Page images


where the personal exposure of the Picton, that both were officers of mark commander-in-chief contributed ma. and pretension, but adds, that they terially to the result. But the immo- were insubordinate to their superiors lation of Craufurd at Ciudad Rodrigo and harsh in command. Had Crau. in 1812, was as gratuitious and un- furd lived, he would undoubtedly have necessary as that of the veteran Sale risen to higher distinction and much at Moodkee in 1845, where he had more exalted rank, but he lacked the nothing to do, and where his proper coolness to manage a great battle, and place as quarter-master general was the head to plan a complicated camanywhere but where his courage car- paign. ried him. Craufurd with all his Spain is a difficult country to make brilliant qualities was dangerous, and war in, and many reputations have not so implicitly to be trusted as Lord been withered in the attempt. Henry Hill, of whom the Duke said, “he is IV. of France, who was not only a immovable and steady as a rock; what. daring soldier, but a skilful general, ever I tell him to do, I am sure it will declared that it was hopeless to carry be done to the letter.” Mr. Larpent on military operations in that country, says of this dashing officer

for that small armies would be beaten,

and large ones starved. Now, the " I have heard a number of anecdotes of Duke of Wellington carried on war in General Craufurd. He was very clever and Spain for six years, with small armies knowing in his profession all admit, and led and large ones, and without being on bis division to the day of his death in

either beaten or starved. It is true most gallant style; but Lord Wellington

he suffered much from the imbecility of never knew what he would do. He con

native cabinets, the incompetence of stantly acted in his own way, contrary to orders; and as he commanded the advanced

the Spanish generals, and the constant division, at times perplexed Lord Wellington

poltroonery of the regular troops; until considerably, who never could be sure where he declared, with bitterness of spirit, he was. On one occasion, near Guinaldo,

after the fruits of Talavera were he remained across a river by himself-that wrested from him, “I have fished in is, only with his own division-nearly a many troubled waters, but Spanish whole Cay after he was called in by Lord waters I will never fish in again.” Wellington. He said he knew he could

In May, 1813, the British_army defend his position. Lord Wellington, when broke


from the frontiers of Portu. he came back, only said, 'I am glad to see

gal, which Lord Wellington looked on yon safe, Craufurd.' The latter replied,

for the last time; and then com* Oh, I was in no danger, I assure you.' • But I was, from your conduct,' said Lord

menced that brilliant march which Wellington. Upon which Craafurdob. found him in the following year, after served, 'He is d—h crusty to-day!'

a series of victories and perpetual Lord Wellington knew his merits and fighting, in possession of Toulouse and humoured him. It was surprising what he Bordeaux, and in a fair way of realbore from him at times."

ising Lord Liverpool's prognosticated

march to Paris, so long looked upon Craufurd in 1810, when Massena and laughed at as an idle chimera. invaded Portugal, kept his single corps The invasion of the sacred territory of for two months within a march or two France was to be the signal of utter of the French army, laid the country and irretrievable ruin to the invaders, under contribution for his support, who, on the contrary, often found intercepted the French foraging par- themselves more kindly received, and ties, and, finally, fought 40,000 men treated with a more cordial welcome, for a whole day on the Coa, with the than on the supposed friendly soil river at his back, and carried off his of Spain. Lord" Wellington was at division, inflicting, on the enemy a one time more apprehensive of his heavier loss than he sustained. His allies in his rear than of the enemy in tactics were faulty, but bis gallantry his front, and was by no means confi. was excessive; and the action, though dent that he should not be compelled an error, was a brilliant episode which to fight his way back through the peoastonished the enemy not a little. ple he had liberated. The French

Sir W. Napier, whose praise is the relinquished Burgos without a strug. more valuable, as not being easily gle, and retired behind the Ebro. obtained or indiscriminately bestowed, Dubreton abandoned his impregnable says of Craufurd, in conjunction with castle, and by offering no opportunity



for a second investment, prevented view, without being exposed to much history from recording of the Duke as danger, of the grand field-day of Vitof Marlborough, that he never besieged toria,* of which, and of the state of the a town which he did not take. After ground and city after the battle, when the decisive day of Vittoria, the strewed with the whole materiel of the French fought against hope, and with French army, he gives an animated the certain and discouraging prestige account, as also of his accidental ren. of defeat, but they struggled gallantly contre with the Countess de Gazan. and pertinaciously; and Soult con- It appears that about £250,000 in hard tinued to uphold the falling cause of cash, in gold, was taken with the his master with a fidelity that gained French military chest at Vittoria, but for him universal applause. Mr. Lar- a very small portion found its way into pent, although a non-combatant, con- the public coffers.

