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The Story of Private Joseph Cooley? 38th Foot

NAM 7912-21

An unknown soldier of the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment, he states that he was in hospital at Salamanca in 1812 and made a prisoner of war until the end of the war in 1814 and then took the opportunity to take his discharge from the army soon after. Although many of the service records of men of the 38th are no longer extant, it is most likely, having inspected the monthly returns of the regiment, that he was Private Joseph Cooley who had spent 41 days at the General Hospital in Salamanca before being captured on 17 November 1812. He was back with the regiment in June 1814 and gained his discharge from the army with only two others (neither having been in hospital at Salamanca) on 31 October 1814. His is the only record in the regiment which appears to match the description of events given below. His spelling is erratic and there are also a few tears in the journal where I have inserted the probable missing words in square brackets.

I was born in the hamlet of Harsthill[1] May 4 1789 of poor parents who professed to be church folks, but my mother very seldom attended except upon what they considered matters of very great importance such an infant sprinkling or the clucking of women, but my father being [more] moral he attended as often as he could, but when I was abought [sic] 6 years of age I believe real religious was scoft [sic] at by every family in the place [except?] one, but by that time I could read tolerable [well?]. And my mind became deeply impressed with a [regard?] for my soul’s welfare. I had read the 3 chapters of John’s Gospel and from what is stated there abought the new birth I was led to think upon my hown [sic] state and condition and believing myself to be a sinner in the sight of God, my reflection was such that I cried out in bitterness of soul. O that I were a beast or a tree or anything rather than a human being, then I thought that the beast must die by the hand of man, but I feared that I had a soul that must die to all eternity very soon after that the Methodist came to preach at Hartshill and a great deal of persecution they met with, so that they did not long continue, but I had used to listen with all possible attention and when they had used to speak of being born again and made new creatures in God Jesus. I had used to pray in my childish way that this great change might be rought [sic] in me. Thus I continued until I was 10 years of age, then I left home and was bound an apprentice to Hinckley. My master & mistress used regularly to attend the Independent Chapel and wear [sic] both members at that place and oft times has my mind been deeply impressed under sermons that I heard preached in that place, so that I have been led in bitterness of soul to cry out, what will become of me. But one Sabbath afternoon I heard 2 pious women talking of God’s eternal purpose and of his people being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and them he would most assuredly bring in. I began in ignorance to reason thus with myself why then should I be so much perplexed abought it if I be one of the chosen, I too shall be brought in, but if I am not God’s ways are like himself unchangeable and I must be forever undone, therefore I thought I would strive to think less abought it and [get?] my carnal desires in the things of time and [age?].  But do what I would I could not get rid [of my?] convictions. Shortly after this I went to hear a boy abought my own age, abought 14 preach. He spoke from the words, ‘agree with thine adversary quickly while he is in the way with thee’ and my mind was deeply impressed with my lost and ruined condition that I thought when the service was over I would go home, heed the scriptures and meditate therein and no more join my companions in wickedness and strive to lead a better life. I left the place with these resolutions [before me?], alas I had not gone far before I was overtaken by them, I joined them again and spent the remainder of the evening with them and when I left them to go home I began to reflect on myself and thought that that night I had been more wicked than any of them, which made me cry out ‘O wretch that I am, what will become of me’ and although I felt myself condemned under every sermon that I heard I could not be satisfied to stop away, no more than I could help but has some discord happened in the Independent Church on the choice of a Minister after the death of Mr Scot and the church being divided, our people as well as many more went to other places and as they was not in any fear of me being absent they let me go where I liked. But so I used regularly to attended at the general Baptist Chapel to hear Mr Freestone and if at any time some other came to preach for him, I almost felt offended at seeing them come into the place one day while I was meditating and thinking about, the more I began to reflect in this way. I loved him because I believed he was a good man but do I profit under his ministry that faithful monitor within, told me I did not. But while I was sitting under the preaching of that pieces mean, I was led to berate my own wicked state. His labours were blessed to the conversion of others for shortly after there was added to that church 17 members. I saw them all baptised and when that holy man went down into water he stood and talked to the people in these words. ‘Ye gazing spectators, do not go away with wrong ideas and say these people come here to wash away their sins, they have no such end in view. For if the heart is not changed before divine grace before they come to this water, it will avail them nothing, but when they are born again of his spirit they are baptised in compliance with his divine command, whilst I stood to hear and see I thought if I had but experienced that change of heart which I hoped that people had, I would go down into that water without either fear or shame for I felt assured that real happiness could not be enjoyed in this world without real religion in that agitated and perplexed state I lived until I had attained to 16 years of age. I then formed this resolution in my own mind to run away from my apprenticeship and go to Leicester and if I could get into work I would form no acquaintance with anyone, but keep from all company and strive to live a better life, but I soon found all my promises being made in my own strength to be weak as water for when the first Sabbath came after I got to Leicester I felt inclined to go to chapel I set off with that intent but as I was going the enemy of souls beset me with these thoughts you have no place to go to sit and you are a stranger all the people will be looking at you and you’ll feel so much ashamed these thought did so operate upon my mind, so that I believe I only went twice to a Dissenting place of worship while I stayed in Leicester.

