Chapters XIX to XXI
HARRY SMITH PARTS FROM HIS WIFE BEFORE STARTING FOR THE WAR IN AMERICA.
MY happiness of indolence and repose was doomed to be of short duration, for on the 28th of August I was in the Battle of Bladensburg, and at the capture of the American capital, Washington, some thousands of miles distant. Colborne, my ever dear, considerate friend, then in command of his gallant Corps, the 52nd, sent for me, and said, "You have been so unlucky, after all your gallant and important service, in not getting your Majority, you must not be idle. There is a force, a considerable one, going to America. You must go. To-morrow we will ride to Toulouse to head-quarters; send a horse on to-night–it is only thirty-four miles–we will go there and breakfast, and ride back to dinner." I said, very gratefully, "Thank you, sir; I will be ready. This is a kind act of yours;" but as I knew I must leave behind my young, fond and devoted wife, my heart was ready to burst, and all my visions for our mutual happiness were banished in search of the bubble reputation. I shall never forget her frenzied grief when, with a sort of despair, I imparted the inevitable separation that we were doomed to suffer, after all our escapes, fatigue, and privation; but a sense of duty surmounted all these domestic feelings, and daylight saw me and dear Colborne full gallop thirty-four miles to breakfast. We were back again at Castel Sarrasin by four in the afternoon, after a little canter of sixty-eight miles, not regarded as any act of prowess, but just a ride. In those days there were men.
On our arrival in Toulouse, we found my name rather high up–the third, I think–on the list of Majors of Brigade in the A.G.'s office desirous to serve in America. We asked kind old Darling who had put my name down. He said, "Colonel Elley," afterwards Sir John. He had known my family in early life, and was ever paternally kind to me. He had asked my ever dear friend, General Sir Edward Pakenham, to do so, which he readily did. Colborne then said, "My old friend Ross, who commanded the 20th Regiment while I was Captain of the Light Company, is going. I will go and ask him to take you as his Major of Brigade." Ross knew me on the retreat to Coruña, and the affair, in a military point of view, was satisfactorily settled. But oh! the heaviness of my heart when I had to impart the separation now decided on to my affectionate young wife of seventeen years old! She bore it, as she did everything, when the energies of her powerful mind were called forth, exclaiming, "It is for your advantage, and neither of us must repine. All your friends have been so kind in arranging the prospect before you so satisfactorily." At the word "friends" she burst into a flood of tears, which relieved her, exclaiming, "You have friends everywhere. I must be expatriated, separated from relations, go among strangers, while I lose the only thing on earth my life hangs on and clings to!"
Preparation was speedily made for our journey down the Garonne, which we performed in a small boat, accompanied by our kind friend Digby. My wife was to accompany me to Bordeaux, there to embark for England with my brother Tom, who had recently suffered excessively in the extraction of the ball he had received in his knee five years previously at the Coa. The great difficulty I had was to get my regimental pay (nine months being due to me), and I only did so through the kindness of our acting-paymaster, Captain Stewart, and every officer readily saying, "Oh, give us so much less the first issue, and let Smith have what would otherwise come to us." Such an act, I say, testifies to the mutual friendship and liberality we acquired amidst scenes of glory, hardship, and privation.
Before I left my old Brigade, the 52nd Regiment, the 95th Regiment (Rifle Brigade now), the 1st and 3rd Caçadores 46, with whom I had been so many eventful years associated–and I may say, most happily–all gave me a parting dinner, including the good fellows, the Portuguese, whom I never had any chance of seeing again. Our farewell dinner partook of every feeling of excitement. The private soldiers, too, were most affectionate, and I separated from all as from my home. The Portuguese are a brave, kind-hearted people, and most susceptible of kindness. We had also ten men a Company in our British Regiments, Spaniards, many of them the most daring of sharpshooters in our corps, who nobly regained the distinction attached to the name of the Spanish infantry in Charles V.'s time. I never saw better, more orderly, perfectly sober soldiers in my life, and as vedettes the old German Hussar did not exceed them. The 52nd Regiment I was as much attached to as my own corps, with every reason.
My old 1st Battalion embarked at Dover just before Talavera, 1050 rank and file. During the war only 100 men joined us. We were now reduced to about 500. There was scarcely a man who had not been wounded. There was scarcely one whose knowledge of his duty as an outpost soldier was not brought to a state of perfection, and when they were told they must not drink, a drunken man was a rare occurence indeed, as rare as a sober one when we dare give a little latitude. My old Brigade was equal to turn the tide of victory (as it did at Orthez) any day.
It was early in May when we left Castel Sarrasin, where we had been happy (oh, most happy!) for a month–an age in the erratic life we had been leading. We were quartered in the house of a Madame La Rivière, an excellent and motherly woman, a widow with a large family and only one son spared to her–the rest had perished as soldiers. Never was there a more happy and cheerful family, and never did mother endeavour to soothe the acute feelings of a daughter more than did this good lady those of my poor wife. We often afterwards heard of her in Paris in 1815.
Our voyage down the Garonne in our little skiff was delightful. We anchored every night. In youth everything is novel and exciting, and our voyage was such a change after marching! The beauties of the scenery, and the drooping foliage on the banks of the river, added to our enjoyment. We landed each night at some town or village, and ever found a comfortable inn which could give us a dinner. After such privations as ours, the delight of being able to order dinner at an inn is not to be believed. On reaching Bordeaux, the most beautiful city I was ever in, I found I had only three or four days to prepare to reach the fleet and the troops embarked in the Gironde (a continuation of the Garonne), and that I was to embark on board his Majesty's ship the Royal Oak, 74, Rear-Admiral Malcolm, for the troops under General Ross were destined for a peculiar and separate service in America. I did, of course, all I could to draw the attention of my poor wife from the approaching separation. There was a theatre, various spectacles, sights, etc., but all endeavour was vain to relieve the mind one instant from the awful thought of that one word "separation." Digby was most kind to her. He had an excellent private servant, who was to embark with her for London. My brother Tom was to her all a brother could be, and in the transport she was to proceed in were several old and dear Rifle friends going to England from wounds. I wished her to go to London for some time before going down to my father's, for the benefit of masters to learn English, etc.–for not a word could she speak but her own language, French, and Portuguese,–and to every wish she readily assented.
