Page images

met the Austrian rear-guard before Ebersberg. The intrepid battalions of the tirailleurs of the Po, and the Corsican tirailleurs, pursued the enemy, who was passing the bridge, drove into the river the cannon, waggons, and from eight to nine hundred men, and took in the town from three to four thousand men, whom the enemy had left there for its defence. Gen. Claparede, whose advanced guard was these battalions, pursued them. He halted at Ebersberg, and found 30,000 Austrians occupying a superb position. The duke of Istria passed the bridge with his cavalry, in order to support the division, and the duke of Rivoli ordered his advanced guard to be strengthened by the main body of the army. The remains of the corps of prince Lewis and gen. Hiller were lost without resource. In this extreme danger the enemy set fire to the town, which was built of wood. The fire spread in an instant in every direction. The bridge was soon enveloped, and the flames seized the joists, which it was necessary to cut. -Nei


a spirit of inconsistency worthy this weak cabinet, it destroyed a fortress situated on a frontier where it might be of great utility, in order to build one at Comorn, in the midst of Hungary. Posterity will with difficulty credit this excess of inconsistency and folly.-The Emperor arrived at Ried on the 2d of May, at one of the morning, and at Lambach, at one of the afternoon of the same day.-At Ried were found an establishment of eight sets of military ovens, and magazines containing 20,000 quintais of flour. The bridge of Lambach, on the Traun, had been cut by the enemy; it was re-established during the day. -On the same day the duke of Istria commanding the cavalry, and the duke of Montebello, with the corps of Oudinot, entered Wels. In this town were found a bakery, 12 or 15,000 quintals of flour, and magazines of wine and brandy.-The duke of Dantzic, who arrived the 30th April at Saltzburg, instantly caused one brigade to march towards Kurstein and another towards Rastadt, in the direction of the Italian roads. His advanced guard, pur-ther cavalry nor infantry was able to act; suing gen. Jellachich, forced him from the and the division of Claparede alone, with strong post at Colling. On the 1st of only four pieces of cannon, fought during May, the head-quarters of the duke of Ri- three hours against 30,000 men. voli were at Scharding, Adj. gen. Trin- battle of Ebersberg is one of the finest miqualye, commanding the advanced guard litary occurrences, the memory of which of the division of St. Cyr, met at Riedau, can be preserved by history. The enemy on the road to Neumarck, with the advan- seeing the division of Claparede cut off ced guard of the enemy. The Wurtem-without any communication, advanced burg light horse, the Baden dragoons, and three times against it, and was always rethree companies of voltigeurs of the 4th ceived and stopped by the bayonet. regiment of the French line, as soon as length after a labour of three hours, the they perceived the enemy, attacked, and flames were turned aside, and a passage pursued him to Neumarck. They killed opened. The gen. of division, Le50 men, and took 500 prisoners.-The grand, with the 20th light infantry and Baden dragoons valiantly charged an half- the 18th of the line, marched towards the battalion of the regiment of Jordis, and castle, which the enemy had occupied compelled them to lay down their arms. with 800 men. The sappers broke in the Lieut. col. D'Emmerade, who commanded doors, and the flames having reached the them, had his horse pierced with stabs castle, all who were within perished there. from the bayonet, major Sainte Croix took Gen. Legrand afterwards marched to the with his own hand a flag from the enemy. assistance of Claparede's division. Gen. Our loss consists of three men killed, and Durosnel, who advanced to the right shore, 50 wounded. The duke of Rivoli continued with 1,000 horse, joined himself to him, his march on the 2d, and arrived at Lintz and the enemy was obliged to retreat with on the 3d. The archduke Lewis and gen. great haste. On the first report of these Hiller, with the remains of their corps, events, the Emperor had himself marched reinforced by a reserve of grenadiers, and up the right shore, with the divisions of by all that the country could afford them, Nansoutz and Moliter.-The enemy, who were before the Traun with 35,000 men; retreated with the greatest rapidity, arrived but menaced with being turned by the at night at Enns, burnt the bridge, and duke of Montebello, they proceeded to continued his flight on the road to Vienna. Ebersberg, in order to pass the river.-On His loss consists of 12,000 men, of which the 3d, the duke of Istria and gen. Oudinot 7,500 are prisoners. marched towards Ebersberg, and effected four pieces of cannon and two standards. a junction with the duke of Rivoli. They The division of Claparede, which consti


