The failure of the archduke John to arrive in time at Wagram (5th of July), the lack of support accorded by the Spaniards to Wellesley before and after the battle of Talavera (28th of July), and the slowness with which the British government sent forth its great armada against Flushing and Antwerp, a fortnight after Austria sued for an armistice from Napoleon, enabled that superb organizer to emerge victorious from a most precarious situation.
Bilbao; Count de Belvedere (ii,000) near Burgos; reserves (57,000) were assembling about Segovia, Talavera and Cordova; Catalonia was held by 23,000, and Madrid had been reoccupied.
For these reasons he marched by land; and as the roads north of the Tagus were deemed impassable for guns, while transport and supplies for a large force were also difficult to procure, he sent Sir John Hope, with the artillery, cavalry and reserve ammunition column, south of the river, through Badajoz to Almaraz, to move thence through Talavera, Madrid and the Escurial Pass, involving a considerable detour; while he himself with the infantry, marching by successive divisions, took the shorter roads north of the Tagus through Coimbra and Almeida, and also by Alcantara and Coria to Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca.
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.
Close to Madrid, was forced to retire, so that Joseph joined Victor, and the united force attacked the Allies at Talavera de la Reina on the Tagus.
But his experience after Talavera had been akin to that of Moore; his expectations from the Spaniards had not been realized; he had been almost intercepted by the French, and he had narrowly escaped from a critical position.
The first Christian archbishop of Granada, Talavera, made some progress in converting the people peacefully.
Wellesley, unconscious of Soult's presence in force on his flank, advanced against Madrid, and defeated his immediate opponent, King Joseph, at Talavera de la Reina on the 27th-28th of July.
The victory of Talavera, however, brought prestige but nothing else.
Public opinion in England, lately so hostile, now became confident, and Wellington, whose rewards for Talavera had been opposed in both Houses, began to gain extraordinary popularity.
After the battle of Talavera he was made chief of staff of the French troops in Spain with extended powers, and on the 19th of November 1809 won the great victory of Ocana.
The Sierra de Gredos has a road across it connecting Avila with Talavera de Ia Reina by the Puerto del Pico; but for the most part there are only bridle-paths across the Gredos and Gata ranges, and no railway crosses either of them, although the line from Plasencia to Salamanca skirts the Sierra de Gredos on the west.
He commanded his regiment at the battles of Talavera and Busaco, and in 1810 received a colonelcy and the appointment of A.D.C. to the king.
In such varieties as Talavera the spikelets are loose, while in the club and square-headed varieties they are closely packed.