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Amtktritd TrimtlatieH. 


1870-71. ^ 

Secohs Paet:— History of the War against the Sepnblic 




Major F. C. H. CLARKE, C.M.G., R.A., late D.A.Q.M.G. at Headquarters. 

Printnl imdfr lit SKptritUemdatee of Her Mtijfilg'$ Slatiouerii Offiet, 

W. Ciowsa^Soss, Idtnilod, 13, Cluu-ingCroui ItiKmsO): £ Sons, 69, Pall U*U| 

W. H. Allem & Co., 13, Waterloo Place ; AV. Mitchell, Clming Cm«»; 

LOKOKAKt £ Co., Paternoator Row ; TaoDNEB k Co., 57 & 59, Ludpte Hill ; 

SiAXIoaD, Charing Crosa ; and G. Keo^h Facl &. Co., 1, PateriKiitar Sqnaie : 

Also bj Obiffiv k Co., Tlic Hard, Portaea ; 

A. & C. Black, Bdinburgh ; 

Alex. Tbok k Co., Abbej Street, and S. Po^^sokbi, On(ton Stmt, nuhlin. 

Price (wUh Case of Maps) TireiUv-Six ShUiiujt. 

■^r^- ^' ^ '■' ■ M y .'. y^'X voC \ 

• M A 1 A/ ■ 

[300/11/80—11 & S— 2136— Wf . 11 203.] 


KotlS. — The distances are given- in Eiir/h'sh mihs. tl^hen paces are meniion^f 

German paces nntst be understood. 

In compliance with current copyright 

law, U. C. Library Bindery produced 

this replacement volume on paper 

that meets the ANSI Standard Z39.48- 

1984 to replace the irreparably 

deteriorated original 





Advanoe of the Ilird Anny and the Army of the Mense from 
Sedan to Parifl (2iid— 16th December) '..... 1 

Bvents at Paris after the Battle of Sedan 20 

The invefltment of Paris by the Ilird Army and the Army of 
the Mease from 17th to 19Ui of September (Engagements at 
. Petit Bicdtze and Chitillon) 43 

Capture of Tool 56 

Siege of Strassborg from the 27th Angast to 27th September . 62 

Erents at Paris between 20th September and the end of October 
(Engagements at Chevilly, Bagneux, La Malmaison, and Le 
Bonj^^) .97 

The occnpation of Soissons 138 

First collisions of ihd Germans with the newly-formed field 
. troops on the Loire and in North- West France (Engagement 
at Artenay ; Action at Orleans) 144 

The investment of Mets after the Battle of Noisseville (Sorties 
of the 22nd9 23rd, and 27th September; Engagement at 
Bellevue) 175 

Occurrences on the sonth-eastem theatre of war after the fall of 
Strassbnig. (Advance of the XIV th Army Corps across the 
Voegos to the Sa6ne and C6te d'Or; Engagements at La 
Bonrgonce, Bambervillers, and Bruyercs on the Gth, 9th, and 
11th October; Engagements on the Ognon on the 22nd 
October ; Engagement at Dijon on the 30th October ; Cap- 
ture of Schlettstadt and Nea-Broisach ; Investment of Bel- 
fort) 201 

Proceedings in Northern and Central France after the Capitula- 
tion of Metz. (Advance of the Ist Army to the Champagne ; 
Surrender of Yerdnu ; Advance of the II nd Army across the 
Upper Seine ; Events in Paris and on the Loire ; Reconnais- 
sance of the Bois de Marchcnoir on the 7th November ; En- 
gagement at Coulmiers on the 9th November) * . . . 246 

Events at Sea since the beginning of September. Review of the 
position of the German Army in the middle of November . 285 

Proceedings of the Ilnd Army and of the troops under the Grand 
Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwcrin (IGth— 28th November) . 291 

h 2 



JCorenieiits of fhe Army of the Loire for the rdief of Farifl 
(Battle of Beeane la Bolanda; Engagement at YiUepion; 
Battle of Loigny.Ponpxj) 312 

The Battle of OiUaas on the Sid and 4th Deoember . . 846 

Ooonnencea before Paris between the 15th NoTember and 5th 
December (Battle of Valliers and the French false attacks from 
29th November to 2nd December) 865 







Appendix LIX. Order from th^ Royal Headquarters on Srd 

September ...... IJ 

JiX. Table of the destinations of the troops of the 

Ilird Army (5th— 16th September, 1870) • 2^ 

TiXT. B«tam of Casoalties in the Ilird and liense 

Armies (2nd— 19th September, 1870) - 3% 

„ LXn. Table of the destination of the troops of the 

Meuse Army (5th— 16th September, 1870) 8$ 

TiXTTL Order of Battle of the 14th French Corps . 9} 

LXIV. Order of Battle of Champ&ron's Cavalry 

Division -.----- lOJ 

LXY. Order from the Royal Headquarters on 15th 

September - - - - - - llj 

„ LXVl. Royal Cabinet Order of 16th September on 

the Constitution of a Oovemment General 
at Rlieims • 12{ 

„ LXVil. Return of Casualties among the Grerman 

troops before Toni from 27th August to 
13tli September 12J 

„ LXVm. Table showing the Material in the Artillery 

Parks before Strassburg and Kehl - - 13{ 

LXIX. Text of the Treaty of Capitulation of Strass- 
burg 13J 

LXX. Return of Casualties among the German 
troops during the investment and siege of 
Sti*assburg - 14J 

„ LXXl. Return of Casualties in the Ilird and Meuse 

Armies between 20tb September and 31st 
October 17 J 

„ LXXII. DistHbution of the Troops belonging to the 

Inspections Genci'al of Etappen and Go- 
vernment General at the beginning of 
October 34J 

LXXIII. Return of Casualties of the German troops 

before Soissons " 38J 

LXXIV. Order of Battle of the loth French Army 

Corps 39J 











Appendix LXXV. Order of the Commander-in-Cbief, Ilird 
^^ Army, on 6tli October ... - 41 J 

LXXVl. Strength of Illrd Army and Anny of the 

Mease on let November, 1870 - . 42$ 

LXXVII. Betnrn of Casnalties during the Investment 
of Metz and Thionville (19ih Angrost to 
27th October) 45J 

LXXVIII. Convention with regard to the Surrender of 

Metz 55J 

LXXIX. Army Order of 28th October, 1870 - - 59 J 

LXXX. Order from Royal Headquarters to General 

V. Werder (30th September, 1870) - 60} 

LXXXI. Order of Battle of the XlVth Corps - - 61$ 

LXXXII, Order of Battle of the 4th Reserve Division 65$ 

LXXXIII. Return of Casualties in the XlVth Army 

Corps and in 1st and 4th Reserve Divi- 
sion (Ist October to 16th November) - 67 J 

„ LXXXIV. Order of the Roval Headquarters to General 

v. Wei-der (23rd October, 1870) . - 74J 

„ LXXXV. Order of the Royal Headquarters to the 

Headquarters of the Metz Army . - 75| 

„ LXXXVl. Return of Casualties during the investment 

of Verdun (7tli September to 7th No- 
vember) 77J 

LXXXVII. Table showing the destinations of the Ist 

Army (7th— lotb November) - - 78J 

LXXXVIIL Table showing the destinations of the Ilnd 

Army (2nd— 10th Novemljcr) - - 79t 

LXXXIX. Order of Battle of the 1 Gth Fi-ench Corps 

about the middle of November - - 80J 

,. XC. Return of Casualties of the 1st Bavarian 

Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Division (1st 
to 15cli November) .... 82+ 

J, XCI. Distribution and Strength of the 1st Bava- 

rian Corps and 2nd Cavalry Division in 
the Battle of Coulmiers, 9th November - 85J 

,; XCIl. Orders of Battle of the Ilnd Army and of 

the Detachment under the Grand Duke of 
Mecklenbui'g- Sch we r in (15 th No vember, 
1870) 89J 

„ XCIII. Return of Casualties in the Ilnd Army and 

in the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg's De- 
tachment (1st November to 5th Decem- 
ber, 1870) 107J 

XCIV. Order of Battle of the 17th, 18th, and 20th 

French Corps 130J 

„ XCV. Order of Battle of the Ilird Army and of 

the Army of the Mouse .... 138^ 






Appendix XCVI. Order of Battle of the 2nd Paris Army on the 

8th November, 1870 164t 

,; XCVIL Betnm of GbenaltieB in the Illrd Anny and 

Army of the Meoae between the lat Novem- 
ber and 5th December, 1870 - • 169$ 


ft n 

)f »i 

ft n 

>» » 

>* »• 

PtftI,yol.l,p.361, line23 • - For " edge of the a^JMont wood " rMuT 

" near border of the rillige." 

p. 385 „ 21 • - For " afterwards tlie Division of Volti- 

geurs of the Guard" rsad ''after- 
wards the rtMt of the Diyision of 
Voltigeurs of the Goard." 

p. 891 „ 2 from bottom For " 52 ** rwui " 68." 

p. 406 „ 4 «, • For "movedhisbatter7''re(uf "tamed 

his guns." 

Appendix, page 22* • The artillery of General de Forton's 

Division were horse artiUeiy guns 
and not mitrailleuses. 

„ ,,87* • ' • • The 41h Company 5th Rifle Battalion 

was commanded by Captain Boe- 

Part I, Vol. 2, p. 97, lines 28—31 < - Should read " The Division took up 

towards 4.30 p.m. a position about 
1,500 paces to the south of ICal- 
maison." (The position of the 1st 
Cavalry Division on Plans 6a and 8b 
should be altered slightly to oor- 

p. 331, line 18 - - The section of the IStli Rifle Battalion 

was led by Sorgcant-Major Manicke. 

p. 334, lines 9 — 11 The men belonging to the Bavarian 

3rd, 10th, 12tii Regiments, and Ist 
Rifle Battalion, who shared in cap- 
turing the French ffun, were respee- 
tirely and independently led by one 
of their own officers. 

p. 377, line 5 from bottom For " Captain v. Strantz " read " (/ap- 

tain Boedickcr." 

p. 897 „ 31 „ For"l8t"»-«arf"4th." 

p. 510, lines 15 — 19 - - Should read ** two battalions of the 

Lower Silesian Landwchr Regiment 
first advanced with the object of ro* 
capturing the village ; they were fol- 
lowed later by the romaixiing batta- 
lions of the 5th Landwehr Brigade.*' 

p. 510 note* - - - " West Prussian" should bo " Lower 


p. 514, line 23 - - - For "two battalions" read "one bat- 

In Appendix XXI, the following sliouid be included among the casualties of the 
24th Regiment:— 

Killed : Snsign Harn. 

Vice Sergcnnt-Mujor Lindc. 

Wounded : Ensign Hallniiffk. 
., r. Muller. 
Vice Sergeant* ^lajor MuUer. 
„ Kiihling. 

C<>rrcj>ix)iiding con-ections should be made in the tables. 

« It 

« »i 

*> i» 



Part II, Vol. I, p. 165 note f • - The followiiig words alioiild be added :— 

^le Dirifioii had been fiuthermore 
joiiied bj three oompaaiei of the 83rd 
Begiment aiDd ftte oompaniee of the 
94UL*' Set alao Note f on p. 157. 

App. LXXI, p. 22t .... To the lc«ae8 of tJie22iid Infantry Divi- 

aion abould be added DiTisiMial Chap- 
Uin Sdiwftbe, and one man of the 
11th Pioneer Battalion killed and 
three men wounded. 

App. LXXII, p. 34, Une 10 from bottom • For " Lie«mt ** read " Lieuaaint** 

. „ „ „ bottom Une • • For " Beppenheim '* read ^ Boppen- 


App. LXXIY, p. 40t, line 17 from bottom For " 5th Hunars " road " 6th Hus- 
sars. " 

Plan 5b. VionTille. — The southernmost Demi-Brigade standing at the K.W. angle 
of the Boil de Yionrille should be 39th, not 37th. 

Plan 12.-^Tli6 ---- sliown at Serrignj should be erased. 

Investment of Paris. Capture of Toul and Strassburo. 

Advance of the IIIrd Army and of the Armt of the 

Meuse from Sedan to Paris. 

(2md— 16th September.) 

Notwithstanding the fact that the French army had kid 
down their arms at Sedan, the Emperor had declined to enter 
into negotiations for peace. The interests of the victor therefore 
required an immediate resimiption of the interrupted march on 

Although the German military authorities had grounds for 
presuming that they would no longer meet for the present with 
any serious opposition in the open field, yet still they must be 
prepared for tiie contingency that the capil^, aided by its abun- 
dant resources and extensive fortifications, would defend itself to 
tlie last. The not over discriminating action of an easUy exci- 
table population of nearly two millions of souls might influence 
so entirely the circumstances of the moment as to set at nought 
any forecast of events. 

As a consequence of the battle of Sedan large bodies of German 
troops found themselves crowded together in a most confined 
space, and these had now, having regard to their rearward lines 
of communication, to be brought once more into the relative 
}X)sitions which they had previously occupied. To this end 
the IIIrd Army had first to be moved in a south-westerly direc- 
tion, so that the Army of the Meuse might reach the right wing 
by passing in its rear. 

In order to initiate the advance of the army upon Paris fix>m 
this point of view, the following instructions were issued from 
the headquarters of His Majesty the King on the 3rd Sep- 
tember :* 

The IIIrd Army, of which however the 1st Bavarian and the 
Xlth Corps were left temporarily at Sedan,t while the Vlth 
Corps and the 5th Cavalry Division were already pushed forward 
in tixe direction of Reims, was to have crossed the line Montigny- 
Vendresse on the 4th, and the line Rethel-Attigny on the 5th 
September. The heads of the Army of the Meuse were on the 
former date not to be beyond Malmy and Stonne, and on the 
latter date not beyond Poix and Le Chesne. After carrying out 
these introductory movements the IIIrd Army was to advance 
abreast of JDormans and Suzanne, while the Army of the Meuse, 
which was to be rejoined by the 6th Cavalry Division by way 
of Ch&teau Porcien, was to make a simultaneous movement to 
Dormans and Laon. From the 8th of September the neighbour- 

* Appendix UX. contains the text of the order, 
t See Part I., Vol. 2, p. 408. 

39515. A 

Ketreat of the 
13th l«>ench 
Corps from 
Mezidres to 

hood of Foix and Attigny had to be evacuated in £Etvoar of the 
Corps advancing under General v. d. Tann. 

With a view to fetciUtating the supply of the troops the forward 
movement was to be made on a broad front, and protected by 
throwing the cavalry well in advance. The latter was to be 
I'einforced by horse artillery and, where it appeared necessary, by 
infantry mounted in carts. The Bethel-Reims road was appointed 
the boundary between the two armies.* 

The more detailed arrangements for the march to the line Laon- 
Sezanne were left to the discretion of the headquarters staff of 
the two armies. His Majesty the King reserved to himself the 
disposal of the marches beyond that line. 

At the time when these preparations were made at the royal 
headquarters, the parts of the German army thrown forward 
in the direction of Poix and Reims had already come in close 
contiguity with the detachments of the enemy in their fix)nt. 

General Vinoy had, as already mentioned, determined upon 
a retreat to Paris in consequence of the news which had i*eached 
him with regard to the battle of Sedan, and to this end had in 
the night of the lst-2nd September despatched those parts of the 
13th Corps which had arrived at Mezieres to Rethel,t which 
place he believed to be still occupied by Exea's Division. The 
latter, after withdrawing on the previous day the troops pushed 
forward to Rethel, had however retired in the direction of 
Soissons with the aid of the luilway which had not yet been 

On the German side the 4th squadron 6th Cuirassiers at Guig- 
nicourt was the nearest to the line of march of Geneiul Vinoy's 
troops retiring from MezieresJ. The other squadrons of this 
regiment were at Yvcmaumont, the 15th Lancers in and near 
Raillicourt) the remainder of the Cth Cavalry Division at Bou- 
taucourt and Poix. Further to the south the 5th Cavalry Divi- 
sion had taken up its quarters at Le Chenois, Tourteron, Ecordal, 
and Pauvres.§ Of the Vlth Army Corps part of the 12th Divi- 
sion under General v. Hofiinann had reached Rethel, while the 
main body of the corps had remained in the neighbourhood of 
Attigny and Voncq.|| 

Eaiiy in the mominf:^ of the 2nd September shortly after its 
departure, Blanchard's Division came across some patrols of the 

* The road itself belonged to the Ilird Army. 

t Elcveu battilioDS of Blanchard's Division, 4 squadrons and 12 batteries. Sec 
Part I., Vol. 2, pp.408, 409. The troops were provided with four dajs' rations ; 
General Vinoy had taken special measures for maintaininjr a very strict order of 
march, and had inserted the batteries among the battalions as the greater part of the 
infantry had expended almost all their ammunition in the skirmishes before M^zi^res. 

X See general map. No. 3. 

§ The Brunswick Hussars were at the latter place. 

1*1 Sec Part I., Vol. 2, p. 409. The following had reached Rethel : the 1st and 2nd 
battalions with the 11th nud 12th companies 63rd Regiment, the 2nd battalion 23rd 
Redment, the 2nd and Fu««ilicr battalions 62nd Regiment, the 2nd, Srd, and 4tb 
squadrons 15th Dragoons, the 6th light and 6th heavy batteries and a small detach- 
ment of the 3rd pioneer company. 

first-mentioned squadron of cuirassiers, which had proceeded in a 
northerly and westerly direction firom Guignicourt, but had been 
fired upon by infantry from Champignetd. In consequence of 
this the 2nd squadron 6th Cuirassiers was sent forward to 
Barbaise for the purpose of observing the enemy and affording 
support, if necessary, to the other squadron. 

Whilst the French troops now entered Laimois and halted 
there^ the 6th Cavaby Division, informed of the enemy's advance, 
was assembling with its main body between Poix and Montigny 
sur Yence, with the intention of afterwards moving upon Launois 
at 7 a.m« The 15th Lancers, leading the advance, had already 
come across French infantry between Villers le Toumeur and 
Raillicourt, detachments of which had also shown themselves 
at Neuvizy. As the ground in front was obstructive to the 
view, the adversary in some force, and the impression prevailed 
that other French detachments were following frt)m the neigh- 
bourhood south of M^zi^res, the Duke William of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin refrained from attacking. The 6th Cuirassiers re- 
turned to their previous position on the Vence, while the loth 
Lancers watched the adversary to the west of Montigny. 

As the latter subsequently abandoned Launois, the place 
was occupied by the lancers. The main body of the regiment 
threw out outposts from Raillicourt in the direction of Bethel 
and Mezi^res, while the cuirassiers also guarded themselves in the 
direction of tiie latter town. The 3rd Lancers were pushed forward 
to Villers le Toumexu', their advanced guard to Neuvizy ; the 
remainder of the Division occupied quarters in the neighbourhood 
of Poix. The first appearance and the subsequent movements 
of the enemy, as well as the measures which he had himself 
adopted, had been commimicated by the Duke from time to time 
both to the staflf of the Vlth Army Corps and to the 5th Cavaby 
Division. Notification had been sent early in the morning to 
the staff of the Ilird Army of the projected advance upon 

Meanwhile General Yinoy had at 8.30 a.m. resumed his march 
upon Faissault and Saulces aux Bois, consequently straight towards 
Bethel. But as he was informed at Saulces about 10 a.m. by 
some inhabitants of Bethel, that the French garrison had evacuated 
the place on the preceding night, and that 12,000 Prussians had 
entered it in the morning, he resolved to bend away to Novion 
Porcien. The leading troops had scarcely commenced then* 
march along the road leading to that place when shells dropped 
into Saulces and set some buildings on fire. By order of General 
Vinoy the rear-guard at once deployed for battle ; the village was 
occupied by the infiantry, while two batteries and some mitrail- 
leuses came into action upon the heights on either side. 

The artillery fire, here referred to, proceeded from a battery of 
the 5th CavaJry Division. Lieut.-General v. Bheinbaben had 
been informed at 9.30 a.m. in Tourteron of the enemy's advance, 
and had given orders in consequence for the 12th Cavahy Brigade 

A 2 

to advance to Puiseux, and for the ISth to watch from Amagne 
the M^zidres^Rethel road. 

The first-mentioned cavahy brigade, which had been informed by 
its patrols of the enemy's advance before the receipt of this order, 
had trotted forward fix>m Le Ch^ois to Puiseux just as columns 
of French troops were observed between Faissault and Sauloes. 
The battery of horse artillery fix)m the railway station at Pui- 
seux brought its fire to bear upon the entrance to Saulces and 
continued the cannonade against a superior body of French 
artillery which now came into action, until swarms of hostile 
skirmishers, with closed bodies in rear, approached the right 
fiank of the Prussian cavalr3\ Hereupon the latter retired to 
the neighbourhood of Faux and Amagne. The 13th Dragoons, 
appointed to continue the observation of the enemy, reported in 
the afternoon the withdrawal of the latter to Corny la Yille 
and-Novion Porcien. Greneml Vinoy had speedily become con- 
vinced that the Prussians were merely desirous of delaying his 
march, and consequently ordered his rear-guard, after a short halt 
at Saulces, to follow the other troops in a westerly direction. 

Meanwhile the 13th Cavahy Brigade had broken up from 
Ecordal in accordance with orders from the commander of the 
Division. It had reached the neighbourhood north of Amagne 
at 11 a.m. with the 2nd hoi'se artillery battery and pushed 
forward detachments in the dii*ection of Lucquy and Auboncoml. 
The roar of artillery resounding from Puiseux, and a repoi-t re- 
ceived at 1.30 p.m. that the enemy had bent away to the west- 
ward, induced the brigade to move onward to Vauzelles. The 
horse artiller}^ battery took up a position east of the village and 
fired upon the enemy's columns retiring through Macheromdnil. 
After a few rounds detachments of French infiaiitry fled in 
disorder from the village; the 10th Hussars pursued tiiem and 
brought in 23 prisoners and some waggons.* The brigade then 
took up its quarters at Auboncom't, Vauzelles, and Saulces, in 
readiness to move, and thi-ew out outposts in the direction of 
Corny and Macherom&iil. The Binmswick Hussars, whose duty 
hitherto had been to obsei"\'e Reims, reached Amagne. Thus the 
5th Cavalry Division stood on the evening of the 2nd September 
with its 11th Brigade at Tourteron, the 12th at Amagne and 
Faux, and the 13th at Auboncourt and Vauzelles. 

Blanchard's Division, taking witli it some 40 woimded, had 
meanwhile continued its retreat from Macheromdnil to Novion 
Porcien and moved into bivouacs at that place about 4 p.m. 

Since noon of the 2nd September the Vlth Army Corps, in 
rear of the 5th and 6th Cavaliy Divisions, had been also in 
readiness to meet the foe should he continue his retreat south- 

In consequence of the first reports which reached him towards 
11.15 a.m., General v. Tiimpling had at once ordered the 12th 

* On the person of one of the prisoners xfw found the Order of Battle of Blan- 
chard's Division, which was transmitted to the head-quarters of the Vlth Army 

Infantry Division to be concentrated at Rethel,* and there to take 
up a position for defence. The horse artillery batteries of the 
corps artillery were Ukewise despatched to Rethel ; the 11th 
Division advanced from Semuy in a north-westerly direction as 
far as Amagne and Sausseuil. 

General v. Hoffinann had received the intelligence at Bethel 
about 11 a.m.,t that bodies of French tix)ops were advancing 
from Mdzieres and that the 6th Cavalry Division had proceeded 
in the direction of Launois. As the geneitJ perceived from this 
that between him and the enemy there was a considerable force 
of German cavahy, he resolved to allow the men first to proceed 
^vith their cooking at Bethel after tiieir trying night marcL 
But as a report reached him at 1.30 p.m. from the 11th Hussars 
at Ama^e to the effect that the enemy was advancing frt)m 
Saulces aux Bois to Novy, while at the same time the order 
for the concentration of the Division at Bethel arrived from 
the corps head-quarters, the troops there took up a position of 
readiness north of the town on the Novy road j: 

The commander of the Division, who had ridden forward in 
person towards Novy, remarked hc^stile troops beyond Corny la 
Ville§ on the march to Novion Forcien and Provizy. To dear 
up the matter more definitely the greater part of the 15th 
Dragoons was sent forward to the east of Bertoncourt. The 
direction of march of the French columns in hurried retreat 
through Novion Forcien led to the inference that the enemy 
after meeting the Prussian cavalry had abandoned the ad- 
vance to Bethel and was endeavouring to retreat by way of 
Inaumont in the direction of Ch&teau Forcien. General v. Hoff- 
mann resolved in consequence to post the parts of his Division 
available at Bethel on the high road to Montcomet, with a view 
to barring the adversaiy's road southward and westward. The 
13th Cavahy Brigade, from which a report had just arrived 
tending to confirm this supposition, was informed of ihe measures 
which had been taken and requested to press the enemy closely. 
The loth Dragoons received orders to move parallel with the 
enemy's march on the left, and to keep up communication with 
the 13th Cavalry Brigade. Finding Corny la Ville and the wood 
of Notre Dame to the north of the place occupied by French 
infantry and artillery, the regiment took up a position near Novy 
for the purpose of watching the adversary's movements. 

The troops concentrated near Bethel moved off at 4 p.m. for 
Ecly, which they reached under a pouring rain as darkness was 
setting in. North of Bethel arrived also the 1st and Fusilier 
battalions 23rd Begiment, with the 5th heavy battery of the 
12th InfjEuitry Division, as well as the two horse artillery batte- 

* This order crossed with a proposition on the part of General y. Hoffinann asking 
permission to take this step. 

t From the 5th Cavahry Division. 

:|: Two companies 6drd Regiment remained at Rethel and at the paattges of the 
Aisne : officers' patrols of cavalrj advanced towards Novy. 

§ The advance of BIanchard*s Division reached Novion Forcien at this time. 

lies of ihe Ylth Army Corps.* These last batteries had joined 
the column advaacing to Edy, whilst the rest of the troops re- 
mained partly at Bethel and partly were still on the nuurch to 
Inaumont and Ch&teau Foreien.t 

On the march to Ecly General v. Hofimann had received a 
second order from the corps headquarters, i&sued at 3 pan., in 
which his previous request for permission to assemble the 12th 
Division at Bethel was accorded, and all further proceedings 
left to his discretion. As the French, according to the information 
received, had halted at Novion Porden and Corny la ViUe, 
while nothing had as yet been seen of the enemy in the neigh- 
bourhood of Seraincourt and Wasigny, the Qeneral ordered an 
advance northward for the following day. To this end the 
troops at Inaumont and Ecly, besides that part of the Division 
at Bethel, were to move off simultaneously at 7 &m. for Novion 
Porcien. The detachment at Ch&teau Porcien received instruc- 
tions to prepare the destruction of the bridge over the Aisne 
at that place, and afterwards to follow by way of Ecly. A report 
of these arrangements was sent to the headquarters of the Ylth 
Army Corps.J 

General v. Tiimpling had received inibrmation at 4 p.m. that 
the French troops in their retreat from M^zieres had bent away 
to the westward. In consequence of this he moved off on the 
2nd September the 11th Infantry Division to Bethel and Thugny, 
the corjis artillery to Fleury, which places were reached by 
10 p.m. 

As soon as General Yinoy had ascertained that Prussian troops 
had entei'ed Ecly and Inaumont, he resolved by a night march 
to avoid the enveloping movement which wasimpendmg, and by 

* The two battalions had been qnartered at St.Lambert nnd had marched upward!^ 
of 12 miles in four hours ; the two batteries of horse artillery had accomplished the 
distance of 14 miles from St. Vanbourg in three hours. 

I Tlic following was the position of the 12th Division on the evening of the 2nd 
September : — 

^- . — -*i^^ at Inaumont. 

23 15th Dragoons 

n., 2na, ard^IL, mh ILandFus. ^ ^ ^^ ^^^ 

23 63 ' 62 ' ^ ' . 

batteries, 3r(l pioneer company — in all five battalions, four batteries, one pioneer 

company at Kcly. 

1st and KiiN. 4tli i- 1st .... . , , 

LjJI __ — -3 in all six companies, 4 squadron at 

22 03' 15th Dragoons *^ » * i 

Ch&tcuu Torcieii. 

2nd. 3nl. 4th. II. I. 11th i 1st r*i, t«i,* **i, t. v ** • 

■■ , — , , — ;-4r , 5th light, 5th heavy battenes — 

22 ' 23 63 ' 15th Dragoons ® ' ^ 

in all three battalions, ^ squadron, two batteries at Bethel. 

2nd.8.d,4th ^^ 

15th Dragoons 

The — \ which had been quartered at Attiguy, did not reach Ecly until the 

3rd September; -^was garrisoning Vitry le Fran9ais, , left behind to garrison 

62 63 

liun^ville, reached Vendresse on the 2nd September. 

i The 11th Infantry and the 5th Cavalry Divisions were also apprised of the»e 


way of Chaumont Porcien to gain the road from Rozoy sur Serre 
to Laon. 

At 2 a.m. on the 3rd September the French troops were set 
in movement ; the bivotiac fires were kept up in order to conceal 
their retreat. The shades of night, a fall of rain which com- 
menced afresh, and the ah*eady very heavy state of the roads, 
led to numerous stoppages ; but being unmolested by the Grermans 
Blanchai'd's Division reached Chaumont Porcien at 7.30 a.m., 
where a halt of two hours was made, the heights lying to the 
south being at the same time occupied. As the road to Bozoy sur 
Serre had been rendered impassable by the wet, General Yinoy 
endeavoured to reach the high road to Laon by way of Logny and 
Seraincourt. His troops, with the exception of a few stragglers, 
were ah*eady between Chaumont Porcien and Seraincourt, when 
the echoes of artillery fire from the rear announced the arrival of 
the Germans at the former place. 

Under the influence of reports of the presence of numerous 
!EVench troops at Reims, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ilird 
Army had on the evening of the 2nd September issued orders for 
the immediate advance of the Ylth Army Corps and of the 5th 
and 6th Cavalry Divisions towards that town.* 

Benoundng for the present all further pursuit of the enemy 
in their neighbourhood, the commanders of the two independent 
Cavalry Divisions took without delay the prescribed direction of 
march. The 6th Cavalry Division reached Attigny on the 3rd 
September, after patrols of the 15th Lancers had that morning 
disturbed the retreat of the French troops from Novion Porcien 
to Wasigny. The 5th Cavalry Division, which was to move on 
the right flank of the Vlth Army Corps, reached Bergnicourt, 
Neuflize, and Tagnon. Reconnoitring parties thrust forward in 
the direction of Reims reported that in this town there were 
according to rumour about 8,000 men, chiefly Gardes Mobiles. 

The general commanding the Vlth Army Corps, who under 
the existing cii-cumstances attached special impoi^tance to a speedy 
occupation of Reims, had, in accordance with instructions from 
army headquarters, ordered both In&ntry Divisions to march 
to Juniville and Bignicourt at 8 a.m. on the 3rd September. 
The order was supplemented for the 12th Division as follows: — 
" All pursuit of the hostile Division marching yesterday in the 
" direction of Rethel is to be abandoned, should such a proceed- 
** ing interfere in the least with reaching the destinations appointed 
" for this day." 

In execution of these arrangements the 11th Division with 
the corps artilleryt marched to Juniville and pushed forward 
its advanced guard as far as Aussonce. But the commander of 
the 12th Division, who from reports received in the night could 
not but infer that Blanchard's Division was still in the neighbour- 

* The 6th Cayalry Diyision was not assigned to the Army of the Mease antQ the 
drd September, by order from the royal head-quarten. See Part n., p. 1. 

f With the exception of the two batteries of horse artillery attached to the 12th 


hood of Novion Forcien and that troops Uiereof must have reached 
that place before the receipt of the order, resolved at once to carry 
out the movement northward* which had been already initiated. 

Meanwhile the 15th Dragoons, on a report fix>m an officers 
patrol that the enemy had left at daybreak for the north-west, 
had already trotted forward without delay in the direction 
of Novion Porden. A dragoon entrusted with the transmission 
of this intelligence was unable to find General v. Hoffiooann at 
Ecly. That officer had abeady left the place with the Division ; 
the important news did not come into his hands for some time. 

Just as the left wing of the 12th Division commenced 
its movement, a jiatrol of dragoons reported the enemy near 
Ser^'^ and Maladrie, information which was confirmed shortly 
afterwards by the prisoners which were captured.| The troops 
at the head of the column of march moved forward in conse- 
quence towards Sery, whilst the battalions and batteries in rear 
received orders to march in the direction of the height north of 
Inaumont. At half-past 9 o'clock- the Prussian troops reached 
Novion Porcien without havingcome into collision with the enemy. 
They now learnt for the first time from the 15th Dragoons and 
from the stragglers whom they overtook, that the 3rd Division 
of Vinoy's Corps, some 10,000 men, had quitted the town at 
G a.m. 

Meanwhile intelligence had also been received that the two 
Prussian Cavalry Divisions were no longer following the enemy. 
But as from the statements of the prisoners and other reports it 
was still possible that the adversary might be overtaken, General 
V. Hoffinann gave orders for the 15th Dragoons with the two 
batteries of horse ai'tillery to move at once in pursuit from Novion 
Porcien and for the remainder of the left colunm of march to 
follow subsequently in the same direction. The troops coming 
up from Ilethel,t which also arrived before Novion Porcien at 
11 o'clock, received orders to halt there for the present. 

The dragoons, who were joined by Major K^sler, staff officer 
of the Division, found traces of the retreat of the French along 
the road through Mesmont, Wasigny and Givron. Some strag- 
glers were captured ; the detachments of the 1st horse artillery 
battery attacked a small body of infantry which was hurrying 
away, and captured several prisoners. § 

When the leading detachment of dragoons arrived before 
Chaumont Porcien towards noon it was fired upon by French 
infieaitry which had established themselves in the gardens sm*- 
rounding the town. By order of General v. Hofihiann the two 
batteries, escorted by the dragoons, now unlimbered on the height 

* See Part II., p. 6. 

t A heavy shower of nin prevented any reeonnaistanoe of the neighboiirhood and 
consequently any idea being gained of the real state of affiiirs. As a matter of &ct, 
Grenml Yinoy was at this time at Chaomont Forcien. 

J g°^> grd, 4th, n. L ll*b division of dragoons, 5th light and 5th heavy 
22 23 64 -D » -o 

§ Altogether only 42 prisoners were captured by the 12th Division. 


west of Qivron, and brought their fire to bear upon the town in 
front and upon the hollow road leading to Logny, through which 
the enemy was seen to be in retreat. This fire was not answered 
by the French artillery. 

Meanwhile the Prussian infantry had arrived. The 1st 
battalion 63rd Regiment, leading the advance, moved forward, 
partly along the high road and partly through the bushy flats, from 
Adon in the direction of Chatigny, where accordiing to the 
reports of the imti^ols a Fi^nch detachment of about two ^ttalions 
and six guns was said to be posted for the purpose of covering 
the retreat ; the advancing Fiiissian companies, however, merely 
found traces of the camps. The other two battalions of the 
C3rd Regiment and subsequently the 23rd Regiment likewise 
reached Chaumont Forcien during the course of the afternoon. 

The troops had marched upwards of 18 miles under the pour- 
ing rain and along very bad roads. In the absence of a strong 
bc^y of cavalry General v. Hoffinann could no longer hope to stay 
the hurried retreat of the adversary. Abandoning all farther 
pursuit under these circumstances, he quartered his men at Chau- 
mont Forcien and Novion Forcien, ready to turn out at any 
moment. Not long afterwards the patrols reported the further 
retreat of the enemy through Logny in the direction of Laon. 

Towards 4 p.m. an officer of the general staff sent from the 
headquartei-s of the Vlth Army Corps reached Chaumont Forcien. 
He repeated the order to move southward with the observation that 
under no circumstances was this direction to be deviated from, as 
the Corps in accordance with orders from army headquarters was 
to be assembled at Reims on the 5th September. Greneral v. 
Hoffmann therefore gave orders for the troops quartered between 
Chaumont Forcien and Wasigny to be concentrated at 11 o'clock 
on the following morning to the south of Chfiteau Forcien, with a 
view to continuing the march to the Suippe. The detachments 
standing at and near Novion Forcien also received instructions 
to advance to the same river-line by way of Tagnon. 

Favoured by circumstances as described, and under cover of 
the heights on the east bank of the St. Fergeux brook and of the 
Bois de Chaumont, Blanchard's Division had meanwhile reached 
Seraincourt. That same afternoon it continued its march by way 
of Fraillicourt to Montcomet.* 

On the 4th September the i*etreat was continued as^far as 
Marie, where General Vinoy received despatches as to the 
positions of the remainder of his Corps. Ex^'s Division was on 
that day at Soissons, Maud'huy's Division at Laon. At the same 
time the general received more detailed information of the 

* General Vinoy, in speaking of the retreat of the Idth Corps, complains that the 
ffreat hospitality shown by the inhabitants along the road had a bad effect upon the 
aificipline of the troops. The two line regiments which marched at the head and rear 
of the oolmnn had, however, exercised a fayonrable influence upon the other troops 
by their excellent example; a large number of waggons had also been collected by 
officers sent on in advance for the purpose of carrying numbers of men who had fitllen 
out from iktigne and other eauses. 


capitulation of Sedan, the imprisonment of the Emperor, the 
oonoentration of firesh forces at Paris and on the Loire, and 
in addition the following telegram sent from Paris^ at 5.20 pjn., 
on the 4th September: — ''Revolution in Paris. Come back 
" with your Army Corps, so as to be at the disposal of the 
" Qovemment/' General Yinoy in consequence betook himself in 
person that same day to Laon, whither he was followed on the 5th 
by Blanchaixl's Division by way of CrAjy sm- Serre, whilst 
Maud'huy's Division was despatched by rail to Paris. On 
the following days Blanchard's and Ex^'s Divisions, using the 
two lines of rail from Tergnier and from Soissons, continued theii* 
movement to the capital, where on the 9th September all the 
troops of the 13th Corps were assembled. 

Whilst? the last renmant of the French field army was thus 
escaping defeat, the Qerman Army advancing from the neigh- 
bourhood of Sedan had taken up the following positions on 
the 3rd September: the Vth Army Corps was at Flize, the 
Wiirttemberg Division at Guignicourt, the Ilnd Bavarian Corps at 
Malmy, and fiie 2nd Cavalry Division at Poix.* The 4th Cavalry 
Division had been left temporarily in rear at Yiigne aux Bois 
for the purpose of assisting tlie corps remaining in the neigh- 
bourhood of Sedan in guarding and escorting the Frencli 
prisoners of wai\ The headquarters of the IILd Army 
remained this day at Donch^ry. The Army of the Meuse 
occupied quarters on the 3rd September to the south-east of 
Sedui: the Guard Corpsj on the right bank of. the Chiers, in the 
neighbomrhood of Carignan, the Xllth between the Chiers and 
the Meuse, the IVth on the left bank of the latter river at 
Raucourt ; the headquarters i*emained at Mouzon. 

His Majesty the King transfen^ed his headquarters on the 4th 
September from Vendresse to B.ethel and on the following day 
to Beims, in order to superintend from that place the further 
movements of the army. From the plans of march transmitted 
iix)m the two army headquarters it was evident that the Army 
of the Meuse would not reach the line Laon-Fismes until the 
12th Se])tember. whilst the Ilird, in consequence of the stai't 
which it received at the out«et, ex)>ected to arrive at Dormans 
and Sezanne as eai*ly as the lOtli. As it was impracticable to 
hasten the march of the Army of the Meuse, and aiter the exer- 
tions of the last few weeks some rest was desii-able for the ti'oops, 
the further advance of the army under these cii'cumstances 
was arranged on the 7th September as follows : 

* Further in advance, towards Reims, was, as already mentioned, the 1 1th In£uitry 
Division at Jnniyille and Yignieonrt, the advanced guard being at Aussonce ; on its 
right was the 5th Cavaby Division at Bergnicourt, behind it was the 6th Cavalry 
Division at Attigny ; the 12th Infantiy Division was still in the neighbonrhood 
between Chaumont Porcien and Rethel. 

t The 3rd Guard Infisuitry Brigade had been deputed to escort the prisoners of war 
irom Douzy to Etaiu and did not rejoin its corps until the 16th September. 


The Army of the Meuse was to advance against the north front 
of Paris, with its left wing north of the roads running through 
the valley of the Mame ; power was reserved to it to extend to 
the right in the event of the presence of the enemy being reported 
by the cavaby. The Ilird Army was to make its way by Sorter 
marches towards the south front of the capital, using the road 
in the valley of the Mame for its right wing. As the etappen 
troops were no longer sufficient to protect in a proper manner 
the rearward communications against the Franctireurs, whose 
operations, aided and abetted by the inhabitants, became more and 
more bold, the Wiirttemberg Division was deputed to remain 
temporarily at Reims. 

But in order to render this Division available as soon as possible 
for the investment of Paris, orders were sent on the 8th September 
to the headquarters of the Army before Metz to move off the 
Xmth Corps,* which had recently arrived before this fortress, 
for the purpose of affording protection ^to the district west of 
the Moselle. One Division was to proceed with this object to 
Ch&lons and Reims, the other, with the assistance of Prussian 
siege artillery, was to hasten the capture of Toul, as this fortress 
was still barring the railway communication with Germany. 
Instructions were also sent to General v. d. Tama to complete 
his work at Sedan with the least possible delay, and then to 
follow the army advancing upon Paris, with the Xlth Corps by 
way of Rethel and Reims, and with the 1st Bavarian Corps 
tlm)ugh Attigny and Epemay. 

In accordance with these general instructions from the royal 
head-quarters the following movements were carried out by the 
German Army in the interval up to the IGth September: 

At the head of the Ilird Army the 11th In£uitry Division and Advance oi 
on its right the 5th Cavalry Division continued on the 4th Sep- ^'^ -^""^ 
tember the movement upon Reims, where according to the reports 
at present received the enemy was supposed to be concentrating in 
greater force. But when the cavalry patrols had ascertained for 
certain that the enemy had retired, General v. Tiimpling caused 
the 11th Division to move at once to that place,t whilst with the 
same object the 13th Cavalry Brigade also continued its march 
by way of Pomade. At 3.30 pjn. the Prussian troops entered 
the old coronation town, where everything tended to impress 
them with the fact that France was resolved to continue the war4 
A summons addreased on the previous day by the Ministerial 
Council to the population was placarded at the street comers ; 
even the country people were already evincing increased bitterness 

♦ See Part I., Vol. 2, p. 530. 

t Aecording to the order from army headquarters Reims was to be reached on 
the 5th September. See Part II., p. 9. 

t A patrol under Lieutenant v. Pliiskow, 8th Dragoons, which had penetrated into 
the town in the forenoon, was there surroonded by an excited .'mob, but in spite of 
the shots fired at them succeeded in cutting their wajr into the open. Captain ▼. 
Vaerst with the 1st squadron, 11th Hussars, hastening in front of the 11th Division 
then dashed into the town, the keys of which were delivered to him by the mayor. 
On this occasion also shots were fired. 



and their bearing was exceedingly hostile. On reachin^ 
Lavannes peasants with arms in their hands and small detach- 
ments of infantry, who opposed the advanced guard of the 11th 
Division, had to be driven off by artillery fire. 

The main body of the 5th Cavalry Division had reached 
Bazancourt. The greater part of the 12th Infantry Division had 
assembled to the south of Ch&teau Porcien by 11 a.m., and sul>- 
sequently continued its march as £ar as Warmeriville. The 
detachment fix)m Novion Porcien had advanced as fai* as Heutre- 
giville, so that the entire Division reached the Suippe on the 
evening of the 4th September. The Wurttemberg Division 
arrived at Novj'' on this day, the Vth Army CoqDS Saulces and 
Novion Porcien, the 2nd Cavalry Division Attigny, the 2nd 
Bavarian Cori)s Charbogne. Army headquai'ters moved to At- 
tigny. The 6th Cavahy Division, on the march to Laon in 
accordance 'with the change in its destination, occupied quarters 
at Ch&teau Porcien. 

On the 5th September the whole of the Vlth Army Corpus 
and the 5th Cavalr}'- Division were concentrated at Reims. The 
latter subsequently moved to Neufchatel, for the purpose of 
.rejoining the Army of the Meuse in accordance with orders from 
the royal headquarters. The Wurttemberg Division reached 
Bazancourt, the Vth Army Corps Juniville, the 2nd Cavalry 
Division HeutregiviUe, the 2nd Bavarian Coit>8 Machault. Army 
headquarters were transferred to Reims. 

After a day's halt the Illixi Army moved on the 7th September 
with the Vlth Corps to Ville en Tardenois, the Wurttemberg 
Division to Reims, the Vth Corps to Sillery, the 2nd Cavalry 
Division to Mourmelon, and with the Ilnd Bavarian Corps to 
Suippe. During the next two days the army executed a general 
change of front to the left ;* on the lOtli it deployed on the 
line Dormans-Orbais-S^zanne. A day's march in advance of 
this front was the 2nd Cavalry Division at Vieils Maisons ; the 
Vlth Army Corps marching on the right flank in the valley of 
the Mame pushed forward strong advanced guards along both 
banks of the river as far as the neighbourhood of Chateau 

On the 13th September the 2nd Cavalr}'' Division, which had 
meanwhile advanced as fai* as Coulommiers, despatched two 
squadrons of the 5 th Hussars to La Chapelle sur Cr^cy. One of 
its patrols was attacked in the streets of Meaux by French 
chasseurs and left two men wounded in the enemy's hands. 
Simultaneously with these two squadrons of hussars, the 1st 
squadron 4th Hussars had proceeded in the direction of Montceif. 
Its patrols were fired at on the 14th from this village and the 
Bee Oiseau railway station, which according to the statements 
of the inhabitants was occupied by two companies of franc- 
tireurs. When Captain Count v. Wartensleben attacked the 
railway station with a dismounted party of hussars, the enemy, 

* The destinatioDB for the separate days are shown in Appendix LX. 


after a brief resistance, decamped into the neighbouring forest, 
where on the 15th a strong officers' patrol found a heterogeneous 
mass of fugitives. 

On the ktter date the main body of the 2nd Cavaby Division 
i^eached Touman, the 4th Hussars moving as advanced guard to 
Brie Comte Robert From thence, by order from anny head- 
quarters, a reconnaissance was made of that part of the Seine 
between Corbeil and Choisy le Boi, from which it was discovered 
that the bridges at Corbeil, Yilleneuve St. Georges, and Choisy 
were destroyed, and the roads of approach barricaded by numerous 
abbatis and other obstadea Hostile injbntry fired from the 
left bank of the Seine upon the cavalry patrols ; a detachment 
pushed forward from Fort Charenton to Ci^teil left ten prisoners 
in the hands of the Prussian hussars. The enemy had also 
crossed the Seine between Choisy and Corbeil and occupied the 
village of Draveil with Gardes Mobiles. Captain v. Stegmann- 
Stein occupied the village with a dismounted party ; the attempt 
however to reach the further bank of the Seine by a ford £Edled 
in consequence of the fire of a hostile detachment in Juvisy. 

On the 16 th September the 2nd Cavalry Division advanced to 
Brie Comte Robert; the 5th Brigade, appointed to destroy the 
itulway on the further side of the river, moved forward with 
the 1st horse artillery battery through Yilleneuve St. Georges 
to Vigneux. Under the protection of the squadron forming me 
advanced guard, the battery played successfully upon the Orge 
bridge near Mons. But as some railway trains came up shortly 
after from the north and south with hostile infantry, who fired 
upon the battery and the hussars, the retreat was commenced 
by order of the commander of the Division, the object of the 
enterprise, the destruction of the railway bridge, having been 

A squadron of the 4th Hussars sent forward by way of Limeil 
had driven in a small body of French cavalry from Carrefour 
Pompadour to Maisons Alfort. Hostile infantry, which was there 
])0sted in support, prevented any further advance of the Prussians. 

In rear of the 2nd Cavalry Division making incursions in this 
manner through the district to the south of the capital, the 
Ilird Army had continued its advance, and on the 16th 
September occupied the following positions : — 

Army head-quarters were at Coulommiers, the Vlth Army 
Corps since the 14th at Meaux, from which place it had pushed 
forward an advanced guard* to Lagny, Montevrain and Chessy. 
As the French had destroyed all the high-road and railway 
bridges over the Mame and the Ourcq Canal in the neighbour- 
hood of Paris, the staff of the corps had on the 14th September 
caused a pontoon bridge to be thrown at Trilport, and afterwards 
made arrangements for the construction of a permanent bridge 

* The 28rd Inftntry Brigade, '^"^l^^^^^d ^^ ^^ battery, Srd pioneer 

1 jth Dragoons 


at this {dace. Means of oommumcatiaii were also established at 
Lagny and between Trilport and Meauz. 

The Yth Army Corps stood with the 9th Division at Touman, 
with the 10th at Fontenay; the advanced guard* occupied 
Ozoner la F^rridre and Cihevry. Nothing was seen of the enemy 
by the patrols during their advance to Champigny. The pon- 
toon tram had been brought up to Touman on the evening of 
the 16th for the purpose of throwing a bridge over the Seine 
above ViUeneuve St. Qeoiges. 

The 2nd Bavarian Corps reached Moissi Cramayel on this 
day and pushed forward its advanced guard to lieusaint and St. 
Germain les Corbeil. The patrols scouting along the left bank of 
the Seine met frequent parties of fianctiieurs, who withdrew to 
the Foret de S^nart. Two battalionsf were transported across 
the river by means of boats, and under cover of these a field 
bridget was constructed by the following morning, to replace the 
bridge destroyed at St. Germain les Corbeil. 

Franctireurs and other oiganised bands had uninterrupted!}'^ 
molested the advance of the corps ; they surprised isolated patrols 
of cavalry, vanished into the neighbouring woods or villages 
on the approach of stronger detachments, and eluded pursuit 
by donning civilian's clothes. Patrols from the Bavarian lancer 
brigade having been fired upon fh)m Nangis and ViUeneuve les 
Bordes on the 13 th September, a detachment of the 1st Lancei's 
under Lieutenant-Colonel v. Langenmantel was despatched 
towards Melun and met with some resistance at Rubelles. The 
two guns attached to the lancers opened fire in consequence upon 
the ch&teau park. When the 8th lUfle battalion, despatched 
by General v. Hartmann in support, subsequently advanced 
against the place, the enemy, leaving behind several prisoners, 
decamped by way of Melun to the left bank of the Seine. In 
the town there was only found a detachment of the Garde 
Nationale, which served as guard to the prison.§ 

Meanwhile the 10th Cavalry Brigade, whose services were no 
longer required at Sedan, had arrived on the left flank of the 
Ilird Army. It had reached Nangis on the 16th September 
with a horse artillery battery, by way of Reims, Epemay, and 
Suzanne, and from Nangis had established communication with 
the detachments of the 2nd Bavarian Corps at Melun. In the 
neighbourhood between the Seine and Yonne as well as in the 
woods near Donnemarie the German patrols had likewise met 
with franctireurs and inhabitants with arms, who showed them- 
selves with great boldness. 

* The 17th InfiEuitry Brigade, 4th Drains, Ist, and 2nd heayy batteries, the 
pontoon company with light field bridge train. 

t -.and—. 
' 6 14 

{ Each of the Bavarian Corps received daring the month of September a third 
bridge equipment, which had been sent to them from their own conntrj. 

§ As the Gardes Kationaies pledged themselves not to use their arms excep: for 
the above-mentioned purpose, thej were not taken away from them. 


The Army of the Metise had on the 3rd September reached Advance of the 
with its advanced parties the neighbourhood of Mahny and ^^J^^^^ 
Stonne, beyond which, according to the orders receivBd, the 
troops were not to proceed on the 4th. On the latter date 
reports reached army headquarters which justified the assumption 
that the fortress of Montm^y, stated to be occupied only by 
Gardes Mobiles, might be taken without difficulty. The Quaid 
Corps, which was nearest to the fortress, and whose patrols had 
ab^tdy made incursions in the vicinity, received instructions in 
consequence to make an attempt to capture the fortress on the 
4th September, without however delaying their departure for 
Paris, as fixed for the following day. The corps he^quarters, 
where this order arrived towards 6 o'clock, deputed Major-Greneral 
Prince Hohenlohe to conduct the attack, and assigned to him for 
this purpose the 2nd Guard In&ntry Brigade, the 3rd Lancers of 
the Guajd, two squadrons 1st Lancers of the Guard, the artillery 
of the 1st Guard Division, the corps artillery and the 1st pioneer 
company of the Guard with the light field bridge train. 

In order to be in a position to follow the corps on the 5th, 
these troops left their quarters shortly after midnight and reached 
Thonnelle about 6 a.m. The officers sent forward to make a 
reconnaissance here reported that the fortress was situated on a 
steep inaccessible rock, but that on the north and north-east high 
hiUs lay in close proximity to it, imder cover of which the place 
might be approached. 

Jn consequence of this. Prince Hohenlohe moved part of lus 
troops through the Bois de G^ranvaux, and took up a position 
on the further side of it; another part occupied the heights 
between the roads to Montmddy and Fresnoy ; a battalion and 
three squadrons covered the left flank at Le Grand and Petit 
Yemeuil. At half-past 9 o'clock the artillery opened fire ; the 
heavy batteries bombarded the north front, whilst the light and 
horse artillery batteries cannonaded the west frt)nt of the place. 
The latter advanced about 10.30 a.m. to the De Yaux Farm, 
distant about 2,000 paces from it. 

The enemy only answered the batteries at Thonnelle, but 
without appreciable result. After the Prussian shells had burst 
in different points of the town, the bombardment was stopped at 
11.30 a.m., and the mayor of Thonnelle was sent into the fortress 
as negodator.* As the latter did not return, the firing was 
resumed, but after the lapse of an hour, seeing there was no 
prospect of any successful result^ it was finally discontinued. 
Upon this the troops set off for the neighbourhood of Mouzon, 
where the Guard Corps had occupied quarters during the day.f 

The IVth Army Corps reached Vendresse on the 6th 
September, the Xllth, La Besace ; army headquarters were at 

* It was abflolntely necessarj to make ase of the mayor for this purpose as the 
commandant had threatened to fire npon anj Fnissian parlamentaire. 

t The loss of the Fmssians in the bombardment of Montm^y amounted to four 
men and six horses. The artillery expended 8,812 shells. 


The 6th Cavahy Division despatched this day from Ch&teau 
Porden* a detachment of the 16th Hussars towards Laon. Their 
patrols met with hostile infantry at Eppes, and learnt that large 
bodies of French troops were encamped at Laon.t 

A detachment of the 15th Lancers, pushed forward in the 
direction of the town on the 6th September, confirmed this news, 
and reported that, to judge from the considerable traffic that was 
taking place on the railway, the enemy was apparently with- 
drawing to the westward. The garrison of Laon was said to 
consist of Gardes Mobiles, and the citadel to be armed with 20 
guns. No sooner had the leading files of the lancer detachment, 
consisting of 30 men, entered Laon than the gate was closed 
behind them. But in spite of the vigorous fire of the French 
infantry, the horsemen succeeded in reaching the open; only 
three wounded men remained in the enemy's hands. 

The 6th Cavalry Division advanced on the 7th September to 
St. Quentin, and sent a parlamentaire to siumnon the commandant 
of Laon, General Theremin, to surrender. The general requested 
time for consideration, but the inhabitants were apparently 
pressing him to 3deld. When the 15th Cavalry Brigade, with a 
horse artillery battery, was pushed forward on the following day 
to Athies, and the summons to surrender was repeated, the com- 
mandant begged for a further respite of 24 hours in order to 
obtain instructions from Paiis. Meanwhile the 4th Rifie battalion 
was forwarded in carts to Epi^cs, and the 2nd horse artillery 
battery, 4th Artillery Regiment, brought up to St. Quentin, in 
support of the Prussian cavalry. 

At 11 a.m. on the 9th September the 6th Cavalry Division, 
reinforced in this wise, was assembled at Eppes. As the com- 
mandant now declaimed himself ready to surrender the garrison 
and the material of war, the Duke William of Mecklenburg 
Schwerin entered Laon with the 4th Rifle battalion. The 4th 
company of the latter had halted in the suburb of Vaux ; the 
14th Cavab-y Division took up a position in front of it, the 15th 
at the issues from the foi*tress. The 2nd and 3rd rifle companies 
formed up in the mai*ket-place of the town and from thence 
posted guards at the gates ; the 1st relieved the French guard at 
the entrance to the citadel and entered the coui-t-yai'd, where 
2,000 Gardes Mobiles and a half company of the 55th Line Regi- 
ment laid down their aims. The men of the latter were maixshed 
off as prisoner of war, while the officers and Gardes Mobiles were 
set at liberty on the understanding that they would not serve 
during the wai* against Germany. Just as the last files of the 
French troops were quitting the citadel, two violent explosions 
followed in rapid succession. After the smoke had cleared, it 
appeared that tiie powder magazine had exploded, causing terrible 
destruction in the court-yard of the citadel and in the adjacent 
parts of the town. Those persons who chanced to be in the 

* See Tart II., p. 12. 

t Troops of the Idth Corps. See Fart II., p. 10. 


former place were for the most part killed or wounded. The 
total loss on the French side amounted to 300 men; on the 
Prussian side three officers and 39 men were killed, 12 officers 
and 60 men wounded. Among the latter was the commander of 
the Division the Duke William of Mecklenburg Schwerin, and 
Major V. Schonfels of the general staff; Colonel Count v. d. 
Groeben was slightly wounded in the head.* In the citadel 
were found 25 guns and 200 rifles with large stores of ammuni- 

The Army of the Mouse had meanwhile continued its advance, 
the IVth Corps on the right and the Xllth on the left ; the Guard 
Corps had moved up in front line between them. In advance of 
the front of the army was the 6th Cavalry Division on the right, 
and the 5th, which had been brought up by way of Neufchfttel, 
on the left. The Cavalry Divisions of the Guard and Xllth 
Corps had also been pushed forward beyond these corps about 
4 or 5 miles to the westward. 

In such deployment did the Army of the Mouse reach the neigh- 
bourhood of Montcomet, Sdvigny and Ch&teau Porcien on the 9th 
September, the 5th Cavalry Division Beaurieux, the 6th, as 
alrauly mentioned, Laon. From this position they advanced 
on the 10th in the direction of Paris by way of Laon, Craonne 
and Cormicy;^ the last-mentioned Cavalry Divisions, recon- 
noitring on the flank towards Soiasons and La Fere, dis- 
covered that both fortresses were strongly occupied by the 
enemy. But as the low-lying position of Soissons appeared to 
fisivour in an exceptional degree a bombardment of the place, 
the IVth Army Corps was charged by army headquarters 
with this enterprise, which was put in execution on the 14th 
September. But it soon proved that no success could be achieved 
with field artillery. After the 7th InfiBUitry Division, pushed 
forward to the Billy heights, had exchanged some shots with 
the fortress and the commandant had declined to surrender, the 
Crown Prince of Saxony, who was present^ gave orders for the 
withdrawal of the corps. 

The leading troops of the 6th Cavalry Division, which had 
advanced as far as Cr^py en Yalois, found Senlis this day occupied 
by franctireurs. The place was abandoned by the enemy on the 
15 th ; the Division on entering it captured three locomotives and 
destroyed near Creil the lines of railway leading from Compiegne, 
Clermont, and Beauvais to Paris. 

On the 16th September the IVth Army Corps reached Nanteuil, 
Le Haudouin, the Guard Corps Acy en Multien, the Xllth Lizy 
sur Ourcq. At the latter place the inhabitants were forced to 

* The list of casoaltiea is giyen in Appendix LXI. 

f The inquiry with regard to the occurrence has shown that in all probability 
Henriot, a non-commissioned officer of artillery who was in charge of the material, 
blew himself up together with the powder magasine. There were no grounds for 
suspicion of any jomt criminality on the part of General Theremin, who was badly 
woonded and died subsequently of his wound& 

t The destinations for the separate days are shown in Appendix LXII. 

39515. B 


repair the destroyed bridge. The 6th Cavalry Division reached 
Beaumont sur Oise ; its hussar patrols^ while roaking incursions 
in the direction of St. Denis came across the enemy's outposts at 
St. Brice and £couen ; at Montmagny, as also between Fierrefitte 
and St. Denis, French camps were observed. The 5th Cavalry 
Division reached Dammartin and found all the villages in this 
neighbourhood abandoned by the inhabitants ; at Amouville and 
Le Blanc Mesnil strong detachments of cavalry were seen in front 
of the patrols. The headquarters of thjB Army of the Meuse were 
at Crouy sur Ourcq on the 16th September. 

The headquarters of His Majesty the King had been trans- 
ferred under escort of the Wiirttemberg Division to Ch&teau 
Thierry on the 14th September, and on the afternoon of the 15th 
to Meaux, within the rayon of the Vlth Army Corps. The 
Wiirttembergers moved forward on the 16th as far as the neigh- 
bourhood of La Fert6 sous Jouarre, so that they could be brought 
up in good time for any engagement before Paris. 

The corps left at Sedan under the command of General v. d. 
Tann, after completing their duties at that place, had also at 
once commenced their advance to Paris. 

After the 21,000 French, taken prisoners during the battle of 
Sedan, had first been conveyed to Pont a Mousson, the 83,000 
men, who had become prisoners of war by virtue of the capi- 
tulation and were encamped on the Meuse peninsula at Iges 
under guard of a ring of German troops, followed on and after 
the 5th September.! The Emperor Napoleon, accompanied by 
General v. Boyen, aide-de-camp to the King, had proceeded on 
the 3rd September to Wilhelmshohe near Cassel, for the purpose 
of taking up his residence at that place for the present. The 
wounded Marshal MacMahon received permission to await his con- 
valescence at Pouru aux Bois. Nearly 550 French officers were 
liberated on their parole not to serve against Germany during 
the war ; the remainder were to be conveyed by rail finom Pont 
a Mousson to Coblenz on the 10th September.i^ 

The duties of guarding and escorting prisoners, the clearing 
of the battle field, the collection and arrangement of the captured 
war material, all this made considerable demands on the strength 
of the men. In view of the very small efiTective of the troops 
and the fact that the exhalations from the battle field had given 

* The Srd Hussars had also rejoined the 6th CaYaliy Division on the 11th Sep- 
tember from Longnyon. See Part I., Vol. 2, p. 488. 

t See Part L, Vol. 2, p. 407, 408. The transport of the prisoners of war to the penin- 
sula had lasted from the afternoon of the 2nd to the evening of the 4th. Hie Bavarians 
guarded it on the south, while the Xlth Corps watcb^ the bend of the Meuse 
from the north. Five convoys of prisoners, each escorted by two companies and a 
half squadron, were despatched every day until the 12th September, in the strength 
and in the direction prescribed by the royal headquarters. 

X All officers who gave their word of honour to present themselves at the train, 
were allowed to proceed independently to Pont k Mousson. General Dncrot had 
taken advantage of this permission and appeared at the prescribed hour at Pont k 
Mousson, but then escaped to Paris, assuming that the act of reporting his arrival 
satisfied the above obligation. 


rise to dysentery and typhus,* Greneral v. d. Tann found it 
necessary to bring up in support of his two Corps a brigade of 
the 4th Cavahy Division, which had been placed at his cQsposaL 
In pursuance of instructions received from Reims the general first 
caused the latter Division and on the 11th September both 
army corps to march off from the neighbourhood of Sedan to 
Paris ;t on the loth September the Xlth reached Epemay, the 
1st Bavarian Corps Reims. The 4th Cavaby Division, whose 
lOth Brigiwle had akeady proceeded as far as Nangis,t arrived 
with the rest of its troops at Orbais and Ch&tillon sur Mame.§ 

* The Ist BaTarian Corps had 1,000 men sick with typhus between the 1st Sep- 
tember and the 15th October. 

f An attempt to capture M^ai^res, ordered from the rojai headquarters, was 
demrred in consequence of the arrangements made with the commandant of this 
fortress for feeding the prisoners of war. See Part I., YoL 2, p. 408. 

t See Part II., p. 14. 

§ When leaTing Sedan they were deficient of seyeral other detachments, which had 
been sent on escort duty. The 9th Cayalry Brigade, with the exception of the 
stafb and a sqnadron of the 6th Lancers, was wholly employed on this duty. Of 
the 1st Bavarian Corps 11 companies had likewise not yet retained ; the 6th Chenuui- 
legers were placed at the disposal of the GoTemment-General of Alsace-Lorraine. The 
Xlth Corps, which had furnished the escorts for the last transports and had left the 
1st battalion 94th Regiment to garrison Sedan, moved off with only 13^ battalions 
and 5^ squadrons ; notwithstanding this, most of the regiments had b^en broo^t 
up to nearly their full establishment by reinforcements teem home. The majonty 
of the absent detachments rejoined their regiments during September ; some however, 
which had not been relieved at the transfer stations, and m consequence had to go fsr 
into the interior of Germany, or had to be detained on the line of communication to 
protect it from the inroads of franctirenrs, did not reach Puis until October. 

B 2 



Etxnts at Pabis afteb the Battle op Sxdak. 
Change of The first definite intelligence of the capitulation of the Army 

SSmoT^iUs? ^^ Chilons, and of the capture of the Emperor, had reached 
appeannce of Paris on the evening of the 3rd September, after dark rumours 
^fj^ of a creat battle in the neighbourhood of Sedan had thrown the 

^^^1^^ popmation of the capital into a state of the greatest excitement. 

The unsuccessful issue of an enterprise upon which France had 
pinned so much hope, the overthrow of the last army standing in 
the field, and more especially the threatening vision of a siege, with 
all its horrors and privations, produced intense commotion in Paris. 
On the night of the 3rd~4th the Government by an open 
proclamation disclosed to the capital the feite of the Army of 
Ch&lons. The ministers, however, at the same time declared : 
Our coura^ is not broken, Paris is even now in a position to 
hold out. The military forces of the country are being collected ; 
" in a few days a new army will stand under the walls of Paris, 
'* and another army is forming on the banks of the Loire." 

After the Corps Legislatif had met that same night, pro- 
posals were made both by the Oovemment and also by the 
deputies at its next sittings, which followed one another in 
rapid succession, for the appointment of a Government and 
Defence Commission, whose chief task was the expulsion of the 
Germans from French soil. A section of the Left demanded at 
the same time the deposition of the Emperor ; but no definite 
resolutions were agreed upon. Large bodies of the populace, 
some with arms, others without, forced their way in the afternoon 
of the 4th into the House whilst the deputies were sitting in 
council, and broke up the assembly with shouts of " Depose lum ! 
Long live the Republic 1 " 

Still more violent was the scene at the Hotel de Yille, where 
the leaders of the Republican party had assembled for the 
purpose of forcing their demands more quickly upon the Corps 
Legislatif. With cheers from the mob, among which were 
many members of the Gai*de Nationale, partly even in uniform, 
the Napoleonic dynasty was declai'ed to be deposed, the Republic 
proclaimed, and a provisional government appointed ; at the head 
of the latter api>eared General Trochu, the governor of Paris. 
Although the troops were held in readiness at the bairacks, this 
complete revolution was allowed to take place without any 
resistance on the ])art of those previously in power. The Empress 
left for Belgium in the afternoon of the 4th September.* 

The Corjis Legislatif submitted in silence to the demands of 
the Republican leadei's, whilst the population of the capital, 
under the excitement of the events there taking place, forgot 
for the moment the threatened position of the country. The mob 
destroyed some French eagles over public buildings, but in other 
respects committed no particular acts of violence. 

* According to some French reports the Empress had in answer to repeated requests 
for commands declared, that it wns her desire midcr all circumstances to avoid cinl 


From its very first official deeds the new Government showed 
that^ in accordance with the demands of the Republican party, it 
considered the struggle against the Germans as its chief task. 
The present Minister of the Interior, Gambetta, wrote to the pre- 
fects, " Our new Republic is a Government of National Defence, a 
" republic to resist the invader to the last Surround yourselves 
" with the citizens, who, like us, are animated by a never-ending 
'' desire to save the country, and will not shrink firom any 
" sacrifice." The Minister for Foreign Affidrs, Jules Favre, sent 
a despatch on the 6th September to the representatives of 
France at foreign courts, in which he declared, " We will not 
" yield an inch of our country nor a stone of our fortresses."* The 
cry of ** War to the knife ! " emanating in this wise from Paris, 
was re-echoed throughout France. 

All arrangements for the internal government having their 
origin in imperial power, which were no longer adapted to the 
new order of things, were cancelled, while at the same time, with 
indefatigable activity, and in the practical manner peculiar to the 
French, no stone was left unturned to provide the necessary 
means for carrying on the war. 

Scarcely a doubt prevailed at Paris as to the next destination 
of the German army which had fought at Sedan. At some 
places there still prevailed the hope that after the fall of the 
empire the Germans would not venture to continue the struggle 
against the Republic, yet it was evident from the outset to tiie 
bulk of the population that they were imable to oppose any 
obstacle to the victors' advance on the capital, and that Prussian 
" Uhlans " might appear before many days at the gates of Paris. 
The first object therefore was to increase the defensibility of the 
capital, and from those of its inhabitants capable of bearing arms 
to form a corps which, behind rampart and wall at any rate, 
would be able to resist an assault. In carrying out these difficult 
tasks the Government found effective support in the spirit of 
regardless self-sacrifice of the entire population. 

In order to enlist the sjnnpathies of the European courts in 
the fate of France, the former minister, Thiers, proceeded on the 
12th September to London, and from thence to the courts of 
St. Petersburg and Vienna, bearing with him the most extrava- 
gant hopes on the part of the French. As the Government 
wished to continue in diplomatic intercourse with foreign powers 
even in the event of an investment of the capital, and to retain 
in its own hands the supreme control of the defence of the coun- 
try, the Minister of Justice, Cr^mieux, was at the same time 
despatched to Tours as representative of the Government, and 
was followed to that place on the 16th by Vice-Admiral Fouri- 
chon. Minister of Marine. 

The valley of the Seine, which in traversing Twrtfiem France The enTirons 
forms a broad net- work of streams, opens into a wide basin at the of Paris and it! 

* The Parisians added to this declaration, " nor a shilling from our treasury." 


a!^ml^?" ^ I)oint where the tributaries, the Aube, Yonne, Loing, Mame, and 
187^ Oise empty themselves with the Aisne into the main stream. 

The immediate neighbourhood of this natuial site for a laige 
city furnishes from inexhaustible quarries an exoellent building 
material ; added to this, the abundant produce of fruitful districts 
can be transported along the above-mentioned tributaries, navig- 
able for a considerable distance towards their sources, whilst 
the lower course of the Seine is in communication with the sea. 
The bend of the Lou'e, stretching northward as far as Orleans, 
brings also this main artery of traffic of central France to the 
neighbourhood of the capital. 

The broad valley-basin, in which Paris lies, is partly 
traversed, partly girt, by a considerable double-loop of the 
Seine, in such wise that it forms approximately an equilateral 
triangle, the angles of which are defined by the mouth of 
the Mame and by the bends of the Seine at Sevres and St. 
Denis. The sole of the valley, which lies some 30 metresf 
above the level of the sea, is encircled by heights of considerable 
elevation, which on the north and east project into the city, 
whilst to the south-east of it, in the angle between the Seine 
and the Lower Mame, they remain at a distance of about seven 
miles from the enceinte. The summit of the valley on the left bank 
of the Seine, averaging 80 metres in height, stretches at first past 
the southern border of the city at a distance of about two kilo- 
metres, and then hugs the river closely from Sevres as far as 
Asnieres. Between this summit of the valley and the west side 
of Paris opens out on the right bank of the Seine the peninsula 
of Boulogne and Neuilly, in which, as in the northern part of the 
opposite peninsula of Gennevilliers, the ground rises but slightly. 
The whole of the front border of the Seine valley forms to a 
certain extent a projecting feature of the hilly region which sur- 
rounds Paris at a somewhat greater distance, and which rises in 
places to a height of more than 150 metres. 

The course of the Seine favours in a considerable degree the 
defence of the capital. An army advancing from the eastward 
against the south fi^nt is, when bringing up its siege park, 
limited to bye-roads, and while crossing Uie Seine to a restricted 
number of bridges, since above Paais none of the railways or 
great roads in connexion T^4th the east frontier lead across the 
stream. Bdmv the city the extensive sinuosities of the river 
prohibit an attack so long as the peninsulas in those parts are 
held by the defender. The River Seine, which has towards the 
junction of the Mame a breadth of about 170 metres and a depth 
of from three to five, furnishes at all seasons, with the assistance of 
the arrangements for filtering, a sufficient quantity of drinking 
water for the niunerous population. The Mame, two metres 
deep and about 75 metres broad, afibrds no slight advantages in 

* See sketch 8 (foar sheets), which has been borroved from the work, ** Histon* 
of the Siege of Paris in 1870-71, by Captains £. Hejde and A« Froese, of the 

t In agreement with the accompanying pkins the relatiye heights, &o. are giyen 
in metres. 


the defence of the capital, as it intersects aU the railways and roads 
coming fix)m the eastward, so that by destroying the bridges the 
communications of an assailant advancing from that direction 
are severed. The Ourcq canal, 12 metres broad and two deep, 
which brings the waters of the Ourcq rivulet to Paris from the 
north-east, as also the St. Denis canal, branching from the former 
canal and flowing outside the city to the Lower Seine, present no 
inconsiderable obstacles to a close attack from the north side. 
These obstacles are further augmented by a number of small 
brooks running from the east and north, which near St. Denis 
from a series of inundatable basins. The Bidvre brook, which 
enters the rayon of the city at Gentilly frx)m the south, likewise 
permits of inimdations being carried out in thejadjoining district, 
which can then only be crossed by a limited number of dykes. 

All these watercourses, in conjunction with the waterless 
but steep-sided valley between Versailles and Sevres, divide 
the immediate neighbourhood of Paris into seven sections. 
Through these lead numerous roads and lines of rail from the 
capital to all parts of the countiy. Neither is there any de- 
ficiency in this district of cross-roads, while the numerous villages, 
great and small, [fieusUitate the quartering of troops. Between 
the years 1840-1846 there were erected in these seven sections, 
in agreement with the features of the ground, sixteen large forts 
and several small independent works, which, in conjunction with 
the bastioned enceinte situistted from 1-j- to 4^ kilometres in rear, 
replace the mediseval works which had been razed in the time of 
Louis XrV. 

The north-westernmost of these seven sections, which is 
defined by the Lower Seine at St. Germain-en-Laye and the 
Croud brook, is closely covered with houses at almost every point. 
The district comprised within the great bend of the river, although 
only rising gently at first, attains an elevation of 170 metres to 
the south of Franconville. Although the entire neighbourhood 
of Gennevilliers and St. Denis is commanded from thence, the 
French Government had refrained frx)m canying out the original 
intention of placing advanced works there, as no convenient ter- 
mination of the line of defence could be found owing to the spurs 
of the hills rising higher and higher. 

The section between tlie Croud brook and the Ourcq canal, 
generally level, is studded along the banks of these watercourses 
and in the immediate neighbourhood of St. Denis with numerous 
villages, whilst there are but few of these in the entirely open 
ground between the two streams. 

Within these two sections just indicated lie the bastioned works 
of St. Denis and Fort Aubervilliers. The former, which surroimd 
in a broad bow the north and east sides of the little town, consist 
of the La Briche Crownwork, situated between the Epinai road 
and the northern railway, of the Double Crown with its open gorge 
bounded by the Bouillon brook, and of the quadrangular Fort de 
I'Est. These three works are connected together by a dyke with 
breastwork and ditch commencing at the St. Denis canal Sweeping 


the latter and the canal are several small works. The bas- 
tioned pentagon, Fort Aubervilliers, lies 10 metres higher than 
the fortifications of St Denis. The heights north of this 
place completely command the Double Crown and La Briche 
less so the Fort de FEst ; Fort Aubervilliers lies quite out of 

The section between the Ourcq canal and the Mame is for the 
greater part occupied by a long range of heights, which project 
with their western spurs as far as the dty . Two sharply marked 
depressions divide this ridge into a western, central, and eastern 
part. The first — ^the Romainville and Montreuil plateau — abutting 
on the city fortifications, commands on the one side the fiat 
ground in front of St. Denis, on the other, the left bank of the 
Mame from the spurs which project southward to that river. 
On the northern and eastern slopes of the plateau lie Forts Romain- 
ville, Noisy, Rosny, and Nogent, all quadrangular in form and 
bastion in trace ; the intermediate entrenchments at Nois}% 
Montreuil, de la Boissiere, and Fontenay, assist in sweeping the 
slopes, which are overspread with extensive villages capable of 
defence. To the east of these works, and within efiective range 
from some of them, rises in tiie central part of the ridge Mont 
Avron whicli commands more particularly the valley of the 
Mame above Brie. The fiat summit of the hill, some 400 metres 
in breadth, is covered with houses ; of its slopes only that on the 
north-west is built over. The easternmost part of the ridge is 
formed by the Montfermeil plateau, distant about five miles fit)m 
the enceinte ; this plateau fsdls in steep slopes to the west, and on 
its summit and northern slope is for the most part clothed with 

To the south of Yincennes opens out a low district giit 
by the windings of the Mame, and also wooded in parts. The 
Fort of Yincennes, built on to the old quadrangular chateau, and 
surroimded on the north and east sides by the wood and village of 
that name, has on the south side an open plateau. The works called 
de la Faisanderie and de Gravelle, connected by a bastioned front, 
which lie about 1-J- kilometres further to the south, bar the approach 
from the peninsula of St. Maur to Paris, and command both the 
loop of the Mame at Champigny lying to the eastward, as also 
the country between the Marne and Seine to the westward. The 
St Maur canal, which connects the two arms of the Mame, form.s 
a protecting obstacle in front of the latter two works. 

The part of the district between the Mame and the Seine now 
coming under consideration consists in the first place of the broad 
delta formed at the mouths of these streams, and secondly of tiie 
plateau, studded with woods and villages, which approaches close 
up to the Mame north of Champigny, and attains at its highest parts 
an elevation of 100 metres. In this section the bridges over the 
Mame at Charenton and JoinviUe form for the defender favourable 
points of soi-tie towards the south and south-east. The former is 
covered by Fort Charenton, a bastioned pentagon, which at the 
same time commands the roads from Melun and Troyes, tlie Lyons 


railway, and the neighbourhood of Maisons Alfort and Cr6ieiL 
South of this fort and about five miles from the city enceinte 
rises fit)m the plain the Mont Mesly, some 70 metres in height. 

Between the Seine and the Bi^yre, and at a distance of 
1^ to 2 kilometres from the former river, stretches a range of 
heights, which reaches its most elevated point (123 metres) at the 
Hautes Bruy^res, situated to the west of Yillejuif, and beyond that 
point abuts closely on the Bi^vre valley. For the defence of this 
section served the pentagonal forts of Ivry and Bicdtre. From a 
spur of , the eastern slope some 60 metres in height the former fort 
sweeps this slope and the valley of the Seine ; the last-named fort is 
situated at an elevation of 110 metres, half-way between the city 
enceinte and Hautes Bruydres. Both forts are completely com- 
manded from the unfortified heights lying to the south. 

The section between the Bi^vre and the Sdvres valley is likewise 
overspread with hills, which rise in general with gentle slopes from 
the east and have their central point in the Yillacoublay plateau. 
The latter projects afterwards in a double ridge separated by the 
Meudon valley, of which one, covered for the most part with 
wood, stretches northward in the direction of Sdvies, whilst the 
other bifrircates more to the north-eastward to damart and Ch&- 
tillon. The whole of the high plateau of Yillacoublay, which lies at 
an average elevation of 180 metres, &S1b at first to the northward 
in steep dopes, but afterwards at an elevation of about 80 metres 
throws out some spurs of gradual descent, which have been used 
as sites for Forts Montrouge, Yanves, and Issy. The firsts a 
bastioned rectangle, commands the coimtry as far as Ch&tillon, 
Bagneux, and Bourg la Reine, as also the western slopes of the 
ridge on the frurther side of the Bidvre, but on its part can be taken 
under fire fit>m the Hautes Bruydres and the Ch&tillon plateau. 
Fort Yanves, of very similar construction to Fort Montrouge* 
commands the opposite gently rising country as fiur as the village 
of Cih&tillon, but likewise lies within effective range of the domi- 
nating plateau. Fort Issy, built in the form of a bastioned 
pentagon, and situated in tiie immediate vicinity of the Seine» 
sweeps the valley of the river and the steep northern slope of 
the plateau of Bas Meudon as £ax as Sdvres, but towards the 
south is surrounded by commanding heights. The quarries 
situated in the immediate neighbourhood of these three forts are 
connected together and with the city fortification by underground 

In the western section of the ground in front of Paris, bounded 
by the Sevres valley and the Lower Seine, the neighbourhood of 
Bocquencourt forms the point of junction of several ridges. The 
Marly plateau, lying to the north-west of this point and bor- 
dered on the east by the Bougival ravine, was without importance 
for the defence of Paris in consequence of its great distance. The 
Jardy plateau, which is confined between the valleys of Sdvies and 
YiUe d' Avray, ia surrounded by more elevated hills. Between these 
two plateaux the heights of La Celle SiGoud, and La Bergerie, fall- 
ing in steep slopes towards the arms of the Seine, close the south 


gox^ of the GenneviUiers peninsula. With the ezeeption of the 
open plateau at Gaiches, which rises to a height of 170 metres, 
and partly also the country between it and the park of St. 
Cloud, the whole of this ridge is wooded. The latter descends 
in steep slopes at first, but afterwards more gently to an 
elevation of about 90 metres, when it again rises suddenly to 
a height of 161 metres at Mont Yal^rien. Distributed over the 
small summit of this hill, and upon its lower slopes, lies the fort 
of that name, whose outer enceinte forms a bastioned pentagon 
about 80 metres below the crest. The fort commands the country 
as far as the Sevres valley, and the entire peninsula of the Seine 
up to the flat ground at Qennevilliers. The east slope of the 
conical hill, which is not swept by the fire of the fort, lies within 
range of the guns of the city enceinte. 

On the outbreak of the war with Germany, the French 
Government considered it advisable to make ready the ramparts 
and works of the capital for defence, and to strengthen it as much 
as possible with new works. As early as July the military 
authorities had endeavoured to carry out the most pressing works 
as secretly as possible, so as to avoid causing alarm to the popula- 
tion. After the defeats, however, in the month of August, in view 
of the now increasing danger, a Defence Conmiission was formed, 
which, under the presidency and supervision of General Trochu, 
availed itself of every means to place the capital in a state of 
security with the least possible delay. As regards the enceinte 
proper, the preparations were limited genenJly to resisting a 
coup de main ; against hforrrud attack only the Point du Jour 
bastion and that in rear of Fort Yanves, in addition to all the 
advanced forts, were placed in readiness. These extensive works 
had, with the co-operation of all the available strength, progressed 
so fEkvourably before the arrival of the Germans in the vicinity 
of the capital, that the Defence Commission was able to proceed 
with the construction of new works. 

In advance of the norOi front the ponds and brooks were 
dammed, the ditches of the forts filled with water. By the con- 
struction of a work dose to the Seine, about 1,000 paces below 
La Briche, by fortifying the farm buildings at Le Temps Perdu, 
the Chateau at YiUetaneuse, and Stains mill, which were con- 
nected together by trenches, there arose a continuous advanced 
line of defence between the Seine and the dam at Bouillon brook. 
East of Fort de I'Est, St. Lucien and La Coumeuve were 
fortified ; to the right and left of the latter village emplacements 
for guns were constructed. A rearward line of communication 
ran from Cr6vecoeur, through Aubervilliers and the fort of the 
same name, as far as the Ourcq canaL A newly-erected battery 
on the Montmartre, armed with guns of the heaviest calibre, was 
to act against any attack made over the ground between Croud 
brook and the Ourcq canal. The railway stations at Bondy and 


Noisy 1® S^ ^ "^ell as the border of the last-named village, were 
artificially strengthened. 

In the ground to tiie east of Paris, which was very defensible 
both naturally and by virtue of the existing works, all that was 
necessary was the construction of a covered communication, pro- 
vided with emplacements for artillery, between BomainviUe and 
Fort Nogent. The delta between the Seine and Mame was likewise 
closed on the south of Maisons Alfort by a rampart arranged for 

On the left banlc of the Sei/ns it appeared necessary to fortify 
the range of hills at Hautes Bruyeres, Villejuif, and Vitry, by 
the construction of several earthworks. Of the commenced 
works only the battery at Hautes Bruyeres was at first brought 
nearly to completion,* while by damming the Bifevre before 
it enters the town its valley was inundated as far as the 
south of Gentilly. It was the intention of the Defence Com- 
mission to bring into the area of defence the heights on the 
left bank of the Bi^vre opposite Forts Montrouge, Yanves, and 
Issy. Several batteries were commenced, and the trees of 
the woods in their immediate vicinity were in process of being 
cleared; but the works were so much in arrear that on the 
appearance of the Oermans these important positions had to be 
abandoned.! The forts in question were connected together by 
trenches, which were continued as £eu: as the left bank of the Seine, 
and led also to the adjacent villages, which were provided with 
defensive arrangements. In the groimd also between Fort Issy 
and Sevres, and on the island of Billancourt, the villages were 
also fortified. 

The plan of constructing new works upon the peninsula of 
Gennevilliers, between Mont Yal^rien and the works at St. Denis, 
had also to be abandoned in the middle of its execution owing to 
the rapid advance of the Germans. The defence was therefore 
limited to the right bank of the Seine between St. Cloud and 
St. Denis, and to fortifying as bridge-heads the villages of 
Courbevoie, Asni&res, and Yilleneuve la Garenne.]: At the latter 
place a palisade was erected in the Seine, while above the city 
some heavily- weighted pontoons, protected by gunboats, formed 
a barrier across the stream. 

Arrangements for lighting up the ground in front of the 
fortress by means of the elec&ic light were made at all the forts ; 
the latter and all buildings in the city of importance in a 
military point of view were connected by a carefully arranged 
network of telegraphs. At 12 points there were special watch- 

* Later on another battery was completed at Moulin Saquet, besides a breast- 
work between Vitry and the Seine. ViU^nif, after being arranged for defienee, was 
connected b j a parapet with the two batteries, while Hantes Bm jires was likewise 
connected with the water-conduit at Arcueil. 

t Similar batteries had been commenced to the sonth of Bagneoz, at Moolin de la 
Tour, Notredame de Oamart, and Meudon, to the south and east of S^yres and to the 
north of St. Cload. 

t In addition to some minor woiks a few large batteries had been commenced in the 
neighbourhood of Qenneyilliers, Colombes, and La Garenne. 


posts,* and torpedoes were embedded at suitable points of the 
glacis of the varioas works. 

On the approach of the Oermans the bridges over the Seine 
and Mame in the neighbourhood of the city were blown up ; 
only the railway passa^ at Asni^res, Bezons, Chatou, Sartrouville, 
and Le Pecq, in addition to the road bridges at Charenton, 
Neuilly, and St. Denis, were left standing. AU roads outside 
the forts leading to the city were broken up ; abattis, chevaux de 
frise, trous de loup, man-traps, wire fencing, and other obstacles, 
were to impede as far as possible the advance of the Germans. 

The artillery armament of the works was at the same time 
undertaken with energy by the Defence Commission.t The latter 
had brought up to the capital^ by means of the railway, upwards 
of 200 heavy guns fix>m the naval stores, and from the other 
arsenals the guns in store which formed the full complement 
against the formal attack ; the guns for the enceinte, stored in 
the forts and arsenals, were brought up to their places with the 
aid of the circular railway. By the 19th September 2,627 
fortress and siege guns were available, so that in this respect 
the most extreme requirements were fully satisfied. The arma- 
ment for the city comprised 805, that for the forts 1,389 fortress 
cannon. Besides these, several hundred heavy guns, with 460 
teams of horses ready for their transport, were placed at the 
disposal of the commandant to strengthen any threatened points. 
As reinforcement to the fortress furtillery there was a newly 
formed river flotilla, consisting of five floating armour-plat^ 
batteries, six steam sloops, one yacht, and nine gunboats, part of 
which were originally destined for t^e Rhine.t This flotilla was 
deputed to protect the dams, the boat-bridges, and those places 
where the Seine enters the enceinte ; it was also to afibrd as 
much support as possible to the movements of troops. To this 
end the vessels were divided into two groups, of which one lay 
at anchor ofl* Quay Javel, the other ofl* Quay Bercy. 

Of ammunition, 500 rounds per gun in ihe forts and 200 for 
each gun in the enceinte were demanded; the requirements 
in gunpowder amounted to 6,600,000 pounds. By bringing 
in large supplies firom outside and by establishing a powder 
factory in Paris these demands were satisfied in good time. 

With no less restless activity were provided the number of 
combatants necessary for an obstinate defence of the huge fortress. 
Of the 167,500 men deemed requisite for the purpose, 80,000 were 
to be employed in the city works, 40,000 in the forts, 7,500 for 
the artillery, and 40,000 as a field army. 

Of troops of the line, there were available the 13 th Corps re- 

* Watehposts were establifhed on the Montmartre, the Trocadero, the Panth^n, at 
the Porte Maillot, at Paasj, Vineennes, Villcjuif^ and at Porta Bomainville, Biedtre, 
Valerien, Nogent, and Montrooge. 

t The detiuls of the aTailable means of defence are mostl j taken from General 
Dncrot's work on the defence of Pahs. 

I See Part I., Vol. 2, p. 482, 433. The floating batteries and eight gunboats were 
armed with two guns each, one gunboat and the steam sloops with one gun each. 


called from M^zi^resand the 14th now assembling at the capital,* 
each consisting of about 25,00<X men. The fugitives and stragglers 
from the Army of Ch&lons were attached to the regiments de 
marche ;t from the remains of the three Zouave regiments which 
had escaped fit)m Sedan a Zouave regiment de marche was 
formed, which after the enroknent of volunteers reached a 
strength of 2,000 men. A further increase to the troops of the line 
was provided by the Admiralty assigning about 14,000 sailors, 
marines, and marine artillerymen, who, formed into a Division 
under Vice- Admiral de La Bonci^re le Noury, constituted the most 
efficient and trustworthy part of the defenders of Paris. If we 
add to these the dismounted gensdarmes, some 3,000 strong, the 
Qarde de Paris, and some 5,000 custom-house officials, foresters, 
and sergeants de ville, the effective of the line troops amounted 
to frx)m 75,000 to 80,000 men, of which, however, not more than 
one third could be considered as entirely fit for service. 

Of still less value in comparison with the foregoing troops 
were the 115,000 Gardes Mobiles, who by virtue of an Imperial 
proclamation of the 16 th July had been summoned to arms,^ and 
since the 1st September had been brought up to Paris. 

In order to obtain frirther forces for Qie heavy duties of a pro- 
tracted and energetic defence, active steps were taken for the 
formation as well of a Garde Nationale. In consequence of the 
questionable advantages of this service there only existed 
under the Empire sixty battalions of Garde Nationale, a total 
force of 40,000 men, who were specially selected, and their officers 
nominated by the Goveiimient But when it was afterwards 
ordered in August 1870 that all men between the ages of 25 
and 35 capable of bearing arms, who had complied with the law 
of recruiting and were not shown on the rolls of the Garde 
Mobile, were to be called up to the colours for the duration of 
the war, the Government ordered on the 6th September the 
formation of 60 new battalions of Garde Nationale, each of 
1,500 men. Shortly after, the authorities were summoned to 
enrol all men capable of bearing arms between the above ages, 
and to inform them that service in the Garde Nationale was 
compulsory. The number of battalions in Paris increased so 
rapidly in consequence of this measure, that (jeneral Trochu on 
the 14th September was able to hold an inspection of 130 
battalions. But the 60 old battalions of the Garde Nationale 
were all that coidd be relied upon to any extent ; the rest lacked 
discipline and military training. The battalions were for the 
most part armed with rifles a la Tabatiere. 

* Appendix LXin. eontaiiw the order of battle of the 14th Corps. 

t A regimmU de tMrcke in its proper signifioation means a regiment formed of 
men of different corps, and which is onl j organised for conducting them to their 
destination ; but after Sedan, these regiments, while still formed of men of different 
corps, took their pUoe in the order of battle as fighting units. — Tr. 

t See Part I., Vol. 1, p. 49. The 15,000 Gardes Mobiles of the Department of the 
Seine, which towards the middle of August were brought back from the camp of 
ChAlons to Paris in consequence of their want of discipline (see Part I., VoL 2, p. 
50), could only be used eren there to a very limited extent. Onthe ISth September 
thej refused to occupy the outposts as the appointed position appeared in their 
eym too dangerous. 


The very general desire on the part of the population of 
Paris to bear a share in the defence of the capital, without 
being subjected to severe discipline, led moreover to the forma- 
tion of volunteer corps, the number of which increased to such a 
degree that the Government found itself compelled to forbid any 
further formations. These corps equipped themselves as their 
special tastes dictated, and showed a disposition to perform 
military duties in the capital entirely according to their own 
particidai' views * 

Among the 300,000 men who were thus coUected in the 
month of September for the defence of Paris, there were only a 
few regiments of cavalry. Of those of the 13th and 14th Corps, 
some had left for the Loire under General Reyau, while the rest 
had been united into a Division under General Champ^ron. To 
these must be added Bemis' Cavalry Brigade, composed of the 
1st Lancer Regiment de Marche, the 2nd Cuirassier Regiment de 
Marche, and tiie mixed Regiment de Marche. This arm was 
further augmented by the mounted gensdarmes, some detach- 
ments of Spahis, and the Garde Republicaine. Part also of 
the Garde Nationale and of the volunteer corps mounted them- 

Of field artillery only the batteries of the 13th and 14th Corps 
were at first available, and these for the most part had only 
completed their equipment during the war. By calling in the 
marines and discharged artillerymen they were enabled with 
the aid of the abundant artillery material at hand to form by 
degrees a large number of new batteries. The Garde Mobile and 
the Garde Nationale, which formed several batteries,^ likewise 
reinforced the engineers and the train by organising special corps 
and technical companies. Of the former troops there were origin- 
ally but six companies, of the train eight companies, in addition 
to two companies of pontoniers and four of workmen. 

The defence commission went most carefully into the question 
of housing and rationing the troops ; in this they were energetically 
aided by the people, who had organised a number of charitable 
institutions of various descriptions. In the streets of itie outer 
circle of Paris, on the Romainville plateau and at the camp of 
St. Maur, sprung up numerous barracks ; the necessary hospitals 
were established for the reception of the sick and wounded. Food 

* It ii impoatible to determine the real strength of the Tolonteer corps, in spite of 
every eflfort on the part of the French GoTetnment ; it is said that they numbered from 
15,000 to 18,000 men. Even the female sex was unwilling to be left behind the men 
in their spirit of self-eacrifice, and took up arms in person against the enemj. A 
summons was issued for the formation of 10 battalions of Amaaons of the Seme, a pro- 
ject, however, which was only partially pat in practice under the Commune. 

t The order of battle of Champ^n's Division is given in Appendix LXIV. Hie 
2nd Cuirassier and the 8rd mixed regiments demarche were formed of a squadron of 
Cent Gardes and some available detadiments of the Cavalry of the Guard. Among the 
mounted volunteer corps Franchetti's squadron shortly gained distinction. During 
the course of the siege tiie cavalry was brought to a strength of about 5,000 horses. 

% Towards the end of the siege there were, according to General Ducrot's state- 
ment, 124 fidd bsAteries, among which 16 were manned by marines and 15 byUie 
Garde Mobile. 


for the troops was shortly ensured for a considerable period, and 
by providii^ forty-five days provisions for the inlukbitants it 
was considered that the most extreme requirements would be 

At the head of the whole defence of Paris was General Trochu, 
previously governor and the now president of the government ; 
General Schmitz was the chief of his staff, which numbered 17 
staff officers and aides de camp. General Guiod superintended 
the artillery defence, having under him artillery officers of rank 
on the right and left bank of the Seine. The engineer duties 
were supervised by three general officers under the supreme 
direction of General de Chabaud la Tour. The command-in-chief 
of the entire Garde Nationale was entrusted to Tamisierf a retired 
officer of artillery. The city enceinte received for each of the 
nine sections into which it was divided a special commandant, 
a commander of artillery, and one for the engineers. Sik of these 
sections comprised the fortifications on the right bank of the 
Seine, the three others those on the left. In each section the 
duty of defending the ramparts and providing the first reserve 
devolved upon the Garde Nationale ; the Garde Mobile fonned 
the second, the line troops the third reserve.^ 

The advanced works were grouped in four sections ; each of these 
was under a special commander. The first section comprised the 
works at St. Denis and AuberviUiers, the second, Forts Romainville, 
Noisy, and Roany, the third, Forts Ivry, Bicdtre, and Montrouge, 
the fourth. Forts Yincennes, Nogent, Charenton, as well as Uie 
Gravelle and Faisanderie redoubts ; Forts Mont Yaldrien, Issy, and 
Yanves constituted special commands. The Naval Division gar- 
risoned Forts Bonudnville, Noisy, Bosny^ Ivry, BicStre, and 
Montrouge ; it had detachments also in Mont Yaldrien and Fort 
Nogent, whilst the remaining forts were occupied for the most 
part by Gardes Mobiles of the Department of the Seine. 

By means of the information of their own countEymen, recon- 
naissances in air balloons, and reports fix>m the cavalry, the inhabi- 
tants were kept constantly informed of the approach of the 
Gennans. The first available French troops of the line had been 
pushed as early as the 11th September in advance of the fortifi- 
cations : the 13th Army Corps first occupied the district between 
Sevres Brid^ and St. Ouen, but was afterwards brought to the 
Yincennes plateau ; the 14th Corps advanced on the 15th into 
the space l^tween Ivry and Bas Meudon. 

When General Trochu was visiting the positions in advance of 
the south fix>nt on the following day in company with General 

* Of fllanghter beasts thflre irere collected by the 19th September 80,000 oxen, 
6,000 pigs, and 180,000 sheep. 

t This officer was replaoed in October by General Clement Thomas, who was 
mmdersd on the 18th Maich 1871 during the inanzrectiQn of the Paris Commnne. 

X The number of battalions of the Garde Nationale assigned to the different sections 
was yery unequal, and raried between 12 (at Passy) and 55 (at Belleville). Each 
section consisted of two snb-seotions, each of which received an officer of lankas com- 
maadant The battalions of Garde Mobile intendedas reserve to the Gaide Nationale 
were formed, according to the parts of the city in which they were qnartoed, into 
four groups, the BIysM, Pahdb Boyal, Oonservatoire des Arts, and Luxembourg. 



in Paris, he found the new works incomplete, but nevertheless 
resolved not to yield to the adversary without a struggle the 
heights at that point on account of the advantages they would 
confer upon the attacking side. The 14th Army Corps was there- 
fore pushed forward on the morning of the 17tii abreast of 
Clamart and Bagneux. 

Thx Invkstuent of Paris bt the TTTrd Abmt and the Armt or 

THE Meuse. 

(17th — 19th Seftembsb.) 

During the forward movement of the Germans through the 
Champagne more precise intelligence with regard to the course in- 
ternal matters were taking in France reached the headquartets 
of His Majesty the King. Before the middle of September there 
was also no longer any doubt that Paris was making ready for 
an energetic defence, putting forward all her strength for the 
purpose, and that a new field army was forming on the Loire. 
A coup de Tnain against the capital, which contained for the 
most part untrained troops, but was surrounded by numerous 
outworks and ramparts free from escalade, had little chance of 
success, while a repulsed assault under existing circumstances 
would have an especially disadvantageous influence upon the 
general military situation. The German authorities therefore 
resolved to limit themselves for the present to a close investment 
of Paris. For this purpose there were available about the middle 
of September about 150,000 men and 620 field guns, upon whom 
the task likewise devolved of preventing any attempts on the 
part of the enemy to raise the siege. There was every prospect 
of a speedy reinforcement of the investing army by the Corps 
coming from Sedan ; any farther increase to the troops, however, 
depended mainly upon events at Metz and Strassburg. 

The decision whether or no, and when, they should undertake 
a bombardment or a formal siege of Paris, was reserved for the 
present. A population counting by millions, and with its habits of 
life considerably thrown out of gear by being cut off from the outer 
world, might probably ere long demand the surrender of the city. 
But on the other hand, by holding out for a longer period the 
enemy might find time and opportunity to convert by degrees 
the armed population into useful soldiers, and also assist the 
preparations in the coimtry in such a way that fresh armies 
might take the field. Consequently on the German side regard 
must be had from the first to the possible necessity of a 
bombardment, not forgetting also that the railway communi- 
cation with home territory would at first be extremely limited. 
On the only line of rail which led to the neighbourhood of Paris 
through the district commanded by the Germans, Toul was still 
in the enemy's hands. Even after the capture of this fortress 


the bringing up of the siege park, which had been ready in 
Pmsaia since the middle of August, would meet with consider- 
able difficulties, because the great railway tunnel at Nanteuil 
sur Mame was completely destroyed by the French, thereby 
entirely precluding any use being made for a considerable time 
of the railway west of this place. In order to transport the 
siege park by the ordinary roads, about 4,500 four-wheel wagons 
and 10,000 horses would have to be collected in the enemy's 
country for the 300 heavy guns with a provisional equipment 
of 500 rounds per gun. The unavoidable transport of men to 
replace casualties, of stores of food, equipment and clothing for 
the army of investment, claimed to the full the service of that 
single nulway as soon as it should become available. In order 
to gain possession of it as soon as possible, orders were issued 
from the royal headquarters on the 8th September for a siege 
park to be forwarded to the neighbourhood of Toul, and to be 
employed for the reduction of that fortress.''^ 

As regards the investment of Paris, an order was issued on the 
15th September from Ch&teau Thierry, the detailed execution 
of which was discussed in the course of the day by General v. 
Moltke with the chiefs of the staff of the two armies.t 

In accordance with the instructions, the three Corps of the 
Army of the Meuse, occupying Argenteuil in force, were on the 
19th to invest the capital on the right banks of the Seine and 
Mame,t whilst the 5th and 6th Cavalry Divisions were to en- 
deavour to establish by way of Poissy communication with the 
Ilird Army if possible on the preceding day. The latter, seeing 
there was no probability of any offensive movement on the 
part of the enemy fix>m Paris was to approach the capital on 
the left bank of the Seine and Mame, independently of the 
advance of the Army of the Meuse, and to extend to the left in 
proportion as the Corps coining up fix>m Sedan arrived. The 
cavalry of the IlIrd Army was ordered on the one .hand to 
establish communication with the Army of the Meuse in a 
westerly direction, and on the other to obtain information with 
regard to the concentration of troops on the Loire. Should the 
reUef of Paris be contemplated from that direction, the main 
forces of the IlIrd Army were to proceed one or two days' march 
in the direction of the enemy, so as to defeat him at a suitable 
distance from the line of investment. This latter was to be 
selected out of range of the artillery of the fortress, but as near as 
possible to the latter, and was to be strengthened by earthworks. 
In order to facilitate the communication between the two armies, 
numerous bridges were ordered to be constructed over the Mame 
and the Seine ; the lines of railway and telegraph leading to 
were to be slightly destroyed. 

* See Part U. p. 11. 

t The wording of the order is giTen in Appendix LXV . 

i During the conference just mentioned reference was also made to the importance 
of a speedj occupation of Le Bourget and the peninsula of GenneTiiliers. The latter 
was not tBkken within the line of investment for the present, in consequence of the 
proximity of the fortifications on Mont YalMen. 

39515. C 


In addition to this, the Army of the Mease received orders, to 
deprive the (SEtpital of part of its drinking water by draining the 
Ourcq canal, and, if practicable, to strengthen the northern Ime of 
investment by damming the watercourses in its front. For the 
first object tiie headquarters of the Ilird Army, in accordance 
with a communication from the royal headquarters, had, as early 
as the 10th September, diverted theDhuis atPargny,on the 11th 
the Mame at Cresanzy and Chinriy, from their artificial course 
into the natural bed.^ 

With a view to the investment of the south side of Paris the 
Crown, Prince of Prussia issued the following orders at Coulom- 
miers on the 16 th September : — 

The 2nd Cavalry Division will cross the Seine on the 17th 
at Villeneuve St. Georges, Juvisy, and Bis ; on the 18th it will 
move to Saday, whence it will watch in thetdirection of Paris, 
and establish connexion with the Army of the] Meuse by way 
of Chevreuse. The Vth Corps will cross the Seine on the 
18th at Villeneuve St. Georges, will then move to Palaiseau and 
occupy Versailles on the 19th, with outposts in the ground 
between Croissy and the park at Meudon. The 2nd Bavarian 
Cori^s will reach the left bank of the Seine at Corbeil on the 17th, 
arrive at Longjumeau on the 18th, Chatenay on the 19th, with 
its outposts between the park at Meudon and L'Hay on the 
Bi^vi-e. The Vlth Corps will arrive at Villeneuve St. Georges 
on the 18th, leave a brigade between the Mame and the Seine, 
and cross the latter river with the remainder on the 19 th, 
throwing out its outposts between the river and L'Hay, if possible 
at daybreak. The Corps will make preparations for bridging the 
Seine between Choisy le Roi and Juvisy. The Wiirttemberg 
Division will take up a position with two brigades in the neigh- 
iDOurhood of Pontaidtf and place outposts fi:om Ormesson by way 
of Champigny to Noisy. On the left flank of the army the 4tli 
Cavalry Division will proceed in the direction of Orleans by way 
of Fontainebleau and Pithiviers. To maintain communication 
with it the Ilnd Bavarian Corps will send a detachment to 
Arpajon, which is to be relieved subsequently by the 1st Bavarian 
Investment of Whilst tlie Ilird Army moved ofi* imder these arrangements 
the north and fQj. ^jj^ purpose of crossing the Seine above Paris, the headquarters 
Pn-iR of the Army of the Meuse issued on the 17th September the 

foUowiBg inductions for the investment of the north side of the 
capital: — 

The Xllth Army Corps was ordered to move on the 18th to the 
neighbourhood of Claye, to push forward its advanced troops on 

* These interrnptions of the supply were effected withoat difficulty ; they» how- 
ever, &uled in their ol^ect because the requirements in drinking water were amply 
covered by other arrangements. 

t The decision on this point was reserved to the King aa the Wfiittembeig Division 
acted as escort to the royal headquarters. 

X The arrival of the laUer at Montlhery and of the Xlth Corps at Boissy St. Leger 
was fixed for the 22nd September. 


the following day to beyond Chelles and Sovran, and after throw* 
ing a bridge over the Mame to connect itself with the right wing 
of the Illrd Anny. The Guard Corps received instructions to 
reach Mitry on the 18th, Boissy on the 19th, and to occupy in 
front line the villages of Aulnay, Le Blanc Mesnil, and Amouville. 
The lYth Army Corps*on the right wing was to reach Dammartin 
on the 18th, St. Brice on the 19th, placing its outposts in the 
ground between Sarcelles and Deuil, and pushing forward a 
brigade with two batteries to Argenteuil. The brigade of Lancers 
of the Ouard attached to the Corps was to observe tike Seine below 
the latter place, and to take up the connexion by way of St. 
Qermain with the 5th and Gth^Cavalry Divisions, which, as already 
mentioned, were to extend on the 18th from Poissy along the left 
bank of the stream. 

With the latter object in view the 5th Cavalry Division quitted 
the neighbourhood of Dammartin for Le Mesnil Aubry on the 17th. 
The 13th Cavalry Brigade, pushed forward on the left to cover 
this flank march, found the villages between Qonesse and St. 
Denis occupied by the enemy, who fired briskly upon the Prussian 
cavaby patrols. The 10th Hussars made incursions as far as Le 
Bourget, but were brought up at noon with the rest of the 
brigade to Le Mesnil Aubry, as French in£Euitry ftt>m Pierrefitte 
and Stains were advancing through the very intersected ground 
in a northerly direction. 

The 6th Cavalry Division had remained stationary on the 
17th at Beaumont sur Oise, where in the evening a pontoon 
company of the IVth Army Corps, with the light field bridge 
train and half the pontoon column, also arrived. As it had 
meanwhile transpired that the passages over the Oise and Seine 
on the German line of march had been blown up by the enemy, 
a bridge was first to be thrown at Pontoise by order from army 
headquarters, and after being used by the two Cavahy Divisions 
was to be at once taken to pieces and used for bridging the Seine 
at Poisy. 

At noon of the 18th the German bodies of hoi-se began to 
cross the bridge which had just been completed at Pontoise; 
the 6th Cavalry Division leadmg the advance reached the neigh- 
bourhood of Chanteloup that same evening.* A patrol of the 
3rd Lancers reached the left bank of the Seine on the 19th by 
means of a ferry re-established at Triel, and endeavoured to 
connect itself with the Ilird Army in the dii-ection of 
Chevreuse. After the 5th Cavalry Division had finished crossing 
this day at Pontoise, the pontoon train was brought up to Triel 
and a bridge thrown there on the following night. On the 20th, 

* Two companies of the 4th Rifle battalion atUched to the Division, see Fart n. 
p. 16, zeouuned at Pontoise ; the other two companiea moTed to Triel and Cani^rea 
and destroyed the line of railway and tel^^phs in the neighbourhood of the former 
place. The hone artillery battery of the IVth Corps, likewise attached to the 
Division, returned to its original command. 



it may here be remarked in anticipation, both Cavaky Divisions 
crossed the Seine, and passed for the present imder the orders of 
the Ilird Army. 

The Corps of the Army of the Meuse had meanwhile reached 
the destinations appointed for the 18th September without special 
incident Some hussars, belonging to the advanced guard of 
the lYth Army Corps which had been pushed forward as £eu: as 
Ooussainville, made incursions beyond this village to the south- 
ward, and observed hostile troops upon the heights of Montmagny 
and Pierrefitte. Patrols fix>m tiie brigade of Lancers of the Qiuurd 
were fired at by French inGmtry at Le Bourget and Drancy. 

These indications coupled with the reports which had reached 
the headquarters of the Army of the Meuse at St. Soupplets 
gave rise to the belief, that the enemy was occupying in force 
the ground in firont of St. Denis, and would not suffer the 
north side of Paris to be invested without a serious resistance. 
Instructions were therefore sent on the evening of the 18th to 
the lYth Army Corps to drive back the adversary, with whom 
they would probably come into collision on the following day, 
into the fortifications of St. Denis. The Quard Corps was to 
hold itself in readiness to support the IVth at Gonesse, and 
if possible to throw forward its outposts as far as Le Bourget. 
The Xllth Army Corps received orders to leave only one Infimtry 
Division between the Mame and the Ourcq canal, and to advance 
with the remainder to Sovran, so as to take part, if necessary, in 
the engagement by way of Aulnay. 

The supposition of the army headquarters was shared by the 
royal headquarters at Meaux, where these arrangements had been 
reported. In consequence thereof discretionary power was granted 
to the former on the morning of the 19th to call up the other 
Infiintry Division of the Xllth Corps for ^the engagement, while 
at the same time initiatory steps were taken for supporting with 
the Wiirttemberg Division, which had reached Meaux on the 17th 
and had advanced on the following day with two brigades as far 
as Lagny. The latter now received the command to move from 
Lagny to Chelles, or in the event of their being already on the 
left bank of the Mame on the march to Pontaidt,* according to 
their previous orders, to prepai*e at Coumay the passage to the 
north side of the river. His Majesty the King subsequently 
proceeded from Meaux to Gonesse, which place, in com))any 
with General v. Moltkc, he reached towards noon. 

Meanwhile the IVth Army Corps had arrived about 7.30 a.m. 
with the 7th Division at Eoissy, with the 8th and the brigade of 
Lancers of the Guard at Le Thillay and Boucqueval. Under cover 
of the 15th Infantry Brigade pushed forward to Sarcelles and 
Graulay, and of the 7th Dragoons observing towards Stains, the 
Corps continued the originally prescribed movement through 
St. Brice, the Guard Corps having meanwhile been requested to 
divert the enemy's attention from this flank march by an advance 

♦ See Part II., p. 84. 


to Stains. The Crown Prince of Saxony, who had proceeded to 
the height west of Amouville, and had there been informed by 
one of his staffof the state of affairs on the right wing of the Army, 
now sent a summons, referring to the order of the previous 
evening, to the lYth Army Corps, that it would if possible drive 
in the enemy at Montmagny upon St. Denis ; should circumstances 
render it necessary, the Quard Corps would support this offensive 
movement by way of Amouville. 

General v. Alvensleben I., in command of the Corps, ordered at 
11.30 a.m. the 15th Brigade to advance towards Montmagny, 
Villetaneuse, and Pierrefitte. The fusilier battalions leading 
the advance drove the weak French detachments after a short 
skirmish from the partly barricaded villages into the fortifi- 
cations of St. Denis, frx)m which place the positions of the 
Germans were now taken under artillery fire. 

The troops of the IVth Army Corps advancing through St. 
Brice upon Argenteuil exchanged some shots with tiie adversary's 
outposts to the south of Deuil. In consequence of an order from 
army headquarters issued at 2 p.m. the 16 th Infiintry Brigade 
halted at the latter place, whilst the brigade of Lancers of the 
Guard advanced as far as Cormeil en Parisis for the purpose of 
watching ArgenteuiL 

The Guard Corps had during the course of the forenoon 
assembled between Gtonesse and Tremblay, and occupied with the 
1st Guard Infantry Division the villages of Amouville, Garges, 
and Dugny. In pursuance of the previously-mentioned summons 
to advance upon Stains, Major-Greneral v. Pape attacked the 
village with a company of Rifles of the Guard, and captured 
it after a brief skirmish. The other two Brigades of the 
Corps had come up further on the left to the Mor^e brook, 
towards which strong columns of French troops were said to be/ 
advancing in the direction of Aulnay. But they turned out 
to be only small detachments, which fell back before the Prussian 
infantry. The cavalry patrols making incursions by way of 
Pont Iblon reported that Le Bourget was occupied by the enemy 
and was arranged for defence ; thei*e were also French outposts 
at Drancy as on the previous day. 

