The tasks of the commander of the 3rd Corps in the months that followed his victories over Blake were both less interesting and less important than those imposed upon his colleague in Catalonia. They were however laborious enough; after having driven the Spanish regular armies out of Aragon, Suchet had now to tame the country-side. For even after Belchite he held little more than 鏉窞妗戞嬁spa鐢熸椿棣?the towns of Saragossa and Jaca, and the ground on which his camps were pitched from day to day. When he had concentrated his corps to fight Blake, the rest of the province had slipped out of his hands. Its reconquest was a tedious matter, even though he had only to contend 鏉窞鐢峰＋鍏荤敓spa with scattered bands of peasants, stiffened by stragglers from the army that had dispersed after Belchite. The plain of the Ebro, which forms the central strip of Aragon, was easily subdued, but the mountains to the north and south were well fitted to be the refuge of insurgents. The Aragonese, along with the Galicians, were the first of the Spaniards to take to systematic guerrilla warfare. Undismayed by the fate of Blake鈥檚 army, they had resolved to defend themselves to the last. There was more than one focus of resistance: a colonel Renovales, who had been one 鏉窞spa浼戦棽鎸夋懇浼氭墍 of the defenders of Saragossa, and had escaped after[p. 11] the capitulation, was at the head of the bands of the north-western mountains, in the vale of Roncal
and on the borders of Navarre. In the north-eastern region, about the upper waters of the Cinca and the hills beyond 鏉窞淇濆仴鎸夋懇浼氭墍 Jaca, two local chiefs named Perena and Sarasa kept the war on foot, getting their stores and ammunition from the Catalans on the side of Lerida. In an entirely distinct part of the province, south of the Ebro, lay Gayan and Villacampa, whose centres of activity were Daroca and Molina, mountain 鏉窞spa浼氭墍 towns from which they were often driven up into that central ganglion of all the ranges of Spain, the Sierra de Albaracin, from which descend in diverging directions the sources of the Tagus, the Guadalaviar, and the Xucar. Both Gayan and Villacampa were officers of the 鏉窞淇濆仴鎸夋懇鎶€甯?regular army, holding commissions under Blake: the band of the former had as its nucleus the regiment of La Princesa, whose extraordinary
escape across northern Spain after the combat of Santander has been told in another place.
Suchet鈥檚 work, during the later summer and the 0571鏉窞澶滅綉 autumn of 1809, was to break up and as far as possible to destroy these bands. His success was considerable but not complete: in July he stormed Gayan鈥檚 stronghold, the mountain sanctuary of Nuestra Se?ora del Aguila, captured his magazines, and drove him up into the mountains of Molina. 鏉窞妗戞嬁缃?Continuing his campaign south of the Ebro, he sent the Pole Chlopiski against Villacampa, who abandoned Calatayud, Daroca, and the other hill towns, and retired into the Sierra de Albaracin, where he took refuge at the remote convent of El Tremendal, one of the most out-of-the-way 鏉窞澶滅敓娲荤櫨鑺卞潑 spots in the whole Peninsula. Here, nevertheless, the partisan was followed up on Nov. 23-4 by a column under Colonel Henriot, who man?uvred him out of his position, surprised him