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.. in Spain, and in many of the other countries which he had invaded, and where he met with a firm resistance on the part of the people. He had disregarded not only the dictates of humanity, but the accustomed rules of war, and had enforced submission

by the terrors of indiscriminate ruin

and proscription. He still affected to follow the same system in Russia, but he soon found that it was returned upon him with interest. The Russians felt enough of hatred to the French name; they were roused by an invasion which threatened the independence of their country; but they became exasperated to the utmost pitch by the insolence and cruelty of the invaders.-A striking example of this is said to have happened in the government of Twer. A detachment of French prisoners, accompanied by a small escort, arrived in a village near Smolensko, where they contrived to overpower the Russian soldiers who had them in charge. A party of peasants instantly made their appearance, and, armed with such weapons as they could most easily procure, attacked the French, and finally subdued them. Nor was this enough for their zeal; for it was with great difficulty that a few of the prisoners escaped their vengeance. bourhood, supposing that the French had actually made their way into this district of the empire, sounded the alarm, and no less than 9000 men, armed in the best way which the hurry of the moment would permit, made their appearance. They instantly declared their readiness to destroy their property, that it might not fall into the hands of the French, and to make any other sacrifice which the cause of their country might require. Instances of such devotion as this occurred frequently; and Buonaparte was inconsistent enough to complain of the savage mode of war

The peasants in the neigh

fare pursued by the Russians, without reflecting that enormities, even greater than ever were committed by this people in revenge of his perfidy, had been executed by himself, in the wantonness of power, against innocent and unoffending nations. Wittgenstein, who had continued to occupy the ground won by him from the enemy on the 10th and 11th of August, received reinforcements from Dinabourg, and determined to dislodge Oudinot from the position which he was fortifying at Polotsk-On the 17th of August he advanced in two columns, and, after a few hours, reached the ground on which he meant to give the enemy battle. Oudinot has

tened to give the Russians a check

before they should have reached the position, which he foresaw it was their object to take up ; but in this he was disappointed.—The effect of the Russian artillery was here, as on many other occasions, found irresistible; and its well-directed operation in the affairs of which we are now giving a brief account, had a powerful influence on the result of the conflict. A heavy fire from a Russian battery, di. rected against the enemy's masses, while they were yet unformed, created the utmost confusion; a dreadful carnage ensued, in which Marshal Oudinot was severely wounded, and the enemy was at last driven with great slaughter to his intrenched camp.–St Cyr, who succeeded Oudinot in the command, was anxious to distinguish himself by retrieving these disasters, and on the following day determined to renew the conflict. Count Wrede commanded the Bavarians on the right; General Maison was entrusted with the left flank; and St Cyr himself led on the centre. Wittgenstein, who had by this time gained possession of the enemy's intrenchments, determined to remain on the defensive, and allowed them to make their dispositions for the attack without interruption. The attack was begun by a discharge of the Bavarian artillery, which was instantly followed by a general and destructive fire from the whole French line. The Russians made a bold attack on the enemy's left, which entirely succeeded in driving him in that quarter back upon his reserves. The contest in the centre, commanded on the one side by St Cyr, and on the other by Wittgenstein, was maintained with the most obstinate bravery. At last, however, the enemy was forced to give way at all points, and was pursued with such activity, that numbers of his fugitive soldiers fell even in the streets of Polotsk, into which they

were driven by the Russians. The battle lasted upwards of twelve hours, and the pursuit did not cease till midnight.—The French left about 10,000 men killed and wounded on the field; they lost also many prisoners, including no less than 30 officers. The Russians stated their loss at 4000 men put hors de combat, among whom were several of their generals.-Such was the result of Buonaparte’s attempt to open for his armies a passage to St Petersburgh, and thus to inflict a fatal blow on the independence of the Russian empire. But it is proper to return to operations of still greater moment, which were under the immediate direction of the French ruler.

CHAP. XIV.

Russian Affairs continued. Capture of Smolensko by the French. Battle of Borodino. The French occupy Moscow. Their unsuccessful Attempts to ne

gociate. They evacuate Moscow.

Buonaparte remained at Vitepsk until he received intelligence that his reinforcements from Tilsit were advancing upon Wilna. He then resolved immediately to attack Smolensko ; and with this view, on the 13th of August he ordered Murat and Beauharnois to advance and effect the passage of the Boristhenes. The Russian general-in-chief, aware of those movements, ordered Prince Bagration to fall back to Smolensko by the Moscow road, while on the 14th he himself retired to the high ground on the right bank of the Dnieper, by which Smolensko is commanded. He learned also, that the enemy under Murat and Ney had already advanced in great force, and driven the Russians from Krasnoy with severe loss.—The garrison of Smolensko was in the meantime strengthened, and the necessary preparations made, that the Russians might avail themselves of the advantages which the situation of this city presented, to check, for a while at least, the advance of the invader. The communication betwixt the garrison of Smolensko, now 30,000 strong, and the army under Barclay de Tolly, which occupied the heights, was fully established by three bridges; and the ancient walls of §. although ill adapted to resist the operations of

modern warfare, were mounted with cannon, that nothing might be left undone by the Russians of which circumstances permitted them to avail themselves. The French main army had been reinforced by the junction of Poniatowski, and presented at this moment a very compact and formidable body. —The capture of Smolensko was an object of great importance to the enemy, for he would thus be able to dislodge the Russians from the only favourable position for defence which was to be found on this side of Moscow, while the occupation of a city so ancient and venerable, would give that sort of eclatto his operations, of which he has always known well how to avail himself.-On the 16th of August Buonaparte was at the head of his army before Smolensko; and he no sooner saw the position and strength of his enemy than he decided on his plan of operations. He determined to carry the intrenched suburbs and the city, and at the same time to destroy the bridges by which a communication was maintained betwixt the garrison and the army on the heights. With this view, Marshal Ney was ordered to take up the ground on the left, Davoust to occupy the centre, and Poniatowski to place himself on the

