His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief to
Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.
'Horse Guards, 14th June, 1808.
'His Majesty having been graciously pleased to appoint you
to the command of a detachment of his army, to be employed upon a particular
service, I have to desire that you will be pleased to take the earliest
opportunity to assume the command of this force, and carry into effect such
instructions as you may receive from his Majesty's ministers.
' The force, which his Majesty has been pleased to place
under your command, consists of the following corps:-
With Major General Spencer
|Royal Staff Corps.
To proceed from Cork
|95th four companies
|4th Royal Vet.Battalion
And the staff appointed to this force is composed as follows
- Major General Spencer, Major General Hill, Major General Ferguson, Brig.
General Nightingall, Brig. General Fane, Brig. General Catlin Craufurd.
'On all subjects relating to your command, you will be
pleased to correspond with me, and you will regularly communicate to me all
military transactions, in which you may be engaged, reporting to me all
vacancies that may occur in the troops under your command; and as the power of
appointing to commissions is not vested in you, you will be pleased to
recommend to me such officers as may appear to you most deserving of promotion,
stating the special reasons, where such recommendations are not in the usual
channel of seniority.
' As the regiments marked thus ( *), under your command,
have second battalions attached to them, and which remain in this country, it
is necessary that I should acquaint you, that the first battalions under your
orders being, composed exclusively of the senior officers of their respective
ranks, such vacancies as may occur therein, by promotion or casualty, must
unavoidably be supplied by officers from the second battalions, who will be
ordered immediately to join, on such vacancies being made known to me.
'Should you have occasion to recommend any gentlemen for an
ensigncy, you will be pleased to make known his address, in order that, if his
Majesty should be pleased to confirm the recommendation, he may be directed to
join the corps immediately on his appointment.
' You will transmit, monthly, returns of the troops under
your command, to the Secretary at War, and to the Adjutant General, for my
information; and you will strictly adhere to his Majesty's regulations, in
regard to the pay, clothing, and appointments of the troops; and your special
attention must necessarily be directed to their discipline, and to the interior
economy of the different corps, which is so essential, not only to the comfort
of the soldier, but to the preservation of his health, under every change of
climate to which he may be exposed.
' Under the head of pay, I have to direct your attention to
the instructions of the Paymasters General to their deputy, respecting the
usual stoppages being deducted from the pay of the several Staff officers, and
to which you are requested to give the most punctual attention.
' You wild be vested with the usual powers of convening
General Courts Martial, upon which subject 1 have to observe that, as great
inconvenience has arisen to the service from officers commanding on foreign
stations having permitted prisoners to return to England prior to the
proceedings and opinion of the Court Martial having been submitted to the King,
I have to request that, in all cases, where any person whatever may be tried by
a General Court Martial, and where your powers are not sufficient to enable you
to decide finally upon the proceedings, opinion, and sentence of the Court,
that you do not permit the prisoner to return to England until his Majesty's
commands shall have been duly communicated to you through the proper channel
for that purpose.
' I have likewise to acquaint you, that as many General
Officers, from the best motives, have taken upon themselves to commute
sentences of capital punishment to transportation for a term of years, or for
life, when it is found that no such power is delegated by his Majesty, and,
consequently, that the whole of the proceedings may be thereby rendered
nugatory, it will be necessary that your particular attention should be given
to the powers granted to you by his Majesty's warrant on this subject, in order
to prevent you from inadvertently falling into a similar irregularity.
' It is particularly desirable that the officer, and the
head of the Quarter Master General's staff, should be directed to keep a
Journal, or other memorandum, descriptive of the movements of the troops, and
occurrences in which they are: engaged; as also, that he should take and
collect plans of the harbours, positions, or fortified places, in which the
troops may be, for the purpose of being transmitted to me and lodged in the
' In all points where any question or doubt may arise, and
in which you may be desirous of receiving further and more specific
instructions, you will always find me ready to pay the earliest attention to
I am, &c.
