Source: Rough notes of seven campaigns in Portugal, Spain, France, and America (Ed. John Russell, London, 1869)
John Spencer Cooper (1787-1875)
Battles of the Pyrenees. Page 90-91.
We heard a heavy roll of musketry, and in a few minutes saw our men retiring hastily before perhaps 2,000 of the enemy. We immediately moved up to their support, and skirmished in a wood till long after dark. When the firing had ceased, the sounds of suffering grated painfully on our ears. A few yards off, a wounded or dying Frenchman was crying out most piteously,
“Ah mon Dieu! Ah mon Dieu!” (“O my God!”) Close to my feet lay two of our men. One was dead, the other dying. The brains of the latter were protruding above his eyes. I knew him and thought he looked up to me; but there was no utterance or sound, sobs excepted.
The order to retire came along the chain of skirmishers in a whisper. While making this movement we came to an open space in a wood, where a number of our badly wounded were lying wrapped in their blankets. They heard the rustle of our feet, and one of them asked:”What regiment is that ?” Answer: “The seventh.”. ” Where are you going?” ” We are retreating.” “Will you leave us here ?”
Author: John Spencer Cooper (1787-1875)