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qaest: that when the Spanish commander had shewn such symptoms of * disposition 10 treat, as to ex. press a desire to coram :nicate with major-general Gower. the second in command, upon the subject of terms, the said lieutenant-general Whitelocke did return a message, in which he demanded, amongst other articles, the surrender of ail persons holding civil offices in the government of Boenos Ayres, as prisoners of war: that the said lieu, tenant-general Whitelocke, in making such an offensive and unosnal demand, tending to exasperate the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres. to produce and encourage a spirit of resistance to his majesty's arms, to exclude the hope of aniicab'e accommodation, and to increase the difficulties of the service with which he was intrusted, acted in a manner unbecoming his diity as an officer, prejudicial to military discipline, and contrary to the articles of war. Second charge.—That the said lieutenant-general Whitelocke, after the landing of the troops at Eusenada, and during the march from thence to the town of Buenos Ayres, did not make the military arrangements best calculated to ensure the success of his operations against the town; and that, having known, previously to his attack upon the town of Buenos Ayres, upon the 5th July 1807, as appears from his public dispatch of I Oth of July, that the enemy meant to occupy the flat roofs of the houses, be did nevertheless, in the said attack, divide his force into several brigades and parts, and ordered the whole to be unloaded, and no firing to be permitted on any account, arid under this order, to march into •the principal streets of the town
unprovided with proper and su cient means for forcing the bar cadoes, whereby the troops w* unnecessarily exposed to destn tion, without the possibility making effectual opposition: tv conduct betraying great ppotVona! incapacity on the part of 1 said lieutenant-general Wbitelorl tending to lessen the confidence the troops in the judgement of th officers, being derogatory to t honour of his majesty's arms, cc trary to his duty as an officer, f judicial to- good order an A milita discipline, and contrary to tb* J tides-of war.
Third charge.—That the s: lieutenant-general did not mat although it was in his power, 2 effectual attempt, by his owu p sonal exertion or otherwise, to < operate with, or support the dill ent divisions of the array und«r command, when engaged with 1 enemy in the streets of Bue: Ayres,' on the 5th of July, 180 whereby those troops, after havi encountered and surmounted a cc stant and well directed fire, a having effected the purpose of th orders, were left without aid a support, or further orders; 5 considerable detachments, urn lieutenant-colonel Duff and bri, dier-general Craufurd, were thencompelled to surrender: such ct duct on the part of the said lieu tenant-general Whitelocke tendi to the defeat and dishonour of majesty's arms, to lessen the con dence. o( the troops in the skill a courage of their officers, being u becoming and disgraceful to character as an officer, prejudic to good order and military dis pliue, and contrary to the artic of war.
Fourth charge.—That the laid lieatenaiir-general Whitelocke, subsequent to the attack upon the town of Humos Ayres, and at a time when the troops under his com. raand were in possession of posts Cb each flank of the town, and of the principal arsenal, with a com. monicatioD open to the fleet, and string au effective force of upwards of aOOi men, did enter into, and ;!'iailv conclude, a treaty with the enemy, whereby ho acknowledges, in the public dispatch of the 10th of July, 1807, " That he resolved to forego the advantages which the braven.- of his troops had obtained, and which advantages had cost him about 2,500 men, in killed, wound(•!. aad prisoners;" and by such freity, he unnecessarily and shame, fully surrendered all such advan. tsji-s, totally evacuated the town of Buenos Ayres, and consented to deliver, and did shamefully abandon «nd deliver up to the enemy, the rtrong fortress of Monte Video, which had been committed to his charge; and which, at the period of the treaty and abandonment, was well and sufficiently garrisoned and provided against attack, and which was not, at such period, in a state of blockade or siege: such conduct, on the part of lieutenant-general Whitelocke, tending to the disho. nour of his majesty's arms, and being contrary to bis duty as an officer, prejudicial to good order and military discipline, and contrary to the articles of war.
The court-martial found the go. aeral guilty of the whole of these charges, with the exception of that put of the second charge, which
r»-la(ed to the order, that " column* thould be unloaded, and that no firing thould be permitted on any account." The court was " anxious that it might be distinctly understood, that they attached no censure whatever to the precautions taken to prevent unnecessary firing during the advance of the troops to the proposed points of attack ; and did-therefore acquit lieutenant-general Whitelockc against that part of the said charge." Th«» court adjudged, " That /he sat'd lieutenant-general Whitelocke be cashiered, and declared totally unfit and unicorthy to serve his majesty in any military capacity whatever." This sentence was confirmed by the king, who gave orders thut it should be read at the head of every regiment in his service, and inserted in all regimental orderly books, with a view of its becoming a lasting memorial of the fatal consequences to which officers expose themselves, who, in the discharge of the important duties confided to tliem, are deficient in that zeal, judgment, and personal exertion, which their sovereign and their country have a right to expect from officers entrusted with high commands.
The plan of attack on Buenos Ayres adopted by general Whitelocke, it would appear, was none of his own contrivance, but one proposed to him by lieutenant-general Gower. This was declared by the general himself in his defence.* And general Gower admitted, in his evidence, that the basis of the plan adopted by General Whitelocke was very much like his.t Indeed, general
Whitelocke appears, from his trial, end of the trial, public curiosity
to have been very undecided and was less excited to know its issue,
wavering in his conduct*, and in than the interest or means by which
that state of mind which reposes on general Whitelocke had obtained
the counsels of others. Towards the his important appointment.
