Imatges de pÓgina

Le Bocage and le Loroux form the count

The inhabitants of le Marais formed a division of the army of Charette, and followed it very regularly in its expeditious, at the time it occupied all the neighbouring points of their country; such as Challans, Machecoul, &c. and afterwards the isles of Bouin and Noirmoutier. But after it had been driven from all these posts, and was forced to abandon successively all the fron-try which may be called la Vendee, as it is tier boroughs and towns of le Marais and that in which the war has been constantly le Bocage, as Lege, Palluau, Aizenay, Beau- the most vigorous and bloody. They are lieu, &c. &c. then the banditti of le Marais two great cantons, one of which (le Bocage) remained at home and confined themselves formed part of Poitou, and the other a part to a defensive war, for which, nature seems of Anjou and Brittany. They are now dito have formed their country. This war viled according to the new division, into was the more dangerous, as the situation of the Departments of la Vendee, les Deux le Marais placed the inhabitants in a state Sevres, la Loire Inferieure, and Mayenne to receive succours from abroad, or to faci- and Loire. litate and protect the debarkation of such belonging to the Republic; it was also the It is the most fertile country as they wish to procure for the rebels of la most populous, before the horrors of war Vendee. The coasts in those parts of the and the calamitous dominion of the rebels Western Departments being extremely had driven away the patriots. flat and easy of access by sea, [although shoals may be found along these coasts, they are less difficult of access than if they were steep, particularly, if the inhabitants favour the descent of the enemy,] every thing was to be dreaded from the consequences which might ensue from the communications and enterprizes of domestic and external enemies; and we may judge of the perilous situation of the republican troops destined for the defence of these coasts in case of a combined attack from both, as they would have found themselves between two fires; their local disposition necessarily preventing them from being more than weakly and slowly ported.

contrast to that of le Marais. It is the The locality of le Bocage is a perfect same with le Loroux, rather less woody, however, than le Bocage, in that part which is nearest the bank of the Loire. sected, although there are no large rivers ; Le Bocage is a country very much intertains; and very woody, although there are very uneven, although there are no mounbut few forests; and the woods which are It is very uneven, and much intersected by numerous, are but of a moderate extent. reason of many little hills, valleys, ravines, small rivers almost always fordable, even rivulets which one may often pass over sup-dry-shod, but which the least rain trans

forms into torrents. It is much intersected, because, all the estates are divided into small inclosures or fields surrounded with ditches. [These fields are commonly not more than fifty or sixty perches in extent, and are frequently surrounded by ditches. It is principally owing to this subdivision of land into small fields, and to the ditches and drains which surround and intersect them, that the ground is so extremely fertile, which otherwise would be exceedingly watery.] It is very woody, because the fields are inclosed with strong hedges prac-planted on the banks of the ditches, sometimes with trees, disposed in such a manner that they have the effect of pallisades round a fortification.


Let us now speak of the Vendeans; let us speak of those truly extraordinary men, whose political existence, whose rapid and extraordinary successes, and above all, their unheard of ferocity, will form an epoch in the republican æra; of those Vendeans who want only humanity and another cause to support, to unite every heroic quality.

first rank of military people. Finally, the Vendeans are Frenchimen animated with the double fanaticism of Religion and Royalty, who have for a long while fixed victory on their side, and who could not have been conquered but by Frenchmen.

A mode of fighting hitherto unknown and perhaps inimitable if it be really ticable in that country alone, and peculiar to the genius of its inhabitants; an invicJable attachment to their party; an unlimited confidence in their chiefs; such fidelity in their promises as may supply the want of discipline; an invincible courage which is proof against every kind of danger, fatigue, and want: these are what make the Vendeans formidable enemies, and which ought to place them in history in the

What still contributes to render this country very woody is, that, the soil being very rich and fertile, shrubs, heath, thorns, broom, and in general, all wild and spontaneous productions, as well as those ob tained by industry, are of an immense size and strength.


