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then it was too late. The insurrection in West- obeyed his stepfather's injunctions, had thus phalia, to assist which Schill, in disobedience won an important victory. of orders, led his battalion of hussars from Meantime all was activity on the Lobau. Berlin, was easily suppressed. Napoleon's A new and solid bridge was built across the signal success in Bavaria seemed to justify main stream. To forestall another such acthe King, and the failure of Francis to secure cident as had occurred before, it was not only any advantage after Aspern confirmed him in protected by piles, but guarded by rowboats his opinion. Such, however, was the temper armed with field-pieces and manned by artilof his people that, under moral compulsion, lerymen. The enemy had withdrawn behind he proposed formal terms of alliance. Aus- the Russbach in a line from Deutsch-Wagram tria’s real spirit appeared in her vagueanswer. to Markgrafneusiedl, leaving only a corps to She first asked England for more assistance, fortify the old line from Aspern to Essling. In but failing to secure it, turned ungraciously consequence the Emperor entirely changed his and with indefinite proposals to Prussia. Her plan. The island of Lobau was first strongly envoy of course found no response. Thus it fortified, and then, not one, but numerous was that Charles and Napoleon lay for weeks bridges were constructed to the mainland on watching each other like gladiators, each the left bank under cover of its guns. Lower ready to take advantage of any false step down similar measures were taken. In this made by the other, and both steadily gather- way the French troops could effect their pasing strength to renew the struggle in the sage very rapidly and much farther eastward same arena.
than before, avoid the Aspern-Essling line, Napoleon seemed to make his preparations and reaching Enzersdorf under protection of with a determination to risk all in the next their own forts, turn the enemy's left almost encounter. His line of communication with in the act of crossing, and so roll up the left the west was abandoned altogether; the Tyrol, wing of his line, which was strongly posted too, was virtually evacuated, and Lefebvre, on high ground behind the Russbach, from with the Bavarians, relieved Vandamme and Markgrafneusiedl through Parbasdorf toward Bernadotte at Linz, so that they might both at Wagram, where it was connected with the once advance within striking distance. Eu- center. These arrangements were all comgène had reached Bruck in Styria, and was pleted by July 1, on which date the Emperor therefore at hand; Marmont with 10,000 men left Schönbrunn for the Lobau. During the was called from Illyria. Being thus safe to- fighting at Aspern he had observed the field ward the south, the Emperor sent two divi- from the swinging rungs of a rope-ladder sions to watch the Austrians at Presburg. fastened to one of the tall trees on the island. Before June 10 he had compacted in and This time he brought with him a long stepabout Vienna an army of 240,000 men. On ladder, one of those used in the palace garthe 13th the Archduke John, having turned dens to trim high trees. The Archduke John and advanced toward Raab, was attacked, de- was now in Presburg, the Archduke Charles feated, and driven back into Hungary by had raised his numbers to 130,000 men. On Eugène, who had learned, if not general- and near the Lobau were 180,000 French ship, at least obedience, and having carefully soldiers; 22,000 more were within call.
It was the 5th before all the preliminary confidence he ordered his right, under Klenau, moves were successfully taken. The passage to follow down the Danube against the enemy's had been safely accomplished during the pre- weakened left, which might thus be turned, vious night exactly as had been planned, a feint while with the break of day his center adagainst Aspern having thrown the Austrians vanced against Masséna. For a time the on a false scent. In the morning, there- Austrians carried all before them, and Masfore, the two lines were arrayed opposite, séna retreated step by step until it appeared but somewhat obliquely, to each other, the as if the tables would be turned and Napoleon French right overlapping the Austrian left overwhelmed by his own tactics. Both Asbeyond Enzersdorf as far as Wittau, so as pern and Essling were taken, and then, turneither to prevent the approach of Archduke ing north, the united Austrian center and John or to outflank the Austrian left accord- right entirely surrounded the French left ing to circumstances. The French center was and attacked it on the flank. They thought thus in front of the Austrian left, and Mas- themselves victorious, when unexpectedly the séna, with the left resting on the Danube, heavy artillery on the Lobau opened fire upon was to attack the Austrian center at the them, and they began to waver. At this crisis village of Gerasdorf, while Bernadotte and the great artillerist brought into action the Eugène were to throw themselves on Charles's strong batteries of his own arm which he left, which stretched behind the Russbach had so carefully prepared. Lauriston was from Wagram to Markgrafneusiedl. Napo- chosen to carry out the decisive movement, leon waited for some hours while scouts rec- and his splendid conduct not merely secured onnoitered toward Presburg. Being assured the victory, but made it overwhelming. Acabout five that John had not left Presburgcording to the most conservative estimate, and gave no signs of moving, he prepared his there were under his command one hundred columns, and about seven in the evening field-pieces, --sixty from the Guard, -and ordered the onset.
