combined forces. The 'Marquis of quickly carried by the Russiang at the Panlutchi, who had assumed the com- point of the bayonet ; the battle raged mand at Riga, took some additional in the streets ; and St Cyr, perceiving measures of defence in consequence of that all hope of resistance was vain, these speculations ; but far different gave orders for a retreat. General indeed were the motives which now Steingel had in the meantime advanced influenced the enemy's generals from in a different direction, and had driven those which were thus ignorantly as- the French to the


intrenchments cribed to them.

which surrounded Polotsk, so that The army of Steingel pursued its their retreat seemed to be cut off. march after the advantages which it There was no alternative left to the had just gained ; and on the 10th of enemy; and by three o'clock of the October found itself in close commu. morning of the 20th of October he nication with a part of Wittgenstein's evacuated the city, crossed the Dwina, corps near Drissa. Wittgenstein in. and took the road towards Vilezka, stantly determined to turn so fortu. where he hoped to join his broken nate a circumstance to good account, corps to that of Marshal Victor, who by attacking the enemy at Polotsk, was now on his march to join the driving him from his works in that grand army with his reinforcements.neighbourhood, and forcing him to re. Thus terminated these sanguinary en. treat by Vitepsk, where he must be gagements, in which the enemy susentirely separated from Macdonald.- tained a heavy loss in killed and wound. On the morning of the 18th of Octo: ed, besides 2000 prisoners, among ber Count Wittgenstein's troops were whom were 45 officers of different in motion ; by sun-rise the advance of ranks, including the general-in-chief both armies was engaged ; and the St Cyr. The loss of the Russians was French right was quickly attacked with also severe. --As the enemy was vigorgreat spirit by Wittgenstein in person. ously pursued in his retreat by the ca. Št Cyr, who commanded the enemy, valry belonging to the army of General and who had done every thing to re- Steingel, the whole country around cover his army that became an able was soon cleared, and St Petersburgh commander, saw his right give way be- was happily delivered from the alarm fore the impetuosity of the Russians, which had been excited by the operaand ordered up to its support a strong tions of this part of the invading army. body of Bavarians, Saxons, and Poles. The Russian had The fight was renewed with greater ordered all the armies to advance with fury than before, but the enemy was the greatest rapidity, around the recompelled to yield to the valour of the treating enemy. And here it is proRussians : the confusion which over- per to mention, that in the month took his right spread rapidly through of September, the armies of the Dahis other columns, and the retreat be- nube and of Tormozoff, had united came general. The French retired in the neighbourhood of Loutsk; within their intrenchments, and main- while the enemy had again over-run tained an unavailing cannonade against those parts of Volhynia which he had their pursuers. At five o'clock in the for a time abandoned. The Polish afternoon of the following day the Rus. division under Dombrowski once more sians again advanced, and the enemy communicated with those of Renier began to pour among them a dreadful and Prince Schwartzenberg ; and se. fire from his intrenchments. The pa. veral affairs unimportant, but for the lisadoes, which guarded the city, were gallantry displayed on both sides, oce

curred betwixt their detached parties At this juncture, Admiral Tchiand those of the Russians.- On the chagoff received orders from Prince 14th September, General Hertel at- Kutusoff to hasten towards Minsk, tacked the enemy in front of Sloutzk, and interrupt the retreat of the grand and pursued him into the town. He French army; he set out accordingly afterwards overtook them at some dis- on the 1st November, and was expect: tance from this place, where a battle ed by the 19th to reach the place of was fought, which ended in the dis- his destination.-Such were the ar. persion of the enemy, who was com- rangements made in this quarter to inpelled to seek shelter in the woods. terrupt the invaders, who had now beThe object of these operations was the gun their flight through the Russian destruction of the enemy's magazines territories. in this neighbourhood; and in this ob- - On the 4th October, the head-quar. ject the Russians completely succeedters of Kutusoff were at Litachsoka; ed, the whole of the places occupied on the Kalouga road. Before the by the French, with the stores, &c. Russian

