At Toulon Bonaparte made the acquaintance of men who were to win renown under his leadership - Desaix, Junot, Marmont, Muiron, Suchet and Victor.
Tortosa fell into the hands of the duke of Orleans in 1708; during the Peninsular War it surrendered in 1811 to the French under Suchet, who held it till 1814.
Elsewhere in the Peninsula during this year, Blake, now in Catalonia, after routing Suchet at Alcaniz (May 23, 1809), was defeated by him at Maria (June 15) and at Belchite (June 18); Venegas, by King Joseph and Sebastiani, at Almonacid on the 11th of August; Del Parque (20,000), after a previous victory near Salamanca (Oct.
In the east of Spain Suchet took Tortosa (Jan.
26), and evacuating Andalusia joined Suchet with some 55,000 men.
Wellington had insufficient siege equipment and transport for heavy guns; five assaults failed, and Soult (having left Suchet in Valencia) and also the Army of Portugal were both approaching, so Wellington withdrew on the night of the Retreat 21st of October, and, directing the evacuation of from Madrid, commenced the "Retreat from Burgos."
At the opening of 1813, Suchet, with 63,000 men, had been left to hold Valencia, Aragon and Catalonia; and the remainder of the French (about 13 7,000) occupied Leon, the central provinces and Biscay, guarding also the communications with France.
A few days Madrid was evacuated, and all the French forces, with the exception of the garrisons of San Sebastian (3000), Pampeluna (3000), Santona (1500), and the troops under Suchet holding posts in Catalonia and Valencia, had retired across the Pyrenees into France.
On the 31st of October Pampeluna surrendered, and Wellington was now anxious to drive Suchet from Catalonia before further invading France.
In eastern Spain Suchet (April 11, 1813) had defeated Elio's Murcians at Yecla and Villena, but was subsequently routed by Sir John Murray' near Castalla (April 13), who then besieged Tarragona.
Suchet, after the battle of Vitoria, evacuated Tarragona (Aug.
Clinton had, on the i 6th of January, attacked Suchet at Molins de Rey and blockaded Barcelona (Feb.
7); the French posts of Lerida, Mequinenza and Monzon had also been yielded up, and Suchet, on the 2nd of March, had crossed the Pyrenees into France.
Choumara, Considerations militaires sur les memoires du Marechal Suchet et sur la bataille de Toulouse (Paris, 1838); Commandant Clerc, Campagne du Marechal Soult dans les Pyrenees occidentales en 1813-14 (Paris, 1894); Memoires du Baron Marbot (Paris, 1891; Eng.
18,500 more troops under Suchet, Brune and Lecourbe guarded the S.E.
He had left Marshal Davout behind in Paris, and Murat in disgrace; Suchet was far off on the eastern frontier, and Clausel was in the south of France.
In 1812 Marshal Suchet was created duke of Albufera by Napoleon for his conquest of Valencia, and invested with the domain; but the battle of Vittoria in 1813 deprived him of his possession, though he still retained the title.