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to reinforcements from Antwerp, as our | government were in possession of justified army would have been proceeding at the their looking to such an event as possible, same time to the attack of that city, of and if we had arrived at Sandfleet at as course no man could have been spared carly a period as we might have done if from its defence, more especially as at best the armament could have been carried at its garrison was so inadequate.

once through the Weiling channel, namely Whilst this operation was going on the 1st, 2d, and 3d of August, I think it against Liefkenshoeik and Lillo, the dis- by no means improbable. There is every embarkation of the army would have taken reason to suppose, that at that period the place near Sandfleet; and, judging from works of Antwerp were in a very deleccircumstances as they were actually found, tive state, the ditch much encumbered, by which alone all military operations the garrison extremely weak, and being must be governed, and fouding myself composed of such a motley crew as artifiupon the spirit of lord Chatham's general cers, armed excise officers, parts of the Disposition for the attack of the enemy's ships crews, one or two depot battalions, establishments in the Schield:, to which I and scarcely any thing like troops, it have before alluded, as also upon the evi- could of course not have that solidity, and dence of the quarter-master general of the discipline, and unity of action, and prompt. army, and the commanding officers of the obedience, which are indispensably neartillery and cngineers, I presume that the cessary to the defence of a place upon operation from Sandicet irould have been such occasions. The works of Antwerp conducted in the following manner. are very cxtensive, and being much out

In the first place we must enumerate of repair, and with a garrison so weak as the force which we should have had in it was at that time and so composed, it is the Upper Scheldt, supposing the arma. not probable they could have been defendment to have proceeded according to the ed against our assault. originally projected plan of operations, However, looking to the certain reand that we had gone at once up the duction of Antwerp by another mode, we Weiling channel.

should naturally not have attempted the As the army was embarked in the most | assault, unless circumstances made it quite effective state possible, I suppose you advisable to do so. But we should have might have reckoned upon 36,000 troops resorted to a species of attack, which, in the field ; 6,000 of these, or at most though consisting of approaches and seven, would have been left for the re- heavy batteries, falls short of a regular duction of Flushing : 2,000 at most, and siege in form, and is a more active and probably I think nut so many, upon South rapid operation. Beveland ; 2,000 employed in the reduc- We had with us thirty mortars and howtion of Liefkenshoeik and Lillo, half of itzers, and twelve twenty-four pounders which would probably have been sufficient upon travelling carriages, with plenty of to garrison those places after they were cap: ammunition, abundance of engineering tured. Lillo being attacked, 5,000 would tools and stores, and every material requihave been found ample to oppose Bergen. site for constructing batteries and carrying op-Zoom, &c. which would have left on operations of this description. above 20,000 men to proceed directly The landing of the army at Sandfleet against Antwerp, with a considerable might have been completed in three days corps

of seamen. Whatever credit is at most; the disembarkation of the heavy given to the enemy for the number of artillery would have commenced on the seamen they might have employed on fourth day, and have been completed on shore, we must of course take credit to the fifth ; the chief engineer would ourselves for at least triple that number, have proceeded with the advanced corps our naval means were so very superior to of the army to the neighbourhood of Anttheirs.

werp upon the second day of the disemIf upon landing at Sandfleet the intel- barkation : that advanced corps having ligence had proved favourable to such an disembarked on the first day, and moved undertaking, the assault of Antwerp would a certain distance into the country; or have been attempted. The army was pro- it might perhaps have been the third day vided with scaling ladders, and every before he got near enough to reconnoitre thing necessary for such an operation. I the place; two days would have been do not mean to dwell upon this as by any quite sufficient for this purpose.

In the means certain ; but the intelligence which mean time the army would have been takia ing up the necessary positions for cover- Thus, at all events, on the fifteenth day ing the approaches against Antwerp, and after the disembarkation of the first division for preventing any reinforcements en- of the army at Sandfleet, you would have tering that place from the right bank been certain of getting possession of the of the Scheldt; and all the tools and town. materials belonging to the engineering When the citadelof Antwerp was taken, department would have been bringing for after five days open trenches, in 1746, it ward.

surrendered, ihough defended by a comEight thousand men, with the seamen, petent garrison of regular troops, as soon would have been ample for carrying on as breaching batteries were established, the approaches, and at least 12,000 would before they had fired a single shot; have remained to cover them, acting in and when Valenciennes, that excellent close connection with the corps opposed fortress of the first order, defended with towards Bergen-op-Zoon).

