Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

Notes on Wellington’s Peninsular Regiments: 28th Regiment of Foot (North Gloucesters)           

By Ray Foster

Facings: Yellow 
Lace: Silver  

1/28th

25th-30th August 1808 (landed at Maceira Bay)
PUA 926                                   

Having missed the battle at Vimiero these men go in the first instance down about Lisbon and it is not until Lieutenant General John Moore gets his available force together for the march into Spain that we shall see them. By the end of October they are to be found brigaded with 1/4th, 1/42nd and a four company wing of 5/60th, all under Major General William Bentinck, so, off they go on a late autumn day up north to Salamanca.

Moore makes a junction with Lieutenant General David Baird's Corps after some seven weeks of indecisive marching and waiting about as the weather turns to winter.  At Sahagun this fine battalion has lost no less than 176 men, almost 20% and not a hostile hand placed on them, however with hindsight we know that some of these men will reappear "later":

19th December 1808 (at Sahagun)
PUA 750                                      

At Mayorga the army had been re-cast so that 1/28th are now in a tiny brigade under Colonel  Moore Disney of 1st Guard, their comrades in this are 1/91st a nameless regiment [later dubbed "Argyll's"].  It becomes their task to be a part of Major General Edward Paget's rearguard and as such they will, in the dismal retreat on Corunna have several brushes with the enemy. One notable such action took place at the bridge at Cacabelles where a furious skirmish saw them lose 70 men that day, not a word in JA Hall as to casualties to officers here:

3rd January 1809 (at the bridge at Cacabelles)
PAB 680                                  

Only the next day 1/28th are ordered to jettison 25,000 silver dollars when the oxen driving the carts begin to die, it is not recorded how much/or even if any portion of this treasure found its way "elsewhere".  Two days later there they are again at Constantino defending yet another river crossing. This work goes on to the end, within sight of Corunna where, in the battle on the last day in the country they may have lost a further 20 men. It is only known that when the battalion landed back in England they would number:

21st-22nd January 1809 (at ports in England)
Disembarked 624                     

This battalion was amongst those others sent on the Walcheren campaign in the summer of 1809 with all that that implies.  When Wellesley has landed in Portugal for his second attempt at contesting against the French several members of 1/28th will have been made available as parts of those scattered infantry returnees found in convalescence and depots/drafts etc' up and down Portugal. These men and their efforts can be found in the short history of 1st Battalion Detachments appearing elsewhere in these compilations. The 2/28th Regiment was a part of those reinforcements sent to Portugal to fill the gap made when Moore's army departed, probably landing early in July 1809:

July 1809 (landed at Lisbon)
No figures available.

2/28th

We do see them on the march up to Zarza la Mayor by 12th August 1809 where they are joined to that frontier force held in a defensive posture under Marshal William Carr Beresford when Wellesley has plunged into Spain with Cuesta.

They are brigaded under Colonel  James Catlin Craufurd of 91st  with two other 2nd Battalions for just a few weeks until the main army has struggled back into the valley of the Guadiana where this brigade is taken into the 2nd Division under Major General Rowland Hill.  Catlin Craufurd still holds the Brigade as they go into the winter and into the spring and summer of 1810 during which time there is to be no contact with the enemy, however, Craufurd very shortly, on 25th September at Abrantes, dies before we next see them, Lieutenant Colonel  George Wilson of 2/39th taking over briefly. There has been a concentration of the greater part of the army in response to the advance of a large enemy Corps under Marshal Andre Massena into Portugal via Almeida. Wilson's Brigade, still composed of those three original 2nd Battalions 2/28th, 2/34th, 2/39th but now owning a company of 5/60th, being with Hill on the ridge at Busaco have a very quiet day when the enemy make their attack. It is here that we shall, for the first time see battalion figures for this unit:

27th September 1810 (at the ridge at Busaco)
PUA 554                                   

This is not an unusual strength for a 2nd battalion in this army but, whilst receiving no casualties this day the march back down to Torres Vedras will bring an attrition of 60 men no longer able to answer the roll call:

10th November 1810 (at the lines at Torres Vedras)
PUA 494

Before we are able to continue the exploits of this battalion it may be as well to show the return to the Peninsula theatre of the 1st Battalion; which we left in Walcheren over a year ago.

