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21 December, 1808

Spanish Battle Tour Guides

Leading Sir John Moore's cavalry vanguard towards Burgos, Henry Paget (Lord Uxbridge) decided to deal with a French cavalry force based at Sahagun.

Setting off with the 15th and 10th Hussars, Paget arrived near the town and split his force to catch the French as they withdrew.

He sent General Slade with the 10th to attack Sahagun, which sheltered some 600 dragoons, but the general moved too slowly and when the French discovered the attack column they moved to retreat.

As they left Sahagun the French noticed Paget's 15th, but mistook them for Spanish horsemen and moved on to the attack.

Instead of unsteady Spanish troopers opposing them, General Debelle's cavalry found themselves facing a charge by some 400 British hussars.

Within seconds the French front rank had caved in and the rear one was scattered, turning a formed battle into a bitter duel-like struggle between individual horsemen.

Debelle and half his men escaped, but left behind at least 120 men killed and more than 160 captured.

Paget lost two dead and a score injured.




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