Imatges de pÓgina

in forcing the Auftrians to a preci pitate retreat across the Danube during the night, adding 2000 prifoners more to the number already taken.c

After this fruitless attack, general Kray finding it impoffible to ftop the progrefs of the French by offenfive operations, determined on on maintaining his pofition at Ulm, which he had rendered apparently impregnable, and wait for fuccours from Vienna. Moreau, who penetrated the intention of the Austrian general, in keeping within his entrenched camp, which gave him the command of both banks of the Danube, and prevented the further progrefs of his army, determined to attempt the paffage of this river below Ulm, and cut him off from his magazines at Donawert, as well as all affiftance from the inte rior part of Germany. This expedition was fo much the more dangerous and difficult, as the French were compelled, by this manoeuvre, to weaken their forces between Ulm and the Tyrol, expofing themfelves to be cut off by detachments from either pofition, and having neither pontoons nor any means of croffing the river. After making the best distribution of troops which the nature of the circumstances admitted, to fecure his retreat, if the expedition fhould be unfuccessful, and keep up the communication of the army with Switzerland, he ordered Lecourbe to advance, and take poffeffion of one of the bridges between Donawert and Dillingen. The approach of the French to wards the river was a series of engagements, as the Auftrians carefully guarded the avenues; but the impetuofity of the French overcame thofe obftacles, and the paffage of the river was effected. During the interval of marching to the Danube

and croffing it, Kray, who perceived the intentions of the French army, had fent confiderable reinforcements on the left bank to oppofe the paffage. It was at the cele brated pofition of Hochftet that the battle took place, which ended in favour of the French, who took 4000 prifoners, without counting the killed and wounded.

Kray, who faw the danger of his pofition, affembled his forces, and, leaying a strong garrifon in Ulm, marched against the French, and paffing by Hochftet, croffed- the Danube at Newburg, with the feeming intention of forcing the French to evacuate the left bank of the river near Ulm. The French army met the attack at Newburg. The engagement lasted till night, and victory was obftinately contended for on both fides. The Auftrians at length made their retreat, and fell back on Ingolstadt. The lofs of the French was confiderable, but none was more feverely felt than that of a private foldier, Latour D'Auvergne, whitened with age, a man of letters, and a noble, who, during the war, had ferved in the ranks, refufing to accept the higheft commiffion which had been offered him, but on whom, for his eminent virtues and courage, Bona parte had conferred the title of first grenadier of the French republic. The French ariny was overwhelmed with grief at the lofs of this refpectable perfon, who was a direct defcendant from the celebrated Turenne. As a mark of the respect of the army, the drums were ordered to be covered for three days with black crape; his name was kept on the roll of his company, his place was not to be filled up, and at the roll-call a foldier was appointed, at the mention of his name, to anfwer "Dead, in fighting for the liberties of Q 3


his country."

A monument was erected to his memory on the fpot where he fell. The retreat of the Auftrians to the left of the Danube left the French mafters of the electorate of Bavaria to the right. Ulm was invefted, and the headquarters of the French were eftablished without further oppofition at Munich.

About the fame period that the campaign opened on the Rhine, the army of referve, which had been for fome time forming at Dijan, began its march towards another fcene of operations no lefs brilliant. The French government had given official notice that this army was already compofed of more than 50,000 men; that it was reinforcing every day, and was ready to march either to the right or left, as the chance of war fhould direct, and the plans of a government, the military talents of which could not be called in doubt. Whatever opinion might be entertained of the military talents of the government, the existence of an army in, or near Dijon, compofed of fuch a number, was not credited; and the enemy, whom it was important to deceive, fell into the fare that was laid for them. The chief conful, who publicly announced his intention of taking the command, by remaining at Paris, while the fituation of the army at Geneva required his immediate affiftance, aided the delufion. He left Paris at length, (5th May,) and arrived at Dijon, from whence, after paffing in review the troops cantoned there, he paffed on to Genoa. Remaining a fhort time in the Pays de Vaud, he joined the army of referve, collected from various quarters, who were affembled at the foot of Mount St. Bernard. The first obstacle that

prefented itself was the mode of conveying the artillery along road, which, for feveral leagues, presented a breadth of only two or three feet, in fome places fo abrupt as to be almoft p rpendicu lar, and over mountains of fnow, which threatened every inflant to bury the pallenger under à valanches, or, by giving way to the preffure of the feet, precipitate him into the abyfs. Thefe obftacles, however, the foldiers overcame, aided by the peafantry of the neighbouring cantons, who, hollowing out trees, in which they placed the field-pieces, drew them, after incredible labour and difficulty, to the fummit.

