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sixty hours Napoleon had conceived and mile march was accomplished and the enemy's completed three separate strategic move- outposts before Eckmühl were reached. ments: the withdrawal of the whole army Meantime one of the Austrian divisions left toward Ingolstadt, the advance of his right in Bohemia had reached Ratisbon. Charles, to strengthen the incoming left, and the re- strengthened by this reinforcement, had dearrangement of his entire line with the right termined to take the offensive, and at noon on his enemy's base of operations.
his advance began. Vandamme seemed des« In war you see your own troubles; those tined to bear the force of the onset, but in of the enemy you cannot see. You must show the moment before the shock would have occonfidence," wrote the French emperor about curred appeared Napoleon's van. Advancing this time to Eugène. How true it was of his rapidly with Lannes, the Emperor rode to the own course! On the morning of the 21st he top of a slight rise, and scanning the coming declared that the enemy was in full retreat. Austrians, suddenly ordered Vandamme to This was over-confidence on his part, and not seize Eckmühl, and then despatched Lannes true; but it might as well have been. As a to cross the Laber and circumvent the result of the preceding day's skirmishing and enemy. Davout, having learned the direction countermarching the Austrian army was it- of the Austrian charge, threw himself against self entirely cut in two; one division, the the hostile columns on their right, and right, under Charles, pressing on to Ratisbon, after a stubborn resistance began to push the other, under Hiller, marching aimlessly back the dogged foe. In less than two hours behind in a general northwesterly direction, the French right, left, and center were all the whole straggling line not less than twenty advancing, and the enemy were steadily remiles in length. Lannes, the sturdiest, most treating, but fighting fiercely as they withrough-and-ready of all the marshals, had ar- drew. This continued until seven in the evenrived from Spain the night before. His very ing, when Lannes finally accomplished his presence increased the army's confidence that task. they must win, and next day he commanded This destroyed all resistance. The Emperor a division formed from the corps of Morand, weakly yielded to his generals' remonstrance Gudin, and Nansouty. Davout received orders that the troops were exhausted, and did not to hold the enemy in his front; Masséna was order a pursuit. Charles withdrew into Ratisto spread out along his rear from Moosburg bon. During the night and early morning he down the Isar, ready to harass either flank or threw a pontoon bridge across the stream, rear with half his strength, and to send the which was already spanned by a stone one, rest, under Oudinot, to Abensberg.
and next day, after a skirmish in which his On the morning of the 20th the Emperor outposts were driven into the town, he crossed himself, with Lannes and Wrede, set out to the Danube; three days later he effected a cut the enemy's line in two. They had little junction with his second division, left in the difficulty. The thin column dispersed before Bohemian Forest, and stood at Cham with an them to the north and south. Hiller was effective fighting force of 80,000 men. The driven back to Landshut, whence he fled to result proved that Napoleon's judgment had Neumarkt, leaving the Isar in possession of been unerring; had he pursued, in spite of all the French. Davout advanced simultaneously remonstrance and in disregard of the fatigue against the Archduke's army, which, although of his men, he would have had no mighty foe very much stronger than Hiller's division, to fight a few weeks later at Aspern. Somenevertheless retired and occupied Eckmühl, time thereafter he told an Austrian general standing drawn up on the highroad toward that he had deliberated long, and had reRatisbon. At Landshut the Emperor be- frained from following Charles into Bohemia came aware that the mass of the Austrian for fear the Northern powers would rise and army was not before him, but before Davout. come to the assistance of Austria. «Had I Leaving Bessières and two divisions of in- pursued immediately,” he said at St. Helena, fantry, with a body of cavalry, to continue the « as the Prussians did after Waterloo, the pursuit of Hiller, he turned back toward Eck- hostile army crowded on to the Danube would mühl at three in the morning of the 22d. have been in the last extremity.» Here, again, a great resolve was taken in the « Labor is my element,» he remarked on very nick of time and in the presence of the the same dreary isle almost amid the pangs of enemy. With the same iron will and burning dissolution. «I have found the limit of my genius
, the same endurance and pertinacity, strength in eye and limb; I have never found as of old, he pressed on at the head of his the limit of my capacity for work. This was soldiers. It was one o'clock when the eighteen- certainly true of this five days' fight. «His
