Gambar halaman

Sieur Broynard, the resident from the court of Vienna, were the heroines, who scorned to betray the rights of the sex, or to sacrifice their Christian freedom to Mahometan bigotry or rage. These ladies accordingly placed themselves at a window; from whence they beheld the procession; but were soon perceived by the Turkish populace, who in the greatest rage and ftiry, immediately assaulted the ambassador's house. The house happened to be' strong, and the domestics numerous, who ran to their arms, and made a vigorous defence. A dreadful fray ensued, in which, a great number of lives were lost; but the populace having at length made their way into the house, they found the minister's lady, and brought her down into the court, where they were making preparations to strangle her, when fortunately a party of Janizaries arrived, who saved her life, and dispersed the outrageous croud.

The grand vizir expressed great sorrow for this insult, and begged the minister would look upon it, as ah act only proceeding from the blind fury of an infatuated multitude; he at the fame time assured him that he should have all the reparation that it was possible to procure. A few hours after, the vizir sent the imperial minister a rich present of jewels for his lady, and a bag, which was found to contain the heads of the three principal rioters. The Grand Signior also sent the chief interpreter of the Porte with a rich present, to apologize, directly inhi&own name, for the affront.

The Turkish armies being always, encumbered with women, with immense quantities of unne

cessary baggage, and great ntim* bers of useless domestics, are consequently unwieldy and flow in their motions. Though the grand vizir began his march from Constantinople early in April, yet the delays incident to such incumbrances, and the difficulty of re-i gulating so Tast and undisciplined a multitude, retarded him in such a manner, that it was near the latter end of the month, before he could advance from Adrianople, with the grand army, towards the Lanube.

In the mean time prince Gallitzin, who commanded the Ruffian army on the hanks of the Niester, thought this a proper rime to attempt something decisive, before the arrival of the great Turkish force in that quarter. Having accordingly crossed the Niester with his whole army, he advanced to Choczim, where heen campt in sight of a body of 30,000 Turks commanded by Caraman Pacha, and entrenched under the cannon of the town. The prince having made . the necessary disposi- "* * * , tions, attacked the Turks in their entrenchments early in the morning, and notwithstanding an obstinate defence, and a dreadful fire from the fortress, at length beat them out of the trenches. The Turks endeavoured to cover their retreat, by detaching a large body of cavalry, to attack the right wing of the Ruffian army; but they had such a warm reception from the artillery, that they soon retired in great disorder. General Stoffeln, and prince Dolgorucki, were then ordered to pursue the fugitives, at the head of eight battalions; which they did so effectually, that they followed them into the suburbs of Choc.aim.

Choczim, and their pursuit was at length only stopped, by the palli fadoes, of the fortress. Soon after the town was set on fire by the redhot balls, and a great number of Jews and Christians took refuge in the Ruffian camp.

This account of the affair was given after the retreat of the Russian army over the Niester; and as it was the last, so it Was by much the most intelligible of those that had been published at Petersburg. The first, which had been brought express to court by the Ruffian adjutant - general, and seemed thereby authenticated, was filled with the most glaring absurdities. The officer who commanded a battery on the Russian right wing, was,not only said to have defeated the whole Turkish cavalry by two discharges of his artillery, but also to have routed the entire army; the Janizaries and other soldiers having immediately, run a,way from their trenches and abandoned the camp, for fear of the third of these dreadful fires.

From this advantage over the Turks in their trenches, together with the defeat on the fame day, by general, Ptosorowfki, of a, considerable detachment that was coming to reinforce their army, ft might have been reasonably sup^ posed, that Choczim would have falleij immediately into the hands of the Ruffians. In the midst however of this rapid tide of suc.^ cess, which seemed already to determine the sate of the campaign, without any reverse of fortune with which we are acquainted, we fee the victorious prince GaUitzin repaft the Niester with precipitation, while he is closely and Vol. XII.

eagerly pursued by the beaten enemy in Poland. The circumstances that attended this retreat were so extraordinury, that even an attempt was not made to defend the passages of the river, and the Turkish cavalry over-run the neighbouring country, burnt some small towns, and destroyed some Ruffian magazines.