A very small force would have ftopped the army in its afcent, but the French troops met with no refiftance till they reached the town of Aoft, in their defcent into Piedmont, of which, after a flight skirmifh, they took poffeffion. Another fkirmish took place at the village of Chatillon, where the Auftrians were likewife repulfed. The fort of Bard was the firft serious obftacle which the French met with to their progrefs. The Auftrians had poffeffion of the heights which commanded the town, of which the French, after fome refiftance, gained poffeffion; but the fortrefs was an object of much more diffi cult attainment. The caftle of Bard was confidered by the Auftrians as an infurmountable barrier. It was fo conftructed as to fhut up the entrance into Piedmont, at the place where the two mountains, which form the valley of Aoft, approach fo near each other as to leave a space not wider than fifty yards.

As this paffage was judged im practicable, fince the approach was immediately under the com


mand of the cannon of the fortress, the foldiers cut a road across the mountain of Albardi; where the afcent was too rapid, they made ftairs; where the path, ftraitening as they went on, terminated in a precipice, walls were raised to prevent them from falling; where rocks were separated by deep abyffes, bridges were thrown over to join them; and the French cavalry effected its paffage over a mountain confidered for ages as inacceffible even to infantry. The artillery was of more difficult conveyance; but though two four-pounders were conveyed on the backs of foldiers, and established on the heights which commanded the caftle, yet, as this mode of paffing It was attended with too confiderable a lofs of time, as well as difficulties which were not to be furmounted, the cannoneers binding the wheels with ftraw, fo as to deaden the noife, dragged them through the town, under the walls of the fort, during the night, amidst howers of balls fhot at random, from which the French fuffered much, but lefs than might have been expected from fo perilous an enterprife,

the centre forced the bridge, and the other divifions threw themfelves into the river, under a flower of balls and grape-fhot. The firft line of the Auftrian infantry was thrown into complete diforder; the fecond line made longer refiftance, but was compelled, at length, to yield to the impetuofity of a clofe column, which precipitated, itself into their ranks: the cavalry, after three feveral defperate charges, were repulfed by the bayonets of the French infantry, and the Austrian general was killed. The lofs of the French was confiderable, but the advantage was complete.

The French purfued their route down the valley of Aoft with little opposition till they reached the town of Yorea, where the Auftrians had affembled a confiderable force, and which the impetuofity of the French forced them to abandon. Reinforced by divifions that had come by forced marches from Turin, and different parts of Piedmont, the Auftrians took poft at the heights of Romano, behind the Chiufella, the paffage of which they guarded with 5000 infantry, 4000 cavalry, and feveral pieces of artillery. The French began the attack on three points (26th May);

While the advanced guard, commanded by general Lannes, advanced towards the Po and the Chivaffo, the divifion under the orders of general Turreau attacked the Auftrians at Suza. The fame fuccefs attended the operations of this portion of the army. The fort Brunette, that commanded the entrance of Piedmont on that fide, capitulated as foon as the pofitions which commanded its approaches were carried, and Turreau marched through Suza, on the road to Turin.

The main body of the army, continuing its march, entered Chivaffo, and, reaching the Po, took poffeffion of a number of boats loaded with rice and corn, which fupplied the preffing wants of the army, who had no ftores but fuch as they could capture. The maga zines at Vercelli furnished them abundantly, for the march of the French was too rapid to permit the Auftrians to transport or destroy them.

While the French were paffing the St. Gothard, the main body of the Auftrian army was occupied in the remoteft parts of Piedmont, celebrating their fatai victories over


the French at Nice. It is difficult to evacuate. Fifteen hundred men

to decide which ought to excite, the greatest aftonishment, the confidence and even rafhnefs of Bonaparte, or the fecurity and careless nefs of general Melas. Roufed at length from his dreams of fafety by the news of an invafion, which he could scarcely believe, Melas flew back to Turin, recalling, by hafty marches, the main body of his army to defend the Po, and the approaches to Turin and Afti, whither he had reasonably fuppofed the French would bend their whole forces, to intercept the army returning from Nice, as well as to relieve Genoa. In this conjecture he was likewife deceived. Bonaparte, while he feemed to menace a paffage of the Po, drew off his army to the left; and, while Melas was preparing to defend Turin, the French, paffing the Seffia, and taking poffeffion of Novarre, prefented themselves on the banks of the Teffino, on the road to Milan.

