Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Letter from a Junior Prussian Officer: 17 October 1806
The following letter, which was intercepted, contains an extremely detailed table of the situation of the Prussians after the battle of Jena.
My very-dear wife,
I am still alive and in good health, after having attended the unhappy battle. But alas! There is nothing to prevent me from saying to you that we lost half of our army there, likewise all our best Generals. My battalion acted perfectly under fire; but it lost its guns in the retirement. My company alone lost forty men and Lieutenant Schweinitz. If I wanted to announce all our misfortune to you, I would need an infinite time. All the luggage of our army corps was taken in Weimar; similarly our servants could not run away themselves.
I arrived the 16th in the evening, in Nordhausen, without horse and deprived of all. The army is in full retreat on Magdeburg. His royal Majesty received a strong contusion; however he is well. You can say to Schuberten that his/her elder son was killed and that one does not know what became of the other one, nor Jarusch, Michalzeck and Joseph Tyralla. We miss moreover five warrant officers, four musicians, three artillerists and two sappers, likewise all the grenadiers. Jablonouski lost everybody. The same Fontanius. They all are naked as worms. The major alone could preserve a horse. Several Generals are killed. Sanitz and Malchitz we miss. The duke of Brunswick lost the two eyes from a rifle blow. Rüchel and Winnig died. Many regiments are without officers; others have officers and not soldiers. Our loss is immense. One does not distinguish any more the bodies: all is pell-mell. The battalions of Lostin, Borck and Grodana do not exist any more. They belonged to the rear-guard that was entirely chopped to pieces. One cannot have an idea of the eagerness with which the French have pursued us. You will be able to write to me with the army corps in Magdeburg.
Nordhausen, October 17.
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