Em formação

Salamanca Battlefield


O Campo de Batalha de Salamanca foi o local da Batalha de Salamanca de 1812, um grande confronto nas Guerras Peninsulares, parte das Guerras Napoleônicas lideradas entre Napoleão Bonaparte e o Duque de Wellington. Há um pequeno monumento no Campo de Batalha de Salamanca que comemora este evento histórico.

História do campo de batalha de Salamanca

Em abril de 1812, o duque de Wellington liderou o exército anglo-português para o norte para expulsar o exército francês do marechal Auguste Marmont, que havia invadido Portugal. Marmont retirou-se para Slaamanca, perto de Arapiles, na Espanha como. Wellington logo depois ordenou a destruição da ponte em Almaraz, cortando o único contato direto entre Marmont e outro comandante francês, Jean-de-Dieu Soult.

Em junho, Wellington cruzou o Agueda e avançou para o leste até Salamanca - uma importante cidade de abastecimento do exército francês. Os franceses haviam convertido três conventos em fortalezas para defender a cidade, mas em pouco mais de uma semana, duas das fortalezas estavam em chamas.

Por semanas, Wellington encontrou seus movimentos bloqueados por Marmont, que estava ganhando cada vez mais reforços. No dia da batalha em 22 de julho, Wellington decidiu retirar suas tropas de volta a Portugal. No entanto, sem perceber, Marmont estendeu seu exército, separando seu flanco esquerdo do resto do exército. Wellington imediatamente aproveitou a oportunidade para atacar a ala esquerda francesa.

Marmont pode ver algumas das tropas de Wellington no cume do Arapiles, e de uma nuvem de poeira assumiu que os britânicos continuaram recuando. Ele estava errado: a maioria das forças de Wellington sentou-se atrás do cume. Marmont foi ferido no início da batalha e argumentou que seu braço e costelas quebrados ocorreram antes do ataque, momento em que ele não teve tempo de corrigir o plano francês. Os franceses escaparam devido a uma falha de comunicação entre um forte espanhol próximo e Wellington, mas o comandante foi estabelecido como um general ofensivo tático.

Salamanca Battlefield hoje

A Batalha de Salamanca ocorreu na grande planície perto de Arapiles, a seis milhas da cidade de Salamanca. O melhor ponto de vista para ver o que antes era um campo de batalha sangrento é de Calvarassa de Arriba - a vista que o marechal Marmont teria visto na manhã de 21 de julho de 1812 enquanto suas tropas corriam pelo lado esquerdo para vencer Wellington ao longo da direita para a Grande Arapiles .

Chegando ao campo de batalha de Salamanca

Você pode ver do cume o campo de batalha da vila de Calvarrasa de Arriba ou de Los Arapiles, ambas a 15 minutos de carro de Salamanca. Para quem está preparado, também pode caminhar pela Via Verde Salamanca-Alba saindo da cidade através da planície em 2 horas e meia.


História de Salamanca

Salamanca: História Antiga
Salamanca começou cedo por volta de 400 a.C., quando tribos indígenas celtas, conhecidas como Vacceos, fortificaram a área para proteger seus territórios ao longo do rio Douro. Nem mesmo 150 anos depois, Aníbal e suas forças cartaginesas invadiram a área e se estabeleceram até que o Império Romano se estendeu para a área e rapidamente a alcançou. Durante a sua incorporação à província romana da Lusitânia, Salamanca - então chamada Salmantica ou Helmantica - tornou-se um ponto de parada na V & iacutea Lata (Rota da Prata) e gozou do primeiro degrau como um importante centro de atividade comercial.
O cristianismo fez sua primeira aparição em Salamanca com o declínio do Império Romano e a chegada dos visigodos em algum momento antes de 600 d.C. No entanto, a maciça invasão muçulmana da Espanha no século VIII interrompeu rapidamente o poder visigodo. O império muçulmano desfrutou de um período de governo em Salamanca e seus arredores, mas logo Salamanca despertou novamente o interesse das potências cristãs que seguiram ganhando, perdendo e recuperando a cidade repetidas vezes.

História de Salamanca: séculos 11 a 14
Este jogo de pingue-pongue de poder finalmente chegou ao fim com o monarca espanhol Alfonso VI, que empurrou as potências muçulmanas para o sul - onde fortalezas muçulmanas manteriam o poder até o século 15. Pouco depois desta vitória, Salamanca recebeu o seu primeiro município no final do século XI e depois foi incorporada como parte de Castela no início do século XII. Isso pavimentou o caminho para o início do repovoamento do que logo se tornaria a província de Salamanca.

O século 13 viu uma das maiores reviravoltas na história de Salamanca com a fundação da universidade por outro real Alfonso - desta vez Alfonso IX. Apenas alguns anos depois, o Papa Alexandre IV já declarava que a universidade era uma das "quatro luzes principais" do mundo. Esfregando ombros com os centros acadêmicos estabelecidos de Paris, Bolonha e Oxford, a ilustre reputação da universidade levou não apenas ao florescimento de seu lado acadêmico, mas também da própria cidade - hoje você ainda pode visitar edifícios históricos atribuídos a esta época de crescente riqueza.

História de Salamanca: séculos 15 a 16
A importância da universidade continuou até o século 16, proporcionando à cidade riqueza acadêmica, cultural e econômica. Devido em parte ao generoso patrocínio da Rainha Isabel, a famosa monarca católica, Salamanca foi o ponto focal de algumas das atividades culturais mais ricas da Espanha durante o século 15 - a arquitetura gótica e renascentista da cidade servem como vestígios desta era próspera.

Esta época também viu um aumento na turbulência política e social. Junto com as questões políticas que dividiram e ensanguentaram a cidade, Salamanca se tornou um importante posto para a teologia cristã na Espanha como parte da contra-reforma - um movimento que essencialmente tentou atrair as pessoas de volta ao catolicismo durante uma época em que o protestantismo estava em ascensão em grande parte da Europa. Naturalmente, isso fez de Salamanca um ponto quente da brutal e implacável caça às bruxas conhecida como Inquisição Espanhola. Você pode se surpreender ao saber que a graciosa Plaza Mayor, agora repleta de cafés com esplanadas e casais passeando, já foi palco de queima de livros em massa e execuções brutais de supostos hereges.

História de Salamanca: séculos 17 a 19
Durante o século XVII, Salamanca acompanhou o declínio do resto da região circundante de Castela, que devido a uma série de guerras, epidemias e crises econômicas duraria até o século XIX. A Guerra de Sucessão Espanhola após a morte do rei sem herdeiros Carlos II alcançou e dividiu o país durante seus 13 anos. No entanto, quando Felipe V finalmente emergiu como o vencedor, ele ordenou a construção da Plaza Mayor de Salamanca, um dos ativos mais venerados da cidade, para agradecer à cidade por seu apoio inabalável.

A guerra seguinte, embora muito mais curta, conseguiu afetar Salamanca de uma forma muito mais marcante. Enquanto Napoleão ambiciosamente buscava tornar toda a Europa sua, a Espanha resistiu. Com a hegemonia da Europa em jogo, a Guerra da Independência (1808-1811) acabou chegando aos portões de Salamanca com a batalha decisiva de Arapiles - também conhecida como Batalha de Salamanca. Lord Wellington conduziu as tropas espanholas à vitória sobre as tropas de Napoleão, que foi o primeiro grande ponto de viragem para a retirada de Napoleão da Espanha. Enquanto muitos dos edifícios de Salamanca foram deixados em vários estados de ruína e a universidade naturalmente atingiu um ponto baixo, as forças francesas estavam pelo menos fora de cena, permitindo a recuperação e reconstrução.

Salamanca: História Moderna
Em 1900, a cidade havia se recuperado, embora mais rápido do que a universidade. No entanto, nessa época Miguel de Unamuno, um dos escritores e pensadores mais influentes da história da Espanha, era o vice-reitor da Universidade - um sinal de sua lenta, mas constante recuperação. A universidade e a cidade continuaram a se restaurar à sua antiga glória, mas a recuperação realmente floresceu com a restauração da democracia após a morte do ditador Francisco Franco após décadas de governo opressor.

