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little call for it. We have heard that Ber-, army, whether in rank or merit, and upwards trand, at St. Helena, set much store by an
of 10,000 soldiers, fell or retired wounded from opera-glass through which Napoleon had the field.'* discovered the English general at Water We may here remark, in justice to the loo. We believe that neither the Duke Prussians, that their loss on the 18th has nor his staff succeeded at any moment of been greatly underrated by many writers. the action in identifying the person or ex- Pringle, among others, counts it at 700 act position of his great opponent, though men. The Prussian returns are given in few great battles have brought rival leaders Plotho's Appendix : + that of killed and
That our chief was everywhere wounded for the 4th corps alone shows a except in the rear is well known; and the loss of 5000, of which 1250 were killed. casualties among his own staff, of whom This bloody struggle occurred principally many were hit at his side, bespeak the hot in the village of Planchenoit, the capture service he went through. Danger pursued of which is compared by the Prussians him to the last. After sixteen hours in the with that of Blenheim in the battle of saddle, he was alighting at his own quar- Hochtsett. It is a part of the action which ters, when the spirited animal, long after- has been little noticed, but was creditable wards a pensioner in the paddocks of alike to French and Prussians. The vilStrathfieldsaye, as if conscious of the ter- lage was stormed and retaken three times. mination of his labours, jerked out bis heels We think that the entire loss of the Prusin a fashion which a slight change of direc- sian army on the 18th could hardly have tion might have made fatal to his late rider. been less than 7000, at which their authoriSuch an exploit would have rendered poor ties compute it. Especial credit is due to Copenhagen rather more famous than the Thielman, who, during the day of the 18th, little gentleman in black velvet, so often toast- resisted the obstinate endeavours of Groued in our Jacobite revels of the last century. chy's far superior force to cross the Dyle at
That the two allied nations should be Wavres. Grouchy, indeed, effected towards altogether agreed as to the apportionment evening the passage of that river at Limales, of the glory of the day was not to be ex- but too late for his purpose of dividing the pected. It is clear, to the lasting honour Prussian army, or forcing Blücher to concenof both, that whatever feelings may have trate his force, and abandon his allies. We since grown up on this subject, none inter- know not which most lo admire, the determifered for a moment with the cordiality of nation of Blucher to redeem his pledge of their subsequent operations. Blücher had succour
to Wellington, or the gallantry with none of the jealousies to contend with which Thielman enabled Blücher to carry which had frequently embarrassed him this resolution into effect, protecting at once when acting with Russians and Swedes ; the flank and rear of the Prussian army, and any difficulties arising out of the di- guarding one road of direct access to Brusverging lines of communication with their sels itself, and preventing Grouchy from resources, only served to show the good marching to the assistance of Napoleon. will and determination with which they This struggle, so unequal in point of were met by the commanders of the two numbers, was continged for some hours on armies. The following passage from a the 19th. It was not till Vandamme had Prussian pen
will show that just national advanced on the direct road to Brussels, as pride is not always inconsistent with can. | far as Rossières, on the verge of the wood dour :
of Soignies, thereby turning the right flank
of Thielman, that the latter abandoned the • Upon the question, who really fought and defence of Wavres, and began an orderly won the battle of the 18th, no discussion, much retreat on Louvain. He had previously less contention, ought to have arisen. Without learned the extent of the success of the in the slightest degree inipeaching the just share allies on the 18th, and must have been easy of Prussia in the victory, or losing sight for a moment of the fact that she bore a great share as to the result of any further advance of of the danger, and drew much of it from her Grouchy. The news reached the Frenchallies and upon herself at a decisive moment, man a little later, and he forth with comno unprejudiced person can conceal from him- menced a retreat, which, perhaps, in its sell that the honour of the day is due to the execution did him even more honour than Anglo-Netherlandish army, and to the measures his previous exploits. of its great leader. The struggle of Mount St.
