With Moore At Corunna by G. A. Henty
Chapter V. Rolica and Vimiera
At nine o'clock in the evening it became known that the general plan of attack predicted by Major Harrison was to be carried out. Some five thousand men under General Ferguson were to ascend the hills on the left of the valley, while Trant, with a thousand Portuguese infantry and some Portuguese horse, were to move on the hills on the right; the centre, nine thousand strong, and commanded by Sir Arthur himself, were to march straight up the valley.
Early in the morning the British troops marched out from Obidos. Ferguson's command at once turned to the left and ascended the hills, while Trant's moved to the west.
After proceeding a short distance, Fane's brigade moved off from the road and marched along the valley, equidistant from the main body and from Ferguson, forming a connecting link between them; and on reaching the village of St. Mamed, three-quarters of a mile from the French position, Hill's brigade turned off to the right. From their elevated position the French opened fire with their artillery, and this was answered by the twelve guns in the valley and from Ferguson's six guns on the heights. Fane's brigade, extended to its left, was the first in action, and drove back the French skirmishers and connected Ferguson with the centre. They then turned to attack the right of the French position; while Ferguson, seeing no signs of Loison's force, descended from the high ground to the rear of Fane, while the Portuguese pressed forward at the foot of the hills on the other side of the valley and threatened the enemy's left flank.
Seeing that his position was absolutely untenable, Laborde did not wait the assault, but fell back, covered by his cavalry, to the far stronger position in his rear. A momentary pause ensued before the British continued their advance. The new position of the French was of great natural strength, and could be approached only by narrow paths winding up through deep ravines on its face. Ferguson and Fane received orders to keep to the left, and so turn the enemy's right. Trant similarly was to push forward and threaten his left flank, while Hill and Nightingale advanced against the front.
The battle commenced by a storm of skirmishers from these brigades running forward. These soon reached the foot of the precipitous hill and plunged into the passes. Neither the fire of the enemy nor the difficulties of the ascent checked them. Spreading right and left from the paths they made their way up, and taking advantage of the shelter afforded by great boulders, broken masses of rock, and the stumps of trees, climbed up wherever they could find a foothold. The supporting columns experienced much greater difficulty; the paths were too narrow, and the ground too broken for them to retain their formation, and they made their way forward as best they could in necessary disorder.
The din of battle was prodigious, for the rattle of musketry was echoed and re-echoed from the rocks. The progress of the skirmishers could only be noted by the light smoke rising through the foliage and by the shouts of the soldiers, which were echoed by the still louder ones of the French, gathered strongly on the hill above them. As the British made their way up, Laborde, who was still anxiously looking for the expected coming of Loison, withdrew a portion of his troops from the left and strengthened his right, in order to hold on as long as possible on the side from which aid was expected. The ardour of the British to get to close quarters favoured this movement.
It had been intended that the 9th and 29th Regiments should take the right-hand path where the track they were following up the pass forked, and so join Trant's Portuguese at the top of the hill and fall upon the French left. The left-hand path, however, was the one that would take them direct to the enemy, and the 29th, which was leading, took this, and the 9th followed them. So rapidly did they press up the hill that they arrived at the crest before Ferguson and Fane, on the left, and Trant on the right, had got far enough to menace the line of retreat, and so shake the enemy's position. The consequence was, that as the right wing of the 29th arrived at the top of the path it was met by a very heavy fire before it could form, and some companies of a French regiment, who had been cut off from the main body by its sudden appearance, charged through the disordered troops and carried with them a major and fifty or sixty other prisoners.
The rest of the wing, thus exposed to the full fire of the French, fell back over the crest, and there rallied on the left wing; and being joined by the 9th, pushed forward again and obtained a footing on the plateau. Laborde in vain endeavoured to hurl them back again. They maintained their footing, but suffered heavily, both the colonels being killed, with many officers and men. But the 5th Regiment were now up, and at other points the British were gathering thickly at the edge of the plateau. Ferguson and Trant were pushing on fast past the French flanks, and Laborde, seeing that further resistance would lead to great disaster, gave the order to retire to a third position, still farther in the rear. The movement was conducted in splendid order. The French steadily fell back by alternate masses, their guns thundering on their flanks, while their cavalry covered the rear by repeated charges.
Gaining the third position, Laborde held it for a time, and so enabled isolated bodies of his force to join him. Then, finding himself unable to resist the impetuosity of the British attack, he retired, still disputing every foot of ground, and took to the narrow pass of Runa. He then marched all night to the strong position of Montechique, thereby securing his junction with Loison, but leaving the road to Torres Vedras open to the British. The loss of the French in this fight was 600 killed and wounded, and three guns. Laborde himself was among the wounded. The British lost nearly 500 killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. The number of the combatants actually engaged on either side was about 4,000, and the loss sustained showed the obstinacy of the fighting. Sir Arthur believed that the French had, as they retreated, been joined by Loison, and therefore prepared to march at once by the coast-line to seize the heights of Torres Vedras before the French could throw themselves in his way.
Great was the disappointment among officers and men of the Mayo Fusiliers that they had taken no part whatever in the actual fighting, beyond driving in the French skirmishers at the beginning of the operations.
"Divil a man killed or wounded!" Captain O'Grady remarked, mournfully, as the regiment halted at the conclusion of the fight. "Faith, it is too bad, entirely; there we are left out in the cold, and scarce a shot has been fired!"
"There are plenty of others in the same case," Captain O'Driscol said. "None of our three brigades on the left have had anything to do with the matter, as far as fighting went. I don't think more than four thousand of our troops were in action; but you see if it had not been for our advance, Hill and Nightingale might not have succeeded in driving Laborde off the hill. There is no doubt that the French fought well, but it's our advance that forced him to retire, not the troops in front of him; so that, even if we have not had any killed or wounded, O'Grady, we have at least the satisfaction of having contributed to the victory."
"Oh, bother your tactics! We have come here to fight, and no fighting have we had at all, at all. When we marched out this morning it looked as if we were going to have our share in the divarshon, and we have been fairly chated out of it."
"Well, O'Grady, you should not grumble," Terence said, "for we had some fighting on the way out, which is more than any of the other troops had."
"That was a mere skirmish, Terence. First of all we were shot at, and could not shoot back again; and thin we shot at the enemy, and they could not shoot back at us. And as for the boarding affair, faith, it did not last a minute. The others have had two hours of steady fighting, clambering up the hill, and banging away at the enemy, and shouting and cheering, and all sorts of fun; and there were we, tramping along among those bastely stones and rocks, and no one as much as took the trouble to fire a shot at us!"
"Well, if we had been there, O'Grady, we should have lost about a hundred and twenty men and officers--if we had suffered in the same proportion as the others--and we should now be mourning their loss--perhaps you among them. We might have been saying: 'There is O'Grady gone; he was a beggar to talk, but he meant well. Faith, the drink bill of the regiment will fall off.'"
"Well, it might have been so," O'Grady said, in a more contented voice; "and if I had been killed going up the hill, without even as much as catching a glimpse of the Frenchies, I would niver have forgiven them--niver!"
There was a roar of laughter at the bull.
"Phwat is it have I said?" he asked, in surprise.
"Nothing, O'Grady; but it would be an awful thing for the French to know that after your death you would have gone on hating them for ever."
"Did I say that? But you know my maneing, and as long as you know that, what does it matter which way I put it? Well, now, I suppose Sir Arthur is going to take us tramping along again. Ah, it is a weary thing being a soldier!"
"Why, you were saying yesterday, O'Grady, that your feet were getting all right," Terence said.
"All right in a manner, Terence. And it is a bad habit that you have got of picking up your supayrior officer's words and throwing them into his teeth. You will come to a bad end if you don't break yourself of it; and the worst of it is, you are corrupting the other lads, and the young officers are losing all respect for their seniors. I am surprised, Major, that you and the colonel don't take the matter in hand before the discipline of the regiment is destroyed entirely."
"You draw it upon yourself, O'Grady, and it is good for us all to have a laugh sometimes. We should all have missed you sorely had you gone down on that hill over there--as many a good fellow has done. I hear that both the 9th and 29th have lost their colonels."
"The Lord presarve us from such a misfortune, Major! It would give us a step all through the regiment; but then, you see--" And he stopped.
"You mean I should be colonel, O'Grady," the major said, with a laugh; "and you know I should not take things as quietly as he does. Well, you see, there are consolations all round."
The firing had ceased at four o'clock, and until late that night a large portion of the force were occupied in searching the ground that had been traversed, burying the dead, and carrying the wounded of both nationalities down into the hospital that had been established at Rolica. Sir Arthur determined to march at daybreak, so as to secure the passes through Torres Vedras; but in the evening a messenger arrived with the news that Anstruther and Acland's division, with a large fleet of store-ships, were off the coast. The dangerous nature of the coast, and the certainty that, should a gale spring up, a large proportion of the ships would be wrecked, rendered it absolutely necessary to secure the disembarkation of the troops at once. The next morning, therefore, he only marched ten miles to Lourinha, and thence advanced to Vimiera, eight miles farther, where he covered the disembarkation of the troops.
The next day Anstruther's brigade were with difficulty, and some loss, landed on an open sandy beach, and on the night of the 20th Acland's brigade were disembarked at Maciera Bay. The reinforcements were most opportune, for already the British had proof that Junot was preparing a heavy blow. That general had, indeed, lost no time in taking steps to bring on a decisive battle. While the British were marching to Lourinha, he had, with Loison's division, crossed the line of Laborde's retreat, and on the same evening reached Torres Vedras, where the next day he was joined by Laborde, and on the 20th by his reserve. In the meantime he sent forward his cavalry, which scoured the country round the rear of the British camp, and prevented the general from obtaining any information whatever as to his position or intentions.
The arrival of Acland's brigade on the night of the 20th increased the fighting strength of the army to 16,000 men, with eighteen guns, exclusive of Trant's Portuguese, while Sir Arthur judged that Junot could not put more than 14,000 in the field. Previous to leaving Mondego he had sent to Sir Harry Burrard notice of his plan of campaign, advising him to let Sir John Moore, on his arrival with 5,000 men, disembark there and march on Santarem, where he would protect the left of the army in its advance, block the line of the Tagus, and menace the French line of communication between Lisbon and the important fortress of Elvas. The ground at Santarem was suited for defence, and Moore could be joined with Friere, who was still, with his 5,000 men, at Leirya.
The general intended to make a forced march, keeping by the sea-road. A strong advance guard would press forward and occupy the formidable position of Mathia in the rear of the hills. With the main body he intended to seize some heights a few miles behind Torres Vedras, and to cut the road between that place and Montechique, on the direct road to Lisbon, and so interpose between Junot and the capital. At twelve o'clock that night Sir Arthur was roused by a messenger, who reported that Junot, with 20,000 men, was advancing to attack him, and was but an hour's march distant. He disbelieved the account of the force of the enemy, and had no doubt but that the messenger's fears had exaggerated the closeness of his approach. He therefore contented himself with sending orders to the pickets to use redoubled vigilance, and at daylight the whole British force was, as usual, under arms.
Nothing could have suited the British commander better than that Junot should attack him, for the position of Vimiera was strong. The town was situated in a valley, through which the little river Maciera flows. In this were placed the commissariat stores, while the cavalry and Portuguese were on a small plain behind the village. In front of Vimiera was a steep hill with a flat top, commanding the ground to the south and east for a considerable distance. Fane's and Anstruther's infantry, with six guns, were posted here. Fane's left rested on a churchyard, blocking a road which led round the declivity of the hill to the town. Behind this position, and separated by the river and road, was a hill extending in a half-moon to the sea.
Five brigades of infantry, forming the British right, occupied this mountain. On the other side of the ravine formed by the river, just beyond Vimiera, was another strong and narrow range of heights. There was no water to be found on this ridge, and only the 40th Regiment and some pickets were stationed here. It was vastly better to be attacked in such a position than to be compelled to storm the heights of Torres Vedras, held by a strong French army. The advance of the French was fortunate in another respect. On the 20th Sir Harry Burrard arrived in the bay on board a frigate, and Sir Arthur, thus superseded, went on board to report the position of affairs, renewing his recommendation that Sir John Moore should land at Mondego and march to Santarem. Sir Harry Burrard, however, had already determined that his force should land at Maciera, and he refused to permit Sir Arthur's plan of advance to be carried out, and ordered that no offensive step should be undertaken until Sir John Moore had landed.
The advance of Junot, happily, left Wellesley at liberty to act; and disposing his force in order of battle, he awaited the appearance of the enemy. It was not until seven o'clock that a cloud of dust was seen rising above the opposite ridge, and an hour later a body of cavalry crowned the height and sent out a swarm of scouts in every direction. Almost immediately afterwards a body of cavalry and infantry were seen marching along the road from Torres Vedras to Lourinha, threatening to turn the left of the British position. As the British right was not menaced, four of the brigades on the hill on that flank were ordered to cross the valley and to take post with the 40th Regiment for the defence of the ridge.
