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CEREMONY CONCLUDED.

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to perish, if necessary, to defend it against the enemies of the country and of the throne. (The whole army, as-: sembled around the throne, was within hearing and interrupted the emperor with a thousand times repeated cries of—“We swear it.). You swear never to acknowledge any other rallying sign—(Unanimous cries again resounded of “we swear it !') The drums beat and silence was restored. You, soldiers of the national guard of Paris, swear not to suffer the enemy to pollute again the capital of the great nation. It is to your valor I shall confide it. (Crics of “we swear it !were repeated a thousand and a thousand times.) And you, soldiers of the imperial guard, you swear to surpass yourselves in the campaign that is about to open, and to die all of you rather than

to suffer foreigners to come and dictate laws to the country." (The acclamations, the shouts of “we swear it!" resounded again and were repeated throughout the whole extent of the Champ de Mars.)

The troops amounted to 50,000 men, of whom 27,000 were national guards. They defiled before the emperor, shouting“ Vive l'Empereur, ' amidst the acclamations of an immense concourse of people who covered the hills of the Champ de Mars to the Seine. The emperor then returned through the departments of the military school.”

This august ceremony was announced to the troops, by the Duke of Dalmatia, Major General of the army, in a general order issued the 2d of June. It concludes; “Soon the signal will be given for every one to be at his post. Our victorious phalanxes, will derive the greater renown from the number of our enemies. Soldiers ! Napoleon directs us. We fight for the independence of our fine country. We are invincible."

On the morning of the 12th, the Emperor left Paris to put himself at the head of his army. He breakfasted at Soissons, slept at Loan, gave his last orders respecting the defence of that place, and reached Avesne on the thirteenth.

By the returns on the evening of the fourteenth, the army amounted to 122,400 men, and possessed 350 pieces of cannon. It was formed into three encampments, situated in the rear of a range of hills a league from the

310

ADDRESS TO THE ARMY.

frontier, so that the smoke of their fires could not be per ceived by the enemy, who were ignorant of their position. The encampment forming the left, consisting of 40,000 men, was on the Sombre; that of the centre of 60,000 at Beaumont, where the head quarters were established ; and the right of 15,000 were encamped in advance of Phillipville. The same evening the Emperor addressed the army in the following order of the day :

“ Soldiers ! This day is the anniversary of the battle of Marengo' and Friedland. Then, as at Austerlitz and at Wagram, we were too generous.

We put faith in the protestations and oaths of princes, whom we left on their thrones. But to day, allied together, they are arrayed against the independence, and the most sacred rights of France. They have commenced the most unjust aggresşion Are not they, are not we, any more the same men ?

“Soldiers of Jena ! against these same Prussians, today so arrogant, you were one to two, and at Montmirail one to three.

“Let those among you who have been captives to the English, describe their prison ships, and the evils they have suffered.

“Saxons, Belgians, Hanoverians, and the soldiers of the confederation all extremely regret, that they are forced to lift their arms in the cause of princes, enemies of justice and of the rights of the people. They know this coalition to be insatiable ; after it has swallowed up twelve millions of Polanders, twelve millions of Italians, a million of Saxons, six millions of Belgians, it will destroy the German states of the second order.

“ Madmen! a moment of prosperity has blinded them. The oppression and humiliation of the French people is out of their power! If they enter France, they will there find their grades.

“ Soldiers ! we have forced marches to make, battles, to fight, and perils to encounter; but with firmness, victory will be ours. The rights, the honour of the country will be reconquered.

“For all Frenchmen of courage, the time has arrived to conquer or die."

The enemy were not apprised on the 14th that the

יל

THEIR MOVEMENTS.

311

French were preparing to attack them. The Prussian army commanded by Blucher, consisting of 120,000 men, formed the right, and the English army under the duke of Wellington the left. The latter consisted of twenty-four brigades, of which nine were English, ten German, and five from Holland, besides eleven divisions of cavalry, comprising in all 104,000 men.

During the night of the 11th, the French spies announced that all was quiet at Namur, Brussels and Charleroy, which convinced the emperor that the enemy were not informed of the movements of his troops the two preceding days. This was an important point gained.

Contrasting the activity and daring character of Blucher, with the circumspection and slow marches of the duke of Wellington, the emperor determined to attack the Prussians first, considering that the English would be less alert and expeditious to afford them succor, than the Prussians would the latter if they should be first attacked.

At day-break the following day (the 15th of June) three columns of the French army commenced their march.The advanced guard of the left fell in with the advanced guard of the Prussian corps of general Zietten, attacked, repulsed it, took five hundred prisoners, and secured the possession of the bridge of Marchiennes. The corps of cavalry forming the advanced guard of the centre, was in motion by three in the morning; general Vandamme's corps of infantry was to follow and support it.

