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The Germans under the French Eagles: Our Allies the Bavarians Chapter VI Part II: Campaign of 1813

The Germans under the French Eagles: Our Allies the Bavarians Chapter VI Part II: Campaign of 1813

The Germans under the French Eagles: Our Allies the Bavarians

 Chapter VI Part II: Campaign of 1813

 By Commandant Sauzey

 Translated by Greg Gorsuch

 2. Saxony Campaign: Battles of Bautzen and Wurschen

In the spring of 1813, the Emperor Napoleon brought from France a new army, an army of conscripts who would be framed by the old soldiers who returned from Russia and those he had withdrawn from Spain.

He appealed to his allies of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Saxony, Württemberg, Hesse, Baden sent their contingents to the points designated for their concentration.  Bavaria, hard hit in the last campaign, organized a division of only 8,000 men comprising 10 infantry battalions, 6 cavalry squadrons and 16 cannons:  it should have provided 22,000 more men, under the terms of the federal act.  But Wrede headed the organization of another Bavarian army, currently in formation, and which was not yet ready to enter the line; of this army, he did not want to distract anything outside the national territory; –ready to accept the successes of the imperial armies acquired without his participation, or else to turn it against the defeated Emperor, if victory finally ceased to smile at those soldiers of France with whom it had been marching for so long.

Gathered towards Bayreuth and Bamberg at the beginning of April, the Bavarian division commanded by General Raglovich presented the following composition:

1st Brigade. General Count BECKERS.

A light battalion (2 companies from each of the 3rd and 4th Light Battalions).

1st combined infantry regiment (2nd battalion of the 3rd Regiment, reserve battalion of the 13th Regiment).

2nd combined infantry regiment (2nd battalions of the 4th and 8th Regiments).

2nd Brigade, Colonel von MAILLOT.

A light battalion (2 companies from each of the 5th and 6th Light Battalions).

1st combined infantry regiment (2nd battalions of the 5th and 7th Regiments).

2nd combined infantry regiment (2nd battalions of the 9th and 10th Regiments).

Combined light horse regiment. Colonel Count SEYSSEL von AIX.

1st division (1 squadron from the 1st and 1 squadron from the 2nd Light Horse). } 600 horses.
2nd division (1 squadron from the 4th and 1 squadron from the 5th Light Horse).
3rd division (1 squadron from the 3rd and 1 squadron from the 6th Light Horse).


Artillery. Major MARABINI.

1st battery.  6 pieces of 6 and 2 howitzers of 7. } 200 men.
2nd battery.  6 pieces of 6 and 2 howitzers of 7.

The battalions were 700 men, the squadrons 100 horses.

Napoleon had fixed Thuringia as the zone of concentration of his new army; while Marshal Ney (3rd Corps) headed from Würzburg on Erfurt, Bertrand crossed Tyrol with the Italians of the 4th Corps and marched on Cobourg; the Imperial Guard and the four divisions entrusted to Marshal Marmont (6th Corps) went to Eisenach.  Prince Eugène, Lauriston and Oudinot (5th and 12th Corps) would meet on the Saale with army corps rushing to Saxony.

The whole Prussian army had joined the Russians; Wittgenstein, on the right wing of the allies, extended over the lower Saale; Blücher, on the left, was in Altenburg; Winzingerode, with the advance-guard corps, had reached Lützen, Leipzig, Weissenfels:  his cavalry was already on the Saale; Kleist and Bülow emerged from Dessau and Halle; finally, Tormasov and Miloradovich, in reserve, occupied Dresden and Chemnitz.

The Emperor left Paris on 15 April; he was the 26th in Erfurt.  Marshal Oudinot, with the two French divisions Lorencez and Pacthod, was marching on Rudolstadt and Saalfeld when the Bavarian division received orders to join the marshal, whose corps they were to include from now on; the 12th Corps, in addition to these three infantry divisions, also included a small cavalry division under the orders of General Beaumont and General Wolf: this division consisted of a brigade of French dragoons, the 4 squadrons of the light horse of the Westphalian Guard, 3 squadrons of Hessian light horse and the Bavarian squadrons of Colonel Seyssel.  Oudinot’s chief of staff was General Lejeune, the famous painter of battles.

