Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

heavy infantry. The legion des Francs, at present the 14th light infantry, showed also, in Schauenbourg's corps, much ardour and intrepidity in the attack and pursuit of the Bernese militia. The staffs of the arinies of the Rhine, and of Italy, joined here yesterday in a civic repast. Among the toasts given were, The Executive Directory, The glory of republican armies, The Helvetic arıny, Destruction to England; Peace to the world. The fraternal kiss was mutually given and received. Health and fraternity.

(Signed) Brune. P. S. Citizen Suchet, chef de brigade of the 18th, fets out with Citizen Ruby to carry you twenty-five pair of colours taken at Fribourg, Neveneck, Gumine, and in the march of General Schanenbourg from Bienne to Berne. Citizen Suchet has shown in this expedition, zeal, bravery, and talents, on which I must bestow the highest praise.

Official Letters to the Directory. Citizens Directors, Bienne, 21 Ventole (Mar. 11), 6th Pear. THE Bernese have just been beaten, and it was themselves e who provoked hostilities. At seven o'clock last night an officer came with a parley to Adjutant-general Frefsinet, chief of the staff of the right wing of the army of Erguel. He delivered to him a dispatch from Colonel de Gross, commander in chief of the Bernese army at Niddau, conceived in the following terms :

“I inform you, that unless some unforeseen change should take place, hostilities will commence this evening. Order therefore your Centries, which are within reach of my cannon charged with grape, to retire. I do not at all understand this military difpofi. tion.”

The Adjutant-general Freffinet detained the officer, and fent a dispatch to General Schauenbourg. In the mean time a fecond letter was received from Colonel de Gross, in which he stated that he did not mean to commence hostilities : to ibis General Freslinet answered:

“Sir, 6. Your officer yet waits the answer of the cominander in chief, but he will return to you before the hour you have fixed upon for the commencement of hostilities, namely, ten o'clock. When that moment is arrived, you are at liberty to employ all your forces. The French republicans await you with that courage which characterizes them."

General Freffinet, who had no orders to commence an attack, formed a line of battle before Bienne, and from Bonsau by Niddau

along

along the Lake of Bienne: He remained upon the defensive until a Bernese post, advancing from the villages situate at the bottom of the Lake, commenced the attack, and had the cowardice to make a furious charge upon a French post of four men, who were at Vigneule, a lordship belonging to Bienne, without embarrassing themselves with the cultom generally observed between soldiers at the commencement of a war. The Adjutant-general Freslinet, -quickly informed of this attack, and of the motions of the enemy,, turned the villages of Diese and Orvin, to take them in the rear at Evilard or Bonjeau : he sent a reinforcement to the post of Vigneule, whilit one company advanced from Bienne hy Evilard, to fall upon the enemy's flank. This manoeuvre had complete success. The French, inferior in numbers, but accustomed to conquer, gathered fresh laurels. The Bernese at first fought bravely, and their arquebusiers killed many of our people ; but in a short time, astonished at the rapidity of our movements, they lost that sang froid which ensures victory ; attacked suddenly with the bayonet, au pas de charge; they were completely broker, and retreated precipitately down the mountain to gain their boats: but this resource they were deprived of by the fire of a platoon of the brave grenadiers of the 38th demi-brigade, who pursued them from the heights to within a very short distance of the banks.

General Schauenbourg this morning, at half past three o'clock, attacked the post of Lengnau, and, after having forced it, continued his victorious march against Soleure. The loss of the enemy in this first affair consists in four pieces of cannon, a great number of killed, wounded, and prisoners : among the latter are three Bernese officers. Ours is inconsiderable : we have to regret the loss of some brave men, but they fell covered with glory, and we entertain hopes of terminating in a few days the scandalous struggle of the tyrannic oligarchy of the Swiss Patricians against the liberty of the descendants of William Tell. The Adjutant-general Frelsinet contributed greatly by his activity, his fang froid, and his good dispositions, to the success of this day. Health and respect.

(Signed) LIOMIN.

Letters from General de Divifon Schauenbourg, to the Executive

Directory. Berne, 17 Ventose, 6th Year (March 10, 1798). Citizens Directors, TINFORMED you in my last dispatch, dated from Soleure,

that I was going to march against Berne with a considerable body of forces. On the 14th, after joining to the main body the five battalions commanded by Adjutant-general Bonami, I extended

T 2

the

the advanced guard as far as Schahinen, posted the 16th demi

brigade of light infantry as an intermediate body at Delterchingen, · and my main body at Lhosne. At five in the morning of the . 15th, we began our march, and fell in with the enemy in a wood behind Schahinen, where a severe firing took place between the 14th demi-brigaile of light infantry, and the Bernese troops, who were provided with cannon. I immediately ordered two pieces of artillery and a howitzer, attached to the advanced van guard, to advance ; and after a short resistance the enemy returned, and

