Vol 2 of Peninsular Journal of Charles Crowe
of Coddenham, Suffolk: Soldier 1785-1854.
The following is Volume 2 (unedited) of the journal of Charles Crowe covering his time in the Peninsular War 1812-1814 (click here for Vol 1). Volume 2 had been missing for the last 20 years but recently turned up in the collection of the Inniskillings Museum. It has now been reunited with Volume 1 and I would like to express my grateful thanks to the Inniskillings Museum who have been exceedingly helpful in this matter.
Please note that an edited version of Charles Crowe's full diary has now been published 'An Eloquent Soldier ' edited by Gareth Glover and published by Pen & Sword 2011. Copies can also be ordered from most book sellers. This published version has comprehensive notes all the way through explaining the people the places and the background to the events. The version below is a basic unedited version.
Volume 2 reads as follows:
August 15th 1813. Sunday. This morning at 5.o.clock, I started, with bag and baggage, scrip and scrippage. As I rode along, I was amused by observing the effects of the Sun on the mist in the vallies between the mountains. I could but remark, how absolute was his power, where ever his rays penetrated. I could almost, have found arguments for the Hindoos, in their worship of this grand luminary. But reflection hinted that even His power, however potent, was not absolute; since He, himself, is subject to laws! Then, "Plato thou reasonest well! For there is a Power, above, and that all nature cries aloud through all her works!!!
Then how thankful ought the Christian to be, for having been trained in that religion, which offers him an unerring path to the protection of "That Divine Power"!!! "Lord what is man that Thou art mindful of him; or the son of man that Thou so regardest him?" As these reflections were not inappropriate to the day, I encouraged them: And my meditations were greatly assisted by the numerous dead bodies along the road.
"When Nature's beauties spread beneath the eye,
And all above the worlds blue canopy,
When reason's self doth elevate the mind,
How good, how virtuous, feels the heart inclined!
A serjeant of the 66th Regt joined us; and seemed as well pleased with company as we were. I invited him to keep company, as far as our routes would allow. We passed the Village, from whence we drove the French on the 1st inst and parted at the bridge of San Estevan (Santestaban ?). The roads had been bad; and certainly I was hungry; thus I felt confident, that the distance, in my route, of 3