Time rolls rapidly on to the goal of grief, and the afternoon arrived when I must ride twenty miles on my road for embarcation. Many a year has now gone by, still the recollection of that afternoon is as fresh in my memory as it was painful at the moment–oh, how painful! To see that being whose devotedness in the field of three years' eventful war, in a life of such hardship at the tender age of fourteen, had been the subject of wonder to the whole community, in a state bordering on despair, possessing, as she did, the strong and enthusiastic feelings of her country-women–who love with a force cooler latitudes cannot boast of–this was to me an awful trial, and although she had every prospect of care and kindness, to be separated conveyed to the sensitive mind of youth (For I was only twenty-four 47)–every anguish and horror that is to be imagined. I left her insensible and in a faint. God only knows the number of staggering and appalling dangers I had faced; but, thank the Almighty, I never was unmanned until now, and I leaped on my horse by that impulse which guides the soldier to do his duty.
I had a long ride before me on the noble mare destined to embark with me. On my way I reached a village where I received the attention of a kind old lady, who from her age had been exempt from having any troops quartered on her; but, the village being full of Rifle Brigade, Artillery, and Light Division fellows, the poor old lady was saddled with me. The Artillery readily took charge of my horse. The kind old grandmamma showed me into a neat little bedroom and left me. I threw myself on the bed as one alone in all the wide world, a feeling never before experienced, when my eye caught some prints on the wall. What should they be but pictures in representation of the Sorrows of Werther, and, strange though it be, they had the contrary effect upon me to that which at the first glance I anticipated. They roused me from my sort of lethargy of grief and inspired a hope which never after abandoned me. The good lady had a nice little supper of côtelettes de mouton, and the most beautiful strawberries I ever saw, and she opened a bottle of excellent wine. To gratify her I swallowed by force all I could, for her kindness was maternal.
We soon parted for ever, for I was on horseback before daylight, en route to Pauillac, a village on the Garonne, where we were to embark. On my ride, just at grey daylight, I saw something walking in the air. "It is like a man," I said, "certainly, only that men do not walk in the air." It advanced towards me with apparently rapid strides, and in the excited state of mind I was in, I really believed I was deluded, and ought not to believe what I saw. Suspense was intolerable, and I galloped up to it. As I neared my aeronaut, I found it a man walking on stilts about twenty-five feet high. In the imperfect light and the distance, of course the stilts were invisible. The phenomenon was accounted for, and my momentary credulity in I did not know what called to mind stories I had heard recounted, evidently the results heated imaginations. This walking on stilts is very general in the deep sands of this country.
On reaching Pauillac, I found my trusty old groom West waiting for me. He led me to a comfortable billet, where my portmanteau, all my worldly property, and my second horse, which was to embark with me, were reported "All right, sir." Old West did not ask after "Mrs.," but he looked at me a thousand inquiries, to which I shook my head. I found a note for me at our military post-office from dear little Digby, as consolatory as I could expect.
I was detained two days at Pauillac, in the house of another widow, an elderly lady (all women in France of moderate or certain age were widows at this period). One morning I heard a most extraordinary shout of joyful exclamation, so much so I ran into the room adjoining the one I was sitting in. The poor old woman says, "Oh, come in and witness my happiness!" She was locked in the arms of a big, stout-looking, well-whiskered Frenchman. "Here is my son, oh! my long-lost son, who has been a [prisoner] in England from the beginning of the war." The poor fellow was a sous-officier in a man-of-war, and, having been taken early in the war off Boulogne, for years he had been in those accursed monsters of inhuman invention, "the hulks," a prisoner. He made no complaint. He said England had no other place to keep their prisoners, that they were well fed when fed by the English, but when, by an arrangement with France at her own request, that Government fed them, they were half starved. The widow gave a great dinner-party at two o'clock, to which I was of course invited. The poor old lady said, "Now let us drink some of this wine: it was made the year my poor son was taken prisoner. I vowed it should never be opened until he was restored to me, and this day I have broached the cask." The wine was excellent. If all the wine-growers had sons taken prisoners, and kept it thus until their release, the world would be well supplied with good wine in place of bad. Poor family! it was delightful to witness their happiness, while I could but meditate on the contrast between it and my wretchedness. But I lived in hope.
VOYAGE TO BERMUDA–RENDEZVOUS IN THE CHESAPEAKE–BATTLE OF BLADENSBURG AND CAPTURE OF WASHINGTON–HARRY SMITH SENT HOME WITH DISPATCHES.
THAT afternoon, after seeing my horses off; I embarked in a boat, and I and all my personal property, my one portmanteau, reached the Royal Oak, at her anchorage a few miles below, about eight o'clock. I found General Ross had not arrived, but was hourly expected. We soldiers had heard such accounts of the etiquette required in a man-of-war, the rigidity with which it was exacted, etc., that I was half afraid of doing wrong in anything I said or did. When I reached the quarters, the officer of the watch asked my name, and then, in most gentlemanlike and unaffected manner, the lieutenant of the watch, Holmes (with whom I afterwards became very intimate), showed me aft into the Admiral's cabin. Here I saw wine, water, spirits, etc., and at the end of the table sat the finest-looking specimen of an English sailor I ever saw. This was Admiral Malcolm, and near him sat Captain Dick, an exceedingly stout man, a regular representation of John Bull. They both rose immediately, and welcomed me on board in such an honest and hospitable manner, that I soon discovered the etiquette consisted in nothing but a marked endeavour to make us all happy. The fact is that Army and Navy had recently changed places. When I joined the Army, it was just at a time when our Navy, after a series of brilliant victories had destroyed at Trafalgar the navy of the world. Nine years had elapsed, and the glories of the Army were so fully appreciated by our gallant brothers of the sea service, we were now by them regarded as the heroes whom I well recollect I thought them to be in 1805.
The Admiral says, "Come, sit down and have a glass of grog." I was so absorbed in the thought that this large floating ship was to bear me away from all I held so dear, that down I sat, and seized a bottle (gin, I believe), filled a tumbler half full, and then added some water. "Well done!" says the Admiral. "I have been at sea, man and boy, these forty years, but d— me, if I ever saw a stiffer glass of grog than that in my life." He afterwards showed me my cabin, telling me he was punctual in his hours. "I breakfast at eight, dine at three, have tea in the evening, and grog at night, as you see; and if you are thirsty or want anything, my steward's name is Stewart, a Scotchman like myself–tell the Marine at the cabin door to call him and desire him to bring you everything you want." I shall never forget the kindness I received on board the Royal Oak, and subsequently on board the Menelaus (commanded by poor Sir Peter Parker), and from every ship and every sailor with whom I became associated. Our Navy are noble fellows, and their discipline and the respect on board for rank are a bright example to the more familiar habits of our Army.