Raglovich, leaving two battalions as garrison in the Bavarian towns of Rosenberg, Forchheim and Rothenberg, went to Kahla (1 May), Jena (2 May), then to Camburg (4 May) on the road from Naumburg to Zeist, where the 12th Corps concentrated; from there, taking the direction of Dresden, it went on the 6th towards Altenburg and arrived on the 7th at Pessig.

Meanwhile, the French army, after the combat at Weissenfels, had won the brilliant victory of Lützen (2 May) — which the 12th Corps had not attended, — and was also marching towards Dresden under the direction of the Emperor.

Oudinot, who arrived on 9 May at Freyberg, entered Dresden on the 13th; he crossed the Elbe and put his army corps in battle formation, in full dress, in front of the suburb of Neustadt:  it was there that the Emperor last reviewed the Bavarians; he inspected them with an attentive but benevolent glance, and showed General Raglovich his particular satisfaction.

The next day, Raglovich was at Rosenthal; he passed on the 16th in Bichoffswerda and on the 17th bivouacked at Roth-Nauslitz, between the two French divisions Pacthod and Lorencez.  In the march of the 18th, the latter’s vanguard was attacked by General Emmanuel’s Russian cavalry ahead of Neunkirchen; Captain Donnersberg, at the head of a squadron of Bavarian light-horse, contributed to pushing back the enemy by happy charges which motivated the following flattering order of the marshal:

“…The Bavarian light horses justified the confidence which one has in them, by providing several beautiful charges as well as could have been done by veteran soldiers…”[1]

The army arrived before Bautzen.  At his extreme right Oudinot established the 12th Corps at Drauchkowitz; Macdonald, on its left, stood in front of Bautzen; the corps of Marmont and Bertrand formed the left of the French line.  The Imperial Guard was in reserve.  Marshal Ney, at the head of the 3rd, 5th and 7th Corps, maneuvered on the right and on the rear of the enemy.


The mission of the 12th Corps was to attack the left of the allies, after having crossed the Spree, while Macdonald would seize Bautzen.  At noon, in 2 columns, Pacthod, on the left, –followed by Raglovich, — and Lorencez on the right approach the Spree, throwing over two bridges at Grabschütz and engaged against the corps of Miloradovich. Lorencez, on the wooded hills which separate the valley of Bautzen from the plains of Bohemia, supported an obstinate combat which obliged the enemy to call for reinforcements; all of Prince Eugène of Württemberg’s corps came to support Miloradovich’s troops, which however yielded ground; Pacthod, in the plain, supported by the Bavarian division, progressed without experiencing such violent resistance and arrived, at nightfall, at Ebendörfel, on the road to Postwitz.  The 12th Corps crowned the tops of the mountains, and it advanced to the Kunewald valley, after having come from Kunitz.

In the center, Macdonald took Bautzen; but the French left had made little progress: the action of Marshal Ney had not yet been felt.


The fight resumed the next day; in front of a considerable reinforced adversary, Lorencez struggled with pain, suffering considerable losses and, little by little, the troops of Pacthod and 2 Bavarian battalions sent to his aid were also very strongly engaged.  It was in vain that Marshal Oudinot asked for help from the Emperor; the latter seemed to attach no importance to the danger in which his right was and the progress of the enemy before the 12th Corps; however, Emmanuel’s Russian cavalry bordered the line of Oudinot and threatened to take his right and his artillery from behind; General Beaumont then launched on the enemy squadrons the Bavarian light horse of Colonel Seyssel von Aix, making them follow –but from too far– by the brigade of French dragoons; retreating before the Bavarian cavalrymen, the Russians suddenly unmask deeply massed cavalry who assaulted and enveloped the light horse; obliging them to break through the enemy ranks in order to disengage, the Bavarian cavalrymen lost in this engagement a killed officer; they injured 35, including their lieutenant colonel.

