Defeat at the Battle of Almanza

After returning to England, De Lalo’s Regiment gained a new Colonel, Viscount Mordaunt. Mordaunt’s Regiment set sail for Lisbon, then to Alicante, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dalzell. The Allied army of Portuguese, British, German, Dutch and French Huguenot troops under the command of the Earl of Galway marched to resounding defeat at the hands of the Franco-Spanish army under the command of the Duke of Berwick. Galway’s army was about 15,000 men strong, Berwick’s, 25,000. Mordaunt’s Regiment lost around 300 men of the 532 who stood in its ranks at the outset of the battle.

The Battle of Almanza

Down by a crystal river side,
I fell a weeping;
To see my brother soldier dear,
Upon the ground lie bleeding.

It was from the Castle of Vino,
We marched on Easter Sunday;
And the battle of Almanza,
Was fought on Easter Monday.

Full twenty miles we marched that day
Without one drop of water;
Till we poor souls were almost spent,
Before the bloody slaughter.

Over the plain we marched along,
All in the line of battle;
To the beat of drums and colours fly
And thundering cannons’ rattle.

Brave Gallaway, our General,
Cried, ‘ Fight on ! while you may;
Fight on! brave-hearted Englishmen,
You’re one to five this day.’

‘Hold back ! nor make the first attack
‘Tis what they do desire:
But when you see my sword I draw,
Let each platoon give fire.’

We had not marched some paces three,
Before the small shot flew like thunder
Hoping that we should get the day,
And likewise all the plunder.

But the Dutch fell on with sword in hand
And that was their desire;
Thirty-five squadrons of Portuguese,
They ran and never gave fire.

The Duke of Berwick, as I have been told
He gave it out in orders,
That if the army should be broke,
To give the English quarters.

‘Be kind unto my countrymen,
For that is my desire;
With the Portuguese do as you please,
For they will soon retire.’

Now to conclude and make an end
Of this my dismal story
One hundred thousand fighting men
Have died for England’s glory.

Let no brave soldier be dismayed
For losing of a battle;
We have more forces coming on
Will make Jack Frenchman rattle.

Logan [A Pedlar’s Pack of Ballads and Songs, 1869], p. 82, from a broadside of about 1760.

Picture: The Battle of Almanza