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towards St. Lambert; choosing a good there, to occupy the village; also to intermediate position, where he might possess himself of La Haye, and to drive with ten thousand men, check thirty the enemy from it, in order to intercept thousand if it became necessary; to all communication between the Angloattack the Prussians briskly, as soon as Belgian army and Bulow's corps. Eighty he should hear the first cannon shots of guns soon made an immense havoc the troops, which Marshal Grouchy had over all the left of the English line, one detached in their rear. These orders of its divisions was entirely destroyed by were instantly executed. It was of the round and case shot. Whilst this ata highest importance that the movement tack was unmasked, the Emperor attenof Count de Lobau should be made tively observed the movements of the without delay.
enemy's general; he made none on his Marshal Grouchy should have de, right; but the Emperor perceived, that tached six or seven thousand men from he prepared a grand charge of cavalry Wavres on St. Lambert, these would on the left, and he galloped to the spot. find themselves compromised, since the charge had taken place; it had Bulow's corps was thirty thousand repulsed à column of infantry which strong, just as the latter corps would advanced on the low ground, taken two have been compromised and destroyed, eagles, and disorganized seven pieces of if, at the moment of his being attacked cannon: a brigade of Milhaud's cuirassiers in the rear by seven thousand men, he from the second line were ordered to was attacked in front by a man of Count charge the enemy's cavalry. It did so with de Lobau's character. Seventeen or cries of “ Long live the Emperor!" The eighteen thousand French, thus dispos- English cavalry was broken, and the ed and commanded, were far superior greater part of it remained on the field; to thirty thousand Prussians : but these the guns were also retaken, and the inevents caused some change in the first fantry protected. Many charges of inplan of the Emperor; he found himself fantry and cavalry followed ; the detail enfeebled on the field of battle by ten of them belongs more to the history of thousand men, whom he was obliged to each regiment, than to the general hissend against General Bulow. He no tory of the battle, in which such recitals, longer had more than fifty-nine thou- if multiplied, would create confusion; sand men against ninety thousand; it is enough to say, that after three hours while the enemy's army, against which fighting, the farm of La Haye Sainte, in he was engaged, had just been augmen- spite of the resistance of the Scotch ted by thirty thousand men, already regiments, was occupied by the French ranged in the field of battle ; thus plac. infantry; while the end, which the ing one hundred and twenty thousand French General had in view was obmen against sixty-nine thousand; or tained. The sixth and fifth English two to one, “We had ninety chances division were destroyed, General Picton for us this morning," said he, to the remained dead on the field, Duke of Dalmatia," the arrival of During this combat, the Emperor Bulow makes us lose thirty ; but we have rode through the line of infantry of the still sixty against forty : and if Grouchy first corps, the line of cavalry of Milrepairs the horrible fault which he com- haud's cuirassiers, and that of the guard mitted yesterday, by amusing himself in a third line, in the middle of the at Gembloux, and sends on his detach- discharges of the enemy's artillery and ment with rapidity, the victory will be musketry: the brave General Devaux, thereby only the more decisive, for the commanding the artillery of the guard, corps of Bulow must in that case be en- was killed at his side by a cannon shot; tirely lost.”
