The combat of Zalamea of 15 April 1810 was the first defeat suffered by General Ballesteros during his raid into western Andalusia in the spring of 1810. Having been detached from La Romana’s army of Estremadura with orders to invade the Condado de Niebla and to threaten Madrid, Ballesteros had defeated a French cavalry brigade at Valverde (19 February), before advancing east to Ronquillo, twenty miles north of Seville. There he had fought an inconclusive battle against Gazan’s infantry division, before retreated back west to Zalamea, just to the north of Valverde.
This battle so close to Seville provoked Marshal Mortier into action. He left Seville at the head of an infantry division, and on 15 April defeated Ballesteros at Zalamea. Ballesteros was forced to retreat north, back into the mountains on the southern borders of Estremadura, but even there he was not entirely safe, for on 26 May he suffered a second defeat at Araçena.
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