the greatest perseverance and energy, The place of disembarkation at Sand- was taken by the duke of York, in 1793, fleet would be much secured by the oc- after a most vigorous and ably-conducted cupation of Lillo; and I have no doubt siege, we had not begun to batter in breach. that it would have been found possible to | There are various other instances of a si. empluy half of the 2,000 men, destined for milar description. You may fairly conSouth Beveland, for the service of convoys clude, therefore, that a place like Antwerp from Sandfleet if that were necessary. would not have held out any longer, for

On the sixth day the engineer would even if you set quite out of the question have broken ground, and by the ninth the influence of 60,000 inhabitants upon evening he would have batteries ready such a motley and insufficient garrison, for thirty pieces of bombarding artillery, which however experience will not justify within 5 or 600 yards of the town; by you in doing, by forming breaching bai. which time the commanding officer of arteries you would have established a sufli. tillery, would have that number up, and cient military reason for withdrawing the ready to place in battery ; so that the garrison to the citadel. bombardment might have begun upon the A few days possession of the town would morning of the tenth day from the com- have been quite sufficient for the destrucmencement of the disembarkation at tion of the enemy's naval arsenal, and the Sandfleet, and by this same day Liefken- nine or ten sail of the line that were ok shoeik and Lillo would have been in our

the slips. possession ; of course the Upper Scheldt The objection that, because the naval are opened to the co-operation and enterprize senal was commanded by the guns of the of the navy

citadel, the destruction of it would have The effect of this combination being been impossible without the previous capevidently the certain capture of Antwerp, ture of the latter, I must say appears to I think it probable that the garrison me quite unfounded. would then have withdrawn to the citadel, The naval arsenal and docks absolutely and that the town would bave been de- form part of the town, many of the houses livered into our hands. But I conclude having been pulled down to make room we should not have delayed one single mo. for a part of that establishment, and it is ment carrying on further approaches separated only from the buildings of the from the line upon which our first batteries town by a common brick wall, for the were established.

purpose of securing it against depredaIn five days more we might have work- iions; the whole, too, of this naval arseed on so as to have established our twelve nal, &c. is combustible, the ships and four-and-twenty pounders in breaching their slips of course so. battery upon the crest of the glacis, Can any person suppose, therefore, that supported by two enfilading batteries our troops and sailors in two or three nights, composed of guns from the ships.

assisted by the fire of our mortars and howThe effect of the establishment of these itzers in the day time, would not have batteries, combined with five days of such completely burnt the whole establish

severe bombardment, even without ment, slips, &c. ? naval co-operation, but more especially The enemy could only oppose to you the with it, must have produced the surrender fire of such guns of the citadel as bore of Antwerp, the garrison having previ- upon the arsenal, which fire in the night ously withdrawn to the citadel.

must have been very uncertain, and the different buildings and piles of timber, &c. me out in asserting, that even if you had would have afforded those employed upon not established your breaching batteries this service much cover and protection. upon the glacis at Antwerp before the As to sallying from the citadel, they never latter end of August, your operations dare have done that, when we had so could not have been interrupted, and the very superior a force immediately at place must have fallen. hand ready to follow them into the place, What force had the enemy at last in I do not mean to say that this destruction the field to oppose us? Was it, in point could have been effected without loss; of number or composition, at all able to but, that it would have been the conse- have done so with eflect? and must not quence of our remaining three days in much of it have been defeated and dispossession of the town of Antwerp, I have persed, before it could have collected not the most distant doubt.

into one body, if we had landed in any As the citadel of Aniwerp fell in 1746 reasonable time? But even supposing all after five days open trenches, I do not see assembled to meet us that was representany reason why we might not have takened to be in the field on the 27th of Auit, if we had arrrived before Antwerp at gust, looking at its numbers and compoan early period, which there was every sition, would not two divisions of our reasonable probability of our doing. The army have been quite suficient for its capture of the citadel would have render- complete defeat and dispersion? There ed the destruction of the fleet afloat were very few troops of the line, even to nearly certain ; which, however, might the last ; two or three French regiments possibly have been effected without. of that description, and a few Dutch; the

It has been attempted to confine the rest of the force was made up of depôt probability of success in the attainment of battalions, volunteers, national guards, the ultimate object, to the disembarkation raw conscripts, &c. I trust, therefore, of the armament at Sandfleet, on the 1st, it will be no longer argued, that unless 2d, and 3d of August ; and it is argued, we had arrived at a very early period in that as this was the soonest possible pe- August success would have been imposriod at which that disembarkation could sible. So far from that being the case, have taken place, it was unwise, and un- I must repeat, that it is my decided con. justifiable to engage in an enterprize to viction, if we had not established ourthe success of which extreme celerity was selves upon the glacis at Antwerp till the so indispensable, that if you did not ar. end of August, nothing could have prerive on the earliest possible day, supposing vented our doing so then, and the success every circumstance to favour you from of the enterprise would bave been certain, the time of your departure, failure was even if Antwerp had not, contrary to al tbe necessary consequence.

