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MAJESTY THE EMPEROR AND KING.
of your Majesty, constitutes it an imperious In dividing the national guard into three and sacred lay.
bands, and in coinpesing the first of all the
conscripts of the six last classes, viz. from REPORT OF THE MINISTER OF WAR TO HIS the age of 20 to 26 years, who have not
been called upon to join the active army ; Sire.-The greatest part of your Majes. the second, of men from 26 to 40 years ; ty's troops had been called without our ter
and the third, of men from 40 to 60 years ritory, for the defence of the grand in- of age; to the first band the active service terests which are to ensure the preponder will be contided ; then the second and third ance of the empire, and maintain the Ber
bands will only have the reserve service, lin and Milan decrees, so fatal to England.
which is quite local. The Continental system has scarcely been
For 191%, the first band, comprehend. 15 months in execution, and England is ing the conscripts from 1806 to 1812, who already at the last gasp. Had not events
have not been called to the army, and who happened, which your Majesty could not
have not since married, and are în a conhave expected, perhaps, in this short period dition for service, will form a resource for of time, the prosperity of England would 600,000 men. have been entirely annihilated ; and con
I propose to your Majesty to raise from vulsions would have been experienced in
this number 100 cohorts, which will conker interior, which would have finally stitute the fifth part of those who remain thrown into discredit the war faction, and of the classes of 1806, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, called to the administration, moderate men
and 12. These men should be organized and friends of justice.
and clothed at the chief place of each miliNo person understands better than your tary division. Majesty, to.expect from time what time is
Those cohorts, composed of $ companies, to produce, and to maintain, with unchange- 6 of which are to be fuzileers, one artilable constancy, a system and plan of con
lery, and one a depot, will contain nearly duct from which you have calculated the
one thousand men each. Your Majesty results which are infallible.
would thus have 100 cohorts or battalions, During the absence of the greater part who, constantly under arms, and united in of our troops of the line, the immense brigades and divisions under order of chiefs number of maritine establishments, strong and might be compared to the ancient
of the line staff, would offer a chosen army, piaces, and important points of the empire, are guarded by the fifth battalions French grenadiers. These troops, constant. and the depots, and by the marine troops; ly encanped, and hy reason of their serwhich is attended with the inconvenience vice abundantly supplied with every thing, of diverting, by incessant marches and would suffer few losses by war. countermarches, the fifth battalions and
By this means our strong places on the depots from their proper destination, Rhine, our establishments at the Helder, which are to supply, the active armies.
upon the Meuse, the Scheldt, at Boulogne, These marches fatigue the soldier and em.
Cherbourg, Brest, L'Orient, Rochfort, barrass the administration. Besides, when Toulon, and Genoa, would be guarded by such numerous armies are seen without the
a combination of such force, that in five frontiers, the citizens who do not under. days 30,000 men could be collected at any stand the measures taken by the adininis particular point of the coast attacked ; and stration for the' interior establishments, in less than ten days, considering the speedy may feel some justifiable uneasiness ; these
means which your Majesty has established inquietudes are of themselves contrary to
in urgent circumstances, from 60 to 80,000 the dignity of the empire ; these must be men of the first band, the marine troops, prevented from increasing, by the estab
the departmental guards, and of the fifth lishment of a constitutional force, for ihe baštalions, all of which would march to defence of the territory alone.
the point menaced, and could form a jancBy our constitutional laws, the national tion, independent of the assistance afforded guard is especially charged with guarding by the 24 and 3d bands of the neighbourthe frontiers, our maritime establishinents, ing departments. our arsenals, and strong places ; but the I do not propose the establishment of any. national guard, which embraces the whole cavalry; the gens d'armes alone, forming of the citizens, cannot be placed on per. a force of 16,000 chosen men, will furnish manent duty, but only for a local and par. sufficient cavalry for the attacks against ticular service.
which we have to guard.
