other day, not less than nearly one third of his army was down with the ague.

The enemy by the last report from Vilafranca [del Penedes] (where our advance under the Spanish General Sarsfield, is posted with his corps of about 4,000 men) is stated to be nearly in the same position on the Llobregat as he occupied previous to the affairs of the 13th ultimo. The prevailing report is, that he is intending some movement, but whether a retrograde, or towards Llerida, or this place, I cannot discover. He is said to have demolished several works on the road to Hostalric, which leads to a supposition that he is about to retire, but I think he will first make an attempt to draw to him the garrison of Llerida and possibly Tortosa. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


General Calant

Tarragona 3 October 1813


I have just received the enclosed from Lieutenant General Sir John Murray and as Major General Donkin is still considered as belonging to this army; I forward it to you with a view to your obtaining His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief’s command, as to this officer proceeding forthwith to Valencia, for the purpose mentioned in the letter of Lieutenant General Sir John Murray. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Marquis Wellington no. 2

Tarragona 3 October 1813


My Lord,

Your lordship will have ere this been apprized of Lord W Bentinck’s departure from hence and that he had directed me to take the temporary command of this army.

In case Captain Milner, to whom I entrusted the dispatch with this information to your lordship should not have arrived, I send a duplicate. Since sending off that dispatch, I have received on the 29th ultimo, that which your lordship addressed to Lord W Bentinck dated from Lesaca on the 23rd ultimo, to the contents of which I now have the honour to advert, premising only what I shall have to say, by stating shortly to your lordship in reference to my letter of the 23rd, that notwithstanding the demonstration made by the enemy, he has not to this moment, that I am aware, made any decided movement, but remains pretty much in the same force on the Llobregat, as others to Vic, and sometimes to this part of the province. In compliance with your lordship’s desire, I now transmit an accurate return of the loss in the action at the Pass of Ordal, and on the subsequent retreat to [El] Vendrell on the 13th ultimo and I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of acquainting your lordship that from all the accounts that have been received, the enemy’s loss must have been infinitely beyond that sustained by our army, while the imposing manner in which the retreat was made, has not gone unremarked, or unfelt by the enemy; and by the inhabitants of this country was witnessed with perfect admiration of the steadiness of our troops.

I observe what your lordship says relative to the march of the 3rd Army, and the remarks with which you close that paragraph, in reference to which, I beg here to subjoin such information relative to the Ebro & the province of Valencia, as I was fortunately enable to collect from General Ellio himself, who had come here for a few hours on the 29th ultimo, before entering upon the views I am induced to take of our situation here, I shall proceed to state the information received from General Ellio on the various points to which your lordship calls Lord W Bentinck’s attention, and first then:

As to whether the blockading of the different posts in Valencia be real and effective blockades to which General Ellio replies, that the garrisons of the forts of Denia, Sagunto, Pensicola, Morella & Tortosa are kept within their walls and are compelled to resist on the provisions collected in those places. That guns have been brought against Denia, and Morella, and that there is reason to hope neither can hold out long, that Pensicola is prevented from making sorties. That Sagunto has indeed the ground immediately about the fortress, but that as General Roche’s division will now be stronger than it has been, General Ellio thinks the enemy will be kept more closely to his works, and that General Roche has begun to proceed there with shells, that in respect to Tortosa, that place having a large garrison and taking advantage of its situation on a great river, can sally out occasionally, but can nevertheless obtain no other advantage in that exhausted neighbourhood than that of collecting a little fuel. General Ellio added however, that he hoped even to be enabled to curb the enemy in these excursions by the measures he should take.

To your lordship’s queries as to whether these blockading troops have intrenched themselves, the general replied that none of the blockading divisions have intrenched themselves, except General Roche partially at Puzol. He added that it had been avoided generally near Murviedro on account of the rich cultivated ground in the vicinity of that place, and that with respect to Tortosa and Pensicola, closely to blockade either of those places at this season would risk the throwing the force so employed into the hospital. With respect to Pensicola however General Ellio observed that it is well watched from the advantageous ground in the neighbourhood and referring generally to these two places he added that this vicinity is particularly unhealthy and that it would ruin the troops if encamped or halted thereabouts, observing that at this moment, owing to the unwholesome air in the low ground near Tortosa and Pensicola, he has 2,000 of his army down with the ague.

Referring then to your lordship’s  queries as to what period respectively it is understood that Tortosa and the other places are supplied with provisions? General Ellio acquaints me that from all the information he had been able to obtain on this subject, all these forts have provisions for 8 months.

Having now replied to the several queries contained in your lordship’s letter, I proceed to answer as far as I am able, the other points to which your letter refers, in doing which, I feel myself called on to take a general view of the situation of things here & in what manner it may appear expedient this army be now employed. On taking the command of it, I have found it, after having advanced towards the enemy, to be now occupied in putting in a state of defence this heavily ruined place. Upon enquiry as to the means of moving the Spanish division of Major General Whittingham acting with and immediately attached to this army, I find that the division has not any depot of provisions and that were a forward move to be deemed expedient & that I might think myself justified conformably to the concluding paragraph in your lordship’s dispatch of the 23rd ultimo to hand over a magazine of provisions for the use of these troops, there are not means for carrying such provisions & were I upon an emergency to suffer such to be carried by our commissariat, such a measure would so diminish our own means of transport (at least one third) as would then in any prolonged movement very much cripple us. In like manner no dependence in the long run, could be had on this movement of the division of Major General Sarsfield, who though at present tolerably supplied with provisions, would nevertheless have to look to our Commissariat for the transport of its provisions and consequently if permitted at once would preclude any forward movement of this army, except for a very short distance from its depot. In respect to the provisioning of the division of Major General Whittingham’s even in [a] fixed stationary way, in which that body of troops has generally been, it seems to be now becoming a question, whether it may be possible to ration these troops for any length of time in this province. I have not failed to call the Captain General’s attention to this and it is a subject which has been latterly very much dwelt upon in the several communications had with him. With respect to the 1st Spanish Army I apprehend much might be expected from the general good spirit that prevails in it, and from the activity, zeal, enterprise & intelligence of its chiefs, but I do not see how it can under any circumstances be brought to act immediately in conjunction with this army, indeed the consideration of the difficulty of procuring subsistence for such a force assembled in one corps seems alone to militate against the measure; in deciding then upon the plan to be preserved supposing it to be practicable to take the allied force immediately under my command in this province up to the enemy, or if assembled here or elsewhere to meet him on his advance only, I apprehend I must calculate only upon the 2 Spanish Divisions of Whittingham and Sarsfield and the British and Sicilian troops, and with this view of the thing, I have no hesitation in saying that in my humble opinion the siege of Tortosa independent of the grand consideration of the risk of at once crippling this army by the effects of the unhealthiness of the spot cannot be undertaken. I now submit with deference to your lordship the opinion I am induced to form of our situation here. It is then Marshal Suchet will either retire behind the Fluvio, where I am informed there is a very strong position, detaching largely to France, or he will be prepared to act offensively & endeavour to force this army to go beyond the Ebro. If the French retire as supposed, I think then that in cooperation with General Copons force, we should pass the Llobregat & if the force left in Barcelona [was] to be found not too considerable, should mask that place and endeavour to force the position of the enemy and (weak as I am supposing him to be) oblige him at once to abandon the province. Should he have 5 or 6,000 men in Barcelona, then that we should endeavour to closely blockade & distress the garrison. The Catalonian army and General Sarsfield’s force going as far forward as circumstances might make it convenient, for the purpose of harassing the enemy’s remaining force in the field & straightening his resources in this province. On the other hand, should Marshal Suchet remain where he is and be then induced to act offensively (as I apprehend we could not with the force he would have, venture to encounter him in the field, with his great superiority, especially in cavalry). I would submit to your lordship, that these are but the alternatives either of at once retiring and passing the Ebro, or that of placing the army in position before this place, and there waiting the event. On great difficulty would attend the former of these projects viz: the feeding the army, while on the other side of the Llobregat, which with the means of transport we have, would I am informed not be possible, (independent of the consideration of the probable necessity of subsisting the Spanish troops of Major General Whittingham’s division from our magazines) without forming an intermediate depot, or unless our provision train were very much increased, there being no convenient place on the coast at which our provision ships could at this season of the year safely lie. In the other supposition & that Marshal Suchet acted offensively, I apprehend that unless his army be considerably augmented, he could not venture to push on to the Ebro, should this army occupy this place, and the position in the vicinity, but then in the adoption of such a measure, there could rise this inconvenience, namely, that if the enemy came up to us, it would be requisite to feed from our magazines the 2 Spanish divisions, and that in the meanwhile, as long as the enemy should be able to remain quartered, he would be living on this already half exhausted country, and when I mention to your lordship that our resources of provisions with every attention to economy in the consumption of the article of salt meat are extremely low, and that it is not practicable in these parts to secure a regular supply of fresh meat, supposing our pecuniary resources to be such as to enable such purchases to be made, which is by no means the case; I need not say, that the adoption of this plan, if it entailed the having the enemy any length of time in our presence might become extremely pressing and inconvenient. On the other hand, the abandonment of this place, in the advance of the enemy’s army, would seem to be giving up all the advantages which had been reaped from the effect of your lordship’s success in Navarre &c. So that taking all circumstances into consideration, I am inclined to be of opinion, that the adoption of the plan of holding this place with part at least of the Spanish force attached to this army, might be the most advantageous, in this case as a diminution of the objection of such a measure pressing upon our resources, keeping the corps of Major General Sarsfield as a flying corps on the flank or in advance of the enemy, and with orders, if passed to pass the Ebro and join General Ellio. It now becomes proper to speak of the state of communication over this river, and to acquaint your lordship that very soon after I took the command of this army, I wrote to General Ellio, to suggest to him to secure a ready communication over the Ebro, and that such communication should be covered by a good tete de pont on either sides; and on asking the general when he was here a few days since, what was the actual state of the communication across the river & how protected, he acquainted me that there was then a large pontoon or flat boat and 2 smaller ones, and that on the 29th or 30th ultimo I understand there would be another pontoon, and five more in 8 days, that four of these pontoons would be large enough to contain six hundred infantry each, the two smaller 40 each, that he proposed to construct a light bridge for the cavalry & infantry only, with a redoubt to cover it, and that he had it in contemplation to establish a bridge likewise some time hence above the town of Tortosa and to secure it by redoubts; that at this moment nothing but 1 large pontoon & 2 flat boats existed as means for passing troops.

Looking therefore to the chance of it being possible circumstances might make me wish to send a large force across & in a hurry I pressed General Ellio to look without loss of time to the establishment of at least one bridge, and that this should be covered by a strong redoubt. In respect to the observations your lordship makes of there being with this army a sufficient quantity of ordnance for attacking Tolosa in the event of such a measure being adopted, I beg to state that on arriving here lately, a considerable number of our guns were ordered to be landed as a defence to this place, there not being at the time one serviceable piece of heavy ordnance in the place, and though since our arrival here, several guns have been drilled and rendered serviceable, there will not be in all more than 22 of every description fit for use, and the greater part of them of small calibre; I have therefore left Lord W Bentinck’s order for the landing of part of our ordnance to take effect as I found it given; and of this moment we have on shore fourteen 24-pounders, four of 18-pounders & fourteen of twelve pounders. These I apprehend it will be necessary for the most part at least, to keep on shore for the present, until the Spanish government shall have taken some measures for reinforcing the place with ordnance. I should add that an application  has been made by Admiral Hallowell that some heavy ordnance of the Spanish ships may be forthwith sent from Minorca & when that arrives, no time will be lost in embarking our ordnance.

Although probably my command of this army is but a temporary thing, as I sincerely wish may be the case; I have still thought it my duty to go much into detail on my assuming the command, and have submitted my opinions to your lordship’s consideration. I can hardly flatter myself those opinions will approved by you, but I trust your lordship will be pleased to do me the honour to point out the corrections you may think should be made in the possible false view I may have taken of the plan of operations, offensive or defensive, which circumstances may at no distant period render necessary to be adopted. WH Clinton Lieutenant General.


Lord Wellington

Tarragona 3 October 1813


My Lord,

In addition to what I have said in my dispatch no. 2 on the subject of provisions, I beg to submit to your lordship a statement of certain queries I made to the Deputy Commissary General here on the 24th ultimo with his supplies.

No. 1 What is the supply of salt meat at present in store?

Answer – For about 17 days consumption

No. 2 What quantity of biscuit?

Answer – About 34 days.

And upon conversing with Mr Daniell I find he has flower [sic] for about 10,000 men for something more than 2 months. Nevertheless as we have now to apprehend, that all resource, both of money and provisions from Gibraltar are stopped in consequence of the fever which has broken out there, I request to submit these circumstances to your lordship and that you may be pleased to take such measures as may appear expedient to guard us against the inconvenience that may arise from the want of a timely supply of provisions. I should mention that some time previous to his departure Lord W Bentinck had had a view to the saving the consumption of salt meat, directed the issue of a ration of rice twice in the week, on which days half a pound of salt meat only is issued to the soldiers, and a ration of fresh meat has likewise been given twice a week, but it has not been found practicable to ensure a more frequent supply of this last article. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Lord Wellington


Tarragona 3 October 1813


My Lord,

Since closing my dispatch to your lordship of this date, I have received the following heads of intelligence from Major General Sarsfield at Vilafranca [del Penedes] of yesterday’s date [piece left intentionally blank].

I likewise send your lordship a statement of the enemy’s force opposite to us, which I believe may be depended upon by which your lordship will perceive that no considerable detachment has as yet been made from the French army on this side.

Vide Mr Zehnphenning’s letter of 1 October 1813, stating their cavalry 1,300 and their infantry 12,000, independent of the corps in Barcelona and at Sabadell. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr C J Zehnphenning

Tarragona 4 October 1813



I have the honour to acknowledge in Lieutenant General Clinton’s name, your letters of the 1st & 2nd of October, No.s 38 and 39, and to thank you for your attention in procuring such correct information of the enemy’s movements. WB Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Lieutenant Crosbie[127] in HMS Invincible

Tarragona 4 October 1813



I have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 24th September in which you represent, ‘that the alcaldes and masons of the different towns have applied to be reimbursed for the lime supplied and the work done at Balaguer, as the masons have lost much time being embargoed here, however many of the villages have neither assisted with lime or workmen, consequently it would ease money and hardship much, if such villages were ordered to pay their proportions; and in consequence of your statement, I have now to acquaint you, that I have addressed a letter to the governor of this city, in which I have called his attention in a very particular manner to the representation you have made and I trust that the individuals about whom you have so considerately interested yourself, will obtain the justice you have asked for them.

I avail myself of this opportunity to express to you, in Lord W Bentinck’s name, his thanks for the zeal and exertions manifested by you in carrying through the work at the Col de Balaguer, a work which required all the perseverance which you showed on the occasion, and which cannot fail to be found of great public advantage.

I beg leave at the same time to offer on my part the expression of the same sentiments with those I have conveyed to you from Lord W Bentinck, and to add that I hope a work of such benefit to society in general, will be respected by friend and foe, and will be preserved as a memorial of the industry, intelligence, and exertions of a benevolent individual. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Mackenzie

Tarragona 5 October 1813


My dear General,

I quite approve what you have done, & under the circumstances you mention I think there can be no doubt, but that you should remain where you are; unless you shall in the meanwhile have received intelligence from good authority that the enemy has marched this way, in which case you will please to join me here.

I shall acquaint Mr Daniell immediately of this, that if he had anything to send you, it may proceed. I have nothing new since I wrote to you in the night, except a letter from Peddie[128] of yesterday’s date with nearly the intelligence you have sent me. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Smith[129]

Tarragona 6 October 1813



In reply to your letter of the 3rd of this month, I have to acquaint you, that agreeing with you in opinion that the case of Lieutenant Handcock 27th Regiment[130] requires particular consideration, I am disposed to take the earliest opportunity of allowing him a short leave of absence. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


W Hopkins Esq Paymaster[131]

Tarragona 6 October 1813



I have the honour to return you the enclosed paper from Captain Jacks[132] commanding the Foreign Hussars relative to his contingent disbursements, and to inform you that Lieutenant General Clinton does not think it expedient to decide upon the same. It must therefore be referred to His Excellency Lord W Bentinck for his approval, before any money can be issued on that account. WB Kersteman, Assistant Military Secretary


Marshal Suchet

Tarragona 6 October 1813



Having received a letter from Field Marshal the Marquis of Wellington addressed to your excellency which his lordship has desired me to forward at your Excellency’s headquarters, I have directed Lieutenant Colonel Jones[133] to proceed therewith; I take the liberty of enclosing under your excellency’s cover, a letter which I request you will permit to be delivered to Colonel Otto, should that officer be still at your excellency’s headquarters. I have also availed myself of the opportunity to forward  a letter, which has been sent from Alicant, with a request [that] it may be forwarded to Barcelona. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Otto

Tarragona 6 October 1813



A statement having been made to me by General Ellio in substance what is set forth in the accompanying papers, I requested his excellency would have the same thus brought into view, in order that I might have an opportunity of submitting it through you to His Excellency Marshal Suchet. You were unfortunately set off before the papers reached me & I have now to request you will take an opportunity of bringing the subject of the enclosed under the eye of the marshal, for I cannot but feel affeared rather that His Excellency is totally ignorant of the transaction, or that if he be aware of it, there must be some cause for the apparent want of good faith which his excellency will at least permit to be explained and that he will lend himself with his wanted politeness to a candid & fair consideration of the subject thus submitted to His Excellency’s decision. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lt Colonel Carey Calabrian Free Corps

Undated [6 October 1813?]



I have laid the warrant and papers concerning the same before Lieutenant General Clinton and have to inform you that as Mr Daniell in his letter of the 3rd ultimo says ‘I apprehend two warrants will be necessary to satisfy these claims (of which yours is one). The Lieutenant General does not see the necessity of destroying that warrant for the 12 mules which were employed in the service of your regiment, and signing his name on the paper you required. WB Kersteman Assistant Military Secretary.


Admiral Hallowell

Tarragona 7 October 1813


Dear Admiral,

The accompanying letter I have just received from the Deputy Commissary General. Pray let me know what supply can be had. Having already written to Gibraltar, to Cadiz and to England representing the scarcity I had found on taking the command of this army, of the supply of salt meat & having also given Lord Wellington to understand, that we are very low indeed in our resources of this article, I trust active measures will be taken for sending salt provisions to this army, so as to enable Mr Daniell to replace whatever may be now received from the transports as proposed by him in our present difficulty. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell,

Tarragona 8 October 1813



In reference to your letter of yesterday’s date on the subject of salt meat, I have to acquaint you, that having addressed myself to Admiral Hallowell on the subject, he has informed me that he will direct that the quantity of meat that may be required for a fortnight or three weeks supply to be landed, as soon as he knows what will be the quantity required.

I have to request then, that you will state what will be about the quantity necessary for three weeks supply. At the same time I request you will let me know what quantity has been already taken from the transports on account of the army serving on shore, as likewise what quantity of provisions have been received from the Malta or from any of His Majesty’s Ships of War for the use of this army, and which it is understood are to be repaid to the Navy.

I take this opportunity of calling your attention to the present low stock of salt meat in depot for the use of this army & request you will take the most active measures you may be able for procuring if possible a supply of cattle, so as that you may be enabled to issue a ration of fresh meat every other day at least. WH Clinton Lieutenant Colonel


Brigadier General Della Torre

Tarragona 8 October 1813



A reference having been made to the book in which are transcribed a copy of the warrants granted by His Excellency Sir W Bentinck and on what account; and there not appearing any sign of a grant made to cadets or sergeants appointed to the rank of an officer, under the title of Gratification Money.

Lieutenant General Clinton requests that the subject may be submitted to Lord W Bentinck for his approval. WB Kersteman Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Pauli

Tarragona 8 October 1813



In consequence of a letter received from Brigadier General Della Torre asking for the sum of money of 50 dollars under the head of Gratification Money (as has been formerly granted to officers in similar situations) for four officers who have lately been appointed, I must request you will inform me for the knowledge of the Lieutenant General commanding in what manner it is usually granted, there not appearing any warrant in the late Military Secretary’s books granting the same. WB Kersteman, Assistant Military Secretary


Admiral Hallowell

Tarragona 9 October 1813



In consequence of an application made to me by the Deputy Commissary General that I should request you to permit the landing from the transports, a certain quantity of salt meat for the use of the army, the supply of that article at present in our depot being very scarcity [sic]. I have to request you will be pleased to give directions that 150,000 pounds weight be landed accordingly, which quantity is stated to me to be equal to about three weeks consumption of our present numbers. Referring to the information that had been given to me as to a large quantity of salt meat already taken from the transports for the use of the army at different times, I requested Mr Daniell would state to me what was the precise quantity so landed.

Herewith I transmit for your information extracts from his letter of yesterday’s date on that subject, as also on that on the repayment at a convenient opportunity of the salt meat to the naval service, to which you alluded to in the conversation I had with you yesterday.

In respect to the landing of the provisions at present, I request the favour that if it is convenient it may be sent on shore on application from the Deputy Commissary General at such times and places as may be concerted between him and Captain Withers agent for the Transport Service. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


The following extract from Mr Daniell’s letter of the 8th October 1813, accompanied the letter

‘Our consumption of salt meat for three weeks at the present issue will be about 156,000 lbs and the quantity we have hitherto received from the Navy, which is to be repaid amounts 300,122 lbs, but on the subject of repayment, as the Navy has drawn immense quantities of salt meat from the Commissariat magazines at Malta and Gibraltar it cannot be supposed my debt to the Navy is very applicable to be insisted upon. F Daniell Deputy Commissary General


True copy W Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Lieutenant Pauli

Tarragona 10 October 1813



It appearing from your answer to a letter addressed to you by Captain Kersterman on the subject of claim made by Brigadier General Della Torre in behalf of certain officers lately appointed to two regiments of Italians serving with this army, that it has been usual with His Excellency Lord W Bentinck to allow in such cases a Gratification of fifty dollars, and it appearing moreover that such indulgence had been lately conceded by His Excellency in the instance of five officers appointed to commissions in these corps, as appears by the letter addressed to you by Captain St Laurent, Foreign Secretary to His Excellency dated from Vilafranca [del Penedes] 11 September 1813. I do not now hesitate in directing that you may be pleased to issue the amount of fifty dollars to such of the officers hereafter named viz Alfarey, Desio, Braccale, Fizzi & Spadaco, for whom Brigadier General Della Torre commanding the Italian Brigade lately applied, and for which issue of public money this shall be your voucher accordingly. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


His Excellency Sir Henry Wellesley KB

Tarragona 10 October 1813



I have to acknowledge your excellency’s letter addressed to Lord W Bentinck without date, with the enclosures containing the official accounts of the capture of San Sebastian and other interesting intelligence, with other letters (private) received at the same time, which last have been forwarded to His Lordship at Palermo.

