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army in two, and restore his junction Then commenced one of those desperate with Suchet. Following out his daring struggles for which Massena was so replans, he on the 7th of April took Gen. Mi- markable. With his 1200 men he kept ollis's division, strengthened by some of the whole 10,000 at bay, while he slowly the reserve, and dividing it into two col. retreated in search of his lost column. umns, marched forth at their head to Charge after charge of the overwhelming storm the heights of Monte Ratti. The force of the Austrians was made on his Austrians were driven from every posi- little band; but he held them by his prestion by the desperate charges of the ence to the shock, with a firmness that perFrench columns, and forced over the Ap- fectly surprised the enemy. Now it would pennines; and Massena returned at even be perfectly enveloped and lost in the cloud ing, marching before him fiiteen hun. of the enemy that curtained it in, and the dred prisoners, and among others the next moment it would emerge from the Baron D’Aspres, who had incited the thick masses of infantry, and appear unpeasants to à revolt. The inhabitants broken with its indomitable chief still at its were crazy with excitement, rending the head. Unable to find the column which air with acclamations and shouts of joy had lagged far behind, on account of the -bringing litters for the wounded, and tardy distribution of provisions, he scaled, soup for the brave soldiers, and urging with his little band, precipices, plunged them into their houses-proud of the into ravines, and cast himself among honor of sheltering one of the defenders of bands of hostile peasantry, fighting all the city. Allowing only one day to inter- the while like a lion. Having at length vene, Massena on the 9th of April sal- found it, he rallied his troops, and delied forth on the west side of the city, in termined to scale the Appennines, and order to cut the Austrian army in two, reach Soult, also. But his men were and effect a junction with Suchet. Word worn out with the desperate fighting of had been sent to the latter general of the the day, and could not be rallied soon premeditated attack, with orders to rush enough to make the attempt successful. on the Austrian forces on the opposite So, sending of all that were ready to side, and cut his way through. Massena march, as a reinforcement to Soult, who took ten thousand men with him, leaving was struggling in the mountains against the remainder to protect the city. Ga- the most desperate odds, he fell back zan's division he put under Soult, with along the sea-coast to protect the entrance orders to keep along the ridge of the Ap- to the city. His company now being pennines, while he, at the head of Gar- dwindled to a mere handful, it seemed as danne's division, kept along the sea-coast if every charge of the mighty force that below, the junction to take place at Sas- rushed on it must sweep it away. But sello. Ten thousand French were on still Massena, a host in himself, towered the march to meet forty thousand Aus- unhurt at its head. At length, however, trians, under Melas.
Soult, reaching his overthrow seemed inevitable. A sudAqua Santa, made a brilliant charge on den charge of Austrian hussars had sura superior body of Austrians, which prised one of the battalions, and it was threatened to cut off the retreat to Genoa. just laying down its arms when Massena, But this fierce batile prevented him from seeing the danger, rallied with incredible being at Sassello when Massena expected rapidity thirty horsemen about him, and him, which would have proved the ruin fell like a thunderbolt on the entire comof almost any other man but Massena. pany. Stunned and driven back, they Marching unmolested along the beauti. lost their advantage, and the battalion ful riviera or sea-coast the first day, he was saved. At length Soult, after provcame the second day upon the enemy. ing himself fisty times a hero, joined bim; His force was divided into two col- and together, cutting their way through umns, one of which he led in person. the enemy, they reëntered Genoa with Supposing Soult to be at Sassello, and four thousand prisoners—more than half wishing to establish a communication the number of the whole army that led with him, he had pushed on with only them captive. When the Genoese saw twelve hundred men, relying on his right him return with his handful of men, column, now far in the rear, and Soult, to preceded by such a column of prisoners, sustain him.
