Rough Sketches of the Life of an Old Soldier: During a Service in the West Indies: At the Siege of Copenhagen in 1807; in the Peninsula and the South of France in the Campaigns from 1808 to 1814, with the Light Division; in the Netherlands in 1815; Including the Battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo: with a Slight Sketch of the Three Years Passed by the Army of Occupation in France, &c., &c., &c (Google eBook)

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Longmans, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1831 - Peninsular War, 1807-1814 - 411 pages
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Page 171 - Gels' corps of infantry, which had recently reached Portugal, was sent to join the Light Division. They deserted to the French in such numbers that we had a lease of them but for a few weeks. Lord Wellington caused several of them, who had been taken in the attempt to desert to the enemy, to be tried and shot ; and immediately afterwards he directed that the corps should be sent away from the Light Division.
Page 129 - ... and of our regiment mixed together, and headed them in making a dash at a wall lined with French infantry, which we soon dislodged, I am at a loss to imagine. It was one of those extraordinary escapes tending strongly to implant in the mind some faith in the doctrine of fatality.
Page 62 - We pressed forward until ten o'clock at night, when, having reached a pool of stagnant water near the road, in which cattle had been watered during the summer, and where they had constantly wallowed, a halt was ordered for an hour or two. Those who have never been in similar situations may be inclined to doubt my veracity when I state, that the whole brigade, officers and soldiers, rushed into this muddy water, and drank with an eagerness and avidity impossible to describe. The use of such an execrable...
Page 389 - ... for posts and pickets; and to instil into the mind of the soldier, that he must act for himself, and on his own judgment, in taking every advantage of the ground on which it may be his lot to engage the enemy; and that, in the desultory nature of our warfare, it is impossible that an officer or sergeant can always be at his elbow to set him right.
Page 212 - Agueda, and some of his cavalry watched the Light Division, which occupied a very extended line of country behind the Vadillo, a...
Page 47 - Vigo, when orders were transmitted to the three light regiments, the 43d, 52d, and the first battalion of our own corps, to prepare for service again, with the least possible delay, and to form a brigade under BrigadierGeneral Robert Crawford. Our destination was Portugal. The losses which we had sustained in the late campaign were filled up from our 2d and 3d battalions ; and I conclude that the 43d and 52d were completed in a similar manner.
Page 85 - And they are greatly deceived, who suppose that a majority of the boys who enter these institutions, escape . the contamination! * * * The common notion that boys are generally ignorant in relation to this matter, and that we ought not to remove that ignorance, is wholly incorrect. I am confident that I speak within bounds, when I say, that seven out of every ten boys in our country at the age of twelve, have at least heard of this pernicious practice, and I say, again, the extent to which it prevails...
Page 73 - Many hundreds of the division were left in the mountains to find their way to Almaraz at their leisure, or, rather, as soon as exhausted nature had rallied. The unavoidable scarcity of food will account for all this, in addition to the length and severity of the marches in the hottest part of Europe, and over the most execrable roads. To reach and to secure the bridge of Almaraz was, however, of such vast importance, that if only fifty men of the division had strength to accomplish it, push on they...
Page 279 - ... of our time and attention. Lord Wellington's fox-hounds often met within reach of our cantonments, but such was the miserable state of our horses, that the staff-men only could avail themselves of it. We now, as on former occasions, assembled the village fair ones, and frequently danced half through the long winter nights ; nor were our fair partners at all averse to hot punch between the boleros and fandangos. Our nights were spent in the utmost conviviality and harmony, in the old barn where...
Page 63 - ... Water was scarcely to be had, and of such quality that the quadrupeds doomed to drink it need not have been envied, much less the bipeds. It must also be added, that for some days before we had been very scantily supplied with provisions. Very few men, comparatively speaking, were left on the road. The constant cannonade heard in front was a stimulus which had a most beneficial effect, and made them forget, for a time, their extraordinary fatigue.

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