Such a country will not admit of good by your army, when frequent undulations [646 roads; in fact, they are very bad in la of land, hedges, trees, and bushes, which Vendee. There are only two great roads obstruct the surface, will not admit of in la Vendee; that from Nantes to Saumur your seeing fifty paces around you? by Chollet, and that from Nautes to la Against rebels you can never unite in orRochelle by Montaigu, Saint Fulgent, &c.der of battle. These great roads which can only be fol- point you shall engage; whether you shall You know not at what lowed by chance, are not more favorable be attacked in front, in flank, or in the for military operations than the cross roads. rear, or what dispositions the ground will They only admit of greater order in march- allow you to make. ing. They are flanked by wide and deep advantage of fortunate occurrences, or How can you take ditches; their banks are obstructed by speedily remedy contrary events? or cbhedges, trees, bushes, &c.; and it is gene-serve, or at least, be soon enough informed rally upon the borders of these great roads of, any check or partial event that may that the enemy prepare their ambuscades, have taken place during a battle, when you and plan their attacks. are often longer in receiving a report, or in sending an order from one end of the line fate of a battle? to the other, than is required to decide the

The convoys can scarcely travel three leagues during the whole day; and for conveyance, it is necessary to make use of oven, and the carts of the country, which are not of the usual breadth. The roads are sometimes sunk ten or twelve feet below the surface of the earth, and are not wider than these carts. Spaces or roads where carriages can turn, are seldom to be found; and when the escort of a convoy is defeated, it becomes infallibly a prey to the banditti. If you were able, previously, to make a disposition for a retreat, it would necessarily be so slow that it could


not be saved.

advantage, have a peculiar tactic, which The banditti, favoured by every natural they know perfectly how to apply to their position and local circumstances. Confident in the superiority which their mode of atselves to be anticipated; they never entack gives them, they never suffer themTheir dexterity in the use of fire-arms is gage but when and where they please. such, that no people we are acquainted with, however warlike or well skilled in manoeuvring, can make such good use of a gun as the huntsman of le Loroux, and the poacher of le Bocage. Their attack is a dreadful, sudden, and almost unforeseen irruption, because it is very difficult in la Vendee to reconnoitre well, to get good information, and consequently, to guard against a surprize. Their order of battle is in the form of a crescent, and their wings, thus directed en fleches, are compos

ed of their best marksmen, soldiers who never fire without taking aim, and who distance. You are routed before you have seldom miss a mark placed at a common discharge, which surpasses that ofour ord had time to look about you, by a heavy nance, the effects of which cannot be commove-pared with theirs. They wait not for the word of command to fire, they are unacquainted with battalion, rank, and platoon firing; and yet that which you experience from them is well directed, well supported, and more destructive than yours. resist their violent attacks, the rebels seldom dispute the victory with you; but If you they retreat so precipitately that it is diffilittle advantage can be derived from it, as cult to come up with them, the country scarcely ever admitting of the use of cavalry. They disperse, escape from you through fields, hedges, woods, and bushes, knowing all the bye-roads, secret escapes, straits, and defiles; and being acquainted

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Thus, la Vendee that asylum of robbery and crimes, is like an extensive fortress, where the agents of royalism and aristocracy can convert their plots and meditate their horrid projects in security; and nature misled, seems there to have exerted all her power to protect the guilty resistance and the fatal independence of the domestic enemies of the Republic.

