THE following History (as I have presumed to call it) is compiled from observations daily noted down upon the spot; for my own satisfaction and improvement; assisted by the information and remarks of several respectable characters, who also were eyewitnesses of the transactions therein recorded.
Disappointed in my expectations of seeing this subject undertaken by an abler pen, nothing less than a conviction that an accurate detail of this extraordinary Siege might be useful, both in a military and historical view, could have induced me, at this late period, to publish.
In the prosecution of this design, one principal difficulty has occurred. The work is addressed to two classes of readers: those whose principal object in the perusal of it was entertainment, I apprehended, might find the relation too minute and circumstantial; and that, from the insertion of many particulars, which those of the military profession would greatly blame an author for presuming to curtail, or omit.
With the former, it is hoped that the necessary connexion of some events (which at first may appear trivial) with the great business of the History, will be some apology ; and I have endeavoured to diversify the narrative, by such anecdotes and observations as will occasionally relieve or awaken the attention. To the latter I shall not attempt any apology. The Siege of Gibraltar afforded many instances of very singular exertions in the art of Attack and Defence, the minutiae of which cannot be without their utility to those officers who make a science of their profession ; and they must be sensible that without pointed exactness this design could not have been accomplished. In short, it must be remembered, that the History of this Siege is not that of a Month, or of a Year, but that it embraces a period of near four years, exhibiting a series of operations perhaps unparalleled. To Major Vallotton, the Governor's First AidedeCamp, and Lieut. Holloway, AidedeCamp to the Chief engineer, I have particular pleasure in this opportunity of returning thanks for the favour of many kind communications ; also to other officers of rank, whose names I have not their permission to insert. I must also acknowledge having derived considerable assistance, in the two introductory Chapters, from the Herculean Straits.—Great additions have however been introduced; and I flatter myself upon the whole, that those Chapters will not prove an unacceptable part of the work, since they will render it as complete a General History of Gibraltar as most readers will require.