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Battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa, 20 June 1799

Battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa, 20 June 1799

Battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa, 20 June 1799

The battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa (20 June 1799) was a rare French victory in Italy during the campaign of 1799, but one that came too late to prevent the Austro-Russian army of Marshal Suvarov from defeating a second French army at the battle of the Trebbia (17-19 June 1799)

At the start of the War of the Second Coalition the Austrians and Russians won a series of victories that threatened to push the French completely out of Italy. The first of these victories, at Verona and Magnano, saw the Allies defeat French offensives, but at Cassano (27 April 1799) it had been Marshal Suvarov who had taken the initiative. In the aftermath of this victory the Allies had taken Milan, and the French, now under General Moreau, had been forced to retreat to Genoa.

The French had a second army in Italy, the Army of Naples under General Macdonald. After the defeats in the north Macdonald was ordered to move north to combine with Moreau in an attempt to overcome the Allies' numerical advantage.

Suvarov realised the danger he was in, and moved against General Macdonald. The two armies clashed on the southern bank of the River Po, just to the west of Piacenza (battle of the Trebbia, 17-18 June 1799). After three days of fighting Macdonald was forced to admit defeat and retreat east, without meeting up with Moreau or any of his forces.

If Moreau had moved as quickly as Macdonald then the two French armies would almost certainly have been united, but his first move didn't come until 16 June when he dispatched General Lapoype north-east towards Bobbio to join up with Macdonald. This placed Lapoype just to the south of the fighting on the Trebbia, but Lapoype spent three days outside Bobbio. Only after the battle was over did he advance north, in an attempt to protect Piacenza. Suvarov learnt of this move, and sent a column to capture Bobbio. Lapoype realised he was cut off, and attempted to fight his way back through Bobbio. After this failed he moved east into the Taro valley, where he joined up with General Victor, with part of Macdonald's left wing. This combined force was able to hold the mountain passes, and helped Macdonald reach Genoa along the coast.

Moreau's main advance began on 17 June. The French left Genoa in two columns. After crossing the mountains the left, 4,500 strong, advanced north-west up the main road toward Novi, while the right, 9,500 strong, crossed the river Scrivia, and advanced north along the foot of the mountains towards Tortona. Bellegarde had orders to hold the French back for as long as possible, and so retreated slowly back towards Alessandria. On 18 June he lifted the siege of Tortona, and withdrew west to Spinetta, between there and Alessandria. Bellegarde had 8,000 men with him, while Vukassovich had a similar force behind the Bormida (south-west of Alessandria). This gave the Austrians around 16,000 men and the French 14,000.

On 19 June Moreau, with Grenier's division, advanced towards Tortona, which was being besieged by an Allied force under the Austrian general Heinrich Bellegarde. On the same day Moreau had Quesnel's and Partouneaux's brigades camped on the right bank of the Scrivia, and Grouchy spread out as far as Torre Garofoli, on the road west of Tortona.

Moreau decided to attack Bellegarde's camp at Spinetta. Garreau's, Serras's and Colli's brigades were to cross the Scrivia and advance west towards Cascina Grossa (Cassina-Grossa in early French sources), a small village just to the east of Spinetta.

The advance began early on 20 June. Garreau, on the French left, pushed the Austrians out of Pozzolo, but then turned too far to the right, and instead of moving north-west towards Cascina Grossa moved north towards Quattro Cascine. This put him on the same track as Serras, in the French centre, and both brigades ended up at San Giuliano, two miles east of Cascina Grossa.

They were soon joined by Grouchy, with Colli's brigade. Moreau decided to attack the Austrian position at Cascina Grossa. The battle for the village was hotly contested. The French captured the village at least twice, and were forced out by reinforcements from Spinetta. Bellegarde decided to try and envelop Garreau, on the French left, and greatly extended his own right wing. This led to the decisive moment of the battle, when Moreau, with Grenier's division, attacked the centre of Bellegarde's line, cutting off the Austrian right, most of which was either captured or killed.

This disaster forced Bellegarde to retreat west behind the line of the Bormida. The Austrians had lost 3,000 men, 1,500 of them prisoners. Bellegarde retreated south-west to Castelnuovo-Bormida, while the French occupied the plains around Tortona.

This was a significant French victory, and if it had come a week earlier might have been of great importance, for it would have allowed Moreau to join up with Macdonald having already defeated part of the Austro-Russian army. Instead it came a day after Macdonald's defeat on the Trebbia. When Moreau learnt of this defeat, he realised that he would have to retreat back to Genoa.

Moreau's victory did help Macdonald escape from Suvarov's pursuit. Macdonald had fought rearguard actions at San-Giorgio (20 June 1799) and Sassuolo (23 June 1799) and the Allies were pressing him hard. When Suvarov heard that Bellegarde was in some danger he called off the pursuit, gathered his scattered army and moved west. On the night of 25-26 June, with Suvarov approaching from the east, Moreau slipped away from Tortona and retreated into the mountains at Gavi and Novi, before retreating back to Genoa. Macdonald was also able to reach Genoa, crossing the Apennines further east and advancing west along the coast. Moreau was replaced as commander of the combined army by General Barthélemy Joubert, who led it to yet another defeat, at Novi on 15 August 1799, dying in the battle.

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Battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa, 20 June 1799 - History

Alexandria (Alessandria) a walled town on Tanaro river, where it received, in the middle of a large marshy plain, the river Bormida 27,000 inhabitants, to the South- East of Turin. It had, on the left Tanaro bank, a great Citadel linked to the town with a stone bridge and defended by fortification &ldquoà corne&rdquo. The Citadel formed an elongated hexagon, with bastions, was armed with about 300 guns and could contain a garrison of about 6000 men the hospital, the barracks and other military buildings were armored. All the fortifications were improved by French, making Alessandria one of the stronger fortresses in Europe in 1814 the Austrians dismantled them.

