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Wellington's Dispatches
July 1st -2nd, 1809


Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K. B., to Brigadier General R. Craufurd.

' Castello Branco 1st July, 1809.


' I am glad to find by a letter which you have addressed to the Adjutant General on the 28th, that you arrived on the 28th June. You do not mention the troop of horse artillery, and I therefore conclude it is not come with you. You will find orders at Lisbon upon all points on which you can require them .

' I beg that if the troop of horse artillery should not be ready to march when your brigade will be ready, you will not wait for them.

' We have here two battalions composed of detachments from all the regiments which composed the army under the command of the late Sir John Moore, and among others, of the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th; of which three I enclose a return. I believe that these men belong, generally, to the 2nd battalions of those regiments I propose to send these battalions of detachments down to Lisbon immediately, in order that they may embark for England, if I should find that the enemy do not make a stand on this side of Madrid, in a position which I understand they can occupy near Talavera de la Reyna. I beg that you will inquire from the Commanding Officers of the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th, whether they wish that the officers and men belonging to these regiments respectively should be detained in Portugal, and of course, with the army to join the regiments; or whether I shall send them down to Lisbon to go home with the other detachments.

' Believe me, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY,

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to Lieut.. Colonel Roche.

' Castello Branco' 1st July' 1809.

'Sir, ' I have just received your letter of the 29th. The British army are in full march towards the frontier, and no time shall be lost in collecting them at Plasencia.

' In the present situation of affairs, my opinion is, that General Cuesta should establish his bridge at some point on the Tagus below the Junction with the Tietar, to which there would be a road on each side of the Tagus, in order to enable me to move to his assistance if it should be necessary, or he to mine. He will be the best judge of the exact situation for the bridge.

' If General Vanegas's corps can be put in a secure position in or about its present situation, it ought for the present to be kept where it is, because it threatens Toledo and Madrid, and the enemy's rear, in case he should advance against General Cuesta and me. If General Vanegas's corps cannot be put in security where it is, it ought either to fall back into the mountains, if it is apprehended that the enemy entertain designs to march towards Cordova and Seville by the road of La Carolina; or if those apprehensions are not well founded, it ought eventually to be brought in communication with the corps of General Cuesta.

' Upon the whole, I prefer for General Vanegas's corps, at present, a strong position near the situation in which it is, as being most likely to keep the enemy in check till I shall be up; but if such a position cannot be found, it ought to be put in security, by being obliged to fall back to its old position in the mountains.

'You will communicate these my sentiments to Major General O'Donoju.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to Major General Erskine.

' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.


' I am much concerned to hear of your continued indisposition, and I am seriously of opinion that you ought to lose no time in going to the coast, and even to England, if you should not recover. No man likes to withdraw from an army in the situation in which we stand at present; but you ought to consider that your health is in such a state as to render it impossible for you to do a day's duty, and you must be a burthen to yourself and to every body else.

' I have sent a carriage to bring you in to Castello Branco, but I strongly recommend to you to set off on your return to Lisbon as soon as you are able.

' I cannot conclude without expressing my concern to lose your assistance, but I am convinced that, if you were to stay, you would be unable to afford me any, and that you will become worse instead of better.

' Believe me, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY.

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to the Military Secretary of the Commander in Chief.

' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809

' SIR,

' I have the honor to enclose extracts of the orders which I have issued, containing appointments of Officers to the Staff, till the pleasure of his Majesty should be known, and other arrangements which require the confirmation of authority. I shall explain such appointments and arrangements as appear to me to require explanation.

' 1. When I arrived in Portugal, Captain Cooke was Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General; and before I left England, I had recommended that he should be Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, to which appointment I understood the Commander in Chief had consented I found, however; that his name was omitted in the list of the officers of the department which I received from your office: this omission I concluded was a mistake, and I appointed Captain Cooke to act as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, which department he preferred to that of the Quarter Master General. I have since found, by a letter received from the Commander in Chief, that Captain Cooke is appointed Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, but I propose to keep him in the department of the Adjutant General, which he prefers, and for which he is most fit, till I shall receive your answer to this letter.

' 2. I likewise found Captain Vernon Graham in the department of the Adjutant General, and I continued to employ him in it as a Deputy Assistant; and I appointed Captain Mellish to be Deputy Assistant Adjutant General.

' 3. At that time Lieut. Colonel Wiley, Captain Cockburn, and Captain Ompteda, of those officers whose names are in the list received from your office, were not in Portugal. Lieut. Colonel Wiley has since arrived, but Lieut. Colonel Darroch, and Major Tidy, have gone home.

' 4. I appointed Captain Reynett, of the 52nd, to be Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, because I had recommended him to the Commander in Chief, by desire of the Quarter Master General, and understood that his appointment had been approved of, and he had left England before the letter was written which ordered him to join his regiment.

' 5. The letter from the Commander in Chief, of the 5th June, also directs the appointment of Captain Maw to be Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, which appointment I had made on the 6th May, 1809, having found Captain Maw doing duty with the department on my joining the army, and that his services were then necessary. Captain Maw has since returned to England.

