Saturday, September 4, 2010

French abandon Girona

16 May 1813

As 4th corps continue their march through the mountains towards Lerida, local guerrilla groups close the roads behind them and they lose communications with Barcelona. This was expected and is not a cause for concern. 15th corps meet no opposition on their march to Barcelona., and are unaware that the 4th army are moving parallel to them.5th corps patrol north and west of Tarragona but find no trace of the enemy.

The Spanish CinC issues order to 1st and 2nd armies to move on Tarragona. 3rd army will remain in Lerida until the French approach and 4th army will continue to keep a close watch on 15th corps. No move is to be made against Barcelona, as nothing must prompt 4th corps to abandon their march on Lerida.

15 May 1813

4th French corps leave Barcelona

At first light 4th corps depart from Barcelona and enter the mountains on their way to Lerida. By midday 15th corps commence their move from Girona to Barcelona. 5th corps at Tarragona are ordered to increase their patrols both north and south of the city.

By nightfall Copons is aware of the French activity. Orders are issued for 4th army to shadow 15th corps as it moves west, but not to engage them. The remainder of the Spanish armies will wait until 4th corps is well into the mountains before they start their move on Tarragona.

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