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the sea-coast," and concludes by considering it “the most disastrous affair of the whole war.” This is at least ultra crepidlam. The general orders daily issued by Sir John Moore show the state of insubordination of the troops, numbers of whom perished owing to their own disobedience of orders. As to the unwritten authority of a “highly respectable officer of the ninety-fifth,” from whom his information was drawn, “that the soldiers always took their meals in quiet, and brought in all stragglers from the army," on which the historian rests his opinion, it rather militates against the charge of “ruinous haste," and is directly opposed to the authority of the best acknowledged account of the transaction, that by Colonel W. Napier, an actor in the scene; and to the official communications contained in the work of Mr. Moore, whose only fault is, that he has not done sufficient justice to his lamented brother. We may remark, en passant, that the gallant author just quoted should have been at least correct when stating facts : the engagement did not take place at one o'clock, and terminate at six, on the morning of the 17th, but between two and five in the afternoon of the 16th November, 1809. And we are curious to know the calibre of the gur that, “planted on the heights of Corunna, kept up a constant fire on the transports," a distance of upwards of four miles !! Fort St. Lucia is just at

cavalry and infantry, lost during Sir John Moore's campaign-very little more than four thousand, including those killed in battle :


Lost at or previous to the arrival of the army at the position Cavalry of Lugo.

| Infantry 1302

Total, 1397 Of this number, 200 were left in the wine-vaults of Bembibre,

and nearly 500 were stragglers from the troops that marched

to Vigo. Lost between the departure of the army from Lugo and the , Cavalry 9 embarkation at Corunna

. {Infantry 2627 } Total, 2636

Grand Total, 4033

“ Of the whole number, above 800 contrived to escape to Portugal, and being united with the sick left by the regiments in that country, they formed a corps of 1876 men, which being re-embodied under the name of the Battalions of Detachments, did good service at Oporto and Talavera.” So that, by this official account, our greatest loss was 3233—(see appendix to Napier's Peninsular War, vol. i. p. 83)—and if the reports of the French themselves are correct, that their loss "was above 3000,” we cost the enemy, in a single battle of three or four hours, very nearly as many men as we had lost in the whole retreat.



the water's edge, on the north-east side of the harbour of Corunna, from where the enemy's guns played on the transports next day.—See Captain Brenton's “ Naval History of Great Britain,vol. ii. p. 308–311.

The spot where stood the magazine, blown up by our troops, is now a vineyard, with scarcely a stone to mark its site. The explosion is described as having been terrific, almost all the windows in Corunna having been shattered, and occasioning so great a swell in the harbour, as to endanger the shipping, many of which dragged their anchors. A citizen told us, that Moore had sent them notice of the intended explosion, to apprise the invalids, and to desire they should all open their windows ; showing, in this slight instance, the coolness and forethought of the general, as well as the humanity and kindness of the man. Eulogium on such a man, from an unprofessional pen like mine, is superfluous, but just, supported as it is by the ablest of military opinions, those of Napoleon, Wellington, and Soult; it is, however gratifying to add even one voice, however feeble, to the swelling sound of admiration with which a grateful nation beholds the dawning of an "all cloudless glory” gradually rising from the mists of prejudice and ignorance, and ascending into that region of bright and deathless fame to live in company with the great and good of all times and nations, for ever.

I cannot help observing that with one of those whom the world has long since proclaimed immortal, his achievements place him in close parallel. The retreat of Xenophon bears the most singular resemblance in almost every particular, saving in duration, to that of Moore. Both were betrayed and deserted in a strange land, far from home, and by the very people they came to save. Both had an enemy to encounter, brave, vigilant, cautious, and far superior in numbers, who, while they incessantly hovered round and harassed their rear, cutting off their stragglers and supplies, never would accept the offered engagement. Both traversed countries barren and mountainous, in the depth of winter, and, to complete the resemblance, both, when in sight of that sea which to them was a haven of rest, were forced into a desperate struggle ere they were allowed by the flush of victory, to seek that safety her stormy bosom afforded.

In addition, and as if to render the similarity more complete, my friend Sir Charles Napier writes thus to me :

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“As in one column the army of Moore reached a height between Betanzos and Corunna, a view of the sea suddenly burst upon our sight, and the sea ! the sea !' was vociferated by the soldiers in front of the column, and repeated to the rere. I heard that Sir John Moore said to his aid-de-camp— Now for the first time, in this retreat, I think myself unlucky; for I see no ships, and I may be obliged to fight a battle.' He regretted the being forced to sacrifice his troops in a battle fought to secure his embarkation, and which promised no other important result but that of adding another proof of the courage possessed by British soldiers. His object had been to draw the French army under Napoleon, to the north of Spain, and thus give the Spaniards an opportunity to rise and form their armies in the south. This masterly manæuvre was ably and successfully executed. His next object was to embark his small army without a battle—this was not possible -he fought, conquered, and fell, leaving his character recorded in the annals of his country, as one of her most consummate warriors, and greatest men.”

The field of battle and the general face of the country is poor and barren, composed mostly of granite rock, with scarcely any soil, but what little exists is clothed with that beautiful heath the erica ciliaris; and small scattered clumps of pine, like fox-covers, crown the summits of all the surrounding hills.

It was a lovely day, the heat marked by the thermometer was 708 in the shade, but which the light sea breeze prevented being oppressive. This is the harvest of Indian corn, the principal food of the lower classes, and all are engaged in bearing it home. We hear nothing around but the screeching of the bullock-carts, which, though so insupportable in one's immediate vicinity, loses much of its discordance by distance. On our way home, we passed through some delightful valleys, crowded with vineyards, fig, orange, and chesnut trees, the latter of which, hung over with ears of Indian corn spread out to dry, looked as if loaded with their own golden fruit; but the houses, and the peasantry themselves, were wretchedly dirty, and many of the wine-presses “contrive a double debt to pay,” and were converted into pig-troughs.

There is a tolerable fish-market at Corunna, but it is uncertain, owing to the severe gales which rush in here from the Bay of Biscay. The grey mullet are very plentiful in this harbour, and,

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on a calm day, are easily shot by throwing a bit of bread on the water, at which several will jump together ;-I have frequently killed five at one shot. That most delicate of all sea-fish, the red mullet, is got here in great abundance, as is also the saury and sea pike, several varieties of sea bream, dories, red gurnet, and eels ; but the principal fish, from its numbers and its commercial importance, is the sardinha (clupea sardina). The mode of taking these is peculiar ;-a large flat-bottomed boat, holding upwards of thirty people, is anchored where the shoal is expected, and a net of great length and excessively small meshes is shot out by a small boat, which, having enclosed the fish, is hauled into the large one, by an upright windlass, or capstan ; the net is nearly half a mile long, and the multitude captured at a single haul is almost incredible. Immediately on being taken, they are cleansed and the heads cut off, they are then packed dry in tubs or baskets, with salt and bay leaves for exportation. The most accurate attention is paid to the packing and curing of these little fishes, which has insured for them a ready market in every port of the Mediterranean, whither they are sent in vast quantities as well as into the interior of Europe. Our extensive sprat and herring fisheries on the Irish and British coasts might derive a profitable lesson from the Spaniards, both in their mode of catching and preserving. At the mouth of the Rio Burgo a few sea trout and salmon are occasionally caught in the season, but not in sufficient numbers to warrant the statement, that they frequent that river ;-it may be supposed, that a few stray down the coast, after the great migratory mass have ascended the British rivers. Turbot is a rarity, and of inferior quality, but there are several species of Wrasse taken in the bay.

This part of Galicia is considered a good vine country; but though the grape is large and well flavoured, the wine is wretched stuff. The fruit-market is generally cheap and good, the peaches particularly so, and the onions are the finest I ever saw—they are of a beautiful crimson hue, and these, with pumpkins of immense size, gourds and peppers, form the principal food of the lower classes. The town being a fort, no gardens are allowed round it. Chesnuts are in great quantities, and eaten by every body: you meet with the stoves where they are roasted at every corner, and the incessant, though not inharmonious cry of “castanas ricas,” salutes you every where.



The only wild fowl I saw was the red-legged partridge, which, though larger and whiter, is not nearly so well-flavoured as the common English species, and is in taste little removed from a barn-door fowl. Our shooting excursions afforded an opportunity of seeing the country around, which is very uninteresting, being a succession of barren hills, similar to the battle-field. This repulsive aspect is, however, enlivened by the occasional fertility of the valleys, which makes the contrast the greater. Here the farms are surrounded by groves of magnificent chesnuts, and contain vineyards, fields of Indian corn, and several neat enclosures. The science of agriculture is but little known in this part of Spain, and proper cultivation could do much; the primitive plough, formed of a simple beam, with a cross-stick at the end, to which the share is fastened, shows their lamentable state of ignorance in this all-important branch of knowledge. The mattock is the principal implement of husbandry. The sheep are wretched in the extreme, being not larger than a three-months' lamb in England ; the wool is mostly black, short, coarse, and mixed with hair, and the mutton consequently very bad. The beef is good, though small, probably from working the oxen so young

Altogether Corunna would be a cheap place to live in, and the climate, just now, is very pleasant and healthy. The dews, though heavy, do not commence till late in the evening, but the winter months are often excessively severe, as those who suffered in 1809 but too well know-the cold of that winter, however, was far beyond the average ; at present the heat during the day is generally about 70° Fahr.

Civil war, with all its desolating train, has not yet reached this part of the country; the land is cultivated as usual, and the people appear fully as happy, and affairs go on as smoothly as if no such thing existed in the kingdom. In fact, the poorer classes seem to know and care little about it; their condition will be but little benefitted, whoever conquers; and with the exception of the evening's discussion, which takes place on the Prado, amongst some of the officers or the politicians, on the arrival of the last report, or the dark glances of a few suspected Carlists, grouped in little coteries around a padre, or lurking behind a crumbling bastion, to take a furtive look at the castle of St. Antonio, which holds so many of their friends and comrades

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