This movement, being covered by the Vimiera heights, was unseen by the enemy; the 5th brigade and the Portuguese were on a second ridge behind the other, and thus assisted to cover the English left and protect its rear. The ground between the crest on which the French were first seen and our position was so thickly covered with wood, that after the enemy had descended into it no correct view of their movements could be obtained.
Junot had intended to fall upon the English army at daybreak, but the defiles through which the force had to pass had delayed the march, as had the fatigue of the troops, who had been marching all night. From the height from which he obtained a view of the British position it seemed to him that the British centre and right were held in great strength, and that the left was almost unguarded. He therefore determined to attack upon that flank, which, indeed, was in any case the most favourable, as, were he successful there, he would cut the line of the British retreat and pen them up on the sea-shore.
The march of the four brigades through Vimiera to take post on the British left was hidden from him, and he divided his force into two heavy columns, one of which was to attack the British left, and having, mounted the height to sweep all before it into the town; the other was to attack Vimiera Hill, held by Anstruther and Fane.
Brennier commanded the attack against the left, Laborde against the centre, Loison followed at a short distance. Kellermann commanded the reserve of Grenadiers. Unfortunately for the success of Junot's plan, he was unaware of the fact that along the foot of the ridge on the British left ran a deep ravine, that rendered it very difficult to attack except at the extreme end of the position.
"We are going to have our share of the fun to-day," O'Grady said, as he stood with a group of officers, watching the wooded plain and the head of Laborde's column debouching from among the trees, and moving towards the hill.
There was a general murmur of satisfaction from the officers, for although they had all laughed at O'Grady's exaggerated regrets at their not being engaged at Rolica, all were somewhat sore at the regiment having had no opportunity of distinguishing itself on that occasion. No sooner had the column cleared the wood than the six guns posted with Fane's and Anstruther's brigade at once opened fire upon it. It had been intended that Brennier's attack should begin at the same time as Laborde's, but that advance had been stopped by the defile, which was so steep and so encumbered with rocks, brushwood, and trees, that his troops had the most extreme difficulty in making their way across. This enabled Acland, whose brigade was in the act of mounting the heights from the town, to turn his battery against Laborde's column, which was thus smitten with a shower of grape both in front and flank, and to this was added a heavy musketry fire from the three brigades.
"Take it easy, lads, take it easy," the colonel said, as he walked up and down the ranks. "They are hardly in range yet, and you had better keep your ammunition until they get to the foot of the hill, then you can blaze away as hard as you like."
Junot, receiving news of the arrest of Brennier's column and the obstacles that he had encountered, and seeing that the whole British fire was now directed against Laborde, ordered Loison to support that general with one brigade, and directed Solignac to turn the ravine in which Brennier was entangled and to fall upon the left extremity of the enemy's line.
Fane had been given discretionary power to call up the reserve artillery posted in the village behind him, and seeing so strong an attack against his position about to be made called it up to the top of the hill.
Loison and Laborde now formed their troops into three columns of attack. One advanced against that part of the hill held by Anstruther's brigade, another endeavoured to penetrate by the road past the church on Fane's extreme left, while the main column, represented by a large number of the best troops, advanced against the centre of the position. The reserve artillery, and the battery originally there, opened a terrible fire, which was aided by the musketry of the infantry. But with loud shouts the French pressed forward, and although already shaken by the terrible fire of the artillery, and breathless from their exertions, they gained the crest of the hill. Before they could re-form a tremendous volley was poured into them, and with a wild yell the Mayo Fusiliers and the 50th charged them in front and flank and hurled them down the hill.
In the meantime, Anstruther, having repulsed the less serious attack made on him, detached the 43d to check the enemy's column moving through the churchyard, and prevented their advance until Kellermann brought up a force of Grenadiers, who, running forward with loud shouts, drove back the advanced companies of the 43d. The guns on the heights were turned upon them with great effect, and those of Acland's and Bowe's brigades on the left of the ridge took them in flank and brought them almost to a stand-still; then the 43d, in one mass, charged furiously down on the column, and after a fierce struggle drove them back in confusion.
