rest of the French army, Franceschi (always in the post of danger) covered the rear at Vallongo, just west of Baltar. Mermet, with the division that had marched from Oporto before Wellesley鈥檚 attack was developed, had encamped on the 婊ㄦ睙鎸夋懇涓嶆瑙勭殑Souza river, four miles ahead of the main column. The Marshal had thus nearly 13,000 men concentrated, and proposed next day to push on for Amarante, in the wake of Loison, who (as he supposed) must now be well ahead in the Tras-os-Montes, clearing for him the way into Spain. It was disquieting, however, to find that no news from that general had yet come to hand鈥攊ndeed he had not been heard of since May 7, when he was just starting out on his expedition. Wherever Loison might be, the Marshal was bound to follow him in haste, since it was certain that Wellesley 鏉窞娴疯尩姹囧彲浠ュ暘鍟悧? would be close at his heels, and that no time was to be lost in lingering.
At half-past one in the morning Soult was roused from sleep, and informed that the long-expected messenger from Loison had at last arrived. The news which he brought was nothing less than appalling: the French detached corps had been not only checked but beaten, the bridge of Amarante had been lost,[p. 344] and Loison was hastily retreating to the north-west at the moment that his chief was moving eastward to join him.
Beresford鈥檚 turning movement, in fact, had been completely successful鈥攆ar more so than Wellesley had thought likely; he had not only succeeded in placing himself across the French line of retreat into Spain, but had beaten Loison and thrown him back into Soult鈥檚 arms.
What had happened was shortly this. On May 8 Beresford had 鏉窞鐢峰＋绉佷汉楂樼骇鍏荤敓浼氭墍 picked up Wilson鈥檚 detachment at Vizeu: on the tenth he had met Silveira at Lamego. He had thus concentrated some 10,500 or 11,000 men, all Portuguese save Tilson鈥檚 brigade and the single squadron of the 14th Light Dragoons. Learning at Lamego that, as late as the ninth, Loison was still in the neighbourhood of Amarante, and had not yet penetrated far into the Tras-os-Montes, Beresford resolved to take the risk of passing the Douro and to throw his army directly across the path of the advancing French. On the tenth, the same day on which the force from Coimbra reached Lamego, he sent Silveira over the river by the bridge of Peso da Regoa, which had never passed out of the hands of the Portuguese and had a strong t锚te-de-pont on its northern side. Silveira had barely crossed when Loison, who had spent the previous day at Mezamfrio, 鏉窞鎬庝箞鑱旂郴鏍″唴楦?ten miles away on the Amarante road, came up against him with Heudelet鈥檚 and Sarrut鈥檚 infantry and Marisy鈥檚 dragoons鈥攁bout 6,500 sabres and bayonets. Emboldened by having entrenchments to help him, and by knowing that Beresford was close behind, Silveira stood firm at the t锚te-de-pont and accepted battle.
somewhat discouraged by his adversary鈥檚 confidence, and did not fail to note the masses of troops on the southern bank of the Douro, which were moving up to the bridge to support Silveira. However, late in the afternoon he attacked the Portuguese,鏉窞榫欏嚖鐧捐姳鍧? but was steadily met and beaten off w