Nevertheless, while this institution will try and sovereign wave a right to expect completely protect the *French empire a- from them. gainst the idea of art attack, all the depots “ And now, what is the national guard and fifth battalions, being no longer oc- of the empire? The nation armed. And cupied in forming garrisons or defending what nation but that which extends from the country, will feed the active army with the banks of the Baltic Sea to those bemore activity and efficacy. This will in yond the Tiber ; and whose ancient renown reality be equivalent to an augmentation every day acquires fresh eclat by its suce of the troops of the line. It is placing cessful and new associations, and by the 100,000 more Frenchmen under the ban- immortal glory of him who governs it ? ners of your Majesty. But these men will " This nation had not received differbe renewed every six years, by the con- ent successive laws, but particular organizaseription for the army. This augmenta. tions only. It is going to receive a grand tion will cause very little addition to the political law, a general organization. losses, because these troops will be seldom “ And what a wonderful change is this exposed but to the ordinary chances of profound conception of the Emperor going mortality. It will likewise cause an in- to produce ! Order was established at his crease in expence of 48 millions ; but this command, among the immense number of expence cannot be placed in competition Frenchmen, whose very zeal and bravery, with the immense advantages which will not regulated by his foresight, would have result from it.
led to confusion and disorder. That ad-This institution is eminently conserva
mirable and regular motion is the result tive and national : it is useful and necessary.
of the high wisdom of him, who, combinFrenehmen are willing to make every sa,
ing with the fruits of his genius, the procrifice to acquire the liberty of the seas ;
duce of experience, carries his views into they know that they must be armed, or
future ages, to give durability to all the this grand measure will not be accomplish- monuments he erects. ed.
“ But what is the grand and principal
effect of this new institution ? The safety SITTING OF MARCH 13.
of the interior, and public security. Hith
erto the safety of the interior of empires The Senate having met at noon, Count was provided for by armies, who became Lacepede, in the name of the Special Com- offensive or defensive according to the cirmission, appointed in the sitting of the 10th, cumstances of the war and the chances of presented the following report upon the
But the security was neither enprojects of the Senatus Consultum :- tire nor durable. The fear of a reverse
“ SENATORS--Your Special Commission weakened it ; bad success might annihilate has examined, with all the attention the it; and what a situation was that people importance of the subject demanded, the in, whose comforts and labours were every Senatus Consultum project, relative to the
mument interrupted by anxiety and fear? organization of the national guard of the
“ Let us refer to history, and we shall empire, as well as the levy of 100 cohorts
see how frequently weak governments from the 1st band of the national guards,
could only satisfy their subjects by impruand has with care compared the different dently pointing out the number of their dispositions with the reasons which have troops, their military dispositions, and been stated to you.
their political arrangements ; and been “This project is divided under two titles.
obliged to give way, by dangerous and ab
surd dispositions of their, forces, to the ri. The first offers one of those important insti.
diculous ideas which the want of security. tutions which will signalize one of the most suggested, joined to false notions respecte illustrious of reigns; the second puts in ing the true elements of a good defence. motion part of that force established by the
“ ? he project of the Senatus Consulfirst ; one is the ground of action, the o
tum, which is presented to you, Senators, ther the consequence and application of it.
prevents for ever all these misfortunes. “ Let us, before all, examine the first : " When, should even all the active are. It separates into three bands the nation- mies quit the frontiers, and proceed to an al guard of the empire ; it points out the immense distance to hurl the imperial Frenchmen who, according to the differ- thunder, the immense inclosure of the emence of their age, must belong to one or pire would present numerous defenders, , other of these three bands; it determines which could be replaced by still more nuthe nature of the services which their coun- merous defenders; and the French em re,
considered, if I may be allowed so to ex- newing of that part of the first band, which press myself, as an immense citadel plac- will be placed at the disposition of the Mied in the middle of the world, would shew nister of War, is fixed with care ; and its natural garrison, in a national guard, every Frenchman of the first band who regularly organised, uniting to the constan- shall have married anterior to the publica. cy and instruction of old veterans, all the of the Senatus Consultum, shall remain in vigour of a youthful army.
the bosom of his young family, and constitute part of the second band.
The as“ This is what the hero has thought fit to do, to render our frontiers inviolable sembling of a part of the first band will alto tranquilise minds the most prompt to
low the conscripts destined to augment or. conceive alarins-o guard the public se
complete the active armies, to be longer,
exercised at their depots; and every thing eurity against all the attempts of false zeal,
has been calculated in such a manner, that from ignorance or perfidy. This is what the father of his people has done ; for this
at the least signal a numerous army can be great benefit but trifling sacrifices are re
promptly collected, and with facility march quired.
towards all points menaceq.