1/28th

Instead of coming directly back to Lisbon this little corps, much reduced from its former numbers is sent down to Gibraltar by February 1811 excepting that the centre companies seem to have been dropped off at Tarifa, all of this prior to the ensuing battle close to Cadiz at Barrosa in March. We can expect that when Lieutenant GeneralThomas Graham brought his men out of Cadiz to "cooperate" with Captain General La Pena at Barrosa the greater part of 1/28th would become joined with them. From the mixed bag of Appendix figures (Oman) it is only possible to come to an average for those present, I estimate;

5th March 1811 (at Barrosa)
PUA 571

In the confused tale of this battle it is no easier to get at the individual battalion casualties, what is of interest however is that one of the officers wounded will come from that small part of 1st Battalion of Detachments which had remained in the Peninsula so long ago during Moore’s campaign in 1808.  Unfortunately for its two flank companies 1/28th is split into fractions these Light and Grenadier companies being sent off with their Brevet Lieutenant  Colonel  John Browne on that do-or-die effort to check the advance of the French down the hillside of the Cerro Del Puerco [best described in the history of the 82nd]. The eight Centre companies have advanced with Colonel William Wheatley of 1st Guard through the woods becoming involved in a furious fire-fight and finally a triumphant success, none of this however without serious loss. Lieutenants Joseph Bennett and John Light have been fatally wounded Captains Charles Cadell and Edward Mullens with Lieutenants Samuel Moore, John Wilkinson, John Anderson, one more officer un-named and 80 of their men are wounded whilst in the bloody fight on the hillside Captain Joseph Bradbey [a survivor of the 1808 contingent] is wounded but Lieutenant  Robert Blakeney also shot has at least the distinction to be first to lay hold of an abandoned enemy howitzer at the top of the Cerro. In the case before us the reduction by whatever means cannot be far from 158 of which the two flank companies would lose probably no less than 72 so:

5th March (after the battle at Barrosa)
PAB 413

We must leave the 1st Battalion for a short while to see to the fortunes of 2nd Battalion who have inherited a new Corps Commander in Marshal Beresford going down across the Guadiana, ostensibly to put Badajoz under siege but, quite soon to fight for their very existence on the gory field at Albuera.

2/28th

The Honourable Major General William Lumley has the 2nd Division 3rd Brigade from Wilson as long ago as the retirement from Busaco down to Torres Vedras. When Beresford's men come down from Badajoz to Albuera however Lumley, fatefully  takes on command of the cavalry and it is left to Lieutenant  Colonel  Alexander Abercromby of 2/28th to lead the Brigade, on the day the battalion will show;

16th May 1811 (at Albuera)
PUA 519

A great deal of slaughter has already been meted out to Beresford's 1st and 2nd Brigades as Abercromby brings his men up to the serious action being fought on the brow of the gentle rise originally held by the Spaniards.  Coming through a confused body of these men who occupy the allied left flank the Brigadier is able to gradually form a firing line capable of giving the enemy real trouble, aiming into the French right flank and pressing them back onto the central ground where the interminable and lethal short range musketry duel is creating on both sides such a mass of dead and wounded men. The brigade comes in for its share of attention from a battery of cannon so that casualties hereabouts will mount whilst ever the contest continues. Eventually when the shooting match dies down Abercromby Brigade has managed to hold its position here in the left field and could be said to have missed the really hard work but, none the less 2/28th will have accumulated almost 32% losses whilst having this comparatively "easy day". Captain Arthur Gale, Lieutenants Edward Cottingham, James Crammer, John Shelton, Ens' George Ingram and one officer un-named are all wounded as are 131 of their men 27 more are dead, so:

16th May 1811 (after the battle at Albuera)                                                                                              
PAB 355

Lieutenant Colonel  Abercromby being one of the few regimental officers to be left standing appears to have assisted Lumley to hold together a motley crew of disparate companies, survivors too weak in number to stand alone, 2/28th amongst them.

