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l866 AND 1870-71 



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THE journals now published of the renowned Field- 
Marshal Count von Blumenthal, relating to the years 
1866 and 1870-71, were written by him to serve 
as notes for further memoirs, as was also the auto- 
biography which he commenced to write in 1848. 
They are thus only fragments, and do not claim to 
be in any way complete works. 

Nevertheless, they are a guide to the characteristics 
of the Field-Marshal, and will be welcomed by his 
many admirers and friends as valuable records of 
those days. 

The letter from His Majesty the Emperor Frederick 
will show how highly valued and appreciated were 
his services as Chief of the Staff and counsellor to 
His Majesty during the two campaigns. 







PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR IN 1866 Frontispiece 

PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR IN 1870 - To face page 74 





THE JOURNAL ^ 1866 - 





- 341 



WITHOUT discussing the events, political or military, which led 
up to the invasion of Bohemia in 1866, the translator of this 
journal hopes to enhance the pleasure of the reader by recalling 
to his mind, in short narrative form, the principal phases of the 
military situation during the war. 

It will be remembered that in the middle of May, 1866, 
Feldzeugmeister Count von Benedek, the Commander-in-Chief 
of the northern Austrian Army (the southern, under Archduke 
Albrecht, being occupied with the Italians in Piedmont), had 
taken up his command at Olmutz, in Moravia, there to organize 
the force which, very much against Benedek's will, the Emperor 
Franz Joseph had entrusted to his leadership. 

As soon as war became inevitable, Moltke, the actual Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Prussian forces, proposed an energetic 
forward movement with the greater part of his army into 
Bohemia, making use of the gap between the Iron and the 
Giant Mountains (Erz and Riesengebirge) as the main highway 
of invasion. 

The King of Prussia, however, William I. (the so-called 
William the Great), showed great nervousness about his capital, 
and a dread that it should be occupied by the Austrians, and to 
this added a great dislike of being considered the aggressor in the 
war. The King's vacillation, reminding one as it does of his 
father's weakness in 1813, and of his own indecision in 1859, 
tied Moltke's hands and produced that defensive-offensive policy 
of which, as we shall see, Blumenthal so much complains at the 
outset of the campaign. 

[i] i 


The concentration of Austria's main army in Moravia having 
been duly reported at Prussian headquarters, the inference was 
formed, and, under the circumstances just narrated, acted upon, 
that Austria intended to invade Prussia over its Silesian border. 

Two Army Corps, the Fifth and Sixth, under the command 
of the Crown Prince of Prussia, afterwards the Emperor 
Frederick, with Count von Blumenthal as Chief of the Staff, 
had been detailed for the protection of this portion of Prussia's 
dominions. To this force were now added the First Army 
Corps and the Corps of Guards, the whole being formed into 
what was called the Second Army. 

The Prussian forces thus found themselves divided into two 
separate main bodies, one concentrated round Gorlitz, the 
second in the neighbourhood of Hirschberg in Silesia a situa- 
tion strategically unfavourable to success, as Moltke well appre- 
ciated. In the fact of Austria's unpreparedness for war, 
however, lay Moltke's salvation. Benedek, rightly appreciating 
the state of affairs, determined to strike, and for this purpose 
gave orders on June 19th for a forward move of the whole army 
on Josephstadt in Bohemia, selecting this town as the point to 
which all the principal roads into Silesia converge. The Saxon 
Army, under the late King Albert, then Crown Prince of Saxony, 
having declared for Austria, had been ordered to fall back from 
its capital, Dresden, on the main body of the Austrians, and to 
cover this movement the Army Corps of Count Clam Gallas 
in Bohemia had been reinforced to the extent of 180,000, and 
pushed up towards the Iser. 

The forward move of the Austrian main body on Josephstadt 
determined Moltke's next move. In order to frustrate any 
attempt to take him in detail, he determined to concentrate, and 
to concentrate in the enemy's country. 

Selecting Gitschin as the objective for both armies, he gave 
orders for the First Army to commence its march on the 23rd, 
and the Second Army on the 27th, the First over the passes 
of the Iron Mountains, the Second over those of the Giant 


To deal with this turn of events, three alternatives suggested 
themselves to Benedek's advisers : 

1. To occupy a central defensive position and await the 

2. To 'contain' the north-western invader, and crush the 
north-eastern on his debouching from the passes. 

3. To crush the former while ' containing ' the latter. 

Of these three plans, the first was that more highly favoured 
by Krismanic, Benedek's Chief of the Staff, and the third that 
to which Benedek himself was more than wedded. 

It may here be mentioned that the consensus of opinion among 
military writers, with but few exceptions among the latter, 
however, a very important one, and one much studied of late 
years, General von Schlichting inclines to the adoption of the 
second as that containing a greater probability of success than 
the others. 

The weakness of Benedek's preference lay in the disadvantage 
he must suffer should any mishap befall his ' containing ' factor, 
for then the Crown Prince would descend upon the communica- 
tions with Vienna of his main army. 

At the same time it must be remembered that the separation 
of Moltke's two forces was a great element of weakness for the 
Prussians, as Moltke himself acknowledged ; its justification, 
however, being (in Moltke's own words) that it would be im- 
possible for the Austrians, in so short a time, to gain a decided 
advantage over either army without the other taking them in 
flank. This opinion is not, however, universally accepted. 

On June 26th, therefore, Prince Frederick Charles arrived at 
the Iser River, the Crown Prince being still occupied in the 
passes of the Giant Mountains. 

It was now Benedek's desire, by an immediate and rapid 
movement of the troops then at Josephstadt, viz., his Third 
and Fourth Army Corps, to crush Frederick Charles before the 
Crown Prince could come to his aid, meanwhile sending two 
other corps to ' contain ' the latter, involved as he was in the 
mountain defiles. 



By the advice of his Chief of the Staff, however (General 
Krismanic), he decided to wait at Josephstadt ; and it is to this 
delay that General von Schlichting, in his work ' Moltke and 
Benedek' (Berlin, 1900), attributes the failure of Austria's 
strategy, Krismanic's desire to fight a defensive battle in a central 
position being the key to this advice. 

The Battles of Nachod and Trautenau, won by the Crown 
Prince on the 27th, and General Steinmetz 1 victorious advance, 
decided Austria's next move ; for, the futility of a rapid ad- 
vance to the Iser being apparent, as well as the overwhelming 
superiority of the German weapon the needle-rifle over the 
muzzle-loader Benedek found himself committed involuntarily 
to a purely defensive battle practically on the ground where he 

With this view, he formed up his army on the 29th in a 
defensive position at Dubenitz, overlooking the Elbe. 

His next blow was the news of the defeat of Clam Gallas and 
his corps at Gitschin, and the retreat of the Saxons from the 
Iser. As will be seen from the map, these reverses would bring 
Prince Frederick Charles directly on his flank and rear, namely, 
by the roads Gitschin-Miletin and Gitschin-Horitz, and thus a 
retreat became imperative. A position north-west of Koniggratz, 
the Austrian right resting on Chlum, the left on Problus, with 
the village of Sadowa in front of the centre, was now taken 
up, making front to both the advancing armies of Prussia. 

On July 3rd was fought the Battle of Koniggratz, or Sadowa, 
as the Prussians call it, which decided the fate of the campaign, 
and gave to Prussia the leading position in the German Con- 
federation. The Austrians fled in the wildest confusion, the 
artillery and cavalry alone making heroic efforts to save the 
situation, but in vain ; and the army, being too shattered to 
rally in Bohemia, and too disorganized to make another stand 
in Austria, peace was declared within a month, thus ending the 
so-called Seven Weeks' War. 



Deutz-am-Rhein, May 4. 

THE situation looks so warlike that I shall soon have 
to be packing my war-kit. I will now begin my 
journal, although I have nothing to note down. 

The political situation in Prussia is a very peculiar 
one, and one in which it is very hard to show what 
has been the true cause of all the confusion and mis- 

The motive causes and the underlying principles 
are so deeply rooted in the historical development 
of Prussia and the evolution of Germany that it 
seems quite a matter of indifference who or what is 
driving the coach to destruction, or by whom the 
smash is to be brought about. Come it must. It is 
neither Sehleswig-Holstein, nor Bismarck, nor Italy, 
neither is it due to our domestic relations ; but it is 
a combination of all these things together which is 
hurrying us to a crisis. 

It is most interesting, however, to see how 
gradually and unexpectedly everything is happening, 
so that the most skilled diplomatist cannot foresee by 
more than eight days at the most what is going to 
happen. In the last four weeks everyone has been 



crying out against Prince Bismarck, who has now 
become a sort of universal scapegoat. He was the 
' most uncompromising of men,' and ' wanted war at 
all costs'; he was 'refusing compensation to Austria 
for Schleswig-Holstein'; and so on ! In a word, he 
ought to be hanged, drawn, and quartered ! Now 
that it is quite clear that Austria is the culprit, and 
is arming, too, so extensively, Bismarck is to be 
absolved, and will soon be chaired in triumph. Now 
Herr von Beust, in Dresden, is beginning to bear the 
sins of the multitude, and certainly he has all the 
appearance of being the motive power, driving both 
Saxony and Austria to arms. 

To me personally it is not inconvenient that things 
should come to a crisis now. My family is in England 
for the moment, and I am so independent that at any 
moment I can pack up my kit and march. The 
necessary expenses of outfit, buying horses, etc., are 
rather alarming, and will reduce my small capital to 
the vanishing-point. 

To-day I was going to Jiilich to inspect the battalion 
there my horses had even been sent on ahead when 
I received a telegram to say that the enrolment of 
substitutes for military service was to be discontinued 
and the District Commandants were to occupy their 
official quarters, as the order for mobilization was 
about to be issued. I must now remain here and wait 

Deutz, Saturday, May 5. 

Yesterday the Kblnische Zeitung published an 
announcement that six Army Corps (not including. 


however, the First, Seventh, or Eighth), as well as the 
whole of the cavalry and artillery of the army, were to 
be put on a war footing. This sort of news always 
gives me a cold shiver. On receiving it I jumped 
straight into bed and fell asleep at once ! 

Deutz, May 9. 

Saturday evening the mobilization orders arrived 
for the Eighth Army Corps. I was awoke at eleven 
o'clock at night by the arrival of divisional orders, but 
turned into bed again at once, rolled over, and slept like 
a top. My Adjutant (capital chap, Von Beczwarzowsky !) 
worked out the whole thing, and I had no need to bother 
my head about it at all. The 6th of May was our 
first day of mobilization. On the 7th of May occurred 
the wicked attempt on Count Bismarck's life in Berlin. 

Yesterday, the 8th of May, the mobilization orders 
for the First and the Seventh Army Corps were issued, 
and very probably for the Second Army Corps, too, 
so that now we shall soon see the whole army on 
its legs. 

It is truly remarkable with what tenacity ' the man 
in the street ' clings to the idea that there will be no 
war after all. Nobody wants it ; in fact, they all 
dread it. 

Things do not, however, always turn out as is wished ; 
and now, even if Prussia and Austria both desired to 
avoid a war, the matter is no longer in their hands. 

The Italians are so far forward with their war 
preparations that the enthusiasm of this excitable 
people will drive everything before it, and if the first 
shot is fired in Italy, who knows what it will lead to ? 


Deutz, May 13. 

The last three days have been frightfully cold and 
wet. I have been reading up a lot of the newspapers, 
but am none the wiser. The whole of the Prussian 
Army, Landwehr included, with the exception of the 
Eighth Corps, is now mobilized. All the smaller States 
are likewise arming. Even Bavaria and Hanover are 
adopting a hostile mien towards Prussia; so that it 
looks as though only Mecklenberg, Oldenberg, Kur- 
hessen, and Anhalt were not against us ; but, at the 
same time, they are not for us by any means. This 
looks cheerful ! 

Prussia appears to have only Italy, and perhaps, 
France, on her side. The latter is certain not to help 
us actively, but will doubtless remain neutral. If, 
now, Austria decides to give back Venice to Italy, 
Prussia will have her work cut out. 

Here in Cologne we see and hear nothing. The 
inhabitants, who think about nothing except beer- 
swilling and money-grubbing, are a most pusillanimous 
lot. They won't hear of war, and are all declaring 
for peace. Some houses have already lost large 
amounts in speculation, and are threatening to break. 
We hear of attempted suicides and such things daily. 
It must be indeed hard to tear one's self away from 
the mammon of lucre when once the idol has been 
set up ! I go every evening to the mess (casino), 
where, according to our old traditions, politics are 
severely eschewed. Stocks, investments, and specula- 
tion form the chief subjects of conversation at present. 
Alas ! the streets are full of drunken reservists and 



To-day I received an order which gave me the 
greatest joy. I am to go to Wetzlar on the 17th to 
take up the command of a brigade, or, rather, mixed 
force, consisting of the 28th and the 65th Infantry 
Regiments, the 8th Battalion of Rifles (Jagers), the 
7th Hussars, and two batteries of Artillery. It seems 
to me that the appointment has been made in Berlin, 
so that I am not to be employed on the General Staff, 
but as Commander of an independent mixed force, 
and this suits me exactly. 

I shall now sit in the Prussian Enclave, surrounded 
as it is by small States, and from which I hope I 
shall be able soon to break loose. 

I wish I had been able to keep the 33rd Regiment. 
Now I have only Rheinlanders, who as soldiers are 
still untried. 

Deutz, May 16. 

Yesterday came the order, I am sorry to say, that 
my little force is not to go to Wetzlar. The whole of 
the Fifteenth Division is to concentrate here at 
Cologne. What it means is hard to tell perhaps 
a demonstration against Hanover. We are here at 
a junction of many railway-lines. To-day there is a 
sort of notion of peace ; at least, many hope for it. 

Yesterday stocks rose considerably, and to-day 
they are going still higher ; also a lot of gold 
has come into the market, and is offering at the 
small bank-rate of 5 thalers 24 silver groschen, 
instead of 5 thalers 27 groschen. Very likely they 
are only Stock Exchange tactics ; the rich Parisian 
Jews are in close relationship with the speculating 


Emperor (Napoleon III.), and he seems to be 
inanoauvring with them. The Oppenheims here, in 
close relationship with the Foulds in Paris, must have 
made enormous fortunes in the last few days. 

My wife writes to me of a crowd of bankrupts in 
England which overtops everything of the sort pre- 
viously heard of. 

The air here is so cold still that here in my 
' carpet bags ' it is quite unpleasant. What a pity I 
did not get to Wetzlar ; I should now be riding 
round in the beautiful beech woods. 

All sorts of rumours of Bismarck's dismissal, and 
even of the King's abdication. The most impossible 
' shaves ' are flying about the town, and always find 
believers. Yesterday there was a leading article 
in the Nord-Deutsch Allgemeine Zeitung which was 
really too absurd. It said that if the Governments 
did not wish to join on the question of reform 
Prussia would be compelled to fall back on the 
people, and so carry it through. From an inspired 
journal like this it must be taken as an open threat 
that, rather than submit to the predominant State, a 
revolution will be set on foot. 

Deutz, May 18. 

At noon to-day I received a telegram telling me 
to pack up my traps, as I was to receive another 
appointment from the King. I wonder if it is to the 
staff of Prince Frederick Charles ? I think not, for 
a man of his impatient temperament would have 
telegraphed for me long ago. Everything is the 
same to me ; der Liebe Gott will give me strength 


for whatever comes, and with a light heart I shall go 
wherever I am called. 

According to telegrams from Paris and Vienna, 
they are trying to summon a Congress in order to 
settle the burning question before an outbreak of 
war, or, rather, to prevent war altogether. Prussia 
and Italy have, it appears, declared themselves willing, 
but Austria not. 

Yesterday I made an attempt to calculate the 
numbers of troops on the opposing sides in Germany. 
I make out that if Austria has to leave 150,000 to 
180,000 in face of the Italians, and the smaller States 
remain neutral, we shall not be much weaker than 
the Austrians. The fortune of war and the excel- 
lence of our troops will make up the difference . In 
the latter respect we are, taking it all round, consider- 
ably to the good. It is to be hoped that we shall not 
run short of ammunition. 

Deutz, May 19. 

Early yesterday I received my orders from the 
War Office while in bed. I am appointed Chief of 
the Staff to the Crown Prince's army. The King- 
writes : ' I am showing my confidence in you in 
making this appointment. I trust that you will fulfil 
all my expectations' (May 17). God grant that I 
may do so. I am not deficient in the spirit or will. 
The position is exactly the one I should have most 
desired. The youthful buoyancy of the Crown 
Prince's nature suits me much more than the severe 
earnestness of Prince Frederick Charles. Light- 
heartedness is the spirit in which to go to battle. 


Berlin, May 21. 

Yesterday morning I arrived here, and until ten 
o'clock at night had to drive round, making my 
official calls. Here, too, there is a peaceful tone, 
and the King himself thinks that there may not be 
war. He was very bitter against the smaller States, 
who, if they would only declare themselves positively 
as neutral, hold peace or war in their hands. He 
said he could not understand them at all, for they 
had everything to lose by going to war. The King 
told me of his hopes for the success of his son, and 
that he had specially selected me to help him. He 
may count upon me to do all that lies in my power. 
Unfortunately, I do not feel myself very fit in 
health. A continual thirst troubles me, as formerly 
in Italy. 

General von Moltke put me au fait with the situa- 
tion, and appeared very pleased that I shared his 
views. It may all be summed up in this, that, if we 
are to fight Austria with our full strength, the nine 
Army Corps must be brought up and so disposed 
between Hall and Neisse that they can be rapidly 
concentrated. If the enemy lets us alone, the concen- 
tration will be finished by the 2nd of June. 

But if we are not attacked by that date we must 
ourselves take the offensive, even though we make 
ourselves the aggressors, which the politicals so much 
deprecate. To remain stationary with 280,000 men 
is impossible. I hold with Moltke entirely in all 
this, but I cannot agree with him in thinking it right 
to leave a division in Upper Silesia, to drive back the 
weaker detachments opposed to it, and then in its 


turn to retreat before superior forces on to the right 
bank of the Oder by Oppeln. 

I would leave the whole of Silesia, even Breslau, 
unoccupied, in order to be strong for battle. We 
cannot hold Upper Silesia. The Crown Prince was 
most gracious, and told me quite plainly that he 
wanted General von Goeben himself, but now was 
very glad that it was I. I ought to know that he 
had formerly several times petitioned the King to 
appoint me his Adjutant. He made a most charming 
impression upon me, and appears to be entering upon 
the war in the most cheerful spirit, although he, too, 
would willingly see it avoided if possible. 

Berlin, May 23. 

Yesterday the Crown Prince came to the Palace, 
where the Staff is beginning to form. I cannot 
express the satisfaction which his joyous, frank bear- 
ing imparts. May his spirit ever be the same under 
all trials ! 

Berlin, May 24. 

The situation appears to be unchanged. Do the 
Austrians want to gain time ? At mid-day I was with 
the King, and in the evening with Count Bismarck, 
who told me all about the attempt on his life by 
Blind. His escape was truly marvellous. Out of six 
shots fired at him, only one struck, and that merely 
glanced off a rib, leaving nothing but a slight con- 

May 25. 

Yesterday we were at the christening of the Princess 
Victoria in the New Palace at Potsdam. The babe 


was most restless, and made a peculiar impression 
upon me, as though we were beginning the campaign 
in tears. In the political situation there seems to be 
no change. On the contrary, in the Royal Family 
the tone seems to be more inclined for peace than 
ever. There were hints that we might have to wait 
some time longer before the outbreak came. To-day 
there is to be a conference of higher Generals (a so- 
called council of war), to which I am bidden. 

Berlin, May 26. 

Yesterday at eleven o'clock the council of war 
took place in the Palace of the King. The heads of 
all departments were present with their secretaries. 
Bismarck was also there. The King first explained 
the political -military position. Then General von 
Moltke read a memoir on the situation and on the 
strategical advance of the army. Voigts-Rhetz and 
others spoke, and last of all the War Minister. I 
remained silent, as I had nothing of moment to com- 
municate. From what the King said, I could clearly 
see that he still clings to hopes of peace, but thinks 
that if it should come to war the Austrians will 
most likelymarch upon Berlin down the Elbe Valley. 
Voigts-Rhetz blamed the disposition of the forces, 
as being too* greatly extended for the first forward 
movement, stretching as they do from Zeitz to 
Upper Silesia a matter of sixty miles. General 
von Moltke justified it by reason of the improved 
means of transport, namely, the railroads, which 
alone make such an extension possible. In the suc- 
cessive marches onwards the columns can always be 


brought into closer touch. The general opinion was 
that, instead of placing ourselves so close on the Elbe, 
we ought to have the main force at Gorlitz, as an 
irruption was to be expected at that point. Count 
Bismarck also spoke, imparting his information with 
striking simplicity and clearness. 

I found my suppositions confirmed. There is a 
certainty of neutrality on the part of France, and 
every hope of that of the smaller States, and even 
of Saxony. There is also the possibility, even at 
this hour, of a direct understanding with Austria, 
though this latter contingency is not probable. 

At the end of the conference Count Bismarck read 
a report from Upper Silesia which appeared to be 
based on good information. According to this report, 
a considerable force of the enemy is concentrating in 
Upper Silesia, which betokens, according to my lights, 
that the Austrians, counting upon the moral effect of 
the conquest of Silesia, will make a forward move- 
ment through the passes of Waldenberg and Lande- 
shut, and invade Upper Silesia at the same time. 
We cannot hinder this, situated as we are at present. 
The Second Army will have to fall back fighting to 
the north, and await the arrival of the First Army 
Corps and that of the First Army, in order to fight 
the great battle in Silesia, which I hope will see us 

The main result of the conference was to make 
us all cognizant of the dispositions and the general 
situation. No actual decisions were come to. It is 
much to be hoped that the intention is to move off to 
the left the Eighth and Seventh Corps and the whole 



of the First Army. The King ordered the Crown 
Prince not to move his headquarters as yet into 

Same evening. 

Nothing new to-day. I received a letter from 
Burg, who has been in Italy, which very much 
interested me. It was from the Ambassador Usedom. 
He bids us beware of Louis Napoleon, who has not 
yet positively spoken out, and who certainly will 
demand some compensation for his neutrality. I do 
not think that. I heard also from Burg that the 
Italians intend to pass across to the Dalmatian coast, 
and thence make an irruption, under Garibaldi, over 
the frontiers, where the people are disaffected, and 
then to approach Italian Tyrol, where there is also 
much discontent. From there also there are good 
communications with Hungary, where a rebellion has 
been regularly organized among the best families, 
against the time when we shall gain a victory and 
cross the frontier. The Italians are cherishing the 
notion that in sixty days the House of Hapsburg 
will have ceased to reign. It will not be as bad as 
that ; but it is inconceivable that the Austrians, who 
must see their great danger, should not try to make 
some concessions so as to keep the peace. 

The King and Crown Prince still appear to believe 
in the efficacy of a Congress, and do not think that 
hostilities will commence at once. 

Berlin, May 30. 

On Sunday evening I drove with the Prince and 
suite to Breslau. It was the Prince's desire to 


encourage the people there by his presence, and to 
talk with the authorities and the Generals in com- 

The following day we arrived, and had the whole 
day for interviews. At five o'clock there was a big 
dinner at the Castle. President von Oppeln and 
other magnates had expressed the wish that the 
Prince should come to Upper Silesia. We asked the 
King's permission by telegraph, and drove yesterday, 
the 29th, to Gleiwitz, where there was a great recep- 
tion. Thence to Cosel, where the whole garrison, 
consisting entirely of Landwehr, was drawn up. The 
men were splendidly clad, and almost all equipped 
with arms, and the artillery horses superb. 

The appearance of the soldiers was satisfactory, 
quiet, and orderly. I cannot, however, conceal from 
myself the impression made by their depressed and 
spiritless faces. Generally speaking, the tone of the 
whole country here is piano, as well it may be just 
before a war. In Gleiwitz were two squadrons and 
six Landwehr brigades. 

It does not look as if Austria will give in at all. 
At last the Guard has received marching orders. 
The whole army is moving more to the left, in the 
direction of Gorlitz, so that there will be some four 
Army Corps and the Seventh and Eighth at Torgau, 
on both sides of the Elbe. From Gorlitz there are 
then only a few marches to Silesia. 

The enemy appears still to be concentrating in 
South Silesia, namely, about Olmiitz-Prerau, from 
which some conclude that he is taking Silesia as his 
objective. It appears to me, however, more probable 



that he is not preparing to take the offensive at least, 
not yet, as he has not finished his preparations. 

In Grleiwitz the two squadrons were turned out by 
the c alarm ' sounding, and were in their places in 
twenty-three minutes, one of the outlying squadrons 
being in a village quite a mile away. 

There was no important news of the Austrians : 
small irruptions on the frontier, to get supplies and 
such-like ; otherwise all quiet. 

For the first time we hear of troops being sent from 
Vienna to Krakau, i.e., eastwards instead of west- 
wards ! 

Berlin, June 1. 

Yesterday the news was less pacific, and stocks 
have accordingly fallen. All hopes are centred upon 
the Peace Congress, which meets in Paris on the 5th. 

In Gleiwitz there were two squadrons of the 
Second Landwehr Brigade, which, in conjunction 
with twenty-six Landwehr companies of the second 
Ban, are to wage a sort of guerilla warfare in 
Upper Silesia. Both regiments have superb horses, 
and will doubtless render a good account of them- 
selves if they have time to drill. General Count 
Stolberg, full of zeal and elan, is to take command 
of these troops in Upper Silesia. I am not much 
in favour of this sort of warfare, for troops of this 
class are not worth much ; but they are at the present 
moment a source of great comfort to the Silesians, 
whose country without them would now be at the 
enemy's mercy. 

Yesterday, by command, I went to see Prince 


Frederick Charles, who took leave of me in a most 
gracious way. 

My wife starts from England to-morrow, and I 
shall possibly see her once before the campaign. 

Same evening. 

This afternoon I was with General von Moltke, 
who communicated to me the information that the 
whole army would very likely be moved further east- 
wards, from which I gather that it is proposed to 
remain on the defensive rather than assume the offen- 
sive. This continual changing of plans is dreadful, 
and will jeopardize everything. It does not signify 
whether a thing can be better done, provided only that 
the plan adopted be adhered to. 

I am afraid that General von Moltke is very much 
under the influence of others, and can come to no 
decided conclusion. 

The King has at last consented to our moving the 
Prince's headquarters on the 4th to Fiirstenstein, so 
that we may at last see our troops and the terrain we 
are to operate upon. I am afraid that the Crown 
Prince does not much like it, for he told me that the 
King had said that he should soon return to him and to 
his wife ! It is most desirable that he should throw off 
the controlling influences of his people and remain 
with his troops. From all I have heard, it is Voigts- 
Rhetz who counsels the move towards Silesia. That 
is all right for the defensive, but I cannot admire a 
man who tries to force his convictions upon others at 
the risk of jeopardizing everything. The operation 
itself is no great work of art, there are many roads 


to the same goal ; the thing is to stick to the road 
chosen, unless obvious difficulties crop up. That 
another road may be better is no argument for leaving 
the present road. Otherwise things will surely go 
awry, and this feeling of insecurity communicates 
itself like an electric spark even to the lowest grades. 
When once the plan of campaign has been decided 
upon, nothing except the very weightiest objections 
should alter it. 

Berlin, June 2. 

To-day it looks again more warlike. Austria has 
called together the signatories in Holstein, and brought 
up the Schleswig-Holstein affair before the Confedera- 
tion. She has thus broken the Gastein Convention. 
This must mean war, especially since Austria has 
withdrawn from the Conference. It is to be hoped 
that this will soon lead to some decisive attitude. 
The Crown Prince was much exercised about it, and 
said to me : ' Now we must play the thirteenth trump 
and make ourselves Emperor of Germany.' 

I was quite perplexed over it, and only wish that he 
had the casting vote. 

Now or never this must be clear to everyone. 

To-morrow and next day the Guard marches out. 

Berlin, June 3. 

This morning I was aroused early to read a 
telegram from the Crown Prince, saying that the 
Emperor (of Austria) was at the moment in Olmiitz 
(incognito), and that an invasion by the Prussians 
was expected on the night of the 5th and 6th. The 


forces at Olmiitz, Briinn, Troppau, have increased, 
and strong reinforcements have been sent to Krakau. 

To-day at 11.30 I am commanded with my Staff 
to meet the King, and at one o'clock the Crown 
Princess at the New Palace in Potsdam. How I am 
to do this the gods alone can tell ! 

Yesterday evening I saw General von Tresckow, 
who told me that the Crown Prince ought to endeavour 
to form volunteer rifle corps in Silesia. I do not like 
to throw cold water on the scheme, as every effort has 
to be made by us, but it is well known that I am 
adverse to all irregular troops, and hate this sort of 
foolery going on around the main army. I expect 
nothing from them but hindrances, because in all the 
operations one will have to be giving one's whole 
attention to them. Besides, there is no sort of 
enthusiasm in the country to encourage the idea. 
Tresckow also told me that General von KnobelsdorfFs 
corps was not to be withdrawn from Upper Silesia 
without sanction of the King, who, however, would 
not go against our wishes in this respect. 

That's a good beginning, and poor old Knobelsdorff 
is to be sacrificed. 

Furstenstein, June 6. 

When we reported to the King on Sunday, he ap- 
peared to have abandoned all hopes of peace, as the 
Austrians seemed determined at all hazard to have war. 

The King was very gracious in his manner to me, 
and told me that he looked upon me as a pillar of 
strength to his son, and so forth. 

At one o'clock I reached the New Palace, Potsdam, 


to present myself to the Crown Princess. She was very 
kind, and begged me to see that the Crown Prince 
did not on any account return to Berlin or Potsdam 
when once he had joined the army. I had always 
believed that it was she who kept him away from the 
front, and was accordingly astonished at finding her 
the heroine she is. 

On Monday, the 4th, at ten o'clock, we travelled 
with the Staff, of which a portion had already gone 
ahead, to Castle Fiirstenstein, near Freiberg, where 
we arrived after nine o'clock in the evening. The 
Castle, brilliantly lighted up, had quite a fairy-like 
aspect, and the hospitable reception of Prince Pless 
and his wife promise us a very pleasant sojourn. 

On Tuesday, the 5th, I made a tour of inspection 
with the Crown Prince, in order to look at the troops 
of the Fifth Army Corps. I unfortunately got a 
severe chill from the damp and sitting still in my 
clothes wet to the skin. To-day I am so hoarse and 
feverish that I shall have to give up my intended tour 
of inspection of the Sixth Army Corps. 

In politics there seems to have arrived a sort of 
lull. Moltke promised me on Sunday, in Berlin, that 
the Second Army should receive the addition of the 
Second Army Corps, and probably some further 
reinforcement. This corps marched in to Hirschberg 
and neighbourhood on the 9th, and now I am of 
opinion that we are strong enough to move forward 
on to the Neisse and cover the greater part of Silesia 
and Breslau. Major Verdy, who came in yesterday 
from headquarters, brought me the news that we are 
very likely to have in addition the Guard Corps. In 


that case I shall have to handle some 120,000 to 
130,000 men no easy job. To what a height of 
dizziness cannot man attain ! Personally I have never 
considered myself much of a General, and I am well as- 
sured that others think with me in this respect at least. 

Furs tens tein, June 10. 

I have now so much to do that I have hardly time 
to write up my diary. We have been a week in 
this lovely Castle, and it looks as though we were to 
stay here four or five days longer. 

On Thursday we inspected the reserve of the 
Sixth Army Corps and the whole of the Fifth in 
their various billets. We dined at Kreppelhof , near 
Landshut, with Count Stolberg. It was at first fear- 
fully hot, and then we got soaked by a thunder- 
storm. As I only got out of bed on Wednesday I 
was quite hoarse, and unable to accompany the party 
to the inspection of the Sixth Corps. In the evening 
the Prince went up to Berlin, and I was glad to have 
time to make up arrears of work. The news of 
the concentration of the Austrians on the frontier 
opposite Neisse is confirmed every moment. It is quite 
evident that we are to be attacked by five Austrian 
Army Corps and the cavalry. I have written to 
Moltke and told him that we ought to move forward 
on to the Neisse in order to cover Silesia and Breslau. 
He ought to send us another Army Corps. 

All preparations for the advance were made on the 
8th, and to-morrow we can put ourselves in motion. 
The Prince returned yesterday. We reviewed the 
cavalry and afterwards he approved the order of march. 


A telegram from Moltke forbidding the advance, 
although he was en rapport with all my views on the 
subject. Such a movement, he says, must not take 
place without the sanction of the King. I dare say he 
may be right ; but one thing I see, and that is, that we 
are not to be given a very free hand ! 

We wrote yesterday for permission from the King, 
and to-day came a telegram giving His Majesty's 

We march off on the 12th. We are separating 
ourselves still further from the First Army at Gorlitz, 
but I hope they will send us more troops, and give up 
the idea of moving the main bulk of our troops into 
Bohemia, where there are no troops of any importance. 
We do not want to grab land, but to whip the enemy. 
At the present we have on the Neisse, perhaps, only 
about 80,000, against 160,000; but if the Austrians 
only leave us alone for another week, we shall be 
better off. We ought to have at least three Army 
Corps here to be quite sure of victory. 

Furstenstein, June 11. 

To-day I am in good spirits, for a telegram is to 
hand, saying that an officer of the Guard will come 
in to-morrow to make arrangements. From this I 
gather that the Guard Corps will soon be here. Our 
many letters have now resulted in our being allowed 
to advance to cover Silesia. We shall then draw the 
whole of the Prussian Army after us. How strangely 
it has all come about ! Next week we shall have 
110,000 men, and later more still. To-morrow the 
troops march southwards. 


Furs tens tein, June 12. 

The news that has come in to-day, as well as that 
of yesterday, shows that the Austrians are con- 
centrating in the county of Glatz, and at the same 
time are sending their troops from Krakau by train in 
this direction. This means that they are to come by 
the shortest route to Breslau. It is to be hoped that 
we shall not be too late in arriving on the Neisse. 
We require some time to concentrate, for we are only 
just on the march. 

Fiirstenstein, June 13. 

All yesterday the troops were on the march in this 
frightful heat. According to the newspapers, the 
Austrians have been pushed out of Holstein and 
quitted the country. 

The Austrian Ambassador leaves Berlin to-day for 
Vienna. To-morrow Austria brings the mobilization 
of the Confederation contingent into play in Frankfort, 
to levy execution against Prussia. 

The day after to-morrow we shall have the declara- 
tion of war. Two or three days' grace will be very 
acceptable to me, so that we may reach the Neisse 
intact. I think we shall manage it. To-morrow we 
travel to Glatz and Neisse. 

Neisse, June 15. 

Yesterday we drove from beautiful, hospitable 
Fiirstenstein, and travelled by train through Franken- 
stein, then by carriage to Glatz, where we visited the 
fortifications. The moral of the troops was good and 
patriotic, and the fortress in good state of defence ; 


but it requires a fortnight or three weeks, perhaps, to 
complete its works. In the afternoon by Castle 
Camenz to Neisse. Here we found a telegram to 
the effect that the Confederation in Frankfort had 
executed the decree of the Confederation against 
Prussia, and that Prussia had declared the Confedera- 
tion dissolved. This will bring about war, however 
pacific our King may be. The difficult point will be 
not so much here as in Germany proper. 

I have given up all hopes of Austria attacking us 
here. It is a great pity, for in three days we shall 
stand 130,000 strong (according to field- states), and in 
a most favourable position. It is remarkable that no 
important letters have come in to-day, and we might 
be, so to speak, absolutely at peace, had not the 
cantonments south of this been called out to repel, as 
they thought, a raiding- party. 

Now, too, the general march (tattoo) is beaten at 
nine o'clock, as though we were in the presence of the 
enemy. Unfortunately, 1 have a severe sore throat. 

Neisse, June 17. 

Yesterday the news arrived of Falkenstein's irrup- 
tion and of Manteuffel's march into Hanover; also 
that the First Army had reached Lobau. The dance 
is beginning ! I do not think for a moment that 
we shall be attacked here certainly not at present 
until Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Darmstadt, and Nassau 
have finished mobilizing. If only we are able to 
make political capital of this delay, and dry-nurse 
some of these little ones ! I hope we have now 
heard the last of our invading Austria ! Yesterday, 


in spite of the great heat, I made a reconnaissance 
and satisfied myself about the strength of our position 
behind the Neisse. We can only hope that the enemy 
will be foolish enough to attack us. 

Neisse, June 18, evening. 

In the forenoon, in company with the Crown Prince, 
I reconnoitred our position as far as Rothhaus, and 
found it so strong that the enemy, who is equally 
aware of the strength of the position, would not dare 
to attack us. To-morrow I reconnoitre as far as 
Ottmachau and Patchkau, to see the state of affairs 

On returning from our ride, we got news of the 
advance into Saxony and Hanover; also the sad 
tidings that Prince Sigismund, to whom the Prince 
was so devoted, had died in Potsdam. 

This was a hard blow, and the Prince has taken it 
so bravely and quietly, feeling it terribly, however. 
My heart has been deeply touched. I could not help 
thinking of my own little Heine, * and felt quite 
ashamed of my weakness. 

There came also a telegram through Wolfs Bureau, 
giving Italy's declaration of war with Austria, the 
former being led to do so by the fact that Austria 
consented to the decree of the Confederation against 
Prussia, and undertook its execution in company with 
Bavaria. What an extraordinary relationship, and 
how useless to Italy is her friendship for Austria ! 

This evening came the news that the Queen is 
coming here. 

* The Field-Marshal's youngest son, who died when a child. 


As the Austrian Second Army Corps seems really 
to have advanced to Bohemia, we have now only five 
Army Corps on our hands, which still in part are 
remaining round Olmiitz ; and as Austria wishes still 
to gain time, we can expect to be left alone. Yet it 
is quite possible that we may take the offensive, and 
then the struggle will begin in Saxony or in Bohemia. 
It will be the task of the First Army and that of 
General Herwarth to break up the Austrian Army in 
Bohemia before it can be supported by the Bavarians, 
who cannot completely mobilize before at least four- 
teen days. It has all been very cleverly managed 
by Prince Bismarck, and if he is allowed a free hand 
the happiest outcome is to be expected. How strange 
it is that now Bismarck has to crush the smaller prin- 
cipalities in order to protect his Fatherland against 
an external foe which is plotting its destruction ! 

Neisse, June 20. 

Yesterday I made a reconnaissance with the Prince 
of Hohenzollern and others of the ground about 
Ottmachau, and found the Neisse splendidly adapted 
to that system of defence in which the enemy is 
allowed to cross, and is then hurled back into the 
stream. There is a fine field of fire for the needle- 
gun, and many excellent positions for rifled artillery 
in large batteries. It was again fearfully hot. 

At mid-day came a telegram in cipher from Moltke 
saying that the Austrians had detached strong forces 
from here to Bohemia, that Prince Frederick and 
General von Herwarth are to take the offensive at 
once, and that we are to support him. The First 


Army Corps is to be put in motion at once for 
Landshut, and the remainder of the army, leaving one 
corps behind on the Neisse, is to be so disposed near 
Keichenstein and Frankenstein that, if desired, it can 
either be marched upon Landshut or go to meet the 
enemy on the Neisse, or, thirdly, make an offensive 
movement through the county of Glatz. 

I am quite in accord with this plan. I do not, 
however, consider it necessary that we should unite 
with Prince Frederick Charles on the battlefield, as he 
is strong enough to do without us. 

I do, however, think it right that, if he invades 
forthwith, he should have Herwarth on his right 
flank, and the First Army Corps on his left, coming 
in from the direction of Waldenberg and Trautenau, 
and that he should thus seek battle. If the Austrians 
retreat, we shall have time to unite with him from 
Braunau, etc., and if they accept battle, then, coming 
in, as we shall, from the direction of Glatz County, 
we shall strike him in flank and rear. Rapidity is 
now the essential factor ; the Austrians, who have 
not yet completed their concentration, must be beaten, 
and then Bavaria and Wurtemberg will receive their 
punishment. The Prince must conquer, and we must 
profit by his victory. 

Silesia will remain somewhat exposed, but that 
cannot be helped. Yesterday we received by tele- 
gram (Wolf's Bureau) the splendid Proclamation of 
the King, which will certainly have great effect. At 
a quarter past four we were presented to the Queen, 
who had made a great effort to come here to bid 
adieu to her son. 


From Germany astonishing news regarding our 
progress in Hanover, Kuehessen and Saxony. 

This morning Lieutenant Veith arrived with a 
despatch from Moltke which confirmed this news. It 
gave us a lot of work to make out the order of 
march, etc., and Major von der Burg was sent across 
at five o'clock to Gorlitz to find out what were Prince 
Frederick Charles's intentions, so that we might con- 
form to them. 

The Sixth Army Corps will make a forward move- 
ment a short way to-morrow to hoodwink the enemy. 

Yesterday we received the Proclamation of the 
Emperor of Austria. Still there is no declaration 
of war. They seem to be holding it back to gain 
time. It is to be hoped that we shall not give it 

Neisse, June 22. 

Yesterday evening we received a communication 
from Prince Bismarck through an orderly, with the 
draft of a letter addressed to the Austrian Comman- 
der who is now opposed to us, vis-a-vis, in which he 
was told that, according to information from Frank- 
fort, hostilities were just going to begin. So we are 
to have no declaration of war after all ! 

To-day a similar communication came in from 
Ratisbon and Gleiwitz. Yesterday we rode to 
Ottmachau and surveyed the wondrous view of the 
country as seen from the tower. On our return I 
felt extremely tired, and not at all well. 

After dinner I pored over the maps until my poor 
eyes streamed. To-day I have remained at home, 


squared up the details of our advance, had an inter- 
view with the officers of the General Staff, and 
worked out the order of march. There was a terrible 
lot to do. At two o'clock I was able to take it to 
the Prince ; it was then polished up and a communi- 
cation sent to Moltke and the King. 

As Major Burg came back at half -past ten from 
Gorlitz, where Prince Frederick Charles is, we knew 
that our arrangements were in accord with his plans. 
At three o'clock a cipher message came in from General 
Moltke, directing us to carry out all that we had 
planned. A good omen ! At the same time I cannot 
conceal from myself the fact that our march over 
the mountains is a most critical operation and open 
to failure. It is, however, necessary if we do not 
wish to lose time. 

Camenz, June 23. 

To-day Headquarters made its march to the right, 
and took up billets in the beautiful Castle Camenz, 
belonging to Prince Albert of Saxony. Shortly after 
our arrival the news arrived that the Austrians had 
crossed the frontier at three points, had penetrated 
into the county, and at twelve o'clock had reached 
Mittelwald. This can only be a reconnaissance, or a 
demonstration, perhaps, to hinder our advance, or 
perhaps only a raid. I have informed the Corps 
Commanders. In consequence of this report the 
Fifth Corps has been concentrated by divisions in 
bivouac at Eeichenstein and Glatz. My heart bleeds 
for the men in this terrible weather. There will be 
much sickness, and, unfortunately, just before our 



trying march over the mountains. However, we 
cannot help it ; we must press forward and keep 
our promise to be on the 28th instant on the Elbe in 
the line Arnau-Koniginhof . The Second Division of 
the Guard, which has remained so far behind, cannot 
have its day's halt to-morrow, but must march on to 
Neurode. They have asked to be allowed to do this 

A telegram from Moltke saying that to-morrow 
we are to have a day's halt, and that we can move 
the Sixth Corps where we like. 

I had hoped to see my brother Louis to-day. He 
must, poor fellow ! be suffering all the hardships of 
the bivouac, and I feel greatly for him. He is most 
probably at Reichenstein. 

Camenz, June 25. 

Till now I have not closed my eyes, although I 
went to bed yesterday at nine o'clock. I discovered 
yesterday, after dinner, that when Steinmetz moves 
forward we shall be so exposed that we shall have 
no escort. If the Austrians know it, all they will have 
to do is to reach out and grab us ! It is through 
my carelessness that my Prince has thus been brought 
into danger. This shall never happen again. I am 
awaiting daybreak in the greatest anxiety. The 
storm outside is frightful. 

To-day has been a very hard day for me. I have 
had to write and dictate a mass of orders for to- 
morrow's march, and for the next four days also. 

God grant that I have made no mistakes ! Yester- 
day evening came a telegram that the Austrians are 


in force near Nachod, and contemplating an incursion 
into Glatz County. I hope still that the Austrians 
are not yet ready, and that we shall forestall them. 

Eckersdorf, 6 p.m. 

This morning early we marched out of Camenz 
and moved into this beautiful country house belong- 
ing to Count Magnis. We expect to get the first 
view of the enemy to-morrow at Braunau. The 
resistance will be slight. The Guard shall win its 
spurs ! The day after to-morrow the fight at 
Nachod will be a very different thing. Spies report 
18,000 men, but I cannot credit it. Some important 
telegrams have just come in. The Hanoverians have 
capitulated, and the Italians have crossed the Mincio 
with ten divisions. Garibaldi is on the Stilfer Pass, 
and is moving forward on to Munich. This is quite 
what I had pictured, and yet it sounds strange 

The Crown Prince is always the same, always 
quiet and kind, and has a most genial influence upon 
us all. 

Braunau, June 26. 

To-day, in the most glorious weather, we set out, 
driving in a carriage, but took our horses at Tunchen- 
dorf and then through Braunau to Hutberg, with the 
First and Second Divisions of the Guard. Only a 
weak cavalry patrol of seventeen sabres was met at 
Hutberg. A patrol of the 3rd Uhlans of the 
Guard, twenty-two sabres strong, attacked it. Four 
men mortally wounded and one taken prisoner. Our 



Uhlans behaved splendidly, and captured several 
horses. One horse of ours was killed. 

It was fearfully hot, and we did not get back to our 
billets until two o'clock. There nothing was ready. 
To-morrow we hope to meet the enemy in earnest, 
very likely near Nachod, where Steinmetz shall get at 
him. I have ordered the two divisions of the Guard 
upon Politz to support him in the direction of Hronov. 
As the Second Division of the Guards had their 
knapsacks carried for them in the waggons, the road 
was frightfully encumbered, and there were many 
blocks and stoppages. The work was heavy, but all 
went cheerily and well. No news from Prince 
Frederick Charles. Nothing either from Steinmetz, 
who must by now have reached Slana. 

Hronov, June 28. 

Yesterday we fought for four hours at Nachod. 
The Fifth Army Corps was engaged, and drove the 
enemy back on Jaromir. We captured a standard of 
the Deutschmeisters, two colours, and six guns. It 
was with the Sixth Austrian Corps that we were 
engaged. It was a very hot day, and we were twelve 
hours on horseback. 

The Crown Prince was very happy, and visited the 
wounded in hospital, conversing with everyone. 

Our First Army Corps was engaged the whole day 
yesterday at Trautenau. The Guards gave no assist- 
ance, either to the right or to the left, but remained 
inactive in the middle. 


Prausnitz, July 1. 

We have gone through an eventful week, and have 
reached quite an epoch in the war. God was on our 
side, for without His help the task would have been 
too hard. The exertion and hardships were terrific, 
and I have had no time to write up my journal. Our 
march over the mountains was a most difficult under- 
taking, for the roads were few and in very indifferent 

Our Generals are. for the most part, lacking in war- 
experience, and the way in which they cling to peace 
traditions greatly increases difficulties. When several 
Army Corps have to move over hill and down dale, 
through narrow defiles, woods, and gorges, it should 
be well understood what care is necessary to prevent 
the march being hampered with baggage and supply 
waggons. These should all be left to follow well in 
rear, and the troops be made to subsist on provisions 
which each man can carry on his person, say for three 
days at least. 

Pardubite) July 6. 

It has been almost impossible for me to keep my 
journal going, and I am afraid I shall have to give 
it up altogether. It is more than I can manage, 
especially when I am tired and weary. I will now 
make a brief recapitulation of the last few days. On 
the 27th there was the Battle of Nachod, fought by 
the Fifth Army Corps, and the Battle of Trautenau 
by the First. 

On the 28th the action of Skalitz, fought by the 


Fifth Corps, and that at Sohr and Burkersdorf by 
the Guards. 

I was on the heights of Kosteletz with the Crown 
Prince, watching the fight as well as we could 
through the smoke, and we were enabled to send 
assistance to Steinmetz, our last reserve, the Guards 
Cavalry Brigade being launched to his support. In 
the evening all troops bivouacked ; I, however, managed 
to get under cover. 

On the 29th to Trautenau, then to Prausnitz. 
The troops pushed forward to the Elbe. On the 30th 
a day's rest, and most acceptable it was. We were all 
in the highest spirits, for our junction with the army 
of Prince Frederick Charles was now assured, and we 
were soon to meet the enemy and give him a right 
good drubbing. On that day I rode with the Crown 
Prince to the Guards Corps and the Fifth Army 
Corps to congratulate Steinmetz on his glorious 

On the 1st of July we had to halt a day at Praus- 
nitz, as it was our policy not to have to fight for the 
passage of the Elbe, since that would be opened to us 
automatically by the advance of Prince Frederick's 
army. The arrival of Count Haselar assured us of 
the presence of his army round Gitschin. 

On the 2nd we received orders for an extraordinary 
disposition of the troops, according to which both 
armies were to reconnoitre in force on both banks 
of the Elbe. That was a little too strong, and I felt 
sure that they did not quite know what they were 
doing at headquarters, and were trying to gain time 
to think by ordering a reconnaissance in force. With 


a matter of 250,000 men in hand, reconnaissances of 
this sort are sure to lead to our being beaten in 

At ten o'clock I jumped into my carriage, and in 
company with Verdy drove the twenty-eight miles 
through Miletin to Gitschin, to have a talk with the 
King and Moltke about it. I think I persuaded the 
latter both of the futility of reconnaissances in force 
and of the expediency of marching straight on Vienna 
after the first battle won, without looking to the right 
or to the left. I said straightforwardly to the King : 
' Your Majesty should just lay your ruler on the map 
in a line between Gitschin and Vienna, draw your 
pencil along the ruler, and march straight along that 
line !' He laughed in his kindly way, and doubtless 
thought that I was not in earnest. 

Headquarters was to me not an impressive ex- 
perience. A crowd of long-faced loafers is always 
an odious sight, especially when they greet one in a 
sort of condescending manner, fancying themselves 
omniscient, and apportioning blame freely, in some 
cases either not knowing or not understanding the 

On the 3rd of July, at two o'clock in the morning, 
I returned to Koniginhof from Gitschin, where I 
found the Staff already established. After I had 
waked up the Crown Prince, had told him everything, 
and turned into bed again, I was waked up myself by a 
messenger from Prince Frederick Charles, who wrote 
from the headquarters of the Second Army, that in 
carrying out his reconnaissance in force he had fallen 
into imminent danger, and prayed me to come to his 


aid. I wrote down at once what the messenger had 
to say, and told him that the Prince could only have 
the cavalry and the First Corps to support him, for 
we needed the whole of the rest of our troops to 
support our own reconnaissance in force on the left 
bank of the Elbe. 

At 4 a.m. Count Finkenstein arrived from Gitschin, 
with a written communication from Moltke, saying 
that four full Austrian Corps d'Armee were opposed 
to Prince Frederick Charles, and directing us to 
support him. 

I immediately woke up the Crown Prince, and then 
dictated aloud to my Staff the orders for moving the 
whole of our army across the Elbe to the support of 
Prince Frederick Charles. 

At five o'clock the orders were issued to corps, and 
at seven o'clock the whole of the troops were in 
motion. We rode after them at 7.30. It was very 
cold, but bracing. I had no feeling now of weariness, 
although the previous day I had driven fifty-six miles, 
had eaten hardly anything, and had only had a short 
hour's sleep from 5.30 to 6.30 ! The heavy atmosphere 
prevented our hearing the sound of cannon; but towards 
nine o'clock we saw the smoke of battle all the way 
from Horonowes along the heights to Sadowa, and had 
all the feeling that an important engagement was 
imminent, and pushed rapidly along in spite of the 
slippery condition of the roads. Upon the heights of 
Choteborek, where we arrived at about eleven o'clock, 
at the head of the Guards Corps, we could plainly 
see and judge, by the lines of smoke, the whole extent 
of the battlefield. The right wing of the Austrians 


appeared to be resting on Horonowes. At first the 
Austrians seemed to be falling back, then again to be 
gaining ground. It was quite plain that the army of 
Prince Frederick Charles was engaged in a pitched 
battle with the whole of the Austrian forces. It was 
of the greatest importance for us now to engage them 
as quickly as possible, and by threatening their right 
flank and rear to make them relinquish their position. 
At once orders were given to increase the pace of 
the march. A tall single tree standing out on the 
horizon, a very prominent landmark, was given as 
the objective to march upon, and the columns directed 
upon it, the Guards to the right, and the Sixth Army 
Corps to the left. The First Army Corps, which, 
unfortunately, was still far in rear, was directed to fill 
up the gap between the two armies, and the Fifth 
Corps was to follow in rear of the Guards as a 

Of the Cavalry Division nothing on earth was to be 
seen it might almost have disappeared into the earth ; 
and when severe strictures began to be passed on the 
leaders, I comforted myself with the reflection that it 
would turn up somewhere unexpectedly. However, 
nothing was ever seen of it, nor did it appear on the 
battlefield until about four o'clock in the evening. 

Two of our Army Corps were now entering into the 
field of fire. Pressing steadily forwards, we soon saw 
how quickly the Sixth Corps gained ground on the left 
wing. Some of the enemy's batteries now appeared 
on the high ground by Horonowes ; but they soon had 
to limber up and retire. The battle was now raging 
all along the line from Koniggratz to Sadowa, with 


desperate fighting at the villages of Maslowed, Chlum, 
and Briza R-ossnitz. 

From the heights of Horonowes, at between two 
and three o'clock, we saw that the battle was won; 
but it was after five o'clock before the enemy ceased 
to hold isolated posts. Then they retreated in head- 
long flight towards Pardubitz. 

I had sent on all my cavalry that I could lay hands 
on some six regiments and now at last appeared 
the reserve cavalry; but there was no Seydlitz in 
command ! 

The cavalry, which had been pushed forward to reach 
Pardubitz, remained somewhere in the neighbourhood 
of Stolper, and did nothing. We were now able to 
see over the whole terrible battle-field. The weather 
had become cold towards evening, but the air was 

The Crown Prince, who during the whole fight had 
showed himself perfectly cool and collected, cheerful 
and bright, rode now among the troops, praising and 
congratulating them, caring for the wounded, talking 
with all he could, and encouraging all. 

Just before sunset, near the village of Rossnitz, and 
not far from the wood, after a long search we found 
the King. It was a touching and soul-stirring meeting 
between the father and his victorious son. The King 
embraced him affectionately, and afterwards shook 
me very warmly by the hand. The Prince said, ' I 
know to whom I owe the conduct of my army/ His 
words went straight to my heart, and the feeling of 
chill which the events of the day had caused quite 
disappeared. We received orders, alas ! to remain on 


the field for the next day. General von Herwarth 
was to take up the pursuit. I had hoped that our 
cavalry would have done that spontaneously, but here 
I was disappointed. Only General von Wnuck was 
followed up, as far, at least, as the tired horses 
allowed. It was quite dark, and nearly ten o'clock, 
when we arrived at our quarters in Horonowes after 
a very long ride. 

The chateau had, of course, been turned into a 
hospital, and nearly 3,000 prisoners lay about in the 
court. We had to be content with an almost gutted 
public-house, where I found a room with a bedstead, 
and even a mattress, and there Stosch and I slept. 
There was absolutely nothing to eat, and if Herr von 
Notz had not bought a loaf of bread from a sutler 
for a thaler, we should have gone to bed supperless. 
Nevertheless, I slept like a top, but had to be up 
again early, as is my custom. On the 4th of July 
there was a great deal to do and much writing. 

About mid-day, Lieutenant von Wrangel, of the 
Hussars of the Guard, came and informed us that he 
had been sent as parlementaire to the garrison of the 
fortress of Koniggriitz to demand a surrender. They 
were quite inclined to capitulate. Major Burg was 
immediately despatched to arrange terms of surrender. 
He, unfortunately, gave them twenty-four hours to 
think it over. 

General von Gablenz, of the Austrian Army, now 
came in, and drove to Horic to visit the King, and to 
ask for a three days' armistice. I prayed the Crown 
Prince to ride in at once, and, if possible, prevent 
the King in his too gracious kindness granting the 


request. At Headquarters they had not the least 
idea what a pitiful condition the Austrians were in. 
They had no notion that we had captured 150 guns, 
and taken probably more than 20,000 prisoners. 

