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Savary: Memoirs of the Duke of Rovigo
Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 13
Various combats--Manoeuvres of the Emperor-The Archduke Ferdinand escapes from Ulm-Marshal Soult takes Memmingen -Answer of Napoleon to Prince Lichtenstein sent with a flag of truce-Marshal Mack capitulates - Plans of the coalition-The Austrian army lays down its arms-Address of the Emperor to the Austrian officers made prisoners.

THE Emperor caused the country to be scoured as far as the Lech, and placed himself in communication with General Marmont, who debouched by Neuburg, where he had passed the Danube, and was marching upon Friedberg. He also placed himself in communication with the Bavarian army, which was leaving Ingolstadt with the intention of advancing. The cavalry fell in with an Austrian corps at Wertingen, defeated it, and drove back what had escaped it upon Ulm. The Emperor moved his head-quarters to Zumnershausen, between Augsburg and Guntzburg. He ordered Augsburg to be occupied ; and sent the corps of Marshal Soult upon the only line of operations left to the enemy, by Memmingen, a small town, into which he had thrown six thousand men, whom Marshal Soult blockaded in it. Desiring also to place himself in communication with the corps of Marshal Ney, who had remained on the left bank of the Danube, he sent orders to him to force the passage of the river at Guntzburg.

He then went and fixed his head-quarters at Augsburg, to observe what course the Austrian army was about to pursue, and to organise the means of administration and hospitals in that city, which he had been obliged to make the centre of his operations. He was there joined by Marmont's corps, and received intelligence of the march of Bernadotte. In this manner he found himself in the midst of all his corps d'armée. From Augsburg he moved his head-quarters to Zumnershausen, and caused Ulm to be hemmed in on all sides. Not one of us could conceive why the Austrian army had not come to the resolution of leaving it or of offering us battle. It did neither, and waited till it was impossible for it to avoid us. It may easily be imagined how many opportunities of extricating itself from the dilemma it might have seized, in the immense movement which we had been forced to make in order to turn it so completely as we did. The corps which formed the circle in the rear of it had traversed, from Donauwert, the one hundred and eighty degrees of the last circumference, to arrive at its position.

These arrangements being made, the Emperor approached Ulm by Guntzburg. His army had arrived by the right bank of the Danube within sight of Ulm, when he learned that a very strong detachment had escaped from the place, and was proceeding along the left bank by forced marches toward Bohemia. At the same time he received intelligence that of the divisions of the corps of Marshal Ney, under the command of General Dupont, which was closing Ulm in by the left bank, had been forced in the position which it occupied, and had not been strong enough to oppose the sortie of a very large Austrian corps which had taken the road to Nordlingen. He conjectured for a moment that the enemy's whole army was about to take that direction, and immediately manoeuvred in such a manner as to harass the Austrian corps with his cavalry. The latter recrossed the Danube, and marched with such celerity, that every day it overtook and dispersed some fragments of that corps which was commanded by the Archduke Ferdinand. Worn out by an incessant Pursuit, the enemy sought to escape us by stratagem. It made overtures, and affected a wish to treat; but it was perceived that its only object was to gain time. It was charged, and driven fighting into the mountains of Bohemia.

At the same time that the Emperor sent his cavalry in pursuit of the Archduke Ferdinand, he caused Ulm to be more closely invested. He ordered the passage from the right to the left bank to be forced at Elchingen. It so happened that the very same day a second column left the place ,and took the direction of the village. The bridge, though very bad, was not destroyed. The part of Marshal Ney's corps which was, on the right bank went to meet it, and overthrew and drove it back into Ulm. It was this part which a few days before had forced the passage of the Danube, in order to cross from the left bank to Guntzburg on the right. That division, out of the six which had been sent in pursuit of the Archduke Ferdinand, continued to descend the left bank of the Danube. The corps of Marshal Lannes was ordered to support Marshal Ney, and also crossed the bridge. The same evening the two corps slept on the crest of the heights which overlook Ulm on the left bank, while Marmont approached it on the right. The Emperor on his part took post at Elchingen, and then Bohemia was ours.