their admiration and wonder knew no In this position nearly ten thousand bounds, and Massena's power at once Austrians moved down upon him, and became supreme. endeavored to inclose and crush him. But now he was fairly shut in. His
army of eighteen thousand had become killed or taken his man, and yet there reduced to about twelve thousand fight were 12,000 left to struggle on. ing men. These, and over five thou On the 10th of May Massena made sand prisoners and the population, were another successful sally with his diminto be fed from the scanty provisions which ished army. General Oit, of the Austri. the city contained. In the midst of the ans, had sent a boast to him that he had darkness that now hung over his prospects gained a victory over Suchet, which was Massena walked with a calm and resolute a falsehood. The only reply the marshal demeanor, looking the sufferings that made to it was to fall on the enemy with awaited him and his army full in the face, his brave columns. The Austrians were without one thought of surrendering. hurled back by his irresistible onset, and At length, one morning about a fortnight he returned at evening with 1500 more after this last sally, a general cannon. prisoners. Nothing shows the indomit. ading was heard all around the city, even able resolution and power of the man from the gun-boats on the sea, telling of more than these desperate assaults. some decisive movement of the enemy. But nothing could much longer withA general assault was making on Fort stand such superiority of numbers. Three Diamond, which, if taken, would shut up days after this last victory another assault Massena in the inner wall of the city. was made on Monte Creto. Massena The plateau in front of the fort was car was opposed to this movement, for he ried by them, and the fort itself summoned saw that his exhausted army was not to surrender. The Austrians were gaining equal to storming a position so strongly ground every moment, and threatened to defended as this. But he yielded to the carry the position of the Madonna del urgent solicitation of his under-officers ; Monte, from which the city could be can- and the iron-souled Soult was allowed, at nonaded. Fort Quezzi had been taken, his own urgent request, to make the atand Fort Richelieu was now threatened. tempt. He ascended with a firm step the The French were driven back on all mountain, and fought, as he ever had sides, when Massena at noon hast, done, with a valor that threatened to ened to the spot. He ordered Soult, with overleap every obstacle, when suddenly two demi-brigades, to retake the plateau amid the uproar of battle a thunder-cloud in front of Fort Diamond, while he himself was seen to sweep over the mountain. advanced on Fort Quezzi. Around the lat- The lightning mingled in with the flash ter place the struggle became desperate. of musketry, while the rapid thunderCol. Mouton, after performing almost in- peals rolled over the struggling hosts, credible deeds of daring, fell, pierced by a presenting to the spectators a scene of musket ball. The combatants had advanc- indescribable sublimity. In the midst of ed so close to each other that they could not this war of the elements and war of men, fire, and fought with stones and clubbed Soult fell on the field. This decided the muskets, But superior numbers were contest, and the French were driven for fast telling on the French, and they were the first time before the enemy. Soult, on the point of breaking, when Massena with a broken leg, was taken prisoner. hurled his reserve, composed of only half This ended the fighting with the ene. a battalion, on the enemy. He himself my, and now the whole struggle was to was at its head, cheering it by his pres- be with famine. Bonaparte knew the ence and voice, and, dividing the enemy distress of his brave general, and he before him as the rock flings aside the wrote to Moreau to accelerate his movestream, swept the dense masses of the ments on the Rhine, so that Massena enemy over their own dead and wounded could be assisted. “ That general,” said from the field.
he, in his letter to Moreau, “ wants proSoult was equally successful, and visions. For fifteen days he has been Massena returned at evening with 1600 enduring with his debilitated soldiers the prisoners, having slain and wounded struggle of despair.” And, indeed, it was 2400 more. For three weeks he had the struggle of despair. Napoleon was fought an army of about 40,000 men doing, but too late, what could be done. with one of 12,000 in the open country, His magnificent army was hanging along and had slain and taken prisoners in all the Alpine cliffs of San Bernard, while nearly 15,000 men, or almost the entire Lannes was pouring his victorious colnumber of the whole army he had led umns into the plains of Italy. But into Genoa. Nearly every man had famine was advancing as fast as they.