The above remarks, which we think calJean was conducted with an obstinacy, ability, culated to render bare justice to the conand foresight of which history affords few examples. The great loss of the English also
Geschichte des Preussischen Staates, 1763-1815. speaks the merit of their services. More than Frank fort, 1820. Vol. iii., p. 374. 700 officers, among them the first of their † War of the Allied Powers, &c. Berlin, 1818.
duct of our Prussian allies, are founded on / of the dignity and importance to which he the minute and authentic official reports of aspires. Plotho's fourth volume. That some caution Mr. Alison (History of Europe, &c., vol. is requisite in dealing with the numerous x., p. 991) speaks of narratives which have been published of these transactions may be proved from such *Buonaparte's favourite military maneurre of an instance as the following passage, which interposing between his adversaries, and striking is to be found in a History of Napoleon, with a superior force first on the right hand and by a M. de Norvins, published for military then on the left,' readers, and beautifully illustrated by the pencil of Raffet. Speaking of Wellington's as having been attempted by him and position at Waterloo, he says:-- The post baffled in this campaign. "We doubt wheof Hougomont, on the left of the English, ther the expression of interposing between became to them of the last importance, for two adversaries can be correctly applied to it was there that the Prussians were to any of Buonaparte's successful campaigns, join them.' This is only to be equalled by and we almost suspect that if he had in the change in the relative positions of the contemplation a manæuvre of so much heart and liver adopted by Molière's im- hazard on this occasion, it was the first on promptu physician. Errors so flagrant as which he can be said to bave attempted it. this are, indeed, of rare occurrence, but the Hear Clausewitz on this matter :subject is a dangerous one to unprofessional writers, unless they enjoy the advantage, • All writers who have treated of this camand condescend to use it, of communica- paign set out by saying that Buonaparte threw tion with sound military authorities. An himself between the two armies, in order to seaccomplished civilian of our own has lately has become a terminus technicus in military
parate them. This expression, however, which closed with an account of this final struggle phraseology, has no clear idea for its foundation. a voluminous History, which has, we know, The space intervening between two armies enjoyed in its progress a very high share cannot be an object of operation. It would have of popularity. Agreeing as we do with been very unfortunate if a commander like many of Mr. Alison's political opinions, Buonaparte, having to deal with an enemy of and approving the spirit of his moral re
twice his force, instead of falling on the one flections, we have no disposition to ques. half with his united strength, had lighted on tion the general merits of a work which is the air, Yosing his time whilst he can only at all events entitled to a formal and sepa- double bis own force by the strictest economy rate article, and which we hope to make of that commodity. Even the fighting the one the subject of one in due season. Mean
army in a direction by which it will be pressed while, however, since the subject of the away from the other, even if it can be effected Waterloo campaign bas come in our way, without loss of tin incurs the great danger of we may be pèrdoned for remarking in being attacked in the rear by the other. If the general that a writer of Mr. Alison's parti- latter, therefore, be not far enough removed to cular qualifications would have acted wise- put this risk out of question, a commander will
scarcely venture on such a line of attack. ly in compressing the military narratives Buonaparte, therefore, chose the direction beand disquisitions which abound in his vo tween the two armies, not in order to separate Jumes, and in abstaining from certain con- them by wedging himself between, but because clusions, which, coming from him, possess, he expected to find and fall on Blücher's force indeed, no other authority than that with in this direction, either united or in separate which bis mere powers of language can in- bodies.'-Feldzug von 1815, &c., p. 54.. vest them, but may be quoted by interested persons for their own
In the particular instance, Mr. Alison's
purposespersons who would otherwise
supposition is so far supported, that Buona. litile at
pay tention to Mr. Alison or his work. In his parte's main attack was on the right and account of the Belgian campaign, he has, centre of the Prussian position rather than in our opinion, only added one to a long
the left. The battle of Ligny began late list of imperfect narratives
, * fitter for the in the day, and it was perhaps ouly want pages of a magazine than for a compilation of time which prevented Buonaparte from
pushing a column further on their right * Among the battles on which Mr. Alison has, we
flank at Wagnelies. Whatever his purthink, most unfortunately laboured, we must notice pose, he certainly was under the convicparticularly those of Assye and Toulouse. As to tion after his success that Blücher bad reboth, his rashness and inaccuracy are, as we shall treated towards Namur, and his neglect in probably have occasion to show in detail by and by, most flagrant, and, after the publication of Co- ascertaining this fact would appear to have lonel Gurwood's book especially, most inexcusable. I been a singular and fatal error. But his
main object was evidently to find the Prus. In discussing the rezata quæstio of Grousian army, and beat it.
chy's conduct on the 18th, Mr. Alison, p.
