sábado, 23 de dezembro de 2017

En Alfayates el Rey don Alfonso el onzeno hizo sus bodas con la infanta de Portugal infanta doña Maria

esclarecido Principe y Rey don Alonso el
onzeno deste nombre, de los Reyes que
 reynaron en Castilla y en Leon pa-
dre que fue del Rey don
Compuesta por Iuan Nuñez de Villafan, Iusticia mayor
del Rey don Enrique segundo.
dro Rodriguez. Año de 1595. -
A costa de Miguel de Vililla mercader de libros.

Capitulo. lxxvij.
          De como el Rey don Alfonso hizo sus bodas con la infanta de Portugal en Ciudad Rodrigo, ...

            EN el Diez y ocho años del reynado deste rey don Alfonso que començo en el mes de Setiembre, quando andava la era en mill y trezientos y sessenta y cinco años. Y el año del nacimiento de nuestro Salvador Iesu Christo en mill y trezientos y veynte y siete años El Rey don Alfonso y la infanta doña Leonor su hermana, llegaron a ciudad Rodrigo, y doña Iuana con ellos, y desde alli embio el Rey a la infanta a Sabogal que es lugar del Rey de Portugal.

            Y eran alli con el Rey de Portugal la Reyna doña Ysabel su madre, y la reyna doña Beatriz su muger, y la infanta doña Maria su hija con quien avia de casar el rey don Alfonso de castilla. Y el rey de Portugal salio a recebir a la infanta doña Leonor hermana del rey de Catilla, y todos los otros que eran alli con el, lo mas honrradamente que pudieron, y moro la infanta con ellos en aquellas villas de Sabogal tres dias, y dende vinieron todos a otro lugar que dizen Alfayates, y alli vino el Rey de Castilla a este lugar Alfayates, y hizieron alli las bodas los Reyes de Castilla y de Portugal.    

              Las reynas, y los infantes vinieron todos a Fuenteguinaldo que es en el señorio del Rey de Castilla, y alli firmaron los Reyes el otro casamiento del infante don Pedro primero heredero, hijo del rey de Portugal con doña Blanca hija del infante don Pedro de Castilla, y fue en la manera que era tratado por los procuradores y otrosi, firmaron los reyes entre si pleytos y posturas de amistad, aquellas que entendian que les convenian afirmar, por que se guardassen amistad para adelante.

             Y para esto el rey de Castilla y de Leon puso en rehenes algunos castillos y alcaçares de su señorío en poder de hombres naturales del reyno de Portugal. Y otrosi, el Rey de Portugal puso castillos y alcaçares del su señorio en poder de hombres naturales del reyno de Castilla , y avialos a tener porque fuessen guardadas las posturas o pleytos que avian puesto de consuno. Y aqui en este lugar de Fuenteguinaldo llego al Rey de Castilla Alonso Iufre Tenorio, Almirante mayor de la mar, y diole el Rey al almirante el officio de la guarda mayor de su cuerpo que la solia aver Iuan Martinez de Leyva y mandole entregar en ella, y que entrasse en el su consejo.

LORD WELLINGTON at Alfaiates (PT) - 1811 september - HISTORY Of The PENINSULAR WAR.

Of The
"Unto thee
 Let thine own times as an old story be."



pages 332-338

Lord Wellington was perfectly informed of Marmont's plans ; the only thing doubtful was the strength of the enemy, and upon that head reports were as usual so various, that he determined to see them, being certain of his retreat, whatever their superiority might be, and ready to profit by any opportunity which might be offered. As soon, therefore, as the French commenced their movements with the convoy of provisions from the Sierra de Bejar, and from Salamanca, he collected his army in positions from which he could either retire or advance without difficulty, and from whence he could see all that was going on, and ascertain the force of the hostile army. The third division occupied a range of heights on the left of the Agueda, between Fuente Guinaldo and Pastores, having its advanced guard on the heights of Pastores, within three miles of Ciudad Rodrigo. The fourth division was at Fuente Guinaldo, which position had been strengthened with, some works. The light division was on the right of the Agueda, its right resting upon the mountains which divide Castille and Extremadura. The left, under General Graham, who, having joined Lord Wellington's army, had succeeded Sir Brent Spencer as second in command, was posted on the Lower Azava; D. Carlos d' España and D. Julian Sanchez observed the Lower Agueda, and Sir Stapleton Cotton, with the cavalry, was on the Upper Azava in the centre. The fifth division was in the rear of the right, to observe the Pass of Perales, for General Foy had collected a body of troops in Upper Extremadura.