The fortress is located North-West of the city of Alessandria, from which it is separated by the river Tanaro. It is the lowest zone of the piedmont region, about 90 metres above sea-level this region was named &lsquo Mesopotamia' by humanists and destined to be always a borderland. The Citadel is a huge fortress that spreads over 20 hectares and is in the shape of an elliptical hexagon, whose longer side (1 : 1,235) is parallel to the axis of the river. Its hexagonal shape is due to the need of defending the long borderline. The Citadel is a perfect example of modern-type fortress and consists of six bastions called by the names of the patron saints and was surrounded by moats to be flooded by the river's water. The city-entry was through a long stone-bridge leading to a huge place surrounded by multi-storey buildings placed according to Bergoglio's previous building axes, all covered by resistant vaults and built between 1749 (quarter of San Tommaso) and 1831 (warehouse of fortifications). The construction and state of conservation of Napoleonic buildings are unique. In the first months of 1799 the garrison, until his commitment to the Po survey on April, was under command of :

Général de brigade Bertrand Clauzel [1]

Citadel commander chef-de-brigade Vital

24e Demi-Brigade de ligne (1 Battalion other two at Verona)

68e Demi-Brigade de ligne III Battalion (later attached to Montrichard division)

12th Dragoons Regiment 2 squadrons

National Cisalpine Guard 1 Battalion

After the Bassignana and Marengo battles, into Alexandria was left Général Gardanne with his garrison of about 3000 men, tired by the heavy combats of May.

General Gaspard-Amédée Gardanne Commander

14e Demi-Brigade de ligne rests &ndash Chef Jean-Claude Moreau

63e Demi-Brigade de ligne &ndash III Battalion

II Battalion Aosta - 1st Piedmontese Demi-Brigade

II Battalion Regina &ndash 3rd Piedmontese demi-brigade

Combined Cisalpine Battalion Miloshevic former 3rd Cisalpine demi-brigade

Chef-de-Brigade Andrea Miloshevic and chef-de-bataillon Ippolito Guidetti

National Cisalpine Guard 1 Battalion

Battalion Suisse 1e Legion

2 Piedmontese artillery Companies

Valenza and Casale, dismantled by the French, were abandoned. So, on May 21, general Jacob Ivanovich Povalo-Shvejkovsky 1st entered Alessandria beginning the Citadel siege.

May, 23rd 1799 Alessandria Austro-Russian siege group

Division Lieutenant General Jacob Ivanovich Povalo-Shvejkovsky 1st

Brigade Generalmajor Nikolaj Andrejevich Chubarov

8th Jäger Regiment Major General Chubarov&ndash I - II Battalions

chief from 13 May: GM Ivan Ivanovic Miller - sent to Tortona during the Trebbia days

Don Cossacks Regiment Semjornikov.

Brigade Lieutenant General Jacob Ivanovich Tuyrtov

Imperial Russian Musketeer Regiment Lieutenant General Jacob Ivanovich Tuyrtov I - II Battalions

or Tug&rsquolsky (Tula) &ndashCommander: Major Ivan Fjodorovich Golovin

Don Cossacks Regiment Molchanov

6th Don Cossacks Regiment Pasdejev

Brigade Generalmajor baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim

Imperial Russian Musketeer Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovic Dalheim &ndash I and II Battalions.

or Archangelogorodsky (Archangelsk). Chief from June 26th General Major Nikolay Mihailovic Kamensky 2nd

Commander: Colonel Stjepan Nikolajevic Castelli

Imperial Russian Musketeer Regiment Young-Baden or malado-badensky &ndash I - II Battalions

alias Butyrskowo (Butyrsk) &ndashCdr. Lieutenant General Karl Ludwig Prince of Baden - (after May 18 renamed as GM Mihail Mihailovic Veletsky Regiment its former commander)

July, 23 1799 Alessandria Austrian Citadel garrison (after capitulation)

K.K. IR 8 Infantry Regiment (former Huff Regiment )

Commander: Obst Johann Schröckinger von Heidenburg (I-II Battalions)

Capitulation of Alessandria &ndash July 21, 1799

de la citadelle d'Alessandrie entre le Lieutenant-General Comte de Bellegarde au service de S. M. l'Empereur et Roi et le Genérat François Gardanne, Comandant de la Citadelle d'Alessandrie.

La garnison sortira avec tous les honneurs de la guerre par la porte d'Asti, tambours battants, drapeaux déployés, mêche allumée, avec 9 pièces de canons et deposeront les armes sur le glacis, se rendant prisonniers gueire pour ètre conduits dans les Etats des de S. M. 1'Empereur.

ARTICLE 1. La garnison de la Citadelle d'AIessandrie sortira par la porte d'Asti avec les honneurs de la guerre, tambours battans, drapeaux déployés, méche allumée, trainera avec elle 2 pièces de 4 avec leurs caissons et attelages ainsi que les munitions compétentes à ces pièces, de même que leurs Artilleurs. La garnison se formera sur le glacis de la porte d'Asti jusqu'à la porte d'Alessandrie, ne déposera point Ies armes et rentrera en France et ne servira contre les armées de S. M. l'Empereur et ses Aliiés jusqu'à change qui aura lieu le premiér et par préférence coutre les prisonniers Autrichiens et Russes, excepté ceux désignés par l'article 2 qui ne seront pas prisonniers de guerre.

Mr. le Commandant, ainsi que Mr. 1'Adjudant-Genéral Louis avec les Aides-de-camp et Adjoints et tout l&rsquoEtat major, suivront le sort de la garnison

Ne seront point prisonniers de guerre le Général de Brigade Gardanne commandant de la Division du Tanaro, l'Adjudant-Général Louis, les Aides-de-camp et Adjoints, de même que tous les officiers composant l'Etat major et 300 militaires choisis dans la garnison par le Général Gardaune

Les officiers supérieurs, savoir Mr. le GénéraI Gardanne, Mr. Général l'Adjudant-Louis, le Chef du Génie, celui de l'Artillerie les autres chefs de corps, conserveront leurs épées, et tous les officiers en général, conserveront leurs chevaux et équipages effets et proprietes les soldats garderont leurs sacs, ainsi que les employés à la suite de l'armée leurs chevaux et equipages. Au reste on aura soin de fournir des chevaux sur la route à ceux qui n'en sont pas fournis. Les Piémontois, Cisalpins et Helvétiques sont prisonniers de guerre comme les François.

ARTICLE 3. Tous les officiers garderont leurs épées, leurs chevaux et équipages militaires, effets et propriétés, les soldats leurs sacs, les employes attachés à la suite de l'armée, de même leurs chevaux et équipages. On fournira d'étapes en etapes des chevaux aux militaires, autres officiers ou autres convalescents, ainsi qu'à ceux qui ayant droit à des chevaux et qui seroient démontés.

La garnison Piémontoise, Cisalpine, Helvétique, faisant partie intégrante de l'armée Françoise, jouiront des avantages du meme article concernant les troupes françoises.

L'ARTICLE 4. Les équipages et proprietés et effets étant accordés à un chacun, cet article cessa de soi même et il s'entend que toute caisse militaire ou autres, magazins, dépôts, plans, archives, artillerie, munitions, attirails de guerre et tous effets de quelque dénomination qu'ils puissent être appartenauts au Gouvernement François , Piémontois ou autres, seront rendus fidèlement.

ARTICLE 4. Il sera accordé dix chariots couverts partant les effets de l'Etat-Major de chaque corps et la caisse-militaire dans le cas où les fourgons et chevaux n'existeroient pas dans les corps, il en sera fourni par l'armée Autrichienne d'étape en étape jusqu'à la frontière de Gènes.

L'ARTICLE 5. Les malades et blessés sont prisonniers de guerre et seront traités avec l'humanité qui nous est propre. On y laissera de la garnison de la Citadelle les chirurgiens et gardes-malades nécessaires, et on choisira un lieu convenable pour l'établissement de l'hôpital.

ARTICLE 5. Les malades et blessés seront humainemeut traités dans les hôpitaux d'Alessandrie. On y laissera les chirurgiens et gardes-malades nécessaires dont on fixera le nombre, et après leur guérison ils jouiront égale ment des articles de la Capitulation de même ceux qui pour des affaires devront rester à Alessandrie, auxquels on délivrera les passeports nécessaires lorsque leurs affaires seront terminées et les malades ne seront point prisonniers de guerre.

L'ARTICLE 6. Trois heures après la signature les troupes de S. M. l'Empereur occuperont la porte intérieure (l'Asti, ainsi que la garde avancée de cette porte.

ARTICLE 6. Trois heures après la signature de la Capitulation on remettra aux troupes Autrichiennes la garde avancée de la porte Vigne, celle de St. Michel et celle de St. Antoine. L'entrée de la Citadelle ne sera permise qu'aux Commissaires Autrichiens et à ceux qui seront envoyés par le Commandant de l'armée de siége. L'armée Autrichienne n'entrera dans la Citadelle que lorsqu'elle sera évacuée par la garnison Françoise.

ARTICLE 7. Dans le cas où l'armée Françoise ne seroit plus sur la frontière de Gènes, on permettra d'envoyer un officier au Général en chef à son quartier-général avec la Capitulation.

On conviendra en ce cas d'une manière loyale.

ARTICLE 8. S'il se trouvoit un Article douteux dans la Capitulation qui pourroit donner lieu à des contestations, il sera expliqué en faveur de la garnison

La garnison aura une escorte suffisante d'après le sens de la Capitulation et son entière sécurité.

ARTICLE 9. Il sera, fourni une escorte suffisante pour la garnison et une particulière pour le Général Gardanne jusqu'à la frontière de Gènes.

D'abord après la signature de la Capitulation les otages Piémontois retenus à la Citadelle, seront rendus avec les effets à eux appartenants. On échangera réciproquement deux otages, consistant de chaque part d'un officier d'Etat-Major et d'un Capitaine, jusqu'à l'entière exécution de cette Capitulation. Aussitot après la signature l'armée Autrichienne enverra un officier de Génie, un officier d'Artillerie et un Commissaire, auxquels on remettra tous les magazins, plans, dépots, etc. sans qu'il eu soit détourné ou détérioré la moindre chose, ainsi que les Caisses et autres effets militaires appertenauts aux gouvernements respectifs. Les chevaux de Cavalerie, d'Artillerie et autres appartenants au Gouvernement François ou autres, seront délivrés. La garnison sortira par la porte d'Asti demain 22 de juillet à 4 heures après midi il s'entend que ceux qui doivent rester dans la Citadelle pour la remise des effets, resteront jusqu'à ce qu'ils auront terminé leur besogne. On fera une liste séparée des non-combattans qui seront rendus à l'armée Françoise. Au reste on rendra tous les chevaux et autres effets appartenantsà à S. M. l'Empereur ou aux officiers Autrichiens et Alliés de Sa Majesté ou servant aux armées.

En foi de quoi on a dressé deux exemplaires pour être signés et échangés réciproquement.

Au camp devant la Citadelle d'Alessandrie le 21 Juillet a 10 heures du soir 1799.

Le Général de Brigade Lieut.-Général Gardanne.

Also the important fortress of Ceva had fallen into insurgent hands, blocking the vital way which linked Piedmont with Savona on the sea. Ceva , during the middle ages was a strong fortress defending the borders of Piedmont towards Liguria, but the fortification on the rock, above the town, were demolished in 1800 by the French, to whom it had been ceded in 1796. In that year, Napoleon, after having left behind Ceva and after having conquered the Bicocca of San Michele and the Bricchetto of Mondovì, found the way to Piedmont opened and carried his HQs to Cherasco. From it he sent an arrogant message to the fort of Ceva governor, Count of Tornafort, imposing him to surrender within 24 hours on the contrary the fortress and its passages would have been destroyed by batteries fire. His aide-de-camp, Marmont, carried the letter, making all attempts in order to enter by the garrison but he did not succeded. In 1800, Napoleon gave the order us to dismantle the Fort six months were employed to prepare mines and charges, finally a simultaneous explosion of one hundred devices made the task out.

