Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Note from French Chargé d’Affaires to the Prince of Hesse-Cassel: 29 October 1806
Here the note that the chargé d’ affaires of France presented to the prince twenty-four hours before.
Note, of October 29, 1806.
The undersigned chargé d’ affaires of H. M. the Emperor of the French and King of Italy, is tasked with declaring to H. A. S. Prince of Hesse-Cassel, marshal in the service of Prussia, “That H. M. Emperor has a perfect knowledge of adhesion to the coalition of Prussia on behalf of the court of Cassel;
“That it is in consequence of this adhesion that the reservists were called-up, that horses were distributed to the cavalry, the place of Hanau supplied, and abundantly equipped with garrison;
“That it is in vain that H. M. made known through Mr. von Malsbourg, Minister for Prince of Hesse-Cassel in Paris, that any armament on behalf of Prince of Hesse-Cassel would be looked upon as hostile; that for any answer, the court of Cassel ordered Mr. von Malsbourg to request passports from Paris, and to return to Cassel;
“That since, the Prussian troops entered Cassel; that they were accommodated there with enthusiasm by the hereditary, general prince in the service of Prussia, which even crossed the city at their head.
“That these troops crossed all the States of Hesse-Cassel to attack the French Army in Frankfurt;
“That immediately after, the plan of campaign of the French Army suddenly developed, the Prussian Generals felt the need for directing all their detachments to concentrate in Weimar, in order to give battle;
“That it is thus by the effect of the military circumstances and not of the neutrality of Hesse, that the Prussian troops retrogressed on their places of reassembly;
“That during all the time that the fate contest of arms was doubtful, the court of Hesse-Cassel continued its armaments, always in opposition to the declarations of the Emperor, that it regarded all armaments as an act of hostility;
“That the Prussian armies having been beaten and having been thrown beyond Oder, it would be as imprudent as foolish on behalf of the French general, to let stand this forming Hessian army, which would be ready to fall on the rear of the French Army, if it was left unchecked;
“That the undersigned thus received the express order to declare that the safety of the French Army requires that the place of Hanau and all the country of Hesse-Cassel be occupied; that the weapons, guns, and arsenals are given to the French Army, and that all the means are taken for assuring the rear of the army against the constant enmity which is shown, with regard to France, by the house of Hesse-Cassel.
“It remains with the Prince of Hesse-Cassel to be seen the situation of the things, if he wants to push back the force by the force, and to return his country to a theatre of the disasters of the war. However that being incompatible with a political mission, the undersigned received orders to request his passports and to withdraw from any continuation.”
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