On the 23rd, the enemy appeared in the plain near the city, and retired again : the next morning they advanced in considerable force, and before evening collected on the plain their whole cavalry, to the amount of 6000, and four divisions of infantry ; the rest of their army was en camped on the Guadapero, immediately beyond the hills which surround the plain ; and on the following day an immense convoy, extending along many miles of road, entered the town under this formidable escort. On the 25th, fourteen squadrons of their cavalry drove in our posts on the right of the Azava. General Anson's brigade charged them, pursued them across the river, and resumed the posts.

But their chief attention was directed toward the heights on the left of the Agueda ; and they moved a column in the morning, consisting of between thirty and forty squadrons of cavalry, fourteen battalions of infantry, and twelve guns, from Ciudad Rodrigo, against that point. The cavalry and artillery arrived first, and one small body sustained the attack. A regiment of French dragoons succeeded in taking two pieces of cannon ; the Portuguese artillery men stood to their guns till they were cut down ; and the guns were immediately retaken by the second battalion of the fifth regiment under Major Ridge.

When the enemy's infantry were coming up, Lord Wellington saw they would arrive before troops could be brought to support this division, and therefore he determined to retire with the whole on Fuente Guinaldo. The 77th, which had repulsed a charge of cavalry, and the second battalion of the 5th, were formed into one square, and the 21st Portuguese regiment into another, supported by General Alten's small body of cavalry, and by the Portuguese artillery. The enemy's horse immediately rushed forward, and obliged our cavalry to retire to the support of the Portuguese regiment. The 5th and 77th were then charged on three faces of the square ; Lord Wellington declared, that he had never seen a more determined attack than was made by this formidable body of horse, and repulsed by these two weak battalions. They halted, and received the enemy with such perfect steadiness, that the French did not venture to renew the charge.

In the evening, Lord Wellington had formed his troops into an echellon, of which the centre was in the position at Guinaldo, the right upon the pass of Perales, and the left at Nave de Aver. In the course of that night and of the ensuing day, Marmont brought his whole army in front of the position. Fuente Guinaldo stands on an extensive plain, and from the convent there the whole force of the enemy, and all their movements, could be distinctly seen. The force was not less than 60,000 men, a tenth part being cavalry, and they had 125 pieces of artillery. There was no motive for risking a battle, for the happiest result would only have been a profitless and dearly-purchased victory, as at Albuhera.

Lord Wellington therefore retired about three leagues. No movement was ever executed with more ability in the face of a superior enemy ; . . yet even this, performed with consummate skill and perfect courage, without hurry, without confusion, and almost without loss, presented but too many of those sights which make the misery of a soldier's life. The sick and hungry inhabitants of the villages were crawling from their huts, too well aware of the fate which awaited them if they trusted to the mercy of Buonaparte's soldiers; women were supplicating our troops to put their children in the provision cars ; and the sick and wounded were receiving medical assistance, while they were carried over a rugged and almost impassable road.

Lord Wellington formed his army, after this retreat of twelve miles, with his right at Aldea Velha, and his left at Bismula : the fourth and light divisions with General Alten's cavalry in front of Alfayates, the third and seventh in second line behind it. Alfayates, though now one of the most wretched of the dilapidated towns in Portugal, was once a Romish station, and has since been considered as a military post of great importance. It is about a league from the border, standing so as to command an extensive view over a beautiful, and in happier times a fertile, country. Here Lord Wellington stood by the castle (one of the monuments of King Diniz), observing the enemy with a glass.

