The Waterloo Association: Members Area

River Côa (Battle of the)

After having blown up the Real Fuerte de la Concepción on 20 July, Craufurd, positioned his Light Brigade, comprising five battalions of infantry, two light cavalry regiments, and one horse artillery battery (about 4200 infantry, 800 cavalry, and 6 guns)[23] east of the Côa River (disobeying Wellington’s orders), near Castelo de Almeida and near the only bridge of an otherwise unfordable river. On the morning of the battle, they were surprised by Marshal Ney‘s 20,000 troops, on their way to besiege Almeida. Craufurd was able to defend the bridge against several attacks, but finally retreated at midnight.The Real Fuerte de la Concepción, in the province of Salamanca, was one of a series of star forts on the Spanish side of the border between Spain and Portugal. The Praça-forte de Almeida, 10 km away, in the Guarda District, was one of a series of Portuguese star forts.