Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns

 

The 1799 Campaign in Italy: Piedmont’s Invasion Begins (May 1799)

From Milan to the Po River… and beyond… The New Deployment of the Austro-Russians

By Enrico Acerbi

 

April 29: Austro - Russians at Milano

Milano (Milan) January 1799

1250

Général Gilles-Joseph-Martin Bruneteau vicomte de Sainte Suzanne [1]    
Général Gilles-Joseph-Martin Bruneteau vicomte de Sainte Suzanne. (1760-1830) from 18/10/95 Général de brigade ; from 02/08/96 Général de division – provisional commander at the armée d’Italie 07/03/99-12/03/99. In 1800 Corps commander at the armée du Rhin.

Milano Garrison January - March 1799

III Battalion /5th Line Demi-Brigade
III Battalion  /30th Line Demi-Brigade
III Battalion  /33rd Line Demi-Brigade
Chasseurs Corses (2 Companies)
Cavalry

11e Hussards Régiment  (moved to the Mincio with 4 Squadrons ) Chef Pierre Ismert  

460

1er Régiment Dragons d’Expedition
Infantry Guides
Detachments (artillery+sappers) 3rd – 5th – 6th Art. Rgt
III/2nd Polish Legion Depot  Battalion It was really a IV battalion (Depot). Its soldiers were the last defenders before the withdrawal in April.

Cisalpine Army Central Depot

During the evening of April 27, the Cisalpine Government left Milano. The garrison (Gachot referred about 1800 men) was rallied by General  Hatry while Moreau continued his retreat toward the Ticino (Tesin) River. The day after they rested in the Citadel (Castello Sforzesco) (see images).

Garrison: April – May 1799

Milano Citadel (Castello) Commander: Charles-Theodore Beauvais de Preau  

Infantry Garrison Commander: Chef-de-bataillon Bechard

2376

Guns

119

Cisalpine Depot Battalion
II Battalion  10th Line demi-brigade
I  Battalion  56th Line demi-brigade
2nd Polish Legion Depot

The Castello Sforzesco, or Castle of Milan, stands in the Parco Nuovo; it was built in 1450 by Francesco Sforza on the site of one erected by Galeazzo II. Visconti (1355-1378) and demolished in 1447 by the populace after the death of Filippo Maria Visconti. After suffering many vicissitudes and being partially destroyed more than once, it was restored - including especially the splendid entrance tower by Antonio Averulino, destroyed by a powder explosion in 1521.

Austrian Siege Group

1st Deployment

Mailander Belagerungskorps General Major Christoph Freiherr von Lattermann[2]

K.K.  IR 13 Rifle regiment Freiherr Franz Wenzel Reisky von Dubnitz

1851

I – II –III Battalions. Commander: Obst Freiherr Carl von Brigido

KK IR 43 line regiment Graf Anton Thurn-Val Sassina

1973

I – II –III Battalions. Commander: Freiherr Ignaz von Loen

K.K.  5th Hussar Regiment  2 squadrons

246

Milano. The city was ruled by Austria and so remained until the Bonaparte arrival in 1796.

The New French front

The French retreat consisted of three main Columns: the right Column marched towards Piacenza from Lodi, the center from Milano through Pavia and Voghera in direction of the Genoan Republic, the left column, with Moreau and the HQ, through Vigevano and Novara towards Turin (Torino). The artillery commander, General  Debelle,  was the first to cross the Ticino River with 36 guns (May 2). Victor followed Grenier and Moreau but was directed to Alessandria. Laboissiere crossed the Po at Casale and deployed his troops to guard the  Tanaro River. The rear-guard was led by General  Gardanne who had the task to defend the artillery park with the cavalry. On May 7, Gardanne was reinforced with more light infantry that was organized into two demi-brigades.  He sent the first to Verrua, the other to Villanuova.

The bulk of the Army moved towards the Genoa border, while the Commander-in-Chief reached Turin, calmed some riots and organized the evacuation of the depots. The Turin Citadel was left under the command of General  Fiorella while the territory around the former Savoy Kingdom capital city was guarded by small garrisons. On May 7, Moreau left Turin and tranferred his HQ to Alessandria. In Genoa, Perignon took the command of the Right Wing of the Army of Italy guarding the territory between the sea and Fort Serravalle near Novi. He had under his command General  Lapoype with the Genoese (5000) and Laboissiere (2000 infantrymen and 1 squadron). His brigadiers were Generals Musnier and Carra St. Cyr. South of the Po, Generals  Montrichard and Gauthier were ordered to join the incoming Armée de Naples, which was commanded by Macdonald. Grouchy’s division, former Piedmont’s garrison, replenished the Armée d’Italie ranks.

Milano Garrison Is Sent forwards as the Avant-Guard

Austrian Avantgarde Brigade General Major Freiherr Josef Philipp von Vukassovich   

Avant Garde General Major Sebastian Prodanovich

1959

II Battalion  Grenz Regiment   of Banat ( I Battalion  13th Grenz Regiment)

837

V Battalion  Banater Grenz Regiment 

596

K.K.  Light Battalion  N. 2 Oberst Carl Prince of Rohan (Italian Battalion) later sent to Aosta

526

Hauptkolonne von Vukassovich

2997

KK IR 52 Rifle Hungarian Regiment Erzherzog Palatin Anton Viktor

1292

I – II  Battalions. Commander: Graf Johann Nepomuk Khuen de Belasi

III Battalion  Grenz Regiment   of Banat (or II Battalion 12th Deutschbanater Grenz Regiment) Major Zedzwitz

682

K.K.  9th Hussar Regiment FML Johann Nepomuk Graf Erdödy de Monyorókerek

310

(Erdödy  Husaren) 2 Squadrons

K.K.  7th Hussar Regiment  5 – ½  squadrons

713

Commander: Oberst Carl Freiherr von Schauroth  -  (it had 6 Squadrons  in 3 divisions  I – II - III) the IV Division was in Slavonia (garrison)

Capitulation of Milano and Redistribution of Austrian forces

Articles de capitulation proposés par le citoyen Bechaud Chef titulaire du second bataillon de la 40-me demibrigade d'infanterie de bataille à Mr. le Comte de Hohenzollern genéral-major, commandant des troupes Autrichiennes cernant de Chateau de Mitan.