On May 18, Moreau received this bad news at Asti: the Ceva&rsquos commander had given up without any resistance. The insurrection at Ceva and Mondovì had begun on May 6 when a great bunch of rioters had forced the republican garrisons to close themselves into the fortresses. Two large columns of armed civilians led by Francolino, a former Sardinian lieutenant, and the other by Doctor Cerrina, a surgeon, besieged the fortress. From May 8 to 11 the fort was bombarded by rebels and, on May 14, the fortress capitulated after a night attack of the insurgents, who destroyed a fortress door. The French commander, Maris, surrendered and was left free to reach Mondovì. Here the whole garrison was disarmed by other rioters and the French were allowed to reach Coni. Maris had a subsequent trial and the Court Martial condemned him to death by shooting. Losing Ceva, the French lost the quickest way to reach Genoa. Moreau immediately activated two &ldquomobile&rdquo columns and give their command to the brigadier, &ldquoprovisional&rdquo, Garreau and to the adjudant-général Jean Mathieu Seras, a Piedmontese born in Osasco, who had served only in the French armies. Every column had two battalions they had to force the march and seize Ceva, but the River Tanaro had a flood and the columns could not pass through and forced to march along its rough right bank. During the same days Mondovì fell into Insurgents hands forcing the Coni garrison to try and recapture it. Moreau did not lose his self-control. He camped at Poirino and Villa-Nuova, while ordered to adjudant-général Drouot to escort baggage, artillery, and ammunition to France , through the Fenestrelle Pass.

Moreau waited at Savigliano for the results of Garreau&rsquos endeavours (which had rallied at Coni the &ldquomobile&rdquo columns of Seras and Fressinet). He occupied Mondovì but, fearing to lose the communications with the main army, returned to Coni, where an angry Moreau changed his orders. Grouchy, and 8 battalions, were sent forwards to open the road to the sea, after having reunited all the &ldquomobile&rdquo columns. The advance into the Insurgents&rsquo territory was followed also by Moreau, who brought his HQs at Coni. The Grouchy vanguard, led by Adjudant Garreau, and 1300 men strong, entered Mondovì engaging the Royalists. During that struggle chef-de-brigade Lacalle was killed and 330 French died or were wounded. Mondovì was occupied, the enemy retreating into Ceva fortress. Having heard of the victory of Garreau, Grouchy brought 4 battalions to Lesegno, near Ceva, clearing the location from a bunch of 8000 peasants, badly armed. However the strong fortress resisted and the French decided to leave General Quesnel (who had recovered from his wound) and 2700 men to begin a blockade. But, about May 28, the rebellion of the mountain territory was softened and the French deploy3e on the Appennini Ridge.

During that period, around May 30, the Coalition&rsquos Army reinforced itself gaining a new right wing under General Bellegarde, with 18 battalions and 4000 cavalrymen. Moreau did not pass the Appennines through Col di Tenda, because this could had separated his troops from Victor and Macdonald. After a reconnaissance he decided to pass through Garessio and the Col du Saint-Bernard, a secondary causeway which had become renowned in 1795, with the Sérurier action during the Loano battle. The causeway was improved in three days with the help of 2000 workers, directed by Adjudant Guilleminot. When the road was &ldquoartillery-fit&rdquo, General Quesnel left the Ceva siege and camped at Murialdo, to control the withdrawal passage. Musnier abandoned Coni marching with the garrison (3000 men) towards Mondovì.

A part of the Grenier division remained in Arriere-garde at Mondovì, the right wing detached along the Tanaro valley. The main army marched towards the mountains, with all materials and artilleries. On June 6 they safely reached Loano, while the cavalry reached Finale and Savona. This ended the long march after the San Giuliano battle.

The new French deployment of June 1799 was the following:

Division Laboissière was at Genoa with the Lapoype Division

Division Victor guarded the Toscana&rsquos borders at Pontremoli, and in Taro and Magra valleys

Division Grenier controlled the passes at Savona (Cerisola, Bardineto and Carpi with Partonneaux brigade, linked on its right with Quesnel brigade at Altare and Mallare the Adjudant Piedmontese Campana stood at San Giacomo del Segno while Adjudant Garreau remained in the hills near Cadibona pass, at Torre and at Madonna di Savona.)

The Coalition&rsquos Army Occupation of Piedmont

After the fall of the Citadel, the Coalition Army enlarged their occupation reaching all the farthest Piedmont&rsquos territories, the French being on the other side of the mountains until Autumn&rsquos last combats. From June 1, the Austro-Russian moved forward. General Seckendorff blocked Montenotte and the road to Savona, Vukassovich took the control of Ceva and Mondovì, blocking the Col du Tende road, Fröhlich, before his commitment in central Italy , with the 1st brigade occupied Coni, with the 2nd Brigade Lusignan tried to win the resistance of Fort Fenestrelle, but the French garrison resisted. Pinerolo (or Pignerolo) was abandoned by its commander, the Swiss Colonel Zimmermann, place commander, in spite of a winning action against a Russian regiment led by Count Zuccato [2] . Prince Bagration cleared the Susa valley, the important road which led to the Montcenis and Montgenevre passes. An utter brigade blocked the Canton Valais passes, impeding to Masséna to send reinforcement from Switzerland and, finally, general Hadik controlled the St. Gotthard and the Lecourbe troops.

Second Battle of Marengo (1799)

The Second Battle of Marengo or Battle of Cascina Grossa (20 June 1799) saw French troops under General of Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau clash with a force of Austrian soldiers led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Heinrich von Bellegarde. The early fighting between Emmanuel Grouchy's division and Bellegarde was inconclusive. However, late in the day Moreau committed Paul Grenier's French division to the struggle and the Austrians were driven from the field. This War of the Second Coalition battle occurred near Spinetta Marengo which is just east of Alessandria, Italy.

Moreau was supposed to cooperate with Jacques MacDonald's army which was grappling with Alexander Suvorov's Austro-Russians at the Battle of Trebbia to the east. When Moreau moved north, Bellegarde offered battle because his task was to keep the French from joining MacDonald. Moreau was too late that day MacDonald's defeated army began to retreat from the Trebbia River. The French victory was barren because Moreau soon had to withdraw to the mountains to avoid being caught by Suvorov's returning soldiers.