' 6. The following officers, whose names appear in the list of the department as furnished from your office, are not in Portugal, Major Blaquiere and Major Northey; and the following are employed with the Portuguese service: Captain Hardinge, Captain Le Mesurier, and Captain Waller. Captain Gomm was ordered to join his regiment. I have therefore thought it necessary to appoint Captain Mercer, Captain Doyle, and Captain Humphries, to be Deputy Assistant Quarter Master Generals. I found Lieut. Merganthal doing duty with the Quarter Master General's department when I took the command of the army, and as he was useful in it, I continued him in his situation.

' 7. The appointment of Assistant Provost Marshals, I am sorry to say, is but too necessary, and I trust that the allowance granted to them by the order of the late Commander of the forces in Portugal, viz., Ensign's pay and allowances, by his orders of the 14th April, and the allowance to purchase a mule, given by me, will be approved of by the Commander of the Forces.

' 8. When the army went upon the expedition to the northward, it was deemed expedient to attach a battalion of Portuguese infantry to each of four British brigades, and all interpreter was attached to each of the Commanding Officers of these brigades. This expense has been discontinued since the Portuguese battalions have been detached from these brigades.

' 9. The order of the 7th May, attaching Mr. Cussan and Mr. Andrade to the office of the Quarter Master General, was issued with a view to the formation of the corps of guides, respecting which the order was finally issued on the 23rd May, 1809.

' This corps is essentially necessary in all operations in Portugal. It is most difficult to obtain any information respecting roads, or any of the local circumstances which must be considered in the decisions to be formed respecting the march of troops; and this difficulty obliged me last year, and all those who have since conducted operations in this country, to form a corps of this description.

' The object is not only to have a corps whose particular duty it will be to make inquiries, and have a knowledge of roads, but to have a class of persons in the army who shall march with the heads of columns, and interpret between the officers commanding them, and the people of the country guiding them, or others from whom they may wish to make inquiries.

' 10. The order of £10 bât money to Surgeons and Paymasters of regiments of the 10th and 23rd June, was issued to enable them to keep up a mule to carry the Surgeon's medicine chest and Paymaster's books, respectively.

' 11. I appointed Colonel Peacocke to be a Colonel on the Staff, as he was the senior Colonel of the army, with the exception of Colonel Anson, who declined the appointment; and there was a brigade of infantry which had no Commanding Officer. Since the appointment of General Anson to be a Brigadier General, by his Majesty, Colonel Peacocke is gone to command the British troops at Lisbon, where it was necessary to station an officer of rank.

' 12. I appointed Colonel Low to be a Brigadier General, as he was the senior Colonel of the Legion present; and Brigadier General Dieberg, was gone to England for the recovery of his health, and Colonel Low was senior as a Colonel to many officers who are Brigadiers in this army.

'13. I appointed Mr. Leslie Melville and Mr. Head to be Assistant Commissaries, and to be attached to the Portuguese troops, upon the recommendation of the Ambassador, and because the appointment was necessary.

' 14. Lieut. Carlos de Tamm, appointed a Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, is an officer of Portuguese Engineers, who had been very useful to the Quarter Master General, and whose services were still necessary to him.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to the Right Hon. the Commander in Chief.

' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.

' SIR,

' I have the honor to enclose a letter which I have received this day from Colonel Donkin, who commands the brigade of infantry in which the 5th battalion 60th regiment is serving, to which Lieut.——, to whom these papers relate, belongs.

' In addition to the complaints contained in these papers of the conduct of Lieut. ——, I have to mention, that that officer waited on me last night with a letter from the Adjutant General, authorising him to serve with the Portuguese troops; and he desired that I would permit him to join them. I declined doing so, as I wished to wait for an answer to the letter which I had addressed to you on the 7th June, before I should allow any other officer to join and do duty with the Portuguese troops; and Lieut.—— then told me that he was very sorry that he could not do duty with his regiment, as he was unwell.

' I beg to recommend that officers, particularly belonging to regiments doing, duty in Portugal, should not be permitted to serve with the Portuguese troops, unless they should be recommended by the officers commanding the regiments to which they belong.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to the Right Hon. J. H. Frere.

' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.


'Lieut. Colonel Bourke has returned to the army, and I shall hereafter communicate to you the detailed information which he has brought to me, in answer to the queries which I had sent him. In the mean time, I enclose the copy of a letter just received from Lieut. Colonel Roche, and my answer.

' I should not be surprised if we were to have a battle on this side of Madrid.

' Believe me, &c. ARTHUR WELLESLEY,

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

MY LORD, ' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.

' The enemy's corps, commanded by Marshal Victor, have continued their retreat from the Guadiana across the Tagus at Almaraz, and along that river towards Talavera; while the corps commanded by Sebastiani have likewise retired towards the Tagus. The retreat of both these corps has been gradual, and they have sustained no loss; although the former has been followed by the army of General Cuesta, and the latter by that of General Vanegas.