 

1. Toute la garnison sortira du chateau le 5 prairial an 7 de la république française, correspondant au 24 Mai 1799, à 9 h. du matin, tambour battant, avec les honneurs de la guerre. Tous les militaires qui la composent seront conduits aux postes françois et remis à la disposition du général en chef de l'armée en Italie.

- La garnison ne servira pas contre les troupes de S. M. l’Empereur pendant un an et un jour, à moins que son échange général ou partiel soit opéré pendant ce temps. Les officiers conservent leurs armes. La garnison sortira demain matin à 9 h. avec les honneurs de la guerre et tambour battant; elle remettra ses armes sur le glacis.

2. Tous les ouvriers, les non-combattants de tout  genre et les enfants seront également conduits aux avantpostes françois

Accordé.

3. Dix petits fourgons ou charriots, qui se trouvent dans la place, attelés de leurs chevaux, pourront sortir à la suite des officiers, sans que les objets qu'ils contiennent soyent fouillés ou visités.

Accordé.

4. Il sera fourni les voitures nécessaires au transport des infirmes, des femmes, des enfants et des équipages, qui ne seront pas contenus dans les fourgons ou charriots prédits.

Accordé.

5. Les officiers ayant des chevaux, les sortiront librement. Toute la troupe conservera ses équipages.

Accordé.

6. Tous les soins qu'exige l'humanité seront donnés à tous les malades de la garnison, le nombre des officiers de santé nécessaire à leur traitement pourra rester à Milan ad hoc.

Accordé.

7.  Les militaires se rendant aux postes françois seront pendant leur marche sous la sauve-garde de la troupe Autrichienne. L'officier commandaut cette dernière sera responsable des mauvais traitements ou des insultes, qui pourroient être faits a la garnison par les habitans.

On le promet, et l'on en aura soin d'après la loyauté connue dans les armées Impériales et Royales

8. Les troupes alliées de toutes les nations qui font parti de la garnison, seront traitées avec les mêmes égards et de la même manière que celles françoises.

Accordé.

 

9. Le lieutenant Zoukovich sera rançonné contre un autre officier de la garnison tellement qu'ils peuvent servir tous les deux sur le champ

 

10. Un commissaire des guerres restera dans la place pour remettre les magasins d'armes, de munition et de subsistances, plans, lettres et tout ce qui appartient a la république.

Fait double au chateau de Milan le 4 prairial an VII de la république françoise (ce 28 may 1799)

Le chef de bataillon Béchaud

Baron de Latterman,

général de Sa Majesté l'Empereur et Roy

 

Le comte de Hohenzollern

général-major, commandant le siége

Mailander Belagerungskorps

General Major Christoph Freiherr von Lattermann

General Major Friedrich Xavier Fürst Hohenzollern-Hechingen 

 

K.K.  IR 24 Rifle Line Regiment (former Preiss)

All battalions to Mantua Siege

( Battalions  I – II- III) - Commander:  Oberst Carl Philipp von Weidenfeld

 

K.K.  IR 43 Rifle Line Regiment Graf Anton Thurn-Val Sassina

I and II battalions to Mantua Siege

III Battalion K.K.  IR 43 Rifle Line Regiment Graf Anton Thurn-Val Sassina

To Prince Rohan Bde. (future Milano garrison)

I – II –III Battalions. Commander: Freiherr Ignaz von Loen

K.K.  IR 13 Rifle regiment Freiherr Franz Wenzel Reisky von Dubnitz

I and II battalions to Mantua Siege

III Battalion , K.K.  IR 13 Rifle Regiment Frh. Franz Wenzel Reisky von Dubnitz

To Prince Rohan Bde. (future Milano garrison)

I – II –III Battalions. Commander: Obst Freiherr Carl von Brigido

 

VII Combined Battalion  Grenz Regiment   Warasdiner of Varazdin

to Mantua Siege

K.K.  5th Hussar Regiment  1 sqn

To Seckendorff Corps

March towards the Po

General  Chasteler’s orders, while leaving Milano, were the following:

On May 1st, the Austro-Russian army had to leave Milano advancing towards the Po, the Avant-Guard marching on Pavia. There they had to repair the bridge over the Ticino River and to build a bridgehead at Gravellona. Zoph, Fröhlich and Kaim (Melas) had to reach Lodi, the two Russians divisions (Bagration and Förster in the rear) marched through San Donato, Melegnano and Sant’Angelo, camping in the latter location. Bagration had the task to reach the Po (at Parpanese) and, eventually, to build a boat-bridge in front of Piacenza, after having seized the city from the right Po bank. Finally Klenau had to advance towards Piacenza in order to reach the Appennines passes on the road to Genoa.  On the May 1st day the bulk of the Coalition’s troops left Milano walls. They marched south, along the Melegnano road, in two large columns: the right one formed by Russians and directed towards Sant’Angelo, the left one formed by Austrians directed to Lodi. The Austrian Kolonne reached Casalpusterlengo, on May 2, and was preceded by an Avantgarde unit led by Oberst Knesevich, who had just returned from the Tyrol  front, who, in the same day, reached the important fortress of Piacenza.  The “true” Avantgarde of the Austrian Corps was led,   by General  Ott who had orders to enter Pavia on the Ticino River (Colonel  Knezevich was after attached to this unit as their Avantagarde).

The Po River

The Po is known is the country’s longest river and is 652 kilo meters   (405 miles) long. The Po’s waters, fed by 141 tributaries, created the Val Padana, the plain that stretches across northern Italy from the French border in the west to the Adriatic Sea in the east. Il grande fiume, the great river, ranges from Turin to some of the country’s most beautiful and historic towns: Piacenza, Pavia, Cremona, Mantova, and Ferrara.

