« ForrigeFortsett »
War betwren France and Russia.
WAR BETWEEN FRANCE AND RUSSIA.
OFFICIAL FRENCH BULLETINS.
FIRST BULLETIN OF THE FRENCH GRAND ARMY. Gumbinnen, June 20.- TOWARDS the end of 1810 Russia altered ber political sys tem--the English spirit regained its influence--the Ukase respecting commerce was its first act. In February 1811, five divisions of the Russian army quitted the Danube by forced marches, and proceeded to Poland, By this movement Russia sacrificed Walle chis and Moldavia. When the Russian armies were united and formed, a protest against France appeared, which was transnitted to every cabinet. Russia by that announced that she felt no wish even to save appearances. All means of conciliation were employed on the part of France--all were ineffectual. Towards the close of 1811, sig months after, it was manifest to France that all this could end only in war: preparations were made for it. The garrison of Dantzic was increased to 20,000 men. Stores of every description, cannons, muskets, powder, ammunition, pontoor.s, were conveyed to that place: considerable sums of money were placed at the disposal of the department of engineers, for the augmentation of its fortifications. The army was placed on the war establishment. The cavalry, the train of artillery, and the military baggage train, were completed. In March 1812, a treaty of alliance was concluded with Austria; the preceding month a treaty had been concluded with Prussia. In April the first corps. of the grand army marched for the Oder, the second corps to the Elbe, the third corps to the Lower Oder, the fourth corps set out from Vetona, crossed the Tyrol, and proceeded to Silesia. The guards left Paris. On the 22d of April the emperor of Russia quitted St. Petersburgh, took the command of his army, and moved his head-quarters to Wilna. In the commencement of May the first corps arrived on the Vistula at Elbing and Márienborg; the second corps at Marenwerder; the third corps at Thorn, the fourth and sirth at Plock; the fifth corps assembled at Warsaw; the eighth corps on the right of Warsaw; and the seventh corps at Pulawy. The emperor set out from St. Cloud on thic 9th of May, crossed the Rhine on the 13th, the Elbe on the 29th, and the Vistula on the 6th of June.
SECOND BULLETIN OF THE GRAND ARMY. Wilkowiski, June 22.--ALL means of effecting an understanding between the two empires became impossible. The spirit which reigned in the Russian cabinet hurried is op to war. General Narbonne, aid-de-camp to the emperor, was dispatched to Wilna, and could remain there only a few days. By that was gained the proof, 1 liat the demand, equally arrogant and extraordinary, which bad been made by Prince Kurakin, and in which he declared, that he would not enter into any explanation before France had 'evacuated the territory of her own allies, in order to leave them at the nerey of Russia, was the sine qua non of that cabinet, and it made that a matter of boast to foreign powers. The first corps advanced to the Pregel. The prince of Eckmuhl, had his head-quarters, on the 11th day of June, at Koningsberg. The Marshal Duke of Reggio, commanding the second corps, had his head-quarters at Weblau; the Marstial Duke of Elchingen, commanding the third corps, at Soldass; the Prince Viceroy at Rastenburgh; "the King of Westphalia at Warsaw; the Prince Pomatowski at Pultusk: tbc omperus moved bis yor. iv. NO. 23.
܀ ܠܗ ! J
War between France and Russia.
head quarters, on the 12th, to Koningsberg, on the Pregel; on the 17th 10 Insterburgh; on the 19th to Gumbinnen. A slight hope of accommodation still remained. The ein. peror had given orders to Count Lauriston to wait on the Emperor Alexander, or on his minister for foreign affairs, and to ascertain whether there might not yet be some means of obtaining a reconsideration of the demand of Prince Kurakin, and of reconciling the honour of France, and the interest of her allies, with the opening of a negotiation. The same spirit which had previously swayed the Russian cabinet upon various pretexts, prevented Count Lauriston from accomplishing his mission; and it appeared for the first time, that an ambassador, under circumstances of so much importance, was unable to obtain an interview, either with the sovereign, or his minister. The secretary of legation, Prevost, brought this intelligence to Gunbinnen; and the emperor issued orders to march, for the purpose of passing the Niemen. “The cor.quered," observed he,“ sume the tone of conquerors: fate drags them on, let their destinies be fulfilled.” His majesty caused to be issued the following
PROCLAMATION. “ SOLDIERS!—The second war of Poland has commenced-The first was brought to a close at Friedland and Tilsit. At Tilsit, Russia swore eternal alliance with France, and war wille England. She now violates her oaths. She refuses to give ang explanation of her strange conduct, until the eagles of France shall have repassed the Rhine, leaving, by such a movement, our allies at ber mercy. Russia is dragged along by a fatality! Her destinies must be accomplished. Should she then consider us degenera. ted! Are we no longer to be looked upon as the soldiers of Austerlitz? She offers us the alternative of dishonour or war. The choice cannot admit of hesitation-let us then march forward! Let us pass the Niemen! Let us carry the war into her territory. The second war of Poland will be as glorious to the French arms as the first; but the peace which we shall conclude will be its own guarantee, and will put an end to that proud and baughty influence which Russia has for fifty years exercised in the affairs of Europe,
At our bead-quarters at Wilkowiski, June 22, 1312.
