After this, Wellington renewing the siege of San Sebastian carried the place, excepting the castle, after a heavy expenditure of life (Aug.
Thence his line stretched along the Pyrenees by the passes of Vera, Echallar, Maya and Roncesvalles, to Altobiscar; his immediate object now being to reduce the fortresses of San Sebastian and Pampeluna.
A few days Madrid was evacuated, and all the French forces, with the exception of the garrisons of San Sebastian (3000), Pampeluna (3000), Santona (1500), and the troops under Suchet holding posts in Catalonia and Valencia, had retired across the Pyrenees into France.
The greater part of the main island of Tierra del Fuego is formed by the continuation of the Tertiary beds of the Patagonian tableland cut by the transversal depression of Magellan Strait and by the low land extending from Useless Bay on the west to San Sebastian Bay on the east, of so recent origin that there exist still some salt lakes, this depression being represented in the old charts as an inter-oceanic passage for small boats.
Among wellknown natives of the town were Adam Smith, Henry Balnaves of Halhill, the Scottish reformer and lord of session in the time of Queen Mary; George Gillespie, the theologian and a leading member of the Westminster Assembly, and his younger brother Patrick (1617-1675), a friend of Cromwell and principal of Glasgow University; John Ritchie (1778-1870), one of the founders of the Scotsman; General Sir John Oswald (1771-1840), who had a command at San Sebastian and Vittoria.
Not having sufficient materiel for two sieges, he laid siege to San Sebastian only, and blockaded Pampeluna.
Sir Thomas Graham commenced the active siege of San Sebastian on the 10th of July 1813, but as Soult was approaching to its relief, the assault was ordered for daylight on the 24th.