Battle of Maguilla

Last updated
Battle of Maguilla
Part of Peninsular War
Knoe05 56.jpg
British heavy dragoons wore a red coat and black bicorne hat at Maguilla, similar to the trooper at far left. The helmet was not adopted until 1813. [1]
Date11 June 1812
Location Maguilla, Spain
Result French victory
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Charles Lallemand Flag of the United Kingdom.svg John Slade
700 cavalry 700 cavalry
Casualties and losses
51 killed, wounded and captured 48 killed and wounded, 118 captured

In the Battle of Maguilla (11 June 1812) a British cavalry brigade led by Major General John Slade attacked a similar-sized French cavalry brigade commanded by General of Brigade Charles Lallemand. The British dragoons scored an initial success, routing the French dragoons and capturing a number of them. The British troopers recklessly galloped after their foes, losing all order. At length, the French reserve squadron charged into the British, followed by the French main body which rallied. With the tables turned, the French dragoons chased the British until the horses of both sides were too exhausted for the battle to continue. The action took place during the Peninsular War, near Maguilla, Spain, a distance of 17 kilometres (11 mi) northeast of Llerena.

General Sir John "Black Jack" Slade, 1st Baronet, served as a general officer in the British Army during the Peninsular War. He lacked talent as a combat leader. Though Slade was praised in official reports, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington criticized his actions privately and finally replaced him with a more efficient officer. Despite this, he attained high rank after the war. His descendants include two admirals.

Charles Lallemand French general

François Antoine "Charles" Lallemand was a French general who served Napoleon I of France, tried to found a colony in what is now Texas, and finally returned to France to serve as governor of Corsica.

Peninsular War War by Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom against the French Empire (1807–1814)

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.


The clash occurred during an indecisive campaign in Extremadura between an Allied corps under Rowland Hill and a French corps led by Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon. In early June 1812, Hill began to advance against d'Erlon's weaker force. At Maguilla, Slade encountered Lallemand's brigade and was beaten. Nevertheless, Hill's advance continued until d'Erlon was reinforced. Hill then withdrew to a strong position that d'Erlon did not dare to attack. Finally, Hill advanced again but did not force a battle. On 22 July 1812 the decisive Allied victory at the Battle of Salamanca occurred farther north. This event finally forced the French to evacuate Andalusia and Extremadura.

Extremadura Autonomous community of Spain

Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by the provinces of Salamanca and Ávila to the north; by provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real to the east, and by the provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba (Andalusia) to the south; and by Portugal to the west. Its official language is Spanish.

Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill British Army general

General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, was a British Army officer who served in the Napoleonic Wars as a trusted brigade, division and corps commander under the command of the Duke of Wellington. He became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828.

Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte dErlon Marshal of France

Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon was a marshal of France and a soldier in Napoleon's Army. D'Erlon notably commanded the I Corps of the Armée du Nord at the battle of Waterloo.


On 6 April 1812, the Siege of Badajoz ended when the Anglo-Portuguese army under the Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington stormed and captured the fortress. The 5,000-man French-Hessian garrison was all killed or captured, while the Allies suffered 4,100 casualties. The capture of Badajoz opened a major invasion route from Portugal into Spain. [2] In 1812, Napoleon became preoccupied with his impending French invasion of Russia. The emperor handed control in Spain to his brother King Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. In May 1812 there were 230,000 French troops in Spain, which Napoleon believed to be an adequate force. Yet half of the total was tied down east of Madrid. Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult's Army of the South had one corps involved in the Siege of Cádiz, a second corps under d'Erlon watching Badajoz, and the remainder occupying Andalusia. To the north, Marshal Auguste de Marmont's Army of Portugal had 52,000 men, but only 35,000 were available after subtracting garrisons. Joseph and Jourdan had 18,000 troops in a central reserve near Madrid. [3]

Siege of Badajoz (1812) siege

In the Siege of Badajoz, also called the Third Siege of Badajoz, an Anglo-Portuguese Army, under General Arthur Wellesley, besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington British soldier and statesman

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes.

