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Under Wellington's Command A Tale of the Peninsular War   By: (1832-1902)

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Under Wellington's Command: A Tale of the Peninsular War by G. A. Henty.


Preface. Chapter 1: A Detached Force. Chapter 2: Talavera. Chapter 3: Prisoners. Chapter 4: Guerillas. Chapter 5: An Escape. Chapter 6: Afloat. Chapter 7: A French Privateer. Chapter 8: A Smart Engagement. Chapter 9: Rejoining. Chapter 10: Almeida. Chapter 11: The French Advance. Chapter 12: Fuentes D'Onoro. Chapter 13: From Salamanca To Cadiz. Chapter 14: Effecting A Diversion. Chapter 15: Dick Ryan's Capture. Chapter 16: Back With The Army. Chapter 17: Ciudad Rodrigo. Chapter 18: The Sack Of A City. Chapter 19: Gratitude. Chapter 20: Salamanca. Chapter 21: Home Again.


"You may as well make your report to me, O'Connor." Plan of the Battle of Talavera. "We surrender, sir, as prisoners of war." Stooping so that their figures should not show against the sky. "She is walking along now." "This is Colonel O'Connor, sir." Plan of the Battle of Busaco. "Good news. We are going to take Coimbra." Plan of the Lines of Torres Vedras. Plan of the Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro. The men leapt to their feet, cheering vociferously. "Search him at once." The man fell, with a sharp cry. Plan of the Forts and Operations round Salamanca. A shell had struck Terence's horse.


As many boys into whose hands the present volume may fall will not have read my last year's book, With Moore in Corunna, of which this is a continuation, it is necessary that a few words should be said, to enable them to take up the thread of the story. It was impossible, in the limits of one book, to give even an outline of the story of the Peninsular War, without devoting the whole space to the military operations. It would, in fact, have been a history rather than a tale; and it accordingly closed with the passage of the Douro, and the expulsion of the French from Portugal.

The hero, Terence O'Connor, was the son of the senior captain of the Mayo Fusiliers and, when the regiment was ordered to join Sir Arthur Wellesley's expedition to Portugal, the colonel of the regiment obtained for him a commission; although so notorious was the boy, for his mischievous pranks, that the colonel hesitated whether he would not get into some serious scrapes; especially as Dick Ryan, one of the ensigns, was always his companion in mischief, and both were aided and abetted by Captain O'Grady.

However, on the way out, the slow old transport, in which a wing of the regiment was carried, was attacked by two French privateers, who would have either taken or sunk her, had it not been for a happy suggestion of the quick witted lad. For this he gained great credit, and was selected by General Fane as one of his aides de camp. In this capacity he went through the arduous campaign, under General Moore, that ended at Corunna.

His father had been so seriously wounded, at Vimiera, that he was invalided home and placed on half pay; and in the same battle Captain O'Grady lost his left arm but, on its being cured, returned to his place in the regiment.

At Corunna Terence, while carrying a despatch, was thrown from his horse and stunned; and on recovering found that the British had already embarked on board the ships of the fleet. He made his way to the frontier of Portugal, and thence to Lisbon. He was then appointed to the staff of Sir John Craddock, who was now in command; and sent in charge of some treasure for the use of the Spanish General Romana, who was collecting a force on the northern border of Portugal. Terence had orders to aid him, in any way in his power, to check the invasion of Portugal from the north.

Of this order he took advantage when, on the way, the agents of the junta of Oporto endeavoured to rob him; attacking the house where he and his escort had taken up their quarters with a newly raised levy of two thousand five hundred unarmed peasants. By a ruse he got their leaders into his hands, and these showed such abject cowardice that the peasants refused further to follow them, and asked Terence to take the command of the force... Continue reading book >>

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