of the same operation, by Captain eral's anxiety lest any occurrence should retard M'Carty of the 50th Regiment, who act the operation of his division; and when I had ed under Burgoyne as Assistant En again advanced some distance to discover gineer, and gives the details which we Major Burgoyne, and returned, General Picconfess are new to us. Colonel Wrot

ton, emphatically expressing himself, said that tesley has printed them in his work.

I was blind, he supposed, and going wrong;

and, drawing his sword, swore he would cut On the 6th (of April) all minds were anx. me down. I explained, and he was appeased. ious for the advance, and orders were issued We soon after arrived at the very spot in the for the attack at ten o'clock that night. I first parallel where Major Burgoyne was waitagain, with Major Burgoyne, attended by ap- ing, when, seizing his hand with the affection pointment General Picton at eight o'clock P.M. of a brother-soldier, I expressed my happiness General Kempt and several others were there. on the perfection of my guidance, and my asGeneral Picton, having explained his arrange- surance to the General that I had not led him ments and given his orders, pulled out his an inch out of the way. Indeed it was as corwatch, and said, “It is time, gentlemen, to rect as a line. The division then entered the go;” and added, emphatically, “ some persons trench, and proceeded nearly to the end of it, are of opinion that the attack on the castle when the enemy's fire burst forth in every will not succeed; but I will forfeit my life if it direction over the division. The grandeur of does not." We returned to the engineer de. the scene was indescribable. It was as light pot, where the fatigue-parties and others had as day. General Picton exclaimed, “Some of assembled, to receive ladders, axes, &c., which them are too soon. What o'clock is it?" and General Picton superintended himself, and re- comparing his watch with others, the time was peated to them some directions. He then a quarter before ten o'clock. I remember this, asked, “ Who is to show me the way?” and because it has been supposed that General Major Burgoyne presented me to him. When Picton's division approached too soon. When the General had sent off the parties, he turned the division had advanced some distance from to me — “Now, sir, I am going to my divi- | the parallel, and General Picton at its head, sion," and rode away. I followed, and soon with General Kempt, Major Burgoyne, the lost sight of him in the dark; but pursuing Staff, and myself, the enemy's fire increased the same direction (not knowing where the considerably; and I was walking between Gendirection was), I fortunately arrived at the eral Picton and General Kempt when General division, which was drawn up in column be- Picton stumbled and dropped, wounded in the tween two bills, at the distance, I supposed, of foot. He was immediately assisted to the left three miles, and quite out of sight of Badajos. of the column; and the command devolving General Picton having addressed each of the on General Kempt, he continued to lead it brigades, he returned to the head of the divi. with the greatest gallantry. On arriving at sion, ordered the march, and said to me, the milldam (extremely narrow), over which “Now, sir, which way are we to go?” We the troops were to pass, streams of fire blazed proceeded a considerable distance, and again on the division, and the party with ladders, came within sight of the fortress, the lights of axes, &c., which had preceded, were overwhich were altered and much extended. I was whelmed, mingled in a dense crowd, and to conduct the division to a certain point in stopped the way. In the exigence I cried out, the trenches to meet Major Burgoyne, and “Down with the paling !” and, aided by the thence to the escalade, and naturally felt the officers and men in rocking the fence, made weight of the charge. For if I had miscon. the opening at which the division entered, and ducted so that his division arrived too late, I which was opposite the before-mentioned cannot, even now, ruminate on the result. But mound; then “Up with the ladders!” “What! I had been so perfectly instructed by Major up here?” said a brave officer (45th). “Yes," Burgoyne that I could not err; notwithstand was replied; and all seizing the ladders, pulled ing, to prevent the possibility of deviating, I and pushed each other with them up the acseveral times ran ahead to ascertain the cor- clivity of the mound as the shortest way to its rectness of my guidance towards the given summit. The above officer and a major of point, the General inquiring each time if we brigade laboriously assisted in raising the ladwere going right. I confidently answered in ders against the wall, where the fire was so the affirmative. Again I departed, and in ap- destructive that with difficulty five ladders proaching the direction of the ravelin, though were raised on the mound; and I arranged the far from it, I stumbled on a dead soldier of troops on them successively, according to my. the 52d Regiment, which, operating as a land- instructions, during which I was visited by mark, proved that I was perfectly correct. No General Kempt and Major Burgoyne, although delay or error occurred. I returned to the this place and the whole face of the wall, becolumn and informed the General that it was ing opposed by the guns of the citadel, were necessary to incline to the right, and coming so swept by their discharges of round-shot, to the side of the Talavera road, the column broken shells, bundles of cartridges, and other descended into it. Here General Picton, dis- missiles, and also from the top of the wall mounting, sent away his horse, and headed his l ignited shells, &c., that it was almost impossi. division on foot. The firing of the enemy's ble to twinkle the eye on any man before he musketry becoming brisk, increased the Gen- was knocked down. In such an extremity

