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The Hunt for Moore's Gold (Hardback)

Investigating the Loss of the British Army's Military Chest During the Retreat to Corunna

Napoleonic Frontline Books Peninsular War Military

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Pages: 306
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781526730534
Published: 9th April 2019


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History abounds with unresolved puzzles and unanswered questions, none more so than that of the loss of the British Army’s military chest during the retreat to Corunna in 1809.

Sir John Moore’s small force had dared to attack Marshal Soult’s II Corps isolated in the north of Spain. But before Moore could pounce on the unsuspecting French corps, he learnt that the Emperor Napoleon, at the head of an overwhelming body of troops, was bearing down on the British force, hoping to cut it off from the sea and its only avenue of escape.

A desperate race for the coast then began, with the French hard on Moore’s heels. In sub-zero temperatures, the troops were driven on through the snow-clad Galician mountains at a punishing pace. As the men trudged on in deteriorating conditions, the bullocks pulling the army’s military chest could no longer keep up. So, in order to prevent the money from falling into enemy hands, the entire military chest was thrown down a steep, and deep ravine.

What then happened to all those dollars and doubloons? Some were snatched up by the pursuing French cavalry. Some, also, were retrieved by British soldiers who intentionally lagged behind, though their greed cost them their lives on the end of a French bayonet. But what of the rest of the money?

With a group of fellow historians, the author set off to search the archives and the mountains of Galicia in a bid to find Moore’s gold.

Rather than restrict the scope of this work to recounting his search for the military chest, the author decided to include as background information a history of the campaign, making good use of his extensive research.

Read the full review here

1/72 Scale Plastic Napoleonic Figures

As featured on Julian Stockwin's Summer Selection

Julian Stockwin Blog

The Hunt for Moore’s Gold is a fascinating read about a modern day treasure hunt. It will
hold the interest of both those interested in Napoleonic history and the many that enjoy a
well-told story of a search for lost treasure. Highly recommended.

Read the full review here

The Napoleon Series

There is no doubt that everyone saw this action and that in the following days and months the ground was cleaned up, but could something remain? It is from this point that Grehan's research starts, from finding the exact place of that order to get rid of the treasure. There is no doubt that the treasure of the expedition is an excuse to recount again an exciting story full of actions and epic events, revisited in a different light. But it is a story that deserves to be told and Grehan does it masterfully.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

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Wargames Illustrated, March 2019

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The author has done well to review the campaign through the prism of the abandoned ‘treasure’. In doing so it is not a lazy retelling of the campaign but a clear and personal appraisal of the events and actions using detailed investigation of the ground and such evidence as supports the contention that the money was abandoned. It is every unlikely that much if any of the money remains to be found; no doubt the local inhabitants were quick to take advantage of the windfall. The book is well supported by maps and photographs. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written or edited more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the present war in Afghanistan. His previous publications include The Lines of Torres Vedras: The Cornerstone of Wellington's Strategy in the Peninsular War 1809-12, The Battle of Barossa, and Britains German Allies of the Napoleonic Wars. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

Perfect Partner

Sir John Moore The Making of a Controversial Hero (Hardback)

Sir John Moore is perhaps the second most famous British soldier of the Napoleonic Wars after the Duke of Wellington, yet his remarkable career has been neglected in comparison to his celebrated contemporary. His death in battle at Corunna overshadows the wide range of his earlier campaigns and his achievements as an innovative soldier. Janet Macdonald’s fluently written and insightful biography focuses on the development of his character as well as his career as a commander. From it emerges a many-sided portrait of a fascinating man and an outstanding soldier, a key figure in the history of…

By Janet Macdonald

Click here to buy both titles for £35.00
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