a most serious loss, and above all at this It was noon, the skirmishers were moment, because he knew the positions engaged on all the line, but there was occupied by the reserves of the artillery no real action, except on the left in the of the guard, consisting of ninety-six wood, and at the castle of Hougoumont. guns, better than any other officer in the The troops of General Bulow were still army. The General of brigade, Lallestationary beyond the extreme right; mand, succeeded him, and was also they appeared to form and wait till wounded shortly after. their artillery passed the defile. The Disorder had by this time prevailed Emperor sent an order to Marshal Ney in the English army; the baggage, to commence the fire of his batteries; waggon train, and wounded, seeing the take possession of the farm of La Haye French approach the causeway of BrusSainte, and to post a division of infantry sels, and the principal opening of the
forest, hastened to effect their retreat in peror then ordered General Duhesme, the greatest confusion: all the English, who commanded the young guard, to Belgians, and Germans, who had been march on the right of the sixth corps, sabred by the cavalry, precipitated, with his two brigades of infantry, and themselves on Brussels. It was now twenty-four pieces of cannon. A quarfour o'clock. The victory would have ter of an hour afterwards, that formidabeen then decided, had not General ble battery commenced its fire; the Bulow's corps effected its powerful di. French artillery soon acquired the suversion. At two o'clock in the after periority, as it was better served, and noon, General Daumont had given more advantageously placed. As soon notice, that Bulow formed in three co- as the young guard was engaged, the lumns; and that the French riflemen movement of the Prussians appeared to skirmished, retiring before the enemy, be checked ; undulations were observed which appeared to him as being very in their lines; but they continued still numerous; he estimated it to be more to prolong it towards their left, outthan forty thousand strong; adding, flanking the French right, as far as moreover, that his best mounted scouts Planchenoit ; Lieutenant General Mo, had traversed several leagues in differ- rand then moved, with four battalions ent directions, but had brought no of the old guard, and sixteen pieces of news of Marshal Grouchy; that his ascannon, to the right of the young guard ; sistance was, therefore, not to be depen- two regiments of the old guard took ded on. About this time, the Emperor post in front of Planchenoit; the Prusreceived a most disagreeable piece of sian line being outflanked, General news from Gembloux. Marshal Grouchy Bulow was repulsed; his left made a instead of setting out from that place at movement backward, converged, and, the first dawn of day, as he announced by degrees, all his line fell back. The in his dispatch of two o'clock in the Count de Lobau, General Duhesme, and morning, had not quitted his camp, General Morand, marched forward ; there at ten o'clock.
they soon occupied the positions which The cannonade between general Bu, the artillery of General Bulow had left. low and Count de Lobau soon com- Not only had that General exhausted his menced. The Prussian army marched attack, unmasked all his reserves; but, in echelon, the centre in front. Its having at first advanced, he was now line of battle was perpendicular to the in retreat. The Prussian bullets no right flank of the French army, and longer reached the causeway of Charleparallel to the causeway from La Haye roi, nor did they even come near the Sainte to Planchenoit. The echelon of positions previously occupied by Count the centre unmasked a battery of thirty de Lobau; it was now seven o'clock. guns; the artillery opposed to it an Two hours had elapsed since the equal number. After a cannonade of Count d'Erlon had taken possession of an hour, Count de Lobau perceiving, La Haye, outflanked all the English left, that the first echelon was not supported, and the right of General Bulow. The marched to the spot, pierced through, light cavalry of the first corps, pursuing and repulsed it; but the two other the enemy's infantry on the flat of La lines which appeared to have been re- Haye, had been brought back by a body tarded by the bad roads, rallied the of cavalry superior in number. Count 1st echelon, and, without endeavouring Milhaud now ascended the height with to break through the French line, sought his cuirassiers, giving warning to Gene. to outflank it by a wheel to the left, in ral Lefebvre Desnouettes, who immedi. line. Count de Lobau, apprehensive ately commenced a hot fire to sustain lest he should be turned, executed his him. This happened at five o'clock ; retreat upon the army, by the alternate and the moment at which the attack movement. The fire of the Prussian made by General Bulow was most mebatteries doubled ; sixty pieces of can; nacing. Far from being kept in check, non were counted ; the balls fell on the he constantly shewed new troops, who causeway, in front, and the rear of La continued to extend his line on the Belle Alliance, where the Emperor was right. The English cavalry was repulsed standing with his guard; it was the by the intrepid cuirassiers and the chas, army's line of operation. At this most seurs of the guard. They abandoned important moment, the enemy had ap- all the field of battle between La Haye proached so near, that his case-shot Sainte ard Mont St. Jean, which the ploughed up the causeway; the Em whole of their left had occupied; and