these were supported by cavalry and cuirasMasséna made a vigorous effort to hold the siers; some estimate the number of guns at enemy's center and right, while Napoleon four hundred, but this is manifestly a wild exlaunched his own center and right against the aggeration. As the artillery rolled up and positions held by his opponent's left. For unlimbered, their volleys of shot, shell, and some hours there was vigorous fighting, but shrapnel began to follow in swift succession, Charles saw the Emperor's maneuver, and and in a short time the enemy's pursuit was swiftly throwing his reserve from behind not only stayed, but with the approach of Gerasdorf into his left, gained time to call Macdonald's infantry to form a new flank it up reinforcements from his right at the was turned into retreat. The Austrians made Bisamberg. Bernadotte moved slowly, and one gallant stand, but were finally forced did not render his force effective at the back to the foot of the Bisamberg. crucial moment. Napoleon was much in- Meantime Davout had attacked the left. censed by his apparent sluggishness. An at- While he fought he was steadily reinforced, tack made at seven against Wagram by Oudi- until at one time, about midday, over a third not failed. This hamlet was the key of the of the army was concentrated under his comAustrian position, forming as it did the angle mand. The Austrians opposed to them could of their line, and the fighting there was des- not even with their vantage of high ground perate. By nine o'clock the French were withstand the ever stronger pressure, and thrown back all along, and compelled to re- slowly rolled back northward in a curve. sume the positions they had held in the morn- Eugène captured Wagram, and then turned ing. At eleven a last attempt was made by northward to join Macdonald, who, with his Eugène and Bernadotte on Wagram, but like entire division, had joined that of Wrede, and the other it was bloody and useless. Around had been steadily rolling back the enemy's the council-fire that evening the leaders of the line in that direction. They were supported left and center were ordered to move farther by Davoạt and Oudinot. The Austrians on the to the right, and to concentrate next morning right were then once more dislodged and comon the positions behind the Russbach. At pelled to withdraw on the highway to Brünn. dawn the change was made, and before sun- it was about two in the afternoon. Davout rise all was ready, the Emperor having passed had been ordered to wait for a signal to make a sleepless night on his tiger-skin behind the the decisive advance. It was given, and as bivouac fire in front of his tent.
Oudinot rushed up the heights at Parbasdorf, But Charles did not wait next morning to his comrade appeared from Markgrafneube attacked. With new courage and added siedl, driving the enemy before him. A breach
FROM THE PAINTING BY FRANÇOIS GÉRARD, IN THE COLLECTION OF THE COUNTESS MOCQUART DE TURTOT.
JACQUES-ALEXANDRE-BERNARD LAW, MARQUIS OF LAURISTON.
in the opposing line was made at once, and drew toward Znaim, Masséna, Davout, and the whole Austrian wing, being thus disor- Marmont following with the van of Napoganized, hurried back to reform if possible leon's entire army. Several skirmishes took beyond Wagram, cross the Russbach, and join place between portions of the Austrian rear the main army. They were successful. The and various corps of the French van, in which French right halted just beyond the village the latter were decidedly checked. Marmont which gave its name to the battle. Lasalle, was obliged to assume the defensive under a brilliant light-horse general, was killed in the walls of Znaim. The Austrian losses at the last charge, and both armies bivouacked the battle of Wagram were computed at for the night. Next morning Charles with 4,000, including 753 officers. Those of the