The French chasseurs, usually not indisposed to accept this species of encounter, showed now less of inclination than usual, and either retreated before us, or hovered in masses to check our advance; in this way the morning was passed, when towards noon we perceived that the enemy was drawn up in battle array, occupying the height above the village of Redinha.
The smoke for an instant obscured everything, and when that cleared away, no enemy was to be seen. The British pressed madly on, like heated blood-hounds; but when they descended the slope, the village of Redinha was in flames, and the French in full retreat beyond it.
On driving in their outposts, we found their whole army drawn out on the plain, near Redinha, and instantly quarrelled with them on a large scale.
Massena's Retreat. Wretched Condition of the Inhabitants on the Line of March. Affairs with the Enemy, near Pombal. Description of a Bivouac. Action near Redinha. Destruction of Condacia and Action near it. Burning of the Village of Illama, and Misery of its Inhabitants. Action at Foz D'Aronce. Confidential Servants with Donkey-Assistants.
At Redinha the third, fourth, and light divisions attacked the enemy's left, and after a stout engagement we compelled them to retire upon their main body, and being likewise attacked on the right, their whole body was thrown into retreat on Condexo.
Ney's division covered the rear, and several sharp fights took place which are known in history as the combats of Pombal, Redinha, Cazal Nova, Foz d'Aronce, and Sabugal.
A last engagement, which took place upon the banks of the Soure, in front of the position of Redinha, permitted Ney at last to cross the river, and gain the town of Condeixa. The position was strong, and Massena counted on the energetic resistance of his rear-guard, in order to hinder the English, and leave time for the different corps to reassemble at Coimbra.
He fought at Pombal and at Redinha, and that so strenuously that, had it not been for Trant, Wilson, and other partisans who defended all the fords and bridges, Massena would have been able to have crossed the Mondego.
Opening of the year 1811 Surrender of Olivencia and Badajoz to the French under Soult The French followed up in their retreat from Santarem Engagements on the route Pombal Redinha Condexo Casal Nova Fatal results of having too large a head Miranda de Corno Poz de Aroce Halt at Moira while the French take refuge in Celorico The fourth division ordered to Badajoz Halt at Portalegre Shameful instance of plunder and sacrilege by Lawrence and his comrades Campo Mayor Outrageous theft from an unprotected female A stolen bird turns evidence against its purloiner.
But the hurry of the retreat had resumed possession of the mind of General Drouet, ever haunted by compunctions for his disobedience to the formal orders of Napoleon. Ney was not in a position seriously to defend his positions against the English; after a brilliant skirmish, he fell back upon Redinha.