Marmont had intended to turn the left of the position at Guinaldo by moving a column into the valley of the Upper Azava, and thence ascending the heights in the rear of the position by Castillejo ; from this column he detached a division of infantry and fourteen squadrons of cavalry to follow the retreat of the allies by Albergaria, and another body of equal strength followed by Forcalhos. The former drove in our piquets at Aldea da Ponte, and pushed on to the very entrance of Alfayates. Lord Wellington, with General Stuart and Lord Robert Manners, stood watching them almost too long ; for the latter, who retired the last of the three, was closely pursued by ten of the enemy's dragoons, and might probably have been taken, if his horse, being English, and accustomed to such feats, had not cleared a high wall, and so borne him off.

General Pakenham, supported by General Cole, and by Sir Stapleton Cotton's cavalry, drove the enemy back through Aldea da Ponte upon Albergaria; the French being reinforced by the column which had marched upon Forcalhos advanced again about sunset, and again gained the village, from which they were again driven. But night had now come on; General Pakenham could not know what was passing on his flanks, nor was he certain of the numbers which might be brought against him ; and knowing that the army was to fall back farther, he evacuated Aldea da Ponte during the night. The French then occupied it ; and Lord Wellington, falling back one league, formed his army on the heights behind Soito, having the Sierra das Mesas on their right, and their left at Rendo on the Coa. Here ended his retreat. Marmont had accomplished the object of throwing supplies into Ciudad Rodrigo, and could effect no thing more.

Lord Wellington was not to be found at fault. He had fallen back in the face of a far outnumbering enemy, without suffering that enemy to obtain even the slightest advantage over him. The total loss of the allies on the 25th amounted to twenty-eight killed, 108 wounded, twenty-eight missing. On the 27th, fourteen killed, seventy-seven wounded, nine missing. The hereditary prince of Orange was in the field, being then for the first time in action. While the British took their position behind Soito, The French retired to Ciudad Rodrigo, and then retire separated, Dorsenne's army toward Salamanca and Valladolid, Marmont's towards the pass of Baños and Plasencia






            To the Earl of Liverpool.

             General Viscount Wellington, K.B., to the Earl of Liverpool,
 Secretary of State.

           Quadrasais, 29th Sept. 1811.

            The enemy commenced their movements towards Ciudad Rodrigo with the convoys of provisions from the Sierra de Bejar, and from Salamanca on the 21st instant, and on the following day I collected the British army in positions, from which I could either advance or retire without difficulty, and which would enable me to see all that was going on, and the strength of the enemy's army.

            The 3rd division, and that part of Major General V. Alten's brigade of cavalry, which was not detached, occupied the range of heights which are on the left of the Agueda : having their advanced guard, under Lieut. Colonel Williams, of the 60th, on the heights of Pastores, within 3 miles of Ciudad Rodrigo ; the 4th division was at Fuente Guinaldo, where I had strengthened a position with some works ; the Light division on the right of the Agueda, having their right resting upon the mountains which separate Castille and Estremadura. Lieut. General Graham commanded the troops on the left of the army, which were posted on the Lower Azava ; the 6th division, and Major General Anson's brigade of cavalry, being at Espeja, and occupying Carpio, Marialva, etc. Don Carlos de España observed the Lower Agueda with Don Julian Sanchez's cavalry and infantry.

            Lieut. General Sir S. Cotton, with Major General Slade's, and Major General de Grey's brigades of cavalry, were on the Upper Azava, in the centre, between the right and left of the army, with General Pack's brigade at Campillo ; and the 5th division was in observation of the Pass of Perales, in the rear of the right, the French General Foy having remained and collected a body of troops in Upper Estremadura, consisting of part of his own division of the army of Portugal, and a division of the army of the centre ; and the 7th division was in reserve at Alamedilla.

            The enemy first appeared in the plain near Ciudad Rodrigo, on the 23rd, and retired again in a short time ; but on the 24th, in the morning, they advanced again in considerable force, and entered the plain by the roads of Santi-espiritus and Tenebron ; and before evening they had collected there all their cavalry, to the amount of about 6000 men, and 4 divisions of infantry, of which one division was of the Imperial Guard; and the remainder of the armies were encamped on the Guadapero, immediately beyond the hills which surround the plain of Ciudad Rodrigo.

            On the morning of the 25th the enemy sent a reconnaissance of cavalry towards the Lower Azava, consisting of about 14 squadrons of the cavalry of the Imperial Guard. They drove in our posts on the right of the Azava, but having passed that river, the Lanciers de Berg were charged by 2 squadrons of the 16th, and one of the 14th light dragoons, and driven back; they attempted to rally and to return, but were fired upon by the light infantry of the 61st regt., which had been posted in the wood on their flank, by Lieut. General Graham ; and Major General Anson pursued them across the Azava ; and afterwards resumed his posts on the right of that river. Lieut. General Graham was highly pleased with the conduct of Major General Anson's brigade ; and Major General Anson particularly mentions Lieut. Colonel Hervey, and Captain Brotherton, of the 14th, and Captain Hay, and Major Cocks, of the 16th.

            But the enemy's attention was principally directed during this day to the position of the 3rd division, in the hills between Fuente Guinaldo and Pastores. About 8 in the morning, they moved a column, consisting of between 30 and 40 squadrons of cavalry, and 14 battalions of infantry, and 12 pieces of cannon, from Ciudad Rodrigo, in such a direction, that it was doubtful whether they would attempt to ascend the hills by La Encina, or by the direct road of El Bodon, towards Fuente Guinaldo ; and I was not certain by which road they would make their attack, till they actually commenced it upon the last.

             As soon as I saw the direction of their march, I had reinforced the 2nd batt. 5th regt., which occupied the post on the hill over which the road passes to Guinaldo, by the 71th regt., and the 21st Portuguese regt., under the command of Major General the Hon. C. Colville, and Major General V. Alten's brigade, of which only 3 squadrons remained which had not been detached, drawn from El Bodon; and I ordered there a brigade of the 4th division from Fuente Guinaldo, and afterwards from El Bodon, the remainder of the troops of the 3rd division, with the exception of those at Pastores, which were too distant.

             In the mean time, however, the small body of troops in this post sustained the attack of the enemy's cavalry and artillery. One regiment of French dragoons succeeded in taking 2 pieces of cannon which had been posted on a rising ground on the right of our troops ; but they were charged by the 2nd batt. 5th regt, under the command of Major Ridge, and the guns were immediately retaken. While this operation was going on on the flank, an attack was made on the front by another regiment, which was repulsed in a similar manner by the 77th regt.; and the 3 squadrons of Major General V. Alten's brigade charged repeatedly different bodies of the enemy which ascended the hill on the left of the 2 regiments of British infantry, the Portuguese regiment being posted in the rear of their right.

            At length, the division of the enemy's infantry which had marched with the cavalry from Ciudad Rodrigo, were brought up to the attack on the road of Fuente Guinaldo, and seeing that they would arrive and be engaged before the troops could arrive either from Guinaldo or El Bodon, I determined to withdraw our post, and to retire with the whole on Fuente Guinaldo. The 2nd batt. 5th regt., and the 77th regt., were formed into one square, and the 21st Portuguese regt. into another, supported by Major General V. Alten's small body of cavalry and the Portuguese artillery.

             The enemy's cavalry immediately rushed forward, and obliged our cavalry to retire to the support of the Portuguese regiment ; and the 5th and 77th regts. were charged on 3 faces of the square by the French cavalry, but they halted and repulsed the attack with the utmost steadiness and gallantry. We then continued the retreat, and joined the remainder of the 3rd division, also formed in squares, on their march to Fuente Guinaldo, and the whole retired together in the utmost order, and the enemy never made another attempt to charge any of them ; but weTe satisfied with firing upon them with their artillery, and with following them.

             Lieut. Colonel Williams with his light infantry, and Lieut. Colonel the Hon. R. Trench with the 74th regt., retired from Pastores across the Agueda ; and thence marched by Robleda, where they took some prisoners, and re-crossed the Agueda, and joined at Guinaldo in the evening.