Entre 1975 e hoje, Salamanca se reformou social e politicamente em uma cidade moderna que continua a se deleitar com o espírito de sua ilustre história. Nos últimos anos, Salamanca foi nomeada não apenas uma cidade património da UNESCO, mas também ganhou o título de Capital Europeia da Cultura em 2002. Venha visitar e ver porquê!


Salamanca Battlefield - História

Por Mike Phifer

O marechal Auguste Marmont observou atentamente enquanto a ala esquerda de seu exército francês manobrava contra o exército anglo-português durante a Batalha de Salamanca no meio da tarde de 22 de julho de 1812. Ele observou que a 5ª Divisão do general Antoine Louis Popon de Maucune estava em perigo de ser destruído ao avançar em direção à aldeia de Los Arapiles. A 5ª Divisão deveria ter sido apoiada de perto pela 7ª Divisão do General Jean Guillaume Barthelemy Thomieres, mas essa divisão marchou muito para o oeste. Se a divisão de Thomieres continuasse em seu curso atual, não apenas deixaria de apoiar a divisão de Maucune, mas também perderia contato com o exército principal.

Percebendo que Arthur Wellesley, conde de Wellington, o comandante do exército aliado, com toda a probabilidade exploraria a confusão que havia engolfado as unidades líderes da ala esquerda francesa, Marmont decidiu descer para o vale para assumir o comando da ala esquerda ele mesmo. Ele esporeou seu cavalo e abriu caminho por entre os escombros na encosta oeste da Grande Arapile, uma crista estéril de onde ele desfrutou de uma vista deslumbrante do campo de batalha.

Marmont pretendia deter a marcha de Thomieres e redirecionar suas tropas. Mas quando o comandante francês saiu do cume, uma granada britânica explodiu ao lado de seu cavalo, causando ferimentos graves no braço e nas costelas de Marmont. Enquanto seus assessores o carregavam do campo, os mensageiros galopavam para informar ao comandante da 2ª Divisão, General Bertrand Clausel, que ele agora estava no comando do Exército de Portugal de Marmont. A batalha estava esquentando no momento, e o exército francês ficou sem comandante por quase uma hora. Durante esse tempo, a situação no flanco esquerdo francês deteriorou-se significativamente.

O conde de Wellington experimentou uma verdadeira sensação de realização na primavera de 1812, depois de expulsar os franceses de Portugal. Entre janeiro e abril, ele havia arrancado os franceses das fortalezas de Ciudad Rodrigo e Badajoz. Cheio com essas vitórias, o comandante britânico estava pronto para avançar ainda mais na Espanha. Ele poderia avançar para a Andaluzia e enfrentar o exército do marechal Jean-de-Dieu Soult em uma tentativa de aliviar a guarnição anglo-portuguesa sitiada em Cádiz, ou ele poderia perseguir o exército do marechal Auguste Marmont em Castela. Ele escolheu o último.

Após a queda de Badajoz, Wellington melhorou as suas linhas de abastecimento de Lisboa e do Porto. Este foi um passo crítico antes de o exército anglo-português avançar para Castela. Enquanto esses esforços estavam em andamento, Wellington ordenou um ataque para cortar a ligação entre o exército de Marmont e o exército de Soult. Em 7 de maio, o tenente-general Rowland Hill recebeu ordens de mover-se com uma força de cerca de 10.000 soldados britânicos e portugueses, junto com uma bateria de canhões pesados, e destruir a ponte flutuante sobre o largo rio Tejo que ligava os dois exércitos franceses.

O Cerco de Badajoz foi lembrado pela intensidade selvagem da luta que ocorreu quando os britânicos tentaram romper a cidadela.

O ataque foi um sucesso total, com a força de Hill invadindo os fortes e as obras defensivas que protegiam a ponte e expulsando os defensores franceses em 19 de maio. A ponte flutuante e as fortificações logo foram destruídas, diminuindo a preocupação de Wellington sobre Soult ter comunicação direta com Marmont.

Deixando Hill com 18.000 soldados perto de Badajoz na fronteira espanhola para proteger a rota sul entre os dois países e seu flanco sul, Wellington marchou para o leste em 13 de junho. O exército principalmente anglo-português incluía vários milhares de soldados espanhóis.

Oitocentos soldados franceses guarneceram três fortes no canto sudoeste de Salamanca. Os fortes estavam situados em um terreno elevado com vista para a velha ponte romana sobre o rio Tormes. O Forte San Vicente, que tinha 30 canhões, era o mais robusto dos três fortes. Engenheiros franceses destruíram prédios para garantir que o único acesso ao forte de pedra fosse em terreno aberto. Os dois fortes menores, Le Merced e San Gaetano, foram separados de San Vincente por uma ravina íngreme.

Wellington foi informado por seus agentes espanhóis de que os fortes eram fracos, mas logo aprendeu o contrário. Para golpear e romper os fortes de pedra, os britânicos tinham apenas quatro canhões de 18 libras, embora seis canhões pesados ​​estivessem indo para Salamanca.

Wellington atribuiu à 6ª Divisão do Major General Sir Henry Clinton a tarefa de capturar os três fortes. O comandante Aliado acompanhou o 14º Dragão Ligeiro quando este entrou em Salamanca aos gritos dos habitantes da cidade. Wellington estabeleceu seu quartel-general na cidade e a 6ª Divisão investiu os fortes naquela noite. Quando os franceses abriram fogo com artilharia e pequenas armas contra as tropas aliadas, várias centenas de atiradores da Brigada Ligeira da Legião Alemã do Rei se espalharam entre as ruínas da cidade. Eles abriram fogo rápido que manteve os franceses presos. Isso permitiu que os artilheiros britânicos colocassem suas armas em ação contra os fortes.

Quanto ao grosso do exército aliado, ele contornou a cidade em 19 de junho e assumiu posição nas colinas de San Cristóbal, três milhas ao norte. Marmont teve dificuldade em manter suas tropas abastecidas e, portanto, dispersou suas unidades até saber onde Wellington iria atacar. Em 19 de junho, o comandante francês reuniu cinco de suas oito divisões e partiu para aliviar as guarnições dos três fortes em Salamanca.

A 8ª Divisão do general Jean Pierre François Bonet não estava programada para chegar até o início de julho, pois tinha que marchar das Astúrias para o norte. Marmont também enviou um pedido de ajuda ao general Marie-François Auguste de Caffarelli no comando do Exército do Norte. Caffarelli havia prometido anteriormente enviar 8.000 infantaria, uma brigada de cavalaria leve e 22 canhões se Wellington atacasse Marmont. Marmont também enviou uma mensagem a Joseph Bonaparte, irmão de Napoleão que havia sido instalado como rei da Espanha, solicitando tropas.

Assistindo a chegada de 25.000 soldados de Marmont, Wellington esperava que os franceses atacassem sua força numericamente superior. O exército de Wellington manteve uma posição forte de San Cristobal a Cabrerizos com a cavalaria cobrindo seus flancos. Os canhões britânicos posicionados nas alturas bombardearam os franceses enquanto eles avançavam em três colunas, aproximando-se a cerca de 800 metros das linhas de Wellington. Os canhões franceses responderam com toda probabilidade avisar às guarnições sitiadas em Salamanca que a ajuda estava a caminho.

Dois meses antes de Salamanca, o tenente-general britânico Rowland Hill destruiu a ponte flutuante francesa sobre o rio Tejo que conectava os exércitos franceses no norte e no sul da Espanha.

Ao anoitecer, um regimento francês atacou o posto avançado britânico na aldeia de Morisco, localizada no sopé das colinas. A vila foi mantida pela 68ª Infantaria Ligeira da 7ª Divisão, que repeliu três ataques franceses. Depois de escurecer, Wellington lembrou do 68º e abandonou Morisco. Wellington esperava que Marmont o atacasse pela manhã, mas Marmont não mordeu a isca.

Sabendo que estava em menor número, Marmont fez pouco no dia seguinte, embora mais duas divisões e uma brigada de dragões tenham chegado naquela tarde. Mesmo com os reforços, Marmont estava em uma posição ruim, sem proteção de flanco e apenas terreno aberto atrás dele que não oferecia proteção em caso de retirada. O conselho de guerra foi dividido quase ao meio. Marmont decidiu que seria melhor errar por excesso de cautela e, portanto, se absteve de lançar um ataque.