995, speaks of his force as fully matched . This position,' says the historian, speaking by the Prussian corps opposed to him at of Ligny, ' was good and well chosen, for the Wavres. No account, French or other, villages in front afforded an admirable shelter which we have seen, rates Grouchy's corps to the troops.'--p. 924.
at less than 32,000 men.
The third PrusThe position, as occupied by the Prussian corps, under Thielman,-instead of sians, has been considered very defective rising, as Mr. Alison says, to 35,000—did by better authorities than Mr. Alison.*
not exceed 16,000! English officers are, we believe, pretty well agreed on this point; but if their judgment says Mr. Alison, p. 994, " has ever been pub
* No official account of the Prussian loss,' be questioned, no writer has pointed out lished.' some of its defects more clearly than General Clausewitz, who, having served as chief Meaning their loss on the 18th. As we of the staff to the third corps of the Prus- have already had occasion to signify, Mr. sian army, writes with greater authority on Alison might have found the official returns this part of the campaign than perhaps on most minutely given in the Appendix to any other. He particularly censures the Plotho's fourth volume, distinguishing offioccupation and defence of St. Amand, one cers, men, and horses, down to what Mr. of Mr. Alison's admirable villages, as a per: Canning called the fraction of a drummer. nicious hors d'euvre. It was too far ad. A separate list for Thielman's loss in the vanced, and the Prussians, as the action action at Wavres is alone wanting to make proceeded, were exposed to greater loss these returns quite complete. than the assaulting enemy, in moving suc Mr. Alison says, p. 924, cessive battalions down the slope to its defence. Their strength was thus consumed “It was in the evening of the 15th, at halfbefore Napoleon made his final attack with past seven, that Wellington received the intellihis reserves. Posts which cost the defend- gence at Brussels. Orders were immediately ers more outlay of life than the assailants, despatched,' &c. though sometimes necessary evils, can As Buonaparte's first attack was on the hardly deserve the epithet admirable. (See Prussian outposts at Thuin, it was natural Felilzug von 1815, p. 91.
The cavalry action of the 17th at Ge- that the first intelligence of hostilities should nappe is briefly but incorrectly described come from the Prussians, but their officer in the following passage
met with some delay, and the news was, in
fact, brought by the Prince of Orange. • So roughly had the French been handled He found the Duke, not at half-past seven, on the field of battle the preceding day that no but soon after three o'clock, at dinner at his attempt was made by them to disturb the re- hotel, about 100 yards from his quarters in treat of either army, except by a body of French the park, which he had taken care not to cuirassiers, which, about four o'clock in the quit during the morning, nor even on the afternoon, charged the English cavalry, who day preceding, though pressed to do so in were covering the retreat between Genappe and at least one instance by a person of high Waterloo.'- Alison, p. 932.
consequence, who was not probably aware For cuirassiers read lancers. They did of his reason for remaining. The Prince not in the first instance charge the English Belgian outposts to dine with the Duke,
of Orange, who had thus come in from the cavalry, but pressing rather close on our rear, were charged gallantly but ineffectu. was soon after followed by the Prussian ally by the 7th Hussars, who could make General Muffling, who brought accounts of no impression on the front of their column the affair of Thuin, and orders were immein the defile, and lost many officers and men,
diately issued for the movement of the army wounded and prisoners.
When the lan-to the left. These, despatched about five, cers, flushed with success, debouched on a must have reached most of the corps_by wider space, they were ridden over by the eight, and probably all before ten. The
Duke's detailed orders are not all as yet 1st Life Guards.
before the public; but it is, perhaps, suffi
cient to refer to the Memorandum of 15th * We believe we may safely state that in the June, 1815, as printed by Colonel Gurcourse of their previous interview already noticed, wood. Before ten, further accounts were the Duke of Wellington did not conceal from Mar- received from thé Hanoverian General shal Blücher his apprehensions as to the choice of the position near Ligny.