Russian army took up this position, having fallen into their hands. it had been abundantly supplied with

When Renier and Schwartzenberg provisions of all kinds from the neigh were apprised of the junction of Tor- bouring governments, and had receimozoff's army with that of the

Da- ved great reinforcements of new troops, nube, they decided on retiring. They which were rapidly disciplined and or. wereactively pursued, however, in their ganised. The enemy was in no conretreat, and sustained great loss, till dition to meet them; he was suffering they reached a strong position in which all manner of privations, and was hae they entrenched themselves. On the rassed at all points by the troops who 11th October, Tchichagoff came up were fast closing round him. Before with them, and prepared to attack any decisive arrangement, therefore, them next day; but as the night was had been made by the enemy, the Rus. dark, the Austrian and French com- sians had completed their preparations; manders availed themselves of this cir- they had taken by storm the town of cumstance to evacuate their position, Vereya, which had been fortified and and to continue their retreat. The provisioned by the French, and formed pursuit re-commenced so soon as the depot for their arms, ammunition, Russians discovered that the enemy and plunder. The enemy, alarmed by had retreated, and was continued with the advance of the Russians towards such effect, that the allies did not ven. this point, had sent a reinforcement ture to halt at the station which they from Mojaisk to support the gover. had originally chosen, but continued nor; but it arrived too late, and was their Aight towards Bialistock.-Tchi. almost wholly destroyed in retiring. chagoff intended by these movements The whole country in this direction to dislodge the enemy from those dis- was thus cleared ; and the great obtricts of country on which his own stacle to the movements of the left of troops depended for supplies ; to cut the Russian grand army was removed. off their communication with the grand The French armies now began to French army, and to facilitate his move on all sides towards the Dneiper; own with the Russian army of the and the intentions of their chief were Dwina under Wittgenstein. In these no longer doubtful. He saw the difobjects he ultimately succeeded, and ficulties which surrounded him; he thus fulfilled the intentions of the com. had no confidence in the issue of any mander-in-chief.

attempt to cut his way through the


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gathered hosts of his enemies, and he ed the enemy's left flank, and attack. therefore had recourse to an expe- ed his rear with great impetuosity. dient, which, although it threatened to. The Cossacks made a furious charge; sacrifice one part of his armies, pro. and the French were driven from the

mised to secure the fight of the other field in confusion. They lost 2500 de divisions, as well as his own personal killed and wounded, 1000 prisoners,

safety. He sent towards Smolensko his 36 pieces of cannon, besides ammucarts, carriages, and waggons filled nition, baggage and plunder, to an with plunder, ammunition,

and wound- amount almost incredible.-The loss ed soldiers ; and he dispatched a large of the Russians was not so great ; but force under Murat and Beauharnois they had to lament the brave General

to attack the Russian grand army by. Baggavant, who was killed early in be surprise, as if it had been his object to the action by a

cannon ball. Ge. is cut his way through it, and reach the neral Benningsen also was severely

