Where Grasshoppers Dare

Lieutenant Harpe has just witnessed a British defeat. The situation is desperate. Although the Spaniard Don Diego is dead, the secret of the infallible cure for hemorrhoids has not died with him. Somewhere in Aldehuela lurks the alchemist who prepares the ointment and the French are set on scouring the area for him. Surely the curtain is about to be drawn  on the last act in this hamlet.

But as with any great drama, first there must be a comic interlude to relieve tension, ideally one involving an animal. This is provided by Sergent Bufor, who it will be remember is the unfortunate Frenchman who stared at a goat. Hellbent on revenge for his sore stomach and bruised dignity, the sergeant informs his superiors that he will search the little copse where the goat lurks in case the alchemist should be hiding therein. His men shake their heads and mutter darkly.

The goat waits, patient in rancour.

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Il Obtient Vraiment Ma Chèvre

The contest is swift and brutal. Prepared this time, Bufor has his musket ready but the goat is devilishly quick and although the musket ball scores its back and Bufor’s bayonet slices its haunch, once again the Frenchman is sorely buffeted by the wicked horns. Again, Bufor collapses with the wind knocked out of him. His men shake their heads in despair and trudge off to join the main body.

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The Black Goat of the Woods Wins Again. !

And now the story really starts.

The French Voltigeurs are in force – Capitaine Javert knows his career hangs in the balance. Lieutenant Harpe’s scouts have counted more than three dozen of the French, and that they have a cannon also. All seems lost as Harpe has only thirteen under his command but he is unexpectedly reinforced by a similar number of greenjackets under Lieutenant Wolfe Whistler of Blunt’s company. Harpe rapidly explains the situation and Whistler readily agrees that they must find the alchemist before the French.

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Aldehuela

Riflemen quickly check the windmill and the adjacent shed. They find nothing except some husks and a few bottles of cheap local wine.

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Beginning the Search

Javert quickly deploys his men and Lieutenant Boulet carefully sights his gun.

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Voltigeurs

Not satisfied with his original sighting, Boulet adjusts the lay of his gun once more while voltigeurs close on the bell tower and small cottage where an old woman is feeding her chickens. Will this old woman prove more than she seems?

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Voltigeurs Avance

Whistler crosses the Rio Corona and gets his men into the vines. There is no alchemist skulking here.

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Rifles Ready

The rest of the Rifles close in on the barn and its courtyard, scouring the woods for any signs of the man they seek on their way.

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Lieutenant Harpe Leads the Way

Javert’s men proceed quickly. Soon they are within hailing distance of the old woman who turns to flee, started by the appearance of so many rough looking fellows. The hens also scatter, enraging the cockerel who flaps about, getting under the feet of the French and pecking at them, causing much cursing and the advance to falter.

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A Fighting Cock

Wolfe Whistler, who has a great fondness for birds, orders to his men to fire on the distant French.

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Opening Accounts
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Overview
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Fighting Cock: Still Game

Sous-lieutenant Destin comes over the hill. He outnumbers Whistler by three to one.

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Voltijoors to the Flank!
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The Long View

Whistler falls back to the river under fire.

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Whistler Falls Back

The French press forwards.

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Whistler Shoots It Out

While shots ring out at the river, Harpe’s men have been searching the barn to no result and now move into the walled yard where a woman stands. While Chosen Man Solomon Grundy (who is pleased today is not Saturday) gets the riflemen to cover the gates, Harpe attempts to question the woman, though his knowledge of Spanish is limited to speaking rather louder than usual.

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The Hamlet

Whistler repulses a bayonet attack but is knocked unconscious. His remaining men fall back, dragging their sensless commander with them.

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At the River
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The Long View

Javert’s voltiguers have searched the bell tower and the cottage. The old woman has persuaded the Rifles to let her into the yard and Harpe still struggles to make himself understood to the beshawled woman.

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Preparing for the Last Act at the Hamlet

Whistler’s men take more fire and withdraw steadily.

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The voltiguers Win the Fight at the River

The woman in the shawl throws it off, and her dress besides, revealing to a rather started Harpe that she in in fact Fray Bentos, a Franciscan known the length of Spain for his skill in both medicine and pastry making. He must be the source of the miracle cure for piles. Harpe hustles the Spaniard into the safety of the barn

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Fray Bentos Revealed!

Whistler’s men slip away to lick their wounds. The French have opened their way to the river.

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Final Volley at the River

The French prepare to assault the yard, against the odds. Sergent Croisville leads the way over the wall.

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The Assault Begins

Amazed at the French audacity, the Rifles fall back. They have only lost a man but the French have established themselves in the yard unscathed.

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Fight in the Yard

Grundy rises to the occasion (after double-checking with his mate that it is  not in fact it a Saturday) and leads a counter-attack.

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Preparing to Counter-Attack

While the fight rages in the yard, Sous-lieutenant Destin gets ready to cut off Harpe’s escape.

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Cat On A Hot Tile Roof
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Sword Versus Bayonet

A bloody fight and the sheer number of the Rifles tell.

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Death to the French!

The two remaining voltigeurs flee the yard leaving their Sergeant bloody and unconsious on the ground. Sergeant Havers, whose men got a bit lost in the woods arrives and fires at Javert’s men.

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Sergeant Havers Catches Up

Javert does not hesitate, he charges Havers’ men trusting in the elan his men have shown. But today Javert’s luck has run out. He is killed and his men routed. But Destin has cut off Harpe’s escape route, blocking the stairs.

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Escape Blocked

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Le Bang!

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As the cannon shot shakes the barn, Harpe decides it’s time for a sharp exit. He leads his men out and down the steps, scattering the voltigeurs. He’s joined by Sergeant Havers but Lieutenant Destin has one last card to play. As Harpe’s men run for safety, Destin urges his men to a supreme effort and they catch up to the riflemen, taking them by surprise in the rear.

 

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The Final Charge

Outnumbered the French may be but the surprise of their sudden onset has balanced the odds. Destin has shown iron resolve but all he receives is Harpe’s steel through his liver.

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Harpe’s Triumph!

Fray Bentos and his secret recipe are saved. Harpe has triumphed and the French foiled.

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The Man Who Stared at a Goat

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The Field of Battle

A British force under Captain Bowler (33rd Foot) has rescued Don Diego Vega from the French. After some hard marching along the Rio Corona, they are arrived at the small hamlet of Aldehuela, having met up en route with a horse gun commanded by Lieutenant Earnest Boome. Accompanying Bowler’s redcoats are some riflemen commanded by Lieutenant Harpe, who is still recovering from wounds received in an earlier action.

