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pared at all points to give him battle. praise. The artillery and the bayonet The arrangements of the French ge- were equally the instruments of their
neral were masterly; but they availed zeal ; for where the one fell short of E not against the courage of the Rus- the mark, the other was pushed with
sians, who bore down upon him with a resolution that overthrew whole such fury, that, after a brave resist- ranks of the enemy. Even the most ance, which lasted for more than six solid columns of infantry and batteries hours, they succeeded in repulsing of cannon were compelled to give way him, and remained masters of the field. to the intrepid motions of our troops,
Witgenstein next day resumed his - It was the intention of Witgenstein hi operations; and, Oudinot had im. to have next attacked Macdonald ;
proved the few hours of darkness by but as that marshal had already begun 1:3 which the conflict was interrupted, in his retreat, the Russian chief deter
the manner which might have been mined to remain in front of the eneexpected of an able general. The con- my's lines at Polotsk. test was again maintained with severe During these events the march of loss on the side of the enemy till mid- the second army of the Russians was night; but on the third day the Rus- continued with unceasing activity. At sian general wholly overthrew the Bobrousk, Prince Bagration crossed French, and drove the fugitives, who the Berezina, and hoped, by keeping escaped from the field of battle, to the right bank of the river, to reach seek shelter in the French lines before Mobiloff without interruption from the Polotsk.--The loss of the enemy, in enemy. On the 22d, bis advanced guard, these obstinate and sanguinary engage- while proceeding on the road to Mohi. ments, was estimated at 5000 kill. loff, was opposed by a strong body of ed and wounded, and 3000 prisoners, the enemy's chasseurs, through whom besides artillery, baggage, and ammu- they cut their way; The Russians nition waggons.
The Russians confess 'soon learned that they had been ena loss of 2000 men, officers and pri. gaged with the advance of the division vates, among the former of whom was of the grand army under Davoust and General Kouluff.—The army of 'Ou- Mortier, who occupied Mohiloff and dinot was thus dispersed ; and as Count the country around. There seemed to Witgenstein, from whom the official be but one resource left for the second report of this victory was received, has Russian army, to cut its way, at all since become an officer of distinguish. hazards, through the enemy; and this
ed celebrity, it may not be uninterest- resolution was instantly adopted. inging to quote the description which he
And here it may be reinarked, that gives of the heroic resolution display- the genius and courage of the contend. ed by his soldiers in this the first affair ing parties shone forth with great lusof importance which they had with tre in the conduct of this memorable enemy
on their own soil." Du. retreat, The first disunion of the ring the three days of attack," says Russian armies may have been unhe, “ the
corps i have the honour to wise ; but their subsequent efforts to recommand performed prodigies of va- trieve this false step, if it really was lour. Their resolution was not to be such, must extort the highest praise. shaken ; and their ardour, like a de. The skill and valour of the enemy al. vouring fame, consumed all before so merit great applause; the object it
. The particular acts of their which he had in view was of great dauntless and persevering heroism I moment to the issue of the campaign ; can neither describe nor sufficiently he pursued it steadily and skilfully ;
at all points he met and endeavoured enemy's ranks; and Davoust, aware to disconcert the plans of the Russians, of the importance of seizing it, orderand was foiled at last but by a valour ed a strong column of infantry to turn and constancy which seemed irresisti. the Russian flanks, and carry their arble. It is true, he was far superior in tillery at the point of the bayonet.
numbers ; but the nature of his ope. The object of this movement was for * rations required the presence of his a while defeated ; the French were
armies at all points by which the ene- forced to give way, but they again re. my could retire. Nor must it be for. turned to the charge in greater num. gotten, that the progress of the Rus. bers, and with more resolution than
was through a country well before. The prince was now aware, known to them, and well disposed to from the appearance of the enemy's render them any assistance which they divisions, that he could not make good might require ; while the advance of his advance, but by a great and unne. the French was over a country in cessary sacrifice; he accordingly or. which every man felt for them the dered his columns to withdraw, and most deadly hatred.— The admirable proceeded in another direction to cross dispositions and sustained efforts of the the Dnieper.- This obstinate affair, enemy must yet be recounted before we which lasted for more than ten hours, conduct Bagration and his army to the cost the combatants on each side a neighbourhood of Smolensk, which loss of from 3000 to 4000 men kill. it had been the great object of all their ed and wounded. The Russians car. movements to reach in safety.