Badajoz City in Extremadura, Spain

Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana. The population in 2011 was 151,565.

In May 1812, Hill conducted a successful raid which resulted in the Battle of Almaraz and the destruction of a French bridge across the Tagus River. This limited French communication between Marmont and Soult to the bridge at Toledo. Meanwhile, British engineers led by Henry Sturgeon repaired the broken Alcántara Bridge; this permitted the Allies to transfer troops between the northern and southern sectors two weeks faster than the French were able to. Wellington took 48,000 troops to the northern sector to operate against Marmont, leaving 18,000 with Hill to face d'Erlon's corps. [4] Hill had the British 2nd Infantry Division, John Hamilton's Portuguese Division, three Portuguese infantry regiments at Badajoz, and two British and one Portuguese cavalry brigades [5] under Sir William Erskine, 2nd Baronet. [4] Hill commanded about 7,500 British and 11,000 Portuguese. There were also 4,000 Spanish soldiers under Conde de Penne Villemur and Pablo Morillo. [5]

Battle of Almaraz

The Battle of Almaraz was a battle of the Peninsular War which took place on 18/19 May 1812, in which the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Lord Hill destroyed a French pontoon bridge across the River Tagus, in Almaraz, Spain. The bridge was protected by two French garrisons at either end.

Tagus International river of Spain and Portugal.

The Tagus is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,007 km (626 mi) long, 716 km (445 mi) in Spain, 47 km (29 mi) along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km (171 mi) in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon. It drains an area of 80,100 square kilometers (30,927 sq mi). The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to places of central Spain and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a wide alluvial valley, prone to flooding. Its mouth is a large estuary near the port city of Lisbon.

Toledo, Spain City in Castile–La Mancha, Spain

Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain; it is the capital of the province of Toledo and the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive monumental and cultural heritage.

D'Erlon led a corps of 12,000 French soldiers, including the infantry divisions of d'Erlon and Augustin Darricau and the cavalry brigades of Lallemand and André Thomas Perreimond. D'Erlon's own division was camped at Azuaga and Fuente Obejuna while Darricau's division was out of supporting distance to the north at Zalamea de la Serena. [6] Wellington desired that d'Erlon's force be prevented from reinforcing Marmont. The British commander planned to have Hill and Spanish leader Francisco Ballesteros make alternate threats against Soult's army. If the French tried to press Hill, Ballesteros would move against Seville. If the French concentrated to crush Ballesteros, Hill would push forward. [7] In the event, Ballesteros moved too quickly. The Spaniard decided to strike Nicolas François Conroux's 4,500 troops. [6] On 1 June 1812 in the Second Battle of Bornos, Conroux's men were surprised but they rallied and drove off the 8,500 Spanish troops with 1,500 casualties and four guns. French losses were 400–600 men. [8]

Azuaga Municipality in Extremadura, Spain

Azuaga is a town located in the province of Badajoz in southern Extremadura, bordering the Andalusian provinces of Seville and Córdoba in Spain. Azuga is 140 km from Badajoz, 125 km from Córdoba, and 140 km from Seville, in the foothills of Sierra Morena in the frontier region of Campiña Sur.

Fuente Obejuna Municipality in Córdoba, Spain

Fuente Obejuna is a town in the province of Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain. In the 2014 census, the municipality had a population of 4961 inhabitants. Fuente Obejuna is located 98 km from the capital of the province, Cordoba. It was made famous by Lope de Vega's play Fuenteovejuna about the uprising that took place there in 1476.

Zalamea de la Serena Municipality in Extremadura, Spain

Zalamea de la Serena is a municipality in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. According to the 2014 census, the municipality has a population of 3797 inhabitants.


