Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


Military Paper Award

 

Command & Staff

Proposed Organization

Wellesley's Force

Re-organization of 7 August 1808 

Artillery Organization

Portuguese Re-inforcements

Changes

21 August

Moore's Corps

More Re-inforcemnts

General Dalrymple's Re-organization


The BritishArmy in Portugal and Spain: Its Order-of-Battle (June 1808 - April 1809)

Part II: The British Army in Portugal

By Ron McGuigan

On 14 June 1808, the Commander-in-Chief notified Lieutenant General Wellesley that he was to command the force being sent to either Portugal or Spain, as circumstances warranted, and assigned Major General Spencer's Corps to Wellesley's force. The 4th Royal Veteran Battalion was now destined for Gibraltar and Major General A. Mackenzie, being senior to Major General Spencer, was removed from the staff of Wellesley's Corps.

Major General Ronald Ferguson, going out on the staff of Major General Spencer's Corps, was to serve, temporarily, with Wellesley's force. Brevet Lieutenant Colonel James Bathurst [Deputy Quarter Master General] and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel George Tucker [Deputy Adjutant General] serving with Spencer's Corps were to both serve in the same capacity with Wellesley's force. On 30 June, Wellesley was informed that the 1/36th Regiment (647) and 1/45th Regiment (599) in garrison near Cork were to join his command. On 15 July, Lord Castlereagh informed him that the brigades at Harwich and Ramsgate would be sent as reinforcements, that Moore's Corps was being sent to Portugal, and that he was being superseded in command by Lieutenant Generals Sir Hew Dalrymple [the Governor of Gibraltar] and Sir Harry Burrard [from the Home Staff], the former as Commander-in-Chief and the latter as the Second-in-Command.

The letter of service to Sir Hew Dalrymple of 21 July directed that the Corps of Moore, Spencer, and Wellesley with reinforcements compose his army. Lieutenant General Burrard joined Moore's Corps [which had left Sweden on 4 July and arrived back at Portsmouth by 21 July] at Portsmouth on 28 July and took command. Lieutenant General Moore became the second-in-command of the Corps. Brigadier General Sontag was removed to a political appointment in Portugal.

Command and Staff

The proposed staff for the army under Lieutenant General Sir Hew Dalrymple was:

Lieutenant General Sir Harry Burrard

Lieutenant General Sir John Moore

Lieutenant General John Hope

Lieutenant General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser

Lieutenant General Lord Henry Paget

Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley

Major General Lord William Bentinck

Major General Edward Paget

Major General Brent Spencer

Major General Rowland Hill

Major General John Murray

Major General Ronald Ferguson

Brigadier General Wroth Palmer Acland

Brigadier General Miles Nightingall

Brigadier General Richard Stewart

Brigadier General Charles Stewart

Brigadier General Henry Fane

Brigadier General Robert Anstruther

Brigadier General James Catlin Craufurd

Acting Adjutant General: Brigadier General Henry Clinton

Acting Quarter Master General: Lieutenant Colonel George Murray

Proposed Organization: 20 July 1808

In the letter of service of 21 July was a memorandum of 20 July with the following suggested organization for the army:

Commander of the force: Lieutenant General Sir Hew Dalrymple

Second-in-command: Lieutenant General Sir Harry Burrard

Acting Adjutant General: Brigadier General Henry Clinton

Acting Quarter Master General: Lieutenant Colonel George Murray

Reserve Division: Lieutenant General Sir John Moore and Major General Edward Paget