Majesty is well,» wrote Berthier on the 24th, ened Archduke, and destroyed the bridge be4 and endures according to his general habit hind him. The forces of Charles and Hiller the exertion of mind and body. Once more met and halted on the slopes of the great his enemy was not annihilated, but this con- hill known as the Bisamberg, which overlooks tentment and high spirits seem natural to Vienna from the north shore, and commands common minds, which recall that in a week the fertile plains through which the great he had evolved order from chaos, and had river rolls past the Austrian capital. stricken a powerful, united foe, cutting his Day after day, with unimportant interrupline in two, and sending one portion to the tions but no real check, the French ranks right-about in utter confusion. To the end of marched down the right bank of the stream. his life Napoleon regarded the strategic oper- On May 10 they appeared before Vienna. ations culminating at Eckmühl as his master- Then, as now, it had no efficient fortifications, piece in that particular line. Jomini, his and its garrison consisted of a citizen militia, powerful critic, remained always of the same strengthened by a small detachment which opinion. French history knows this conflict Hiller had sent forward to reinforce and enas the Battle of Five Days; Thann, Abensberg, courage them. The defenders were comLandshut, Eckmühl, and Ratisbon being the manded by the Archduke Maximilian. There places in or near which on each day a skir- was a brave show of resistance; all the submish or combat occurred to mark the succes- urbs were evacuated, and the populace gathsive stages of French victory.
ered behind the old brick walls which had Its results were of the most important been erected two centuries before against the kind. In the first place, Austria's pride and Turks. At first Napoleon thought there would confidence were gone. She had lost 50,000 be a second instance of such embittered and men, and her warfare was no longer offensive, desperate resistance as he had encountered but defensive. Charles called for peace, but at Madrid. But a feint of the French to cut the Emperor would not listen. The Archduke off the communication of the town with John, moreover, was compelled to abandon the river, together with a few cannon-balls, the Tyrol, and when he found himself again quickly brought the unhappy capital to terms; in Italy, he was no longer confronted by Maximilian marched out at midnight on the Eugène alone, that excellent youth but feeble 11th, and on the 12th Napoleon returned to general, whom he had so easily defeated: Mac- the neighboring palace of Schönbrunn, where donald was associated with the viceroy in the he had already established his headquarters. command. In Poland, also, Ferdinand's easy The news which arrived from day to day was successes had carried him too far in pursuit most encouraging. Poniatowski was again in of Poniatowski, and he began to retreat. Le- possession of Warsaw, which the Archduke febvre with the Bavarians was stationed at Ferdinand had evacuated in order to rejoin his Salzburg to prevent an irruption of the Ty- brother Charles. The Archduke John, flying rolean mountaineers toward the north; all the before Macdonald, had passed the Carinthian rest of the Emperor's army was immediately mountains into Hungary, where the liberal ordered to march on the Austrian capital. movement threatened Austrian rule. The
The advance was scarcely contested. Hil- Bavarians, under Lefebvre, had, after desler, commanding Charles's left wing, had perate fighting, driven the Tyrolese rebels checked his retreat, crossed the Inn with his from Innsbruck. It seemed a proper time to 30,000 men, and had successfully attacked complete, if possible, the demoralization of Wrede at Erding. He had probably heard the whole Austrian empire before crossing that Charles was marching to Passau, but the the Danube to annihilate its military force. news was false. Learning the truth, he Francis had sown the wind in his declaration turned again and recrossed the Inn; thence of war: he must reap the whirlwind. he continued to withdraw, stopping an instant From the beginning Napoleon had made at the Traun to avail himself of a strong the most of his enemy's being the aggressor. position and hold the line if Charles were There were no terms too harsh for the « Moniperchance coming thither to join him. At teur » to apply when speaking of the hostile Ebelsberg, on May 3, he made a splendid and court and the resisting populations. The Emmomentarily successful resistance, but was peror's proclamations reveled in abuse of the overwhelmed by superior numbers. Hearing Tyrolese and of Schill, the Prussian partizan of his leader's slow advance, and being him- who, having distinguished himself after Jena, self in despair, on the 7th he led his army at was now striving to use the Austrian war in Mautern across to the left bank of the Danube order to arouse the North Germans. He had in order to effect a junction with the disheart- already gathered a few desperate patriots,