(From Istoriya tsarstvovaniya Imperatora Aleksandra I i Rossii v ego vremya, by Modest Ivanovich Bogdanovich, 1869. Vol. II, Chap. XXIII, pg. et seq. 435.)

War Against Austria, 1809.

After meeting in Erfurt and sealing an alliance with Emperor Alexander, Napoleon considered himself completely secure on the German side and set off for Spain to personally manage the military operations in progress there. The arrival of the great military commander in the Iberian Peninsula was a signal for new victories. But while Napoleon and a significant part of his armed forces were drawn away to the periphery of Europe, Austria, which had used the three years since the signing of the Peace of Pressburg to prepare for a new struggle, planned to take advantage of the temporary weakness of the French in Germany in order to recover her losses. Though having let slip the chance to take part in the coalition of 1806 and 1807, the Austrian government still had not dispelled the conqueror’s suspicians. Emperor Francis’ attempt to come to the conference at Erfurt was rebuffed by Napoleon, and a peaceable letter by the Austrian monarch delivered to Napoleon by Graf Vincent was followed by an answer full of bitter reproaches. The Austrian government supposed, and not without reason, that once Napoleon had ended the war in Spain he would turn to Germany with the full mass of his forces and complete its enslavement. Prussia’s poor circumstances and France’s close alliance with Russia did not permit Emperor Francis to count on help from his neighbors. The only hope left was in developing his own resources, but this was made difficult by the disordered state of his finances and the poor state of the army as demonstrated by bitter experience in the 1805 war. Lack of funds might be helped by English subsidies, and in regard to reorganizing the armed forces, Austria took the important step of establishing a militia patterned after the Prussian Landwehr, which gave the Austrians the ability to field at the beginning of 1809 a large and first-rate army. Not satisfied by all this, the Vienna court broke with its centuries old politics based on the deathlike inertia of her subject peoples, turning to its subjects for support and appealing to all of Germany to make a united stand against the common enemy in the name of the freedom and independence of a common fatherland. The Spanish example was convincing!

Austria’s preparations for a new war could not be hid from Napoleon, who on his side took measures to repell the blows that threatened to fall. As early as August 1808, he directed the members of the Confederation of the Rhine to bring their contingents to a wartime footing, and at the same time demanded that the Viennese cabinet recognize his brother Joseph as the Spanish king, to which he received an evasive answer that confirmed his suspicions of the Austrian government’s sincerity.

In undertaking war against Napoleon the Vienna court was sure of Russia’s neutrality. The reason for such a conviction, besides the age-old connections of the two powers, could have been information sent by the Austrian embassy in St. Petersburg regarding hostile Russian attitudes toward Napoleon. Our countrymen living at that time in Vienna gave the Austrians similar hopes. Emperor Alexander wrote in vain several times to the court in Vienna on his obligations in his relationship to France, in vain he brought this to the attention of Austria’s ambassador extraordinary, Prince Schwarzenberg (later field marshal), when he arrived in St. Petersburg. The sovereign told him directly: “I will always act as one with Napoleon if Austria is thinking of attacking him, but I will join you if Napoleon attacks you without cause. I am convinced of the soundness of the policy I have adopted so much that I would not think it unreasonable even if Austria and France allied themselves against me, if it came into my head to upset our countries’ balance of power that I strive to maintain with all the resources at my disposal.” (Note 1.) Emperor Alexander proposed mutual action between the St. Petersburg and Tuileries cabinets to preserve the integrity of Austrian possessions. But all his efforts to induce Austria to maintain the peace failed. The Vienna court had gone too far to be able to turn back. Bringing the army to a wartime standing cost an enormous sum which could only be recovered in the event of a successful war and the return of territory lost in 1805. True, in conversation with Emperor Alexander Schwarzenberg said that it would be enough to satisfy Austria if the Confederation of the Rhine contingents were disbanded and French troops were withdrawn to the Rhine’s left bank. (Note 2.) But could such concessions be expected from Napoleon in the face of the Austrian government’s armed threats?

In March of 1809 mutual disagreements between the Vienna and Tuileries courts came to such a point that a French officer traveling from Vienna with despatches from France’s chargé d'affaires to the ambassador in Munich was detained in Braunau. Austrian officials unsealed his papers and sent them to Vienna. In retaliation for this violation of the law of nations a courier sent from Vienna to the Austrian ambassador in Paris was intercepted in Nancy. Austrian forces, without a declaration of war, then marched to the empire’s borders. Archduke Charles with the main body of troops invaded Bavaria. Archduke John entered Lombardy, Archduke Ferdinand—Galicia, and separated columns—the Tirol and Saxony. The Austrians counted on the French and their allied forces being unable to concentrate before July and planned on taken Napoleon by surprise, but he defeated the Austrian army in several encounters around Regensburg and already in April occupied Vienna (30 April/12 May).