Our author says trived to expose himself to many on this subject, dangers, and at last was taken prisoner, but he was soon released through the “Much was certainly plundered by the application of Lord Wellington, and natives and soldiers, the latter offering nine the intercession of General Count dollars for a guinea for the sake of carriage. Gazan, to whose lady he had shown

Lord Wellington, however, has his suspicions courtesy and kindness, when she was

of pillage by the civil departments ; he has

also heard various stories of money taken on left with many other fair captives

the road back from Vittoria. I do not know amongst the spoils of Vittoria. "The

what may come of this; I have made out lady, it appears, was renowned for her

but little satisfactory as yet; I think, howgallantries, but her husband, incredu

ever, one gentleman I examined yesterday lous as Belisarius, turned a deaf ear to intended to keep two thousand dollars. At all these idle stories, and never suffered the same time, the understanding that this them to disturb his domestic quiet. was all fair seems pretty general."

Mr. Larpent speaks in rather disparaging terms of the Guards and This much is quite certain, that Household Cavalry, whom he con- large sum of money were privately apsiders as less hardy warriors, and less propriated from the spoils of Vittoria, effective in the field, than the ordinary and that the high authorities passed battalions and squadrons of the work- the matter over without any very

rigid investigation. During Sir John

Moore's retreat to Corunna, in 1809, “ The Life-Guards and Blues," he says, much treasure was abandoned on the " looked well on their entrance into Palen

road, from the constant deaths of the tia, and on their march yesterday; the for

carriage-mules, and the impossibility mer, however, seem dull and out of spirits,

of transporting it further. The casks and have some sore backs among their horses. The Blues seem much more up to the thing,

containing dollars were broken in, and but they are neither of them very fit for ge

the money thrown down the ravines, neral service here. Lord Wellington saves

whence it was afterwards gathered up by them up for some grand coup, houses them

the peasants and the pursuing enemy. when he can, and takes care of them.” An English soldier's wife collected as

many dollars as she was able to carry, When we remember that these Pata- and placed them round her waist. Degonian householders, and their mount, spite the fatigue of long marches and had cost the country, man by man, at scanty food, she arrived safely at the least £300 before they got to Vittoria, place of embarkation with the prize. we need scarcely wonder that a prudent But on stepping into a boat, her foot general should hesitate to bring such slipped over the gunwale, when she costly warriors into action, unless an sank immediately and never rose again. opportunity offered of sending them The weight of the dollars, from which in to finish, as they say in the ring, she was unable to extricate herself, and as they afterwards did so manfully produced the unlooked for catastrophe. at Waterloo.

We are rather startled to find at page Mr. Larpent contrived to get a good 257, vol. i., the following passage,

ing line.

• He was scarcely as comfortable as Campbell the poet at Hohenlinden, or Lord Hutchinson at Friedland, who severally witnessed those two great battles from the steeple of a neighbouring church.

which has occasioned much animadver. try, entirely unsupported by cavalry, sion and strong dissentient opinions were forced to join combat with a amongst military readers :

superior enemy, and in an unfavour

able position. When a French army ** In marching, our men have no chance is surprised, or driven headlong from a at all with the French. The latter beat field of battle, as at the Douro, at them hollow, and, I beliere, principally ow- Arroyo de Molinos, and at Vittoria, ing to their being a more intelligent set of

they fling away every incumbrance, beings, seeing consequences more, and feeling

including arms, accoutrements, and them. This makes them sober and orderly

knapsacks, and, as Sir W. Napier says, whenever it becomes material, and on a pinch their exertions and individual activity

it is impossible for others to keep pace

with them who retain their usual gear. are astonishing. Our men get sulky and desperate, drink excessively, and become But in fair marching, in the fatigue daily more weak and unable to proceed, and endurance of a campaign, it has principally from their own conduct. They never yet been found, either in ancient eat voraciously when opportunity offers, after or modern times, that the French were having bad short fare. This brings on superior or equal to the English. In fluxes, &c. In every respect, except courage, Shakspeare's Henry V., the King, in rethey are rery inferior soldiers to the French

ply to Mountjoy, the French kerald who and Germans. When the two divisions, the

summons him to surrender, says: 4th and Light,* crossed through Tafalla the day before yesterday, the more soldier-like

"My people are with sickness much enfeebled; appearance and conduct of the foreigners,

My numbers lessen'd; and those few I have, though in person naturally inferior, was very Almost no better than so many French ; mortifying. Lord Wellington feels it much, Who, when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,

I thought, upon one pair of English legs, and is much hurt."