rational supposition, surrendered itself How could you be justified, says the upon the commencement of our bom. noble lord, and the right hon. gent who bardment combined with naval co-operajust spoke, in forming hopes of such ma- tion. thematical precision in the execution of The vicinity of a number of fortresses your plan, when you had the uncertainty is objected against the probability of of the elements to contend with, and an success in our operations against Antwerp, intricate navigation to perform?

and against the safety of our retreat.Now, in the first place, you had every But the fortresses themselves could be reason to suppose, from the best informa- no impediment--that must have arisen tion which could be obtained on the sub-alone from their garrisons. All that ject, that the wind and weather at that could be drawn from the more distant season would have favoured you, and you ones had of course arrived before the 27th have the best naval authorities for the of August. The garrison of Breda had practicability of carrying the whole ar- it attempted to approach our army whilst mament from the Downs to Sandfleet in engaged in the attack of Antwerp, four days.

would have been trampled into the dust; But I beg leave to take greater lati- and the garrison of Bergen-op-Zoom, tude, and to insist that your success by taking its numbers at the highest they no means depended upon your disem. ever were, certainly dare not commit it. barkation at that very early period. All sell four miles from the place; for if dethe intelligence received at the army of feated in the field, as they undoubtedly the enemy's force and preparation, bears would have been, we should have followed them into their fortress, and taken , ings; and it is of course understood that Bergen-op-Zoom as well as Antwerp. the front of the place against which our

If a garrison ventures any distance approaches would have been directed from its fortress, and sustains a complete could not be inundated. The ground defeat, it is either liable to be cut off, in there is much higher than the level of the which case the place of course is left in river, and the inundation of it would have a defenceless state; or the enemy, by a been impracticable. If we had arrived in close pursuit, and by absolutely mixing the neighbourhood of Antwerp before the with the fugitives, enters the town 10th of August, which is certainly allowwith them. Judging then from every ing much for delays and unforeseen obthing we have before us, if the wind and stacles, we should have found the ditch weather had permitted the execution of not yet prepared to receive the water, the originally projected plan of operation, because it appears they had not cleared it I see nothing to have prevented our suc- till the poth; and even after that period, cess, and nothing to have endangered our by getting possession of the sluice at the retreat.

Breda gate, we might probably have laid When the commanding officers of ar- dry the part upon the front which we tillery and engineers stated in their evi- attacked. However I have put these dence, that they reckoned upon no ene

chances also out of the question, and I my to obstruct them in getting forward have allowed for as much impediment their artillery and stores, they meant only from unforeseen circumstances as the least that they expected to receive that com- sanguine person could possibly calculate plete degree of security and protection, upon. which a covering army is always supposed I have given up all possibilities and all to afford upon such occasions.

probabilities, and I have confined myself Our approaches would have been car- to what I am borne out, by the circumried on without any possibility of inter- stances which actually did occur, in conruption from the garrison, that being of sidering as certain, as far as it is possible such a description as not to admit of its for any operation whatever to be so pro. risking to occupy the outworks, or the nounced. The whole of my observations covered

way if there had been one ; and upon the method of conducting this enterof course, it never could have sallied from prise to a favourable issue, are founded. the gates, certain as it must have been upon the plan originally projected, and of complete defeat, and consequently ap- upon the general Disposition made out by prehensive that we should have followed the commander in chief of the Expediit into the place.

tion, and upon the evident adaptation of In the whole of this operation I have those to the circumstances as they arose. not taken credit for any advantage of Trying what I have said by these circumground, which however is said to be stances, and by the intelligence received, favourable to our approaches; nor of which is now before the House, I will defy those large stone suburbs which could not any person to disprove the very great prohave been effectually destroyed, and which bability of success. Therefore I consider by affording us much shelter and protec- | the expediency of the project completely tion would have greatly facilitated our established, and that the government were attack. Look to the evidence of general thoroughly justified in adopting those Brownrigg, who possesses more local measures which, upon thorough reflecknowledge of Antwerp and its vicinity tion, the general policy of the moment so than any other evidence, from having clearly dictated. been deputy quarter-master-general to It will here be asked, no doubt, if the our army in 1794, and at one time whilst whole of this operation was so very pracin that situation cantoned in the suburbs ticable, what occasioned its failure? I anof Antwerp. It is peculiarly the business swer, a state of wind and weather most of the quarter-master-general of an army unusual at that season having prevented and his deputy, to make themselves ac- any of the armament from going up,the curately acquainted with all the details of Weiling Channel, as originally projected, the country in which the army acts. excepting a part of Lord Huntley's divi