After this success of its cavalry, the enemy went on a sharp offensive.  French and Bavarians, formed in squares, repelled the furious charges of the Miloradovich horsemen who came to die under their bayonets, but the 12th Corps lost the ground which it had so painfully gained; the Russian artillery had drawn near and its cannonballs now reached the Bavarian infantry kept in reserve; the situation became difficult, when –at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. — General Corbineau, Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor, arrived to announce to Oudinot that the battle is won.  Indeed, Ney came out on the right of the Allies; his victorious action against the army of Barclay de Tolly soon determined the retreat of the Allies; Blücher resisted the latter; he ended up being thrown from the heights of Krickwitz.  At 5 o’clock in the evening, Oudinot saw his adversaries fall back and disappear from the battlefield.

The Bavarian division had had, that day, 10 officers and 275 men hors de combat; Lorencez and Pacthod, more than 6,000 killed or injured; the 12th Corps was therefore designated to guard the battlefield and remained at Bautzen the next day, while the army advanced and delivered the battle of Reichenbach to the retreating enemy.

On 26 May, leaving 2 Bavarian battalions at Bautzen on the line of communication, Oudinot, who was ordered to keep in check the corps of Bülow reported on the left flank of the army, went to Luckau, by Hoyerswerda.  The Bavarian cavalry surprised in this city a strong party of Cossacks and captured a colonel, 6 officers, 40 men and 50 horses.

Bülow got closer; with the Prussian brigades Borstel and Oppen, he attacked on the 28th, at Hoyerswerda, the Lorencez division to which Raglovich was soon to send 4 battalions of reinforcement as well as artillery; the Bavarian general entrusted this force to Colonel Maillot de la Treille and made his arrangements to cover the artillery park of the corps with the Beckers brigade.  Maillot formed the battalion of the 5th Regiment in a square and launched it on the village of Klein-Neida which he seized; then, he advanced to the top of the Lorencez regiments with his three other battalions, one of which was deployed and the 3rd, on the far right, marched in a square; the movement was carried out under the protection of the Weishaupt battery, –and the Prussian brigade Oppen was forced to withdraw; Borstel was not happier against Pacthod; Bülow retired, and unfortunately Marshal Oudinot waited to be joined by the 3 French battalions responsible for bringing him food from Dresden and by the 2 Bavarian battalions left at Bautzen.  –The Raglovich Division counted the evening of this combat 155 officers and 5,668 men under arms, including 486 horsemen; the artillery was reduced to 12 pieces, each of the two batteries having returned two cannons to Torgau, because of the reduction of manpower.

Oudinot advanced on 6 June to Luckau, where Bülow assembled 16 battalions, 12 squadrons, 6 batteries.  He took the outskirts of the city, entered it, but could not stay there and headed for Sonnenwald; the Prussian general then made his attack with all his cavalry which jostled a Bavarian squadron, the 3 squadrons of Hessian light horse and managed to seize 2 pieces of cannon…  But Colonel Seyssel, at the head of Bavarian 2 squadrons, rushed on the enemy riders, driving them back and took back the 2 pieces they had removed.  In this rapid and bloody engagement, the Bavarian light horses lost 35 men and 33 horses.

The announcement of the armistice concluded at Pläswitz interrupted hostilities on 8 June; Lorencez and Pacthod settled in Dahme and Luckau, and Raglovich between Herzberg and Uebichau.

The Bavarians, in the previous fight, had just picked their last laurels from our ranks.

3: After the armistice. Situation of belligerents. The arming of Bavaria.