On the 5th of July, the advance on Pardubitz was 
resumed. At Opatowitz we came upon a mill which 
the people had not quitted. Up to this, throughout 
Bohemia, we had found nothing but gutted and 
deserted villages. 

On the 6th the army crossed the Elbe at Par- 
dubitz, and bivouacked on this side of Olmiitz. We 
got unusually good quarters in the town. The King 
also arrived with the Headquarters of the army, and 
I was able to speak with Moltke. I think they would 
have liked to make a halt, 4 f or the troops were on 
very short rations and seemed to want rest; but I 
pressed for an immediate advance, because time is 
all-important, and the enemy can make much more 
use of a respite than we. 

Chrovstowitz, July 7. 

To-day we are billeted in a beautiful chateau belong- 
ing to the family Thurn and Taxis. We move on 
to-morrow. The troops are fresh, in good spirits, and 
full of fight. 

Hohenmauth, July 9. 

Yesterday, at 5 a.m., I was awakened by the 
arrival of Field - Marshal von Gablenz and an 
Aide-de-Camp of the Emperor's, who were on their 
way to Pardubitz to interview the King and to beg 
for an armistice. The former was terribly exhausted, 


and asked permission to speak with the Prince. The 
Prince received him at six o'clock, and as soon as they 
were gone we jumped into our carriage and drove off 
to Pardubitz, in order to avert the possibility of an 
armistice. We found at Headquarters that the im- 
portance of our successes was not yet appreciated; 
but there was no intention of granting the armistice. 
The requests, or, rather, the demands, of the Austrians 
were so impudent and so insulting that Gablenz was 
not received by the King at all, and, to our inexpressible 
joy, had to retire without his interview. 

As we returned, one of our horses went dead lame, 
and so we did not reach the hospitable mansion of the 
Thurn and Taxis family until five o'clock ; but then 
we sat down to a well-spread board, and enjoyed 
some excellent champagne from the Thurn and Taxis 
cellars. There we met Field-Marshal von Wrangel. 
Before sundown we reached this little town. Good 
quarters and good beds. 

Steinmetz came upon the retreating enemy yester- 
day, and made nearly 100 prisoners. They are 
making no stand, but are in full flight ; to-day we 
shall hear something more about it. 

Leutomischel, July 9, Evening. 

This morning early I had severe pains in the 
stomach. After we had spoken with General von 
Moltke we rode away, and as soon as we arrived 
home we heard that cholera had broken out. My 
trouble was not so bad as that, but the stomachache 
was no better, and gave me a very restless day. 

The points of our columns have reached as far 


as Zwittau and Landskron. They are in touch with 
the enemy, who, it appears, is now retreating, not on 
Olmlitz, but on Briinn. 

We are to continue the pursuit to-day ; then we 
must really have a day's halt. Many of the divisions 
have now been in bivouac for fourteen days and 
more, and, especially in the First Army Corps, the 
troops are beginning to suffer from sickness. 

I am quite curious to know whether the enemy 
will make any further stand against us before Vienna. 
He will try to attract the Army of Italy towards him, 
and possibly seek battle once more. 

Mcihrisch-Trubau, July 12. 

At ten o'clock in the morning I felt considerably 
better. The Crown Prince had some punch made for 
me, and insisted on my getting up and going for a 
drive. I sat in his carriage with Stosch, where we 
kept quite dry while all the others were wet to the 
skin. Owing to the summer rains, the road was like 

After we had arrived in Mahrisch-Trubau, the letters 
that had been captured in the post-office were brought 
to us. There were among them copies of Benedek's 
orders, which he had despatched from here on the 
9th instant to Vienna. From the order of march which 
was found among these papers, it was evident that, 
after Koniggratz, all the troops, with the exception of 
the Tenth Corps (required in Vienna itself), had been 
directed to retreat on Olmiitz, and they ought to have 
reached their destinations by the llth, The Light 


Cavalry Division (Second) had also gone to Olmiitz, 
the rest of the cavalry to Briinn. There are, there- 
fore, round Olmiitz six Army Corps and the Saxons. 
The latter were here as lately as the 9th. 

Several more stragglers were brought in as prisoners. 

As the whole strength of the Austrian Army is 
grouped round Olmiitz, it has appeared to me that the 
dispositions made by our Headquarter Staff for taking 
up a position before Olmiitz, with the county of Glatz 
at our backs, is not only a highly risky proceeding 
for our army, but a particularly dangerous one for 
the army of Prince Frederick Charles, which is now 
involved in a determined advance on Vienna. If we 
remain at Hohenstadt the enemy can, almost unper- 
ceived, move down the left bank of the March Eiver, 
unite with the Army of Italy, and defeat Prince 
Frederick Charles. Moreover, he can cross the March 
River wherever he likes, and take the Prince's army in 
flank and rear whilst the Army of Italy engages him in 
front. If, however, the Second Army were to take 
up its position south-west of Olmiitz, somewhere near 
Prossnitz, we should at least be capable of detecting 
the withdrawal of the enemy, and of supporting 
Prince Frederick in good time, if necessary. At 
nine o'clock in the evening General von Moltke came 
in unexpectedly. I submitted this idea to him, but he 
turned a deaf ear. Instead of discussing the point 
with me, he began to find fault, saying that we ' had 
marched too slowly.' 

I said nothing further on the subject, but left it to 
his good sense to reconsider the matter on his way 


Yesterday I wrote a memoir on the subject of the 
Prossnitz position, and submitted it to the Crown 
Prince, who adopted it. Major Verdj was sent with 
it at eleven o'clock to Headquarters, and returned at 
five with the King's sanction. 

The orders for the march were prepared and sent 
out at seven o'clock. I hope that on the 15th we 
shall be in the Prossnitz position. 

Yesterday was a very hard day for me, for I was 
not only much disturbed in mind, but had a great deal 
of writing to do. Convinced that the position at 
Prossnitz is just the one to bring about peace, whilst 
that at Hohenstadt separates the two armies and 
exposes them to being cut in pieces in detail, my 
spirit was much perturbed. 

Thank God the matter is now settled, and if we 
can manage to get safely into the Prossnitz position 
we shall at least have our right flank covered. 

Konitz, July 15. 

On Friday we went from Mahrisch-Trubau to 
Opatowitz, a very large, comfortable one-storied castle 
belonging to Count Herrenstein. There was a small 
park to it. The castle was prettily and comfortably 
furnished, and proved a veritable haven of rest for us. 

Nothing more to be seen of the enemy ; he has got 
right away. 

Yesterday we came on here ; we are lodged in an 
old castle, but not at all a comfortable one. It was 
frightfully hot marching. Soon after our arrival we 
received news from the Cavalry Division, corro- 
borated by reports of the inhabitants, that the 


Austrians were moving strong columns from Olmiitz 
to Prerau. 

This is what I had expected. He is falling back 
from Olmiitz on to Vienna, so as to make a 
stand once more before Vienna, and pretend that 
he has a serviceable army, and so hopes to make 
better terms of peace. 

I at once moved the Sixth Corps and the Guard 
Corps on Briinn, where they will arrive to-morrow. 
The two other corps must remain before Olmiitz for 
the present. To-day there is to be a great recon- 
naissance in force from Prossnitz through Tobitschau 
to Prerau, in order to fall on the enemy's columns 
on the march, to cut them in two, and break up the 
railway at Prerau. The troops engaged will be the 
Cavalry Division and an infantry brigade. 

To-morrow most likely we shall see Headquarters 
in movement southwards, and doubtless this will bring 
about a battle in front of Vienna. 

The 15th was a very hard day for me. After I 
had been working the whole morning, and, as I 
thought, had arranged everything ready for the 
movement, Captain Mischke, whom I had sent from 
Opatowitz to Briinn to speak with General von Moltke 
about our dispositions for the future, came in from 
Headquarters. During the morning Major Count 
Graben came in also from there. The dispositions 
which Moltke communicated to Mischke were abso- 
lutely incomprehensible in several points, and when 
I heard from Mischke that Moltke had several times 
broken out into reproaches about our slow rate of 
marching, I could contain myself no longer. Con- 



sidering our almost superhuman exertions, this was 
most undeserved. 

The Crown Prince was so vexed and annoyed at 
these reflections, so unjust and so uncalled for, that 
he spoke of handing in his resignation of the com- 
mand, and thought seriously of doing so. 

I did my best to calm him, but was myself most 
indignant. We immediately sent in General von 
Stosch, compasses in hand, to point out to Moltke 
his mistake, and if this did not satisfy him to go to 
the King and show how General von Moltke was ta 
blame for having changed the direction of the march, 
after having first directed us upon Hohenstadt. Stosch 
drove away at five o'clock. I took a cup of tea with 
my Adjutants, and tried to sleep, but could not. 
During the afternoon we received information of the 
skirmishes of the 14th at Kralitz and the neighbour- 
hood, and of the brilliant victory of the First Army 
Corps on the 15th, and its capture of sixteen guns 
and from four to five hundred prisoners. 

Stosch was able to take this news with him to the 
King's Headquarters. 

On the 16th I was awakened early to receive a 
communication from General Steinmetz. I gave my 
consent to his request, and placed a division of the 
First Army Corps at his disposal. At seven o'clock 
we rode out. It kept on raining and was very hot. 
Through a misunderstanding on the part of the First 
Corps the expedition only started in the afternoon. 

We met a division of the Fifth Corps at Prossnitz, 
and the Crown Prince reviewed them, and afterwards 
visited ,their field hospital. We reached Prodlitz at 


three o'clock in the afternoon. I was dead tired, but 
freshened up at once when Stosch returned and told 
me that General von Moltke had approved all that we 
had done. 

The reconnaissance to Prerau took place, but there 
were no signs of the enemy. 

Again to-day, the 17th, I have had a great deal of 
work. The enemy, it seems, has succeeded in drawing 
off from Olmtitz to Pressburg and Vienna the greater 
part of his convoys ; but, as he has to pass through 
Lundenberg, it is to be hoped that Prince Frederick 
Charles, who is in that neighbourhood with a large part 
of his army, will succeed in engaging him, unless he 
succeeds in escaping over the mountains to Komorn. 
It is a most critical position for him, and all the 
more so since the lesson he got yesterday, which 
must have at least taught him that we are on his 

Unfortunately, General von Bonin, acting on instruc- 
tions which referred to another movement, left Prerau 
and placed himself at Weischowitz. 

The Sixth Corps and the Guards push on to- 
morrow southwards, and the Fifth Corps likewise into 
the valley of the March River. 

The King leaves Briinn to-morrow, and goes to 
Nikolsberg, so as to be nearer the centre of opera- 

We wish to remain a day longer here, so as not 
to have to advance over the Austerlitz country yet. It 
is at present unoccupied. 

In every respect I am greatly pleased with my 
Staff officers. The political news which General 



von Stosch brought from the King's Headquarters 
has delighted me. The demands of Prussia are 
certainly a little strong, but the Emperor of the 
French makes no demur, and so there will be no 
difficulties from that quarter. Austria must and will 
conclude a treaty of peace, or else she is lost for ever. 
She certainly cannot count on her army for years to 

Brunn, July 19. 

As the enemy has entirely withdrawn from Olmiitz, 
and we have received the order from General von 
Moltke, which was brought to me by an orderly on 
the 17th at eleven o'clock at night, to follow the 
First Army with the Sixth Corps and the Guards, 
and, furthermore, to press forward the Fifth down 
the valley of the March River, we decided not to 
march on to the field of Austerlitz, as we had wished, 
but to come on here. 

We started out in our carriage at one o'clock in 
the day, and drove (the Staff either riding or driving) 
twenty-four miles in all. We arrived here about six 
o'clock in the evening ; the others came in shortly 
before dark. 

It made quite a striking impression upon us to be 
once more in a civilized town, with its shops, etc. In 
the so-called Landhaus, the residence of the Governor, 
we have splendid lodgings, and dined to-day regally at 
the expense of the town. 

In spite of a thunderstorm, the heat is still frightful. 
There is no news of Prince Frederick Charles having 
fought a battle near Lundenberg. The enemy must 


have got wind of his movements in good time, and 
have escaped over the mountains. I cannot say that 
I envy him his hurried march. 

The Archduke AlbrecMs chateau, 

Great Selowitz, July 20. 

Yesterday at twelve o'clock we quitted Briinn, 
and the Prince and I drove on here together. We 
had a frightful thunderstorm with hail. Eittmeister 
von Plotz came in from Headquarters at about eleven 
o'clock p.m., and we heard more about the charges 
Moltke was making against the Second Army of 
having marched too slowly. I was exceedingly 
vexed, and felt that I must have a court of inquiry 
to put an end, once for all, to this unjust accusation. 

We cannot race up and down these hills. Our men 
are so worn that they have implored me to give 
them a day's rest. The Guards, Second Division, 
with the consent of the Prince of Wurtemberg, took 
one yesterday. 

Before Olmiitz the cholera has broken out severely, 
I am sorry to say. 

Eisgrub, July 21. 

At ten o'clock yesterday I drove with the Prince 
to Nikolsberg, as he wished to speak with the King 
and Bismarck. The King had written a secret 
despatch to the Crown Prince, in which he had stated 
that Austria, through the mediation of the French 
Ambassador, Benedetti, had declared herself prepared 
to leave the German Confederation, to allow protocols 
for a delimitation of the frontiers to be drawn out, 


and to allow Prussia to assume the military leadership 
in North Germany. 

The principal points in dispute are thus granted, 
and, if the King and Bismarck are only firm, peace 
ought soon to come or, at least, an armistice. 

The most difficult feature will be to limit the 
importance of the smaller States in favour of Prussia, 
or to let them disappear altogether. That, however, 
will be easy enough provided that our people are 
determined, and do not give way. Nikolsberg is a 
grand old castle of the Middle Ages, belonging to 
Count Mensdorff. I was extremely glad not to be 
obliged to take up my lodgings at the King's Head- 

We started at eight o'clock in the evening, and 
arrived here by moonlight. We hope to remain here 
some days, and, even if we have to advance on Vienna, 
we shall certainly not assault the town as long as the 
negotiations are proceeding. 

Eisgrub, July 22. 

At mid-day yesterday the King arrived here, to 
visit and look over the castle, and in the evening an 
order came from Moltke that from to-day hostilities 
were to be suspended. Major von Verdy has gone, 
with several officers of the General Staff and General 
Podbielsky, to the Eussbach, near Vienna, in order to 
arrange a delimitation of the frontiers of operations 
during the armistice. 

To-day the French Ambassador, Benedetti, was 
here, and informed the Crown Prince that Count 
Karolyi was soon coming to discuss affairs. He 


thought that peace was now almost assured. Al- 
though it would be better for Prussia that we should 
fight another battle say before Vienna still, I am 
rejoiced at the prospects of peace, more especially on 
account of the wounded. 

The cholera, too, which for the past eight days has 
been virulent in several districts, will claim many 
victims, as the troops are much worn with the hard- 
ships of the campaign, and are necessarily billeted in 
close quarters. 

The exertions which our troops have made have 
been almost superhuman. Continuous forced marches 
over mountain and valley, in this intolerable heat, 
without a day's rest sometimes for a week at a time, 
and sometimes with scarcely bread to eat, is too much 
for human beings. Yesterday after breakfast the 
Crown Prince rode with Stosch to Nikolsberg. The 
Minister, Count Bismarck, had prayed him to do so. 
The peace preliminaries are going on smoothly, and 
would very likely have been concluded had not the 
King raised difficulties. He desires that Austria shall 
give up some territory, which she will not do unless it 
is in the form of war indemnity. It seems as though 
this were a point of honour with them both. At the 
same time, Austria has thrown over all her allies 
with the exception of Saxony namely, Bavaria, 
Hanover, and Hesse. We shall receive compensation 
of about four millions, and the leading position in the 
North German Confederation. 

It is wise to be content therewith, as foreign 
nations will not interfere, and Austria will be severed 
from the Confederation. 


Count Stolberg was here yesterday evening, and 
told us all about the fight at Pressburg on the morn- 
ing of the 22nd, in which the Eighth Division bore 
the brunt of the fighting and the 71st Regiment lost 
so heavily. Rohrscheidt and Hermann Petersdorf are 
dead, and many others wounded. I am very much 
opposed to these dashing but risky expeditions, and 
advised Stulpnagel not to undertake it some days ago. 
Still, it might have led to brilliant results had not the 
armistice intervened. 

Eisgrub, July 26. 

Yesterday, the 25th, a good deal of business was 
transacted,'and the Crown Prince again summoned by 
Bismarck. The King appears to be inclined to yield 
a little in his demands. To-morrow I am going to 
Steinmetz at Felsberg. 

Eisgrub, July 27. 

The peace preliminaries were closed yesterday 
afternoon, and we are expecting the ratification to- 
day. I think that it will give universal joy. The 
campaign has been a short one, but the remembrance 
of that terrible scene on the battlefield of Koniggratz, 
and the almost unprecedented hardships borne by 
officers and men, make us all long for peace. We are 
enjoying relaxation now, which may, however, last 
until inaction becomes burdensome, or until some new 
aspect of affairs calls us once more to action. 

It is remarkable to me that my own desire for 
rest in this campaign is not nearly so marked as in 
former ones. It may be that neither my troubles nor 
my exaltation have been so great in this one. In my 


present position I have not so much to do, nor am I 
bothered with detail as formerly. When the peace 
preliminaries have been ratified, as they will doubtless 
be to-day, we shall be kept in Bohemia or Moravia 
until the middle or end of August, or until Austria 
has paid her indemnity. That will be dreadfully 
tedious, and to us a very distasteful sequel to the 
war. I wonder how matters are going in Germany, 
where there will be considerable resistance to the 
annexation of the smaller States ? Like children, 
they will have to be made happy against their will. 

Brunn, August 8. 

I have again lost all interest in writing up my 
diary. I must now recapitulate. 

On Saturday, the 28th of July, I was informed for 
the first time (it was when the King was inspecting 
us at Eisgrub) that a letter of mine which I had 
written to my wife from Triibau had fallen into the 
hands of the Austrians, and had been reproduced in 
many of the South German newspapers. 

Certainly the letter was mine in substance, but it 
had been mistranslated from the English, in which 
language I had written, and, moreover, the sense had 
been intentionally perverted. 

I should not have been much disturbed about it, only? 
unfortunately, Moltke had been somewhat roughly 
handled by me in it, and he is the last of men I should 
wish to pain, for I honour him exceedingly. It was 
very mortifying to me to have made myself a laughing- 
stock through this letter, and be represented to the 
world as a conceited ass. I can put up with this, 


however, as I do not care one jot what people think 
of me ! To do my duty and fear nobody has always 
been my motto, and always will be until the end. The 
news of the ratification of the armistice and the peace 
preliminaries came in to-day. 

July 29. 

This morning my ill-fated letter was sent to me 
anonymously from Berlin in a cutting from the 
newspaper. I requested the Crown Prince to lay it 
before the King and Moltke. He did so in Nikols- 
berg. The King was highly amused and laughed 
heartily, but Moltke did not wish to read it. He 
said that it was addressed to my wife, and had not 
been intended for him. I should not have expected 
any other treatment from him, for I know full well 
what a perfect gentleman Moltke is. 

The letter has been published and copied into the 
English and other newspapers. I think I am doing 
right in taking no notice whatever of it. You cannot 
handle pitch and not be defiled. 

This evening we had the band, and some national 
dances performed by the peasants of Eisgrub. 

I think Louis will pay me a visit to-day. 

July 30. 

My birthday ! The band played in the morning, and 
I received the congratulations of the officers and of 
the Crown Prince, who gave me his portrait in water- 
colours. It was a beautiful day. There was a band 
again in the afternoon, and dancing in the evening. 

Some of the troops are to-day beginning their 
homeward march. 


July 31. 

To-day we leave our beautiful Eisgrub and go to 
live in Brtinn, in a very nice comfortable palace 
belonging to an Archduke. 

August 1. 

Immediately after dinner the King arrived on his 
way back to Berlin. I spoke again to General von 
Moltke about my letter, and found him most amiable. 
In the evening the King took tea with the Crown 

August 2. 

To-morrow we drive to the neighbourhood of 
Wischau, where a review of the Fifth Corps is to be 
held. For the first time I found the Crown Prince 
very irritable and tetchy about trifles. Towards me, 
however, he is always kind. The King took lunch 
with the Prince. In the evening we all went into 
a beautiful tea-garden, where there was a band play- 
ing. The King came with us, and we all had tea 
there. The King told me that the Duke of Ujest was 
to go with him the next day to Berlin, and that I was 
to succeed him as Governor-General of Moravia. 
This was not particularly acceptable news, as I was 
just beginning to enjoy my spell of idleness. 

August 3. 

In the morning the King and the Crown Prince, 
with the Duke of Ujest and Staff, started for Berlin, 
and my work as Deputy-Governor began. As Captain 
Potz has been recalled to the Office, it looks as though 


they were glad to get rid of the Duke, and that we 
are expected to put affairs on a proper footing. 

August 4. 

In order to work in harmony with the Government 
of Bohemia in the question of supplies for the troops, 
I sent our Commissary-General (Councillor Tollner) 
to Prague. The local Governor, Boche, came in 

August 5. 

This morning at eleven o'clock the local Governor 
was with me in the head-office. All that I said I 
weighed carefully, and we understood each other 
perfectly. Herr von Puttkammer, the Civil Com- 
missary, was present. 

August 6. 

The reins of Government give me a great deal 
more to do than I had expected. I have to do a lot 
of talking, warn off place- seekers, propitiate others, 
and so on. I leave to Potz the entire control of army 
affairs, and see him for half an hour in the day about 
them. Time goes quickly enough, and, as the limit 
of our sojourn here is almost in sight, we can afford 
to put up with it. 

August 7. 

Tollner has come back from Prague, and now we 
can set to work to formulate some scheme with the 
Austrians with regard to provisioning the troops. In 
principle we are at one. The Austrians have under- 
taken to supply us entirely during the armistice, either 
through contractors or from their storehouses. They 


cannot do both, as the country has been almost gutted ; 
and we shall have to look after ourselves and depend 
on sutlers, and send in the bill afterwards to the 

The compensation in Bohemia to officers who have 
received no provisions is placed at so high a figure 
that I am quite ashamed of the sum, and certainly 
cannot allow it to pass here. 

At mid-day we received news from a neighbouring 
village of an attempt, on the part of the inhabitants, 
to poison our troops with arsenic, and that ten gunners 
are dangerously ill from the effects. The chemical 
analysis of the oat-cakes showed large quantities of 
the poison. To-morrow we shall smoke out the 
robbers' nest ! 

August 8. 

Landrath von Puttkammer drove to-day to Banitzka y 
where the inhabitants all fell on their knees before him. 
The poisoning has been confirmed. 

An Austrian officer brought a letter from General 
John in Vienna. In the evening I had an interview 
with the local Governor. He is a very well-informed 
man, and we soon came to terms. 

The poisoner has been caught by the inhabitants in 
the woods, and brought in. Proof is to hand, and the 
official inquiry already begun. In a couple of days I 
hope to be able to hang the fellow. 

Captain Mischke, whom I had sent to Vienna on 
the 7th at the wish of the War Minister, to submit 
excuses for the Hungarian Legion, and to request 
that they might be allowed to proceed quietly to 


Prussia, returned to-day, and spoke most highly of the 
bearing and efficiency of the officers. 

I was glad to receive the news to-day that the 
legion under the command of Klapka had already 
arrived in Moravia, and had reported to the First 
Army Corps. It has already commenced its march 
to Silesia. 

When the project of raising an irregular corps in 
Silesia and the formation of the Hungarian Legion 
was started, I am glad to say that I had nothing to do 
with either. The idea was always distasteful to me. 
With such a splendid army as ours, 300,000 strong, 
I cannot see what we wanted such troops for. And 
so I have always said. 

Brunn, August 10. 

The erection of barracks having canvas partitions 
between the rooms for typhus patients, which I ordered 
five days ago, is proceeding too slowly. I must give 
these fellows the spur ! The inquiry, too, into the 
poisoning cases is not going as it should. Bismarck 
telegraphed to me that judgment and execution must 
be carried out as soon as possible. That, too, is my 
wish; but these perverters of justice, Philistines as 
they are, prevent me. 

Brunn, August 11. 

I hold a telegram saying that the Duke of Ujest is 
coming back to-day. I must at once record in writing 
the agenda which must be attended to. The principal 
matter is the agreement arrived at with the Austrians 
.about the victualling of the troops. I wrote to the 


War Minister on the 8th about it, but have got no 

I shall issue instructions in to-day's orders to the 
troops about it, which will settle the question, for I 
mean to conclude that the War Minister's silence 
gives consent. 

I will accept the estimates for the compensation 
to officers in lieu of rations, extravagant though they 
be, in the same manner as Falkenstein in Bohemia has 
done, and then nobody, not even the War Minister 
himself, can reduce them. 

The order shall be issued to the troops that the 
costs are to be paid. I arranged everything yester- 
day with the local Governor. 

The cholera is diminishing, and the sick reports 
are visibly improving. I am troubled with a flow 
of blood to the head, and have to take a smart walk 
two or three times a day in the garden. 

Brunn, August 12. 

The Duke of Ujest came back yesterday, and now 
I am relieved of the responsibilities of vice-general- 
governorship. I only regret that I have not suc- 
ceeded in hanging that miscreant. In Berlin they will 
try to make out that I had not the courage to carry 
out the execution. A drastic example is wanted, but 
I cannot sanction murder, and it is not my fault if 
the administration of justice is so lagging. 

This morning I inspected the new barracks, and 
found the work so indifferent and so tardily executed 
that I boiled over with wrath, and gave the order 
that if to-morrow afternoon these barracks are not 


ready, with all their fittings, I shall take their high 
school buildings for a hospital. 

The Duke of Ujest had some misgivings about the 
prices paid for provisions, but I very soon laid them 
to rest. 

August 13. 

The barracks are ready. When one is in earnest 
and firm, one gets the best work done. 

I took leave of the beautiful garden, but, alas ! 
had to spend my whole day drafting orders, a work 
I always hate. 

That scoundrel is not yet hanged ! 

August 14. 

To-day we went by train about mid-day to Pardu- 
bitz. We whiled away the tedious journey by a game 
of whist. 

My lodgings are most uncomfortable, and are 
almost on a par with the hardships which we have 
undergone during the war. 

August 15. 

In beautiful cool weather we arrived on the battle- 
field of Koniggratz and mounted our horses at 
Problus. A most interesting ride, and I am now 
quite clear about the circumstances of the battle. It 
is almost incredible that Benedek should not have 
perceived the advance of the Second Army, or, 
if he did, that he should have allowed us to 
come on. 

In some parts of the battlefield there were still 
broken knapsacks, haversacks, and so on ; in some 
places a pestilential stench. 


August 16. 

At six o'clock in the evening we arrived in Prague. 
On the way we amused ourselves with a game of 
whist. The discussion of peace stipulations drags 
out its weary length. 

Prague, August 17. 

The greater part of to-day has been spent in paying 
official calls. 

Prince Frederick Charles is most kind and con- 
siderate towards me. 

One meets with officers of every corps on the 
Island of Sophia, where there is constantly a band. 
Fast women are there also in numbers. 

August 18. 

The Emperor's birthday. Festival of the Riflemen. 
A portion of the Guards Corps marched in. One 
hears on all sides, from the numerous officers gathered 
together here, details of the fights, and many varied 
judgments upon the conduct thereof are passed. 

Prague, August 19. 

I dined with Prince Albert of Saxony in the Lob- 
kowitz Palace. In the evening my brother Louis 
came here. The peace negotiations are proceeding 
but slowly, but peace is quite assured. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Stiele has come here from 
Berlin with reference to them. 



Prague, August 20. 

I drove with Louis to the Hradchin, and bought a 
carriage. In the afternoon and evening we went on 
the Island of Sophia. 

Prague, August 21. 

This morning Louis went away. I dined with 
Prince Frederick Charles. It is thought that we shall 
have to stay here till the 2nd. Very hot. Heavy 
thunderstorm. A tedious day. 

Prague, August 29. 

Peace has now been declared some days ago, and 
every moment we are expecting to hear of the rati- 

To-morrow I hope to be in Dresden, and at two 
o'clock next morning in Berlin. 


[ 67 ] 52 



IT will be remembered that at the outbreak of the war of 1870 
the frontier dividing Germany from France ran in a line from 
Luxembourg (Luxembourg, Belgium, and Switzerland being 
neutral States) to a point about ten miles south-east of Landau 
on the Rhine, thence to Basle, the Rhine itself between these 
two points constituting the boundary. The political situation, 
as well as a mistaken belief in France's preparedness for war 
' down to the last gaiter button ' led the German Headquarters 
Staff to expect an invasion of German territory, and it was 
thought that in all probability a French army, based on Strass- 
burg and Metz these being fortresses of great strength and 
having its right flank protected by the river, would cross the 
frontier somewhere about Carlsruhe and invade Rhenish Prussia. 
Such a movement, if successful, would, it was expected, sever 
Bavaria from her North German allies, and at least have the 
effect of neutralizing her army. The massing of French troops 
at Metz (150,000), at Strassburg (100,000), and at Chalons in 
support (50,000), clearly pointed to this as France's intention. 
To oppose such an irruption Germany had moved up her field 
armies to the neighbourhood of the frontier fortresses, Coblenz, 
Mainz, and Mannheim, with the intention of offering direct 
opposition to any incursion on that front of her dominions, 
and of protecting herself indirectly by threatening their com- 
munications should the French advance on the Danube or 



Thus we find the Germans divided into three armies, con- 
centrating respectively on Cologne, on Coblenz and Mainz, and 
on Heidelberg, as centres. 

The First Army was commanded by Steinmetz, its Army Corps 
occupying Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dusen, and Call. 

The Second Army was commanded by Prince Frederick Charles 
the 'Red Prince' and had its Army Corps concentrated 
round Coblenz, Mainz, and Mannheim. 

The Third Army, under the command of the Crown Prince 
of Germany, with General Count von Blumenthal, the writer 
of this journal, as his Chief of the Staff, had its Army Corps, 
namely, the Fifth and Sixth Prussian Corps and the First and 
Second Bavarian Corps, gathered round Heidelberg, Bruchsal, 
and Landau. 

The world's expectations were unfulfilled, for after a feeble 
demonstration at Saarlouis, where the Prince Imperial of France 
received his bapteme de jeu^ the French, owing to their general 
unpreparedness for war, were driven back, and never again set 
foot on German soil. 

The initiative now lay with the Germans. The problem to be 
solved was where to attack ? 

An advance over the Rhine, the three armies to concentrate 
on German soil near Call, offered many temptations. It would 
turn the Vosges Mountains a formidable barrier by threaten- 
ing the defender's communications, and it would threaten the 
communications of both Metz and Strassburg with the capital. 

There was, however, one important factor wanting good 
railway communication with their bases of supply. This want 
had already been severely felt on that side, and had con- 
siderably delayed concentration. On the extreme left of their 
frontier the Vosges, the passes of which were all blocked by 
fortresses of no mean reputation, constituted a formidable 
military obstacle, to cross which would be no light under- 

The third alternative, an advance on the centre about Weissem- 
burg, had neither of these objections; moreover, it happened 


that the army concentrated in face of this portion of the 
frontier line, namely, the Third Army, was in a more com- 
plete state of military preparedness than either of the other 

The old fort of Weissemburg could offer no serious resistance, 
and the retreat of the French would lay open the flank of the 
Vosges defences, and that of the general line of the French 
frontier, of which this fort stood at the salient angle. Hence 
the selection of this point for the invasion of France. 

On August 4th Weissemburg fell, and the French were 
driven back on Woerth. Here MacMahon stood in a strong 
defensive position guarding the defiles of the Vosges, and pro- 
tecting the Strassburg-Bitsche railway. Woerth is also the 
key to the Paris- Strassburg line of rail. 

On August 6th the Third Army, in overwhelming strength, 
defeated MacMahon 's force, and on the same day, at Spicheren, 
the First Army also drew blood. 

From August 7th to 13th MacMahon retreated with the 
greater part of his force on Chalons. 

Meanwhile Bazaine, with his 160,000 men, reinforced by 
General Canroberfs corps from Chalons, had formed up in a 
defensive position to the east of Metz. 

The German forces were now moved as follows : First Army 
on Metz ; Second Army on Pont-a-Mousson ; Third Army on 

On August 14th Bazaine, finding himself in danger of being 
outflanked, withdraws to west of the Moselle ; but his rear-guard 
is seriously attacked by the First Army before it can cross. Toul 
is summoned to surrender by the Third Army. 

On the 15th Bazaine continues his retreat on Verdun. To 
intercept this movement the Second Army is now swung round, 
pivoting its right upon Metz. Thus brought to bay, Bazaine 
forms up facing south, on the line Mars-la-Tour-Gravelotte. 

On the 16th occurred the Battles of Vionville, Rezonville, and 
Mars-la-Tour, resulting in the French being completely thrown 
off their line of retreat on Verdun. 


On the 17th Bazaine makes a ' change of position right back ' 
his left on Jussy, his right on Roncourt, Gravelotte being an 
advanced post on his right centre. 

On the 18th Bazaine is defeated at the Battle of Gravelotte, 
and makes good his retreat into Metz with the remnant of his 

August 19th to %\st. Seven Army Corps are now retained 
from the First and Second Army for the investment of Metz, 
whilst the remainder is formed into a Fourth Army, placed under 
the command of the Crown Prince Albert of Saxony, and called 
the Army of the Meuse. 

August %5th. On this date the Fourth Army had its Head- 
quarters at Fleury ; the Third Army at Ravigny, en route to Paris. 

On the same day MacMahon was at Rethel. He had collected 
at Chalons the defeated corps from Woerth, Bitsche, and 
Weissemburg, and, taking with him the Corps d'Armee from 
Belfort, and a newly-formed Twelfth Corps, in all numbering 
about 120,000 men, had retired on Rheims, being coerced from 
Paris the Emperor Napoleon's Headquarters being in his midst 
to attempt the relief of Bazaine by a circular route northwards. 
Had he retired upon Paris the proper strategical move it was 
supposed that the Emperor would at once have been deposed 
and a republic established. 

August 26th. MacMahon's march was replied to as follows : 
The German Armies, echeloned as they were from the left and 
moving westwards, by a change of front northwards now became 
echeloned from the right, and owing to the relative geo- 
graphical position of the two Armies this movement became 
possible without a crossing of the lines of communication. 

It was intended that the Crown Prince of Saxony should hold 
the line of the Meuse, whilst the Crown Prince of Prussia severed 
MacMahon's communications with Paris. 

August 29th. MacMahon commences crossing the Meuse at 
Monzou. Being hard-pressed by both these armies, his army, 
in great disorder, moves down the Meuse to Sedan, thus abandon- 
ing all idea of helping Bazaine. 


September \st. The Fourth Army being on the east bank, the 
Third Army on the west, the Fifth and Eleventh Corps, by cross- 
ing at Donchery and wheeling to their right, completed the circle 
round MacMahon. 

September 3rd The Battle of Sedan and fall of the Empire. 

September 4<th. The march on Paris was commenced, and on 
the 19th the investment of the city completed. 

The remainder of the campaign centred now round Paris, 
French armies being formed by Faidherbe in the north, Chanzy 
at Orleans, and Bourbaki in the south-east, for the relief of the 

The defeat of Chanzy at Orleans, and the victory of Werder 
over Bourbaki, whose forces were driven over the Swiss frontier, 
caused the Parisians to capitulate, and on the 1st of March the 
National Assembly at Bordeaux ratified the peace conditions 
and brought the war to a close. 



Berlin, July 21, 1870. 

EVEN though I may be unable, from want of time, 
to keep my journal written up, I will at least make a 
commencement now, and jot down, so as to refresh 
my memory hereafter, such incidents as strike me. 

General von Moltke in 1866 when we were in 
Nikolsberg together, said to me : c The quarrel with 
France must some day be fought out it is unavoid- 
able ; and though I shall not live to see it, you will.' 
At that time I was convinced that the struggle was 
not far off. 

Four years have now gone by ; we can perfectly 
well see that the Emperor of the French is unre- 
mittingly and earnestly making every preparation for 
war, but as the Luxembourg affair fell to pieces, and 
the Emperor is, by order of the plebiscite, apparently 
firmly seated upon the throne, we have allowed our- 
selves (at least in public) to doze, and have considered 
peace as assured. During this year, indeed, trade and 
commerce have made unprecedented strides. 

When I was in Ems in July with His Majesty, 
everything lay in the deepest repose. Then suddenly 
the candidature of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern to 




THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 75 

the throne of Spain was sprung upon us, and I was 
convinced as soon as I heard of it, when inspecting 
the 77th Regiment in Wesel, that war was at our 

Few would helieve it, but it has all come to pass, as 
it were, stroke upon stroke, and no opportunity missed ; 
and there can no longer be a shadow of doubt about it. 

I went on the 12th with Major Hilgers on a Staff 
ride round Emmerich, and on the 14th to Cleve, where 
I found my wife. 

We spent a couple of very beautiful days there in 
spite of the great heat. The newspapers were so war- 
like, and the general excitement so great, that Von 
Hilgers felt he must return to Diisseldorf . 

On the morning of the 16th I received a telegram 
from the Crown Prince and the order for mobilization. 
We gave up our intended visit to Castle Moyland, the 
many Dutch visitors here being greatly excited, and 
at three o'clock we reached Diisseldorf by train, where 
we found Hilgers full of work. 

The 16th was the first day of mobilization, and I 
began at once to pack up my war-kit, as I felt that I 
might be off at any minute. The enthusiasm of the 
people at the idea of a national war was immense, and 
in my office excitement ran high. 

On the evening of the 18th I received a telegram 
from the Crown Prince, saying that I must go to 
Berlin at once. As, however, 1 was unable to quit 
my post without the King's leave, I asked the Crown 
Prince, by telegram, to arrange it for me. At half- 
past eight on the evening of the 19th I received two 
telegrams which brought me here. 


On the 20th I bade good-bye to my wife and Mol- 
lendorff, and took my seat in a carriage with Count 
von Waldersee, who had just come from Paris. We 
were received at Potsdam Station by Herr von 
Schleinitz, and at a quarter to nine I was with the 
Crown Prince in the New Palace. He received me 
with that kindliness which is his characteristic, and 
asked my advice whether, as future Commander 
of the Army of the South, he ought not to proceed at 
once to Munich, Stuttgart, and Carlsruhe, as Count 
Bismarck wished him to do on political grounds. He 
desired to take me with him. 

I was, however, opposed to the notion, as the whole 
situation was too uncertain, and we should not have a 
reply ready if questions were asked. The journey 
was therefore postponed, and we shall most likely 
not go until the 26th. At half -past eleven o'clock I 
came here to the Hotel d' Angle terre. 

Berlin, July 22. 

After I had established myself in the hotel here, I 
betook myself, in company with Prince Leopold of 
Hohenzollern (the subject of the dispute), to General 
von Moltke. General von Moltke was very kind in 
manner, and not so stiff as formerly. 

He pointed out to me, when alone, the general 
situation, and explained to me the plan of campaign, 
in which I can only say that I thoroughly concur. 

The creation of three armies and a reserve is the 
scheme, and when all is ready, and the troops con- 
centrated, an advance through the Palatinate. General 
Steinmetz appears to me to have the pleasantest and 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 77 

easiest task allotted, as long as the neutrality of 
Belgium and Luxembourg is respected by the French. 
He will, if God grants him health and life, have all 
the laurels. 

The task of the Crown Prince as leader of the 
Army of the South will perhaps be the most difficult. 
In the opinion of most people and of the press, the 
French will break out into the Palatinate, and it is 
considered that their operations against the southern 
States will be only secondary. I hold, however, that 
it is quite possible that, on account of the moral 
effect thereby gained, and in spite of the risks 
incurred, they will cross the Rhine at Strassburg and 
neighbourhood, and strike at the Third Army. 

The most probable eventuality, according to my 
thinking, is that we shall encounter each other in 
the Palatinate, and there the decisive battle will be 
fought, somewhere about the first week in August. 
Unfortunately, our reserve cannot be up in line by 
that time. 

I am rejoiced at the idea of the unpracticable 
schemes of the French, dangerous only to themselves, 
for landing troops on our sea-coast. They must 
already have landed on the Island of Borkum, to 
establish themselves there, and thence raid Hanover. 
It will be a great awakening for them. I am anxious 
about Wilhelmshaven, Altona, Hamburg, Kiel, and 
perhaps Bremen. 

Berlin, July 24. 

At mid-day on the 22nd I reported, with several 
others, to the King. He spoke with much emotion 


and in short phrases of the injustice of the attacks 
made on him without provocation on his part. He 
ended with the words : ' A clear conscience and a 
sharp sword these are our weapons, and with these 
we shall win.' 

My visits occupied all my time. 

In my office in the Palace I am quite alone 
no help of any kind. The news of the enemy is 
unimportant. In the evening I remained at home 
very exhausted. On the 23rd my office desks began 
to be tenanted, so that I am not so destitute of help 
as at first. 

My brother Louis and Hans, my nephew, were 
here and dined with me. 

I had proposed to the Crown Prince that Mollen- 
dorfP or Albrechtf should be taken on to the Staff. 
He does not, however, seem to think it necessary that 
I should have anybody to attend to my personal wants 
and comfort, and to relieve me of small details, such 
as stable management, etc. 

In the evening I was with Dammas. Towards 
night Gottberg, the Assistant- Quartermaster- General, 
came in and relieved me of the chief part of my 

The same evening. 

This morning I heard with great joy that Albrecht 
had been appointed Commandant for our Headquarter 
camp. It was altogether unexpected. 

At mid-day I rode into Potsdam, to the baptism of 
the young Princess, and had the good fortune to 
* A son-in-law. t A great friend. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 79 

travel in the same compartment as Count Bismarck. 
He was quite talkative about German politics, and 
gave me a hint as to how our allies o Southern 
Germany were to be treated, in which I am quite 

Strange it is that we should begin this second 
campaign with a christening ! 

Bismarck is very anxious that the Crown Prince 
should go to the South and pay a short visit there. 
I am quite agreeable. No news of the enemy at all. 

It seems as though the enemy were still far from 
being complete in their preparations. I hope we may 
not be deceived by appearances. 

At the wedding in the New Palace I found a 
universal confidence in our power, without any over- 
weening arrogance ; all seem quite certain of our 
superiority and confident of victory. 

Three French men-of-war are already stranded. 

Gottberg has so relieved me of work that I feel 
quite idle. He has begun right well. 

Berlin, July 25. 

A heavy day, what with interviews, packing up, 
and buying outfit. 

Nothing particular from the theatre of war ; only 
.a telegram from Goeben that a small skirmish has 
taken place at Saarbrucken, and that ten of the French 
have fallen. 

The satisfaction that the needle-rifle holds its own 
is universal. 

A pretty feat of thirty Uhlans is reported. They 
have blown up a viaduct near Saargemund. 


At nine o'clock in the evening I was commanded 
to go to Her Majesty to take leave. 

I was entreated to watch over and protect, ' I and 
my whole Staff,' the safety of the Crown Prince. To 
assure her, we were to give our promise in writing. 
She also recommended to my care the Archduke of 
Weimar; and during the night I received two very 
impressive letters from Her Majesty on the same 

The Queen spoke most charmingly, and always to 
the point. 

I had to sit up till late in the night packing up. 

July 26. 

At eight o'clock through Leipsic and Altenberg, 
where the Archduke met us, and through Hof, in 
company with the 58th Infantry Regiment. Frightful 
heat. At every station, especially in Saxony, nothing 
but cheering and hurrahing. The enthusiasm is 
wonderful, and it is universal. 

At the Bavarian frontier we were received by the 
Adjutant-General. We slept very little, but we ate 
and drank enormously. The heat was more intense 
than ever. A telegram on the way led us to expect 
an attack on the part of the French on the 27th. 

Gottberg has reached this place from Berlin. 

July 27. 

At half -past eleven in the day we arrived at Munich. 
His Majesty the King of Bavaria came to meet us a 
few stations out. An unaccountable throng of people 


THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 81 

from the station to the Residency. Everywhere 
shouting and hurrahing. Most exciting ! 

I was longing to get some rest, but was only able to 
do so after I had been introduced to a number of high 
officials. Everywhere great satisfaction is expressed 
that they are able to take sides with Prussia. 

Dinner at the Residency at five o'clock, then to the 
theatre, where we saw Wallenstein's Lager. Here, 
too, the enthusiasm was extraordinary. I really 
believe that the Munich people are throwing them- 
selves into the struggle heart and soul. 

At eleven o'clock I went to sleep on a sofa, and at 
two o'clock we started by special train to Stuttgart. 

Nothing heard of the enemy. It looks really as 
though he wanted to leave us time to concentrate 

Stuttgart, July 28. 

At eight o'clock in the morning we arrived here, 
and were received by the King of Wurtemberg. I 
am most comfortably housed in the Royal Palace here 
in Stuttgart. 

Up to mid-day no further news of the enemy. We 
may now rightly assume that his preparations are all 
in arrear. The reserves are only to come up to their 
battalions to-morrow. 

Towards mid-day I received a visit from the War 
Minister, Von Suchow, whose whole interest lies in 

A magnificent dinner, during which the Queen con- 
versed with me for a long time. 



Carlsruhe, July 28. 

At six o'clock we started off. Indescribable enthu- 
siasm everywhere, but most marked at Pforzheim 
and here, where the Archduke and Archduchess, who 
is sister to the Crown Prince, received us. 

I had the great joy of meeting some old friends, 
Beyer and Peszczynski. 

News of the enemy ! The Emperor was yesterday 
in Nancy, and assembled his Generals. The issue is 
near at hand, and we may expect the first attack on 
my birthday, or thereabouts. 

The arrangements which Beyer has made appear to 
me to be excellent, and I will alter nothing for the 

Reports from spies, coming in this morning early, 
point to the conclusion that the French wish to cross 
about twelve miles below Hiiningen. It is not, how- 
ever, very evident with what object. Also the French 
Guard has been reported near Strassburg, so that 
perhaps MacMahon has some 80,000 men with him 
there. Pontoons, too, have been seen moving about. 

It is not at all improbable that he will cross near 
Strassburg, and will operate in the direction of South 
Germany, counting upon the vacillation of the South 
German States, and possibly in the expectation that 
the Italians will enter into alliance with him and invade 
us through Tyrol. This plan, however, appears to me 
so extravagant that I cannot believe in it. 

It is to be hoped that we will not allow ourselves to 
be harassed, but quietly await the turn of events, and 
then, when all is ready, take the offensive and march 
on Nancy. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 83 

At three o'clock we drove over from Carlsruhe to 
the fortress of Kastatt, which appears to be in a 
splendid condition. It seems to me, however, that in 
case of a siege the place is in considerable danger, 
owing to the presence of so many woods around, 
which have been allowed to stand. 

To day we have had much rain, followed by oppres- 
sive heat. I am quite played out. 

Speyer, July 29. 

Very heavy rain in the night. At eight o'clock we 
travelled by train and carriage from Carlsruhe to 
this place, Speyer. We found that a portion of the 
Headquarters had already arrived. 

A very good lodging at the house of President von 
PfeufFer. In the afternoon we drove with the Crown 
Prince to Germersheim, where we inspected the 
fortress. The place was well provisioned and well 
armed, and had, to all appearances, a first-rate officer 
in command. We then reconnoitred as far as the 
Klingbach, and looked at several cantonments in 
Bellheim, Gersdorf , and other places. 

In the evening we returned, in the greatest heat, 
dog-tired, and had then to do justice to a magnificent 
dinner prepared by our host. 

It is a kaleidoscopic and confusing assortment of 
mankind here. All want to talk to me, and all retail 
the most astonishing facts. 

War correspondents and artists jostle one another 
to get near Headquarters, and Princes are showered 
upon vis by the dozen. 

A train with the Headquarters Staff has just come 

G 2 


in; the rest come on this evening. It was a great 
pleasure to me to see Albrecht arrive with the 
Hereditary Archduke of Weimar and the Prince of 

Nothing important from the enemy. 

Gottberg was here for twenty-four hours, and 
looked into every arrangement about the disposition 
of the advance force in front of Weisseniburg. 

July 30. 

I have had a frightful lot of work to do, assisted by 
Gottberg, to bring everything into order. Gottberg 
works splendidly, and, compared to his, all my efforts 
are but dilatory and unpractical. From Moltke a 
telegram has come in, ordering us to advance on 
Strassburg if we possibly can do so. 

I cannot, however, comply, for we shall not be 
nearly ready, as the Bavarians will have only half 
completed their preparations by August 2. 

I telegraphed to him that we cannot be ready to 
commence operations before August 3. 

I have not yet received an answer, and for the 
present we remain where we are. 

Speyer, July 31. 

Always the same frightful amount of work to do 
in the office. My door does not remain closed two 
minutes consecutively. The only thing we hear of 
the enemy is through reconnaissances that he is 
en evidence near Weissemburg and Bitsche. 

I shall not be able to write much in my journal, as 
I shall have very little time for it ; moreover, in the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 85 

press of business I shall not have time to concentrate 
my thoughts sufficiently to write coherently, except 
what is absolutely necessary. 

Speyer, August 1. 

To-day things are beginning to settle down ; still, 
every instant somebody comes to see me. To-day at 
six o'clock Colonel Verdy came from the King at 
Mainz, very likely to see how everything was progress- 
ing with us. We had a long conversation upon the 
situation, and are apparently of the same mind. I 
could not, however, conceal from him my opinion that 
the instructions given from Headquarters as regards 
the general idea are very defective, for as far as the 
Third Army is concerned, nothing whatever has been 
said of the role it is to play. 

It has been assigned no task, and as for assuming 
one for ourselves, and at the same time conforming to 
the dispositions of the Headquarters Staff, we have 
not the essential knowledge of the political situation, 
nor do we know what instructions have been issued to 
the other armies. 

To-morrow I shall put my ideas into black and 
white, and communicate with Moltke. Verdy returned 
this evening. To-day is a day of rest. We require 
it, as the Bavarians are not yet complete. 

Speyer, August 2. 

To - morrow we concentrate the several Army 
Corps, and go into bivouac. There they will have 
some rest, and be able to complete equipment. 


To-morrow is Frederick William's birthday. My 
letter to Moltke has gone. 

August 3. 

A quiet day in bivouac. At first arrangements 
were made for an advance to the Lauter to-morrow. 
Then at eleven o'clock we drove to Landau. The 
heat was frightful ; but to-day the sky is somewhat 
more clouded, thank God ! Merry doings at the inn. 
In the evening heavy rain. 

August 4. 

An advance of the whole arm}' to the Lauter. At 
nine o'clock commenced the terrible game of war by an 
attack of the Bavarians on Weissemburg, a defensible 
town in a formidable position on the Weissberg. It 
was, however, only held by one division, with General 
Douay in command. At one o'clock both town and the 
Gaisberg were taken. To-morrow we advance again 
and begin the gruesome work afresh. We had, un- 
fortunately, very heavy loss. 

MacMahon must be in Strassburg. The Fifth Army 
Corps behaved splendidly. 

Soultz, August 5. 

To-day the advance into the country of Soultz took 
place. Terrible heat, but a little wind, so that the 
march was not so trying. Our troops are not all in 
yet; the last ones come in to-night. Good lodgings 
in the chateau of Max Weil, the author. 

The march to-morrow for our army will not be a 
long one. We are leaving this, as MacMahon's troops 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 87 

must be in position in the hills between Reichshofen 
and Woerth, and we make a wheel to the right with 
the whole army to attack the enemy on the 6th, and 
drive him back on the mountains. 

) August 6. 

I had this morning a great lot of work, and em- 
ployed myself in making out a sound plan of opera- 
tions for the next few days. The roads through the 
Vosges as marked in the map must be faithfully 

There is nothing for it but to divide ourselves into 
four columns of march, which has always its draw- 
backs, especially when the several columns are 
separated by intervals of from four to eight miles. 
It is, however, not advisable to march otherwise, else 
we should be losing the advantage we possess in our 
superiority of numbers. 

This morning we heard heavy thunder. It was 
the sound of a violent cannonade. I proposed to the 
Prince, at about eleven o'clock, to ride out, and we 
went at a smart pace towards the sound of firing. 
When we came near Preussdorf it became quite clear 
to me that a great fight* had begun. We sent at 
once the necessary orders to Von der Tann, and to 
Werder and Bose. They had, however, already 
started to march towards the sound of the guns. 

It was a beautiful day with a somewhat clouded 
sky, not too hot, and one could see clearly in all 

The battle which I had expected to take place on 
* The Battle of Woerth. 


the 7th, and for which I had prepared a good scheme 
for the turning of the enemy's right flank, came on 
of itself to-day, and at half -past four we were 

The French are in full flight towards Reichshofen, 
and have left two eagles, some thirty guns, and about 
4,000 prisoners in our hands. 

The losses on both sides are very heavy. Regard- 
ing the powers of the mitrailleuse I have been able 
to glean no particular information. We have, how- 
ever, captured six of them. 

We came in here at nine o'clock, dead-tired, and I 
got to bed at midnight. 

August 7. 

I slept splendidly until six o'clock, and now shall 
be able to work. 

It has been a very hard day, with a great deal to 
do, and I have not been able to quit the office for 
the whole day. A continuous stream of reports, 
inquiries, and so on, until I was nearly beside myself. 
Trains full of wounded and prisoners keep on arriv- 
ing. We must do something to organize the convey- 
ance of them all from the front. 

Gottberg is indefatigable. Soon after nine I got 
to bed and laid myself down perfectly exhausted. 

August 8. 

At six o'clock this morning I was awakened by 
Major von Holleben, who had been sent to me by 
Moltke. The same old story ! Congratulations 
upon the victory ; satisfied with everything ; also 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 89 

much good advice to carry out plans which have been 
carried out long ago. Still, a sort of impatient 
feeling is apparent, as though we ought to be getting 
along more quickly, whereas we have pressed our 
men to the utmost in fact, too much. 

The supply arrangements are not all that could be 
desired. Most of the provision columns are still at 
Berlin, and here in this country very little is to be 

At half -past eight we broke up our bivouac and 
arrived in pelting rain at Mertzwiller. 

As the columns march by themselves, I have now 
some days' rest. My quarters at the house of the 
schoolmaster are very good, but I have to write by 
the simple light of a tallow 'dip.' My host, like 
almost all the people here, speaks German. 

Alsatia is still quite German, and must remain 
German. Strassburg is completely denuded of re- 
gular troops, and will be defended by Garde-mobiles. 
General Beyer is to try a coup de main there to-night, 
but I have serious misgivings, and fear a great loss 
of life. Still, I am not sufficiently acquainted with 
the local conditions to be able to pass an opinion. 
During our ride this morning we had to pass over a 
portion of the battlefield, which presented a ghastly 
spectacle, the fields covered with newly-dug graves, 
corpses of men still unburied, and horses, arms, 
accoutrements, breastplates, and all sorts of equip- 
ment. In the village of Morsdorff a whole regiment 
of Cuirassiers was absolutely wiped out. 

The number of dead and wounded is appalling. I 
dare not allow myself to think about it. 


August 9. 

Early this morning I had a great many letters to 

At eight o'clock we marched on to Ober modern, 
where I am billeted in a very poor quarter, a 
peasant's house. 

We have received reports from Beyer that his 
expedition to Strassburg has failed, as I thought it 
would. They got, however, to the glacis, and 
demanded the surrender of the town. 

I have been poring over maps all day, till I can 
hardly see. 

August 10. 

To-day we marched off at ten o'clock, so as not 
to interrupt the march of the Fifth Army Corps. 

The march over La Petite Pierre was less trying 
than I had expected. The rain, however, poured in 
torrents, and the ground was very slippery. The 
fortress was reconnoitred, and found to have been 
relinquished. Six guns, one mortar, ammunition, and 
provisions, were found. The little fort is really most 
interesting, and was evidently originally built, not for 
the defence of France, but for that of Germany. 
Very picturesque it is. 

Yesterday evening the little fortress of Lichtenberg 
was bombarded by the Wurtemberg troops and forced 
to surrender. Bitsche and Pfalsburg still hold out, 
though the latter was handsomely bombarded by 
General Gersdorf this evening. Both have, there- 
fore, been masked, and the march continued round 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 91 

It is not raining, it is just pouring ! and the poor 
soldiers are all in bivouac. 
On to Petersbach. 

Peter sbach, August 11. 

Incessant rain. It literally pelts. The Second 
Army has pushed its left wing in front of us. We 
are closely packed in each other's way, and I cannot 
conceal from myself the notion that General von 
Moltke has manoeuvred us into a pretty mess, and I 
think that he has incorrect notions of what troops are 
capable of, and of what they can be called upon to 
do and still retain their organization. According to 
my notions the French have retreated behind the 
Moselle. Everything points to that conclusion. 

It cannot be supposed that they will dare, in face of 
our great numerical superiority, to take the offensive 
against us. They will take up a defensive position. 

I should advance to the Moselle on a broader front, 
and not keep the columns so crowded together, send 
strong advanced guards a day's march ahead, and 
then concentrate upon the spot where reconnaissances 
have shown the enemy to be in position. This 
crowded order of march fatigues the troops most 

We have thrown forward the Eleventh Army Corps 
towards Saarburg in order to advance thence upon 
Luneville, to cross the river above Nancy, and gain 
the enemy's flank. 

The Cavalry Division is on ahead, and will doubt- 
less reach Luneville and Moyenic to-morrow. 

From six o'clock in the morning (when a com- 


munication came in from Moltke) till twelve I have 
been writing, and my brain is quite muddled. 

The barometer is rising, but it is still very wet and 

My quarters and bed are good. Yesterday I 
unfortunately got an attack of diarrhoea, due to 
eating too much bread and drinking too much 

It seems to be better to-day. 

To-morrow we remain here. We must not change 
the location of Headquarters too much, or we shall 
have no time to work. 

To-day we got information that Beyer had been 
ordered from the King's Headquarters to move on 
Strassburg to invest it. 

Reinforcements are promised him from home. 
To-morrow morning I am sending an engineer 
officer there, Schultz by name. 

It is of the utmost political importance that we 
take Strassburg. Everything here must in the future 
be German. I never hear anything but German 
spoken here never a French word. Everything is 
German although we are in Lorraine. 

The Crown Prince is always cheery, always kind 
and considerate. It is a real pleasure to serve with 

August 12. 

Incessant rain. The poor troops must be suffering 

To-day all the corps pass over the Saar ; at least, 
that is our intention. For to-morrow a further 
advance is commanded. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 93 

August 13. 

At last we have fine weather, but very hot, and a 
most trying march to Saarburg, where I have got a 
very good lodging at the house of a rich widow. 

At last we have news from Paris. In the House of 
Legislature there was a very stormy debate yesterday. 
According to all accounts, the French appear to be 
withdrawing from Metz of their own accord. 

I really believe that the French Army is so 
demoralized by our victories that they will not make 
another stand, but will only fight when driven back 
on Paris. That will take another three weeks, and 
much may happen in that time. I fancy that there 
may not be another fight. In fourteen days there will 
be neither an Emperor nor an army. 

I received a very charming letter from General von 
Moltke, from which I gather that the King is very 
much pleased with us. 

We are now up in line almost with the Second 
Army, but we ought to have a day's halt soon. It is 
becoming too severely trying. It is significant, as 
General von Moltke wrote to me, that the Prince 
Imperial has been sent to London. 

It is difficult, without a more perfect acquaintance 
with the country, to arrange the day's marches so that 
they can be carried out without a hitch. The roads 
lead so widely apart. 

August 14. 

At eight o'clock this morning the Prince sent 
General von Werder to Strassburg to take up the 
command of the siege. 


At nine o'clock we rode in great heat to Blamont, 
where I have got an excellent billet in a castle near 
an old ruin. 

According to Count Solms, who has received a 
letter from Count Bismarck, the political situation is 
very favourable to us, and the neutrality of the Great 
Powers is assured, since Russia is friendly. 

We receive news continually confirming the reports 
of the disorganization of the French armies. It is 
almost a matter of certainty that the enemy is 
withdrawing his troops from the neighbourhood of 

Pfalsburg has been bombarded almost the whole 
day by General von Tumpling, but refuses to 
surrender. On the other hand, the Second Bavarian 
Army Corps fired fifteen shots at the small fort at 
Marsal, whereupon it capitulated. We captured 
three hundred prisoners and several guns. To- 
morrow we proceed. I am impatiently waiting for 
instructions for future operations beyond the Moselle 
and westwards. 

August 15. 

At eight o'clock we made a start in scorching 
heat and arrived in Luneville at half-past twelve. 
Luneville is a frightfully ugly town with straight 
streets. A cool north wind there made the heat 
bearable. In the afternoon Lieutenant von Stulpnagle 
returned from the King's Headquarters, and brought 
us news of a fresh victory won by General von 
Steinmetz near Metz. The inhabitants of this place 
knew of the fight, but talked of it as a victory for 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 95 

the French ; their downcast countenances, however, 
belied their words. 

The rest-day that we asked for has been granted us 
for to-morrow. 

The Second Bavarian Corps alone goes to Nancy. 
We have found large stores of provisions here. The 
Mayor endeavoured to conceal the fact, but was made 
to divulge by means of threats. 

We are living in the inn here very comfortably and 
faring well. 

August 16. 

Another very hard day's work, as marching orders 
had to be prepared for the days from the 19th onward, 
to include the advance on the Meuse. 

As we intended to go to Nancy to-morrow, His Royal 
Highness decided, after to-day's work had been finished, 
to push on this evening, in order to drive in with the 
King to-morrow to Pont-a-Mousson. It was a beauti- 
ful drive, though somewhat tedious, as we had a troop 
of Uhlans with us as escort, and these had to be 
spared. At ten o'clock at night we arrived here in 
Nancy, and put up at the Hotel de France. The town 
is full of Bavarians belonging to the Second Army 

Nancy ^ August 17. 

This morning at a quarter past seven we wanted to 
start, when the orderly from the King's Headquarters 
arrived and reported that a great battle had been 
fought by the Third and Tenth Army Corps in front 
of Metz. The French have retired in good order 
upon Metz. The King sent word to us that a decisive 


battle would be fought to-day, and, if we wished to 
be present, horses would be in waiting for us at Gorze 
near Metz. 

The Crown Prince w r ould have greatly liked to be 
present at such an important battle,* but it became 
my duty to support him in his resolution to deny 
himself. It is his duty to remain with his army, for 
everything may not go according to our expectations, 
and some important decision may have to be taken, in 
which case his absence would, to say the least, be 

Here, therefore, we are waiting the issue in no small 
perturbation of spirit. 

Yesterday Toul was bombarded by the Fourth Army 
Corps, and some sort of an assault delivered military 
buffoonery ! 

The French officials, Mayors, etc., worry me terribly 
with their reports of ' starvation,' ' want of bakeries,' 
and with correspondence, applications for permits, etc. 

Nancy, August 18. 

The whole day long we have waited here in the inn, 
in no small agitation, in hopes of getting some news 
from Headquarters. 

I dictated instruction for general officers command- 
ing and orders of march up to the 20th. In the after- 
noon I was fortunate enough to get a walk in the 

* Gravelotte. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 97 

Nancy, August 19. 

At last Major von Hahnke, who was sent to Head- 
quarters to watch the operations for us, has come back. 
He returned at 5.30 this morning. 

It seems to have been a hard tussle, to which dark- 
ness alone put an end. The Prussian Army has won 
about two miles of ground, and I have no doubt that 
it will bring the matter to a successful conclusion 

No orders have we received. General Podbielski 
has, however, informed us that we should remain on 
the spot where we are. That would only be taking 
half -measures. We must press forward and leave 
the line of the Meuse and the defiles behind us, and 
obtain possession of the great southern railway lines. 
The Crown Prince wished to concentrate and move 
backwards one march. There would be no object 
gained by such a move, for we should not be able to 
determine the issue of the battle any better there than 
here. We must move forwards ; else the moral of 
the army will suffer. 

The Mayor keeps on worrying me with complaints. 
' We demand too much of him, and the townsmen 
declare that they have nothing.' All work is at a 

The streets are crowded with men, and every coffee 
and beer house is full. 

To-day I saw a beautiful picture-gallery in the 
Hotel de Ville, which is built like a palace. Albrecht 
and I went there together. The Mayor has lied to 
me like a fiend. As soon as we arrived, he informed 
me that the town had no supplies, and that it would 



be starved. I ordered up twenty -five military bakers, 
and made them bake bread for the town from the 
supplies which we had requisitioned, and now I learn 
this evening that a magazine with 3,000 centners of 
oats and a large quantity of meal has been discovered. 

At ten o'clock in the evening Captain Lenke came 
back from Pont-a-Mousson, bringing news that the 
French had retired under the fortress of Metz, and so 
no fight had taken place. 

We decided to move headquarters to-morrow to 
Vaucouleurs, and ourselves drive to meet the King. 

August 20. 

Starting at half -past six this morning, in company 
with the Crown Prince, we drove through the beautiful 
valley of the Moselle to Pont-k-Mousson. The King 
was especially graciously disposed towards me and told 
me how inexpressibly overjoyed he felt at the victory 
gained by the Crown Prince, a matter of the weightiest 
consideration for himself, and of the utmost impor- 
tance to his son's future. 

The King was intensely strained by the fatigues of 
the campaign, and had become quite nervous. What 
affected him most were the terrible losses among the 
officers in the battle of the 18th. 

He complained bitterly that the officers of the 
higher grades appeared to have forgotten all that had 
been taught them so carefully at manoeuvres, and had 
apparently all lost their heads. 

Battles like that we could not stand for long. The 
King appeared concerned about the operations leading 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 99 

up to the battle, but kept returning to and harping 
upon the losses of his brave officers, and among them 
his dearest. Moltke was cold and calm, as always, 
and was not troubled with cares, a state of mind I 
cannot share with him. I have had a talk with 
Preskow and many others. At one o'clock we started 
for home, got something to eat at Nancy, and then, 
traversing the beautiful country of St. Vincent and 
Colombey, arrived at Vaucouleurs, on the Meuse. 
Shortly after passing through Colombey we came 
upon the columns on the march, and could hardly get 
past. We reached this about ten o'clock, and found 
the Staff already installed here. 

We accomplished fifty-six miles in our drive. It 
was exceedingly cold, and I am afraid that I have 
caught a chill. 

August 21. 

To-day is a blessed day of rest. 

I am billeted on a Jew, and don't like it. 

There has been little to do to-day, and it really is 
a day of rest. I took a walk among the hills. 

Yesterday a lot of volunteer ambulance men and 
hospital bearers gave trouble and annoyed me very 
much. I have restored order among them, and am 
determined to give short shrift to any of them in the 
future that cannot behave themselves ; otherwise there 
will be some glaring breach of the articles of the 
Geneva Convention. I should like to see all the 
stimulants that have been sent up to us dropped into 
the river. The gang of these fellows with us is far 
too large, and most difficult to keep in order. They 
will cause great confusion among our people. 


Two more Princes have just come in. There will 
soon be the full dozen at Headquarters. The last 
comers are the Duke of Augustenburg and Prince 
Hermann von Weimar. 

In the evening orders arrived from the King's 
Headquarters for a further advance ; to-morrow I 
will make out the orders of march, and the following 
day we shall start. 


(Renowned through Joan of Arc), 

August 22. 

It took the whole of the forenoon to work out the 
tables for the marches of the next few days, as we 
have to place ourselves on the line St. Mard-Vitry, 
the portion of the army under the Crown Prince of 
Saxony (the 4th, the 12th A.C. and the Guards) 
being on our right in the neighbourhood of Mene- 
hould. At eleven o'clock the general officers com- 
manding were summoned to meet here. 

The Crown Prince read through to them the special 
instructions which have been issued with regard to 
the conduct of battle operations, and spoke on other 
essential subjects, such as the delivery of orders, 
replacing casualties, etc. 

We then breakfasted with him. I had a great 
deal of talking to do, but not much work. 

The weather has become exceedingly cold. Many 
officers have an attack of something like cholera, and 
I am troubled with cold and headache, and pains in 
the stomach as well. 

Towards evening one of our spies came in and 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 101 

brought news of socialistic tendencies and republican 
sentiments which are beginning to make themselves 
felt at Muhlhausen, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Nice, re- 
quiring the presence of French soldiers at all these 

What will be the outcome of all this chaos no one 
can tell. All I know is that we are going to march 
straight on Paris, and that is God's will. 

We have already 500,000 troops in France, and if 
we have to fight a great battle at Chalons or Epernay 
we hope to be able to bring another 400,000 up 
towards Paris. I am much exercised to know how 
matters will go at Chalons, and whether we shall be 
able to mask the fortifications around that place, or 
get hold of the hills near Epernay, and so threaten 
the flank and rear of the foe. 

Ligny, August 23. 

Early this morning, at six o'clock, in heavy rain, 
we marched out and arrived here, where we are 
quartered in an old tumbledown castle in the centre 
of the town. I have a good room, and, what is better 
still, a good bed. 

The enemy appears to be still round Chalons. Our 
cavalry has got into touch with him. 

In the evening the news came from Moltke that 
the French had quitted Chalons, and that we must 
again form front in the direction of Paris. This 
entailed a change in our order of march. The whole 
of the cavalry had to be thrown forward, and the 
Sixth Army Corps directed on Joinville. 


August 24. 

At noon to-day Moltke came to us here, as the 
King's Headquarters are moving on Bar-le-Duc. We 
discussed everything. 

Shortly before he arrived the report came in from 
the Sixth Cavalry Division that the greater part of 
the French had left the entrenched camp at Chalons, 
and had retired on Rheims. It seems as though they 
mean to take up a position to a flank which we cannot 
pass, and one from which they will be able, if neces- 
sary, to relieve Metz. The idea is not a bad one, but 
if they are attacked and beaten it is all up with them. 
In the evening we received information which con- 
firmed the news. The peasants are beginning to take 
up arms, and in the neighbourhood of Eclaron have 
shot three men and a horse. There were Garde- 
mobiles there. 

To-morrow we shall get more reliable information, 
and then we shall know more about the matter. We 
shall be obliged to concentrate more on our right 
flank. At three o'clock the King came and break- 
fasted with us, and his staff with him. He looked 
quite well again and cheerful a right soldierlike 
presence. Two hundred iron crosses were presented, 
one of which fell to me. 

The weather is somewhat warmer, but now it is 
beginning to rain. 

Ligny, August 25. 

Our Cavalry Division is already in Chalons. The 
camp is deserted, and the enemy has, as was supposed, 
withdrawn to Rheims. Almost immediately after 


we had sent out our orders for a rest-day there 
arrived, at about two o'clock, an order from Moltke 
telling us to move somewhat more to the right, and 
rest our right wing on Givry in Argonne, our left 
being at Changy, two miles from Vitry. I must 
accordingly prepare fresh orders for the march, but 
I do hope that we shall be able to procure a day's 
rest on the 27th. 

The Crown Prince has got a touch of diarrhoea, and 
looks much pulled down. I, too, in company with 
many others, am suffering a good deal from pains 
in the stomach. 

The French appear to be actually halted at Rheims. 

To-day is the birthday of the King of Bavaria. 

At last I have received a letter from my wife. 

August 26. 

In the night I received a communication from 
General von Moltke, to the effect that the enemy 
appears to have quitted Rheims, and to be marching 
in a north-westerly direction. It is, however, only 
known through newspapers and sources of such-like 
description, which are quite unreliable. No change 
in our disposition will be necessary. 

At ten o'clock the Staff marched in here. The 
First and Second Bavarian Army Corps had received 
orders from the King to stand still for the present. 
No positive information of the enemy has as yet 
come in, but a number of rumours are current that 
MacMahon, with about 110,000 men, has broken out 
from Rheims, utilizing the railway to a certain extent. 


It appears likely that MacMahon wishes to march 
round us towards the north and give a hand to 
Bazaine, who will then make a sortie from Metz. 

That portion of the army under the Crown Prince 
of Saxony (Guard and Fourth and Twelfth Army 
Corps) has already received orders to march off 
through Varennes in the direction of Damvillers. 
The First and Second Bavarian Corps received the 
order to follow forthwith. The Third Army was to 
be left free to continue its march direct on Paris, as 
it was considered to be sufficiently strong in itself 
for the movement. This I could not assent to, but 
I told them that we ought also to be there, and 
should march on St. Menehold. If the enemy is 
beaten, we could cut off his retreat at Vouziers, and 
afterwards reach Paris quite soon enough. The King 
approved, and as soon as we reached this (about three 
o'clock) I immediately set to work to get the neces- 
sary orders out for the march. 

In the evening we had the prisoner of war, Major 
von Vitry, to dinner. He was dressed in plain clothes, 
and looked like a cobbler. I should not wonder if 
he is a spy. 

The Crown Prince is so unwell that he has had to 
go to bed. 

August 27. 

No further news from Moltke except that it has 
been ascertained by reconnaissances that the enemy is 
in strength with all three arms near Grandpre. I 
can only suppose this is a flanking party. To-morrow 
the points of our columns will be in touch, and then 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 105 

we shall hear more about it. The task we have set 
ourselves may bring about good results. I am 
writing orders for to-morrow's march, and instruc- 
tions for the general officers commanding. The most 
unfavourable turn affairs could take would be that 
MacMahon should throw himself now with his whole 
strength upon us. We should only be able to oppose 
some 80,000 men to him, as we have no supports 
handy within twelve or sixteen miles. 

He, however, must be quite ignorant of our march, 
and believes us to be on the way to Paris. 

My stomach-aches have been exceedingly trouble- 
some ; I think they are due to a chill and to this 
country wine, which I must avoid in future, in spite 
of the unquenchable thirst which is always on 

The Crown Prince is, unfortunately, still in bed, but 
always genial and cheery. It is frightfully cold, and 
I am shivering in spite of the woollen jacket which I 
have donned. 

Si. Menehold, August 28. 

The continual stream of ever-varied reports causes 
endless changes in our dispositions for the marches. 
They give me incessant work, for I always try to 
bring every man I have under cover for the night. 

During these continuous rains, and owing to the 
almost incredible tenacity of the mud in this Cham- 
pagne country, this precaution is all the more 

I was awakened at half-past four this morning, 
and had to alter all my plans and cut short the 


day's march owing to the dispositions made by His 

We only move on to-day as far as the Tourbe, a 
matter of about twelve miles. 

At eight o'clock I drove into St. Menehold with 
the Crown Prince, who is not completely recovered 
yet. Here we received reports from our Cavalry 
Division. Vouziers has been evacuated by the enemy ; 
so has Grandpre. The enemy has withdrawn in a 
north-easterly direction, most likely towards Le 
Chesne. What he means by this move it is hard to 
tell, for in two marches he will be on the Belgian 
frontier, we in pursuit, prepared to surround him with 
the two armies. Can he escape us, and if so, in what 
direction ? Shall we get him to fight at last ? That, 
perhaps, is within the knowledge of the gods. 

At five o'clock, after Brandenstein, who had come 
here from the King's Headquarters, had departed, I 
sent out orders for to-morrow's march. 

At nine o'clock the plan was changed, and a 
scheme substituted which upset all my arrangements, 
and tied me once more to the desk. My stomach is 
better, but the pains are not all gone yet. I have a 
beautiful quarter in the Prefet's house, but, alas ! to- 
morrow I have to leave it. 

August 29. 

Early this morning, at half-past twelve, I was 
awakened by Herr von Notiz, who brought me from 
the King's Headquarters a communication containing 
a new disposition of the forces. Everything was 
again altered. We had to work out the scheme, and 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 107 

then write and issue orders, which lasted us till three 
o'clock in the morning. 

According to my way of thinking, it is an immense 
error to keep continually making changes with every 
new report which comes in. The information is for 
the most part unreliable, or exaggerated and misin- 
terpreted, and continuous alterations create a sort 
of nervous uncertainty which soon communicates 
itself to the troops. 

At nine o'clock I drove with the Crown Prince, 
and after many delays, caused by meeting the 
columns on the march, we arrived here at Sanluc on 
the Aisne, a pleasant little village. 

On our arrival Moltke met us with the news that 
the French had got away, but soon word was brought 
in from our Cavalry Division which threw doubt 
on this report. The worst of it was that Moltke had 
kept back the Bavarian and the Sixth Corps, and had 
directed them elsewhere, which he now much regretted. 

I drove with him to the King's Headquarters at 
Grandpre, where many reports had come in, from 
which we gathered that the enemy is really retiring 
on Le Chesne, but is making a stand in considerable 
strength near Busancy. The various conjectures as 
to what he meant to do were instructive. I fancy 
that he recognises that we are on his heels and are 
too strong for him, and so he is retreating north- 
wards, and then will try to get away to the west. 

I counselled to grapple with him early to-morrow 
morning, and this is to take place. 

I cannot, however, receive my orders till well on 
into the night. 


August 30. 

The orders from the King's Headquarters came to 
me in the night again, and tore me out of my first 
and sweetest sleep. It was very much against the 
grain that I got up and spent hours and hours of the 
night working with head and hand. I then had to 
carry everything to the Crown Prince, whom, much 
against my will, I was obliged to disturb. It is 
supposed that the enemy is at Stonne Beaumont, and 
the intention here is to attack him. The pity is that 
we are still twelve miles from him, and therefore 
owing to want of time the fruits of victory may not 
be fully reaped. Reports are coming in from all 

The army marched off at a very early hour ; the 
Staff, however, did not get away till eight o'clock, as 
we had not got through our work until that time, 
The Prince and I, both somewhat unfit, drove in our 
carriage as far as Brinquelles ; then we mounted our 
horses and rode forward with the Staff. For the 
first two hours we took up our position on a very 
commanding spot near Givemont, and afterwards 
moved forward to St. Pierremont, where Kirchbach's 
corps was advancing against the very formidable 
though picturesque position of Stonne. 

The French had selected this position as one 
almost impregnable, and felt quite safe in it. We 
did not, however, give them the pleasure they sought, 
for we did not advance against it until their left at 
Beaumont had been driven in. Then we took pos- 
session of the heights almost without a shot fired. 
It was about half -past four. From there we had a 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 109 

magnificent view of the country around, and for a 
long time, until darkness set in, we stood watching 
the fight gradually developing between the Fourth 
Corps at Mouzon and our First Bavarian Corps. 

It was a spectacle never to be forgotten, the 
weather so beautiful and so clear, cold but perfect, 
and we could hardly tear ourselves from the spot. 
We rode away with the feeling of victory assured, 
and that, too, without much sacrifice of life, and we 
reached St. Pierremont in the dark, the moon being 
in her first quarter. 

St. Pierremont is a miserable peasant village, and 
we found quarters in the modest house of the priest, 
and had to put up with sponge-cakes for supper, as 
our baggage had not arrived. 

The remainder of the enemy's troops will doubtless 
retire across the Meuse, but what he will do then 
the gods alone know. I think that we shall either 
cut him off or drive him over the Belgian frontier. 

August 31. 

Last night again I was awakened at one o'clock y 
and had to work out the scheme for the disposition 
of my troops. At seven o'clock I rose, having a 
dreadful headache. 

At eight o'clock we rode out once more to the 
heights above Stonne. There for two hours we 
gazed upon that wonderful scene, and in the distance 
could hear the angry roll of cannon, and could see 
clouds of smoke, which betokened that the fight was 
about to be renewed to-day. Then gradually the 
smoke disappeared, and about mid-day we rode off 


and arrived here in Chemery, where we have got a 
very indifferent quarter in a brewery. 

We had sent some of our Princes, accompanied by 
officers, to every corps, and to the Crown Prince of 
Saxony also. 

The weather is perfectly beautiful, but somewhat 
too cold for me, and the chill of the rooms makes 
my head ache. 

In the afternoon General von Moltke was with me. 
He came in rubbing his hands, with a sardonic smile 
on his face, and said, ' Now we have them in a 
mouse-trap.' Later on in the evening arrived a 
communication from him saying that it would be 
better to attack the enemy somewhat earlier than my 
dispositions already published had provided for, so as 
to prevent him slipping out of the mesh. Orders 
were therefore given in the night to rush the bridges 
in the dark, and to press forward immediately with 
the Eleventh and Fifth Army Corps in the direction 
of the Mezieres- Sedan road, and then to attack the 
enemy trying to retreat westwards. Officers were 
sent out in every direction, and I wrote to the Crown 
Prince of Saxony to ask him not to press his advance 
too rapidly, in order that we might have time to close 
the net. 

September L 

Soon after four o'clock in the morning, we (the 
Crown Prince Frederick and I neither of us wholly 
recovered) set out in our carriage, and reached the 
ever- memorable height above Donchery about six 
o'clock, whence we were able to overlook almost the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 111 

whole of the terrain upon which the battle was to 
rage, and from whence we could despatch necessary 
reinforcements to any part of the field. The King 
placed himself, shortly after, upon a neighbouring hill 
about a mile south-east of us, where he remained the 
whole day. Both points of observation were beyond 
the range of shot, and it became very difficult for me 
to restrain the Prince from going in closer. As far 
as the selection of the place was concerned, there 
could be no two opinions, but the Prince could not 
brook seeing the fight going on and he not taking part in 
it. I cannot deny that that was my own feeling, too ; 
but I am now old enough to be able to restrain such 
youthful ardour, and am quite content to find myself 
looking on at this sort of thing, in calm serenity, from 
a safe distance. 

From the very outset it was unmistakably evident 
that we were bound to win ; still, at every temporary 
repulse of our people, which was quite easy to follow, 
owing to the clearly marked lines of smoke, there 
rose in the hearts of the exalted personages and their 
entourage cares and anxieties which were almost 
laughable to those having a clearer insight into the 

At ten o'clock the Crown Prince of Saxony was 
evidently making his forward move, and was gaining 
ground ; our Eleventh Army Corps, too, was beginning 
to enter into the fight at St. Menges. At that moment 
1 was able to say to the Crown Prince, ' Now the battle 
is won, the enemy will either be captured or annihilated.' 
A great many agreed with me, but there were still 
several unbelievers and manv anxious faces. 


It was a grand fight ; the presence of a thick mist 
favoured our advance. We, however, were able from 
our vantage-ground to follow it in spite of the mist. 

The delivery of the attack was of a simple nature. 
The troops were given their line of advance from the 
outset, and there was no further interference necessary, 
except in some cases of minor importance. 

After the mist had blown away, it became quite 
clear, and the spectacle of the combat in this magnifi- 
cent panorama defies all description. 

From our post we could see the greater part of the 
enemy's position. The continuous attacks of the 
French cavalry, abortive as they were, upon our 
infantry made one's heart beat. Looking so long 
through the telescope made my eyes quite sore, and 
rendered me at last half blind. The encircling armies 
gradually drew the net tighter and tighter round the 
foe, and at five o'clock, whilst we were watching the 
flight of the enemy towards the fortress, the cannon 
ceased firing altogether. 

We now rode to meet the King, whom we found 
quite calm and serene, with a very pleased expression 
on his face, whilst his eyes were directed upon the 
town. He was on the point of ordering all the 
artillery available to be concentrated upon the town, 
and then, after a half-hour's cannonade, he intended 
to demand its surrender. After a very short fire from 
the Bavarian batteries a flag of truce appeared. It 
was from General Reille, an officer known to many of 
ours. Shortly afterwards he came himself with a letter 
from the Emperor, who was in the fortress. In a few 
words the Emperor proffered his sword in token of 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 113 

surrender. Then took place a consultation regarding 
the terms, and in half an hour the whole of the 
French Army was handed over to us, prisoners of 
war, in accordance with the conditions of capitula- 
tion. To such an event as this history can hardly 
find a parallel. 

Our trophies are enormous, and at present cannot 
properly be estimated. The excitement and exaltation 
are prodigious, but I cannot say that that is the effect 
it has produced on me. 

It was quite dark when the Prince and I entered the 
carriage and drove back to our quarters in Chemery. 

September 2. 

I slept magnificently. At eight o'clock we drove 
out to our point of observation of yesterday. 

Upon the highroad we met Moltke, from whom we 
learnt that Louis Napoleon had arrived in Donchery 
in the early morning, and there, in a simple workman's 
hut, had sat and talked with Bismarck for several 
hours. The mighty are fallen indeed, though I cannot 
say that I have much pity for this one. For the 
insolence with which he treated our King and country, 
and for having provoked this war, he is now justly 

We awaited the King for some time, and then drove 
with him to our height of yesterday, where much 
time was lost in talk. Eeports and messages arrived 
in shoals. The two Staffs and a number of other 
inquisitive officers formed quite a crowd. Soon after 
one or two o'clock we mounted our horses and rode to 



the Castle of Sedan, where the King had a short 
interview with the Emperor, now deeply bowed down 
with grief. Unfortunately, I was unable to be present, 
as the King had sent me a mass of papers captured 
from the enemy, which I had to read through and 
report upon as soon as possible. I sat on a barrel 
whilst doing this. 

Arrangements were made for the transportation of 
the Emperor, through Belgium by Bouillon and Aix, 
to Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel. The move was carried 
out that afternoon. The gala carriages and horses 
accompanied and escorted by Prussian cavalry, the 
Emperor in his carriage hardly once raising his eyes, 
whilst the cavalcade moved at a slow pace through 
the lines of the Fifth and the Eleventh Corps, must 
have been an extraordinary sight. This spectacle, 
also, I was unable to witness, as I had to remain in 
my quarters with a great deal of work to do ; in fact, 
my hands were quite full with dispositions for the 
troops for the next few days, as now, leaving behind 
two Army Corps and the Fourth Cavalry Division to 
escort the French prisoners of war out of Sedan, we 
are to march straight on to Paris. 

My billet in Donchery, at the house of a brewer's 
widow, Houbilot by name, was very good. The 
Prince was accommodated in the same house. The 
whole place is choked with waggons, troops, wounded, 
etc., which is very unpleasant. In the church 700 
prisoners were incarcerated. 

The Crown Prince and nearly all the officers rode 
off to the town and the bivouacs, all so excited and 
dying to satisfy their curiosity. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 115 

I sat alone at home to collect reports and frame 
orders. Towards evening the rain descended in 
torrents, and at about nine o'clock the Prince came 
in drenched to the skin. The King must have 
reached his quarters in Vendressa at about midnight. 
How it is possible for a man of his age (seventy-four 
years) to stand the amount of fatigue and excitement 
that he does is to me a marvel. 

September 3. 

A frightfully rainy day, and I with so much to do 
that I could not set foot outside Donchery, in spite 
of my great desire to see Sedan and the captured 

After everything had been carried out with such 
precision up to date, suddenly there set in the wildest 
confusion in the communication of orders, which 
nearly drove me mad with annoyance. It was indeed 
too distressing. The written orders of Moltke and 
Podbielski did not tally with the orders communi- 
cated verbally ; in short, it looked as though they 
had intended to bring chaos and confusion into our 
counsels, then to withdraw and let the thing work but 
its own salvation. My verbal orders had been for 
General Schulz to take over the captured war material, 
and General Bernardi the arrangements for the trans- 
port of the prisoners. 

There was nobody told off to take charge of all 
the arrangements in chief, and I have no idea who 
has brought the prisoners out of the fortress, or even 
whether they have been brought out at all. 

In the evening there came some of the captured 



officers, among them General Ducrot and De Failly, 
and gave expression to their wishes in various forms, 
which, however, we were unable to comply with, 
owing to the fact that the terms of the capitulation 
had not yet been settled. In a word, it was a most 
dreadful chaos. I wrote about it to Moltke late in 
the evening, and just as I was getting into my bed 
an officer came from Mezieres, despatched by the 
Commandant, to get a convoy of provisions for the 
prisoners escorted to them. The poor beggars were 
nearly starving. There must have been about 60,000 
or 70,000, with about 10,000 horses. The particulars 
of this affair only came to light later on. 

September 4. 

I was heartily glad when Donchery was left in our 
rear. I drove with the Crown Prince twenty-two 
miles, and almost the whole time along the flanks of 
the columns marching on towards Paris. It was very 
beautiful and exhilarating weather. Somewhere about 
two o'clock we arrived in Attigny, a small village 
which had suffered terribly from having so many 
troops quartered in it. Our host, a worthy solicitor, 
complained bitterly of the misery of his fellow- 
townsmen, who now would have no bread to eat. It 
is not altogether as bad as he made out, for these 
fellows know precious well how to hide away their 

My work has very much diminished, and is now 
confined almost to the drafting of the day's orders. 

Thank God the Crown Prince is now almost well 
again, and is quite cheerful and always kind. I have 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 117 

had many most interesting conversations with him 
in the carriage on topics of both military and political 
moment. He talks a good deal himself, and also 
listens to what another has to say. He likes one not 
only to converse, but to argue freely. 

September 5. 

At eight o'clock in the morning we drove out, and 
arrived in most beautiful weather at the village of 
Warmeriville, in the Champagne country. We had 
a rendezvous in a little wood with the whole Staff, 
and by mid-day came in here, where we were well 
received by a rich linen-spinner. In this beautiful 
warm weather the halt in a country house is very 
pleasant. I had very little to do ; still I could not 
get over my bad humour. The peasants about here 
seem quiet and harmless, though our troops have had 
to burn down some of their villages, from which the 
peasants had fired upon them. 

September 6. 

At eight o'clock this morning we drove here to 
Rheims, the old coronation city of France, with its 
famous cathedral and its more famous champagne. 
We were billeted at the house of the Widow Berle- 
Cliquot, a palace in its way, in which we were 
all installed in the most princely fashion. 

At dejeuner there was a champagne standing on 
the table the equal to which I have never tasted in my 
life. It is made from specially-selected grapes, and 
is reserved exclusively for the use of the family 


Immediately after our arrival we reported ourselves 
to the King, who was quartered in the palace of the 
Archbishop. We were there until mid-day. After 
lunch Prince Bismarck read a despatch from Paris, 
according to which a new Ministry had been formed, 
composed of members of the Extreme Left (Red 
Republicans), and the Legislative Assembly had been 
closed. The Republic has not yet been proclaimed, 
but it is actually in existence. What will come of 
it the gods alone know ! Bismarck said to me that 
we need no longer dread any interference on the part 
of the diplomatics. There should be no question of 
negotiations. To-morrow we march forward on 
Paris. The Staff remains a couple of days longer 

September 7. 

To-day was a very quiet day for me, and, as it was 
raining hard, I did not go out, except to have a look 
at the very beautiful cathedral with its glorious 

At mid-day there was a banquet at the Crown 
Prince's table, to which the King and his Staff were 
invited. There is no particular news to chronicle, 
except a vague rumour that the French have en- 
deavoured to break out of Metz once more. The 
heads of our columns are about forty miles in front 
of us on the way to Paris. We shall have, however, 
to remain halted a few days to allow the Crown 
Prince of Saxony with his army to come up into line. 
He started later than we, but in addition he makes 
shorter marches. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 119 

September 8. 

This day was a very interesting one to me, for 
Prince Bismarck came and sat with me for half an hour,, 
and talked a great deal about the position of affairs. 

He seems to me not exactly to view the situation 
as I do. My opinion is that we ought not to allow 
ourselves to be influenced by the threats of foreign 
Powers, but should treat the French as a conquered 
army, and demoralize them to the utmost of our 
ability. We ought so to crush them that they will 
not be able to breathe for a hundred years. I was, 
on the other hand, overjoyed to notice, from what he 
said, that the question of the annexation of Alsatia 
and Lorraine (or a great part of it) was looked upon as 
a settled matter. 

Bismarck talked very openly, and is by no means 
the reserved statesman that some appear to think. 
It may be that in the course of his weighty conversa- 
tion he is able to keep such control over his speech as 
to convey this impression. 

I took a walk through the town. In the evening 
the King came to tea with the Crown Prince. 

Boursault, September 9. 

During the last few days in Rheims we have had 
extremely wet weather and many thunderstorms. 
The Staff marched out at eight o'clock, and at ten 
o'clock I drove with the Crown Prince to have audience 
with the King, where we heard very interesting details, 
but nothing new of sufficient importance to alter the 


Moltke said to me that we ought to proceed by 
easy marches, so as not to leave the Crown Prince 
of Saxony too far in rear. He had, however, no 
objection to our advancing as far as Meaux, and there 
halting ; for then we should be in a position to march 
into Paris immediately, should circumstances demand 
it; and, furthermore, we would have a start, if 
required, on the other side of the Seine. 

In pouring rain we drove, with an escort of Wurtem- 
berg Cavalry, through Epernay to this place, where 
is situated the very imposing Castle of Boursault, 
belonging to the Due de Mortemar, who is married to 
a grand- daughter of Cliquot. Almost the whole of 
the Staff is quartered in the castle, and I inhabit the 
state room, and sleep in a bed caparisoned almost 
entirely with silk. 

September 10. 

The severe equinoctial gales of the last few days 
appear to have abated. The sojourn in this princely 
and romantic Castle of Boursault is very pleasant. 
After dinner the whole of the company assembles in 
the reception-rooms and makes life go very merrily, in 
spite of the momentous events in hand. 

In the afternoon I took a ride through the park and 
in the hills. I have an inexpressible longing to be 
alone at times. 

September 11. 

Early this morning there came, among other 
despatches, a communication from Count von Bis- 
marck to the effect that two workmen had started 


from London with the intention of assassinating the 
Crown Prince. It is supposed that his recent victories 
promise too great a future for him, and it is therefore 
desirable that he should be removed. 

I must have a talk with Gottberg, with a view to 
getting measures taken for the better protection of 

There are also various warning cries as to the 
reception we are likely to meet with upon our entry 
into Paris. It was the same when we were marching 
upon Diippel and upon Koniggratz. It is all vanity, 
and should a detachment of our troops be entrapped, 
or blown up by a mine, it can have no influence upon 
the progress of events. 

I called the officers of the General Staff together 
to-day, to give them a resume of the operations. I 
afterwards drove out with the Crown Prince through 
the park to the Jagerhaus. The air was so deliciously 
refreshing that when we came home I took a ride 
with Viebahn and Damery. 

After dinner, in the evening, we had the band and 
a reunion. We heard that there had been a serious 
explosion of powder at Laon, and were very anxious 
about it. 

September 12. 

This morning at 8.30 we left beautiful Boursault in 
magnificent weather. We still travel in a carriage, 
although the Prince is quite recovered. It was a 
beautiful drive through a rich country, reminding 
one of Westphalia. 

At 1.30 we reached Montmirail, a little town with 


an old castle belonging to the Due de la Rochefou- 

Here we are very comfortable, in spite of the fact 
that the owner has fled, carrying with him the greater 
part of his goods. 

From the point of our column we received to-day 
newspapers from Meaux. They contained a great 
deal of interesting matter from Paris. 

There was also for the Crown Prince and myself a 
somewhat unpleasant surprise, namely, the letter 
written by the King of Prussia to the Queen after 
the Battle of Sedan. The battle is very shortly 
described therein, and nothing whatever is said of the 
presence of the Crown Prince's army ; in fact, one 
would suppose that it was not there at all, when the 
truth is that it was the Third Army which struck the 
decisive blow. I have now been through three cam- 
paigns, and have grown quite accustomed to having 
the operations, in which I have had the luck to be 
successful, depreciated; but it pains me to see the 
doings of the Crown Prince intentionally minimized. 
It was so at Koniggratz, and now in all our three 
fights ; and I feel sure that this will always be the 
case. It shall not deter me, however, from carrying 
out my task to the uttermost, with loyalty and success 
if possible, trying as it is at times. 

When all this is over, I shall dream of rest, and 
turn my back upon the butcher work. 

This evening Mr. Russell, of the Times newspaper, 
came from London, to which he had made a flying 
visit after Sedan. He brought congratulations and 
reassuring news for us. It troubles me that the 


French newspapers are beginning to talk about peace. 
It is to be hoped that we shall not allow ourselves to 
be taken in by them, and commence to treat. The 
enemy must first of all be trodden under foot and 
annihilated, else we shall never have rest. We ought 
not to remain outside Paris, as we did before Vienna. 
We ought to make a triumphal entry into Paris, even 
if the whole city be undermined. What we need is 
Bliicher, with his splendid hatred of the French. 

September 13. 

To-day I had a hard day's work until three o'clock 
in the afternoon. As we have to proceed slowly, I 
shall to-morrow call a halt, and then on the 15th and 
16th go forward again towards Paris. Our army is 
between the Seine and the Marne, which does not 
please me at all. I should like to cross the Seine 
below Fontainebleau, or at that place, and march on 
to Tours, where a new force appears to be forming. 
This must be hunted out and destroyed. The French 
must not be allowed to breathe freely again, or we 
shall have trouble. We are marching so slowly, and 
with precautions, as though we had an organized army 
in front of us. This extreme care appears to me to 
be superfluous, for, as I take it, the best thing to 
be done is to press on and invest Paris as soon as 
possible, and so prevent further supplies arriving, and 
the formation of new armies being attempted. 

The French are blowing up all the bridges and rail- 
roads. This will not profit them, for they will only 
have to rebuild them later. When one reads their 
newspapers, one would think that they were preparing 


a second Moscow, or that they intend at the last 
moment to undermine and blow into the air the 
whole city of Paris. 

Montmirail, September 14. 

A very quiet day. Nothing new of importance. 
At eleven o'clock in the morning we all rode on to 
the battlefield of 1814, where Gottberg gave us a 
most interesting address, standing near the monu- 
ment erected by Napoleon in 1866. It was like a 
lecture at a Staff ride. 

The King is to-day in the Castle of Thierry with 
his Headquarters, and to-morrow goes on to Meaux, 
sixteen miles from Paris not to open negotiations, it 
is to be hoped. We ought to invest Paris first, and 
then treat the French as the ancient Romans would 
have done, and make them pass under the yoke. 

Mr. Russell, the Times correspondent, who has 
been in London, told me that he has been able 
repeatedly to state in London that I showed him on 
the map, three days before the great battle, how the 
French were to be surrounded and captured at Sedan. 

It was, I believe, at Senluc that I told him this, 
on the 29th of August. 

Coulommiers, September 15. 

I woke up this morning with a headache, and as 
the band of the 7th Regiment began to play a hymn 
before my window, I burst into tears without knowing 
why. My nerves must have become unstrung. 

In the night a telegram came which called me to 
a conference with Moltke at Chateau Thierry. In 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 125 

magnificent bracing weather I drove with Viebahn 
in a French one-horse chaise, accompanied by Hahnke 
and seven Uhlans. I thoroughly enjoyed the view 
of the beautiful Marne Valley, and the strong air 
revived me and fortified my nerves. 

I had at once a conference with Moltke regarding 
the manner in which the city of Paris was to be 
invested. The investment was to be complete on 
the 19th. 

I was quite in accord with Moltke, and am pleased 
that it is to take place as I had previously planned, 
and as I had laid down to my Staff officers as the 
plan I should adopt. 

Then we went to have audience of the King, who 
sanctioned all that was proposed. His Majesty looked 
very well and cheerful, and read us a telegram from 
Petersburg, according to which Thiers has gone to 
London and to Petersburg with the most pacific inten- 
tions. Also that Jules Favre is reported to have 
certain conditions of peace to propose. There were 
some interesting details. The French newspapers 
are becoming less bellicose, and will become less so 
still as soon as we have the city in a ring fence, viz. y 
on the 19th. 

Our march took us along the valley of the Marne, 
and then to Sablonnieres, where we had to halt an 
hour and feed the horses. We were at once sur- 
rounded by a dozen men in blouses, and I must say 
that I could not help congratulating myself on having 
taken the Crown Prince's advice and brought with 
us the Uhlans. After threats of severity we suc- 
ceeded in obtaining oats, and suddenly the fellows 


became quite civil, because, as I learnt afterwards, 
the prospect of a regiment of Bavarians being brought 
to bear on the question was held out to them, of 
whom they have a holy horror. I went with Viebahn 
to the room of a talkative pastor, where I dictated 
the orders for the morrow. 

At six o'clock we arrived here in Coulommiers, and 
were lodged in the house of the Marquise de Varennes, 
where King William was lodged in 1814. I am very 
comfortably billeted on the fourth-floor, and feel 
much better. 

Coulommiers, September 16. 

To-day was a superb autumn day. Until mid-day 
I had to pore over a map, to arrange my dispositions 
for the investment of Paris, and dictate orders. 

The Crown Prince drove to Meaux to see the King. 
I took a long walk with Herkt. 

According to reports which have come in, the 
Franc-tireurs have been very busy shooting down 
our troopers. Several of them have been captured 
and made prisoners instead of being hanged or shot. 
Our men are as tender-hearted as children, and do 
not understand the type of foe we have to deal with. 
The French appear to be burning down all the woods 
round Paris, digging up all the roads, forming barri- 
cades, and blowing up bridges, and seem to forget, 
or in their ignorance to be unaware, that such tactics 
avail them nothing, as these are no obstacles to us 
in our advance unless they are defended by fire. 
Otherwise we pass over easily, and in the case of 
the bridges we either repair or rebuild them. It is 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 127 

a warning to the whole of Europe as to what she 
has to expect from a Red Republic. They are only 
cutting their own throats. 

An English Attache was with Bismarck this morn- 
ing. He had brought some communication regarding 
an armistice, but he was soon warned off. I am 
curious to know what impertinences Jules Favre is 
meditating for the time when negotiations commence. 

To-day we heard that our field-post had been 
captured on September 4, at Yerdun. Perhaps we 
shall find another of my letters in the newspapers. It 
will not be so piquant this time as it was in 1866.* 

Chaumes, September 17. 

In the night I was disturbed by the arrival of a 
message of a very trumpery nature, and was so 
annoyed that I was unable to get to sleep again. It 
so upset my rest that, in spite of the glorious weather, 
I did not enjoy my ride to Chaumes a bit. 

We are here quartered in the house of a Parisian 
notary. No particular reports are to hand. Our 
cavalry, which is pushed far ahead, spreads terror 
everywhere. I was delighted to receive at last a 
letter from my wife. She is in Horst. 

Corbeil) September 18. 

After a very beautiful ride in pleasant weather, we 
arrived here at one o'clock, and have taken up our 
quarters in a chateau built most tastefully in the 
midst of a fine park. 

* NOTE BY TRANSLATOR. This is in allusion to the circum- 
stance related in the Journal of 1866, under date August 8. 


It is an ancestral mansion belonging now to a rich 
corn-chandler. The son-in-law, who is mayor of the 
place, has had the presence of mind to take up his 
quarters here, and so we are finely lodged. No news 
to-night It looks as if the arrangements for the 
investment of the town were going along quietly. 
To-morrow the chain will be complete, and then 
nobody will be able to come out of nor go into Paris. 

The French have up to date made no attempt at 
treating, and I am very curious to know how it will 
end. We may perhaps have to sit down for weeks 
before Paris. The way things have been destroyed 
is too childish. Here, for instance, the piles of a 
bridge have been blown up, and thereby a large 
number of houses damaged. 

We were not delayed by it, however, for the 
Bavarian Pontoon Section came up and built a bridge 
in the twinkling of an eye. 

PalaiseaU) September 19. 

This day has been a very interesting one, for the 
Fifth Army Corps had to make its flank march round 
the southern side of Paris, and might easily have 
come upon serious difficulties. In the morning I had 
a great deal to do, and, as luck would have it, it had 
all to be undone. The Prince wished to go out 
through the park, but, unfortunately, had said 
nothing to me about his wishes. Gottberg wanted 
the crossing over the bridge, which had been some- 
what indifferently constructed by the Bavarians, to 
be made as easy as possible, and had sent out covering 
parties. On the other hand, I wanted to move nearer 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 129 

to Paris, through Villeneuve, and this is what we did ;, 
but the second portion of the march was wrongly 
marked out, and there was endless confusion. The 
Crown Prince was very much displeased. 

As we could hear the fire of cannon in the distance^ 
we stepped out briskly, marching through the lovely 
valley of the Seine, dotted with villas and pretty 
country houses ; the weather was beautiful though 
somewhat warm. 

At ten o'clock we crossed the Seine at Villeneuve- 
le-Roi, and tried to find the bivouacs of the Sixth 

The corps had only encountered slight resistance 
after once passing across (a few skirmishes), but had 
been slightly incommoded by the presence of a newly 
raised field-work mounted with naval guns. This 
was at Villejuif. The casualties were but slight. 
Soon after twelve o'clock, as we were making a halt 
near La Vieille Post, we saw signs of a very severe 
cannonade and rifle fire in the direction of Sceaux 
that is, in the direction of the Second Bavarian and 
the Fifth Corps. 

We started to march off at once, and rode along 
the main-road that runs southwards to Antony,, 
from which we could at least watch the fight from 
afar, and be in a position to receive instructions if 

Had the French gained ground at all, the Sixth 
Corps would have been drawn into the fight. 

The fight, however, remained stationary for a long 
time, and at three o'clock the Bavarians advanced 
against the new field-work near Chatillon. The 




firing was soon silenced, and we were able, our minds 
now at ease, to return to our quarters at Palaiseau, 
with its beautiful park, but a house that had not been 
inhabited for a very long time. The orderly officers 
had to wait long for orders for the morrow, and I had 
to work late into the night, having much to do and 
many reports to send in to Moltke, etc. When we 
were with the Sixth Corps to-day, I learnt that the 
French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jules Favre, had 
been there, that he had been very graciously received, 
and at that moment was in conference somewhere or 
other with Bismarck. 

I felt boiling with indignation, and am sure that I 
could not have brought myself to discuss affairs with 
such a rank democrat who had made himself Minister ; 
at the most, I should have sent my servants to inter- 
view him. 

What will be the outcome of this confabulation 
the gods alone can tell. Practically speaking, there 
is nobody now who has a right to open negotiations, 
since the Empress and the young Prince Imperial 
have taken flight, and the new Republican Govern- 
ment is no Government at all, not having yet prac- 
tically the powers of State in its hands. 

The investment of Paris was completed to-day 
that is to say, in so far as was required of the Third 

I have issued orders that no person is to be allowed 
to enter or leave the fortress. Owing, however, to 
the good- nature of our officers and men, this order 
will be very difficult to enforce. It is no easy matter 
to shoot down every person who will not immediately 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 131 

obey. It is not every man who is morally capable of 
carrying out such an order. 

Versailles, September 20. 

A large proportion of our troops must of necessity 
live in bivouac close to the lines, about two-thirds 
being accommodated in cantonments that is to 
say, in deserted houses. This gave me a lot of work 
to arrange this morning. The Staff officers and 
Engineer officers from every corps had been 
ordered to report to me to receive orders, and right 
glad was I at ten o'clock to see the last of them all. 

I got a few hours' sleep, certainly, during the 
night, but my bed on which I have not once had 
clean sheets stank so that I was feeling quite sick 
from it. My work, however, has helped to drive the 
remembrance of it out of my nostrils. 

At ten o'clock we started out to ride through the 
beautiful Bievre Valley to the battlefield of yesterday, 
near Petit Bicetre and Chatenay, to congratulate 
General von Hartmann on his fight of yesterday. 
We saw nine captured guns. He accompanied us to 
the captured field-work on Mont de la Tour, near 

It is only half completed, but situated in such a 
commanding position that it is almost inconceivable 
that it should have been relinquished so soon, con- 
sidering that it commands both the outlying works of 
Issy and Vanves. The French troops must be greatly 

The view from Mont de la Tour, looking completely 
over the city of Paris, is wonderfully fine, and we 



could hardly tear ourselves away from it. We derived 
special satisfaction from hearing some shells and shot 
which had been aimed at us fly harmlessly over our 

The weather was perfectly clear a warm Septem- 
ber day. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon we returned to 
Versailles, and took up our quarters at the magnifi- 
cently appointed Prefecture. 

Yesterday the Fifth Army Corps reported that the 
Mayor of Versailles had shown himself very amenable, 
and had given satisfactory guarantees, but had begged 
for our signature to peace overtures. To that I could 
not consent, as there was no question as yet about it, and 
therefore sent an order that both the Mayor and the 
town had to obey orders unconditionally ; they would 
be treated with consideration, but all must lay down 
their arms. 

We were received here by the Commandant of the 
National Guard, formerly a naval officer and related 
to the Lucks. It is indeed delightful to find ourselves 
once more cleanly and comfortably lodged. 

The breakfast which this officer had ordered for us 
was most inviting. 

September 21. 

I slept splendidly, and now feel fit for anything that 
may come. 

At nine o'clock the report from the Second Bavarian 
Corps arrived, stating that the field-work of Villejuif , 
which had been abandoned by the French, had 
been occupied by Bothmer's division of the Second 


Bavarian Corps, and handed over to the Sixth Army 

The French appear'willing to abandon every thought 
of resistance beyond their actual forts. 

In the course of the day came various rumours 
telling of civil war in Paris not at all impossible, for 
the condition of affairs there must be most critical. 

The whole proletariat and workpeople have been 
armed, and what that may lead to may easily be 

The War Minister of Wurtemberg,Herr von Suckow, 
and Prince Pless came here to-day from the King's 
Headquarters. It looks as though Bismarck and 
Jules Favre were coming to terms about peace ; but 
what the guarantees are to be I am most curious to 

It has been superb autumn weather, and to-day I 
took a walk with General Beauchamp- Walker, an 
English General, to the Trianon. 

In the morning I went with the Crown Prince to 
the Picture- Gallery, which has been transformed into 
a hospital. There we met an Englishman, who 
found his way out of Paris two days ago. He told us 
that there were 500,000 men there well armed, who 
were drilling every day. He was half French, so 
we were able to discount what he said and smile. 

September 22. 

Still lovely, clear weather. As it appeared to us 
here that the negotiations between Bismarck and 
Jules Favre were in full progress so it was stated in 
a letter received from Bismarck the Crown Prince 


determined to drive across to Ferrieres to see the 
King. I was invited to accompany him. The drive 
was pretty, but, owing to the strong wind, very 

In Ferrieres we learnt that Jules Favre had been in 
treaty with us, but that the negotiations had come to 
nothing, as the French were unwilling to cede us 
any territory. They are incredibly short-sighted, and 
appear to live in hopes of improving their position by 
a continued resistance. Peace at any price ought to 
be their programme, in order to get rid of us as soon 
as possible. 

In addition to Jules Favre, there was an emissary 
from Gambetta and one from the Empress. 

It was interesting to hear that Bismarck insisted on 
carrying on the negotiations through an interpreter, 
so as for ever to put an end to the use of the French 
tongue, which would be considered an unjustifiable 

Ferrieres, the country-seat of M. Rothschild, is the 
grandest that it is possible to imagine. 

The magnificent apartments of the chateau are filled 
with furniture, of which each specimen is a master- 
piece. The park, too, is magnificent, and laid out in 
the English style. 

This night I slept on Prince Pless's bed, as he was 
away. I did not undress, but, nevertheless, slept 
splendidly. General Stosch also had quarters in the 

In the evening I took tea with the King. 

In 187O-71. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 137 

Versailles^ September 23. 

In the morning I had a talk with General von 
Moltke about the further operations, and at ten 
o'clock an audience with the King. Then to break- 
fast, and at twelve o'clock back to Versailles. 

On our return we found no news of importance, 
only a report that the enemy was marching down 
from Orleans and Tours upon us. I could only smile 
at the idea, as I do not believe it possible. 

A Russian had been allowed to pass the advanced 
posts coming out from Paris, and was brought 
in to me. 

Versailles , September 24. 

The Russian was very talkative when I had him 
brought before me at twelve o'clock. He related 
many very interesting details about Paris, which were 
to me quite credible, inasmuch as they were confirmed 
from other quarters. Still, I cannot help thinking 
that the man was a spy, or at least an emissary from 
the besieged city. He was extraordinarily well 
posted in almost every detail of affairs. 

He estimated the French in Paris at 450,000 armed 
men, full of determination to fight to the last, but 
quite unskilled in the use of arms, and powerless for 
offensive action. They were not likely to do more 
than continue to increase their defensive power and 
quietly await our attack. 

I was kept at work incessantly till three o'clock ; 
then I took a lovely ride with Lenke (an officer on 
the General Staff) to Chateau Meudon, where we had 
a most beautiful view over the city. A continual fire 


was being kept up between our guns and the forts, 
and we saw a mine exploded only some 800 paces in 
front of us. In the evening we had a most sociable 
dinner at the table of Voigts-Khetz's brigade in the 
auberge, where many toasts were called and a good 
deal of wine consumed. 

The Crown Prince was present. 

Versailles, September 25. 

Early this morning there was Sunday service in the 
park at Versailles, which I, unfortunately, was unable 
to attend, as I had too much to do. 

I was much pleased to hear that we had discovered 
a telegraph cable in the bed of the Seine, and had 
dragged it up. Our telegraphists made connection at 
once, and now we are receiving all communications 
that pass from Paris to Tours, etc., and back. The 
greater part are in cipher, so we are not much the 
wiser. I will not have the cable destroyed, however, 
as we may be able to hit upon the key. We are all 
at work on it now. 

In the afternoon I drove with the Prince to 
St. Germain, where we obtained the loveliest view 
from the terrace. 

September 26. 

Early this morning the Second Bavarian Corps was 
called to arms, as an unusual massing of troops was 
apparent at Vanves. It turned out to be nothing. 
At ten o'clock we held a sort of parade of all the 
troops cantoned round here for the presentation of 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 139 

the Iron Cross. The Crown Prince stood near the 
statue of Louis XIV. Strange coincidence ! 

Still very beautiful weather. In the evening we 
rode to Meudon. 

It became a good deal overcast, and I was afraid 
that the weather was about to change. 

Another messenger bearing letters from Paris has 
been captured, and a balloon that rose out of the city 
dropped some letters, which we fortunately picked up. 

These letters with one accord commenced in a 
tone of resignation. Their confidence seems to be 
disappearing. High time, too, for if Paris is to be 
saved she will have to conclude peace at any price. 
They cannot possibly gain anything by waiting, 
babble as they may of their stanch patriotism. The 
naked truth that all is lost must soon be apparent 
to everybody. To-day I had the library at St. Cloud 
searched for maps. Major Karnatz, of the General 
Staff, carried out the search, and discovered several, 
thank Heaven ! to help us out of our great difficulty, 
a want of maps. Elsewhere in France maps have 
been conspicuous by their absence, geography seem- 
ing a terra incognita with these people. 

September 27. 

The telegraph cable in the Seine has been cut by 
order of General von Moltke. 

I had to talk severely to the cavalry divisions 
to-day, for the very indifferent supplies of provisions 
they have requisitioned of late, owing, it appears, 
to their dread of the Franc-tireurs, who have been 


very active and aggressive. They will, however, be 
just as great a pest to France as to us, if not more. 

To-day the weather was quite autumnal and beauti- 
fully clear. In the afternoon we rode with the 
Crown Prince to St. Cloud, and reached the chateau, 
in spite of the warnings of General Bothmer, and 
we were not shot. It was most interesting, with its 
beautiful decorations and furniture, and I sat me 
down in the Empress Eugenie's toilet-room, on her 
beautiful snow-white silken sofa. 

The rooms were almost exactly as the Emperor had 
left them. 

They must have noticed us in the building, for as 
we left a desultory fire broke out upon us from rifles 
and wall-pieces. 

As the French lines on the opposite bank of the 
Seine are bristling with defences fully armed, and 
the sentries keep a look-out like watch-dogs, our 
advanced posts often come in for a peppering. 

We rode very rapidly home, and I found myself 
extremely fatigued. 

September 28. 

Again this morning I had so much to do, especially 
in the matter of the directions which had to be given 
to the cavalry divisions on the subject of requisi- 
tioning supplies, that at one o'clock I was nearly 

An English Queen's Messenger, Captain Johnson, 
was brought in to me. He had just arrived from 
Paris. It appears that order is still maintained there, 
but there is a terrible scarcity of milk, butter, vege- 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 141 

tables, and such things beginning to make itself 

Johnson told me that the French Colonel in com- 
mand at the Vanves gate was willing to let him pass, 
but had much difficulty in keeping his men in order, 
who levelled their rifles and revolvers at Johnson's 
breast, shouting out, ' The aristocrats must not leave 
us now. They must share our privations,' etc. 

This sort of terrorism appears to be gaining ground. 

In the afternoon we took a lovely ride to St. Ger- 
main to enjoy the glorious view. 

September 29. 

At two o'clock in the morning I was awaked by 
Lenke with a telegram in his hand from General von 
Hartmann, saying that at 5.30 a new field-work near 
Notre Dame de Clamart will have to be attacked, as 
active work was going on there. I had to wake up 
the Prince and issue some orders, lest the firing should 
lead to a further development of fighting than was 

Lenke was despatched to the Second Bavarian Corps, 
but before mid- day it became evident that the scare 
was nothing a false alarm. So my beautiful morn- 
ing sleep had been interrupted for nothing. 

Colonel Perponcher had been here to ask whether 
the King's Headquarters could be accommodated in 
Versailles. We shall, I suppose, have to move out of 
our beautiful palace and seek some humbler abode. 

I do not mind that so much, but the close propin- 
quity of the King's Headquarters has its drawbacks, 
especially for me, as I have not always sufficient 


command over myself to return the diplomatic or 
evasive answer to all the unnecessary questions and 
unsolicited conundrums set to solve. 

I am afraid that I shall become again somewhat 
caustic or brusque without wishing to be so, and shall 
get myself disliked. 

In the afternoon I took a beautiful ride in company 
with the Crown Prince to Sartory and the Park of 

Versailles, September 30. 

At five o'clock this morning the Crown Prince drove 
over to Versailles, as to-day is the Queen's birthday. 
I rose at seven o'clock. A report came in early of 
heavy firing in the neighbourhood of Sevres and 
Villejuif, making us all very anxious. Soon we re- 
ceived confirmation of these reports, and wounded 
men began to come in. It appears that the French 
had made an assault at several points at daybreak. 

That at Sevres was made with three battalions and 
four gunboats. At Bas Mevidon our outposts (two 
battalions of the 7th Regiment and the 5th Rifle 
Battalion) were, it appears, somewhat taken by sur- 
prise, but, nevertheless, the enemy was driven back 
handsomely. Between nine and ten all was ended. 
We had one man killed and fifteen wounded, mostly 
by shell- fire. 

At Villejuif they advanced with twelve battalions 
of regulars, keeping twelve battalions of the Garde 
Mobile in reserve. The advanced posts of the Sixth 
Corps were most energetically and resolutely attacked. 
These received the attack, however, with equal resolu- 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 143 

tion, and drove their assailants back into their entrench- 
ments. The French lost between 400 and 500 men 
captured, and at least 1,000 in dead and wounded. 
Our loss was by no means insignificant five 
officers killed, and, it seems, nearly 200 men 
wounded. The Crown Prince, who happened to be 
driving in that neighbourhood, mounted his horse and 
took part in the action. 

At ten o'clock all firing was over, even that of the 
guns in the forts. At about eleven o'clock a.m. the 
Eleventh Corps also had to withstand an attack from 
Vincennes and Charenton, but only of a very insignifi- 
cant character, as the enemy withdrew after a short time. 

A cannonade was also heard in the direction of 
Montmartre. What the French hope to gain by so 
many simultaneous attacks on our lines is not very clear. 

Our lines are so weakly held that, if the enemy 
should attack at one point with the whole of his force 
concentrated, we must be beaten back and have our 
line cut through. Fortunately, he does not understand 
his business, and wastes his strength striking out 
blindly in all directions. His thirst for fighting must, 
however, soon leave him when he finds that he always 
gets blow for blow. The Franc- tireurs are beginning 
to be very troublesome and cheeky, swarming round 
us in bands like robbers. The inhabitants have even 
begun to beg for Prussian troops to be quartered on 
them, as a protection against these bandits. 

The officers who were taken prisoners say that the 
regular troops were compelled to advance by the 
Garde-mobiles, who threatened to fire upon them. A 
pretty state of affairs ! 


In the forenoon a balloon sailed over Versailles 
scattering proclamations. In the afternoon, in com- 
pany with several officers, I rode through the beautiful 
wood of Meudon, to see the field-work thrown up by. 
the Bavarians. We were not hit, but on our way 
home Captain Lenke had an ugly fall horse and all 
into a ditch, and was for a time in some danger of 
his life. In the evening we had a grand tattoo, the 
weather being superb. Herr von Brachitsch, the 
Prussian Prefect, has arrived. 

Versailles, October 1. 

All as still as can be this morning, as though the 
French were exhausted by the fights of yesterday. 
That at Chevilly was more severe than we had supposed. 
In the Sixth Army Corps there were eight officers 
killed and fifteen wounded. At the outposts nothing 
new of importance. A few reported attacks by 
Franc-tireurs only. 

In the afternoon we had a lovely ride to the 
Observatory at Malmaison, from which we could 
command Mont Valerien. On our return we found 
the Crown Prince already here. He gave us news of 
the approach of reinforcements from the Thirteenth 
and the newly -formed Fourteenth Corps. 

Another Englishman has come in through the out- 
posts. With the consent of Count Bismarck, I sent 
in the American General Burnside, with Colonel Forbes, 
to the Embassy in Paris. Lieutenant von Bissing, who 
accompanied the mission under a flag of truce, was 
nearly shot by the French, in spite of the safe- 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 145 

October 2. 

Early this morning we had Church Service in the 
open air in the Park of Versailles. The weather is 
most beautiful, and the air very clear. At the out- 
posts only a few shots were exchanged. I had to 
interview several people, among them the Mayor, and 
some Americans and English. In the afternoon I 
took a good rest, and allowed the Crown Prince to 
ride to Malmaison with other members of the Staff. 
In the evening several letters from the King's Head- 
quarters arrived, which gave me no information beyond 
what I already knew. Everything had already been 
done as prescribed therein. 

We are now to have two new corps, the Thirteenth 
and Fourteenth, added to the army, so that I shall 
have to send, daily, orders and instructions to twelve 
different bodies of troops, and make provision of all 
sorts for them. This is really too much for one man, 
especially if he has to attend to all sorts of superfluous 
advice from other quarters. Soon our army will have 
reached a total of 250,000 men, without counting that 
of the Crown Prince of Saxony. 

Tlw Villa, Versailles, 

October 3. 

Early this morning I was greatly rejoiced to receive a 
telegram saying that Agnes* had been safely delivered 
of a boy on the 30th, the day of the fight. 

At half -past nine we rode out to the drill-ground at 
Sartory, to hold an inspection parade of the Fifth and 

* The Field-Marshal's youngest daughter. 



Sixth Cavalry Divisions. A splendid spectacle. I after- 
wards rode to our new billet, as we have to leave the 
Prefecture on account of the arrival of the King, who 
is expected at once. 

I am not at all sorry for the change, for here in a 
villa belonging to the family Walther it is extremely 
comfortable and cheerful, and the beautiful little park 
most enjoyable. I remained at home this morning 
and worked, whilst the Crown Prince drove across to 
St. Cyr. 

Towards evening the Americans, General Burnside 
and Colonel Forbes, came in, having returned from 
Paris, evidently, as intermediaries, as they expected to 
meet Bismarck here. The Crown Prince invited them 
in to the mid-day meal, at which the conversation was 
very general and interesting. It transpired that Jules 
Favre had said to Burnside that he could clearly see 
that, to save Paris and France, they would have to 
accept Prussia's demands, and yield up territory to 
her. It was, however, impossible for him and his 
Government to do so without being overthrown ; 
hence the solution seemed to be to elect a new Govern- 
ment which could conclude a peace. In a word, an 
armistice was earnestly desired, to allow the people to 
hold an election, after which peace would inevitably 
follow. Without it France would be irretrievably 

I am very curious to know what will be the out- 
come. In such a contingency they will have to 
deliver up one or two forts at least. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 147 

October 4. 

Splendid weather still, but no news. In the after- 
noon I took a delightful drive with the Crown Prince 
to St. Germain. The air wonderfully clear. 

October 5. 

This morning we drove out, at eight o'clock, to 
meet the King on his way hither through Villeneuve 
and St. Georges. He intended to take the Sixth 
Army Corps on his way, and review the troops. 

When we reached Chatenay we heard heavy firing, 
and concluded that the enemy was making a deter- 
mined attack upon Meudon. We drove to General 
von Hartmann's and listened to the cannonade. It 
ceased after an hour, and we were then able to con- 
tinue on our way. 

Soon after twelve o'clock the King arrived, and 
breakfasted in Villeneuve-le-Roi. 

Afterwards we rode past all the troops drawn up to 
receive His Majesty, who gave him hearty cheers. 
We then took our seats in the carriages, and drove 
past the lines of the Bavarian Corps, reaching Ver- 
sailles at six o'clock dead tired. 

The King took his meals here with the Crown 
Prince, as his field-kitchen had broken down. 

The violent cannonade of this morning caused us 
no loss whatever. It is almost incredible that a 
man of His Majesty's age should be capable of stand- 
ing fatigue in the way he does, whilst we all get 
knocked up. 



October 6. 

The owner of this villa is called Frau Andre, nee 
Walther. She must be very rich ; her husband was 
banker to Louis Philippe. 

This morning early I received several despatches, 
telling me that Prince Albert cannot advance further 
with his cavalry, as the woods north of Orleans are 
strongly held by the enemy. Twelve battalions, three 
regiments of cavalry, and some batteries of artillery, 
were seen as well as other columns of troops, and they 
were doing their best to repair the railway. As 
important movements had been reported to be taking 
place in the fortress itself, and a concentration in the 
direction of Sevres observed, I came to the conclusion 
that a determined assault was in course of preparation 
on the part of the regular troops, in order to break 
our line and form a junction with the Army of the 
Loire. With this prospect in view, I approached 
General von Moltke when he appeared at half-past 
five, and proposed that a force consisting of the First 
Bavarian Corps, supported by the Twenty- second 
Division (Von Wittich), together with the three cavalry 
divisions, the whole under General von der Tann, 
should move against the Army of the South and give 
it a sound drubbing. Dispositions were accordingly 
made, so that the corps should be at Arpajon to- 
night, there to await the enemy or march to meet 

At mid-day we drove with the King to the park at 
Versailles, visited the hospital, and enjoyed the sight 
of the fountains in Trianon. I had a talk with 
Moltke and Podbielski, and hoped that all was in 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 149 

progress. In the evening, to my great joy, Fritz 
arrived, looking very fit and cheery. 

At last I have received a letter from my wife, 
giving details of Agnes's confinement. 

The Villa, Versailles, October 7. 

In the forenoon I had a conference with General 
Schulz and Colonel Rieff, at which I saw clearly that 
we three together could conduct the siege, or, rather, 
the formal attack on the fortress, properly and in 
complete accord. Yesterday Podbielski said to me 
that the matter would be placed in our hands entirely, 
and that we should receive written instruction at 
once. To-day, however, everything has been altered. 
Why, I should like to know ? I fancy that there are 
several who want to have their say in the matter, and 
this they would not have were it put into my hands. 
It is really most extraordinary that, in spite of the 
fact that Moltke and I continually come to an agree- 
ment on certain points, there invariably steps in 
between us some third person, so that matters are 
eventually arranged quite otherwise than I expected. 
It may be that he is prevented from acting exactly as 
he wishes. 

At 12.30 I drove with the Crown Prince to the 
Prefecture, where we were joined by the King. We 
then drove (a perfectly beautiful drive it was) to 
St. Germain, where we enjoyed the lovely view, and 
afterwards partook of a splendid dinner at the Hc A >tel 
de Pavilion. During the whole time the guns at 
Mont Valerien kept up a brisk cannonade, as though 


they had been part of a firework display in our 

This seems to be the last day of this beautiful 
autumn-tide, for as soon as we had inspected the 
castle, with its art collection and curiosities, and had 
betaken ourselves homewards, the rain commenced. 
We reached our villa at six o'clock. 

After dinner I was annoyed somewhat by the 
arrival of Major von Hahnke, who had been sent with 
General von der Tann to hurry him up. He reported 
that the General intended to remain fast at Arpajon, 
unless he received specific instructions to the con- 

With considerable difficulty, I succeeded in per- 
suading the Crown Prince of the necessity that lay 
on us of pushing forward and hurling back the enemy 
with his troublesome Franc-tireurs. He gave me 
permission to carry out my scheme provided I 
obtained Moltke's consent. I sent off Hahnke forth- 
with. Moltke consented at once, in spite of the 
interference of several meaner spirits who always 
like to have a finger in the pie. 

Until very late in the night I was engaged in 
dictating and despatching telegrams, and to-morrow 
Von der Tann will have to move forward. 

October 8. 

Early this morning Hahnke started off. I had a 
fairly quiet morning, but had to arrange for the 
arrival of the Eleventh Corps, which comes in to- 
morrow to fill up the gap at Meudon. 

At mid- day the joyful news arrived that we had 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 151 

succeeded in beating back a sortie from Metz, which 
had been expected for some time. 

General Burnside came to me again with a note 
from Count Bismarck, giving him permission to 
traverse the outposts and pass into Paris. He gave 
me to understand that it was for the purpose of open- 
ing negotiations. Captain Lenke accompanied him. 

In the afternoon I rode with the Crown Prince in 
the Park of Trianon, and in spite of our waterproofs 
we got thoroughly wet to the skin. 

The previous night I had been woke up to read a 
telegram, according to which the French were ex- 
pected to be about to blow up a bridge near Chatou, 
in the lines of the Fourth Corps. It seemed ridiculous 
to me, and I accordingly rolled over in my bed and 
dropped asleep again at once. I had no cause to 
regret it. At the mid-day meal here were present 
the officers detailed by the King to make a recon- 
naissance of the front to be attacked. They were 
Generals von Hindersin and Schulz and Colonel KiefL 

October 9. 

I enjoyed a splendid night's rest, and was not once 

The weather is still very wet, but warm. 

Yesterday the happy news arrived that General 
Werder, who is advancing with the Baden contingent 
southwards towards the Seine, came upon a French 
Corps d'Armee, completely routing it. It is to be 
hoped that a similar telegram will reach us to-morrow 
from Von der Tann. 

At ten o'clock we had service in the beautiful 


chapel of the castle, which, by the way, strange as it 
may seem, has no chancel. 

Several interesting pieces of intelligence, which I 
unfortunately cannot commit to paper, came to my 

In the afternoon I rode out alone, and on my return 
(again drenched to the skin) discovered, to my joy, a 
good fire in the grate. 

Two spies were seated at the fire, and were being 

The King took his mid- day meal with us. After- 
wards Duke Eugene of Wurtemberg arrived, bringing 
in his train two spies taken at St. Germain, together 
with a large letter-bag, which has been ransacked 
to-day, and is now being examined. All the officers 
are in the orderly-room studying the correspondence 
and cross- questioning these gallows-birds. They have 
come from Belgium, and were trying to get into 

October 10. 

Early this morning the order arrived from the 
King's Cabinet that the Third Army is to undertake 
the management of the attack on the fortress. I only 
hope it will not be as it was at Diippel and Alsen, 
where I had to do all the work and others reaped all 
the fruit. I have no great yearning for the job, but if 
it is to be done, and the affair entrusted to me, I do 
not wish, neither shall I permit, others to put in their 

From General von der Tann came the news that 
only unimportant skirmishes had taken place, and 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 153 

that the enemy appears to be withdrawing, Franc- 
tireurs and all, in the direction of Orleans. 

It is to be hoped that Von der Tann will put a 
goodly fear into their hearts when he appears. 

It seems to be the wish at Headquarters that the 
Twenty- second Division should return from before 
Orleans, and that Tann should go on with the rest. I 
am certain that nothing will convince the French sooner 
of our power than the knowledge that we can prevent 
the formation on their part of new armies. This morn- 
ing we heard heavy gun as well as rifle fire, chiefly 
from the Fourth Army Corps. I had so much to do 
that I was hardly able to go out. We lunched at the 
King's table. 

October 11. 

Early this morning I received a telegram from 
Von der Tann, in which he says that yesterday, near 
Artenay, north of Orleans, he put to flight a force of 
the enemy of about the strength of a division, and 
made about 1,500 prisoners. Towards mid-day Stulp- 
nagel arrived, having ridden from the field, and gave 
us the details of the fight. I was very much pleased 
to hear all about it, as I had had so much difficulty in 
getting this expedition sanctioned, and am naturally 
rejoiced that it should be turning out so well. 

From nine till half -past ten we sat in conference 
about the means to be adopted in the attack on the 
fortress ; we separated with a complete understanding. 
I have again to-day worked myself tired, and was 
really pleased when I was able to get away and take 
a ride with some other officers to the Empress's Kiosk. 


In the evening Bismarck dined here. I sat next 
him, and in conversation he told me a great number 
of most interesting things. The French appear as a 
whole to wish to come to terms, but Bismarck seems 
to have a large number of factions to deal with. 

October 12. 

At mid-day came a telegram reporting a new 
victory of General von der Tann, and his entry into 
Orleans yesterday. Our Eleventh Corps fought 
splendidly. In the afternoon I took a ride alone in 
the park. At mid-day Moltke and the General Staff 
arrived. After they had gone I wrote a letter to 
Tann regarding further operations towards Tours and 
Bourges, where there are large arsenals and artillery 
parks. At 9.30 came Hahnke with details of the 

October 13. 

To-day at the conference Count Solms was present. 
We discussed many things foreign to the subject in 
hand, and especially the annexation of Alsace. The 
Crown Prince spoke most earnestly, and with so much 
emotion of the dangers that might arise out of Alsace, 
that I at once concluded that the Duke of Coburg 
and Professor Samwer must have been with him and 
worked on his feelings. 

In the afternoon a French attack on the Bavarians 
took place with about twenty battalions. After an 
hour's cannonade and brisk musketry -fire the enemy 
was driven back. I took a ride with Albrecht, Bron- 
sart, and Gustedt, in the Park of Trianon. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 155 

October 14. 

This morning all was quiet. At guard- mounting 
at twelve o'clock I learned the details of yesterday's 
fight. The Bavarians lost about 100 men. It looks 
as though the French are trying to accustom them- 
selves to war by making daily attacks on us. They 
set fire with their shells to the Chateau de St. Cloud. 
It was most meritorious on the part of our men, that, 
in spite of the shell- fire, they should have tried to 
extinguish the flames ; and when this was not possible, 
they saved all they could of the contents of the castle. 
Unfortunately, all the beautiful pictures were destroyed 
by fire, and to-day the chateau is a mass of ruins. 
Such folly on the part of the French would be inex- 
plicable, were it not known that in one of the forts a 
Red Republican was in command, and did his best to 
destroy the favourite seat of his Emperor. 

In the afternoon I rode with the Crown Prince to 
Villa Stern, near St. Cloud, or rather Ville d'Avray, 
from whence we were able to get a delightful view of 
that part of Paris, and those forts which now par- 
ticularly interest us. Strangely enough, an attack 
was made by the French not a thousand yards from 
us, upon the works at Montretout, and the redoubt 
occupied, but relinquished after half an hour. We 
neither saw nor heard a thing. 

Fritz was here to breakfast. He came to get pro- 
visions. He is now with Oetinger* at Sartrouville. 

A spy from St. Germain had a wonderful story to 
relate of subterranean passages leading to Paris and 

* A brother-in-law of the Field-Marshal. 


Mont Valerien. Lieutenant von Ivernois actually 
found something of the sort, and penetrated about a 
hundred yards or so into it. 

At dinner-time a telegram arrived from Von der 
Tann at Orleans, saying that he is not moving further 
forwards, as the enemy has concentrated at Bourges 
and entrenched himself. I should have pressed for- 
ward, nevertheless. Perhaps, though, he is right, and 
I must now arrange with Headquarters to have General 
von Werder directed from Rambervilliers on Bourges, 
instead of on Paris, so as to make a combined attack 
in conjunction with Von der Tann. There is an 
envoy from Bazaine in Metz here. I don't know what 
he wants. The siege operations are in a forward 
state of preparation. Nearly 100 pieces of heavy 
ordnance have arrived. We are expecting gabions. 
Two balloons have been sent. These I look upon as 

October 15. 

The usual morning's work. At one o'clock I drove 
with the King and the Crown Prince to the outposts 
at Garches, whence we could see the Montretout re- 
doubt well. It was a little hazy, notwithstanding a 
good breeze. Colonel Lindsay, an Englishman, came 
to us from Paris, but, being bound by his word, was 
able to give us but little information. 

He was able, however, generally, to confirm our 
impressions. They have about two months' provisions 
left in the city. All is quiet there. There is no talk 
of surrender. The Government, or whoever talks 
about surrendering territory, does so at the risk of 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 157 

everything. The Government cannot, therefore, treat 
of its own free will, whatever that may happen to be. 

In the evening I had a great deal of writing and 
dictating to do. Captain Bronsart stands by me most 

As Tann has not yet moved out of Orleans, and 
the enemy, profiting by several days of respite, must 
be reorganizing, concentrating, and most likely en- 
trenching himself, a general advance on our part 
must at all risks be undertaken. I have accordingly 
written to Tann to remain on the defensive in Orleans, 
and keep with him the two cavalry divisions. General 
Wittich is to form flying columns from his division, 
and sweep the country round Chateaudun, Chartres, 
and Dreux, clear of the enemy, and then return here. 
Prince Albert of Saxony is to unite with him. 

A mass of other orders had to be sent out, and it 
was very late before I sought my bed, dead beat. 

The envoy from Bazaine returns to-morrow, with- 
out having accomplished his mission. 

October 16. 

This morning Colonel Rieff came to me, to have a 
talk over the dispositions for the siege. According 
to his showing, we still require a large number of guns 
of heavy calibre, to make an assault feasible, as the 
enemy can bring to bear a large number of ships' 
guns of the heaviest metal. At present we are 
almost entirely deficient of ammunition, and as we 
have only one line of railway at our disposal, from 
which we have to bring everything by cart for a dis- 
tance of at least fifty -six miles, it will be a consider- 


able time before the attack can commence, probably 
two or three weeks. I could see that Rieff was 

When once we commence firing, we must not like 
inconstant children break off our task unfinished. 
We must have the means of making success a cer- 
tainty, otherwise a bombardment of the forts will 
damage us as much as them. It will, however, be 
very difficult to satisfy the inquiries of the ignorant 
and put a stop to idle talk. 

At eleven o'clock three battalions of the Landwehr 
Division of the Guards marched out, past the King, 
to St. Germain. It was a beautiful sight. We re- 
ceived at the same time the joyful news of the entry 
into Soissons. Also we heard from Prince Frederick 
Charles that it looked as though the final chapter at 
Metz were within measurable distance. 

At guard- mounting parade I heard that the losses 
of the Second Bavarian Corps on the 13th amounted 
to nearly 400 men. I called attention to the necessity 
for a greater exercise of forethought, and some 
organized scheme of meeting such sorties in the 
future, and specially to the proper employment of 
infantry and artillery in resisting these attacks. 

In the afternoon I was so busy that I hardly had 
time to go into the garden. My door was being 
opened and shut continuously the whole time. The 
presence of the King's Headquarters in my neighbour- 
hood means interruptions without end. Reports are 
required about everything, and every moment that a 
telegram arrives (and these are legion) I have to 
think who ought to be informed the first, so that this 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 159 

personage may not receive the news sooner or later 
than that personage, and that nobody may have cause 
for complaint. People, I am told, expect to hear 
things even before the news arrives here ! 

Curiosity and impatience are the chief demons with 
which I have to deal, and these annoy me so intensely 
that I am often prompted to return a sarcastic answer, 
or make some bitter retort, for, after all, I have a good 
deal of the Below* blood in me. 

Among other important information received to-day, 
I heard from a French prisoner of war, who was 
brought to me at about seven o'clock by Count Both- 
mer, some news which confirmed our own observa- 
tions, namely, that in the course of the next few days 
we may expect a sortie on a very large scale, which 
may decide the course of the campaign. Many signs 
among others, the withdrawal of the regular troops 
from the forts, and the substitution of Gardes- mobiles 
in their place point to a possible attempt to-morrow, 
or more probably the day after to-morrow. If the 
latter, it will be a grand celebration of our Crown 
Prince's birthday ! 

This sortie, which will most likely be made against 
the lines somewhere about Chatillon and Bagneux, 
will be met by something like fifty or five-and-fifty 
battalions, and a very strong force of artillery. 

October 17. 

No sortie has taken place to-day, but, then, my spy 
from St. Germain has given us either to-day, to- 
morrow, or the next few days to expect it. 

* The Field-Marshal's mother was a Von Below. 


Lieutenant Ivernois was with me, and brought me 
most valuable information from a spy, who has offered 
to go once more into Paris. He thinks that daily 
communication could take place with Paris, namely, 
through Argent euil. 

At one o'clock I drove with the King and the Crown 
Prince to the Villa Stern, near Ville d'Avray, whence 
we had a most splendid view in bright, clear air. 

At mid-day the War Minister was here. 

We are all on the qui vive, awaiting the enemy's 
sortie for to-morrow. We shall be able to bring up 
more than sixty battalions and over 300 guns, and 
hope to beat him handsomely, and hurl him back into 
his lines. 

October 18. 

The sortie has not taken place. All quiet. To- 
day is the birthday of His Royal Highness the Crown 
Prince. At eight o'clock three massed bands appeared, 
and commenced with the hymn 'Nun danket alle 
Gott.' My feelings were quite overcome by the 
music, and when the Crown Prince entered my room 
suddenly, and, with the kindest and most gracious 
expressions of gratitude, handed to me the Iron Cross 
of the First Class, I quite broke down, and could not 
utter a word. 

At twelve o'clock all the officers in Versailles, and 
our own Staff, came to offer congratulations. A 
beautiful sight it was, the weather being superb. 
About a score of crosses of the first class were dis- 
tributed. A grand dejeuner followed, at which the 
King and some eighteen Princes sat down. In the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 161 

afternoon I rode with several officers to the siege-train 
park. In the evening a big dinner at the King's 

Several reports have come in, from which it would 
appear that the enemy is receiving daily reinforce- 
ments at Chateaudun, Chartres, and Maintenon. He 
is even being reinforced by rail from Tours. I fancy 
he intends to combine an attack from that direction 
with a sortie from Paris. We must certainly drive him 
away from there. He is only sixteen miles off. Near 
Rouen we hear of the concentration of some 25,000 of 
the Gardes-mobiles. 

General Werder is moving southwards on Besanqon. 
The enemy appears to be flying before him in the 
direction of Dijon and Belfort. 

In the evening my orderly, Hauschild, returned, 
bringing with him from Orleans some newspapers and 
captured letters. Near Maintenon the enemy is in 
great strength. 

In the evening, between ten and eleven o'clock, we 
heard a very heavy cannonade and rifle- fire in the 
direction of Meudon. 

They try to make out at Headquarters that the 
populace in Paris is calling for a grand sortie, but that 
General Trochu will not hear of it, and certainly will 
not accept responsibility for it. 

Comte Richmont, whom I wanted to have arrested, 
has bolted from St. Germain. 

Villa les Ombrages, October 19. 
This is the name of our villa. No sortie yet. 
Weather beginning to get dull and close. 



At eight o'clock a telegram arrived from Orleans, 
according to which Wittich attacked Chateaudun 
yesterday, and stormed the suburbs. It was not, 
however, possible to force the barricades of the town. 
To-morrow the attack is to be renewed. 

Towards mid-day another telegram from Von der 
Tann, saying that he thinks he cannot remain longer at 
Orleans, as a very strong force of the enemy is collect- 
ing at Gien on the Loire. I have telegraphed him to 
stand fast for the present. As yet he is in no danger, 
as the enemy has not yet concentrated, and is still 
thirty-two miles from him. There will be no sortie 
from Paris, as General Trochu is averse to it. I am 
sending my spy into Paris to-day to bring me the 
proclamation from Trochu on this subject, as well as 
any newspapers he can get. 

In the afternoon I rode with Bronsart in the park. 

A telegram came from Wittich at Chateaudun, say- 
ing that he had entered the town at three o'clock this 
morning, and had captured many prisoners. His 
losses are not heavy. 

This evening I got an orderly ready to go with 
Xylander to Tann at Orleans. 

In front of Villejuif the French continue to fortify 
themselves strongly. 

The Bavarians had a quiet morning ; only a lot of 
women came out to dig potatoes, but were not inter- 
fered with. 

I have sent an order to the china factory at Sevres 
to have the beautiful French models of porcelain work 
removed and sent to Berlin for preservation, which 
will be a very desirable move, as we cannot copy them. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 163 

October 20. 

During the night there was a small fight at Ville- 
juif , but happily it did not disturb me. 

At nine o'clock General Schulz and Colonel von 
Rieff came here to hold a conference on the subject of 
the establishment of the first ten siege batteries, also 
the details of the siege park, its protection, etc. We 
were unanimous on these subjects. 

They say that during the night of the 18th some 
shots were fired from Forts Romaineville, Rosny and 
Nogent into the city. Internal strife is now begin- 
ning, it is to be hoped. 

From Metz we have news that all is going well. 
At Charlebourg, opposite Bezons, it is reported that 
the French have been working at their new redoubt. 
There is no doubt that the French are very adroit at 
making these redoubts, and they are of great value. 
They are greatly improving in their work, too, and 
must be employing their best officers on them. They 
.are adopting the plan of pushing their fortifications 
further and further forwards, so as to make our work 
of investment more and more difficult. It is difficult 
< enough as it is, goodness knows ! 

This should be our keynote, namely, to lay stress 
upon starvation, rather than bombardment, as the 
actual means to be adopted for reducing the garrison. 
It is quite possible for us to starve them out, and 
within a few months. Their sorties cannot be really 
dangerous to us now, as their army is still feeling the 
influence of its recent defeats ; and even should it 
after a time receive moral support and be strengthened 
in tone, we also by that time will have been reinforced 



materially. As for succour from a newly-formed 
army, that we need never fear. It would be months 
before one could be raised and organized that would 
stand a chance of success in an attack upon us. It is, 
therefore, a matter of great moment to us to hinder 
and obstruct the formation of new armies as much as 
ever we are able. This policy would more easily be 
carried out if we did not give so much consideration 
to weakening the investment line, but organized more 
often flying columns, like that recently sent to Orleans. 

I would, for instance, despatch an expedition of at 
least two Army Corps to Tours, to drive out the 
governing body from thence, and break up the force 
which is being organized there. 

According to latest reports, the French are concen- 
trating all their regular troops at Tours. They will 
have to be hunted out. 

This afternoon I rode with Bronsart and Albrecht 
to the outpost line near the Jagers Redoubt, and got a 
splendid view of Paris. 

October 21. 

To-day I had a somewhat quiet morning, and began 
to calculate how long it would take before we could 
make any decided impression on the fortress. I do 
not think that we can hope for the bombardment of 
Forts Issy, Vanves, and Montrouge before the 10th of 
November. There are still endless preparations to be 

The forts will then have to be bombarded for at 
least four or five days, sapping pushed on, and bat- 
teries established in the second position. The twa 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 165 

forts, Issy and Vanves, can then be assaulted by 
storm on the 1st of December. 

The real difficulties of the situation will then only 
begin namely, the attack on the enceinte. 

If we do succeed in capturing the enceinte by storm, 
it could not be before the 1st of January a result 
which the mere investment of the fortress should 
bring about of itself by that date. It is impossible 
that Paris can be provisioned for so long. 

I am of opinion that we ought not to think of a 
bombardment, but trust entirely to starvation for its 
reduction, protecting ourselves from without by lines 
of circumvallation of some kind. 

I submitted this view to the Crown Prince, and 
then drove across to see Moltke about it. He agreed 
with me entirely, and considered that it would never 
come to be a question of bombardment, as the French 
would be starved out long before that could arise. 

I drove away well pleased, and had hardly taken my 
breakfast, when a tremendous cannonade broke out 
from Mont Valerien. Soon the news arrived that 
the enemy had made a sortie with about ten battalions, 
a large force of artillery, and some cavalry. The 
Crown Prince rode off at once, and I followed ; but, 
seeing that he was going to the King, and not wanting 
to join the great entourage, I sped off towards 
Vaucresson and the Empress's Kiosk. Bronsart and 
Hahnke were with me. We got right into the shell- 
fire, but could see nothing except the enemy's reserves 
on Mont Valerien. They appear to have attacked 
with a strong division, and nearly forty guns and 


The fight lasted about two hours, and was very 
spirited, until the enemy withdrew under the guns of 
Mont Valerien. 

We had about eight or nine battalions and two guns 

The Guards- Landwehr made prisoners two officers 
and 100 men, and drove the enemy out of Malmaison. 
The 50th Regiment (Fifth Army Corps) took two 
guns and several prisoners. 

The sortie was completely repulsed, but who knows 
that he will not attempt another one to-morrow ? 
From what the prisoners say, there is another heavy 
sortie in preparation. 

As soon as the fight was over, I rode to the aque- 
duct at Marly, where I met the King and the Crown 
Prince. Then, in the highest spirits, we rode home 
at a sharp trot. I was tired to death, and was glad to 
get to bed. 

October 22. 

Good news from Metz. The fortress will surrender 
in a few days, owing to want of provisions. Our 
situation will then be quite changed. We shall get 
another 100,000 men here, and then we shall be able 
to make strong expeditions far afield. 

I had to work the whole day, and was only able to 
take a walk towards evening to the great lake. 

This endless sending of news to the Headquarters 
is very worrying, especially when subjects which may 
be termed veritable tomfooleries are in question. 

Everyone comes to me, wanting to know something 
or to have something altered, and a great many 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 167 

demands are too childish to mention. It prostitutes 
my position, and puts me sometimes in a towering 

In the evening Xylander and the orderly returned 
to Versailles. The enemy appears to be concentra- 
ting about Blois. Wittich remains in Chartres, and 
wants to send only a flying column to Dreux. I think 
he is right, and shall to-morrow send him orders to 
remain at Chartres. Tann and Wittich have sent me 
valuable information, which, corroborated as it is by 
the confessions of prisoners, clears up the situation 
considerably. Paris appears to contain about four 
weeks' provisions. Among the regular troops, as 
among the Mobiles, there is a great longing for peace. 
The ' man in the street,' however, wants war to the 
knife, and, if one is to believe in his fanfaronade, 
would sooner die than part with territory. 

Paris is quite quiet. Still, the National Guard and 
the Government are not friendly towards one another, 
nor do the regular troops and the Gardes-mobiles 
fraternize much that is to say, those in the forts and 
outside the city limits. 

The Government of the country, which is at Tours, 
spreads abroad falsehoods, and excites the people to 

The localities when captured by us show themselves 
peaceful and submissive enough, but as soon as our 
backs are turned they are filled with Franc-tireurs and 
Gardes-mobiles, who wage a guerilla warfare a style 
of fighting with which we are now only too well 


October 23. 

Early this morning came reports from Wittich in 
Chartres. He is going to remain there and send out 
flying columns to Dreux. I am quite with him, and 
intend in the next few days, if possible, to reunite 
the troops which are in Orleans and Chartres, to re- 
inforce them whenever I can, and send them on an 
expedition against Blois and Tours. This nest must 
be smoked out. The Crown Prince has consented to 
my plan, and now I have sent Bronsart to Moltke to 
communicate it to him. 

I am sure he will have no objection, but it is 
to me like a millstone round my neck that I am 
not allowed to do anything independently, but 
always have to sound others, and make all sorts of in- 
quiries, lest objections should be raised in the circles 
of the highest and most august. In a word, our 
wings are cut and we are pinioned, and if anything 
serious has to be carried out, it is only our luck 
and le Bon Dieu that we shall have to thank if we 

Rheinbaben was with me at 9.30, and reported that 
General von 1 Redern had advanced to Vernon as 
ordered, but had met with considerable resistance, and 
after losing one officer and ten men had been obliged 
to retire on Mantes. I have nothing to object, and 
he must remain stationary if the enemy is too strong 
for him. 

Bronsart returned with the information that Moltke 
quite agrees with my proposals, and now the affair 
will soon be en train. 

Reports showered in to-day. There has been a 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 169 

veritable November fog all day, but I was able to get 
out for a walk in the evening. 

After dinner Lancken arrived from Chartres and 
gave us a gruesome description of the entry into 
Chateaudun. The village was burnt to the ground. 
It must have been a terrible conflict, and the artillery 
played dreadful havoc. 

October 24. 

To-day was quite cold and wintry. Metz has not 
yet fallen. The enemy was quite quiet to-day, the 
potato-diggers alone increasing in numbers in front of 
Clamart and Chatillon. Among them quite a number 
of well-dressed women. Some who came too near 
were warned back, and told that unless they obeyed 
they would be fired upon ; whereupon they fell on 
their knees and prayed that they might be allowed to 
have their potatoes ; they would prefer death by 
shooting to starvation. A cheerful prospect for us 
in the future, when they come out by thousands! 
What are we to do ? There is nothing for it but to 
shoot them down, unless peace is proclaimed first. 

General Tann has reported that he has given 
M. Thiers a safe-conduct to Versailles. This looks 
like the commencement of negotiations. 

This afternoon I took a ride with Bronsart and 
Bronikowski in the park. After dinner, when we 
came out, it looked as though the whole heavens were 
on fire. All rushed out, and witnessed the most 
beautiful Aurora Borealis that I ever saw in my life. 
Almost the whole vault of heaven was one mass of 
blood-red colour, a magnificent spectacle. 


October 25. 

Nothing new this morning. A letter from Wittich, 
according to which all is going on well at Chartres. 
There is a report here that Schlettstadt has fallen 
2,400 prisoners and 120 guns captured. At Metz 
things are not going so happily, and here, too, the 
starvation tactics do not promise too early a conclu- 
sion. Human beings can hold out a very long time 
when they have a will, and that they seem indeed to 
have here. 

In spite of the wet weather I went out for a short 

Shortly before dinner came the news that Werder 
had encountered the French near Besanqon, and beaten 
them handsomely, taking prisoner fifteen officers and 
180 men. 

At mid-day Bismarck was here with the foreign 

I sat with Bismarck after dinner on a sofa, and he 
unfolded to me his ideas of German unity, namely, 
that the German principle must dominate, and all 
others be subjective. He argued most clearly, suc- 
cinctly, and logically, drawing his inspiration from 
history, and confirming his argument by reference to 
the happy fusion of Germans and Slavs in our older 
provinces. What was especially new to me in politics 
was the idea that Russia was gradually receding from 
Germany, a contingency much to be desired by all 
Germans, though she will never do anything without 
us. He told me, too, that the Spaniards now wanted 
to have the Hohenzollern as King. According to the 
despatches which he received to-day, England is 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 171 

seriously contemplating mediation, and very likely 
Thiers will be here to-morrow. 

October 26. 

Another awful day of rain. The night was undis- 

At eleven I drove with Gottberg to General von 
Moltke, whose seventieth birthday it is. There we 
met the Crown Prince of Saxony. I discussed with 
Moltke the course of future operations, and found 
him of the same mind as myself. In a few days we 
shall have the Fourth Division with us, and then I shall 
be able to bring the whole of the Guards- Landwehr 
to the neighbourhood of St. Germain and move the 
Fourth Division to Lonjumeau. We shall then have a 
little more security here, and at Lonjumeau a strong 
reserve, which can be employed later on in a westerly 

Nothing new of importance to-day. In the after- 
noon Mont Valerien did some bellowing. In the 
evening I took a walk in the rain to the great basin, 
which is not far from our house. 

The Crown Prince of Saxony had heard from 
several sources that shots had been fired into Paris 
yesterday afternoon, and that from Montmartre 
particularly some had been dropped into the city. 

It must have been an illusion. 

After dinner I had to deal with a troublesome 
matter connected with the commissariat. Sandrart 
reported to me that the men do not always get full 
rations, and that an army order issued to-day was 
causing some ill feeling and discontent. The order 


given was that each corps should provide itself with 
potatoes and corn, the former to be dug up, the latter 
threshed out by the corps. Such an arrangement 
opens the gate to all sorts of confusion and irregu- 
larities, and it is inconceivable that Gottberg should 
be able to give such an order without referring the 
matter to me. It shall not be carried out, unless we 
are to suffer actual want. I am rather afraid that 
some intrigue against me is at the bottom of it. 
Commissary- General von Stosch is at enmity with 
my commissaries, and does not like my system of 
large magazines. 

I shall have to take the matter in hand, and give 
myself, I suppose, a lot of extra work and worry in 
doing so. 

October 27. 

This morning arrived the glad tidings of the fall of 
Metz. We have taken 150,000 prisoners. 

This will not make much difference in our situation; 
still, it is a good stride on the road to our goal. 

We have also heard that at Nogent and Montereau 
the Wurtembergers have defeated 2,600 Gardes- 
mobiles and taken one gun, one mitrailleuse, and 300 
prisoners. Also at Anet, in the neighbourhood of 
Dreux, a small fight has taken place in which forty 
Mobiles were killed. 

Before Paris everything has remained quiet with 
the exception of the usual cannonade. 

In the morning I had a very unpleasant interview 
with Commissary Barretski, after which I had to 
adopt the system of corps magazines for provisioning 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 173 

the troops, retaining, however, some of the central 

In the evening I took a ride with Bronsart to 
St. Cyr. At night a big dinner, at which I met 

Some Americans who have come out of Paris state 
that order is being maintained in the city by the 
National Guard. Beef is very bad, and there is only 
sufficient now to last ten days. Horseflesh is abun- 
dant, likewise vegetables and flour. Prices are very 

People here do not believe the news of the fall of 

October 28. 

Early this morning we received the official report 
of the capitulation of Metz and Marshal Bazaine's 
army. Seldom has history had to record such a 
collapse. Three Marshals of France, 6,000 officers, 
and 173,000 men in a well- equipped fortress have 
surrendered to a Prussian force of scarcely greater 

It is a conclusive proof of the inferiority of their 
Generals, and of the general demoralization of the 
French Army that this comparatively strong force 
should not have been able to break through the thin 
investing line of Prussians. Had Bazaine, during one 
of the nights immediately succeeding the Battle of 
Metz, tried to break through us with the whole of his 
army in a southerly direction, as I thought he would, 
there would have been nobody to stop him. But per- 
haps he did not know that the two Prussian armies 


had already pushed on to Nancy, but thought that 
they were still in the neighbourhood of Blamont or 
Luneville. In that case it would indeed have gone 
hard with him. 

This morning I had so many troublesome questions 
to deal with in regard to the siege operations that I 
got into quite a bad temper. It ought by this time to 
be clear to everybody that it is not a question of a 
regular formal siege. The sacrifices that the fights 
around the forts have caused us, and, above all, the 
advanced season of the year, must all be taken into 
account ; besides, Paris must soon fall of itself. 

From latest accounts, it has now only eight days' 
beef ; there will then only be left the horses. There 
appears to be very little salt, and powder is running 
short ; and since the last sortie the French have been 
saving their ammunition in a marked degree. The 
weather has been extremely wet and foggy to-day. 
Towards evening I took a walk to the basin. I am 
grieved to get no letter from my wife. I trust 
nobody is ill. 

After dinner one of the King's A.D.C.'s (Count 
Waldersee) came to me and told me that an English- 
man who had just got out of Paris had brought 
apparently authentic information that in the course 
of a few days Trochu intended to make the long- 
expected general sortie. It is to take place on the 
front of Versailles. I promised, with the consent of 
the Crown Prince, to place the whole of the Guard- 
Landwehr Division on the 30th instant in the neigh- 
bourhood of Versailles. If Trochu comes along 
with his 600,000 men, he shall be properly received. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 175 

October 29. 

Early this morning the Crown Prince came into my 
room and showed me a letter from the King, in which 
it is stated that both he and Prince Frederick Charles 
have been promoted to the rank of Field- Marshal. 

In the course of the day came further reports that 
the enemy was collecting round Villejuif and Mont- 
rouge, and as there is a rumour in the town that the 
great sortie is about to take place to-morrow, many 
give credence to it. I myself do not believe it, as I 
do not think that the French have got the heart for it 
at present. Still, there will be another sortie for 

It was very wet, but warm, and I took a ride with 
Bronsart in the park. 

General Moltke has been raised to the dignity of 

According to the evening reports, the enemy has 
again withdrawn into the fortress. 

The arrangements for the provisioning of the troops, 
which are not nearly so perfect as they should be, 
give me a lot of bother. I have every day to make 
provision for, and give orders to, fifteen different 
bodies of troops. This is indeed too much. We have 
in the Third Army now the Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh, 
and Thirteenth Prussian Corps, the First and Second 
Bavarian Corps, the Guard- Landwehr Division, the 
Twenty- second Division, the Fourth Infantry Division, 
the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Cavalry Divisions, 
and the siege artillery and engineer park. 


October 30. 

At eleven o'clock this morning the Landwehr 
Division of the Guard marched through here on its 
way to St. Germain and neighbourhood. By the 
King's command the route taken by this really splen- 
did body of troops was down the Avenue de Paris. It 
was a most imposing spectacle. 

It was interesting that Thiers had arrived from 
Tours and was then on his way to Paris. He must 
have seen these magnificent troops, and have received 
the impression that we are all fit and strong, and are 
well prepared to capture Paris. 

In the afternoon Werner* visited me, and came for 
a walk. At night a great dinner with the Bavarians, 
at which the War Minister said that the King had 
awarded me the Max Joseph Order. 

At breakfast to-day I had the pleasure of seeing 
Oetinger, who looked very well and fit, and very 
pleased to see me. 

October 31. 

The weather very thick and misty, which greatly de- 
presses me, and makes my work all the harder to face. 

I was summoned at four o'clock to the King's 
quarters, and at five o'clock to the War Minister's. 

Before dinner Viebahn brought the news of the fight 
of the Second Guards' Division at Le Bourget. My dear 
friend Waldersee has fallen ; so, too, Zaluskowsky and 
others. My idea is that it was a perfectly unnecessary 
fight. If I had not strongly discountenanced the 
inclination there is here towards unnecessary fight- 

* The painter Anton von Werner. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 177 

ing, we should likewise have suffered similar losses ; 
for instance, the storming of the redoubt at Haut 
Bruyeres, near Villejuif, which has so often been 
advocated, would have cost us a heavy sacrifice, and, 
after all, we should never have been able to retain 
possession of the work. 

Certainly the Guards captured thirty officers and 
1,200 men, but the sacrifices were far too great in 

At 5.30 I took my leave of His Majesty, and drove 
to the War Ministry, where they had already sat down 
at table. Count Bismarck and Blankenburg were there. 

I got into a lively altercation with the War Minister, 
who is just as bloodthirsty as he was in 1864, and 
always wants to hear the first cannon-shot fired. 

It was a very pleasant and most interesting evening, 
and it was almost eleven o'clock before I got to bed. 
Bismarck talked a good deal as usual, and was most 
expansive on the notion of calling together a German 
Parliament at Versailles. I advised him at the same 
time to summon a French one at Cassel ! 

Thiers has returned from Paris. 

Les Ombrages, Versailles, 

November 1. 

To-day, in the presence of the Crown Prince, Kieff 
Schulz and I held a conference on the subject of the 
siege operations. It transpired that it will be at least 
three weeks before the first shot can be fired. 

The transport of munitions from Nanteuil is the 
great difficulty, as there is a scarcity of carts. I have 



telegraphed for four-wheeled waggons in all directions, 
but fear that these vehicles, though greatly needed, 
will not be forthcoming. 

We determined not to commence operations until 
we have collected sufficient material, and in case of 
pressure being brought to bear for an earlier com- 
mencement, to protest formally. 

In the forenoon I had much to do that put me into a 
very bad temper. I then took a ride in the afternoon, 
with Bronsart, to the siege park, and then back through 
the wood of Meudon. Weather warm and pleasant. 

After dinner I passed a very enjoyable evening, as 
Karnatz and Bronsart played charmingly on the piano. 

November 2. 

To-day there is a dry but frightfully cold east 
wind. In the morning an open letter, addressed by 
Archbishop Dupanloup to England, came to hand. 
It was evidently intended for us to read. 

He counsels most impressively a union of the two 
Bourbon lines, as France can only be saved by the 
Legitimists. Thiers is of the same opinion. 

I gave the letter to the Crown Prince, who drove 
with it to the King. 

It seems that somebody has been alarming the 
King with regard to our situation here. He is most 
anxiously looking to the arrival of reinforcements, 
and cannot be induced to consent to certain strong 
detachments being despatched away from here to 
drive back the enemy, who has begun to make serious 
demonstrations in our rear. It is most desirable to 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 179 

push forward an expedition against Tours, and drive 
out the existing Government therefrom. 

If we only had a free hand, how differently things 
would be managed ! 

Thiers is still here, and conducting negotiations. 
Most unreasonable demands of the French, however, 
prevent any desirable result. 

In the afternoon a report was made of a sortie from 
Mont Valerien with twenty- six guns. The latter 
turned out to be potato- carts. 

I rode with Bronsart to Marly ; we could not see 
much, as it had already grown dark. I caught a 
severe cold in the head. 

Yesterday the Bavarian Minister brought me the 
Max Joseph Order, and to-day I received from the 
Emperor of Kussia the St. George's Order of the 
Fourth Class. Both are very rare orders and much 

November 3. 

Yesterday we received instructions from General 
von Moltke that General von der Tann at Orleans 
and General Wittich at Chartres should make offen- 
sive movements. I cannot say that I at all approve 
this idea, for it throws to the winds my plan, which 
has hitherto been followed, of remaining quiet until 
all should be ready for a big stroke. It may easily 
lay us open to defeats in detail. 

I drove over to Moltke at once, and we came to 
terms as soon as he had heard what I had to say. He 
now desires nothing more than that they should make 
reconnaissances in force, which they are both doing. 

12 2 


Wittich is making one to-day, but I greatly fear that 
he will come upon very superior forces in doing so. 

I heard a very interesting piece of news from 
Moltke, namely, that on the night of the 31st an 
emeute took place in Paris itself, in the course of 
which Trochu and Favre were arrested, but liberated 
by the intervention of the Gardes-mobiles. The 
Commune, or Reds, as they are now called, appear 
to have the upper hand. If this is the case, every- 
thing will soon be upside down. We may now, 
assuredly, expect a sortie, for only thereby can the 
Reds hope to confirm their advantage. Their hopes 
will not be fulfilled, however, in the end, for they 
will not drive us back, but only be themselves 
butchered en masse. 

The French Army of the North, which has attained 
some distinction under the leading of Bourbaki, has 
now lost that fine General. He has resigned his 
command because Gambetta has in a proclamation 
declared Bazaine and the other Marshals in disgrace. 
He naturally anticipates a similar fate. 

To-day we have had very lovely but cold weather. 
I went for a walk to the basin, as, with my cold in 
the head, I should not dare to ride. 

November 4. 

To-day I felt very much annoyed. Probably my 
cold in the head was partly to blame, but mostly, I 
think, the inexpressibly distressing manner in which 
the operations of our armies are being conducted. 
The French are reinforcing their Army of the Loire. 
Their Sixteenth Army Corps must be at Blois, the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 181 

remainder about 60,000 men at Le Mans. Opposed 
to them stands Wittich with his single division. I do 
not actually believe that he is in any great danger, as 
his division is more effective than a whole French 
army that has been brought together as this one has ; 
still, it is high time that these impudent folk should 
have their corns trodden upon. As the Crown Prince 
was going to an audience with the King, I begged him 
to explain the question emphatically to His Majesty 
and pray him to allow us to support Wittich with the 
Fourth Division, which has just marched in, and then 
permit him, in conjunction with Von der Tann, to 
carry out the movement that appears to be so 

It was all in vain, as the King fancies our own 
position in front of Paris to be extremely hazardous, 
and will not sanction any troops being sent away. 
We shall have to wait another day. 

I have not been so depressed for a long time, or so 
despondent as I am to-day. The great responsibility 
that I have, combined with the conviction that things 
are not going as they should, and this ceaseless 
threshing of barren cornstalks, is too much for me. 

This afternoon I took a walk with Herkt to the 
basin. The weather was lovely. 

In Paris they appear to have settled down quietly 
again. This afternoon there was a lively cannonade 
from the forts. 

November 5. 

My cold was so bad to-day that I could not go out. 
Bronsart drove over to Moltke, and laid before him 


my request regarding the expedition to Le Mans. He 
was quite of my opinion in the matter, and the Crown 
Prince promised me, moreover, to plead with the King 
to sanction an expedition of the kind to be undertaken 
under the leadership of the Grand-Duke of Mecklen- 
burg. The Crown Prince returned at 12.30, saying 
that it was of no use, as all had condemned it. 

I now feel more quiet, for I see that all my exer- 
tions to bring this movement into play are absolutely 

In the afternoon came a written order from General 
von Moltke, notifying that the expedition was to take 
place at a later date, but that now a small expedition 
(which to my mind is quite unnecessary) is to be 
undertaken against Mantes ; the district in front of 
Mont Valerien Chatou-Argenteuil is to be occu- 
pied by the Landwehr Division of the Guard, so as 
to allow of the Crown Prince of Saxony making an 
extensive movement towards the north-west. By this 
arrangement I shall now have, in addition to my 
present work, to take over the siege operations on the 
Argenteuil front, for which I am deeply grateful ! 

There is a limit of work in every human body, and 
it is not at all to the point that I should be working 
myself to death, night and day, while a whole crowd 
of military loafers are kicking their heels about in 
dozens, doing nothing but passing worthless criticisms 
on other people's work. 

To-day I am looking at everything through darkened 
glasses, I know, but at the same time I cannot help 
thinking that the French will treat us as the Danes 
did at Fredericia. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 183 

They will hoodwink us, and keep us occupied here, 
then suddenly make a big sortie and march away to 
the west. If, however, we destroy their Army of 
the Loire, now at Le Mans, all fear of this contingency 
is past, and they can no longer trouble us. 