When I was 17 I engaged as a soldier in the 38th Regiment of Foot I then began to think I might give up all thoughts of religion for I should have so much to occupy my mind that it would be impossible for me to intend to that, so I began to try to stifle my convictions by giving way to all kind of iniquity and the wonderful goodness and mercy of God that I was not left to fill up the measure of iniquity and perish. In my sins I began my career in gambling and drinking, which I carried on to such [sic] length as to astonish those around me, indeed I was so much addicted to that, I felt myself completely miserable when I had any time to spare if I could not be either at a publick house singing songs or at the card table. I had not long joined the regiment before we got the rought [sic] for Guernsey[2]. We stayed there abought 4 months, then we got the rought for England and we landed at Portsmouth on the Saturday and on the Sunday we got the rought for Ireland[3] and on the Monday morning we went on board a ship again and we had a very uncomfortable passage, we were a month going over and the was so rough that we wear [sic] forced to be nailed down three days and nights. We had not been long in Ireland before there came an order for a draft to join the first battalion of the regiment, it was then lying in another part of Ireland. A parade was ordered and every other file of men was taken, but it did not fall to my lot to be one of them, but I was of a roving mind and had a great desire to see different scenes and different places. I volunteered to go in another’s stead. As soon as we got to the first battalion we got the rought for Portugal where we landed on 2 August 1808 and on the 17th of the same month, we engaged the French army as soon as the enemy appeared in sight[4]. I began with myself in this mayhem, I prepared to die, for this day, many will be hurried out of time into eternity and I perhaps may be one of them. My sins stood in array before me and put me in far greater dread than the French that stood armed with their weapons of war. I then began to pray that the Lord would spare me and if he would I thought I would strive to be different for the future. The scene of slaughter that day was dreadfully terrific, one might think enough to soften the most obdurate heart but such alas is the depravity of the human heart that it is not the scenes of human woes that we behold, though in their nature, ever so dreadful and affecting, that is sufficient to change the heart, for when we had caused our enemy to retreat and the action had subsided, I considered myself safe and went on my mad career of sin. On the 22nd of the same month, we fell in with them again and at the commencement of the action, I thought I have been spared 4 days since our last engagement wherein I had formed such resolutions to amend my life and in looking back on that time I thought I had been worse instead of better and if I should this day fall, my soul must be miserable forever, but through mercy I was spared and the action terminated in our favour, for we made them retreat and the marched into Lisbon and gave themselves up prisoners and they was from thence, by the order of Sir Hew Dalrymple[5], our commander in chief, conducted them to France instead of being sent prisoners to England. We in a few days marched into Lisbon after them, we stayed in that place abought a month, when we heard that the French had entered Spain and we got the order to march up the countries [sic] to meet them. We accordingly left Lisbon and had very heavy marches until we entered Spain[6]. But when we got to a large town called Salamanca, we stayed there a month. The town was very pleasant, bread was very good and cheap, a three-pound white loaf for 4½d. Whines [sic] and frute [sic] was very plentiful. After we had been one month there, we was ordered to advance farther up the country, for the French army was advancing towards us with a very large reinforcement. Our marches was very long and fatiguing and the weather was very cold. We could hear most days something abought the enemy and where they was, but one day in particular we had a very long journey. It was on the 22nd of December 1808 and that night all our army lay as near as we could. We marched quite to the outside of our army and lay in a small village that night. The next morning we got the order to be in readiness to march at 7 o’clock in the evening to storm the town of St Pedro in which the French army was laying. We likewise marched from our cantonments in the evening for that purpose and we arrived very near to the town about 12 o’clock. We lay on the left side of the town and General Sir John Moore with the grand army lay on the right. We waited abought an hour and a half, waiting for them to commence the storm and draw their attention to that side of the town, while we got in on the other. But while we was waiting, there came an express to let us know that the French was in that town more than ten to one against us and that we must quit the country as quick as possible. We therefore marched back to the place we left, where we arrived about 6 o’clock in the morning where we lay down about three quarters of an hour, then we had orders to stand to our harms [sic], we stood till it was daylight, then we were dismissed with orders to march at 9 o’clock.