The women ran furiously through the of the starving soldier, 'sharing cheerfulcity ringing bells and calling out for food. ly with him his dangers and his sufferLoaded cannon were arranged in the ings. He, too, felt the power of famine streets to restrain the maddened populace. on his own nature. Day by day he felt The corn was all gone—even the beans the blood course more sluggishly through and oats had failed them. The meat was his veins, and night by night he lay down consumed, and the starving soldiers fell gnawed by the pangs of hunger. His iron on their horses. These, too, were at frame grew thin, and his bronze cheek length consumed, and then the most emaciated, yet his brave heart beat calm loathsome animals were brought out and and resolute as ever. The eye that slain for food. Massena, still unyielding never blenched even at the cannon's and unsubdued, collected all the starch, mouth now surveyed the distress and linseed and cacao in the city, and had woe about him with the composure of them made into bread, which even many one who is above the power of fate. of the hardy soldiers could not digest. But now a new cause of alarm arose. But they submitted to their sufferings The seven or eight thousand prisoners, without a murmur. On its being suggrown desperate with famine, threatened gested to them that their general would every day to break out in open revolt. now surrender—" He surrender !". they Massena had furnished them the same exclaimed ; “ he would sooner make us supplies he did his own soldiers, and sent eat our very boots.” They knew the first to the Austrian commander and then character of the chieftain who had so to Lord Kieth to supply them with prooften led them into battle, and he held visions, giving his word of honor that over them the sway of a great and lofty none of them should go to the garrison. mind. But the distress increased every They refusing to obey his request, he was day. Wan and wretched beings strolled compelled, in self-defence, to shut up the about the streets, and, wasted with famine, miserable prisoners in some old hulks of fell dead beside the walls of the palaces. vessels which he anchored out in the port, Emaciated women, no longer able to and then directed a whole park of artillery nourish their infants, roamed about with to be trained on them to sink them the piteous cries, reaching out their starving moment the sufferers should break loose. Offspring for help. The brave soldiers The cries and howls of these wretched who had struggled for the past month thousands struck terror to the boldest so heroically against the foe, now went heart; and the muffled sound rising night staggering through the streets faint for and day over the city, drew tears of pity want of food. The sentinels could no even from those who themselves were longer stand at their posts, and were al. slowly perishing with famine. Still lowed to mount guard seated. The most Massena would not yield. A courier desolate cries and lamentations loaded sent from Bonaparte bad passed by night the midnight air ; while at intervals came through the English fleet in an open boat, the thunder of cannon and the light of and though discovered in the morning, the blazing bomb as it hung like a mes- and pursued, had boldly leaped into the senger of death over the city. Added to sea with his sword in his mouth, and, all, rumors were abroad that the inhabit. amid the bullets that hailed around him, ants were about to revolt and fall on the
swam safely to shore. Massena thus exhausted army. Still Massena remain. knew that Bonaparte was on the Alps,
ed unshaken. Amid the dying and the and determined to hold out till the last. · dead he moved with the same calm and But several days had now passed, and no