When he heard the news of Bornos, Soult sent six infantry battalions and two cavalry regiments to help hunt down Ballesteros. This caused the Spanish general and his soldiers to take refuge under the guns of Gibraltar. Soult wished to smash Ballesteros or capture Tarifa, but when Hill began to advance, the French marshal had to drop his plans. On 7 June, Hill shifted his headquarters to Fuente del Maestre and on 9 June to Zafra. On 11 June, in a reconnaissance in force, Villemur's Spanish cavalry moved from Llerena toward Azuaga while Slade's brigade moved from Llera toward Maguilla. [8] After several hours, Slade's brigade began to bump into French dragoon outposts, which were driven back. Soon afterward, the British dragoons encountered the main body of Lallemand's brigade arrayed in battle order. [9]

Bornos Municipality in Andalusia, Spain

Bornos is a town and municipality located in the province of Cádiz, Spain.

Gibraltar British Overseas Territory

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians. It shares a maritime border with Morocco.

Tarifa Municipality in Andalusia, Spain

Tarifa is a small town in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia, on the southernmost coast of mainland Spain. It is primarily known as one of the world's most popular destinations for wind sports. The town is located on the Costa de la Luz and across the Strait of Gibraltar facing Morocco.

French dragoons Napoleon Dragoon and Sapper by Bellange.jpg
French dragoons

Lallemand's 700-strong brigade consisted of the 17th and 27th Dragoon Regiments. Slade commanded about 700 sabres from the 1st Royal Dragoon and 3rd Dragoon Guards Regiments. [10] The British may have had a slight numerical advantage. Lallemand retreated to the outskirts of Maguilla where he determined to fight. Slade immediately ordered a charge, with the 1st Dragoons in the first line and the 3rd Dragoon Guards in the second. The French dragoons were completely broken and the British took about 100 prisoners. Instead of reforming his brigade, Slade plunged after the fleeing French, "each regiment vying with the other which should most distinguish itself", as he later proudly reported. [9]

The reckless pursuit continued for several miles beyond Maguilla. Suddenly, there was a cry among the British dragoons, "Look to your right!" Lallemand had held a squadron in reserve, and now this small, but compact force crashed into the disorderly clump of British horsemen. Seeing this sudden turn of events, the main body of Lallemand's dragoons turned on their adversaries and forced them to retreat. It soon became a panicky flight of several miles, despite the appeals of Slade and his officers. The flight ended near Valencia de las Torres, a village about 4 miles (6 km) from Maguilla when both sides had exhausted their horses. Slade finally got his survivors into formation and withdrew beyond Llera. [9]

The British lost 22 killed, 26 wounded, and 118 captured, [9] with most of the captured being wounded. Lallemand reported losing 51 killed and wounded, including one officer killed and four wounded. [11] Most of the French who were captured at the beginning of the action escaped. [10] Despite his defeat, Slade reported, "Nothing could exceed the gallantry displayed by both officers and men on this occasion, in which Colonels Calcraft and Clinton, commanding the two regiments, distinguished themselves, as well as all the other officers present". [11]


This was not the only occasion when Wellington's cavalry charged out of control. As examples, historian Charles Oman cited the 20th Light Dragoons at the Battle of Vimeiro, the 23rd Light Dragoons at the Battle of Talavera, and the 13th Light Dragoons at the Battle of Campo Maior. [12] After the battle, a very irritated Wellington wrote to Hill:

I have never been more annoyed than by Slade's affair, and I entirely concur with you in the necessity of inquiring into it. It is occasioned entirely by the trick our officers of cavalry have acquired, of galloping at everything - and then galloping back as fast as they galloped on the enemy. They never consider their situation, never think of manoeuvring before an enemy - so little that one would think they cannot manoeuvre except on Wimbledon Common: and when they use their arm as it ought to be used, viz. offensively, they never keep nor provide for a reserve ... The Royals and 3rd Dragoon Guards were the best cavalry regiments in this country, and it annoys me particularly that the misfortune has happened to them. I do not wonder at the French boasting of it: it is the greatest blow they have struck. [11]