Em 22 de junho, ficou claro para Wellington que os franceses não atacariam. Houve alguma escaramuça pela manhã antes que os franceses se retirassem seis milhas para Aldea Rubia naquela noite. Nos quatro dias seguintes, Marmont manobrou seu exército a leste de Salamanca. Ele enviou parte de seu exército através dos Tormes em uma tentativa de fazer com que Wellington dividisse sua força, mas o astuto comandante Aliado facilmente rebateu os movimentos franceses.

Chegou a notícia de Caffarelli em 26 de junho de que ele não enviaria reforços a Marmont devido à atividade guerrilheira e ameaças de movimentos da Marinha Real em sua área de responsabilidade. No dia seguinte, chegaram a notícia de que os fortes de Salamanca haviam caído. As guarnições resistiram por 10 dias. A 6ª Divisão de Clinton perdeu 120 homens em ataques fracassados ​​contra San Gaetano. A falta de munição retardou os esforços de Clinton, mas novas munições chegaram para fazer pender a balança a favor dos sitiantes. Os canhões aliados acabaram por forçar a queda de todos os três fortes.

Com a queda dos fortes e sem reforços de Caffarelli no caminho, Marmont retirou-se para nordeste em direção a Valladolid no lado norte do Rio Douro, colocando-o mais perto da 8ª Divisão de Bonet marchando do norte. Wellington o seguiu até o Duero, mas não atacou. Nas duas primeiras semanas de julho, pouco aconteceu, exceto a chegada de Bonet, que tornou os exércitos adversários quase iguais em força, embora os britânicos fossem mais fortes na cavalaria, enquanto os franceses tinham mais artilharia.

Marechal Auguste Marmont (à esquerda) e Arthur Wellesley, Conde de Wellington.

Wellington examinou a posição francesa em busca de uma oportunidade de ataque, mas não gostou da perspectiva de um ataque frontal. Além disso, qualquer tentativa de flanqueá-los exporia suas linhas de comunicação para o oeste. Ele também estava ciente de que Joseph Bonaparte estava reunindo cerca de 14.000 soldados para marchar em auxílio de Marmont. Marmont não sabia disso porque os guerrilheiros espanhóis interceptaram os despachos enviados a ele.

A inatividade ao longo do Duero chegou ao fim em 16 de julho, quando duas divisões francesas cruzaram o rio em Toro. Preocupado com o reforço dos britânicos, Marmont partiu para a ofensiva. Quando Wellington soube que os franceses estavam se movendo contra ele, ele mudou parte de seu exército para o oeste para lidar com aquela ameaça, assim como o avanço francês de Toro. Mas o avanço da Toro acabou sendo nada mais do que um estratagema para enganar Wellington.

Marmont enviou o grosso de seu exército através do Duero em Tordesilhas, que ficava 20 milhas a leste de Toro. As duas divisões francesas em Toro cruzaram de volta a ponte, explodindo-a atrás deles, e marcharam para o leste para cruzar o Duero e se juntar ao resto do exército. Na noite de 17 de julho, o exército francês cruzou o Duero. Marmont havia enganado Wellington. Como resultado, a 4ª Divisão e a Divisão Ligeira corriam o risco de serem isoladas.

Na manhã seguinte, Wellington tomou medidas para extrair as duas divisões expostas. Pouco depois do nascer do sol, ele se encarregou de garantir que fossem retirados de acordo com suas ordens. Quando ele chegou às 7 da manhã, ele encontrou uma escaramuça de cavalaria em andamento. A cavalaria francesa atacou dois esquadrões, um de cada um dos 11º e 12º Dragões Ligeiros, que protegiam dois canhões de artilharia a cavalo.

Wellington e aqueles ao seu redor desembainharam suas espadas enquanto o esquadrão dos 12º Dragões Ligeiros se rompia sob o peso da carga e o esquadrão dos 11º Dragões Ligeiros recuava. No entanto, os 11º Dragões Ligeiros logo contra-atacaram ao fazê-lo, eles estabilizaram a situação. No entanto, tinha sido difícil para Wellington. As duas divisões britânicas retiraram-se com segurança e assumiram novas posições com o exército principal a oeste do rio Guarena.

Os dois exércitos começaram uma marcha paralela para o sul em 20 de julho enquanto Marmont tentava virar à direita de Wellington. No dia seguinte, Wellington recuou para o oeste enquanto Marmont virou para sudoeste para cruzar o rio Tormes. Quando os dois exércitos acamparam naquela noite, uma forte chuva caiu sobre os dois acampamentos.

Na manhã de 22 de julho, os dois exércitos em pares tentaram se secar da tempestade da noite anterior. O exército anglo-português de Wellington numerava 47.449 infantaria, 3.254 cavalaria e 60 canhões, e o Exército de Portugal de Marmont tinha 46.600 infantaria, 3.400 cavalaria e 78 canhões.

Na crença errônea de que Wellington estava se preparando para recuar, Marmont avançou com suas divisões, deixando-as perigosamente expostas ao ataque.

Apesar do mau tempo, as tropas britânicas estavam animadas e ansiosas para lutar, embora se irritaram por terem de recuar antes dos franceses. “A ideia de nos aposentarmos diante de um número igual de quaisquer soldados no mundo não deveria ser suportada com paciência comum”, lembrou o tenente John Kincaid do 95º Rifles. Mas o exército de Wellington não estaria recuando muito mais.

Duas cristas - a Lesser Arapile e a Greater Arapile - situavam-se ao sul de Salamanca. O Grande Arapile tinha cerca de 300 metros de comprimento com lados íngremes e extremidades rochosas inacessíveis. Ao sul desse cume havia uma grande área arborizada de árvores baixas e arbustos ásperos.

O Lesser Arapile estava a 900 jardas ao norte da Grande Arapile. Um destacamento da 4ª Divisão do Tenente-General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole avançou para o Arapile Menor ao amanhecer para evitar que caísse nas mãos do inimigo, tornando assim a posição Aliada insustentável.

Uma escaramuça irrompeu ao amanhecer em uma pequena capela nas alturas de Calvarrasa de Arriba, onde tropas leves da divisão do general Maximilien Sebastien Foy encontraram um posto avançado de jagers de Brunswick Oels da 7ª Divisão do major-general John Hope. A 68ª Brigada da 7ª Divisão, em conjunto com os 4º Caçadores do Brig. A Brigada Independente Portuguesa do General Denis Pack foi rapidamente colocada na briga. As escaramuças entre a cavalaria adversária se espalhou para o norte, mas naquele ponto a luta não se transformou em um confronto geral.

Wellington pretendia abandonar Salamanca e voltar para Ciudad Rodrigo se Marmont continuasse a flanquea-lo. O comandante britânico fora informado na noite anterior que uma brigada de cavalaria enviada por Caffarelli cavalgava para o sul para reforçar Marmont e deveria chegar em breve. Mas se surgisse uma oportunidade de desferir um golpe decisivo nos franceses, Wellington pretendia tirar vantagem disso antes que os franceses fossem reforçados. Para desgosto de suas tropas, Wellington ordenou que o trem de bagagem do exército recuasse para Ciudad Rodrigo escoltado por um regimento de cavalaria português.

Marmont estava tentando observar a linha aliada, que se estendia por três milhas de Santa Marta ao longo do rio Tormes ao sul ao longo de uma linha de alturas até o Arapile Menor. De sua posição com a divisão de Foy, Marmont não podia ver muito do exército de Wellington, pois estava "escondido de nós pela cadeia de alturas que vai de norte a sul", escreveu Foy mais tarde. No entanto, eles podiam ver o trem de bagagem do exército aliado roncando para o oeste em direção a Ciudad Rodrigo.

O ferimento de Marmont por um projétil de artilharia causou uma crise de liderança que paralisou o exército francês.

Wellington, que estava com a 7ª Divisão de Hope, estava rastreando os movimentos do exército francês. Como Marmont, ele não podia ver muito do inimigo, exceto pela divisão de Foy que o enfrentava, já que o grosso do exército francês estava mascarado por bosques localizados entre Foy e os Tormes.