The Armistice of Pläswitz, concluded on 4 June, was to last until 26 July and was extended until 10 August.  The Emperor Napoleon intended to take advantage of the suspension of hostilities to strengthen his army so that he could finally impose peace on his intractable adversaries; but events thwarted his forecasts, and Austria, already faltering, finally threw her sword into the balance on the side of the Allies.

England, judging that the part which was going to be played in Saxony must be decisive, put a treasure at the disposal of our enemies who divided –following their teeth– the eleven and a half million pounds sterling intended for the expenses of the next campaign.[2]  Thanks to these opulent subsidies the “soldiers of England” put the following formidable troops on line:

Russia:  250,000 men and 800 pieces of cannon, including 50,000 men in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw under Lobanow-Rostowski and 70,000 men of new organization in Poland under Bennigsen;

Prussia:  280,000 men, including 150,000 of Landwehr, with 400 cannons;

Sweden:  25,000 men under Crown Prince Bernadotte;

Austria:  350,000 men in Galicia and Bohemia, of which 260,000 are ready to enter the field.

At the end of July, the forces of the allies are distributed as follows:

I. Grand Army of Bohemia, under the orders of SCHWARZENBERG.

  1. Austrian army:  Corps of Lichtenstein, Colloredo, Meerfeld, Gyulay, Klenau.  Reserve corps of the Prince of Hesse-Hombourg.
  2. Russo-Prussian army, under Barclay de Tolly and Wittgenstein:  Russian corps of Gorchakov and the Prince of Württemberg. Prussian corps of Kleist, Cossacks of Pahlen.
  3. Reserves, under the Grand Duke Constantine and Miloradovich:  Russian corps of Rayevsky and Yermolov, and cavalry of Gallitzin.  Prussian guard.

II. Army of Silesia, on the orders of BLÜCHER.

  1. Langeron, with the Russian corps of Scherbatov, Saint-Priest, Alzuwiew and Copzewiez, cavalry of Korff.
  2. Sacken, with the Russian corps of Lieven and the cavalry of Vasilchikov.
  3. Yorck, with a Prussian corps.

III.  Army of the North, under the command of BERNADOTTE, Crown Prince of Sweden:

  1. Prussian corps of Bülow.
  2. Prussian corps of Tauentzien.
  3. Swedish corps of Stedingk (3 divisions).
  4. Russian corps of Winzingerode.
  5. Russian corps of Vorontsov.
  6. Corps of Wallmoden.

IV. Russian Reserve Army of Bennigsen.

Schwarzenberg was in Bohemia, near Prague, with 120,000 men; 25,000 Austrians, with the Prince of Reuss, observing the frontiers of Bavaria and 40,000 men under Hiller, in Styria, were ready to face the army of Italy.  The large mass of the Army of Silesia, 150,000 men, was encamped between Schweidnitz and the Oder.  Bernadotte had 90,000 men near Berlin, –and Wallmoden with his corps made up of Prussians, Russians, Swedes and Mecklenburgers occupied the region of Schwerin.  The Austrian reserves were in Pressburg, the Russian reserves on the Vistula.

Napoleon opposed the enemy armies with:

The 25,000 men of the foot Imperial Guard (Old and Young Guard) under Marshal Mortier, and the cavalry of the Guard, with Nansouty, –in Dresden, center of the strategic chessboard.

70,000 men from the 1st, 2nd, and 8th Corps (Vandamme, Victor, Poniatowski), in Lusatia.

A mass of 100,000 men in the Liegnitz (Ney, 3rd Corps), Goldberg (Lauriston, 5th Corps), Bunzlau (Marmont, 6th Corps) and Löwenberg (Macdonald, 11th Corps) area.

The 20,000 soldiers of the 14th Corps, under Marshal Saint-Cyr, in front of Bohemia.

The 70,000 men of the 4th, 7th and 12th Corps, the first two in Sprottau (Bertrand) and Görlitz (Reynier) and the last (Oudinot) in Dahme with the Bavarian division in Herzberg.

