2nd Battalion: Lines of Torres Vedras
On the 16th November the battalion, along with the rest of the fifth division, were drawn forward from the Lines in response to the French withdrawal to Santarem. In Sobral they found a number of half-buried bodies of French soldiers. They then marched to Oitero (17th) and Alenquer (18th), an unpleasant experience because the roads were littered with dead men and animals, indicative of the haste of the French withdrawal. On the 20th November they expected to attack the French near Santarem, but the recent excessively wet weather made an advance on the town impossible because of widespread flooding. By the 23rd the Anglo-Portuguese allies had drawn back to Aveiro de Baixo, and the next day they were in Alcoentre, where they remain.
Lieutenant Colonel Minet left the battalion on the 29th, having been summoned to Lisbon to serve as president of a court martial. Major Alexander Hamilton is in temporary command.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, 30th Regiment
Sickness continues to be a problem. Five officers, ten sergeants, four drummers and 151 rank and file are sick in quarters out of a battalion strength of 740 NCOs and rank and file. There have also been three deaths: Timothy Cox on the 17th, Jonathan Norris on the 18th and James Cunningham on the 20th. News has also arrived that Sergeant William Hassell has died in Cadiz, where he was serving as a hospital orderly.
On the 25th Corporal Hugh Renwick was promoted to sergeant, and Private Sergeant Holmes, to corporal.
There were two desertions on the 24th, James McLampy, who only joined the battalion at the end of September, and Patrick Kennedy. Corporal Dennis Moran and Drummer Thomas Elliott, along with twelve men, have joined from Cadiz, however.
1st Battalion: Trichinopoly
Old fort at Trichinopoly
The battalion continues healthy at this cooler time of year. There have been no deaths since the 9th November and sickness rates are very low.
Lieutenant Hutchinson and Ensign Herring (who only joined the battalion a couple of months ago) have been placed under an arrest on the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Vaumorel. Meanwhile, the four officers found guilty of duelling (Lieutenants Harpur, Carden, Jones and French) are still waiting to hear if their sentence of cashiering will be confirmed in London.
A contemporary print showing a cynical view of Militia training.
Twenty-four volunteers from the Tipperary Militia have volunteered to serve with the 30th, all but one for unlimited service. Since the regulations specify that men volunteering from the Militia cannot be sent to postings outside Europe, they will be welcomed as trained reinforcements for the second battalion.
One man has deserted from headquarters.
The depot have received news that Captain Chambers has been granted six months leave of absence. This is something of a surprise, since he is serving with the second battalion in Portugal, and once again highlights the difficulties of communication between Horseguards and the battalions.