Continuando sua estratégia de virar o flanco direito de Wellington, Marmont estendeu o esquerdo. A 8ª Divisão de Bonet recebeu ordens de capturar a Grande Arapile, que protegeria o flanco do Exército de Portugal enquanto as tropas se voltassem para o oeste. Wellington inicialmente não se preocupou com a Grande Arapile, pois era uma altura isolada e não fazia parte das alturas que ele ocupava. Com a luz crescente e vendo os franceses se dirigindo para ela, Wellington ordenou que os 7º Caçadores da 4ª Divisão de Cole capturassem o morro primeiro.

As tropas ligeiras portuguesas perderam a corrida para a Grande Arapile. Os franceses, que chegaram lá primeiro, os repeliram com fogo pesado. Com este terreno elevado nas mãos dos franceses, Marmont moveu cinco de suas divisões para a orla da floresta para aguardar novas ordens. Ele também ordenou a 3ª Divisão do General Claude François Ferey e o Brig. Os dragões do general Pierre Boyer para apoiar Foy.

Quanto a Wellington, ele mudou sua posição ao longo do dia usando a Lesser Arapile como um pivô de sua linha em forma de L com a brigada de Anson da 4ª Divisão continuando em sua posição na colina menor e o resto da divisão um pouco a oeste segurando terreno elevado atrás de Los Araphiles. A brigada de Pack foi posicionada entre Anson e o resto da posição da divisão. Os Aliados arrastaram duas baterias para o topo da Lesser Arapile com considerável dificuldade.

A 5ª Divisão do Tenente General James Leith foi posicionada à direita de Cole e voltada para o sul. Apoiando a 5ª Divisão estava a 6ª Divisão de Clinton, enquanto a 7ª foi retirada de sua posição ao norte da Pequena Arapile e colocada na retaguarda da 5ª Divisão. A 1ª Divisão do Major General Henry Campbell, junto com a Divisão Ligeira sob o Maj. Gen Charles Alten, continuou uma posição norte-sul perto de Calvarrassa de Arriba. 3ª Divisão do Major General Edward Pakenham junto com o Brig. A cavalaria do general Benjamin D'Urban, que ao contrário do resto do exército estava posicionada ao norte de Tormes, recebeu ordens para atravessar o rio para Aldea Tejada, seis quilômetros a noroeste de Los Arapiles, onde aguardavam novas ordens.

Os franceses continuaram a fortalecer seu domínio sobre a Grande Arapile, colocando armas em seu cume. Isso deu algum trabalho, pois a colina era muito íngreme para os cavalos os arrastarem, então os barris tiveram que ser removidos e carregados por granadeiros e as carruagens de armas puxadas para o topo. Uma vez que as armas foram remontadas, eles estavam em uma boa posição para atirar no exército de Wellington, especialmente nas tropas que mantinham o Arapile Menor. Vinte canhões também foram posicionados no cume próximo de El Sierro para cobrir as tropas de Marmont conforme elas emergiam da floresta.

Wellington observou os franceses manobrando com preocupação, sabendo que logo seriam capazes de virar seu flanco. Ele decidiu ao meio-dia atacar a divisão de Bonet que controlava a Grande Arapile. A 1ª Divisão foi posicionada para atacar, mas antes que os casacas vermelhas atacassem, a ordem foi cancelada. O cauteloso marechal William C. Beresford, comandante do exército português, observou fortes forças francesas à sua retaguarda e persuadiu Wellington contra um ataque. Parecia que os franceses estavam se preparando para atacar, mas não deu em nada.

À medida que o dia passava, Marmont acreditou que Wellington estava se preparando para recuar, o que foi confirmado por nuvens de poeira na retaguarda do exército aliado que foram causadas por Pakenham e D'Urban marchando com suas tropas para Aldea Tejada. Às 14h00, Marmont começou a estender seu flanco esquerdo através das alturas conhecidas como Monte de Azan, localizado ao sul de Los Arapiles. Liderando o caminho estava a 5ª Divisão de Maucune, junto com o Brig. Divisão de cavalaria leve do general Jean Baptiste T. Curto atuando como uma força de proteção para seu avanço e flanco. Maucune parou nas alturas opostas a Los Arapiles e enviou escaramuçadores ao extremo sul para atacar os britânicos que o seguravam. Os canhões franceses no Monte de Azan e na Grande Arapile atacaram as 4ª e 5ª Divisões britânicas.

Apoiando Maucune estava a 7ª Divisão de Thomieres, juntamente com a 2ª Divisão de Clausel ficando para trás como reserva. Thomieres não parou sua divisão atrás de Maucune, mas, em vez disso, passou por ele pela esquerda, assumindo a liderança. Isso produziu uma lacuna perigosa entre as duas divisões. O flanco esquerdo francês não estava em ordem de batalha e logo havia quase uma milha entre o flanco direito de Maucune e a Grande Arapile. O 122º Ligne da divisão de Bonet tentou preencher a lacuna, mas seus números eram muito poucos. A 3ª Divisão de Foy e Ferey na direita francesa estavam a três quilômetros de distância.

A vista do Grande Arapile ao Menor Arapile. Os canhões franceses no topo da Grande Arapile causaram grande destruição, mas os franceses acabaram abandonando a crista estratégica.

Depois que Marmont foi gravemente ferido por um projétil aliado, foi feita uma tentativa de passar o comando do Exército de Portugal para Clausel, mas ele havia sofrido um ferimento no calcanhar e ficou temporariamente incapacitado. Por esse motivo, o comando do exército foi transferido para Bonet, o comandante da 8ª Divisão. Bonet ficou no comando por apenas um curto período de tempo antes de também sofrer um grave ferimento. Nessa altura, Clausel já tinha sido remendado e estava de volta à sela. Clausel cavalgou até a Grande Arapile para assumir o comando do pressionado exército francês. A confusão quanto ao comando do Exército de Portugal teve um efeito adverso no flanco esquerdo francês.

Wellington estava almoçando em um curral quando avistou os franceses estendendo a esquerda e soube que era hora de atacar. Ele rapidamente montou e trovejou em direção a Aldea Tejada. Ao chegar à aldeia, ele ordenou que seu cunhado, Pakenham, atacasse.

“Edward, siga em frente com a 3ª Divisão, tome as alturas em sua frente e conduza tudo antes de você”, disse Wellington. Pakenham foi apoiado pela cavalaria de D'Urban, junto com a brigada de cavalaria do major-general Victor von Alten liderada pelo tenente-coronel Frederick von Arentshildt.

Depois de dar suas ordens a Pakenham, Wellington galopou até Las Torres, onde ordenou ao major-general J.G. Le Marchant deve ter sua brigada de cavalaria pesada pronta para aproveitar a primeira oportunidade de atacar os franceses, apesar dos perigos. Wellington então cavalgou para ordenar a Leith que avançasse sua 5ª Divisão, que seria apoiada à sua direita pelo Brig. Brigada portuguesa do general Thomas Bradford, que demorou a chegar e perderia grande parte da ação. Leith também foi apoiado na direita pela cavalaria de Le Marchant. Enquanto Pakenham conduzia os franceses ao longo do Monte de Azan, Leith e Le Marchant deveriam atingir os franceses na frente. A 4ª Divisão de Cole avançaria à esquerda de Leith, enquanto a 7ª Divisão se moveria para a antiga posição da 5ª Divisão para apoiar Leith pela retaguarda.

Pakenham rapidamente empurrou sua divisão para a frente, apoiada por um grande corpo de cavalaria. Por 21/2 milhas as colunas ficaram fora da vista dos franceses devido a uma série de colinas baixas arborizadas. D'Urban seguiu na frente com dois oficiais. Depois de limpar um pequeno grupo de árvores, ele ficou surpreso ao se deparar com uma coluna da infantaria de Thomieres. Ele decidiu atacar imediatamente.

D'Urban galopou de volta para sua brigada de cavalaria e ordenou que o regimento líder, o 1º Dragão Português, que consistia em três esquadrões com cerca de 200 sabres, se alinhasse e os levasse para frente. Eles logo foram apoiados pelo 11º Dragão Português e dois esquadrões da brigada de Arentshildt dos 14º Dragões Ligeiros britânicos, que acabavam de chegar.

