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Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland

Part III

Military Annals of the Highland Regiments

Section X

Expedition to Egypt—Land on the 8th—Battle of the 13th—The 90th and 92d Regiments lead the Attack—Battle of the 21st— Death of Abercromby—Surrender of Cairo—Surrender of Alexandria—Indian Army.

[In all cases where the running title at the top of the page is "Highland Regiments," the services of the 79th and 92d are included with the Royal Highlanders.]

In Malta, it was ascertained that Egypt was the object of attack. This intelligence was joyfully received. All were elevated, both by the prospect of relief from the monotony of a soldier's life on board a transport, and by a debarkation in an interesting country, for the purpose of meeting a brave and hitherto invincible enemy; at least so far invincible, that their repeated victories on the continent of Europe seemed to entitle them to that honourable designation.

On the 20th and 21st of December 1800, the fleet sailed in two divisions for Marmorice, a beautiful bay on the coast of Greece. The first division arrived on the 28th of December, and the second on the 1st of January 1801, to wait for a reinforcement of men and horses to be furnished by our allies, the Turks. The port of Marmorice was not less remarkable for its security and convenience, than for the magnificent scenery of the surrounding mountains, covered to the top with majestic forests, and the most luxuriant verdure. [Amongst the numbers that came to see the British armament, was an unexpected visitor in the dress of a Turk. This was a gentleman of the name of Campbell, a native of the district of Kintyre, in Argyleshire. Early in life, he had been so affected by the death of a school-fellow, who had been killed by accident as they were at play together, that he fled from the country, and joined the Turkish army. He had served forty years under the standard of Islam, and had risen to the rank of General of Artillery. He went on board the ship where the 42d were embarked, to inquire about his family. When he saw the men in the dress to which he had been accustomed in his youth, the remembrance of former years, and of his native country, so affected him, that he burst into tears. The astonishment of the soldiers may be easily imagined when they were addressed in their own language, (which he had not forgotten,) by a Turk in his full costume, and with a white beard flowing down to his girdle.]

The Turkish supplies, deficient in every respect, having at length arrived, the fleet again put to sea on the 23d of February, and on Sunday morning, being the 1st of March, the coast of Egypt was descried, presenting in its white sandy banks, and tame uninteresting back-ground, a remarkable contrast to the noble elevations and luxuriant landscapes on the coast of Greece.

While so much time had been lost in waiting for the Turkish reinforcements, a gale of wind, encountered on the passage, scattered the light and ill-managed vessels which conveyed their horses and stores. These took shelter in the nearest ports, and, while the fleet lay at Marmorice, waiting for the junction of so inefficient an aid, the enemy were more fortunate in the safe arrival from Toulon of two frigates, having on board troops, guns, ammunition, and all sorts of military stores,—a supply which they could not have received, had not the British been detained so long waiting for the Turks. One part of the reinforcement, which the enemy so opportunely received, consisted of nearly 700 artillerymen, a number more than equal to the whole artillery of the invading army.

The British force consisted of the following regiments:

In all 13,234 men, and 630 artillery. Deducting about 300 sick, the efficient force was 12,334, while that of the enemy was now ascertained to be more than 32,000 men, independently of several thousand native auxiliaries.

The fleet first came to anchor in Aboukir bay, on the spot where the battle of the Nile had been fought near-ly three years before. Scarcely had the General arrived at his destination, when he received intelligence of two unfortunate occurrences, neither of them unimportant to his future operations, and one of them particularly vexatious. The first was the death of Major Mackerras, [The eminent professional abilities and excellent personal qualities of Major Mackerras caused his death to be an object of particular regret to the whole army.] and the capture of Major Fletcher of the engineers, who had been sent forward to reconnoitre the coast. The second was the entrance of a French frigate into the harbour of Alexandria, by a very adroit stratagem. The ship had got some British signals from an English vessel she had taken, and coming in sight of the fleet in the evening without any suspicion, had answered all signals with accuracy, till getting close to Alexandria, she hoisted French colours, and darted into the harbour. In the course of the night the French sloop of war Lodi, from Marseilles, also got into the harbour of Alexandria. In addition to these untoward and unlooked for incidents, the General received information that the enemy's force was at least 15,000 men more than was expected.

At the commencement of such an arduous campaign, these events, together with the reinforcements recently landed by the frigates from Toulon, were in no small degree calamitous. The French had received additional supplies of able officers, of men, and of military stores; and, as if fortune and the elements had conspired against the British, while the enemy were securely making preparations to repel all attacks, after the fleet came to an anchor, on the night of the 1st of March, a gale sprung up so violent and so unremitting, that a disembarkation could not be attempted till the evening of the 7th, when the weather became more moderate.

The General's well-known strength of mind was now to be put to a severe test. He had to force a landing in an unknown country, in the face of an enemy more than double his numbers, and nearly three times as numerous as they were previously believed to be,—an enemy, moreover, in full possession of the country, occupying all its fortified positions, having a numerous and well appointed cavalry enured to the climate, and a powerful artillery,—an enemy who knew every point where a landing could, with any prospect of success, be attempted, and who had taken advantage of the unavoidable delay, already mentioned, to erect batteries, and bring guns and ammunition, to the point where they expected the attempt would be made. In short, the General had to encounter embarrassments, and bear up under difficulties, which would have paralyzed the mind of a man less firm and less confident of the devotion and bravery of his troops. These disadvantages, however, served only to strengthen his resolution. He knew that his army was determined to conquer or to perish with him; and aware of the high hopes which the country had placed in both, he resolved to proceed in the face of obstacles which some would have deemed insurmountable.

While the enemy were preparing for an effective resistance, in full view of those who were so soon to attack them, no circumstance occurred to amuse the minds, or divert the attention of the British during the continuance of the gales. However, on the evening of the 7th, the wind moderated, and the General, accompanied by Sir Sidney Smith, with three armed launches, went close in shore. Lieutenant Brown of the Foudroyant landed from one of the launches, drove in a picquet which lay on the beach, boarded a guard-boat, and returned to the fleet, carrying with them as prisoners an officer, an ass and his driver. The capture of the two latter formed an incident which afforded great amusement to the whole fleet; and trifling and ludicrous as it may appear, it was not without its beneficial effects. As this was the first adventure the troops had witnessed after so many months of confinement in transports, (the regiments from England and Gibraltar having been on board from the month of May and June of the preceding year,) they drew from it an omen of a successful debarkation.

The weather continuing moderate, at two o'clock in the morning of the 8th of March the troops destined to effect a landing got into the boats. This division consisted of the 40th flank companies, and Welsh fusileers on the right, the 28th, 42d, and 58th, in the centre, the brigade of Guards, Corsican Rangers, and a part of the 1st brigade, consisting of the Royals and 54th on the left; the whole amounting to 5230 men. This force did not land in the first instance, as there were not boats sufficient for that purpose, and one company of the Highlanders also did not land till the boats returned for a second load. Detachments of other regiments were subjected to a similar delay. [The number actually landed in the first attack was 5626 soldiers. Owing to the distance of the anchorage, the enemy had been overcome and completely driven before the boats could land the reinforcement.] The whole were to rendezvous, and form in rear of the Mondovi, Captain John Stewart, anchored out of reach of shot from the shore. So well conceived and executed was this arrangement, that each boat was placed in such a manner, that, when the land-ing was effected, every brigade, every regiment, and every company, found itself, with undivided numbers, in its proper station. In this manner, every man saw that, although he had changed his element from the sea to the shore, he was surrounded by his comrades and friends: this ensured confidence, and confidence made success more certain. Such a combination as this could not be formed without time; it was, therefore, eight o'clock before the whole arrangement was complete, and the troops ready to move forward at the signal. All was now eager expectation. At nine o'clock the signal was given, and the boats sprung forward, under the orders of the Honourable Captain Alexander Cochrane, the seamen straining every nerve, but, at the same time, acting with such regularity, that no boat got a-head of the others. Nothing interrupted the silence of the scene, or diverted the impatience and suspense of the invading force, except the dashing of the oars in the water, till the enemy, judging that the line had got within their range, opened a heavy fire from their batteries in front, and from the castle of Aboukir in flank. Till that moment they did not believe that the attempt was serious, or that any troops could be so fool-hardy as to hazard an attack on such lines and defences as they maintained. As the boats approached the shore, a fire of musquetry from 2500 men was added to showers of grape and shells. The four regiments on the right, the 23d, 28th, 42d, and 58th, with the flank companies of the 40th, soon got under the elevated positions of the batteries, so as to be sheltered from their fire. The enemy could not sufficiently depress their guns, and, maintaining their elevated station} instead of descending to the beach to receive the invaders on the point of the bayonet, they allowed them to disembark, and form in line. As an irregular fire would not only have proved ineffective against the enemy, but created confusion in the ranks, the men were ordered not to load, but to rush up the face of the hill, and charge the enemy on the summit.