Your Excellency will I trust ere this have received the letter I addressed to you on the 26th ultimo, by which you will have been aware that Lord W Bentinck has left this army on the 22nd ultimo when his lordship directed me to take the command of it. You will likewise be aware of the state of the public purse of this army, and the small quantity of salt provisions remaining in our stores.

I now take the opportunity of the return of your messenger to request again to call your excellency’s attention to the wants of this army & should your excellency either not have received my letters, or not yet have been able to act upon them, to urge your excellency that you may be pleased to take measures to obviate the great inconvenience which would arise were our salt provisions to become absolutely exhausted, an inconvenience with which we are at present threatened, and that there should not be the means of paying for fresh meat (should we be able to find a supply of that article, which hitherto has by no means been the case) and that your excellency may be able to form a judgement of what our necessities are likely to be unless speedily relieved.

I send you enclosed a statement showing what quantity of salt meat is actually remaining in store; and though Admiral Hallowell upon a representation made the Deputy Commissary General on this emergency, has directed that a temporary supply be afforded from among the transports attending this army, which it has been judged advisable to keep always completed with a certain quantity of provisions in case circumstances should make it expedient to embark the troops at any time, still as it has been already found necessary to draw pretty largely on this fund, that it is a naval supply, and that in consequence of what has been issued for the use of the army, the ships of war serving with us, have until within these few days been at 2 third’s allowance. Your excellency will perceive not only that it will be expedient on every account to refrain from calling for further aid from that quarter, but that it cannot be expected under any circumstances, that any very material relief can henceforward be looked for from that source. It becomes the more requisite that I should repeat my application to your excellency for affording relief to this army, as I am not aware that any supplies either of money or of provisions are to be expected from any quarter; that notwithstanding the measure resolved to by Lord W Bentinck of directing the issue of but one half of the pay of the troops, the monthly expenditure of the army does not upon an average amount to less than £50,000, that in case of more active operations taking place, this expenditure must be augmented, while at the same time our present fund is not calculated in the actual rate of our demands to last much beyond one month from the present period. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


His Excellency Lord W Bentinck

Tarragona 10 October 1813


My Lord,

I have this day received the proceedings of a General Court Martial which in pursuance of the decision your lordship had been pleased to make, and with the power vested in [me] by your lordship here, [a] warrant bearing date the 22 September 1813 was ordered to assemble for the trial of Captain Hiller of the Regiment of Dillon[134]. These proceedings are now submitted for your excellency’s decision, the power left with me notwithstanding to the approval of the sentences of such court martials.

In transmitting these papers to you, I request to be permitted to state that a representation has been made to me by Colonel du Plat of the 4th Battalion[135], King’s German Legion, president of the before mentioned court martial (and in the name of the members who composed it) that they ere have wished on the face of the proceedings of the court, to have recommended the case of the prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Della Torre for consideration, had it been deemed compatible with their duty; but apprehending that such a measure might have been informal & being still desirous of having their sentiments in respect of this officer brought under view, they therefore have begged leave to submit, that from a full and fair consideration of all circumstances, they are induced to be of opinion that the charges brought forward on this occasion by the Lieutenant against his superior officer, had not any foundation in malice or evil intentions, but solely and entirely with a view to clearing his own character from aspersions which he considers to have been unjustly cast out by Captain Hiller; all which is now submitted for your excellency’s consideration WH Clinton  Lieutenant General


Dispatched by courier 11 October 1813


Mr C J Zehnphenning

Tarragona 10 October 1813



I have received your letter numbered 37 dated yesterday. I observe what you say of the enemy’s supposed movements and the reported stations of his troops. General Copons has in like manner reported to me his apprehensions that the enemy may be about to march to Vic. I depend on you not failing to continue to keep me informed of all that passes in your front. WH Clinton Lieutenant General








Mr Daniell

Tarragona 11 October 1813



Referring to your letter of yesterday’s date, Lieutenant General Clinton is desirous that a proper and correct estimate should be made according to the prices stated in yours, with a view of paying to the inspector of the sheep, the sum he ought to receive, the prices which he has demanded being so considerably more exorbitant than those you mention. WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Daniell

Tarragona 11 October 1813



Admiral Hallowell just tells me the following articles and quantities of provisions embarked in some of the transports it is advisable to land, in order that such proportion may be consumed by the troops


Bread 58,000 pounds

Flour 17,000 pounds

I have to request therefore that you will settle with Captain Withers, when this provision shall be brought on shore, and that you will take measures for it being served out to the troops accordingly. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


General Della Torre

Tarragona 11 October 1813



Referring to your letter of the 6th of this month, on the subject of frequent desertion of the brigade under your command, which I much regret to have observed. I request you will be pleased to state, what number of men you have recruited since we marched from Alicant in July last to the present time not including such recruits as may have joined you from Alicant or elsewhere by date. Likewise that you will state what is the total number of men you may during the period before adverted to have lost by desertion, such statements simply to regard the information precisely asked for, and unaccompanied by any observations that you might otherwise be desirous of subjoining on my asking from you such information. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Mr Zehnphenning

Tarragona 12 October 1813




I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your letter numbered 41, which have been lost through the negligence of a dragoon in bringing it from Torredembarre [Altafulla]. In reply to what you say in that letter and in one received yesterday about your having leave to go to England, I should certainly wish that for the present, such leave were suspended, as a month or six weeks, it is probable any very active operations will cease in this quarter, until that time unless your health should be really so bad as not to enable you to remain on your present duty, I should be glad you continued employed as at present, and as there does not appear to be any occasion for exposing yourself to any severe fatigue, or to be so much abroad in bad weather, I should imagine there would be no great inconvenience arise to you in having your leave of absence for the present postponed. I this morning received no. 47 of yesterday’s date, I depend on your keeping a vigilant lookout for intelligence. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


A letter you sent me a few days ago for Sir H Wellesley has been forwarded by a courier, that received in your letter 47 will be forwarded when an opportunity offers.


Major General Sarsfield

Tarragona 12 October 1813



I have received your official letter dated the 6th of this month on the subject of a communication intended to be made by you to General Ellio, on the subject of which, I may be allowed to express my concern that you should have been under the necessity of having recourse to the measure which you have been pleased to report for my information. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Williamson

Tarragona 12 October 1813


An application having been made to me for a supply of flints for the division of Spanish troops serving with the 2nd Division of the allied army here, I request that you will give directions for the issue of 2,972 flints on the application of Colonel Romero commanding the said division WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Salter

Tarragona 12 October 1813



Previous to acceding to your request for a ration of forage to be allowed to each of the clerks in the Paymaster General’s Department, Lieutenant General Clinton is desirous of knowing what number of them you have in your office. Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Salter

Tarragona 13 October 1813



In consequence of the explanation contained in your letter of this day’s date, I approve of the clerks  in number four as stated by you to be necessarily attending the military chest whenever it moves with the army, being allowed forage for one horse each, as appears to have been admitted in a former instance by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Tarragona 14 October 1813



I have to acknowledge your letter of the 12th ultimo and in consequence of your suggestion, I propose to direct that the ration for the Spanish drivers attached to the Royal Artillery, shall for the present consist of the proportion of bread and meat re as stated in your letter. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Zehnphenning

Tarragona 14 October 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter no. 48 which arrived this morning.

On the subject of your leave of absence for England, I approve much of your postponing it for the present and I cannot but observe that were you ever to go at present, you would arrive in England precisely at the season when all invalids (being natives of England) are advised to leave it, more especially those labouring under pneumatic complaints to seek for a warmer climate, and to avoid the rigours of a northern winter. I observe the extraordinary  intelligence you state, containing the supposed desertion of an officer.

Enquiry is making as to who the person may be, in the meanwhile I request you will endeavour to find persons who may be able to identify the man and in case he appears again, that you will take precautions he be immediately secured and under a proper escort to me.

You will of course consult with Major General Sarsfield, what may be necessary to be done on this occasion. WH Clinton Lieutenant General.


To Admiral Hallowell

Statement of Lieutenant Bowie RN[136] who commanded the gunboat No23


On the 2nd of June at 4pm joined HMS Malta in Tarragona Bay with HM Gunboat No. 23 under my command. At 6 anchored close to the shore to cover the landing of the troops. The transports anchored but could not land the men, there being so much surf. At 7 I went on shore and took off Colonel Xabanes the chief of the staff of General Copons and put him on board the Malta. At 10 I went and lay off the molehead to prevent any boats from going in or coming out. I remained on that service keeping up a fire on the town and works of the enemy until the 12th, when I was ordered to Torredembarra to cover the right wing of General Copons army. I sailed from Tarragona at 10 am and arrived at Torredembarra at about 3 pm. I went on shore and saw Colonel Manso[137], he enquired if the troops were withdrawing from Tarragona, I replied that I did not know that they were. He told me he had certain information that they were. He told me he had certain information that they were and enquired if I had any idea of the cause, appearing very much surprised and said he supposed the enemy was also retiring. That he had a letter from Vilafranca [del Penedes] informing him the French 4 or 5,000 strong with four guns and one howitzer were in that town at 4 o’clock the same morning. During the time I was with him there arrived a peasant, with information that the enemy was in the same position at noon. It was about 5 or 6 o’clock when the colonel received this information. At sunset he received orders to fall back on Alsafulia, he immediately marched out of the town and I returned to my gunboat.

On the 13th at daylight all was quiet, at 9 I went on shore for information and a supply of water. I saw several peasants who said there was no appearance of an enemy on the road. At 10 I was recalled by signal from the admiral’s ship when I weighed and followed her to Balaguer and anchored about 6 o’clock the same evening. John Bowie Lieutenant


Statement of Lieutenant Tweed[138] of the same 15 October 1813


On Saturday the 12th day of June, I was employed with a party of seamen and marines under the direction of Captain Inglefield embarking guns and other ordnance stores from 9 o’clock am to 1.30 pm when I received orders that nothing further was to be embarked, but men and the boats kept clear for that purpose. About half past 3, General Donkin rode down some distance from the former spot of embarkation, where the men were then dining, calling out for the naval officer, repeating ‘have you any boats here, what are all those boats sir?’  I replied that I had no boats but merely a working party, he repeatedly asked me to assist him in ordering the boats to take in troops. I pointed out one on the beach unserviceable and two small boats, one of which was watering. General Donkin asked the master what he was doing there, who replied it was his own boat, with two small casks for water, upon which he ordered him immediately to heave the casks out, saying which would you sooner do, save two casks or two men’s lives? R Tweed Lieutenant. HM Ships Fame



Major General Sarsfield

Tarragona 15 October 1813


Dear General,

This morning early I received your letter of this date, I am sorry to find by it, that Colonel Manso is no longer at Esparreguerra. I agree with you that the movement is by no means favourable for you in your position at Vilafranca [del Penedes] and generally speaking it is not favourable for the allied troops on this part of Catalonia. I hope the reduction of your cavalry is merely for the moment & that General Ellio will send forward some to replace that which has been ordered to the rear, until then it appears that you certainly will be rather exposed at Vilafranca [del Penedes] and though as having the appearance of a retreat, it is to be regretted that it should be necessary to make such a movement, still as a measure of precaution it will be proper that you should occupy [L’]Arboc or Vendrell. I leave it to you to decide when to make this movement, and whether to occupy [L’]Arboc and the adjoining villages with your whole corps, or to place your infantry at Vendrell and your cavalry at [L’]Arboc and adjoining villages, thus covering your front. In either case be pleased to keep me regularly apprized of the movement you make, and let me remind you in case of any movement of the enemy not to fail to give Major General Mackenzie at Valls the earliest warning.

I shall lose no time in writing to General Ellio to represent to him the expediency of immediately sending some cavalry to you, in the meanwhile referring to other intelligence received of the enemy, and the probability that he may be about to retire, it would be very desirable to see you left your present cantonments, that you endeavour to ascertain what the enemy is about, that if he really be retiring, you may on your part keep your ground, until you shall have again heard from me, after making me acquainted with such intelligence.

I here [sic] an account from England of the 11th September; they had heard of Bernadotte’s success over Oudinot, when the latter lost 1,500 prisoners and 27 pieces of cannon[139]. They is [sic] therefore yet to hear of Ney’s defeat in which the French allow the loss of 8,000 men[140]. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Mr Zehnphenning

Tarragona 15 October 1813



I have received your letter no 49 stating that the enemy again seems to be prepared for a movement, but whither forward or the rear unknown. Reporting also the circumstance of his having removed the flour he had at Sant Feliu [de Llobregat] to Barcelona, which if any indication would lead me rather to look to retreat than advance. I have now to apprize you, that it is not improbable but that General Sarsfield may be induced to move part of his corps & I have to request you may be guided by his movements, making your quarters, when he may establish his head quarters and keeping me and Major General Mackenzie at Valls, duly informed of any particular information you may receive. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lt Colonel Schrader

Tarragona 15 October 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th ultimo stating the great inconvenience under which you labour owing to the want of money to purchase articles and necessaries to replace those destroyed and taken by the enemy to indemnify the regiment for whose losses a Board of Claims had admitted certain sums stated by you, and which had had the sanction of His Excellency Lord W Bentinck, & in reply to acquaint you, that in consequence of the state of the Military Chest, it is not expedient that I should accede entirely to your request at this moment, but taking into consideration the particular circumstance of the case as represented by you, a warrant will be directed to be prepared for two hundred pounds payable to you on account. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Tarragona 16 October 1813



Having in reference to your letter of the 9th of this month about straw applied to General Copons Captain General of the province, I have to acquaint you that I have received intimation from his excellency that he has directed no impediment to be placed in the way of your getting what you may require for the British troops, WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Enclosed is a copy of the order given by his excellency General Copons


Arnold Thompson Esq[141]

Tarragona 16 October 1813



I have laid your papers before the commander of the forces, he regrets the state of the military chest will not permit his to accede to your request at this time. WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Daniell

Tarragona 16 October 1813



A Board of Claims of which Major General Mackenzie, and another of which Colonel Mackenzie was president, having adjudged a certain sum of money to be paid to the officer commanding the Brunswick Hussars on account of losses sustained by the regiment in action, having approved of the adjudication made; I have to request you will be pleased upon the receipt of this letter to advance to Lieutenant Colonel Schrader[142] commanding the regiment, the sum of two hundred pounds sterling, on account of such adjudication, for which this shall be your voucher accordingly, WH Clinton, Lieutenant General.


His Excellency Lord W Bentinck,

Tarragona 16 October 1813


My Lord,

Though no opportunity offers direct for Sicily, I am nevertheless induced to avail myself of the departure of the Fame for Mahon, to write in the hope the admiral there may be able at no distant period to send on to you.

  1. I have by this opportunity directed all the recruits intended for the Italian regiments, including those just arrived from Alicant to proceed. I have also directed the recruits for the Sicilian troops to proceed in like manner, the more so as a question arose about the propriety of the enlistment of a portion of these last recruits, who are stated to me, to be natives of Upper Italy and as such according to your lordship’s orders, not to be permitted to go to the Sicilian troops.
  2. In reference to these troops generally, I beg to submit to your excellency, that since you went from hence a question has arisen relative to a document left in the hands of Brigadier General Pastore by you bearing date the 22nd ultimo, where the Chief of the Sicilian Staff, Micheroux, construes into a power given to him by your lordship of the complete and exclusive command of these troops and that in everything relative to them except movements, the general is to look to me only, and without reference to the general commanding the division. The answer I have given to the statement of Mr Micheroux made to me on the subject, has been, that I apprehend the document in question was to give General Pastore the exclusive management of the Sicilian troops generally in Spain, as far as regards the finances and interior economy of such troops, but that in all matters of movement and discipline, that he could only be considered as commanding his brigade, and that all communications regarding discipline must be made through the officer commanding the division, of which his troops form a part.

I presume Brigadier General Pastou will write to your excellency on this occasion, as monsieur Micheroux gave me to understand (on my expressing a contrary opinion to that he stated to be entertained by the brigadier general, that an appeal would be made to you) I therefore submit, that I may have your decision on this subject.

  1. I have now to request to call your attention to the low state of the public purse, as well as to the small quantity of our stock of salt provisions. In respect to the first of these, at the present rate of our expenditure, I apprehend that there is not now in the chest more than will last about 5 weeks, and I am not aware from whence we can look for any considerable supply, now that Gibraltar is shut to us on account of the bad fever which has broken out there, while any supply we might have looked for from Alicant will be nearly exhausted by the necessity of repaying the sum of money, landed there for the use of Major General Whittingham’s Division of Spanish troops and which was borrowed by our resident commissary at Alicant, for the public service at the moment. On the score of salt provisions our wants are likely to be still more pressing. Every pound of what we have in store when you left this, having been expended, and it having been necessary to have recourse to the admiral to permit part of the supplies kept for special purposes on board the transports to be landed in order to give temporary aid.

Your excellency is aware how little we can depend on the country for a supply of fresh meat and could we at all events purchase the article in sufficient quantity to feed the troops, the draft upon the public purse for the payment thereof would soon become extremely inconvenient.

I have not failed to write to Sir Henry Wellesley on the subject of our wants, but as they in the meanwhile may become very pressing (more especially on the score of salt meat) I beg to urge your early consideration of the means of affording us relief, and that you will at last cause a supply of cash to be sent here to enable the Deputy Commissary General to make purchases of cattle and flour. WH Clinton Lieutenant General



Major General Copons

Tarragona 17 October 1813



I request you will be very particular in the wording of your letters of intelligence and that you will be rather more circumstantial in the transmission of such as may be likely to cause movement; endeavouring at the same time, that you send the intelligence to ascertain whether it may be wholly to be depended upon from the sources from whence it comes, and the circumstances which attended the putting about any report of the enemy’s movements. As it has happened, no great inconvenience has arisen and at all events it is better to be put on the alert, than to have the possible intentions of the enemy kept unknown.

I rely on your forwarding the earliest intimation of the enemy’s movements and where it may be possible that you will apprise Mr Peddie, that you may be going to send off a messenger. I rely also on your taking steps to ensure Major General Mackenzie is receiving your information in due time. after leaving you the last he got, left you at 3 a.m. & did not reach him till 5 pm.

I have received your letter no 51.


Major General Sarsfield

Tarragona 17 October 1813


Dear General,

I received your letter of yesterday’s date last night, I am sorry that there should have been the necessity for your leaving Vilafranca [del Penedes], however as it has been judged necessary to withdraw your cavalry from you, there was nothing for it. Pray let me understand whether you still have any cavalry with you and how many. I observe what you say relative to placing your division in Esparreguera, to which I have to say, that before such a move were made, I should wish to have some conversation with you. I am in hourly expectation of hearing from Lord Wellington, to whom I have written very fully in respect to the state of things here. In the course of this week I shall endeavour to see you, in the meanwhile I request to hear from you relative to what cavalry [are] left with you. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General



Admiral Hallowell

His Majesty’s Ship Malta[143], Tarragona Bay, 18 October 1813



In obedience to your directions, I have to report to you that in conformity with your orders, I proceeded with a party of two hundred men and officers from the ship, and the Fame, on the morning of the 12th of June, last, to embark the heavy guns and other military stores from the beach of Tarragona Bay. While employed on this service and after several guns had been got into the boats, Captain Withers, the principal agent for transports (who was also superintending the embarkation of guns and stores at another part of the beach) came to me as near as I can recollect between the hours of nine and ten on that morning and informed me he had received orders from Major General Donkin to discontinue taking off the guns and stores, and that he had insisted on a gun being lowered down which was actually[144] in the slings ready to be put into the boat; he also added, that Major General Donkin told him the enemy were coming on and not far off. My reply to Captain Withers[145] was that I received my orders from you to embark the guns and should not desist taking them off until I had your directions to that effect, and I thought it would be a great shame to leave any behind for the enemy; my attention at that time was called to the service then going on and Captain Withers left me, Major General Donkin soon after rode up to where I was, with Captain Bowen, his aide de camp[146], and I remarked to him, we were going on famously with the guns, and should soon have them all off, to which I was rather surprised to find he made me no answer, but immediately requested I would order all the boats further to the westward, for the purpose of embarking the troops and as far from the town as possible, as the enemy were near at hand in great force and I think said they were then in march towards us; this he publicly mentioned before the whole of the working party; the Major General then rode away with Captain Bowen. I continued embarking the guns till those on the beach were all off, which service to the best of my recollection, was completed by one pm. I then went with the men under my orders to assist at another part of the beach in embarking other stores &c, but was prevented from ordering off a great many useful stores being repeatedly told by several artillery officers and Lieutenants Cole and Bafull of the transport service, that it was Sir John Murray’s orders that the whole of the boats should be kept empty, in readiness to embark troops, a great many boats consequently lay on the beach idle for hours.

At midnight when the whole of the army had embarked, I proceeded with those of this ship’s boats, three long boats, and three skiffs belonging to the transports to the engineer depot on the beach nearest the town, and there loaded each with platform planks, scaling ladders, sandbags &c &c without the least molestation from the enemy and then returned onboard this ship by 3 am with them. I have the honour to be, Sir, your sincere humble servant S H Inglefield.[147]


Lieutenant General Calvert

Tarragona 18 October 1813



In reference to Lieutenant Colonel Darling’s[148] letter of the 11th August last, addressed to His Excellency Lord W Bentinck, received here a few days since on the subject of the clothing of the 58th Regiment, I beg to enclose a letter which has been addressed by Colonel Walker commanding that regiment to the Deputy Adjutant General of the army, which I should hope would be considered as removing any computation of neglect on the part of that officer, in not applying for the clothing due to the regiment.

