Page images
PDF
EPUB

6. The corps of prince Jerome (says the conscripts of 1807, to the then the 47th Bulletin of the grand tre of war, six months before th French army) continues to besiege time fixed by the constitution Breslaw. That beautiful city is in and ordered the 80,000 conscript ashes. The siege makes a progress. for 1808, to be prepared and hol The Bavarian and Wirtemberg them elves in readiness, to mard troops have merited the praise of when called on. prince Jerome.”

While the commander of th Marshal Le Brune, by an order, French armies, and of France, wa May 21st, called the troops that thus employed in repairing his los were dispersed in the Ilanse towns, by disease and by a series of hard llanover, and the ducbies of Mag. fought battles, particula ly that a deburg, and Mecklenburg, to Po. Eylau, the allies on their part la merania ; they were replaced by boured, though unfortunately wit 31,000 Spaniards, the flower of the less success, to repair their loss, ti Spanish army : of these 26,000, in. increase their force, and opposi cluding 6,000 cavalry, came direct numbers to numbers. The court o Jy from Spain, under the command St. Petersburgh, which had beer of the marquis of Romina; the loudly importuned to take up arm other 5,000 from Etruria. These in defence of Prussia, reckoner Jast arrived in different columns, on with confidence on the co-operation the Oder, between which river and of Great Britain, not only in the the Elbe, the grand army of obser- way of a subsidy, but of an army vation was stationed, at the end of that should form a junction with the May, and iu the beginning of June. Swedes, and Prussian insurgents But the whole, or part of this divi. and occupy a portion 'of the sion, of the Spaniards, appear to French torce, by a diversion or have joined the grand French army. their rear. It was hoped tha The former were distributed in the a combined army of Swedes and Ilanse towns, Hanover, and Meck. English, would oblige the French to lenburg, in the end of June, ard raise the siege of Stralsund, ana beginning of July. The queen of moving up along the left bank o Etruria too, made an extraordinary the Oder, menace the rear of the Jevy of 20,000 men, “for promo. French army, and lay siege to Stet ting the general cod of the war, as tin, which was but weakly garrison well as for the defence of her own ed, and in a bad state of defence coasts,” The Swiss, who had the possession of which would opei shewn themselves very backward to a communication with Berlin, th raise the 16,000 men, to be furnish. Elbe, and the rest of Germany ed according to treaty, to the If the French should remain in Po armies of France when demanded, land, so considerable a force actin were called on by a Ictter from in their rear, might oblige them ti Buonaparte, to the Landamman, to evacuate that country, or at leas furnish the troops without delay, to detach such a considerable por under the pain of forfeiting the tion of their force, as might rende French alliance.

them, in point of numbers, inferio Not satisfied with all this host of to the allies. Even if the French auxiliaries, Buonaparte invited his should maintain themselves on th people to send twelve regiments of line of the Oder, this diversion wou)

be of the greatest importance, as it ble, and in some places, by triple would enable the Russians to march rons of fortifications, by marshy wità tire greater part of their army ground, inundation, the fort of iato aia. And it was the apprc. Weischel.nunde, and a garrison henean of such an auxiliary force, consisting of 12,000 Prussians and thai determined Buonaparte to as- 6.000 Russians : the whole under sesobe so large an army of obser- the command of the Prussian gene. n'laa in l'omerania. Repeated and ral Kalkreuth. anest applications for an English ar. The siege of Dantzig was pushed wy,iafantry, and cavalry, were made on with great vigour and courage in ruia. A subsidy was granted of by the besiegers, and the defence of 4500,000—but no troops were the place maintained with equal cou. seat fron Britaja until it was too rage by the besieged. All the artil. late. And the force then sent to lery required having arrived, the the Island of Rugen, in July, consist. whole of the batteries were mounted, donly of the German legion, about and the bombardment commenced 8.000 strong. But the kiog of Pros. on the 21th of April. The garri on ja made some, though small atone. not only returned the enemies' fire Dent, for the seldish, blind, and infa. with skill and persevering resolil. tarted policy that had disgraced his tion, but made frequent sorties, in reiga, by the resignation, pa. which they both suffered very contience, and firaness of his conduct siderably. Among the most im. after the disastrouf day of Jena; portant of these, was one which took and the heroic, though romantic place at 10 hours afternoon of the brutery of the king of Sweden, and 29th. Some battalions issuing from his gallant little army, served, do their fortifications, rushed upon the doabt, both to enliven the hopes of French of the 3d parallel. They the emperor Alexander, and to ex. were twice repulsed, and returned a cite his emulation.

third time to the charge, They were This young monarch, having set driven back at last by the l'rench est from St Petersburgh on the 28th body of reserve, who came up to the of March to join his army, accom. aid of the troops defending the pa. panied only by count Tolstoy, rallel. The French found it neces. *3 met at Polanden on the sary to defend this trench against Prussian froutiers, by the king of similar sorties, by the erection, on Praxia, who conducied bim to Me. both flanks, of new batteries. A mel, and accompanied him in his prou grand council of war was held at gress from thence to Konigsberg. Bartenstein, a town on the Ala;

The archduke Constantine, with a at which the king of Prussia and re-iniorcement of 30,000 mer, con. the grand duke Coustantine at. Esting principally of the Imperial tended. The subject of their de. guard, arrived at that place about liberations was the dangerous situa. eight days thereafter, when the tion of the city of Dantzig. It trenches were opened before Dantzig. was agreed that Dantzig could be

The force that lay before Davt. relieved only in two ways. The first i was between 30 and 40,000 was to force a passage across the Len: that before Graudenz 3,000. Passarge, attack the French line at Dentziz was defended by dou- different points, and bazari a genn. ral engagement, the result of which, the fort of Weischelmunde. The if successful, would be to compel Russian general Kamenskoy, in the French army to raise the siege the morning of the same day, of Dantzig; the second to throw and a little after the same hour succours into Dantzig by sea. advanced at the head of his troop The frst plan was deemed too dan. disposed in three columns from the gerons, as it might expose the Rus- fort, with an intention to penetrati sian army to complete defeat and to the town along the right bank dispersion. It was therefore resol- of the Vistula. An action tool ved to confine themselves to the plan place, in which the Russians, whi of relieving Dantrig by water. were superior in numbers to th

In pursuance of this plan, lieu. French, and not inferior in bravery tenant-general Kamenskoy, son of would have overpowered genera the field-marshal, embarked at Pillaw, Schramm, if he had not received op with two Russian divisions, formed of portune assistance. 12 regiments, and several Prussian Marshal Le Febvre repaired to th regiments. On the 10th of May, bride, which is situated below th the troops were landed from 66 fort on the Vistula, and ordered th transports, under the convoy of 12th regiment of light infantry three frigates, in the port of Dant- together with a battalion of Saxon zig, under the protection of the to cross over that way, to suppoi fort of Weischelmunde.

general Schramm. General Ga Buonaparte on this immediately danne, who was charged with the di ordered marshal Lasnes who com- fence of the right bank of the Vi manded the reserve of the grand tula, also pressed that way with ti army, 'to advance from Marien- rest of his troops. Marshal Lasni burg, where he had his head quar. with the reserve of Oudinot, w ters, with the division of Oudinot, placed on the left bank of the Vistul to reinforce the army of marshal where it was expected, the day b Le Febvre. The general arrived fore, that the enemy too wou after an uninterrupted march, at make his appearance. But whı the very moment when the Russi. marshal Lasnes saw the movemer ans were landing. On the 13th and of the Russian general disclosed, 14th, the Russians made prepara- crossed the Vistula, with 4 batt tions for attacking the French. The lions of General Oudinot's reseri opposite port of Weischelmunde was After two hours hard fighting, t separated from the town of Dantzig, whole' of the line, and reserve by a space from two to three miles the Russians, were thrown into co in extent: this space was occupied fusion, and pursued to the pali: by French troops.

does. A Russian column, which h The general of brigade, Schramm, out to the last, was put to the bayo who was at the advanced posts of the to a man. At nine in the morni French by two o'clock in the morn- they were all shut up in the fort ing of the 15th, had formed the Weischelmunde. The field of bat troops under his command, consist- was strewed with dead bodies. I ing of the second regiment of light loss of the French, according to th infantry, a battalion of Saxons, and accounts, was not more than another of Poles, in order of battle, killed and 200 wounded; that covered by the redoubts opposite the Russians 1,300 killed, 1,5

wound

wounded, and 200 taken prisoners. general had passed that river on the

As soon as the Russian comman. 10th with a Bavarian brigade, and der-in-chief was assured that his a Polish regiment. In the course of maritime expedition had arrived be- three days, he had constructed sevefore Dantzig, his light troops be- ral têtes-du-pont, and had adran. gu to reconnoitre and alarm the ced to Wiskywo, for the purpose Thole French line, from the posin of burning the rafts on which the tion occupied by marshal Soult on Russians had been at work for six the Passarge, to that of general weeks. This expedition completely Morand on the Alla. They were succeeded, and the foolish work of six received at the mouth of the musket wecks was destroyed in a moment. + by the voltigeurs,* lost a considera. This general attack on the French ble oumber of men, and retired with advanced posts, on the same day when precipitation. The Russians also general Kamenskoy was to make presented themselves at Malga before his attempt on Dantzig, was no general Zayoucheek, commander doubt intended to occupy the grand of the Polish corps of observation, French army, in such a manner, and carried off one of his posts. The as to prevent them from reinforcing general of brigade, Fischer, pursue the besieging army. The project ed, routed them, and killed 60 men, of carrying relief to Dantzig, by one colonel and two captains. means of a maritime expedition, They likewise presented themselves appeared very extraordinary to such before the 5th corps, and insulted military men as were acquainted general Gazan's advanced posts at with the ground and positions occu. Wildenberg. This general pursued pied by the French army, and at them several leagues. But they the same time informed of the works, made a more serious attack on the that had been constructed for interbrigade of Omulew at Drenzewo. cepting the navigation of both the The general of brigade, Girard, Vistula and the canal of Dantzig. marched against them with the 88th An English brigantine, the Daunt. regiment, and drove them across the less, with that thoughtless, but, on Naren. General Souchet arrived, the whole, not unfortunate audacity pursued the Russians closely, and with which a series of glorious suce defeated them at Ostrolenka, where cesses had, at this time, inspired all be killed 60 men, and 50 horses. British seamen, having 120 English

On the same day, May 13th, the for her crew, 50 Russian and PrusRossians attacked general Marrois sian soldiers, carrying 21 carronades, at the mouth of the Bug. This and laden with powder and ball,

, Sharp-shooters, or marksmen, mounted on horseback, whose business it is to lurer around the enemy, watch their movements as a vulture watches his prey, and annoy bim whenever a favourable opportunity is presented. This was an inte vention of Buonaparte's, in his expedition to Egypt, who was to be opposed by numerous bodies of horsemen, on vast plains, in all directions. He recollected the Decessity of opposing cavalry to the Mahrattas in India, and the overthrow of Marcas Crassus, in a great plain, by the Parthians, who wheeling round and round the Konan legions on horseback, poured in upon them vollies of arrows, to which they tad potbing to oppose but their shields. They declined close action, and the Roman jarelins could not reach them. Buonaparte, therefore, mounted corpe of light infantsy, accustomed to sharp-shooting, on horseback, to annoy and harass, and preFent any sudden attack by the Mamalukes. † 74th and 75th Bulletin of the grand French army.

appeared

peared on the Vistula, in full sail, important siege of Dantzig was with an intention to enter the port continued. of Dantzig. On her near approach, On the 19th of May, when every however, to the French works, thing was prepared by marshal Le she was attacked, not only by the Febvre, and the French were proceedbatteries from both the shores, but ing to the assault, general Kalkreuth a heavy shower of musketry, and demanded a capitulation on the forced to surrender. An aid-de. same conditions that he had formercamp of general Kalkreuth, who ly granted to the garrison of May. was on his return from the Russian ence. It appeared to the French headquarters, and several English general that the difficulties reaainofficers, were on-board the vessel.* ing to be surmounted in bringing

On the 16th, a Russian division, the siege to a conclusion were such, of 6.000 men, under general Tur. that the besieged might hold out kow, advanced from Brock to the yet fifteen days longer. In these Bug, and towards Pultusk, with a circumstances it was deemed expe. view to prevent the execution of dient to grant them what they de. some new works, for strcogthening manded, an honourable capitulation. a tête-du-pont. These works It was agreed, among other articles. were defended by six battalions of that the garrison should march out Bavarians under the command of of the city with all the honours of the prince royal of Bavaria in per. war, and be conducted to the advan. son. The Russians advanced four ced posts of his majesty the king times to the attack, and were four of Prussia, at Pillaw, by a march times repulsed, by grape shot of five days. from the different batteries. The The garrison engaged not to Russians for this attack on Pultusk, serve against the French army or had prepared a great number of its allies, for the space of a year. rafts, in the same manner as they counting from the date of the ca. had done in their attack on the pitulation, that is, the 20th of May, works of general Le Marrois. The prisoners of war, confined at Those rafts, prepared at so great an Dantzig, whether French, or allies expence of time and labour, were of the French, to be exchanged. burnt in two hours time. Those As the garrison had not sufficient repeated attacks on works con. means for carrying off the whole of structed with consummateskill, and its baggage, a vessel was to be afford. defended by strong batteries with cd for this purpose, to sail directly out a chance of success, were matter for Pillaw, under the command of a of astonisliment to the French,and al. French officer. The magazines, and most induced them to suppose that in general all that belonged, not to the only purport of these attacks individuals, but to his Prussian mawas, to draw their attention, from jesty, to be consigned into the hands other parts of their line, to the right of the French government. wing of their army. But the posi. The Prussian officers, who were tion of this was calculated for every prisoners on their parole, living imaginable case, whether of at. with their families at Dantzig, be. tack or defence. Meanwhile the fore the blockade of the place, te • 76th Bulletin of the grand French army.

« PreviousContinue »