It seems to me to be as clear as daylight. 

Towards evening several reports arrived, and some 
despatches out of a balloon that descended near 
Chartres, and was captured by Lieutenant Gartner 
of the 13th Hussars. They tell of the gradual with- 
drawal of the enemy's outpost line round Chartres. 

November 6. 

To-day was a very hard day for me. My cold and 
headache were so bad that I did not get up before 
four o'clock in the afternoon. I had to have recourse 
to the brown bottle. 

The enemy did not cannonade to-day, probably in 
contemplation of an armistice. It seems, however, 
to have come to nothing, as Thiers goes back to Tours 
to-morrow. Lehnke is to accompany him as far as 

There can be no thought of an armistice yet, for 
the childish conceit of the French is far from having 
been reduced. They think that they can still impose 
terms, and will not hear of a cession of territory. 
The letters found yesterday in the captured balloon 
all have a very depressed tone, however. 

The King dines here to-night. 

November 7. 

This afternoon I heard with gratification that the 
expedition against the so-called Army of the Loire, 


which I have so much desired and so strongly advo- 
cated, has been sanctioned by the King, and that the 
command is to be given to the Grand- Duke of 
Mecklenberg. In order, however, that the Duke's 
own troops may be employed, the King has allowed the 
Seventeenth Division to be detailed to accompany him 
instead of the Fourth. Owing to its distance from the 
scene of operations, this will delay matters for at least 
two days more. 

By the 12th his whole corps will be collected be- 
tween Chateaudun and Chartres. It will be composed 
of the First Bavarian Corps (exclusive of the First 
Brigade in Orleans), the Seventeenth and Twenty - 
second Divisions, and the Fourth and Sixth Cavalry 

This afternoon we received information from Von 
der Tann that he is expecting to be attacked. I do 
not anticipate any such thing, as the enemy cannot be 
ready for it yet. 

I am feeling considerably better, but unable as yet 
to go out in this raw air. 

A Russian officer of the General Staff brought me 
intimation that the Emperor has bestowed upon me 
the Georgian Order of the Fourth Class. 

Yesterday the Grand- Duke of Mecklenburg be- 
stowed upon me the military Order of Merit of the 
First Class. 

November 8. 

This morning the Grand-Duke of Mecklenburg 
came here to receive instructions regarding his opera- 
tions. He seemed particularly pleased at his appoint* 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 18$ 

ment, and was so smart and quick in apprehending his 
task that I have the greatest hopes of him. It may 
be, however, that the operations will be more difficult 
than we think, owing to the delay that has taken 

Tow r ards evening a telegram arrived from Tann, 
saying that strong forces of the enemy are advancing 
by Beaugency, and that he is accordingly taking up a 
concentrated position at Ormes. 

At dinner-time a message arrived from Wittich, 
requesting instructions as to whether, under present 
circumstances, he ought not to march to Orgeres to 
support Von der Tann. From all this, we may con- 
clude that a battle is nearer to hand than has been 
anticipated by those in the councils of the King. 

All my prayers and entreaties have been in vain, 
and now people will not be surprised that it should 
have made me ill. My conscience is, however, clear. 
I did all I could, and never hesitated, and God will 
show who was right. 

Count Bismarck and several Princes were at dinner 

Who knows, there may be a sortie to-morrow ? 

In any case, there will be a lot to do, and to-night 
I am quite fagged out with labour. 

November 9. 

This morning again a mass of work, though none of 
much importance. 

The Sixth Corps has reported that between eight 
and nine o'clock last night there was again a great 
noise of drums beating, bells ringing, cheering and 


firing in the city. In the country about Orleans 
nothing new has transpired. 

Viebahn and Bronsart went with the Grand-Duke. 
The latter I miss very greatly. 

In the afternoon I took a walk in the town. 

November 10. 

Yesterday evening came a telegram from General 
von der Tann, reporting that, after a fight which lasted 
seven hours, he had had to retire on St. Peravy. The 
French were in great numerical superiority. He 
intimates to-day that his casualties have been com- 
paratively small, but that he lost some of his reserve 
artillery, which went astray in a wood. It has now 
come to this: that no offensive movement can be 
attempted, but that a concentrated position must be 
taken up in the neighbourhood of Angerville, where 
the Grand- Duke and the Seventeenth Division will 
arrive to-morrow. 

I drove over to see Moltke, but did not find him at 
home. In the evening he came over to me, and we 
discussed the situation, being both of the same mind. 
He also told me that Prince Frederick Charles would 
arrive in Fontainebleau on the 14th instant with the 
Ninth Army Corps. We shall then be able to take 
the offensive in earnest, and place the Army of the 
Loire in a very uncomfortable position. At the 
present moment I imagine that they are well pleased 
at the evacuation of Orleans, and do not intend 
advancing any further. 

Should they do it, however, they will have to 
advance over a wide plain, where our cavalry and 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 187 

artillery should give a very good account of them- 

My cold seems to be worse ; at least, I do not feel 
quite so well. My room is so cold and draughty that, 
in this snowy weather, I cannot get it warm. 

The enemy keeps quiet. General Trochu must 
have issued a memorandum since Le Bourget dis- 
countenancing small sorties, so as to reserve all strength 
for one grand general demonstration. 

November 11. 

To-day was a very quiet day, and was greatly 
enjoyed by me as such, for I had a very bad night, 
and do not feel at all well. I went out for a walk, 
however, as the weather was somewhat better. A 
Lieutenant Hoffman, of the 7th Regiment, has sur- 
prised an Englishman in his quarters, which are about 
1,200 paces from Mont Valerien, and taken from him 
the latest Parisian newspapers. 

One reads in them a changed and despondent state of 
feeling in Paris ; they even dare to talk of surrender. 
Hunger is beginning to tell, and horseflesh is becoming 
scarcer. There is a great dearth of firewood. The 
long-expected sortie will never come. 

November 12. 

To-day arrived several telegrams from Toury, 
according to which the French have not advanced any 
further. The Grand-Duke of Mecklenburg will now 
have plenty of time to receive his reinforcements. 
To-day the King told the Crown Prince to write to 


him and tell him to remain on the defensive until 
General Manstein comes. 

I shall now have to write to him, although it was 
only yesterday that I sent him a letter. 

I sent off several letters to Generals in command, 
giving them instructions in case of a sortie. 

The Bavarians expect one to-morrow, as troops are 
assembling at Montrouge. I do not think it will take 
place. More extensive preparations, of which we 
cannot remain ignorant, will have to be made for a 
general sortie, and for smaller ones the foe has no 
longer any stomach. 

My cold is to-day somewhat better. The day's 
work was, however, very severe, so that, in spite of 
the improvement in the weather, I was obliged to sit 
in my room all day. 

Another balloon has been brought down by the 
Wurtembergers and captured, with three men and a 
budget of letters. 

November 13. 

To-day all was as still as the Sabbath. I am much 
better, but cannot yet go out. 

In the afternoon a telegram arrived from the Grand- 
Duke, saying that to-morrow he will march to Chartres. 
I forgot to send it to the King, and when the Crown 
Prince returned in the evening from St. Germain it 
was very unpleasant for him. It was sent on then. 
I have become a veritable reporting machine ! If this 
sort of thing goes on, we shall have a repetition of the 
story of the Vienna Council of War at Court. There 
is a very decided tendency here to dictate every 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 189 

move to the Grand-Duke, and this ought to be 

If I were in his place, I should report nothing, but 
just cut the telegraph-wire. 

According to the letters and newspapers captured 
in the balloon, feeling in Paris is very intense, and 
already there is a sentiment abroad that the last great 
sortie, which everyone has been looking to, will now 
be ineffectual. 

Provisions are very scarce, but what the Parisians 
appear to feel most is that since the 27th of October 
they have been cut off from the outer world and get 
no news. They appear to be entirely unaware of the 
fight which took place at Orleans. 

November 14. 

To-day I felt extremely unwell, and much worse 
when certain news arrived from the Grand-Duke which 
caused great agitation at the King's Headquarters. 
When I see anxiety abroad it always annoys me, but 
when there is absolutely no foundation for such weak- 
ness it makes me wild. It may be a form of illness 
with me, possibly due to overstrung nerves, but I 
abominate that sort of unmanliness. 

The advance of the Grand-Duke on Chartres appears 
here not to be understood, though at the time I said 
to the Crown Prince and to others that they could not 
be judges of everything that was happening ; that no 
doubt the Grand-Duke had good reasons for his action, 
and if he did not happen to report every detail he was 
quite right and a wise man. This was not at all 
appreciated at Headquarters ! 


About mid-day Moltke came to me. He evidently 
looked at things in a calmer light, but desired greatly 
that I should give the Grand-Duke certain instruc- 
tions. I could only assure him that such control was 
against my principles, and that when a responsible 
task is allotted to a man I consider he should be 
allowed to work out his own salvation. His hands 
should certainly not be tied. Moltke assented 
to this, and upon the other points we were also 

Moltke was annoyed that the Grand-Duke should 
from the outset have divided his forces too much. 
He is right there, but we do not know what were the 
Duke's reasons for so doing. 

In the evening came several alarming telegrams 
that the enemy was advancing with 12,000 men on to 
Houdain through Dreux. It is certainly only a blind, 
but it has done us this good, that they have given us 
back the five Guard- Landwehr battalions from Argen- 
teuil, etc. They move in here to-morrow, and the 
next day will be sent out to Houdain to protect our 

November 15. 

My cold seems to have disappeared, but I am 
troubled greatly to-day with biliousness, which I 
cannot get over. 

The sortie which was foretold for to-day has not 
come off, and there are no signs that it will do so 

In the captured balloon was found a letter from 
E. U. to a Minister in Vienna, in which it was stated 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 191 

that the French would not make another sortie, as 
whatever might be determined upon to-day, and 
accepted with enthusiasm by the crowd, would to- 
morrow fail in execution from want of pluck to carry 
it through. 

Westwards of us the enemy has remained stationary 
at Houdain, and not made a further advance. Behind 
this veil, no doubt, strong forces will be moved on 
Chartres, where there is sure to be a fight. 

General von Manstein has arrived at Milly, east of 
Estampes, with the Ninth Corps, and the ground has 
been so assigned for occupation that Prince Frederick 
Charles has all the country east and south of the 
Paris- Chateaudun chaussee to cover, the Grand-Duke 
all north-westwards of it up to the Seine. We shall 
now have nothing to fear in our rear. 

I am very curious to know whether the French will 
make another sortie. I think not ; it would be too 
risky with their miserable troops. 

In one of the letters it was stated that on the 20th 
of this month the whole of France would rise and 
murder us. So we are to have another St. Bartholo- 
mew's night ! It is not so easily done as said. 

In the budget of letters found in the balloon there 
is a great number of very important and interesting 
letters of especial political bearing, all of which give 
one the impression that the crisis is at hand. They 
seem to fear that in the event of a sortie the 10,000 
Jacobins in Paris will take advantage of the absence 
of the troops to create a bloody revolution. 


November 16. 

To-day I am quite recovered, and was able this 
afternoon to go for a walk. 

In the last few days most important political doings 
have taken place. Hesse and Baden have entered the 
North German Confederation ; Wurtemberg has made 
some reservations, but will come in ; Bavaria, how- 
ever, declines, and wants a separate Constitution. The 
title of Emperor pleases the Crown Prince but not 
the King. In short, no unity has been brought 
about ; the Ministers are departing, and we have not 
progressed much. Whether we shall acquire union 
upon a division of the spoils of war the gods alone 
can tell. Russia, cleverly utilizing her opportunity, 
has abrogated the treaty of 1856 with regard to the 
Black Sea. England cannot make war single-handed, 
and I am curious to know how she will get out of it. 

I hear that in a few weeks' time the Reichstag meets 
in Berlin. What they will babble about there I am 
curious to learn. We have given them in our conduct 
plenty of material, certainly. 

Moltke came to me to-day, and complained that the 
Grand- Duke reported so little, and said that I ought 
to order him to take the offensive. That is not at 
all necessary. The Duke will do that of his own 
accord, and up to now it seems to me he has done 
perfectly right. He remains concentrated, as it 
appears, between Chartres and Maintenon. 

General Rheinbaben, with the Fifth Cavalry 
Division, has been reinforced by five Guard- Landwehr 
battalions, and will move forward as a right wing in 
the direction of Dreux. 

Ministers Dalwigk and Hoffman dined here to-day. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 193 

November 17. 

To-day was a very beautiful day. I drove to an 
audience with the King upon receiving the three 
Orders. I found him very much troubled in spirit. 
It is too much for the old man, and they should not 
go out of their way, as they do, to make him anxious. 
A few days ago there was a veritable panic here. 
They had packed up and made all preparations against 
a surprise. The alarm had spread even to my own 
Staff without my noticing it. They had taken good 
care not to let me see it, as they know how I take 
such pusillanimity. The cue seems to have been 
taken from the Headquarters Staff. 

The letters from the balloon give us plenty to 
discuss, and explain very clearly the situation in 

From the Grand- Duke comes the news that he is 
going to attack the enemy to-morrow in the Chateau- 
neuf-Brezolles-Dreux position. God grant that he 
may defeat him, for that will soon bring the war to 
an end. 

If only the King with all the Princes and his Staff 
would go away, we could make short work of the 
business, and soon bring peace within measurable 

The transport of ammunition is extremely slow. 
We have only 600 carts in the siege park, and require 
at least 1,700. 

The weather being beautiful, I took a walk yester- 
day afternoon to the basin, which did me much good. 
I still have attacks of headache whenever the room 
is too hot or too cold. 



To-day we have assigned the country between the 
Seine and the Marne, together with the Wurtemberg 
division, to the Army of the Meuse, and General 
Franzecky moves up with the rest of his corps to a 
position behind the Sixth Corps, so that we have now 
a strong reserve. 

November 18. 

Yesterday I was aroused to receive the welcome 
news which had arrived at eleven o'clock, that General 
von Treskow, with the Seventeenth Division, had 
taken Dreux, and had made a number of prisoners. 
We have now made a beginning, and to-day I hope 
to hear that the enemy has been further driven back. 
I mentioned to-day at an audience with the Crown 
Prince that we cannot get sufficient waggons, and 
that the attack cannot commence before Christmas on 
account of a lack of ammunition. He suggested that 
it might be well to commence the attack with a few 
of the guns, just to frighten the Parisians. What 
irresponsible person has put this idea into his head 
I cannot tell, but I intend to combat the notion tooth 
and nail, as I consider it foolish in the extreme. This 
is exactly what the French want. They would like 
to pose with great effect as martyrs, and would like 
to give in as gentlemen to superior force. They 
would be able to make capital out of that ; but that 
they should have to give in like hungry dogs to the 
pangs of an empty stomach is to them a crushing 
notion. Why cannot we be just as haughty and pig- 
headed as the French ? It cannot do us any harm, 
and it is quite immaterial to us what becomes of the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 195 

Parisians, since they will have it so. For us and for 
them in the future it will be happier if they have to 
drain to the dregs the cup of misery and woe which 
they have brought upon Europe. 

It lies with them at any moment to put an end to it 
by surrendering. The news that Russia has abrogated 
the treaty of 1856 came as a surprise to people here, 
though I must say I find nothing strange in it. The 
moment seems to have been very appropriately 
chosen, but who can tell what will be the outcome ? 
Will England make a casus belli out of it, or will 
there be a general war, we alone standing by Russia? 
The French will be less inclined to come to terms 

The weather was very beautiful at mid-day, but 
after that much fog. I took a long walk through the 

November 19. 

Early this morning all was again quiet. The news 
came that the Twenty -second Division had defeated the 
French at Chateauneuf and taken 150 prisoners. We 
sent two carrier pigeons with the news into Paris. 
Only Gottberg, Lehnke, and I know about this. I 
hope there will not be a row when it becomes public 
property. The great sortie is expected on all sides 
to come off to-morrow. Personally, I do not believe 
it will, as no preparations have been made for it. No 
particular reports have come to hand. 

On the 21st General Manteuffel will be up in the 
line Compiegne-Noyon, and Prince Frederick Charles 
from Pithiviers and neighbourhood will make an 



offensive movement on the same day against Orleans. 
Next week will therefore be a very eventful one. 

A deserter from Paris gave a very distressing 
account of the condition of the troops in the fortress. 
He does not think it possible that another large sortie 
can be attempted. There was a general cry for peace, 
even from the army. The soldiers are not yet suffer- 
ing from hunger, but the unfortunate inhabitants are. 

November 20. 

To-day the hope is expressed that the South 
German States will unite with us ; Bavaria, however, 
still stands out. The army has recognised, I think, 
the necessity for us to stand towards each other in 
closer relationship, but Austrian influence and national 
particularism are still very powerful. 

To-day the English Under- Secretary of State, Mr. 
Odo Russell, came here on business, it seems, connected 
with the Russian affair. 

The day was quite still, the air wonderfully clear. 
I rode with Albrecht to the so-called Percussion- cap 
Manufactory, near Sevres, where we obtained a 
splendid view over Paris. There was not a sound to 
be heard, not a movement to be seen. The town 
might have been a great French burial-ground. At 
mid-day the King was here. There was no news, 
and there is no sign of any sortie for to-morrow. I 
saw a balloon ascend from Paris. 

November 21. 

To-day is the Crown Princess's birthday ; also it is 
that of my little Heine, who would to-day have been 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 197 

fifteen years old, and would have deeply felt his 
inability to enter military service owing to his 

Prince Frederick Charles moves against Orleans to- 
day, and the Grand- Duke against Nogent-le-Retrou. 
Between the two the enemy is in strong force, but if 
they strike opportunely all that rabble will disappear. 
There was a grand dejeuner here to-day, and before 
it I received the Order of Baden. We dined at the 
King's table f 

After dinner Bismarck began about the bombard- 
ment, saying that he considered it necessary from a 
political point of view. I could only reply that I 
considered it would be a great military fault, and that 
I would rather retire than permit it. His politics 
should have nothing to do with this question ; it is 
purely a military one, and the honour of the army is 
at stake. I can perfectly well see that the Crown 
Prince has been worked upon, and would very much 
like to see a bombardment take place such as a 
subaltern might indulge in. 

I cannot consent to such inanity, and would rather 
give up my command than yield to such infantile 
counsels. When once firing commences, there ought 
to be no cessation whatever. Once the task is under- 
taken, we must go through with it, or else accept the 
blame of the whole world. If I could only see some 
purpose in a bombardment I would not object, but if 
people think that the bursting of a few shells in the 
suburbs of Paris will bring about a capitulation, they 
labour under a childish illusion and greatly misjudge 
the French. In the open field I will gladly go at 


them, but behind walls and ramparts they will become 
real heroes, and we shall forego all our advantage. 

How long I shall have to set my face against this 
bloodthirsty policy I do not know; at the present 
moment I have the King and Moltke on my side. I 
have this evening written a memorandum of my views 
and sent it to Moltke, trusting it may carry some 

November 22. 

With the exception of some routine ufipleasantries, 
everything went along this morning as usual ; it rained 
a good deal and was as warm as in spring. 

In the afternoon I was able to go for a walk. 

The Crown Prince dined at the Reservoir, and we 
all enjoyed a very pleasant musical evening. 

At nine o'clock an order came from Moltke direct- 
ing that the Grand- Duke should abandon his move 
towards Le Mans, and to-morrow make a wheel to the 
left, so as to bring him in the direction of Blois or 

This is a most excellent move, and will effect a 
junction with Prince Frederick Charles on the 26th, 
about Orleans. A victory here will be certain, and 
the French will be not only cut off from a retreat 
on Tours, but also from a junction with the troops at 
Le Mans. The order will have to be telegraphed this 

November 23. 

At half -past ten came a telegram from the Grand- 
Duke, saying that he had been unable to divert the 
march on Le Mans to-day, but that to-morrow he 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 199 

would wheel to the left. His Generals have begged 
earnestly for a day's rest. This cannot be dreamt of ; 
every effort must be made to press forward, or the 
enemy will escape us, a contingency of which there is 
every possibility. 

I sent off Hahnke to the King, who returned with 
instructions that there must be no day's halt. 

General von Rheinbaben with the Fifth Cavalry 
Division must come under our control again, and be 
assigned the protection of the line to Eure. 

Soon afterwards came the news from him that 
Vernon has again been occupied by the enemy, and 
that on our retreat Lieutenant von Bodenhausen was 
left behind. These little unpleasantries always upset 
the Crown Prince, and it takes me some time to re- 
store him to equanimity. Contretemps are inevitable 
in war. 

In the afternoon I made my way to the basin for a 
walk, and afterwards dined with the Crown Prince at 
General Kirchbach's, where we met several Bavarian 
and Russian officers. A most sumptuous dinner. 

November 24. 

With the exception of small outpost affairs all was 
quiet in the night. The Parisians appear most anxious 
to spare their powder. They threw, however, four 
shells into one of the redoubts of the siege park. 
This morning I had to deal with a mass of trivialities. 
Lovely weather, and so I took a beautiful ride in the 

We receive daily in a mysterious way newspapers 
from Paris. The tone of these grows ever more 


humble. A deserter has said that in the next few 
days we are to have a sortie. I do not believe it. 

To-morrow a brigade of the Second Corps marches 
to Villeneuve St. Georges, to reinforce the position 
there, which is at present in a dangerous way. Heavy 
bets are being made on the probable date of capitula- 
tion. If I were to bet, I would lay my money on 
the 8th of December, my reason being that Prince 
Frederick Charles will win a complete victory over 
the Army of the Loire on the 27th or 28th of this 
month. We will give them a few days in Paris to 
digest their defeat, and that will bring us to the 8th of 
December. Whether they have provisions to last 
them longer than that, it is hard to say. Up to date, 
they have had their twenty-two head of show cattle 
calmly grazing on the glacis of Mont Valerien. 

Shortly before dinner Hahnke came from the King's 
Headquarters, and told us that Prince Frederick 
Charles had been having to-day several small fights 
while reconnoitring, and had suffered some losses. He 
cannot dispense with that absurd reconnoitring-in- 
f orce, a form of tactics whereby the Austrians always 
spoil their battles. He forgets that one exposes one's 
position just as much as one uncloaks that of the 

In the evening came several telegrams from the 
Army of the Meuse that the enemy was trying to 
form a bridge near Bezons, in order to cross over to 
the peninsula. What he means thereby I cannot tell ; 
I must, however, warn the Guard-Landwehr Division 
in St. Germain to hold the bridges there and at 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 201 

As I supposed, the rumours of last night were all 
false. There was no sign of a sortie, and even if a 
deserter reports one for the 27th, I for my part shall 
not believe it. 

They are waiting for the Army of the Loire, and if 
it does not come there will be no sortie, as it would 
be only a useless effort. 

I should advise those in power in Paris to make 
peace at any price, and then endeavour, with the help 
of the Army of the Loire which is as yet intact to 
bolster up their dear Republic for as long as they can. 
What the 300,000 prisoners on their return will have 
to say is nothing to us. We should win in either 

The soldiers in Paris are no longer getting fresh 
meat, and must be complaining bitterly. This will 
make a great difference, although the newspapers of 
to-day affect a confident tone, owing to news received 
from their powerful Army of the Loire. The reaction 
will be pretty severe when it comes. The Grand- 
Duke, unfortunately, marches very slowly, and Prince 
Frederick Charles will have to put off his attack until 
the 28th or 29th. That this pretty stroke is being 
carried out so haltingly is sad, but we must wait. It 
is a satisfaction to me to know that the troops taken 
from us for a time have been handed over to Prince 
Frederick Charles, as this will give a cohesion to the 

In the afternoon I took a charming ride with 
Albrecht to the redoubt in the siege park. 


November 26. 

Early this morning came in a telegram from the 
Grand-Duke that he had met a strong force of the 
enemy, 8,000 strong, marching from Chateaudun to 
Brou. They have strong columns of reserves. He is 
taking up a position, so here we have another check, 
and are unable to bring any nearer the junction with 
Prince Frederick Charles. I would have gone forwards 
at all hazards, and routed the lot. 

General von Moltke was very much vexed with 
this tardiness, and proposed to the King that General 
von Stosch should be sent to the Grand- Duke as Chief 
of the Staff to hurry him up. 

In the forenoon I thought I heard a great fight 
going on, but it turned out to be fire-exercises taking 
place in the Bois de Boulogne. 

The news has come from Prince Frederick Charles 
that the ground is so wet and heavy that they cannot 
get on at all. 

In the afternoon I took a walk to the Chateau, and 
visited the atelier of Professor Bleibtreu. In the 
evening some Swedish doctors came to dine. 

There came a telegram from the Army of the 
Meuse that it had been reported from Paris that all 
the barricades had been removed to make room for 
the troops to march out and make a sortie, and that 
the gates have to be closed at five o'clock. 

And so we are again on the qui vive. 

November 27. 

Last night there was a terrible cannonading from 
all the forts. I was three times awakened by it. It 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 203 

appears from reports that the enemy was in dread of 
a night attack, and on that account kept up a lively 
cannonade. In front of the Sixth Corps alone was 
any reconnoitring- party of the enemy sent forward, 
and this was in due course pushed back by our out- 
posts. We got news to-day from Manteuffel that he 
is about to attack the enemy (whose strength is 
reported at 40,000) at Amiens to-day. 

Near Orleans Voigts-Rhetz has taken prisoner a 
Brigadier- General whilst reconnoitring. 

The Grand-Duke is advancing by Chateaudun, and 
to-morrow will unite with Prince Frederick Charles, 
so now we may expect the Battle of Orleans to take 
place on the 29th, with decisive result. 

In the afternoon I took a walk to the basin. 

After dinner a telegram arrived from Tiimpling, 
saying that near Joinville, opposite the Wurtem- 
bergers, the French have thrown a bridge across the 
river. Another sortie, therefore. 

From Hartmann comes the news that at five o'clock 
there was a great noise and much firing going on in 

November 28. 

Again last night there was a severe fire from 
all the forts. It looks almost as though the 
French are trying to cannonade courage into their 

The Bavarians report that again yesterday evening 
they heard firing and ringing of bells. I should not 
wonder if another riot has broken out. 

From Manteuffel we have news that he has defeated 


the enemy at Amiens with the Eighth Corps, and 
made about 700 prisoners. 

Also Werder yesterday routed a party of Gari- 
baldians, who, after losing some 200 to 300 men, 
threw down their arms and bolted. 

The Grand- Duke is making a halt to-day. 

The operations against the Army of the Loire are 
being conducted very tardily, and the crisis is still 
some days off. 

Heavy fog this morning. In the afternoon I rode 
with Albrecht to Beauregard, to see the beautiful 
castle there. 

In the evening came the news that the enemy had 
attacked the Tenth Corps at Beaune-la-Eoland ; he 
was, however, beaten back, and lost many prisoners. 
On our side about 1,000 casualties. 

It appears now that the Army of the Loire is trying 
to push forward on the right bank of the Loing, so as 
to assist a sortie from the front between the Seine 
and the Marne, or, rather, in the Seine Valley. 

General von Moltke dined with us to-day. 

November 29. 

A disturbed night again. A continuous cannonade, 
and the arrival of telegrams, all pointing to a general 
sortie. There was very little to be done, as full 
preparations had been made for all contingencies. 

In the forenoon there was great excitement, the 
guns continued to fire, and the telegrams poured in, 
Staff officers and gallopers everywhere. The Staff 
was prepared to march out, but here we had to remain, 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 205 

as there was no indication where the sortie was taking 

Towards mid- day the situation cleared up, and at 
luncheon-time it was quite evident that there had been 
sorties, but that they had been repulsed. At Bezons 
and at Bougival the demonstrations were unimportant, 
but against the Montretout Eedoubt nine battalions 
were launched, to be driven back, however, by the 
rifle companies. 

Against the Bavarians a tremendously severe 
cannonade was directed, without, however, any harm 
being done. 

The principal assault was made against the Sixth 
Corps, especially at L'Hay. The columns of attack 
were commanded by Ducrot, and must have consisted 
of at least a division. 

Three times was the assault renewed against Hoff- 
mann's division, which lost about four officers and 
sixty men. Their casualties were five officers and 
250 men taken prisoners, with large numbers of dead 
and wounded. 

Against the Wurtemberg Division shell- fire was 
employed alone. 

This was the last attempt that they made, and now 
we shall have rest at the hands of the Parisians. 
They did not attack with the same elan as of old, and 
they seemed to see that they can do us no harm. 

At mid-day I lunched with the King, who was very 
kind and gracious to me. His Majesty's face, how- 
ever, betrayed great anxiety. After dinner I drove 
across to Moltke, who told me that there was no news 
from Prince Frederick Charles. The enemy has not 


attempted, since yesterday's fight, to move north- 
wards. The Prince has united his forces with those 
of the Grand -Duke, and it is to be hoped that the 
attack will be made to-morrow. 

This afternoon came a message from the King to 
Moltke and Roon, in which he expressed his concern 
at the tardy progress of the siege, and required a reply 
to certain questions as to the possibility of hastening 

November 30. 

Another very disturbed night, and a really infernal 
fire from the guns, which, by reason of the east 
wind, was particularly annoying. I was repeatedly 
awakened. The Crown Prince hardly slept at all. 
It seems that the firing took place all round, and 
from every fort. It did not cease the whole fore- 

The enemy advanced in our direction with a few 
battalions, and appeared as though he would favour 
Tiimpling, so that almost all our troops were paraded 
at their posts. Towards mid-day, however, he appeared 
to have made up his mind to attack in great force the 
Wurtembergers, in the neighbourhood of Creteil and 
Joinville. I learnt this at about one o'clock, and 
immediately ordered General Franzecky with the 
Third Division and a part of the Reserve Artillery, 
first by telegram, then by orderly officer, to move 
along the right bank of the Seine. Soon after came 
a telegram from Tiimpling, saying that, as he was no 
longer threatened, he had sent a force consisting of a 
brigade of infantry, with two and a half squadrons 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 207 

and two batteries, by Villeneuve St. Georges, to the 
help of the Wurtembergers. This was at 12.40. 

Franzecky will hardly be in time for the fight ; but, 
still, whatever may happen, his presence will be of 
great value. 

Verdy, and later Moltke, were here. They both 
approved of these dispositions. Even now (at five 
o'clock) I am much exercised to know how the affair 
will turn out. The Wurtembergers on the right wing 
will have been reinforced by the Twenty - fourth 

Just this moment (5.30) a telegram from Tiimpling, 
who says that the Wurtembergers' left flank, on 
Mont Mesly, is quite safe. Choisy-le-Roi has been 
attacked, but the enemy driven off. 

Now (9 p.m.) we know that the Wurtembergers 
have regained their old position. They have made 
some 300 prisoners, the greater number in a very 
pretty charge of the Wurtemberg Cavalry. 

Franzecky has not returned yet, but the arrival of 
our two Prussian brigades seems to have decided the 
action. The enemy retired into Paris. Will he return 
to the attack to-morrow? and if so, where ? 

A written communication addressed by Bismarck to 
the King has just been communicated to the Crown 
Prince. It says that a bombardment of the forts has 
become a political necessity, as otherwise the neutrals 
will take it as a sign cf weakness, and may intervene, 
and so create difficulties. He presses his point with 
Bismarckian energy, but his arguments are not on- 

It will be very regrettable if more men are to be 


unnecessarily slaughtered. My conscience is clear, 
however, and I cannot prevent it. By artistic politics 
of this kind this war will take its place in history. 
We are merely its playthings. 

December 1. 

At midnight 1 was awakened out of a delicious 
sleep to see the Crown Prince and Major Hahnke 
standing at the foot of my bed. They had just come 
from the King, and had brought an order to send at 
once, during the night, three brigades to the right 
bank of the Seine to retake a portion of the position 
(Champigny and Brie) which had been lost by the 
Wurtembergers in the battle. 

It had to be thought out most carefully, and many 
telegrams despatched, but, still, all was ready at one 

Lieutenant - Colonel Verdy came from Moltke to 
speak with me on the subject, and then drove on to 
the Wurtemberg Division. I sent Lehnke with him. 

The remainder of the night passed undisturbed. 
Not a shot was fired. The following morning was 
spent in some excitement, as we anticipated a renewal 
of the attack. It did not take place, however, and the 
day passed quite quietly. It is to be hoped that the 
attack on the Wurtembergers, which was undertaken 
with between four and five divisions, will be the last. 
They appear to have fought very well, but they suffered 
very heavy losses. 

No news of the Army of the Loire. It is some- 
what perplexing. 

In the afternoon I took a walk with Herkt. 



In the evening the Duke of Coburg and the Eng- 
lishmen dined here. When Lehnke returned, he gave 
us very interesting details about the Wurtembergers. 
Franzecky, it seems, does not wish to retake the ad- 
vanced outpost line, which was very much exposed. 
There will therefore be no second battle. 

Yesterday, at St. Denis, there was also a large 
sortie, but it was beaten off by the Fourth Corps with 
a loss of fourteen officers. Will there really be no 
further sorties ? It is hard to say. From what the 
prisoners tell us, the troops in Paris are still being 
well fed. 

December 2. 

In the night Hahnke awoke me with an order direct 
from the King, detailing Franzecky to remain with 
his Third Division on the right bank of the Seine, 
and occupy the outpost line between Suzy and the 

From this it is clear that they have decided not to 
retake the position marked by the villages Champigny 
and Brie, and of this policy I quite approve, as 
these villages lie within the range of heavy artillery 
and are untenable. 

The Fourth Division will go into cantonments be- 
tween Longjumeau and Palaiseau. I despatched 
telegrams to this effect, and sent Hahnke off to bed. 

In the morning the Crown Prince was very much 
put out that I had not had him called, as he said he 
ought to be informed of all orders as soon as they 
arrive. I said to him that I could not think of waking 
him for such details ; moreover, that it came into my 



province, and not into his, to issue the subsequent 
orders. I told him that I was not in the position of 
an adjutant who merely had to carry out orders ; that 
I was only too willing to leave him all the honour of 
the command and do all the work, but that my posi- 
tion could not be reduced to that of an adjutancy. 

He saw my point, but he has not a very clear com- 
prehension of his position in the command. With 
the greatest possible kindness and geniality, he replied 
that I could do anything I wished, and that he would 
in no wise hinder me nor raise difficulties ; but he 
must be told of everything, especially when an order 
has come direct from the King. It is not possible 
for him to feel offended, as he is always governed by 
the very best intentions, but he does not grasp the 
exact relationship in which I stand to him. 

Soon telegrams poured in. The Crown Prince of 
Saxony had begged in the night that Champigny and 
Brie should be retaken at break of day. Franzecky 
had agreed. According to the telegrams at one time, 
the battle was going propitiously for us, and then 
at another success was doubtful. Throughout the 
whole day until half -past three we heard the firing, 
and remained in the highest state of uncertainty and 
excitement. The Crown Prince informed me at 
mid-day, and the news came to me as a ray of sun- 
shine, that the King had positively commanded Prince 
Frederick Charles to march and attack the Army of 
the Loire. 

It is impossible that he (Fabius Cunctator) can 
ignore such an order. He will have to go forwards 
at once. 


At 3.15 a telegram despatched by General Obernitz 
informed me that the enemy appears to be in retreat 
on Joinville. So the Wurtembergers must be main- 
taining their position. 

10.30 p.m. : The retreat of the enemy is an 
established fact, and all seems to have gone well with 
the Wurtembergers. 

After dinner I played whist for the first time, and 
during the game had the unspeakable joy of receiving 
a message from Viebahn, telling of a brilliant vic- 
tory won by the Grand- Duke of Mecklenburg. 

Two Corps d'Armee defeated and twelve guns 
captured, with many prisoners. The battle was 
fought near Joinville. 

It is greatly to be hoped that the news will drive 
Prince Frederick Charles forwards. 

Bronsart has unfortunately been wounded, though 
only skin-deep. 

December 3. 

The night did not pass without my being awakened, 
though nothing of importance came to hand. In the 
morning telegrams arrived from Tiimpling, who ex- 
pected to be attacked. It soon transpired, however, 
that the enemy had no thought of such a move, 
but was withdrawing his whole force to the east- 

He appears to have massed his whole field army 
during the day in the neighbourhood of Joinville and 
Brie, and will try to break through to-morrow. To- 
day hardly any fighting took place, only a somewhat 
heavy cannonade. 


The losses of yesterday were, unfortunately, very 

It snowed rather heavily, but there appears to be a 
thaw at present. Our poor fellows will have to suffer 
greatly ; the enemy, too, I fear. At mid-day I dined 
at the King's table. It was the birthday of the Grand- 
Duchess of Baden. 

The War Minister has written us a letter reproaching 
us for not having reported to him the difficulties 
which had arisen with regard to the transport of 
ammunition for the siege. Had we done so, he would 
have organized a Military Transport Corps. 

Count Bismarck has been round the hospitals, and 
has allowed the men to send in a complaint about the 
bad feeding and attendance. He should have been made 
to come to us ; then the defect would have received 
attention if it exists. I must really give an order 
that no unauthorized persons are to be allowed to 
enter the hospitals. The Crown Prince will not sign 
it. After dinner the Crown Prince told me that the 
question of Imperialism was decided. 

I see no cause for alarm here, for even if the 
French do break through to-morrow with a powerful 
attack, it will not avail them much in the long-run. 
They will not, however, do so. In view of such an 
attempt I have sent the Guard- Landwehr and six 
batteries from here to the Sixth Corps. They will 
start to-morrow. That will allow the corps to send 
more detachments to the right bank of the river. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 215 

December 4. 

The night was quite quiet ; there was a hard frost, 
however, and some snow. From Franzecky the 
report that he was taking up a position in which he 
would wait the enemy. Tiimpling has sent a whole 
division to the right bank of the Seine, and from the 
Guard, too, a division will be sent in the direction of 
Lagny. We shall then have about seventy battalions 
on the battlefield. 

Till now (eleven o'clock) no sound of firing, though 
the wind is in the east. General Manstein went for- 
ward yesterday in the direction of Orleans and cap- 
tured the entrenchments of Chevilly. Otherwise 
there was no news. 


The enemy has withdrawn from Champigny, and 
the day has been passed in quiet. It is very difficult 
to make a forecast of his intentions, whether he will 
try to break through to-morrow, or whether, having 
heard of the fighting of the Army of the Loire, he 
will give up that idea. I myself think that Ducrot, 
seeing the enormous losses that his attempts to break 
through have caused, will now give up the idea. 

By orders from Headquarters the position of the 
Wurtembergers at Villiers is to be further strength- 
ened by the Engineers and armed with heavy guns. 

The weather being beautiful and clear, I took a 
walk with Herkt in the wood, and enjoyed a splendid 
view of Versailles. 

At lunch we met some Bavarians and the Eussian 
Prince Georgi, who told me that I had a remarkably 


large number of admirers in Russia. That is some- 
thing new for me to hear. 

The War Minister has received to-day his epistle 
on the subject of the Transport Corps. 

December 5. 

In the night the Crown Prince sent to arouse me 
with the news of the victory at Orleans, and to-day 
several telegrams arrived confirming it. 

During the previous night the Duke of Mecklen- 
burg entered the city of Orleans. It is to be hoped 
that the pursuit will be effectively pushed. 

To-day the Crown Prince showed me a communi- 
cation in which the King of Bavaria expresses his 
desire that the King of Prussia shall adopt the title 
of Emperor, as he could only consent to so close an 
alliance on the condition that it were to a German 
Emperor that he should be subjecting himself. It 
was again very cold, but fine, and I took a solitary 
walk to the basin. 

Towards evening the telegrams poured in reporting 
the joyful news of the victory at Orleans. 

Unfortunately, my nephew George has been 
wounded, just as Curt was, in the ankle. I trust it is 
not severe. It has upset me considerably, and I shall 
have to telegraph to his father, a painful task. 

Les Ombrages de Versailles, 

December 6. 

All quiet this morning. Nothing new of impor- 
tance except that General von Manteuffel has now 
marched into Rouen, and captured some guns from 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 217 

the enemy. The latter must have retreated, some 
35,000 strong, in the direction of Havre. If they are 
pursued swiftly and with determination, they will be 
pushed into the sea. 

Towards mid-day Viebahn arrived from Orleans. 
He had exceedingly interesting details to give us of 
the battle there. The Seventeenth Division and the 
Twenty- second, too, as well as the Cavalry, distin- 
guished themselves greatly. 

The cold has somewhat abated, and I was able to 
take my walk to the basin, and five times round it, 
which just makes a mile. 

To-day the King dined with usi It was easy to see 
the joy that the victory at Orleans had given him. 
It is not to be wondered at, for therein lies the 
decisive issue. They report the capture of at least 
20,000 prisoners, and every hour brings news of more. 
The Army of the Loire must be in a state of disso- 
lution. Whether the news will have the proper effect 
here is now the question. 

Yesterday General von Moltke sent into Paris 
tidings of the great victory, and pleaded for the 
avoidance of further unnecessary bloodshed. To-day 
Trochu replied very politely, as the King told me, 
but made no remark beyond acknowledging the com- 
munication. There will be further developments in 
Paris, but who knows how the cat will jump ? 

December 7. 

This morning all was quiet. There came further 
details of the battle at Orleans, and to-day arrived 


six of the captured cannons, which have been parked 
round the statue of Louis XIV. 

At last the order from General von Moltke has 
come that all horses that can be spared are to be sent 
to the ammunition train of the siege park. Besides 
this, the War Minister is going to form a Military 
Transport Corps, just as at Diippel, in 1864, he 
authorized the construction of a railway-line just 
three days before the place was stormed, viz., from 
Flensburg to Gravenstein ! 

It is exceedingly interesting to note with what 
energy he and Bismarck are pressing a bombardment 
of Paris. 

This evening the Crown Prince showed me a tele- 
gram from the diplomatic bureau in Berlin, which 
Bismarck had sent to him, wherein it was stated that 
the rulers in Paris themselves desired to be bom- 
barded, so that they might capitulate with honour. 
How this is known I should like to be told, and 
through what channels this intercourse is carried on 
with these rulers, that their thought should be known. 
I can only see in this manoeuvre an intrigue to work 
upon the feelings of the King, and so obtain the 
much-desired object bombardment. 

It was again quite cold to-day. I was able to take 
my mile's walk, however, with Herkt, to the basin. 

For the past three days I have had very little to 
do, especially in the afternoons. 

The rage there is for a bombardment is quite 
laughable ; I do not think that it will come, however. 
We ought not to pay the French the compliment, 
however much they may desire it. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 219 

I consider it certainly possible that a bombardment 
under present conditions might bring about a capitu- 
lation ; but I equally decidedly hold that it is not at 
all a certainty, and I should be extremely sorry if we 
had to blame ourselves for having undertaken an 
affair with inadequate means to carry it through. 

Such beating the bushes would only cause a very 
unpleasant reaction. General von Moltke knows this 
full well, and so he does not worry us, but maintains 
silence on the point. 

December 8. 

This morning there were two inches of snow on 
the ground, but it has begun to thaw. In the after- 
noon I took my walk, and afterwards dined at the 
King's table, where all the Knights of the Georgian 
Order were assembled. I was able to have a long 
conversation with General von Moltke, and came 
away with the conviction that he and I agree 
thoroughly upon the general situation. He, too, 
thinks that the Parisians will yield in the course of 
this month from stress of hunger, and that it would 
be better to apply our heavy artillery to strength- 
ening our positions rather than to commence a 
bombardment with insufficient ammunition. In order, 
however, to meet halfway those who press for a 
bombardment, he is going to put the case to some 
of the artillerists as to whether a partial cannonading 
of Paris might not be possible without opening 
regular parallels. I imagine he overestimates the 
range of our weapons, and the moral effect that such 
a cannonading would have. 


I am very curious to know how it will all end if 
the city does not capitulate. 

December 9. 

This morning I received a telgram from my brother 
Louis, saying that he is on the point of starting for 
Orleans, from Lagny, to go to his son George, who has 
been wounded. The telegram is very badly trans- 
mitted, and reads as though Curt had also fallen, 
which I do not think can be the case, as his name 
does not appear on our lists of dead and wounded. 
The possibility, however, has upset me more than I 
can express. I have a foreboding of some great mis- 
fortune. The news of the death of Hahnke's brother 
may conduce to this feeling. We heard of it only 
yesterday. One ought by this time to have got used 
to this sort of thing, and I thought I had become 
quite hardened, but to-day I feel my humanity very 

On the whole, I do not think the situation is too 
roseate, though we have nothing to fear. Perhaps, 
too, it is the news that comes regarding the tenacious 
resistance of these Frenchmen, who, from all accounts, 
contemplate attempting another sortie about the 
middle of this month. They appear to be in some 
sort of communication with Tours, and among other 
means by balloon post. They have very much im- 
proved their balloons, and now have a means of steer- 
ing them. 

Gambetta, who is now the real Dictator, is publish- 
ing the most palpable untruths, which go out to the 
world and are believed. I should not at all wonder if 


at last he is found out and gets hanged. At present 
he is dismissing general after general who does not 
happen to be lucky. Ten days ago it was Conte 
Keratry, now it is Aurelles de Paladines, who was 
commanding at Orleans. 

The Grand- Duke has had another successful fight, 
and captured six cannon. His troops must, however, 
now be nearly spent, and should have several days' 
rest and refreshment. The Ninth Corps will probably 
reinforce him. 

The enemy appears to be very strong at Drieck, 
Tours, Blois, and Le Mans. Nothing new here. Last 
week 433 shells were fired from Mont Valerien 
against the position of the Fifth Army Corps without 
wounding a single man, and people expect a decisive 
result from a bombardment of Paris to my mind a 
proceeding worthy only of a subaltern. It is too 

December 10. 

This morning they tried to alarm me with a tele- 
gram from the outposts in front of Vaucresson, which 
told of a great noise, as of waggons, etc., on Mont 
Valerien. I remained in bed, and shortly it trans- 
pired that it was all nonsense. 

Yesterday we heard that the army of the Grand- 
Duke had moved northwards of Beaugency, and was 
engaged in fighting again. I ordered General von 
Rheinbaben with four battalions and the Fifth Cavalry 
Division to Chartres, to better protect his right flank. 

It really seems as though the Army of the Loire 
had in great part remained on the right bank, and 


united with the Army of Brittany from Conlie. It 
will doubtless take several days' fighting before the 
enemy withdraws over the Loire, or allows himself to 
be pushed into Brittany. 

According to a telegram from Tours, the Govern- 
ment has left that place and is betaking itself to 

Gambetta, the Dictator, says in this message that 
he has taken measures to insure the free movements 
of the army. This means that the bridges have not 
been broken, and that the troops can return over the 

To-day the Grand-Duke has had some more fight- 
ing. General Wittich asks for more artillery, so two 
batteries of the Eleventh Corps shall follow him to- 

There were again some inches of snow and some 
frost, most uncomfortable and unfavourable for 
bivouac and fighting. That will, however, soon end. 

As soon as the French are driven over the Loire 
they will not be in a condition for any more fighting. 
Then there must be a pause for at least four weeks, 
perhaps six, in which Paris must fall. If only we 
were not being harassed by ignorant and incompetent 
persons to bombard the town ! It can hardly have 
any effect, as the guns will scarcely range as far, and, 
moreover, they will have to keep down the fire of 
between 300 and 400 of the enemy's guns. It will 
not only cost us the lives of a great number of men, 
but will also make us a laughing-stock to the world. 
I cannot rid myself of the thought that bombardment 
without a sufficiency of materiel to carry it through 


to a finish by regular siege would not only be idiotic, 
but that a well-tried and distinguished General who 
resorted to such methods would never be forgiven by 

To yield up one's convictions to the judgment of 
unscientific and unjustifiable interference would be an 
unpardonable sign of weakness. That we are being 
forced is shown by a circumstance which occurred to- 
day. Count Bismarck sent to the Crown Prince a 
telegram from Delbriick in Berlin, saying that on 
Monday there would be a great disturbance in the 
House if the bombardment had not already begun. 
With such weapons I cannot fight. 

To-day the War Minister, Von Roon, dined with 
the Crown Prince. I had to sit next to him. We 
both, however, took care to avoid the burning subject 
bombardment. Each knew what the other had to 
say in the matter. 

I received from my brother Louis the unwelcome 
news that he and his wife have arrived at Lagny, and 
travel in to Orleans to-morrow to nurse George. I 
cannot think that he will be overdelighted to see his 
mother in Orleans, where one is within range of the 
sound of battle, not twelve miles off. It is truly 
idiotic. Women have no part on the theatre of war. 
Moreover, George is only very slightly wounded. 

The War Minister told me that Gambetta had not 
gone to Bordeaux, but to the army. It would be 
truly delightful if this upstart pseudo- Emperor were 
taken prisoner and sent to Cassel, or, better still, to 


December 11. 

The night passed quite peacefully, and the day 
likewise. From Orleans comes news that the Third 
and Tenth Corps, as well as the Grand -Duke of 
Mecklenburg are taking two days' much-needed rest 
on the west side of Orleans, and then will move west- 
wards. The enemy must be there in great strength, 
most probably with four or five corps. 

Manstein has marched as far as Blois, and with his 
advanced guard has made a great number of prisoners 
and captured five guns and several ammunition 

From Paris nothing new; hunger is the chief 

As an instance of the determination with which 
Bismarck is pressing his point in the bombardment 
question, the following will serve. He is laid up with 
a bad leg, and so sent the Secretary of Legation, 
Abeken, to an audience with the King, with instruc- 
tions to inform His Majesty that the excitement in 
Berlin on account of . the delay in bombarding is so 
intense that they are in fear of insurrections. 

The King at once telegraphed to the Governor of 
Berlin, General von Canstein, to take immediate steps 
to suppress every sign of disorder and riot. Bismarck 
had not expected this action on the part of the King, 
and sent word at once to him, before the telegram had 
started, that there was some misunderstanding : it was 
not as bad as all that, but what he meant was that the 
people were beginning to get impatient of the delay, 
and, moreover, military men were calling out for 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 225 

How far his wilfulness and obstinacy will carry 
him I know not ; he leaves, however, no stone un- 
turned to gain his end. 

General von Moltke, the Crown Prince told me, is 
in a high state of indignation. 

We are still having hard frosts, and to-day I am 
suffering from an attack of biliousness. 

These questions of the bombardment and the supply 
of horses annoy me more than is good for me. I 
must have a care, else I shall suffer. 

This afternoon I went for a walk with Albrecht 
into the town. 

One of ManteuffeFs brigades has marched inta 
Evreux and Vernon. We might move it here in case 
of necessity. 

In the afternoon Consul Bamberg was here. He 
asked my advice about the railway. Five large 
business houses have approached him regarding the 
provision of food to the starving Parisians on the fall 
of the town. 

Much as I desire to see this good object fulfilled at 
the earliest moment possible, I had to tell him that I 
have no authority in the matter of the railway service- 

December 12. 

This morning early I received a telegram from 
Wittich to the effect that my young nephew Curt died 
on the 8th. I have been most solicitous about him,, 
and anxious beyond measure, and I am much shocked 
at this news. 

He was a splendid young fellow, and had always 
been the greatest joy to his father. God's ways are 



inscrutable, and we can only submit ourselves to His 
will. I can hardly bear to think of the grief of his 
parents. They only yesterday arrived at Orleans. 

My brother Louis must already have received the 
news when he telegraphed from Ludwigshaven. 

I am feeling very stiff in my limbs. 

With the exception of a few shots from Mont 
Valerien, all was quiet here to-day. 

Hahnke received the impression at Headquarters 
that all were against me in the question of the 
bombardment. They appear to imagine that the 
Crown Princess* and the Queen are influencing me 
to spare Paris. It is most extraordinary that men 
will not believe the naked truth. Science and Reason 
are the forces which deter me from a childish and 
purposeless bombardment. This they will not believe, 
but, as far as I read in the Bbrsenzeitung, they attri- 
bute my attitude to female influence. 

These people know me very little, and if I do 
sometimes pay consideration to foreign influence, it 
is not by the ladies that my opinions or actions are 

Yesterday more fighting took place on the Loire, 
and to-day the Army of the Loire is in retreat. 

In the evening a M. de Bouffe was with me, a 
gentleman whom I knew in Paris years ago. He lives 
in a country seat here. He had many requests to 
make, and afterwards said to me that we should soon 

* Eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of England, and after- 
wards the Empress Frederick. TRANSLATOR. 

f The Field-MarshaFs wife, it will be remembered, was an 
English lady. Hence doubtless the aspersion. TRANSLATOR. 


have to leave the country or make peace, as we could 
not hold out. We were suffering terribly from typhus, 
and as Ducrot had broken through, and was now at 
Villeneuve St. Georges, we must retreat. These 
French accept the silliest lies if only it suits them to 
believe them. 

I have received a telegram from my former 
Adjutant, Major von Giese, that Phalsburg has just 
surrendered to him after a three months' siege. 

December 13. 

All quiet again to-day. 

I cannot get over my distress, and must take good 
heed to let no one observe it. My poor brother Louis 
and his wife are ever in my thoughts. How deep 
must be their pain ! for they live only in their 
children, and in them is all their joy. I have written 
to Orleans to-day. This forenoon the English General 
Clermont paid me a visit. He came from Paris 
yesterday. Much against my will I was discreet 
enough to avoid questioning him, for he must have 
given his word not to make any communications to us. 
That must of necessity be the case. He told me a 
great deal of interesting news, however, and he appears 
to think that there is no real distress or famine in 
Paris, nor any loss of heart. We may therefore 
expect another sortie, but where it will be and when 
the gods alone know, though I am convinced that we 
shall be easily able to beat it off wherever it may 

The Army of the Loire appears to have separated 
into two parts, one, consisting of three Army Corps, 



having gone to Bourges, from whence it will operate 
against Orleans. It is commanded by Bourbaki, and 
Gambetta has joined it. 

The second portion perhaps four Army Corps 
strong stands at Blois and Vendome, and to-morrow 
morning the attack will doubtless be renewed against 
it, if it does not very quickly retire. 

As Clermont says, it is a great pity and a great 
hindrance to peace that Trochu, whom he considers a 
very distinguished man and a most honourable one, 
is not elected President of the Government, and at 
the same time Commander-in- Chief. 

This last qualification is, however, a hindrance to 

Clermont also told me that on September 19th the 
panic was so great that we might easily have entered 
the fortress, as at Diippel and Sebastopol. I think so, 
too, but we had not men enough to hold it ; neither 
did we know the circumstances of the case. It is 
very easy to talk after the event, but I should not like 
to have given the order to storm the place. Perhaps 
I am too careful, and give too much thought to the 
sacrifice of men that such a proceeding would have 

In the evening several telegrams arrived from 
Rheinbaben at Chartres, telling that Chateaudun is 
occupied, and that 25,000 men are expected there. 
All the better, for then we shall have a really decisive 
engagement, and most likely succeed in completely 
overthrowing the enemy. 

After dinner Count Solms was here. He had heard 
from a Bourbonist gentleman of standing that there is 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 229 

likely to be a reaction against the rule of Gambetta 
the Dictator, in favour of a new Government and a 
new National Assembly. I hope it will be so. 

The Crown Prince was in very high spirits, and 
appears greatly pleased at the arrival of a deputation 
from the Reichstag to bring the King the title of 

December 14. 

All was quiet in the night ; at least, I did not hear 
a shot fired. 

In the morning the Crown Prince came to me in 
my room, and told me that he had received a letter 
from the Crown Princess, in which she said that there 
was a very strong feeling in Berlin against herself and 
the Queen, because the people thought that they, act- 
ing under the influence of the Queen of England, 
were discountenancing the so-called bombardment. 

I am convinced that this is some deep intrigue. 
The idea has been evoked and encouraged by the 
newspapers, and how far it will extend I am sure I do 
not know. This, however, is clear, that if we give in 
to it we shall soon arrive at the same condition of 
affairs as the French are enjoying, and shall return to 
the days of 1848. 

If we allow ourselves to be driven by the so-called 
' Voice of the People,' as the newspapers call it, to 
adopt measures in opposition to reason and to all 
military science, it will be an end to generalship. The 
people will have to try us by court-martial, turn us 
out, and appoint in our places lawyers and newspaper 
correspondents. These will obey its will, but whether 


they will improve matters and attain its object is 
another matter. 

If the King yields to such an intrigue, it will be the 
turning-point of our fortune and our successes. With 
a bombardment we destroy ourselves, even if by any 
accident it prove successful. 