These are to be known for a while as Lumley's Brigade and here we must pause to clarify this officer’s standing, ever since his appointment to hold the original 2nd Division3rd Brigade after the battle on Busaco ridge, we have seen here a senior cavalry officer of some previous experience put in charge of infantry. It is only when Major General Richard Ballard Long has been found woefully inadequate as a leader of multi units of the mounted arm that Lumley got his chance to show his worth on the gory field of Albuera and his true vocation. More explanation is required before moving on, it soon falls to Lumley to take the whole of 2nd Division Cavalry down south to investigate the slow retirement of Soult’s defeated Corps, this to result in a resounding setback for the French cavalry rearguard at Usagre [to be found elsewhere]. In Wellington’s Army Appendix II CT Atkinson struggles to make sense of the post-Albuera re-organisation but only good common sense is really available. Wellington has come to the battlefield, taken over as is his responsibility, sent off Lumley to do what he does best, given those better surviving officers the task of putting back together the wrecks of 2nd Divisioninfantry, called up urgent reinforcements of that arm and Lumley like so many of the officers who survived the Albuera affair is eventually allowed to go home in his own good time.

Urgent word goes out to Gibraltar where 1/28th are resting up, they are shipped off to Lisbon and are awaited with some impatience not arriving up to Hill's Corps (he also has returned) until after 8th August [WD V7 P181] we do know however that this is once more a "well-found" unit having some 600 plus R&F.  It almost goes without saying that these two battalions of 28th Regiment will be drafted together as soon as the army is freed from its campaign responsibilities in the Caya valley. So it is then that we certainly expect to see the officer cadre of 2/28th and most likely several NCO's and the more sickly and "irregular" rank & file sent off to the depots in England to recruit men for new drafts, these going down to Lisbon by an order of 21st August 1811. Abercromby himself certainly goes home but not until the end of the year being present with the 28th  at Arroya de Molinos and the bridge at Almaraz he will return but only to pick up a post as AQG early in 1813 to see out the war in that capacity.

The 1/28th have already been gazetted to be a part of its old brigading in 2nd Division, with 2/34th who have managed to preserve sufficient numbers to hold together and, 2/39th who are able to keep their place on the knowledge that their 1st Battalion is under orders to leave Sicily to join as soon as possible, there is also a company of 5/60th re-attached.

During all of this Lumley, as is gazetted finally succumbs to delayed battle fatigue, goes home and is replaced at the head of this 3rd Brigade of 2nd Division by the re-appointment of G Wilson of 39th, this by 9th October 1811. Just eleven days later 1/39th join the brigade to bolster up its numbers, The Brigade is still hanging about down the Caya valley when Hill takes a small striking force up the Guadiana watershed to embarrass General Drouet D Erlon, his quarry that isolated brigade under General Jean-Baptiste Girard who, after a long hard march in wintry conditions they discover in the mountains at Arroyo dos Molinos. I can only estimate figures at this time but cannot be far away at:

28th October 1811 (at Arroyo dos Molinos)
PUA 755

1/28th are only able to get their Light company into the action in this running fight so it will be from these that the ten casualties are counted this day. Hill's Corps are to operate down in Estremadura for another nine months before we shall see them on the move up the Tagus valley marching on Madrid. The old comrades of 2/39th have gone the way of 2/28th so that only 34th Regiment  has managed to keep its original 2nd battalion with the brigade. Wilson's Brigade have been on the march several times as part of Hill's task to keep D Erlon busy but have only once got close to any real action, this in the attack on the Bridge at Almaraz in May 1812 where they are used to make a noisy demonstration before the castle and fortified works at the Pass of Miravete whilst others make the real attack down at the bridge itself.