             I placed the 3rd and 4th divisions, and General Pack's brigade of infantry, and Major General V. Alten's, Major General de Grey's, and Major General Slade's brigades of cavalry in the position at Fuente Guinaldo on the evening of the 25th, and ordered Major General R. Craufurd to retire with the Light division across the Agueda, the 7th division to form at Albergueria, and Lieut. General Graham to collect the troops under his command at Nave d'Aver, keeping only posts of observation on the Azava ; and the troops were thus formed in an echelon, of which the centre was in the position at Guinaldo ; and the right upon the pass of Perales ; and the left at Nave d'Aver ; Don Carlos de España was placed on the left of the Coa ; and Don Julian Sanchez was detached with the cavalry to the enemy's rear.

             The enemy brought up a second division of infantry from Ciudad Rodrigo in the afternoon of the 25th ; and in the course of that night, and of the 26th, they collected their whole army in front of our position at Guinaldo ; find not deeming it expedient to stand their attack in that position, I retired about 3 leagues, and on the 27th formed the army as follows : viz., the 5th division on the right, at Aldea Velha ; the 4th, and light dragoons, and Major General V. Alton's cavalry, at the convent of Sacaparte, in front of Alfayates ; the 3rd and 7th divisions in second line, behind Alfayates ; and Lieut. Ge neral Graham's corps on the left at Bismula, having their advanced guard beyond the Villar Mayor river ; and Lieut. General Sir S. Cotton's cavalry near Alfayates, on the left of the 4th division, and having General Pack's and General M 'Mahon's brigades at Rebolosa, on their left. The piquets of the cavalry 'were in front of Aldea da Ponte, beyond the Villar Mayor river, and those of General V. Alten's brigade beyond the same river, towards Forcalhos.

             It had been the enemy's intention to turn the left of the position of Guinaldo by moving a column into the valley of the Upper Azava, and thence ascending the heights in the rear of the position by Castillejos ; and from this column they detached a division of infantry and 14 squadrons of cavalry to follow our retreat by Albergueria, and another body of the same strength followed us by Forcalhos. The former attacked the piquets of the cavalry at Aldea da Ponte, and drove them in ; and they pushed on nearly as far as Alfayates. I then made General Pakenham attack them with his brigade of the 4th division, supported by Lieut. General the Hon. L. Cole, and the 4th division, and by Sir S. Cotton's cavalry ; and the enemy were driven through Aldea da Ponte, back upon Albergueria, and the piquets of the cavalry resumed their station.

             But the enemy having been reinforced by the troops which marched from Forcalhos, again advanced about sunset and drove in the piquets of the cavalry from Aldea da Ponte, and took possession of the village.

             Lieut. General Cole again attacked them with a part of General Pakenham's brigade, and drove them through the village ; but night having come on, and as General Pakenham was not certain what was passing on his flanks, or of the numbers of the enemy, and he knew that the army were to fall back still further, he evacuated the village, which the enemy occupied, and held during the night.

             On the 28th, I formed the army on the heights behind Soito; having the Serra de Mesas on their right, and the left at Rendo, on the Coa ; about a league in rear of the position which they had occupied on the 27th. The enemy also retired from Aldea da Ponte, and had their advanced posts at Albergueria ; and as it appears that they are about to retire from this part of the country, and as we have already had some bad weather, and may expect more at the period of the equinoctial gales, I propose to canton the troops in the nearest villages to the  position which they occupied yesterday.

             I cannot conclude this report of the occurrences of the last week, without expressing to your Lordship my admiration of the conduct of the troops engaged in the affairs of the 25th instant. The conduct of the 2nd batt. 5th regt., commanded by Major Ridge, in particular, affords a memorable example of what the steadiness and discipline of the troops, and their confidence in their officers, can effect in the most difficult and trying situations. The conduct of the 77th regt., under the command of Lieut. Colonel Hromhead, was equally good, and I have never seen a more determined attack than was made by the whole of the enemy's cavalry, with every advantage of the assistance of a superior artillery, and repulsed by these 2 weak battalions. I must not omit also to report the good conduct on the same occasion, of the 21st Portuguese regt., under the command of Colonel Bacellar, and of Major Arentschildt's artillery. The Portuguese infantry were not actually charged, hut were repeatedly threatened, and they showed the utmost steadiness and discipline, both in the mode in which they pre pared to receive the enemy, and in all the movements of a retreat made over 6 miles of plain, in front of a superior cavalry and artillery.The Portuguese artillerymen attached to the guns, which were for a moment in the enemy's possession, were cut down at their guns.