four of my ladders, with troops on them, and well, and never but at a fair object. Every an officer at the top of each, were broken suc- gabion we placed at the full sap had ten or cessively near the upper ends, and slid into twenty shots through it, and an extraordinary the angle of the abutment. On the remaining number of our foolish firing-parties were shot ladder was no officer; but a private soldier at through the head by one unobserved French. the top, on attempting to go over the wall, man, while their attention was purposely en. was shot in the head as soon as he appeared gaged by another. above the parapet, and tumbled backwards to the ground, when the next man (45th Regi..


Batrentiner with #1

Retreating with the army after this rement) to him upon the ladder instantly sprang

pulse to the frontiers of Portugal, and over. I constantly cheered -“ Huzzah! 'there advancing again with it in the spring of is one over; follow him." But the crossbars 1813, Burgoyne, now Lieut.-Colonel, witof the ladders being broken, delayed the esca- nessed the battle of Vittoria - where he laders in the wall a short time, until the lad. had a horse disabled under him -- and ders were replaced so as to reach the top of was subsequently employed in the siege the wall, which enabled the troops to pass of St. Sebastian. He was not, on that over.

occasion, in chief command as engineer. Of the operations before Burgos, and

and | That post was held by Sir Richard Fletchthe causes of the failure there. Burgoyne er ; yet he appears to have suggested takes a different view from that taken by

he though with his usual modesty — a plan historians in general. He will not allow

of operations which, had it been followed, that the insufficiency of the battering

would have saved, in all probability, both train was entirely, or even mainly, to

time and bloodshed. Our readers will, blame. His censure is much more sweep

we think, be interested by a brief account ing. Here it is :

of this suggestion.

St. Sebastian stands on the left bank of Thus ended the siege of the Castle of Burol the Urumea. The batteries designed to gos, which, in my opinion, would have suc- | form the breaches in the town wall were ceeded, had the corps on all the various occa- Lerected on the right bank ; and in order sions done their duty, had our Engineers had

to reach the breaches when forced, the a competent establishment — viz., of stores, sappers and miners, officers. &c.or had á storming-parties must needs cross the larver force been sent to the attack of the second stream, which could be done only at cerand third line on the evening of the 18th inst.

tain times of the tide. Meanwhile, for

the double purpose of completing the inThe truth appears to be, that with the vestment and directing a flank fire upon exception of two battalions of Guards, the threatened point, parallels were drawn the troops employed on that service were from the left bank of the river to the sea. of an inferior order, a very large propor- It happened that while excavating the tion being Portuguese ; and the Portu- works on this side, Lieutenant Reid of guese, though good soldiers in other re- the Engineers fell upon a drain. It was spects, could never be trusted — any large enough to get into, and with much more than our own sepoys — to act alone difficulty and perseverance he went comin desperate circumstances.

pletely through (240 yards), to where it “Although the Portuguese,” he says, “were

ended in a fastened door opposite the so utterly useless, I must say that the British face of the right demi-bastion of the hornwere very deficient, more só than I had ever work; and then, through chinks in the before seen; but it is a melancholy fact, and door, he was enabled to look. Referring one which tells particularly against the opera- to this discovery, Colonel Burgoyne, in tions of the Engineers' department, that Brit- his remarks on the siege, written, be it ish soldiers, who have undoubtedly as much observed. the day after the first unsucas, if not more spirit than, any in the world, are not ashamed of flinching, in the most dis

