« PoprzedniaDalej »
When he had nearly reached the could only oppose two; by the fire of point of attack, he found that it de. which, however, five of the enemy's ampended on the energy of the moment munition-waggons were blown up. At whether he should succeed, or be him. this moment a regiment of cossacks, self overpowered by a superior force of detached upon the road by which the the enemy, which was within a few enemy's reinforcements were advanhours march of him. At Haldenslehen cing, brought intelligence that they he learned that a second convoy was were within two miles; this determi. at Hassen, on the Brunswick road, ned the general to make a decisive efthree miles and a half from Halber. fort against the square with all the stadt, which place it had been ordered troops. The scattered cossacks were to reach in the morning to join the first, ordered to seize the same moment at with the view of proceeding with the which the attack should be made by greater safety on its march to the grand the regular cavalry. The success of this army. This last convoy was escorted brilliant attack against a formidable by 4000 infantry, 500 cavalry, and square, defended by 14 pieces of canmany pieces of artillery: Notwith- non, surpassed expectation In an instanding the fatigue which his troops stant the batteries were carried, and the had undergone, he resolved to continue allies penetrated the square : here the his route, to make an immediate at. carnage was great, as the enemy defendtack upon the enemy at Halberstadt ed himself with valour More than 700 before the arrival of the reinforcement of the French were killed, and the rest —and to take advantage of the fault taken—not an individual escaped out which the French had committed in of all this corps. Scarcely was this af. placing their guns and convoy without fair terminated, when the enemy's sethe town. Upon reconnoitering the cond columns began to appear, and enemy, he ascertained that the guns
to press upon the cossacks
General were placed in a square, the interior of Tchernicheff was compelled to supwhich was filled with ammunition-wag- port them, that he might gain time to gons and other carriages, and lined send off the captured guns and prison. with infantry, the flanks being cover. He succeeded in carrying off 14 ed by 250 horse. The whole form- guns and 12 ammunition-waggons; he ed a sort of fortress almost impenetrable blew up the rest even in the presence of to the cavalry. His first care was to the enemy.--Eight thousand draught cut off the enemy from the town; and horses, above 1000 prisoners, with sea single gate which the French had ne- veral officers, fell into the hands of the glected to close afforded him the means conquerors. Such affairs as these may of attaining his object. The rear of seem trifling when compared with the the French troops, while marching out magnitude of the operations which preto join the square, was charged and ceded and followed, but they have no pursued to the guns. Another party inconsiderable influence on the fate of of Russians, who had been sent forward armies and the result of campaigns ; in hopes of surprising the enemy, made and while they do honour to the skill two very fine charges against the and valour by which they are accomsquare ; but the French having infor. plished, they waste the resources of an mation of this movement, and being enemy, and ultimately reduce him to upon their guard, the Russians could the most seriousembarrassments. But not make any impression. The enemy events of higher importance will now now opened a heavy cannonade from 14 demand attention. guns, to which General Tchernicheff
By the 19th of May, the Prussian
and Russian reinforcements under Bar. communication with Ney and Lauris. clay de Tolly, Langeron, Sass, and ton; but the general who commanded Kleięt, had arrived, and the total mass this division was suddenly assailed by of the combined forces amounted to the allies, and driven from Konigswer150 or 180,000 men. The allies had der - Lauriston arrived at the same taken up a position with the Spree in time before Weissig—the battle comtheir front; their right extended to menced, and the enemy was entirely fortified eminences, which defended the worsted on the 19th. debouches from that river ;-Bautzen The battle of Weissig was succeedformed their centre ; and their left was ed by the general battle of Bautzen. supported by woody mountains Where The whole French army was engaged; the ground was open, particularly in Oudinot, Mortier, Macdonald, Mara the centre, strong works had been mont, Ney, Lauriston, Regnier, and thrown up; behind the first position Bertrand. The two detached corps other works of equal strength had been were scarcely returned on the 20th to constructed
