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Wellington's Dispatches
July 21st, 1808


H.R.H. the Commander in Chief to Lieut. General Sir Hew Dalrymple.

' Horse Guards, 21st July, 1808.


' His Majesty having been graciously pleased to appoint you to the command of a large division of his army, to be employed on a particular service, I have to notify to you the several corps, General, and Staff Officers which compose this army, and to desire that you will use your best endeavors to carry into effect such instructions as you may receive from his Majesty's ministers.

' In transmitting to you a list of your force I have felt it my duty, with the view of giving you every information and assistance in my power, to annex to it an outline of the manner in which it appears to me that it would be most advisable to brigade the army: but, although I have given this plan every possible consideration, yet I mean you should fully understand it is intended solely for your guidance, in the event of the circumstances of your situation rendering it practicable and easy; and by no means to curb you in any other arrangements you may think it advisable to adopt, under the pressure of local or other difficulty. ' The 4th Royal Veteran Battalion is not included in this dislocation, as that corps is at present intended for the garrison of Gibraltar; but it may possibly be in your power to take a more serviceable corps from thence in lieu of it, bearing in mind that this battalion is not to be permanently stationed at Gibraltar, but to be sent eventually to Madeira.

I am, &c. Frederick, Commander in Chief.

' List of several Corps, General, and Staff Officers, composing a large Division of his Majesty's Army, to be employed upon a particular service.

' His Majesty has been pleased to direct that the undermentioned corps should be formed into one army, viz.-

Sir John Moore's Corps
3rd Light Dragoons 562
British Artillery 374
German ditto 320
*4th Foot, 1st battalion 971
*28th, " 1020
52nd, " 951
*79th, " 995
*92nd, " 934
95th, 3 Companies 300
Royal Staff Corps 50
1st Light Battalion, K.G.L. 907
2nd, " 903
1st Line Battalion, K.G.L. 725
2nd " 761
5th " 753
7th " 679
Garrison Company 48

Major General Spencer's Corps
Royal Artillery 245
Royal Staff Corps 45
*6th Foot 1st Battalion 946
29th 806
32nd 1st Battalion 874
50th " 948
82nd " 929

Sir Arthur Wellesley's Corps
20th Light Dragoons 394
Royal Artillery 226
*5th Foot 1st Battalion 990
9th " 833
*36th 591
*38th " 957
*40th " 926
*45th " 670
60th, 5th Battalion 936
*71st, 1st " 903
*91st " 917
95th, 4 Companies 400
4th Royal Veteran Battalion 737

' His Majesty has further been pleased to direct, that Lieut. General Sir Hew Dalrymple shall have the chief command thereof, and that Lieut. General Sir Harry Burrard be second in command, when the Staff of this army will consist as follows, viz.:-

Lieut. General Sir Hew Dalrymple, Commander of the Forces. Lieut. General Sir Harry Burrard, second in command.

Lieut. Generals Sir John Moore, the Hon. John Hope, Mackenzie Fraser, Lord Paget, Sir Arthur Wellesley.

Major Generals J. Murray, Lord W. Bentinek, Hon. Edward Paget, Spencer, Hill, Ferguson.

Brigadier Generals Acland, Nightingall, R. Stewart, the Hon. C. Stewart, H. Fane, R. Anstruther, Catlin Craufurd.

Brigadier General H. Clinton, 1st Foot Guards, acting Adjutant Gen.

Lieut. Colonel Murray, 3rd Foot Guards, acting Quarter Master Gen.

Bt. Lieut. Colonel Torrens, 89th Foot, Military Secretary.

' His Majesty has further been pleased to command that the following should be the outline of the dislocation of the troops, subject to the discretion of the General commanding.

The Reserve under the command of Lieut. General Sir John Moore and Major General the Hon. Edward Paget.

Brig. General the Hon.C.Stewart.
18th Light Dragoons
20th "
3rd Lt.Drs., K.G.L.