Earlier, in expectation of the opening of hostilities between France and Austria, Emperor Alexander considered in necessary to gather an army on his empire’s western border. It consisted of an operational corps and a reserve. The first contained 4 divisions numbering 24 two-battalion regiments in all, several cavalry regiments, 8 artillery companies, and 40 horse artillery guns. In the reserve were the infantry regiments’ third battalions, the fifth squadrons of cuirassier and dragoon regiments, the ninth and tenth squadrons of hussar regiments, and part of the artillery. A special cavalry reserve consisted of 2 divisions which contained 11 regiments with 40 horse artillery guns. (Note 3.)

General-of-Infantry Prince Sergei Thedorovich Golitsyn, who had distinguished himself by military service under Empress Catherine and wore the star of the order of St. George, was named commander-in-chief of all these troops, numbering some 70,000. The orders given to him made the following dispositions: occupy Galicia with 3 divisions and leave the fourth (7th Division) in Belostok to guard Russian territory against the Duchy of Warsaw; have the cavalry reserve follow behind the army, and deploy the infantry reserve at Dubno; when crossing the frontier, the troops were to have with them ten days of provisions and subsequently live off the land. (Note 4.) Emperor Alexander expected that the Austrians would not resist our forces, but in the event of hostile actions on their part, Prince Golitsyn was allowed to make his way forward by force of arms. In regard to the possibility of an offer by the Warsaw government to act jointly against the Austrians, it was ordered that agreement would only be given when imporatant advantages to Russian military operations could be expected. In general joint action with Warsaw troops was to be avoided and they were only to be supported indirectly. (Note 5.)

Emperor Alexander was already at war with England, Sweden, and Turkey, and having undertaken a fourth war with Austria, he informed Napoleon of the fact in a letter sent with Captain Chernyshev (later minister of war), who found the French army’s headquarters at Sankt-Pelten near Vienna. Gladdened by the answer of our Sovereign, Napoleon wanted to add luster in the eyes of Europe to Chernyshev’s arrival and ordered that it be announced that he had received “aide-de-camp to the Russian emperor, Colonel Graf Chernyshev.” In the beginning (middle) of May, when Prince Golitsyn’s operational corps was still on the right bank of the Bug River, the Austrian corps under Archduke Ferdinand, having occupied Warsaw and all of the duchy along the Vistula left bank, turned toward Thorn in order to add weight to the Vienna court’s negotiations with Prussia to take part in the war against France. Learning of this, Napoleon ordered the commander of the Warsaw corps, Prince Poniatowski, to leave the duchy to the Austrians and move into Galicia and their lines communication. The Galicians met Poniatowski’s troops as liberators, and the Warsaw vanguard entered Lemberg. Poniatowski with his corps’ main body, however, occupied Zamość and the Sandomir fortress and deployed near Sandomir on the Vistula’s right bank near the town of Trzesna.

Prince Golitsyn’s troops, numbering some 32,000 men (Note 6.) with 102 guns, crossed the Bug on 22 May (3 June). Once Emperor Alexander received the report that his forces had crossed the border he informed Napoleon in a letter sent with General-Adjutant Prince Gagarin. At the same time as Archduke Ferdinand was moving toward Sandomir after vacating that part of the Duchy of Warsaw that he had occupied, Poniatowski sent General Pelletier, the French commissioner assigned to him, to Prince Golitsyn to urge him to cooperate with the Warsaw forces. Golitsyn, carrying out his instructions, sent Suvorov’s division to Lublin to help the Warsaw corps, having first ordered him to “limit himself to defensive actions.” In Suvorov’s written note to the commander of his vanguard, Graf Sievers, were the directives: “If the Warsaw forces attack, we will not help them, but if they are attacked, then we will help.” Looking for cooperation from the Russians, Prince Poniatowski avoided battle with Archduke Ferdinand and crossed to the right bank of the San , destroyed the bridge over this river, and left the defense of Sandomir to a small garrison. Urging Prince Suvorov to join the Warsaw forces as quickly as possible, Poniatowski wrote the following to him: “Anyone bearing your name is someone who needs no prompting other than the call of glory. Once you inaugurate your operations with a brilliant victory over the enemy, you will have requited the memory of illustrious forebear.” (Note 7.) Prince Suvorov ordered the number of days for his troops to rest to be cut short (Note 8.) and answered Poniatowski: “Be assured of by sincere readiness to have the satisfaction of fighting alongside you and of showing you that the honor of an upright Russian consists of carrying out the sacred will of his Monarch. My soldiers are confident and desire only one thing—to disinguish themselves.” Suvorov’s small vanguard (Note 9.) joined up with Poniatowski and Suvorov himself with the 9th Division deployed ten miles from the Warsaw troops’ camp, but the vanguard commander, Graf Sievers, received the order to not place himself under Poniatowski and conform to his movements only if he was attacked by the Austrians. However, the appearance of the Russians in the theater of operations was enough to keep Archduke Ferdinand from making attempts against the Warsaw corps. The Austrians tried to enter into communications with the leaders of our forces several times, declaring that their government did not consider Emperor Alexander to be its enemy, and that they had orders to give free passage to the Russian army. (Note 10.)

