The death of Sir John Moore having occurred after the incapacitation of his second-in-command, Sir David Baird, command of the army devolved upon the next senior general, Sir John Hope. After the embarkation, procedure took over and Sir John Hope wrote a despatch to his injured commanding officer, Sir David Baird. Sir David forwarded the report with a covering note, to the government, in the person of Lord Castlereagh, then Secretary of State FOR War. The reports (as was then the practice) were then published in an extraordinary edition of the London Gazette.
The Government's response was encapsulated in a General Order to the returning army, promulgated by Horse Guards.
Note that at this period, the addressees name appears at the bottom of the letter, after the sender's signature. Also the bearer of the despatch, Captain Gordon, later served as aide-de-camp to Lord Wellington, and was the same Alexander Gordon who lay dying as Wellington wrote his Waterloo despatch. The text is from an 1831 low-cost, popular reprint held in the collection of Fisher Library (call number 940.8/MEM-1).
The Gazette's Introduction
Sir David Baird's covering note
Sir John Hope's despatch
General Order to the army returning from Spain
Return to Etexts
Back to Main Page
Content Copyright © 2000, 2001 Susan H Law and her licensors. All rights reserved.
Last update 21/7/02