23) that not Soult's corps alone, but three French corps, had come through the pass of Banos without opposition; that Soult himself was at Naval Moral, between him and the bridge of Almaraz on the Tagus, and that Cuesta was retreating from Talavera.
Victor had crossed the Tagus, and defeated Cuesta at Medellin (March 28, 1809); but, surrounded by insurgents, he also had halted; Lapisse had joined him, and together they were near Merida, 30,000 strong.
News having been received that Napoleon had suffered a serious check at the battle of Aspern, near Vienna (May 22, 1809), Wellesley next determined - leaving Beresford (20,000) near Ciudad Rodrigo - to move with 22,000 men, in conjunction with Cuesta's Spanish army (40,000) towards Madrid against Victor, who, with 25,000 supported by King Joseph (50,000) covering the capital, was near Talavera.
Cuesta, during the advance up the valley of the Tagus, was to occupy the pass of Banos on the left flank; the Spanish authorities were to supply provisions, and Venegas was to be at Arganda, near Madrid, by the 22nd or 23rd of July; but none of these arrangements were duly carried out, and it was on this that the remainder of the campaign turned.
By the 10th of July Cuesta had joined Wellesley at Oropesa;, and both then moved forward to Talavera, Victor falling back before them: but Cuesta, irritable and jealous, Battle of would not work cordially with Wellesley; Venegas - Talavera, counter-ordered it is said by the Spanish junta - did July 27, 28, not go to Arganda, and Wilson, though he advanced 1809.