« PreviousContinue »
British and Russian ambassadors, were left ignorant where they were
Buonaparte, and the Emperor of “ The King of Sweden was so Russia bad retired in disgust to much provoked that he threw up Petersburgh. The situation of the the command of the Russian troops, Swedes became critical. Louis Buo and refused to allow any Swedish naparte menaced them in front, troops to leave Pomerania. At last while Augereau and Baraguay d'Hilthe Russian minister, Alopæus, in liers threatened their rear.
Thos some measure pacified him by re- , situated, Gustavus offered to resume ceiving the letter, and promising to the command of the Russian troops, send it to the King of Prussia.
In but was informed that it had already consequence of this misunderstand- been bestowed on the King of Prussia, ing, the projected invasion of Hol- who bad expressed his determinaland was prevented, and an army of tion to occupy Hanover, and protect troops, paid by Great Britain to actibe north of Germany from the war. against France, was recalled without
“ The British troops, who bad attempting any thing.
never lost sight of their transports, “ At last a declaration was ob- returned home; and the British mi. tained from Prussia, that no attack nistry iutimated to Gustavus that was intended upon Pomerania; but any attempt on bis part to protect still the King of Sweden continued Hanover was superfluous; but his to negotiate, insisting upon a decla- enmity to Prussia induced him to ration, from that power, that the remain on the left bank of the Elbe. Swedish troops would not be molest. He insisted that the King of Great ed in Hanover, or on their march to Britain should officially desire him Holland. The Swedish troops were
to retreat; but was informed that then allowed to approach Luneburg; such a step would be authorizing the king regulated their line of the King of Prussia to occupy Ha. march himself, and frequently or- nover. The Prussians continued to dered them to stop for the night in advance : Gustavus prudently retired villages that did not exist. No pro- himself, but left Count Lövenhjelm visions were provided, and they who with 1800 men, and peremptory were ordered to form magazines orders to fire upon the Prussians if
they attempted to cross the Elbe. the new system which Buonaparte A long negociation took place with established immediately after the the British ministry which it is need- conquest of Prussia, and had exless to detail: mean while the cluded all British vessels from his Swedish troops were all withdrawn harbours, in that case Buonaparte except about 300; the Prussian would have allowed him to retain alliance with France became pub- his territories, and he would have lickly known; the troops of the avoided the Russian and Danish King of Prussia advanced, refused to war. The consequence would have fire the Swedes, opened a pas.
been that the Baltic would have sage for them to retire, and when been more completely shut against the Swedish soldiers fired, and pre- British commerce, and Russia would pared to fight, the Prussian officers have been obliged to alter her podeclared that there was no wish litics at a more early period than she whatever of entering into hostilities has done. She might have eveni with Sweden. Gustavus immediate- made common cause with Austria ly blockaded the Prussian ports, and in the late short and disastrous war ordered the towns upon the coast to which that power carried on against be bombarded, unless they agreed France. It was probably fortunate fot to pay for their security. This ex- Europe that this did not happen. So traordinary step was persisted in miserably poor was the conduct of notwithstanding the remonstrances Austria, such a want of abilities, of Great Britain and Russia, and firmness, and patriotism was disnotwithstanding the risk of the loss played by the Emperor of Austria of Pomerania ; till at last the King and his family, that no assistance of Prussia, who was now preparing either from Russia or Britain would for the impending conflict with have been of the least avail. The France, agreed to evacuate Lauer- late invasion of Russia, and the loss bourg. The Swedish troops took of three or four hundred thousand possession of that dukedom, and soon men was a greater blow to Buonaafter Count Lövenbjelm occupied parte than could have been inflicted Ratzeburg
by any two of
the continental “ The King of Prussia was now powers united against France. too far advanced in bis unfortunate During the whole of the Prus. and fatal quarrel with France, to pay sian war the Swedes remained quiet, any attention to the petty efforts of in Pomerania, in consequence of an the King of Sweden. During the armistice with the French army in short but decisive war between Na- that district. But as soon as the poleon, and Prussia and Russia, peace of Tilsit was concluded, the nothing short of infatuation can ac- King of Sweden declared the armis. count for the conduct of Gustavus. tice at an end, and refused either to He was urged repeatedly by the renew it, or enter into any negotiation French to make peace, and offered with the Emperor of France. The his own terms. How far the French Swedish troops, amounting to a few weré sincere in these offers it is thousand men, were speedily driven impossible to say. For my part, into Stralsund, and thac town, which I firmly believe that if the King of had been entirely neglected, was not Sweden had entered zealously into capable of making much defence
against a besieging enemy. But the force Sweden to accede to what king, relying upon assistance from Bonaparte chose to call the contiheaven, refused either to give it up, nental system. Russia speedily anor to make any, preparations to de- nounced this resolution to the Kiog fend it. But when the French ad- of Sweden, and urged him to unite vanced, and began to throw up with Russia and Denmark, in an batteries, he prudently withdrew to armed neutrality, similar to that of Rugen, and soon after the town was 1780 and 1800. This Gustarus abondoned to the enemy.