The reasons assigned in the Russian accounts for retiring from Choczim, were, that it was garrisoned by 18,000 men well provided with artillery: that several great bodies of Turkish troops appeared in the neighbourhood; that the country was so wasted, that the army could not be supplied with provisions; and that Prince Gallitzin, not having sufficient artil* lery along with ftim, suspended his intention of besieging the place for the present.

The desire of establishing a belief of success was not however confined to the Ruffians. A pompous account was publilhed in Constantinople, of the great victory gained by the Ottoman troops over their enemies; and the Grand Signior went publicly to the mosque to return thajiks to Heaven, where the Iman bestowed on him the, flattering title of Gazi, or Conqueror.

In the mean time, general Romanzow made an attempt upon the important fortress of Oczakow, which, in the manner, as well as the success, seemed similar to that ma,de by prince GaUitzin upon Choczim. This town, which is the capital of the Budziac Tariary, lies on the western shore of the gieat riverMieper, or Boristhenes, where it falls into the Black Sea; and along with the advantage of a to

[C] lerablc Ierable port,, commands the passage of that river. These circumstances, as well as its central situation, lying nearly mid-way, between the entrance into' Crim Tartary, by the Isthmus of Precop on the east, and the mouths of the Danube on the south-west, render it a place of the utmost importance to the Turks: so that it may be properly considered as one of the principal keys of all the intermediate provinces. It was besieged by count Munich in the year 1737, when a bomb having blown up the principal magazine, and set the town on fire, the Russians, during the confusion, took it by storm; in which assault, the celebrated generals, Lowendahl and Keith, were wounded. They were, however, obliged to abandon it the ensuing year, after it had cost them above 20,000 men; it being found impracticable to support or protect ■a garrison at £0 great a distance, in the midst of desart countries, which cannot be entered by an hostile army, without its carrying every necessary along with it, even to water, that would be requisite for the victualling of a fleet.

At this time, a small Turkish army was encamped under the walls, which the Ruffian general attacked in it trenches, notwithstanding the fire of the town; but was repulsed, its was said, with very great loss. This action was represented at Constantinople as an important victory.

While the contending powers were attacking each other in every vulnerable part on the side of Europe, the Tartar Asiatic nations .in their different interests, extended the rage of war into another quar

ter of the globe. A bloody M engagement was fought '*' between the Calmucks, and those Tartars that inhabit the banks of the Kuban, lying between the Black and the Caspian Seas. This engagement lasted from two in the afternoon, to fun-set; when the Calmucks, by the help of some Ruffian officers, with a detachment of dragoons arid costacks, and two pieces of cannon, gained the victory, having made a great slaughter, and taken above 5000 horses. No prisoners were made upon this occasion, as the Calmucks gave no quarter.,

On the other hand, the European Tartars penetrated into the Ruffian Ukraine on the side of Backmuth, where they again renewed all those devastations, of which they had before given such fatal specimens in the province of New Servia. The expeditions in these parts, give frequent occasion to remind as of the spirit of wars in the earliest times, the principal actions of which consisted in either destroying the people, or making them captive, and in driving away vast flocks, and numerous herds- of cattle.

Prince Gallitzin had again recovered the Niester, and encamped on its banks. Detachments from T>oth .sides continually passed that river, which occasioned a* great number of bloody skirmishes, and the ruin of the neighbouring countries. The GrandSignior, who had entered into this war as an ally and protector of Poland, now ordered a manifesto to be delivered to the foreign ministers, in which he declared war against the kin? x>f that country, and threatened frith the severest enmity all those Poles who did not coincide with his patriotic views, by assisting the Ottoman forces and the Confederates, in restoring its liberty, and in the expulsion of the Russians. At the fame time he promised support and protection to all those who- assisted in this design. This example had been set by the Russians, who long before issued a declaration, that a simple acquiesence or neutrality, would not be deemed sufficient causes of protection or safety; but that all Poles, who did not avowedly declare themselves on their side, .were to be treated as rebels. By these inhuman declarations, the unhappy Polanders were reduced to the cruel dilemma, of being treated as rebels by one of their officious friends and protectors, let them take which fide they would; nor was a quiet and humble submission to the powers in being, sufficient to preserve their rives or properties.

