Sir John Moore,
page 5 of 5
When Moore was borne from the battle-field, General Hope assumed the command, Sir David Baird, the next in rank having been forced also to leave the field through the shattering of his arm by a musket ball. The fight was continued, until the French had fallen back on every point, and the victory was complete. During the night the troops were embarked on board the vessels. At day-break they set sail. The French now entered the town, and endeavoured to bring their guns to bear upon them. But the transports were too far out at sea. And thus with the loss of its hero, and many of his brave comrades, ended the second campaign of the great Peninsular War.
We cannot close this sketch more suitably than with the words of General Hope’s despatch.
“I need not expatiate on the loss the army and his country have sustained by his death. His fall has deprived me of a friend to whom long experience of his worth had sincerely attached me. But it is chiefly on public grounds that I must lament the blow. After conducting the army through an arduous retreat with consummate firmness, he has terminated a career of distinguished honour by a death that has given the enemy additional reason to respect the name of British soldier. Like the immortal Wolfe, he is snatched from his country at an early period of life spent in its service: like Wolfe, his last moments were gilded with the prospect of success, and cheered by the acclamation of victory: like Wolfe also, his memory will for ever remain sacred in that country which he sincerely loved, and which he had so faithfully served.”
His career had been followed with the greatest interest by the people of Glasgow, who were justly proud of him. His death caused the deepest sorrow, and his monument was the first in the Square.
In the Herald of l0th August, 1819, there is the following note in regard to the statue:—
“SIR JOHN MOORE’S MONUMENT.
“On Monday, the workmen finished the erection in George Square of the monument of Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, K.B., on which is the following inscription:
The Military Services of
Lieut.-General Sir John Moore, K.B.,
Native of Glasgow,
His Fellow-Citizens have Erected
It consists of a full-length bronze statue of the hero, about 8½ feet high, dressed in military costume, having a cloak thrown round the left hand leaning on the sword, and the right placed in easy position across the breast. It is supported by a pedestal of Aberdeen granite, about ten feet high. The statue is chiefly made from brass cannons. The whole cost is between three and four thousand pounds. The weight of the statue is upwards of three tons, and that of the pedestal ten. The whole confers the utmost credit on the taste and execution of Mr. Flaxman the artist. The monument has a grand appearance, and is placed on the south-side of the square fronting Miller Street.”