resolute mien that he was wont to do farther tidings were heard of him. Many amid the storm of battle. He, who could of the soldiers in despair broke their stand unmoved amid the shock of armies, arms, and others plotted a revolt. In this could also meet without fear the slow ter. desperate strait Massena issued a proclarors of famine. His moral power was mation to them, appealing to their bravery more controlling than the command and honor, and pointing to the example he held. He disdained to reserve any of their officers enduring the same prifood for himself, but fared like the vations with themselves. He told them most common soldier. Though burdened Bonaparte was marching towards the with the cares and responsibilities that city, and would soon deliver them. But now pressed him down, he ate the miser- the weary days seemed ages, and when able soup and more disgusting bread nearly a fortnight had passed without tid
ings, the last gleam of hope seemed about have done it, too. General Ott, fearing to expire. But suddenly one morning the action of such a leader the moment a heavy rumbling sound was heard roll- he should join Suchet, agreed to the terms ing over the Appennines, like the dull if Massena would surrender himself prireport of distant cannon. The joy of soner of war. This the old soldier inthe soldiers and populace knew no bounds. dignantly refused. It was then proposed
Bonaparte is come !" ran like wild-fire that the troops should depart by sea, so through the city. “We hear his cannor to. as not to join Suchet's corps in time to wards Bochetta !” they exclaimed in trans- render any assistance in the open camport, and rushed into each others’arms, paign of Bonaparte. To all these propoand ran in crowds towards the ramparts sitions Massena had but one reply : to catch more distinctly the joyful sound. “ Take my terms, or I will cut my way Massena himself hurried to the heights through your army.” General Ott knew of Tanailles. Hope quickened his steps the character of the man he had to deal as the heavy sound broke over the city, with too well to allow things to come to and a gleam of joy shot over his counte- such an issue, and so granted him his own nance as he thought he should be saved terms. When leaving, Massena said to the mortification of a surrender. But as the Austrian general, “ I give you notice he stood on the ramparts and gazed off in that ere fifteen days are passed I shall be the direction of the sound that had awa once more in Genoa”-and he was. kened such extravagant joy in the hearts Thus tell Genoa, defended by one of of the besieged, he saw only the edge of the bravest men that ever trod a battlea thunder-cloud on the distant horizon; field. Nine days after, the battle of Maand what had been taken for the thunder rengo was fought, and Italy was once of Bonaparte's cannon was only the more in the hands of France. hoarse “mutterings of the storm in the I have thus gone over the particulars of gorges of the Appennines.” The reac this siege, because it exhibits all the great tion on the soldiers and people was traits of Massena's character. His taldreadful. Blank melancholy and ulter ents as a commander are seen in the despair settled on every face, and Massena skill with which he planned bis repeatfelt that he must at last yield; for even of edly successful attacks, and the subordithe loathsome bread on which they had tation in which he kept his soldiers and been kept alive there remained only two the populace amid all the horrors of famounces to each man, and if they subsisted ine-his bravery, in the courage with any longer it must be on each other. But which he resisted forces outnumbering the indomitable veteran did not yield until his own ten to one, and the personal ex. even these two ounces were gone, and posure he was compelled to make to save even then he delayed. “Give me,” said he himself from defeat—and his invincible to the Genoese, in the anguish of his great firmness, in the tenacity with which heart, “ give me only two days' provi. be fought every battle, and the calmness sions,or even one, and I will save you from with which he endured the privations the Austrian yoke, and my army the pain and horrors of famine. His fixed resoof a surrender.” But it could not be done, lution to cut his way through the Ausand be who deserved to be crowned thrice trian bost with his famished band, rather conqueror, was compelled to treat with than yield himself prisoner of war, shows the enemy he had so often vanquished. the unconquerable nature of the man.
