25th June 1812
2nd battalion, Camp before Salamanca
A contemporary view of Salamanca
To deal with battalion matters first, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton is now present with the battalion, as is Assistant Surgeon Evans, who has returned from treating the wounded at Badajoz. Ensign Henry Beere has joined from the depot, having previously served with the Tipperary Militia. Lieutenant Charles is now serving as aide-de-camp to Sir Robert Wilson, and Lieutenant Eades is attending a court martial in Lisbon. In total, the battalion has one lieutenant colonel, one captain, ten lieutenants and three ensigns present, as well as four staff officers. There is a notable absence of senior officers.
There have been two deaths this month, and two men invalided to England. Corporal Edward Lane was promoted to sergeant on the 25th May.
The half yearly casualty return, which was completed a week ago, indicates that there have been thirty-two natural deaths since the last return, twenty-nine killed (all at Badajoz), and 27 invalided to England.
The battalion has been on the march since the 5th June, when they left their cantonments near Lamego for Trancoso, Freixedas and Castel Mendo. This last was the culmination of a hard march up from the Coa across wild country. They then marched to the Agueda via Poço Velha, Espeja and Carpio. The fifth division joined with the fourth at the Agueda. By the 12th June they were near Ciudad Rodrigo. They then marched for Salamanca, via San Muñoz. Initially, there was no sign of the Army of Portugal, which had been based at Salamanca, but on the 16th there were reports of cavalry skirmishes. The battalion is now camped near Salamanca, having previously been posted on the Heights of San Christoval. They were brought forward to counter a French advance on the 20th June, when there was expectation of a battle. However, although there was some fighting two days later, no battle has occurred. Meanwhile, the sixth division is still trying to take the forts, in which Marshal Marmont (in command of the Army of Portugal) left a garrison when he abandoned the city. The latest rumours suggest that an escalade has failed.
1st Battalion, Cannanore
Natives in full costume
On the 25th May Quartermaster Sergeant Nicholas Wilson was appointed Quartermaster in place of Arthur Poyntz, who died in February. Sergeant Richard Bourke was appointed Quatermaster Sergeant. Another new appointment was Corporal Luke Berry to Schoolmaster Sergeant. Schoolmaster sergeants have been instituted this year for all battalions, their duty being to educate the children attached to the regiment, and any men who wish to become literate. Also among the staff sergeants, Armourer Sergeant William Scott was reduced on the 27th April. As yet, no replacement has been appointed. During the past month three privates have been appointed corporal, one corporal has been made sergeant, and one corporal has been reduced.
There have been six deaths this month.
Ensign Perry has been struck off the 1st battalion, his commission having been cancelled. In fact, Perry never joined any unit of the regiment.
Captain (Brevet Major) Thomas Williamson is waiting for a ship to take him to England.
The first military skill to be mastered is marching.
Sixty-two rank and file have joined this month. Two are transfers, and sixty have come as volunteers from militia regiments: thirty-four from the Tipperary Militia, fourteen from the West Yorks Militia, ten from the Wexford Militia, one from the Cambridge Militia, and one from the Carlow Militia. As trained men, they are particularly welcomed by the regiment. One man has also rejoined from desertion, while two invalids from the second battalion are now at the depot.
There are twenty-three recruits with the recruiting parties, nineteen at Sleaford, four at Tullamore and one at Wakefield.