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CHAP. VI:

Address of the Directory to the French Armies.-Determination to carry the

War into Italy. -Difficulties to be encountered in carrying this Plan into Erecution.-Buonaparte.--The French Army, under his Command, makes rapid Progress in Italy.---The Austrians, under General Beaulieu, constantly repulsed, yet not dispirited.-Various Actions.— Suspension of Arms agreed on between the French and Piedmontese Armies.-General Beaulicu re-crosses the Po, for covering the Countries to the North of that liver.--At Paris, Negociation for Peace between the King of Sardinia and the French Republic.---Treaty of Peace between France and Sardinia ratified by the Legislative Bodies of France.-Exultation and Confidence of the French.- Improved by Buonaparte, for the Purpose of leading on the Army to farther Exploits. --Address to the Army.-General Object and Tendency of Buonaparte's private Conversation. Homage paid to the Merit of Buonaparte, and the Army, by the Directory.--Buonaparte puts his Army in Motion.-Crosses the Po, and leaves General Beaulieu to break up his Camp.- Armistice between the French Army and the Duke of Purma.

The French advance toward the Capital of Lombardy. -Battle of Lodi. -The Austrians retreat to Mantua.--The French proceed to Milun, where the French General allows his People some Days of Repose.

WALE the armies of the re

THILE the armies of the re- the preceding, that many people in

public were successfully em- France, as well as in other parts ployed in suppressing those internal of Europe, began to consider the commotions, the directory was anxic enthusiasm of the French as conously taken up with the plans that siderably abated. But the sanguine were to be prosecuted, as soon as disposition of the generality of the domestic difficulties were overcome. French attributed their defeats on In the end of April, they thought the Rhine solely to the unskilful themselves so completely deliver management of their generals; and ed from all apprehensions at home, still remained convinced, that, had that they began immediately to turn they been judiciously commanded, their attention to those two under they would have been victorious as takings, on the fortunate termina. before. tion of wbich the future security

In order to encourage this per. of the republic would be establish- suasion, the directory published an ed beyond the possibility of being address 10 the different armies, presbaken by any external force. viously to their taking the field. It

The events of the last campaign was conceived in very animated had been so different from those of terms, and recalled to their notice

(G 3]

the

the various exploits they had per- lapse of even a few years, they might formed in the two foregoing years, consider as already decided. In this the patience with which they had situation of affairs they determined borne not only the hardships of the to divert the energy and attention field, but the pressures of wani, and of the emper's from his Belgian the privation of every convenience territories, where his authority had and comfort, and the invincible fose been so often disputed, to his Italian titude with which they had persisted, dominions, where his will was a amidst all these difficulties, to dis. law, and from whence he drew still charge the duties of brave soldiers. greater supplies. While they cut It exhorted them to persevere as off the emperor's resources in 1:aly, they had done: fresh toils and victo- they would add to their own. They ries were expected from them by did not doubt of reaping immense their country, before its enemies benefit from the possession of that would consent to reasonable terms country, the inhabitants of which of peace. It held out the most were known generally to have little flattering hopes of success; and that affection for their present sovereigns. they were at the eve of terminating The people of the ciuchies of Milan, their patriotic labours, the issue of Parma, and Modena, were peculi. which would procure safety to their arly disaffected,and, the nobility and country, and glory to themselves; clergy excepted, seemed raiber to who then would return to its bosom, desire, than to dread, a change of to enjoy the love and gratitude so masters. The commovalty, in the justly due to them from their fellow- republics of Venice and Genoa, citizens, and so nobly earned by professed no attachment to their their services.

rulers. I Tuscany, and the papal This address was sent to all the dominions, there were numbers of military bodies of the republic, and discontented; and in the kingdom read to them with great solemnity of Naples the number t was received with much respect greater. and satisfaction. The officers and Among these multitudes there soldiers formally renewed their as.

were some

individuals resolute surances of fidelity to the republic, enough to declare their dissatisfacand their readiness to lay down their tion at their respective governlives in its defence.

