Gambar halaman


France.- Preparations for the Campaign of 1796. Revolt of the Chiefs of

the Vendée. Proclamation of Stoflet. Death of the rebel Chiefs, and final Submission of the insurgent Departments. Opening of the Campaign in Italy. Command of the Army given to Buonaparte. · Attack of the combined Armies. Victory of the French at the Battle of Monte Notte. Battle of Millefimo. Brave Defence of the Piedmontese General Rovera. Defeat of the Austrians with the Loss of ten thousand Men. Surprize anl Repulse of the French at Dego by Marshal Beaulieu. Ceva taken by the French. Retreat of Count Colli across the Stura towards Turin. Defeat of the Piedmontese Army at Cherasco. Suspension of Arms demanded by the King of Sardinia, Peace concluded between the French Republic and his Sardinian Majesty at Paris. Conditions of the Treaty. Reflections on the Treaty. Obfervations on the Mode of conducting the War. Evacuation of Piedmont by Marshal Beaulieu. Polufion of the Piedmontese Fortresses by the French. Prepa, rations made by Beaulieu to prevent the Passage of the Po at Valenza. Pal. fage of the Pe by the French at Placentia. Defeat of the Austrians at Fombio. Repulse of the Aufirians at Codogno. Death of General Laharpe. Armistice folicited by the Dukes of Parma and Modena, Defeat of the Austrians at the Bridge of Lodi. Conquest of Lombardy. Caufes of the Discontents between the French Republic and the United States of America. General Wafhington's intercepted Letter to Mr. Morris. Representations made to the French Directory to prevent an immediate Rupture. Rise and Progress of the Discontents in Holland. Negotiations of the discontented Party with the French Government. Allembly of the Dutch Convention. State of Partics. Declaration of War againsi England. Propofitions made at Basic by the Englila Ambasador for opening a Negotiation with France. Remonftrances of the French Directory with the Canton of Baflc. Envoy Extraordinary sent from Bafle to Paris. Appointment of a Minister of the Police. Troubles in the South of France. Infurrection in the Department of the Nievre. Proclamation of the Directory. Jacobin Societies thug up. Severe Laws enaéled against them. Revolt of the Legion of the Police. Conspiracy of Babeuf. Troubles occahoned by the refractory Clergy. Laws respecting the Division of the Efates of Emigrants. CHILE the contending pow. France drew near to a close. This

ers' on the Rhine were col. war had proved more hostile to the ļecting their forces to open the establishment of the republic than campaign of 1796 as soon as the the combinations of all its foreign time liınited for the armistice should enemies. The fertile country of expire, - and the French army in the Vendée, where nature had Italy, which possessed only a few poured forth its riches in such proposts on the thores of the Medi- fusion, but which the horrors of terranean, between Nice and Ge. this terrible conflict had so long hoa, 'was recruiting its shattered covered with ruin and desolation forces to attempt once more the had enjoyed' but for a moment the conquest of Piedmont, — the civil perspective of happier days. The war in the western departments of chiefs of the royalists, who had


[ocr errors]

made their formal fubmiffion to the pacification entered into with the republic, and who had been ad- republic was a necessary measure mitted to the privilege of treating in order to renew the war with with the government as with a vigour, again issued proclamations, foreign power, again seduced the calling the people to arms, and affurinhabitants of those departinents ing them that the intention of the from their allegiance; and the exe- r:public in making peace was only cutive power found that it was to deliver them over individually indispensably necessary to rid it- to destruction. Although this inself of this domestic enemy, before vitation was disregarded by the it entered on the operations of the people in general, still the influence campaign. The zeal of the direc. of the chiefs encouraged numbers tory was ably seconded by general to revolt; and the plunderers being Hoche, to whom the talk of termi- now released from every restraint, nating this war was entrusted, and not only the western departments, who had already given ample proofs which had been already the scene of courage and ability.