General Ross arrived next morning, with his A.D.C., Tom Falls, a Captain in the 20th, and Lieut. De Lacy Evans (subsequently of great notoriety), both as good-hearted fellows as ever wore a sword. The fleet sailed in the afternoon. The troops all embarked in men-of-war, with the lower-deck guns out. We had on board a Company of Artillery; otherwise the force consisted of the 4th Regiment, the 44th, and the 85th. We had a very slow but beautiful passage to St. Michael's, one of the Western Islands, where, as Admiral Malcolm said, "that d—d fellow Clavering, the Duke of York's enemy, had the impudence to call on me," and we embarked live bullocks, fruit, and vegetables.
The parts capable of cultivation in this island are most fertile, and the inhabitants (all Portuguese) looked cheerful and happy. I could then speak Portuguese like a native. One day on shore I walked into a large draper's shop, where I was quite struck by the resemblance of the man behind the counter to my old clerk, Sergeant Manuel. After some little conversation, I discovered he actually was his brother. At first I doubted it, but he fetched me a bundle of letters in which my name frequently appeared. It was an extraordinary rencontre, and my friend Señor Manuel's attention to me was very "gostozo" indeed.
We sailed for Bermuda in a few days. It was a long passage, but we had fine weather until we neared Bermuda, when we fell in with a violent thunderstorm, which carried away the mizen top-mast of the Royal Oak.
Much of my time was spent with my friend Holmes, and many is the time I have walked the quarter-deck with him. In any state of grief or excitement, some one who participates and sympathizes in your feeling is always sought for, and this warm-hearted fellow fully entered into all I must feel at the fate of my wife–a foreigner in a foreign land, to whom, though surrounded by many kind friends, everything was strange, everything brought home the absence of that being on whom her life depended.
On reaching Bermuda we found the 21st Regiment awaiting us, and a communication from the Admiral, Cochrane, Commander-in-chief of the Navy (who commanded on the coast of America 170 Pennons of all descriptions), that a Battalion of Marines was organized under Colonel Malcolm, the Admiral's brother, upwards of 8oo strong, so that General Ross's force became respectable. Thie Admiral proposed to rendezvous in Chesapeake Bay so soon as possible.
Ross organized his force into three Brigades, one commanded by Colonel Thornton, the second by Colonel Brooke, the third, which comprised all Naval auxiliaries, by Colonel Malcolm. A Brigade-Major was appointed to each. I was put in orders Deputy Adjutant-General; Evans, Deputy Quartermaster-General. The price of things on this spot in the ocean was enormous; I, Evans, Macdougall, of the 85th, Holmes of the Navy, etc., dined on shore at the inn one day, and were charged fifteen Spanish dollars for a miserable turkey; but the excellent fish called a "groper" made up for the price of the turkey.
General Ross left the troops here, and proceeded to join the Naval Commander-in-chief in a frigate. I was the only Staff officer left with Admiral Malcolm, who was quite as much a soldier in heart as a sailor; he prided himself very much on having brought home the Duke of Wellington (when Sir A. Wellesley) from India, and he landed his army at Mondego Bay, before Vimiera. I never saw a man sleep so little: four hours a night was plenty, and half that time he would talk aloud in his sleep, and if you talked with him would answer correctly, although next morning he recollected nothing.
To get from the anchorage at Bermuda is difficult, and the wind was contrary, and appeared so likely to continue so, that the Admiral resolved on the boldest thing that was ever attempted, viz. to take the whole fleet through the North-east Passage–a thing never done but by one single frigate. There was only one man in the island who would undertake to pilot the 74 Royal Oak through. The passage is most intricate, and the pilot directs the helmsman by ocular demonstration, that is, by looking into the water at the rocks. It was the most extraordinary thing ever seen, the rocks visible under water all round the ship. Our pilot, a gentleman, said there was only one part of the passage which gave him any apprehension. There was a turn in it, and he was afraid the Royal Oak was so long her bows would touch. When her rudder was clear, on my honour, there appeared not a foot to spare. The breeze was very light; at one period, for half an hour, it almost died away. The only expression the Admiral was heard to make use of was, "Well, if the breeze fails us, it will be a good turn I have done the Yankees." He certainly was a man of iron nerves. The fleet all got through without one ship touching. The Admiral's tender, a small sloop, ran on a rock, but was got off without injury.
At night, after the fleet was well clear (and the bold attempt was of every importance to the success of our expedition, which, as we now began to observe, evidently meditated the capture of Washington), we had rather a good passage to the mouth of the Chesapeake, where we met the Admiral Chief in Command and General Ross. We did not anchor, having a leading wind to take us up the bay. We were going ten knots when the frigate struck on the tail of a bank, with a crash like an earthquake; she got over, however, without injury. We anchored off the mouth of the Patuxen, the river which leads to Washington.
Next day all the Staff were assembled on board the Tonnant, and all the Admirals came on board. We had present–Sir A. Cochrane, Admiral Cockburn (of great renown on the American coast), Admiral Malcolm, Admiral Codrington, Captain of the Fleet, and, if I recollect right, Sir T. Hardy, but he left us next day. After much discussion and poring over bad maps, it was resolved the force should sail up the serpentine and wooded Patuxen in the frigates and smaller vessels. This we did, and it was one of the most beautiful sights the eye could behold. The course of the large river was very tortuous, the country covered with immense forest trees; thus, to look back, the appearance was that of a large fleet stalking through a wood. We went up as far as we could, and the Navy having very dexterously and gallantly burned and destroyed Commodore Barney's flotilla, which was drawn up to oppose our passage [19, 20 Aug.], the army was landed about thirty-six miles from Washington. I cannot say my dear friend General Ross inspired me with the opinion he was the officer Colborne regarded him as being. He was very cautious in responsibility–awfully so, and lacked that dashing enterprise so essential to carry a place by a coup de main. He died the death of a gallant soldier, as he was, and friendship for the man must honour the manes of the brave.
We fell in with the enemy on our march, well posted on the eastern bank. We were told that the only approach to their position was by a bridge through the village of Bladensburg. The day we landed, a most awful spectacle of a man named Calder came in to give us information. He was given in my charge, the secret service department having been confided to me. The poor wretch was covered with leprosy, and I really believe was induced to turn traitor to his country in the hope of receiving medical [aid] from our surgeons, in the miserable state of disease he was in. If such was his object, he is partly to be pardoned. He was a very shrewd, intelligent fellow, and of the utmost use to us. He was afterwards joined by a young man of the name of Brown, as healthy a looking fellow as he was the reverse, who was very useful to us as a guide and as a scout.