O 88º Regimento de Pé (The Connaught Rangers) lança um ataque vigoroso contra o flanco esquerdo francês em Salamanca.

Sem vedetes de cavalaria cobrindo seu flanco, o batalhão francês líder foi pego completamente de surpresa. Os franceses conseguiram infligir pesadas baixas a dois esquadrões de dragões portugueses, que atacaram frontalmente, mas o terceiro esquadrão atingiu os franceses em seu flanco esquerdo. The whole battalion broke and fled up the heights chased by the Portuguese cavalry which bagged many prisoners.

Strung out on the west end of Monte de Azan known as Pico de Miranda, Thomieres’ division was in some disarray when it faced Pakenham’s division led by Lt. Col. Alexander Wallace’s brigade, followed in support by Major James Campbell’s brigade and finally the Portuguese Brigade. French guns fired on the advancing infantry, while British artillery hammered back. At that point, Allied skirmishers drove in the French skirmishers.

As the Allied troops reached the brow of the heights, the French advanced to meet them and let loose a deadly volley. The front rank of Wallace’s brigade was hit hard by the hail of bullets, but his determined men kept coming this unsettled the French, who fired a poorly delivered second volley. Pakenham gave the signal, and the redcoats surged forward, intending to take their revenge on the French.

Thomieres’ division crumbled under the attack, suffering more than 2,000 casualties. Thomieres was among the slain. The survivors of the division fled east in panic as Pakenham’s division followed after them. During the Allied advance on the heights, Curto’s cavalry struck the right of Wallace’s brigade, which fortunately had enough time to prepare for the horsemen and caused them to veer away. The 1st Battalion of the 5th Regiment in Campbell’s brigade following behind was not so lucky. They were hit hard by the French cavalry and broke. The French, however, were quickly attacked by D’Urban’s cavalry and driven off. The shattered British battalion reformed after a few minutes and rejoined the advance.

With Pakenham’s attack underway, Wellington sent a staff officer to tell Leith to advance. “Thank you, Sir! That is the best news I have heard today.” Leith then took off his hat, waved, and cried, “Now boys! We’ll at them.” The men of Leith’s division, who had been enduring a French bombardment, were glad to finally be moving. The Allied skirmishers led the way at about 4:30 pm, followed by the rest of the division divided into two lines with Lt. Col. James Greville’s brigade, along with 1st Battalion of the 4th Regiment from Maj. Gen. William Pringle’s brigade in the lead. The second line was made up of the rest of Pringle’s brigade and Brig. Gen. William Spry’s Portuguese Brigade.

Leith’s men advanced steadily forward, enduring French artillery fire as they reached the heights and Maucune’s division. The French troops, which were positioned about 50 yards from the crest of the heights, formed into squares due to the appearance of Le Marchant’s heavy cavalry on the British right. They fired a volley, which was answered by a deadly one from the British. The redcoats then let out a cheer and surged forward in a bayonet charge. Maucune’s division collapsed, and the survivors fled for their lives.

Le Marchant’s cavalrymen rode toward the disaster, overtaking Thomieres. They climbed up the gentle slope and pushed along the plateau. Two regiments of Le Marchant’s cavalry crashed down on the French infantry from the 62nd and 101st Lignes of Thomieres’ division, while the third cavalry regiment struck the flank of Maucune’s division already reeling from Leith’s attack on their second line. Le Marchant’s cavalry were not done yet. The two regiments that struck Thomieres’ division raced forward and charged the 22nd Ligne of Taupin’s division. The French infantry was overtaken before they could form a square. Many were hacked down as a result.

By the late afternoon, the west end of Monte de Azan was a chaotic scene of French troops fleeing or small bands attempting to resist or escape. The British cavalry had lost all restraint and were chasing and sabering anyone they could. Unable to rally most of his men, Le Marchant joined a half squadron of the 4th Dragoons attempting to break a French square. As the thundering cavalrymen closed in on the square, the French let loose a volley that sent Le Marchant sprawling from the saddle mortally wounded. The French soldiers scrambled to safety in the nearby forest. Despite the loss of Le Marchant, the cavalry along with Pakenham and the wounded Leith had done their job. The French left was in shambles with heavy casualties, and two standards bearing the French Imperial Eagle were captured.

In the center, Cole’s 4th Division began its advance about 20 minutes after Leith had started his. As the troops marched forward, with skirmishers out front, they came under French artillery fire. Their objective was Clausel’s division, which was forming on the east end of the heights to support the guns hurling death at the British and Portuguese. To Cole’s left was Pack’s brigade, which was advancing toward Bonet’s division holding the Greater Arapile.

Looking to his left, Cole could see a lone enemy regiment, the 122nd Ligne of Bonet’s division, holding a low rocky ridge between the Greater Arapile and the plateau. To protect his flank from this unit, Cole dispatched the 7th Caçadores and possibly the rest of the Portuguese Brigade under Colonel George Stubbs to drive the French back. The French regiment withdrew back toward the Greater Arapile, and the 7th Caçadores kept a watch on them and the rest of Bonet’s division.

The rest of Cole’s 4th Division began advancing up the heights. The 2nd Brigade of Clausel’s division was waiting for them just past the crest. A tremendous crash of musketry erupted as the two sides collided. The fighting lasted for some time before the French gave way. The Allies had been bloodied in the exchange of lead, and for that reason they did not follow after the French. Cole was badly wounded during the fighting.

There is some debate whether Pack attacked because Wellington ordered him to attack or whether he did so of his own volition to support Cole. Whichever the case, Pack’s brigade attacked the Greater Arapile in two columns with unloaded muskets so the troops would be forced to rush the hill and not take time to shoot. Leading the way was a storming party, skirmishers, and four companies of grenadiers.

As the Allied troops struggled up the steep slope of the Greater Arapile, they were decimated by a brutal French volley. The Portuguese were flung from the hill with about 470 casualties. Cole’s 4th Division was doing little better to their right.

The remaining brigade that made up Clausel’s division counterattacked Cole’s 4th Division. At the same time, Bonet’s 8th Division, which had advanced from behind the Greater Arapile, struck the Allied flank, inflicting heavy casualties on the 7th Caçadores. Cole’s 4th Division broke, and his troops fled back down the heights toward the Lesser Arapile.

Clausel’s 2nd Division, together with three of Bonet’s four regiments and three regiments of Boyer’s dragoons, were advancing after the broken Allied troops, inflicting more casualties upon them. The French horsemen galloped ahead after the broken 4th Division, but had only limited success against the division as many of its troops were beginning to rally and form into squares or made it to the safety of the 6th Division, which had arrived to fill the gap. The eastern end of this division held by the 2nd Battalion of the 53rd Regiment was hit hard by the French dragoons, but repulsed them.

The French counterattack was brought to an abrupt halt by Clinton’s 6th Division, which struck them in the front and drove them back. In addition, the French were struck in the flank by a Portuguese brigade from the 5th Division that Beresford led into action.

The 6th Division continued to push forward, overlapping Bonet’s regiments and driving them back in disorder. Both Clausel and Beresford were wounded in the bloody contest of musketry. The French troops ultimately gave way and were in full retreat.

The French abandoned the Greater Arapile as the 6th Division advanced past it on the west, while the light companies of the King’s German Legion Brigade from the 1st Division advanced on its east flank. In an attempt to buy precious time to allow the shattered French divisions to escape through the woods and scrub to the south, Clausel ordered Ferey to position his fresh 3rd Division on El Sierro, a low ridge southeast of the Greater Arapile. Ferey had orders to hold until nightfall to prevent a full-scale disaster. Ferey deployed his nine battalions, which were supported by 15 guns, on the ridge in a single line three ranks deep with the flank battalions formed into squares to guard against cavalry.

Clinton was given the task of taking the ridge. He halted his division within sight of the French position to rest and reorganize. Unfortunately, he stopped within range of the French guns and his men suffered because of it. On Clinton’s left the Fusilier Brigade of the 4th Division rallied, while to his right were the 3rd and 5th Divisions both now reforming.

The day after the British victory at Salamanca, cavalry of the King’s German Legion shattered two French squares at Garcia Hernandez. Salamanca was one of the few battles in the Peninsular War in which cavalry had a profound influence on the outcome.

In the gloaming, Clinton began his bold advance on the French-held ridge. As the Allied line closed in on the ridge the French greeted it with a murderous fire that swept away whole sections of Clinton’s force. The 6th Division returned fire and a vicious exchange of musketry raged. Dry grass ignited by the sparks from the guns burned up the face of the hill, giving the landscape an eerie appearance. Although the French army continued its withdrawal, it managed to repulse the Portuguese Brigade of the 6th Division.

Ferey was killed as British gunners sent shot and shell into the French ranks. The retreating troops sought cover in nearby woods. Clinton’s exhausted 6th Division did not pursue. Foy’s division on the French right fell back safely, covering the right flank of the battered army that was stampeding through the woods.

Knowing the enemy was headed for a bend in the Tormes River where there were only two crossings, Wellington believed they would cross at the fords at Huerta. There was a bridge at the Alba de Tormes, the other crossing, but it was guarded by a castle held by a Spanish battalion. At midnight Wellington was shocked to discover that the French were crossing at Alba where, unbeknownst to him, the Spanish garrison had withdrawn.

The Army of Portugal had escaped, but it had been badly bloodied. The French army had suffered 12,500 casualties and lost 20 guns. Wellington’s losses were considerably less, with 5,000 killed, wounded, or missing.

As the Army of Portugal retreated east it had more pain inflicted on it the next day at Garcia Hernandez, where the King’s German Legion broke two French squares, inflicting more than 1,000 casualties in a sharp rearguard action.

Wellington broke off his pursuit at Flores de Avila on July 25. Shortly afterward, he marched to Madrid, entering the city on August 12. Because of the loss of Madrid and the defeat at Salamanca, Soult received orders to lift the siege of Cadiz and join King Joseph at Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain.

As for Wellington, his stay in Spain was not permanent. After the siege of Burgos was abandoned due to a shortage of supplies, Wellington’s army withdrew to the Portuguese frontier for the winter. The following year Wellington would return to central Spain. This time he would defeat the French on the Iberian Peninsula once and for all.


Find a Guide

The guide directory details all Guild Accredited Members. Each of these has passed our Accreditation Programme – so you can be sure they are all high quality guides and will give you a great tour!

You can filter by battle/campaign or country and then click on the name of an Accredited Guide to read their biography. Most Accredited Guides have contact details by which you can contact them directly. If not, or if you want to pass a message to them, please contact them via the Guild Secretary via our Contacts Page.

Many Guides can develop bespoke personalised tours and can research where particular ancestors might have fought or died. If you want to advice on following a particular ancestor and you have not identified a particular Accredited Guide, please contact the Guild Secretary. We guarantee we’ll have somebody that can help you!

Finally, this list shows only our Accredited Guides. Our Ordinary Members are not listed here and if you would like to check whether a particular individual is a member of the Guild, or for any other further help, please contact the Guild Secretary via our Contacts Page.

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Ian Gumm

Accredited Guide Number: 62

Ian Gumm is the founder and CEO of In The Footsteps, a leading independent battlefield tour operator, as well as a full-time battlefield historian and guide. He has led tours since 1998 and has visited the battlefield of the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Anglo-Zulu War, the First World War, the Second World War … and much more.

“Touring the battlefield is my passion, it is what I love to do and I feel extremely privileged to be able to escort people around the battlefields of the world visiting some of the most important historical sites that have shaped the world in which we live.”

Ian served in the British Army as a Reservist for thirty-six years during which time he commanded B (Rorke’s Drift) Company of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Wales commanded the Regimental Contingent at the affiliation parade with 121 South African Infantry Battalion (a Zulu Battalion) in South Africa was the officer responsible for training all junior and potential officers in Wales and was the staff officer responsible for the First World War Centenary Commemorations for Wales.

His experience, gained both on the battlefield and with the British Army, allows him to add a soldier’s perspective and paint the picture of a battle on the canvas of the countryside. This enhances your tour experience, as Ian is not only able to impart an understanding of the history, but also a feel for the men who fought the battle and the ground over which they were fought.

“So whether you are ‘following in the footsteps’ of an ancestor or relative on a genealogy tour ‘following in the footsteps of heroes’ on a more general tour or retracing the steps of a military unit or formation on a battlefield study or staff ride you can be sure that Ian will deliver an experience that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.”

As an Accredited Member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, Ian endeavours to maintain the high standards, both in terms of service and good practice, that are commensurate with the Guild’s ethos. In addition to being an Accredited Member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, Ian is a member of the Western Front Association, the Last Post Association and a registered tour guide with the European Tour Operators Association.

As well as leading battlefield tours Ian delivers interesting and informative military history talks and presentations to professional organisations, businesses, clubs, societies and other groups, small or large.

Caters For Battlefield Studies Staff Rides Adult Coach Groups . Battlefield Walks Bespoke Group Cultural Tours Group Types Clubs and Societies Evening Presentations College Groups Leadership & Management Training Corporate Tours Long Tours Families Self-drive Tours Individuals Short Tours Military & Veteran Pilgrimage Groups School Groups Small Groups

Malcolm Jones

Accredited Guide Number: 45

Malcolm is a British Military Historian, who specializes in the campaigns and battles of Wellington in Spain during the Peninsular War. He is a member of the ‘Society for Army Historical Research’ and a Badged member of the Guild since 2009.

Malcolm has always been interested in History and the military, which developed from an early age. His main love and focus has always been the Second World War, the Indian Mutiny, and the British colonial army of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His passion for the Peninsular War campaigns and its Battlefields began some 35 years ago.

After serving in the Army, and obtaining his history degree, he worked in business management in Britain and the Middle East. Over the years he has travelled extensively throughout Portugal and Spain, much of it following in the footsteps of Wellington’s men. During this time, he fell in love with the Spanish landscape, history and culture.

Malcolm now lives in central Spain, close to many of the battlefield sites, which he has visited on many different occasions and therefore knows the areas he guides very well. He is an enthusiastic historian, who is happy to share his experience with anyone who is interested be it Wellington’s Army, the local history, culture, food or wine.

As a Badged Member of the ‘Guild of Battlefield Guides’, Malcolm has led many Military Battlefield Studies over the last ten years and has experience of leading battlefield tours since 1993 in Germany, Poland, Crete and Spain. With a rich and knowledgeable background, you can be assured of an informative tour, presented in an enjoyable and interesting manner.

Caters For Adult Coach Groups Bespoke Group Clubs and Societies . Families Individuals Military & Veteran


Salamanca, battle of

Salamanca, battle of, 1812. In July 1812 the French, under Marshal Marmont, with 42,000 men manœuvred to cut Wellington off from his base in Salamanca. Wellington, with 46,000 men, gave ground and appeared to retreat. On 22 July, 6 miles south of the city, Marmont sent his leading division to harass the British. However Wellington was already in position, quickly overcame the division, and then attacked Marmont's centre with a deadly rifle volley and bayonet charge. Marmont was wounded and the French were driven from the field with losses of 13,000. Wellington had destroyed the main French army in Spain and Joseph Bonaparte, the French puppet king, was forced to evacuate Madrid.

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Fort Harrison

This wartime image of the Chaffin's Bluff battlefield shows the Great Traverse of Fort Harrison in the distance.

Fort Harrison was key to General Butler's plan of attack. It represented the strongest point on the Confederate line of defenses. From it, one could see all the way to the James River. However, in 1864 most of the Confederate forces were in Petersburg and here the Confederate defenders numbered barely 200. Their guns were mostly so poor as to be scorned by the main field artillery. The Union attack pierced the fort quickly, with relatively few casualties. Had the Union attacks on the rest of the Confederate line succeeded as well as at New Market Heights and Fort Harrison, the overall military significance would have been greater.

On September 30, Robert E. Lee personally organized a major effort to recapture the lost fort. His attack also lacked coordination, and the well prepared Union defenders-some of them armed with multiple shot weapons crushed the Confederate effort and inflicted great loss on the attackers. The victors abolished the Confederate title for the fort and renamed it Fort Burnham after the Union general killed in the attack of September 29.

Walking Tour of the Fort

STOP 1 -- You are facing the side gate of Union Fort Burnham. The short wall to your left and the portion of the earthworks visible immediately to your right were added by the Federal defenders after their capture of Fort Harrison. These walls protected the defenders in the event of a Confederate attack, and shielded them from a daily harassing fire delivered by Confederate guns north of here.

STOP 2 -- Stay on the path to the left as you enter the fort. These earthworks make up the primary wall of Confederate Fort Harrison and are an extension of the exterior line of Richmond defenses. The height of this wall was 18-27 feet, and up to 15 feet wide. Beyond the wall is a deep ditch that discouraged attacks.

STOP 3 -- The freestanding wall on your right is a traverse. It was built by Federal defenders as an inner wall to deflect artillery shells fired from Fort Johnson and Fort Gilmer to the north.

STOP 4 -- The rectangular space in front of you was one of three Confederate artillery positions inside the fort. The other sections are not clearly visible because of alterations made by Union troops after the battle. On September 29, Federal troops first entered the fort over the wall on your left. This section was considerably weakened when two large artillery pieces became inoperable. The solid mass of earth to the right was called the Great Traverse, and was constructed by Confederate engineers as protection from artillery shells fired from Union gunboats on the James River.

STOP 5 -- To your right is another traverse, the largest in the fort. To your left, beside the Great Traverse, is the trace of an original road-way that was constructed after the battle to provide Union troops with full access to the fort. In this vicinity on September 29, General Grant narrowly escaped death when a Confederate shell exploded nearby, showering him with dirt.

STOP 6 -- This marks the abrupt end of Fort Harrison. The remaining walls to your right and front were built by Union troops as part of Fort Burnham. The Confederate walls are more substantial because the builders had two years in which to improve the position, while the Union walls were created in a few days with hostile Confederates in sight.

STOP 7 -- The guard rail encloses the location of a fresh water well, dug by Confederates and retained by the Federals after the battle. Union troops feared that the Confederates knew the location of the well, and they built a small traverse beside it as protection from Confederate artillery fire.

STOP 8 -- To the left is an emplacement for artillery called a barbette, built by Federal troops after the fighting. An artillery piece could be rolled up the ramp into position near the angle in the fort wall with its barrel projecting over the top of the wall. This provided little protection for the crewmen operating the piece, but gave the gun a wider angle of fire.

STOP 9 -- Along this wall are the remnants of Federal bombproofs, used to protect soldiers from shells and stray bullets.


Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Following the outbreak of war between the United States and Great Britain in June 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of American naval and military activity for the upper St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario. The brig Oneida, with a company of marines, was already at the harbor to suppress smuggling between northern New York and Canada. Local woodlands provided ample timber, and a large fleet was constructed at the harbors extensive shipyard. Barracks were also built for the thousands of soldiers, sailors, and mechanics who soon arrived to provide the manpower for the invasion and conquest of Canada.

Today the Sackets Harbor Battlefield is interpreted to the public by exhibits, outdoor signs, guided and self-guided tours, and a restored 1850's Navy Yard and Commandant's House. During the summer months, guides dressed in military clothing of 1813 reenact the camp life of the common soldier.

Pavilion Information
Sackets Harbor Battlefield has one pavilion. The day use price is $60 and can accommodate up to 60 people. Check availability at ReserveAmerica.com.

Hours of Operation

Grounds:
Open year-round, closed at dark

May 15 - June 27
Wed-Sat 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm

June 28 - August 25:
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm

August 26 - September 8
Wed-Sat 10am - 5:00pm
Sunday 1pm - 5:00pm

Open Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day 10am to 5pm

Open Saturdays after Labor Day through October 10
10am - 5:00pm

Available for adult groups and school tours by appointment.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Picnic Area
  • No Charge
  • Tour Fees
  • Adult $3
    Senior/Student $2

Fee Collection 10AM to 5PM

The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site annually offers "The Commandant's Christmas," a curriculum-based learning experience for second grades that features period appropriate stories, music, a craft, food, and toys & games. The late spring "War of 1812 in Sackets Harbor" curriculum based immersive field trip program for elementary school students includes a craft, scavenger hunt, period toys and games, and demonstration by War of 1812 living history presenters. Call for details.

Following the outbreak of war between the United States and Great Britain in June 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of American naval and military activity for the upper St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario. The brig Oneida, with a company of marines, was already at the harbor to suppress smuggling between northern New York and Canada. Local woodlands provided ample timber, and a large fleet was constructed at the harbor's extensive shipyard. Barracks were also built for the thousands of soldiers, sailors, and mechanics who soon arrived to provide the manpower for the invasion and conquest of Canada.

In an attempt to destroy the American shipyard, a British-Canadian force launched an attack on May 29, 1813. At that time the majority of the American forces were across Lake Ontario attacking Fort George. The remaining Americans drove off the enemy, but their narrow victory was marred by a fire that destroyed their military stores. During the remainder of the war, Sackets Harbor was an active station where naval ships were constructed and supplied. In December 1814, the Treaty of Ghent officially ended the War of 1812, and the Lake Ontario fleet was placed in storage at Shiphouse Point.

After the war, the massive earthen fortifications protecting the harbor were graded off and the battlefield reverted to farmland. Several blockhouses were converted to barns and another became an office for the commandant of the Navy Yard.

The shipyard remained under Navy control because of the presence of an unfinished first-rate ship-of-the-line, the New Orleans. It was designed to carry a crew of 900 and was enclosed in a huge wooden ship house to protect it for future use. In 1817, the Rush-Bagot Agreement between the United States and Great Britain limited all naval forces on the Great Lakes. During the 1840s, old naval buildings were removed and new quarters were constructed for the naval commandant and sailing master (lieutenant), to meet the needs of a continuing naval presence.

The navy decided to scrap the New Orleans in 1883. The demolition of the vessel, together with improved Canadian-American relations, ended the need for a naval base in Sackets Harbor. The navy maintained the facility until 1955, although it was seldom used except for training by the state's naval militia.

The 1913 Centennial Park portion of the battlefield was recognized as early as 1866 as a special plot of land to be set aside to honor all the military personnel who had fought and died in the War of 1812. In 1878 the land was called the Old Battle Ground and was used for patriotic meetings, political rallies, church picnics, and other events.

New York State took control of the Navy Yard in 1967 and began acquiring more of the historic battlegrounds, including the most recent forty acres in 2006.

African American History Month

Across this nation and throughout the Empire State, African Americans have helped to shape American history, fight for independence, and secure freedom. The efforts of these individuals stand as a testament to their courage and an inspiration to us all.

In observance of African American History Month, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation gives special recognition to some of the many stories associated with the African American experience at state historic sites.

At Sackets Harbor Battlefield, there is a unique connection between African American history and maritime history. African Americans made up nearly 15% of the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812, which took place mainly in waterways and port sites. The sea was not a place of full equality, but it was a place of far greater tolerance. Many African Americans found a level of freedom at sea that was unavailable on land.

Visit with our volunteer re-enactors as they demonstrate military and civilian life of 200 years ago.

Visit with our volunteer re-enactors as they demonstrate military and civilian life of 200 years ago.

Visit with our volunteer re-enactors as they demonstrate military and civilian life of 200 years ago.

Visit with our volunteer re-enactors as they demonstrate military and civilian life of 200 years ago.


The Organs of Salamanca

Histories of the organ draw a stark distinction between the instrument’s origins in antiquity, where it was deployed in the arena to accompany gladiatorial combat, and its later life in Christian Western Europe as a magnificent devotional tool—the apogee of technological advance and theology as sound. How is it that, after being reintroduced into the West from Byzantium in the eighth century a half-millennium after its invention as portable device used for state processions and real-life combat, the organ took on ever greater complexity and size to become a towering symbol of Augustine’s City of God in monasteries and churches? That the King Of Instruments would then return to baseball stadiums and roller rinks in North America completed the historical circle, if in a form less mortally than in the Roman Coliseum.

