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they expired, by hundreds, martyrs fing the dreadful consequences of to the most infamous and unpar- the preceding night's march: the donable neglect.
distresfing account is therefore The 16th was a day more pecu- given, in his own words. liarly marked by distrelling scenes, “On the morning of the 17th, I than any other during the retreat. was sent upon a particular duty, to The troops were on that morning trace out a road over the common, put in motion at day-break, with a by which the army and artillery view of reaching Loonen, a village might fafely proceed to Loonen. diftant about twenty-three miles When the party marched it was from their pofiic', near Scav. scarcely light; and as day broke in penzael. Owing to the uncommon upon us, the horrible scenes that it severity of the weather, and the revealed, afforded a giocking proof snow, which lying deep upon the of the miseries of a winter's cam ground, was dritted in the faces | paign. On the common, about of the men by a strong easterly half a mile off the high road, we wind, they were so. worn down by discovered a baggage-cart, with a fatigue, that it was thought advise- / team of five horses, apparently in able and necessary to halt some of distress; I galloped towards the the regiments at two neighbouring spot, and found the poor animals villages, about nine miles short of were ftiff, but not dead; the hoar their place of destination. The frost on their manes plainly show. whole of the British could not, how. ing they had been there the whole ever, be possibly accommodated; night. . Not perceiving any driver and it was left to the discretion of with them, I ftruck my sword rethe commanding officers of corps, peatedly upon the canvass tilt, in. to continue their march to Loonen, I quiring at the same time if there was or to take up such situations as any person in the cart. At length, they could meet with in the ham- a very feeble voice answered me, lets on the road. Some of the re- and some one underneath the can. giments proceeded, even after sun- vass appeared to be making an set, with their baggage and field effort to arise. A pair of baked pieces, and consequently were en- frost-nipt legs were then advanced, tirely dispersed, as it was then im- l and the most miserable object I poflible to trace out any path-way ever beheld furk, heavily upon the over the dreary common. Great ground, -the whole of his cloathnumbers of men, unable to bear up ing so ragged and worn, that I can against the fatigue they had under- scarcely say that he was covered. gone, and several women and chil. So ftiff and frozen was this imisera. dren, were frozen to death, in their ble wretch, that he was by no means attempts to discover the road their capable of moving; he informed battalions had pursued. The whole me that his regiment, the fiftyof the eighty-eighth regiment was fourth, which he was following the so scattered, that no return what. I preceding night, had lost its road; ever could be given in of its and in turning into another, he strength the next morning; and the found bis horses incapable of clearfew Itraggling parties that joined, ing the cart from the ruts, and gave a very melancholy account of that himself and his two comrades the main body.
were left behind to proceed in the An officer of the guards, who best manner they could: the two was ordered to reconnoitre the next men he spoke of were then lying morning, had more opportunities dead in the cart, having all three than any other person, of witneil endeavoured to cominunicate to one