“ In order to be better able to judge of “ The cohorts of the first band will be renewed with one-sixth each year; the posed to you, represent to yourselves,
all the advantages of the institution pro. young Frenchmen who constitute a part of Senators, all the irregular appeals from the it will know the exact period when they national guard which you have witnessed. will return to their paternal roofs, and be
Let those of our colleagues, whose military restored to their affections, their labours,
renown and the confidence of the Emperor their habits ; they will enjoy the price of kave' frequently placed at the head of these their devotion.
pational guards, hastily collected, remem-' "Arrived at the age in which ardour ber how much they have deplored the in: is united to strength, they will find in their evitable disorders of forced and truly painmilitary exercises salutary games and ful marches--of dispositions which time agreeable relaxations, rather than severe did not permit to digest-of sacrifices alduties and painful occupation. They will most inevitable of losses in men, amnot be strangers to any of the advantages munition, and money. which the old phalanxes of Napoleon en- "If you call to your recollection the cir. joy. Let us now proceed, Senators, to ex. cumstance so honourable for several deamine the second title.
partments of the empire, when British “ You have heard the Minister for Fo pride split upon the banks of the Scheldt, reign Affairs and for War, expose the
can you suppose, that if at that epoch, at frank, firm, and moderate policy of the which you expressed in so solemn a manner Emperor. European commerce must be the devotion of the French people towards freed from the shameful yoke wished to be the Emperor, the institution which France imposed upon it. Nature demands this : is going to receive from its tutelary genius, the most solemn treaties prescribe it;
had been established, England would have the imperial interests of the state demand dared to conceive the hope of the most trifit.
ling success: “ Already does the enemy of continental honour of unanimously proposing the a..
“ Your commission has, therefore, the independence suffer in his island a part of those evils with which he wished to inun. doption of the Senatus Consulium, which date the world. He bas swore everlasting
was presented to you."
The Senatus Consultum was adopted tive this attempt against humanity. Let all the active armies of the empire be ready to march to whatever place they may
SPAIN & PORTUGAL. be called by the greatest of heroes. Let 100 cohorts of the first band answer to the
SIEGE OF BADAJOZ. country for its frontiers, strong places, ports, and arsenals. Let 100,000 brave men, After taking Ciudad Rodrigo, the allied chosen from among those of the first band, army remained a considerable time in the join in the standards of glory. Here we neighbourhood of that place, with headagain find the same paternal solicitude of quarters at Gallegos, and afterwards at the Monarch, and the same foresight of the Frenada, no disposition having been made great Captain.
by the French to disturb it. On the 6th What relates to the successively re. of March it moved to the southward ; on
'he 11th, arrived at Elvas; and, on the “ On the same day that Badajoz was in16th, invested Badajoz. The progress of Fested, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas the siege of that fortress, up to the 27th Graham crossed the Guadiana, with the 1st, March, will be seen from the following ex- 6th, and 7th divisions of infantry, and tracts of dispatches from the Earl of Wel. General Slade's and General Le Marchant's lington :
brigades of cavalry, and directed his march !" Elvas, March 13, 1812. upon Valverde and Santa Martha, and “ I moved the head quarters from Fré. thence towards Llerena; while Lieutenantnada on the 6th, and arrived here on the General Sir Rowland Hill, with the 2d and 11th instant.
Lieutenant-General Hamilton's divisions, “ There are none of the enemy's troops and Major-General Long's cavalry, marchin the field in Estremadura, excepting that ed from his cantonments near Albuquerpart of the 5th corps not in the garrison of que upon Merida, and thence upon AlmenBadajoz, the head quarters of which are at dralejo. These movements induced GeneVilla Franca, and a detachment, consist- ral Drouet to retire from Villa Franca upon ing of about a division, under General Hornachos, in order, I conclude, to be in Darican, whose head quarters are at La communication with General Darican's diSerena.
vision, which was about La Serena. “ The enemy have made no movement, “ I heard from Sir Thomas Graham and and I have heard of no operation of import- Sir Rowland Hill to the 19th inst. The ance since I addressed your Lordship last. former was at Los Santos and Zafra, with According to the last accounts, Marshal General Slade's cavalry at Villa Franca ; Soult was in the lines before Cadiz." and the latter at Almendralejo. Lieute
nant-General Sir Rowland Hill took three ** Camp before Badajoz, March 20, 1812. officers and a few. hussars prisoners in
“ According to the intention which I Merida. announced to your Lordship, I broke up
.." I have reports - from the neig...bour. the cantonments of the army on the 15th hood of Ciudad Rodrigo of the 17th inst. and 16th instant, and invested Badajoz, The enemy had sent a small detachment to on the left of the river Guadiana, on the Béjar, principally with a view to plunder;. 16th, with the 3d, 4th, and light divisions but there was no appearar.ce of any imme. of infantry, and with a brigade of Lieute, diate movement. The 6th division had nant-General Hamilton's diyision on the moved from Talavera, through the Puerto right. These troops are under the com- del Pico, on the 8th and 9th instant; and mand of Marshal Sir William Beresford the 4th division, on the same days, from and Lieutenant-General Picton. We broke Toledo through the Guadarrama ; and the ground on the following day, and have first division only remained on the Tagus, established a parallel within two hundred near Talavera." yards of the outwork called the Picurina, Camp before Badajoz, 27th March 1812, which embraces the whole of the south east angle of the fort. The work has continued
“ The operations of the siege of Badaever since with great celerity, notwith- joz have continued since I addressed you standing the very bad weather which we
on the 20th, notwithstanding the badness have had since the 17th...