Did march three Frenchmen."-Act iii. sc. 6. Without impugning in the slightest Such was the national opinion on this degree the value of Mr. Larpent's ge- subject when Shakspeare wrote, in the neral observations or the merit of his reign of Queen Elizabeth. Now for a book-on a purely military point we sample in our own days. Sir W. Napier can scarcely consider a non-combatant saysand civilian as a competent authority; His professional duties and judicial “ This day also (July 29th, 1809) Genecapacity brought him much more in ral Robert Craufurd reached the English personal contact with the delinquents camp with the 43rd, 52nd, and 95th Rifles, —the drones, scamps, and malingcrerst

and immediately took charge of the outposts.

These troops, leaving only seventeen stragof the army - than with the hardy veterans and able men who constitute

glers behind in twenty-six hours, crossed

the field of battle in a close and compact the staple; while the former include

body, having in that time passed over sixtyonly the exceptions in a well-organised

two English miles, in the hottest season of regiment. It cannot be disputed that

the year, each man carrying from tifty to drunkenness bas ever been the bane

sixty pounds weight upon his shoulders. and besetting sin of the three gallant Had the historian Gibbon known of such a nations who compose the British army, march, he would have spared his sneer about and all are prone to become disorderly the delicacy of modern soldiers." — Vol. ii. and insubordinate, to straggle and plunder, on a retreat. But let a halt take place with the prospect of en. The same unquestionable authority, gaging, and the ranks are speedily when concluding a comparative sumfilled, and discipline restored. This mary of the soldiers of modern Europe, was remarkably evidenced at Lugo, says,"

“ The result of an hundred bat. where Sir John Moore offered the tles, and the admitted testimony of battle, which Marshal Soult prudently foes as well as friends, assigns the first declined; and still more signally, at place to the English infantry." He is Corunna, where the transports had not in the least blind to their defects, not arrived, and the exhausted infan. but long service has deeply impressed

P. 400.

• Two choice divisions of the British army.

† An exclusive military term applied to lazy soldiers who avoid duty under the pretence of illness, or maim themselves to obtain their discharge. Derived from the French, malingre, weakly or puny,

did so.

on him a conviction of their superior latter have not been altered with the former. qualities; and he produces otherreasons By the first, an officer may now be tried here with those we have named above, why by a court of seven members ; by the Articles a French army, under sudden disaster there must be thirteen." or dispersion, can re-assemble and pick up their stragglers much more rapidly And this discrepancy remained unthan an English force would be enabled altered, when half-an-hour's attention to do under the same circumstances.

on the part of the home officials, seated Neither did the average of sick in bos

at a desk, would have set all right, pital, in Lord Wellington's army, dur

and removed a puzzling contradiction. ing the Peninsular campaigns, exceed

Before the appointment of Mr. Larthat of the French divisions opposed pent, Lord Wellington, in addition to to him, as a reference to the different

his other multifarious duties, seems to returns will show. During the latter

have had the arrangement of the courtsyears, the Allies were under canvas, martial entirely thrown upon his own while the French continued the usual

hands, which irked him not a little, practice of bivouacking in the open

and sometimes made him lose his temair. Many lives were saved, and much per.

The members occasionally were sickness avoided by the use of tents,

either unacquainted with their duty, which, although they much increased or unwilling to do it. Once he swore the difficulty and expense of transport,

angrily, and said his whole table was amply repaid the inconvenience of both.

covered with details of robbery, mu. Mr. Larpent relates a curious anec

tiny, and complaints from all quar. dote of Lord Wellington, that the

ters, in all languages, and that he should Prince Regent was very anxious that

soon be nothing but a general of he should correspond with him di.

courts-martial. Ile was more easily rectly, and inuch hurt that he never

excited to anger on this disagreeable “But,” says his Lordship, “I

subject than on any other. Religious wrote to his ministers, and that was

observances seem to have been less enough. What had I to do with him ? rigorously attended to in the PeninHowever, his late favour was a reason

sula, than in the armies under Marl.

Our for my writing, and I have had a most borough in the Low Countries. gracious answer, evidently courting further correspondence, but which I shall not comply with.” He after

“You ask about our religious duties. wards changed this resolution, being Portugal, but no one now at head-quarters.

There are four or five more clergymen in completely won over by the autograph

The one stationed there, went away ill about letter from the Regent after Vittoria,

a twelvemonth since, as I hear." in which he presented his general with the staff of a marshal of England, in

At all times during the last war, return for that of Jourdan taken on

the number of military chaplains atthe field, and forwarded to him as a

tached to the different corps on sertrophy.

vice, and settled at foreign stations, The situation of judge advocate. was much too limited for the purpose. general in an army composed of

A little trait of personal peculiarity in many nations, such as that under

the Great Captain, is thus noticed :Lord Wellington, must at all times have been a very busy one.