In the last paragraph of Lieutenant Colonel Darling’s letter, I have to observe to you that under all circumstances it appears to me that under all circumstances it appears to me that the port of Mahon will be the best, to which to make any shipments of clothing for the corps composing this division of the army under Lord W Bentinck’s command detached from Sicily. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Earl Bathurst

Tarragona 19 October 1813



An opportunity offering for England by way of Marquis Wellington’s headquarters, I avail myself of it to refer to the letter I have had the honour to address to your lordship of the 28th ultimo and 1st instant by which your lordship will have been apprised of Lord W Bentinck’s departure from hence to Sicily, & that he had directed me to take the temporary command of this army, presuming that your lordship will ere this have received those letters, both of which have been sent in duplicates. I shall not trespass more on your time at present, than to say that no supplies of cash or of salt meat have as yet arrived and that the port of Gibraltar being now shut, (in consequence of a malignant fever which prevails there) from whence a considerable supply of both these articles was expected, there seems to be no source from whence it can be hoped that any relief can be given except possibly from Cadiz, unless your lordship should be enabled to send supplies direct from England. The enemy has not made any decided movement since his return to the Llobregat after the affair of the 13th ultimo. He has been constantly making demonstrations, but with what intent I am yet uninformed. I have no reason to suppose, notwithstanding what has been reported, that he has made any detachment from his army to France. In the meanwhile 8 battalions of this army here, have been kept constantly employed in repairing the works of this place and though interrupted by want of masons & materials occasionally, and sometimes by bad weather, considerable progress has been made. It will however I apprehend require still 3 weeks of the present labour to complete what it has been deemed expedient to repair, in order to render the position for our army secure. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Torrens

Tarragona 19 October 1813



I have the honour of transmitting five memorials and two resignations from officers belonging to this army, and have to request the same may be said before His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief for his approval. WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Port Mahon, 19 October 1813

Statement of Captain Bathurst[149] of His Majesty’s ship Fame[150]


On Saturday the 12th of June, the signal having been made early in the morning to send all boats to embark troops. On my waiting on Rear Admiral Hallowell, I was desired by him to attend the embarkation of the cavalry &c from this wharf on the west side of the Bay of Tarragona, having some flat boats and the boats of the horse ships for that purpose. In the forenoon when a part of the 20th Dragoons were embarked, and order came, as I understood from the Quarter Master General to stop their embarkation. Early in the afternoon I had two messages informing me all the boats were to be sent to the beach where the admiral was, to assist in embarking the troops from thence, and all but a few that were leaky were sent. Some time after, I do not exactly recollect the hour, but I believe it was about four o’clock or later, when General Donkin[151] came to the wharf where I was & said, he had come to look for a position or place to put guns on, as the enemy might be expected shortly; that Decaen was very near with 8,000 men, indeed he did not know, but he was at that time entering Tarragona and did not see why he might not attack us in an hour or so and that it was absolutely necessary to send every boat to assist in getting the troops off, and if there was not time to get them off, the horses & mules must be destroyed. Seeing some fishing boats near, he asked what they were and if they could not assist, and begged they might be sent also, which they were accordingly, as was every boat that I had employed, as I could get to give them orders and after seeing the whole of them away, I went there myself and joined Admiral Hallowell, remaining on the beach until all the troops were embarked, which was completed I think a little after midnight. During the night our boats embarked a brigade of artillery from the wharf, and early in the morning of the 13th I again went to superintend the embarkation of the horses, mules &c.

About 7 o’clock Major General Donkin came down and requested a boat to take him to Salou Bay to the Bristol[152], which was done by one of the lieutenant’s agents. In the course of the forenoon every horse, mule, and all that belonged to the army was embarked, as was everything that was brought out to the west end of the bay, and the wharf was taken up, but learning from the admiral that he intended it to remain, it was put down again and rebuilt and no interruption whatever offered by the enemy.

Remained with the ship in the Bay of Tarragona the whole of the 13th of June and did not perceive that the enemy had got any reinforcements. The picquets or small detachments that went out from the town to the westward appeared not to advance far & to be very cautious. 14th June at ½ past 4 am weighed from the bay did not perceive any alteration in the appearance of the troops about Tarragona. W Bathurst



H Daniell Esq

Tarragona 19 October 1813


Dear Sir,

I am directed by Lieutenant General Clinton to inform you, that upon application being made by Major Williamson, commanding Royal Artillery for an issue of 1,000 lbs weight of wood, you will comply with the request, it being for the use of the public service. WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Marquis Wellington

No 5

Tarragona 19 October 1813


My Lord!

I understand it to be your lordship’s wish, that a courier should be dispatched from the head quarters of this army at the beginning and about the middle of each month, in consequence of which I have now the honour again to address you.

I presume your lordship will have received letters I forwarded to you by Captain Milnes & by a courier; the former on the 25th September, the latter on the 3rd of this month. I have exceeded by a few days, the period when I proposed to have sent off this dispatch, in the hope I might in the meantime have been enabled to have reported some decided movement of the enemy, or that I might possibly have received a letter from your lordship.

Since the departure of the courier nothing of any moment has occurred, but it has hitherto appeared to be merely demonstration. He has continued to put about reports of it being his intention to move in order to bring off the garrisons of Tortosa & Llerida. But other intelligence received, makes it appear not improbable, but that he is about to retreat, at least that a part of the army is going to advance. To this momement however I have reason to think, that his force on the Llobregat remains nearly the same, as when I last wrote to your lordship. On the 14th instant, the whole of the enemy’s army were in motion, and a detachment was pushed to Martorell, and it was said he was moving upon Igualada, however this turned out to be nothing, as he withdrew the detachment on the 15th. The army here remains as when I last wrote to your lordship. Eight battalions (including 4 Spanish) have been constantly employed on the works of this place, but owing to delays arising partly from want of materials and masons and partly from occasional interruption from unfavourable weather, not as much progress has been made in the works, as might have been expected. I think nevertheless that in 3 weeks, supposing we remain so long here, (and experience no delays as heretofore) the place would be in a very respectable state and there being between 30, and 40 pieces of Spanish heavy brass ordnance, which have either been drilled by our artillery, or have been landed from our transports, the latter being 4 or 5 pieces taken in Fort St Felippe at Balaguer in June last, (I should hope that the quarter part, if not all the British heavy ordnance landed here on our return in September, may be now re-embarked to be ready for any other service. I request I may be permitted to take this opportunity of saying, that in my communication with the governor of this place Don F Roche, I have found him disposed to give every assistance of stores and materials in his power, and that he has shown ready attention to the suggestions I have felt it to my duty from time to time to make to him relative to the city and its works. On the subject of the Spanish troops of Major General Whittingham’s Division, I am sorry to be obliged to apprize your lordship, that that fine body of men is not better prepared to move than when I last wrote, and that indeed it is at this moment a question, by what means the several corps should now obtain subsistence on the spot. I have not failed to send repeated representations on this subject to General Copons, still nothing has been done in the way of forming a depot of provisions for the division and the utmost reluctance has been shown by the Spanish authorities of this province in giving any aid whatever to these troops. In case therefore, that it will be thought expedient, that the force here should move on, your lordship will observe that I still shall have no more than the British and Sicilian troops and Major General Sarsfield’s infantry on which to depend & therefore that if the enemy move towards me in the force I have every reason to suppose he still has in these parts, I shall be under the necessity of retreating before him, in this respect following the plan pursued by Lord W Bentinck, when last at Vilafranca [del Penedes].

I regret also to add, that within these few days, it has been notified to me by Major General Sarsfield, that the greater part of the cavalry attached to him, have been ordered from under his command to the rear, without any relief of that arm being just to replace them; so that it has become necessary to withdraw from Vilafranca [del Penedes] and General Sarsfield therefore now occupies the small village of [L’]Arboc, some miles in the rear of it.

I have suggested to General Ellio, that he may replace this cavalry and which the general informs me will be done immediately. I would beg to submit to your lordship, that it seems extremely desirable to do as much as possible all outpost duty by means of the Spanish cavalry, saving the few British we have for such occasions as were seen on the 13th September, when though not over half the enemy in number, still by judicious management of them, our cavalry not only withstood the great superiority opposed to them, but by two timely charges checked the enemy and threw him into disorder.

As I am closing this dispatch, I received intimation that the enemy is preparing to move, and that some pieces of heavy ordnance are to accompany the army. It is stated from another quarter, that he has actually begun a move from the Llobregat, if so & that he really has heavy ordnance with him (which I can hardly imagine) I shall think it not unlikely but that he may mean to attempt this position, for the scarcity of which against a coup de main, I trust however there need be no apprehension. I send your lordship a statement I received yesterday of the enemy’s force exclusive of the garrison of Barcelona. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Sarsfield

Tarragona 20 October 1813


Dear general,

I have to acknowledge three letters from you, viz, one from Vilafranca [del Penedes] of the 17th, one from Martorell on the 18th; and one from Esparrageura on the 19th. The former of these I did not reply to, as you mentioned in it your intention of making a tour, and when I was about to send off a messenger to you in reply to that from Martorell, your letter from Esparreguera arrived, which seems to put what you thought of in the former letter out of the question, for in one letter I had to look rather to offensive movement on our part, but in your last letter it would seem the enemy was putting himself in motion. The letter you mention it to have been your intention to write in the evening of yesterday has not yet reached me. These however are my intentions, from the intelligence received from Vilafranca [del Penedes], there seems every reason for supposing the enemy’s moving off by degrees. I intend therefore to assemble the troops here on the road to Vilafranca [del Penedes], at [El] Vendrell & Torredembarra, and possibly to post my cavalry on to Vilafranca [del Penedes], being thus ready to act on that line as circumstances may afterwards seem to point out. You will best judge on the spot, but until this army comes near you, I am inclined to think that any movement to your left (putting you out of the regular communication with Vilafranca [del Penedes]) might prove inconvenient, and that you should therefore with the most considerable part of your force not go beyond Vilafranca [del Penedes], & that when you find that we occupy [El] Vendrell. Should you find and ascertain positively that the enemy are in absolute retreat, I leave it to your judgement to act as circumstances may appear most expedient to you, requesting only that you will apprise me of your movements and of any interesting intelligence you may have of the enemy. General Ellio writes me word, that the intended relief of cavalry in your division was to begin its march towards you on the 14th instant. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Zehnphenning

Tarragona 20 October 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letters no’s 52 and 54 – 53 I rather have not received, or cannot lay my hands on at this moment.

In reply to that you wrote at 8 last evening and that part of it in which you state it to be your duty as military agent to make a turn? I can only say that if the state of your health is so far mended as to enable you to execute such active service. I shall thank you from time to time to acquaint me with your movements and that you shall communicate to me such intelligence, as you may deem interesting. As to the people you mention during your absence, I see no necessity for their being employed, you will please to discharge them accordingly. It is not improbable, but that the head quarters of this army may be charged to a more forward point, of which you shall be occasionally apprized when it may be known where letters will find you on precise days. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


CJ Zehnphenning

Tarragona, 21 October 1813



I have to acquaint you that your letter no. 53 of the 18th ultimo did not arrive here till midday on the 20th. The Lieutenant General would therefore wish you to enquire when the delay arose, and rectify it in future, causing the person to be warned and be more circumspect for the time to come.

Yours of no. 56 has also reached the Lieutenant General in due time and he desires to observe to you, that he is most perfectly satisfied with the explanation contained in your last letter relative to the false alarm. WB Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Major General Sarsfield

Tarragona 21 October 1813


Dear General!

Your note acquainting me that yesterday morning alarm had been a false one, arrived just as I was going to bed, very apropos. Unless the enemy come in great force, Major General Mackenzie will be out with the reserve at [El] Vendrell tomorrow. I request you to keep him apprised, more especially should you in the meantime find it necessary to make any retrograde move.

I propose that the British cavalry should be at Vilafranca [del Penedes] tomorrow. May I request you will allow preparations to be made for quartering this force.

I should hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in the course of the 23rd, when we can talk over what may appear best to be done. I send you a letter which came with a packet from General Ellio late last night. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Anders

Tarragona 22 October 1813



So long as there be any work unfinished of which you are considered at present to have the superintendence, you will be pleased to prepare a weekly written report to be sent on Mondays to the officer commanding the forces for the time being, in which report shall be specified generally the work done in the preceding week and at the same time you will please to point out what work may yet remain to be done ere the whole under execution be completed. You will likewise please to understand, that you are not to commence on any new works (of that which you may consider to have been intended) beyond what you have actually in hand) until you shall receive further instructions. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 24 October 1813



As I do not propose to make any depot of provisions here at present, I am desirous of having a small one not exceeding three days consumption at [El] Vendrell. I request therefore that you will make this arrangement both for the troops here and there, and as there is great difficulty in providing straw here that you may endeavour to collect some at [El] Vendrell. Mr Basnet reported to me the scarcity of straw last night, and at the same time observed that the only means of providing it would be fetching it from a distance, but that as you had directed the whole of the waggons to unload and immediately return to Tarragona, he had no means of sending for the straw. In consequence of which and also of the necessity there appears to me of having some wagons with the cavalry in case of a sudden move and having wounded or sick to carry off. I directed Mr Basnet to detain ten of the carts reporting the circumstance to you. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 24 October 1813



When I wrote to you today, that I did not propose to make a depot of provisions here, but a small one at [El] Vendrell, you will be pleased to understand that I nevertheless mean the cavalry to stay here, and to be kept constantly with 2 days provisions to be supplied for [El] Vendrell.

I am apprehensive that at this season we shall not be able to depend on [Sant] Salvador as a place whereat to land provisions. WH Clinton Lieutenant Colonel


To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 25 October 1813

My dear brother,

I know not where you may be, for I have no news of you since 24 of August, when you wrote me a short sentence in a letter from Mr Murdoch. It has made me anxious to hear more of you, for I cannot think you so well as you talk of. I hope you will not have hurried out again to the army. Indeed you have borne your share of fatigues &c I wish I could hear you got some good fat place, or your old comfortable berth at the hospital. Would that you had been well enough to have had one of the military missions to the continent. My late letters will have apprised you of my having been again left in command of this army. Bentinck last year sent me here much against my inclination, he then sent Campbell who superseded me, I was glad of this, but he superseded me, he never put me in command & under some very unpleasant circumstances. To tell you the honest truth, I abominate command, I have seen so much ill humour. Littleness, indifference to the public good, selfishness & malaria, that I pray to be relieved from what has so much against my inclination put on me. I have not heard a syllable since Lord William left us last month (the 22nd), I sent him despatches from England on the 9th of this month. I am joining hands to hear from him & to see Macfarlane arrive. If he comes I shall endeavour to go home, for I require a little care too or I shall be good for nothing. This has been a tolerably active campaign and I have made it perhaps more so by doing all my duty as far as zeal points it out to me, however I have done nothing to distinguish myself and not much of merit, if any, I profess is not viewed with much complacency with this army. From Bentinck left, this till that day month, I was busily employed in pressing forward the repairs of the works of Tarragona, as he had begun them. Learning in the meanwhile from authority not to be doubted, that Lord Wellington had gained great advantages on the 7th & 8th of the month, reached us via Madrid. I determined to move above 5,000 infantry to within a short days march of the latter place, having already given them and I marched on the British cavalry also. The object for ordering this move, are 1st to prevent Suchet from detaching any forces to Soult, 2nd to prevent the enemy from raising contributions in this neighbourhood & 3rd to draw him aside from any projects he might have of going to Vic from the neighbourhood of which the Calabrian army is mostly fed. I cannot yet judge of the effect my moves may have had. In the meanwhile more reports agree that the French force has been gradually much diminished. Our intelligence however is but bad, would that you were at my elbow, to talk over matters. Here I have not one single man I can call my friend, I came to strangers and at my time of life and with the rank I have, a man does not make friends. You may see I do not take much to my honour, gladly I shall consign it to them. Admiral Halowell has given me very short notice of an opportunity for England, so not to be late, must as you see it be hurried. I have not received a syllable since I took  the temporary command. I had a letter of the 25th ultimo to Bentinck the answer from him in 6 days. I have written to him thrice, two of these letters he must have long since received. Received by Madrid we have heard of his success. I cannot make out his policy in not having a notification (confidential if you please) but a notice sent to the officer commanding here, such intelligence often is influence, but Lord Wellington leaves us all in the dark and may I be preserved from being under his command, at least here, where we have all the disadvantages & none of the good. Lord William has left this army in no very pleasant plight. Regarding a general want of most [torn-things?] I have done nothing but write for money, powder & stores ever since I took the command, I cannot think our lordship very provident. This army wants a good [torn- commander?], I neither have confidence enough in my self, nor can it have confidence in me. Most I believe know, I wish rid of it, but few give me credit for my indifference. I cannot look forward with complacency to the results of things, however favourable they may at present appear.

I hope ere many days are past to hear from you, surely Lord W[illiam] must soon send a courier, on the 1st or 2nd of next month I shall be again able to give you accounts of us, for the meanwhile farewell. Give my love to Susan, send me good accounts of you both. Believe me to be, ever affectionately yours, WH Clinton.


PS I sent off No 37 in the Espoir on the 1st instant, 38 on the [torn] & 39 on the 18th instant: the latter under cover to Lord Fitzroy Somerset, upon which occasion, I do not speak out quite as much as I have done in this letter.


Colonel Torrens

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 26 October 1813



I have the honour to transmit to you, the accompanying memorials of Staff Surgeon White[153], and Assistant Surgeon Rolston 10th Regiment of Foot[154], which I request you will lay before HRH the commander in chief. In transmitting the memorial of Mr White I request to be permitted to have the satisfaction of representing to HRH that he has done duty with the division of the army I have had the honour to command during this campaign, and that I have found Mr White active & zealous and at all times solicitous to render every possible service in the department under his superintendence. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


C J Zehnphenning

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 26 October 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter no. 58 & 59. In the former I have not failed taking notice of the latter part relative to the march of two divisions with artillery towards Roses & Olot & I must request your particular attention to these stated movements of the enemy or that side the Llobregat & that you will report circumstantially what you may hear further relative to them, or of anything else worthy of notice that may occur either part of the province where you now are. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lord W Bentinck

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 26 October 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour herewith to transmit to you the proceedings of two general court martials first assembled on the 21st instant at Tarragona. The one for the trial of Private Carroll of the 44th Regiment, the other for that of Private Val Rosaminski of the Brunswick Hussars, the approbation of the proceedings of which, and their respective sentences require your lordship’s decision. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniel

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 26 October 1813



In consequence of Lieutenant Saunders of the 67th Regiment[155] having obtained leave of absence to proceed to England, the Lieutenant Colonel commanding is induced in consequence of certain letters received to request that you will advance to Lieutenant Saunders the Bat & Forage money for 165 days at present in payment, for which this shall be your voucher accordingly. WB Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Salter


Vilafranca [del Penedes] 26 October 1813



In consequence of Lieutenant Saunders of the 67th Regiment having obtained leave of absence to proceed to England; the Lieutenant General in command has been pleased to direct that he shall receive his regimental pay up to the 24th November 1813. You will therefore upon the receipt of this, be pleased to order the above for which this shall be your voucher accordingly. WB Kersterman, Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 27 October 1813



I am induced from a perusal of the accompanying letter addressed by Mr Basnet to Colonel Lord F Bentinck to write to you and to request your early consideration of the subject. In respect to obtaining straw, I believe it has been found, since Mr Basnet wrote the letter, that the article is to be had in considerable quantity in the neighbourhood, but the difficulty consists in bringing it from the distant place where it is found.

However I have no doubt, but that some arrangement will be made by Lord F Bentinck to obviate this difficulty. Upon a consideration of all circumstances, I cannot but urge you if possible to attend to Mr Basnet’s suggestion that he may have an assistant, so that while the business of accounts and regularity of returns shall be going on at his office, he may be enabled to employ himself actively in riding about the country to ascertain its resources and to ensure there being no want of a supply of straw in a district where by all accounts there is yet abundance.

Mr Basnet in conversation observed to me, that he was aware how little able you may be to spare assistance at the same time, that he pressed on my consideration the impossibility of his doing the laborious and almost incessant duty of the desk, and still to be able to go through the country and see to the collecting of provisions and forage as has been so often shown to be expected of him. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 28 October 1813



The commander of the forces request that you will be pleased to pay to Assistant Surgeon Rolston 1st Battalion 10th Regiment his Bat & Forage money now in due course of payment for the period of 165 days, for which this shall be your voucher accordingly. WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Brigadier General Della Torre

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 28 October 1813


Dear General,

If General Smith has no objection, I do not see any [objection?] to the 2nd Italian Regiment going into the late quarters of the first at Constanti. I will write to the general to tell him so.

I am apprehensive at this season, we must expect to see sickness in any situation, in which the troops may be placed.

I am very sorry to hear that Colonel Burke still continues so unwell, and that we cannot look to his services any longer with this army. I do not imagine that any passport is necessary for him, his transfer being such. His leave may be announced in orders which shall be done if it appears requisite.

The officers of the Levy who you mention as described by Lord W Bentinck to go to England, by the first opportunity that offers, I see no good in their going to Mahon previously, as in the meantime losing their services, at the time when the campaign must by no means [be] considered at an end, though a great part of the army be at present in quiet quarters.

On the subject of my advice to be made to Colonel Burke on account of the accounting of the levies, as it is only I do not feel myself justified in making any such from the public money of this army, he should address himself to Lord W Bentinck direct on this subject. Whenever the officers you mention are to be embarked, I will see what can be done as to an advance of pay to them on embarking. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Smith

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 28 October 1813



A letter to Major General Smith recommending the above movement, if he saw no reason against it.


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 29 October 1813



Referring to the statement of provisions and forage remaining in store bearing date the 25th instant received here yesterday, I request you will let me know, whether in the article of salt meat, such includes all the quantity lately obtained by Admiral Hallowell’s order and that if so, you may lose no time in making application to the admiral for another supply. I should hope that at this place, Vendrills and indeed generally at all the stations of the troops detached from Tarragona, it may be possible to obtain a ration of fresh meat three times per week. I request you will give instructions to this effect with a view to saving salt provisions. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Torrens

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 29 October 1813



I request you will be pleased to lay before H[is] R[oyal] Highness the commander in chief the accompanying letter addressed to me by Colonel Lord F Bentinck, commanding the detachment of British cavalry serving with this army, relative to the foreign troop of hussars attached to the allied force here. I beg to express my coincidence in opinion of the measure suggested by Lord F Bentinck, which I think is the most advisable mode of disposing of this troop of foreigners, having no doubt but that joined with their countrymen they will emulate their good character, while as an unattached body as at present, there cannot be expected to be any esprit de corps. W H Clinton Lieutenant General


His Excellency Lord William Bentinck

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 29 October 1813


My Lord!

I have the honour of transmitting for your lordship’s information the sentence of a Sicilian courts martial (substance) upon Francisco Stranesse private soldier in the Estero Regiment who was arraigned and fined for the murder of a private soldier of the Guadalaxara Spanish Regiment and the wounding [of] another soldier of the Fama corps. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Major General Smith

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 31 October 1813



I have your letter of yesterday’s date, after what you say about Colonel Mullins[156] having a short leave of absence to go to Mahon, I shall not make any objection.  Be so good therefore to give him the leave he asked for, the means of getting to Mahon he must manage. I will only observe, that the end of November was the time I mentioned to him and that had this application not now have been made in his favour, I should have hesitated to have let him go, for this reason, that were he only to be a week at Mahon, his going from the army at the moment causes his absence from his to be at least six weeks. On the passage to and from thence cannot be less than a week, while a long quarantine will be enforced on all vessels coming from Mahon. However, I presume Colonel Hammerton[157] has considered all this. The greater part of the army is at present in quiet quarters, but the campaign in this part can by no means be considered to be at an end. If Lord Wellington moves forward, probably such an operation will make us active on this side, and if he remains on the defensive, Soult & Suchet will probably make a combined move, the one to save Pamplona, the other to make a diversion on this side and possibly to bring off the garrisons of the Ebro; which will oblige us here to be active, I mention all this to show you my motives for objecting generally at this moment to acceding to applications for leave of absence. I repeat however in this instance if Colonel Mullins after what you have said, I make no further objection. I return you Colonel Mullins letter.

The Italian recruits lately come from Valencia, should by all means be sent to Sicily as the men for the Estero, I conclude are people left behind them, when we marched through Valencia in July. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Doctor Brown

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 31 October 1813



Referring to your letter of the 26th relative to a return received by you from Alicant of sixty nine men there, unfit for service, whom it is desirable to have brought to Tarragona for the purpose of being examined by a Board previous to their being sent to England and wherein you suggest that means be found for transporting those people from Alicant. I have in consequence written to Admiral Hallowell, and in reply the admiral says that he knows not when an opportunity may now offer for this purpose, but that in the meantime, directions should be given for these people being held in readiness to embark at the shortest notice, when any men of war or transport, touches at Alicant, on her way to Tarragona. You will be pleased therefore to take an opportunity of apprizing the officer in charge of these people at Alicant that they may accordingly to hold in readiness and embark whenever an opportunity offers. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant Colonel Thackeray

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 1 November 1813



I have received your letter of the 30th ultimo with the report of the work done on the fortifications at Tarragona.

I am glad to observe that considerable progress appears to have been made, but from what I observed when I left the place, I had hoped that in one month’s time from that period, everything that had been undertaken by us would have been completed. I should have thought that the greater part of the masonry works would have been gotten through in a fortnight, it therefore is with much concern that I now observe that according to your report another month of fine weather will be required for the completion of the works, with the exception then of Cervantes Bastion, which you state will still require a very long time under any circumstances and that the work can hardly be executed during the weather shortly to be expected.

You mention the want of masons, possibly there may be the means of affording you some aid in this respect, nevertheless as many of the works of masonry will have been completed, I should hope that you would be able to bring as many hands to those which remain, that you will no longer be in such want. I request you will let me know what number of masons you have in employ, and what is the number you would make use of with a view; while the fine weather may last of expediting the completion of the works. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Anders

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 1 November 1813



As it may be hoped that the masonry works of the fortifications immediately under your directions may be now so forward, as no longer to require so many workmen, and that these may be spared for other services. I request you will let me know, what number of masons you have in in constant employ showing how many immediately with you at the Oliva and how many with Captain Gomoens and Du Vernet[158]. I request you will likewise state, whether you have tools complete for all these masons, and also whether you are enabled to employ all those men belonging to the Spanish regiments, who were sent to you to be made use of as masons. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell,


Vilafranca [del Penedes] 1 November 1813



Before I give you my final decision on the subject of fresh meat, it is first necessary I should know what supply the admiral can afford us of salt provisions, because if likely to be pressed before any supply reaches us, we must at all events have recourse to the purchase of fresh meat. The admiral writes me word, that he is about to send the Volcano[159] with the bullock ships to Oran, but he observes that he apprehends there will not be a bullock ready to embark when the ships arrive on the coast of Barbary & he shows that he is warranted in this supposition because when he lately sent the ships to Ivica for wood, which had been reported ready to embark it was found on arrival of the ships that not one stick was actually ready, and the vessels long since sent are still waiting, having been gone 6 weeks. I request you will advert to this, and not to seize the departure of the ships, until there is every reason for being assured they will not be delayed on their arrival at the place to which they may have to proceed. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Anders,

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 1 November 1813



When Colonel Contanelle was first charged by His Excellency Lord W Bentinck, with the repairing certain field works near Tarragona in September last, Admiral Hallowell at his request issued to him from the stores of the Malta, the following carpenters & entrenching tools viz 2 cross cut saws, 50 bill hooks and 2 axes. As it is requisite these should be returned to the admiral forthwith. I request you will please immediately to have the tools collected & that you will report to me without delay, when such shall have been collected. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Roche

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 1 November 1813


Dear General,

I have been anxiously looking for accounts from your part of the world. I congratulate you on the fall of Morella; I hope soon to hear that Denia will have been obliged to give in, and that as much treasure may be found as in Morella. I hear that there were several thousand dollars in that place.

In consequence of a request made to General Ellio by private John Martin a German and soldier at present in the Regiment of Corona, who formerly served in the cavalry of Santiago and is properly (as he states) a cavalry soldier, General Ellio has been pleased to permit that he may be discharged, and take service in our German Hussars. In consequence of this, I address myself to you with a request you will do me the favour to let the man be examined both as to his fitness to serve in the cavalry, and as to his character, that if he be considered fit for cavalry service, and that he has a fair character, he may be sent to join the Brunswick Hussars. Let me depend on your not suffering an unfit man, or one of notorious bad character to join us. General Ellio has no doubt meant this as some attention to us, but it is impossible that he can know what the soldier’s character may be, which is my reason for giving you this trouble. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Smith

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 2 November 1813



I have this evening received with your letters of today’s date four enclosures for the Marquis of Wellington, which shall be forwarded by the courier. I have not the pleasure of knowing Major Roffe, but from what I have heard of him, I am sorry he has been induced to send in his resignation, as the service will lose a good officer in him. He is aware all I can do is to forward the official papers for the purpose of it being laid before the Prince Regent; I observe what you say in your letter of yesterday’s date on the subject of the horses and mules lately arrived from Valencia. In consequence I have desired Lieutenant Colonel A’Court to order an inspection to be made, on application from the commanding officer of artillery, in order that the horses &c may be turned over in due form to the commissariat. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lord W Bentinck


Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813


My Lord,

I have the honour herewith to forward to you the resignation of Lieutenant Luenolo, sent to me by Brigadier General Latour. At the general’s request I have given him leave to return to Sicily by the first opportunity. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Dr Brown

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813



Having received the enclosed paper from Lord F Somerset relative to medical stores, I request you will let me know what proportions of these stores you would wish to be ordered to Tarragona, and whether any part will be required to be landed at Alicant or elsewhere. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell,

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813



From a communication made to me by Admiral Hallowell, it appears that the following quantity of salt provisions have been delivered to you since the 11th October viz 197,410 pounds and that there remains at your disposal 322,382 pounds, which is understood to be more than 6 weeks consumption supposing a ration given daily, as however a great part of the army have I trust been able to purchase fresh provisions for twice & in some places for three times per week, I trust you still have a considerable quantity of these salt provisions left. I request you will now state to me what is the quantity you have & for what number of days intended to last and that you will communicate on the subject with Admiral Hallowell to whom I shall also write as soon as I shall receive your statement. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Brigadier General della Torre

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813


Dear General,

In reply to the queries contained in your letter of the 31st ultimo received here yesterday, I have first to acquaint you, that provided that you are of opinion and officer can be spared and that you think the number of men to proceed to Sicily require the presence of an officer, there is no objection on my part to your appointing one to proceed.

It will be necessary however that application be made for the passage of the officer to the Quarter Master General’s department and a notification of the officers name and of his having leave to be forwarded to the Adjutant General’s department. In respect to what you say about leave of absence for officers to go to Sicily, I request for reasons I will mention to you to you when I have the pleasure of seeing you, that you will postpone that question for the present.

On what you say relative to Mr Luenolo I have to observe that I cannot accept his resignation, which must be transmitted to His Excellency Lord W Bentinck at Palermo for his approbation and which shall be done by the first opportunity. In the meantime, if you approve of this gentleman quitting his battalion, there will be no objection on my part to his embarking on the first opportunity that offers for taking him on to Sicily.

The 2 other officers you mention now have leave to proceed to England by the first opportunity that offers. WH Clinton Lieutenant General



His Excellency Lord Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813


My Lord,

Yesterday morning the courier brought me to this place your lordship’s letter dated from Vera on the 26th ultimo, by which I am informed that you had received my letters to no.5 inclusive.

Since writing to your lordship, on the 19th ultimo, I have moved with part of the force under my command here and on the great communication with Barcelona. The motives for making this move have been the following. It appeared to me that it might possibly by this means prevent the enemy from detaching to France, which I had reason to suppose he was then doing, by sending off small detachments & thus gradually reducing his force and I also judged that the incursions he was making in this part of the country to raise contributions, might in a great measure be put a stop to by the prudence of a British force combined with General Sarsfield’s Division, I moved therefore on the 22nd ultimo, placing the reserve under Major General Mackenzie at [Le] Vendrell, the Sicilian troops at Torredembarra, and bringing the British cavalry to this place, at which I fixed headquarters with a view more to deceive the enemy as to the ultimate intention of the movement. At the same time I directed General Sarsfield to secure his post here and I wrote to General Compans to request Colonel Manso[160] might again occupy Esparreguera on my left, thus covering it and facilitating the communications with this and the 1st Army, which with request the general has most readily complied. On my arrival here General Sarsfield confirmed the intelligence I had previously had through various quarters, that the enemy had made a considerable detachment both of cavalry and infantry towards France. On the 25th however, I received intelligence that 4,000 infantry of those which had gone towards Gerona had returned, and occupied a village six miles on the other side of Barcelona on the road [to] Mataro and during the last days of last month, I received intelligence through different channels that the cavalry in number 600 had in like manner returned to the neighbourhood of Barcelona, and Colonel Manso on the 29th ultimo wrote me word, that at that time the force of the enemy in his opinion was little diminished either in cavalry or infantry from what it had been. In the meanwhile I have reason for thinking that the move I have made has put the enemy a good deal upon the alert, and that for some days past he has been expecting an attack to be made upon his line of posts, which the presence of Colonel Manso’s corps on my left has not a little augmented. I beg also to observe to your lordship, that this operation has not retarded the progress of the work carrying on at Tarragona, 4 battalions of the 1st Division of this army having been left with 4 battalions of Spaniards to work at the repairs of the fortifications and though I am sorry to observe the works are not so advanced as I had hoped, still in an entrenched position with a good communication with the sea. Tarragona may be considered already to be tolerably secure. In my letter no. 2 I observed to your lordship the view I had been induced to take of the situation of the allied force in this province. I observe that you are pleased to say in your last letter, that in the actual state of affairs on the Eastern  coast of Spain no instruction from you can do much good, and viewing generally our situation here you desire me to have reference to your instructions bearing date the 14th April last and to your letter to Lord W Bentinck of the 22nd ultimo. I have now these papers before me and after an attentive perusal of them, I wish to submit to your lordship the opinion I have formed and the line of conduct it occurs to me to adopt, having in view that the successor whom it may be intended to give me in this command may not be shackled by any operations I may have undertaken, or that he should find the army less effective than when it fell to my lot to be placed at its head. In the first place then I think, that the most important object is to make Tarragona secure, so that were circumstances to make it expedient it might be left to itself with a garrison of 2,500 men. Nevertheless, in case of any reverse, which should enable Suchet decidedly to resume the offensive, it would then appear that Tarragona must be considered to be the point d’appui of the allied force at present under my command, as I apprehend that to retire across the Ebro (supposing such an operation to be then practicable) would produce the most disastrous effects to our cause in this province, while it may be hoped that before Suchet could make any serious attack upon such a force as would then be in the position before Tarragona that some favourable events might occur to prevent the enemy from accomplishing such an understanding. The engineer reports that it will take at least another month of fine weather before the breaches can be completed and the place thus far secure, there will then be stores of every sort to provide.

The next most important point to be considered is the rendering moveable the 2 Spanish Divisions serving with this army by securing a depot of provisions for each in Tarragona, and that each be provided with the means of carrying on mules at least 2 days rations.

With respect to General Sarsfield’s Division, I have written to General Ellio and have pressed on him the serious consideration of this subject, but with every disposition as I believe there is, on the part of the general to effect this important object, I fear he can give me but little hopes of success. I shall in like manner urge General Whittingham to establish a depot at Tarragona, and to complete what at present is wanting of the means of transporting provisions. In this place it is proper I should observe to your lordship, that at this moment these troops are not in a more efficient state than when I last had the honour to write to you.

In respect to General Sarsfield’s Division, I understand that in order to be enabled to keep his troops at the advanced posts, he has obtained rations latterly for his troops from day to day by means of the interest he has with certain wealthy people at villages in our neighbourhood, but in the long run it is to be apprehended this resource must fail & I doubt I must be prepared to see that fine body of troops go to the rear from the absolute impossibility of subsisting them in this province. In respect to General Whittingham’s Division I trust the money lately sent here for it and that which I hear is on the way, may enable the commanding officer to make some provision, but unless some great exertion be made in its favour, I doubt one can hardly look to the division being so far before hand as to have a depot of one month’s provisions as appears to me requisite more especially in the event of our being obliged to fall back on Tarragona. I have lately passed most earnestly on General Copons, the necessity of feeding General Whittingham’s Division. In reply the general tells me the measures he has taken to ensure its supply, but in the meanwhile the troops have been scantily rationed, and as General Copons observes, that at no time does this province yield more grain than for about 3 month’s consumption of its numerous population, which it has latterly had to maintain 3 armies (The French taken in the aggregate of not less than 50,000 men) it cannot be expected that Catalonia can be looked to for maintaining General Whittingham’s Division for any time & it is therefore by no means improbable but that ere long this division will be also obliged to go to the rear, unless your lordship shall think proper to give me authority and the means of feeding it.

[The next point to be considered in the communication over the Ebro. I respect to this I beg to observe that before I received your instructions on this subject, I had written to General Ellio, there being at that time very uncertain communication across the [Piron?] and Tarragona then being in a very open defenceless state. At that time I felt considerable apprehension that great inconvenience might be felt from want of a ready passage over the Ebro in case it had been deemed expedient to have moved across our cavalry, or any great part of the force then in the vicinity of Tarragona, but General Ellio put me then perfectly at ease in respect to any risk to be apprehended  for the 2nd Army in the event of Suchet being able to raise the blockade of Tortosa by pointing out to me, that he had but a very trifling part of his force on the left bank of the Ebro, that side being very barren and offering no cover to troops and bearing nothing for a considerable distance but low brush wood. He therefore contenting himself with observing the privations of the garrison in that direction by means of a detachment of cavalry stationed in the neighbourhood at Vandellos. General Ellio now reports that the work to cover this intended bridge is in forwardness and that as soon as in a state to give security to troops, a bridge of boats will be ready to be established and he will thus be enabled more effectually to act against the garrison, should it attempt any serious move on the left bank of the river, while should events make it expedient to move any part of the force now in Catalonia across, that operation may then be then affected without risk, provided we can get the state of the enemy in front.]

In respect to Tortosa I see no reason for being of a different opinion to that I submitted to your excellency on a former occasion, namely that it is not expedient to attempt the siege. I am inclined to think that Suchet unless he be considerably reinforced will not be able to relieve the garrison and should he retire any distance from the Llobregat and his army become so diminished in numbers as to put it at all on a par with the moveable force I have with me, I then think a corps might be advantageously posted in some of the avenues leading to Tortosa from this side the Ebro, so as more effectually to blockade the place and to render the escape of the garrison out of the question. As things are at present, there is certainly no sufficient impediment to prevent the Governor of Tortosa were he disposed to sacrifice his cannon & baggage from blowing up the place, and moving off with his garrison on Llerida, nor do I see how in our present state this is to be guarded against. The First Spanish Army depends for its present subsistence, on the produce of the plain of Regua? It cannot at this season venture far from the strong avenues leading from Barcelona to that plain.

Your lordship seems to be well aware, how small a part of the force under my command can move, this with the two Spanish Divisions must I apprehend be kept together so long as Suchet continues in his present force. There remains then but the corps under General Ellio’s command with which to undertake anything against Tortosa and until a safe and ready communication shall have been established on the Ebro, I am inclined to think that nothing more can be done towards the more effectual blockade of Tortosa, and this the more, as from returns lately received from the 2nd Army, the number of sick has become very considerable, no less than 3,800, owing to the unwholesome air in the vicinity of that fortress. From what I have said of the blockade of Tortosa, your lordship will perceive that there is no risk of any of the troops of the 2nd Army, should ever the enemy be enabled to raise the blockade.

It is most true what your lordship observes, namely that any increase of force without an adequate increase of means of transports, would not apply any remedy to the state of affairs here. In fact any force that should come here now, must bring its means of subsistence with it, for the province cannot maintain the troops it already has in it an unless some means are speedily found for relieving the wants which are fast increasing, there will be nothing for it, but to send the 2 Spanish Divisions of this army to the other side of the Ebro and to defend Catalonia, as well as we can with the British and Sicilian forces and the 1st Spanish Army, when of course we shall be forced to a strict defensive & be liable to be driven under the walls of Tarragona. I shall not fail to communicate to General Copons the substance of your lordship’s letter, in order that a conjunct plan of operations may be formed for each army assisting the other, in the meanwhile, though without any immediately fixed plan, we are acting upon this principle. I sincerely hope that the operations your lordship may have in view may be attended in their execution with complete success. I shall endeavour as circumstances may arise, to avail myself of them in doing that which I may judge to be what your lordship might expect from this army. You can well appreciate what is to be expected and will not require more at our hands, than we can fairly perform. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Colonel Torrens

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 November 1813



In consequence of receipt of the enclosed letters and their contents. I have thought it advisable to transmit the same to you, in order that instructions may be given, that whenever men are sent from the depot in the Isle of Wight, that the usual certificates & reports are required at the War Office may be transmitted to the regiment at the same time, the order that the pay masters of regiments may be authorised to place them upon the strength of the corps from the period of their last settlement in England, and draw pay for them accordingly.

In this instance, I have thought it expedient to grant a special authority to the paymaster of the 2nd Battalion 27th Regiment, to draw subsistence for the four men mentioned in Major Neynoe’s[161] letter, in order to justify the impossibility in the making up of his accounts. WH Clinton Lieutenant General




Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton KB, commanding a division of the army, under the command of Field Marshal Marquis Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 4 November 1813 3 am


My dear brother,

I have been sitting up most of the night to prepare a letter for Lord Wellington, I therefore must make up my letter to you this time in great haste. On the 2nd came a courrier from Lord Wellington’s headquarters with your letters No’s 33 to 37, the last dated 5th of October. It was a great satisfaction to me at length to receive accounts of you, but I was sorry to find you had decided to return to Spain, because I cannot think you can be sufficiently recovered to be able to bear the fatigues of a campaign. Many thanks for your letters, I must thank you now on the business without adverting to infatuation. Alas poor Stuart I am afraid I have only a sorrowful tale to bear, I had hoped I might have seen him again.

For the little I have gained or am likely to gain: I am very proud of achieving in the way of service. I think that I certainly or might ought to have had an elite regiment, & I think too that had the Duke had two such he would have given me one. I have secret enemies in some quarters, that have occasioned my being treated with neglect, but they are much mistaken if they think I am annoyed. All I can say is that I shall be heartily glad when the service is at England, more especially that I am now upon. Were I to be confirmed in the situation, I should not like it, but by no means fancy being the continual loser in particular manner to have all the drudgery & none of the advantages. I think it now unlikely that Macfarlane may come to return here, if so & that all be quiet, I shall ask leave to go home for the winter. I have been recently very much annoyed this summer by suffering from my usual complaint, which has passed. Elisa at home consulted him and all say that rest is required. I can get none here & am convinced that I shall never get any such relief till I can consult some of the people in London, but enough of self. I came here with the cavalry on the 22nd ultimo & did so because I heard the enemy were detaching to France. I thought a movement of the army, that transpired might induce Suchet to suppose I was going to attack. I have reason to think the move has had the effect of bringing back 4,000 infantry, 600 cavalry which had marched towards Germany.

At any other time, I should say that Suchet was aiming some blow at us and that he must be seen to try his force with us in our position at Tarragona, but at this time I think his head must be too much taken up with other considerations. I propose to remain here as long as the weather keeps good. I am thus ready to move, should Suchet really retire & if he advances in force two days putting whole force in position at Tarragona to receive my dear brother. I will write again & tell you more about me. We hear Pamplona has fallen, may at least be true. I hope you left Susan tolerably well, yours affectionately WHC



Mr Salter

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 4 November 1813



In consequence of the particular circumstances under which Major General Mackenzie is placed ere receiving only one pay from the army with which he is now serving, I am induced at his earnest request, to direct that you will be pleased to issue to him his staff pay from the 25th August to 24th October 1813, amounting to one hundred and fifteen pounds, twelve shillings and eleven pence, for which this will be your voucher for the time being and the Acting Military Secretary will not fail including him in the pay list made up in his office for the period, when a warrant will be made out for the entire sum, & be forwarded accordingly. WH Clinton Lieutenant General



His Excellency Lord Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 4 November 1813


My Lord,

Since closing my letter to your lordship of yesterday’s date, I have received a report of the dispositions of the French Army opposite to us, which I have the honour herewith to transmit. I beg to avail myself of this opportunity of your lordship’s consideration of the lowness of our supply of money & salt provisions. The shutting of the ports of Malta, Gibraltar, and Cadiz has principally occasioned our present embarrassment.

In this province, the supply of fresh meat, had we the means of purchasing it, is not small, but reduced as the public purse is, having as I apprehend not more in it, than what is adequate to meet at most a month’s expenditure, our commissary is not enabled to make any large purchases of cattle. I take this opportunity of forwarding to your lordship a letter which was sent with a flag on the 24th ultimo. I likewise enclose two letters forwarded for your lordship to me by Admiral Hallowell. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 5 November 1813



In returning you the proceedings of the court martial, I have only to regret, that sufficient evidence can not have been produced to bring to light the nefarious conduct Mr Paulo Custo, as clearly as it has done that of Mr Galiard.

Relative to the last named, further instructions will be given, and I can only add that as there is such strong presumptive evidences against Mr Paulo Custo, I cannot but be of opinion, that he is a very unfit person to be employed in any charge of trust, and for the sake of example, and the credit of your department. I think he ought to be forthwith discharged and a notification thereof be made to the head of the department in Sicily, in order that there be no chance of his being again received into the commissary department. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General.


Lieutenant Colonel Bentinck

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 5 November 1813


My dear Lord,

I send you a letter addressed to you or the officer commanding here, on the subject of your letter of the 22nd July transmitting the copies of Major General Donkin’s letters of the 29th June & 1st July & Colonel Adam’s of the 4th of that month. Colonel Adam and the Major General being both absent, I cannot take any steps in consequence of Lieutenant General Calvert’s letter & I have therefore nothing to do than to report the circumstance to the Horse Guards, which I shall do by the first opportunity and I shall at the same time observe, that none of these documents being in my possession, it has not been in my power to take any to take any steps with a view to complying with the instructions contained in the Adjutant General’s letter. WH Clinton, Lieutenant Colonel.


Major General Whittingham

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 5 November 1813


Dear General,

I have now before me your several letters of the 6th, 8th, 17th & 25th ultimo, to most of these I have already answered. I shall now however refer to them generally, having to premise what I have to say, by expressing my regret that you have not contrived to pay a visit to your division, the regulating the subsistence of which seems to demand very prompt attention and decided measures. In your letter of the 6th you mention to me Colonel Sevrano’s return and the determination made by Lord Wellington to augment the body of cavalry under your command, and you advert to his lordship’s decision, that the soldiers of your division shall pay for the Etapa [stage] you observe also to the necessity of such arrangement being made with the Adjutant General of Catalonia, so that your infantry be placed in a perfect moveable state, and its subsistence ensured. In reply to this last observation, I am induced to observe to you, that I have ever since Lord W Bentinck’s departure, been pressing the consideration of this important subject on General Copons, and though he states to me, that he has taken every measure in his power to meet the wants of your division, he at the same time observes that the resources of the province are not such as will enable him to continue to support such a force and as a proof of his inability, he adds that at no time does this province yield more grain them for about 3 months consumption of its own population which it has nevertheless had to support during the last 4 months, besides the 1st Spanish Army, an army of Frenchmen of not less in the aggregate than 50,000 men.

In your letter of the 8th October you mention for reasons therein stated, you wish to have your depot removed from Alicant, and you enclose me a letter for Admiral Hallowell on this subject. In reply to this, I long since informed you that measures had been taken by the admiral accordingly; but as in that letter you showed that there was every reason for expecting you instantly at Tarragona, the answer was not immediately sent, or until it was found that you had postponed your much wished for visit. In your letter of the 17th you tell me that you shall return with Colonel Manet to Catalonia, and referring to information received from Colonel Campbell of the arrival at Alicant of a sum of money for the use of the division you advert to your wish expressed in a former letter that your depot might be brought to Vinaros, and even add to that letter you had received no reply was at first given to it, because you had in that letter given both the admiral and myself every reason to suppose you might soon be expected in Catalonia, but the subject of the letter had not been the less acted upon by us. In this letter you advert to what I had said of the formation of a depot, and you say that such cannot in any view depend on you & that it must rest exclusively with the Captain General of this province in respect of obtaining articles; adding that, unless the pay of the soldiers be anticipated, it will be impossible to meet the exigencies of the day, and you refer to the order you state Lord Wellington to have given to General Copons to send the necessary assistance to your division. To all which I must observe, that it appears to me from all the information I have been able to collect, that this province by itself cannot maintain for a continuance its own force, together with your division, subjected as it is to be over run & to have to contribute largely to the pressing necessities of the enemy, and that therefore resources for the provision of your division independent of the Etapa (which is decidedly to be paid by your men) must be looked for from other quarters, and that it is highly requisite that you should exert yourself on this account, or your fine body of troops will become not only immoveable as at present, but must be dispersed to shift as it can, for in this province I apprehend it will soon be found impossible to subsist the division. Your letter of the 25th ultimo found me here, and I answered it forthwith to tell you, I hoped I might have the pleasure of seeing you in your proposed visit Tarragona in a few days. As however, in consequence of circumstances that since then have occurred, I cannot find it convenient to go from hence, I will now advert to the contents of that letter, in which you tell me that your visit to Catalonia had been again prevented, but that as the duty would be of a few days only, you hoped it would make no difference, and that as soon as the business that detained you was finished, you would instantly set off by way of Mora. In this letter you also repeat a request made in a former one (I have not now by me) that an advance from our chest should be made to the division of 8,000 dollars. In reply to this letter, I have first to observe, that I am much concerned not to have heard by this time of your appearance with your division, the more so as a relief of money has in the mean time been received, 35,000 dollars having been landed for the use of your troops at Tarragona, and I have been moreover given to understand that an advance of 4,000 has been made by General Copons. I hope no consideration will prevent you from coming very shortly to Reus and I cannot but have a reliance that you will be able to make such an arrangement, as not only will provide against any pressing wants to the division in future, but that you will be able to devise some means for the formation of a depot in Tarragona, of at least one month’s supply for the division, the absolute necessity of which measure, I have represented to Lord Wellington. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Lord W Bentinck

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 6 November 1813


My Lord,

I am induced to trouble your lordship with an official letter on the subject of a statement made to me by Major General Della Torre relative to the wants of the 2nd Italian Regiment which had been represented to him by the commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Harvey In a very detailed manner. The general informs me that the result of the statement made to him and from what he has himself from examination into the circumstances  he is able to judge, is that the battalion in consequence of it having been disarmed at Vixona in February last, lost all the necessaries belonging to the men, and that it in consequence has been ever since deprived of everything, and is at present in a most deplorable state for want of necessaries of every sort, that in consequence it appears to the general absolutely necessary that it be forthwith supplied with one shirt and a pair of shoes. The general adds, that this supply can be either from the public magazines, or by means of money advanced to the regiment for the purchase of these articles. By the latter method however considerable time must be lost before the soldier can receive them, as a sufficient period must be allowed for the making up of them, although it will be more economical in the end. It appears to the general very desirable that the half pay which the soldier now receives, should not be touched, especially at this moment, when the men are much fatigued by constantly working at the fortifications of Tarragona, and as they often receive salt provisions, that portion of their pay which they now receive, is essentially requisite for the purchasing of vegetables. The general further adds, that in his opinion, a few hundred dollars will be sufficient. The steps I have taken in consequence of this, a representation of Brigadier General Della Torre is to assist a court of enquiry composed of the Italian Brigade to examine and report upon Lieutenant Colonel Frango’s representation, the result of which I shall have the honour of transmitting to you and if necessary an issue of shoes will be made to the men from our stores, the question of payment remaining undecided until I shall hear from you. I request then to hear what may be your decision on the subject.

  1. I avail myself of this opportunity to request again to call your lordship’s attention to the wants of this army. Since writing no.1 dated October 17th 1813, a partial supply both of salt and fresh provisions has been received, the former however from the resources of the navy victuallers, so that an issue will be made for the present of 3 days fresh meat per week, but as this cannot be looked for, for any duration and that this residue of our salt meat cannot last us above three weeks longer, it is of the last consequence that a supply of money be forwarded to our commissary to enable him if possible to purchase a stock of cattle. The fund now in his hands according to the present rate of expenditure, cannot be calculated to last longer than about one month from the present time, while the shutting of the port of Gibraltar (from whence a considerable sum had been expected) and latterly of Cadiz, where the malignant fever has likewise caused the stoppage of all intercourse, precludes all hope of any supply of money arriving from those quarters. I earnestly request your lordship’s consideration of these circumstances, unless you shall have already been able to supply our wants, that you may be pleased at the earliest opportunity to direct a supply of money be forwarded to Tarragona and that the Commissary General in Sicily may be further directed to look to the circumstance of all the ports being shut, which usually supplied us, that he may therefore take measures for replenishing our chest from time to time in future. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Williamson,

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 6 November 1813



Referring to your representation that the four 12 pounders lent by Lord W Bentinck to General Ellio for the siege of Morella, be now on the reduction of that place, required to be returned to your park, I have to acquaint you having communicated with General Ellio, I have been induced still to leave this ordnance with His Excellency for the present. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant Colonel D’Arcy

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 8 November 1813



I have before me your letters of the 4th & 6th instant, the former in reference to mine of the 1st, in reply to the last paragraph of which I request you will let me know, whether if 25 more mason’s could be attached to you, with a view to expediting during the present fine weather, the works under execution you may have tools sufficient to put into their hands. On the subject of your second letter I have to request that you will let me have a return of the entrenching tools under your charge, showing such as may have been issued for works, and to whom and what number of these may be still serviceable, what repairable & what number may remain in store. In respect to the few which have been lent at General Ellio’s request for the service pointed out by him, I have reason to hope that these will be returned to us, or that at least they will be replaced by him in our magazines.

On leaving Tarragona lately, I desired that all the entrenching tools which had been handed over by you by Lord W Bentinck’s directions to Colonel Catanelli for the carrying on the works under his superintendence & which tools might have become unserviceable but repairable, should be forthwith collected and delivered over to you for the purpose of being gradually repaired. I hope this has been done, if so, I request you will be pleased to state what number may have been actually delivered into store. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


His Excellency, the most noble Marquis of Wellington

Alicant, 8 November 1812



I avail myself of an opportunity for Gibraltar, to endeavour to communicate with your lordship. On the 25th I landed here from Sicily, having been sent by His Excellency Lord William Bentinck to take the command of the troops lately under that of Lieutenant General Maitland, who on the account of the bad state of his health, had gone back to Sicily. On the 26th I received your lordship’s dispatch in cypher addressed to Major General Mackenzie & dated the 13th ultimo near Burgos. I wrote to your lordship in reply in cypher on the 28th and I sent it off by the same person who had brought me your dispatch.

In consequence of your lordship’s instructions I prepared for a forward move but unprovided with cavalry, I determined not to stir from hence unless I could see a probability of my being able to get at least beyond the line of my outposts. At the time your lordship’s dispatch reached me, I had reason to suppose Suchet’s army was still near me and from all I heard, that he had about 20,000 infantry and near 3,000 cavalry. To this I had to oppose about 13,000 of all arms of which near 8,000 Spaniards of General Whittingham’s & Roche’s Divisions & 360 cavalry of all sorts, 200 only of which were British. I considered that in the face of such a force & especially of such superior cavalry, I could not stir in a country, every part of which in the line your lordship had foreseen to me to take. I therefore determined to wait events and to be ready for a start. On the 3rd of this month, I first heard that Suchet had actually moved with a considerable part of his force, therefore meant to have moved in a day or two and to have taken up a forward position, meaning from thence to have seen, how far it might be in my power to have moved upon the line of Valencia, the enemy still having fron 12 to 1500 good cavalry between me and Jucar, upon which river he was stated to have strengthened himself. In the meanwhile, the 6th I received a letter from General Ellio inclosing a duplicate of one from General Hill to him dated the 30th ultimo, acquainting me with your lordship’s order for his retreat and directions from him to make a movement to join with his corps that of Ballesteros and yesterday I received intelligence upon which I am told full confidence may be placed, that Suchet returned to Valencia on the 31st and that such part of his army as had moved on the line of Madrid was returning towards Valencia & had actually arrived at Requena. In consequence of this I have suspended all movement & this army occupies nearly the same positions as that in which it was left by Lieutenant General Maitland. I am glad to be able to add that the army is in excellent health and that all sickness in our neighbourhood is fast disappearing, though Cartagena is still in quarantine. In the letter in cypher I had the honour to address to your lordship, on the 28th, I endeavoured to represent to you the awkward situation in which we are, in respect of this place. When I came here I found that no steps had been taken to  possess ourselves of the castle, which is the complete key to all the other works and that our troops did not even occupy one of the gates of the town. With a governor upon whom one could depend for the most hearty cooperation, I apprehend that it would not be safe to entrust such a work occupied by raw Spanish troops only, in possession of which the enemy would have the power most effectually to prevent our embarkation, but with the man who now is here, who has put in arrest his superior officer, the governor of the province, S[enho]r Copons, & all the junta, and who has shown great want of judgement & temper (not to speak more harshly of his conduct towards the British forces) and who has it completely in his power to shut the gates of his town against us whenever he pleases. I cannot but think that it is absolutely requisite that a British force should be in possession of the castle.  Accordingly made a strong representation to him & the admiral joining with me in opinion of the propriety of the measure. I pressed the necessity of it in their presence, this was however also in vain. I then warned the governor of the responsibility, he took upon himself in refusing to show the confidence which had been in so many other parts of Spain testified to our troops, which responsibility he declared himself ready to incur, declining positively, though without incivility, to attend to my representation. On the 1st of this month, I addressed myself on this subject to Sir A. Wellesley, urging his consideration & expressing my apprehensions, should untoward events shut us in here & oblige us to defend the exterior positions of this place & wishing still to do what I could by consideration, I took the opportunity of having to write to the governor to ask for information on certain points, relative to the works generally, to call his mind what had already passed & to state to him that he must look to himself should circumstances appear to render it prudent for the British troops to abandon Alicant, leaving the defence of the place to the means his excellency might have & further adding, with the admiral’s entire concurrence, in his and in my own name, that we would not take any responsibility upon us for any misfortune which might happen to the place, should he persist in declining to admit a British force into the castle. Thus the business rests at present; I hope that the course of events will be such, as that there may be no necessity for our looking to be shut up here and that the army (which will be kept in readiness for a move at short notice) will be more actively & usefully employed. But should it be forced to defend itself here & that I shall not in the meanwhile have obtained by conciliatory measures, or by an order from the supreme government, what appears to me to be essential to our security & to the maintaining ourselves as long here as your lordship and the public might expect. I shall trust that the measures that may be deemed expedient to use will meet with approbation. I have to regret that I cannot receive your lordship’s commands on this head, still however in the hopes my letter in cypher may have induced you to write to me on the subject, or that I may in the meanwhile hear from Cadiz, I shall put off to the last moment the adoption of any strong measure, which nothing but the urgency of the moment would lead to pursue without your lordship’s or some other powerful sanction. WHC


PS I herewith transmit a dispatch received yesterday from the coast of Catalonia delivered to my charge by Admiral Hallowell. WHC



Quarter Master Breadenthal 2nd Italians

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 8 November 1813



In reply to your letter of the 5th ultimo, stating the urgent necessity there is for your presence in Sicily, for the purpose of arranging some family affairs. I have to inform you that really at this time it is out of my power to grant you the leave of absence you request, but that as soon as circumstances will permit it, I shall have great pleasure in attending to any application on this score, that Brigadier General Della Torre may think proper to make. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


General Della Torre

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 8 November 1813


Dear General,

Though I have not replied to your letter of the 5th instant, the subject of it has not I assure you been neglected. I have written to Lieutenant General Bentinck, transmitting him at the same time the resignation of Mr Zuanolo and acquainting him I had given him leave in the meanwhile to proceed to Sicily and when Lord William talked of giving leave to a number of officers proceeding on leave to Sicily, I am convinced he could never mean that they should leave their regiments until the campaign were at an end, and as I can by no means consider such to be the case at present, I feel myself obliged to postpone the consideration of all applications for leave.

With respect to the statement made by Lieutenant Colonel Taverge relative to the battalion under his command, I have not failed to notice the subject of it to Lord W Bentinck, in the meantime I propose to assemble a board of enquiry for the purpose of examining into and reporting upon the circumstances which may appear to have led to causing the present incomplete state of the battalion in front of necessaries, and upon the report of the Board, I shall hope to be enabled to judge the relief that can be afforded. I observe what you suggest on the subject of the half pay of these troops, which you may be assured shall have my best consideration. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Smith

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 9 November 1813



Your letter of yesterday’s date contains a very unpleasant report, what you mention seems indeed to have been a most unfortunate affair & the conduct of the Spanish corporal, who ordered the sentinel to fire extremely reprehensible. I hope that a very particular enquiry will have been made into this, and that the corporal, is as blameable as he appears from what you state to be, will for example sake be punished. There seems to me nothing more to be done, than what your judgement seems to have pointed out.

I would suggest to you only, whether you should not consult with the governor, that there should be a double post at the fountain, and some regulation published to guard against the recurrence of such mischief.

I leave it to you in talking over the subject with the governor, whether it might not be proposed to have a British sentry with the Spanish at the fountain. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant Colonel Thackeray

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 9 November 1813



Not having received from you any report of the progress made in the repair of the works under your direction in Tarragona during the last week. I request that unless you shall have sent off such report, on the receipt of this you will be pleased to do so forthwith. Referring to the requisition you have made for plane irons &c, I request previous to my forwarding such, you will inform me what they are & for what use intended. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813



Herewith I send you a copy of a General Order which it is proposed to issue relative to the making use of the present forms of returns of provisions, forage & fuel. I have to observe, that for reasons which I presume are necessary, it is required that a General receipt be given previous to any issue, while it is often at the time known, that the issue of certain articles specified in the return as having been received will be very uncertain or perhaps impossible, as has happened frequently during this campaign in the instance of straw, wine and sometimes fuel. And it appearing to me that this practise is extremely objectionable and improper, in as much as by such an acknowledgement individuals often become responsible for articles of provision &c, which never have been in their possession, often become responsible for articles of provisions &c, which never have been in their possession, that moreover the transaction is in every respect irregular and informal. I have therefore been induced to frame the accompanying General Order. Should it occur to you, that anything can be added, or any alteration made more readily or more satisfactorily to suit the object had in view, I shall be glad to receive your suggestions. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


His Excellency Lord Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813


My Lord,

I beg to submit for your lordship’s consideration the accompanying letter, addressed to me by Major Williamson commanding the artillery here. WH Clinton Lieutenant Colonel


Major Williamson

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813



I have received your letter of the 5th instant on the subject of artillery drivers and I shall take an opportunity of transmitting it to Lord Wellington for his consideration. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Doctor Brown

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813


Dear Sir

I have considered what you said to me on the subject of Staff Surgeon Campbell, when you put in my hands the proceedings of a board held at the General Hospital at Tarragona on the 29th ultimo for the purpose of examining into charges preferred by him against Mr Bonorelli Acting Apothecary. From a cursory perusal of the first part of these proceedings, I see but too much reason for apprehending that Mr Campbell not only would not be borne out in the complaint he makes against Mr Bonorelli, but that a more public investigation into the business would I am sorry to say it not be creditable to the character of Mr Campbell.

I wish that gentleman to hear & to be assured that I have refrained from going through the proceedings, because if the assumed case be compromised, I should recommend that it be terminated in that way and if so concluded I would not but feel but that Mr Campbell must be desirous the least number of persons possible should be aware of the transaction. After the opinion you have expressed of the conviction in your mind on a perusal of these proceedings, Staff Surgeon Campbell must be in himself obliged to you, for your consideration and forbearance, as the head of the medical staff in not pressing a further investigation from a wish on my part too that a greater publicity should not be given to the business to advise that it should be compromised & I would recommend that Staff Surgeon Campbell should see the thing in the same light, that he should request the release from arrest of Mr Bonorelli, not think it by any means derogatory to his character to acknowledge in your presence and that of Dr Porteus and Mr Benville that his conduct towards that the latter gentleman had been hasty & unjustifiable, it being previously to be clearly understood that Mr Benorelli will consider himself satisfied with such statements on the part of Mr Campbell, and that Mr Bonorelli shall not on his part require or ask for any further examination of the circumstances, by which he may consider himself to have been aggrieved. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Mr Zehnphenning

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813



I have to acknowledge your no. 61 dated from Vic of the 2nd instant. We have heard the report of Suchet’s orders for marching so long, that had I not other reasons to doubt his having such an order, I should much doubt it, at least that he has no unconditional instructions to leave.

I observe what you say about Roses, present circumstances would render such an attempt in my opinion very wild. You mention the First Army to occupy the same position as yesterday. To this hour I know not what is the position of that army; it would be very interesting to me to know this, if you can let me have the information, I shall be obliged to you. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lieutenant General Calvert

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 10 November 1813



I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th September last, in answer to one which had been addressed to you by Lord W Bentinck on the 20th July on the subject of certain letters of Major General Lambert[162] & Colonel Adams. In response to what you say I have to observe to you that no part of this correspondence has been kept in my possession and Major General Donkin having obtained Lord W Bentinck’s leave in September last to proceed to England & Colonel Adam having previous to the receipt of your letter also sailed for England for the recovery of the severe wound he received on the 13th September. It has not been in my power to take any steps in the business to which your letter refers & which I presume will be settled at home. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Anders

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 11 November 1813



That there be no risks of my expressing myself differently from what I intend, I write to you in English and must request you to have the subject of the letter translated to you.

I have first to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant containing a report of the progress made on the works under your directing during the last weeks. I am sorry to observe that although without any imputation of want of zeal or activity on your part, or on those employed under you, in a general view, but little has been done during the time, and that the application I have made to obtain for your assistance has not been effectual.

Referring now to the works as specified to be in progress, I have first to observe in respect to what you say of the bastion and curtain of Pilatto, that I not aware of having given Captain Gormans any instructions whatever on this head. I request therefore you will acquaint me what was understood to be my instructions, & that in the meanwhile, you will direct the completion of the Ramblau to be made in the accustomed way and as would have been, had there been no understanding (mistaken certainly) of instructions from me. I recollect indeed having one day asked Captain Gormans who is prevented from filling in the interior of the parapet from want of baskets (whether a proportion of the small stones near at hand might not be employed in part in lieu of earth, but most undoubtedly I gave him no instructions to do, what at the time he pointed out as objectionable. I have next to remark relative to the Fort de la Oveo, in speaking of which you mention the zeal of Mr St Servie of the Regiment of Chinchilla, who you state to have the direction of that works. In reference to which, I beg to observe that I was not till now aware that any Spanish officer had been employed under you. This work in particular I had imagined had been under the superintendence of Captain Gormans, I have to request therefore that you will let me know from what time and by whose authority Mr St Servie has been serving as an engineer, and that you will at the same time pleased to report to me what may be the number of officers who have been employed as acting engineers on the works under your direction.

I am glad to observe what you say of the work at St Geronimo & La Cruz. I will again see what can be done on the score of aid of carts, so that if possible you may not be checked for want of sand and water when you have lime. As to the battery at the house called Sigura, I cannot but express my surprise that that has not been long ago finished, and I apprehend much more has been done there, than I can have had any idea of. That particular point is no doubt an interesting one in the position, but I was not prepared to have expected so much labour to be necessary to have made the battery, as I had understood to be the intention. I observe what you say relative to work done at the Oliva and am sorry that any necessary work should have been delayed in the way you describe, certainly without any fault of yours. In respect to the cistern, and the want of powder you complain of, I think that part of the work had better be suspended until I shall have had the opportunity of conversing with you on the spot. In regard to baskets, the want of which you complain of, I can only say I have acquainted the governor that 50 per week could be furnished by this place, and no doubt as many from Villa Nueva. Lieutenant Colonel Thackeray necessarily requires a considerable number for the work he has to do & cannot take from his own therefore, but I hope the governor in consideration for the expense the British government are at in paying for these articles and others for the rest of the works, will make an exertion to see that that part under your direction is furnished with every material free of expense to our government. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major General Smith

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 12 November 1813



It appears highly necessary that the sentry who fired without any order be exemplary punished, this sort of thing cannot be admitted, or in such a crowded place as Tarragona, continual disorders will be occurring. I observe what you say about the proceedings of the repairs of the works at Tarragona; I have no doubt but that the troops have worked well. I am sorry materials have been wanting. I am apprehensive too, that the means of carriage of sand and water have failed at the works east of the town. I wish you would be so good to ask Mr Daniell, if he can by any means lend a little aid in this respect. I am anxious to avail ourselves of the present fine weather to get the works as forwarded as possible. Relative to what you say in your letter of the 9th respecting Brigadier General Della Torre & have to acquaint you that I desired Lieutenant Colonel A’court to tell him to have the representation made by Lieutenant Colonel Savarge Of the 3rd Italian Regiment examined by a board of the field officers of the 1st and 2nd Regiments intending upon the proceedings of that to decide what may appear to me to be proper to do on this occasion. You may rely upon it, I shall be disposed to do all I can, upon a consideration of all circumstances to render efficient a battalion, which it must be acknowledged had distinguished itself during the whole campaign by its good order & by the uniform cheerfulness shown in the execution of the duties it has had to perform. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Anders

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 12 November 1813



In reference to your letter of the 10th instant I have to request that previous to directing any further issue of entrenching tools, you will please to let me know, what number of those originally offered to Colonel Catanelli from the engineer stores may be still forthcoming and in a useful state. I likewise request you will let me know whether as the work you have now under execution must be daily diminishing, it may in your opinion be requisite that the original number of entrenching tools issued be now completed. I mention this to you, it being desirable that the wear of these articles be economised as much as the service will properly permit & I would therefore make the query to you, whether if you should consider a fresh supply of entrenching absolutely necessary. You might not be of opinion, considering how much less stock you must now necessarily have, than at the commencement, a smaller issue than that you have asked for might not answer the purpose. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Vilafranca [del Penedes], 12 November 1813



I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant with its enclosures, one of which is an original, I herewith return to you. I am sorry it is not in my power to obtain any reduction of the time required for your quarantine. Whenever that time shall have expired, you will be landed at Tarragona at which place or at Torredembarra where Brigadier General Boston is, I wish you to remain for the present, being desirous not to not to bring a greater addition to the staff to this place already so much crowded with Spanish troops, and with our cavalry. I probably shall ere long be called to Tarragona for a short time when I shall be glad of the opportunity of making your acquaintances. WH Clinton Lieutenant General



Mr Daniell


Vilafranca [del Penedes] 13 November 1813



I request you will let me know what is the state of the military chest, and what sum is required to make the monthly issues to the army according to the present payment of it. I also request that you will let me know whether you have advice of the probable arrival of any supply to the chest, and what steps you may have taken since I left Tarragona for obtaining such supply. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Captain Del Carnette, Sicilian Staff


CJ Zehnphenning

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 13 November 1813



I have this day received your letter from no. 63 dated from Igualada. I had hoped ere this to have heard from you in the reply to the letter I addressed to you on the 10th instant.