The start of the 1799 campaign saw the Austrian army of Feldzeugmeister Paul Kray facing the French Army of Italy under General of Division Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer. The drawn Battle of Verona on 26 March [1] was followed by the Battle of Magnano on 5 April, when Kray's 46,000 men won an important victory over 40,500 French soldiers. [2] The demoralized Schérer left 6,600 men to the garrison of Mantua and abandoned northeast Italy. The Siege of Mantua lasted until the end of July, but other garrisons that Schérer left behind were soon forced to surrender. Counting garrisons and battle losses, the Army of Italy had only 28,000 soldiers. [3] At this time, Suvorov arrived with 24,551 Russian soldiers and took command of the combined Austro-Russian army. [4]

Schérer resigned and handed over command of the army to Moreau on 26 April 1799. The next day, Suvorov attacked and won the Battle of Cassano. General of Division Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier and 2,400 men of his division were isolated and forced to surrender that evening. [4] Moreau with General of Division Paul Grenier's division retreated west all the way to Turin, then crossed to the south bank of the Po River and marched east again. Victor's division crossed the Po at Casale Monferrato and took position near the fortress city of Alessandria. When Grenier joined Victor there on 7 May, Moreau mustered about 20,000 troops. The French were deployed between Alessandria on their right and Valenza on their left. [5] At this time, Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon led a division from France to occupy Genoa. [6]

On 6 May 1799, Suvorov's left wing crossed the Po at Piacenza and moved southwest toward Bobbio, threatening to cut Moreau off from Genoa. Suvorov's main body crossed the Po farther west. [7] On 7 May, a 13,865-man Austrian corps was at Castel San Giovanni while General-major Pyotr Bagration with the 5,862-man Russian advance guard was at Voghera, both on the south bank of the Po. General Andrei Grigorevich Rosenberg with 10,571 soldiers was at Dorno with a 3,075-man advance guard at Lomello, both on the north bank. General-major Josef Philipp Vukassovich and 5,100 Austrians were farther west, also on the north bank. On 9 May, Suvorov's chief of staff, the Austrian General-major Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles and two battalions chased the French out of the town of Tortona, though its citadel held out. Wanting to mass his army on the south bank, Suvorov issued orders to Rosenberg to cross the Po at Alluvioni Cambiò, downstream from the confluence of the Po and Tanaro rivers. [8]

Probably urged by Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, who had just arrived at the front and was anxious to fight, Rosenberg ignored Suvorov's instructions and crossed upstream of the point where the Tanaro flowed into the Po. The result was that Rosenberg's advance guard ran into strong resistance from Grenier's division. In the Battle of Bassignana on 12 May 1799, Moreau gave the Russians a drubbing and forced them to retreat to the north bank of the Po. Though Suvorov was fully aware of Constantine's culpability, the official responsibility for the fiasco was placed on Rosenberg's shoulders. [9]

During this time, the Army of Naples under General of Division Jacques MacDonald was moving north from southern Italy and entering the calculations of both Moreau and Suvorov. On 10 May 1799, MacDonald reached Rome where he left 2,568 of his least fit men under the command of General of Division Gabriel Venance Rey. On 26 May, the Army of Naples reached Florence where it met troops under General of Division Paul Louis Gaultier de Kervéguen. The French troops moved through an area where the local people were in rebellion, such that one column of 3,000 French lost 600 men as casualties. Altogether, MacDonald wielded a field army of 36,728 troops in the infantry divisions of Generals of Division Jean-Baptiste Olivier, Jean-Baptiste Dominique Rusca, and Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard, and Generals of Brigade François Watrin, Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, and Jean-Baptiste Salme. This array would soon be joined by Victor. [10]

As early as 10 May, the Cossack regiments of Denisov, Grekov, and Molchanov, supported by the Kalemin Grenadier Battalion, cleared the French from Marengo. The Austrians were massed east of the village of San Giuliano while Bagration's Russian vanguard was at Novi Ligure. Starting on 13 May, Suvorov began edging his south bank forces toward the north because he intended to cross the Po and march west toward Turin. He wanted his troops to begin crossing the Po at Alluvioni Cambiò on 16 May, but other events intervened. [11] Earlier, Moreau believed that Suvorov was going to march against MacDonald, but now he thought that the Russian was not going south after all. From 13–15 May, the French commander concentrated his army behind the Bormida River, throwing a bridge of boats across the stream. On 16 May, Moreau sent Victor on a strong reconnaissance east toward Tortona. [7]

The French crossed the Bormida at a point called The Cedars. At 8:00 am they split into two columns with General of Brigade Luigi Leonardo Colli-Ricci on the left and General of Brigade Gaspard Amédée Gardanne on the right. The 74th Line Infantry acted as an advance guard. Colonel Louis Gareau with two battalions guarded the Bormida bridge. [11] The French cavalry crossed the river upstream. Altogether the French employed 7,500 troops in the operation. General-major Adrian Karpovich Denisov, commanding the Cossack screen captured a French officer and learned that the enemy incursion was substantial. He sent appeals for help to Bagration. The 74th Line quickly brushed aside the Cossacks and drove the Allied outposts from Marengo, Spinetta, and Cascina Grossa. [12] The outposts were manned by General-major Andreas Karaczay's Advanced Guard, but these troops did not otherwise participate in the ensuing action. [11]

General-major Franz Joseph, Marquis de Lusignan, acting division commander in the absence of Michael von Fröhlich, deployed seven battalions and six squadrons of the Lobkowitz Dragoon Regiment Nr. 10. Soon Bagration came up with his Russians and the Allies formed two lines about 2,500 feet (760 m) west of San Giuliano. As the two sides advanced toward each other, the French sang the Marseillaise while the Austrian military bands played. [12] Lusignan placed the Weber and Pertussy Grenadier Battalions on the right and the Stuart Infantry Regiment Nr. 18 and Morzin Grenadier Battalion on the left. In second line were the Paar and Schiaffinati Grenadier Battalions. A skirmish line was formed by taking ten soldiers from each company in the front line. Two squadrons of the Lobkowitz Dragoons and some artillery were posted on each flank, with more dragoons in reserve. [11]

Denisov reported that the French troops maintained a rolling fire by platoons. He claimed that Bagration's troops hung back in a wood and that neither the Cossacks nor the Austrian dragoons were willing to charge the French infantry. This caused the Austrians to bear the brunt of the combat and they were hustled to the rear by the French. [12] Another account stated that Bagration's troops helped repulse the initial attack, but around noon the Allies began to retreat. Finally, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Konrad Valentin von Kaim's 4,800-man Austrian division came up on the left flank. The Cossacks claimed to have wiped out a squadron of the French 1st Hussars, taking 78 prisoners. [11]

