Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

 

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

By Andrew Bamford

Organisation in 1812

January

The beginning of 1812 saw, a return to a more orderly distribution of forces, as outlined in the Allocation of January 25th.[1] The arrival of a second general officer in the shape of Major General Andrew Ross and the breveting of Lord Proby to full Colonel also ensured a larger pool of potential brigade or detachment commanders. The January 25th organisation is detailed below: because many units were still divided in more than one location, strengths, from the monthly return of that date,[2] have been listed separately.
Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Major General Andrew Ross

2/67th (South Hampshire)
Two companies 2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish)
Regiment de Watteville

Second Brigade: Colonel Louis de Watteville[3]

Two companies 2/47th (Lancashire)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions

Reserve: Colonel John Lambert

3/1st Footguards
One coy. 2/95th Rifles
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars

Royal Artillery: Lt. Colonel Alexander Duncan

Campbell’s Company
Owen’s Company
Roberts’ Company
Dickson’s Company
Shenly’s Company

Royal Engineers
Royal Staff Corps
Wagon Train
Tariffa Detachment: Colonel John Skerrett, with Colonel Lord Proby

Eight companies 2/47th (Lancashire)
Eight companies 2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish)
One coy. 2/95th RiflesDetachment 2nd KGL Hussars
Hughes’ Company, Royal Artillery[4]
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers
Detachment Royal Engineers

Within the Cadiz command proper, the First Brigade was in Cadiz itself and the Second Brigade and Reserve on the Isla de Leon. Unit strengths as of January 25th were:

3/1st Footguards (1134/1192)
2/47th (Lancashire) (499/709)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (536/552)
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (446/756)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (133/198)
Regiment de Watteville (1241/1359)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (737/756)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1259/1366)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (266/282, with 138 horses)
Royal Artillery (541/612)
Royal Artillery Drivers (162/182, with 300 horses)
Royal Engineers (79/96)
Royal Staff Corps (35/38)
Wagon Train (17/17, with 21 horses)
Total: 7085/8115, with 459 horses

On January 26th, a force was assembled and embarked to garrison Carthagena, organised as follows:[5]

Commanding the Detachment: Colonel John Lambert

2/67th (South Hampshire) (526)
Five companies Regiment de Watteville (500)
Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery (79)
Detachment Royal Engineers (10)
Total: 1115

February
The return of Skerrett’s detachment from Tariffa occasioned some shuffling of command assignments by the time of the Allocation and Return of February 25th,[6] producing the following distribution of troops:

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby

2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish)
Seven companies Regiment de Watteville
Battalion of Foreign Recruits

Second Brigade: Colonel John Skerrett

2/47th (Lancashire)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions

Reserve: Colonel John Lambert

3/1st Footguards
Detachment 2/95th Rifles
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars

Royal Artillery: Lt. Colonel Alexander Duncan

Hughes’ Company
Owen’s Company
Roberts’ Company
Dickson’s Company
Shenly’s Company

Royal Engineers
Royal Staff Corps
Wagon Train

Carthagena Detachment: Major General Andrew Ross

2/67th (South Hampshire)
Five companies Regiment de Watteville[7]
Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Engineers

As before, the First Brigade was in Cadiz itself and the Second Brigade and Reserve on the Isla de Leon. Unit strengths as of the same date were:

3/1st Footguards (1144/1191)
2/47th (Lancashire) (690/749)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (500/552)[8]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (699/752)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (183/198)
Regiment de Watteville (758/1353)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (756/772)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1297/1357)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (147/165, with 135 horses)
Royal Artillery (498/611)
Royal Artillery Drivers (166/183, with 312 horses)
Royal Engineers (69/96)
Royal Staff Corps (38/38)
Wagon Train (17/17, with 21 horses)
Total: 6962/8034, with 468 horses