The ascent was steep, and so deeply covered with loose dry sand, blown about by every gust, that the soldiers, every step they advanced, sunk back half a pace. [The beach consisted of a smooth sand, rendered firm by the constant beating of the surf, and affording sufficient space to form a line two deep. When the soldiers got the word to advance, they sprung up the ascent, and about half-way came in sight of the enemy, who were prepared with their pieces levelled. Their fire being so close, was of course very effective: eleven men of my company fell by this volley: but the soldiers redoubled their exertions, and reached the top of the precipice before those drawn up there had reloaded. Instead of making use of the bayonet, against men exhausted and breathless, the enemy turned their backs and fled in the utmost confusion.] Delay was thus added to danger, and the men reached, with exhausted strength, the point where the greatest effort was required. As hesitation in such circumstances would have proved ruinous, they instantly rushed up the ascent, and reaching the top before their antagonists could again load, drove them from their position, at the point of the bayonet. A squadron of cavalry, which advanced to attack the Highlanders after they had driven back the infantry immediately opposed to them, was instantly repulsed with the loss of their commander. The party of the enemy who had deserted their guns, having partially formed in rear of a second line of small sand-hills, kept up a scattered fire for some time; but on the advance of the troops, they again fled in confusion. The ground on the left being nearly on a level with the water, the Guards and first brigade were attacked immediately on their landing; the Guards by the cavalry, who, when driven back, rallied again in the rear of the sand-hills; and the 54th by a body of infantry, who advanced with fixed bayonets. Both attempts were repulsed.

Thus the intrepid commander, with his gallant troops, had forced a footing in Egypt, compelling an enemy to fly in confusion, who, a few minutes before, had expected to annihilate their invaders, or to drive them back into the sea. There are few instances in our national history which more fully prove the power of firm resolution, and strict discipline, than this. It has been said that a bold invading army will always succeed. The nature of our national warfare has been such, that in no case have the British troops had to resist an enemy attempting to land by force; and, therefore, experience has not yet proved what success would, in such circumstances, attend their resistance to a resolute enemy.

The loss of the British was 4 officers, 4 sergeants, and 94 rank and file, killed; 26 officers, 34 sergeants, 5 drummers, and 450 rank and file, wounded. Of these the Highlanders had 31 killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel James Stewart, Captain Charles Macquarrie, Lieutenants Alexander Campbell, John Dick, Frederick Campbell, Stewart Campbell, Charles Campbell, Ensign Wilson, 7 sergeants, 4 drummers, and 140 rank and file, wounded. The loss of the French did not exceed one-half of that of the British, and, considering the relative situations of both, the difference might have been even more in their favour. The principal loss of the British was incurred while in the boats, and when mounting the hill. In both cases, they were exposed to the fire of the enemy without being able to make any defence. When they had gained a position where their courage and firmness were available, the loss sustained was trifling. Four-fifths of the loss of the Highlanders were incurred before they reached the top of the hill.

[The great waste of ammunition and the comparatively little execution of musketry, unless directed by a steady hand, was exemplified on this occasion. Although the sea was as smooth as glass, with nothing to interrupt the aim of those who fired; although the line of musketry was so numerous, that the soldiers compared the fall of the bullets on the water to boys throwing handfuls of pebbles into a mill-pond; and although the spray raised by the cannon-shot and shells, when they struck the water, wet the soldiers in the boats, yet of the whole landing force, very few were hurt, and of the 42d one man only was killed, and Colonel James Stewart and a few soldiers wounded. The noise and foam raised by the shells and large and small shot, compared with the little effect thereby produced, afford evidence of the saving of lives by the invention of gunpowder; while the fire, noise, and force with which the bullets flew, gave a greater sense of danger, than in reality had any existence. That 850 men (one company of the Highlanders did not land in the first boats,) should force a passage through such a shower of balls and bombshells, and only one man killed and five wounded, is certainly a striking fact.]

The General was early on shore. It is said that the admiral, Lord Keith, knowing his ardour, had given a hint to the officer who commanded his boat to keep in reserve, but his anxiety to be at the head of his troops was not to be restrained. He ordered the officer to push to the shore, and, counteracting the well-meant delay which was intended to preserve a life so precious to the future success of the expedition, he leaped from the boat with the ardour of youth. It may be conceived that the joy and exultation of all present were at their height, when, after the retreat of the enemy, he stood on a little sand-hill receiving the congratulations of the officers, accompanied with mutual expressions of admiration and gratitude; they for the ability and firmness which had conducted them to a situation which gave them such an opportunity of distinguishing themselves,—and he for the gallantry which had surmounted all obstructions,-"with an intrepidity scarcely to be paralleled."

[While the army lay in Marmorice Bay, the Minotaur, Captain Louis, the Northumberland, Captain George Martin, and the Penelope, Captain Henry Blackwood, were ordered to cruize off Alexandria, to prevent the entrance of any ships or supplies from France. Soon after the arrival of this blockading squadron on the coast, several vessels sent out from Alexandria were taken. On board of these were a number of officers, of all ranks, returning to France on leave of absence. All these were taken on board the commodore's ship, the Minotaur. Captain Louis treated them with the greatest hospitality and politeness, taking the general officers, and as many others as he could accommodate, to his own table, while the rest were entertained in the ward-room with the officers. I was also a guest at Captain Louis's hospitable table, having been sent on board at Malta with 200 men of the Highlanders, in consequence of the disabled state of the ship in which they had embarked from Minorca. For some time the French officers were in bad humour at their capture, assumed a distant air, and did not appear disposed to be communicative; but the manner in which they were received and entertained, together with the good cheer, had a wonderful effect in softening their disappointment, and in opening their minds. In the course of conversation, and without any intention on their part, nay, perhaps unconscious of what they were doing, they communicated much important information on the state of their army, and of the country in general. Their estimate of the numbers of the army was not at first credited, but the correctness of their statements was soon confirmed. As intimacy increased, they expressed much regret that so many brave men should be sacrificed in a desperate attempt, which, they were sure, could not be successful. On the morning of the 8th, two young French field-officers went up the rigging as the boats made the final push for landing, to witness, as they said", the last sight of their English friends. But when they saw the troops land; ascend the hill, and force the defenders at the top to fly, the love of their country, and the honour of their arms, overcame their new friendship; they burst into tears, and, with a passionate exclamation of grief and surprise, ran down below, and did not again appear on deck during the day.

When the fleet anchored in Aboukir Bay, I went on board the flag-ship, to communicate to the General the intelligence I had received. He heard me with great attention, and after I had finished asked many questions. He then ordered a boat, and rowed towards the beach to reconnoitre, but returned very soon. I waited on board till he came back, and accompanied Colonel Abercromby, who followed his father, into the cabin, when he asked his opinion of the landing place. The answer was short, "We must be in possession of yonder sand hills to-morrow morning:" but, as I have stated, it was not till that day se'ennight that an attempt could be made.]

By the great exertions of the navy, the whole army were landed the same evening. [When the men had laid down to rest after the action, I walked to the rear to inquire after some soldiers of my company who had fallen behind, being either killed or wounded. Observing some men digging a hole, and a number of dead bodies lying around, I stept up to one of them, and touching his temple, felt that it retained some warmth. I then told the soldiers not to bury him, but to carry him to the surgeon, as he did not appear to be quite dead. "Poh! poh!" said one of them, "he is as dead as my grandfather, who was killed at Culloden;" and, taking the man by the heels, proceeded to drag him to the pit. But I caused him to desist. The wounded man was so horribly disfigured as to justify his companion in the judgment he had formed, A ball had passed through his head, which was in consequence greatly swelled, and covered with clotted blood. He was carried to the hospital, where he revived from his swoon, and recovered so rapidly, that in six weeks he was able to do his duty. He lived many years afterwards, and was most grateful for my interference.]

During three days the army were engaged in landing provisions and stores. This necessary delay enabled the enemy to collect more troops, so that the British, on moving forward in the evening of the 12th, found them strongly fortified among sand-hills and a thicket of palm and date trees, to the number of more than 5000 infantry, 600 cavalry, and 30 pieces of artillery, well appointed.

On the morning of the 13th, the troops moved forward to the attack in three columns of regiments, the 90th or Perthshire regiment forming the advance of the first column; and the 92d, or Gordon Highlanders, that of the second; the reserve marching in column, covering the movements of the first line, and running parallel with it. When the army had cleared the date-trees, the enemy quitted the heights, and, with great boldness, moved down on the 92d, which by this time had formed in line. The French opened a heavy fire of cannon and musketry, which the 92d quickly returned, firmly resisting the repeated attacks of the French line, (supported as it was by a powerful artillery), and singly maintaining their ground till the line came up. At the same time, the French cavalry, with the greatest impetuosity, charged down a declivity on the 90th regiment. This corps, standing with the coolest intrepidity, allowed them to approach within fifty yards, when, by a well-directed fire, they so completely broke the charge, that only a few reached the regiment, and most of them were instantly bayoneted ; the rest fled off to their left, and retreated in the greatest confusion. The 90th regiment being dressed in helmets, [Colonel (now Lord) Hill's life was saved by his helmet. A musket ball struck it on the brass rim with such force, that he was thrown from his horse to the ground, and the brass completely indented, Without this safeguard, the ball would have passed through his head.] as a corps of Light infantry, were mistaken for dismounted cavalry, and the enemy believing them out of their proper element, attacked with the more boldness, as they expected less resistance. [At this time, Sir Ralph Abercromby, who was always in front, had his horse shot under him, and was nearly surrounded by the enemy's cavalry,- a situation from which he was rescued by the 90th regiment.]