The Xllth Army Corps had moved forward from the neigh- 
bourhood of Claye towards the Bois de Bondy, and occupied 
the villages between Chelles and Sevran with the 23rd Division. 
In the neighbourhood of the latter village were concentrating by 
degrees the i*emainder of the Corps. The Saxon patrols met 
hostile detachments to the west of the above-mentioned wood ; a 
division of the Body Guard Gi^enadier Regiment was driven from 
Bondy by a superior force of French infantry. 

After it was found that the troops of the IVth Army Corps 
had encountered no serious opposition in taking up their 
assigned positions before the north front of Paris, the main bodies 
of the other two Corps were also quartered in the villages within 
their respective rayons. Accordingly the Army of the Meuse 
occupied the following jDOsitions in the evening : — 


The foremost troops of the Xllth Corps were appuyed on the 
Mame above Neuilly, and lined the western border of the Bois 
de Bondy. The two In&ntry Divisions had remained at the places 
which they had taken up during the course of the day ; the Cavalry 
Division had retired to Le Pin, the corps artillery to Claye. 

The line of outposts of the Quard Corps ran along the left bank 
of the Mor6e brook from the Bois de Bondy to Pont Iblon, and 
from thence through Dugny to Stains. The 1st Guard Infiintry 
Division lay in the villages between Gonesse and Stains^ the 2nd 
at Yillepinte, Le Blanc Mesnil, and Aulnay. The Guard Cavaby 
Division was withdrawn to Mitry and TremUay, the corps 
artillery to Gtoussainville. 

The IVth Army Corps had thrown out its outposts from Ebiut 
Boi Mill through Montmagny as far as Lake Enghien ; strong 
detachments of all arms were posted in support The 14th 
Brigade with the corps artillery was in the neighbourhood of 
St. %rice, the 13th at Sarcelles, the 15 th in and around Graulay, 
the 16th at Montmorency and Deuil. 

The headquarters of the three Army Corps were at Claye, 
Roissy and St. Brice. The Crown Prince of Saxony took up 
his headquarters at Tremblay, the battalion of Sharpidiooters of 
the Guard forming his escort. 

Thus was completed the investment of the north and east sides 
of Pai'is on the evening of the 19th September. 

Investment of ^^® advance into position of the IIJj:d Army led to serious 

the 6oath side Collisions on the south of the French capital. 

of Paris. The Vth Army Corps had moved off in the morning of the 

17th September frx)m the neighbourhood of Chevry, Touman, and 
Fontenay'^ in the direction of Yilleneuve St. Georges. At the 
head of the corps was the 9th InfiEmtry Division with the 
attached pontoon column and the greater part of the corps 
artiller}"^ ; the 17th Brigade was .despatched with two squadrons 
of drafifoons and the heavy batteries of the Division to Limeil, in 
oixirtoscreen the projected formation of bridges against enter- 
prises fix)m Paris. The troops of this latter brigade, intended to 
give the outposts between the Seine and the Mame, met some 
troops of the 13th French Corps abreast of Choisy le Roi and 
Bonneuil, against which they deployed for attack at 1 p.m. 
after occupjring L'Hopital farm. 

In consequence of the intelligence that German troops were 
advancing along the left bank of the Mame, General Yinoy had 
proceeded in the forenoon of the 17th with Ex^'s Division by 
way of Charenton to Boissy St. Leger, for the purpose of carry- 
ing off or destroying the supplies accumulated in the Ch&teau Le 
Piple. But when the General leamt that the two latter places 
were ah'eady in the possession of the Germans, he halted one 
brigade at Cr^teU, whilst Daudel's Brigade with two batteries 
and some mitrailleuses occupied the vine-clad Mont Mesly and 
the villages to the westward. The Prussian dragoons which 

» See Part II., p. 14. 


had pressed forward close up to this position in pursuit of the 
akirmishers were driven off by artillery fire. 

The 1st heavy battery Vth Army Cterps, which had meanwhile 
driven up to the north of Yalenton, at once took up the struggle 
with the hostile artillery * Supported by the fire of this battery 
the musketeer battalions 58th Begiment and the 1st battalion 
of the 59th, in a total force of nine companies, made an envelop- 
ing offensive movement against Mont Mesly, fix)m which the 
enemy retired to Cr^il. After an attack, undertaken by the 
French at 4 p.m. with three battalions against the heights from 
which they had been dislodged, had failed against the file-fire of 
the 59th, tiie enemy, retiring hastily and in <£sorder, was pursued 
by the 58th beyond Cr^teil until he came within range of Fort 
Charenton. The 17th Brigade then went into bivouacs at Limeil, 
with outposts between Choisy and the Bois de Brevannes.t 

During the foregoing engagement on the right flank of the 9th 
Division the pioneers of the Vth Army Corps had thrown a 
pontoon bridge at Villeneuve St. (jeorges ; previously to this the 
1st battalion 47th Regiment and a detachment of dragoons had 
been transported over the Seine in boats to cover this work, and 
after driving away some franctireurs had taken up a position 
on the left bank. The other two battalions of the last-named 
regiment likewise crossed the stream towards 4 o'clock on the 
completion of the bridge, and advanced as &r as Ablon. The 
other parts of the 9th Infantry Division remamed on the right 
bank ; the 10th bivouacked at Mandres and Boissy St. Leger. 

The 2nd Cavalry Division, which had reached Villeneuve St. 
Qeorges at 10 a.m., followed the 47th Regiment to the left bank 
of the Seine, and proceeded the same day to Juvisy, Athis, and 
Villeneuve Le Roi. 

The Vlth Army Corps reached Roissi, Pontault, and Noiseau ; 
from the latter place the advanced guard threw forward its out- 
posts to Champigny, Ormesson, and Sucy. The result of a 
reconnaissance made in the direction of Joinville showed that the 
bridge at that place was barricaded and that the further bank 
was occupied by infiEuitry.^ 

The ILid Bavarian Corps, which commenced to cross the Seine 
at 9.30 a.m. by the bridge which it had thrown at Corbeil, 
reached Villemoisson, St. Michel, and Brdtigny, with the 3rd 
In£Euitry Division. § The Lancer Brigade had not been able to find 
a ford near Ris, which had been assigned to it as the point for 
crossing ; it had in consequence returned to Corbeil, crossed the 
river at that point after the 3rd Infantry Division, and subse- 
quently marched up-stream to Ris, sending patrols as far as Long- 
jumeau. Other detachments of this brigade, which endeavoured 

* The 2nd heavy battery had ako taken np a position to the north-east of Limeil, 
bat its fire was comparatiTely hannless in conseqaence of the long range. 

t The loss of the French in the action at Mont Mesly was stated to be only 45 
men killed and woonded. With regard to the German losses, see Appendix LXI. 

X The bridge was destroyed near the left bank, which droomstance could not be 
pereeived from the right baiUc 

§ On the railway from Paris to Orleans. 


to establish connexion on the right bank of the Seine with the 
2nd Cavahy Division, had been fired upon from the left side of 
the river by franctireiirs ; one shot, however, from the horse 
artillery battery sufficed to disperse the latter. The rest of the 
Ilnd Bavarian Corps remained this day at CorbeiL 

The advanced guard of the 4th Cavalry Division* when 
moving towards Fontainebleau found the bridges over the Seine at 
Samoreau and Fontaine le Port destroyed. It therefore bent 
away further northward to Sivry, in order subsequently to make 
use of the passage at Melun, whither on the previous day a divi- 
sion of the 2nd Body Guard Hussars had proceeded in advance 
for the purpose of establishing connexion with the Bavarians. 
When this latter party of cavalry sought to join its Division on 
the 17th by the left bank of the Seine it was captured by the 
inhabitants and frtmctireurs. 

On the 18th September the 2nd Cavalry Division moved to 
Saday; its advanced guard threw out outposts from Villera^s 
between Jouy and Orsigny. At Antony and Petit Bicetre tlie 
Prussian Hussars met with detachments of hostile cavalry, 
and at Sceaux and its vicinity with some bodies of infantry. 
A party of cavalry despatched towards Versailles found the 
gates barred and the town occupied by National Guards, who 
refused to surrender except to a larger force. 1st Lieutenant 
v. Reitzenstein with a patrol of the Gth Hussars dispersed 
a company of National Guards while in tlie act of assembling 
at Chevreuset and captured a convoy of provisions intended for 

The Vth Army Corps finished this day its passage of the Seine 
at Villeneuve St Georges and resumed its march to the west- 
ward. The 18th Bri^uie leading the advance of the Corps 
reached Palaiseau at noon, with its advanced guard in the 
neighbourhood of BiSvre. 

^e intelligence of the movement of the Germans upon Versailles 
had in the meantime occasioned a corresponding movement 
to the right of the French troops. The 14th Corps had deployed 
with Caussade's Division between Trivaux farm and Clamart 
along the south border of the Bois de Meudon, and posted Hugues' 
Division at the ChatiUon Redoubt. Maussion's Division was still 
at Bagncux ; Maud'huy's Division of the 13th Coq^s had been 
drawTi forward from tJie Vincennes plateau to the left bank of 
the Seine at Villejuif On the right flank of the 14th Cori).s 
the Zouave Regiment de marche occupied Meudon, with advanced 
detachments at Gi'ange Dame Rose and Trivaux Farm ; in 
advance of this Coqis tlie 15 th Regiment de onarclve had 
by order of General Duci-ot arranged itself for defence in the 
village of Plessis, and half a rifle battalion in the mill of the 
same name. The advanced parties of Bemis' Cavalry Brigade, 
reconnoitring in the direction of Verrieres, came across in the 

• Of this DiTision only the 10th Brigade had arrived, see Part II., p. 14. 
t It« four officer! were taken prisoners. 


neighbourhood south of Petit Bicfitre some Prussian dragoons 
and a piquet of the 47th Begiment thrown forward beyond 
Abbaye aux Bois,* before whose fire the French cavahry retired 
to Chfttillon. 

The piquet in question met during its further movement to Petit 
Biofitre some advanced troops of Caussade's Division, which had 
established themselves firmly in this farm and in the Bois de la 
Garenne. But when Colonel v. Flotow deployed both the 
musketeer battalions of the regiment against these places, and 
caused the fusilier battalion to take part further on the left, the 
French retired to Orange Dame Rose, whither they were followed 
by the 2nd battalion, by way of Porte Verrieres, and by the fusiliers 
through Yillacoublay. The 8th and 12th companies, under a 
heavy fire from the enemy, scaled shortly after 2 o'clock the 
high boundary wall of Dame Rose and gained possession of the 
fieom buildings, where some 60 Zouaves fell into their hands. 
Other detachments of the regiment advanced from Petit Bicfitre 
in the direction of Trivaux farm, and drove out the French troops 
fit)m that place as well Both localities were, however, evacuated 
later on by the 47th, as a formidable attacking column, supported 
by artillery, broke forward from the Bois de Meudon, in which, 
from intelligence meanwhile received, far superior forces of the 
enemy were present. 

As the latter did not follow up the withdrawal of the Prussians, 
there was no frurther action at this place during the day. The 1st 
battalion 47th Regiment took up a position for defence at Petit 
Bicfitre, occupied die Bois du Loup Pendu, and extended its line 
of outposts to the westward as far as Yillacoublay. The re- 
mainder of the advanced guard occupied quarters at Malabry 
and Abbaye aux Bois in readiness to turn out ; the main body of 
the 18th Brigade was at Bi&vre and Igny. 

Of the detachment of the 4th Dragoons employed for covering 
the left fiank, five men under Lieutenant v. Wienskowski had been 
sent to Vdlizy. This patrol, in spite of the fire directed upon it, 
rode into the place, dispersed a detachment of about 30 infimtir, 
and captured a wagon-pai*k proceeding from Plessis Piquet to 

On the right of the 18th Brigade, the 17th had marched to 
Massy and Verri^es. Its outposts, placed between the wood of 
that name and Antony, skirmished without cessation during the 
night with the enemy's advanced troops. Further souUi at 
Palaiseau stood the 10th Division with the corps artillery. 

Alongside the Yth Army Corps the Ilnd Bavarian had also 
advanced into the foremost line. The 3rd Infantry Division and 
the Lancer Brigade had reached Longjumeau ; the 5th Infantry 
Brigade, two batteries, and two regiments of Chevauxlegers were 
pudbed forward from thence to the neighbourhood of Massy and 
Wissous. Patrols fit>m the advanced troops posted between Croix 

* This legiment with half a sqaadron from the 4th DragoouB and the 1st light 
battery formed die adyanced goard of the 18th Brigade. 



de Bemis and La Belle Epine, belonging to the last-mentioned 
brigade, met with some hostile detachments engaged in throwing 
up entrenchments at Fontenay aux Roses. More parties of 
French infismtry were seen near Bourg la Beine, as well as 
between L'Hay and the Hautes Bruyeres redoubt ; firom the fire 
of the latter uie Bavarian patrols sustained some loss. The 4th 
Bavarian Division was at Montlhery and Saulz les Chartreux, 
the artillery reserve at BaUainvilliers ; firom the former place a 
detachment of the 8th InfiEuitry Brigade was pushed forward 
along the Orleans road as £ar as Arpajon. 

The Vlth Army Corps had occupied the line of outposts 
between the Seine and Mame with the 24th In&ntry Brigade, 
which had assembled at Limeil by noon ;* the 23rd Brigade 
crossed in the afternoon the former river in rear of the Vth Army 
Ciorps at Yilleneuve St. Georges, and pushed forward its outposts 
as &r as Yilleneuve le Boi. The latter came in contact with the 
enemy posted fiirther north at Thiais and Choisy le Roi. In the 
evening, with the aid of the pontoon train of the Ylth Corps, a 
second bridge was constructed 300 paces below Yilleneuve St. 
Georges. The 21st Brigade reached Boissy St. Leger, the corps 
artillery Montgeron, the 22nd Brigade, reinforced by a squadron 
and a battery, Sucy. The 3rd battalion 38th Regiment occupied 
Champigny and YiUiers, for the purpose of keeping a watdi in 
the direction of Joinville until the arrival of the Wiirttemberg 
Division ; patrols firom this battalion were vigorously fired upon 
firom the right bank of the Mame at several places. The head- 
quarters of the Ylth Army Corps were at Yilleneuve St. Georges. 

On the left flank of the Ilird Army the 10th Cavalry Brigade 
had crossed the Seine at Melun and pushed forward the 2nd 
Body-guard Hussars, as advanced guard, through Perthes 
towards Courances. A flanking patrol on the right came into 
collision with some firanctireurs and armed peasants, who received 
the Prussian hussars with fii^, but withdrew to Dannemois on 
the advance of the 4th squadron, and established themselves in 
the houses of this village, firom which they were, however, driven 
by a few rounds of sheU fix>m the horse artillery battery which 
had meanwhile come up. 

As very similar proceedings took place at Le Buisseau, the 
whole neighbourhood appeared to be fiill of fi:anctireurs, and 
as according to the statement of some prisoners a volunteer corps 
of 1,200 men, commanded by otlicera of the line, had entered 
Milly, the Prussian cavalry retired to GUy. 

The headquarters of tlie Ilird Army had been transferred ou 
the 18th September to St. Germain les Corbeil. 

* The outposts of the Vth Corps had been already relieved daring the morning bv 
the 22110 Regiment. 


Enoageuents at Petit BioiTRE and ChItillok. 

(19th Septembeb.) 

The general commanding the Yth Anny Corps had made the BngBgements 

followmcr arranfifements for Uie 19th September : the 10th Division between 
was to IdYBJ^ at 6 a.m. from Palaiieau through Jouy, and an ^^"^^^ 
hour later the 9th through Bievre and L'Hdtel Dieu, to Versailles. Meudon. 
The previous advanced guard of the latter, in accordance with the 
instructions of the commander of the Division, waa to move in a 
parallel direction on the rights but before it could commence its 
march it became involved in an action. 

The 47th Regiment, as already mentioned, had in the afternoon 
of the 18th come into collision on the YiUaooublay plateau with 
parts of the 14th French Corpsf, and stood fiEicing them at Petit 
BicStre and in the woods soutii of this fiannstead. Consider* 
able noise, betokening the movement of troops on the enemy^s 
side, was remarked hy the Prussian outposts during the night. 
The foe at the same time maintained in his foremost line a 
brisk skirmishing fire; from Plessis Piquet he also undertook 
some brief isolated attacks. At early dawn considerable forces, 
the strength of which could not be determined in the dense 
morning mist, approached the Prussian position from the north. 

General Ducrot had resolved to make a sudden attack on the 
morning of the 19th from the Ch&tillon plateau upon the right 
flank of the German troops marching along the road from Yille- 
neuve to Versailles. For this purpose he had ordered Caussade's 
Division to advance from the Bois de Meudon towards Villacoublay, 
Hugues' Division through Pav6 Blanc to Petit BicStre, the cavaliy 
and artillery reserve of of the 14th Corps in the interval between 
the two Divisions. For protecting their own right fiank the 
Zouave regiment was brought forward from Meudon to Dame 
Bose. Maussion's Division remaining at Bagneux received orders 
to despatch the 26th B«giment de rrux/rche to the redoubt at 
Moulin de la Tour, which was equipped with eight 12-pr. guns ;* 
four other heavy guns were to be placed near the telegraph 
'fruther to the south behind rapidly formed cover. 

The French attacking columns met the advanced troops of the 
18th Brigade about 6.45 a.m., and at once brought their batteries 
vigorously into action from Porte de Tri vaux against Petit Bicfitre 
and Verrieres wood. A squadron of Prussian hussars trotting 
forward through Villacoublayt found itself shortly compelled to 
beat a retreat in consequence of a heavy infantry fire. 

Having received timely information of the adversary's approach 
through reports fi^m the outposts, the 47th Regiment at its 
various places of bivouac had hastened to arms at the whiz of the 
first shelL To support the 1st battalion standing at Petit BicStre, 

* Shown on plan 13 as the *< Redonte de ChAtillon." 

t — ~ despatched from the Snd CaTalrr Diyision to reconnoitre in this 

l8t Hussars 



Major-Oeneral v. Voigts-Blietz, in command of the right flank 
detachment, caused the 2nd to advance towards the high road 
west of the &rm, whilst the fusilier battalion made r^y to 
take part in the engagement from Malabray, and the cavalry* 
present guarded the flank in the neighbourhood of Yillaooublay. 
The Ist light battery came into action on the hill side to the 
west of Petit Bic£tre> but in the unequal struggle against a more 
than threefold superiority of French artillery, and also from the 
infantry fire, suffered such heavy losses that thi*ee of its guns 
were rapidly put out of action. Meanwhile the commander of 
the Division, Major-Oeneral v. Sandrart, hearing the roar of the 
artillery, had despatched the 2nd light battery to Petit Bicetre, 
which subsequently advanced into the fighting line under a very 
hot fire from the enemy's shells and musketiy, and by so doing 
enabled the other battery to retire for a short time in order to 
repair its damages. 

On the right wing of the French an infantry column had 
under cover of the artillery fire reached the Bois de la Qarenne at 
7 a.m. by way of Porte de Trivaux, but after a brief struggle had 
been dislodged from that place by the 2nd battalion 47th Regi- 
ment. A detachment despatched further on the left by way of 
Pav^ Blanc had, in spite of a withering fire from the 3rd company 
of that regiment, pressed forward with strong bodies of skir- 
mishers past the east side of Petit Bicetre into the Yerrieres 
wood. Being vigorously supported by the fusilier battalion, 
the enemy's progress was checked, but the high road and the 
buildings of Petit BicStre, which had been meanwhile set on fire 
by the French artillery and abandoned in consequence by the 
47th, could not for the present be reached by the Prussian troops. 
The 3rd company, with which Lieutenant v. Treskow had 
ensconced himself in the nearest road ditches in fix)nt of the east 
side of the farm buildings, was alone able to continue the 
struggle, although momentarily in danger of being surrounded by 
the enemy's superior force, until the arrival of Bavarian troops 
gave a favourable turn to the state of the engagement. 

According to the arrangements made for the 19th September by 
the headquarters of the Ilnd Bavarian Corps, the battalions of the 
Gth Infantry Brigade with the 5th Chevauxlegers and two batteries 
were to advance frx)m Lonorjumeau by way of Bievre to Petit 
Bicetre, the other parts of the 3rd Division from Wissous through 
Pont d' Antony to the Sceaux heights, and afterwards to throw 
out outposts towards Paris. The 4th Division and the Lancer 
Brigade had received instructions to take up a position at Pont 
d* Antony and Fresnes les Rungis. 

When the left wing column of the 3rd Division reached the 
neighbourhood of Igny at 7 a.m., it there crossed the detachments 
of the Vth Army Corps on the march from Massy to Mont Clain.t 

* One and a half squadrons 4th Dragoons and the :^ just mentioned. 

t Battalions of the 17th Brigade. 


The roar of artillery resounded vigorously firom the northward. 
On receiving information with regard to the present state of 
affiurs from a Prussian officer despatched from the battle field, 
Colonel V. Diehl^ ordered his troops to take part at once in the 
struggle as they arrived at Abbaye aux Bois. 

The 3rd Rifle battalion, leading the advance, was the first to 
reach the abbey. Lieutenant-Colonel v. Horn left the 1st com- 
pany there in reserve, pushed the 4th into the Bois du Loup 
Pendu, and moved with the two others into the northern part of 
the Bois de Yerrik^. Jointly with the Prussian detachments 
there engaged the Bavarian riflemen dashed with a ringing cheer 
upon the enemy, who was overthrown at the first ruiSi, and 
pressed back beyond the high road as fJEir as Pav4 Blanc, where 
considerable forces were ready to aflbrd him support. Following at 
the heels of the retreating foe Captain Beuss came up with the 8th 
6-pr. battery through the smoking ruins of Petit Bic^tre to within 
600 paces of Pav6 Blanc, the 3rd 4-pr. plajring already an eflective 
part on the right front of the two Prussian batteries. Of the 
other Bavarian troops which came up graduaUy through Bidvre, 
the 1st battahon 14th Regiment occupied the northern edge of 
the Bois de Yerri^res between Malabry and Petit Bic^tre, the 
2nd this latter farm, near which the two battalions of the loth 
Regiment also took post. The 5th Chevauzlegers halted at 
Abbaye aux Boia The right wing of the 47th Regiment, which 
had expended nearly the whole of its ammunition in the vigor- 
ous struggle, was withdrawn to Yillacoublay after the successes 
just gained ; only two companies remained temporarily at Petit 

The Prussian battaliont which had come into action at the 
Bois de Garenne had meanwhile been likewise reinforced. 
General v. Sandrart had pushed forward the 7th Grenadiers, the 
5th Rifle battalion, 2 squadrons of dragoons, and the two heavy 
batteries of the 9th Diviedon, from Mont Clain towards Yillar 
coublay, where the latter took up a position on either side of 
the farm, whilst the grenadiers extended themselves as far as 
the western part of the Bois de Meudon. To aflbrd additional 
support the 17th Infiantry Brigade was at Mont Clain. 

Before these fresh troops had advanced into the foremost 
fighting line, the enemy undertook a fresh advance at 8.30 a.nL 
Behind his artillery line to the south of Trivaux feum, now num- 
bering some 50 guns, the 19th Regiment de marche of Hugues' 
Division advanced past the Pav^ Blanc brick-kihi towards the 
Bois de Yerridres, but it was received with so eflective a Are by 
the Bavarians that the attack shortly came to a standstill. On 
the French right wing the 17th and 18th Regiments de marche 

* Colonel V. DieU was in oommand of the 6th BaTarian Brigade, consisting at the 

time of only fiyrt battalions, in place of Colonel r. WisselJ, irho was sick. The— 


was still at ChAlons. 

. nnd. 

^ 47 


of Oauasard's Division had deployed to the south of the Bout de 
Meudon, whilst the 16th remained in reserve at the issue 
of the Inroad park avenue. The two first-named regiments were 
over-whehned with so hot a shower of bullets during their 
advance towards the Bois de la Qarenne, and moreover so 
seriously threatened on the right flank, that the personal influence 
of Qen^ral Ducrot was insufficient to bring the young soldiers to 
the front. The Zouaves assembled at Trivaux fturm were thrown 
into disorder by some shells bursting in their midst, and fled 
wildly in the direction of Paris. 

G^eral Ducrot seeing that his enterprise had fiailed at all 
points now ordered a retreat to the original positions, the 
protection of which was assigned chiefly to the artillery and 
to the escorting cavalry which held out under fire most steadily. 
The 15 th Segment de morc^ was ordered to hold Plessis Kquet 
to the last ; Pav^ Blanc and Trivaux fiEum were left temporarily 
occupied, whilst the mass of the two Divisions of French infiftntry 
streamed back in disorder to Clamart and Fontenay aux Roses. 

The Prussian and Bavarian batteries* had meanwhile taken 
up a position between Petit Bic^tre and the Bois de la Qarenne 
and cannonaded the retreating foe, at whose heels the Qerman 
in&ntiy followed. 

On the right the Bavarians forced their way under the 
adversary's heavy artillery fire into the Pave Blanc brick-kiln, 
the 1st and 4th cos. of the 15th Regiment inserting themselves 
in the foremost fighting Line between the battalions of the 14th. 
The French detachment left at the brick-kiln fled with consider- 
able loss to the strongly-occupied park belonging to the Ch&teau 
of Plessis Piquet, in the neighbourhood of which the pursuitt 
came to a standstill. At 10 am. the enemy, after a preliminary 
fire firom his mitraiUeuses, made an advance thence towards Pav^ 
Blanc, which was, however, repulsed by a vigorous fire irom the 
1st battalion 14th Regiment in conjunction with the 8th 6-pr. 


As the presence of the adversary in this park and in the 
village of the same name appeared to threaten the right flank of 
the Bavarian Brigade, Colonel v. Diehl wheeling his troops to the 
right now showed front against these places. The two battalions 
of the 15th Regiment took up a position at Malabry, the 2n(l 
battalion with the 2nd company 14th Regiment in the brick> 
kiln and the copse abutting on the south, the remaining three 
companies of the latter regiment and two squadrons of Chevaux- 
legers between those two main groups on the high road to 
Versailles. The 3rd Rifie battalion assembled at Petit Bicdtre.; 

On the left wing of the Qerman line of battle two companies 
of the 2nd battalion 47th Regiment, and the Bavarian rifle com- 

* Two of the 6th BaTarian and three of the 18th Prnssian Brigade, the Ist heavy 
having advanced ftom Yillacoublaj on the left flank of this artillery line. 

t ^°^ and^-gg. 
' drd Rifles 14 

X Compare the plan of the battle, Ist phase. 


pany which had been originally employed to occupy the Bois du 
Loup Pendu, had followed up the retreating foe as fiar as the 
forester's house near the Porte de Yerridres. The 1st battalion of 
the 7th Grenadiers captured after a brief skirmish the quad- 
rangular wood east of Dame Rose and with the 3rd company 
occupied Trivaux farm, which had been abandoned by the 
French in consequence of the efFective fire of the artillery. The 
fusilier battalion of this regiment moved at first in a northerly Villebon fSeurm, and then in conjunction with parts of 
the 1st battalion into the Bois de Meudon, where on the broad 
main road many Zouaves laid down their arms. The fusilier 
battalion took up a position on this road facing Meudon, whilst 
the 2nd and 4th companies continued their movement eastward. 
The remainder of the 7th Grenadiers, the 2nd battalion 47th 
BiCgiment, and the 5th Rifle battalion assembled at the southern 
entrance to the wood near Trivaux &rm. Further in rear stood 
six companies of the 47th Regiment at Yillaooublay, whither 
the 17th InfSEUitry Brigade was Ukewise brought up from Mont 
Clain. The 10th InfSEUitry Division, on the march from Palaiseau 
to Versailles, had by order of the general commanding also bent 
away to the western side of the battle*field. General v. Kirch- 
bach had reached the neighbourhood of Yillacoublay in person at 
9 a.m. with the corps artillery, which had trotted in advance, and 
at once ordered the Gennan line of guns to be reinforced, which 
at this time was actively engaged in tiie ground between Trivaux 
fiEum and Pav6 Blanc In front line there were now nine bat- 
teries in action^* the right flank of which was protected by the 
greater part of the 4th Dragoons, the previously mentioned 
squadron of hussars of the 2nd Cavalry Division, and two 
squadrons of the 5th Chevauxlegers. 

After all the French troops had disappeared behind the Moulin 
de la Toiur redoubt and the village of Flessis Piquet, the field bat- 
teries of the Germans continued single-handed the struggle against 
the enemy's heavy artillery in that entrenchment. As under 
the existing circumstances the Bavarians did not appear to stand 
in need of any further support in occupjring their prescribed out- 
post position at Chatenay, (General v. Earchbach resumed his 
movement to Versailles with the Yth Army Corps about noon ; 
he, however, at the request of Colonel v. Diehl left for the 
present at Yillacoublay the 18th In£Euitry Brigade with two 
squadrons and two batteries. 

The adversary's last points of support, without which he could 
not hold the open ground outside the Paris forts in this direc- 
tion, were the works on the heights south of Ch&tillon and the 
very defensible buildings at Plessis Piquet At the latter place 

* ConntinR from left to >;gK.. 2n<iH.A., 3rd 1., let h., 8rd H.A.,2ndh.,2ndl., Irtl . 

Vth A. C. * 

8th 6 pr., 3rd 4 pr. 
4th Bayarian Artmery Regiment - '"'^ '^°*^°^ ^'^ **'^ h^tUoA^ of the oorpe 
artiUec7» Vth Army Corpt, were somewhat fortber to the rear. See phm of bottle, Itt 


was, as already mentioned, the 15th, at the Moulin de la Tour 

redoubt the 26th Regiment de mardie, which had been brought 

up firom Bagneux. Three field batteries, mitrailleuses and the 

remains of two batteries of horse artillery had unlimbered partly 

upon the glacis, partly behind breastworks to the right of the 

fort. Six other batteries took up a position on the spur of 

the hill in the neighbourhood of the telegraph. In view of this 

numerous artillery, which commanded the eastern spurs of the 

Villacoublay plateau, any isolated attack on the part of the 

Qermans across ground offering but little cover promised alight 

hope of a favourable result. 

Ciqytiire of At this period, however, the main forces of the Ilnd Bavarian 

PiMis Piquet, Corpg advancing to the east of the Bois de Verri&res in the direc- 

S^the^MoiSn" ^^on of Soeaux had already come into collision with the enemy. 

de ]a Tour Towards 8 a.m. the 5th Infiantry Brigade had fonned up to the 

redoubt. south-east of Chatenay, the 8th Rifle battalion having previously 

cleared this village of French skirmishers. Shortly afterwards, 
the 4th Division with the reserve artillery also reached the 
neighbourhood between Antony and Croix de Bemis. In order 
to capture the commanding heights south of Paris with the least 
possible delay, the corps commander, General v. Hartmann, who 
was present at Chatenay, ordered towards 9 o'clock a fiuiher 
advance of the 7th Brigade through Fontenay aux Roses, the 
5th by way of Sceaux. The last-mentioned little town was 
occupied without resistance by the 3rd battalion 6th Regiment, 
alreaidy despatched in that direction. 

A detachment, consisting of the 1st battalion 5th Regiment 
and the squadron of Chevauxlegers, scouting in advance of the 
7th Brigade, found L'Hay dear of the enemy, but afterwards met 
near Fontenay considerable forces belonging to Maussion's Division, 
which at once opened fire on the Bavarians. The heavy guns in 
the Hautes Bruyferes redoubt also took part in the engagement, 
and even commenced to take as their mark the Lancer Brigade 
now appearing at Fresnes les Rungis. 

The 5th Brigade on emerging from Chatenay had fisJlen under 
a brisk fire from the artillery and musketry of the enemy, 
who lined the edge of the heights at Plessis Moulin and the 
wooded slopes l3mig towards the side of Aunay. In consequence 
of this the batteries of the brigade,* and shortly after the 7th 
6-pr. battery of the artillery reserve, had taken up a position to 
the west of Chatenay, whilst the 1st battalion 6th Regiment 
received orders to fsdl upon the adversary's flank by way of 


Just as these arrangements had been completed Oeneral v. 
Hartmann received at 9.45 a.m. a report firom Colonel v. Diehl,j: 

* 4th 4-pr. and 7th 6-pr. batteries 4th Artillery Regiment. 

t One company remained vith the batteries, —i^ acted as escort to the reserre 


artillery and the ammnnition columns. 

X The report had been sent from the neighbourhood of Petit Bicdtre at half-past 

8 o'clock, but was forwarded by way of Igny and Verri^res, as the road throogh 

MsJabry was within range of fire from the battle-field. 


from which he gathered that the (ith Brigade was ahready in 
possession of the edge of the heights near Petit Bicetre, but that it 
was in need of reinforcements of artillery, and of support from the 
eastward. The general commanding despatched in consequence 
the 5th and 6th 6-pr. batteries of the artillery reserve fi^m 
Antony to Petit Bio^tre ; he ftirther ordered the 5th Brigade to 
connect itself frx)m Chatenay with the 6th on the left, and gave 
instructions for the 7th Brigade to assemble at Bourg la Keine 
and maintain its position there. 

Accordingly the two battalions of the 7th Regiment now fol- 
lowed the battalion of the 6th which had proceeded in advance 
to Malabry, and also the 4th 4-pr. battery, as it was unable from 
its low-lying position near La Gkrenne* to act effectively against 
the French artillery at Plessis Moulin. As soon as these troops 
emerged from the cover of the wood into the ground near 
Malabry they were overwhelmed with a hail of Chassepdt bullets 
from the northward. But when Lieutenant-General v. Walther 
had assembled the main forces of his Division between Pav£ 
Blanc and Malabry, he ordered a general attack upon Plessis 
Piquet, to which tiie Prussian Brigade left behind at Villa- 
coublay could if necessary serve as a point to &11 back upon. 

To ihe north of Malabry, in spite of the musketry fire directed 
upon it at close quarters, the 4th 4-pr. battery came into action 
under the protection of some small bodies of in£Euitry, which 
took up a position in the ditches of the roidway leading to 
Plessis Moulin. On the extreme left wing at Pav^ Blanc the 
3rd 4-pr. battery, escorted by the 3rd and 4th squadrons 5th 
Chevauxlegers, advanced to within 1,000 paces of the park at 
FlessLB Piquet, whilst the 5th 6-pr. came into action between 
these two batteries. The other two squadrons of the same 
regiment of Chevauxlegers, which had been joined in person by 
Pnnce Otto of Bavaria^f drove the swarms of French skirmishers- 
from a fold of the ground in fix>nt of the artillery line to Plessis 
Piquet. Two guns from the 7th 6-pr. battery left to the west of 
Chatenay also supported with an effective flanking fire the 
attack of the infimtry, which was made in echelon fix)m the right 


In rear of the 4th 4-pr. battery the three battalions of the 5th 
Brigade next broke forward Scorn the Bois de Yerridres. The 
1st battalion 6th Regiment after a short but vigorous action 
captured towards noon the farmstead of Plessis Moulin ; at some 
little distance on the left, somewhat mixed together, followed the 
remaining battalions present of the two brigades.§ Under a 

* West of ChateDaj. Not to be confounded with the prerionslj mentioned ftrm 
of the Bune nune north-west of Petit Biofttre. 

j The prince had been present with this legiment in the capacity of hononiy 
chief since the beginning of September. 

X The 8th 6-pr. battery had been withdrawn as it had expended its nmmnnitiop ; 
the 6th 6-pr. was nnable to find a fiivoorable position at L'Onne Mort and retired in 
conaeqnenoe to Chatenay; west of this Tillage stood the 7th 6-pr. battery of the 
artillery reserve. 

§ See plan of battle, 2nd phase. 

39515. D 


hot musketi^'- fire from the adversary Colonel v. Treuberg 
brought up the 1st battalion loth and the 2nd company 14th 
Regiment by rushes to witliin 300 paces of the south-west angle 
of the park at Plessis Piquet, whilst the 2nd battalion of the 
latter regiment ensconced itself before the west aide. Two 
squadrons of Chevauxlegers protected the left flank towards the 
Bois de Meudon. 

As the adversary's strength began visibly to wane after 
the vigorous action lasting half an hour, the Bavarians made a 
fresh advance along the whole line. The 1st battalion 6th B.egi- 
ment, under the guidance of Colonel Hofler, gained possession 
of the Chateaux Kouge and Hachette, and from the northern 
border of the plantations threatened the enemy's main position 
on the telegraph heights. Fart of the south wall enclosing 
the park at Plessis Piquet had been destroyed by the pro- 
jectiles of the Bavarian artiller3^ Through this breiach, which 
was widened by the pioneei-s, and also over a barricade across 
the road, the companies of the 7th and loth B^giments in the 
centre of the fighting line reached the above-named park. The 
detadmients which had moved further on the left being unable 
to find an entrance at the south-west comer, made their way 
towards the west side of the village, and driving the enemy 
before them penetrated into it along the main street. Although 
the French artillery in the i*edoubt and upon the heights of Moulin 
de la Tour at once dii*ected a brisk fire upon the villages 
captured by the Bavarians and upon the open plateau in fix)nt, the 
advance was resumed without further delia*y. The 2nd battalion 
and the 2nd company 14th Eegiment traversed the copses and 
gardens on the slope north of Plessis Piquet ; on the right they 
were joined by two companies of the 15th Regiment, whilst on 
the left the 3rd 4-pr. battery, escorted by the two last-mentioned 
squadrons, advanced as far as Porte de ChatiUon. In spite of a 
haU of musketry and artillery projectiles Captain v. Lossl took up 
the cannonade against the far superior enemy, and succeeded ere 
long in dislodging the French mitrailleuses from the cemetery near 
the redoubt. But the Bavarian battery also suffered such severe 
losses in so short a time that it had to be withdrawn at 1.15 pan. 
some 1,000 paces to the rear. It, however, again took a vigorous 
and successful part in the engagement of ^e infantry, at this 
time advanced beyond Plessis Piquet, which troops had been 
partly thrown back upon this village by a counter attack of the 
enemy, but were afterwards again led forward by Captain v. 
Imhoff, and now were ensconced opposite the Moxdin de la Tour 
redoubt.* The other troops by order of General v. Walther 
occupied and strengthened the position captured at Plessis Piquet.t 

* One gun of the 8rd 4-pr. battery had lost all its gnnnert and was now sexred by 
the gun commander alone. Captain t. Ldssl was mortally hit in the last-mentioned 
position of the battery. 

f An order from we corps conmiander to the 8rd Dirision to halt abreast of 
Plessis Moulin and to strengthen its position there, did not reach Qeuaial t. Walther 
until after the capture of Plessis Piquet. 



On the French side Caussade's Division, had ah-eady moved off 
firom Clamart to Paris during the artillery engagement which 
preceded the attack on Plessis Piquet. Hugues' Division, which 
was reached by the fire of the Bavarian artiQery, had partly 
retired to Fort Montrouge ; after being halted by its commander, 
it once more occupied Fontenay aux Boses with one battalion. 
Lastly Maussion's Division had during the forenoon directed a 
vigorous fire upon the Bavarian troops advancing from Antony,* 
but then, it is said in consequence of an erroneous order, 
abandoned its commanding position on the spur south of Bag- 
neux. Opposite the latter stood at this time the 7th Bavarian 
Brigade in the low groimd between Sceaux and Bourg la Reine 
and with two companies in L'Hay ; fruther to the rear was the 
8th Brigade with the bulk of the artillery reserve at Chatenay. 

When Oeneral Ducrot found his last position on the heights 
at Fontenay and Moulin de la Tour threatened from the south 
and west after the loss of Plessis Piquet, he ordered it to be 
gradually abandoned. The French artillery continued to fire 
vigorously up to the third hour of the afternoon in order to cover 
the retreat, but the firing was then gradually stopped, and at the 
same time the detachments of infimtry pushed furthest to the front 
retired firom their posts. On perceiving tins, Captain v. Imhoff 
with the Bavarian companies united under his command made a 
dash about 3 o'clock towards the Moulin de la Tour redoubt, which 
he found already abandoned by the enemy. Eight heavy guns, 
one field gun lefl near the redoubt, two flags, numerous articles of 
equipment and provisions, feU into the hands of the Bavarians. 
The adversary in his retreat to Paris was followed up with 
musketry fire;t patrols which were sent after him foimd the 
farmsteads behind the redoubt, as well as the villages of Clamart 
and Chatillon, abandoned by the French. 

The 3rd Bavarian Division, which had been meanwhile joined 
by the battalions]: employed to garrison in the first instance 
Chatenay and Sceaux, now took up a position with the Cth 
Brigade and five batteries on the heights to the south of Moulin 
de la Tour. Two companies of the 3rd Bifie battalion in con- 
junction with the 2nd battalion 14th Regiment and aided by the 
pioneers arranged the redoubt for defence ; another rifle company 
was pushed forward to Chatillon.§ The 8th Rifle battalion with 
a battery stood near Tour des Anglais, with outposts towards 
Clamart. The 3rd battalion 6th Regiment in conjunction with 
the 5th Chevauxlegers and a battery at Porte Ch&tiUon pro- 
tected the left flank of the Division towards the Bois de Meudon, 
in which the chateau of the same name was still occupied by the 

* See Part n. p. 48. 

t The enemy was obliged to leare the ffons behind as there were no longer any 
teams there. Only two gnns had been spuked prior to abandoning the fbrt 

t 8th Bifles and ^4. See Part IL p. 48. 

§ It there captured seyenl ammunition wagons and some stoiw of proTisiont. 

D 2 


enemy. The rest of the 5th Brigade encamped at Flessis Piquet 
and Malabry. 

Of the brigades of the 4th Division, the 7th had concentrated 
at Bourg la Beine and after the withdrawal of the enemy had 
extended its left flank as far as Fontenay aux Roses. The 8th 
Brigade had remained with the bidk of the artillery reserve in 
a position of readiness near Chatenay, in which village the 
corps commander took up his headquarters. The Lkncer Brigade 
bivouacked at Fresnes les Rungis. 

The total loss of the Ilnd Bavarian Corps in the actions on the 
19th September amounted to 13 officers and 252 men, that of 
the Vth Army Corps to 6 officers and 172 men.* On the French 
side 4 officei*s and 94 men were kiUed, 28 officers and 535 men 
wounded ; the number of missing, &s was said, only amounted 
to 62.t 

The crowds of fugitives streaming back to Paris had as early slu 
midday caused such commotion in the capital that General Trochu 
found himself compelled to bring back Blanchard's Division of 
the 13th Corps from Vincennes to Paris, and to occupy with it 
at 4 p.m. that part of the enceinte between the Seine and Bifevre. 
The forts on the south front and Hautes Bruyeres redoubt main- 
tained a vigorous cross fire on the ground in front. 

During the actions just described the remaining parts of the 
Ilird Army had moved into the positions assigned to them for 
the 19th September. 

The 2nd Cavalry Division had in the morning pushed forward 
the 4th Brigade from Saday to L'Hotel Dieu ; it established con- 
nexion with the Vth Army Corps by way of Villacoublay, and 
reconnoitred the country in the direction of the Lower Seine. 
The 1st squadron 1st Hussars disarmed and dispersed some 
troops of the Oarde Nationale whom they found at tiie entrances 
to Versailles, Montreuil, and Ville d'Avray. At Sevres they were 
resisted by armed inhabitants, who, however, were put down 
without farther losses with the aid of the 4th squadron of the 
Bliicher Hussars. In the course of the afternoon the detachments 
which had been sent away rejoined the Division at its bivouac 
at Saday. 

The Vth Army Corps, as already mentioned, had proceeded 
about noon from the battle-field of Petit BicStre to Versailles, 
by way of Jouy, as the nearer road by L'Hotel Dieu was broken 
up at many points and obstructed with abattis. The 10th 
Division appeared before the gates of Versailles at 3 p.m., 
traversed the town without further delay, and established itself 
to the north of it in the neighbourhood of Rocquencourt. The 
line of outposts rested its left at Bougival on the Seine, its right 

* See ali^o Appendix LXI. 

t According- to General Ducrot's Tvork : bat on this day 300 prisoners were actually 
taken by the Vth and Ilnd Bavarian Corps. 


on the 9th Division, which occupied Maxnes, Yille d'Avray, and 
Sevres with strong advanced parties, and was encamped with its 
main body before the eastern issue firom Versailles. At 6 p.nL 
the 18th Brigade reached that place firom Villacoublay, and at 
S p jn. the bridge train, which was no longer wanted at Ville- 
neuve St. Georges. 

On the right of the Ilnd Bavarian, the VIUi Army Corps had 
formed front towards Paris on both sides of the Seine. The 24th 
Brigade, which had remained in the neighbourhood of Limeil 
with the two squadrons attached to it and one battery, watched 
with its outposts the country in the direction of Charenton and 
Vincennes. At Cr^teil there was a slight collision during the 
course of the day with the enemy's advanced detachments posted 
at St. Maur. The 23rd Brigade, which was already on the left 
bank of the Seine at Yilleneuve, and had been meanwhile rein- 
forced by the 6th Rifle battalion, two squadrons, and two heavy 
batteries, had moved off at 4 a.m. in two columns for Choisy le 
Boi and CheviUy. The rifle battalion on arriving at the former 
village first pushed forward the 4th company along the road to 
Yitry. While the latter succeeded in driving in a French picket 
and holding its ground in a manufisustory situated at the nulway 
embankment ag^nst the attacks of superior hostile detachments, 
two other companies of the rifle battalion pressed forward as &r 
as the northern issue from Yitry, whence, however, they were 
subsequently withdrawn in consequence of the enemy's troops 
assembled near Fort Ivry. 

Meanwhile the frisilier battalion 62nd Regiment had occupied 
Thiais. The 9th and 11th companies surprised on the further 
side of that place a French detachment in the act of cooking, but 
found their subsequent advance in the neighbourhood of the 
fortifications at Moulin Saquet impeded by the enemy's skirmishers 
and field artillery. Of the left wing of the Brigade which 
reached Chevilly, the 1st battalion 22nd Regiment took part in 
the ensuing skirmish, which was again broken off after the 
outposts had been thrown out close in front of the north side of 
Choisfy le Roi, Thiais, and Chevilly. 

At 3.30 p.m. a strong line of skirmishers from Maud'huy's 
Division moved forward from the direction of Hautes Bruy^s 
towards La Saussaye and Chevilly, followed by closed bodies. 
The left wing of these troops remained halted at a considerable 
(listance from the German position, the right advanced to within 
a few hundred paces of Chevilly, but was received with a 
vigorous fire from the frisiliers of the 22nd Regiment. The 
6th light battery moved into position near a factory occupied 
by the 2nd battalion of this Regiment at the cross roads east 
of the village, the 5th heavy U> the east of La BeUe Epine. 
The former drove the enemy from La Saussaye and silenced a 
heavy gun at Yillejui^ some houses in the latter village being 
set on fire. When the 22nd subsequently moved forward to the 
attack, the French retired into their entrenchments. The 


advanced troops of the 23rd Brigade thereupon reoccupied the 
positions they had previously held and fortified the villages in 
front line ; the pioneers formed a ferry at Choisy le Roi in order 
to connect the two banks of the Seine. In rear of the 23rd 
Brigade the 11th Infantry" Division had occupied a camp at 

The Wurttemberg Division had in accordance with the pre- 
viously mentioned order from the royal headquarters bent away 
about noon frt>m Malnoue to the right in the direction of 
Goumay,* where it connected itself with the Xllth Corps by 
throwing a bridge across the Mame. * As it had meanwhile 
transpired that the Army of the Meuse needed no support, the 
1st Wurttemberg Brigade occupied the villages between Ormesson 
and Noisy le Grand, in prolongation of the Vlth Corps, and, with 
its advanced troops, Le Flont aild the bridge at Joinville. The 
2nd Brigade remained in i*eserve at Malnoue, the 3rd followed 
from Meaux to Lagny. 

The 10th Cavalry Brigade had proceeded by way of Boutigny 
to Gironville in consequence of information received from 
prisonera that the enem}* s troops would be found on the high 
road from Orleans. Its patrols, however, reported the with- 
drawal of the enemy from Milly to Malesherbes. 

The Crown Prince of Pi-ussia, who had crossed the Seine with the 
21st Brigade, and aftei*\s'ards had watclied the engagement of the 
Bavarians from the neighbourhood between Croix do Bemis and 
Antony, established his headquartei*s at Falaiseau. His Majesty 
the King proceeded from Gonesse to Ch&teau Ferriferes, to which 
place the royal headquartei's were transferred in the com*se of 
the day. 

On the evening of the 19th September more than six German 
Army Corps were thus standing before Paris on a front of 
50 miles in extent, and at places were within range of the 
artillery of the fortress. A numerous body of cavalry watched 
the country in rear of the line of investment ; very few marches 
from the latter, the ti'oops moving up from Sedan reached this 
day the neighbourhood between CMteau Thierry and Nangis.t 

The first proceedings of the new French Government had 
shown that it was bent on prosecuting the war to the bitter end« 
In view, however, of the penlous position of the capital a pressing 
desire arose to enter into a provisional understanding with the 

* See Part II. p. 36. 

t The Xlth Corps was at Fismes on the 17th, at Domiaiia on the ISth, and at 
Chateau Thieny on the Idth. 

The iRt Bavarian Corps was at Orhtdn on the 17th, at Yieils Maisons on the 18th, 
and Covlommiers on the 19th. 

The 8th Cavalry Brigade was at MontmixBil on the mh^ at St Bemy on the ISth, 
and at La Croix en Brie on the 19tb. 

The 9th Cavalry Brjffade was at Breoil on the ] 7th, at Yillers les Mailiets on the 
18th, and at Joay le CnAtel on the 19th. 


victorious adversary. From this point of view, Jules Favre, in his 
province of Minister for Foreign Affiurs, had as early as the 10th 
September asked the Chancellor of the North German Confedera- 
tion if he was willing to discuss the conditions of peace. 

On the German side an end to the war was likewise ardently 
desired, as its continuation could but entail fresh sacrifices without 
producing any much greater successes than those already achieved. 
There was, however, at the time no power in France which 
appeared capable of concluding any binding treaties. 

Long before the outbreak of hostilities different parties in the 
country had directed their efforts in common towards the down- 
fall of the empire; but their views as to the future form of 
government were very divergent. When the Emperor was taken 
prisoner the republican party became for the time paramount in 
the State, some of the members belonging to the minority of the 
representatives constituting themselves the Government with- 
out further ceremony. Biased by a revolution these men could, 
however, be deposed as quickly as they had been elevated ; but 
in no case could they be considered as the real representatives of 
the French people. Count Bismarck had therefore answered 
the above-mentioned question in the negative. 

But when the same wish had been again expressed to the 
Count through a secretary of the English Embassy from Paris, and 
the former had declared himself ready to enter into negotiations, 
Jules Favre, without previous communication with the other 
members of the Government, proceeded on the 18th September 
through the line of outposts oif tiie Ylth Army Corps to Villeneuve 
St. Georges, and on the next day along the road to Meaux. The 
Federal Chancellor, who had meanwhile gone from that place to 
Ferridres, met the French minister at Montry, and held his first 
conference with him at the chdteau of Haute Maison, in the 
vicinity of that village. During that evening and on the follow- 
ing day the meetings were continued at Ferrieres. 

Whilst Count Bismarck left at the outset no doubt that in 
consequence of the sacrifices entailed upon Germany and the 
successes achieved a surrender of territory must be demanded, 
and that the details of a treaty of peace could not be entered 
into until this demand was admitted by the adversary as a basis, 
Jules Favre declared that France was prepared to pay any money 
indemnity, but would absolutely refuse a surrender of territory. 

Under these circumstances the subsequent conversation was 
limited to the question of the possibility of an armistice, so as to 
enable the French people to elect in proper form a representative 
government, which would be able so to supplement the full powers 
of the present Government, that a treaty of peace in consonance 
with international law might be concluded. Every suspension 
of hostilities enabled the French, of course, to prepare for fi:esh 
resistance and, in the event of the investment being raised^ 
enabled more especially the capital to provide itself in the fullest 


manner with provisions and the means of defence. On the Qennan 
side, therefore, an armistice could only be granted in return for 
proper indemnifications, which should guarantee in a perfectly 
secure manner the supply of our own army in the enemy's 
country, and which took account of the military situation existing 
at different points. 

In pursuance of the commands which he had sought from His 
Majesty the King, the Federal Chancellor demanded therefore the 
suirender of Bitsch, Toul, and Strassburg, and the delivery as 
prisoners of war of the garrison of the latter place, now on the 
point of falling into our hands. Before Metz the ndlitaiy situa- 
tion was to continue. With regard to the capital, the Frencli 
Government had to select between the continuance of the in- 
vestment or the surrender of certain commanding forts to the 
Qerman troops. In the former eventuality it was in contem- 
plation to summon the representatives of the people to Tours. 

Jules Favre declared in answer to these communications that 
he could neither agi*ee to a surrender of the Paris foits, nor to 
the garrison of Strassburg being made prisoners of war, and with 
i^gai'd to the other conditions that he must obtain the opinion of 
his colleagues. On the 21st September the following -written 
communication from the French minister was sent from Paiis to 
the Federal Chancellor: — 

" I regret that I have to inform Your Excellency 
that the Government cannot accept your proposals. It 
woidd accede to an armistice for the purpose of electing and 
bringing together a National Assembly; but it cannot 
subscribe to the conditions which Your Excellency has 

A few days after these unsuccessful negotiations the fortresses 
of Toul and Strassburg, whose surrender the French Government 
had so decidedly refused, were already in the hands of the 

Capture of Toul. 

Since the resumption of the advance towards Paris, the pos- 
session of Toul, which still blocked the railway communication 
of the Germans with home territory, received increased import- 

This fortress lies in a low well-watered valley, some 3,000 
paces in breadth, between the Rhine-Mame canal and the Moselle, 
which here flows in several arms. The fortifications of that time 
were limited to nine bastioned fronts surrounding the town, and 
to a few outworks immediately in advance of them. The ditches 
were all filled with water, and by the aid of a well-devised 
system of sluices a part of the low ground in the vicinity could 
be inimdated. Although the fortress was in this way perfectly 

free from escalade, yet its power of defence against a serious 
artillery attack was considerably influenced by the heights which 
abutted close upon it, and the insufficiency of bombproof cover. 
The Cdte Barine and on the north the Mont St. Michel about 
125 metres in height^ the somewhat more remote heights of 
Dommartin to the east, and the plateau of Choloy to the south- 
west, presented advantageous positions for the assailant's artillery. 
The vineclad slopes of the hills favoured the approach of his 
infiEuitry, which was moreover afforded opportunity for establishing 
itself dose in front of the ramparts by the villages which abutted 
on the glacis to the north and west. 

The commandant of Toul, Major Huck, had hitherto rejected 
every summons to surrender which had been addressed to him, 
and had repulsed the repeated assaults of the Germans. He had 
at his disposal a garrison of 2,300 men and upwards of 70 fortress 
guns.* On the German side there were at the beginning of 
September, as already mentioned, some Etappen troops of the lUrd 
Army, with two companies of fortress artilleiyt before the place, 
the bombardment of which with the guns captured at Marsal 
had been already arranged by the headquarters of the Ilird 

After a considerable time spent in the necessary preparations, 
owing to the un£Ekvourable weatiier and the condition of the ground, 
three bombardment batteries were thrown up and equipped in 
the night of the 9th-10th September on the slope of tiie Cdte 
Barine under cover of the infimtry pushed forward as far as the 
railway embankment. After a communication of their intention 
to the commandant of the fortress these batteries opened a 
vigorous fire at 7 a.m., which, however, merely ignited a few 
houses in the town, and was answered with no little effect on the 
French side. On the following day the artillery of the fortress 
resumed firing, but the fire of the Germans was stopped until 
further notice by order of the Grand Duke of Meddenburg 

The latter, in pursuance of the previously-mentioned instruc- 
tions from the royal headquarters,§ had proceeded with the 17th 
Infantry Division, the 17th Cavalry Brigade, and three batteries 
of the 2nd Landwehr Division firom the eastern line of invest- 
ment before Metz to the neighbourhood of Toul, where these 
troops arrived on the 12th and 13th September.) The 34th 

* Dep6t of the 63rd Line Bcffiment - - - - . 500 men. 

8rd and 4th battalions Garde Mobile, Department of the Meorthe - 1,200 „ 
Dep6t of the 4th CniraMien - - - - - 120 „ 
Four batteries of Garde Mobile ..... 410 „ 
Genedannee and train - - - - 60 „ 

. 4th and 6th . 

' 8 

t With regard to the prerions erents before Tool, tee Part I., Vol. I. pp. 301, 
349, 488, and YoL II. pp. 161, 192, 462. 

§ See Fart IL pp. 11, 83. 

II During their short stay be&re Metz they were not engaged, with the exception 
of a few on^KMl affiurs. Compare sabseqnent namtiTe. 


Brigade took up its quarters on the Choloy plateau, the 33rd on 
both banks of the Rhine-Maine canal at Brulev and Grondre- 
ville. Strong outpost parties drew neai* to the fortress in the 
three sections into which the ground in front is divided ; from 
the north they advanced as fSsu* as the railway embankment, the 
railway station, and the suburb of St. Mansuy, whilst the enemy 
sought by a vigorous fire from the ramparts to prevent them 
establishing themselves at the foot of the glacis, but in vain.* 
The cavaliy at Ochey protected the investment against any 
enterprises on the part of the enemy from the direction of 
Langres. The troops hitherto employed before the fortress pro- 
ceeded to St. Dizier in order to take over the duties on the line 
of communication. 

On the basis of a reconnaiBsance already executed on the 12th 
September the Grand Duke resolved by a short artillery cannonade 
of the south-west front of Toul to hasten the surrender of the 
fortress, which until the arrival of the expected Prussian siege 
artillery was to be harassed as much as possible by the fire of 
the field batteries. In order to obtain further instructions the 
Grand Duke proceeded on the 13th to the headquarters of His 
Majesty the King at Chateau Thierry. 

The heavy battery of the 2nd Landwehr Division maintaine J 
on the morning of the loth, from its em])lacements constructed 
upon Mont St. Michel on the previous night, an effective fire for 
some hours upon the troops assembling in the town, and the 
watchposts upon the cathedral tower. Next to this battery 
the 6th and 6th heavy batteries of the 17th Division moved 
on the following day into the emplacements previously prepai*ed, 
from which they acted with success against the artillery of the 
fortress which had taken up the struggle. 

On the 17th and 18th September three companies of Prussian 
fortress artillery with 26 heavy guns arrived at St. Robert by 
railway from Nancy.f The guns were at once transported on 
carriages to the artillery parks stationed at Choloy and to the 
north of Cdte Barine, while the emplacements for them were 
prepared with the assistance of the in&ntry at Ecrouves. 

In order to distract the enemy's attention from the transport 
of the siege material, 42 field guns opened fire upon the fortress 
from various sides on the 18th September,! and were only 
answered on this occasion by wall pieces. 

The commander of the siege artillery, Colonel Bartsch, and the 
senior engineer ofiicer, Major Schumann, had meanwhile agreed 

* ^^ *°^ ^^^ and i!^ merely snttained a loss of 13 men. 
75 76 

t and —with 10-16 c. m. and 16-12 c. m. mins with their ammunitiou. 

'24 ^ 

t The field batteries occapied the following positions :— 

The reserye heavy battery of the 2nd Landwehr IMvision as well as the 5th and 
6th heaTT battery of the 9th Field Artillery Regiment at Mont St. Michel. 

The 6th light and 1st H. A. battery of the 9th Regiment to the north of Chandeney, 
the 5th light and 8rd H. A. battery 9th F. A. Regiment on the Jacobin height. 


upon the direction in which the attack was to be made. In ac- 
cordance therewith it had been determined to direct the fire 
of the fidege batteries against the front of bastions Nos. 3 and 4, 
which were raked from Mont St. Michel, while from La Justice, 
at a range of 1,000 paces, a breach could be made in the exposed 
masonry on the right side of bastion No. 4. Twelve batteries in 
all were to be used on the different heights, and if necessary the 
first line of trenches was to be thrown up at a distance of 700 
paces from the glacis. 

The appearance of bands of franctireurs, spreading fix)m day 
to day, gave frdl occupation to the troops of the 2nd Land- 
wehr Division in securing the lines of communication of the 
army advancing to Paris. The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin, appointed Gk>vemor General of Reims^ on the 16tix 
September, had in consequence already brought up the 17th 
Dragoons and the two light batteries of that Division to Chalons. 
As tiie condition of the Toul garrison rendered it permissible to 
detach troops from the investing force, the 33rd In&ntry Brigade, 
the 11th Lancers, and three batteries were marched off on the 
19th to Ch&lons. 

There remained therefore before Toul, under Lieut.-General 
Schimmelmann, only the 34th Brigade, the 14th Rifle battalion, 
the 18th Dragoons, and four field batteries ; the 90th Regiment^ 
together with two rifle companies and a battery of horse artlQery, 
remained in the south-west section, and had one battalion on out- 
post duty ; two squadrons of Dragoons watched the roads from 
Langres at Moutrot and Eye. Of the troops apportioned to the 
other two sections, two battalions of the 89th Regiment with one 
squadron of Dragooiis moved into the ground north of the Rhine- 
Mame canal, where they occupied in front line the porcelailt 
factory, the railway station, the railway embankment, and the 
suburb of St. Mansuy. The 3rd battalion of the regiment 
established itself with two companies of rifles and one squadron 
of dragoons on the right bank of the Moselle ; between Chaudeney 
and the GrondrevUle road were two companies at the outposts, 
which latter were pushed forward on the next night from the 
height east of Dommartin to the bridge over the Moselle. 
Captain v. Malotki pressed forward across this bridge with some 
men of the 9th company 89th Regiment, and set fire to the mills 
which were said to furnish the dally requirements of fiour for the 

Higher up the pioneers threw a bridge over the river at Pierre 
la Treiche, which was in readiness on the 20th. A small detach- 
ment of the company of Bavarian Engineersf blew up on the 
following night the canal lock at the foot of the glacis near the 
suburb of St Mansuy ; an attempt was made to turn the water 

* The GoTenmieiit General of Rebns indnded all those parte of the coantxy in the 
occupatum of Qennan troops on the w est of the GoTemment General of Loname. 
Further details are giren in Appendix LZVI. 

t They had remained at Tool after the departure of the etappen troops. 


from the Vauban canal into the Moselle'^ by destroying the weii 
at Valoour. 

The 5th heavy field battery shifted its position on the 21st 
firom Mont St. Michel to the valley, 700 paces west of the porce- 
lain factory, for the purpose of cannonading the west front of the 
fortress, llie defender, who had meanwhile mounted additional 
guns on the north and east sides, opened this day a vigorous fiiv 
from those points, without, however, achieving any remarkable 
result, so that the Prussian field batteries were able to continue 
an uninterrupted cannonade until darkness set in. 

When all the preliminaries to the intended bombardment of 
the place had been com])leted, the construction of the emplace- 
ments for the Prussian siege artillery was taken in hand on the 
evening of the 22nd, with the assistance of five companies of 
infantry. To cover this proceeding, St. Evi-e had been occupied by 
a rifle company on the preceding night, and the town had been 
briskly bombarded during the coui-se of the day from Mont 
St. Michel by some heavy guns and three field batteries. 

At half-past 5 o'clock on the morning of the 23rd eleven siege 
batteries were in readiness, so that G2 guns shortly opened iirv 
upon the place.t The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 
who had shortly before rejoined the investing troops, watched 
from the height of Cote Barine the efi'ect of the Prussian pro- 

Soon after opening fire several ban*acks and magazines in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the fortifications burst into flames. 
The enemy, who answered at fii'st without much vigour, but 
towards noon with greater briskness, set on fire the suburbs of 
St. Mansuy and St. Evre, but in other respects achieved no 
particular success either with his artillery or with the vigorous 
fire which he maintained from wall pieces and chassepdts. 

Towards 3.30 pjn. the white flag was hoisted over the 
cathedral. A letter from the commandant received shortly after, 
in which he declared his readiness to surrender the fortress and 
to open negotiations, led to the conclusion of a capitulation, under 
the same conditions as had held good at Sedan. The 3rd 
battalion 90th Regiment and two companies of rifles entered the 

* It was hoped that the water in the ditch on the front attacked would in this 
manner be drained ofi; but this object was only partially achieTed. 

t Battery 1. 6 9 c. m. guns T ^^.^^^ ^^ ^^^^ hetvreen bastions 8 and 4, 

ttt' ! 1 o !' !!!* " I especially against the right flank of the latter. 

„ LLXm 4 126 C. in. „ J 

„ IV. 6 9 c. m. „ against tlie right &ce of bastion 4. 

„ V. 5 French mortars against the front of attack. 

„ VI. 6 15 c. m. guns to breach the right face of bastion 4. 

„ VIL 6 12 c. m. „ against the left face of bastion 3. 

„ YUI. 6. French rifled 12 cm. guns against the enciente between 

bastions 3 and 4. 
„ IX. 6 12 c. m. guns against the right face of bastion 5. 
„ X. 2 15 c. m. „ and 3 French howitiers against the front of attack. 
„ XI. 6 8 c. m. guns against the eneiente between bastions 4 and 5. 
A twelfth battery, which was to bring its fire to bear upon one of the ditch sluices 
and Bastion JSo. 8, was neyer employ^. 


fortress that evening, after the garrison, consisting of 109 officers 
and 2,240 men, had been conducted as prisoners of war to a 
bivouac on the Choloy road.* 

On the morning of the 24th the Grand Duke at the head of 
the German troops entered the captured town. Among the vast 
stores which were handed over to the conqueror, were the 
standards of the 3rd Dragoons, the eagle of a regiment of Garde 
Mobile, 71 fortress guns, about 30,000 stand of arms, 2,800 
sabres, and 220 horses, besides 2,000 cwt. of powder, 143,000 
rations of food, and 50,000 of com. 

On the 26th September the troops belonging to the Xlllth 
Army Corps commenced their march for Ohklons; the 2nd 
battalion 90th Regiment alone remained temporarily as garrison 
in TouL The company of Bavarian Engineers again passed 
under the orders of its Inspection General of E^ppen; the 
Prussian siege artillery were appointed for the bombardment 
of Soissons, that captured at Marsal and Toul remained available 
for employment against Verdun. 

The French troops had lost during the investment 1 officer 
and 25 men kiUed, 8 officers and 80 men wounded ; of the civil 
population 8 persons were killed and 20 woundedt The losses 
of the Germans amounted since the 27th August to some 
30 men. The fortress, with the exception of three barrackB 
burnt down, and some private houses in the vicinity of the 
ramparts which had been seriously damaged^ had suffinred little 
from the bombardment. 

* Nearly all the offioera were allowed to depart after gMag their parole. 
t A retim of casualties is given in Appendix LXVII. 


for a formal 
attack; con- 
stmctioii of 
batteries and 
of the first 
(27th Aucriist 
to 1st Soi>- 

Siege op Strassbuho from the 27tii August to 27Tn SEPTEunEn. 

General v. Werdcr having resolved on the 26th August to 
proceed to the formal attack of Strassburg* sent a report on 
the following day to the royal headquartei-s to the effect that tlie 
iirst parallel would be opened on the night of the 29th-30th, and 
would extend for the i)resent from the Rhine-Maine canal through 
the cemetery of St. Helena to the neiglibourhood of the Paris 
railway, and on one of the succeeding nights would be prolonged 
to the right as fai* as the Jews' cemetery near Eonigshoiien. 

The preparations for a formal attack had, as ah*eady mentioned, 
been prosecuted with gi'cat vigoui* both before and during the 
bombardmentt Behind the cover of a ridge east of Mundolsheim 
were the enti'enching tool depots, the materials for the batteries 
and for the platfonns of the siege artillery ; the entrenching tools 
for the trenches had been collected at Bischheim and Suffelweyer- 
sheim ; a Baden artiUeiy ])ai*k at Kork and an ammunition 
de]>6t at Neumiihl served to supply the batteries at Kehl.J 
Two wall- piece detachments had been formed of the best 
marksmen in tlie German battalions, which were intended to 
support the artillery under s])ecial cii*cumstances.§ The tii-st 
requirements of bi-ushwood, timber, and building material having 
been ])repared by the 24th August, the men of the infantry were 
practised in constructing trenches imder the direction of engineer 

With a view to ensuring a moi-c complete examination of 
the gix)\md of attack, and for the puri>ose of throwing uj> cover 
for the first approaches, the German out])osts puslied lorwai-d at 
dai'k on the 27th August towards the fortress along the whole 
line between Konigshoften and the Aar.l They ap])roached un- 
obsei'ved by the foe to 'within 400 paces of the works, and in 
front of the »Stonc Gate even as fai* as the glacis without meeting 
the enemy's posts or ])atrol.s. After the i>ioneers had thi'own up 
the necessary cover under the i)Ouring rain, the troops retired on 
the following morning to the previous outpost positions ; the 
shelter trenches in fi-ont of the south angle of the St Helena 
cemetery and on both sides of the road leading to tlie Stone Gate, 
remained, however, occupied. 

Tlie adversary, who during the last few days had dis])layed 
Init little activity, suddenly opened at 10 a.m. on the 28th a 
vigorous fire of musketry and ai'tillery from the works. Shortly 
after noon two French comj^anies moved out from the covered 
way in the neighbourhood of the Stone Gate. A company of the 

* See Part I., VoL U. p. 453. 

t See Part I., Vol. 11. pp. 436, 443, et scq. 

X Appendix LXVIII. contains a statement of the material collected at the artillery 
parks at Vendenheim and Kork. 

§ A detachment of the 1st Kesen'c Division (with Needle wall-pieces): 2 officers, 
222 men ; a detachment of the Baden division (with Mini^ wall-pieces) : 2 officers, 
197 men. 

^ It was only in the Kronenbor^ section that they did not push forward, as the 
irround at this point was brightly illuminated by the conflagration at Strassburg. 


Schneidemiihl Landwehr battalion in position south of Sdultig- 
heim abandoned the foremost trenches^ but afterwards with the 
assistance of the supports which came up repulsed the attack, and 
kept up a skirmish with the enemy's tirailleurs until nightfalL 
Just as little success attended a forward movement, precediMl by a 
sharp fire of wall pieces and musketry from No. 44 lunette, 
against Kronenbuig, at the eastern margin of which a Prussian 
wall-piece detachment had established itself on the previous 
night. The enemy, consisting only of some hundred men, pene- 
trated, it is true, into the nearest ti-enches, but was again dis- 
lodged with file-fire. Towards evening two battalions of the 
Guard Landwehr Division, which had occupied the previous 
quarters of the 1st Reserve Division between Ober-Hausbergen 
and the Faids railway, moved up into this outpost position.* 

On the night of the 28th-29th August the shelter trenches 
were widened along the entire line of attack, and covered com- 
munications were formed between the different sections. General 
V. Werder caused the island of Wacken to be occupied in order 
to secure the left flank, A company of the Konitz Landwehr bat- 
talion crossed the Aar by a foot bridge thrown by the pioneers 
near the leather fietctory, drove across trie Rhine-Maone cuial the 
French troops there posted, and placed outposts along the latter 
as well as at the passages over the Aar, cover being afterwards 
thrown up for their protection. Against this line of posts the 
enemy, approximately one company strong, advanced from the 
island of Jars on the morning of the 29th. A brisk skirmish 
having ensued, and the supports having taken part in it, the 
adversary was ultimately, with the aid of a detachment of the 
Deutsch-Krone landwehr battalion hurrying up frt)m Schiltig- 
lieim, driven back to Jars and followed up with skirmishers. 
The latter were, however, again withdrawn to the island of 
Wacken at 9 a.m. by the commander of the outposts. 

Opposite the south front of the fortress the Baden advanced 
troops at Weghausel, Meinau and Neuhof pushed forward their 
pickets as far as Neudorf and the Schachen Mill. In order to 
distract the attention of the garrison from the real front of attack, 
some small detachments from lUkirch had approached the glacis 
as early as the 28th August and skirmished with the enemy on 
this side of the fortress. 

Another detachment proceeded at daybreak on the 29th from 
Lingolsheim towards the gorge of the Pat6 Lunette, but was 
imable to reach it as all the bridges in the inundated ground 
had been destroyed. The outwork, which up to this time had 
remained perfectly passive, maintained from this day forward a 
vigorous fixe upon Eonigshofien and the siege battles at that 
pointy as well as upon the outposts on the Lingolsheim road. 

Crowds of frigitive inhabitants from Strassburg in their endea- 
vour to escape southward were sent back to the town by the 
Baden outposts on the 28th-29th Augost. 

* See Part I., Vol. n. p. 454. 


The defender had on the latter day but weakly responded to 
the fire of the siege batteries. He limited his efforts to repairing 
the damaged works, and erecting bombproof cover for the troops 
and shelter for the £Eunilies who had become roofless by the con- 
flagration. These latter persons were lodged partly in newly- 
biuJt banracks and partly in some of the public buildings which 
were still uninjured. 

After the German engineer officers had made a detailed recon- 
naissance of the ground to the north-west of the fortress and had 
determined upon the site for the first paraUd, the regulai* 
si^e was opened by order of (General v. Werder on the night of 
the 29th-30th August. 

In order to cover the working parties the fusilier battalion 
30th Regiment, which was in occupation of the ground between 
the south comer of Schiltigheim and the Pai*is railway, had pushed 
forward its outposts at 7.45 p.m. to within 400 paces, and in some 
places even to within 250 paces of the glacis. Further on the 
right was the GU)rlitz landwehr battalion of the Guard on out- 
post duty in and near Kronenburg, the Polnisch-Lissa landwehr 
battalion of the Guard at the Parqueterie factory. Wall-piece 
detachments of four to five men were posted at tlie cemetery of 
St. Helena and behind prepared cover on the Aar; opposite 
Lunette No. 44 another of these took up its ground. 

Meanwhile, during the course of the afternoon, the troops 
intended for covering the works had been assembled at Hoenheiiii. 
The musketeer battalions of the 30th Regiment advanced after 
7 o'clock along either side of the St. Helena cemetery and lay down 
at a distance of 20 paces in advance of the line of parallel. Two 
landwehr battalions posted themselves in and near Schiltigheim ; 
a light battery of the Guard Landwehr Division was held in 
readiness on the high road from Weissenburg, nearly abreast of 

About the same time, the working parties which had been 
assembled at Sufielweyersheim and Reichstett moved up to the 
places assigned to them. The first parallel was to be about 700 
paces distant from the glacis, was to extend for about 3,600 
paces, resting its right on the Paris railway, and to have covered 
communication with the groimd in rear. But as some shelter 
trenches already existed at the St. Helena cemetery, the men 
originally intended for this portion could be employed in extending 
the parallel beyond the railway as far as Kronenbuig. The 
permanent way of the outer railway station rendered it necessar}^ 
however, to remain with the right wing at a distance of 1,200 
paces from the glacis whilst the left wing stretched towards a 
villa situated at the south-east border of Schiltigheim, and from 
thence bent back to the Rhine-Mame canal. Although the latter 
village with its niunerous streets of stone houses enabled the 
German troops to advance under cover dose up to the parallel, 
still in I'egard to the possibility of these buildings being destroyed 
by the missiles of the fortress artillery, it was arranged tiiat 


short trenches should be thrown up connecting this part of the 
parallel as well with the ground in rear. 

With the exception of tiie communications in rear of the right 
wing and of a strip, some 200 paces long, between the before- 
mentioned villa at Schiltigheim and the Rhine-Mame canal, the 
work, executed by the common sap* in favourable soil, was 
completed between 1 and 3 a.m. on the 30th August. The 
fusilier battalion 30th Regiment now evacuated its advanced 
position ; the trenches were occupied by the covering party.f 

Hand in hand with the pioneer works initiated by General v. 
Mertens, orders were issued by General v. Decker for commencing 
the artillery attack. The field batteries which had been can- 
nonading the fortress from the left bank of the Rhine and the 
very remote bombardment batteries Noa 6, 9 and 10, had been 
placed out of action since the 28th August ; the remaining 10 
batteries had been limited to keeping up a moderate fire, j: But 
in order not to endanger our own troops unnecessarily while 
working at night, firing was only to be maintained from the 
outer fianks against the firont of attack. 

In the night of the 29th-30th August 11 new batteries were 
thrown up by the men of the siege artillery, and were nearly 
all armed with four guns of medium calibre.§ These new 
batteries were subsequently grouped together and connected with 
the nearest trenches. On the morning of the 30th August there 
were now altogether on the left bank of the Rhine 21 German 
batteries with a total of 88 heavy guns,ir in readiness from pro- 
tected positions to take up the struggle against the artillery of 
the fortresa 

The garrison of Strassburg had in nowise disturbed the works, 
which had been carried out as quietly as possible ; nor had they 
once replied to the measured fire of the four bombardment batteries. 
Only towards 1 a.m. had some musket shots fallen from the 
ramparts. Neither had any French patrol shown itself this night 
in the ground in front of the fortress, so that the results of 
the besiegers' night work wei*e not perceived until day broke. 
Apparently surprised, the defender opened towards 6 a.m. a weak 

* The work here described would appear to correspond with that allotted to the 
first task of the First Parallel in the English service. Unlike with ui , common sap 
in Germany implies absence of brushwood or other aid. — Tr. 

t With regard to the sieee works in general, see plan No. 14. 

t Twenty-five rounds daUy for each of the 42 guns. See also Parti., Vol. II. p. 453, 
and the note on p. 454. 

§ These batteries were numbered 14 to 27. The Nos. 18, 24, and 26 were left for the 
time being open with a view to their indicating three positions to be subsequently 
formed for field artillery on the road to Weissenburg and Lauterburg. In Battery 
No. 25 there were four 15 c. m. guns, in battery No. 14 six, and in the remainder there 
were four 12 c. m. guns eaeh. For each gun a daily expenditure of 50 shells and 10 
shrapnels was allowed, whilst the bombardment batteries were also for the future to 
be hmited to 25 rounds per diem. The batteries were ordered to direct their fixe 
upon the advanced works along the entire north-west front of the fortress between 
bastions Nos. 8 and 13. Batteries Nos. 17, 19, 20, and 21 had in consequence of 
some mistake been constructed much in rear of the places intended for them, 
so that their distance from the objects appointed for their fire varied from 1,700 to 
2,400 paces. 

^ Twenty-two 15 c. m., 42 12 c. m. guns, and 24 mortars. 

39515. E 


fire against that part of the parallel still incomplete and against 
the German batteries. The latter answered at once,* and, after 
i-edudng the fortress artillery to silence in a struggle lasting 
1^ hours, remained still in action with a view to getting the 
range of the various objects. The enemy limited himself at first 
to a brisk musketiy fire from some sandbag embrasures, but 
in the course of the forenoon augmented the batteries on the 
north-west front, and in the afternoon engaged in a two hours' 
cannonade with the Germans. These on their side maintained 
a fire of shrapnel upon' the works during the following night for 
the purpose of preventing as fai' as possible the damages from 
l)eing repaired. 

The works of attack meanwhile proceeded undistiurbed, so that 
on the morning of the 31st August the Firet ParaUel between the 
Paris railway and the Rhine-Mame canal now possessed for the 
most part its prescribed breadth and depth ; the more difiicult 
task of breaking up the permanent way, the high; roads, and the 
paved streets was completed in the course of the day by thepioneei-s. 

For the protection of the trenches a battalion was placed on 
each wing, and a third in reserve at Schiltigheim. Two com- 
panies of the latter were in the square south of the i-ailwaj'^ 
station, another at Carl's Cloister ; the 4th was in the village 
ready to turn out, where another battalion was also quartered. 
In tlie neighbourhood of Konigshoft'en skirmishes took place 
with some small l)odies of the enemy's troo])s; tlie German 
outposts on Wacken were continually disturbed l>y a brisk fire of 
musketiy from the dense bush on the opposite island of Jai-s. 

At Kehl the construction of the Mortar Batteries Nos. 1 and 4 
had been completed on the 29th August, so that on the right 
bank of the Rhine there were now 30 guns in action against the 
citadel, t The former battery was ap]iointed moi'e esjiecially to 
bombard the island of Sporen, where the enemy appeared to hv 
busy in throwing up new works. The filing, whidi wa^ 
answered only in a most desultoiy manner from the citadel, pro- 
ceeded almost undisturbed on this side of the Rhine. 

On the left bank the question now for final decision was against 
which pai-t of the nortli-west front of Sti'assburg the real attack was 
to be directed. The nature of the ground and the sti'ong manner 
in which Schilticfheim and the adioininir villacfes of Bischheim and 
Hocnheim were built, the numci'ous watercourses which sei^ved 
10 protect the left flank, and lastly the jilain in advance of the 
noHh-west front, so admirably adapted for works of approach, 
appeared more especially to favour an attack upon the section 
comprised between Bastions Nos. 11 and 1± The only doubt 
which arose on this point was as to whether or not in the low 
gi'ound abutting to the east the soil was not so swampy, that 
on the left flank they would speedily come upon surface water. An 

* The sieprc batteries had receiTod orders not to commence their fire until 8 a.m., 
unless the defender should take the initiative at an earlier hour. 

t No. 1 mortar bntterj- coutaiucd four 23 c. ni. mortars, No. 4 eiiiht 30 c. m. 


examination was therefore ordered to be made, but at the same 
time it was resolved to proceed with the woi^s in the direction 
just mentioned without loss of time. 

Under the protection of the Berlin and Cottbus battalions of 
the Guard Landwehr, which formed the guard to the trenches on 
the evening of the 31st August, and towards 11 o'clock had pushed 
forward their advanced parties in the direction of the gla<as> two 
approaches were driven about 300 paces beyond the firat parallel 
during the night unobsei*ved by the enemy ;* the common sapf 
was also used on this occasion. These works were continued on 
the 1st September, intermediate engineer dep8ts being established 
at Schiltigheim and in the neighbourhood of Carl's Cloister. On 
the part of the siege artillery, Battery No. 28, which was to act 
against Finkmatt and the fortifications of Contades, was con- 
structed in the course of the night at the eastern border of 

The patrols which had been pushed forward that same night 
at all parts of the ground of attack, had found the outworks of 
the fortress well garrisoned, and had been received at almost every 
point with fire.§ The Neuhaldensleben landwehr battalionf 
giving the outposts in the Robertsau, sent a reconnoitring party on 
the morning of the Ist September across the Ehine-Hl canal over 
a foot bridge which had been prepared before daylight. After 
patrolling the whole of the Orangery, it was subsequently driven 
back over the canal by a stronger hostile detadmient which 
advanced along the Fischer Avenue ; behind this canal the pickets 
were in readiness to support. Forward movements made by the . 
enemy against the island of Wacken, and from Lunette No. 44 
against the outpost position at Kronenburg, had already been 
repulsed during the afternoon of the 31st August^ and on the 
succeeding night. 

On the 1st September the French artillery maintained a can- 
nonade for two hours, chiefly on the north front of the fortress, 
but subsequently limited its proceedings to firing an occasional 

In consequence of the rapid progress made in the attack, and Formadon and 
the little molestation received from the enemy, General v. Werder jn^ °*mu^i^* 
gave orders on the 1st September for the 2nd Parallel to be erectionof^new 
thrown up and connected with the trenches driven from the 1st batteries of 
FaralleL **^®*^ between 

In order to cover these works a company of the 2nd September. 
Baden Regiment was pushed forward between 9 and 10 p.m. 

* From the sooth-east corner of Schiltigheim, and between the road and railway to 

t See translator's note on p. 65. 

i This battery receiYed four 12 e. m. gnns. In Battery No. 5 two SS c. m. mortars 
which had beoome nnserrieeable, had bc«n replaced by mortars of 28 c. m. calibre. 

§ Lunettes Nos. 44, 58, 53, 54, 55, and the fortifications of Contades. Lanette 
No. 87a was alone fonnd unoccupied. 

II The Snd Landwehr Brigade had mo^ed up into front line on the 8 Ist August; 
the 4th Combined Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment had taken up the outpost duties 
at the canal and on the island of Wacken. 

E 2 


on that day from each wing of the new line of trendi to within 
350 paces of the glacis. Foiu* pioneer and G Landwehr companies 
were told off as working party. 

The extension of the latter along the section to the east of ihe 
St. Helena cemetery proceeded without let or hindrance; but 
against the right wing the works between Lunettes Nos. 44 and 
53 opened a vigorous lii-e, whilst a considerable foi^ce moved 
forward at the same time from the Stone Gate along the high 
road to Weissenburg. The companies of the Hamm landwehr 
battalion of the Guard, which had just reached the working line, 
and were now taken in reai* by the fire from the guaid of the 
trenches in the 1st parallel, withdi-ew, and under the guidance of 
their officers subsequently assembled at the St. Helena cemetery, 
in the neighbourhood of which the pioneers had held their ground. 

As the enemy had meanwhile returned to the fortress, the new 
trenches could be so far completed at 3 by the workmen, 
who had been again led forward, that it only i*emained to widen 
and deepen them to the prescribed dimensions. At the moment 
when the working party of reliefs came up for this puipose, the 
adversaiy initiated afresh advance by a vigorous fire of musketr}' 
alonor the entire front of attack. 

The Governor of Sti-assbui'ir had ordered a sortie on a lai'ge 
scale for the morning of the ind Se))teml3er. In the tii^st gray of 
tlio morning six comj)anies under the command of Colonel Blot 
were to move forward against Kronenburg and the batteries at 
that point, five against Konigshoft'en, three from Contades against 
the island of Wacken. As sup]>ort to these troops, four companies 
were held in readiness in the Place of Arms in front of the Saveme 
Gate. The column of attack intended for Kronenbui*g advanced 
with two comi>anies along the Ober-Hausbergen road, with one 
to the south of it, and another along the Mittel-Hausbergen road ; 
a company of volunteers moved in the dii*ection of the railway 
rotunda, the Gth i^mained as reserve neai' Lunette No. 44. 

On the Geiman side the 2nd Baden Regiment had occupied 
the two jmrallels with seven companies. Of the Berlin landwehr 
battalion of the Guard two comjianies were in the shelter trenches 
at Kronenburg. the two others in the Parqueteiie factoiy. The 
(^ottbus landwehr l)attalion of the Guard was postt^d with one 
company in tlie trench <'s north of Kronenburg as fai* a^ the 
railwav rotunda, and another further to the rear on the road to 

The French company advancing along this road made a rapid 
dash up to the foremost farm buildings at Kronenburg, and drove 
back the troops at that place. On and to the south of the road from 
01)er-Hausbergen the enemy succeeded in compelling the besieger's 
outposts to retire, and even in driving away the gunnel's serving 
No. 4 Moitar Battery. Tlie German supports which had mean- 
while ha.stene(l to the front brought the action to a standstill in 
the east part of Kronenbmg. To the north of the place some 
detachments of the Guard Landwehr battalion, just mentioned, 
threw themselves resolutely upon the foe, while the 12th company 


4th Baden Begiment made a simultaneous advance against his 
left wing. Surroimded on all sides and attacked wil^ vigour, 
the adversary retired to the covered way of the fortress, under 
shelter of which he continued the action till 6 in the morning. 

At the first rush the French volunteers had driven a non-com- 
missioned officer's post out of the luilway rotunda, occupied 
these buildings and opened a vigorous file-fire upon the Baden 
companies posted on the light fiank of both paraUek.* The latter, 
however, at once dashed forward from the trenches, retook pos- 
session of the buildings, and subsequently, in conjunction with 
detachments of the Hamm and Dusseldorf landwehr battalions of 
the Guard,t repulsed the enemy behind No. 44 Lunette. At 5 a.m. 
the works on the right wing of the second parallel could be 

The French advance upon Ebnigshoffen had come to a stand- 
still at some distance from the shelter trenches. Two fusilier 
companies of the 4th Baden Regiment posted at that place had 
by their effective file-fire very speedily caused the adversary to 
retreat behind his works ; but even at this point the action 
lasted until nearly 6 o'clock in the morning. 

Of the French detachment intended for the attack of the island 
of Wacken, one company was to advance on the west of the 
island of Jars along the Schiltigheim road, another directly along 
the Aar, while the third was to cover the right flank on the 
Spitalgarten Island. The two former, however, encountered a 
serious resistance at the ialand of Jars. 

The 2nd battalion 30th Regiment had relieved on the evening 
of the 1st September the outposts of the 2nd Landwehr Brigade 
at the island of Wacken and occupied the latter with one com- 
pany. Another was posted on the road from Schiltigheim to 
Contades, whilst the two flank companies of the battalion had 
proceeded to Jars. Under the protection of the latter, some 
pioneers had arranged the buildings there for defence, restored 
the previously-destroyed bridges over the Aar, formed two new 
foot bridges, and cut shelter trenches through the whole breadth 
of the island, approximately on a level with the southern angle 
of Wacken. Being received fix)m these trenches with a vigorous 
fire, the enemy, who had pressed forward from Contades, speedily 
retired under cover of his works. 

The continuous musketry fire resulting from these collisions 
had brought under arms the German troops further to the rear, 
and at some points had induced them to move forward. Some 
companies of the 4th Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment, which in 
consequence of the action at Jars had crossed from the Robertsau 
to the Orangery, drove in the enemy's strong patrols from that 
place, and reoccupied with slight loss their previous positions. 

^ 2nd, 8rd, 4th 

2nd Baden Rqpment' 
I The latter had jost come up to the 2nd Parallel as working party, to relieve the 
Hamm battalion. 


Simultaneously with the advance of the French from Contades, 
the guns of the fortress had taken under fu-e the ground in rear 
of the left wing of the German outposts and had caased a con- 
dagration in the leather factoiy at Wacken. Immediately after 
the retreat of the sortie, the French artillen^ redoubled their 
activity. The workmen in the trenches, the Geiman batteries and 
outposts, and more es|>ecially the waU-piece detachments, found 
themselves within a short time so overwhelmed with projectiles,* 
that some of the positions which they had taken u]i had to be 
abandoned. The siege artillery, which engaged with 92 guns, 
overpowered, however, towards 9 a.m. the defender's batteries, 
who henceforth limited himself to a moderate fire of wall-pieces 
and musketrj\ 

The losses of the besieger in these engagements amounted in 
all to some 150 men ; the garrison of the fortress, according to 
French statements, lost 2 ofiicei^ and 142 men. General IJluich 
telegraphed on the 2nd September to the Minister of War : 

" This morning a glorious sortie, but dearly purchased, 
and no other success than imposing respect on the enemy." 

On the German side the inci-easing day-light showed that the 
night works had been a partial failure. As the right half of 
the second paitbUcl struck the centre of the St. Helena cemeterj-, 
whilst the left touched its southern angle, these two sections 
could not l.Ki brought into immediate connexion. Moreover, the 
approaches on the left wing were swept in then* whole length 
trom Lunette No. 5G, those on the right fi-om Lunette No. 44. A 
vigorous fii*e of musketry and canister from these works caused 
the Germans considerable losses, especially the reliefs proceeding 
to work ; Lieutenant-Colonel v. Gayl and Captain Herzberg of 
the Engineei's were mortally wounded. 

In the course of the day the incoirectly traced approach on the 
right wing was replaced by one inclined more to the left ; but 
on the left wing tlie enemj'^'s fire continued so destructive that 
the works had to be tempoiui'ily suspended. It was not until 
the following night that the wrongly constructed trench was 
filled in, and a fresh one thrown up whicli intei'sected the road 
ti'om SchiltiGfheim to the Stone Gate. 

The defender had remained tolerably quiet during the night, 
])ut very early on the morning of the 3rd September commenced 
a brisk lire of aiiilleiy and musketry from the works of the 
forti-ess. At 3.30 a.m. another sortie was made from the Saveme 
and Stone Gates. 

The 1st Landwehr Grenadier Regiment of the Guard had on 
the previous evening formed the guard of the trenches ; the Gorlitz 
battalion and two companies of the Polnisch-Iissa battalion 
occupied the 1st, the remaining six companies of the regiment the 
2nd Parallel. South of the Ober-Hausbereen road stood the 

* In Battery* Ko. 1 Gunner Weekc of the 7th Fortress Artillery Kegiment seized a 
fused shell which had fallcu into the battery and threw it over the parapet. 


Berlin landwehr battalion of the Guard at the outposts. A picket 
pushed forward towards Lunette No. 44 had been aware since 
2 a.nL of the enemy's preparations for the sortie, which were by 
no means noiseless, so that he did not surprise us. 

The French troops proceeding towards the position at Kronen- 
burg were at once detained in front by two companies of the 
Grdrlitz battalion placed in readiness. After the detachments of 
the Breslau and Berlin battalions posted on the flank, the men 
of the 34th Regiment working in the trenches, and the 2nd 
i-eserve heavy battery of the Guard unlimbered at the eastern 
entrance of Ejronenburg, had taken part in the action which 
ensued, the adversary again withdrew after half an hour's fighting 
to Lunette No. 44. 

The troops which had sallied £rom the Stone Gate had at 
first succeeded in forcing their way into the 2nd Parallel, but 
were again expelled, after a brief struggle by two companies 
of the Berlin and Folnisch-Lissa battalions, and by the pioneers 
who ran to arms. 

After these collisions, in which the French had lost 40 men 
killed and wounded, there was a short suspension of hostilities at 
the request of General Uhrich, with a view to interring the dead 
lying in front of the fortress. 

As the trenches were already of very considerable extent, Major 
V. Quitzow assumed the friture direction of the works on the left 
and Major Bayer of those on the right wing. All the troops and 
working parties employed on the north-west front of attack 
passed under the orders of a General of the Day, who, however, 
had nothing to do with the technical works of the artillery and 

On the 3rd September the intelligence of the capitulation of 
Sedan reached the headquarters at Mundolsheim. A general 
salute frt)m the German batteries announced to the besieged 
town the downfall of the Imperial Army. . 

Up to the present time surface water had only been met 
with on the extreme left flank of the second parallel ; * a closer 
examination of the ground to the north of Strassburg had shown 
that the driving of saps in the previous direction might be done 
without any great difficulty. General v. Werder therefore 
reported to the headquarters of His Majesty the King, that he 
hsLd resolved to direct his chief attack against the position of the 
Stone Gate situated in front of Bastions No. 11 and 12. 

This being the direction of attack, the prolongation of the first 
parallel to Konigshoflen, as originally intended, became unneces- 
sary ; but in view of the very salient position of Limette No. 44, 
speciied measures of precaution were necessary for the right wing 
of the approaches, in the first place the works of the Eronenburg 
section were strengthened, so that it might serve as a secure 
position against any further sorties on the part of the enemy, and 

* The trenchet were in consequence shallowed at that point, bat made of greater 


as a poiiit of departure for a possible attack upon the above- 
mentioned lunette. Newly thrown-up approaches in the angle 
between the Basle and Paris railways connected the Kronenbur^ 
]X)sition with the railway rotunda and with the trenches furthcj 
to the left ; covered roads of communication were also constinicted 
leading from the first parallel to the rear.* 

The witlening and improvement of the two j)arallels proceeded 
during the following days without a check, and for the part 
Avithout molestation. On the 4tli September before daybreak 
some small hostile detachments sallied from the fortress under 
]n'otection of the fire of their artilleiy ; the}'' were, howevei . 
N)>eedily repidsed by the fire of tlie 4t]i Baden Regiment. The 
rainy weather which had set in since the previous day rendered 
exceedinirlv aixluous all workin^^ in the soddened clav soil : 
the trenches were ditdned with difficulty and only rendered 
available >vith the help of faggots, straw, and fascines. On 
the left wing jmrt of the second parallel and the eastern 
section of the trench connecting it with tlie fii'st parallel 
wen; ankle dee]) in water. As, moreover, the front half of 
this trench, in spite of its having Inien remade, was still within 
range from the works at (Jontadts, and the reliefs in pa.ssing to 
and fro suffered re))eated losses, it was once more blocked uj), an<l 
another trench was rlriven somewliat more to the ridit to tlic 
second parallel, the left Hank of which teiminated at the 
Schiltiofheim road.t 

In order to comi)lete the communication still wanting l^etween 
the two wings of this ])arallel, a trench was dug in the night of 
the 4th-5th September through St. Helena cemetery, and on 
the follownng night prolonged to the eastward.J By the 7tli 
September, in accordance viith the original plan, the right wing 
of the front trench was constructed past the south angle of the 
cemetery ; on the 0th the second parallel with all its rearwaixl 
comnmnications might l)e considered com]>lete.§ 

The guard of the trenches, meanwhile reinforced to three 
battalions, was, with a battalion held in readiness at Schiltigheiuh 
under the orders of a regimental commandei'. These troops 
occupied both jmrallels, the works at Kronenburg, and the 
luilwav rotunda. The defence of tlie shelter trenches between 
the roads to 0})er-Haus}>eriren and Kouitfshofi'en Wcos taken over 
by four companies of the Baden Division. 

A wire leading from the main line of telegi*aph between Mun- 
dolsheim and Ober-SchiifibLsheini connected the headquarters of 
the Siege Coi-jis with a bomb-proof station on the right wing of 
the first parallel. 

♦ An engineer intermediate depot va** formed to the north of Kronenburg. Anj 
furtlicr driving of trenches in the direction of Lunette No. 44 was given up in conse- 
quence of tlie many hindrances offered by the lines of rail. 

f Thnt portion lying to the east of this road was abandoned in consequence of the 
depth of the water. 

t This trench was called the " CcmottTv Communication.'* 

§ The :2nd JPanillelhad now a total leuL'th of 2.4(Ki paces, a breadth of 12 feet, and 
a depth of 5 fctt. 


The more vigorous part played by the French artilleiy sinoe 
the opening of the first parallel, was met on the besieger's side 
by augmenting the number of his batteries and pushing them to 
the front Batteries Nos. 16, 17, 19, 20, and 21 situated in rear 
of the right wing, were advanced abreast of the first parallel, and 
in the night of the 3rd-4th September Battery No. 29 was 
constructed somewhat further to the rear between the railway 
and the road to Weissenburg.* 

It appeared of especial importance to silence the fire of Lunette 
No. 44, which effectively took in flank the attack as it progressed. 
In order to cannonade this work, and at the same time for pro- 
tection against sorties, Batteries Nos. 37 and 39 were thrown 
up on the right flank of both parallels, and Battery No. 35 to the 
north of Kronenburg.f 

In order to increase its effect Battery No. 5 received heavy 
guns, Battery No. 27 an increased number of pieces. Batteries 
Nos. 30, 33, and 38 were constructed in the neighbourhood of the 
Aar, on the road leading from Schiltigheim to the Stone Gate 
and in the approaches of the left wing. J 

In order at the same time to derive more effect from the 
vertical fire upon the bastions and advanced lunettes of the north 
front of attack, the vertical-fire batteries, Nos. 31, 32, 34, 36, 
and 40 were erected in the two parallels by the 9th September, 
and in addition Batteries Nos. 7 and 8 were equipped with 
mortars of the heaviest calLbre.§ On the other hand, on the 
right wing, Batteries Nos. 2 and 3, on the left, Batteries Nos. 11, 
12 and 13, situated to the east of Bischheim in the neighbour- 
hood of the 111, and consequently at a considerable distance, 
gradually fell into disuse after the second parallel was opened. 
Keeping pace with the advance of the siege batteries, the Prussian 
wall-piece detachments took up their positions in the second 
parallel opposite the north front of the fortress, the Baden 
detachments of the same nature opposite the outworks of the 
west fi^nt. 

The energetic action of the siege artillery, which brought into 
play on the 9th September 96 rifled cannon and 38 mortars, || 
shortly led to visible results. By the action of Batteries 

* The first-named five batteries were now called 16a, 17a, 19a, 20a, and SI a. 
Batteries No. 16a and 21a receired eight 12 c m. guns each, and Battery No. 29 four 
15 c. m. guns. 

t Battery No. 37 received four 15 c. m. S. B. mortars, No. 39 four 9 c. m. guns. 
No. 85 two'21 c. m. rifled mortars. On the 4th September the 5th and 18th com- 
panies of the 5th Fortress Artillery Regiment arrired at Vendenheim with the two 
21 e. m. mortars and 12 short 15 c. m. guns. 

X The last-named battery was to protect more especially the detachments pushed 
ibrward in the direction of the island of Jars agaiuf t Lunette No. 56 and the works 
at Gontades. Battery No. 5 was armed with four 15 c. m. guns ; No. 27 reinforced 
up to six 12 c. m. guns; No. 30 received four 12 c. m.. No. 83 eight 15 c. m., 
No. 88 four 9 «. m. guns. 

§ Batteries Nos. 81 and 82 receiTed each of them four 28-c. m. mortars ; Nos. 84 
and 86 four 15 c. m., No. 40 six 28 c. m., Nos. 7 and 8 the 28 e. m. instead of the 
23 c. m. mortar. 

II Each gun was authorised to fire 20 rounds by day, and an additional 10 shrapnel 
in the night. 

Nos. 5 and 35, the Lunette No. 44 was completely reduced to 
silence by the 8th.* Battery Ko. 33, which had been told off 
to set fii*e to the militaiy buildings on the north side of the 
town, destroyed the Finkmatt baiTack, and some days later 
reduced the theatre to ashes by mistake for the artillery school. 
The iire of Batteries Nos. 28 and 30 opened the entire front wall 
of tlie tower which rises conspicuously above the Stone Gate. 
The gate itself was damaged to such an extent, that the defender 
was compelled to fill it with sand bags up to the summit of the 


In £Ekce of the increased effect of the German batteries the 
artillery of the foitress limited itself to a careful and moderate fire. 
On the front of attack the well-protected guns for vertical fii'e 
alone remained active, whilst the guns withdrawn from then* 
]>ositions were only employed dming the pauses in the struggle. 
The flank works still fired with considerable energy, especuidly 
Finkmatt and tlie homwork to the south of the Saveme Gate, 
without, however arresting to any extent the progress of the 

As early as the 27th August General Uhrich telegraphed to 
the French Minister of War that Strassburg would be lost 
unles.s immediate assistance anived. In I'eply he received in- 
structions to hold out as long as possible, and as a last i*esource 
to a'oss with his troops to the weakly-occupied Baden bank 
of the Rhine under cover of night, with a view to regaining 
French territory by that route. In consequence of the first 
despatch having fallen into the hands of the Germans,! and of 
the intelligence received of the decisive events at Sedan, General 
V. Werder had on the 3rd September once more entered into 
negotiations for the surrender of the fortress. These, however, 
proved abortive in consequence of the decisive refusal on the 
])ai*t of the commandant, and merely led to a mutual exchange of 
Resumption of -A.t the headquartere in Mimdolsheim it had been meanwhile 
the fonnal resolved to throw up a third parallel at the foot of the glacis 
attack to between Lunettes Is us. 53 and ooy and after the captiu'e of these 

onhrpkici!!^ works to press fon^'ard simultaneously against Bastions No. 11 
(9th to I8ih and 12. 

j^eptcmbcr.^ In order to facilitate the last-mentioned works of attack h\ 

loweriiiir the level of the water in the ditches of the fortress as 
much as ))Os.sible, the Geiinans in the eai'lier days of SeptenilxT 
had completed the damming and draining of the water from 
the Rhine-Rhone canal, the Ki-umme Rhine, the U))per 111 and 
the Schwarrsvassei*, and thereby diied up a small portion of 
the inundated c^round souUi of Sti'assburg. In order to drain 

* The complete evacuation of the lonctte does not appear to have been carried out 
until the evcninir of the 19th. At the surrender of the fortress the work was found 
to be Tcr}' much damaged. 

t There only remained a narrow passage, and one which could not be used in the 
case of a large aortic. 

J Not immediately, but ou the capitulation of Sedan. — Tr. 


off a larger body of watei' below the fortress, Battery No. 88 was 
told off on the 9th September to obtain the range of the sluices 
situated in the neighbourhood of Ravelin No. 63 between the 
Jews' and Fishers' QaXes. As these sluices were upwards of a 
mile distant firom the battery and were not visible from any 
point of the ground of attack, the desired result could only be 
incompletely obtained ; on the other hand some detachments of the 
84th Fusiliers, thrown forward to Wacken and Jars, succeeded 
on the 15th and 16th September, in spite of a heavy musketry 
fire, in destroying the dam arrangements at the sluice bridge, and 
thereby let off the water dammed up at that point. 

Other attempts were directed to rendering useless certain 
mines belonging to the adversary. Captain Ledebour, of the 
Engineers, having become convinced from a reconnaissance 
during the night of the 8th-9th September that there were 
mining works at Lunette No. 58, but that these had been 
relinquished by the enemy, that officer, during the following 
nights, succeeded in company with a few pioneers in lowering 
himself by ropes into the wet ditch, entenng the gallery and 
removing the mining-charge from its position. Subsequently, 
it may here be remarked in anticipation, a shaft was driven 
on the 14th September from the third parallel in the direction 
of the mining gallery, the arch of the latter was broken through, 
and the whole of the enemy's mining arrangements seized. 

Under cover of the guaid of the trenches, reinforced to four 
battalions, which occupied both parallels and kept watch in the 
direction of Lunette No. 44,* the preliminaries for throwing up 
the third pa/raUd had commenced at 6 p.m. on the 9th September. 
During tlLe following night three approaches were first driven 
frx)m the second parallel ; the vigorous fire from the fortress, fit)m 
which the parapet of the centre trench suffered considerable 
damage, rendered the emplojonent of the deep sap necessary 
up to the next evening ; still, in consequence of the absence of 
action on the part of the adversary, the work in the night of 
the lOth-llth September had been so far advanced by the flying 
sap and the employment of infantry, that during the latter day 
the widening of the new trenches and the construction of the 
third parallel could be proceeded with. 

On the night of the llth-12th the strip about 725 paces long 
to the east of the central approach was thrown up by the 
common sap, and almost without loss. On account of the 
surfrtce water, which exuded on the extreme left flank, the 
parallel was there constructed of greater breadth and less 
depth; part of it which ran over a slope commanded from 
Lunette No. 55, had to be protected by traverses. 

On the following night the construction of the strip between 
the central and right approach to a breadth of five feet was 
commenced. From the centre of the parallel a demi-parallel 

* Lunette No. 44 hod metuivhile been completely redaoed to silence on the 
preceding day. 


212 paces long and 4| feet broad was driven in the direction of 
Lonctte No. 53. An attempt to approach Lunette No. 52 by saps 
£uledy however, in consequence of the enemy's musketiy fire in 
the moonlight ; the short strip of trench which had been already 
thrown up and directed by mistake upon Lunette No. 54, had 
to be again filled in. 

An attack with the lefi wing pa^^ this lunette towards 
Bastion No. 12 had been meanwhile abandoned for many reasons. 


The character of the low ground, in which any hea%'y rain imme- 
diately placed the trendies under water, impeded the works 
to a considerable extent. In attempting an advance in this 
partially inundated ground, there was every prospect of a con- 
siderable loss of time in capturing the several parallel lines of 
rampart, protected as they were by wet ditches. The closed 
goi^ of Bastion No. 12« would have impeded an immediate 
entrance into the town even after the capture of this work. 
The German headquartei-s had therefore decided to dii-ect the 
attack in future exclusively against Bastion No. 11, through 
Lunettes Nos. 52 and 53, and to leave to the siege artillery the 
duty of overpowering the flanking works on the east. 

In accordance therewith working parties pushed forward in 
the niglit of 13th-14th SeptemlH.»r with a double deep saj^ 
against tin? heads of the two last-named lunettes. After they 
had reached at both ]K)ints tlie crest of the glacis, they com- 
menced the cnnrning by means of the double travei-se saji. 
During the subsequent nights these advanced works were con- 
nected, and in doing so the small intermediate work No. 53a. 
was occupied. On the right flank tlie crowning of tlie glacis 
extended but little way beyond tlie head of Lunette No. 53 ; 
towards the left wing the trenches extended as far as the place of 
arms between limettes Nos. 52 and 54. On the 18th September 
the crowning of the glacis might be considered finished to all 
intents and purposes, the demi-pai^els having meanwhile been 
prolonged in both directions, the third paitdlel to the right, and 
a new covered communication formed between the two. 

Whilst these works were in process of completion some changes 
had also taken place in the siege artillery. The mortar batteries 
Nos. 7 and S were pushed forward into the Cemeteiy Communi- 
cation,"*^" while to augment the vertical fire, the mortar batteries 
Nos. 45, 4G, 47, 48, and 5a had been constructed in and before 
the second parallel.t 

As the latter did not sufier any great loss in their advanced 

* See note on p. 72. The batteries were called Nos. 7a and 8a. As the certainty 
of hitting was increased by the shortness of the range, strains to the beds could be 
saved by using reduced charges of powder. 

t Battery No. 45 for 4-15 cm. mortar<. 




^W yy \r—^\r 




47 „ 10-15 




48 „ 6-15 




5a „ 3-28 


Battery No. 86 received two 23 cm. in lieu of tlie 15 cm. mortars. 


position, the gun batteries Nos. 17a., 19a. and 21a.''^ followed to 
the same place for the purpose of bringing their fire to bear upon 
their previous objects at a closer range. The newly constructed 
batteries Nos. 41, 42, 43 and 44 f augmented the fire against the 
front of attack and the flanking works. In consequence of the 
presence of our men in the foremost lines, only the batteries on 
the extreme flanks were to remain in action against the advanced 
works of the fortress ; whilst the batteries of the first parallel 
firing over the heads of their own troops, were to take the 
enceinte as their mark. 

Shrapnel fire had been entirely discontinued since the crown- 
ing of the glacis. Under the well-directed fire of the Gennaii 
wall-piece detachments, which during the gradual advance of 
the saps had first taken up a position in the foremost approaches, 
then in the third parallel, and lastly in the crowning, it was 
only with the greatest care that the French infantry were able 
to hold their ground behind the parapets. Their activity was 
limited almost entirely to the night-time* 

The annihilating fire of the siege artillery had by this time 
almost entirely overpowered the French guns on the north front 
of Strassburg, and in the town itself had caused much destruc- 
tion. On the 15 th September part of the stores of ammunition 
in the citadel had taken fire ; on the night of the 16th-17th the 
church there and the court-martial buildings had been set on fire 
from the right bank of the Rhine ; during the following night 
in the town itself the timber stere belonging to the artillery 
workshops, and on the 20th the prefecture, were in flames. These 
continuous conflagrations, hardships of every kind, and daily 
increasing sacrifice of human liie augmented the state of des- 
pondency already existing among the inhabitante. 

It is true that for a long time General Uhrich had succeeded 
in keeping to himself all the intelligence which had reached 
him with regard to the defeats of the French field army. But 
through messengers from Switzerland, who had obtained admit- 
tance inte Strassburg with the sanction of General v. Werder 
in order to promote the diufting to that country of homeless 
women and children,^ the news soon spread abroad with regard 
to the downfall of the Empire. The commandant now found 
himself compelled te proclaim the Republic also in Strassburg, 
and on his part received the freedom of the town. 

Seeing the evident hopelessness of the situation, the inhabit 
tante on the 18th September made a renewed demand for the 
negotiation of a capitulation. General Uhrich, however, rejected 

^ Now called No. 17b, 19b and 2 lb. 

t Battery No. 41, four 9 cm. gans at the south edge of Schiltigheim. Battery 
No. 42, six short 15 cm. guns in rear of the cemetery communications. Battery 
No. 43, eight 15 cm. guns in adrance of the first puallel at the Aar. Battery No. 
44, six 9 cm. guns in the western approaches to the third parallel. 

X As a result of this interrention about 2.000 persons left the town. General r. 
Werder subsequently withdrew this permission, as improper use was made of it, the 
emigrants baring endeavoured to excite from Basle resistance against the German 
troops in Upper Alsace. ^^ — ^. 

'' CNI 

>^y^^ ipQir.*-:,!^ 


in the moat decided manner eveiy request on this subject, while 
the depressed spirits of the citizens rose on the anival of 
M. Valentin,* the prefect appointed by the new French Govern- 
ment, who on assuming office demanded that the struggle should 
be continued to the last. 
Eugiigemeuts The siege thus resumed its further course. 
'" ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ island of Jars the French had ensconced themselves, 

easTof °^*^ '" facing the 30th Regiment,! in the thickly wooded south angle 
Sstransbur;;. behind abattis and shelter ti*enches, which were in connection 
Proceedings of ^^j^ ^\^q works and farmsteads at Contades. From tliese ))osi- 
batteries a"^ tions the enemy harassed to a considerable extent the German 
Kehi. Kvents outposts, especudly by frequent soi-ties at night. In consequence 
.w«trfrom ^* ^^^^ *® advanced troops of the 30th Regiment on both sides 
and in rear'of ^^ ^^^ -^^' were strengthened to live companies, and the 
the siege corps, works on the left bank weie extended. The foot-bridge of* 

boats near the Schmidt's tanneiy was replaced by a trestle- 
bridge suited for carriages, wliich was protected bj- a shelter 
trench in the fonn of a bridge head, throwii forwai'd as fai' as thi» 
first parallel. An attempt to construct covered emplacements 
for guns at the tannery failed imdcr the vigorous artillery fin 
fix>m the nearest works of tlie foi-tress. Battery Ko. 38J in 
action against the enemy's advanced ]>osts and some field guns 
])Osted in Wacken likewise produced no visible eftect ; thi 
dam]) weather rendered it impossible to bum do\vn the teumi 
buildings in front of Contades. As the immediate propinquity- 
of the works of the fortress hindeied the adversary fix)m bein^ 
thrown back by storm, the Geiinans limited themselves for the 
present to a brisk musketry fii*e, in order by this means to attract 
a considerable part of the garrison to this point, which wslk 
beyond the sphere of the true fiix)nt of attack. 

On the 12th September tlie 3ixl company 34th Regiment, 
which had relieved the Pomeranian landwehr at the out]>ost'< 
took up a position for defence on the small island between Jars 
and the Robertsau. Some buildings west of Jars hitherto occu- 
pied had, however, to be again abandoned in consequence of the 
enemy's effective fire. 