Next day we drove back into the place all the troops that the enemy's army had outside it: his very posts were driven in. He remained in this situation four days without making any proposal. During this interval Marshal Soult took Memmingen with its garrison of six thousand men. This intelligence reached the Emperor in a wretched bivouac, which was so wet that it was necessary to seek a plank for him to keep his feet out of the water. He had just received this capitulation, when Prince Maurice Lichtenstein, whom Marshal Mack had sent with a flag of truce, was announced. He was led forward on horseback with his eyes covered. When he had arrived, he was presented to the Emperor. The look which escaped him proved that he did not imagine he was there. He admitted that Marshal Mack had no notion of his presence. He came to treat for the evacuation of Ulm. The army which occupied it demanded permission to return to Austria. To be impartial, without at the same time ceasing to be a patriot, I must confess that, during the course of the war, the enemy's generals have always thought to outwit ours wherever the Emperor happened not to be.

The Emperor could not forbear smiling, and said, ---What reason have I to comply with this demand? In a week you will be in my power, without condition. You expect the Russian army, which is scarcely in Bohemia yet; and besides, if I let you go, what guarantee have I that your troops will not be made to serve when once they are united with the Russians. I have not forgotten Marengo. I suffered M. de Melas to go; and Moreau had to fight his troops at the end of two months, in spite of the most solemn promises to treat for peace. Besides, there are no laws of war to appeal to, after such conduct as that of your government towards me. Most assuredly I have not sought you; and then again I cannot rely on any of the engagements into which your general might enter with me, because it will depend on himself alone to keep his word. It would be a different thing if you had one of your princes in Ulm, and he were to bind himself: I would take his word, because he would be responsible for it, and would not allow it to be dishonoured; but I believe the Archduke is gone."

Prince Maurice replied in the best manner he could, and protested that without the conditions which he demanded the army would not leave the place. " I shall not grant them," rejoined the Emperor : " there is the capitulation of your general who commanded at Memmingen; carry it to Marshal Mack, and whatever may be your resolutions in Ulm, I will never grant him any other terms. Besides, I am in no hurry: the longer he delays, the worse he will render his own situation and that of you all.¹ For the rest, I shall have the corps which took Memmingen here to-morrow, and we shall then see."

Prince Lichtenstein was conducted back to Ulm. The same evening Marshal Mack wrote a very respectful letter to the Emperor, in which he intimated that the consolation which was left him in his misfortune was that of being obliged to treat with him: assuring him that no other person should ever have made him accept such mortifying conditions; but since fortune would have it so, he awaited his orders. Next morning the Emperor sent Berthier to Ulm with instructions, and still remained himself at his wretched bivouac, that he might be at hand to answer objections should any be started. Berthier returned in the evening with the capitulation, by which the whole army surrendered itself. It was to march out with the honours of war, file off before the French army, lay down its arms, and set out for France. The generals and officers alone had permission to return home, on condition of not serving till a complete exchange.

For the eight days we had passed before Ulm it had rained incessantly: all at once the rain ceased, and the Austrian army filed off in the finest weather imaginable.

The Emperor went to pass the two days allowed as stipulated, between the signature of the capitulation and its execution, at the abbey of Elchingen, where Marshal Mack paid him a visit; he kept him a, long time and made him talk a great deal. It was in this interview that he learned all the circumstances which had preceded the resolution of the Austrian cabinet to make war upon him. He was made acquainted with all the springs which the Russians had set, to work to decide it; and lastly, with the plans of the coalition. Their object was nothing less than to wrest from France all, the conquests of the revolution ; and, to arrive at that result, they were resolved to employ any means-war, division, internal intrigues ; and, in short, so confident were they of success, that they had not hesitated to allot Lyons to the king of Sardinia.

Such disclosures would have appeared the follies of a morbid brain or the ravings of a maniac, had they not issued from the lips of a field-marshal, whose situation had initiated him in the greater part of the measures of his Government. The Emperor could not divert his thoughts from the subject: he needed this confidence to soothe his mind, and to account, for a multitude of petty intrigues, which he remarked without guessing their aim. He could not conceive how it happened that though he had ministers every where, he should have known nothing of all this. He then comprehended the attempts against his life, the projects of Drake, and other matters of that kind; but he could not conceive how a monarch could be so destitute of understanding as to lend himself to such extravagancies. Such, nevertheless, was the fact: the Emperor was affected by it, as he sometimes testified to us; but these plans seemed so insane that he concerned himself but little about them. They were, nevertheless, but postponed by our victories: the coalesced powers realized them in a great measure, as soon as success furnished them with the means.

The Emperor treated General Mack extremely well, and strove to make him forget his misfortune : he ordered General Mathieu Dumas to accompany him back to Ulm having directed that general to arrange the enemy's columns which were to march out on the following day. The day of that painful ceremony for the Austrian army arrived. Our army was drawn up in order of battle on the heights; the troops being admirably clean, and their dress and appointments in the best state that their situation permitted.

The drums beat - the bands played; the gates of Ulm opened; the Austrian army advanced in silence, filed off slowly, and went, corps by corps, to lay down its arms on a spot which had been prepared to receive them.

This day, so mortifying to the Austrians, put into our power 36,000 men; 6000 had been taken in Memmingen, and about 2000 at the battle of Wertingen. If to this be added what fell into our hands in the battle of Elchingen, and in the pursuit of the Archduke, we shall find that there is no exaggeration in estimating the total loss of the Austrian army at 50,000 men, 70 pieces of cannon, and about 3500 horses, which served to mount a division of dragoons which had come from Boulogne on foot. The ceremony occupied the whole day. The Emperor was posted on a little bill in front of the centre of his army : a great fire had been lighted, and by this fire he received the Austrian generals to the number of seventeen ; among whom were Marshal Mack, commander-in-chief, Klenau, Giulay, Jellachich, Maurice Lichtenstein, Godesheim, and Fresnel : the two latter were French officers, and had emigrated with the regiment of the hussars of Saxony. I do not recollect the names of the others. They were all very dull; it was the Emperor who kept up the conversation. He said to them among other things, " It is a pity that such brave men as you, whose names are honourably mentioned wherever you have fought, should be the victims of the follies of a cabinet which dreams of nothing but insane schemes, and is not ashamed to compromise the dignity of the state and nation by trafficking with the services of those who are destined to defend it. It is of itself an iniquitous proceeding to come, without any declaration of war, to seize me by the throat; but it is being criminal towards one's own subjects to bring upon them a foreign invasion; it is betraying Europe to mix up Asiatic hordes in our quarrels. Instead of attacking me without motive, the Aulic council should have allied itself with me to repel the Russian army. What a monstrous thing for history is this alliance of your cabinet ! It cannot be the work of statesmen of your nation: it is, in short, the alliance of the dogs and the shepherds with the wolves against the sheep. Supposing France had succumbed in this struggle, you would very soon have perceived the fault which you had committed."

This conversation was not lost upon all: none of them however, made any reply.

A circumstance occurred there, in the presence of the Austrian generals, which exceedingly displeased the Emperor.

A general officer, who piques himself on his wit, repeated aloud an expression which he put into the mouth of one of the soldiers of his corps d'armée.

He was passing before their ranks he said, and had addressed them in these words: " Well, soldiers; here's plenty of prisoners." - " Very true, general," replied one of them; we never saw so many j---- f---- together before."

The Emperor, whose ears caught up every thing, heard this story: he was highly displeased, and sent one of his aide-de-camps to tell that general-officer to retire; saying to us in a low tone, " He must have little respect for himself who insults men so unfortunate."

¹ - According to the capitulation of Memmingen, the officers returned home. It was hinted to Prince Maurice that in case of delay on the part of General Mack, this favour would not be granted.

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