Contrarily, there was a coldness between our forces and those of Warsaw that gradually turned into open enmity. To our allies, dreaming of restoring Poland to its former boundaries, the entry of the Russian vanguard into Galicia appeared as an encroachment on their rights. But at the same time Poniatowski continually complained to Napoleon of the slow progress of the Russian force, which in his words was purposely being sent on roundabout routes. Like all of his countrymen, Prince Poniatowski considered a rift between Russia and France as being the sole means of restoring Poland. Prince Golitsyn, wanting to both dispel this misunderstanding and prevent the Austrians from establishing themselves on the right bank of the Vistula, advanced the divisions of Leviz and Graf Lambert to the San to link up with Suvorov’s division. The cavalry reserves moved from Ustilug to the same place (Note 11.) while the infantry reserves crossed toward Brest and Ustilug. On June 3(15), near Ulanow, there took place the first skirmish between cossacks and Austrian hussars. Our casualties consisted of one killed and three wounded who were taken prisoner but returned on that same evening. This was accompanied by an Austrian Major Haugwitz being sent to meet our vanguard as a parliamentarian. He announced in the name of the commander of the advance force, General Schauroter, that while expecting to face Warsaw troops the Austrians suddenly ran into the Russians, whom they had no intention of fighting. (Note 12.) On the next day, the Austrians compelled the Sandomir commandant to capitulate, which caused Napoleon, basing his information on a report from Poniatowski, to complain to Emperor Alexander of conduite traitresse (traitorous conduct) on the part of Prince Golitsyn. Avoiding a meeting with the Russians, Archduke Ferdinand crossed to the Vistula’s left bank at Sandomir and ordered his rearguard to withdraw to the same extent that our forces advanced, not initiating any fighting. Meanwhile, at a conference of Prince Poniatowski with Prince Golitsyn, it was decided that Warsaw troops would operate along the right bank of the upper Vistula and the Russians along the left. On 9 (18) June Prince Golitsyn left Leviz’s division on the San and crossed at that point to Ulanow to keep the Austrians who occupied Sandomir under observation, and on the 18th (30th) he was situated at Rzeszow. The day before General Meller-Zakomelskii entered Lemberg after a small engagement with the Austrians. (Note 13.) Prince Golitsyn was forced to halt at Rzeszow because of shortages in provisions and in order to subdue unrest in Galicia, where the population was giving itself over to all kinds of rebellious activity. “Our allies,” he wrote, “worry me more than the enemy.” (Note 14.)

And in fact new reasons for disagreement continuously arose between the allies. When Lemberg was occupied by our forces, Prince Golitsyn left the Austrian officials in place to control the district under his overall direction. Dissatisfied with such an arrangement, Prince Poniatowski maintained that Lemberg, as a town previously taken by Roznecki’s troops, should be controled by Warsaw authorities, and obtained through Marshal Berthier an order from Napoleon to have the Galicians swear an oath of allegiance to the French Emperor, submit to him for law and justice, recruit troops for the French army, and replace the Austrian coat of arms with French eagles. Upon being notified of this by Poniatowski, Prince Golitsyn replied that “the orders of the emperor of the French might be carried out only where there were Warsaw troops, and not in territory occupied by the Russians, in which without an order from His Majesty Emperor Alexander an oath to Napoleon would not be allowed, nor the replacement of the Austrian coat of arms by the French, nor the recruitment of troops.” Poniatowski insisted on the immediate execution of the will of Napoleon, but Golitsyn did not allow this and wrote to Emperor Alexander that the Galicians, with few exceptions, considered themselves fortunate to have come under Russian authority. (Note 15.)

As early as 4 (16) June, Prince Golitsyn reported on this to the Sovereign, writing:

...there’s no question of extreme political views, in my opinion, in asking why not accept the title that the whole population is unanimous in offering? Moreover, this measure would combine the benefits of a sufficiently large kingdom that would from any aspect be no different from a Russian province.

Neither do I see any harm that can come in the future for Russia, if the Sovereign, having accepted for himself the title of the king of Poland, would lay down that henceforth for all time Russian Sovereigns would be at the same time kings of Poland having the right to designate a viceroy to administer the kingdom in his place, with all the authority of All-Russian Sovereigns.

This kingdom would be formed from the entire former Polish state excluding Belorussia and the territory that went into the making of Kiev and Podolia provinces.

Without any doubt, this kingdom could maintain 100,000 troops and all the officials required to administer it, and at the same time render a significant part of its revenues to the imperial treasury...

Emperor Alexander ordered Graf Rumyantsov to convey in his name gratitude to Prince Golitsyn for a new demonstration of his zeal for Sovereign and Fatherland, and relay to him the following observations:

Regardless of how flattering the acquisition of Poland in all its expanse would be, the Sovereign Emperor, not seeking honors for himself, turned special attention to what the consequences of this acquisition would be for Russia, and the following questions arise. With the restoration of the Polish kingdom in its original size would not the former Polish districts previously acquired by Russia have to revert back? Could the constancy of the Polish nation be relied upon? And under the guise of their fervent desire to unite with Russia under the scepter of His Majesty, would not the thought arise of returning those areas which we have obtained, and which then be taken away from us completely?

The Sovereign then brought up Ireland and Hungary as examples of the instability of states under more than one flag and consisting of different legal rights. He presented the contrary in the case of Belorussia, the whole of which in a short time had become a completely Russian province.

An obvious and inescapable consequence of the restoration of the Polish kingdom and its inclusion into the Russian empire would be that the desire to mutually support each other that naturally arose between the powers that partitioned Poland would completely disappear.

These are the reasons why H.M. is satsifed with the portion of the former Poland that has come to us, and prefers to see it in its present condition, and does not see the acquisition of Poland in its original form as advantageous for the Empire. This is not even to mention how ill-fitting it would be for the honor and dignity as well as the security of Russia if a restoration of the Polish kingdom included its incorporation of regions of Belorussia and Kiev and Podolia provinces.

In addition, considering the present problematic state of Europe, H.M. considers that on the one hand, taking under advisement Your Excellency’s proposal, it is possible to flatter the Poles with and hope of restoring their fatherland and keep them quiet and obedient, and on the other—that in the contrary case they may turn to Napoleon to ask for the formation of a combined state of the Duchy of Warsaw and Galicia, which would be extremely detrimental for us. (Note: the italicized words were written by the Sovereign in his reply to Graf Rumyantsov in place of the words: which would difficult to oppose.) The Sovereign Emperor desires that Your Excellency make absolutely sure that the Warsaw and Galician magnates have a clear and firm desire to place themselves under the scepter of H.M., and let it be known to those who are near at hand to yourself that if they are truly intent upon forming an actual kingdom out of the Duchy of Warsaw and the Galician principalities under the name of a King of Poland and upon permanently delivering its scepter to the Sovereign Emperor and his successors, then you are almost certain that such an action on their part accompanied by the proposal would not be unsuccessful, and that you on your part would take it upon yourself to be a zealous proponent in this business... (Note 16.)

Following this the Sovereign instructed Prince Golitsyn to retain the current administration in Galicia after having replaced a proportion of the officials with others from the local population, of good character, and who previously have not been utilized by the Austrians nor by Prince Poniatowski. (Note 17.)