were deprived of all means of retreating way of his retreat. Ponsonby's brigade, on their right. On seeing these brilliant charged by the red lancers of the guard, charges, cries of victory were heard all commanded by General Colbert, was over the field, upon which, the Em broken through, and its General was peror said, “ it is too soon by an hour; killed by several lance wounds. The but we must support what is done.” He Prince of Orange was severely wounded, then sent an order to the cuirassiers of and on the point of being taken; but Kellerman, which were still in position the brave cavalry not being supported on the left, to move briskly, to support by a strong mass of infantry, which was the cavalry on the low grounds. At still retained by General Bulow's attack, this moment, General Bulow threatened was obliged to confine itself to presery. the flank and rear of the army; it was ing the field of battle which it had conimportant not to make any retrograde quered. At length, about seven o'clock, movement, and to maintain the posi- when Bulow's attack was repulsed, and tion, although premature, which the the cavalry still maintained itself on the cavalry had taken. This rapid move- flat, whence the enemy had been driven, ment of three thousand cuirassiers who the victory was gained ; sixty-nine thoudefiled under the cannonade of the sand French had beaten one hundred Prussians, shouting, “ live the Em- and twenty thousand men. Joy was peror !" made a happy diversion at this on every countenance, and hope in critical moment. The cavalry marched every heart. as in pursuit of the English army; but Marshal Blucher had passed the night the army of General Bulow still made of the 17th at Wavres, with the fourth some progress on the flank and rear. corps of his army, forming seventy-five The soldiers and officers sought to di- thousand men. Informed that the Duke vine in the look of the Chief, whether of Wellington had decided to receive they were conquerors or in danger; battle. in front of the forest of Soignes, while he breathed nothing but confi- if he could reckon on his co-operation, dence. It was the fiftieth regular bat. the Prussian General detached his fourth tle in which Napoleon had commanded corps in the morning; it passed the within twenty years. In the meantime Dyle at Limate, and formed at St. Lamthe division of heavy cavalry of the bert. This corps was entire ; it was guard, under the orders of General Gu. the one which had not been engaged at yot, which was in the second line, be- Ligny. The light cavalry of Blucher, bind Kellerman's cuirassiers, followed which scoured the country two leagues at a brisk trot, to the low ground. On round his camp at Wavres, had, as yet, perceiving this movement, the Emperor no news of Marshal Grouchy; at seven sent Count Bertrand to recall it; for it o'clock in the morning it saw some was his reserve : when that General piquets of flankers only. Blucher therearrived, it was already engaged, so that fore concluded, that all, the army was a retrograde movement would have been united before Mont St. Jean; he put dangerous. Thus, did the Emperor find the second corps, commanded by Genehimself deprived of his reserve of ca- ral Pirch in inotion, and which was valry ever since five o'clock ; that re- reduced to eighteen thousand men. He serve, which, properly employed, had marched himself with the first corps, so often given him the victory: while General Zierten's, reduced to thirteen these twelve thousand select horse per- thousand men, and left General Thielformed prodigies of valour; overthrow- man with the third corps in position at ing all the more numerous cavalry of the Wavres. enemy, which wished to oppose them, His two columns, thirty-one thoubroke through many squares of infantry, sand strong, opened the communication disorganized their ranks, took possession between General Bulow and the English. of sixty pieces of cannon, and seized six The former, who was in full retreat, stands of colours in the midst of the halted; Wellington, who had been in squares; these trophies were presented a state of the utmost despair, and seen to the Emperor at La Belle Alliance, by nothing before him but the prospect of three chasseurs of the guard, and three certain defeat, now saw his safety. The cuirassiers. The enemy believed the brigade of English cavalry which was at battle lost a second time; and he must Ohain rejoined him, as well as a part of have now seen with affright how many the fourth division of flankers of the difficulties which the field of battle he right. had chosen, was about to throw in the The French army, sixty-nine thousand
strong, strong, which at seven o'clock in the four battalions of the guard repulsed all evening, was victorious over an army of whom they met charges of cavalry - one hundred and twenty thousand men, carried terror into the English ranks.
