Battle of Villagarcia
Cotton intended to trap the French cavalry, which was separated by a number of miles from the main body of the French army, by executing simultaneous frontal and flank attacks. The plan came close to disaster when the forces making the frontal assault pushed forward prematurely, the situation was saved by the timely arrival of John Le Marchants force on the French left flank. The recent fall of the French occupied fortress city of Badajoz, on 6 April 1812, the French rearguard under General DErlon were under orders to fall back towards Seville if pressed hard. Hills cavalry, under Sir Stapleton Cotton, were indeed pressing those French forces still remaining in the province of Extremadura hard, Stapleton Cottons cavalry consisted of John Le Marchants heavy brigade, John Slades heavy brigade and Frederick Ponsonbys light brigade. Only Ponsonbys brigade and the 5th Dragoon Guards were involved in the fighting, the French cavalry force, attached to DErlons two infantry divisions, commanded by General François Charles Lallemand was composed of the 2nd Hussars and the 17th and 27th Dragoons.
On the evening of 10 April 1811, General Cotton climbed the steeple of a church in Bienvenida and he knew that the French were occupying Llerena and saw that there were considerable numbers of French cavalry five miles closer to him near the village of Villagarcia. Cotton decided that he should attempt to trap the French cavalry with his superior forces, slade was instructed to concentrate his brigade on Bienvenida, though he seems to have been tardy in moving. Cotton retained the 16th Light Dragoons as a reserve, ponsonby subsequently found his two regiments faced by the three strong regiments under Lallemand and had to make a controlled withdrawal whilst skirmishing against heavy odds. Following his orders, Le Marchant had moved his brigade though the night over tortuous terrain for a considerable distance. Coming down from rugged hills bordering the plain where the action was fought Le Marchant, Le Marchant realised that an immediate charge was needed before Ponsonbys squadrons were forced into the congested and broken ground to their rear.
Lallemand, it is recorded, caught a glimpse of red-coated figures in the woods to his left and rode to alert General Peyremmont, Peyremmont scorned Lallemands concerns, saying that the British dragoons were probably a small detachment who had lost their way. At this point the advantage that the French had enjoyed in the action was suddenly reversed, Le Marchant led his dragoon guards out of the woods and they formed their ranks whilst accelerating into the charge. The 5th Dragoon Guards attacked with their squadrons in echelon, their left refused, simultaneously with Le Marchants charge the 16th Light Dragoons, led by Cotton, appeared to Ponsonbys right-rear, they jumped a stone wall in line, and charged. The French cavalry were thrown into instant confusion and were swiftly broken, the British pursuit, continuing to inflict casualties and take prisoners, was conducted all the way back to the walls of Llerena where the bulk of DErlons force was concentrated. The French rallied briefly at a ditch halfway to Llerena, a few hours the French abandoned Llerena and continued their retreat out of Extremadura.
The French lost 53 killed or wounded, plus 136 captured and were induced to leave the province of Extremadura, the British lost 51 troopers killed or wounded. Cotton had shown initiative in conceiving a plan to trap the French cavalry, however, as a result, it was probably rather too complex and came dangerously close to breaking down in execution. However, Cotton was flexible in extemporising once his plan was rendered irrelevant when his central force made its presence known to the enemy too soon
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is situated close to the Portuguese border, on the bank of the river Guadiana. The population in 2011 was 151,565, conquered by the Moors in the 8th century, Badajoz became a Moorish kingdom, the Taifa of Badajoz. Spanish history is reflected in the town. Badajoz is the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz, prior to the merger of the Diocese of Mérida and the Diocese of Badajoz, Badajoz was the see of the Diocese of Badajoz from the bishoprics inception in 1255. The architecture of Badajoz is indicative of its tempestuous history, even the Badajoz Cathedral, built in 1238, resembles a fortress, Badajoz is home to the CD Badajoz and AD Cerro de Reyes football clubs and the AB Pacense basketball club. It is served by Badajoz Railway Station and Badajoz Airport, Archaeological finds unearthed in the Badajoz area have been dated to the Bronze Age. Megalithic tombs are dated as far back as 4000 BC, while many of the steles found are from the Late Bronze Age, other finds include weapons such as axes and swords, everyday items of pottery and utensils, and various items of jewellery such as bracelets.
Archaeological excavations have revealed remnants from the Lower Paleolithic period, artifacts have been found at the Roman town of Colonia Civitas Pacensis in the Badajoz area, although a significant number of larger artifacts were found in Mérida. Badajoz attained importance during the reign of Moorish rulers such as the Umayyad caliphs of Córdoba, from the 8th century, the Umayyad dynasty controlled the region until the early 11th century. The official foundation of Badajoz was laid by the Muladi nobleman Ibn Marwan, around 875, under Ibn Marwan, the city was the seat of an effective autonomous rebel state which was quenched only in the 10th century. In 1021, it became the capital of a small Muslim kingdom, Badajoz was known as Baṭalyaws during Muslim rule. The invasion of Badajoz by Christian rulers in 1086 under Alfonso VI of Castile, in addition to an invasion by the Almoravids of Morocco in 1067, Badajoz was invaded by the Almohads in 1147. Badajoz was captured by Alfonso IX of León on 19 March 1230, shortly after its conquest, in the time of Alfonso X the Wise of Castile, a bishopric see was established and work was initiated on the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.
In 1336, during the reign of Alfonso XI of Castile and their victory forced the king of Portugal to desert the city and it fell into neglect. They temporarily lost Barcarrota after a tiff with the Portuguese but soon regained control, fernán Sánchezs grandson of the same name, son of Garci Sánchez de Badajoz, was both lord of Barcarrota and Mayor of Badajoz in 1434. The first hospital was founded in the town by Bishop Fray Pedro de Silva in 1485 and those affected by the plague epidemic were treated here in 1506. With reason to assert their rights to the Portuguese Crown, Philip II of Spain briefly moved his court to Badajoz in August 1580, queen Anne of Austria died in the city two months later, and on 5 December 1580, Philip moved out of the city
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². Its urban area extends beyond the administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people. About 2.8 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area and it is continental Europes westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean, the westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe. Lisbon is recognised as a city because of its importance in finance, media, arts, international trade, education. It is one of the economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector. Humberto Delgado Airport serves over 20 million passengers annually, as of 2015, and the motorway network, the city is the 7th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Istanbul, Barcelona, Madrid and Milan, with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region contributes with a higher GDP PPP per capita than any region in Portugal.
Its GDP amounts to 96.3 billion USD and thus $32,434 per capita, the city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area and it is the political centre of the country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, in 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since it has been a major political and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbons status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal. It has one of the warmest winters of any metropolis in Europe, the typical summer season lasts about four months, from June to September, although in April temperatures sometimes reach around 25 °C.
Although modern archaeological excavations show a Phoenician presence at this location since 1200 BC, another conjecture based on ancient hydronymy suggests that the name of the settlement derived from the pre-Roman appellation for the Tagus, Lisso or Lucio. Lisbons name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela and it was referred to as Olisippo by Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as Olissipo or Olissipona. The Indo-European Celts invaded in the 1st millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population and this indigenous settlement maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians, which would account for the recent findings of Phoenician pottery and other material objects
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
His defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 put him in the top rank of Britains military heroes. Wellesley was born in Dublin, belonging to the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland and he was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons and he was a colonel by 1796, and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, following Napoleons exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the army which defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellesleys battle record is exemplary, he participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career. Wellington is famous for his defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses.
He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, after ending his active military career, Wellington returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party, from 1828 to 1830 and he oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the figures in the House of Lords until his retirement. As such, he belonged to the Protestant Ascendancy and his biographers mostly follow the contemporary newspaper evidence in saying that he was born 1 May 1769, the day that he was baptised. He was most likely born at his parents townhouse,24 Upper Merrion Street, but his mother Anne, Countess of Mornington, recalled in 1815 that he had been born at 6 Merrion Street, Dublin. He spent most of his childhood at his familys two homes, the first a house in Dublin and the second Dangan Castle,3 miles north of Summerhill on the Trim Road in County Meath. In 1781, Arthurs father died and his eldest brother Richard inherited his fathers earldom and he went to the diocesan school in Trim when at Dangan, Mr Whytes Academy when in Dublin, and Browns School in Chelsea when in London.
He enrolled at Eton, where he studied from 1781 to 1784, Eton had no playing fields at the time. In 1785, a lack of success at Eton, combined with a shortage of funds due to his fathers death, forced the young Wellesley. Until his early twenties, Arthur showed little sign of distinction and his mother grew concerned at his idleness, stating. A year later, Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he progressed significantly, becoming a good horseman and learning French, upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement
The wars resulted from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars, which had raged on for years before concluding with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Napoleon became the First Consul of France in 1799, Emperor five years later, inheriting the political and military struggles of the Revolution, he created a state with stable finances, a strong central bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. The British frequently financed the European coalitions intended to thwart French ambitions, by 1805, they had managed to convince the Austrians and the Russians to wage another war against France. At sea, the Royal Navy destroyed a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805, Prussian worries about increasing French power led to the formation of the Fourth Coalition in 1806. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July, although Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, it did not bring a lasting peace for Europe.
Hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia, the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, the Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. Unwilling to bear the consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse and retreat of the Grand Army along with the destruction of Russian lands. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France, a lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 and he was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again, the Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The Congress of Vienna, which started in 1814 and concluded in 1815, established the new borders of Europe and laid out the terms, Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a de facto military dictatorship. The Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleons assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, for its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britains Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him, the so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smoothbore firearm, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry, a soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer. The musket replaced the arquebus, and was in turn replaced by the rifle. By the end of the 17th century, a version of the musket had edged out the arquebus, and the addition of the bayonet edged out the pike. In the 18th century, improvements in ammunition and firing methods allowed rifling to be practical for use. In the 19th century, rifled muskets became common, combining the advantages of rifles, about the time of the introduction of cartridge and multiple rounds of ammunition just a few years later, muskets fell out of fashion. Musket calibers generally ranged from 0.50 to 0.90 in, rifled muskets of the mid-19th century, like the Springfield Model 1861, were significantly more accurate, with the ability to hit a man sized target at a distance of 500 yards or more. However, in the Italian War of 1859, French forces were able to defeat the longer range of Austrian rifle muskets by aggressive skirmishing and rapid bayonet assaults during close quarters combat.
According to the Etymology Dictionary, firearms were often named after animals, and the word derived from the French word mousquette. An alternative theory is that derives from the 16th century French mousquet, -ette, from the Italian moscetto, -etta, the Italian moscetto is a diminutive of mosca, a fly. Hand cannons arrived in Europe from Asia sometime in the early 14th century and they were more commonly used by the early 15th century, particularly in the Hussite wars. It is possible that the noise was at least as important as the missile and these were very short ranged and difficult to load and fire. Hand cannons had a handle, or no handle at all. A wooden stock was added, allowing the weapon to be easily held. The hand cannon evolved into the arquebus by the mid 15th century, the matchlock mechanism was a simple solution to this problem, and placed the match in a clamp on the end of a lever. When a trigger was pulled, the lever would rotate and allowed the match to come in contact with the touch hole, the first European usage of firearms in large ratios was in Hungary under king Matthias Corvinus.
Every third soldier in the Black Army of Hungary had an arquebus, gradual advances in the empirical understanding of the corning of gunpowder made possible a more powerful explosive. The cost of gunpowder gradually fell, by the 16th century the handheld firearm became commonplace, replacing the crossbow and longbow in all advanced armies, and known as the arquebus
Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos
The Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos took place on 28 October 1811 during the Peninsular War. An allied force under General Rowland Hill trapped and defeated a French force under General Jean-Baptiste Girard, a whole French infantry division and a brigade of cavalry were destroyed as viable fighting formations. In the middle of October,1811 a French division under the command of Jean-Baptiste Girard crossed the River Guardiana at Mérida, major-General Rowland Hill consulted with General Wellington and received permission to pursue Girard with his Second Division. By the evening of the 27 October, Hills forces had reached a point four miles from the French at Arroyo dos Molinos, the 71st Regiment of Foot was ordered to occupy the village of Alcuéscar, three miles from Arroyo. The French 34th and 40th Regiments suffered extremely heavy losses during the battle and he wrote to Napoleon, Lhonneur des armes est sauvé, les Aigles ne sont pas tombés au pouvoir de lennemi. Longs cavalry charged, the 2nd Hussars Kings German Legion particularly distinguishing themselves, over 200 of them were captured plus three pieces of artillery.
Included in the haul was the French grenadier company drum, the shell of which was emblazoned with three flaming grenade emblems, the drums and drum majors staff are on display in The Border Regiment museum, Carlisle Castle
Battle of Albuera
The Battle of Albuera was a battle during the Peninsular War. Acting on Napoleons orders, in early 1811 Marshal Soult led a French expedition from Andalusia into Extremadura in a bid to draw Allied forces away from the Lines and ease Massénas plight. Napoleons information was outdated and Soults intervention came too late and understrength, Soult left Badajoz strongly garrisoned. In April, following news of Massénas complete withdrawal from Portugal, the Allies drove most of the French from the surrounding area and began the Siege of Badajoz. Soult rapidly gathered a new army from the French forces in Andalusia and, joining with the troops retreating before Beresford, with intelligence of another approaching force—a Spanish army under Gen. Joaquín Blake—he planned to turn Beresfords flank and interpose his army between the two. The opposing armies met at the village of Albuera, both sides suffered heavily in the ensuing struggle and the French finally withdrew on 18 May. Beresfords army was too battered and exhausted to pursue, but was able to resume the investment of Badajoz, despite Soults failure to relieve the town, the battle had little strategic effect on the war.
Just one month later, in June 1811, the Allies were forced to abandon their siege by the approach of the reconstituted French Armies of Portugal, by 10 October 1810 only the British light division and some cavalry patrols remained outside the Lines. Massénas Army of Portugal concentrated around Sobral, apparently in preparation to attack, after a fierce skirmish on 14 October in which the strength of the Lines became apparent, the French dug themselves in rather than launch a costly full-scale assault. They remained entrenched for a month before falling back to a position between Santarém and Rio Maior, the Emperors orders were based on outdated intelligence and called for only a small force, by the time Soult received them the situation had changed considerably. Along with V Corps, this venture pulled both infantry and cavalry from Marshal Victors I Corps who were besieging Cádiz at the time, following a successful campaign in Extremadura, on 27 January 1811 Soult began his investment of Badajoz.
Almost immediately the Spanish Army of Extremadura arrived in the vicinity with some 15,000 troops under the command of Gen. Mendizabal. Soults army, too small to surround Badajoz, was unable to prevent 3,000 of Mendizabals men from reinforcing the fortress and this posed a major threat to the French, so Soult moved at once to engage. In the ensuing Battle of the Gebora the French inflicted 1,000 casualties on the Spanish field army and took 4,000 prisoners, the remnants of Mendizabals defeated army fled towards Badajoz or into Portugal. The garrison of Badajoz, ably commanded by Gen. Rafael Menacho, initially put up strong resistance and by 3 March the French had made little progress against the powerful fortress. On that day, Menacho was killed on the ramparts by a shot, command of the garrison fell to Brig. Gen. José Imaz. The walls were breached on 10 March. Concerned that the British would now be free to send a contingent to relieve Badajoz, Imaz duly capitulated and the French took possession of the fortress on 11 March
Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, was a French general and statesman, named Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and often called Marshal Soult. Soult was one of six officers in French history to receive the distinction of Marshal General of France. The Duke served three times as President of the Council of Ministers, or Prime Minister of France. Soults intrigues while occupying Portugal earned him the nickname, King Nicolas, one historian called him a plunderer in the world class. Soult was born at Saint-Amans-la-Bastide and named after John of God and he was the son of a country notary named Jean Soult by his marriage to Brigitte de Grenier. His paternal grandparents were Jean Soult and Jeanne de Calvet, while his grandparents were Pierre François de Grenier de Lapierre. His younger brother Pierre became a French general, Soults superior education ensured his promotion to the rank of sergeant after six years service, and in July 1791 he became instructor to the first battalion of volunteers of the Bas-Rhin.
He was serving in this battalion in 1792, after the Battle of Fleurus of 1794, in which he distinguished himself for coolness, he was promoted to brigadier general by the representatives on mission. For the next five years Soult was employed in Germany under Jourdan, Moreau, Kléber and Lefebvre, and in 1799 he was promoted general of division and ordered to proceed to Switzerland. It was at time that he laid the foundations of his military fame, he particularly distinguished himself in Massénas great Swiss campaign. He accompanied Masséna to Genoa, and acted as his principal lieutenant throughout the siege of that city. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Monte Cretto on 13 April 1800, the victory of Marengo restored his freedom, and Soult received the command of the southern part of the kingdom of Naples. In 1802 he was appointed one of the four generals commanding the consular guard. Though he was one of those generals who had served under Moreau, in consequence he was appointed in August 1803 as the commander-in-chief of the camp of Boulogne, and in May 1804 he was made one of the first marshals of the Empire.