Aldehuela is where Don Diego must meet with the man who provides him with the most infallible cure for piles, a secret that must not fall into French hands.

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Enter the French

But Capitaine Javert of the 69e Ligne has not been idle. He has regrouped and reinforced and, hot on the trail, arrives at Aldehuela just as the British appear.

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First Shots

Harpe gets his men into action straight away. They may be firing at long range, but the marksmanship of the 95th is astonishing. Capitaine Pépin falls stricken and his lieutenant is killed outright be a bullet through the eyeball. This is a devastating blow for the French, leaving only Sergent Butor to command the line infantry.

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Deadly Accurate Fire
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The Rest of the British Arrive

Lieutenant Boome deploys his gun, Don Diego an interested observer, while Bowler slowly brings up his line.

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Boome’s View
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The Situation

The rifles pick out Sergent Butor who is trying to urge the column forward and pick him off before dropping back through the trees. The men of the column mill about their fallen leaders and play no further part.

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Sergent Butor Falls!

Meanwhile, a small group of voltigeurs under Sergent Gaultier has been investigating a little copse of trees. They encounter a large and impressively horned black goat. Gaultier stares at the goat. The goat stares back. Gaultier thinks about goat stew. The goat charges, buts him in the stomach and the sergeant collapses winded. His men draw back, aghast.

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The Man Who Stared at a Goat

With every other Frenchman of rank now dead or incapacitated, Capitaine Javert realises this miserable state of affairs will only be resolved by drastic action. He gathers his score of voltigeurs and informs them that the honour of France and the good health of the emperor depend upon them. They charge straight into the mouth of Lieutenant Boome’s cannon! Three men fall as smoke belches from the gun’s muzzle, but Javert keeps going and his men follow.

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Charge Pour le Canon, Il A Dit

Startled by the charge, Boome orders his men to temporarily abandon the gun. Don Diego is amazed by this craven behaviour and lingers by the British line, drawing his sword.

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The Gunners Retire

Bowler orders his line to fire into the voltigeurs while Harpe’s riflemen add their fire from across the river. Javert’s gallant band is thinned.

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Volley Fire

Javert continues on! his men crash into the end of the redcoat line while he himself faces Don Diego, a man renowned as the finest swordsman in all Spain! The odds are heavily against the French, tired from their charge, fewer in numbers and shaken by the fire they have received. Their only advantage is that they have, through their impetuosity, caught the British unloaded.

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A la Mort!

The voltigeurs are desperate men and their attack is driven him with almost unbelievable ferocity. Seven of the redcoats fall!

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Slaughtered by French Bayonets

Bowler’s men panic and rout from the field, leaving Javert to duel with Don Diego. The cowardly Ingleses may have fled but Don Diego is determined to uphold the honour of Spain.

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Voltigeurs Triumphant

Javert realises at the first pass of swords that he is outclassed by his Spanish foe. He resorts to the streetfighting tactics of the Parisian gutter. As Don Diego languidly parries and ripostes, Javert closes, seizing the Spaniard’s blade with his left hand, smashing the hilt of his sabre into Don Diego’s impressively Roman nose and bringing up his knee. As the Spaniard doubles over crying ‘¡Juego sucio!’, Javert cuts his throat.

Victory from the jaws of defeat!

It slowly dawns on Javert that he has killed the man who knows the secret cure for piles. But surely, he thinks, in a cold sweat, a Spanish nobleman would be no ointment-peddler. Don Diego must have sourced his ointment from somewhere and the only reason he must have been here would be to find that person. Aldehuela must be searched and the alchemist found!

Next episode: Where Grasshoppers Dare

Saving Don Diego

Major Paul ‘Watermole’ Perth, one of Wellington’s intelligence officers recently arrived from having established a penal colony in Van Diemen’s Land, has been severely put out by the French capture of Don Diego Vega. ‘Watermole’, so-called because of his cuddly and inoffensive looks, is in fact of a peculiarly venomous nature when put out. He has sent Captain Bowler (33rd Foot) and the badly wounded but still game Lieutenant Harpe (95th Rifles) away with fleas in both ears and strict instructions not to return without certain information known to Don Diego. This information, an indisputably certain cure for piles, could, in Perth’s opinion, prove of eventual benefit to the French were it to come into their possession.

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El Hombre Sin Nombre y Sus Hombres

Spanish guerillas led by the infamous and mysterious El Hombre Sin Nombre and the Amazonian beauty, la Señora Adora Heras, have discovered that Don Diego is held prisoner in a wagon being escorted by men of the 69e Ligne. They plan, with the help of the British, to free Don Diego and keep safe the secret hemorrhoid cure.

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The Convoy

The French dragoons have reached a bridge over the Rio Corona, a tributary of the Rio de Cocina Laga and only a few miles from the safety of their own lines. The infantry are not far behind, strong parties of voltigeurs on either side of the road and the wagon bringing up the rear.

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The French Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
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A Column Of Ducks Reviews the French
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Les Dragons
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¡Sorpresa!

Adora Heras springs the trap, shooting into the dragoons onto the bridge. El Hombre Sin Nombre appears on a hill to the south of the bridge and shoots also. A dragoon is tumbled from  his saddle.

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Par Ici. Pas de cette façon!

The dragoons about face and ride towards La Señora.

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Forward, Lads!

Harpe’s rifles arrive followed by Bowler’s redcoats. The rifles give the dragoons a volley in their rear, knocking Sergent Lemur from his saddle and unnerving the rest considerably. Morale shattered, they will play no further part in the day’s events.

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Embêter!

A brisk fight breaks out between El Hombres guerillas and Javert’s voltigeurs.

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A brisk fight.
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Still Brisk.

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¡El Hombre Recibe Un Disparo!

Struggling from the muddy stream while trying to reach his blunderbuss-armed men, El Hombre takes a musket ball in the leg and collapses hors de combat. Meanwhile, the French column moves onto the bridge.

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Avance!

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Harpe Collapses

Lieutenant Harpe, who it will be remembered is carrying a nasty wound, collapses from loss of blood. Over the river, Adora Heras is also badly hit and her little band of guerillas fall back, dragging her loyally but with difficulty. Captain Bowler and his sergeant are the only Allied leaders left on their feet, and Bowler’s men are advancing at a pitiful rate – too much time spent in musket practise, not enough on marching and drill.