We are even now reproached with the great sacri- 
fices we have made, but they leave out of all con- 
sideration the far greater sacrifices that will befall us 
if a bombardment or an assault take place. 

To-day we received an anonymous communication 
from Berlin, which appeals for a bombardment under 
any circumstances, in order to prevent all sorts of 
riots and insurrections. Count Frankenberg, too, who 
has just arrived from Berlin, told us of the extent of 
this feeling there. 

The people must have been driven to madness by 
the newspapers and intrigues, and it will give me the 
greatest pleasure to see how this spirit will in time to 
come turn and rend the originators. 

It is exactly what happened at Dtippel, and I have 
lived to witness it. The news has arrived from my 
wife that Laura was delivered of a bouncing boy at 
Diisseldorf on the llth. At the same time arrived a 
despatch announcing the fall of the Fortress of Mont- 
medy, which has been giving a lot of trouble to 

No further news from my brother Louis in Orleans ; 
if I could only get a letter from him, perhaps I should 
feel more at rest. The death of dear Curt lies like a 
stone on my heart. 

* Son-in-law of the Field-Marshal. 


It has become suddenly warm, and the temperature 
stands above 10 degrees, while a continuous rain is 
falling. It began yesterday, while I was taking a 
walk through the town, and I got drenched. 

At mid-day Prince Wittgenstein and General 
Clermont, the English General, who had both come 
out of Paris, were here. We were of course unable 
to question them, but they let out so much in conver- 
sation that we were able to gather that Paris is still 
provided with from two to three weeks' supplies. 

December 15. 

A great quiet prevails, and nothing new has trans- 
pired. It is very warm and unhealthy weather. 

The enemy is beginning to entrench in front of 
Mont Valerien, near Nanterre and Reuill ; I do not 
think, however, that he will make a sortie from that 
quarter again. He has already been severely handled 

The French Western Army appears to be retiring, 
but whether it is being pursued by the Grand- Duke 
and Prince Frederick Charles has not been reported. 
To-day I have sent General von Rheinbaben with the 
Fifth Cavalry Division, three battalions and four 
batteries from Chartres to Brie ; possibly he may 
strike the enemy in flank or rear. Will he, however, 
go forward boldly ? I doubt it. 

The Western Army must have a great number of 
sick, and must be melting away. News of this sort, 
however, I no longer trust. 

In the afternoon I took a ride alone in the park, as 


I felt the necessity of being alone. Still no news 
from my brother Louis. 

Day after day passes in almost the same monotony, 
;and the time would hang heavily enough had I not so 
much to do. It is true that the number of reports of 
>events, mostly of the utmost insignificance, makes 
variety of a kind. I am not, so to speak, bored ; but 
I cannot say that there is much joy or pleasure in the 
life. The best time is in the evening, after dinner, 
when we can express our thoughts without undue re- 
straint. Unfortunately, the Crown Prince seldom sits 
down, and I cannot bear standing about ; sometimes I 
have tried to get up a game of whist, but I have not 
sufficient patience for the game, and prefer conversa- 
tion with those who come to us quite unreservedly, 
and smoke their cigars with us. At these times the 
Crown Prince smokes his short pipe, and is most 
genial and talkative, putting everyone at his ease. 
We all feel how pleasant and agreeable it is. 
Grumblers and growlers have no place here, but are 
called to order generally by some witty retort or smart 

December 16. 

The stategical situation is again most interesting to- 
day. Yesterday Prince Frederick Charles attacked the 
Western Army near Vendome, with what result we 
have not yet heard. It seems to me that the enemy's 
plan is to retreat westwards with the western force, 
and draw Prince Frederick Charles after him, whilst 
Bourbaki with the Army of the Loire, Garibaldi, etc., 
advance by Montargis and Fontainebleau on Paris. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 233 

Then there will be a sortie to unite with the relieving 
army. The beginning was made yesterday by an 
advance of Bourbaki's vanguard to Gien, on the right 
bank of the Loire. General von der Tann, who is at 
Orleans with from 6,000 to 8,000 men, cannot stop 
their advance. 

According to my calculations, Bourbaki should 
arrive at Melun on the 20th, and we shall then have 
to move against him in great strength, retaining, how- 
ever, sufficient troops here to withstand a sortie. We 
shall have at least the Second and perhaps the Twelfth 
Army Corps, and the six battalions of the Guards- 
Landwehr Division, available, and perhaps also some 
battalions of the Second Bavarian and Sixth Corps, 
as well as the Fifth and its Corps Artillery, so that at 
Melun we can concentrate some sixty battalions with a 
strong force of artillery and cavalry. 

To meet the sortie we shall have only the Wiirtem- 
bergers and the Sixth Army Corps, unless the Guard 
Corps by that time has been sent back to us by 
Manteuffel. Prince Frederick Charles can hardly be 
here in time, even if he starts to-morrow from Ven- 
dome ; neither can Zastrow, who is on the march from 
Chatillon to Auxerre. 

If, however, we strike Bourbaki at Melun, the story 
of Sedan will be repeated, for then he will be sur- 
rounded on all sides by the returning troops, who will 
attack simultaneously. 

I fancy, however, that Bourbaki will not advance so 
swiftly with his 120,000 men, but that before he 
reaches Melun he will be placed in a very ugly 


If he does come on, I shall consider his move as a 
decisive one for the campaign, and three weeks after- 
wards the whole thing will be finished. 

From Paris we have received the first information 
that has come to us for two weeks. A stubborn re- 
sistance to the Government appears to be gaining 
head. There are also in the papers several sensible 
articles in favour of peace. The much-belauded 
unity of the Parisians will receive a severe shock. 

The everlasting question of the bombardment is 
still on the tapis, and to-morrow there is to be a 
conference on the subject at General von Moltke's 
quarters. I have requested the Crown Prince's leave 
to be absent, for I am considered a partisan, and 
everyone knows my opinion. 

Yesterday a balloon ascended from Paris, but came 
down at Wetzlar. The papers it carried are now on 
their way here, and will be highly interesting. The 
two men who were in it have been taken to Coblenz. 
It is not unlikely that one of them is General Ducrot, 
who is reported by the newspapers to have left Paris 
to join the relieving army. 

From the Second Corps a report has just arrived 
that a tin box containing Government despatches for 
Paris has started, and will be brought here by mail- 

To-day the weather was beautifully warm, and I 
rode to General von Moltke to talk with him over the 
situation ; then I walked with Hahnke in the park. 

Louis has telegraphed from Orleans that he is 
going to bring Curt's remains to Frankfort - on - 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 235 

To-day there is no information of General Bour- 
baki's advance ; on the other hand, we have news 
of a success gained by the Tenth Corps at Vendome, 
and the capture of six of the enemy's guns. The 
greater part of Prince Frederick Charles's army will 
now return to Orleans to be ready to meet Bourbaki. 

A mass of correspondence regarding the transport 
of ammunition. The old story over again ! The War 
Minister has managed affairs so that the ammunition 
will be here complete in fourteen days that is, before 
his Military Transport Corps is formed to bring it. 

At 10.30 I was summoned to the King's presence 
and ordered to attend the conference which is being 
held to decide what is to be done with regard to the 

The result has been that, since the ammunition is 
not all here, we must wait for it, and then decide. 

A regular siege cannot be carried on, as the means 
are not to hand. 

The simple problem of limiting ourselves to the 
blockade and reduction by starvation, which is certain 
of success, and the utilization of our heavy guns for 
the strengthening of our positions, was not even dis- 
cussed. I could not suggest it, else I should have 
provoked the insinuation that I was trying to make 
use of every means possible to postpone a bombard- 

It was very interesting to me to see how certain 
of the members were willing to compromise when 
they thought that the King was in favour of a 
bombardment. How seldom it is that men in such 
circumstances speak their minds truly and honestly, 


without regard to consequences ! I, at least, have 
always tried to do so. 

Besides the King, the Crown Prince, and Moltke, 
the following were present: Hindersin, Kleist, 
Schulz, Rieff, Albedyll, Podbielski, Boyen, Roon, and 

The professional soldiers all deprecated the useless 
and childish idea of a bombardment. The War 
Minister alone was in favour of it, and he glared at 
us most angrily and resentfully. I really hope that 
this futile idea, with all the sacrifices it must cost us, 
will be rendered unnecessary by a speedy capitulation. 

To-day we had again beautiful warm weather, the 
sk} r , however, overcast. I rode with Sandraat to the 
gun emplacements at Marly, and inspected the abbatis 
formed by him there. He will receive the name 
4 Minister for the Improvement of Woods and Forests,' 
as he is burning and cutting down all the lovely villas 
and parks between Vaucresson and St. Cloud that lie 
within his field of fire ! 

December 18. 

To-day nothing but worry about this infernal trans- 
port of ammunition. I am pleased, however, that 
the War Minister has at last followed our advice, and 
appointed a Commandant over the whole department 
of Transport Colonel von Bronikowski. 

From Moltke came a memorandum setting forth the 
principles upon which the war should now be carried 
on. I heartily approve them. 

Paris to be resolutely invested, but the field armies 
exterior to the lines of investment are to be drawn in 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 237 

nearer, so as to be able to support each other in 
the event of a closer approach of the relieving 

With this intent, the First Army is to take up its 
headquarters at Creil, throwing out strong detach- 
ments to Rouen, Amiens, and St. Quentin, in order to 
clear the country of Franc- tireurs and other banditti. 

To the westwards the Grand- Duke is to establish 
himself in Chartres and Dreux. 

To the south Prince Frederick Charles is to remain 
at Orleans, with detachments at or in the propinquity 
of Blois and Gien. 

General von Zastrow to remain at Auxerre. Von 
Werder most likely at Dijon. 

From the Fatherland reserve battalions will be 
called up to garrison Alsatia and Metz. 

Towards mid-day Consul Bamberg came to me and 
suggested an idea that had not struck me. The 
Parisians, it appears, are greatly alarmed lest we 
should bombard the Louvre and St. figlise, and have 
hung mattresses round these buildings. When, how- 
ever, we begin to fire, and they see that our guns will 
only carry as far as their suburbs, they will at once 
feel themselves secure, and begin to despise our 
efforts. They appear to imagine that we have cannon 
that will carry over a range of four miles ! As soon 
as they see that this is not the case they will at once 
take heart and begin to laugh at us. 

At two o'clock I went with the Crown Prince to the 
Prefecture, where thirty members of the Reichstag 
presented an address to the King. He was much 
moved, and at times could hardly speak. 


In a few days the communication of the King of 
Bavaria, together with the assent of all the German 
Princes, will be presented, and then he will become 

At three o'clock the deputation arrived here, and 
was solemnly received by the Crown Prince. 

Mont Valerien is firing away lustily. News from 
Rheinbaben that he has at last had a fight, and taken 
from the enemy, near Drou, a dozen prisoners, some 
provisions, and sixty head of cattle. Whether the 
Grand- Duke also had a fight yesterday I have not 

In the evening I played a rubber of whist. 

December 19. 

The enemy has again opened a lively cannonade, 
with what intention is hard to say. He is continually 
throwing up entrenchments and pushing forwards, 
chiefly, one would think, to keep his workmen em- 
ployed, and so out of mischief. 

The news from outside is that Werder has attacked 
and defeated Garibaldi, near Nuits. Prince William 
of Baden and General von Gliimer were unfortunately 

Zastrow is at Auxerre, Manteuffel at Beauvais. 
Voigts-Rhetz pursues the enemy towards Le Mans 
and Tours, Rheinbaben towards Le Mans. 

Prince Frederick Charles, with the Third and Ninth 
Army Corps, is at Orleans. 

The Grand- Duke must retire on Chartres. 

During the day all was going on quietly, and so I 
made an expedition on horseback in the park. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 239 

At mid-day the deputation from the Reichstag 
arrived with Count Bismarck. 

The latter sat down beside me on a sofa, after 
dinner, and began to converse with me about the 
bombardment. He combated all my arguments so 
cleverly and with such flattering unction that I nearly 
laughed aloud. He said to me that it was never his 
wish to bombard ; he was perfectly aware that the 
town could not be touched by our fire ; but the 
political necessities of the case rendered it most 
important that we should show that we are in earnest. 
We are compelled to bombard, even if it be only fifty 
shots fired at the forts ; otherwise it would be impos- 
sible for him to prevent foreign Powers Russia and 
England he meant from intervening. All thought 
that our resources were at an end. 

My argument that such an idea did not justify us 
as soldiers behaving foolishly, and acting in opposition 
to our better judgment, he would not listen to, as he 
said that war could not be carried on without a con- 
sideration of political results, and that politics must 
play their part in it. He could only state to me that 
policy demanded it, but as for proving it, here was 
neither time nor place. 

Without such proof, on the other hand, I could not 
allow that we ought to bombard. All I could say 
was that I should not prevent the bombardment com- 
mencing as soon as the ammunition arrived, which 
must be the case within five or six days. He had no 
compunction in laying on flattery thickly, but to such 
influences, thank God, I am as impervious as armour- 


In further conversation he complained bitterly of 
the treatment he was receiving at the hands of the 
King and of Moltke, who had left him for some time 
now without any information regarding the course 
of events ; in fact, they had both been quite dis- 
courteous, even rude, to him. 

He declared most positively that he would not 
remain Minister one hour after the war was over. 
This inconsiderate and impolite treatment he could 
no longer suffer, and it must cease or it would 
kill him. 

He appeared to be quite beside himself, and, among 
other things, said that he had given his advice against 
a siege, and considered it a great error, even as far as 
an investment was concerned, for we should never 
now be able to find anyone with whom to treat for 
peace. He would willingly reinstate the Emperor 
and restore to him his loyal troops now prisoners 
of war. The poor sick man was no longer an 
object of alarm. The King, however, would not hear 
of it. 

I think the King is right. I cannot say that I 
think the situation, as regards foreign influence, so 
threatening, and consider that we must take Paris 
without the interference of outsiders, and must put 
pressure upon the French until they submit. Neces- 
sity will soon compel them to yield ; but to halt at 
half-measures now would be the greatest error of all, 
let Bismarck say what he will. 

One sign will show how excited he was. Among 
other things he said to me that he entered on this 
war as a Royalist, but that he came out of it far from 


being so. After the war was over he would no longer 
remain a Minister. 

He complained about a number of trivial matters 
with regard to which Moltke and the General Staff 
he meant Podbielski had not taken him into their 
confidence ; moreover, that he had had some very 
discourteous letters written to him. 

I saw quite clearly that after all his antecedents, 
which had raised him to such a height, it was quite 
impossible for him ever to play second fiddle again. 

It appears to him almost an absurdity that there 
should be others in the same circle who want to play 
their roles, and are able to play them, and that there 
should be things which another person may be better 
able to understand than he. 

I can see that he has pretty often thrown down his 
last trump and threatened to retire. This appears to 
me a very unjustifiable step. It would, in fact, be a 
great misfortune for Prussia if he were to 4 cut the 

December 20. 

This morning transport worries ; otherwise no news. 
The French continue to fire and to entrench. The 
letters from the balloon came here yesterday, and 
have amused us greatly. 

From them we gather that the Parisians are pro- 
vided with at least four possibly six weeks' supplies. 
All letters allude to this subject, so it is evidently the 
burning topic in their minds. 

The general feeling in Paris is one of exultation, 
really because they have not learnt of the defeat of 



the Army of the Loire, and that the sortie of 
December 2nd has been represented to them as a 

It is almost incredible that these vain people should 
not believe the truth ; they will not even suspect it, 
and wilfully allow themselves to be deceived. 

The sky to-day was overclouded, but I took a ride 
through the wood between Viroflay and Fausses- 
Reposes. I shall not do so again, however, as I found 
myself alone in the midst of a dozen or so wild-looking 
French woodcutters. In this very wood some of our 
soldiers were shot at a short time ago. 

December 21. 

To-day was a very eventful day. Yesterday evening 
I received the news from Count Moltke that a sortie 
on the Marne was expected, and so gave orders that 
the Fourth Division should be moved to a position in 
rear of the right wing of the Wurtembergers, and I 
arranged that a brigade of the Sixth Corps should be 
moved to the right bank of the Seine in case it were 

A confirmation of this news I found in the infernal 
cannonade that was kept up all night. In the morning 
came reports that troops were advancing from Mont 
Valerien, and were trying to throw a bridge over the 
river at Chatou, and so forth. 

At half-past ten the Commandant, General von 
Voigts-Rhetz, came and told me that a lady well 
known to him had informed him, with tears in her 
eyes, that a company of Franc-tireurs had crept into 
our midst to make an attempt on the lives of the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 243 

King, Bismarck, and the Crown Prince. As there 
were some suspicious signs, we had the gates locked 
at two o'clock, and a search made all round for 
loafers and weapons. Some twenty men and about 
100 weapons were brought in, but only one man who was 
at all suspicious a painter who had a loaded revolver 
and a dagger on him. It was evidently a false 

False attacks have been made at Nanterre and 
Chatou as well as at St. Denis, where there was a 
fight with some troops of the Fourth Corps. 

The real attack was made by three divisions upon 
the Guards at Le Bourget, and a demonstration was 
made against the Saxons at Mont Avron. 

The Guards beat back the attack principally with 
artillery. The Saxons will be engaged to-morrow ; 
the Fourth Division and a portion of the Wurtem- 
bergers will come to their aid. A cold east wind is 
blowing, and it is freezing hard. 

December 22. 

This morning worries on the siege question ; after- 
wards reports from all hands. 

The Guards took over 1,000 prisoners yesterday, 
with very slight loss to themselves. The Saxons took 
in the night, after severe fighting, La Maison Blanche, 
which the French had occupied. 

The Wurtembergers received the enemy with the 
fire of two heavy 40-pounders on their advance on 

At mid-day reports arrived that the enemy was 
advancing in force, with strong columns from Neuilly, 



Rosny, and Bobigny ; it appears, however, to have 
been of little importance, as towards evening they had 
all retired to their posts. 

During yesterday's infernal cannonade from Point 
du Jour, and also during that of the previous night, 
Sevres was badly bombarded, and many houses de- 
stroyed ; also from Mont Valerien those in Chatou 
suffered greatly. 

Thus do the French show their futile rage without 
purpose and without results. We have very few 
wounded among our troops, whereas in Sevres many 
of the inhabitants were killed. It is frightfully cold, 
with a bitter east wind. This latter caught the French 
in their faces, and did much to send them home again. 

In my room, with its four windows, I cannot keep 
warm. I sit in the chimney with my cloak on round 
a fire of damp wood, which will not burn a miserable 
condition of affairs. 

December 23. 

To-night a telegram arrived from the Army of the 
Meuse, according to which a deserter has warned 
them of a sortie in great strength which is to be 
made against L'Hay and Chevilly. 

I could not believe it, as all other indications of 
such a movement were wanting ; and as the Sixth 
Corps and the Second Bavarians are always most 
watchful, I did not wish to alarm them, and so kept 

Until mid- day all appeared to be quiet, but at one 
o'clock distant firing was audible, and it has continued 
without cessation until now five o'clock in the evening. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 245 

From telegrams received, a heavy cannonade is going 
on between St. Denis and Bondy, also on the northern 
face. We shall soon receive an explanation. A 
deserter has mentioned that for some time the men 
have lost faith in General Trochu, and now call him 
Le Trompeur. 

In the forenoon there was a conference at my house 
on the siege question. There were present Kieff, 
Schulz, and Bronikowski. Matters are beginning to 
adjust themselves now that the transport arrange- 
ments are working properly. The affair is a sort of 
endless screw to me, and gives enough trouble to 
choke one. 

It was no great blow to me, when the Crown Prince 
returned from his audience of the King, to hear that, 
by order of the War Minister, Rieff and Schulz 
would most likely be relieved from duty on the Siege 
Committee. The latter has completed his prepara- 
tions some time ago, and has done very well ; he told 
me that they are to be replaced by Kameke and 

So we are again to have new brooms and new oars. 
Who knows that I shall not now be turned out ? In 
spite of all intrigues, they will not find it easy to 
do so. 

I have a good conscience, and feel that I have not 
only done my duty thoroughly, but that I have recog- 
nised such things as were necessary here. The dis- 
appointments and aspersions which I have to bear are 
nothing new to me ; indeed, the gracious kindness of 
the Crown Prince and his loyal support make them of 
trivial moment. I am very curious to know what will 


be the outcome of all this, if Moltke does not control 
affairs with a tighter hand. 

I am so glad that the firing or so-called bombard- 
ment has not commenced yet, and am still rejoicing 
that the whole of the ammunition is not yet to hand, 
although, as was my duty, I have done everything in 
my power to hasten matters. It will not be a difficult 
matter for me to prove this. It is, indeed, a blessing 
that the King remains stanch, and will not hear of 
this childish idea of opening fire from a portion of 
the guns, just to make a noise. 

When the new people come, they will first have to 
make themselves acquainted with affairs up to date 
before they can adopt any reasonable reform, and so 
the siege will be still further delayed. 

The weather is beautiful and fine, but fearfully 
cold, and thick ice is on the ground. I have had a 
stove put in my room so as to get some warmth. 

According to reports, up till now (10 p.m.) the 
Saxons appear only to have been subjected to a severe 

The enemy, however, is in great force outside the 
forts at Bondy, Neuilly, etc., and is continually being 
reinforced, so that we may fully expect another sortie, 
which will probably be his last. 

From a deserter's report, the regular troops are not 
willing to fight any more. It has become a butchery. 

When I entered my room to-day, I found it full of 
charcoal fumes, as my servant had committed the 
stupidity of drying my wood on the iron top of the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 247 

December 24. 

To-day (Christmas Eve) we expected a tremendous 
sortie, but, with the exception of a few shells falling 
about, we have had complete rest. 

It is fearfully cold, 10 Keaumur. 

No news from without. 

In the afternoon I walked my three miles to the 
basin. At five o'clock we dined, and at seven had 
Christmas festivities, namely, a Christmas-tree and 
presents, which we had bought for each other, and 
which were afterwards raffled for. 

In my room, which is now delightfully warm, I can 
work up my arrears and write my letters. It is very 
pleasant when I think of the cold and uncomfortable 
days I have spent here. 

December 25. 

To-day we received memoranda and telegrams from 
Moltke saying that Manteuffel could not advance 
beyond Amiens, as the enemy was in great strength 
and was entrenching himself. 

A brigade of the Fourth Corps with two batteries 
was at once sent forward to Manteuffel by train, and 
replaced in their position here by some of the Land- 
wehr Division of the Guards. That gave me plenty 
to write about and to telegraph till one o'clock, when 
the Crown Prince returned from the King. At this 
moment a telegram arrived from Manteuffel saying 
that he was in pursuit of the flying enemy and 
required no further reinforcements. 

As, however, a sortie is expected from Paris from 
the same quarter as the day before yesterday, the 


Landwehr Division of the Guards, six battalions, and 
two batteries, shall remain with the Fourth Corps. 

In the afternoon I had to write instructions to 
Tann, who arrives at Etampes to-morrow with his 
corps, and is to occupy cantonments at Monthery and 

Then I had to write to Rheinbaben to send back at 
once three battalions of the Guards- Landwehr Division 
and the batteries of artillery. He will have to occupy 
with his division and two other battalions the lines 
between Dreux and Mantes. 

In the afternoon came a report that the pontoon 
bridge at Villeneuve St. Georges had been broken 
down and carried away completely by the ice. All 
communications are therefore interrupted, and every- 
thing must go by Corbeil. This will greatly delay 
the transport of ammunition. 

To-night the thermometer stood at 10 Reaumur, 
and it is still bitterly cold. I took, however, a short 
walk with Herkt in the wood. 

After dinner the Crown Prince came back from 
an interview with the King, and told me that Bismarck 
wished a salute fired (bombardment ?), or, at least, 
that the Crown Prince should publish a laudatory 
order about the Bavarians, because the day after to- 
morrow the Bavarian Parliament meets, and a compli- 
ment of this sort would very favourably affect their 
vote. Of course he refused. 

That Bismarck should desire to make use of such 
means makes one suspicious of him. Politics of this 
kind usually bring about a sharp reaction. 

My wife writes me that just as they gave her a 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 249 

torchlight serenade after the Battle of Worth, so now 
she is expecting 'rough music,' as I, equally with 
the Crown Prince, have become most unpopular on 
account of our opposition to bombardment. 

The man in the street will have his say, and I 
really do not know which is most immaterial to me, 
his love or his hatred. 

December 26. 

It is, perhaps, a little milder to-day ; still, it is 
abominably cold, and now Mont Valerien has begun 
again right lustily, so as to make my windows rattle. 

Hardly any news from outside, except that the 
French are ; reported to be concentrating south of 
Lyons to oppose Werder at Dijon. 

General Zastrow has received the order to proceed 
from Auxerre to Dijon to support him. 

It is also believed that Bourbaki has marched with 
the First Army thither,^ and it is supposed that the 
French intend not only to relieve Belfort, but also 
Nancy, and possibly mean to invade Germany. This 
last move would hardly be of any avail, and it is 
doubtful whether the invading troops would ever reach 
France again. We have quite enough troops there 
to combat such an enterprise. 

I am more and more convinced that my plan for 
reducing Paris, viz., by starvation, is the right one. 

The argument that this will take too long I cannot 
allow, for I am persuaded that a bombardment or a 
regular attack of the fortress will last equally long. 
I cannot see, moreover, any drawback in the prolonga- 

* Lyons. 


tion of the investment. On the contrary, it has this 
advantage, that it will force the enemy to make 
greater exertions to relieve the city ; for as soon as 
he has gathered together an army of respectable pro- 
portions he will certainly move to its relief and be 
properly whipped, for his organization must neces- 
sarily be imperfect for want of time. 

If we had Paris in our possession, it would not be 
any the better for us ; in fact, it would make our 
situation less favourable. 

If we had to occupy Paris in adequate strength, we 
should not be strong enough to follow up the enemy 
in the south, nor to disturb his organization. He 
would in that case find time to mobilize and thoroughly 
drill an army with which to move against us. 

That this reasoning is unimpeachably sound I am 
not prepared absolutely to maintain, but there is 
sufficient in it to authorize our declining to make any 
great sacrifices in trying to precipitate a capitulation. 
The difference of a week or two sooner or later would 
be of small consequence in comparison. 

This afternoon Hohenlohe was with me, and ex- 
pressed himself extremely dissatisfied with the position 
he found himself in, which, by the terms of the 
Cabinet order appointing him, makes him entirely the 
sport of the winds. He is willing to bombard the 
forts, since the King desires it, but he is most 
unwilling to commence a formal attack by siege 
operations without adequate means of consummation. 

Half-measures of this sort must necessarily be 
most distasteful to every real soldier. 

What a soldier has to do must always be done with 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 251 

energy and precision, and in an undertaking like the 
siege of a town with more than 400,000 armed 
defenders, he cannot behave like the merest Ensign, 
otherwise science and the military art go for nothing. 

As the bridges near Corbeil and those of Ville- 
neuve St. Georges have been carried away by ice, 
the ammunition trains will be several days delayed, 
and so the policy of starvation be given a better 

A deserter told us to-day that great dissatisfaction 
exists on the part of the soldiers, who do not want 
any longer to fight, and that they are very discontented 
with their treacherous Government. It is not improb- 
able that a catastrophe will take place within the 
course of a few days. 

To-morrow Mont Avron will be bombarded by the 
Crown Prince of Saxony with seventy- six heavy guns. 

Of course, this is neither a bombardment of Paris 
nor of the forts, but it may surprise them a little, as 
it is not expected. 

In the afternoon I took a walk with Herkt to the 
camp at Sartory, during which we ran after a hare, 
like two children. 

At mid- day the King was here, looking very well 
and happy. 

Les Ombrages de Versailles, 

December 27. 

This morning there was a heavy fall of snow, but, 
nevertheless, at seven o'clock the bombardment of 
the newly built batteries on the north-east front, 
said to contain forty pieces, was commenced from our 


seventy- six heavy guns. We could hear the firing 
going on up till evening. I do not think that we shall 
succeed in silencing him utterly, in spite of our superi- 
ority in materiel and the excellent positions in which 
our artillery is placed. 

We always overestimate the effect of artillery 
against the guns of the enemy, and the works in 
which they are placed. 

When its work is to prepare a way for infantry its 
power is undoubtedly great, but against earthworks 
we are inclined to set too high a value on its 

That will be apparent as soon as we come to bom- 
bard Forts Issy and Vanves. This contingency, how- 
ever, appears still to be at a considerable distance, in 
spite of the intrigues of my lord the Minister. 

To-day Prince Hohenlohe was again with the Crown 
Prince. He told me he did not believe that the 
bombardment could commence before the 6th or 7th 
of January, as the necessary ammunition could not be 
up till that date. He also seems to think, after having 
made a careful reconnaissance, that the whole affair is 
idiotic, and only finds his excuse for taking part in it 
in the fact that the King now appears to desire it. 

I am curious to know what Kameke will say. 

In the afternoon I took a walk with Meyer and 
Albrecht in the park, and looked on at the skating. 
In the morning Axel von Koppelow* was here. He 
brought some presents from Mecklenburg. 

* A distant relation of the Field-Marshal. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 253 

December 28. 

This morning again the weather is very dull. 

Yesterday's cannonade, as I prophesied, has had no 
appreciable result, only that, perhaps, it has shown 
us that we somewhat underestimated the effects of 
artillery-fire. What will be said, I wonder, when no 
results are apparent after five or six days' practice ? 

Near Vendome and Beaugency the enemy has 
again appeared. We can now soon commence opera- 
tions against him. 

In the afternoon I went to the castle to see the 
picture - galleries. Afterwards Axel Koppelow re- 
mained with me about an hour or so. It did me great 
good to talk with someone about home. 

Sunday, December 29. 

To-day is a general rest-day, but the news came to 
hand that the enemy has really appeared in force of 
about a division near Vendome, and had surrounded 
six reconnoitring companies under Lieutenant- Colonel 
von Bolternstern. 

He cut his way through, however, but lost ten 
officers and 250 men taken prisoners. 

At mid- day Fritz* turned up quite suddenly, look- 
ing very well and cheery. Albrecht and I accom- 
panied him to the reservoir, where he left us at four 

In the evening, at dinner-time, we received the 
good news that Mont Avron had not only been 

* The Field-Marshal's youngest son. 


silenced, but had been abandoned, and was now 
occupied by one of our companies. 

It is, I must say, much more than I expected, and a 
proof that it was not so strongly armed as we thought, 
and, moreover, that the French are no longer making 
a serious stand. 

At the same time we must not deceive ourselves 
into the idea that the defence on the south front will 
be so paltry. The conditions here are quite other- 

Kameke, who arrived here yesterday, appears to 
agree with me in my view of the state of affairs. 

He likewise considers that we have not half 
enough materiel for a siege, and that we shall have 
to confine ourselves to a bombardment of the two 
forts which the King now desires to be fired at. He 
wants then to try some sort of practice on Notre 
Dame de Clamart, but it is not to be concealed that 
difficulties may arise if no successful result follows. 

People will not see what contempt we bring our- 
selves into if we embark on a project, and then have 
to confess that we are unable to carry it through. 
Everyone counts on hunger, but seems to think that 
the Parisians will become more hungry through fear, 
and will capitulate. I am inclined to think that 
a bombardment will cause them to forget the pangs 
of hunger for some days. I shall be only too delighted 
if I am mistaken. 

December 30. 

To-day we have four or five degrees of frost and 
a north wind. Nothing new of importance. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 255 

Mont Avron has been completely deserted by the 
enemy and occupied by us. It looks as though we 
were approaching the end. 

This afternoon I had to send despatches under flag 
of truce to Mr. Washburne, the American Minister in 
Paris, notifying that we will provide M. Jules Favre 
with the necessary passport to proceed on the 3rd of 
January to London, where the Conference on the 
Russian Question is to be held. 

It is thought that the question of peace will likewise 
be discussed, and be pressed by the neutral Powers. 

In the afternoon I went for a walk with Herkt into 
the park. 

Good news from Louis ! George is progressing 
favourably, and Langenbeck has sent me word that 
the condition of the wound is normal. 

December 31. 

This morning early all was still. It is very cold. 

Rheinbaben reports that the enemy is in force, with 
some 10,000 men, at Brionne, north-west of Evreux. 

Immediately after lunch, at two o'clock, Kameke, 
Hohenlohe, and Schulz came to me to arrange about 
the plan of bombardment, which in the course of a 
few days will have to take place. The Crown Prince 
was here, too, and we were soon agreed on what to do, 
for there is no great difficulty in the matter. 

The forts are to be silenced first, and then a few 
advanced batteries are to bombard the city in the 
neighbourhood of Notre Dame de Clamart. 

Hohenlohe maintains that we can range 9,200 paces, 
and that this was told him by a specialist an artillery 


officer who knows more about the matter than Kieff. 
This is something quite new if it is the case, which I 
greatly doubt ; but if so, we shall be able to fire as far 
as the Prussian Embassy, and place a large portion of 
the city in jeopardy. But that it will have any more 
success I must at present be allowed to doubt, if it 
were not that it takes place simultaneously with the 
starvation policy. 

It really appears, from the English newspapers, that 
the Parisians have from three to four weeks' provisions 

Letters to-day have arrived, under a flag of truce, 
for Moltke and Count Solms. 

I fancy Kameke is rather astonished that I have 
allowed so many to put in an oar. 

To-day we had a sumptuous dinner St. Sylvester's 
evening and in the evening the young people had a 
wine-party and consumed punch. 

I must get into bed at once, as I have caught a chill, 
and feel that I have a cold in the head threatening. 

January 1. 

The New Year commenced, as usual, with congratu- 
latory addresses on all sides. Then, in full fig, we 
drove to the chapel of the Chateau, and listened to a 
very bad sermon, which took an interminable time, in 
spite of the cold weather. 

Manteuffel is making more prisoners in the north ; 
and in the south-west, in the neighbourhood of Ven- 
dome, the Twentieth Division has beaten back the 
enemy and captured four guns. 

There are signs on all sides that famine is increasing 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 257 

in Paris. We get Parisian journals, and read therein 
great demoralization. I cannot think that they will 
make another sortie. 

After service the King received all the officers 
present in the lovely Glass Gallery of the Chateau, 
and made a very touching speech. His Majesty also 
spoke to several officers singly, and, among others, he 
conversed with me. 

He thanked me for all that I have done in previous 
years in such kind tones that I could find no words 
to reply. He wished, evidently, to speak kindly to me 
before others to compensate me for the many vexa- 
tions and slights that I have had to put up with of 

After the audience the Crown Prince told me that 
the 4th had been appointed as the date for the com- 
mencement of the bombardment. 

Although I would willingly have seen it deferred 
till some days later, still, it is quite possible that the 
time has come when a bombardment of the forts and 
a portion of the city may be successful. 

The results at Mont Avron were so brilliant that 
here, too, in spite of the superiority in number of 
the enemy's artillery, we may likewise expect good 

In the afternoon I studied well all the arrange- 
ments. Then I dined at the King's table, when he 
was again most gracious, and at seven o'clock I held a 
conference with Schulz and Bieff, to settle all details 
of the bombardment. Stein was there, too. 

I must send another order off to the Second Army 
Corps, which is marching to join Prince Frederick 



Charles at Montargis. This will be replaced in the 
position by the First Bavarian Corps. 

January 2. 

This morning I was overwhelmed with an amount 
of work quite unusual, and among other things had to 
issue orders regarding the bombardment. 

They want the date of the bombardment, which is 
to commence on the 4th, to be kept secret, but this 
will be a difficult matter. 

The fortress was most unusually still yesterday, as 
if the gunners had been frozen out. 

In the afternoon I took a walk to the town, which 
did me much good, though I still feel the effect of 
the chill. 

Everything is covered with snow. 

In the south and west the enemy still appears to be 
on the move. 

To-day I received news of the capture of Mezieres 
by my di vision. * 

The transport service of ammunition goes without 
a hitch now that it is in the hands of Bronikowski. 

January 3. 

Nothing new from outside. I had so much to do 
to-day that I hardly knew whether I was standing on 
my head or my heels. 

Added to this the unpleasant suggestion that was 
made to Hahnke at Headquarters, that the secret of 
the bombardment has not been strictly kept, and that 
the blame is laid upon me or upon my Staff. 

* The Fourteenth Division. 


I went at once to Moltke and Podbielski and told 
them that I would soon discover the person who had 
spread that falsehood, and call him to answer for it. 

The idea of keeping the matter absolutely secret 
was too impossible, considering the number of people 
who had to know about it, and they could not all be 
expected to maintain silence. Moreover, the orders 
had to be issued yesterday evening, and to-day horses 
had to be told off, etc., in order to be sufficiently 
forward with our preparations. Up to this moment 
(10.30 in the evening) not a shot has been fired, but 
all is going on satisfactorily. We are all very keen 
for to-morrow, for if the weather is not too dull we 
shall begin to bombard the forts at daybreak. 

This morning at the conference Colonel von 
gave utterance to his opinion that a few shells should 
be dropped into the city. 

I told him that he had no order to do so, that the 
forts and their collateral works alone were to be 
bombarded, and that if he did this thing he would do 
it on his own responsibility, and, moreover, that I 
should demand a court of enquiry. 

I am perfectly aware that the King and Bismarck 
would much like to see a few bombshells fall into the 
city ; I cannot, however, shut my eyes to the fact 
that the odium of such a proceeding, absurd as it is 
from a military point of view, would fall upon the 
Crown Prince. 

I shall offer no objection if Paris is regularly and 
properly besieged ; in fact, I now hope it may come 
to that, as it seems to be the only means of bringing 
their inflamed passions to order. Whatever takes 



place, however, must be carried out properly. A few 
casual shells dropped in among them will not frighten 
even the gamins of Paris. The Parisians must be 
made to feel that we have them in the hollow of our 
hand, otherwise they will not give in. 

I said this to Moltke, and he agreed with me, and 
intends to offer the suggestion to-morrow to the King. 

It is at present extraordinarily clear, but in the 
distance there is a mist ; the ground is frozen so hard 
that the Engineers can hardly work. 

Everything is quiet, even Mont Valerien. 

Just now I thought I heard a distant sound of guns ; 
it came, however, from the unfortunate sentries out- 
side my house, who must have much difficulty in 
keeping their feet warm. The temperature is between 
5 and 6 Reaumur perhaps lower. 

January 4. 

The arming of the batteries and the covering of 
them by advance parties in the night has succeeded 
splendidly, so much so that the movement was quite 
unnoticed by the enemy. Not a shot was fired, and 
the whole of the south front looks as though it 
might be dead. 

I almost think that the enemy means to give up all 
the forts, and confine his defence to those of the 
enceinte. Why he should do so is, however, not 
very apparent. 

Early this morning there was a severe hoar-frost 
and such a mist that one could not see more than 300 
yards ahead, and so we could not commence firing. A 
great advantage namely, that of surprise will now 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 261 

be denied to us, for I cannot help thinking that the 
Parisians will have got wind of our arming the 
batteries. I have, furthermore, received reports 
from Paris that extensive movements are going on in 
the city by means of the railroad. Whether this 
betokens a sortie against the batteries I know not. I 
think not, however, as no preparations for such an 
enterprise have been reported. 

If only we had clear weather ! 

The question of the few bombshells is decided. 
The King has commanded that the matter shall be 
placed in the hands of Prince Hohenlohe, who has his 
special commands and instructions on the subject. 

It can now no longer be said that this subaltern's 
jest emanates from the Crown Prince. He will have 
no half -measures. 

At dinner I met Prince Albert,* who said to me 
that it was commonly reported that I was averse to a 
bombardment, and that it was put down to the influence 
of the Crown Princess. This raised my ire consider- 
ably, and I told him that whoever had told him that 
was a liar, and that His Royal Highness was at liberty 
to tell him so. 

What people mean by spreading such infamous 
untruths is to me inexplicable, unless it is the inherent 
wickedness of human nature which exists in all of us, 
though we may not know it. 

Versailles is now a hotbed of gossip a five- o'clock- 
tea-party, only much worse, and more harmful in its 

* The late King Albert of Saxony, then Crown Prince. 


There is no longer the same independent spirit that 
formerly ruled at Headquarters. 

January 5. 

When I woke up this morning it all looked as foggy 
as ever, but it soon cleared up and the sun broke out. 

At 8.15 the first gun was fired, but the fire which 
succeeded was not very powerful, as many batteries 
were unable to open for want of a target in view. 

From outside several very satisfactory telegrams 
came to hand. 

On the 2nd Strubberg with his brigade beat back 
the enemy at Peronne and took 250 prisoners. Von 
Goeben has done much the same. He has beaten 
back two French Army Corps, and is now in pursuit. 

On the left bank of the Seine General von Bent- 
heim has moved forwards from Rouen and en- 
countered the enemy in great force. He beat him 
and captured three standards and several prisoners. 

Prince Frederick Charles is advancing towards the 
west. At one o'clock I drove with the Crown Prince 
to the Villa Stern, whither the King also came ; 
owing to the mist, however, we could hardly see any- 
thing of the bombardment, and so returned home at 
four o'clock. It was a beautiful drive, but extremely 
cold, 12 Reaumur. 

Many, who had formed an exaggerated conception 
of the effects of a bombardment, have been very 
much undeceived to-day. 

The great distance, and the unfavourable wind, 
light though it was, together with the thick atmo- 
sphere, prevented the thunder of the guns being so 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 263 

imposing as they had expected. Moreover, the mist 
prevented several batteries from opening fire at all, 
and as the enemy did not reply as much as was hoped, 
the general effect was disappointing, and people were 
not so very much impressed. 

Prince Hohenlohe mentioned at the King's dinner- 
table that at Fort Issy eleven guns had been silenced. 
That is very likely only a gentle illusion, as they 
probably only withdrew their guns. Four officers and 
eleven men in the batteries were wounded. The 
enemy must therefore have shot pretty cleverly. 

This morning early a small sortie of infantry took 
place opposite Clamart ; as soon, however, as the 
cannonade began they retreated in wild disorder. 

In Paris all seems quiet, though we have several 
indications that it is not so. 

It is still frightfully cold, though the wind is in the 

This evening, after dinner, I had a coughing fit for 
about an hour ; I must have got a chill from the 
windows in Villa Stern. 

January 6. 

To-day was a very beautiful day, and, as far as can 
be expected with this wind, a clear one. The wind 
has gone to the north-west, and it is almost thawing. 

The bombardment was continued merrily, but it 
soon became apparent that the forts that were sup- 
posed to have been silenced yesterday were not by 
any means so. They tired away lustily, making 
pauses at times. 

There has been no report delivered as yet (6 p.m.) of 


any appreciable result beyond an increase of fire against 
us from the enceinte and from pieces of the heaviest 
calibres. I am not at all surprised, and quite antici- 
pated it, for in a bombardment it takes weeks to 
accomplish anything. 

I shall not be astonished if we have from 300 to 
400 guns against us in action. It will only confirm 
my opinion, for which I have fought so long, that 
it would have been better to confine our attention to 
starving them out, and to employ our heavy guns to 
strengthen our defensive positions, and so prevent 
the French pushing forward their defences further 
from the city. 

I heard from several officers, who were spectators, 
that some shells fell into the city, and some thought 
that the quarter by Val de Grace was in flames. 

What will Count Bismarck say when his three 
shells, upon which he has placed so much reliance, 
have no further effect ? 

If he wants to scare the Parisians, he will have to 
let fall at least 3,000. 

The losses to-day do not appear to be great. 

I was unable to accompany the Prince to the 
copper-cap factory to watch the bombardment, as I 
was afraid of catching a fresh cold. I went, however, 
for a quiet hour's walk in the sunshine, as far as the 
basin. In my room I have always a tendency to 

January 7. 

To-day it was, unfortunately, very foggy, and we 
could not carry out as much firing as we had expected. 
It is beginning to thaw rapidly. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 265 

Our head- spy has confirmed the impressions we 
received here regarding the enemy's movements. It 
was his intention to move with Chanzy's army to the 
relief of Paris, and to send Bourbaki's army (with 
the exception of 20,000 men), which will then con- 
sist of two Army Corps, eastwards to invade South 
Germany. The almost impassable condition of the 
Vosges at this time of year has changed his plans, 
and now Bourbaki is to move directly upon Paris. 

To anticipate them all, Prince Frederick Charles, 
leaving one division in Orleans, has marched towards 
Vendome, and yesterday succeeded, after hard fight- 
ing, in capturing a position of the enemy's about four 
miles west of Vendome. We expect that he will com- 
plete the enemy's overthrow to-day and to-morrow. 

In Paris they are pressing for a grand general sortie, 
which this time is to be directed against St. Germain 
and Versailles. 

I cannot think it likely to succeed, as they will find 
it very hard to cross the Seine, which is not frozen 
over. He will then have to advance between St. Denis 
and Mont Valerien, and his forces will be divided, 
and his operations much circumscribed, by the 

The spy maintains that this is his intention. 

To-morrow I shall send two battalions of the Land- 
wehr Division of the Guards from St. Cyr to St. Ger- 
main, and bring in here two others from the Fifth 
Cavalry Division. 

It cannot be denied that we are somewhat weakly 
guarded against a large sortie, as we have likewise to 
cover the batteries. I rely, however, upon the indif- 


ferent elan of the famished Parisian Gardes-mobiles, 
and so have little dread of a sortie. 

This abominable bombardment has landed us in a 
nice hole, and will do us no good whatever. 

The King is now very anxious, especially with 
regard to the situation in the west and south. 

I am unable to share his apprehensions, as it appears 
to me that General von Moltke has taken steps to meet 
the foe in good time, by sending the Second Army 
Corps to Montargis and Auxerre. We may possibly 
lose one insignificant battle, but, with our splendid 
troops, this cannot have a great influence upon the 
main issue. 

The Crown Prince, thank God ! is not at all anxious, 
and looks to the future hopefully and courageously. 

The exertions that the French are making to raise 
new armies out of the soil are really wonderful, 
and Dictator Gambetta's efforts deserve the highest 

Only three weeks ago the greatest depression was 
apparent over the whole of France. Now, in this 
short time, the wildest enthusiasm reigns, and a 
universal faith in final victory. 

The reaction will be correspondingly great as soon 
as these newly formed armies are beaten in battle. 
Then starving Paris must capitulate. 

I shudder for the poor people, for if the Parisians 
hold out until complete exhaustion, sickness is sure 
to break out amongst them, and claim victims in 

Their infatuation is such, however, that they will 
not have it otherwise. 



To-day was so damp that I did not dare go out, but 
employed my time indoors in sorting my papers and 
putting everything in order. 

Yesterday evening the enemy did us the honour of 
engaging our advanced posts with infantry and artillery 
fire in the neighbourhood of Chatou; and, although 
they made no impression, they showed that in this 
quarter they have become more lively. 

January 8. 

The weather was tolerably clear to-day, though a 
little snow fell at times, and we were able to carry on 
practice well. 

No appreciable result has, however, been recorded, 
though I am continually receiving reports that this or 
that fort has been reduced to silence. 

The very useful telegraph-line that we laid from 
Villacoublay, the Headquarters of the General of the 
day, to every battery or every group of batteries, is 
exceedingly annoying to me, for every trivial circum- 
stance of whatever insignificance is reported to me. 

From outside we get the news that Prince Frederick 
Charles has gone forward from Blois and Vendome ; 
the Grand- Duke of Mecklenburg has made an advance 
as far as Nogent-le-Retrou, during which the 94th 
Regiment stormed the village of La Fourche and 
captured three guns. Up to date, therefore, every- 
thing is going well for us, and Chanzy is in retreat. 

Where is Bourbaki ? I cannot believe that he has 
gone eastwards, for it would be, in my opinion, a great 
fault on the part of the French if they manoeuvre on 
such eccentric lines. Perhaps he has gone by Tours 


to join Chanzy. If that is so, Prince Frederick 
Charles will be in a tight place. 

This afternoon I went for a walk with Herkt, 
through terrible mud, to the park of the Chateau. 

I have no wish to look on at the bombardment. It 
does not meet my approval on principle, and at the 
same time I cannot alter matters. 

At mid-day Moltke and the heads of the Siege 
Committee were here, and informed me that this 
night twelve cannon were told off to fire into Paris. 

To me this is a terrible thought, especially as I con- 
sider it will be a useless proceeding. 

To-morrow evening we go forwards to Le Val and 
a part of Bas Meudon, and instal ourselves with two 
batteries against Notre Dame de Clamart. 

From that, however, our art ceases to be of avail: 
we cannot go further, as we do not wish to encamp, 
and so we come to a standstill, as I feared. 

In order to make this as little perceptible as possible, 
and still be doing something, St. Denis will next be 
bombarded, and then Mont Valerien. 

I should like to see this last fort bombarded, even 
though we may be able to destroy nothing therein but 
the buildings. 

During all this time the Parisians are getting hungry 
and more hungry, and will do so until we starve them 


January 9. 

This morning it was fairly clear, but gradually the 
fog came up, so that the bombardment could only 
partly continue. I believe now that it has come to a 


THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 269 

During the night we dropped some hundreds of 
shells into the city, but up till now I have not heard 
with what result. Complaints are already to be heard, 
and will increase as time goes on. 

No further news from Prince Frederick Charles, 
but there is some movement southwards near Gien. 
Can it be that Bourbaki is really going from thence to 
Montargis, or perhaps Orleans ? 

The Hessian Division is posted there, but from 
other sources I hear that Bourbaki has gone eastwards, 
and is advancing from Dijon towards Nancy. 

That would indeed be the most foolish thing that 
he could do. 

From Belf ort comes the news of a fortunate stroke, 
by which we have captured seventeen officers and 
from 200 to 300 men. 

Faidherbe in the north seems no longer to be 
advancing, but to be retiring, most likely to await 
further reinforcements. 

I found the Crown Prince to-day in a very de- 
pressed state of mind ; he spoke of peace at any price, 
and a return of the conquered districts Lorraine and 

Who can have influenced him to contemplate such a 
pusillanimous policy, I wonder ? 

Possibly it may be letters from home. 

Just now, when the war is recommencing and taking 
a more lively and animated phase, to suddenly throw 
up the sponge would be very weak-minded. 

What is going to happen if the fortune of war 
changes against us for a time ? a contingency which 
is most unlikely, I acknowledge. 


It will at least be a test of our manliness. The last 
reservist must be called up to combat France and 
Revolution at the same time. An ignominious peace 
and Revolution in Germany are pretty closely allied. 

Absolute and final victory in France is the only 
means of consolidating a great and powerful German 

Early in the day a young and beautiful lady was 
here Madame Cordier, the sister of the brave General 
Galliffet whose love-affairs have doubtless prompted 
her to try and get into Paris. 

She drove from Tours in a well-equipped carriage, 
in complete insouciance of the many shells flying over 
her head. 

The King, she states, told her that he could not 
give her leave, and that I am the only person who 
can. I shall ask him to-day, and if he allows it I 
shall permit her to follow the dictates of her heart, 
even to running the gauntlet of the shell- fire, into 
Paris. At the same time, I am not very sure that 
she may not be a spy or a bearer of despatches. I 
dearly love courage, and am always delighted when 
a person strives to accomplish what is considered by 
others an impossibility. 

I dined with the King to-day, and he gave me the 
necessary permission to allow Madame Cordier free 
passage. She will be very happy. 

Have just heard from Stiehle at St. Calais that 
Chanzy is retreating before him, and so there will be 
no fight. 

He has picked up from 700 to 800 prisoners. The 
beggars grow out of the earth like mushrooms ! 


It is very unpleasant for us that the enemy has not 
been beaten ; anyhow, he will not come near us now 
for some weeks. 

January 10. 

It was to-day very misty ; snow fell at times, so 
that not much firing could take place. 

The works in the batteries near Clamart were dis- 
turbed in the night by a small sortie, which was 
pushed home right into the batteries. It was, how- 
ever, repulsed by the guards of the trenches. A 
Bavarian officer received four bayonet wounds. 

This evening some new batteries are going to be 

In Paris itself several quarters are on fire. 

The outside news is very favourable. The field is 
again clear. 

Werder has beaten Bourbaki's forces the Eighteenth 
and Twentieth Corps d'Armee near Villersexel, south 
of Vesoul, and captured two Staff officers, fourteen 
officers, and about 500 men. 

Prince Frederick Charles and the Grand- Duke are 
at the gates of Le Mans, after a series of small fights, 
and are to enter the town to-day. Now we have got 
more elbow-room round Paris ! 

According to reports, a committee composed partly 
of civilians, partly of military men, has been elected 
to assist Trochu. Extreme measures may now be 
expected say either a general sortie or negotiations 
for peace. 

The situation is becoming more interesting, and 
we shall, at least, not die of ennui. 


In the afternoon I took a walk with Bronsart. 
He told me many new and interesting facts regarding 
the situation. 

A thaw seems to be setting in. 

We have had a great house search for weapons, 
etc., in St. Germain, but nothing of importance has 
been found a few old sporting guns, letters, and 
satchels, nothing more. 

When I returned from my walk, I found the party 
from Coblenz with the aeronaut of the Marne. The 
latter has been sent here, as he has information of an 
important nature to impart. He would not give up 
his secret to me in private, but desired to tell it to 
the King or the Crown Prince in my presence. 

He stated that he had information of the most 
important nature to divulge, by means of which the 
war might be ended in the easiest manner. 

I hope it is no hoax, and I shall ask the Crown 
Prince to-morrow to give him a hearing. 

After dinner Generals Manteuffel and Sperling 
came to see us ; it was a very great pleasure to see 
them again. The former takes over the command of 
the Southern Army, and starts to-morrow on his 
mission to overthrow Bourbaki. 

Sperling goes to the north as Chief of the Staff to 
Von Goeben, to hold Faidherbe in check. 

January 11. 

The aeronaut was brought to me this morning, in 
order to be allowed to divulge his secret to the Crown 
Prince. The elephant, however, as is so oft the case, 
gave birth to a mouse. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 273 

His communication was to the following effect : 

The war is a misfortune for both nations, especially 
for the French. From a feeling of patriotism he 
desired to bring it to an end. This he could do if 
we allowed him to slip into Paris. In the city there 
is not a single aeronaut left. They would at once 
make use of him ; in a day or two he would make an 
ascent, carrying most important despatches : these he 
could drop in any prearranged spot for our use. He 
also offered to bring us authentic information about 
the supplies, etc. 

When the Crown Prince saw that he had a traitor 
and a spy before him, he turned his back on him and 
stalked out of the room. He has an instinctive hatred 
of such persons, but forgets that a General is bound 
to make what use he can of them, else he has not a 

I shall ask Count Bismarck whether he would like 
to use the aeronaut. 

As a reward, all the man asked was to be allowed 
to come to Berlin after the war, and, assisted by sub- 
sidies, to carry on his experiments in aeronavigation. 

In the forenoon a terrific fire was opened, but with 
no more important results than the destruction of the 
barracks in Fort Issy by fire. There was also a con- 
siderable fire in Paris, which I was able to watch from 
Observatory No. O at Bellevue. I drove there with 
the Crown Prince. 

It is now the seventh day of bombardment ; nothing 
substantial attained, and about 150 dead and wounded 
artillerymen on our side. 

I wonder if eventually they will see the folly of 



this game of long bowls. I think they will, but will 
not confess it, and try to justify themselves. 

In the evening the General Staff was here at dinner ; 
there was, of course, very little said about the bom- 

January 12. 

To-day it was frightfully cold (-10 R.), but not 
very clear, as at times the fog came up. The bom- 
bardment, though fiercer than the previous day and 
more audible here, was nothing extraordinary. The 
French answer lustily from the enceinte and from 
Point du Jour, especially in the direction of St. Cloud. 

There will be a great awakening soon, as no 
evidence of any really demoralizing effect on the 
Parisians is forthcoming ; on the contrary, a Parisian 
newspaper gives expression to the feeling that the 
people, driven to extremities by the bombardment, 
will hold out to the bitter end. That will perhaps 
keep our gallant bombardiers quiet. 

January 13. 

Yesterday evening I took some rhubarb, and have 
been so upset all to-day with diarrhoea that I have 
been unable to leave my room, and have passed a most 
uncomfortable day. 

In the morning arrived the news that Oetinger* 
had had all his cash stolen in Wiesbaden some 200 

January 14. 

Though I slept fairly, I felt myself so unwell this 
morning that I have had to keep to my room. I did 

* The Field-Marshal's son-in-law. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 275 

not lose much by it, for outside the thermometer 
registers between 7 and 8 of cold. 

This morning we received the joyful news of Prince 
Frederick Charles's great victory at Le Mans, and 
his pursuit of the enemy to Alenqon and Laval. 