their positions near Gattamelda, when After reconnoitering the position of about noon, the enemy advanced in cothe allies, Buonaparte said, “ it was lumns on Bautzen, and atcacked, under easy to conceive how, notwithstanding protection of a brisk cannonade, the a lost battle, like that of Lutzen, and advanced-guard commanded by Geneeight days retreating, the enemy might rals Miloradovitch and Kleist. The still have hopes in the chances of for- determination of the latter obstinately tune.”-Of the French divisions op- to defend the heights situated on the posed to the allies, Oudinot's formed side of Bautzen, occasioned a serious the right, Macdonald's and Marmont's engagement.—He had to fight an arthe centre, and Bertrand's the left.- my, according to the Russian account, Ney, Lauriston, and Regnier, were at four times as numerous as his own, yet Hoverswerda, to the left of the ene- he did not fall back to his position unmy's left wing, and in a position to act til four o'clock in the afternoon, after as occasion might require, on the right the enemy had entirely turned his left, of the allies. The latter began to act and after having resisted the most vi. on the offensive by a very bold, bril- gorous attacks on his right flank and liant, and, as it should seem, on the part front. The obstinacy with which the of the enemy, a very unexpected ope. Prussian General Kleist, and the Rusration. They supposed that the three sian Generals Rudiga, Roth, and divisions had been posted at Hovers- Marcoff, defended those heights, and werda to turn the right of their posi- the conduct of the troops on the oce tion, while the remainder of the French, casion, excited the admiration of the army should engage their whole line to the right and left of Bautzen. They While the attack was made on this accordingly determined to disengage point, the enemy was preparing anothemselves from this mass; and on the iher on the centre and left; but there 19th, early in the morning, they sent also he was vigorously received by General D’York with 12,000 Prus. Count Miloradovitch and Prince Eu. sians, and Barclay de Tolly with 18,000 gene of Wirtemberg.-Late in the day Russians, to attack the enemy's de his tirailleurs endeavoured to gain the tached corps. The Russians took post woody mountains which commanded at Kleix, the Prussians at Weissig. the left of the allies, to alarm them with Meanwhile, Bertrand had sent a divi the fear of being turned on that side. sion to Konigswerder, to keep up The Prince of Wirtemberg seut some
tirailleurs to drive them back. The
tacking the left of the allies, seconded Emperor Alexander sent thither Co- by a brisk fire of tirailleurs whom he lonel Michand, one of his aides-de- had
posted in the mountains. He had camp, to direct the movements; and also pushed forward some men to Cu. the French were driven back as far as nevalde, to annoy the allies upon their the defile of the mountains by which flank. The Count de Miloradovitch they made the attack. The engage- and the Prince of Wirtemberg, how. ment, which the enemy maintained on ever, repelled with intrepidity all the the points before mentioned, lasted un- attacks on this side, which were renew. til ten o'clock at night, with an unin. ed with the same vivacity and the same terrupted fire of artillery and musketry. Success at mid-day.—Between six and It is computed that this affair cost seven o'clock, the attack commenced him 6000 men, as he was obliged to by a brisk cannonade, and a smart fire force the defile of the Spree under the of musketry upon the right wing of fire of cannon and small arms.
the line also, where a corps was posted In the centre, the village of Bautzen, under the orders of General Barclay de after an obstinate contest, was occupi. Tolly. The enemy was infinitely sued at seven in the evening.--Oudinot perior in numbers, and endeavoured, at last got possession of the heights on protected by the forest which covered the left of the allies, who then fell him, to outflank this corps. General back on their second position ; but Barclay de Tolly was posted on the Soult and Bertrand, who were sent to heights near Gleina ; he extended his disposses them of the heights in the line during the battle towards the right, failed in their object; and Ney, height, situated near Baruth, named Lauriston, and Regnier, who were or- La Voigtshulte.—It became necessary,
the Spree, and turn that to reinforce this corps ; and General flank, were equally unsuccessful. The Kleist received orders to carry his troops allies kept their ground, and cut off to that point. These generals made an Ney from communicating with the rest attack, brisk and well combined, and of the French army.
forced the enemy to renounce the ad. Such was the issue of the battle of vantages which his superiority of numthe 20th, which was followed next bers had given him. General Blucher day by the sanguinary battle of Wurt- arrived to support this attack with his chen.—And here it were injustice not two brigades, and by this sudden moveto pay the warmest tribute to the ment the enemy was obliged to give up skill, promptitude, and valour of the his project of turning the right wing, allies. No confusion of movement as he had already abandoned that of --no surprise-no disorder occurred, turning the left. although the battle of Bautzen had During all these attacks, the French rendered a change in all their disposi. kept up a continual fire of artillery and tions necessary. All was to be done small arms, principally upon the cen. during the night, and all was well done. tre, upon which they had yet made no Buonaparte was obliged to bring up direct
' attempt. Suddenly, however, every man of his reserves; and even they assailed the heights of Krecke. by his own accounts, from four in the vetz, which General Blucher's corps morning till three in the afternoon, the occupied. They took advantage of fortune
of the day was in favour of the the moment when the general left this allies.
