and Russian gun-boats was directed herself. Feeling acutely for the deto co-operate by dislodging the enemy cay into which our commerce fell by from Shlock.--On the 23d of Au- the disunion of the two countries, we gust, the attack was made by the Rus- lose not a moment in seeking to revive sians with great spirit, and the enemy's it to new energies, by the proclamaintrenchments were carried at the point tion of a reunion so rich in benefits to of the bayonet. But the indiscretion both parties. Nay, we even go before of the Russians had nearly ruined this forms, in our tenderness for the public bold enterprise. They became eager good, and the public anxiety; and and disorderly in the pursuit ; they without waiting for the official ratifiopened their ranks, and were repaid cation of the treaty of peace, we thus for this piece of folly by a most de- open before our people all its advanstructive charge of Prussian cavalry, tages, unwilling that more of the sumwhich drove them back with great mer should pass by - without having slaughter. The enemy was thus en- yielded its fruit to the two nations, abled to rally his scattered forces, which commerce alone can bring. We which already had suffered so much. order from this day that all our ports In these circumstances, the battle was in the Baltic, and on the White Sea, renewed, but the perseverance of the and on the Black Sea, shall at all Russians overcame all obstacles. In times be open to the English vessels ; one part of his plan Essen was dis- and that every commercial relationship appointed ; for although the com- may instantly recommence between our mander of the flotilla had compelled empire and that of Great Britain." the enemy to retire from Shlock, he A higher compliment could not have had been prevented from bringing his been paid to the benign influence boats farther up the river, and

co-ope. which the pre-eminence of England rating towards the entire destruction exerts over the nations of Europe-an of the besiegers.--In this affair the influence founded on justice and bene. Russians took 650 prisoners, and kill- ficence on the mutual interchange of ed and wounded about 1500 of the all those blessings which rescue rude enemy. Their own loss was from 600 nations from barbarism, and accelerate to 700.

the advance of those already civilized The peace

which had been conclu. - an influence' which is required to ded with England was about this time sustain the liberties and secure the announced, to the infinite joy of all happiness of the human race. Such classes of Russians. The terms in was the nature of that influence which which the Emperor Alexander intima- the French government was so eager ted this fortunate event to his subjects to denounce, and against which it seare remarkable, and strongly indicate duced, for a time, the nations of the the strength of that connexion which continent to contend.—The benefits of must ever subsist betwixt England and an intercourse with England are thus the great powers of the continent, proclaimed in the happiness which it and the folly of the attempt made by diffuses around: the miseries of a conFrance to effect a permanent separation nexion with France have been mani. “ The peace with England," said the fested in the desolation of Europe. emperor, “ so generally and so long It is worthy of remark, 'that about desired, is as length established. We this period the enemy began to expehasten to announce it, knowing that rience the effec of that cruel and exit has been as evidently the work of terminating system of warfare which our faithful subjects as of England he himself had so long pursued in the