In the Cathedral of Salamanca in Spain this convenient wall between war and peace, between violent original purpose and pacific elevation above the congregation and the fray of earthly battle crumbles in the cavernous gloom and glory, wrecked by two glorious organs of unmatched majesty and mystery.

Salamanca occupies a hill above a vast surrounding plain: one can see the gothic-baroque spires of the cathedral for dozes of miles on the approach. The cathedral is built not on the very top of that hill but on an incline just below the summit: among the structure’s many marvels is the way its exterior descends as it follows the hill downward while the floor of the interior must remain level. The foundations to the edifice’s western end is significantly lower then the stairs leading to its eastern portal.

The main, “new” cathedral was built between 1513 and 1733 directly alongside and uphill from the old one, begun in the early twelfth century and, exceptionally, still standing. Visitors—and there are, surprisingly, only a handful on this breezy afternoon —enter near the younger, higher structure and after touring the nave, choir, and many chapels descend a broad staircase back in time and down through history to the old cathedral flanked by a cloister.

At the western end of the “new” nave is enshrined a bronze cross that the forces of El Cid are said to have carried into battle against the Moors. As in almost all Spanish sacred sites the contest between the Christian indigenes and the Muslim invaders is at the center of the story: it’s a story of good versus evil hardly modulated for the current state of geopolitical play. In such places as the Salamanca Cathedral, much more than in the JFK airport security line, one’s suspicions are more vigorously confirmed that the War on Terror is merely the latest name for the Crusades or the Reconquista, never mind that El Cid himself was an opportunist who fought on either side of the religious war, for both Muslims and Christians, at different junctures of his military career.

Some hundred yards to the east of El Cid’s cross is the cathedral’s choir. It is enclosed by an ornate iron screen placed well within the outer walls of the cathedral so that one can promenade around its periphery while remaining within the building. Facing each other from perches high up on either side of the choir are two organs. The older and smaller of these dates from the sixteenth century and was originally built for the first cathedral, but, exceptionally, was retained and moved to its current position more than a century later. This magnificent antique has thus been in continuous use for nearly five hundred years.

The organ’s case is crowned by pitched roofs and crenellations that suggest the just-mentioned Augstinian Holy City—the New Jerusalem, the old one chronically contested by various branches of monotheism. The architectural and theological context of the instrument’s construction and placement make it loom above like a fortress under siege. But it is bastion able to dish out retorts to any invader below. One of the most important organs of the Spanish renaissance, indeed of European music culture more generally, it was retro-fitted in the seventeenth century with horizontal trumpets that endow it with increased offensive power. The organ does not merely stake out a defensive position.

Admiring the façade of this Epistle organ (so called because it is on the left side as one faces into the choir) from the floor of the cathedral one sees and hears a military machine, its salvoes like the report of canon and musket, although the instrument is also kitted out with quieter stops that encourage pious reflection when the din has.

On the Gospel side is a much larger organ with a double façade that speaks into the choir and out into the side aisle of the cathedral depending on your point of view (or point of hearing) it is capable of either spreading the Good News in all directions or of protecting the Christian rear from encirclement by the infidel foe’s cavalry. This baroque organ from the mid-eighteenth century has a much larger battery of horizontal trumpets that are splayed so as to send a much wider span of volleys against the heathen attackers—and, of course, to embolden the Christian believers.

Whereas the diminutive Roman and Byzantinian organs could be carried into battle, these Spanish instruments stood immovable and impregnable in their ecclesiastical redoubts.

From the early seventeenth century, Spanish keyboard composers were masters of battle music, battaglias that anticipated later pieces like Wellington’s Victory by Beethoven and other blood-curdling symphonies and film soundtracks. With their evocations of the gathering of forces, charges, battles-joined, enemy flight, and victorious celebrations, these works were calls-to-arms for the faithful and a reminding of the glorious deeds of El Cid (when he was under the command for Christ) and later heroes. The two organs can even join forces in their portrayal of holy war: a bracing reminder that the contest between the forces fighting under the banners of East and West, Islam and Christianity shows no sign of abating.


Salamanca Battlefield - History

Panorama of the battlefield of Salamanca as seen from a position just south of the Lesser Arapile. The Greater Arapile can be seen on the left. The ground over which Clausel attacked lies ahead. To the right is the village of Arapiles, beyond which stands the hill from which Wellington controlled the battle.

On 17th June 1812, Wellington's advance into Spain reached the city of Salamanca. Wellington now found himself opposed by Marmont's "Army of Portugal". With the two armies being comparable in strength, neither commander could risk a full-scale attack without first manoeuvering his opponent into a disadvantageous position.

After several weeks in which Wellington and Marmont shadowed one another, the morning of 22nd July saw engagements breaking out between the two armies as they curved eastwards in parallel to the south of Salamanca.

As the morning of 22nd July wore on, Marmont imagined an opportunity to out-flank Wellington by propelling his leading divisions westwards. Unknown to Marmont, Wellington had guarded against such a threat by holding back Packenham's 3rd Division. As a consequence of Marmont's move, the French line became grossly overextended, a fact not lost on Wellington as he observed events from behind the village of Arapiles. Wellington now seized the chance to attack.

In mid-afternoon, D'Urban's cavalry and Packenham's 3rd Division slammed into the leading French division, commanded by Thomieres. The French, taken completely by surprise, were routed, with Thomieres himself being killed. A short time later, Leith's 5th Division and Bradford's Portuguese Brigade were launched against Maucune's division. The hard-pressed French were then torn asunder by the supporting charge of Le Marchant's heavy cavalry. The British cavalry swept on to wreak further havoc in Brennier's division. Three French divisions had now been broken, though the British were to mourn the loss of Le Marchant, killed in the charge.

Right: Replica of the Eagle of the French 22nd Regiment, captured at Salamanca by Ensign Pratt of the 2/30th Foot, Leith's 5th Division, courtesy of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.

To the east, the French line was holding. After a tremendous struggle, an attack by Cole's 4th Division had been turned back by Clausel and Bonnet. The supporting attack on the Greater Arapile hill by Pack's Portuguese Brigade had also been repulsed.

With both Marmont and Bonnet wounded, Clausel assumed command. Rather than retire from the battlefield, Clausel threw his own division together with that of Bonnet into a desperate counter-attack. This last throw of the dice failed as Clinton's 6th Division moved in to face the onslaught and broke apart the attack.

The battle ended with a general British-Portuguese advance from the north and west being delayed by a gallant rearguard action by Ferrey's division.

Wellington's army of 48,600 suffered 5,200 casualties but inflicted in the region of 14,000 casualties on Marmont's 50,000-strong army. The Battle of Salamanca, also known as the Battle of the Arapiles, was probably Wellington's most impressive military success. No longer could he be regarded as a master only of the defensive battle.

Salamanca has to be one of the most rewarding battlefields to visit in the Peninsula, not least through having escaped enlistment into the Spanish motorway system. It is, in fact, essentially unchanged from the time of the battle.

The battlefield lies a few miles south of the magnificent university city of Salamanca, and is best approached by turning east off the N630 onto the signposted road to Arapiles. Follow the road through the small village until the tarmacked surface peters out under the Lesser Arapile at the site of the former railway station. The outlook from here to the south and west is that seen by the British 4th and 6th Divisions as they faced Clausel's desperate counter-attack.

A short distance back towards Arapiles (2.9km from the N630) a track to the south leads directly to the foot of the Greater Arapile at its western edge. From here a steep path leads to the summit, and on to the memorial to the battle.

In Arapiles itself, a small but interesting museum has recently been opened. As well as describing the battle through dioramas, relief maps, wall displays and a video presentation (available in English on request), the museum has a collection of items recovered from the battlefield. Unfortunately - as of March 2008 - opening hours are very limited (Saturdays only, from 10.30am to 2.00pm).

"Wellington in the Peninsula 1808-1814" by Jac Weller, published by Greenhill Books 1992, ISBN 1853671274.

"A History of the Peninsular War, Volume V" by Sir Charles Oman, published by Greenhill Books 1995, ISBN 1853672254.

Wellington's Dispatches courtesy of the War Times Journal.

Batalla de Los Arapiles, a Spanish-language site devoted to the Salamanca campaign.


Assista o vídeo: Peninsular war scene (Janeiro 2022).