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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/50

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Smith
Smith
44

Hope, fifth of thirteen children, was born on 28 June 1787 at Whittlesea in the Isle of Ely, where his father, John Smith, was a surgeon in fair practice. His mother, Eleanor, was daughter of George Moore, minor canon of Peterborough. A sister, Mrs. Jane Alice Sargant, who kept a school at Hackney, and died 23 Feb. 1869, was the author of ‘Ringstead Abbey,’ a novel (1830); of a drama ‘Joan of Arc;’ and many religious and political tracts. A younger brother, Thomas Lawrence Smith (1792–1877), joined the 95th regiment on 3 March 1808; served with much distinction throughout the Peninsular war; took part in the battle of Waterloo; and, riding in front of his battalion, was the first British officer to enter Paris on 7 July 1815. From 1824 to 1855 he was barrack-master under the board of ordnance—until 1838 in Ireland and then at Chatham. From 1855 he was principal barrack-master at Aldershot, but in 1868, when he was made C.B., he retired from the army. Of his seven sons, six entered the army and one the navy. Another of Sir Harry's brothers, Charles Smith (1795–1854), served at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, where he was wounded, but retired early from the army.

Harry received a commission as ensign in the 95th foot, afterwards the rifle brigade, on 17 May 1805, and, being promoted to be lieutenant on 15 Aug. the same year, was quartered at Shorncliffe. In June 1806 he embarked for service under Sir Samuel Auchmuty [q. v.] in South America. In January 1807 a landing was effected at Maldonado, near the mouth of the La Plata river, after some fighting, and the suburbs of Monte Video were occupied. On the 20th the enemy made a sortie with six thousand men, when the riflemen suffered severely. The attack, after a breach had been made on 3 Feb., was led by the riflemen and the place captured. Smith also took part on 5 July in the disastrous attack on Buenos Ayres, and he returned with his regiment to England, arriving at Hythe in December 1807.

In the autumn of 1808 Smith embarked with some companies of the second battalion for the Peninsula, and landed at Coruña on 26 Oct. In December he was brigaded with the 43rd and 52nd foot under Brigadier-general Robert Craufurd [q. v.], and served throughout the retreat to and the battle of Coruña on 16 Jan. 1809. Embarking the same night, he arrived at Portsmouth on the 21st, and, after spending two months at Whittlesea, proceeded to Hythe.

In May 1809 Smith sailed with the 1st battalion under Lieutenant-colonel Beckwith for Lisbon, where they landed on 2 July, and joined Brigadier-general Robert Craufurd's brigade. Smith was seriously wounded at the action of the Coa, near Almeida, on 24 July 1810. In March 1811 he commanded a company in the pursuit of Masséna from the lines of Lisbon, and was engaged in the actions of Redinha on the 12th, of Condeixa on the 13th, and of Foz d'Aronce on 15 March. He was appointed to the staff as brigade-major to the 2nd light brigade of the light division in March 1811. In this capacity he was engaged in the action of Sabugal on 3 April, the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro on 5 May, and at the siege and at the storm of Ciudad Rodrigo on 19 Jan. 1812. After being promoted to be captain on 28 Feb. 1812, he was at the siege and at the storm of Badajos on 6 April. The day after the assault two handsome Spanish ladies, one the wife of a Spanish officer serving in a distant part of Spain, and the other her sister, a girl of fourteen years of age—Juana Maria de los Dolores de Leon—claimed the protection of Smith and a brother officer, representing that they had fled to the camp from Badajos, where they had suffered violence from the infuriated soldiery, having had their earrings brutally torn from their ears. They were conveyed by Smith and his friend to a place of safety, and the younger became Smith's wife. She accompanied him to the end of the war. She was well known afterwards in English society.

Smith took part in the battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812, the battle of Vittoria 21 June 1813, the passage of the Bidassoa 7 Oct., the attack on the heights of Vera and in the battle of Sarre, the attack upon the position of St. Jean de Luz and the heights of Arcangues in November, the battle of Orthez on 27 Feb. 1814, the combat at Tarbes on 20 March, and the battle of Toulouse on 10 April 1814.

On the termination of hostilities with France, Smith was appointed in May assistant adjutant-general to the force sent under Major-general Ross to carry on the war with America. He sailed from Bordeaux on board the fleet of Rear-admiral Pulteney Malcolm [q. v.], which carried the expedition, on 2 June. After calling at St. Michael's and at Bermuda, where additional troops joined them, they arrived in Chesapeake Bay early in August, landed at St. Benedict in the Patuxent river on the 19th, and marched on Washington. On the 24th Smith took part in the battle of Bladensburg and in the capture and burning of Washington. Before Ross was killed in a skirmish near Baltimore on 12 Sept. [see Ross, Robert], Smith was sent home with despatches in recog-