Excerpt from Selections From Private Journals of Tours in France in 1815 and 1818
French. That if troops are steady, and the line is well formed, the line will always have an advantage over the column, from presenting so much larger a front of fire; and that by attacking the ... column rapidly, they are prevented from deploying, which is an Opera tion that cannot be performed under a close fire. The Object of the column attack is to penetrate into the enemy's position and deploy in their rear if he succeeds in this the result is certain. Twice in the Peninsula the French had established a column on our position, at Busaco and Albuera, but in each instance they were immediately charged by fresh troops and the column destroyed. At Busaco the Duke had had a regiment of Portuguese militia to make a road. The work had however been done before they came, and he was going to lead them back. They begged, that as a battle was likely to take place, they might be kept: he consented, and desired them to remain on the very ground where they then were. This happened in the course of the action to become an important point, and the French made a great effort to gain possession of it. The militia soon found that they had made a hard bargain of it, and lost no time in debating who should go away first. The Duke, however, immediately brought up two British regiments, and before the French column could deploy on the ground it had seized, it was cut to pieces. He said he had not above sixteen or eighteen thousand British infantry at Waterloo; that he started with the.
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