Charles Lallemand General Francois Lallemand (1774-1839).jpg
Charles Lallemand

The action at Maguilla had no effect on the campaign. D'Erlon retreated before Hill's advance, while sending a message to Soult that his 6,000 men were beset by 30,000 Allies. In fact, d'Erlon neglected to count Darricau's force, which was under his orders. He believed Hill's corps included the 7th Infantry Division, which was actually with Wellington in the north. Soult, who credited Hill with a more realistic 15,000 Anglo-Portuguese and 5,000 Spaniards, sent d'Erlon a 6,000-man infantry division under Pierre Barrois and a 2,200-strong cavalry division under Pierre Benoît Soult. Marshal Soult ordered d'Erlon to force Hill to fight a battle, or at least prevent him from sending reinforcements to Wellington. [13] Barrois left Seville on 16 June and joined d'Erlon's force on 19 June at Bienvenida. With his own division and Darricau's, d'Erlon had about 18,000 troops. [14]

When Hill heard about Barrois' reinforcement, he withdrew to the old battlefield of La Albuera. The 19,000 Anglo-Portuguese arrived there and entrenched themselves on 21 June. Hill expected to be attacked because the Allies had intercepted messages from King Joseph demanding that d'Erlon assault his foe. Actually, Soult routinely ignored instructions from Madrid and his lieutenant made excuses for not obeying Joseph's orders. [15] From 21 June to 2 July the two opposing forces stood motionless, facing each other. The Anglo-Portuguese soldiers had to endure the stench of the hundreds of imperfectly buried corpses from the Battle of Albuera the previous year. On 1 July, Pierre Soult directed a cavalry reconnaissance of the Allied position, with Louis Ernest Joseph Sparre's brigade on the right, Gilbert Julian Vinot's brigade in the center and Lallemand's brigade on the left. Lallemand routed Villemur's cavalry from Santa Marta with substantial losses. The other two brigades skirmished with the Allied cavalry screen. D'Erlon reported to Soult that Hill had 25,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, and plenty of artillery; he believed it would be foolhardy to attack. [16]

Hill broke the deadlock by advancing on 2 July. He expected a battle near Fuente del Maestre on 4 July, but the French withdrew when their left flank was threatened. [16] On 7 July, d'Erlon abandoned a strong position at Valencia de las Torres when Hill again turned his left flank. At this point, d'Erlon was at Azuaga and both armies were in the same positions they were on 19 June, before Hill withdrew to La Albuera. The French commander sent Darricau to Zalamea with the cavalry of Vinot and Sparre. [17] On 27 July, Vinot's cavalry raided Mérida from which they carried off food supplies. Curiously, both Hill and d'Erlon were satisfied that they had contained the enemy. [18] Soult received news of Marmont's decisive defeat at the Battle of Salamanca on 12 August. [19] The evacuation of Andalusia soon began. [20] Hill found d'Erlon's lines empty on 26 August. Hill did not pursue because Wellington summoned him to join the main Allied army. D'Erlon joined Soult's main column at Córdoba on 30 August. Soon, the south of Spain was free from French occupation. [21]


  1. Oman 1996, p. 414.
  2. Smith 1998, p. 376.
  3. Glover 2001, pp. 189–191.
  4. 1 2 Glover 2001, p. 192.
  5. 1 2 Oman 1996, p. 520.
  6. 1 2 Oman 1996, p. 521.
  7. Oman 1996, p. 519.
  8. 1 2 Oman 1996, p. 522.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Oman 1996, p. 523.
  10. 1 2 Smith 1998, p. 378.
  11. 1 2 3 Oman 1996, p. 524.
  12. Oman 1993, p. 105.
  13. Oman 1996, p. 525.
  14. Oman 1996, p. 526.
  15. Oman 1996, p. 527.
  16. 1 2 Oman 1996, pp. 530–531.
  17. Oman 1996, pp. 532–533.
  18. Oman 1996, p. 535.
  19. Oman 1996, p. 537.
  20. Oman 1996, p. 539.
  21. Oman 1996, p. 543.

Related Research Articles

Battle of Salamanca battle

In Battle of Salamanca an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington defeated Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles, south of Salamanca, Spain on 22 July 1812 during the Peninsular War. A Spanish division was also present but took no part in the battle.