Events on the Danube forced the Vienna court to abandon hopes of conquering territory and turn its efforts to self protection. Archduke Ferdinand received orders to move into Moravia. Shortly before this, on 20 June (2 July) Prince Poniatowski crossed from Pulaw to Sandomir, while Prince Golitsyn on 24 June (6 July)--the same day as Napoleon’s victory at Wagram—moved from Rzeszow to Tarnow. Upon receiving news there of the forthcoming Austrian withdrawal from Kraków, he directed Suvorov to go there by forced marches, declare himself the military governor of Kraków, leave the current local administration in place, and not allow to come there any other troops, even those of our allies, without his commander’s permission. (Note 18.) Prince Suvorov sent Lieutenant Colonel Stackelberg ahead with a squadron of Novorossiisk dragoons and half a sotnia of cossacks, ordering him to hurry to Kraków and occupy Podgurze with the goal of keeping the Austrians from destroying the bridge connecting this suburb with the town. Covering 40 miles in 18 hours, Stackelberg entered Podgurze on 2 (14) June and scattered the Austrian hussars he found trying to burn the bridge. In this affair, the most important that took place during our force’s entire campaign, two cossacks were killed and Stackelberg himself and a cossack lieutenant received saber wounds. Graf Sievers came to Kraków the next day with the Novorossiisk Dragoon Regiment and four cossack sotnias, followed by a battalion of jägers. Being in the meantime notified of the approach of Warsaw forces, Sivers went out to meet them and inform their commander that the Russians had occupied the city, but he could not find them and returned to Kraków where he did discover several squadrons of Warsaw cavalry entering by another gate. Soon about 10,000 Warsaw troops appeared. Seeing a squadron of Novorossiisk dragoons barring the street, our allies took up their muskets and made clear their readiness to make way by force of arms. Conceding to superiority of numbers, Graf Sievers allowed the Warsaw troops to enter the city where they were greeted by the inhabitants with wild enthusiasm as they formed up on the streets opposite the Russians. When Prince Poniatowski arrived in Kraków Graf Sievers informed him of all that had occurred and requested in the name of the Sovereign that he lead his troops out of the city. Poniatowski vehemently replied that the Austrians had conceded Kraków to him in writing, but Sievers pointed out that the city belonged to us by right of conquest bought by the blood of our soldiers. Finally after long debate it was agreed that each side would leave in Kraków one battalion and one squadron with four guns, and that the rest of the troops would quarter themselves in the surrounding villages. That same evening, on Poniatowski’s orders, the city’s inhabitants swore allegiance to Napoleon, and in his name a new administration was established and French eagles replaced the Austrian coat of arms. (Note 19.) The next day, 5 (17) July, Graf Sievers received from Prince Suvorov, who by now had arrived with a division at Nepolomice, about 15 miles from Kraków, orders forbidding him to abandon any guard posts he had occupied in the city. “Your actions,” wrote Suvorov, “are worthy of a Russian.” (Note 20.) In a report to Marshal Berthier, Prince Poniatowski distorted the truth and wrote that our forces had occupied Kraków by secret agreement with the Austrians. Meanwhile friction between Russian and Warsaw troops increased every day. Prince Golitsyn wrote to the Sovereign, “The insolence of the Warsaw troops exceeds all bounds... Mutual dislike prevails not only between the officers, but even between the lower ranks of each army.” (Note 21.) There were duels between Russian and Warsaw officers in Kraków and other places. Our so-called allies enticed Russian soldiers to join their army, and in contravention of the agreement of 9 October 1808 between Russian and Saxony, Prince Poniatowski not only did not return these deserters, but made a belittling justification for his refusal, saying “Russians are our allies; so why shouldn’t they serve with us?” In the theater a curtain was hung up depicting a rising sun, and from a coffin lit with its rays arose the King of Poland, and rivers marked the Dnieper and Dvina showed the Polish borders. “I cannot tell Your Majesty,” reported Prince Golitsyn, “how many humiliations our troops have to endure from the Varsovians. I can only say that if I were younger I would have run out of patience.” (Note 22.) In an attempt to restore harmony between the allies, he ordered Prince Suvorov, who was with his division in Wieliczka and who was distinguished by his charming manners, to move to Kraków and take command of the Russian troops there. Our boisterous allies, in trepidation of the name of the famous military leader who had put an end to Poland, quieted down for awhile. (Note 23.)

Upon the conclusion of peace between Austria and Napoleon and his allies, the Warsaw Poles did not conceal their hostility to “the Muscovites,” intercepting our diplomatic officials and opening their despatches, and inducing Аustrian deserters being convoyed by Russian troops to escape. When the convoy troops demanded help they were answered with abuse and threats. Recruitment continued in Galicia, and the Warsaw forces, increased by deserters and vagrants, grew to 80,000 men. (Note 24.) Prince Poniatowski, who before bore the modest title of chief of Duchy of Warsaw’s armed forces and later that of commander of the 9th Corps of the Grand Armée, began to flatter himself as the “commander-in-chief of the Polish army.” Prince Golitsyn wrote to him, “I cannot recognize Poland, long extinct, nor a Polish army; I only recognize the armed forces of the Duchy of Warsaw. These were established by the Peace of Tilsit, which mentioned nothing of any Poland.” (Note 25.) Prince Poniatowski replied, “I cannot believe that you have instructions to dispute the Emperor of the French’s right to name the corps that make up his Grand Armée.” (Note 26.) When Prince Golitsyn learned of Napoleon’s wish that a different commander of Russian forces in Galicia be named, he asked the Sovereign to release him from command of the corps. (Note 27.) Emperor Alexander answered, “I am pleased to see from your letter the nature of the forces that form the basis for your resignation from command of your army. I recognize the whole value of your sacrifices. However, I do not find the least reason to accept your request. You acted on the authority of My orders; the consequences must revert to Me and not to you personally. Anyone familiar with the strict rules of military discipline cannot imagine that your course of actions was not directed by your superior.” (Note 28.)