A fresh attempt made on the 19th to destroy the buildings in 
front of Contades with field artillery,^ in co-operation witli 
Battery No. 38, reduced some of them to ruins. With the 
exception of a continuous fire from both sides, and that sonic 
sorties of small detachments of French troo]>s were repulsed 
without difficulty, no further serious collisions took place in this 
section of the ground. 

* The previous Prefect under the Empire hiid resigned his post after the pro- 
clamation of the Kepublic. Valentin had endeavoured in vain to enter Strassburi: 
from the south and from the Baden bank, but had succeeded in doin^ so from thi* 
north side on the 19th. Whilst the German troops were receiving their rations he 
passed through the first parallel, and then swam across the Aai* as well as the ditili 
in front of Lunette No. 56 under fire of the outposts on both sides. 

t See Part II., p. 69. 

X See Part 11., p. 73. 

f Three batteries of the 2nd combined artillery division, sec Parti., Vol.!., p.l06,Ai)j). 


The outposts on the Robertsau, which suffered constant mo* 
lestation at the hands of the enemy, had at first only extended 
their rounds over the Rhine-Hi canal as fieur as the Orangery. 
But as it was the intention of the Grermans to take up a 
permanent position in the latter place the attempt waa 
subsequently made to reduce to ashes the farm buildings 
entrenched by the French on and to the west of the Fisher 
Avenue; which, however, only succeeded at isolated points. 
Between the Robertsau and the island of Wacken a bridge had 
been thrown across the 111 near the sluice 87b. ; a narrow foot- 
bridge placed over the Rhine-Ill canal at the north end of the 
Fisher avenue, another footbridge near sluice No. 88, and a 
bridge practicable for all arms in the neighbourhood of the 
French canal served as points of passage from the Robertsau to 
the Orangery. 

After these communications had. been prepared the 3rd and 
4th company of the 30th Regiment, meanwhile transferred to 
the Robertsau, crossed the canal in the early morning of the 11th 
September and dislodged with slight loss the weak detachments 
of the enemy from the Orangery. The Prussian companies 
having taken up their position therein, strengthened themselves 
during the forenoon with shelter trenches, which ran transversely 
through the Orangery from the Rhine-Hi canal to the UL The 
heavy field battery of the 1st Reserve Division at sluice No. 87 
battered the buildings in front of Contades with visible success. 

Whilst connection was now established between the Orangery 
and the Prussian outposts on Wacken, a sure communication had 
by Greneral v. Werder's order been established for some time 
between the Robertsau and Sporen island. Under the protection 
of two fusilier companies of the 30th Regiment^ which on the 4th 
September proceeded in part across the Little Rhine, and in part 
occupied Fort Ducrot, another party had thrown a boat-bridge 
across that stream, dose to where it joins the main river, and 
had protected it with a bridge-head. From a reconnaissance of 
the Sporen island, its entire north part, as &r as the Kehl« 
Strassburg high road and railway, proved to be dear of the 

The Oerman artillery on the right bank of the Rhine had been 
also reinforced since the commencement of the siege, and the 
line of investment on that side had been advanced nearer to the 
fortress. After that the six siege batteries at Kehl had been 
augmented by eight guns,"*^ covered emplacements for artillery were 
thrown up on both sides of Battery No. 1 and opposite the Erlen- 
Worth, and in addition Battery No. 7 was ready by the 15th 
September.! Battery No. 1 had ceased its fire since the 2nd 
September against the Sporen Island, which at that time was 
apparently abandoned by the enemy ; on the other hand, the 

* These eight 12 cm. guns were placed in Battery No. S, which gave np its four 
15 cm. gons to Teinforoe Battery Ko. 3. 
t Anned with eight 12 cm. gims. 


whole of the 4S Hie'^tt guns on the right hank of the Rhine 
hronght their fire mainly to bear upon the west part of the 
citadel, so as to endanger its communication with the town. 

The buildings in the interior of the citadel had been boui- 
baided successfully with incendiary shells since the 14th Sep- 
tember,* so that still greater deficiency oi suitable shelter b^an 
to be experienced in the fortress. The enemy returned the fire 
with great irregularity, and sometimes with shells without burst- 
ing charges. 

In order to bring the outposts on both banks of the Bhine 
into closer connexion, General v. Werder had instructed the 
in&ntry at Eehl to proceed to the Sporen Island. In accordance 
therewith two companies of the 6th Baden Regiment with a 
detachment of workmen were transported on the night of the 
13th~14th September to this island, whei*e they at once arranged 
the railway embankment for defence, barricaded the highway 
bridge over the Little Rhine, and established connexion on the 
right with the Prussian advanced troops in the north comer of 
the island, and on the left with a post of the Baden Division 
at the railwav brid^je over the Little Rhine. 

On the French side this enterprise had at fii-st I'emained 
unobserved ; but at day break on tlie 15 th »September the artillery- 
of the forti-ess oi)ene(l a vigorous fire u]>on the Sporen Island, which 
was speedily overwhelmed with inqjectiles of ever}- description. 
At 3.30 p.m. lavi^Q detachments of tlie enemy advance<l over the 
Little Rhine towaids the highway bridge. The Baden troops ])osted 
there had to retii'e to the railway embankment, behind which the 
3rd company of the Cth Regiment kept uj) a musketiy fire. 
The adversary deployed two companies, and was just prepai'ing for 
the assault^ when he was suddeidy attacked on the left flank bj- 
the 3rd companj- of the Stendal Landwehi* battalion,! which 
Ca])tain Jaenicke had brought up from the northern bridge-head 
towai'ds tlie musketiy file. The Fi-ench infantiy now retired in 
disorder across the bridge, where the Geimans once moi*e took 
up their jx)sition after comj)aratively sliglit loss. 

In order to afford supj)Oit to the troops on tlie S]>oren Island, 
an earthwork had lx?en thi-own up in front of tlie destroyed 
lailway bridge over the main stream ; a covered gun emplace- 
ment near Battorv No. 4 was, if necessaiv, to aftbnl a fiankiiiu 
defence to the bridire-head from the riirht l>ank of the Rhint*. 
But after a second attemja made )»y the enemy on the 17th 
September for its reca])tuie hatl been likewise repulsed, there 
was no further collision of impoitance on this island. It is true 
that it was l)ombarded for several davs from the citadel ; but on 
the 21st Septemlx^r the batteries of attack on both sides of tlu' 
Rhine produced so overvvhehniiig an etiect ui)on the Frencli 
artillery, that the activity of the latter was considerably cui - 

* As it was not possible to observe the effect of the tire from the low-iyin«r batterie> 
behind the river embankments, they were brought into telegraphic commimicatioi 
with a post on the tower at Kehl. 

t l<rom the outposts on the Uobertsa;:. 


tailed and it was not imtil towards the end of the siege that their 
fire became more brisk. 

In the ground to the south of the fortress, the Baden posts, 
after takmg up their advanced positions at Neudorf and at 
Schachen Hfill, had come into frequent collision with detach- 
ments of the enemy, which advanced from the foriaress, but 
were on each occasicm driven back behind the glacis. The Baden 
company at Neudorf had occupied the Linzen-Eopf on the 31st 
August, and on the 7th September had seized two boats pro- 
ceeding down the Rhine from Breisach to Strassburg with a 
cargo of 36,000 fuses. In order to give a firmer appui to the 
right flank of the outposts on this stream, another company had 
been pushed forward on the 4th September to the Polygon. 

In consequence of information received on the 5th September 
from the headquarters at Mundolsheim that a sortie on tiie part 
of the enemy in the direction of the south front of investment 
appeared to be impending, the road embankments in that section 
of the ground were barri<»ded, and some emplacements for artil- 
lery were thrown up for the purpose of sweeping the roads 
leading from the fortresa The Baden patrols, however, only met 
with small French detachments ; preparations for a sortie on a 
laiffe scale were nowhere to be seen. 

On the night of the llth-12th September the entire south line 
of investment was pushed nearer to the fortress. Stroxig detach- 
ments of infSmtry entrenched themselves along the raihray em- 
bankment ; Schachen Mill was prepared for defence, and for the 
support of this post a company was moved to Weghausel. On 
the following night the pickets at Neudorf also advanced, whilst 
another detachment on the extreme right wing established itself in 
the neighbourhood of the railway bridge over the Little Rhine.* 

The enemy, who in consequence of these measures had on the 
12th directed a vigorous fire of artiUery and musketry upon the 
Baden riflemen in front of the Hospital Gate, advanced fix>m 
the fortress with two battalions and a battery on the afternoon 
of the 13th, drove in the Baden patrols upon their pickets, and 
gained possession of the railway embankment. Early on the 
14th the adversary again abandoned these positions, but the 
Baden advanced troops were so overwhelmed with sheUs, that 
they were forced to evacuate temporarily some of their advanced 
posts. In the belief that the long-expected sortie was in pre- 
paration. General v. Werder sent the Ist battalion 2nd Baden 
B^^iment with two batteries to lUkirch, the detachments at 
XJrmatt and Liitzelhausen to Mutzig, Obemai, and Erstein, for 
the purpose, if necessary, of affording support on the south front of 
investment, which at this time had been materially weakened by 
the despatdi of troops to Upper Alsaccf 

In the dajrs following the 14th September the heavy field 
batteries of the Baden Division, from various positions and ap- 
parently not without success, threw incendiary shells upon the 

* See Put IL p. 80. t See sabeequent namtiTe. 

39515. F 


shelters at the south rampart of the fortress, upon the forage 
magazine at that point, and the artillery barrack near the 
AusterUtz Gbte. 

On the evening of the 25th the French once moi^ occupied the 
railway embankment east of Neudoif ; detachments of the 8th 
and 12th companies of the Baden Bodyguard Regiment, how- 
ever, at once advanced to the attack, captured at the first rush a 
signalman's hut which the adversary was occupying, and drove 
him back to tlie fortress. Several houses used by the French 
as watchposts were burnt down on this occasion. 

The field bridge hitherto existing over the Rhine at Rheinau 
having been removed this day to the neighbourhood of Plobsheim. 
tlie Altwasser was also bridged on the 26th in the neighbourhood 
of the latter village. 

During tlie j)rogress of the siege of Strassburg thus far described, 
the occurrences in rear of the line of investment had rendered 
necessary a constant sliow of troops towards the south and west. 
In consequence of intelligence received of the reappearance 
of French troops in Upper Alsace, which were even reported to 
havo entered German tenitoiy at Bellingcn, two companies of 
the Gtli Baden Regiment, a division of dragoons, and fom* guns 
had ah-eady proceeded by rail on the 31st August by order of 
General v. Werder from Kehl to the Breisgau.* 

When tliis detachment reached Mullheini in the evening it 
found the neaiest passages of the Rhine already occupied by the 
2nd battalion of tlie above-named regiment, which had been con- 
veyed to that place from Rastatt by order from the Baden Ministiy 
of War. But as it turned out that some French Gardes Mobiles 
had only destroyed the telegraph at Bellingen, the troops &om 
Kehl were at once sent back by rail to that place, where they 
arrived on tlie night of the lst-2nd September. The battalion 
irom Rastatt on the other hand remained at Miillheim under the 
orders of Colonel Bauer, who was charged with the duty of pro- 
tecting the Oberland. This officer on tifie 7th September brought 
up the depot of the 5th Regiment from Freiburg ; four guns of 
the 4th depot light battery were also assigned to him. 

Meanwhile the report had gained ground that 5,000 franc- 
tireurs were marching from Lyons to tJie Rhine, for the purpose, 
in conjunction with some Miihlhausen workmen out of employ, 
of making a \Tndictive raid upon South Baden. The people of 
that country were consequently in great consternation ; but as 
the officers sent by General v. Werder to Mullheim reported that 
there was no reason for fearing that the enemy would cross the 
Rhine, the measures hitherto in force remained unaltered. The 
Baden patrols and guns at Mullheim exchanged shots here and 
again with some detachments which showed themselves on the 
opposite bank, but no serious collision took place 

* To replace these troops two companies of the Bromberg: Landwehr battftlion 
and ^ Bqnadron 2nd Reserve Dragoons at Auenheim were tranaferred to the right 
bank of the Khine. 


The gamBon of Schlettstadt had remained totally inactive against 
the Baden. troops posted between Benteld and Booftzheini,* 

On the 31st August (General La Roche with two battalions^ 
nine squadrons, two batteries, and a detachment of pioneers had 
advanced from Benfeld past the east of Schlettstadt to Marckol- 
sheim, for the purpose of collecting provisions and forage in that 
neighbourhood, as also of destro3riiig the telegraph to Colmar and 
the railway bridge at Guemar. After carrying out these opera- 
tions the troops returned to Benfeld; only the patrols which 
had advanced close up to the glacis of Schlettstadt had been 
fired upon by artillery and musketry. 

Although all iimiours as to impending incursions of the 
enemy's troops into German territory had thus proved to be 
groundless^ still it was clearly manifest from the information 
received at the headquarters of His Majesty the King fcom 
various sides that the arming of the Frendi nation was steadily 
on the increase. In consequence of this telegraphic instructions 
were sent on the 9th September to General v. Werder to disarm 
Upper Alsace with Hying columns, and put a check upon these 

For tlujB purpose 4 battalions, 8^ squadrons, and 3 bat- 
teries of the Baden Division,t a detachment of pioneers with 
a light field bridge train, and the small body of troops at Mlill- 
heim, were placed under the orders of Major General Keller. 
That officer received instructions to march to Colmar, and if 
necessary to Mtilhausen, and by means of three squadrons of the 
2nd Beserve Hussars also under his orders, which were to reach 
Schlettstadt on the 12th September, to maint>ain his connection 
with the south line of investment before Strassburg. In order 
not to weaken the latter too much, the 2nd battalion of the Baden 
Body Guard Regiment was brought across the Breusch to Geis- 
polsheim ; the immediate protection of the rear of this part of the 
besieging army was taken over by the remainder of the cavalry, 
togetiber with the squadrons of hussars marching on Schlettstadt. 

Whilst the troops intended for Upper Alsace were assembling 
on the 11th September at Benfeld and Booftzheim, patrols fix)m the 
Baden post at Gertweiler^ were attacked on the morning of this 
day by about 200 Franctireurs and Gardes Mobiles at Bemards- 
weiler, and were driven back, not without loss> fix)m the eastern- 
most spur of the Yosges into the plain. According to the statements 
of the inhabitants 400 Franctireurs had entered Dambach, and 
about 10,000 were on the march fix)m Colmar. From the detach- 
ments which General Keller had pushed forward on the 12th 
S^tember to Beroardsweiler and Dambach, it was, however, 
learnt for certain that the enemy had meanwhile withdrawn from 
that place to Schlettstadt. Leaving merely a few detachments 

* See Fart I. Vol. II., pp. 448, 455. 

t bih Baden fiegimeiit, fdaiUer battalion 6th Baden Regiment, two iqitadrons Ist 
Body Guard DrigoouB, three and a half sqnadroni of Uie ind, three of the Srd 
Dragoons, ist and 8nd light batteries, and a battery of horse artillery. 

t See Part L Vol. IL, p. 455. 

F 2 


for the protection of the line of communication,^ the General 
now commenced his further movement southward on the 13th 
September, and on that day reached Marckolsheim with his main 
body, Artzenheim and Jebsheim with the advanced guard.f The 
advance of a patrol of dragoons in the direction of Neu Breisach, 
which was &*ed upon on its return and attacked by hostile 
chasseurs, led in the latter part of the afternoon to a slight cavalry 
mel^ at the Bois de Euenheim, and subsequently to a skirmish 
between the Baden advanced guard companies and some French 
detachments of infSmtry posted in this wood.t 

On the 14th September the main body continued its march 
along the direct road from Marckolsheim to Horburg, the ad- 
vanced guard by the road through Euenheim and Andolsheim. 
A left flank detachment dispatched towards Neu Breiaach, con- 
sisting of the 4th squadron 2nd Dragoons and a detachment of 
the 5th Regiment mounted in wagons, met at 8 a.m. in the 
neighbourhood of Euenheim some 50 franctireurs, who were 
speedily dispersed. The detachment was subsequently fired 
upon with briskness from the village of Biesheim, occupied 
by about 250 men, but the village was captured at the first 
onset. The retreating adversary'' was attacked in flank by a 
division of dragoons which rode round by the west of the village, 
and was thrown back in complete disorder upon Neu Breisach 
and Fort Mortier with a loss of 38 men. 

The advanced guard had meanwhile reached Widensohlen, 
without meeting the enemy, whilst the head of the main body 
found the bridge over the 111 west of Horburg occupied by some 
300 Franctireurs. The latter were, however, driven from theii* 
position after a short onslaught of the 10th and 11th companies 
6th Regiment, supported by the 1st hght batterj% and forced 
back through Colmar to the moimtains. 

The Baden troops now occupied close quarters in Horburg and 
Oolmar, where the inhabitants appeared to be very peaceable. 
The collection of food, the confiscation of arms and treasure pro- 
ceeded without resistance, the railway to Miilhausen was rendered 
impassable, and the telegraphic commimication destroyed. From 
I'eports received, it turned out that the partisan corps which had 
l)een defeated at Horburg: had fousfht in the action at Bernards- 
weiler on the 11th; on the whole, only some 1,500 men had 
entered Upper Alsace from Lyons and Paris. 

On the 15th September General Keller reached Ejisisheim 
with his troops, whilst Colonel Bauer, in accordance with instruc- 
tions sent to him at Mullheim, crossed the Rhine at Chalampe 

* A detachment of the 5th Regiment at the Rheinau bridge, ?— and ^^* 

6 Ist Dragoons 

at Gertweiler, -— - in support of the hussars before Schlettstadt, a squadron of the 

drd Dragoons to furnish the post relays. 

t Fusilier battalion 5th Regiment, and three and a half squadrons of the Snd 

X On this occasion the German losses amounted to 11 men, 19 horses ; the French 
it is said lost 20 meu. 


and advanced in the direction of Bantzenheim. On the following 
morning both commanders continued their march to Mulhansen, 
where according to report a hostile corps of about 30,000 men 
had arrived. The Baden troops, without meeting with any 
resistance, meanwhile entered the populous town, which was 
occupied by several battalions and squadrons. 

As the French had taken steps in time to remove all arms, 
money, and railway material to Belfort, there was but a 
veiy small store of these articles at Mulhausen. The Baden 
General subsequently caused the railway to Belfort and the 
railway bridge over the 111 to be destroyed; a rising of 
French convicts at Ensisheim was speedily suppressed on the 
evening of the 16th with the aid of a detachment of infantry 
and diagoons despatched thither from Mulhausen. 

By order of General v. Werder the troops in Upper Alsace 
commenced their return march northward at noon on the 17th. 
General Keller arrived in the neighbourhood of Benfeld on the 
20th ; Colonel Bauer who had reached his original position at 
Mflllheim by way of Chalamp^ and had there received orders 
to despatch the 6th and 7th companies 6th Regiment to Eehl, 
entered that town with them on the 20th.* 

Although no determined resistance had been met with during 
this reconnaissance, still South Alsace remained insecure for 
small German detadunents. The cavalry patrols were constantly 
fired upon by civilians ; the post-relajrs office at Muntzenheim 
was attacked by a detadimient from Neu Breisach. 

In the Vosges also the arming of the population again 
appeared to be in fiill progress. Bands of franctireurs, in bodies 
of 50 to 100 men, stated to be the advanced troops of the 
Gardes Mobiles concentrating at Schlettstadt and St. Di^, crossed 
more than once the crest of the mountain, or made incursions 
along its western slopes. A detachment of the 4th Baden Regi- 
ment reconnoitring in the valley of the Upper Breusch came into 
collision with one of these bands at Rothan on the loth September, 
repulsed it, and pursued it as far as St. Blaise. 

In order to cover towards that side the railway communica- 
tion of the German Army through the vaUey of the Zom, 
General v. Werder on the 18th September despatched into the 
Vosges a landwehr battalion of the Guard, two divisions of 
Hussars, and two gunsf under Major v. Elem. This flying de- 
tachment reached the neighbourhood of Blamont on the 20th by 
way of Saveme and Saarburg, and pushed forward from Blamont 
in a southerlv direction. After some successful skirmishes with 
franctireurs who had reached Br^m^nil and Celles, three companies 
were set in movement towards this latter place on the 23id. A 
small force moving by way of Pierre Ferc^e met with serious 

* These companies are shown in Appendix UI. as belonging to the detachment at 
that place. 

t 3rd battalion 2nd Landwehr Grenadiers of the Guard, two divisions of the 2nd 
Resenre Hussars, and two guns of the reserve light batterj of the Guard. 


resistance at CeUes, but drove the enemy from his foremost ]X>Bi- 
tions : beins: met, however, bv a battalion of Qarde Mobile and 
two companies of franctireurs, it withdrew skirmishing to Badon- 
viller. During another reconnaissance through Bacoarat, made 
on the 27th September in conjunction with two Saxon Etappen 
com]mnies and a detachment of the 2nd Reserve Lancei-s, a 
long skirmish occurred at Raon TEtape with a far superior 
lx)dy of French infantrj- ; but even on this occasion the Germans 
were able to effect their retreat without molestation. 

In order to establish connexion with this same flying detach- 
ment General v. Werder had assembled a mixed detachment of 
the Baden Division* at Mutzig on the 21st September. The 
outposts of the fith company oth Regiment, intended for the 
occupation of this viUage, were briskly fired upon on the morning 
of the 22nd by about 400 fractireurs who had ensconced them- 
selves in the vineyaixls east of Dinsheim, but were driven by 
this company towards Flexburg after a protracted struggle. 
The remaining troops led by Major Held, advanced along the 
Breusch valley, repulsed a French detachment at Heiligenberg, 
and reached Schirmeck in the evening, from which place they 
were, however, withdrawn to Mutzig on the following day. 

Fresh reports of the advance of French forces to the relief of 
Strassburg from Belfort had induced General v. Werder to draw 
nearer to himself those paii;s of the Baden Division which had 
been detached on special services. The 1st Brigade took over the 
occupation of the south line of investment, the 3rd the duties in 
the trenches, and the protection of the batteries at Konigshoffen. 
As a protection against any attack from without, a strong 
mixed body of troops was posted between Rosheim, Niedemai, 
and Erstein, which on the 25th September pushed forward a 
flying column to Ebersheim, and from thence sent small detach- 
ments to make incursions towards Schlettstadt and into the 
Vosges. Between Mutzig and Hangenbieten Prussian troops of 
all arms were ready to support the Baden Division.f With the 
exception that the arming of the population was extending, the 
above-mentioned intelligence proved on this occasion to ]ye also 
devoid of foundation. 

Occupation of Meanwhile the attack upon Strassburg had made considerable 

Lunettes Nos. procrress sincc the 18th September, 

xi^'^x'^oTk^ During the construction of the approaches for the crowning of 

of attack. the glacis. Battery No. 8, originally containing mortars, was 

* — ^ and — , one ttquadrou 3rd Dragoons, one division 4th light battel^*. 
4 5 

t iBt Combined Brigade (Major-Generoi v. Degenfeld) : 1st Body Guard Grenadiers, 
fusilier battalion 6th Kegimcnt, two squadrons 3rd Dragoons, and three batteries. 

3rd Combined Brigade (Major-Gcneral Keller): 3rd, 4th, and 5th Regiments, one 
squadron 3rd Dragoons, and four batteries of the Corps Artillery. 

Troops between Koshcim and Erstein (Migor-Greneralv. La Roche) : 2nd Grenadiers, 
1st and 2nd Dragoons, 1st light battery, and a battery of horse artillery. 

Prussian troops between Muuig and Hangenbieten (Major^General Krug v. Kidda) : 
l$t Landwehr Grenadiers of the Guard. 2ud Reserve Dragoons, 2nd Reserve Hussars, 
seven batteries of the Guard Landwehr Division and of the 1st Reserve Division. 


airanged as a breaching battery, which under the superintendence 
of Captain Miiller was to batter the eastern revetment of Lunette 
No. 53. A thousand shells having been fired since the 14th 
September against this part of the work, a practicable breach 
was apparent as early as the iTth."^ In order to engage the 
French artillery firing now and again from this part of the front 
of attack, and in the flanking works, were employed for the 
most part the guns of Battery No. 44, which were pushed forward 
here and there from their position.. 

Shortly after the glacas was crowned, the works for the 
passage of the ditch in front of Limettes Nos. 52 and 53 were 
also commenced. Part of the ditch wall opposite Lunette 
No. 53,' having been brought down for a breadth of 12 feet 
to the water level by two mines on the evening of the 19th 
September, a dam of earth and fiascines was plaioed across the 
ditch on the following day, the assailant endeavouring to cover 
himself in front and on the left side with an earth screen from 
the enemy's fire.t About noon Major Bayer, of the Engineers, 
who was directing these works, sent some pioneers and in&ntry 
soldiers across in a boat to the breach, for the purpose of 
making the latter perfectly practicable by bringing down the 
earth and pieces of wall, and at the same time to expedite the 
construction of the dam from the opposite edge of the (Utch. 

Although the vigorous infieuitry fire from the fortress brought 
down part of the covering screen of sandbags and interrupted 
the work for a time, still by 4 p.m. the dam was successfully 
completed. Lieutenant Frobenius of the Engineers had just 
ascended the breach, and found the limette abandoned by the 
enemy.{ A detachment of the 10th company 2nd Landwehr 
Begiment of the Guard at once dashed into the work and spiked 
the six guns which had been left therein ; in addition to these 
there were several filled powder barrels and cases containing 
small*arm ammunition. T^e occupation of the lunette was taken 
over in the evening by a company of the 34th Begiment and a 
company of pioneers, which under the musketry fire of the French 
threw up the most necessaxy cover. The gorge was dosed by 
means of the common sap, and brought into connexion with the 
dam over the ditch and the breach by underground passages. 

* Cnrred fire, here emplojed for the fint time, was used from four short 15 cm. 
gans betireen 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The effect was obserred after the occupation of the 
mining galleries (see Part II., p. 75) from the entrances to the latter. A mass of 
earth still standing was to be brought down bj Battery No. 42 shortly beibre the 
storming. It tamed oat subseqaently that the coonterforts were still standing 
behind the wall which had been brought down in masses four or five feet high. 
There was, howeyer, so much earth and debris that the breach could be considered 

t There were here at work the 1st fortress pioneer company VllXth Anny Corps, 
the Baden fortress pioneer company, and some men of the Kottbus landwehr battalion 
of the Guard. Captain Kirchgessner of the Baden £ngineei8 was on this occasion 
mortally wounded. 

X In consequence of the successful breach General Uhrich had giren orders on the 
evening of the 16th for the lunette to be abandoned, and for the coTered oommnniea- 
tions leading to the enceinte to be destroyed. 


For the protection of the breach a cutting was made in the 
exterior slope of the parapet, provided with a banquette and sand- 
bag loopholes. 

The works of attack upon Limettc No. 52, which was con- 
structed entirely of earth, had by the evening of the 19th 
September reached the nearest edge of the ditch. But as the 
still effective fortress guns in Lunette No. 54, and in the coun- 
terguard before Bastion No. 12, played with vigour upon the 
left flank of the working party and maintained a fire upon tlit* 
ditch, eai'th sci'eens had to be thrown up, which, being subse- 
quently roofed with railway iron, afforded .sufficient protection 
against the bursting shells. 

In order to engage fortress guns and to shell the interior 
of the outworks, counter-batteiy* No. 51 was [thrown up on the 
night of the 19th-20th September, and on the following night 
moi-tar batteiy No. 49, both in the crowning of the glacis.f A^ 
the foimation of a fascine dam aci^oss the wet ditch, some GO metres 
broad and C to 9 feet deep, in front of Lunette No. 52, woul«l 
have rcquiied considerable time, the pas.sage was to be effected 
In' means of a cask bridge, for the construction of which a large 
number of beer barrels found in Schiltigheim afforded a suitabl* • 

Non-commis.«5ionod officer Fi-eitag of the jiioneersj havini^ 
swam the ditch on the morning of the 21st and measured 
its breadth, the bridging was commenced at nightfall§ and 
finished at 10 p.m. under cover of a jilank screen, which it 
is tnie prevented the opemtion from being seen, but gave very 
imperfect protection against the flanking fire. Captain Roese 
of the Engineei-s then proceeded acrass the bridge with some 
pioneei-s and found Lunette No. 52 likewise evacuated. It was 
now occupied bj' a company of the 34th Regiment, a pioneer 
company, and a few artillerjinen. The seven guns left behind 
in the work had been spiked by the enemy ; mines had not been 
fonned, nor also in Lunette No. 53. The pioneei>5 at once 
entrenched the gorge, taking advantage of the paling still exist- 
in<r there ; a covered communication with the cask bridije was 
thrown \\\) by saj). 

These works executed as ((uietly as ]>ossible had at first ]>ro- 
ceeded imobsorved. But when a company of tlie 1st Landwehr 
Regiment of the Guard coming \\]) as reinforcements crossed 
the ditch, the noise occasioned therel>v attracted the attention 
of the defender, who now directed an effective fire uj>on the 
cask bridge from the nearest works to the eastward. The 
detachments abeady in the lunette and protected by the paling 

* A counter (Kotttre) batter v is one intcodcd to silence flanking fruns, e.g. those 
sweeping the ditch in front of a breach. Thev are also effective against sorties 
passing drv ditches.— Tr. 

t Battery Xo. 51 received four 9 cm. puns, Battery No. 49 six 15 cm. mortars. 

I Of the* 1st fonress pioneer company Vlth Army Corps. 

§ By the 1st fortress pioneer company 1st Army Corps. 

' Oil the evtiiiiicr of the 20th ^^eptenlber it was still occupied by French infantry. 


sustained it is true but little loss ; bat the working parties at the 
Growningand at the exterior slope of the ditoh were considerably 
harassed by the enemy's unremitting fire. The total loss of the 
Gennans amounted this night to 49 killed and wounded ; amongst 
the former was Major v. Quitzow of the Prussian Engineers. 

At 5 a.m. on the 22nd September the works had so £eur ad- 
vanced that with the aid of several boats some light mortars 
could be transported to Lunette No. 52, and these opened fire 
from thence upon the fortress. As early as 8 a.m. the defender's 
artillery fire had in general become silent; it was only with 
great efforts on the part of the siege artillery that Lunette 
No. 54 was reduced to silence later in the day. The musketry 
fire of the French upon Lunette No. 52 likewise continued 
without cessation, but did not even cause any temporary sus- 
pension in the works of attack. 

As the cask bridge was repeatedly struck by shell, and in 
spite of all the repairs formed a precarious means of communica- 
tion, an embankment was constructed with the assistance of a 
large force of workmen, and opened for use on the 25th Sep* 
tember, the cask bridge having been meanwhile sunk. 

From the reports of the engineer officers who by repeated 
recomuussances^ had determined the position, nature, and com- 
munications of the works next coming into consideration, it 
transpired that the earthen caponier behind Lunette No. 68 
did not lend itself to the construction of trenches on account of 
its slight breadth and low situation. It had been therefore 
determined to advance against the salient of CounteiguardNo. 51 
along the double caponier behind Lunette No. 52. As imder 
these circumstances increased cover appeared desirable for the 
troops intended for the assault of the enceinte, the crowning was 
exteoided as fiur as the front of Limette No. 54, and from this 
new left wing a covered communication was subsequently driven 
towards the third parallel, which communication crossed tiie inter- 
vening ditch by a fascine dam at its narrowest point. An attack 
upon the last-named lunette was only contempUted in the event 
of the siege artillery not succeeding, contrary to expectation, in 
completely overpowering the works on the right flank of the 
front of attack. 

The advance from Lunette No. 52 having been commenced on 
the night of the 22nd-23rd September, partly with the flying sap 
and partly with the deep sap, the crowning of the glads in 
front of Counterguard No. 51 followed on the night of the 
24th-25th ; the working party fired upon in the 1^ fiank as 
before, and taken also in rear fix)m Bastion No. 49, suffered some 

* Captain-Ledeboor had reached the basin behind Lunettes Nos. 53 and 6S, by 

f The following took part in the works : the Ist fortress pioneer company Vlth 
Army Corps and the Baden fortress pioneer company. Amongst the woonded was 
the oft*mentioned Captain Ledebour, who saocombed to his wounds in October. 


After oocapying the two lunettes the edege artillery had also 
made further preparation for the attack upon the enceinte. In 
Lunette No. 53 was constructed Battery No. 56, while in Lunette 
No 52, in addition to the mortars previously placed there, 
Battery No. 57 was formed.* These two batteries were to 
batter the ravelins and counterguards of the front of attack, 
whilst Battery No. 47 constructed in the crowning in front 
of Lunette No. 54t was to operate against the counterguard and 
Bastion No. 12. The heavy mortars were in general advanced to 
the second parallel, and in addition two new mortar batteries, 
Nos. 50 and 59, were erected. Five new direct} batteries and coun* 
ter batteries, Nos. 55, 52, 53, 54, and 60, which for the most part 
were in fix)nt line, took as their mark the front of attack and its 
flanking works, the lighter guns directing their fire almost ex- 
clusively upon the French riflemen posted behind sandbag loop- 
holes and similar cover.§ The siege batteries further to the rear 
for the most part ceased firing. || 

Under the successful fire of the new batteries the breaching of 
the east side of bastion No. 11 and the w^st side of bastion 
No. 12 commenced simultaneously, in accordance with detailed 
instiiictions from Captain MiiUcr. Against the former mark 
Battery No. 42 at the St. Helena cemetery had been firing since 
the morning of the 23rd, against the latter object since the 
morning of the 24th a newly constructed battery, No. 58.f 

The aiming at Bastion No. 11 was considerably facilitated by 
the circumstance that a strip of the wall upwards of 4 feet in 
breadth was visible from the breaching battery. In the bursting 
of the first shells stones and splinters in large masses were hurled 
against the counterguard in front, which was abandoned ia all 
haste by the French riflemen. As early as the noon of the 24th, 
after some 600 rounds, the masonry was destroyed at the place 
selected as the mark ; the bringing down of the mass of earth 
still standing in rear of the opening was deferred until the 
commencement of the assault. 

More difficult, however, was the breaching of Bastion No. 
12 ; as the latter could not be seen from Battery No. 58, the 
observation of the effect had to be made from Lunette No. 53, 

* Battery No. 5G, built in the niirht of the 23rd-24th September, was armed 
with the guns of battery No. 49 ; Battery No. 57 was equipped with four 15 cm. 

f This battery was called 47a. 

X A direct {Jjemontir) batter^' is one constructed at right angles to the prolongation 
of a line through the embrasure or the axis of the gun or guns in the battery which 
has to be engaged. — Tr. 
§ Battery No. 50 for two 23 cm. mortars. 
„ 59 for six 28 cm. „ 

Direct battery No. 55 four 12 cm. guns. 

„ „ 52 two 9 „ 

Counter battery No. 53 two 9 „ 
» n 54 two 9 „ 

Direct batterj- No. 60 three 9 „ 
|l Mortar batteries Nos. 31, 32, 34, 36, 40, 7a, and 8a, gun batteries Nos. 22 and 29. 
% With regard to Battery No. 42, see Part U. p. 77; Battery No. 58 received four 
short cm. guns. 


whence paii of the upper moulding of the wall was expeeed to 
view. ITnder these difficult cizcumstanoes it was not until- the 
forenoon of the 26th, that a breach 86 feet in breadth was made 
in the walls, 467 long shells having been fired against it* There 
also the bringing down of the mass of earth was not to be* 
attempted until i^ortly before the assault. 

This, however, never took place. 

On the 27th September Qenend Uhiieh reoeived the report The capite- 
&om Colonel Sabatier and Lieut.-Colonel Maritz that the breach ^^^sl 
was practicable, and that Strassburg was consequently in the 
power of the besieger, who possibly on that very evening would 
storm the works. The council of defence, which met in con* 
sequence, were unanimous in their opinion that it was impossible 
to keep troops permanently in the vicinity of the breach to 
repulse the expected assault, owing to the overwhelming power of 
the siege batteries* Any fiirther resistance was not to be thought 
of under such circumstances, and it was imperative to enter into 

On the German side the crowning of the glacis which had 
meanwhile taken place in front of the enceinte had this day been 
extended to the caponier in rear of Lunette No. 58. They were 
just engaged in e^rtending these new trenches when at 5 p.m. a 
white flag was seen to float over the cathedral tower ; shortly 
after, similar signs were visible upon the other churches and 
buildings, and li^y at the northern works. 

The firing gradually ceased on both sides; French troops 
appeared on the parapets of Bastions 11 and 12, and upon the in- 
termediate ravelm, which was still but weakly occupied ; Lunettes 
Nos. 54 and 55 were already entirely abandoned. The Qerman 
troops in the foremost line now likewise quitted their cover, the 
nearest detachments also hurried up, and jojrful songs of victory 
shortly echoed round Strassburg. llie sapping was stopped, but 
the troops were held in readiness in the troches. 

After a delay of a few hours a written communication from the 
governor of Strassburg reached the headquarters of the besieging 
army, in which that officer expressed his readiness to surrender 
the town and the garrison. General v. Werder deputed in con- 
sequence Lieutenant-Colonel v. Leszczynski, the chief of the 
general staff, to conduct the negotiations, which took place on 
the night of the 27th-28th September at Konigshoffen, and 
at 2 a.m. led to the conclusion of a capitulation. 

The French troops of the line and the Garde Mobile, numbering 

* It turned out later that in rear of the breach there were also masonry arches. 
It may, howeyer, be assumed that on resuming fire the hitter would be brought down 
with &e superincumbent mass of earth, and this would not hare influenced the pmeti- 
caUlity of the breach. 

t The council of defence bases the surrender of the fortress on the &ct that the power 
of redstanee had reached its last limit and the artillerj was placed hors de ecmbaiy that 
the ramparts and the roads at their foot were overwhelmed with projectiles fired with 
an accuracy hitherto unexpected, and therefore all troops there assembled for repelling 
the assanlt must have been killed before the commencement of the struggle. The 
assailant would have reaohed the ninparts without firing a shot and without meeting 
with any resistanoe. 


nearly 500 officers and officials, upwards of 17,000 non-commis- 
sioned officers and men, were declared prisoners of war ; as regards 
the officers the special favours conferred at the capitulation of 
Sedan were in this instance accorded. The franctireurs and the 
national guards, consisting merely of citizens of Strassburg, were 
to surrender their arms, and on giving their promise not to fight 
any more in this war against Germany, to receive their liberty. 
With the town and fortress passed also into the victor's hands 
the bullion of the Oovemment bank, some 1,200 guns, 800 
carriages^ upwards of 200,000 stands of arms, considerable stores 
of ammunition, and other rich booty.* 

In accordance with the agreement made by the respective 
plenipotentiaries, two German companies occupied at 8 ajn. on 
the 28th September the Fisher s Gate and the National Gate, 
two others the Austerlitz Gate. At 11 a.m. the Grand Duke of 
Baden arrived at the glacis in front of the National Gate, where 
the chief leaders and representatives of all the troops of the 
besieging army had already assembled. 

The French garrison now marched out of Strassburg ; at their 
head were, likewise on foot, Generals Uhrich and Barral, Rear- 
Admu*al Exclmans, and several other officers of rank. The Grand 
Duke and Genei'al v. Werder dismounted from their horses in 
order to meet General Uhrich. The filing past of the prisoners 
of war took place at first in tolerable order, but before long a 
number of drunken soldiers quitted the ranks, and refusing to 
obey their officers, smashed their arms amid great uproar and 
threw them into the ditches of the fortress. 

Whilst in this manner the French garrison marehed out of the 
National Gate, and was then moved off for Rastattf imder escort 
of two battalions and two squadrons, the 30th Eegiment entered 
Strassburg by the Fisher's Gate, the Baden Body Guard Regi- 
ment by the Austerlitz Gate ; the 1st Battalion 6th Baden 
Regiment from the right bank of the Rhine occupied the citadel 
at 2 o'clock. In addition to these troops three landwehr 
battalions, two batteries, five companies of fortress artillery, and 
six pioneer companies were moved into the town, where until 
further notice General v. Mertens assumed the duties of com- 

In the forenoon of the 30th September, General v. Werder 
accompanied by detachments of all arms made his formal entiy 
into the town, which exactly 181) years before had been wi'estctl 
fi'om the Geiman empire ; J the citizens were perfectly peaceabK' 
in their bearing. 

The devastation caused by the fii'e of the siege artillery now 
became apparent to its full extent. The works of the firont of 
attack, especially Bastions Nos. 11 and 12, were transformed into 

* The text of the capitulation is given in Appendix LXIX. 
t On the 28th to a biTOuac at Herrlisheim, on the 29th to liastatt. 
X The French grenerals I^uvois and Montclas on the SOth September 1681 had in 
the middle of peace occupied 8tni<;sburg without striking a blow. 


shapeless masses of earth; the dismounted guns lay buried 
beneath d^ris of every sort The interior of the dtadel, the 
suburb near the Stone Qate, and that portion of the town situated 
in rear of the true front of attack, which to a certain extent 
had formed a shell-trap for the Germans projectiles, was likewise 
almost entirely in ruins ; on the north-west front nothing was to 
be seen in the neighbourhood of the works but gutted ruins. 
The museum and the picture gallery, the town-hall, the theatre, 
the great Finkmatt bairack, the library with 200,000 volumes, the 
new church, the gymnasium, the commandant's office in the Place 
de Eleber, and o&er public buildings, had become a prey to the 
flames ;* the cathedral was damaged in several places. Many 
houses outside the town which were situated in the besieger's 
line of fire had been struck by projectiles, whilst in the western 
streets of Kehl the destructive effects of the shell fire from the 
citadel were plainly seen. The Germans immediately after the 
evacuation of the fortress proceeded to restore the damaged 

The losses of the French garrison during the siege amounted 
to 2,500 men, or inclusive of the inhabitants killed and wounded 
4,300 persons in alL The besieging army had sustained a total 
loss of 39 officers, 894 men.t 

In consequence of information which had meanwhile arrived 
from the royal headquarters^ that the 1st Reserve Division would 
probably remain at Strassburg, while the rest of the Siege Corps 
would receive another destination, that Division had taken over 
the occupation of the fortress and took up its quarters in the 
adjoining localities. The Baden Division, which wajs now also 
rejoined by the 1st battalion 6th Regiment,^ was housed in the 
southern border of the town ; the Landwehr Division of the 
Guard occupied the villages between the Ober-Hausbergen road 
and the Paris railway. 

On the 30th September His Majesty the King ordered all the 
troops of the Siege Corps, which had become available after the 
capture of Strassburg, to be formed into a XIYth Army Corps, 
to the command of which General v. Werder, now General of 
InfiBmtry,§ was appointed. He received orders to send forward 
the Guard Landwehr Division in the direction of Paris by the 
line of rail which had become open aft;er the fall of Touj^ and 
with the rest of the corps, viz., the Baden Field Division, the 
30th and 34th Prussian Regiments, the two regiments of Reserve 
Light Cavalry,! and three batteries of the 1st Reserve Division, 
to commence his march towards the Upper Seine upon ChAtillon 

* 448 bnildingii insidA Stnnbarg were completely destrojed. Inelnsiye of the 
iohabitants of the neighbouriiood who had taken refage in the town, there were on 
the S7th September 10,000 homeless persons. 

t See Ai^endix LXX. 

I Belonging hitherto to the detachment at Kehl ; ^ Jw - ^ — retomed to Rastatt. 
"^ 6th Baden 

5 Promoted to this rank on 87th September. 
Tlie two in&ntrj regiments formed as before a combined brigade. The Snd 
Reserye Hnssais with the Snd Resenre Dragoons formed a combined csTsIrj brigade. 


and Troyes. The 1st Reserve Division, thus consisting of two 
Pomeranian Landwehr Brigades, the 2nd Reserve Lancei*s, and 
three batteries, was deputed to remain as garrison in Strassburg. 
All the siege guns was removed to Vendenheim, the fortress 
artillery and the pioneer companies were quartered in Strassbui^g 
and the vicinity, in order to be in i*eadiness for employment 
against other French fortresses. 

About seven weeks after the &st investment by the Baden 
Division, exactly one month after the commencement of the formal 
attack, the great French fortress of the Rhine had opened its gates 
to the besieger, although it was stiU abimdantly provided with 
food and ammunition. 

Exceptionally favoured as it was by circumstances of gi'ound, 
the defence of the place had been unable to hold out until the 
stoi-ming of the breach. 

Tlu' Strassburg garrison, hastilj'^ tlirown together from veiy 
heterogeneous elements, was indeed adequate as regards numbers 
for the extent of the works, but did not possess that inwartl 
cohesion necessary foi* dealing vigorous and far-reaching blows 
ujion the assailant's positions. The defence was therefore limited 
almost exclusively to the immediate range of the works, but owing 
to the palpable negligence of all measures for strcngthening the 
probable front of attack, was not even once capable of delaying 
to any extent the assailant's progi^ess. It shortly turned out 
also that the guns of the fortress, although present in sufficient 
numbers, were far from being able to cope with the breech- 
loading artillery employed by the Germans. Under the powerful 
effect of the latter the want of bombproof accommodation in 
the town and fortress became the more felt. In consequence of 
the frequent conflagrations much defensive material was lost, and 
the attempt to replenish it from without was defeated by the 
watchfulness of the besieger. 

In contrast to the defenders purely defensive attitude an 
energetic endeavour was apparent from the verj'- commencement 
on the part of the Germans to gain possession as soon as possible 
of the important fortress. The method of attack which under 
certain circumstances would achieve its object in the shortest 
maimer was first employed, but at the same time eveiy necessary 
preparation was made for proceeding at once to a regular siege in 
the event of failure. During the latter, the works of approach 
were steadily pushed on; when mistakes or deficiencies had 
appeared, or fresh resolutions had to be taken into account, im- 
provements were adopted without delay, but never postponed or 
neglected. Nearly every day the adversary made some advance 
or added considerable strength to his trenches. It was likewise 
with a view to attaining the object with the least possible 
delay that the last attack was directed only upon a single bastion 


whikt the siege artillery successfully fought the adjacent fronts 
and formed a breach in the enceinte almost simultaneously in 
two places. 

It is true that these gaps in the masonry were still protected 
from a direct penetration on the part of the assailant by two 
deep wet ditches ; stiU the latter in all probability would in a 
few days have made himself master of the place by force. As 
no further help could be expected from without, the French 
council of war considered it imperative, owing to the discourage- 
ment and tendency to mutiny prevailing in the town, to antici- 
pate the impending assault by surrendering the fortress. 

The almost simultaneous &11 of Toul and Strassburg thus led 
in the last week of September to no inconsiderable change in 
the general miUtary situation. The terminus of the raUway 
communication between the Qerman Army before Paris and 
home territory was now advanced westward to a considerable 
distance beyond the former fortress. But by the capture of 
Strassburg the Germans had planted their foot firmly in northern 
Alsace, and gained an important point of support for the occupa- 
tion of the southern portion of the old Imperial territory. It was 
also at this time, when the German forces were almost entirely 
occupied in their task before Metz and Paris, that it seemed very 
desirable to those in chief command of the army to be able to 
oppose fresh forces to the armed hosts assembling in the interior 
of France at the instigation of the Republican Government. 


Occurrences before Paris and at other Points of the 

Theatre of War in Western France 
until the end of october. 

Events at Paris between the 20th September and the end of 


When the German armies under tlie supreme command of 
Majesty the Kinfif arrived before Paris, the enthusiasm, with 
which the first proceedings of the new .o^;emment were greeted 
by the population, had already given place to feelings of a more 
serious nature. The sight of the troops returning in Lasty flight 
from the action at Ch&tillou and the absolute severance of the 
capital from all communication with the outer world, caused 
a very general discouragement. On the other Land the Radical 
Keform party, who were by no means satisfied with having 
deposed the Empire and were becoming daily more bold in 
their pretensions, had succeeded in exercising a certain in- 
fluence over tlie population and in gaining numerous adherents, 
especially in the suburb of Belleville. 

The issue of the negotiations at Ferrieres produced a sudden 
change in this condition of afiairs. The self-esteem of the French, 
grievously wounded by the demands of the victorious adver- 
saiy, caused for the moment all party diflerences to recede into 
the background and stimulated the original resolution to rally 
with complete devotion round the government in order to resist 
the foreign enemy. 

The governor of Paris had after the unsuccessful enterprises 
against Petit Bic^tre abandoned any further defence of the 
ground in front of the fortress and withdrawn his troops behind 
the outer works. £x^a*s Division had alone remaijied on the 
Yincennes plateau, where it took up defensive positions at Nogent, 
Joinville, and St, Maur, and was subsequently reinforced by 
Cousin's and Bernis' Cavalry Brigades. Under apprehension that 
the Germans would advance along the weakly occupied penin- 
sula of Qennevilliers and then pass by way of Asnieres to the 
assault of the north-west enceinte, General Trochu had appointed 
the 14tii Corps to occupy the space between Billancourt and 
St. Denis. It had been encamped since the 20th September with 
the 1st Division at Clichy la Garenne, with the 2nd at Neuilly, 
with the 3rd between Boulogne and Le Point du Jour; the 
Artillery Reserve with the regiment of mounted Gens d armes was 
at Ssiblonville. A regiment de marche thrown forward to the 
cross roads at Courbevoie* ensured the communication with 
Fort Valerien, which place was held by two line battalions, 

* Bifurcation of tfae road from Xeiiillj to Bezoni aod NanteiTe. 
41648. Wt. 18331. (; 


after the Gardes Mobiles hitherix) employed there had fled in 
complete disorder to Paris in the forenoon of the 20th. The 
foregoing troops posted in front of the we^t side of the capital 
under i£e orders of General Ducrot amounted, inclusive of six 
battalions of the Garde Nationale, to rather more than 30,000 

Maud'huy^s and Blanchard's Divisions of the 13th Corps ap- 
pointed for the protection of the south front occupied camps in 
the outer ring of streets and on the Champ de Mars. Inclusive of 
a Division of the Garde Nationale quartered in the interior of the 
city, which if necessary was to serve General Vinoy as reserve, 
that officer had 42,000 men at his disposal. The defence of the 
north front i^mained confided exclusively to the Garde Mobile 
and Garde Nationale. 

As the Germans did not attempt a coup de main, but on the 
contrary commenced strengthening their own positions by arti- 
ficial means, the French on their part utilised the time thus gained 
in completing the yet unfinished entrenchments and iu drilling 
the raw levies. In the ground to the east of Paris a bridge- 
head was thrown up on the left bank of the Mame at Joinville, 
while a supporting position was formed between Montreuil 
and Bagnolet. In front of the western enceinte numerous 
artillery emplacements sprung up in a short time along the 
margin of the Bois de Boulogne and at the more important pas- 
sages of the Seine. Floating batteries at the south angle of 
Puteaux island and near the destroyed bridge at Billancourt 
commanded the stream as far as Le Point du Jour. The forts 
and advanced batteries supported these defensive arrangements 
by directing a steady fire upon the outposts and nearest quarters 
of the Army of Investment. Patrols and small bodies of French 
troops were unremitting in scouring the environs of the capital. 

On the German side attention was first directed to the 
arrangement on a permanent basis of the positions taken up on 
the 19th September and to carrying into execution the measures 
ordered by the supreme authorities for the protection of the 
line of investment. It was above all a matter of paramount 
importance to ensure the quartering and rationing of the troops 
for a considerable period. 

Of quarters there was no deficiency, as the inhabitants of the 
villages situated within an extensive tract of countiy round Paris 
had fled, leaving for the most part behind them the contents of 
their houses. Consequently as a general rule the outposts alone 
bivouacked ; at many points huts were even built for the 
pickets. As timely support had to be given to the advanced 
troops, the occupation of villages even within range of the fortress 
artillery was unavoidable. 

Great difficulties attended the supply of food to the large 
bodies of troops in such close concentration. In the dajrs 
immediately succeeding the 19th September the whole of the 
requirements of food had to be drawn from the commissariat 


columns, ajs the inhabitants in their flight had driven off nearly 
all their cattle and had for the most part destroyed such stores 
as could not be removed. In the fields smoke was still 
rising at many places from the corn-ricks which the French had 
fired; the well-tilled wine vaults alone appeared to conceal 
inexhaustible suppliea Notwithstanding the circumstance that 
by promising a high scale of payment we succeeded in gi*adually 
bringing to market the provisions still available in the immediate 
neighbourhood, and although the cavalry detachments despatched 
far into the country delivered at times considerable sup- 
pliesy yet in view of the investment being protracted over a 
considerable period the necessity became apparent from the first 
of ensuring the supply of the army by regular transports from 
Germany. For this purpose it was above all things necessary 
that we should have the entire and undivided use of the rearward 
railway lines, on which for some time post the necessaiy 
arrangements had been actively taken in hand.* 

A continuous telegraphic system facilitated communication 
between the beadquiuiers of His Majesty the King, the two 
headquarters of armies, and all the army corps. At con- 
venient points of the line of investment permanent observatories 
were established, in some instances provided with telescopes, 
firom which a constant watch was kept upon the works of the 
fortress and the interior of the capital. Beacons, visible to some 
distance, rendered it possible to assemble the troops under arms 
without loss of time. 

By means of the bridging over the Mame and Seine,t as ordered 
by the royal headquarters, the troops separated by these broad 
streams were in regular communication with one another. The pon- 
toon bridge constructed on the 19th September by the Wurttem- 
berg Division at Qoumay was replaced by a trestle bridge, and the 
passage for infantry at that place which had been destroyed by 
the French was again made practicable ; further up the sti-eam the 
Xllth Corps had formed a pontoon bridge between Lagny and 
Pomponne. The communication across the Seine below Corbeil 
had been maintained since the beginning of October by five 
bridges^ and a ferry at Choisy le Roi. At the latter place the 
bridge blown up by the French had been completely aestroyed, 
and when the river was at its height a chain barricade wob 
placed there for the purpose of preventing the advei*sary invested 
m Paris threatening the points of passage up the stream. A 
pontoon bridge at Les Tanneries and two ferries over the two 

* Details on this point will be giren in the subsequent narrative. 

t See Part II., Vol. I., p. 83. 

i A pontoon bridge of the Wiirttembcrg Division between Orljr and Valenton, a 
pile bridge of the Xlth Corps at the northern issue fh>ni Villenenvo St. Georges, 
which was snbseqnently replaced by a bridge with stronger piers, a pontoon bridge of 
the Vlih Corps nt the latter place and two trestle bridges at Corbeil. At the end of 
October another pile bridge was formed at Villeneuve St Georges above the destroyed 
stone bridge by order of tno commander-in-chief of tho Ilird Army. The pontoon 
bridge between Orlj and Valcutou was carried away by the floods nt this time and 
rephused by a trestle bridge. 

Q 2 


arms of the Seine at Bougival led from the left wing of the 
Yth Army Corps to the Argenteuil peninsula, which as early 
as the 20th September had been patrolled by the Lancer Brigade 
of the Guard and found dear of the enemy. 

On the latter date the whole of the German troops employed 
in front line commenced to fortify the several portions of the 
investing area assigned to them, and to arrange the positions of 
the outposts. 

In the rayon of the Army of the Meuse,* whose headquarters 
remained temporarily at Tremblay, the IVUi Army Corps first 
extended to the right over the Argenteuil peninsula. On the 
2l8t September the Srd battalion 8Gth Regiment established itself 
in the little town last named ; the 4th Rifle battalion^f once more 
brought up from the rayon of the 6th Cavalry Division, occupied 
the villages of Chatou and Bezon, forming at the same time 
connexion with the outposts of the Ilird Army at Croissy, so that 
the French capital was now also completely barred towarda 
the west. Some days lat-er the Lancer Brigade of the Guard 
moved to Houilles for the purpose of further reinforcing this 
wing, but subsequently in conjunction with detachments of the 
IVth Army Corps took over the duties of guarding the rear of 
the array on the Oise4 

Tn order to be within reach of the advanced troops of the 
Guard Corps in the other direction, Pierrefitte was also occupied 
on the 21st September. After that the 1st battalion 27th Regi- 
ment in a brief action with one of the adversary's pickets posted 
behind the railway embankment had succeeded, in spite of the 
brisk artillery fire from the works at St. Denis, in deploying a 
line of posts along the southern border of Pierrefitte, and in the 
direction of Stains, an advance made in the afternoon by the 
French was successfully repulsed. 

On the 23rd September the enemy attacked this new outpost 
position in more considerable force. Under cover of a vigorous fire 
from Forts Double Couronne, and La Briche, the French General 
Bellemare led the 28th Regiment de Marche in a dense line of 
skiraiishers against the left wing of the IVth Army Corps^ 
where was posted this day at Pierrefitte the 2nd battalion 93rd 
Regiment under Captain v. Hagen. The two foremost com- 
panies were dislodged from the southernmost farmsteads, but 
at the issue of the Villetaneuse road received support from the 
oUier parts of the battalion, who brought the French attack 
to a standstill. Meanwhile the 2nd battalion 31st Regiment 
had moved from Montmagny partly against the south angle of 
Pieirefitte ; partly against Villetaneuse, whilst to the west of the 
latter village two companies§ of the 16th Brigade also took part 

* With regard to the positions of this anny on the 19th September, see Turt II., 
Vol. I., p. 38. 

f Sec note, Part II., Vol. I., p. 35. 

% Details of this will be found in the subsequent narratirc. 

§ ?5? and )^S in rear of Pierrefitte stood also in readincnthe ?lBt 
^ S6 96 66 


in the action. When the French thereupon proceeded to 
turn the left flank of the defenders of Pierrefitte, and the latter 
in consequence partly commenced to retire to Montmagny, the 
5th and 8th companies 93rd Regiment, under 1st Lieutenant v. 
Heydwolfl^, and the 6th of the 31st Regiment, under Lieutenant 
Bassin, threw themselves upon the detachments of the enemy 
directly opposed to them ; these now retired at all points to St. 
Denis. A simultaneous attack by the French upon Stains having 
failed against the fire of the 3rd battalion Fusiliers of the Quai*d, 
and the 1st company Guard Rifle battalion, the Divisions of the 
I \rth Army Corps, held in readiness to engage, returned to their 
quarters between 6 and 7 p.m. The Prussians had lost in tliese 
outpost attairs about 100 men killed and wounded ;* the losses 
of the French were about the same. A renewed attempt on the 
part of the latter to press forward in the direction of Pierre- 
fitte on the 26 th September, was defeated by the 9th company 
27th Regiment 

The headquarters of the Quard Corps in accordance with the 
already mentioned order from army headquarters f had on the 
evening of the 19th ordered the occupation of the village of Le 
Bourget. That order was based on the intention to prevent 
the enemy, as far as possible, from gaining a footing in the 
bridge-head on the north bank of the Mollette brook, which was 
so figtvourably placed for sorties against the 2nd Guard Division, 
or to compel him at any rate to a time- wasting deployment within 
range of the German guns. On the morning of the 20th the 
fusilier battalion Queen Elizabeth's Regiment moved from tlie 
north side into the village. After that 400 Gardes Mobiles, 
abandoning their baggage, had quitted it on the south side, the 
Prussian outposts were pushed forward across the brook as 
far as the railway. During the succeeding days the French 
made some feeble attempts to re-occupy the lost post As they 
did not succeed in their object they maintained a rather 
heavy shell fire upon Le Bourget, and the place in conse- 
quence was by order from the headquarters of the Army of the 
Meuse henceforward occupied by only one company. The 1st 
and 3rd Cavalry Brigades of the Guard occupied quarters in the 
neighbourhood of Yillepinte, in order to be near at hand in the 
event of the enemy endeavouring to break out across the broad 

Of the Xllth Army Corps the 24th Division on the left of the 
23rd had occupied the Montfermeil position as far as the Mame ; 
the headquarters had been transferred to Lo Yert Galant. The 
ai*tillery fire directed upon the German outposts from Forts 
Romainville and Rosny had reduced to ashes several farm- 
steads in the villages of La Courneuve, Bobigny, and Bondy. 
In the plain near the latter place, which apparently served the 

* Appendix LXXI. contains details of the losses between the 20th September and 
31st October of all the troops at the disposal of the headquarters of the lUrd and 
Mense Annies. 

t See Part IT., Vol, I., p. 36. 


French for a drill ground, stroog bodies of infantry showed 
themselves almost daily, but their repeated forward movements 
were on each occasion repulsed by the outposts, assisted by two 
guns held in readiness to the south-west of Livry. The Saxon 
Cavalry Division, quartered at Mitry, left on the 26th September 
for other duties on the Oise.* 

The line of outposts of the Army of the Mouse now ran from 
Chatou on the Seine past La Barre, Les Cariiaux, Pierrefitte, 
Stains to Dugny, and then by way of Le Bourget to the Bois de 
Bondy, where it bent away south-east. With the exception of 
the more open space south of the Mor^e brook it was pro- 
tected by shelter trenches, road barricades, and entrenched villages, 
while the western border of the wood last named was barred by 
abattis. On the extreme left wing the front line was less suited 
for defence ; a fortified position between the Ourcq canal and 
the Mamet was to serve as a supporting position to the outposts 
if requii'ed. 

The real position in which the Crown Prince of Saxony pur- 
posed meeting a more serious attack lay in rear of the line of 
outposts, about 7 miles from the Paris enceinte, extending from 
Orgemont, north of Argenteuil to the Marne. The right wing 
stretched through St. Qratien, Enghien and the Montmorency 
plateau to Graulay, and thence ran first along the south-east 
border of the heights in the direction of St. Brice, then in firont 
of Sarcelles and Arnouville, as far as the Croud brook. Between all 
these villages, which were strongly fortified, especially on the south 
side, infantry trenches, battery emplacements, abattis and shelter 
trenches formed a line of defence, in some places continuous, from 
which the roads leading northward from Paris and the railways 
could be efiectively taken under fire. For the protection of the 
right flank, fortifications were thrown up in the north part of the 
Argenteuil peninsula, the railway bridge at Bezons was blown 
up,t while further in rear the ridge south of Franconville was 
provided with protected gun emplacements and several rows of 
shelter trenches, one above the other on the slope. The central 
part of the line of defence running along the gently sloping 
right bank of the Morde brook received additioncd strength by 
tbe diversion of the Ourcq canal,§ ordered by the royal head* 
quarters, which at the end of September was carried into effect 
by means of a dam and cutting to the west of Sovran. The 
masses of water now discharging from the canal into that brook 
submei*ged the borders of the latter for a considerable distance 
and depth to the north beyond Dugny. The few roads leading 
across this important obstacle in front of Dugny, Pont Iblon^ 

* For further detailf see subReqnent narratiTe. 

t From the Voirie through Maison Eouge, Maison Qujot, Le Chenaj as far as 
Pont Part. 

X On the other hand, the hridge oxer the Seine at Sartronville (on the direct road 
from Argenteuil to Poissy) was made practicahle for carts after the mining charges 
placed there br the French had been removed. 

§ See Part H., p. 35. 


and Le Blanc Mesnil were barred by works of the nature of 
bridge-heads, whilst they were besides swept from the right 
bank by numerous batteries. Further to the eastward the Bois 
de Bondy limited the effect of the artillery. The villages of 
Aulnay les Bondy and Sovran, and, south of the Ourcq canal, 
the villages of Livry, Clichy, Montfermeil and Chelles, formed, 
together with some outlying fortified farmsteads and infantry 
trenches, the points d'appui of the defence. The more open 
country between the Bois de Bondy and the high embankment 
of the Chemin de Fer de I'Est serving as support to the left 
fiank lay under the fire of several batteries.* 

In the section between the Marne and the Upper Seine the 
Wiirttemberg Division occupied the right wing. The line of 
outposts ran here along the left bank of the Marne fi*om Noisy 
le Grand as far as the south of Nogent, then in a convex curve 
to Joinville le Pont^ through Champigny to the neighbourhood 
of Bonneuil. In rear of the outposts the 1st Wurttemberg Brigade 
had occupied quarters in the space between Noisy and Champigny, 
the 2nd between Coeuilly and Noiseau ; somewhat further in rear, 
at Goumay and Malnoue, lay the 3rd Brigade.! The divisional 
staff was in the Ch&teau La Land. As main points of defence 
served the villages of Noisy, Yilliers, and Coeuilly ; but in 
the event of an attack the advanced posts at Le Plant and 
Champigny, on the left flank Chennevi^res and Ormesson, were in 
the first place to be held as long as possible. With this object 
all the villages in front line were fortified and partly connected 
by shelter trenches. Battery emplacements were formed on 
either side of Villiers, as also on the hill west of Ormesson which 
commanded the St. Maur peninsula. By means of a foot bridge 
established at Chennevi^res a picket was thrown forward on the 
2nd October to the island in the Marne at that point. 

* The following earthworks had been constructed in the main position of the Armj 
of the Meuse : 

One redoubt and five batteries on the Orgemont. 

One battery south of St. Gratien. 

Six batteries on the Montmorencj ridge (with abattis in front). 

One battery west of Graulay. 

One redoubt and two batteries south of St. Brice. 

Two redoubts and three batteries upon the heights on either side of Sarcellcs (with 
shelter trenches in front). 

Two redoubts and three batteries on the heights south-west of Amouville. 

Two batteries east of Grarges. 

Two „ at Pont Iblon. 

Three „ on either side of Le Blanc Mesnil. 

One battery west of Aulnay les Bondy. 

Two redoubts between Aulnay and Sevran. 

One battery between Fontenay and Bougement farms. 

One redoubt on the hi^h road south-west of Livry. 

f, on the height between Llvry and Qichy. 
„ at the cross road west of Montfermeil. 

Three batteries on the heights between Montfermeil and Cheiles. 

At Livry, Montfermeil, and further to the rear on the hill north of Courtrr 
emplacements for artillery were constructed. See also Flan XV. A and B, which 
contain all the works completed during the investment and siege of Faris. 

f To each brigade was assigned a regiment of cavalry and a division of artillery. 
On the 26th September the two squadrons still absent 9( the 3rd Cavaliy Regiment 

' " from Qennaoy. 


On the left of the AViirttenibergers tbe Xlth Army Corps had 
moved up iato the line of investmeat. It had reached Jossigny 
on the September, despatched four battalions to occupy 
Ferrieres, Lagny, and Meaux,* and on the 23rd relieved with its 
other available troops those posted in the neighbourhood of 
Limeil, which now passed to the left bank of the Seine.f The 
Corps occupied the villages between Sucy en Brie and Ville- 
neuve St Georges: the 21st Division those to the east of the 
Troyes road, the 22nd Division those to the west of it ; advanced 
detachments were at Bonneuil and Ferme de THopitaL The 
Corps Artillery was quartered at Villecresnes ; the headquarters 
proceeded to Chateau Oros Bois. The line of outposts stretched 
from Bonneuil first along the left edge of the valley of the Marne, 
and then ran, keeping Creteil in its front, in a westerly direction 
as far as the Seine. A special detachment at Bonneuil Mill kept 
up connexion with the Wiirttembeigers. 

For the foremost fighting line in this section Mont Mesly, 
provided with numerous artillery emplacements, with the 
fortified villages of Bonneuil and Mesly, formed the main point 
of support. FuHher on the left the buildings at Ferme THopital 
were artificially strengthened, entrenchments and road abattis 
were placed in front of the farm buildings at Carrefour Pom- 
padour, while the houses of Choisy le Roi on the right bank of 
the Seine were arranged for a stubborn defence. The plateau 
between Sucy and Limeil with several artillery emplacements 
constructed on its north-western slope and the fortified villages 
thereon served as the real position for defence. The im- 
portant point of passage at Villeneuve St. Georges was protected 
by a bridge-head. 

In the section between the Seine and Bidvre the outposts of 
the YIth Army Corps had been left in the position originally 
occupied^t as any attempt to take up a firm stand on the heights 
near Villejuif directly in front of and dose to the forts, did 
not appear practicable without tlie co-operation of heavy guns, 
and would have led to a succession of serious engagements. 
This was already manifest in the early days after the 19 th 

General v. Tilmpling had to wit ordered that the Hautes 
Bruycres redoubt, still incomplete and abandoned by the French, 
should be levelled as much as possible before the adversary could 
again occupy it. This enterprise was by the general's order 
preceded at noon on the 22nd by a reconnaissance towards 
Villejuif, as he had meanwhile received information that the 
enemy's guns had already been withdrawn from the forts in front. 

The 1st battalion 22nd Regiraent§ after driving off a few 

* 32ud Bogiment to Ferridres as escort to the roval headquarters, ~ to Lagnj and 

Meaux. See also Part II., pp. 19 and 54. 

t 24th Infantrv Briffade. See Fart II., p. 53. 

t See Part II., p. 53-W. 

§ ifixcepting the 4th company \:i at La Belle Epine. 


Gardes Mobiles moved forward to the north border of ViUejuif. 
but there came under shell fire from Fort Bicfitre, from which 
circumstauce the information in question appeared incorrect. 
The battalion in consequence commenced to withdraw, but was 
shortly pushed forward again to the north border of the village 
by the commander of the Division for the purpose of covering 
the impending works of destruction at Hautes Bruy^res. 

Late in the afternoon movements were perceived on the enemy's 
side. With a view to re-occupying in accordance with superior 
orders the positions abandoned a few days before, several 
columns of Maud'huy's Division assembled for this purpose in 
rear of Fort Bicetre advanced in a southerly direction. Whilst 
Blaise^s Brigade took up a fiim footing in the Moulin Saquet 
redoubt and opposite the village of Vitry, ViUejuif was threatened 
by Dumoulin's Brigade* from the north and west. 

The commander of the 22nd Begiment, Colonel v. Quistorp, 
who at this time had bi-ought up sis companies in support from 
the left wing of the line of outposts, ordered the retreat upon 
Chevilly in view of the outflanking forward movement of the 
superior hostile force. The 10th French Regiment de Marche 
hereupon occupied Yillejuif ; but the 9th found its movement 
impeded by two Prussian companies, which were continuing 
their advance further to the west,t and by the fire of the 5th 
heavy battery which had unlimbei*ed about a thousand paces to 
the north of Chevilly. Under cover of a rapidly deployed line of 
skirmishers the south side of Hautes Bruy^res redoubt was 
during the night cut through in four places by the Prussian 
pioneers, and then the retreat to Chevilly was also conunenoed 
from this point. 

Meanwhile the commander of the 1 2th Division, with the con- 
currence of the Corps headquarters, had decided to hold perma- 
nently with a larger force the heights of Yillejuif, which ne still 
believed to be in the possession of his troops. When he, there- 
fore, received intelligence of the evacuation of the village, ho 
ordered the battalions of the 22nd Regiment to make a fresh 
advance upon the place during the night ; those troops, however, 
fotmd themselves driven back in the immediate neighbourhood 
of it by a vigorous fire, in which Colonel v. Quistorp was 
wounded An advance made by the 7th Company from Thiais 
ngainst the Moulin Saquet redoubt also failed. The Hautes 
Bruyferes redoubt had been re-occupied by the 12th Company, 
but had to be abandoned to the 9th French Regiment de Marche 
at daybreak. Early on the morning of the 23rd September 
General V. Hoffmann sent the 12th and the 1 st Companies once 
more towards the redoubt, in order to discover the strength of 
the enemy opposed to him on the heights of ViUejuif. On reaching 

* Formerly Guerin's; see Fart I., Appendix XLI. A battalion of the lOth 
Kcgiment de Marche and two batteries remained in reserve at Fort Bicdtre; 

t — ^ — ^ ' especially by a forward movement of the skirmishing division of 

the last-named company under Lieutenant t. Bulow. 


the neighbourhood of the work, into which meanwhile some 
artillery had been thrown, both companies were received with a 
vigorous shell fire and compelled to retreat by the appearance of 
masses of French infantry. The withdrawal was effected under 
cover of the divisional artillery. The 6th light and 5th heavy 
batteries had been firing for some time from the artillery emplace- 
ments formed at the eastern border of L'Hay ; somewhat later 
the 6th heavy battery had also hastened to that place from 
Thiais.* The French responded to the fire with the heavy guns 
in the redoubts on either side of Villejuif and in the thi-ee nearest 
forts, as also with a marine and a mitrailleuse battery. When 
the adversary's fire gradually ceased at 9 a.m., owing to the 
successful effect of the Prussian artillery, the Prussian batteries 
and battalions returned to their original positions. 

About the same time that the 22nd made their last attack 
upon Hautes Bruy^res, the 6th Rifle battalion had forced its 
way into Yitry, whilst on its left flank the 5th and 6th com- 
panies 62nd Regiment had a slight brush with the French skir- 
mishers and repulsed an advance which they made. The brisk 
cross fire of the artiUery in the opposite forts and at Moulin 
Saquet had, however, made it impossible for the riflemen to hold 
i^eir position in Yitry, and led at 8 a.m. to the infantry action 
being broken off also at this poinif 

After these outpost skirmishes, in which the 23rd Brigade had 
suffered a loss of about 50 men, Maud'hu}r's French Division had 
continued in undisputed possession of the heights of Yillejuif. 
The Hautes Bruy^res redoubt was again closed on the south 
edde, and like that at Moulin Saquet armed with heavy 
artillery ; the latter was also protected by traverses against the 
heights to the south. Six] mitrailleuses likewise protected by an 
epaulment were assigned a position in rear of the trenches 
west of Yillejuif. 

The YIth Corps, which had been rejoined on the evening of 
the 23rd September by the brigade left on the east bank of the 
Seine, appuyed itself, opposite the position just described, on 
several defensive positions indicated by -the roads from Choisy le 
Roi to L'Hay and Fresnes, and from Orly to Runjis. These posi- 
tions were artificially strengthened by fortifying the villages with 
shelter trenches and road barricades, and, when the local circum- 
stances demanded, with infantry intrenchments and battery em- 
placements.^ Of the 12th Division in front line stood a brigade 

* The 5th light was still on the right bank of the Seine with the 24th Brigade. 

f The Ist RMe company had already to be withdrawn out of the northern border 
of the Tillage into the interior from the front of a detachment of French infantry, 
which occupied a barricade on the road to Paris. Some troops of the llth Division 
(10th JEUgiment and Ist light battery) brought forward to La Belle Epine as early as 
Uie 22nd September were not employed. 

X In front of the north-east side of Thiais an artillery emplacement and on each 
ride of it infantry breastworks ; between Thiais, Chevilly, and I'Hay gnn embratnres 
foi seyeral batteries ; two dosed redoubts south of Chevilly and La Rue ; seyeral batteiy 
emplacements in hont of the road from Choisy to Fresnes and on the heights west 
of Orly. 


with two batteries at Choisy le Boi and Thiais ; west of the great 
road to Villejuif a regiment with a batteiy held CheviUy and 
L'Hay ; the rest of the Division was quartered in Fresnes and 
Runjis; Between the two wings of the outposts the Rifle battalion 
liad taken post at La Belle Epine. The 11th Division further to 
the/rear was quartered with the Corps Artillery in the villages 
east of the Longjumeau road ; the Corps headquarters were 
at Villeneuve le Roi. Some bridges thrown by the pioneers over 
the Bievre formed the communication with the Ilnd Bavarian 

The latter had taken up its quarters in the villages between 
the Bievre and the road between the village of the same name 
and Chatillon, retaining the positions won in the action of the 
19 th September. The advanced troops of the 4th Division, 
which with the artillery reserve formed the right wing, occupied 
Bagneux, Ch&tillon, and Fontenay aux Roses with one battaJion 
each ; those of the 3rd Division were encamped on the north- 
eastern spurs of the Yillacoublay plateau, with two companies in 
the Moulin de la Tour redoubt. The line of outposts of the Corps 
stretched from the Bievre, in front of Bourg la Reine to the 
north border of Bagneux and Chatillon, then along the south 
side of Clamart through the Bois de Meudon, as far as the road 
leading to the chd.teau. The Corps headqui^ers were at Chate- 
nay, the Lancer Brigade further to the rear at Verri^es and 

In order to meet with effect any sudden sortie on the part 
of the enemy from the neighbouring Forts Montrouge, Yanves, 
and Issy, several parallel lines of defence in close proximity to 
one another were thrown up by the Bavarians. The foremost 
position was in general coincident with the outpost position just 
described ; a second ran from Bourg la Reine by way of Sceaux 
and Plessis Piquet to Trivaux farm ; a third for the right wing 
leant upon Croix de Bemis, and stretched on the left from Malabry 
along the abattis-Uned edge of the wood, by way of Petit Bicdtre 
as far as Yillacoublay. Between the localities, which were for the 
most part fortified and connected by means of shelter trenches, 
emplacements for artillery were constructed. Some infantry re- 
doubts on the Yillacoublay plateau commanded the road from 
Petit BicStre to Paris, whilst two large batteries east of Croix de 
Bemis swept the high road to Orleans and the open country 
on the Bievre. The main point of support for the front position 
was afforded by the Moulin de la Tour redoubt, which by a suitable 
reconstruction was given a firont facing the north and was shortly 
provided with bombproof cover.* The building material found 
in the work served for the erection of huts at Plessis Piquet for 
the troops of the 3rd Division held in readiness to turn out. 

In the ground to the south west of the French capital lay the 
Yth Army Corps. Its 9th Division was at Yersailles, which place 

* This work was sabsequently known by the name of "Bavarian redoabt" 


since the 20ih September had also been the headquarters of the 
Crown Prince of Prussia; the 10th Division was quartered 
further to the north in the villages on the Bocquencourt plateau. 
The former had despatched strong detachments to Chaville and 
Ville d'Avray, tlie latter to Vaucresson and Bougival. The 
position of the outposts extended from the pond at Chalais 
through Meudon and Bellevue, then along the left bank of the 
Seine to the northern border of the park of St Cloud, thence 
by way of La Bergerie as far as the Seine between Bougival 
and Croissy. The Ch&teaux of Meudon and St. Cloud evacuated 
by the enemy, the village of Bellevue and the redoubt on the 
knoU south of S^vi*es * received permanent infantry garrisons ; 
advanced [posts occupied the Montretout redoubt and the park 
of Malmaison. 

The whole of this front line was arranged for a stubborn defence 
by artificially strengthening all the localities touched by it, 
as also by taking advantage of some unfinished redoubts which 
existed. Shelter trenches and abattis closed the open inter- 
vening spaces ; wire entanglements and other obstacles in the 
interior of the position limited the adversary's approach to 
the main roads, which latter were closed with barricades and 
swept by batteries on the flanks. Any sudden sortie from 
Paris in the direction of Versailles was under these circumstances 
almost impossible. 

The left wing of the position stretching across the heights of 
La Beigerie and La Celle St. Cloud received support more par- 
ticularly from the Brezin Hospice, the Fohlen-Koppel, the 
Metternich park and the village of Bougival with their defen- 
sible borders. Several infantry intrenchments and battery em- 
placements commanded the ground lying to the north-easif 

As rearward, although not continuous, lines of defence served 
several batteries built on the slopes of the hills rising 
towards Versailles t and the rifle intrenchment provided with a 
standing garrison thrown up on a height in the Bois de Meudon. 
On the left flank two companies protected the pontoon bridge at 
Les Tanneries, which latter was furthermore secured by a bridge- 

* Known later under the name of "Crown Prince's redoubt" (EronpTinaen 

f Two batteries on the edfre of the heifrhts west of YUleneuve (called the Wilhelms* 
hdhe and Hospice batteries) for the purpose of commanding the open country in 
front of Qarches. 

A redoubt east of Brezin Hospice for the purpose of sweeping the road to St. 

Two batteries and four redoubts on La Bei^rie height 

Two redoubts at the sonUi border of the Fohlen-Koppel. 

Four redoubts on the height of La Celle St. Cloud. 

A position for four guns in rear of the abattis north of the eastern entrance to 

A redoubt on the Seine island at Croissy to sweep the ground in front of Bougival. 

% Three batteries at St. Michel. 

A batteiy on the edge of the heights west of Les Cressets. 

Two batteries at Beauregard on either side of the Yersailles-Bougival road. 

Two batteries on the Jardy height. 

A battery in rear of Ville d'Avray. 

Two batteries in front of Montreuil. 


head, an abattis placed across the Seine island at that place, 
some fortified farmsteads on both banks of the stream and also 
hj destroying the Chatou bridge. 

The immediate protection of the rear of the German Army 
Ciorps on the left bank of the Seine had been assigned to the 
three Cavalry Divisions at present available for this purpose. 
Of the 5th two brigades facing westward held the ground 
between Poissy and the Paris-Dreux railway, whilst the third at 
St. Germain en Laye maintained the connexion between the 
outer wings of the I Vth and Vth Army Corps. The 6 th Cavalry 
Division at Le Mesnil St. Denis and Chevreuse was in contact 
with a squadron of hussars of the 2nd Cavalry Division posted 
at Limours. The latter had again moved up with its main body 
from Saday eastward to the Seine and occupied the villages in 
the neighbourhood of the mouth of the Orge.* 

Whilst the German Cavabry carefully watched from these 
positions all the roads leading from the west and south to Paris, 
it also made distant incursions and succeeded, as already men- 
tioned, in providing the magazine of the army with considerable 
supplies of food. Small detachments met, it is true, with so 
obstinate a resistance at many points in carrying out these 
duties that they were obliged to return with their mission 
unaccomplished. In order to lighten the very trying service of 
guarding the lines against the numerous bodies of French Franc- 
tireurs, who had no difficulty in finding cover and hiding places 
in the richly wooded country, some battalions of the 1st Bavarian 
Corps were assigned to the Cavalry Divisions at the end of 

The latter Corps had reached Longjumeau by way of Chaumes 
and Corbeil on the 22nd September, occupied quarters in that 
neighbom*hood and relieved the troops of the Ilnd Bavarian Corps 
at Arpajon. Tliree battalions, one squadron and two batteries had 
been despatched by way of Melun to Fontaiuebleau, for the 
purpose of clearing the forest which was said to be full of franc- 
tireurs. As there was no enemy to be seen, the Bavarian 
detachment, leaving a battalion at Fontainebleau, continued its 
movement to Malesherbes on the 23rd. In pursuance of a sum- 
mons from Prince Albrecht of Prussia, who advanced with the 
10th Cavalry Brigade from Gironville to Pithiviers and there 
formed connexion on the 2oth September with the troops of the 
4th Cavalry Division following from Rozoy and Nangis, a battalion 
was drawn forward from Malesherbes to Pithiviers, where it 
formed the nearest support to the cavalry reconnoitring in the 
direction of Orleans.t 

* With i^gard to these three Caralrj DiTisions, see Fart II., p. 85 and 52. 
t See Part II., pp. 42 and 54, and with regard to the strength of the Ist Bayarian 
Corps and 4th Cavalry Division, see the remark on p. 19. 


Action at Chevillt on 30th Septehbec. 

Without any great opposition on the enemy's part the 
Germans had taken up their positions round Paris, and had 
fortified them appropriately to the lie of the ground in the 
manner ah^ady detailed. It was not until the close of September 
that the French undertook a sortie on a more extensive scale 
towards the south. 

With the object of throwing back still further the investing 
troops between the Seine and Bi^vre and destroying a bridge sus- 
pected to exist at Choisy le Roi,* General Vinoy after more detailed 
instructions from, and with the concurrence of, the French Com- 
mander in Chief, led three brigades of the 13th Corps, at 6 a.m., to 
the assault of Thiais, Chevilly and THay. A vigorous artillery fire, 
lasting one and a half hours, from forts Montrouge, Bioetre, 
Ivry, and Cbarenton, as well as from the redoubts Elautes 
Bruyeres and Moulin Saquet had preceded this movement. A 
fcurth brigade was held in readiness behind Yillejuif. By feigned 
attacks in the direction of Clamart and Carrefour Pompadour, the 
German troops in those places were to be occupied and contained. 

After traversing the ridge south of Vitry, Blaise's Brigade 
deployed with the 12th Kegiment de Marche in front of Choisj^ 
and Thiais, whilst the 11th endeavoured to turn the latter 
village on the west, and two field batteries at Argent Blanc mill 
opened their fire upon the troops of the Vlth Army Corps posted 
in both villages. 

Of this latter the 23rd Brigade was at that time on the right 
wing of the front line. The 22nd Regiment, which had faUen 
in at once directly the thunder of the guns commenced, had 
taken post in Choisy with six companies, the remainder being in 
Thiais and the entrenchments between the two places ;t the 6th 
heavy battery, occupying the existing artillery emplacements, 
had gone into position on either side of the last-named village. 
Further in rear was the 62nd Regiment, with the 5th light battery 
and two companies of pioneers. 

After the Prussian pickets opposed to the French lines of 
skirmishers had withdrawn to the defensive position proper, there 
occurred at Choisy a stationary musketry action, in which the 
4th and 6th companies 22nd Regiment encountered the enemy 
with so much impetuosity that he retired at 8 a.m. upon Vitry. 

In order to ward off the enveloping attack upon Thiais the 
62nd Regiment had also been meanwhile drawn forward to that 
place. Whilst the 2nd battalion deployed on the east side of the 
village, the other two battalions occupied the western part of 
it. The 10th company protected the two divisions of the 6th 
heavy battery which had come into action further on the left, 
and near which the 5th light had also unlimbered. The advance 

* As a matter of fact there was onlr a horse-feny at that point. See Part II., 
p. 99. 

t iBt, 4th, and llnd in Choisj, 2nd, 9tb, 10th between Choisj and Thiais, 3rd, 
nth, 12th in Thiais. 


of the swaxms of French tirailleurs between Thiais and CJhevilly 
compelled, it is true, these ten guns to withdraw as far as the 
Versailles road ; but the fire of the Prussian infantry in Thiais, 
and of the two guns of the first-named battery gallantly holding 
out under Lieutenant Dietrich at the north-east angle of the 
village^ shortly brought the enemy's progress to a standstill and 
compelled him to retire with considei*abIe loss. Towards 9 aon. 
the last detachments of French in£Eintry disappeared, then also 
the two batteries on the heights of the Argent Blanc mill, in 
rear of the entrenchments of Yillejuif, and the forts alone kept 
up their fire for some time longer upon Choisy le Boi. 

To the right of the troops advancing upon Thiais, and simul- 
taneously with them, Guilhem's Brigade had commenced its 
offensive movement. The 42nd Line Regiment hac) proceeded 
with a battery along the high road from Yillejuif through La 
Saussaye, the 35th further on the right towards Chevilly, and 
came into collision with the outposts of the 24th lu&ntry 

Of the latter the 1st battalion 23rd Regiment stood this day 
in foremost line at the northern issues from Chevilly and THay. 
In rear of the left wing was the fusilier battalion at La Rue ; 
in rear of the right, the 2nd battalion with a squadron of dragoons 
and the 5th heavy battery in and near Chevilly.* 

As soon as the enemy's offensive movement was remarked by 
the Prussians, Lieut -Colonel v. Berkenf brought forward the 2nd 
battalion as far as the issues from Chevilly. The 6th company 
had however scarcely taken up a position at the northern border, 
when the 35tb French Regiment of the Line, whose right wing 
battalion was fronting towards THay, following closely upon 
the retreating pickets of the 4th company, penetrated into the 
north-east angle of Chevilly. The defenders gradually retired 
to the nearest position in the village^ and there, supported by 
the 7th company, obstructed the further advance of the enemy; 
an attempt on the part of the Prussians to recapture the large 
farmstead at the north>east border was defeated by the superior 
forces of the adversary. 

Meanwhile .the 42nd Regiment, driving back a picket of Prus- 
sian riflemen in the direction of La Belle Epine,§ had deployed 
opposite the east side of Cheviily and occupied some fitctory 
buildings situated to the south of the road to Thiaia Whilst a bat- 
talion now fronted towards the latter place, and four guns posted at 
the cross roads in the neighbourhood of the water-tower can- 
nonaded the chateau park of Chevilly, which was occupied by the 

* As regards the position of the other parts of the Vlth Corps, see Part II., 

p. 106-107. 


f Commander of the -i, who was commanding the right wing of the regiment. 


% A detachment of the 6th company held oat in one of the hnildincs at the north- 
east border, until it was set on fire and completelj surrounded ; thejtLen forced their 
way with the butt end and bajonet to the more southern part of the village. 

§ The 6th Rifle battalion stood as before at La Belle Epine and occupied with a 
detachment a mill on the Bi^vre to the south-west of TUaj. 


£th and 8th oompanies 23rd Begiment, General Quilhem led 
forward two battalions in person upon this village. 

The attack undertaken with great resolution failed however 
against the overwhelming file-fire of the Prussian infantry there 
in position, who received effective support from a detach- 
ment of the 6th Rifle battalion, and from the 5th heavy 
battery which had unlimbered behind the gun emplacements 
to the north of La Belle Epine. General GuiUiem fell mortally 
wounded ; the French retiring in disorder rallied next at the 
cross roads under the protection of their batteries and of the 
battalion which had remained there in reserve. 

General v. Tiimpling had been since 6 a.m. on a hill between 
Orly and La Belle Epine. At the commencement of the action 
he had caused the rearward troops of the Corps to be called to 
arms and had appointed the 21st Brigade with part of the Corps 
Artillery to give any support that might be required to the 12th 

The commander of the latter, who had ridden from Thiais in 
the direction of the musketry fii-e audible to the westward, 
received in the neighbourhood of La Belle Epine the report that 
the left wing of his advanced troops at Chevilly and THay 
was hotly engaged. As he at this time was also informed of 
the previously mentioned arrangements of the commanding 
general, he now ordered the parts of the Division* hitherto 
detained at Runjis to take part in the fight of the outposts. 
By order of General v. Fabeck the 1st battalion, G3rd Regiment 
advanced towards the cross roads east of Chevilly, whilst the 
other two battalions of this regiment were marched off to La 
Rue in support of the left wing. The 6th light battery, and the 
4th light battery of the corps artillery which came up shortl}^ 
afterwards, reinforced the line of guns of the 5th heavy ha,tteTy 
to the north of La Belle Epine.t 

The French troops at the cross roads had suffered to such an 
extent from the converging fire directed upon them from Chevilly, 
La Belle Epine and Thiais that they were unable to withstand 
the onset of the H3rd. After the 3rd company, supported by 
the rifles advancing simultaneously along the high road, had 
stormed the factory buildings, the enemy withdrew to the 
plantations at La Saussaye. 

The struggle round Chevilly was still raging briskly at this 
time. At the northern angle of the place the fighting detach- 
ments were at many points opposed to one another at the closest 
quarters, until the enemy ultimately relaxed in his efforts and at 
8 a.m. withdrew to the plantations further to the north. Only 
the previously mentioned farmstead at the north-eastern border 
of the village was still firmly held by the adversary. Major 
Ronneberg, who once more led forward the 7th company 23rd 

* 63rd Regiment, 1 5th Dragoons and 6th light hatttr}'. 

t iDclusire of the two batteries at Thiais there were therefore five Prussian 
batteries now in action. 


Regiment against the farmstead, fell at the head of his musketeers. 
Although this company succeeded in gaining possession of the 
entrance and the southernmost building, the rest remained in 
possession of the French, who defended tliem with great 

In order completely to dislodge from the neighbourhood of 
Chevilly the adversary, who was threatening a fresh attack, 
the Prussians made a vigorous onslaught at 8.30 a.m. by 
order of the commander of the Division, who had meanwhile 
arrived. Iieut.-Colonel Baumeister, who in accordance with 
superior orders had led forward the 2nd battalion 10th Regi- 
ment* to Chevilly, pjissed through the latter village, the ;lth 
and Gth companies being in front line. Whilst part of the 
troops now entered into tlie struggle for the farmstead still held 
by the adversary, the remainder pressed forward along the high 
road towards the north ; the 5th company, G3rd Regiment, 
already brought up on a previous occasion from the direction of 
La Rue, and the 8th of the 10th Regiment, accompanied the 
attack along the western border of the village. The enemy 
now evacuated the plantations in all haste. Harassed in theu' 
retreat by the eiiective iile-fire of the Prussians, the 35th Regi- 
ment was completely dispersed, so that it could not be rallied 
until in rear of the Hautes Bruy^res redoubt. 

Almost simultaneously with this decisive advance, the farm- 
stead at the north-east border of Chevilly now completely sur- 
rounded was stormed by parts of the Prussian troops left there.t 
After a vain attempt to cut their way through, upwards of 100 
Frenchmen surrendered to the victorious as.sailant8. 

In consequence of the loss of Chevilly the 42nd Regiment now 
likewise withdrew from La Saussaye behind the entrenchments 
westwai'd of Villejuif. Cousin's Cavalry Brigade, which advanced 
to their support, found itself compelled to retire at once, in 
consequence of the fire of the Prussian artillery, which had 
partially come up abreast of Chevilly. 

No less unsuccessful than the attacks upon Thiais and Chevilly 
just described was the offensive movement of Dumoulin's Brigade, 
which had advanced with two battalions of the 10th Regiment 
de Marche against the park and cemetery of L'Hay, and with 
two battalions of the 9th and two chasseur companies against 
the north side of this village.J 

After the French chasseurs had next ensconced themselves in 
.some farm buildings and vineyards in front of the north-west 
angle of L'Hay, and the Prussian pickets had fallen back to the 
barricaded northern entrance of the village, all further advance 

* Belonging to the 21st Brigade. 

t Belonging to the ^^^ *°^ ^^ and the 23rd Regiment. 

t One battalion of the 10th Begiment de Marche covered the right flank on the 
Cachon-L'IIav road ; parts of it skirmished with the Bavarian advanced troops on the 
Bi^vre and, crossing tiic brook, drove in a picket posted to the north of Bourg la 
Reine. A battalion of tlic 0th Bctnnicnt had remained in the Hantes Bruj^res 

41648. H 


failed agaiuBt the determioed opposition of the seven Pnuuuan 
companies there assembled under Colonel v. Briesen.* The 9th 
Eegiment de Marche now limited itself to a standing mosketry 
fire opposite the north border of L'Hay. The 10th Kegiment 
de Marche, which had approached to within 250 paces of the 
park and cemetery walls, but had then been received with an 
effective fire at short range from the 2nd and 9th companies of 
the 23rd Regiment, retired in consequence in the direction of 

On the approach of the two battalions of the 63rd Begiment^f 
despatched from Rungis to La Rue, Colonel v. Briesen resolved 
at 8 a.m. to throw back the enemy still opposed to him on the 
north by a vigorous attack. Some of the companies just arriving 
were brought up to L'Hay. The 7th company appointed to 
turn the French right flank reached the bank of the Bi^vre 
at the double and dashed with a cheer upon the foe, whilst the 
detachments of the 2Srd Regiment lining the northern border of 
L'Hay made a simultaneous advance from the village.^ 

The retreat of the French now also commencing on this wing 
of the battle field shortly degenerated into a disorderly flight. 
The 0th Regiment de Marche left about 120 men, mostly un- 
woundcd, in the hands of the Fiiissians, and could only be 
rallied at Hautes Bruyferes, where General Vinoy strove in 
vain to lead forward once more the attenuated battalions. The 
forts and the two redoubts continued their fire up to 10 a.m. in 
order to cover the retreating troops. 

The Vltli Army Corps, whose separate units once more re- 
sumed their previous positions at the close of the struggle, 
sustained a loss this day of 28 officers and 413 men killed and 
wounded. The more than five-fold greater loss of the enemy fell 
nearly one-half to Quilhem's Brigade which had been engaged 
at Chevilly. 

Simultaneously with these proceedings before the front of the 
Vlth Aimy Corps feigned attacks were made on the left bank 
of the Bievre and on the risrht bank of the Seine as ordered 
by the French commander-in-chief. 

Susbielle's Brigade assembled at Issy and Vanves had posted 
the 14th Regiment de Marche to observe in the direction of 
Bagneux and Chatillon, and had despatched a battalion of the 
13th to Clamart. Another battalion of the latter regiment, 
under cover of the broken ground, moved forward from Bas 

* The 1st, 2nd, and 8rd companies and the fusilier battalion 23rd Regiment 

\yhich had been brought up from La Hue. 

t See Part II., p. 112. 

f -—. participated more to the eastward in the pursuit of the 35th Kegiment 

retiring from Clierillv. 


Meudon towards Bellevue, a place which had beeu bombarded 
on a previous occasion by French gunboats, and by a sudden 
advance drove in a picket of the Y th Army Corps from the road 
barricade at that place. Whilst the French, after rapidly 
occupying some farm-buildings, now took under fire the cross 
road at the southern entrance to the place, there was only the 
5th company King's Grenadier Regiment to oppose them in front. 
But when after a protracted skirmish two other Prussian com- 
panies from Bellevue threatened the adversary in flank, he 
again retired to Bas Meudon. 

On the left wing of the 13 th French Corps, Mattat's Brigade 
with Bemis' Cavalry Brigade had crossed the Marne at Charen- 
ton between 4 and 5 a.m. After an advanced guard thrown 
forward to Crc^teil, and more particularly two batteries, which 
had unlimbered at the farm of Notre Dame des Miches, had 
cannonaded for some time the positions of the Germans, columns 
of French infantry moved against the village of Mesly, while 
others from the neighbourhood west of Cr6teil were directed 
upon Carrefour Pompadour. 

But in the meantime the advanced troops of the Xlth Army 
Corps in readiness for action had taken post in the entrenched 
positions. The 88th Regiment, with a rifle company, occupied 
the position between Bonneuil and the west of Mont Mesly, from 
which latter the 2nd light battery cannonaded the enemy when 
he showed in the ground in front. Further to the left was the 
fusilier battalion 94th Regiment at Can'efour Pompadour, and 
in rear of the road barricade there. The 3rd heavy battery 
brought into action in front of it was compelled by the eflect of 
the superior artillery at Notre Dame des Meches to retire to the 
high road south-east of Carrefour, where the 4th heavy battery 
had entered into the struggle. In front of the village of Mesly 
the French infantry limited themselves to an ineffectual musketry 
fire at long range. Some parties of cavaby riding towards the 
^'iIlage were easily repulsed. 

At the close of the action on the left bank of the Seine, 
Mattat's and Bemis' Brigades, under cover of some mitrailleuses 
posted to the east of Maisons Alfort, commenced their retreat at 
9 a.m. The shell fire of the 2nd light battery accompanied the 
enemy until he disappeared behind Fort Charenton. The Xlth 
Corps, whose main forces had concentrated during the action in 
rear of Mont Mesly and south of Carrefour Pompadour, hereupon 
reoccupied in the course of the forenoon its previous outpost 
positions and quarters. 

In consequence of the unsuccessAil and disastrous sortie of the 
30th September, the French at once proceeded to throw up addi- 
tional entrenchments at Yillejuif, which were extended eastward 
as far as Yitry and by means of approaches were brought into 
connection with breastworks thrown up farther in advance. 

H 2 

\y,..*m/ffM, k<r'\ ^'./A.//f,f,, t,', J<,*;> trra:r'Xrt:3 ar-i tl--e rVir feLd 

^ /^/f /r,, ,/fv f>-»,v^>/, IV/,.','r,.; ar-4 toe Sein^;. Jn l!.e follow- 
f/ / /f // *^>, /J^/'l lJf,;(v.> t///k T;r> Jt^ y^/sition en th*^ right, 
^ A ^i<,f, /,f, f,.,i? i/ft yfit.y 5 tJ»^ 1 J th Ltftncer-i, folioving with the 
^^/^ -/ A>*,,,/ y t//,K»/'ftf^ irotft lihhu\ cecnpsed qoarter? in the 

1>f> /* *, //I /K»'/fi /*r,/l til'; C^'jff/H Artilicrj', Xlth Army Corp?, 

< 1 ff f^t *fr* t'tf** Of* ^/» •*'>*/$»% U*n\ \itt'U ifUi 10 nar of the other, hec Part II., 

f p t*'* ** h* *-> *0 *'th tf* i/t'tt-h //I ihi» '/fi « *fjh**/|iiAnt occasion. 
i < ^*i hi*' '/ ^<^'//»/;>, VN tttuS t,\h UyUi\f^iU'fi*'* ot^ the march from Chalons 
^,^ ttf^^ot-*^ 4f*h ihf^ffhf iUi^rt^i* imt'lmUuff iUf ]4th Hifle battAlion but without 

ff,f ' t*^h ht ^H^n'fff, '\hu\f, \ii^\t hthtffntun, T/fh iiJwl Cth he»fy and 8rd H. A. 

hf'o t f iiihh^*'^ t>hih\tHUf Hh(\ Ufii^i fu»t'ryt* UiiUTy followinfrfromTonlto Ch&Ions. 
/ f t "f H , t'if h'4 HHrt hi 'tUu lr»»t iMiifiwl hflff'Tv roreried io the 2nd Landwehr 
ft.t.f'fh Iff "hi'h tUt- \tUfU»'f ^ll^u^\^huf Mil* ii)»o «•• M^rnM for the we^e of SoiMons. 
/ h' '*fH U /f hntuff mthfi-iim ui\y jitUwii t\w MOt J/iri/'<*r«, which with the IstH.A. 
i.fff* t f mt^^t. ui hhun I In* ( /III i/iM^iiofiM hml h<'i;rt fiMigntd to the 2Dd Landwehr 

hi n I'lh 


had crossed to the left bank of the Seine immediately on being 
i-elieved. The former occupied the ground between Meudon and 
Sevres, the main body being quartered at Chaville ; the Corps 
Artillery was under shelter at Saclay,* the headquarters moved 
to Versailles. In the front, thus considerably curtailed, of the 
Vth Army Corps, the 9th Division occupied the ground between 
St. Cloud and the Fohlen-Koppel, while the 10th concentrated 
towards the left wing. The attempt to reduce to <nshes the 
village of Rueil lying in front of the latter was unsuccessful owing 
to the strong material of which the houses were built ; on the 
other hand on the 13th October the French from Mont Valerien 
set on fire the palace of St. Cloud, which in consequence of the 
prevailing wind was so rapidly consumed by the flames that only 
a small portion of the works of art in the place could be saved. 

The Guard Landwehr Division placed under the commander-in- 
chief of the Ilird Army, and the arrival of which from Strassburg 
had been considerably delayed by interruptions in the traffic on 
the newly opened line of rail west of Nancy, reached the left 
bank of the Seine by successive echelons from Nanteuil sur 
Mame by way of Coulommiers ahd Corbeil. The 1st Guard 
Landwehr Regiment passed through Versailles on the 16th 
October, occupied St. Germain en Laye and despatched a 
battalion to Port Marly, which for the future also guarded the 
bridge at Les Tanneries. The rest of the Division gradually 
assembled between the 18th and 23rd October in the neigh- 
bourhood of Longjumeau and likewise moved on the 30th to 
St. Germain en Laye. 

The royal headquarters had been transferred on the oth October 
from Ferriferes to Versailles, where His Majesty the King took up 
his residence in the buildings of the Prefecture.t 


The movements of troops within the rayon of the Ilird Ai-my 
observed since the clase of the first week in October led the 
French Commander-in-Chief to believe that a serious attack on 
Paris was in preparation. But as this impression was not con- 
firmed in the next few days, and as news now amved of engage- 
ments on the Orleans road, which led rather to the inference 
that German troops were leaving for that quarter. General Vinoy 
received orders on the night of the 12th-13th October to obtain 
definite information with regard to the positions of the invest- 
ing army towards that side by a reconnaissance in force. This 
ofiicer resolved in consequence to advance at 9 a.m. with two 

"^ In place of the 5th light batteiy which had left with the 22nd DiTision the 4th 
heavy batteiy was transferred to the corpa artillery, 
t The palace there senred as a field hospital. 


Opposite the right wing of the outposts of the Ilnd Bavarian 
Corps, Mariouse's Brigade* occupied on the 8th October the village 
of Cachao. A covered communication between Hautes Bruy^res 
and the entrenched factory of La Orange Oiy, situated to the south 
of Fort Montrouge, having been established, utilising for the 
purpose the Arcueil conduit, a regiment of Oardc Mobile bad on 
the loth October proceeded from thence against Maison Pichon. 
The Bavarian picket posted at the latter farm and which had 
already been fired upon by artillery from the works just described, 
was driven back as far as the railway cutting, and after being 
again attacked that same evening by the enemy was drawn in 
closer towards Bourg la Reine. The French now arranged 
Cachan and Maison Pichon for defence and further secured these 
localities by throwing up entrenchments in front. The artillery 
of the Vlth Army Corps, of which towards the middle of 
October the 11th Division occupied the eastern, the 12th the 
western section,t endeavoured to destroy these works but in vain. 
The enemy answered every such attempt by a vigorous fire from 
his long-ranging fortress cannon upon the German outposts. 

By the arrival of the Xlth and of the Isb Bavarian Corps tlie 
troops in the southern section of investment before Paris had 
received an important accession of strength ; but the appeanmce 
of a new French field army on the Loire led as early as tlie 6th 
October to the resolution to employ the 1st Bavarian Corps and 
the 22Qd Division for defence in that direction.t An early 
replacement of these troops now leaving was however secured by 
bringing up the 17th Division and the Guard Landwehr Division 
in accordance with the orders of the royal headquarters of the 
29th September. 

The infantry brigades of the 1 7th Division on the march to 
Soissons and Chalons, the 18th Dragoons and the four field 
batteries, now assembled on the 7th October at Coulommiers§ 
and relieved fi'om Villecresues on the 10th the troops of the Xlth 
Corps still left between Bonneuil and the Seine. In the follow- 
ing days the 33rd Brigade took up its position on the right, 
the 34th on the left wing ; the 11th Lancers, following with the 
horse artilleiy batteries from Reims, occupied quarters in the 
neighbourhood of Villecresnes on the 18th. 

The 21st Division and the Corps Artillery, Xlth Army Coi^ps, 

* Formerly Guilhem's Brip^ndc. 

t Up to this time the Divisions had been one in rear of the other. Sec Part II.* 
pp. 106-7. 

X Farther details vriW be priven of this on a subsequent occasion. 

§ .3drd Infantr}- Brigade, 5th and 6th light batteries on the march from ChAlons 
to Soissons ; 84th Infantr}' Brigade (including the 14th Rifle battalion but irithout 

the -^-r- le^t to garrison Toul), 18th Dragoons, 5th and 6th heavy and 3rd H. A. 

battery, pioneer company and heavy reserve battery following from Toul to ChAlons. 
See Part IL, pp. 69 and 61. The last-named battery reverted to the 2nd Landwehr 
Division, to which the pioneer company was also assigned for the siege of Soissons. 
The 8rd H. A. battery subsequently joined the 1 1th Lancers, which with the 1st H.A. 
battery were at Beiran. The 1 7th Dragoons had been assigned to the 2nd Landwehr 


had crossed to the left bank of the Seine immediately on being 
i-elieved. The former occupied the ground between Meudon and 
Sfevres, the main body being quartered at Chaville ; the Ooi'ps 
Artillery was under shelter at Saclay,* the headquaiiiers moved 
to Versailles. In the front, thus considerably curtailed, of the 
Vth Army Corps, the 9th Division occupied the ground between 
St. Cloud and the Fohlen-Koppel, while the 10th concentrated 
towards the left wing. The attempt to reduce to ashes the 
village of Rueil lying in front of the latter was unsuccessful owing 
to the strong material of which the houses were built ; on the 
other hand on the 13th October the French from Mont Valerien 
set on fire the palace of St. Cloud, which in consequence of the 
prevailing wind was so rapidly consumed by the flames that only 
a small portion of the works of art in the place could be saved. 

The Guard Landwehr Division placed under the commander-in- 
chief of the Ilird Army, and the arrival of which from Strassburg 
had been considerably delayed by interruptions in the trafKc on 
the newly opened line of mil west of Nancy, reached the left 
bank of the Seine by succe&sive echelons from Nanteuil sur 
Mame by way of Coulommiers ahd Corbeil. The 1st Guard 
Landwehr Regiment passed through Versailles on the 16th 
October, occupied St. Germain en Laye and despatched a 
battalion to Port Marly, which for the future also guarded the 
bridge at Les Tanneries. The rest of the Division gradually 
assembled between the 18th and 23rd October in the neigh- 
bourhood of Longjumeau and likewise moved an the 30th to 
St. Germain en Laye. 

The royal headquarters had been transferred on the 5th October 
from Ferriferes to Versailles, where His Majesty the King took up 
his residence in the buildings of the Frefecture.t 


The movements of troops within the rayon of the Ilird Anny 
observed since the close of the first week in October led the 
French Commander-in-Chief to believe that a serious attack on 
Paris was in preparation. But as this impression was not con- 
firmed in the next few days, and as news now amved of engage- 
ments on the Orleans road, which led rather to the inference 
that German troops were leaving for that quarter, General Vinoy 
received orders on the night of the 12th-13th October to obtain 
definite information with regard to the positions of the invest- 
ing army towards that side by a reconnaissance in force. This 
ofiicer resolved in consequence to advance at 9 a.m. with two 

* In place of the 5th light battery which had left with the S2nd DiTision the 4th 
heavy batteiy was transferred to the corpa artillery. 
t The palace there served as a field hospital. 


columns upon Bagneuz and Ch&tiUon, which were to be covered 
on the left by a brigade posted towards Bourg la Heine, and on 
the right by demonstrations in the direction of Clamart and 
Fleury. Indusive of Dumoulin's Brigade, brought up from 
Hautes Bruyeres to Montrouge, the strength of the force 
appointed for the sortie amounted to about 25,000 men and 
80 guns. 

The attack was thus directed against the position occupied by 
the Ilnd Bavarian Corps between the Bievre and the Bois de 
Meudon.* At 8 a.m. the outposts of tlie 4th Division remarked 
that troops were assembling in rear of the enemy's nearest 
entrenchments on the right bank of the Bievre and also behind 
Fort Yanves, and that some battalions were advancing along the 
Montrouge road past La Orange Or}\ Patrols which were sent 
towards the latter, reported the presence of considerable bodies of 
troops to the north of Maison Pichon, and movements from thence 
in the direction of Bagneux. At 9 o'clock Forts Montrouge, 
Yanves,. and Issy opened a brisk artillery fire upon the foremost 
line of works of the Ilnd Bavarian Corps, which were partially 
destroyed ; two French field batteries, west of the high road just 
mentioned, shortly commenced firing more especially in the 
direction of Bagneux and Ch&tillon. Detachments of infantry 
ensconced themselves at the railway cutting intersecting this 
road, and, supported by the heavy guns from Fort BicStre and 
the Hautes Bruyeres redoubt, maintained a delaying musketry 
action with the Bavarian advanced troops posted at Bourg la Reine. 
Protected in this way on the left fiank, three battalions of 
Gai*de Mobile attached to Mariouse's Brigade advanced from 
Maison Pichon upon Bagneux, whilst a fourth endeavoured to 
outflank this village on the south-east, and the 35th Regiment of 
the Line deployed at La Grange Ory. 

After the foremost battalions of the 4th Bavarian Division 
had on the first reports of the enemy's appearancef advanced into 
the line of defence assigned to them, the remainder of this 
Division had also during the course of the forenoon placed itself 
in readiness for action. The 7th Brigade concentrated at Croix 
do Bemis, and in order to establish connection with the main 
body of the 8th Brigade at Sceaux pushed forward tlie 2ud 
Regiment as fai' as the northern border of the park at that 
place. The 0th G-pr. battery 4th Artillery Regiment unlimbered 
on the tramway east of Sceaux, whence the 3rd battalion 14tli 
Regiment moved forward to Bagneux in support of tlie 5th 
Rifle battalion. The artillery reserve quartered in the rayon 
of the Division was assembled at Chatenay. 

* See Part II., p. 107. 

t Of the 7th Brigade, the 1st battalion, 9th Regiment with two guns of the 5tli 
6-pr. batterj, 4th Artillery Begiment was at the outposts between the Bievre and 
Bagneux, immediately in rear was the 2nd battalion, 9th Begiment at Bourg la Beine. 
Of the 8th Brigade, the 5th Bifle battalion was at Bagneux, the drd battalion 1st 
Begiment at Chitillon, the 3rd battalion 5th Begiment at Fontenay auz Boses. 


Meanwhile the three battalions of f]rench Garde Mobile first 
mentioned had pushed forward as far as the cross- roads in the 
interior of Bagneux, where the Bavarian liiiemen, with the aid 
of the 10th company 3th Regiment hurrying up &om Fontenay, 
had some difficulty in holding their gi'ound. The fourth Garde 
Mobile battalion on the enemy's left wing, in spite of the flank- 
ing fire from the Bavarian detachments at the railway embank- 
ment near Bourg la. Heine, had captured some isolated houses on 
the south-east slope of the hill. When at 1 1 a.m» a battalion of the 
S5th Begiment of the French Line took part in the struggle 
round Bagneuz, and the other two battalions of this regiment 
advanced west of the village, the defenders of the latter withdrew 
to a supporting position on either side of the Fontenay Boad 
which had been meanwhile occupied by the 3rd battalion 14th 
Begiment ; half an hour later three companies of the 10th Bifle 
battalion reached the same place. The vigorous resistance of 
these troops and an efiective flanking tire &om Ch&tillon prevented 
any further advance of the enemy, who on his side now com- 
menced to strengthen himself at Bagneux. In rear of the village 
was Dumoulin's Brigade drawn in from Montrouge; further 
eastward at Maison Pichon, fronting Boui^ la Beine, was 
Charridre's Brigade, whicli had, however, undertaken no attack 
against the latter place. 

At 1.30 p.m. the Bavarian Divisional Commander, Lieut- 
General Count v. Bothmer, ordered the 1st battalion, 5th Begi- 
ment, to move forward to the Sceaux railway station and conjointly 
with the 2nd to take part in the struggle round Bagneux. 
Whilst the 6th and 7th companies advanced from their position 
in the park along the railway embankment and skirmished with 
the enemy's troops deployed near Maison Pichon, the 1st battalion 
scaled the height south-east of Bagneux, where it first recaptured 
the previously mentioned isolated buildings, and then, after 
overwhelming the French reserves with volleys and file-fire, 
forced its way into the village. At this same moment Lieut.- 
Colonel V. Heckel had also led forward the detachments assembled 
on either side of the Fontenay road* towards Bagneux, tumiug 
at the same time the village on the west with the 10th Bifle 
battalion. Casting aside the barricades and other obstacles erected 
by the French, the Bavarians, after a protracted struggle in the 
northern part of the village against the obstinate resistance of the 
adversary, gradually succeeded in making headway. 

During these proceedings on the north-east slope of the Moulin 
de la Tour plateau the enemy had also attacked the left wing of 
the 4th Division. Against this Susbielle's Brigade, under cover 
of the field artillery which had been in action near Fort Vanves 
since 9 a.m., had advanced in two columns. A company of chasseurs 
accompanied by two battalions de marche had moved from 

♦ 5th Rifles ^^, 10th Rifles and detachments of l^^. See previous narrative. 


Yanves in the direction of Ch&tilloD, occupied the nearest houses 
of the place and commenced a brisk action with the 3rd battalion 
Ist Bavarian Regiment deployed along its northern border ; in 
rear of this battalion the 9th company 5th Regiment had arrived 
from Fontenay. Two French field guns directed a vigorous case 
fire at close range upon the defenders of a barricade erected across 
the main street, whilst the pioneers at the same time broke through 
the nearest houses, and two battalions of Oardo Mobile coming 
from Montrouge, althoxigh vigorously fired upon in the left flank, 
penetrated into the etist side of Ch&tillon. When detach- 
ments of the 42nd French Line Regiment held in readiness at La 
Baraque thereupon took part in this struggle, the Bavarians were 
ultimately compelled to evacuate the barricade and to retire into 
the south part of tlie village, where they maintained themselves 
until five fresh companies of the 8th Brigade* hurried u]> to 
their support from Sceaux and Bagneux. The struggle for the 
possession of Ch&tillon now broke out with renewed vigour. The 
Bavarians succeeded in gradually recapturing the localities pre- 
viously abandoned and which the enemy had meanwhile arranged 
for defence ; more especially were they successful in taking in 
flank and rear the barricade occupied by the French at the 
northern street of the village. 

To the right of those detachments of Susbielle's Brigade which 
had advanced towards Chatillon, two battalions of the 13th Regi- 
ment de Marche had after occupying Clamart t ensconced them- 
selves on the northern slopes of the Moulin de la Tour plateau. 
The latter was kept under fire by several field batteries uulimbercd 
at Clamart and other suitable points, as well as by the heavy 
artillery of Foits Issy, Vanves, and Montrouge. A French 
battalion despatched to Fleury covered the assailants' right fiauk 
towards the Bois de Meudon. 

On the Bavarian side the posts pushed forward to Clamart 
had withdrawn on the approach of the French to the real de- 
fensive ))osition, whose timely occupation by the advanced troops 
of the 3rd Division stemmed the enemy's advance also at this 
point. The loth Regiment held with two battalions the plateau, 
with the third nn abattis in the Bois de Meudon^ while the 2nd 
battalion 14>th Regiment occupied the copses south of Clamart; 
two other companies of this regiment were in the oft<mentioncd 
Moulin de la Tour redoubt. The remainder of the 6tli Brigade, 
and the two battalions of the 7th Regiment drawn in from 
Plessis Piquet, reinforced since 11 a.m. the foremost fighting 
line, after that the main body of the 5th Infantry Brigade and a 
Lancer Brigade had likewise reached the plateau from their 
quarters in rear. In the gun emplacements at the edge of the 

— -- — --^■_ — _ — _ „ — ^ _ __ 

, nth and 12th IstandSrd^^^^ _4th f^om Bagneux. 

11 7 10th Rifles ^ 

t The fortificatious shown on plan 15 at the north end of Clamart were thrown 
up at a later period by the Germans. 


latter the oth G-pr. battery 2Dd Artillery Regiment maintained 
a successful fire upon the field guns and the enemy's infantry 
detachments seeking shelter on the hill side. The attempt to 
bring more Bavarian batteries into action, failed however against 
the superior power of the fortress artillery. 

After General Vinoy had become convinced during the coui*se 
of the struggle just described that the Germans were opposed 
to him in considerable force at all points of the front of attack, 
he caused the engagement to be broken off about 3 p.m. Under 
protection of the brigade, left temporarily at Maison Pichon, 
the battalions posted in rear of Bagneux took the direction 
of Hautes Bniyeres. The detachments which had forced their 
way into Biigneux first broke down V* park-wall which projects 
towaixis the north-east, and afterwards, followed by the fire of the 
Bavarians, whose further advance they however repulsed^ with- 
drew to Montrouge, whilst the troops of the French right wing 
marched away from Chd>tillon and Clamart to Yanves. When 
darkness set in, the last detachments of infantry disappeared 
in rear of the line of foi*ts. The Bavarians thereupon reoccupied 
for the most part their previous outpost positions and quarters, 
increasing^ however, at the same time the garrison at Bagneux to 
two battalions. 

The losses of the French in the action of the 13th October 
amounted to 400 men ; the losses of the Ilnd Bavarian Corps 
were approximately tlie same. On the following day an armistice 
of six hours for the purpose of burpng the dead was mutually 
agreed upon at this section of the line of investment. 

Engagement at La Maluaison ox the 21st Octobku. 

As after the sortie just described the conviction gained more 
and more ground in Paris that the Germans would not make an 
attack in force, but that it was intended to reduce the capital by 
stai-vation, the French generals now took seriously into con- 
sideration the question of an attempt to break through the line. 
The plateau of Villejuif, the advanced position at Joinville, the 
plain to the north-west of St. Denis and the GenneviUiers 
peninsula, proved on closer examination to be the most suitable 
points of departure for such an enterpiisc, bec<mse in all the 
other sections before Paris the commanding heights with the 
strong fortifications erected by the Germans opposed almost 
insurmountable diificulties. Moreover the fact had to be borne 
in mind that, being debaiTed under any circumstances from 
bringing their transport with them, they must lead the sallying 
army as soon as possible into some district, the resoiux^es of 
which, while in secure communication with the sea, had not 
yet been exhausted. The French commanders, for these 
reasons, gave the preference for sortie to the last-mentioned 


direction, and proposed that after crossing the Seine at Carri^res 
and Bczons an advance should be made towards the ridge on the 
north side of the Argenteuil peninsula, which, was at the same 
time to be attacked by other troops from St. Denis. In the 
event of success, the march was to Ije at once continued by way 
of Pontoise to llouen, the Loire Army was to be brought by rail 
to Normandy through Lo Mans, and by this means a force of 
250,000 men was to be assembled in the neighbourhood of the 
west coast. 

Whilst this extensive undertaking was now put in train with 
idl the secrecy possible, the more frequent appearance of the 
German outposts at Rucil claused apprehension lest the line of 
investment should be pushed forward as far as the Gennevil- 
liers peninsula, and the sortie by way of Bezons thereby rendered 
much more difficult. General Ducrot, therefore, resolved to 
drive from its foremost positions the Yth Army Corps immediately 
opposed to him, and then to throw up at Moulin des Gibets, on the 
lower western slope of Mont Yalerieu, an entrenchment com- 
manding the Seine valley as far as La Malmaison, Chatou, and 
Carrieres St. Denis. After repeated reconnaissances by the supreme 
commanders of the ground in front of Mont Yalericn, the ar- 
rangements for tlio attack were made known on the 20th October. 
In accordance therewith, two columns were to advance on the 
following day from the north and east against La Malmaison, a 
third against Chateau Buzanval, while a fourth was to undertake 
the pi-otection of the left flank towards St Cloud. Besides these 
a special reserve to the south of Nanterre was to hold itself in 
i*oadiness to take part. The total strength of these troops 
amounted to 10,000 men with 120 field guns. 

At 8.30 aon. on the 21st Fort Yalerien first opened a brisk fire 
upon the ground to the south-west of Bueil and upon the 
parties working at the entrenchments in the front line of the 
Yth Army Corps. After hoisting tlie battle signal on the flag- 
staff of the fort, the field artilleiT of the five French sortie 
columns, undei* tlie direction of General Boissonnet, opened 
fire at 1 p.m. : three batteries unlimbered on either side of 
Reuil, three between the Fouilleusc and Briqueterie fermsteads 
whilst eight batteries formed a second line of guns on the broad 
central spur of Mont Yalericn. Whilst the whole of these 
batteries in conjunction with the guns of the last-named fort 
once more brought their fire to bear upon La Malmaison and 
Bougival, the French infantry commenced their offensive move- 
ments in the third horn* of the afternoon. The column on the 
right wing under General Berthaiit pushed forward to the west 
border of Rueil, and with the fi^nctu*eurs as far as the park of 
La Malmaison. The troops of Genei*al Noel, assembled in rear 
of Richelieu Park, deployed north of the Bois de Buzanval a 
line of skirmishers east of the Cucusa ravine, whilst Colonel 
ChoUeton s colunm moved forward iix)m Maison Crochard against 
Chateau Buzanval. With the column on tlie left wing General 


Martenot at this time reached Briqueterie, while the reserve 
under General Paturel arrived at Moulin des Gibets.* 

That an attack on the part of the enemy was in preparation 
had been noticed for some days past by the watch post^ of 
the Vth Army Corps at La Jonchfere. Shoi-tly after midday on 
the 21st the outposts reported the advance of French troops 
from Mont Yal^rien. General v. Kirchbach, commanding the 
Corps, caused his troops in consequence to get under arms and 
proceeded in person to La Celle St. Cloud. 

The Vth Corps had, as previously stated, concentrated on the 
left wing towards the middle of the month, in consequence of 
the arrival of the 21st Division at Meudon and Sevres. f In the 
position occupied by the 10th Division, against which the enemy 
was directing his real attack, the 19th Brigade occupied this 
day the front line. The 6 th Regiment was at La Celle St. Cloud 
and with the 1st battalion at the outposts between the Fohlen 
Koppel and La Jonch^re. Further on the left the fusilier 
battalion, 46th Regiment, held with the 9th company the farm- 
stead just mentioned, with the 10th and 11th occupied Villa 
Mettemich, whilst the 12th company posted in rear of the 
barricade at the eastern entrance to Bougival had pushed for- 
ward a small party into the park of La Malmaison. The other 
two battalions, the 4th squadron 14th Dragoons and the 5th 
heavy battery were at Bougival.J 

The Ist company, 46tli Regiment while relieving the post 
in La Malmaison park came into collision with the French 
infantry advancing through Rueil and, maintaining a delaying 
musketry action, retired slowly before them. By order of the 
Divisional Commander the whole of the companies available at 
Bougival and La Celle St. Cloud now gradually occupied a 

* Distzibation for battle of the French troops: — 
(1.) General Berthaut's colunm. (2.) General Noel's column. 

2 battalions. Garde Mobile of the Seine I Franctireurs of Mout Val^rien. 

and Mame. Tirailleurs of the Seine. 

2 battalions Zouaves. 1 battalion Garde Mobile of the Lower 
1 battalion S6th Infantry Regiment | Loire. 

t, Garde Mobile of Morbihan. 6 companies Foot Cba^^^eurs. 

3 companies Franctireurs of Paris. 

3 batteries and 2 mitrailleuses. 

1 squadron Gendarmerie. 

(3.) Colonel ChoUeton's column. 

Franctireurs of the 1st Division. 
»> ft 2nd „ 

2 battalions 19th Regiment de Marche. 

Franctireurs of the Tcrncs. 
Franctireurs of the Srd Division. 

1 battery and 4 mitraiileusscs. 

(4.) General Martenot's column. 

2 battalions Garde Mobile of Isle and 

2 battalions Garde Mobile of the Seine. 

3 batteries, of which one of mitrailleuses, i l battalion Garde Mobile of the Aisne. 

: 3 batteries. 

(5.) RescrTC. 

4 battalions of Paturel's Brigade of the 14th Corps. 

5 batteries, of which one a mitrailleuse battery. 

With the Ist,- 2nd, and 3rd colunms there were altogether about a hundred sappers 
and scouts (the latter from Franchetti's squadron mentioned in Fart II., p. 30). 

t See Part II., p. 117. 

X A division of this squadron of dragoons wa^ with the 6th Regiment at La Celle 
St. Cloud. 


defeDsivc line, which supported its flank on the Seine to the 
north of the former place and stretched across the height of 
La Jonchere along the border of the wood as far as the Cucusa 
ravine.* The 5th heavy battery at the Bougival barricade took 
up the struggle with the far superior force of French field artil- 
lery ; the 5th light battery moved into position at Metternich park, 
but after a few rounds had to be again withdrawn. Further 
to the south the outpost battalion of the Gth Regiment had 
occupied the i-edoubts of La Celle St. Cloud and the " Empress* 
Kiosk," wliere shortly the 20th Brigade also concentrated. 
Three squadrons and two batteries of the 10th Division had 
remained in the neighbourhood of Bellebat ; the main body of 
the 9th Division was on tlie march from Versailles to Vau- 

The enemy's oflensive movement had been meanwhile continued. 
Supported by the batteries deployed to the north-west of Rucil, 
which had advanced to within 1 ,400 paces of Bougival and from 
this new position kept up a fire upon the ground between the Seine 
and the south of La Jonchere, four companies of Zouaves moved 
forward at 3 p.m. from Rueil towards Bougival. When these came 
under a brisk tire from the foremost line of defence of the Prus- 
sians, they struck oft' to the left towards the park of La Malmaison 
and forced their way through gaps rapidly made in the wall in 
company with other parts of the attacking cohimns assembled 
at Rueil. Following at the heels of the retiring posts of the 46th 
Regiment, the French reachctl the west sido of the park. But 
owing to the galling fire of the Prussians from the height of La 
Jonchk-e only one Zouave company succeeded at first in forcing 
its way across the valley and in taking up a position in a wooden 
summer-house on the further slope of the hill, where it was 
reinforced later by two other companies of Zouaves and some 
detachments of Franctireurs. The remaining ti-oops of the 
French right wing lined the wall of La Malmaison Park and the 
eastern edge of the Cucusa valley ; further on the left were the 
Franctireurs of the column which had proceeded towards Chd^teau 
Buzanval, and which after occupying it without opposition had 
likewise taken a westerly direction. There now ensued during the 
fourth hour of the afternoon a standing musketry action along 
the entire front, in which the French artillery also played a vigorous 
part. Whilst one battery and four mitrailleuses took up a position 
at the cross roads south of La Malmaison, another battery with 

♦ The following were the positions: — 

Between the Seine and the eastern entrance to Bongival — I — ' ^^\ 


On the height of La Jonchere as far as the " red pavilion," ^Oth, 11th, 6th, 8rd, 

5th, 7th ^^^ 9th, 12th 

46 6 

At the edge of the wood as far as the Cucusa ravine ; ?^Mth ^^ ^th, 6th 
** 46 6 • 

T ^irii Tir ** -1 10th, nth, 7th, 8th. 
In reserve at Villa Metternich, • ^ 1 — 


two mitraiUeuses advanced through Forte du Longboyau into the 
line of skirmishers on the left wing, for the purpose of supporting 
the infantry in its sanguinary struggle against the Prussian 19th 

Aj3 the latter wa^ at this time committed with all its troops in 
the foremost fighting line, Lieut.-General v. Schmidt had brought 
up fi*om the neighbourhood of La Celle St. Cloud the 50th 
Regiment as reinforcement. The 1st battalion had advanced to 
Villa Metternich, the 2nd in the direction of the Upper Cucusa 
ravine, while the fusilier battalion liad gone into position in front 
of the La Celle St, Cloud height. 

As at 4 p.m. the force of the enemy's attack appeared to be 
sufficiently broken by the Pnissian tire, Colonel v. Eberhardt, 
commanding the 46th Regiment, ordered the detachments of the 
left wing to advance from their positions. Five companies of the 
19th Brigade, in concert with two Guard Landwehr companies 
which had hastened up from the outpost position at St. Germain 
en Laye,* dashed across the height of La Jonch^re and penetrated 
from the south-west into La Malmaison park in spite of the stub- 
bom resistance of the Zouaves. Other companiest moved simul- 
t<'vneously from Bougival against the more northern part of the 
park, and, after scaling the wall, against the chateau. 

The enemy already exhausted by the preceding struggle was 
unable to withstand this attack any longer and commenced his 
retreat at all points. To cover it a battalion of Garde Mobile on 
the right flank made a brief sally against the Prussians, whilst two 
mitrailleuses posted on a terrace at the southern border of Rueil 
brought their fire to bear upon the pursuers who followed as far 
as this place. In order to facilitate the retreat from the park of 
the closely packed French troops, a portion of the east wall had 
been broken away shortly before. 

On the more southerly part of the battle-field the 2nd battalion, 
50th Regiment from a clearing in the wood east of the Cucusa 
ravine had taken the direction of Porte du Longboyau. The 
first line of the battalion, consisting of the 5th and 8th companies, 
formed connection on leaving the wood with the right wing of 
the 19th Brigade,} and in conjunction with it continued the 
advance ngainst the enemy retiring also at this point. The skir- 
mishers of the two just mentioned companies of the 50th Regiment 
and detachments of the 6th company Gth Regiment, led by 1st 
Lieutenant Michler, captured at this time two guns of the French 
battery which had previously come into action at Porte du 
Longboyau, their infantry escort havincr offered a vain resistance. 
The 50th next occupied Chateau Buzanval and from thence 

» 3rd, 5th, 7th 9th and 12th ^^^ 7th, 8th ,^^^ ^. and 9th. 10th 

46 ' ' ] St Guard Landwehr' 1st Guard Landwehr 

were likewise adTancing from St. Germain en Laje, but were not emploj'ed. 
. 6th, 8th, and parts of 12th 

^ 46 

^ 5th and 6th 


maintained a fire upon the adversary retiring to the northward. 
During the sixth hour of the afternoon the firing died away at 
all points. The Prussian troops reoocupied their previous outpost 
positions and quarters ; a desultory fire was alone kept up from 
the heavy guns at Mount Yaldrien.* 

In this sortie against the Yth Army Corps the French had lost 
500 men killed and wounded ; upwards of 120 unwounded men 
had been taken prisoners, chiefly during the retreat from La 
Malmaison Park. The loss on the Prussian side amounted to 
about 400 men. 

In pursuance of the deliberations which had taken place at the 
beginuing of September with regard to the proceeoUngs to be 
adopted for the reduction of the French capital,t the supreme 
German authorities had made arrangements towards the end 
of the month for bringing up the siege train, which had in the 
meantime been organised at home, by the line of railway which 
the capture of Toul had now rendered available. 

Generals v. Hindersin and v. Kleist,:}: who during the last days 
of September had made detailed reconnaissances in the neigh- 
bourhood of Paris, were unanimous in their opinion that a 
mere bombardment of the widely spreading city would not lead 
to an early surrender. There was, therefore, much in favour of 
an attack in form, which with a simultaneous advance upon 
the north-west front of the fortress and a suitable demonstration 
against Fort Montrouge, should be mainly directed against Forts 
I^ and Yanves, and, after the fall of iJiese two works, against 
that part of the enceinte lying in their rear. It was at the 
same time prominently set forth that the bombardment should 
not commence until a sufficiency of guns and ammunition had 
reached the spot, so that when the firing was once opened it 
should be continued with unremitting energy. § 

After this general plan had been approved, the execution of 
which devolved in the south upon the Ilird Army, in the north- 
west upon the Army of the Meuse, a commander of siege artillery 
and a commanding engineer were appointed on the 9th and 10th 
October for each of the two fronts of attack. 

As regards sites for siege batteries there were favourable points 
to the south of Paris on the heights of Meudon, Clamart, and 
Moulin de la Tour, which had a command of 60 to 75 metres over 
the works to be bombarded. A formidable battery at St. Cloud 
was to cover the left wing of the main attack and was to engage 
more particularly the Frencli guns at Billancourt as well as that 
part of the enceinte near Le Point du Jour. On the right wing 

* Opposite the positions of the 9 th Diyision only a weak French detachment had 
shown itself ; it was driven o£f hy the fire of patrols sent forward to meet it. 

t See Part II., pp. 82-33. 

t See Part I., Appendix V., p. 27*. 

§ The tti'o generals made their first report from Lagny on the 30th September, 
followed by a special project of attack in the besrinniug of October. 


circumstances forbade the batteries intended to act against 
Fort Montrouge from proceeding at first beyond Bagneux, for 
fear of exposing them to flanking fire from the enemy's works 
recently erected between Cachan and Bagneux. On the German 
side it was hoped that these redoubts and the fortifications at 
Villejuif would be held in check by batteries at L'B[ay and 
CheviUy, while 92 siege guns in all could be brought into 
action against Forts Issy, Yanves, Montrouge^ and some possible 
intermediate batteries. From the previous behaviour of the artillerj'' 
of the fortress it might certainly be anticipated that during the 
first period of attack that portion of the siege batteries which 
were crowded on the Moulin de la Tour plateau would bo 
exposed to the defender's superior and converging fire. 

In order to prepare the intended bombardment of the north- 
west enceinte and of the works of St. Denis, and at the same 
time to form on the Lower Seine a more secure connexion 
between the Ilird and Meuse Armies, the latter was ordered at 
the end of September to throw forward its i-ight flank on to 
the Gennevilliers peninsula.* Such an extension, which, in con- 
sequence of the obstacle formed by the damming of the Horde 
brook, was permissible without weakening to a serious extent 
any part of the line of investment, and at tlie same time being in 
unison with the general plan of attack would have facilitated 
a converging artillery fire upon the works of St. Denis, had 
also been contemplated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
of the Meuse. But as the reconnaissances had shown that, 
in view of the fortress artilleiy commanding the peninsula in 
question, its occupation would have entailed considerable sacri- 
fices, the Commander-in-Chief considered that pending the 
arrival of the siege gims he should limit his proceedings to 
pushing forward his ri<::ht towards the west, so as to be able 
to occupy the Franconville heights with a strong reserve, in the 
event of the French endeavouring to break through in the 
direction of Bezons and ArgenteuH. In order to discuss the 
matter by word of mouth the chief of the staff, General v. 
Schlotheim, proceeded on the 2nd October to the headquarters at 
Versailles. The latter in consequence temporarily suspended 
the above-mentioned order, but still maintained that everything 
necessaiy should be prepared for a subsequent movement to the 
Genneviilers peninsula while at the same time every effort 
should be made to prevent the enemy from establishing himself 
upon it. 

The IVth Ai'my Corps now despatched in the first instance 
another battalion and two batteries to Argenteuil,t and caused 
earthworks to be thrown up for the latter on the slope of 
the heights abutting to the north-east, and in the low ground 
at Lo Marais. The village of Epinai St. Denis, likewise occupied 

• See note J, Part II., p. 33. 
t See Part II., p. 100. 


and strengthened for the protection of the batteries, was in con- 
nexion on the left with the outpost position at Ormesson. In 
the event of it being necessary to cross the Seine the pontoon 
columns of the IVth and Guard Corps were assembled at 
Sannois, while river craft and casks were collected at Ch&teau 
Le Marais. For the protection of the site at which it was 
in contemplation to effect tiic passage, a river barricade with 
torpedoes was placed ; this was followed by the complete de- 
struction of the bridges over the Seine at Aigenteuil and below 
Bezons, which h<id already been blown up. 

The movement to the right of the Army of the Meuse resolved 
upon for the reasons just stated had been so far carried out by 
the 11th October, tliat tlic Xllth Coq>.s liad extended itself as 
far as the Sauffet brook, the Guard Corps as far as Graulay ; 
the IVth now occupied the Argenteuil peninsula with a whole 
brigade of the 8tli Division, whilst the remainder of this 
Division was quartered between Sannois and the lake of Enghien. 
The 7th Division occupied quarters on the south-west slope of 
the Montmorency heights, the corps artillery at Sannois and 
Ermont. The line of outposts of the IVth Anny Cori>s extended 
from Croissy past the villages on the Seine as far as Epinai, all 
of which were occupied by a strong line of advanced troops, and 
from thence by way of Ormesson to Les Carnaux. The head- 
quarters proceeded to Soisy. 

The 1st Guard Division occupied the villages on the east slope 
of the Montmorency heights to the further side of the Ecouen- 
Paris road, the 2nd Guard Division the country abutting to the 
east of tlie Croud and Morde brooks as far as Vaudherland and Le 
Blanc Mesnil. Some battalions of the former occupied Montmagny 
and Pierrefitte ; from thence the line of outposts of the Guard 
Corps extended as before througli Stains to Le Bourget, and 
then along the railway as far as the neighbourhood of Aulnay 
les Bondy. In rear of the company posted at Le Bourget there 
was a battalion in barracks at Pont Iblon. The headquarters of 
the Guard Corps were at Gonesse, further to the rear the 
Corps Artillery ; the 1st and 3rd Guard Cavalry Brigades were 
at Roissy and Tremblay. 

In the pi*esent rayon of the Xllth Army Corps between 
the Sauftet brook and the Mame, the front of the 23rd Division 
extended from Aulnay les Bondy to Livry, that of the 24th 
from Clichy to Chelles. West of this line detachments of 
infantry were in readiness to support the outposts, in whose 
general position no change had taken place.* The headquarters 
had remained in Le Vert Galant ; the Coi^ps Artillery was 
further to the east, abreast of Villeparisis. The Crown Prince of 
Saxony had taken up his headquarters at Margency on the 
8th October. 

On the French side the ]>ositions which had been abandoned on 
the Gennevilliers peninsulaf at the beginning of the investment 

• Sec Part II., p. 102. 
t See Tartll., p. 27. 


were reoccupied during the course of October. A numerous 
artillery crowned the heights between Puteauz and Asniferes. 
Several battalions commanded from the latter place with their 
advanced troops the country between Courbevoie and Yilleneuve 
la Qarenne. The entrenchments left unfinished on the peninsula 
were completed, armed with artillery (and occupied by Zouaves. 
Outposts stood at Nanterre and to the south-east of Argenteuil 
closely facing the German line of investment ; recozmaissances 
had also been made daily since the middle of October in the 
direction of the latter place. As the Prussian field batteries at 
Argenteuil were far from being able to cope with the enemy's 
artillery deployed on both banks of the Seine over the whole area 
between Mont Yal^rien and St. Denis^* they were withdrawn to 
Sannois, the collected bridge material to Sartrouville ; only the 
infantry retained their positions at the south-east border of the 
Argenteuil peninsula. 

As the artilleiy attack on the north-west front of Paris and 
the passage of the Seine at Argenteuil, contemplated with a view 
to the construction of flanking siege batteries, was now entirely 
abandoned by the Germans, the headquarters staff of the Army of 
the Meuse in lieu thereof now took into consideration an advance 
against the north side of St. Denis. It was the intention to 
capture in the first place Fort de la Briche by a formal attack, 
then the Double Ci'own by the gorge, and after this to erect 
batteries at St. Denis, with which Fort de I'Est and the positions 
of the enemy at St. Ouen and on the (3ennevilliers peninsula 
were to be combated. The want of siege artillery in the northern 
line of investment did not, however, permit this project being 
put into execution at present. 

Actions at Lb Bourgbt on the 28th and 30th Gotobxb. 

The Guard Corpsi had proceeded undisturbed with their works 
of fortification in the ground to the north of Paris until nearly 
the end of October, the enemy in their front, with the exception 
of some unimportant skirmishes, displaying but little watchfulness 
or activity.! On the evening of the 27th, however, the French 
commenced to throw up earth entrenchments about 800 paces in 
front of the outer line of the Guard Corps. About 5 a.m. on the 
28th, when the 7th company Queen's Grenadier Regiment of the 
Guard had just taken up its outpost position at Le Bourget, the 
picket posted on the Paris road was suddenly overwhelmed 
with a heavy file-fire. Under cover of the darkness the 

* The Prussian batteries on the Orgemont had on the 8th October driven away 
by their fire the French workmen from the GenneyilUers entrenchments, but after- 
wards, in accordance with orders, had quitted their positions in consequence of the 
fire of the adyersary's heavy artillery at St. Ouen. 

t Thirty-five railway waggons left at Le Bourget station were on the night of the 
14th-l5th October pushed to Sovran by men of the Guard and Xllth Corps without 
opposition from the enemy. 

41648. r 


French General Bellemare was leading the Volunteer Corps of 
tbo Press against this isolated advanced post of the line of 
investment;* a battalion of the Garde Mobile and two line 
battalions followed later in support, while two heavy guns at 
La Coumeuve covered the left flank of the advancing troops. 

The company thus unexpectedly assailed collected in the 
northern part of the village, whilst the adversary followed at 
first slowly and with caution, but at daybreak pressed forward 
with greater energy and at the same time surrounded the place 
on the north-west. When the weak Prussian detachment with- 
drew in consequence to Le Blanc Mesnil and Pont Iblon, the 
French on their part ensconced themselves in Le Bourget, and 
in accordance with the orders of their general at once proceeded 
to fortify it. Some guns, unlimbering to the west of the village 
and to the north of La Coiuiieuve, directed their fire upon Pont 
Iblon, imtil they were reduced to silence by the superior effect of 
the batteries of the Guard^f which had meanwhile assembled 
at the latter place. On the other hand, after 10 a.m., the heavy 
guns in the fortifications of St. Denis took up the struggle with 
tlie Prussian artillery at Pont Iblon^ which ceased firing at 4 p.m. 
by superior orders. 

Li order to obtain information with regard to the strength of 
the adversary who had penetrated into Le Bourget, and if 
possible to reoccupy the village^ the commander of the 2nd Guard 
Division that same evening ordered the 2nd battaJion Emperor 
Francis' Regiment, which he brought up from Bonneuil to Point 
IbloD, to advance against that pla^. The battalion moved off at 
half-past 7 o'clock with two companies along the main road, 
whilst the other two companies made for the side entrances to 
the village. The enemy^ who had meanwhile thoroughly prepared 
the latter for defence^ barricaded the roads and provided the walls 
of its northern border with loop holes, received the Grenadiers of 
tlie Guard with a brisk fire at close range, and compelled them to 
retire to Pont Iblon with considerable loss. 

The intention of the French to maintain the captured post 
having thus become distinctly evident, a further attempt was 
next made by the Prussians to drive them out again with 
artillery fire. By order of the head-quarters of the Guard Corps, 
30 guns from the positions behind Pont Iblon maintained in the 
forenoon of the 29th a brisk fire for some hours upon Le Bourget^ 
but without attaining the expected result, as the adversary 
found sufficient protection behind tlie strong walls of the village. 
On the other hand an attack made at 3 p.m. from Fort Double 
Couronne against Pierrefitte and Villetaneuse failed against the 
resistance of the advanced troops of the 1st Guard Division.! 
The Crown Prince of Saxony, who for reasons already stated 

* The ** Franctireurs of the Press " belonged to the volanteer corps mentioned in 
Fart II., p. 30, formed in the capital of men of different occupations. 

t fith heavy battery and the horse artillery division under escort of the f osilicr 
battalion Qneen's licgimcnt. 

X Farts of the Ist Ga:ird oxid Guard Fusilier Regiments. 


WAS anxious to prevent the French at all hazards from esta- 
blishing themselves in Le Boarget, had already on the afternoon 
of the 28th explained to the staff of the Guard Coi'ps tliat the 
recapture of Le Bourget was a matter of great importance. 
When the headquarters' staff, after the failure of the artillery 
bombardment on the afternoon*of the 29th, now sought to main- 
tain the opinion that Le Bourget could with difficulty be per- 
manently held by the Germans under the fire of the works at St. 
Denis, and therefore that they should abstain from any further 
enterprises against the village, the Crown Prince gave an express 
order to attack. Its execution was entrusted on the part of the 
Guard Corps to Lieut.-General v. Budritzki. 

The force selected for this undertaking, consisting of nine bat- 
talions of the 2nd Guard Division,* the three horse artillery bat- 
teries and two field batteries of the Corps Artillery, assembled on 
the morning of the 30th October at Dugny, Pont Iblon, and Le 
Blanc Mesml for an enveloping attack on Le Bourget ; in rear 
of the right wing stood in addition the 1st Gus^ In&ntry 
Brigade with the artillery of the 2nd Guard Division at Garges 
and Amouville, in order to resist any offensive movement of 
the enemy along the other bank of the Croud brook. The troops 
of the 23rd Division quartered to the north of the Ourcq canal 
were likewise held in readiness to take part. 

At 8 a.m. the horse artillery batteries of the Guard at Pont 
Iblon and the two field batteries at Le Blanc Mesnil, opened fire 
upon Le Bourget ; at the same moment the column on the left 
wing commenced its march from Le Blanc MesniL Half an 
hour later the other two columns broke up from Dugny and 
Pont Iblon ; f with the latter was General v. Budritzki. 

The jnrrenadier battalions of Queen Elizabeth's Regiment, 
which formed the first line of the centre column of attack, 
were met during their advance across the perfectly open ground 
on either side of the high road by a vigorous fire from Le Bourget 
and the forts. They however by an energetic advance gained 
the northern border of the village, and towards 9 o'clock 
forced their way into it over the street barricade at the 
north entrance, and by several openings in the wall which 

* The other foar battalioxiB remained in the outpOBt positions of the Division, 
f Eight. Centre (main). Left. 


Column of attack. 

From Dagny. 

Commander: Major v. 

Ilnd. and Fusilier. 
Emperor Francis' Kcgt. 

1 division 2nd Guard 

From Font Iblon. 

Commander: Colonel 
Count V. Kanltz. 

1st., Ilnd.. Fusilier 
Queen Elizabeth's Regt. 
Fusiliers 2nd 

Queen's liegt. Guard Pion. 

^ squadron 2nd puard 

1st, 2nd, and 3rd horse 

artillery battcrici!. 

From Le Blanc MesniL 

Conunandcr: Colonel v. 

Ist. and Ilud. 

Emperor Alexander's liegt. 

1st, 2nd and ^ 4th. 

{Sharpshooters of the Guard. 

1 division Guard Lancers. 
4th heavy and 4th li^rht 

batteries and a division 

of pioneci's. 

I 2 


were rapidly made by the pioneers. An extremely embittered 
etreet fight, entailing great losses on each side, now commenced, 
during which Colonel v. Zaluskowski, commanding Queen Eliza- 
beth's Regiment, was mortally wounded. The 2nd and Stli 
companies were engaged to the east of the main road ; the other 
six companies penetrated by a gradual forward movement into 
the western part of the village, and formed connexion in the 
neighbourhood of the church with the battalions of the Emperor 
Francis' Begiment, which had advanced from Dugny. 

The latter had during their forward movement secured them - 
selves by means of flanking parties* on the Mollette brook against 
the French troops who had been discovered at La Courneuve b}'' 
the division of Lancers acting as scouts. The right wing of 
the fusilier battalion had afterwards forced its way iuto the 
park of Le Bourget, whilst Captain v. Obstfelder led forward 
the 11th company against the barricaded entrance into the 
village on that side, during the storming of which he met his 
death. The 12th company had moved still further on the left 
towards the church, aud stormed the windows, which were some 
distance above the ground, in spite of the vigorous opposition of 
the enemy, which was only overcome in the interior of the 
building after a tough struggle. In conjunction with the six 
grenadier companies of the Queen Elizabeth's Regiment arriving 
from the north, the fusilier battalion Emperor Francis' Regiment, 
fighting their way step by step, moved towards the southern- 
most part of the village ; the 2nd battalion kept watch in the 
cemetery and park towards the side of La Courneuve. 

Still more stubbornly did the enemy defend himself in the 
farmsteads east of the main road, which were surrounded with 
high and strong walls. In support of the battalions which had 
already penetrated into Le Bourget, the commander of the 
Queen's Regiment, Colonel Count v. Waldersee, had led forward 
the second Une of the central column of attack, of which he only 
sent small partiesf to foUow the troops advancing victoriously 
on the western side, whilst the main body moved towards 
the eastern. The fusiliers of the Queen Elizabeth's Regiment 
entered the village near the northern entrance, and in con- 
junction with the 2nd and 8th companies gradually cleared the 
farmsteads east of the road as far as abreast of the church. The 
fusilier battalion Queen's Regiment, which in ti^aversing the open 
ground in front of Le Bourget had already aufiered con- 
siderably from the enemy's fire and had lost several ofiicer.s, 
subsequently reached the village through the north-eastei*n 
enclosure together with the 2nd and half the 4th company of 
the Sharpshooters of the Guards The fight now commencing 
in the bye streets led to fresh heavy losses ; Colonel Count v. 

* The 6th and parts of the 10th compaDy. 

. 9th J -* !• lOtli 

t =7: — r— r — = and parts ol 

Queen Elizabeth's liegt. Queen's Kegt 

X Flanking detachment of left attacking column. 


Waldersee,* and the leader of the battalion, Captain v. Trotha, fell 
at the head of their fusiliei'S. Nevertheless, the joint efforts of the 
assailant's companies, wliich had become for the most part mixed 
up in the struggle, resulted in ground being gained on aU sides 
in the northern main section of the village. At 10 a.m. the 
enemy held only in considerable force the farmsteads abutting 
on the park, although the troops of the Prussian left wing had 
ibr some time past been in possession of the south part of the 

These troops had advanced from Le Blanc Mesnil on a broad 
front against the east side of Le Bourget, and, supporting with 
one and a half companies of the Sharpshooters of the Guard the 
rear line of the central column of attack, had entered into the 
struggle. The 1st and 5 th companies Emperor Alexander's 
Regiment, which had moved southward as a left flanking party, 
fell immediately after crossing the MoUette brook under fire of 
French infantry who occupied the railway embankment in front, 
and of some field guns unlimbered at Drancy; Forts Auber- 
villiers and de TEst also came into action. The grenadiers 
dashed at once upon the nearest enemy, resolutely drove 
him from the railway embankment, and threw him back 
partly to Le Bourget, pai-tly to Drancy. The other Prussian 
troops, after crossing the MoUette brook under cover of the two 
companies fronting southward, completed their wheel to the 
right and then advanced to the attack of the southern part of 
Le Bourget, where the sheep farm, situated close to the park 
and strongly occupied by the enemy, formed the chief point of 
support for the defence. The 1st company of the Sharpshootei^ 
of the Guard made their way through the park and captured 
some houses south of the glass factory, and shortly also the 
road barricade on the west side of the sheep farm just mentioned. 
The 2nd smd 3rd companies Emperor Alexander's Regiment had 
meanwhile advanced in the open ground north of the bye-road 
from Drancy against the farmstead, whilst the 6th took up a 
position in a house opposite the south-east angle of it ; furtiier 
on the left the 4th stormed the building on the main road. The 
sheep farm thus surrounded on all sides and briskly fired upon 
was now captured by a general assault and occupied by three 
companies ; the other two assembled outside the farmstead as 
lighting reserve ; f isolated pai'ties followed the retreating 
adversary to the southern issue from the village. 

The latter was already in the hands of the extreme left wing of 
the Prussians, which had advanced in that direction. After driving 
off some guns posted at the railway, the 7th company Emperor 
Alexander's Regiment had taken up a position in the railway 
.station, the 8th in the factory abutting on the west and in the 

'* This officer had only recently resumed command of the regiment after recovering 
from his severe wound at St. Privat. 
. 2nd and 3rd 

Emperor Alexander's Regt.' 


gasworks. The enemy still lioldiug out between these places 
and the sheep farm, and firing tov/ards the village street, 
sun*endered, several buildings which had served him for protec- 
tion having been meanwhile set on fire. 

On the French side a further attempt was made at 9.30 a.m. 
to support the troops at Le Bourget* from AuberviUiei-s, and 
from I>rancy which had been likewise this day occupied. But 
the detachments of the Emperor Alexander's Regiment posted at 
tlie railway embankment and in the southernmost part of Lc 
Bourget> aided by the companies left in reserve at the sheep 
farm and the two field batteries meanwhile drawn forward from 
Le Blanc Mesnil to the MoUette brook,t succeeded in repulsing 
with effect the enemy's assaults. The well-directed fire of the 
two batteries indeed caused the French to evacuate Drancy. 

By 10 a.m. that part of Le Bourget south of the Mollette 
brook was thus in uncontested possession of the Prussians. But 
as the enemy held out as heretofore in the localities abutting on 
the park to the north of the brook, the column of the left wing 
now received orders to advance from the south against that part 
of the village still defended by the enemy, and to bring the 
struggle to a decision. The 4th company Emperor Alexander's 
Regiment crossed the brook and attacked a large farm, in which 
the main forces of the French had congregated. With the 
helping co-operation of a detachment of pioneers, which broke 
through the enclosing walls, the Prussian grenadiers forced 
their way into this farmstead, the garrison of which was only 
overcome after a stubborn figlit with butt and bayonet. The 
French Colonel de Baroche here met his death. 

Although all three columns of attack had thus joined hands 
at 11 a.m. in the interior of Le Bourget, the enemy's resistance 
was not yet entu*ely broken. Some isolated detachments re- 
maining in the houses and gardens continued the struggle with 
increased bitterness into the first hour of the afternoon, whilst 
the forts of St. Denis, Aubervilliers, Romainville, and Noisy, 
overwhelmed with shell the village re-captured by the Prussians. 
General v. Budritzki, after the struggle was entirely at an end, left 
therefore only the two battalions of the Emperor Francis' Regiment 
as garrison in Le Bourget. The other troops moved off at 1.30 p.m. 
by companies to their previous quaiirers, covered by the two 
field batteries which drew the enemy's artillery tire on themselves. 
The 2nd Guard Division had purchased the victory with a loss 
of about 500 men, but had captured upwards of 1,200 prisoners 
from the eneni}'. J Still more heavily fell the blow of this defeat 
on the jiopulation of Paris. In consideration of the high value 

* AcconiiDpf to General l>ucrotV, " La Defense de Paris *' there were in Le Bourget 
on tlio morniiur of the 30th the Franciireurs of tlie Press, two battalions of GanU- 
Mobile and parts of several liegimcMts (U- r^larche. altogether about eiffht battalion- . 

t Consequently _l!iiii!l» j"Ji!'_l^l'».-"^? -^^ . , 4th heavvand 4th light batterio-. 

JbiUiperor Alexander s Kegimcut 

t Ko trustworthy data with regard to th6 losses of the French in killed and wounded 

arc accessible. 


whicb^ to judge from their desperate resiBtanoe/ the French 
appeared to attach to the poeseseion of Le Bootget, this viliafle 
remained henceforward in the occapation of two Imttalione of the 
ProBsian Guard* These were, if neoeasary, to be supported &cm, 
the main position in rear, were it only for the purpose of pre- 
Tenting hostile parties from re-establidiing themselves therein. 
On the other hand, it was not the intention of the headquarters 
to defend this adranoed post to the last, should a general sortie 
be made against the positions of the Army of the Meuse. 

The adversary's continuous offensive movements from Bondy 
and Dt*ancy against the front of the Xllth Army Corps had also 
led to some unimportant skirmishes in the month of October.* 
At noon on the 80th the 2Srd Division, with a division of the 
coi-ps artillery^ had by order from the Corps headquarters assem- 
bled at Aulnay;in(Mrder,if required, to take part by way of Groday 
Farm in the engagement just described at Le Bouiget^ for the 
successful termmation of which, however, the forces of the 2nd 
Goard Division were perfectly adequate. On the last day of the 
month there occurred on the left wing of the Corps, at Maison 
Blanche, a slight outpost engagement between the 12th Rifle 
Battalion and tbeBth French It^giment de Marche, supported 
by some volunteeia • 

As regards the -rearwaid communications of the Illrd Army 
and of the Army of the Meuse, the movements after the battleof 
Sedan, the subsequent investment of • Paris, and the formation 
oomraenced in August of Governments General in north-^eastem 
France, liad caused considerable changes. An order issued from 
the royal headquarters on the 13th September rq^olated th^ new 
circumatances on the basis of the present situation.! 

The main lines cf communication west of the Moselle were to 
be as foUows : for the Illrd Army, the line of rail from Nancy 
through Epemay ; for the Army of the Meuse, as a provisional 
arrangement^ an extension further northward of the preTious 
otappen road from Pont k Mousson to Clermont en Aigonne. 

Even before the fiall of loul the railway, in the section west of 
this fortress was so tax arranged for traffic that in a very few days 
after its surrender the entire line from Weissenburg to Nogent 
TArtaud could be handed over for the purpose. The reoonstruo- 
tion of the tunnel at Nanteuil sur Marne, and of the bridges 
over that river further to the west^ was diligently taken in hand, 
iu order to transfer at an early date the terminal point of the 
railway traffic as near as possible to tiie positions of the Germans 
before Paris. This line of railway, which for the present was the 

* Similar vkiraiishes took pliwe on the 23nd and 30th Sept4»iber,and on the Stb, 
lOih, and 14th October. 

t With regard to the previoaa communications of the German Annies and the 
disuihotioii of all the etappen troops at the beginning of September, see PartL, Voi.S, 
p. 456-469, and Appendix No. LXII. 


only CDB ar^viiliUfl^ tnamnitted ikow not onty the irfiole of the 
•torn ortlie:IIIrd Amy, bat also the IralJ^ inateiil fcr the 
locmal attack iipoD -Pan^ iriik^ oomnflnoeiiient of 

Ootobor, paxttr At the PraanaoL for twaMa i partly at Stnasboxg; 
mmb'up by degreoa to Nanteuil aur ICania^ and i^om tlkeoea 
irma forwazded with oonndanUe diflEmlty to the nem fMik at 
TiUaooaUay along the f f nulee of ooontrf road thioogh 
TilleDeiiFD St Geoxges.* MoreoYer the xaahray in ifaaation 
brought np the comriiimariat auppliea for the Anny of the. 
Meoae. iPor this latter object^ howoTer, the headqnarten ataff 
had already oontemplated rendocing other rootea flradnally avwl- 
aUe^ mora eflpedaDy that from Chllona through Bnoima to Mitry, 
and on the 25th September had dren or£ra ftr the n^ge of 
the Ibiti ee B of Sdaeona whidi alall barred thia branoh line. 

Aa the protection of the oommnnicatuma within the rayon of 
the Govemmente General now devolved in the main upon the 
latter, a conaderable part of the previona etappen troopa was 
pboed at the diapoaal of the Govemora GeneraL The Landwebr 
battaliona whieh were atill nnder the ordem of the hmpedbon 
General of Etappen of the lat and Ilnd Armiea protected the 
abort linea of oommnnication between the Army at Mats and 
the Gennan frontier, whilat the occapation of the diief linea of 
traffic weat of the Govemmenta General of Lomine and Beima 
fimned the duty of the etappen troopa of the Ilird and Heuae 
Axmiea. The boundary between the two Govemmenta General 
hat mentioned was as a temporary measure the line from Vitry 
through Epemay to Mezidres. Ab oompenaation, although only 
partiiS, £or the troops of whidi they had bMn deprived, the spheres 
of duty of the Inspectors General of Etappen were cmctalled, while 
all the battalions and cavahy r^pmentsf detailed tat etappen 
duties received considerable reinforcements by order of His 
Majesty the King. 

The Inspector General of Etappen of the lUrd Army, follow- 
ing the advance of the latter through Epernay and Coulommiers^ 
had since the 20th September ta^en ap hie pennanent h^- 
qnarters at CorbeiL The troops under his orders protected with 
detadied companies the laiger stations on the railway west of 
Epemay. and the road from Lagny to Yilleneuve St Geoiges; 
with other detachments the long etappen road from Epemay to 
Oorbeil, on which the garrisons of Montmirail, Ooulommiers, 
Touman, and Brie Oomte Robert were towards the end of Octob^ 
ronforoed to a strength of one battalion each in consequence 
of the increasing ins6curity4 At Corbeil a permanent detachment 
consisting of 4 battalions, 6 squadrons, 1 battery, and 2 pioneer 
companies was posted for the protection of the Army Magazine 

* Fortlier details trill be giTen in a sabseqnent section of this woik. 

t Hie for mer w ere brought up to six eompanies, the latter to six squadrons. Ap- 
pendix No. LXXII. contains a sammary of the GoTcrnment and Ktanpen trooos 
according to the new distribatioa 

} An eta|^»en road running fiirther south from Vitry thrtMigfa Sexsnne to Yaudoy 
bad been reorganised since tbe 25th September. 


at that place, and for employment if necessary against the bodies 
of franctireurs, which appeared from all sides, and whose attacks 
and surprises had threatened the etappen lines of the Ilird Army 
iis early as the month of September.* 

The headquarters of the Inspector General of Etappen of the 
Meuse Army were at Dammartin, the present terminal point of 
the etappen road. The latter at first ran through Nanteuil 
le Haudouin, and Neuilly St. Front to Fismes, afterwards in a 
curve bending still further northward by way of NeufchateJ, 
Rethel, Vouziers, and Grand Prd to Clermont en Argonne, where 
it joined the line of communication already existing to Font a 
Mous8on.t The etappen troops were posted in single com- 
panies and by divisions in the case of the hussars, partly in the 
places just mentioned, partly on the old etappen roads in the 
Meuse district ; 3^ companies were at Ch&teau Thierry.^ At 
this station were mdoaded the railway trains intended for the 
Army of the Meuse, the contents of which were then forwarded 
to the army along the road through Lizy sur Ourcq, which was 
also occupied by an etappen company. But towards the end of 
October a complete change took place in these arrangements, as 
the surrender of Soissons had meanwhile rendered it possible to 
place in working order the previously mentioned branch line 
from Ch&lons to Mitry, and to relinquish by degrees the previous 
etappen roads.§ 

* Collisioiui of this nature had taken phiee in the beginning of September ut llaon 
I'Etape, Baccarat, Void, and Trcveraj, on the 15th September at St. Dizier, on tho 
29th even at Villeneave St. Georges. 

' • t See Part I., Vol. 2, p. 465. Later on, the etappen road did not mtkke the detour 
mentioned through Kcthel, but ran by the more direct line from Fismes through 
Heims and Suippc to Clermont. Tho former direction wstti selected during the 
advance from Sedan through Kethel as being the shortest connexion with the previous 
etappen road. 

t Up to the 6th October —. 

* *^ 105 

§ With the exception of the section between Soissons and Villers Ootterdts, which 
was impassable on account of the tunnel being blown in ; at these points a transfer 
to land transport had to be made. 


The Occupation of Soissons. 

Soissons lies in a rather broad valley-basin at the conflaence 
of tbe Crise brook with the Aisne, and like the majority of 
the earlier French fortresses is laid out on Yauban's system.* 
The town itself is surrounded with ten irregular bastions, somo 
outworks chiefly dii*ected towards the west^ and a loopholed 
wall along the east side bordering the Aisne. A stone bridge 
leads over this river to the opposite suburb of St. Wast, which 
with its three bastions forms a bridge-head on tbe right bank. 
The ramparts with an escarp wall, seven or eight metres in 
height) contained several casemates, which, however, were cer- 
tainly insuflicient for sheltering the garrison. By means of a 
sluice situated near the town bridge and by diverting the Crise 
brook, the ditches of the fortress were for the most part 
filled with water. The valley of both streams was inundated by 
means of extensive dams, so that the south-east side of the fort- 
ress, in particular, was rendered unassailable ; only in advance 
of the short but more elevated south-west front were the 
ditches dry and without counterscarp. Thus, in September ISTO^ 
the fortress was sufficiently free from escalade ; while the com- 
mandant, Lieut-Colonel de None, had an adequate garrison at his 
disposal, f 

The ground in front of Soissons on the lefb bank of the Aisne, 
which comes more prominently into notice when considering an 
attack upon that fortress, is divided by the Crise brook into an 
cast and west section. In both of these there rise at a distance of 
2,000 to 2,500 paces h-om the enceinte liills of no mean propor- 
tions, tlio level crests of which have a considerable command over 
the highest pai*t of the fortress,^: but can themselves be com- 
pletely overlooked firom the tower of the city cathedral. The 
steep-sided valley of the Crise could only be crossed at a few 
places, but in consequence of the presence of a large quantity of 
bush and structures of every sort and kind could not be seen into 
from the fortress. 

The latter had been already attempted by parts of the Army 
of tiio Meuse in their advance towards Paris, but after an uii- 
succe.ssful cannonade from field artillery had been turned 
without difficulty.§ Patrols from a squadron of the 1st Saxon 
Cavalry Regiment, posted at Fismes to cover the rearward com- 
munications, had since that time made frequent reconnaissances as 
fiir as the fortress. After the 2nd Landwehr Division had been 
subsequently drawn forward from the neighbourhood of Aletz 

♦ Sec plan IC. 

t Depot Inituiiion of I5tli Lino lU'^rimcnt and two battalions of Garde Mobile, 
i lilevaiidM of Sio. tiencviovc 77 mcucs above No. 8 ba:itiou j elevation of Vaux- 
biiin (Mont Mitriou) yo metres above No. 7 bafltiuu. 
5 See Part 11., p.. 17. 


into the rayon of the Government General of Rheims,* and had 
been detailed for the provisional investment of Soissons, a mixed 
detachmentf of this Division advanced on the 23rd September 
from Rheims to Eismes, and on the following day from the latter 
place towards the fortress, daring which movement it was joined 
by the Saxon squadron just mentioned. Being received with 
musketry fire on emerging from the wood west of Venizel, tlie 
Germans, after making at first some unsuccessful advances, cap- 
tured the Yilleneuve heights and also the railway embankment 
stretching at the foot of the Sto. Genevieve plateau. Under 
the tire now opening from the artillery of the fortress, the Frank- 
furt battalion placed a line of outposts between the Aisne and 
Crise, for which the pioneers that same evening threw up the 
most necessary cover. The Woldenberg battalion garrisoned 
Chateau Ste. Genevifeve, the other troops occupied quarters in 
Billy and Venizel. This position remained for the present without 
material alteration. In order to prepare the investment of the 
west side of the fortress, a company with some dragoons was 
despatched to Vauxbuin on the 25th, another company to 
Merdn on the 26th. The pioneers worked during the day at 
strengthening the outpost positions, and by night upon tlie Ste. 
Genevi&ve heights at emplacements for the 1st ligiit battery 
which had come up as reinforcement. The enemy endeavoured 
on several occasions to interrupt these works with shell fire, but 
in other respects limited his efibrts to small sorties, after an attack 
upon the German outposts at Yilleneuve on the afternoon of tho 
2Gth had been repulsed by the Landsberg Landwehr battalion 
and the French pursued into the south-west suburb. 

Meanwhile the supreme military authorities, for tiie reason 
already stated,]: had initiated arrangements for an early capture 
of the fortress^ and for this object had placed at the disposal of 
the Government General of Rheims the siege artillery which could 
now be spared from TouL The commander of the 2nd Landwehr 
Division, Major-General v. Selchow, assumed command on the 
1st October of the German forces before Soissons, which in 
the course of the next week were reinforced to 8 battalions, 
4 squadrons, 2 field batteries, and 2 pioneer companies.§ 

With the gradual reinforcement of the siege troops the closer 
investment of the place progressed. Two companies of the 

* Sec Part IL, pp. 11 and 59. 

t The ITmnkfurt, Landaberg, and Woldenberg battalions of the 8/48 Regiment, the 

, and 2nd fortress pioneer company IXth Army Corps under Liuu- 

17 th Dragoons 
tenant-Colonel v. Stiilpnagel. 

J See Part IL, p. 136. 

§ The 8/48 Landwehr Regiment (the Eustrin battalion in addition to the three 
battalions mentioned in notof supra)^ the Brandcnbura", iliippin, and Pieazhm 
battalions of the 24/64 Landwehr Jicgiment, the J(iterbo«^k battalion of the 20/00 
Landwehr Uegimeut, the Xni heavy reserve cavalry reiriment Cf^niierly 4th Reserve 
Liinccrs), the heavy and 1st light r<?sorve battery, a Ibrtress pioneer company (from 
tlic *ind Landwehr Division), 1st iloUl pioneer company IXth Anny Corps v.ith lipht 
field bridge train (fiom llie ITth Division). The Hjuadrons of t!ie 17l!i Drauoous 
which albo reached iSoissons had atraiu left for Laon. 


Brandenburg Landwelir battalion and a squadron of the 1st 
Heavy Cavaliy Regiment moved on the 3rd October to the right 
bank of the Aisne, but found themselves in the afternoon thrown 
back to the east of Crouy by superior hostile forces; on the 
following day, however, they again took up their position in 
front of this village, and thereby blocked the comparatively 
narrow strip available for sorties to the north of St Wast suburb. 
On the 6th October the investment of Soissons was complete. 

Three battalions with a squadron held for the future the posi- 
tion between the Crise brook and the lower Aisne. A pontoon 
bridge at Pommiers constituted after the 10th October the means 
of communication with the detachment on the right bank of the 
Aisne, which had been reinforced by two companies and two 
guns ; the other troops remained in the ground which they had 
originally taken up to the south-east of the fortress. The lino 
of outposts on the left bank of the Aisne extended from the rail- 
way bridge at Yilleneuve at first along the railway embankment, 
then past the farmsteads of La Buerie, Presle, and Maupas, as far 
as the river bank between Bois Roger and Pommiers. The 
headquarters of General v. Selchow were at la Carriere TEvcque 

Several reconnaissances made upon the ground outside the 
fortress had meanwhile led to the resolution to direct the artillery 
attack upon the south-west front, which was evidently the most 
favourable for the pui*posc. The commanding edges of the valley 
of the Crise brook proved from their distance and tlio nature of 
tlie ground well suited as sites for the siege batteries, especially 
on Qie left bank, whence it appeared that a breach could be 
made without difficulty in the enceinte between bastions 7 and 8 
from the height north of Yauxbuin. On the 11th October the 
Grand Duke of Mecklenbxirg Schwerin arrived at Buzancy with 
liis staff.* 

The 36 siege guns intended for employment against Soissons, 
with the ammunition pertaining,t had meanwhile been forwarded 
by railway from Toul to Rheims, and from thence by requisitioned 
carts to the siege park at Courmelles. On the evening of the 
1 1th, with the assistance of working parties of infantry, the con- 
struction of the batteries was commenced by four companies of 
fortress artillery, which had likewise arrived,! and was com- 
pleted without any particulai- impediment during the night, as in 
spite of the bright moonlight only a few ineffective shots fell from 
the fortress. At 6 a.m. two batteries at St. Genevieve, a third 
in the low ground north of Belleu, and five others at the north- 

* Buzancy is about 1^ miles south of Septmonts. Lieut Colonel Wiebe, who had 
been already sent in advance at the end of September to initiate the preparator}- 
niTaniremcntfl of the artillery (see Parti. Vol. I., p. 81*), had been slightly wounded 
durinsr one of the reconnaissances. 

t Twenty-six PruHsian siege guns (with about 470 shells per gun) and 10 French 
mortars from Toul, ai« well a.s part of the unexpended stores, and the material for 
batteries captured in the camp of Chalons. 

^ 3rd and 4th 9th 8th 

* 2nd Fort. Artillery Kegt.' 4th Fort. Artillery liegt.' 1 1 th Fort. Artillery Divn." 


east edge of Mont Marion opened fii*e almost simtdtaneously 
upon the fortress.* 

Tlie enemy answered with great vigour from all those guns 
which could act towards the south ; yet the siege artillery suc- 
ceeded during the course of the forenoon in overpowering the 
real front of attack to such an extent that after a considerable 
pause only the adjacent fronts again became active at 4 p.m. for 
a short time. A conflagration which had broken out at different 
points of the south aSide of the town had been speedily extin- 
guished ; on the other hand the adversary's shells for the most 
part struck harmlessly in rear of tlie German batteries. 

After the latter had during the following night kept up an 
occasional lire of shrapnel and shell, the cannonade was once more 
vigorously resumed on both sides at 6 a.m. on the 13th. But 
as the activity of the fortress artillery relaxed also on this 
occasion after a few hours, the adversary's power of resistance 
appeared to be exhausted, while at the same time a narrow breach 
was visible in the front of attack ; the Grand Duke therefore sum- 
moned the commandant to surrender, which however was abso- 
lutely refused.t ^^ consequence of this the Germans re-opened 
the artiUery cannonade at 5 p.m., which wna responded to shortly 
afterwards by the French batteries. 

The evident superiority of the siege artillery caused the 
defender to make a considerable increase on the night of the 
13th-14th to his guns on the south fronts. Bastions Nos, 7 
and 8 were speedily reduced once more to silence on the following 
morning, but the south-east front of the fortress between the last- 
named bastion and the suburb of St. Wast developed so efiective 
a iire, that the batteries at St. Genevifeve more especially were 
reduced to great straits. On the night also of the 14th-15th 
the French worked most actively at strengthening and restoring 
the already much damaged ramparts on the front of attack. 

At St. Genevi^Te ^ 
North of Belleu - 

'Battery I. Heayy field battery to sweep the front of 

„ II. Four 15-c.m. guns to sweep the front of 

„ III. Two 2Sc.m. and four 23-o.m. mortars to 

bombard bastions 7 and 8. 
„ rV. Six 15-c.m. guns to make a breach in the 
enceinte between bastions 7 and 8. This 
battery opened fire, which was then at once 
taken up by the others. 
„ V. Six 12 cm. guns to cannonade bastion 7 

and the enceinte between bastions 7 and 8. 
I, VT. Six 12 cm. guns to cannonade bastion 8. 
„ VII. Four 12-cra. guns to sweep bastion 7 and 

the homwork before the west £ront. 
„ YIII. Light field battery against the left bastion of 
the same homwork and to sweep the ground 
in front. 

In all 44 guns, of which 6 were mortars and 12 field guns (the latter on the two 
wings). Colonel Bartsch directed the artillery attack, while Colonel Brann superin- 
tended the engineering works. 

f The commandant complained on this occasion that the attack was not conducted 
on the regular principles laid down by Vauban, but with an absence of all art and by 

On Mont Marion - « 


Once moi^e were guns mounted on tlie ramparts, the broach 
made impassable and closed at its upper end by an abattis of 
bnisliwork. After a delay of some time in the resumption of 
tiie aitillerv cannonade, in consequence of a heavy morning 
midt, the German batteries on the 15 th October were chiefly 
occupied in destroyinpf the works which the enemy had pre- 
pared in the night. In the afternoon the abattis was knocked 
away from the breach, nearly all the masonry broken down at 
that point and covered with a mass of earth. But as the adversary 
still continued to maintain a vigorous and even increased artillery 
fire, it appeared above all things necessary to overpower the 
fortress artillery by bringing up our own batteries to closer range 
and at the same time to make the necessary preparations for an 
advance against the breach. It was therefore resolved to throw 
up at once two new batteries between the Crise brook and the 
road to Paris at a distance of about 900 paces from the works 
of the fortress, and to arm them with the field guns already 
withdrawn from the flanks of the previous line of fire. The 
musketiy pits for the outposts situated somewhat more in 
advance were to be next extended into shelter trenches. 

At 8 p.m., just as the new batteries Nos. 9 and 10 were 
commenced, the commandant of the fortress opened negotiations 
for surrender, which resulted shortly after in a cessation of the 
firing. Before midnight Colonel v. Krenski concluded a capitu- 
lation, in which Soissons surrendered under the same conditions 
as had already obtained in the case of Sedan, Toul, and Strass- 

The garrison numbering some 4,800 prisoners of war, for the 
most jaixi intoxicated and in a more or less disorganised state, 
marched out of the Rheims Gate on the afternoon of the IGth 
and were at once escorted by the Jiiterbogk Landwehr batta- 
lion to Ch&teau Thierry.t On the road some 300 prisoner 
succeeded in eluding their escort, as the latter came into colli- 
sion towards nightfidl with some franctireurs in the Bois de St 

Meanwhile the Grand Duke had entered the captured fortress 
at the head of his troops. Along the entii*e front of attack and 
in those parts of the town Ijdng in rear there were signs of the 
annihilating effect of the Prussian artillery. Several barracks 
and other public buildings were burnt to the ground, the breach 
at its upper end was about 40 paces broad and perfectly prac- 
ticable. The booty of the victors, who since the commence- 
ment of the investment had sustained a total loss of about 120 
men,| consisted of 128 guns and 8,000 stand of arms, besides 

* In accordance with instractions receiTcd shortly before from the rojal head- 
quarteis the conditions of capitulation of Sedan should in all eyentualities serve as n 
rule of conduct for the conclusion of negotiations for surrender. 

f Except some thousand Gardes Mobiles from those parts of the country occupied 
by the Germans, who were dismissed to their homes on the stipulation that they would 
not again take up arms against Germany during the war. 

t 'iho list of casualties is given in Appendix TiXXIII. 


Iai*ge stores of ammunition and food. Part of this latter came in 
well for the army before Paris. 

The Grand Duko returned to Rheims on the 17th October, but 
in consequence of instructions which reached him from the royal 
headquarters proceeded on the 2Sth to Chateau Le Piple, in the 
rayon of the south-east line of investment before Paris, for the 
purpose of taking over the provisional command of the 17th 
and Wiirttemberg Divisions. Lieutenant-General v. Rosenberg- 
Gruszczynski assumed the duties of the Government-General of 


First Oolusions of the Germans with thb iixwxt-forkbd Fixld 
Troops on the Loire and in North- West France. 

Under the direction of the members of the Government 
despatched to Toui-r in the middle of September,* and more 
especially after Gambetta, the Minister of the Interior, reached 
that place on the 9th October and assumed the duties of Minister 
of War, the organisation of fresh forces in the interior of France 
proceeded with rapidity. The supply of men capable of bearing 
arms, and of articles of equipment was abundant ; moreover the 
population, following the example of the capital, displayed such 
a self-sacriiicing spirit of willingness that within a few weeks 
considerable bodies of men were assembled. The remains of the 
already much thinned infantry depdta, collected into battalions 
de marche, the unmarried Gardes Nationales and recruits of the 
season of 1870 summoned to the colours, some troops brought 
from Africa, several cavalry regiments of the ISth and 14tli 
Corpsf which had left for the Loire, and fugitives from the Army 
of ChaloDs, formed an army of most varied constituents. Besides 
these there were tlio Gardes Mobiles who had remained in the 
province and the greater part of the sedentary Gardes Nationales. 
At first a great want was experienced of proper officers for 
training and commanding these men, who were almost entirely un- 
drilled, and were as yet unaccustomed to military obedience. The 
armament caused less difficulty, as in addition to the large stores 
in the naval arsenals and in the ships of war, there were many 
military and private workshops which lent their cooperation. 
Moreover, war material of every kind was purchased abroad and 
brought rapidly and safely by sea.:t 

The chief point of assembly of these new French forces was the 
broad belt of country behind the Loire, for the protection of which 
a Territorial Division, du Loiret, consisting of Gardes Mobiles, 
and Reyau's Cavalry Division, had previously taken up a position 
in the neighbourhood of Orleans. The battalions de marche 
and the battalions of Garde Mobile, armed throughout with 
Chassepdts, which had arrived at Nevers, Bourges, and Yierzon, 
were first formed into the loth Corps, under General de La 
Motterougc ; this latter already reached by the end of September 
with its three Divisions and the attached cavalry and artillery 
the considerable strength of about 60,000 men.§ In north-west 

* In ftddition to Cr6mieuz, Minister of Justice, and Fonriohon, Minister of 
Marine (»ee Fart II., p. 21), Glais Biaoin was also at Tours. 

t See Part II., p. 30. 

X According to Qeneral Martin des FaUi^res statements in his work ** Campagne dc 
1870-71, Orleans," the total force of the men actually raised in the provinces 
amount^ to upwards of a million. For their use were availahle, inclusive of the 
material in ships of war, 2,000 rifled 12 cm., 8 cm., and 4 cm. guns, 400,000 
Chassepdts, and nearly a million of other small arms. 

The Government in Tours had, it is true, at first no knowledge of the existence of 
these supplies of weapons, stored at the different fortresses, and could not therefore 
take account of t hem in their first arrangements. 

§ Appendix LXXIY. contains the order of hattle of the corps. 


France General Fi^reck was assembling battalions of Garde 
Mobile at Rouen and Elbeuf, for whose protection General Gudin 
with 14,000 men* occupied the position of Andelle, the Bois de 
Lyons, and the neighbourhood of Goumay as far as NeufchateL 
On the other side of the Seine Genei*al Delarue, with 4,000 men,t 
at Vernon and Evreux secured the railway communication 
between Rouen and the south. All these troops posted as a 
screen to further preparations had received instructions to carry 
on a vigorous partisan warfare, but to avoid at present any 
serious collisions. In the south-ea^Jt, General Cambriels was 
assembling at Besan9on a Corps intended for the defence of the 
Vosges passes. 

The Franctireurs, likewise placed at the disposal of the War 
Minister by the Government edict of the 29th September, ap- 
peared as before in independent isolated detachments. Their 
increased spiiit of enterprise manifested itself by more frequent 
attacks, directed for the most part upon the detachments of 
German cavalry engaged in collecting commissariat supplies behind 
the investing line before Paris. 

Patrols from the 6th Cavalry Division showing front in the 
neighbourhood of St. Germain en Laye towards the west, met 
at the end of September near the village of Les AUuets some 
detachments of the Eclaireurs of the Seine, which had advanced 
from Evreux to Mantes, and afterwards, in company with some 
National Guards, in a south-easterly direction by way of ilaule.J 
Tn consequence of this ten squadrons with both batteries of the 
Division and two Bavarian battalions were set in movement 
on the 30th towards the Mandre Brook. The hussars on the 
right wing§ were tired upon from Les AUuets ; the place was, 
however, at once set on fire by the artillery and abandoned by 
the French, whilst the shells of the other battery drove the 
enemy out of Herbeville, and two companies penetrated after a 
slight skirmish into Mareil. The two Bavarian battalions at 
once proceeded to a general attack on Maule, and gained possession 
of this place without much difficulty, although its entrance was 
barricaded and occupied by French infantry. The adversary, 
who up to this time had occupied some copses at Les AUuets, 
now retired to Dammartin, and withdrew to Vernon in the 

* 2 battalions de marcht, 12 battalions Garde Mobile, and 2 regiments of cavalry 
which had escaped the catastrophe of Sedan, bat no artillery. 

t 1 regiment Garde Mobile and 1 regiment Eclaireurs of the Seine. 
X See general maps 4 and 5. 
§ night wing column : 

(From 13th Cavalry Brigade,) 2Bda5d4th^ 4th 2nd 

,,i.ruui to u ..a lu jr g ,j 10th Hussars 1 lih Hussars' 17th Jlussars 
and 2ad H. A. battery 10th Artillery* Kegiment. 
Left-wing column: 

(From 12th Cavalry Brigade,) ^^-5?^y^» 13th Dragoons, ICth I-ancors. 

"^ 2nd IJav. 

(with 2 squ.idron5), and Ist II. A. Ijattcry, 'llh Artillery lie irinuRt. 
41G48. K 


The Germans in the next few cla3rs' continned their forward 
movement, west of the Mandre Brook, under Major- General v. 
Bredow. After they had at the commencement of October com- 
pletely destroyed the railway at Mantes, where a rich store of 
commissari<at supplies fell into their hands, and afterwards at 
jBonnik^es, they moved towards the position of the Euro. A 
battalion of Garde Mobile posted at Pacy abandoned its post, after 
being exposed to the fire of a few shells. Whilst General 
Delarue now withdrew his troops from Vernon and Evreux to 
Serquigniy^ the German raiding detachment took the direction of 
Houdan, and reached this place on the 8th October. A small 
party scouting on the following day in the direction of Dreuxf 
captured the village of Cherisy, which was occupied by Frendi 
Gardes Mobiles, but had again to abandon it, as it found 
itself threatened on both flanks by superior forces. In order to 
obtain more precise information of the enemy's strength. General 
v. Bredow led his entire forces in the direction of Cherisy on the 
10th. At that point a regiment of Garde Mobile with the Garde 
Nationale from Dreux had meanwhile occupied an entrenched 
position, and had pushed forward a weak post to Marchezais. 
After the latter had been driven in without difficulty, the Bava- 
rian infantry forced their way into some copses situated near 
the road, whilst the horse artillery directed its fire upon Cherisy. 
Tlie advei^sarv now evacuated the burning villao^e, but con- 
tinned the notion for some time longer from the left bank of tlic 

The German raiding detachment hereupon returned in part to 
its old quarters ; a regiment of cavaliy, a battery, and four Bava* 
rian companies remained at Neauphle on the VersaiUes-Dreux 
I'oad. The latter place was abandoned by the enemy during the 
struggle just mentioned, but a few days later was again occupied 
by 0,000 Gardes Mobiles and Franctireurs, who on this occasion 
brought also a battery with them. Further to the north the 
French extended once more as far as Evreux, whence they sent 
detachments to Pacy and Vernon. 

in order to keep watch in the direction of the woods filled with 
Franctireurs before the front of the 6 th Cavalry Division, the 
latter had as early as the 28th September posted the ICth 
Hussars and tlic 1st battalion 11th Bavarian Begiment at Ram- 
bouillct. On the 2nd October there occurred further to the 
west, near Le Buissonnet, a collision with some French Mobile 
and National Guards, who were pushed forward to Epemcin in 
order to cover the concentration of troops taking place at Chartres. 
Two days Inter Colonel v. Alvensleben made a reconnaissance in 
force through Rambouillet with the 15th Cavaliy Brigade, two 
Bavarian comp.inies, and the horse artillery battery.J After 
driving oft' a weak French advanced party at St. Hilarion, the 

* RnilTray junction west of Evreux. 
f 1 company, 3 squadions, :: guus. 

^ _. — — nnil rcnuuucd at Ratnbouillct. 

11th J>:a. anl H is^ars 


Bavarians, supported by the fire of the battery, proceeded on the 
north of the high road to the attack of the copses in front of 
Epernon, through which the enemy retired to the heights in 
rear. T\ro squadrons of the 16th Hussars which had been 
detached at Gazeran to cover the left flank, had taken part 
in the engagement from Droue, and in a dismounted fight had 
driven the adversary from some stone quarries in that neigh* 
bourhood. When from this side four guns of the horse artillery 
battery opened an effective flanking fire upon tlie heights before 
Epemon, and the Bavarian infantry advanced against this last 
position of the enemy, the latter commenced his reti*eat to 
Hanches with considerable loss.*^' The 15th Cavalry Brigade on 
the following day continued its' incursions from Epemon in a 
southerly direction, during which two squadrons serving as right 
flanking detachment drove the adversary from Hanches and some 
other villages on the Voise brook. The German troops thei*e- 
upon returned te Bambouillet. 

More serious than in the west and south-west of Paris was 
the state of affairs in the rayon reconnoitred by the 4th Cavalry 
Division from Pithiviors tewards Orleans. 

The central course of the Loire, a stream of considerable breadth 
and some six or seven feet in depth, at whose northerly bend tiie 
town of Orleans forms a convenient bridge-head for forward 
movements from the southern provinces in tbe direction of Paris, 
separates two districts of very opposite character. The Beauce 
plateau rismg on the right bank and sloping towards the river 
district of the Seine in broadly undulating, and gentle, wooded 
spurs is, in agreement with its natural fertility, cultivated like a 
garden, studded at intervals with stene farmsteads, intersected 
by numerous roads and surrounded with extensive woods. Little 
rills trickle for the most part within narrow folds of the ground 
and run with a northerly direction towards the Seine; their 
margins are bordered by narrow tracks of meadow land. South of 
the Loire spreads the sandy and stony Sologne. There also, is 
found a sufficient network of roads for the movemente of troops ; 
for the deployment of large bodies of cavalry and artillery 
difficulties are inter{)Osed by the numerous ponds and marshes 
bordered with fir-copses, with which this generally most inhospit- 
able waste abounds. The little attention paid te agriculture, and 
thetbatehed day houses, testify te the poverty of the inhabitants. 

Detachments of the 4th Cavalry Division had as early as the 
25th September come into collision with French troops of all 
ai*ms te the south* west of Bazoches les Gallerandes, who with- 
drew through Artenay afber a slight skirmish. When tbe Divi- 
sion moved up on the following day to the Paris-Orleans high 
road, the 10th Lancers, which led the advance, were attacked to 
the south of Artenay by hostile cavaliy. After the latter were 
repulsed, the Prussian Lancers moving in pursuit were met with 
so brisk a musketiy fire from the foremost farmsteads of Chcvilly 

* Ono battalion oommandcr aud 27 inea were left dead on the field of lint tie ; 
47 men irere wounded. 

K 2 


and from some (>f the adjacent copses that they bad to withdraw 
to Artenay with rather heavy losses. As subsequent recon- 
naissances showed that the entire northern border of the extensive 
and thickly grown forest of Orleans was occupied by French 
infantry as far as Beaunc la Rolande, an isolated advance of large 
masses of cavalry in a close countiy did not appear desirable, and 
therefore Prince Albrecht, with the 8th and 10th Cavalry Brigades, 
took up a temporary position at Toury, whilst the 9th gradually 
collected at Pithiviei's. 

From the former place incursions were made in the subsequent 
days in a south-westerly direction for the purpose of collecting 
commissariat supplies, and of obtaining information with regard 
to the proceedings on the Loire. It was on one of these occasions 
that the rails leading to Toura were destroyed at Chateaudun 
and Beaugency. Aft^er the flanking dctacliment of the 1st 
Bavarian Corps,* which had proceeded through Fontainebleau, 
had rejoiued on the 28th September, the 4jth Cavalry Division 
was reinforced in ita position at Toury and Pithiviers by the first 
two battalions of the Bavarian Body Guard Regiment. 

The appeai*ance of large bodies of German cavalry in the 
Beauce had induced the French to support the advance of tlie 
Mobile Guard Division at Orleans by troops of the 15th Corpst, 
which were placed temporarily under General Keyau of the 
Cavalry, commanding on the Loire. 

On the 5th October instructions were sent from Tours to 
General de La Motterouge to transfer his head-quarters to 
Orleans, and to superintend the conduct of the movements on the 
right bank of the Loire. This officer hastened in consequence 
the bringing up of his 2nd and 3rd Division from Vierzon and 
Bourges to Orleans, as also the advance of the 1st from Nevers 
to Gien. 

The troops in the Beauce had already taken the offensive for 
the purpose of capturing the stores collected by the German 
cavalry at Tourj'. On the 3rd October, the French had rein- 
forced their outpost position at the forest of Orleans, occupied 
Chateaudun and driven back to Allaines a detachment of 
German cavaiiy which had been despatched to Orgferes. Earlj^ 
on the 5th, General Reyau advanced with several brigades tlirough 
Artenay upon Toury. 

Havinor received timelv information of the French advance, 
Prince Albrecht at 7 led the 10th Cavalry Brigade, which 
was assembled to the north of the latter place, in the direction 
of Chapelle St. Blaise, and the 8th from Janville upon Poin- 
ville to meet the foe. Both brigades concentrated abreast of 
BoisSciy, which was occupied bj' a Bavarian company, whilst the 
horse artillery batteries took up the struggle with some French 
guns which had come into action to the west of the high road. 
After these had speedily retired upon Tivernon, and thePinissian 

* Sec Part II., p. loy. 

t At first 2 rilh conipjuiics. 1 battalion Tiu'ccs, tbc 29th Kcfriiuent de Marchc, the 
12in llejimcnt of Ciiirlu Alobilc', and 2 batterii-r. 


batteries bad advanced into a fresh position south of Boissay, 
the adversaiy gradually deployed very superior forces* and en- 
deavoured to turn both flanks of the 4th Cavalry Division by way 
of Poinville and Ciiaussy. When the latter commenced in con- 
sequence its retreat to Angerville, and continued it on the 
following day to Etampes, the adversary occupied the villages 
north of Toury.f Those parts of the Division which were posted 
at Pithiviers had been withdrawn on the 5 th to Sermaises, 
whence they were likewise brouc^lit up to Etampes on the 6th. 

The head-quai-ters of the Ilird Army, which had received 
information some time back of the arrival in France of Algerian 
troops, and of the formation of a Corps on the river Loire, were 
ill expectation after the report of the above collision of a serious 
attack from the south, and gave orders in the forenoon of the 
6th October for the 1st Bavarian Corps to assemble forthwith 
at Arpajon. At the same time the 22nd Division was moved 
off through Villeneuve to Montlhdry, and assigned to General 
V. d. Tann. The 2nd Cavalrv Division received orders to 
advance on the following day from Villemoisson on the left 
flank of the Bavarians, whilst the 6th was to hold the country 
west of Arpajon, and the 4th, retiring before any advance in 
force of the enemy, was in the event of an engagement to place 
itself under the orders of the last-named general.^ 

The 1st Bavarian Corps in accordance with ordei*s took up a 
position on the afternoon of the Gth behind the Orge at Arpajon, 
and despatched an advanced guard to Etrechy. The 4th Cavahy 
Division, which had been followed by the adversary to no great 
distance beyond Toury, again threw forward one of its brigades 
from Etampes to Anorerville, another to Authon for the purpose 
of watching towards Chai'tres, and a left flanking detachment in 
the direction of Malesherbes. In rear of the 1st Bavarian Corps 
Major-Qeneral v. Wittich§ reached ilontlhery with the 22nd 
Division at 10 p.m.|| 

On the 7th October the 2nd Cavalry Division spread itself 
out in the district south-east of Arpajon,f The 6th Cavalry 

* It ia said that tliere were 12 battalions, 3 regiments of ca vain*, and 3 half-batterie9. 
On the Prnssian side there were 10 guns at hand, ns two were with the 9th Cavalry 
Brigade at rithiviers. 

f The stores collected at Touiy were, with the exception of 150 slaughter beasts, 
removed in good time by the Germans. 

X The text of the order in question is ^ven in Appendix LXXV. 

<f Appointed commander of the 22nd Division on the 2i4h September. 

|{ Of this Division 8 companies, a half squadron, and the 4th heavy battery bad 
remained at the outposts between the Seine and Mame ; on the other hand, the 5th 
lir^ht battery was attached to the Division (see Turt II., p. 117). Of the troops 
employed to escort prisoners from Sedan there were still about 6^ oompsnies absent 
from the 22nd Division and 9 companies from the 1st Bavarian Corps. The latter had 
in addition given up 3 battalions to the 5th and 6th Cavalry Divisions, the battalions 
irith the 2nd and 4th Cavalry Divisions rejoined their corps ; the 3rd battalions of 
the 12th and 13th Uegimcuts, as also two batteries had joined the latter from home. 
The 9th Cavalry Brigade, with the exception of two squadrons of the 1st Lancers, had 
also arrived. 

*!* 3 S(|uadrons of the 6th Hussars were occupied in collecting provisions, whilst 
the squadron from Limours (see Part II.. p. 109) was agam brought up to the 


Division concentrated at Limours and Bambouillet, observed 
towards the south and despatched the 4th squadron 16th Hussars 
with a Bavarian company to Ablis^ in order to complete the 
security of the flank towards the west by desire of General v. d. 
Tann. On their arrival late in the evening at the latter place, 
the company occupied the barricaded issues of the roads leading 
to Chartrcs and Etampes ; the squadron of hussars sent patrols 
along them and placed the majority of their horses in three large 
stables. Between 4 and 5 a.m. the small detachment of troops 
in Ablis was suddenly attacked by an overwhelming body of 
Franctu-eurs^ who had approached the little town unobserved 
from DenonvlUe, about nine miles to the south. At the same 
time, numerous anned men who had remained hidden in the 
place brought theu* fire to bear on these stables, so that the 
hussars could not get to their horses and fell for the most part 
into the enemy's hands, whilst the Bavarian company effected its 
retreat along the road to Bambouillet, ^nthout heavy loss. The 
commander of the 6th Cavalry Division, Major-General v. 
Schmidt,* on hearing of the attack from some hussars who had 
escaped on horseback, at once advanced with both brigades 
toward5% AbUs, but found the place already abandoned by the 
Franctireuiu As the inhabitants had been proved to have par* 
ticipated in the engagement, the place ^vas laid under a con- 
tribution and reduced to ashes. 

The 1st Bavaiian Corps had on the 7th October retained its 
position behind the Orge. But as the 4th Cavalry Division had 
begged for a reinforcement of infantry so as to be able by that 
means to attack the enemy in his camps observed at Artenay, 
Genend v. d. Tann laid this application before the head-quarters 
hisiff of the Ilird Army for decision. The latter sent in con- 
Kequence a telegram that same night for an advance to Etampes. 
In accordance therewith, the 1st Bavarian Corps occupied on the 
8th October a position to the west of the latter place, the right 
flank of which was protected by the 4th Chevauxlegers and the 
Cuirassier Brigade at Authon. The 22nd Division followed as 
far as Etrechy. 

The 2nd Cavalry Division advancing this day on the left 
flank of the Bavarians i*emarked at S p.m. in the neighbour- 
hood of ilarollcsf detachments of the 4th Cavalry Division, 
whicli withdrew from Sermaises to Etampes before French in- 
fantrj-. Some etappen troops of the Ilird Army,J which had 
arrived from Corbeil the day before, had taken up a position 
at Boissy, wliilst the French in their front occupied the 
defiles of Saclas and St. Cyr west of the high road. Lieut.- 
Geneial Count zu Stolberg under these circumstances ordered 
the two horse artillery batteries of his Division to come into 

* The Dnke William of Mecklenburg- Schwerin had proceeded on the 6th October 
to Versailles lor tin* benefit of his health. 

t S.K. of Ktamp.r; ; not to be confounded with the Marolks U.K. of Arpnjou. 

X Aschcrslcbcn Landwchr battalion, -J^L^B^l}}^ . bc2 I'art II., p. 136. 

3ra lies. Ura goons ' '^ 


action on a height near ^lenil Qii*auli, and to bring their lii>) to 
bear for some time upon the farmstead of Court Pain, situated at 
the entrance of the last-named valley. The enemy shaken by thid 
cannonade offered but little resistance to the sub^sequeut attack 
of the Prussian Landwehr companies, and, followed by the 
fire of the horse artillery, retired with a loss of some SO men 
through Abbeville. When darkness set in, the 2ud Cavalry 
Division went into bivouacs in the neighbourhood of !Marolle;$, 
ob8ei*ving at the same time the roads to Malesherbes and Pithi- 
viei-s. The advanced guard of tlie 1st Bavarian Corps had 
despatched a battalion to Suclas, and held this village during 
the night.* 

Meanwhile an officer of the general stall* from Versailles had 
reached Etampes with further instructions from army head- 
quarters. They were to the eflect that General v. d. Tann with 
the troops under his orders was to sweep the enemy from the 
district westward as far as Chartres, and southward as far as 
Orl^ns, to occupy the latter town, and if necessaiy to continue 
the pursuit towards Tours ; the 2nd and 4th Cavahy Divisions 
were to join the forward movement on both wings. All the 
reports which came in up to the evening of the 8th October were 
to the effect that the adversary had shown but small forces at 
Angerville, Mdreville, and west of the liigh road to Orleans. 
The Bavarian commander resolved to advance against those iu 
three columns, and at the same time to turn their flanks with the 
Cavalry Divisions. 

At 6.30 a.m., on the 0th October, the troops couuueuced their 
advance. The 1st Bavarian Brigade moving at the head of the 
central column encountered in the neighbouri^ood of Aloimerviiiu 
and Angerville weak Frencli detachments, whoso resistance waM 
speedily overcome. After the 2nd Rifle battalion had first gained 
possession of Retr^ville farm, and the Chevauxlegers had cut oti* 
the retreat of the garrison of the place, tlie riflemen, after a brief 
cannonade from two guns of the ist 4-pr. battery unlimbered 
to the west of the high road, forced their way from the east and 
south into Angerville, where a number of Franctireurs fell into 
their hands ; Dommerville was found by tlie Bavarians to be 
abandoned by the enemy. Without any further coULiioJi the 
Briofade continued theii* march as far as Barmainville, whilst the 
2nd was pushed forward as far as Oinville and t^t, Peravy to 
take over the outpost duties. The 22nd Division followed as far 
as Angerville. West of tlie high roa*l to Orleans the 4th 
Bavarian Brigade reached Beaudrevillc, while the 4tli Cavalry 
Division with the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade attached was 
further in front at Neuvy en Beauce. IJast of tliis rojid 
the t'Jrd Bavarian Brigade advancing up the Juine valley 
had, after a slight skirmish, driven a band of Fianctircurs 
from the farmstead of La Valine Nord, and then occupied 
quartei-3 between Mt^reville andAUaiuville; in front of it wa.stho 

* The etappen troops commented their returD luarcii to Corbel 1 ou the folio wioir 


2nd Cavalry Division at Outarville. Flanking patrols from the 
latter, whidi bad met with the enemy near Guigneville, reported, 
ns on the previous night, the presence of strong bodies of troops 
of all arms at Pithiviers. 

General v. d. Taun, in spite of tlie apparent danger to his left 
Hank, maintained the previous direction of march, and ordered 
tlie lut Bavarian Corps to advance on the following day to Trinay, 
Artenay, and Sougy. The 22nd Division was to follow the 
Bavarians along the great road to beyond Toury, tlie 4th Cavalry 
Division to come up on the right flank as £a.r as the Orleans- 
Chateaudun road, about half-way between these two points. 
The 2nd Cavalry Division was posted at GuigneviUe to watch 
the enemy, who had been observed in the neighbourhood of 

Action at Abtenay on the IQth Octobeh. 

The French Commander-in-Chief on the Loire, General de La 
Motterouge, had returned on the evening of the 8th October 
to Orleans from a council of war at Tours. For the protection 
of the former town the main forces of the loth Corps there 
assembled * had pushed forward along the road to Artenay, with 
the Cavalry Division to the west of it, whilst the Garde Mobile 
Division du Loii^t occupied the forest of Orleans. 

The 1st Bavarian Brigade moved out of Barmainville as 
advanced guard at 6 a.m., on the 10th October, and after a march 
of rather more than three hours met abreast of Dambron the 
enemy's advanced troops, who fired upon the Chevauxlegers lead- 
ing the advance from a farm on the high road, and from the 
railway embankment.t 

* The troops despatched to Gien belonging to the Ist Division assembled at Bevers, 
and a brigade of the Srd Division attached to the Vosges Corps of General 
Cambriels, were still absent. 

t Order of march of the 1st Bayarian In£uitry Brigade: 
2nd and Srd 

Srd Chevauxleg. 

^ Ist 4 pr. 



jf 1st 4>pi. 

7th 6-pr. 

Body Guard Regiment. 
Srd Rifle batulion. 
The following were still absent: 

2nd and 5th 

, escorting pnsoners. 

Uth and ^ 10th , . 

Body G.'Kegt. - '^''^^ requisitions. 

12th . , . 

■p . ,, ,, . escorting trains. 

Body G. Rcgt. ^ 

4th : A • 

^ , ^, -. — , in Arpajon. 

Srd Chevauxlep. '^ ' 


Whilst the Chevauxlegers now drove before them the French 
cavahy which appeared to the west of the road, Major-General 
V, Dietl deployed four battalions* south of Dambron on either 
side of the high road. The batteries, protected by the 1st bat- 
talion of the Body Guard Regiment came into action some- 
what further in rear; the 2nd Rifle Battalion remained in 
reserve. Before even this deployment could be completed the 
enemy's foremost troops had withdrawn to a position between 
Assas and the road to Chartres. At Artenay closed bodies of 
infantry and horse showed themselves, as also a battery which 
unlimbered about 1,000 paces to the north of the place ; Vilchat 
still remained in the enemy's occupatioD. A rather vigorous 
musketry action now eDsued, in which the advancing Bavarian 
battalions were fired upon in the flank from Assas, whilst the 7th 
6-pr. battery commenced to act from a new position east of the 
railway embankment against this village. For its protection the 
1st battalion Body Guard Regiment showed front with 2^ com- 
panies in the direction of Yilchatf 

When towards 11 a.m. the 2nd Brigade with two batteries 
assigned to it from the corps artillery appeared on the scene of 
action, Lieut.-General v. Stephan caused the latter to unlimbcr 
to the east of Domarville and augment the fire upon Assas. The 
9th Rifle battalion and a company of reserve men recently 
arrived from home inserted themselves in the fighting line on 
the left wing ; the 4th Rifle battalion and the troops of the 1st 
Brigade held back till that time, moved up to the fighting line 
on tiie west of the high roaif 

The French now retired gradually to Artenay, where mean- 
while fresh troops had posted themselves for defence at the 
north border of the place and in some outlying farm buildings. 

General v. d. Tann, who had been present with the advanced 
guard since the commencement of the action, and had been led by 
his observations to anticipate a stubborn resistance at Artenay, 
gave orders that a brisk artillery fire should be first directed upon 
the enemy's position and that the arrival of the Cavalry Divisions 
on the wings should be awaited. There gradually deployed in 
consequence in the ground to the west of the Paris high road 
five batteries, whose front was at 2 p.m. extended to the right, 

* Tlnd and li cos. of Illrd 1st _^ . ^^ Ilnd ^. ... , . , , 

• — — -; — 7-3 — ^ ^ ^ , -- -weat of, — -— east of tno high road. 

Body Guard Regt. ' 1 ' 1 ^ 

f i ^!!*°^^^ remained to the west of the high road with the 1st 4 pr. 
Body Guard Regt. ' 


{ *!^ ynm withdrawn from the foremost fighting line on the arrival of the 2nd 
BrigaUc. Th«o remoincdin wscrro: ^A4, ?li^'-, and 5*^ . I"* and Illrd 

and ^ were assigned to the Cavolr}- Divisions, -iL and —-Jl--. had not yet re- 
11 2 4th liif. 

turned fh>m escorting prisoners ; the 2nd Brigade was consequently hardly 3 battalions 

strong. The above mentioned reserve company, intended for the 2nd Regiment, 

could not be assigned to it in consequence of its temp<^ary absence. 


aa far as the neighbom*hood of Foupry/ by four batteries of 
the 4tli Brigade and the corps artillery hurrying up along 
the Chartres road. For the protection of the right wing of 
this ai-tillery line, there assembled at the latter village four 
squadrons of the 3rd and 4th Chevauxlegers with the 13th 
Hussars despatched in advance from the 22nd DivisLon. 

East of the Paris road the 7th 6-pr. battery 1st Artillery Begi- 
ment had simultaneously unlimbered on the heights south of Assas, 
after the 2nd battalion 1st Regiment had cleared this village of 
the enemy and had deployed in front of the north-east side of 
Artenay. Still further on the left the rest of the infantry 
present on this flank endeavoured to surround the town from the 
east. The 3rd Bavarian Brigade, which had come up from 
Crottes at the noise of the firing, was posted in reserve at Assas 
and had come into action with both its batteries alongside the 
7th 6-pr. battery ; t the 22nd Division had reached Dambron ; 
tlie 4 th Bavarian Brigade was advancing along the road from 

The 4th Cavalry Division and the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade^ 
which, as already mentioned, were moving forward on the right 
of the army, had responded with their artillery to the fire 
directed upon them from a wood at Tout-li-faut, and then con- 
tinued their march through Loigny. When Prince Albrecht 
heard the thunder of artillery at Artenay, he at once struck off 
with his main body in that direction, whilst the 9th Cavalrj^^ 
Brigade with a battery of horse artillery advanced in a westerly 
direction as far as Varize and despatched patrols towards 
Chateaudun. These latter found the place occupied by the 
enemy, and at nearly every point encountered resistance from 
armed inhabitants. The other three brigades took up a position 
at Ouvans, on the left flank of the adversary engaged at Artenay, 
while theu* horse artiUeryj: came into action against Chateau 
Auvilliers and Autroches, where French troops of all arms were 
assembled, more particularly two batteries in action taxing the 
north. The 2nd Cavalry Division, after hearing that Pithiviers 
was abandoned by the enemy, had also drawn nigh to the fleld 
of battle. From Trinay the two batteries of horse artillery 
advanced at 2 p.m. to the height north of Bucy le Roi ; the six 
regiments of cavalry formed up in their rear. 

This outflanking movement of the German forces, threatening 
as it already was to the line of retreat upon Orl^ns, decided the 
adversary in the third hour of the afternoon to evacuate Artenay^ 
whither he was now closely followed by the 1st Bavarian Division. 
Whilst the battalions to the west of the railway penetrated into 

* These 9 batteries were distributed as follows, counting from the right wing: 
6ih 6-pr. ^ 5th 6-pr. . 8th 6-pr. , 4th 4-pr. ^ 1st 4-pr. 4th 6-pr 8rd 6-pr. 

3 ' 3 ' 1 * 1 ' i ' 3 3 

5th__6^. 3rd 4-pr. geepUnK. 
1 1 ^ 

t '""^ -^-P^' and 5ilLj±L-. 

+ 2ud H.A. , Ist and 2Dd H.A. 

* n ' 3id Bav, • 


the north side of the place, the 2nd battalion 1st Regiment 
moved forward from the railway station, which it had occupied 
shortly before, with the 8th company against the south issue, 
and there captured a camp under a heavy fire from the enemy. 
On the left wing, meanwhile reinforced by the 2nd battalion 
11th Eegiment, the 9th Rifle battalion gained possession of the 
buildings of Maison Bruise. After occupying the town and its 
immediate neighbourhood the Bavarian lines of skirmishers 
turned towards the ground lying to the south, where the enemy 
still occupied the railway embankment as also the farmsteads of 
La Orange and Arblay. 

The retreat of the French soon turned to hasty flight. Two 
cavalry regiments attached to their left wing, on seeing the large 
bodies of German horse appear at Ouvans, had at once retired 
in the greatest haste to the forest of Orleans, so that the 10th 
Cavaliy Brigade advancing in pursuit by order of Prince Albrecht 
was unable to overtake them. This Brigade now turned from 
Creuzy against the French infantry and artiller}'' hurrying away 
southward. A battery still in action to the west of Arblay 
farm, abandoning a gun, withdrew itself from the eflTects of 
the Bavarian artillery and the threatening attack of two squad- 
rons of the 5th Dragoons. With three squadrons of the 2nd 
Hussars Oolonel v. Schauroth broke in upon the flying masses, 
from whom he took a gun with its team and an ammunition 
waggon. The 10th Cavalry Brigade captured altogether about 
250 prisoners. The 8th Cavalry Brigade and the Bavarian 
Cuirassiers followed as far as the neighbourhood of Bcaugency. 

East of the railway embankment Captain v. Bliicher with tlie 
1st squadron 2nd Lancers* had trotted foi-ward to Chevilly. 
Being compelled to retreat to the Beauvais farm, owing to a 
flanking artillery and musketry Are from the border of the wood, 
the squadron fell in with two guns rapidly making ofl^, one of 
which in spite of the heavy fire of the infantry escort fell into 
the hands of the Prussian cavalry. 

Simultaneously with this participation of the cavalry on both 
wings the 1st Bavarian Division also reached the country south 
of Artenay. It was already almost entirely abandoned by the 
enemy. Some 600 men who had sought protection from the 
attacks of the Oerman horse in la Croix Briquet, surrendered 
themselves after a slight resistance to the 2nd Bavarian Brigade 
which was advancing to the east of the high-road. Other men 
retiring upon Chevilly had shortly before fallen into the hands 
of scouting detachments of the Bavarian Cuirassier and 8th 
Prussian Cavalry Brigades advancing from Beaugency. 

Whilst the 3rd Bavarian Brigade now united with the 2nd at 
La Croix Briquet, the 4th Brigade which had reached Autroches at 
4 p.m. was drawn forward to Creuzy and the 1st remained in the 
position which it had taken up to the south of Artenay, an artil- 
lery line of 11 batteries stretching to the eastward of the railway 

* This squadron had been emplojed aa escort to the artillery of the 2nd Caroiry 
Diyiuon, which had come into action on the height north of Bucy le Roi. 


formed in front of Creuzy and La Croix Briqaet.* In view of 
this deployment of troops the last detachments of the enemy on 
the other side of Chevilly hastened towards the forest of Orl^uis. 
The Ist Bavarian Corps, which had purchased its victory with 
comparatively small loss^f remained during the night in general 
at the points held at the conclusion of t£e struggle. The Srd 
Brigade pushed forward detachments from La Croix Briquet to 
Chevilly. The 22nd Division, which had been drawn forward^to 
Artenay during the engagement, occupied quarters in Dambron 
and Tivemon, the 2nd Cavalry Division at Ascheres le Marche, 
the 4th at Sougy and Patay. 

Engagement at Orleans on the 11th Octobeb. 

General v. d. Tann, after the adversary's flight-like retreat 
from Artenay, did not apprehend any further serious resistance 
on this side of the Loire, and therefore resolved to move 
forward on a broad front towards Orleans on the 11th October. 
The 22nd Division was to take post at Les Barres on the Cha- 
teaudun road, the 4th Bavarian Brigade was to take the road 
through Gidy, while the Srd Brigade, and in its rear the 1st Divi- 
sion, was to march along the Paris high-road. The 4th Cavalry 
Division received orders, while continuing to obsei've towards 
Chateaudun, to bold one of its brigades in readiness to cross 
the Loire in the neighbourhood of Meung, whilst the 2nd 
Cavalry Division was to push forward with small detachments 
from Ascbcres towards the forest in front for the purpose of 
securing the left flank. Of the batteries of the Bavarian futillery 
reserve, five were assigned to the 22nd Division, and two each to 
the Bavarian Di visions. t The Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade passed 
to the 22nd Division, but left its two batteries of horse artillery 
with the 4th Cavalry Division. 

On the French side General de La Motterouge, after the defeat 
at Artenay, had in fact decided on a retreat behind the Loire. 
On the morning of the 11th October the troops at Orleans 
commenced to cross the stream. In the district north of the 
Loire, intersected with continuous streets of houses, vineyards, 
and orchards, there was, between the Paris railway and the road 
to Chateaudun, which was barred by entrenchments in the 

*n *: ^;^-.*u«,:-v* -,;«« 2nd H.A. iBt and 2nd H.A. 6th and 5th 6-pr. 
Costing from the nght wing : _j^_, —^-^^_ , __j___L-, 

8th 6-pr. , 4th 6-pr. ^ 5th and 7th 6-pr . . and 4-pr . , 6th 6 pr. ^.p, i ♦ ♦ . 

IstBav. ' drdiiav. ' Ist Bay. * IstBav. ' IstBav. ' ^ as ^>o 

at De Beauvais farm.) 

f Rather more than 200 men. See App. LXXI. 

t To the 22nd Division were assigned: 7th and 8th^ ^^^ recently arrircd 

9th6-pi-, and iilli (mitrailleuse battery with 4 guns), as also the ^^^^ ^^-pr. 

whick hod been present since the 8th October; to the 1st Bavarian Diyisiou . 

srd and 4th 6-pr. t„ ^le 2nd Bayarian Diyision: Sth "■" "th 6-P'- 
8 3 


neighbourhood of Ormes, a rearguard of some 13,000 men* 
for the purpose of covering this movement. 

At the head of the 22nd Division, at that time numbering 
little more than 6,000 men,t which had marched off from Dambron 
shortly after daybreak, the 13th Hussars came across two French 
squadrons at Boulay. The latter fell back to the village of Les 
Barres, which was occupied by infantry ; it was, however, aban- 
doned by the adversary when the Pnissian batteries came into 
action at a quarter past 9, and the 44'th Brigade at Heurdy was 
preparing to attack. This brigade at once advanced with the five 
Bavarian batteries through Les Barres along tlie high-road to 
Orl&ns, whilst somewhat further on the left the 43rd Brigade, 
with the Prussian batteries and the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigadcj 
likewise took from Boulay the direction of Ormes. The enemy 
now also abandoned without a contest an entrenched position at 
Bois Girard, but received the German troops with a vigorous fire 
from a field battery west of the entrenchments at Ormes. 

General v. Wittich, who had observed during his advance the 
presence of strong bodies of French at the latter place, now 
caused seven batteries to come into action at Les Masures and 
Bois Girard in rear of the shelter trenches abandoned by the 
enemy4 and shortly reduced to silence the field guns just men* 
tioned. The effective artillery and musketry fire from the 
entrenchments at Ormes speedily caused, however, the 44th 
Brigade in the open ground in front to seek as much cover as pos- 
sible and to await the advance of the other marching columns. 
Whilst the three companies of the 94th now ensconced them- 
selves in Les Masures, and the S3rd in the ditches alongside the 
road, and from thence maintained a delaying frontal fight, the 
43rd Brigade, with the fusilier battalion 32nd Regiment in first 
line, moved past the east side of Bois Girard against the right wing 
of the enemy, who by a quick movement was thrown back from 
Les Chabasses and La Borde. In its further advance to Ormes this 
brigade, however, met with so determined a resistance that the left 
wing of the 32nd had to be gradually reinforced by the greater 
part of the 95th Regiment. The 2nd battalion of this regiment 
alone formed a general reserve in rear of the centre of the Division. 

After the struggle round Ormes had continued for some 
time in this manner, the French commenced at 1 p.m. to yield 
gradually to the pressure on their right flank. As soon as 
the assailant remarked this, the Prussian 5th light and the 
Bavarian 8th 6-pr. battery came up to within 800 paces of the 
entrenchments. The 83rd Regiment, under Colonel Marschall 
V. Bieberstein, supported by the artillery fire, now stormed, 
although with considerable loss, the position hitherto so stubbornly 

* Danes' Brigade of the Snd Division, reinforced bj the 27th, 33rd, and 34th 
liegiments de ntarche^ a rifle battalion de marche, some companies of the 4th Line 
Regiment and Papal Zouaves. 

t There ^verc still absent : 7th, 8th, 9tb. and }, 11th 3rd, II.ul, and Fu.. 

4 th and 9 th 

+ From riffht to left- 8th and 7th 6-pr ., 5th 1., 3rd h., 3id 1 . 9th C-pr. 4th 1. 

* ' ** * SrdBav. U * lit IJiiv. '" 11 


defended, and captured therein several packed gnn limbers and 
ammunition waggons. The enemy retreated in the direction of 
Orleans. Detachments of the 43rd Brigade, which had already 
reached the great road soiith-east of Ormes^ made there some 
800 prisoners. 

After the capture of Ormes about 2 o'clock both Prussian 
brigades continued the movement towards Orl^ns along the 
high-road and to the north of it. The Ist battalion 83rd Begi* 
ment was at the head of the former, the 95th Regiment in tiiie 
front line of the other column. The resistance of the French, 
favoured by the continuous succession of villages, gardens, and 
vineyards only permitted, however, a very gradual progress on 
the part of the troops ; the Qerman cavalry, under the existing 
circumstances being unable to act, remained in consequence 
halted at Yilleneuve and La Borde. The infantry assembled 
for the most part by 3 o'clock at Le Grand Orme, whilst the 
95th Regiment, after continuous fighting, reached Le Petit Si 
Jean. After storming the foremost farmsteads of this -place 
General v. Wittich resolved for the present to await the arrival 
of the Bavarians on his left. 

General v. d. Tann, who had accompanied in ]^ei*son the move- 
ments of the 22nd Division, had brought up the 1st Bavarian 
Brigade from Chevilly in support of his right wing. This 
brigade had advanced through Pomiers upon Ormes and 
presently reached Villeneuve. The 4th Cavalry Division, which 
in accordance with orders had bent away at St. P^ravy la Colombe 
against the enemy's left flank, but in the close country south 
of Ormes had found no opportunity for effective action, assembled 
its brigades at La Martini^re, after the 8th had met with French 
infantry at G^migny and in the adjoining forest^ and in conse- 
quence had refrained from any further advance upon Menng. 

Whilst these events were taking place on the right wing 
of the army, the main forces of ^e Ist Bavarian Corps had 
also become involved in serious engagements. The 4th Brigade 
advancing along the old road from Chartres had detached three 
battalions and a battery from Gidy with the object of seeking, in 
the direction of Sary, connexion with the 22nd Division, which, 
to judge from the distant roar of the artillery and our news 
with regard to the enemy, must have met with a vigorous re- 
sistance.^ When the head of this flank detachment, led by 

* Order of march of the 4th Bayarian Brigade south of Gidy: 

On the road to Saran : 

8th 6-pr. 


10 ■ 
ITpd nnd IlTrd 

5th and 6th 6-pr. 

4th stjua.iroa a\.is before Paris.) 

Right flank detachment in the direction 
of Sarj: 

7th Rifle battalion. 
4th 4-pr . 



Ist ,_, ^ , 

"is"* ^ ^^^' 

pany wrr with the siege park 
before Fans.) 


Lieut-Colonel Count v. Joner, entered the open country at 
Sary, it was received with fire from the woods and isolated 
farm buildings west of Saran as well as from some ^ns which 
had unlimbered in the same place. After the nearest of these 
farms had been cannonaded by the 4-pr. battery and then 
stormed by the 1st and 2nd rifle companies, there arose a tough 
and for the Bavarian battery very sanguinary struggle round a 
fortified farmstead lying further to the rear. The French under- 
took several forward movements from this farm, but were 
eventually driven out of it when fresh Bavarian forces approached 
the scene of the engagement. The entire flanking detachment 
had meanwhile deployed in the clearing of the wood and took 
part with four companies* in the pursuit now commencing, which 
was also shared by six other companies hurrying up from the 
main column.f In scouring the adjacent wood the Bavarians 
made 200 prisoners ; the 8th company of the 10th Regiment 
followed the enemy, who at 1.80 p.m. retreated further southward. 

The troops of the 4th Brigade, advancing along the old road 
from Cliartres, had first occupied La Tete Noire and the Saran 
cemetery with the two companies of the 10th Regiment which 
remained at the head. Upon this, two gims of the 8th 6-pr. 
battery brought a fire to bear from the east upon the village, 
whilst the 3rd battalion 13th Regiment ensconced itself at the 
same time opposite the church in some isolated farmsteads and 
sand pits, and shortly advanced to the attack. The adversary now 
also evacuated Saran, and, pursued by the 2nd and 3rd battalions 
13th Regiment through L'Orme au Coin and Les Valines, with- 
drew in the direction of Orleans, leaving during its retreat part 
of the men prisoners in the hands of the Bavarians. 

On the Paris high-road the 3rd Brigade had reached from 
Chevilly the neighbourhood of La Montjoie without impoi*tant 
incident ; two battalions traversed in a southerly direction the 
forest of Orl&ms as a left flank detachment.:]^ After a slight 

1^ 3rd and 4th 3rd and 4th 


7th Jiif. • 10 

7th, 8th, and Illrd 

t Order of march of the 3rd Bavarian BrijEFade : 

Main column on the Cheriliy high Left flank detachment in the Forest of 

Orleans : 


l8t Rifle hattaliou. 

2nd 4-p r. 



6th 6- pr. 



12 * 

^th Chcvauxleg.' 

(Both battalions were 




together odIj 5 companies 

.»«^«» 3"! and 4th ,„ J ^. . 
strong. , had not yet 

returned from escorting the Sedan 
prisoners, the —^ served as escort 

to the trains. The two latter, 
however^ reached the battle-field 
towards the end of the action.) 


delay, occasioned by meeting French detachments near La Mont- 
joie, which, however, were speedily driven off* to beyond Le 
petit Sougis by artillery fire, the main column continued its 
march along the high road, in order by a further movement upon 
Orleans to endanger at the same time the line of retreat of tlic 
adversaiy then engaged at SiU-an. East of the railway embank- 
ment two companies of rifles accompanied this movement on the 
left flank. 

When the Bavarian troops approached the rows of houses 

which extended in unbroken succession from Bel Air to 

Orleans, they met with seriousjresistance. In spite of the ground 

being unfavourable to the deployment of artillery, four guns 

of ^0 6th G-pr. battery were brought into action at the 

high road, and near a windmill to tlie west of it, and the 

infantry shortly forced their way into the nearest farms of Bel 

Air ; yet no further progress could be made. The leader of the 

bri^ule. Colonel Roth, now sent in consequence the 1st battalion 

3rd Regiment to the west, the 1st rifle company to the east of 

the place into the thickly planted vineyards, whilst the 2nd 

battalion 3rd Regiment endeavoui'ed to press forward oneither side 

of the railway embankment,* and the 4th rifle company continued 

the frontal engagement on the high road. The above troops 

ultimately gained possession it is true of the group of houses at 

Bel Air, and also of the farm of La Cave at the railway, in 

storming which Major Raizer was killed ;t but as no permanent 

successes were obtained in the vineyards along the high road in 

face of the fire of the adversary who was screened by the houses, 

and the dny was already drawing to a close, the leader of the 

Division, Major-Qeneral Schumacher, at 4 p.m. caused the two 

battalions of the 3rd Brigade^ which were still available and had 

been meanwhile brought up through Sougis, to take part in the 

surging stniggle. After this advance, successful as it was at 

first, had failed against the stubborn resistance of the French, 

matters resolved themselves for the time into a stationary action, 

in which the Bavarian Brigade held the positions which it had 

up to that time gained, while the adversary maintained as before 

the farm buildings and vineyards of Les Aides. 

Meanwhile, however, the commander of the 4th Brigade, 
Major-General v. d. Tann. had in consequence of the brisk firing 
at the Paris high road caused first his three 6-pr. batteries to 
come into action to the south of Saran against Les Aides, and 
then also 1^ battalions of the 10th Regiment to advance in this 
direction. After the 5th company, leading the advance, had 
in conjunction with detachments of the 3rd Regiment driven the 
enemy out of the farmsteads of Les Mdlinieres, these troops passed 
about half-past 4 o'clock to the attack of the row of houses of 
Les Aides lining the Chartres road, in which, however, they 

* The 7th and 8th companies, "which hnd sought connexion from La Montjoie 
with the left flanking detachment, rejoined from the east the 5th and 6th. 

f Commander of the 


and . 


at first made but slow progi*es& The eDveloping attack of the 
3rd battalion 13th Begiment, which, advancing from Les Yall^, 
had driven some Frendi detachments out of Les Bordes and Les 
Murlins/ and now likewise turned towards the west side of 
Les Aides, caused the adversary indeed to retreat into the 
eastern row of houses ; bat it was not until after a long and 
sanguinary struggle that the Bavarian infantryt succeeded in 
breaking the last resistance in the obstinately defended village. 
The remainder of the 4th Brigade, which at 5 p.m. reached 
Grange des Groues and St. Jean de la Buelle further west, there 
entered into a vigorous musketry action with the enemy's 
skirmishing lines deployed on the railway embankment opposite. 

The left flanking detachment of the 3rd Brigade had during 
the forenoon driven the Papal Zouaves, which were thrown for- 
ward to the east of Cercottes, out of the Forest of Orl^ns, and in 
the course of the afternoon had established connection by way of 
La Foulounerie with the troops fighting at La Cave, and in con- 
junction with them]: continued the forward movement along the 
railway, in order by a pressure on the enemy's right flank to 
relieve the main column m its struggle for Les Aides. 