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

Tyrol, in Spain, and in many of the fare pursued by the Russians, with-
other countries which he had invaded, out reflecting that enormities, even
and where he met with a firm resist- greater than ever were committed by
ance on the part of the people. He this people in revenge of his perfidy,
had disregarded not only the dictates had been executed by himself, in the
of hụmanity, but the accustomed rules wantonness of power, against innocent
of war, and had enforced submission and unoffending nations.
by the terrors of indiscriminate ruin Wittgenstein, who had continued to
and proscriptiòn. He still affected occupy the ground won by him from
to follow the same system in Russia, the enemy on the 10th and 11th of
but he soon found that it was returned August, received reinforcements from
upon him with interest. The Russians Dinabourg, and determined to dis-
felt enough of hatred to the French lodge Oudinot from the position which
name; they were roused by an inva- he was fortifying at Polotsk.-On the
sion which threatened the independ- 17th of August he advanced in two
ence of their country; but they be- columns, and, after a few hours, reach-
came exasperated to the utmost pitch ed the ground on which he meant to
by the insolence and cruelty of the in- give the enemy battle. Oudinot has
vaders.-A striking example of this is tened to give the Russians a check
said to have happened in the governbefore they should have reached the
ment of Twer. A detachment of position, which he foresaw it was their
French prisoners, accompanied by a object to take up; but in this he was
small escort, arrived in a village near disappointed. The effect of the Rus-
Smolensko, where they contrived to sian artillery was here, as on many
overpower the Russian soldiers who other occasions, found irresistible;
had them in charge. A party of pea and its well-directed operation in the
sants instantly made their appearance, affairs of which we are now giving a
and, armed with such weapons as they brief account, had a powerful influ-
could most easily procure, attacked ence on the result of the conflict. A
the French, and finally subdued them. heavy fire from a Russian battery, di.
Nor was this enough for their zeal; rected against the enemy's masses,
for it was with great difficulty that a while they were yet unformed, crea-
few of the prisoners escaped their ven- ted the utmost confusion ; a dreadful
geance. The peasants in the neigh- carnage ensued, in which Marshal
bourhood, supposing that the French Oudinot was severely wounded, and
had actually made their way into this the enemy was at last driven with
district of the empire, sounded the great slaughter to. his intrenched
alarm, and no less than 9000 men, camp.-St Cyr, who succeeded Ou-
armed in the best way which the dinot in the command, was anxious to
hurry of the moment would permit, distinguish himself by retrieving these
made their appearance. They in- disasters, and on the following day de-
stantly declared their readiness to de- termined to renew the conflict. Count
stroy their property, that it might Wrede commanded the Bavarians on
not fall into the hands of the French, 'the right; General Maison was en-
and to make any other sacrifice which trusted with the left flank; and St
the cause of their country might re- Cyr himself led on the centre. Witt-
quire. Instances of such devotion as genstein, who had by this time gained
this occurred frequently; and Buo- possession of the enemy's intrench-
naparte was inconsistent enough to ments, determined to remain on the
complain of the savage mode of war. defensive, and allowed them to make

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

their dispositions for the attack with were driven by the Russians. The out interruption. The attack was be- battle lasted upwards of twelve hours, gun by a discharge of the Bavarian and the pursuit did not cease till midartillery, which was instantly follow. night. The French left about 10,000 ed by a general and destructive fire men killed and wounded on the field ; from the whole French line. The they lost also many prisoners, incluRussians made a bold attack on the ding no less than 30 officers. The enemy's left, which entirely succeed- Russians stated their loss at 4000 men ed in driving him in that quarter back put hors de combat, among whom upon his reserves. The contest in were several of their generals.-Such the centre, commanded on the one was the result of Buonaparte's attempt side by St Cyr, and on the other by to open for his armies a passage to St Wittgenstein, was maintained with the Petersburgh, and thus to inflict a famost obstinate bravery. At last, how. tal blow on the independence of the ever, the enemy was forced to give Russian empire. But it is proper to way at all points, and was pursued return to operations of still greater with such activity, that numbers of moment, which were under the immehis fugitive soldiers fell even in the diate direction of the French ruler. streets of Polotsk, into which they


Russian Affairs continued. Capture of Smolensko by the French. Battle of

Borodino. The French occupy Moscow. Their unsuccessful Attempts to negociate. They evacuate Moscow.

BUONAPARTE remained at Vitepsk modern warfare, were mounted with until he received intelligence that his cannon, that nothing might be left unreinforcements from Tilsit were advan. done by the Russians of which cir. cing upon Wilna. He then resolved cumstances permitted them to avail immediately to attack Smolensko ; and themselves. with this view, on the 13th of Au- The French main army had been gust he ordered Murat and Beauhar. reinforced by the junction of Ponianois to advance and effect the passage towski, and presented at this moment of the Boristhenes. The Russian ge- a very compact and formidable body. neral-in-chief, aware of those move- - The capture of Smolensko was an ments, ordered Prince Bagration to object of great importance to the ene. fall back to Smolensko by the Mos. my, for he would thus be able to discow road, while on the 14th he him. lodge the Russians from the only faself retired to the high ground on the vourable position for defence which right bank of the Dnieper, by which was to be found on this side of MosSmolensko is commanded. He learn. cow, while the occupation of a city 80 ed also, that the enemy under Murat ancient and venerable, would give that and Ney had already advanced in great sort of eclat to his operations, of which force, and driven the Russians from he has always known well how to avail Krasnoy with severe loss.-The garri. himself. On the 16th of August son of Smolensko was in the meantime Buonaparte was at the head of his arstrengthened, and the necessary pre- my before Smolensko ; and he no soonparations made, that the Russians er saw the position and strength of might avail themselves of the advan- his enemy than he decided on his plan tages which the situation of this city of operations. He determined to car. presented, to check, for a while at ry the intrenched suburbs and the city, least, the advance of the invader. The and at the same time to destroy the communication betwixt the garrison bridges by which a communication of Smolensko, now 30,000 strong, was maintained betwixt the garrison and the army under Barclay de Tolly, and the army on the heights. With which occupied the heights, was fully this view, Marshal Ney was ordered established by three bridges ; and the to take up the ground on the left, ancient walls of Smolensko, although Davoust to occupy the centre, and ill adapted to resist the operations of Poniatowski to place himself on the

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

right. The reserves consisting of ca- accomplished; and, in the meantime, valry and guards, formed the rear ; every thing in the city, and even the the cavalry was commanded by Murat buildings, were hastily destroyed by and Beauharnois, and Buonaparte him- the hands of their devoted owners.self remained with the guards. On the General Korff having destroyed the 17th of August the sanguinary contest communication with the right bank of was begun, which ended in the occu- the Dnieper, led off what still remainpation of Smolensko by the French ed of his gallant army; and on the

morning of the 18th of August the The fire from the Russian cannon enemy entered Smolensko without fur. was answered by the French with ther opposition. energy and effect. Poniatowski first When the French leader entered succeeded in driving a body of Rus- the city, he found it a heap of ruins. sians from a formidable position, on He was anxious to save something which a battery was instantly con- from the general destruction which structed, and directed against one of met his view, and he ordered his sol. the bridges. This gave the enemy a diers to exert themselves in extinguish. great advantage, and, animated as he ing the flames. They were too busily now was by success, he pushed for employed, however, in seizing what ward in great numbers, and with un- remained amid the wreck of this once wonted fury ; drove the Russians be. celebrated city, and paid but little refore him into their intrenchments, and spect to the orders of their chief. The even there vigorously attacked them anxiety of Buonaparte to enter Smowith the bayonet. The Russians for lensko in triumph, and to secure it as a two hours maintained this unequal and place of repose for his troops, was mabarguinary contest with firmness, and nifested in the reflections which he resisted every effort of the enemy to made on this scene of ruin and horror. pierce-their lines. · The enemy, how- “ Smolensko," said he, “


be ever, still pressed on with additional considered as one of the finest cities in numbers ; the fight was every moment Russia, and of the most commanding becoming more arduous, and already situation. . Had it not been for the the operations of the Russians were circumstances of war, which involved impeded by the heaps of slain which it in flames, and consumed its magasurrounded them on all sides. In these zines filled with merchandize, this city desperate circumstances they retired, would now be regarded as the richest still fighting, into the city, and already resource of our army. But even in the French were under its walls. It its present ruined state, it puts us in was the object of Barclay de Tolly to possession of a formidable military proiong the defence till Prince Bagra- post, and its remaining buildings aftion should be enabled to march to ford excellent hospitals for the sick." Dorugobouche, where it was propo. The reflections here made could de. sed to reunite the armies ; and the ceive no one ; chagrin and mortii. brave garrison of Smolensko was rea. cation were evident in every line. In dy to second his views. The fire from contemplating the ruins of this once the walls still kept the enemy in check; celebrated city, Buonaparte was heard but he quickly ordered batteries to be to exclaim, “ Never was a war proconstructed which compelled the Rus- secuted with such ferocity-never did sians to abandon the city. Their re- defence put on so hostile a shape sistance continued, however, till the against the common feelings of selfmovements of the main army could be preservation. These people treat their

« ForrigeFortsett »