The Siege of Cuidad Rodrigo



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    Investing Rodrigo - Costello - Page 79 -

      "Now was the time to cure a skulker, or teach a man to work for his 'life'. There we were, in twos, each provided with a pick-axe and shovel; now digging with a vengeance into the frozen mould, and then watching the glances of the shot and shell; and again sticking to work like devils, or perhaps pitching ourselves on our bellies to avoid their being 'purged' with grape or canister."

    Page 79 - Costello again

      "The following day we were relieved by the 3rd division, and marched back to our quarters, cold, hungry, and fatigued enough. One great annoyance we experienced at this time, was having to cross the Agueda in going to and returning from the trenches. Pieces of ice that were constantly carried down this rapid stream bruised our men so much, that, to obviate it, the cavalry at length were ordered to form four deep across the ford, under the lee of whom we crossed comparatively unharmed, although by the time we reached our quarters, our clothes were frozen into a mass of ice.
      Our divisions continued relieving each other in the trenches for some days, until two breaches were considered practicable for an assault."
    The Forlorn Hope for Rodrigo was the last to be Led by the Light Division's General. Here Costello describes how the Forlorn Hope to storm the Fortress is selected:
      At daylight we joined the 3rd division in the works, and then heard that the city was to be stormed. Volunteers were immediately required from the different regiments of our division. Many of our men came forward with alacrity for this deadly service. With three others I had, as I then considered, the good fortune to be chosen from our company. This was an occasion, as may be believed, momentous and interesting enough in the life of a soldier, and so we seemed to consider it. We shook hands with a feeling of friendly sincerity, while we speculated as to the chances of outliving the assault. "
    Costello describe's Craufurd's words as he led the Forlorn Hope;
      'Soldiers! the eyes of your country are upon you. Be steady- be cool,- be firm in the assault. The town must be yours this night. Once masters of the wall, let your first duty be to clear the ramparts, and in doing this keep together.'
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