The French attacks on this side had now completely failed, and Colonel Taylor, riding out with his little body of cavalry, dashed out into the confused mass, slaying and scattering it. Margaron, who commanded a superior force of French cavalry, led them down through their infantry, and falling upon the British force killed Taylor and cut half his squadron to pieces. Kellermann took post with his reserve of Grenadiers in a pine-wood in advance of the wooded country through which they had advanced, while Margaron's horsemen maintained a position covering the retreat of the fugitives into the wood. At this moment Solignac reached his assigned position and encountered Ferguson's brigade, which was on the extreme left of the division, and was taken by surprise on finding a force equal to his own where he had expected to find the hill untenanted. Ferguson was drawn up in three lines on a steep declivity. A heavy artillery fire opened upon the French as soon as they were seen, while the 5th brigade and the Portuguese marched along the next ridge and threatened the enemy's rear.
Ferguson did not wait to be attacked, but marched his brigade against the French, who, falling fast under the musketry and artillery fire which had swept their lines, fell back fighting to the farthest edge of the ridge. Solignac was carried off severely wounded, and his brigade was cut off from its line of retreat and driven into a low valley, in which stood the village of Peranza, leaving six guns behind them. Ferguson left two regiments to guard these guns, and with the rest of his force pressed hard upon the French; but at this moment Brennier, who had at last surmounted the difficulties that had detained him, fell upon the two regiments suddenly, and retook the guns.
The 82d and 71st, speedily recovered from their surprise, rallied on some higher ground, and then, after pouring in a tremendous volley of musketry, charged with a mighty shout and overthrew the French brigade and recovered the guns. Brennier himself was wounded and taken prisoner, and Ferguson having completely broken up the brigade opposed to him would have forced the greater part of Solignac's troops to surrender, if he had not been required to halt by an unexpected order. The French veterans speedily rallied, and in admirable order, protected by their cavalry, marched off to join their comrades who had been defeated in their attack upon the British centre.
It was now twelve o'clock; the victory was complete; thirteen guns had been captured. Neither the 1st, 5th, nor Portuguese brigades had fired a shot, and the 4th and 8th had suffered very little, therefore Sir Arthur resolved with these five brigades to push Junot closely, while Hill, Anstruther, and Fane were to march forward as far as Torres Vedras, and, pushing on to Montechique, cut him off from Lisbon. Had this operation been executed Junot would probably have lost all his artillery, and seven thousand stragglers would have been driven to seek shelter under the guns of Elvas, from which fortress, however, he would have been cut off had Moore landed as Sir Arthur wished at Mondego. Unhappily, however, the latter was no longer commander-in-chief. Sir Harry Burrard, who had been present at the action, had not interfered with the arrangements, but as soon as victory was won he assumed command, sent an order arresting Ferguson's career of victory, and forbade all further offensive operations until the arrival of Sir John Moore.
The adjutant-general and quartermaster supported his views, and Sir Arthur's earnest representations were disregarded. Sir Arthur's plan would probably have been crowned with success, but it was not without peril. The French had rallied with extraordinary rapidity under the protection of their cavalry. The British artillery-carriages were so shaken as to be almost unfit for service, the horses insufficient in number and wretched in quality, the commissariat waggons in the greatest confusion, and the hired Portuguese vehicles had made off in every direction. The British cavalry were totally destroyed, and two French regiments had just made their appearance on the ridge behind the wood where Junot's troops were reforming.
Sir Harry Burrard, with a caution characteristic of age, refused to adopt Wellesley's bold plan. A great success had been gained, and that would have been imperilled by Junot's falling with all his force upon one or other of the British columns. Sir Arthur himself, at a later period, when a commission was appointed by Parliament to inquire into the circumstances, admitted that, though he still believed that success would have attended his own plan, he considered that Sir Harry Burrard's decision was fully justified on military grounds.
Junot took full advantage of the unexpected cessation of hostilities. He re-formed his broken army on the arrival of the two regiments, which brought it up to its original strength; and then, covered by his cavalry, marched in good order until darkness fell. He had regained the command of the passes of Torres Vedras, and the two armies occupied precisely the same positions that they had done on the previous evening.
One general, thirteen guns, and several hundred prisoners fell into the hands of the British, and Junot's total loss far exceeded that of the British, which was comparatively small. At the commencement of the fight the British force was more than two thousand larger than that of the French, but of these only a half had taken an active part in the battle, while every man in Junot's army had been sent forward to the attack.
