Gambar halaman

to surround the Ruffian camp, and to attack it in all parts at once. In the mean time the garrison of Choczim made a furious sally, and the engagement became very warm. Though the Ruffian troops behaved with the greatest bravery, and their cavalry repulsed the enemy several times, yet the attacks were made with such vigour, and carried on in so many different places at once, that the Turks at length penetrated to the redoubts in the left wing of the Ruffian camp. The affair began to grow serious; but the Ruffian artillery and bombs turned the fortune of the day, and made such a dreadful havock among the enemy, that they were obliged to retire. And at length, about eight o'clock in the evening, the Turks and Tartars finding all their efforts fruitless, fled with great precipitation, and were pursued to a considerable distance by the Ruffian light troops.

This is the Ruffian account of this action, and we have met with no other. In general it is more moderate, and somewhat more intelligible, than any other that came from the fame quarter during the campaign. But when the fame writer tells us afterwards, that a battle between two large armies, which lasted for eight hours, and was fought with the greatest fury, (the success of which by his own account was for a long time very doubtful) cost the Ruffians no more than a few hussars killed and wounded, it is not easy to r«strain some degree of contempt and indignation, at so improbable an account.

The cannonade and bombardment of Choczim still continued; but an account being received,

that the van of the grand Turkish army, under the command of the seraskier of Romelia and Mehe* met Pacha, were marching to its relief, general Proforowfki was sent at the head of a considerable part of the Russian army to oppose them. A bloody battle, of which we have had no particulars, wat fought upon this occasion, in which that body of the Russians was totally defeated.

The Turkish army, which now amounted to 70,000 men, animated by this advantage, marched directly to Choczim, and braved prince Gallitzin rin his trenches, who being afraid of another engagement, broke up his camp that night, and retired to a strong one he had formerly possessed in the forest of Buckowina. Thus was the siege of Choczim raised a second time. Prince Gallitzin continued some days in this camp to gather up the shattered remain's of Prosorowfki's army, which were continually overlaid and oppressed by the Turkish cavalry, who covered the whole country.

ThC Jstjp*** Aug. 16.

accomplished this pur- ■

pose, repassed the Niester; his expeditions over that river having hitherto proved very unfortunate. It was computed that the siege of Choczim, and the actions consequent to it, cost the Russians above twenty thousand men. The enemy pursued them very closely in their retreat, and attacked their rear with great fury at the passage of the Niester, where, it was said, that they broke the Russian bridges, funk a great number of their boats, and killed and drowned above three thousand men, besides taking thirty pieces of cannon.

[C 3] On On the other hand, the Ruffians fay, that the retreat from Choczim was made in great order, and without any loss. It is however certain, that the Russian army was in a very bad condition at the time of its repaffing the Niester, and stood in great need of reinforcements and supplies of every kind; and that the Turks not only attacked them on their crossing (he river, but

that, it is said, they were now grown so confident, and were so emboldened by success, that large bodies of their cavalry swam over the river in sight of the Ruffian bridges, and attacked them on the other side; and that they contii nued to pursue and to harass them upon every occasion in their re-r treat.



Prudent conduct of the late grand 'vizir, procures his disgrace j Jlloldovani Ali Pacha, is appointed his succefihr. Great losses sustained by. the Turks in their rajh attempts to cross the Niefier. Turkish army break up their camp, abandon Choczim, and retire tumultuously to the Danube. Ruffians ever-run the provinces of Moldavia and Walachia; Greek inhabitants of those provinces acknowledge the empress of Rusjia as their sovereign, and take oaths os fidelity to her. Unsuccessful attempt on the citadel of Brailoiv* Count Panin fails in his design upon the city os Bender. Disposition of the Ruffian troops for the viinter. Preparations made by the Grand Signior for carrying on the -war.

WE have already taken notice of the prudence and caution which apparently directed the measures pursued by the late grand vizir in the prosecution of the war. The good effects of this conduct became every day more conspicuous, and the time seemsd now to approach when he was to reap all the fruits of it. The Ruffians were harassed and wasted by a continued succession of small and bloody engagements, fought with various success, incapable by their nature of producing any decisive effect, but fatal to them by the loss of an infinite number of men. The consequences that attended the unfortunate siege of Choczim, seemed finally to determine the fate of the campaign, and at the same time to illustrate and nearly comi

plete the vizir's system. The grand Turkish force was still whole and, intire, and seemed now only entering into action in its full strength and vigour, while the Ruffian ar-, my bore all the marks of a ruinous campaign, and was obliged to repass the Niester with loss and disgrace.

