Jul 31 2011
2nd Battalion, Quinta de Alamira.
There had been some expectation of battle with the forces of Marshals Marmont and Soult at the end of June, but disturbances in Andalusia took Soult south while on the 15th July Marmont retired to Merida, having exhausted the local supplies. Meanwhile, the 5th division were withdrawn from the malarial Guardiana, and marched north to Portalegre, where they remained for two weeks before moving on to Quinta de Alamira, where they are bivouacking in a wood, having built huts for shelter. This is proving a pleasant interlude; in the evening the regimental bands play, and some ofthe officers imagine themselves in Vauxhall Gardens in London.
Although there has been a low level of sickness among men with the battalion, 14 men out of 460 returned sick on the 25th July, there have been seven deaths, including Sergeant John Morrissey on the 21st. In addition, there are 191 NCOs and men sick in Lisbon and Coimbra, and 27 men have been invalided home. William Forster deserted on the 21st July, but it seems unlikely that he has gone to the French, who are nowhere near.
Information has been received from the agent, Mr Croasdaile, that four officers have joined the battalion. Captain Douglas has exchanged into the 30th vice Captain Beaumont, who was serving with the 1st battalion in India until he returned to England on sick leave. There are also three new ensigns, Hughes, Lockwood and Brooke. All four have yet to join, although Ensign Robert Hughes is already in the Peninsula, having been commissioned from sergeant in the 3rd Foot (the Buffs) into the 3rd Portuguese regiment.
Ensign Robert Daniell, who was promoted from QMS in 1810, is doing duty in Lisbon, but Lieutenants Adamson and Brisac have joined the battalion from Lisbon.
The most disturbing event for the battalion, however, has been the three-month suspension from rank and pay of the quartermaster, John Forster Kingsley, following a public reprimand. This is the result of a fracas in Moito on the 1st June, when he was bringing shoes for the battalion from Lisbon. By the time he reached Moito he was short of carts, but his request for assistance from a commissary, Mr Dankaerts, was flatly refused. Whether Kingsley instructed the men with him to remove the carts by stealth or whether the men acted on what they interpreted as a hint from the quartermaster was not really resolved at the subsequent court martial at Campo Mayor. What was beyond doubt, however, was some fighting in the streets and the subsequent exchange of words with Lieutenant Rae of the Royals, who had tried to intervene at the request of Mr Dankaert. There seems little doubt that Kingsley, possessed of an irascible temper, spoke out of turn. Nevertheless, although he was found guilty of disrespect and of letting the men with him take the carts, the public reprimand, which was read to him, did make the point that when he found himself in difficulties and could not get the assistance of the commissary, he should have reported the matter to his commanding officer rather than lose his temper – a mild reprimand under the circumstances.
1st battalion, Trichinopoly
Temple at Trichinopoly
There have been six deaths this month, including Sergeant William Boyd and Corporal Edward Perkins, and two men have been invalided to Europe. William Wanlass, however, recently discharged from the lunatic asylum, is still in Poonamallee and seems to be re-adjusting successfully to army life.
There have been two demotions, Sergeant David Maher and Corporal William Asher, and several promotions, Corporal William Martin to sergeant, and James Cooke, John Hussey and John Wilford to corporal.
Lieutenant Colonel Lockhart is back with the battalion from command in Pondicherry.
Ensign Herring has been placed under an arrest by Major Maxwell.
Recruits being inspected
A sergeant and 50 men have been sent to the Peninsula to strengthen the 2nd battalion. In command is Lieutenant John Lorraine White. This officer properly belongs to the 1st battalion and should have sailed with them to India, but was on command elsewhere at the time. He is accompanied by Ensigns Smith, Campbell, Carter and Lockwood.
Recruiting is continuing to attract men to the colours. Nine have recently joined, two are on their way from the recruiting parties, and a further three men and three boys are still with the recruiting parties.