This was a very gentle operation without casualties to Wilson's men but, when that well known incompetent General Erskine sent Hill a panicky warning of the threatening approach of a non-existent foe, off they all went back to their old quarters.

In the late summer of 1812 when Hill had reached Madrid and stayed a while his own Corps would still be in good number but unfortunately we have no figures per/battalion for this period. Indeed it is only when the whole army has retreated before King Joseph Bonaparte, Marshals Soult and Jourdan back to the line of the Agueda that there is the slightest hope of untangling those very vague Divisional and occasional Brigade references to be found along the way in the text (Oman). It is likely that when the army stood its ground for that short while at the Arapiles in mid-November 1/28th would bring to the colours:

15th November 1812 (standing on defence at the Arapiles)                                                                                                 
PUA 715

It is only two weeks later that a head count is taken again, this time the brigade is held out as a part of the forward outposts and picket lines on the Sierras, the battalion would be at about:

29th November 1812 (about the Sierra de Gata)
PUA 604

Two months later Wilson has died of a fever at Moralejo and Colonel  Robert O'Callaghan of 39th receives the Brigade, there is no more to do than keep an eye on an enemy who is satisfied to keep an eye on them too! Almost five months go by during which the winter turns to spring and 1/28th receive a little over 250 men by drafts and returned invalids, those old comrades of 2/28th back at the home depots no doubt having done their bit. By a return from the DAG seen in Supplementary Dispatches we can say that on:

26th April 1813 (in the forward posts on the Agueda)
PUA 859

A month later when the army is ready to move on the offensive we can expect to see:

23rd May 1813 (on the march north to Vittoria)                                                                                   
PUA 909

Having marched for something like 350mls in less than a month Hill's Corps fetch up on the Pueblo Heights to the far right of the position chosen by Joseph and Jourdan in defence of their treasure and baggage train which can only make slow progress as it attempts to retire ever northwards up the Grand‚ Chaussee out of Spain. It is this 'Corps that first comes on the attack when Wellington considers that his Divisions are well enough placed to seriously commit the enemy to a general action and, since it is well recorded that the army had kept its numbers up to a remarkable degree we can expect that 1/28th would, on 21st June 1813 commence the day with very similar figures to those of late May.

O’Callaghan Brigade climb onto the heights and up a defile until they reach a village, Subijana de Alava where they have the assistance of a battery of guns on their right, after a typical house to house combat they eject General Daricau's men from the place entirely but find it impossible to get on further when they attempt to debouch beyond into open ground.

When General Conroux sends reinforcements against them in a counter attack the fight settles into a long see-saw struggle, however, all these initiatives come to nothing when the French are called back as a part of a difficult re-alignment of their defensive stance. As they go off to the rear 1/28th and  O’ Callaghan's men are still in possession of the village and when a general advance is mounted will support the rest of the army as it falls upon the rapidly disintegrating foe. In this difficult, long drawn out fight about Subijana de Alava the battalion has half of its officers brought down and 12 of the men are dead, Brevet Lieutenant Colonel  Charles Paterson, Lieutenants Robert H Mitchell, Robert McDonnell and Ensign Thomas Byrne are fatally injured, whilst Captains John Bowles and Thomas Wilson, Lieutenants Henry Burn, John Clark, John Coen, John Evans, Stephen Gordon, William Irwin, Robert Mitchell, Samuel Morris, Samuel Sweeny Edward Wolfe and Ens' Henry Alexander with 171 of the men are wounded so that;

21st June 1813 (after the fight at Subijana de Alava)                                                                           
PAB 710

Once the CIC has managed to get together a large enough proportion of his troops after their rip-roaring descent on the baggage train loot left behind by Joseph's routed army off they march north into the Bastan hills where on 5th July we shall see 1/28th with the brigade in a central position attacking Gazan's rearguard troops about Aniz, little contact is made against this defence which falls back when its commander considers that he is about to be outflanked.  We can expect that 1/28th may have lost no more than 10 men in the very brief touches made with the enemy over a three day period before all contact is lost as they go off into France. It will be of some service to follow closely the events over the next three weeks and keep an even closer scrutiny as to likely numbers present and under arms! In the fortnight between the battle of Vittoria and the sighting of the battalion at Aniz they have been on the march for perhaps 100mls, the CIC has during this time complained bitterly to his masters in England that 4000 of his men are not to be found as a result of having made off with large amounts of loot and, that very few missing men are in the hospitals either!

We cannot then expect that 1/28th could have made up any of its own deficit other than maybe a few lightly wounded officers. The odd number of returnees could not do more than make up for those 10 or so lost in the Bastan at least going into early July. O’ Callaghan's Brigade now has a short rest period of those three weeks mentioned above, it is possible that during this time a handful of men, looters who have "disposed" of their hard earned treasures could have returned to the ranks along with a few convalescents so that a fairly accurate figure will emerge for the next rather violent contact with the enemy.

25th July 1813 (at the Pass of Maya) 
PUA 724

The brigade has been camped about two miles to the south of a knoll on the far right of this pass ever since General Gazan and his men took off 18 days earlier.  In the up-coming fight O' Callaghan has gone back to leading his 39th Regiment  and a new commander Brigade Maj' General William Pringle has arrived just a few days before this bitterly fought engagement to come.

Note:

Much is made by Oman and others as to the significance of Pringle’s appearance in taking up a new command suggestive of a man somewhat out of place, this of course is mere rhodomontade, this Major General is no stranger to sudden promotion or full-on contact with the enemy on the field.  In late June of 1812 he is in command of 2nd Brigade 5th Divisionnicely in time to be engaged in violent action at the Arapiles moving up to hold the whole of 5th Divisionafter that battle, only returning to 2nd Brigade in October of that year then continuing thus into March of 1813.

It is perhaps on the word of Sir W’m Gomm through his Journal that Pringle gets his “bad  name”, that writer setting him down as a man commanding no respect on the field.

The Light company of 1/28th under its leader, Captain Joseph Bradbey [that long time survivor present at Grijon and Talavera in 1808 and Barrosa in 1811] has been up at the knoll, variously known as the Gorospil and the Aretesque Rock for some time, they are with the other two Light companies of the brigade plus its attached company of 5/60th and a further one of another of Hill's 2nd Division.  We are expected to believe that this little corps of light infantry makes up 400 men, however, if we look at the various regimental history's objectively it can never be supposed that a Light company of any battalion would ever number even its 1/10th compliment of the whole.  These men at most times would be to the fore in any action and especially where there was broken ground or buildings within the killing ground.

Pringle's Brigade had, on this day no more than 2050 men from which to draw at an absolute maximum 205 light troops, he had also 2 companies of 5/60th at 130 max, so, 335 men not 400 as Oman would have us believe, and that at an absolute maximum.

All of this becomes important when we see what happens up on the Gorospil knoll, their supports are well over a mile away down in the valley behind the high ground when the enemy sends at the knoll a force of skirmishers of at least double the number, somewhere about 800 we are told. Moyle Sherer of 34th [another battle worn veteran] and Bradbey keep their men together for at least three quarters of an hour against this unequal attack but, are unable to prevent other large formed units from circling the knoll and cutting them off from their line of communication back to Pringle's main force. These last mentioned having heard the commotion on the knoll are brought into formation and in the time of their Light companies fight come up the hill just sufficiently to see the sorry remnants out of ammunition being rounded up and taken off prisoner, every single one!

So it is that on 25th July 1813 1/28th will lose entirely its Light company, officers, sergeants, buglers and all, the combat of course is far from over, there is much more serious killing to be endured.