of the weather, till the 25th instant. “ The enemy made a sortie yesterday that day we opened our fire from twentyfrom the gate called La Trinidad, on the eight pieces of ordnance in six batteries, in right of our attack, with about two thou.
the first parallel ; two of which were insand men. They were almost immediatè. tended to fire upon the outwork called La ly driven in without effecting an object, Picurina, and the other four to enfilade or with considerable loss, by Major-General destroy the defences of the fort on the side Bowes, who commanded the guard in the attacked.' I directed Major-General Kempt, trenches. We lost upon this occasion à
who commanded in the trenches on that very promising officer, Captain Cuthbert, afternoon, to attack La Picurina by storm, Aid-de-Camp to Lieutenant-General Picton, after it was dark that night; which service killed; and Lieutenant-Colonel Fletcher
he effected in the most judicious and gal
lant manner. was slightly wounded, but I hope he will soon be able to resume his duties. I have
" The attack was made by five hundred pot yet got the returns, but I believe that
men of the 3d division, formed into threc our loss since the commencement of these detachments; the right under the com operations, amounts to 120 men killed and mand of Major Shaw, of the 74th ; the wounded.
centre under the Hon. Captain Powys, of
the 83d ; and the left under Major Rudd, notwithstanding all precautions, our bridge
" It was fir entered, ho ever, by the the Guadiana, and Zalamea de la Serena,
na, and proposed to march himself this “ The enemy's garrison in the outwork morning upon Medellina, in order to coconsisted of two hundred and fifty men, operate with Lieutenant-Gereral Sir Thomas with seven pieces of artillery, under the Graham." command of Colonel Gaspard Thiery, of From the date of the investment to the the Etat Major of the army of the South ; 26th March, the British loss has beena 7 07but very few, if any, escaped. The Colonel, ficers, 5 serjeants, 95 rank and file, killed; three other officers, and eighty-six men, 28 officers, 15 serjeants, 2 drummers, 447 have been taken prisoners, and the remain- rank and file, wounded; 11 rank and file der was either killed by the fire of our missing troops, or drowned in the inundation of the Badajoz is the capital of Estremadura ; River Rivellas, The enemy made a sora it stands on an eminence on the south side tie from the ravelin called St Roque, either of the large river Guadiana, over which with a view to recover La Picurina, or to
there is a bridge 700 paces long, and 14, protect the retreat of the garrison, but they broad, built by the Romans. On this were immediately driven in by the detacli
bridge; the Portuguese were defeated by ments stationed in the communication to
Don John, of Austria, in 1661. It is 175 protect the attack.
miles S. by W. of Madrid, 170 N. of Cadiz, “ Brigade-Major Wilde, was unfortu
120 N. by W. of Seville, and 140 E. of nately killed by a cannon-shot after the Lisbon. 'Badajoz contain six monasterie, work was in our possession ; and Majors the same number of nunneries, and a popuShaw and Rudd, and the Honourable Cap- lation of seven or eight thousand person. tain Powys, were wounded, the latter on The fortifications are partly ancient and the parapet of the work, which he had been
partly modern ; the fine Roman bridge the first to mount by the ladders.
over the Guadiana is defended by a tete de “ We thus established' ourselves in La pont, on which a few guns were mounted. Picurina, on the night of the 25th, and On the right bank of the river stands the opened the second parallel within three fort of St Christoval, which commands the hundred yards of the body of the place ; in city. Badajoz was twice besieged by the which two batteries, were commenced last Portuguese, but was not taken by them. night.
(An Extraordinary Gazette has beeir re" It 'is impossible that I can do jus. ceived to-day, (27th) containing accounts tice to the zeal, activity, and indefatigable of the taking of Badajoz, by storm, on the, labour of the officers and soldiers with evening of the 6th instant; these de which these operations have been carried on tails we must defer till our next Number.] in the most unfavourable weather. The Guadiana swelled so considerably, that,
After the reduction of Valencia, the