Combat of Araçena, 26 May 1810

The combat of Araçena of 26 May 1810 was a minor French victory that ended General Ballesteros’s raid into Andalusia of the spring of 1810. Ballesteros had been dispatched into the Condado de Niebla from Estremadura earlier in the year with orders to raise a revolt and if possible threaten Seville.

His expedition had begun successfully, with a victory over Mortier’s cavalry brigade at Valverde (19 February). He had then advanced east to Ronquillo, only twenty miles north of Seville, where he had fought an inconclusive battle against Gazan’s infantry brigade (25-26 March). This threat had provoked Mortier into responding in person, and on 15 April he had defeated Ballesteros at Zalamea.

Ballesteros responded by retreating north into the Sierra de Araçena, where for some time he was left alone by the French, and it would be a month before Mortier sent his men north. Ballesteros had not gone far, and on 26 May Mortier inflicted a second defeat on the Spanish at Araçena, only fifteen miles north of Zalamea. Even after this defeat Ballesteros did not retreat too far, remaining in the Sierra de Araçena.  

A History of the Peninsular War vol.3: September 1809-December 1810 - Ocana, Cadiz, Bussaco, Torres Vedras, Sir Charles Oman. Part three of Oman's classic history begins with the series of disasters that befell the Spanish in the autumn of 1809 and spring of 1810, starting with the crushing defeat at Ocana and ending with the French conquest of Andalusia and capture of Seville, then moves on to look at the third French invasion of Portugal, most famous for Wellington's defence of the Lines of Torres Vedras.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 April 2008), Combat of Araçena, 26 May 1810 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/combat_aracena.html

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