ocessful assault, says : graceful manner, from work under fire. ...1 On the discovery of the drain of the aque. had an opportunity of pointing out to Lord duct leading to the ditch of the hornwork, I' Wellington one day a French and English should have recommended immediately alter. working-party, each excavating a trench : while | ing the project of attack, as I think the ad. the French shovels were going on as merrily vantages it would give us would convert a very as possible, we saw, in an equal space, at long dangerous assault, and one liable to a great intervals, a single English shovelful make its loss of lives, into an attack of comparative appearance. We could not get a dozen gabi- certainty, and probably trifling loss, but with a ons filled in one day. Our musketry-fire, kept delay of probably three or four days. I would up by the covering-parties of whomsoever they make a globe of compression to blow in the might happen to be composed, was noisy, counterscarp and crest of the glacis. Then at wasteful, and ineffective; while the French low water, I would threaten the attack on the kept a small number of steady men, who fired breaches, and explode the mine, and really

assault the hornwork, which, not being now the various detachments already operatthreatened, has but a few people in it, and ing along the coast of America, would would, undoubtedly, be carried easily; the raise his entire force to about 7000 men. sally-port in the curtain would afford a good With this command Burgoyne was directcommunication into the ditch, which gives a ad

ed to embark ; and in the Statira frigate large space of perfect cover to the troops for retaining it. This might be done in the even

he sailed on the ist of November, from ing at five or six o'clock. being the time of Spithead — Sir Edward Pakenham, Genlow water, and the night emploved in making eral Gibbs, and Colonel Dickson, R. A.. good lodgments within it, commencing breach. being his fellow passengers. ing-batteries in its terre-plain and crest of the 1 Of the ill-arranged and worse conducted glacis of the breaches, against the front of the campaign before New Orleans we need body of the place, and communications to the not here stop to give any account. Colparallel.

onel Wrottesley has placed the affair in Burgoyne's advice was not acted 'its true light, when he says "it would be upon. The breaches had been rendered difficult in the whole range of English practicable when the drain was discov- military enterprise to find a more injudiered, and time was precious. Hence that cious operation.” But the enterprise was which ought to have been the main attack more than injudicious in a military point was used only to create a diversion; and of view. There were strong political reathe assault failing, there could be no re- sons why England should have shown turn to a device of which the secret was at that time as much favour as the laws discovered. Not one word of all this got of war would allow to the Southern States, abroad at the time ; indeed it is only now, the interruption of whose commerce was sixty years after the event, that so re becoming so intolerable that they already markable a proof of the sagacity of the talked of seceding from the Union. Just Journalist comes to light.

at that moment Admiral Sir Alexander The abdication of Napoleon in the Cochrane, who commanded on the staspring of 1814, by restoring peace to Eu- tion, made such representations to the rope, left the English Government free to Government at home as induced them to turn its undisturbed attention to the other strike a blow which, besides bringing disside of the Atlantic; and a resolution credit on the arms of England, entirely was arrived at to embark a considerable changed the current of public feeling in portion of the Peninsular army at Bor- America. With all that, however, we have deaux, and to send it under the command for the present little concern ; the enterof Lord Hill, to settle accounts with the prise, impolitic and unwise as it was, Americans. To Colonel Burgoyne the ought not to have failed. All the Ameroffer was made of accompanying this ican works on the left bank of the Missisforce as Chief Engineer, a proposal with sippi were carried, and General Jackson which he immediately closed. But cir- had given orders for evacuating the town, cumstances arose which induced the Gov- when a council of war, over which Sir ernment to abandon this project, and to John Lambert presided, came to the condespatch only two weak corps, – one to clusion that the attack should not be rereinforce Sir' L. George Prevost in Can- newed. We now find that in this council, ada ; the other, a single brigade, to make of which he was a member, Burgoyne a diversion in the Chesapeake, and by- urged a renewal of the attack. He was and-by to form part of the force which overruled ; and because he crossed the was to attack New Orleans. In conse- river and directed the movement in requence of this change of plan Burgoyne treat, he lay for years under the scandal returned, by way of Paris, to England. of having advised the very course which On the first of july he reached London, he had condemned. Such' was the man ! whence, after a brief sojourn in the capi- Such his modesty !! Such his loyalty ! ! ! tal, he proceeded on a visit to the Oaks! It would be a true saying by whomsoand to Knowsley. From this latter place ever uttered, that “the race is not always he was recalled early in August by a let- to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." ter from Lord Hill, to whom again the Burgoyne had served in Portugal, Spain, American command seems to have been and France, through six years of unceasoffered. But again the apprehension of ing warfare.In every battle that was troubles nearer home interposed to dis- fought he was present; in every siege he turb the arrangement; and it was finally took a prominent part. He was absent settled that Major-General Sir Edward in America when the Order of the Bath Pakenham should go out at the head of a was remodelled, and the honours which handful of troops, which, when joined by were conferred on men of far inferior