The 10th Corps formed, under the command of Rapp, the garrison of Danzig.

Finally, the 18,000 soldiers from Davout –joined by 12,000 Danes– occupying Hamburg and forming the 13th Corps.

Four cavalry reserve corps, under the orders of Latour-Maubourg, Sébastiani, Arrighi, Kellermann, and an observation corps under Augereau in Bavaria, completed the forces of the Grande Armée which counted 380,000 men in Germany and 80,000 personnel employed in the defense of fortresses.

What was going on in Bavaria, while the reinforcements of the belligerents were marching on Saxony, Silesia or Bohemia? –Maximilien-Joseph, already shaken by the advances and threats of Austria who massed an army on his borders, had finally surrendered to the reasons that von Wrede knew how to assert near him.  “He decided at that time –says Völderndorff,– in an irrevocable manner, to no longer shed the blood of his people for a foreign cause and to escape, as soon as possible, from an alliance which forced him to make the war with princes he loved and esteemed … ”  The difficulty was, while achieving this goal, of not exposing himself to the just wrath of Napoleon, if the latter learned too soon that his alliance had become unbearable to this Bavaria that he had made so great and filled with so many benefits.  So Max-Joseph was careful not to refuse the Confederation contingent required by the Emperor for the present campaign; but he succeeded in supplying –as we have seen– only a small division of 8,000 men, from which he took two battalions to guard the Bavarian towns; this division had not been brought into the war completed and the gaps which had occurred there had not been filled until August.

However, all of Bavaria was in arms.  On 3 March 1813, the second class of the National Guard was called into action; in each of the 9 circles of the kingdom was to organize a “mobile Legion” of 4 battalions, each of 4 companies with 150 men; these legions were made up of all the young people from 20 to 23 years old who were not incorporated in the active army or the reserve battalions, former soldiers under 40 years, of all the singles from 24 to 40 years, finally, of volunteers.  King Max clearly specified, by decreeing the formation of mobile legions, that they would not be used outside the limits of the kingdom…  They brought him the support of 36 battalions.  A 7th Regiment of Light Horse was also organized, under the name and the command of Prince Charles, the second son of the king.

In the active army, with the remnants of the Rechberg Division returning from Russia and by the incorporation of conscripts of new the levy, one had returned to effective strength the 1st battalion of the 1st, 4th, 8th, 9th and 10th Regiments of infantry and the 2 companies of 1st, 3rd, and 6th Light Battalion, units that remained within the territory.  On the return of Thorn of the Zoller Brigade –first sent to Tyrol– the same measures made it possible to complete the 1st battalion of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th Regiments as well as the two companies of the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Light Battalions:  but if the soldiers of Zoller, under the conditions of the capitulation of Thorn, could not serve during one year against Russia and Prussia, they would be employed without delay against France as soon as Bavaria crossed onto the side of the coalition…  The cavalry was reforming quickly; at the end of May, there was a squadron of 125 horsemen fully organized in each of the 6 light horse regiments; in the course of June, 2 new squadrons per regiment were ready to enter the field, thanks to the purchase of horses raised in Germany and Moldova.  –The artillery and the train received 1,000 horses.

General von Wrede, placed at the head of this new army, had been exercising it since the middle of June in a camp established near Munich.

4: The March on Berlin. Großbeeren and Jüterbog.  The Bavarians at Dresden.

The armistice was denounced on 10 August.  Operations resumed immediately.  The Army of Silesia attacked the 3rd and 5th Corps; but the Emperor arrived from Dresden, driving it back on the 23rd beyond the Katzbach on Goldberg, –and leaving the 3rd, 5th and 11th Corps in front of Blücher, returned with the guard and Marmont to Dresden, where Saint-Cyr then heading the 1st, 2nd and 14th Corps was enclosed by the entire Army of Bohemia.