1/28th we are told are brought up the hill on the far left of Pringle's Brigade so that they can give some support to a wing of 92nd Regiment  who are under a tremendously unequal musketry fire, Pringle himself brings up 1/28th much too late as it happens to prevent this wing of the Gordon’s from destruction, his own men are able however to put in some telling volley's from across a hollow ground at long range which stops this attack briefly. The history of this engagement is different for each writer present but the casualties always tell the true story. 1/28th lose about here some 100 men maximum, which tells us that when compared to the huge losses incurred by others this day the battalion, apart from its Light company disaster has only normal losses otherwise.  Ensign John Delmar is dead, Captain William Meacham, Lieutenants James Crammer, Gordon, Richard Tomlinson, Ens' Edward Hill and probably 93 men killed, wounded or captured, one of these is that tough veteran Captain Bradbey whose luck has finally run out, he is to die of his wounds some three months later and, surprisingly, not in the hands of the enemy. It remains to say that Pringle, having finally summed up the situation and noted the overwhelming odds now that the enemy had open ground over which to deploy ordered his Brigade to retire back down onto the road back to Maya, this they do with little more attention from the enemy who consider that enough has been done in forcing the Pass itself.

25th July 1813 (after the combat at the Gorospil, Pass of Maya)                                                          
PAB 565

It must be understood that when this day comes to a close Pringle's Brigade does not have a single light-infantryman or even an officer cadre on which to rebuild a corps of these specialist article. In the manœuvring about the hills and valleys which dissect the Bastan in its east-west direction it is not until five days later that Pringle's Brigade come up against the enemy again, it is at Buenza and a defensive combat about that place. 1/28th has no contact themselves and so no casualties either, and, even on the next day at Donna Maria loses only one man killed and another wounded.

Hill's 2nd Division, led by the way by that same rash Lieutenant General William Stewart who so often put his charges to hazard without good cause, remain about the Pass of Maya for some considerable time, long enough for the summer to turn to autumn and, even to the first snows of winter. It seems that even though the Brigade is up in the foothills of the Pyrenees for this three month plus period the battalion is reinforced by some means by no less than 168 men, it also becomes apparent that of these men 1/28th has re-established its Light company as we shall shortly see! For the battle to cross the line of the Nivelle River we are provided with full battalion figures and, we are warned, these include all of the marching supernumeries amongst the officer calculations so:

10th November 1813 (on the Nivelle)
PUA 733

The Brigade, still led by Pringle, is, along with most of 2nd Division, well out on the right flank of a very extended attack, it may be that 1/28th this day had only a small handful of casualties, the Brigade itself only registering 12 men lost throughout, we do know however that Lieutenant  Blakeney received a serious wound that day.  A month later however at the crossing of the Nive River, Pringle's men are well forward at the pontoon bridge which has been secured at a point downstream of Herauritz, it is very likely that on this day they would muster;

9th December (crossing the Nive)      
PUA 710

Having reformed and gone ahead down the right (eastern) bank of the river along poor roads heavy with mud they come up to the village of Villefranque where others have made a lodgement and are under a counter-attack, Pringle's men are put into the fray and after some hard fighting eject the enemy who, having gone back some way leave 1/28th and their comrades to take up ground on a long hill spur which points northwards towards Bayonne. This little tussle has cost the brigade some 67 men K&W Captain William Taylor amongst the injured so perhaps we can expect 1/28th to come out of this one at

9th December (after the combat at Villefranque)                                                                                 
PAB 689

Pringle's Brigade are allowed three days of respite to come forward to the end of the hill spur where a well positioned group of buildings is quickly fortified with barricades and its walls loopholed it is the Chateau Larralde and, when SouLieutenants men make a serious move against another adjacent hill spur close to St Pierre d'Irrube this position is only lightly attacked by some of General Daricau's men to pin them in that position.  It is only when the main attack at St Pierre has fizzled out and Daricau's men are beginning to retire that things become violent at the Chateau front.