At about 4:00 pm, Moreau realized he was heavily outnumbered and issued the order to retreat. The French carried out their withdrawal in good order. They defended Marengo very stoutly, using the manor house and the streams in the vicinity. [13] The French relinquished Marengo at 5:00 pm, crossed the Bormida, and dismantled their bridge by 6:30 pm. [11] Suvorov appeared and demanded to know why the French were being allowed to escape. By this time, the French had reached a position where it was impossible to cut them off. [13] In another account, Suvorov got to the battlefield earlier and tried to rally the Austrians, who were retreating at that time. [11]

Historian Christopher Duffy stated that Allied casualties were between 480 and 710, while French losses were between 500 and 1,500. [13] A second source asserted that the Allies lost 43 dead, 404 wounded, and 273 missing for a total of 720. The French lost 569 dead and wounded. [11] Digby Smith gave Austrian losses as 97 killed and 250 wounded, and Russian losses as 27 killed and 80 wounded. These figures give a total Allied loss of 124 killed and 330 wounded, or 454 casualties, while French losses are estimated at 500 casualties. On the French side 8,000 troops were engaged, while there were 9,000 Austrians and 7,500 Russians involved in the action. Smith wrote that a French battalion was cut off near the river and that many soldiers drowned. [14] Other sources do not mention this incident. [11] [13] [15]

Moreau's reconnaissance-in-force failed to reveal his opponent's intentions through unlucky timing. If the French army commander attacked the following day, Suvorov would have been gone. [16] The 16 May battle convinced Moreau to abandon the Italian plain and get his army to the south side of the Ligurian Alps. [13] Assuming that Suvorov intended to remain where he was, Moreau sent Victor with 7,000 infantry, 200 cavalry, but no artillery on a march to join Pérignon in Genoa. Since Piedmont was in revolt against French occupation, Victor's troops had to fight their way through the insurgents, arriving in Genoa on 22 May. [15] Another 2,000-man column under Louis Lemoine moved from Gavi to Genoa. [17]

With Grenier's division, most of the cavalry, and all of the artillery, Moreau tried to get through the mountains but was prevented by the insurgents. [13] Instead he moved west to Asti on 18 May 1799 and then circled south of Turin. He ensured that a convoy from Rivoli and Pinerolo made it across the Mont Cenis Pass. However, he failed to secure a mass of artillery in the Turin arsenal. [15] With about 10,000 men, Moreau marched south to Cherasco and Cuneo. Turning east to Mondovì, the French found that the rebels had captured Ceva. With Emmanuel Grouchy commanding a flank guard, the French column wended its way through the mountains to Loano on 6 June, from which they shipped their artillery to Genoa. Grenier's troops reached Genoa around 12 June. Historian Ramsay Weston Phipps compared this circuitous march to the movements of "a frightened hen". [17]

Suvorov's army crossed to the north bank of the Po and was in Chivasso by 25 May 1799. The Allied army drove the French from Turin into the citadel on 27 May and seized a large number of heavy cannons in the arsenal. These weapons would soon help the Austrians reduce the French garrisons of Alessandria, Tortona and other places. [17] Heinrich von Bellegarde's Austrian corps marched from Switzerland to the area of Alessandria, replacing Suvorov's troops. [18]


The War of the Second Coalition was the second war against revolutionary France by various European monarchies. The Second Coalition was led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and included the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and several other minor European states. Its aim was to contain the expansion of the French Republic and to restore the monarchy in France. [1] [2] [3] [4]

French troops returned to Italy in 1799, following a brief period of absence which had precipitated the collapse of their Italian client republics. [5] Napoleon Bonaparte, who had seized power in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, [6] carried out a crossing of the Alps with his Army of the Reserve (officially commanded by Louis-Alexandre Berthier) in May 1800. [7] [8] This move, made almost before the passes were open, threatened Austrian General Michael von Melas' lines of communications in northern Italy. The French army then seized Milan on 2 June, followed by Pavia, Piacenza and Stradella, cutting the main Austrian supply route eastward along the south bank of the Po river. Bonaparte hoped that Melas' preoccupation with the Siege of Genoa, held by French General André Masséna, would prevent the Austrians from responding to his offensive. However, Masséna surrendered the town on 4 June, freeing a large number of Austrians for operations against the French. [9]

On 9 June French General Jean Lannes beat Austrian Feldmarschallleutnant Peter Ott in the Battle of Montebello. Bonaparte subsequently convinced himself that Melas would not attack and, further, that the Austrians were about to retreat. As other French forces closed from the west and south, the Austrian commander had withdrawn most of his troops from their positions near Nice and Genoa to Alessandria on the main Turin-Mantua road. [9] The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between Bonaparte and Melas near Alessandria. Towards the end of the day, the French overcame the Austrian surprise attack. [10]

At 4:00 am on 15 June 1800, von Melas sent General Johann Ferdinand von Skal and two captains to the French encampment with a flag of surrender. Napoleon, who had expected the Austrians to continue fighting, quickly accepted the surrender. [11] [12] A cease-fire was signed a few hours later. In the agreement, the Austrians agreed to evacuate to the left bank of the Bormida, and that hostilities would cease for forty-eight hours. The Austrians initially hoped to give up only Piedmont and Genoa, but Napoleon demanded they retreat to behind the Po and Mincio. The final agreement was formalized and signed as the Convention of Alessandria. [13] [14]

On 15 June, the Convention was signed. It caused the fighting to end, [15] and the Austrians agreed to evacuate Italy as far as the Mincio and abandon all of their strongholds in the Piedmont and Milan, [16] losing all that they had gained in 1798 and 1799. [17] The Austrians agreed to give the French Tortona, Alessandria, Milan, Turin, Pizzighetone, Arona, and Piacenza by 20 June. They agreed to surrender by 24 June the fortress of Coni, the castles of Seva and Savona, and the city of Genoa and the city of Urbino by 26 June. The land between the Chiesa, the Oglio, and the Po rivers was ceded to the French, and that between the Chiesa and the Mincio was designated a neutral zone, not to "be occupied by either of the two armies." [15] The Austrians retained control of Tuscany, [18] and the bulk of their army, with the French letting their soldiers retreat. [19]

