Jun 25 2011
2nd Battalion – Camp near Arronches
Crossing the Tagus at Vila Velha, Portugal
The battalion has been on the move since the beginning of the month, when it became obvious that Marshal Marmont, who has succeeded Marshal Masséna as commander of the Army of Portugal, was moving towards the Portuguese border. As a precaution General Spancer withdrew the 5th division to Sabugal. By the 7th, however, it was clear that Marmont’s objective was to link up with Marshal Soult in Estremadura, so that together the Army of Portugal and the Army of the South could raise the siege of Badajoz.
General Spencer now brought the 5th division south by way of Castello Branco and Vila Velha, where they were able to cross the Tagus (on the 18th and 19th) by a bridge of boats. On the 23rd they were in the neighbourhood of Arronches, where they found the rest of the allied army, the siege having been raised on the 10th. The two French marshals have maintained their position in Estremadura, and there is expectation of a battle.
The battalion has lost four men dead this month, and eleven invalided to England, including Corporal Melmer who was left in Cadiz nine months ago but has not recovered sufficiently for active service.
1st Battalion – Trichinopoly
The asylum in Madras
Five men have died since the last return, and a further five have been invalided to Europe. Accompanying them is Lieutenant Fettes, who has been granted 12 months’ leave for personal reasons.
Several men during the past few years have suffered mental breakdown. One of them, William Wanlass, spent over a year in the lunatic asylum in Madras. To everyone’s surprise, however, he has recovered sufficiently to return to the ranks. He has now been sent on command to Poonamallee, a quiet posting which should enable him to readjust to military life.
Depot – Wakefield
British infantry soldier of the Napoleonic era, courtesy of Messrs. Victrix
Twenty-six men have joined the regiment in the past month, thirteen of them volunteers from the Militia, and there are a further ten recruits still with the recruiting parties.
Orders have arrived for a detachment of fifty men to join the 2nd battalion.
There has also been an order that the men at the depot should help with the harvest, a welcome break from their rather monotonous existence.