Jun 15 1809
Second battalion: Lisbon Citadel
The battalion arrived in Lisbon on the 7th April, having embarked at Kinsale on the 12th and 13th of March. Those who travelled in the transport Susan experienced “many miraculous escapes” (according to the adjutant, William Stewart) during their voyage to Portugal. (Before this, they were stationed in the Irish Midlands, serving as a feeder and training unit for the senior battalion. Their transfer to active service in the Peninsula is a sign of how this theatre of war is escalating in importance.)
The strength of the battalion at this stage is 39 sergeants, 16 drummers, 33 corporals and 562 privates (Monthly Return, 25 th April). In command is Lieutenant Colonel William Minet, supported by Major Alexander Hamilton and Major George Grey. The company officer strength is less than 2 per company. They are actually a mixture of first and second battalion officers; 11 second battalion officers (as a result of promotion) are “on command” with the 1st battalion in India, while 7 1st battalion officer are in Lisbon with the 2nd battalion, again as a result of promotion. Other 2nd battalion officers are on staff duty or recruiting, while two ensigns (Light and Herring) have been left in Kinsale, along with some recently joined recruits and men too sick to travel.
Sir Arthur Wellesley, now in command in Portugal, is advancing on Oporto, which is held by the French under Marshal Soult. The 30th are not part of this advance, being a somewhat unimpressive mixture of old and young soldiers. They understand that they are to be used for frontier duties, and are awaiting further orders.
First Battalion: Trichinopoly
Major Philip Vaumorel is in command, in the absence of Lieutenant Colonel William Lockhart, commanding at Pondicherry. Colonel Wilkinson (whose regimental service has been entirely with the 30th) is commanding the Southern Division.
Captain Thomas Chambers has recently returned from three months’ suspension from rank and pay, as the result of a quarrel with Captain Jackson while both were “on command” in Vellore. There is simmering discord between officers of the regiment as a result of this quarrel, and a duel subsequently fought by Chambers and Jackson.
In the absence of the two battalions on foreign service, the depot will take responsibility for recruiting and other “home” duties. At this point, no officer has been appointed to command.