position, with a part of his corps, to On the 21st, by half-past four in sustain that of General Barclay de the morning, the enemy began by at Tolly. The enemy approached the
dered to pass
heights from three sides at once, with cavalry, and the allies retreated. On the greater part of his forces, which the 23d, in the evening, Buonaparte had been formed into three columns for was at Goerlitz, on the Neisse. the attack; and thus he established on There is a singular passage in the this point a decided superiority. Ge- French account of these battles. “ We neral D'York, however, arrived, and could not,” said Buonaparte, “ take the village of Kreikwitz was retaken. any colours, as the enemy always carThe allied troops defended the heights ries them off the field of battle. We with an obstinacy beyond example.- have only taken 19 cannon, the enemy Four battalions of the Russian guards having blown up his park of artillery advanced to sustain General Blucher. and caissons ;~and besides, the empeIn the meantime, the left wing under ror keeps his cavalry in reserve till it is the orders of Count Miloradovitch had of sufficient numbers; he wishes to pushed forward, taken many cannon spare it." from the enemy, and destroyed some These battles were among the most battalions.
desperate and sanguinary, even of that The conflict became more sangui- dreadful succession which Europe has nary every moment. The instant was witnessed. The French stated their arrived when it was necessary to bring own loss at 11 or 12,000 men ; a all the means of the allies into action, greater number than they had admitand risk all, or put an end to the bat. ted even at Borodino. Among the tle,—they determined upon the latter. slain was Marshal Duroc (Duke of To expose all to the hazard of a single Friuli), who held the office of Grand day would have been to play the game Chamberlain of France, and who, in of Buonaparte ;-to preserve their for all the campaigns, had been closely at. ces, to reap advantages from a war, tached to the person of Buonaparte.more difficult to the enemy as it was His death was commemorated by his prolonged, was that of the allies.- master with a profusion of real or afThey commenced a retreat.— They fected sorrow. made it in full day-light, under the eye Buonaparte followed up slowly his of the enemy, as upon a parade, with. hard-won victory. The allies retired out his being able to gain a single tro. upon Schweidnitz, southward through phy; while the combined army had ta. Silesia and along the frontier of Boheken from him in these three memora. mia. They thus adhered to their former ble days, 12 pieces of cannon and 3000 principle of drawing the enemy as far prisoners, among whom were four ge. as possible from Berlin and the central nerals and many officers of distinction. Prussian provinces. Their rear-guard
As the French were employed in the of cavalry maintained a constant supecourse of this battle chiefly in turning riority over that of the enemy, and the position of their antagonists, their handled him very roughly on several loss was severe—it has been estimated occasions. They were reinforced by at 14,000 men. The allies admitted
some corps which arrived from the their own loss to amount to 6000 kill. Russian frontier, and rendered them as ed and wounded.
powerful as they had been before the On the 22d, the combat was renew.
battle of Bautzen. Other divisions of ed near Reinchaback ; but it was in a great strength were announced to be great measure confined to the cavalry on their march. The French army, of the two armies. In the early part meanwhile, not only received no reinof the day the French were driven forcements, but was obliged to leave back; but they brought up 16,000 behind it the corps of Oudinot, for the purpose of opposing that under Bu- and one of the most important keys of low, which was acting in front of Ber. the Oder.—He took possession also lin. Some hints were thrown out as if, of Breslau, the capital of Silesia.after the battle of Bautzen, the French His divisions advanced in front of the army would advance and take posses. allied camp at Schweidnitz, and an at. sion of that capital. Buonaparte, how- tempt would probably have been made ever, according to his usual system, to force it, had not an event occurred carried the great body of the army which, for a time, interrupted his opewith him into Silesia, Oudinot thus rations. But before proceeding to confound himself reduced to an attiiude sider the armistice, concluded about strictly defensive, and with difficulty this period, it will be necessary to take maintained the communication between a short review of the policy of a state, Dresden and the grand army: