Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

 

British Forces at Cadiz 1810-1814: Organisation, Strength, and Losses

By Andrew Bamford

Organisation in 1811

January

The “Allotment of the Troops under the command of Lieut. General Graham” of January 4th confirms the continuation of the order of battle instituted on December 9th, as well as providing information on the commanders of the detachments of the Royal Engineers and the Royal Staff Corps: these were respectively Captains John Francis Birch and Frederick Leicester.[1] However, on January 19th the Chasseurs Britanniques left to join the main army under Wellington,[2] leading to the consolidation of the Second and Third Brigades. Although this reorganisation is not listed in Graham’s correspondence until February 25th, it seems logical to assume that it was implemented in the immediate aftermath of the departure of the Chasseurs. If this was the case, then by the time of the monthly return of January 25th,[3] the force stood as follows:

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First (Guards) Brigade: Brigadier General William Dilkes (1081/1131)

2/1st Footguards (581/602)
Footguards Detachment Battalion (500/529), comprising

Two companies. 2/Coldstream Guards (200/211)
Three companies. 2/3rd Footguards (300/318)

Second Brigade: Colonel William Wheatley (1380/1497)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (729/787)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (469/510)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (182/200)

Reserve: Major General Moore Disney (2560/2771, with 210 horses)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s Irish) (647/725)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (367/385)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (325/353, with 210 horses)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1221/1308)

Royal Artillery (593/620)
Royal Artillery Drivers (142/144, with 232 horses)
Royal Engineers (82/85)
Royal Staff Corps (41/42)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (290/295)

Total: 6169/6585, with 442 horses

Postings remained as before: the Second Brigade at Cadiz, the Third near Puntales, and the remainder of the forces on the Isla de Leon.

The composition of the Royal Artillery detachment remained unchanged throughout the year, being composed of the companies of Campbell, Owen, Hughes, Roberts, Dickson, and Shenly, plus drivers, under Major, later Lt. Colonel, Alexander Duncan.[4]

February

There were no changes in this month to the official order of battle, which is detailed below with strengths as per the monthly return of February 25th.[5] However, by that date the greater part of the force had been detached for active operations as part of an allied army under the Spanish General Manuel La Pena, embarking on February 21st.[6] The reason for the number of men returned as “On Command” in the Royal Artillery, 2/47th, and 20th Portuguese is that these units had been divided, with part remaining at Cadiz and part accompanying Graham. In the case of the Royal Artillery and the 20th Portuguese, the figure for effective rank and file relates to troops with Graham; for the 2/47th, this relates to the men left at Cadiz.

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First (Guards) Brigade: Brigadier General William Dilkes (1012/1131)

2/1st Footguards (532/602)
Footguards Detachment Battalion (480/529), comprising

Two companies. 2/Coldstream Guards (191/211)
Three companies. 2/3rd Footguards (289/318)

Second Brigade: Colonel William Wheatley (1171/1489)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (513/781)[7]
2/67th (South Hampshire) (468/508)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (190/200)

Reserve: Major General Moore Disney (1585/2801, with 210 horses)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s Irish) (605/722)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (364/385)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (323/384, with 210 horses)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (293/1310)[8]

Royal Artillery (185/620)[9]
Royal Artillery Drivers (132/144, with 232 horses)
Royal Engineers (82/85)
Royal Staff Corps (41/42)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (659/761)

Total: 4867/7073, with 443 horses

The forces in the Barossa campaign, which also included troops from Gibraltar, are detailed in Appendix II. The units of the Cadiz contingent were divided as follows:

Embarked with Graham, seconded by Dilkes and Wheatley: 2/1st Footguards, Footguards Detachment Battalion, 2/67th, 2/87th, 2/95th, 3/95th, 2nd KGL Hussars, flank companies of 2/47th and 20th Portuguese, detachments of Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Staff Corps.

Remaining at Cadiz under Disney: Battalion of Foreign Recruits, battalion companies of 2/47th and 20th Portuguese, remainder of Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Staff Corps.

March

After the victory of Barossa, La Pena’s army returned to Cadiz, arriving on March 7th.[10] Once the units from Gibraltar had returned to their proper station, the force at Cadiz resumed its previous internal organisation, as detailed in the allotment of March 25th.[11] With strengths from the monthly return of the same date,[12] the force stood thus:

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First (Guards) Brigade: Brigadier General William Dilkes (750/1057)

2/1st Footguards (375/558)
Footguards Detachment Battalion (375/499), comprising

Two companies. 2/Coldstream Guards (159/201)
Three companies. 2/3rd Footguards (216/298)

Second Brigade: Colonel William Wheatley (1276/1462)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (657/769)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (460/500)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (159/193)

Reserve: Major General Moore Disney (2325/2665, with 210 horses)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s Irish) (522/686)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (306/369)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (293/313, with 210 horses)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1204/1297)

Royal Artillery (579/608)
Royal Artillery Drivers (134/142, with 231 horses)
Royal Engineers (78/84)
Royal Staff Corps (40/40)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (631/726)

Total: 5813/6784, with 441 horses

April

No organisational changes listed, but the monthly return of April 25th indicates the arrival of a small detachment of troops from the Wagon Train.[13] With strengths as per that return, organisation during April therefore stood thus:

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First (Guards) Brigade: Brigadier General William Dilkes (900/1140)

2/1st Footguards (450/591)
Footguards Detachment Battalion (450/549), comprising

Two companies. 2/Coldstream Guards (206/243)
Three companies. 2/3rd Footguards (244/315)

Second Brigade: Colonel William Wheatley (1292/1431)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (665/749)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (463/494)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (164/188)

Reserve: Major General Moore Disney (2402/2712, with 196 horses)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (546/684)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (326/365)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (296/323, with 196 horses)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1234/1340)

Royal Artillery (564/599)
Royal Artillery Drivers (151/158, with 275 horses)
Royal Engineers (80/83)
Royal Staff Corps (38/40)
Wagon Train (12/12, with 17 horses)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (617/738)

Total: 6056/6913, with 488 horses

May

This month saw a substantial reorganisation, occasioned by the departure of the three Footguards second battalions and their partial replacement with the 3/1st Footguards. The first elements of this battalion disembarked on April 27th, but it would be July before the last four companies arrived. The 3/1st Footguards absorbed the fit men of the 2/1st Footguards, acquiring one Lt. Colonel, one Captain, two Ensigns, a Paymaster, and 210 rank and file. The three original Footguards battalions began to embark for home in early May, all being gone by the 25th: rank and file strengths on departure were 387, 243, and 315 for the 2/1st, 2/Coldstream and 2/3rd Footguards respectively.[14] These changes necessitated a radical redistribution of forces, as outlined in the Allocation of May 16th.[15] with strengths as of the return of May 25th,[16] the troops were now organised as follows:

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First Brigade: Colonel George Cooke (1768/2044)

2/67th (South Hampshire) (464/494)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (549/636)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (163/186)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (592/728)

Second Brigade: Colonel John Skerrett (1913/2080)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (679/743)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1234/1337)

Reserve: Major General Moore Disney (1391/1481, with 185 horses)

3/1st Footguards (767/821)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (320/336)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (304/324, with 185 horses)

Royal Artillery (557/593)
Royal Artillery Drivers (156/159, with 283 horses)
Royal Engineers (77/83)
Royal Staff Corps (39/40)
Wagon Train (12/12, with 12 horses)

Total: 5913/6492, with 480 horses

Also noted as part of the Allocation are the facts that Major Duncan of the Royal Artillery was now a Lt. Colonel, and that Captain William Nicholas had taken command of the Royal Engineer detachment.

June

Skerrett and the 2/47th being detached as part of the doomed attempt to aid the beleaguered Spanish garrison at Tarragona,[17] the 2/87th was transferred to the Second Brigade of which Lt. Colonel Gough then assumed command. A note to the monthly return of June 25th indicates that he was commanding vice Major General Walker,[18] but that officer never served with the Cadiz command. Cooke was promoted Major General as of June 4th 1811 and took command of the Reserve, replacing Disney who went home: Prevost of the 2/67th then assumed command of the First Brigade.[19] As of the monthly return of June 25th, strength and organisation therefore stood thus:

Commanding the Force: Lt. General Sir Thomas Graham

First Brigade: Lt. Colonel William Prevost (1270/1422)

2/67th (South Hampshire) (456/491)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (167/186)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (647/745)

Second Brigade: Lt. Colonel Hugh Gough (1815/1975)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (574/635)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1241/1340)

Reserve: Major General George Cooke (1324/1475, with 198 horses)

3/1st Footguards (733/812)
Detachment 3/95th Rifles (278/330)[20]
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (313/333, with 198 horses)

Royal Artillery (499/591)[21]
Royal Artillery Drivers (174/186, with 324 horses)
Royal Engineers (76/83)
Royal Staff Corps (40/40)
Wagon Train (12/12, with 10 horses)

Total: 5210/5784, with 534 horses

July

On July 1st, the detachment of 2/95th was transferred to the Reserve. Early in the month, the remaining four companies of 3/1st Footguards joined, with a strength of sixteen officers, twenty-four sergeants, three drummers, and 419 rank and file.[22] On July 20th, Lt. General Graham left Cadiz to take up his new appointment as second-in-command to Wellington. With him also went the detachment of the 3/95th and 159 rank and file of the 2nd KGL Hussars.[23] Major General Cooke then succeeded to the command at Cadiz, being replaced at the head of the Reserve by Colonel John Lambert.[24] The Allocation of forces for July 25th notes the presence of a detachment of ninety-five rank and file of the 2/47th, attached to the First Brigade, but these are not included in the monthly return of that date,[25] which distributes the forces as follows:

