With the Guns in the Peninsula (Kindle)
The Peninsular War Journal of Captain William Webber, Royal Artillery
Second Captain Webber of the Royal Artillery joined Captain Maxwell’s 9-pounder Brigade at Zafra in August 1812. His journal covers the period up to 16 June 1813, just before the Battle of Vitoria. In his journal Captain Webber records the events as they unfold on the actual day they happened, without being coloured by hindsight. He also records his impressions of the countryside and its people and customs.
His journal describes his personal experiences during the advance up to and along the Tagus to Aranjuez, the reversal of fortunes during the autumn of 1812, the difficult retreat into winter quarters in Portugal and finally his brigade’s part in the brilliant campaign of 1813 which saw the French pushed back across the Ebro. Webber gives vivid accounts of engagements with the enemy along the way; notably around Alba de Tormes during the retreat, and on the heights outside Burgos before the crossing of the Ebro.
The late Lieutenant Colonel Laws has set the journal within the context of the Peninsular War, and outlined Webber’s military career, which culminated at Waterloo where he was wounded.
The disastrous retreat and near disintegration of Sir John Moore's army on the road to Corunna in 1809 is traditionally regarded as the low point in the history of the British intervention in the Peninsular War. Yet under the Duke of Wellington the British and their allies suffered defeats and retreats that tend to be overshadowed by the series of victories that eventually drove the French from Portugal and Spain. None of these setbacks was graver than the retreat that followed the disastrous failure of the siege of Burgos in 1812. It is this, less than glorious, phase of the Peninsular campaign…By Carole Divall
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