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“O’Neil, the name of her mother’s husband, who was

time:2023-12-05 22:29:16 source:Murderous net author:system read:432次

"Shortly after four o'clock," say my Accounts, "the firing," regular firing, "altogether ceased; ammunition nearly spent, on both sides; Prussians snatching cartridge-boxes of Russian dead;" and then began a tug of deadly massacring and wrestling man to man, "with bayonets, with butts of muskets, with hands, even with teeth [in some Russian instances], such as was never seen before." The Russians, beaten to fragments, would not run: whither run? Behind is Mutzel and the bog of Acheron;--on Mutzel is no bridge left; "the shore of Mutzel is thick with men and horses, who have tried to cross, and lie there swallowed in the ooze"--"like a pavement," says Tielcke. The Russians,--never was such VIS INERTIAE as theirs now. They stood like sacks of clay, like oxen already dead; not even if you shot a bullet through them, would they fall at once, says Archenholtz, but seem to be deliberate about it.

“O’Neil, the name of her mother’s husband, who was

Complete disorder reigned on both sides; except that the Prussians could always form again when bidden, the Russians not. This lasted till nightfall,--Russians getting themselves shoved away on these horrid terms, and obstinate to take no other. Towards dark, there appeared, on a distant knoll, something like a ranked body of them again,--some 2,000 foot and half as many horse; whom Themicoud (superlative Swiss Cossack, usually written Demikof or Demikow) had picked up, and persuaded from the shore of Acheron, back to this knoll of vantage, and some cannon with them. Friedrich orders these to be dispersed again: General Forcade, with two battalions, taking the front of them, shall attack there; you, General Rauter, bring up those Dohna fellows again, and take them in flank. Forcade pushes on, Rauter too,--but at the first taste of cannon- shot, these poor Dohna-people (such their now flurried, disgraced state of mind) take to flight again, worse than before; rush quite through Wilkersdorf this time, into the woods, and can hardly be got together at all. Scandalous to think of. No wonder Friedrich "looked always askance on those regiments that had been beaten at Gross Jagersdorf, and to the end of his life gave them proofs of it:" [Retzow;--and still more emphatically, Briefe eines alten Preussischen Officiers (Hohenzollern, 1790), i. 34, ii. 52, &c.] very natural, if the rest were like these!

“O’Neil, the name of her mother’s husband, who was

Of poor General Rauter, Tempelhof and the others, that can help it, are politely silent; only Saxon Tielcke tells us, that Friedrich dismissed him, "Go, you, to some other trade!"--which, on Prussian evidence too, expressed in veiled terms, I find to be the fact: Militair-Lexikon, obliged to have an article on Rauter, is very brief about it; hints nothing unkind; records his personal intrepidity; and says, "in 1758 he, on his request, had leave to withdraw,"--poor soul, leave and more!

“O’Neil, the name of her mother’s husband, who was

Forcade, left to himself, kept cannonading Themicoud; Themicoud responding, would not go; stood on his knoll of vantage, but gathered no strength: "Let him stand," said Friedrich, after some time; and Themicoud melted in the shades of night, gradually towards the hither shore of Acheron,--that is, of Acheron-Mutzel, none now attempting to PAVE it farther, but simmering about at their sad leisure there. Feldmarschall Fermor is now got to his people again, or his people to him; reunited in place and luck: such a chaos as Fermor never saw before or after. No regiment or battalion now is; mere simmering monads, this fine Army; officers doing their utmost to cobble it into something of rank, without regard to regiments or qualities. Darkness seldom sank on such a scene.

Wild Cossack parties are scouring over all parts of the field; robbing the dead, murdering the wounded; doing arson, too, wherever possible; and even snatching at the Prussian cannon left rearwards, so that the Hussars have to go upon them again. One large mass of them plundering in the Hamlet of Zicher, the Hussars surrounded: the Cossacks took to the outhouses; squatted, ran, called in the aid of fire, their constant friend: above 400 of them were in some big barn, or range of straw houses; and set fire to it,--but could not get out for Hussars; the Hussars were at the outgate: Not a devil of you! said the Hussars; and the whole four hundred perished there, choked, burnt, or slain by the Hussars,--and this poor Planet was at length rid of them. [ Helden-Geschichte, v. 166.]

Friedrich sends for his tent-equipages; and the Army pitches its camp in two big lines, running north and south, looking towards the Russian side of things; Friedrich's tent in front of the first line; a warrior King among his people, who have had a day's work of it. The Russian loss turns out, when counted, to have been 21,529 killed, wounded and missing, 7,990 of them killed; the Prussian sum-total is 11,390 (above the Prussian third man), of whom 3,680 slain. And on the shores of Acheron northward yonder, there still is a simmering. And far and wide the country is alight with incendiary fires,--many devils still abroad. Excellency Mitchell, about eight in the evening, is sent for by the King; finds various chief Generals, Seidlitz among them, on their various businesses there; congratulates "on the noble victory [not so conclusive hitherto] which Heaven has granted your Majesty." "Had it not been for him," said Friedrich,--"Had it not been for him, things would have had a bad look by this time!" and turned his sun-eyes upon Seidlitz, with a fine expression in them. [Preuss, ii. 153. Mitchell (ii. 432) mentions the Interview, nothing of Seidlitz.] To which Seidlitz's reply, I find, was an embarrassed blush and of articulate only, "Hm, no, ha, it was your Majesty's Cavalry that did their duty,--but Wakenitz [my second] does deserve promotion!" --which Wakenitz, not in a too overflowing measure, got.

Fermor, during the night-watches, having cobbled himself into some kind of ranks or rows, moves down well westward of Zabern Hollow; to the Drewitz Heath, where he once before lay, and there makes his bivouac in the wood, safe under the fir-trees, with the Zabern ground to front of him. By the above reckoning, 28 or 29,000 still hang to Fermor, or float vaporously round him; with Friedrich, in his two lines, are some 18,000:--in whole, 46,000 tired mortals sleeping thereabouts; near 12,000 others have fallen into a deeper sleep, not liable to be disturbed;--and of the wounded on the field, one shudders to imagine.

Next day, Saturday, 26th, Fermor, again brought into some kind of rank, and safe beyond the quaggy Zabern ground, sent out a proposal, "That there be Truce of Three Days for burying the dead!"--Dohna, who happened to be General in command there, answers, "That it is customary for the Victor to take charge of burying the slain; that such proposal is surprising, and quite inadmissible, in present circumstances." Fermor, in the mean while, had drawn himself out, fronting his late battle-field and the morning sun; and began cannonading across the Zabern ground; too far off for hitting, but as if still intending fight: to which the Prussians replied with cannon, and drew out before their tents in fighting order. In both armies there was question, or talk, of attacking anew; but in both "there was want of ammunition," want of real likelihood. On Fermor's side, that of "attacking" could be talk only, and on Friedrich's, besides the scarcity of ammunition, all creatures, foot and especially horse, were so worn out with yesterday's work, it was not judged practically expedient. A while before noon, the Prussians retired to their Camp again; leaving only the artillery to respond, so far as needful, and bow-wow across the Zabern ground, till the Russians lay down again.


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