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DESERTIONS FROM THE FRENCH ARMY.
SOME idea may be formed of the extent to which desertion from the French ranks has prevailed, from the following account, extracted from the Gibraltar Chronicle of the 7th of March, being an official statement of the arrival and distribution of Foreign Recruits, Deserters from the French armies in Spain, at and from the Foreign Depôt in Gibraltar, from the 14th June 1810, to the 24th Dec. 1811, viz. 20 Officers, 275 Serjeants, 382 Corporals, 4267 Privates—Total, 4954: which
were thus distributed :York Light Infantry ...... 628 Dillon's regiment ......... 543 King's German Legion .....,1140 Expedition to Malaga ....... 496 Brunswick regiment ... 207 To England ........ 60th regiment ...... 595 To Spain ...... Watteville's regiment .. .. 200 Dead ......... Corsican Rangers ........ 309 Deserted ........... Meuron's regiment ....... 120 Transferred ............ Chasseurs Britanniques ..... 208 Remains at the Depôt ....... 398
Total ...... 4954. Total men who arrived in the Bay and did not land, that have come within the knowledge of the Commanding Officer of the Depôt, 3412–Total, 8366.
(Signed) L. MACKNEVIN, Captain 4th R. V. B. Commanding F.R.
PRISONERS IN FRANCE.
The following is a list of the Officers of the Army, Prisoners of War in France, who were all well on the 2d of June :
AT VERDUN.—Lieuts.-Gen. Scott and Murray; Majors-Gen. Lord Blaney and Stack ; Captain Brice, 3d Dragoon Guards ; Assistant-Surgeon Coleman ; Lieut.Col. Wyndham, 1st Royal Dragoons; Lieut. Carden, Captain Phillips, 4th..
Ar Paris.--Major Morres, 9th Light Dragoons ; Captain Luyena, 11th ; Licuts. Wood, Binny, and Moss, 15th ; Captain Percy, 14th.
AT MONLIES.---Lieuts. Donner and Peurice, 15th.
Ar Sr. LITRE.-Captain Belli, 10th ; Captain Howard, 230; Captains Allen and Taylor, Royal Artillery; Captain Frazer, Engineer; Lieut. Harper; Lieut.Col. $. W. Rindar, Coldstream Guards; Lieut. Milluas, Lieut.-Col. Hill, 3d Guards; Lieut.-Col. Gordon.
Ar Lyons.-Major Totheringham ; Captain Geils ; Ensigns Scott and Stothert; Captain Godfrey, 1st Royals; Captain Spears, Lieut. Jackson, 3d Buffs ; Ensigas Pennefeather and Fitz-Gibbon ; Captain Shaw, 4th; Captain Erskine.
AT BOURDEAUX.-Lieuts, Graham, Richardson, and Field ; Quarter-Master Richards, Lieut. Clarke, 6th ; Ensign Clarke ; Paymaster Butcher, Licut. Page, 7th ; Lieut. Kerwen, Colonel de Bermiere, 9th.
AT NANCY.-Captain Lambeth, Lieut. Armstrong, Lieut. Newman, 9th ; Ensiga Sullivan, Adjutant Satton, Paymaster Hall, Dr. Jobpstone, Lieut. Bremoan, 14th ; Captain Barrow, 15th ; Captain Couran, 21st; Lieuts. M'Nab and Mackety; 23d; Major Popham, 24th ; Captain Skewe and Captain Andrews, Lieuts. Grant, Allen, and Campbell, 26th ; Lieut. Foley, 28th ; Lieut. Budd, Captain Pattison, 29th ; Lieut. Biringham, Captain Hawker 30th ; Captain Roberts, Lieut. Howard, Captain Coleman, 31st ; Lieuts. A. Beaunik, G. Beaunik, and Moody, 36th; Captain Morrison, 43d; Colonel Guard, 45th ; Captain Allman, 48th ; Captain Campbell.
Ar Dours--Lieuts. Meaky, Leach, and Elwood, Ensign Gilbert, Lieut. Ryan,
Ar Bitcae.—Lieut. Butler, 87th ; Lieut. Sleehy, 39th ; Lieuts. Moulson and
Lieutenants-Snell, Tapper, Collas, Miller, Coun, Dalyell, Fennell, Richards,
Midshipmen-Lord Boyle, and 68 more.
Marines--Major Hawser, Captains Farmer, Phillips, and Ridley, Lieutenants * Blackney and Morgan.
DETENUS--Colonels Tyndall and Stanhope.
Ar Zouns. - Sir B. Dixy, Bart. Sir W. Barry, Bart. Hon. J. Tufton, Hon. H.
in health, sick.
.. ... 7,500 7 4 .
