The Battle of Saguntum
25th October 1811

General Palombini's Account

Palombini led the Italian Division at the battle. This is his after-action report to Suchet.

Monsignor:

According to your orders, the 1st brigade of the Division left their camp at half past four in the morning in order to deploy in the plain of Puzol and support the movement of General Harispe. This Brigade, destined to remain in reserve, was placed behind the back of this Division is mass by battalions, apart from the 2nd battalion of the 4th line infantry regiment which remained on the heights located between the plain and the fort of Sagunto. When the front lines went forward, this Brigade was put into motion and was located in the centre of the army, placing their left on the main highway to Valencia. In this order their march continued and was in position to protect the cavalry that was being pushed back by that of the enemy. The 1st battalion of the 2nd light infantry received orders to open a running fire on them, orders that they executed with the old sang froid forcing the enemy to flee, and giving our cavalry time to re-form and return to their duty with new vigour and enormous success.

Towards three in the afternoon, these three battalions went forward and you ordered them to operate in concer with General Habert in order to attack and surround the position of the Puch, occupied by a numerous column equipped with artillery. On his part, General Habert sent in the 117th regiment of the line, and I for mine ordered Major Rossi to march with the 1st battalion of the 4th regiment in order to second that movement attacking and surrounding by the right the enemy's position, which was conquered after a vigorous resistance; the inhabitants of the Puch assured me that the position had been commanded by Blake in person. The result of this attack has been the capture of 5 pieces of artillery and of a hundred prisoners. The enemy united itself into a strong column that retired to Valencia by the coastal road. It would have been easy for me to beat part of that column if I had had some cavalry, but as I was completely lacking in it I found it impossible.

The troops have fulfilled their duty and have competed in ardour and courage. Shortly I will make known to your excellence the names of the individuals that have been more particularly distinguished. Our loss amounts to three dead and thirty-one wounded. Monsignor, I have in this beautiful day experienced a single displeasure: that I could not have executed your orders with the whole gathered Division.

Puch, 25th October 1811
General de Division,
Palombini

Source

I am indebted to Jose Luis Arcon for copying the above text from his private reseach notes and sending it to me.