Imágenes de páginas

operation. On the whole, general Moreau being now without any alarm for the army of referve, or any restraint impofed upon his operations, by a concern for its prefervation, but, on the contrary, ftrengthened by its co-operation on the fide of the Grifons and the Tyrolefe, was now at liberty to unfold the enterprize of his character, after a difplay of the most confummate prudence. He prepared to crofs the Danube, and, if poffible, to bring general Kray to a decifive action. For this laft purpofe, on the eighteenth of June, he tent the right wing of his army, under Lecourbe, over the river below Ulm, between Dillingen and the celebrated vil lage of Blenheim: by this movement, threatening to cut off general Kray from his magazines at Donawert and Ratisbon, as well as from his expected reinforcements. The main body croffed at a point nearer to Ulm.

The motives or views of general Moreau, in this ftep, he explains in a letter addreffed to the chief conful, bearing date the twenty-fecond of June: " He had obferved," he fays, "that the Auftrian army kept close to its camp at Ulm, which gave it the advantage of eafy openings on both fides of the Danube, while it confequently prevented the French from making any confiderable progrefs in Germany. General Moreau had made a movement, in order to induce the enemy to give battle near Blaubeuven, which he declined. Fearing that general might avail himself of that st, in order to advance mingen, connect himself Tyrol, and fend down a ops into Italy, that might y much embarrafled the

chief conful, he determined to make general Lecourbe execute feveral hopes that he fhould thereby force manœuvres on the Leck, in the general Kray to march to protect Bavaria; but he continued to magining that an opportunity was prenœuvre in the French rear. Imafented of gaining a confiderable advantage, he made an attack on Moreau's left wing, on the fifth of June, but was fo bravely oppofed by general Richenpanfe and other officers, that he was obliged to retreat with precipitation, and repafs the Danube. General Moreau then formed the project of compelling him to withdraw, or come to a battle."

a feries of actions took place for In the execution of this defign, four fucceffive days, on the famous plains of Blenheim or Hockstat; in which the Auftrians loft, in killed, wounded, and prifoners, not lefs the French, at least, as was comthan five or fix thousand men; and puted, half that number. The Auftrian divifions, under the generals Sztarray and Nauendorf, being cut off from the main army, general Kray was reduced to the neceffity of leaving Ulm to the protection of a garrifon. The blockade of Ulm was now carried on by general Richenpanfe. General Kray, after feveral very fevere actions on the left fide of the Danube, retreated, with his reduced army, to Ingolstadt.

the manoeuvres and actions, through To give a detailed account of all which the French croffed the Rhine, established themfelves on the left bank, and drove the main Austrian army from their entrenched camp, near Ulm, would carry us far beyond our bounds, and would indeed be

reau took poffeffion of Munich, and laid the Bavarian territories under heavy contributions. The elector was compelled to pay to Moreau a great part of the fubfidy of 500,000%. which he had received from Great Britain. After the retreat of the Auftrian army from Suabia, the French alfo took poffeffion of the principal places in the duchy of Wurtemburg, which, as well as Bavaria, was laid under fevere contribution, and treated altogether as an enemy's country. The duke and duchefs of Wurtemburg, with their family and fuite, retired to Anfpach. The French, at the fame time, by the occupation of Ell-Wangen, became mafters of the whole electorate of Treves.

In the mean time, the divifion, under the active and indefatigable Lecourbe, drove the Auftrians from Coire, and the whole of the country of the Grifons. Thus general Moreau, by transferring the feat of the war to Bavaria and the frontiers of Auftria, and by preffing clofer and clofer on the flank and rear of the Auftrians in the Tyrol, prepared the way for driving the imperalists out of that country, left they fhould be altogether furrounded by the army under Moreau, and detachments from that of Buonaparte, through the Valtelline. Still far ther to aggravate the evil plight of the Auftrians, an army of thirty thousand ftrong, French and Batavians, was on its march from the Lower to the Upper Rhine, and ready to pafs by Mentz and Duffeldorf, into Franconia.

In these circumftances, the Auftrians folicited an armiftice, which, at the defire or advice of Buonaparte, to Moreau, was, on the fif teenth of July, granted. This trace


be the fubject of no fmall volume. One circumstance we shall notice, as curious and interefting in itself, and characteristic of that courage and genius which was difplayed by the French in this campaign, and throughout the whole of the war.

