THE BATTLE OF PORTO (DOURO) -12th May 1809 Pedro de Brito
Sir John Moore, the great developer of the English light infantry, was killed on the 16th January 1809 at the Battle of Coruña, where he was facing the French force under Marshall Soult. The British corps was evacuated to Britain, and Soult found it an easier task to invade the north of Portugal, where only a disorganized Portuguese army was opposing him. On the 28th March he beat it at the first Battle of Porto, and occupied the city and the north western country until he was expelled by Sir Arthur Wellesley - now commander in chief of the allied armies in the Peninsula - in the 2nd Battle of Porto (Douro), on the 12th May. Soult’s defeat meant a rout, where he lost all his artillery and transport vehicles, but could nevertheless escape into Galicia.