When the head of the Light Brigade reached the rising ground, above the bridge, Colonel Thornton immediately proposed to attack, which astonished me [Battle of Bladensburg, 24 Aug.]. We old Light Division always took a good look before we struck, that we might find a vulnerable part. I was saying to General Ross we should make a feint at least on the enemy's left flank, which rested on the river higher up, and I was in the act of pointing out the position, guns, etc., when Colonel Thornton again proposed to move on. I positively laughed at him. He got furiously angry with me; when, to my horror and astonishment, General Ross consented to this isolated and premature attack. "Heavens!" says I, "if Colborne was to see this!" and I could not refrain from saying, "General Ross, neither of the other Brigades can be up in time to support this mad attack, and if the enemy fight, Thornton's Brigade must be repulsed." It happened just as I said. Thornton advanced, under no cloud of sharpshooters, such as we Light Division should have had, to make the enemy unsteady and render their fire ill-directed. They were strongly posted behind redoubts and in houses, and reserved their fire until Thornton was within fifty yards. Thornton was knocked over, and Brown, commanding the 85th Light Infantry, and Captain Hamilton, a noble fellow from the 52nd, were killed, and the attack repulsed. "There," says I, "there is the art of war and all we have learned under the Duke given in full to the enemy!" Thornton's Brigade was ordered to hold its own until the arrival of the Brigade consisting of the 4th and 44th under Brooke, many men having dropped down dead on the march from the heat, being fat and in bad wind from having been so long on board. As the Brigades closed up, General Ross says, "Now, Smith, do you stop and bring into action the other two Brigades as fast as possible." "Upon what points, sir?" He galloped to the head of Thornton's people, and said, "Come on, my boys," and was the foremost man until the victory was complete. He had two horses shot under him, and was shot in the clothes in two or three places. I fed the fight for him with every possible vigour. Suffice it to say we licked the Yankees and took all their guns, with a loss of upwards of 300 men, whereas Colborne would have done the same thing with probably a loss of 40 or 50, and we entered Washington for the barbarous purpose of destroying the city. Admiral Cockburn would have burnt the whole, but Ross would only consent to the burning of the public buildings. I had no objection to burn arsenals, dockyards, frigates building, stores, barracks, etc., but well do I recollect that, fresh from the Duke's humane warfare in the South of France, we were horrified at the order to burn the elegant Houses of Parliament and the President's house. In the latter, however, we found a supper all ready, which was sufficiently cooked without more fire, and which many of us speedily consumed, unaided by the fiery elements, and drank some very good wine also.48 I shall never forget the destructive majesty of the flames as the torches were applied to beds, curtains, etc. Our sailors were artists at the work. Thus was fought the Battle of Bladensburg, which wrested from the Americans their capital Washington, and burnt its Capitol and other buildings with the ruthless firebrand of the Red Savages of the woods. Neither our Admirals nor the Government at home were satisfied that we had not allowed the work of destruction to progress, as it was considered the total annihilation of Washington would have removed the seat of government to New York, and the Northern and Federal States were adverse to the war with England.
We remained two days, or rather nights, at Washington, and retired on the third night in a most injudicious manner. I had been out in the camp, and when I returned after dark, General Ross says, "I have ordered the army to march at night." "To-night?" I said. "I hope not, sir. The road you well know, for four miles to Bladensburg, is excellent, and wide enough to march with a front of subdivisions. After that we have to move through woods by a track, not a road. Let us move so as to reach Bladensburg by daylight. Our men will have a night's rest, and be refreshed after the battle. I have also to load all the wounded, and to issue flour, which I have also caused to be coIlected." (I had seized in Washington everything in the shape of transport, and Baxter, the Surgeon, brought away every wounded man who could travel.) General Ross said, "I have made the arrangement with Evans, and we must march." I muttered to myself, "Oh, for dear John Colborne!"
We started at nine, and marched rapidly and in good order to Bladensburg, where we halted for about an hour to load the wounded. The barrels of flour were arranged in the streets, the heads knocked in, and every soldier told to take some. Soldiers are greedy fellows, and many filled their haversacks. During a tedious night's march through woods as dark as chaos, they found the flour far from agreeable to carry and threw it away by degrees. If it had not been for the flour thus marking the track, the whole column would have lost its road. Such a scene of intolerable and unnecessary confusion I never witnessed. At daylight we were still not three miles from Bladensburg. Our soldiers were dead done, and so fatigued, there was nothing for it but to halt and bring into play the flour, which was soon set about, while we Staff were looking out like a Lieutenant of the Navy in chase, to see the Yankees come down upon us with showers of sharpshooters. Thanks to their kind consideration they abstained from doing so, but we were very much in their power.
I now began to see how it was that our Light Division gentlemen received so much credit in the army of the dear Duke. I recommend every officer in command to avoid a night march as he would the devil, unless on a good road, and even thus every precaution must be taken by all staff officers to keep up the communications, or regularity cannot be ensured. I have seen many night marches, but I never yet saw time gained, or anything beyond the evil of fatiguing your men and defeating your own object. You may move before daylight, i.e. an hour or two, if the nights are light. By this means, about the time the column requires collection, daylight enables you to do it. You have got a start of your enemy, your men are in full vigour either to march rapidly or, in case of difficulty, to fight. But avoid night marches. However, owing to their want of knowledge of the art of war, the enemy on this occasion allowed us to get to our boats perfectly unmolested.On one of the days we were near Washington a storm came on, a regular hurricane. It did not last more than twenty minutes, but it was accompanied by a deluge of rain and such a gale that it blew down all our piles of arms and blew the drums out of camp. I never witnessed such a scene as I saw for a few minutes. It resembled the storm in Belshazzar's feast,49 and we learnt that even in the river, sheltered by the woods, several of our ships at anchor had been cast on their beam ends.
We gave out we were going to Annapolis, and thence to Baltimore to re-act the conflagration of Washington, and the bait took. Some American gentlemen came in under a flag of truce, evidently to have a look at us, but avowedly to ask how private property had been respected. Their observations were frustrated by our vigilance. I was sent out to receive them, and nothing could exceed their gentlemanlike deportment. I loaded them with questions about roads, resources, force, etc., etc., at Annapolis and Baltimore. It was evident they took the bait, for that night we heard their army was off in full force to Annapolis, leaving us quietly to get down to our ships. We made arrangements for the care and provisioning of the wounded we had left at Bladensburg, and the attention and care they received from the Americans became the character of a civilized nation.