It is doubtless very difficult to carry on a war in a country like that of which I have just drawn a hasty description. In a country which opposes every thing to an attack, and presents so many resources for defence, how is a column to be led on and its ments regulated? how is order and union to be preserved in its marches; manoeuvres, signals informing the line, dispositions for an attack or a retreat, to be executed. How can the artillery and cavalry have fair play, and all the action which is congenial to these two arms, in the midst of obstacles by which the haunts of la Vendee are protected? How can a line of battle be instantly formed the distances measured with the eye, the advantages and disadvantages of a forced position hastily taken be calculated, that of the enemy known, their projects foreseen, their position understood by a quick perception, like that occupied


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with all obstacles which could obstract | execution of the new laws, and fresh motives of attachment to ancient habits and prejudices; hence the effeminancy and inertness of the public functionaries, both civil and military, who have sacrificed the public good in that part of France, by giving way to local considerations and af

their flight, and the means of avoiding
them. If you are obliged to give way to
their attacks, you find as much difficulty
in retreating, as they easily escape when
defeated. When conquerors, they com-
.pletely rout you, and cut you off in all
parts; they pursue you with an inconceiv-fections.
able fury, animosity, and swiftness. They
run in an attack and in a victory as they
do upon a defeat; but they charge whilst
marching, even in running, and the vivacity
and justness of their musketry loses nothing
by this constant state of mobility.

Not the Prussians, the Austrians, regular troops inured to the discipline of a Nassau, and a Frederick, are so dreadful in battle, have so much address, cunning, and audacity, as the ferocious and intrepid marks men of le Bocage and le Loroux.

The rebels derived great advantages from the amicable dispositions of the inhabitants that remained in la Vendee. Too weak to take up arms with them they no less secretly favoured their cause they acted as their spies; the women, and even the children, were faithful and intelligent agents, who minutely informed the rebel chiefs of the slightest movement made by the republican army. Our generals were desirous also of having spies belonging to the country; they have always been betrayed or badly served by them; and they have never been able to organize a plan in the Western army for obtaining information by spies.

It is certain that the greatest part of the inhabitants of the towns, boroughs, or vilJages situated upon the frontiers of la Vendee, had their estates in this country; that their tenants, or farmers were with the banditti, or at least favoured them, either through fear, conformity of opinion, or pri

vate interest. Hence the continual com

munications, and the innumerable and indispensible connexions between the rebels and the inhabitants bordering upon the theatre of the war: both being united by the ties of parentage, friendship, mutual interest, and even prejudices, mixed and confounded together, connected as they were by these moral circumstances. The rebels attended all fairs and assemblies; their wives filled the public markets; hence, innumerable connections, cautious contrivances, commercial relations, and private agreements; hence the cause of the Vendeans and their neighbours became common; hence the system of indulgence and moderation adopted by the greatest part of the administrations; hence the imperfect

The rebels often covered themselves with the cloak of patriotism: they crept into the popular societies, into the administrations, and even into the republican army, where they managed so ably as even to organise its defeats.

The experience of more than twenty battles which I have witnessed in la Vendee, has convinced me that the real advantages gained by six victories over the banditti, were not equal to the evils suffered by a single defeat. In our victories we kill but few rebels; but, they kill many of our troops in their retreats, (I believe I have mentioned the reason of it). Masters of the field of battle, we there find nothing but wooden shoes, and some slain; but never any arms or ammunition. The Vendean, pursued, hides his gun; if too closely pressed upon, he breaks it; and in surrendering his life, he very seldom leaves you his weapon.

I have seen two retreats of the Western army; (I was adjutant-general in the first, and a general of brigade in the second). We lost many men, a prodigious number of muskets, about sixty pieces of cannon, and eighty waggons. During the first five months of the war of la Vendee, we gave the rebels upwards of three hundred pieces of cauuon, and five hundred waggons.

The whole mass of the Vendeans was not less than 200,000 men. They traVersed the country in bands of 80,000, 40,000, 50,000. The natives were classed

into divisions. They assembled only to go on expeditions. One or more divisions together. When the expedition was over, they returned to their houses. The next day they assembled again, if necessary. They went to battle as to a festival; women, priests, children, of twelve or thirteen I have seen some of years of age. them slain in the front ranks of the rebel ariny.

It requires from 50,000 to 70,000 men to encircle La Vendee, so as to command it entirely.

The Royalists were ruined by internal divisions, more probably, than by any other cause. This is now guarded against by the King's authority and commissions.

National Register;


cause out of 160,000 conscripts placed at the disposal of Government, ouly 45,000 were called out.


Deposition quiet and easy.

A letter received from Algiers, dated the £7th ult. states, that on the 2nd of March the reigning Dey was poisond by his Negro cook, upon which event the Chief Minister was proclaimed in his place; but on the 7th of April he was strangled, and the Aga Omar was proclaimed. During these revolutions there was scarcely any commotion outside the Palace walis; but few inves were lost; and at the above date tranquillity was fully restored.


Copper Money: Metallic penury. On the 1st of September, 1814. for the first time, copper money began to circulate in Mexico-an occurrence that will form an epoch in the history of Spanish America, as indicating a period of distressed and penury never before known in that country.

Bey Slain.-Letters from Tunis of the 20th of Jauuary announce, that there has been a complete revolution in the Government of that Regency, and, as in al! countries ruled by despots, the revolution has been bloody and unexpected. Sidi Ottomano, the old Bey, has been assassinated by his cousin Sidi Mahmoud Flussen, who had for a long time enjoyed his confidence and favour. The two sons of the unfortunate Sidi Ottomano were in the apart ments of their wives, at the time when their father was murdered. They left the women to the mercy of the rebels, and tried to save their lives by running to the fort Goulette; but they were pursued and brought back into the presence of Sidi Mahmoud, who immediately ordered their heads to be cut off. He was afterwards acknowledged absolute Lord of the Regency. The family of the old Bey is extinct.

Alarmed and terrified at its own strength, the Royal Government made long and vain endeavours to dissolve it. The provocations to desertion, the encouragements offered by the agents of foreign powers, the neglect of the armies and the military funds, still left 250,000 old soldiers in the ranks; and to shake their fidelity, to cut down the army to the proportion prescrib

by a system of finance, all the savings of which were to be made at the sole expence of the army, it was still necessary that 110,000 more brave men should be expelled from the ranks.

The disorder was great; the disorganization so rapid, that it was found requisite to call for 60.000 men in the month of November, 1814; but confidence was lost; on the 20th of March last only 35,000 men had entered, and this force of more than 600,000 men was reduced in less than a year to 175,000.


[From the Minister's Official Report.] Strength of the Armies.-On the 1st of April, 1814, the French army, in the field, and in the fortresses of Germany, Italy, Spain, and France, was composed of 450,000 combatants, and if we include 150,000 prisoners, the most hardy soldiers who were to be restored to us, the total force of the army at that time amounted to 600,000 men. In this number is not comprised the levy of conscripts for 1815, be

Since the 20th of March, in less than two months, the army of the line has been augmented from 175,000 to 375,000 men.

This additional mass of 200,000 men, with the exception of some voluntary recruits, consists entirely of old soldiers; and as it does not comprehend men under 20 years of age, leaves the resources for recruiting untouched.

The strength of the army of the line is daily increasing, and in such a proportion that there is reason to hope that it will be raised to 500,000.

850,000 French are about to defend the independence, the liberty, the honour of our country; and whilst they are fighting, the mass of the sedentary national guards, as strongly and as regularly organized as the elites, affords, in the fortified places, in all the posts, in all the towns of the interior, new resources for the triumph of the national cause.

Imperial Guard. —Europe knows the heroic valour, the coolness, and firmness of the Imperial Guard; France has not a stronger rampart in war, nor a fairer ornament in peace. The Royal Government owed to these warriors, to these eldest sons of glory, for the national honour, and for its own interest, if it had ever been capable of knowing it, a signal testimony of admiration and esteem; but their fidelity to the Emperor rendered them suspectedthey were studiously kept at a distance and humbled.