William Ponsonby (British Army officer) British Army general

Major-General Sir William Ponsonby, styled The Honourable from 1806, was an Irish politician and British Army officer who served in the Peninsula War and was killed at the Battle of Waterloo.

Battle of Albuera battle

The Battle of Albuera was a battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.

Battle of Toulouse (1814)

The Battle of Toulouse was one of the final battles of the Napoleonic Wars, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition. Having pushed the demoralised and disintegrating French Imperial armies out of Spain in a difficult campaign the previous autumn, the Allied British-Portuguese and Spanish army under the Marquess of Wellington pursued the war into southern France in the spring of 1814.

Battle of Talavera battle

The Battle of Talavera was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid. The French army withdrew at night after several of its attacks had been repulsed.

Battle of the Pyrenees (1813)

The Battle of the Pyrenees was a large-scale offensive launched on 25 July 1813 by Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult from the Pyrénées region on Emperor Napoleon’s order, in the hope of relieving French garrisons under siege at Pamplona and San Sebastián. After initial success the offensive ground to a halt in face of increased allied resistance under the command of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington. Soult abandoned the offensive on 30 July and headed toward France, having failed to relieve either garrison.

Battle of Orthez

The Battle of Orthez saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington attack an Imperial French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France. The outnumbered French repelled several Allied assaults on their right flank, but their center and left flank were overcome and Soult was compelled to retreat. At first the withdrawal was conducted in good order, but it eventually ended in a scramble for safety and many French soldiers became prisoners. The engagement occurred near the end of the Peninsular War.

The Battles of the Nive were fought towards the end of the Peninsular War. Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish army defeated Marshal Nicolas Soult's French army in a series of battles near the city of Bayonne.

Battle of Maya

The Battle of Maya saw an Imperial French corps led by Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon attack the British 2nd Division under William Stewart at the Maya Pass in the western Pyrenees. Despite being surprised, the outnumbered British soldiers fought stoutly, inflicting greater losses on the French than they suffered themselves. By the afternoon, the French gained the upper hand and were pressing forward, but the late arrival of a brigade from the British 7th Division stabilized the situation. The British forces slipped away under the cover of night and the French did not pursue effectively. The Peninsular War battle at Maya was part of the Battle of the Pyrenees, which ended in a significant Anglo-Allied victory.

Battle of Alba de Tormes battle

In the Battle of Alba de Tormes on 26 November 1809, an Imperial French corps commanded by François Étienne de Kellermann attacked a Spanish army led by Diego de Cañas y Portocarrero, Duke del Parque. Finding the Spanish army in the midst of crossing the Tormes River, Kellermann did not wait for his infantry under Jean Gabriel Marchand to arrive, but led the French cavalry in a series of charges that routed the Spanish units on the near bank with heavy losses. Del Parque's army was forced to take refuge in the mountains that winter. Alba de Tormes is 21 kilometres (13 mi) southeast of Salamanca, Spain. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of the Gebora 1811 battle between Spain and France

The Battle of the Gebora was a battle of the Peninsular War between Spanish and French armies. It took place on 19 February 1811, northwest of Badajoz, Spain, where an outnumbered French force routed and nearly destroyed the Spanish Army of Extremadura.

Siege of Burgos 1812

At the Siege of Burgos, from 19 September to 21 October 1812, the Anglo-Portuguese Army led by General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington tried to capture the castle of Burgos from its French garrison under the command of General of Brigade Jean-Louis Dubreton. The French repulsed every attempt to seize the fortress, resulting in one of Wellington's rare withdrawals, as he went on to defeat the army sent to flank him at the Lines of Torres Vedras, pursued them and then returned to complete the siege of Burgos and capture the city. The siege took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Burgos is located about 210 kilometres (130 mi) north of Madrid.

Battle of García Hernández battle

In the Battle of García Hernández on 23 July 1812, two brigades of Anglo-German cavalry led by Major-General Eberhardt Otto George von Bock defeated 4,000 French infantry led by Major-General Maximilien Foy. In what would otherwise have been an unremarkable Peninsular War skirmish, the German heavy dragoons achieved the unusual feat of breaking three French squares, those of the 6th, 69th and 76th Line, routing the entire French force with heavy losses.