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Le Moment de la Crise

The leaderless riflemen give the French column some fire as it deploys and then, driven to fury by the sight of the bloody Harpe lying on the ground, launch a madcap charge. Bowler shouts to restrain them, but their blood is up and they race on, swords fixed and howling through the smoke.

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Give Them the Sword!

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Though outnumbered nearly three to one and leaderless, the enraged riflemen wreak terrible destruction on the French.

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Havoc
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Rout!

The French cannot stand and flee! The few guerillas by the river fall on them, but are driven off.

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Flight
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The Situation East of the River
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Enter a caption

The rifles take fire from Javert’s men and face their new enemy, but their numbers are thin. Bowler’s line comes up slowly.

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A Chance to Win!

The rifles fall back, shaken and outnumbered by the voltigeurs. The wagon driver sees his chance and whips up his team. Once over the bridge, they must only get past the house to reach safety. The British line is too slow, the guerillas too far and the riflemen surely too shaken to interfere. Soon the Emperor will have the secret of his cure!

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The End

Captain Bowler may have neglected marching and drill, but by God he has not neglected the men’s musketry! As the wagon passes he order his men to present. A tremendous volley rings out. Both horses are killed, and the driver and cantinière.  But Don Diego is unharmed. Some may say it is blind chance, but Bowler knows that it is his men’s accuracy that has paid off.

Javert retires, determined to catch the British before they can reach their own lines. He will find them at Aldehuela.

Next episode: The Man Who Stared at a Goat

 

Ill Met by Daylight

Don Diego Vega has been a thorn in the French side since the Dos de Mayo. The last piece of intelligence sent by the infamous Major Manque, just before his recent capture by guerillas at Corazón Sangrante, revealed that Don Diego was visiting his mother at her country estate. Capitaine Eugène Javert of the 69e Ligne has hastily assembled a force to arrest Don Diego. However, the 33rd Foot are in the vicinity and one of their companies, along with some riflemen under the command of Lieutenant Solomon Harpe, is also approaching Donna Vega’s residence.

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Dragons!

In the cold dawn light, Javert leads some voltiguers up to the east wall of Donna Vega’s residence, supported by some dragoons.

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Javert’s Voltigeurs
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Donna Vega Looks On Aghast as Grasshoppers Infest Her Vines

Lieutenant Stephen Harpe swarms over the west wall, followed by his small but doughty band of riflemen. The lady of the house informs them, somewhat frostily, that there is a door they could have used. Fortunately neither Harpe nor his riflemen know any Spanish beyond ‘vino‘, ‘señorita‘ and ‘¿Cuánto cuesta?‘, which last they mispronounce shockingly.

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The Fight Begins

Voltigeurs push forward in the centre while a small column of French infantry comes marching down the road. A French canon is deployed to cover the British approach.

The 33rd move up in two small columns to the south of the stables. Some of their light bobs occupy the stable yard, fling open the gates and fire upon the small group of skirmishers they see. The French are a bit startled but unhurt.

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On!

Harpe’s men struggle through the vines. ‘¿Por qué no usaron la puerta?‘ demands Donna Vega of her nonplussed son.

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Prend Ça!

As if in answer, Voltigeurs burst through the gateway and pour fire into the riflemen. It’s hard for them to tell green jacket from  green vine though and the effect is desultory.

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Face Gauche!

The French column makes good time down the road and forms line to face the 33rd as they emerge from behind the barn.

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Entourez la Maison!

Javert’s voltigeurs come over the wall and fire a ragged volley which sees Lieutenant Harpe reel and collapse into the vines. Exchanging fire, the riflemen dash into the villa as the dragoons attack the north door.

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The Fighting 33rd

French and British skirmishes shoot it out at the stables while the main bodies advance.

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Shooting at the Stables

The French line shoots first.

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33rd Advance!

The voltigeurs who are shooting it out at the stables kill the British corporal and, emboldened, take the stable yard at the point of the bayonet.

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The Stable Captured

Bowler’s redcoats press on into cannon and musket fire.

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The 33rd Prepare to Fight
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Fire!

The long range volley has good effect on the French. Captain Bowler’s men may not march quickly but their shooting is good.

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The French Line Take Casualties

The Fight for the house has been desperate. Although leaderless, the riflemen have withstood shooting from three sides and assaults from both dragoons (who have quit the field) and Javert’s voltigeurs (who have lost over a third of their number). But with every assault, their numbers have diminished and Javert rallies his men for a final attack.

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The remaining small handful of men in green fight tooth and nail, but as the French force their way through the windows, they reluctantly abandon the house and slip away, two dragging the wounded Harpe from where he lies amidst the vines.

With Don Vega captured (and goodness knows what fate awaiting his aged mother and young niece, not to mention the donkey), Captain Bowler of the 33rd, realising his redcoats are too few and too far to interfere, orders a retreat.

Victory to the French.

Next episode: Saving Don Diego.

Foray to Corazón Sangrante

Major Robert Edward Lee, an exploring officer ever in the shadow of the far more principled, able and well-known Grant, has stumbled across some French despatches (literally stumbled, he tripped over the mutilated body of their bearer in the dark whilst lost and drunk). A rather hungover assessment of their contents has revealed to him the likely location of his French counterpart, Major Barthélémy Manque. Fired by dreams of glory, perhaps even a public statue complete with a suitable plaque describing his fine virtues as a soldier and man, Lee has sent the local guerillas to abduct the Frenchman. And, as an afterthought, Captain Blunt’s riflemen to make sure Manque arrives more or less in one piece.

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Major Manque

Manque, with a small escort of grenadiers, is interrogating a young Spanish woman in a barn when a band of picked guerillas, armed with blunderbusses and under the command of the Amazonian Señora Adora Heras throw open the doors and unleash a hail of shot, killing two Frenchmen stone dead.

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Trabuco Naranjero

As Tom Blunt’s Rifles spread out, Voltigeurs appear on the crest of a hill to the north.

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The Rifles Arrive
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French Voltigeurs Advance

El Hombre Sin Nombre brings up more guerillas as Adora Heras encourages her men to fire another volley, which fells another grenadier within.

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El Hombre Sin Nombre Brings Reinforcements

More blunderbussing, another two grenadiers hors de combat, a failed attempt at an assault on the barn with no casualties on either side, another charge – successful – and the guerillas butcher the sole remaining grenadier attempting to surrender, and begin to scour the loft for Major Manque who must be hiding amongst the musty sacks of grain.

Meanwhile, the 69e Ligne advance against the riflemen.