The fortified and strongly occupied railway station at Les 
Aubra3rs was abandoned by the French after a stubborn 
resistance.^ Hereupon Colonel Nardss^ with the five companies 
of the 12th and the 7th company of the 3rd Regiment, stormed 
the gas-works situated further south at the crossing point of the 
railway. Thither came up also the 3rd company of the 4th Rifle 
Battalion, which had received orders at Cercottes to form the 
connecting link between the corps reserve and the left flanking 
detachment. The enemy now made repeated assaults on the 
gas-works, so that the Bavarians who had penetrated therein 
were roughly handled and suffered considerable losses. Major 
V. Tein fell, Major v. Kress was mortally wounded. When the 
Colonel withdrew his troops, in consequence of shortness of 
ammunition to the railway station previously mentioned, the 
adversary regaining courage made likewise several attacks on this 
position. The Bavarians however held to their post, and pressing 
forward with all their might upon Orl&ms which was so close 
at band, ultimately gained possession for the second time of the 
gas-works and the adjoining vineyards. 

About the same time that these events were taking place on 

* In plAoe of Major Baxon t. Gumppenberg, who was badly wonnded in tbis 
action. Captain Haag^ although himBelf wounded, had taken over the command of 
the battalion. 

I rt and 4th Istandlllrd 5th 6th, 7th, and 1 1 J Ilird and 5th 

t 1st Bid 3 10 13 

« nnd 2ud and 8rd. 

'*' 8 IstBif. 

§ The following took part in the attack on the railway station : 

IIIr<i 8th 

and, 3rd, and a^^ of the 1st The 1? and ^^ followed in second line. 
Ist Bi£ 19 3 


12 ' 8 * 


the left wing of Oeneral v. d. Tann's force, that officer ordered 
a general advance on the extreme right wing, in order to gain 
poesession of Orleans before darkness set in. He ordered at 
5 p.m. the 1st Bavarian Brigade to insert itself between the 
I'Srd and the 4th Bavarian Brigade in the foremost fighting line, 
whilst at the same time the 5th light battery of the 22nd 
Division nnlimbered in the vineyards near Le Grand Orme,. and 
commenced to act against the last position of the enemy. 

When General v. Dietl, striking off to the left with the 
greater part of the 1st Brigade from the high road into the 
vineyards, reached the village just mentioned, the right wing of 
the 4th Brigade was assembling there after an unsuccessful 
assault of the railway embankment. The fire also of the 
2nd Rifie Battalion now taking part in the struggle remained 
at first without result. It was not until after the 32nd Resi- 
ment had crossed the embankment further west by a way 
pointed out to it by Lieut.-Colonel v. Heinleth, chief of the 
Bavarian general staff, that the enemy finding his left flank 
threatened retired to the suburb of St. Jean. The 95th Eegimeno 
and the parts of the 1st and 4th Bavarian Brigades advancing to 
the left of it, thereupon captured the railway embankment by a 
sudden rush. 

Under the personal guidance of Lieut.-Colonel v. Heinleth, 
the Ist Bavarian Regiment, hitherto held in reserve on the high 
road, made a dash through the suburb as far as a toll-gate 
across the road. A vigorous musketry fire and a volley of hand 
grenades brought the attack for a moment to a standstill. There 
the already wounded Major v. Liineschloss with all the officers 
placed themselves at the bead of the regiment, who now forced 
their way with loud cheers into the town by a side entrance 
which had been broken through, and, driving the enemy before 
them along two parallel streets, reached at 7 p.m. the principal 
square of du Martroi situated in the heart of the place. 

Following immediately after this coliunn, the regiments of 
the 43rd Brigade, as also the parts of the 1st and 4th Bavarian 
Brigades in front line further on the left, skirmishing as they 
went with some French detachments hastening towards the 
Loire bridges, gained the streets of the outer circle through the 
suburbs of St Jean and Bannier. General v. d. Tann, who had 
likewise ridden forward to Orleans with General v. Wittich, 
abstained for the present from any further pursuit of the beaten 
enemy owing to the darkness. He however ordered the whole 
of the 1st Bavarian and the 43rd Brigade to advance into the 
interior of the city, to occupy the most important buildings 
and the bridge over the Loire, and to bivouac in the larger 
open squares. " Tlie rest of the troops arranged themselves for the 
night in the neighbourhood of the places which they held at 
the close of the struggle. 

The loss of the Germans in the action at Orleans, amounted 
altogether to about 900 men, and fell more particularly on the 


3rd Bayarian Brigade.* The French had in the various inde- 
pendent actions, and in the final retreat from the city, lost 
over 1,800 prisoners ; besides these the victor captured more than 
5^000 stand of arms, 10 locomotives, and nearly 60 railway 

On the 12th October, the 2nd Bavarian Division occupied the 
esfltem^ the 22nd Division the western portion of the city of 
Orl&uis.t The 1st Bavarian Division held this day the 
suburb of Si Marceau lying on the left bank of the Loire, and 
with its advanced troops Olivet on the Loiret brook. The 2nd 
Cavalry Division and the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade also 
crossed in the afternoon to the south bank of the stream. 

The German cavalry scouting through the Sologne in all 
directions met with hostile detachments during the following 
da3rB at La Fert6 St. Aubin and Jouy le Pothier, but found both 
rJaces abandoned on the 15 th. Further west on the Blois road, 
French troops showed themselves on the 16 th, but were driven 
off by shell fire. The bridges over the Loire at St. Denis dd 
L'Hotel and over the Loiret brook at Olivet which had been 
destroyed by the enemy were restored, the railway bridge at 
Orleans made practicable for all arms, whilst the railway line 
between Orleans and Tours was interrupted by blowing up 
the viaduct at Beaugency. The 4th Cavalry Division, upon 
whom devolved more particularly the duties of observation 
towards the west, had, with the infantry assigned to it, occupied 
the neighbourhood of Patay and Cotdmiers, and had placed a 
strong flanking detachment]: in Meung and St. Ay on the Loira 
Patrols of this Division while advancing upon Chateaudun and 
in the Marchenoir wood had met with resistance from armed 
inhabitants, whose daring behaviour led to the supposition that 
there were hostile troops in the immediate neighbourhood. 

The 15th French Corps after its defeat at Orleans had turned 
with its main forces and Beyau's Cavalry Division in a southerly 
direction to La Fert^ St. Aubin,§ where General d'Aurelle de 
Paladmes assumed the chief command on the 12th October, and 
between the 15th and 17th caused the retreat to be continued 
across the Sauldre. Behind this position the Corps posted itSelf 
for the protection of the towns of Bourges and Vierzon with the 
1st Division and a Cavalry Brigade at .Argent, with the 2nd Divi- 
sion at Pierrefitte, and with the rest of the troops at Salbris. 
The latter point of passage, in accordance with instructions from 

* See Appendix liXXI. 

t A battalion guarded the trains aaaembled at Artenaj from FranctireQXB, who 
from the eztentiTe woods made the neighbourhood there more and more insecure. 

1 5th Dragoons, two guns, and infemtxy. 

§ Only the troops of the 1st Diyision, which had taken part in the stnigglei 
marched to Glen. 

4164S. M 


Tours, WAS in the event of an advance of the Qennans to be 
defended to the last The 16th Corps at that time assembling at 
Oieii and Biois covered the flank of the position on the Sauldre. 
No attack was however made npon it. 

The headquarters staff of the Ilird Army after the arrival of 
the news of tlie engagement at Orl^ns had, it is true, contemplated 
deriving increased advantages from the successes achieved, by 
seising if possible the artillery stores collected at Bourges and 
driving the French government out of Tours. Qeneral v. d. Tann 
was ii^ormed of this arrangement, by letter of the 14th October, 
but at the same time empowered to adapt his line of action to 
the circumstances of the moment. When the general now 
gathered that the French forces opposed to him were being con- 
siderably augmented, that Bourges was fortified, and the masses of 
workmen there were also inclined for resistance, he resolved in 
conseouence of the comparatively small number of infimtry 
availaole to refrain from any frirther forward movement through 
the Bologne and to limit himself to holding the Loire position. 
As comparatively nmall forces appeared sufficient for this purpose, 
the headquarters on the 16th October ordered the 22nd Division 
and the 4th Cavalry Division to rejoin tl)e Ilird Army, after 
first driving awny the bands of franctireurs which had appeared 
at Chateaudun and Chartres, and were continually harassing 
the rear of tlie army investing Paris, and which had caused con- 
siderable losses, e8])ecially to the German cavalry. 

After the departure of the above troops General v. d. Tann 
tranaferred the greater part of the 2nd Cavalry Division to the 
right bank of the Loire, in the neighbourhood between Coulmiers 
and St. Ay, whilst the 4th Cavalry Brigade remained on the 
left bank and was annexed to the 1st Bavarian Division. As 
security against an attack expected from the south the general 
caused preliminary steps to be taken for destroying the bridges 
over the Loire and Loiret, for rendering the fords impassable and 
for bringing all river craft to the north bank. 

In consequence of the intelligence of the appearance of fresh 
foroes of the enemy at Blois, the Bavarian Commander in Chief 
after the SOth October brought the whole of the 4th Brigade 
with four batteries into tiie space between St. P^ravy, Coulmiers 
and Ormes, the Sixl Brigade into the suburbs and nearest villages 
west of Orleans. The 1st Bavarian Division occupied the city 
with the 1st Brigade, the position between the Loire and Loiret 
with the 2nd, and protected itself against Qien and tlie Forest 
of Orleans with mixed detachments at the passage over the canal 
at Pont aux Moines and at Loury. On the right alongside the 2nd 
Cavalry Division, which remained in its position, tiie Bavarian 
Cuirassier Bri^de occupied quarters in the neighbourhood of Si 
Peravy. Af\er a French detachment had been driven back on the 
S2nd October fix>m Lail^y to Beaugency, no further collision of 
any importance occurred for the present upon this section of the 
theatre of war. 

An etappen road leading through Etampes to Longjumeau and 


Corbeil, connected the German troops on the Loire with the Paris 
line of investment. To supplement this, the Bavarian Field 
Railway Division worked at the restoration of the line of railway 
between Yilleneuve St. Georges and Orl^ns. 

The 22nd Division had, in accordance with the mission with 
which it was intrusted, moved forward on the 17th October 
through Ormes to Toumoisis and in conjunction with the 8th 
Cavahy Brigade,*,' brought up from Couhniers, resumed its 
march on the following day towards Chateaudun. 

In expectation of an attack this town had been provided on 
the south and east sides with strong entrenchments; for its 
defence, however, there were but 1^200 iranctireurs and National 
Guards in readiness when the Germans approached it at noon 
on the 18th, as the troops hitherto there had moved off that 
morning to Blois by superior orders. 

When the 22nd Division arrived before Chateaudun at the 
time just mentioned,! the 13th Hussars were fired upon from the 
entrenchments surrounding the town. The 8th Cavalry Brigade, 
originally leading the advance, but then forming the left flanking 
detachment of the marching column, had deployed to the north 
of Nivouville, watching at the same time the roads from Cloyes. 
Its batter}' of horse artillery fired upon the railway embankment 
which was occupied by franctireurs, but was unable to dislodge 
the enemy from his position. 

In order to prepare the infantry attack with effect, General 
V. Wittich in the first hour of the afternoon caused first the 3rd 
heavy battery to come into action to the north of the road from 
Orgferes, under the protection of the hussars, and the other three 
Prussian batteries to the south of the Orleans road. On the 
right flank of the line of guns, the 95th Regiment opened from 
the north a musketry action with the enemy posted behind 
walls and barricades, whilst the 32nd Regiment crossing the 
i*ailway embankment moved towards the south side of Cha- 
teaudun. The fusilier battalion of this regiment, in conjunction 

♦ With a battery of horse artiUery ; in addition, the ^/ i-|^* had been 

1st JtSaT. 
attached to the SSnd Diyision. 

t Order of march of the 22nd Division: — 

18th Hussars. 

1 Battalion 95th Begiment 

1 Batteiy. 

2 Battalions 95th Begiment. 

•3 Pmssiao, 1 Bavarian battery. 
32nd Beffiment. 
3rd Field Pioneer Company. 
44th Brigade. 

- - . „ and -I- remained as escort to the trains j the 2nd Field Pioneer 

18th Hussars 83 

Company remained at Orleans. 

The Division had been meanwhile joined by 3 cos. 83rd Begiment, and 5 cos. 

94tb Begiment. See note *, p. 157. 


Tours, was in the event of an advance of the Germans to be 
defended to the last. The 16th Corps at that time assembling at 
Gieu and Blois covered the flank of the position on the Sauldre. 
No attack was however made upon it. 

The headquarters staff of the Ilird Army after the arrival of 
the news of the engagement at Orl^ns had, it is true, contemplated 
deriving increased advantages from the successes achieved, by 
seizing if possible the artillery stores collected at Bourges and 
driving the French government out of Tours. General v. d. Tann 
was iiSbrmed of this arrangement, by letter of the 14th October, 
but at the same time empowered to adapt his line of action to 
the circumstances of the moment. When the general now 
gathered that the French forces opposed to him were being con- 
siderably augmented, that Bourges was fortified, and the masses of 
workmen there were also inclined for resistance, he resolved in 
consequence of the comparatively small number of infEintry 
available to refrain from any iiirther forward movement through 
the Sologne and to limit himself to holding the Loire position. 
As comparatively small forces appeared sufficient for this purpose, 
the headquarters on the 16th October ordered the 22nd Division 
and the 4th Cavalry Division to rejoin the Ilird Army, after 
first driving awny the bands of franctireurs which had appeared 
at Chateaudun and Chartres, and were continually harassing 
the rear of the army investing Paris, and which had caused con- 
siderable losses, especially to the German cavalry. 

After the departure of the above troops General v. d. Tann 
transferred the greater part of the 2nd Cavalry Division to the 
right bank of the Loire, in the neighbourhood between Coulmiers 
and St. Ay, whilst the 4th Cavalry Brigade remained on the 
left bank and was annexed to the Ist Bavarian Division. As 
security against an attack expected from the south the general 
caused preliminary steps to be taken for destroying the bridges 
over the Loire and Loiret, for rendering the fords impassable and 
for bringing all river craft to the north bank. 

In consequence of the intelligence of tl)e appearance of fresh 
forces of the enemy at Blois, the Bavarian Commander in Chief 
after the 20th October brought the whole of the 4th Brigade 
with four batteries into the space between St F^ravy, Coulmiers 
and Ormes, the 3rd Brigade into the saburbs and nearest villages 
west of Orleans. The 1st Bavarian Division occupied the city 
witk the 1st Brigade, the position between the Loire and Loiret 
with the 2nd, and protected itself against Gien and the Forest 
of Orleans wiiJi mixed detachments at the passage over the canal 
at Pont aux Moines and at Loury. On the right alongside the 2nd 
Cavalry Division, which remained in its position, &e Bavarian 
Cuirassier Brigade occupied quarters in the neighbourhood of St. 
P^ravy. After a French detachment had been driven back on the 
22nd October from LaiUy to Beaugency, no further collision of 
any importance occurred for the present upon this section of the 

theatre of war. 

An etappen road leading through Etampes to Longjumeau and 


Corbeil, connected the German troops on the Loire with the Paris 
line of investment. To supplement this, the Bavarian Field 
Railway Division worked at the restoration of the line of railway 
between Yilleneuve St. Georges and Orleans. 

The 22nd Division had, in accordance with the mission with 
which it was intrusted, moved forward on the 17th October 
through Ormes to Toumoisis and in conjunction with the 8th 
CavaCy Brigade,*.' brought up from Couhniers, resumed its 
march on the following day towards Chateaudun. 

In expectation of an attack this town had been provided on 
the south and east sides with strong entrenchments; for its 
defence, however, there were but 1,200 franctireurs and National 
Guards in readiness when the Germans approached it at noon 
on the 18th, as the troops hitherto there had moved off that 
morning to Blois by superior orders. 

When the 22nd Division arrived before Chateaudun at the 
time just mentioned,! the 13th Hussars were fired upon from the 
entrenchments surrounding the town. The 8th Cavalry Brigade, 
originally leading the advance, but then forming the left flanking 
detaclmient of the marching column, had deployed to the north 
of Nivouville, watching at the same time the roads from Cloyes. 
Its batter}' of horse artillery fired upon the railway embankment 
which was occupied by franctireurs, but was unable to dislodge 
the enemy from his position. 

In order to prepare the infantry attack with effect, General 
V. Wittich in the first hour of the afternoon caused first the 3rd 
heavy battery to come into action to the north of the road from 
Orgferes, under the protection of the hussai*s, and the other three 
Prussian batteries to the south of the Orleans road. On the 
right flank of the line of guns^ the 95th Regiment opened from 
the north a musketry action with the enemy posted behind 
walls and barricades, whilst the 32nd Regiment crossing the 
railway embankment moved towards the south side of Cha- 
teaudun. The fusilier battalion of this regiment, in conjunction 

♦ With a battery of hone artiUery ; in addition, the ^^^f^' ^^ been 

attached to the SSnd Division, 
t Order of maieh of the 22nd Division:— 
18th Hassan. 
1 BattaUon 95th Begiment 

1 Batteiy. 

2 Battalions 9Sth Regiment. 

n Prossiao, 1 Bavarian battery. 
32nd Reffiment 
3rd Wield Pioneer Company. 
44th Brigade. 

,^ . and — remained as escort to the trains j the 2nd Field Pioneer 

I8th Hassan 83 

Company remained at Orleans. 

The Division had been meanwhile joined by 3 cos. Sdrd Regiment, and 5 cos. 

94tb Regiment. See note *, p. 157. 


with the 3rd pioneer company, captured the Nermont brick-kiln, 
then also the fortified farmstead of Mont Doucet^ which the 
Bavarian battery advanced on the left wing of the artillery line 
had previously set on fire. But in their further forward move- 
ment the Prussian sharpshooters came across the loopholed wall 
of a vineyard and a stone barricade across the road^ so that the 
action at this point came to a standstill. 

General v. Wittich under these circumstances caused his 
artillery to fire some time longer upon the defenders' positions. 
After the first Une of attack had been reinforced by two bat- 
talions of the 94th Regiment, the Germans as darkness was drawing 
on passed from three sides to a decisive assault. The barricades 
at the entrances to the town were captured ; but in the interior 
the French held out with the stubbornness of despair, so that 
house after house had to be stormed, and in the course of the 
struggle which lasted for into the night a great part of the 
place became a prey to the fiames. The French franctireurs fled 
in complete disorder to Nogent le Rotrou, leaving 150 prisoners 
behind. The loss in killed and wounded amounted on each 
side to some 100 men. A considerable fine was imposed on the 
town in consequence of the share which the inhabitants had 
taken in the struggle. 

On the following day the 22nd Division remained at Cha- 
teaudun. An advanced guard thrown forward in the direction 
of Chartres took possession of the passages of the Loire at 
Marboud and Bonneval^ whilst the 8th Cavalry Brigade watched 
with seveiul squadrons the roads to the west and south. The 
advance of French franctireurs and hussars from Cloyes caused 
the camp to get temporarily under arms in the afternoon. The 
rest of the 4th Cavalry Division assembled to the north-east of 
Chateaudun in the neighbourhood of Nottonville and Bazoches 
en Dunois, whither the 9th Brigade had already proceeded in 
advance on the 18th. 

On the 20th October the movement was continued towards 
Chartres. The 22nd Division, which on this day was joined by 
two Bavarian batteries* despatched from Origins, reached Vitray 
en Beauce^ its advanced guard, Le Temple ; tiie 4th Cavalry 
Division accompanied the march with the 8th Brigade west^ with 
the two others east, of the high road. 

When General v. Wittich had learnt from the reports of his 
patrols that the high road had been rendered impassable 4^ 
miles south of Chartres^ and that from 6>000 to 10,000 French 
troops would be found in the town, he resolved to attack it with 
his main forces from the south-east. He first pushed forward 
early on the 21 st a small advanced guardf to Thivars, which with 
the aid of pioneers made the high road again passable. The 

e-pr. ^^ 12th la-pr. . ^^ g^ ^^ j^^ ^^ j^^ Bayuian Corps on 


4 3 

15th October. 

t Fus. 4 4th , J* • • ^ • 

W 13th Hussars 


main body of the 22iid Division, bending away to the right 
from the high road, marched to Houdouenne and from thenoe 
in a northerly direction to the right bank of the Eure. To- 
wards noon both brigades deployed, the 43rd on the left wing, 
with seven batteries in the space between Le Coudray and the 
road from Augerville to Chartres. French Marine Infantry 
and Mobile Guards, which advanced frt)m the town to meet the 
German troops, were driven back by artillery fire. On the right 
flank of the German infi^ntry the 10th Cavalry Brigade swept 
the country from Sours towards the road to Ablis, whilst the 9th 
was held in readiness behind the left wing at Dammarie. The 
8th Cavalry Brigade had already in the forenoon crossed the Eure 
further west, taken up a position of observation at Chaumay and 
destroyed the railway to Le Mans at Amilly. At the north-east 
border of Chartres the 6th Cavahy Division had also appeared. 
This latter, in accordance with a summons from General v. 
Wittich, had assembled already on the 1 9th at Anneau, pushed 
forward two squadrons of the 3rd Lancers towards Jouy on the 
mondng of the 21st, and with the remainder taken in the fore- 
noon the same direction through Houville.* 

The civil authorities of the town, which was now almost 
entirely surrounded by the German troops and in the event of 
further resistance was threatened, with bombardment, had 
meanwhile entered into negotiations. At 3 p.m. a treaty was 
concluded by virtue of which the French troops retired westward,! 
the National Guards laid down their arms, and Chartres opened 
its gates to the Germans. The 22nd Division was quartered 
inside the place, the 4th Cavalry Division with one brigade in 
the environs to the west, the other two in those to the south-east, 
between the Eure and the road to Anneau. The 6th Cavalry 
Division, which in its further advance had been fired upon frt>m 
Jouy and St Prest^ was at Gasville. 

The stubborn contest at Chateaudun and the condition of 
affairs on the Eure led to the certain inference that the 
rear of the investing army before Paris was also seriously 
menaced from the west. By order of the headquarters of the 
lUrd Army the two first-named Divisions remained until further 
notice in the neighbourhood of Chartres, whilst the 6th Cavalry 
Division took up a position further north at Maintenon. From 
both points mixed detachments patrolled the surrounding country 
in all directions, without however meeting at any point with 
resistance from hostile troops ; it was only the isolated patrols 
which continued to be molested as before by gardes mobiles and 

* Onlj the Srd Hussars and 2 squadrons of the 15th Lancers had remained in the 
previous positions at Kambonillet and Manrepas. 

j In doing so they were fired upon hj the horse artillery battery of the 8th Cavalry 
Briffode, which in its position at Channay had not yet been inibnned of the conclusion 
of the treaty. 

41648. N 


In the ground to the south-east of Paris the oft-mentioned 
Forest of FontaineUeau continued to remain a place of assembly 
for bands of franctireurs. and the point of departure for much 
hostility against the German troops deputed to collect provisions 
on the right bank of the Seine. A detachment of the 13th Hussars 
had been surprised by franctireurs on the 30th September at 
Champdeuil, but had managed to withdraw without loss. In 
October armed bands showed also further eastward at Montereau 
and Nogent, and made incursions across the Seine. National 
Gaards and franctireurs attacked at Les Puits on the 20th a 
Wurttemberg company* despatched towards Naugis, but were 
repulsed with a loss of about 50 men. 

As according to the statement of the prisoners captured on 
this occasion further enterprises on the part of the enemy might 
be expected from Nangis, and, should this happen, the transport 
of siege artillery at that thne taking place along the roads 
between Nanteuil and Yilleneuve appeared endangered, the 
WUrttemberg Division pushed forward a battalion with half a 
squadron and two gunsf on the evening of the 21st to Touman. 
This detachment under the leading of Ideut Colonel v. Schroder 
reached Nangis on the 22nd, cross^ the Seine at Marolles on the 
23rd, and advanced from the south into Montereau, which was 
barricaded but not defended The dtisens of this town sur- 
rendered their arma When the Wiirttembergers afterwards 
moved up the south hsj^k, they encountered on the 25th on 
this side of Nogent deployed skirmishing lines of French 
Gardes Mobiles, whom, however, an attack of the cavalry, sup- 
ported by shell-fire, speedily drove in. The Wlirttembeig troops 
now turned towards the strongly occupied localities in front of 
the west side of the town. Under a heavy fire they first captured 
a row of houses along the high road, afterwards also the 
cemetery further south, the surrounding wall having been pre- 
viously breached by artillery fire. The French offered a stubborn 
resistance inside the town, but iQtimately withdrew in the direc- 
tion of Troyes, leaving behind some 600 men in killed, wounded, 
and prisoners. The loss of the Wiirttembergers amounted to 
some 50 men ; among the wounded was also Ideut-Colonel v. 
Schroder. On the 27th October the small flying column 
again entered Pontault ; it had in 6 days marched upwards of 
125 miles. 

In rear of the north line of investment before Paris, special 
measures had become necessary as early as September against 
the bands of franctireurs appearing on the Oise, which had esta- 
blished themselves more especially iu the wooded country near 

•Jit with i^Dd 

3 SrdCav, 

1 1^ - ^^"^ , and S gims of th« 7tli Battery. 
3 ' SrdCaT. 


L'Isle Adam and also in the neighbourhood of Creil further up 
the stream, and often caused casualties among the detachments 
of the Meuse Army employed in collecting provisions. For the 
occupation of this district and at the same time to make pre* 
parations for opening the traffic on the lines of rail converging 
at Creil, the headquarters had arranged the despatch of a 
stronger force to that important section of the river. 

The Saxon Cavalry Division and the fusilier battalion 2nd 
Quard Regiment* advanced on the 26th September to Creil, forced 
their way with a detachment into Clermont on the following 
day, without encountering any great resistance, and subsequently 
extended as far as Beauvais. After the detachment had occupied 
Cbantilly and the other villages just mentioned with its main body, 
it was further reinforced at the beginning of October by the 
two grenadier battalions of the 2nd Guard Regiment and the 
2nd Sietxon horse artillery battery. 

On the left of the Saxon Cavalry Division the 3rd Lancers of 
the Quard had scoured the woods to the east of the Lower Oise 
on the 26th September, and with the aid of the 1st battalion 7l8t 
Regiment, brought up on the following day to Chauvry, reached 
Lisle Adam after some slight skirmishes. This place was at once 
reoccupied by the enemy on the withdrawal of the Germans, but 
on the 29th was again captured after a brisk resistance by a 
detachment of the Meuse Army advancing in several columns 
towards Beaumont. This detachment, consisting of the 1st Guard 
Lancers, the 1st battalion 27th Regiment, two guns and one 
pioneer company of the lYth Army Corps, was to guard the 
country on the lower Epte, being in contact at the same time 
with the Saxon Cavalry Division. The detachment was joined 
at the commencement of October by the 3rd Lancers of the 
Guard. Prince Albrecht of Prussia, the younger, now assumed 
command over all the troops assembled at Beaumont. 

In view of these forces on the Oise showing front towards the 
north-west and the patrols from the Meuse Army making incur- 
sions from the northern line of investment as far as Pontoise and 
Luzarches, the inhabitants gradually assumed a more peaceful 
bearing. The reopening of railway traffic from Gonesse through 
Chantilly and Creil to Clermont and Beauvais, which came into 
operation towards the middle of October, taken in conjunction 
with the establishment of regular markets, at which large supplies 
were purchased for the magazines, contributed materially to 
the tranquillity of the district But beyond this district under 
their immediate control the German patrols nearly everywhere 
encountered armed resistance; moreover there were increased 
indications of the assembly of large bodies of troops in Picardy 
and Normandy. On the 1st October a detachment of 2,000 men 
encamped to the south of Breteuil had .withdrawn in front of the 
1st squadron Saxon Cavalry Regiment of the Guard to Amiens ; 

* The battalion wu pof t«d at Chantilly fbr th« protaetion of tha anny magasioe. 


on the following day the 2nd squadron 18th Lancers came into 
collision near Qonmay with some French hussars and franctireurs. 

The commander-in-chief of the Mouse Army, under these cir- 
cumstances, ordered a general forward movement of the German 
forces posted on the Oise. The troops at Beaumont approached 
nearer to the lower Epte by way of Mem, and on the 9th October 
occupied quarters in Gisors and Magny, having previously deared 
the wood behind the former place of franctireurs by means of a 
few rounds of shell On the 10th, parts of the Saxon Cavaliy 
Division advanced from Beauvais against Goumay, which had 
just been abandoned by the enemy ; no permanent occupation of 
this very distant point was undertaken. From the new positions 
a regular patrol service to the west and north was established. 

In consequence of the news of the arrival of French Gardes 
Mobiles at Breteuil and Montdidier, Lieutenant-General Count 
zur Lippe caused the former place to be attacked from two sides 
on the 12th October. A force of all arms* which advanced from 
Clermont drove the Gardes Mobiles from Breteuil, and then 
with the aid of the troops arriving from Beauvais repulsed with 
artillery fire a counter attack made by them^t The 1st squadron 
Cavalry Regiment of the Guard, which had gone round Breteuil 
to the eastward, fell upon the flank of the enemy retiring along 
the AmiftUfl road and captured some 30 prisoners. The total loss 
of the French amounted to about 70 men. 

On the 17th October an attempt was made upon Montdidier 
fix)m Clermontt The bursting of some shells in this place caused 
the French troops there to beat a hasty retreat, in which they 
were overtaken by the 2nd squadron of the Cavalry Regiment 
of the Guard. The latter made upwaixls of 180 men prisoners. 

On the lower Epte the Lancer Brigade of the Prussian Guard 
posted at Gisors and Magny had established regular communica- 
tion with the parts of the 5th Cavalry Division at Mantes. The 
cavalry parties scouting in a westerly direction, after unimportant 
skirmishes at Ecouis and Gasny, dislodged the enemy's out- 
posts from the Andelle position and the Bois de Vernon, where 
superior forces impeded the pursuit. As on the 19th a detach- 
ment despatched from Gisors was fired upon at Etrepagny, 
Prince Albrecht led the troops at his disposal against this place 
on the following day. The enemy who held the farm of La 
Broche and La Heronnerie Wood to the eastward was driven 
from these places and from EtrSpagn}'-, but received support at 

^ ,'^° -, Saxon CaTalry Reffiment of the Guard and two-thirds of the 

2nd Guard 

2nd Saxon Horse Artillery battery under Major v. Fnncke. 

c. A A — :?' ^^^ Lancers, ^ ,^^^ , and Ut Saxon Horse Artillery batterv, 
2nd Guard 3rd Cav. "^ " * 

under Major General Senfft v. Pilsach. 

1 2nd, 3rd, 6lh 3rd , . ,,. , « , . . ,t a_.ii 

*7= j-TT 1— r?^ 5» And two-thirds 2nd Saxon Horse Artillery battei'v 

Guard Cavy. 2nd Guard "^ "^ 

under Major t. Funcke. 


Nojeon le Sec firom fresh troops. A recoimaissaDoe made on the 
22nd towards Vernon with two companies, two squadrons, and 
two guns showed that the French had destroyed the bridge over 
the Seine at that place ; and that therefore there was no likeli- 
hood of an attack from this side. On the left bank of the 
stream only men in blouses were seen ; with these shots were 
exchanged. During the return march through the Bois de Vernon 
the Germans sustained some losses frt)m the iire of franctireurs. 

On the other hand, during the last ten days of October, a 
general advance of the adversary from the Andeile was apparent. 
To reinforce the German troops on the Epte the remaining bat- 
talions of the 27th Begiment, with 10 guns of the 2nd heavy 
and 3rd horse artillery batteries IVth Army Corps, had moved 
off as early as the 20th October from Fontoise.* The passages 
of the Oise at Beaumont and Pontoise, which had been destroyed 
by the French, had been meanwhile replaced by new field bridges,t 
which formed the communication between the advanced troops 
on the Epte and the right flank of the northern line of investment 
round Paris. 

On the French side the proceedings were limited at present to 
sending franctireurs against the line of the Epte ; in the neigh- 
bourhood to the north of Etrdpagny constant collisions took 
place between smaller detachments and patrols. Further in rear, 
on the roads leading to Gisors and Goumay, at Fleury and La 
Feuillie stood the main body of the Garde Mobile which had 
been assembled at Bouen, in a strength of about 14,000 men. 
At Bouen and Le Havre, where entrenchments were actively 
proceeded with, there were two battalions in each place. 

The newly formed French troops in Picardy had after the 
actions at Breteuil and Montdidier been again concentrated for a 
time round Amiens. In the last week of October, however, intelli- 
gence reached the Saxon Cavalry Division that the enemy was 
establishing himself at several points upon the railway between 
Amiens and Bouen, and that .the former commander of the 

* The troops of the Aimy of the Meme pushed forward towards the north-west, 
were, therefore, disposed in two main groups : 

1. On the line Creil-Clermont-BeaaTais, under Lieat.-GenenU Count zur 

Saxon Cayalry Division with the 
1st and 2nd H. A. batteries, 
and 2nd Foot Guards - - 3 batt., 16 squadrons, 2 batteries. 

2. On the lower Epte at Gisors and 

Magny under Lieut-General Prince 
Allvecht of Prussia: 
Lancer Brigade of the Guard. 
27th Regiment 

2nd Heavy, Srd H. A., and 
1st Pioneer Co., IVth Army 
Corps - - - - 3 batt., 8 squadrons, 2 batteries. 

Total . 6 „ 24 „ 4 „ 

t At Beaumont, towards the end of September, a pontoon bridge. Inter on a 
firmer bridge, at Pontoise on 21st October a pontoon bridge. 


Imperial Guard, Qeneral Bonrbaki, had a»amed the chief 
direction of all tlie foroee in north-weBtem France.* 

In consequence of a reconnaiflsance made on the 25 th October 
from Beauvais to Qrandvilliers, by which the presence of nume- 
rous Gardes Mobiles and hussars at Formerie was established, 3 
companies, 6 squadrons, and 6 guns,t under the command of Major- 
General Senfit v. Pilsach were assembled on the 27th at Mars^e. 
When these troops resumed their march on the following morning 
in a north-westerly direction, the Lancers at the head of the 
column came into collision at Mureaumont with some French 
hossars, who were thrown back beyond Formerie. As the Lancers 
were fired upon by musketry from this place, two Saxon guns 
came into action against it ; the Ist company 2nd Guard Regi- 
ment hereupon advanced to the attack and forced its way as fiur 
as the market place, in spite of the vigorous resistance of the 
enemy. But the original weak garrison in Formerie had been 
meanwhile gradually reinforced by two battalions of Garde 
Mobile, some guns and marine in&ntry. Id order in the fii'st 
place to produce the fullest effect from the artillery against the far 
superior force of the enemy, the leading Guard company was 
temporarily withdrawn to the east entrance of the little town, 
where the 2nd company had meanwhile established itself. The 
8th company was deputed to outflank Formerie on the east 

But on this side as well stronger bodies of the enemy suddenly 
appeared on the scene. A detachment despatched on the day 
previously by rail from Amians to Poix, and which had reached 
Grandvilliers on the morning of the 28th, had in consequence of 
the artillery fire audible about 11 a.m. moved forwud in a 
westerly direction by way of Feuqui^res, occupied the village of 
Bouvresse and despatched 500 men with some guns to Mureau- 
mont. Whilst the two first-named companies of the Guard 
gradually dislodged the adversary from Formerie, the 8th came 
into collision at Bouvresse with the reinforcements just men- 
tioned. Shortly after, a division of lancers, watching on the right 
flank, also reported the enemy's advance upon Mureaumont. As 
the German line of retreat was thus seriously threatened, and the 
rain-soddened ground did not allow of advantage being reaped 
from the superior force of cavalry. General Senfib v. Pilsach 
caused the fight to be broken off at 2 p.m. Under cover of the 
artillery fire, the three Prussian companies commenced their 
retreat through Campeaux, whilst the Saxon Lancers repulsed 
the enemy advancing from Mureaumont, and then trotted forward 
to the cross roads south of Songeons. Thither followed also the 

* General Bourbaki had been sent with the ooneQrience of the royal headquarters 
from Meti to London, and after completing hia mission was awaiting at Lnxembonre 
farther instractions with regard to his retnm to Metx. As the negotiations eanied 
on with the royal headquarters with regard to that offioer were somewhat protracted. 
General Bourbaki proceeded to Tonrs and there placed himself at the disposal of 
the French Goremment. 

t l»t, and, and 8th jg^ Laneers , ^^^ , and 6 guns of the two horse 
Snd Guard. 8id CaTy. " 

artillery batteries of the Xllth Corps. 



other troops, after the rear-gaard division of the 8th company 
had repulsed another forward movement of the adversary from 
Formerie. At 9.30 p.m. the Germans once more entered Beauvais ; 
their loss on this day amounted only to some 20 men. 

The collision at Formerie just described, wherein the French 
by concerted arrangement had engaged with all three arms, 
gave a clear idea of the progress of the enemy's prepara- 
tions. He occupied from Amiens on the subsequent days the 
larger villages on the road from Montdidier to Cfoumay, whilst 
he pushed foinvard from the Andelle to Les Andelys, and with 
isolated detachments still further to the east in the direction 
of the Epte. In expectation of a serious attack the bridges over 
this river were destroyed by the QermanSy tlie paanages over the 
Oise between Creil and Beaumont prepared for destruction, and 
the troops, especially in Gisors, Beauvais, and Clermont were 
held in a constant state of readiness. 

The situation on the theatre of war in Western France towards 
the close of the month of October may be described in general 
terms as follows : 

After the enemy had succeeded with surprising rapidity in 
placing fresh masses of troops in the field on the Loire and in the 
north-west parts of the country, the German Cavalry Divisions 
no longer sufficed of their own strength for the effective protection 
of the rear of the army investing Paris. The necessity had rather 
become apparent for appointing. as well, detachments of other arms 
for tliis purpose, and more especially for despatching a large force 
of troops to the south. This latter had pressed forward after a 
series of victorious engagements up to and across the Loire. The 
1st Bavarian Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Division in position at 
Orleans now protected the investing army against the 15th 
French Corps thrown back into the Sologne, and the 16th 
collecting at Blois and Gien. On the middle Eure stood facing 
the west the 22nd Infantry Division and the 4th Cavalry Divi- 
sion at Chartres, the 6th Cavalry Division at Maintenon. The 5th 
Cavalry Division further on the right secured the country as far 
as the Seine and maintained connection through Mantes with the 
detachments of the IVth, Xllth and Guard Corps thrown forward 
to the Oise and Epte. These had been for some time in im- 
broken contact with the adversary's forces assembling at Rouen 
and Amiens. 

The army investing Paris had since the 20th September 
strengthened itself more and more in its positions, and had 
successfully held them against the repeated assaults of the enemy. 
The material for opening the formal attack, now resolved upon 
at the headquarters of His Majesty the King, was likewise for 
the most part already in its place. 

Of the Meuse Army, which commanded the country between 
the right bank of the Seine and the Mame, the IVth Army Corps 


Btood fiadng the entrenchments on the Gennevilliers peninsula, 
the Quard Corps opposite the northern outworks of the capital, the 
Saxon Corps in front of the Bomainville plateau. These were 
prolonged in the delta of the two streams by the positions of the 
Wurttemberg Division, and of the 17tli Infantry Division, whilst 
the main forces of the Ilird Army occupied the ground in front 
of the fortress on the left bank of the Seine. At that point the 
YIth Corps secured the position between the Seine and the Bievre, 
the Ilnd Bavarian the plateau west of the latter rivulet, the 
21st Division the wooded district of Meudon and Sevres. The 
entrance to the hilly district south-west of Mount Yalerien was 
barred by the Yth Cor()s, on the left flank of which the Guard 
Landwehr Division at St. Qermain en Laye completed the ring 
of troops round the hostile capital.* 

The Etappen battalions of the Ilird and Meuse Armies, the 
2nd Landwehr Division brought up to the Champagne since the 
middle of September and the other forces of the Governments 
Generals of Rheims and Lorraine, formed it is true but a very 
loose connecting link between the troops before Paris and the 
German forces in Eastern Franco, which latter troops on their 
part had made considerable progress and had achieved a success 
of very momentous consequence for the progress of the campaign. 

* Appendix LXXVI. contains a statement of the forces at the disposal of tho 
commanders of the Ilird and Meuse Aimies at the close of October. 

Last Engagements with the French Army of the Rhine. 
Occurrences .vfter the Fall ok Strassbcjrg and Metz 
TO the Middle of No^'EMBER. 

The Investment of Metz after the Battle of Noisse- 


The change iu the general miKtary situation Avhich had re« 
suited from the capitulation of Sedan had not remained without 
influence on the state of affau's at Metz. As a renewed attempt 
on the part of Marshal Bazaine to break out to the north or 
north-west need not be expected for the present,! Prince Frederic 
Charles had in the early days of September caused all arrange- 
ments for the investment to centre upon the south side of the 
fortress, and on the 7th had also sliitted his head-quarters from 
Malancourt to Corny. The movement to the right of the Vlllth 
and Vllth Corps^J already commenced during the battle of 
Noisseville, was shortly continued in such Avise that the out- 
posts of these Coi-ps occupied the ground between Jussy and 
bt. Thiebaut farm. On the right of tlio latter the Xlllth 
Corps, assembled at Chesny and Laqueuexy, extended its out- 
posts as far as Colombey, whilst the Ist brought up the Division 
on its left wing to Ketonfay. The IXth Corps, which had returned 
after the battle of Noisseville to the loft bank of the Moselle, 
pushed southward to Gravelotte, and occupied with a Division 
the positions betAvcen Jussy and Chatel St. Germain, which 
had been evacuated by the Vlllth Corps ; further to the left the 
Ilird Corps, encamped at Vemeville, guarded with a Division 
the ground as far as Saulnay, where it touched the right wing 
of the Xth. As reserve to the south-west line of investment, 
the Ilnd Corps, which had moved off from the neighbourhood 
of Briey, posted its 4th Division at Rezonville, and its 3rd be- 
tween Gorze and Noveant. 

The already mentioned despatch of the Xlllth Corps 
towards Toul and to the Champagne§ gave rise between tno 
11th and 18th September to fr(^ removals, after the comple- 
tion of which the positions of the troops remained without 
change until the end of the month. In the eastern hne of in- 
vestment the Ist Ai-my Corps was reinforced by thi'ee Land- 
wehr battaUons of the 3rd Reserve Di\T8ion, and was extended 
as far as the road from Ars Laquenexy to Metz, whilst the 

* For this part of the narratiye, 8«6 general map No. 1, and plan No. 11. 
t See remarks, Part I, Vol. II, pp. 531—534. 
J See Fart I, Vol. II, p. 529. 
§ See Port II, pp. II and 57. 



Vllth Corps lent support to it fioni the Avest, and the Vlllth 
occupied tlio ground Letween tlio Moselle and tSeille. As the 
latter on the 18tli occupied the heights east of ilarly with its 
right wing, the Vlltli Cori)s on its part was enabled to move fur- 
ther to tlie right, close up to Coloinbey. and the Ist was able to 
-withdraw its left wing to that place. The 25th Division had 
moved uj) into the i)ositioiis evcacuated by the Vllltli Corps on 
the left bank of the Jloselle at J ussy iind Ars. The Ist Cavalry 
Division, wliich had been brought up on the 2nd September from 
Habonville across tlie ibjselle to Fey, in order to oppose an ex- 
pected sortie of masses of French cavalry from the neighbom- 
hood of AlontiGrnv, had since the middle of the month been on 
the right bank of tlie Seille, at Pontoy. at the disposal of the 
Vllth Corps ; the 3rd Cavalry Division had been since the 5th 
September in the neighbourhood of Coin les Cuvry, consequently 
in the present rayon of the VIII th Corps ; while the 3rd Reserve 
Division remained with its disposition unchanged, on the right 
bank of the iloselle, nortli of Metz.* 

The 70th and ()8tli Regiments,"^ left at Saarlouis and Coblenz 
at the outbreak of the war. had joined tlie Vlllth Corps during 
the first decade of Septeml)er. and in their place the 72nd and 
()7th Regiments were for tlie time employed on gamson duties 
in home ten-itory. The (ioth Regiment, which had been hke- 
wise ordered to rejoin its Corps, did not do so for the present, 
as in the meantime this regiment had been appointed to other 
duties in the field. 

Large numbers of reserves, arrived from home temtory. had 
reinforced the ranks of the army, wliich, hoAvever, for some 
time was deprived of considerable forces by having been called 
on to participate in the duty of escorting the prisoners from 
Sedan. J The defence towards the west now devolved upon 
Lieuteiiant-General v. Bothmer s Coi-ps, which soon after its 
arrival before Thionville, on the 3rd September, had been ap- 
pointed to capture Verdun, and at the same time time to pre- 
serve the comnmnication with Sedan. The duty of watching 
Thionville remained committed to the comparatively weak de- 
tachment under Major-General v. Strantz.§ 

The Etappen troops (jf the Ist and Ilnd Armies, which had 
likewise been utilised at first lor escorting the prisoners, and for 

* See opposite sketch. 

t See Part I, Vol. I, p. 41 ; and Vol. II. p. 481, et teq. 

Z Sec Part I, Vol. II, p. 407. Alto pet her were employed on this duty 14 bat- 
talions, 6i squadrons of the Armr of Investment, tlie last detachments of which 
did not again reach Met« until the 25th tfeptember. The strength of the inTcsting 
army at the end of September amounted to 4,429 ofiiecrs, li^2,897 men, 33,136 
horse, and 658 guns. 

S With regawi to the prcTious arrangements for the inrfstment of Metz on the 
west and north, see inter alia, Part I, Vol. II. }»p. 406, 481 — 182. The 9th LanccTs, 
employed before Verdun, had rejoined the let Cavalry Division towards the middle 
of September. The Zieten Hussars, as already mentioned), followed the 6th Cavolry 
Division to Paris. Tlie pioneer companies of the XI 1th and the Guard Corj)s, 
left at first before Metz («?oc Part I, Vol. II, p. 177), had been sent after the 
Army of the Mouse. 


employment upon railway works, and had also served as re- 
serve behind mSerent points of the line of investment round 
Metz, passed by virtue of the new Etappen arrangements for 
the most part under the orders of the Governments-General 
about the middle of September.* 

At this time the officer liitherto commanding in chief the 1st 
Army was recalled for other duties, and this army was now 
also placed imder the immediate ordera of Prince Frederick 

During an exchange of prisonera on the 6th September, the 
head-quartei*s of the investmg army had sent into Metz somo 
hundred men of the old aimy of Chalons, with a view to inform- 
ing Marshal Bazaine, in a way not to be misunderstood, that 
that army had suffered defeat, and that a veiy radical change 
liad taken place in the affairs of Fitince, and of thereby indu- 
cing him if possible to enter into negotiations. In order to 
emphasize the pressure intended with regard to the last 
object, the French camps and the suburbs of Metz were bom- 
barded on the 9th. The enemy's outposts having been sur- 
prised during the morning at several pomts, and many prisoners 
taken, 19 German batteries opened a vigorous fire at 7 p.m., from 
the ground to the south, west, and north of the fortress ; after 
an hour it was, however, discontinued, as the pouring rain 
and the impenetrable darkness made it impossible to observe 
the effect of the fii'e.f Neither measure led to the desired re- 
sult. [Marehal Bazaine published in ^letz the information which 
had reached him, ^vith the postscript that the duties of the 
Rhine Army were now as ever they had been ; that the latter 
would therefore continue to defend the fatherland against the 
intruding foe, and pubUc order against evil passions. On the 
16th September the Marahal, it is true, begged from Prince 
Frederic Charles more precise intelligence with regard to the 
present condition of France ; yet the response to these ques- 
tions made apparently no change in the resolutions of the 
French commander-in-chief. 

As the Germans had, therefore, to look forward to a longer 
resistance, and to fresh attacks from the enemy, the works of 
fortification along the entire front of investment proceeded 
almost without intermission.^ 

The 3rd Reserve Division increased their shelter trenches 
between Malroy and Rupigny, and threw up in the real fighting 
position some more gun emplacements, pai-t of which fronted 
towards the left bank of the Moselle. In the same manner the 
1st Army Coi-ps strengthened the line of defence of its right 

* On this matter, see Part II, p. 133 — 1')6, and Appendix LXXII. Of the 
Etappen of the Ist Armj, shown in the latter, the Eupen battalion i^-as shortlj ap- 
pointed to join the troops inresting Thionnlle. 

t The bombardment took place in the ereuiuj^f because, in yieir of the superior 
fortress artillery, it was onlj under the cover of darkncfs that the field batteries 
could be brought near, and be subsequently withdrawn without considerable losses. 

J See Part I, Vol. II, pp. 474—476, and 486. 

B 2 


wing, now stretching from Failly as far as NoiBseville, as well 
as the gi'onnd south of the Saarlouis high road, which was 
hitherto entirely unfortified and only watched by cavalrj'. In 
the latter position the viUages of Montoy and Coincy, in ad- 
dition to the breweiy, were arranged for defence and con- 
nected by means of shelter trenches. A large number of gun 
emplacements served to command the gromid on the west side 
of the fortress, more especially the roads leading from Metz ; 
the Nouilly ravine was barred with abattis. 

Similar preparations were made in the section occupied since 
the middle of September by the Vllth Army Corps. In front 
line, Aubigny, Ars La(juenexy, Jmy, Chesny, and Pouilly were 
fortified, the intei*venmg ground, more especially the outer 
border of the woods at Courcelles and the Bois de TEdpital, 
were provided with shelter trenches and gun emplacements, 
while to the west of the latter wood a second line of de- 
fence was provided, which reached as far as the high road 
south of Pouilly. Mercy-le-Haut and Peltre formed merely ad- 
vanced posts, which were not intended to be held against 
a serious attack. Further south, on the long range of heights 
of Omy, lay the actual defensive position of the Corps, which 
with a contmuous line of works, and in conjunction with batteries 
at Mecleuves, commanded the two main roads leading south- 
wards from Metz, and appuyed its left flank on the Bois d'Avigy, 
on tiie Seille. 

Between the Seille and Moselle the works akeady begun were 
continued and extended as far as the former river. The fights 
ing position here, already very strong by nature, now stretched 
from Marly through Augny to Orly farm, and from thence, as 
before, along the north edge of the Jouy wood to Polka farm. 
In the outpost position were the fortified farmsteads of Tom- 
nebride and Frescatj-. From the gun emplacements at Haute^ 
Rive, as well as between Augny and Marly, the basin of the 
Seille and the road to Pont-i-Mousson could be more pai-ticu- 
larly taken imder fire. 

On the left bank of the Moselle a hne of defence, indicated 
by the villages of Vaux, Jussy, Rozerieulles, and Chatel St. 
Gennain was thrown up, and then contmued from the first-named 
place as far as the river. The Ilird Corps fortified a position 
on the heights of ilontigny and Amanvillei-s ; the troops also 
threw up a gun emplacement more in advance near the Lorry 
road. Abattis between NoiToy and Feves, and a large niunber 
of newly constnicted successive lines of shelter trenches in the 
low ground of the Moselle south of Maizieres completed the 
defensive works within the rayon of the Xth Corps. 

The /)() heavy guns which had arrived from home were 
gradually brought into position behind strong cover on com- 
manding points round the fortress.* Light-towera visible to 

• See Part I. Vol, II, p. 488. Since the 9tli September there were batteries, each 
armed Trith 10 hcaTj guDS. on tlic Jusst heights and to the north of Sem^ourt, since 


some distamiG rendered it possible to summon the troops rapidly 
to arms in all the sections of the line of investment. The ne^ 
work of telegraphs had been completed by fresh stations, and 
from Maisderes liad been brought into connection with the 
troops observing Thionville;* while additional bridges had 
been thrown over the Seille and Moselle. Towards the end of 
September, a field railway avoiding the fortress of Metz, and 
which had been for some time in coiu*8e of construction, was 
thrown open to traffic between Rcmilly and Pont-a-Mousson, 
while shortly afterwards a section of the Ardennes railway, 
north of Maizieres, was placed in working order by the engineers* 

The feeding of the troops encountered, as before, con- 
siderable difficulties, as the supply of live cattle was limited 
to purchases in Holland and I^elgium, in consequence of the 
cattle plague having broken out in Germany, and afterwards 
in Alsace. Besides the other sources of suppiyi* ak*eady 
mentioned, tins of preserved-meat were obtained trora factories 
at Berlin and Mainz. Compressed hay and a corresponding 
increase of the ration of oats made up for the deficiency of 
hay and straw, the transport of which from home, for the reason 
already stated, had likoAvise to remain in abeyance for the pre- 
sent. In consequence of the continuous rain, the troops, by 
orders from Army head-quarters, were placed as much as 
possible in quartera ; the construction of more cover was car- 
ried on Avith the greatest diligence, so that ultimately three- 
fourths of the men had a roof, although for the most part of the 
scantiest kind, over their heads. The state of health, which 
had been at fii-st generally favourable, had fallen off to a con- 
siderable extent at the approach of cold weather ; dysentery 
became more and mcn-e prevalent, and in the latter half of 
October there were nearly 40,000 sick in hospital. 

The connection of the army of investment with home terri- 
tory was maintained chiefly by the Saarbrucken-Remilly rail- 
way, and, as already mentioned, by the prolongation of the 
same line to Pont-a-Mousson ; the 1st Army used in addition the 
high roads lying to the north. The Inspection-General of 
Etappen of this Army, in consequence of the fii-st movement to 
the nght on the 6th September, had gone from Corny to Bazan- 
court; its etappen head-quartera were transfeiTcd later from 
Courcelles to Hemy, whilst those of the ILid Aimy remained 
under the existing arrangements.:^ 

the 17th there had been a Biinilar one to tlie 90uth- \rc«t of Amanyillen. Tho remaining 
2lt guns had been distributed since the beginning of the month on Mont St. Dhuie, 
on tho slag-hill near tho Ars railway station, at Jouj and Augny. After seyeral 
changes of position, tho latter were ultimately collected into two equally strong 
batteries west of Augny and north of the Clie?ai Rouge farmstead (on tlic road from 
Chateau Salins to Metz). The battery at Jussy took part in tho previously men- 
tioned bombardment on the evening of the t)th, and is included in the abore total 
of 19 batteries. 

* With the Ilird Corps there was also an optical telegraph connecting the head- 
quarters with the two Divisional Commanders. 

t See Part I, Vol. II, p. 478. 

X On this point compare more particularly Part I, Tol. II, pp. 4G3— 468. 


The French Army of the Rhine had, after the battle of 
NoiBseyille, at first assumecl a purely defensive attitude. 
Marshal Bazaine, it is true, in a report to the Emperor on the 
failure of the attempt to break through the line, said that he 
would make eveiy eflfort in order to extricate himself from his 
present position. The news, however, of the events at Sedan 
shortly caused other considerations to have their weight. De- 
prived of the hope of being able to extend the hand to an ad- 
vancing army of relief, the Army of the Rhine, even were it 
successful in piercing the line, ran the danger, without food and 
trains in impoverished districts, of succuinbing to the pursuing 
Germans. The Marshal, therefore, resolved not to commit him- 
Sjelf for the present to any serious engagement, but to await 
under the walls of Metz the further development of the internal 
circumstances of France. The outposts were drawn at different 
. points nearer to the fortress, and the defensive works com- 
menced m August were actively continued.* With the excep- 
tion of Fort St. Privat, all the advanced forts were completely 
finished at the end of September ; newly erected small works, 
fortified villages and farms, batteries and shelter trenches, 
formed a protecting girdle round the camps of the Army of the 

It was of com*se to be foreseen that the constant diminution 
of food would some day put an end also to the present atti- 
tude. The wants of the army were, it is true, still supplied 
as much as possible by purchases from the well filled and 
separately administered stores of the inhabitants ; but in order 
that these latter and the hospitals should not be deprived of 
the cattle still available, horse-flesh had been alone issued to 
the troops since the 4th September. The consumption of this 
last increased considerably, as during the month tlie issue of 
diminished rations of bread had already to be ordered. This 
measure, and in addition the defective nourishment of the 
horses diminished their number shortly to such an extent that 
the majority of the cavalry regiments could only muster two 

In order to mitigate as far as possible these evils, and to raise 
again the confidence of the ti'oops by active operations, Marshal 
Basaine in the last decade of September resolved to attempt 
the capture by force of all the supplies attainable in the villages 
in front of, and witliin the line of the German outposts. 

• S«e Pwt I, Vol. II, p. 479—480. 
At tbe commencement of the inrestment the fortms wms ptoTuioned for Uie 
picecribed irmr giimson for fixe months, for the 70,000 inhabitante (including the 
countrr people uho bad taken refuse, driTen. &c.> for three and a half montha. bnt 
for the Armr of the Rhine, with proriaiona oulr for 41 dajs. and with oate for 23 
daT». Soe Part I, Vol. II, p. kSil. Har was no lonjyer issued after the 1st Sep- 
tember : the price of that oommoditj rose on the oth to 50 francs for 100 kilogrammes. 
MauT otiicen sold their horNs for butcher's meat. 


Sorties of the 22nd, 23kd, and 27th Septimbib. 

At noon on the 22nd September a brisk fire was first opened 
from Fort St. Julien upon the Prussian outposts at Noisseville 
and Servigny. Strong detachments of the 3rd French Corps 
then occupied the villages of Nouilly, Lauvallier, and Colombey, 
from whicli they carried off the available supplies of garden 
pi-oduce upon waggons which they had broue^ht vrith them. 
On the road to Bouzonville dense bodies of skirmishers had 
meanwhile penetrated into Villers L'OiTne.* whilst of other 
troops, supported by the fire from Fort Queuleu, part captured 
La Gmnge-aux-Bois and Mercy-le-Haut, part advanced against 
Peltre, The outposts of the Ist and Vlltn Aimv Corps retired 
in skirmishing order to the main position, in whicli two batterieflf 
came into action against the villages occupied by the enemy. 
The latter after completing his task retired at 4.30 p.m. under 
cover of the works of the fortress. 

A similar enterprise was undertaken on the following day. 
At 4 p-m. a Division of the 3rd Corps advanced towards Vany 
and OhieuUes ; another Division once more established itself 
in Nouilly and Villers L'Oime, North of the latter place the 
enemy deployed strong bodies of skirmishers against the vine- 
yard of r ailly, which was occupied by the 2nd battn. 3rd 
Regiment and a company of Rifles ; the vineyard was at the 
same time cannonaded from some French batteries posted to 
the east of Fort St. Julien. 

The Ist Army Corps and the 3rd Reserve Division had mean- 
while moved up to their defensive positions, and had caused 
the greater part of their artillery to take part gradually in the 
engagement. The enemy forthwith once more abandoned 
Nouilly; his Division on the left wing reached Vany and 
Chieulles in spite of the fire of a battery of the Reserve Divi- 
siont wliich nad imlimbered to the west of Cliarly, but was 
unable to make any progi*ess beyond those villages. A 
French battery, which endeavoured to take up a position on 
the high road to Antilly, was repulsed by a heavy fire from the 
shelter trenches of the 19th Regiment to the south of Malroy ; 
an infantry attack upon Rupigny, supported by mitrailleuse 
fire, failed against the resistance of the fusiliers of the 81st 
Regiment, .who held the border of the village and the cover 
thrown up in front. The combined action of the German 
artillery ultimately compelled the adversary to renounce any 
further advance. The waggons brought with them returned 
unloaded ; at 5 p.m. they were followed by the troops, and the 

* T]ie neigbbourhood of Nouillj and YiUers L'Orme had been abandoned bj th* 
French outposts in the night of the 11th — 12th September. 
J. 5th and 6th light 

t A light batterj of the YtU Corps. 


artUlery engagement alone continued till darkness set in. Two 
squadrons of the 1st Dragoons ridinc^ forward at 7 p.m. towards 
the Bois de Grimont were received with fire from the shelter 
trenches there, but in their further movements did not meet 
with any large force of the enemy. 

During the described action on the right bank of the Moselle 
the 6th French Corps had made a demonstration against the 
positions of the Xth Army Corps at La Maxc, when the latter 

Eushed troops across the river in support of the 3rd Reserve 
^vision. Against Peltre, as on the previous day, swarms of 
French skirmishera, assisted by tlie nre from Fort Queuleu, 
made a forward movement. But as the Vllth Corps with the 
Ist Cavalry Division advanced into the fighting positions, the 
enemy was unable to gain the village, but, on the contrary, 
nt 6 o'clock withdrew at this point also towards the fortress.* 

The failure of the sortie on the 23rd Septeml)er induced the 
French commander-in-chief to arrange a more serious advance 
on the entire cast and north front of the fortress, under cover 
of which the stores still remaining:, more especially at Peltre, 
(^olombey, and La Maxe, were to be brought into Metz. On 
the evening of the 2Gth the German watchpost on the Hori- 
mont remarked a continuous exchange of Ught signals between 
Metz and Thionville. About i> a.m. on the 27th, Fort Queuleu 
in conjunction w4th the du Pate redoubt, suddenly opened a 
brisk tire, more especially in the direction of Peltre and Mercy- 
le-Haut, whilst Forts Les Bordes and St. Julien began to fire 
against tlie x>ositions of the Ist Army Corps and the 3rd 
Reserve Division. Immediately after the first cannon shots 
SAvarms of French skirmishers advanced from Grigy bottom, 
followed by stronger coluimis from Duplessis' and Lapasset's 
Brigades, of which the former moved upon Mercy-le-Haut and 
the latter upon Peltre. The outpost43 of the Prussian 26th 
Brigade thrown out in front of this section of tlie line of invest- 
ment, abandoned their positions in face of the advance of 
superior hostile forces. The right wing retired upon the main 
body of tJie 15th Regiment, which with the Gth heavy battery 
had reached the edges of the wood south-east of Mercy-le- 
Haut ; the left wing of the outposts moved towards Peltre and 
tVepy, and there joined the fusilier battalion 55th Regiment 
which had been pushed forward to gairison the two villages. 
The 2nd battn. of this regiment, with the 5th light battery, 
was advancing towards the uortlieni border of the Bois de 
THopital : of the 1st battn., one-half formed a reserve to these 
troops on the high road north of Chesny, while the other rein- 
forced the right wing of the 15th Regiment in the wood south 
of Ars Laquenexy. 

* According to Dr. Chenu's work, " Aper^u historique, statisque et diniqua mir 
les services des anibulftnces p.p. pendant la guerre de 1870- 71/* the loss amounted on 
the 22nd and 23rd September, to 183 men. Appendix LXX VII oontaina the details 
of the losses on the (German side. 


Duplessis' Brigade, following at the heels of the Pnissiaii 
pickets, had occupied Mercy-le-Haut, and then caused two 
batteries to take up a position on the height west of the farm- 
stead, in order to support the fire from Fort Queuleu upon 
Peltre and Crepy. After the French artillery had been in 
action some time, Lapasset*s Brigade deployed to attack : the 
14th (Chasseur battaUon and the 97th Regiment upon Peltre, the 
84th upon Crepy. Simultaneously with this, the 12 th Chasseur 
battn. advanced from the railway cuttmg west of Peltre 
against the south side of Crepy, and the passages over the St. 
Pierre brook at that place.* In view of the turning movement 
with which they were threatened, the defenders of the two 
villages withdrew to the Bois de L'Hopital, meanwhile occupied 
from the southward, which they reached in time with the excep- 
tion of the 11th CO. 55th Regiment. This company, which was 
in the most northern paii; of Peltre, had remarked too late 
the French advance, and had not received the order to retreat, 
was completely sin-rounded, and, after firing away nearly all its 
ammunition, was compelled to lay down its aims. Only the 
commander and f30 men escaped to the southward. The 
enemy occupied the captured village, and carried ofif the forage 
and provisions still remaining in the place under cover of 
detacnments thrown out to the front. 

On the right of the 2()th Brigade the 13th Regiment, the 
greater part of the 7th Rifle battalion and the <)th light battery 
had moved up at the commencement of the engagement into 
the Ars Laquenexy position. The 8th co. of this regiment on 
outpost duty at La Grange aux Bois, which was first attacked 
in front and on the right flank, and after the loss of Mercy-le- 
Haut on the left also, withdrew through the wood in rear, 
after first firing the straw supplies in the former fann, but 
shortly showed front at its western border, when the main 
forces of the oiiemyt opposed to it took the direction of Colom- 
bey. The remainder of the 13th Division^ had been mean- 
wnile concentrated at Cheval Rouge ; further in rear on the 
high road, abreast of Mecleiives, stood in readiness for action 
the 27th Brigade, the corps artillery and the 1st Cavalry 
Division ; at Pouilly was the 28th Brigade.§ On the left fiank 
of the Vtlth Coi-ps the 16th Division had been at Marly since 
10 a.m. in readiness to engage. In the south-east section of 
the line of investment there was, however, no further collision 
this dav with the adversai-v. After the latter had eff*ected his 
object at Crepy. Peltre, and Mercy-le-Haut, these villages were 
abandoned by him before 11.30 a.m,, and rcoccupied in the 
course of the afternoon by the Prussian outposts. 

* Tills battalion, belonging to the 2nd French Corps, iras brought in a milwaj 
train, beine covered in its moTemcnt hj a detachment pushed forward to the south, 
by waj of Magny. 

t Belonging to Montaudon's Dirision of the 3rd French Corps. 

X 78rd Regiment, 2 squadrons Hussars and 6th heavy battery. 

§ Hie latter had already thrown 5 companies into the Bois do L'Hdpital. 


The brisk artillery fire opened from the forts in the morning 
had also roused the 2nd In&ntrj Division to arms. In rear oi 
the ontpost companies* thrown out between Colombey and La 
Planchette, the main body of the 44th Regiment with two 
batteries had moved up into the Aubigny and Coincy positions, 
whilst the 4th Regiment assembled at Montoy, and the other two 
batteries of the Division unlimbered to the south of this village 
on either side of the high road. The 4th Infantry Brigade and 
the 10th Dragoons were held in readiness at St. Agnan. 

On the French side, in addition to the troops Drought for- 
ward through La Grange aux Bois to Colonibey, as already 
mentioned, other parts of Montaudon's Division had likewise 
taken this direction fi*om Bomy and Bellecroix at 10 a.m., and 
after a brief skirmish driven the Prussian outposts across the 
Colombey brook. Under cover of a line of tirailleurs thrown 
out in the bottom of the valley^ the French continued the re- 
moval of stores from Colombey, which had been commenced 
some days before, although the village under a vigorous can- 
nonade from 14 Prussian gunsf burst into flames about noon. 
The CVown Prince's Grenadier regiment had occupied the 
brewery and Noisseville, in face of some other French detach- 
ments which had advanced from Bellecroix by way of Lauvallier. 
The enemy, however, made no attack upon the front of the 
1st Army Corps, and at 1 pjn. also withdrew from Colombey 
towards the fortress. 

The engagement thus coming to an end on the right bank of 
the MoscUe was however continued on the left bank. There, 
shortiy before noon, some French field batteries brought into posi- 
tion between Woippy and the Moselle, in conjunction with the 
guns of Fort St. Julien, came into action against the positions of 
the Xth Army Corps ; shortiy afterwards Tixier's and Le Vaasor 
SorvaFs Divisions} advanced through the Bois de Woippy : the 
former from Thury and St. Eloy against La Maxe and Franclon- 
champ, the latter Ukewise in a northerly direction. The fusiliers 
of the 56th Regiment at the outposts in La Maxe and Ladon- 
champs retired to Les Tapes and St. Remy, on the enemy's 
approach, who shortly before had set on fire the farmstead of 
Ladonchamps. Soon after 1 o'clock swarms of French skir- 
mishers issued at several points from the wood on the other side 
of the railway. They first captured St. Agathe farmstead and 
then caused two batteries to come into action against Bellevue, 
which was likewise abandoned bv the outposts of the 19th 
Division,§ after these had first repulsed an attack. 

. 8th and 4th . , _^ ., » n^i u^_ 8rd 


in and north of Colomhej, —• at La Planchette 


lipbt «.d 60. h^yj ^ jf ,^^^ ^ jJtIUight ^^.^ «, ^ j^^ 

X Belonging to the 6th Freoi^ ooxpt. 
- Iatand4th 2nd and 8rd 

^ lOthBiflei 91 • 

Whilat the Freuch after occupying Bellevue and Franclon- 
champ now commenced to remove the stores from the localities 
in real', the German artilleiy poured a heavy fire upon the dis* 
trict evacuated by their outposts. The 10 heavy guns on the 
Semecom-t height,* in conjunction with the 1st lipjht battery 
Xth Army Coi-ps unlimbered to the south of this village, 
operated against Bellevue and St, Agathe; on the further 
bank of the Moselle, between Argancy and Olgy, 4 batteries of 
the 3rd Reserve Division hud been in action since 1 o'clock 
against Franclonchamp and La Maxe. At 2 o'clock the adver- 
sary's loaded waggons were seen retreating at their best pace 
from the latter place; they were followed shortly after by 
the French troops broken up into a broad line of skirmishers. 

The 3rd Reserve Division had at the commencement of the 
engagement occupied their fighting position with the advanced 
guard, and, in addition to the battedes already mentioned, had 
assembled at Argancy 3 battalions in order to take part, if 
necessaiy, in anv engagement on the other side of the river. 
In advance of the real front, however, French infantry were 
seen only at intervals at the edge of the Bois de Gnmont; 
at 3 p.m. the firing also ceased within the rayon of the Xth 
Corps, whose outposts now reoccupied their previous positions. 

The head-quarters staff of the army of investment had clearly 
perceived the enemy's design from the reports which had 
reached Corny during the forenoon. In order to nip in the 
bud any such attempts in the future, orders were issued on 27th 
September for all horses and provisions to be removed from 
the localities both within the line of, and \vithin stiiking dis- 
tance of, the Gennan outposts, while in the event of any oppo- 
sition the provisions were to be destroyed. In consequence of 
this order, besides the farmsteads of Colombey, La Grange aux 
Bois, and Mercy-le-Haut, burnt dming the engagement, Peltre, 
Basse Bevoye, La Maxe, and part of Magny were set on fire 
that same evening and on the following night. The stores 
accumulated at Pouilly and ChieuUes were brought by the 
Germans into a place of safety, while the line of outposts of 
the Vllth Corps hitherto passing through Peltre was with- 
drawn to the point of intersection of the high road and railway 
to the south-east of the burnt village. 

At this time the apparently well-meant attempt was made by 
a Frenchman of the name of Regnier coming from England to 

Eave the way for the conclusion of peace wim Germany on the 
asis of an agreement to be aiTanged between the Empress 
and the commander-in-chief of the Army of the Rhine. After 
Regnier had presented himself in Ferrieres as a delegate from 
the Imperial (Jourt,t and had received the consent of the Chan- 

• See Part II, p. 178. 

t Exhibiting at tho same time a photograph of Hastings, upon which were written 
the signature of Prince Louis Napoleon, and some words addressed to his Imperial 


cellor of the Confederation, Count t. Bigmarck, to proceed to Metz 
with this object, he first betook himself to the head-quarters 
of Prince Frederick Charles at Corny, and from thence reached 
the invested fortress on the 23rd Septembei*. After protracted 
interviews with the envoy, hitherto personally unknown to 
him, Marshal Bazaiiie decided to despatch General Bourbaki to 
the Empress. On the 25th, in company with several surgeons 
from Luxemburg, this general, in civilian dress, passed through 
the German outposts, but on arriving in England was informed 
by the Empress that she had never deputed Regiiier with the 
mission ascribed to her, and was even unwilling to enter into 
negotiations, which could not but increase the embarrassment 
of the present Government. Marshal Bazainc answered on his 
part an enquiry made to him from Ferri^es on the 29th Sep- 
tember, that he could only subscribe to a capitulation under the 
condition that the fortress should be excluded, and that a free 
withdrawal should be allowed to the Army of the Rhine. As 
the Germans could not enter into such conditions without 
losing the already ripening fruit of the long investment, the 
negotiations were broken off.* 

In the last days of September the attention of the German 
head-quarters in Corny was again directed more particularly to 
the north side of Metz and to the state of affairs at Thionvillc. 
The garrison of the latter fortress had for some time ranged 
without let or hindrance through the outskirts of the place as far 
as the Luxembm'g frontier, as that country was not occupied by 
the weak coips of observation, and could only be very incom- 
pletely watched. On the 6th September some officials in the 
Geiman telegraph department in Konigsmachem were driven 
out by hostile cavalry, and a detachment of reservists on the 
way to join their regiment was captm'ed in Basse Ham. On 
the 2l8t the French seized a ti'ain of waggons, which had left 
Saarburg under escort of a small party of men ; they carried 
off 50 carriages to Thionville, but the remainder were removed 
in time to a place of security by a squadron of the 3rd Reserve 
Hussars, which hastewed up. Tlie enemy even succeeded in 
making the railway practica/ble to Luxemburg, and from thence 
bringing into the fortress on the night of the 24th-25tli Sep- 
tember a train of 80 waggons laden -with provisions. Besides 
this, the Geiman outposts at Metz reported on the 29th that 
the enemy had thrown a boat-bridge over the Moselle west of 
Foi-t St. Julien, and was constiiioting a fresh means of pas- 
sage at the Island of Charabi^'e. On the followmg night the 
exchange of light sip^als between Metz and Thionville, ob- 
served for some time past, was repeated on a larger scale ; on 

* Wit^ regard to General Bourb&ki's further nioTcmentB, eec Part II, p. 172. 


the next morning Forts Plappeville and St. Quentin also opened 
an unusually heavy fire. Pnnce Frederic Charles inferrea from 
these preparations that the adversary was contemplating a 
sortie m the direction of Thionville,* and in consequence made 
arrangements on the 30th September for strengthening the 
northern front of investment. In accordance therewith, the 
following movements took place on the 1st October: — The 
3rd Reserve Division and the Xth Army Corps exchanged theii* 
previous positions, the former, however, bending back its right 
wing to NoiToy ; the supreme command of these two parts of 
the army was assumed by General v. Voigts-Rhetz.^" The 1st, 
Vllth, and Ylllth Corps concenti'ated on the right in such wise 
that the latter took over the section from j^Iarly as far as the 
road from Courcelles sur Nied to Metz; whilst the 1st only 
extended with its left wing as far as the brewery, on the 
Saarlouis high road. The Ilnd Corps occupied the gi'ound 
evacuated by the Vlllth, between the Seille and Moselle, and 
with its left-wing brigade the Jussy position. The 3rd Cavalry 
Division occupied the villages in rear of the right wing of the 
Vnith Corps. Of the 1st Cavalry Division brought up to 
Les Etangs on the 30th September, one brigade was quartered 
in rear of the Ist Corps; the otbeV with the horse artillery 
batteiy moved ofif to remforce the troops in front of Thionville, 
who now passed under the orders of Lieutenant-General v. 
Hartmann. In the western line of investment Chatel St. Germain 
formed as before the boundary between the IXth and Ilird Corps ; 
the latter, however, extended its left wing as far as the neigh*- 
bourhood of Norroy to meet the 3rd Reserve Division.} 

The commander-in-chief of the Army of the Rhine, as had 
been suspected by the Germans since the end of September, 
had in point of fact seriously contemplated the attempt to 
break through to the northward, and as a first step thereto had 
pushed forward liis advanced troops at several points closer to 
the line of investment. On the 1st October, in front of the 
IXth Army Corps, Lessy was occupied by the French, and a 
post of the 9th Rifle battaUon driven from Chalet Billaudel.§ 
i\fter a slight engagement with several companies|| rapidly 
deployed along the eastern border of the Bois de Chatet the 

* At tliis time also information had reached the rojal head-quarters at Ferri^res, 
that the enemy had collected large supplies in France, and intended forwarding 
them bj the Belgian railways to ThionTille. This was also considered an indication 
of the Army of the Kliine contemplating a sortie northward, and as such was 
raported to the Armj head-quarters at Corny. The news recently arrived, of the 
surrender of Strassburg so far serred to strengthen this assumption, as the Army of 
the Bhino had now no object for its moyements in a southerly direction. 

t The 3rd Reserre Dirision had been hitherto under the orders of General r. 
Kaateuflel. 8ce Part I, Vol. II, p. 174—175. 

X The distribution of the different Diyisions and Brigades in this position, which 
remained for the future almost without change, may be seen on the opposite 

§ Chalet Billaudel lies to the north of Lessy, on the Lorry road. 

II In addition to the 9th Bifle battalion, there was a company of the 84th Begi- 


Advexaary remained in poeaession of the two localities, which 
he commenced to entrench as a protection to his left flank in the 
event of making any further movement by way of Plappe vilie. 

In the night of the lBt-2nd October a picket of the Neuto- 
mischei* Landwehr battaUon, posted in Ch&teau Ladonchamps 
was driven back by superior forces to St* Remy, and in conse* 
qnence thereof St. Agathe fell into the hands of the French. 
After a vain attempt to recapture Ladonchamps, and several 
likewise fruitless advances on the part of the enemy towards 
St. Bemy, there occurred during the morning a long stationary 
engagement between the outposts on either side, in which some 
batteries also took part.t The Germans had deployed a line of 
skirmishers between BeUevue and St. Bemy, but were unable 
to drive the adversary from the locahties which he had occu- 
pied. At 11 a.m. the infantry action was discontinued, but the 
artillery fire did not cease until evening, after St Bemy and 
Franclonchamp had been set on fire by the French-t 

On the 3rd October the latter pushed forward detachments 
in a northerly direction for the purpose of covering the de* 
fendve works commenced at Ladonchamps. The brisk artilleiy 
fire to which this gave rise, was, in consequence of the repeated 
advances of the enemy, continued on the next few days, and 
vigorously supported on the French side fix>m the hirg^ forts. 
Several attempts on the part of the Germans to set on fire with 
their artillery the villages lying in the foremost line of the 
Army of the tthine failed, as all inflammable material had been 
removed from them as a measure of precaution. 

Meanwhile Marshal Bazaine, in a council of war held by his 
orders on the 4th October, had stated that it W9S his inten- 
tion to make a sortie with the army along both banks of the 
Moselle in the direction of Thionviile. The troops appointed 
to remain at Metz were esqpresslv told ofE^ every man in the 
army medically inspected as to his abihty to march, while the 
different corps were asked on the 6th October whether every- 
thing was in readiness for the sortie. The Marshal, after all these 
arrangements were made, suddenly gave up the enterprise, and 
limited himself to a movement on a large scale, the expressed 
object of which solely consisted once more in obtaining Kx>d.§ 

* Belonging to the 3rd BeMire Biniion, tnntfiBXTed on the pownons daj to the 
left Iwnk of the MoeeUe. 

t On the German side the hmrjYmtbeary on the Sem^nit height, and part of the 
aztillerj of the Srd Beserre BiTiaion ; on the Fiench aide Fort Plapperille and 
aome hatleriee at St Eloy and Woippj. 

$ The loaaea in these actions amounted on the German nde on the 1st Oelober to 
SO men; 140 men on the 2nd; while the French on the 1st lost neazlj 80, and on the 
2nd it is ststed only some 90 men. See Appendix LXXTII. 

§ Aoeordiog to the Fiench statements the Marshal is said to hare been hronght 
to this change of mind b.T a newspaper, which contained the news of the failure of 
the negotiations at F eiii ^ i e s (see Part II, p. 54. et 9eq.), and also bj the uifonni^ 
tion that the Montretout redoubt at ^ris had been oocnpied by the Gennaas. 
MonoTvr the Marshal had on the 5th October azxanged a aortie in the direction of 
Cooieelles snr Nied, for the pnipose of collecting proTisiona, but had not pnt it into 


Engagement at Bkllkvuk on tub 7th Octobbb. 

On the 7th October the French commander-in-chief issued 
orders for all the suppUes to be seized in the farms to the 
north of Ladonchamps still occupied b^ the German advanced 
troops. The enterprise — for the execution of which 400 wag- 
gons were in readiness — ^was to be protected immediately by 
the 6th Corps and the Voltigem* Division of the Guard ; while 
it was to be supported in addition on both flanks by an advance 
of the 4th Corps in the woods north-west of Woippy, and of 
the 3rd along the light bank of the Moselle towards malroy. 

The attack, originally fixed for 11 a.m., was deferred, how- 
ever, on account of delay in the issue of orders. It was not 
imtil 1 o'clock that the troops deployed between the Bois de 
Woippy and the Moselle, accompamed by a brisk fire from 
Fort ot. Julien, commenced the prescribed movements : the 1st 
Voltigeur Brigade of the Guard towards Franclonchamp and 
Les Grandes Tapes, the 2nd in the direction of St. Remy and 
Les Petites Tapes, the Chasseur battaUon of the Guard towards 
Bellevue. Le Vassor Sorval's Division of the 6th Corps occu- 
pied Ch&teau Ladonchamps, and pushed Gibon's Brigade^ 
through the eastern part of the Bois ae Woippy, in the direction 
of the St. Anne heights. On the left wing Grenier's Division of 
the 4th Corps took with one brigade the dkection of ViUers les 
Plenois, ^vith the other that of the Bois de Vigneulles. The 
ground between the Moselle and the right flank of the Guard 
Division was covered by the 9th Chaaseur battalion; strong 
reserves were at La Maison Rouge and Woippy. 

In the low ground on the left bank of the Moselle, traversed 
by the French attacking columns, stood on the German side 
the 8rd Landwehr Division in front line. The section west of 
the railway was guarded by the oth^ that to the east by the 
6th Landwehr Brigade. At the outposts stood the GorUtz, 
Rawitsch, and Kosten battalions, which occupied more parti- 
cularly Bellevue, St. Remy, and the farms at Xes Tapes, with 
formed detachments.! The two companies standing next to 

* Originally de Marguenat's Brigade. 

t Counting from the right wing the outposta stood aa follows :-» 

^"^ in La Fdret Wood. 



in the Bois de la Juliire. 

Ist and 4th ^j^ detachments of---|^L-. in BelleTTie. 
Gtbrhts 10th Rifles 

1'*^ and =?$-, in St. Bemy. 

Bawitsch Kosten 

^Ba^t!h^ ^ ^ ^•^'^ ^*^^* 

SSiii^l?^ in Les Orandes Tapes. 

-^^^ and ^ ^.^ , , between Let Gnndes l^pes and the Mosella. 

Kosten Bawitsoh 


the Moselle, assisted, it is tnie, bv some batteries which had 
come into action on the right bank of the river, repulsed with 
success all the assaults of the French Uth Chasseur battalion ; 
the other detachments, however, wero unable to resist the 
advance of the enemy's very superior force. They withdrew 
to the farmsteads at Les Tapes, and then commenced to 
evacuate the easternmost one, as it was surroimded on three 
sides by the 1st Brigade of Voltigeurs of the Guard. But as 
the farm walls were already reached by the assailant, and only 
a narrow passage on the north side remained for tlie retreat of 
the * garrison, which had, moreover, expended nearly all their 
ammunition, a considerable part of the men, with an ammunition 
waggon recently brought up, fell into the hands of the French.* 
Those who were not taken prisoners endeavoured to rally in 
a ditch to the north of the farm, but were driven out from 
thence by the enemy's flanking fire, and afterwards withdrawn 
to Amelange. 

The 2nd Voltigeur Brigade of the Guard had meanwhile 
compelled also the outposts at St. Remy to retire northward, 
and had followed them with an eifective file-fire across the 
open gi-ound. After this success, the enemy tiuTied towards 
the farmstead of Les Petites Tapes, which was defended by the 
Prussians until their ammunition was expended, and at 2.30* p.m. 
fell into the enemy's hands. The retreating garrison were for 
the most part taken prisonera. 

Bellevue, situated in advance of the right ^ving• of the 
Landwehr Division, had been already fired and abandoned by 
its garrison, when the French troops made an enveloping 
movement towards that point from Ladonchamps, St. Agathe, 
and through the Bois <ie Woippy. Tlie withdrawal of the 
outposts was covered by the Samter Landwehr battalion and 
parts of the 10th Rifle battalion, who brought to a close the 
adversai-y's advance half way to Semecourt. Of the companies 
of the Gorlitz battalion posted to the west in the woods of La 
Juliere and La ForSt the 1st had retired somewhat, but the 
other, in conjunction with the 1st and 4th cos. of , the above- 
mentioned rifle battalion brought up fi-om Ealembourg farm, 
maintained an effective flanking fire upon the enemy, who had 
forced his way into the eastern copse. 

Dming the retreat of the Pnissiaii outposts and the action 
which supervened at the farms, all the batteries of the 3rd 
Resei've Division, mthsome of the Xth Army Corps,t as well as 

* The two farmsteads of Les Tapes were rery poorly arranged for defence bj 
placing banquettes behind the walls and by making loopholes ; but part of these 
could not be used as, in commencing the strengthening works on the morning of the 
7th, all inflammable articles, and amongst them the straw used for the banquettes of 
some of the loopholes, had been remoTed. 

t Of the Srd Beserre Diiision : 1st and 2nd heayj batteries Vth Corps south of 
Semecourt against BeUerue, the light batterp Vth Corps at the Maizi^res Cemetery 
(1.45 p.m.)« l8t and 2nd light batteries Xlth Corps north of Les Petites Tapes (2 
p.m.), Srd light battery Xltn Corps at Amelange (1 p.m.). 

Of the Xth Corps : 5th heary battery south-east of Amelange (2 p.m.), 3rd light ud 




the 2nd heavy battery of the Ilird hurrying np from Fives, had 
gradually taken part in the struggle. The 10 heavy guns on 
the height north of Semecourt had been already in action 
towards Ladonchamps since 1 p.m. On the French side the 
field batteries wliich had unlimbered near the chateau farm- 
stead just mentioned were supported by three others arriving 
at St. Agathe, but tliese, after filing for three-quarters of an 
hour, were silenced by the Prussian artiUeiy, which now, in 
conjunction -wath the infantry, prevented the enemy from 
removing the stores from the captured farms. 

Meanwhile the 5th Infantry Division had entered upon the 
stinig^le against the left flank of the troops of the French 
Guard. In the outpost position of the dth Brigade the 48ih 
Regiment had shortly before the commencement of the action 
reached Yillers les Plenois with the 1st battn., Norroy with the 
two othei's,* for the purpose of reKeving the Body Guard 
Grenadier regiment at the outposts. Of the latter the 1st 
battn. was deployed by companies at the east edge of the Bois 
de Plenois and in the outlymg brick-kiln to the eastward, the 
2nd as reserve at the village of Plenois; the fusilier battn. had 
already commenced its return march to F^ves. In accordance 
with instructions previously issued by the Divisional Commander 
the brigade in question was to act without further notice as 
support to the 3rd Reserve Division, in the event of the French 
making a forward movement to the northward. The staff 
officer of the 5th Division, Major v. Lewinski, who had observed 
the first movements of the enemy when visiting his outposts, 
made the first necessary arrangements in the sense ot this 

Shortly after one o'clock a stationary musketry action 
occurred between the outpost companies of the Body Guard 
Grenadiers and some bodies of French skirmishers which had 
issued from the north-west border of the Bois de Woippy. As 
matters were apparently becoming somewhat more grave in 
the neighbourhood of the brick-kiln, the 2nd battn. 48th Regi- 
ment, was sent to that point. Eight other companies, advancing 
by way of Point du Jour, took part with a brisk fire in the 
struggle of the 3rd Division, ana cleared not only La Foret 
Wood, but the copse lying to the south-west, of the French 
tirailleurs who haa penetrated therein. These latter, pursued 
by three companies of the 9th Brigade, retreated upon tne Bois 
de Woippy and St. Anne. The Bois de la JuHfere was also 
evacuatea by the enemy to the two companies of the lOth Rifle 

Sxd heayy batteries on either side of Olgj (1.30, 6th hcary batteiy on the left 
of the 8rd light battery (2.90 p.m.). 

Later in the day — about half -past 4 o'clock — the 6th light came into aotioa, next 
the 8rd Ught. The two horse artillery batteries were (shortly after 3 p.m.) held in 
retenre between Olgy and Ch&teau Buy, after one of them besides the Srd Ught had 
fired a few rounds. 

* With the exception of the 8th co., which had remained at Fires at escort to 
the batteries of the i)rigode (Ist and 2nd heayy). 


battD. which had broken forward from La ForSt Wood; on the 
other hand, an advance from the brick-kiln of the detachments 
engaged there in the direction of the wood was repulsed by 
superior forces of Grenier's Division.* 

Matters now resolved themselves once more into a stationary 
action until at 2 p.m. six fusiUer companies of the 9th Brigade 
came up into front line.f By order of Colonel v. Conta $ those 
of the 48th Regiment deployed between La Juhfere and 
La For^t Woods, whilst those of the Body Guard Grenadiers, 
in conjunction with the nearest detaclunents, forced their 
way from the latter wood into the north-west angle of the Bois 
de Woippy, and there held their ground. The adversary 
abandoned in consequence that part of the wood bordering the 
road to Norroy, which was now at once occupied from the 
brick-kihi. As the French retired further through the wood, 
fighting ceased at 4 o'clock on the right wing of the 9th 
Brigade ; but the left still kept up their fire upon St. Anne 
and Bellevue. Between the 10th Brigade and those pai-ts of 
Grenier's Division which had been thrown forward into the 
Bois de Vigneulles, a slight skirmish continued until the fourth 
hour of the afternoon. The remaining troops of the Ilird Army 
Corps had been assembled at Marengo farm and AmanvillerB. 

About the same time that the sti*uggle commenced in the 
low ground on the left bank of the Moselle, Aymard's Di\asion 
of the 3rd French Coi-ps on the other side of the river had 
moved off with one brigade in the direction of Malroy and 
Charly, wdth the other brigade along the Failly road, and 
thrown out skirmishera at the edge of the Bois de Grimont. As, 
however, the artillery fire from the positions of the Xth Army 
Corps at Charly § very shortly brought to a stand the advance of 
the Frenchinfantry. and also compelled theretreat of two batteries 
imlimbering to the west of ChieuUes, General v. Voigts-Rhetz 
perceived that the adversary was only making a feigned attack 

* The Pmssian troops had thus taken tip the foUoirizig poBitions opposite the 
north-west border of the Bois de Woippy, during the second hour of the after- 
noon: — 

i!l55l?5.^ at the east margin of the Bois de Plenois, ^, 6th, 6th, and 7th 
8 ® 8 48 

in and near the brick-kiln, 5^, ^"d and 4th ^ ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^ 6th and 7tL 

8 48 8 

iL -xi. ' ^ i 'D^'^4. A T^ *th and 8th Ist and Srd ^, 

further in rear at Point du Jour, , pursuing the enemj rc- 

tiring from La Forfit Wood, ^^ ,. ..^"^ ^ in La Forfit Wood, ^'*t ^"^ ^tli 

® Gdrlitz Landw. Battn. ' 10th Riiles 

in the Bois de la Juhere. 

t Of the other two fusilier companies — - — occupied Tillers Ics Plenois, — -=^ 

8 48 

Honlin auz Pr^s. 

t Appointed to command the 9th Brigade in place of General t. Doering, killed 

at Vionville. 

4th light and 4th heavy 



at this point. He therefore ordered the 38th Infantry Brigade 
at 2.30 p.m. to cross to the left bank of the Moselle at Argancy. 

Before this brigade reached its destination the 6th Landwehr 
Brigade had already made an attempt to recapture the lost 
localities. The Neutomischel and Neustadt battalions had 
advanced from Amelange towards Les Grandes Tapes, but 
were received with so brisk a file-fire from this faiinstead, from 
Franclonchamp, and Les Petites Tapes, that they were com- 
pelled to seek shelter for a time in a ditch. .Vfter the rein- 
forcement in question had arrived General v. Kummer ordered 
a general advance of the two landwehr brigades against 
Bellevue and Les Tapes, which he supported on the right wing 
by two line battalions of his Division, and on the left 'wing with 
the 38th Brigade. 

Shortly after, the musketeer battalions of the 57th Regiment 
moved forward in echelon at a rapid pace across tlie perfectly 
open gi'oimd south of Amelanee.* As this dash in front of 
the enemy's strongly occupied position also passed into a 
stationary action, the still available parts of the brigade, the 
1st and fusilier battns., 16th Regiment,t were brou^t up in 
support. These two battahons, passing to the west of 
Amelange, now turned towards Les Grandes Tapes, in which 
movement, as soon as the new attacking line came abreast of 
them, they were joined on the i-ight by the Neutomischel and 
Neustadt Landwehr battalions, and on the left, in the du'cction 
of Franclonchamp, by the 57th and the company of the Kostea 
Landwehr battahon, which had all the time maintained its post 
on the bank of the Moselle. But there was no fuilher serious 
collision at this point, as the enemy's right wing was already 
in reti*eat ; his rear guard was, however, ovenakcn, and was 
driven from Les Grandes Tapes and Franclonchamp shoi*tIy 
after 5 o'clock. The 38th Brigade hereupon occupied the 
recaptured farmsteads and Les Petites Tapes, which the enemy 
had meantime like^vise abandoned ; the 6th Landwehr Brigade 
concentrated at Amelange. 

On the right wing of the 3rd Reserve Division commenced in 
the sixth hoiu' of the afternoon the forward movement against 
Bellevue, preceded by a heavy ai-tillery cannonade. Of the 
troops intended for this purpose the Samter Landwehr batta- 
lion attacked the place on the noi*th ; against the west side and 
against St. Anne moved the 1st and fusilier battaUons 19th 
Regiment, supported by the Posen Landwehr battaUon ad- 
vancing ii'om Italembourg, and the rifie companies which had 
forced then* way some hours before into the Bois de la Juli6re.i 

* Ilnd and 2iii in first line, Ut, Srd, and 4th in leoond line. 

XT tl T? '1* 

t " guarded at Ennery the Moselle bridge at Hauconcourt. — ^^^^^ ^vith the 
16 57th 

2nd and 8rd eicortod the 5th hcarr battery of the Xth Corps, which had 
5th Kes. Lancers 
CTOflsed to the left bank of the Mo?elle with the 3Sth Brigade. 

J See Part II, p. 191—192. 

C 2 

Still further on the right, after a conference of the command- 
ing officers, this movement was joined by some companies of 
the 9th Brigade which had broken foiT\'ard from La Forfit 
Wood, and by the ftisilier battalion, 48th Regiment, from the 
Bois de Woippy. The French received the enveloping attack 
of the troops with a brisk fire, but before the decisive collision 
evacuated both of the named points, which were now occupied 
by the assailants. As the enemy also suirendered St. Bemy, all 
the localities held by the 3rd Reserve Division in the morning 
were again in the hands of the Prussians shortly after 6 p.m. 
At all points the stmggle appeared to have come to a close. 

On the right bank of the Moselle Metman^s Division of the 
3rd French Corps had proceeded at 3 p.m. in the direction of 
Lauvallier and Noissevule. A line of tirailleurs, supported by 
a vigorous &e from Fort St. Julien, skirmished with the out- 
posts of the 1st Army Corps, which had been drawn up for 
action since 1 o'clock, and also caused the Vllth to move up 
into its line of defence. 

General v. Manteuffel had assembled in rear of the line of 
his outposts the 4th Infantry Brigade and the 8th Lancers in 
the bottom of the valley to the west of St. Barbe, but had 
speedily become convinced that the issue of the engagement 
would on this occasion lie on the other side of the river, and 
therefore offered his support to the 20th Division standing on 
his immediate right.* An an order just aniving by telegraph 
from the commander-in-chief at Corny took into consideration 
the probable necessity of sending an entu-e Division of the Xth 
Corps across the Moselle, and for this eventuahty arranged that 
it sQould be reinforced by troops of the 1st CorpB,t General 
v. Manteuffel gave orders for the 2nd Infantry Brigade with 
the 8rd Cuirassiers to move off at once to Charlv. 

At 4 p.m. the French Divisions t opposite the Xth and 1st 
Corps commenced to withdraw towards the fortress. The 3rd 
and 8th cos. 41st Regiment followed the enemy's reai^^uard, 
which was thrown back by way of Vany and Villers I? Orme 
into the Bois de Grimont, but was there supported by fresh 
forces. The French hereupon passed once more to the attack 
along the entire front of the 1st Army Corps. This was 
effectually resisted by the two companies of the 41st Regiment 
at Vany and in the south part of Villers L'Orme ; the other 
farms in the place were again lost, and even the Prussian out- 
posts south of Noisseville retii'ed before the adversary, who was 
Senetrating into the valley by way of Mey and Bellecroix. 
light batteries of the 1st Army Corps § from their positions at 

* General t. Manteuffel had his foot broken bj a fall from his horse on the 6th 
September, but continued his command, and was also present this da^ on the field of 
battle in a carnage. 

t Army head-quarters at Corny were kept constantly informed by telegraph of the 
course of the action from its commencement. 

X Aymard's (sec Part II, p. 192) and Metman^s. 

§ 8rd heayy, 2nd and 8ra horse artillery batteries at Foix ; 8rd light, 4th light, 


Poixy Servigny, and Noisseville, very shortly, however, put on 
end to the further progress of the French ; a brigade of tlie 
Vlltli Corps reinforced by cavahy and artillery was also held in 
readiness to take pai-t between the Brewery and Montoy. Under 
cover of the fire from Fort St. JuUen, Les Bordcs, and Queuleu, 
the enemy commenced his retreat to Metz towards 6.30 p.m. 

Whilst the action on the light bank of the Moselle thus 
came to a termination, the struggle was again renewed at this 
iimcture on the other side of the river. General v. Voigts- 
xlhetz, on receipt of tlie previously-mentioned orders from army 
head-quai-teiTs and of tho intelligence, which arrived shortly 
after, of the advance of a brigade of the 1st Anny Corps, had on 
his part despatched tho 37th Infantry Brigade with some bat- 
teries and squadrons to the left bank of the Moselle, where at 
this time also the 3rd Reserve Division, under tho orders of 
Qeneral v. Schwartzkoppen, arrived. The commander of the 
latter had been instructed shortly before to endeavour to recap- 
tm'e all the localities abandoned in the course of the afternoon 
and the fai-mstead of Ladonchamps Chateau occupied for some 
days past by tho enemy.* The localities in question, as already 
mentioned, had been for some time in the hands of the Prussians ; 
agamst Ladonchamps, which was surrounded by a moat and 
moreover strongly fortified, eleven companies of the 10th and 
8l8t Regiments t were moved off from Maizieres at G.30 p.m. 
In consequence of the darkness which had supervened, no co- 
operation on the part of tlie artillery could bo expected. 

The five musketeer companies of the last-named regiment 
advancing along the high road had indeed succeeded in gaining 
the south border of St. Remy without encountering any resist- 
ance, but were then received from Ladonchamps with so brisk a 
file-fire that for the present they limited themselves to answering 
it, and after a rather sanguinaiy advance agauist the north side 
of the farmstead, which was defended by a large force of infantry 
and artillery, once more withdrew to St. Remy. On the right 
of these five companies the six others had meanwhile taken a 
route by way of Bellevue, where they were joined bv the 3rd 
CO. of the 19th Regiment. After crossing the broox flowing 
further southward and the railway embankment, four com- 
panies! deployed at 8 p.m. in front of the west side of Ladon- 
champs, but without gaining any success against the enemy, 
who held his position most gallantly. An advance of the 5th 
and 8th companies of the 57th Regiment against the east front 
of the chateau was now likewise abandoned. With tiiis incident 
the struggle on the left bank of the Moselle also came to a close. 

nnd 4th hcavj at Scrrigny ; 6tli heaTj at NoisscTille ; 6th hearj, south of tho 

• See Part II, p. 188. 

. 5th and 6th let, 2nd, 3rd. 6th, 7th, and ¥uf . 

19 ' 81 

J 6th, Gth, 8r d ^^^^i lOiU 

* 19 * tJl • 


The losses of the Prussians on the 7th October amounted 
altogrether to upwards of 1,700 men, amongst whom were 4 
sm'geons and some 500 missing. Of the senior officers the fol- 
lowing were wounded : — Colonel v. Brandenstein, commanding 
the 6th Landwehr Brigade; Colonel Hahn v. Dorsclie, com- 
manding the 16th Regiment; and Majors v. Schmieden, 48th 
Regiment : t. Hanneken, Slst Regiment ; Krause, 10th Field 
Artillery Regiment. Four captains of the Body Guard Grena- 
diers had during the action in the wood received mortal 

After the first successes of the Guard Voltigeur Division at 
Les Tapes and Bellevue, Marshal Bazaine had been for some time 
wishing to force his way at night time with all his troops through 
the northern Une of inVestment ; but as no progress was made 
on either wing of the French front of attack, while the cap- 
tured localities in the low ground of the Moselle were agam 
lost, the jklarshal gave up the immediate cxeaition of his plan. 
In order to distract the attention of the Germans in another 
dii'ection he ordered in the first place an advance towards Ars 
8ur Moselle, which, however, likewise came to nothing.f 

On the Geinnan side the obstinate resistance of the enemy at 
Ladonchamps and the unanimous statements of the prisoners 
led them to expect a repetition on the following day of the 
fiortie which had just been defeated. -All the troops which had 
taken part in the engagement consequently remained for the 

5 resent at the positions which they had occupied at the clo6e4 
'he 25th Division and the corps artillery IXth Army Corps re- 
ceived instructions to assemble at Gravelotte and Rezonville 
on the morning of the 8th October. 

In point of fact in the early morning a biisk fire was once 
more opened from Fort St. Julien against the positions of the 
1st Army Corps. French columns moved from the fort towards 
the Bois de Grimont, others from the Vallieres valley against 
Noisseville. On the opposite side of the Moselle the farmsteads of 
Les Tapes were cannonaded from St. Eloy. whilst the Prussian 
heavy battciy came into action on the Semecourt height against 
Ladonchamps. The enemy did not. however, pass to the 
attack. The arrangements already made to repel it were 
not therefore put into execution, and the troops retmrned in 
genjeral to their previous positions. The greater part of the 

* For details of the casualtieB sec Appendix LXXTII. According to Dr. Chenu's 
work tbe losses of the French omountcd to 64 oliicers and 1,193 men. 

t The general appointed to this enterprise was unable to complete in time the 
-arrangements considered necessnrr. The accounts of Marshal Bazaine have been 
taken ns a basis in tlic compilation of this narratiye. Other French historians assert 
tliat the ^larshal ncTcr again had the intention to break through the line of invest- 

X nird Corps, 3rd Reserve, and lOlh Division on the left ; the rest of the Xth, 
the 1st and VI 1th Coii>s, on the right bank of the Moselle. 


19th Division remained, however, on the left bank of the 
Moselle,* and in conjunction with the 19th and Slst Regiments 
occupied the advanced position of Norroy as far as the river, 
whilst part of the 3rd Landwehr Division now served as reserve 
and part was otherwise emplo7ed.t The strengthening of the 
line of investment was actively continued, and in addition by an 
order from army head-quarters of the 4th October field redoubts, 
free firom escalade, were commenced ; these, by their capacity 
for independent defence and then* somewhat retired position, 
were intended to strengthen both the foremost fighting fine and 
also to protect the quarters of the troops in rear4 

The rainy weather which had again prevailed since the 8th 
October limited in general the activity on both sides to artil- 
lery fire and imimportant outpost skirmishes. The artillery of 
the y Ilth Corps, by order fi:om army head-quarters, cannonaded 
on the 12th the French camps between Vameres and St. JuUen ; 
in order to efiect greater results against Ladonchamps and St* 
Agathe, some guns of the heavy battery at Semecourt were 
moved southward. The shells of the French fortress artillery 
harassed moi-e particularly the working parties and the supports 
to the outposts. As on the 14th the camp of the 3Gth Regiment 
at Moscow farm was taken under fire from Fort Plappeville, 
the Prussian heavv battery on the Jussy heigbts responded 
bv cannonading tne villages in front. Thereupon ensued 
along the entire south front before Metz a vigorous artillery 
cannonade, in which even the Kolberg grenadiers encamped 
near Jouy aux Arches suffered losses. 

During the next days the activity of the French artillery 
gradually waned* After some desultoiy. shots hud fallen from 
Fort Les Bordes on the 17th, Fort Plappeville, and subse- 
quently also Fort St. Quentin, once more opened a vigorous 
hre on the 18th, when the heavy battery at Jussy again threw 
some shells into the ground in front. 

At this period the growing dearth of food in the French camp 
had already made itself very keenly felt. In consequence of 
a report firom the commandant of the fortress on the 8th October 
to the effect that his provisions would at the most sufiSce for 
twelve days more, Marshal Bazaine had called together a 

* The 57th Regiment and the 9th Dragoons were alone quartered on the right 
bank, in the neighbourhood of Argancy and Chaillj. 

TT_ J 

t The Miukau battalion reliered the , at Ennery; the Samter battalion re- 


■TT_ J 

liered the ---- — before ThionTille, where the Sprottan and OstroTO battaUonj had 

already arrived. The Neustadt and Raxntsch had to be formed into a single bat- 
talion, and the tame was done with the Neutomischel and Kostcn battalions. 

X Off these field redoubts one was in the rajon of the 3rd Reserve Division on 
the Chaillv road ; one in the rajon of the 1st Army Corps, two iu the rayon of the 
Vllth, at Coincy and Aubigny j besides one each at Ars Loquenezy, La' Prayette, 
and Orly ; two in the low ground of the Moselle, on either side of the Thionrille 
i*oad, and one at Amelange. Most of these redoubts were in readiness before the 
end of October. 


conncQ of war on the lOih, which in answer to the qnestiou 
laid before it responded in the following general terms : — ^ To 
hold ont at Metz is still the best service which the Armr of 
the Rhine can render to its conntiy, because a considerable 
German force is thereby held fast in front of the walls of the 
fortress and time is gained for the preparations of the Govern- 
ment. The critical diminution of provisions necessitates^bowever, 
an immediate diBCoasion of ne^tiations with the advensarr, so 
that in the event of demands oeing put forward by him which 
might be unacceptable or damaging to the ^ory of our arms, a fur- 
ther attempt may be made to break through the liQ3 of invest- 
ment before hunger has entirely exhausted our own strength." 
On the basis of this resolution General Boyer proceeded on the 
following day to Versailles with instructions from the Marshal 
to demand for the Army of the Bhine a free withdrawal froia 
Metz with the honours of war, but under all circumstances to 
refuse the conditions attached to the capitulation of Sedan. 

When the French General reached Versailles and laid the 
matter with which he was concerned before the royal head- 
quarters, the first question which was mooted was as to what 
person or persons, in the present circumstances of France, weix^ 
empowered to conclude for that country a binding convention. 
On nis part the General explained that the Army of the Bhine was 
bound Dy the oath which it had sworn to the Emperor, and that 
it therefore only acknowledged the Begency which he had ap- 
pointed. But as the Empress had already declined to discuss 
negotiations, there was no guarantee whatever for the moment 
that France would acquiesce in any settlement they might agree 
to, and therefore Count -v. Bismarck demanded as the preHminary 
condition of any frirther discussion that the Empress should 
declare herself ready to subscribe to a treaty, and that the 
Arm^ of the Bhine should furnish undoubted evidence of its 
readmess to obey the Begency by a distinct declaration to 
that effect. After General Boyer had returned to Metz with 
this decision, he next proceeded to England for an interview 
with the Empress with the concurrence of the French C]louncil 
of War. The Empress, however, intimated to his Majesty the 
King that she desired that there should be a fortnight's armistice 
with permission to provision Metz, and that she would never 
conscTit to any diminution of the territory of France. These 
entirely unacceptable demands naturally led once more to the 
breaking off of the negotiations. The King answered the 
Empress's communication to the effect that it was his sincere 
wish to re-establish peace, but that the prevailing uncertainty, 
whether the French people and the Army of the Bhine would 
ratify any agreement which might be made, would not permit 
him at present to enter into any further negotiations. 

The state of affairs at Metz meanwhile approached nearer and 
nearer to a decision. Since the 14th October the German com- 
manders had received regular and precise information of the 
state of affaira in the enemy's camp, both orally from French 


soldiers who frequently allowed thernselves to bo captured 
while digging potatoes, and also from the newspapers found 
in their possession. It was gathered that, after tlie departiut; 
of the pienipotentiaiy last named, disturbances had broken out 
in the fortress, and that the people had brought pressure to 
bear upon the commandant to continue the resistance and to 
acknowledge the Repubhc. In spite of the fulfilment of this 
request, and of a proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief issued 
in order to pacify the inhabitants, the excitement continued, and 
even soldiers took part in the demonstrations. At the same 
time the number of Frenchmen brought in daily by the German 
outposts became so largo tliat Pnnce Frederick Charles in- 
structed the Generals in command not to receive more deserters 
than was absolutely necessary in order to obtain information. 
The supreme authorities at Versailles, who received constant 
infoi-mation of the state of affairs, made arrangements on tlie 
23rd October as to the future employment of the Army of In- 
vestment in expectation of the imminent fall of J^Ietz.* But 
in order to be able to oppose as soon as possible stronger foroes 
to the daily inci'easing masses of French troops on the Lou-e and 
in western France, orders were at the same time sent by tele- 

fraph to despatch the 4th Infantry Division foi*thwith to Paris 
y railway. After concentrating the necessary rolling stock 
tne transport of this Division commenced on the 26th October; 
the positions evacuated bv it were occupied by parts of the 
3r:l Division and of the Vlllth Aimy Corps. On the same 
day some heavy guns, recently arrived from Strassburg, 
took up a position on the slope of tlie SeiUe Valley, west of 

Since the 20th October the issue of food from the fortress 
stores to the troops of the invested army had been stopped, so 
that for the future they found themselves entirely dependent 
upon their own miseiuble resources, and for the most pai-t 
lived upon horse-flesh soup without salt or bread. But even 
the hoiTBCs, which on the 18th October still numbered 20,000, 
decreased each day by a thousand head for slaughtering pur- 
poses and by sickness. On the 23rd the commandant of tlie 
fortress declared that the suppUes in the town and garrison 
would be exhausted in the next few days ; the question as to 
whether or not there were concealed provisions in the posses- 
sion of the inhabitants was answered in the negative by the city 
authorities.^ Besides scanty nourishment, the rain often fell 
in torrents during these days, converting the loamy soil into 
deep mud and making life in the camp almost insupportable. 

In view of these circumstances, and after receiving intelUgeuce 

* Details will be giren in a tul>seqnent section of this nanatiTe. 

t Ten 15 cm. guns altogether, escorted by 2 companies dth Fortress Artillery 
Begimeiit, had orrired from that place. 

X On the 26th the troops in some cases had no food ; in others only scanty pro* 
visions ^uilicicnt for one to four days, wliilst the inhabitants were prorided witli 
rations, weighing 300 grammes per diem, up to the 1st Norember. 


of the &ilure of the negotiations at Versailles, Marshal Bazaine 
again assembled a Council of War on the 24th October, which 
now resolved to enter into communication with the commander 
of the Army of Investment for the pm'posc of scttliug the 
conditions of a capitulation. The fii-st pourparlers with this 
object proved abortive, because the French still demanded an 
armistice Avith the supplv of provisions, or the permission to 
proceed without let or hindrance to Algiers, whilst on the 
German side the surrender of the fortress and the captivity as 

Prisoners of war of the Army of the Rhine were unconditionally 
emanded.* On the 26th October Marshal Bazaine, in agi*eement 
with the Council of War assembled for the second time, declared 
his readiness to enter into these last conditions. On that day 
General Jarras, chief of the staff of the Army of the Rhine, 
met General v. Stiehle at the Chateau Frescaty, and on the 
evening of the 27th followed at that place the final conclusion 
and the signature of the treaty of capitulation. In this the 
Army of the Rhine were declared prisonera of war, and an engage- 
ment made to surrender Metz witn all pubhc property therein, me 
latter being preserved in its present condition for the Germans. 
With the approbation of ms Majesty the Kiag the French 
officers were allowed to retain their swords.t 

On the 28th October an army order of Prince Frederick 
Charles annoimced the long expected and important event ; on 
the same day His Majesty the King, with words of the fullest 
acknowledgment to Ins victorious army, nominated the Crown 
Prince of Prussia and Prince Frederick Charles to the rank of 
General Field-Marshals. At the same time General v. Moltke 
was raised to the dignity of Count.} 

In accordance with the settlement which had been agi*eed 
upon the large detached forts of Metz and the fortifications of 
Porte Mazelle were on the morning of the 29 th first suiTendered 
to the German troops, who towards noon planted then- colours 
on the i-amparts of the fortress. After that long strings of 
country people had quitted the city with then* goods and 
chattels in the early morning, the French corps commenced 
their march out at 1 p.m. in the pouring rain by six roads 
leading to the gi-ound m front of the fortress. On each of the 
roads stood a Corps of the Army of Investment in readiness to 
receive tlie prisoners, who for the most part in perfect silence, 
and a beaiing worthy of all praise, marched by the conquerors, 
and were at once conducted to the bivouacs prepared for them 
and provided with rations. The superior French generals had 
withdrawn themselves in person from the general surrender, 

. * Xho first of these pourparlers was opened on the French side, bj Geuenil Chan- 
gamier ; at the second appeared General Cissey. The former general, at one time a 
Kepublican, and banished bj the Emperor Napoleon, had at the commencement of 
the war offered his serrices to the latter, and was with the Rhine Army without any 
definite command. 

t Appendix LXXVIII contains the terms of the treaty of capitulation. 

X The wording of these orders is giren in Appendix L^XIX. 


Tvhilst the remaining officers, by reason of the permission which 
had been accorded to them, returned in the first instance to Metz. 
Mai*shal Bazaine awaited at Corny the retmn of Prince Frede- 
rick Charles, who, at the head of his staff, had been present 
at the surrender of the Imperial Guard in the neighbourhood 
of Toumebride ; after conferring with the German commanders, 
the Marshal proceeded to Cassel. 

