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204

REPUTATION OF ANDREAS HOFER.

[A.D.

shoulders. General Chastelan advanced on the 9th from Klagenfurth upon Lientz down the Pusthenthal, and encountered the Bavarian General de Wrede at Brixen, when the Tyrolese, with loud shouts and an energetic charge, fell upon the enemy. A simultaneous enthusiasm now arose through the entire Tyrol against the Bavarian troops, of whom 2,000 or 3,000 men reached with difficulty the formidable pass of the famous bridge of Loditch, over the Brenner river. Here the force divided, and while one division was pursued towards Kerzing, General Lemoine and a great portion of the other descended Bolzavo, where they were made prisoners by Chastelan and the insurgent peasantry of Landsturm, who rallied around him.

The peace of Presburg, by which the Tyrol had passed from Austria to Bavaria, had broken a tie which had subsisted for many centuries. In addition to old attachments the Tyrolese had many grievous causes of complaints against their new masters, and they now resolved, impelled by the most sacred of motives, to rise with one consent against the intruders. One Andreas Hofer, a name which has since earned a rightful immortality, had obtained by his talents and acquirements a leading influence in these mountains. He was an innkeeper, like his ancestors before him for generations, residing on his paternal estate ; a man of well-known probity and disinterestedness, and of such surpassing strength and stature as to be as much valued for his prowess as he was esteemed for his character. He was a man of an ardent religious bias, and strongly attached to the Romish faith, as well as to the cause of the House of Austria. There were also other leaders, under whose guidance the Tyrolese now embarked in the contest with France and Bavaria. On the same day that the French General Lemoine was taken prisoner, a division of Bavarians came across Hofer with the landsturm at the Sterzeiger Moos. The troops advanced in good order and with an intrepid air, but rifles opened upon them from every rock and thicket, and after a struggle of only a few minutes' duration (during which they lost 240 killed and wounded), the remainder, numbering 390, laid down their arms. On the morning of the 11th, 1,500 Bavarians, under General Kinkel, with a few guns, were attacked near Innspruch by 20,000 mountaineers under Teimér, and driven into the town, whence they were expelled, after a frightful mêlée, in which the General and Colonel Dietfruth were killed, and the whole battalion and guns taken. On the 12th the Bavarians descending the Brenner were encountered near the Sterzing, when General Bisson laid down his arms and General Wrede was taken prisoner with nearly 3,000 men. The strong post of Hall in the lower Innthal yielded to the enterprise and skill of Speck bacher, when 400 Bavarians surrendered.

Thus did the Tyrolese, in one week after the insurrection broke out, deliver the entire province out of the hands of the Bavarians, and the Marquis de Chastellan, finding nothing left for him to do in the mountains, descended into the plains of Italy' with his mountaineers to co operate with the Archduke John. Near Trento he came upon a French division commanded by General Baraguay

1809.] FORMATION OF AN ARMY UNDER NAPOLEON.

205

d'Hilliers, who fell back before him to Roveredo, where he united his force with that of the Viceroy, who was reorganising his army near Verona.

17. NAPOLEON ASSUMES THE COMMAND OF THE FRENCH

ARMY ON THE DANUBE. Napoleon had so disposed his couriers and his telegraphs that he heard at Paris on the 12th of the passage of the Inn by the Archduke on the 10th, and, as every arrangement was already made in anticipation, he started for the army within a few hours of receiving the intelligence, taking the road through Strasburg to have an interview with the King of Würtemberg at Stuttgart, and the King of Bavaria at Dillingen, and on the 17th, already he established his head-quarters at Donauwörth. He no sooner learned from Berthier the state of affairs than he flew into a most violent rage with his Major-General :-“ Mais ce que vous avez fait là me parait si étrange que si vous n'étiez pas mon ami, je croirais que vous me trahissiez.” The two divisions of the French army were, at the time of the Emperor's arrival, 35 leagues apart; Massena at Augsburg behind the Lech, and Davoust in advance isolated at Ratisbon; but there had not yet been a shot fired, and accordingly the great fault of the Prince of Neufchâtel was this, upon the advance of the Austrian army he had not called in Davoust's corps. On the contrary, he had ordered that Marshal, who had prudently begun to retire of his own accord from Ratisbon upon Ingoldstadt, to march back by the left bank of the Danube, and had directed Lefebvre, with the Bavarian division, to advance on Landshut to his support. Thanks to Austrian sluggishness, no advantage was taken of this fault, regarding which Napoleon remarked : “ Voilà que Davoust se trouve en ce moment plus à la disposition de L'Archiduc Charles qu'à la mienne.” In this critical state of affairs the Emperor forth with despatched Savary to endeavour by any means to get into communication with Davoust at Ratisbon, while he himself advanced his head-quarters on the 18th to Ingoldstadt, for he expected every moment that the Archduke would throw his whole force between the two separate corps of the French army. Savary found the Austrian posts were in front of Abensberg and directly in his way, but the Prince Royal of Bavaria meeting him, threw out 50 cavalry as skirmishers, under cover of which, and with the assistance of a good guide, Savary passed on. Davoust, however, seeing the danger of his position at Ratisbon, had of his own accord quitted it, leaving a regiment to guard the bridge over the Danube, which being an old stone work of the Romans, was found indestructible. Savary therefore proceeded in search of the Marshal, and found him with his outposts on the early morning of the 19th, engaged with those of Hohenzollern, between Thann and Langwart, while his corps-d'armée was in his rear defiling along the banks of the Danube between Abbach and Port Saal. Of course he forthwith communicated the Emperor's orders to the Marshal, and then hastened back with all the information he had obtained. Napoleon, 206