ried off about 500 prisoners, whom Prince Bagration, having determi- they had taken at the outset of the ned to cut his way through the corps engagement -Platoff, who had been of the enemy, made the necessary pre- co-operating with the second army, parations for this desperate enterprise. hastened to gain possession of the road He formed his army into two columns; from Mohiloff, that he might check and ordered the one to advance by the the enemy in his attempt further to great road to Mohilof. It reached a molest the Russians in their progress. small village, where the French were -On the 6th of August, Bagration finely posted, and in great strength. reached Nauda, where he took up a A severe contest ensued. The Rus- position, and thus accomplished the sians maintained a lively cannonade ; great object of all his efforts--the reand the enemy was at last compelled union of the Russian armies. to retire with loss. Davoust at once Such was the situation of the saw the importance of these opera- contending parties about the begintions, and became alarmed by the suc- ning of the month of August. The cesses of Prince Bagration, who Russians, concentrated in Smolensk threatened to make his way through and the neighbourhood, seemed to the formidable masses of the ene. wait the approach of the enemy, whose my. The French general therefore head-quarters were still at Vitepsk, ordered
up his reinforcements, and im- but whose divisions were now pressmediately precipitated upon the Rus-' ing forward in all directions.-Delay sians a prodigious body of cavalry, still promised advantages to the Rus which forced them for a moment to sians: it was necessary, in some mea, fall back. A powerful battery of sure, to repair the strength of the cannon still saved them from con- second army, already exhausted by fusion, and carried destruction into the marches so harassing, and greatly re
duced in numbers by the desertion of demanded of the Emperor Alexander, Poles and other untoward events that he should do every thing to counwhile every day promised to add fresh teract this insidious policy; to disenreinforcements to the ranks of an ar- cumber himself of all his other enemy yet inferior in numbers to its op. mies, and to direct his whole force toponents. The whole force under Ge. wards the discomfiture of a far more neral Barclay de Tolly-did not, even dangerous foe. It was not, however, including the second army, exceed till the end of July, when the French 130,000 men, upon which the power- armies had been two months in Rusful divisions of Beauharnois, Murat, sia, and had made the most alarming Ney, Davoust, Mortier, and Ponia- progress in the interior, that the ema towski, were fast advancing --Had the peror received intelligence that peace French been able at this moment to had been concluded with Turkey, and force their enemies to a general and that the fine army, which had distindecisive action, the integrity of the guished itself so much in the protractRussian empire might have been ex. ed contest on the Danube, was now ať posed to very great peril; but the liberty to unite in repelling the invaaffairs of Russia were gradually im. ders of the empire ; that peace with proving, while every day that elapsed England also, which all orders of Ruswas as the loss of a battle to the for- sians had so anxiously desired, and tunes of the invader.
which the circumstances of Europe As the Russian government must imperiously demanded, was announhave been aware of the approaching ced. To the impolicy of an admini. rupture with France, and could not stration whom circumstances had for but form some estimate of the force a time elevated' to authority in Engwhich would be employed in support- land, and whom fear of the common ing the pretensions of Buonaparte, the enemy and distrust of their country, astonishment was general at the ob- had drawn into measures which surstinacy with which it maintained the prised all Europe, had Great Britain war with Turkey:--The interests, reał been indebted for her unhappy sepaor imaginary, of the Russian empire ration from the most faithful of her may, in ordinary times, and when the continental allies. The bonds which state of continental Europe can pro- their strange policy had burst asunder, duce in her neither anxiety nor alarm, the mad ambition of Buonaparte was bend her military genius, as a matter strong enough to reunite ; and if their of
course, to conquest and aggrandize. abandonment of Russia in the hour of ment at the expence of that feeble danger precipitated her into the treaty despotism ; but it is strange that the of Tilsit, his violence in its turn répaltry efforts of such a power could stored her to her natural alliance with ever have withdrawn the attention of the British empire. the emperor and his ministers from General Count Kutusoff, who bed the more serious task of arresting the came afterwards so famous in this progress of Buonaparte, who threat- campaign, had hitherto conducted the ened the independence of all nations. army of the Danube to victory, and The intrigues of Buonaparte at the had by his wise policy hastened that Porte, when he perceived that he must pacification with the Ottoman empire, soon contend with Russia, no doubt which it was so much the interest rendered a pacification betwixt these of Russia to conclude. In reward of powers a matter of more than usual dif. his services, this brave man had been ficulty; but the most obvious prudence created a prince of the Russian em.
VOL. V. PART I.
pire ; and as he was far advanced in which had for some time been employ. years, he had retired to St Peters- ed in this quarter, in a few days enterburgh in the hope of spending the re-ed Kobrine, where they found that mainder of his days in tranquillity. their intention of dislodging the eneA more brilliant destiny, however, was my had been anticipated. yet reserved for him; and the closing General Tormozoff resolved to fol. scenes of his life were to be signally low up these successes by an attack illustrated in the destruction of the on Slonim, where Renier with the enemies of his country. The army of remainder of the Saxons was posted. the Danube was in the mean time This general, however, having heard commanded by Admiral Tchichagoff, of the disasters at Kobrine, fordered a man of singular and versatile powers, Prince Schwartzenberg to hasten his and of a genius for military affairs junction with him. Tormozoff prowhich was not confined to one element. ceeded to take up a fine position near The first task imposed on him in his the town; his right and centre being new situation, was to conduct his ar- defended by a morass, and his left my through a long and difficult march; protected by a strong battery of canto bring up his troops from the Da- He neglected, however, to ocnube and the Pruth, to encounter the cupy a small village and a wood, both Austrians under Prince Schwartzenof which covered the road to Kobrine, berg, and the Saxons under General and must have given him great advanRenier, who had reached Minsk, Slo- tages ; but he conceived the position nim, and Kobrine. Some brilliant af. which he had already taken to be fạirs had already occurred in this di- nearly impregnable. The Austrians, rection, which it would be unjust to French, and Saxons advanced under pass over without notice. -General Renier and Schwartzenberg ; Renier Kaminskoy, with about 8000 men, was not slow to remark the errors of had, at an early period of the retreat, the Russians, and to profit by them. been unfortunately separated from the On the 11th of August he filled the second army; he approached Kobrine, village with cavalry, and the wood and fell in with a small party of his with a strong body of infantry and arcountrymen under Count Lambert. tillery, and proceeded in concealment The town was occupied at the time to advance upon the Russians. On by a party of Saxons under General the morning of the 12th, the attack Kleingel ; it seemed to be carelessly was begun to the surprise of the Rusdefended, and the Russians attempted sian general, who lost not a moment, to take it by surprise. A detachment however, in repairing his fault ; but of the Saxons occupying a bridge in by bringing round a heavy battery of the neighbourhood was first assailed cannon, and ordering up his reserves, and made prisoners; after which the prepared to withstand the assaults of Russians advanced on the town. An the enemy. A very warm contest obstinate conflict ensued the carnage ensued, in which both parties fought was great on both sides ; but the with the greatest resolution. SchwartSaxons were at last compelled to sur. zenberg observing that the whole ate render. The commander of the Saxon tention of the Russians was directed division, 70 officers, and 2500 men, to their left, made an unsuccessful ef. were made prisoners ; eight pieces fort to pass the morass by which the of cannon and four standards were right of their position was defended, taken. The advance of the army un
and to distract on this side the mea. der the Russian, General Tormozoff, sures of the enemy. The French ge
neral, become desperate by the unex. mediately employed against Riga, and
which would supersede the Prussians While these events occurred in the in the siege of Riga ; and that a pow. south, great exertions were made to erful battering train had been ordered strengthen Riga, against which a di- up from Dantzic to enable the bevision of the invading army had been siegers to commence operations with directed. The command of the
effect. He saw the danger of his sig destined to defend this city, had been tuation, should he leave the Prussians entrusted to General Essen, who pro- unbroken, till this mass of force should ved himself worthy of the confidence arrive ; and he, therefore, determined of his sovereign. Thesuburbs of Riga on driving them back to Mittau. The were destroyed, and every thing re- Prussians were advantageously posted, moved which could assist the approach and had been careful to strengthen a of the enemy, or interrupt the fire position naturally good, by intrenchfrom the fortifications. A strong ments. The town of Eckan protectgarrison was posted in the town; anded their right, their centre was secu. the army stationed in front was com- red by a branch of a small river, and manded by Essen in
From a chain of os ts connected them with this
army General Lewis was detached Shlock, vill age not far distant. Es. with a considerable force to occupy sen resolved to attack their right; Eckan and the neighbourhood. The and to conceal this part of his plan he Prussians, who formed a part of the ordered a false attack to be made on corps of Macdonald, were more im. their centre. The fotilla of British