The weather had become bad, and the Nive unfordable; but there were additional and serious causes of delay.
These matters, however, having been at length adjusted, Wellington, who in his cramped position between the sea and the Nive could not use his cavalry or artillery effectively, or interfere with the French supplies coming through St Jean Pied de Port, determined to occupy the right as well as the left bank of the Nive.
Therefore, on the 9th of December 1813, after making a demonstration elsewhere, he effected the passage with Passage of a portion of his force only under Hill and Beresford, the Nive, near Ustaritz and Cambo, his loss being slight, and Dec. 9, thence pushed down the river towards Villefranque, 1813.
The allied army was now divided into two portions by the Nive; and Soult from Bayonne at once took advantage of his central position to attack it with all his available force, first on the left bank and then on the right.
On the i i th and 12th of Battles December there were engagements of a less severe before character, and finally on the 13th of December Soult B, or Battles ayonne of with 35,000 men made a vehement attack up the the Nive, right bank of the Nive against Hill, who with about Dec. 10-13, 14,000 men occupied some heights from Villefranque 1813.
The conflict about St Pierre (Lostenia) was one of the most bloody of the war; but for hours Hill maintained his ground, and finally repulsed the French before Wellington, delayed by his pontoon bridge over the Nive having been swept away, arrived to his aid.
The losses in the four days' fighting in the battles before Bayonne (or battles of the Nive) were - Allies about 5000, French about 7000.
Hill-James, Battles round Biarritz, Nivelle and the Nive (London, 1896); Battles round Biarritz, Garres and the Bridge of Boats (Edinburgh, 1897); H.
Bayonne, a first-class fortified place, is situated at the confluence of the Adour and its left-hand tributary, the Nive, about 3 m.
Grand Bayonne lies on the left bank of the Nive; the two squares which lie close together at the mouth of that river constitute the most animated quarter of the town.
Petit Bayonne lies between the right bank of the Nive and the Adour; Saint Esprit, dominated by a citadel which is one of the finest works of Vauban, occupies the right bank of the Adour.
The port consists of an outer harbour, the so-called "rade" (roadstead) and the port proper, and occupies the course of the Adour from its mouth, which is obstructed by a shifting bar, to the Pont St Esprit, and the course of the Nive as far as the Pont Mayou.