We reached our landing-place unmolested, and at our leisure embarked our army, which began to suffer very much from dysentery. A long sea voyage is the worst possible preparation for long and fatiguing marches. The men are fat, in no exercise, have lost the habit of wearing their accoutrements, packs, etc.–in short, they are not the same army they were on embarcation. Before our men left the Gironde, thirty miles a day would have been nothing to them.
General Ross, just before we went on board, sent for me (there never was a more kind or gallant soldier), and said, "Smith, the sooner I get my dispatch home the better. As you know, it is nearly ready, and as poor Falls, my A.D.C., is too unwell, it is my intention you should be the bearer of my dispatches, and that Falls should go home for the benefit of his health." This most unexpected arrangement set me on the qui vive indeed. I had not been in England for seven years. Wife, home, country, all rushed in my mind at once. The General said, "A frigate is already ordered by the Admiral."
This day my information man, Calder the Leper, came to me, and told me that Brown had been taken and would be hung. I was much distressed. Although one cannot admire a traitor to his country, yet I was some degree of gratitude in his debt, and I said, "Well, Calder, but can we do nothing to save him?" "Well, now I calculate that's not to be denied, and if I hear General Ross say, 'If I catch that rascal Brown, I will hang him like carrion,' he may be saved, for I would go at once among our people (they will not injure me), and I will swear I heard General Ross say so." I immediately went to the General. On the first view of the thing, his noble nature revolted at making an assertion he never intended to abide by. At length, however, to save the poor wretch's life, he consented, and in course of a desultory conversation with Calder, dovetailed the words required into it. I saw Calder catch at it. When he left the General's tent, he said to me, "Well, now, I calculate Brown may yet live many years." He left us that night with a purse of money and a long string of medical instructions for the benefit of his health from one of our surgeons. "Ah," says he, "this will save me" (meaning the medical advice); "I can save Brown." I had an hieroglyphical note from him brought by a slave, just before I sailed [30? Aug. 1814], to say "All's right, you may reckon." I told this story afterwards to the Prince Regent. He was exceedingly amused.
The Iphigenia frigate, Captain King, was to take me home, and Captain Wainwright of the Tonnant was to be the bearer of the naval dispatches. Sir Alexander Cochrane, Admiral Cockburn, and Evans, burning with ambition, had urged General Ross to move on Baltimore. The General was against it, and kindly asked my opinion. I opposed it, not by opinions or argument, but by a simple statement of facts.
"1. We have, by a ruse, induced the enemy to concentrate all his means at Baltimore.
"2. A coup de main like the conflagration of Washington may be effected once during a war, but can rarely be repeated.
"3. The approach to Baltimore Harbour will be effectually obstructed." "Oh," says the General, "so the Admirals say; but they say that in one hour they would open the passage." I laughed. "It is easier said than done, you will see, General." (The passage defied their exertions when tested.)
"4. Your whole army is a handful of men, and the half of them are sick from dysentery.
"5. Your success in the attack on Washington is extraordinary, and will have a general effect. Your success on Baltimore would add little to that effect, admitting you were successful, which I again repeat I doubt, while a reverse before Baltimore would restore the Americans' confidence in their own power, and wipe away the stain of their previous discomfiture."
General Ross says, "I agree with you. Such is my decided opinion." "Then, sir, may I tell Lord Bathurst you will not go to Baltimore?" He said, "Yes." I was delighted, for I had a presentiment of disaster, founded on what I have stated.
The day we were to sail in the Iphigenia, as I left the Tonnant, kind-hearted General Ross, whom I loved as a brother, accompanied me to the gang-way. His most sensible and amiable wife was at Bath. I promised to go there the moment I had delivered my dispatches, and of course I was charged with a variety of messages. In the warmth of a generous heart he shook my hand, and said, "A pleasant voyage, dear Smith, and thank you heartily for all your exertions and the assistance you have afforded me. I can ill spare you." My answer was, "Dear friend, I will soon be back to you, and may I assure Lord Bathurst you will not attempt Baltimore?" "You may." These were the last words I ever heard that gallant soul utter. He was over-ruled: attempted Baltimore [12 Sept. 1814], failed, and lost his noble life. A more gallant and amiable man never existed, and one who, in the continuance of command, would have become a General of great ability. But few men, who from a Regiment to a Brigade are suddenly pushed into supreme authority and have a variety of conflicting considerations to cope with–Navy, Army, country, resources, etc., are at the outset perfectly at home.
The Iphigenia had a most extraordinary passage from the Chesapeake to our anchorage at Spithead. We were only twenty-one days. The kindness I received from Captain King I shall never forget. The rapidity of our voyage was consonant to my feelings and in perfect accordance with my character.
HARRY SMITH ONCE MORE IN ENGLAND–REUNION WITH HIS WIFE IN LONDON–INTERVIEW WITH THE PRINCE REGENT–DINNER AT LORD BATHURST'S–A JOURNEY TO BATH–HARRY SMITH INTRODUCES HIS WIFE TO HIS FATHER –VISIT TO WHITTLESEY–HE RECEIVES ORDERS TO RETURN TO AMERICA UNDER SIR EDWARD PAKENHAM.
WAINWRIGHT and I started from the George Inn, Portsmouth, which I well knew, with four horses at five o'clock. I do not know what he considered himself; but I was of opinion that, as the bearer of dispatches to Government, I was one of the greatest men in England. Just before we started, our outfit merchant and general agent, tailor, etc., by name Meyers, who had been very civil to me going out to South America, begged to speak to me. He said, "I find the Iphigenia is from America, from the Chesapeake: that little box under your arm contains, I see, dispatches." "Well," I said, "what of that?" "If you will tell me their general purport, whether good news or bad, I will make it worth your while, and you may secure some pounds for a refit." At first I felt inclined to knock him down. On a moment's reflexion I thought, "every one to his trade," so I compromised my feelings of indignation in rather a high tone of voice, and with "I'd see you d— first; but of what use would such general information be to you?" He, a knowing fellow, began to think the pounds were in my thoughts, so he readily said, "I could get a man on horseback in London two hours before you, and good news or bad on 'Change' is my object. Now do you understand?" I said, "Perfectly, and when I return to America I shall expect a capital outfit from you for all the valuable information I have afforded you. Good-bye, Meyers."