The two divisions now formed line, the reserve remaining in column to cover the right flank, The whole moved forward in this order, suffering from the enemy's flying artillery, which, having six horses to each gun, executed their movements with the greatest celerity; while the British, with only a few badly appointed cavalry, and no artillery horses, had their guns dragged by sailors, occasionally assisted by the soldiers, through sands so loose and so deep, that the wheels sunk sometimes to the axle. Yet, slow as the movements were, the enemy could offer no effectual resistance, as our troops advanced, and retreated to their lines in front of Alexandria. These lines Sir Ralph Abercromby determined to force. To accomplish this important object, General Moore, with the reserve, was ordered to the right, and General Hutchinson with the second line to the left, while the first line remained in the centre. From the formidable and imposing appearance of the enemy's defences, this seemed a bold attempt. Not knowing their relative positions, or whether, after being successively gained, they could be maintained without proper artillery, if the one commanded the other, our commander found it necessary to reconnoitre with care. In this state of doubt and delay the troops suffered exceedingly from a galling fire, without having it in their power to return a shot, while the French had leisure to take cool aim. On this trying occasion the intrepidity and discipline of the British remained unshaken. Eager to advance, but restrained till it could be done with success, and with the least loss of lives, they remained for hours exposed to a fire that might have shaken the firmness of the best troops. At length the difficulties of the attack appearing insurmountable, they were ordered to retire, and occupy that position which was afterwards so well maintained on the 21st of March, and in which they avenged themselves for their present disappointment.

The loss was severe, 6 officers, 6 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 143 rank and file, being killed; and 66 officers, 61 sergeants, 7 drummers, and 946 rank and file, wounded. The loss of the Royal Highlanders, who were not engaged, but only exposed to distant shot, was 3 rank and file killed; and Lieutenant-Colonel Dickson, Captain Archibald Argyle Campbell, Lieutenant Simon Fraser, 3 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 23 rank and file, wounded.

[The loss of the 42d on this day was the more to be regretted, as, except the wound of Colonel Dickson and one or two more, the whole might have been avoided, had it not been for the idle curiosity of some young men. While the General was in consultation whether he should pursue the enemy to the walls of Alexandria, General Moore, who was never absent when his presence was required, had ordered the 42d up to the right, to form in the closest possible order, immediately under a steep hill, which would effectually conceal them, while they would be ready, on the first signal, to dash up the hill upon the enemy. The battalion, accordingly, lay close under the hill, without being perceived by the enemy; and the most positive orders were given, that every man should sit down, with his firelock between his knees, ready to start up at a moment's warning; and on no account was any person to quit the column, lest the position should be discovered by the enemy, who had covered with

guns the top of the hill immediately above. In this situation, the regiment lay in perfect silence, till three young men, seized with an irresistible curiosity to see what the rest of the army were doing, crept out unperceived by Colonel Alexander Stewart, the commanding officer. They were descried by the enemy, who quickly brought their guns to bear on the regiment, and in an instant three shots were plunged into the centre of the column. This being repeated before the men could be removed to the right, under cover of a projecting hill, thirteen men were left on the ground, either killed or wounded. Lieutenant Simon Fraser lost his left hand, and Captain Archibald Campbell was severely wounded in the arm and side. Thus a foolish, and, on such an occasion, an unpardonable curiosity, caused death or irreparable injury to several officers and soldiers.

One of the young men killed was of my company, A six-pound shot struck through both hips as he lay on the ground, and made a horrible opening as if he had been cut in two. He cried out, " God bless you, Captain Stewart ; come and give me your hand before I die, and be sure to tell my father. and mother that I die like a brave and good soldier, and have saved money for them, which you will send home." He said something else, which I could not understand, and dropping his head he expired.

A strong instance of fear was at this time exhibited by a half-witted creature,—one of those who, for the sake of filling up the ranks, although incapable of performing the best duties of a soldier, could not be discharged. When the regiment was again placed under cover, I returned back to the position they had left, with a few men, to assist in carrying away the wounded. After this was done, and the wounded carried off, I observed in a small hollow, at a little distance, a soldier lying close on his face, with his legs and arms stretched out as if he had been glued to the ground. I turned his face upwards, and asked him if he was much hurt: He started up, but fell back again, seemingly without the power of his limbs, and trembling violently. However, I got him on his legs, and being anxious to get away, as the enemy's shot were flying about, I was walking off, when I perceived the surgeon's case of instruments, which had been somehow left in the hurry of the last movement. Sensible of its value, I took it up to carry it with me, when I perceived my countryman standing up, having by this time recovered the power of his limbs. I put the chest on his back, telling him,—in the hope that it would inspire him with a little spirit,—that it would shelter him from the shot. At this instant a twelve pound shot plunged in the sand by our side. My fellow soldier fell down one way, and the box another; and, on my again endeavouring to get him on his legs, I found his limbs as powerless as if every joint had been dislocated. The veins of his wrist and forehead were greatly swollen; and he was incapable of speaking, and in a cold sweat. Seeing him in this plight, I left him to his fate; and, taking the case on my back, I delivered it to my friend the surgeon.]

Thus ended the battle of the 13th of March, which exemplified in the strongest manner the difficulties under which a General and an army labour when totally ignorant of the country, of the enemy's force, and of the nature and strength of his defences. The Arabs could neither comprehend the object of the questions, nor describe the nature of the enemy's fortifications, which, taken in connexion with the ground they occupied, presented an appearance of strength, and a capability of resistance beyond what they really possessed. [Lieutenant Annesly Stewart of the 50th regiment, a promising young officer, lost his life this day from his curiosity; but he disobeyed no order, and did not occasion death or wounds to others, as was the case in the 42d regiment. Anxious to see the movements of the enemy, he advanced a short distance in front, and towards the right of the regiment. When he got to the highest part of a gentle acclivity, he lay down on his face, resting his spy-glass on his hat, but was not three minutes in that position, ere a twelve pound shot came rolling along the ground, and carried his head clean off, leaving nothing but part of the neck between his shoulders.]

The face of the country, too, was in many parts altogether deceptive to the eye of a stranger; and, in this instance, certainly influenced the General in his resolution to retire from that position to which he had advanced. The ground on the right of the enemy, over which they might easily have been attacked in flank, with every probability of success, was covered with a species of saline incrustation, which dazzled the organs of vision, and presented, in its smooth shining surface, a perfect resemblance to a sheet of water. There was not a man in the army who detected the deception; but this phenomenon, occasioned by this saline efflorescence, was different from the mirage, that remarkable property of the Egyptain atmosphere, by which the level parts or plains of the country assume the appearance of water. The plains only being affected by this atmospheric delusion, houses, trees, and rocks, preserve their natural appearance, except that they seem to be entirely surrounded by water, and present so perfect a resemblance to islands, that to strangers unaccustomed to these phenomena, the deception is complete. In the uneven surface round Alexandria, there was no mirage; [It may be proper to explain, that there was a cause beyond the common for this accession of saline matter on the ground alluded to. It was several feet lower than the surface of the sea, which was kept back by the large embankment, formed for the canal, between the Nile and Alexandria, which supplied the town with water. In high tides, and when the wind blew strong from the north-east, a quantity of salt water oozed through the sand, under the canal; and rising beyond it, mixed with the sand on the surface, on which the sun acted with such power, that when the tide receded, a thin covering of pure and beautiful salt was left, and which, in peculiar states of the atmosphere, produced that species of mirage I have noticed. Both in the Egyptian mirage, and that occasioned by the salt, objects are represented in their perfect state, without reflection or shadow.] but the fiery brightness of the atmosphere, heightened by the white and glittering sand, deranged so completely the visual organs, as to give to the more elevated ground an overcharged semblance of height and strength. Its real nature greatly astonished the army, when, at an after period, they passed over it, and were thus enabled to correct the impressions derived from a more distant prospect. Had the General been aware of these optical illusions, Alexandria might have been in his possession on the 13th, while Menou, cut off from the sea, and from all communication with Europe, -must soon have surrendered. Fortune ordered it otherwise; and perhaps the result of the campaign was the more honourable, as an opportunity was afforded to our army to obtain a compensation for their long and tantalizing confinement and suspense. Of this opportunity they nobly availed themselves, when opposed to a veteran enemy, greatly superior in numbers, elated with former victories, and believed unconquerable, because hitherto unconquered. In the distant region where the contest was now carried on, no support could be expected by either of the parties, appointed as it were, on a certain spot or stage, to decide the palm of prowess and military energy, while their respective countries were anxiously looking for the result.

As the ground now occupied by the British presented few natural advantages, no time was lost in strengthening it by art. The sea was on the right flank, and the Lake Maadie on the left. The Reserve were placed as an advanced post on the right; the 58th occupied a ruin of great extent, supposed to have been the Palace of the Ptolemies. Close on their left on the outside of the ruin, and a few paces onward, was a redoubt occupied by the 28th regiment. Five hundred yards towards the rear were posted the 23d, the flank companies of the 40th, the 42d, and the Corsican Rangers, ready to support the two corps in front. To the left of the redoubt, a sandy plain extended about three hundred yards, and then sloped into a valley. Here, a little retired towards the rear, were the cavalry of the reserve; and still farther to the left, on a rising ground beyond the valley, the Guards were posted, with a redoubt thrown up on their right, a battery on their left, and a small ditch or embankment in front, which connected both. To the left of the Guards, in form of an echelon, were posted the Royals, 54th, (two battalions,) and 92d, or Gordon Highlanders; then the 8th, or King's, 18th, or Royal Irish, 90th, and 13th; facing the lake at right angles to the left flank of the line, were drawn up the 27th, or Enniskilling, 79th, or Cameron Highlanders, and 50th regiment; on the left of the second line were posted the 30th, 89th, 44th, Dillon's, De Rolls, and Stuart's regiments; the dismounted cavalry of the 12th and 26th Dragoons completed the second line to the right. The whole was flanked on the right by four cutters, stationed close to the shore. By this formation it will be seen, that the Reserve and the Guards were more advanced, leaving a considerable open space or valley between them. A party of dragoons, as a kind of picquet, occupied the bottom of the valley; but, as has been said, a little to the rear. This was the position of the army from the 14th till the evening of the 20th, the whole being in constant employment, either in performing military duties, erecting batteries, or in bringing forward cannon, stores, and provisions, Over the whole extent of the line there were arranged two 24 pounders, 32 field pieces, and one 24 pounder, in the redoubt of the 28th, which was open in the rear. Another gun was brought up, but not mounted.