ments, notwithstanding the perThe object which the directory sonal dangers to which they exhad now chiefly in contemplation posed themselves by so daring a was to carry the war into Italy. conduct. But what was more, some The Austrians were prepared io had the courage to entertain a pri. pass the Rhine in great force: thevate correspondence with France, attachment of the Belgians to their and explicitly to solicit some of French conquerors might waver; the principal persons in the rethe fate of another campaign was public to iivade Italy, where, they uncertain; much was to be lost, no. assured them, they would find more thing gained, in the Netherlands, by friends than foes among the natives, an appeal to arms, on a question, and meet with no opposition but which, if the authority of the re- from the Austrians, and their few public should be confirmed by the adherents, among the possessors of

places

was still

places and employments in their thousand horse to serve in the Im. service.

perial army, Induced by these various motives, Though the strength with which the directory resolved to begin mili- the French proposed to attack their tary operations abroad, with the at- enemies in Italy was much inferior tack of a country, where the princes, in nuinber to theirs, and far from one excepted, the king of Sardinia, being so well supplied, it was com, could place little reliance on the posed of hardy and resolute soldiers, loyalty of their subjects; and where filled with enthusiasm, and impaa this prince had already lost such a tient to enter into action, and to portion of his territories, as greatly indemnify themselves for the suffer. endangered the remainder.

ings they had undergone upon the Nevertheless, obstacles of a se- rocky and barren coast, to which rious nature presented themselves. they had long been confined, through The undertaking was, indeed, ar- want of reinforcements to enable duous ; Italy,proverbially the grave them to move forward against the of the French, was viewed by the enemy. generality of people as unconquer- The supplies of men and ammuable on ibe side of France. Envi- nition did not arrive till the begin. Toned by mountains, the passes of ning of April, when the French dewhich were fortified with the ut- termined immediately to commence mostart, and guarded with numerous their operations. They were canwell-disciplined troops, it seemed toned along the coast of that sea, calculated for an invincible resist. called the river of Genoa, within ance. The French, after reducing three leagues of that city ; and the many forts and fortresses in the Austrians and Piedmontese were heart of the Alps, had not been able posted on the mountains opposite to to make an effectual impression on them. Piedmont, without which an en. The French were commanded by trance into Italy appeared impractic general Buonaparte, already noticed cable. The powers interested in the in the action between the convenpreservation of Italy,aware of the hos- tional troops and the sections of Paule intentions of France, bad made ris,* in October, 1795, a native of ample preparations for defence. The Corsica, born, as it were, a comemperor's forces amounted to eighty mander, and uniting the intrepidity thousand well-disciplined men, com- of an ancient Roman, with the manded by excellent officers and subtilty and contrivance of a mo. generals, and provided with every dern Italian; and bolh these forti. species of warlike necessaries. The fied and improved by a liberal, as king of Sardinia's army was sixty well as military education. Hardly thousand strong, exclusive of milin thirty years of age, he had signatia. The pope and the king of lized his military abilities, not only Naples were occupied in embo. on that but some other very decisive dying as many troops as their cir- occasions, and acquired a reputation cumstances would permit; and the that had raised him to the highest latter had dispatched two or three degree of esteem in his profession,

• See Vol. XXXVII, Page 106.

The

The troops under his command were rally from the disorder into which little more than 6fty thousand they had been thrown.

They ad. men : but he possessed their entire vanced in considerable force, and confidence, and was reputed equal charged the French with great to the arduous task he had ventured vigour. The dispute was long and to undertake.

bloody: the Austrians and PiedThe Austrians were under gene- montese made repeated efforts to ral Beaulieu, an officer of great liberate the iroops in the castle, and experience and talents, though he directed their attacks on the centre had been unfortunate in several of ihe French: but these stood their actions with the French in the Ne. ground immoveably, while their therlands. On the ninth of April iwo wings turned the right and left healtacked a French post and forced of the adverse army, the rear of it : on the tenth he advanced which was assailed at the same time upon them, and carried all their by another division. Surrounded in entrenchments but one. Here he this unexpected manner, they suswas arrested by the obstinate bra- tained a dreadful defeat; two thouvery of the officer who commanded sand were slain in the action, and it. Rampon, chief of brigade, who upwards of eight thousand made conceived that the fate of the day prisoners, including the corps under depended on the preservation of general Provara, which had so this post, made his officers and sol. much distinguished itself by the dediers swear never to abandon it. fence of the castle. This great victory They defended it accordingly dur- was obtained on the fourteenth of ing the whole night with such in. April. Among the killed were some vincible firmness, that the Austrians officers of high distinction ; and of were constantly repulsed. In the the baken one was a general, and morning of the eleventh, Buona. near thirty colonels, beside inferior parie, by a circuitous movement,fell officers. Between twenty and thirty upon the rear and fank of the ene. cannon fell into the bands of the my, who were completely routed, French, with fifteen standards, and with the loss of fifleen hundred an immense quantity of stores and killed, and more than two thousand field-equipage. Two French getaken. This baitle was fought at nerals, Banal and Quavin, fell in a place called Montenotta.