THIRD BULLET:N OF THE GRAND ARMY, " Kowno, June 26, 1812.-ON the 23d of June, the King of Naples, (Murat) who commands the cavalry, transferred his head quarters to within two leagues of the Niemen, upon its left bank. This prince has under his immediate orders the corps of ca. valry, commanded by Generals Counts Nansouty and Montbrun; the une composed of the divisions under the command of Generals Counts Bruyeres, St. Germain, and Valance; the other consisting of the divisions under the orders of General Baron Vattier, and Generals Counts Sebastiani and Defrance. Marshal Prince d'Eckmubl, commanding the first corps, moved his head-quarters to the skirts of the great forest of Pilwisky. The socond corps of the imperial guards followed the line of march of the first corps. The third corps took the direction by Marienpol; the viceroy, with the fourth and sixth corps, which reinained in the rear, marched upon Kalwarry. The King of Westphalia proceeded to Novogrod with the fifth, seventh, and eighth corps. The first Austrian corps,. commanded by the Prince of Schwartzenberg, quitted Lemberg on the ......, made a movement on its left, and drew nearer to Lublin. The pontoon train, under the orders of Goneral Eble, arrived on the 23d within two leagues of the Niemen. On the 25d, at two in the morning, the emperor arrived at the advanced posts near Kowno, tuok a. Polish cloak and cap from one of the light cavalry, and inspected the banks of the Niemen, accompanied by General Haxo, of the engineers, alone. At eight in the evening the army' was again in motion, '- Ať ten, Coant Morand, general of division, passed otor
War between France and Russia.
three companies of voltigeurs, and at the same time three bridges were thrown across the Niemen. At eleven three columns debouched over the three bridges. At a quarter past, one, day began to appear. At noon, General Baron Pajol drove before him a cloud of Cossacks, and took possession of Kowno, with a single battalion. On the 24th; the emperor proceeded to Kowno. Marshal the Prince of Eckmubl pushed forward his head-quarters to Roumchicki, and the king of Naples to Eketanooi. During the whole of the 24th and 25th, the army was defiling by the three bridges. In the evening of the 24th, the emperor caused a new bridge to be thrown over the Vilia, opposite Kowno, and directed Marshal the Duke of Reggio to pass it with the second corps. The Polish light horse of the guards crossed the river by swimming. Two men were drowning, when they were picked up by two swimmers of the 26th light infantry. Co. lonel Gueheneuc having imprudently exposed himself to afford then assistance, had nearly fallen a sacrifice bimself: a swimmer of his regiment saved him. On the 25th, the Duke of Elchingen pushed on to Kormelon: the King of Naples advanced to Jige moroui. The enemy's light troops were driven in and pursued on every side. On the 26th, Marshal the Duke of Elchingen arrived at Skoroule. The light divisions of ca. valry covered the whole plain, to within ter leagues of Wilna. Marshal the Duke of Tarentum, who commands the 10th corps, composed in part of the Prussians, passed the Niemen on the 24th, at Tilsit, and moved upon Russiena, in order to clear the riglic bank of that river, and to protect the navigation. Marshal the Duke of Belluno, come manding the ninth corps, and baving under his orders the divisions Heudelet, Lagrange, Duruite, and Partonneaux, occupies the country between the Elbe and the Oder. The general of division, Count Rapp, Governor of Dantzic, has under his orders the division Daundels. The general of division, Count Hogendorp, is governor of Koningsberg. The Emperor of Russia is at Wilna with his guards, and one part of his army occupying Ronikontonia and Newtrooki. The Russian General Baggawort, commanding the second corps, and a part of the Russian army, having been cut off from Wilna, had no other means of safety than by proceeding towards the Dwina, (the Duna we should rather suppose). The Niemen is navigable for vessels of two or three hundred tons, as far as Kowno. The communications by water are also secured as far as Dantzic, and with the Vistula, the Oder, and the Elbe. An immense supply of brandy, four, and biscuii, is passing from Dantzic and Koningsberg towards Kowno. TheVilia, which flows by Wilna, is navigable for very sinall boats from Kowno to Wilna. Wilna, the capital of Lithuania, is also ihe chief town of all Polish Russia. The Emperor of Russia bas been for several months in this city with a part of his court- The possession of this pluce will be the first fruit of victory. Several Cossack officers, and officers charged with dispatches, have been captured by the light cavalry.