March
No organisational changes, excepting that 296 of the Battalion of Foreign Recruits were doing detached duty on the Isla de Leon.[9] Units strengths as of March 25th were as follows:[10]

3/1st Footguards (1133/1190)
2/47th (Lancashire) (693/742)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (493/548)[11]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (694/751)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (183/197)
Regiment de Watteville (771/1359)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (759/771)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1289/1355)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (193/206, with 132 horses)
Royal Artillery (595/610)
Royal Artillery Drivers (173/182, with 321 horses)
Royal Engineers (51/95)
Royal Staff Corps (37/38)
Wagon Train (17/17, with 21 horses)
Total: 6990/8061, with 474 horses

April

No organisational changes, but the detachment of the Battalion of Foreign Recruits on the Isla de Leon now numbered 294.[12] Units strengths as of March 25th were as follows:[13

3/1st Footguards (1128/1188)
2/47th (Lancashire) (710/741)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (491/548)[14]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (700/751)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (187/197)
Regiment de Watteville (789/1381)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (754/767)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1264/1354)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (205/224, with 130 horses)
Royal Artillery (505/609)
Royal Artillery Drivers (175/182, with 314 horses)
Royal Engineers (51/95)
Royal Staff Corps (37/38)
Wagon Train (17/17, with 21 horses)
Total: 6522/7533, with 465 horses

May

In this month, the Cadiz force was again called upon to provide a detachment to garrison Tariffa, albeit one rather smaller than that posted there previously. This was placed under the command of Lt. Colonel Hugh Gough of the 2/87th. Captain Charles Smith assumed command of the Royal Engineers attached to the Cadiz force. As of May 25th, the distribution and strength of forces therefore stood as follows:[15]

Commanding the Force: Major General George Cooke

First Brigade: Colonel Lord Proby

Four companies 2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish)
Seven companies Regiment de Watteville
Seven companies Battalion of Foreign Recruits

Second Brigade: Colonel John Skerrett

2/47th (Lancashire)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions

Reserve: Colonel John Lambert

3/1st Footguards
Detachment 2/95th Rifles
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars

Royal Artillery: Lt. Colonel Alexander Duncan

Hughes’ Company
Owen’s Company
Roberts’ Company
Dickson’s Company
Shenly’s Company

Royal Engineers
Royal Staff Corps
Wagon Train

Tariffa Detachment: Lt. Colonel Hugh Gough

Six companies 2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish)
Three companies Battalion of Foreign Recruits
Part Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery [16]
Detachment Royal Engineers

Carthagena Detachment: Major General Andrew Ross

2/67th (South Hampshire)
Five companies Regiment de Watteville
Part Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Engineers

Unit strengths on the same date were:

3/1st Footguards (1135/1185)
2/47th (Lancashire) (716/742)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (491/548)[17]
2/87th (Prince of Wales’s own Irish) (408/743)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (183/197)
Regiment de Watteville (776/1375)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (756/762)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1285/1354)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (241/263, with 123 horses)
Royal Artillery (510/671)
Royal Artillery Drivers (174/183, with 288 horses)
Royal Engineers (99/122)
Royal Staff Corps (33/38)
Wagon Train (17/17, with 21 horses)
Total: 6123/7652, with 432 horses

June

No organisational changes. Units strengths as of June 25th were as follows:[18]

3/1st Footguards (1133/1181)
2/47th (Lancashire) (707/735)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (488/545)[19]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (405/731)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (167/192)
Regiment de Watteville (775/1340)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (554/760)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1294/1369)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (168/185, with 116 horses)
Royal Artillery (503/663)
Royal Artillery Drivers (176/181, with 269 horses)
Royal Engineers (93/117)
Royal Staff Corps (29/38)
Wagon Train (23/23, with 36 horses)
Total: 7010/8060, with 421 horses

July

No organisational changes, beyond that a ten-man detachment of the Royal Staff Corps had joined Gough’s force at Tariffa.[20] Unit strengths as of July 25th were as follows:[21]

