Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée

Dispatch of General Benigsen: December 15, 1806

Copy of a dispatch of the Russian General Benigsen.

I have the happiness of inform to Y. R. M., that I attacked the enemy yesterday before midday, close to Pultusk, and that I succeeded in pushing back it on all the points.  Its first great attack, commanded by General Suchet, having 15,000 men, was directed on my left wing against the advanced works of Gurka, placed there in order to make itself separate from the city; I only had 5000 men under the command of General Baggouwut, to oppose to him, who defended himself with much bravery, until I sent to him three battalions of the reserve to his aide, and at the end I detached the General Ostermann Tolstoy with three other battalions to the same point, which led to the enemy being completely beaten on right wing. 

The second attack of the enemy who was also sharp, was directed on my right wing, where General Barkley de Tolly was with the avant-garde:  this wing was on the road of Stegoczin, supported near a hedge, in which I had placed a masked battery.  In spite of this provision, the enemy attempted to outflank me on this side, which led to me to make a change in our facing behind on the right with all my line.  This movement succeeded completely.  After having reinforced General Barkley de Tolly with three battalions, ten squadrons, and an artillery battery, the enemy were dislodged from the wood and beaten completely, after which they began their retreat. 

The attack started at eleven o'clock in the morning, and lasted until night fall.  According to the reports of all the prisoners, prince Murat, Davoust and Lannes commanded against me; so that I had to fight an army of more than 50,000 men.

All my troops fought with greatest bravery.  The following generals were particularly distinguished.  The generals Ostermann, Tolstoy, Barkley de Tolly, prince Dolgerokw, Baggouwut, Summow and Goudorff in the cavalry;  the General Kosin, colonel de Zégulin charged with the regiment of the Polish Tartars of Kochowski, on the left wing of the enemy, and did much evil to him.  Colonel Knorring, with his regiment of Tartars, almost entirely has routed a regiment of chasseurs à cheval, and the regiment of the Emperor’s cuirassiers attacked a column of infantry and pushed it back in the greatest disorder. 

The marshal Kamenskoi left in the morning of  14/26, before the attack of Pultusk for Ostrolenka, and gave me the general command, so that I was happy enough to command alone during the whole affaire and to beat the enemy.  I consider it regrettable that the help so much desired of General Buxhowden was not able at the time, to be in a position to contribute to the advantages of my victory, and that it had halted halfway to me though it was only two miles distant from me in a position at Makow; I also regret that the absolute lack of food and fodder forced me to retrogress with all my corps to Rozan, to reunite on my rear for some provisions.  What proves how much the enemy must be beaten, is that it did not even worry my rear-guard during my retrograde march.

I make this report to Y. R. M. through captain Waranges, who was at my side during all the business, and who will be able to transmit to Y. M. all the other details relating to this business. 

Rozan, December 15/27, 1806. 



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