The adventures of a soldier; or, Memoirs of Edward Costello, narratives of the campaigns in the Peninsular

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Page 313 - I felt a sudden tightness grasp my throat As it would strangle me ; such as I felt, I knew it well, some twenty years ago, When my good father shed his blessing on me : I hate to weep, and so I came away.
Page 31 - As Colonel Napier justly observes, " Had the historian Gibbon known of such a march, he would have spared his sneer about ' the delicacy of modern soldiers.' " As we approached Talavera, we learned for a fact, that a battle had been fought from the crowds of disorderly Spanish soldiery we continued to meet upon the road ; some few of them were wounded. These men were part of General Cuesta's army that had been beaten by the French on the 27th, and who chose to give the most disastrous account of...
Page 158 - I happened to be on guard one day, when General Craufurd came riding in from the front with his orderly dragoon, as was his usual custom, when two of our men, one of them a corporal, came running out of a house with some bread which they had stolen from the Spaniards; they were pursued by a Spanish woman, crying lustily,
Page 178 - ... its horrors, accompanied by screams, groans, and shouts, and the crashing of stones and falling of timbers. I now, for the first time for many years, uttered something like a prayer. After the horrible and well-known scene of carnage had lasted some time, the fire gradually slackened from the breach, and I heard a cheering which I knew to proceed from within the town, and shortly afterwards a cry of " Blood and 'ounds ! where's the Light Division ? — the town's our own — hurrah !" This proceeded,...
Page 160 - A dead silence prevailed for some time, until our gallant General recovered a little his noble feeling, when he uttered, with a broken accent, ' Why does a brave soldier like you commit these crimes ? ' Then, beckoning to his orderly to bring his horse, he mounted and rode off. It is needless to say that the other man also was pardoned, and in a few days the corporal was restored to his rank.
Page 159 - We were marched with a number of others to a sort of pound, surrounded by a wall. There was a well in the centre, out of which I drew water with my mess-tin, by means of canteen straps I collected from the men who were prisoners like myself. You sat on my knapsack ; I parted my last biscuit with you. You then told me you would never forget my kindness to you. It is now in your power, sir. You know how short we have been of rations for some time...
Page 31 - English miles, and in the hottest season of the year, each man carrying from fifty to sixty pounds weight upon his shoulders. Had the historian Gibbon known of such a march, he would have spared his sneer about the "delicacy of modern soldiers !
Page 79 - This our stolen intercourses soon made us awake to, until at length, touched with pity, our men went so far as to share with them the ration biscuits which we were regularly supplied with from England by our shipping. Indeed, we buried all national hostility in our anxiety to assist and relieve them. Tobacco was in great request; we used to carry some of ours to them, while they in return would bring us a little brandy. Their reVeille...
Page 149 - Now, lads, for the breach !" led the way. We started off in double time, and got under fire, in turning the left corner of the wall. As we neared the breach, the shot of the enemy swept our men away fast. Canister, grape...
Page 158 - ... were tried by a Brigade Court-martial, and brought out to a wood near the town for punishment. When the brigade was formed, and the Brigade-Major had finished reading the proceedings of the court-martial, General Craufurd commenced lecturing both men and officers on the nature of their cruelty to the harmless inhabitants, as he called the Spaniards. He laid particular stress on our regiment, who, he said, committed more crimes than the whole of the British army. * Besides, you think...

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