29 December, 1808

As Sir John Moore's men pulled away from Napoleon Bonaparte's fast-approaching army, the French sent 600 cavalry under General Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes to disrupt the British retreat.

They caught the enemy rearguard at the River Cea, but the courage of a small group of British cavalry earned enough time for Henry Paget (Lord Uxbridge) to organise a defence.

There was an indecisive clash between Lefebvre-Desnouettes' men and Paget's force of 10th Hussars and King's German Legion cavalry.

Drawing the French off to Benavente, Paget then ambushed them and pursued the surprised and retreating enemy back across the Cea.

The British suffered some dozen casualties, while the French lost 50 men killed and wounded and 100 captured. Lefebvre-Desnouettes had the misfortune to be one of those taken.

Despite the moral-boosting success at Benavente, Moore's retreat towards Corunna continued.



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