It is at this time that we are informed that Pringle has a complement of brigade Light Companies and it is these that first go forward to follow up the enemy retirement. It seems from the casualty lists that it is the full battalion of 1/28th which come out of the Chateau defences to support these men to hurry the departure of the enemy, this they resent and a solid fight ensues resulting eventually in the whole enemy force being pressed back into the armed camps about Bayonne. Newly promoted Captain Edward Wolfe, Lieutenants William Keep, John Nelson and Ensign J Thurloe Waring are wounded, six men of 1/28th are killed but ninety-one wounded so:

13th December 1813 (after the battle at the Chateau Larralde)                                                            
PAB 588

For a short time after the several battles to the south of Bayonne both the weather and the general political situation in Europe allows the army to have a respite but, for some, very little replenishment of numbers, in fact, down they go in 1/28th standing in January at;

16th January 1814 ( in cantonments south of Bayonne)                                                                        
PUA 509

When the army begins its moves to push Soult’ss men away from the west coast at Bayonne we shall see Pringle's men in action soon enough.  2/34th have dropped back to pick up new uniforms and equipment so that the brigade is somewhat short of numbers on 15th February as they are sent forward by Wellington himself to take a hill, the Motte de Garris, it is already late in the winter's day and 1/39th go at the hill against some stiff opposition even to using the bayonet, 1/28th come up in support as Pringle and all of his mounted officers are brought down, having the benefit of strong flanking moves from others they are able after the initial setback to make ground, subsequently seeing off the opposition. It is impossible to discover exact casualties this day for 1/28th but we are aware that Captain Arthur Gale [an Albuera survivor] has been mortally wounded Lieutenant Gordon just slightly so perhaps they would be lucky to have no more than twenty men K&W so:

15th February (after the combat on the Motte de Garris)                                                                     
PAB 488

It is to be late February 1814 before we see large scale action from 2nd Division, they are used out on the right flank in those advances against an ever retiring SouLieutenant  so that when it comes to the battle at Orthez the Division is up to the Gave upstream of Orthez itself and while the battle is being fought to the north in low hills some few miles away Pringle's men, now led once more by O' Callaghan will only be present on the right in support having no contact with the enemy that day:

27th February 1814 (at Orthez)          
PUA 480

When the enemy has retreated back eastwards the army, in some disarray due mostly to the foul weather and the rain sodden countryside, flounders from one river crossing to another until eventually they arrive at the Toulouse environs, it is not a time to be able to increase numbers but, since the enemy has similar problems Wellington expects that an attack can be mounted with a reasonable chance of success so:

10th April 1814 (at Toulouse)              
PUA 475

As can be seen numbers remain much reduced, these as a part of the Brigade figures averaged out, Hill's Corps has the task this day of demonstrating before the western walls and the St Cyprien defensive works. O' Callaghan's men are sent forward early, before dawn in fact, to attack a watermill on the Garonne at Bourassol, 1/28th and 2/34th dash at it and quickly secure this outwork which enables more flanking attacks by others to bring the whole up against the main formidable heavily fortified town walls. Lieutenants James Deares, John Green and Irwin will have been wounded here but this is just about the end of the war for 1/28th, they spend the rest of the day having a steady pot-shot or so at the opposite numbers whilst the battle is heavily engaged over on the Mont Rave at the other side of the city.

10th April (after the battle at Toulouse)                                                                                               
PAB 444

Note; The North Gloucester’s show up as toiling journeymen, let down badly on the Gorospil by almost non-existent leaders at the top and by no means the only ones thus deprived that day. As to the generating of Light infantry; Each centre company had a few men who stood on the left of company line [part of the chosen men/flankers so often mentioned by ardent wargamers] who could immediately be drafted into a new Light company. Such a company newly formed could only thus be at half strength presenting a corps more in form than in reality! Certainly Captain Bradbey himself would be sorely missed.  At the affair on the Motte de Garris it is not beyond conjecture that Wellington, also aware of Pringle’s weakness’s of character and, disappointed at the lack of progress this day sent him forward fully in the knowledge that he must, at the risk of mortal damage to himself make amends for a day half wasted.

This Regiment was present at Quatre Bras/Waterloo under Kempt and Picton with 557 PUA of which they were to lose 252 of all ranks.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2010

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