C. Stewart's Brigade: Brigadier General Charles Stewart
18th Light Dragoons

20th Light Dragoons

3rd Light Dragoons King's German Legion

Anstruther's Brigade: Brigadier General Robert Anstruther

1/52nd Regt

2/52nd Regt

5 companies 1/95th Regt

4 companies 2/95th Regt

R. Stewart's Brigade: Brigadier General Richard Stewart

2/43rd Regiment

5/60th Regiment

1st Light Battalion King's German Legion

2nd Light Battalion King's German Legion

1st Division: Lieutenant General John Hope

Acland's Brigade: Brigadier General Wroth Palmer Acland
2nd Regiment

1/4th Regiment

1/28th Regiment

Ferguson's Brigade: Major General Ronald Ferguson

1/79th Regiment

1/91st Regiment

1/92nd Regiment

2nd Division: Lieutenant General Lord Henry Paget

Spencer's Brigade: Major General Brent Spencer
1/6th Regiment

29th Regiment

1/32nd Regiment

Nightingall's Brigade: Brigadier General Miles Nightingall

1/5th Regiment

1/50th Regiment

1/82nd Regiment

3rd Division: Lieutenant General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser

Hill's Brigade: Major General Rowland Hill
1/9th Regiment

2/9th Regiment

1/40th Regiment

Fane's Brigade: Brigadier General Henry Fane

1/36th Regiment

1/45th Regiment

97th Regiment

4th Division: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley

Craufurd's Brigade: Brigadier General James Catlin Craufurd
20th Regiment

1/38th Regiment

1/71st Regiment

Murray's Brigade: Major General John Murray

1st Line Battalion

2nd Line Battalion King's German Legion

5th Line Battalion King's German Legion

7th Line Battalion King's German Legion

It does not appear that this organization was ever put into effect. But it makes an interesting comment on the advice given by the Commander-in-Chief to a commander in the field.

Other units were being detailed to join the army. The 18th Light Dragoons (672) with Brigadier General Charles Stewart [the Under-Secretary of State for War] were to go with Moore's Corps, currently at Portsmouth. Also going with Moore's Corps, both having missed sailing with Acland's Brigade, were Crawford's Company 6th Battalion Royal Artillery and the 2nd Company [Tieling's] King's German Legion Artillery of five medium 12 pounders, eleven light 6 pounders, one 5½ inch heavy howitzer and three 5½ inch light howitzers with limbers for five medium 12 pounders, five light 6 pounders, one 5½ inch heavy howitzer and one 5½ inch light howitzer. The 1/42nd Regiment (943) was coming from Gibraltar. The 1/3rd Regiment (929) and Thornhill's Company, 7th Battalion Royal Artillery (94) were coming from the garrison of Madeira with Major General William Beresford. The Governor of Gibraltar had sent the 1/6th Regiment (966) under Brigadier General Barnard Bowes with Spencer's Corps. In July, Major General John Randoll Mackenzie received orders to join Spencer's Corps and Brigadier General Alan Cameron was added to the staff of the army in Portugal.

Wellesley's Force

On 23rd June, Wellesley's force at Cork was organized as:

Commanding the force: Lieutenant General Wellesley

Second-in-command: Major General Hill

Hill's Brigade: Major General Ferguson [temporary]
1/5th Regiment

1/9th Regiment

1/38th Regiment

Light Brigade: Brigadier General Fane

5/60th Regiment

4 Companies 2/95th Regiment

4th Royal Veteran Battalion

Highland Brigade: Brigadier General Craufurd

1/40th Regiment

1/71st Regiment

1/91st Regiment

At Portsmouth were Lieutenant Colonel Robe, Geary's Company Royal Artillery, Raynsford's Company Royal Artillery and the 20th Light Dragoons. 

Although Wellesley's troops at Cork went onto the transports 15 -17 June, contrary winds kept them at Cork until they sailed 10/11 July. They had been joined by the transports carrying the 20th Light Dragoons and the artillery. They arrived off the coast of Portugal by 26 July and were landed beginning on the 1August at Mondego Bay. The 4th Royal Veteran Battalion remained on board ship waiting to sail onto Gibraltar.

Also sent in July were six 10 inch iron mortars and five 5½ inch brass mortars on beds. On 3 August, a howitzer and three pieces of artillery were attached to each brigade. The 9 pounders were attached to Major General Ferguson's Brigade and the remainder not allotted were to be in reserve. The 1/36th Regiment appear to have been assigned to Brigadier General Craufurd's Brigade and the 1/45th Regiment assigned to Brigadier General Fane's Brigade. Spencer's Corps arrived on 6 August and landed over the next two days. Spencer's one artillery half-company came with four light 6 pounders and two 5½ inch light howitzers.