DOCUMENT alluded to in the Note, page 20, of Major-Gen. CRAW FORD.
do ACTION NEAR ALMEIDA. - Manbal Masaena, not content with the gross puisrepresentations which were
contained in the first official account of the affair of the 24th July, near Almeida, bat in subsequent dispatch reverted to it in a tone of boasting, wholly unjustified by the citeamatanoes, assuring the War Minister that his whole army is burning
tanpatience to teach the English army what they taught the division of
Crawford in the affair of Almeida. Brigadier-general Crawford bas, therefore, determined to give this public contradiction to the false assertions contained in Marshal Massena's report of an action, which was not only highly honourable to the light division, but which positively terminated in its favour, notwithstanding the extraordinary disparity of numbers. A corps of 4000 men remained, during a whole day, in presence of an army of 24,000 men; it performed, in the presence of 80 superior a force, one of the most difficult operations of war, namely, a retreat from a very broken and extensive position, over one narrow defile. It defended, during the whole of the day, the first defensible position that was to be found in the neighbourhood of the place where the action commenced ; and in the course of the affair, this corps of 4000 men, inflicted upon this army of 24,000 men, a loss equal to double of that which it sustained. Such were the circumstances of the action in which Brigadier-general Crawford's corps was opposed to the army, commanded by Marshals Massena and Ney, on the 24th of July, and it is therefore indisputable, that they had the best of it. From Marsbal Massepa's official dispatch, containing a statement of the force to which we were opposed, it appears that the cavalry consisted of the 3d hussuars, 15th chasseurs, 10th, 15th, and 25th dragoons, and that the whole of the infantry of Ney's corps was present, except one regiment of the division of Marchaud. The infantry of Ney's corps, according to the intercepted official returns, amounted at that time, to upwards of 22,000 effectives, and the cavalry regiments were certainly between 6 and 700 each. It therefore appears, that the force with which Marshals Massena and Ney advanced to attack the light division, on the morning of the 24th of July, consisted of 20,000 infantry, and between 3 and 4000 cavalry, to which were opposed three English battalions, 43d, 520, and 95th ; two Portuguese battalions, (1st and 3d chasseurs) and eight squadrons of cavalry; making in the whole, a force of about 3200 British, and 1100 Portuguese troops. Almeida is a small fortress, situated at the edge of the declivity, forming a right bank of the valley of the Coa, which rirer runs from the south to the north, and the bridge, over which is nearly an English mile west of the town. From the 21st to the 24th of July, the chain of our cavalry out-posts formed a semicircle in front of Almeida, the right flank being appuyé to the Coa, near As Naves, which is about three miles ahove the place; and the left flank also appuyé to the river near Cinco Villas, which is about three miles. below the fortress. The centre of this line was covered by a small stream, and to the principal roads by which it was expected that the enemy would advance, namely, on the right and centre of this line, the cavalry posts were supported by piquets of infantry. The only road which our artillery, and the body of our cavalry could make use of to retreat across the Coa, was that which leads from Almeida to the bridge. The nature of the ground made it difficult for the enemy to approach this road on our left, that is to say, on the porth side of the town, and the infantry of the division was tberefore placed in a position to cover it on the right, or south side, having its right flank appuyé to the Coa, above the bridge, its front covered by a deep and rocky ravine, and its left in some inclosures near a windmill, which is on the plain, about 800 yards south of the town. The Governor had intended to mount a gun upon the windmill, and one was actually in it, but it was useless, as it was not mounted, and another (also dismounted) was lying near the mill. These are the two guns which Marshal Massena says he took in the action. On the morning of the 24th, the centre of our line of piquets was attacked, viz. that which occupied the road, leading from Almeida to Val de la Mula, which village is about four English miles east of the fortress. These piquets were supported by the 14th light dragoons, and two guns, but, when the head of a considerable column, with artillery, presented itself, and began to form on the other side of the rivulet, the piquets were withdrawn. The enemy then passed the rivulet, a cannonade took place, and the enemy formed a line of fifteen squadrons of cavalry, at a distance of about a mile from the above-mentioned wind-mill, with artillery in its front, and a division of about 7000 infantry on its right; other troops were seen, though not so distinctly, advancing upon our right. It being Dow evident that we were opposed to such a force as to render it impossible for Brigadier-general Crawford to prevent the investment of the place, he determined to cross the Coa. He ordered the artillery and cavalry to move off by the road leading from the town to the bridge, and the infantry to follow, retiring across the Fineyards towards the bridge. He directed that the infantry should move off in echelon from the left, it being necessary to bold the right till the last, in order to prevent the enemy approaching the bridge, by a road coming from Junca, and which runs in the bottom of the valley, close to the river. Some companies, which forted the left of our line, were in a vineyard, which had been so completely inclosed by a high stone wall, that it was quite impossible for cavalry to get into it; but the preceding night having been