the intrepid Ney put a stop to the confusion. The right
and left wings of the Russian army had passed by the city,
and saw us go by; they were stopped by a few rounds from
our guns, but the rout was complete.
we reached the mountain of Wilna the confusion was at
its height. All the material of the army and the Emperor's
carriages were on the ground. The soldiers helped themselves
to gold and silver plate. All the chests and casks were
burst open. What a quantity of plunder was left on that
spot! No, a thousand times no; never was there such a
marched on to Kowno, which place the King of Naples reached
on the 11th of December, at midnight; he left there on
the 13th at five o'clock in the morning, and went to Gumbinnen
with the Guard.
spite of the efforts of Marshal Ney, seconded by General
Gerard, Kowno at once fell into the hands of the Russians.
A retreat was urgently necessary; Marshal Ney effected
it at nine o'clock at night, after having destroyed all
that remained of our artillery, ammunition, and provisions,
and having set fire to the bridges.
may be said in praise of Marshal Ney that he kept the
enemy at bay at Kowno by his own bravery. I saw him take
a musket and five men and face the enemy. The country
ought to be grateful for such men.
had the good fortune to be under the command of Prince
Eugene, who made every effort to reunite our scattered
Koenigsberg we came upon some Prussian sentries, who insulted
our unfortunate soldiers, who were without arms; all the
doors were closed against them, and they died on the pavement
of cold and hunger.
went at once with my two comrades to the town hall. No
one was allowed to approach. I showed my decoration and
my epaulets, and was allowed to enter through a window.
Three billets for lodgings were given me, and we had the
one spoke to us; they only stared at us. They were at
dinner. Seeing this indifference on their pan, I took
out 20 francs, and said, "Have something got for us to
eat; we will give you 20 francs a day."
"All right," said the host. "I will have a fire made in
the stove in this room, and give you some straw and some
coverings." Some broth was served us immediately, and
we were fed for 30 francs a day, not including the coffee
(a franc for each man).
Prussian was kind enough to stable our horses and feed
them. The poor beasts had had no hay and oats since they
left Wilna; how glad they were to bite into a bundle of
hay! And we, so happy to sleep on some straw in a warm