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Skirmishers

Captain Blunt and Second Lieutenant Moon form a skirmish line while Solomon Grundy leads some riflemen into the tower.

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Opening Shots

The Voltigeurs exchange shots with the Rifles, coming off worse.

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Skirmish Duel

The guerillas discover Major Manque, who has just finished his intimate examination of a young peasant girl. Though the honest Spaniards would have normally cut off more than just his protestations, with the 69e Ligne arriving in force they content themselves with bundling him unceremoniously out of the barn before he can even button his flies.

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Captured!

By the tower, the skirmish duel continues.

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Close Range Skirmish Duel

Lieutenant Connard brings his men forwards, intending to turn the British flank and threaten their line of retreat.

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Attack Column

Sergeant ‘Kid’ Fiddler brings up his men at the run to reinforce Blunt’s thin green line.

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‘Kid’ Fiddler Dashes Up

Capitaine  Pépin arrives with the balance of the 4e Compagnie of the 69e Ligne.

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Pépin

 Pépin advances very briskly.

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The French Advance Apace.

Fiddler’s men add their firepower to Blunt’s line.

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Rifles Hold the Line

Adora Heras hopes to stall the inexorable French advance by turning their open left flank.

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Guerilla Tactics

Lieutenant Connard moves to the west of the tower.

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Turning Blunt’s Flank
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Threatening the Rifles’ Line of Retreat

El Hombre Sin Nombre gets his men moving towards the walled garden, hustling along their prisoner.

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Hustling

Pépin realises the threat to his flank and detaches Sergent Nigaud with a couple of files to deal with the threat. He begins to get the rest of his men into line.

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Forming Line

The Rifles bring them under fire, and also the remnant of the poor French skirmishers, who have been very roughly handled.

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Deploying Under Fire
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Roughly Handled Skirmishers

Pépin completes his line and his men present their muskets. Tom Blunt does not flinch, although some of his men swallow rather hard.

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Not Flinching. Much.

Lieutenant Connard, meanwhile, gets inexorably closer to cutting the line of retreat.

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Closer

Inside the garden, behind its high walls, the guerillas feel safer – though Major Manque does not.

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Feeling Safer

Connard detaches Sergent Corniaud to hold the road and moves the rest of his men to trap Blunt’s Rifles.

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The Road Cut
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The Trap Closes

Grundy and his men waste no time in quitting the tower.

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Run For It!

Capitaine Pépin orders his drummer to beat Le Chant de L’Oignon and his men move forwards, singing lustily. Tom Blunt realises that even his gallant lads cannot hope to beat both Pépin’s advance and Connard’s force to their rear and orders Bugler Tooting to sound Retreat. Moon and Fiddler lead their men through the gap in the wall to join the guerillas while Blunt heads west to join Grundy. Pell-mell flight ensues, during which several riflemen are captured.

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The French Charge!
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Leg It!

Major Manque remains in guerilla hands. With Captain Blunt separated from the group, can young Valentine Moon convince Señora Adora Heras not to separate Major Manque from his assets? How will El Hombre Sin Nombre react to the fresh-faced Moon’s attempts to engage Adora’s attention? Will Robert Lee ever get the statue and plaque he feels he richly deserves?

Captain Pépin has no time for questions. he will leave the fugitive riflemen to the tender mercies of the Polish lancers who will be sent to hunt them down. He must press on for Cerro Manteca.

The Butcher’s Bill

BRITISH:

  • Wounded – Second Lieutenant Moon, 2 Riflemen
  • Captured Wounded – 2 Riflemen
  • Captured – 3 Riflemen

FRENCH:

  • Dead – 2 Voltigeurs
  • Wounded – 4 Voltigeurs
  • Captured – Major Manque

SPANISH:

  • No loss.

Clash at Granja de Grasa

Flushed with the French success in forcing the Río de la Cocina Laga, Lieutenant Boursouflure and his grenadiers of the 69e Ligne spearhead the advance into Cerro Manteca. In their path lies Granja de Grasa, an estate owned by Don Elver Galarga, who just happens to be the father of the infamous guerilla, Señora Adora Heras. The señora’s ally and would-be paramour, the notorious individual known only as El Hombre Sin Nombre has therefore directed a force of the 1/3rd Guards, commanded by Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel William Sillie, to intercept the French before any harm befalls Don Galgara or his property.

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Don and Señora Galgara
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Time for a Smoke and Glass of Vino in the Viñedo Gargala

Voltigeurs under the veteran Lieutenant de Rière, who is doubtless still aching from his many recent wounds, and the rather unsavoury Sergent Serin, are the first to arrive, but they are quickly overtaken by a gun under the command of Lieutenant Boulet who dashes forwards in the best spirit of the French artillery.

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Boulet Avance le Canon!

The 1/3 Guards reach the small farm of the aged and diminutive Viuda Pato, who is here seen watering her cow as the guards march past.

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The Guards

Lieutenant Whistler brings his rifles up at the run as Sillie manoeuvres the guards to face Boulet’s rapidly advancing gun. El Hombre Sin Nombre and his motley band assemble to the rear.

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The Allies Deploy

Lieutenat Boulet’s dash is beginning to look foolhardy as the voltigeurs struggle to keep up.

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The Gun Forges Ahead!
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And the Grenadiers Arrive

De Rière’s voltigeurs can’t coordinate themselves properly and end up losing two men to Whistler’s riflemen – a fusilade that also kills an artilleryman and sees Boulet’s gun crew wheel sharply and retire.

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The Rifles Engage
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Boulet Recule!

As Serin and his men occupy the ground floor of the Galgara house, El Hombre Sin Nombre’s occupy the garden and approach the west windows. The Guards shake out into a firing line and the French grenadiers bash on up the road.

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Surround the House
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Form an Orderly Line
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Avant!

Sillie orders the Guards and Rifles to advance and Whistlers men fire some rather ineffectual shots as they do so that merely hasten the retreat of Boulet’s gun. They take some return fire which throws Sergeant Havers’ men into a bit of confusion.

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The British Advance
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The Voltigeurs Return Fire

Boulet’s gun has churned the dirt road to the point where it is making slow going for the column of grenadiers.

Always keen to resort to the dagger, and mindful of impressing the man who he hopes will become his future father-in-law, El Hombre Sin Nombre orders his guerillas to assault the house. The Spanish are thrown back but Sergent Serin falls, mortally wounded, while holding the door. While a man of poor repute and vile deeds, he died a heroes death in the service of the emperor.

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¡Ataque!
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¡Retirada!

Boulet gets his gun crew into some semblance of order on the flank of the French line. The gun must still be loaded. Rifles and Voltigeurs exchange fire with the French getting the worst of it but the handful of rifle shots hitting home isn’t nearly enough to stem the French advance.

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Skirmish Duel
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The French Advance!
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French Attack Column

Under constant harassing fire from the guerillas, the remnant of Serin’s voltigeurs quit the house. The don and his señora have a grandstand view of the unfolding battle.

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Les Voltigeurs se Retirent

The Rifles fall back through the line and Sillie calmly gives the orders to present and fire.

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Rifles Retire
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Presented Fire
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Some Disorder
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Voltigeurs Retire

Boulet gets his gun into action, firing canister into the left of the British line. only one man falls, but there’s some confusion that the crisp Sergeant Pringle endeavours to bring under control.

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Le Bang!
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Canister Hits Home

While his sergent-major and sergent restore order to the ranks, Boursouflure decides to give the British a taste of their own medicine and the French fire a nicely controlled volley that fells several guardsmen.

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Have Some of Your Own Medicine!
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Give Them Another, Lads!

The Guards are superbly drilled, of course, and they get another well controlled volley in before the French can reload. ‘Three rounds a minute will do very nicely indeed, my fine fellows,’ says Captain & Lieutenant Colonel Sillie.

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Third Time Pays For All

But Sillie’s rather smug satisfaction is short-lived. Lieutenant Boursouflure somehow manages to exhort his men to fire two volleys before the Guards can reply. The French grenadiers’ shooting has been more deadly than the of the British Guards – and so it continues!

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The Grenadiers Volley!
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And Volley Again!
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The Guards’ Line is Broken!
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Denouement

Lieutenant Whistler’s riflemen pick off a couple of the French gunners as they cover Pringle’s men. El Hombre Sin Nombre bids Don Galgara farewell and makes a swift exit.

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The British Withdraw

Captain & Lieutenant Colonel Sillie watches the triumphant French advance.

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Captain & Lieutenant Colonel Sille Bids the French Au Revoir

Vive l’Empereur!

 

The Butcher’s Bill

BRITISH:

  • Dead – 2 Guardsmen
  • Wounded – 6 Guardsmen 2 Riflemen
  • Captured Wounded – 2 Guardsmen
  • Missing – 1 Guardsman

FRENCH:

  • Dead – Sergent Serin, 3 Grenadiers, 4 Voltigeurs, 1 Gunner
  • Wounded – 1 Grenadier, 4 Voltigeurs, 1 Gunner
  • Recovering From Wounds – 1 Voltigeur, 2 Gunners

SPANISH:

  • Dead – 1 Guerilla
  • Wounded – 2 Guerillas

 

 

 

 

 

Forcing the Río de la Cocina Laga

L’Enfant Chéri de la Victoire, Marshal Masséna’s bold plan to turn Wellington’s left flank by pushing the 69e Ligne over the Río de la Cocina Laga and into Cerro Manteca has foundered at the outset. Serious reverses at Fuexu and the Viñedo Tripa de Pudrición had left the French seriously short of food – a state of affairs remedied by a descent upon Hueco Soñoliento, though at some cost in men and matériel.

Even fortified by good beef and pork, Capitaine  Pépin is reluctant to try and force his way to the bridge at Fuexu again because the 1/3rd Guards are reported to now be there in some strength; however a patrol of Polish Lancers under the stolid but dependable Sierżant Iwo Lacowicz has revealed way via a ford usually only practical in the summer months, but now unseasonably low. Mustering the men of the 4e Compagnie and, taking in tow some Voltigeurs under the experienced but morally dubious Sergent Serin, Pépin makes a dash for the ford.

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The Ford

As Pépin’s column nears the ford, he and his men are delighted to meet a rather dishevelled Lieutenant de Rière, who has just escaped from the clutches of the notorious guerilla, known only as El Hombre Sin Nombre. However, Pépin is considerably less delighted to discover that de Rière is hotly pursued. Drums beating, the 4e Compagnie race for the river.

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Who is El Hombre Sin Nombre? Surely it is not Enrique the Mild-Mannered Potato Peddler?
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Old Nosey Sniffs About the Abandoned Viñedo
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En Avant!

Lieutenant de Rière, recently lacking one of his ears and now thirsting for revenge leads the voltigeurs across the river.

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French, By God!

Lieutenant Connard, leading the main column is hot on his heels.

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¡Emboscada!

Of a sudden, a motley group of ruffians, led by an Amazonian figure resplendent in a (slightly bloody) uniform of a French officer of hussars, burst from the nearest windmill and fire into the voltigeurs! It is La Señora Adora Heras, the subject of many lurid  and frightful imaginings amongst the men of the 69e Ligne.

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Embusqué!
And no sooner have they fired than the guerillas dash back into the windmill, after a little unseemly pushing and shoving at the door.
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La Señora Adora Heras
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De Rière Advances Towards the Windmill
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Serin Presses On

And the drum beats the pas de charge!

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The Column Fords the River

The bold pressing by Sergent Serin has already denied the Rifles an excellent firing position from the high windows of the Vinery (Chosen Man Grundy had had the opportunity to take that position but his men were too busy looking for wine).

As Captain the Honourable Tom Blunt is fond of saying, ‘In the nick of time will do nicely,’ and so he is. He directs some well-aimed shots at Serin’s little band, wounding the sergent and bringing down two other men. ‘Merde Alors!’ is the shout.

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Captain Blunt Arrives
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Serin Injured!

 

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The State of Play

The rest of the French column arrives. Can they press on to victory?

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The French in Force

Meanwhile, de Rière begins to surround the windmill. La Señora Adora Heras abuses him from the doorway, promising to remove more than an ear when he is captured again . . .

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Surrounding the Windmill

Old Nosey’s snarling and biting forces Grundy’s men from their ransacking and into position to flank the column, which is quite an impressive sight.

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Grundy Among the Peach Trees
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Grundy’s View

Another volley from Blunt’s men sees Serin scuttle for the river.

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Serin Recule!

Lieutenant Connard presses on and Serin’s men wade up to their necks to get back to the other side.

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But those behind cried “Forward!”
  And those before cried “Back!”

Second Lieutenant Valentine Moon, annoyed not to find Grundy there already,  gets some men into action from the high windows of the Vinery.

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Moon Fires

A Frenchman falls and there is some confusion at the head of the column.

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Column Under Fire

Sergent-Major Froussard sorts things out with a stentorian bellow from the rear and Lieutenant Connard moves his column inexorably onwards.

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Ploughing On!

De Rière continues the stand off at the windmill but sends some of his men to interrogate Enrique, the mild-mannered potato peddler who denies all knowledge of El Hombre Sin Nombre, but offers to sell some potatoes at very reasonable prices.

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Enrique is Questioned

Serin’s men are routed by shots from Grundy’s riflemen and it is a very sorry and bedraggled bunch of voltigeurs struggle from the river and run.

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Unstoppable?

Voltigeurs secure the road. El Hombre Sin Nombre must retire and surely La Señora Adora Heras is trapped!

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Securing the Road

Blunt’s men advance into the copse of trees and fire on Connard’s column, which is beginning to deploy, but is it too little, too late? Where is Sergeant Fiddler? What has become of El Hombre Sin Nombre?

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The State of Play

La Señora Adora Heras tells her men that she at least will not die like a rabbit in a trap, and so of course their honour as Spaniards compels them to follow her. They fall with knives and, in the case of Adora, sabre upon De Rière’s men.

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¡No moriré como un conejo en una trampa!

The struggle is brief and furious. Both leaders are wounded – something that is happening to the unfortunate French lieutenant with monotonous regularity – but it is the voltigeurs who give way.

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¡Victoria!

In a raging fury, La Señora whirls about and charges the remainder of the voltigeurs who, unprepared, facing the wrong way, attempt to flee, but they are caught.

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Too Slow!

The fight is horribly one-sided and the French do not die well.

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Butchery

The lone survivor throws himself on La Señora’s mercy. He is kept alive to provide some evening entertainment. Poor fellow.

Now both French columns press on relentlessly. British rifle fire is, for once, proving surprisingly ineffective and Sergeant ‘Kid’ Fiddler is nowhere to be found. Blunt orders Bugler Tooting to sound ‘Retreat’.

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The Way Ahead Secured
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Over the River
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Closing In
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Time to Retire
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Endgame

The French finally succeed in getting across the river! Poor Lieutenant de Rière must now surely be the most wounded man in the entire French army. Adora Heras performs heroics and lives to fight another day. The rapist Serin and his accomplices receive just deserts. A poor day for the Rifles though.

 

The Butcher’s Bill

BRITISH:

  • No Casualties

FRENCH:

  • Dead – 7 Voltigeurs, 1 Fusilier
  • Wounded – Lieutenant de Rière, Sergent Serin, 4 Voltigeurs, 1 Fusiliers
  • Captured – 1 Voltigeur

SPANISH:

  • Recovering from Wounds – 2 Guerillas

 

 

Engagement at Hueco Soñoliento

After successive defeats at Fuexu and Viñedo Tripa de Pudrición, the men of the 69e Ligne would be on their chin straps had they not been reduced to eating them. The Rio de Cocina Laga must still be forced but a good meal (and perhaps a bottle of wine or two) is now of more pressing importance.

Lieutenant Boursouflure rouses the men of the grenadier company and, with the assistance of Lieutenant De Rière and some voltigeurs and a gun under the command of the recently arrived Lieutenant Boulet, heads off towards the tranquil village of Hueco Soñoliento. The Cantinière Isabelle Bitche, well beloved by all the men of the 69e Ligne, accompanies the small column.

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Lieutenant Boursouflure
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Cantinière Isabelle Bitche

Unbeknown to Boursouflure, Hueco Soñoliento is the headquarters of the notorious guerilla known only as El Hombre Sin Nombre. He and his men have taken residence in the house of  Señor Pinchazo while awaiting the arrival of another notable guerilla, Señora Adora Heras. To further complicate matters a small force of the 1/3rd Guards and 1/95th Rifles under Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel William Sillie is also marching on the village. Sillie has orders to make contact with the local priest who, he is assured, will be able to put him in touch with the enigmatic El Hombre Sin Nombre.

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El Hombre Sin Nombre
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Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel William Sillie of the 1/3rd Guards

Voltigeurs  under the rather unsavoury Sergent Serin lead the way into the village. The residents flee in panic but one woman is not quick enough and finds herself bundled into a toolshed by Serin and his men where a very sordid incident ensues. C’est la guerre, mais ce n’est pas édifiant.

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Déployer le Canon

The British come swinging down the road. Lieutenant Wolfe Whistler in command of the Rifles.

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The British Arrive
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Grenadiers En Avant!
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Le Boom!

Boulet’s gun opens up on Sergeant Havers’ Rifles who have taken position on the hill where the church stands, but to little effect.

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The Battle Begins!

Whistler’s men engage the French right flank, which comprises some grenadiers under Sergent-Major Boumdier (Sergent Serin’s men are still busy in the toolshed just in front of Boumdier’s left flank). Lieutenant Boursouflure has boldly advanced the bulk of his grenadiers in the centre where they are being harassed by Havers’ rifle fire. The guards are out of sight behind the hill. On the French left, Lieutenant De Rière and a dozen voltigeurs have reached the wall of Señor Pinchazo’s small estate and captured a rather disgruntled pig that was snoozing beneath an olive tree.

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Rifles Sniping
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The Guards Form an Orderly Line
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The Villagers Seek Refuge

Sergent Serin’s men finally emerge from the toolshed and, after buttoning their trousers, add their fire against Lieutenant Whistler’s riflemen, who are now feeling distinctly outnumbered.

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French Volleys

One villager, trying desperately to save his pigs, was caught in front of the first volley that Boursouflure unleashed against the Guards, who were emerging from behind the hill under the command of Sergeant Pringle – a very crisp-looking individual – while Sillie went off to interview the priest. The villager mniraculously escaped unharmed but two of his precious pigs were slain. La guerre c’est l’enfer.

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The Guards Reply

A long range musketry duel ensues between Pringle’s guardsmen and Boursouflure’s grenadiers.

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Long Range Musketry
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Le Choc!

Half a dozen voltiguers enter the courtyard in search of chickens. They receive a rude surprise as the guerillas emerge from the house to fire with blunderbusses. No Frenchmen are hurt but the noise and smoke of the discharges have considerable effect and they recoil towards the doorway.

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El Hombre Sin Nombre

El Hombre Sin Nombre leads more guerillas onto the balcony where they fire at the rest of De Rière’s men.

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La Belle Bitche!