Mr. Lar

“In one instance, Lord Wellington is not pent's courts-martial were many and

like Frederick the Great. He is remarkimportant, but he seems to have got

ably neat, and most particnlar in his dress, through his official business with great

considering his situation. He is well made, intelligence and activity, and, by dint knows it, and is willing to set off to the best of hanging and flogging, at the end of what nature has bestowed. In short, like a year a respectable state of moral dis

every great man, present or past, almost cipline was tolerably well restored. But without exception, he is vain. He cuts the he had difficulties to encounter, which skirts of his own coats shorter to make them might have been avoided. Ile says

look smarter ; and, only a short time since,

I found him discussing the cut of bis half"The new Mutiny Act has been sent out boots, and suggesting alterations to his serto me. There are several changes--one I vant when I went in upon business. The see which I suggested ; but the business is vanity of great men shows itself in different very much bungled. The Mutiny Act and ways, but, I believe, always exists in some Articles of War are now at variance, as the shape or other.”

author says :


We have not been accustomed to buttons of Charles XII., the small look upon the Duke as remarkably se. cocked hat and grey capote of Nadulous of dress, although on grand oc- poleon, the blanket and tub of Diocasions he made a sufficient display, genes, and even the pious beaver when he wore his principal orders and modest drab of the Quaker, may and decorations blazing on a coat more be included as samples. Philosophy gorgeous than the celebrated habit of itself has no objection to an occasional Prince Esterhazy, which, it was said, flourish of trumpets.

The ancient cost him £200 in repairs and damages sages taught in the schools, and moevery time it was put on. The Duke

dern philomaths lecture at public inhad a custom of wearing a white neck- stitutions, but who shall say that they cloth in uniform, which gave him rather are not as much incited by the vanity

of a slovenly look; and a flippant French showing their acquirements, as by the duchess once called him " Le Duc de desire of instructing their fellow-ciVilain-ton,” because he appeared at a tizens. Even Seneca declared, that full-dress party in something less than if knowledge was bestowed on him, on grande tenue. He was also familiarly condition that he should not impart it, called in the army, “ the Beau," from he would decline the gift. his usual plain attire, and apparent The Guards, or, as they were usually negligence of outward splendour. That denominated, “the gentlemen's sons,' vanity is an inherent compound or at- ot considered by Mr. Larpent as tendant of greatness, is a wide posi- more effective for “ roughing it" on tion, which admits of much argument a long campaign than the Household and endless demonstration. Many Cavalry. They were too much acdistinguished men affect or adopt ec- customed to luxuries, and less patient centricities, of which vanity may be under privations than the hardier and the inciting cause.

Lord Nelson was unpampered mass who constituted the fond of exhibiting his stars, and de. ordinary food for powder. Our author lighted in having his horses taken out,

says :and his carriage drawn by the mob. The celebrated Lord Peterborough, " Both men and officers are only fit for though light, and vain, and proud, had our old style of expedition-a landing, a no weakness of this kind. Once, the short march, and a good fight, and then a populace taking him for the Duke of lounge home again.” Marlborough, insisted on dragging him through the streets in triumph. “Gen- Certainly, the chosen cohorts en. tlemen,” said he, “I can assure you by joyed a good dinner more than a bi. two reasons, that I am not the Duke vouac fire, and a bottle of port in preof Marlborough. In the first place, I ference to a canteen full of muddy have only five guineas in my pocket; water ; but in the field of battle their and, in the second, they are heartily inherent gallantry never failed to show at your service.” So, throwing his itself, and conventional fopperies and purse amongst them, he got out of delicacies retired at once into the backtheir hands with loud huzzas and ac- ground. In the early and unlaurelled clamations. Richardson, in his Anec- campaigns of the Low Countries at dotes, says:-"The great Earl of Pe- the commencement of the French Re. terborough, who had much sense, much volution, in Egypt, at Talavera, at wit, and much whim, leaped out of his Barossa, at Waterloo, wherever the chariot one day on seeing a dancing- Prætorian bands were brought in close master with pearl-coloured silk stock- contact with the enemy, they exhibited ings, lightly stepping over the broad the courage of true British soldiers, stones, and picking his way in ex- and the constancy under fire of extremely dirty weather, and ran after perienced veterans. It has been often him (who soon took to his heels) with urged by well qualified military autho. his drawn sword, in order to drive him rities, that the institution of guards is into the mud, but into which he, of in itself unnecessay and detrimental course, followed himself.”

to sound military discipline, as creating All singularities may be traced jealousies and distinctions which im. home to a certain degree of vanity, pede rather than advance the true inof which prevailing weakness, the old terests and efficiency of the service. leather breeches of Frederick the The question is complicated, and open Great, the coarse coat and brass to long discussion, but the measure of

« PreviousContinue »