In the coui-se of the same day the 26th Infantry Brigade 
entered the fortress as garrison, the duties of commandant 
being taken over temporarily by General v. Kummer. The 
inhabitants, in view of the impending surrender, had peipetrated 
some excesses on the evening before, but afterwards refmined 
irom any further hostile demonstration. On the part of the 
German mihtary authorities a train laden with food, in addition 
to live cattle, was at once taken into Metz. With the excep- 
tion of the destruction of some houses and trees between the 
forts and the city, which had been necessitated by the state of 
siege, no traces of damage were to be seen ; but dying horses, 
burnt or putrefying refuse of eveiy land, and unbmied corpses, 
especially in the neighbourhood ot the muddy camps, distinctly 
testified to the sufferings whicli had been undergone. 

The Germans had also purchased their magnificent and far- 
reaching success with considerable saciifices. During a ten 
weeks' investment, cntaihng many privatious and hardships, 
the ranks of the aimy had been thinned by sickness, while in 
the engagements with the enemy some 240 oflicers and 5.500 
men had been killed or wounded. 

The French Anny of the Rhine at the time of the sun-ender 
still numbered 173,000 men, inclusive of 6,000 oflicers and 20,000 
men, remaining temporarily in Metz as sick or convalescent. 
"With the never yet sunnounted bulwark of France on the 
north-eastern frontier, 56 Impeiial Eagles,* 022 field-guns, 
876 fortress guns, 72 mitrailleuses, 137,000 chassepots, 123,000 
other small aims, considerable quantity of ammunition, and a 
large mass of other stores fell into the victors' hands. 

Occurrences ox the South-eastern Tiie-vtre op "War 


During the sti-uggle roimd Strassburg the Gennans had also 
determined upon the complete occupation of Upper Alsace, in 
order more pai-ticularly to put an end to the frauctireur raids, 
which had for their point of departure the small forts in that 

* In pursuance of instructions from Marshal Bazaine to the commanders of the 
troops, the majority of the eagles liad been returned to the arsenal, with a riow to 
their being burnt. But as objections were raised by tlic Ucrmnns to this measure as 
being inconsistent with the treaty of capitulation, it was not put into execution. 
Some regiments had, howercr. destroyed their badges before the return into store wbs 
ordered . 

t Sec General Map, No. 6. 


conntry, and to protect German territory on the opposite sido 
from molestation. His Majesty the Kin^ had. on the 20th Sep- 
tember, ordered that the field troops still in Prussia, consisting 
of 15 battalions, 2 cavalrj'^ regiments, 6 batteries, and 1 pioneer 
company, should be combined into the ** 4th Resen-e Division/' 
and employed for the purposes above stated, but more espe- 
cially for the investment of the forts in question. Before the 
end of the month this Division stood concentrated in the dis- 
trict between Freiburg, Alt-Breisach, and Schliengcn, with the 
intention of shortly crossing the Rhine at Neuenburg. 

After the capture of Strassburg the destinations, already men- 
tioned to some extent, of all the German forces now available on 
the Upper Rhine,* were at once promulgated on the 30th Sep- 
tember. The Guard Landwehr Division was drawn forward for 
the investment of Paris, the 1st Reserve Division placed under the 
Governor-General of Alsace, who transferred his head-quarters 
from Hagenau to Strassbm-g. A mixed detachment of the last- 
named Division t watched temporarily from Benfeld and Epsig 
the neighbourhood of Schlettstadt, whikt the 4th Reserve 
Division was now entrusted with the capture of this fortress 
and of Nen-Breisach lying further to the south. The XlVtli 
Corps, newly formed of the Baden Division, and several 
Prussian regiments of the Corps hitherto besieging Strassburg. 
was, in its advance to Ch&tillon and Troyes, to disperse any 
large bodies of hostile troops which might be asscmbUug, to dis- 
arm the population, and as far as possible render practicable 
for traffic the railway running from Blainville by w^ay of Epinal 
and Faverney to Chaumont. General v. Moltke also suggested 
a coup de main upon Langres, which barred this line of railway, 
or that the fortress should be shelled with heavy artillery from 
Strassburg, provided that the attainment of those provisional 
destinations on the Upper Seine were not thereby long delayed. 
Measures in common were to be concerted with the 4Si Reserve 
Division to watch Belfort ; in other respects the XlVth Corps had 
to look after the protection of its own communications.^ 

Immediately to the west of Alsace commences at the foot of 
the Central Vosges a hillv district, well wooded, and intersected 
by numerous ridges, in wnich district the valleys of the Meurthc. 
Mortagne, and Moselle, stretching to the north-west, form posi- 
tions capable of defence. South of Epinal rise on the lefit 
bank of the last-named river the fissiired outliers of the Upper 
Vosges, which can only be crossed at the existing roads. 

• See Fart II, p 93. 

t 21/54 Landwehr Begt., ^ , J^'' ^ , let light reserre battery IXth Corpa. 

2nd iies. Lianc. 

{ Appendix LXXX contains the text of the order issued from tlio rojal head- 
quarters ; Appendix LXXXI, tlie ordro de bataille of the XIYth Armj Corps ; 
Appendix LXXX II, that of the 4th Beserrc Division. 


Somewhat further to the south-west he the hills of the ^lout 
Faucilles, 6un*ounding sickle-like the sources of the Saone, and 
in their eastern part, which falls hi steep slopes towards the 
Moselle, covered with a forest of tiill trees. Beyond this 
broadly undulating district, stretches on either side of tho 
Saone, in a soutn-westerly direction, towards the Rhone 
country, a gently undulating region dotted with many woods 
and vineyards. This zone, 45 miles on an average in breadth, 
and gradually rising from the Sadue Valley, is bounded in tho 
far distance by imposing masses of mountains : in the east by 
the Upper Vosges and the Jura, in the west by the Langres 
Plateau and the Cote d'Or. 

Between the two first-named mountain ranges lies in the 
neighbourhood of Belfort a rather deep saddle, in which, under 
tlie cannon of this fortress, the communications leading from 
tho Saone district to the Rhine valley join the road coming 
from the Upper Moselle through Giromagny, In the western 
mountain wall, which falls in steep slopes towards the Sadne 
valley, Mont Tasselot forms the connecting link between the 
Langres Plateau, 14 to 18 miles in width, and the Cote d'Or. 
The foi-mer, barren in its eastern part, and tliickly wooded on 
the west, has no peaks or ridges of any size^ but has many 
deeply sunken ravines. With the exception of some good roads 
converging at Langres, and of a very small number of transverse 
commimicatious, the practicability of this plateau is, to a large 
extent, hampered by masses of stone and boulders. The Cote 
d*Or, seamed by the transverse valleys of the Tille and Ouche, 
is dotted along the whole of its eastern slope -with prosperous 
villages, and -w-ith an almost unbroken series of extensive vine- 
yards; the interior of this moimtainous district is partly 
wooded, partly covered with heath, stony, deficient of water, 
and but sparsely peopled. The main communications of the 
Yonne, Arman9on, and Upper Seine valley, ^vith the Saone, 
intersect, at the eastern foot of the Cote d'Or, the old Bur- 
gundy mountain road from Langi'es to Beaune, and the railway 
ninning alongside it. Most of these communications lead 
through Dijon, some through the district at the sources of the 
Tille.* The Sa6ne flows with many sinuosities through a 
meadow valley, rather more than 2 miles on an average in 
breadth, the upper edges of the valley rising to a height of from 
80 to 160 feet. Even above Jussey the river can only be crossed 
by bridges, while it is navigable from Port sur Saone. In the 
ground on the right bank there are between the numerous, but 
small, tributary streams, favourable positions for defence on the 
wooded heights. Still stronger positions are aflForded by tho 
tributary rivers of the left bank, the Ognon, and the Doubs. 
The fortress of Besan9on, situated on the latter, and the little 

* The Burgundj cimal, which follows at firsfc the Ouclie rallej, and then leads 
towards the Arman^on railej forms a direct connection bj water between the Sa6na 
and Yonne. 


fort of Auxonue on the Saone, command a great number of the 
roads and railways which lead from Burgundy to the Rhine 
and the Jura. 

This long stretch of calcareous mountains rises from the plain 
towards the Swiss frontier by several sharply marked and 
picturesque steps, and may be distinguished in oiher respects by 
a confusion of hills, rocks, depressions, fissured plateaux, and 
moors. Owing to this conformation, the interior of this moun- 
tainous district is as a rule deficient in good communications 
from north to south. Those coming from the west lead often 
through deeply sunken valleys, which have been widened by 
blasting;, and converge, for the most part, near Pontarher. The 
most direct road to that place from Dole is barred by the 
fortifications of Salins, which at the same time command, in the 
neighbourhood of its intersection with that road, the chaussee 
constructed at the western foot of the mountains from Besan^on 
to Lons le Saunier. The former road leads on the further side of 
Pontarlier, at first through the La Cluse Pass, barred by the 
Ch&teau de Joux, and afterwards over the highest transverse 
ridge of the Jura to Switzerland. 

the^l^th ^^ *^^® beginning of October trustworthy intelligence with 
Annx Corps regard to the progress of the preparations in south-eastern 
aoxoM the France was still wanting at the German head-quarters.* As 
Jha^d^ ,a matter of fact a newly-forming "Vosges Army" under 
06te d'Or."* General Cambriel had pushed forward abreast of Langres and 
Epinal,t whilst the franctireurs and Gardes Mobiles assembled 
for its protection at St. Did, Baccarat, and Rambervillers, had 
threatened since the end of September the railway from 
Saveme to Lundville. In rear of this body of troops, some 
80,000 strong, numerous battalions of National Guards belong- 
ing to the nearest departments were combined with Gardes 
Mobiles and detachments of franctireurs into large units at 
Dijon, Besan^-on, and Lyons. As General Cambriel, on hearing 
of the fall of Strassburg, expected that the Germans would 
advance through the Vosges, he thi-ew forward the bulk of his 
available troops under General Dupre to meet them on the 
Meurthe. On tiie 6th October that officer reached the neighbour- 
hood of St. Di6, Nompatelize, and La Voivre, with about 15,000 
men and 12 guns. 

In order to disperse the franctireurs which had appeared 
on the Meurthe General v. Werder, with the concurrence of 

• SecPurtll.p. S2— 8G. 

f See Port II, p. 145. The foi^ces under Q^Tiewl Cnmbriel consisted for tJio 
mott parfc of GaI^de8 MobileB from Belfort, part of tlio BeKan^on ganiftou, aud troops 
of ^e 80-oilled Axmj of Ljosb. 


the supreme authorities,* had sent forward on the 2nd October 
a mixed detachment of the Baden Division under General 
V. Degenfeld through the Vosges in two cohimns : one from 
Mutzig through Schinneck upon Raon L'Etape, the main 
column further to the south from BaiT tlu-ough Senones upon 
Etival.f As early as the 4th, when mo^'ing through the moun- 
tain passes, barred by abattis and ditches, both columns met 
with franctireurs, who retu'ed after a sHght sku-mish from La 
Trouche and Ghampenay. A\Tien, on the following day, the 
fusilier battalion of the Baden Body Guard Grenadiers leading 
the advance of the northern column was received with fire on 
the west slope of the Plaine Valley from Raon L'Etape, this 
village was after a slight delay also captured, with the aid of 
the 4th light battery and of the main column, taking part from 
Etival. Of the latter, two companies had advanced directly 
against Raon L'Etape, whilst two others overtook the adversary 
at La Chipotte, while retreating after the loss of this village 
upon Ramoorvillcrs, and completely dispei-sed him after half-^n- 
hour's fighting, J With the occupation of Raou L'Etaoo and 
Etival the western issues of two important passes of the Vosges 
were in the hands of the Germans. 

Meanwhile General v. Werder, after receipt of the oft-men- 
tioned insti-uctions from tlie royal head-quai'ters had assembled 
the main body of the Baden Division at Ban' and Alutzig, 
with a view to advancing from thence on the Gth October to 
St. Die and Etival. The Prussian troops of the Corps were to 
follow the column advancing to the latter place as far as ychir- 
meck, but were then to take the road through Raon sur Plaine 
to Raon I'Etape : the trains were assigned the road from Saverne 
through Blamont to Baccarat. § The detachment already on 
the furtlicr side of the Vosges, and now serving as advanced 

* Tlie oi*der8 of the supi*eme autlioritios of the 30th September did not reach the 
Gheneml until tlie Mh. October. 

t North column : — Ist and ^ns. — 1^ 4th light battery. South column: 

Bodv Guard Rcgt. lat Drag. * *^ 

3rd Regiment, ^, 2nd and j 5th o^d heavy battery. In aU 6 battaUons, 2i 

^ 6 ' 1st Dragoons* J J 

squadrons, 2 batteries. 

4. 2nd and 4th . ^^ r^vL 10th and 11th «^:«.4. t^ i^i.:««M.-. 
J against Baon L Etape, ^ 9 against La Chipotte. 

3 o 

§ Left marching eolumn. (Barr-St. Di€) : 

,„a Bad., JfSS^. S^i^;. 2nd Bad. Dragoon., l.thea^. 
1st and 2nd light batteries, and a battery of horse artillery. 
Right marching column (Mutzig-Etival) : 

«th Bad. Regt.. j|^. 3^%4J^g . 3rd light, 3„1 and 4th hc.y 


Prussian troops (Schirmeck-Raon L'Etape) : 

30th and 34th Regiments ; 2nd Rcserro Dragoons and 2nd Reserre Hussars ; 

3 batteries. 

■«i ^ ^ ^ • l^fc J 1st 

Escort to trains ; - . ^ . ana 

6th Bad. 3rd Bad. Drag. ' 


guard to the Corps, received orders, while occiipjing St. Di#, 
to make reconnaissances to the south and west, and to collect 
supph'es at the issues from the mountain passes. 

Enoaoements at la Bourgonce, Bambertillers, and Bruteres, on 

THE (5th, 9th, and 11th October. 

As St. Die had been for some time indicated generally as the 
centre of the national arming in that neighbourhood, and ac- 
cording to common report was arranged for defence, General 
V. Degenfeld anticipated a serious engagement in carrying out 
the task committed to him. He therefore in the early morning 
of the 6th October moved off with tlie bulk of liis troops along 
both banks of the Mctuihe towards that place, whilst for the 
security of the mountain issues and for the collection of pro- 
visions only two battaUons with a squadi'on remained behind 
at Kaon L'Etape and Etival.* The patrols sent on in ad- 
vance wore received with infantry fire from Nompatelize and 
La Voivre ; a dense morning mist impeded however for the time 
all view, so that the offensive movements could not be com- 
menced until 9 o'clock. 

On the west bank of the Meui-the the fusilier battalion 
Oth Rpghnent now advanced against the heights of Nompate- 
lize, which were occupied by the enemy, the 2nd battn. 3rd 
Regiment upon Biarville.t After the guns of the 4th light 
battery present with the column had fired some effective rounds 
against the first-named village, one-half of the fusiUer battalion 
pressed foi*ward into the noilh section of it ; the other half 
found itself involved in a musketry skii*mish with French 
detachments, which, while occupying the villages of La Salle 
and Le Han lying to the westward, were taking the direction 
of St. Remy. As the adversary also pushed forward troops 
fi'om La Bourgonce, the 2nd battn. 3rd Regiment on arrival at 
Biarville took part in the struggle under a brisk flanking fire 
from the enemy at Les Feignes. Two companies by a rapid 
advance gained the northeni border of this village, whilst the 
two others pressed forward into Nompatelize and in conjunc- 
tion with the fusiliers already in the village now took enth-e 
possession of it. 

* Column on the left (west) bank of the Mcurthc : 

}M^ I^, \ f "^ , and i 4th bght batteiy, under Major Kieffer. 
3 G IstJirag. " 

Column on the right (oast) bank of the Menrihc : 

^'* ""'j ^'"'•, * ^"rt°]^g ^"' ' 2»d henrj and |rd 4th ligl.t battery, andcr 

Colonel Mullcr. 

In Kaon L*JEtapo, ^, , / . In Etiral, _ . ^"' . 

Body Grd. 1st Drag. Body Grd. 

t See Plan, No. 18. 


On the east bank of the Meurthe the 10th co. 3rd Regiment 
had thrown back some weak French detachments through 
La Voivre to near Marzelay, where the latter were rein- 
forced by about 400 men. The brisk fire resounding from the 
westward decided General v. Degenfeld to despatch gradually 
the greater part of the left wing column* to the other side of 
the river, using the bridges at La Voivre and Etival, and to bring 
up to the battle-field the troops which had been left to guard the 
passes of the Vosges. 

On the battle-field the enemy had meanwhile repeatedly ad- 
vanced with very superior forces to the attack of the liaden 
troops. The two guns under Lieutenant Niisslin wliich had un- 
limbered to the west of the Etival-Nompatelize road held their 
ground, however, in spite of the cross-fire of the enemy's artillery 
from La Bourgonce and St. Remy, until the latter after 11 a.m. 
was compelled by 4 guns of the 2nd heavy battery, rapidly 
brouglit up through Etival, to change its position and then to 
move oflF altogether. Four other guns arriving shortly after 
took up a position at Biarville and cannonaded Jumelles wood, 
strongly occupied by the enemy, as well as the burning Nom- 
patelize, the southern half of which was taken by the French 
at noon, but was recaptured shortly after by the Germans. 
The 10 Baden guns now present on the battle-field were shortly 
concentrated to the north-west of the last-named village. 

Meanwhile the 1st battn. 3rd Baden Regiment had turned 
from La Voivre towards Les Feignes, and with the aid of the 
companies of the 2nd battn., which had ah-eady penetrated to the 
northern border, dislodged the enemy entirely from the village, 
the regimental commander, Colonel iliiller, being severely 
wounded in the affair. Further on the left, the 12th company 
drove some French detachments from St. Michel, La Vacherie, 
and Sanceray into the Jumelles wood, which was now kept under 
musketry fire from the east and north. On the extreme right 
wing of the Baden fighting Kne, the fusilier battn. of the Body 
Guard Grenadier Regiment, brought up from Etival, had, after a 
a vigorous resistance from the enemy, occupied St. Remy, and 
subsequently engaged in a skirmish with the adversary's troops 
in the Bois de St. Benoit and on the Le Han heights. An attack 
upon these heights made at half-past twelve o'clock was success* 
ful, with the co-operation of some detachments taking part from 
the side of Nompatelize.t 

A further continuation of the attack did not appear advisable 

» The ^^^^' lOtb.^and 11th alone remained at La Voivre. 
t The Baden infantry shortly after noon occupied the following fighting line :— 
weet of Sanceray. 


I. 7th and 5th 

Opposite the Ju< 

5 in and near Los Feignes. v * * .^^^ 

o f loelles wood. 

8th»d6th^ 12th »nd llA irxf^^Somv^ieiUe. 
8 o J 


to the Germans, as the enemy's snperiority of force was distinctly 
evident. After the fire on both sides had gradually declined 
in vigour, a general pause in the engagement took place at one 
o'clock, which was however abruptly terminated half-an-hom* 
later by a sudden counter attack from the French. Supported by 
some batteries which renewed their activity from the La Bour- 
gonce height, strong bodicR of infantry broke forward from the 
woods of St. Benoit and Jumelles as well as from the intermediate 
village of La Salle against the Baden troops deployed in an ex- 
tensive Ime of company columns. The latter abandoned Le 
Han which had been set on fire by the artillery, and although 
they held the small copse h'ing to the northward against the 
repeated assaults of tiie enemy, they found their right flank 
severely threatened by the advance of other French detach- 
ments upon St. Remy. At this somewhat peiilous junctm'e 
three grenadier companies of the Body Guard Regiment, brought 
up from Raon L'Etape, appeared shortly after two o'clock on 
the battle-field west of NompateUze.* Whilst a division of 
Dragoons, arriving at this time, assumed the duties of guarding 
the flank at St. Remy in conjunction with the squadron hitherto 
employed as artilleiy escort, and the two batteries were rein- 
forced in tbeu' above mentioned position bythe two light guns left 
up to that time at La Voivre, Major v. Gemmingen led forward 
those three companies to the attack in the direction of La Bom-- 
gonce. Under a heavy fire from Le Han and from Jumelles 
wood, the Baden Grenadiers succeeded however in gaining a 
firm footing on the nearest slope of the height, and from 
thence made further progress at three o'clock. The 1st com- 
pany stormed the farmstead of La Valdange, and then in con- 
junction with the 3rd approached the east side of La Salle, 
which was surrounded also from the west by the simultaneous 
advance of the three fnsilier companies of the Regiment through 
Le Han and the Bois de St. Benoit. The enemy made several 
forward movements in order to ward off the threatening attack, 
but was driven completely out of the place at four o'clock by 
the Germans, who forced their way into it on both sides. 
He now also evacuated the houses situated at the border of the 
Bois de St. Benoit and disappeared in the wooded countrj^ abut- 
ting on the west. 

lOrh nnd 0th n^^rtii.'wcst. of Nompatelize. 

12th nml mil / i^j^ cletacLmcntB of "^ and ^'^ on the La Han heights. 
Body Grd. ' \ 6 3/ * 

^ , skinuishintr to the east of the Bois de St. Benoit. 

Bodv Ghrd.' 


1 — 1 had rowalDed as escort to t]ie baggage in Etiral, and followed 

Body Grd- 

later throuarh La ToiTre to the battle-field. At the latter village there still 
remained -^llLi^llliliHl' and 2 gnns of the 4th light battery. ) 

* Only about 4o0 men in uU. Besides the 2nd company, several detAchments 
deputed to collect proTisions vrere also absent. 



Meanwhile the 4th co. of the Body Guard Grenadiers with 
some detachments had advanced from Nompatelize a^^ainst La 
Folie, and shortly after Major Steinwachs with the entire left 
wing of the Baden infantry moved to the attack of the Jumelles 
wood. The adversaiy contested the groimd step by step as far 
as the top of the ridge, but then fled down the reverse slope 
in disorder to La Bourgonce. followed by the file-fire of the 
victors, who occupied the village just named shortly after four 

After the seven houiV struggle had thus come to a termi- 
nation, the enemy fell back in iucreased disorder and wth a 
total loss of 1,400 menf to Rambervillers and Bi-uyeres. Gene- 
ral Dupre was himself wounded ; one franctireur colour left on 
the ground fell into the hands of the Germans. The latter, 
who had lost 400 men, occupied bivouacs on the battle-field 
at nightfall, as their state of exhaustion precluded any further 
pursuit. In the course of the two next days the patrols scour- 
ing the country round only came across some retreating franc- 
tireurs ; St. Die was also found to be abandoned by the enemy. 

The main body of the XlVth Army Corps had meanwhile on 
the 6th October commenced its prescribed movement through 
the Vosges. The Baden Division reached on the 8th the 
neighbourhood of St. Die and Etival, where, with the pre- 
vious advanced guard,t it took up its quarters on the yth. 
Reconnoitring detachments found on the 10th October the 
roads leading southward from La Bourgonce and St. Di^ 
barred at several points by obstacles, and partly also occu- 
pied by the enemy. Two companies of the 5th Baden Regi- 
ment met on the Upper Meurthe, at Anould and Belrepaire. 
some Mobiles Guards and frunctirem's, forming, accoriUng to 
the statement of the inhabitants, the rear-guard of a column 
of troops retiring along tliis river, and threw them back to 
beyond Fraize. 

The Prussian troops had on the 9th October reached Raon 
I'Etape, and from thence despatched the musketeer battaUons 
of the 30th Regiment "with a squadron of hussars, to scour the 
Mortagne valley towards St. Benoit. As a detachment pushed 
forward in the direction of Rambervillers, after a brief skirmish 

'^ and parts of the 3rd and 6th Begiments. 

Bodj Grd. 

t 81 iQ killed, 500 wounded, 600 unwounded prisoners. For details with regard to 
the losses of the Germans, see Appendix LXXXIII, which contains all the losses 
sustained by the XIYth Army Corps in battle between the 1st October and tho 16th 
November. , 

{ 1st Brigade : 8rd Dragoons, and two batteries in and around EtiraL 
2ud Brigade : Ist Dragoons, and two batteries between Etiral and St Di^. 
3rd Brigade : 2nd Dragoons, and fire batteries in and around St. Di6. 

This distribution of tho troops, diiferinsr from the usual form (3 independent 
brigades, provided with cavalry and artillery) was to fit the various parts of the corps 
as far as possible for independent action, iu consideration of the tasks before them. 
The Prussian troops, consisting of 6 battalions, 2 regiments of cavalry, and 3 batteries, 
formed the fourth brigade of the corps. 

D 2 


with the enemy posted there for defence, had been compelled 
to retreat, Lieut.-Colonel Nachtigal moved off that afternoon 
with the 2nd battn. of the same regiment towards the place, 
in order to prevent the concentration of the Gardes Mobiles, 
who as he had learnt had been summoned thither. Under a 
heavy fire firom the enemy, the 7th co. stormed the cemetery 
lying in fi*ont of the south side of the town, whilst the 5th and 
8th, pressing forward on either side of it, scaled the barricades 
at the street entrances. But in the interior of the place the 
adversiiry opposed such a stubborn resistance, that the Prus- 
sians could make but slow progress, and their commanders, 
holding the part of the town captured by the evening, broke 
off the action with the intention of renewing the assault next 
morning. But as the enemy entirely evacuated Rambervillers 
in the night, the reinforcements brought up during the en- 
^gement from St. Benoit and others despatcned on tne follow- 
mg day by the Corps' head-quarters, did not come into action. 
A detachment advancing in pursuit only drove away some 
stragglers on the road to Charmes; the cavalry patrols took 
possession of the arms which they found in the adjacent 
villages. The loss of the Germans in the action just mentioned 
amounted to some 30 men, that of tlie adversary to about 60 
men ; on the side of the former Major v. Berckefeldt was 
severely wounded. 

After the trains of the XlVth Army Coi*ps had arrived at 
Baccarat on the 10th October, the advance was continued next 
day on a broad front towards the south-west. The Prussians 
were as heretofore on the right wing, and reached the neigh- 
bourhood of Rambervillers, whither General v. Werder dso 
transferred his quarters ; an advanced guard was pushed for- 
ward to St. Helene. On the left wing of the Baden Division 
advancing on the Meurthe, the 2nd Brigade reached Anould 
and Corcieux, the 3rd La Haussi^re, whilst the 1st bent into 
the narrow Mortagne valley near Maillefaing at nine a.m., and 
there became mvoived in an action. 

General Cambriels, who some days before had reached 
Epinal from Belfort, had meanwhile assembled his still available 
forces at Bi-uyeres and occupied an entrenched position between 
Beaumenil and Laval, with the assistance of the inhabitants ; 
detachments of Garde Mobile and fi*anctireurs were thrown out 
on the nortli as far as the left edge of the Mortagne valley. 
When the fusilier battn. 2nd Regiment marching at the 
head of the 1st Baden Brigade was approaching La Hazelle 
Mill, it was fired upon from the height of the Bois de Frizimont. 
The leading company had in consequence to halt in its advance 
along the valley road, but the other three ascended the steep 
slope, threw back shortly in conjunction with the fiu^t the 
outfiauked adversary to Domfaing, and then drove him beyond 
the Kapellen-Berg, which rises on the further side of this village, 
to BiTiyei*e8. Meantime the 2nd battn. of the regiment fol- 
lowing through Maillefaing had taken the road along the river 


and driven a hostile detachment out of the farmstead of Neuf 
Moulin, which lies at the point where the valley road issues on 
the south-west ; near the fiarmstead a Baden battery now came 
into action. Supported by its shell fire, two companies of the 
1st batfcn. taking part from the right bank of the river pene- 
trated into the Bois d'Obtinrupt further down, which was occu- 
pied l>y the enemy, and shortly after 1 p.m. also entered the 
village of Brouvelieures concurrently with the 2nd battn. advan- 
cing from the eastward.* 

AVhcn the Baden Brigade had entirely emerged from the 
Mortagne valley, Colonel Bayerf at 2*30 p.m. moved from 
Brouvelieures and Domfaing to the attack of Bniyeres. The 
2nd Regiment fell at Moulin de la Bataille under the fire of 
French tirailleurs who occupied the heights rising on either side 
of the town, but who were speedily driven ofi' by the rapidly 
deployed 2nd battalion. At 4.30 p.m. Bruyeres was in the 
hands of the Germans. A reconnoitring detachment pushed 
forward late in the evening to Laval, forced its way after an 
etnbittered struggle into the town-hall there, which was 
defended by franctireurs, but w^as again compelled to retire 
upon Bruy^res in consequence of the advance of hostile rein- 
forcements. The loss of the Baden Brigade in the action of the 
11th October barely amoimted to 40 men. 

On the morning of the 12th October the cavahy patrols 
despatched towards Faucompieri'e and Champdray reported 
that the enemy had entirely abandoned the southern envii-ons 
of Bruveres, and had ^nthdrawn to Eemiremont and Gerard- 
mer. As the French evidently hereby evaded the decisive 
appeal to force, General v. Werder resolved to abstain from 
renewing the attack, for which he had already given orders, 
and to move through Epinal to the Upper Seine in accordance 
with the instnictions which he had received. For this pui*pose 
he ordered the Prussian troops to advance at once through 
Girecoml, and in the afternoon gave instructi(ms for the 
Baden Division to move to the right in such wise that the 
1st Brigade marched from Bruy^res to Girecourt, the 3rd and 
2ndJ to Bruveres and Deycimont. 

As the Pinissians arrived "vnth their advance beyond 
Deyvillere, French troops showed themselves in the localities 
in front. The 1st battn. 30th liegiment after a slight skii'mish 
drove back, however, upon Epinal the franctireurs who were 
ofiering resistance at the border of the wood south of the road, 

* The other half of the 1st battolion (2iid and 4th companies) liad mored tUong 
the left bank of the Mortagne towards Domfaing, trhich was, liowever, already 
taken by the fusiliers. 

_ » 

t Commander of the 4th Kegiment, and prOTisionallv commanding 1st Brigade. 
See Appendix LXXXI. 

t ThJa brigade from the Upper Meurthe. 


and then, supported by the fire of the two batteries, made 
their way towards the park and cemetery close in front of the 
north-east entrance of the place. The French did not await 
this attack, but hastily evacuated their positions as well as the 
town itself, whereupon the latter was occupied at 4 p.m. by 
the Prussians. Cavalry detachments made incursions on the 
flank of the enemy, who lost in all 30 prisoners. The Baden 
troops reached their destination -without any special incident ; 
the 2nd Brigade had alone met witli some French stragglers 
near Barbcy Seroux. 

On the 13th October the 1st and 2nd Baden Brigades moved 
as far as the Moselle to Epinal and Arches, the 3rd to Docelles, 
whilst the Prussians for the protection of Epinal pushed across 
a strong advanced guard to the left bank of the Moselle. The 
1st and 2nd cos. 34th Regiment in their advance to Les Forges 
repulsed, vnth the aid of the artillerv, a French detachment 
some 300 strong, which retreated southward with considerable 
loss. On this day Lieut. -General v. Beyer and Prince William 
of Baden reached Epinal. The fonner once more assumed 
the command of the Baden Di-vTsion,* the latter that of the 
1st Brigade. 

After the I'unction thus effected of the German forces round 
Epinal the XlVth Coi^ps an-anged its rearward communications 
northward along the Moselle, where they entered into the 
rayon of the Government-General. An Etappcn road was 
shortly formed to Luneville, and at the same tmie the restora- 
tion of the railway to Blainville, which had been destroyed at 
seveml points by the enemy, was taken in hand, whilst a tele- 
graphic wii-e was laid through Chaimes to Kancy, and witli 
the aid of the trains brought up through Ramben^illers the 
filling of the magazines in Epmal was commenced. The 
Government-General of Lorraine undertook the duty of pro- 
tecting the line of railway between Blainville and Epinal, and 
pushed forward a strong detachment of Wiirttemberg Etappen 
troops to Baccarat,t which were placed at the special disposal 
of the XlVtli Corps, and estabUshed connection with the rear- 
ward posts of the latter-t 

But it soon became evident that the restoration of trafiic on 
the railway to Blainville. which had been destroyed at several 

* After Oenorol t. Berer had fallen Bick in August (see Fart I, toI. ii, p. 437), 
and the XlVth Armj Corps iras organised, the preTious commander of the IStJi 
DiTision, Greneral r. Gliimer, bad been appointed to command the Baden Dirision. 
Bat as the latter likewise feU sick, he was succeeded prorisionallj until the return of 
General t. Bejcr by the senior Brigade Commander. 

t 2 battalions, 1 squadron. 

J — '■ i-and — --r-1 — y- — , which, being appointed to collect the arms in the 

30 2nd Bes. Hus. ® ^^ 

▼illagcB, had reached Chatel-sur-Moselle on the 12th October; — — i — and 

^ ■ -? — 7T , which had remained as garrison in Baon L'Etape until the srriTal of 

2nd Bes. Drag. " 

Etappcn troops. 


points by the French, would take some coiiBitarablo time,* 
and that the bombardment of Langres, \vhich barred the railway 
from Epinal to Chaumont, with heavy artillery from !Stratf«burg, 
as suggested by the supreme authorities, could not tor the 
present be attempted, (reneral v, Werder therefore reported 
to the ro3'al head-quarters that he contemplated contimiing 
the march which had been prescribed for Iiim to the Upper 
Seine by way of Neufch&teau to Chaumont. where the 
railway coming' from Blesme afibrded a speedy ;md sure con- 
nection with the main line of communications of the (icrman 
Army with home territory. 13ut as the enemy's forces in 
Eastern France were considerably under-estimattd at the royal 
head-quarters, and theu' speedy discomfiture appeared perfectly 
practicable, CJeneral v. Werder now received instnictions to 
attack the nearest body of the enemy. 

Meanwhile, General Cambriels, who had been inspired with 
apprehension for his own communications in consequence of 
the appearance of the Germans between Miilhauijen and Bel- 
fort,t had after the defeats sustained at Remu-emont brought 
back his jissembled troops on the night of the 13th-14th October 
to yt. Loup and Luxeuil. The 3rd Baden Brigade, recoimoitring 
next morning towards Remiremont, found this place already 
abandoned, and occupied it "without opposition. 

General v. Werder, under these cu-cumstances, resolved on 
the 15th October to take the direction of Vesoul, reported the 
intention to the royal head-quarters at Vei-sailles, and that same 
day pushed forward the 1st Baden Brigade to Xtitigny. On 
the liith the entire Coips moved off southward, with the 3rd 
and 2nd Baden Brigades by wny of Remiremont and Luxeuil, 
Avith the remainder of the troops via Xertigny, ►'^t. Loup, 
and Contlans. A detachment of Pnissian trot>p.s uf about 
two battalions, two squadi'ons, and a battery.J took over the 
duties of protecting the right Hank, and reached X'auvillers on 
the 1 7th. Alter that the cavahy patrols, hastening ahead of 
the various columns, had traversed the B el fort-L angles railway 
along its whole extent between Lure and Jussy witlicmt meeting 
the enemy, and had destroyed it at several points, the 1st 
Baden Brigade occupied Vesoul on the 18th October. In rear 
of it on this day the 2nd Brigade reached Luxeuil. and. with 
its ad\ anced guard, Lure ; whilst the 3rd pushed forward from 
Luxeuil to the right as far as (.'onflans, and the Prussians 
remained halted at ISt. Loup and Vauvillers. At Lure the 
railway bridge across the Ognon was blown up. 

* Extensive demolitions of the bridges on this raihvnr had taken ]»lnec to the 
cast of Jjayon, ui Langley and Kpinal, as well as further south au Xertignv aud 

t 4th Keserrc l^ivisiou. See subsequent norraiire. 

4th,5th,8th.andlllrd 2nd and f 4th ^^^^ j ^^^^^,^ ^^ ^^^ 

+ yji '2nd Kes. Drag/ "^ " '^ 



On the 17th and the night of the 17th — 18th two more tele- 
grams from the royal head-quarters had reached the head- 
quaiters of the XlVth Corps ; the royal head-quarters repeated 
tiie order for pursuing the enemy, who was probably extended 
as far as Besan9on, and demanded that the Corps would then 
move off thi'ough Dijon to Bourges. As all communications 
meanwhile received with regard to the state of the troops de- 
feated at La liourgonce and Bruyeres led to the certain infer- 
ence that these latter would continue their retreat without delay, 
and from the start which they had gained could only be over- 
taken under the protecting i-amparts of Besan^on, General v. 
Werder determined at once to take fi'om Vesoul the direction of 
Dijon. For this puipose, he pushed forward the 1st Baden Bri- 
gade as far as Belle Le Chatel on the 19th October, and brought 
up also the rest of the Corps closer to the Sa,6ne.* 

On this day, however, mtelhgence reached the German head- 
quarters at \ esoul to the effect that part of the French troops 
had halted on the Ognon, and taken up quarters in the neigh- 
bourhood of Etuz and Mamay, for the purpose of covering a con- 
centration of fresh forces at Besan^on. This was confiimed by 
the report of a patrol of the 1st Baden Brigade which had ad- 
vanced towards Voray, and had met with a strong detachment 
of French cavalry at Kioz. The general commandiug the Corps 
seized this opportunity for dehvering a fresh attack upon the 
enemy, already shaken in several engagements. After he had 
first arawn forward on the 20th the Prussian troops to the right 
as far as Combeaufontaine, he moved off next day the entire 
Corps along the roads to Pin, Etuz, and Voray, in the direction 
of the Ognon. The three Baden Infantiy Brigades, the 1st on 
the right, the 3rd on the left wing, reached this day with their 
heads, Bucey les Gy, Oiselay, €uid Courboux ; in their rear were 
the Prussians at Neuvelle les la Charite. The right Hanking 
detachment of the latter had proceeded from Jussy in a 
westerly direction to Fayl Billot, and there dispersed some 
detachments of Gardes Mobiles and franctu-eurs throA\Ti out 
from Langi^es. A Baden Cavalry Brigade,* which was scouting 
on the right flank of the Corps with the object of interrupting 
communications along the railways from Dijon to Belfort and 
Besdn^on, met on the 21st in the neighboiu'hood of Beaujeux, 
the Pnissiau detachment of troops t gi*adually following from 

* 2nd Baden Brigade to Vesoul^ 3rd Baden Brigade to Port-snr-Saone, Prussian 
troops to FaTerucT ; right flank detachment of the latter to Jussr. 

"t 2nd and Sixi Baden Dragoon regiments with the horse artillcrj battery, and 

Bodv Grd. 

X Sec Part II, p. 212 ; ---1 was alone left as escort to the trains. 


Enqaqsuints on the Oonon on the 22xd October.* 

The general commanding the XlVth Coi-pa had in the first 
instance antinged for the 22nd October merely the occupation 
of the passages of the Ognon, reserving any further plans 
until the amval of reports. On the right vnng; the 1st 
Baden Brigade reached Autoreille at 9 a.m., and with its ad- 
vanced troops, without meeting the enemy, the bridges at 
Mamay and rin. The fusiher battalion, 5th liegiment, leading 
the advance of the 3rd Brigade, drove, after a stubborn re- 
sistance, some bodies of franctireurs out of the woods south of 
Rioz, and, in a skirmish in which it gradually gained gi'ound, 
pressed forward as for as the edge of the Ognon valley. In 
storming the village of Perrouse, tlie 5th squadron of the Body 
Guard Dragoons rode down a line of the enemy's skiimishers. 
Fresh French troops, which shortly after\N'ards endeavomred 
from Buthier to assail in front and outflank the Baden bat- 
talion, were thrown back into the valley by the fire of the 1st 
heavy battery, which came into action by order of General 
Keller to the west of Perrouse. After that this battery had 
next set on fire Buthier, Voray, and Bonnay, the fusiliera made 
themselves masters by 2.30 p.m. of the fii'st-named village. An 
hour later the 2nd battahon of the regiment also occupied 
Voray and the passage of the Ognon at that place ; whilst the 
battery, from a iresn position between Buthier and Voray, 
brought a shell-fire to bear upon the retreating foe. and reduced 
to silence the artillery which had come into action on the south 
bank. In accordance with the instructions they had received, 
both brigade commandera halted their advancea troops on the 
Ognon. Of the 3rd Brigade, the fusilier battalion, lith Hegi- 
ment, had already in the morning been detached to Wont- 
bozon, for the purpose of inteiTupting the telegiaphic com- 
munication and destroying the bridges over the Ognon at that 

The advanced guard of the central brigade, consisting of the 
Ist battn, 3rd Segiment, with half a squadron of the Body 
Guard Dragoons, and two guns of the 4th light battery, had in 
its movement upon £tuz been received with a brisk musketry 
fire, but had captured this village, after firing a few shells into 
it. Whilst the 3rd company now followed the French in their 
retieat over the Ognon to Cuesey, other detachments of the 
enemy advanced along the northern bank from Boulot, and 
through the Bois de Ketlieu against the line of march of the 
brigade. In consequence of this, the advanced guard of the 
latter, threatened on the left flank and almost suiTounded, 
assembled at the south border of Longe Queue Wood, under cover 
of the 4th company, which at once showed front to'\\ ards the 

• See FUn, Xo. 19. 


endangered side. General v. Degenfeid, who had reached 
Villoreille with the mam body, and had there received in- 
structions at 11 a.m. from the Divisional Commander to drive 
the foe from the northern bank of the Ugnon, now ordered his 
advanced guard to renew its movement upon £tuz, reinforced 
it for this purpose with the 4th heavy battery, and at the same 
time caused the Ist battn. 4th Regiment to attack the Bois de 
Retheu from Bonnevent. At 1 p.m. Etuz, under fire of the 
Baden artillery, was evacuated for the second time by the 
adversary, and occupied by two companies. 

General v, Werder on reaching Oiselay with the Prussiau 
troops at 11 a.m., received intelUgence of the occupation 
of the passages of the lower Ognon ; he therefore ordered 
shortly after noon the 1st Baden Brigade to proceed by way of 
Pin against the flank and rear of the enemy assembled at 
Cussey, while the 2nd was to Umit its eflForts for the present to 
holding him in check. In consequence of this, there arose 
between the Baden troops at Etuz and the French at Cussey 
a stationaiy action which lasted several hours. Into this action 
were di-awii by degrees six musketeer companies of the 3rd 
Regiment,* as tne enemy made repeated advances from Cussey. 
On the height, to the east of Etuz, the 1st battn. 4th Regiment 
likewise took part in the engagement, and had meanwhile 
driven the enemy in its front, consisting only of some two 
companies, from the Bois de Retheu and from Boulot. The rest 
of the brigade formed up in the neighbourhood of Montboillon. 

At 3, after the arrival of reinforcements at Cussey, the 
French resumed the struggle at that point with greater vigour. 
But, as on the German side, the two musketeer companies still 
available of the 3rd Baden Regiment were drawn forward 
towards the right wine, and both batteries had vigorously 
cannonaded the Ognon bridge, the adversary's detachments on 
the north bank of the river were no longer able to hold their 
ground. Immediately behmd the enemy, retuing in all haste 
across the bridge, the Baden infantiy forced their way into 
Cussey, where they made numerous prisoners ; the 1st squadron 
of the Body Guard Dragoons contmued the pursuit as far as 
the adjacent border of the wood. At 4 o'clock Cussey was in 
imcontested possession of the 2nd Baden Brigade. This latter 
now assembed at the south side of the village, whilst the 
musketeer battalions of the 30th Prussian Regiment occupied 
the point of passage at Bussieres, ftu-ther up stream, and two 
squadrons of the 2nd Reserve Dragoons, with the Baden 2nd 
light battery, moved up to Cussey. General v. Werder, who 
had brought forward these last troops in support, and bad pro- 
ceeded to the Geneuille height after the capture of Cussey, 
now ordered the attack upon the woods in front, and also upon 
the villages of Upper and Lower Auxon. He thereby intended, 
in consequence of a report meanwhile received from the 3rd 

• Ist and 7tb, 6th. 


Brigade, to cut off the enemy engaged at Voray from its line of 
retreat to Besan9on. 

The French had prepared for defence upon commanding 
heights on both the roads which connect the passages of the 
Ognon at Cussey and Voray with the fortress in question, and 
meet about three miles to the north of it at Valentin. Upper 
Auxon and the hill-side falling toward Geneuille were strongly 
occupied by infantiy ; batteries ou both flanks swept the partly 
open, partly wooded countiy south of the river. -^Vt Chatillon 
le Due even lieavy gims were brought into position. The 
1st battn. 4th Baden Kcgimciit, while advancing from Cussey, 
was received "uath a brisk shell-lire in the northern part of the 
wood ; the Ist company reached, it is true, the foremost houses 
of Upper Auxon, but was unable to hold its position, and there- 
fore, in conjimction with the 1st battn. 3rd Regiment, which 
had been advanced to its support, made a firm stand at the 
south border of the wood opposite the enemy's left '\nng. 
Further eastward, by order of the commanding general, the 
2nd battn. 30th Regiment moved against Chatillon le Due. after 
that the thi-ee Baden batteries* assembled at Cussey and 
Bussieres had, from a position at Geneuille, opened the struggle 
with the artillery of the French right wing. The battalion 
crossed the low meadows which extend in front of the last- 
named village, and, ui spite of the heaviest fire from the 
enemy's infantiy and artillery, after reacliing the foot of the 
heights, gradually pressed forward in the direction of the Bois 
de Chailloz. Special progress was made by the 8th co., which 
had been brougiit foi-ward to the extreme left wing, and which^ 
had been joined by two companies of the 5th Baden Regiment, 
taking part Irom Voray. Between these columns, which had 
advanced from Cussey and Bussieres, the 1st battn. 3()th 
Regiment and three companies of the 3id Baden Regiment 
moved forward at five o'clock through Geneuille against the Bois 
de VauvereiJle, which was still in the enemy's occupation. The 
latter, without awaiting the attack, retired to Upper Auxon 
and to the Bois de Chailloz. As the falling darkness prevented 
any further fruit being reaped from the successes achieved, the 
Prussian battalions, after the fire had gradually ceased, were 
withdrawn across the Ognon ; the Baden troops for the most 
part to Cussey and Geneuille. Only the 1st battns. of the 3rd 
and 4th Regiments remained in their positions at the edge of 
the wood north of Upper Auxon. 

The brigade of the right wing, which, since an early hour ot 
the morning, was in possession of the passages at Marnay and 
Pin, had received at 2 p.m. the order already mentioned to ad- 
vance along the south bank of the Ognon. Prince William of 
Baden had in consequence moved oft* the main body of the Bri- 
gade by way ot Emaguy and Montcley, but, on emerging from 
the Bois de Cussey, found that the engagement was aheady at 

# 4th lights 4th heary, and 2nd light batteriof. 


an end. Colonel v. Wechmar, who, "with the half of the Body 
Guard Grenadiers had taken further on the right the road 
through Chaucenne and Lower Auxon, was received with fire 
towards 7 p.m. from Upper Auxon, situated on more command- 
ing ground. After a fruitless advance on the part of the 1st co., 
tha 1st battn. passed to the attack, and in conjunction with the 
two battalions of the 2nd Brigade which had been left at the 
adjacent edge of the wood, completely drove the enemy from 
the village. The Baden troops, which had taken part in this 
short evening engagement, were subsequently likewise with- 
drawn to the Ognon. 

The Germans had in these engagements lost altogether 
nearly 120 men. The enemy's losses in killed and wounded 
amounted, it is said, to 150, in prisoners upwards of 200 

General v. Werder, on the evening of the 22nd October, took 
up his head-quarters with the Prussian troops at Oiselay ; the 
3rd Baden Brigade occupied quarters and bivouacs at Butliier 
and Voray, the 2nd at Geneuule, Cussey, Bussieres, and Etuz, 
the 1st at Pin and Emagny. The Baden Cavalry Brigade 
under Major-General v. La Roche, scouting on the right tiank 
of the Corps, had dislodged during the afternoon a body ol 
franctireurs, some 400 strong, from Pesmes, and occupied that 
place. The Prussian detachment which had reached Beaujeux 
on the previous day had moved forward to Gray, where the 
demolitions upon the railway, commenced on the evening before, 
were bein^ continued. The previous right-flank detachment 
of the XI Vth Corps reached PortH3ur-Sa6ne. 

On the 23rd October the Germans made reconnaissances 
from the Ognon to the south and south-west. Patrols of the 
Baden infantiy brigades found, as on the previous day, the 
heightB of Chatillon Le Due occupied by the enemy. The 
1st battn., 4th Regiment, drove French outposts from the 
Bois de Chailloz ; the 1st battn., 3rd Regiment, found, on the 
other hand, ita forward movement impeded by artillery and 
musketry fire from Valentin and Ecofe. Some detachinentB 
advancing from Pesmes to destroy the railways, also encountered, 
at a considerable distance from Dole and Auxonnc, superior 
hostile forces, which, according to some intercepted letters, 
foimed the advanced guard of a second **VosgeB Anny,'^ 
assembling on the Lower Doubs under Garibaldi. The Italian 
general, who had entered in September the ser\'ice of the French 
Republic, had, however, to contend with many difficulties 
owing to want of support from the local authonties, and at 
this time had only collected some 4,000 men at Dole. 

On the 18th the minister, Gambetta, had anived at Be- 
san9on for the purj^ose of accelerating tlie preparations in south- 
eastern France, and once more raising the drooping courage 
of General Cambriels' troops. This officer had resolutely re- 


fused to comply Tritii the order directing liim to make a 
renewed advance towards the passes of the Vosges, but had 
come to the determination to make a stand with the troops at 
his disposiil in the strong position at Besan9on on the Doubs, 
and there to resist the fui'ther progress of the Germans. 

But it was not contemplated by these latter to continue the 
advance in the previous direction beyond the Ognon, and again 
tiy conclusions with an enemy now dh-ectly appuyed on a strong 
fortress. In the conviction that any such attempt, even uuder 
the most favourable circumstances, could lead to no ilecisivo 
rcsnlt, but in any case would entail heavy loss. General 
V. Werdor determined to lead Ins Corps in the first instance 
to the Saone Valley, "with the object of subsequently com- 
mencing, by way of Gray and Dijon, the movement westward 
prescribed to liim by the supi'eme authorities. 

Accordingly the Prussian Brigade marched on the 24tli 
October to La Chapelle St. Quillain, whence an advanced 
guard, consisting of seven companies, one squadron, and one 
battery, was thrown forward to the passages of the Saone at 
Seveux and Savoyeux. These troops met at the south entrance 
into the Belle Vaivre Wood some armed peasants, who were 
there occupied in preparing abattis, and who offered so much 
resistance at the village close by and at Seveux, that they 
had to be dislodged by artillery fire. On the left of the 
Prussians the Baden cavalry moved fi-om Pesmes to Gray; the 
three Baden iufantiy brigades, the 1st now on the left Aving, 
reached Velesmes, Etrellcs, and Bourguignon les la Charite. 
At many places the roads were found to have been made im- 
passable ; small detachments found tliemselves frequently 
molested by franctircurs ; at all points the inhabitants mani- 
fested an active pai-ticipation in the defence of the country. 

On the 2()th October the Prussian Brigade, which was re- 
joined by the previously-mentioned flank detachment from 
Port-sur-Saone by way of Fresnes St. ^lam^s, advanced as far 
as Gray, whilst the 1st Baden Brigade and a cavalry brigade, 
newly formed from Prussian and Baden detachments,* showed 
fi.'ont on the further side of this place towards the three main 
directions of Dijon, Ch^tillon-sur-Seine, and Langres. The 
2nd Baden Brigade reached the Saone at Dampierro, and 
brought up lilcewise to this river, at Port and Scey, a detach- 
ment hitherto left at Vesoul ; the 3rd Brigade, further south at 
Chantonnay and Viliefranijon, took over the duties of observing 
towards the side of Dole and Besan^on. Tho connection 
with Epinal was for the present maintamed by flying 

The troops which had crossed to the right bank of tho Saone, 

* 2nd Baden Dragoons and 2nd "Reserre Huasan, with the Baden horso artillery 

battery, ——. --— - — -— , and — - Th* Ist and 3rd Infantir Bn'gades were each 

"^ Baden B. a. Orcn. 30 • / & 

assigned two squadrons of the 3rd Baden Dragoons. 


affcer meeting and expelling: some French Gardes Mobiles from 
the woods north-west of Gray, made reconnaissances on the 
27th October in the direction of Dijon. On this side of the 
Yingeanne Brook the Germans had abeady come in contact 
with the enemy at several points. Two fusiUer companies of 
the 2nd Badeu Regiment, with four gmis of the 3rd heavy bat* 
tery, moved from Antrey to the attack of about 600 Gardes 
Mobiles, who, on the approach of another detachment from the 
right wing of the XTv th Corps, had withdrawn from Le Fahy 
and Pouiliy Wood to Momay and St. Seine L'figlise. In an 
engagement which lasted an hour and a-half the Gardes 
Mobiles were driven from the height in front of St. Seine, and 
then also from this village, with the loss of all their baggage 
and 60 prisoners. Further down the Yingeanne Brook were 
seen some isolated French posts; stronger bodies, stationed at 
the point where the roads fork to Mirebeau and Pontailler, 
evacuated after a slight skinmsh with the 2nd battn. Baden 
Body Guard Grenadiers the village of Essertenne and the 
copses lying to the west, which were barricaded with numerous 
abattis. The 5th and 8th cos. in following up through the copses 
came in contact with the entirely unguardea flank of a column of 
Gardes Mobiles marching from Talmay to Keneve L'EgUse. 
The enemy, 1.200 strong, was driven partly over the v in- 
geanne, partly towards Talmay, which nad been meanwhile 
occupied by the 6th co., where 15 French officers and 430 men, 
being entirely surrounded, laid down their arms. The Baden 
battaUon, with the troops attached to it,* now took up a 
position at Essertenne, but left one of its companies in Talmay. 
As the latter reported a second advance of the enemy towaras 
the Yingeanne, while all the statements of the prisoners confirmed 
the intelligence received on the previous day, that Dijon was 
strongly occupied, and that a " C6te d'Or Army " was there in 
process of formation, the troops of the 1st Baden Brigade pre- 
sent at Mantoche were brought up in support on the afternoon 
of the 27th to Essertenne, and the 3rd Brigade nearer to Gray. 
On the following day the XIYth Corps, after having alre€tdy 
assembled in the morning at Gray in expectation of an attack, 

Sushed forward with its main forces in the direction of Dijon. 
^nly the 2iid Baden Brigade remained at Gray, the 3rd, the 
Prussian troops, and the newly-formed cavalry brigade, reached 
Talmay, Reneve L'Eglise, and Dampierre, on tlie Yingeanne 

Eosition ; the 1st Baden Brigade in front line arrived at Mire- 
eau. But at no point did the cavalry patrols hastening in front 
gain the touch of the enemy, who, after destroying the Saone 
bridges at Pontailler and La Marche, was already flying in comr 
plete disorder to Dijon, and a smaller body to Auxonne. Other 
reports stated that the enemy after rallying at Besangon had 
again moved forward with his advanced troops as far as the 

* With the battalion there were two gum of the 8id light battery, and —^ . 


Ognon, and that a strong coutingent was rnarching from the 
>outh upon Dole. 

On the 2llth the march to Dijon was to bo continued as far 
as the Tille, when early in the morning a letter from General 
V. iloltke reached the head-quarters of the XI Vth Corps, assign- 
ing other duties to the German troops in south-eastern France 
in view of the impending fall of iletz. 

In this letter General v. AVerder was mstnicted, with the 
assistance of the 1st and 4th Resurve Divisions now placed 
under his orders, to protect Alsace and tlie German communi- 
cations, to cover the left flank of the llnd Anny iu its advance, 
to invest, and subsequently lay siege to, the fortresses of 
Schlettstadt. Neu-Breisach, and Belfort, and to hold in check 
with his Corps a French force of corresponding strength to his 
own. For the latter purpose the German troops already iu the 
Saone district were to take up a position at Vesoul against an 
enemy assembled somewhere near Besangon, and whilst strongly 
occupying Dijon to guard themselves at the same time against 
Langres. It was also ordered that up to the arrival of the 
1st Reserve Division before Belfort, that fortress should be 
closely watched, so as to be able to meet in time the raids 
towards the Vosges and Upper Alsace, which, it was said, were 
contemplated from that place. Further, General v.. Werder 
Avas enjoined to attack foilhwith any small hostile detachments, 
in doing wliich he might even advance southward beyond 
!>esau(:on, so long as such proceedings were in harmony with 
the main ol)jccts abeady indicated.* 

The general now resolved to move off, in the firat instance, 
to Vesoul with the XlVth Corps. But as according to a report 
from the Lst Bavarian Brigade, received on the afternoon of the 
2iHh, Dijon had been evacuated by the enemy, Lieut.-General 
V. Beyer received instructions to take possession of this to^ni 
on the following day with two Baden Brigades, but not to be 
•Irawn into a serious engagement unless favourable circum- 
stances otfered. 


In accordance with ordei's received the let Baden Brigade 
set off at 7.30 a.m. on the 30th October from Mu'ebeau by 
way of Magny, whilst the 3rd followed it by way of Eenive 
TEglise and then along tlie same road, as the road from Talmay 
to Etevaux had been made impassable by the enemy. The 
cavahy patrols sent ahead of the advanced guard of the 1st 

* Appendix LXXXIY contains the text of tliis letter, which had been prepared 
In Versailles as earlj as the 23rd. A cjphcr tclefpnm despatched at the same time 
from th:it place to the head-quarters of the XI Vth Corps hod not reached its des- 
tination, on account of on interruption in the communication at Epinol. 

t See Plan 20. 


Biio^ade reported at 9.30 that they had been received with fire 
to the west of Arc-sur-Tille, and that the further bank of the 
Norges brook was occupied by French troops. In contradic- 
tion of the intelligence received on the previous day, the enemy 
appeared therefore intent upon defending Dijon. 

At that place, it is true, under the first impression of the pro- 
ceedings at Talmay and St. Seine L'Eglise on the 27th Octooer, 
the (National Guards had been disarmed, and the Cote d*Or 
Army, consisting chiefiy of Gai*des Mobiles, had been withdrawn 
to the south ; shortly after, however, the inhabitants of Dijon 
had carried their point with the authorities for again bringing 
up the troops for the defence of the town. Inclusive of some 
reinforcements arrived from Langres and Auxonue, there were 
on the morning of the 80th in readiness for defence three line 
battalions, several battaUons of Gardes Mobiles, one chasseur 
company, and the National Guards once more summoned to 
arms, making a total of some 8,000 men. The commander of 
these forces. Colonel Fauconnet, had, however, to pledge himself 
to the authorities that he would fight the action outside the 
town, and therefore had pushed forward small detachments 
through Varois towards the Tille. 

Dijon, the old fortified capital of ancient Burp:undy, hes on 
the steeply-rising easteni slope of the Cote d'Or hills. The 
old ramparts are converted into a park, dividing the inner to"wn 
from the newer parts of it. The Suzon brook enters the Bubm*bs 
firom the northward, then suiTounds in a deeply-stmken ditch 
the eastern margin of that park and quits the south suburb 
on the Auxonne road. Whilst the hills with their steep and 
rocky declivities and their isolated peaks approach rather closely 
to the west side of the town, broadly-swelling heights rise in 
the environs to the noi*th and east. I'o the south of the town 
and of the Montmusard Park, which is of considerable extent 
and surrounded by walls, on the Gray road, stretches a plain 
covered with numerous vineyaixis. 

When the advanced guard of the 1st Baden Brigade, consist- 
ing of five companies of the Body Guard Grenadiers,* two 
squadrons of dragoons, and the 2nd light battery, was de- 
ployed in front of Arc-sur-Tille, and another battalion with two 
guns moved further on the riglit towards Arcelot, the enemy's 
detachments posted on the Tille and in Orgeux retired to St. 
ApoUinaire. After a sUght action the 1st co. of the Body Guard 
Grenadiers forced their way into this collage, which was then 
occupied by the rest of the 1st battn., whilst the battery un- 
limbered on the left of the line of advance. The enemy, after 
receiving support from fresh troops, opened a very vigorous fire 
from the opposite height to the west, but at 12.30 p.m. was 
driven from it by a rapid assault. 

Meanwhile the 1st Brigade had completed its concentration 
at St. ApolUnaii-e. Eflectively supported by the three batteries 

* 1st botialion and llth company. 


now coining into action on either side of the road, the com- 
panies of the advanced ^ard, keeping up a running skinnisb, 
followed the enemy in his retreat to Dijon as far as the north- 
east suburb of St. Nicolas. The 2nd battn. Body Guard Grena- 
diers, like^vise forming company columns, extended with its left 
winff the foremost line of fire as far as to the south of the Giuy 
road^ whilst the 9th and 12th companies advanced along the 
Mirande road towards the suburb of St. Pierre.* Of the 
musketeer battns. 2nd Regiment formed up at St. Apollinaire, 
two companies were despatched to the Langres road for the 
purpose of surroundhig the north side of Dijon ; three others 
accompanied from the left wing the attack upon the suburb of 
St. Pieri'e. The three batteries of the 3rd Brigade which had 
meanwhile aiiived at Ai'cnsur-Tille hastened onward by order 
of the Divisional Commander to the battle-field, where shortly 
after tluree o'clock they commenced to fire partly from St. Apol- 
linaire and partly from the south side of Montmusai'd Park-f 
The squadi'ons of dragoons covered both fianks of the line of 

The enemy repulsed through St. ApoUinaire, found favour- 
able positions for defence in the extensive vineyards of the 
eastern environs of Dijon, as well as in the numerous large 
farmsteads there, and the barricaded park of Montmusard. 
But the Baden infantry had not relaxed in their victorious 
advance, and, supported by the combined fii*e of the six bat- 
teries, had forced their way into the eastern and northern 
subm-bs. At these points, however, an embittered struggle 
ensued, the inhabitants also playing a vigorous part, during 
which the Geimans, storming house by house, gradually 
reached the position of the Suzon brook. But as it was evi- 
dent from the enemy's stubborn resistance that the inner town 
could only be captured with heavy loss and not before night- 
fall. General v. Beyer, having regard to the previously mentioned 
instructions from Corps head-quarters, ordered the engagement 
to be broken oflf at 4 p.m. Under cover of the artillery, which 
caimonaded the town until it was quite dark, the Baden bat- 
taUons were ^\'ithdrawn from the localities already captured ; 
the two companies of the 2nd Regiment while retiiiag were 
obhged to force their way through a column of the enemy which 
opposed them on the Langres road. After the 1st Brigade had 
been assembled to the east of Montmusard Park, it occupied 
quarters in St. Apollinake and Varois, the 3rd further to the 
south, in Qu^tigny and Coutemon. Of the latter the 2nd battn. 
5th Regiment uad driven some French sharpshooters out of a 
park lying to the south of Dijon and protected the works of 

TTOB irith the Cavaliy Brigade. 

Body Grd. 
t The'six batteries irere in the following order, from right to left : — 3rd heayy, 
2nd hcaTT, 1st hearj, 2nd light, in front of St. Apollinoire, to the north of the Qnj 
road ; 3ra light, 1st light, on the height to thoaouth of Montmusard Park. 



destmction commenced bj the pioneers at the bifurcation of 
the railway there. The losBes in the engagement amomited on 
the German side to nearly 250 men, on the French side to 200 
killed and upwards of 100 prisoners; Colonel Fauconnet was 

In the night appeared at the Baden head-quarters in Varois 
some emissaries from Dijon, begging that the town might be 
spared, expressing their readiness to furnish supplies for 20,000 
men, and offering guarantees for the peaceful conduct of the 
inhabitants in the future. In conseouence of this the Baden 
troops on the Slst October occupied tne town which had been 
meanwhile abandoned by the adversary, and guarded them- 
selves to some distance from it by placing outposts and breaking 
up the railways. 

During these proceeding at Dijon the rest of the XIYth Corps 
had moved off on the 80th October in the direction of Vesoul, 
where the 2nd Baden Brigade arrived on the following day. 
The Prussian troops marched on the 30th to Gray, fought a 
slight action on tJie Slst about two miles south-east of tiiis 
town with franctireurs, who were driven back from Batterans 
upon Cresancey, and after leaving a strong mixed detachment 
at Gray^ hkewise reached the neighbourhood of Vesoul on the 
3rd November.* Between Dijon and Gray a small Baden 

Sost took up a position in Mu*ebeau and Pontailler. The 2nd 
iaden Brigade occupied from Vesoul the nearest passages of 
the Sadne, and St. Loup which lies on the line of communica- 
tion ; it also despatched a mixed detachment to Lure for the 
purpose of maintaining the connection with the Ist Reserve 
Division just an-ived before Belfort.t The head-quarters of the 
XlVth Corps had been at Vesoul since the 2nd November, 
where, after drawing forward the trains, they proceeded to form 
dep6ts and restored the telegraphic conmiunication where it 
was important for their own purposes. 

After General v. Werder had heard of the surrender of Metz 
from a letter which had been intercepted at Batterans, he 
received on the 3rd November a communication by telegraph 
from the supreme authorities that the Ilnd Army m its march 
westward would probably reach Troyes and Ch&tmon-sur-Seine 
on the 8th. At the same time attention was called to the cir- 
cumstance that the possibility now offered for the XlVth Corps, 
while observing Besan9on with an adequate force, to take the 
offensive as far as the neighbourhood of Dole and towards the 
railway junction at Arc et Senans, lying to the south of the 

* Some squadrons and batteries whioh had been sent on the 80th to Dijon as 
rapport, after receipt of the first report with regard to the engagement, but had 
not been again employed, returned on the Ist November from Arc-Bur-Tille to 

t'Bee subsequent narratire. 


Donbs, as well as to push forward troops by way of Dijon 
towards Chalou-Bur-Sadne. 

At this timo the enemy's forces in south-eastern France had 
reached a very considerable strength, as yet entirely unknown 
at the royal head-quarters in Versailles. At Besanfon were 
assembled 45,000 men with seven batteries under the orders, 
since General Cambriels' illness, of General Michel, who, on his 

Eart, was shortly replaced by General Crouzat. In the district 
etween Dole, Pesmes, and Auxonne were Garibaldi's troops^ 
now numbering some 12.000 men and six guns ; further down 
the Sadne valley was a corps in process of formation at Nevers 
of about 18,000 men and three batteries.* The German Army 
Corps, the advance of which had penetrated as &r as the Cdte 
d'Or, consequently found itself in its rather extended position 
opposed to an enemy of almost three-fold superiority in point of 
numbers. Moreover, 12,000 men, mostl;^ Mobiles and National 
Guards, threatened from Langres the ri^ht flank of the com- 
munications, whilst on the other hand the garrison of Belfort 
was already held in check by the 1st Reserve Division. 

In consequence of the last-mentioned telegram from the royal 
head-quarters, General v. Werder resolved to advance from 
Gray and Vesoul towards Ddle, but as a preUminary step to 
obtam more detailed information with regard to the French 
forces assembled on the Doubs. 

Some small reconnoitring detachments, composed of all arms 
of the service, which advanced on the 5th November from 
Dijon and Gray in the direction of Bcaune, St. Jean de Losnc^ 
Auxonne, and Dole, encountered the enemy at several points. 
The towns of Nuits and Beaime were, it is ti-ue, found unoccu- 
pied ; on the other hand, a considerable body of armed men 
were seen in the neighbourhood of Auvillars. In front of St. 
Jean de Losne the adversaiy appeared in superior force. He 
was occupying the bridge at St. Usage, and from thence moved 
along both banks of the Burgundy Canal to the attack of the 
7th and 8th cos. 2nd Baden Regiment, of which the latter, with 
two guns, had taken up a position at the south border of 
Brazey ; the former at the canal passages to the east of this long- 
straggling village. After the enemy's attack had failed* vntii small 
loss on either side, the Germans withdrew xmmolested to Bre- 
teniere. Two other Baden companies, reconnoitring towards 
Auxonne, repulsed on the evening of the 5th an attack upon 
Genlis made by some franctireurs, who Ijad surprised the guard 
posted at the railway station, and from thence forced their way 
mto the town. Between Mirebeau, Etevaux, and Pontaillcr, 
the Baden patrols also suffered losses from musketry lire. On 
the same day two companies of the 30th Regiment, despatched 
from Gray towards Dole, encountered to the south of Le Trem- 
blois conyiderable forces of the enemy, which had partly en- 
sconced themselves in the Bois La Dame, and partly were endea- 

• For farther details see Bubieqiieiit nanfttire. 

E a 


vom-ing* from tlie villa^Ls to the ^vcf^t of the lino of advance to 
outflank the Prussian \v^\i. Alter the Otli co. had driven back 
the enemv advancinp^ in a force of 3()0 men from Germigney, 
the whole detachment concentrated to the northward abreast of 
EBmoulins, for the pui-pose of meetings the attack now threaten- 
ing from Aprcmont. Such an event, however, did not take 

This threatening appearance of the advei^sarv on the Lower 
Saoue. in connection with the recuning news of an expected 
offensive movement on tlio part of Garibaldi from Dole towards 
Dijon and Gray, caused corresponding measures of precaution 
on the side of the leaden divisional commander. On the 6th 
November he reinforced the detachment in Breteniere, held 
several battalions and squadrons in readiness further to the east 
for action on the Auxonne road near Fauverney, and on the 
other hand brought up the post in Pontailler to Mirebeau. But 
as the patrols repoited that the enemy had retreated across the 
Saone. the troops re-occupied their previous quarters at Dijon, 
in whieli tht\v guarded themselvetj hy strong outposts about 
four or five miles to the south and south-east of the town. 
During the following days some unimportant collisions occuiTed 
with French patrols between Genlis and Pontailler; fi-anc- 
tireurs still showed themselves in the valley of the Ouche west 
of Dijon. The rocoimaissances undci*taken from Vesoul towards 
the Ognon and Doubs confinned the presence of hostile troops 
at Voray and L^Isle ; a Baden reconnoitring detachment, 
despatched in the latter direction, succeeded on the 6th in sur- 
prising 180 Gardes Mobiles in Geney, and made several pri- 

The corps head-quarters in Vesoul had, in consequence 
of reports at that time from Dijon and Gray, considered it ne- 
cepsaiy to occupy more strongly the latter poijit, which was to 
all appearance menaced from the Ognon, and for this puipose 
moved off the Baden ti'oops posted at the Saone passages near 
Poi-t and Scey on the Gth to Gray, where they amved on the 
followmg day in a force of one battalion, two squadrons, and a 
batteiy. The Pi*ussian detachment there, whose patrols alreadjr 
reported a further withdrawal of the advensaiy, made then* 
advance good on the Sith November by way of Kssertennc to 
Pontailler, and with their advanced troops dislodged the enemy, 
in a strength of only some 100 men. from La ilarehe h^ing fur- 
ther down the Saone. Pontailler remamed for the present occu- 
pied by the Germans from Gray and Mirebeau. 

All the news reaching Vesoul at this time made it more and 
more apparent that the French forces at Besancjon were striving 
to effect a junction with Garibaldi at Dole, and that a fm-ther 
movement of troops from thence to the south-west was taking 
place. At St. Jean de Losne a strong outpost position had been 
discovered; in Beaunc and Chagny hostile detachments were 
said to have already anived. General v. Werder therefore now 
ordered for the lOtli November the advance of the XlVth Corps 


towards Ddle, in order, if possible, to take the adversary in 
flank, and prevent any further ]evy of men in that neighbour- 

On the French side apprehensions still prevailed at this time 
lest the Germans, in all probabihty reuiforced by parts of the 
army hitherto investing Metz, should advance down the Saone 
in the direction of Lyons. In consequence, the Corps assem- 
bled at Besanqon, leaving behind it a large garrison in this 
place, had moved oft' on the 8th November for Olxagny, where 
it anivcd on the 12th, and, inclusive of other troops, brought up 
as was said from Lyons, reached a force of about 50,000 mem 
The franctheurs, under the ordena of General Garibaldi^ 
commenced likewise on the 8 th the movement which had been 
prescribed for tliem upon Autun, for the pui'pose of there 
guarding the roads to Bourges and Nevera. A rear-g-uard re- 
mained at Dole until the 12th November to cover the retreat. 

On the German side the north-east wing of the XIV th Army 
Corps had concentrated on the 10th at Vesoul, and commenced 
the movement of its advanced guard upon Dole. After once 
more effecting a jmiction with the ti'oops from Gray, about 
one-half of the Coips, under General v. Werder, stood on the 
12th assembled in the neighbourhood of Pesmes ; whilst Vesoul 
remained occupied in force, and Gray was held by a small 

It was the intention of the corps head-quartera to cross the 
Ognon above Pesmes on the 13th, thence to advance upon 

* The rarioiu parts of the Corps wore at that time at the foUoiring points :— 

Near Dijon : Ist, 2nd, 5th Baden Bcgiment, and , . ., , — 3rd Baden Bra* 

Otii Baden ; 
goons, and 2"^, 3rd, 5th . g^^ ^^^^ 3^ ^^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ jj^^^^ 

2ud. Bad. Drag, 
liearj batteries. 

of tlicso in 

At Mirebeau : ^ f *"' , , ^-_i^L-- , and Ist Baden light 

6th Bad.' 2nd Bad. Drag. * 


Near Gray : 30th Regiment, }^' ^}^ — , 2nd Boserre light 

2nd Kes. Drag. 

battery, Ilird Army Corps. 

^"'- , — ^^^* ^^ , 4th Baden liriit battery. 
4th Bad.* 1st Bad. Drag.' ^ oatcery. 

In Port and Soey-sur-Sa6ne : — . ^ , 

"^ 4th Bad.* 

Near Vesoul : ^"'^ "'f ^"^'^ — ^"^- f ^^ , Baden horse artiUery battery, 

3rd Bad. * Ist Bad. Drag. ^ ^' 

2 gans of the Baden 4th heavy battery ; 34th Regiment, 2nd Reserro 

Hussars, 1st Reserre light batteryi Ilird Army Corps, and Rcserre heavy 

battery, Ist Army Corps. 


In St. Loup : — . ° , (marching to Vesoul through Port-8ur-Sa6no, sinco 

4th Bad. 

Oth November.) 

In Lure : -^"^, -.^^L^ , Baden 4th heavy battery (4 guns). 

Jrd Bod. 2nd lies. Drag. 

/^In Rnstatt was the ^^'"^ \ 
\ tJlh Bad./ 


IXI^. fir A fo can^r tr-*: \mz^A'^ standinsr ct D:rn iniivrGenei 

l/r v/;;" 'f >t. J':/n 'l^r Yjffftii*^ or i'V wnv ff P r.taill r. This 
feitt^T IT' '."r i vr^vrr'A fA the two directi'T^ k:t to LU c:ioice 
tr.^jt hr Tr;iv f>f Poiitr«;i; r. bccanif^: a pasfea^re '.f tl. - i:»r^elv- 
p*xh\\'::i v:.vXt:r% *f\.j' Saorif* arTionrc-d th'f iri^»r*.- d::ii?T:'.t the 
J''/Tr^:T Uityvrf'T*' rrrtvf/l, Tiie Corps hea^J-qiinrri-r* sti^f had, 
it w tn*'^-. indicnt'rd from the first the other dirccti n as th - more 
pra/^!cr*^.", ai.d in a KMljeequent letter which renchvl I^i'-vn on 
the mf^r.u'^ of tiie 12t}i* expre«sed thcm«:lv«-« t » ti.-_» efft-ct, 
tli/it a<""or'ijrj;r to more recent intellig-enc*.-. ti:-- enemy Tras 
r/itlj'lr'vnjj^ froin D«''i'* to Clialoii-f»ur-Sa''»:je. ai.d in conse- 
riTien^-e f"*'\\'\ onlv be orcrtaken bv wav of 2^t. J^nn <!•? Lcwne. 
lint, fii* Uffore tJie arrival of thw comnmnication. a lirid^re had 
been alr-i^ly r-omrnenced at Pontailler,* an«i even part of the 
troops Jro:jj I>j»on )iad proceeded thither. th*» Bad.n divisional 
conirnin'^T left matters as they were according to the arranpre- 
Tn^'JiiH n!r^-r«'1v niad*^-. In the cohfrc of the dnv both briirades 
rf'iU']if"l tij'- 11' i^rh^'^'urhood of Pontaillor, where thi-* 3rd at once 
pn«bed a ^♦roriir advaiK-ed pnard to tlie loft bank r»f the Saone. 
iif^ntrrl V. W'-rrUr, wh^» had been meanwhile informed that 
Do!" MT' - k;»i<1 to bo alreadv evacuated bv the French, now 
onb'rf'd tlj" fx^^mtion of a roftp fie mnin npon Anxonn*^^ — a pro- 
f'fst'Aiir^ wiiieli Ijad Ik/cii contemplated some time Lick, but had 
be'^n fi'niponirily deferred — ^in order, if possiblf, by the capture 
(ff tljiH sni'ill fortrews, tf) prain a strong; point (Titppui on the 
'/".\n\M'» in ;i''<'or( lance tlierewitli, the Baden troops collected 
a'* I'onfailhr advanced on the morning of the l»^th along the 
^y^^h^('\^^ bank rf the river, with a brigade each in Genlis 
and VjIKtk h'« Potn; whilst the Prussian Infanti-y Brigade, fol- 
lowed liy th(j 2n(l Baden, approached from Pesmes the east side 
of Auxonnc tw<» sfjnadrons of Prussian hussars recomioitred 
in fhe direction of Dole. After that the 3rd Baden Brigade at 
VilhTH Ic'K P<»tK had encoimtered and thrown back some weak 
detachnients of tlie enemy. General v. Werder convinced him- 
self by n )»erKoi!al r^'connaiKsance that the fortress, to all appear- 
anr'<*. w;iH vrii\\ an ndoqnate garrison and a sufficiency 
of ar1ill< TV, :in'l. as far ns could be judged, was prepared against 
an alliie!;. Tiie eonnnandanthad caused all cover in tlie ground 
ronnd the i'nrtress. within a raytm of a thousand paces, to be 
levelled. Tnder thes(^ circumstances, and as moreover the 
roHon'e /uninunitiou columns of the XIV th Corps had not yet 
come up witli it. the idea originally entertained of camionading 
the nlnei' witli Held artilleiy was abandoned. 

The KipiadroiiM of hussars which, as already mentioned, 
had proceeded in the direction of Dole, had meanwhile become 
convinced that there were scarcely 100 Gardes Mobiles in this 
town; (»n the other hand, according to a letter from the 

• The brill /oi over the Suouo at La Hnrcho ond Pontailler lincl been destroved by 
the l'"ro:uh. 


Prefect of Beanue which had been iatercepted, the French 
Eastern Army was supposed to be advancing via Chagny to 
Dijon.* General v. Werder therefore resolved to assemble 
his Coi-ps between the Saone and the Cote d'Or for the purpose 
of securing the possession of Dijon. He therefoi-e brought 
up on the 13th November the brigades standing to the east of 
Auxonne to Pontailler, where a French powder-factory filled 
with large supplies was destroyed. The 3rd Baden Brigade 
left behind at Villers les Pots a strong detachment of all arms f 
to watch the small fortress of the Saone, and marched vnth the 
remaining troops to Sourans Fouffirans in order to join the 1st 
Bri^de standing at Genlis. Patrols of the latter were received 
with fire when in front of St. Jean de Losne and found the 
wooden bridges over the Sadne at that pomt burnt down by 
the enemy. 

By order from the Corps head-quarters the 3rd Baden Brigade 
made on the 14th November an advance towai-ds St. Jean de 
Losne, from Soirans Fouffirans and Villers les Pots. The 
Gardes jilobiles and franctireurs, there present in a strength of 
400 to 500 men, evacuated St. Usage at the approach of the 
Germans, and after the 1st heavy battery had cannonaded 
St. Jean de Losne for some time, likewise abandoned that 
place. It was thereupon occupied by t]ie Baden troops ; the 
enemy had withdrawn in time to the south bank of the Sadne 
by means of boats held in readiness for the purpose. The 
German brigades assembled at Pontailler marched on the 14th 
to Dijon, and occupied quarters in and to the east of the town, 
whilst the Ist Baden Brigade was housed in the neighbourhood 
of Loiigecourt. The head-quarters of the XlVth Coi*ps pro- 
ceeded fi'om Pontailler to Dijon. 

In the course of the two following days the parts of the Coips 
posted to the south of the latter town moved up closer to the 
Cdte d'Or. The 1st Baden Brigade with six squadrons and 
two batteries guarded the roads, between the mountains and 
the Burgundy Canal, leading from Nuits, Seurre, and St. Jean 
de Losne to Dijon, the line of the advanced troops forming a 
bend projecting southward as far as Citeaux. The place just 
mentioned and Nuits situated in advance of the right wmg; 
according to information received, had been already occupied 
by the enemy on the 15th, but had been again abandoned by 
him on the 16th. A detachment previously sent h-om Dijon { 
to open connection with the Und Army had, on arriving in 
the neighbourhood of Ch&tillon-sur-Seine on the 11th, not yet 
met with any German troops, and by tiuniug the moimtain 
passes meanwhile barred by the franctircurs, rejoined the bri- 

* This letter was apparently intended to deceiro, and Lad been iutentiooall/ 
played into the hands of the Germans. 

t ^l ""^i^^' , -j^ . and 2nd light battery. 
5th Bod. 3rd J>rag.' ^ ^ 

t , *,^°f' , ^ ^^^ , and \ Srd light battery. 

* Body Chrd. 2nd Drag. ▼ "» ^ 


gade by way of Arc-siir-Tille. The 3r(l Badeii Bripidc- 
brought up closer fi-um Soii-ans SoufiVans occupicMi with two 
squadrons and four batteries the villages on either side of the 
Dijon-Auxonne road up to a poiut abreast of Genli>. A small 
detachment of all arms* observed for the future from I'jtc- 
vaux the fortress just mentioned. The part of the Corps 
assembled in Dijon extended on either side of the t(»\vn as 
far as the mountains, towards which the 2n(l Baden Brigade 
watched on the nortli, whilst its troops left behind at Vesoult 
now also occupied Fresnes St. Mames, and Gray as intermediate 
posts. A detachment of tliis brigade.J appointed to desti'ov tht- 
railways south-west of Besan<;-on. which, after several collision ? 
with anned peasants between the Ognon and Doubs, had 
reached St. Vit on the 14th from Pesmes, but for want ot 
j^owder and tools could only cany out their task incompletely, 
arrived on the If^th at Pontailler, and on the next dav were 
brought up to Gray as part of the garrison. The Epinal-V'^esoid 
telegi'aph wire already extended to Gray was to be then con- 
tinued as far as Dijon, the southern border of which was arranged 
for defence. 

General v. Werder now proposed to hold temporarily this 
position with its front mainly directed towards tlie south and 
to await the arrival of the 4th Reserve Division commg up 
from Alsace. § The intei'val he intended emplojang as far as pof^- 
sible in harassing the adversary and in securuig the supplies 
for his own Corps, on the rearward communications of which 
AViirttcmberg Etappen troops had pushed forward as far as the 
vicinity of St. Loup. 

Capture of Some days before the departure of the XlVth Army Corps 

Schletutadt from Sti'assburg the 4th Resen'e Division assembled in Breisgau 
Brainch' under Major-General v. Schmeliug had crossed to the left bank 
Investment of of the Khine from Neuenburg by means of ferries and boats. |! 
Belfort. After diiving oft' several bands of franctireurs which oftered 

but little resistance, the troops which had crossed by the morn- 
ing of the 2nd October advanced ui a strength of 7 battalions. 
4 squadrons, and a batteiyli to Miilhausen, with the object of 
disarming the excited gangs of workmen and of breaking uj) 
the railwav ieadinij: westward. On the afternoon of the 3rd 
the i^opulous manul'actuiing town was occupied at the request 

• -J-_Jl£l- .—l-rr — > ttnd 2nd light batterr. 
6th liad. 3rd Drag. ^ 

J. Ist and Ilnd 5th i i 4*1 i « u *i. 

t _-_____,-____ , and h 4th heavy battery. 

8rd iiud. 1st Drag. 

J ^/j- . ^f"^^ , and i 4th light batterr . 

* 4th Bad.' 1st Drag/ ' 

§ Sec narrative "wliic-h follows. 
ji Sec Tart II, p. 202. and Appendix Xo. IXXXII. 

^ 20tli KoL'iiiuMit. l.-t Combined East Prussian La udirchr Regiment, 3rd Kcserrc 
Lancers and 2nd light battery. 


of its ovm authorities, whilst the main body of tlie Di\'i8iou 
took up a temporary position at Banzenheim. These latter 
troops sent out from thence patrols in a northerly direction 
towards Neu-Breisach, and despatched the 2nd Combined 
East Piiissian Landwehr Regiment to the neighbourhood of 
Miilhausen. For purposes of communication with the Grand 
Duchy of Baden a trestle and boat bridge was consti-ucted to 
the west of Neuenburg, advantage being taken of a sandbank 
in the Rhine. 

The Germans now cleared as a first step the country south of 
Miilluuisen of the franctireurs appearing there, and dcsti-oyed 
on the 5th October the railway at Altkh'ch. On that same day 
the Goldap Landwehr battahon, engaged in collecting aims in 
some villages to the south of Neu-Breisach, was attacked ^by 
about 2,000 French Gardes Mobiles and a detachment of lino 
infantry, which advanced from the fortress partly along tho 
Rliine-Rhone CanaU partly alon^ the high road towards Hei- 
teren, and compelled the Prussian companies pushed forward 
to that point to retke skirmishing to Balgau. But when the 
1st heavy battei-v hastening up from Blodelsheim took part in 
the sti-u^gle with some rounds, the enemy retired in disorder to 

As a simultaneous attack upon Schlettstadt and Neu-Breisach 
did not appear feasible to the commander of the 4th Reserve 
Division Avith the troops at his disposal, ho resolved merely to 
invest the two fortresses, and after making reconnaissances to 
decide which of them should be fii*st besieged. 

Of the troops at Miilhausen the Combined Infantry Brigade, 
with the 3rd Reserve Lancers and the 2nd hght battery, were 
appointed for the investment of Schlettstadt; the rest of the 
Division commenced their movement to Neu-Breisach on tho 
6th October. The 3rd Combmed East Pi-ussian Landwehr 
Regiment advanced from Banzenheim to Balgau, and on the 
following day, passing round the left of the fortress, occupied 
the section from the Kasten Wood through Wolfganzen and 
Biesheim as far as the Rhine; the 1st Combined East Prussian 
Landwehi* Regiment brought up from Miilhausen by way of 
Ensisheim occupied the villages in the ground to the south of 
the fortress, and placed outposts as far as Algolsheim and Weckol- 
sheim. The 1st Reserve Lancers and the available five batteries 
distributed themselves equallv in both sections of the line of 
investment. The enemy had received the advancing troops 
with a biisk but almost ineffectual artillery fii-e. 

The fortress of Neu-Breisach, situated in the flats on the left 
bank of tho Rhine, consists of a bastioned octagon surroimded 
with dry ditches, vrith masonry escarps and comiterscaips 
throughout, and ^vith ravelins in front. All the fionts of the 
fortress were protected from enfilade fire as much as possible by 
travci-ses, and!^ as was the case also with some of the ravelins, 
were pro^^ded with bomb-proof shelter. Fort Morticr, siiuated 
further to the north-east close to the stream, and protected bv 


a broad wet ditcli. was, it is true, seen into from the opposite 
and more commanding bank, but in a similar manner to Neu- 
Breisach was arranged for independent delenee. and flanked in 
tlie most eftective way any attack directed upon the north, east, 
or soutli side of the fortress.* The commandant, Lieut.-Colonel 
Lostic' dc Kerhor, had at his disposal about r).5(H> men, who, 
T\ntli the exception of one line and one depot battahon, consisted 
of Mobile and National Guards. 

After the invefstment of Neu-Breisach had been completed in 
the manner just described, General v. Schmelijig ordered the 
place to be cannonaded on the 7th October with field artillery. 
From 9.15 p.m. the two heavy batteries between Wolfganzen 
and the Widensolen Canal, tne three light batteries in the 
ground in the south front between the Basle high road and the 
Rhine-Rhone Canal, maintained a fire for upwai*ds of two 
hours, which was responded to by the enemy, but, with the 
exception of some conflagrations caused in the town, was 
almost -without result on cither side. When therefore, on the 
momin.c^ of the 8th, a second summons to surrender which had 
been sent to the commandant of the fortress was again met 
with a refusal, tho Prussian Divisional commander now turned 
his attention to Schlettstadt, whilst he handed over temporarily 
the command of the troops investing Neu-Breisach to Jlajor- 
General v. Tresckow Ilnd. 

The brigade appointed to blockade Schlettstadt had moved off 
vnth its iiead from Miilhausen on the 7th, but had left two 
battalions of the 25th Regiment and two squadrons at Meienheim 
for the pui-pose of observing Belfort and the southern Vosges. 
These were subsequently reinforced by the 4th light battery 
from before Breisach; a Landwehr battalion took over the 
duties of guarding the passage of the Rhine at Neuenburg. 
The rest of the brigade, together with the ord light batteiy, 
likewise assigned to it, reached Gemar on the lOth, and fi-om 
thence occupied, in the finst place, the south-east and west 
environs of Scblettstadt, and on the 11th the village of Scher- 
weiler, lying to the north of the Giesen Brook. From this 
village communication was opened at Ebersheim with the 
troops of tlu' ist Reserve Division pushed forward from kStrass- 
burg.t which, it may here be remarked in anticipation, were 
left witli the coijciuTencc of the Government-General of Alsace 
in obsei-vation vn the north side of Schlettstadt. { On the last- 

* A small work at Bieshcim ecrring to corer the bridge to tlic island at that place 
was not defended bv the enemT. 
f See Part II, p. 202. 
J The 4th Kescrrc Division wa« distribated as follows on the 11th October :— 

In front of Nea-Brcisach : 

East Prussian Landwehr Brigade, Ist Eescrrc 

Lancers. Ist and 2nd heavy, 1st liglit battery 8 battns. 4 sqns. 3 batteries. 

Before Schlettetadt : 

^^"^^ , 3 battalions of the 2nd Combined East 



mentioned date General v. Schmeling made from Widensolen 
a reconnaissance of the fortress, the commandant having replied 
with a brisk artillery fire to the summons calling upon him to 

Schlettstadt, containing a population of some 10,000 souls, 
and occupying a cramped and angular position in the plain on 
the left bank of the 111, was at that time suiTounded by nine 
bastioned fronts. Six ravelins covered the three gates of the 
fortress, and in conjunction ^vith the lunettes projecting in all 
directions, protected the west and north sides of tlie fortress, 
upon which it was impracticable to form inimdations. For the 
protection of the inxmdation-dam in the low ground to the 
south and east of the fortress, which was intersected by nume- 
rous watercourses, and was converted into marsh at the com- 
mencement of the investment, there were two closed redoubts 
on the Breisach road. Tlie exterior slopes of the enceinte and 
of the ravelins were faced with masonry ; in addition to this the 
ditches of all the works, with the exception of some lunettes 
in advance of the west and north fronts, could be filled at 
pleasure with water. With the exception of a few vaidted build- 
ings in the interior of the place, there was an absence of cover 
for sheltering the troops.* Whilst the inundation in question 
formed an almost impassable obstacle to the approach on the 
east and south sides of the fortress, and in the ground to the 
north of the fortress, the Giesen Brook, at all times full of 
water firora the di'ainage of the mountains, impeded the attack, 
the closely planted vineyards and hedges favom'cd an advance 
from the west side ; at the same lime the railway embankment 
running fi'om south to north at that point offered the assailant 
an excellent rampart. The garrison of the fortress, armed with 
some 120 pieces of ai-tillery, comprised at the time of the in- 
vestment only 1200 Gardes Mobiles, with some 700 artillery- 

After the commander of the 4th Reserve Division had 
informed himself more precisely of the state of the two fortresses 
in Upper Alsace, he resolved to commence with attacldng 
Schlettstadt, because, from the circumstance that the siege 
artillery had to be brought up fi'om Strassbm'g, there was a 

Pniflsian Landwehp Regiment, 1^^ ^"^ 4th 

** 3pd Eos. Lan.' 
2nd and 3rd liglit batteries 4 battns. 2 sqns. 2 batteries. 

At Meienhcim : 

Ist and Fus. 2nd and 3rd j., ,. , . , . 

, 4tn light bat- 

2o * 3ra lies. Lan. 


tcry 2 „ 2 „ 1 

At Neucnbur^ : 
Ortelsburg battalion 2nd Combined East Prus- 
sian Landw'ohr llegiment . . , , . . 1 „ „ „ 

15 „ 8 „ 6 „ 

• Durinp the investment somo additional coTer Tras made with trunks of tr«6f 
corered with earth. 


prospect of a more speedy success, while the possession of this 
fortress secured also the communication Avith northern Alsace. 
The bridge at Neuenberg was now removed and replaced 
by a pontoon-bridge to the north of Burkheim, the protection 
of which was assumed by one of the Landwehr companies 

Eosted before Neu-Breisacb. Moreover, from that place two 
attahons of the 1st Combined East Prussian Landwehi* Uegi* 
ment and the battalion hitheilo employed at Neuenburg, 
marched to reinforce the troops besieging Schlettstadt. General 
V. Schmeliiig proceeded on the 17th October to Einzheim, and 
divided the forces available for the siege into three groups. 
The main detachment posted in &on1 of the west and south 
sides, consisting of five battaUons, one squadron, and a battteiy, 
threw out dose in front of the works of the fortress a line of 
outposts, extending from the destroyed railway bridge across 
the Giesen Brook to a point some hundred paces south of the 
cemetery. Another detachment, consisting of three battalions, 
half a squadron, and a batteiy, protected the position north 
of the Giesen Brook between Scherweiler and the 111. On the 
right side of this river stood a battalion vriih half a squadron 
at Rathsamhausen, Mussig. and Schnellenbuhl.* 

At this time the material intended for the siege of Schlett- 
stadt, with 12 companies of fortress artillery and 4 engineer 
companies,! gi*adually anived by rail from Strassbiurg. Whilst an 
artillery park was fonned at St. Pilt, consisting of 5G heavy guns 

* ThiB troops irere distributed in detail as follows :— 

West Section : 

Osterodo battalion, — r4r = in £astenbolz, 

3rd Kos. Lau. 

^^ in Kinxhoim. 

i Thorn battalion in OrschTreiler, 

i Thorn battalion and Graudcnz battalion in St. Pilt, 

Tilsit battalion, „ , *. — ^— , 8rd light battery in Gemar. 

ord ACS. JLau. 

North Section : 
Ortelsburg and Inowrazlaw battalions, 2nd light battorj in Scherweiler. 

Sromberff battalion and ^ , j" ' , in Ebenheim. (The two last-named 

° 3m Res. Lan. 

battalions belonged to the detachment detailed from the 1st Bescrre Divi- 
sion as mention^ in Part II, p. 202. The rest of the detachment consisting 

of the Dcutsch • Krone battalion, — , . ' \ , and Ist light reserve 

2ud Kes. Lan. 

battery IXth Ck>rps in the neighbourhood of Barr took over the protection 

of the rear towards the Vosges, wliibt the western main detachment of the 

Schlettstadt Siege Corps coTcred itself independently towards the side of 

the mountains). 

East Section : .... 

Wchlau battalion and ^ * ' 1 — at Batlisamhuuscn, Mussig, and Schnel- 

Srd Kes. Lan. 

t 1st company 10th Fortress Artillery Dirision. 

2nd, Si-d, Gth, and IGth companies 7th Fortress Artillery Regiment, 
1st, 2nd, 4th, Gtli, and 16th comi>anie9 Gth Fortress Artillery Regiment, 
2nd and Srd field batteries, Srd Birarian Artillery Regiment, 


and iuoi"tars,* and an engineer park at Kinzheim, steps were taken 
at the same time for preparing gabions and fascines, forming 
military roads, and instructing the infantiy in digging trenches. 
On the night of the 19th-20th October the firat siege battery was 
thrown np near the Chapel mill at the 111 Wood ; to the four 
guns of this batterj^ were assigned as object the barracks and 
magazine situated in the south part of Schlettstadt, so as to 
distract the enemy's attention from the real fi*ont of attack. After 
that the latter had made a fruitless attempt next morning to pre« 
vent the completion of the works, which had up to that tune 
remained unobserved, the battery at i) a.m commenced to fire 
upon the redoubt at the dam, and not ^vithout some success 
upon the foi-tress itself. Compelled for a time about noon to fire 
more slowly in consequence of the superiority of the forti'ess 
artilleiy, the battery, after making good the damages it had 
susttxined, resumed at 4 p.m. the cannonade with its previous 
vigour, whilst the German outposts pushed forward in the 
evening closer to tlie glacis, and entrenched themselves at a 
distance of 400 paces from it. The fire, answered by the 
enemy, lasted throughout the night ; the town was on tire in 
seveml places. 

After a more detailed reconnaissance of the west front of 
Schlettstadt it had been resolved to direct the principal attack 
against No. 2 Lunette, which projected into the dismct north 
of the cemetery. The first parallel was to follow generally the 
course of the railway, and to be immediately protected by its 
embankment, while its left was to rest on the railway station, 
the buildings of which had been destroyed by the adveraary. 
After the depots for the engineer's stores had been established 
on the night of the 20th-21st, and the 2nd battn. 25th Regiment 
had, in the t^vilight of the 22nd, placed outposts on this side 
of the fortress, the Graudenz, Thorn, and Tilsit Landwehr 
battalions, with the Bavarian and Baden Pioneer companies, 
advanced from Kinzheim to the place of working, where at 8 
p.m. they commenced to throw up trenches, and to construct 
six siege batteries somewhat further hi rear. Behind the 
latter in reserve on the Kinzheim road was the Deutach-Krone 
Landwehr battalion; the battery at the 111 Wood brought a 
brisk reverse fire to bear upon the west front of the fortress 
during the night. The defender, who had not failed to observe 
the advance of troops, cannonaded on his part until tm'dnight 
the entire ground of attack, -without, however, achieving any 
result, as his projectiles struck the ground far in rear of the 

Ist Fortress Pioneer company Ylltli Army Corps, 
2nd Fortress Pioneer company Xth Army Corps, 

4th Bararian Fortress Engineer company and Badon Fortress Pioneer oompanj i 
the former had arrired before Strassbuig on the 22nd September. Lieat.-Colonel 
▼. Scheiiha superintended the artilleiy attack, Lieut.-Colonel Sander the engineer 

* 12 short 15 cm. guns. 4 short 23 cm. mortars. 

20 short 12 cm. guns. 8 short 23 cm. mortars. 

6 short 9 cm. guns. 6 short 15 cm. mortars. 


place of working. At an early hour on the 23r(i the first 
parallel was constructed in the ordinary way up to a breadth 
of 2 feet and a depth of 3^ feet ; in rear of the left wing were 8 
mortars and 20 heavy guns in readiness to open fire from the 
batteries which had been thrown up. 

At daybreak the foi*tress opened a biisk fire upon the works 
of attack now clearly visible in the groimd in front. As the 
siege batteries answered with vigour, a brisk artillery cannon- 
ade ensued^ in which on the French side several g^uns and 
embrasures were much damaged, while some buildings iu the 
south part of the towii burst into flames ; the assailant, on the 
other nand, sustained very inconsiderable loss, although his 
batteries were reduced to gi*eat straits at rimes. Whilst the 
fire of the artillery of the fortress towards evening gradually 
waned, and entirely ceased in the stormy night which followed, 
the Germans, after making use of a break to replenish their am- 
munition, continued an imremitting fire. At the same time the 
trenches were extended, and the building of two new batteries 
was commenced. 

On the morning of the 24th only a few shots fell from the 
fortress, and by 7.30 a.m. white flags were seen on the west 
front and on the tower of the principal church. Immediately 
afterwards a treaty of capitulation was concluded, by virtue of 
which Schlettstadt surrendered with its garrison and all mate- 
rial of war. The entry of the besieging troops, originally fixed 
for 3 p.m., took place one hour earher at the request of the 
commandant, as the greatest disorder already prevailed inside 
the town ; the mob and drunken soldiers were plundering or 
firing the public buildings, and had even blown up a powder 
magazine. General v. Schmelin^ caused order to be speedily 
restored by three battalions, whfle the garrison were removed 
as prisonera of war under a suitable escort.* With the assist- 
ance of pioneer companies, which were brought up, the con- 
flagrations, which again burst out on the next night, were suc- 
cessfully overcome, although several barracks, magazines, and 
dwelling-houses were laid m ashes. The works of the fortress 
had suftered but little from the bombardment, and were pei^ 
fectly free from assault. In addition to the artillery, some 
7,000 small arms, besides vast stores of ammmution and meal, 
fell into the hands of the Germans, whose total loss before 
Schlettstadt only amounted to some 20 men.f 

The battalions of the 1st Reserve Division present with the 
Siege Corps moved on the 25th October into the fortress as 
garrison. The troops of the 4th Reserve Division occupied 
temporaiily the surroimding villages, and then remforced partly 
the troops investing Neu-Breisach, and partly the force, wliicli 
has been already mentioned as having originally taken up a 

* ThoT "vvere brought hy 6 oompamea and a squadrou of Lanoen by way of 
Geniar to Riegel, and from thenoe traiiBported farther by railway. 
t See A]}pendix LXX X H I.. 


position at Meienheim* for the purpose of Thatching the southern 
Yosges ; these latter troops had meanwhile a sUght engagement 
at Gebweiler with French fi-anctu-em's, and on tiie 17th October 
retired to Colmar. ^Vhen the Geimans hereupon made incursions 
from thence through tlie mountain passes leading by way of 
Markirch, Plainfaing, and Gerardmer, theyfotmd them barred at 
many points with obstacles, but in no case met with strong 
forces of the adversary, as he had already withdrawn before 
the XIYth Coi-ps to Belfort and Besan9on. On the amval of 
the rcmforcements from Sclilettstadt, the four battahons, three 
squadi*ons, and two batteries f now assembled at Colmar pushed 
forward further south to Ensisheim* 

At Neu-Breisach the state of affairs had meanwhile under- 
gone no material alteration. The gaiTison had remained rather 
mactive since the commencement of the investment, andUmited 
itself to isolated sorties. On the 15th October a French 
detachment, consisting of some 1,500 men, taking advantage 
of the thick morning mist, had • advanced towards Weck- 
olsheim and Wolfganzen. The company of the Gumbinnen 
Landwehr battalion, posted in the former place, were forced to 
retire in a westerly du-ection by the attack suddenly directed 
upon them from tliree sides, but, in conjunction with other 

Earts of the battalion hurrying up from Hettenschlag and Dessen- 
eim, subsequently thi'ew the enemy back again upon the for- 
tress. At tlie same time the Loetzen Landwehr battalion had 
supported its picquet, driven back through Wolfganzen, and by 
turning this village, which had been meanwhile occupied by 
the French, compelled the latter to reture to Xeu-Breisach. 
Both actions were ended by 7 a.m., ^vith small loss on either 
side. ^\j3other sortie, initiated in the afternoon of the 22nd 
towards Weckolsheim, came to a standstill after a few shells 
from the Prussian guns, taking part from the east border of the 
Kasten Wood. 

In consequence of some battaUons, as already mentioned, 
being detached for the siege of Schlettstadt, the ti-oops remaining 
before Neu-Breisach { had concentrated closer round the west 
and north sides of this fortress, while the ground to the south 
was for a time merely observed with a small force. It was not 
until towards the end of October that the investment could be 
finally completed. The Wehlau and Tilsit battahons retxmiing on 
the 27th undertook with the 2nd heavy batteiy the outpost duties 
in the latter section, in which they extended northward as far 
as Algolsheim. The other two battaUons of the 1st Combined 
East Prussian Landwehr Regiment, the Graudenz and Thorn 

• See Fart U, p. 232. 

t 25th Rc|;riment, Ortelaburg LandTr. battn. 

2nd, 8rd, 4th^ 3i-d and 4th light batteries. 
3rd Res. Lan. 
t 6 battaiions, 1st Reserve Lancers and 3 batteries. See Part II, pp. 232 and 234- 


battalions and the 2nd light battery coming from Schlettstadt, 
occupied the west environs of the fortress between the Rhine- 
Khone Canal and the Widensolen Canal, while the 3rd Combined 
East Prussian Landwehr Regiment with the Ist heavj'^ and 1st 
h^ht batteries occupied the country to the north as liir as the 
Biesheim Rhine. To that point the 2nd battn. 2oth Regi- 
ment was afterwards brought up as reinforcement. General 
V. Schmeling proceeded on the 27th to Kiinheim. 

In the last days of the month the fortress companies and 
heavy artillery, which had been employed at Schlettstadt, 
reached Widensolen.* Steps were at once taken for prepar- 
ing the bi-ushwood necessary for the siege, for restoring and 
completmg the passages across the Rhine-Rhone and Widen- 
solen Canals, as well as for constnicting fenies for the use of 
the troops over the Rhine at Saspach and WeisweiLI* The pon- 
toon bridge, which had been carried away by freshets in the 
night of the lst-2nd November to the north of Burkheim, was 
replaced by a flying bridge. 

From the result of the preliminary reconnaissances, the 
Germans had resolved to direct the attack against that paii; 
of th(». north front of the fortress between the Widensolen and 
Rhme-Rhonc Canals which was not suiTouuded hj water- 
coiurses. Under cover of the heavy artillerj', part of which 
from Wolfganzen and Biesheim was to direct its fire against the 
fortress itself, and part from the right bank of the Rhine 
against Fort Mortier, it was the intention to open the trenches 
on the gi'ound just indicated at a distance of about 800 paces 
from tlie glacis. 

The line of outposts in the north and west sections of the 
investment was pushed forv\^ard closer to the fortress on the even- 
ing of the 31st October, and subsequently one of the approaches 
was commenced leading from the north to the ground of attack. 
In the night of the lst-2nd November three batteries at Wolf- 
ganzen and Biesheim, connected together by shelter-trenches 
and with their flanlcs supported, were thrown up and armed, 
although the stony soil necessitated the emplojinent of the 
pick-axe, and rendered difficult the joint labours of the men of 
the fortress artiJleiy and the infantry. On the other side of the 
Rhine three batteries, built by Baden fortress artillei-vmen from 
Rastiitt, crowned on the evening of the Ist November the edge 
of the bank to the north of Alt-Breisach ; an artilleiy position 
formed the night after on the Schloss-Berg was intended to 
prevent, as far as possible, the German town from being can- 
nonaded from Fort Mortier. None of these works had apparently 
been remarked by the enemy, and had been earned out A^athout 
the least molestation. 

On the morning of the 2nd November tlie whole of the 24 

• Witli the exception of tbc 6th company 7th Fortress Artillery B<^gLment re- 
niaiuiiig in Scblctt«ta(lt. 

t Both rillnges lie to the east of Morkolshcim. Sec General i^Iap on Plan 14. 


siege guns* brought into position commenced to operate against 
the fortress, which on its side now brought into play an in- 
creased number of guns along the front of attack. Tlie shells of 
the three batteries at Wolfganzen and Biesheim caused several 
conflagrations in the neighbourhood of the Oolmar and Strass- 
burg gates; the batteries on the right bank of the Rhine 
achieved, however, but small results, OAving to the long ran^e, 
and the dull weather which prevented the eflfect of their hre 
from being ascertained. On the German side some artillerymen 
were wounded in No. 1 Battery at Wolfganzen, and one gun 
was damaged. Two companies of the Goldap battalion ad- 
vanced in the evening against the Strassburg gate, reached 
the glacis, and skirmished with the French post. In the ni^ht 
both sides kept up a moderate fire ; the besieger took as nis 
chief object the interior of the fortress, in which a serious con- 
flagration took place. 

Although the trench works remained in abeyance for the present 
in consequence of the bright moonlight, the bombardment was 
continued with vigour on the 3rd November ; the four batteries 
at Alt-Breisach were particularly effective against Fort Mortier.f 
When the artillery of that place became entirely silent, Major ▼• 
Nermann led the Ist company Goldap Landwehr battalion 
from the left ^ving of the outposts along the Biesheim Rhine, 
in order to capture the fort by a coup-de^main* These 
ti-oops reached the edge of the main ditch ; but as the bridge 
across it was raised, they had to beat a retreat under the 
enemy's musketry and case-fire. 

In the next few days the adversary's fire was also dh-ected 
against the town of Alt-Breisach, wliich up to that time had 
been almost entii-ely exempted; from Fort Mortier, however, 
only a desultory fire was maintained. The patrols, advancing 
a second time towards it on the 6th November, found the 
drawbridge lowered, and before the order for forcing the closed 
gates could be carried out, the commandant entered that 
evening into negotiations for a capitidation. On the next 
morning the Germans occupied the work so important as 
regards the progress of the siege, and also the village of Vol- 

gelsheim lying further to the south, whilst the artillerj" at Alt- 
reisach now ceased its activity. 

The batteries on the left bank of the Rhine had in the mean- 
time maintained a vigorous and unceasing fire upon the fortress, 

• No. 1 Battery witli 4 short 15 cm. g«Ml ^ WolfoMiiMi. 
No. 2 „ vith 4 French 15 cm. guns J "* '^ ^w^umuu 
No. 8 I, with 4 short 15 cm. guns atBieahMm. 
No. la „ with 4 ,. 30 cm. mortars 1 q ^ . ^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^ 

No. 2a „ with 4 „ 16 cm. guns \ at Alt^reisaoh. 
No. 3a „ with 4 „ 12 cm. guns J «'^'' «"»"««• 
Nos. 1 and 3 Batteries were during the course of the siege armed with guns of a 

different calibre. 

t The battery on the Schloss-Berg, armed with six 9 cm. and two 12 cm. guns had 
likewise oome into action. All batteries on the right bank of the Rhine were in 
telpgrjphic communicLtion with an obserring station* 


which vraa giipplemented on the 8th November by two mortar 
batteries thrown up on the pre^•ious night at Wolf^anzen and 
Biesheim. The enemy's power of resistance was visibly on the 
wane; at 10 a.m. he fired into the surrounding gi-ound without 
any apparent object, and at half-past one o'clock hoisted the 
white flaj::. Neu-Breisach now like^vise capitulated under the 
same conditions as those which held good for Schlettstadt ; but 
at the same time the French troops were accorded miUtary 
honours when leaving the fortress.* On the 11th the Germans 
entered the captured fortress, which was occupied temporarilv 
by the Lootzen Landwehr battalion, 2 companies of the 25tli 
Regiment, and some companies of artillery and pioneers. The 
fortress works were found to bo uninjured ; but in the town 
the houses were for the most part bmut down or seriously 
damaged ; while in I'ort Mortier, of all the buildings only the 
casemates were intact, and but one gun found in serviceable 
condition. Tlie conqueror's war booty consisted of 108 guns, 
6,000 small arms, and considerable stores of ammunition and 
food ; his losses during the siege amounted to about 70 men.* 

About the same time that the siege of Neu-Breisach was 
commenced ordera had, as already mentioned, J been issued from 
the head-quarters of his Majesty the King, for the investment 
of Belfort, which was still semiig as the chief centre for the 
armament of the French population in the Vosges, and was a 
constant source of danger to the rearward communications of 
the XIYth Army Corps. To this enterprise were appointed, in 
addition to the 1st Resen^e Division, those troops of the 4th 
Reserve Division which could be dispensed with at Neu- 
Breisach ; in place of the former a force, formed at Glogau 
of twelve Landwehr battalions, two squadrons, and two batteries 
was to occupy Strassburg and the other important points in the 
ravou of the Government-General of Alsace. 

The 1st Reserve Division had meanwhile advanced from 
Strassbiu'g abreast of Schlettstadt and reached with its main 
body on the JJOth October the neighbourhoofi of Colmar, 
whilst the advanced guard§, after a slight skirmish, forced its 
way into Geberschweier. In accordance vriih the above order 

* Tlic Sedentnrr National Guards as at Schlettstadt were excluded from amongst 
the phsonors. The gurrison of Fort Mortier consisting of some 220 men had been 
transported to Rnstatt on the dav of the snrrendep of this fort. 

+ See Appendix LXXXIII. 

i See Part II, ]). 

§ Til is was the detachment sent from the Division on a previous occasion against 
Schlettstadt, reinforced by the 1st Fortress Pioneer companr Ilnd Array Corps. 
See Part II, p. 832. The* main body consisted at first of only the 5 landwehr batta* 
lions of Schneidemubl, Konitz, Stcndal, Burg, and Neustadt. 3 squadrons of the 2nd 
Reserve Lancers and the 2nd Reserve light battery IXth Army Corps, as the re- 
maininc troops of the Division posted on the lines of communication in Alsace frero 
not to follow until relieved. 


three battalions, four squadrons, and two batteries* from the 
detachment of the 4th Kesen''e Division posted at Ensisheim, 
and which had meanwhile been reinforced, jomed the subsequent 

The previous advanced guard of the Ist Reserve Division 
now moved as a right wing column by 'Nvay of Sennheim, and 
past the south side of Slaasmiinster along the foot of the 
mountains. After minor skinnishes at Gebweiler and Sulzf on 
the 3 Ist October, at Sennlieim and Gewenheim on the 1st 
November, it met on the 2nd November advanced detachments 
from the Belfort gairison, Avliich were occupjang with a battalion 
each the villages of Slagny and Roppe, whilst; bands of franc- 
tireurs were patrolling the Vosges roads leading from thence to 
the north-east. After a protracted and obstinate engagement on 
this side of Rougemont the Deutsch-Krone Landwehr battalion, 
supported by ai-tillery fire, forced back the enemy in spite of 
his constant effoi*ts at resistance aa far as the heights of Petit 
Magny. These were at once cannonaded by the Piussian bat- 
tery and then attacked by the named battalion in front and by 
the Bromberg battalion on the left flank. The French, without 
awaiting this last collision, withdrew to the fortress under 
very considerable loss and somewhat in disorder, whereupon 
the Pmssians gained without further incident the destination 
which had been assigned to them in the district between Val- 
doye and Giromagny. The detachment of troops belonging to 
the 4th Reserve Di\'i8ion had from Ensisheim taken the road 
tlirough Sennheim and reached Anjoutey on the 2iid November. 
On this road marched the main column of the Ist Reserve Divi- 
.sion as far as La Chapelle sous Rougemont. The Stendal bat- 
talion;! leading the advance found the roads b.inicaded in the 
neighbourhood of Les Errues, but di-ove from this village and 
from a factory near St. Germain the French battalion which 
had advanced thither through Roppe. 