The position of the enemy was parallel, and bore a very formidable appearance. They were posted on a ridge of hills, extending from the sea beyond the left of the British line, and having the town of Alexandria, Fort Caf-farelli, and Pharos, in the rear. Menou's army was dis-posed in the following manner: General Lanusse was sta-tioned on the left with four demi-brigades of infantry, and a considerable body of cavalry, commanded by General Roise. The centre was occupied by five demi-brigades. General Regnier was on the right, with two demi-brigades, and two regiments of cavalry. General D'Estain commanded the advanced guard, consisting of one demi-brigade, some light troops, and a detachment of cavalry.

Such were the positions of the opposing armies. The Queen's regiment had been left to blockade the fort of Aboukir, which surrendered to Lord Dalhousie on the 18th. On the evening of the 20th, this regiment was ordered up to replace the Gordon Highlanders, who had been much reduced by previous sickness, and by the action of the 13th, in which they singly resisted the united force of the French infantry. In the evening of the 20th, some parties of the enemy were seen marching over the ground, which had assumed the deceitful appearance of water, as already noticed, to join the force in the lines. This dissipated the delusion, but it was now too late. In addition to this, and other symptoms of activity and preparation, accounts were received that General Menou had arrived at Alexandria with a large reinforcement from Cairo, and was preparing to attack the British army.

From the 13th to the 21st of March, the army were under arms every morning at three o'clock, as was the practice on every occasion where General Abercromby commanded. On the 21st of March, every man was at his post at that hour. No movement on cither side took place for half an hour, at the end of which interval the report of a musket followed by that of some cannon, was heard on the left of the line. This seemed a signal to the enemy, who immediately advanced, and got possession of a small picquet, occupied by a part of Stuart's regiment. They were instantly driven back, and all became still again. It was a stillness like that which precedes a storm. All ranks now felt a presentiment that the great struggle was at hand, which was to decide the fate of Egypt, and the superiority of one of the opposing armies. General Moore, who happened to be the general officer on duty that night, galloped off to the left the instant he heard the firing. Impressed, however, with the idea that this was a false attack, and that the real onset was intended for the right, he turned back, and had hardly reached his brigade when a loud huzza, succeeded by a roar of musketry, announced the true intention of the enemy. The morning was unusually dark, cloudy, and close. The enemy advanced in silence, until they approached the advanced picquets, when they gave a shout, and pushed forward. At this moment Brigadier-General Oakes directed Major Stirling to advance with the left wing of the 42d, and take post on the open ground lately occupied by the 28th regiment, which was now ordered within the redoubt. While the left wing of the Highlanders was thus drawn up, with its right supported by the redoubt, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Stewart, with the right wing, was directed to remain two hundred yards in the rear, but exactly parallel to the left wing. At the same time, the Welsh Fusileers and the flank companies of the 40th moved forward to support the 58th stationed in the ruin. This regiment drew up in the chasms of the ruined walls, under cover of some loose stones, which the soldiers had raised for their defence, and which, though sufficiently open for the fire of the musketry, formed a perfect protection against the entrance of cavalry or infantry. Some parts of the ancient wall were from ten to twenty feet high. The attack on the ruin, the redoubt, and the wing of the Highlanders on its left, was made at the same moment, and with the greatest impetuosity ; but the fire of the regiments stationed there, and of Major Stirling's wing, quickly checked the ardour of the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonels Paget of the 28th, and Houston of the 58th, allowed them to come quite close, when their regiments opened so well directed and effective a fire, as obliged the enemy to retire precipitately to a hollow in their rear.

While the front was thus engaged, a column of the enemy, preceded by a six-pounder, came silently along the hollow interval, already mentioned, between the left of the 42d and the right of the Guards, from which the cavalry picquet had retired. This column, which bore the name of the Invincibles, calculated its distance and line of march so correctly,—although it was so dark, that an object at the distance of two yards could not be properly distinguished,—that, on coming in line with the Higlanders, it wheeled to its left, and marched in between the right and left wings of the regiment, which were drawn up in parallel lines. The air being now rendeed much more obscure by the smoke, which there was not a breath of wind to dispel, this close column got well advanced between the two lines of the Highlanders before it was perceived. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Stewart, with the right wing, instantly charged to his proper front, while the rear-rank of Major Stirling's wing, facing to the right about, charged to the rear. The enemy, thus taken between two fires, rushed forward with an intention of pushing into the ruin. When they passed the rear of the redoubt, the 28th faced about, and fired upon them. Still, however, they endeavoured to gain the ruins.

[So dense and dark was the atmosphere, and such was the silence and precision with which the enemy marched, that they passed unperceived along the front of four companies of the 42d regiment. One of the soldiers evinced on this occasion, great superiority of vision. When no person saw or suspected what was in front, this soldier left his station in the centre of his company, and running up to me, said, in a low tone of voice, "I see a strong column of the enemy marching past in our front; I know them by their large hats and white frocks;—tell the General, and allow us to charge them. " I told him to go back to his place ; that the thing was impossible, as Major Stirling, with the left wing of the regiment, was in our immediate front, at the distance of only 200 yards, and that no enemy could pass between the two wings. However, as the man still insisted on the accuracy of his statement, I run out to the front, and soon perceived through the darkness a large moving body; and though I could not distinguish any particular object, the sound of feet and clank of arms convinced me of the soldier's correctness. In a few seconds Colonel Stewart and Major Stirling's wings charged the column in the ruins. But it is proper to explain, that it was only the rear rank of the left wing that faced about and charged to their rear; the front rank kept their ground to oppose the enemy in their immediate front; and thus was exhibited great presence of mind in the officers, and perfect steadiness in the execution of their duty by the soldiers, when thus, with an enemy in front, and another in rear, men less firm, and less collected, would perhaps have hesitated which way to turn, and in this hesitation lost the time for action, and thus allowed themselves to be destroyed.]

Not aware how they were occupied, they rushed through the openings, followed by the Highlanders, when the 58th and 40th, facing about in the same manner as the 28th had done, also fired upon them. This combined attack proved decisive of the fate of this body. The survivors (about 200) threw down their arms and surrendered. General Moore followed the enemy's column into the ruin, where he and General Oakes were wounded; but these officers, disregarding wounds which did not totally disable them, remained in the exercise of their duty.

[At this moment, the standard borne by this column was surrendered by a French officer to Major Stirling, who gave it to a sergeant of his regiment, directing him to take charge of it, and stand by a gun which had been taken from the enemy. The sergeant, standing as he had been desired, was overthrown and stunned by the cavalry who had charged to the rear. When he recovered, the standard was gone, and he could give no farther account of it. Some time after this, a soldier of Stuart's regiment carried a standard to Colonel Abercromby, the deputy-adjutant-general, which he stated he had taken from a French cavalry officer, in front of his regiment, and for which he got a receipt and a reward of twenty-four dollars. I notice this circumstance the more particularly, as the officers of the 42d regiment have been accused of having allowed it to be stated, that the colour, which was brought home and lodged in the Royal Military Chapel, Whitehall, as the colour of the French Invincibles, was the same that had been surrendered to them, without taking any notice of the circumstance of the sergeant having lo that given to him or of a colour being delivered by a soldier of Stuart's regiment to the adjutant-general.

An attack, founded upon this supposed misrepresentation, was made on the officers in a weekly publication of that period. This was answered, but not in the manner in which some of the officers of the regiment thought it ought to have been. The truth is, the thing was not worth a dispute. Those who carried the colour given to Major Stirling were annihilated; and it neither added to, nor detracted from the character of the 42d, that the colour was subsequently lost by the misfortune or stupidity of an individual. The question was not whether a colour or a drumstick was taken. This supposed invincible corps was conquered; in this the 42d had their share; and this standard fell accidentally into their hands, in consequence of their being so much mixed and so closely engaged with the enemy. The standard which the sergeant of the 42d had in his possession was lost by him; the standard of which the soldier of Stuart's regiment got possession is preserved, and is now in Whitehall; and there the business rests.]

Leaving General Oakes with the troops within the ruins, General Moore hurried to the left of the redoubt, where part of the left wing of the 42d was hotly engaged with the enemy, after the rear-rank had followed the corps into the ruins. The enemy were now seen advancing, in great force, on the left of the redoubt, with an apparent intention of again attempting to turn it, and to overwhelm those who stood on its left. General Moore immediately ordered the Highlanders out of the ruin, and directed them to form line in battalion on the flat on which Major Stirling had originally formed, with their right supported by the redoubt. This extension of the line enabled them to show a larger front to the enemy, who pressed forward so rapidly, that it was necessary to check their progress, even before the battalion had fully completed its formation in line. Orders were, therefore, given to drive them back, which was instantly done, with complete success.

It was here that the Commander-in-Chief, always anxious to see every thing with his own eye, had taken his station. Encouraging the troops in language of which they always felt the force, he called out, "My brave Highlanders, remember your country, remember your forefathers!" They pursued the enemy along the plain. Meanwhile, General Moore, who had the advantage of a keen eye, saw, through the increasing clearness of the atmosphere, fresh columns drawn up in the plain beyond, with three squadrons of cavalry, seemingly ready to charge through the intervals of their retreating infantry. Not a moment was to be lost in re-forming, as the expected attack was not to be resisted by a moving line. General Moore, therefore, ordered the regiment to retire from their advanced position, and form again on the left of the redoubt. Supported by the redoubt on the right, the cavalry could not turn that flank of the 42d; which strengthened this position, in other respects favourable for cavalry, as it was level, and presented no obstruction to their movements except the small holes which the soldiers of the 28th, when stationed there, had made for their camp-kettles. [The accidental circumstance of these holes gave occasion to General Regnier to state, that the front of the British line was covered with frons de lour, or trap-holes for the cavalry.] Owing to the noise of the firing, this order to fall back to the redoubt, although repeated by Colonel Stewart, was only partially heard. The consequence was, that the companies whom it distinctly reached retired; but those who did not hear it hesitated to follow; thus leaving considerable intervals between those companies who heard the orders to retire on the redoubt, and those who did not. The opportunity was not to be lost by a bold, enterprising, and acute enemy. They advanced in great force, with an apparent intention of overwhelming the Highlanders, whose line was so badly formed as to appear like an echelon. Such a line was ill calculated to resist a charge of cavalry made with the impetuosity of a torrent; yet every man stood firm. Many of the enemy were killed in the advance. All those who directed their charge on the companies, which stood in compact bodies, were driven back with great loss. The others passed through the intervals, and wheeling to their left, as the column of infantry had done early in the morning, they were received by the 28th, who facing to their rear, poured on them a fire so effective, that the greater part were killed or taken. [Their passing through the intervals in this manner accounts for a circumstance, which, without some explanation, is calculated to excite surprise; namely, that while the regiment was, as it were, passed over by cavalry, as appeared to be the case with regard to the Highlanders in that day, only thirteen men were wounded by the sabre. That they suffered so slightly was owing to the firmness with which the men stood, first endeavouring to bring down the horse, before the rider came within sword-length, and then despatching him with the bayonet, before he had time to recover his legs from the fall of the horse.]

General Menou, exasperated at seeing the elite of his cavalry suffer so much, ordered forward a column of infantry, supported by cavalry, to make a second attempt on the position. Though the consequent formation of the Highlanders was not, and indeed could not be, very correct in such circumstances, they repulsed the enemy's infantry at all points. Another body of cavalry then availed themselves, as the former had done, of the disorder in the line of the regiment produced by repelling the attack of the infantry, dashed forward with equal impetuosity, and met with a similar reception; numbers falling, and others passing through to the rear, where they were again overpowered by the 28th. It was now on the part of the Highlanders a trial of personal firmness, and of individual courage, as indeed it nearly was in the former charge, every man fighting on his own ground, regardless how he was supported, facing his enemy wherever he presented himself, and maintaining his post while strength or life remained. [The enemy were much struck with this:—a body of men broken—cavalry charging through them—attacked in flank—with an enemy in rear, yet still resisting, either in groups or individuals, as necessity required. This they did not expect. Perhaps they seldom saw it, and thought it contrary to the usual rules of service, and therefore their charges were probably made with greater boldness, and in fuller confidence of success, believing that no broken disjointed body of men could, in such circumstances, attempt to resist their impetuous attacks. But finding, instead of a flying enemy, every man standing firm, and ready to receive them, their nerves were probably somewhat shaken, and their assaults rendered less effective.] But exertions like these could not have been long sustained.

The regiment was now much reduced, and if not supported, must soon have been annihilated. From this fate it was saved by the opportune arrival of the brigade of Brigadier-General John Stuart, who advanced from the second line, and formed his brigade on the left of the Highlanders, occupying as far as his line extended, part of the vacant space to the right of the Guards. No support could have been more seasonable. The enemy were now advancing in great force, both of cavalry and infantry, with a seeming determination to overwhelm the small body of men who had so long stood their ground against their reiterated efforts. To their astonishment they found a fresh and more numerous body of troops, who withstood their charge with such firmness and spirit, that in a few minutes they were forced to retreat with great precipitation.

By this time it was eight o'clock in the morning, and although, from the repulse of the enemy at all points, it was pretty evident how the battle would terminate, appearances were still formidable. The French continued a heavy and constant cannonade from their great guns, and a straggling fire from their sharpshooters, who had ranged themselves in hollows, and behind some sand-hills in front of the redoubt and ruins. The fire of the British had ceased, as those who had been so hotly engaged had expended the whole of their ammunition; and a fresh supply, owing to the distance of the ordnance stores, could not be immediately procured. While this unavoidable cessation of hostilities on our part astonished the enemy, who ascribed it to some design which they could not comprehend, the army suffered exceedingly from their fire, particularly the Highlanders and the right of General Stuart's brigade, who were exposed without cover to its full effect, being posted on a level piece of ground, over which the cannon-shot rolled after striking the ground, and carried off a file of men at every successive rebound. This was more trying to the courage and discipline of the troops than the former attacks; but the trial was supported with perfect steadiness. Not a man moved from his position, except to close up the opening made by the shot, when his right or left hand man was struck down. The long shot which passed over the first line struck in front of the second, [Lieutenant-Colonel David Ogilvie of the 44th, son of Sir John Ogilvie, Baronet, was mortally wounded in the second line. Several other officers also suffered.] where it did great execution.

To stand in this manner with perfect firmness, exposed to a galling fire, without any object to engage the attention or occupy the mind, and without the power of making the smallest resistance, was a trial of the character of the British soldier, to which the enemy did full justice. Witnessing the fact, although mistaken in the cause, they could more fully estimate the value of this admirable military quality.

Having thus endeavoured to preserve an uninterrupted narrative of the proceedings on the right, where the conflict was now nearly terminated, I shall next proceed to give a short detail of the actions of the centre. Before the dawn of day a heavy column of infantry advanced on the position occupied by the Guards. General Ludlow allowed them to approach very close to his front, before he ordered his fire to be opened. This was done with such effect, that they were forced back with precipitation. Endeavouring therefore to turn the left of the position, they were received and repulsed with such spirit, by the Royals and the right wing of the 54th, that they desisted from all further attempts to carry that position. Still, however, they continued an irregular fire from their cannon and sharpshooters, the former of which did more execution in the second line than in front. The left of the line was never engaged, as General Regnier, who commanded the right of the French line, never advanced to the attack, but kept up a heavy cannonade, from which several corps on the left of the British suffered considerably.

During the cessation of the fire on the right, the enemy advanced their sharpshooters close to the redoubt; but before they had commenced their operations from this new position, the ammunition arrived. At the first shot fired from the 24 pounder on the redoubt, they began to retreat with much expedition; and before a fourth round was discharged, they had fled beyond reach. [Perhaps the retreat was hastened by the admirable precision with which the gun was levelled by Colonel Duncan of the artillery. He pointed at the sixth file from the right angle of the close column, and directed his shot with so much precision, that it levelled with the ground all that were outward of the file, either killing or overthrowing them by the force of the concussion; the second shot plunged into the centre of the column ; the third had less effect, as the column opened in the retreat; and, before the fourth was ready, they were nearly covered by the sand-hills.] The retreat was general over the whole line, and by ten o'clock the enemy had gained their position in front of Alexandria. The strength of this position, the number of its defenders, and the fatigue already sustained by the British army, rendered it necessary to proceed with caution. In addition to these considerations, another great reason for desisting from such an attempt was the loss of the Commander-in-Chief. Early , in the day he had taken his station in front, and in a line between the right of the Highlanders and the left of the redoubt, so as to be clear of the fire of the 28th regiment who occupied it. The 42d, when advanced, were in a line with him. Standing there, he had a full view of the field; and here having detached the whole of his staff on various duties, he was left alone: this was perceived by two of the enemy's cavalry, when they dashed forward, and drawing up on each side, attempted to lead him away prisoner. In this unequal contest he received a blow on the breast; but with the vigour and strength of arm, for which he was distinguished, he seized on the sabre of one of those who struggled with him, and forced it out of his hand. At this moment a corporal of the 42d seeing his situation, ran up to his assistance, and shot one of the assailants, on which the other retired.

Some time after the General attempted to alight from his horse. A soldier of the Highlanders, seeing that he had some difficulty in dismounting, assisted him, and asked if he should follow him with the horse. He answered, "I don't imagine I will require him any more this day." While all this was passing, no officer was near him. The first officer he met was Sir Sidney Smith, and observing that his sword was broken, the General presented him with the trophy which he had gained. He betrayed no symptoms of personal pain, nor relaxed a moment the intense interest he took in the state of the field; nor was it perceived that he was wounded, till he was joined by some of the staff, who observed the blood trickling down his thigh. Even during the interval between the time of his being wounded and the last charge of cavalry, he walked with a firm and steady step along the line of the Highlanders, and General Stuart's brigade, to the position of the Guards, in the centre of the line, where, from its elevated situation, he had a full view of the whole field of battle. Here he remained, regardless of the wound, giving his orders so much in his usual manner, that the officers who came to receive them perceived nothing that indicated either pain or anxiety. These officers afterwards could not sufficiently express their astonishment when they came to learn the state in which he was, and the pain which he must have suffered from the nature of his wound. A musket ball had entered his groin, and lodged deep in the hip-joint. The ball was even so firmly fixed, that it required considerable force to extract it after his death. My respectable friend, Dr Alexander Robertson, the surgeon who attended him, assured me that nothing could exceed his surprise and admiration at the calmness of his heroic patient. With a wound in such a part, connected with, and bearing on every part of his body, it is a matter of surprise how he could move at all; and nothing but the most intense interest in the fate of his army, the issue of the battle, and the honour of the British name, could have inspired and sustained such resolution. As soon as the impulse ceased in the assurance of victory, he yielded to exhausted nature, acknowledged that he required some rest, and lay down on a little sand-hill close to the battery.

