Excerpt from History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France, Vol. 3 of 6: From the Year 1807 to the Year 1814
Reynier, as that Reynier would join Massena. A letter con taining Napoleon's orders for Reynier to invade by the line of Abrantes, while Mortier enter... ed the Alemtejo and Massena acted by the valley of the Mondego, was intercepted; but Reynier was by the same letter placed under Massena's com mand, Mortier was not in a condition to move against the Alemtejo, and no certain notion of the enemy's intention could be formed. J unot, Serras and Kellerman were between the Tormes and the Esla, and might break into the northern pro vinces of Portugal, while N ey and Reynier held the allies in check; and this was the surest course, because the taking of Oporto would have furnished many resources, stricken the natives with terror, dispersed the northern militia, opened the great coast-road to Lisbon, and enabled Massena to avoid all the difficult country about the Mondego. The English general must then have retired before the second and sixth corps, unless he attacked Ney 3 an unpromising measure, because of the enemy's strength in horse; in fine, Massena, though dila tory, had one hundred and sixteen thousand men and the initial power: the English general was forced to await his movements.
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