At that time, its width varied: 487  meters   at Turin, 379  meters   at Valenza (Valence), 303  meters   before the Ticino (Tessin) tributary confluence and 455-530  meters   after that confluence, 910  meters   at Cremona, 1516 meters  near the Taro confluence, only 474 meters at Casalmaggiore, 1396 at Guastalla, 384 meters   at Borgoforte, 303 meters   at Ostiglia, 484 meters   at Occhiobello, 947 meters   at Ponte Lagoscuro and only 240 meters   at Polesella where it divided its course in several branches near the Adriatic sea. Its depth was usually from 3 meters to 4.50 meters, however, during the autumn-winter flood, it could have have a 18-19  meters   depth. It had some permanent fords in its superior course and between the confluence of the Ticino and Lambro Rivers. After those, one could have found  fords between the Adda confluence and Cicognara, because of the presence of permanent sand banks. Generally the Po River had few fords. The passages  over the Po, was very few. It did not have permanent bridges after Turin;  Casale Monferrato had a boat-bridge and other similar bridges were at Valenza, Mezzana-Corte (south of Pavia), Piacenza (Plaisance). Some ferry-boats or rafts, driven with ropes, were at Parpanese, Casalmaggiore, Viadana, Borgoforte, San Benedetto, Ostiglia, Occhiobello and Ponte Lagoscuro. As for its tributaries, the Ticino had only two bridges (Pavia and Boffalora). 

Österreichische Italienische-Armée

Commander: Feld Marshal Leut. Michael Friedrich Benedikt Mélas

General quartiermeister: GM. Johann Gabriel Chasteler Marquis de Courcelles  - HQ at Lodi

Avantguard Division General Major Carl Peter Ott de Batorkéz 

7507

Avantgarde General Major Ferdinand Johann Morzin

 

Jäger Korps Freiherr Constantin d'Aspre  6 companies     

713

K.K.  Light Battalion Nr. 15 Oberst Bonaventura Mihanovic (Croat-Slavonian)

795

VI Battalion  Banater Grenz Regiment   

 546

Brigade General Major Friedrich Freiherr Gottesheim

 

K.K.  IR 39 Rifle Line Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Thomas (Támas) Nádasdy

2106

(on 3 Battalions) –Commander: Freiherr Johann Nepomuk Abfaltern

 

K.K.  7th Hussar Régiment 2 Squadrons                               

188

Pavia: Located on the Ticino River, had a population of 20,000.  There was a bridge tht was 87 meters long located and on a channel called Naviglio di Pavia. It had only weak fortifications, one citadel, eight barracks, some hospitals and a famouos university. 

“Pour entrer dans la ville du côte du sud, il y a un superbe pont de pierre, dont la longueur de 518 pieds ; c’est un pont couvert, sous lequel passe le Tessin. A un quart de lieue, du même côte, coule un autre rivière, sur laquelle est un pont de bateaux (the Gravellone branch of Ticino. NdT) . Elle sert de limite aux Cisalpins et aux Piémontais.”

“A une lieue de Pavie, la route de Voghera traverse le Po sur un pont de bateaux long de 1204 pieds.”    Alexandre Botrouë, chef a la 68e demi-brigade.

Boffalora, on the Grande-Naviglio at its mouth into Ticino, which had a 515 meter long bridge, built on 21 arcs and was managed by a combined Sardinian and Austrian Administration.

Lodi: The seat of the Austrian HQs. On May 10, 1796 the young Corsican General  Buonaparte won on the river Adda his first important battle, defeating the

Austrians and later entering Milan. After that battle the most important of Adda’s bridge became Lodi’s bridge.  

Casalpusterlengo: In 1796 Bonaparte crossed the Po near Piacenza and organized his HQs at Casalpusterlengo before the Lodi battle. The town had always been commonly called Casale (and its inhabitants - Casalesi), even if the most famous Casale was that of Monferrato in Piedmont, on the Po. 

The Austrian Main Column left Milano on May 1 and reached Lodi at 3 a.m. the next day, passing through Melegnano. The head of the column was led by General  Zoph, who detached 1 battalion  from the Esterházy Regiment and 4 hussar squadrons, (as said under the command of Oberst Knesevich) towards Casale (Casalpusterlengo) where the French had weak outpost. Zoph was follewed by Generals  Kaim and Fröhlich with their divisions. During the same day, Knezevich passed over  the Po on ferry-boats and reached Piacenza along the right  bank.

Zoph’s Avantgarde Detachment Oberst Vincenz Knesevich Freiherr von Saint-Helena

At Casale Pusterlengo

K.K.  2nd Hussar Régiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton -  4 squadrons

576

II Battalion K.K.  IR 34 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment (the former Regiment Esterházy)

537

1st Hungarian Division FML Johann Zoph

3748

At Lodi

K.K.  IR 34 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment (the former Regiment Esterházy)

537

(no Inhaber. The future IR Frh. Kraj de Kraiova.  It had I and II Battalions ).  Commander: Oberst Johann Hillinger

K.K.  IR 40 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  FZM Graf Joseph Mittrowsky

1279

I and II Battalions. Commander: Oberst Franz Kreyssern.

K.K.  Hungarian Grenadier Battalion  Oberleutnant Ferdinand Pers

199

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Freiherr Georg von Stentsch Graf Anton Schiaffinati

620

Division General Major Konrad Valentin Kaim

4644

Detached to Pizzighettone to siege the fortress

K.K.  IR 24 Rifle Regiment (former Preiss)

1424

( Battalions  I – II – III) - Commander:  Oberst Carl Philipp von Weidenfeld

K.K.  IR 28 Rifle Regiment Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich

2370

(the former Regiment Wartensleben – on 3 Battalions)  Commander: Oberst Paul Candiani de Ragaini

K.K.  14th Light Dragoon Regiment Franz Freiherr von Levenehr

850

Commander: Oberst  Joseph Zinn.  (it had 6 Squadrons  in 3 Divisions I – II - III) II Division ObLt. Josef Prohaska – III Division Major Franz Graf Latour

   

Division General Major Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich
Under provisional command of General Major Franz Joseph Marquis de Lusignan

6409

At Lodi:

Feldbrigade General Major Franz Joseph Marquis de Lusignan

 

K.K.  IR 18 Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  Graf Patrick Stuart

1741 

 

Commander: Obst Franz Weber von Treuenfels - I and II Battalions

 

K.K.  IR 19 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  Freiherr Jozsef Alvinczy de Berberek

1655 

 

I and II Battalions + 2 Companies  III Battalion -Commander: Barone Lelio Spannocchi.

 

K.K.  10th Light Dragoon Regiment Joseph Fürst Lobkowitz 

836

 

(had 6 Squadrons  in  3 divisions I II and III) Commander: Oberst Marquis Hannibal Sommariva – Second Oberst and Commander Max Joseph Fürst Thurn und Taxis. II Division ObstLt. Alois Graf Harrach – III Division Major Ignatz Molitor

 

Grenadiers Feldbrigade

 

K.K.  Hungarian Grenadier Battalion Major Joseph Korherr  OberstLeutnant Johann Pértussy

618

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Oblt Franz Xavier Weber von Treuenfeld (called Weber Battalion )

457

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Graf Joseph Fiquelmont Count Johann Morzin

582

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion FML Karl Graf von Mercandin Graf Carl Paar

520

Austrian Cavalry detached to the Russians

K.K.  1st Light Dragoon Regiment “Emperor” Kaiser Franz II 

1015

 

They had 6 Squadrons  in three divisions.  Commander: Oberst Franz Freiherr von Pilati. II Division ObstLt. Baron Karl Kölbel – III Division Major Bernard Kees

 

K.K.  4th Light Dragoon Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam 

934

Had 6 Squadrons Commander: Oberst Joseph Graf Nimptsch. It will be detached as a liaison unit with the Russian Corps Rozenberg.

K.K.  2nd Hussar Régiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton (4 sqn.)

575

Coalition’s Army – Russian Main Army – (Glavnaja Armija)

Commander in chief: Field Marshal Aleksandr Vassiljevic Suvorov Graf Rimniksky

Infantry-General  Andrej Grigorjevich Rozenberg Corps

 

The Russian Avantgarde was deployed along the Po’s bank, in the territory of the Parpanese village, where there was a ferry boat, in front of San Giovanni. On May 2, it was reinforced by a Grenadier Battalion in order to pass on the opposite bank the Po river, with the task to approach Piacenza from the right bank.

Placenza (Plaisance) not far from the confluence of the Trebbia River and the Po. The large river had to be passed through a boat-bridge. It had a strong Citadel. On the Trebbia River , there was a stone and wood bridge built by the Austrian Archduchess Mary-Louise (Piacenza was part of the little Duchy of Parma-Piacenza and Guastalla). The town had some superior schools and a large palace, that was the residence of the Dukes (Palazzo Ducale). It was renowned for the French passage during the Bonaparte’s 1796 campaign.  

Russian Avantgarde Brigade General  Prince Petr Ivanovich Bagration

 

Imperial Russian 7th Jäger (Jeghersky) Regiment GM Bagration – 2  Battalions

652

Commander:  General Petr Ivanovic Bagration

5th Don Cossacks Regiment Denissov

439

8th Don Cossacks Regiment Grekov.

489

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Lomonosov

557

   

Division Lieut. General  Ivan Ivanovich Förster (in Russian Ferster)

 
 

Avantgarde Brigade General-Major Nikolaj Andrejevic Chubarov[3]   (or Shubarov)

 

Imperial Russian 8th Jäger (Jegherski) Regiment Major General  Chubarov

708

Chief from May 13: GM Ivan Ivanovich Miller

Don Cossacks Regiment Semernikov (Semjornikov)

438

2nd Don Cossacks Regiment Sujchev

454

 

Brigade General-Major Mihail Mihailovich Veletskji

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky – 2  Battalions

1395

Butyrskowo (Butyrsk) - after may 18 renamed as GM Mihail Mihailovich Veletskji Regiment its former commander

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim  – I and II Battalion or Archangelogorodsky (Archangelsk). Commander: Colonel  Stepan Nikolajevich Castelli– 2  Battalions had as Chief, from June 26th, General  Major Nikolay Mihailovic Kamensky 2nd

1438

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Sanajev Butyrsk and Archangelgorod Companies

599

 

Brigade General-Major Jacob Ivanovich Tyrtov

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug’lsky (Tula) – I and II Battalion

1436

Commander:  Major Ivan Fjodorovich Golovin

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky or Smolensky (Smolensk) – I and II Battalion

1385

Commander:  Colonel  Grigoriy Dimitrjevich Kazakhovsky

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Kalemin Tula and Tambow Companies

590

 

Division Lieut. General  Jacob Ivanovich Povalo-Shvejkovsky 1st

   

Brigade General-Major Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich 1st

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich or Apsheronsky (Apsheron)

1459

Commander: Lieutenant Colonel  Stepan Timofejevich Karlov – 2 Battalions

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Lieut. General   Förster (Tambov) - I Battalion

755

Commander: Lieutenant Colonel  Zaltser – II Battalion  detached to Prince Rohan

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Dendrjugyn

544

 

Brigade General-Major Mihail Semionovich Baranovsky 2nd

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II –

1388

or Nizowski Musk. Regiment – I and II Battalions Commander:  Colonel  Mihail Aleksejevic Chitrowo

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg or Moskowsky (Moskow) – I – II Battalions

1343 

Commander:  (until June 10) Colonel  Petr Petrovic Passek.

Don Cossacks Regiment Molchanov

495

6th Don Cossacks Regiment Pasdejev (written Posdeev)

420

Other Coalition Troops – May 1st

Milano Siege Group:  General Major Christoph Freiherr von Lattermann

K.K.  IR 43 Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  Graf Anton Thurn-Val Sassina

1973

(IV, I and II Battalions) The III Battalion was at Zara (dalmatia) in garrison duty.  Commander: Freiherr Ignaz von Loen

K.K.  IR 13 Rifle Line Infantry Regiment Freiherr Franz Wenzel Reisky von Dubnitz

1851

(I, II and III Battalions)Commander: Oberst Freiherr Carl von Brigido

K.K.  5th Hussar regiment– 2 Squadrons  – III Division Major Ferdinand Steingruber

246

Pizzighettone Siege Group

General Major  Friedrich Freiherr von Seckendorff and Friedrich Xavier Fürst Hohenzollern-Hechingen 

K.K.  IR 32 Hungarian Rifle Regiment Graf Samuel Gyulai

1482

Commander: Oberst Franz Posztrehowsky von Millenburg - (I-II- Battalions ) III Battalion  to Mantua

K.K.  IR 36 Rifle Regiment Fürst Carl Fürstenberg 

2576

(I-II-III Battalion ) Commander: Oberst Conrad von Thelen

VII Combined Battalion  Grenz Regiment   Warasdiner of Varazdin

627

K.K.  5th Hussar Regiment 6 Squadrons  Commander:  Freiherr Andreas Szörenyi

826

It had 6 Squadrons  in 3 Divisions I, II and III in reserve. The IV Division was in Croatia as garrison.  Commander: Obst Anton Freiherr von Révay – II Division ObstLt. Freiherr Andreas Szörenyi – 2nd Major Wilhelm Fulda present at the battle.