this battle, which cost the victors a Eager to improve this victory, number of their bravest men. Buonaparte pursued the Austrians, Though twice defeated in so de. who had retreated to a strong posi- cisive a manner, general Beaulieu tion at a place called Millesimo : was by no means dispirited :: colbut general Augereau forcing the lecting as many of his scattered passages leading to it, the Austrians troops, as formed a body of seven retired to the ruins of an old castle, thousand men, he again atacked which general Provara, who com- the French with great impetuosity, manded them, hastened to surround the next morning, and drove ihem with an intrenchment, where be from their incampment at a village stood several attacks, and defended called Dego, where they had exhimself resolutely for five days. This pected to repose themselves after the afforded time to the Austrians to fatigues of the preceding day. This

unex

unexpected attack, so far discom- with great courage, the Piedmontese posed them, that they were thrown withdrew in the night of the sixinto disorder, and compelled to teenth, abandoning Cava, which surabandon their post, after having rendered to the French. After some thrice endeavoured to retake it. retrograde motions, wherein they

More than half of the day had were closely pressed by the French, been spentia these fruitless attampts, who met however with some checks, when Buonaparte, auxious to reco- a general engagement took place near ver a post, without which, the ad- Mondovi on the twenty-second. vantages gained by his two victories General Coili, who commanded would bave been "frustrated, imme- the Piedmontese, had drawn up his diately gave orders for a large body army to great advantage; his centre to form in front of the enemy, and being covered by a strong redoubt, occupy their attention, while ano. which was resolutely defended for ther charged them on their left, a long time against all the efforts posted at Dego. The intrepidity of the French, who lost numbers in with which the French generals and its attack. It was carried at length officers headed their men, decided after repeated assaults : upon which the fate of the day. After a vigor. general Colli thought it prudent ous defence, the Austrians were in to retreat. His loss amounted to their turn obliged to give ground, and about twelve hundred men, of whom leave the field to the French, with a thousand were taken. Of these, the loss of near two thousand men, three were generals, and four coloof whom, about fifteen hundred nels. One general was slain, and were made prisoners : on the side eleven standards fell into the hands of the French, numbers also fell, of the French, who lost also one of and among these general Caussa, their generals, and a considerable one of their best officers.

number of men. Thus, in the space of five days, no The Piedmontese army, after its less than three battles were fought, defeat, crossed the river Siura, and in every one of which the French tovk a strong position between Coni Fere victorious. The Austrian and and Cherasco. Here it was attackPiedmontese armies had, in the course ed, on the 25th, by the French, who of these engagements, been separated compelled general Colli to retire from each other: which enabled Buo- from the post he occupied at Fossano. naparte lo effect a junction with a They made themselves masters of coosiderable body of his army, bea Cherasco, where they took a quanfore which the Piedmontese division tity of cannon and large magazines, had retired, not daring to oppose it and the Piedmontese withdrew to in combination with the corps under Carignano, in order to be nearer general Augereau who had joined to Turin, for its protection against it. After dislodging the Piedmontese the French army, which was now from their redoubts, at Montezimo, advanced to within nine leagues of this officer followed them to their that city. camp before the town of Cava. It' The defeat of his army, at Monwas strongly fortified, but Augereau dovi, had already determined the attacked it with such vigour, thal, king of Sardinia to make overtures after defending it the whole day of peace to Buonaparte. General

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