The paffage of the Rhine was both difficult and dangerous, as the French had neither bridges nor boats, the Auftrians having deftroyed the former, and funk the latter. After feveral actions, on the eighteenth of June, in which the Auftrians were compelled to fall back upon Ulm, general Lecourbe made feveral demonftrations, on that day, on the bridge of Dillingen: but, in confequence of the reports made by his reconnoitring parties, he determined, seriously, to attempt the bridges of Grenfheim, Blenheim, and Hockstadt. Eighty naked fwimmers to be armed with maskets and knapsacks, which were fent after them, in two (mall boats, took poffeffion of the villages of Grentheim and Blenheim, and made themfelves masters of fome pieces of cannon, which were manned by artillerymen, who had paffed over on ladders placed on the wrecks of the bridge. All of them maintained their pofitions with extraordinary courage, while a number of miners and bridgebuilders were employed, under the enemy's fire, in repairing the bridges, over which a force was paffed to oppofe the reinforcements which the enemy were marching towards the points, where the object of the attack could be no longer doubtful. The 94th demi-brigade paffed over after the swimmers, and boldly fupported themfelves until other parties came to affift them.After the retreat of the Auftrian main army, from Ulm, general Mo

led to a negociation, which was conducted, on the part of the emperor, by count St. Julian, who, on the twenty-eight of July, figned, at Paris, the preliminaries of peace, on the basis of the treaty of Campo Formio. On the part of the French, they were figned by the minifter for foreign affairs, the ex-bishop Talleyrand.

We have already seen the overbearing weight of thofe circumftances which induced the Auftrian government to request a fufpenfion of arms. The fame circumstances urged the neceffity of carrying the preliminaries into a definitive treaty of peace. But if the emperor had grounds for apprehenfion, there were fome alfo that tended to keep up his fpirits, and revive the pride and ambition inherent in his family. A ftrong difpofition to repel the aggreffive and the intolerable oppreffion of the French, whose exactions were greater in this than they had been in any former campaign, began to manifest itself in all the hereditary states, particularly in Hungary. And the emperor, being preffed by the British court to accept fresh pecuniary fupplies, had concluded a treaty, on the twentieth of June, by which he became indebted to Great Britain, in the fum of two millions fterling, not liable to intereft before the expiration of fix months from the adjustment of a peace between him and the French. It was alfo ftipulated that the war fhould be carried on with all poffible vigour and, that neither party fhould conclude a peace that did not alfo comprehend the other. His imperial majefty, faithful to this engagement, endeavoured for fome weeks to include the British nation in a treaty of general peace; and

opened between the French goa temporary correfpondence was vernment and the British court: but it was not productive of a formal negociation. therefore, refufed to ratify the The emperor, liminaries that had been figned by prethe count St. Julian, alleging withal, that the count, in that act, had exceeded his powers.

the end of Auguft, informed the The French government, towards generals of its armies, that the emperor, having refufed to fubfcribe ries of peace, which had been fignto the conditions of the prelimina ed by his plenipotentiary at Paris, the government was under the neceffity of continuing the war. armiftice was of courfe broken off, and would cease to have effect, on the feventh of September, at one in the afternoon. The general officers, and chiefs of corps, were inftructed to profit by this interval, to pafs the troops in review, and to difpofe every thing in fuch a manner, that they might be able to march and fight as foon as they' fhould receive orders.

clamation, on the fixth of SeptemThe emperor alfo iffued a prober, announcing the rupture of the been difcontinued by the French, armistice; which, he said, had unexpectedly, and without caufe. In order to give an incontrovertible proof to his own fubjects, and to all Europe, how much he had their had refolved to repair in perfon, welfare and protection at heart, he with his royal brother, the archduke John, to his army in Germany. His imperial majesty declared, terably difpofed to accept with pleaat the fame time, that he was unalfure any reasonable propofitions, and conditions of peace. The refolution




French army of the Rhine, feconded on its left by the army of Augereau, and on its right by that of the Grifons, formed, on the Mayne, as far as the entry into the Tyrol, a line ready to advance on the first fignal. It was compofed of twelve divifions, comprizing at least a hundred thousand men, and was divided into four corps; of which, that under general Lecombe, confifting of three divifions, occupied Upper Suabia, Upper Bavaria, and the entry to the Tyrol. That under the immediate orders of the commander-in-chief in perfon, confifting of three other divifions, occupied the two banks of the Iller, as faras Landhut. That of general Gre nier confifting of three more divi fions, held all the left banks of the Danube, nearly to Paffau, and the right bank of that river as far as the mouth of it at Altmuck: and, laftly, that of general St. Sufanne, compofed of three other divifions, occupied the country between the Mayne and the Danube, from Bamberg as far as Aix-la-Chapelle. — While the French were thus formidable in front, there was nothing to be apprehended on either of their flanks. Italy was re-conquered. Switzerland was in their poffeflion, and moulding its government just as the French pleafed: and a Pruflian army maintained the neutrality of the north of Germany.