Oh! the delight of that journey. I made the boys drive a furiously good pace. D— me, if I had rather be beating off a leeshore in a gale, tide against me! The very hedgerows, the houses, the farms, the cattle, the healthy population all neatly clothed, all in occupation; no naked slaves, no burned villages, no starving, wretched inhabitants, no trace of damnable and accursed war! For seven years, an immense period in early life, I had viewed nothing beyond the seat of a war, a glorious war, I admit, but in that glory, death in its most various shapes, misery of nations, hardships, privations, wounds, and sickness, and their concomitants. The wild excitement bears a soldier happily through. My career had been a most fortunate one. Still the contrast around me was as striking as the first appearance of a white and clothed man to a naked savage. The happy feeling of being in my native land once more, in health and in possession of every limb, excited a maddening sensation of doubt, anxiety, hope, and dread, all summed up in this –"Does your young wife live? Is she well?" Oh the pain, the hope, the fear, and the faith in Almighty God, who had so wonderfully protected me, must have turned the brain if endurance had continued, for I had never heard of her since we parted.
At twelve o'clock we were in London, and drove to Downing Street, where I lodged my dispatches; then we sought out a bivouac, I and poor Falls. The navy man was off to the Admiralty. Every inn was full near Downing Street, at least where I desired to be. At last we got to the Salopian Coffee-house in Parliament Street. The waiter said, "One spare bedroom, sir; nothing more." "Oh, plenty!" we said. We had been feasting on the road on that indigenous-to-England luxury of bread, butter, cream, and tea. All we wanted was an hour or two's sleep, for, at that time of night, as to finding any one, we might as well have been back in America! The chambermaid said, "Only one room, sir." "Plenty," we said. "But only one bed, gentlemen!" "Plenty," we said. "Bring up the portmanteau, West." When we got to the room and proceeded (West and I) to divide this copious bed into two by hauling half the clothes on the floor, according to our custom of seven years, the astonishment of the poor chambermaid is not to be described. We bundled her out and were asleep before a minute.
By daylight I was in a hackney coach, and drove to the British (the Scotch) barracks of my old Rifle comrades. There I asked the porter the name of any officer he knew. At last he stammered out some. "Colonel Ross? What regiment?" says I. "He had a green jacket when he came up." I knew it was my dear friend John Ross. "Where is the room?" I said. "Oh, don't disturb the gentleman, sir; he is only just gone to bed." Says I, "My friend, I have often turned him out, and he shall quickly be broad awake now." He showed the room. In I bolted. "Halloa, Ross, stand to your arms." "Who the devil are you?" "Harry Smith," I said; "fall in." Our joy was mutual. "Well, but quiet, John; is my wife alive and well?" "All right, thank God, Harry, in every respect as you would wish. I was with her yesterday." "Where, John? where?" "In Panton Square; No. 11." It is difficult to decide whether excess of joy or of grief is the most difficult to bear; but seven years' fields of blood had not seared my heart or blunted my naturally very acute feelings, and I burst into a flood of tears. "Oh, thank Almighty God." Soon I was in Panton Square, with my hand on the window of the coach, looking for the number, when I heard a shriek, "Oh Dios, la mano de mi Enrique!" Never shall I forget that shriek; never shall I forget the effusion of our gratitude to God, as we held each other in an embrace of love few can ever have known, cemented by every peculiarity of our union and the eventful scenes of our lives. Oh! you who enter into holy wedlock for the sake of connexions–tame, cool, amiable, good, I admit–you cannot feel what we did. That moment of our lives was worth the whole of your apathetic ones for years. We were unbounded in love for each other, and in gratitude to God for all His mercies. Poor little Pug was, in her way, as delighted to see me as her more happy mistress, and many an anecdote was told me of her assisting by moaning pitifully when my wife grieved aloud, as she was sometimes induced to do.
This happy reunion effected, I was off to Downing Street, where my Lord Bathurst received me in the kindest manner, and said, "The intelligence you bring is of such importance, the Prince Regent desires to see you. We will go immediately." I said, "My Lord, be so good as to allow me to take the map I brought you." "It is here." And off we started to Carlton House. We were shown into a large room where Lord Bathurst fortunately left me for half an hour, which enabled me somewhat to allay my excited imagination and return to the battlefields. I was soon deep in thought, when a sort of modesty came over me at the idea of approaching England's (actual) king. I gave my head a toss, saying, "I never quailed before the Duke of Wellington, with his piercing eye, nor will I now, and General Ross begged of me to talk;" for His Royal Highness, the story went, complained that "the bearer of dispatches will never talk." Johnny Kincaid says I was an "impudent fellow." At any rate, I determined, if I saw His Royal Highness really desired me to be communicative, I would not be unready. While I was forming all sorts of plans for both attack and defence, in came Lord Bathurst: "The Prince will see you." So I said, "My Lord, if we were in camp, I could take your Lordship all about, but I know nothing of the etiquette of a court." So he says, "Oh, just behave as you would to any gentleman; His Highness's manner will soon put you at ease. Call him 'Sir,' and do not turn your back on him." "No," says I, "my Lord, I know that; and my profession is one of 'show a good front.'" In we went to the Prince's dressing-room, full of every sort of article of dress, perfumes, snuff-boxes, wigs, every variety of article, I do believe, that London could produce. His Highness rose in the most gracious manner, and welcomed me to his presence by saying, "General Ross strongly recommended you to my notice 50 as an officer who can afford me every information of the service you come to report, the importance of which is marked by the firing of the Parliament and Tower guns you now hear." I could not refrain from smiling within myself at Harry Smith of the Light Division sitting with the Prince Regent, and all London in an uproar at the news he brought. I was perfectly thunderstruck at the military questions the Prince asked me. He opened a map of America, and then referred to the plan of Washington I had brought home, with the public buildings burnt marked in red. He asked the name of each, and in his heart I fancied I saw he thought it a barbarian act. On all other topics he spoke out. I said it was to be regretted a sufficient force had not been sent to hold Washington. His Highness said, "What do you call a sufficient force?" I said, "14,000 men." He very shrewdly asked on what I based such an opinion. I talked of Navy, of population, etc., and perfectly satisfied His Highness I did not give an opinion at random. He asked a variety of questions, and laughed exceedingly when I told him the anecdote of Calder's promising to save Brown. When I got up to leave the room, and was backing out, His Highness rather followed me, and asked if I were any relation of his friend, Sir — Smith, in Shropshire. I said, "No." He then said, "I and the country are obliged to you all. Ross's recommendations will not be forgotten, and, Bathurst, don't forget this officer's promotion." It was the most gentlemanlike and affable interview I could possibly imagine.
