Sharpe's Defense

By Lee's Ghost

Chapter 1

Authors note: This fic is based on the best-selling Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell and is a non- profit work. Please note, my contextual knowledge of the wars with Napoleon is quite little. So, the siege of the fort is a nameless battle after the winter of 1809. I hope I shall be forgiven for hijacking history. I am a storyteller, not a historian. Any sort criticism is welcome!

When Sharpe saw them he swore. He couldn't believe it he had been given some of the best troops in all of England and now they were leavening.

"Hey, where you goin' the frogs are that way," asked Sharpe cupping his hands so the troops marching down the mud socked to the far left of the fort could hear him.

"We have orders to move east," yelled back a Major with green eyes and pencil thin mustache.

Bloody orders thought Shape as rested his Baker rife against the rampart of the fort. He needed them here, the French would attack here, not in Lisbon. But there was nothing he could do so he watched them mach away.

"Seems a terrible thing to be loosein' such a great fighting force, even if they are Englishmen," said Patrick Harper as he cleaned his volley gun.

"How many men do we have sergeant?" asked Sharpe gloomily.

"Oh 'bout hundred and fifty, not cont'n Gore's Highland regiment, but they won't do much good anyway," said the big Irishman grinning broadly.

"Your right about that," said Sharpe an evil glint in his blue eyes. "Gore!" he shouted harshly, tapping a Cavalry boot on the wood floor.

A man in a redcoat slowly stumbled up the steps a canteen of cold tea in his sweaty hand. His frockcoat hung loosely around his fat body and it was full of wine and beer stains.

"Morning Sharpe," he said reaching back his large arms to let a loud yawn pass through his teeth.

Sharpe wanted badly to kill the sixty-three year old then and there but his emotions got the better of him. He stared out at the landscape in front of him trying to think of where the French would attack next. The road to the east was imposable for one to walk on let alone Marshal Victor's whole army.

Hours before a unit of engineers led by Major Hogan had cut down hundreds of oak trees and laid them across it, so the attack would not come there. The road to the west led to a bog that was waist deep on the tallest of men and Sharpe guessed most of the men could not swim so to send them through there would be murder.

The attack was to come from the north it was two hundred yard march though a grove apple trees and then they be in riffle range. That would be easy, the French would come in a long column and would be herald back by riffle and musket fire. The French would no doubt have a battery of nineponders but they would not have a long to fire for fear of hitting their own men.

Sharpe was jerked from his thoughts by the low rumbling sound of kettledrums this meant the French were coming.