Read online or download a free book: Peninsular Sketches (Volume 1)
Publisher: General Books LLC (3 Feb. 2012)
By: William H. Maxwell (Author)
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1845. Excerpt: ... On the 18th of January, 1809, when the last transport, containing the rear guard of Sir J. Moore's army, sailed from the harbour of Corunna, the British little foresaw that the Peninsula was still to be the arena for their conquests and renown. None were so sanguine as to hope that their splendid successes and example should yet cause Europe to regain the moral feelings she had lost under the long victorious career of France, or that the latter country was finally to sink under their exertions. No more did Buonaparte suspect, when halting on the confines of the Gallician mountains, and leaving to Soult the easy duty of ' driving the leo From the revised journal of an Officer on the staff of the army. pard into the sea,' that his legions were soon to be checked and defeated: or that his vaunted representation of the broken-hearted and dismayed state of the British army, should, by the repulse of his troops, within a few days after, in a set battle, become a severe reflection on the conduct of his own soldiery. Neither Soult nor the Frenchmen under his command could have supposed, at the same period, how early the fate of war would create a total reverse in their hitherto prosperous campaigns: or that their corps, which had led the advance to Corunna, should soon become the pursued, and in a far more disastrous retreat than that they had just witnessed. But Buonaparte ever miscalculated, and at this time was wholly unacquainted with the perseverance of our national character, or the power of England: and when he compared her apparent means with that of France, by showing she had not a million of infantry, or one hundred thousand cavalry, to oppose her rival, he had to learn the extent of her vast and boundless resources, and the determined character of her...
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