The grenadiers are getting the worst of their exchange with the guards but Isabelle Bitche, well-beloved by all the men of the 69e Ligne, hands out free brandy to restore the men’s spirits. Enthused they deliver a crashing volley that severely discomfit’s Pringle’s previously crisp firing line.

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Une Vache Capturée

Meanwhile, Serin captures a cow. Lieutenant Whistler has been forced to retire, the firepower of the French right being too much for his small band, even when reinforced by Señora Adora Heras and her entourage. While Sergent-Major Boumdier presses forward to threaten both the British left flank and some chickens, Serin rounds up the stray cow, which will feed the company for a week.

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At the Church

Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel Sille has not been idle. Unfortunately it turns out that Latin as taught at Eton is not quite as that used by churchmen in Spain, and the French cannon, for want of better targets, has begun firing on the church, so communicating with the priest has been more difficult than he anticipated. Nonetheless he has gathered that the guerilla leader he seeks is in the large house. Wishing the somewhat perplexed priest,  ‘Die enim bona,’ he sets off to restore some order to his faltering guardsmen.

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La Garde Recule! Les Voltigeurs Fuir!

Sillie is only just in time. The relentless French volleys have forced the guardsmen back and quite ruined their previously nice neat line. But thing have not gone all in favour of the French. El Hombre Sin Nombre’s guerillas have chased the voltigeurs out of the courtyard. But there’s no doubt that Boursouflure has gained the upper hand.

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Spanish Stand-Off
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Adlante!

While some of his men push through the doorway to fire into the remaining voltigeurs with blunderbusses, wounding Lieutenant De Rière, El Hombre Sin Nombre takes his dagger in his teeth and leads the rest over the high wall to come to close quarters.

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Thrown Back!

El Hombre Sin Nombre is stunned by a French musket butt and falls back into the courtyard. Recovering, he tries again!

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To the Knife!
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¡Victoria!

The fight is savage and brief. Gallant to the last, Lieutenant De Rière gives up only when he is knocked senseless.

And now the tide has turned in favour of the Allies. His blood up, El Hombre Sin Nombre falls upon the remnant of fleeing voltigeurs and then the gun crew, who are forced to abandon their piece.

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¡Sin Piedad!
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Rapide! Tourner le canon!
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Trop Tard!

Alarmed by the unexpected and utter collapse of his left, Boursouflure orders his men to retire with their haul of one cow, one pig and several chickens. It is no victory for the French but it is enough for a feast.

 

The Butcher’s Bill

British:

  • Recovering from Wounds – 1 Guardsman, 3 Riflemen
  • Dead – 4 Guardsmen, 1 Rifleman
  • Wounded – 1 Rifleman

French:

  • Dead – 3 Grenadiers, 4 Voltigeurs, 2 Gunners
  • Wounded – Sergent-Major Boumdier, 1 Grenadier, 4 Voltigeurs
  • Captured Wounded – Lieutenant De Rière, 2 Voltigeurs
  • Captured – 4 Voltigeurs, 2 Gunners
  • Missing – 1 Grenadier

Spanish:

  • Recovering from Wounds – 2 Guerillas
  • Dead – 2 Guerillas
  • Wounded – 1 Guerilla

 

Encounter at the Viñedo Tripa de Pudrición

Having received a savaging at Fuexu, Pépin’s company of the 69ème Ligne have fallen back in search of much-needed supplies. But although short on food and water, the ever-aggressive Pépin, discovering that Captain Blunt’s small force of riflemen has followed them, decides to try once more for the crossing of the Rio del Cocina Laga. Unbeknown to the French, Blunt has been reinforced by a 6-pdr under the command of Lieutenant Arthur Thunderman. 

With Sous-Lieutenant Hugo de Nigot captured, Victor Bouffon, newly promoted from the ranks steps in to fill the vacancy. Although only half the company are fit for service, the rest reorganising under Lieutenant Connard, the voltigeur company have sent some men to reinforce Pépin under the command of the capable Lieutenant Jacques de Riere.

The sun is burning hot as the French march along the dusty road that leads past the Viñedo Tripa de Pudrición and Pépin’s men are flagging from want of water. But the captain drives them on ferociously, telling them that they can drink their fill at the Rio del Cocina Laga. 

At the vineyard, Blunt and his small band lie in wait.

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First Shots

Serjeant ‘Kid’ Fiddler starts the shooting while Lieutenant Thunderman gets his gun into position in the shade of a handy peach tree.

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First Casualties

A ripple of rifle shots and Sergent Corniaud falls stunned as the ball that blew the brains from a man further forward dents his shako.

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A Voltigeur’s View
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Grasshoppers

Second Lieutenant Valentine Moon brings his riflemen into action.

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Waiting

Captain Blunt has taken possession of the vineyard from the Spanish owner – ‘I’m awfully sorry, but I’m afraid we’re going to have to occupy your property’ – he gets a frosty response.

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Skirmish Screen

The voltigeurs begin firing.

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Tirez!

With the voltigeurs now covering the flank, the main body of the French near the road junction.

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Wounded!
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Pépin Deploys

Under heavy fire, Pépin deploys.

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Brandy?

A Spanish pedlar arrives and is eager to sell the thirsty Frenchmen brandy from the bottles carried by his mule.

Encouraged by the prospect of alcohol, Sous-Lieutenant Bouffon leads the rear of the column up.

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Poor Sergent Serin!

 

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Fire!

Thunderman’s cannon continues to play on Pépin’s ragged line while the rifles take a steady toll.

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Bouffon Avance!

Pépin may have received a mauling but Sous-Lieutenant Bouffon drives his men forward regardless, weathering canister shot and getting them into line. The brandy doubtless helps with this.

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Leur Donner un Autre!

Sous-Lieutenant Bouffon unleashes a rather ragged volley that kills a gunner, and then another far more devastaing one.

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Fiddler Wounded! (Old Nosey is Fine)

Fiddler sees three of his men fall and a ball passes through his calf. His Caledonian expletives keep his remaining men in the fight. Lieutenant Thunderman’s men are reduced to a single gunner who runs screaming from the fight while Thunderman gamely drags the gun to safety.

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Le 69ème Recul!

But Bouffon’s small success has come too late, Pépin’s men are on the verge of total collapse. Ordering the retreat, the bloody but defiant Pépin shakes his hat in rage as he is foiled again.

