Excerpt: n the Gazette of July 1804 it appeared that Robert Blakeney, gentleman, was appointed to an ensigncy in the 28th Regiment of infantry. Relying on the delusive promise that zeal would meet certain reward, I immediately joined my regiment near Cork, where they lay encamped, forming part of a corps under command of Sir Eyre Coote. On the second day after my joining, the whole of the troops marched to Kinsale, and having taken up a position on some high ground looking down on the bay, the men commenced firing ball with as much anxiety as if the whole French flotilla, filled with ruthless invaders and headed by Napoleon in person, were attempting a landing underneath. Some seagulls were seen to fall, and it was confidently reported that many others were wounded. As soon as the fight was over, the men sat down to dine with all those proud feelings which soldiers are wont to entertain after a victory. Never shall I forget the thrilling emotion which agitated my whole frame at seeing the blood fall from the hand of one of the soldiers, wounded through the clumsy manner in which he fixed his flint. I eyed each precious drop that fell with glowing sensations such as would blaze in the breast of a Napoleon on beholding an old dynasty diadem, or inflame the heart of a Scot in contemplating a new place in the Treasury.
A Boy in the Peninsular War (NL 13)
1989 Greenhill Books - facsimilie of 1899 edition
Napoleonic Library #13