We also possess

tutes a part of the grenadiers of Oudinot, | (militia.) On the 6th the head-quarters covered itself with glory. It has lost 300 men killed and 600 wounded. The impetuosity of the tirailleurs of the Po, and the Corsican tirailleurs, attracted the attention of our army. The bridge, the town, and the position at Ebersberg, will be lasting monuments of their courage. The traveller will stop and say, "It is here, from these superb positions, from this long bridge, and this castle so strong from its situation, that an army of 35,000 Austrians | was driven into flight by 7,000 Frenchmen."-Cohorn, general of brigade, an officer of singular intrepidity, had his horse killed under him. Colonels Cardenan and Lendy were killed.-A company of the Corsican battalion pursuing the enemy into the woods, made alone 700 prisoners. During the affair of Ebersberg, the duke of Montebello arrived at Steyer, where he rebuilt the bridge which the enemy had cut. The Emperor sleeps to-day at Enns, in the castle of Prince Auersperg: tomorrow will be spent in rebuilding the bridge. The Deputies of the States of Upper Austria were presented to his Majesty at his bivouac at Ebersberg. The citizens of all classes, and from all the provinces, allow that the emperor Francis II. is the aggressor: they expect great changes, and admit that the House of Austria has merited all its misfortunes. They accuse, even openly, the feeble, obstinate, and perfidious character of their sovereign, as the author of their afflictions: they manifest the deepest gratitude for the generosity which the emperor Napoleon shewed towards the capital and countries he had conquered. In common with all Europe, they are indignant at the resentment and hatred which the emperor Francis has not ceased to nourish against a nation which had been so noble and magnanimous towards him. Thus, in the opinion even of the subjects of our enemy, victory is on the side of the good cause. Sixth Bulletin, dated Saint Polten, May 9. The prince of Ponte Corvo, who commands the 9th corps, composed in a great measure of the Saxon army, and which has marched near the Bohemian frontier, spreading disquietude every where, has caused the Saxon general Gutschmitt to march to Egra. This general has been well received by the inhabitants, whom

he has ordered to dismiss the landwher

of the prince of Ponte Corvo were at Retz, between Bohemia and Ratisbon. - One Schill, a sort of robber, who was covered with crimes during the last campaign of Prussia, and who had obtained the rank of colonel, has deserted from Berlin with his whole regiment, and repaired to Wittemberg, on the Saxon frontier. He has environed that town. General Lestocq has issued a Proclamation against him as a deserter. This ridiculous movement was concerted with the party which wished to send fire and blood through Germany.His Majesty has ordered the formation of a corps of observation of the Elbe, which will be commanded by the duke of Walmy, and composed of 60,000 men. The advanced guard is ordered to proceed to Hanau.-The duke of Montebello crossed the Euns at Steyer on the 4th, and arrived on the 5th at Amstetten, where he met the enemy's advanced guard. Colbert, gen. of brigade, caused the 20th regiment of horse chasseurs to charge a regiment of Ulans, of whom 500 were taken. The young Lauriston, 18 years of age, and who but six months ago was a page, after a singular combat, vanquished the commander of the Ulans, and took him prisoner. His Majesty has granted him the decoration of the Legion of Honour.-On the 6th, the duke of Montebello arrived at Molck, the duke of Rivoli at Amstetten, and the duke of Auerstadt at Lintz.-The remains of the corps of the archduke Lewis and general. Hiller quitted Saint Polten on the 7th. Two-thirds passed the Danube at Crems; they were pursued to Mautern, where the bridge was found broken: the other third took the direction of Vienna.-On the 8th, the head-quarters of the Emperor were at St. Polten.-The head-quarters of the duke of Montebello are to-day at Sigartskirchen. The duke of Dantzic is marching from Saltsburgh to Inspruck, in order to attack in the rear the detachment which the enemy has still in the Tyrol, and which troubled the fron tiers of Bavaria.-In the cellars of the abbey of Molck, were found several thousand bottles of wine, which are very useful for the army. It is not till beyond Molck that the wine country begins. It follows from the accounts delivered in, that the army has found, since the passage of the Inn, in the different magazines of (To be continued.)

