Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Combat at Bergfried.
The Emperor went to the village of Getkendorf, and placed in battle the corps of the marshal Ney on the left, the corps of the marshal Augereau in the center, and the corps of the marshal Soult to the right-hand flank, the imperial guard in reserve. He ordered the marshal Soult to go by way of Gustadt, and to seize the bridge of Bergfried, to come out in the rear of the enemy with all his army corps, a maneuver that gave to this battle a decisive character. Overcome, the enemy was lost without resource.
The marshal Soult sent the General Guyot, with his light cavalry, to seize Gustadt, where he took a large part of the baggage of the enemy and made successively 1600 Russian prisoners. Gustadt was their center of depots. But at the same time the marshal Soult went on the bridge of Bergfried with division Leval and Legrand. The enemy, which felt that this significant position protected the retirement from its left flank, defended this bridge with twelve of its best battalions. At three in the afternoon, the cannonade began. The 4th. regiment of line and the 24th. of light infantry, had the glory to approach the enemy first. They upheld their old reputation. Only these two regiments and a battalion of the 28th. in reserve, sufficient to flush out the enemy, passed over in a timed charge of the bridge, drove out the twelve Russian battalions, took four pieces of cannon and covered the battle field with dead and casualties. The 46th. and the 55th., which formed the second brigade, were behind, inpatient to deploy itself, but already the enemy was in rout; giving up terrified, all its beautiful positions, a good omen for the day of the following day.
At the same time, the Ney marshal seized a wood where the enemy had supported its line; division St-Hilaire seized the village in the center; and the grand-duke of Berg, with a division of dragons arranged in squadrons in the center, came out of the wood and swept the plain, in order to clear the front of our position. In these small partial attacks, the enemy was pushed back and lost a hundred prisoners. The night thus overtook the two involved armies.
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