The Re-organization of 7 August

A General Order of 7 August re-organized the army as:

Commanding the force: Lieutenant General Wellesley

Second-in-command: Major General Spencer

Deputy Quarter Master General: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Bathurst

Deputy Adjutant General: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Tucker

Artillery: Lieutenant Colonel Robe

1st Brigade: Major General Hill
1/5th Regiment

1/9th Regiment

1/38th Regiment

2nd Brigade: Major General Ferguson

36th Regiment

1/40th Regiment

1/71st Regiment

3rd Brigade: Brigadier General Nightingall

29th Regiment

1/82nd Regiment

4th Brigade: Brigadier General Bowes

1/6th Regiment

1/32nd Regiment

5th Brigade: Brigadier General Craufurd

1/45th Regiment

1/50th Regiment

1/91st Regiment

6th (or Light) Brigade: Brigadier General Fane

5/60th Regiment

4 Companies 2/95th Regiment

Unbrigaded: 20th Light Dragoons

Artillery:

Major Viney of Geary's Company 5th Battalion [light 6 pounders],

Raynsford's Company 8th Battalion [9 pounders]

Lawson's Half-Company under Morrison 8th Battalion [light 6 pounders]

The artillery had a half brigade attached to each infantry brigade and a howitzer to the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Brigades; while the 9 pounder brigade in reserve

The Organization of the Artillery

On 8 August, Hill's Brigade had two light 6 pounders and one 5½ inch light howitzer under Raynsford. Ferguson's Brigade had two light 6 pounders and one 5½ inch light howitzer under Locke, Nightingall's Brigade had three light 6 pounders under Graham, Bowes's Brigade had three light 6 pounders under Festing, C. Craufurd's Brigade had two light 6 pounders and one 5½ inch light howitzer under Morrison and Fane's Brigade had two light 6 pounders and one 5½ inch light howitzer under Geary. Major Viney superintended the Reserve Half-Brigades of three 9 pounders under Gardiner and two 9 pounders and one 5½ inch heavy howitzer under Eliot. This was the anticipated organization of the artillery.

However, Lieutenant Colonel Robe was not able to horse all of the brigades and so three of Lawson's guns were left on board ship. After the army had advanced and reached Leiria, Robe had to leave behind another three of Lawson's guns due to having to consolidate the horses to draw Wellesley's original 18 guns.

Portuguese Re-inforcements

On 14 August, Wellesley was reinforced by units of the Portuguese Army under Lt Colonel Nicholas Trant [Captain, Royal Staff Corps, British Service]:

6th Cavalry (104)

11th Cavalry (50)

12th Cavalry (104)

Cavalry of the police (41)

6th Caçadores (569)

12th Regiment (605)

21st Regiment (605)

24th Regiment (304).

 

Changes

On 18 August, a General Order assigned the 1/50th Regiment to the 6th Brigade and also assigned one company of the 5/60th Regiment to each of the five brigades leaving 5 companies with the 6th Brigade. On 19 August, Brigadier General Anstruther's Brigade arrived and was designated the 7th Brigade and on 20 August Brigadier General Acland's Brigade arrived and was designated the 8th Brigade. Also on 20 August, Lieutenant General Burrard arrived and assumed command of the army pending the arrival of Lieutenant General Dalrymple. Additionally on 20 August, Lieutenant General Moore's Corps arrived at Mondego Bay and began to disembark. On the 22nd, it was re-embarked and ordered to Maceira Bay. There had been a skirmish at Obidos on 15 August, the Battle of Roliça fought on 17 August [Battle Honour first awarded as Roleia] and the Battle of Vimeiro fought on the 21st of August [Battle Honour awarded as Vimiera].

