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For the Year 1814.
G EN E R A L H Is To R Y.
Conduct of Napoleon after the German Campaign.—Blucher's Passage of the Rhine.—Occupation of Geneva by Bubna.-General Position of the Allied Armies.—Meeting of Sovereigns at Basle.—Advance of the Allies.—Napoleon's Decree for the Formation of Regiments of Volunteers.-French Bank limits its Payments.-Langres and Nancy taken.—Reconnoissance on Antwerp.–Napoleon joins his Army.—Affair at Brienne.—Battle of La Rothiere.—Retreat of Napoleon and Advance of the Allies.—Attempt on Antwerp.–Surrender of Gorcum.—Troyes, Vitri, and Chalons taken by the Allies.—Napoleon rallies.—Defeat of a Russian Division.—Attack on Blucher's Army-Sacken and D’Yorck retire beyond the Marne.—Blucher attacks and pursues Marmont.—Is himself attacked at Janvillier, and with difficulty extricates himself—His Loss and Retreat to Chalons.— Soissons taken by Winzingerode.—Schwartzenberg's Advance upon Paris.—Is attacked by Napoleon, and obliged to retreat to Troyes.— Blucher advances again : crosses the Marne : various Actions.—Napoleon recovers Troyes.—Augereau advances from Lyons.—Schwartzenberg's Success on the Aube.—Troyes re-taken.—Oudinot defeated. —Plenipotentiaries at Chatillon.—Position of the different Corps . under the Crown Prince of Sweden.—Failure at Bergen-op-Zoom.— Intelligence from Wellington's Army, Hamburg, Dantzic, and Wittenberg.—Operations in Italy.—Treaty between the Emperor of Austria and the King of Naples.
THE European history of the an event so momentous, and preg
last year closed with the en- nant with such mighty conse
trance of the French territory by quences, that the narrative of its
the armies of the allied powers; results may justly claim precedence Vol. LVI. [B]
over every other topic of annual commemoration. But before we enter upon the relation of military transactions, it may be interesting to cast a view upon the character and conduct at this period of that man, who for so many years has ruled the destinies of this portion of the world. We derive the following account from a visitor of the continent, possessed of some peculiar advantages for obtaining true and impartial information. Long before . Napoleon had ceased to reign, he had acquired all the faults inseparable from the exercise of despotic authority. Success and adulation had completely turned his head. He could not bear the slightest opposition to his will ; and consulted with none but those who were ready to signify their approbation of all his plans. He had such an overweening conceit of his own powers, that when he had resolved upon any measure, he convinced himself that every difficulty must give way, and that his having willed it was sufficient to put to flight all opposition. The last campaign in Germany had produced effects upon his constitution, which were very apparent upon his return to Paris. He ate, drank, and slept, and talked much of what was to be done, and what he intended to do; but he did nothing. He had lost much of his former activity and attention to business. When the allies entered France, they found his means of defence no farther advanced than when he had crossed the Rhine on his return. No intreaty could prevail upon him to make an appeal to the people whom he governed. When solicited to declare publicly that the country was in danger, his reply was, “Non,
jamais je ne ferai ma cour à la nation.” This rooted habit of despotism alienated from him all those who might have indulged a hope of something like constitutional liberty under his sovereignty; whilst his harsh, overbearing, and insolent demeanour offended those who had immediate access to his person and councils. -
Sir Charles Stewart, in a dispatch dated from Frankfort, Jan. 5, begins with observing, that Marshal Blucher's passage of the Rhine will be as memorable for its
rapidity and decision in military
annals, as his passage of the Elbe. It took place at three points. The Count de St. Priest, of Langeron's corps d'armée, passed opposite Coblentz, on the night between Jan. 1 and 2, occupied the town, took seven pieces of cannon, and made 500 prisoners. Generals Count Langerou and D’Yorck passed at Kaub, Marshal Blucher assisting in person, with little resistance from the enemy. , Langeron advancing on the 3rd, forced Bingen, a strong position, defended by a general of brigade, and made some prisoners, with a trifling loss, and then pushed his advanced posts to the Salzbach.
Blucher advanced to Kreutznach;
and D’Yorck's advanced posts were directed upon the Lauter. Baron Sacken's corps, after 5. the Rhine on Jan. 1, near Oppenheim, stormed a redoubt, taking six pieces of cannon, and seven hundred prisoners, at which action the King of Prussia was present, and advanced upon Altzey. Dispatches received about the same time from Lord Burghersh at . Basle, and Lord Cathcart at Freyburgh, in the Brisgau, mentioned that Gen. Bubna entered Geneva on Dec. 30, by a capitu