' General Cuesta's advanced guard crossed the Tagus at Almaraz, on the 26th June, and the main body were to follow as soon as the bridge of boats should be completed. General Vanegas's corps were on the 22nd, the last day on which I heard of them, at Villarta.

'The British army broke up on the 27th June from the camp and cantonments on the Tagus, and are on their march into Spain by Zarza Mayor towards Plasencia. The advanced guard will be at Zarza Mayor on the 3rd.

' I have the honor to inform your Lordship that I have heard that General Robert Craufurd arrived at Lisbon with his brigade on the 28th June.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to the Right Hon. J. H. Frere.

'Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.


' I have just received intelligence from Oporto, stating that the Resistance had passed by, having been at Coruña, which place and Ferrol were in the possession of the Spaniards. I have a letter from the Marquis de la Romana, from Orense, of the 25th, in which he states that he had heard reports that the enemy had evacuated Coruña.

' Believe me, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY.

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

' Castello Branco, 1st July, 1809.


' Since I closed my dispatch to your Lordship of this day's date, I have heard from Colonel Roche, who has relieved Colonel Bourke at General Cuesta's head quarters. It appears that Joseph Bonaparte had arrived at Toledo on the 22nd, with a corps consisting of about 5000 men, and he had crossed the Tagus, and had proceeded as far as Mora to join Sebastiani, apparently with a view to fall upon the corps of Vanegas. He had, however, returned to Toledo, as I understand Colonel Roche, with Sebastiani's corps, and the troops he had brought with him, and he was on his march towards Talavera, where the French were in considerable strength.

' The whole of the army of General Cuesta had crossed the Tagus at Almaraz, on the 29th, excepting three divisions, amounting to 10,000 men, which were higher up the river at and in the neighbourhood of Arzobispo, on the left bank; and his advanced posts were at Naval Moral, on the right bank, and he occupied some villages still nearer to Talavera. The General had determined, however, upon hearing of the collection of the French troops at Talavera, to recross the Tagus; and Colonel Roche expected that that operation would be completed by that night.

' I have recommended to General Cuesta to throw his bridge over the Tagus at a place below the junction of the Tietar with that river, in order that I may join him, or he may join me, if the enemy should move against either of the corps, and that Vanegas' corps should be kept in a place of security near Villarta, in which position he threatens Toledo and Madrid, and the enemy's rear, in the event of his moving to this quarter.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to Brigadier General Cox.

' Zibreira, 2nd July, 1809.


' I inclose a letter which I request you to forward to the Duque del Parque. The advanced guard of the British army will enter Spain to-morrow morning at Zarza Mayor.

' It is understood that the French armies are collecting at Talavera, and that King Joseph has joined then with 5000 men. General Cuesta therefore repassed the Tagus, I understand, at Almaraz, on the 29th June.

' Believe me, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY.

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to His Excellency the Duque del Parque.

' Zibreira, 2nd July, 1809.


' I have had the honor of receiving the letter which your Excellency addressed to me, in which you have informed me of your intention to depute two gentlemen whom you have named to receive the sum of money due on account of the British army to the town of Ciudad Rodrigo.

' I shall be obliged to-your Excellency if you will direct those gentlemen to proceed to Lisbon, the British Commissary at that city having received instructions to pay the money.

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

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to the Marquis de la Romana.

MONSIEUR, ' A Zibreira, 2 Juillet, 1809.

' J'ai reçu trier la lettre que votre Excellence m'a écrite d'Orense le 25 du mods passé, et je vous félicite sur l'évacuation prochaine de la Galicie par l'armée ennemie. J'ai reçu trier les nouvelles qu'ils avaient évacué la Corogne et Ferrol, dont les Espagnols étaient en possession; mais je ne crois pas qu'il y ait des troupes Anglaises de ce côté là. Je crois plutôt que l'ennemi a été oblige d'évacuer la Galicie par la nécessité de ses affaires en général.

' Le Général Cuesta avait passé le Tage à Almaraz à la pour-quite de l'armée de Victor, qui s'était répliée du côté de Talavera de la Reyna. Mais, ayant reçu des nouvelles le 29 du mods passé qui lui donnaient lieu de croire que l'ennemi rassemblait toutes ses forces à Talavera, et que le roi Joseph avait joint l'armée Française avec cinq mille hommes; le Général Cuesta avait l'intention de repasser le Tage ce jourlà. Je n'ai pas eu de ses nouvelles depuis le 29 du mods passé. Le Général Sebastiani avec son corps est, je crois, à Talavera, avec le corps de Victor et les cinq mille hommes ci-dessus nommés.

' Le Général Vanegas est à Villarta avec son corps.

' L'armée Anglaise est en marche pour entrer en Espagne par Zarza Mayor, Coria, et Plasencia; l'avant-garde sera à Zarza demain matin.

' Je ne crois pas que Ney et Soult envahiront le Portugal encore; mais s'ils y entrent, ils y trouveront le Maréchal Beresford avec l'armée Portugaise.

' J'ai l'honneur d'etre, &c. ' ARTHUR WELLESLEY,

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