Meanwhile disorders in Galicia were reflected in the former Polish provinces in Russia. Several thousand of the petty nobility there prepared for an uprising and many of them fled across the border. In the Tarnopol district Warsaw recruiting agents created complete anarchy. In order to put an end to this, the 25th Division was ordered sent there, and Dokhturov’s 7th Division was transferred from the Belostok district to Galicia. Caulincourt [French ambassador in St. Petersburg] was asked by the Russian government to request plenipotentiary authority to conclude a preliminary convention on Galicia’s future fate. Graf Rumyantsov wrote to him: “Since the Treaty of Tilsit Russia has made all possible sacrifices to maintain its alliance with Napoleon: curtailment of overseas trade, reduction of tariff revenues, discount of the value of paper currency, constraints on industry and commerce, and the declaration of war on Sweden and England. Emperor Alexander desires nothing so much as to continue faithful to the alliance, the continuance of which is threatened by the disturbances that have arisen in certain districts of the former Poland. Therefor it is necessary to decide the destiny of this region by a convention that might strengthen the alliance and guarantee Russia’s peaceful possession of the provinces obtained through the Polish partitions.” (Note 29.)

During negotiations for peace between Napoleon and Austria, Emperor Alexander did not name a plenipotentiary for attendance at the congress, but left it to his ally to act with regard for the good of Russia, not losing sight of what had been agreed to at Tilsit and Erfurt relating to the former Poland. (Note 30.) From the subsequent correspondence between the St.-Petersburg and Tuileries courts, it is clear that the Sovereign wanted to avoid any issue that might bring up the question of that extinct country. He refused all compensation from the war, provided that Galicia remained as before, under Austrian control. (Note 31.)

Napoleon did not fulfill Emperor Alexander’s wishes. By the Treaty of Schönbrunn>, 2 (14) October 1809, of 3,500,000 souls subject to Austria, about 1,500,000 inhabitants of western (New) Galicia and the Zamość disrict, along with the city of Kraków and joint rights with Austria to exploit the salt mines at Wieliczka, were added to the Duchy of Warsaw. Russia received the eastern part of Old Galicia (the Tarnopol district), with a population of 400,000 souls, but without the city of Brody. (Note 32.) The boundaries of this region were defined by a special convention concluded at Lemberg on 7 (19) March 1810. (Note 33.)

Emperor Alexander rendered Napoleon a great service by taking part in the war against Austria. It can be said with absolute certainty that if Russia had remained neutral in 1809, then the Vienna court would have been able to use Europe’s general antipathy toward France to avoid signing such a disadvantageous peace treaty. The compensation received by Russia was insignificant and increased the hostile feelings that arose in Austria from our actions in favor of Napoleon. The Russian monarch was unable to acquire any important advantage at the expense of his former ally Emperor Francis, but his worry for Russia’s welfare and internal tranquility led him to be dissatisfied with the Duchy of Warsaw’s agrandizement. Chancellor Graf Rumyantsov wrote to the French resident in St. Petersburg, Caulaincourt, that adding some two million subjects to the duchy could give rise in its habitants to unrealizable dreams of the Polish kingdom’s restoration. He demanded in the name of the Sovereign that the French representative obtain authority to sign an act that would unequivocally and permanently guarantee Russia’s peaceful possession of the provinces that had reverted from Poland, and positively assure the inhabitants of these provinces and of the Duchy of Warsaw that its increase in size would never lead to a restoration of the Polish kingdom. (Note 34.) At Napoleon’s diretion, the French foreign minister, Champagny, replied to Graf Rumyantsov that “gratitude, the first virtue of Monarchs, and honor, their first law, forbade Emperor Napoleon to leave in the hands of the Austrians a country that rose up as one against them.” He continued, “His Majesty formed his actions with regard to the views of his ally, Emperor Alexander, and joined western Galicia to the Duchy of Warsaw which is a possession of the King of Saxony, famous for his love of peace and learned character. Emperor Napoleon not only does not want bring up the though, alien to him, of restoring Poland, but is also ready to cooperate with Emperor Alexander in anything that might wipe away its memory and extinguish the name of Poland and the Poles, not only in all government documents but even in History, thereby putting an end to dreams more harmful to the Poles themselves than alarming to the governments to which they are subject.” (Note 35.)