occupied half the field of battle of the Ten minutes after, the other battalions · Anglo-Belgians, and had repulsed Bu- of the guard arrived ; the Emperor · low's corps ; saw the victory snatched ranged them by brigades, two battalions
from it by the arrival of Marshal Blu- in line and two in column, on the right : cher with thirty thousand six hundred and left, the second brigade in echelon, fresh troops, a re-inforcement which which united the advantage of the two increased the allied army in line, to orders. The sun was set; - General nearly one hundred and fifty thousand Friant, wounded, passed by at this men; that is to say, in a proportion of .moment; he said, that all went on well, two and a half against one.
that the enemy appeared to form a rearAs soon as Bulow's attack had been guard to support his retreat, but that he repulsed, the Emperor gave orders to would be entirely broken as soon as the General Drouot, acting Assistant-Major rest of the guard attacked him. For General of the Guard, to rally all his this, a quarter of an hour was necessary. · men, before the farm of La Belle Alliance, It was at this very moment that Marshal
where he was with eight battalions Blucher arrived at La Haye, and over→ ranged in two lines, the remaining eight threw the French corps by which it was · having marched to support the young defended, namely, the fourth division
guard and defend Planchenoit. In the of the first corps; it fled in disorder, mean time, the cavalry, which continued after opposing a slight resistance. Alto occupy the position on the low though it was attacked by a quadruple ground, whence it commanded all the force, if it had shown the least resolution, field of battle, having perceived the thrown itself into the houses, or pierced movement of General Bulow, but con- · their ranks, Marshal Blucher would not, fiding in the reserves of the guard, which as it was night, have had time to force it saw ready to keep that General in the village. It was there that the cry, check, entertained no alarm, and even sauve qui peut, is said to have been first loudly cheered when it saw him re- heard. The opening made, and line pulsed, waiting the arrival of the infan- broken by the want of vigour of the try of the guard to decide the victory; troops at La Haye, the enemy's cavalry but it felt the greatest astonishment on inundated the field of battle. General perceiving the numerous columns of Bulow marched forward-the Count de Marshal Blucher arrive. Some regi- Lobau shewed great firmness. The ments made a retrogade movement; the crowd soon became so great, that it was Emperor perceived this. It was of the necessary to order the guard, which had highest importance to restore firmness to formed for an advance, to change its the cavalry; and seeing that it would front. This movement was executed take him a quarter of an hour more to with order; the guard faced about, the rally all his guard, he put himself at the left towards La Haye Sainte, and the head of four battalions, and advanced right towards La Belle Alliance, showing on the left, in front of La Haye Sainte, its front to the Prussians, and the atsending aide-de-camps along the whole tack of La Haye; immediately after, line, to announce the arrival of Marshal each battalion formed a square, The Grouchy, and to say, that, with a little four squadrons on duty charged the firmness, victory would soon be decided Prussians. At that moment the brigade in our favour. General Reille reunited of English cavalry which arrived from all his corps, on the left, in front of the Ohain, marched forward. These two castle of Hougoumont, and prepared thousand horse penetrated between his attack; it was important that all the General Reille and the guard. The disguard should engage at once, but the order now became dreadful throughout eight other battalions were still behind the field of battle: the Emperor had Influenced by events, seeing the cavalry only to put himself under the protection disconcerted, and that a reserve of in- of one of the squares of the guard. If fantry was necessary to support it, he General Guyot's division of cavalry of ordered General Friant to march with reserve, which followed Kellerman's these four battalions of the middle guard, cuirassiers to engage the enemy, withto meet the enemy's attack; the cavalry out an order, had not done so, it would recovered itself, and marched forward have repulsed this charge, prevented with its accustomed intrepidity. The the English cavalry from penetrating on ·
