After losing touch with Second Lieutenant Moon following the Foray to Corazón Sangrante, Captain Tom Blunt has fallen in with a small company of the 42nd foot under Captain Campbell. With the victorious 69e Ligne advancing on Lord Wellington’s lines of communication, Campbell and Blunt resolve to stop them at the village of La Concha. But the French are marching hard and their light troops are almost at the village when Old Nosey catches their scent.
Blunt hastens his Riflemen into a good firing position in the loft of the local granary where, firing in relays from the half-dozen small windows, they pick off a couple of the battle-scarred Lieutenant Claude De Rière’s voltigeurs.
Meanwhile, the highlanders advance up the road on the other side of the church.
The highland light bobs line the wall of a freshly ploughed field despite the protestations of the local priest. The open up at nearly a hundred yards range but manage to pick off a French skirmisher.
Lieutenant McLaren commanding the highland line apologises to the priest for any damage to the recently planted crops, for which he generously offers recompense. However it turns out he must have left his money in his other sporran and the Spaniard must be content with a hastily scrawled note of hand.
While the highlanders advance boldly up the low road, the French are on the high road.
And French cavalry appear on the other flank.
Capitaine Pépin decides to divide his force in the face of the enemy.
The highlanders, on an open column, left wheel and send some lead towards the voltigeurs.
The French hold their ground but with Blunt’s men in the barn and the highlanders now in front of them, they are caught between two fires.
The gallant Pépin leads his fusiliers to drive Blunt from the barn while De Rière’s men begin to falter.
The highland lights continue their long-range duel with the voltiguers. A man or two falls on either side.
Sous-Lieutenant Bouffon brings his men up in attack column, threatening the flank of McLaren’s line. Now it is the British caught in a closing vice.
But Tom Blunt realises the danger. Even as Pépin’s men force open the barn doors, the rifle captain leads his men down the back steps and straight at the depleted voltiguers under De Rière.
The rifles have the numbers and the edge in quality.
And the French are cut down, only Lieutenant De Rière and the nimblest of the voltigeurs surviving to beat a hasty and somewhat ignominious defeat.
The French light cavalry canter past the windmills, planning to wheel and then charge down the skirmishing highlanders in the ploughed field.
Bouffon wheels his column and McLaren, realising his danger, frantically orders his men to turn.
But the French Lieutenant is too quick and leads his men in a rush against McLaren’s flank and also into the left of the skirmish line.
Savage fighting. The highlanders are unloaded and disordered by the unexpected advent of Bouffon’s column. The fight is short and sharp.
The impetus of the French is too much and the kilted Scots are broken, retiring fast down the road.
Victory to the French!
The Butcher’s Bill
- Dead – 4 Highlanders, 1 Rifleman
- Wounded – Captain Campbell, 1 Highlander, 1 Riflemen
- Captured Wounded – 4 Highlanders
- Dead – 6 Voltigeurs, 2 Fusiliers
- Wounded – Sergent Corniaud, 5 Voltigeurs, 3 Fusiliers