I don’t know where this came from, I used to have a bit of an obsession with the Peninsula War, so probably that influenced this story nugget.
The men appeared out of the mist, early summer sun colouring it blood red. Like their jackets. The sun glinted on fixed bayonets and shako badges, the colours lost somewhere above them.
The red coated men marched in line towards us. How many were there hiding in the mist? We heard their orders shouted from one end to the other. Above us all, on the ridge that hemmed in the valley and herded the mists that sat over us, was their General. He sat on his horse, beneath a tree, surrounded by his commanders. They watched us, and their men. I don’t know what they saw that we didn’t, but it made me nervous.
We waited for orders. I looked round for my commander. Would they send in the cuirassiers first? Those heavy horsemen would chop the British to shreds. Even the river wouldn’t slow their charge. They’d have no time to form square, and if they did? My gunners would have slaughtered them where they stood.
The enemy marched towards us, crossing the shallow river that ran through the centre of the valley. That was foolish, there river was a good defensive line. This close I could see them clearly, their flags finally out of the mist.
They weren’t interested in taking a position and defending it. They came on.
Finally, a runner arrived, with orders.