the field of battle, and the foot-guards by the allies during the four days which would then have been able to check the had elapsed, since the commencement of efforts of the enemy. General Bulow hostilities. The allies, by their own ac· marched by his left, always outflanking counts, lost sixty thousand men; viz. the field of battle. The night greatly eleven thousand three hundred English; augmented the disorder, and operated three thousand five hundred Hanoveas a bar to every thing. Had it been rians ; eight thousand Belgians, troops day-light, so that the troops could have of Nassau, Brunswick, &c.; those of seen the Emperor, they would have the Anglo-Belgian army amounted to rallied ; whereas nothing could be done twenty-two thousand eight hundred : to in the obscurity of the night. The guard which add thirty-eight thousand Prusretreated, the fire of the enemy was al- sians :-- this makes a general total of ready but four hundred toises in the sixty thousand eight hundred men. rear of the army, and the causeways cut The losses of the Frenclı, including off. The Emperor, with his staff, re- those sustained during the route, and mained a long time on a small elevation till their arrival at the gates of Paris, with the regiments of the guard. Four was forty-one thousand men. pieces of cannon which were planted The imperial guard supported its forthere, kept up a brisk fire on the plain, mer reputation; but it found itself enthe last discharge wounded Lord Ux- gaged under the most unfavourable cirbridge, general of the English cavalry. cumstances; being out-flanked on the By this time there was no longer a moment right, while the left was inundated with to lose; the Emperor could not retreat, enemies, and those who fled from the except through the fields: cavalry, artil field when it began to enter into line. lery, infantry, all were confusedly min. Had this body been able to fight with its gled together. The staff gained the flanks supported, it would have repulsed little town of Genappe, hoping that it the united efforts of the two allied might be able to rally a rear guard there, armies. During more than four hours, but the disorder was horrible; all its twelve thousand French cavalry were efforts were made in vain. It was now' masters of a part of the enemy's field of eleven o'clock; there being no possibi- battle ; fought all their infantry, and lity of organising a plan of defence, the eighteen thousand of their cavalry, who Emperor placed his hopes in Girard's di- were repulsed in every charge. Lieutenant vision, the third of the second corps, General Duhesme, an old soldier of the which he had left on the field of Ligny, greatest bravery, and covered with and to which he had sent an order to wounds, was made prisoner, when enmarch on Quatre Bras, to support the deavouring to rally a rear guard. The retreat.
Count de Lobau was taken under simiNever did the French army fight bet- lar circumstances. General Cambronne ter than it did on this occasion; it per- of the guard, remained on the field formed prodigies of valour; and the severely wounded. Out of twentysuperiority of the troops, infantry, ca- four English generals, twelve were kill. valry, and artillery over the enemy was ed or badly wounded : and the Dutch such, that had not Blucher arrived with lost three generals. General Duhesme, his second corps of Prussians, the victory although a prisoner, was assassinated on over the Anglo-Belgian army would the 19th by a Brunswick hussar : this have been complete, though aided by crime remained unpunished. He was Bulow's thirty thousand Prussians; that an intrepid soldier, an excellent general is to say, it would have been gained by firm and unshaken in good as well as sixty-nine thousand men opposed to in bad fortune. nearly double their number; for the THE MS. FROM ST. HELENA. enemy's troops in the field, before Blu- Reasons dictated in Answer to the Quescher's arrival, amounted to one hundred t ion, whether the Publication, entitled and twenty thousand men.
« The Manuscript from St. Helena," The loss of the Anglo-Belgian army, printed at London in 1817, is the and that of Bulow's corps, was much Work of Napoleon or not? greater during the battle, than on our I. I obtained a Lieutenancy at the side; and the losses which the French commencement of the Revolution. (p. 4.) sustained in the retreat, though very I. Napoleon entered in quality of considerable, as six thousand of them second-lieutenant into the regiment of were made prisoners, did not, when La Fere, in October 1735, and joined added to it, amount to those sustained that regiment at Valence, in Dauphiny.