Napoleon cleared Dresden and won a brilliant victory on 26 and 27 August over Schwarzenberg, overshadowed two days later by the disaster suffered at Culm by Vandamme and the 1st Corps.  Meanwhile, Macdonald was beaten by Blücher on the Katzbach (26 August).

Marshal Oudinot, at the resumption of hostilities, received the mission to march on Berlin and to reject Bernadotte’s army.  He had his 12th Corps, the 4th (Bertrand), the 7th (Reynier) and the 3rd Cavalry Corps (Arrighi):  it was a mass of 60,000 men of which only 35,000 were French; the 4th Corps, in fact, included, in addition to the French of the Morand Division, the Italian Fontanelli Division and the Württemberg division of Franquemont; the 7th Corps had a French division, that of Durutte, but also the two Saxon divisions of Lecoq and Sahr; finally in the 12th Corps, in the French divisions Pacthod and Guilleminot was assisting the Bavarian division Raglovich.  The 3 cavalry divisions of Arrighi amounted to a total of 6,000 horses.  –To support the movement of the Duke of Reggio on the Prussian capital, Davout had to emerge from Hamburg with 30,000 men, and the Girard Division leaving Magdeburg at the same time.[3]

On 15 August, the 12th Corps was concentrated in Baruth, three marches from Berlin; the rest of Oudinot’s army could only join him on the 18th, and, despite Bülow’s pleas, Bernadotte hesitated to march on the isolated French corps and crush it before it could be supported …  Nevertheless, the enemy had already made contact; the cavalry brigade Wolf, attached to the 12th Corps and composed of the combined regiment of the Bavarian light horse, the light horse of the Westphalian Guard and the light horse of Hesse-Darmstadt, was attacked on 17 August in front of Baruth, on the line of outposts, by the Prussian light cavalry of General Borstel; surprised in its cantonment of Dornwald, the Bavarian Colonel von Seyssel fell into the hands of the enemy with an officer, 40 riders, 86 horses… The Hessians lost on their side more than 100 horses in this affair.  –The corps of Arrighi arrived in Baruth the same day, and the 4th and 7th Corps the following day.











1813 -MARSHAL OUDINOT Commander of the 12th Corps.[4]




Then marching north, Oudinot carried the 12th Corps on 21 August on Trebbin, capturing it; Raglovich with the cavalry of Lorge, reached Luckenwald; the Bavarian Maillot Brigade occupied with cannon the village and its exits towards Trebbin, Jüterbog, Gottow; the horsemen of Lorge bivouacked outside.  Suddenly, at 6 o’clock in the evening, the Russian cavalry appeared and precipitated down on the French squadrons made up of conscripts who had never seen the enemy before and withdrew in great disorder behind the village; the fire of the Bavarians and the discharges of their artillery stopped the Cossacks who soon disappeared into the night.

The Bavarians did not take part in the happy fights delivered on 22 August –in Junsdorf by the 4th Corps, –in Witsock by the 7th, and in Wilmersdorf by the Pacthod and Guilleminot divisions of the 12th.  They joined their army corps at Wilmersdorf, from where they were carried to Trebbin and Cliestow.


Oudinot continued his movement by three parallel roads separated by woods and marshes, believing, after his successes of the day before, in a general retreat of the enemy; Bernadotte, in fact, had already given his instructions for a retrograde march by the Army of the North beyond the Spree:  but the energetic Bülow called for a battle to save Berlin, and he was authorized to deliver it.  Reynier, arrived with the 7th Corps in front of Großbeeren, approached the village, took it and settled there in bivouac; he was soon assaulted by the 30,000 soldiers of Bülow.  It was in vain that he waited on his left for the intervention of the 12th Corps; instead of Oudinot’s troops, it was those of Borstel which debouched on his flank.  The Saxons retreated, disorganized; the 7th Corps, in full retreat, only stopped at Wilstock…  But, at night, it was here that the French cavalry of Fournier appearing on the battlefield; at the sound of Reynier’s cannon, the Duke of Reggio sent it from Ahrensdorf to Großbeeren, having it followed by the Guilleminot Division.  Our cavalrymen, colliding with Prussian bivouacs, turned bridle, tumbled, and in a frantic race headed towards Großbeeren carrying with them, pell-mell, the Prussian hussars who had come to meet them… “This packed mass of 2,000 horses appeared in front of Großbeeren, flowed to one side, approached the infantry that were unable to fire due to rain, trampled on them, –finally disappearing in an invisible distance; and the silence of rest and death reigned again on the battlefield.”[5]