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Lt. Colonel William Prevost (1108/1219)

2/67th (South Hampshire) (441/490)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (667/729)

Second Brigade: Lt. Colonel Hugh Gough (1851/2003)

2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (613/669)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1238/1334)

Reserve Colonel John Lambert: (1426/1554, with 160 horses)

3/1st Footguards (1120/1216)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (169/183)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (137/155, with 160 horses)

Royal Artillery (494/586)[26]
Royal Artillery Drivers (168/186, with 357 horses)
Royal Engineers (72/81)
Royal Staff Corps (40/40)
Wagon Train (11/12, with 10 horses)

Total: 5170/5681, with 527 horses

Shortly after the date of this return, Skerrett and his detachment rejoined the force.[27]

August

As of August 5th, the First and Second Brigades were reorganised to reincorporate the returned 2/47th. In effect, this saw a return to the May organisation, and set out the forces as detailed below.[28] Strengths are from the monthly return of August 25th.[29]

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Lt. Colonel William Prevost (1778/1932)

2/67th (South Hampshire) (465/521)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (627/669)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (686/742)

Second Brigade: Colonel John Skerrett (1929/2080)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (679/749)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1250/1331)

Reserve Colonel John Lambert: (1453/1553, with 158 horses)

3/1st Footguards (1148/1214)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (164/181)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (141/158, with 158 horses)

Royal Artillery (595/632)
Royal Artillery Drivers (170/187, with 353 horses)
Royal Engineers (74/98)
Royal Staff Corps (36/39)
Wagon Train (11/12, with 10 horses)

Total: 6046/6533, with 521 horses

September

Organisation remained essentially unchanged, but Lt. Colonel Lord Proby of the 1st Footguards was posted to command the First Brigade in place of Prevost.[30] As of the monthly return of September 25th,[31] the distribution of forces therefore stood thus:

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Lt. Colonel Lord Proby (1769/1892)

2/67th (South Hampshire) (461/499)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (613/665)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (695/728)

Second Brigade: Colonel John Skerrett (1916/2053)

2/47th ( Lancashire) (663/715)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1253/1338)

Reserve Colonel John Lambert: (1453/1553, with 157 horses)

3/1st Footguards (1143/1197)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (168/179)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (142/153, with 157 horses)

Royal Artillery (582/620)
Royal Artillery Drivers (166/183, with 355 horses)
Royal Engineers (72/77)
Royal Staff Corps (35/39)
Wagon Train (17/18, with 24 horses)

Total: 6010/6411, with 536 horses

October

Beginning on October 10th, a detachment was embarked under Skerrett for service at Tariffa. This was organised as follows:

Commanding the Detachment: Colonel John Skerrett

Eight companies. 2/47th ( Lancashire) (534)
Eight companies. 2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (480)
One company 2/95th Rifles (70)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (52, with 60 horses)[32]
Hughes’ Company Royal Artillery (40)[33]
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers (40, with 70 horses)

Total: 1216, with 130 horses[34]

These troops were retained as part of the Cadiz command, although troops from Gibraltar did initially remain at Tariffa and took part in the fighting there over the winter.[35] Lord Proby accompanied the detachment, to serve as Skerrett’s second-in-command. Also on the 10th, the Regiment de Watteville arrived, eleven companies strong. Of these, “Six companies have replaced the 47th Regiment at Isla [de Leon] and the rest of the regiment is at Cadiz where the Colonel commands the British Brigade.”[36] This led to the distribution of the remaining troops as follows:[37]

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

Cadiz Detachment: Colonel Louis de Watteville

2/67th (South Hampshire)
Two companies. 2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits
Five companies. Regiment de Watteville
Detachment Royal Artillery
Wagon Train

Isla de Leon Detachment: Colonel John Lambert

3/1st Footguards
Two companies. 2/47th ( Lancashire)
One company 2/95th Rifles
Six companies. Regiment de Watteville
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars
Detachment Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers
Royal Engineers
Royal Staff Corps

Inasmuch as that many units were now split up, it is not possible to provide exact details of the exact strength in a given location. However, the monthly return of October 25th gives the figures for the command as a whole and it may be inferred from this that the effective figure relates to those troops present for duty at whichever post the majority of the unit was stationed:[38]

3/1st Footguards (1146/1194)
2/47th ( Lancashire) (578/715)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (446/496)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (459/664)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (104/179)
Regiment de Watteville (1261/1375)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (678/731)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1288/1356)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (102/167, with 152 horses)
Royal Artillery (526/617)
Royal Artillery Drivers (132/183, with 347 horses)
Royal Engineers (73/77)
Royal Staff Corps (33/39)
Wagon Train (17/18, with 370 horses)

Total: 6843/7811, with 869 horses

November

No changes are recorded,[39] maintaining the distribution of forces as follows:

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

Cadiz Detachment: Colonel Louis de Watteville

2/67th (South Hampshire)
Two companies. 2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits
Five companies. Regiment de Watteville
Detachment Royal Artillery
Wagon Train

Isla de Leon Detachment: Colonel John Lambert

3/1st Footguards
Two companies. 2/47th ( Lancashire)
One company 2/95th Rifles
Six companies. Regiment de Watteville
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars
Detachment Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers
Royal Engineers
Royal Staff Corps

Tariffa Detachment: Colonel John Skerrett, with Lt. Colonel Lord Proby

Eight companies. 2/47th ( Lancashire)
Eight companies. 2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish)
One company 2/95th Rifles
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars
Hughes’ Company Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers

Unit strengths as per the monthly return of November 25th were:[40]

3/1st Footguards (1147/1191)
2/47th ( Lancashire) (517/710)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (456/493)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s Own Irish) (442/661)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (101/179)
Regiment de Watteville (1201/1366)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (706/723)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1274/1354)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (106/187, with 150 horses)
Royal Artillery (546/617)
Royal Artillery Drivers (135/183, with 340 horses)
Royal Engineers (69/76)
Royal Staff Corps (38/39)
Wagon Train (16/18, with 361 horses)

Total: 6754/7797, with 851 horses

December

No changes recorded at all, retaining organisation as per November. Strengths as per the monthly return of December 25th were:[41]

3/1st Footguards (1143/1187)
2/47th ( Lancashire) (513/710)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (488/508)
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (451/657)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (107/178)
Regiment de Watteville (1236/1359)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (694/721)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1267/1338)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (115/196, with 146 horses)
Royal Artillery (541/613)
Royal Artillery Drivers (136/182, with 330 horses)
Royal Engineers (58/76)
Royal Staff Corps (36/38)
Wagon Train (15/16, with 21 horses)

Total: 6798/7779, with 497 horses

Notes:

[1] “Allotment of the Troops under the command of Lieut. General Graham”, January 4th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252.

[2] Nichols, Mongrel Regiment, p.66.

[3] TNA, WO17/2486.

[4] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.IV, p.651.

[5] TNA, WO17/2486. Organisation confirmed by allocation of February 25th in TNA, WO1/252.

[6] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.IV, p.98.

[7] The large discrepancy here is accounted for by the fact that 215 rank and file were returned as detached “On Command”.

[8] The large discrepancy here is accounted for by the fact that 935 rank and file were returned as detached “On Command”.

[9] The large discrepancy here is accounted for by the fact that 408 rank and file were returned as detached “On Command”.

[10] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.IV, p.125.

[11] TNA, WO1/252.

[12] TNA, WO17/2486.

[13] TNA, WO17/2486.

[14] Lt. General Sir F.W. Hamilton,  KCB, The Origins and History of the First or Grenadier Guards (Three Vols. London: J. Murray 1874), Vol.II, p.423; Monthly Return of May 25th 1810 in TNA, WO17/2486; Allotment of May 16th 1811 in TNA, WO1/252.

[15] TNA, WO1/252.

[16] TNA, WO17/2486.

[17] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.IV, p.519: Skerrett’s force comprised his own 2/47th, detachments of the 3/95th and Royal Artillery from Cadiz, plus flank companies from Gibraltar.

[18] TNA, WO17/2486.

[19] Allocation of July 1st 1811 in TNA, WO1/252.

[20] Thirty-one rank and file returned “On Command”, presumably with Skerrett.

[21] Fifty-two rank and file returned “On Command”, presumably with Skerrett.

[22] Note to Allocation of July 1st 1811 in TNA, WO1/252.

[23] Note to monthly return of July 25th in TNA, WO17/2464.

[24] Note to Allocation of July 1st 1811 in TNA, WO1/252.

[25] TNA, WO1/252, p.415; return in TNA, WO17/2486.

[26] Fifty-two rank and file returned “On Command”, presumably with Skerrett.

[27] Cooke to Liverpool, July 27th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252, p.419.

[28] Allocations of August 5th and August 25th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252, pp.427 and 447.

[29] TNA, WO17/2486.

[30] Allocation of September 25th, in TNA, WO1/252, p.463.

[31] TNA, WO17/2486.

[32] Embarked on the 14th.

[33] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.V, p.112.

[34] TNA, WO1/252, p.487.

[35] Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.V, p.112.

[36] Cooke to Wellington, October 14th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252, pp.491-493.37>

[37] Allocation of October 25th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252, p.551.

[38] TNA, WO17/2486.

[39] Allocation of November 25th 1811, in TNA, WO1/252, p.603.

[40] TNA, WO17/2486.

[41] TNA, WO17/2486.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2009

 

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