Slow Pontoons, a “Lawrence of Arabia” in Piedmont, and a Strange Countermarch

After  Milano fell, the most important thing to do, for Suvorov, was to secure the Coalition’s Army left flank. With Mantua besieged, “a thorn in the eye” as the Commander-in-Chief used to tell, and with General  Klenau too weak to have a good control of the right banks of the Po from the sea to the new front, Suvorov requested the immediate construction of three boat-bridges over the Po, using materials captured at Cremona: two near Piacenza and one at Parpanese. The slow approach  march of the Coalition  pontooneers allowed only the construction of the Piacenza facilities, the Parpanese one remaining only a project, with Staff Captain Fürstenberg waiting on the Po bank for nothing. General  Vukassovich, who had seized the important  bridge at Buffalora (the official Customs between Sardinia and Lombardy), was met by General  Ott, come from Pavia to decide where the Avantgardes would have to advance. The two leaders decided also to send into Piedmont Major Branda de’ Lucioni,[4] an old hussar officer  previously serving  in the Piedmontese Army, with the task of organizing and arming partisans against the French.  Vukassovich detached a formation of 25 Hussars from the 7th regiment calling it the “Streifskorps” (Patrol Corps) and sent them towards Novara. Lucioni and his partisans was absolutely prominent in the events which ended in the fall of Turin, the former capital of the Piedmontese Sardinian Kingdom; so an historical correlation with the job of Sir Lawrence, in Arabia during the Great War 1914-1918, doesn’t seem so risky. 

From these men and from the countrymen, the two Avant-Guard Generals  learned that the French had organized a line behind the  Sesia River , joining the center of their army on the Po, at Valenza. This changed the Suvorov’s mind. Suddenly General  Ott was ordered to leave Pavia, to cross the Po on boats and to seize Piacenza, continuing the march until Parma and Modena, where he was to link with Klenau Corps.

The “countermarch” of   Ott  was an apparently strange order, which many historians had difficulties to clarify.  Why Suvorov ordered General  Ott to invert his march towards Piedmont? The fact can be explained with the premise that:

a) – General  Suvorov, at that time, was very concerned about the possible irruption of the Macdonalds Armée de Naples, against his weak left flank;

b) – in his mind the Right Wing, led by Austrians, would have to be put under General  Bellegarde, coming from Switzerland, enclosing the strong Vukassovich vanguard brigade. The Left Wing, instead, had to be immediately reinforced from Kray Corps blocked in front of Mantua.

It was necessary to send a “rapid deployment force”, an Avantgarde, in Emilia, in order to secure the Po flank. The whole deployment along the Po river, in addition, had to be reformed. So Vukassovich was sent into Piedmont  and the central Avantgarde (Prince Bagration) was reinforced and sent westwards.

Reorganization of the Coalition  Army

The “third” boat-bridge was decided to be constructed at Mezzana-Corte, south of Pavia. The reinforced Russian Avant-guard of Prince Bagration was ordered to cross the Po by boats and, then, to reach Voghera and Tortona. The main Army was put in march towards Tortona, a very important town, whose fortress could probably sustain a long siege resistance, and which controlled the road to Genova. On May 5, the first Russian engaged the French at Voghera. It was a short skirmish-combat with strange losses numbers reported: one Russian Grenadier dead, 2 Cossacks and one other Grenadier wounded, while 140 (14?) French were reported as dead with 10 French (one Officer prisoners).

By May 6 to 7, General  Bagration’s  brigade camped at Voghera.

Voghera:   was a walled town that was Bonaparte’s HQ in 1800  before the Montebello battle (called Casteggio by the Austrians).

Russian Avantgarde Brigade General  Prince Petr Ivanovich Bagration

 

Imperial Russian 7th Jäger (Jeghersky) Regiment GM Bagration – 2  Battalions

652

Commander: General Petr Ivanovic Bagration

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II – I Battalion Commander:  Colonel  Mihail Aleksejevic Chitrov

694

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg II Battalion

672 

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Lomonosov

557

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Dendrjugyn

544

Don Cossacks Regiment Molchanov

495

8th Don Cossacks Regiment Grekov

489

(May 6-7) It was reinforced by

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Kalemin Tula and Tambow Companies

590

5th Don Cossacks Regiment Denissov

439

6th Don Cossacks Regiment Pasdejev

420

K.K.  4th Light Dragoon Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam  2 Squadrons

310

The redeployment orders were distributed to the units on May 5, at Corte d’Olona. In that village, near Pavia, General  Rozenberg was ordered to replace Bagration on the right bank of the Ticino. Here the Russians formed a second Avantgarde brigade, advancing until Lomello, in front of the powerful “river triangle” French position (were the Tanaro and Sesia Rivers flowed into the Po, a difficult and muddy terrain, full of swamps). By nature this land of springs had been, for centuries, an impraticabile swamp, but the monks in the Middle Ages, and the feudal colonization of 1200's years, gradually introduced the rice cultivation. Particularly the Sforza family improved the territory, organizing a complex system of streams and channels wich made the land Lomellina a mosaic of cereals fields. The only structures, which had there some defensive value, were the Cascine (large farms with walled and closed yards).