On the 3rd November the right -wing column moved to 
Chalonvillars, the detachment of flie 4th ilesei-ve Division to 
Seraiamagny, so that these troops commanded the roads leading 
from the west and north to Belfort. The main body of the 
Ist Reserve Division occupied the ground to the south and east 
of the place from Banvillard through Sevenans and Chevremont 
as far as Roppe. With the exception of a few cannon shots falling' 
from the advanced works of the foi-tress, the enem}' had made no 
attempt on this day to impede the advance of the Germans ; de- 
tachments of the Stendal battaHon and of the 1st battn. 25tli 
Regiment, after a slight skirmish, dislodged a battaUon of Garde 
Mobile posted in Eloye. A detachment despatched on the 
previous night to the westj reached Vesoul the same evening, a 

^ -1 , Ortelsburg and Osterodo Landwehr battalions, 3rd Reserre Lanoors, Srd 


nnd 4 til liglit batteries. t Situated in the neighbourhood of Gebweiler. 

X A squadi-on of tlic 3rd Beserre Lancers and 60 infantrj of the 2oth Bcgiment 
under Major r. Ohlen and Adlcrskron, mounted in waggons. 

r 2 


distance of 32 miles, by which commuuication was opened with 
the XrVth Corps. General v. Tresckow Ist transferred his head* 
quarters to Les Ernies. 

The force which had up to the present time arrived before 
Belfort was far too weak to blockade the fortress in a thorough 
manner; still, in postinp^ the different detachments, attention 
had been paid to affording them mutual and timely support in 
any sorties that the enemy's superior force might make. The 
troops arranged the villages in their occiipation for independent 
defence by means of abattis, barricades, shelter-trenches, covered 
conununications, and gun emplacements, besides securing them* 
selves by advanced outposts. In La Chapelle sous Rougemont 
magazines and hospitals were established; the rationing of the 
troops, however, met for a time with ^eat difficulties in con- 
sequence of the poverty of the surroundmg mountainous district 
and the absence of cross communication. 

In the first period after the commencement of the investment 
there were only some slight skirmishes vrith the garrison of 
the fortress. Two companies of Gardes Mobiles, which en- 
deavoured on the 5th November to take up a strong position 
in Essert on the road to Chalonvillara, were driven out by a few 
shots from the Deutsch-Krone battalion. After that the French 
artillery had brought their fire to bear upon the villages occupied 
by the Germans in the ground to the south and east of the fortress, 
and had caused some conflagrations thei-ein, the enemy made a 
sortie on the 7th in the direction of Sevenans and Vezelois ; 
yet the advanced troops of the Burg and Neustadt battalions 
succeeded, after a brief struggle, in driving back both attacking 
columns through the Botans and Bosmont woods upon the 
fortress. In consequence of the erroneous intelligence that 
large bodies of the enemy were advancing from the north 
through the Yosges, a reconnaissance on an extensive scale 
was made to Giromagny on the 6th. 

After the gradual arrival of the troops originally left on the lines 
of communication in Alsace, the investment of belfort was more 
completely effected after the 8th November, and the position ex- 
tended southward as far as the Lisaine. The detachment of the 
4th Reserve Division * vnth the 2nd and 4th Combined Pomera- 
nian Landwehi- Regiments thenceforth held the ground be- 
tween Giromagny and Montb^hard, the other half of the 1st 
Reserve Division the district between St. Germain and Sevenan8.t 
The works for fortifying the line of investment were diligently 

* Ezoepting ^-, whicli iu accordance with orders, commenced ite lotum maxch 

to Colmar on the 9th, and on the 12th had rejoined it« regiment at Snlz. 
t West Section under General t. Tresckow Ilnd : — 
4th Comh. Pomeranian Londwehr Kegt. T ^ . , ^ _. 

2 squadrons 8rd Beserre Lancers I ^ quarters between Giromagn j 

4th light battery 4th Res. Diyision J "*^ bermamagny. 

Ortelsburg and Osterode battalions 1 Occupying Frahier and Chalon- 

f rds 8rd light battery 4th Bes. Division j Till&rs. 


continued. As a point cCappui for the Siege Corps in the event 
of a sortie stood the town of Montbeliard, but more particu- 
larly the castle on the east bank of the Lisaine, which was free 
from escalade, and was peiinanently occupied, arranged for 
defence, and provided for a considerable time M-ith food. As 
the departm'e of German troops for the Lisaiue liad been 
remarked from the fortress, the commandant on the 10th 
November caused a battalion to make a sortie in the direction 
of Chalonviilars, and two gmis uulimbering at £ssert to take 

Eart in this advance ; but this battalion was speedily repulsed 
y the Ortelsburg Landwehr battaUou, which was likewise sup- 
ported by artillery. 

On the 5th November instructions had been sent from tho 
head-quarters of General v. Werder* to watch any move- 
ments on the part of the enemy from Besan^on, and to 
destroy the railways leading from Belfort to Switzerland. 
When the nortli-east vring of the XlVth Corps, now con- 
centrated at Vesoul,t the corps investing Belfort undertook 
the occupation of Lm'e. A strong detachment of all arms, 
which was pushed forward from Montbdliard by way of 
Bavans in order to drive off the French Gardes Mobiles 
which were said to be in the neighbom-hood of Lisle but le 
Doubs, reported that the enemy had apparently already retired 
as far as Be8an9on. This was confirmea, when General v. Tres- 
ckow (Ilnd) advanced with foiu: battalions, three squadrons, and 
eight guns on the 12th November through H^ricourt and 
Arcey, for the purpose of supporting the movement akeady 
commenced by the XlVth Corps towards Dole. The Germans 
were only fired at occasionally by franctireurs ; they found also 
the bridges broken away at several points and the roads rendered 
impassable, but in other respects the eutire neighbourhood, as 
far as Clerval, was clear of the enemy. The troops passed the 
night at Lisle sur le Doubs, and on the following day com- 
menced their return mai'ch to Montbeliard. During another raid 
made from thence the population in the neighbourhood of Delle 
were disarmed and the railway destroyed at Morvillars. The 
necessity for securing the investing force towards this side led 

2nd Comb. Pomeraman Landwhr Begt. 1 ^^^^^^ BanTillaid and Mont- 
2 squadrons 8rd Res. Lancers > bdliard (hew the 2 ffuns). 

4rd Srd Ught battery 4th Bcs. Diyision J °'^*"'^ ^"" *"* * ^"■'' 

£ast Section under Colonel r. Buddenbrock :— 

3rd Comb. Pomeranum Landwehr Begt. | Between St. Germain and Bet - 

J •5??<^~° 2nd Res. Lancers V wncourt. 

2nd hght Res. battery IXth Army Corps J 

l8t Comb. Pomeranian Landwehr Begt. 1 g^^^i^ ^^ Bessoncourt as f ar aa 

1 squadron 2nd Res. Lancers V gevenans. 
1st light Res. battery IXth Army Corps J 

2 squadrons 2nd Res. Lancers 1 j^ j^^^ ^^ j^^^^^ 
1st light Res. battery Ilnd Army Corps J 

* Tills officer had in pursuance of instructions from Versailles (see Part II, p. 221) 
assumed the command of tho 1st and 4ih. Reserve Dirisions. 
t Bee Part 11, p. 227. 


to the employment for the purpose of the 67th Regiment* 
coming from iStrassburg, of which the 1st and fusilier battalions 
were housed at La Chapelle sous Rougemont, and the 2nd 
occupied Mulhauseu. From these two points detachments of 
the regiment made repeated incursions through the frontier terri- 
tory lying to the southward. 

On the morning of the 15th November the enemy made an 
attack upon the east part of the lino of investment with about 
four battaUons and some aitillery and pioneei*s, after that the 
fortress had cannonaded with vigour for several days the quar- 
ters occupied by the Gei-mans. A column advancing along the 
Bessoncourt road forced back the Prussian outposts for some 
distance, but had to give way afterwards in front of the formed 
troops of the Neustadt Landwehr battaUon under CSaptain v. 
Tscnammer. Whilst a reserve hastening up in support of the 
French now brought the infantry action to a stsmdstill, the 
artillery on both sides carried on a vigorous stniggle, in which 
the heavy artillciy of the fortress took part. The repeatedly 
advancing swcums of French tirailleurs caused Captam Wein* 
berger with his two guns to retii-e on each occasion. Although 
the latter had ultimately to be withdrawn out of fire, yet t£e 
enemy found himself compelled at 8 a.m. to retire to the for- 
tress, in consequence of the shells of another division of the same 
battery^- which unlimbered on his flank. Of the secondary 
columns of the Belfort gamson which had advanced towarcls 
Roppe and Chevremont, the former had been diiven off very 
shortly by shell fire, while the latter, deputed to make a false 
attack, was quite imable to engage. Tne loss of the French 
in tliis sortie amounted to upwards oi 130 men. 

General v. Tresckow 1st had meanwhile become convinced 
that neither an investment nor a bombardment would lead to a 
sturender of the fortress, since the latter was provided with 
considerable supplies in comi)ari8on with its garrison} and the 
relatively small number of inhabitants, and was adequately 
provided with safe bomb-proof cover. The question thus pre- 
«ented to the General whether he should limit himself to observ- 
ing the place or proceed to a siege in form was decided by the 
supreme authorities in favour of the latter alternative. Aftei' 
the fall of Keu-Breisach the material necessary for the attack 
was handed over to tlie 1st Reserve Division. 

About this same time the 4th Reserve Division, by order of 
General v. Werder, had left Neu-Breisach for Vesoul, and on 
the 13th November had reached the neighbourhood of Ensis- 
heim. The main body of the Division advanced on the follow- 
ing day in two columns to a point abreast of Sennheim, and on 

• Formerly belonging to the Ist Army (see Part II, p. 176), but since the com- 
mencenient or October assigned to the Ist Beserre Biyision. 

f 2nd iight Reserre battei7 IXth Army Corps. 

X The garribou of Belfort was estimaled at that time by the Germans at about 
8,000 men, but ttbs really double that strength. 


the loth reached ^vith its advance the ueighbourhood of 
Giromagny, whilst a right flank detachment, consisting of the 
1st and fusilier battahons 25th Regiment with a squadron and 
some guns, crossed the mountains from Sennlieim and reached 
St. Maurice by way of the road through St. Amarin. In 
pursuance of instructions firom the head-quarters of the XlVth 
Coi'ps the detachment of the 4th Reserve Division hitherto 
employed in the west section of the line of investment round 
Benort, rejoined, for the most part, their original command 
The Osterodo Landwehr battaUon alone remained with one 
squadron of the ord Reserve Lancers with the present siege 
corps, to which were assigned in addition the Loetzen and 
Giunbinnen battalions* hitnerto employed on the Rhine in 
other duties. 

* The former was appointed to garrison Nen-Breisach, the latter to escort the 
priionera of war taken at that place. 


Proceedings ix Northerx and Central France after the 

Capitulation of Metz. 

With the defeat of the Army of the Rhine the war had once 
more reached a phase pregnant with consequence. All the 
hopes attached hj the French to a longer continuance of the 
resistctnce of Metz were annihilated at one blow. Whilst the 
regular drilled troops of the country, with their leaders, were 
now almost without exception prisoners of war, the German 
supreme authorities were able to oppose two new armies to 
the armed masses collected with sucn surprising rapidity by 
the French. 

As soon as indications of every kind pointed to the prospect 
of an early fall of Metz, measm*es were mitiated at the head- 
quarters of His Majesty the King for removing the aimy stand- 
ing before the great Moselle fortress into western France, and 
at the same time for capturing by degrees the fortresses on the 
Ardennes railway, so as to be able to use this railway as well 
for the supply of the German Army. For this piupose, on the 
23rd Octooer, orders to the following eflfect had been issued ; 
as soon as possible after the conclusion of the capitulation 
Prince Frederick Charles was to march with the four Corps of 
the Ilnd Aimy, and the 1st Cavalry Division attached^ in the 
main direction through Troyes to the middle Lone ; the Ist 
Army, leaving a su£Bcient garrison in Metz, was to lay siege to 
the fortresses of Thionville and Montm^dy, while witii the re- 
mainder of the troops it was to advance to the Gise district 
between Compiigiie and St. Quentin. Both armies were to 
march on the oroadest front, in order to facihtate supply and 
accelerate their movements. On the Ist Army devolved the 
additional duty of escorting the French prisoners of war, for 
which pui-pose the Landwehr troops belonging to it were to be 
mainly employed. 

Wmlst the Ilnd Army, after rapidly removing the piisoners 
from the camps within its rayon, was able by the end of 
October to commence its march to the south-west, the Ist 
Army found itself detained at Metz some time longer by the 
duties which had been assigned to it. As the Landwehr batta- 
lions of the 3rd Reserve Division had afterwards to take over 
the duty of guarding the prisoners of war in home territory, 
the effective of this Division was reduced thenceforth to one 
infantiy brigade of the line, four cavalry regiments, and six 

* From each of the two prisoners' camps in the rajon of the Ilnd Armj on the 
left bank of the Moselle, 10,000 men 'vrere transferred dailj to the two central 
camps, and from thence an eqnal number of men to the two eastern camps at St. 
Barbe and Ars Laquenexj. These formed the points of departure for their trans- 

I>ort to Germany, which commenced on the 30th October bj waj of Boulay to Saar- 
ouis on the one side, to Couroelles on the other side, and from the two last-named 
points bj roil. The text of the order of the 2drd October is giyen in Appendix 


The supreme command of the 1st Army, which now once more Adrance of 
became an independent unit, had been entrusted to General of the ist Armv 
Cavahy Baron v. ManteuflFel. That officer proceeded in conse- ^ ^^<^^^' 
(^uence on the 30th October to Jouy-aux-Arches, but at the same §{l^nder of 
time retained temporarily the command of the Ist Corps. The Verdun, 
chief of the staff, who m the month of September had been 
appointed to the command of a brigade, and a short time after 
fell seriously ill, had been replaced by the Quartermaster-in- 
Chief, Colonel Count v, Wartensleben. The previous 3rd 
Reserve Division was united with the Vllth Coi-ps, appointed to 
garrison Metz and also to lay siege to Thionville and Mont- 
medy, imder the orders of General v. Zastrow ; this officer s 
immediate and chief duty was to take over the charge and 
removal of the piisoners of war. The large number of the 
latter, as well as the blocks which occurred in the traffic on the 
railway to'Saarbriicken, delayed the transport to such an ex- 
tent that the troops appointed to proceed to the Oise ^vere 
occupied with escort duties in the first week of November, while 
the supply of the masses of men collected in the prisoners* 
camps on the east side was attended with no little difficulty. 

Fresh instructions from Yeraailles meanwhile caused the 
despatch westward of several relays of troops. As early as the 
28th October, the GOth Kegiment with the 8th Biile battalion and 
two pioneer companies, had marched to reinforce the corps be- 
sieging Verdun. The 3rd Cavalry Division pushed forward to 
Fresnes, had received instioictionsy in conjunction with the 33rd 
Regiment and the li^ht field batteries of the 15th Division, to 
clear the Argonne district of the franctireurs, who were said 
to be making inroads through that neighbourhood, and then to 
await in the neighbourhood of Clermont the arrival of tlie Ist 
Army. A further telegram from the supreme authorities ordered 
on the Slst October the immediate departure of an infantry 
Division, which if necessary was to be employed in support of 
the troops posted in front of M^zieres.* In consequence of 
this the Ist Infantry Division was moved off on the 2nd Sep- 
tember by way of Woippy to Rethel, whilst in its place a brigade 
of the Ilnd Aimy remained behind for some days in order 
to perform the guard duties in the camp at St. Barbe. On the 
5th November the 4th Infantry Brigade, with a squadron of 
dragoons and a heavy batteiy of the 2nd Division, moved off to 
Pont-a-Mousson, with a view to then* being forwarded from 
thence by rail to Soissons, and sul>sequently laying siege to the 
fortress of La Fere, which barred the railways from Rheims to 
Creil and Amiens. 

The remaining troops of the Ist Army f in proportion as their 

* Fire battalions, 3 squadrons and 1 battery of tho 2nd Landwehr Diyision, 
belonging to the Goremment-General of Bheims. 

t 8rd Infantrr Brigade, i 10th Dragoons, 3 batteries of the 2nd Diriaion and tha 
Corps Ariillerr of the Ist Corps; 30th Infantry Brigade, 7th Hussars and 2 bat- 
teries of the 16th Diyision, tne 16th Dirision and Corps Artillery of the Ylllth 


services could be dispensed with in the piisoners' camps, occq- 
pied quarters temporarily on the left bank of the Moselle, those 
of the 1st Corps l^ing below, and those of the Vlllth Corps 
above Metz. On the morning of the 7th November botli Corps 
comnaenced the prescribed movement westward, the Vlllth 
along the roads leading in the main duection of Rheims through 
Fresnes and Etain, the 1st along the road through Biiey on 
Rethel, already taken by the Ist Division. As the army was 
marching without halthig days and on a broad front, the troops 
received theii* food, as much as possible, from the pereons on 
whom they were billeted ; magazines and hospitals had been 
formed in addition on both the Etappen lines leading to the 

The commander-in-chief, who had joined the Vllltb Army 
Coips, had before his departm*e ordered General v. Zastrow to 
assemble as soon as possible at Briey the infantry 'brigade of 
the hue of the old 3rd Reserve Division, which was still engaged 
with the transport of prisoners, and to despatch it with the 
two hght cavalry regiments and three batteries to the right 
wing of the army. The general was fuilher recommended 
to invest ThionviUe and Montmedy at an early date, watch- 
ing Longwy -with a suitable force, but in other respects it was 
left to his discretion either to besiege both the first-named 
fortresses simultaneously, or to commence with ThionviUe. 
For these objects and as garrison for Metz there were still 
available the Vllth Army Corns, half of the cavalry and artil- 
lery previously belonging to tne 3rd Resei-ve Division, as well 
as the 60 heavy gmis already employed before Metz, and two 
battalions of the 72nd Regiment standing in front of Thion* 

The head-quarte)*s staff of the Ist Army had been meanwhile 
ordered to proceed with the siege of A^erdun. Certain measures 
already taken vdih. this object were, however, rendered void by 
the early sm-render of this fortress. 

The toivn of Verdun, situated on both sides of the Meuse, 
and including a population of about 14,000 souls, is surroimded 
bv medieval fortifications, which towards the end of the 

■ ■ 

X Vllth century were extended on Vauban's system. The 
northern and eastern enceinte were supported on the one side 
by the heptangular citadel situated in front of the west side, 
and on the other was appuved on the Victor Hornwork projecting 
to the south-east, whilst the naturally weaker south-west forti- 
fications were flanked by both of these works, and were pro- 
tected, moreover, by then* situation in the inundable district of 

* This re^menfc appointed in tbo first instance to garriion Soarlouis aftar its 
relief by the 70th Regiment was by degrees once more emx^lojcd in the field. Sec 
Port ir, p. 227. 

1 : 160. OOO 


the Meuse Valley. The river, which branches above the town 
in several arms and cannot be crossed except at the bridges, 
fed it is true only the ditches of the fortifications of the town 
proper; but both citadel and homwork were perfectly free 
ti'om escalade, o^ving to the well-kept escarp walls. Verdun, 
however, is commanded on all sides by important heights, 
which on the slopes turned towards the fortress are planted 
with vines, and are for the most part wooded on the more remote 
side. The Cote St. MicheL situated about a mile from the 
north front, pcnnits the interior of the town and citadel to be 
completely overlooked ; Avhile the villages lying at the foot of 
the heights enabled the assailant to take up positions in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the ramparts. 

At the outbreak of the war the fortress was armed with 
about 140 gims, and pi'ovided with a sufficient store of pro- 
visions. The commandant, General Gueiin de Waldersbach, 
had but a small gan*ison at his disposal in the first instance ; 
but this had been so increased by numerous piisonei-s of war 
who had escaped while being transported from Sedan to Pont^-a- 
3Iou8son that, inclusive of National Guards and franctireurs, 
it numbered in September about 6,000 men. 

After the unsuccessful coup de main of the Saxons on the 24th 
August, Verdun had for a long time been watched by cavalry 
alone,* until the troops under General v. Bothmer, deputed to 
capture the fortress, advanced from the neighbourhood of Thion- 
viUe towards the Meuse.f Whilst the four Rhenish Landwehr 
battaUons took over the occupation of Sedan as well as the 
obsen^ation of llezieres, which Avas still in the enemy's hands, 
and the let battn. ()5th Regiment guarded the Etappen stations 
of Stenay and Damvillers, the other two battalions airived 
Avith the regiment of Resei-ve Hussars and the battery before the 
east side of Verdun on the 7th September. During a recon- 
naissance undertaken on the following day, the locahties at the 
foot of the glacis of the foiiress appeared to be unoccupied ; 
yet the country to the south of the town was inundated by 
damming the blouse, while a ford at Belleray had been made 
impassable, and the railway bridge at Belleville destroyed. 
SomcAvhat further down a practicable ford and feny were dis- 
covered at Bras, bjr means of Avhich the 9th Lancers, who had 
been for a week m that neighbourhood, together with some 
artilleiy and the 7th Companv Goth Regiment, passed on the 
Dth September to the left banlk of the river for the pui-pose of 
blockading the Avest side of tlie foiiress. As this position had 
to be giA^en up in consequence of the departure immediately 
after of the Lancers4 the Company moved to Cliaray. The 
troops Avhich remained on the right bank of the Mouse had 

• See Part I, Vol. II, p. 195 and 467. 

t 66th Kegiment, Siegburg, Briihl, Xcuis and Deutz battalions of the 28/68 Regi- 
ment, 4tli Keserve Hussars, and the heavy Hcsorrc battery Vllth Corps. See Part I, 
Vol. II, p. 481. and Part II, p. 17a * 

J Sec Part II, p. 176. 


meanwhile been distribiited for the inyestment of the east 
front, ahnost equally on both sides of the road from Etain. 

With the exception of some unimportant skirmish es in the 
district to the south of Belleraj, the adveiiBarj limited himself at 
first to the works necessary for strengthening the fortress. On 
the afternoon of the loth ho made a sortie on a large scale in 
a north-westerly direction towards the Uttle wood of La Made- 
laine, for the purpose of capturing in Fromereville a goods train 
laden with provisions, wbicn waa then on its way back to Chamy . 
Three days later the troops of the garrison, supported by a 
lively fire from the fortress artillery, advanced early in the 
morning by way of Belleville towards the Cote St. Michel. 
Both attacks were, however, repulsed without great loss* with 
the help of the detachments held in readiness to support the 
German outposts. 

The fortress was not completely blockaded until the 23rd 
September, when a considerable pait of the troops employed on 
Etuppen duties with the 1st Army, as well as some guns cap- 
tured in Sedan^ had arrived. The investment was now divided 
into one westeiTi section and two eastern sections ; the line of 
demarcation between these two last was the road from Etam. 
On the right bank of the Meuse, where as before tlie majority of 
the troops were concentrated, the line of outposts ran from 
Yameaux past the Cote St. Michel and the farmstead of La 
Blanchanderie to the heights west of Belrupt, on the left side 
of the river fi'om Belleray to Billemont farm, then over the St. 
Barthelemy and Blamont heights as far as Villers les Moines.f 

* This fell almost exclusiTelj upon tlio ^^. 


t The detaiU of the diBtributiozi on the 23rd were as follows : — 
West section (8 companies, 8 squadrons, 6 gnns) : 

—^1 4 companies Jiilich Landwehr battalion, 2 squadrons 4th Be^enre Hus- 

ears, 1 squadron 6th BesezTo Lanccn, and heaTj Seserre batterj Ylllth 


Korth-east section (7 companies, 1 squadron, 8 guns) : 

— IL, 2 companies Julich Landwehr battalion, 1 company Deutz Landwehr 

battalion (with the French guns from Sedan) , 1 squadron 4th Reserrc 

Hussars, 2 guns Reserve heavy battery Yllth Corps, and 6 French guns. 

South-east section (4 companies, 1 squadron, 2 guns) : 
4 companies Aachen Landwehr battalion, 1 squadron 4th Beserre Hussar j, 
2 guns of the heavy Beserve battery Yllth Corps. 

In Beserve (2 companies, 2 squadrons, 2 guns) : 

2 companies Aachen Landwehr battaUon, 2 squadrons 6th Beserve Lancers, 
and 2 guns of the heary B«serve battery Yllth Corps. 

Total : 21 companies, 7 squadrons, 18 guns. These were joined shortly after by 
the Simmem Landwehr battalion, parts of the Andemach battalion, and the Teltow 
battalion of the 2nd Landwehr Division, which latter, however, was again recalled 
on the 30th September. The Simmem battahon moved up to the north-eastern, 
the Andemach battalion to the western section, where at this time the whole of the 
Julich battalion was concentrated. The Julich, Aachen. Simmem, and Andemach 
battalions consisted Ukc all the old Etappen battahons of 6 companies in accordance 
with the order mentioned in Part II, p. 186. Two companies of the last-name«.l 


At Belleray preparations were made for forming a pontoon 
bridge over the Meuse. 

On the 24th September the enemy made a reconnaissance in 
force through Thierville towards La Madelaine. The 10th co. 
65th Regiment successfully repulsed a thrice-attempted ad- 
vance, supported by the guns of the citadel ; a detachment of 
troops* hastening along the right bank of the ]\Ieuse from 
A'ameaux took part with an effective fire, Avhile two other 
fusilier companies of the same regiment appeared at Lombut on 
the enemy's left flank. 

As the commandant of the foi-tress had meanwhile rejected 
several summonses calling upon him to surrender, steps were 
now taken by the Germans to cannonade tlie place with field 
artillery. On the morning of the 2Gth September 12 guns, 
placed on the previous ni^ht behind the cover thrown up for 
them, and protected by pickets, maintained a fire for tiuree 
hours from the west, north, and soutii-east against Verdun,t 
which was vigorously repUed to by the enemy. One of the two 
guns on the Haudainville height sustained severe damage from 
a French shot. 

At the beginning of October the gan-ison again made some 
sorties for the purpose of enabling the inhabitants of Verdun to 
gather the wine grapes within tiie rayon of the German out- 
posts. On the afternoon of the 2nd some detachments of French 
troops advanced vrith this object alon^ the left bank of the 
^leuse towards Lombut, and along the nght bank in the direc- 
tion of Lecourtier Wood, Avhilst still fiuther to the east some 
80 mounted Chasseurs fell upon the picket posted on the Cote 
St. Michel. The 10th and 6th cos. 65th Regiment, the fonner 
supported by some guns, repulsed this attack, however, by an 
effective file-fire ; on the right bank of the Meuse this resulted 
in a hand-to-hand melde with the hostile horsemen. On the fol- 
lowing day the Jtilich Landwehr battalion put a speedy end to 
a sortie of the adversary in the ground between Billemont and 
La Maison Rouge. 

General v. Bothmer transfeired his head-quarters on the 5th 
October from £ix to Charney, and there issued detailed ordera 
for a continuous bombardment of Verdun, for which purpose 
some French siege guns from Toul and Sedan, and also some 
Prussian artillery companies, had been held in readiness. This 
time the north side of the fortress was to bo taken under fire 
from the Cote St. Michel, wliile the main attack was to be 
directed against the citadel, wliich, as akeady mentioned, was 

battalion occupied the Etappen stations of Clennont and Suippe situated in the 
direction of Rheims. 

*^>.uxf"^xx >and4guns. 
65 4th Res. Hub. '^ 

t The heary Reserre battery Vlllth Corps on the C6te de Bkmont, 2 guns each 

cf the hearr Beserre battery Vllth Corps on the height north of Haudainyille and 

on the height north of the C6te St. Michel ; on the latter were in addition 2 French 



only Borrounded by diy ditches, and the fall of which mnet 
entail the surrender of tlio fortress. As the ti*anspoi't of the 
heavy artillery from '!\)ul and Sedan would bo attended -with 
difficulty, owin<^ to tlie Avant of horaes, some working parties 
of infantiy and horses belonging to the artillery of the in- 
vesting corps proceeded thither to render assistance. 

At this period General v. BotJimer \ras appointed commander 
of the 13tn Division.* He was replaced by the previous com- 
mander of the 1st Infantry Brigade, Major-General v. Gayl, who 
reached Chamey on the Dth October, and at once proceeded to 
put into execution the ai-tillerv attack initiated by his prede- 
cessor. The siege guns brought up from Toul undor escort of 
two fortress artillery companiesf were for the most part placed 
in a park erected at Fromereville, those coming from Seaan at 
Bras.j On the 8th October the Ist battn. 65th Regiment had 
also arrived before Verdun, and was attached to the western 
section of investment ;§ the 6th Reserve Lancers, on the other 
handy had left for Rheims. 

In order to protect the construction of the batteries which 
were contemplated to the north and west of the fortress, the 
65th Regiment, now united in its entirety, moved shortly 
before eight o'clock on the evening of the 11th along both banks 
of the Meuse to occupy the villages of Belleville, Thiervillo, and 
Regret, whilst the field aiiillery, under tlie liglit of a clear moon, 
cannonaded the Victor homwork. Belleville was already eva- 
cuated by the French ; the other two strongly baiiicaded 
villages were also abandoned after a biief resistance by the ad- 
versary, who was apparently surprised, with a loss of about 20 
prisoners. On the following evening the 65th advanced still 
nearer the fortress, detachments of the two battaUons posted on 
the left bank of the Meuse forcing their way into Glorieux and 
Jardin Fontame ; groups of skiimishers of the 2nd battalion at 
the same time advanced through Belleville to within 600 paces 
of the glacis, in front of which they entrenched themselves. The 
adversai-y, without oifeiing fmi:her resistance, had ^^dthdi-awn 
behind the walls of the fortress, whence, by a brisk musketry 
fii'e, he inflicted losses upon the companies of the 1st battalion, 
appearing at the eastern border of Jardin Fontaine. 

That same evening the constniction of the batteries com- 
menced. Although the loamy soil, satumted with the raiji, and 
the rocky subsoil, which in many places showed close to the 

* In the place of General r. G-lumer appointed to command the Baden Field 


t 4th and 6th cos. 3rd Fortress Artillery Regiment. 

J From Sedan the ammunition for the French puns vrss also proTidod, irhilc 
from the same place the 6th co. ITth Fortress ArtillcrY Dirision had olso been 
brought up. 

§ In its place other troops had assumed the duties of grarrisoning the Ftappcu 
stations of Damyillers and Stenaj. In the latter place the 5th co. of the BrGlil bat- 
talion, with some men of the 53rd Landwehr Begiment, were surprised on the 
momtTiff of the 11th October from Montmedj, and for the most part carried off 


suiiace, caused considerable impediment to the works, vet in 
the course of that nip^ht four batteries were corapleled in the 
ground to the west of the foiixess, six on the Cote St. Michel, 
and at 6 a.m. on the 13th October fire was opened upon Verdun 
with 52 guns*. The fortress answered with such effect that the 
two batteries upon the Cote des Hayvaux Avere obliged to cease 
firing before noon, whilst the remainder, although losing heavily, 
continued an uninterrupted fire. After the latter had continued 
at intervals during the night and the damages sustained had 
been made good, the siege guns took up the stiaiggle again the 
next morning with gi'eater vigour. 

In this they were supported by a battery newly erected on 
the east sloi>e of the Cote de Blamont,-f" and apparently proved 
themselves in the afternoon superior to the fortress artillery. 
After a successful reconstruction of the batteries on the Cote 
des Hayvaux which had been silenced on the 13th^ the assailant 
on the morning of the 15th continued the cannonade with full 
force ; but the adversary also i*emained this day with his activity 
unimpaired, until by 11 a.m. the firing ceased, at first on the 
German side, and soon afterwards on the French. During the 
three days' engagement, 15 guns were placed out of action in 
the siege batteries, and more than 60 men killed or wounded ; 
the loss in the detachments of the 63i*d Regiment pushed for- 
ward towards the glacis amounted to about 40 men.$ In the 
citadel and in the town several buildings had been set on fire, 
while on the rampai'ts some guns had been destroyed ; the 
adversaiy, had, howevei*, been able to replace them on each 
occasion without loss of time. 

General v. Gayl, who had become convinced from the insig- 
nificance of the previous results that in Wew of the fortress 
being provided with powerful artillery, a regular attack upon it 
would alone attain the desired result, now made appUcation for 
the supply of a Prussian siege train, as well as for some 
reserves of ammunition, which had been much wanted for the 
French guns present with the corps of investment. The l>5th 
Regiment evacuated temporarily its advanced positions on both 

* Battezy No. 1 (heayy Besenre battery Vlllth Corps) on the CMe St. Bor- 

thelemr, west of Pieiron farm. 
„ Ko. 2 (4 French mortars) in the Tilhige of Gloricuz. 

„ No. 6 (6 French guns) "^ 

„ No. 7 (4 French guns) 
„ No. 8 (4 French guns) 
„ No. D (4 French howitzers) 
„ No. 10 (6 French guns) 
„ No. 11 (heayy Reserre battery Vllth Corps) J 
In all 12 Prussian field guns and 40 French guns (among the latter were likewise 
12 field guns in batteries 6 and 10). 

^ t^This was battery No. 4 (6 French guns) which had not come into action on the 
previous night, and had now been coustructcil on the site indicated further in i««r. 
X See Appendix LXXXVI, which gives details with regard to the losses sufi*ered 
by the Germans during the inyestment and siege of Verdun. 

On the CAto St. ^fichel, 
north of Belieriilo Til- 
lage, placed in the order 
named from west to 


banks of tbo Meuse, but occupied with pickets those batteries 
in which the heavier siege guns loaded with case had been 
left, in order to avoid the unnecessary transport which their 
temporary removal would have occasioned. 

The momentaij failure of the Germans had raised the enemy^s 
spirit of enterprise. On the stormy night of the 19th-2(Hh 
October, he drove in a picket of the 1st battu. posted for the 
protection of the batteries on the Cdte des Hayvaux, and was 
only dislodged with the assistance of the reinforcements 
hurrying up from Thierville, and not until he had spiked the 
guns there. About 5 a.m. on the 28th October, there was a 
soitie in force along both banks of the Meuse. Franctireurs 
and pioneers made tneir way through the Bois St. Michel, and 
advanced as far as the artillery emplacements on the height of 
the same name, where, however, they only found one unservice- 
able gun. After destroving the parapets and bombproof cover, 
part of the French took the dii^ction of the Bois Lecourtier, 
and part ftirther on the left through the vineyards towards 
Belleville, against which place French troops of the line and 
Gardes Mobiles had already advanced by way of La Galavaude. 
The 5th company, G5th Regiment, which nad already made a suc- 
cessful stand on the railway embankment south of BeUeville, but 
now found itself outflanked on the left, and also cannonaded 
from the other bank of the Meuse, retired, contesting every step, 
but with rather heavy loss in prisoners, upon the Bois Lecourtier, 
which was occupied by the 7th company. The enemy pressed 
closely, but was imable to make any further progress, as the 
Gth company with 2 guns, meanwhile brought up from Bras, 
took part in the struggle, and again took possession of the 
Cdte Dt. Michel. An attempt on the part of^ this company to 
penetrate through the vineyards to Belleville failed, however, 
against the fire of the adversary, who stubbornly defended this 

Simultaneously with the sortie alon^ the east bank of the 
Meuse, three columns of French ti*oops had advanced fi*om the 
north-west front of the fortress. The detachment of the right 
•wing, supported by two field guns firing case, made three sepa- 
rate but vain assaults upon Thierville, which was occupied by 
the 1st battn. 65th Regiment; a small pai-ty of mounted 
Chasseui-s, who charged the barricade at the south entrance of 
this village, were driven off by volley fire. Whilst the French 
again withdrew at this point into the fortress at 7 o'clock, the 
central sortie column, under cover of the darknesR, had 
succeeded in passing unobsei-ved through the vineyards 
between Jardin Fontaine and Glorieux, and reaching the 
batteries on the Cote des Hayvaux, and after driving in the 
pickets, rendered on this occasion the whole of tlie 12 guns 
thei-e unserviceable.* The attack was next continued against 

* The GksrmanB bad intended to withdraw the gnns, bat this bad been left an« 
done in consequence of the eoddoned state of the loamj soil. 


the battery on the slope of the Cote Blamont, but after being 
repulsed by the llth company of the above-named regiments the 
central French detachment also commenced its retreat at day- 
break. The left wing column had meanwhile pushed forward 
their tiraillem*8 from Glorieux through the vineyards of the Cote 
St. Barthelemy, in the direction of PieiTon iaim, where on the 
German side the 10th company encoimtered the enemy. The 
successful attack of this company at 9 a.m. ended the engage- 
ment, which had ceased half an hour earlier on the other side 
of the liver. Belle\'ille and Glorieux remained occupied by the 
French; opposite to them the Germans resumed their previous 
(Hitpost positions on the right bank of the Meuse. The loss of 
the 65th amounted to about 30 killed and wounded, and some 
40 missing. 

Towards the end of October, and in the begmning of the fol- 
lowing month, the reinforcements despatched from the Ist 
Army,* as also some Prussian siege guns, accompanied by 
several companies of artillery, arrived before Verdun. The 
siege park now mustered 102 guns, and was provided with large 
stores of ammunition. Seeing the preparations for a formal 
attack, the commandant of the fortress solicited an armistice on 
the 3rd November, and this having been sanctioned with the 
concurrence of the Royal head-quarters, hostilities ceased on 
the 5th, and shortly afterwards the negotiations for a capitula- 
tion commenced. On the 8th a treaty was concluded, in which 
the smrender of the fortress was fixed for the following day, 
and the garrison, with the exception of the National Guards, 
were declared prisoners of war. In consideration of the vigor- 
ous defence and the present capacity of the fortress for resistance, 
the besieger engaged to suiTender the material of war on the 
conclusion of peace. The French officers retained their arms 
and other property, and were allowed to go at large on giving 
their word of honour not to serve against Germany in the pre- 
sent war. On the morning of the 9th November the Pnissians, 
in accordance with the agreement which had been made, 
marched into Verdim, where the traces of the several days* 
bombardment were distinctly visible on many pubhc buildings 
and dwelling-houses. 

The main body of the Ist Army in their advance from the 
lloselle commenced, as already mentioned, on the 7th November, 
had reached on the 8th the neighbourhood to the north and 
south of Etain. There the head-quarters received on the one 
hand the news of the capitulation of Verdim. and on the other 
hand on the night of the 8th-9th a letter fi'om the supreme 
authorities, in which the Ist Army was assigned the duty of 
laying siege to Miziferes. In accordance with the general in- 

• See Part IT, p. 2 J7. 


BtnictioiiR also contained in this letter that, in proportion as the 
two armies advanced from Metz, the Landwehr troops engaged 
at the time in active duties before the enemy, should for the 
future be alone employed for garrison and Etappen duties,* the 
Governor-General of Rheims applied for an early relief of the 
detachment belonging to the 2nd Landwehr Division, posted 
at that time in fi'ont of Meziires. General v. j^Ianteitffel in 
consequence ordered the 1st Division, at the time on the march 
to Rethel, to bend away to Boulzicourt, and then to undertake 
the siege in accordance with the orders. The pontoon column 
of the Ist Corps was also attached to this Division ; part of the 
heavy guns mtended for the attack of the fortress were, 
according to reports from Rheims, already at Boulzicourt. 

The 1st Division, which, after an unimportant collision with 
some hostile troops reconnoitring from Montm^dy, had on 
the 10th November reached Le Chesne by way of Beaumont, 
received on arrival the order to which allusion has just been 
made, and in accordance therewith moved to Boulzicourt on 
the 11th. The 41st Regiment had a slight skirmifih on the 
13th to the north of this place with the adversary, who made a 
sortie from Miziires, whilst the 43rd Regiment, with a squad- 
ron and a battery, passed to the right bank of the Meuse, at 
Doncheiy. On the 14th the fortress was surrounded : on the 
east by the 2nd, and on the west by the Ist Brigade ; the latter 
at the same time occupied the passages of the Sormonne, and 
undertook the duty of watching Rocroy. 

The main body of the Ist Army had meanwhile continued its 
march westward, without halting. The Vlllth Corps crossed 
the Meuse to the north of Verdun, and after calling in the Rifle 
battalion, the two pioneer companies, and the 65th Regiment,f 
reached St. Menehould and vienne le Chftteau, at the west 
foot of the Argonne, on the 11th November ; the column of 
troops of the 1st Corps was at tliis time at Buzancy. The 
3rd Uavahy Division came up between the two wings of the 
Army, after having scoured, m accordance with its orders, the 
entire mountainous district, without meeting -^itli armed re- 

* Tliis letter, despatched on the Slst October, did not reach its* destinntiun until 
now in consequcnco of a delav in the field post. It included, anionpst other motter-, 
n further change in tJie distribution of the Goremment and Etappen troops, hy 
virtue of which the Inftpection-Oeneral of Etappen of the 1st Army liad alone at its 
disposal the St. Wendel Landwehr battalion and the Ist squadron 6th Resent' 
Hussars. The Etappen troops reeerred for the armies were as follows : — 

Ilnd Army : 4 battalions, 2 squadrons, — batteries. 
IIIrdArmytlfi „ „ 2 „ 

Meuse Army : 4 „ 2 „ — „ 

The Goremment-General of Alsace had now at its disposal 23 battalions, 9 squad- 
rons, and 2^ batteries ; that of Lorraine 20 battalions, 6 squadrons, 2 batteries ; thnt 
of Bheims 17 bottalions, 4 squadrons, 3 batteries. 

t See Part II, p. 247. In lieu of this last-named regiment, the 60tb Kegiment 
was assigned to the Gk)Temment-Oeneral of Lorraine, whose jurisdiction, in purtu- 
auce of superior orders of the 4th November, now included also the Department of 
the Meuse. 


sistiiuce at any point; the 33rcl Regiment and the two batteries 
of the Vlllth Corps rejoined their respective commands on this 
fi'ont.* In such deplo^^nent did the Army in the succeeduig 
days traverse the broad plains of Champagne ; on the 1.5th it 
reached with its leit wing the neighbourhood of Rheims, vrith 
the right the vicinity of Kethel.+ On that same day commenced 
the investment of La Fere by the 4th Infantry Brigade, Trhose 
transport from Pont-ii-jVIousson to Soissons had been delayed by 
stoppages in the railway traffic. 

The Commander-in-Chief had already betaken himself with 
his staif, on the 14th, to Rheims, for the purpose of initiating, 
in immediate communication with the Government-General 
there, the advance to the Oise, and of coming to a decision with 
regard to further proceedings against the Ardennes fortresses. 
From the more recent communications of the supreme autho- 
rities it appeared that the artillery originally destined for 
the siege of Mezi6res had been meanwhile appointed for 
employment against La Fere. In its place the siege train 
which could now be dispensed Avith at Verdun, was assigned 
for the attack of Mezieres. But as it had first to be transported 
by country roads to Clermont, and its arrival could not in 
consequence be counted upon for several weeks. General 
V. Manteuffel refrained, until that time, from any serious enter- 
prise against Mezieres. Ue expressly prohibited any cannonade 
uf the toAvn during this period, but rather, by taking up a posi- 
tion in front of the south side of the fortress, and by watcning 
Rocrov and Givet, decided for the time being to secure his 
own hues of communication in the rayon of the General Govern- 
ment against the triangle of fortresses formed by those three 
points. For this purpose he appointed the troops of the pre- 
vious 3rd ReserA^'e Division, who had meanwhile advanced to 
Briey;J after the arrival of this latter at Boulzicourt the 1st 
Division was to be again brought up to the Army. All other 
airangements with regard to the subsequent siege of Mezieres 
were left, taking into account the further advance of the 1st 
Army westward, to the general commanding the Vllth Corps, 
to whom the detachment of troops just mentioned was also 
assigned for this purpose. Gieneral v. Zastrow, after the trans- 
port of the French prisoners of war had been concluded and 
the return of the escort parties, had forthAvith commenced the 
investment of Thionville and Montmedy, to wliich duty he had 
been deputed. Before the former fortress stood the main body 
of the 14th Division ; in front of the latter fortress was a detacli- 
nient from l)oth Divisions of the Vllth Coi-ps, consisting of 
l)attalions, 4 squadrons, and 1 battery, which had likcAnse to 

" To make the VTIIth Corps complete, there ^as still wanting the 28th Eegi- 
ment, which did not leave (he Moselle with the haxon pontoon coiuran until theOtli. 

t Appendix LXXXVII contains the daily destinations of the different unica and 
of the head-quarters of the 1st Army until tlie 15th Kovember. 

t 10th and 81 st Resriments. 1st Resen'e Dmjroons, 3i"d Reserre Husiari, and 
3 Rrsorvc huttcrie* of the Vth Armv Corps. 

ii 2 


obsen'e Longwy ; the greater part of the 13th Divifdon was in 
aiul near Metz, Tlic General Inspection of Etappen, after 
arranging for the transport of snpplies and the regulation of 
their other business in tnat neighbourhood, followed the army 
headHjuarters to Rheims. 


the Upper 





Immediately after the surrender of Metz, the Ilnd Army had 
commenced its forward movement to the south-west. [u 
accordance with the instructions received some days before 
from Versailles, Prince Frederick Charles intended to arrive 
abreast of Troyes and Chaumont on the 11th November, with 
the objast, if necessary, of giving a hand to the XIV th Corps 
from the latter place. * The right wing of the army, consisting 
of the IXth Corps, and the 1st Cavalry Division* drawn forward 
to Briey on the 29th October from its positions east of the 
Moselle, reached on the 2nd November the west bank of the 
Meuse at St. l^iihiel, whilst the Illrd Corps crossed the river 
further up at Commercy. The Xth Corps, which was to form 
the left wing of the armv, set out with its main forces from the 
neighbourhood of Metz for Toul on the last-mentioned date, and 
was followed on the 4th November by the 40th Brigade,t which 
had up to that time been left at the request of the commander- 
in-chief of the 1st Army as guard to the prisoners' camp at 
St. Barbe. The parts of the Ilnd Corps, still at Metz, followed, 
in accordance with instructions from the supreme authorities, 
the Division despatched towards the end of October in the 
direction of Paris, as reinforcement to the investing army. The 
ereater part of the 3rd Division was transported by rail to 
Nanteuil-sur-Mame between the 3rd and 8th November; the 
14th Regiment, 6 squadrons of the 3rd and 11th Dragoons, the 
corps artillery, and part of the trains marched by the most 
direct road through Bar le Due, Vitry, and Sezanne. 

With regard to the next duties of the Ilnd Army, General 
Count V. Moltke had, in a letter which reached amy head- 
quarters at Commercy on the 3rd November, expressed himself 
to the eflFect that the first eflforts should be oirected to dis- 
perse the newly organised forces of the adversary-. With the 
reservation as to other duties dependent upon the future course 
of events, he indicated as desirable the occupation of Bourges, 
and also of Nevers and Ch&lon-sur-Sa6ne. At that time the 
opinion still prevailed that one army corps at each of the 
above-named places would suffice to disperse any hostile forces 
assembled there. 

Accordingly the army held to the direction originally t-aken 
in accordance with instructions from army head-quarters. The 
daily rations, while traversing the exhausted country in the 

• See Fart II, p. 246. 
» t With the **^ 

16th Drug. 

and the 4th light battery Xth Army Corps. 


u«ighbourliood of Metz, were drawn from the Bupplies caiiied 
with the troops ; later on they were furnished by the owners 
of billets, whilst the commissaiiat trains and waggon parks 
replenished their suppUes as required from the magazines 
aiTanged beforehand on the different lines of march.* Through 
good diet, the prevalence of better weather, and less fatiguing 
marches along well-made roads, the health of the troops 
visibly improved. The marches, however, had at first pro- 
ceeded Arithout incident, and it was not until the neighbour- 
hood of the Marne was reached that there was distinct evidence 
of an aimament of the people, which had its origin more par- 
ticularly &om Langres and Chaumont. Some miles to the north 
of the latter place there occurred, for the first time, some slight 
collisions with the enemy. 

The Ilird Corps had ah*eady detached from Commercy upon 
(liaumont, by way of Gondrecourt, a force consisting of 2 batta- 
lions, 3 squadi'ons, and a batteiy,t for the purpose of securing 
the left flank towards that side during the further march of 
the anny.J This duty, in consequence of instinictions from 
army head-quartei'S which anived shortly afterwards, had been 
extended in so far that that the troops were to occupy the rail- 
Avav junction at Bologne and, if possible, those at Chaumont 
ana Biicon. The object of tliis was to prevent the adversaiy 
removing the locomotives and wagffons on the lines south-west 
of Neufchatcau, and in the next place to open the trafiic for 
themselves on that part of the hne from Blesme by way of 
<,'haumont to Troyes. 

This left flank detachment of the Ilird -tVimy Corps fomid, 
on the Gth November, on the march fiom Doulaincourt to 
Froncles, the steep hollow way leading into the Mamc valley 
barred by abattis. The latter w-ere not occupied, but at Froncles 
and Provencheres, as well as on the heights south of this vil- 
lage, there appeai'ed French infantry who fired at the Prussian 
dragoons scouting in advance. As, according to the statement 
of the inhabitants, there were considemble hostile forces at 
Chaumont and Langres, Colonel v. Conta endeavoured in the 
firat place to open communication with the main bodv of the 
coi-ps ai-riving at Joinville this day. He, therefore, uncier cover 
of tne 9th and 11th cos. of the Body Guard Grenadiers, which 
took up the musketiy action with the enemy in the Marne val- 
ley, withdrew %vith the advanced guard by way of Villei-s-sur- 
ilame to Gudmont, vnih. the rest of the troops to Rouvray. 

The coi-ps coimnander. General v.Alveusleben (II), on receiving 
a report at Joinvillo of these proceedings, assembled the 5th 

• Appendix LXXXVIII contains the daily destination of the different units and 
the heaa-quartcrs of the Ilnd Army up to the 10th Xovembpr. 

. llndandJFn^ 1 st and 3rd ■ ' ;jrd_ j^^ j^^^ ^,^^^ ^^^^j^^ (.^j^^^j ^ 

' 8 :ind Draff. 12th Drag. ^ 


X Tlic Xlh Coi-jM had r.ot yet nrrired in the foiTmo$t line of the anuy. 


Divifiion at Rouvray on the followiug iiiornmp:, and caused the 
flank detachment, reinforced hj the 1st batlaUon Body Guard 
Grenadiers, once more to advance along the west bank of the 
Mame towards Chaumont. The enemv had meanAvhile retired 
to beyond Bologne, and occupied only a copse situated about 
two miles to the south between Mai'ant and Bretenny, as also 
the last-named village. The place was cleared after a few 
shells^ while the detachment in the copse was turned on both 
flanks, subsequently dispersed after a brief struggle by the 12th 
CO. Body Guard Grenadiers, and for the most paii; taken 
prisonera. A squadron of dragoons dispatched against Chau- 
mont, which was said to be strongly occupied, was received 
in the neighbourhood of Buxereuilles vriih. volley fire fi-om formed 
detachments of French infantry. But when the Piiissians re- 
sumed their advance from Bologne on the 8th, they encountered 
no ftirther resistance. The 5th Division now spread out through 
Chaumont, as far as Bricon, and in this position acraited the 
arrival of the Xth Corps coming up from Toul. The latter 
reached Andelot on the 9th November at the same time as the 
main body of the Ilird Cori>s arrived at Doulevantand Barnsur- 
Aube ; the right wing of the army, whose cavalry patrols had 
already scouted from Montier en Der towards the passages of 
the Seine, and found them free fi*om the enemy, occupied Troyes 
^vith an advanced detachment.* 

On the following day the whole of the IXth Corps vrith the 
1st Cavalrv Division was assembled there, whilst the main body 
of the Ilird Corps marched to Vendeuvre, and the 5th Division 
reached Claii'vaux. The Xth Coi-ps anived with its maui forces 
in the neighbourhood of Chaumont, with the 40th Brigade at 

From Nancy, which since the end of October had formed the 
chief Etappon station of the Ilnd Army, Etappen and Govern- 
ment troops occupied, in proportion as this army advanced, the 
most important points on the gieat road to Chaumont, and on 
the railway lines from Neufchateau and Blesme which met at 
Bologne. On the latter, steps were at once taken for restoiing- 
the three railway bridges over the Mame in the neighbourhood 
of Villers, which had been destroyed bv the French. 

The Ilnd Army thus stood on the 10th November in a lint- 
between Troyes and Chaumont. ready to continue its moyemenis 
in the previous direction. On this day, however, Princt- 
Frederick diaries received at his head-quarters in Troyes it 
telegram from the supreme authorities, in which he was sum- 
moned to move away to the right in a westerly du*ection in 
consequence of the present situation at Paris and on the Loire. 


* On the aiteruoon of the btli a squadron of the 12tli Lancers had lerieii a contri- 
bution of money on this town, as sliortly before a caralrr patrol had been fired upon 
by the inliabitauts in passing through the streets. 


lu the French capital the revohitioiiaiy party,* iovHoiiie Umo 
past working iu isecret, had gradually become considerably en- 
larged, and kept the inhabitants in a constant state of agitation 
by its alaiming manifestations. The mob wliich, iutcrspei-sed 
with National Guards, collected repeatedly in front of the Hotel 
de Ville, the Louvre, and the monument of Strassburg, demanded 
that Chassepots should be served out, that all officials with 
monarchical proclivities should be discharged, and that they 
should proceed to the election of a municipal council. As the 
(jrovernment hesitated to interfere seriously with these proceed- 
ings which were at one time ridiculed by then* own pcoplct they 
were shortly expressed in open acts of violence. On the 8th 
October 4,000 armed National Guards smrounded the Hotel de 
Ville, shouting ** Long hve the Commune I " and had to be dis- 
persed by other troops. But even on this occasion the well- 
Known ringleaders of the distm*bance enjoyed perfect immunity 
from punii^ment, and in spite of the outward appearance of 
tranquiUity, the agitation among the lower classes continued 
steadily on the increase. Moreover, the many ill successes of 
the French arms during the month had evoked a very general 
feeling of dissatisfaction vnth the present Government. This 
critical situation reached its climax, when, about the same time 
that the intelligence arrived of the fall of Metz and of the un- 
favourable issue of the struggle at Le Bourget, Thiei-s rctmiied 
to Paris from his seven weeks journey to the European Coiuts,f 
and at once the news spread through the capital of the com- 
plete failure of his efforts. According to his representation of 
the state of afiairs, no effective help was to be expected either 
from abroad or from the provinces through which he had just 
travelled. After so many disillusions the leaders of the State 
were freely accused of treason and incapacity. The heads of 
the revolutionary party considered the moment ripe for putting 
their plans into execution. 

On the 31st October in an assembly of delegates from the 
different quarters of the city, it was resolved to depose the 
Government and recognise the Conmiime. Boisterous mobs 
besieged the Hotel de Ville on all sides. Some battalions of 
National Guards summoned for its protection having made com- 
mon cause with the insurgents, General Trochu withdrew the 
three companies of the Garde Mobile posted in the interior of 
the extensive building, after that they had received instructions 
to defend their post, but not to make use of their fire-arms. 
The rioters now pressed unopposed into the building, and 
smashed the doors of the council room ; the members of the 
Government sitting there in council and the Commandei'-in- 
Chief of the Garde Nationale, were surrounded by armed men 
and made prisoners. In the general couftision the minister Picard 

• See Part II, p. 97. 

t It was wont to be called in Paris the tHonomanie d§ l*4iMute, 

t 19e« Part n, p. 21. 


escaped; be at once took the most iieceSHUiy Btepa for dealiug 
with the disturbance, and caused the general assembly to be 
beaten in the streets. At 8 p.m. several battalions which had 
remained loyal to the Government surrounded the mob as- 
sembled in front of the Hotel de Ville. Two companies of 
Gardes Mobiles reached the building by means of an under- 
groimd passage from their barrack, and in the course of the 
night opened the doors to the Government troops outside. Tlio 
riotei-s fled, throwing away their arms; part of them were 
captiured in and in front of the Hotel de ville, but were sub- 
sequently set at large without punishment. 

During these proceedings in the interior of Paris, the Frencli 
Government had once more entered into negotiations with the 
German head-quarters with a view to facilitating the election 
in regidar form of the representatives of the people. With 
this object, conferences took place at Versailles between Thiere 
and Count v. Bismarck ; but these led to no favourable result, 
as the Frencli not only demanded a month's armistice, but also 
put forward the inacceptable demand to re-provision the 
capital. The minister Favre in Paris and Gambetta in Tours 
now publicly declared that all prospect of agi-eement with the 
(Germans had disappeared, and that the war must be carried on 
to the bitter end. For this, however, there was but little dis- 
]iosition at that time in Paris. A very general discouragement 
already prevailed there, and many persons expressed themselves 
that in view of the late of Metz, which sooner or later could 
not fail to be shared, an armistice even without the entry of 
provisions might be taken as the finst step to peace. Such was 
the position of affairs when in the second week of November 
the imexpected news that the Army of the Loire had gained a 
victory mled the spirits of the French with fresh hope. 

The supreme power at Tom's had been since the middle of 
October almost exclusively in the hands of Gambetta. As 
Minister of the Interior and Minister of War he combined in 
his own person the two at the time most important offices, and 
directed not only the composition but also tlie movements of the 
armies called out by himself, without consulting the other 
Ministers.* By virtue of this almost al>solutc power, which 
l«U5ted until the close of the war, the iron will of this indefati- 
gable man succeeded in placing in the field against the Germans 
a force of 600,000 men and 1,400 guns. 

In addition to the line troops and Gardes Mobiles which had 
aheady been grouped into the larger units, the National 

• See Part II, p. 1-A4. The Minister of Mariue, Vice- Admiral Fourichon, had 
originally undertoken as well the duties of Minister of War, but shortly after re- 
signed that office. The current business was transacted under Gambetta's direction 
bj his assistant, Frejdnet. 


Guai'dtt by vii'tue of au order oi tlio lltli Octobur hud been 
afterwards combined by paiishes and districts into compauieu 
and battalions of varying strength. A brigade formed for each 
Department from these detachments was to be employed as a 
general rule for its defence, but under certain circumstances 
might be used beyond its rayon. The organisation of the 
larger imits had also been actively taken in hand. Under 
cover of the two Coips of the Loire Anny, commanded since the 
middle of October bv General d'Am'elle de Paladines, which, us 
akeady mentioned, stood between Blois and Gien,* the forma- 
tion of the 17th Corps in the neighbourhood of iler and 131oi8. 
and of the 18th at Nevers, were taken in hand, whilst another 
Corps under Vice-Admiral Jaures at Chateaudun, Brou and No- 
gent le Rotrou filled the gap between the troops on tlie Loire 
and the forces distributed in north-west France. There, in 
northern Nonnandv and Picardv, General Bourbakihad assumed 
tlie chief command, General Briant at Rouen, and General 
Fi^reck on the left bank of the Seine. 

On the right wing of the last-named force, Lieut.-Colonel 
Marty "with 8,000 men commanded from Chateauneuf and 
Senonches the position between the Upper Eure and Blaise to a 
point abreast of Coiir\411e and Gamay. Dreux, an important 
place, had been some time occupied by about 7,000 Gardes 
Mobiles under General du Temple, but had been evacuated on 
the 25th October on the advance of the Gth Prussian Cavalry 
Division. After this latter had been shortly brought up again 
to Maintenon by desire of the commander of the 22nd Division,! 
both Divisions made a raid towards Coiu'ville on the 3rd No- 
vember. This was joined on the left also by the 4th Cavuhy 
Division, which advanced with two Brigades through Xogent- 
sur-Eiu:e upon Com'\'ille, with the 3rd to Bailleau ie Pin, and 
from thence reconnoitred toward Illiers. A few shells it is 
true caused the. evacuation of Courville ; but as the entire 
district lying to the west appeared to be strongly occupied by 
the enemy, the Piiissians commenced their return maixli to 
Chartres on the following morning. Since the withdrawal of 
the 6th Cavalry Division there had been constant coUisions 
between the Gennan and French patrols in Dreux, 

In front of the 5th Cavalry Division standing at Houdan and 
Mantes there were some 8,000 Gardes Mobiles and franctireurs 
imder Colonel Mocquard,t holding the neighbourhood (.f 
Evi-eux ; they had extended themselves along tlie Lower Kure 
as far as Pacy, and along the Seine as far as Gaillon and Vei- 
non. On the 22nd October the 13th Prussian Cavalry Brigade 

* Tlie 15th and IGth, sec Part II, p. 1G3-4. The command of the 16lh Corps, of 
which the 2nd Division and a brigade each of the two other Divisions were bv the 
beginning of November at Blois in readiness to march, wns subsequentlv assumed 
by General Chanzy. Appendix LX2CXIX contains the ordre de bataille of this Corps. 

t See Part II, p. 1G7. The 3rd Hussars and a Bavarian battalion remained ot 
Riuabouillet. 2See also Ocnoral Map No. 5. 

X Tliis officer was replaced in November by General Thoma«. 


during a rcconuai8sauce orclerftl from tlic lieHd-qiiai*ters of the 
Ilird Army had come iuto collisiou with swarms of French tirail- 
lenrs to the south of Chaufour, and in order to avoid being sur- 
rounded had withdi-awu to Mantes. Strong detachments of the 
enemy approached at the beginning of November to within seven 
miles of this town, but disappeared agaiu immediately after 
from that neighbourhood. 

The troops of the German Army pushed forward to the west 
for the purpose of covering the investment of Paris, had thus 
during theu* raids up to the commencement of November met 
"with considerable bodies of French troops at all points along 
and behind the £ure, but had been unable to gain a clear idea 
of the real strength and positions of the adversary, in conse- 

auence of the close and intersected nature of tne district, 
^n the right bank of the Seine also a general forward move- 
ment of the French forces had been observed since the end of 
October.* But it was on the Loire at this time that the enemy 
displayed more marked activity. 

The occupation of Chateaudun and of the neighbourhood 
west of Orleans by German troops soon after the middle of 
October had been taken bv the French as an indication of an 
impending enterprise against Tours. In consequence of this 
the Government there first pushed forward the available parts 
of the 16th Corps at Blois to a point abreast of March^noir 
and Mer, and had ordered a Brigade of the 15th Coips to bo 
brought up from the Sauldre to Blois. But as the anticipated 
advance not only did not take place, but, on the contrary, more 
precise information arrived with regard to the paucity of Ger- 
man troops on the Loii*e, it was resolved in a council of war at 
Salbris on the 24th October to attack Orleans. 

Two Divisions of the 15th Corps were with the assistance of 
the railway to be transported in the succeeding days to Yen- 
dome and Mer, and afterwards, in conjunction with the troops 
of the 16th Corps already pushed forward beyond Blois, to take 
the direction of Les Barres and La Chapelle. It was the inten- 
tion to bring the advance initiated from the west to a decision 
in front of Orleans on the last day of October, and at the same 
time to threaten the Geiinan line of retreat upon Paris by a 
movement of 13 regiments of cavalry towards Artenay. The 
1st Division of the 15th Corps posted at Argent, and the troops 
of the 16th C()ii)8 still in Bourges received orders to assemble 
at Gien, and afterwards to move against the east side of Orleans. 
A fiu*ther continuation of the ofiensive movements northward 
was not for the moment contemplated bv tlie French authori- 
ties ; on the coutrarv, instructions reached General d'Aurelle 
on the 27th from Tours to tlie efifect that after the capture of 
Orieans he was to form at that place an entrenched camp for 
about 200,0C() men.f 

• See Part II, pp. 172-173. 

•t ISee tlie work " La premi^r« Knuie de la Loii'e/' 


Several iuterruptioiib in the traffic on the railway from Salbris 
to Blois, and the rainy weather which had cut up the ground, 
delayed the advance of the troops moving from tlie west upon 
Orleans. It was not until the beginning of November tliat on 
the right wing the two Divisions of the 15 th Corps and lleyaus 
Cavalry Division stood on the Loii-e above and below iler, a 
brigade of the former on the left bank of the stream at Muides 
serving as support to a detachment of all arms advancing to 
that point ;* on the left wing behind the Bois de March^noir 
was the greater part of the IGth Corps. Beyond these again a 
cavahy brigade with a battalion and a battery had reached 
Autainville, whilst another battalion at Cloyes covered the left 
flank towards Chateaudun. 

The German troops assembled under the orders of General 
V. der Tann, had meanwhile retained in general the positions 
round Orleans, which they had taken up during the second half 
of October ;t they had formed connection by way of Orgeres 
^vith the two Prussian Divisions at Chartres, and in consequence 
of information as to the movements of the enemy had, towards 
the end of the month, made frequent incursions over the country 
to the westward. A detachment of all arms} reconnoitring from 
Coidmiers drove some franctireurs out of Binas on the 25th 
October, who in theii* retreat to the Bois de Mai'chenoir were 
successfully charged by two squadrons of the 4th Hussars, and 
were partly put to the sword, and partly taken prisoners. Some 
other Frencn troops endeavoured to press forward from the 
wood towards Binas, but again retired as they caine under fire 
of a company of Bavarian Kifles, deployed meanwhile along the 
edge of the wood, and of two guns which had unUmbered in 
the vicinity. The rifles subsequently made a vigorous counter- 
attack, at 5 p.m., and repulsed the enemy for a distance of a 
mile, with considerable loss. Another reconnoitring column, 
despatched towards Josnes on the same day,§ did not meet 
Avith any gi*eat resistance, as the adversary had already eva- 
cuated the villages lying on its line of march. Hostile detach- 
ments, which received Avith fire the patrols of hussai's advancing 
beyond Cravant, were forced by a few rounds of shell to seek 
cover in the vineyards to the rear. 

On the 31st October strong French detachments again ad- 
vanced from the Bois de ilarchenoir. Bavarian Cuirassiers were 
driven from Ouzouer le Marche, where they were engaged in 
collecting forage ; but on the appearance of the 2nd Cavalry 
Division, which had been quickly summoned, the adversary at 
once evacuated the place. In the forest of Orleans, and at 

* One Bifle Battaliuu dc Marcho, 1 battalion Giirdc Mobile, 1 >quadn)n. Xiitionul 
Guards and franctireurs. 
t See Port II, p. 1G4. 

5 IrSSi* 7th BaT.'Bito ' *^^ ^'' ^- ^' ^'^^'^ ^^""^ ^'"'P^* 


several poiutn Bouth of the Loiie, frauctii-eui-b biiowed theui- 
selves once more with great boldness ; while the inhabitants of 
tlie villages beyond the Une of the German outposts became 
more and more hostile in their conduct. At Vannes patrols of 
Ihe Ist Body Guard Hu8sai*s had been forced to retire on the 
2Gth and 27th October, losing men and horaes ; at St. Cyr en 
Val small recoimoitiing detachments were frequently fired upon. 

The reports with regard to these proceedings in the west and 
south of the troops investing Pai'is, left no doubt at the Royal 
head-quarters in Versailles of the decided progress of the 
armaments in western and central France ; but as regards the 
real strength and the chief points of assembly of the hostile 
forces, there was as yet no trustworthy intelligence. Although 
the enemy's positions, as discovered at times during the diffe- 
rent reconnaissances, appeared at present to point more to a 
passive defence than to serious offensive movements, yet the 
contingency must not be lost sight of that the French might 
still make an attempt to relieve the capital before the arrival of 
the Gciman Armies from Metz. There were many reasons which 
seemed to favour the probability of the French making a for- 
ward movement from the west, as such an advance would 
threaten the head-quarters of the Kmg, and the siege park in 
c-ouvRO of formation at Villacoublay, just as much as an attack 
from the south, while in addition it kept the relieving army 
for i\ longer period from contact with the troops advancing 
from Metz, and favoured its junction with their own forces 
in Normandy. Intelligence which appeared at this time in 
several newspapers with regard to the reT)orted movement of 
troops along the railway from Tours to Le Mans appeared to 
confirm this view. But as the state of affairs was not clear 
enough for the supreme German authorities to adopt decisive 
counter-measures, attention was for the time directed to more 
complete precautions against sorties of the Paris garrison, and 
also to increased vigilance against any attempts to raise the 
siege ; for this double object the reinforcements expected fi'om 
tlie east were to bo hurried fonvard with the least possible 

In order to enable the Army of the Meusc to detach a reserve 
on its right wing, ijow menaced to all appeamnce from Rouen, 
parts of the Guard Landwehr Di%dsion relieved on tlu^ 5th 
November the brigade of the IVtli Anny Corps posted on the 
Argenteuil Peninsula. The 4th Infantry Division arriving at 
this time from Nanteuil, assembled in rear of the southern line 
of investment at Longjimieau. The other Division of the 
Ilnd Anny Corps received instnictions to occupy the gi'oimd in 
the delta between the mouths of the Seine and Marne held by 
the 17th, whilst this latter Division was designated to reinforce 
those parts of the Anny desi^atched to the south and west. The 
chief command of these troops was intrusted by His Majesty" the 

*" Sec Tart IT, p 2C0. 


King, on the 7tli November, to the Grand Duke of Meckleuburg- 
Schwerin. This officer received instiiictions to oppose any 
attempts at relief on the part of the enemy from the south- 
west, with this newly-formed force, which now consisted of the 
Ist Bavarian Corps, the 17th and 22nd Infantry Divisions, the 
2nd, 4th, and 6th Cavahry Divisions. According to more detailed 
ordera from the head-quarters of the Ilird Army, under which 
the Grand Duke was temporarily placed, the right wing of his 
force was to be concentrated on the 12th November at Chartres, 
on the Eure, the 17th Division as left wing at Bonneval, on tho 
Loir, and tho greater part of the Ist Bavarian Corps at Cha- 
teaudun. A brigade of the latter and the 2nd Cavaty Division 
were to hold Orleans, The deployment of the force, ^vith its 
main front towards the west, did not, however, take place, as 
a change in the state of affairs on the Loire rendered other 
measures necessary. 

Reconnaissaxce of the Bois de Mabghekoir on the 7th 


During the first days of November the German outposts west 
of Orl&ns had perceived that the concentration of French 
forces, i*ecently commenced on the line between Mer on the 
Loire and Moree on the Loir, was constantly increasing in its 
proportions- On the 6th November the patrols found Chateaudun 
occupied by the adversary ; at Beaugency a division of the 4th 
Bavarian Chevauxlegers, on the approach of hostile infantrv 
along the left bank of the Loire, haa to cut their way through 
an armed mob. 

In order to acquire more precise intelligence with regaid to 
the state of affairs in his front, General Count zu Stolberg 
advanced on the following day with three regiments of the 2nd 
Cavalry Division, the horse ai-tilleiy batteries belonging to the 
latter, and 1^. Bavarian battalions, in two columns by way of 
Baccon and Ouzouer le Marche, whilst a reserve, consisting of 
the Body Guard Cuirassiers and the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade, 
foUowea as far as the fii'st-named place.* The Gth Hussars lead- 
ing the advance of the main column, who with the 1st horse 
artillery batterv and a detachment of Bavarian riflemen, trans- 
ported on the limbers, reached Chantome at 10 a.m., foxmd this 

* Main colamn: 6tb Hussars with 1st H. A. battery Ilnd Armj Corps, 2nd 
- 2nd, i 3rd, and 4th 

^''""' iBt Bay. BiHes • 

Right flank detachment : 4th Hussars with the 3rd H. A. batterj, Vlth Amir 
, lOlh, 11th, and 12th 

^T«» •"^ — isthBs;: — • 

Beserre : Ist Body Guard Cuirassiers and Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade, with the 
1st and 2nd H. A. batteries drd BaTarian Artillerr Begiment. 


village unoccupied, but were fired uj)on by the inhabitant*. A 
Bquadron continuing its movement in a Bouth-westerly direc- 
tion, met at Marolles a French rear-guard, under cover of which 
other troops were withdrawing to the Bois de March^noir. 
Two guns fetched up from Chantome drove the enemy with 
a few shells out of Marolles, but the lancers escorting them were 
in their further pursuit fired upon by musketry from the farms 
at the edge of the wood. J\s French cavahy also appeared on 
the left fiank of the line of advance, the 2nd Bavarian Cuiras- 
siers, with a battery of horse artilleiy, were pushed forward from 
the reserve position at Baccon towards Bizy and Yillermain. 
The right flank detachment, moved up in the noon-hour by way 
of Boussy to Chantome, after a French squadron had disappeared 
in rear of the copses west of Binas, on the approach of its 

General Count zu Stolberg now resolved to inform him- 
self in the first place of the strength of the enemy at Mar- 
chenoii', before continuing his projected march to the Loii*. He 
therefore collected his main forces at Marolles, and then caused 
the three companies of the 13th Bavarian Regiment, with the 3rd 
horse artillery battery, to advance in a westerly direction, whilst 
the 4th Hussars covered the right fiank, and two squadrons of the 
6th Hussars rode towards the point of the wood near St. Laurent 
des Bois. 

General Clmnzy, commanding the 16th French Corps, in con- 
sequence of reports received from Marchinoir, had meanwhile 
Sroceeded to the battle-field, and had sent off* to St. Laurent 
es Bois the first available troops to support the outposts; a 
rifle battalion had already reached that place. When tibe Ger- 
mans commenced these movements they found the border of 
the wood and the farms in its front strongly occupied by the 
enemy ; other troops appeared to be advancing to the attack 
from St. Laurent and Autainville. In consequence of this the 
companies of Bavarian infantry now deployed upon the gently 
rising height near Marolles, the horse artilleiy of tlie 2nd Cavalry 
Division being on their immediate left; the Bavarian rifles 
ensconced tliemsolves in the villages before their front. Against 
this position the enemy opened a ^ngorous fire, which became 
brisker at 2 p.m., when Bourdillon's brigade reached St. Laurent, 
and at onci; l)r()UG:ht its two batteries into action. A cavalrv 
brigade reconnoitring: from Autainville on the right flank of 
the Germans sent some divisions in the direction of Chantome ; 
these were, however, driven off by the 2nd Bavarian rifle 

After half an hour s firing, during which the German sustained 
hea'sy losses, the adversary advanced in several columns from 
St. Laurent and Autain-vallu. As his gi'eat superiority was now 
fully apparent, the commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division 
broke oft" the action at three o'clock. Under cover of the 1st horse 
ai-tillerv batterv, whicli imlimbered to the north-east of Marolles, 
the remaiiuler of the troops retired in echelon to the enst, their 


flanks being protected by tlie hiissarp. The euiraesier resen'e had 
meanwhile come up through Villermain, as far as the neighbour- 
hood south of Cliantome, and opened fire at Ville-piclaire witli 
the 2nd Bavarian horse artillery battery, against the hostile 
columns pressing forward from St. Laurent against MaroUes. 
The advei*sary now allowed the Gennans to retire immolested 
to their former position. The losses in this action amounted on 
the German side to about 150 :* on the French side, it was stated, 
to about 40 men. 

On the 8th November the Army of the Loire, in accordance 
with the already mentioned plan of attack, resumed its for- 
ward movement to the east. It reached this day a point 
abreast of Messas and Ouzouer le Marche, with the 15th Corps 
on the right, and the 16th Corps on the left wing, whilst the 
Cavalry Divisions of both Corps and bands of franctireurs 
moved further north to the neighbourhood of Prinouvellon, 
and pushed foi-ward detachments in the direction of Coulmiers. 
Some battalions remained on the Loir, others secured the 
main approaches to the Bois de Marchenoir. 

The commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division, on the news of 
the enemy's advance, concentrated the two Prussian Brigades,-}* 
and the 1st Bavarian rifle battalion, at La Renardiere and Baccou, 
the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade with the 1st battalion of the 
13th Bavarian Regiment at St. Peravy. Another battaUon of 
this regiment occupied Coulmiers.J The 2nd Bavarian Division 
which had also fallen in, was closely cantoned with its 3rd Bri- 
gade in rear of the left wing of the cavalry at Huisseau, Chain gy, 
and St. Ay, with the 4th Brigade in a position at Ormes. The 
foimer pushed forward a battalion into Chateau Pr^fort; the 
latter, 2 battalions, 2 squadrons, and a battery into Rosiires. 

General v. d. Tann first learnt on the morning of the 8th 
the result of the reconnaissance of the Bois de Marchenoir, and 
at the same time received a report from St. Ay that the patrols 
sent from thence had fallen in with detachments of French 
troops in the neighbourhood of Meung.§ In the noon-hour further 
communications were received with regard to the advance of the 
Army of the Loire, the heads of which had already appeared 

** See Appendix XC, -n'hich contains details of the losses of the 1st Bayarian 
Corps and of the 2nd Cavalrr Dirision, between the 1st and 15th Xorcmber. 

t The 4th Caralrr Brigade was still with the 1st Bararian Dirisicn« on Ihc left 
bank of the Loire. See Part IT, p. 164. 

J At first the — — -, whicli was, howerer, reliercd on tlie afternoon of tlie 8th by 

§ The enemy's presence there was confirmed shortly after by an officer who had 
accompanied M. Tliiers on his journey from Paris tliroueh Orl6ans to Tours, and 
had been turned hack on thij« side of ^[cuus: by the Froncli outpost?. 


l>efi>re tlio front of the 2ud C avalry Divinion at Le Bardon and 
Cliai-8on'\nlle. Spies also brought the news that there were 
considerable bodies of the enemv at Gien. The German com- 
manders deduced from these different observationB that an 
enveloping attack upon Orleans was imminent, and thCTefore 
took that evening the necessary counter-measures. It did not 
appear desirable to accept the struggle at Orleans itself, as the 
great extent of the suburbs and of the vineyards surrounding 
them must entail the dispersion of the comparatively weak force 
of infantiy. and be prejudicial to the effect of the other arms. A 
position of the Germans at some distance to the west of the 
town precluded, on the other hand, the immediate participation 
of any French troops which might have advanced from the 
south "^ and east, at least for the next day, while in the event 
of a disadvantageous action it secured the retreat to the north. 
Under these circumstances General v. d. Tann resolved to con- 
centrate his available forces in the neighbourhood of Coulmiers, 
in front of Buisson and Montpipeau woods, with a view to op- 
posing in front the enemy advancing from the west, or in the 
event of liis taking a road further to the south along the 
Loire, to repulse him by a flank attack upon Beaugency. 

Durin^' that same night the German troops put into execution 
the prescribed movements. In accordance therewith, early on 
the morning of the 9th November, the 2nd Division was assem- 
bled between Cliateau Montpipeau and Rosieres. Imme- 
tliately in its rear at Descures farm was the 1st Division, brought 
up from Orleans, the artillery reserve further to the rear at Les 
Barres. the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade, securing the right flank, 
as before, at St. Piravy. The 2nd Cavalry Division formed up 
with its three brigades before the front of the Bavarians, who 
were facing west, in the following order : — ^the 4th, which had 
arrived at Ormes on the previous evening from the south bank 
of the Lone, in the neighbourhood of St. Sigismond, the 5th at 
Coulmiers, the 3rd with the two horse artillery batteries at 
Baccon. Advanced posts, in the ground between Toumoisis 
and Thorignv, watched the district lying to the west, and ob- 
served from St. Ay the road to Meimg. For the immediate 
support of the cavaliy, or as a reserve to retire upon, there 
were, if required, the battalions already posted on tlie pre- 
cedini^ day at St. Peravy, Coulmiei-s. Baccon, and Chateau 
Prefort. The Body Guard Regiment, with two squadrons and two 
cruns, was left temporarily at Orleans, with the object, should 
There be no engagement on the 9th, of insuring the possession 
of the town, and more especially for the purpose of protecting the 
field hospitals there, which were filled with large numbers of sick 
and wounded : the pontoon bridges previously constructed by 
the Bavarians over the Loiret were broken up. From the 
(Tcrman troops at Chartres an answer was received during the 
night to the request for support conveyed to them by tele- 
graph, that on the 9th November the 22nd Infantry Division 
would reach the neighbourhood of VoveR. while the leading 


troops of the 4th Cavalry Division would arrive at Orgeres.* 
There ivas, therefore, no prospect of any co-operation on this 
day of these reinforcements. 

The commander-in-chief of the French army of the Loire 
had given orders for the 9th November, that on the right \ring 
the 15th Corps wns to advance towards Le Bardou, Les Fon- 
taines, and La Renardiere, the 16th on its left upon Coul- 
miers, and outflank the right of the Germans. With this object 
the latter coi-ps had been further reinforced by 10 cavalry regi- 
ments, six batteries, and numerous franctireurs. 


Movements before Noon. 

General v. d. Tanu proceeded early in the morning of the 9th 
November from Ormes, where he nad passed the night, to 
Huisseau. Here he received at 8 a.m. tne report that strong 
bodies of French troops were advancing from Cravant and 
Messas to the north-east. Shortly after, a brisk skirmish broke 
out between the enemy and the German outposts in the neigh- 
bourhood of Baccon, and further to the south. No infoimation 
had as yet been received with regard to the state of affairs to 
the west of Coulmiers. The German commander, therefore, re- 
solved to oppose his left wing, at the position of the Mauve 
brook, to the enemy, who was apparently advancing with the 
bulk of his forces by way of Rondonneau and Baccon, and 
then to deal a foi-ward blow with the right from Coulmiers, 
in a south-westerly direction. In accordance ^vith the order 
issued in this sense, that part of the 1st Bavarian Brigade}, 
which had reached Descures, advanced at 9 a.m, to La Renar- 
diire, the 3rd to Chateau Pr^fort. Of the other two brigades 
of the Coi-ps, the 4th was to take post at Coulmiers, the 2nd 
^vith the artillery reserve temporarily in rear, at Bonneville. 
Instructions were sent to the cavalry brigades of the right wing 
likewise to advance from St. P^ravy and St. Sigismond to Coul- 
miers ; the troops left in Orleans were ordered to quit it directly 
the artillery fire commenced on the west of the town, and to 
join the left wing of the Corps by way of La Chapelle. 

When the 1st Bavarian Brigade reached the western issue 
from the Montpipeau Wood, it found the 1st Rifle battaUon, 
which had been posted in support of the cavalry at Baccon^ 
already seriously engaged with the enemy. Rebillard's Brigade 

• General y. Wittich had before tbo receipt of this request obtained the consent 
of the head- quarters of the Ilird Army to more off to Orleans, in consequence of 
the intelligence of the enemy's advance, which had reached him from other sourcea 
on the 8th November. 

t See Plan 21. 

t Appendix XCI contains the distribution t)f General r. d. Tann's force for tbe 
9th November. 



of the 15th CJorps had moved with two batteries to Le Bardon 
and Les Fontaines; further on the left, Peytavin's Division, 
reinforced by Daries' brigade and the reserve artiUery, advanced 
towards Baccon, and at 9.30 a.m. deployed a strong line of 
skinmshers in front of this village.* General d'Aurelle de 
Paladines had ridden forward in person to reconnoitre, and 
caused four batteries to come b^ degrees into action in the 
neighbourhood of Ghampdry agamst Baccon. On the Bavarian 
fiide the 2nd Rifle Battalion, marching at the head of the Ist 
Brigade, was now pushed forward to La Riviire and into the 
park of La Renardiere, whilst the batteries belonging to it un- 
mnbered at the north side of this park under protection of the 
Ist Lifantry Regiment. The 3rd Prussian Cavalry Brigade had 
likewise concentrated in that neighbourhood ; the horse ai*til- 
leiy batteries with it, posted on either side of Baccon, brought 
their fire more particularly to bear upon the enemy's columns 
appearing at Les Banchets, although they were taken under a 
brisk fire from the twofold snperior force of French artillery at 
Champdry. To the south-east of this group of combata^nts the 
3rd Bavarian Brigade had at 10.30 a.m. reached Chateau Pr^ 
fort. It occupied the adjoining villages of the Mauve position, 
called in the detachments which had been reconnoitring in the 
direction of Meung,t and with a 6-pounder battery took up a 
position behind Chateau Prefort, as support to the cavalry 
patrols falling back before the enemy. It soon appeared, how- 
ever, that an attack on the left wing of the Bavarians was not 
contemplated by the adversary. As the French troops deployed 
between Le Bardon and Les Fontaines made no iui-ther attempts 
to advance after the noon hour had expired. General v. d. Tann 
ordered the 3rd Brigade to proceed through Huisseau to La 
Renardiere, with a view to taking part in the struggle which 
had broken out with great briskness at that place. 

On the left wing of the Army of the Loire General Clianzy 
had moved oflf in the morning a Division of the 16th Corps, 
with four batteries, through Champdry to Coulmiers ; the other 
Division, with three batteries from Ouzouer-le-Marche thi'ough 
Charsonville upon Qieminiei's. The latter was subsequently 
to reach the great road from Orleans to Ch&teaudun, and en- 
deavour, as far as possible, to push forward along it in the 
direction of Les Barres. On the left flank of the army the masses 
of cavalry, combined under the orders of General Reyau, ad- 
vanced upon Patay, for the purpose of observing towards 
Ch&teaudun and Paris. 

The leading troops of General Barry's Division shortly after 
passing through Champdry were vigorously cannonaded in flank 

* CompaTe the ordre dc batoiUe of the 15th Corps, in Appendix LXXIY. The 
1st Division of this Corps belonged, as already mentioned, to the French troops con- 
centrated at Glen. 

+ JiiL-iuid If* 

' Ist Bifles 4th Cherauxlegers. 


by the Pnissian batteiy* frosted to the north of Baccon. The 
French Anthdrew hastily in rear of the former village, and 
caused, in the first place, two batteries, protected by some 
detachments of lifles, to unlimber against Baccon, whilst the 
rest of the DiAnsion halted, in order to await the result of the 
aiidllery fire, and the progress of the neighbominij: Corps. On the 
left the leading brigade of Jaureguiberry's Division continued 
its forward movement upon Cheminiers, after that, in conse- 

2uence of a report that Coulmiers was strongly occupied by the 
rermans, it had, at 10.30, detached a battery from Saiutry 
in a southerly dh-ection, for the purpose of commandiug the Une 
of advance of the other Division of the Corps, and of suppoi-ting 
the attack of the right wing of the army on La llenardiere. 

The commander of the 2nd Bavarian Division, Major-General 
Schumacher, had before the receipt of instructions fi-om corps 
head-quarters already caused the 4th Brigade to take up a 
position at Coulmiers at 8 a.m : 2 battalions of the 13th Regi- 
mentt in the park situated on the west side of the place and in the 
quarry of Les Ci-ottes, the 7th Rifle Battalion further on the 
right in the small copses and gravel pits, the 4-pr. battery at the 
north-west angle of the park. The rest of the brigadej was in 
reserve to the north of Coulmiers. Reports from the cavahy 
pickets of the enemy's approach led at 10 o'clock to the 8th 
6-pr. battery being brought forward, which now, in conjunction 
'with the 4-pr., commenced to fire upon the French lines of skir- 
mishers deployed on either side of the gi*eat road from Chai-son- 
ville. As about an hour later the enemy's outflanking movement 
made itself felt in the direction of Cheminiei-s, the ord battn. 
10th Regiment, in order to secure the right flank, was des- 
patched to Vaurichard, where the 5th Cavalry Brigade also 
took up its position. The 7th Rifle Battalion occupied Oime- 
teau, the Gtli 6-pr. batteiy unlimbered between this farmstead 
and the before-mentioned quarry. The 2nd Infantry Brigade 
posted at Bonne^alle, and the 4th Cavahy Brigade, which, in 
accordance with orders, had come up from St. Sigismond, re- 
ceived instructions to advance in the dii'ection of Champs. 

The euemy deployed in the first place some batteries between 
Epieds audCheminiei-8, opposite the Coulmiers position; infantry 
detachments proceeded fi-om thence towards Onnoteau, until 
they were forced to halt by the tire ot the Bavarian riflemen. 
Meanwhile Bairy's Division had also resumed iis advance from 
Champdiy, and reached at noon the neighboxirhood of Saintiy. 
Under cover of its artillery, which deployed to the east of the 
place on either side of the gi'eat road against Coulmiei's, the bat- 
taUons made ready for the attack. In consequence of the 

* 3pd horse jirtillerr battery Vlth Army Corps. 

f -£_ waa, as already mcntioued, with tho Cuirassier Brigade at St. Pcrayy. 

J Ilndandinrd 3rd and MH> ^^ ,^^ gj,, q batteries. 
10 4th ChoTftuxlt'eers 

n 2 


tlireateniug measures of the enemy, the Bavarians now also 
strengthened their line of fire at Coiilmiers -wnth two 6-pr. 
batteries from the artilleiy resers'e, of which one took up a 
position to the south of the park, the other on the right wmg 
at Ormeteau.* 

The heads of the French cavalry moving on the left flank 
of the anny of the Loire had encountered that morning at 
Renneville detachments of the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade. 
The latter had meanwhile commenced at 11 a.m. its prescribed 
march upon Coulmiers, as from the reports meanwhile received 
the French cavahy were not followed by anv force of import- 
ance. To the south of Coulimelle, however, the brigade foimed 
up against the front line of Qeneitil Reyau's cavalry deployed 
between Champs and La Vallee, which, after the first few shells 
from the 1st Bavarian horse artilleiy battery brought up to the 
east of La Haie farm, wheeled about, but only to clear the front 
for their own artillery. The latter and a batteiy unlimbei*ed to 
the west of St. Sigismond now opened a very neavy fire upon 
the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade, whose 2iid liorae artillery bat- 
tery had meanwhile hastened up from St. Peravy and come into 
action to the west of Porcheresse fanii. 

Whilst thus about noon a brisk cannonade ensued between 
the contending artilleries at this noiihenimost point of the 
field of battle, and in the neighbourhood of Coulmiers, the 
Bavarians further to the south had been obliged to abandon 
their advanced posts after a long and stubborn resistance. After 
that the Ist Rifle Battalion had, in the flrst place, retired under 
the enem3'^'s superior flre fi*om Baccon upon La Renardiere and 
La Grand Motte, and then the Prassian nonse artillery batteries 
had also withdrawn abreast of the artilleiy in action to the 
north of the latter place,t the situation of the 2nd Rifle Bat- 
talion in La Riviere, which was on fire in severtal places, became 
very critical. Peytavin's French Division, following at the heels 
of the Bavarians, had established itself in Baccon, and caused 
four batteries to come into action on either side of this village, 
vnili a view to preparing further oSensive movements of tlie 
infantiy. An enveloping attack of the latter upon La Riviere 
was, it is true, repulsed by the defenders; but when a fifth 
French battery began to fire from the height west of St. 
Christoplie farm, the Bavarian riflemen abandoned in good order 
the village which they had so long maintained, covering them- 
selves by vigorous counter-attacks against the enemy, who was 
forcing his way into it from three sides. The Bavarian infantiy 
now prepared to defend La Renardiere, the south side of which 

* In the line of guns of the 4th Bavarian Brigade, now extending from Ormeteou 
to tlie south of Coulmiers park, tlic batteries occupied the following positions from 
right tjj left : — 

7th, 6-pr . Cth, 6-pr . 8t h, 6 p -. iih^irjn: Btli, 6-pr. 
3 ' 1 '"I'l ' 3 

t Two batteries of the Ist Bavarian Brigado. Sec preceding narrative. 


had already been occupied by a compauy of the 1st lufabtry Regi- 
ment. To the north-east of the place the four German batteries 
now took up a fresh position on either side of Hotten,* in which, 
covered on the right by the 3rd Cavahy Brigade, they succeeded 
in holding the advei'sary at buy for a considerable time. 


When the French Divisions had established themselves tumly 
at all points in front of the main position of tho Germans, tliey 
redoubled in the afternoon their efibi-ts to capture La Renardiere 
and Coulmiers. 

At the former village the Bavarian riflemen repulsed tho 
enemy's attack. But as General v. Dietl did not consider him- 
self equal to another collision with the three French brigades 
opposed to him,t he withdrew at two o'clock \vith his troops in a 
noiiJi-easterly direction, and under tho protection of an inter- 
mediate position taken up by the 1st Regiment and the batteries 
upon the height near Clos faim, reached unmolested the wood 
west of Montpipeau. 

Peytavin 8 French Division appeared at first to content itself 
with the occupation of La Renardiere park, but subsequently 
passing round it by the south-east, resumed its movement in 
advance. At the same time, about 3 p.m., there appeared from 
the south the 3rd Bavarian Brigade, which, having found in its 
advance from Chateau Prefoi-t to La Renardiere the positions 
there already in the enemy's hands, came up to Montpipeau, 
and brought a welcome reinforcement to the weak troops of 
the 1st Brigade. The batteries of the latter and the 2nd 4-pi\ 
batteiy of the 3rd Brigade now unlimbered in front of La Plante 
faim, whilst the five battalions of the 1st and 3rd Regiments 
occupied the part of the wood lying in rear. Further on the 
right the horse artillery battery of the 2nd Cavalry Di\nsion 
hastened once more to the north of La Motte aux Tauiins faim 
for the purpose, in conjunction with the Bavarian batteries, of 
engaging the adversary's artillery deployed at Le Grand Lus. 
The 3rd Cavahy Brigade, the gi-eater part of the 12th Bavarian 
Regiment and the 1st Rifle Battalion fonned a fighting reserve 
to the east of Bonneville, whilst the 3rd battn. of the regiment 
just mentioned with the two ()-pr. batteries of the 3rd Brigade 
was appointed to give support to the troops at this time hardly 
pressed in Coulmiers. 

• They stood from right to left ns follows :— 3rd II. A. battery of the Vlth ; 

1st H. A. battcrr of tho Ilnd Aruiy Corps ; 5th C-pr., 1st 4-pr., 

l«t Bar. 

t 1st and 2ud Rifle battalion, -l , ogaiiist FejtaTin's Cirision aud 

VsMb* Brigade. 


So vehement was the advance made by Bany's Division at 1 
p.m. against the positions there, supported by an increased fire 
of artilleiy, that the Bavarians evacuated their advanced posts 
at the quarries and brought up the only available reserve— the 
2nd battn. 10th Regiment — to occupy Coulmiers park. As the 
entire French Division repeated its outfiankinp; attack at 3 pan., 
the three 6-pr. batteries posted to the north of Coidmiers moved 
to oppose it as far as the road from Ormeteau to Les Crottes.* 
With the active co-operation of the 3rd battn. 10th Regiment, 
and after several charges by the 5th Cavalry Brigade, the 
enemy, although in superior numbers, was hkewise forced on 
this occasion to beat a retreat. 

The adversary after his successes at La Renardifere now 
brought forward Daries' Brigade of the 15th Corps, which could 
be dispensed with at that place, into the foremost fighting line 
on the right flank of the 16th, and caused the artiUery fire upon 
Coulmiers to be augmented by two batteries at Le Grand Lus. 
The Bavarian battery in action south of the park against Le 
Orand Lus found itself compelled to retu*e some distance, after 
its gunners armed with Chassepdts had beaten ofl' an attack of 
skhmishers ; it shortly after jomed the Prussian horae artillery 
on the road from Coulmiers to La Motte aux Taurins. The 
Bavarian batteries to the north of Coulmiers also took up a 
fresh position some hundreds of paces further east, on the 
left flank of which the two 6-pr. batteries of the 3rd Brigade 
came into action. The 4th 4-pr. under Captain Baumiiller 
maintained its verv exposed position at the north-west angle 
of the park, until French skirmishers ultimately forced their 
way into it. Whilst the guns were withdrawn in safety, the 
8rd battn. 12th Regiment arriving at this moment drove the 
enemy with the bayonet out of the park, at the south-west 
border of which the Bavarian mitrailleuse battery brought up 
from the reserve directed its fire with good result upon the 
columns of French troops which were unremitting m their 


The troops} despatched fi'om Bonneville northward had 
meanwhile opposed with considerable success the left wing of 
the 16th Corjis. On arriving abreast of Cheminiers, they had at 
12.30 p.m. found this place as well as Cliamps occupied by De- 
planque's Brigade, and had been received with a brisk fire. The 
commander of the 2nd Bavarian Brigade, Major-General v. OrfiF, 
deployed his infantry in consequence on the right of the four 
batteries, which took up a position about a mile east of the first- 
named village, and shortly reduced to silence the French artil- 

♦ 7th of the Artillery ReaerTC, 6th and 8th of the 4th Brigade. The latter 
battery had only two gansi the rest being anserrieeable. 

t The ])ieccs of this new battery consisted of 4 barrels, put together on the prin- 
ciple of the French mitrailleuses. Most of tliese barrels, however, became speedily 
unscrriceable, in oonsequonce of obstructions in the loading ai*mngemeut. 

% See Part II, p. 273. 


lery at Villevoindreux by an effective cannonade ;* to the right 
rear of the Bavarian infantry deployed the 4th Pioissian Cavalry 
Brigade. In &ont of this latter appeared shortly after the columns 
of French cavaliy which were retiring after an artillery engage- 
ment of two hours with the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade by way 
of Champs to Cheminiers, but which by order of General Chanzy 
now wheeled up between those two villages facing the east* 
The Pnissian cavalry, supported by the fire of four Bavarian 
batteries, trotted forward towards those masses of cavalry, 
but retired on perceiving their overwhelming superiority, and 
being at the same time fired upon from Champs and Che- 
miniei's. The French cavalry did not molest this retreat, but 
rather sought on their side to withdraw from the effect of the 
Bavarian batteries, and shortly hastened off in a westerly direc- 
tion, as the appearance of some bodies of franctireurs moving 
on the left flank of the Army of the Loire between Villam- 
blain and Toumoisis gave rise to the erroneous report that 
German infantry were advancing along the Chateaudun road.t 
After that three squadrons of French Chasseurs left in St. Sigis- 
mond had been driven out by the 2nd Bavarian Cmrassiers and 
by some dismounted men of the 1st Body Guard Hussars, 
and the Bavarian horee artillery batteries had come into action 
shortly after from the north-east against Champs, the enemy 
evacuated at 2 p.m. the village just mentioned in great disorder. 

General v. Orff at once turned this opportunity to accoimt 
for a %ngorous movement against the wavering Frencli infantry. 
He first caused his artilleiy to move up to within 500 paces of 
Clieminiers, and through its intervals led forward the battahons 
agamst the village. The three heavy batteries, in order to obtain 
a more open range, then took up a fresh position further on the 
right and du-ected so successful a fire against the enemy, that 
the rearward movement of his left wing commenced at Champs 
was shared by others, and only the garrison of Cheminiers held 
its groimd. In consequence, however, of the self-sacrificing 
advance of Rear-Admiral Jaur^guibeiTy, the retreating troops 
were i*aUied, whereupon the French artillery, supported^ by 
several guns coming into action to the north of Cheminiers, 
again took part in the struggle^ and caused the Bavarian horse 
artillery batteries to retire. 

The latter again showed front at St. Sigisraond against the 
enemy's left wing, wliich had been reinforced bv Bourdillon's 
Brigade, brought up from the reserve by General Chanzy, and 
arriving towards three o'clock to the south of Champs. As 
General v. Orff had received information that the state of affairs 

. The ?ri±PI- formed the left wing j next followed the '^^'^ ^"f. ^ ' ^•P% 

ond as right flank battery the _L-lH\ 

t According to the statement of General Chansy, in his work on the Second Armj 
of the Loire. 


at Coulmiers was increasing in gi-avity, he resolved under the 
circumstances to refrain from continuing the attack upon the 
enemy, whose force of infantry was three times gi*eater than bis 
own, but to maintain his position to the last in order to protect 
the German line of retreat northward. Although the open 
country neither offered protection against the French sliell nor 
any point of support for defence, the disjointed attacks of the 
adversary were on each occasion successfully repulsed by an 
effective file-fire. The foe did not, however, make a decisive 
attack, and even the effect of the resei-ve artillery of the 16th 
Corps concentrated near Champs failed to shake the steadiness 
of the Bavarian Brigade. 

Whilst the left ^ving of the French Army was thus held in 
check, and the right likewise made no essential progress at 
Montpipeau wood, the defenders of Coulmiers maintained their 
ground ^^'ith difficulty against the three brigades of the 15th 
and IGth Corps deployed in the centre of the fighting line. 
Any fiu'thcr maintenance of the village, already piirtially out- 
flanked, appeared the more dangerous, as on the next day its 
defenders must be prepared to see the arrival of the troops of 
the Ai'my of the Loire movmg from tlie Sologne, while they 
could not look for support from the 22nd Division 18^ miles 
away at Voves. General v. d. Tann considered it too critical 
to risk his last reserves* in the stiniggle, and at 4 p.m. issued 
orders for the engagement to be broken off by brigades from 
the left wing. The retreat was to be directed upon Artenay, 
while to protect the south investment of Paris, a junction was 
to be next made with the 22nd Division, 

At tliis time the enemy had once more forced his way into 
the north-west angle of Coulmiers park, and was advancing 
against it from the south-west with four fresh battalions. The 
commander of the 13th Bavarian Regiment, Colonel Count v. 
Ysenburg, after the receipt of the order in question, made 
arrangements for gradually evacuating the post which he had 
defended for four horns. The men who were still amply pro- 
vided A^nth ammunition, were first merely w4thdi*awn as far as 
the western border of the village, the gairison of whicht pre- 
vented all immediate pursuit of tlie French l^y repeated counter- 
attacks. AVhen the further retreat from the village had been 
oftectod in perfect order by reciprocal support, the battalions 
of tlie 4th lirigade marched away to Gemigny, whither the 
batteries, under a brisk cannonade from the enemy established 
in Couhniers, followed in echelon. From Gemigny the Brigade 
reached without molestation the neighbourhood of St. Peravy. 
The two brigades of the 1st Bavarian Division and the itli 

* r-^ and the 1st Rifle battalion wliicli Lad mcanwliile rej^leniahed 


. oth and 8th 9th and 12th , Ilird 

10 ' 13 ' "IF*- 


Cavaliy Brigade, in accordance >vith the orders which they had 
received, concentrated at Coinces by way of G^migny and St. 
Sigismond, and from thence, after a difficult march along bad 
roads, reached Artenay at midnight through Sougy. The 3rd 
Cavahy Brigade and the Bavarian Cuirassier Brigade, after first 
ensming at St. Sigisraond the reti*eat of the right wing, joined 
the Bavarian troops at St. Peravy, and placed outposts towards 
the west. Further to the north, on the road to Patay, the artil- 
leiy reserve with the 2nd Rifle battalion acting as its escort, was 
placed under shelter. The 3rd Bavaiian Brigade assembled at the 
northern border of Montpipeau wood and, with the 5th Cavalry 
Brigade* reinforced by the 4th Clievauxlegers, formed the 
common rearguard of the Coi-ps. The former took post between 
St. Sigismond and Gemicny ; the latter observed from Vauri- 
chard the enemy opposed to it, and drove in by the fire of a 
Bavarian battery attached to it some French detachments which 
were endeavomnnff to advance from Coulmiers and Oiineteau. 
As the adversary did not cross the line between Coulmiers and 
Champs, the German rearguard occupied bivouacs at G6migny 
and St. Sigismond that evening, with outposts thrown out 
between the Bois du Buisson and Champs. 

The garrison of Orieansf had moved oiF in the forenoon for 
St. Ay when the thunder of the cannonade commenced, and 
there came across some weak French outposts, which retired 
after a brief skirmish. During the fuitlier advance to Chateau 
Prefort it became known that the 3rd Brigade had already quitted 
that neighbomhood. As shortly afterwards a cavalry patrol 
sent by way of Huisseau on the rear of the French brought in 
news of the state of the engagement, and an order received at 
4.30 p.m. from the Corps Commander summoned the detachment 
to retire without delay through Ormes to St. Peravy, it took the 
latter direction in order to rejoin the Corps. With the excep- 
tion of two field hospitals, which remained behind at Orleans 
-with those of the sicK and woimded who were unable to bear 
vemoval.J all the trains, more particularly the commissariat and 
railway waggons filled "with magazine supplies, were removed 
to Touiy in the evening. 

In the action at Coulmiera 20,000 Gennans with 110 guns 
had been engaged against 70,000 French with 150 guns; the 
losses on the former side amounted to about 800, on the latter 
side, according to report, to 1,500 men.§ 

* Of the latter, the 4th HuBsan had been sent on in front to Aitenay, in order to 
c5eort the trains during their march to Tourj. 

t See Part II, p. 270. 

t About 450 men were in this wi^se made prisoners of war. 

§ With regard to the losses of the GermanB, see Appendix XC. The 16th Frendi 
Corps, according to the stotemcnt in General Chanzy's work, alone lost 1,250 men. 


General v. d. Tann, vrho had proceeded to St. P^ravy on the 
evening of the 9th, ordered the troops between Patay and 
Gemigny, after a short rest, to continue their march during the 
night. Along roads so sodden with snow and rain that the 
bottom could not bo felt, the troops reached at daybreak the 
neighbourhood of Artenay, where the 1st Bavarian Division 
had already taken up a position of suppoi-t, and the garrison 
of Orleans, which had retreated from Prefort through Cercottes, 
also rejoined the Division. On the morning of the 10th No- 
vember the Germans, leaving a strong rearguard at Artenay,* 
continued the march to Toury. The latter followed to the 
same place in the course of the day, as it turned out that the 
enemy had not advanced far beyond the battle-field. The 
two Divisions, which had left Charti'es to support the 1st 
Bavarian Corps, and had reached on the 9th a pomt abreast of 
Voves, with a cavalry brigade beyond Orgferes, took likewise 
liie direction of Toury, in consequence of the news that the 
Germans had retired upon that place. 

On the evening of the 10th November the 1st Bavarian 
Corps was closely concentrated in quarters roimd Tourj", its 
advanced guard composed of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, the 4th 
Chevauxlegers. and the 5th Prussian Cavalry Brigade, being at 
Tivemon: further on the right was the Bavarian Cuirassier 
Brigade, in close communication with the 22nd Infantry 
Division at Janville. On the left flank of this position the 
greater part of the 2nd Cavalry Division watched from Outar- 
ville in the direction of Pithiviers and the forest of Orleans, 
whilst on the right flank the 4th Cavalry Division obseived 
from Allaines the district lying to the west and south-west. 
The fusilier battalion 32nd Regiment, in conjunction with a 
Bavarian 12- pr. battery, held the important position of Chartres. 
On the French side the 1st Division of the loth Coips during 
their march, commenced a few days before from Argent by way 
of Chateauneuf towards Artenay, had been induced by the 
thunder of artillery resounding from the west, to bend away to 
the left at Trainou on the 9th November. The advanced guard 
had at 6 p.m. reached the neighbourhood to the north-east of 
Orldans, and that same evening occupied the town already 
evacuated by the Bavarians. 

As the French commander-in-chief after his success at Coiil- 
miers was in expectation of a speedy counter-attack on the part 
of the Gcimans, he caused the positions captured during the 
struggle to be arranged for defence that same night. A detach- 
ment of cavaliT sent forward to reconnoitre, on the morning of 
the 10th, captm-ed at St. Peravy a Bavarian ammimition 
column just moving oflf to Artenay. t Although General 

* 2nd Bayarian Infantry Brigade, the Bayaiian CLiinttsicr Brigade, and the 4tli 
]?ru88ian Caralrr Brigade. 

t In all 88 men, 110 hones, 21 ammunition waggouB, and 2 reserre guns foU into 
the hands of the French. The commander of the column and the moimted non« 


d'Anrelle in the course of the day received definite news of the 
further retreat of the Germane, he still thought that, in view 
of the impending arrival of the army previously investing Metz, 
he must renounce all further pmnsuit. The Army of the Loire 
consequently occupied an extensive position to the north of 
Orltons, which remained in the occupation of a Brigade of 
the 15th Corps, On either side of the road to Paris stood in 
front line to the north of the forest the Ist Division of the above- 
mentioned Coi^ps at Neuville aux Bois and Ch(5villy ; the 2nd 
Division was at Cercottes and Gidy ; on its left, at Boulay and 
St. Peravy, on the road to Chateaudun, the 16th Corps ; behind 
the latter, between Buoy St. Liphard and Coulmiei's, the 3rd 
Division of the 15th. The cavalry covered in the neighbour^ 
hood of Toumoisis the left flank of the anny. 

When the news of the issue of the engagement at Coulmiers 
reached the head-quarters of His Majesty uxe King on the 10th 
November, the Ilnd Army received orders by telegraph to 
hasten their forward movement, and reach Fontainebleau with 
the IXth Corps on the 14th November. The head-quarters 
of the Illrd Army desired the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg 
Schwerin to concentrate the troops under his orders, to pro- 
ceed in peraon to Angerville, and there await the develop- 
ment of affairs. The Grand Duke ordered in consequence the 
17 th Division, which had just reached St. Amoult on its march 
to the Loir, to bend away to Angerville, where its advanced 
parties arrived on the 11th November, and the rest of its 
troops on the following day. The cavahy brigade with the 
two horse artillery batteries, were pushed forward abreast of 
Santilly to reinforce the Bavarians, and for that purpose the Ist 
Body Guard Cuirassiers was assigned to the 17th Division. 
The 22nd Division extended as far as AUaines, the 4th Cavahy 
Division as far as the neighbourhood of Ymonville, whilst the 
1st Bavarian Corps and the 2nd Cavalry Division remained in 
their previous quarters round Toury and Outarville. To the 
west of this position of readiness taken up on the 12th Novem- 
ber, the 6th Cavalry Division had advanced from Maiutenon to 
Chartres, and formed connection with two squadrons of the 4th 
dispatched to Yillars. 

In front of the German left iving strong detachments of 
French troops had moved forward on the llth in the direction 
of Pithiviers and Toury, but had again retired southward in 
the afternoon. Patrols of the 4th Cavalry Division found 
Artenay and likewise Bonneval on the Loir occupied by the 
enemy ; on the other hand, the intermediate villages, Orgeres. 
and even Patay, were still clear of the foe. On the follo^ving day 
no French troops showed themselves to the north of the forest of 
Orleans ; some detachments pushed forward by way of Patay to 

commissioned officers alone succeeded in escaping. 74 men of the Body Guard resi- 
ment were also left exhausted during the night march through Cercottes and were 
made prisoners. 


Or^eres, as Bpeedily wdthdi-ew before the advauce of the 5th 
Cuirassiers. The adversary now displayed greater quietness on 
the Upper Loir and on the Eiu-e ; Bonneval and lUiers had re- 
ceived permanent ganisons ; patrols of the 6th Cavalry Di\"i« 
sion met with franctireui-s and Gardes Mobiles on this side of 
Courville. and also further to the noi-th at Dreux. 

The Grand Duke inferred from what was taking place, but more 
particularly from the conspicuous inactivity of the enen)y at 
Orleans, that the Army of the Loire had moved away to the 
lelt, and, in concert with the French troops on the Lower 
Eure and Seine, intended to attack the army investing Pciris. 
He therefore resolved, after lea\'ing the 2nd Cavalry Division at 
Toury, to move with the main body to the neighbourhood of 
Chartres, with a view to being able to oppose the French from 
thence in good time, should they advance either from Orleans 
or from the direction of Le Mans. This movement to the right 
in a north-westerly direction was at once commenced. On the 
13th November the 17th Division marched to Auncau, the 22nd 
to AUonnes, the 1st Bavarian Corps T\ath the 17th Cavalry Bri- 
gade to Ymonville, the 4th Cavahy Di\'ision to Voves; the 
Grand Duke's head-quarters still remained at -/Vngerville. Fresh 
reconnaissances meanwhile led to an unexpected result; 
whilst the enemv on the Upper Loir showed himself on this 
occasion in small force, and advanced detachments were even 
again withdrawn, movements of troops were observed to the 
north of Artenay before the front of the 2nd Cavahy Divi- 
sion; behind these were seen large encampments at Che villy, 
and French cavalry on this side of the forest of Orleans, 
especially at Villereau and Aschferes. From Versailles a com- 
munication arrived that, as far as could be foreseen, tlie IXth 
Corps would, in the com-se of a few days, be ready to support 
the Grand Duke's troops, and that offensive movements should 
be deferred until then. Under these circunistancus the Grand 
Duke caused the 22nd Division to continue its march alone to 
Chartres, while the rest of the troops were to retain their pre- 
sent positions. The repoi-ts of the three Cavalry Divisions 
reconnoitring in the du-ection of Orleans, the Conic Brook, and 
the Loir, showed no important change in the state of aSaiis 
there on the 1-lth November, 

On this day, however, a further pu.shing forward of the 
French from the middle Eure in the direction of Versailles 
}nade itself apparent. Patrols of the Gth Cavalry Division 
t)bservcd troops of the line marching from Courville to Dreux. 
On the east bank of the river, in (/herisy and at Bu, which lies 
in front of the left wing of the 5th Cavalry Division, Gardes 
Mobiles and franctii-em-s showed themselves. The horse artillery 
battery belonging to the 11th Cavahy Brigade which had ad- 
vanced from Houdan cannonaded, it is true, the latter place ;* 

• Of the 5lh Cavalry Division, there ircrc in front line the 11th Brigade, with 
the 1st llorsc Artillery battery ITth Amiy Corps at Houdan, the 13th Brigade at 
ilantes, with the 12th' Brigade in rcor at St. Q-ermain en Lave. 


the enemy did not abandon it, but on his side brought up 
reinforcements, and directed a vigorous cannonade upon the 
Germans. As according to the statements of the inhabi- 
tants some 12,000 French infantry, with eight squadrons and 
eight batteries, were said to be assembled in that neighbour- 
hood, the 11th Cavahy Brigade now took up a fresh position 
to the north of Houdan on the Mantes road. 