In reply to this, I request you will let me know, what are the positions actually occupied by the First Spanish Army.

The news you have sent me is forming part, we had rumoured from Barcelona. If all founded, we have reason to hope, the game is up in Germany.

The report about Soult I doubt, he would hardly venture to leave the frontier so open to Lord Wellington’s powerful army. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


PS I wish to mention to you that your number 62, if you ever sent it off, has not been received by me.


Mr C J Zehnphenning

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 16 November 1813



I have received your letter no 62 from Igualada, I have already acknowledged it to you then. In reference to what you say of Soult’s army coming this way, I request you will not fail to let me have any more information you can of that supposed move. I can hardly give credit to it, for he has an immense army watching his motions. Mr Peddie has mentioned to me, that you may possibly be able to negotiate bills for money in England at the exchange; I wish you let me know whether the sum be and to what amount of it can be done, I have no doubt our Deputy Commissary General would grant bills as far as for 3 or even 400,000 dollars. I request to hear from you on this, and other subjects at an early opportunity. WH Clinton, Lieutenant General


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 16 November 1813



I have your letter of the 11th instant, returning me the prepared General Order on the subject of provision returns. I am sorry to see the business served by you in the light in which I am given by your letter to understand it is. The expressions you have made use of, you must allow me to say are rather coarse and such as the mode of my communicating with you on this occasion, might alone to have prevented, if other circumstances had not operated to make a more measured style of addressing yourself. The General Order intended to be issued is with a view to prevent me & all individuals from being made responsible for what they even have had in their possession without handing items in. On the other issue, that of being required as you state to be your opinion of the interpretation likely to be given to this prepared public document. It is not for me to enter into a discussion with you, whether it is or is not necessary to endeavour to correct a glaring impropriety.

I had however most certainly in this instance wished to have taken you hand in hand with me, so that this remains what to me appeared necessary, might have the benefit of your suggestions in determining the mode finally to be adopted to carry it into effect. I should have been glad my communication had been received with greater liberality and I may add that I think the letter I addressed to you on this occasion ought to have ensured a very different reply to that you have thought proper to give.

Without entering at present into details there are nevertheless one or two more points in your letter which I shall notice, and first as to what you say of the provision return being found by a board of commissariat officers & approved by the Lords of the Treasury which I perfectly understand but I am by no means understand that the Lords of my Treasury or any other lords in the universe, have a right to call on individuals previously to acknowledge the receipt of articles which are never afterwards delivered to them.

The four of the returns may be excellent, but the mode of granting a previous general receipt seems to be highly objectionable & I must be of opinion ought to be remedied. In the third paragraph of your letter you say :


‘If it so happens that persons do not get the value of their slips, it does not follow that individuals of the commissariat can be benefitted by it &c &c’.


In reply to which I must observe that this appears to me to be creating a question, not one word about which transpires in the proposed General Order.

In reference to what you observe in another paragraph namely that ‘If the return is filled up for articles which may or may not be at the time in the magazines, the person who does it is satisfied to have his slips made good or not, and it is with him only that this point rests, for he is not forced to give a return for what he is not likely to receive.’

I have to remark that assuredly in most cases, whose returns are filled up, the individuals expect, if not from the magazines, at least by means of these slips to obtain the articles in the places where they may be as frequently happens in the instance of wine and straw, otherwise they would not return for such articles, but it is also to be remarked that those who have to write out these returns for battalions or detachments often cannot be aware, that certain articles will not be forthcoming when they send in these returns, a march intervening, or accidents happening to render impossible the issuing of such articles the same being then nevertheless in the usual course of delivery from the magazines & for the due receipt of which they shall have signed and therefore remain answerable.

I cannot help also adverting to the paragraph of your letter, in the concluding part of which you say in reference to the returning of slips to the issuing commissary, that you apprehend that ‘few people for a few pounds of straw would take the trouble of going to the issuing office to have his returns rectified, although a General Order may direct him so to do’. To which I must be permitted to observe to you, that it is not a few pounds of straw, or a few pints of wine, to which I am writing to draw the attention of those concerned, but that the public may not have a right to call upon individuals to account for thousands of pounds of straw, and very large quantities of wine. As for instance I have now before me a statement of the omissions there have been in the issues of certain articles which have occurred (unavoidably no doubt) in one battalion only the 81st Regiment since the commencement of the present campaign for the due receipts have been passed as required & those who signed them have therefore made themselves accountable. The amount of such more issues on the receipts thus granted, appearing in this case to be in the article of straw alone above eleven thousand pounds weight, and of wine about five hundred gallons.

It is therefore with a view to such great occasion of issues as this, and not to the pitiful consideration of a few pints of wine, or a few pounds of straw, that I have been induced to take the trouble of framing to be issued General Order, or entering upon the discussion of the subject. In reference to the last sentence of the paragraph I am now speaking of, it behoves me to remark, that although it be possible that some individuals who make up the return in question for themselves, or a few other persons only, may occasionally omit to pay due attention to the proposed regulation; it is nevertheless to be presumed that officers commanding battalions, corps & detachments will deem it incumbent on them to see that a General Order shall not be treated with the indifference you seem to think so probable. Finally in the last concluding paragraph but one of your letter, you state that in the preamble of the proposed order, there is a very great error, for that provisions have been issued equal to the rations, and that besides there are great deficiencies from natural causes &c.

In reference to all which I have to observe that I cannot discover the error of which you speak, for to me it appears that the preamble in question does not refer at all to any supposed surplus in the public magazines as arising from these issues, but goes purely to the pointing out the impropriety of an individual being called upon previously to sign for what he may not afterwards claim and taking the whole army into view to demonstrate that in consequence of a compliance with the form of provisions and forage rations now in use, an acknowledgement has thus been improperly given by individuals for the receipt of an immense quantity of provisions and forage, which never has been issued to them, the probable correctness of which statement is I think made manifest by what has occurred in the instance of the 81st Regiment. WH Clinton Lieutenant General



To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 17 November


On the 11th instant my dear brother, I wrote to you by Lt Colonel Blake[163], who was leaving then for England, having written to you before on the 19th October & to you under cover to Lord F[itzroy] Somerset. I trust all this will have reached you safe and will have found you well. I have reason to suppose you are now in the peninsula, your letter of the 7th ultimo hsaving informed me you were waiting an opportunity only. I was sorry to find you had given yourself so little respite, and I cannot be secure that you will lay yourself up again and be forced to return home, while by staying a little longer you might have laid in a stack of health. Long ere that you will have heard of Bentinck’s departure & my being again his locum tenens [second in command].  On every account I should have gladly avoided this. He left us at a very awkward moment, there was no final plan of operations. Our means in every particular were very scarcity and the shutting of the port of Gibraltar & latterly of Cadiz still more had added to our embarrase[ment]. Our numbers appear great, but Sir John Murray’s letter has explained what the Spanish troops are and there are now at present in such a miserable state, thus when Sir John was here rather scarce. Our force thus reduced to British & Sicilians what is it?  The latter are by no means ill looking, but their prowess in the field is yet to be tried. At all points, against the good troops Suchet still has, it cannot be expected they could stand. Well there there is the First Spanish Army of about 8,000 troops capable of moving. They are commanded by a man, who hitherto has done nothing but feed his army, he has excellent men under him. Colonels Easter & Munro, but himself has shown no enterprise and he is obliged to look so narrowly to his communications with the fertile country, from where he feeds his army, though no dependence can be had in any exertions to be made by him. At present it is confidently said Suchet has moved with a considerable part of his force towards Gerona, having 10,000 only hereabouts. With this understanding I am going to propose to General Copons to straighten them and if possible to drive them into Barcelona, but unless he can assist me with 5,000 men in the operation I shall not be able to do anything. As long as Suchet remains à porter to protect Barcelona, we must look to his obliging us to give up anything like a blockade of it, and at this season the maintaining the army on the other side the Llobregat, with the long line of communication with Tarragona & the paucity of commissaries means we are alone well on a difficult course. If we add to this the low state of our military chest, which obliges me at present to stop all payments to the troops, whatever our situation here is not so promising. I have written in every direction to represent this, hitherto no relief has been forwarded. The worst of having anything to do with the army is, that it is neglected by all. It has all the disadvantage of belonging to Lord Wellington without any of the circumstances, which renders service there desirable. I wrote Calvert once when I found I was to be left here, that I by no means wished to be the locum tenens and that I hoped to be relieved. On the care of my health I told him it was requisite. I can get on commanding a division, but the fatigue of body and mind requisite in anyone in chief command would in the long run knock me up. I am expecting therefore to see someone arrive here to take the command from me. Were my health better and the circumstances of the command different from what they are, I should not be pleased to see myself a second time superseded. I have before me your letters 33 to 37 inclusive, I have generally answered them in my letter of the 4th from hence. The principal tenor of them, poor aunt’s illness, throws a gloom over them all. I dread when I have to hear, the reason, the repeated attacks she has had & her advanced age all are against her and yet I have a hope she may possibly rally. I expect in a week’s time to receive a courier from Lord Wellington, and by him to hear account of you and from England. A courier goes from our headquarters usually twice in the month. Lord W[ellington] rarely writes more than once a month. Possibly events may occasion our communication to be quicker, pray write as often as you can. I should have been glad to have you to England this autumn, but unless peace send us all home, it seems likely that I should be here, all next autumn. What glorious news from Germany, we have papers as late as 30th from Paris, in case you have them not, I will endeavour to send you such as contain the latest news. We hear, that the papers of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd instance from Paris, contains still more discouraging accounts, but we have not been able to get hold of these. Again let me say, do not fail to let me hear from you when you can. I have not had any attack of my complaint lately, but it gives me so little warning, that I never feel secure. In general health I am as well as ever, you shall hear from me by every courier, as long as I am in the way of sending couriers. I have no letter from Louisa since the 31st of August, ever affectionately yours, WHC


No 8

Lord Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 18 November 1813


My Lord!

I have delayed the departure of the usual courier a few days, imagining that I might be able to acquaint your lordship of some decided movement made by the enemy. Everything for the last week had the appearance of a retrograde. Nevertheless although certainly his line of posts on the Llobregat have been considerably diminished, he still remains in the vicinity of Barcelona with a considerable force, nor can I ascertain that to this hour a detachment of any magnitude has as yet proceeded to the French frontiers.

In the meanwhile this army has maintained the same position as when I last had the honour to address your lordship. The repairs of the walls of Tarragona favoured by the good weather have been considerably advanced and trust if there be ten days more of such weather, the place may then be considered to be secure and I may be enabled to withdraw the 4 battalions still employed in the repair of the fortifications.

I have not failed to communicate to General Copons, extracts from your lordship’s letter of the 26th October which related to His Excellency and to the view your lordship had taken of the mutual support that might be looked for from the co-operation of the 1st Spanish Army and that at present under my command.

In reply, the general has sent me some suggestions, the substance of which are, viz.

1st That this army may act offensively in conjunction with his in endeavouring to force Suchet to retire.

2nd That if these be reasons why the whole of this force should not be pushed forward, that then 5,000 men be detached to act in immediate co-operation with the 1st Army.

3rd That if it be judged inexpedient to preserve this last measure, then that a plan be determined on for giving mutual assistance in case of the enemy attacking either army.

With a view of clearly explaining to General Copons my opinion of the suggestions he has offered, I propose to send an officer to his head quarters instantly. With respect to his first proposition I apprehend that as long as Marshal Suchet maintains himself in force within a few days march of Barcelona, that no move with the force ere take into the field, joined to that which is disposable of the 1st Army would avail anything, for that whenever they should move against us in earnest, we must either fall back, or risk a general action, which with an army composed as this is, would I presume not be advisable, while on the other hand a retreat would have a bad appearance, and probably might materially affect the public feeling in this province.

Should Suchet retire to a distance, having a force of 10 or 15,000 men only in the vicinity of Barcelona, then indeed it might be well to make every possible exertion to strengthen the resources of this force, and this measure I mean to propose to General Copons in lieu of his first suggestion.

In respect to his second, should Suchet remain as appears at present not impossible in position within a few days march of Barcelona, I do not see any objection to detaching General Sarsfield’s Division of Spanish troops to act closely in an operation with General Copons provided however that it be clearly understood that the Captain General will answer for the subsistence of these troops so long as they be acting with him, for I know it will be out of General Ellio’s power to feed the division at such a distance from its depot.

The last proposition of General Copons is self-evident, and I think a plan may be determined on between us to render the assistance to be materially given in case of attack on either force most efficacious.

Since writing to your lordship I have received a letter from General Ellio dated the 16th instant in reply to mine relative to the expediency of ensuring a supply of two months provisions in Tarragona for the division of General Sarsfield, respecting which General Ellio promises me to give immediate directions but I am sorry to observe that the general in speaking of the communication across the Ebro, says that the tete de pont had not been begun, or would be commenced until the bridge should be completed, which he expected it would be in 8 days. I shall now urge General Ellio to lose no time in completing the work intended to cover the bridge, the plan of which we agreed upon soon after I saw him in September at Tarragona and at his particular request, I spared him from entrenching tools to enable him, as I understood, forthwith to proceed with the work.

Referring to General Ellio’s letter, I beg to represent to your lordship that he has urged me to furnish him from the British stores four hundred weight of gunpowder, and a supply of shot for the four, 12 pounders, sent him for the siege of Morella, of which he now proposes to employ against Pensicola. I am not yet aware whether the powder can be spared, the shot I have are [in movement?]. But as General Ellio tells me, that the powder shall be repaid to us from the depot at Cartagena, I shall not hesitate to give the general the supply provided it can be done without risk of our wanting it immediately.

General Ellio however at the same time remarks, that the issue of the powder from the magazines at Cartagena, depend on your lordship. I determined then that the general may have authority to receive at least the quantity necessary to replenish our stores, and that sanction be likewise given for the issuing from the depot at Cathagena, such number of entrenching tools as the chief engineer of this army may require, it being understood that at that place there is a considerable quantity of such stores. I conclude General Ellio will report specially to your lordship, his intention of proceeding against Pensicola.

I herewith transmit to your lordship the heads of intelligence received of the enemy’s movements from the 9th to the 17th instant, as likewise a statement of General Decaen’s[164] supposed force. I request likewise to show to your lordship, that by a letter from Mr Zehnphenning our British military agent dated Igualada 12th instant, I am informed that intelligence had been received from Pepignan that Soult with the greater part of his army had been ordered to this province and that he was already in march. I do not mention the report as believing it, but purely that your lordship, who is best able to judge of such information, may be aware of what is given out in this theatre. WH Clinton Lieutenant General


Lord Wellington

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 18 November 1813


My Lord!

The accompanying letter from Lieutenant General Sir John Murray, I received some days since, with a request it might be forwarded to your lordship.

I beg your lordship will permit me to repeat to you the distressed state, our commissariat is likely to be in for want of money to carry on the service. There is I understand in the military chest not more than will suffice for about 15 days expenditure. I have written passingly on this subject to Sicily, but from thence I apprehend we cannot look for the whole supply necessary for this army, and considering that 4 days in the week the troops are rationed with salt provisions and that no pay being issued, vegetables cannot be purchased, it is to be feared therefore if this suspension of pay be protracted, the men will become sickly. W H Clinton Lieutenant General


Major Gillman, 81st Regiment[165]

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 22 November 1813



In reply to your letter of the 21st ultimo, I have to acquaint you that the lieutenant general accedes to your wishes in permitting the Deputy Commissary General to give you a bill on England for the amount of your batt and forage money now in due course of payment and your regimental subsistence up to the 24 November 1813. Enclosed I return your receipt. I remain Sir, your most obedient servant H B Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


W Salter Esq

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 22 November 1813



The lieutenant general commanding has directed that Major Gillman 81st Regiment may receive his regimental subsistence up to the 24 November 1813.

In granting the same to Major Gillman it is to be clearly understood that the amount he will have to receive on account of his regimental pay and his batt and forage will be added together, and the commanding general will give him a draft for the amount on England. I remain sir, your most obedient servant W B Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary


Mr Daniell

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 22 November 1813


In consequence of Major Gillman of the 81st Regiment being about to return to England on account of bad health, the Lt General commanding is pleased to direct that an order on England may be given to the major for the amount of his batt & forage and his regimental subsistence from the 25 September to the 24 November 1813.

The latter he will of course arrange with the Paymaster General. It is only to be understood that he can receive no money from the military chest. I remain Sir, your obedient servant WB Kersterman Assistant Military Secretary



To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 28 November 1813


I have now to acknowledge your letters 38 to 42 inclusive, also 32, which by some strange mistake had been travelling about until the 23rd instant before it reached me. Before I say anything upon other matters, I will shortly advert to the contents of their letters, no 37 inclusive I acknowledged in no 43, went off from here on the 17th your letter 32 I cannot make out why so long on the wayit seems to have gone to London. I was a very long time without hearing from you, in consequence, and when you wrote that letter poor aunt was in good health, & tolerable spirits, what it seems you have since seen. Chester seems to be a very extraordinary person, feelings I could not think him to be possessed of. Poor Stevenson, it was very like him to have had the kind intention you mention towards us almost afraid he is certainly infatuated. Accustomed as he has of late years been to live on the fat of the land, service would not suit him. I quite agree with you in what you say of our affair of the 13th September at Ordal, that post was too far from the main body, alike we had too few or too many there, I wrote him ordering General Adam then at [unreadable]. I had proposed to B[entinck] to march so as to have been with him by 5. But he had told me, by way of causing me who had been commander, I believe not to march till 6. Adam had no time to make any disposition, but at all events, I don’t think his posts were sufficiently thrown forward in such a country he had no reason to fear cavalry.  Adam is a serious loss to this army, being a good practical as well as theoretical officer. I do not see that any particular occurrence about Frederick Bentinck, except that in the charge by one of his squadrons on the 13th he rode at the head and charged coup de sabre with the French General Meyer who was at one time a prisoner in his hands. This charge was certainly very apropos, as well as that made on the main road by the Brunswick Hussars. It was a critical moment, there are few occasions in which something might not be done or better done and now the thing is passed ere since that, many claims from the major seat of the war. It was a great treasure remain most apropos as the great news reached us., how infinitely beyond all calculation the finish has been. Surely this man must be abandoned by the French, if the allies can but keep the ball, the game is safe. I see the opportunity the Rhine being the bounds of this advance and if so Bonaparte will end up in England, but the most to disunite or to sew the seeds of departure. In 39 you talk of sending over clothes for me. Muequenzas in the Reale? Have shops in abundance, but the money you had proposed to transmit, they are not received. You think little ere you think it.  In your latest letter you think it probable the army might be reinforced from your side, but I do not see this likely. Anyone coming must bring the means of subsistence with them & the means of carrying it about with it. If however Suchet should retreat, in which the country opens and means might be found for the subsistence of a larger force. I hope Lord Wellington does not have sight of us. If he puts the army in winter quarters, Suchet will make every possible exertion to equip his force and act vigorously upon our flank or rear when we shall have nothing for it but to put our backs against Tarragona & there await the treaty but of this more over. Thanks for the measures taken you advert in 39 as intended to cause and actually said in 40. Alas there is little of this arrangement made. If I can I will send you our means correctly made out. Whittingham by right should command the 2nd Division, but he has been taken to the cavalry and I believe a Colonel Cabanos is to command. However this 2nd Division except at Castalla has never been up with us. If I am doomed to remain any time in command, I shall make some changes. Roche 2nd Army Canaria & Elinchelle will move however for Valencia and it is proposed to detach 2 battalions of the 2nd Division to serve with the 1st Army and to be stationed at Igualada & Esparraguerra to cover the road leading to Llerida, part of which runs through the defile. Suchet has lately received a reinforcementof 2,000 infantry & 4,000 more are on march. These placed in his old battalions which make him numerical considerably superior to us and we must be forced to a strict defence. It appears to me that with the force composed as ours is, than offensive measures, against such numbers as but of the greater force, thus the grand plan should be to prevent the enemy from penetrating to the Ebro to retire or withdraw the garrisons on the Ebro and in Valencia. The line of the Llobregat offers many advantages to the enemy, but it also has some for us. At the approaching season the enemy’s operations must be confined to the main road so that neither cavalry or cannon can approach this place but by the main routes of Barcelona from here to Molins de Rei. Along this line I presume to set such impediments to him, as shall take him days to secure. A road thus lies open to him to go on the Ebro near Llerida by passing Igualada but either side there are some very strong passes, defensible by a few men. My intention then is to send 2 battalions to the 1st Army (commanded by General Copons) with which a medium force he may be able to if not stop at least to render very difficult any operations of the enemy on that side and should the enemy determine to move in force on that side he will have 3,000 in the front, with 13,000 on the right flank with near 15,000 on the left. While he leads on the Tarragona road so must give that number under the walls of Tarragona to go by. And he then will be followed by the active flying corps of the 1st Army.

