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Lord Wellington's attack upon the city of Badajos was characterized by equal promptitude of movement, as that on Cuidad Rodrigo, and a disregard of the powerful obstacles which threatened to impede the execution of his designs : every arrangement was made under his personal superintendance. On the 16th March, Badajos was invested with the 3d, 4th, and light division of infantry on the left bank of the Guadiana ; and a brigade of Lieutenant-General (now Sir John) Hamilton's division observing fort St. Christoval, on the right. On the following day the troops broke ground, and established a parallel within two hundred yards of an outwork, called the Picorina, which embraced the whole of the south-east angle of the fort, and looked into the place. The operations of the siege were continued, notwithstanding the badness of the weather, from the 20th to the 25th of March. On the latter day, Lord Wellington opened his fire from 28 pieces of ordnance in 6 batteries, and the same evening the outwork, La Picorina, was stormed and carried by Major-General (now Sir James) Kempt, after dark, in the most gallant manner. On the 31st of March the firing commenced from the second parallel, 6 pieces of cannon, in order to effect a breach in the south-east angle of the fort called La Trinidad, and the flank of the bastion by which that face was defended, called Santa Maria. The fire was continued during the 4th and 5th of April, against these points, and on the morning of the 4th, another battery of six guns was opened. Practicable breaches were effected in the bastions above-mentioned on the evening of the 5th, but Lord Wellington having observed that the enemy had entrenched the bastion of La Trinidad, and that the most formidable preparations were making for the defence, as well of the breach in that bastion, as that of the bastion of Santa Maria, determined to turn all the guns in the batteries of the second parallel on the curtain of La Trinidad, in hopes, that by effecting a third breach, the troops would be enabled to turn the enemy's works for the defence of the other two, the attack of which would besides be connected by the troops destined to assail the breach in the curtain. This breach was effected on the evening of the 6th, and the fire of the face of the bastion of Santa Maria, and of the flank of the bastion of
La Trinidad being overcome, 'Lord Wellington determmed on an immediate assault of the fortress.
The attack was made at ten at night; Lieutenant-General Picton preceding by a few minutes that of the remainder of the troops. Major-General Kempt led the attack : he was unfortunately wounded in crossing the Rivellas brook below the inundation; but notwithstanding this circumstance, and the most obstinate resistance, the castle was carried by escalade, and Lieutenant-General Picton's division established in it by half-past eleven. Wbilst this was going on, Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James) Wilson of the 48th regiment carried the ravelin of St. Roque by the Gorge, with a detachment of 200 men of the guards in the trenches, and with the assistance of Major Squire, of the engineers, established himself within that work. The 4th and light divisions moved to the attack, from the camp, along the left of the river Rivellas, and of the inundation. They were not perceived by the enemy till they reached the covered way, and the advanced guards of the two divisions descended without difficulty into the ditcb, protected by the fire of the parties stationed on the glacis for that purpose ; and they advanced to the assault of the breaches, led by their gallant officer with the utmost intrepidity; but such was the nature of the obstacles prepared at the top and behind the breaches, and so determined their resistance, that the British could not establish themselves within the place: these attempts were repeated till after midnight, with the loss of many brave officers and soldiers, when Lord Wellington, finding that success was not to be attained, and that Lieutenant-General Picton was established in the castle, ordered the 4th and light divisions to retire to the ground on which they had assembled for the attack. In the mean time Major-General Leith had pushed forward MajorGeneral (now Sir George) Walker's brigade on the left, and made false attack upon the Pardeleras with the 8th Portuguese Caçadores under Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Dudley St. Leger) Hill. Major-General Walker forced the barrier on the road of Olivenza, and entered the covered way on the left of the bastion of St. Vincente, close to the Guadiana : he there descended into the ditch, and escaladed the face of the bastion. In consequence of this success, all resistance ceased, and at day-light in the morning, General Phillippon, who had retired to fort St. Christoval, surrendered, together with General Vellande, the staff, and the whole garrison.
Thus fell the city of Badajos, by which the communication betwixt the French armies of the north and south was interrupted, and the fall of Valencia rendered of less moment. During the siege Marshal Marmont made an irruption into Portugal with a view of diverting Lord Wellington's attention, but retired again on the advanced guard of the combined army crossing the Tagus at Villa Velha.
The thanks of Parliament were again voted to his Lordship, whose answers were as follows.