bad peremptorily refused. He must " About 8,000 British troops were have been aware therefore, from the lying in Rugen, under the command begioning, of' an impending war of Lord Cathcart. The British mi- with Russia and Denmark; yet no nistry formed the project of scizing preparations were made to resist the the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, and threatened invasion. Unless sent a sufficient fleet and army for consider a treaty with Great Britain, that purpose into the Baltic. The and a subsidy from that power of command of the army was given to 1,200,000l. annually as a preparaLord Cathcart, and he was ordered tion. in consequence to withdraw his “ The war lasted little more than troops from Rugen, and land them a year, and notwithstanding the proin the island of Zealand. This digious disparity of force, if we conorder beiog communicated to the sider the situation of Sweden, the King of Sweden, he not only refused zeal of her population, and the great to allow them to go; but though number of troops she had on foot, he had only 800 Swedes at most, not fewer than 100,000 men, there threatened to throw the whole Bri- can be little doubt that, with comtish army into prison. At last he mon prudence, and with the assistwas pacified, the British troops were ance which they would have recarried to Zealand, and the result ceived from Great Britain, they of the expedition is sufficiently might have been able victoriously to known. The King of Sweden with oppose the enemy, and maintain the drew to Soonia; and the island of integrity of the Swedish dominions. Rugen, not being capable of de. But the conduct of the King bid de. fence, was speedily evacuated by the fiance to all prudence and common Swedish troops.
sense, and made it impossible either “ It was firmly believed by all for his generals or ministers to the Swedish gentlemen with whom be of the least service to their I conversed on the subject, that at country. the meeting at Erforth, between - The Russians invaded Finland Bonaparte and the Emperor of on the 11th of January 1808, with Russia, it bad been agreed upon that an army of about 30,000 men. The Sweden should be divided between Swedish troops in that country Russia and Denmark, and that the amounted to 9540 men, 6261 of river Motala and ridge of moct ains whom were posted in the north, and that runs north from it, should be 3279 in the south. Besides this, the boundary between these two Sveaborg, a very strong fortress, kingdoms. Be this as it may, there built upon several islands, on the can be no doubt that at the treaty of south coast of Finland, had a garTilsit it had been agreed upon to rison of 6000 men. The small band
of Swedish troops near the southern ambassador was ordered to leave the frontier, under the cominand of kingdom, and the hour of his depara, Lieutenant-General Von Klercker, ture fixed, and these orders were retired before the enemy, after mak- conveyed to him by means of a miing a gallant and spirited resistance. litary officer. The object was to make good their 6. Meanwhile the whole of South retreat into East Bothnia, in order Finland was occupied by the Rusto join the Finnish militia, and the sians; the important fortress of Sveaarmy of the north. General Countborg was shamefully given up by the Cronstedt, who retreated by another treachery of Vice-Admiral Cronroad, succeeded in his object, in stedı; and the islands of Oland, spite of the inclemency of the sea, which were not defended by any son, and the opposition of the military force, were occupied withenemy, and joined the main army out opposition by a detachment of with little loss. Field Marshal Count Russiaps. As the season advanced, Klinspor took the command of the when the ice round these islands division led by Von Klercher, at begav to break up, and all commuTavastehus. It was repeatedly at- nication with the neighbouring contacked by the Russians, particularly tinent was interrupted, the inhabitat Pyhäjocki and Sikajocki. In the ants rose upon the small Rossian last of these, General Adlercreutz force left to protect their conquest, distinguished himself at the head of and made them prisoners of war. the Finns; broke through the centre Thus these islands were recovered of the Russians, took several hundred without difficulty, and the same prisoners, and compelled the rest to thing happened to some Russian retreat. No immediate attempt soldiers who had landed in the however was made by the King of island of Gothland, and taken posSweden, either to reinforce his small session of it. army in Finland, or to concentrate " But Gustavus was now intent his troops for the defence of his upon the conquest of Norway, and kingdom.
of the Danish islands in the Baltic, • But as soon as he heard of the and therefore gave himself little coninvasion of Finland by the Russians cern about what took place in Finwithout any previous declaration of land. The Swedish army on the war, be iiomediately ordered Mr. western frontier, amounting to about Alopæus, the Russian minister, to be 12,500 men, were ordered to enter confined to his house, bis papers to Norway in two bodies, and they be seized, and information to be were spread over so great an extent given to him, that he had no longer of country, as to form a very weak any diplomatic character. The go- and inefficient line. They gained vernor of Gottenburg was ordered some advantages at first, but being to seize the papers of the Russian left totally unsupported, and even Consul, and to confire him to his without a supply of provisions, they house. A courier sent from Russia were soon obliged to retreat into to the Russian ambassador at Stock- their own country, and take up a holm was arrested, and his dis- defensive position. Gustavus had patches published. Next day, a de already altered the whole of his claration of war on the part of Den- plans, and had determined, with the mark was received. The Danish assistance of a body of British troops, to invade and conquer the island of tated the King, as it thwarted bis Zealand.
favourite project, from which bis " He had from the commence- ministers and generals had in vain ment of the war solicited an increase attempted to divert him, by showof the subsidy from Britain, and a ing that he was not provided with a body of troops to enable bim to op- sufficient quantity of troops, or warpose his enemies with more efficacy. like engines, to make an attack upon The Swedish ambassador at London, Copenhagen with any chance of sucaware of the desperate state of his cess. country, had prevailed upon the “ His next proposal was that the British ministry to send 10,000 men British troops should land in the to Gottenburg, under the command neighbourhood of Petersburgh, in of Sir John Moore, pledging him- order to make a diversion in favour self that they would be immediately of the Swedish army in Finland. landed and treated with the greatest Sir John Moore declined this plan, attention at Gottenburg, till a plan observing that it was very well cona for their future services should be ceived if the object of the King was concerted between the King of Swe. to give the Russiars some thousand den and Sir John Moore. The British prisoners of war; but that troops were accordingly sent under the neighbourliood of Petersburgh the following conditions stipulated was at too great a distance to be of by the English ministry: that the any service as a diversion to the troops should be under the imme- Finnish army. diate command of their own general, • Driven from these two objects, that they should not be obliged to the King of Sweden again turned march to any great distance from bis attention to Norway, and protheir transports and vessels of war, posed that the British troops in conand that it should be in the power junction with the Swedes sbould of the British ministry to recall them make a new invasion of that country. whenever their services should be Sir John Moore replied, that the requisite in any other quarter. When British troops had been already conthe British troops arrived at Gotten- fined for two months on board their burg, the King of Sweden probibited transports, greatly to the injury of them from landing; and when he the health both of the men and was applied to for the purpose by horses; that it would be the beginthe British ambassador, he answered ning of August before the Swedish that he considered the application troops could be ready to take the as an insult, and expected therefcre field, a period much too long to conthat it never would be repeated. Sirtinue on board the vessels. Or John Moore came to Stockholm to that account, since the King of form a plan of operations with the Sweden had no immediate occasion King. The first proposal of Gusta- for the British troops, he was dovus was, that the British troops terminedinobedience to the orders of should unite with a Swedish army, his own government, to return home. and invade the island of Zealand. The King urged him to remain at Sir John Moore answered, that he Gottenburg, at least till new diswas expressly prohibited by his in- patches arrived from the British go. structions from joining in any such verament. Sir John Moore at first scheme. This refusal greatly irria consented to this; but when he went