In the mean time the grand Turkish army moved very slowly, and the vizir had uncommon difficulties to encounter.- It may be easily conceived how hard it was to preserve or establish order among such ferocious crowds, composed of different nations, who hated or despised one another; who were totally unacquainted with all manner of discipline, and who never before had been in a camp, nor had seen any kind of service. The officers were as incapable of agreeing among themselves, as they were of obeying their superiors; and the several corps which they commanded having espoused their quarrels, have been upon the point of deciding them by arms. The janizaries, who always used to set the

example of order and discipline to the other troops, were now a'most as licentious as any of the rest. The pestilence also raged in. the camp, which added to the difficulties that the general had to encounter.

As far as we can judge by his conduct, and from such accounts as have appeared, the grand vizir seemed well qualified for the arduous task to which he was appointed. Sensible of his own defects, he endeavoured to supply by his natural caution, prudence, ani sagacity, the want of military knowledgeand experience. He cautiously abstained from bringing an 'overgrown and tumultuous crowd to a general action, but endeavoured by degrees tohabituate them to discipline, and to the regularity and order of a camp. In the mean time he made effectual use of the superiority of his cavalry: the forces on the frontiers were continually supplied by strong detacV ments,who had an opportunity of trying their courage and acquiring experience, without a defeat being attended with any dangerous consequence.

These seem to have been the outlines of this general's conduct, and the principles upon wKich he continued so long a time encamped at Isackee, upon the banks of the Danube. In the mean time prince Gallitzin made preparations for passing the Niester, and for again attempting the fortress of Choczim. To this purpose he left general Rennecamp with a considerable body of troops in his camp, to divert the attention of the enemy qn the opposite side. This manœuvre had the desired effect, while the prince at the head of the greater

[C 2] part part of the troops, having marched lower down the river, crossed it without difficulty, and passing thro' . . the forest of Bukowina,

Ju»y '3- appeared suddenly at the hack of a considerable Turkish army, which was encamped under the command of a scralkier, in the neighbourhood of Choczim.

The Russians began the battle about fix o'clock in the morning, under the advantage of a prodigious cannonade, which was continued during the greatest part of the action. The attack was made and supported with great fury, and the defence, notwithstanding the surprize, seems to have been equally obstinate, for it was one o'clock before the Turks were beat out of their camp. At that time they divided into three bodies, the largest of which retired with great precipitation towards Kalus, another entered into the town, and the third took possession of the old entrenchments under the walls.

This was the most considerable, as well as the best fought action, that had yet happened between the hostile powers. No account has been published of the loss sustained on either side, but by the length of time that the engagement lasted, and the obstinacy with which it was fought, it must have been very considerable. The great advantage which the Ruffians had in this and every other engagement, depended upon the vast superiority of their infantry. The steady and continual sirekept up by this body, was intolerable to the Turks; who, fuperstitioufly wedded to old customs and opinions, could never be brought to make use of the bayonet; but placing their whole confidence in the sabre, with which

they first acquired conquest and re^ nown, regard even the musket with indifference.

The Russians immediately invested Choczim, and erected several batteries from which they threw bombs and red hot balls into the town. They were not however able to besiege it in form. The garrison consisted of 13,000 men, who made frequent sallies upon them; and great bodies of horse from the grand vizir's camp, who was now considerably advanced on this side of the Danube, kept them in continual awe, and action.

The Turkish army, divided in three great bodies, approached every day. nearer to the Ruffians; in proportion to which the attacks upon their parties, and the alarms to their camp, became more frequent and serious, and their situation grew more critical. In the mean time the garrison of Choczim was greatly distressed for provisions and forage, and general Stoffeln, who conducted the siege, endeavoured to cut off their water, by planting batteries on the banks of the Niester, in which he so far succeeded, that it is said they had but two wells left in their possession. General Romanzow also advanced with his army from the side •of the Ukraine, to cover or support prince Gallitzin.

A grand detachment of Turkish horse, and a great body of Tartars, were hereupon sent by the vizir to throw a large convoy of provisions into the town. These troops having approach- Aug. zd. ed the Russian camp, the advanced guards on both sides began to engage about noon. At two o'clock the Turkish army extended its lines, as if it intended


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »