Charles Rennie Mackintosh Tulip and Lattice Pink Panel

Surnames of Scotland

Lord Clyde,
page 3 of 9

retreat to Corunna may be obtained when young Campbell stated in his journal that of his battalion alone one officer and 148 men died on the road. He also relates that for some time before they reached Corunna he had to march with bare feet, the soles of his long boots being completely worn away. The leather had adhered so close to the swollen flesh of his legs that the lad was obliged to have his legs bathed in hot water, and the leather actually had to be torn away from the bleeding skin in strips. This accomplished, he was at his post again within half an hour. Corunna having been reached by Moore, followed eagerly by Soult, one of the ablest generals who ever drew sword, then followed that battle which gained us such a signal victory, yet which cost us so much. Young Campbell was one of the party who was told off to bury their great chief, and all through life he never forgot that memorable night, nor the slopes o’erlooking the moaning sea, where

“They left him alone with his glory.”

His next active service was at the expedition of Walcheren, where he was attacked with that malignant fever which destroyed so many hundreds of our brave men. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on the 28th January, 1809, and commanded the two flank companies at the battle of Barossa, where his conspicuous bravery attracted the notice of General Graham, afterwards Lord Lynedoch, who never forgot him. In January, 1813, he joined the 1st battalion of the 9th regiment, under his old chief, Colonel John Cameron. This regiment formed part of Graham’s corps, in which Campbell served at the battle of Vittoria and the siege of San Sebastian. On the 17th July he led the right wing of his regiment in the attack on the fortified convent of San Bartalorné, and was honourably mentioned in despatches home; and on the 25th July he led the forlorn hope in the unsuccessful attack to storm the fortress itself. “It was in vain,” says Napier, in his “History of the Peninsular War,” one of the most brilliant histories of its kind ever written, and a book which every youth should read;” it was in vain that Lieutenant Campbell, breaking through the tumultuous crowd with the survivors of his chosen detachment, mounted the ruins-twice he ascended, twice he was wounded, and all around him killed.” For this brilliant conduct he was made a captain, and no soldier in the British army deserved the honour more. Before, however, he left the 9th regiment he further distinguished himself. He left his quarters in San Sebastian before his wounds were healed, and headed the night attack of his regiment on the batteries on the French side of the river Bidassoa. In this attack he was again seriously wounded. Colonel Cameron severely reprimanded the youthful captain for doing a deed so hazardous to himself without leave, but on account of his gallantry in the attack did not report this violation of the rules of the army. His wounds compelled him to leave the camp, and he set out for home with a heavy heart in spite of his awarded pension of £100 a year. He spent the year 1815, and part of 1816, at health resorts on the Mediterranean coast. In November of the latter year he eagerly rejoined his regiment at Gibraltar, and in 1818 was transferred to the 21st, or Royal Scottish Fusiliers.

Campbell’s gallantry at San Sebastian secured him powerful friends at head-quarters. His former commanders, Sir John Cameron and Lord Lyndhurst, never forgot him, whilst Sir Henry Hardinge and Lord Fitzroy Somerset had such a warm recollection of his former services that they sought for his promotion with so great energy that in October, 1832, he was made lieutenant-colonel of his old regiment, the 9th Foot. For many years, during the long


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