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1807.7 MILITARY RENOWN CONTAGIOUS TO ROYALTY.
Constantinople, to explain to the Porte his policy, that he never would permit any European Power to possess Byzantium, but that he was willing to admit that Russia should obtain Moldavia, Wallachia, and all Bulgaria, and that Servia should be allotted to Austria, but at the same time he required that Bosnia, Albania, Epirus, Peloponnesus, Attica, Thessalia, Macedonia, Dalmatia, and all the sea-coast of the Adriatic, as well as the Septinsular Republic, should be added to the dominions of France.
17. WAR IN THE BALTIC. The King of Sweden, who had never ratified the armistice concluded between Marshal Mortier and General Essen, not only permitted his marine to continue hostilities against France, but concluded a new treaty with England on the 17th of June. Marshal Mortier, with his corps, having been withdrawn by Napoleon to the grand army, other troops had been brought up for the defence of Hanover, and to watch any British expeditions in the Baltic. With these views, the two divisions of Generals Boudet and Molitor, and a Spanish division, which, under an engagement from Spain, had been expedited to the north, under the Marquis de la Romagna, were now placed as a separate corps of about 30,000 men, under Marshal Brune, while Bernadotte, who had gone to Hamburg for recovery from his wounds at Friedland, now received the supreme command of all the forces destined to occupy the Hanse Towns and Hanover. By direction of the Emperor, the armistice with Sweden was to terminate on the 13th of July, and hostilities were ordered to be recommenced.
The King had under his command about 15,000 Swedes, 6000 Prussians under General Blücher, and about 10,000 British under Lieut.-General Lord Cathcart; but the Prussians were ordered to withdraw from the Swedish army after the Peace of Tilsit, and the British then retired to garrison Stralsund, until the arrival of the Conjunct Expedition preparing in England. Alison relates an anecdote of Gustavus IV., in which he sadly resembles many monarchs of greater sanity, who expose themselves to the contagion of that royal disease-military renown. He had narrowly escaped a fate not unlike that of his great ancestor Charles XII., and immediately sent in a flag of truce to the French Commander-in-Chief, offering a purse of gold to the gunner who had levelled the gun that missed him. The Swedes retired before Brune's advance on the 13th ; Molitor, Boudet, Loison, and Granjean, crossing the river Peene in pursuit in different columns. On the 14th, however, Molitor found tke enemy formed up at Martenshagen, but after a few shots they retired until they reached Steinhagens, when they appeared determined to make a stand, having received reinforcements out of Stralsund. They here occupied a strong position, having a marshy wood on their right, and the lake of Zeemuht on their left, and their whole front was garnished with artillery. The battle came off on the 15th of July, the King commanding the Swedes in person. General Boudet, with the advanced guard, first came upon this position, and
CONVENTION BETWEEN SWEDEN AND FRANCE.
finding it could not be turned, he resolved to carry it by assault. General Valory was ordered on this service, at the head of two regiments, who advanced in close column, covered by all the guns pouring in grape at a short distance. The Swedes gave way before the boldness of the attack, and filed, leaving behind them all their cannon, nor did they stop till they reached Stralsund the same evening. The next morning Marshal Brune invested that place. The King sent an aide-de-camp to propose to renew the armistice, but the flag of truce was not received. The few British troops that remained now withdrew from the fortress into the island of Rugen, and Stralsund was besieged in form. Trenches were opened on the night of the 15th of August, and General Chasseloup, who had so eminently distinguished himself in directing the siege of Dantzig, now pushed forward the approaches with such extraordinary vigour that in four days they were within 300 yards of the covered way, and the batteries were already armed and ready to commence. On the 20th, the King retired from the town, which was given up to the French in the act of their preparing for the assault. The besiegers, however, found that all the guns on the ramparts were already withdrawn from the side of the sea, and that everything that could float had been carried away. It was necessary, however, for the besiegers to get possession of the islands of Rugen and Dän. holm; and accordingly every effort was made to obtain fishingboats and vessels of any description from the adjoining waters, so that by great activity they had already, on the 23rd, collected 200 bateaux. Batteries were now established on the shore to silence those of Dänholm, and to keep back the enemy's gun-boats. On the night of the 24th-25th General Trinion made an assault upon Dänholm, and, in conjunction with Captain Montcabrié of the French navy, took it, with its governor and garrison of 580 men. It was next resolved to attack the island of Rugen, which the King held with about 15,000 men. For this purpose large rafts were prepared for the transport of heavy artillery, and the means were collected of disembarking 6000 men, when His Majesty sent Baron de Toll to conclude a convention for the surrender of one-half of the island, to be given up on the 9th of September, the remainder as soon as the Swedish army should have evacuated it. On the 7th of October, when this condition was brought to Napoleon to be ratified, he observed that the plenipotentiaries on both sides acted in the name of their respective armies instead of their sovereigns. This convention highly displeased him, though it relieved him from much anxiety as to the security of the North of Germany; but he had calculated on capturing the King and all his army. He forthwith superseded Marshal Brune by giving the command of the army of Pomerania to Marshal Bernadotte : and it was principally owing to the kindness and rectitude of the marshal's government of this Swedish province that he was elected, three years afterwards, suc. cessor to the crown of Sweden. Brune was never again restored to favour, but, nevertheless, returned to the service of Napoleon in the Hundred Days.