Accordingly, we marched off, but we had not gone far before we saw an army at a great distance on our left, but we could not at first sight tell who they were, so our baggage was ordered to the rear and we marched on in sections so as to be ready to wheel up into line for action, but as we came close enough to see who they were going? More with the grand army so we marched on till after dark and to a late hour that night until we arrived in a small village where we slept and was ordered to lay ourselves down anywhere we could and next morning we started long before daylight and so we continued our marches for three weeks. Our rought being for Vigo, but after leaving the town of Lugo and getting a day and a half from thence, the French took another way and cut off our retreat, so we turned back and when we got back to Lugo, the French came up with us and we were forced to engage them. The action commenced abought 2 o’clock and continued until abought 6, then we got what stuff we could to make fires of and as soon as they began to burn we were ordered to march off as still as possible. But when daylight appeared and they saw we was gone they pursued us as quick as possible and their cavaldre [sic] soon came up with us and we oft had to attack them to keep them back, but our army was greatly distressed for want of shoes, as for provisions, so that they could not keep up and so where [sic] taken prisoners and many marched until they could go no further and lay down and died. I saw many lie as I passed by and was ready to wish it had been my lot. At one time I was so fatigued and hungary [sic] I thought if some unseen person would come behind me and blow my branes [sic] out, they would by that means put me out of my trouble and do me a kindness. But soon after I began to reflect upon sutch [sic] a thought by saying to myself, if this was to be the case with me, where would the soul be found. I felt sensible in my hown [sic] mind  that I was not fit to die, therefore it would only be taking me out of the troubles of time and plunging my soul in everlasting misery. It led me again to reflect upon my past life, my sins again stared me in the face and I was constrained to acknowledge that I deserved all and more than all the difficulties that were come upon me. Our march from Lugo to Crona [Corunna] was 7 days, so that our retreat from first to last was just 1 month but the last 7 days and night we never [h]alted more than 3 or 4 hours at a time and our army being so fatigued as well as being short of provisions and the greater part having no shoes, it caused a great many of our men to be taken prisoners and a great many whent [sic] until they were quite exhausted and then lay down and died. But the two last days were enough to melt the hardest heart, to see all the way by the roadside lying dead or dying by 2 and threes in a place and in one place I saw five men and one whoman [sic] all ly[ing] dead together. Thus have I given a very breef [sic] statement of the troubles I with the rest of my fellow soldiers met with on that retreat, until we arrived in Crona. But when we came there, we began to think when we saw the harbour, that we had more troubles to encounter, for there was not one vessel there to receive us. Our route being for Vigo, the shipping was all gone there to meet us and the wind was so much against them, it was three days before they could get into the Crona harbour. But there being a large river to cross to get into the town, we blew up the bridge and by that and keeping strong picquets out, we keep [sic] the French out until the third day, they then got over the river and we were forced to engage them, which we did for abought five hours and very sharp it was. And General Sir John Moore was killed in it and I have always thought if the ground had not been in our favour we should all have been taken prisoners, but they could not bring any more into action at a time than we could, but during the action the shipping came in and abought 7 o’clock the firing ceased and we was ordered to get onboard as fast as we could. But the tide was going back and the sailors seeing the eagerness of the soldiers to get onboard, they would not bring the boats up to the shore for us, for they thought the men would crowd into the boats so that they would not be able to keep them afloat. So some went into the water up to their knees, some up to their middles, to meet the boats and so got onboard anyone as they could. But as the French lay upon the hills and they being much higher than the town, they had the opportunity of firing their cannons on our shipping, all the time we were getting on board. But we had the old Bellflower [HMS Barfleur], a first rate ship of 100 and 10 guns which keep them back as much as she could and as soon as all were got onboard there was an order to cut cables and to get on our way as quick as possible. I myself was very ill on the passage and when I landed at Plymouth was left there in hospital for a few weeks, but as soon as I recovered I left the hospital and marched after the regiment to Canterbury where I was 6 weeks and there we was ordered on the Walcheren Expedition[7]. We marched from Canterbury to Deal and in a short time after we went onboard, but we lay in the Downs I think for 4 or 5 weeks before we sailed off and nearly all that I have conversed with allow it to be the largest fleet that ever sailed from England. But out of the vast number that went out with us, how many lived to see their native land again I think I shall be quite within bounds if I should say no more than a third. But the ship that I was onboard of, as soon as we got under sail and began to get a little ahead, another ship got foul of us and carried away our bowsprit. But that was soon replaced and we made all speed until we catched [sic] the fleet again. The rest of our voige [sic] was pleasant in respect of the sea and the weather until we came to anchor near the Flushen [Flushing] Island, where we lay some days before we landed. And one morning I was on centrey [sic] on the forecastle of the vessel betwixt the hours of 4 and 6 when the cook of the ship came on deck and after looking around him he said to me, ‘We shall have some wind today’, but for my part I thought it was a fine morning and took no further notice of it. But soon after breakfast the sky began to blacken and the wind began to rise so that by 12 o’clock we began to be very much alarmed and from that time until 7 in the evening, we expected to go to the bottom every moment. I went on deck abought 5 o’clock and looked around and I thought I could see death staring me in the face from all quarters and the captain of the ship stood on the quarterdeck crying like a child, he said he had been at sea 36 years and never was in sutch [sic] danger before. While I was on deck a ring broke from one of the anchors and the bow of the ship was very much broken, they put another anchor out as quick as possible, but before that had been down 5 minets [sic] the cable rope on the other side broke and then the windlass broke in an instant. I thought I could see death staring me in the face in every quarter, so I thought I would go down into the vessel and go down with it, for it would be the soonest over with me. But I thought where will my soul be found, I went down into the birth [sic] and began to pray to the Lord to spare us and I thought if I was spared that time, I would strive to amend my life and live more to his glory. We hoisted a flag of distress and kept firing in distress until 10 o’clock next morning, before any could come to our assistance and by that time the sea had become calm and by that [time] my fears had subsided and in three days after we landed and so presumptuous was I, as soon as I jumped out of the boat, that I shouted aloud, ‘Now my lads, we are out of danger, here is good ankeridge [sic]. Here yet we did not know but we might be attacked by the French before the day was gone. We landed upon the Island of South Beveland to be in readiness if the French had retreated from the Flushen Island to that, but they kept in the town of Flushen and our army and navy lade [sic] siege to the town and it continued three days and nights without scarcely any intermission before they would surrender, and in a few days after we marched into the town. But that day that we landed upon the Flushen Island as we were marching by the place where our army stood, that had been engaged, the smell was dreadful here, for the enemy had let one of the sluices up and had let the water upon them, so that they had to stand the last part of the action very deep in water, so that many of those that were killed could not be found until the waters were gone down. These places lay very so much lower than the surface of the mane osken [sic] so that by the sluices, they could drown the island in a very short time. I believe there is not a freshwater spring upon the island, there is no hedges to part the fields, there is in this country, they are parted by deep ditches and they are all filled with a brackish water. But the houses are all spouted and sisterns [sic] so that they catch their water for cooking and drinking when it ranes [sic] and if it comes a long season of dry weather [sic] and their water fail, they send to the nearest port they can, for some. We had not been many days upon the island, before our men began to fall bad of the ague and fever and so fatal did that disorder prove, that in less than 4 months we buried more than 600 men, so that out of the 1000 and 3 that we took out with us, we did not bring 400 back with us. But I enjoyed my health, I think, for as mutch [sic] as three months after we got upon those islands as well as ever I did in my life and so presumptuous was I that I began to boast and to think that I should escape the disorder altogether. But after that time I was taken of very ill though in a very different way to what the rest were taken, for I never had a fit of the ague, while I stayed in the country. But I had no appetite for food and sutch a weakness in my knees that in a very little time without help, I was taken to the hospital and there I continued but a short time before I with some others were ordered to come to England for the good of our health. Our regiment had 5 hospitals in the town and the men died so fast and not only ours, but it was the same with all that was there, so that the carts used to come round every morning and when they came to the places where the sick lay, they would call to them to throw out their dead and when they had got the cart full they would take them to the outside of the town and empty them down into a very large hole as though they had got dun empetying [sic] and then go and fetch more and when the hole was full they would fill it up and make another, so that very many were buried in one grave. But as I was ordered to come to England as soon as they could get a vessel in readiness, I came onboard to come home, but our passage was short, we lost many overboard that died on the passage. But what were left of us arrived safe in the Downs and landed at Dale [Deal] and was put into hospital but with care and through mercy, I began to gather strength so that in time I was able to leave the hospital and marched to Shorneclift [Shornecliffe] in Kent and there I gathered strength so fast and got so healthy that I was considered to be and believed myself to be the strongest man in the regiment. Soon after we got to Shorneclift the few that remained of the regiment that we kept in Flushen came to us there, but most part of the few that did enjoy their health in the country, took bad and died as soon as they came home. And after I had been a few weeks at Shorneclift I was taken very ill of the ague and fever and I had it so very bad that as soon as the ague fit was gone off me, I had the fever come on directly and used to continue until the ague came on again and so heavily afflicted was I that in a short time I was not much in appearance but skin and bone. I was given up by all the doctors that saw me and in my house where I thought it was impossible that I could continue long, indeed, when night came on I could not continue until the morning and so great was the distress of my mind, my conscience being so much alarmed that I could get no rest, night or day, for I expected soon to be called out of time to appear before that God against which I had so cheerfully sinned and from whose most holy life I could expect to hear no sound of mercy, but to hear that awful sentence ‘depart ye accused into everlasting burning.’ In that awful condition I often used to think a man may bare his infirmity but a wounded conscience who can bear. There was a clergy[man] that used to come into the next room to that in which I lay. The cases in that room were not so bad as they were in our room, he had used to read prayers to them but I never heard that he ever entered into any conversation with any of them, but withdrew as soon as he had done, but I do not remember that he ever came into our, room at all, so that in my distress I had no person that I could hopen [sic] my mind unto, I had no bible to read and if I had had one. I had not strength to sit to have red [sic] it and when I looked back upon my past life and reflected what a great sinner I had been I was forced to acknowledge that God was just in all his dealings with me and if he was pleased to take me out of time and send me to everlasting misery I could not complain of the equity of his judgement. But in this case I began again to pray for mercy and to form in my own strength fresh resolutions if the Lord would be pleased to spare my life I would strive to live a life devoted to his glory. But alas I soon found that has [sic] my health was restored, my resolutions died away for as soon has I had recovered my health and strength so has to be able to do my duty again has a soldier, I became as dutiful a subject to Satan as I was before my affliction, though I must confess that my convictions was stronger than before, but has soon has I got out of the hospital, we had a general review of the regiment and we was returned unfit for foren [sic] service and we was ordered to Ireland for the good of our health. We embarked at Dover and after a pleasant voyage, we disembarked at the Cove of Cork, from thence we marched to Birr in the King’s County where we stayed 10 months. But soon after we got to Birr my comrade being by trade a nailer, got into work and he got in a week from 12 to 15 and on the Sattarday [sic] evening and the Sabbath day we had used to go and spend it. We had gone on in this whicked [sic] course for some time, when he said to me he would work but one more week and then he would sell his tools and lay by. I told him I hoped he would, for to be drunk time after time has we was tired of it. So on the next Sattarday after he had settled with his employer, he came to me and asked me to go with him and drink. So we went and the first house that we went to drank three pots of porter and three nogins of whisky and 6 of brandy. But while we was drinking the whiskey he said to me ‘Why don’t you drink, you don’t half drink’. ‘I shall die drunk’. I said I did not like whiskey, he said ‘what will you have?’ I said ‘brandy’. So after we had drank what is stated we left that house and went to another. We first called for a pot of porter, then we called for a noggin of brandy but when it was brought I said as soon as it was put in the glass ‘you have brought whiskey’ the girl said ‘we have no other sort of brandy’, I said ‘do not bring any more of that’, she said ‘what will you have?’ I said ‘rum’. We drank after that 6 nogins of rum and then we had one pot of porter made hot and sum [sic] liquer put in it. But I did not know how mutch we drank that and whent [sic] to the barracks but after we got into the room I turned sick and my senses was so far gone that I did not recollect how I was got to bed but I was told by those in the room that my comrade went for half of [sic] gallon of porter after I was put to bed, but after it [sic] was brought into the room he seemed poorly and could not drink hany [sic] of it himself so they put him to bed. After I had been in bed some time I waked and he lay upon his belly and was making a great noise and one of the men in the room told me to turn him or he would be smothered. I did so and dropt to sleep again but after that I waked again and he lay very still, but thought that if I made any alarm they would say I was drunk and did not know what I was doing. I put my hand to his mouth to feel if he breathed and I thought he did so I went to sleep again, but after some time I waked but he was so cold I could not bear to tuch [sic] him. But he had the bed clothes off him and it was very cold wether [sic], so I put the clothes upon him and fell asleep again, and lay till after 8 o’clock in the morning. We had one whoman in the room and she said ‘it is a whonder [sic] John is not up, for he is generally first’.  I sade [sic] ‘I think he has not waked since he came to bed, then one of the men got up and took hold of his harm [sic] and called Jack and then sade ‘he is dead’. I then rose up and looked at him and the liquer was working out of his mouth and nose as fast as possible. But the sight had sutch an effect upon me that I cannot possibly describe, but I thought that if the Lord had took me away in that state instead of him, I more justly deserved it, for I knew that I was doing wrong for my conscience was always accusing me and I thought that he was more ignorant of those things and had not sat under the sound of the Gospel as I had, therefore I could not help but condem [sic] myself has the greater sinner. The whoman in the room said to me ‘this ought to be a warning to you, never to get drunk again.’ I sade I would never drink again except it should be a glass in necessity, but alas what are promises or resolutions that are formed by men while the heart is in an unsecured state though they may be made under ever sutch terrifick [sic] appearances for if they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded the sick rose from the dead for in a fortnight after he was buried. I was as drunk [as] ever, although when I was sober I was so terrified in mind I was completely miserable, so that I had used to think I was the most miserable creature that the [had] trod upon the face of the earth. Shortly after that I retired to bed one night but under such terrors of conscience, that I did not know what to do, I dropt to sleep but it was but for a short time before I awaked again in sutch agony of mind and in sutch a perspiration that it disturbed the man that slept with me so he could not sleep, he asked me what was the matter with me, but I did not tell him anything, but he said he knew I was terrified by something. I lay in that agitated state until the morning, before I could get any more sleep when I dropt into a dose again and I thought something come and took hold of one of my feet. I thought I was awake and looked round the room, but I could see nothing, when I thought I heard a voice speake [sic] to me and hasked [sic] me how I could go on in such a whicked course as I did and assured me that if I did not repent hell would most assuredly be my portion, I do not pretend to state this as real facts although I always thought it was, it might be only a dream for I know that in sutch a destroyed and agitated state as mine was the force of imagination might be carried to a very great length. One day after this there came a man into the Barrack room that I was in and told us there was a brother soldier going to preach at the Methodist Chapel that night and wished for as many as could to come and hear him, I told him I would be there, he sade he hoped I would strive to bring as many more with me as I could. After the man was gone they in the room asked me if I ment [sic] to go, I told them I did. They began to laugh at me and sade I was going to be a Methodist, but I thought I wished I was a real Christian. When night came I whent and many more and while I sat under the word, I was wishing I could feel it so to affect my heart as to cause in me a thorough reform in my whole life and conduct. After the service was over the preacher said he hoped that all that felt any concern abought the salvation of their souls whould stay after the rest, where you and there were 14 that gave in their names to join the society. As soon as I got into my room, one of the men had heard of it and asked me if I had given mine, I told him I had not, he said I was in the right of it for he was sure those that did not know what they were doing, for he was sure that before anyone gave their name to join any religious society they ought seriously to consider what they were abought to do, for he said he did not believe there was anything of real religion in any of them and in a very few days it proved according to what he said it was given out to hold prayer meetings mornings and evenings during the week and preaching on Sabbath days. I had used to attend at all times for some length of time, but when I was in my room my conduct was as bad as it could be. But one day as I was going on in my sinful career, one of the men said to me how can you go on as you do, I know that I do bad in not going to hear the whord, but you are doing much whorse in going to hear and going on as you do when you are away and if you cannot alter your course of life you had better stay away for you are hadding [sic] sin to sin and making your condemnation the greater. I felt the reproof, I knew it was the truth and I began to reflect upon it and I came to this conclusion, that I whould not go any more for I thought that if it was possible I had sinned away my day of grace and there was no repentance for me, so I stayed away for some time, but one night as I was going by the chapel, the people were going in and one frend [sic] said to me ‘you never come now’. I made some tall excuse and passed on, but I had not gone many yards when I began to think I had nowhere I need go that night, so I turned back and whent in and heard with serious attention and after the service was over I whent to my room and began to ponder over in my mind what I had heard and to reflect upon my past life. My sins stood as it were in battle array before me and I knew not what to do, for when I looked back I thought mine had been such a life of sin and daring rebellion that none had ever before lived and if I looked up I could behold nothing but an angry God and if I looked forward I could expect nothing but eternal misery, so that when I went to bed at night I had used to lie and durst not go to sleep for fear I should wake in hell, I continued in that dejected state for three weeks and felt as so though I durst scarcely utter a word in prayer or ever hope for mercy, but one day as I was talking to a friend in the town, she told me they should have a love feast on the next Sabbath and asked me if I should be there, I told her I had no bisness [sic] there for I was not a member. She told me if I had a mind to go I might for all that, so when the time came I got leaf [sic] from evening parade and whent and while I sat listening to the experience of others, light seemed to break in upon my soul, I felt as though I dared to believe and hope in his mercy yet I must confess it was with fear and trembling, for I had from sad experience, learnt, seen and felt so much of the depravity and deceitfulness of my hown [sic] heart that I felt that I had cause to watch over it with a Godly jealousy. But for some time I hoped and felt as though I enjoyed the reality of religion, but one day I was reading the first chapter of Proverbs from the 24 unto 29 verses, I felt myself to be the character there described that had had the balls from God in sutch various ways and had and had refused therefore I began to be filled with fear lest he should laugh at my distress and leave me at last to perish in my sins in that distressed state of mind, I continued for nine weeks, beset with unbelief. So that if I attempted to pray I thought the heavens were as brass to my prayers and sutch was the anguish of my mind that it made me oft to cry out ‘Lord are thy mercies clean gone for ever?’ But under these trials and perplexities this was my resolution, that if I perished it should be crying for mercy. But after the time above stated the Lord was pleased again to shine upon my soul. It was then and not till then that I could sing in the spirit those butiful [sic] lines, This is the way I long have sought and sinned because I found it not. My grief a burden long as been because I could not cease from sin. From that time I felt such a love and affection for the people of God with whomb [sic] I conversed from time to time, that it far surpassed all that I had ever felt for my nearest relatives on earth. It was now that I began to know what real happiness consisted in, but in the situation I was in I knew that I should have many difficulties to encounter and many crosses to take up, but this was my consolation as thy day to so shall thy strength be. In a few weeks after we got the rout to go to Fermoy in County Cork and I must say it was a very great trouble to me to leave that place. We stayed at Fermoy only a few weeks before we was ordered for Spane [sic] again and we must go to Cork to be ready for embarking[8], we stayed there but a few days before we had orders to go onboard as soon as we could. We set sail and we soon arrived at Portugal, we landed at Lisbon and marched up the country into Spane and continued our march until we arrived at Salamanca, there we expected to have rest for a few days but we were deceived, for we had not been half an hour in the town before we had the order to be in readiness to march again that evening. We were served out with one day’s meat and ordered to cook it as quick as possible, but before we could get it ready the drum beat to harms [sic] and we fell in. But in a short time after we were dismissed, but abought 4 o’clock in the day, there was a great stir in the town, for the French were very near it. We were ordered to fall in, which we did, but I was in the light company and as soon as we had fell in we left the regiment and ran through the town and when we came outside the town upon the bridge that crosses the river, we saw the French coming through the water. We kept marching about a gun’s shot from each other until 10 or 11 o’clock that night, then we had orders to lie down, but we was not to take a thing off, but to be in readiness at a moment’s notice. But the night was the most dreadful for thunder and lightning that I ever witnessed in any place in my time, I thought in my own mind speaking after the manner of man, that it appeared as if the Lord was striving to impress it on the minds of men with what was going to take place. But during the whole night the picquets kept up a constant fire with each other and as soon as it began to dawn toward day-break we had orders to stand to our harms, we stood till it was quite daylight, then we were dismissed. But in a little time after the drum beat to harms again and we were dismissed two or three times. But towards 12 o’clock I believe it was, we had the order to advance, we did until we came to a valley, we stopt there three quarters of an hour, then we were ordered to go forward again, we did until we got under the brow of a hill, but we had not been there long before some of our officers went up to the top of the hill to see the position the French was in. but in doing so the French saw them and began to throw the cannon shot abought us as quick as possible so that we were forced to move again, we then ran in double quick time for a great distance by the side of a hill so that we were covered from the enemy’s fire and as soon as we got to the end to the end of the hill we were ordered to drop down instantly, we did so and in a few seconds General Leith[9] came up waving his hat and shouting ‘Now my lads, this is the day for England. They would play at long ball with us from morning until night, but we will soon give them something else’. So as soon as he got to the right of the line, the bugle sounded to ‘Stand to our harms’ and to charge them immediately. As soon as we rose up, there was three cannons firing upon us, which we soon took, but we passed by them and left them for our rear lines to secure and passed on until we came to a small village, but we had to go through it left in front and in going through there came a shower of grape shot and knocked down men at my left hand, but when we got through the village the French had got over an hill out of our sight except their rifles. But we drove them in and advanced up the hill after them. As soon as we got to the top the French were in a solid square not more than 200 yards from. As soon as we saw them we have a shout, hopened [sic] a tremendous fire and ran into them directly so that that line was in a few minets [sic] killed and taken prisners [sic]. We then attacked their rear lines and after we had engaged them some time we were charging them, I received a ball in my right foot, although the scene was dreadfully awful, I never was in a more composed and comfortable frame than on that day, for in all that I saw, I saw that I had cause to be truly thankful, not that I had any certainty of life more than others, but I felt confident that I was under the care and protection of Almighty God and my life was in [h]is hands and nothing could happen without his divine permission. But I was powerfully struck at the commencement of the action with this passage of scripture ‘For all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword’. But in my situation, I knew that I was bound by the law to do my duty as a soldier, beside I knew that if I did not, my hown [sic] life was liable to pay for it. And I thought that as providence had placed me in that situation, it was my duty to be resigned to his will and prayed that whether it ended in life or in death it might be for his glory and my everlasting welfare, so that I felt quite in a composed state of mind until after I received my wound, but I lay in the field 4 or 5 hours after I was wounded before I was taken away. And while I lay, my spirits failed me so that I was filled with doupts [sic] and fear and began to think I should be separated from my few pious comrades and I should not have one pious frend [sic] to converse with, but providence had ordered it otherwise for when I was picked up, they took and lade me in a churchyard, for both the church and the yard were as full of wounded men as they could be, but it was so dark that I could not see, so as to know any person that lay near me except one that lay close by me and I should not [have] known him, but when I heard him grone [sic] I knew his voice, I called him by name and asked him if he was hurt much. He told me his thy [sic] was shattered all to pieces by a cannon shot. Very soon after the doctors came and ordered him to be taken to another place to have the limb taken off and when they took hold of him, for he was badly hurt and in three minutes after he expired. After that I lay in the churchyard abought an hour, I think it was about 11 o’clock at night when they came and carried me and all that could be found of our regiment, to a large stable where we stopt 3 or 4 days, then we was taken into the town of Salamanca and when they carried me from the carr they set me down just within the convent that we had for an hospital  and then there came a pious man belonging to the 5th regiment of foot[10] that I had been acquainted with in Ireland, he was wounded in the harm and mine being in the foot it confined me to my room so he had used to come and stop with me 2 or 3 hours most days and I often felt it a refreshing season to my soul. Our army pursued the French up to Burgos and attempted to besiege the castle, but the French got a strong reinforcement and soon drove them back.[11] As soon as they heard in Salamanca that our army was retreating, they began to send the worst of the cases to Lisbon and all that they could get conveyances for was sent but my wound had just healed up so I was left until our army came down and then I was ordered to join the regiment. I marched, but it was with very great pane [sic] abought a mile and a half, but when I got to the regiment I was so much spent that I was forced to lie down. I had not lay long before I was ceased [seized] with a very strong fit of the ague, I was very ill and had to lay on the cold ground all the night[12]. The next morning I was taken and put into one of the sick waggons. I was taken 3 days in the waggons, but when the 4th morning came, the French came upon us so quick that those who were able to get into the waggon did, but I had the ague so bad every day and was so weak that I could not get in of myself, so I was left laying on the ground and was taken prisoner. When I was captured I felt assured that I must use every exertion in my power to preserve my life, for if I had not tried [sic] to march I should either been put to death instantly or left to die upon the ground, so I throwed all away that I could and whent [sic] through the French lines about the distance of a mile, then I got into a field, where there was many more prisoners that were taken there. They kindled a fire, the night was very whet [sic] and cold and I had nothing but the few clothes that I stood in for, while I was going through the French lines one of them stept [sic] out of his rank and came to me and took my big cote [sic] and everything I had except some books, which he gave me back again. On account of the whetness of the night, we did not attempt to lay ourselves down until a very late hour. So the fire was kept burning until a very late hour so the fire was kept burning until the rane [sic] ceased and then they put it out. But seeing me so very ill they lade me on the place where the fire had been that I might yet what nourishment I could from the warmth of the ground and the rest of the men lay round me. In the morning, the French guard came and collected us together and marched us off, but there were many more among us that was sick and as soon as we began to march, the French put many to death that could not keep up, but most of them that were killed were Portuguese and Spanyards [sic] and I expected every minute it would be my lot to suffer the same fate. But in that case, the Lord was pleased to show mercy unto me in causing one of the sergeants belonging to the French guard to take pity on me, so that when I could not keep up, he would stay for me. We did not go more than one league or 3 miles that day and that night we were put into a place under cover and had some straw to lay upon. The next morning we marched again, but we did not go mutch more than 2 miles and there were several put to death that day also. The third day, we marched abought five mile and I believe that there were 36 put to death that day and one of them was a man belonging to the same regiment as myself. But when the forth [sic] morning came we had the longest day’s march to go to get into Salamanca and I felt so ill that I expected that it would be my lot to suffer the same fate that so many of my fellow prisoners had met with. But when the forth morning came we marched and we had a young officer that had the command of the guard and he seemed to be a very feeling man, which made the whole of the guard seem to put on a different feeling towards us, so that they treated us with more kindness than they did before, so that when any of us got far behind, they would halt and let us rest as much as possible they could, so that on that day there was but one put to death and I believe it would not have been only for a circumstance that we saw on the road, but the Spanyards were cruel people and if they could ever light of any one or two of the French alone, they would murder them in the most cruel manner that they could. So as we were marching, we saw one of the French soldiers that had been murdered laying in the most shameful and disgraceful manner that he could be left in so. When the guard saw it, they began to swear and said they would have satisfaction before they got into the town. So there was one poor man with us that was very ill indeed, his legs were so swelled that he could not keep up. Whether he was a Spanyard or a Portugese [sic] I did not know, for their dress was so near alike  that I could not tell them asunder, but we had not gone from the place where the dead man lay, before one of the guard came to the poor sick mand and ran [h]is bannet [bayonet] through him