ページの画像
PDF
ePub

men.

sent out fome powerful detachments This rapid and unresisted prowhich acted with great effect. One gress of the French to the eastward of these detachments entered the of the Weser, was to the higheit Harts Forest (the remains of the degree alarming. Prince Ferdinand great Hercynian, fo famous among with all the expedition in his the ancients) and besieged the power, detached the hereditary strong castle of Schartsfelts, which prince to the relief of Brunswick. they cook and demolished. Then This measure fortunately faved that they laid the whole traci of country very important place. This activa under severe concrbution. Ano- commander compelled the enciny ther, and still more powerful de not only to raise the fiege of Brunétachment under prince Xavier of wick, but to abandon Wolfenbuttel, Saxony appeared before Wolfen- and to make a precipitate retreac buttel, a considerable city, and with the loss of some of their can. Ot, sth.

strongly situated, as it is non, and upwwds of a thousand

wholly surrounded by the Ocker. But the French, as they Whilst Broglio's detachments knew that the town is molly built proceeded thus in difreiling the of wood, commenced their ope country to the eastward of the Werations with a very fierce bombard. fer, the prince of Soubise, who by ment. This had such an effect, the removal of the hereditary that the resiitance of the place was prince of Brunswick to another not proportioned to its strength; in quarter, faw no longer any thing five days it furrendered, and was capable of opposing him, spread subject, like the rest, to a grievous his army by detachments over all contribution.

Westphalia, and ravaged it in the Flushed with this success, the most cruel manner. They took French fallowed their blow, and Osnabrug; and because the contriadvanced, keeping still the course butions were not immediately paid, of the Ocker, to Brunswick; and they gave up the place to be pil. began also to invest that city. The laged by their troops, who rifed reigning prince, unable to protect the misérable inhabitants without his subjects, or to secure bis person mercy. Another body pushed as in his dominions, fed to Hamburg, far as Embden. This important where he met the landgrave of town was immediately furrendered Hesse, whom the rage of war had by the garrison (two English comin the same manner driven from his panies of invalids) at the desire of territories. This free city now be the timid inhabitants, and the pro came a place of general refuge, and mise of favourable treatment: notenriched itself by the calamities, as withstanding this capitulation, and it had in better times done by the the merit of so easy a surrender, the prosperity of Germany. It was town, as well as the whole country lately computed, that the strangers of East-Friesland, was laid under there had increased to forty thou a ruinous con:ribution. But their sand, amongst whom they could exorbitances grew to such an exreckon two lovereign princes, and tremity, that the boors were at several other persons of the first dil length compelled to rise, and with tinction.

such

Oet. 3d.

such arms as a sudden rage fuppli- very important city from the like ed them, to drive these oppressors enterprizes for the future. out of their country.

Whilst the two French armies in A more considerable corps com this manner ravaged all the country manded by the prince de Conde, held by the allies, prince Ferdinand,

laid siege to Meppen, a who saw the rage of war spread all

place on the Ens of some around him, with his usual firmness, consequence, and where we had kept that central polition which he some magazines. In three days it had taken soon after the battle of was reduced, and the garrison of Kirch Denkern; no movements of five hundred men were made pri the enemy could terrify or allure. foners of war.

him from it. He had settled his The city of Bremen was defended head quarters at Buline, and his by a weak garrison. This was a place army extended from thence towards of far greater moment than Mep- Hammelen. Posted in this manner, pen, the allies having amassed there he secured the course of the Weler, immense magazines, as it was a by preventing the enemy from magreat and trading town, advanta. king themselves master's either of geously situated on the river We. Hammelen or Minden; he lay in fer; and the possession of this place the best situation in which it was must undoubtedly have given to the possible to place a single army, that French the command of that river, was to act against two; and knowthrough which the allies derived all ing that he could not follow their their fubfistence. If the English had movements with the body of his loft Bremen, they must have seen army, without hazarding the king's themselves invested and locked up electoral dominions, and indeed ein a barren country, in the heart of very object of the war, he contenGermany, surrounded by their ene- ted himself with sending out such mies, and deprived of every re

detachments as he could spare, fource. Fortunately the inhabi- fuccessively to the relief of the platants of this city proved as brave ces which were attacked. He saw as those of Embden were timid. that the winter approached, which They were exasperated by the ex. had always been a circumstance ample of the French rigour, which favourable to him; and it was they had seen on every side of them. evident that whilft he continued They therefore joined the garrison, with his main body immoveably inftead of discouraging them in the fixed as ic was, and his detachments defence of the place. The French active on every side, it was imwere obliged to retire precipitately; possible for the enemy to keep any and a strong reinforcement was of those places, they had seized in thrown into Bremen, to secure that their incursions.

c H A P.

C H A P. VI.

Condition of the king of Pruffia. His inaction. Motions of the Russians and of Laudohn. Brejlau cannonaded. Tonleben removed. Colberg besieged. Rufian magazines in Poland destroyed. War transferred to Pomerania. King of Prussia quits his strong camp. Schweidnitz taken by a coup de main, General Platen repulsed. General Knoblock made prisoner at Trep

Prince Wurtenburg retreats. Colberg taken. Rulians winter in Pomerania.

tow.

U

NTIL this year the opera- eleven of these battles, the king

tions of the Pruffian armies or his generals were defeated. took the lead in interest and impor. He was victorious only in eight. tance before ail the other events Ten of them were fought under of the war. The firmness and ac his own command; and seven out tivity of their illuftrious monarch, of the eight viétories which were the number and animosity of his gained, were obtained by himenemies, the blows that he gave felf in person; of the eleven de. and those that he suffered, his dif- feats, he was present only at tressing and terrible falls, his amaz three. ing and almost miraculous recove From these circumstances some ries, kept all eyes fixed on his mo. judgment may be formed of the actions, as the great center of public tive and enterprizing character of attention. Undoubtedly nothing this monarch, and of the amazing that has ever been acted on the scene resources he had prepared, or formof human aftairs, attracted the minds ed, or seized, and in some instances; of men to it with greater justice; one may fay, almolt created. We none perhaps afforded at once more have obierved that the lastcampaign entertainment to the imagination, had ended more to his advantage, and furnithed more copious mate- than the one preceeding had done; rials for political and military in- for those two great victories of Lig. struction, and probably, therefore, nitz, and Torgau, with which he this part of all our modern history, then ended his operations, had not will be the most carefully studied by only rescued his affairs on Silesia and pofterity, when it comes to be pro- Saxony from impending destruction perly known, and worthily written, but had enlarged his field for re

To judge of the importance of cruiting, and prepared him, to all this branch of the general war, it appearance, for more early and viwill be proper to recollect that, be. gorous action, than could have been fides a number of sieges which were expected in most of the preceeding profecuted, together with innume- campaigns. But every one was rable and bloody fkirmishes, no less furprized to oblerve, that this year than nineteen pitched battles, or he had totally altered the system of capital actions, have been fought his conduct. Au inactivity and on his part since the close of the langour was diffused over all his year 1756, when the king of Prussia proceedings. He seemed to have first seized upon Saxony, and inade adopted the caution and slowneís an irruption into Bohemia. in which had been to long opposed to ,

his

[ocr errors]

his vivacity by M. Daun. The five; a conduct, which perhaps summer was almost wholly spent, his circumstances bad rendered ab. and the king of Pruffia had scarcely folutely unavoidable. Prince Henry been mentioned,

commanded an army in Saxony, It was not suspected that the pro- which entrenched itself trongly unposed negotiation at Augsburg could der Leipsic. M. Daun continued have had much if any influence

up

near Dreiden ; and these two armies on his method of proceeding. No did no more than watch each other particular proposals had been made during the campaign. The king concerning his affairs, nor indeed was also entrenched in a very ftrong any other marks of a pacific dispo- position in Upper Silesia, not far sition towards him shewn, except from Schweidnitz, whilst the forwhat were contained in those ge. treffes in the lower part of that neral declarations, which a regard country were filled with such garto common decency had exačted. risons, as put them out of the reach It must have added to the anx