• General Craufurd, in his evidence, related to the court the following anecdote. The day after lie arrived at Monte Video, general Whitelocke proposed to him to walk round the works with him; and in returning through the town, be desired him to notice the peculiar construction of the houses, their flat roofs surrounded by parapet walls, and other circumstances, which, as he observed, rendered them peculiarly favourable for defence, and added, that he ccrtaiwjy wonid not expose his troops to so unequal n contest, as that in which they would he engaged, if led into so large a town as Buenos Ay res, all the inhabitants of which were prepared lor its defence, and the houses of which were similarly constructed to those which he then pointed out to him. In the obvious propriety of general Whitelocke's intentions, general Craufurd most heartily acquiciced. Whitelockc's Trial at Lirgc, p. 116.
Slate of Europe after the peace of Tilsit.—War against the Com. mcrccof England.—Decrees of Buonaparte blockading all the Ports of Britain, and the British Dominions, in every part of the Gln'je.—Enforced tcith greater and greater rigour.—Effects of these on English Commerce.—Counteracted by British Orders of Council.— General Christophe,the most powerful chief in St. Do. mingo, a friend to the English—his liberal and icise policy.—Cop. lure of the Dutch Island of Curafoa.—Transactions in the East Indies.—Consequences of the Massacre, and Insurrection, at Vet. lore.—Dundie Khan.—Major-general Dickens.—His unskilfulncss, and —anton disregard to the lives of the Officers and Privates under his command.
AFTER the battle of Friedland and peace of Tilsit, all the continent of Europe lay prostrate before Buonaparte. But the island of Great Britain, mistress of the seas, still defied his power, and threatened to harass his extended coasts with neTer-ceasing aggression, which she seemed still able to continue by means of the resources opened by her vast commerce. Sweden and Portugal were willing, bat not able, to maintain their independence: and Denmark was, above all things, desirous of avoiding the evils of war, either witli France, or England, by a strict and ri'id observance of that neutrality which had hitherto protected her. Bat, the open country of Holstein opposed no barriers for its own
defence, and that of Jutland, whila its richness and fertility both in. vitedand facilitated the entrance of that army, which had hovered long on its frontier—It was against the commerce of England alone, that Buonaparte had now to make wur: and as he could not do this at sea, his tleets having been almost annihilated, he conceived the extravagaut, and almost frantic* design of doing it at land, by shutting it out, not only from the ports of France, Italy, and Holland, but from all the ports of Europe.
The idea of opposing power at land to power at sea, and undermining the naval greatness of England, by excluding her trade from the great inlets of Europe, occurred to the Directory in 1796.+ In va-'
* It was an attempt, in some measure, to wage war with .nature, by disputing the prerogatives of the Ocean.—When the flcetof Xerxes was defeated, and destroyed, or dispersed by the Greeks, under the conduct of Themistocles at Salamis, he lashed the Ocean, inhabited and governed, as he supposed, by gods; and seized on all the treasures of the temple of Jupiter, at Babylon ; being offended at the opposition of tliejod to Ins schemes of conquest. He melted down the golden images of the deities in the temple, to reimburse him for the expence he had been put to, in an unsaccessful war against Greece.
t Vol. XL. 1798, History Of Europe, chap. xv.
Voi. XLIX. Q rious
rious publications issued by authority, the advantages to be expected from such a system, were represent. cd in glowing colours. But the impression they produced was very feeble, and that confined to the states whom the French gsvern. menthad other means of influencing than reasoning. But on the 3d of July, 1796, a decree was passed, diiecting "all French privateers, and ships of war, to treat the vessels of neutral nations in the same
in consequence of the decree* in their favour, carried their indiscriminate piracies to such a length, as wholly to drive away from the French coasts those neutral vessels which good polify would have invited and encouraged, in order to raise the value of the produce and merchandize of France, and lower the price of freight and insurance. The French government, taught by experience,, the folly of their piratical system, laid down as
manner, in which the ships of those maxims, that the most extended and
nations suffered themselves to be treated, by the English." This decree was notified to the Americans by the French minister at Philadelphia, 27th of October, in the same year. In consequence of this decree, numerous captures of American vessels were made by the cruizers of the French republic, and of some, by those of Spain. On the subject of maritime affairs, the Directory, in January. 1708, Issued another decree; "That all ships, having for their cargoes, in whole, or in part, any English merchandize, should be held lawful prizes, whoever might be the proprietor of that merchandize: which should he held contraband from the single circumstance of its coming from England, or any of its foreign settlements." It was also enacted, that the harbours of France should be shut, asainst all ships, except in cases of distress, that had so much as touched at any English port; and, to complete the climax of barbarity, that neutral sailors, found on-board English vessels, should be put to death.—The execution of this last decree, was prevented by a declaration on the part of Britain, threatening retaliation.— The numerous French privateers
unlimited piracy is by no means a genuine source of wealth and prosperity; and that. an agricultural state, such as France, rich in physical productions, and various industry, which consumes a great deal, and should export a great deal, is particularly interested in the preservation of all commercial regulations, in their greatest extent and security.
The Directory having representee} these things in a memorial, addressed to the legislative body,, concluded that it was high time to adopt some marine code, that should be bptter suited than the present, to the interest and exigencies of thecoun. try. They declared it to he their fixed opirrion, that, in the present situation of aflairs, the liberty of privateering, instead of being farther encouraged, and extended, should be restrained and modified. — This memorial respecting the ma, rine trade, was referred by the council of Five Hundred to a select committee. The subject of it was under consideration, but nothing determined on, when the Directory and legislative councils were superseded at the close of 1799, by the consular government. A matter of such importance did not escape the attention