The Emperor, by a decree dated Lyons, March, 15, re-established the Imperial Guard; it is now composed of 24 regi

ments of infantry, and five regiments of cavalry; several corps of gendamerie, artillery, and engineers, and already amounts to more than 40,000.


National Guard.-The decree of the 10th of April, founded on the ancient laws, organised the National Guards of the empire. This general organisation is rapidly proceeding; it presents not fewer than 2,254,320 National Guards, who, regularly formed into 3,131 battalions, comprize nearly one thirteenth of the populaAs an elite of 751,440 men, between the ages of 20 and 40 years, might be extracted from this mass, and rendered movable, the Emperor has, by successive decrees, ordered the formation of 2,500 companies of grenadiers and chasseurs, constituting 417 battalions, and presenting a force of 300,240 men, solely destined for the defence of fortresses, strong posts, and entrenched defiles.

Exclusively of these battalions, numerous companies of gunners have been formed in all the fortresses, and recently entrenched towns. All the special schools, all the lyceums have organized companies, the gunners of which are alread trained by officers and subalterns of artillery. The number of these volunteer gunners amounts to about 25,000, including the 18 companies of the artillery of Paris.

Artillery.-The Treaty of Paris reduced France to its ancient limits, and the Convention of the 23d of April, 1814, which preceded the Treaty, delivéred up to the Allies the fifty-five fortresses still held by the French troops beyond those limits, in which immense stores of artillery were abandoned without compensation.

Nevertheless, though they had carried off all the artillery which they had found at La Fere, Avesnes, Belfort, and some other small places which they had entered without striking a blow, and contrary to the very terms of the capitulation, there still existed great resources, if the sluggish system pursued by the Royal Government had not prevented it from profiting by


This fatal economy-a real treason against the nation-suspended the works in the arsenals, the founderies, and the powder-mills, and reduced the commands for arms by one half. The troops of the artillery and train were thus considerably


But on the 21st of March, all the branches of the service of the artillery were re-organised. One hundred batteries of artillery have been completely organised, and are in line.

The hundred and fifty fortresses or forts,

which defend our frontiers, have been armed, and supplied with military stores. The coasts of the empire have been armed, and the companies of guuners destined to guard them, have been re-organised. Twenty fortresses in the interior have been put in a state of defence, armed and provisioned.

Fortifications.-The Emperor, after extending the boundaries of the empire, had caused the places on the new frontiers to be fortified, and assigned during the last ten years, a sum of 125 millions for the construction of new fortresses and the repair of those which it was of importance to put in a state of defence.

By the Convention of the 23rd of April, 1814, fifty-three fortresses and forts, occupied by the French troops beyond the limits of ancient France, were delivered up to the enemy in Germany, Italy, and Spain. An immense quantity of ainmunition, 12,600 pieces of canuon, 11,300 of which were brass, given up without equivalent, occasioned a loss of more than

200 millious.

Since the 20th of March last, works have been undertaken and executed, which have put all our places of war in a state of defence; those whose fortifications were neglected have been repaired; the open towns and the most important positions on our frontiers have been fortified.


Lille, June 7-The Mayor of Lille has just announced, that, by order of the Governor, the Ghent, Tournay, and Notre Dame gates are to be shut from to-morrow 8th of June) Several public functionaries who have been suspended or discharged, have received from the commission of high police, an order to remove to the distance of 50 leagues from the frontiers. The commission of the high police will exercise, in respect to public functionaries who resign, who shall be suspended or discharged, the whole extent of the powers which are cons fined to it


which lately gave rise to the rumour of an Puris. It appears that the accident. Infernal Machine, originated in the circumstance of a Saxon chemist, of the name of Dahia, carrying about with him a detonating substance, with which he was making experiments. He had been proposing to the Minister at War to form of it a more destructive engine than the Congreve rocket. His foot slipped; and the powder exploded.


Commerce: France and England. The Moniteur of May 27th, in mentioning the importance of peace to the commercial interests of England, states, that

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