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the issue with firmness, but to put forth the whole strength of the empire to ensure success. Proclamations were issued to rouse the people to arms, and no attempt was made to conceal the danger with which the country was threatened, because there was no wish
on the part of the Emperor of Russia
for compromise or submission. “ The enemy,” says the proclamation to the city of Moscow, “with unparalleled perfidy, and a force equal to his boundless ambition, has passed the frontiers of Russia; his design is the ruin of our country; the Russian armies burn with impatience to throw themselves upon his battalions, and chastise, at the expence of their lives, this treacherous invader. But our paternal tenderness for our faithful subjects will not allow of so desperate a sacrifice: we will not suffer our brave soldiers to bleed on the altars of this Moloch. We must meet him in the field man to man, in equal combat; he for his ambition—we for our country. Fully informed of the malignant intentions of our enemy, and of the ample means with which he has provided himself to execute these intentions, we do not hesitate to declare to our people the danger in which the empire is placed, and to call upon them to disappoint, by their patriotic exertions, the advan*ges which the invader now hopes to §on by our present inferiority of numbers. Necessity commands that we should assemble a new force in the intetior, to su Pport that which is now wiace the enemy, and determined to Polish or remain a barrier between him. * the liberties of their country.” § emperor then addressed himself *the loyalty ofthe people of Moscow To the sentiments of patriotism, and * the enthusiasm of religion, which, . the Russians, exercise so despoo **y--The address to the na***ge contained some remark.
able passages, which discovered the deep hatred entertained by the Russian chiefs towards their faithless ene
“ The enemy has passed our frontiers, and carries his army into the interior of Russia. Since perfidy could not destroy an empire which has existed with increasing dignity for so many ages, he has determined to assail it by force; and to storm the dominions of the Czars with the collected powers of continental Europe. With perfidy in his heart, and fidelity on his lips, he courts the credulous ear, and seeks to bind the empire in chains. But Russia penetrates his wiles: the way of truth is open before her; she has invoked the protection of God. She opposes to the machinations of her enemy, an army vehement in courage, and eager to drive from her territory a race that burdens the earth; and to whom that earth would refuse a grave in her outraged bosom. ... We call for armies sufficient to annihilate this enemy. Our soldiers now in arms are bold; but we disguise not from our loyal subjects that the dauntless courage of our warriors requires to be supported by an interior line of troops. The means ought to be proportioned to the end ; and the end before us is to overwhelm a tyrant who would overwhelm all the world. Wherever in this empire he may advance, we are assured he will meet heroes ready to rise against his treachery; to disdain his flattery and his falsehood, and with the indignation of insulted virtue, to trample upon his gold; and palsy by the touch of true honour, his enslaved legions. In each Russian nobleman he will find a Pogarskoi; in each ecclesiastic a Porlitz; and in each peasant a Minim.”—These sentiments were worthy of the Russian emperor, and of the great cause in which he was engaged. They summoned forth the energies and patriotism of the people
in language to which they could not be deaf; and they were answered ac
cordingly by the devoted enthusiasm
of all Russia. Soldiers were raised— men of all ages and of all ranks were zealous in the service of their country, and those who could not render their personal assistance, were liberal in their contributions to the wants of the state. A people with these sentiments, and guided by men of ordinary firmness and capacity, could never be conquered. The emperor left his army, and hastened to Moscow, that he might accelerate the preparations which were required by the exigencies of the moment. He was received in this great city with all the marks of regard which could be bestowed by a loyal people, whose affection for their emperor was increased by the solemn and awful circumstances which had led to his appearance among them. A deputation of the nobles waited on him, to report as to the amount of the force which they proposed to raise and equip for the public service. The city and government of Moscow alone engaged to furnish 100,000 men; and the other Russian governments, according to their population, expressed their ea
gerness to follow this memorable ex-.
ample. If the Russians are savages,
as we have been so often told, the fi-.
