By Stephen Millar
"Davout sent on the brave and heroic Gudin, with his division, to clear it [the Kosen defile] and occupy the level space on the top, at all hazards. In a few minutes Gudin stood, in battle array, on the [Auerstadt] plateau, though entirely shut out from the enemy by the dense fog. Blucher, with nearly three thousand hussars, was ordered to ride over the plateau and sweep it of the enemy. The former part of the order he obeyed, and came dashing through the mist with his body of cavalry, when suddenly they found themselves on the bayonets' point, and the next moment shattered and rolled back by a murderous fire that seemed to open from the bowels of the earth. Rallying his men, however, to the charge, Blucher came galloping up to the French, now thrown into squares, and dashed, with his reckless valor, on their steady ranks. Finding, from the incessant roll of musketry, that Blucher was meeting with an obstinate resistance, the King of Prussia sent forward three divisions to sustain him. These, with Blucher's hussars, now came sweeping down on Gudin's single division, threatening to crush it with a single blow. One division against three, supported by twenty-five hundred cavalry, was fearful odds; but Gudin knew his defeat would ruin the army, now packed in the defile below, and, making desperate efforts to reach the plateau, presented a firm front to the enemy, and proved, by his heroic resistance, worthy to be under the illustrious chief that commanded him."
Joel Tyler Headley, Napoleon and his Marshals (1846)
52 battalions, 80 squadrons and 224 guns (128 guns in 16 batteries + 96 battalion guns)
Commander-in-Chief: Prussen, Friedrich-Wilhelm III, Konig von
Field Commander: Braunschweig-Luneburg-Wolfensbuttel, GFM Karl-Wilhelm-Ferdinand, Herzog von
Chief-of-Staff: Scharnhorst, OB Gerhard-Johann-David von
Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2004