That evening I was to dine at Lord Bathurst's at Putney. I never met a more amiable-mannered man than Lord Bathurst; and his secretary, Punch Greville51, volunteered to drive me out in his tilbury. When I got into the drawing-room, who should be there but my dear friend Lord Fitzroy Somerset? He had been recently married. At dinner I sat between Lady Fitzroy and an elderly gentleman whose name I did not know, and, as the party was small, and I the lion, every one induced me to talk. Lord Fitzroy and I across the table got back into Spain; and, of course, as I regarded the Duke of Wellington as something elevated beyond any human being, and I was in high spirits, I did not hesitate to launch forth our opinion of him. The elderly gentleman who sat next me said, "I am very glad to hear you speak in such raptures of the Duke. He is my brother." I laughed, and said, "I have not exceeded in anything, to the best of my judgment." After dinner Lord Fitzroy Somerset and I had a long talk. He had travelled after Toulouse, in a little carriage from Bordeaux to Cadiz with the Duke, and their conversation frequently turned on the Army. Fresh are the words on my mind at this moment. "The Duke often said to me, 'The Light, 3rd and 4th Divisions were the élite of my army, but the Light had this peculiar perfection. No matter what was the arduous service they were employed on, when I rode up next day, I still found a Division. They never lost one half the men other Divisions did.'" I was delighted, for this was what we so prided ourselves on. I have often heard our soldiers bullying one another about the number such a Company had lost, always attaching discredit to the loss. It was a peculiar feeling, and one which actuated them throughout the war, combined with the most undaunted bravery and stratagem as sharpshooters.
But I must revert to domestic matters. My wife had refused all the entreaties of my family to leave London before my return. She availed herself of masters, and saw so many friends daily. She had a forcible impression that I should not be long away. We started for Bath, and I wrote to my father to come to London in a few days, and we would return with him to Whittlesea. We found poor Mrs. Ross in the highest spirits at the achievement of our arms under her husband. Poor thing! at that very moment of her excessive happiness he was in a soldier's bloody grave. The delight of our journey to and from Bath is not to be described. Everything was modern, novel, and amusing to my wife: every trifle called forth a comparison with Spain, although she admitted that there was no comparison between our inns and the Spanish posadas, so accurately described in Gil Blas. No brutal railroads in those days, where all are flying prisoners. We dined where we liked; we did as we liked. At the last stage back into London, my wife, in looking at a newspaper (for she began to read English far better than she spoke), saw my promotion to the rank of Major–"The reward," she said, "of our separation."
From a picture painted in Paris in 1815. [Opposite p. 218.
On arrival in London we found my father had arrived from the country. I had not seen him for seven years. In this period he had been deprived of his devoted wife, leaving him eleven children, I of a mother; for everything that word comprises in its most comprehensive sense I had lost. Our pleasure at meeting, as may be supposed, was excessive, while we mingled our tears for the departed. As my wife had just come off a journey, and it was late in the afternoon, I would not show her to my father until she was dressed for dinner: a little bit of vanity and deception on my part, for I led him to believe she was of the stiff Spanish school, as stately as a swan and about as proud as a peacock. She liked the fun of the deception, and promised to dress in full Spanish costume, and act up to the supposition. In she came, looking–oh! if I could but describe her! but in place of acting either the swan or the peacock, she bounded into my father's arms, who cried like a child, between joy, admiration, astonishment and delight at seeing so young and beautiful a creature who had gone through so much, and showed a heart evidently framed for love. She was now nearly eighteen, but a woman–not a girl, and certainly a person of most distinguished appearance, especially in her Spanish costume; not handsome, if beauty depends on regularity of features, for she had the dark complexion of the fairer part of her countrywomen, but with a colour beneath the clearest skin of olive which gave a lustre to her countenance–a countenance illumined by a pair of dark eyes possessing all the fire of a vivid imagination, and an expression which required not the use of speech. Her figure was beautiful, and never was any costume so calculated to exhibit it in perfection and in all its graces as that of her native land. She had a profusion of the darkest brown hair; teeth, though not regular, as white as pearls; with a voice most silvery and sweet in conversation, and she would sing the melancholy airs and songs of constancy of her country (so celebrated for them) with a power and depth of voice and feeling peculiar to Spain. Her foot and ankle were truly Spanish. She danced beautifully. Thus it was that the natural grace of her figure and carriage was developed, while the incomparable elegance and simplicity of her manner was a thing not to be forgotten, rarely to be met with. Her pronunciation of English at this period was most fascinating, and when she wanted a word, the brilliancy and expression of the eye would supply it. It flashed perpetually as she spoke, and filled up the intervals her slight knowledge of our language could not supply. She was animated and intelligent, with a touching tone of confidence and gentleness which made the hearer a willing listener to her words, but still her meaning was supplied by her vivid countenance. Such was the being my affectionate and kind-hearted father held locked in his paternal embrace, the faithful wife of his son. They were ever afterwards friends in every sense of the word, and, as he was the best and boldest horseman I ever saw in my life, and she could ride beautifully and any horse, they were inseparable. Poor "Old Chap," my war horse, which, together with her Andalusian "Tiny," I had sent to him, was dead, but, the morning after our arrival at Whittlesea, we were taken to the stall. There was Tiny in such condition! The meeting between my wife and the horse was, as she said, that of compatriots in a foreign land. It was rendered still more amusing by the little pug and horse equally recognizing each other, for many a day had Tiny carried Pug. (My dear little thorough-bred horse I had so cried over52 was still alive and fresh, but alas! I had grown out of his memory. He was standing in the next stall, and had acquired the name of "Old Jack.") My wife let Tiny loose, to the alarm of my father, who expected to see him fly off full speed into his garden, which he prided himself on considerably. To his astonishment, and to mine too (for my father told me the groom could barely lead him), she says, "Now don't make a noise, and he will follow me like a dog," which he did into the drawing-room, occasionally licking her hand or face when she allowed him. The saddle, however, was soon on him, and, as if proud to show off that he was broken in like a Mameluke's, she figured him so that few Mamelukes, jerreed53 in hand, could have touched her with effect.