Brig.General R.Anstruther.
52nd Foot 1st batt.
52nd " 2nd "
95th 9 Companies

Brig. General R. Stewart

43rd Foot, 2nd Batt.
60th " 5th "
1st Lt.Batt., K.G.L.
2nd "

Lieut. Gen. the Hon. John Hope

Brig. Gen. Acland 2nd, or Queen's Foot
4th, 1st Battalion
Major. Gen. Ferguson 79th

Lieut. Gen. Lord Paget

Major Gen. Spencer 6th
Brig. Gen. Nightingall 5th

Lieut. Gen. Mackenzie Fraser

Major Gen. Hill 9th
9th, 2nd Battalion
40th, 1st Battalion
Brig. Gen. Fane 36th

Lieut. Gen. Sir. A. Wellesley

Brig.Gen. Catlin Craufurd 20th
Major Gen. J.Murray 4 Batt's KGL infantry

Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State, to Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.

'Downing Street, 21st July, 1808.


' In the event of your deeming it may be advantageous that the troops now proceeding from England should be disembarked at any point on the coast of Portugal north of the Tagus, I am to suggest to you the propriety of your requesting Sir Charles Cotton to station one of his cruisers to the northward of the Berlings, with such information as you may deem material to communicate to the senior officer in command of the troops; and I shall intimate to the officers in charge of the troops proceeding from hence, that they should be prepared, at that point, to receive an intimation from you of the actual state of things in the Tagus.


Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State.

' H.M.S. Crocodile, Coruna, 21st July, 1808.

My Lord,

'I have the honor to inform you, that having adverted to the tenor of your Lordships instructions of the 30th ultimo, (No. 1 and 2) I deemed it expedient to quit the fleet, containing the troops under my command, as soon as it was clear of the coast of Ireland on the 13th instant; and I arrived here in this ship yesterday.

' I have had several conferences with the Junta of Galicia since my arrival, the general result of which has been, that the whole of Spain, with the exception of the kingdoms of Navarre and Biscay, are in arms against the French; and that in many places detachments of the French troops had been defeated by the Spanish people. The information, however, which has been received by the Junta of Galicia is not of an official nature; and I am not enabled to state positively where these occurrences have taken place, or to what extent, although I imagine that there is no doubt that these French corps have been defeated in the manner reported in the private letters received by individuals.

' The Galician army, joined by that of Castille, (the whole consisting of 50,000 men, of which 20,000 are stated to have been regular troops,) was posted at Rio Seco, in the province of Valladolid; and was attacked on the 14th instant, by a French corps, under the command of Marshal Bessieres, consisting of 20,000 men, (of which 4000 were cavalry,) which had been at Burgos: in the commencement of the action the Spanish troops had the advantage; but towards the close of the day, the French cavalry charged the left of the Spanish line, which consisted of the Castillian peasantry, and which was broken and defeated, with the loss of 7000 men, some officers of distinction' end two pieces of cannon. The loss of the French troops in the action is stated to have been 7000 men and six pieces of cannon. On the following day the Spanish army retired to Benevente, on the Esla; from which measure the French have acquired the command of the course of the Rio Douro, and are in a situation to impede the communication between this province and those to the southward, and to the eastward, likewise in arms against-the French.

' The Junta of Galicia have given their consent to my using the port of Vigo, if I should find it necessary, to afford shelter to the fleet, or even to land the troops there.

' It appears from the intelligence which I have received here, that the total number of the French troops still in Portugal is about 15,000 men, of which number 12,000 are at Lisbon, and in the neighborhood; and Almeida is occupied by a small corps. The three provinces north of the Rio Douro are in arms against the French; and there is a corps of Portuguese troops in Oporto, the number of which is stated to be 10,000 men; besides these, a Spanish corps, consisting of 2000 men, commenced their march on the 15th instant, from a port in the southern part of Galicia, towards Oporto, where I expect they will arrive about the 24th or 25th instant.

' I have not received any account of General Spencer, from which I can form a judgment, whether that officer will have it in his power to proceed to Lisbon, according to the tenor of your Lordship's instructions of the 30th of June and 2nd of July.

' I propose to sail from hence this night, and to go to Oporto in this ship; and I shall be directed in the future operations of the army, for the execution of your Lordship's instructions, by the intelligence which I shall receive there. I shall request Captain Malcolm to follow me with the convoy to Oporto.

I have the honor to be, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY.

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