right. The reserves consisting of cavalry and guards, formed the rear; the cavalry was commanded by Murat and Beauharnois, and Buonaparte himself remained with the guards. On the 17th of August the sanguinary contest was begun, which ended in the occupation of Smolensko by the French arinles. The fire from the Russian cannon was answered by the French with energy and effect. Poniatowski first succeeded in driving a body of Russians from a formidable position, on which a battery was instantly constructed, and directed against one of the bridges. This gave the enemy a great advantage, oš animated as he now was by success, he pushed forward in great numbers, and with unwonted fury; drove the Russians before him into their intrenchments, and even there vigorously attacked them with the bayonet. The Russians for two hours maintained this unequal and sanguinary contest with firmness, and resisted every effort of the enemy to pierce their lines. The enemy, however, still pressed on with additional umbers; the fight was every moment i. more arduous, and alread the operations of the Russians were impeded by the heaps of slain which surrounded them on all sides. In these desperate circumstances they retired, still fighting, into the city, and already the French were under its walls.—It was the object of Barclay de Tolly to rolong the defence till Prince Bagration should be enabled to march to lorogobouche, where it was propo'sed to reunite the armies; and the brave garrison of Smolensko was ready to second his views. The fire from the walls still kept the enemy in check; but he quickly ordered batteries to be constructed which compelled the Russians to abandon the city. Their resistance continued, however, till the inóvements of the main army could be

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accomplished; and, in the meantime, everything in the city, and even the buildings, were hastily destroyed by the hands of their devoted owners.— General Korff having destroyed the communication with the right bank of the Dnieper, led off what still remain-e ed of his gallant army; and on the morning oft the 18th of August the enemy entered Smolensko without further opposition. When the French leader entered the city, he found it a heap of ruins. He was anxious to save something from the general destruction which met his view, and he ordered his soldiers to exert themselves in extinguishing the flames. They were too busily employed, however, in seizing what remained amid the wreck of this once celebrated city, and paid but little respect to the orders of their chief. The anxiety of Buonaparte to enter Smolensko in triumph, and to secure it as a place of repose for his troops, was manifested in the reflections which he made on this scene of ruin and horror. —“Smolensko,” said he, “may be considered as one of the finest cities in Russia, and of the most commanding situation. Had it not been for the circumstances of war, which involved it in flames, and consumed its magazines filled with merchandize, this city would now be regarded as the richest resource of our army. But even in its present ruined state, it puts us in possession of a formidable o }. and its remaining buildings af. ord excellent hospitals for the sick.” The reflections here made could deceive no one ; chagrin and mortification were evident in every line. In contemplating the ruins of this once celebrated city, Buonaparte was heard to exclaim, “Never was a war prosecuted with such ferocity—never did defence put on so hostile a shape against the common feelings of selfpreservation. These people treat their

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to credit, it might seem, indeed, that the enemy had achieved wonders, unparalleled even in romance; for we are told, that the dreadful contest which preceded the occupation of Smolensko cost him no more than 700 killed, and 3200 wounded. It is surprising, that the authors of reports so absurd should at any time have hoped to be believed; but when we consider that the French accounts are now very generally disregarded, while the reports of the Russians have been uniformly verified by the event, nothing more seems necessary than to oppose the candid history which the latter give of the campaign, to the idle and absurd fabrications of their enemies. Some Spanish prisoners, who were taken in this very battle, stated the loss of the enemy in killed and wound£d alone, as high as 13,000 or 14,000 men ; and when the nature of the engagement, and the situation of the contending parties are kept in view, this account cannot be deemed incredible.—But whatever may have been the loss sustained in the action, the city, on the entrance of the French, disappointed their hopes of comfort and repose. Buonaparte and a few of his favourite generals occupied the episcopal palace; his infantry sought relief from their fatigues amid a heap

of ruins, while the cavalry took possession of the churches, as if they had meant by this act of sacrilege, to raise to the highest pitch the fury and indignation of the pious Russians. Buonaparte hastened to repair the bridges which had been destroyed; and with that alacrity which so long

characterized all his military opera

tions, ordered the construction of a new bridge farther up the river, that he might at the same time harass the rear-guard of the retiring army, and endeavour, by a movement in another direction, to cut it off entirely from the main body.—His orders were so promptly obeyed, that Baron Korff, who commanded the Russian rear#. had not marched far from Smoensko, when he found his progress interrupted, the enemy having already pre-occupied his line of march, and in great force taken a position to intercept him. Korff had no resource left but to form on the spot, and try to maintain his ground, till the generalin-chief should send him reinforcements. He had not time, however, to make even these arrangements, till he was assailed with impetuosity by the corps of Marshal Ney. The Russian general was thus surrounded in an instant, and placed in the most critical circumstances.—The furious cannonade, which instantly commenced, was heard by the main army of the Russians; and Prince Eugene of Wirtemburg was dispatched withastrong body of troops, to support their companions under Korff, who had been thus exposed to so unequal a conflict. The prince made good his passage in spite of all opposition ; and as the ground which General Korff occupied was favourable, and he found himself so strongly supported, he determined to meet with firmness all the efforts of the enemy, who commenced a furious attack on the Russian centre, which he

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