             The infantry upon this occasion were under the command of Major General the Hon. C. Colville; Lieut. General Picton having remained with the troops at El Bodon ; and the conduct of Major General Colville was beyond all praise.

             Your Lordship will have observed by the details of the action which I have given you, how much reason I had to be satisfied with the conduct of the 1st hussars and 11th light dragoons of Major General V. Alten's brigade. There were not more than 3 squadrons of the 2 regiments on the ground, this brigade having for some time furnished the cavalry for the outposts of the army, and they charged the enemy's cavalry repeatedly ; and notwithstanding the superiority of the latter, the post would have been maintained if I had not preferred to abandon it to risking the loss of these brave men by continuing the unequal contest under additional disadvantages, in consequence of the immediate entry of 14 battalions of infantry into the action, before the support which I had ordered up could arrive. Major General V. Alten, and Lieut. Colonels Cumming and Arentschildt, and the officers of these regiments, particularly distinguished themselves upon this occasion.

             I have also to mention that the Adjutant General, Major General the Hon. C. Stewart, being upon the field, gave his assistance as an officer of cavalry with his usual gallantry.

             In the affair of the 27th, at Aldea da Ponte, Brig. General Pakenham and the troops of the 4th division, under the orders of Lieut. General the Hon. G. L. Cole, likewise conducted themselves remarkably well.

             H.S.H. the Hereditary Prince of Orange, accompanied me during the operations which I have detailed to your Lordship, and was for the first time in fire ; and he conducted himself with a spirit and intelligence which afford a hope that he will become an ornament to his profession.

             The enemy having collected for the object of relieving Ciudad Rodrigo the army of the north, which were withdrawn from the attack they had commenced on General Abadia in Galicia, in which are included 22 battalions of the Imperial Guard, and General Souham's division of infantry, composed of troops recently arrived in Spain from the army of Naples, and now drawn from the frontier of Navarre, where they had been employed in operations against Mina, together with 5 divisions and all the cavalry of the army called ' of Portugal,' composing altogether an army of not less than 60,000 men, of which 6000 cavalry and 125 pieces of artillery, I could not pretend to maintain the blockade of Ciudad Rodrigo, nor could any effort which I could make prevent or materially impede the collection of the supplies or the march of the convoy for the relief of that place. I did all that I could expect to effect without incurring the risk of great loss for no object ; and as the reports as usual were so various in regard to the enemy's real strength, it was necessary that I should see their army, in order that the people of this country might be convinced that to raise the blockade was a measure of necessity, and that the momentary relief of Galicia, and of Mina, were the only objects which it was in my power immediately to effect.

             I have had no reports from the north, since I addressed your Lordship last, nor from the south of Spain.

General Girard had collected at Merida a small body of troops, I believe with the intention of making an incursion into Portugal, under the notion that I had withdrawn Lieut. General Hill's corps from the Alentejo, for the purpose of maintaining the blockade of Ciudad Rodrigo. But I imagine that he will break up this collection again, as soon as he shall hear that General Hill is at Portalegre.

 I have the honor to be, &c.
 The Earl of Liverpool. -WELLINGTON.

 I enclose a return of the killed and wounded on the 25th
and 27th instant.

Return of the Killed, Wounded, and Missing, of the Army under the
Command of General Viscount Wellington, K.B., in an affair with
the Enemy on the Heights of El Bodon, on the 25th, and near Aldea

da Ponte, on the 27th September, 1811.

domingo, 22 de janeiro de 2017

MARÉCHAL MASSÉNA à Alfaiates – mars 1811


RUE JACOB, N.º 24.

CAMPAGNE DE 1811 – pages 169-172
Masséna avait le choix de se retirer sous l’appui du canon d’Almeida et de Ciudad-Rodrigo, ou de prendre à Guarda, sur la Sierra d’Estrela, une position de flanc qui le rapprochait du Tage, lui permettait de se lier avec l’armée du centre vers Madrid et avec l’armée du midi sur la Guadiana, et lui donnait le moyen de manoeuvrer encore contre les Anglais. Il préféra ce dernier parti, quoique contraire au désir général des officiers et soldats de l’armée, qui voulaient rentrer au plus vite en Espagne pour s’y reposer de leurs fatigues et se procurer des vivres.
Le maréchal Ney, qui depuis le commencement de la campagne était en scission ouverte avec le général en chef, refusa positivement d’obéir, préférant de ramener l’armée directement sur Almeida, et delà sur Salamanque, pour y prendre des cantonnements. Le général en chef, irrité d’un refus qui compromettait son autorité, crut devoir renvoyer ce maréchal de l’armée, pour y rétablir la subordination par un exemple de sévérité sur l’un de ses premiers chefs, et il donna le commandement du sixième corps au général Loison. Il envoya ses malades à Ciudad Rodrigo et fit reconnaître Alcantara, Coria, ainsi que tout le pays compris entre le Tage et la Guadiana, pensant que la position du Tage était la meilleure à prendre, s’il pouvait y trouver des vivres. Mais, le 29 mars, lord Wellington s’étant présenté devant Guarda, Masséna se replia derrière la Coa. Dans cette retraite, l’armée française perdit mille deux cents maraudeurs qui n’eurent pas le temps de rejoindre leurs régiments.
Le deuxième corps prit position à Sabugal, où se trouve sur la Coa un beau pont en pierre, à la jonction des grandes routes de Guarda et de Castelo branco. Le huitième corps fut placé en arrière à Alfayates. Le sixième corps s’étendit à la droite le long de la Coa. Masséna conservait encore dans cette position la possibilité d’opérer, soit sur Coria, soit sur Ciudad-Rodrigo, et il donnait le temps au maréchal Bessières d’arriver à son secours avec l’armée du Nord (1 ), et de compléter les approvisionnements d’Almeida et de Ciudad-Rodrigo.
Mais bientôt lord Wellington parut avec son armée, et, le 3 avril [1811], il attaqua le deuxième corps à Sabugal avec des forces supérieures. Le combat se soutint longtemps avec le plus vif acharnement; à la fin, le général Reynier fut obligé de se retirer sur Alfayates, en se frayant, les armes à la main, un passage à travers l’ennemi qui déjà l’entourait. Cette affaire nous coûta sept cents hommes. Masséna, obligé d’en revenir à l’opinion du maréchal Ney, se retira sous les murs de Ciudad-Rodrigo, autant pour éviter des engagements désavantageux, que pour mettre un terme à l’affreuse pénurie à laquelle son armée était en proie Le détour qu’il avait fait par Guarda permit à l’ennemi de bloquer Almeida, avant que cette place fût complètement approvisionnée. Quelques jours après , Masséna vint prendre des cantonnements à Salamanque, pour remettre l’armée de ses fatigues.
De leur côté, les Anglo-Portugais, manquant de vivres, repassèrent les montagnes, et y s’établirent dans les environs de Celorico, afin d’être plus à portée de leurs magasins établis à Viseu et à Coimbre.

CAMPAGNE DE 1811 – pages 197-198
L’armée de Marmont comptait vingt-deux mille hommes, celle de Dorsenne était forte de vingt-quatre mille hommes: ces deux armées firent leur jonction à Tamames le 22 septembre [1811], et marchèrent sur Ciudad-Rodrigo. On s’attendait à une grande bataille, mais lord Wellington se retira dans un camp retranché qu’il avait établi en avant de Fuente Guinaldo, appuyant sa droite à l’Agueda. Le 26 septembre, les armées françaises se présentèrent devant cette position. Lord Wellington ne voulant pas risquer une bataille, et craignant d’être tourné par sa gauche, où ses travaux de défense n’étaient pas encore terminés, fit sa retraite pendant la nuit sur Alfayates. Les deux armées françaises ayant atteint leur but, qui était de ravitailler Ciudad-Rodrigo, ne suivirent pas l’ennemi plus loin. Elles revinrent sur leurs pas et se séparèrent. Le général Dorsenne retourna à Valladolid, et le maréchal Marmont vint reprendre ses positions dans la vallée du Tage. Il dut se préparer au siège d’Elvas (1); mais le manque de subsistances, obstacle invincible qu’il rencontra dans toutes ses opérations, l’empêcha d’exécuter ce projet (2).
La campagne se termina sans autres événements sur la frontière de Portugal. Lord Wellington établit son quartier général à Almeida, dont il fit relever les fortifications, pour assurer ses dépôts et ses magasins.