 

21 August

Wellesley's Corps at Vimeiro, on 21st August, stood as:

Commanding the force: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley

Second-in-command: Major General Brent Spencer

Deputy Quarter Master General: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel James Bathurst

Deputy Adjutant General: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel George Tucker

Artillery: Lieutenant Colonel William Robe

1st Brigade: Major General Rowland Hill
1/5th Regiment

1/9th Regiment

1/38th Regiment

one Company, 5/60th Regiment

2nd Brigade Major General Ronald Ferguson

36th Regiment

1/40th Regiment

1/71st Regiment

one Company, 5/60th Regiment

3rd Brigade: Brigadier General Miles Nightingall

29th Regiment

1/82nd Regiment

one Company, 5/60th Regiment

4th Brigade: Brigadier General Barnard Bowes

1/6th Regiment

1/32nd Regiment

one Company, 5/60th Regiment

5th Brigade: Brigadier General James Catlin Craufurd

1/45th Regiment

1/91st Regiment

one Company, 5/60th Regiment

6th (or Light) Brigade: Brigadier General Henry Fane

1/50th Regiment

5 Companies, 5/60th Regiment

4 Companies 2/95th Regiment

7th Brigade: Brigadier General Robert Anstruther

2/9th Regiment

2/43rd Regiment

2/52nd Regiment

97th Regiment

8th Brigade: Brigadier General Wroth Palmer Acland

2nd Regiment

20th Regiment

2 Companies 1/95th Regiment

Unbrigaded: 20th Light Dragoons;

A General Order of 21st August, issued after the battle of Vimeiro, assigned the two companies of the 1/95th to the 6th Brigade and assigned one company 5/60th Regt each to the 7th and 8th Brigades, thus leaving only three companies with the 6th Brigade. On 21 August, Colonel John Harding arrived to command the artillery. A General Order of 22nd August transferred the 97th Regiment to the 8th Brigade.

On 22 August, Lieutenant General Dalrymple arrived and assumed command of the army. He immediately agreed to a suspension of hostilities and began to negotiate a convention for the withdrawal of French forces from Portugal, The Convention of Cintra. This was signed on the 29/30August. Also, on the 22nd, Dalrymple assigned most of the Vimeiro Corps to Wellesley's command and the recently arrived reinforcements, with perhaps Acland's and Anstruther's Brigades to Moore's command. Brigadier General C. Stewart arrived 23/24 August.

 

Moore's Corps

Moore's Corps arrived at Maceira Bay on the 24 August and began landing on the 25th. The Corps was ready to march by the 30th. Moore's original Corps on landing stood as:

Lieutenant General Mackenzie Fraser's Division

1/4th Regiment

1/28th Regiment

1/79th Regiment

1/92nd Regiment

Major General Murray's Division

1st Line Battalion King's German Legion

2nd Line Battalion King's German Legion

5th Line Battalion King's German Legion

7th Line Battalion King's German Legion

Major General E. Paget's Division

1/52nd Regiment

3 Companies 1/95th Regiment

1st Light Battalion King's German Legion

2nd Light Battalion King's German Legion

3rd Light Dragoons King's German Legion

Garrison Company King's German Legion

Artillery of Lieutenant Colonel George Wood and Major Julius Hartmann with:

2nd Company [Tieling's] King's German Legion (originally part of Acland's Brigade)

4th Company [Heise's] King's German Legion

Drummond's Company 3rd Battalion

Wilmot's Company 3rd Battalion. 

 

More Re-inforcements

Arriving as reinforcements were the 18th Light Dragoons [arrived 1/2 September], Major General William Beresford with the 1/3rd Regiment and Thornhill's Company Royal Artillery [from Madeira arriving 1st/2nd September], the 1/42nd Regiment, Skyring's Company 4th Battalion Royal Artillery (120?) and Bredin's Company 8th Battalion R.A (125) probably of four light 3 pounders and four 5½ inch light howitzers with 2 ammunition carts [from Gibraltar arriving 1st/2nd September]. Crawford's Company 6th Battalion Royal Artillery [120?, originally part of Acland's Brigade, arrived from Portsmouth 28 August]. The 1st Company [Gesenius's] King's German Legion Artillery only arrived at Lisbon on 8th September.