he cry aloud unto the victors for mer. cy and for peace. Inspire our war. riors with a firm hope in the God of
armies. Fortify, by the words of truth,
men of feeble minds, whom ignorant? exposes to the artifices of imposture. Instruct every order, both by prect? and action, to respect, above all thing; their faith and their country. An
should one of the sons of the priest' hood, who may not have been yet cost. secrated to the sanctuary, burn with zeal to grasp the sword of patriotism, do ye bless him in the name of the church, and let him follow the fill impulse.”—The following memorable
advice which was given in this address, ** at the moment when the fury of the Russians may be supposed to have been at its height, should teach their enemies to talk with more respect and moderation of this calumniated peoPle. “Soldiers, while we thus call You to the field of honour, we exhort, * supplicate you never to forget that it is also the field of justice. Abstain from all actions unworthy your great *use. Abhor every disorder or license that would bring down on your heads the wrath of a Being who is not more the God of retribution than the God of mercy. We recommend to you the love of your neighbour, and the love * concórd, &c.”—It is almost need** to add that these energetic appeals had the desired effect. The whole ussian empire was now united in defence of its independence. The casual* in the regular army were immediately supplied, and its numbers in**ed by volunteers who crowded in from as quarters; and already did the invader perceive that in Russia he "* about to meet with a resistance "hich he had never before encounter. * and which in the madness of his ambition he had wholly overlooked. det he uSSlan general-in-chief had o to abandon Drissa, and to . Smolensk ; on the 19th o: otherefore, he broke up from the i. o Camp, andmarchedupon Poter i. Viterssk; he reached the latt . on the 24th. Wittgenstein, in . was left to occupy the tect th to the north of Drissa, to proto o: to St Petersburgh, and o i is k the corps under Mac. no Qodinot.— I he greatest mo fill prevailed as to the 'rince i. of the second army, under telligenc i."o: from which no in. - . o for some time been reject of i. it was manifestly the obwith the *Vader to push forward * Boatest rapidity towards
Smolensko, and to prevent that junction which had already cost-so many efforts.-The situation of the Russian general-in-chief was thus embarrassing in the extreme; nor could he take any step towards checking the advance of the enemy, except by making demonstrations for a general battle. The concentration of the French forces gave the enemy great advantages; it enabled him to push forward, regardless of his antagonists, and to meet them with many chances in his favour, whereever they might choose to make a stand. Yet no alternative seemed to be left to the Russian general but to risk an engagement, even in the very unfavourable circumstances to which he had been reduced. That he might choose the ground with more advantage for this great struggle, and ascertain the position and strength of the enemy, General Barclay de Tolly sent out reconnoitring parties, and afterwards dispatched Count Osterman to keep the enemy in check. General Dochtoroff was at the same time posted on the right bank of the Dwina, with orders to check the enemy’s advance.—On the 25th of July, the corps under Osterman was in motion ; and three versts in advance of Ostrovno, they fell in with alarge body of the enemy's cavalry, who fought with bravery, but were ultimately compelled to give way. The Russians, too impetuous in following up this success, were in their turn repulsed; and on the following day the viceroy of Italy, powerfully reinforced by Murat’s cavalry, renewed the attack. The Russians had their right on the Dwina, their centre on the great road leading to Vitepsk, and their left covered by a wood, of which the French made vigorous efforts to get possession. On this point, as well as on the centre and right, they were ultimately driven back with great slaughter; but as the contest was bravely and obstinately maintained on both sides, the loss of the Russians was not less severe. Three or 4000 on each side were killed and wounded.—Count Osterman determined on re-uniting himself with the grand army; but in order that time might be afforded to the commanderin-chief to profit by what had passed, and to make his arrangements for the battle which now seemed inevitable, Lieutenant-General Konovitz was left with a small party still to check the advance of the enemy, which he accomplished in so gallant a manner, that although, during the whole of the 27th, he had to resist the assaults of the French, yet did he not give way till he and his followers were recalled during the night to join the grand army. The Russian army waited with impatience for the moment which was to bring their prowess into fair trial with that of the enemy in a general battle.—When every thing seemed to be prepared for this great struggle, the plans of the general-in-chief were changed by the receipt of intelligence from Bagration, who had found Mohilof in possession of the French, and had therefore determined to retire by another route upon Smolensk. Barclay de Tolly took his measures accordingly ; he determined not to hazard a battle till he had reached Smolensk, and he communicated this resolution to Prince Bagration, while he, at the same time, sent orders to Platoff to put himself in advance of that city, and cover the movements of the army. ... The first army was now divided into three columns, which moved towards Smolensk. Count Pahlen was entrusted with the command of the corps which was to protect this movement; he distributed his force on the banks of a small river, where he was repeatedl attacked without success; and he af. terwards occupied the great road, where he constructed a battery, which made such havoc among the French