BRITISH DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATION.
18. A BRITISH CONJUNCT EXPEDITION SENT AGAINST
COPENHAGEN An expedition had been projected by the British Government to create a diversion in favour of Russia and Prussia, before the decisive victory of Friedland had put an end to the campaign ; but, although the rapidity of Napoleon's successes was such that it even anticipated its setting sail, yet enough had transpired of the conferences at Tilsit to make it evident that, having now scattered to the winds all the enemies who threatened his power on the Continent, he was prepared to strain every nerve to make an impression upon Great Britain. An imaginary statement of the French Emperor's designs, at this period, describes his plan to have been, to embody the whole maritime forces of the Continent against the British navy. He counted on having 180 ships of war under his hand: French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Danish. Of this immense naval power, the last division, consisting of 15 sail of the line, reposed at this moment in the waters of Copenhagen. Under these circumstances, a daring and vigorous resolution was adopted by the British Government, similar, though on a grander scale, to what had often been practised in war; pamely, to deprive the enemy of the prize he thought to be actually in his grasp, and to convert to their own defence some of the resources on which he relied for his attack. The project had been likened to Frederick the Great's sudden invasion of Saxony, in 1756 ; but the annals of the French Revolution offered many precedents more immediately in point.
On the 19th of July, the determination was adopted by the British Cabinet to get possession, per fas aut nefas, of the Danish fleets, and it was thought possible, at first, that this might be obtained by a diplomatic negotiation. Mr. Jackson, who had for several years resided as British minister at Berlin, and was supposed to be well acquainted with the general politics of the North of Europe, was selected as ambassador, to repair to the Court of Denmark, to demand that the whole of its naval armament should be delivered over to Great Britain, as a secure deposit, upon the solemn stipulation that it should be restored at the conclusion of the war; and he was instructed to announce to the Prince-Regent of Denmark the unequivocal resolve of the British Government to enforce this requisition by the operation of the powerful armament now on its way to the Baltic. Mr. Jackson arrived at Kiel on the 6th of August, and immediately requested, through the minister, Count Bernstorff, an audience of the Prince, who received the overture with great vebemence of expression, inveighing bitterly against the arrogance of England in making such a demand. Mr. Jackson, nevertheless, saw the Prince, and was referred by H.R. H. to the Council at Copenhagen, whither Mr. Jackson repaired on the 12th, when he was informed by a brother of Count Bernstorff's, that the Prince had left the capital for Sleswic, but that the Ambassador was to make all bis overtures to him ad referendum. This
SEA DEFENCES OF COPENHAGEN.
truly Chinese mode of negotiation lost all its effect with a powerful armament in the offing, and, accordingly, Mr. Jackson at once broke off the negotiations, and repaired on board the advanced frigate of the British squadron, on the 13th. The night previously the Danish frigate “ Frederickscoarn," 32, foreseeing the turn of affairs, slipped her cable from Elsineur and steered for Norway. The “Defence," Captain Ekins, and the “Comus,” 22, Captain Heywood, weighed in pursuit of her, and the latter came up with her a few minutes before midnight of the 14th. On the Danish captain refusing to submit to detention, the “ Comus," commenced an action within pistol-shot, and, after 45 minutes, the boarders, under Lieutenants Watts and Hood, rushed upon her forecastle, and carried her.
