Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Peninsular War

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PENINSULAR WAR, the war carried on in the beginning of the 19th century in Spain and Portugal by the British forces, aided by the native troops, against the French. Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterward the Duke of Wellington, landed with 10,000 British troops, at Figueras, in Portugal, Aug. 1-3, 1808, and on the 21st defeated the French at Vimiera. On August 30 the Convention of Cintra was signed, by which Junot agreed to evacuate the country. Wellesley returning home, the command of the army, now increased to 20,000 men, was given over to Sir John Moore, who was forced by Soult to fall back on Corunna, where a battle was fought on Jan. 16, 1809, in which the former lost his life. Wellesley again received command of the army, and, after a series of sanguinary but generally successful combats, drove the French across the Pyrenees, entering France on Oct. 7, 1813.