Dornberg, showing that all was quiet in the
direction of Mons, &c.,-and the after or- gaged-and he might have also added two ders were issued. (Guruood, 15th June, brigades of light cavalry. 1815, 10 P. m.)
That there was, as Mr. Alison states, In the not very intricate case of Water- much confusion with the retiring baggage loo itself Mr. Alison indulges himself in on the road to Brussels is true enoughvarious decisions of a rather questionable such is always the case with the rear of a description. As to the ground of the ac- great army during a battle—but the bag. tion, for instance, he lays down that gage of the old Spanish regiments remained
where it was ordered until sent for by the • The French army had an open country to Duke, and everything reached them in retreat over in case of disaster; while the Bri- safety about midnight-a remarkable intish, if defeated, would in all probability lose stance of precision, all things considered. their whole artillery in the defiles of the forest
Another statement is calculated, as it of Soignies.'-p. 937.
stands, to convey a positively false imThe fact is, that if the Duke fought with pression as to the situation and services, one defile in his rear, Buonaparte fought during the battle, of the English officer with two. The difference was, that while who ranks next to his illustrious leader for the Duke could, in extremis, have maintained constant, persevering, and frequently brilthe wood with his infantry, Buonaparte, if liant performance of his duty. beaten, could not so well have maintained Mr. Alison's open country. Andodd enough, statioued General Hill, with nearly 7000 men,
• Wellington,' says Mr. Alison, p. 937, . had but so it is, Mr. Alison states, at page 935, at Hal, six miles on the right, in order to cover a conclusion rather different from that which the great road from Mons to Brussels.' he announces in p. 937, for the dictum there is
And, again, in describing the state of the
Duke's preparations on the morning of the • Retreat after disaster would be difficult, if | 18th, he says, not impossible, to the British army, through the narrow defile of the forest of Soignies: • His whole army, with the exception of the overthrow was (meaning, must be] ruin to the detachment under Hill, near Hal, was now asFrench.
sembled.'—p. 938. We know not how to reconcile these
From these passages an ordinary reader interlocutors. The plain truth is that the would certainly infer that Lord Hill was enemy's troops could have fun away on not personally engaged in the battle of either side of the chaussée, and they did so; Waterloo, but that he was sitting on his but his carriages must have been jammed horse at the head of a small detached body in any but a very timely retreat, as they of 7000 men, six miles out of cannon-shot. were, in the defile of Genappe. However, The fact is, that the whole army was divided Mr. Alison may be assured that the Duke into two corps. The Prince of Orange of Wellington did not, at any time, con- commanded the first, Lord Hill the second, template the necessity of a retreat from his which included in the list of its commandposition at Waterloo. Upon the occasion ers of division or brigade such names as of no former battle had he taken more pains those of Clinton, Picton, Pack, Kempt, and to make himself by personal inspection Adam. From this corps Lord Hill was thoroughly acquainted with his ground, and ordered to detach a part, and a part only, he was, from first to last, satisfied of his of the fourth division, under Sir C. Colville, ability to maintain the post until his ally to which was attached a more considerable should arrive to his support. Clausewitz, body of Dutch troops under Prince Fredp., 117, expresses a positive opinion, in erick of Orange. The whole amounted to which every military critic but a French- some 17,000 men. The immediate object man must concur, that, even had the whole of this detachment was that of guarding the of Grouchy's force been at Napoleon's dis- road from Mons to Brussels ; but had the posal, the Duke had nothing to fear pend-Duke been compelled to retire from his ing Blücher's arrival.