of any sudden insult. iety of his situation, that Great This position was pointed out by Britain and France were at that the motions and apparent designs time engaged in a separate treaty, of his enemies. The Russian army in which the latter power was was this year, as well as in the fore in a condition to make so many flat. mer, divided into two strong botering offers in relation to Germa- dies; one of which, led by Tot. ny, that he might well have dréad. tleben, directed its march towards ed the withdrawing of that affift- Pomerania : and the other under ance which had hitherto been his M. Butterlin, entered into the Upgreat support against all attacks, per Silesia, advancing towards Breand his final resource in all his dif- flau. Baron Laudohn entered that tresses. Perhaps he was well assur- province in the part opposite to ed, that the faith of Great Britain them, and they proposed to unite was 'proof against every offer how- their armies, in order to attack the ever alluring ; in fact it proved to king, or to take Breslau or Schweidbe fo'; for in rejecting the Ger- nitz in his presence. The reman neutrality, which the French markable drought in the beginproposed in the late negotiation, ning of the season, which had greatour country afforded as convincing ly lowered the Oder, facilitated a proof of an unshakable public their junction. The Russians spread faith, as any people had

themselves over all the open coungiven to their allies.

try of Silesia, and exacted heavy However, whilft this point re contributions. A body of mained in any degree of fufpence, them appeared before Bre: Aug. 1. it would have appeared natural, flau, and began to cannonade the that the king of Pruflia hould town from seven batteries. Laumake some uncommon exertions to dohn exerted the whole of his confirm the faith of his allies, as skill to draw the king from his poft, well as to put himself upon a more and to engage him in a disadvanrespectable footing at the ensuing tageous adion. Sometimes he adcongress. It is not withilanding vanced, as if he meant to join the cer:ain, that he contented himself Ruffians: sometimes his motions with acting wholly upon the delen

indicated

ever

indicated a design on Schweidnitz ; from the beginning of the war of these attempts failing, he turned off greater Arength than it had comand made a feint as if he proposed monly been represented ; every atto fall apon the Lower Silesia, in tempt of the Rufians, by demon hopes that he might at least oblige ftrating where any weakness lay, the king of Præssia to detach and di- taught the Prussians, who were fully vide his forces, but the king con- sensible of its importance, in what tinued immoveable in his post. part and in what manner it was ne.

Whilft these various movements cessary to add to its works; and they were making with little effect, on had omitted no opportunity. In che side of Silesia, the other grand addition to this defence, the prince division of the Russians advanced of Wurtenburg was ftrongly enwithout opposition into Pomerania; trenched under the cannon of the and it was expected that their pro- town, with a body of fix or seven ceedings would be attended with thousand men. greater effect fince the removal of The king of Prussia was extremeTortleben, and the appointment of ly alarmed at the danger of this general Romanzow to that com- momentous post, the key of his domand. Totcleben had been long minions to the north, from the resuspected, and, it is said, at length lief of which he was removed, and, convicted, of a secret correspon- as it were, chained down, at such dence with the king of Pruffia. an immense distance. Though The fituation of this monarch obli. Laudohn and Butterlin found aban, ged him to fight with every fort of dant employment for all his forces, weapon; and Tottleben, a foldier he resolved to send a considerable of fortune, without any national at. detachment under general Platen to tachment or particular allegiance, the assistance of Colberg. The ferwas a fit object for the king of tility of his genious proposed two Prussia's pecuniary Stratagems. He ends from this single expedient. did not fucceed so well in the at He ordered Platen to direct his tempts of the same kind which he is march through Poland, and to defaid to have made upon Laudohn, stroy the Rullian magazines, which Every circumstance concurred to had been amassed on the fronciers render the method of corruption of that kingdom, and from which less fuccefsful in that quarter,

their army in Silesia drew its whole Colberg, regularly besieged, or fubfiftence. This service might, he closely streightened every campaign, hoped, be performed without any , Since the Moscovites made ihem- confiderable interruption to the prom felves masters of the kingdom of gress of the detachment towards Pruflia, was 'now. assaulted with Colberg. The event was entirely greater and more determined force answerable to his wishes. General than ever. A ftrong fleet, confifting Platen ruined three principal magaof forty fait of all kinds, blockaded zines of the enemy. He attacked it by fea, whilft the army of ge- a great convoy of their waggons ; geral Romanzow formed the fiege destroyed 500, and burned or dif by land. On the other hand, the persed the provisions they carried. place threatened a defence worthy Four thousand men who protected of its former efforts. This city was this convoy were, for the greater Vol. IV.

[D]

part,

« 前へ次へ »