cavalry, that they soon relinquished the pursuit. The French, having reached Vitepsk, determined to remain there till they should recover, in some measure, from the unusual fatigues and privations which they already began to experience.—The bulletins of Buo. naparte boasted much, about this time, of the excellent state of his troop, and imputed the pause, which was o strangely made at Vitepsk, to the ot. cessive heat of the Russian climate of this season of the year. It was easy to penetrate this thin disguise; while the delay which the necessities of his situation now imposed on the French ruler, might have proved to him int. trievable. While the grand armies oneachik
were thus reduced to inactivity, the
one that it might enjoy some repo, and the other that it might add toil strength by the powerful aid of the # cond Russian army, CountWitgenitti was wellemployedintheneighbourhood of Polotsk. Macdonald, with part s his corps, had crossed the Dwill, is the hope of joining Oudinot; and to tered himself that he would thus bo able to cut off the communication of Witgenstein with St.Peterburgh-0. the 11th of August, Witgenstein o countered a detachment of Oudio cavalry, from one of whom he kino that the French marshal had soo the project of advancing on the capital The Russians, however, defeated ho plan, and compelled Oudinot too!" upon Polotsk, where he was joid by some Wirtemburgh and Bao troops, under the command of Go, ral Gouvion St Cyr. Thus reinforo Oudinot once more resumed his P. ject of marching on the Russiah.” tal; but the penetration of Witgo, stein again anticipated his move." The Russian general : o:
idity; but, expert and daring as". #. Ho could not sup” his able adversary, whom he soul”
The arrangements of the French general were masterly; but they availed not against the courage of the Russians, who bore down upon him with such fury, that, after a brave resistance, which lasted for more than six hours, they succeeded in repulsing him, and remained masters of the field. Witgenstein next day resumed his operations; and Oudinot had improved the few hours of darkness by which the conflict was interrupted, in the manner which might have been expected of an able general. The contest was again maintained with severe
loss on the side of the enemy till mid
night; but on the third day the Rus
sian general wholly overthrew the French, and drove the fugitives, who escaped from the field of battle, to seek shelter in the French lines before Polotsk.-The loss of the enemy, in these obstinate and sanguinary engagements, was estimated at 5000 killed and wounded, and 3000 prisoners, besides artillery, baggage, and ammunition waggons. The Russians confess a loss of 2000 men, officers and privates, among the former of whom was General Kouluff.-The army of Oudinot was thus dispersed; and as Count Witgenstein, from whom the official report of this victory was received, has since become an officer of distinguished celebrity, it may not be uninterest
ing to quote the description which he gives of the heroic resolution displayed by his soldiers in this the first affair of importance which they had with the enemy on their own soil.—“During the three days of attack,” says he, “the corps I have the honour to command performed prodigies of valour. Their resolution was not to be shaken; and their ardour, like a deyouring flame, consumed all before it. The particular acts of their dauntless and persevering heroism I can neither describe nor sufficiently
- pared at all points to give him battle.
praise. The artillery and the bayonet were equally the instruments of their zeal; for where the one fell short of the mark, the other was pushed with a resolution that overthrew whole ranks of the enemy. Even the most solid columns of infantry and batteries of cannon were compelled to give way to the intrepid motions of our troops.” —It was the intention of Witgenstein to have next attacked Macdonald ; but as that marshal had already begun his retreat, the Russian chief determined to remain in front of the enemy’s lines at Polotsk. During these events the march of the second army of the Russians was continued with unceasing activity. At Bobrousk, Prince Bagration crossed the Berezina, and hoped, by keeping, the right bank of the river, to reach Mohiloff without interruption from the enemy. bj uard, while proceeding on the road to §. loff, was opposed by a strong body of the enemy's chasseurs, through whom
they cut their way. The Russians
soon learned that they had been engaged with the advance of the division of the grand army under Davoust and Mortier, who occupied Mohiloff and the country around. There seemed to be but one resource left for the second Russian army, to cut its way, at all hazards, through the enemy; and this resolution was instantly adopted. And here it may be remarked, that the genius and courage of the contending parties shone forth with great lustre in the conduct of this memorable retreat. The first disunion of the Russian armies may have been unwise; but their subsequent efforts to retrieve this false step, if it really was such, must extort the highest praise. The skill and valour of the enemy also merit great applause ; the object which he had in view was of great moment to the issue of the o ; he pursued it steadily and skilfully ;