excessively bad, some of the troops who had been stationed in this vineyard, bad unfortunately pulled down the wall in many places, to make use of the stones to form a shelter against the rain, which was most violent. This wall, which Brigadier-General Crawford had considered a sa complete defence, was therefore no longer such, and after our artillery and cavalry had moved off, the enemy's cavalry broke into the inclosure, and took several prisoners. Our total loss, in prisoners and missing, amounted to about 60, after all those who were at first returned as such, bad joined their regiments. The 48d regiment having been on the left of the line, was the first that arrived near the bridge. The Brigadier-General ordered some companies of it to occupy a height in front of the bridge, and the remainder to pass over and form on the heights on the other side of the river. Part of the 95th regiment, and the 3d battallion of chasseurs, who arrived next, were formed on the right of these companies of the 43d regiment that were in the front of the bridge. This position was maintained until every thing was over, and until one of the horse artillery ammunition waggons, which had been oferturned in a very bad situation, was got up and dragged to the other side by the men. During the remainder of the day, the bridge was most gallantly defended by the 43d, and part of the 95th regiments, and after it was dark we retreated from the Coa. To retire in tactical order over such ground, so broken, rocky and intersected with walls, as that which separated the first position from the second, would have been impossible, even if not under the fire of the enemy, and the ground on the other side of the river, was equally unfavourable for reforming the regiments. Whoever knows any thing of war, knows, that in such an operation, and upon such ground, some derangement of regular order, is inevitable, but the retreat was made in a military, soldier-like manner, and without the slightest.. precipitation. In the course of it, the enemy, when he pressed, was attacked in different places by the 430, 52d, and 95th regiments, and driven before them. With respect to the enemy's loss, it is of course difficult to say what it was, because we know, that, from the commencement of the revolutionary war to the present day, no French official report has ever contained a true account of their loss. Upon this occasion, Marshal Massena says--" We have taken one stand of colours,
four hundred men, and two pieces of cannoni ; our loss amounted to nearly three hundred killed and wounded." He took no colours, the cannon were the two. dismounted guns belonging to the fortress, which were lying in and near the windmill, and instead of 400 prisoners, be took only about 60, supposing every one of those whom we returned as missing, to Lave fallen alive into the enemy's bands. Now, if in the same paragraph in which he states his own loss at 300, he calls 60 prisoners 400, we may fairly infer that he is not more accurate in the one than the (other, and this circumstance, as well as the usual practice of their service, and the probability of the thing from what we could observe, fully justify us in assuming it to have been from 6 to 700; ours amounted, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, to 380. Such is the true account of this affair, upon which the Marshal prides himself so much, but in which it is certain, that the advantage was on our side. We could not pretend to prevent the investinent of the place, but in our retreat we did not lose a gun, a trophy, or a single article of field-equipage ; and we inflicted on the enemy a loss, certainly the double of that which we sustained. The account contained in the commencement of the Marshal's dispatch, of what had passed on the 21st of July, is equally contrary to the truth. He talks of having forced the passage of the little rivulet that is between Almeida and Val de la Mula, on the 21st, whereas our piquets remained there, and not a single Frenchman passed it until the morning of the 24th. He says, that many of our sharp-shooters fell into their bands on the 21st; the truth is, they did not take a single man. The retreat of the 14th dragoons from Val de la Mula, was conducted in the most slow and regular manner; and all our intentions with respect to Fort Conception, were completely fulfilled. (Sigoed) ROB, CRAWFORD, Brig.-General.
Extracts from Army Regulations, General Orders,
and Courts Martial.
ESTIMATES. THE Army Estimates for this year, as voted by the Houses of Parliament, are for 370,434 men; from which number 23,161 are to be deducted, as being in the territories of the East India Company. The expences of the remaining force, 342,273 men, to be provided by government, are 15,893,0931. 35. 9d. The number of embodied Militia is 93,212 ;--the expences for the Local Militia, 720,0781.
10th January, 1812.—The Prince Regent having taken into consideration the extraordinary expences which a Regimental Ollicer is subject to, in consequence of succeeding, without a regular Staff appointinent, to the command of His Majesty's troops abroad, by the death or absence of the Commanding Officer ;-His Royal Higbness is pleased, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to order, that, when a command shall so devolve upon a Field Oficer, or an officer of inferior rank, the officer succeeding to the temporary command shall, on possessing the rank of a Field Officer, receive an allowance of ten shillings per diem : the same to be paid for the period, during wbich he sball actually exercise the command, and in addition to his regimental pay and allowances. You will be pleased to notify this communication to the troops under your command, with special directions that the same be duly obseryed as a standing order on the station.-Signed by the Secretary at War.
To the General, or other Officer commanding his Majesty's Forces' at