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 3 December

I meant to finish this at Tarragona, where I wished to go to see the state of the works that I might report to Lord Wellington. I set off from here at 12 on the 30th giving all the time to get information I need of the enemy’s movements but which appears probable and yet I had scarcely set foot in Tarragona, then I received a request from Lord Bentinck who I had left here on the 30th (though the French were moving), had driven in his advanced pickets & were marching entirely on Vilafranca [del Penedes]. Of course, I returned instantly & at half past 7pm the 1st I got here. Found the enemy had stood here but a few hours and had as quick retired. Skirmishing with their videttes, we received 3 casualties, these were all the casualties. It was unfortunate that after confining myself 5 weeks to the spot, the enemy should come on precisely the day I left it. I had besides seeing the works particular business at Tarragona but now I am determined to stay at the allied posts, for so it is. I am expecting to hear if a relief comes to me, I shall be glad to hail my successor. In general, health I never was better, I am even grown fat or stout, but whatever the complaint is, it annoys me sadly at times, thus were you to see me, you would soon pity me for my looks and now appearance my dear brother, for I have been writing all night to get through the dispatch to Lord Wellington, which I have now to copy again and then I must send a line to Calvert. If you ask me what you think the enemy will do on this side, I say, I think if Suchet be not relieved, he will not assault these works beyond the Llobregat except as on the 1st to drive us for a few hours from here, but if uninformed which we hear him to be, he will attempt to relieve Lerida, I trust Lord W[ellington] has his eye on this. I had one line of your division marching now against Lerida, in three weeks more Suchet would be out of Catalonia. Every day now I receive reports of new arrivals, I will not answer for the truth of my reporters, on the other hand, all reports agree in his being destroying guns at Barcelona, therein with the French half of their warfare is imposition & demonstration, these are terms that every French officer must learn well to understand, if he means to be a general. I maintain what the enemy are intending & seeing at all events no hope of being able to act offensively, I shall throw as many impediments in the enemy’s way as I can. When once the rains fall he can approach me here by the main road which I have already two abbatis and I will have at least two more, ere ten days are passed. On my right and in front is a rocky broken country, by which infantry alone can come, cavalry only one by one & a dreadful road. On my left and in front they can approach merely from Martorell & that by a bad road easily broken, here also cannon cannot come. By the main road therefore, at any season, can the three arms move, that the road lies along the Barranca & is at all times bad. My present intention is whenever the tedious repairs of Tarragona be at an end & assemble here at V[illa] Nueva & Vendrell, near 15,000 men & to pass the winter here or at V[illa] Nueva. This of course if Suchet does not resume the offensive; if he can in force I must go back to Tarragona & if he be able to shut me in with the 17 or 18,000 I shall then have, I shall soon be in a scrape, unless Lord W[ellington] can relieve me. I found the army so far advanced, otherwise I think I should have hesitated, in moving beyond Tortosa, or least I should have held Tarragona as our outpost only. Thus it is certain that had we sat down before Tortosa in August as intended, one half the army would have been in the hospital. And now God bless you my dear brother, I have a letter from Bentinck of the 6th, nothing very new. I believe he has enough to do in Sicily, he never should have left it, Murray is arrived at Valencia, he writes me word he knows nothing about himself. If tried, I cannot imagine how he will be able to escape censure on the loss of his guns, stores & provisions. It was a disgraceful business. I am sorry to see Sir H[arry] Burrard[166] gone, he is a sad loss to his poor family. Believe me sincerely, ever affectionately yours, WH Clinton.



To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 10 December 1813


I have received a letter from poor old Barrat Fielding, which I send to you in the hope you may be able to serve the young man if you see no objection.  We are acquainted with his headmaster and may pray at least introduce the young man as the nephew of an old army surgeon by whose industry & exertions dear brother have been put forward in the world. The old mule has certainly merit & abilities,  though he may not be the pleasantest man in society, he will feel much obliged by your interference in favour of his nephew and you an disposition to befriend the old gentleman will I know induce you to make the application in favour of his nephew. Since I wrote to you on the [blank] ultimo the French have paid us a visit (on the 1st instant) but it was merely a reconnaissance & after staying a few hours they went off again in a great hurry. I had gone on the previous day that I might have the whole of the 1st to look at the works at Tarragona, which I had not seen since I left it in October during the six weeks I had not been three mile to the rear of this place & presently on this day Suchet made his reconnaissance. I had left my instructions in case of attack with General Sarsfield & Lord F Bentinck not to commit themselves & my instructions were well adhered to but I forgot I wrote to you on the [blank] & told you all about this. I am so bothered that I grow dreadfully forgetful, well then to relate what has occurred here. On the 7th  reports came in from various quarters that the enemy was moving off in a considerable body from Barcelona. As this had been often correct & that a force had often gone & returned, I did not pay much attention but on the following day however General Copons sent me word he had advanced a considerable movement, to be marching on the bridge at Hostalric,


11 December

As I was writing this came your letter last night dated the [blank] from [blank]. I am sorry to find you appear not to have received any of my late letters which is gone direct, I have regularly enclosed to Lord F[itzroy] Somerset. This appears to me very strange. Hence forward I shall instruct to Pakenham, who I have reason to suppose will forward them regularly to you. Surely Lord F might have had the civility to have shown me some trifling attention & to have acknowledged the receipt of my letters, which he has not done on one solitary instance, I do not understand this sort of demeanour. I did not think it was asking any great favour that my letters to you should pass through his hands. The following is a list of letters sent to you, viz October 18 (no.39) November 4 (no.41), November 17 (no.43), December 3 (no.44) – number 40 dated 24 October I sent by Invincible to England, not knowing then of your return to Spain and rather think I gave to Lieutenant Colonel Blake of the 20th Dragoons returning by Passages to England, the latter was dated the 11 November, let me know what of them you receive. I send you a letter which came in the bag from yourself by the commissariat but to continue circumstances here. This apparent retrograde of the enemy seems again to turn out to be nothing real, they seem to have sent a number of guns to the rear, probably the superfluous of the immense depot of Barcelona, but the infantry have halted at Sant Celoni, two day’s march from Barcelona & probably will again return with cavalry. I was strongly inclined to think Suchet was persuaded to resume the offensive & that he is in the meanwhile working to deceive me, to lull me into security. I hope Lord W[ellington] will be able to strengthen us in this quarter, for if he be forced in a defensive, he cannot detach here to draw off the enemy’s attention, but must go to the wall & Suchet will force us under the walls of Tarragona & despite of us, relieve Tortosa &c. I have endeavoured to show this to Lord W[ellington], anxious, I have been far from pleasing on this side. I certainly wish they would not have placed in such a scrape, out of which I see no escaping with credit, for it will not be easy for me to say, I did not bring the army into it. I found it commited for so it was, the moment it passed the Ebro. At present Suchet I imagine has now a force with which to render some very grand operation, I am only speaking supposing him to receive reinforcement. I think it not improbable now that we can do anything of movement, he still seems to make up his number, for the loss he will have sustained by detachments of elite men, which I have no doubt have been sent to Soult’s army. In my former letters, I have told you the line we occupy, I sent you also a copy of our line of battle, if so it can be called. We seem a good round number in appearance, but in reality few indeed. The day before yesterday in the afternoon I received intelligence the enemy were at Begues on my right in force about 300 & more arriving. I see this side they had brought a column on the 1st which had turned this place completely, I was therefore, put on the alert by this & expected another movement, none however took place and the right passing over [Yacut?] I continue myself with the precautions taken and ordered the troops back. I had brought us up from Valencia, at 11am yesterday however I was told the enemy were advancing, where we understand if the case proved to be there from Begues, in fact the enemy had turned to his right & by a mountain path proceeded during the night to the pass of Ordal, where he hid himself, waiting the arrival of our cavalry patrols on the Barcelona road, this went on as usual, but in consequence of having been put on the alert by the intelligence of the proceeding enemy, it was stronger than usual. The officer appears to have been however remiss in leaving nothing to watch his flank, where the enemy lay concealed & so turning quietly to the building by the roadside in which the horses were usually put by unbridled as usual, when the enemy ran in & circled the whole, every man and horse having been taken except 2 videttes, who alarmed by the firing escaped through the woods. By this unlucky accident we have lost 31 men and horses from our diminutive force of cavalry. We have not above 500 sabres in all, the enemy had 2,000 in the field on the 1st, the regiments in detachments they have here are the cuirassiers, 24th Dragoons, 4th & 12th Hussars, and a detachment of Westphalian cavalry. The accompanying scrawl of a sketch may serve to show you in part our position. My right is secure against anything but infantry, cavalry can come by the Sant Sadurni road, but it is a very indifferent road. Only the main road alone from Molins de Rei can be deemed worse. Once I have made such impediment of abbatis that an army would be taken half a night in getting cannon through them. I have now before me your letters 39 to 42, which I have before acknowledged but which I speak upon again shortly about to. I again thank you for the map of the seat of war, which was really a great. I wish as you hint in 39 that Lord Wellington had been enabled to have taken up a strong defensive position where he has so & had been enabled to come this way. Thanks for the newspapers you enclosed in no. 40 from Passages & for all the interesting news in these letters, the several you sent me from Augusta arrived very safe. In your letter no. 40 you tell me Lord F Somerset had told you he had received a letter from me a few days before & had sent it to England, this must have been my letter of the 18th October, no. 39. Thanks for telling me all the interesting news of C Slemans in no. 41, you cannot imagine what a time it was ere I heard of the fall of Pamplona. The first & only official news I have had come from Sir H Wellesley dated Cadiz 12th November. What you say of having conversed with Lord W[ellington] on the affairs here about is very satisfactory, I hope I may be relieved in this command, I have not sufficient confidence to command. Old Calvert has not adverted in one of his letters to anything I had said to him on the subject of being relieved. I hear a report that Picton is coming; but why not tell me so. He ought to know, I should rejoice to be relieved but the old boy either does not write at all, or will not even glance at my being in command, I wish he had a years experience of such service. In general health I am well, can go through exercise & bear fatigue well, but I am still very unfit on the score of health, to be here. Every exertion or hurry brings on a paroxysm more or less violent. I am taking large doses of magnetia at present and at times I fancy it does me good. In September I had a very severe attack, which made me apprehend, I never have gone to the rear, but since that time I have not had anything like the paroxysm, though frequently liable to slight relapses. The medical people I have spoken to here, do not know what to pronounce it to be, a clever man, under whose care I have principally been, calls it spasmodic affliction, but this must have a cause. If Picton[167] does come here and then I can get away with any decency, I shall be induced to go home. This should (as you give me some hope) any more interesting service offer, I should have no objection to going on it. I have heard a hint of something, but as Bentinck knows my ailings, I conclude he will not think it one on the occasion. Murray is arrived at Valencia, he writes me word on the 7th instant he did not know then what was to be done in his case.

I find I have made a mistake and that I have to beg Lord F Somerset pardon, in that he had sent you my letter of the 4th November (no. 41). What a much finer climate this must be than where you are. We have not had one day of complete rain since I came here, in October. The weather is cold & perishes us, but fine beyond anything I could form an idea of. A man ought in such a climate to live forever. One word more on the subject of my health in reference to what you say in 42 from St Pee, 13 November. I have taken no steps as to asking leave to go home, because I can go on & if not in chief command possibly I might have no difficulty in continuing for the present command of a division, but in the spring I think I must apply to my successor here that I may go home. To be sure if they have chosen to provide for Lester or poor Sir H Burrards dame, they might have well provided for me. Old C[alvert] hinted to Augusta at what a good thing it would be for me, but I am much mistaken if it occurred to him to forward the arrangement, though he must know there could be no question as to its eligibility. Thanks for all the affectionate interest you take in my cousins. Upon poor aunt’s subject I have been intent, alas there is nothing to say but to feel sorrowful regret that we are soon to see again. Augusta has written to me constantly, her letters are full of anything that is most interesting on the subject of the the poor sufferer. Louisa in her last letter, speaks of her going as a release; but though it be so, and that at her time of life and can soon look to her enjoying anything like health again, still we cannot quite make up our mind to her leaving us for ever. I have mind to think of her, otherwise I should at such a distance from home become other times very miserable.

19 December Vilafranca [del Penedes]

I could not get off the courier before. The day before yesterday came one from Lord W[ellington] dated the 11th giving account of the defection of the Nassau people. I wasa sorry not to get a letter from you, but I trust you are well. I heard from Louisa a letter on the 22 November; which was a great comfort to me, but Louisa at Brighton says not a word about poor aunt. I should have by next courier, to hear from you. When you have anything you wish to say to me, send your letter to Packenham for the chance of an opportunity. I am afraid W Bentinck is too fine a gentleman to think of the inconveniences of individuals. Having heard not a syllable from Bentinck or Lord W[ellington] on the subject of a successor & not even the compliment having been paid to me of saying it is wished I should remain in temporary command, therefore liable any day to be superseded, & in the meanwhile to do the drudgery & to have the responsibility, as long as they choose to be making up their minds to appoint a successor or to allow him to pass his time in preparation to come here, I do not understand this sort of ill treatment & I have therefore written to Lord Wellington. I send you copy of my letter, which it will be satisfactory to me you should have by you approve. It is as follows.19 December 1813, ‘I have hitherto to trouble your lordship about myself having had reason to hope from understanding that, a reference had been made to England on the subject of the command of this army, that before this, I should have heard some officer had been named to release me. Nevertheless near 3 months having elapsed since Lord W Bentinck left me at the head of it, showing at the moment no reason to be of opinion that, everyone has been appointed, I think it right to submit to your lordship that the state of my health renders me unfit for the chief command and although I am by no means desirous at such a moment as the present, to return home merely on the score of my health & am perfectly ready to use my best endeavours to fulfil the less arduous duties of a Lieutenant General commanding a division. Still it is proper I should acquaint to your lordship, the expediency of it being taken into early consideratrion, that at the time when most my services may be required in the situation, I have now the honour to hold, the state of my health I have cause to apprehend, may render me completely unable to do my duty’.

Tell me frankly when you write, what you think of the steps I have taken and also as to the view I take of late communications of their leaving me perfectly emotional. I expect no public mark because I am aware I have deserved no honours, but at least I have merited no slights, as that I should just be made a convenience of. I am hourly expectations of hearing the enemy is about to make some movement. I think if he be going away or not, he must make an attempt soon to take away or to retire the garrisons of Tortosa &c. We now hear the former has not for more than about 3 months consumption at a low ration. The attempt unless Suchet be much reinforced is a difficult enterprise and yet composed as the army of mine is, much may be attempted in its presence. We are almost as immoveable as the Spaniards, but I must rest any longer gossip. I have not heard for Bentinck later than the 16th ultimo. I know here something is in agitation, from a certain quarter, but I doubt we have too many irons in the fire and too little fuel to keep it up. God bless you my dear brother & believe me to be ever affectionately yours WHC.




To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes] 23 December 1813


As I propose to send off another courier the end of this month. I will endeavour to be prepared in time, though if you have received all my letters lately, you will not want to hear more of me. One great event has followed another so quickly that there is no calculating what to expect or look for. On the 17th I received Lord Wellington’s account of the arrival of the Germans after the affair of the 10th which seems to have been a sharp business. He does not say one syllable about it in his letter than as the previous occurrence to the Germans coming over to you. We are anxiously looking to what you do, for things will soon become critical on this side, and unless Lord W[ellington] can force Suchet to abandon Catalonia, he must make an effort to save the fortresses, on the Ebro &c. By degrees Suchet is augmenting his force, above 5,000 conscripts have already arrived although it is understood, that many elite officers & men have gone to France, still the French army on this side is visibly augmenting, and the enemy already has about 4 to 1 cavalry against us, this gives him a great superiority, enables him to cover his movements and to ascertain all we are about. I think it is to be regretted that it has not been found practicable or advisable to send 1,000 good cavalry here. With this means, I apprehend might have been done, supported as it would have been by our infantry, the enemy soon would not have been able to show an horse. As for the Spanish cavalry I know not what Whittingham may make of mules acting in a large body, but the specimen we have had & have now with us in desperation.  I think I have acknowledged all your letters to 4th inclusive, I may have omitted to acknowledge 49 which arrived on the 10th instant, many thanks for it, and for all your letters, which I think have been all punctually received. I will now refer from 35 and see if I have omitted to refer to any point. This number was begun at [ON?] on the 18th September. In respect to what you say of the treatment I have met with since I courted actual service, it certainly has been very scurvy. It plainly shows I have no friend at court, no say poor father used to say, but though this may be the case, I cannot but think but that the Duke does not quite lose sight of me. Murray has to be seen had favours absolutely shower down upon him, much good may they do him. As to slight, I have no doubt they would be disposed to send someone to supersede me & might think it would gall me, but I have anticipated this, by giving Old Calvert to understand that for a continuance I would not keep this command which tells me it is anything but enviable. I have all the inconveniences of serving under Lord Wellington, without any of the advantages. As to having a regiment it is better certainly now that I should not get one: there was a moment when they might have home have made a famous arrangement for me, and one word from Old Calvert would probably have secured it for me. It would have been easy to have kept open the Lieutenant Colonel of the Guard until Lorton[168] could have been otherwise provided for, but this would not have united the cabal; who would gladly see me without a chance of getting such a situation. To Calvert I do not write upon such a subject, because there is a settlement above him, that would not only induce him not to intensify but I apprehend he would rather thrust my views. In short this is not over about the Duke to whom I now write and I must take my chances, unless they supersede me, it is not my intention to relinquish my present situation with this army. I will go on as long as I can, but I shall be heartily glad when the service is at an end. They shall not catch me again in the way they have. I am glad I came on service, but after this week, I shall leave the road as far as open to others who may be more ambitious of it. I am annoyed at many things I have seen on the service and once returned to my home, I shall bid it adieu. So much for all about whom you speak so much at length in your letter. Thanks for all your kind thoughts about me. In your letter 36 of the 26th September you tell me you have talked to the Duke on my subject. I thank you for the motive which inclined you to do so. The Duke seems to have been as kind as usual, I hope only that he will not not now give me a regiment, if he thinks he can place me lieutenant colonel of the 1st Regiment, at all events I shall be truly glad to see Brodrick[169] appointed to a regiment before me, he has greater claims than I have & I should wait longer than that, he lost his company in the Guards on the false expectations of a battalion, having been secured to him. In this letter I see you speculate upon Lord W[ellington] after the fall of Pamplona, marching a considerable part of his army this way, for my own part, I never expected it and for this cogent reason, that he could not feed his troops; and here I must tell you that it is lamentable to us, the state of the Spanish troops, the 14 battalions I have at present here are from day to day. Whittingham’s 8 battalions are desired to be found in bread by the province. This hope they must purchase with their pay. General Ellio has to provide for General Sarsfield’s 6 battalions and there are not supplies for 3 whole days on the half rations of bread. How can we expect such people to fight? The only army that is tolerably supplied is the 1st which is fed by the province, but there is Ellio which has 5 or 6 divisions in an half starving state & this with the richest province of Spain in his stern & the great advantage of water carriage. Not one of these Spanish battalions would go with me however these events are so propitious to arise, these are indeed detached to General Copons, to enable him to make a closer blockade of Lerida but then to do this, it was requisite to take every mule from the 6 battalions, so you may judge what an army this is. And even ourselves we cannot get on beyond 40 more from our great defeat, for we never have been able to get a complete commissariat team. Thanks for sending me excerpts from the Duke of Newcastle’s letter, he writes with the comment of warmth, I should have expected to have same as his poor father. I feel very grateful for his kind thoughts respecting me. I shall endeavour to write to him by this opportunity, although he never answers my letters. Thanks for all the trouble you have taken about my things about which you wrote both in 36 & 37. You mention affairs on the continent at the time (5 October) appearing to be quiet, so as to look almost like negotiating, but what a calm before a storm it has proved. How far beyond the most sanguine expectation has the success of the allies been. I should now be curious to know whether you think the allies should stop short at the Rhine, or whether the final success of the campaign does not warrant the pushing on. My position are that, unless they can keep the ball going on that side, Bonaparte will be able to take breath, & to reinforce his armies on this side that we shall not be able to keep our ground. Your letters 38, 39 & 40 & 42, I answered in my letter of the 3rd of December, surely some of my letters to you must have miscarried. I send again a list of dates, of the late ones I have written, which have not yet been acknowledged. You are apparently to have received 43 when you wrote to me on the 29th November. I hope you will be able to take measures to have your letters punctually as they arrive. 42 gave me an interesting account of the affair of the 10th November; I hear Lord W[ellington] has spoken handsomely of you on the occasion. 43 & 44 I received together on the 10th instant. It is very satisfactory after having been accustomed to suffer delay, to receive letters of such early date. I have not hitherto seen word of what had been the principal subject subject of most of your letters. Poor aunt yours is the latest account of her. I have letters from England as late as the 22nd November, but without any arrival I dread what I have to hear the harm in age, everything is against us, as far as she herself is concerned, as notwithstanding to Harriet. Her earthly concerns never to be done, & I dare say she acts correctly or mostly but we shall all feel the loss of her society accustomed as we have always been to meet with the kindest warmest attention from her.

You are quite right in what you tell me he had said of me after the 1st instant is the best I can have since letter 43. I am sorry to see what you say is also as to your doubt of being able to maintain ourselves N[orth] of the Pyrenees for a year cannot at most have a bad effect, more especially on this side. In this case, unless Lord W[ellington] can send a force to menace Suchet from from the side of Lerida, he will I apprehend certainly be able to release, if not totally to maintain Tortosa. The Spanish Army which blockades it (as it is called) will not stand a pursuit. They will not do this unless reinforced considerably but as I have before told you been getting reinforcements by driblets. Lerida is now I believe wholly blockaded. The enemy are supposed to have near 2,000 there, at Mequinayaga? 2 or 300, Pensicola from 4-500, Sagunto 15 to 1800 men. General Ellio talks of open batteries against Pensicola but I doubt can have nothing to expect from anything he can do. An attempt for making ourselves masters of Sagunto, failed lately from I think unpleasant measures, the plot was at first to have been well undertaken, 3 Italians were to have blown up the great powder magazine. To arrange this plan an Italian farrier deserted from Roche (who commands the blockade), everything was arranged & in good progress when the fellow after being 15 days in the fort sported and at the very moment the 3 commanding conspirators were about to set fire to the train they were discovered & ceased [sic]. Of course, the former men had been put on their guard by the redesertion of the Italian, observed his companions and discovered the plot. A person of Sagunto. Roche fancies that if he can have troops to draw the force from the town before the fort (Murviedro) that he shall be able to force the garrison to surrender and he has pressed me to send him his 2 battalions doing duty with this army. He is a visionary man, however I have no objection to securing the battalion for the trial and I have told Lord W[ellington] I should do so, unless he objects. The fact is I have enough troops for defensive measures and with any other, they can be only in demonstration for I have not managed to go on with anything but the Anglo Sicilian corps (about 9,000) you now I think can pretty well judge what is the state of things here.

26th December

And now comes your letter 44 of the 8th instant, so you perceive I have all yours safe and indeed very regularly, but it is provoking to hear Lord F Bentinck (who seems to be an amazing writer) talking of a letter from your army of the 15th when yours is dated the 8th and Lord Wellington’s dispatch to me is of the 10th possibly by Pakenham or some means, you might be able to find out when a courier is coming this way. Ere this you will I know have received all my letters to 45 stated on the 19th. I have heard of course of your having more on and generally of your having been fighting but Lord W[ellington] mentions everything very slightly so that I cannot form any idea what has been the extent of the enemy and now I must wait for some time for I conclude I shall not have a courier from your side before the middle of next month. By the same opportunity as you had, I received one from Susan, giving a melancholy account of the 2 poor aunts, they were both hastening to their lord and I fear I have no chance of seeing either again. Poor aunt could see was never likely to survive a short time than Lady Willis, both we will miss, the last two years will have diminished the old family party sadly. This is one of the sad things attending an advance in life, I have passed many a sorrowful hour lately in these reflections. I have not heard later from Louisa than the 22nd November when she was at Brighton, but Susan mentions all being tolerably well on the 29th. After what I stated, and Lord Wellington I presume he will send someone to take this command of which I shall be heartily glad. Murray left Bentinck at Siracuse at the latter did not much improve the state of things, as I will tell you one of these days. Of the enemy & his movements on this side, I cannot add more to what I have already said. You say it now is about to advance, than to be itself defensive, I trust the latter for a time is probable. His army must be diminished near 5,000 by the sending off of the Italian Brigade and the disarming of the Germans. His cavalry too, we flatter oursewlves must be diminished near 200, so that 17 or 1,800 must be the utmost they can have tout compte [all accounts] still there is too great a disparity for me to attempt anything with not much exceeding 550 sabres, and these composed of detachments of corps of different nations. I shall keep this open to the last moment as I probably shall not be able to see off the courier before the day after tomorrow.

