The combat of Araçena of 26 May 1810 was a minor French victory that ended General Ballesteros’s raid into Andalusia of the spring of 1810. Ballesteros had been dispatched into the Condado de Niebla from Estremadura earlier in the year with orders to raise a revolt and if possible threaten Seville.
His expedition had begun successfully, with a victory over Mortier’s cavalry brigade at Valverde (19 February). He had then advanced east to Ronquillo, only twenty miles north of Seville, where he had fought an inconclusive battle against Gazan’s infantry brigade (25-26 March). This threat had provoked Mortier into responding in person, and on 15 April he had defeated Ballesteros at Zalamea.
Ballesteros responded by retreating north into the Sierra de Araçena, where for some time he was left alone by the French, and it would be a month before Mortier sent his men north. Ballesteros had not gone far, and on 26 May Mortier inflicted a second defeat on the Spanish at Araçena, only fifteen miles north of Zalamea. Even after this defeat Ballesteros did not retreat too far, remaining in the Sierra de Araçena.
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