Mar 25 2012
2nd Battalion: Camp before Badajoz
Badajoz seen across the River Guadiana
The battalion finally left Ciudad Rodrigo on the 28th February, but their march did not take them towards Badajoz, as they had expected. Instead, they found themselves proceeding in a quite different direction, although they were unaware of the purpose of following this route. Some suggested that it was a ploy to deceive the enemy.
On the second day of the march they came upon thirteen French deserters, who emerged from the woods to seek refuge with the Anglo-Portuguese. These men claimed there were many more deserters hiding in the woods, trying to keep themselves safe from the guerrillas. They also claimed that there was a lot of discontent among the French soldiers in Salamanca, mainly because they had not been paid for several months.
Eventually, it became clear that the division was marching south and by the 21st they were at Campo Mayor, one march from Badajoz. On the 22nd they were on the right bank of the Guadiana with the three divisions that were besieging Badajoz (3rd, 4th and light) but were ordered to cross to the left bank. This proved impossible until the 24th, when the pontoon bridge which had been swept away by a sudden flood was finally repaired. They have now invested San Christobal, the fort which overlooks the town, and which has twice resisted allied attempts to take it.
San Christobal Fort seen across the river from Badajoz
This month a sergeant and twelve rank and file have been invalided to England, while twenty-five men have joined the battalion from the depot. There has been only one death, Stephen Adams on the 3rd.
RSM Woods remains with the Portuguese army, and Sergeant Joseph Burrage (or Berridge) is acting RSM. Thomas Kelly was promoted to corporal on the 7th March.
Surgeon Hughes has re-joined the battalion. Quartermaster Kingsley has received two months’ leave to return to England for recovery of health. Ensign Brooke suffered a serious fall from his horse on the 7th March and has still not fully recovered.
1st Battalion, Cannanore
A Hindu temple, India
There was sadness in the battalion when news arrived that Quartermaster Poyntz died at Madras on the 28th February. Arthur Poyntz had a long career with the regiment, having seen service in Carolina during the American War of Independence. He was promoted quartermaster from quartermaster sergeant in 1796. Three of his sons have served with the regiment, Arthur, Samuel Robert who is with the 2nd battalion in Spain, and James, who was with the 2nd battalion as a volunteer and is now at the Royal Military College.
Lieutenants Richardson and Fettes have been given twelve months’ leave to return to Europe on private affairs.
A sergeant and twenty-three rank and file have been invalided to England and a further eight invalids are still at Poonamallee. One man has deserted and there have been two deaths this month, Thomas Brown and James Clark. Two corporals, Pear and Levis, have resigned and Luke Berry has been appointed corporal.
Drill, drill, and more drill makes for discipline on the battlefield
A man and a boy have joined at the depot, another man has returned from imprisonment in Lincoln, three men have joined from Portugal, having been invalided home, there have been two desertions, and one man awaits trial.
There are forty recruits with the recruiting parties.