3/1st Footguards (1124/1176)
2/47th (Lancashire) (700/732)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (476/545)[22]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (404/731)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (177/191)
Regiment de Watteville (777/1338)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (534/756)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1290/1372)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (218/231, with 110 horses)
Royal Artillery (497/659)
Royal Artillery Drivers (175/181, with 369 horses)
Royal Engineers (87/116)
Royal Staff Corps (26/38)
Wagon Train (24/24, with 36 horses)
Total: 6509/8090, with 515 horses

August

During this month news of Marmont’s defeat at Salamanca reached Soult’s Armée du Midi, which included the troops investing Cadiz. Soult was forced to evacuate Andalucia, thus bringing an end to the siege. In order to take advantage of the French withdrawal, and to try and capitalise on any ensuing confusion, Cooke agreed to provide troops to reinforce the Spanish General Cruz-Murgeon in his operations against Seville. This force embarked from Cadiz on August 9th, and was organised as follows:[23]

Commanding the Detachment: Colonel John Skerrett

Detachment 3/1st Footguards (629)
Detachment 2/87th, (205)
Detachment 2/95th, (40)
Detachment 20th Portuguese Infantry (650)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (20, with 22 horses)
Detachment Royal Artillery[24] (34, with one heavy five ½ inch howitzer and two light six-pounders)
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers (43, with 80 horses)
Detachment Royal Engineers (2, with 1 horse)
Detachment R staff corps, (2)
Total: 1625, with 103 horses and three guns

This detachment landed at Huelva on the 11th, and joined Cruz-Murgeon’s force with which it then advanced on Seville. Meanwhile, the French completed their destruction of their lines outside Cadiz on the 24th, and then fell back on Seville which was then in turn evacuated.[25] Other than the departure of this detachment, no other organisational changes are recorded. However, it may be inferred that those troops from the Second Brigade and Reserve remaining on the Isla de Leon collectively came under Lambert’s command after Skerrett left. As of the monthly return of August 25th, units strengths stood thus:[26]

3/1st Footguards (504/1175)
2/47th (Lancashire) (695/731)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (472/545)[27]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (399/731)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (140/191)
Regiment de Watteville (808/1368)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (525/753)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (645/1363)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (196/229, with 105 horses)
Royal Artillery (464/660)
Royal Artillery Drivers (131/180, with 366 horses)
Royal Engineers (81/116)
Royal Staff Corps (24/38)
Wagon Train (23/24, with 35 horses)
Total: 5107/8104, with 506 horses

September

After the fall of Seville, Cooke moved more forces up from Cadiz, and assumed command there in person. In early September, the Anglo-Portuguese force at Seville stood thus:[28]

3/1st Footguards (1075)
2/47th (Lancashire) (698)
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’ own Irish) (637)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (171)
Detachment Regiment de Watteville (610)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1349)
Detachment Royal Artillery and Drivers (453, with 311 horses)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (129, with 113 horses)
Total: 5122, with 424 horses

Even before the raising of the siege of Cadiz, plans had been afoot to withdraw some of the better units from the garrison for duties with the main field army, replacing them in part with fresh reinforcements from the home station. With the changed strategic situation, it now became possible to withdraw yet more forces, and Wellington wrote to Cooke with orders as to how this was to be done:

You will have received the order of the Secretary of State to send to Lisbon the 3rd battn. 1st Footguards, which were to be relieved as I am informed by the 2nd battn. 59th Regiment and I conclude that you will have carried these orders into action before you receive this letter.
In the course of yesterday and this day I have received accounts to which I give credit that the enemy had entirety raised the Blockade of Cadiz, and it is now necessary that I should give you instructions which I have received from the Secretary of State for your guidance in case of the occurrence of this event
You are to withdraw the British garrison from Tariffa with the exception of the Royal Artillery and Engineers, who are to continue to construct the works and buildings on the island until further orders.