LONDON:-Printed by T. C. HANSARD, Peterborough - Court, Fleet - Street; Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent Garden :-Sold also by J. BUDD, Pall-Mall.

VOL. XV. No. 24.]


[Price 18.


"Let high Birth triumph. What can be more great?
-but Merit in a low estate."



The Court-Martial.




jury, or at all tend to save his neck? Of this, one would think, the public robbers must be aware; but, they are so stung; they smart so severely; they are so full of resentment, against all who are not public robbers, that they cannot subdue their passions to the command of reason. Against me, in particular, they entertain such mortal antipathy, that I am sure there is nothing but their cowardice, that withholds them from attempting assassination. In this county especially they are desperate. They have (to whichever set, or gang, they belong) here seen all the respectable part of the people turn their backs upon them with disdain, after having, for so many years, been the dupes of one gang or the other; and this (to them) alarming change they ascribe principally to me. No wonder, therefore, that they are not very nice in their attempts to obtain vengeance.

In a former Letter, I spoke to you upon the subject of the personal attacks, which the associates in corruption were making upon me; of which attacks I shall now speak to you more fully; because, an exposition of the falshood and malice of our enemies will strongly tend to shew, not only that their cause is bad, but that they know it to be bad, and that they have neither fact nor argument to advance in its defence. The truth is this: they see plainly, that, unless they can, by some means or other, destroy the effect of my publications, those publications will, in time, destroy corruption and public-robbery; that is to say, destroy the meat which they feed upon; and, therefore, it is no wonder, that they are making such efforts to destroy the effect of those publications; and, yet, being quite destitute of the means of meeting me in the field of discussion; being quite unable to make head, to stand one moment, against me there, they have recourse to personal attack, just as if any thing that I did twenty years ago could have any connection with what I am now writing upon the subject of Parliamentary Reform; just as if my having acted thus or thus, while I was in the army, could have any connection with what I have now said about the Vote of the 310 upon Mr. Madocks's motion, or about the decision with respect to Castle-which I was concerned, at the time of my reagh, Wellesley, and Perceval, compared with the prosecution and sentence of Philip Hamlin. I am accusing the associates in corruption of various crimes against the people; I am exposing their robberies to the people; and I am proposing the means of preventing such robberies in future. Why do not the corrupt defend themselves, if they can? Is it common for the thief to attack the lawyer who is pleading against him? And, if he were to do it, would that gain him any credit with the

Some of these attempts I noticed in a former, Letter, where I spoke of some of the falshoods and misrepresentations they had made use of. I have now to speak of their last attempt; and, having so done; having once more shown the falshood, the malice, the incomparable baseness of the Associates in Corruption, I will never again take up any part of my paper, or the time of my Readers, with answering any thing that shall be published against me personally. The vile wretches have now published, at an enormous expence; an expence of not less, perhaps, than ten thousand pounds, a thing which they pretend is a true account of a COURT-MARTIAL, in

leaving the army, in 1792. Why, Gentlemen, they might, when they were at it, as well have gone the full length of the enemies of England in America, and published an account of my being tried for my life and left for execution. They might as well have accused me of high-way robbery, house-breaking, or any other offence. There would have been full as much truth in such a charge, as in what they have now published, which is a fals hood, from one end to the other, as to what