and left him there to die, so that was the satisfaction they had for the death of their fellow soldier, but we continued our march until we got into the town I had been four days with our harmy [sic] since  we had hany [sic] provision and I was fo[ur] more with the French before I had hany. I was so ill I could have eat but little if I had it, but all that I had was a few acorns that the men got from the trees and boiled, except one day, I had rather more than one tablespoon full of boiled corn that was given to me by one of the prisoners. These trials caused me a bitterness of soul to bewale my situation and to think that all these things were against me, as soon as we got to the place where we was to stop I whent and lay down, but I did not know that I should ever be able to rise any more, but after I had lain abought two hours as there was an order for us to receive one day’s allowance of bread and sutch was the distress of the country that in that some places spoken of before where I had bought the best of bread 3lbs for 4 ½ d  they were requiring beyond 10 shillings for 3 pounds that was not fit to be eaten it was so bad, and some of it was served out to us, they began by giving a 3 pound loaf for 2 men, but they soon found there was not enough, so they gave 1 loaf for three until they came to a few men at last that only had 1 for 4 men, so after all the rest were served they gave me 1 quarter, but I was so ill that I could not eat but very little of it. But the same night a man came to enquire if there was any of the 38th Regiment came in among the prisoners, they told him there was one at the bottom of the room laying on the floor very ill, so the man came to me and told me I was wanted in the wounded room, for there was one that had lost his leg at the Battle of Palenche [Palencia] that belonged to the same company as myself and I must go to him immediately. I told him I could not for I was not able, but if I could get to him the next day I whould [sic], so the next morning with great difficulty I got down to the room where he was, but I was so worn out with hunger and affliction that I could scarcely bear my hown [sic] weight. But when I got to him with five more wounded men that were kept in the care of a Staff Serjon [sic] to take care of them until the French doctors could take charge of them and they had a good store of whine [sic] and chockelet [sic] and other provisions left for their use. So when I whent into their room, as soon as they saw the state I was in, they gave me some whine and some shugar [sic] to warm for them and myself. So after I had taken some little refreshment with them, I found myself a little better and I continued with them for several days and as they were all confined to their beds with the loss of some a leg and some a harm, I wated [sic] on them as well as I was able, for I think abought 3 weeks and in that time I got a great deal better and then I was taken from them and sent to another part of the town, but I had sutch a weakness in my knees that I could not walk but a very little distance at a time without resting. But I stayed in that town 6 or 7 weeks before we got the order to march toward France and when we got the order there were some wounded Frenchmen for which cars were provided and it appeared to me that the Lord in mercy caused them to look upon me with pitty [sic] for they had used every day to take me up to ride with them, either part of the day or all of it, so I was helped on till we got to a large town called [sic] Valadelead [Valladolid] where we stayed some time, but such was the state of my health that I was under the doctors hands all the time that I stayed there and when we left that place, which was in the depth of winter, although I was much better in health than I had been before since I had been a prisoner, yet with the fatigue of marching and every night lodged in a cold prison and without anything to cover us with except the few clothes that I had on and oftentimes not a morsel [sic] of straw and nothing but a cold floor to lay upon, my health soon again became impaired, and when I got to Burgoss [Burgos] I was put into hospital and very little expectation of ever going any farther. But after some time I recovered and I was mutch better than I had ever been since I had been a prisoner. But on account of my wound I was not able to travel [sic, so they had used to put me on their baggage cars every day, but one day it being extremely cold and frosty, I thought on the former part of the day I should have been perished with the cold, but in the afternoon I did not feel it so mutch and in the evening when we was getting near to the place we was to stop at, I thought I should like to walk a little distance and I hasked [sic] the guard to help me to get down, but he seemed angry with me and would not. So I rode into the town where we was to stop, but when they came to take me down, both my feet were frozen so that I could not move them without help and I was three days in that place before I could perceive any feelth [sic] in them, but in time I got so as to be moved on farther. But in a little time after my toe nails came off, which caused me a deal of pain and after I entered France I got pretty well in health. But I had not been long in that country, the rumites [rumatoid] took me first in my left knee and then in my shoulders, so that I could not walk at all without help and so painful was it that I could get no rest, day or night for several weeks. But while I was thus suffering, they kept mooving [sic] me from town to town every day and at night I was lodged in a jail or prison of some sort. Sometimes I had a little straw to ly [sic] upon and sometimes I had not, but the farther I got, the warmer the climate was, but I never was able to travel until I got to Givett [Givet][13] which was the settled prison for us to stop at and when I arrived there, I thought it impossible to find words to express my thankfulness to God for his mercy in sparing me and bringing me through sutch sevear [sic] trials and difficulties to a place where I expected to get some rest. But what appeared to me to be the greatest blessing was that when I got into the prison at Givet I was soon in company with many pious people, this gladdened my heart and caused me to reflect on all the ways in which the lord had brought me and it was then that I was forced to acknowledge that the Lord had led me in a right way and those things which I thought were so mutch against me were all working for my real good. But I had not been but a few days in Givet before both my legs began to swell and that were so bad that I could scarcely walk abought the prison yard but in two or three weeks they both bursted and ran a great deal, after that they healed up and I was restored to perfect health and strength of body and during the time that I stayed in that prison I can say that up to that period of my life I had never enjoied [sic] so mutch [sic] real happiness in my life, for I had to lament before of being deprived of those means that the people of God delight to be found in. But here we were favoured behond [sic] the commonality of mankind, for we had used to assemble in a large room that we had for a meeting place and hold prayer meetings every morning as soon as we were unlocked and then again at 12 o’clock and every other evening we had preaching and when we had no sermon we had prayer meeting. So that we had the means three times a day regularly, so that at times I had used to think I was like one whose misconduct had caused to be banished from his father’s house and become a prisoner in a foreign land and a land filled with idolatory and superstision yet there was I enabled I trust to worship according to the dictates of my hown [sic] conscience and agreeable to the sacred scripture, that God who is everywhere present and who condescends to listen to the prayer of all those who have been led to see their lost and ruined condition as sinners in the sight of God and have fled to Christ for refuge. But I had not been long in this place before we heard that the French was retreating and that the British army whith [sic] others whear [sic] coming after them as fast as possible, but we continued unmolested nearly five months after I arrived there, but the allied powers got so near to us that [the] French thought it high time to move us if possible to prevent us from being released by their enemy and the day before Christmas day, the order came for the first part of the prisoners to march, that was in the year 1813. Some heard the news with joy and gladness and thought that they should soon be at liberty in their own native land. But many others thought that we should have many severe difficulties to encounter before we should get away and so it proved for the winter was very severe, I think the frost began 2 or 3 days before we began our march and continued 12 or 13 weeks and we kept on the march until the 2nd of March 1814 and during that time we had all suffered mutch with cold hunger and fatigue, and when we got to Allas [Arras?] for that was the place where about 4 or 5 hundred of us had to stay at, we was in a deplorable state for we had 44 men in a room, with scarcely anything to ware [sic] and very often nothing to eat, but although some were in sutch a distressed state there could be no blame attached to the French it was the distress of the contrary that caused us to be so, for they saw their government was falling, therefore those that had anything did not like to part with it in trust, because they did not know where to look for payment, so that some days we had a little bread and sometimes we had not. But sutch was the feelings of the inhabitance [sic] towards us in our distress that they had used to collect the town for us every day but it was not more than half a teacup full per man, but I believe that the people did what they could for us and I considered it to be very kind of them in that distressed and deplorable condition. We continued until the 14 of April when we heard that peace was made and Bonaparte was taken, which caused great joy and shouting through all the prison for that night, but on the next day we heard it was not true and then it appeared as if the whole prison were in mourning. But on the 16 it was confirmed to be true and on the 5 day of May I with the rest of the prisoners got onboard the Swiftsure man of war[14] to come to England after being 17 months a prisoner. The next morning after we got onboard we were ordered to leave that vessel and get onboard the Mulgrave 74[15] which we did and as soon as the wind favoured us we sailed away. She brought us to Menorka [Menorca], there we stayed 14 days and then we got orders to go onboard the Ocean 98 and she brought us to Plymouth after a two month from the time we left France. We lost our ankor [sic] in Plymouth [h]arbour, there we had to ride quarantine 14 days before we were permitted to land. After that I landed, hoping that I should never go to sea any more, but I soon found myself disappointed for after I had been a short time in Plymouth I got the order to go to Winchester to join our 2[nd] battalion but when I got there they were gone to the Isle of Wight so the next morning I marched to Southampton got onboard a packet in the evening of the same day, I landed on the island an[d] marched to Newport where that part of the regiment lay at. I think I stayed in that town 3 or 4 weeks then we got orders to go to Ireland. We whent [sic] onboard a transport and on the following Sabbath, we cast our Anker [sic] in the Cove of Cork but we had not been ankered more than half an hour before some more vessels came into the cove with our first battalion onboard them, they had come from France. We then got orders to land and march to Middleton and the other battalion got the rout for Kinsale Island in Midleton[16]. A few weeks there I was ordered to march to Kingsale [Kinsale] to join the 1st battalion. There I was gladly received by the few pious friends that I had kept in the regiment when I was taken prisoner, all of which through mercy had been spared and were in the enjoyment of good health except one that had sickened and dyed [sic] in the faith of the Gospel.