The following troops are to be embarked at once and sent to Lisbon without loss of time, unless you should have the means of transport to enable you to march them through the country viz:
Detachment of the 2nd Hussars
20th Portuguese Regt
3rd battn. 1st Footguards
Detachment 2nd battn. 95th Regiment
Company of the Royal Staff Corps
2nd battn. 87th Regiment of Foot
Captain Owen’s and Captain Dickson’s Companies of Artillery
All the artillery horses and mules excepting 170 horses
Artillery Drivers in proportion to the number of horses and mules sent
Colonel Skerrett must come in command of these Troops[29]

This would therefore leave, as a force to garrison Cadiz, Tariffa, and Carthegena, four infantry battalions (2/47th, 2/67th, Watteville’s, Foreign Recruits), four artillery companies with drivers and 170 horses, and detachments of engineers. However, Wellington then went on give instructions for a further potential withdrawal:
In case the 2nd battn. 59th Regiment should have arrived at Cadiz before you shall receive this order you will send either that battn. or the 2nd battn. 47th Regiment with Colonel Skerrett’s Detachment according to you judgement which of the two is best fit for service in the field
Whenever the 2nd battn 59th regt shall arrive after you have carried these orders into execution you will send to Lusbon whichever of that battalion or the 2nd battn. 47th Regiment is most fit for service, retaining at Cadiz one British battalion.[30]

The 2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) had indeed arrived at Cadiz by the time of Wellington’s letter, disembarking on September 6th along with a hundred-man draft for the 2/87th,[31] and Cooke therefore elected to retain the new battalion there and send the 2/47th, with was already at Seville, on to join Wellington. Skerrett’s command therefore comprised the units as listed in Wellington’s letter, plus the 2/47th, and set off to march overland to join the main army.[32] Cooke’s remaining forces were distributed as follows:

Cadiz and Isla de Leon:
2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire)
Seven companies Battalion of Foreign Recruits
Seven companies Regiment de Watteville
Detachment Royal Artillery[33]
Detachment Royal Artillery Drivers
Detachment Royal Engineers

Tariffa:

Three companies Battalion of Foreign Recruits
Part Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Engineers
Carthagena:
2/67th (South Hampshire)
Five companies Regiment de Watteville
Part Campbell’s Company, Royal Artillery
Detachment Royal Engineers

Major General Ross died at Carthagena on September 26th, leaving Lt. Colonel Prevost as the senior officer on that station. As of the return of September 25th, [34] unit strengths, including those for Skerrett’s force on its way to join Wellington, were as follows:

3/1st Footguards (960/1170)
2/47th (Lancashire) (641/729)
2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) (696/826)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (378/536)[35]
2/87th (Prince of Wales ’s own Irish) (655/798)
Detachment 2/95th Rifles (162/190)
Regiment de Watteville (642/1416)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (600/751)
20th Portuguese Infantry, two battalions (1157/1350)
Detachment 2nd KGL Hussars (118/151, with 116 horses)
Royal Artillery (299/651)
Royal Artillery Drivers (159/180, with 359 horses)
Royal Engineers (78/114)
Royal Staff Corps (28/38)
Wagon Train (23/24, with 34 horses)
Total: 6696/8924, with 509 horses

October

Organisation of the remaining forces did not change during October, but over and above the men included in the return of October 25th[36] were a total of seventeen officers, twenty-seven sergeants, four drummers, and fifty-eight rank and file left behind by those units that had marched with Skerrett.[37]

2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) (766/817)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (392/509)[38]
Regiment de Watteville (842/1407)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (590/742)
Royal Artillery (294/433)
Royal Artillery Drivers (79/89, with 167 horses)
Royal Engineers (83/114)
Total: 3046/4111, with 167 horses

November

No organisational changes. The detachment of men left behind by Skerrett’s regiments now comprised three officers, six sergeants, one drummer, and sixty-three rank and file.[39] As of the monthly return of November 25th,[40] unit strengths stood as follows:

