The 10th Hussars fought the French Imperial Guard during the withdrawal to Corunna, capturing the commander of the French cavalry.
Orders had been given for the Army to withdraw to Corunna to avoid being cut off by Napoleon’s army of 50,000 men which included the Imperial Guard. The 10th Hussars arrived at Benevente after crossing the River Esla and piquets were left to watch the ford of the river while the Army was given two day’s rest. On the morning of 29th December 1808, a force of between 500 and 600 cavalry of the French Imperial Guard crossed the river. The 10th Hussars, who were formed up but concealed by some houses, charged the French who fled towards the river and crossed to the other side. In the mêlée, the French lost 200 killed, wounded and captured. During the pursuit, General Lèfevre-Desnouettes, commander of the French cavalry, became separated and was captured by Private Grisdall. After the Battle of Benevente, General Moore wrote: “Our cavalry are very superior to any the French have and the right spirit has been infused into them by their … leaders …”