On the news of these proceedings the supreme authorities at 
once took precautions to support the 5th Cavahy Division. 
On the 15th November five battalions of the 2nd Guard 
Landwehr Brigade, with the 2nd heavy reserve battery oi 
the Guard, moved oflf from the Argenteuil Peninsula to 
Neauphle. At the same time the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg 
deployed his main forces with their front towards the north- 
west, in order to cover the investment of Paris, keeping fast 
the 22nd Infantry Division and the 6th Cavalry Division at 
Chartres, c^uartering the 1st Bavarian Corps on the Voise Brook, 
on either side of the road from Chartres to Ablis, and bringing 
forward the 17th Division from Anneau to RambouiUet. The 
2nd and 4th Cavalry Divisions continued their observations 
towards the south and south-west from the neighboturhood of 
Touiy and Voves. 

On tliis day as well all observations pointed to the impending 
attack of the enemy from the west. Although the 5th Cavalry 
Division was not munediately molested, movements of troops 
again took place between Dreux and Bu ; the German cavalry 
reconnoitring on the east bank of the Eure were fired upon 
by Gardes Mobiles who were occupying the heights between 
Gheiisy and Yillemeux. The reconnaissances of the 6th Cavalry 
Division from Chartres towards the road from Brou to Nogent- 
le-Rotrou were met to the north of it by French infantry; 

Eatrols of the 4th Cavaliy Division also encountered strong 
ostile forces at Bonneval and Moriers. 

Although in this way no success had up to the middle of 
November attended the endeavours to gain a clear idea of the 

Bositions and intentions of the adversary, the 2nd Cavalrv 
division on the other hand now opened communication with 
the leading troops of the IXth Army Corps advancing from the 

Piince Frederick Charles had in consequence of a telegram 
received on the 10th November from Versailles, which informed 
him of the advance of the enemy by way of Orleans, caused the 
last-mentioned Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division to move away 
by forced marches from Troyes to Fontainebleau. The Ilird 
Corps was assigned the direction from Vendeuvre by way of 
Sens to Nemours, the Xth that from Chaumont, by way of 
Chatillon-sur-Seine, to Joigny. Although under present circiun- 
stances the idea had to be abandoned of dispatching troops to 
Chalon-sur-Saone and Bourges, as previously intended, it was 
still possible to cause the somewhat refused left wing of the 
army to play an effective part as well on the south bank of the 


Loire, a contingency which was still kept in view by the supreme 

The right wing of the army found on its march to Fontaine- 
bleau the roads much obstructed by obstacles, which, however, 
were removed by the advanced guard, with the aid of the 
inhabitants, so rapidly that they caused no delay to the ad- 
vancing columns. No active hostilities occurred until the 11th 
November whilst crossing the woods south of Estissac, where 
some armed bands were dispersed without difficulty, and during 
the night of the 13tli-14th at Nemours, where some franctireurs 
succeeded in surprising a patrol of the 4th Lancers. On the 
last-named date the IXth Corps entered Fontainebleau in ac- 
cordance with its instructions, wnilst its advanced guard and the 
1st Cavalry Division spread themselves out on the fmlher side 
of the forest-t Li consequence of an order received in the evening 
from Versailles both of these bodies of troops made on the 
15th November another day*s march in a westerly direction ; 
thev thereupon occupied quarters in the neighbourhood of 
Milly, and threw a strong advanced g^ard across the Essonne 
brook. At the same time the Illrd Army Coips struck with its 
advanced parties the Yonne at Sens, whither the army head- 

2uartei*s also proceeded. The Xth stood this day between the 
burgundy Canal and the Upper Seine, at Laignes and Chatillon. 
The troops of the Ilnd Corps marching along the road from 
Vitiy-le-Fran9ais by way of Sezanne, were to reach Corbeil on 
the 18th November. Troyes, the present head-quai'tei'S of the 
Laspector-General of Etappen, formed at the same time a pro- 
visional dep6t for men left behind from foot sores, for the 
superfluous horses of the cavalry and empty commissariat 

For the protection of the rearward communications, more par- 
ticularly of the railways leading westward from Blesme, by 
way of Chaumont, half the 20th Division liad been appointed.^ 
It had received orders to observe from Chaumont the fortress of 
Langi'es, to form connection with the XlVth Army Coi'ps, and, 
if necessary, to support the latter. 

* Q«neral Count v. Moltke expreMed thifl in a letter despatched at the tame time 
with the telegram just mentionca, and which contained details with regard to the 
adrancc of the Loire Army and the measures which had been taken up to tliat time. 

f The 18th Division with the Corps Artiilery in Morct ; the Corps head-quarters 
and half the 2oth Division in Fontainebleau ; the 48th Brigade with the 2nd heavy 
and drd light batteries (Grand Duke of Hesse) with the 1st Caralrr Division in 
Chapelle la Reine, Milly, and near Couranoes. 

J 40lh Infantry Brigade, -flli^ii^, 4th light and 4th heavy batteries under 

16th Dragoons 

the divisional commander, Oeneral v. Kraatz-Koschlau. This was the detachment 

reinforced by a squadron and a battery, which had reached Keiifch&teau, on the 

10th November, when moving up from the neighbourhood of Metz. See Part II, 

p. 260. 


Events at Sea since the beginning op September. Review 
OP THE Positions op the German Army in the middle 
OP November. 

The resolution consistently carried out by the RepubUcan 
authorities to employ all the forces of France for the defence and 
relief of the capital, necessarily exercised a paralysing influence 
on the action of the Fleet. For some time past a large number 
of sailors had been withdrawn from ships and harbour duties, 
in order to be added to the garrison of Paris, or to be enrolled 
in the new field armies. 

The Fleet under Vice- Admiral Fourichon, which had appeared 
towards the middle of August off the German coast, in the North 
Sea, and since that time had been mostly lying at anchor in the 
neighbourhood of HeUgoland, had on the lOth and 1 1 th September, 
steamed away for Cherbourg, in divisions. When, tnerefore^ 
on the last-named date, the three iron-clad frigates of the German 
Jade squadron were reconnoitring towards that island, they 
found the enemy gone. Neither did the French Baltic fleet 
remain very long in German waters.* Admiral Count Bouet- 
Willaumez, on receipt of the news of the events at Sedan, on the 
5th September, had assembled his ships in the Great Belt, but 
some days after received orders to recommence hostiUties. He 
in consequence divided his fleet on the 13th September, as 
before, into two squadrons,*)* of which the eastern was appointed 
to attack Kolberg, but was overtaken at Arkona by a north- 
easterly gale, and now returned to Kjoge Bay with its mission 
unaccomplished. The entire French Baltic Fleet, having here- 
upon withdrawn to Lan^eland, proceeded under way for Cher- 
boturg, in accordance with instructions received, and hove in 
sight of the German coast, to the south of Heligoland, on the 
26th September. The disappearance of the adversary from 
the Baltic was confirmed on tne very day of his departure by 
the Prussian reconnoitring vessels " Holsatia," ** Grille," and 
"Nymphe," which proceeded to both the Belts and to the 
Sound. On the 28th September navigation was again opened^t 

Since that time no French man-of-war a^ain appeared in the 
Baltic. On the other hand the adversary cruised in the North Sea, 
alternately from Cherboui'g and Dunkirk,§ apparently with the 
sole object of observing the ships of war in the Jade, and pre- 

* Since putting to sea in July (see Part I, Vol. I, p. 79), it had been reinforced 
bj 3 despatch boats, and therefore now consisted of 6 ironclads, 1 turret ship, and 
4 other ships. The North Sea fleet numbered 8 ironclads and 4 other ships. 

t See Part I, VoL II, p. 421. 

t The harbour barriers laid by the Germans (see inter aUa, Port I, YoL II, p. 421), 
were not remored, but kept open during the day. 

§ In place of Admirals Fourichon and Count BouSt-Willaumez, of whom the 
former, in consequence of his appointment as Minister of Marine, hod proceeded on 
the 16th September to Tours (see Part II, p- 21), and the latter had given up his 
command in consequence of ill-health, Admirals Count do Guejdon and Penhoat 
had succeeded to the command. 


venting them from coming out. Both French fleets from the 
the commencement found their activity much impeded by un- 
favourable weather ; and even the German gunboats lying in 
front of the harbours on outpost duty were scarcely able to hold 
then* ground dmiiig the gales, although in the channels between 
the sandbanks they were somewhat more protected against 
wind and seas. 

In consequence of the advanced period of the year, no attack 
on the part of the enemy need now be expected. The works 
of fortification on the German coasts were nevertheless pro- 
secuted without interruption ; at the same time the men-of-war 
in the Baltic were, in agreement with the present state of 
affairs, partly placed out of commission, and partly brought to 
the North Sea, in accordance with their original destination.* 
The spar-decked corvette "Elizabeth," the steam yacht "Grille," 
and some gunboats reached the Jade on the 9th October, 
without sighting a Frenoh ship. As the adversary remained 
for the most part abreast of Heligoland and seldom approached 
the coast, a pontoon-dock from Tbnning, intended for Wilhelms- 
haven, succeeded in reaching that phu'c -without misad- 
ventm-e. The crew of the flush-decked corvette "N}Tnphe," 
placed out of commission at Dantzig, served to man the sister- 
ship "Augusta," capable of much gi-eater speed, which was 
then to cruise in the Atlantic Ocean for tlie pui'pose of prevent- 
ing, as far as possible, the extensive shipments of amis from 
America and England to France. 

In the West Indian waters there occurred at this time a naval 
engagement between two small men-of-war. The Gennan gun- 
boat " Meteor," which had been lying there since the end oftiie 
previous year, under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Knon*, 
on receipt of the news of the outbreak of hostilities in August, 
1870, had proceeded from the coast of Venezuela by wav of 
Kingston, m Jamaica, to Key West, in Florida, and there 
awaited the close of the stormy season, as from its constniction 
the vessel was only suited for coasting duties. The gmiboat 
having again put to sea on the 6th November, reached on the 
morning of the 7th the harbour of Havanna, wherein imme- 
diately afteriJvardR the French despatch-boat "Bouvet" cast 
anchor. As the Spanish authorities desii'ed to maintain the 
neutrality of the harbour, the "Meteor" steamed again in the 
afternoon into the open sea, for the purpose of challenging the 
adversary to an engagement, in spite of the latter s superiority .f 
The " Bouvet '' did not, however, follow, and on the evening 
of the Prussian naval officer's return to the harbour it was 
notified to him by the Spanish authorities that he must not 
move out again until twenty-four hours had elapsed after the 

• See Part I, Vol. I, p. 79, and Appendix No. IV. 

t The Ist Class ^uboat, " Meteor," was armed with one 15 cm. and two 12 cm. 
rifled j^ns, cn^ncs of 80 horse-power, and a crew of 64 men. The " Bouret," on 
the other hand, was armed with one 16 cm., four 12 cm. rifled ^ns, and four swirel 
guns ; its engines were 150 horse-power, and its crew numbered 85 men. 


departure of the enemy's ship. This latter quitted the harbom* 
on the 8th at noon. On the 9th, at the Rume hour, the 
" Meteor" weighed anchor, in order to seek for the adversary, 
who, shortly after, hove in sight to the northward. The 
"Meteor" having now opened the cannonade at 1,200 paces, 
a brisk engagement which lasted for two hours commenced 
at 2.30 p.m. between the two men-of-war, mider a stonuy sky 
and an increasing north-easterly breeze. During that period 
the adversary, by a sudden ttun, endeavoured to nuu and 
sink the gunboat. The latter, by a skilful movement, suc- 
ceeded in defeating the enemy's intention, and pi'epared at the 
same time to board her. The ships, however, met one another 
at so fine an angle that they were only in contact for a 
second, and swept by in opposite directions under a vigorous 
musketry and artillery fire. The gunboat, in its collision ^vith 
its more strongly-bmlt adversary, had suffered no httle injury, 
more particularly by the fall overboard of the main and mizzen 
masts, but by means of a well-placed shell had so damaged one 
of the '^Bouvet's" boilers that she hastily set sail and steered 
for the harbour. The " Meteor," detained only a short time by 
her own damages, followed the enemy at full speed, but was 
unable to overtake her outside the zone of neutral waters. 
Just on reaching the latter, the signal-^hot of a Spanisli man- 
of-war, which had meanwhile appeared on the scene, put an 
end to the struggle towards 5 p.m. The " Meteor," on board of 
which a steersman and a sailor had been killed and another 
sailor badly wounded, was then brought back into harbour to 
repair damages. 

With the exception of this isolated engagement, honourable ecH 
it was for the newly-bom North German navy, the proceedings 
of the adversary at sea, after the beginning of September, pre- 
cluded during the remainder of the war any active engagements 
between the two fleets. On the other hand, in the theatre of 
war in France, the situation of affairs which had supervened in 
the middle of November, forced on fresh decisions of arms. At 
this time, as a retrospect of the previous narrative will show, 
the German troops were distributed as follows: — 

In the line of mvestment before Paris no important changes 
had taken place since the end of October.* Of the Divisions of 
the Ilnd Corps which had recentlv arrived there as reinforce- 
ments, one was in rear of the south section at Massy, the other 
in the south-eastern, between the Seine and the Mariie. The 
17th Division had been withdrawn from the latter and joined 
the force which, deputed to watch towards the south and south- 
west, was fronting Dreux at this time between Kambouillct and 
Chartres, and likewise was watching with two Cavahy Divisions 
at Voves and Toury the country between the Upper Loir and 
the forest of Orleans. A rather scanty protection towards the 
side of Normandy and Picardy was afforded at this time on the 

'* See Part II, p. 173-4. 


left bank of tlu* Seine by the brigades of the 5tli Cavaliy Divi- 
sion abreast of Mantes, and by a Landwehr Brigade of the 
Guard just despatched to Neauphle in support; and on the 
right bank of tlie Seine l)y the troops of the Army of the Mouse 
pradually pushed forward since the end of Septem])er across the 

For the efficient protection of the army standinp^ in fi-ont of 
the French capital a. chains t attempts on the part of the enemy 
to reUeve it, the armies which were no longer required at Metz 
were now in the act of advancing. The main body of the 
Ist Army at Reims and Rethel was now preparing for a further 
advance westward, whilst other parts of it were making pre- 
parations for captming the fortresses of La Fere, Mezderes, 
j\iontmedy, and Thionville. One Division was still held in 
readiness at Metz for other duties. The Ilnd Army had crossed 
the Upper Seine and Yonne at Fontainebleau, Sens, and 
Chatillon, and already established connection between its right 
wing and the cavalry reconnoitring towards the forest of Orleans. 
\ brigade left in rear of the left wing watched from Chaumont 
tlie fortress of Langies. South of this point the XlVth Army 
Coi-ps had concentrated between the Saone and the Cote d' Or 
Moimtains. The 4th Reserve Division, which had moved off 
ti(»m Upper Alsace for Vesoul, just reached the neighbourhood 
north of Belfort, which was meanwhile invested l)y the 1st 
Reserve Division, and was now to be besieged. 

In rear of the four Geniian armies, there were, in the first 
place, the few Etappen troops remaining to them. The com- 
batant forces of the three Governments-General, which had 
increased to a considerable effective, secured the communica- 
tions with Germany further in rear, by occupying chiefly the 
more important places on the lines of railway and the capttired 
fortresses*. In tno rayon of the Government-General of Alsace, 
a detachment thrown out towards Pfalzburg protected against 
the enterprises of the enemy from this fortress the only railway 
available for forwarding stores to the Ilird Army. A smaller 
})Ost stood in front of the more distant fortress of Bitsch. 
Although the restoration of traffic along the railways in the 
interior of France had been expedited oy the Germans with 
all possible zeal, yet all the arteries of communication leading 
thitnor from the home districts converged along that portion 
of the line fi'om Frouard to Blesme and Chalons sur Mame, 
bocauKC the Ardennes fortresses on the right, Belfort and 
Langres on the left, were still in the adveraaiy's hands. In- 
structions issued on the 4th November from the Royal head- 
<]uarter^!, based on the average requirements of the different 
armies, regulated the use in common of that poi-tioji of the 

** Of tlio French fortresses, small and great, the following irerc in the possession 
o? the Ghermans : Lutzelstcin. Lichteuberg, Marsol, Vitrj le Fran^ais, Sedan, Laon, 
T }\\\, StTHMbnrg, Soij*»on9. Srlilottfttadt, Metz. Verdun, and Xcu-Breisacli. 


Opposed to the broadly-deployed main front of the German 
army, the lev^e en masse of the French Republic, "which had taken 

Slace in the entire district between Orleans and Amiens, became 
aily more threatening to the investment of Paris. The success 
recently ^ined at Coulmiers had certainly not yet been reaped 
to the full. In view of the prospective advance of the Ist and 
Ilnd Armies, the immediate future would show how far the 
superior forces hastily thrown together by the enemy were 
rapable of holding the field against an inferior number of tmined 
troops, already tested in numerous engagements and commanded 
bv tried leadeiTj. 

I 2 


Occurrences on the Theatre of War in Central France 
ITP to the Re-occupation of Orleans by the Germans, 

FnooBSDnroa op the IIxd Ansi y avd of the Troops uyDSA the 

Gbamd Duke of MECELEXDrRG-ScnwEBiN.* 

(IGtii-28tu Novbubbb.) 

The proceedings of the French Army of the Loire after the The Ilnd 
engagement at Coulmiers had led the Gennan Head-quarters gJ^^x^^-^*' 
Staff to beUeve that that army would unite ^vith the troops "^ *^ 

assembled at Nogent le Rotrou and behind the Eure, and after 
this junction press forward from the west towards Paris. To 
meet any enterprise of this nature, there were alone avail- 
able in the first instance the weak German forces which had 
been thrown forward on the left bank of the Seine, in the 
direction of Dreux, For their support, it is true, there was in 
readiness between Chartres and Kambouillet the bulk of the 
Detachment under the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ; 
but, at the same time, upon this last body of troops devolved tho 
duty of preventing any possible hostile advance from Orleans 
against the southern line of investment round Paris.t 

The arrival of the Ilnd Anny on the Upper Seine and Yonne 
gave a favourable turn to the existing state of affairs. On the 15th 
November, His Majesty the King ordered the force under the 
Grand Duke to ^ive for the present its undivided attention to 
protecting the investing troops towards the west as far as tho 
Chdteaudun road, wliile the Ilnd Army nhould be responsible 
for the protection towards the south. General Count Moltke on 
the same day communicated to the officer commanding this Army 
that, for the present, this duty should be carried out on tho 
defensive by the IXth Coinps, already posted at Fontainebleau, 
but tliat an attack upon Orleans was desired as soon as circum- 
stances would permit. In agreement 'wnth these instiiictions, 
General v. Manstein received direct ordei^s from the royal head- 
quart era. to oppose vrith the IXth Anny Coi-ps, the Ist and tho 
2nd Cavalry Division, now likewise placed under his command, 
any forward movement of the enemy's forces along the Orleans- 
Paris road, and to open communication towards the west with 
the Grand Duke's Detachment, to which an advance in the 
direction of Chailres and Dreux had been assigned. 

In accordance yviih these orders, the 1st Cavalry Division 

* Appendix XCII contains tho Order of Battle of tlic Ilnd Army nnd of tho 
Detachment under the Qrand Duke of Mccklenburt; for the loth Norembcr. 
Appendix XCIII gives details of tho losses of these troops from the Norembcr 
to the 6th December. For the morcmcuts compare Uencml Map, No. 7. 

t Boo Port II, pp. 281-8 and 287. 



moYed forward on the 16tL November from Milly to the neigh- 
bourhood of Pithiviers, and on the following day occupied 
Zuarters on the old road to Orleans, abreast of the 2nd Cavahy 
division left at Toury ; detachmente from both Divisions were 
thrown out towards the wooded zone lying to the south. In 
rear of the cavalry the IXth Army Corps reached Angerville 
on the 17th November, where General v. Manstein received 
orders from Prince Frederic Charles to remain in his present 
position until the 20th, and as far as lay in his power procure 
mteUigence with regard to the adversary's proceeoings. On the 
last--mentioned date the Illrd Army Corps was to reach Pithi- 
viers, and the Xth, Montargis. It was then the Prince's inten- 
tion to advance upon Orleans with the two Corps of the 
right wing, while the Xth was to take the direction of Bourges, 
for which purpose six more Hessian squadrons were added to 
this Corps. 

Within the rayon of the Ilird Army Corps, the 6th Infantry 
Division, after reaching Sens with the main body on the 16th 
November, marched on the 17th by way of Ch6roy upon 
Nemours. On the 18th the 5th Division took the road from 
Sens by way of Ch&teau Landon, causing the Franctireurs 
appearing on its left flank to retire in the direction of Mon- 
targis. A detachment* sent from Sens to Passy, in conse- 
quence of the hostile attitude of the population towards the 
German patrols, found the road on the further side of this 
village barred by Franctireurs, whose resistance had to be over- 
come by force of arms. Other troopsf which, on the morning 
of the 20th, moved forward from Ch&teau Landon towards 
Nancray, and with their advance had already come into collision 
with the enemy at Beaune la Rolando, forced their way, 
indeed, into Nancray after a sharp skirmish, but withdrew 
shortly after in the direction of Batilly, owing to the arrival 
of stronger hostile columns from Chambon. When, later on, 
the Germans on their side also brought up reinforcements to the 
scone of action, Nancray was re-occupied by them, after that 
Beaune had been previously cannonaded by some guns sent to 
the front, and had been evacuated by the enemy. On the 
Pithiviers-Orleans road, and to the west of it, German cavalry 
patrols had fomid Santeau and Neuville aux Bois in the adver- 
sary's occupation. 

Both Divisions of the Ilird Corps reached Pithiviers and 
Boynes on the 20th, and placed outposts towards the Forest of 
Orleans, touching the 1st Cavalry Division. On the left wing 
the reconnoitring detachment brought up from Nancray to 
Egry took over the duties of watching towards Beaune and 

1 a dirision of drogooui and two guns under Mojor Lehmann. 

•I ' y j>^ » under Major t. Ilcjdebrecki this detachment 
breast of the adranced guard of the 6th PiTiston. 


Tho Xth Army Coi-ps, in accordance with prior instruc- 
tions,* had meanwhile advanced from Chfttillon but Seine to 
Joignj, after much molestation on the way from franctireurs, 
national guards, and armed inhabitants, wlio from their lurking 
places fired upon small detachments on the line of march or 
as they took up their quarters. On the 18th November, the 38th 
Brigade, when in front of Joigny, encountered such stubborn 
resistance that all three arms had to be brought into action 
before the enemy found it necessary to retreat upon Auxerre, 
a principal rallying-point of the national armament in that 
neighbourhood. At Joigny General v. Voigts-Rhetz received, 
on the 19th, the order issued from army head-quarters three days 
previously to the eflFect that the Corps should arrive at Montargis 
on the 20th.t It was not, however, until the 21st that it reached, 
with the leading troops, its prescribed destination, where also 
the six Hessian squadrons appointed for its reinforcement had 
arrived in the forenoon. 

The enterprise undei*taken by the Cavalry Divisions and 
separate detachments of the Ilird Corps, as also a personal 
reconnaissance by Prince Frederic Charles, had meanwhile 
proved beyond doubt that the enemy was holding in con- 
siderable strength the long hue of some 35 miles between 
Orgeres and Seaune la Kolande, by way of Dnmbron and 
Chuleurs aux Bois; numerous watch-fires at Artenay, Creuzy, 
and Chevilly revealed more particularly the presence of larger 
bodies of troops on the road from Orleans to Paris. The 
country people, prisoners, and deserters were unanimous, more- 
over, in their assertions that the Army of the Loire, recently 
reinforced by several Corps, was occupying an intrenched 
position north of Orleans. 

In view of these circumstances. Prince Frederic Charles 
now resolved, in the first place, to concentrate tho IXth and 
Ilird Corps on either side of the Orleans-Paris road, and at 
the same time to bring up thither the Xth Corps. The three 
united Corps were then, probably on the 26th November, to pass 
to the attack of Orleans. At tho same time that all the intelli- 
gence which had been received with regard to the enemy was 
communicated to him, the Grand Duke oi Mecklenburg was 
informed of this design, and was requested to advance with 
the least possible delay upon Toui's, by way of Le Mans, in order 
to cause the Army of the Loire to make detachments in this 

On the 22nd November the right wing of the Ilnd Army 
commenced the prescribed movement to the right. The IXth 
Corps took up close quarters on the road from Toury to AUaines ; 

• See Pttrt II, p. 283. 

t The officer entrusted with carrying this order, who was accompimied hy a 
detachmeot of infantry in carts, was only able to reach his destination with great 
difficulty, after several bands of Franctireurs had been driven back by troops of the 
Ilird Army Corps. 

E 2 


of the Grand 
Duke of 
<16th to 28Lh 

the villages hi firont were occupied by the 2nd Cavalry Division 
reinforced by detachments of mfantiy. These were in contact 
at Oison with the outposts of the Ilird Corps, and the 1st 
Cavalry Division now attached to it. The 6th Infantry 
Division marched to Bazoches les Gallerandcs, the 5th extended 
from Boynes to Pithiviers. 

Tlie Xth Army CorrpB closed up to Montargis on the 22nd 
November; the 2nd squadron 9tli Dragoons, despatched to 
Chiitillon sur Loiug, dispersed there some Gardes Mobiles coming 
from Gien. Next day General v. Voigts-Rhetz, with the 38th 
Brigade and the Hessian squadrons, arrived at Beaune la Rolando 
by way of Ladon ; the rest of the Corps remained in Montargis, 
throwing forward strong detachments to the passages of the 
Orleans canal. Cavalry patrols found Bellegarde occupied by 
French infantry of the line, who, according to the statements of 
the inhabitants, could only have arrived there a few hours 
before, whilst it was said that on tlie previous day there were 
still 25,000 men in Lorris, and 80,000, with a large force of 
artillery, had advanced along the road from Gien towards 

A\'hilst the advereaiy thus appeared to be concentrating 
considerable bodies of troops on his right wing, patrols of the 
2nd CJavalry Division had, on the other hand, remarked for some 
days past movements of French columns from Santilly in a 
westerly direction. Officers, who were reconnoitring on the 23rd 
towards the Orleans-Chatcaudun road, came across strong detach- 
ments of the enemy at the passages of the La Conie stream. 

The doubts hereby raised at the head-quarters of the Ilnd 
Anny as to the enemy's intentions were shortly set at rest by a 
communication from the royal head-quarters. Here had arrived 
on the 22nd the repoi't of General v. Werder, that towards 
the middle of the month a French Corps had been transported 
by rail from the Lower Saoue to the west. As also other intelli- 
gence now forthcoming led to the presumption that the adversary 
was collecting considerable forces on the Loire, and it there- 
fore appeared desirable to employ all available forces in this 
du-ection, orders were sent bv telegraph to the Grand Duke of 
Mecklenburg, to advance without delay -with his Detachment to 
Beaugency, for the purpose of giving battle, in conjunction with 
the Ilnd Army, to the enemy posted at Orleans. Prince Frederic 
Charles, who was informed of these an-angements on the evening 
of the 23rd, resolved, under existing circumstances, to await 
for the moment the arrival of the Grand Duke's Detachment. 

The Grand Duke, after receiving, on the 16th November, 
the instructions based on the orders at that time issued by His 
Majesty the King,* had alrciidy transfen-cd his head-quarters to 
No'gent le Koi ; there and in Maintenon was the 17th Division, the 
command of which had been given to Lieutenant-Gen eral v. 
Tresckow.t The 22nd Infantry Division and the 6th Cavalry 

• See Part II, p. 291. 

t In lieu of Licut.-Gencral v. Schimmelxnann, inyalided. 


Division were at Chartres, the let Bavarian Corps at Gallardon • 
the 4th Cavalry Division had moved up to iulonnes, on the 
Artenay-Chai-tres road. As the patrols sent forward had found 
the district between tlie Eure and Blaise, to the south of Dreux, 
in the enemy s occupation, the 17th Division received orders 
to advance next day along the western bank of the Eure, against 
the last-named town. In order to protect the left flank and rear 
oftliifl movement, the 22nd Division was to occupy from Chartres 
the passages of the Blaise, ui the neighbourhood of Fontaine les 
Ribouts; while the Ist Bavarian Corps was to post itself as 
reserve at St. Chcron. The <)th Cavalry Division received 
insti-uctions to push forward a l>rigade on each of the roads 
leading to Chateauneuf and Nugent le Rotrou, whilst the 4tli 
was to take over the duties of watching in the direction of 
Illiers and Bonneval, and the 5th Cavalry Division, likewise 
attached to the Detachment, was to move by way of Houdan, 
towards Dreux. 

On the enemy's side at this time, the villages of Trcon and 
Gamay, in the Blaise valley, were each occupied by a battalion 
of Garde Mobile, and detachments were thrown forward into the 
Imbermais wood ; a battalion guarded the district between the 
Blaise and the road from Dreux to Chartres, on wliich were 
posted two companies of marines. The left wing of the French 
troops at that point, consisting of some two and a half battalions, 
moved from Nuisement to Luray, and thence along the Eure as 
far as St. Gemme. 

On the morning of the 17th November, the 17th Infantry 
Division commenced its forward movement to Dreux. Between 
1 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon its advanced guard* came 
into collision at Luray with the enemy, who, however, after a 
few rounds from the German ai-tillery, retired to a copse lying 
nearer to Dreux. To the left of the advanced guard the 3rd 
Horse Artillery Battery, attached to the 17th Cavalry Brigade, 
had repulsed, at Blainville, a succession of attacks made by 
French infantry from Nuisement, and maintained a fire for some 
time upon this village. The ord Battalion 89th Regiment, 
which had been meanwhile sent forward to support the Cavalry 
Brigade, carried Nuisement at the first rush, and afterwards, from 
the further border of the village, in conjunction with a rifle 
company of the advanced guard, deployea further to the right, 
directed its fire upon the copse lying to the north, which the 
defendei*s, after a proti*acted skirmish, likewise abandoned at 
3 o'clock. St. Gemme, where the enemy once more offered resist- 
ance, also fell towai'ds evening into the hands of the Germans^ 
after the 5th Light Battery had effectively cannonaded this 
village from St. Denis. 

At the very commencement of the engagement, in the 

• ^-^!^^^ Uth Rmc, ono dirbion of the Uth Ian., 5th & 6th light batterict 
u nder Colonel r. Manteuffel. 


neighbourhood of Luray, a strong detachment* from the main 
body of the 17th Division had been despatched against the 
French troops perceived on the left flank. A battahon of Oarde 
Mobile, which had hastened forward in consequence from Tr^on 
to Imbermais, had. it is true, received the advancing skirmiBhers 
with a vigorous fire, but withdrew shortly after partly into 
the wood in rear, and partly to Tr6on. The 9th and 12th Com- 
panies 76th Regiment captured this place, and directed their 
attack upon the south-west border of the wood, which the other 
companies sun*ounded from Imbermais and from the east. After 
the hoi-se artillery batterv had then set Chamblean ablaze with 
its shells, the Gardes Mooiles commenced their further retreat 
through Garnay. 

General v. Tresckow had meanwhile advanced with the 
rest of the main body along the road from Chartres towards 
Dreux, and, by means of the guns, had driven the companies 
of marines there posted out of the small wood lying to the 
south of St. ]\lartui. AVitliout fiirther opposition the 17th 
Division then reached Dreux, whence it threw forward detach- 
ments to the left bank of the Blaise. 

The loss in the above actions amounted, on the German side, 
to about 50 men ; on the Freuch, to about 200 men, inclusive of 
50 prisoners. 

On the left flank of the Grand Duke's Detachment the troops 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Marty ,t posted at Senonches, had, on 
the news of the advance of the Germans towards Dreux, occupied 
the extensive woods on either side of Ch&teauneuf With the 
detachments present to the north of that town came into collision, 
on the afternoon of the 17th, the advanced troops of the 22nd Divi- 
sion, which, leaving behind a battahon and a Bavarian battery, 
had quitted Chartres at 8 that morning. The adversary, however, 
only oftered a short resistance at L^vaville St. Sauveur. At 
5 the Division occupied quarters in BouUay and Marville les 
Bois, with outposts towards the Blaise and Ch&teauneuf. Further 
on the right the 1st Bavarian Corps reached, without special inci- 
dent, the positions assigned to it on the Chartres-Dreux road. 

Both brigades of the 6th Cavalry Division had on this 
day hkewise come into contact with the enemy: the 14th 
at Chateaimeuf, with detachments which had been shelled 
out of Thimert; the 15th further south, at Landelles. 
Although two gims brought their fire to bear upon the last- 
named place, and half a squadi'on of the IBtli Hussars, 
skirmisliiug on foot, forced their way into the interior from the 
eastward, the adversary did not entirely withdraw from the 
village until later in the night, after it had been further cannon- 
aded dm-ing the evening by the battery of horse artillery. 
Another squadron of hussars had meanwhile repulsed the attack 

• Fus. 2nd and 3r(l 8rd and 4tli j 1st Horee Arty. Battery . 

"76"' b\) ' 11th Lan. ' IX 

t See Part II, p. 263. 


of a hostile detachment out of the adjoining La Boelle. The 
15th Cavalry Brigade passed the night in Courville and Flonville ; 
the 14th in rear of the 22nd Division at Chene Chenu. The 
4th Gavahy Division which had advanced from AUonnes, had 
fallen in ^vith the enemy to the south of Chartres, and remained 
in the neighbourhood of Thivars. 

On the extreme right -wing of the Grand Duke's Detach- 
ment the greater part of the 5th Cavalry Division had advanced 
to Houdan,* where the 12th Cavalry Brigade, with four bat- 
talions of Landwehr of the Guard, took up a position, and 
maintained the connection vnth the 17th Inlantry Division. 
The 11th Cavalry Brigade fell in with some Mobile and 
National Guards at Richebourg, who, however, were compelled 
to retreat by the fire of the 1st battalion 2nd Guard Grenadier 
Landwehr Regiment, and the 1st Horse Ai-tillery Battery, 4th 
Army Corps; in their retreat they were pai-tly cut down by 
some pursuing divisions of the 13th Lancers. 

The behaviour of the French on the 17th November, and 
the reconnaissances carried out during that day, had shown 
conclusively that the enemy had no very large force at his 
disposal on the Eure; it was only at Iviy la Bataille that 
there appeared to be largo concentrations of troops. The 
Gi-and Duke therefore resolved, while leaving the 5th Cavalry 
Division in the neighbourhood of Dreux, to advance in a 
southerly direction upon Toura, in accordance -with the orders 
from royal head-quarters, and disperse any hostile troops who 
might be concentrating at Le Mans. 

The 17th Infantry Division, accompanied on the left by the 
17th Cavaliy Brigade, moved oflF on the forenoon of the 18th 
November along the road to Brezolles, but only reached Laons, 
as the roar of artillery resoimding from the south had caused it 
to halt for a considerable time and send out reconnoitring 

The 22nd Division likewise failed to reach its prescribed des- 
tination, La Loupe, as it encountered a vigorous resistance at 
many points. The right -wing of the 44th Brigade.t advancing 
towards Fontaine les Rebouts, met, at La Queue de Fontaine 
Wood, some French detachments, which were driven back 
through the dense wood and upon Tor9ay by the Ist and 
Fusilier battaUons 94th Regiment. Althougn fresh troops were 
there in readiness to support those in retreat, the place fell 
into the hands of the Germans at the fii*st msh ; the enemy fied 
in disorder, and with great loss, to the fiu'ther bank of the 
Blaise. Simultaneously with this success the 83rd Regiment 
had cleared the wood at St. Jean de Rebervilliei'S of stragglers. 

The 32nd Regiment, which had meanwhile advanced at the 
head of the 43rd Brigade through St. Sauvetu", had, after dis- 
lodging a hostile detachment from Bijonnette, reached Ch&tcau- 

* Tho 13th Brigade had romained at 3Iantes. 
t 94th Begimeut, 3 iquadroni and 2 battehcf . 


neuf, whenco the Grand Duke of Meoklenburg caused the 
brigade to continue its inarch iu the direction of Dignj, so as 
not to delay the movement of the Bavarians. 

An advanced guard of the brigade,* formed anew in con- 
sequence of these circumstances, took possession of Ardelies 
after a few rounds of shell, at 4 p.m., but, coming under a heavy 
musketiy fire at Digny, abstained from attacking this place, as 
darkness had already fallen. The main body following in 
rear had, moreover, met with French detachments at Chateau 
Traineau, which threw themselves upon a companj'' advancing 
towards the ch&teAU,but retired to the wood when reinforcements 
came up on the German side. The 43rd Brigade and the 6th 
Cavalry Division hereupon occupied bivouacs at Ardelies. The 
44th Brigade reached Cliateauueuf at 8 p.m. 

The 1st Bavarian Corps had anived at Ch&teauneuf in rear 
of the 43rd Brigade, and then followed the latter on either aide 
of the road as far as a point abreast of Ardelies. On receipt of 
a report that the enemy was offering resistance at Digny, 
General v, d. Tann, at 5 p.m., ordered the 13th Regiment, 
"with half a squadron and a Imtteiy, to advance in that direc- 
tion. This detachment occupied the farm buildings in front of 
the place, and went into bivouacs at Le Tronchay Cordel. 
Parts of the Ist Division, to wliich quarters on the west side of 
Cliateamieuf Wood had been assigned, came into collision with 
the adveiTSury there amid total darkness. After the 4th Rifle Bat- 
talion had dislodged some 2,000 French from St. Maixme, the 
latter, in their retreat through Jaudrais, were shortly put to hasty 
flight by the fire of the 2nd Rifle Battalion ; some 260 men, a 
large quantity of arms and aiiicles of equipment, fell at the 
same time into the hands of the Bavarians. Other detach- 
ments of Garde Mobile had again pressed forward in rear of the 
Germans as far as the eastern border of the Chateauneuf Wood, 
but had been diivcn from it by the 9th Rifle Battalion after a 
slight engagement. 

On the left flank of the Grand Duke's Detachment the 4th 
Cavahy Division, dming then" advance from Thivars, had met 
the enemy close in front of Bonneval and Iliiers, and had forced 
him to retire by the fire of their artillerv. They were not, 
however, successful in chiving him from ifliera, although that 
place was cannonaded, and also attacked by two divisions of 
dismounted chagoons. In the evening the Division withdrew 
to No cent sur Euro and Dammaric. 

After granting the troops a day's rest, the Grand Duke's 
Detachment resumed its advance on the 20th November ; the 
17tli Division reaulied Sunonclies, the 22nd La Loupe. The 
Ist Bavarian Coi*jia, in consequence of a report from the 4th 
Ccivalrv Division left at Nogent eur Eure that the adversary 
was advancing from Bonneval and Iliiers upon Chailres, had 

e l.-t 2n(1. 3nl. nm\ r>tli ,«., r- r\- \ i 5tli light battcir 
^ — , — (otb Car. Divn.), and ^^,- '-, 


taken a more southerly direction. The 2nd Division of thai 
Corps reached Courville, and placed outposts towards March6- 
ville and Olle ; the advanced guard of the 1st Division arrived 
before Champrond en Gatine at 6 p.m^ but in consequence of 
the falling darkness refrained from making an attack upon the 
village, which was barricaded and occupied by French artillery 
and infantry. Between the two Bavarian columns the 6th 
Cavalry Division took up quarters in St. Denis des Puits. 

Under the impression that on a further advance a serious 
resistance on the part of the enemy might be expected, the 
Grand Duke resolved to assemble on the following day the 
22nd Division and the 1st Bavarian Corps between Conde sur 
Huisne and Tliiron Gardais, and after bringing up the 17th 
Division in rear of the right "wing to La Madeleine Bouvet, to 
advance with united forces against Nogent le Rotrou. These 
movements led into the Perche country, where the numerous 
earthen walls and isolated farm buildings limit, to a very 
important degree, the employment of cavalry and artillery, and, 
on the other hand, offer great advantages to a population acting 
on the defensive. 

The advanced guard * of the 22nd Division, moving forward 
from La Loupe, came into collision with a hostile line of skir- 
mishers on the forenoon of the 2l8t November at La Haie Neuve ; 
this was, however, driven back, but received support from other 
troops at MouUn Neuf. At the issue of the road, which stretched 
from thence along the Donnette valley, foiming a long and 
narrow pass, the heights of Le Colombier were strongly occu- 
pied, while ill the neiglibourhood of the Bretoncelles railway 
station were posted four guns, which poured a vigorous fire 
upon the leading German troops. -.Vfter the 2nd Battalion 83rd 
Regiment had carried by storm a bamcaded railway arch, the 
5th Light Battery, brought forward from the main body, 
together with the greater part of the 3rd Heavy Battery, came 
into action against Bretoncelles ; two guns of the latter were, 
with considerable effort, brought on to the height north of the 
road. AVhilst the 83rd Regiment, now on the right, limited 
itself, for the time being, to a stationary action, the musketeer 
battaUons 95th Regiment passed to the assault of La Colombier, 
As this place was captured at 1 o*clock, and at the same time 
the adversary's communications ^nth Nogent le Rotrou were 
threatened by two companies advancing to La Criniere, he, 
after a brief struggle, also abandoned the position at 
Bretoncelles ; one gun fell at the same time into the bands of 
the attacking party .f Tlie retreat of the adversary, which took 
place in a west and south-west direction towards the L'Huisne 
Valley, degenerated shortly into a disorderly flight under the 
fire of the German artillery, The 22nd Division pursued in 

* 83rd Regiment, 3 squadrons 13th Hussars, 3rd Iltavj Battery, Ist Field 
Pioneer Compaoj. 

TT *J 

t "oT'i and some men of the 93th Begimont. 


the direction of Nogent le Botrou as far as Rivraj, and then 
occupied quarters in the neighbourhood of Brdtoncelles ; two 
battaUous took over the duties of watching towards Begma- 

In front of the Ist Bavarian Division the French, iu the night 
of the 20th — ^2l8t, evacuated Champrond en Gatine, but 
Bubse<}uently took up a fresh position at La Fourche. The 
Bavarian advanced guard * deployed in the noon hour on either 
side of the road leading to that place, and opened fire at a 
distance of GOO paces upon the enemy under cover. Two 
batteries of the 1st Brigade, which was brought forward by order 
of the Divisional Commander, subsequently came into action on 
the Les Barres heights ; the 2nd Rifle BattaHon advancing 
against the Frencli left wing, quickly gained possession of the 
fannsteads of Petite Yiv^e and La Tuilerie, compelled by an 
effective file-fire the evacuation of an entrenchment on the road 
to La Loupe, and then, in conjunction with the previous ad- 
vanced guard, made an outfiankmg attack upon the adversary's 
main position. The latter, without awaiting the collision, retired 
into the L'Huisnc Valley and along the road to Nogent ; in the 
retreat he was vigorously cannonaded by the Bavarian artillery 
from a position at La Fourche, and pmmied close up to Nogent 
by two squadrons of Chevauxlegers. The Body Guard Regi- 
ment appointed to turn the French right flank had been so 
delayed by the swampy meadows, and the dense wood south of 
La Fourche, that it was unable to share in the deciding action. 
The Bavarian Division now occupied bivouacs at La Fourche, 
and also quarters at MaroUes and Coudreceau. 

Meanwhile the 2nd Bavarian Division, with the Cuirassier 
Brigade had moved off from Courville for Thiron Gardais, and, 
with the advanced guard,t had repulsed the repeated forward 
movements made by the enemy from Les Ferries. Under 
the gradually augmented fire of the Bavarian Artillery 
on Le Pai*c, the 2nd [BattaUon 10th Regiment following 
the advanced guard, moved forward to the attack, whilst at the 
same time three compcmies of the 7th Rifle BattaUon threw 
themselves into La Tr^milli^re farm, and the 2nd Company of 
this battaUon, which, in spite of the adversary's superiority, had 
held its ground in the wood south of the road, turned towards 
Les Ferries. The stubborn resistance of the French, particu- 
larly on their right wing, caused the commander of the Bavarian 
Division to despatch at 2 o'clock from Combres four battaUons 
of the 3rd Brigade against La Chaboterie. The 1st Rifle Bat- 
talion crossed the Thironne brook, carried, with a cheer, the 
height occupied by the enemy, and then, supported by the 8rd 
Regiment, took the direction of Les Brosses. The troops of the 

• g°^^ .9thBif.Battn.. ,^^^'^ , , » 3"i 4.Pr. BsUt. 

11th Inf. Keg. 3rd CneTauxiegen Ist iiaTaruui. 

t 7Ui Eifle aittaUon. ^ ^ ^,. *"' . * ^^'' ^„^- °*^*"7 , th« kttct w.. 

4tn Cberauxlegers, Ist i)»TanAn 

ioined Uter on bj the other half battery. 


4th Brigade now attacked Tliiron Gardais, which, after being 
held for some time by a weak French rear-guard in order to 
coyer the retreat upon Nogent le Botron, was evacuated by it 
towards half*past 4 o'clock. The Bayarians followed witii 
their advanced guard as far as Serpen ; the main body of th« 
4th Brigade remained at Le Val^ the 3rd in Thiron Gardais. 

On the left flank of the Bavarians the 6th Cavalry Division 
reached Chassant, the 4th, reinforced by a Bavarian battalion, 
lUiers. The 8th Cavalry Brigade posted on the outer flank, 
of the latter had met with strong detachments of Garde 
Mobile close in front of Bonneval. 

In rear of the right flank of the Grand Duke's Detachment, 
and covering the latter towards the north, the 17th In&ntry 
Division* had advanced from Senonches, by way of Belhomert, 
towards La Madeleine Bouvet; its previous advanced g^uard 
had already at an earlier hour of the morning left for Moutiersau 
Perche, by way of Les Menus, as a right flanking detachment. 
The foremost troops of the main column, after ov^xx>ming 
many obstacles which they found on the road, met the 
enemy to the eastward of La Madeleine at 11 a.m., drove him 
back on this village, and kept up an artillery fire for some time 
on the latter. Lieut.-CoL v. d. Osten then ordered the 3rd 
company 75th Regiment to move to the assault of a barricade 
wliich closed one of the entrances to the village. Whilst 
this was stormed in concert with the 12th Company advancing 
against the French right flank, the two battalions of the 
90th Regiment, which bad bent away from the Moutiers au 
Perche road towards La Madeleine, forced their way from the 
north into this place in conjunction \nih some companies of 
the 75th Regiment. The adversary, who was now retiring 
to the west and south, was pursued as far as La Joignere 
and Baudoriere, the 14th Rifle Battahon sharing in the pursuit. 
At the close of the engagement the 17th Division occupied 
quarters in La Madeleine and Moutiers. 

On the evening of the 21st November the Grand Duke's 
force had in this way reached with its foremost line close up to 
Nogent le Rotrou, whilst an Infantry Division stood in readiness 
to take part in rear of the right wing, and two Cavalry Divisions 
covered the left flank. At no place had large detachments of 
French troops been met with ; yet the enemy had now also 
brought forward artillery into the action, and had defended his 
positions for the most part with tenacity. 

In the expectation of finding Nogent le Rotrou occupied in 
force, the Grand Duke ordered the 22nd Division, after crossing 

* Dutribuiion of Troops :— * 

Adranced Guard : 76th Eegiment, - . j> , 5th Hear^ Battery. 

Main bodj : 76th Regiment, 89th Grenadiers, 6th Heary Battery. 

Bight flanking column: 1st and 3rd Battalions 90th Fusiliers, 14th Bifle 

Battalion, -^ , 5th and 6th Light Batteries. 


the Huiane on the next day, to attack the place from the west, 
and the Bavarian Corps from the north and east, while at the same 
time the 6th Cavalry Division was to advance in the direction of 
La Fert6 Bernard upon the rearward communications of the 
enemj'. The 17th Division received orders to hold itself in 
readiness at Regmalard, and to despatch an advanced guard to 
BellSme ; the 4th Cavalry Division had for its mission to cover the 
road from Char tres to Paris, and, if possible, to occupy BonnevaL 
The troops advancing at noon on the 22nd against Nogent, 
found the town already abandoned by the enemy ; the Grand 
Duke, in consequence, caused the march to be resumed with- 
out delay in a westerly and south-westerly direction. The 22nd 
Division and the 1st Bavarian Brigade reached Berdhuis and 
Le Theil without further incident ; the 2nd and 4th Brigades, 
Nogent ; the 3rd Brigade, thrown forward to La Fert^ Bernard, 
after a slight engagement drove from thence three battalions of 
Garde Mobile, and made about 150 of them prisoners. On the 
right wing the 17th Division had moved oflF at 2*30 p.m, from 
Regmalard, along the Belldme road, and, after a few rounds of 
shell, compelled the retreat of the French troops met with 
at Corubert. After the 3rd battalion 90th Regiment had 
scaled numerous earthen walls, and reached the enemy in 

I)OBition on the west of the place, and had ultimately dis- 
edged him with the bayonets of the 9th Company, the Division 
entered Belleme in total darkness, pushing forward their advanced 
guard further to the west. The 6th Cavalry Division had 
reached Beaumont les Autels at noon, and at once continued 
its march as far as Authon and Charbonnieres. The 4th 
Cavalry Division, which did not receive the order to advance to 
Bonneval until evening, had remained in its quarters. 

The Grand Duke received this day the already mentioned 
communication of Prince Frederic Charles, to the effect that the 
leading troops of the Ilnd Army had come in contact with the 
enemy's outposts to the north of Artenay,andthatto all appearance 
the French Army of the Loire was concentrated near Orleans. 
In consequence of the request attached to this communication for 
a rapid advance of the Grand Duke's force through Le Mans, 
upon Tours,* the 1st Bavarian Corps closed up from Nogent to 
La Fertc Bernard on the 23rd November, whilst the 22nd 
Division moved in a westerly direction to Belleme, and the 17th 
marched from thence to St. Cosme, extending with its right 
flanking column as far as the road from Mamers to Le Mans. 
AVith the exception of a sUght skirmish of the Bavarian advanced 
guard near Sceaux, the troops at no point came into collision 
with the adversaiy. The (Hh Cavalry Division puslied forward 
its advance as far as Vibraye, the main body as far as Champrond. 
On the left flank of the Grand Duke's force a brigade of the 
4th Cavalry Division had occupied Brou; attempts made to 

• See Part II, p. 293. 


seize Bonneval, and to destroy the railway to Tours, near that 
place, failed owiog to the opposition of the French troops. 

On the road to Le Theil the Grand Duke had received the 
order telegraphed on the previous day from the Royal head- 
quarters which prescribed the movement of his troops towards 
tne Loire, in the direction of Beaugency, whilst the duties of 
observing towards the Sarthe were to devolve upon the cavalry 
and weak detachments of infantry.* 

As already mentioned, these measures had in viewa concen* 
tration of all the available forces against the enemy who was 
now preparing at Orleans for an advance upon the capital, 
since the inactive attitude of the French on the Eure and in 
the Perche had shown that no danger for the present was 
threatening the army investing Paris from this side. As the 
Grand Duke's Detachment, in consequence of the delay in the 
arrival of the above-mentioned order, and of its continued 
march in a south-westerly direction, could not in any case 
operate from Beaugency at the time orig^ally contemplated, the 
Grand Duke was requested to hasten Us advance and coimter- 
mand the day*s halt which he had ordered for his troops. 
A despatch from General Count v. Moltke, which arrived 
on the 24th, gave a more detailed explanation of the view of 
the situation prevailing at the Royal head-quarters, and, in 
addition, contained the communication that Prince Frederic 
Charles wotdd defer his attack upon Orleans until the arrival of 
the Detachment at Beaugency. 

This latter commenced, in consequence, on the morning of the 
24th, its movement to the left in the direction of Ch&teaudun and 
Vendome. The 6th Cavalry Division, which was now well in 
advance on the right flank, reached Mondoubleau, where its lead- 
ing troops, as well as its flanking detachments in St. Agil and 
Sarge, had met with National Guards and Franctireura A patrol 
of the 6th Cuirassiers, under Lieutenant v. Busse, after fording 
the Loir, pressed forward as far as Ch&teaudun, which was occu- 
pied by infantry of the line and Gardes Mobiles, and, according 
to the statement of the inhabitants, by cavalry and artillery as 
welL On their return the German horsemen foimd the ford 
used in their advance now in the enemy's hands ; they, in con- 
sequence, swam across the Loir at another spot, and cut their 
way through a mass of Franctireurs. The small detachment, 
after passing the night in the Bois de St. Martin, rode forward 
once more, on the morning of the 25th, in the direction of 
Ch&teaudun, and then rejoined its regiment. In the neighbour- 
hood of Cloyes, Gardes Mobiles and Franctireurs had also shown 
themselves ; the German patrols sent still further to the right 
in the direction of Fr^teval and Vendome, were hindered in 
their progress by a heavy fire near Epuisay. 

In rear of the 6th Cavalry Division followed, in the firat 
place, the 1st Bavarian Corps as far as the neighbourhood of 

* See Fart II. p. 294. The 5th Cayolrj Dirision iiras now once more placed 
under tiie immediate orders of the Commander of the Ilird Aimj* 


Vibrajjre, whilst to the left rear the 17th and 22nd In&ntiy 
Divisions reached La Fert^ Bernard and Nogent le Rotrou. 

On the left wing of the Grand Dnke's Detachment the out- 
posts of the 4th Cavalry Division^near Bron,had been vi^rously 
attacked from Chapellc Royale on the morning of the 24th. 
The patrols and larger reconnoitring parties sent out in conse- 
quence came across troops belonging to the 17th French Corps 
which had advanced a few days previously from the villages in 
rear of the March^noir Wood to beyond Ch&teaudun. Although 
rendered apprehensive for the safety of Tours by the presence 
of the Germans on the Loir, the Government there brought up a 
brigade of this Corps by railway to Vendome on the 25th* 
With the remainder General de Sonis made a forward movement 
that same day in the direction of Brou. 

The leading files of the advancing French troops met, close in 
front of the last-named place, an ammunition column of the 1st 
Bavarian Con>s moving with the bridge train to Arville.* As 
the escort had for the most part already proceeded in advance as 
far*as Unverre, General v. Erosigk threw himself upon the enemy 
with the 10th Cavalry Brigade, then on the march to La 
Bazoche Gouet, and other detachments available on the spot.t 
Two Bavarian companies occupied Yfevres and the bridge over 
the Ozanne at that point, eight Prussian guns unhmbered on 
either side of the village. Against this position the French 
deployed a large force of artillery, but did not pass to a serious 
attack. After the Bavarian train had made its way through 
Brou, the German troops, towards 4 p jn«, resumed their move- 
ment upon La Bazocne Gouet, where that evening the 9th 
and 10th Cavalry Brigades assembled.^ The adversary had 
meanwhile occupied Brou ; his losses in the action had amotmted 
to about 100 men, while those on the German side had been 

Li front of the right wing of the Grand Duke's Detachment, 
the 6th Cavalry Division had on the 25th reached the neigh- 
bourhood of Danz6 and Azay ; its patrols again encountered 
French troops in the woods and villages on the ri^ht bank of 
the Loir. The trains of the 1st Bavarian Corps following as far as 
St. Calais and Mondoubleau came partly within range of the fire 
of Gardes Mobiles, from which, however, they were rapidly extri- 
cated by the escort. The 17th and 22nd Divisions arrived 
abreast of Vibraye and Authon. 

* General t. d. Tonn had considered ibis road entirely beyond reach of danger, n 
it was impointed for the transport of sick and wounded by the order issued from the 
Grand Puke's head-quarters for the 25th KoTember. 

t Besides the lOth CaTaliy Brigade, there were the following : — 

10th and 11th 1st and 4th 1st H.A.B. i 2nd H.A.B. j ii,*i. -n^ 

ISthBayarian' 6th Lane. ' V ' Xl ' "^ ^^^ Dmgoona. 

trhich on the march from Laon to the 17th Biyision (see Fart II. p. 116, and 
Appendices, p. 86t) had joined the 4th Oaralry DiTision. The two BaTazian 
eompanies belong to the infantry attached to the latter Diyision. 

7 The 8th OaToby Brigade had remained on the rood irom Oharties to 


As the adyersarj appeared to have taken up a position in 
strength between the Detachment and the army investing Paris, 
the Grand Duke, abandoning temporarily his movement to the 
Loire, resolved, in the first place, to drive the enemy from Bron. 
Although an order arrived from the Royal head-quarters on the 
night of the 25th-2(5th, which, in consequence of the un- 
questionable concentration of large bodies of French troops on the 
Loir, placed the Detachment under the orders of Prince Frederic 
Charles, and repeated the summons for its rapid march to Beau« 
gency, the Grand Duke peraisted in the resolution he had taken, 
as the order in question was issued before the arrival of the 
report of the occurrences at Brou. 

Whilst the 9th Cavaliy Brigade reconnoitred from La 
Bazoche Gouet on the following morning in the direction 
of Courtalain, and the 10th passed roimd to the left of Unverre, 
which was still occupied by the French, the 22nd Infantry Divi- 
sion following in rear, met with but a very slight resistance at 
that place. On entering Brou a report was current that the 
enemy, in a sti*ength ot 14,000 men and two batteries, had 
retired from thence on the previous evening ; it was said, to 
Ch&teaudun. The 17th Di^-ision, likewise brought up in the 
direction of Brou, reached La Bazoche Gouet on the 26th. 
This Division had that morning despatched from Vibraye, in 
virtue of superior orders, a strong detachment of troops 
of all arms * in a westerly direction, with a view to 
guarding the road to Le Mans, hitherto held by the 17th Cavalry 
Brigade. The Ist Bavarian Corps, leaving some troops to the 
south of Mondoubleau for the purpose of watching in the direc- 
tion of Tours, marched with the main body to Arville, but after 
the Grand Duke had heard of the evacuation of Brou, received 
orders to advance as far as Courtalain and Droue. Detachments 
of the 6th Cavalry Division left to the east of Epnisay recon- 
noitred in the direction of Cloyes, Frcteval, and v endfime ; a 
contemplated destruction of the mil way in the Loir Valley 
failed, as the enemy had taken up a strong position there, and 
made repeated attacks in the direction of Azay. 

The liead-quarters of the Ilnd Army, which had received a 
report of the movement to the left of the Grand Duke's Detach- 
ment, issued telegraphic ordei*s, on the afternoon of the 26th, 
to resume forth^vith the march in the prescribed direc- 
tion, and to unite as soon as possible ^vith the right wing of the 
army now posted at Janville.t In accordance therewith the 
Grand Duke gave orders, for the 27th November, that the 22nd 

^ Ilnd and Illrd Ist and 8rd 1st, 2od, and 4th , j Ist H.A.P. , 

89 ' nth Lane' 18th Dragoons ' *° IX ' ^ *' 

Major-General y. Bauch. A small detachment of the I7th Caralrj Brigade had on 
tlic 251 h driren the enemy from the Tillage of Duncan, situated about half-wajr 
between La Fert6 Bernard and Le Mans. 

t In a despatch from Prince Frederic Charles, which arriyed on the 25th NoTem- 
ber, ho ahready expressed the belief that only the right wing of the detachment 
would moTe towards JBeaugency. 


Division, covered on the left flank by the 4th Cavafay Division, 
should advance along the north bank of the Ozanne towards 
Bonneval, the 17th in the direction of the St. Maurice heights, 
lying to the south of this town, the Ist Bavarian Corps to Ch&- 
teaudun. The protection of the right flank was confided to the 
6th Cavalry Division brought up to Courtalain. 

In executing these movements the troops did not again come 
across any formed hostile detachments. General De Bonis had 
already, on the night of tlie 25th-26th, withdrawn his advanced 
troops to Marboue, and there received orders to concentrate 
his Corps at Vendome for the protection of the seat of Govern- 
ment. But as detachments of German cavalry had ah*eady 
shown themselves on the previous day at Cloyes, Freteval, and 
Vendome, and the French General for this reason considered 
the march in the prescribed direction as no longer practicable, 
he was withdrawn, on the evening of the 26th, in rear of the 
Bois de Marchcnoir. The continued night march had a demo- 
ralizing efiect on the cohesion of these loose, and but pai*tially 
trained troops; masses'of stragglers wandered about for days 
in the neighbourhood ; a battalion and a batterj^ wandered 
away to Touiiioisis ; some 2,000 dispersed troops could not bo 
rallied until they reached Beaugency.* 

The Grand Duke received intelhgence on the 27th from the 
head-quarters of the Ilnd Army, that troops of the IXth Corps 
were pushed forward in the direction of Orgerea and Loigny ; a 
squadron of the 2nd Cavalry Division,! sent to open communi- 
cation, met the 22nd Division at Bonneval. 

The concentration of the forces placed under Prince Frederic 
Charles' orders having been in this wise efiected, the troops 
of the Detachment rested on the 28th in their quarters 
between Bonneval and Ch&teaudun ; on the left wing the 4th 
Cavalry Division extended as far as Sancheville. The Ist 
Bavarian Corps pushed forward strong detachments from 
Ch&teaudun along the roads leading to Cloyes, Orleans, and 
Orgferes, as the French were still occupying the first-named place 
and the valley of La Conie ; on the further side of Binas an 
extensive camp and hostile columns in retreat were perceived. 
On the previous day arrived at the Grand Duke's head-quarters 
in Bonneval Lieut.-Gen. v. Stosch, appointed by order of His 
Majesty the King to take over imtil further notice the duties of 
Chief of the Staff to the Detachment. 

Whilst the Detachment, in the manner just described, was 
Srmy (Mth approaching from Nogent le Rotrou the right wing of the 
to27thNoy.) Ilnd Array, the latter in its position of readiiiCFS to the north 

and east of the forest of Orleans, had gained more precise 

* These detail? ore taken from Qeccrol Aurellc dc roladiues* irork "La 
premiere Armec de la Loire.'* 

. This squadron rode twice through the line of the French out- 

2ud Lancers 
poBts and completed 60 miles in 16 hours. 


intelligence of the state of affairs of the enemy's force imme- 
diately opposed to it. 

Of the 6th Infantry Division posted at Bazoches Ics Galle- 
randes four battalions, two squadrons, and two batteries* had, 
early on the morning of the 24th November, advanced by way of 
Teillay St. Benoit towards the Forest of Orleans. They found 
St. Germain, which on the previous day had been occupied by 
the enemy, now abandoned ; detachments of French infantry, 
which showed themselves at daybreak in the farmsteads lying 
further to the south, were driven back as far as Neuville aux 
Bois by six companies suppoi-ted by artillei-v. At this latter 
place fresh troops of all arms were in readine^ss to receive them 
in their retreat. The 6th Heavy Battery now came into action 
against the last-named village, whilst the Prussian infantry, 
moving with difficuUy over the rainnsodden ground, and under 
a heavy musketry fire from the enemy, approached it to 
within a hundred paces. But as the effect of the guns was, to 
all appearance, without result, and the adversary advanced 
with strong columns against the left flank of the Prussians, 
Colonel V. Flatow broke off the action, and commenced his 
retreat upon St. Germain* After beating off an attack made 
by the French near Le ChSne, with united forces, the contending 
troops reoccupied their qiiarters towards noon. The losses on 
the Prussian side amounted to some 170 men; the French, 
according to report, lost less. The appearance of the adver- 
sary with a force of all arms led to the assumption that there 
were considerable bodies of troops in rear of the outposts. 

In the rayon of the IXth Army Corps Colonel v. Falken- 
hausen, with the 11th Regiment and two batteries of horse 
artillery, supported by the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, had, at 8 a.m. 
on this day, advanced along the road from Paris to Orleans. 
The French pickets having been driven fi'om Assas, and the 
enemy having also abandoned Artenay, after some shells had 
been thrown mto it, the German cavalry, destroying the line of 
railway and telegraph, continued their movement as far as La 
Croix briquet, from which place, towards noon, they were again 
withdrawn, as hostile infantry and artillery advanced from 

The troops of the Xth Army Corps, which were posted at 
Beaune la Rolandef had, on the 24th, Hkewise pushed foi*ward 
reconnoitring detachments towards the Forest of Orleans. One 
of thesej had met with some French lancers abreast of Mont- 
barrois, which were driven back to Boieconnnun by the 4th 
Sauadron 2nd Hessian Cavalry. After the cavalry patrols had 
subsequently encountered some Franctireurs at the border of 

• let and Tub. Ilnd and Illrd 2Dd and 4th 5th Lt. and 6th Htt. Bntta 

20 * 35 ' 2nd Drag. ' ill 

under Col. y. Fktow. 

t SSth Brigade, and 6 Hessian squadrons. 

J Ist and 4th 8rd , 4th 

57 ' 1st Hcssiun Cttvulr/ :^nd 11 cs^iunC'&valr}* 



the forest near Chambon, the GeimanB returned to their quarters 
at 2 p.m. Another detachment despatched towards Bellegarde 
had observed near St. Loup les Vignes strong columns of all 
arms moving from the former place towards Boiscommun and 

Engagements at Ladon and Maiziebes.* 

Under cover of the troops pushed forward in the direction 
of the Forest of Orleans, those parts of the Xth Corps still at 
Montargis were, on the 24th T^ovember, to move iip to the 
neighbourhood of Beaune la Rolande : namely, the 37th Brigade 
by way of Ladon and Maizi^es, the 89th with the Corps Artil- 
lery by way of Panne. 

When title 37th Infantry Brigade,! advancing on the morning 
of this day along the road to Ladon, found the coimtry west of 
this place already occupied by strong detachments of French 
troops. General von WoynaJ deployed the two battalions of 
the advanced guard for attack. Abreast of Villemoutiers 
came into action, on the right of the road, first the heavy 
battery, and shortly after, near it, the light battery, which had 
been Drought forward from the main body. 

As the enemy endeavoured to turn the right flank of the 
advanced guard, the 2nd BattaUon 91st liegiment moved 
forward upon Les Arlots through the intervals of the guns in 
action ; on the immediate right of the Oldenburgers were then 
brought up into front line tne two available battalions of the 
78th Regiment.§ When the French were dislodged from the last- 
named place, Lieut.-CoL v. Hagen advanced, towards 2 
o'clock, with the whole of the infantrv, to the attack of Ladon, 
whence, however, the adversary, without awaiting the collision, 
retired to Bellegarde; a large detachment left oehind in La 
Mothe laid down their arms after a stubborn resistance. The 
37th Brigade now resumed its march along the road to 
Maizieres, but later on, in consequence of the roar of artillery 
which resounded from that place, bent away to the left in order 
to take part in the struggle by way of Montigny. 

At tlie very commencement of the engagement just des- 

• See Flan, No. 22. 

f Bitftribution of the 37th Bri^de on the 24th Korember : 

. . , ^ 1 Isfc and Fus. 2nd and Srd 2ndHeaTTBattei7 i «• ^ . 

Adyanced Guard : — , _ . .,, , =p i, half lit 

91 9th Drag. ' X 

Pioneer Company irith Light Field Bridge Train. 

Main Body: I^, 78th Eegimcnt, 2nd Liyht Battery^ Srd Pioneer Company. 

9x .A. 

X Major- Qcncral v. Woyna commanded tlie 19th Infantry Dirision in place of 
Lieiit.-Gcn. v. Sohwartzkoppjn, sick. 

§ Ilnd and Fueilicr Battalions ; t)io Ist acted as escort to the artillery and 


cribed General v. Voigl-s-Rlictz, commanding tho Corps, had 
sent instructions to the 39th Brigade, then on tlie march to 
Beaune la Bolande, to move in the first place towards Maizieres, 
which, according to information received, was held by the enemy. 

The commander of this brigade. Colonel v. Valentini, 
received this order at Venouille about half-past 1 o'clock. At 
that place he had at his disposal two battahons and twa bat- 
teries, as the Corps Artillery, in accordance with a previons 
order, had hurried on to Beaune, while two companies and a 
division of dragoons had undertaken the duties of guarding tho 
left flank* As this detachment was now received "with a 
vigorous fire from Maiziires, the two battalions advanced from 
the north against L'Archemont, which was situated at the junc- 
tion of the roads west of the place, and was occupied by 
French infantry. With tiie aid of the guns, which hastened 
forward, the adversary was gradually dislodged from thence, 
and from some neighbouring farmsteads ; he however once more 
rallied at Fr6ville under the protection of some batteries, 
whilst at the same time strong columns were moving up from 

General v. Voigts-Rhetz now caused the 37th Brigade, 
which, as already mentioned, was preparing to take part, to 
move off at once to Beaune in rear of the 39th, and in the 
evening to occupy quarters in Romainville.* This last brigade 
followed at a proper interval from FArchemont, and occupied 
the neighbourhood of Gondreville ; its line of outposts extended 
from Vergouville to Lorcy. 

The Xth Army Corps had in this way, in spite of the enemy's 
very superior force, assembled, by means of a flank march, its 
three hitherto separated brigades %t Beaune la Rolando. Tho 
total loss in the engagement amounted, on both sides, to about 
200 men ; besides mese there fell into the German hands some 
170 prisoners. 

The reconnoitring affairs which had taken place on the 24th 
November confirmed once more the presence of large bodies of 
French troops at Chevilly, and a movement to the right on tho 
part of the enemy in the direction of Neuville aux Bois, whilst at 
the same time considerable forces had appeared at Boiscommun. 
With regard to the latter, the piisoners affirmed that they 
belonged to a Corps transported bv railway from Chamy to 
Gien ; on the person of an officer killed in the action at Ladon 
was found the Order of Battle of this Corps, as well as a 
despatch from Gambetta to General Crouzat, in which Gien 
was designated as the key of the French positions on the 

* A detachmeot left at Ladon for the protection of the wounded did not aniTO 
until night, without, howorer, being molested bj the enemy. 

L 2 


Loire. As from thifi information the enemy's movements of 
the 24th November appeared to prelude the commencement 
of a general advance of his right wing, the head-quarters staff 
of the Ilnd Army ordered that the 1st Cavahy Division should 
be in position at 9 A.M. on the 25th, to the west of Boynes ; the 
Ilird Army Corps at Pithiviers and Chatillon le Roi ; the IXth to 
the south of Toury; ready to meet the expected advance. 
The 2nd Cavalry Division received instructions to patrol as 
far in front as possible on the right flank of the Army. 

The adversary, however, did not pass to the attEick on the 
25th November ; some isolated patrols advancing during the 
forenoon in the direction of the Xth Army Corps withdrew after 
an exchange of rifle shots. By the transfer of the 1st Cavalry 
Division* to Boynes, the mp between the outposts of the IXIrd 
and Xth Corps was close£ The latter received instructions to 
occupy Montargis and Chftteau Landon, for the purpose of 
observing the district between the Loing and Yonne, whilst 
detachments of the Ilird Corps were to remain at Nemours until 
relieved by Etappen troops. 

Neither on the 26th November did the enemy undertake any 
serious offensive movements against the front of the Ilnd Army. 
A detachment of the Xth Corps, despatched towards Ch&teau 
Landon, under Lieut.-Col. v. Boltenstem,t while following up 
the French troops which had driven back the German outposts 
from Ladon upon Corbeilles, came across two regiments of 
infantry in the neighbourhood of CheveneUe.J 

On the morning of the 27th November the 35th Infantry 
and the 3rd Cavalry Brigades, with 4 batteries, advanced from 
the right wing of uie army at Allaines, as &r as Org^res and 
Loigny, for the purpose, if necessary, of supporting the Detach- 
ment of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg m its passage of the 
Loir.§ The cavahy scouting to the westward fotmd, however, 
only some weak watch-pickets retreating behind the southern 
branch of the La Conie. 

On the same day, however, a report reached the army head- 
quarters from the troops at Nemours that, according to the 
statement of the inhabitants, 25,000 French had on the previous 
night occupied a camp to the south of Montargis. Keports 
from Ch&teau Landon confirmed this statement. On the further 
side of the Orleans canal strong columns of the enemy had 
also been seen on the march, while his advanced detachments 
had already taken up a firm position at Mignerette. 

All these signs consequently pointed to aprojected advance 
of the Army of the Loire in the direction of Fontainebleau ; but 
the state of affairs did not appear at present to be sufficiently 

* The 9th and 12th Loncen were attached to the Dirluons of the IUrd Corps. 
. Ilnd 5th and 6th 2nd and 4th j of 8rd Light Battery 

~ 56 ' 79 ' 1st HeBsian CaTaliy' X 

t Among tue prisonon captured on thie occasion was a Brigade Commander of 
the 20th Corps. 

§ See Part II, p. 806. 


clear to justify a complete movement to the left of the Ilnd Army 
and the absmdonment of the important road from Orleans to 
Paris. Prince Frederic Charles resolved in consequence to bring 
up, in the first place, only the oth Infantry Division, as far as 
the neighbourhood of Boynes and BarviUe, m order to give any 
support that might be needed to the Xth Corps, and to replace 
it m Pithiviers by the 6th. The quarters of the latter at Bazoches 
les Gallerandes were assigned temporarily to a brigade of the 
IXth Corps. In order, if necessary, to draw this also towards 
the left, the Detachment of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, 
which in the meantime had reached the Loir, received orders 
to attain on the 29th, at least with its leading troops, the road 
from Orleans to Paris at Toury. 


Movements of the Ar^iy of the Loire for the Relief 

OF Paris. 

After the engagement at Coulmiers, the French Army of the 
Loire had occupiea the ahready mentioned extensive position to 
the north of Orleans,* there to await the arrival of reinforce- 
ments. In view of the possibility of a speedy attack from the 
Germans, diligent preparations were made for constmcting forti- 
fications between Chevillj and the Loire, at La Chapelle, by way 
of Gidy and Ormes. In the Forest of Orl^ns, the section east 
of St. Ly6 was rendered impassable by breaking up the roads, 
and was only destined to be held by watch-pickets; the west 
part of the forest, on the other hand, was strongly occupied. The 
city of Orleans, arranged for a stubborn defence, was to serve 
if necessary to the army, as a point of support, and as a bridge- 
head. For the armanent of the batteries which had been con- 
structed, some companies of marine artillery and a large number 
of heavy naval guns from Cherbourg were employed, while the 
inhabitants of the district were utilized in throwing up entrench- 
ments, under the superintendence of civil engineers. 

In addition to the 17th employed for the reinforcement of 
the left -wing, and the 3rd Division of the 16th Corps brought 
up from Gien, the Franctireur detachments of Colonel 
Cathelineau and Lieut.-Colonel Lipowski meanwhile joined 
the army. A new Corps (the 20th) was formed from the 
40,000 men of the East Anny assembled at Gien ; to that same 

flace the Ist Division of the 18tli Corps collecting at Nevcrs 
ad been also pushed forward.t 

The foremost Une of the Anny of the Loire, now numbering 
some 200,000 men, had on the 20th November occupied the 
following positions : — 

The nght wing was composed of Colonel Cathelineau's 
Franctireurs in the north-east part of the Forest of Orleans, 
between Chambon and Chilleurs aux Bois ; detached companies 
occupied Nancray and other villages lying to the north of 
the forest. The district from St. hji to Boulay was filled 
by the three Divisions of the 15th Corps. On the extreme left 
winff was the 16th Corps, partly at Les Barres and Bucy 
St. Liphard, partly between St. P^ravy and Cpulmiers, whilst 
Lieut-Colonel Lipowski's Franctireurs were pushed forward as 
far as tlio neighbourhood of Patay, for the purpose, in conjunc- 
tion with the Cavaliy Di^asion of the lajst-named Corps assembled 
at Tournoisis, of observing towards the north-west. 

The Government at Tours, which after the re^occupation of 
Orleans had already in contemplation an earlv advance of the 
Anny of tlie Lou*e by way of Pithiviers ana Malesherbes, re- 
quired General d'Am-elle, after the arrival of the consider- 
able reinforcements just mentioned, to determine upon definite 

• Soo Part ir, p. 280. 

t Appendix XCIV contains the Order of Battle of tbo 17th, 18th, and 20th 
French Corps. The tvoopa of the £aat Army not brought up to the Loire (15,000 
men) were employed for the j.rotcction of Ljona. 


oflFensive measures for the relief of the capital. As this General 
raised the objection that he must first be in possession of 
the intentions of the Governor of Paris, Gambetta liimself, 
from Tours, undertook the direction of the movements. He 
first ordered an advance of the right wing of the Army to 
Pithiviers, and contemplated giving it afterwards the direction 
of Fontainebleau, in order fi:om thence to extend a hand to the 
defenders of Paris, who were summoned to break through the 
east line of investment. 

In the night of the 22nd-23rd November, orders were sent 
by telegraph to Orleans for General des Pallieres to advance 
at once with 30,000 men to Chilleurs aux Bois, and on the 24th 
as far as Pithiviers ; on this day the 20th Corps was to reach 
Beauno la Bolande and Juranville. Against this proposal, 
however, General d'Aurello protested that an advance 
upon Pithiviers would probably draw in that direction the 
forces of Prince Fredenc Charles, which were estimated at 
80,000 men,* and the Army of the Loire would then find 
itself compelled to accept decisive battle under very much 
more unfavourable conditions than if it had awaited the attack 
of the Germans in the entrenched position in front of 
Orleans* In consequence of this, Gambetta limited himself, iu 
the first instance, to pushing forward the troops of General des 
Palli6res to Chilleurs aux Bois and Loury, the 20th Corps to 
Boiscommun and Bellegarde. 

These last arrangements led to the already described en- 
gagements at Ladon and Maizi^res.! At their termination the 
20th Coi-ps encamped in the district assigned to it; two 
brigades were despatched towards Beaune and Ladon. At the 
north-east angle of the Forest of Orleans some Franctireura 
maintained the communication with the troops of the 15th Coi-ns 
at Chilleura aux Bois, the rest of which Corps General d'Aurelle 
had brought up to St. Lye, Chevilly, and Gidy. In the follow- 
ing days the 18th Corps,J meanwhile assembled at Gien, 
advanced to Ladon and Montargis, where, together with the 
20th, it passed under the supreme orders of General Crouzat. 
As this officer, on the 26th November, received instructions 
from Tours to initiate the forward movement of the army in 
the direction of Pithiviers by the occupation of Beaune la 
Holande, Juranville, and Maizieres, he ordered for this purpose 
that on the 28th the 18th Corps should advance through Maizieres* 
and Jm'anville, the Ist Division of the 20th Coi-ps fi'om Boiscom- 
mun, the 2nd from MontbaiTois and St. Loup towards Beaune, 
whilst the 3rd was to remain in reserve at St. Loup. The loth 
Corps was, if required, to support the right wing of the army. 

* In realitj the strength of tl:e Ilnd Army in infantry was tit that time only 
45,000 men. 

t See Part II, p. 308. 

X General Bourbaki appointed to the command of this Corps Imd not jct 
orrircd, ard wcs at this time represented by General Hillot, fliief oi' the fclaJT, 

The Battle of Beaune la Rolande on the 28th November.* 

The French troops advancing on the morning of the 28th 
November, very soon came across the positions of the Xth 
Army Corps, which had its 38th Brigade at Beaune la Rolande 
and its 3i)th at Les Cotelles; the Ime of outposts sti'etched 
from Batilly by way of Orme and Foncerive as far as the 
copses between Lorcy and Corbeilles. In order to give any 
support that might be necessary to the left ^nng, which ap- 
peared to be more especially endangered, the 37th Brigade and 
the Corps Artillery had already at daybreak advanced from 
Egry to the neighbom*hood of MarciUy, whilst, as regards the 
right ^viiig, the amval of the 5th Division was expected in 
accordance with the arrangements of the army head-quartei's 
settled on the previous day.f 

The head-quarters staff of the Xth Corps had selected the 
heights on either side of Beaune and the gentle undulations at 
Long Cour for a defensive position. The mam point of support 
to this position was the first-named town, which was surrounded 
by the remams of a wall 12 feet high, and was arranged for 
defence; on the other hand, m the occupied district, the 
movement of artillery was hampered to a veiy considerable extent 
by the numerous farms, orchards, and extensive binishwood. 

The outposts of the 39th Brigade, standing to the south of 
Juranville,:^ received the approaching skirmishers of Roberts' 
French Brigade with a vigorous fire, whicli was effectively 
supported by the 3rd Light Battery in action near Les Cotelles. 
As the latter, in consequence of the increasing pressure of the 
enemy, abandoned its position at 9 o'clock, the infantry also 
evacuated the village of Juranville shortly after. The com- 
panies retu'ing from thence received support at Les Cotelles 
from the fusiher battalion 79th Regiment, under cover of 
which the two batteries of the brigade had deployed to the 
south of the Moulin des Hommes Libres. To the west of the 
Beaumont road stood two battalions of the 56th Regiment and 
the squadrons of Dragoons. 

• Sec Plan, No. 22. 

t On the 28th, the following was the disposition of the troops of the Xth Corps : — 

Of the 37th Brigade : the 9th Dragoons, 2nd Light and 2nd Heayy Batteries 
and drd Pioneer Companj. 

Of tlie 88th Brigade : the 3rd squadron Ist Ilession Ca%*alry, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 

squadrons 2nd Hessian CaTalry, 1st Light and 1st llcary Batteries and 1st Pioneers 

Companv. L- acted as escort to the train. 

^ * 16 

Of the 39th Brigade: the 10th Kifle Battalion, l&t and Ith squadron 16th 

Dragoons, 3rd Light and 3rd HcarT Batteries. 

rp, llnd 6th and 6th ^3rdLi{;htBnttT. , ,, i. i. m •* t i -.i 

The -— — I — ,- ^- «- had been scut to Clmtcau Laudon witli 

56 79 X 

.y 2nd and 4t]i 7th and 8th « . j *i ^ • 

the — ; _- , escorted the tram. 

1st Iioss. CV.v. 7 J) 

The lOtli Infjinlry Brigade, witli 2 squrulrons 16th Dragoons, 4tli Light and 41 h 
IleaTT Batteries niul 2nd Pioneer Company, \\as I'artly in front of Longrcs, and 
partly moying up from that pkce. 

**lst and 2nd 



The German advanced troops* at Lorcy had been also com- 
pelled to retii'e to the railway embankment, where they, how- 
ever, in conjunction ^vith the three other companies of the 
10th Rifle Battalion, now repulsed ^vith success the further 
attacks of Bonnet's Brigade, and defeated its attempt to tnm 
the left flank of this position by occupying the park of Corbeilles. 

When the French, later on, at 10 o'clock, were advancing 
"with a strong line of sldrmishera over the open ground north- 
east of Juranville, thoy were met by the Ist BattaUon 56th 
Regiment; the latter shortly fell under a brisk cross-fire, and 
could only defend itself with difficulty against the enemy who 
was working more round the right. After the 2nd BattaUon 
9l8t Regiment t had meanwhile arrived near Venouille Mill, 
Colonel V. Valentini caused also the last battalion of his bri^fade, 
the fusiliers of the 56th, to take part in the struggle. These, 

Saflsing by Les Cotelles^ moved forward, protectmg the lefb 
ank against Juranville, and, in conjunction with the Ist Bat- 
talion, drove back the French skirmishers who had advanced 
firom that place. But as the adversary offered a stubborn resist- 
ance in the village, which he had arranged for defence, u 
vigorous musketry action ensued, in wliich the German artillery, 
from its positions behind the infantry, was unable to co-operate. 
It was not until the midday hour that the action took a decisive 
turn, when the fusilier battalion 91st Re^ment, after arriving 
from Marcilly, advanced against the west side of Juranville, and 
at the same time the 56th also made a renewed attack upon the 
village. The French now retired to the southward, but con- 
tinued to carry on the struggle with great bitterness in some 
isolated farmsteads. 

Meanwhile, on the enemy's extreme right wing, Bonnet's 
Brigade had penetrated into Corbeilles. The Prussian garrison 
retired partly along the railway embankment to Long Cour, 
partly to Bordeaux, which had already been occupied by troops 
of the reserve. The adversary did not follow beyond Corbeilles, 
but rather moved to the left against Juranville, whilst at the 
same time strong columns also advanced to that place from 
Maiziires. The Germans seeing this superiority of force now 
abandoned Juranville, carr}nng with them some 300 prisoners, 
and took up a position at Venouille and Long Cour, where 
General v. Voigts-Rhetz was concentrating the bulk of liis 
Corps. The 38th Brigade alone remained ^vith the horse 
artillery batteries of the Corps Artillery at Beaune.t 

• Srd and 4tli ^^ 3rd 

79 10th Kiaes. 

t Sent forward to the battle-field as support from the 37th Brigade wliich had 
arriyed to the east of Marcilly. 

J The positions between 1 and 2 p.m. were as follows :— 

At Long Cur: H"'!. ^-^ '""' ^"d. arOmuUtl,^ 10th RiOc Batt«aion, 

l st,2ndnmi3nl lat and 4th 2nd HcaTy. 5th and 6th Light 

t*th Drngoons * 16th Druguous * -^ 

1st and 2nd Ist 3 rd Light and 3rd Heayj 
South of ^louUa dcs Ilomujes Librcs : fr^ » ^ » ' y 


On the French side, after the reoccupation of Juranville, tlie 
greater part of the 18th Corps deployed to the east of this place, 
for the attack of Long Cour, without a previous preparation for 
the latter by artillery fii'e. The enemy advancing in dense 
bodies of skirmishers and closed colmnns found, however, his 
progress shortly aiTested by the fire of the three batteries 
imlimbered at Long Cour. Whcii Colonel v. d. Becke then 
caused the two batteries posted at Moulin des Hommes Libres 
also to wheel to the left and to come into action against the flank 
of the French infantry, the latter retreated in complete disorder. 

Weaker detachments of the enemy had meanwnile advanced, 
under cover of an imdulation of the ground, to within 200 paces 
of Les Cotelles, but there encoimtered the resistance of the 
fusiher battalion 79th Regiment under Major von Steinacker, 
who successfully repelled an assault made at 2 o'clock. Half 
an hour later the adversary once more renewed the atlack. Two 
guns of the 3rd Heavy Battery hastened forward through the 
village to meet the attack, but whilst unUmbering suffered 
such considerable losses from the file-fire of the enemy's 
skiimishers that only one of them succeeded with difficulty in 
escaping from its perilous position. The other had sunk deep 
into the sodden ground, and could not be brought back by the 
few gunners who remained untouched.* 

As the adversary now on his side likewise brought guns into 
action, and advanced with strong bodies of infantry against 
Yenouille, and, moreover, surrounded Les Cotelles, the Prussian 
fiisiiiers towards 3 o'clock evacuated the post which they had up 
to that time so stubbornly defended. A squadron of lancers sent 
in pursuit through the village dispersed a detachment left at the 
northern issue from it, but was compelled to turn back by the 
fire of two battaUonsf despatched to Venouille; it however 
succeeded in canring off fifty prisoners. The enemy now 
occupied Les Cotelles, without, however, making any attempt to 
advance further. His artillery kept up until nightfall an 

East of VenouiUe : 5^^. 


At Lc8 C6teUcs : ^'. 


. ^ ^, ., . ^ 8rd and 4lh 5th and 6tli Heary ^-j -n: 
At th© poiiTray ftotion : — j , — ^t 3ra Pioneer 

to A. 


In and near Beanne : The 88th Brigade 'vrith 4 Hessian squodrons, 2 batteries of 
the 19th Diyision, both horse artillery batteries of the Corps Artillery and one Pioneer 

^,' ^ and 2nd Light ^ ^^^ guarding the left flank at 

78 9th Dragoons X 

Bordeaux, — was replenishing ammunition in rear of the fighting troops. 

^^^- and ■ were odrancing from JuranTillr. 

6G 91 

• In this sub-division 2 drirers, 5 gunners, and 4 liorscs ivero killed or 


. Ist J Fus. 

+ J^ and 


ineffectiye fire upon the Germans^ who on their part had taken 
up a position on the Windmill Hill east of Venouille, with 
Beveral batteries on the northern edge of the Laveau valley.* 

On the French left wing the leading troops of the 20th uorps, 
which had that morning commenced to march from Montbarrois 
and Boiscommun towards Beaune la Rolande and BatUly, had 
about 9 o'clock come into collision with the 38th Infantry Brigade. 
Of this latter, the 57th Regiment, with two Hessian squadrons, 
held the outposts between Batilly, Orme, and Foucerive, while 
the IGth Regiment was at Beaime ; on the heights to the right 
and left of the town stood the batteries attached to the brigade, 
with the two remaining Hessian squadrons and the pioneer 

while the German outposts retired skirmishing upon the 
main position on either side of Beaune, General Crouzat caused 
his 2nd Division to advance bjr way of VergouviUe and Orme. 
The 1st endeavoured from Batilly to outflank the right wing of 
the Xth Corps, but when debouching from the Bois de la Leu 
was driven back by the effective fire of the Ist Heavy Battery ; 
the French artillery, which took up the cannonade, waa ateo 
compelled to ^uit the field affcer a few rounds. It was not 
until the 3rd Division, held up to that time in reserve at St. Loup, 
appeared on the scene that the 1st Battalion 57th Regiment was 
compelled towards noon to retire as far as the cross roads north- 
west of Beaune, where at this time the greater part of the 
1st Light Battery, escorted by some Hessian cavalry, also came 
into action. 

As the swarms of French skirmishers, despite the biisk 
artillery and musketry fire which rained upon them, arrived by 
rushes to within 100 paces of the present position of the 
Germans, and threatened their right flank, these latter resumed 
their retreat at half-past 12 along the Caesar road. A gun of the 
1st Light Batterv, the gunners and horses of which were for 
the most part kuled or woimded, fell into the enemy^s hands 
in spite of the gallant resistance of the Prussian infantry. The 
heavy battery, which had fired for some time upon the French 
advancing from Batilly, was also obUged to abandon its position, 
as this was already swept by the fire of infantry and artillery 
from La Pierre Percie. 

On the east side of Beaune the adversary at this time com* 
menced to ascend the height of Les Roches. General v. 
Woyna caused in consequence the two battalions of the 57th 
Regiment posted there to retire upon La Rue Boussier, whilst 
Major Korber brought up, under escoi*t of the Pioneer Company 
left in rear of Beaune, the batteries of horee artillery, which 
had been sent forward from llai-cilly, to within 800 paces of the 
French infantry, and stopped its advance after a Tew rounds. 
The batteries then likewise retired ^with the last skirmifihera of 
the 57th Regiment into the position at La Rue Boussier. 

On the Ceesar road the French had also suspended their for- 

* See Flan No. 22, position at 4^30 p.m. 


wai'd movement, as they found themselves suddenly threatened 
Ofi the left flank by the Ist Cavalry Division. This latter* had 
been assembled at Boynes shortly after the commencement 
of the action, and at 12 o'clock, in accordance with a summons 
from General v. Voigts-Rhetz, had advanced to Butte do 
rOrmeteau. The honse artilleiy battery, escorted by two 
squadrons of the 4th Lancers, which hastened forward in that 
direction, had, shortly after 1 o'clock, opened fire upon the enemy's 
columns, which appeared between Batilly and Arconville, and 
afterwards, from a position further south, upon the masses of 
troops marching alon^ the Ceesar road. As the adversary 
thereupon opened a biisk musketry fire from the vallev of the 
Fosse des Pres, and the two Cuirassier regiments of the Division 
had made an unsuccessfril attempt to charge the French 
infantry over the completely sodden ground, the battery retired 
to Butte de FOrmeteau. 

The 20th French Corps having succeeded, after a brisk 
struggle of several hours, m forcing the Germans from their 
positions on either side of Beaune la Rolande, all the efforts of 
the assailant were now directed upon the town, which had 
already been taken as a mark by his artiller3^ The leader of 
the 16th Regiment, there in command, Lieut.-Col. Sannow, had 
so distributed his three battaUons, that to the 1st was assigned 
the duty of defending the south-west side and the cemetery, 
whilst the frisilier battalion occupied the south and the 2nd 
battalion the east side of the place. Of the outposts which had 
retired to La Kue Boussier, two companies of the 57th Regiment 
had in addition remained at Beaune, and these, with some other 
available detachments, were despatched to the north-west side of 
the place, as the din of battle was more marked in that direction.! 

Since 1 p.m. Beaune was almost entirely surrounded by 
the French. Dense swarms of sldrmishers had at this time 
approached the cemetery and a bamcade on the Orme road, 
but had been repulsed by an effective fire. A second attempt 
on the part of the enemy having been beaten off* in a similar 
manner, the latter Umited himself for the present to a vigorous 
musketry action. French shells crashed through the cemetery 
wall in many places, and set fire to some houses in the interior 
of the town. Renewed impetuous attacks of the French infantry 
were again successfully repulsed by the defenders, who were 
now entirely dependent on the ammunition in their pouches4 
It was not until General v. Woyna took part in the struggle 
with the 57th Regiment, assembled at La Rue Boussier, and 
with the batteries now replenished at tliat ploce with ammunition, 

* 14 squadrons strong. One squadron of the Stli Lancers was at Nemours, 
one of the 4thLancers at the outposts. With regard to the 9th and 12th Lancers, 
sec Part II, p. 310. 

5tK and 7th 
t On the north- west side of Beaune "were posted at this time the -^ i 

r>thandl2tli _,, ,. *^ . .. .r .i._ Hth 

and detachments of the 

16 10 

X The small-arm ammunition imggons had boon withdrawn with the ether 
regimental waggons before the commcnceuicut of the action. 


that the engagement took a favoiimblo tuni. On the right 
wing three companies* took up a firm position on the west 
side of Romainville. i\jiother aetachmentf advancing towards 
the copses at La Pierre Percee met with so obstinate a resist- 
ance that it had to seek cover in a ditch ; on the left of the 
Beamie road Colonel v. Cranach, with seven companics4 had, 
however, in spite of a heavy musketry fire, reached, towards 3 
o'clock, the south edge of the plateau and the eastside of the town. 
The four batteries § had meanwhile advanced beyond the Cassar 
road, and come into action to the north-east of Beaune. The 
3rd Horse Artillery Battery fired with efiect upon the French 
infantry, which made repeated advances from Ormetrou and 
Moulins de la Montage towards the heights of Les Roches ; 
the other three batteries facing the west prevented the advance 
of the adversary from the direction of Batilly, 

Meanwhile Captain Soest, with five divisions of the 57th 
Begiment,!! had forced his way into the northern angle of the 
copse at La Pierre Percee, which had been attacked in vain a 
short time before by the 3rd Company. The resistance on the 
part of the enemy which still continued in the interior was, 
however, only overcome with the aid of the 5th Infantry Division 
now appearing on the scene of action. 

This latter had, in accordance with the arrangements from 
Army Head-quarters, assembled duringthe morning at Dadonville, 
to aftbrd any support which might be required to the Xth Corps, 
whilst the 6th Division with the Corps Artillery arrived at 
Pithiviers. Although the first intelligence with regard to the 
action in the neighbourhood of Beaune had not appeared to be 
alarming, and the Corps Artillery had already returned to its 
quarters, the Oeneral Commanding had become convinced about 
noon, from later reports and from the increasing roar of 
artillery, that a serious attack by the French was imminent. 

The order which he now issued for an advance upon Boynes 
met the 5th Division while already on its way thither. Prince 
Frederic Charles, who was posted with part of his staff on the 
Windmill Hill to the south of that village, caused the 
Division, as well as the cavalry assembled at Butte de 
rOrmeteau,to move onward in a southerly direction at 2 o'clock. 
The two horse artillery batteries of the Corps, and the 
6th Division likewise on the march, were to follow to Boynes. 
Of the latter the 2nd battahon 24th Regiment had already 
arrived at Dadonville as relief to the outposts before the depar- 
tiu-e of the 5th Division from that place, and had afterwards been 
despatched on the right flank towards Courcelles, a]id now 

• 1st, 4th, Gth ^^.^.^]^ ^^^^ joined by other detachments of tho 2nd Battalion. 

t Bid, t 2nd, 8th, and Fus ^^^ ^^^ p. Company. 

67 67 ' ^ ^ 

§ Ist Hearr, Ist Li^^ht, and the two Hone ArtiUeiy Batteries. 

„ 3rd, ^ 6th, and ^^ 7th 

II ^ 


watched the French troops* in this village, who on their side 
did not pass to the attack. 

When the advanced guard of the 5th Divisionf had reached 
Butte de TOrmeteau, the 52nd Regiment deployed on the south 
of the height at that point, whilst the 3rd Rifle BattaUon 
secured the right flank towardia Arconville; the three batteries of 
the main body, with the 12th Regiment, followed the advanced 

With a rapid onset the riflemen drove the enemy from the 
wooded hill to the north-east of Arconville, and afterwards 
maintained a stationary musketry action with the troops 
assembled at Batilly, in which, towards 4.30 p.m., three batteries 
and two companies of the 9th Brigade^ took part. Some 
languid attacks on the part of the adversary were repulsed 
without difficulty. 

The 1st Light Battery and the Horse Artillery Battery of 
the 1st Cavahy Division had meanwhile, from a position to the 
north of the Fosse des Pres, directed their fire upon the enemy 
posted on the west side of Beaunc. After the arrival of the 
two still available batteries of the main body§ Captain Stocphasius 
led the 1st Light Battery past the infantry as far as the bridge 
over the Fosse des Pres, whither the others shortly after 
followed. The fusilier battaUon 52nd Regiment passing to the 
attack by way of La Pierre Percie, and the 57th fighting ne-ar 
the copses at that poiat, now gained complete possession of 
those woods and of tiie gun whicn had been previously lost there. 

To the west of the high road Colonel v. Wulflten had led 
forward six more companies of the 52nd Regiment against the 
Bois dela Leu, where the French after the loss of La Pierre Perc^e 
were offering but feeble resistance. The 12th Regiment, brought 
up in support of the advanced guard, then dispersed on the 
south-west side of Beaune the last stragglers of the retreating 
enemy. The latter, it is true, made that same evening another 
attempt to storm the stubbornly defended town, but on this 
occasion also was repulsed by the 16th Regiment, in conjunction 
with the 1st Hoi'se Ai-tillery Battery 10th Regiment posted at the 

* Betachmeiits of Colonel Oathelineau's FTanctiTettn and a scouting company 
of the 16th Corps. 

t Distribution of the 5th Infantry Dirision : — 

Adyanccd (d^uard : Colonel r. Wuiffcn : — 52ud Be^imcnt, 3rd Kiilo Battalion, 
12th Dragoons, 1^ Li^rht^Batterr 

Main Body : Major-General y. Schwerin : — 12th Ghrenadiers, 9th Infantry 
Brigade, two '.qnadrons 12th Lmcew, ^"^ ^'g''^' ^'*'^f ^"'^ "''^y ZndKonccr 


6th and 8tli 38tand2nd and 2 squadrons 12th Lancers were at the outposts, 
48 52 ^ ^ * 

?*1L as garrison in Pithiyiers, 5^^ and 8th ^^ Nemours. 
8 12 

^ 2nd Heayy, Ist and 3rd H. A. Batteries , 5t h and 7th 

* 111 * ^ 48 
g Ist Heavy and 2nd Light 

^ "in • 


cemetery. Whilst the two fusilier battalions of the 10th Brimde 
now advanced in pursuit, and continued this as far as Mont- 
barrois and Jarrisoy, eight batteries,* deployed on either side of 
Beaune, hurled their projectiles into the masses of the retreating 
columns. The German cavalry found its further advance 
prevented by the unfavourable character of the ground and the 
darkness which had supervened. 

After the struggle nad come to a conclusion, the Xth Corps 
encamped at Beaune and Long Cours, the 5th Division at 
La Pierre Perc^e and Marcilly, the ()th at Boynes. The 
1st Cavalry Division was quartered in the last-named village, 
the line of outposts in front of the Xth Army Corps was 
extended through Batilly and Arconville as far as Mousseaux. 
The 50th Infantry and 4th Cavalry Brigades, which that morning 
had reached Bazoches les GaUerandes, extended their advanced 
troops posted between Oison and Frapuy as far as the Kimarde 
brooK, m consequence of the departure of the Illi'd Army Corps. 
On the French side the 18th Corps remained during the night 
at Venouille, Juranville, and Maizi&res ; the 20th resumed its 
former positions at Belle^arde and Boiscommun, Colonel Cathe- 
lineau's Franctireurs withdrew again from Courcelles under 
cover of the forest. 

In the battle of Beaune la Rolande the Germans at first had 
only employed 11,000 men and 70 guns against the adversary, 
who had some 60,000 men and 138 guns. The latter had lost 
nearly 1,300 men killed and wounded; besides these, some 
1,800 imwounded prisoners fell into the hands of the Germans, 
whose total loss amounted to 900 men.t 

The Head-quarters Staff of the Ilnd Army was unable, on 
the evening of the 28th November, to grasp to its full extent 
the importance of the victorv which had oeen gained. As it was 
rather expected on the following day that the enemy would 
renew his attack, and to meet sucn attempts the co-operation of 
the IXth Army Corps appeared desirable, General v. Manstein 
received instructions to move off with two brigades verjr early 
next morning to Boynes and Bazoches les GaUerandes ; but tlie 
rest of his Corps was only to follow those troops after the 
arrival of the Grand Duke's Detachment at Toury.J The IILrd 
and Xth Corps were to concentrate in positions of readiness at 
Beaune la Rolande and Long Cours.§ 

During these preparations on the German side General 
Crouzat, in reply to his report on the issue of the engagement 

* Tho four batteries alreadj tinlimbered at the Fosse des Prds, and in addition 
the Ist Ligbt and Ist HeaTj, as well aa the two Horse Artillery Batteries of the lOih 
Artillery Kegiment. 

t For details of the German losses, see Appendix XCIIL 

t See Part II. p. 311. 

§ The occupation of Chateau Landon bj a Brigade of the Xth Corps, wliich was 
originally contemplated, and once m3ro ordered for the erening of the 28th 
Korember, was again abandoned, as a report came in from a detachment at that 
place that the adversary had quitted his adronced positions in the Loing Valley. 


snbmitted on the evening of tlie 28th, received mstructions from 
Tours to refrain for the present from anv further attack on the 
German positions. In consequence of tliis the French, on the 
29th November, retired from Venouille and Juranville in the 
direction of Ladon. The German outposts followed tins 
movement ; the other troops were in consequence moved into 

Zuarters. In the evening tne three brigades of the Xth, the Ilird 
lorps, the 50th Brigade, and the 2nd Cavalry Division, were posted 
between Lorcy and Pithiviei*s, the 49th Brigade at Bazoches 
les GaUerandes, tiie 1st Cavalry Division in alarm-quarters at 
Barville and Boynes. The 18th Division guarded the Orleans- 
Paris road, on which at Toury the 4th Cavalry Division, the 
advance of the Grand Duke's Detachment, had likewise arrived. 
Of the Infantry Divisions of the latter, the 22nd had 
reached AUaines and Ymonville, the 17th had pushed forward 
an advanced guard from Germignonville to Bazoches les 
Hautes, and the 17th Dragoons to Loigny. 

The 1st Bavarian Corps, on their march from Chdteaudun to 
Orgires, when abreast of Civry, had come across some detach- 
ments of Lieutenant-Colonel Lipowsky's Franctireurs posted at 
Varize, and, after a few rounds from the battery of the advanced 
guard, had driven them from their positions. Hereupon Varize 
also was stormed by two battalions,* and a French rearguard 
left there taken prisoners. As the squadrons scouting on the 
right flank found the neighbourhood there clear of the enemy, 
the Corps resumed its march as far as Orgferes at 11 o'clock. 

Dunng the action at Varize, Digard's Cavalry Brigade 
stationed to the south of Civry, had withdrawn to Tournoisis, 
while the detachments sent towards Chiiteaudun remained in 
their positions. Upon these latter chanced to fall the advanced 
guard of the 6th Cavalry Division,! which, moving forward on the 
right flank of the Bavarians from Courtalain by wav of Cloyes, 
drove back, with the aid of a few roimds o^ shell, a hostile 
squadron from Morgue to Toumoisis ; but, in view of the 
enemy's superior force^ abstained from attacking the latter place. 
The Division occupied quarters at Villampuy, and retained the 
16th Hussai-8 in an advanced position at Villamblain. A 
division of this regiment dispersed after dark a detachment of 
French cavalry in the neighbourhood of Toumoisis, and made 
part of them prisoners. 

For the 30tn November Prince Frederic Charles had ordered 
the Xth and Illrd Corps to reconnoiti'e in the direction of 
Boiscommuu and Montargis, whilst the IXth was to draw 
nearer to Beamie. and the Detachment of the Grand Duke of 
Mecklenburg was to extend to the left as far as Bazoches les 
GaUerandes. The 22nd Infantry Division, marching at the 
head of the latter, only, however, reached Tourv, whence 

• Hl^ and 7th Rifle Battalion. 

t 16th Hussan and two guns of the 2nd Horse Artillery Battery, llird Army 

Corps. By order of the G-rand Duke, the Bavarian bottaJHons, hitherto attached to 

the Caralry Dirisions, had rejoined their Corps. 


it threw forward detachments of infantry along the high road 
to Orleans, in support of the 2nd Cavahy Division; the 17th 
Division reached AUaines, the Ist Bavarian Corps remained at 
Orgires. In advance of the front of these troops, the patrols 
ascertained the presence of the enemy between Terminiers, 
Dambron, and Asch^res. On the right ^ving the Gth Cavalry 
Division, which, in accordance with orders from Army Ueaa« 
Quarters, was transferred to the Ilnd Army, moved in a noi*therly 
oirection to Nottonville and Dancy, after having again met 
with lar^e bodies of troops in its recoDnaissance towards 
Toumoisis. To replace it, the 4th Cavalry Division was sent 
from the neighbourhood of Touit to the outer flank of the 
Grand Duke's Detachment; it reacned Sancheville and Viabon 
on the 30th. 

On the French side orders had been issued for bringing up 
on this day the two Corps on the right wing of the Army of the 
Loire to the positions of the 15th Corps, while, for the protec- 
tion of these movements, arrangements had been made for 
pushing forward minor detachments towards the north. One 
of these latter made an attack at daybreak upon the 2nd 
BattaUon 48th Regiment, which, on the evening before, 
had taken up a position in some farmhouses at the 
north border of Montbarrois. With the assistance of tho 
3rd Rifle Battalion, which hastened to the spot, it succeeded 
towards noon in again dislodging the adversary, who had 
penetrated into the village ; in this action the Rifles captured 
about 100 prisoners. A more considerable hostile column, 
meanwhile despatched from St. Loup towards VilUers, withdrew 
again to the southward on the approach of a company of 
the 52nd and the 1st Li^ht Battery. In advance of the front 
of the Corps, strong bodies of French troops also showed them- 
selves at other points. 

The General Commanding the Xth Army Corps had 
ordered for this day the 39th Brigade to advance in the direc- 
tion of St. Loup, Maiziires, and Lorcy ; the 38 th to occupy 
quarters at Long Cour and Corbeilles ; the 37th, if possible, to 
reoccupy Montargis. 

When the first-named brigade was advancing, about 8.30 
a.m., from Les Cotelles along the road to Bellogarde, its leading 
troops were fired upon from Aiaizieres. In consequence of this the 
three companies of the advanced guard* deployed against the 
west firont of the last-named place, whilst the four guns belonging 

* Distribution of the 39th Brigade : — 

Advanced Gourd : 9th, 10th, and 12th ^^^ diTisious of Dragoons and four 

guns of the Srd Light Battery. 

MainBodv: 2nd^;_imdjus. Srd and 4th ij jq„adrons Dragoons, and 

3rd HeaTj Battery. 

Of the rest of the Brigade, 6 companies were at the outpotts, 6 companies) 
2 iqnadrons, and 2 guns at Ck&teau Lanc^on; 2 companies were employed in 
escorting the train* 



Cavalry Diviaon then proceeded, by way of La Maladeiie and 
Org^res, to La Frileuse, whither also the 10th Brigade was 
brought forward from its previous position of observation at 
Comieres. Hostile detachments whicn were despatched towanJs 
the Chateaudun high road retired in disorder before the mass of 
German cavalry to Villeve, and left 300 prisoners in then' 
hands ; a flanking division of the 6th Lancers rode down a group 
of infantry soldiers to the north of ViUerand, most of whom laid 
down their arms. As Michel's Cavalry Division, pushed forward 
in the forenoon to Guillonville, had meanwhire retreated to 
Muzelles, Admiral Jaur^guiberry now caused the ground between 
Villepion Mill and Villerand to be occupied by a regiment of 
Oaroe Mobile. 

Against the latter village Major-Geueral v. Orff had led 
forward five battalions of the 2nd Bavarian Brigade.* These 
were, however, overwhelmed by so vigorous a fire from MorAle 
Farm and from the road to Chartres, mat the battaUons of the 
2nd Regiment sought cover to the north of the farm, in the 
copse which, as ah-eady mentioned, had been occupied by a 
detachment of the Bodfy Guard Regiment ; while those of the 
11th Regiment, in consequence of the absence of any cover 
whatever, sufiered considerable loss, and the 9th Rifle Bat- 
talion had to be withdrawn in order to replenish its ammunition. 
After, however, the horse artilleiy batteries of the Cuirassier 
Brigade, and of the 4th Cavalry Division, from the ground to the 
south-west of La Maladerie,had taken the enemy in flank and rear, 
and the Bavarian Artillery, reinforced by two batteries, which 
had come into action to the soutli-west of Tanon,t had set 
Mor&le Farm on fire, the battaUons of the 2nd Brigade, on 
the renewal of their attack, gained permanent possession of the 
farm and road embankment. 

Further on the left, the Bavarian troops assembled at Beau- 
villiers had, up to that time, only succeeded, with great diffi- 
culty, in checking the impetuous advance of the French ; these 
latter had already approached within such close distance of the 
park at Ch&teau Goury that the batteries therej had to retire 
to a position further in rear. The success gained on the right 
flank, however, now rapidly spread to the other parts of the 
line of battle. Advancing from Beauvilliers and Ch&teau 
Goury, and throwing back Jaureguiberry's Division opposed 

' ^ coming from TanoD, in first line, which was also joined by the 

^ , ■ ^}^^ . ; l!i^!;4JIl^ and the 9thBifle Battalion following from 

Body auard Begiment 11 ^ 

Yillepr^TOst; and the 4lh Bifle Battalion were at Beauvilliers. 


. 7th 6-pr. and 12th 12-pr. 

3rd Bay. 

SthG-pr. 6th and 6th 6-pr. 

Ist BaT.' 3rd Bav. 


20th Diviaion* left at Neufchtlteau also reached the Loing 
Valley. This Division had commenced its advance to Langres 
on the 12th November, and, after driving in some detachments 
of Garde Mobile on the 16th, took up a position before the north 
and west fronts of the fortress, and had already made prepara- 
tions for cannonading that place with field artillery, when it 
received orders from Army Head-quarters on the 19th to move 
up at once to the Loire, leaving in front of Langres two bat- 
tahons, one squadron, and a battery.f In execution of these 
orders, and avoiding any serious engagement conformably witli 
instructions, General v. Kraatz, on the 30th, reached the neigh- 
bourhood north-east of Chdteau Landon, by way of Tonnerre, 
Joimy, Courtenajr, and Oh6roy. 

Tne reconnaissances and actions on the left wing of the 
ILid Army which took place on the latter date, as also tho 
statements of the prisoners, had established without doubt the 
presence of considerable hostile forces to the east of the Forest 
of Orleans, whose speedy advance must be the more reckoned 
upon as a communication had just reached the Royal Head- 
(juarters with regard to a great sortie of the garrison of Paris 
in a south-easterly direction. Prince Frederic Charles resolved 
in consequence, with his three Corps united, to await, in the first 
place, the enemy's attack. The Grand Duke's Detachment 
was summoned to extend, on the following day, as far as the 
Roman road, and to despatch the 6th Cavalry Division to the 
neighbourhood of Oinville, whilst the 2nd Cavalry Division was 
now once more to rejoin the Detachment. 

At a very early hour in the morning of the 1st December, 
the patrols reconnoitring in front of the Ilnd Army established 
with certainty that the enemy had retired to the south-west 
and south, evacuating Maizieres and Boiscommun. In con- 
sequence, this latter village was occupied by the 1st Battalion 
48th Regiment; Maizieres by the 10th Rifle BattaUon. Re- 
connoitring detachments, pushing still further ahead, foimd 
Bellegarde and the heights north of Ladon still occupied by 
the French, who, according to the reports of the 6th Infantiy 
Division and of the IXth Corps, had remained in their previous 
positions at the northern edge of the Forest of Orleans. On 
the left wing of the Xth Corps, whither, in the course of the 
day, General v. Eraatz's Detachment arrived at Bordeaux, pre- 
parations for destroying the road from Montargis to Beaumont 
were observed. 

Under these circumstances, an advance of the French to 
the east of the Orleans-Paris road was not to be expected at 
present ; a report firom the Detachment which reached that 

* See Fart IT, p. 284 

t The foUowing pcmained in front of Langres : ^'^ ^^^ ^"'- , ?*i^ , and 

17 16th Drag. 

^^ I under the command of Colonel y. Ehrcnbcrg. 

M 2 


evening the Head-^narteins of Prince Frederic Charies pointed 
rather to other designs on the pait of the enemy. 

In accordance with the Princess orders, the 22nd Division 
had on this day extended itself to the left as far as Bazoches 
les Gallerandes; the 17th occupied the country to the west as 
far as Germignonville, and pubhed forward an advanced guard 
to Bazoches les Hautes. Tne 6th Cavalry Division, which had 
become part of the Ilnd Army, had reached the neighbourhood 
of Toury, but had left the 15 th Lancers, for the present, at the 
outposts near Gmllonvillc. The latter had already, towards 
seven in the morning, observed the advance of strong hostile 
detachments, the heads of which retired before the Lancers 
upon Patay. When, at 1 p.m , the 10th Lancers sent forward 
as reUef from the 4th Cavalry Division, and at the same time 
the 9th Cavalry Brigade were carrying on a reconnaiesauce on 
a lai*ge scale, both of them came into collision on the north of 
the latter village with lines of French skirmishers, behind 
which heavy masses were marching in the du-ection of Sougy. 

In consequence of the movements of troops at Patay, ob- 
served also by the patrols of the 1st Bavarian Corps, General 
V. d. Tann had caused the Cuirassier Brigade to advance by 
way of Terminiei-s,* and appointed the 1st Infantry Brigade, 
posted at Gommiers, to support it. The rest of the Corps held 
itself in readiness at La Maladerie. but was dismissed to its 
quarters at 1 p.m., as appearances led to the behef that the 
enemy, who had already retired, was only contemplating a 

An hour later, however, the Bavarian Cuirassiers met with