A perseverance in these measures would probably have proved fatal to the Russians. Such measures were, however, but ill adapted to the temper of the licentious army which the vizir commanded, and to the weakness of the councils that prevailed in the seraglio. The janizaries and other soldiers, unused to fatigue, and impatient of the hardships of a military life, upbraided their general with cowardice, and cried loudly to be led


•against the enemy, eagerly wishing for a general engagement, as the only measure that could release them from labours which they abhorred, and from a restraint and discipline which they could not endure. _While the camp was thus in a continual state of mutiny and disorder, numberless complaints were transmitted to Constantinople, where the outcry against the grand vizir grew as loud as in the camp, and the intemperate violence of a licentious soldiery, became the measure of conduct to be observed by an ignorant and unsteady court. « The grand vizir ac

*»' 'cordingly became a sacrifice, and Moldovani AH Pacha, a man of a fierce and violent courage, and who. seemed to think that no efcher qualifications were requisite to a general, was apposnted his successor. Several other changes took place in the camp at the fame time. The prince of Moldavia was deposed and sent to Constantinople, and the principal dragoman, or chief interpreter of the porte, (an office of great trust, and always bestowed on a Christian) was degraded.

A few days before these changes took place, an" event happened in . the camp, which, as it strongly marked the cruel ferocity of manners that still prevails among the Turks, was also productive of two noble instances, of the most heroic valour, and inviolable attachment. Caraman Pacha, who we have before mentioned, and who had also a command in one of the late actions near Choczim, having gone to meet the vizir on his march, .that general, as soon as he saw him, flew into a most violent paffion,

and immediately ordered his head to be cut off. The unfortunate bashaw endeavoured to retire, and, at the fame time drawing his sword, defended himself bravely, but being soon surrounded and overborne by numbers, was cut to pieces. In the mean time hisseiictar, or swordbearer, fired with rage and indignation at the situation of his master, suddenly drew out a pistol, with which h«s attempted to shoot the vizir. It happened fortunately for the vizir, that a faithful domestic having seen the motion os the selictar's arm, stepped suddenly between his master and the shot, which he received in his own body, and fell dead at his feet. The selictar was soon cut to pieces, and the heads of the bashaw, and of his friend, were exposed together to public view. It does not appear, what real or supposed crime excited the rage of the vizir. Caraman Pacha seems to have been a brave officer; and it is said, that of 2000 Albanians which he commanded in the late action, lie brought but'an hundred out of the field; a circumstance which seems to indicate his deserving a better fate.

No well founded opinion can be formed, from the accounts that have been published, of the situation or disposition of the Ruffian army, for some time after its repairing theJNfiester. We are as much in tne dar.k as to the motions of the Turkish army, for some time aster the new vizir had taken the command. All we know with any degree of certainty is, that theTurkifhdetachmentswhich pursued the Russians into Poland, were bravely withstood by the latter, and after being repulsed and

[C 4] defeated

defeated upon several occasions, were finally obliged to repass 'the 'Niester. During these transactions, general Romanzow committed great devastations upon the Turks in the borders of Bender and Oczakow, where he plundered and burnt several towns and villages, defeated "a Turkish detachment, and Carried off a great booty of cattle. The Tartars also committed great ■ ravages in Poland, where they al'■most totally destroyed the palatinate of Bracklaw, besides doing much mischief in other places.

It appears probable, though we "have no detail of the particulars, that prince Gallitzin used great diligence in reinforcing his army, 'as well by drawing strong detachments from that under the command of general Romanzow, who had nO enemy to engage his attention, as by calling in those that were in the neighbouring parts of Poland. We accordingly find that 'in the beginning of September, *the'Russian army was agaih posted oh the banks of 'the Niester, "and effectually defended the passage of that riveragainst the Turks, whose •whole army under the command of the new vizir was arrived on the opposite shore.

In this situation, 8obo Turks, Consisting intirely of janizaries and fpahis, the names that distinguish "the two celebrated corps, of their bravest and best disciplined foot _ and horse, passed the

•oept. 3. rjver jn the night, and 'at the break of day attacked a l>Ody of Ruffians who were en•camped on this side. Prince Repnih, who Was posted in the neighbourhood, . marched immediately to the relief of this corps, and attacked 'the Turks at the 'head df 5

four regiments with fixed bayonets. The engagement was furious and bloody, and the Turks were drove back and pursued to the river, which they attempted to repass, in the greatest disorder and confusion; having in this ill-judged attempt, above 4000 of their number either killed or drowned.

This fatal instance of "the danger of sending detachments across a great river, in the face of a powerful enemy, without communication, or a possibility of support, might have been a salutary instruction to any general who Was capable of benefiting by experience. ThisTvas not the case of the vizir, whose rashness and obstinacy, made him equally incapable of acquiring knowledge, or receiving instruction. He knew that extreme caution was the only charge that could he brought against his predecessor; the direct contrary was therefore to be the rule of his conduct. Upon this principle he was determined to fight, arid would wait neither for time nor the occasion; but, blinded by his own impetuosity, would fofce every thing to submit to it.

The vizir accordingly having laid'th're'e bridges over the Niester, "the Turkish army, without any pretence of stratagem or deception, began to pass the river in the fate of the enemy. Prince Gallitzin having perceived this motion early in the morn- ~ ing, immediately at- P • 9

tacked 'those troops that had crossed the river in the night, whet consequently could neither chuse •their ground, npr have time tb 'extend or form themselves properly where they were. "Notwithstanding these extreme .disadvantages, tages, the engagement was very severe, and continued from seven in the morning till noon. The Russian accounts, which are the only ones we have of this action, confess that the Turks fought with great and unusual obstinacy. They were however at length totally deseated, and obliged to repass the river with great loss, and in the utmost disorder and confusion.

It was computed that about 60,000 Turks crossed the river before and during the time of the engagement. Prince Gallitzin charged at the head of five columns of infantry, with fixed bayonets, who destroyed the flower of the Turkish cavalry. It isfeid, that the loss of the Turks in this battle, amounted to 70O0 men that were killed upon the spot, besides the wounded and prisoners, and a great nutnberthat were drowned. Several pieces of cannon were taken by the Russians, and a considerable number of horse tails, and other trophies of victory.

This dreadful carnage, the signal and immediate punishment of folly and rashness, would have strack any mind, that was not so totally perverse and incorrigible as that of the vizir's. It seeifts unaccountable, that the soldiers, who were so turbulent and ungovernable under the late vizir, should now beav the continual destruction that attended this extravagant conduct, without flying into any act of violence or extremity. It perhaps serves to shew, that there is nothing that an army will not'attempt or endure for a general who fceeps the soldiers warm in continual action, if at the fame time he directs ;his conduct in such a manner, « *o leave room for hope to operate in his favour.

The vizir, immediately after this action, began to prepare for another operation of the fame nature. He now laid but one bridge over the river, which he had the precaution to cover with large batteries of cannon, and prepared to pass the whole army over. AU these attempts were made in one particular part of the river, in the neighbourhood, and nearly within sight of Choczim; and the perseverance in this instance was so obstinate, that it seemed as if it would not have answered the views of the general, to have effected a passage either higher up or lower down.

Eight thousand janizaries and four thousand regular cavalry, the flower of the whole Ottoman army, had already passed over c- t ,_ with a large train of ar- "' '* tillery, and the rest of the army was in motion to follow, when a sudden and extraordinary swell of the waters of the Niefter, carried away and totally destroyed the bridge. Thus were-twelve thousand brave men hemmed in, between a great and implacable hostile army on one side, and an impassable river on the other,-without time to fortify or entrench themselves, or without the possibility of .a single hope to arise from their courage.

The Russians lost no time in making use of so extraordinary an advantage. An engagement truly desperate ensued, in which the assailants fought with all the boldness of assured success, and the defendants like men who only wanted to fell their lives as dear as possible. The severity of the Turkish manners, which has not admitted of the civilized and humane cartels,

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