fertile provinces in the south. He en wounded.—The conduct of the Rus, deavoured at the same time to conduct sian troops on this occasion was much the other divisions under his own im- praised by their superiors; their mediate command towards Minsk, good order and discipline in particuwhere a grand depot had been esta- lar were conspicuous. Prince Kublished.--Even the partial success of tusoff remarked, “ The circumstance this plan depended on the surprise of in this victory that I dwell on with the Russian army by Murat and Beau, the greatest satisfaction is, that all the harnois ; but the Russian general was columns performed their movements not to be so easily outdone. He had with an order and tranquillity, more intelligence of the whole plan; he de- resembling the calm evolutions of a termined, instead of being surprised field-day, than the tumultous hour of himself, to fall upon the French unex. battle." -General Benningsen said, pectedly, and with this view he order. “ I cannot sufficiently express my ap. ed some divisions of his army rapidly probation of the good order and couto advance under General Benningsen, rage with which the troops executed and anticipate the enemy. This brave their different movements, and made officer set out on his enterprise on the their attacks. Their coolness and inevening of the 17th October, and on trepidity, as well as discipline, canjaot the following day, his approach be- be excelled. They have covered themcame known to the enemy, whom this şelves with glory. In justice to the unexpected occurrence altogether con, other part of the army, which circtim. founded. One of the Russian columns stances did not permit to join in the was commanded by Count Orloff Den- action, I must add what is due to zoff, another by General Baggavant, them, that the commanding disposiand a third by Count Osterman Tol. tion which they took on the extended stoy. The French under Murat and heights to the left, materially facilita Beauharnois, to the number of 50,000 ted the brilliant issue of this memora, men, presented an extended front, and ble day.”-Of such materials were waited the approach of the enemy those Russian armies composed, of A terrible fire was opened on the whom many persons affected to enterFrench from the Russian centre ; a tain a very mean opinion. battery hastily constructed placed the The plans of Buonaparte had been enemy's line in the greatest danger; and entirely defeated ; and his mind was the rout was nearly completed by the now filled with despair.—He has been success of Orloff Denzoff, who turn. blamed for the movement which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

了 IN

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

brought on this fatal encounter, and that were so fast approaching ; yet did apparently with justice. It was his they make a thousand efforts to con. duty, in retreating from Moscow, to ceal them from their followers, and to have kept as long as possible at a dis- encourage the drooping spirits of the tance from the Russian army, to have soldiers with hopes of plenty and reavoided rousing it into immediate ac- pose, which were never to be realised. tion, and to have directed the move. So sensible was Buonaparte of the ments of his columns to the northward overwhelming difficulties of his situaby the Mojaisk road. By the course tion, that he had already meditated his which he pursued, he manifestly sacri. own escape, and the abandonment of ficed any temporary advantages which his armies ; already did he cease to he might have gained by the protract. command men who were no longer en. ed inactivity of the Russians, and at titled to the name of soldiers, among once precipitated his armies upon their whom discipline was unknown, and destroyers.-- But after the defeat of the military virtue forgotten, unless when 18th October, it was too late to deli- they were called forth by despair. To berate ; every thing which was after his generals he, in a great measure

, wards done was prompted by des.. abandoned the care of this unhappy pair alone ; for there seemed even at multitude, and began to retire from this early period of the retreat to be the indignant view of thousands of no longer any hope of escape for the wretched beings whom he had led on invaders. On the 19th of October, to inevitable destruction. Surrounded Buonaparte ordered the whole of his by his favourite generals, and accomarmy to break up; the divisions under panied by his guards, he seemed to his own command to move directly think only of the means of ensuring upon Mojaisk, and those under Murat his own return to that country which and Beauharnois to attempt gaining the

80 few of his followers were ever to same point by a more circuitous route. révisit. Kutusoff, for a short time, resumed his Murat, in the first instance, endea. position at Touratino, that he might voured to reach the neighbourhood of direct the movements of his armies ac. Minsk; but found his advance en. cording to the intelligence which he compassed by so many perils, that he should receive of the enemy; and he resolved on joining his forces to those ordered 25 new regiments of Cossacks, of the main army on the road to Mounder Platoff, to scour the country in jaisk.-Kutusoff ordered his troops all directions, and harass the invaders. to advance; with one part of the

And now, indeed, a scene of hor. army he moved on Krasnoy, and direct. rors commenced, to which no paral. ed the advance under Miloradovitch del can be found in history Flight, to move in a parallel direction betwixt disgrace, fatigue, famine, pestilence himself and the enemy The Cossacks misery, in short, in all the varied as- and light troops sustained, as usual, pects which it can assume, was before their harassing and destructive war. the view of the French soldier. At fare-broke down the bridges in the this awful moment there was no ray of enemy's line, and contributed essential

. hope but for those who were so igno- ly to those memorable disasters, which rant and credulous (if indeed there form the conclusion of this eventful were any such) as to believe the pro. story. A short account of the exmises of their leader, who had 80 woe. ploits performed about this period by fully deceived them. He himself and these savage warriors cannot be uninhis generals saw clearly the disasters teresting.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

E approach cousand die their foloer

He came up

the ene

care of the

of sus

whom x2

[ocr errors]

Platoff, the celebrated leader of the vaders.”-An instance of such a stand Cossacks, received intelligence on the as that mentioned by Platoff, occurred

80th October, that a large convoy, on the 20th November ; the enemy trooping as

strongly escorted, was on its way had assembled a considerable force Opes of pian towards Smolensko.

near Gchatz ; he had placed cannon in de person with it near the monastery of Kolotsk his front, and had lined the neighbours Brocco

at day-break on the 31st, and began a ing woods with tirailleurs. The Cose ificulbes ei? spirited attack

upon its left fank. sacks quickly cleared the woods of the alrede met The

enemy shewed no disposition to tirailleurs, and then fell upon the resist ; but the Cossacks having press- my's wings with their cannori. After eady did za ed on with their wonted impetuosity, two hours the enemy was put to flight, ho were 2013

great slaughter ensued. Two entire and pursued next day till the scattered ne of wler battalions of French were cut to pieces fugitives found a temporary protection Was war in this affair ; and the object of the from the corps of Davoust, with which orgotte

. victors was attained by the desperate they were fortunate enough to unite. forth or resolution of the fugitives, who blew Seventy waggons, 20 pieces of cannon, is a great up the whole of their


with several stands of colours, reward. Straggling parties of the enemy, ed the activity of the Cossacks -On began wore rendered frantic by suffering, broke the very same day, Count Orloff De-iew of the off from the main body in quest

nizoff discovered a vast concourse of tenance, which was scarcely to be found miserable beings, who, hunted by the truction. All in this desolated tract of country. It Cossacks from the woods where they generalia was seldom they were allowed to re- had sought shelter, assembled on the vardi bat join their comrades, such were the high road. He immediately attacked

activity and skill of the warriors by them; they made some show of resist. Co that our whom they were beset. Platoff gives ance, but were soon overpowered. Upllowers in the following description of the state wards of 1000 prisoners, besides wag

of the enemy about this period :- gons, &c. were taken by the Russians.

« The retreat of the French," he ob. General Miloradovitch, who comthe neighit serves, “ is a fight without exam. manded the advance of the grand Rusand be ple, abandoning every thing that de. sian army, and to whom had been conmany pro mands carriage, even to their sick and fided nearly one half of its force, came

into contact with the French in the 78 his for wounded. The traces of their career

are marked with every species of hor- neighbourhood of Wiasma. On the

ror; at every step is seen the dying morning of the 2d November, he conthe ove you and the dead, not merely those who founded the fugitive army by his ununder His of famine and fatigue. In two days, and as it was an object of great imKrasnoy, si bave fallen in battle, but the victims expected appearance before this place ; lel directly, even in sight of


division, their des- portance to the enemy to facilitate the en TH pair has blown up one hundred am- movements of the other corps in their sustained munition waggons, while the sudden retreat, a line of battle was immediate. of demand movement of my troops has compelled ly formed by Murat, Beauharnois, and the brigade them to leave untouched almost an Ney, with the troops under their com

equal number. We destroy these fu- mand. But they were not allowed able diseret gitives wherever we meet them; and time to take advantage of the positions on of tests when they attempt to make a stand, which presented themselves ; and the ACCOUD! BU the brave sons of the Don, assisted by resistance which they made was whol.

their artillery and the chasseurs, soon ly unavailing. They were assailed by relieve the empire of hundreds of its in- the Russians with such impetuosity, VOL. V. PART I.


first inster

on the

order to


bout this page

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »