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A History Of The Peninsular War Vol 1 Of 7

Author: Charles Oman
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It is many years since an attempt has been made in England to deal with the general history of the Peninsular War. Several interesting and valuable diaries or memoirs of officers who took part in the great struggle have been published of late, but no writer of the present generation has dared to grapple with the details of the whole of the seven years of campaigning that lie between the Dos Mayo and Toulouse. Napier’s splendid work has held the field for sixty years. Meanwhile an enormous bulk of valuable material has been accumulating in English, French, and Spanish, which has practically remained unutilized. Papers, public and private, are accessible whose existence was not suspected in the ’thirties; an infinite number of autobiographies and reminiscences which have seen the light after fifty or sixty years of repose in some forgotten drawer, have served to fill up many gaps in our knowledge. At least one formal history of the first importance, that of General Arteche y Moro, has been published. I fancy that its eleven volumes are practically unknown in England, yet it is almost as valuable as Toreño’s Guerra de la Independencia in enabling us to understand the purely Spanish side of the war. I trust therefore that it will not be considered presumptuous for one who has been working for some ten or fifteen years at the original sources to endeavour to summarize in print the results of his investigations; for I believe that even the reader who has already devoted a good deal of attention to the Peninsular War will find a considerable amount of new matter in these pages. My resolve to take in hand a general history of the struggle was largely influenced by the passing into the hands of All Souls College of the papers of one of its most distinguished fellows, the diplomatist Sir Charles Vaughan. Not only had Vaughan unique opportunities for observing the early years of the Peninsular War, but he turned them to the best account, and placed all his observations on record. I suppose that there was seldom a man who had a greater love for collecting and filing information. His papers contain not only his own diaries and correspondence, but an infinite number of notes made for him by Spanish friends on points which he desired to master, and a vast bulk of pamphlets, proclamations, newspapers, and tables of statistics, carefully bound together in bundles, which (as far as I can see) have not been opened between the day of his death and that on which they passed, by a legacy from his last surviving relative, into the possession of his old college. Vaughan landed at Corunna in September, 1808, in company with Charles Stuart, the first English emissary to the Central Junta. He rode with Stuart to Madrid and Aranjuez, noting everything that he saw, from Roman inscriptions to the views of local Alcaldes and priests on the politics of the day. He contrived to interview many persons of importance—for example, he heard from Cuesta’s own lips of his treasonable plot to overthrow the Junta, and he secured a long conversation with Castaños as to the Capitulation of Baylen, from which I have extracted some wholly new facts as to that event. He then went to Aragon, where he stayed three weeks in the company of the Captain-General Joseph Palafox. Not only did he cross-question Palafox as to all the details of his famous defence of Saragossa, but he induced San Genis (the colonel who conducted the engineering side of the operations) to write him a memorandum, twelve pages long, as to the character and system of his work. Vaughan accompanied Palafox to the front in November, but left the Army of Aragon a day before the battle of Tudela. Hearing of the disaster from the fugitives of Castaños’s army, he resolved to take the news to Madrid. To be continue in this ebook...

The First American Frontier

Author: Wilma A. Dunaway
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807845400
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In The First American Frontier, Wilma Dunaway challenges many assumptions about the development of preindustrial Southern Appalachia's society and economy. Drawing on data from 215 counties in nine states from 1700 to 1860, she argues that capitali

History Of The Jews Vol 1 Of 6

Author: Heinrich Graetz
Publisher: Litres
ISBN: 5040825404
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History of the Jews (Volume 1 of 6) During successive centuries of Israel's history there arose pure-minded men, who unquestionably could look far into the future, and who received and imparted revelations concerning God and the holiness of life. This is an historical fact which will stand any test. A succession of prophets predicted the future destiny of the Israelites and of other nations, and these predictions have been verified by fulfilment. These prophets placed the son of Amram as first on the list of men to whom a revelation was vouchsafed, and high above themselves, because his predictions were clearer and more positive. They recognised in Moses not only the first, but also the greatest of prophets; and they considered their own prophetic spirit as a mere reflection of his mind. If ever the soul of a mortal was endowed with luminous prophetic foresight, this was the case with the pure, unselfish, and sublime soul of Moses. In the desert of Sinai, says the ancient record, at the foot of Horeb, where the flock of his father-in-law was grazing, he received the first divine revelation, which agitated his whole being. Moved and elated—humble, yet confident, Moses returned after this vision to his flock and his home. He had been changed into another being; he felt himself impelled by the spirit of God to redeem his tribal brethren from bondage, and to educate them for a higher moral life.