Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

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Command & Staff

22 April 1809

Lisbon Garrison

Other Re-inforcements 

Portuguese Troops

Mackenzie's Command



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

Part V: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley's Army

By Ron McGuigan

Command and Staff

Wellesley assumed command of the army at Lisbon on 27 April 1809. It consisted of:

Appointed to the staff:

Major General John Sherbrooke [Lieutenant General in Portugal]

Major General William Payne [Lieutenant General in Portugal]

Major General Lord William Bentinck [Lieutenant General in Portugal]

Major General Edward Paget [Lieutenant General in Portugal]

Major General Stapleton Cotton

Major General Rowland Hill

Major General John Murray

Major General James Erskine

Major General John Randoll Mackenzie

Major General Christopher Tilson

Brigadier General Alexander Campbell

Brigadier General Henry Campbell

Brigadier General Richard Stewart

Brigadier General Alan Cameron

Brigadier General Henry Fane

Brigadier General George de Drieberg

Brigadier General Ernest Baron Langwerth

Colonel Rufane Donkin

Adjutant General: Brigadier General Charles Stewart

Quarter Master General: Colonel George Murray

The units were those already in Portugal and the following embarked or under orders to proceed there:

8 Troops, 3rd Dragoon Guards [Portsmouth] (672)

8 Troops, 1st Dragoons [Cork] (672)

8 Troops, 4th Dragoons [Portsmouth] (672)

1st Light Dragoons KGL [Ipswich] (606)

2/24th Regiment [Jersey] (780)

22 April 1809

When Wellesley assumed command, the army was organized [from 22 April] or in orders as:

 Commanding the force: Lieutenant General Wellesley [in orders on 27th April]

Second-in-command: Lieutenant General Sherbrooke

Adjutant General: Brigadier General C. Stewart

Quarter Master General: Colonel G. Murray

Cotton's Brigade: Major General Cotton
14th Light Dragoons with detachment 3rd Light Dragoons, KGL

16th Light Dragoons

2 squadrons 20th Light Dragoons;

Fane's Brigade: Brigadier General Fane

3rd Dragoon Guards

4th Dragoons

Guards Brigade: Brigadier General H. Campbell

1/Coldstream Foot Guards

1/3rd Foot Guards;

1st Brigade: Major General Hill

1/3rd Regiment

2/48th Regiment

2/66th Regiment

2nd Brigade: Major General Mackenzie

3/27th Regiment

2/31st Regiment

1/45th Regiment

3rd Brigade: Major General Tilson

5/60th Regiment

2/87th Regiment

1/88th Regiment

4th Brigade: Brigadier General Sontag

97th Regiment

2nd Battalion of Detachments

5th Brigade: Brigadier General A. Campbell

2/7th Regiment

2/53rd Regiment

6th Brigade: Brigadier General R. Stewart

29th Regiment

1st Battalion of Detachments;

7th Brigade: Brigadier General Cameron, 2/9th Regiment 2/83rd Regiment

King's German Legion: Major General J. Murray

1st Brigade: Brigadier General Langwerth
1st Line Battalion

2nd Line Battalion

Detachment Light Battalions

2nd Brigade: Brigadier General Drieberg

5th Line Battalion

7th Line Battalion


2/24th Regiment

2/30th Regiment

1/40th Regiment

Garrison Company King's German Legion

Artillery: Colonel Howorth, Lieutenant Colonel Framingham, Lieutenant Colonel Robe, Lieutenant Colonel Fisher and Major Hartmann

May's Company 1st Battalion under Baynes [light 6 pounders]

Sillery's Company 7th Battalion under Lane [light 6 pounders]

Lawson's Company, 8th Battalion [3 pounders]

2nd Company [Tieling's under Rettberg, light 6 pounders] KGL

4th Company [Heise's, heavy or long 6 pounders] KGL

Bredin's Company 8th Battalion

Glubb's Company 10th Battalion

1st Company [Gesenius] KGL .

The 16th Light Dragoons were on the march to join Wellesley's army. The 2/24th Regiment . [at Lisbon 24 April], 3rd Dragoon Guards and 4th Dragoons [at Lisbon 27/28 April] had just landed. These three units were instructed to join Mackenzie's force. Major General Mackenzie with his Brigade, Fane's Cavalry Brigade and May's Company R.A. under Baynes [light 6 pounders] were to remain on the line of the Tagus River and guard Abrantes to Santarem. The 1/40th Regiment remained with the garrison in Seville, although arrangements were being made to have it join the main army.

The Lisbon Garrison 

Left as the commander of the garrison of Lisbon was the Town Major, Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Walsh 9th Regiment:

2/30th Regiment

Garrison Company King's German Legion

Artillery: Lt Colonel Fisher R.A.

Bredin's Company

Glubb's Company

1st Company [Gesenius] KGL in the Lisbon forts

Other Re-inforcements

Not joined until May were Lieutenant General Paget, Lieutenant General Payne and Major General Erskine.

Expected to arrive were the 1st Light Dragoons KGL and the 23rd Light Dragoons (672?) to form a brigade under Major General Erskine. Lieutenant General Payne was to command the cavalry. Lieutenant General Lord William Bentinck declined his staff appointment with the army. Apparently in April, Wellesley knew that the Light Brigade [Brigadier General Robert Craufurd with 1/43rd Regiment 1/52nd Regiment and 8 coys 1/95th Regiment ] and Horse Artillery [probably Ross's A Troop and Bull's I Troop] were to be ordered to Portugal and requested that they be sent as soon as possible.

Portuguese Troops

In April, Marshal William Beresford [Major General and Local Lieutenant General in the British Service] commanding the Portuguese Army [appointed March 1809] organized a portion of it to operate under Wellesley's command. [Wellesley was the Marshal General of the Portuguese army, appointed April 1809.] Two regiments, the 10th Regiment of two battalions and the 16th Regiment of two battalions [with a unit known as the 1st Portuguese Grenadiers formed from the Grenadier Coys of the 1/6th & 2/6th Regiment . and the 2/18th Regiment .] were to be integrated into British Brigades with Wellesley's Army.

Under Marshal Beresford's immediate command to join the main army were:

1st Cavalry Regiment [3 squadrons]

Blunt's Brigade: Brigadier General Richard Blunt [Lt Colonel, 1/3rd Regiment British Service]

2/1st Regiment

1/7th Regiment

2/7th Regiment

1/19th Regiment

2/19th Regiment

Artillery of 3 Portuguese Batteries perhaps under Major Victor von Arentsschildt [Captain KGL Artillery in British Service] of 6 pounders, light 3 pounders and English 3 pounder mountain guns manned by companies of the 4th Artillery Regiment.

Beresford was to also incorporate the following under his command:

Bacellar's Brigade: Major General Manuel Bacellar
1/9th Regiment

1/11th Regiment

2/11th Regiment

6th and 12th Cavalry Regiments [Two squadrons]

Sousa's Brigade: Major General José Lopes de Sousa

1/2nd Regiment

2/2nd Regiment

1/14th Regiment

2/14th Regiment .

Silveira's Brigade: Brigadier Francisco da Silveira

1/12th Regiment

2/12th Regiment

1/24th Regiment

2/24th Regiment

Militia of the Bragança and Moncorvo Regiments

Wilson's Brigade: Brigadier Sir Robert Wilson [Lt Colonel 20th Light Dragoons, British Service]

3rd Caçadores

6th Caçadores;

Mousinho's Brigade: Brigadier Mousinho

Militia of the Miranda, Vila Real and Chaves Regiments.

Major General Mackenzie's Command

To be assigned to Major General Mackenzie's command on the line of the Tagus River:

Cavalry Brigade: Brigadier Manuel de Lusignamo, Conde de Sampayo
4th Regiment & 7th Regiment [5 squadrons]

Campbell's Brigade: Brigadier William Campbell [Lt Colonel, 2/31st Regiment British Service]

1/1st Regiment

1/3rd Regiment

1/4th Regiment 2/4th Regiment

1/13th Regiment

2/13th Regiment

1/15th Regiment

Le Cor's Brigade: Colonel Carlos Le Cor

1st Caçadores

4th Caçadores

5th Caçadores

Militia: From the garrison of Abrantes of the Santarem, Thomar and Covilhã Regiment s under Colonel Leça.

Artillery: 3 Portuguese Batteries perhaps of 6 pounders and 3 pounders.

On 27th April, Lieutenant General Wellesley issued instructions to Lieutenant General Sherbrooke to begin the advance of the army on the 29th April. This then was the beginning of the Peninsular Army's journey down that long road to final victory.



Special Thank You to Michael Tänzer for providing obscure information, but especially for his kind assistance with the King's German Legion [see his excellent website at], to Colm McLaughlin of the National Library of Scotland for his long hours of searching for and providing obscure General Orders, to Mrs M. Harding of the National Army Museum for finding and providing two General Orders and to Major Colin Robins OBE for his kind assistance with the Royal Artillery outside of his usual 'era' of research.

Thank-you to the Arquivo Histórico Militar, Lisboa, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the British Library, London, The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen, the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster, the National Army Museum, London, the Regimental Museum of the Queen's Own Highlanders, Inverness, Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich, and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Gloucester. A special thanks to the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, for permission to use information from their manuscript collection of theMurray Papers.


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