took up a position on the heights before Fraumbruner, where ; they kept firm. We were obliged to make new dispositions for driving them from this second position. They then retreated, and formed themselves behind Urtenen, where they agaio halted; but being driven from this post also, they retired in good order, and placed themselves between the rocks and a large fir-wood, which covers the heights of Altmerchingen. The highway from Soleure to Berne forms a defile which crosses these heights. In this position the enemy had their right covered by rocks, and their left by woods and marshes. They had taken the precaution to make considerable abbatis to obftruct the road, and posted themselves behind these abbatis, from which they kept up a brisk fire. The 14th demi-brigade of light infantry, and the 8gth of the line, were employed to carry this formidable position : the action continued more than an hour. Ruby, chef de brigade, who commanded the advanced guard, caused three companies of the second battalion of the 89th to climb the rocks ; a battalion of the 14th demi-brigade, and a demi-battalion of the 8gth, passed the marshes to turn the enemy on the left, while the light artillery cannonaded the high road. These different movements were so happily concerted, that the enemy, attacked on the front and on the flanks, were surrounded in a manner at the same moment. They lost a great many men, and were completely routed, abandoning all their artillery: they however rallied again on the heights before Berne, where they gave us battle a fifth time. The husfars of the 7th and 8th regiments charged with bravery in the face of their cannon ; and it is certain if Berne had not then sent deputies to capitulate, all its troops would have been made prisoners of war; and the adyanced guard, cutting off their retreat, would have entered the town before the inhabitants could have had time to shut the gates. I granted to Berne the same capitulation as that granted to Soleure. We entered the place at one in the afternoon. I must add to these details, that the advanced guard fought always at the distance of two leagues from the main body, and thus the infantry marched with such rapidity, that the cavalry were forced to follow them on a trot. I cannot give you an exact account of the cannon and carriages taken. Wherever we found artillery we took possession of them. I reckon the number to be about 25 pieces, of different

calibres. calibres. The Bernese in their different actions sustained confiderable loss. We have taken several officers. It is a duty I owe to truth to say, that it is astonishing, that troops who for two bundred years have not carried on war, should have maintained with great bravery five succeflive combats, and that they were hardly driven from one position when they resumed another. On the night between the 15th and 16th, the advanced guard of General Brune joined the troops under my command, and the general himself arrived at Berne in the morning: he has assumed the chief command of the whole army. Ruby, chef de brigade, an officer of as much courage as ability, will deliver to you, Citizens Dia rectors, fixteen pair of colours taken from the Bernese. All the troops behaved with their usual bravery. The general officers, and chiefs of the corps, whom I mentioned in my dispatch from Soleure, have acquired a new title to my praises. Health and respea.

(Signed) SCHAUENBOURG.

Head Quarters at Soleure, 13 Ventose (March 7). THE commander in chief of the troops of the French republic

in the canton of Soleure and in Erguel, having nothing more at heart than to accomplish the intentions of the Executive Directory, and to contribute with all his power to the speedy re-establishment of good harmony between the French republic and the canton of Soleure, which could not have been interrupted but by the pride and personal interest of the members of the ancient government of the canton, appoints as members of the provisional government Citizens Victor Oberlin, president; Balthazar Wallier, vicepretident; Xavier Zeltner, Pierre Zeltner, ex-chancellor; Nicholas Gloutz, ex-procurer-general; Benoit Gloutz, Victor Brommer, treasurer of the seals; John Sclilup de Nenmkoffen, Joseph Luthy, secretary-general. These citizens will enter on their functions, dating from this day.

(Signed) SCHAUENBOURG. The general, commander in chief of the troops in the canton of Soleure and in Erguel, orders, in conformity to the intentions of the Executive Directory, as follows:

Art. I. The functions of the senate of the canton of Soleure fhall immediately cease.

II. It thall be replaced by a provisional government of eleven members.

III. The fundions of all the bailiffs and other magiftrates, the nomination of which belonged to the ancient senate, shall cease also, unless the provisional government shall think it necessary to vetain any of them. (Signed) SCHAUENBOURG.

General

General Brune, Commander in Chief of the French Army in

Helvetia.
Quarters of General Brune, 26th Ventosa

(161h March). A GREAT number of citizens of the several cantons of HelveI tia having testified a desire to form a republic, one and indivisible, democratic and representative, the territory of which fhould be composed of the Pays de Vaud and the four Mandemens, of the Upper and Lower Valais, of the Italian bailiwicks, of Oberland and Geilenay, of the canton of Fribourg, and of the countries of Morat and Nidau ; I have taken the motives of their desire into consideration, and acknowledge that it is conformable to the principles of liberty, as well as to their local interests; and that a republic, composed of all the designated territories, would be able to govern itself freely according to its own laws, and enjoy the advantages of an alliance with the French republic. It is therefore decreed as follows:

Ist. The representatives of the Upper and Lower Valais, of the Italian bailiwicks, of Oberland and Gellenay, the canton of Fribourg, fhall afsemble, without delay, in the city of Lausanne, with the representatives of the Pays de Vaud, for the purpose of giving their joint consent to the government of the republic of the Rhone.

2d. There shall be in this republic five cantons; first, Leman, ci-devant Pays de Vaud, and the four Mandemens, of which Lausanne is the capital ; secondly, Sasino and Broye, ci-devant canton of Fribourg, and the countries of Morat and Nidau, their capital provisionally Payerne; thirdly, Oberland, its capital Thun; fourthly, Valais, its capital Sion ; fifthly, Tesin, ci-devant Italian bailiwicks, its capital Locarno.

3d. There shall be a legislative body, consisting of 62 deputies, divided into two councils. The fenate to consist of 24 members, and the grand council of 48. Leman fhall appoint 18 deputies ; Sarino and Broye 18; Oberland 12 ; Valais 12 ; and Tefin 12.

4th. There shall be an executive directory, composed of five members.

sth. The legislative body and the directory shall reside at Lau, fanne. They thall be empowered to fix, in fix months, their place of residence definitively. '6th. The legislative body shall meet the 25th of March. They Mall hold their fitting whenever 25 members attend in the grand council, and 12 in the senate.

7th. The directory shall be put in activity the 30th of March. The qualification that a member thall be either married or a widower, is not necesary.

vant Italifourthly, Val Payerne;

« AnteriorContinuar »