The skirmish at Constantino of 5 January 1809 was a rear-guard action during Sir John Moore’s retreat to Corunna in the winter of 1808-1809. It was fought to prevent the French from crossing over the bridge at Constantino after the British engineers were unable to blow up its central arch.
General Paget, commanding the British rearguard, placed his artillery in a position where they could command the passage of the bridge, with the 28th and 95th Regiments defending the near bank of the river.
The French vanguard was made up of General Lahoussaye’s division of dragoons, and General Merle’s division of infanty. Merle formed his infantry into a dense column, and attempted to force his way across the bridge, but this just exposed them to the British cannons and the attempt failed. Paget and the rearguard held out until dark, and then withdrew to Lugo, where they found the main army formed up ready to offer battle.