folution of the emperor, to put himfelf at the had of his army, was taken, no doubt, with a view to Fouze the ancient courage of the Germans; and to give efficacy to proclamations, which he iffued at the fame time, for calling forth the force of the country in volunteer affocia tions. But the emperor had no fooner joined the army, which was under the immediate and fole command of the archduke John, than he made application to the French government for a prolongation of the armiftice. The first conful, on conditions prefently to be mentioned, agreed to this, declaring at the fame time that the renewal of hoftilities, or the improvement of a fufpenfion of arms into a permanent peace, would wholly depend on the rejection, or the ratification of the preliminaries concluded with Mr. de St. Julian. The conful, at the fame time, declared that he thought it his duty, not to waste the remainder of the autumn in idle conferences, or to expofe himself to endlefs diplomatic difcuffions, without fecurities for the fincerity of the enemy's intentions. The fecurities he demanded were Philipsburg, Ulm, and Ingolftadt, with their dependent

This condition, though it expofed the hereditary dominions of Auftria, in a great meafure, at the mercy of the enemy, being agreed to at Hohenlinden, a fufpenfion of armus was concluded for forty-five days, commencing from the twentyfirit of September.

There was not, during this interval, any remiflion of military preparation on either fide. Recuits were fent from the camp at Dijon to the French armies; and the Auftrians were reinforced by battalions raised in all parts of the hereditary ftates. The


The Auftrian armies advanced to the frontiers, and occupied a chain of pofts in front of the hoftile army, bending their main force to firengthen their line, from the frontier of Auftria to the gulph of Venice. An army of thirty thoufand men was stationed in Bohemia, under the command of the archduke Charles. The right banks of the Mayne

Mayne were occupied by the Auftrians in great force. And an army, under the command of general Klenau, in the Upper Palatinate, was opposed to the French divifion under general St. Sufanne, whose headquarters were at Mavence.

The pofitions and first movements of the invading army feemed to indicate an intention of carrying the great weight of the war into Bohemia. But the grand plan of Moreau's operations was not fully or certainly developed; this winter campaign being speedily cut fhort, by decifive advantages obtained over the Auftrians. The French troops, under Augereau, drove thofe of Mayence from Afchaffenberg, on the twenty-fourth of November, and marched through Franconia towards Bohemia, to communicate with the left of the divifion, under general Moreau.

On the twenty-ninth, general Moreau recommenced hoftilities, near the Inn, and carried the Auftrian works at Waffenberg. He was lefs fuccessful in a battle, on the first of December, near Haag, where he was vigorously attacked by the archduke John, at the head of three columns. The Auftrians were repeatedly driven back, but at laft prevailed. The French were forced to retreat, with great flaughter. On the fame day, an attack was made by the French on an Auftrian poft at Rofenheim, but were repulfed, after a hot engagement. In this action, the prince of Condé's corps acquired great reputation, by their firmness and cool courage. On this occafion, the prince of Conde's fon, and the duke of Angouleme, were particularly diftinguifhed.

The archduke John, encouraged by these fucceffes, on the third of


December, affaulted the French poft at Hohenlinden, memorable for the laft convention, and rendered still more memorable by the battle of this day. The archduke had no fooner begun his march than there fell a heavy fhower of fnow and fleet, by which his march was fo much retarded, that only the central column had arrived at the place of deftination, at a time when all the divifions ought to have been ready for action. A divifion of the French, conducted by Richenpanse, pierced between the left wing of the Auftrians and the centre, reached the great road behind the centre, and affaulted the left flank and rear. of that column, at a moment when it had formed in front, and commenced an attack. The Austrians, with their ufual courage and bravery, sustained the conflict for several hours: but their centre being repelled by the impetuofity of the French, great diforder enfued. Their left wing was alfo defeated: and the battle feemed to be completely decided in favour of the French, when a vigorous attempt was made, by the right wing, to turn the tide of victory.

General Grenier fuftained this unexpected charge with firmness; and, being well fupported, threw his adverfaries into the utmost confusion. The Austrians were forced to retire to the heights of Ramfan, with very great lofs: and general Kinwayer, being attacked on his march, by a corps from Arding, likewife fuffered feverely in that retreat, to which he was driven by intelligence of the difafter that had befallen the main army.

According to the account of the battle of Hohenlinden, given by general Moreau, the French took eighty pieces of cannon, two hundred

« AnteriorContinuar »