He was now surrounded by the Generals and a number of officers. At a respectful distance the soldiers were seen crowding round this melancholy group, pouring out their blessings on his head, and their prayers for his recovery. He was carried on board the Foudroyant, where he lingered for some days, still maintaining his usual serenity and composure. On the morning of the 28th of March his breathing became difficult and agitated, and in a few hours he expired. "As his life was honourable, so his death was glorious. His memory will be recorded in the annals of his country, will be sacred to every British soldier, and embalmed in the memory of a grateful posterity." [General Hutchinson's Official Despatches.] The respect and affection with which this excellent man, and highly distinguished commander, was universally regarded, may be considered as a most honourable tribute to his talents and integrity. Though a rigid disciplinarian, when rigour was necessary, such was the general confidence in his judgment and in the honour and integrity of his measures, that, in the numerous armies which he at different periods commanded, not a complaint was ever heard, that his rigour bordered on injustice, or that his decisions were influenced by partiality, prejudice, or passion. Under such a commander, no British soldier will ever be found to fail in his duty in the hour of trial.

[The different incidents in Sir Ralph Abercromby's life are well known; but, as every thing relative to such a man must be interesting, I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of delineating a few traits of his character. As a soldier, he displayed a strong and vigorous intellect, with a military genius which overcame the disadvantages of inexperience. It was at the age of 61 that General Abercromby first took the field, in 1793, in an active campaign, having seen but little service, except as a subaltern of dragoons, for a short time in Germany, in the Seven Years' War. At this age, when many men are retiring from the fatigues of life, he commenced an honourable and successful career of military duty. From the very outset, he displayed great talent. His appointment was a signal proof of the discernment of the late Lord Melville, who was in habits of intimacy with him, and who, in reciprocal visits at their country residences, saw his value, and subsequently recommended him to the King. Thus, in a fortunate hour for his country, he was called from his retirement at that late period of life. , Successful in every military movement or attempt where he could act from his own judgment, or was not deceived by false intelligence, as in the case of Porto Rico, by "his steady observance of discipline, his ever-watchful attention to the health of his troops, the persevering and unconquerable spirit which marked his military career, the splendour of his actions in the field, and the heroism of his death, he showed an example worthy the imitation of all who desire, like him, a life of honour and a death of glory." (Letter from his Royal Highness the Duke of York.)

There was something remarkable in this family. The father, who was born in 1704, lived to see his four sons honoured and respected, and at the head of their different professions. While his eldest son, Sir Ralph, was Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies, his second son, Sir Robert, held the same station in the East; Lord Abercromby, the third son, was an eminent, learned, and virtuous judge ; and the fourth died in possession of an independent fortune, acquired in the service of the East India Company. Three of his daughters were married to gentlemen of family and fortune, who resided so near him, that he could dine with either any day he chose ; and his fourth daughter, continuing unmarried, devoted her days to the declining years of her father. Latterly he lived with his son. I happened to be in Edinburgh in May 1800, and dined with Lady Abercromby on the day Sir Ralph left her to embark on that expedition from which he never returned. A King's messenger had arrived from London the day before, and Sir Ralph, only waiting for a few family arrangements, set out on the following morning. When at dinner with the family after his departure, I was affected in a manner which I can never forget, by the respectable old gentleman's anxiety about his son, and his observations and inquiries about his future intentions, and what service was intended for him. His particular destination was not known at that time, but it was suspected that he would be immediately employed. "They will wear him out," said he, "too soon," (the son was then in his 68th year,) "and make an old man of him before his time, with their expeditions to Holland one year, and the West Indies the next; and, if he would follow my advice, he would settle at home and take his rest." And when Lady Abercromby observed that she was afraid that he must go abroad, "Then," said he, "he will never see me more." The verification of this melancholy prediction was to be expected from his great age, being then in his 97th year. He died in the month of July following, eight months before his son, whose absence he regretted so much.]

Thus I have endeavoured to give a plain and unvarnished narrative of the principal events of a series of engagements, interesting in themselves, and most important in their consequences. To rescue from a powerful enemy a country, in the previous conquest and preservation of which they had expended much blood and treasure, and by the permanent possession of which they calculated on the execution of great ultimate plans, was certainly an important achievement. But this result was less glorious than that of having destroyed the ideal invincibility of an army to which defeat was hitherto unknown, and which, from a continued career of success, had some reason for assuming such a proud distinction.

I must here observe, however, that to describe a battle of any duration and extent, in a manner satisfactory to all who were present, is extremely difficult, if not impossible, since events and objects vary in their appearances according to the position of the observer. The weight of the battle was sustained by the Reserve on the right, the Guards, two regiments of the first brigade, on the centre, and the brigade of General Stuart, which gave to the Highlanders such timely and effectual support, making the sum-total of the British actually engaged somewhat less than 6000 men. Yet from the narrowness of the ground, from the nearness of their opponents, and from part of the line being broken and mixed with the enemy, (as was the case with the Highlanders), in a conflict where men were personally opposed, and victory depended on dexterity and strength of arm, and where the struggle was so long and so obstinately maintained, as was the case in this important battle, it will appear surprising, on a comparison of the numbers who fell on this day and in the previous battle of the 13th that the loss on both occasions should be so nearly equal; while, on the 13th, the loss of the French was less by one-half than that of the British, and on this occasion it was so much greater, that 1700 men were left on the field, either killed or desperately wounded. To this must be added the number that was killed and wounded within and in front of the French line, which, calculated in the usual proportion of wounded to killed, will be found to have been very considerable. In-deed, while the number of British killed amounted to 224 soldiers, there were buried of the enemy 1040 men on the field of battle. Allowing, therefore, three wounded for every one killed, (and, on reference to our returns of casualties, there will be found in many instances a much greater proportion of wounded,) the total loss of the enemy that day, exclusive of prisoners, must have been upwards of 4000 men.

I have been the more minute in this calculation, because it serves to illustrate a position interesting to every soldier; that the loss of men will always be smaller, and success more certain, according as the energy and alacrity with which an attack is made, or the cool and steady intrepidity with which it is received, are more conspicuous, Thus we have seen, that, on the 13th, when there was no close fighting, (except the charges made on the 90th and 92d,) and when, from causes already noticed, the slow advance, and the hesitation in following up the attack and pushing the enemy to the walls of Alexandria, allowed them full opportunity to take cool aim on the extended line, the loss in killed and wounded on our part was nearly equal to that of the succeeding engagement. On the 21st of March, there was no hesita-tion, but, on the contrary, the most determined and effective resistance was made to the boldest attacks of the enemy, and the promptest and most rapid advance, when it was necessary to prevent their nearer approach. The cool and steady manner in which our line reserved their fire till the object was within reach, had undoubtedly the most appalling influence on the enemy, producing a trepidation which rendered a steady aim impossible; and when their cavalry, after charging through the Highlanders, still saw themselves followed and attacked, they certainly seemed paralyzed; for they galloped about, flourishing their sabres in the air, and ready to cut at any enemy that came in their way, but seemingly not looking for one. All this, too, happened in a confined space immediately in rear of the 42d and of the redoubt of the 28th.

[Although this redoubt was elevated in front, and covered the men breast high, it was open to the rear, having a low and narrow platform running round the inside of the parapet on which the men stood. The 23d and 40th flank companies, and the 58th, were likewise partly covered by the immense masses of ruinous walls. This circumstance will account for the small loss of those corps of the same brigade, in comparison of that of the Highlanders, as the difference has given rise to a belief among many, that the heavy loss of the latter was owing to their allowing themselves to be overpowered and broken by the enemy. In the 23d regiment, the number of officers and soldiers killed and wounded was 20; in the 28th, the number was 70; in the 40th flank companies, 7; in the 58th, 24; and in the 42d, 316, nearly three times the aggregate amount of the loss of all the other regiments of the Reserve. Such a contrast as this, and so great a proportional loss, might occasion a supposition that they showed less promptitude in attacking, and less firmness in repelling the enemy than those who had fewer killed. But, fortunately for the honour of the corps, there was in this case an evident cause in the confidence reposed by the Commander-in-Chief in their firmness, when he posted them on a smooth level piece of ground, fully exposed to the attacks of cavalry, infantry, and every arm which the enemy could bring forward. He gave another proof of this confidence by putting himself at their head during the hottest hours of the battle, and never leaving them till the hardest part of the contest was decided. The corps had thus an opportunity, which, otherwise situated, they could not have had, of evincing whether they still retained any part of the intrepidity which characterized their predecessors in the regiment, and their countrymen in other national corps.]

A fine opportunity was thus afforded those two regiments, and it was not lost; for (as I have observed already) very few of those who penetrated to the rear through the 42d were permitted to return; and on this sandy spot, which had been so keenly contested, and had formed an arena for a display of personal prowess, it was not easy to determine whether men or horses were more thickly strewed, although, from the larger size of the latter, they occupied more space. It has seldom happened that so many men have fallen on so limited an extent of ground.