2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) (739/817)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (382/489)[41]
Regiment de Watteville (854/1397)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (629/739)
Royal Artillery (307/427)
Royal Artillery Drivers (88/89, with 159 horses)
Royal Engineers (83/114)
Total: 3082/4072, with 159 horses

December

No organisational changes.[42] Units strengths as of December 25th stood as follows:[43]

2/59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) (758/809)
2/67th (South Hampshire) (390/477)[44]
Regiment de Watteville (890/1459)
Battalion of Foreign Recruits (617/729)
Royal Artillery (290/433)
Royal Artillery Drivers (84/88, with 103 horses)
Royal Engineers (83/113)
Total: 3112/4108, with 103 horses

Notes:

[1] TNA, WO1/264, p.61.

[2] TNA, WO17/1487.

[3] Absent, troops reporting to Lambert.

[4] As of January 5th, the ordnance at Tariffa comprised: two brass eight ½ inch howitzers, five brass sixteen-pounders, and two brass twelve-pounders: see Skerrett’s return of that date in TNA, WO1/264, p.19.

[5] “Embarkation Return of Troops Embarked for a particular service under the command of Colonel Lambert”, in TNA, WO1/263, p.53; Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.V, p.621. Unit strengths are rank and file only. Inasmuch as the Ross had taken over the Carthagena command by the following month, it may be doubted that Lambert ever sailed.

[6] Respectively in TNA, WO1/263, p.109; TNA, WO17/1487.

[7] It will be noted that, with the seven companies at Cadiz, this now gives twelve for the whole regiment. It is unclear whether the twelfth had earlier been detached, or whether the 1811 allocations totalling only eleven companies represents an error.

[8] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[9] Allocation of March 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/264, p.157.

[10] TNA, WO17/1487.

[11] Data from monthly return of April 1812, data for this unit being provided one month in arrears in the returns of April-June.

[12] Allocation of April 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/264, p.235.

[13] TNA, WO17/1487.

[14] Data from monthly return of May 1812.

[15] Allocation of May 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/265, p.9; TNA, WO17/1487.

[16] That the artillery came from Carthagena rather than Cadiz is per Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.V, p.621.

[17] Data from monthly return of June 1812.

[18] Monthly Return of July 25th 1812 in TNA, WO17/1487.

[19] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[20] Allocation of July 25th in TNA, WO1/165, p.95.

[21] Monthly Return of June 25th 1812 in TNA, WO17/1487.

[22] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[23] “Return of the Force embarked for a particular service under the command of Colonel Skerrett” August 9th 1812, in TNA, WO1/265, p.87.

[24] It is unclear from which artillery company these men and guns came.

[25] Details of these operations in Oman , Peninsular War, Vol.V, pp.539-542.

[26] TNA, WO17/1487.

[27] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[28] “Troops under the Immediate command of Major general Cooke not including those at Tariffa, Carthagena and the Isla de Leon”, in TNA, WO1/265, p.151. It is not clear what brigading, if any, was used within this force.

[29] Wellington to Cooke, September 9th 1812, in TNA, WO1/265, pp.159-163.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Cadiz Journal, entry for September 6th 1812, in TNA, WO28/341.

[32] Oman, Peninsular War, Vol.V, p.580.

[33] Companies of Hughes, Roberts, and Shenley.

[34] TNA, WO17/1487.

[35] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[36] TNA, WO17/1487.

[37] “Detachments of different Corps not belonging to the Troops under the Major General’s command” October 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/265, p.185.

[38] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[39] Allotment of November 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/256, p.195.

[40] TNA, WO17/1487.

[41] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

[42] Allotment of December 25th 1812, in TNA, WO1/266, p.5.

[43] TNA, WO17/1487.

[44] Data from battalion monthly return in TNA, WO17/188.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2009

 

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