of war, were again desolated, but This contest, which had hitherto the departments nearer to the seat been carried on with address and of government became also the intelligence on the side of the in- theatre of pillage and terror. surgents, now degenerated into a This conflict was, however, but war of rapine and plunder. The of short duration ; for, after several chiefs of the Vendée, whose aim defeats of the various rebel armies, was the restoration of royalty, had and the capture and death of their felt the necessity of good order and leaders Charette and Stofilet (29th discipline while that object was March), the remainder of the inthought attainable, and had con- surgents, comprehended under the ducted their troops with the address names of Chouans and Vendéans, and prudence necessary to its fuc- harassed on every fide, submitted cess; but perceiving that the paci- to the forces of the republic, or to fication lately concluded with the the magiftracies of the different republic had alienated the minds communes; and peace was finally of the great mass of the people in restored to these desolated departthe infurgent countries from at- ments. tempting to plunge themselves a The campaign opened in the second time into the horrors from south on the oth of April. During which they had just escaped, they the three former campaigns, the let loose the remainder of their French had attempted in vain to bands to indiscriminate pillage and pierce through Piedmont into Italy. murder. The Vendéan had now That country of mountains seemed returned to his peaceful occupa. to oppose au insurmountable barrier cions; the interchanges of com. to their progress. The republican mercé had taken place with the armies had hitherto only scaled the inhabitants of the neighbouring van-guard of the Alps, from whence departments, and the desolated also they had been driven, after communes began to feel the com- having viewed, in perspective, the forts of regular government, when immense difficulties they had to this new irruption took place. encounter before they could fucStoflet, who had previously inti- ceed in achieving the conquest of mated to his confidents that the Italy. The French had poffeffion



of the coast from Nice to Genoa ; Italy having received confiderable but the pallage into Italy was reinforcements, was. entrusted to blockaded by the Aufirian and the command of general BuonaSardinian armies, who had appa- parte, a young officer, of whose mirently taken the most effective mea- litary kill no mention had been sures to prevent the further pro- hitherto made during the course of gress of the enemy. The army of the revolution *.


* The following account of Buonaparte has appeared in a respectable periodical publication, and there is reason to believe it authentic.

“ This extraordinary man, born in the town of Ajaccio, in Corfica, in 1767, is the fon of Charles Buonaparte, and Lætitia Raniolini. His father, who was also a native of Ajaccio, was bred to the civil law, at Roine, and took part with the celebrated Paoli, in the ever-memorable firuggle made by a bandiul of brave illanders, againfi the tyrannical efforts of Louis XV.- and the Machiavelian schemes of his minifter, Choiseul.

“I am assured, by a near relation of the family, that he not only laid aside the gown upon this occafion, but actually carried a mutiset as a private reptinel.

« On the conquest of the island, he wished to retire with the gallant chieftain who had fo nobly fruggled for its independence; but lie was prevented by iris uncle, a canon, vho exercised a parental authority over him.

“In 1773, a deputation from the three esiates was sent to wait on the king of France; and, on this occalion, Charles Buonaparte was selected to represent the nobles. He was foon after promoted to the office of proturaicre reale of Ajaccio, where luis ancestors, supposed to have been originally from Tuscany, had been setiled nearly two hundred years.

“ The family of the elder Buonaparte was numerous, tor he had seven children ; foursons, and three daughters. It was his good fortune, however, to be cherified by the French; and both he and his family lived in the greatest intimacy with M. de Marbæuf, the governor, who received a revenue of 60,000 livres a year, on condition of doing nothing! An intendant was paid nearly as much ; and a (warm of hungry lecches, engendered in the corruption of the court of Versailles, at one and the same time fucked the blood of the Corsicans, and drained the treasure of the mother country; in short, like the conquens of i'ore recent times, the fubjugation of that ifiand seems to have been achieved for no other purpose than to gratify avarice, and satiate rapacity.

“On the death of his friend Charles Buonaparte, M. de Marbeuf continued to patro. nize his family, and placed his fecond fon Napoleone, the subject of these memoirs, at the Ecole Militaire, or Military Academy. The advantages resulting from this seminary, which bns produced more great men than any other in Europe, were not lost on young Euonaparte; be there applied himself, with equal assiduity and address, to mathematics, and fudied the art of war as a regular science. Born in the midti of a' republican fruge gle in bis native land, it was his good fortune to burft into manhood at the moment when the country of his choice fhook off the chains with which he had been manacied for centuries. There was also something in his manners and habits that announced him equal to the fituation for whieh he feems to have been destined: inftead of imitating the frivos lity of the age, his mind was continually occupied by useful ftudies; and from the Lives of Plutarch, a volume of which he always carried in his pocket, he learned, at an early age, to copy the manners, and emulate the actions, of antiquity.