Bourbaki will very likely have his fight with 
Werder near Belfort, and then it is to be hoped that 
the war will be finally decided. The Parisians, how- 
ever, to judge from their newspapers, are not at all 
inclined to give in just yet. 

Last night sorties took place on every front of the 
fortress, only to be driven back again, however. 

Yesterday I allowed the aeronaut to go into Paris. 
I dare say we shall never hear of him again. 

January 15. 

To-day is already the eleventh day of bombardment, 
which hitherto has been almost ineffective. 

To-day has been very cold (-10 R.), but the 
country from my window looked beautiful beyond 

I am feeling a little better, but must keep my room. 
From Prince Frederick Charles the news that the 
enemy is in the wildest flight. It is to be hoped that 
he will be pressed so hard in pursuit that he will be 
unable to make a stand. Pursuit is, however, very 
difficult over frozen roads, especially for the cavalry. 

From Trochu in Paris a letter came to Moltke, 
asserting, in unbecoming terms, that we are making 
their hospitals targets for our guns. Moltke replied 
to him to-day in courteous language, and in the 
German tongue. 



Nothing of importance to mention. The many 
tiresome telegrams from the various batteries are 
very confusing, and make me quite irritable. 

January 16. 

This morning I am nearly well, and was quite set 
again on my feet by the arrival of a messenger from 
the King at ten o'clock, bringing the news of a brilliant 
victory, won by Werder over Bourbaki, after a nine 
hours' battle. The real significance of this success is 
at once apparent, but it will be more thoroughly 
recognised later. 

I can see in it the beginning of the end. If Bour- 
baki renews his attack to-day, it will only be to give 
Manteuffel time to take him in rear. 

I can see clearly that Bourbaki's army will be 
annihilated ; whatever is left of it will be thrown over 
the Swiss frontier, unless it takes flight in the direc- 
tion of Nancy, when it will be nicely caught on the 

There will then remain only General Faidherbe's 
army in the north ; this must be at once attacked and 

There is every prospect of this coming about shortly, 
as General von Goeben is concentrating, and, more- 
over, the Grand- Duke of Mecklenburg has now re- 
ceived the order to proceed with the Thirteenth Army 
Corps, from Alenqon where he must have arrived 
to-day to Rouen. 

When Faidherbe is crushed the French will have 
no other army outside Paris, and it will be months 
before they will be able to organize another. In this 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 277 

time Paris must fall, unless the bombardment has 
instilled in the Parisians a devilish resentment which 
will lead them to resist till death. 

It looks as though in Paris a catastrophe were about 
to happen to the present rulers there. According to 
the Parisian newspapers, red-hot speeches are being 
made in the working men's clubs of the Belleville 
quarter, and they are calling for a Commune i.e., a 
Reign of Terror. 

Jules Favre asked yesterday for a passport to 
London to attend the Conference. At the same time 
he expressed a desire that his personal following 
wife, children, etc. should be allowed to accompany 
him. This, of course, cannot be granted. 

When the rats leave the ship things look bad. I 
fancy we are on the eve of the great event capitula- 
tion. What will happen then ? 

I fancy that the turn of events will be very much 
as follows a natural course, as it seems to me. 

With the fall of Paris, the Republic, which has 
shown itself to be incompetent, will also fall. There 
is no one there with whom we can treat, and there is 
no likelihood of our being able to find anyone there, 
for, naturally, party spirit has taken the place of all 
thought of their country's defence. 

Why, then, should we not turn to the only person 
who has a shadow of right to treat, namely, Louis 
Napoleon ? 

Will he conclude peace with us on our terms, and 
is he in a position to give us guarantees for the pay- 
ment of the costs of the war ? If so, why should we 
not accept them ? 


He may be prepared to do so. He has the greater 
number of the captured Generals on his side as well 
as the men, who will be very glad to get out of their 
imprisonment, and take the oath of allegiance to him. 

How far we shall be able to help him in this matter, 
I cannot well tell, but it can be done if only we desire 
to do it. 

We have thus a way of putting an end and a very 
brilliant end to the war. 

We shall obtain the much-desired peace, and France 
will have been considerably weakened one may say 
crippled f or a long time. We shall then have shown 
to the world, and especially to our own democratical 
countrymen, that armies of raw levies, drawn from 
the masses, are of no avail against well- organized 
troops, and, above all things, we shall have dethroned 
the Eepublic, which was evidently building up in our 
country dangerous hopes, and would never have 
allowed us to live in peace. 

In the doctrines of liberalism and democracy as 
current in Germany we have more to fear from 
Republicanism than France. With the Republic still 
in existence, everything with us would go by the 
board, as with us every man follows his own train of 
thought ; and it is quite likely that our Government 
would, under France's poisonous influence, be gradu- 
ally transformed into a Republic, whereas France 
will certainly eventually revert to Imperialism. In 
that contingency we should be the weaker. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 279 

January 17. 

A complete thaw ; the mud is frightful. During 
this south wind we hear no sound of bombardment, 
and everything has a look of peace. Work continues 
as in a treadmill. 

From outside the good news that Werder yesterday 
beat back an assault from Bourbaki, and is to-day 
advancing to the attack himself. It may now come 
to pass, as I think it will, that now Bourbaki has been 
held fast Manteuffel will have the time given to him 
to take him in the rear. He must be at Gray to-day, 
which is only three days' march distant from the 

Bourbaki will then have to cross the Swiss frontier, 
which I think will be the best thing he can do ; or 
he will have to retire northwards, and then he will 
be neatly taken. 

Chanzy is being still pursued. General Schmidt 
has taken 2,000 more prisoners. Faidherbe is, how- 
ever, beginning to move forwards. He ought already 
to be at St. Quentin. As I feared, this has made 
both the King and the Crown Prince anxious, though 
there is not the least ground for fear. 

From Paris we are again hearing continually of an 
intended sortie en masse. To-day a number of guns 
have been brought from Aubervilliers to St. Ouen, 
near St. Denis, which looks as though we may expect 
the sortie to take place in the region of St. Germain. 

In Paris things must be lively. 

Madame Cordier wished to come out to-day, but 
was not permitted. Her sister has written to her that 
she ought not to risk her life in such dangers. 


Good news from George ; also cheerful letters 
from Diisseldorf, Horst, and Wiesbaden. In the 
afternoon I went for a walk with Herkt in the town. 

To-morrow is the day of the coronation of the 

We hear very little about bombardment now ; it 
has sunk quite into the second line of things inter- 
esting, and in time will die a natural death. 

Among other visitors to-day Count Loe-Wissen was 
with me. 

In the evening Minister von Schleinitz was received 
by the Crown Prince, and I had a very pleasant half- 
hour's conversation with him. 

It appears that the King can hardly bring himself 
to contemplate being proclaimed Emperor to-morrow. 
The parting with the crown left him by his father 
is no doubt difficult as a matter of sentiment, and I 
can quite understand his feelings and sympathize with 
them. The young Crown Prince naturally has no 
such sentiment to combat ; he is losing nothing, only 
winning a well, perhaps a crown of thorns ! 

January 18. 

To-day has been a historical day. One hundred 
and seventy years ago the Elector of Brandenburg 
adopted the title of King ; to-day our King adopted 
that of Emperor. 

The whole of the officers here, as well as repre- 
sentatives from the troops operating outside, with the 
colours of their regiments, were collected in the Salle 
des Glaces in the Palace of Versailles. A service 
was held, and then, after the King had spoken a few 


words, a Proclamation was read by the Chancellor 
Bismarck, declaring that the King adopted the title 
of German Emperor. It was most solemn, but to me 
saddening to think that the old kingship was dead. 
It cannot, however, be helped ; it is a historical 

At five o'clock there was a big dinner at the King's 
table, and in the evening a reunion of all the Princes 
here at a smoking-party at the Crown Prince's. 

I had some very interesting conversations with 
General Fabrice, the Governor- General, and the 
Crown Prince of Saxony. I also had a talk with 
Prince Hohenlohe, who now clearly sees that from a 
military point of view the bombardment has been 
valueless, and that it can only be of use politically. 

Very good news from outside. Werder has beaten 
Bourbaki back for the third time ; the latter is now 
in full retreat, and it is to be hoped that he will fall 
into Manteuffel's clutches. I am most curious to 
know how ManteufFel will manoeuvre. 

Faidherbe is advancing ; Goeben will engage him 

Scheffler's brigade of the Fourth Army Corps, in 
which Fritz is now, has been sent to Goeben to-day. 

The weather is warm, but very wet. 

A decisive result is fast approaching. No news 
from Paris. 

January 19. 

Early this morning, soon after nine o'clock, an 
advance of the enemy in strong columns was reported 
from Mont Valerien in this direction. At least every 


five minutes telegrams came in. I did not take long 
to make up my mind, but immediately ordered the 
Landwehr Brigade of Guards from Sain try and a 
Bavarian brigade from Bievres to come here. The 
attack appeared at one time to be directed against 
the Ninth Division at Montretout, at another against 
the Tenth at Malmaison. 

Immediately after breakfast, as soon as the neces- 
sary dispositions had been completed, I drove with 
the Crown Prince to Marly ; but on the way we were 
met by Major Dresow, with a report that the fighting 
there was all over. We turned then sharply to our 
right, and drove through Fausses-Reposes to the 
Hospice of Vaucresson, where a battery was in 
position firing at the heights of La Bergerie. A fairly 
lively infantry fight was going on, but this appeared 
to be gradually dying out. 

At 3.30, however, things became livelier, and we 
speedily learnt from General von Sandrart, who was 
in command there, that the redoubt of Montretout 
had been taken by the enemy at two o'clock. An 
attempt to retake it had been made by General 
Bothmer, but had failed, and very soon the enemy 
brought a battery up to Montretout and fired away 
at us merrily. 

The shells flew over our heads or fell to our right 
in the neighbouring valley. There was only one 
gunner wounded, struck by a chassepot-bullet at a 
range of 700 yards. The snow and mist, though not 
of much account, kept coming into our faces. We 
directed the Landwehr Brigade of the Guards to take 
post as a reserve at Fausses-Reposes, as the situation 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 283 

there appeared somewhat insecure. As soon as dark- 
ness commenced we took our seats in the carriage and 
were driven home, arriving here at 6 p.m. 

According to statements of prisoners, the enemy 
had made a very strong sortie, with eighty battalions, 
and appeared to be going to repeat it several days in 
succession ; the troops for the purpose were bivouacked 
at the foot of Mont Yalerien. He brought out a 
number of guns and mitrailleuses. 

The Crown Prince was very gay and cheerful, and 
paid no attention to the shell-fire, which was not in- 
considerable. The Montretout Redoubt, which was 
held by us with a non-commissioned officer's party 
only, and could not have been defended, has remained 
in the hands of the enemy. It will be retaken to- 
morrow morning at break of day, as the enemy cannot 
possibly retain it ; it must, so to speak, remain 
neutral ground. 

Our losses, which were certainly not serious, are 
not yet known. 

The Guard-Landwehr and Bavarian Brigades re- 
main in Versailles as a reserve in case of necessity. 

January 20. 

The fight yesterday was of a much more serious 
character than I had imagined, for the earth is covered 
with dead and wounded, and we lost more than 500 

In the night the Fifth Army Corps recaptured the 
heights of La Bergerie and the Montretout Redoubt 
with loud hurrahs, and this afternoon they retook the 


last houses in St. Cloud, where some eighteen officers 
and 330 men were taken prisoners. 

The captured officers said almost universally that 
they had no hope of victory ; they fought partly for 
honour, and partly because they were hounded on by 
the Parisians. The fortress would not, however, 
capitulate yet, but would hold out as long as they had 
bread ; that is probably some weeks yet. 

In the afternoon there came under a flag of truce 
a parlementaire, Comte de Herisson, Trochu's Adju- 
tant, to beg for an armistice of forty-eight hours' 
duration. We were not able to grant it, except on 
the front St. Cloud - Malmaison - Carrieres, where it 
has been allowed until five o'clock p.m. to bury the 
dead and carry off the wounded. 

The losses of the French must have been very 
severe. Our batteries are continuing to fire lustily. 

In the afternoon we had heavy rain. This forenoon 
the mist was very thick, so that our batteries had to 
cease firing. It soon became evident that the enemy 
was retiring, and had no further mind for a fight. 

A slight unpleasantry occurred to me to-day. The 
Crown Prince was very annoyed at my intention of 
granting a cessation of hostilities along the front of 
the Fifth Army Corps a step which I had referred 
to Moltke for consideration. By good luck I had sent 
Major von Hahnke to the Crown Prince to communi- 
cate my request. The latter was with the King and 
Prince Charles at dinner. He did not give his con- 
sent, but hesitated until he had conferred with 
Bismarck, and so it came to pass that no official cessa- 
tion of hostilities was granted, only by mutual consent, 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 285 

as it were, the dead were buried without disturb- 

The Crown Prince's displeasure I cannot account 
for (he did not make it apparent to me personally), 
but I assume that he cannot bear my arranging any- 
thing on my own responsibility. 

The whole forenoon there was thick fog, and so no 
firing. Towards mid- day it cleared up, and a lively 
cannonade recommenced. 

To-day is the seventeenth day, and still no results. 
The ; Incendiarists * do not talk about it with gusto 
any longer, while I am more than pleased. The 
French cannot now say that we never dared to fire 
upon their world-renowned city. By bombardment, 
however, it will never be forced to capitulate. 

All going well outside. Goeben has pursued Faid- 
herbe, and has already made 9,000 prisoners. 

The Guard- Landwehr and the Bavarian Brigades 
have been sent back to their original cantonments. 

I received several long letters from my wife, to my 
very great joy. 

In the afternoon I took a walk with Herkt in the 
town, which always does me good. I can always un- 
bosom myself in his hearing, without any fear of the 
good, honourable fellow misunderstanding me. 

January 22. 

I do not know how it is, but since yesterday I have 
felt very sore and unusually bad-tempered. I am 
possessed by a feeling that everybody is hostile and 
unjust towards me, and yet I have done nothing to 
anyone. I am, I know, very intolerant and curt. 


Perhaps it is an inward result of this senseless and 
purposeless bombardment, which is costing us so many 
lives. Up to now among the siege artillery alone 
there are fifteen officers and 250 men killed and 
wounded, and the infantry lose at least three times 
as many men as in their former positions. And all 
this to no purpose, since it would be equally easy for 
us to limit ourselves to the starvation method. 

My position here is beginning to be very trying. 
According to the orders issued, the Third Army has 
the operations of the siege confided to it to direct ; 
therefore it has all the work and all the responsibility. 
No one, however, takes the actual lead more than Prince 
Hohenlohe, the artillerist, who is daily with the King, 
talks out everything with him, arranges everything 
according to his own liking, for he feels himself pro- 
tected, and when anything goes wrong I have to bear 
the blame. 

It is an endless screw which threatens to upset me, 
and takes all the joy out of my work. 

People appear to think that it is a pleasure to me 
when the bombardment is of little effect, and that I 
have a feeling of innate justification, which I cannot 
conceal, because I have spoken with such decision 
against a bombardment which is not carried on in 
combination with a formal attack. In reality it has 
no such effect on me ; it only troubles and annoys me 
to see such idiotic methods adopted, in which I am, 
unfortunately, bound to be one of the leading actors. 

This evening came the news that the iron railway- 
bridge at Toul has been blown up by Franc-tireurs, 
and thereby almost our last connection with the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 287 

Fatherland destroyed. What will be done about 
the transport of ammunition now ? 

Fortunately, the railway line through Mezieres is 
completed, and it is to be hoped that more energy will 
now be shown in blowing up the French fortresses. 
We are always too mild in our treatment of this 

This afternoon I rode with Albrecht to the Observa- 
tory No. O, whence we looked on at the bombardment 
for an hour or so. 

It was clear and bright at times, and the enemy was 
firing merrily from the enceinte, and from several of 
the single batteries. 

Prince Hohenlohe, who was there, declared that 
Fort Issy was silenced completely ; however, as we 
were leaving the observatory, suddenly half a dozen 
shots came flying out of that fort ! 

January 23. 

This feeling of depression will not leave me ; it is 
very likely physical or due to overstrung nerves, which 
is not to be wondered at. 

From the returns rendered to-day, before the bom- 
bardment commenced we lost about six infantry 
soldiers daily : now the daily total is fifteen ; add to 
this an average of twenty- five gunners, and we have 
forty men daily hors de combat. In addition we have 
had sixteen artillery officers killed or wounded in the 
past nineteen days. 

The enemy is continually bringing more guns to 
bear, and soon we may expect heavier losses, as the men 
will be getting sick from the strain of active service. 


This afternoon I received instructions from Count 
Bismarck to admit into our lines Jules Favre, who 
was expected under a flag of truce, as he desired an 
interview with Count Bismarck. 

I expect that this interview is apropos of the 
Conference in London, though doubtless the question 
of peace will also be touched upon. God grant that 
an end will soon be put to this affair ! 

In the afternoon I went into the town and had my 
hair cut ; this will, I hope, make me feel lighter and 
more cheerful. 

I am sorry to say that an expense- magazine in 
Battery No. 21 blew up this morning, wounding with 
a piece of shell a Captain of artillery. Many men 
were likewise injured. 

January 24. 

To-day I feel considerably better, but that I am 
any more cheerful in spirit I cannot say. 

The superheated advocates of bombardment now 
see that I was right when I declaimed against it as an 
error from a military point of view ; they look at me 
in the light of a standing reproof, although I hardly 
ever speak a word; I only smile. 

It is not, however, an unusual thing to find in the 
world that those who have tendered sound and whole- 
some advice, which has not been followed, are hated 
and loathed, because they stand as a reproach to the 
people. I do not mean to include the King ; he 
appreciates and values an outspoken opinion, and 
loves straightforward behaviour. 

Jules Favre has gone back to Paris this after- 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 289 

noon ; what he wanted and what he got, I know 

Our batteries were firing very heavily this evening. 
During the day there was a heavy fog, so that in the 
batteries men could hardly see 10 yards in front of 

In the afternoon I went for a walk with Herkt to 
the basin. 

January 25. 

During the night it has frozen, I am glad to say, as 
the roads had become almost impassable, and the 
supply of ammunition had almost come to a standstill. 
We must get on with the improvements to the road- 
ways as much as possible, though this will increase 
labour tremendously. 

Yesterday another shell fell into the casemated 
room in the Clamart Battery, whilst the officers were 
sitting there. Nobody was damaged, however. 

To-day the Crown Prince presented to the King a 
return of the killed and wounded for the last four- 
teen days. This will, of course, be looked upon 
as a demonstration on my part to justify myself, 
and I shall come into their black books more than 

In the afternoon I sent a communication to the 
Government in Paris on the subject of an exchange 
of prisoners. 

Jules Favre is coming here this afternoon, and it 
is greatly to be hoped that this interview will lead to 
the desired end. 

In Paris yesterday there was a riot, but it was 



speedily subdued by Vinoy, who fired volleys upon 
the mob. 

It appears that an armistice is to be arranged upon 
a pretext of peace negotiations. It always seems to 
me objectionable that we should mix ourselves up too 
much with this Republic. I would much rather have 
peace concluded with Napoleon, even though it might 
be necessary for us to carry on the war a little longer. 
A few weeks more or less would not be grudged, pro- 
vided that a permanent peace were thereby estab- 

The country people and the army are all for 
Napoleon, let the clamourers say what they will. 

In the afternoon I took a walk in the park, and on 
my return through the town Kameke accompanied me. 
He will be very glad when this affair is ended. He 
spoke of a regular attack to be opened on St. Denis as 
the next siege operation. This will not by any means 
lead to a conclusive result, even though St. Denis be 
captured; but it fills in the time, and diverts the 
criticism which the check on our operations on Paris 
is sure to produce. 

The War Minister has shown some signs of life ; 
he must have now recovered. He has published a 
fulminating memorandum, giving Hohenlohe instruc- 
tions to keep such control over Colonel von Broni- 
kowski that no blocks shall occur in the transport 
service. He overlooks the fact, however, that Colonel 
von Bronikowski is not under the command of Prince 
Hohenlohe, but belongs to the Third Army ! 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 291 

January 26. 

This evening Jules Favre returned to Paris with 
the intention of coming back here to-morrow morning 
in company with several other gentlemen. We shall 
then, doubtless, arrive at some conclusion regarding 

We have received orders not to fire from our 
batteries unless we are attacked. 

To me this was a bitter day, for I have just received 
the news of the death of little Hans.* Poor Agnes 
will be deeply grieved. I could almost believe now in 
presentiments, for last Saturday and Sunday I was so 
depressed and unhappy without knowing why. It 
might have been telepathy. 

The prospects of peace are by no means cheerful, 
and I feel quite stunned. 

This evening (ten o'clock) a great deal of firing took 
place, which greatly vexed me. 

The depredations of the Franc-tireurs are assuming 
formidable dimensions. 

To-morrow we shall have to send a brigade of the 
Sixth Corps to Montargis and neighbourhood, and 
very likely a couple of companies to Limours, where 
our provision columns have been regularly attacked 
and plundered. Unless every one of these robbers is 
shot when he is caught, this trouble may swell to a 
great magnitude. 

A hard frost again ; the roads are more passable. 

In the afternoon I took a walk, alone, to Caville, on 
the railway-line. 

* Grandson. 



January 27. 

To-day there is no more firing a great change after 
yesterday evening's severe cannonade. 

Jules Favre has come in to-day with several 
persons, including a General (Beaufort). 

The officer at the examining post, Lieutenant von 
Uslar, told me that the latter got drunk at Repli, 
where they had breakfast, and could hardly be induced 
to leave the place. He said he preferred to stay with 
' camarades' '! It must have been an impressive 
spectacle (?). 

It is no longer a matter of speculation that the 
capitulation is almost settled upon. We hear very 
little about it, however. It must be a difficult job for 
Moltke and Bismarck, and I am very pleased at having 
nothing to do with it. 

From Manteuffel the news comes that Bourbaki has 
been completely surrounded at Besanqon, near the 
Swiss frontier. Manteuffel's troops are, however, so 
separated that he cannot prevent Bourbaki breaking 
through at any point if he attempts to do so in force. 
Manteuffel's manoeuvres do not appeal to me ; but I do 
not know the country, and so cannot express any 
opinion that is of value. Doubtless there are many 
defiles which Manteuffel sees his way to defending 

The King dined here to-day with a number of 
Princes. Moltke was also here, and I conclude, from 
what he says, that there are many difficulties in the 
way of a capitulation. 

The powers that be in Paris cannot carry out what 
they would now like to promise: they are afraid of 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 293 

the mob, and even consider it possible that a revolu- 
tion may break out to-morrow, and that the people 
may throw themselves en masse against us. 

I cannot think it possible, but if it did happen there 
would be frightful carnage. We have had to call 
for special attention on the part of the outposts. 

Jules Favre, etc., have returned to Paris, and are 
coming here again to-morrow. 

Two companies of the Guard- Landwehr are to pro- 
ceed to-morrow to Limours, Rambouillet, etc., with 
some cavalry, to tackle the robbers. 

January 28. 

Jules Favre and his company came again this 
morning, and returned in the evening. Whether any- 
thing was concluded I know not. A general quiet 
was observable, and in many places the French 
soldiers tried to fraternize with ours. It has frozen 
again, and the ground is as hard as a bone. 

In the afternoon I drove with Hahnke and Gottberg 
to Sevres, whence we visited Battery No. 1 and the 
ruins of St. Cloud both a terrible sight, and pictures 
of desolation. 

January 29. 

Yesterday evening at nine o'clock Major von 
Hahnke was sent for to the quarters of the General 
Staff to receive verbal instructions, and, after I had 
waited in vain for his return, I turned into bed and 
tried to get to sleep. At 11.30 p.m. he appeared with 
the terms of the Armistice Convention, and the cor- 
responding orders, according to which we are this 


morning, at ten o'clock, to occupy the forts round 

This was joyful news ! We had to get to work, 
however, seriously to draft orders and send out 

I summoned all the officers of the General Staff 
and the Commanders of the Fifth and Eleventh Corps, 
and then roused the Crown Prince, who came into 
my room and talked the matter out. 

I dictated orders and gave directions for the move- 
ment until half -past three in the morning, and then 
we all turned into bed dog-tired. 

And so all was carried out to-day as arranged. The 
forts were occupied by us without our being disturbed 
in any way as soon as the French had quitted them. 

They were all in excellent condition, and so well 
armed that they could have held out against us for 
months another proof that hunger alone has caused 
the capitulation. 

The terms of the Convention do not appear to give 
universal satisfaction, many being of opinion that the 
conquered have got off too easily. 

I must say, however, that I am very well contented 
with the wise moderation that Bismarck and Moltke 
have shown. I suppose, however, that after the 
declaration of peace we shall either occupy the city 
or, at least, march through it. Our soldiers expect 
it as their reward. It is, doubtless, very advisable 
that we should not go in just yet among the starving 
inhabitants. These appear to be ready to fly at each 
other's throats ; at least, it looks very much as if the 
regulars and the National Guard would come to blows. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 295 

Jules Favre and his company were here to-day 

Our greatest difficulty will be to prevent the 
inhabitants rushing out of the town. No one should 
be allowed out or in without a permit from the 
Military Governor, but how are we to hold back the 
throng ? 

Hard frost again to-day. 

In the afternoon I took my walk to the basin with 
Herkt, and at six o'clock Rieff and Schulz came to 
me to talk about the armament of the forts. 

January 30. 

Very hard frost still and cloudy. In the forenoon 
I had to see so many people that I became quite 
irritable, and was glad when I received a message 
from the Crown Prince to accompany him to Mont 

This formidable and splendidly situated fortress 
was the admiration of all, and it made us smile when 
we remembered that in the first few days after our 
arrival in Versailles General Hindersin had proposed 
to carry it by storm with 3,000 volunteers. 

The filth in the barracks was dreadful, but our men 
had already done much to get rid of it. 

The great gun ' Valerie/ which always pointed in 
the direction of Versailles, but never reached us, 
though it continually woke me up, was an object of 
great interest. 

Our men of the 46th Regiment looked very fit and 

We drove home through Suresnes, and past the 


charred remains of St. Cloud, still magnificent in its 

In the evening Stosch, Hohenlohe, and Kameke 
came to dinner. 

January 31. 

To-day I had again a very hard forenoon, and was 
very glad to drive with the Prince to Forts Issy, 
Vanves, and Montrouge. It was very cold, but there 
was lovely sunshine. The winter seems to be 

It was terrible to see the number of palaces and 
houses destroyed in Bellevue, and above us on the 
Terrace the Chateau of Meudon, which was fired by a 
shell on the 27th, still burning. 

The forts seem very much knocked about, especially 
in the interior, where many of the lofty barracks had 
been struck and burnt down. The effects of our 
shooting had been terrible, but though many in 
Vanves wanted to see a breach, I could not find one, 
for the escarp walls remained undamaged for at least 
12 feet of their height, and could not have been 
stormed. The counterscarps were perfectly intact, 
as well as the guns in the flanking faces, protected as 
they were by traverses. 

Storming would have been impossible, and if the 
French had only fought well we should have been 
sent away with broken heads. 

I am convinced that these works, which really are 
in themselves complete fortresses, can only be taken 
after a formal siege, and for that service we had 
neither guns nor ammunition. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 297 

The King always recognised this, and therefore 
expressly forbade the forts to be assaulted. 

As it was, we might have fired away for months, 
and probably should have been reduced to silence 
ourselves by the vastly preponderating weight of 
metal possessed by our enemy. 

If we had wished to continue the bombardment, 
we should have had to do so without the necessary 
siege-guns, as those we have with us are for the 
greater part either damaged or entirely unservice- 

What luck that starvation has done its work ! luck 
that we have not deserved. 

Not only do the Parisian newspapers emphasize the 
fact that Paris has been reduced by starvation, but 
Jules Favre has expressly mentioned it, and has 
begged that we shall send 3,000,000 rations from our 
supplies into Paris, to stave off hunger if only for a 
single day, until provision can be made for further 
supply from outside. 

The Kaiser has permitted it, but I trust that our 
people will not suffer ; the greatest care will be 

Every fort has from 80 to 100 pieces, a portion 
being of the heaviest calibres.- 

I was, unfortunately, suffering from a pain in the 
stomach, and was very glad to get home at 4.30, where 
I found a mass of work awaiting me. 

From outside the happy news that the Fourteenth 
Division has had a successful fight against Bourbaki's 
army, and made 3,000 prisoners. The 15th Hussars 
captured six guns. 


I hope that Reimar* and Coself are all right, but I 
am very anxious. 

Our prisoners captured round Paris 956 men and 
two officers have been to-day set at liberty. 

February 1. 

To-day the thaw has begun in earnest ; in fact, at 
mid-day it was almost like spring. After I had 
worked hard all the morning I took a walk through 
the town. 

I was unable to accompany the Crown Prince to 
Forts Bicetre, Ivry, and Charenton, as I had been 
invited to dine with Prince Charles at five o'clock. 
This is the first time that I ever dined with him. 

It was a splendid dinner, seasoned with some par- 
ticularly happy news brought by Moltke, namely, that 
80,000 men of Bourbaki's army had been pushed 
across the Swiss frontier ; we can therefore count 
them all as prisoners. 

In the evening we had a musical entertainment in 
our salon. 

February 2. 

In splendid spring weather, the air being quite 
clear, I drove to-day with the Crown Prince and a 
large retinue to the Hospice of Vaucresson. 

Then we mounted our horses, and rode over the 
battlefield of the 19th of January, St. Cloud, Montre- 
tout, La Bergerie, Buzunsal, and Malmaison. 

I could now see that we were justified in our 

* Son-in-law. 

f The Colonel of the 15th Hussars Hanoverian. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 299 

destructiveness, and in the clearing of this very 
enclosed piece of country, called by us the ' Sandrart- 
schen Verschonerungsverein.' 

From accounts received, the French lost on that 
day 4,000 men at Montretout alone. It was a severe 
battle, or, rather, a slaughter, by our well-posted 

The destruction caused to the houses by fire is 
dreadful, and I have no wish ever to see this part 
again. What a terribly sad sight for the many owners 
returning to their homes ! 

February 3. 

I had to-day a quantity of work to get through, and 
all consisting of the merest rubbish. 

I notice now that the excitement is over that I am 
sick of the whole thing. The days are beginning to 
get too long, in spite of all the work. 

To-day was warm, and I took a walk in the after- 
noon with Herkt to the basin. 

In the evening we were only a few, but we enjoyed 
some music together. 

February 4. 

The days are getting more and more wearisome, 
and I am a victim of impatience. Work seems to me 
to come as the threshing of empty cornstalks, and 
gives me no further pleasure. I am always affected 
thus during armistices. Fourteen days from to- 
morrow it will, I trust, come to an end. At present 
contraventions of our agreement give us much 
trouble. Under every possible pretext people want to 


come out of or go into Paris. More than 7,000 people 
passed the lines of demarcation to-day, and among 
them many officers who are fleeing from Paris, and 
appear to be going to join Chanzy. 

All this must be stopped, or else we shall starve 
here ; all provisions have gone up to double the price, 
and from to-morrow we must exercise a supervision 
at the gates, so as not to let the whole of the people 

To-day the weather was beautifully clear, and I 
drove with Gottberg to old General von Hartmann's 
in Chatenay. He celebrates to-day his seventy- sixth 
birthday. He is the oldest German General in the field. 
The Crown Prince sent him a wreath of laurels, which 
pleased him greatly. 

In the afternoon I took a walk alone to the basin. 

February 5. 

To-day I had again a lot of unpleasant matters to 
adjust, and all the time telegrams and letters showered 
in upon me. 

From General von Moltke arrived instructions for 
a renewal of the siege operations in the event of the 
armistice not leading to a peace. 

We are to make a formal siege attack on the north 
front ; all the forts to be armed on the side of the 
main attack, and siege batteries to be built in and in 
the neighbourhood of Forts Valerien and Bicetre. 

In the evening, at six o'clock, Michaelis, Eieff, and 
Schulz came to me to talk it all out, and everything 
was arranged so that at least the command is properly 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 301 

It has struck me especially that it is here that 
everything has gone wrong, nobody knowing who was 
master and who was man. 

We have got to transfer four more companies of 
Siege Train Engineers and eleven companies of Siege 
Train Artillery to the Army of the Meuse. 

To-day the weather was warm and beautiful, and I 
took a walk with Gottberg through the town. 

It is now beginning to be stormy the first storm 
we have had this year. 

February 6. 

To-day my cup of unpleasantries has been full. 
Others might not think them so ; I have, however, 
become extremely sensitive, and cannot command my 

The Kaiser, as I have been told, has, through the 
War Minister, expressed himself displeased at the way 
officers have left their posts to hold wine-parties in 
Versailles, and I am told to call attention to this in 
strong terms in daily orders. 

I find it quite natural that officers who for the past 
seven months have suffered the hardships and under- 
gone the privations of active service should relax a 
little now ; it is only human, and, moreover, it will do 
them good. 

A haughtily worded communication came from 
Trochu, saying that three German horsemen had 
crossed the line of demarcation and had been 
arrested. They had been released, but he could not 
protect other cases in future. They should be 


Eegarding the hundreds of French soldiers who are 
always trespassing on the neutral ground he has made 
no remark. 

Further worries with transport of ammunition, with 
the appointment of special troops for the Governor- 
General, etc. 

I was very much annoyed with the whole thing, and 
know that I was cross and bearish, for I feel that I 
have to combat this idiotic confusion that is reigning 
in the channels of command at Headquarters, and that 
I have nobody to stand up for me in the entourage of 
the King. 

In the afternoon I rode with Viebahn to Meudon, 
to see the vast ruins and inspect the batteries there. 

To-day the French have delivered up their first 
consignment of arms, in accordance with the Conven- 
tion eighty guns (16-pounders) in Ivry, and 5,600 
rifles at Bicetre. 

This evening there was a great soiree at the Prince's, 
where we discussed some Bavarian beer that had been 
sent as a present. 

February 7. 

Again a lot of work to-day. A memorandum of 
General Moltke's hands over to Prince Hohenlohe still 
greater power, and threatens to throw everything into 

I drove across to General von Moltke to express my 
views on the subject. He appeared to understand me, 
and promised to help me. We shall not, for all that, 
have a properly organized system at Headquarters. 

To-morrow the Fifth Army Corps is to be removed 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 303 

from the investment line, and mobilized to march in a 
few days, most likely to Orleans, as Chanzy has been 
reinforced, and now must have between 150,000 and 
200,000 men. 

Gambetta has laid down the reins of power. This 
note sounds a peaceful one. 

Jules Favre has summoned the Generals Chanzy 
among them to Paris to consult. 

In the afternoon I took my walk alone to the basin. 

In the evening Prince Frederick Charles came here. 
He looked extremely well. 

February 8. 

To-day was a very quiet day, and I have been at 
last able to set my papers in order. There were only 
the orders for the march of the Fifth Corps to 
arrange. The corps marches in the direction of 
Orleans to Gien and Blois. 

It seems to me only a movement of chess to check 
the French, who are collecting in great numbers round 
Chanzy, and to show them that we are in earnest if 
they do not give in. 

Yesterday evening General Chanzy came here and 
was conducted into Paris. 

It appears to me that the Government there is 
going to ask the Generals to give a promise not to 
continue the war, so that it may go before the House 
of Assembly on this platform. 

The day after to-morrow the Fourth Army Corps 
arrives here to go to Chartres. 

In the afternoon it began to rain heavily. I went, 
however, with Herkt for a walk. 


At mid- day Count Bismarck was here, and appeared 
very cheerful. He seems to take great pleasure in 
the negotiations. 

February 9. 

To-day was issued a memorandum placing the 
disposal of the war booty in the hands of Prince 
Hohenlohe and Major Sallbach. This will again 
knock everything on the head, and so I sent Major 
Hahnke to the General Staff Headquarters to make 
representations on the subject. 

Assent was given to my proposition, and now all 
that remains for me to do is to issue the necessary 
instructions, unless something else is decided at 
Headquarters before to-morrow morning. 

It is almost inconceivable how little idea they have, 
at the executive office, of the enormous difficulties in 
the supply of horses and men such tasks as this 
imply. I should be very pleased if I could be quit 
of the whole thing, but as the Third Army has to 
supply the personnel for everything, the intervention 
of others would only increase difficulties, and my 
Army Corps would only be split up and disseminated 

In the interests of my corps and its efficiency for 
fighting, I must keep the whole affair in my own 

Another endless screw ! 

As the weather was beautiful, I rode through Sevres 
along the Seine to the bridge of Neuilly, to see the 
arrangements for the ingress and egress of towns- 
people. It was distressing to see how the starving 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 305 

people jostled each other to get out, as though they 
had but one purpose in life, and that to bring in 
bread. The poor officers of the examining party had 
their hands full in keeping the mob back. 

At dinner-time, among others, the banker Bleich- 
roder was at table with us, and I had a very interesting 
conversation with him about the monetary condition 
of France. 

The elections to the National Assembly yesterday 
portend a peaceful prospect, and the chances of a last- 
ing peace are thereby increased, although it appears 
to be generally feared that the South, where the 
events of the war have not been thoroughly appre- 
ciated, will separate from the North, and will continue 
to fight. 

Terrible weather. The Sixteenth Brigade of the 
Fourth Army Corps marched through, and Oetinger 
and Fritz came in here for lodgings. 

Oetinger came to me and took his meals here, but I 
could not get hold of Fritz, as I did not know where 
his quarters were. 

There is nothing new, and my work seems suddenly 
to be diminishing. 

The decision between peace and war must soon 
come now. 

The King is suffering from lumbago, and cannot go 

February 11. 

I am pleased that at last we have arranged for the 
removal of the guns and weapons that have been taken 
from the French, so that the service of transporting 



them to the rail way- station at Esbly can begin on 
the 14th. 

There was a great deal to do in the matter, and to be 
thought over the mending of the roads, the building 
of bridges, relays of horses of the Transport Corps, 
organization of the personnel, stabling, care of the 
horses, etc., and, in addition to this, more heavy siege 
guns and ammunition to be sent to the North front. 
It was absolutely necessary for me to take the whole 
thing in hand, otherwise there would have been too 
many cooks for the broth. 

People will, I am sure, not be satisfied, and will 
think that it might all have been done quicker and 
more efficiently. That is always the case, for few 
men know the difficulties such an undertaking entails, 
where one thing is so dependent upon another. 

The prospects of peace do not improve, for the 
elections in Paris have all been favourable to the 
Radicals, and the National Assembly in Bordeaux will 
not accept our conditions of peace, though there is 
nothing else for them to do unless they want to see 
their beautiful country entirely ruined. 

We shall now have to continue the war, not against 
a real army, but against a deluded and obstinate, and 
at the same time defenceless, country, which will now 
be brought to ruin. We shall have to plunder and 
burn, and then demand more indemnity than we wish 
to do. But what else can we do ? We cannot allow 
conditions to be dictated to us, and so conclude 
an undignified peace. It is really absurd that a 
whole country can be so unreasonable, out of pure 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 307 

To-morrow the Assembly meets in Bordeaux, and 
it will be seen in a few days what is to be the issue. 

Immediately after the armistice is over Paris will 
be occupied by us, and this ought to take the pride 
out of this absurdly vain people. 

All the utterances of the people in Versailles and 
those who come out of Paris show them to be very 
depressed, but not entirely discouraged. We are act- 
ing a great deal too leniently towards the country, and 
we shall surely regret that we have not taken stronger 
measures with it. The French mistake our lenient 
treatment for weakness. 

To-day was beautiful, and I walked for two hours 
with Herkt. Albrecht was attached to the 96th Regi- 

Fritz had got erysipelas in the face during the 
march. I hoped he would remain here to effect a 
cure. Poor young fellow ! I hope he will not be 
seriously ill. 

The people are streaming out of Paris, and are doing 
so under authority of passes granted by the French. 
We have to shut our eyes to it, as one cannot find 
fault with starving men. 

February 12. 

To-day a severe frost and very cold. At one 
o'clock we rode to meet the Twenty- second Division, 
which marched in here to-day. The men looked so 
well that one could not suppose that they had under- 
gone the hardships they have during the past three 
months. The march-past before the Prefecture, in 
one of the windows of which stood the Emperor, who 



is still sick, was not, certainly, like a march-past in 
peace time. The number of officers effective is 
terribly small; in fact, one company marched past 
under the command of the last- joined Lieutenant. 

When I reached home I heard that Fritz had 
arrived, and was in his quarters. I went to him and 
found him in a small but good room, surrounded with 
all comforts. He has certainly got erysipelas, and 
complains of headache, but he does not appear to be 
very bad. 

On reading the names of the depvities elected, one 
is prone to believe that the majority of the Assembly 
which meets to-day in Bordeaux is in favour of peace. 
I have my doubts, however. 

February 13. 

The quietest day that I have enjoyed here. I was 
able to visit Fritz twice. He seems better. I received 
a telegram from Louis saying that poor George is very 
weak, and has a longing for oysters. Here there are 
none, nor in Dieppe, where they must all be frozen. 

In the evening came a telegram from August Arnim,, 
according to which Gustav* was wounded at Dijon on 
the 18th instant. I shall wire to Dijon to-morrow to 
learn how he is. 

The Parisians have made a pause of two days in 
the surrender of their arms. Yesterday, however, 
they recommenced operations. 

If they show themselves slack about giving them 
up, the supplies of food will be cut. 

* A nephew. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 309 

February 14. 

To-day there is a talk of a prolongation of the 
armistice, as the National Assembly cannot meet as 
quickly as was supposed. I hope it will only be an 
increase of a few days, and granted under severer 
conditions, else the French will become uppish, and 
will not come to a decision. 

No news from Gustav. Fritz is better. I visited 
him, and then went for a walk in the town. 

The weather has become warm again, like spring. 
I hope it may remain so. I have had enough of 
the frost. In Germany they are still having 15 of 

I have to-day written to the Burgermeister of 
Diisseldorf accepting, with the greatest pleasure, the 
freedom of the city, which has been offered to me. 

February 15. 

No further decision come to as regards a prolonga- 
tion of the armistice. All possible concessions are 
made to the Parisians in small ways : business has 
been facilitated, they are allowed to come out of the 
woods round St. Cloud, Meudon, etc., as far as Ver- 
sailles that is, right up to our barricades to fetch in 
felled timber. They are beginning even to claim it 
as their right. 

Voigts-Rlietz, the Commandant, will have to keep 
the Parisians out of this place, especially the sus- 
picious-looking ones. It is indeed a hard post for 
him. I, on the contrary, am enjoying unwonted 
repose, and am quite at ease, doing my best to recover 


from the life of excitement and prolonged worry that 
has been my lot. 

The Prince took a long drive to St. Germain and 
Vesinet. I wisely remained at home, and again 
enjoyed my solitary ride in the park. 

It appears to me that Bismarck is making small 
concessions in order to strengthen himself in resisting 
demands for greater ones. Whether this is good 
policy I know not. I should not be so complaisant 
even in the small ones. The French are distasteful 
to me in the extreme, and I should like to see them 
humbled even in trifles. I think such treatment would 
be more effective with them, as, from their point of 
view, every concession which does not merely con- 
sist of courteous formalities is looked upon as a sign 
of weakness. 

Februai^y 16. 

The armistice is to-day announced as prolonged till 
the afternoon of the 24th. The elections show a pre- 
ponderance of Conservatives, and so we may look for 

Belf ort has capitulated, the troops to be allowed to 
march out with all the honours of war, and the armis- 
tice is being observed over the whole of France. 

To-day was beautiful, and I took my walk with 
Fritz to Sevres and St. Cloud and Battery No. 1. 
Good news from George. Gustav was not wounded ; 
his horse was shot and his foot crushed, but now he is 
fit again. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 311 

Februaiy 17. 

The Crown Prince went to Orleans to-day, and on 
to Blois and Tours. Unfortunately, I could not go, 
as one of us has to remain here. In the afternoon I 
rode with Fritz to Meudon, to show him the batteries 
and the ruins of the castle which was burnt. The 
batteries had already been dismantled. It was a lovely 
ride, the weather being like spring. 

In the evening I received a telegram from the 
Crown Prince. He had paid George a visit. The 
latter is better, but not yet out of danger. 

February 18. 

Rest is doing me much good. 

To-day came the order to allow everybody into 
Paris who wants to enter, so that now business will 
begin again to assume its usual proportions. They 
say that Thiers has been elected in Bordeaux to carry 
on the executive and form a new Government. That 
sounds quite Orleanist. He is expected here to con- 
firm the conditions of peace, for Bismarck has 
emphatically announced that if these are not ratified 
by the 24th the war shall recommence. 

The foreign Powers, especially England, give one 
the impression of a desire to interfere, and this must 
be withstood. 

It was a wonderfully beautiful day, and so I drove 
with Fritz to Issy, where we witnessed two explosions ; 
they were burning old limbers and ammunition-boxes, 
in which some powder must have still been left. The 
second time we were not more than fifteen paces off, 


and pieces of burning wood and cartridge-cases fell 
all round us. 

In the evening I received a letter from General 
Eyre in England, who mentions the strong feeling 
there is against us among the Democrats and Radicals. 
They will do well to keep their fists in their pockets, 
if they do not want one on the nose for themselves. 

In the evening I played a rubber of whist. There 
was also some music. 

February 19. 

To-day we have been exactly five months before 
Paris, and high time it is that we came away. It is 
still very doubtful, however, if we shall do so just yet, 
as we do not yet know whether the peace party in 
Bordeaux will gain the upper hand. We cannot de- 
part from our conditions for a thousand reasons, and 
if the war must be continued it will be terrible. As 
for regular armies, there are none for us to fight, and 
the horrors and miseries of a guerilla warfare will 
devastate the land. 

I went to church early this morning and listened to 
an excellent sermon by the chaplain to the division 
Wilhelmj. In the afternoon I went to see the 
pictures at the castle with Fritz. It was again a lovely 
spring day. 

February 20. 

We had again to-day magnificent spring weather. 
In the forenoon I set my papers in order, and then in 
the afternoon went for a walk with Herkt in the 
woods. In the evening the Crown Prince arrived back 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 313 

from his four days' journey to Tours, etc., and brought 
me good news of George, whom he visited in Orleans. 

Februaiy 21. 

In the night it poured in torrents ; at 6.30 I 
travelled with Fritz and Albrecht and an orderly to 
Orleans through Invisy. We arrived there at one 
o'clock, and I brought great joy to Sandrart's heart in 
presenting him with the order pour le merite, which I 
had brought with me. 

My meeting with Louis and Louisa was very painful. 
I found them, however, quite resigned, for George 
has been pronounced comparatively better these last 
few days, though, as Langenbeck told me, danger is 
by no means past, since there are still some splinters 
of bone to come away from the wound, as well as 
pieces of cloth. 

I took a walk with Louis and Sandrart, and we 
visited the beautiful cathedral, the bridges, and the 
Archbishop's palace. We then returned and sat some 
time with George, and then all partook of a sumptuous 
dinner with Sandrart at seven o'clock. Langenbeck, 
who has proved a dear good friend to George, was 
also there. 

February 22. 

Early this morning at 7.30 we took our seats in the 
train, and arrived here at 1.30. 

The only news of importance was that the armistice 
has been prolonged until Sunday, the 26th, at midnight. 
They appear to think that the war will recommence, 
and the First and Second and the Army of the South 


have accordingly received orders to concentrate in 
preparation for a march immediately on the expiration 
of the armistice. 

Just as I arrived here M. Thiers came in to see the 
Crown Prince, and I had half an hour's conversation 
with him. He had been to the Kaiser at one o'clock. 
The Crown Prince afterwards took me to his room 
to tell me something about the conversation they had 
had, and to ask my opinion. 

Thiers thinks that they cannot give up Lorraine 
(i.e., Metz), and hopes that we can conclude peace on 
such terms. The Crown Prince asked me now whether 
we could concede the point about Metz. As far as I 
can see, he is not very keen about Metz. 

I could only say that, above all things, it is necessary 
for us to consider the question apart from an annexa- 
tion of territory ; that we must adopt the principle of 
looking at it either from a military or a political 
point of view. If from a military point, the first 
consideration is the protection of Germany from 
French aggression, in which case Metz is indispensable 
to us. From a political point, whatever is still German 
must be ours. 

If Metz has become thoroughly Gallicized (like 
Nancy) and I do not know the place sufficiently to 
be able to judge then we must certainly let it go; 
but in that case it must not remain as a fortress. It 
is bad enough already having a large hostile town like 
that upon our borders and on the Moselle. 

Thiers maintains that France could not possibly 
pay two milliards of thalers ; she has not got it. All 
I can say to this is that, if we only remain firm, they 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 315 

will find the money quickly enough. We ourselves 
have been bled in a far more serious fashion, even to 
the half of our kingdom. 

In place of Metz, Thiers offers us Luxemburg to 
buy. We shall want a good deal of French money to 
do that and to rebuild the fortress. 

Thiers will not hear of our entering Paris. 

Regarding this condition, there can be no question. 
It stands to reason that we must march in, and so 
lower the pride of this haughty and foolish people. 

To allow the fortifications to stand, and so encourage 
the French to laugh in their sleeves when we march 
away from Paris, is altogether out of the question. It 
makes me choke to think of it. 

It seems to me that the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, 
and several others, are content to leave their work half 
done, and their only desire is for peace. It would be 
a miserable ending. 

It is all- important that we suffer no dictation. It is 
we who must dictate peace ; and if the French will not 
have it, then we must crush them, or the battles will 
have to be fought out again from the beginning. 
What we have to do is to stand fast and firm. Con- 
cessions are weaknesses, and will only evoke a tremen- 
dous storm in Germany. 

A victory is of no avail, as a rule, unless the pur- 
suit is energetically followed up at once. A victorious 
war counts for nothing unless the conquered are well 

The Parisian newspapers threaten us with Orsini 
bombs and many other contemptible reprisals. It is 
all the more incumbent upon us to carry out our 


intention and march in else they will at once say that 
we are afraid. 

February 23. 

The weather to-day is again raw. Nothing doing, 
and all in suspense. Whether negotiations will take 
place to-day I know not. 

As I caught a slight chill yesterday, I only took a 
short promenade to-day in the town. 

The majority have no doubt about the conclusion of 
peace. I am not so sure; the Frenchman has no 
reason in his nature only sentiment. 

February 24. 

To-day the weather was beautiful. The Crown 
Prince travelled in a special train to Dreux. I did 
not accompany him, as I still feel the effects of my 
chill. In the afternoon, however, I went for an hour's 
walk with Herkt to the basin. 

In the evening the Grand- Dukes of Weimar and 
Baden came to dinner. 

Late in the evening Professor Hassel came and told 
us that the conditions of peace had been settled. 

We are to have Luxemburg, but Metz and Lorraine 
are to be given back. This restoration of Metz has all 
the appearance to me of a defeat, and will arouse in 
Germany a terrific storm. 

I cannot bear to think that all the blood we have 
spilt round Metz is to avail us nothing. 

The good military frontier which we have made so 
many sacrifices to obtain is to be given up, merely 
that we may obtain peace. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 317 

One would think that the army is exhausted by the 
war ; it is quite the reverse : it is burning to go 
forward. Whoever will not believe it should go in 
among the troops and judge for himself. 

I have always been afraid that the Kaiser and the 
Crown Prince have had enough of the war, and that 
Bismarck who now by bad luck has got the lumbago 
joins to his policy things which, according to my 
way of thinking, have nothing to say to it. Now it is 
the foreign Powers, now it is compassion for the 
people, who must not be driven to extremities, and 
so on. 

To the mind of a simple soldier, all this sounds too 

The conquered enemy should be so made to bleed 
that he cannot recover for a hundred years ; he must 
be so fettered as to be incapable of dreaming of 

If he continues in possession of Metz, he will break 
loose against us again, and I shall survive to see 
myself here again at war. I would much prefer to 
fight it out now, when it will only give us one-half 
the trouble. 

Fritz has got to rejoin his regiment at Nogent-le- 
Retrou, which is going to make a route march to the 
West, it seems. 

February 25. 

This morning I was quite enraged at the bad news 
of yesterday, and therefore all the greater was my 
astonishment and joy when Major von Hahnke re- 
turned from attendance at the General Staff Head- 


quarters, and brought me the news that Metz and a 
portion of Lorraine are to be ours ; that Belf ort is to 
be restored ; that on Monday we are to march through 
Paris, even though it be only with a portion of our 
troops; and that four milliards of francs is the in- 
demnity in a word, everything that I longed for ; 
and I must really apologize to Bismarck from the 
bottom of my heart ! Moltke must have had a word 
yesterday, and hung on to Metz. 

This morning it seemed as if all at once the whole 
question had been reopened, and we even began to 
conceive the possibility of recommencing hostilities at 
twelve o'clock to-night. 

I took a ride alone, in beautiful spring weather, 
to the charming valley of Jouy, and when I came 
back I heard of the signing of the peace prelimin- 
aries, the conditions of which are so favourable 
to us. 

We were all exceeding rejoiced, and felt great 
gratification. It was only at dinner-time, however, 
that we knew it for a truth, and then the jubilations 
broke out afresh. 

The armistice is prolonged until the 12th of March, 
with the right of a three days' notice on either side. 
On March 1st we enter Paris. 

I would that poor George were better ; his hopeless 
condition in Orleans robs me of all my joy. 

Count Bismarck must have bargained most cleverly 
to have gained acceptance of such favourable con- 

Shortly before I went to bed a communication 
arrived from Moltke notifying the signature of the 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 319 

peace preliminaries, and ordering the entry into Paris 
for March 1st. To-morrow at ten o'clock one of the 
senior officers of the General Staff is to go and 
arrange all the details of the entry. I shall send 
Major von Hahnke. 

February 27. 

Major von Hahnke returned at about one o'clock, 
but brought no written instructions. On March 1st 
30,000 of our troops are to enter Paris, and we are to 
retain the small rayon between the Seine, Place de la 
Concorde, and the Faubourg St. Honor e. General 
von Kameke is to be Commandant. 

It is quite possible, however, that we may never 
enter Paris, for it has been stipulated that as soon as 
the Treaty of Peace has been approved by the National 
Assembly we are to evacuate Paris, which is only 
placed in our hands as a pledge. 

If the treaty is ratified to-morrow, of course, we 
do not march in. 

I consider this a very proper stipulation, on account 
of the many vexatious episodes that are sure to 
occur. Still, for the soldiers' sakes I hope we may 
make the entry, if only to let them see the ill-fated 
city and say that they marched in. 

In the afternoon I took my walk round about the 
house, as I could not go far away. 

The conditions regarding the entry into Paris, and 
the orders for the march, only arrived at eight o'clock 
in the evening, and gave us lots to do. 

We dined at 6 p.m., as the Kaiser and the King of 
Wurtemberg wished to come to tea here at 8.30. 


In the evening almost all the Princes, with the 
exception of the Kaiser, were here. 

We also received the orders for the entry and a 
copy of the peace preliminaries. 

The feeling of satisfaction among the Princes was 
very marked, and they all seemed exceedingly happy. 

February 28. 

Early this morning there was a great deal to do. 

Count Notiz, who brought a communication from 
Kameke, told General Moltke that barricades had been 
erected during the night, that the National Guards 
had taken up a position on the ramparts, and that we 
were not to be allowed to enter. 

Moltke had answered that it was all one to us. If 
we could not enter, we should bombard the town from 
all sides and invest it anew, as we were not going to 
commit ourselves to street- fighting. 

I believe really that the preliminaries will be ratified 
to-day, and that the French have only erected barri- 
cades to be able to say that if peace had not been 
declared we should never have been allowed to enter 
their holy city. 

As I was not able to go far afield, I took a small 
walk in the wood, in rear of our villa, where Stotzen- 
berg picked me up, and I then accompanied him into 
the city. 

At mid-day I dined at the Kaiser's table, where a 
large gala feast was spread in honour of the King of 
Wurtemberg. At nine o'clock there was a grand 

Everything is arranged for to-morrow's march. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 321 

March 1. 

This day has been a memorable day, the significance 
of which will be better appreciated hereafter. 

At nine o'clock we drove to Suresnes. Thence we 
went on foot, and at the Tribune in Longchamps we 
mounted our horses on the very spot where, in 1867, 
I stood with my Adjutant, Von Bredon, to see the 
great review of the French troops before the Emperor 
of Austria. 

At that time I was much annoyed (and I said so to 
Bredon) at the arrogant expression in the faces of the 
French Marshals and the Generals. I said to him, also, 
that I hoped we should ourselves soon hold a grand 
parade here too. That it would ever come true I had 
never a suspicion. 

To-day 30,000 men belonging to the First, Eleventh, 
and Second Bavarian Army Corps were drawn up 

The Kaiser arrived, inspected the troops, and then 
the march towards Paris began. 

With the Duke of Coburg, Gottberg, and others, I 
placed myself at the head of the column, and we 
marched through the Bois de Boulogne terribly 
devastated and the Avenue de 1'Imperatrice to the 
Arc de 1'Etoile, and thence along the Champs Elysees 
to the obelisk on the Place de la Concorde. 

I knew all these places well, and I was very glad to 
see them, but it was a strange impression that they 
made. Everywhere the silence of death no carriages, 
no horsemen, not a green tree ; nothing but the bare 
walls of apparently empty houses. All seemed waste 
and desolate. At the Arc de TEtoile there was a 



crowd of common people, who raised a sound of 
hissing and whistling, but otherwise all was still and 

From the Place de la Concorde we marched back 
along the Seine to the Place du Koi de Eome 
(Trocadero), where a portion of the Eleventh Corps 
commenced to bivouac. 

It was a striking spectacle, and all the more so when 
one looked across the Seine and saw on the Champs 
de Mars a mass of huts, many hundreds of tents, and 
everywhere crowds of French soldiers. 

The Bridge of Jena was barricaded with carts. We 
then rode back through Passy, Boulogne, and Sevres, 
breakfasting with Bernuth in Chaville. I was 
famished and dead- tired. At the beginning of the 
parade it was dull, but afterwards very fine. 

After the parade the Kaiser spoke with me for a 
long while. He was very gracious, and thanked me, 
among others, for the part I had played throughout 
the war. He told me, too, that this was the third 
time he had been present at a parade on this spot. 

I also had an opportunity of telling Count Bismarck 
how gratified we all felt at the successful termination 
to the negotiations that he had brought about. He 
told me that the peace preliminaries had already been 
accepted in Bordeaux by a large majority, but with 
bleeding hearts. 

We shall therefore be out of this in a few days. 

In the evening I received a telegram saying that, 
unfortunately, George was not so well. Langenbeck 
dined with me, but he returns early to-morrow to 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 323 

March 2. 

To-day the news has been communicated to us that 
the National Assembly at Bordeaux has accepted 

Our troops, therefore, march out of Paris to- 
morrow at 11 a.m., and in a few days we shall leave 
this country and free the left bank of the Seine of 
our troops. The materiel must be brought away with 
speed, and that will give us plenty to do. 

At dinner I received a telegram from Langenbeck, 
at Orleans, to say that George's condition was hope- 
less. Poor Louis ! How will he get over it ? It has 
quite overcome me, and I can hardly grasp it. 

March 3. 

To-day, at eleven o'clock, there was again a grand 
parade of the Guard, of No. 7 Kegiment, and the 
siege companies at Longchamps. The weather 

Afterwards I took a drive with the Crown Prince 
in the wasted Bois de Boulogne. 

On my return I received a telegram from Louis 
that George had passed away during the previous 
night. Poor Louis ! It makes me very unhappy. 

At dinner with Belgian officers, and had to speak 

March 4. 

This morning we received from the King's Head- 
quarters the instructions for the evacuation of the 
country on the left bank of the Seine, the occupation 



of the country between Paris and our frontier, and 
the return of materiel, Landwehr troops, etc. 

The Fifth Army Corps goes to the Army of the 
South, the Fourth Cavalry Division comes back to us. 

We also heard news of an insurrection in Paris, 
and a call for French troops by rail to suppress it, 
whom we shall have to let through. 

It will be a peculiar situation if we are here to see 
the Parisians killing each other. It is no affair of 
ours ; still, if an insurrection takes place whilst we 
are here, we shall have to help to suppress it. 

It is very unfortunate that the Kaiser will not 
depart at least, that he will not make up his 
mind to do so. Matters would then be greatly 

The Crown Prince drove to Chartres. I was, how- 
ever, not in the humour to drive with him, and 
preferred going with Viebahn to St. Germain, where 
we again enjoyed the beautiful view in clear and 
bright sunshine. 

March 5. 

Our forts have been evacuated, and will be handed 
over the day after to-morrow. The French appear 
to know how to humbug our Headquarters and talk 
them over, so that their rayon becomes daily bigger. 
At first they wanted the villages by Boulogne, on the 
right bank of the Seine, handed over to them, then 
the peninsula Gennevilliers, and now they even want 
Versailles, to hold their National Assembly there. 

A great deal of our materiel is still lying collected 
at Clamart and Vitry ; we have got, however, to 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 325 

relinquish the villages ; as soon as this takes place 
we shall have formally evacuated the district. 

The Parisians are behaving themselves like veri- 
table children : the restaurants which have been used 
by our officers have all been destroyed ; even the dust 
of the roads upon which they have walked has been 
collected and thrown into the Seine, and so on. 

The mob seems to have the upper hand, and are 
preparing for an insurrection. 

General Vinoy is very energetic, and has received 
to-day more reinforcements, brought hither by train ; 
it is doubtful, however, if, even with 40,000 men, he 
will be master of the situation. 

It is a very hard time for me. Hardly a quarter 
of an hour passes without a telegram arriving, and all 
the pleasure of work has now left me, as it has many 

A telegram came suddenly towards evening, an- 
nouncing that to-morrow some battalions of the 
Gardes-mobiles, of course unarmed, but under dis- 
cipline, are to be marched by stages to their homes, 
and quartered along with our troops on the route. 
This cannot be carried out without some friction. 

We had to telegraph in all directions till late in the 
night, and had a lot of writing to do. Hahnke will 
have to work pretty hard. 

We had again splendid spring weather, and I took 
a long walk with Herkt to the basin and into the 
wood. The Crown Prince dined with the Kaiser. I 
trust that we shall be able to leave Versailles on the 
10th or llth. 

The Crown Prince goes on the 7th to Ferrieres ; we 


shall afterwards go to Meaux, whence I trust we shall 
speedily travel homewards. 

Poor Louis and Louise travelled yesterday to 
Lagny, and will cross the Prussian frontier to-day. 

March 6. 

I have been working like a horse the whole morn- 
ing and receiving people, so that towards mid-day I 
became quite irritable. Then came up thunder- 
clouds, which always give me headache. 

As soon as I got into the fresh air I felt better. I 
went into the town, and afterwards walked with 
Herkt into the gardens of the Post, where we looked 
for violets. 

At dinner-time a communication from the King 
reached the Crown Prince. It contained the cross 
of the Order of the Red Eagle (First Class) for me. 

March 7. 

At seven o'clock this morning the Crown Prince 
journeyed to Villiers to hold a parade, and thence to 

At 8.30 the Kaiser started. The officers were all 
at the Prefecture taking leave. When I reported 
myself on receiving the Order the Kaiser was most 
gracious, and said some very kind things to me. He 
kissed me twice with tears in his eyes. I fancy it 
will be very hard for him to return from here, where 
his life has been so important and remarkable. It 
is strange that he cannot make up his mind to leave 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 327 

France ; but he has got to be in Berlin at once. I 
do not consider it at all advisable that he should 
remain longer in the enemy's country, where he has 
nothing more to do, and where he is threatened by 
dangers of all lands. It was only yesterday that I 
received a warning letter from Paris saying that 
nitro-glycerine bombs were being made for an attempt 
on the life of the Kaiser and the Crown Prince. 

Bismarck and Roon have departed for Berlin to-day, 
and likewise the foreign Princes (of the second rank) 
and many officers of the Staff (' sleeping members ') 
who could be dispensed with. 

The working Staff must remain to labour and to 
clean up ; that is always my fate. However, I hope 
to have finished the principal part to-day. The 
troops have received their orders for the march, and 
everything has been arranged for the return of the 

The people of Versailles are beginning to hold up 
their heads again, but the stern Commandant Voigts- 
Rhetz will keep them in order. 

We shall have evacuated Versailles by the 10th or 
llth, to make room for the National Assembly. 

The French understand how to make us pay through 
the nose, and we remain the good-natured, patient 
clowns that we are, and take everything contentedly. 
It drives me often wild, but I can do nothing, I have 
so little power. I shall be thoroughly well pleased 
when I am gone. 

In the afternoon I took a lovely ride with Albrecht 
in the park, now beginning to get green. 

The forts on the south front have to-day all been 


handed back to the French without any contretemps. 
The town looks bare and waste. 

The one thing that I shall leave here with regret is 
my lovely snug bed. 

March 8. 

A quiet day at last, of which I have the greatest 

Consul Bamberg came to-day and bought my old 
horse. I am glad to place him in such good hands, 
after serving me so gallantly in three campaigns. 

To-day was a wonderfully beautiful spring day, and 
I took a long and pleasant walk with Herkt in the park 
opposite our house as far as the Bievres Valley. 

The expedition of the ammunition is not going on 
so quickly as I had hoped. Our sick and wounded 
have nearly all been transported homewards, with the 
exception of some few who cannot be moved, poor 
fellows ! and must remain here. 

In the Second Army they appear not to be getting 
on so fast as we are, and they say that in Le Mans 
there are between four and five hundred. I have taken 
the matter in hand, and despatched three hospital trains 
to Le Mans. It is dreadful for the poor wounded men 
who have to be left behind. 

March 9. 

To-morrow we hope to be off, and to-day are en- 
gaged in packing up vigorously. 

This morning I bought a beautiful brougham, which 
I hope will greatly please my wife. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 329 

It is again very cold. 

From Paris very bad news. It seems as though a 
revolution of the worst kind is breaking out. The 
Reds have occupied Montmartre with batteries, and 
have turned the guns on to the town, especially the 
Tuileries and the Louvre. 

General Vinoy thinks that with his 40,000 men, a 
portion of whom are not to be depended upon, he 
will not be able to hold out. It makes us all the 
happier to think that we have come out of it. 

We have, unfortunately, to leave from twenty to 
thirty wounded and sick here. I have ordered a 
field hospital to be left, though I do not know what 
our privileges are in this respect according to the 
Convention. They have told me nothing about it, 
and I must act on my own responsibility. 

To-day Oetinger was here. He is very well, Fritz 

Versailles up to the present is quite quiet, and will 
do well to remain so. 

This evening I received a telegram from the Crown 
Prince, giving me hopes that our Staff will be broken 
up on the loth and return to Berlin. Unexpected 
bliss ! 

St. Gratien, March 10. 

At 8.30 this morning we quitted Versailles bag 
and baggage with feelings of joy on our homeward 

Although our numbers have been considerably 
reduced, I was astonished at the very respectable show 
our baggage-train nearly a mile long made. 


We rode through Sevres, past the bridge at Neuilly, 
and through Argenteuil, the weather clearing up 
considerably. It was a beautiful ride. 

Here, in company with twenty officers, I entered 
the castle of Princess Ma tilde (alias Demidoff), and 
took up my quarters in her bed-chamber. 

The castle was furnished with all that English 
comfort and French vanity could suggest. It has 
no particularly striking exterior, but the interior is 
exceedingly comfortable. The few attendants that 
are there were not forthcoming, and I found some 
difficulty myself in getting clean bed-linen. The 
country around beautiful ; equally so the large park. 

Not far from here, situated in a charming position 
on the lake, stands the house of our Consul, Bamberg. 
He and his wife received us there in the afternoon, 
and we saw the terrible destruction that the quartering 
of our troops had caused during the winter. 

At the first sight one could not help ejaculating the 
word ' Vandals !' but when one considers how our 
poor fellows for the past six months have suffered, 
and how they have frozen in the cold, the damage is 
not to be wondered at. One must look upon them 
as soldiers in a starving and frozen state to under- 
stand the thing properly, and add to it the bitterness 
they felt towards their enemy. 

In this castle one does not meet with it so much, 
and it is pretended that we have spared it because it 
is the castle of a Princess. I would sooner see the 
poorer man spared. Our cook has turned us out a 
first-rate dinner, in spite of having nothing in the 
house, not even firewood ! 


March 11. 

Early this morning M. Marcoll, the Princess's 
agent, came to me and complained of damages which 
our people had caused in the old castle. I had 
the matter inquired into by Lieutenant von Bissing, 
and M. Marcoll was told that if he brought such 
stories and groundless complaints of this nature I 
should have him arrested. He retired, white as a 
corpse. It is a great impertinence that we should be 
supposed to sleep on the ground in bivouac with such 
a beautiful castle in our possession. 

At the desire of M. Marcoll, I allowed the concierge 
to make out a specification that by the wish of the 
Kaiser the Princess's chateau was not to be used 
unless unavoidable for further billeting of our 
troops, although we had not been by any means kindly 
received, but, on the contrary, had suffered inhospit- 
able and rude behaviour. As to the complaint of 
M. Marcoll, there was not a word of truth in it, 
except the falling of- a blind and the displacement 
of a wardrobe from the telegraph-room into the 

At nine o'clock we marched forth. The weather 
was cold but fine. 

At St. Denis, where many signs of the bombard- 
ment were evident, we visited the cathedral, which, 
though being renovated at the time, is one of the 
most beautiful works I have seen. 

The curious contrast of the words outside, c Liberte, 
Egalite, Fraternite,' with the tombs of Kings and 
Queens inside, which have been there since the sixth 
century, was striking. 


Among the beautiful glass windows representing 
Biblical subjects, one window contained a picture of 
Napoleon I. in a green uniform, looking like Louis 

At Bondy we made a halt for breakfast, whereat 
I received the unpleasant news that the axletree of 
the hind- wheels of my baggage -waggon had broken. 
It has been spliced. 

About one o'clock we arrived at the castle called 
Le Vert Galant, where Prince George* of Saxony 
and his Staff were quartered the whole winter. 

It is a very modest and dirty place, but we can 
put up with it for a day. 

The destruction that we witnessed on the march 
was truly terrible. In the village of Bondy there is 
not a single house habitable all shot through ; one 
can have no conception of such a spectacle if one has 
not witnessed it.- 

In Paris it seems to be getting more terrible daily 
everybody is fleeing who can* 

According to the newspapers, Rochef ort has shot 
himself ; the Reds must be in despair. 

Meaux, March 12. 

The weather to-day was most beautiful, like sum- 
mer. I found it very comfortable in Vert Galant, 
and in spite of the absence of bed-linen slept wonder- 

At 9.30 we rode forth. It was a delightful ride. 
After leaving Claye we made a short halt, and then 
at one o'clock arrived here, where, with Gottberg, 
* The present King of Saxony. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 333 

Lenke, and Sommerf eld, I am billeted on the Bishop 
in his palace. He is a little old man, half blind but 
very jovial, and received us with his staff of priests 
most kindly. 

The great state-room, which in turn has been occu- 
pied by Bossuet, Louis XVI., Napoleon I., Carl X., 
and then Moltke, I handed over to Lenke, as it was a 
very cold room, and went myself into a smaller one, 
but, unfortunately, not much warmer, where the 
chimney smoked abominably. We had a big break- 
fast all together at Hotel Grignon, for which we paid 
very dearly, and in the evening we had an excellent 
dinner with our host, where we sat at table alter- 
nately with the priests. 

Regarding the breaking-up of our Staff I have 
heard nothing, but, on the other hand, had to deal with 
a mass of other telegrams. 

The French had not consented to the arrangements 
for victualling the troops by the 10th, and, to put 
pressure on, the Twenty- second Division, with the 
General's Headquarters, had remained at Versailles. 

Vinoy, who wished to occupy it with 2,000 men, 
had to bivouac outside. 

Everything is now completed, and the last troops, 
including sick and wounded, excepting only Captain 
Nolte, have left the town. 

This has been a wonderfully warm summer evening. 

Meaux, March 13. 

I did not sleep well, for, though my bed was a very 
beautiful one, it was damp and clammy. I dare say 
nobody slept in it the whole winter. 


At nine o'clock I went to the railway -station with 
all the officers to greet the Kaiser and his Staff as 
they passed through. He travels to-day to Nancy, 
where the Crown Prince is to join him to-morrow. 
The Kaiser asked me if I were not coming to Nancy 
also, to which I could only reply that I had to await 

It is very necessary that I should do so, for I think 
it a great mistake to allow all the heads of depart- 
ments hurriedly to quit their posts, and leave the 
subordinates without a lead. 

The Crown Prince of Saxony, who will most likely 
take command of the two armies united into one, has 
gone to Dresden to fetch his wife, and I cannot leave 
Gottberg alone to take charge unassisted, without 
special orders to do so. 

Moreover, I do not wish the army to think that I 
am leaving it stranded whilst I hurry home. If I get 
a positive order, there is nothing more to be said ; but 
they have not thought of that. 

At 11.30 we breakfasted with our hospitable 
Bishop, then took a lovely walk into the garden, and 
were shown over the beautiful cathedral, which is 
built in a very simple style, but is wonderfully bright 
and has a most peaceful aspect. It dates from the 
twelfth century, and has an unfinished belfry. It 
appears to me quite a masterpiece. 

At last my room has become comparatively warm. 

After dinner we sat awhile with Lenke, and at 
10.30 went to bed. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 335 

Meaux, March 14. 

I have slept splendidly, and feel remarkably well, 
but am living in the hope of receiving the order to 
leave. All are pressing to get away General Baum- 
bach, Count Bothmer, Dr. Hassel, General Walker, 
who is recalled to England, and so on but no one 
dares leave without an order. 

It is very comfortable in my room, but I am 
beginning to find time hang, and have no pleasure in 

Our host, Bishop Allou, is a jovial, kindly and 
amusing man, and so hospitable that we are always 
being asked to dine. 

In the afternoon I rode with Albrecht to the Marne, 
and took a walk through Trilpost, during which I got 

No news yet, and so we must wait patiently. 

March 15. 

To-day it became suddenly very cold, so that I was 
unable to take my ride. In the afternoon I paid a 
visit to the Sous-Prefet de Tettau, where I spent 
a very pleasant hour in conversation. I then had a 
short walk with Colonel von Studnitz, the Road Com- 
mandant, a very old acquaintance, and returned 

Still no order arrived about the dismissal of the 
Staff. It will not come as quickly as I had hoped, 
and, as my room is frightfully cold and draughty, and 
the chimney often smokes, it is a very uncomfortable 
state of affairs. 

Work has nearly ceased, but I would far sooner 


be at work, for I should then feel happier. Our 
hospitable Bishop is always inviting Albrecht to 

After dinner we joined the officers at the Hotel 
Grignon. The noise and tobacco-smoke were, how- 
ever, very unpleasant to me. 

After dinner a letter from poor Louis reached me, 
in which he states that George's remains have been 
taken to Frankfort. 

Meaux, March 16. 

When I awoke this morning there was a fright- 
ful snowstorm raging, and the ground was several 
inches deep in snow a most unpleasant state of 
affairs, not improved by the exceedingly draughty 
state of my room. I cannot go out, and, as I cannot 
do much reading on account of my eyes, and feel the 
draught on all sides of me, it is exceedingly dis- 

Yesterday afternoon old General Hartmann came 
here to say good-bye. Throughout the whole cam- 
paign we have never had any misunderstanding, but 
have got along together capitally, so that we part the 
best of friends. 

This afternoon at four o'clock came an order from 
the Cabinet, intimating that, by the special wish of the 
Crown Prince, I am to accompany him on his return. 
It would be impossible for me to reach Berlin in time 
for his arrival, as he is already at Weimar. 

I determined, therefore, to go by Dtisseldorf and 
Krampfer, so as to be in Berlin on the 22nd, the 
Emperor's birthday. 

THE JOURNAL OF 1870-71 337 

Everything connected with the transport of my 
horses and carriage was arranged, and at 6.30 1 took my 
leave of the whole Staff. The Staff has to remain here. 

It was very hard to part from these officers, who 
have been so faithful and helpful to me in every way. 
Especially am I thankful to Gottberg, who has taken 
off my shoulders the burden of routine, and relieved 
me of all its unpleasantries. His work has been 
marked by unusual thoroughness and good-nature. 

After last night's dinner I took leave of our hospit- 
able Bishop. 

On March 17th, at five o'clock in the morning, I 
was at the rail way -station, where a first-class coupe 
had been reserved for me. 

The journey passed rapidly and cheerfully, and at 
Frouard I met Hennig, the carriage-builder, and all 
his family, who had been driven from Paris. 

We travelled through Metz to Saarbriicken, which 
we reached at about nine o'clock in the evening, 
where a surprise party of young girls welcomed me 
and presented me with a laurel crown. 

In the evening it was very cheery, in the landlord's 
room of the good German Hotel Eoyal, to be drinking 
my bottle of Moselle wine in the good old fashion, in 
company with the commercial travellers. It all seemed 
like home, and I felt very happy and contented. 

On March 18, at eight o'clock, in company with 
some officers and Landrath von Pommer-Esche, I 
travelled by train to St. Wendel, and thence to 
Birigen, from which station I was alone for the rest 
of the journey to Cologne. 



I cannot describe how beautiful the Rhine looked, 
unlike anything I had seen in France. 

I arrived at Cologne at seven o'clock, and met at 
the railway-station the Duke of Coburg, with whom 
I took a cup of coffee. At 8.45 I entered Diisseldorf 
amid the firing of cannon, and was received by a 
deputation of the Town Council, who greeted me with 
a very complimentary speech. 

Clara and Laura* were also at the station, and 
we drove through the Neustadt, which had been 
illuminated for the occasion, to our house, where I 
was serenaded in the evening. 

The 19th of March I devoted to my children and 
grandchildren. I had also to pay and receive many 

On the 20th of March I went in the forenoon to 
Wittenberge, where I was received with cheers, and 
at two o'clock took the extra-post to Krampf er, where 
I found all assembled to celebrate the Emperor's 
birthday. My wife, with Otto and Agnes, was also 
there. It was a happy meeting and a very enjoyable 

On the 21st I travelled with my wife to Berlin, and 
put up at the Hotel d'Angleterre. My entry into 
the town was amusing. The carriage had not come, 
and we had to take the only droshke that there was, 
with a very tired horse, and had to slink through the 
most unfrequented streets. All the hotels were full, 
and it was only by the courtesy of the landlord that 
we found beds in a little attic in the Hotel d'Angle- 
terre. It was the opening day of the Reichsrath. 
* The Field-Marshal's daughters. 



On the 22nd of March, the Kaiser's birthday, I 
went to his reception at eleven o'clock, and there met 
many retired Generals who formerly had been my 
commanding officers a strange feeling. Kindness 
and hearty sincerity surrounded me on all sides 
perhaps, too, a little envy and malice. The Court 
sycophants were there in their full gala- dress, and 
had again established themselves in their old func- 
tions. The soldier has now again to give place to the 

The Kaiser was as gracious, as kindly and as hearty 
as ever, and spoke to me very gratefully of what I 
had done for his son. 

Afterwards I went to the Crown Prince, who re- 
ceived me in his old manner in no way changed. 

In the evening I walked with my wife through the 
illuminated streets. My horses and carriage had 
arrived safely in charge of Captain von der Lancken. 

On March 24th I had an audience with the Crown 
Princess,* which lasted quite an hour. She sat on the 
sofa, and held on her arm her youngest child. 

Her conversation was natural, unaffected, and to 
the point, without flattery or any direct expressions of 
gratitude ; still, she made me feel, in her whole 
bearing towards me, how much she appreciated the 
fidelity of my service to her husband. 

I can now understand how it is that she has aroused 
so much enmity and jealousy ; in her naturalness she 
stands so far above the others that no one can imitate 
her. They cannot forgive her that simplicity and 
natural bearing, and want to fetter her in the strictest 

* Princess Royal of England. 



bonds of etiquette, and so deprive her of that charm 
which raises her to so high a pinnacle in the eyes of 
every reasonable man. It appeared to amuse her 
greatly that the three men who had had to work 
together so much the Crown Prince, Gottberg, and 
I all had English wives. I had to write my name 
in her album. 

On March 25th the Crown Prince gave a gala- 
dinner. Louis was with us before we went. He is 
quite bowed down by his great loss. 

On the 26th I presented myself to the Crown 
Prince, to whom I had still much to report. He gave 
me unlimited leave to go to Horst. 

At mid-day Dammas came to dinner with us. 

On the 27th I experienced great joy in taking my 
place in the train en route for Horst, where I arrived 
at four o'clock in the afternoon. 

In Berlin the weather had been beautiful, so that 
we did not require fires. But two hours after our 
arrival here we had a thunderstorm, and it has become 
so icy cold since that we are in the greatest discom- 
fort, all suffering from colds and coughs, so that we 
can scarcely go out of doors. 

I have got a terrible attack of lumbago, and can 
scarcely move. I trust that, after all my hard work, 
I shall not find too long a rest harmful. 

In Berlin I could learn nothing about the homeward 
march of the army, nor of my own people, as the 
disturbances in Paris keep everything unsettled. 

I fancy, however, that, as far as I am concerned, 
the campaign is closed, and so to-day April 3rd I 
close my journal. 



Oat end, July 30, 1877. 


It is to me a matter of great self-sacrifice that I have to 
refrain from offering to you my congratulations this day in 
person, upon your entrance, fifty years ago, into our army, and 
that I can only communicate with you through the medium of 
ink and marble.* 

Only the conviction that you appreciate my true loyalty, and 
the knowledge of the high respect I have for you, coupled with 
the feeling on my part of true gratitude towards you, give me 
the assurance that my absence on this, your day of honour, will 
not be taken amiss. 

I have long endeavoured to apportion my time so as to be 
able to be with you at your double festival, and have taken some 
pains to arrange a different date for the Jubilee, but in vain ; 
for your birthday is likewise the anniversary of your first com- 
mission, and my engagements only permit me to accompany my 
family to the seaside from the end of July to the middle of 

Accept, now, the guest fashioned in stone who will present him- 
self to you, as my substitute, on July 30th. If he could speak, 

* The Crown Prince presented a marble bust of himself on this day to 
the Field Marshal. 

[341 ] 


he would tell you that there are few men upon earth to whom I 
would more readily give my whole trust than to you, and that 
there are few for whom I have so great a regard. 

May this bust recall the memorable days during which I was 
permitted to have my Mentor at my side a time when not only 
the Prussian monarchy was at stake, but also the existence of the 
German Empire. 

In the history of that time your name is inseparable from 
mine, and this connection will, I am convinced, be handed down 
to future generations by my children. 

I pray now that God may maintain in you for many years to 
come that power and efficiency which has been so valuable to our 
army, and that the experiences of the war and the treasure of 
scientific knowledge which you brought to bear upon its conduct 
may bring you reward in the fullest sense. 

The Crown Princess joins me in kind remembrances and 
best wishes for your happiness, and we both desire the same for 
your wife. 

I am, 

Your truly devoted friend, 





I WAS born on July 30th, 1810, at Schwedt on the Oder, where 
my father, a Captain in the 2nd Dragoons, was quartered 
at the time. 

Owing to the continual absence of my [father on service, 
my mother was obliged to leave the place and reside with 
her father, Hauptmann von Below, whose property lay in the 
neighbourhood of Stolpe, in Pomerania. There I spent my 
childhood until the death of my father, which took place at the 
Battle of Dennewitz, fighting for the Fatherland. This left 
me and my three brothers orphans. I was then separated from 
the others, and brought up in the house of my grandfather until 
I reached my tenth year. 

Being a man of property, my grandfather used to spend his 
summers on his estate, and his winters in Berlin. 

I had thus a good opportunity of seeing something of the 
world and enlarging my views ; but, on the other hand, the 
repeated changes of teachers and the interruption of my studies 
in the elementary stages of education so far hindered my pro- 
gress that, when His Majesty the King was graciously pleased 
to nominate me for entrance into the cadet-school at Culm, I 
was only able to take my place in the lowest class. 

Here I found myself for the first time thrown with boys of my 



own age, and I was soon seized with the desire to push ahead of 
them. So well did I now progress that in a year and a half I 
reached the first class, and became an under-officer. 

Through my extreme youth, however, I was kept back from 
further advancement, as we were not allowed to leave that 
establishment for the Berlin Cadetteninstitut until fourteen 
years old. 

In the year 1824 I succeeded in attaining the rank of under- 
officer in that school, and I passed through the classes so quickly 
that I was allowed to present myself for the officer's examination 
in the summer of the year 1827. 

The instruction at the cadet school, although in many ways 
meagre and superficial, had not for its aim the mere passing of 
examinations, but we got there very interesting lectures in 
mathematics (oh my Gruson !) and history, and there I acquired 
my taste for sciences. 

In languages there was but little done ; Latin ceased alto- 
gether to be taught in lectures, and in French I never got 
much beyond the rudiments. To the matter of bodily exercises, 
however, much greater care was given, and I fancy that I 
particularly distinguished myself in drill, swordsmanship, 
dancing, riding, etc., and so increased my physical strength 
that I managed to undergo all the hardships of my first 
manoeuvres without any undue strain. 

His gracious Majesty had the kindness on my seventeenth 
birthday to appoint me Second Lieutenant in the Guard-Reserve 
Regiment at Potsdam. Here I spent three years learning the 
rudiments of the practical side of the military art. 

My leisure hours, which I enjoyed with all the freedom of 
youth, I made use of, for the most part, in preparing for my 
course at the Garrison War School, and in perfecting myself in 
the knowledge of the French language. 

In the years 1830 to 1833 1 attended the Garrison War School 
lectures, as well as certain lectures at the University on history 
and mathematics. 

Most of the lessons in the first syllabus were merely a repeti- 


tion of what I had already learnt, but the knowledge I was 
acquiring of the practical side of the military life added a zest 
to the study of the scientific side. 

The tactical studies in the second term, and the study of the 
duties of the General Staff, and of military history in the third 
term, determined me to devote my pleasure, my love, and my 
life to gaining a distinguished military position. 

I henceforth cast out the thought of following in the train 
of my elder brother, who by the purchase of a property in 
Pomerania had acquired for himself the ease and comfort 
of an independent existence. 

In the summer of 1833 I took part in a Staff ride, under 
Major von Staff, in the neighbourhood of Frankfort-on-the- 
Oder. Here I had the opportunity for the first time of reading 
immense tracts of country by military maps and sketches, and 
cultivated the practice of reducing to writing in the shortest 
time the orders and dispositions requisite for whatever military 
movements had been planned. 

To my regret this Staff ride lasted only eight days, and I was 
then obliged to return to my regiment at Potsdam. 

Here my time was very much taken up with practical work, 
and it was the desire of my heart to take command of the com- 
pany, if only for a short time, and to learn all that there was to 
learn of the interior economy, orderly-room duties, etc., in con- 
nection therewith. 

Several opportunities now came to me, such as Landwehr 
drills and manreuvres, and the great concentration of the 
Russian and Prussian troops at Kalisch, and I was thus enabled, 
not only to make good progress in my military studies, but also 
to break the tedium of military garrison life. 

In the year 1836 I made use of my three months' leave to take 
a journey through the Rhine provinces to Belgium and France, 
where I tried my best to learn all about the military disposi- 
tions of the French, and to pick up what I could of the French 

In February, 1837, I was unexpectedly appointed Adjutant 


and Paymaster to the Guard-Land wehr Battalion at Coblentz, 
and from that time was for eight years away from my own 
company and regiment. 

Here I learnt very soon all about the administration of 
military affairs, and did my best to get an insight into the 
ordinary and the extraordinary intricacies of Landwehr arrange- 
ments. I was greatly helped in this by having to go through 
four times a months training at manoeuvres, and, among other 
things, in 1842 I attended a royal review. 

I also filled the place for a whole year, without emolument, of 
the Town Major during his illness, in order that I might learn 
his work, and become acquainted with the Generals and other 
celebrities who were continually passing through Coblentz. 
Still, my duties left me so much leisure that, to occupy my 
time, I took up earnestly the study of military history, and 
studied hard the Italian and English languages. I soon 
dropped the former as useless for the practical purposes of 
life, but in the latter I was fortunate in finding a very pleasant 
opportunity of studying it intimately. 

In the summer of 1839 1 married a young English lady whose 
mother came to live a short time in Coblentz. I was in this way 
thrown among a great many Englishmen, and saw much of 
their ways and heard much of their language. A three months' 
visit to England is one of the pleasantest reminiscences of my 

In the year 1841 I was offered an appointment in the topo- 
graphical department, which I was, unfortunately, unable to take 
up, being compelled by a rheumatic trouble to take summer 
after summer a course of baths at Wiesbaden. 

Later I was quite restored, and did my best by making walking 
tours in the Rhine Provinces and in Switzerland, and by all sorts 
of exercise riding, shooting, etc., in all weathers to harden 
myself for marching with troops. In this I succeeded well, and 
when, in 1844, I was promoted First Lieutenant, I returned to 
my regiment in Potsdam hard as nails. 

Since my recovery it had been my earnest wish to be allowed 



to join the topographical department, and on that account I 
had worked hard when in Coblentz at military sketching in the 
mountains. Unfortunately, however, owing to various family 
matters, I found myself unable to ask for a billet until 1846. 

In that year, His Excellency General von Krausenek having 
recommended my application, I was appointed to the topo- 
graphical department in Niederlausitz, where I have now (1848) 
worked for two years, spending the spring months in studying 
artillery, so as to know something of this important arm. Now, 
after nearly seventeen years' service as Second Lieutenant, and 
four years as First Lieutenant (in company with so many of my 
comrades in the same unhappy lot), despairing of anything like 
early promotion, I find consolation in the thought that I have 
done my duty to the best of my ability. I have always 
endeavoured, both in private life and in my military career, to 
get as much change as possible of scene and work, so as to keep 
my body healthy and my spirits young. 



January ', 1903 

Mr. Edward Arnold's 

New and Popular Books. 

Telegrams : 
' Scholarly, London.' 

37 Bedford Street, 
Strand, London. 


for 1866 and 1870-71. 



Demy %vo. With Portrait and Maps> 1 25. 6d. nett. 

These Journals of the great Prussian Field-Marshal were written by 
him to serve as notes for further memoirs. Although, therefore, they do 
not claim to be in any way complete works, they present so vivid and 
interesting a picture of the daily work and thought of the famous Chief 
of the Staff that they form a valuable record of the stirring times to 
which they relate. 

During the invasion of Bohemia in 1866, known as the Seven Weeks' 
War, Count von Blumenthal was with the Second Army under the 
Crown Prince of Prussia, which, marching through the passes of the 
Giant Mountains, came to the aid of Prince Frederick Charles in time 
to win the Battle of Koniggratz and decide the fate of the campaign. 
In 1870 Count von Blumenthal was again the Crown Prince's Chief of 
the Staff with the Third Army, which first defeated MacMahon at Woerth 
and then hunted him through Chalons to his final destruction at Sedan. 
The account of the march thence upon Paris illustrates in the most 
striking manner the difference between German and British methods of 



carrying war into the enemy's country. It also conveys an impressive 
idea of the difficulty, even in the best regulated campaign, of estimating 
the value of reports and of keeping touch with, and issuing orders for, 
innumerable widely scattered bodies of troops. During the siege of 
Paris the journal is dated from Villa les Ombrages, Versailles. 

The diaries are full of little characteristic touches, which make them 
excellent reading. They are a story of incessant work and endless in- 
terruptions, of sudden changes in plans, many of which meet with the 
Chief of the Staffs entire disapproval, of gnawing uncertainties and 
external and internal discomforts. They reveal on every page a 
singularly able soldier and a straightforward, simple-minded man. 


By Major HERBERT H. AUSTIN, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.E., 


Dewy 8w. With numerous Illustrations and a Map, 151. nett, 

The completion of the Uganda Railway and the consequent opening 
up of the country to civilization have lent fresh interest to that more 
than ordinarily fascinating portion of the Dark Continent. It is 
probably not fully realized to what an extent, not this result alone, but 
the very existence of Uganda as a part of the British Empire, is due 
to the little band of white men who, in the face of great natural 
difficulties, and in the midst of a widespread and dangerous rebellion, 
accomplished the work of which this volume is a record. 

How the exploratory expedition sent out in June, 1897, under the 
command of Major (now Colonel) J. R. L. Macdonald, R.E., was, 
immediately after its arrival, confronted with a grave situation in 
Uganda is probably well known, but so many erroneous impressions 
exist as to the actual outbreak of hostilities with the mutineers of the 
Sudanese escort that it is hoped that the account given in this volume 
of what really took place, as written down by one who was on the spot 
at the time, may tend to remove them. 

The book covers the whole period of operations until March, 1899, 
when the author came home. The story of the long months of 
almost incessant fighting which followed the outbreak of the mutiny is 
naturally a complicated one, but it is told with such temperate clearness 
that its interest is maintained throughout. After the suppression of the 
rising the author commanded an exploring column in the neighbourhood 
of Lake Rudolf. Lovers alike of sport and of scenery will take pleasure 
in his description of his experiences. The book is beautifully illustrated 
from photographs taken during the expedition. 



Macedonia is a country not only interesting in itseM, but notorious 
r its chronic state of political unrest, which at the present moment is 
more than usually threatening to the peace of south-eastern Europe. 

for its chronic state of political unrest, which at the present moment is 

usually threatening to the peace of south-eastern 
Hence the desirability of an accurate and readable account of the 

country and its inhabitants. The Tour described in this book was 
undertaken by Mr. G. F. Abbott, of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 
under the auspices of that University, with a view to die collection of 
materials for a work on Macedonian folk-tore, to be issued shordy by the 
University Press. The present volume contains the author^ impressions 
of the country, and presents a vivid picture of the social and political 
conditions prevailing therein at the time of the tour. Mr. Abbott, 
whose 'Songs of Modern Greece,* published two years ago, was very 
fimwrabty received both in England and on die Continent, combines 
well-trained powers of observation with a brilliant and very humorous 
style. It is believed that his book cannot feul to be acceptable alike to 
the political student and to die general reader. 



This is a volume of Essays on die Art of Everyday Conduct which 
may be particularly recommended to parents with growing children, 
though it would be hard for anyone to read diem ithout benefit The 
author's outlook on the world about her is equally shrewd and 
sympathetic Among her subjects are the followii^ which indicate the 
nature of the book: 'On the Better Teaching of Manners/ 'On 
some Difficulties incidental to Middle Age ;' c Concerning die Rdation 
between Mothers and Daughters;* 'On the Merits and Demerits of 
Thrift, and of certain Proverbs regarding it/ and ' The Lot of the 

carrying war into the enemy's country. It also conveys an impressive 
idea of the difficulty, even in the best regulated campaign, of estimating 
the value of reports and of keeping touch with, and issuing orders for, 
innumerable widely scattered bodies of troops. During the siege of 
Paris the journal is dated from Villa les Ombrages, Versailles. 

The diaries are full of little characteristic touches, which make them 
excellent reading. They are a story of incessant work and endless in- 
terruptions, of sudden changes in plans, many of which meet with the 
Chief of the Staffs entire disapproval, of gnawing uncertainties and 
external and internal discomforts. They reveal on every page a 
singularly able soldier and a straightforward, simple-minded man. 


By Major HERBERT H. AUSTIN, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.E., 


Demy 8vo. With numerous Illustrations and a Map. 1 5 s. nett, 

The completion of the Uganda Railway and the consequent opening 
up of the country to civilization have lent fresh interest to that more 
than ordinarily fascinating portion of the Dark Continent. It is 
probably not fully realized to what an extent, not this result alone, but 
the very existence of Uganda as a part of the British Empire, is due 
to the little band of white men who, in the face of great natural 
difficulties, and in the midst of a widespread and dangerous rebellion, 
accomplished the work of which this volume is a record. 

How the exploratory expedition sent out in June, 1897, under the 
command of Major (now Colonel) J. R. L. Macdonald, R.E., was, 
immediately after its arrival, confronted with a grave situation in 
Uganda is probably well known, but so many erroneous impressions 
exist as to the actual outbreak of hostilities with the mutineers of the 
Sudanese escort that it is hoped that the account given in this volume 
of what really took place, as written down by one who was on the spot 
at the time, may tend to remove them. 

The book covers the whole period of operations until March, 1899, 
when the author came home. The story of the long months of 
almost incessant fighting which followed the outbreak of the mutiny is 
naturally a complicated one, but it is told with such temperate clearness 
that its interest is maintained throughout. After the suppression of the 
rising the author commanded an exploring column in the neighbourhood 
of Lake Rudolf. Lovers alike of sport and of scenery will take pleasure 
in his description of his experiences. The book is beautifully illustrated 
from photographs taken during the expedition. 


Demy &vo. With Illustrations and a Map. 14^. nett. 

Macedonia is a country not only interesting in itself, but notorious 
for its chronic state of political unrest, which at the present moment is 
more than usually threatening to the peace of south-eastern Europe. 
Hence the desirability of an accurate and readable account of the 
country and its inhabitants. The Tour described in this book was 
undertaken by Mr. G. F. Abbott, of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 
under the auspices of that University, with a view to the collection of 
materials for a work on Macedonian folk-lore, to be issued shortly by the 
University Press. The present volume contains the author's impressions 
of the country, and presents a vivid picture of the social and political 
conditions prevailing therein at the time of the tour. Mr. Abbott, 
whose ' Songs of Modern Greece/ published two years ago, was very 
favourably received both in England and on the Continent, combines 
well-trained powers of observation with a brilliant and very humorous 
style. It is believed that his book cannot fail to be acceptable alike to 
the political student and to the general reader. 




Crown 8zv?., 4$. 6d. nett. 

This is a volume of Essays on the Art of Every-day Conduct which 
may be particularly recommended to parents with growing children, 
though it would be hard for anyone to read them ithout benefit. The 
author's outlook on the world about her is equally shrewd and 
sympathetic. Among her subjects are the following, which indicate the 
nature of the book : * On the Better Teaching of Manners ;' ' On 
some Difficulties incidental to Middle Age ;' ' Concerning the Relation 
between Mothers and Daughters ;' ' On the Merits and Demerits of 
Thrift, and of certain Proverbs regarding it / and ' The Lot of the 



By the Rev. C. E. OSBORNE. 


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The life of the late Father Dolling was in many ways an exceedingly 
remarkable one. He is probably best known to the world in connection 
with his work at Landport in charge of the Winchester College Mission. 
It was at Landport that he was first in a position to give full scope to 
his ideas, many of them quite out of the ordinary run, on the social and 
religious reclamation of the poor and outcast. The Rev. C. E. Osborne 
knew Father Dolling intimately for over twenty years. He was closely 
interested in his earlier efforts, and for over seven years was his principal 
helper at Landport. He had thus exceptional opportunities of gaining 
an insight into Father Dolling' s character and aims, and is, perhaps, 
in this respect, better qualified than any other man to undertake the 
writing of the present volume. 

At the moment of his early death last year Father Dolling was con- 
templating the publication of an autobiography. Those who knew him 
and loved the Irish raciness of his style will more than ever regret that 
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but by all who desire to promote the welfare spiritual, moral, and 
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This, the latest volume from Professor Raleigh's pen, will be welcomed 
by all who recognise the brilliant qualities of his study on Milton, with 
which, in size and scope, the present volume is uniform. The following 
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Two Volumes. DemyZvo. With Portraits, Plates and Maps, yss.nett. 

This book treats of a phase of Greek civilization of immense impor- 
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East after Alexander the Great. It deals with the dynasty which played 
the principal part in the Greek East that founded by the Macedonian 
Seleucus. There is no modern book, even in German, which makes a 
special study of the history of the Seleucid kingdom. 

The period is of vital consequence in many ways : (i) A great deal in 
the Roman imperial system was taken over from the Greek monarchies, 
and in them many of the elements of the great European tradition took 
shape. (2) The episode of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Jews, which 
marks an epoch in the history of our religion, belongs to Seleucid 
history also. (3) The Greek civilization, which these rulers repre- 
sented, was identical in germ with our own, and the English who to-day 
are the chief representatives of that civilization in its contact with the 
East may look upon the Seleucid kings as their forerunners. 

It contains, besides two full-page portraits of Antiochus III., reproduc- 
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1 It is seldom that the critic welcomes a work of so much ambition and achieve- 
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attempt made in modern times to treat the Seleucid realm as a whole, apart 
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ERINNA. A Tragedy. 


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Crown &v0. $s. each, nett. 

Mr. EDWARD ARNOLD has pleasure in announcing that he has made 
arrangements for the issue of a Series of Handbooks on Commercial 
and Financial Subjects, which it is hoped will meet the present 
serious deficiency in popular and authoritative books on these important 
matters. The series will be under the editorship of Mr. F. HARCOURT 
KITCHIN, a well-known expert on life insurance and kindred subjects. 

The following volumes are in preparation, and are intended to appear 
shortly : 

THE STOCK EXCHANGE: Its Organisation and 


BRITISH RAILWAYS: Their Organisation and 


By HUGH MUNRO ROSS, B.A., late Exhibitioner of Lincoln 
College, Oxford. 


tion and Management* 

By F. HARCOURT KITCHIN, B.A., late Scholar of Selwyn 
College, Cambridge. 

SHIPPING COMPANIES : Their Organisation and 


By BENEDICT GINSBURG, LL.D. Camb., one of the Counsel 
of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade. 

PUBLIC COMPANIES : Accounts and their Audit. 

By H. C. EMERY. 

Mr. Emery is not only a skilled accountant, but a solicitor whose speciality is 
Company Law. 

Volumes on The Produce Markets and Exchange, Lloyd's, Fire 
and Accident Insurance, Gas and Water Undertakings, and 
Municipal Trading, are also in contemplation* 


Edited by Professor C. W. OMAN, Author of * The Art of War in the 
Middle Ages,' ' The Peninsular War,' etc. 

Large Crown &vo. 75. 6d. each. 

The following volumes have already appeared : 


A Narrative of Shipwreck, Captivity, Escapes from French 
Prisons, and Sea Service in 1804-14* 

With Photogravure Illustrations and Maps. 

' It would be difficult to find a better book of adventure than Captain O'Brien's, 
now for the first time reprinted under the auspices of Professor Oman. Simple and 
direct as a story by Defoe, it carries the reader breathlessly along, and causes him one 
regret only that he cannot read it fast enough.' Spectator. 

' It is the best book of real adventures published this season. ' Liverpool Mercury. 

' It is most interesting from cover to cover, and will make a splendid addition to 
any school library. . . . We heartily recommend the book to all our readers.' 
School World. 

RANGERS, FROM 1809 TO 1814. 

By WILLIAM GRATTAN, Esq., late Lieutenant Connaught 


With Photogravure Illustrations, Plans, and Maps. 

' No one interested in this stirring period of our military history should omit to read 
this well-edited book, which from beginning to end necessarily bears the mark of 
actual experience. ' Field. 

' He is very well worth reading, and altogether to be enjoyed.' Guardian. 

' It is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Grattan's book provides very interesting and 
amusing reading.' St. James's Gazette. 

1 It is a marvellous book.' Military Mail. 



MR. EDWARD ARNOLD has much pleasure in calling attention to the 
fact that almost without exception these interesting books have all been 
bought up and become out of print before publication, while one or two 
that have found their way into the sale-rooms have commanded a high 

These books are printed by the Guild of Handicraft, at Essex 
House, on the hand presses used by the late Mr. William Morris at 
the Kelmscott Press. Members of Mr. Morris's staff are also re- 
ained at the Essex House Press, and it is the hope of the Guild of 
Handicraft by this means to continue in some measure the tradition of 
good printing and fine workmanship which William Morris revived. 

Subscribers to the complete series of Essex House Publications are 
given priority for any new book issued, and the number of subscribers 
is constantly increasing. Intending subscribers and persons who desire 
to receive announcements of the forthcoming publications are recom- 
mended to enter their names as soon as possible. 


Cicero's 'De Amicitia' in Latin and English (John Harrington's 
translation, Elizabethan). 

The 'Parentalia' of Sir Christopher Wren. The Life and 

Account of the Works of the Great Architect by his Son. Containing a series 
of illustrations of the remaining City Churches. 

The Guild of Handicraft Song-Book. With cuts and music in 

four-page sheets at is. a sheet, to be issued in sets of ten at a time, or bound 
up subsequently by arrangement. 


1. Benvenuto Cellini's Treatises on Metal Work and Sculpture. 

By C. R. ASHBEE. 600 copies. A few still left. 353. nett. 

2. The Hymn Of Bardaisan, the first Christian Poem, rendered into 

English verse from the original Syriac, by F. CRAWFORD BURKITT, of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. 250 copies. \_0iit of print. 

3. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Edited from the earlier editions 

by JANET E. ASHBEE, with a frontispiece by REGINALD SAVAGE. Vellum 
cover. 750 copies. 303. nett. 

4. The Church of Saint Mary Stratford atte Bow. 250 copies. 

[Out of print. 

5. Shelley's Adonais. Vellum series. 50 copies. [Out of print. 

6. Shakespeare's Poems. 450 copies. [Out of print. 


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2 2 



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to Hutbors. 




Abbott, G. F. . - 3,20 

Gardner, Alice 

17, 27 O'Brien, Capt. A. 

9, 16 

ABOUT '13 

Gaunt, Mary 

- 14 


Adalet -13 

George, Florence A. 


Oliphant, P. L. 

7 *4 

Adams, E. Davenport 27 

Gleichen, Count 


Oman, C. 

12, 17 

Adderley, Hon. and Rev. J. 15 
Alexander, W. Gordon 15 

Godman, E. 
Gordon, Sir T. E. 


Osborne, Rev. C. E. 

4, 16 

Ames, Ernest -25 

Goschen, Viscount 


Oxenden, Maud 

- 14 

Andersen, Hans Christian 26 
Ashbee, C. R. - - - n 
Austin, Major H. H. 2, 20 

Graham, W. 
Grattan, W. 
Great Public Schools 

!"<-__ -17 _ ! 

- 28 
9. IS 

Pasley, Louisa M. S. 
Peel, Hon. G. - 
Peel, Hon. S. - 

6, 17 

- 21 

Bagot, Mrs. C. 15 
Bagot, Dosia -20 

orey, r^ari 
Grey, H. M. 
Gurdon, J. 


6, 19 

Pearson, Karl - 
Pembrey, M. S. 

. 29 

Bagot, R. 7, 13 
Bell, Mrs. Hugh 3, 13, 18, 25 
Benson, A. C. -17 
Berkeley, Hon. Grantley F. - 22 
Bevan, E. R. - - 5, 17 
Beynon, W. G. L. - - 20 
Bisiker, W. - -20 
Blumenthal, von, Count i, 15 
Boulger G. S. - - 28 

Hall. Bradnock 
Halliday, G. - 
Hare, Augustus J. C. 
Harrison, Frederic 
Harrison, S. Frances 
Harrow School 
Hartshorne, Albert 
Henderson, M. Sturge 

- 29 

- 14 
7, 17 

Percy, Earl 
Perry, Prof. John 
Phillipps, L. March - 
Phillips, C. D. F. 
Pickering, Sidney 
Pigott, T. Digby 
Pigou, Very Rev. Francis 
Pike, Warburton 
Pilkington, E. M. S. - 

- 21 
- 29 
- 29 
' 23 

- 16 


Bradley, Cuthbert 20 
Brookfield, C. H. E. - 6, 15 
Browne, E. M. Balfour 13 
Brown, Edward 23 
Bull, H. J. - -20 

Henson, Canon 
Hervey, M. H. 
Hickman, Capt. W. T. 
Hill, Leonard 
Hoff, Dr. J. H. Van 'T. 


: % 


Pinsent, Ellen F. 
Podmore, C. T. 
Pollok, Lieut. -Colonel 
Powles, L. D. - 
Price, L. L. - 

- 26 

Bunsen, Marie von - - 13 

Hofmeyr, A.- 

- 20 

Pritchett, R. T. 


Burne, Commander C. R. N. 20 
Burneside, Margaret 18 
Butler, A. J. - - - 18 

Holland, Bernard 
Holland, Canon 
Holmes, Thomas 

- 16 

Quiller Couch, A. T. - 

Radford, Mrs. C. H. - 
Raleigh, Walter 4, 

' 19 

16, 18 

Campbell, J. G. D. - - 20 
Caunt, G. W. - - - 28 

Holt, Ardern - 
Hopkinson, A. M. 

- 27 

Ransome, Cyril 
Raymond, Evelyn 

- 27 

Chapman, Abel 20 

Hughes, J. L. - 


Reed, E. T. - 

- 26 

Charleton, R. J. - 13 

Hussey, Eyre - 


Reid, Arnot - 


Cherbuliez, Victor - - 13 
Chester, Norley - - 13 

Hutchinson, Horace G. 
Hutchison, Robert 

- 28 

Reynolds, Rev. S. H. 
Richmond, Jlev. Wilfrid 


Children's Favourite Series 29 

India Office Publications 

. 29 

Roberts, Morley 

' 14 

Children's Hour Series - 29 

International Education 

Rochefort, Henri 


Cholmondeley, Mary - - 13 


" 3 1 

Rodd, Sir Rennell 

' J 9 

City Series - - -8 
Clough, Blanche A. 12, 15 
Clouston, J. Storer - - 13 
Clouston, K. Warren - - 25 

Johnston, Annie Fellows 
Keith, A. 
Kelsey, W. R. 

- 27 

- 28 

Roebuck, Rt. Hon. J. A. 
Roy, Gordon - 
Rumbold, Sir Horace - 
Russell, W. Clark - 


6, 16 

Clowes, W. Laird 27 
Clutterbuck, E. H. 6, 19 
Coleridge, M. E. - 13 
Collingwood, W. G. - 13, 18 

Knox, T. W. - 
Knutsford, Lady 
Kuhns, L. Oscar 

- 24 

: 3 

- 18 

Scrope, William 
Seton, Christine 
Shaw, C. Weeks 
Shorland, F. W. 

- 14 
* 9 4 

Collins, J. Churton - - 19 
Colvile, Sir H. E. - - 20 
Cook, E. T. - - - 17 

Lake, Katharine 
Lang, Andrew - 
Le Fanu, W. R. 

- 18 
- 16 

Sidgwick, Mrs. A. 
Slatm Pasha, Sir Rudolf 
Smith, A. Donaldson - 

7, 14 

21, 26 

Cosmopolite -22 
Crabbe, George - - 19 
Craufurd, Major H. J. - 25 

Legh, M. H. Cornwall 
Lehfeldt, Dr. R. A. - 
Lighthall, W. D. 

26, 27 
- 28 

Smith, H. H. - 
Smith, Thomas 
Solly, H. S. - 


- 16 

Cunningham, J. G -23 

Local Series - 


Spinner, Alice - 

Dalby, W. E. - - - 28 
De Vere, Aubrey - 15 
Dunmore, Earl of -13 

Lockwood, Sir Frank - 
Louis, H. 
Macdonald, Lt.-Col. J. R. 


- 28 

- 20 

Sportsman's Library 
Streamer, Col. D. 
Tatham, H. F. W. - 

- 22 
- 26 

Dymond, T. S. - - 29 

Macdonald, Sir John A. 


Taylor, Isaac 

- 29 

Marson, C. 


The Times Atlas 

Eddy, Charles - 7, 13 
Edwards, R. W. K. - - 13 
Ellacombe, H. N, 18, 23 

Mathews, Margaret H. 
Matthews, C. G. 
Maud, Constance 


- 28 
x8, 26 

Thompson, Col. R. F. Meysey 21 
Thornton, Col. T. - 22 
Tollemache, Hon. L. A. 16 

Elliot, W. G. - - 23 
Essex House Publications 10-12 

Maxwell, Sir Herbert- 
McNab, Frances 



Wallace, Helen 
Warkworth Lord 

- 14 

Falkner, J. Meade - - 13 
Fawcett, E. D. - - 27 

McNulty, Edward - 
Merivale, J. A. 

: It 

Watson, E. H. Lacon 
Weber, Antoinette 

7, 14 

7) *4 

Fell, Rev. J. - . - 25 

Milner, Viscount 


Webber, T. W. 

- 21 

Fenton, Mrs. - -15 
Field, Mrs. E. M. A - 27 
Finsen, N. R. - - - 28 

Montresor, F. F. 
Morgan, C. Lloyd 
Mott, E. S. 

28, 29 
- 16 

White, C. N. - 
Wilbraham, Estra 
Williams, N. Wynne 

' 24 

Fisher, J. R. - - - 17 

Mudge, G. P. - 

- 29 

Wilson, Ernest 

- 27 

Fleming, Canon - - 18 

Munroe, Kirk - 


Wilson, Theodora 

' 14 

Ford, Isabella O. -13 
Frederiksen, N. C. - - 17 
Freshfield, Douglas W. 20 

Nash, Henry - - 26 
National Review 24 
Naval and Military Biographies 9 

Wingate, Sir F. R. - 21, 26 
Wyllie, W. L. - 5, 25 
Yale Bicentennial Publica- 

Frye, Alexis - - 27 



tions -