Soult has created three equal corps, each of one French and
one allied division.
He has deployed them to cover all approaches to Burgos
He has a strong reserve to guard his communications to the
Wellington has created two corps, each of one British and
one Spanish division
He third corps, of two British divisions, will provide the
His divisions are deployed over a wide area to ease supply
19 August 1813
The first skirmish of the campaign took place
when a brigade of British dragoons came under fire from French artillery at
Castrillo.The cavalry immediately
withdrew when they received casualties.
By nightfall the leading divisions of both
armies were in contact.Commanders would
have to decide whether to attack with what they had, or wait for reinforcements
to bring their corps up to full strength.
20 August 1813
A busy, but quiet day, as both armies are
concentrating before they risk a battle.
Both sides carry out cavalry recce, which
result in some skirmishing, but fail to give any advantage to either side
Spanish guerrillas move to disrupt the French
lines of supply
21 August 1813
Spanish guerrillas have disrupted French
supplies by taking control of a village on the main road between Burgos and
Pancorbo.The French garrison of Burgos
is responsible for this section of road, but have failed to take any action for
Apart from the guerrillas the only other
contact has been cavalry recce.
Both sides seem content to wait for the full
concentration of their corps before attempting to engage the enemy
22 August 1813
In the north Sarrut orders his corps to
attack 1st British division before they are joined by 2nd
Spanish division.The British halt and
deploy just east of the hills in order to gain as much time as possible to
allow the Spanish to arrive.The French
advance in column of attack, but as they arrive one British infantry brigade in
the centre moves forward and engages the leading column in a firefight.The British win.The column breaks, taking two more brigades
with it.With one third of his corps in
rout or shaken Sarrut orders his corps to retreat to Pancorbo .
In the centre an exasperated Marshal Soult
orders the garrison of Burgos to march north and clear the Spanish guerrilla
who is blocking his supply road.The
Spanish put up a determined resistance, but finally retreat to the west.
In the south both corps are now concentrated
and Cole is under pressure from Wellington to attack 8th French corps at Palencia.
23 August 1813
In the north 6th French corps
retreat towards Pancorbo following their defeat at Aguillar.1st Allied corps hold at Aguillar
to reorganise and resupply.
In the centre 2nd Allied corps attack
Castrillo.It is a confused battle with
the British division opening the battle before the Spanish division is in
position to support them.Despite this
Graham wins the day and inflicts a minor defeat on Villante.
Further south Cole delays his attack on
Palencia again.He orders his cavalry
to recce the high ground to the north of the town, which is held by 7th
24 August 1813
In the centre 7th French corps
retreat towards Burgos following their defeat at Castrillo.
The corps is divided as 14th
division has to retreat through the mountains.
2nd Allied corps halt at Castrillo
to establish a supply depot and regroup.
In the south 3rd Allied corps
attack Palencia and catch the French as they redeploy
15th Vistula division have been
ordered to march south to occupy the high ground
As they pass through Palencia they spot the
British advance and turn to face them
A confused battle is fought, which results in
25 August 1813
Having lost three battles Soult has ordered his
three corps to retreat and take up defensive positions to hold the main Bayonne
to Madrid road from Pancorbo to Aranda.
The allied corps have halted to regroup and
resupply, and are waiting for orders from Wellington to push east and finish
26 August 1813
Soult orders his three corps to take up
defensive positions along the line Pancorbo to Aranda.But before they arrive 6th corps,
in the north, moves west to locate the allied corps at Aguillar.
Wellington orders his three corps to march
east and attack the French before they can recover from their recent
defeats.All three commanders have
spend the day resupplying and replacing battle casualties.
27 August 1813
Hill orders his British division to attack
the two divisions of 6th French corps.The British advance, but have to halt under
artillery fire to await the arrival of 2nd Spanish corps.The British fail in their attack, but the
Spanish fight a brilliant battle.With
only light casualties they break and rout 16th Italian
division.Both sides lost heavily, but
Hill could claim a victory as the French retreated at nightfall.
28 August 1813
2nd Spanish division follow up
their victory and enter Pancorbo
This forces 6th French corps to
abandon the town and retreat north towards Bayonne
2nd Allied corps attack Burgos and
suffer a decisive defeat
8th French corps holds Aranda with
Sends 15th division north to
support 7th corps at Burgos
29 August 1813
1st Allied corps occupy Pancorbo
and cut main road to France
2nd Allied corps forced to retreat
3rd Allied corps advance towards
Soult orders his army to concentrate at
30 August 1813
6th French corps halt to recover
north of Pancorbo
1st allied corps hold Pancorbo and
also halt to recover
Soult has taken command of 14 division and is
marching north to retake Pancorbo
7th French corps has only 6
division to hold Burgos
2nd allied corps is recovering at
8th French corps has abandoned
Aranda and is marching north to Burgos
3rd allied corps has entered
31 August 1813
1st allied corps surrounded and
forced to surrender at Pancorbo
The rest of the French army concentrates
3rd allied corps moves to attack
1 September 1813
3rd French division escort 1st
and 2nd allied divisions to France as POW
Soult marches south with 14th
division to reinforce Burgos
3rd allied corps halt, establish a
supply depot and resupply
As soon as Wellington receives confirmation
of the surrender of 2nd corps he realises he has lost the campaign
and orders 1st and 3rd corps to retreat towards Valladolid.
Soult has won a resounding victory.Not only is Burgos safe, but he can now
consider an advance againstWellington