This is not a complete list of actions involving British forces during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Grehan and Mace limit themselves to “reports of large-scale engagements from senior officers exercising independent commands” (p. viii), with ‘large-scale’ being in the context of the commitment of British forces over the 22 years covered by the books.
“It is the job of the historian not only to assemble facts and present them to their public but also to interpret those facts. Much is lost and gained in such interpretations. […] Where then lies the truth? […] But only one account will be authentic—that delivered by the man who witnessed the events in person. […] Only the most senior officers can have a holistic view of the unfolding events and their possible short-term consequences. It is to those persons that we must turn’ (p. vii).
“I remember he wrote me word that he was delighted I was coming, that he could not stand the slaughter about him and the vast responsibility. His letter was quite in a desponding tone. It was brought to me next day, I think, by General Arbuthnot when I was at dinner at Elvas, and I said directly, this won’t do, write me down a victory. The despatch was altered accordingly. Afterwards they grew very proud of the battle, and with full reason. There is no doubt they had completely got the better of Soult”*.
“This then is our assembly of facts, raw and untainted. Their interpretation is yours alone” (p. ix).