Wellington's Men: Some Soldier Autobiographies

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William Henry Fitchett
Smith, Elder, & Company, 1900 - Peninsular War, 1807-1814 - 419 pages

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Page 424 - By FRANK T. BULLEN, Author of ' The Cruise of the "Cachalot,"' 'The Log of a Sea- Waif,
Page 93 - I followed the stream, which conducted me into the great square, on one side of which the late garrison were drawn up as prisoners, and the rest of it was filled with British and Portuguese intermixed, without any order or regularity. I had been there but a very short time, when they all commenced firing, without any ostensible cause; some fired...
Page 219 - In consequence of the intercession of your lieutenantcolonel, I will allow you thus much: you shall draw lots, and the winner shall escape; but one of the two I am determined to make an example of." The square was formed in a stubble-field, and the sergeant-major of the Rifles, 'immediately stooping down, plucked up two straws, and the men, coming forward, drew. I cannot be quite certain, but I think it was Armstrong who drew the longest straw, and won the safety of his hide; and his fellow gamester...
Page 134 - It was a sort of duelling-post between the two armies, every half-hour showing a meeting of some kind upon it ; but they never exceeded a short scramble, for men's lives were held very cheap there. For the two or three succeeding hours there was no variety with us, but one continued blaze of musketry. The smoke hung so thick about that, although not more than eighty yards asunder, we could only distinguish each other by the flashes of the pieces.
Page 393 - We therefore recommenced firing at the enemies' masses, and the cannonade, spreading, soon became general again along the line. Whilst thus occupied with our front, we suddenly became sensible of a most destructive flanking fire from a battery which had come, the Lord knows how, and established itself on a knoll somewhat higher than the ground we stood on, and only about 400 or 500 yards a little in advance of our left flank. The rapidity and precision of this fire were quite appalling. Every shot...
Page 389 - ... thunder-like reverberation of the ground beneath the simultaneous tread of so many horses. " On our part was equal deliberation. Every man stood steadily at his post, the guns ready, loaded with a...
Page 423 - This is the second volume of the series which has achieved one of the greatest literary successes of our time. ... As a 'gift-book, or as a book to take up and read at odd moments, or to devour at a prolonged sitting, this book has few equals, and will probably equal or eclipse the popularity of its predecessors.
Page 174 - To distinguish him amongst the bodies strewn about was impossible; perhaps he might himself be one of the wounded. Hardly had I effected the exchange, put on the dead officer's shoes, and resumed my rifle, when another shot took place, and a second ball whistled past me. This time I was ready, and turning quickly, I saw my man: he was just about to squat down behind a small mound, about twenty paces from me. I took a haphazard shot at him, and instantly knocked him over. I immediately ran up to him;...
Page 166 - I myself was very soon so hotly engaged, loading and firing away, enveloped in the smoke I created, and the cloud which hung about me from the continued fire of my comrades, that I could see nothing for a few minutes but the red flash of my own piece amongst the white vapours clinging to my very clothes.
Page 221 - ... their weapons, and scowling up in his face as he scolded; and when he dashed the spurs into his reeking horse, they would throw up their rifles upon their shoulders and hobble after him again. He was sometimes to be seen in the front, then in the rear, and then you would fall in with him again in the midst, dismounted, and marching on foot, that the men might see he took an equal share in the toils which they were enduring. He had a mortal dislike, I remember, to a commissary. Many a time have...

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