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

it means to cause to be believed respecting Major of the regiment, asked for my disme. It contains, like most other delibe- charge, which, after many efforts, on the rate falshoods, something which is true in part of the commanding officer, Major words; but, then, the meaning is totally Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and of General perverted by the suppression of all the Frederick, the Colonel of the regiment, material parts of the transaction. Suppose to prevail on me to remain (upon a proyou were to say, "If selling seats in par- mise of being specially recommended "liament be not punished, it is a shame to the king, as worthy of being_imme"to hang a poor fellow for house-break-diately promoted to the rank of Ensign) ing." Suppose you were to say this; I obtained in the following words: and I, pretending to give an account of By the right hon. major lord Edward what you had said, were to drop the Fitzgerald, commanding his Majesty's former part of the sentence, and accuse "54th Regiment of Foot, whereof lieut. you of saying, "It is a shame to hang a "gen. Frederick is colonel.These are poor fellow for house-breaking." This," to certify, that the bearer hereof, WILthough true in words, would be shame- LIAM COBBETT, Serjeant Major in the fully false in meaning; and yet, even this "aforesaid regiment, has served honestly would not be more base and detestable, than" and faithfully for the space of eight years, the publication, of which I have spoken nearly seven of which he has been a above, and which the public robbers are non-commissioned officer, and of that circulating, at such an immense expence, "time he has been five years Serjeant all over the kingdom, and particularly in "Major to the regiment; but having this county. They have sent hundreds "very earnestly applied for his discharge, and thousands of copies into Hampshire. "he, in consideration of his good be All the gentlemen, who signed the last Re- "haviour, and the services he has renderquisition, have received them for nothing. "ed the regiment, is hereby discharged. The post-office at Winchester has charged "Given under my hand and the seal of only a penny for their transmission to "the regiment, at Portsmouth, this 19th Twyford, for instance. The robbers, as day of December, 1791. they have came down from London in their carriages, have brought with them whole bales, which they have tossed out to all whom they met or overtook upon the road. A few days ago, a landau full of he and she peculators passed through Alton, tossing out these pamphlets as they went. The thing has been put into all the Inns, and other public places, particularly in Winchester, where it would certainly be put into the churches, if they were places of much resort; for, the Winchester Clergy appear to be perfectly convinced, that the way to prove that their brother, DR. O' MEARA, did nothing that was wrong, is to abuse me; that the way to whitewash the church, is to cover me over with dirt.

Now, then, what is this publication, upon which the fool-knaves rely for the demolition of my character? It consists of certain documents, relating to the aforementioned Court-Martial, and, as I shall show you by-and-by, these documents, as they stand in this publication, present to the Reader a tissue of the vilest falshoods. But, first I must give something of a history of the Court-Martial itself.- Late in the year 1791, I returned to England with my regiment, which landed at Portsmouth in the month of November. Very soon after that, I, being then the Serjeant

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

EDWARD FITZGERALD." "Portsmouth, 19th Dec. 1791.-Serjeant Major Cobbett having most pressingly applied for his discharge, at major lord Edw. Fitzgerald's request, ge"neral Frederick has granted it. General "Frederick has ordered major lord Edw.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Fitzgerald to retuin the Serjeant Major "thanks for his behaviour and conduct during the time of his being in the regi "ment, and major lord Edward adds "his most hearty thanks to those of the "General."

The object of my thus quitting the army, to which I was, perhaps, more attached than any man that ever lived in the world; was, to bring certain officers to justice for having, in various ways, wronged both the public and the soldier. With this object in view, I went strait to London, the moment I had obtained my liberty and secured my personal safety, which, as you will readily conceive, would not have been the case if I had not first got my discharge.I must here go back a little, and give an account of the measures, which, while in the regiment, I had taken, preparatory to this prosecution; and, in order to give the reader a full view of all the circumstances; in order that he may be able to form a just opinion of what I was in the army, I will give

him a short account of my progress. ments of mind, with much less of heart-enlisted at Chatham in 1784; I burning than from men, whom one cannot joined the regiment, in Nova Scotia, in help despising; and, if my officers had 1755; I was almost immediately made a been men of manifest superiority of mind, Corporal; in a few months afterwards II should, perhaps, not have so soon con

was made a Serjeant; and, at the end of about a year and a half, I was made the Serjeant Major.While I was a corporal I was made clerk to the regiment. In a very short time, the whole of the busiuess, in that way, fell into my hands; and, at the end of about a year, neither adjutant, pay-master, or quarter-master, could move an inch without my assistance. The military part of the regiment's aflairs fell under my care in like manner. About this time, the new discipline, as it was called; that is to say, the mode of handling the musket, and of marching, &c. called "Dundas's System," was sent out to us, in little books, which were to be studied by the officers of each regiment, and the rules of which were to be immediately conformed to. Though any old woman might have written such a book; though it was excessively foolish, from beginning to end; still, it was to be complied with; it ordered and commanded a total change, and this change was to be completed before the next annual review took place. To make this change was left to me, who was not then twenty years of age, while not a single officer in the regiment. paid the least attention to the matter; so, that when the time came for the annual review, I, then a corporal, had to give lectures of instruction to the officers them selves, the colonel not excepted; and, for several of them, if not for all of them, I had to make out, upon large cards, which they bought for the purpose, little plans of the position of the regiment, together with lists of the words' of command, which they had to give in the field. Is it any wonder, that we experience defeats? There was I, at the review, upon the flank of the Grenadier Company, with my worsted shoulder-knot, and my great, high, coarse, hairy cap; confounded in the ranks amongst other men, while those who were commanding me to move my hands or my feet, thus or thus, were, in fact, uttering words, which I had taught them; and were, in every thing excepting mere authority, my inferiors; and ought to have been commanded by me.-It was impossible for reflections of this sort not to intrude themselves; and, as I advanced in experience, I felt less and less respect for those, whom I was compelled to obey. One suffers injustice from men, of great endow


ceived the project of bringing them, or some of them, at least, to shame and punishment for the divers flagrant breaches of the law, committed by them, and for there manifold, their endless, wrongs against the soldiers and against the public.This project was conceived so early as the year 1787, when an affair happened, that first gave me a full insight into regimental justice It was shortly this: that the Quarter Master, who had the issuing of the men's provisions to them, kept about a fourth part of it to himself. This, the old serjeants told me, had been the case for many years; and, they were quite astonished and terrified at the idea of my complaining of it. This I did, however; but, the reception I met with convinced me, that I must never make another complaint, 'till I got safe to England, and sate out of the reach of that most curicus of courts, a Court Martial. From this time forward, I began to collect materials for an exposure, upon my return to England. I had ample opportunities for this, being the keeper of all the books, of every sout, in the regiment, and knowing the whole of its affairs better than any other man. But, the winter previous to our return to England, I thought it necessary to make extracts from books, lest the books themselves should be destroyed. And, here begins the history of the famous Court Martial. In order to be able to prove that these extracts were correct, it was necessary that I should have a witness as to their being true copies. This was a very ticklish point. One foolish step here, would have sent me down to the ranks with a pair of bloody shoulders. Yet, it was necessary to have the witness. hesitated many months. At one time, I had given the thing up. I dreamt twenty times, I dare say, of my papers being discovered, and of my being tried and flogged half to death. At last, however, sume fresh act of injustice towards us made me set all danger at defiance. I opened my project to a corporal, whose name was William Bestland, who wrote in the office under me, who was a very honest fellow, who was very much bound to me, for my goodness to him, and who was, with the sole exception of myself, the only sober man in the whole regiment.To work we went, and during a long winter, while the


« PreviousContinue »