 

Lieutenant General Dalrymple's Re-organization  

In a General Order of 5th September, Lieutenant General Dalrymple brigaded his army as:

Advanced Corps: Major General E. Paget

Anstruther's Brigade: Brigadier General Anstruther
2/9th Regiment

1/52nd Regiment

5 Companies 1/95th Regiment

Alten's Brigade: Colonel Baron Alten

1st Light Battalion King's German Legion

2nd Light Battalion King's German Legion

Cavalry Brigade: Brigadier General C. Stewart

18th Light Dragoons

20th Light Dragoons

3rd Light Dragoons King's German Legion

1st Division: Lieutenant General Moore

Bentinck's Brigade: Major General Lord Bentinck
1/4th Regiment

1/28th Regiment

1/42nd Regiment

R.Stewart's Brigade: Brigadier General R. Stewart

1/9th Regiment

2/43rd Regiment

2/52nd Regiment

5 companies, 5/60th Regiment attached to the Division.

2nd Division: Lieutenant General Hope

Ferguson's Brigade: Major General Ferguson
1/36th Regiment

1/71st Regiment

1/92nd Regiment

Acland's Brigade: Brigadier General Acland

2nd Regiment

20th Regiment

97th Regiment

5 companies, 5/60th Regiment attached to the Division.

3rd Division: Lieutenant General Mackenzie Fraser

Fane's Brigade: Brigadier General Fane
1/3rd Regiment

1/38th Regiment

Murray's Brigade: Major General Murray

1st Line Battalion King's German Legion

2nd Line Battalion King's German Legion

5th Line Battalion King's German Legion

7th Line Battalion King's German Legion

4th Division: Lieutenant General Wellesley

Hill's Brigade: Major General Hill
1/5th Regiment

1/32nd Regiment

1/82nd Regiment

Beresford's Brigade: Major General Beresford

1/6th Regiment

1/45th Regiment

1/91st Regiment

Reserve: Major General Spencer

Nightingall's Brigade: Brigadier General Nightingall
1/29th Regiment

1/40th Regiment

1/50th Regiment

Cameron's Brigade: Brigadier General Cameron

1/79th Regiment

4 Companies 2/95th Regiment

Lieutenant General Lord Paget was to have overall command of the cavalry.

As early as 2nd September, the Government designated another force to go to Portugal and Spain. This force was under the command of Lieutenant General Sir David Baird and was assembled in England and Ireland throughout September. It sailed from Falmouth on 8th/9th October 1808 for Corunna.

During this time a number of General Officers left the army on personal business or due to illness. Lieutenant Generals Lord Henry Paget [September] and Wellesley [20 September], Major Generals Ferguson [20 September] and Spencer [October] and Brigadier Generals Nightingall [early October] and Bowes [back to Gibraltar?] were those who went. Brigadier General Cameron was appointed the Commandant of Lisbon.

When the news of the Convention of Cintra reached England, it caused an uproar and a Board of Inquiry was established. This resulted in Lieutenant General Dalrymple being recalled to England on 17 September and resigning the command on 3 October 1808 to Lieutenant General Burrard. Lieutenant General Dalrymple sailed on 5th October for England.

The British Government then decided to assist the Spanish armies in the field and so separated their army in Portugal into two forces. One was to become a Field Army and advance into Spain and the other was to remain as the garrison of Portugal and provide assistance to the Field Army. On 25 September, Lieutenant General Moore was notified that he was to command the Field Army and Lieutenant General Burrard, that he was to command the Portugal Garrison. The change was announced in a General Order of 8 October.

 

 

Military Index | Battles Index ]



Search the Series

© Copyright 1995-2004, The Napoleon Series, All Rights Reserved.

Top | Home ]