28th December 1813 Vilafranca [del Penedes]. I must now make up my dispatch, having been writing the greater part of the night to set these very letters. By the way your letter of the 29th November, is dated 44, which is right, and your last letter of the 8th arrived is 44 also. I hear Lord F Bentinck has a very detailed account of the late operation with you, I have not seen it. It is annoying to think that during such an interesting 10 days, I should not have received a line from you. Lord W[ellington]’s dispatch to me is dated on the 18th. I have nothing new to add to what I have said, than that report states that the Italian troops have been disarmed. If this be true, it is probable something has happened in Italy also. This [suits?] us fine indeed.  I am sorry to say we have much desertion in this army and discernably so among British regiments, this has a fine appearance. F Bentinck this moment reports to me that a sergeant & two of our 20th Dragoons, all Englishmen deserted in the course of the night. Moreover my dear brother, I hope you will receive my letters regularly & be able to let me hear from you by every courier. I am rejoiced to hear a good account of your health. My general health is good but I am liable to these abdominal severe attacks which for the time unfit me for anything. I have lately been generally better. I am affectionately yours WHC

Pray when you write, thank Susan for me for her letter of the 31st ultimo.



To Henry Clinton

31 December 1813


My dear brother,

By an extra courier which I am induced to send to Lord Wellington with a letter from Lord W Bentinck (what ought to have long ago reached me from Sicily) I write a few lines to you. Since I sent off my last on the 28th, 11 German officers & 58 men have escaped from the enemy and have arrived at Tarragona and I have reason to suppose some favourable affairs have made them escape to Viqua. I had no latitude given to me or we might have got the whole of these troops. My directions were to send a letter to the commanding officer Medas, who ought to have been better known by Baron Eroles. This Medas once delivered only his countrymen to the French, Captain of the Nassau Hussars tells us that the enemy have much more cavalry than we imagine, he makes out one regiment alone to be near 800, how it can be so ill managed to leave us with such a disparity of this arm, the enemy may be considered to have at least 2,000. We, all counted, not more than 550, and then recollect the composition of these namely about 220 British, the rest Brunswickers & Sicilians.

I am sorry to say there has been sad desertions lately and again, even of our own countrymen, a few nights ago, a sergeant & 2 corporals of the 20th Dragoons eased off, all excellent men. We are four months in arrear of pay, this is given as a reason, but it is a sad thing to us all, our countrymen know us, our present state of inactivity is also alledged as a cause. But what is to be done, against such an overbearing superiority of cavalry, we cannot undertake anything & again as any general movement of the army comes to be considered its composition. The Italian & Sicilian which composes so large a part of our force have got to be tried & for my own part I have no dependence on them. You must not be surprised I wish to be ride of the command. Independent of my state of health no credit is to be gained by being at the head of this army. I trust Lord Wellington will take some steps & not leave my letter unnoticed, as he has hitherto done, every hint I had given him of my hope of being relieved. I lose I understand such a command it would have been ere this thing, but forced as I have been to take the burthen upon my shoulders, it is rather hard to be to be obliged to keep it, just until it is convenient for them to send someone to take any little credit there may be to be had, when the activity of other armies may enable them to advance.

1st January 1814

To keep up good old custom, I as usual drank a farewell to the old and hailed the arrival of the new year just now, it made me think of old times and also what small fellows I am getting. I hope next year we may hail the new year at O [B?].N. or somewhere else with a jolly party. Things look favourably for such times at present, if the allies are but firm and do not give the tyrant rest. I saw the mountains of Paris of the 19th on them Soult speaks of his actions of the 11, 12, 13 in all of which he be at you, in the last he acknowledges a loss of 500 killed & 2,500 wounded, which we can understand argues a very great loss, however he seems still to maintain himself. I hope they may be able to reinforce you from England, otherwise will you be able to withstand such continued attack. On this side Suchet seems now intending to be diminishing his force, at others to be bringing back the troops which had marched. The disarming the Germans has cost him 1,800 of his best infantry and 400 cavalry but he has not less than 1,500 cavalry still in the field and on an emergency he could bring near 2,000, I have told you what we have. I am sorry to add to that few as our numbers are, they are not to be depended on, for latterly they have taken to desert in such a way that I cannot trust them to patrol. Fortunately the country is such and the enemy at such a distance as enables us to do without this, but what can I attempt in the field with such fellows. I cannot make sure, too sure this comes. Two nights ago a sergeant & 2 excellent men of the 20th all English, deserted in the most barefaced way all together and the night after a Brunswick & a Sicilian dragoon went off. Among our infantry even to our British regiments, there has been desertion. The fact I believe is, that everyone is tired of fighting. The reason aledged here is, because the troops are not regularly paid. This is so far true that the enemy receives half pay only, but hitherto it has had this regularly monthly and we hear you are months in arrears. It is certain that the officers on this side are badly off, there is no such thing as getting a bill on England cashed under an enormous premium, something about 6s 5d to 6s 9d the dollar. I hope you have received all my late letters safe. My latest from you is of the 8th December. F Bentinck by last courier had letters of the 15th. I wish by means of Pakenham you could always know when an opportunity for this quarter offered, pray send me the letter I wish for, I am sure Pakenham will do so, if you will ask him, I conclude you must have frequent opportunities for Lisbon. I do not know Lord F Somerset and do not like therefore to ask him; he has not shown the most distant disposition to be civil to me.


Affectionately yours WHC



To Henry Clinton

Vilafranca [del Penedes], 18 January 1814


My dear brother,

After receiving three such long letters as I have from you yesterday, viz 46, 47 & 48, the last dated the 7th instant; it seems an ill return to write to you on this small shabby scrap; but I am pressed for a time, I have detained the courier four days beyond his teal already & I have not yet written my dispatch to Lord Wellington. I have still a letter to answer in reply to his on my own particular subject. I send you herewith two letters which have come for you, and one which came from Sir E Pakenham[170], which I opened by mistake, and as you will see contains a letter from me, alas I am sorry you have thus been so long kept without, for you must have thought me a bad correspondent. I will now shortly tell you of the movement I made on the 15th. Having heard the enemy had considerably diminished his force on the Llobregat & on the plain of Barcelona. I had proposed to General Copons (a false-hearted intriguing Spaniard) to move into the plain provided he would take a position on the line of the enemy communications between Gerona & Barcelona & secures me against any force Suchet might have in the Ampudan, to which proposition he had announced that he would never accede. The enemy being too strong a garrison & on this line generally & he added thus the only operational changes practicable way an attack on the enemy’s post on the line of the Llobregat. Thus with this view & to correct measures he would send Colonel Manso to me. Manso came on the 11th or 12th and finding a plan of surprise was to all appearances forcibly imposed, I came with a plan for a conjunct attack on the posts of M[olinos] de Rei & St Vicenc [del Hort] which to take place on the 16th at 8 am precisely. For the purpose he was to bring 2 brigades of the 1st Army & I operate with my Spaniards here, the British cavalry, 2 guns & a corps of reserve of our British brigade, besides 2 battalions of Spanish infantry which are to march from the vicinity of Brach?

At 8 the column from hence exchanged shots with the French pickets, they undoubtedly mistook our force, supposing us a patrol or usual reconnaissance & treated us accordingly. In the meanwhile however, it became requisite to possess ourselves of an height, which protected our retreat, should this become necessary & this having been carried by a Spanish battalion, the enemy then became aware that it was an attack he was to look for on this side. He advanced boldly on us still imagining our numbers weak and I endeavoured to induce him to come on, by withdrawing my little advance, he immediately pushed two guns along the road & it was then only that he discovered, he had to do with more than he could ever manage. It was now near 2 hours that we had kept the enemy in play, every moment expecting to use the force of the first army commencing in the enemy’s rear, but it was now 3 hours ere these auxiliary troops reached the position agreed on & the enemy by a rapid move along the Barcelona causeway were enabled to get off. I pushed 4 battalions across the Llobregat below Molinos de Rei in pursuit, but he had too much the start of us & the day finished with my communications with Copons, who I found with some difficulty perched on an hill behind Molinos de Rei, he having unfortunately thought it necessary to attend in person & having been the cause I may say, of the fracture of the plan, without being in consequence  I may say we should have knabbed [sic] 1,500 or 2,000 men most completely, had this detachment arrived at the point concerted between Colonel Manso & me, and had the colonel had the management of the enterprise, he would have been on the spot. The case is plain, Copons marched from San Felice de Cadrinhas at 8 on the 15th instead of 6 and for reasons best known to himself he halted Manso for 4 hours on the road. I am so convinced of the (I hardly know by what name to call it, but to you I may say) treachery of this man, that I never shall expect any success from any operations, it may fall to my lot to have to undertake conjointly with him.

I have attempted to give you an idea of the ground & the situation of the places & troops. I will now talk to you of Lord Wellington’s letter to me, with which it is impossible not to be gratified. I hope you will approve the answer I send him, I am still clearly of opinion to be relieved. In my letter 45, finished the 19th December, I sent you copies of my letter to Lord Wellington. The following is the substance of his reply dated the 25th, he first adverts to his having made known to government my wish to quit the command and thus he had reason to think government had endeavoured to relieve me. That Sir T Picton was intended by ministers to have been sent here for the purpose, although not absolutely announced to Lord W[ellington] but that four communications he had had with Sir T Picton, he appears to prefer commencing with his division, and then Lord W[ellington] adds ‘I do not know how I can request you to continue to hold a command for which you state that your health renders you unequal, but if an expression of the intense satisfaction I have had in all my communications with you & of my confidence in all your arrangements can be an inducement to you to continue to exercise your command or can be any gratification to you upon quitting it, it is but justice to you to express it’. The answer I propose to send in this, in acknowledging the receipt of his letter to say that I am at a loss to express the gratification I feel at the manner in which he has been pleased to speak of my conduct, that to any military man, such a testimony must be flattering & encouraging. Then in reference to what I had before said about myself; I add that if it be inconvenient to relieve me, (as he implies) & that he continues to think that my feeble talent can be rendered useful in covering here, I am ready to do my best endeavours, to carry on the duty to his satisfaction although that it becomes me again to submit to him, that I am liable occasionally to illness which for the time renders me incapable of any exertion & that moreover I cannot but express my sincere wish both for my country’s as well as for my own sake that the command of this army were placed in more able hands than mine. In conclusion I say that I can not but confess to him the sense I have of the value of the favourable expression he has made use of respecting my endeavours, assuring him that it will be my ambition to remain in continuance of his grace’s opinion & approbation.

I hope of both my letters you will approve, pray let me hear your opinion. I am sorry to think Donkin should return here, I am determined not to serve with that man, he is I am convinced an unsafe man to have in such an ostensible situation. I have the worst opinion of him, he is half crazy, I shall propose his return to Sicily & if he ordered to remain here, I will positively resign. I saw enough of him during my former short holding of the command and since then I am confirmed in my opinion of his being a dangerous man with whom to have everything to do. He is absolutely detested in this army. But I must be brief, I have written this in such an hurry, thus I have not adverted to other interesting subjects in your letter & those which came enclosed from Augusta. Alas your aunts, the accounts of them is triste indeed. Before I read your letter however, I had read of the release of poor Lady Willis, as mentioned in a newspaper of the 29th ultimo, her sufferings seem to have been great. The paragraph must have been put in by Sir Francis himself, who as Augusta says I believe a evil hearted selfish fellow. Augusta’s account of both aunts is written with much feeling, and her whole conduct from her attendance on poor Harriet has been most attentive & affectionate and also her infinite credit. I cannot help feeling some expectations I may see the other poor aunt yet before she leaves us for ever. Farewell my dear brother, I must make an end to my scrawl being ever affectionately yours WH Clinton.


PS Bentinck has left me a long time with no accounts of him. There are constant opportunities of communicating with him, so send me your letters as often as you please.


Nothing further new the 20th January, I cannot write to you or anyone, I am so hurried.


Your letter 45 has not been received that I can find, I have never had the details from you of the actions from the 9th to the 14th December. There are two numbers 44.

[1] Major General Andrew Ross

[2] Admiral Sir Sidney Smith

[3] HMS Tremendous of 74 guns

[4] Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Harcourt Holcombe Royal Artillery

[5] Lieutenant Colonel William Prevost 67th Foot

[6] Major General Andrew Ross died at Cartagena on 26 September 1812

[7] Captain Antoine Courant of De Roll’s Regiment was acting as Assistant Adjutant General

[8] French General de Division Jean Harispe

[9] The name given to Spaniards who had chosen to be loyal to Joseph Bonaparte’s government

[10] General Samuel Ford Whittingham of the Spanish army, had originally been an officer in the British army.

[11] General Philip Roche was also a British officer serving with the Spanish army.

[12] General Francisco de Ellio commanded the Spanish 2nd Army.

[13] Major Octavius Carey attached to the Calabrian Free Corps

[14] Captain John Shearman Calabrian Free Corps

[15] Major General Frederick Maitland

[16] Deputy Commissary General Francis Daniell

[17] HMS Druid was a frigate of 32 guns

[18] Sir Henry Wellesley, brother of the Duke of Wellington, was British Ambassador to Spain.

[19] Major General John Randoll Mackenzie

[20] Captain General Henry O’Donnell of the Spanish army.

[21] Brevet Lieutenant Colonel the honourable Edward Acheson 67th Foot

[22] Staff Surgeon John Alexander Campbell

[23] Captain William Kersteman 10th Foot Assistant Adjutant General

[24] This would appear to be either Captain George or Robert Henderson RN

[25] This reference is obscure, but it may well refer to the voyage of HMS Fame from Buenos Ayres to London in March 1811, when a passenger, Dr Moreno died on the passage. Rumours abounded that a lieutenant onboard murdered him.

[26] Spanish General Francisco Ballesteros, in October 1812 he mutinied over command of the army being given to the Duke of Wellington and he was imprisoned at Ceuta.

[27] Brevet Colonel Lord Frederick Bentinck

[28] Henry, 3rd Earl Bathurst was Secretary of State for the War and Colonies

[29] Commissary General George Burgmann

[30] Deputy Inspector of Hospitals Ebenezer Brown

[31] HMS Rainbow was actually a frigate of 44 guns

[32] HMS Bustard, the ex Royal George

[33] The island lies about a mile off the Valencian coast

[34] Spanish General Pedro Villacampa

[35] A prisoner laid up at

[36] Captain Thomas Fenton 37th Foot

[37] Captain Charles d’Aguilar 81st Foot, Assistant Adjutant General

[38] HMS Caledonia of 120 guns

[39] HMS Edinburgh of 74 guns

[40] Lieutenant Anthony Reid 81st Foot

[41] Major General James Campbell

[42] Note in margin. 1. Monsieur Coulombe, Capitaine 108 Regiment, (1st Lieutenant) prisoner for a year in Majorca. 2. Monsieur Coole Desnoyck Capitaine of the Army du Midi a prisoner captured at Seville.

[43] Lieutenant Colonel John Grant who had previously served with the 3rd Dragoon Guards

[44] The Spanish Cahiz measured 666 litres or 18.9 bushels.

[45] General Manuel Alberto Freire de Andrade y Armijo


[46] HMS Barfleur

[47] The Spanish fanega equalled approximately 1.6 bushels

[48] Major General Luis de Bassecourt

[49] French – Resting upon

[50] Lieutenant Colonel Sir Colin Campbell, Lieutenant Governor of Gibraltar, who died there in 1814

[51] General Antonio Malet, Marquis of Coupigny

[52] Napoleon’s 28th Bulletin announced the retreat from Russia

[53] Captain Thomas Molloy 27th Foot

[54] Note in margin – detachment of cavalry, 1st Battalion 27th Regiment, Anglo Italian Regiment, Neapolitan Regiment Estori.

[55] Captain Sir Edward Codrington

[56] Captain Richard Dale 84th Foot

[57] Major James Farrer 81st Foot

[58] Captain Edward Angelo 21st Foot

[59] General Martin la Carrera

[60] Brevet Major William O’Brien, Lieutenants John Shee, Westura Lewis and Paymaster John Briggs 58th Foot

[61] Assistant Surgeon William Bamfield 58th Foot

[62] Major Octavius Carey Calabrian Free Corps

[63] Surgeon Thomas Moore 11th Foot

[64] Captain Patrick Foley 9th Foot attached to the Spanish army

[65] Captains Francis Bignall and Thomas Hamilton 27th Foot

[66] Spanish – shed.

[67] Brevet Major James Price 58th Foot

[68] Captain Julius Brinckmann 8th Line Battalion KGL

[69] Assistant Paymaster General W Salter

[70] HMS Leopard of 50 guns

[71] Captain Nicholas Muller, Rolls Regiment

[72] HMS Charger of 13 guns

[73] Lieutenant John Davy RN, captain of his vessel

[74] Lieutenant Thomas St Felix 27th Foot

[75] Major Charles A’Court Greek Light Infantry

[76] Lieutenant Colonel David Walker 58th Foot

[77] Deputy Commissary General Augustus Schmidchen in the Army List, but he appears to have anglicised his name to Smidkin

[78] Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Henry 58th Foot

[79] Lieutenant Robert Park 58th Foot

[80] This would appear to be Major Thomas Burke of Dillon’s Regiment who had been detached to the Italian levy as a lieutenant colonel

[81] Deputy Assistant Commissary General Henry Basnett

[82] General Harispe was not killed.

[83] Captain Ebbenezer Lueder 3rd Line Battalion KGL and Captain S Brauns of 8th Line Battalion KGL

[84] Second Captain Frederick Arabin Royal Artillery

[85] Major Thomas Kenah 58th Foot

[86] Captain Richard Lacy Royal Artillery

[87] Captain George Thomson Royal Artillery

[88] Captain Charles Gilmour Royal Artillery

[89] Lieutenant Wiliam Patten Royal Artillery

[90] Second Captain Frederick Arabin Royal Artillery

[91] Lieutenant Colonel George Reeves 27th Foot

[92] Captain Charles Gray 95th Foot

[93] Lieutenant General the honourable William Stewart

[94] Brevet Major John Williamson Royal Artillery

[95] Lieutenant James Cole RN

[96] Captain Sir Charles Adam RN

[97] HMS Diana was a frigate of 38 guns

[98] Lieutenant General Sir John Murray

[99] General David-Maurice-Joseph Mathieu de Saint-Maurice

[100] The Spanish General the Duque del Parque commanded the Spanish 3rd Army

[101] Vice Admiral Sir Edward Pellew

[102] HMS Invincible of 74 guns

[103] Admiral Sir Benjamin Hallowell

[104] HMS Thames of 32 guns

[105] Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for the War and Colonies.

[106] General Pedro Sarsfield of the Spanish army

[107] General Fernando Migares

[108] General Joaquín Ibáñez Cuevas y de Valonga, Baron de Eroles

[109] French General Charles Mathieu Isidore Decaen

[110] General Francisco Copons

[111] 2nd Lieutenant Theodor Elliott Royal Engineers

[112] HMS Brune of 38 guns

[113] HMS Swiftsure of 74 guns

[114] Lieutenant James Scott 20th Light Dragoons

[115] Spanish General Pedro Sarsfield

[116] La Bisbal [del Penedes]

[117] Lieutenant Colonel George Hayter Royal Engineers

[118] Lieutenant Otto Schaumann 6th Line Battalion KGL

[119] Captain John Waldron 27th Foot

[120] Lieutenant Carl Zehnphenning Meuron’s Regiment

[121] It is clear from later statements that Otto was in the 10th Foot. This however proves that the name is incorrect. It refers to Lieutenant Colonel John Otto Beyer 10th Foot

[122] Assistant Commissary General Richard Barney

[123] Captain Charles Milner 18th Light Dragoons, aide de camp to General Bentinck

[124] Major General Arthur Gore

[125] Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Thackeray Royal Engineers

[126] HMS L’Espoir of 16 guns

[127] Lieutenant James Crosbie RN

[128] Lieutenant John Peddie 27th Foot Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General

[129] Major General Haviland Smith

[130] Lieutenant Richard Handcock 27th Foot

[131]This appears to be Assistant Commissary General (accounting) S Hopkins based in Sicily

[132] Captain Walter Jacks 20th Light Dragoons, commanding the Foreign Troop of Hussars

[133] Lieutenant Colonel John Thomas Jones Royal Engineers

[134] Captain Charles Baron de Hiller, Dillon’s Regiment

[135] Lieutenant Colonel George du Plat 4th Line Battalion KGL

[136] Lieutenant John Bowie RN

[137] Colonel Joseph Manso I Sola

[138] Lieutenant Robert Tweed RN

[139] This refers to the Battle of Grossbeeren on 23 August 1813

[140] The Battle of Dennewitz on 6 September 1813

[141] Arnold Thompson Deputy Judge Advocate

[142] Lieutenant Colonel Ernst de Schrader Brunswick Hussars

[143] HMS Malta of 80 guns

[144] Note in another hand (Clinton?) Wither’s report does not confirm these circumstances.

[145]  Captain Thomas Withers RN

[146] Captain Arthur Bowen 90th Foot aide de camp to General Donkin

[147] Captain Samuel Hood Inglefield RN

[148] Colonel Ralph Darling 51st Foot, Deputy Adjutant General at Horseguards

[149] Captain Walter Bathurst RN

[150] HMS Fame of 74 guns

[151] Major General Rufane Donkin served as Quarter Master General on the East Coast

[152] HMS Bristol a 64 gun ship, the ex Agincourt was serving as a troop ship (not a prison ship as many describe her).

[153] Staff Surgeon Andrew White

[154] Assistant Surgeon Thomas Rolston 10th Foot

[155] Lieutenant Robert Saunders 67th Foot

[156] Brevet LieutenantColonel the Honourable Thomas Mullins 44th Foot

[157] Brevet Lieutenant Colonel John Hammerton 44th Foot

[158] 1st Lieutenant William du Vernet Royal Engineers

[159] HMS Volcano bomb vessel

[160] Spanish Colonel Jose Manso

[161] Major William Neynoe 27th Foot

[162] Major General John Lambert

[163] Lieutenant Colonel William Blake 20th Light Dragoons

[164] French General de Division Charles Decaen

[165] Major Edward Gillman 81st Foot

[166] Lieutenant General Sir Harry Burrard died 18 October 1813

[167] General Sir Thomas Picton

[168] Lieutenant General Robert Viscount Lorton

[169] Lieutenant General the honourable John Brodrick

[170] Major General the honourable Edward Pakenham