Napoleon himself, wishing to dispel rumours of disagreements arising between Russia and France, stated in a ceremonial meeting of the Corps L é gislatif on 3 December N.S. 1809, “My ally and friend, the Russian emperor, added to his vast empire Finland, Moldavia, Walachia, and part of Galicia. I do not contest anything that might serve the good of Russia. My feelings toward her distinguished Monarch are in harmony with by policies.” (Note 36.) As he wanted to convince Emperor Alexander of the sincerity of his assurances, Napoleon gave Caulaincourt full authority to conclude the convention requested by our Sovereign. According to the terms of this act, signed by the French ambassador on 24 December 1809 (5 January 1810), it was determined that: 1) a kingdom of Poland would never be restored; 2) Both sides would take all measures to ensure that the name of Poland would not be applied to any part of its former regions and be forever wiped from official documents; 3) Knightly orders that existed in Poland would be forever extinguished; 4) Russian subjects from the provinces reverted from Poland would not be accepted into the service of the Duchy of Warsaw; 5) The duchy would not be enlarged by the addition of regions that had formerly belonged to Poland; 6) Russia and the duchy did not have joint citizens; and 7) Ratification of this convention would take place not more than 50 days after its conclusion.

To maintain peaceful relations between the two great powers of the European continent only required that Napoleon ratify the convention signed by Caulaincourt. But Napoleon, the ruler of 72 million inhabitants of France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the Duchy of Warsaw (Note 37), the man who had weakened and reduced Prussia and Austria, could not bear that any state could remain independent of him. He wanted to maintain the ability to directly harm Russia and with this goal he refused to ratify the convention.

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  1. Highest rescript to Graf Rumyantsov, 2 February 1809 (o.s.).

  2. Bignon, Histoire de France sous Napoléon. VIII. 177.

  3. Composition of the infantry of the operational corps under General-of-Infantry Prince Golitsyn.

9th Division, Lieutenant General Suvorov.

10th Division, Lieutenant General Leviz.

18th Division, Lieutenant General Gorchakov.

Reserve infantry divisions were commanded by:

7th and 10th, Major General Ignatev.

9th and 18th, Major General Yermolov.

The cavalry reserve consisting of the divisions of Baron Korf and Meller-Zakomelskii had the following regiments: Cuirassiers – Her Majesty’s, Yekaterinoslav, and Order; Dragoons – Riga, Kazan, Kiev, and Pskov; Lancer – Polish, Tatar, and Lithuanian; Yelisavetgrad Hussars. A total of 60 squadrons with 40 horse artillery guns.

  1. Highest rescript, 6 May (o.s.).

  2. Graf Rumyantsov’s letter to Prince Golitsyn, 6 May (o.s.).

  3. Leviz’s 10th Division crossed at Drohiczin; Prince Gorchakov’s 18th Division (later Graf Lambert’s), at Brest, and the 9th under Prince Suvorov at Ustilug. A total of 34 battalions, 44 squadrons, 102 guns. The mounted reserve moved to Ustilug. Dokhturov with the 7th Division remained at Belostok.

  4. Prince Poniatowski’s letter to Prince Suvorov, 28 May (9 June), from Trzesna.

  5. Prince Suvorov’s report to Prince Golitsyn, 28 May, from Lublin.

  6. The vanguard of Suvorov’s division under Sievers: 2 jäger battalions , 4 hussar squadrons, a pioneer company, 4 cossack sotnias, and 10 horse artillery guns.

  7. Prince Golitsyn’s report to the Sovereign, 4 June (o.s.).

When our forces were still on the Bug River, Prince Gorchakov with the 18th Division at Brest received the following letter from the commander-in-chief of Austrian forces in Galicia, Archduke Ferdinand:

Taking advantage of a courier passing through Brest, I wish to inform you of the successes Emperor Francis’ armies in Italy and Germany, the details of which you will in the accompanying bulletins. Knowing your frame of mind when considering events that concern the whole of Europe, for which the Russian army recently fought so bravely, I am confident that you will take part in events that must, I hope, have an influence upon the opinions of governments. I am very glad to be in your proximity and with impatience await the time when our brave troops will again join together on the field of glory.