merits passed him by. He arrived in | Without entering into details, it may sufEngland after all the arrangements for the fice to state that Burgoyne accepted the army in the Netherlands were completed. trust; that he threw himself heart and He lost by these means his chance of be- soul into the duties of his office ; and that ing present at the battle of Waterloo, and he acquired the confidence, not only of of commanding the Engineers, which his the Government he served, but of all army rank must have insured to him. We classes of the people for whose benefit he would not appear to insinuate anything laboured. against the professional character of Sir The duties in which he was engaged led Carmichael Smith. He was a brave sol- naturally to his taking wide views of the dier and an excellent engineer, but he condition of Ireland, and of the remedies lacked the experience of war which a life that ought to be adopted in order to imspent in the field had given to Burgoyne ; prove it. These views, while first impresand possibly, had the latter been in com- sions were still strong upon him, he set mand during the night of the 17th of forth in a series of letters, which were June, the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte collected, printed, and published as a pamwould have been put in such a state of phlet. No pamphlet, especially if it be defence as to resist all the efforts of the anonymous, commands public attention, French to occupy it. Be this, however, be its excellences what they may; and as it may, Burgoyne's absence from that Colonel Burgoyne's brochure of 1831 fell great battle proved, in more respects than dead from the press. Yet we read it now one, very mortifying to him. He returned with admiration at the just appreciation with the Army of Occupation, the wearer by the writer both of the causes and naof four gold medals, yet favoured with ture of the evils which he describes, even no higher decoration than that of C.B., when we differ from him in regard to which he never wore, nor on any subse- some of the measures which he suggests quent occasion included among the hon- as remedial. We are still of opinion, for ours bestowed upon him on account of example, that in abolishing the Estabservices performed.

lished Church, and passing such a land From 1818 to 1821, Colonel Burgoyne law as that of 1871, Mr. Gladstone made was left without active employment. As a mistake; on the other hand, his propoidle men are apt to do, he fell in love, and sal, a little later, ere yet the railway sysin September 1819 married Miss Charlotte tem had been introduced into Ireland, that Rose, the daughter of Colonel Rose of the Government should at once determine Holme. His first home command was at the direction of lines in that country and Chatham, where he remained till 1826, undertake their management, was worthy when Mr. Canning's expedition to Portu- of all acceptation. Unfortunately Sir gal being determined upon, he was at- Robert Peel could not be brought to see tached to it as Commanding Engineer. that if private enterprise be scarcely equal His letters from the old familiar scenes of to such an undertaking in a country rich, other and more stormy days will well re-orderly, and law-observing like England, pay perusal. We must, however, pass it must utterly fail where law has no force, them by, as well as his brief career as and the great bulk of the people are poor. chief of his department at Portsmouth, in | The consequence was, that bills brought order that we may devote a sentence or into Parliament for the purpose of starttwo to a sketch of his sayings and doings ing the arrangement, one after another while acting as Chairman of the Board of fell through ; and the results are thus Works in Ireland.

shown by Dr. Hancock, the head of the On the first of April 1831, Burgoyne statistical department, in his notes for received from Lord Stanley, then chief 1866: — Secretary for Ireland in Earl Grey's Ad