“ My Lord, “ Fuente Guinaldo, May 28th, 1812. “ I received by the last post your Lordship’s letter, in which you enclosed the unanimous resolutions of the House of Lords of the 27th of April last, conveying the approbation of their Lordships of the conduct of the general officers, officers, and troops under my command, in the siege and assault of Badajos, which, in obedience to their Lordships' commands, I have communicated to the army.
“ This fresh mark of the favor with which their Lordships are disposed to view the services of the army under my command, has been received by me with gratitude proportionate to the sense I entertain of the yalue of their Lordships' approbation : and I request your Lordship to convey iny thanks to the House for the honor wbich they have conferred upon us. I am highly sensible of the value of your Lordship’s friendship and kindness, and beg you to accept my thanks for the handsome terms in which you have conveyed the sense of the House of Lords.
“ I have, &c.
(Signed) « WELLINGTON. “ The Right Honorable Lord Eldon,
Lord High Chancellor.”
“Sir, , • Fuente Guinaldo, May 28th, 1812. “I have communicated to the general officers, officers, an
troops under my command, the unanimous resolutions of the House of Commons of the 27th of April last, conveying the approbation of the House of their conduct in the siege and assault of Badajos, which you transmitted in your letter of the 27th of April.
“I beg leave through you to assure the House of the sense which I entertain of the value of their approbation, and of my earnest desire to prove my gratitude for the repeated marks which I have received of the favor with which the House of Commons has viewed the services of the army under my command.
“ I beg you, Sir, likewise, to be assured that I am duly im. pressed with a sense of the kindness manifested by you in the mode of conveying to me the sentiments of the House of Commons.
“ I have, &c.
(Signed) “ WELLINGTON. “ The Right Honorable Charles Abbot, Speaker of the House of Commons."
The enemy having fortified the important post of Almarez on the Tagus, and there established a depôt, Lord Wellington directed Lieutenant-General Hill to destroy their forts, which be accomplished with his usual ability, and at a very trilling loss. The destruction of this post was necessary for the attainment of any ulterior designs Lord Wellington might have in view in the north of Spain, the communications with the French armies being now confined to the very circuitous route through Madrid.
On the 17th of June, Lord Wellington, with the main body of the combined army crossed the Tormes at Salamanca, which the enemy abandoned, leaving a garrison of 1000 men in the fort, on the brink of the river, and commanding the bridge. It was very difficult of access, on account of the narrow streets by which it was approached; the enemy had employed two years in its construction, and considered it so strong, that, on their departure, a vast quantity of stores were deposited therein.
On the 23d Major-General (now Lieutenant-General Sir Henry) Clinton, who commanded the 6th division, directed an attack to be made upon the fort with 300 men, who were repulsed with the loss of 140 in killed and wounded : among the former was Major-General Bowes, who commanded the storming party, and behaved in the most gallant manner. This attack having failed, Lord Wellington opened a battery of redhot shot on the evening of the 26th, and continued his fire until 10 P.M. Next morning the firing re-commenced, and about noon the fort surrendered.
Marshal Marmont, having been defeated in his object of relieving the garrison in Salamanca, by the skilful maneuvres of his Lordship, withdrew his army behind the Douro, followed by the combined forces, and destroyed the bridge. A considerble body of the enemy passed the Douro at Toro, on the evening of the 16th of July, which Lord Wellington was unable to prevent, as the French possessed all the bridges over that river, and many of the fords. These troops re-crossed the river at Toro, on the same night, when the whole army moved to Tordesillas, and again crossed the Douro on the morning of the 17th; in the course of which day, Marshal Marmont assembled the whole of his force at Nava del Rey.
At dawn of day, on the 18th, the enemy attacked the 4th and light divisions of infantry and Major-General George Anson's brigade of cavalry at Castrejon, under the orders of Lieutenant-General Sir S. Cotton, (now Lord Combermere,) who maintained his post without suffering any loss, until the 5th division of infantry, and Major-General Le Marchant's, MajorGeneral Victor Baron Alten's, and Major-General Bock's brigades of cavalry, whom Lord Wellington had sent forward to protect Sir S. Cotton's retreat and junction with the main body, arrived to his support. The troops then retired in admirable order to Tordesillas de la Orden, with the enemy's whole army on their flank or in their rear; and thence to Guarena, which river they passed under the same circumstances, and effected their junction with the army.
The enemy having followed Sir S. Cotton across the Guarena, manifested an intention of pressing upon the left of the combined army, which objèct Lord Wellington perceived and