Monday, December 28, 2009

Action at Fallshof River crossing, 28 April 1813.

From: Marshal Dubonnet, Duc du Quax
Before Mockern
30 April 1813

To: Marshal Berthier, Prince de Neuchatel et de Wagram

In accordance with the Imperial Orders I received (25 April) from your HQ (dated 22 April), I at once marched with the XIV Corps under command to the line of the River Falsover. Arrived there late afternoon near the village of Falshof, and the place appearing to be empty of enemy, I at once began crossing the stream, but a heavy, though brief, fall of rain at the close of the day halted operations until they could be put in effect the following day.

A bright, fine dawn disclosed that the enemy had during the hours of darkness occupied the Falshof village, and heights beyond, in considerable strength. We should have to force the ridge, and that supposing we could do even so much as to retain our rather tenuous bridgehead.

The situation may be seen in the Colonel Pernod's accompanying map (unavailable until I can sort out how to upload hand drawn maps into this thing).

The Order of Battle of XIV Corps is attached here, my having placed a riverbank under the command of the Infantry divisional commanders, with Morlot commanding the cavalry in the bridgehead as they come available.

Gen-Officer Commanding XIV Corps: Marshal Dubonnet, Duc de Quax

1st Infantry Division (Genl. Cabernet-Sauvignon, in Bridgehead):
13th Light (centre), 30th Line (right) , 61st Line (left); 1x8pr bty; 2nd Div. 8pr bty attached.

2nd Infantry Division (Genl Beaujolais, North Bank):
17th Light, 34th Line, 40th Line, 64th Line, 88th Line. Artillery detached to 1st Division. Corps Artilley (2x12 Batteries) attached to 2nd Division.

Cavalry Division (Genl Morlot):
7th, 8th Cuirassiers*, 11th Dragoons, 9th Hussars* (attached. The units marked * were in the bridgehead.

Reconnaissances and field glasses disclosed an enemy not far short of our numbers, lacking something of our weight in horse and guns, and whose deficiency in numbers lay solely in the infantry arm. Given the division of our Corps, the stream that divioded us being, though narow, deep and swift-flowing - altogether uncrossable in the localty but by the two rather tatterdermalian masonry bridges.

Apprehending, therefore, that the Allies would make a serious effort to eliminate the Bridgehead altogether, I ordered that one Corps battery be placed om the near banks of the stream to cover the flanks. I was determined that I would reach by last light the distant ridgeline whatever Marshal von Jaxen might have to say to the matter...

To be continued...

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