“With this difpofition, it is but little wonder that he should bave dedicated his life to the profe fron of arms. We accordingly find him, while yet a boy, presenting himself as a candidate for a commillion in the artillery; and his success cqualled the expectations of his friends, for he was the twelfth on the lift, out of the thirty-lix ulo proved victorious in the content. In consequence of this event, he became a lieutenant in the French ariny, and ferved as such, during two or three years, in the regiment of La Fore.

"ln 1790, general Paoli rcpaired to France, where he was honoured with a civic crown, and there cobrated the fon of his old friend, who liad served under him at St. Fiorenze, in 1768. They met again foon alter, in Corsica, where Buonaparte, now a captain, vas clecies lieutenant-colunei of a corps a: Cerfican Wational guards in activity.

“On the fecond expedition fitec ont aguina Sardinia, he embarked with his countrymen, ws.d landed in the litue idand cr Madalena, which he took poffetlica of in the name or


The first action of the present der general Beaulieu, and driven campaign took place near Savona, back to his lines near Savona. on the shores of the Mediterranean, Presuming on their success, the near which the French general oc- Austrian troops advanced, in hopes cupied a poft called Voltri, fix of cutting off the retreat of the leagues distant from Genoa. Here divifion which they had repulsed : he was attacked by the troops un- but Buonaparte, who had foreseen


the French republic; but, finding the troops that had been got together for this expedition neither poffefied organization nor discipline, he returned to the port of Ajaccio, Thence he had set out.

“In the mean time, a scheine was formed for the annexation of Corfica to the crown of England; and the cabinet, in an evil hour, acceded to a proposition which, while it dimiaithed the wealth, has contributed but little either to the honour or advantage of this country.

“ Buonaparte had a difficult part to act on this occafion; he was perfonally attached to Pasquale Paoli; he resented the treatment he experienced during the reign of the ter. Tpritis, and had actually drawn up, with his own hand, the remonftrance trnosinitted by the municipality of Ajaccio against the decree declaring the general an enemy to the commonwealth. Indeed, he was supposed to be to intimately connected with him, that avarrant was aâually issued by Lacombe de St. Michel, and the two other commissioners of the convention, to arrest young Buonaparte. Notwithstanding this, he was determined to remain faithful to his engagements; and learning that the English fleet in the Medi. terranean had failed for the purpose of seizing his native inand, he embarked, along vith his family, for the continent, and settled within eighteen Jeagues of Toulon.

“Tbat town, the second sea-port in France, was at this moment in the poffeffion of the English, having been juft seized upon by admiral lord Hood, who had fubflituted the Britita crois in the place of the three-coloured fag. The inilitary talents of the young Corlican were well known to Salicetti, who introduced him to Barras, now one of the direc tory, to whom he afforded indubitable proof of the fincerity of his profetiions, at period vben suspicion was jutiified by the niofi ferious and frequent detections. He was accord. ingly advanced from the rank of chef de brigade, to that of general of artillery, and dia' rected, under general Dugommier, the attacks of the various redoubts that surrounded and arengthened this important port, in which Collot d'Herbois foon aiter declared " that he had found the galley-slaves alone faithful to the republic!" It is almoft necdless to add, that the energy of the French troops, added to the scientific arrangements of the engineers, overcaine the zeal and refiftance of the motley garrison, and restored the key of the Mediterranean to France.

“ It may be necessary, however, to remark, that Buonaparte, in 1793, took an active part againf general Paoli and the English; for, in the course of that year, he appeared with a small armament before Ajaccio, the town and citadel of which he summoned in the naine of the republic; but he met with a formidable enemy in his own coulin, the brave captain Mafteria, who commanded a corps of Corlicans during the fiege of Gibraltar, and had learned the management of red-hot shot under lord Heathfield.

“Tho conquet of Toulon contributed not a little to raise the credit of Buonaparte; and it prored equally advantageous to his friend Barras. That deputy had been also bred a military man, and was employed by his colleagues on all great emergencies. One of these soon occurred; this was the commotion among the sections of Paris, known by the name of ihe Insurrection of Vendemiaire. On this occafion, he took care to be furrounded by able men, among whom was general Buonaparte, whom he had inrefied with the com. mand of the artillery at the lege of Toulon. It was to another Corfican, however, that he confided the superintendance of the army: this was Gentili, who had just acquired a great reputation by his gallant defence of Bastia. On trial, however, it was immediately discovered that the deafness of Gentili was an invincible obftacle to success, as he could Deither hear nor attend to the multiplied and complicated reports of the aides de campi, who were continually bringing him messages, or addreiling him rclative to the situation of the enemy. Luckily for the convention, Napoleone Buonaparte was, at this critical and decisive moment, appointed his successor; and it is to the mafierly dispositions made by' him that the triumph of the reprcfentative body is to be principally ascribed. It is but