On the 26th-27th of July, an expedition had set sail from Yarmouth roads, consisting of 17 ships of the line ; namely, “ Prince of Wales," 98, Captain Sir Home Popham, Captain of the Fleet, “ Pompée,” 74, Captain Richard Dacres, “ Centaur,” 74, Captain Webley, “Ganges,” 74, “ Captain Halkett,“ Spencer," 74, Captain Hon. Robert Stopford, “ Vanguard,” 74, Captain Fraser, “ Maida,” 74, Captain Lenzee, “ Brunswick,” 74, Captain Graves, “ Resolution," 74, Captain Burlton, “ Hercule,” 74, Captain Hon. John Colville, “Orion,” 74, Captain Sir Archibald Dickson, “ Alfred,” 74, Captain Bligh, “Goliath,” 74, Captain Puget, “ Captain,” 74, Captain Wolley, “Ruby,” 64, Captain Draper, “ Dictator,” 64, Captain Donald Campbell, and “ Nassau,” 64, Captain Robert Campbell, bearing the flags of Admiral Gambier, Vice-Admiral Stanhope, and Commanders Sir Samuel Hood and Gordon Keats ; accompanied by between 30 and 40 sails of frigates and other smaller ships of war, counting 90 pendants, together with 300 transports, having on board 20,000 troops, under the command of Major-General Sir Arthur Wellesley.
On the 1st of August the fleet divided, and 4 line-of-battle ships, 2 frigates, and 10 brigs, under Commander Keats, steered for the passage of the Great Belt, to cut off all communication between Zealand and Holstein ; while the rest sailed forward, and on the 3rd, after interchanging salutes with the castle of Cronemberg, anchored in the road of Elsineur. Here the transports from the island of Rugen joined, bringing the troops from Stralsund under Lieut.General Lord Cathcart, who was to command the land forces in chief, which now consisted of 27,000 troops. The entire armament cast anchor in appalling strength, on the i7th, before the island of Zealand, which was surrounded and blockaded on every side.
The sea defences of Copenhagen consisted at this time of a battery built upon piles at the entrance of the canal to the arsenal and harbour, mounting 68 guns, besides mortars; another pile battery in front of the citadel, mounting 86 guns and 9 mortars ; and the citadel, which mounted 20 guns and 12 mortars. There were also blockships and floating batteries, and from 25 to 30 gunboats, all ready for action; and in the arsenal lay a fleet consisting of 16 sail of the line, and 21 frigates and sloops, and, besides three 74's ou the stocks, one nearly complete for launching.
Early on the morning of the 15th, the British commanders were informed that all hope of a friendly accommodation had passed, and that they were at liberty to proceed in their operations according to the instructions with which they were provided for that contingency. On the morning of the 16th, therefore, the transports having weighed and worked into the Bay, the troops were landed, without resistance, at Wedbeck, about 12 miles from the capital, towards which they commenced their march on the following day, but were much incommoded by the fire of the Danish gun-boats. Some skirmishing also took place with the advance on shore, consisting of a battalion of the 23rd, under Major Pearson, in which 5 or 6 men lost their lives. On the 18th, the stores and artillery were disembarked, and all the necessary arrangements were made for a bombardment. The works were carried on with vigour by labouring parties of 600 men, relieved every four hours; and the batteries increased in strength and numbers round the devoted city, while the frigates and gun-brigs took their stations off the entrance of the harbour within shell range. No works existed on the shore to check these proceedings, but the Prince-Regent had an army in Holstein, to the command of which he forth with repaired, although there was no enemy in that quarter, but he left the defence of the city to General Peymann, and directed General Carstenkiold to collect the militia and introduce them, if it should prove possible, into the town. On the 19th the port of Fredericksberg was surprised by Brigadier Dicken, and its garrison of 850 men made prisoners. Meanwhile, the Danish militia were advancing along the isle of Zealand, under Carstenkiold, and Lord Cathcart, deeming that this little army, which had already reached Rosekild, might impede his operations, directed Wellesley, with a division of 4000 or 5000 men, to march against it and disperse it. Upon his approach to Kioge, on the 25th, he found the Danish force on the north side of the town and rivulet, with 3 or 4 batteries in front, which opened upon the British advance. General Linsingen was ordered to cross at Little Salbye, and turn the enemy's left, while Wellesley headed the attack in front by an echelon of battalions, led by the 92nd, and covered by the rifle fire of the 95th and that of his artillery. The Danish militia were soon driven back in disorder, but 4 battalions of regulars, under MajorGeneral Ozhoken, attempted to stand in the village of Hersolge, who were briskly attacked and compelled to surrender, together with 10 guns. Sir Arthur then advanced into the interior of the island, for the purpose of overawing all further opposition from the irregular troops.
King Christian VII., at Gluckstadt, and his General commanding on the isle of Zealand, had issued proclamations directing all English vessels and property to be sequestered ; and, on the 17th, some Danish gun-boats had seized and set fire to an English timber-laden barque. The Admiral, therefore, as soon as he had anchored in Copenhagen road, ordered all Danish ships to be detained. Some interchange of hostilities had also ensued between the British and Danish gun-boats on the 18th and 21st, on which latter day, the cir