Friday, January 13, 2012

NSWC Battlefield Reports

A Report in the Paris Gazette on an action at Canatarras, Spain, 8 May 1809.

By the General commanding, Oudinot.

Acting on information received from General Chastel regarding a enemy force ranging in size from a brigade to a Division that was approaching Cuidad Rodrigo from the Banos Pass. Elements of IV Corps that had just invested the fortress of Cuidad Rodrigo were sent to the little village of Canatarras on the Cuidad Rodrigo-Banos Pass road to prevent the enemy disrupting the siege preparations of the Army of Portugal.

The Brigade of General Scheeler deployed to the south and east of Canatarras awaiting the arrival of the enemy brigade.

The enemy (Portuguese under the command of General Wilson) appeared and deployed shortly before 1pm.

General Marisy’s cavalry of III Cavalry Corps then deployed on the enemies right flank. The Portuguese were engaged from 1pm by the artillery and by 2pmm until 5.30pm by the infantry and cavalry.

By 5.30pm the enemy was defeated and the siege works at Cuidad Rodrigo could continue un-molested. The enemy fled the battlefield, with the brigades of Generals Frere’s and Marisy just beginning to engage the enemy.

Two Portuguese infantry battalions were all but destroyed; one was swept from the field and lost 200 men as prisoners. One gun from the Portuguese horse artillery was destroyed and the other gun captured with all the batteries crew either dead or captured.

The enemy baggage and a number of wounded were captured as they were unable to remove their wounded from the field of battle and their baggage train moved to slow.

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