Blücher, worried about this fantastic attack, retired; –at the same time, Oudinot withdrew from his side on Trebbin where the Bavarians guarded, during the day, the line of the Nutte; he then won Dahme, Rusdorf (26 August) and Wittenberg (30 August) where he rendezvoused  with his three corps.  During this retreat, the Raglovich Division, responsible for covering the march of the artillery park, was attacked at Jänikendorf by the cavalry of Chernishev; but he kept it at a distance and reached without fail the general rallying point.

Ney replaced Oudinot at the head of the 4th, 7th and 12th Corps; he left Wittenberg on 5 September and went to Zahna.  The 12th Corps, at the head of the army column, engaged during the day in Woltersdorft against the corps of Borstel and Thümen; the Bavarian 1st Brigade fights in the center of the line, between the Pacthod and Guilleminot divisions; the 2nd Brigade was in reserve at the park warden.  General Wolf’s Bavarian, Hessian and Westphalian light horses intervened vigorously in this affair and suffered heavy losses:  the colonel of the Hessian regiment was killed by a cannon ball.  The enemy retreated, and the next day Ney decided to bring the army to the front Ohna (12th Corps), Rohrbeck (4th Corps) and Jüterbog (7th Corps).


Bertrand, with the 4th Corps, seized Dennewitz and drove out the Prussians of Tauentzien; this last one desperately prolonged the fight, putting into the line his last reserves and allowing Bülow to come up.  The 7th Corps, when it arrived at the theater of combat, went to the left of the 4th; but the Saxons soon found themselves immobilized by the intervention of Borstel who entered the line in turn.  When the 12th Corps reached the front, Oudinot engaged the Bavarian Weishaupt battery and a French battery of 12 near Gölsdorf and had them supported by the battalion of the Bavarian 9th Regiment commanded by Major Treuberg.  Seeing the weak 4th Corps on the right, Ney ordered the 12th to leave the left of the battle line and to come to the rescue of Bertrand by passing behind the heavily engaged Saxon divisions; this movement brought panic among the Saxons, who lost Gölsdorf and were soon in full rout.  It is in vain that the Treuberg battalion, already decimated, formed a square around the Bavarian battery assaulted by the Prussian cavalry:  the square was broken, sabered, and all that were not killed were taken prisoner; the 2 cannons and the 2 Bavarian howitzers were captured by the Prussian horsemen.  –Bertrand, on the other hand, was forced to cede the ground where he was maintaining at the cost of enormous losses and to abandon Rohrbeck. The 12th Corps could only cover the retirement; it is carried out under the protection of its two French divisions which, formed in squares, resisted all the attacks of the enemy for more than two leagues of the distance, until Herzberg.

As for the Raglovich Division, in charge of protecting the 550 vehicles of the artillery park, it escorted it to Dahme without letting itself get involved, in the middle of the stampede of the 7th Corps and the debris in retreat of the 4th; it marched in the following formation:  at the head, the battalion in square of the 7th Regiment; then, the park carts covered on the right by three squares, that of the 3rd and 4th Light Battalions and those of the 3rd and 5th Regiments; on the left walk the square of the battalion of the 10th Regiment and that of the 5th and 6th Light Battalions; the battalion of the 8th and that of the 13th Regiment forming the rearguard, with some light horse.  During this tragic retreat, the same cannon ball took three soldiers from the Bavarian train, a shell blowing up a box of powder… Finally, at 2:30 in the morning, they arrived in front of Dahme which was find occupied by the enemy:  the sudden irruption of the Bavarian light horse in the village was enough to put to flight the hundred of Prussian horsemen and infantrymen of the landwehr who had been installed there.  After a few hours of rest, the Bavarians restarted on Torgau where they arrived on 7 September at 7 o’clock in the evening.

