Wade's account

An extract of the account of Nathaniel Wade, commander of the Red Regiment in the rebel army:

About eleven o'clock that night, we marched out of the town.  I had the vanguard of the foot, with the Duke's regiment; and we marched in great silence along the road that leads from Bridgwater to Bristol, until we came to the lane that passed into the moor where the King's army was.  Then we made a halt for the horse to pass by, and received our orders; which were, that the horse should advance first, and push into the King's camp, and mixing with the King's foot, endeavour to keep them from coming together; that the cannon should follow the horse, and the foot the cannon, and draw all up in one line, and so finish what the horse had begun, before the King's horse or cannon could get in order.  The horse advanced to the ditch, and never farther; but on the firing of some of the King's foot, ran out of the field.  By that time our foot came up, we found our horse had gone, and the King's foot in order.  I advanced within thirty or forty paces of the ditch, being opposite to the Scotch battalion of the King's, as I learnt since; and there was forced to make a full stop, to put the battalion in some order; the Duke having caused them to march exceeding swift after he saw his horse run, that they were all in confusion.  By that time I had put them in some order, and was preparing to pass the ditch (not intending to fire till I had advanced close to our enemies) Colonel Matthews was come up, and began to fire at a distance; upon which the battalion I commanded fired likewise, and after that I could not get them to advance.  We continued in that station firing for about an hour and a half, when it being pretty light, I perceived all the battalions on the left, running (who, as I since understood, were broken by the King's horse of the left wing), and finding my own men not inclinable to stand, I caused them to face about, and made a kind of disorderly retreat to a ditch a great way behind us, where we were charged by a party of horse and dragoons, and routed; above one hundred and fifty getting over the ditch.  I marched with them on foot to Bridgwater..’


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