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1 Gleig, Rev. G.R. THE SUBALTERN.
London Leo Cooper 1975 Facsimile of 1825 ed. 
371pp, Fine in dj. Gleig's personal reminiscences of service with the 85th regt. during the latter stages of the Peninsular war. At the siege of St. Sebastian: 'A shell from one of our mortars had burst near the train, which communicated with a quantity of gunpowder placed under the breach. This mine the French had intended to spring as soon as our troops should have made good their footing, or established themselves on the summit; but the fortunate accident just referred to anticipated them. It exploded while 300 grenadiers, the elite of the garrison, stood over it, and instead of sweeping our storming party into eternity, it only cleared the way for their advance. It was a spectacle as grand and appalling as the imagination can conceive, the sight of that explosion. The noise was more awful than any I have ever heard before or since; while a bright flash, instantly succeeded by a smoke so dense as to obscure all vision, produced an effect such that, for perhaps half a minute afterwards, not a shot was fired on either side.' A classic.

 
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