The Austrian general, knowing his With such leaders, no wonder Bonaparte desperate condition, demanded that he swept Europe with his victorious army. should surrender at discretion. Massena, Neither is it surprising that, five years in reply, told himn that his army must be after, we find Napoleon intrusting him allowed to march out with colors flying, with the entire command of the arıny in with all their arms and baggage, and not Italy, although the Archduke Charles as prisoners of war, but with liberty to was his antagonist. He conducted him. fight when and where they pleased the self worthy of his former glory in this moment they were outside of the Austrian short but brilliant campaign ; and after lines. “If you do not grant me this,” forcing the Adige at Verona, he assailed said the iron-willed Massena, * I will the whole Austrian lines at Caldiero. sally forth from Genoa sword in hand. After two days' hard fighting-repeatedly With eight ihousand famished men I will charging at ihe head of his column, and attack your camp, and I will fight till I exposing himself to the deadly fire of the cut my way through it”—and he would enemy like the meanest soldier-he at
length, with 50,000, gained the victory were not enough to deter any man from over 70,000, and drove the Archduke out attempting the passage, another row of of Italy. After the campaign of Eylau, heights, over which the road passed, in 1807, Massena returned to Paris, and rose behind the first, covered with pine. appeared at court. But his blunt, stern trees, affording a strong position for the nature could not bend to its etiquette and enemy to retire to if driven from their idle ceremonies, and he grew restless and first. Thus defended, thirty-five thouirritable. It was no place for a man like sand men, supported by eighty cannon, him. But this peaceful spot proved waited to see if the French would attempt more dangerous than the field of battle; to pass the bridge. Even the genius and for, hunting one day with a party of offi- boldness of Massena might have been cers at St. Cloud, a shot from the grand staggered at the spectacle before him. huntsman's gun pierced his left eye and It seemed like marching his army into destroyed it forever. He had gone through the mouth of the volcano to advance on fifty pitched battles, stormed batteries, the awful batteries that commanded that and walked unhurt amid the most wast- long, narrow bridge. It was not to be a ing fire, and received his first wound in sudden charge over a short causeway, a hunting excursion.
but a steady march along a narrow defile In 1809, in the campaigns of Aspern through a perfect tempest of balls. But and Wagram, Massena added to his for- this was the key to Vienna, and the Marmer renown, and was one of the firm shal resolved to make the attempt-hopprops of Napoleon's empire on those ing that Lannes, who was to cross some fiercely fought battle-fields. Previous to distance farther up, would aid him by a the battle of Aspern, after the battle of movement on the enemy's flank. The Eckmuhl, while Bonaparte was on the Austrians had foolishly left four battal. march for Vienna, chasing the Archduke ions on the side from which the French Charles before him, Massena had com- approached. These were first attacked, mand of the advance-guard. Following and being driven from their positions, hard after the retreating army of the were forced along the causeway at the Archduke, as he had done before in Italy, point of the bayonet, and on the bridge, he came at length to the river Traun, at followed by the pursuing French. But Ebersberg, or Ebersdorf, a small village the moment the French column touched on its banks just above where it falls the bridge, those hitherto silent batteries into the Danube. Here, for a while, an opened their dreadful fire on its head. It effectual stop seemed put to his victorious sank like a sand-bank that caves under career, for this stream, opposite Ebers- the torrent. To advance seemed imposberg, was crossed by a single long, nar- sible; but the heroic Cohorn, flinging row wooden bridge. Froin shore to himself in front, cheered them on, and shore, across the sand-banks, islands, they returned to the charge, driving like &c., it was nearly half a mile, and a sin- an impetuous torrent over the bridge. gle narrow causeway traversed the entire Amid the confusion andchaos of the fight distance to the bridge, which itself was between these flying battalions and their about sixty rods long. Over this half. pursuers, the Austrians on the shore saw mile of narrow path the whole army was the French colors flying, and fearing the to pass, and the columns to charge; for irruption of the enemy with their friends, the deep, impetuous torrent could not be closed the gate and poured their tempest forded. But a gate closed the farther of cannon balls on friend and foe alike. end of the bridge, while the houses filled The carnage then became awful. Smit. with soldiers enfiladed the entire opening, ten in front by the deadly fire of their and the artillery planted on the heights friends, and pressed with the bayonets over it commanded every inch of the behind by their foes, those battalions narrow way. The high rolling ground threw themselves into the torrent below, along the river was black with the or were trampled under foot by the steadimasses of infantry, sustained by terrific ly advancing column. Amid the explobatteries of cannon, all trained on that sion of ammunition wagons in the midst, devoted bridge, apparently enough in blowing men into the air, and the crashing themselves to tear it into fragments. To fire of the enemy's cannon, the French crown the whole, an old castle frowned beat down the gate and palisades and over the stream, on whose crumbling rushed with headlong speed into the battlements cannon were planted so as streets of the village. But here, met by also to command the bridge. As if this fresh battalions in front and swept by a