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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 70

Dated: 27th March 1811. C.B. Vinho Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts
Stamped on address fold ‘AP 13 1811’

My dearest Mary,

We are just arrived at our quarters after a very long and difficult days March. I have however just thought and power to keep my Eyes open to send you a few brief (sic) to tell you I am quite well – This Army continues to follow up the movements of the Enemy and I suppose will do so as far as the Frontier of Portugal – Our route of course depends on that taken by Massena – This latest has been a very well conducted one – We have made several prisoners and taken some guns; I am not quite sure of the numbers of either. It is very fatiguing as we get little rest and little to eat and drink. The name of the village we have just come to is Vinho: but of which there is a plentiful scarcity. I hope we shall soon have a day or two to ourselves as I want to write to you & my other friends in England.

I am glad to find (repeats this phrase) your Mother is going to London. I think it will be pleasant for all parties and my poor friends days alone at Money Hill. However you have three young men to take care of you – I hope they are tolerably obedient. If any body would give me enough to live in the country with you I believe I should be tempted to by it. I cannot tell you any news – the scenes of misery we are daily witness to is quite beyond expression.

Must beg my best regards to all your family and to mine – God Bless you my dearest friend I am always your faithful ---? – C.B.

27th March 1811

I have not heard very lately from Paterson but he is quite well. You must not expect firm letters from me – for I have not been in a house till today these three weeks almost.


i) Vinho – probably near Moita, West of Celorico – Cowper puts 1st Bn 4th Foot in Moita for 20-25 March and at Celorico 29 March but the C.O. is no doubt a better source
ii) 5th Division had been sent before this on a looping course in the hope of outflanking the French rearguard but it did not come off
iii) Paterson in 2nd Bn 28th was in a Brigade still on the other bank of the Tagus
iv) It seems incredible that this letter should have survived and reached England on 13 April - from what despite many new highways is still a remote corner of Portugal whence postcards do not take much less time than Wellington’s support services achieved


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