He commanded a corps in the advance on Ulm, and at Austerlitz he led the attack on the allied centre. Soult played a part in many of the famous battles of the Grande Armée, including the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. However, he was not present at the Battle of Friedland because on that day he was conquering Königsberg. After the conclusion of the Peace of Tilsit, he returned to France, the awarding of this honour greatly displeased him, for he felt that his title should have been Duke of Austerlitz, a title which Napoléon had reserved for himself
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
Almeida is a fortified village and a municipality in the sub-region of Beira Interior Norte and the District of Guarda, Portugal. The town proper has a population of 1,300 people, the municipality population in 2011 was 7,242, in an area of 517.98 square kilometres. It is located in Riba-Côa river valley, the present Mayor is António Baptista Ribeiro, elected by the Social Democratic Party. The municipal holiday is July 2, the village lies 7.2 kilometres west of the border with Spain and straddles the N332 road. The Rio Côa run northwards a short distance to the west of the village, the towns castle fortress was completed in 1641 and is located to the north of the village and is approached through the two tunnel gates and dry moat named the Portas de São Francisco. Mutzig, Bas-Rhin, France In and around the environment of Almeida, evidence of Human occupation can be back to the Bronze Age. Evidence has found of Roman occupation followed by the Suevi. The first fortification constructed in the settlement were constructed by the Muslims who occupied the village until Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula and it was during this time that the current name was first used, in the form of the Arabic al-Maida.
The village of Almeida was captured from the Moors by the king of Portugal. So important to the security of the country, Sancho had the heavily fortified. The castle was refortified on three occasions by King Dinis, King Manuel I and by King João VI. During the Seven Years War which involved most of the powers of Europe. As a result of the invasion Almeida was captured by Spain in 1762, the fortress around the town guards an important cross-border road from Spain, and underwent several sieges. The siege of 1810, during the Peninsular War, ended spectacularly when a chance shell ignited the gunpowder magazine. Administratively, the municipality is divided into 16 civil parishes, Municipality official website Photos from Almeida
Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton GCB, a Welsh officer of the British Army, fought in a number of campaigns for Britain in the Napoleonic Wars. According to the historian Alessandro Barbero, Picton was respected for his courage, the Duke of Wellington called him a rough foul-mouthed devil as ever lived, but found him capable. Picton came to public attention initially for his cruelty during his governorship of Trinidad. Though he was convicted, the conviction was overturned and he is chiefly remembered for his exploits under Wellington in the Iberian Peninsular War of 1807–1814, during which he fought in many engagements, displaying great bravery and persistence. He was killed in 1815 fighting at the Battle of Waterloo and he was the most senior officer to die at Waterloo. Thomas Picton was the seventh of twelve children of Thomas Picton of Poyston, Wales and he was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire on 24 August 1758. In 1771 he obtained a commission in the 12th Regiment of Foot. The regiment was stationed at Gibraltar, where he remained until he was made captain in the 75th in January 1778.
The regiment was disbanded five years later, and Picton quelled a mutiny amongst the men by his personal action and courage. Shortly afterwards he was promoted major in the 58th foot, under Sir Ralph Abercromby, who succeeded Vaughan in 1795, he was present at the capture of Saint Lucia and that of St Vincent. After the reduction of Trinidad in 1797, Abercromby made Picton governor of the island, for the next 5 years he held the island with a garrison he considered inadequate against the threats of internal unrest and of reconquest by the Spanish. He ensured order by vigorous action, viewed variously as rough-and-ready justice or as arbitrary brutality, in October 1801 he was gazetted brigadier-general. By then, reports of arbitrariness and brutality associated with his governorship had led to a demand at home for his removal. Furthermore, Trinidad no longer faced any external threat, the Pitt ministry had fallen, in 1802, William Fullarton was appointed as the Senior Member of a commission to govern the island, Samuel Hood became the second member, and Picton himself the junior.
Fullarton had a different background from Picton. He came from a wealthy and long-established Scots land-owning family and was a Whig MP, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a landlord. He had been a diplomat, before raising a regiment in the course of the American War of Independence of which he naturally became the Colonel. He ended that war in India commanding an army of 14,000 men in operations against Tippu Sultan