The Butcher’s Bill

British:

  • Recovering from Wounds – Sergeant Fiddler, 3 Riflemen
  • Dead – 3 Gunners

French:

  • Dead – 3 Voltigeurs, 3 Fusiliers
  • Wounded – Capitaine Pépin, Lieutenant de Riere, Sergent Serin et Sergent Corniaud, 2 Voltigeurs, 12 Fusiliers

The Fuexu Affray

Captain the Honourable John Thomas Blunt and his handful of gallant Riflemen from the 95th Regiment of Foot have arrived in the Spanish village of Fuexu just in time! Blunt’s faithful hound, The General (known to the men as Old Nosey), has detected an advancing French force.

Beyond Fuexu is the key bridge over the Rio del Cocina Laga, which in French hands will unhinge Wellington’s left flank. Outnumbered more than four to one, Captain Blunt must halt the French in their tracks.

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Fuexu

The picture above shows the key tactical features of the battlefield. The French, entering on the road lined by tall cypress trees, are attempting to exit by the road to the right of the church, which leads to the aforementioned bridge over the Rio de Cocina Laga. Blunt has established his headquarters in the church, where his men have made a second breakfast of some wine and some rather thin wheaty biscuits they found lying around in the apse. Old Nosey is on the road near the vinery buildings where Moon and a dozen riflemen are ensconsed.

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Old Nosey On Guard

Major Manque, a French officer of daring repute, has just completed an assignation with a mysterious Spanish lady known only as La Ubrera. Increasingly uneasy with what La Ubrera has imparted to him, and noticing the unexpected arrival of Blunt’s riflemen, he lurks near the village outskirts.

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Major Manque Outside La Casa de la Ubrera

A French staff officer has ridden a little way ahead of the column and sees the road is clear (apart from some rather scruffy looking mongrel gnawing on chicken bones). He orders the advance!

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Staff Officer Surveying the Ground

French voltigeurs eagerly scamper forwards. A dozen head into olive groves to the left of the road, six under a sergeant into the vines to the right. After a while, a steady chomping of fruit can be heard.

Captain Blunt is an aristocratic gentleman to his (currently rather muddy) boots. But he knows a good ruse de guerre when his serjeant suggests one, and he has had half his men lie down on the muddy hillside (his own pelisse is ruined anyway, so it doesn’t matter). A whispered exchange:

Captain Blunt (urgent): Tooting, your bugle!

Rifleman Tooting (indignant): I’m not, sir!. (hurt): I wouldn’t ’til you give the command, sir.

Captain Blunt (with a heavy sigh): Sound, Skirmishers May Engage, Tooting.

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Blunt Springs an Ambuscade!

And to the merry notes of Tooting’s bugle, a dozen rifle shots ring out as one, startling the Voltigeurs in the vines and bringing to an end their spirited debate on the merits of Prieto Pecudo over Tinto de Toro.

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More Shocked Than Hurt

‘Kid’ Fiddler urges the men to reload speedily, and they do, knowing that the last man to fire will be the serjeant’s next sparring partner. Their next shots are more ragged in timing but deadlier in effect.

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Independent Fire Commences
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This Time, More Hurt Than Shocked

Two Voltigeurs will pick grapes no more beneath a Spanish sun.

The first half of the French main body arrives under the popular Sous-Lieutenant Hugo de Nigot (whose uncle of course fought in the Saindoux Campaign of 1757 in the Americas). They swing down the road in the shade of the cypresses singing (perhaps somewhat prematurely) La Victoire est a Nous.

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Enter the Conscripts

 A mournful howl from Old Nosey brings Second Lieutenant Moon and his men tumbling from out of the Vinery, their jackets bulging, the contents chinking gently. They cover the road and, encouraged by the increasingly vociferous dog, begin to shoot into the densely packed French ranks.

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Out, Lads. Fight Them in the Open!
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Shocking Stuff, Unexpected Rifle Fire

Meanwhile, Blunt’s men continue to fire from the hill at the Voltigeurs. Two more of the French lights fall and their sergeant decides that he’s had quite enough of this particular game of soldiers and orders them to fall back.

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Third Time Pays for All
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Se Livrer à la Pédérastie avec Cela Pour un Jeu de Soldats

The balance of the French company has now arrived under Capitaine Pépin. Rather than get drawn into a bottleneck at the road junction, the good captain takes his men east, across country, aiming to turn the English flank. He urges the voltigeurs out of the olive grove and, replete, they make their way towards the house where Major Manque is still adjusting his dress.

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The French Press Forwards

Sergent Grondement (by astonishing coincidence, his great-uncle also fought in the Saindoux Campaign of 1757) challenges Major Manque.

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Vous Y! Qu’est-ce Que Tu Fais? Oh, Désolé, Monsieur . . .

And Sous-Lieutenant de Nigot leads his men bravely into the rifle fire.

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En Avant!

The column deploys and opens fire, wounding two of Moon’s men.

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Tirez!

The popular de Nigot is wounded, disheartening his men. But the brave sous-lieutenant takes his sword in his teeth to avoid crying out with pain and waves his men on.

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Shooting French in a Barrel

Blunt realises that Grondement’s voltigeurs are getting near to his flank and, trusting that Moon will sensibly retire whilst firing before the French column, takes his men to deal with the threat.

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Take That, Froggie!

But young Moon’s blood is up and he sees the column is in some disorder. He gives the order to fix swords.

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Fix Swords!

And charges! Ten men against forty-three!

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Rout

The sight of the rifles charging out of the smoke is too much for most of the young French conscripts. The front ranks hold their ground until Sous-Lieutenant de Nigot is brought down – a snarling Old Nosey dashes between the Frenchman’s legs and Rifleman Knox smashes his rifle butt into the stumbling officer’s face, sending him to the ground. The column breaks, half a dozen French cut down as they turn to flee, and a mad sauve qui peut ensues.

With half his force in incontinent retreat, and seeing the consternation on the faces of the rest, Capitaine Pépin decides discretion may be the better part of valour.

As a final blow, a shot from Rifleman Penfold, the company marksman, wounds Major Manque.

The French are repulsed and Wellington’s flank secured. Blunt’s men drink his health three times three from their looted bottles of wine.

The Butcher’s Bill

British:

  • Recovering from Wounds – 4 Riflemen

French:

  • Dead – 3 Voltigeurs, 4 Fusiliers
  • Wounded – Major Manque, 1 Voltigeur, 4 Fusiliers
  • Captured Wounded – Sous-Lieutenant de Nigot, 1 Voltigeur, 3 Fusiliers
  • Captured – 3 Fusiliers
  • Missing – 1 Voltiguer, 5 Fusiliers