STRATEGY OF DAVOUST TOWARDS THE ARCHDUKE. (A.D.

wrapped in his cloak and resting himself on a hard bench, was anxiously awaiting his return; and, as soon as he received his report, mounted his horse and rode to Abensberg, where he found the Prince Royal of Bavaria in the midst of his troops. He now learned that Davoust's advanced divisions, Gudin and Morand, bad passed the defile of Abbach, and that the country, singularly intersected with woods and broken elevations, afforded great facilities for defence and for the concealment of the amount of force which might occupy it. He, therefore, rallied on this ground about 40,00 Bavarians and Würtembergers, including a division of French cuirassiers, with whom he determined to bring the enemy to action on the banks of the Abens, for the Archduke had collected his force in and about Rohr. Napoleon welcomed at this moment the arrival on the field again of his old friend and favourite Lannes, and ordered that a new corps should be immediately formed to be placed under that Marshal's orders.

18. BATTLE OF ABENSBERG.–CAPTURE OF LANDSHUT. Napoleon was now at ease for the safety of Davoust's corps, but, reflecting on the position he was in, he resolved to bring him back towards Abensberg, and to send up Massena from Pfaffenhausen to Landshut, thus by this double march concentrating 140.000 or 150,000 men in front of the Archduke, with which strength he felt convinced he could crush him. He therefore ordered Davoust to keep the Archduke fully occupied on the side of Offenstetten, while Lannes should move by the road to Rohr and Adelshausen, threatening the left and forcing his way between the separated Austrian corps of Hiller and Hohenzollern ; and he concluded his despatch to Massena in these words, “Activité, activité, vitesse, je me recommande à vous.” He then put himself, without guard or personal staff, at the head of the Bavarian and Würtemberg contingents, and marched against the Austrians under Thierry, who were at Kirchdorf; at the same moment, Davoust and Landes also set themselves in motion to fulfil the Emperor's orders. It so happened that the Archduke was marching from his camp near Rohr on the high road to Ratisbon, thinking to entrap Marshal Davoust and his corps-d'armée there; while his left column under Hohenzollern was marching on Hausen and Tengen, and his right on Saalhaupt, a brigade under the Archduke Louis also was advancing by the great road through Echinühl. It was 9 in the morning, however, before the columns perceived each other, when the division Gudin suddenly came aux prises with some Austrian tirailleurs near Schneidart. Each army thought they had taken the village, whereas the troops of both had only passed through it in their respective opposing directions; Thierry however on his side gave way upon the Emperor's advance, and fell back to Rohr, where he was taken prisoner with three battalions. Louis fell back before the Bavarians commanded by Wrede, and did not stop till he reached Lulmansdorff. Wrede's attack was so successful that his opponent was obliged to send to

[1809.

A SCENE OF INDESCRIBABLE CONFUSION.

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Prince Reus, who, with General Brinchi, was gallantly defending himself at Kirchdorf, to fall back and join him; and, accordingly, at the end of the day Pfaffenhausen was occupied by the troops of Hiller and the Archduke Louis, while Hohenzollern held his ground at Leindorf; but Lannes was pursuing his course on the high road to Landshut, having only some fugitives under Vincent between him and that city. Marshal Davoust had strictly obeyed the Emperor's orders, and occupied the Archduke's attention all the day, and had indeed, passed imperceptibly between him and the river, so that at night-fall the ground right and left of Tengen in front of Abensberg was in possession of the French troops. The Archduke most unaccountably remained all day at Saalhaupt, awaiting the junction of his left wing under Louis, and did not know till the evening that he was cut off entirely from that portion of his army; but, hearing that the French bad been seen moving towards the Iser, he took up his position between the two rivers called Grosse and Kleine Laber, at Eckmühl, having his back on Ratisbon and facing the road leading thence on Landshut. Napoleon, awaiting the consequences of Lannes's forward movement towards Landshut, established his head-quarters for the night at Rottenburg, delighted with the events of the day, in which he had been so well served by the troops of Bavaria and Würtemberg.

General Hiller, who, by right of seniority, held the Archduke Louis's command, now seeing himself cut off from the Generalissimo, and knowing the importance of saving the great depôt of the army at Landshut, resolved to retire in the course of the night of the 20th-21st, by the great road leading from Neustadt on that town. Napoleon, ever on the alert, and scarcely lying down to rest, was on horseback at daylight, and came up early with Lannes's corps of 25,000 men on the road to Landshut, in hot pursuit of Hiller and Louis, while Wrede, with the Bavarians and Würtembergers, were pushing their way to the same point from Pfaffenhausen ; and he hoped and trusted that Massena was also moving his corps of 30,000 by some road or other to unite with him at the same place as he had directed. As the Emperor advanced, a scene of indescribable confusion opened before him. The two Austrian divisions of Hiller met near Altdorf, and, to add to the entanglement, the great pontoon train, sufficient for the passage of one of the broadest rivers, became clogged with their cavalry, artillery, and infantry: Bessières, therefore, seeing the disorder, dashed forward with the cuirassiers of Saint Sulpice and the chasseurs of Jacquinot into the midst of them, where he was, however, encountered by the Austrian cavalry, who resisted him with great bravery. In the meantime the Austrian infantry hastened through the town to cross the Iser, while the grenadiers of Aspre held the suburb of Seligenthal, to keep back the French from crossing by the bridge. The extensive marshy ground about the suburb, on both roads, was covered with guns, tumbrils, and baggage; and, to increase the tumult, Napoleon established two batteries on the heights commanding this bottom, which plunged their fire into the midst of the mass, and

208

THE ARCHDUKE LOSES HIS OPPORTUNITY.

A.D.

made confusion worse confounded. Hiller placed the 5th and 6th corps into position outside of the town, to cover the retreat of his troops, and then set fire to the bridge, when General Mouton, one of the Emperor's aides-de-camp, placed himself at the head of the 17th, and animating them by voice and gesture, carried them in the teeth of a storm of projectiles, along the flaming structure, Just at this moment the head of the column of Massena appeared on the river side, which the Austrians had gained: marching up from Morsburg, the cavalry led by Marulaz, and the infantry by Clarapède. Hiller immediately sent forward General Nordmann, with both cavalry and infantry, to check them, while the Arche duke Louis held stoutly the castle of Trausnitz, which commanded the town; but it was all in vain-with no chance of being reinforced, the Austrians were obliged to give way before the immense accumulation which the arrival of Massena had brought against them, and they retreated on Geissenhausen, followed closely by Clarapède. Their loss was 6,000 men, and 36 guns; but the gain to the French in guns, pontoons, and immense magazines, was even more than a victory, at the comparatively trifling loss of 1,800 men. Nor was it the least triumph of these operations that while Napoleon effected the junction of his divided army, he separated the armies of the Archdukes Charles and Louis for the rest of the campaign.

19. BATTLE OF ECKMÜHL OR EGGMÜHL - ENTRY INTO

RATISBON. All this time, however, Napoleon was not without his anxieties about Davoust. His forethought had induced him to send back the divisions of Morand and Gudin, as soon as he had sent off Lefebvre with the Bavarians in pursuit of the Archduke Louis; but Kollowrath still defended himself between Schierling and the wood of Hohewald. In the night of the 21st-22nd, however, this general received the Archduke Charles's order to march on A bach, while Prince John of Lichtenstein was moved on Peising. The Austrian army, in front of Napoleon, now formed a line, resting its right on the Danube, and its left on the Gross Laber, where Charles hoped to rally the divisions of Hiller and Louis. Rosenberg and Hohenzollern, forming the left, held high ground near Eglofsheim, where the high road crosses from Landshut to Ratisbon. This town was occupied by a single French regiment, but as it now formad the only road of retreat for the Austrian army, Charles ordered Kollowrath and Lichtenstein to advance across the stone bridge

Colonel Coutard commanded the regiment at the bridge of Ratisbon and defended himself valiantly, until he had exhausted all his ammunition, and was forced to surrender. The Archduke migłt, now that Ratisbon was in his power, have brought Bellegarde's army over the Danube to join him, and have assumed the offelsive against Davoust; but he did nothing, and remained in the defensive all the time that Napoleon was thundering at Lan lshut. Davoust, not quite understanding the Austrian repose in t is

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