On 17 June, Napoleon left for Paris after the signing of the Convention. [20] He stopped in Milan that same day, [21] and was greeted as a hero, with large crowds celebrating his arrival. The Cisalpine Republic was again established as a French client republic, and a temporary government was put in place until the signing of a peace treaty with Austria. Many strongholds listed in the convention were given up by the Austrians and their fortifications dismantled by the French, including Genoa on 24 June. Napoleon left Milan the same day, and stopped briefly in Turin and Lyon before arriving in Paris on 2 July. [22] [23] The victory consolidated Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul. [10] French historian François Furet noted that the battle served as "the true coronation of [Napoleon's] power and his regime". [24]

General Officer Count Joseph Saint-Julien was sent to deliver the convention to Francis II, [a] [26] and it was soon ratified by the Court of Vienna. [27] [13] It proved to be only a temporary cease-fire, as Johann Amadeus von Thugut (and the Austrian government) refused to accept the terms and give up any of Austria's Italian holdings. [28] [27] Francis II, several hours before receiving the Convention on 20 June 1800, had signed a treaty with Britain, in which Britain agreed to give Austria two million pounds sterling in exchange for Austria continuing the war with France. The treaty also prohibited negotiations between Austria and France without the involvement of Britain before 1 February 1801. [29] [30]

Austria soon dispatched Saint-Julien to travel to Paris, carrying news of the treaty's ratification, and to further consider the terms of it. [b] [29] [30] He arrived on 21 July and began negotiations. [23] On 22 July he attended a meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at which Saint-Julien was persuaded to assume the position of an accredited diplomat and sign several preliminary articles on 28 July. [32] Saint-Julien and Géraud Duroc were dispatched to deliver the news to Vienna. On 4 August, they arrived at Alt Oettiugen, the headquarters of Paul Kray. [33] The negotiations were disavowed by Austria due to their treaty with Britain. Duroc was turned away and Saint-Julien was arrested for negotiating without instructions. On 29 September, the Convention of Castiglione was signed, extending the Convention of Alessandria [29] [30] but further negotiations at Lunéville were fruitless, as Napoleon demanded separate peace treaties with England and Austria. [34] On 22 November 1800 hostilities resumed. [28]

British general and military historian John Mitchell argued in 1846 that the French would have accepted many fewer concessions and wrote that "nothing equal to this ill-fated convention had ever been known in military history." [14] The treaty was described by British historian Thomas Henry Dyer in 1877 as "one of the most disgraceful capitulations in history." [35] Historian David Bell concluded in 2014 that a bulk of the Austrian army had survived the Battle of Marengo, and Melas was still in a position that he could have continued fighting. Prussian historian Dietrich Heinrich von Bülow, "the keenest contemporary observer of the 1800 campaign," [36] said of the convention: "Bonaparte did not seize success Melas threw it away." [12] According to historian David Hollins, the victory allowed Napoleon to "secure his political power for the next 14 years." [21]

Folk Song

"Trum, trum, terum tum tum " is an Austrian-English folksong about the Duke of Edinburgh raising an imperial army in 1749 during the War of Sardinian Succession. The song is a narrative of soldiers marching with high morale under the Empress's own grandfather's command. The song was adapted by the Austrian and Hungarian soldiers under Goldtimbers' command from the song, "The Landsknecht drum ", a song originating from the Thirty Years' War, kept alive in memory through the generations of soldiers serving the Holy Roman Empire.

Battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa, 20 June 1799 - History

The most important road from Piedmont to Genoa was the Giovi pass causeway. It led from Novi (Ligure) to Ronco, through the Serravalle fortress and along the valley of the Scrivia creek. Its control was essential. Another alternative causeway reached the Fort of Gavi from Alessandria and Novi, passed the Appennini mountains at the Bocchetta pass leading to Campomorone and finally to Genoa. This latter was often preferred by French, because considered less dangerous (the Austrians being around Tortona). In every case the control of the town of Novi was fundamental. On May the 9th the Coalition Army was again in motion with Kaim crossing the Scrivia creek. Chasteler blew in the gates of Tortona, and entered it under the fire of the French garrison sheltered in the citadel. Vukassovich advanced on Casale Monferrato and Novello along the keft Po bank. Karacsaj was detached to Novi, Serravalle and Gavi, and insurrections against the French were raised at Mondovì, Ceva. On May 10 the Austrians advanced. The cavalry brigade of Karacsaj with the Cossacks extended the control over the terrain between the Scrivia and the Bormida river. Some patrols approached Alessandria coming from Novi and Pozzolo-Formigaro. On May 11 the Russians moved forward with the Förster division. It occupied Castelnuovo di Scrivia, where they put the HQs, while Karacsaj improved the occupation of Novi. At that time Alessandria was isolated.

The troops which prepared the attack to the fortresses of Alessandria and Valenza were:

Avantgarde Brigade Generalmajor Andreas Freiherr Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam [i]

K.K. IR 28 Infantry Regiment Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich I and II Battalions.

(former Wartensleben) Commander: Oberst Franz Eder von Hartenstein &ndash it was attached to Ott&rsquos division at Piacenza

K.K. IR 34 Hungarian Infantry Regiment (the former Regiment Esterházy)

(no Inhaber. The future IR Frh. Kraj de Kraiova) (had the I and II Battalion). Commander: Oberst Johann Hillinger. It would be detached to the Seckendorff Gruppe and replaced by IR 8 (former Huff)

K.K. 4th Light Dragoons Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam

Had 6 squadrons. Commander: Oberst Joseph Graf Nimptsch. It will be detached as link unit with the Russian Corps Rozenberg.

Russian Avantgarde Brigade General Prince Petr Ivanovich Bagration

Imperial Russian 7th Jäger (Jeghersky) Regiment GM Bagration &ndash 2 Battalions

Commander: Gen. Petr Ivanovic Bagration

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II &ndash I Battalion. Commander: Colonel Mihail Aleksejevic Chitrov

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg II Battalion.

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Lomonosov

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Dendrjugyn

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Kalemin Tula and Tambow Companies

Don Cossacks Regiment Molchanov

8th Don Cossacks Regiment Grekov

5th Don Cossacks Regiment Denissov

6th Don Cossacks Regiment Pasdejev

Suvorov&rsquos statement to the Austrian Emperor on May 10 was the following:

&ldquo Our speed made us masters of Tortona. The enemy did not have time to throw 2-3.000 men inside. It left the ammunition for Tortona and Alessandria in Novi.

