Early in 1812 Wellesley attacked once more, and on July 22 he defeated the French under Marmont at Salamanca. He briefly occupied Madrid (Aug.–Oct., 1812), but retreated to Ciudad Rodrigo when the French, who had time to consolidate their armies, counterattacked from three directions. Placed in command of all the allied forces in the peninsula, Wellesley took the offensive in May, 1813, routed the French under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan at Vitoria (June 21), and pushed them back into France. In October Wellesley invaded France. He laid siege to Bayonne, heroically defended by Soult, and had reached Toulouse when, on Apr. 12, 1814, news of Napoleon's abdication arrived; the Peninsular War was ended.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.