Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

nanimously preferred to share all dangers with his subjects, rather than seek his safety by flight."

From Civita Vecchia the 12th Dragoons proceeded to join the forces under the command of Sir David Dundas in Corsica, and assisted during the operations for the reduction of that island in the summer of 1794. It remained there until November, when orders were received to return to England,

O'

which it reached after a tempestuous passage; but Captain Madden and the majority of his troop were not quite so fortunate; for, having been shipped on board a transport not sea-worthy, the vessel became water-logged in a dreadful storm on the 4th of December, was thrown on the coast of Spain, and ultimately went to pieces. However, as the crew, horses, &c. were providentially saved, Captain Madden and his troop (through the representation of the British Consul, Sir J. Duff), were allowed one of the Puntales forts near Cadiz by the Spanish government, where they remained until August, 1795, when a vessel was purposely sent from England for their conveyance home.

In January, 1797, Captain Madden embarked with the 12th Dragoons to join the force sent, under the "command of Lieutenant-General Sir C. Stuart, to Portugal, where it remained three years, for the purpose of preventing an invasion by the French or Spanish forces. This procrastinated service was terminated by the expedition to Egypt; and the 12th Dragoons embarked at Lisbon in 1800, to co-operate in more active service in that country. The cavalry could not share the honours obtained at the disembarkation of the infantry on the beach of Aboukir, on the 8th of March, 1801; but was put on shore on the 12th, and afterwards partook of all the operations of that memorable campaign. The subject of this memoir, having succeeded to the majority of his corps, December 25th, 1800, not only accompanied his regiment, and witnessed the advance of the army towards Alexandria on the 13th of March, with the subsequent continued action on that day, as well as the various battles and skirmishes that took place on the 21st of March; at the capture of Rosetta;

at Rahmanie; at the capture of a large convoy of the enemy in the desert; at the driving in of the out-posts of Gizel; at the capitulation of Grand Cairo, &c.: but, although the junior field-officer of cavalry in Egypt, he had also the honour of being selected by the Commander-in-chief for a separate detached service towards Rosetta, with part of the 12th and 23d Light Dragoons under his command, and was frequently employed to conduct various reconnoissances and patroles, combined with infantry, for which he received marked and flattering testimonials of approbation, a medal for his services, and, we believe, the order of the Crescent.

Towards the conclusion of this year, an occurrence took place which deprived Major Madden of the prospect of pursuing his profession. It arose from the proceedings of a court-martial that had been held in the regiment, and where it appeared to him that the commanding officer of it had perjured himself; and this opinion (from a point of honour) he frankly acknowledged to this officer, when he sent for and questioned him relative to it. The consequence was his own arrest, and a trial, for this inadvertent candour; and the severity of military law conducing to impress upon the members of his court-martial, "That it was immaterial whether the crime charged upon this officer was committed or not;" but "That the assertion of it (which Major Madden did not deny), was sufficient ground for his condemnation; " the Court sentenced Major Madden "to be dismissed His Majesty's service for the same." The sentence, however, was disapproved by Lord Hutchinson (then Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian army, without whose concurrence it was not valid), and Major Madden was ordered to proceed to England for its final decision.

Major Madden returned home with the warmest testimonials to his professional and personal character from Lord Hutchinson, Sir John Cradock, Sir John Doyle, and from all the inferior officers of the 12th Light Dragoons; but in 1802 it was decided, that he should retire from the service, selling his commission, which he had purchased; and he continued unemployed until the calling out of the Yeomanry in 1805, when (by the intercession of the late Margrave of Anspach) the Duke of York appointed Major Madden an inspecting field-officer of the Midland District, with the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel; and he there continued to advance and discipline near four thousand cavalry, until removed to the Severn District in 1807. He there, for the first time, superintended corps of infantry, rifle, and lastly local militia; and was prosecuting the improvement and advancement of those services, when he received a letter from the Commander-inChief, desiring him "to signify whether he was desirous of being employed as a Brigadier-General in the Portuguese army, receiving the same pay and allowances as a BrigadierGeneral in the British service." Having complied with the proposition, he reached his destination as early as possible.