At that date, the Raglovich Division had only 143 officers and 2,150 men; these figures include the 8 officers and 239 horsemen of the light-horse regiment which was now commanded by Major von Hetzendorff, Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss having been taken prisoner during the battle.  The Bavarian infantry lost since the end of the armistice, in killed, wounded, prisoners, missing or sick, 12 officers and 3,352 soldiers; the light horse, 9 officers and 307 cavalrymen –of which 6 officers and 97 men were taken by the enemy.  Finally, 4 pieces of cannon fell into enemy hands in front of Gölsdorf.






Facsimile of the signature of General RAGLOVICH.


The Prussians having attacked Torgau on the 8th, the Bavarians crossed the Elbe and went on the 9th to Eulenburg, the meeting point of the 12th Corps.  There, Raglovich gave his troops a new organization, more in touch than the older with the weakness of their numbers; the division now included:

1st Brigade:  General Maillot de la Treille, 2 battalions (with 4 companies), 852 men.

2nd Brigade: General Habermann, 2 battalions (with 4 companies), 1,191 men.

Half a battery per brigade, in all 120 men.

A squadron of light horses: 141 horses.

All the surplus cadres –3 senior officers, 64 officers, 103 non-commissioned officers– were sent back to Bavaria to the army of General von Wrede.

On 11 September, the 4th and 7th Corps having come to Eulenburg, the 12th went to Dommitch and surroundings, then was brought back to Torgau on the 12th.  On the 17th, the 12th Corps was dissolved:  Oudinot received the command of the Young Guard, the Pacthod and Guilleminot divisions passed respectively to the 4th and the 7th Corps, and the Bavarians were sent to Dresden to increase the garrison; they arrived there on the 24th and, encamped in Friedrichstadt, henceforth supplied each day two battalions of workers for the construction of the city’s defense works.


[1] Plan of the Day of the 12th Corps, at the headquarters of Gaussig, 19 May 1813.


Spain received……….. 2,000,000 of liv. st.
Portugal………………… 2,000,000
Sicily……………………. 400,000
Sweden…………………. 1,000,000
Russia and Prussia… 5,000,000
Austria…………………. 1,000,000


(Report from Lord Castlereagh, 14 November 1813.)


[3] Note from the Emperor of 12 August 1813.

[4] OUDINOT (Nicolas-Charles), born in Bar-le-Duc in 1767.  Enlisted at 16 in the Médoc Regiment; left the service in 1788, and was named in 1791 chief of battalion in the volunteers of the Meuse; head of the 4th Demi-brigade in 1793, distinguished himself the following year at Kaiserslautern and crossed to general brigade shortly after; fights on the Rhine under Morcau, in Switzerland and in Italy under Masséna and becomes general of division in 1799. Under the Empire, he singled out with his division of grenadiers in Wertingen, Austerlitz (1805), Ostrolenka and Friedland (1807) , Landshut and Wagram (1809); the Emperor named him Marshal and Duke of Reggio.  He commanded the 2nd Corps during the Russian Campaign and fought like a lion from Berezina, then from Bautzen (1813); defeated at Grossßeeren, he was defeated at Vacau ​​and Freyburg; finally he still fought at Brienne and Bar-sur-Aube during the French campaign.  Joined with the Restoration, he commanded in 1823 the 1st Corps of the French army in Spain.  He died in Paris in 1847, Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor and Governor of the Invalides.

[5]Commandant Duval, Napoleon, Bülow and Bernadotte, 1813, p.52.