this retreat, had strengthened his was absolutely necessary to cutting posts on the flanks of the Austrians, off the retreat of the division of the who were advancing, but who had French whom they had previously been held in check by the forces defeated; and as it appeared prowhich occupied the post of Monte- bable that the Auftrians would reNotte, lying between Voltri and Sa- new the attack with their whole vona.' The poffeffion of this poit force, Buonaparte sent a division



jnfice to add that the moderation displayed on this occasion is perhaps unequalled in the hiftory of the civil wars of modern times.

“A nobler field now opened for the exertions of Buonaparte; for he was soon after invefed with the chief command of the French army in Italy, which, under his direction, prepared

open the campaign of 1796. In the spring of that year, we find the Austro-Sardinian army defeated within forty miles of Turin; 14,000 were either killed or taken prisoners on this occasion, and the cannon and camp equipage seized on by the victors. The army oi Lombardy was also doonied to experiance a inosi humiliating defeat, although led on by a cautious veteran, Beaulieu, ip person : this was attributed solely to the skilful mancuvres of the commander in chief, feconded by the active exertions of generals Laharpe, Massena, and Servona. The Austrian general Provera was taken prisoner in a third engagement; in consequence of which, forty field-pieces, with the horses, mules, and artilIcry waggons, &c. were captured by the French, 2500 of the allies killed, and 8000 made prisoners. In ihort, the battles of Millcino, Dogo, Mondari, Monte Lerino, and MonteNotte, vere decidive of the fate of Sardinia; for the aged and fuperstitious monarch then Teated on the throne, found himself reduced to the humiliating situation of relinquishing Saroy and Nice, and fubfcribing to such terms as were granted by a generous conqueror, who could have driven him from his throne, and obliged him to spend the Mort remainder of a wretched life in exile, and perhaps in poverty.

“ The battle of Lodi, fought on the 21 f Floreal (May 10th) nearly completed the overthrow of the Austrian power in Italy, and added greatly to the reputation of the French arms. On this occafion, a battalion of grenadiers bore down all before them, and reached the bridge of Lodi, Mouting “ Long live the repubiic!" but the dreadful fire kept up by the enemy having flopped their progress, generals Berthier, Marlena, Cerroni, &c. runca Lorward: even their presence would have proved ineffcétual, had it not been for the intrepidity of Buonaparte, who, snatching a sandard from the hand of a subaltern, like Cafar on a similar occasion, placed himself in front, and, animating his foldiers by his actions and gesticulations (for his voice was drowned in the noise of the cannon and musquetry), viczory once more arrapged herself under the Gallic banners.

" In consequence of this fignal defeat, or rather series of defeats, Beaulieu was obligea to yield the palmo to a younger rival, for he felt himself reduced to the necessity of retreating among the mountains of Tyrol; on which the French took poffeflion of the greater part of Lombardy, and acquired attonishing resources, and immense magazines.

“ After crossing the Mincio, in the face of the Austrians, the republican army entered Verona, which so lately had afforded an asylum to one of the titular kings of France, and seized on Pavia. Here a new and more dreadful cnemy attempted to flop the progress of the conquerors. It was superstition, clothed in cowls and surplices, brandishing a poniard in one hand, and a crucifix in the other; but the speedy punifament of the priests and theis adherents put an end to the insurrection, and thus saved Buonaparte and his army from a more imminent danger than they had as yet experienced, and from which no French army that has hitherto croffed the Alps has been excmpt.

« At length, Mantua alonc reinained in poffeffion of the Auftrians, and this also was foon invested by the victors, who, at the same time, made inroads into the Tyrol, and, by the battle of Roveredo and the poffeffion of Trent, became matters of the pafles that led to Vienna.

“ In the mean tinc the gallant Wurmser determined to Shut himself up, with the remainder of bis dispirited troops, in Mantua ; and the Auftrians made one more grand effort, by means of general Alvinzy, to rescue his besieged army, and regain their ancient preponderance in Italy. But the battle of Arcola completely disappointed their expectations ; and the capture of Mantua at one and the same time concluded the campaigu, and their humiliation,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »