[Transcribed by Megan Stevens]
Sir, — Mr. J. Walter Wilkinson is in error in saying it was Mr. Lutchens to whom General Picton addressed these words. (See Mr. W’s letter in your paper to-day.) It was Commissary General William Gauntlett, from whose lips I had the account. General Picton sent for him and addressed him thus, — “Gauntlett, how is it that my men have no beef to-day?” Gauntlett — “Because, General, the Spaniards want four or five times the value of their bullocks.” General Picton (pointing to a tree) — “Do you see that tree?” Gauntlett — “Yes.” General Picton — “By God, if you do not supply my men with beef by 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, I will hang you on it.” Commissary Gauntlett immediately rode to the Duke of Wellington and reported what General Picton had threatened him with. The Duke said, “Did General Picton say that?” On being answered, “Yes”, he continued. “Then he will do it; for I never knew Picton tell a lie.”
General Gauntlett, finding there was no other course open to him, with a party worked through the night, buying bullocks at any price, and supplied the beef at the time mentioned.
I am, yours respectfully,