Battle of the Bidassoa

In the Battle of the Bidasoa on 7 October 1813 the Allied army of Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wrested a foothold on French soil from Nicolas Soult's French army. The Allied troops overran the French lines behind the Bidassoa River on the coast and along the Pyrenees crest between the Bidasoa and La Rhune (Larrun). The nearest towns to the fighting are Irun on the lower Bidassoa and Bera on the middle Bidasoa. The battle occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the wider Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Villagarcia

In the Battle of Villagarcia on 11 April 1812, British cavalry commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Stapleton Cotton routed a French cavalry force led by General de Brigade Charles Lallemand at the village of Villagarcia in the Peninsular War. Cotton intended to trap the French cavalry, which was separated by a number of miles from the main body of the French army, by executing simultaneous frontal and flank attacks. The plan came close to disaster when the forces making the frontal assault pushed forward prematurely. The situation was saved by the timely arrival of John Le Marchant's force on the French left flank.

Battle of Campo Maior was a battle occurred in Campo Maior, Portugal on 25 March 1811

In the Battle of Campo Maior, or Campo Mayor, on 25 March 1811, Brigadier General Robert Ballard Long with a force of Anglo-Portuguese cavalry, the advance-guard of the army commanded by William Beresford, clashed with a French force commanded by General of Division Marie Victor de Fay, marquis de Latour-Maubourg. Initially successful, some of the Allied horsemen indulged in a reckless pursuit of the French. An erroneous report was given that they had been captured wholesale. In consequence, Beresford halted his forces and the French were able to escape and recover a convoy of artillery pieces.

Second Siege of Badajoz (1811)

The Second Siege of Badajoz saw an Anglo-Portuguese Army, first led by William Carr Beresford and later commanded by Arthur Wellesley,The Viscount Wellington, besiege a French garrison under Armand Philippon at Badajoz, Spain. After failing to force a surrender, Wellington withdrew his army when the French mounted a successful relief effort by combining the armies of Marshals Nicolas Soult and Auguste Marmont. The action was fought during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Badajoz is located 6 kilometres (4 mi) from the Portuguese border on the Guadiana River in western Spain.

Étienne Pierre Sylvestre Ricard French politician and officer

Étienne Pierre Sylvestre Ricard was a prominent French division commander during the 1814 Campaign in Northeast France. In 1791 he joined an infantry regiment and spent several years in Corsica. Transferred to the Army of Italy in 1799, he became an aide-de-camp to Louis-Gabriel Suchet. He fought at Pozzolo in 1800. He became aide-de-camp to Marshal Nicolas Soult in 1805 and was at Austerlitz and Jena where his actions earned a promotion to general of brigade. From 1808 he functioned as Soult's chief of staff during the Peninsular War, serving at Corunna, Braga, First and Second Porto. During this time he sent a letter to Soult's generals asking them if the marshal should assume royal powers in Northern Portugal. When he found out, Napoleon was furious and he sidelined Ricard for two years.

Siege of the Salamanca Forts

The Siege of the Salamanca Forts saw an 800-man Imperial French garrison directed by Lieutenant Colonel Duchemin defend three fortified convents in the city of Salamanca against the 48,000-strong Anglo-Allied army led by Arthur Wellesley, Lord Wellington. During this time, the French commander Marshal Auguste de Marmont led a 40,000-man French army in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the garrison. An Allied failure to bring sufficient artillery ammunition caused the siege to be prolonged. The garrison repulsed a premature British attempt to storm the fortified convents on 23 June, but finally surrendered four days later after an artillery bombardment breached one fort and set another one on fire. During his maneuvering, Marmont formed the idea that Wellington was only willing to act on the defensive. This mistaken notion would contribute to Marmont's defeat at the Battle of Salamanca a month later.


Coordinates: 38°22′03″N05°50′15″W / 38.36750°N 5.83750°W / 38.36750; -5.83750