FOURTH BULLETIN OF THE GRAND ARMY. Trilna, June 30.-ON the 27th the emperor arrived at the advanced posts at (wo in the afternoon, and put the army in motion for the purpose of approaching Wilna, and attacking the Russian army at day break of the 28th, should it wish to defend Wilaa, or retard its capture, in order to save the immense magazines which it had there, One Russian division occupied Troki, and another division was on the heiglits of Traka. At day-break of the 28th ihe King of Naples put binsself in motion with the advanced guard, and the light cavalry of General Count Bruyeres. The Marshal Prince of Eckinuhl supported him with bis corps. The Russians every where retired. After exchanging some cannon shot, they crossed the Vilia in all haste, burned the wooden bridge of Wilna, and set fire to immense magazines, valued at mauy millions of rables: War between France and Russia.
more than 150,000 quintals of four, an immense supply of forage and of oats, and a great mass of articles of clothing, were burned. A great quantity of arms, in which Russia is in general deficient, and of warlike stores, was destroyed and thrown into the Vilja. At mid-day the emperor entered Wina. At three o'clock the bridge over the Vilia was re-established. All the carpenters of the city repaired to it with zeal, sad constracted a bridge, while the pontoneers at the same time constructed another. The division Bruyeres followed the enemy by the left bank. In a slight affair with their sear, about 80 carriages were taken from the Russians; there were some men killed and wounded; among the latter is the captain of hussars, Segur. The Polish light horse of the guard made a charge on the right bank of the Vilia, put to rout, pursued, and made prisoners a good number of Cossacks. On the 25th, the Duke of Reggio had crossed the Vilia, by a bridge thrown over ' near Kowno. On the 26th, he marched upon Javon, and on the 27th on Chatoui. This movement obliged the Prince of Wittgenstein, commandant of the first corps of the Russian army, to evacuate all Samogitia, and the country lying between Kowno and the sea, and to retire opon Wilkomir, after obtaining a reinforcement of two regiments of the guards. On the 28th, a rencounter took place. The Marshal Duke of Reggio found the enemy drawn up opposite Develtovo. A cannonading commenced; the enemy was driven from one position to another, and passed the bridge with so much precipitation, that he could not set fire to it. He lost 300 prisoners, among whom are several officers, and about 100 killed or wounded. Our loss amounts to about 50 men. The Duke of Reggio praises the brigade of light cavalry, commanded by General Baron Castez, and the 11th regiment of light infantry, composed entirely of Frenchmen, from the departments beyond the Alps. The yonng Roman couscripts have shown a great deal of intrepidity. The enemy set fire to his grand magazine at Wilkomir. Up to the last moment the inhabitants were pillaging enme barrels of flour; we succeeded in recovering a part of it. On the 29th, the Duke of Elchingen threw a bridge over the Vilia opposite Souderva. Some columns received a direction of march by the roads of Grodno and Volhynia, for the purpose of coming up with various Russian corps that were cut off and scattered. Wilna is a city contain: ing from 25 to 30,000 souls, with a great number of contents, fine public buildings, and inhabitants full of patriotism. Four or five hundred young men of the university, above eighteen, and belonging to the best families, have requested to form a regiment. The enery is reliring upon the Dwina. A great number of officers of the staff, and of estafettes are daily falling into our hands. We are obtaining proofs of the exaggeration of all that Russia has published with regard to the immensity of her means. Only two battalions to each regiment are with the arnıy: the third battalions, the statements of the situation of many of which have been found in the intercepted correspondence of the officers of the depôts, with the regiidents, do not amount for the most part to 120 or 200
The court set off from Wilma twenty-four hours after being apprised of our pas. sage af Kowno. Samogitia, Lithuania, are almost entirely liberated. The centralitation of Bagration towards the north, has very much weakened the troops wbich were to defend Voltynia. The King of Westphalia, with the corps of Prince Poniatowsky, and the 7th and 8thi corps, must have entered Grodno on the 29th. Different columns have set out to fall upon the Aanks of the corps of Bagration, which, on the 20th, received orders to proceed by forced marches from Proujenoui towards Wilna, and the head of whiclí had already arrived within four day's warch of the latter city; hut events have forced it to retreat, and it is now pursued. Hitherto the campaign has not been sanguinary; there have been only wanæuvres: we have made in all 1000 prisoners. But the onewy las already lost the capital, and the greater part of the Polisk provinces, whichi
War between France and Russia.
are in a state of insurgency. All the magazines of the first, second, and third lines, the result of two year's care, and valued at more than twenty millions of rubles, are consu. med by the flames, or fallen into our power. In fine, the lead quarters of the French army are in the place where the court was for six weeks. Amidst the great number of intercepted letters, the following are remarkable: the one from the iutendant of the Russian army, who communicates, that Russia having already lost all her magazines of the first second, and third lines, is reduced to the situation of forming new ones in alt haste; the other from Duke Alexander of Wirtemberg, which shews, that after a campaiga of a few days, the provinces of the centre are already declared in a state of war. la the present situation of things, had the Russian army believed that they had ang chasco of victory, the defence of Wilna would' have been equivalent to a battle--and in all couutries, but particularly in that where we now are, the preservation of a triple line of magazines should have determined a general to risk the chances of it. Manæuvres, then, alone, have placed in the power of the French army, a considerable portion of ile Polista provioces, the capital, and three lines of magazines. The magazines of Wilna were set on fise with so mcub precipitation, that we have been able to save a great many things
FIFTH BULLETIN OF THE GRAND ARMY. Wilna, July 6, 1812.—“The Russian army was posted and organized in the following @anner, at the commencement of hostilities:- The first corps, commanded by the Prince Wittgensteio, consisting of the 5th and 14th divisions of infantry, and one division of cavalry, amounting, in the whole, to 18,000 en, including artillery and sappers, bad been a considerable time at Chawli. It had since occupied Rossiena, and was, on the 24th of Juve, at Reydanoui. The second corps, commanded by General Baggawost, consisting of the 4th and 17th divisions of infantry, and one division of cavalry, constituting the same force, occupied Kowna. The third corps, commanded by General Schomoaloff, composed of the first division of grenadiers, of one division of infantry. and a division of cavalry, amounting to 24,000 nien, occupied Nov-Trocki. The Atle corps, commanded by General Tutschkoff, composed of the 11th and 93d divisions of infantry, and one division of cavalry, in the whole 18,000 men, was stationed on die line from Nor-Trocki to Lida. The imperial guards were at Wilna. The 6th corps, commanded by General Doctorow, consisting of two divisions of infantry, and one of cavalry, amounting to 18,000 men, had formed a part of the army of Prince Bagration In the middle of Jupe this corps arrived at Lida from Volhynia, in order to re-inforce the first army. It lay, at the end of June, between Lida and Grodno. The fifth corps, composed of the second division of grenadiers, of the 121h, 18th, and 26th divisions of ivfantry, and two divisions of cavalry, was on the 30th at Wolkowisk. Prince Bagration commanded this corps, which might probably amount to 40,000 inen. Lastly, the Sites and 15th divisions of infantry, and a divisiou of cavalry, comidanded by General Mar. kow, was at the extremity of Volbynia. The passage of the. Vilia, which took place on the 25th of June, and the nuovement of the Duke of Reggio upon Janou, and towards Chatoui, obliged the corps of Wittgenstein to proceed towards Wilkomir and on its left; and the corps of Baggawort to make for Dunabourg by Mouclinicki and Gedroitsc.-These two corps were thus cut off from Wilna. The third and fourth corps, and Russian imperial guards, retired from Wilua upon Nementschin, Swentzianoui, and Vidzoni. 'The King of Naples pressed them vigorously along both banks of the Vilia. The tenth regi. tent of Polish hussars, which were at the head of the column of the division of Count Sebastiani, came up near Lebowo, with a regiment of Cossacks of the party which co. vered the sear.guard, and charged at full gallop, killed vind, and made about a dorea