The paffage of the Teffino was an arduous enterprise. The alarm had now been generally fpread throughout the Auftrian army; and the French, on their arrival at the tiver which covered the approach to Milan, found it strongly guarded by cavalry and artillery. There was, however, no room for hefitation. To retreat was impoffible. Melas was in the rear. A battery was established by Murat to anfwer the cannonading of the other fide, but this did not much further the progrefs of the French. The Auftrians had been careful to deftroy whatever boats they could find; but the inhabitants of the village of Galiata had concealed four or five skiffs, which they offered to the army. A few companies of grenadiers threw themselves into a fmall ifland, which they obliged the Auftrians

established themselves with two pieces of cannon on this fpot; and, while general Monnier took his pofitions along the great canal, and attacked the village of Turbigo, the army made good its paffage.

The French, without further ob ftacle, entered Milan (2d June). On leaving Paris, Bonaparte had affured fome of his friends, who doubted the fuccefs of his enterprife, that he would be at Milan in two months. He fulfilled his pro mife in less than one. The French were received, it is faid, with enthu fiafm by the inhabitants, who were ignorant, 24 hours before, that the republican army had entered Italy. This fatisfaction arofe not from the remembrance of the benefits which the French had rendered them, for their latter refidence there had been a continued feries of violation com. mitted on their liberties and inde, pendence, but from being released from the more intolerable oppreffion of the Auftrian govern ment, which, with an impolicy that cannot be well understood, had committed, it is averred, every act of the most horrible and wanton oppreffion.

While Bonaparte marched upon Milan, the advanced guard, under general Lannes, filed off on Pavia, of which it took poffeffion. Pavia was the great depôt of the Auftrian army. This capture was of the laft importance to the French, who, though ftrong in numbers, and now increased by the population of the Cisalpine, had neither magazines, artillery, nor ftores of any kiud. Pavia furnished them abun dantly. They found there upwards of 200 pieces of artillery, Sooo mufkets, 2000 barrels of powder, a million of cartridges, and immenfe ftores of every kind.

General Duhefme

Duhefme, paffing through Milan, purfued the Auftrians acrofs the Adda.

After a day of joy and congratulation, in which Te Deum was chanted, for what was called the happy deliverance of Italy from heretics and infidels, Bonaparte proceeded to the formation of a provifionary government for the Cisalpine republic, which was reorganised as a free and independent nation. Meanwhile the French army was not inactive; the Auftrians ftill furrounded it; and, though Moncey had defcended from St. Gothard with reinforcements, the Auftrians in Piedmont, and-to the fouth of the Po, were ftill fuperior in number. To gain poffeffion of the current of that river was neceftary for its fafety. General Murat, with a detachment of the army, gained poffeffion of Piacenza, which was warmly defended. He made 2000' prifoners; and, paffing the Po at Stradella, cut off the communication with Piedmont. The magazines at Piacenza and Cremona, as well as in different depôts along the river, fell into the hands of the French.

It was by the intercepted corre fpondence of general Melas, that the French first learnt the fate of their army at Genoa. It was not until every hope of fuccour had vanished, till every kind of provifion had been exhaufted, until Maffena had feen 15,000 of the inhabitants of Genoa perish before his eyes from abfolute hunger, that he confented to enter into a negotiation for the delivery of the place. This negotiation (for the term of capitulation was refufed in the treaty) was concluded on the 4th of May; the principal article of which stated, that the army of Gehoa, to the amount of 8110 men,

fhould enter France by the road of Nice, and the rest be tranfported by fea to Antibes; that no one fhould be held refponfible for any office he had held under the repub lican government; that it fhould be permitted to the Genoefe, and other Italian inhabitants of Genoa, to remove themselves and their effects where they thought proper;" and that all officers made prifoners from the beginning of the cam paign fhould be permitted to return to France on their parole.

The retreat of the Auftrian troops from the Maritime Alps inade general Suchet again mafter of the country, as far as Savona. The country around Nice had been the fcene of various engagements; and though reinforcements had been fent to hinder the further progrefs of the Auftrians in that quarter, it was the invafion of Piedmont alone by St. Bernard which made the reacquifition fo ealy to the army under general Suchet.

Meanwhile general Otto, with thirty battalions, had left Genoa to oppofe the progress of the French army which was marching towards Piedmont. The Auftrians had pos. feffion of Cafteggio, which they defended with upwards of 15,000 men. The shock was dreadful, and the victory remained for a long time doubtful. Casteggio was taken and re-taken feveral times. The Auftrians at length gave way, leav ing behind them nearly 3000 dead and wounded, and 6000 prifoners, and were purfued by the French as far as Voghera. This battle was called the battle of Montebello.

This victory was only the prelude of a ftill greater, won five days after, (15th June) and which fixed the fate of Italy. Unable to stop the progrefs of the French by partial detachments, Melas, who was


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