The death of their veteran and heroic commander was felt by the British as a heavy calamity. Besides him there were killed, 10 officers, 9 sergeants, and 224 rank and file: and wounded, 60 officers, 48 sergeants, 3 drummers, and 1082 rank and file. The Highlanders lost Brevet-Major Robert Bisset, Lieutenants Colin Campbell, Robert Anderson, Alexander Stewart, Alexander Donaldson, and Archibald M'Nicol, [These six officers were promising young men, and their death was a sensible loss to the regiment, Lieutenants Campbell and Donaldson had had the advantage of an education suited to their profession. Few officers equalled Major Bisset in every professional accomplishment. With a keen and penetrating mind, great application in his youth, and a retentive memory, his information was general and extensive, and equally fitted him to support the character of the soldier, the gentleman, and the man of the world. He was son of Robert Bisset of Glenelbert, in Athole, who had been, at any early period, an officer in Lord Loudon's and Lord John Murray's Highlanders, and afterwards on Lord George Sackville's Staff. He was aide-de-camp to that general at the battle of Minden, and an evidence of importance to his Lordship's defence at his trial. He was also many years Commissary-General for Great Britain, and was succeeded in 1793 by Alderman Brook Watson. Lieutenant Campbell was son of Captain Patrick Campbell, of Campbell's Highlanders, in the Seven Year's War. This respectable veteran possessed apparently an inexhaustible store of Ossian's and other ancient and modern Gaelic poetry, which he used to repeat with the ease and fluency common in the Highlands in his youth, This veteran soldier, poet, and bard, died at Inverlochy, in December 1816, in his 80th year,] and 48 rank and file, killed; and had Major James Stirling, Captain David Stewart, Lieutenants Hamilton Rose, J. Milford Sutherland, A. M. Cuningham, Frederick Campbell, Maxwell Grant, [This officer, afterwards a Colonel in the Portuguese service, was wounded by a bayonet, which entered one side of his stomach, a little below the navel, and came out at the other. Lieutenant Stewart, son of Mr Stewart of Foss, was wounded in the same part of the body by a musket ball, which passed through in like manner. After the action, they lay together in the same tent. Mr Grant vomiting and throwing up blood was considered in immediate danger; Mr Stewart complained of nothing but a degree of tension and dull pain in the lower part of the abdomen, and the wound was consequently thought trifling. The result was quite unexpected. Lieutenant Stewart died at four o'clock the same evening, and Lieutenant Grant was quite well within a fortnight. Lieutenant Sutherland, now Major of the 91st regiment, was wounded in the belly by the push of a bayonet, which entered four inches, and with such violence as to throw him on his back; but such was the yielding nature of the inner membrane of the stomach, that it was not pierced; and within three weeks Mr Sutherland was able to join his regiment.] Ensign William Mackenzie, 6 sergeants, and 247 rank and file, wounded.

The conquest of Egypt might now be considered as complete. Such, indeed, was the opinion of the French army, at least of that part of it which had been engaged on the 21st, and were now in Alexandria. They readily acknowledged that all future resistance was merely for the honour of France, and the glory of her arms. Succeeding events proved this, and that they only waited to be attacked in order to surrender.

Rhamanieh, an important post, commanding the passage of the Nile, preserving the communication between Alexandria and Cairo, and defended by 4000 infantry, 800 cavalry, and 32 pieces of cannon, was, on the approach of the British, evacuated in the course of the night. One hundred and fifty men were left in the place to keep up fires and lights, the better to conceal the retreat of the French. During the advance, there was a good deal of skirmishing and cannonading, by which the British lost 30 killed and wounded, including 6 officers.

General Hutchinson proceeded to Cairo. The French general, Belliard, waited until the approaches of the British were so far completed as to enable him to capitulate with honour; and, on the 22d of June, he offered to surrender, on condition of being sent to France, and of his army retaining their arms and baggage. Thus all Egypt was conquered at Alexandria; but, notwithstanding the ease with which (except the sufferings from fatigue and climate) this conquest was accomplished, General Hutchinson experienced great difficulties and perplexities when he succeeded to the command.

With an army much reduced by three successive battles, and possessing little more than the ground on which the troops were encamped, while the enemy, though beaten, was still numerous, and occupied every strong place in the country, the Commander-in-Chief had only a choice of difficulties. Whether to commence hostilities against Alexandria, or leaving it to the last, proceed up the country to attack the army there, was a question of much moment, and anxious consideration. Although the result demonstrated how easy it was to conquer Upper Egypt, that was not known to General Hutchinson, who had to oppose a greater force than he expected. In his despatches previous to his immediate approach to Cairo, he states his belief that there were not more than 6000 troops of all kinds in the town, whereas the numbers exceeded 13,000, of whom 10,850 were French. But, as I have already said, Cairo was taken on the 21st of March, and so was Alexandria: as it was found that nothing was required for the completion of every object for which the expedition had been originally undertaken but to make such an attack as would, by its boldness, and the strength of the force brought forward, enable General Menou to make an honourable defence, and to show that his surrender would not sully the glory of the French arms.

[Early in July, the British army was reinforced from England and Minorca by the 22d dragoons, a detachment of Guards, two battalions of the 20th foot, the 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th regiments, the Ancient Irish Fencibles, and the foreign regiments of Watteville's and Chasseurs Britanniques. The Irish Fencibles were enlisted for European service only, and were ordered from Ireland to Minorca, where they were quartered in 1801. When more troops were required in Egypt, this regiment was treated in the same manner as at different times the Highland regiments had been, and, without regard to their terms of service, was ordered to embark for Africa. The men complained, and stated the nature of their engagement, but to no purpose; and, being less refractory than the Highlanders had showed themselves in similar circumstances, they embarked, though reluctantly. However, when they found themselves fairly landed in Egypt, and were ordered to march forward from the beach to join the army before Alexandria, making a virtue of necessity, and with characteristic good humour, they pulled off their hats, and, with three cheers, cried out, "We will volunteer now." My countrymen, in the days of their spirited independence, would not have yielded so readily, and would have been in no humour to sport their jokes on such an occasion.

The whole proceeded from a mistake in the nature of the engagement on which these men were to serve. The order to embark them from Minorca must, however, have been clear and positive; otherwise General Fox, who commanded there, and whose mildness of disposition, and high sense of honour and probity, are so well known, would never have countenanced any breach of engagement.]

When the army had returned from Cairo, and the necessary preparations had been made, General Hutchinson proceeded to the investment of Alexandria; and detaching General Coote, with nearly half the army, to the westward of the town, he himself advanced from the eastward. In this manner, General Menou, finding himself surrounded on two sides by an enemy 14,500 strong, [The army from India had not descended the Nile.] by the sea on the north, cut off from the country by the newly-formed lake f on the south, and already forced to subsist his troops on horse flesh, could delay a surrender only for the sake of effect.

[When General Hutchinson marched for Cairo, leaving General Coote to blockade Alexandria, the latter officer, wishing to strengthen his position, and lessen the line of blockade, availed himself of the natural formation of the country, and of a valley running upwards of forty miles to the westward. The bottom was under the level of the sea, which, as I have already stated, was only prevented running into it by the dike, on which the water was carried by a canal from the Nile to Alexandria. He directed four cuts of six yards in breadth, to be made in the dike, and the cuts ten yards asunder. When the fascines which protected the workmen were removed, the water rushed in with a fall of nearly seven feet, and with such force, that all the cuts were soon washed away; and although the whole breach widened to the extent of 300 feet, it was nearly a month before the valley was filled, and the water found its level. Indeed, there was always a considerable current running westward, the evaporation in that scorching climate requiring a constant supply.]

In the meantime, the French general played his part well, and every advance was disputed, until the evening of the 26th of August, when he demanded an armistice for three days, to afford time to form conditions of capitulation. The armistice was agreed to; and, on the 2d of September, the capitulation was signed, and ratified by the respective commanders.

In these short but conclusive movements, little occurred worthy of notice beyond what was to be expected when one army was pushing another to an ultimate surrender, except a very spirited affair, in which the 30th regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Lockhart, displayed its gallantry and discipline. It was low in numbers, and did not exceed 180 men. On the 16th of August, being on duty in the trenches to cover the workmen, while constructing an advanced battery on a piece of ground covered with white sparkling sand, which the soldiers jocularly called the "Green Hill," a column of 600 of the enemy appeared on the left, as if they intended to attack and destroy the new battery. Colonel Lockhart immediately suggested to Colonel Brent Spencer, who commanded the advance, the propriety of marching out to meet and attack this party instead of waiting for them in the trenches. To this the latter consented, and immediately ordered the 30th out of the trenches, where they lay sheltered from a smart fire which was kept up on the battery. They were hardly formed before the enemy had reached the brow of the hill, covered with showers of round and grape shot from all their batteries. They were immediately charged by the 30th, and totally routed, with the loss of upwards of 100 men left behind killed or wounded, and several prisoners. As Colonel Lockhart advanced with spirit, so he retired with judgment. Seeing a large body of the enemy in reserve, as a second line to their first, who opened a heavy fire upon his party, he immediately drew them off, as a farther attack on this reserve was not necessary, and to remain under the fire of the batteries would have only been a sacrifice of his men. [This attack was made under the immediate observation of General Menou, who, it is said, upbraided his troops for permitting these works to proceed with impunity. A party was immediately selected or volunteered to destroy them; but the attempt, as has been seen, was not made with impunity, and the works proceeded without farther interruption.]