I have supposed no favourable circum- sion, and necessitated the taking the rest stance whatever, excepting what is posi- of the armament into the Roompot. tively proved, namely the absence of a Lord Huntley, in consequence of this, sufficient force to obstruct our proceedo arrived off Cadsand without means suffi. VOL. XVI,

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cient to land his troops; he therefore had lo hiin. But these observations are come it not in his power to destroy the batteries pletely unfounded, and arise partly from there. The communication between Cad- misconception on the part of those who sand and Flushing not being cut off, the make them, and partly from a natural deenemy found means to throw over such sire to diminish ihe force of an evidence reinforcements, as made that garrison which makes so much against the case amount to 8,000 men: this occasioned the that they wish to establish.--General employment of the whole of sir Eyre Brownrigg is one of the most honourable Coote's force against Flushing, and very and most respectable men living; of remuch protracted the siege. And the markably good judgment and abilities; Slough Passage, through which it was at- and an excellent officer, of much experitempted, as a last resource, to carry the I have been with him often upon armament into the West Scheldt, was service, and as well as his great personal found to be impracticable for that pur- gallantry, I always admired his particular pose, without a delay which must be de- coolness and readiness in the field. His structive of all hopes of success. There- energy too is very superior and his acfore, notwithstanding the utmost exertivity indefatigable. He was much in tions, it certainly does not appear, that the confidence of the immortal sir Ralph from the moment the armament went into Abercrombie, who had the highest opi. the Roompot, there were scarcely the nion of him as an officer, which he has most distant hopes of success beyond the often expressed to me in the strongest capture of Flushing; and what faint hopes terms.-Gen. Brownrigg's management, there might have been were completely under the immediate direction of the duke extinguished by the sickness which at- of York, of the Commander in Chief's of tacked the army in South Beveland. This fice in England, during the first eight years rendered all further exertions impossible. of his royal highness's command of the

The project of disembarking the ca- army, the admirable regulations, and just, valry and the field artillery in the Slough impartial conduct of which were so much Passage upon South Beveland, and march admired last year, did as great credit to his ing the army along that island to Batz, feelings, to his capacity, and unremitting there to re-embark and pass over to zeal and assiduity, as to those of bis royal Sandfleet, the ordnance transports, flo- master.--I beg pardon of the House for tilla, &c. going at the same time through this intrusion, but I really could not pass the Slough into the West Scheldt, and up over the slightest insinuation against gen. that river to Batz, was completely im- Brownrigg without saying of him what I practicable with a view to effect any use. know; though I am quite aware that such ful purpose. The ordnance transports, | insinuation arose solely out of an arguhaving all our heavy artillery and stores ment upon the evidence, without the on board, did not reach Batz till the 24th smallest intention of any thing personal. or 25th of August; and you have the I now come to a part of the subject opinions of lord Roslyn, Sir John Hope, that it is impossible to advert to without general Brownrigg, and general Macleod, the most poignant regret, I mean the against such a method of proceeding. sickness which visited our brare troops

Viewing the circumstances then in every to so calamitous an extent. No man of possible point of view, and after the most any feeling but his heart must bleed in elaborate investigation of the subject, I do contemplation of such scenes of misery : not in the least hesitate to state my de. no person can more sincerely deplore cided opinion that no man living at the them than I do-no man can feel for a head of that army could, under all the cir. soldier's sufferings more acutely—nor did cunstances of the case, have done more I ever, or ever should I think any exerthan was done by lord Chatham. Hetion or sacrifice of my own too great to seems to have made every arrangement avert them. At the saine time, though that the nature of the service would ad- impressed with these sentiments to the mit of his making previous to his depar utmost possible extent, I must strenuously ture, and subsequently to bave done his repel all accusations against his Majesty's utmost to ensure final success.

government on this subject. Upon general Brownrigg's excellent It appears in evidence before the House, evidence it has been observed, that in that when the army sailed from this counsome respects he is at variance with his try it had an ample provision of me own journal, and inaccuracy is attributed dicines, and medical stores of all sorts, for

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