and on the 21st of September, in company with three other vessels
containing detachments of other regiments,
we left the Tagus with a fair wind.
The object of sending us round by sea
was to save time and fatigue to our men, and to
disembark nearer to our army.
The wind however proved most unfavourable, and we were seven
days at sea, performing a distance of twenty leagues.
We landed on the 28th at Buarcos, near Figueiras,
a small fishing-village on the north side of the bay ;
we reached the shore from our transport in uncouth
Portuguese boats and in a tremendous surf. One
of our men, Chissel by name,
was lost in the operation of landing ; the boat was overcrowded,
the poor fellow sat on the gunnel ; a rolling ground-
sea struck us as we neared the beach and
pitched him overboard.
He was a swimmer, but
the weight of his knapsack sank him, to rise no
The next morning (29th) five hundred of us, detachments
of different regiments, amongst whom
were some of
the 95th Rifles
under Captain Beckwith*, had three days'
rations served out,
and we left Figueiras to march to Montemor-o-Velho, a
small pretty village in the Val de Mondego.
river Mondego rises in the mountains of the Serra
near Guarda, takes its course through
the province of Beira,
and waters a most lovely
valley, to which it gives its name after passing the towns of Celerico and Coimbra,
into the sea at Figueiras.
Before the rains set in, it is fordable almost everywhere.
* This Officer, after serving with great credit to himself through
the Peninsular campaigns, reached the rank of Colonel, and is a
C.B. He lost his leg at Waterloo.
leaves from a diary e-book