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Battle of Cabezón
Part of the Peninsular War
DateJune 12, 1808
LocationCabezón de Pisuerga, near Valladolid, Spain
Result French victory
Spain Spain France First French Empire
Commanders and leaders
Gregorio de la Cuesta Jean-Baptiste Bessières
Antoine Lasalle
300 regular cavalry
4,700 militia
4 guns[1]
Total: 5,000
9,000 regulars
Casualties and losses
Unknown 50 dead[2]

The Battle of Cabezón was an engagement early in the Peninsular War on June 12, 1808 between a small Spanish militia force (grandiloquently styled the "Army of Castile"), based in Valladolid, and a detachment of Marshal Bessières' French Army Corps under General Lasalle.

The battle took place when General Cuesta's small army, scraped together almost from scratch to defend Old Castile, deployed itself at the bridge over the Pisuerga at Cabezón, just 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) outside Valladolid, to bar the road from Burgos against oncoming French divisions. Rather than dig in on the opposite bank of the river, Cuesta, swept along by the enthusiasm of his men, rushed his troops across the bridge against almost double his number, with predictable results: Lasalle's veteran cavalry trampled Cuesta's raw recruits with ease and marched on to Valladolid.

See also


  1. Gates, p.71
  2. Gates, p. 73


  • Gates, David. The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War. Da Capo Press 2001. ISBN 0-306-81083-2

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