' Lieut. gen. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.' '
Commander in Chief. Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State, to Lieut. General
the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.
' Downing Street, 21st June, 1808.
' Our accounts from Cadiz are bad; no disposition there or
in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar to move; General Spencer returning to
Gibraltar: the proceedings, however, in the northern provinces, were not then
known It is material to know the effect produced by that effort which may be
' The Cabinet are desirous of postponing, till they hear
again, their final decision on your instructions, being unwilling you should
get too far to the southward' whilst the spirit of exertion appears to reside
more to the northward.
' Hitherto no time, in fact, has been lost, as your
equipment cannot be assembled at Cork for some days. The arms and cavalry
transports are not yet got to Portsmouth, and it is better to bring the whole
together, than to trust to junctions on the coast of Spain.
' You will have the goodness to order the transports to be
kept fully victualled whilst in port, that you may carry with you a full
I am, &c.
Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley,
K.B., to Major General Hill .
' Dublin Castle, 23rd June, 1808
My Dear Hill,
' I rejoice extremely at the prospect I have before me of
serving again with you, and I hope that we shall have more to do than we had on
the last occasion on which we were together.
' I propose to leave town for Cork as soon as I shall
receive my instructions from London. I understand that every thing has sailed
from England which is to go with us; and the horses belonging to the Irish
commissariat will be at Cork, I hope, before the transports shall have arrived,
in which they are to be embarked. Let me hear from you if you learn any thing
respecting them. The dragoons are to come direct from England to the
rendezvous, and will not detain us at Cork.
' I enclose a list of the names of the officers appointed to
be Deputy Assistant Adjutants and Quarter Masters General. Major Arbuthnot will
probably be in Dublin this day, and I shall send him to Cork immediately, and
you will put him in charge of the Adjutant General's department. You will put
the senior of the list of Assistant Deputy Quarter Masters General in charge of
that department, and give him the enclosed return of camp equipage and stores
embarked in the Grinfield transport. I had understood that I was to have had
stores of this description for 8000 men; and I shall be obliged to you, if you
will desire the head of the Quarter Master General's department to inquire
whether there are in the transport any more camp equipage stores besides those
contained in the enclosed return.
'I beg you to arrange for the embarkation of the Deputy
Assistant Adjutants General, and the Deputy Assistant Quarter Masters General:
probably they and the Commissaries had best go in the horse ships
' I understand there is a vessel at Cork to carry 36 horses
for the officers, besides those intended for the commissariat horses; and I
shall be obliged to you if you will desire that spare room may be kept for my
horses, and those of my aides de camp, which will arrive at Cork in a day or
' There remains nothing now but to brigade the troops, which
may be a convenience for the present, and give us the assistance of the General
Officers in the different arrangements which may be necessary on board the
transports. But what we shall do now can only be temporary, as the whole corps
must necessarily be new modelled when we join General Spencer. The Veteran
battalion must be put out of the question, as that corps must go into the
garrison of Gibraltar.
' The corps might be brigaded as follows:-The 95th and the
5th bats. of the 60th; the '5th, 9th, and 38th; the 40th, 71st, and 91st. You
will alter this arrangement, if the corps belonging to your brigade are not put
together, and you will put such (if all the corps of your brigade are not
embarked for this service) corps as you please with the 9th. Let General Fane
then command the Light Brigade; General Craufurd the Highlanders; and General
Ferguson, who belongs to Spencer's corps, that brigade which has been, and will
hereafter be yours. The Veteran battalion to report to General Fane, until it
shall be otherwise disposed of.
' Pray let me hear from you, and acquaint me with all your
wants, and whether I can do any thing for you here. You will readily believe
that I have plenty to do, in closing a government in such a manner as that I
may give it up, and taking the command of a corps for service; but I shall not
fail to attend to whatever you may write to me.
' Believe me, my dear Hill, &c.
ARTHUR WELLESLEY, K.B.,