Sir Harry Burrard's command was a short one, for on the following morning Sir Hew Dalrymple superseded him. Thus in twenty-four hours a battle had been fought and the command of the army had been three times changed, a striking proof of the abject folly and incapacity of the British ministry of the day.
Two of these three commanders arrived fresh on the scene without any previous knowledge of the situation, and all three differed from each other in their views regarding the general plan of the campaign; the last two were men without any previous experience in the handling of large bodies of troops, and without any high military reputation; while the man displaced had already shown the most brilliant capacity in India, and was universally regarded as the best general in the British service. Dalrymple adopted neither the energetic action advised by Sir Arthur nor the inactivity supported by Burrard, but, taking a middle course, decided to advance on the following morning, but not to go far until Sir John Moore landed at Maciera.
Sir Arthur was strongly opposed to this policy. He pointed out that there were at present on shore but seven or eight days' provisions for the force at Vimiera. No further supplies could be obtained in the country, and at any moment a gale might arise and scatter or destroy the fleet, from which alone they could draw supplies during their advance. The debate on the subject was continuing when the French general, Kellermann, bearing a flag of truce and escorted by a strong body of cavalry, arrived at the outposts and desired a conference. The news was surprising, indeed. Junot's force was practically unshaken. He possessed all the strong places in Portugal, and could have received support in a short time from the French forces in Spain.
Upon the other hand, the position of the British, even after winning a victory, was by no means a satisfactory one; they had already learnt that it was useless to rely in the slightest degree upon Portuguese promises or Portuguese assistance, and that, even in the matter of provisions and carriage, their commander-in-chief expected to be maintained by those who had come to aid in freeing the country of the French, instead of these receiving any help from him. In carriage the British army was wholly deficient; of cavalry they had none. When Sir John Moore landed there would be but four days' provisions on-shore for the army, and were the fleet driven off by a gale, starvation would at once threaten them.
The gallantry with which the French had fought in both engagements, the skill with which they had been handled, and above all, the quickness and steadiness with which, after defeat, they had closed up their ranks and drawn off in excellent order, showed that the task of expelling such troops from the country would, even if all went well in other respects, be a very formidable one, and the offer of a conference was therefore at once embraced by Sir Hew Dalrymple.
Kellermann was admitted to the camp. His mission was to demand a cessation of arms in order that Junot might, under certain conditions, evacuate Portugal. The advantage of freeing the country from the French without further fighting was so evident that Sir Hew at once agreed to discuss the terms, and took Sir Arthur Wellesley into his counsels. The latter quite agreed with the policy by which a strong French army would be quietly got out of the country, in which it held all the military posts and strong positions. A great moral effect would be produced, and the whole resources of Portugal would then be available for operations in Spain.
By the afternoon the main points of the convention had been generally agreed upon. The French were to evacuate Portugal, and were to be conveyed in the English vessels to France with their property, public or private. There was to be no persecution of persons who had been the adherents of France during the occupation; the only serious difference that arose was as to the Russian fleet in the Tagus. Kellermann proposed to have it guaranteed from capture, with leave to return to the Baltic. This, however, was refused, and the question was referred to Admiral Cotton, who, as chief representative of England, would have to approve of the treaty before it could be signed.
Kellermann returned to Lisbon with Colonel Murray, the quartermaster-general, and after three days' negotiations the treaty was finally concluded, the Russian difficulty being settled by their vessels being handed over to the British, and the crew transported in English ships to the Baltic. The convention was, under the circumstances, unquestionably a most advantageous one. It would have cost long and severe fighting and the siege of several very strong fortresses before the French could have been turned out of Portugal. Heavy siege-guns would have been necessary for these operations. At the very shortest calculation a year would have been wasted, very heavy loss of life incurred, and an immense expenditure of money before the result, now obtained so suddenly and unexpectedly, had been arrived at.
Nevertheless, the news of the convention was received with a burst of popular indignation in England, where the public, wholly ignorant of the difficulty of the situation, had formed the most extravagant hopes, founded on the two successes obtained by their troops. The result was that a commission was appointed to investigate the whole matter. The three English generals were summoned to England to attend before it, and so gross were the misrepresentations and lies by which the public had been deceived by the agents of the unscrupulous and ambitious Bishop of Oporto and his confederates, that it was even proposed to bring the generals to trial who had in so short a time and with such insufficient means freed Portugal from the French. Sir John Moore remained in command of the troops in Portugal.