In the midst of [happiness] I had the most melancholy visit to pay to my mother's tomb. If ever souls on earth could commune, I was so fascinated by the hallowed spot, which contained all which I so adored from my infancy, my consoler, my counsellor, my guide to the holy hill of God, I really believed I heard her speak when I prayed over her head and again vowed my promises at parting. Oh! that she could have lived to know my elevation, my being the bearer of dispatches to our King, that she could have seen my wife, that she could have shared, Heaven bless her, in the happiness of her children around! This one blank was for the moment all I lacked. I consoled myself that while we were revelling on earth with every uncertainty before us, she, my mother, was in heaven, where I dare firmly believe she is, for God is gracious and bountiful.
On my return from that hallowed and sacred spot, I found letters from the Horse Guards. The first was to order me to London immediately, the next was to tell me what I little anticipated. General Ross, contrary to his own opinion and his promise, had attempted Baltimore [12 Sept.], failed, as I anticipated, and lost his gallant life from not following the dictates of his own good sense and ability. My dear friend Sir Edward Pakenham was appointed to succeed him. I was appointed A.A.G. to the increased force going out! I had been nearly three weeks under the paternal and hospitable roof–my only holiday for years–when that blighting word "separation" was again to be imparted to my faithful and adoring wife; and, cut off from all social ties of happiness and endearment, I was again immediately, in the very middle of winter, to encounter the stormy Atlantic and all the horrors of war in the distance. It is only a repetition of the former tale to talk of my poor wife's distress. It was agreed she was to accompany me to London, and my father was to bring her back; and twenty-four hours later, while brothers and sisters re-echoed each others' promises, and indeed feelings, of affection, we started back to London, with hearts as heavy as they were light coming down. I little thought then of what I had to go through, witness, and endure, but, if I had, my task would still have been to affect a cheerfulness in the prospect of more promotion which, I avow candidly, I did not feel. However, I was a soldier, and as much wedded to my profession and a sense of duty as any man, so I lit up my torch of hope and did all in my power to cheer and comfort her I so loved.
On our arrival in London I immediately went to poor dear Sir Edward Pakenham, who was delighted to see me, and said that we must be in Portsmouth in a few days, and that the Statira frigate was waiting for us. I then sought out Macdougall of the 85th, who before I left the Army had been acting, in place of sick Falls, as A.D.C. to poor Ross, and I readily learned all that occurred before the service lost that gallant soldier. My firm and faithful friend John Robb, surgeon of the 95th when I joined, was appointed Inspector-General of Hospitals, and he and I agreed to send our baggage by coach, and go down together to Portsmouth in a post chaise on Sunday afternoon, for the Statira was to sail on Monday. Old West was started off per coach, and at three o'clock on Sunday, the — November, the horrible scene of parting was again to be endured. It was less painful to me than the first, I admit, for my dear wife was now known and beloved by all my family; but to her the dread of separation, and separation for the exploits of war, was as painful as before, and, when I tore myself from her, which I was literally obliged to do, that heart must be hard indeed that was not, as mine was, ready to break. I can see her now, with her head resting on the chimney-piece (as I left the room, and took a farewell glance) in a state bordering on despair. My father, too, was awfully overcome. In a few minutes I was rolling on my road to Portsmouth, deeply absorbed, I admit, but my companion Robb was a man of strong mind, of whom I had a high opinion, and not to appear desponding before him, I exerted all my energy and began to talk of my plans on my return. Robb said–the only thing I ever heard him say that I thought would have been as well unsaid–"Oh, that's capital! a fellow going out to be killed by an American Rifleman, talking of what he will do when he comes back!" Now, such is the perversity of human nature, this so put up my blood, that grief and anguish were mitigated in a determined spirit of opposition.
We arrived at the George at twelve at night, and found West, who reported all right. We found an order directing us to be on board by ten o'clock, as the ship would get under weigh at twelve, and we knew that our men of war are punctual fellows.
The next morning, at breakfast, we directed old West to parade our portmanteaus. My kit had increased just double, viz. I had now two portmanteaus. "Here they are, sir," says West. "Why, that is not mine, West!" He overhauled it, and soon agreed with me. We went to the coach; there was no other. So I opened it, and, to my horror, in place of my things, it contained the dirty linen of a Frenchman and his silk stockings and evening pantaloons, etc, etc. Upon a little inquiry from poor old West, we learned that two coaches were loading at the same time, one for Dover, the other for Portsmouth. It was evident, therefore, my red coats were in company with my French friend. In my portmanteau were all my boots, my uniform, and my flannel waistcoats. We were to embark immediately, and I had nothing for it but to go to my friend,54, and tell him, "Now's the time for the outfit: I have lost my portmanteau." He very kindly undertook to write to Charing Cross and send back the Frenchman's, and in three weeks after the failure at New Orleans my portmanteau was sent out to me by my dear friend John Bell. It is a very odd coincidence that, on my first going abroad to South America, I lost my kit and all my large stock of silver given me by my poor mother–some teaspoons, etc. On that occasion I never recovered anything.
46 The 3rd Caçadores at this period were commanded by a fine gallant soldier and a good fellow, but as he rejoiced in a name of unusual length–Senhor Manuel Terçeira Caetano Pinto de Silvuica y Souza–we gave him the much shorter appellation of "Jack Nasty Face," for he was an ugly dog, though a very good offlcer.–H. G. S.
47 He was nearly twenty-seven. See p. 1 n.
48 Ross wrote, "So unexpected was our entry and capture of Washington, and so confident was Madison of the defeat of our troops, that he had prepared a supper for the expected conquerors and when our advanced party entered the President's house, they found a table laid with forty covers" (Dictionary of National Biography, "Ross").
49 The biblical account of Belshazzar's feast (Daniel v.) does not mention a storm. Sir H. Smith's mental picture was no doubt derived from engravings of Martin's representation of the scene.
50 "FROM MAJOR-GENERAL ROSS TO EARL BATHURST.
"Tonnant in the Patuxent, Aug. 30, 1814.
"Captain Smith, assistant adjutant-general to the troops, who will have the honor to deliver this dispatch, I beg leave to recommend to your lordship's protection, as an officer of much merit and great promise, and capable of affording any further information that may be requisite." (Given in W. James's Military Occurrences of the Late War (1818), ii. p. 498).
51 Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville (1794-1865), Clerk to the Privy Council from 1821; author of the Greville Memoirs; known to his friends as Punch, or the Gruncher (Dict. Nat. Biog.).
52 See p. 158.
53 Byron, The Giaour:
"Swift as the hurled on high jerreed,
Springs to the touch his startled steed."
54 See p. 209.