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Discussing combat, the rules (p.9, Combat Outcomes) say

If you failed to defeat all the defenders of a fortified site, you have to withdraw back to the space you were attacking from. If it is not a safe place, Forced withdrawal rules apply.

The Forced withdrawal rule (p.9, *End of the Turn") says

You must end your turn on a safe space.

a) If you are not on a safe space, you must backtrack your move until you arrive at a safe space.

b) For each space you move while backtracking, add a Wound to your hand.

Obviously, the fortified site with enemies remaining is not a safe space, and I am told to withdraw to my original space. On the other hand, the wording isn't explicit that this is a forced withdrawal.

So, do I automatically take a wound for failing to capture the site?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

No, you only take one or more wounds if you are forced to withdraw from the space you were attacking from. You are misreading the rule, probably because it is badly worded (too many pronouns).

If you failed to defeat all the defenders of a fortified site, you have to withdraw back to the space you were attacking from.

You must withdraw to the space you attacked from.

If it [the space you attacked from] is not a safe place, Forced withdrawal rules apply.

If the space you were attacking from is not safe, (i.e. contains another character, is on water, etc.) then you must withdraw from that space.

The designer, Vlaada Chvatil has answered this question in this thread, quoted here with out the notes.

Yes, you do not use forced withdrawal when your assault fails. You use it:

1) When your tun ends, for whatever reason, on inaccessible space (most usually because you assaulted or attacked another player form a lake using some water walking skill, but you might also try to reveal new tile when standing on a lake hex, and then finding out you cannot enter it because some high cost terrain, enemy or fortified site blocks your way).

2) When you turn ends on space with another player, and PvP is not allowed for whatever reason (either turned off by scenario settings, or because it is your teammate, or because end of day or end of game was already triggered). Again, this can happen if you assault or explore from a space occupied by another player, and fail to move on.

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