Having a comfortable hope of being accepted through Christ I thought after our difficulties and trials we had had to pass through and being spared and permitted to meet together where we could enjoy the privilege of meeting with and praying for each other. Our love and affection for each other was very great and I trust while we loved as bretheren, it was each one’s concern to live as Christians. I had been at Kinsale for 8 weeks and one Sabbath morning I was addressed ready for parade and was walking the barrack yard when a dragoon rode in to the yard and whent [sic] to the Orderly Room, but what the order was that he had brought I did not know, but it was soon talked about the barracks that he had brought orders for all the 7 years men to serve 10 years, but shortly after the drum beat and the parade formed and we marched to the church, but during the service I could not keep the thought from my mind, for after what I had passed through, I felt a desire and had often prayed to the Lord, if it was his will that I might be delivered from that line of life. Nevertheless if he thought it fit that I [he?] should continue to give me a perfect resignation to his will. When the service was over we marched up to the barracks and when the order was given for the parade to dismiss, there was an order for the limited men that had served their full time from 18 years of age to stand fast, so after the rest of the men were dismissed, we formed a square and adagent [adjutant] came in the middle of us and began to read. I listened with all possible attention & expected at the close of every sentence to hear that I must stay longer, but after he had continued reading for some time. He read it to us that the Prince Regent had thought proper for the good behaviour of the soldiers through the Pennysula [Peninsular] war to give a discharge to all that would accept it that had served the full period of their time and if any wished to engage again, they should have 5 year’s bounties and any that wished to stay were ordered to fall out, but not one stirred. The adagent [adjutant] waited a few seconds but when he saw we all stood fast, he ordered us to dismiss. I whent into my room, dinner was ready on the table but the joy that I felt was sutch that it prevented me from eating any at that time. A pious man that was of the same room began to talk to me and told me not to be too much lifted up or make too mutch ado abought it, but to remember it was but a temporated deliverance and when I was freed from the army, I should not be freed from the temptations of the enemy of souls and perhaps the tryals [sic] and trubles [sic] I should have to meet with in passing through life, although of a very different nature to what I had been exposed to, whould [sic] need great grace from on high to enable me to ornament my profession as a Christian, and to show and prove my attachment, to that God that I professed to love. The next morning, my discharge was brought to me to sign, but when I had read it over, I whould not sign it, but sent it back without in the evening, the pay master sent for me to know the reason I did not sign. I told him, he said my account could not be settled at the present, but he would give me a note from his hand that would enable me to dream my many in any place that I should settle in, so I signed my discharge and whent [sic] and told my companions, then for the last time the few pious that there was of us assembled in one of the spare rooms of the barracks and held a prayer meeting and began with those butifull [sic] lines ‘Blest be the deer uniting love that will not let us part. Our bodies may [be] far off remove[d], we still are one in heart after the close of the meeting we whent to our different rooms promising to see me again in the morning, and to go with me as far as their time would allow. So the next morning I arose to pursue my journey, my dear friends accompanying me, but for my part I felt like one that was going to be torn from their dearest relatives and never to see them on earth again for ever. I told them that that for their sakes I felt as if I would almost as leave stage as go, but they sade they should feel thankfull if it was their lot to go with me, but they must stay the Lord’s time, so after commending each other to God in prayer that left me to pursue my journey and they returned to their regiment. I travelled to Cork and got onboard a packet and after being onboard 7 days and night I landed at Pill and marched to Bristol and after I had got lodgings for the night, I saw some people going to chapel, I followed them and heard an excellent sermon. After the minister had done the people stayed and held a prayer meeting. I stayed with them, but I felt it impossible to express the gratitude and thankfulness that I felt after being tossed abought in the manner stated and preserved through every scene of difficulty that I had passed. Freed from the army and landed safe in my native country thus have I given a description of the former part of my life and although it was a [bear?] of trouble I went off & can say the Lord hath led me right.

