Battle of Cabezón

Battle of Cabezón
Part of the Peninsular War
Date12 June 1808
LocationCabezón de Pisuerga, near Valladolid, Spain
ResultFrench victory
Belligerents
Spain SpainFrance First French Empire
Commanders and leaders
Gregorio de la CuestaJean-Baptiste Bessières
Antoine Lasalle
Strength
300 regular cavalry
4,700 militia
4 guns[1]
Total: 5,000
9,000 regulars
Casualties and losses
Unknown50 dead[2]

The Battle of Cabezón was an engagement early in the Peninsular War on 12 June 1808 between a small Spanish militia force (grandiloquently styled the "Army of Castile"), based in Valladolid, and a detachment of Marshal Bessières' French Army Corps under General Lasalle.

The battle took place when General Cuesta's small army, scraped together almost from scratch to defend Old Castile, deployed itself at the bridge over the Pisuerga at Cabezón, just 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) outside Valladolid, to bar the road from Burgos against oncoming French divisions. Rather than dig in on the opposite bank of the river, Cuesta, swept along by the enthusiasm of his men, rushed his troops across the bridge against almost double his number, with predictable results: Lasalle's veteran cavalry trampled Cuesta's raw recruits with ease and marched on to Valladolid.