There are at present in Ireland three rail. ministration, a letter offering him the post ways bankrupt, two at a stand-still, two paying of President of a board about to be cre-4 1-2 dividend on the ordinary shares, six pay. ated in Dublin, which was to be called ing no dividend on preference stocks, seven the Board of Works, and was to take upon whose dividends are less than those paid on itself all the duties heretofore distributed Government bonds, six paying dividends less among five separate boards. The busi- than that of commercial interest, and but one ness of this Board was to disburse the (the Dublin and Kingstown) the shares of sums granted for Irish purposes out of the which are above par. Consolidated Fund, and to reinvest for Besides advising on these local subthe benefit of Ireland such portions of the jects, Burgoyne was consulted by the loan as might from time to time be repaid.'Commission, of which the Duke of Richmond was president, "upon inquiring | posterity, commenced at this time, and coninto the practicability of consolidating tinued for twenty-three years afterwards. It the civil branches of the army." We con- must be admitted, however, that his constitufess to some surprise at finding him tion was exceptionally hardy. No amount of favourable to a policy which his great

| labour, physical or mental, appeared to fatigue master, the Duke of Wellington, utterly

him permanently. At this period he was still condemned. At the same time, it is just

fond of field-sports, was an excellent shot, and to state that the Minister of War, whom

for many years afterwards would join in his

favourite game of rackets. he desired to see in office, and combining in his own person the authority of Com

We recommend our readers not to pass mander-in-Chief, Secretary of War, and lightly over the three chapters which tell Master-General of the Ordnance, was one the tale of Sir John

the tale of Sir John's official life as Into be selected, if possible, from among spector-General of Fortifications. These those who had served with reputation in show how he turned his attention to every the army - such as the Duke of Welling

point connected with the defences of the ton, the Duke of Richmond, Sir George

country, and the improvement of its arMurray, or Sir Henry Hardinge. Even

mament. Block-ships or floating batteries subject to these restrictions, it may be

were all the rage in 1845. He drew up a doubted whether in a constitutional coun-memorandum, pointing out their disadtry like this, it is possible to administer vantages, which, however, failed of its in perpetuity the complicated affairs of object at the moment. The experiment the army as they ought to be adminis

was tried, at considerable expense ; it tered, through a single Secretary of State justified all that he had predicted con- liable at any moment to be turned out cerning it, and was by-and-by abandoned. of office when his party shall cease to He took the lead at the same time in the command a majority in the House of introduction of systematic instruction in Commons. Time and events have, how- the use of the musket, and in judging of ever, brought about the issue to which distances by soldiers. His paper, dated Burgoyne pointed ; and we are bound to 2d Nov. 1845, “On the possible results add, that whatever his predecessors may of a war with France under our present have done, or his successors may do, Mr. system of military preparation,” is not Cardwell has shown himself both able

only a masterly production in itself, but and willing to contend against great dif- is remarkable for having produced two ficulties, and to surmount not a few of important resul

important results. It converted Lord

| Palmerston, then Prime Minister, to the The brevet which came out at the Coro

views of the writer; and it drew from the nation in 1838, raised Colonel Burgoyne

Duke of Wellington his famous letter, the to the rank of major-general. This pro- surreptitious publication of which, just a motion was immediately followed by his year after it was written, created someadvancement to the dignity of Knight

thing like a panic among the more timid, Commander of the Bath -- a tardy ac- and stirred Mr. Cobden, and the whole knowledgment of services more impor- | body of “peace-at-any-price” statesmen, tant and varied by far than those which to the utterance of an enormous amount had already gained for not a few of his of unmitigated nonsense. Colonel Wrotjuniors a similar distinction. By-and-by tesley has, in justice to his father-in-law, a still more satisfactory recognition of given a detailed account of this affair, his merits came to him, in his appoint- which is curious for more reasons than ment to the highest office -- that of In-one. But the Government was not conspector-Generaự of Fortifications - which tent to leave their indefatigable public an engineer officer was in those days al- servant quietly to discharge his proper lowed to hold. Colonel Wrottesley' thus

duties. The Irish Famine occurred, and speaks of the incident:

he was immediately requested to become

president of a board through which the When Sir John Burgoyne assumed the du- funds voted by Parliament for the relief ties of Inspector-General of Fortifications, in of the distress of the country should be 1845, he had just completed his sixty-third

| administered. He accepted the post, proyear; he had therefore passed, by three years,

ceeded to Ireland, and did excellent serthe age at which it has been since proposed to place all officers of the army and navy on the

vice; -- and obtained as his reward nucompulsory retired list. It is a proof of un-menous

merous expressions of gratitude, but usual vigour of mind and body, that the period neither pecuniary nor honorary remunerof his greatest usefulness to the State, and of ation. All this, with much more, which the services by which he will be best known to lwill repay perusal, we leave the reader to


« VorigeDoorgaan »