Battle of Usagre

Last updated
Battle of Usagre
Part of Peninsular War
Date25 May 1811
Location Usagre, Spain
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
Flag of France.svg French Empire Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag of Portugal (1750).svg Portugal
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Spain
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France.svg Maj-Gen Latour-Maubourg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Maj-Gen Lumley
Strength
3,500 2,300, 6 cannons
Casualties and losses
250 killed, wounded and captured [1] 20 killed and wounded

In the Battle of Usagre on 25 May 1811, Anglo-Allied cavalry commanded by Major-General William Lumley routed a French cavalry force led by Major-General Marie Victor Latour-Maubourg at the village of Usagre in the Peninsular War.

William Lumley British Napoleonic Wars general

General Sir William Lumley, (1769–1850) was a British Army officer and courtier during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The son of the Earl of Scarborough, Lumley enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks aided by a reputation for bravery and professionalism established on campaign in Ireland, Egypt, South Africa, South America, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Following his retirement from the army due to ill health in 1811, Lumley served as Governor of Bermuda and later gained a position as a courtier to the Royal Household. Lumley is especially noted for his actions at the Battle of Antrim where he saved the lives of several magistrates and was seriously wounded fighting hand-to-hand with United Irish rebels in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

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.

Contents

Background

A week after the very bloody Battle of Albuera, Marshal Nicolas Soult sent Latour-Maubourg's cavalry to discover the position of Marshal William Carr Beresford's Allied army. On 25 May, the French cavalry came upon a line of Portuguese cavalry vedettes on a ridge behind the village of Usagre. Lumley posted the bulk of his forces behind the ridge, out of sight.

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.

Anglo-Portuguese Army

The Anglo-Portuguese Army was the combined British and Portuguese army that participated in the Peninsular War, under the command of Arthur Wellesley. The Army is also referred to as the British-Portuguese Army and, in Portuguese, as the Exército Anglo-Luso or the Exército Anglo-Português.

Forces

Lumley force included Colonel George de Grey's brigade (3rd Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards, 4th Queen's Own Dragoons), the 13th Light Dragoons under Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Muter, [2] Portuguese cavalry under Colonel Loftus William Otway (1st and 7th Dragoons, plus elements of the 5th and 8th) and some Spanish cavalry led by Penne Villemur. There were 980 British, 1,000 Portuguese and 300 Spanish troopers present, plus Lefebvre's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. [3]

George de Grey, 3rd Baron Walsingham

George de Grey, 3rd Baron Walsingham of Merton Hall, Norfolk was a British peer and Army officer.

Sir Joseph Muter was a British Army officer who fought in the Peninsular War at led the Inniskilling Dragoons at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. In 1816, following the inheritance of the Kirkside estate from his aunt, Miss Straton, he changed his name to Joseph Straton.

Loftus William Otway British Napoleonic Wars general

General Sir Loftus William Otway, CB was an experienced and professional cavalry commander of British forces during the Peninsula War who saw extensive service under Sir John Moore in the Corunna Campaign and Wellington in the remainder of the campaign. He also worked training Portuguese troops and spent time serving in Ireland during the 1798 rebellion and Canada. Otway retired after the Peninsula War and was honoured several times for his war service by both the British and Spanish royal families.

Latour-Maubourg led two dragoon brigades under Brigadier-General Bron (4th, 20th and 26th Dragoons) and Brigadier-General Bouvier des Éclaz (14th, 17th and 27th Dragoons). He sent four regiments of light cavalry under Brigadier-General Briche on a wide flanking manoeuvre. The French had about 3,500 horsemen. Confident in his numerical superiority, Latour-Maubourg pressed ahead.

Battle

Lumley ignored the French flanking force because he knew that they would not arrive in time. He let the 4th and 20th Dragoons of Bron's brigade pass through Usagre, cross the bridge and form up on the other side. As the 26th Dragoons began crossing the span, Lumley attacked. He brought up his cavalry and sent six British squadrons, supported by six Portuguese squadrons on their right, against the two deployed French regiments.

The French horsemen were defeated and thrown back on the 26th Dragoons, who were still jammed on the bridge. With the British cavalry all around them and their retreat blocked, the French dragoons were cut to pieces. Latour-Maubourg's only recourse was to dismount the first regiment of Bouvier des Eclat's brigade and use the dragoons to hold the houses near the bridge. At last, the remnants of Bron's regiments fought their way back, covered by carbine fire from the village.

Results

The French lost 250 killed or wounded, plus 78 captured, mostly from the 4th and 20th Dragoons. The British only lost 20 troopers killed or wounded. [4]

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References

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Footnotes

Coordinates: 38°20′42″N6°10′18″W / 38.3449°N 6.1716°W / 38.3449; -6.1716

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A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.