CAMPAGNE DE 1811 – pages 510-512

N.º 61.
Lettre du maréchal Masséna, prince d'Essling, au prince Berthier, major général.

Alfayatès, le 31 mars 1811.
Dans ma dernière lettre, je disais à Votre Altesse que je ferais reconnaître Coria, Plasencia et Alcantara, pour m'assurer si le pays offrait quelques ressources et pouvait nourrir l'armée. Je n'ai pas eu le temps de recueillir ces renseignements. L'ennemi ayant fait des mouvements sur Guarda, l'armée a pris position à Sabugal, Alfayatès, Ponte de Sequeiros et Rapoula de la Coa. La réserve de cavalerie est placée aux environs d'Alfayatès.
Monseigneur, je vous dois la vérité: l'armée a besoin de quelques mois de repos; les officiers généraux et autres en ont parlé trop souvent aux soldats, et cette opinion est prédominante à l'armée. Je tiendrai tant que je pourrai mes nouvelles positions. Il est vrai de dire qu'elles offrent bien peu de ressources; mais on pourrait y tenir quelques jours, si je ne suis pas contrarié comme je l'ai été jusqu'à présent. Il suffit que l'ennemi montre quelques têtes de colonne, pour intimider les officiers, et leur faire dire hautement que c'est toute l'armée de Wellington qui se présente. Il faut quelque temps à l'armée de Portugal pour se refaire, et pour profiter des effets d'habillement appartenant aux corps, et qui sont à Valladolid et à Salamanque. Je crois que quand l'armée aura pris du repos, et qu'elle se sera un peu habillée, Sa Majesté pourra la faire agir.
Il y a vingt-sept jours aujourd'hui que nous sommes en marche: tout est usé, et on a besoin de beaucoup de choses. Comme je l'ai déjà dit à Votre Altesse, nous n'avons perdu ni artillerie, ni caissons; et nos chevaux sont absolument exténués: Les équipages militaires n'existent plus; nous n'avons donc aucun transport.
Tout le matériel des équipages militaires et de l'artillerie est à recréer.
J'ai prescrit au général comte d'Erlon de se placer, avec ses deux divisions, à Val de la Mula, Aldea dél Obispo et environs, pour protéger l'évacuation d'Almeida, et pour se porter, au besoin, au secours des deux places, si l'ennemi les menaçait. Si je suis obligé de passer l’Agueda, j'échelonnerai l'armée entre San Felices de Chico , Ledesma, Zamora, Toro et environs, de manière à pouvoir la réunir en peu de temps, pour marcher, s'il le fallait, sur Almeida ou Ciudad-Rodrigo.
Je ne crois pas que l'ennemi puisse tenter rien de sérieux contre ces deux places, les ponts sur la Coa étant détruits et les abords de la première étant difficiles.
Si je passe l'Agueda, que Votre Altesse soit bien convaincue que je n'ai pas laissé de développer la plus grande résistance, et que ce n'a été qu'à la dernière extrémité que ce mouvement aura été exécuté. Le désir que l'armée a manifesté depuis longtemps d'aller se reposer, ne me laisse aucun doute qu'il serait dangereux d'attendre l'ennemi pour recevoir bataille ou pour la lui donner. Les troupes sont bonnes, mais elles ont besoin de repos. Les maraudes, quoique organisées, et qu'on a été obligé d'y permettre, n'ont pas peu contribué à atténuer la discipline, qui a le plus grand besoin d'être rétablie.
J'aurai soin de rendre compte à Votre Altesse, tous les deux jours, de ce qui se sera passé.
 J'ai l'honneur d'être, avec un respectueux dévouement , etc.