« ForrigeFortsett »
efficient, how happened it that he not only kept the French generals so completely and so long at bay, but was constantly gaining ground ?-How came it that the army of the Dwina, composed almost wholly of militia, and, according to the Eyewitness, so wretchedly commanded, was yet continually adWancing, and, at last, found itself victorious on the Beresina ?
It is asserted, that instead of following Victor, the Count should have pressed forward to the Beresina, without regard to the troops to which he had been opposed. But, on the other hand, it is perfectly clear, that if he had acted thus, the whole system of operation must have been changed; and, as it would seem, entirely in favour of the French. It could have been the presence only.of Wittgenstein, that detained Victor and Oudinot between the Nieper and the Beresina, and but for the apprehensions occasioned by the army of the Dwina, Oudinot would himself, without reference to the governor of Minsk, or any other ufficer, have held both banks of the Beresina ; and the division of Belluno, or even strong detachments, would have been amply sufficient to maintain the communications on the Moscow road. That all this would have been in favour of Napoleon, there can be no doubt : the passage of the Beresina would have been secured, his army strengthened by the addition of refreshed and upharrassed troops, the pressure on his rear-guard taken off, all his movements would have been unfettered, and the combined armies of Chichagoff and Wittgenstein rendered utterly incapable of intersecting the march of his united and concentrated force. All this, and much more than this, would have been the effect of Count W.'s movement on the right bank of the Beresina. Our speculations are strengthened by the actual conduct of the Duke of Reggio, who was no sooner aware of the conduct of the governor of Minsk, than he countermarched on Borisow, and made every effort for the recovery of the bridge.
These brief comments may, perhaps, serve to shew the absurdity, or the injustice of arguing as the - Eye-witness' does, and of marking out a line of action for one general, without reference to the movement of another; without allowing for the manæuvres of bis opponent; and without including in his calpulations the altered circumstances which changes in conduct must necessarily draw after them.
For the rest, we believe it to have been well for Napoleon, personally, that Prince Bagration had fallen on the field of Borodivo. Of the merits of that illustrious officer, too much cannot be said : in losing him, Russia lost at once her shield and her sword ;-her Fabius and her Marcelhus.
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GENERAL INDE X.
VOL. III. NEW SERIES.
Abernethy, on some of Mr. Hunter's
opinions respecting diseases, 586, et
privileges of native females of rank,
posed in this kingdom, 426
directors of, 309, el seq.; its unsatis-
lish Writers, 595
treated on, 56; extract illustrative of
fects, 62, et seq. objectionable passages,
Marsh's remarks on, 87
servile imitation of Sterne, ib. et seq.,
557 ; terrific pass of Albinen, ib.
fence of angling, 617, character of the
seq. object of the work, 385, et seq. mode
et seg, peculiar circumstances atten-
dant on the death of Christ, 622
Bentham, for refusing the apparel, the