Prince Gorchakov replied to the archduke:

    I do not delay in declaring to Your Imperial Highness the most active respect for the flattering message you delivered to me, and I congratulate you for the glorious successes obtained by your August brother, and most especially for your own successes. Showered with the favors of Emperor Francis and His Highness the Palantine of Hungary, I pray for the well-being of your Most August House. It is to be desired that our brave troops act together on the field of honor. Impatiently I await the time I join Your Highness with the soldiers I have the honor to command.

Brest. 22 April 1809.

Gorchakov’s letter was intercepted by Warsaw agents and the original sent by Poniatowski to Napoleon and a copy to Caulaincourt, who brought it to the attention of Emperor Alexander. The Sovereign ordered Prince Gorchakov arrested (in whose place the 18th Division was given to Graf Lambert). Gorchakov’s justification was that he considered Austria a friendly power and sent the letter to the archduke at a time when the break with that nation had not yet been announced. Nevertheless, the sentence of the General-Auditoriat, confirmed by the Sovereign, was that he be separated from the service and forbidden from traveling to either of the two capitals [Moscow and St. Petersburg].

  1. Prince Golitsyn’s orders to Generals Leviz, Meller-Zakomelskii, and Baron Korf, 3 and 4 June (o.s.).

  2. Graf Sievers’ report to Prince Suvorov, 3 June (o.s.).

  3. General Meller-Zakomelskii’s report to Prince Golitsyn, 17 June (o.s.).

  4. Prince Golitsyn’s report to Field Marshal Prince Prozorovskii, 11 June (o.s.).

  5. Prince Golitsyn’s report to the Sovereign, 4 and 23 June (o.s.).

  6. Extract from Graf Rumyantsov’s letter to Prince Golitsyn, 15 June (o.s.) (Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). A note in the tsar’s handwriting instructed Rumyantsov: “I ask Your Excellency to separate this despatch from the rest and keep it under your personal lock and key.”

  7. Highest rescript to Prince Golitsyn, 8 July, and Rumyantsov’s letter to him, 2 July (o.s.).

  8. Prince Gorchakov’s instructions to Prince Suvorov, 1 (13) July.

  9. Prince Golitsyn’s report to the Sovereign, 5 July (o.s.).

  10. Prince Suvorov’s instructions to Graf Sievers, 4 July (o.s.).

  11. From Prince Golitsyn’s report of 5 July (o.s.).

  12. From Prince Golitsyn’s report of 11August (o.s.).

  13. General Mikhaiovskii-Danilevskii, Opisanie voiny protiv Avstrii v 1809 godu. (Manuscript.)

  14. Graf Rumyantsov’s report to State Councilor Anshtet, 16 September.

  15. Prince Golitsyn’s letter to Prince Poniatowski, 21 July (o.s.).

  16. From Prince Poniatowski’s letter to Prince Golitsyn, 24 July (5 August).

  17. Prince Golitsyn’s report to the Sovereign, 2 August (o.s.).

  18. Highest rescript, 14 August.

  19. Graf Rumyantsov’s letter to Caulaincourt, 15 (27) July.

  20. Emperor Alexander’s letter to Napoleon, 9 August (o.s.)

  21. Emperor Alexander’s letter to Napoleon.

  22. Treaty of Schönbrunn, 14 October (n.s.), signed by the French foreign minister, the Duke de Cadora (Champagny), and the Autrian plenipotentiary, Prince John of Lichtenstein.

  23. Convention concluded 7 (19) March 1810 in Lemberg, signed by the Russian plenipotentiary, General Dokhturov, and the Austrian plenipotentiaries, Field Marshal Graf Bellegard and Graf Wurmser.

Dokhturov was given command of the army and encharged with delimiting the border with Austria upon the death of Prince Golitsyn, who died on 20 January 1810 (o.s.).

  1. Graf Rumyantsov’s letter to Caulaincourt.

  2. Minister Champagny’s letter to Graf Rumyantsov, 14 October 1809.

  3. Discours au corps législatif prononcé le 3 decembre 1809. >(Report by the Russian ambassodor in Paris, Prince Kurakin.)

  4. Populations subject to Napoleon in 1810:

France, with Holland, Hanseatic cities, etc. - 42,000,000

Italy – 10,600,000

Illyrian provinces – 1,000,000

Confederation of the Rhine and Westphalia – 13,100,000

Duchy of Warsaw – 3,600,000

Switzerland – 1,600,000

Total – 71,900,000

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Translated by Mark Conrad, 2010.