position at Waterloo, this corps would have The Duke is often talked of as having rendered important assistance to his right, exhausted his reserves in the action. This and, had the battle been undecisive, it would is another grave error, which Clausewitz have been in line at Waterloo by the mornhas thoroughly disposed of (p. 125). He ing. The Duke certainly attached much enumerates the tenth British brigade, the importance to the position of Hal. It is a division of Chassé, and the cavalry of Col- strong one, and had been occupied by laert as having been little or not all en- Marlborough shortly before the battle of
Oudenarde. If Napoleon had advanced in pursuit to the Prussians, nothing loth to this direction, it is probable that the battle accept it. for the defence of Brussels would have been The above remarks have been called fought here. Lord Hill's presence, how- forth by Mr. Alison's propensity to the ever, was not necessary at Hal on the 18th ; extraction of military details from questionand we will venture to say that no general able sources. We find graver cause of officer was under hotter fire in the action offence with him when he sits down in his of Waterloo than our late commander-in- library-chair to distribute his praise and chief. He disposed and led on in person censure between the two great commanders Sir F. Adam's decisive attack on the flank whom he summons before his tribunal. His of Napoleon's guard. In the despatch of parallel of Napoleon and Wellington, after the 19th to Lord Bathurst, the Duke says, the fashion of Plutarch, is a tissue of truisms -'I am particularly indebted to General and assumptions which must not at present Lord Hill for his assistance and conduct on detain us; but among his few observations this as on all former occasions.'—Gurwood, conceived in an European spirit !'- there vol. xii. p. 483.
occurs a passage on wbich we think it worth
while to say a few words :• During this terrible strife,' says Mr. Alison, p. 947, • Wellington remained in his position at • In the first place, it is evident, whatever the the foot of his tree, occasionally, throwing him- English writers may say to the contrary, that self into a square, or directing the advance of a both Blücher and the Duke of Wellington were line. So heavy was the fire of the cannon-shot surprised by Napoleon's invasion of Belgium on to which he was exposed that nearly all his the 15th of June; and it is impossible to hold suite were killed or wounded by his side; and either of them entirely blameless for that cirhe was obliged in the close of the day to the cumstance. It has been already seen from the casual assistance of a Portuguese, who stood Duke's despatches, that on the 9th of June, near, to carry the most necessary orders.' that is, six days before the invasion took place,
he was aware that Napoleon was collecting a The historian in a subsequent page great force on the frontier, and that hostilities favours us with the ipsissima verba addressed might immediately be expected. Why, then, by the Duke to the soldiery of two of the trated, and placed in such a situation that they
were the two armies not immediately concenseveral squares into which his Grace thus might mutually, if attacked, lend each other threw himself. We are, however, able to the necessary assistance ? Their united force assure Mr. Alison that the story, however was full 190,000 effective men, while Napo generally current, of the Duke's occasionally leon's was not more than 120,000, or, at the utflinging himself into a square is a fiction. most, 140,000. Why, then, was Blücher atHe never once was in that position through- tacked unawares and isolated at Ligny, and the out the battle of the 18th. For Portuguese
British Infantry, unsupported either by cavalry read Piedmontese. The young gentleman force of French, composed of all the three arms,
or artillery, exposed to the attack of a superior in question was of the family of De Salis, at Quatre Bras? It is in vain to say that they a subject of the Sardinian government, and could not provide for their troops if they had in its service. The mission he undertook been concentrated, and that it was necessary to was one of danger, for his uniform made watch every bye-road which led to Brussels. him liable to be mistaken for a Frenchman Men do not eat more when drawn together than by the brigade 10 which he carried the when scattered over a hundred miles of counDuke's order to advance. Were you ever maintained armies of 100,000 men for months
try: Marlborough and Eugene had long ago in a battle before ? said the Duke. No, together in Flanders; and Blücher and WellingSir.' Then you are a lucky man; for you ton had no difficulty in feeding 170,000 men will never see such another.'
drawn close together after the campaign did
It is not by a cordon of troops, * Blücher and Wellington, by a singular scattered over a hundred miles, that the attack chance, met at the farm of La Belle Alliance, of 120,000 French is to be arrested. If the Briand mutually saluted each other as victors.'
tish army had from the first been concentrated at Waterloo, and Blücher near Wavres, Napoleon would never have ventured to pass them
on the road, however unguarded. Those who, They met, not at La Belle Alliance, but in their anxiety to uphold the English general a short distance further on the Genappe from the charge of having been assailed unroad, near a farm called the 'Maison Rouge,' awares, assert that he was not taken by surprise or · Maison du Roi.' This was the furthest in the outset of the Waterloo campaign, do not point to which the British advanced ; at least perceive that in so doing they bring against it was here that the Duke gave orders for disposed his troops, when he knew they were
him the much more serious charge of having so the halt and bivouac of his own exhausted about to be assailed, that infantry alone, withtroops, and handed over the task of further out either cavalry or artillery, were exposed to