[1] Harsthill lies just outside Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

[2] This confirms that he initially joined the 2nd Battalion of the 38th Foot which had been formed in Lichfield in November 1804 and had remained there until leaving for Guernsey in June 1807.

[3] The battalion was sent to Waterford in Ireland in November 1807, at this time the 1st Battalion was at Fermoy in County Cork, having just returned from the expedition to Buenos Airies.

[4] The 1st Battalion was at the battles of Rolica and Vimiero in 1808.

[5] General Sir Hew Dalrymple had arrived after the two actions to supersede as the commander of the force. He decided to offer the French army under General Junot, passage home in British ships to clear them out of Portugal. This was termed the Convention of Cintra.

[6] The battalion accompanied General Sir John Moore into Spain, the campaign culminated in a dreadful retreat to Corunna, where the British army turned on their pursuers and beat them, allowing them to evacuate the troops without serious loss.

[7] The battalion marched to Deal in July 1809 to join the disastrous Walcheren expedition.

[8] The battalion lay at Fermoy from August 1810 until May 1812 when it was ordered to Lisbon to join the army.

[9] Lieutenant General Sir James Leith, commanding the 5th Division.

[10] The Northumberland Fusiliers.

[11] The siege of Burgos failed due to a severe lack of siege artillery.

[12] The troops who had suffered from a form of malaria, known to the troops as ‘Walcheren Sickness’ frequently suffered further bouts of fever in Spain.

[13] The old fortress of Givet was used as a prisoner of war camp during the Napoleonic wars.

[14] HMS Swiftsure of 74 guns.

[15] HMS Mulgrave, 74, had been launched in 1812.

[16] In County Cork.

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