Lomello had an old castle and was partially encircled by ditches and partially walled with two town-doors. The walls, in proximity of the Castle, had a small tower, directly raised from the bastion, called “Torrino (little tower) or Colombaia.  Westwards of the castle was a large stream, which gave water to the fields and, in part, filled up the castle ditch. The castle itself was very small, more similar to a large square fortified house. At Lomello was  the:

Avantgarde Brigade General-Major Nikolaj Andrejevic Chubarov

3075

Imperial Russian 8th Jäger (Jegherski) Regiment Major General  Chubarov

708

Chief from May 13: GM Ivan Ivanovich Miller

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion  (GB) Sanajev Butyrsk and Archangelgorod Companies

599

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim  – I  Battalion

719

or Archangelogorodsky (Archangelsk). Commander: Colonel  Stjepan Nikolajevich Castelli

Don Cossacks Regiment Semernikov (Semjornikov)

438

2nd Don Cossacks Regiment Sujchev

454

K.K.  4th Light Dragoon Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam  1 squadrons

157

 

Fieldmarshal Suvorov reached Bagration at Voghera (he was there on May 7) while Rozenberg deployed his two divisions in front of Pavia, at Dorno. It was an old village, given to Sardinia in 1707 by Austria. Life in the camp was hard. General  Rozenberg’s troops violent behaviour provoked riots among the peasants. That was a period of high crisis for the great mortality due to “Pellagra”[5], a carential disease which hit the starving populations; so, to the thefts of the Russian troops, were added those of local bands of hungry marauders. It was the prelude to the severe pestilence epidemy, which plagued the Sardinian provinces in 1799, worsening the soldiers conditions at the extreme point. The camp, otherwise, did not last for a long time. On May 8, Suvorov gave the order to advance against Valenza and Tortona, deceived by a false new of a French disengagement from the Po fortress Valenza. 

At that time, in Italy travelled the son of the Czar, Prince Konstantin (General Major Konstantin Pavlovich Romanov Grand Duke of Russia[6]), coming from Russia through Vienna. His Highness reached  Suvorov’s Staff in Voghera (May 7) and the Commander in Chief, when he was announced, loudly screamed “Oh my Dear God! The Son of my Emperor!”. The Imperial Prince was there with his own Staff, Cavalry General  Derfelden[7], Aides Oferov, Safonov, Komarowsky and Lang.

The presence of a Romanov in the Coalition  Army General  Staff was very important. Since Suvorov was the Commander in Chief, he, otherwise, had the highest Austrian rank (Feldzeugmeister and after Generalissimus), he wore the white Imperial Austrian uniform and had to be politically very close to the Viennese aims. Having the Grand Duke in the HQ, allowed him to be more free in his political decisions (Suvorov’s aims were to act in the name of the Sardinia’s King in exile, while the Austrian target was to create a satellite Piedmont at the French borders).  Suvorov wanted to re-establish “God and King” in Piedmont, so he got early in some diplomatic troubles with Hofkriegsrat and, mainly, with Austrian Minister Thugut.

Rozenberg Corps camp (at Dorno)

 
 

Brigade General-Major Mihail Mihailovich Veletskji

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky – 2  Battalions

1395

Butyrskowo (Butyrsk) - after may 18 renamed as GM Mihail Mihailovich Veletskji Regiment  after its former commander

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim  –II Battalion

719

 

Brigade General-Major Jacob Ivanovich Tyrtov

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug’lsky (Tula) – I and II Battalion

1436

Commander: Major Ivan Fjodorovich Golovin

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky or Smolensky (Smolensk) – I and II Battalion

1385

Commander:  Colonel  Grigoriy Dimitrjevich Kazakhovsky

 

Brigade General-Major Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich 1st

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich or Apsheronsky (Apsheron)

1459

Commander: Lieutenant Colonel  Stepan Timofejevich Karlov – 2  Battalions

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Lieut. General   Förster (Tambov) - I Battalion

755

Commander: Lieutenant Colonel  Zaltser – II Battalion  detached to Prince Rohan

 

Brigade General-Major Mihail Semionovich Baranovsky 2nd

 

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II – II Battalion

694

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg or Moskowsky (Moskow) – I  Battalion

671 

Commander: (until June 10) Colonel  Petr Petrovic Passek.

Austrian Cavalry detached to the Russians

K.K.  1st Light Dragoon Regiment “Emperor” Kaiser Franz II 

1015

They had 6 Squadrons  in three divisions.  Commander: Oberst Franz Freiherr von Pilati. II Division ObstLt. Baron Karl Kölbel – III Division Major Bernard Kees

K.K.  4th Light Dragoon Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam  3 Squadrons

467

Commander: Oberst Joseph Graf Nimptsch.

K.K.  2nd Hussar Régiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton (4 Squadrons )

575

The "Light Blue Hussars" had 8 squadrons  and four divisions.  Commander: Oberst Vincenz Freiherr Knesevich (at Piacenza) II Division ObstLt. Gabriel von Hertellendy – III Division 1st Major Emmerich Dobay – IV Division 2nd Major  Ignaz baron Splenyi

The Orders for the Austrian Army were the following:

General  Ott was to march through Piacenza to Parma, along the Emilia way, and finally had to reach Modena, where he was to meet General  Klenau Korps. General  Morzin was to be detached in Val di Trebbia to control the Appennines’ pass near Bobbio and to secure  Ott’s right flank.

From Venice, the Chief General  de Montfrault had to commit a task-force, formed by 500 Dalmatians (former Venice Republic soldiers, called Oltramarini), embarked on the Venetian flotille of Chioggia, which had to disembark between Comacchio, Mesola in order to take Ravenna, near the sea.

Avantguard Division General Major Carl Peter Ott de Batorkéz 

6356

 
 

Avantgarde General Major Ferdinand Johann Morzin at Bobbio

2008

K.K.  IR 40 Rifle Regiment FZM Graf Joseph Mittrowsky I and II  Battalions  Commander: Oberst Franz Kreyssern        

1279

III Battalion  K.K.  IR 28 Rifle Regiment Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich 

729

End May: the III Battalion was detached. 4 Companies recovered into Piacenza Citadel together with 2 Companies of the 6th Banater Battalion 2 Companies  detached at Bobbio in higher Trebbia valley.

   

Brigade General Major Friedrich Freiherr Gottesheim

4348

Jäger Korps Freiherr Constantin d'Aspre  6 companies     

713

 

K.K.  Light Battalion Nr. 15 Oberst Bonaventura Mihanovic (Croat-Slavonian)

795

 

VI Battalion of Banater Grenz Regiment   

 546

 

K.K.  IR 39 Rifle Line Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Thomas (Támas) Nádasdy

2106

(on 3 Battalions) –Commander: Freiherr Johann Nepomuk Abfaltern

K.K.  7th Hussar Régiment 2 Squadrons                               

188

 

Detachment Oberst Vincenz Knesevich Freiherr von Saint-Helena at Piacenza (attached to Ott Division)

 

K.K.  IR 28 Rifle Regiment Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich I and II Battalions

1641

 

(the former Regiment Wartensleben)  Cdr.:Oberst Paul Candiani de Ragaini

 

K.K.  14th Light Dragoon Regiment Franz Freiherr von Levenehr 2 Squadrons

283

 

General  Kaim was sent to Pizzighettone in order to end that siege (with part of Hohenzollern and Seckendorff units), with the orders to return as soon as possible, marching towards Tortona.

Division General Major Konrad Valentin Kaim

7134

Detached to Pizzighettone to siege the fortress

K.K.  IR 24 Rifle Regiment (former Preiss)

1424

( Battalions  I – II – III) - Commander:  Oberst Carl Philipp von Weidenfeld

K.K.  IR 32 Hungarian Rifle Regiment Graf Samuel Gyulai

1482

Commander: Oberst Franz Posztrehowsky von Millenburg - (I-II- Battalions ) III Battalion  to Mantua

K.K.  IR 36 Rifle Regiment Fürst Carl Fürstenberg 

2576

(I-II-III Battalion ) Commander:  Oberst Conrad von Thelen

VII Combined Battalion  Grenz Regiment   Warasdiner of Varazdin

627

K.K.  Hungarian Grenadier Battalion  Oberleutnant Ferdinand Pers

199

K.K.  5th Hussar Regiment 6 squadrons   Commander: Freiherr Andreas Szörenyi

826

It had 6 Squadrons  in 3 divisions I, II and III in reserve. The IV Division was in Croatia as garrison.  Commander: Obst Anton Freiherr von Révay – II Division ObstLt. Freiherr Andreas Szörenyi – 2nd Major Wilhelm Fulda present at the battle.

Group General Major Friedrich Xavier Fürst Hohenzollern-Hechingen 

Detached to Milano, in order to take the command of the Capital and to deploy the Heavy Siege Park taken from Pizzighettone (4 guns – 28 pdrs., 4 mortars and 8 guns 12 pdrs.)

Imperial Russian artillery battery Lieut. Ivanov (from Pizzighettone). Had to join the main Russian Corps with its 6 guns – 12 pdrs. and 2 Unicorn ½ pood-guns.

Siege Group General Major Johann (Giovanni) Graf Alcaini

After the Orzinuovi fortress fall had to march towards the Boffalora bridge in order to join the Right Wing (Vukassovich – Rohan – Strauch).

Milano Siege Group General Major Christoph Freiherr von Lattermann

Had to wait Hohenzollern and to give him the command. Had to send 500 bread-rations to Como

The main Austrian Army had to wait Cambio’s bridge finished (in front of Piacenza). Then hado to pass through the Po marching towards Voghera in order to reach Tortona, Torre Garofoli (near Alessandria) and Novi, to defend the roads to Genova.

Field Marshal Leut Michael Friedrich Benedikt Mélas

13865

General quartiermeister: GM. Johann Gabriel Chasteler Marquis de Courcelles 

Division FML Johann Zoph

 

Had to leave IR 28 at Piacenza with 2 Levenehr Squadrons  (to Ott) and had to continue the march towards Voghera.

K.K.  IR 34 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment (the former Regiment Esterházy)

1074

(no Inhaber. The future IR Frh. Kraj de Kraiova) (had the I and II Battalion ).  Commander: Oberst Johann Hillinger

K.K.  14th Light Dragoon Regiment Franz Freiherr von Levenehr 4 Squadrons

567

Commander: Oberst  Joseph Zinn.  (it had 6 Squadrons  in 3 divisions  I – II - III) II Division ObLt. Josef Prohaska – III Division Major Franz Graf Latour

   

Division General Major Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich

 

Had originally to march towards Pavia, pass over the Ticino, through Albignola and Sannazzaro de’ Burgondi, along the left Po bank to reach a projected new bridgehead in a locations near Valenza. However its units waited at Casalpusterlengo and marched across the Po with Zoph.

Avantgarde Feldbrigade General Major Graf Joseph Mittrowsky

 

K.K.  IR 8 Rifle Regiment (former Huff Rgt)

2695

 

Commander: Obst Johann Schröckinger von Heidenburg (I-II III  Battalions )

 

K.K.  2nd Hussar Régiment Erzherzog Joseph Anton -  4 squadrons

576

 
 
 

Feldbrigade General Major Franz Joseph Marquis de Lusignan

 

K.K.  IR 18 Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  Graf Patrick Stuart

1741 

 

Commander: Obst Franz Weber von Treuenfels - I and II  Battalions

 

K.K.  IR 19 Hungarian Rifle Line Infantry Regiment  Freiherr Jozsef Alvinczy de Berberek

1655 

 

I and II Battalions + 2 Companies  III Battalion -Commander: Barone Lelio Spannocchi.

 

K.K.  10th Light Dragoon Regiment Joseph Fürst Lobkowitz 

836

 

(had 6 Squadrons  in 3 divisions I II and III)Commander: Oberst Marquis Hannibal Sommariva – Second Oberst and Commander Max Joseph Fürst Thurn und Taxis. II Division ObstLt. Alois Graf Harrach – III Division Major Ignatz Molitor

 
   

Grenadiers Feldbrigade

 

K.K.  Hungarian Grenadier Battalion Major Joseph Korherr  OberstLeutnant Johann Pértussy

618

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Oblt Franz Xavier Weber von Treuenfeld (called Weber Battalion )

457

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Graf Joseph Fiquelmont Count Johann Morzin

582

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion FML Karl Graf von Mercandin Graf Carl Paar

520

K.K.  Grenadier Battalion Freiherr Georg von Stentsch Graf Anton Schiaffinati

620

Pioneers Detachment 81

Notes:

[1] Gilles Joseph Martin Bruneteau, Viscount de Sainte-Suzanne, Count of the Empire, was born in Mothé near Poivre ( Aube), March 7, 1760. First Lieutenant with regiment of Anjou in 1779; when the Revolution began, he adopted its principles, fought with distinction in the defence of Mainz. He quickly arrived at the rank of brigade general, in the Armée de Rhine-and-Moselle. When Desaix carried out the passage of the Rhine, Sainte-Suzanne engaged the Austrians, who arrived from higher Rhine, was at Simmern, Urlafen and Windschliegen, where he captured many prisoners. In 1796 he was charged with the command of 5th military division ( Strasbourg). He was at Kehl fortress and then he was called at the War Office, where he was pointed out for his knowledge. In 1799, the Government having offered to him a provisional command as an army Chief, at the  Armée d’Italie, generale Sainte-Suzanne refused it, agreeing to manage the Cisalpine capital city, Milan. In the following year he was at the Army of the Danube, under Moreau, leading the left wing, 16,000 men strong.

