A British Rifle Man: The Journals and Correspondence of Major George Simmons, Rifle Brigade, during the Peninsular War and the Campaign of Waterloo

A British Rifle Man: The Journals and Correspondence of Major George Simmons, Rifle Brigade, during the Peninsular War and the Campaign of Waterloo

by George Simmons


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Originally published in 1899, these writings by George Simmons (1785-1858) complement the work of other officers who served in the famous 95th Rifles between 1809 and 1815. Extremely descriptive and informative, the book covers all of the major battles and sieges of the Peninsular War and Waterloo Campaign in which Simmons' regiment was engaged during this period. Simmons himself was badly wounded at the Battle of the Côa in July 1810, but he recovered and played his part in the final years of the Peninsular War. He was also present at Waterloo in June 1815. Edited with an introduction by fellow Rifleman William Willoughby Cole Verner (1852-1922), Simmons' letters and diaries, written at the time and without the benefit of hindsight, have a tremendous immediacy. They remain of interest and relevance to military historians and students of the Napoleonic wars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108054096
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/11/2012
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Naval and Military History
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 426
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

CAMPAIGN OF 1810 Viscount Wellington arranged for the defence of Portugal by massing the Anglo-Portuguese army at two points—the first, under his own command, on the Mondego, and the second, under General Hill, on the Tagus. He also issued orders for the construction of the Lines of Torres Vedras. The Light Division under General Craufurd was pushed forward to the Agueda as a Corps of Observation. Massena, with a mobile force of 65,000 men, now threatened Portugal, having captured the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo, defended by the Spaniards. The first fight of the campaign was on loth March, when General Ferey endeavoured to surprise the Light Division by a night attack on the bridge of Barba del Puerco ; this was held by the 95th Rifles, who drove back the French with heavy loss. Craufurd maintained his position on the Agueda for four months after this, but in July, Ney with 30,000 troops advanced on Almeida, and Craufurd elected to stand and fight him with the Coa River behind him, and being vigorously attacked by overwhelming forces, withdrew with great difficulty and with heavy loss. The fortress of Almeida shortly afterwards fell into the hands of the French, and Massena advanced on the line of the Mondego with the object of driving the British army out of the country. Wellington, however, barred his advance at Busaco, and a sanguinary battle was fought, in which the French were worsted. Massena, finding he could not force the position at Busaco, manoeuvred to his right and threatened Wellington's line of retreat, and the latter fell back to his prepared defences of Torres Vedras. CHAPTER III Campaign Of 1810 Journal—ist January-'i'jth February 1810 March from Coimbrato the Coa—The Light Division placed in cantonments in advance of the Coa—A company of ...

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Letters 1-2; 2. Journal and letters 3-4; 3. Journal and letters 5-6; 4. Journal and letter 7; 5. Journal and letters 8-9; 6. Journal and letters 10-11; 7. Journal and letter 12; 8. Journal and letters 13-15; 9. Journal; 10. Journal and letters 16-18; 11. Journal and letters 19-20; 12. Journal and letters 21-2; 13. Journal and letter 23; 14. Journal and letters 24-27; Conclusion; Appendices.

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