This little exploit was performed at mid-day in presence of the whole army, who witnessed this striking proof of the good effects of closing upon an enemy with energy and alacrity, instead of waiting to be attacked. Had Colonel Lockhart, with his inferior numbers, stood to receive the attack of the enemy, thinned as he must have been while thus exposed to the heavy fire from the batteries, the result would have been doubtful; but he trusted to the bayonet, which, in a steady hand, will never fail to be decisive. [General Hutchinson, noticing this circumstance in his despatches, forgot to mention, that, although Colonel Spencer was present, and ordered the charge, he was under the command of Brigadier- General Doyle, who was close in the rear at the time, and had left his sick-room at Rosetta to command his brigade the moment he heard of the movement in advance; and, on his representing these circumstances, General Hutchinson most readily corrected his omission in the subsequent despatches. The truth was, the thing of itself was of no importance. Any real merit belonged to Colonel Lockhart, who proposed and executed the exploit, and who was so gallantly supported by his officers and men.]

Equally problematical would have been the safety and success of the Highlanders on the 21st of March, had they trusted to their fire alone, and stood still to receive the charge of the enemy on the left of the redoubt. But, converting a defence into an attack, they rushed forward in the face of the enemy, who were advancing in full charge; and although the Highlanders suffered when the cavalry charged through the intervals occasioned by the attacks of the infantry, there is little doubt, that, if they had stood still, and had not rushed upon the enemy, the loss would have been much more considerable.

The proceedings against Alexandria showed to what a pitch of perfection the British artillery had arrived. The battery which had been so bravely protected by the 30th regiment, was finished on the evening of the 25th of August; and although an irregular fire was kept up on the working parties from the surrounding batteries of the enemy, the works were little interrupted, the fire being so ill directed that only one man (a soldier of the 90th) was killed; Very different was the effect of the fire from the battery on the "Green Hill," which opened at six o'clock in the morning of the 26th. Before mid-day the enemy were completely silenced, their batteries destroyed, and the guns withdrawn. On the west of Alexandria, the tower of Marabout was bombarded from a battery commanded by Captain Curry of the Royal Artillery. The first shot struck the tower four feet from the ground; every succeeding shot struck the same spot, and in this manner he continued, never missing his mark, till a large hole was in a manner bored completely through, when the building fell, and filling up the surrounding ditch, the place was instantly surrendered.

The expedition being brought to this fortunate conclusion, immediate preparations were made for embarkation. The French were first embarked, and sailed for France.

State of the Numbers of both Armies.

The killed and wounded of the British in the different actions are stated in the following return. The three principal actions happening previously to the arrival of the reinforcements, the weight fell on those who first landed, and who, as formerly stated, did not, from sickness and various causes, exceed 12,934 in the field.

Return of Killed and Wounded of the British Army during the Campaign in Egypt.

Thus, after a campaign of more than five months, from the landing on the 8th of March till the surrender of Alexandria, the service was completed in a manner honourable to the talents of the commanders, and the bravery, discipline, and steady conduct of the troops.

[The good conduct of the troops was conspicuous on other occasions than when opposed to the enemy. From the difficulty of procuring specie to subsist the army, no pay was issued to the soldiers for eight months; and, except when officers made advances from their private resources, (which was done at great loss, as upwards of twenty per cent. was lost by the exchange,) the soldiers had not wherewithal to purchase the most common necessaries of life. Living entirely on their rations, in a country abounding in every luxury and fruit, particularly the musk and water-melon, so grateful in hot climates, they could not command a melon or a pound of grapes for the want of money; and yet there was not a murmur.

It has often been remarked with surprise, how submissive French troops have been when irregularly paid; but it ought to be recollected, that, in an enemy's country, and sometimes in that of their friends, they were allowed much freedom in obtaining what they required; and, if the supplies were not given voluntarily, they showed no hesitation in helping themselves. In Egypt, every thing was paid for by the British as if purchased at Leadenhall or Covent Garden markets; and, with the thoughtless generosity of their character, they always raised every market by offering more than demanded. Such extravagant folly, however, was checked in this instance ; and, when the soldiers got subsistence money, any one who offered to forestall, or give a higher price than that established by the general orders, was checked and reprehended.]

No time was to be lost in making the necessary arrangements for settling, in quarters, the troops who were destined to remain in the country, and to embark those who were ordered to other stations.

Despatch in embarking the troops was the more necessary, as ophthalmia and dysentery had increased to an alarming degree. Fortunately the plague, which had got into the British camp in April, now disappeared, or became of so mild a nature, as to be in nowise dangerous, and indeed to give little inconvenience. This frightful disease was introduced among the troops by accident. A vessel from Smyrna, with the plague on board, had lost eleven out of thirteen of her crew on the passage, and the two survivors, steering for the first land, unluckily reached the spot, on the western shore of Aboukir Bay, where a camp had been formed as an hospital for the sick and wounded, and running the vessel on shore, struck the ground close to the tents. Some men went on board, and, on seeing the state of the crew, the alarm was given, but too late;—the contagion was caught, and it soon spread. Every precaution was now adopted to prevent any communication with the rest of the army. A line of sentinels was immediately placed round the hospital ground; no intercourse whatever was allowed; and if any individuals went within the line, they were not permitted to return. Provisions and all necessaries were left on the line of demarcation by those on the outside, and when they had removed to some distance, those within came and took them away.

[Dr Buchan, Physician to the Forces, had at this time arrived from Edinburgh, where he had been in private practice; and, with a fearless and honourable zeal, volunteered to do the duty of the Pest Hospital, though Dr Finlay, and other medical officers, had already died of the plague. To cross this line, and enter the den of death, as it was called, and undergo all the consequent privations, exposed, under a canvas tent, to the chilling dews of night and the fiery-heat of an Egyptian mid-day sun, formed no common contrast to the comforts of Edinburgh practice. Such zeal met with well-merited good fortune, so far, that he was very successful in the treatment of the disease. More than one-half of those who were attacked, that is, 400 out of 700 men, recovered under his judicious arrangements. How few recovered under the practice of Turkish surgeons (if surgeons they may be called) is well known. Dr Buchan further proved his successful practice. He himself recovered from two attacks of the plague; Assistant-Surgeon Webster of the 90th also overcame two attacks; and it at last became of so mild a nature, that, in the month of July, when the cook of the hospital was seized, it was with so little fever, that he never gave up his work, nor complained, till he found it necessary to apply for some dressings when the sores occasioned by the disease had suppurated. The plague is always most violent in cold weather; but as the hot season approaches, it abates, and, when the temperature has reached the maximum, it disappears altogether. On the other hand, the yellow fever of New York, generated by heat, is destroyed by cold. As to the fever of the West Indies, it appears and disappears without any visible cause.]

By these strict precautions, and the unremitting zeal of Dr Young, who had so ably conducted the hospitals in the West Indies, and who had been recommended by Sir Ralph Abercromby for the same duties in Egypt, the disease was prevented from spreading, and only one instance of it occurred in the camp before Alexandria. A French cavalry deserter had given his cloak to a soldier of the 58th, who was acting as clerk in the Adjutant-General's department. The soldier was seized with the plague the following night, and died. Fortunately, from his duty as clerk, he had a small tent exclusively for himself, in which he wrote and slept. This, with all that belonged to him, was burnt to ashes, and thus the pestilence was prevented from spreading to those in the neighbouring tents, who, though quite close, had had no personal communication with him.

[I state the above case more particularly, as it is disputed among medical men, whether the plague spreads by infection or by contact. In Egypt it was clearly by contact. This case came under my immediate observation. I was badly wounded on the 21st of March, and sent on board ship, but being anxious to be with my regiment, I was carried on shore as soon as I could be moved . Unable to perform any active duty, I took a military superintendance pf the convalescents in the hospital of the wounded, and thus had an opportunity of seeing and hearing much of what was passing among the sick. The corporal's tent was twelve yards in rear of mine, but, fortunately, the nature of his complaint was early discovered, and the necessary precautions taken. If it were communicated by air, how could those who lived within a few yards of him, separated only by a piece of canvas, have escaped?]

The army sent from India, under the command of Major-General David Baird, to reinforce and act in conjunction with that under General Abercromby in Egypt, reached Cossier on the western shore of the Red Sea in June. After a harassing march across the Desart to Kenna, they descended the Nile in boats to Rosetta, and encamped there in August. Although various accidents occasioned so much delay as to prevent the full accomplishment of the combined plan of operations, which was to bring together two armies from such opposite points in the eastern and western hemisphere, yet the report of a reinforcement from India being expected, might probably have had some influence in quickening Belliard's surrender of Cairo. But however this might be, the junction was highly gratifying to numbers in both armies; and it was interesting to witness so unexpected a meeting of old friends, school-fellows, and companions, in a country which, in the days of their first acquaintance, they no more thought of seeing than the land of Canaan or of Goshen.

This army was in high discipline, and in full order of service. It consisted of the 10th and 61st regiments, with large detachments of the 80th, 86th, and 88th British regiments, the 1st battalion of the 1st Bombay, and the 2d battalion of the 7th regiment, a detachment of Bengal volunteers, and a full proportion of artillery, in all 5227 rank and file, besides 1593 Lascars, servants, and followers of the camp.

To those who had never seen Asiatic troops, this opportunity was very gratifying; and as they had, on many occasions, sufficiently evinced their improvement under the discipline of British officers, and had distinguished themselves for all the moral, and many of the best military duties, in the field and in quarters, it was generally regretted that circumstances prevented them from meeting the troops of France in the field.

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