He moved on Ulm, as ordered by Moreau, and was attacked by the Austrian, leaving the left Danube bank. Then Sainte-Suzanne was  to organize the Reserve Corps formed at Mainz. With these troops he advanced, crossed again the Danube and defeated the Austrians at Neu Wissembourg and Hanau. He was named Grand Officier of the Order de la Légion d’Honneur and Senateur directly from Napoleon. On May 19, 1806, he received the Senate District of Pau, and, in 1807, the command of the 2nd Reserve Legion. Named Inspector of the Boulogne camp, in 1809, he made all the provisions useful to put the camp in a substantial order. For these merits he was created Count of the Empire. In 1814, he agreed with the acts of the provisional Government, become Peer of France, Knight of Saint-Louis, “commandant d’armes” at Landau in 1815, and, on August 31, he obtained the patent letter from Louis XVIII which confirmed the title of Count.

[2]Feldmarschall Freiherr Christoph von Lattermann (born at Olmütz – Olomouc on July 14th 1753 – died in Vienna on 5.10.1835). Son of a famous commander, Baron Franz Lattermann, the Patron of KK IR 45 in 1792.

[3] Generalmajor Nikolaj Andrejevic Chubarov – lieutenant colonel (from 01.10.1797 colonel, с 20.08.1798 general-major). From  17.05.1797 to 17.01.1799 – commander 8th Jäger Regiment. From 17.01.1799 to 13.05.1799 Chef (Owner) 8th Jäger Regiment.

[4] Major Branda Lucioni, 8th Hussar Regiment (detached to the 7th), was born in 1740 in Winterberg (today Vimperk) in Bohemia, where his father, an Italian Officer from Abbiate Guazzone, near Tradate, was in garrison duty. In 1799 he was 59 years old, having had a slow military career. On April, 28th 1799, leading an Austrian hussars patrol, he entered Milano, still occupied by French. People were very enthusiast with that early patrol so, Austrian commanders, gave him a permission to organize Italian Catholic insurgents against the French. On 1 May he passed the Ticino to organized sabotages\ along the river banks (blocking the French fording) and then began the recruitment (reclutamento a massa) of the Lombard “paysans”. The signal of the Insurgent Mass call to arms was  rythmic bells sound, similar to a fast hammer beating (campane a martello). The Lucioni Corps (variable from 6000 to 10000 badly armed landowners and catholic farmers) was called Christ’s Mass (Ordinata Massa Cristiana) and its Mission was a deep hate against the French, “cursed by the Lord”. On May 13th he did a “Proclama” to the people requesting to avoid pillages, personal vengeances and fighting, he approached Turin. His men, called “brandaluccioni or branda”, blockaded the city, with the Turin National Guard inactive and uncertain on what to do. General Fiorella, the Turin commander in the Citadel, became very angry with the allied Piedmontese troops, calling the Brandas “brigands, son of a slave …”

Two French expeditions (17 and 19 may) failed in the task of sweeping away the insurgents. On May 24th,  the Austrians arrived in Turin (General Vukassovic), together with the Russian avantgarde of General Bagration, and the city fell. On June 9,  Fiorella capitulated leaving the Citadel and going to prison. Major Branda Lucioni, retired during the same year, died in Vicenza on August 22, 1803.

[5] Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease caused by dietary lack of niacin (vitamin B3) and proteins, especially proteins containing the essential amino acid tryptophan. Pellagra was first described in Spain in 1735. It was an endemic disease in northern Italy , where it was named "pelle agra" (pelle, skin; agra, sour); probably caused by a poor diet based only on corn (Polenta) or where the maize was the dominant food crop . The symptoms usually appeared during spring, increase in the summer due to greater sun exposure. The main results of pellagra can easily be remembered as "the four D's": diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death.

[6] Generalmajor Konstantin Pavlovic Romanov Grand-duke of Russia Constantine was born at Tsarskoye Selo on 27 April 1779. Of the sons born to the Tsar Paul Petrovich and his wife Maria Feodorovna, the princess of Württemberg, none more closely resembled his father in bodily and mental characteristics than did the second, Constantine Pavlovich.  The direction of the boy's upbringing was entirely in the hands of his grandmother, the Empress Catherine II. As in the case of her eldest grandson (afterwards the Emperor Alexander I), she regulated every detail of his physical and mental education; but in accordance with her usual custom she left the carrying out of her views to the men who were in her confidence. Count Nicolai Ivanovich Saltykov was supposed to be the actual tutor, but he too in his turn transferred the burden to another, only interfering personally on quite exceptional occasions, and exercised neither a positive nor a negative influence upon the character of the exceedingly passionate, restless and headstrong boy. The only person who really took him in hand was Cesar La Harpe, who was tutor-in-chief from 1783 to May 1795 and educated both the Empress's grandsons. Like Alexander, Constantine was married by Catherine when he was not yet seventeen years of age (26 February 1796), a raw and immature boy, and he made his wife, Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (Queen Victoria's aunt), intensely miserable. After the first separation in the year 1799, she went back permanently to her German home in 1801, the victim of a frivolous intrigue, in the guilt of which she was herself involved. An attempt made by Constantine in 1814 to win her back broke down on her firm opposition.

[7] Cavalry General Otto Wilhelm Hristoforovich Derfelden - (1735 - 1819). In 1757 he began his service as Corporal in the Horseguards. He beat the Turks at Maksimen and Galatz, during the second Turkish War (1789); promoted by Suvorov after the Turkish defeats at Focsani and Rymnik. During military actions against Poles he took part in the assault at Prague (1794) obtaining the St. George 2nd Class Cross. In 1795 he was promoted to the rank of General in Chief. In 1797 he retired. In 1799, Derfelden was  recalled as Cavalry Inspector General of the Finland and St. Petersburg divisions; then he was again appointed to service, with the assignment to escort Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich to Italy. Suvorov immediately entrusted  him with a Corps command.

 

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2007

 



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