By George Robert Gleig
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Extra resources for The Subaltern: The 85th Regiment of Foot in the Peninsula 1813-1814
Not just have been the doorways and home windows long past, however the ceilings and walls, which have been wont to divide one condominium from one other, have been all damaged down, while the roof was once in an exceptional degree stripped off, and the fragments which remained of it have been perforated in all instructions. I good take into account that the evening was once piercingly chilly. The frost had of past due set in with renewed severity, and a pointy northerly wind blowing, swept with a depression sound via our dilapidated mansion. yet we have been on little rite the following. huge fires have been lighted elsewhere upon the earthen flooring, around which we gladly crept; while an allowance of grog being pointed out, and pipes and cigars lighted, we have been quickly as merry and as light-hearted as males may possibly wish to be. it truly is precise that ever and anon — each part hour, for instance — a celebration of six or 8 people sallied forth, to patrol from piquet to piquet, and to work out that each one was once correct among, yet we back from such tours with elevated predilection for our fire-side; and the occasions of the ramble, be they what they could, offered foodstuff for dialog until eventually one other used to be deemed invaluable. So handed the evening of the 3rd; and at the morning of the fourth I anticipated, as a normal subject, to be relieved, and to be withdrawn to the rear; however it was once now not so. males, it seemed, have been scarce at this a part of the road; and accordingly those that shaped it have been known as upon to accomplish double accountability. rather than being got rid of to a couple position the place a valid night’s leisure could be loved, I and my occasion came upon ourselves, at the morning of the fourth, ordered to strengthen, and to occupy the main chain; from which we had the delight of beholding the enemy, in very enormous strength, on the distance of little greater than 1 / 4 of a mile from our sentries. This sight, despite the fact that, in simple terms gave a spur to our hard work, and hindered us from repining at what we would were differently tempted to contemplate as an undue workout of our powers of watchfulness. the actual piquet of which i used to be positioned in command occurred to be indifferent from all others, and to be approximately 880 yards in entrance of the remaining. It used to be stationed on a kind of sugar-loaf hill, separated from our personal common chain of posts by means of a deep and rugged glen, and stored except the French strains in simple terms by way of an imaginary boundary of hedges and paling. So uncovered, certainly, was once the spot, that I acquired confident orders to desert it once darkness may still set in, and to retire around the hole to the excessive grounds contrary. The reader will simply think that, in this kind of state of affairs, little relaxation used to be given for rest both of physique or brain. in the course of the complete day, certainly, my profession consisted in prying heavily, through a telescope, into the enemy’s traces; in contemplating how i'll top keep myself in case of an assault, and retreat such a lot securely in case I will be overpowered. The view from my piquet-house was once, even if, super animating. underneath me, on the distance of in basic terms fields, lay the French out-posts, a couple of region of a mile, or 880 yards, in rear of which have been encamped a number of huge our bodies either one of infantry and cavalry.