The emperor advanced and entered Charleroy at noon, preceded by the cavalry of general Pajol, who pressed the enemy sword in hand. The corps of general Vandamme did not arrive until three in the afternoon; all the column's reached there in the evening. It is fourteen leagues from Charleroy to Brussels, over a paved road, through Gosse

lies, Quatre Bras and Waterloo ; five hundred toises from • Charleroy is another road to the right, leading through

Gilly to Namur, a distance of eight leagues. The Prussians at Charleroy, apprised of the approach of the French, retreated by these two routes. General Pajos followed the division on the route to Namur, and general Clary that which took the road to Brussels. Count Reille crossed the Sombre, pushed on and took possession of Gosse

312

SITUATION OF THE ARMES.

lies after a slight resistance; the Prussian general Zietten, having evacuated it, and took a position between Gilly and Fleurus, protected by a piece of woods. Marshal Ney, having just arrived on the field of battle, the emperor ordered him to Gosselies, there to take the command of all the left, and to scour the road from that place to Brussels, and to establish strong advanced guards on the route to Brussels, Namur, and Nivelles.

Prince Bernard of Saxe, with a brigade of 4,000 men, being informed of the retreat of Zietten, marched towards Frasne, and posted himself in advance of Quatre Bras, on the road to Brussels. General Lefebvre Desnouttes, attacked and forced him to retire ; he took a position be. tween Quatre Bras and Genappe. Count Rielly encamped in advance of Quatre Bras, where he was joined by Marshal Ney.

The corps of Vandamme and Grouchy united at Gilly; the emperor having reconnoitred the enemy in the rear of the woods, in advance of Fleurus, ordered an immediate attack; the enemy retreated, and were briskly pursued ; they were charged by general Letort, with four squadrons of cavalry and the 28th Prussian regiment, entirely destroyed; but this general, one of the most distinguished of the French cavalry officers, was mortally wounded.

During the following night the head quarters of the French were at Charleroy, marshal Blucher's at Namur, and the Duke of Wellington's at Brussels. The same night Blucher dispatched two couriers to inform Welling. ton that the French had entered Charleroy, broken their line between Marchiennes, Charleroy, and Chatelet, covered it with troops, and that the French army 150,000 strong, with the emperor at their head, was marching in a line towards Brussels. Wellington immediately ordered the cantonments to be broken up, and each division to concentrate to the place assigned it, there to await further orders. Of the whole English army, the Belgic division alone occupied cantonments within such distance as to enable them to assemble at Quatre Bras the following morning. During the night, the drums beat to arms, and the fifth English, and the Brunswick divisions, were on their march to Quatre Bras.

PRUSSIANS DEFEATED.

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The French army passed the night in three columns ; their left under Ney, had its head quarters at Gosselies and its advance at Frasne ; the centre composed of the third corps, and the reserve of cavalry was in the woods between Fleurus and Charleroy, and the right was in advance of the bridge of Chatelet. The whole French army had crossed the Sombre on three bridges, and were concentrated within a circuit of four leagues. They lay under arms the night of the 15th and 16th.

All the plans and movements of the Emperor, had thus far, succeeded to his wishes; he had placed himself between the two armies of the enemy, in a great measure interrupted their communications, and put it in his power to attack either, separately. There was no means by which they could avoid this, but by abandoning their ground and uniting their armies at Brussels or beyond it. The enemy.had been surprised by the movements of the French, found themselves in an embarrassed situation, and the Emperor felt confident of success.

CHAPTER XVIII.

Bonaparte attacks and defeats the Prussians under Blucher at Ligny

....Grouchy is ordered in pursuit of Blucher....He loses a day's march of him.... Situation of the French army and the anxiety of the emperor on the night of the seventeenth.... Situation of Wellington's

army

at the same time....How drawn up.... Bonaparte feels confident of victory in the morning...He reconnoitres the enemy...

The French army moves in columns on to the battle ground.... » Their disposition and order for action.... Position of the emperor....

Commencement of the battle of mount St. Jean, or Waterloo Detailed account of the operations.... Wellington reinforced by the

Prussians commanded by general Bulow....Grouchy anxiously ex: pected, but does not arrive....French carry the post St. Haye....

Grouchy marches to Wavres, receives orders from the emperor, and sends a reinforcement....Blucher marches from Wavres to reinforce Wellington.... The action raged with great fury until dark, when the English were on the point of a total defeat....Blucherarrives and decides the action.

MARSHAL Ney, during the night, received orders to

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