On the 10th of Sept. 1809, Lord Beresford, the Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese army, appointed this officer commandant of a brigade of cavalry. The Portuguese cavalry regiments, as then constituted, were wholly unacquainted with the English system, or indeed, any other rational mode of discipline, were without experienced officers, and required an entirely new organisation. In the course of Brigadier-General Madden's services, the following Portuguese regiments of cavalry, viz., No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, (wholly or in part) fell to his lot to discipline; and he afterwards commanded the major part of these corps on actual service for three years, — in fact, until incessant fatigue, various actions, (almost daily skirmishes), and the difficulty of obtaining horses, had so much reduced these regiments, in number and efficiency, as to cause Lord Beresford to draft and consolidate them, when not quite two effective regiments could be formed from those remaining.* His first action of importance took place on the 15th of September, 1810, the anniversary of the first parade of his brigade. The Spanish cavalry had been defeated in an action near Fuente de Cantos; when, as related in Lord Wellington's despatches, "Brigadier-General Madden found it necessary to advance and fall upon the enemy in the most vigorous and decided manner, dispersing and driving him until under the protection of his artillery, killing, wounding, and taking several prisoners, and by so doing saving the Spaniards. The Marquis de la Romana, from whom I had the account of the above success, speaks in the highest terms possible of Brigadier-General Madden's conduct, as well as the Portuguese troops he commanded, which has excited the admiration of the whole army." In consequence of this highlygratifying report, and that of Marshal Beresford, the subject of our memoir was restored to his rank of Major in the British army.

* Of these services a very long and particular detail will be found in the Royal Military Calendar, vol. iv. pp. 54—116.

In March 1811, Brigadier-General Madden rejoined Lord Beresford, after having held, since the preceding August, an exclusive command of the Spanish Estremadura army. The Marshal's opinion of the services rendered by him during that period will be seen by the following extract from a letter: —

"My Dear Madden, — You appear to me to have acted during your operations with the Spanish army with zeal and ability, and with perfect conciliation, although your feelings were frequently annoyed: and your whole conduct has been very satisfactory both to Lord Wellington and to me, and in the spirit of what were our wishes.

"Believe me yours truly,

"W. C. Beresford."

After a few months more passed in a similar series of fatiguing marches and skirmishes, Brigadier-General Madden's services as cavalry officer in the Peninsula unexpectedly terminated in the early part of 1812. His regiments, for want of forces, had been ordered to garrison duty, and himself directed to repair to Lisbon to wait for fresh instructions; when, observing that little progress was made towards supplying his wants, he ventured to lament his inactivity to Lord Beresford, and was recommended to take the opportunity of repairing, on two months' leave of absence, to England, which was accepted, hoping to find the cause and the term of his non-employment removed on his return to Portugal. He reached England in the summer of 1812, and having occasion to present a memorial to the Duke of York, his Royal Highness's sense of his conduct was expressed in the following terms : —

"Horse Guards, 17th July, 1812.

"SiR,— I am directed to acquaint you, that his Royal Highness has a very favourable opinion of your merits, and highly appreciates the services under which you have been recently so distinguished in the Portuguese army, &c.

"H. Torhens."

Brigadier-General Madden returned to Lisbon in August, and it having, even when autumn advanced, been found impossible to form a sufficient body of cavalry to constitute a command, he was nominated by Marshal Beresford to a brigade of Portuguese infantry, consisting of three regiments, and amounting to 3500 men. This force was nearly equal to the two English brigades, which, combined with it, constituted the sixth division of the allied army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton. On Sir Henry's occasional absence, which twice occurred for n short period, the command of the division necessarily devolved on Brigadier-General Madden; but this superiority of rank, from the jealousy of some of the officers who were thus placed under his orders, instead of a benefit to him, proved eventually very unfortunate, and deprived him of his situation.

The sixth division having been ordered to halt in the rapid march towards Vittoria, in June, 1813, to secure the arrival of the stores and artillery, were too late by a few hours to join in the great victory achieved at that place. It occupied the town for the two days following the battle, and was employed in bringing in the wounded, &c. It afterwards formed part of the corps d'arm^e left to invest the fortress of Pam

« ElőzőTovább »