Oct 15 2010
2nd Batallion: in camp near Sobral, Portugal
The Belem Tower at Lisbon, picture by kind permission of PAZghost.
This is one of the first sights British troops would have seen as they came ashore.
Although the battalion was off Cape Vincent on the 1st October, they subsequently suffered foul weather and were then becalmed. On the 5th, they took a pilot aboad. His arrival was particularly welcome because not only did he bring news of an Anglo-Portuguese victory at Buçaco on the 27th September but he also supplied the officers with fresh fish. The next day, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the battalion disembarked at Belem and marched to the castle, their quarters when they were previously in Lisbon (April 1809).
The castle at Lisbon
The weather was excessively wet when they marched for Montachique on the 10th October. Here the men had to spend two nights in a flooded barn while the officers were quartered in large house, where they slept on the floor wrapped in their boat cloaks.
On the 12th they reached divisional headquarters (the 5th Division) at Enxara dos Cavaleiros. The following morning they marched at daybreak in the expectation of action, but they were disappointed when the French did not appear.
Two days later they marched up country towards Sobral (held by the French) and are now encamped at the Great Redoubt, the central position in the first of three defensive lines. They have been informed by their new comrades in the 5th Division that when the army retreated south from Buçaco no-one suspected the existence of the defences which made use of the natural landscape and which have been prepared at Wellington’s order. Indeed, the battalion are still coming to terms with the defensive situation in which they now find themselves.
Ensign Daniell (the former battalion quartermaster sergeant) has remained in Cadiz with the heavy baggage, awaiting its transportation.
Patrick Carroll, one of the sick left in Cadiz, died on the 4th October.
Lieutenant Colonel Minet decided to leave the thirteen boys with the battalion in Lisbon, since he does not judge them ready for the fatigues of an active campaign.
1st Battalion: Trichinopoly
The fort at Trichinopoly
Although there have been four deaths in the last three weeks, the battalion continues to be considered generally healthy.
On the 6th October Sergeant Bartholomew Neville and Corporal John Dewardine were both reduced to the ranks. Sergeant Thomas Hogg has transferred to the East India Company service.
Ensigns John Herring and James Light, who left England earlier in the spring have finally joined the battalion.
Lieutenant Lewin remains at Myore for recovery of health.
The battalion recently received a communication from Horse Guards, dated the 24th February, concerning the removal of Major Hamilton and Lieutenant and Adjutant Stewart from the second battalion to the first. This was accompanied by a conflicting general order of the same date informing the battalion that the two officers were not to be taken onto the strength. There is some doubt as to what should happen to these two officers.
His Britannic Majesty’s most excellent 33rd Regiment of Foot at drill.
Three men and a boy have enlisted at headquarters for unlimited service.
Twenty-seven volunteers have been received from the Tipperary Militia. As trained men, they are particularly welcome and it is hoped that more militia volunteers can be persuaded to enlist. The men are tempted into general service with the offer of a higher bounty that is given to recruits.