Alessandria ! We must guard it. The enemy have no opportunity to raise his troops there, whenever by the Genoese, which are very few, probably 5 - 6.000 men, and, realistically, not the best troops. However the enemy can entrench itself, particularly if we leave the necessary time to do so, and this will make our attack very difficult&hellip

Valenza! - can become important: for now is not so. Enough to do some fake attack before it.

12 May - Excellency Rozenberg can come only today. The pontoons however tomorrow. &ndash We try so much as possible to set them soon in march.

1) We must be at one time on all positions. As for Bagration he does not have at all to engage himself &ndash only some observations, not too early, not too late. He can let Novi controlled by a small commando. If he will fall, however, into some [enemy] positions during the incoming night, and if that point is supported by others, then everything must be attacked together.

2) Orba, Bormida, Tanaro. The pontoons were thrown, above or on the water, where it is most comfortable in order of the enemy deployment, and in order of the obstacles expected. With this events&rsquo speed, Order and Position! The game of the Guns! After this achievement, we must attack quickly the enemy with cutting and thrusting weapons. Then it is not necessary to stop during the artillery fire. The units cooperate in a similar way, as their want.

3) The most important. As soon as the victory outlines, the enemy must already be cut off. In addition the Cossacks add a good distinctiveness. Excellent is the use by throwing them around hostile Cavalry, particularly the heavy. Our cavalry must support it. This latter strikes also strongly into the hostile cavalry, while being supported by the Cossacks, which annihilate the enemy. The quickness overcomes the batteries without losses if the cavalry good performs. So it also can be supported in particular by the Jägern, whenever they not put in danger themselves.&rdquo

Clash at Ponte Stura

So &hellip &ldquoValenza! - can become important: for now is not so.&rdquo. The Suvorov&rsquos plans were mainly to fasten the offensive, heading towards Turin. The Austrian mind was more cautious, trying to avoid too many conquests by the Russian Commander. With this premise, it became obvious that the Russian had to open the hostilities. Rozenberg, who had followed Vukassovich&rsquos advance, placed his camp at Frascarolo, the night of May 10-11. Here he was informed about the Austrian clash (and defeat) at Ponte Stura. On the morning of May 10, 120 German soldiers and 51 volunteers (insurgents) from Trino Vercellese has passed across the Po by boats. They spread among the Ponte Stura roads, overran a French outpost, (obviously) burnt our the Freedom-Tree putting, at its place, a large Christian Cross, calling the town priest to bless the new symbol. At 3 PM, 150 Republicans tried to retakethe position, but they were repulsed leaving behind 6 dead and 5 prisoners. On the following day, at Ponte Stura converged a strong Austrian detachment of about 300 men. However the town was attacked by two battalions of the 106th Demi-Brigade, that had come from Casale through the Grana. They deployed themselves in three column starting from San Salvatore and Mirabello and assaulted Ponte Stura from three directions: from the main road to Alessandria, from the &ldquoCascina&rdquo of the Po and from the track to Ortiglia. In spite of the strong resistance of the Austrians, the French seized the Castle entering in its gardens, and taking over 300 Austrians prisoners. After the insurgents had left the town, Ponte Stura was pillaged.

On that same day, May 11, Rozenberg crossed the Po at Valenza, Suvorov himself overlooked this probe-operation, for the extreme danger of the passage, since the southern (right) bank of the Po commanded the stream, which was cut, there, into several channels forming islands. The Russians got possession of Mugarone, the larger of the Po islands, notwithstanding the opposition of the Adjutant-General Gareau.

The French defence was based on a three fortresses triangle (Casale, Valenza and Alessandria) with an utter, inner, triangle formed by the confluence of three major (at that time) rivers: Tanaro, Bormida and Po.

Valenza was connected by to good roads with Alessandria and Casale and, with an eastwards trail, to the village of Bassignana.

Casale on the Po or Monferrato is a town in the Piedmont, part of the province of Alessandria. It is situated about 60 km east of Turin on the right bank of the Po, where the river runs at the foot of the Monferrato hills. The impregnable citadel of Casale was mined and destroyed in 1795 following the terms of a truce-treaty .In town remained only its old castle: the Castle of the Paleologi (Palaiologos), an imposing 15th century military construction with a hexagonal plan with four angular towers and an encircling moat. Its civic tower, square in plan and made of bricks, 60 metres high, was built in 1510 with an attached bell tower. In 1799 Casale not a useful fortress, but was a good point to cross the river Po.

The remnants of the army had followed Moreau until the Valence Bridge, the only one existing over the Po since river Sesia until Turin, and found it burnt out. Furthermore, the boats-bridge, which the French had close to Pavia and which General Moreau had ordered to dismantle, the same day of the Adda clash, was not available, for the French artillery to pass to the on right bank. Moreau was forced to march in a hurry and to pass the river at Turin. Thus he went towards the capital city with the Grenier division and some remains of the Serrurier division which had reached the main column from the Novara&rsquos higher territories. That march of an army to Turin had the advantage of making the enemy uncertain of their intent, and thus able to cover the large parks of the army and protect the retreat from Milan, which was now occupied by Austrians.

After having made moving, to Mount Cenis and to Coni, all that he had out of artillery and parks, and after having ensured the re-entry in France of the administrations and civil &ldquocommissaires&rdquo, with all the non-combatants which were with the army, and after having given the necessary orders for Turin and its citadel, General Moreau went back to Alexandria to meet there the divisions of Victor and Laboissière. The Coalition Army pursued the French army, after the Ticino crossing. They crossed the Sesia only three days after Moreau, and, when its vanguards appeared in front of Turin, there were only ten or twelve French left behind.

The army that gathered under the Alexandria walls, consisted of about 23000-24000 men. It took its position at Bassignana, supporting its rear line at Alexandria, its left at Valence and Casale, with &ldquoeclaireurs&rdquo outpost on the left Po bank until Verrua (in front of Crescentino), and along the Bormida until Acqui. It was known, that the Russians occupied the Lomelline and the Austrians rambled between Voghera and Tortone. General Moreau sent consequently some battalions in Liguria, where there were too few French troops and which could be attacked from one moment to another. It gave the command of this country to general Pérignon. As told, the spreading of the insurgencies caused General Grouchy to order a call-up on April 30, ending with a totally insufficient effect. Apart from few hundred French, Grouchy could only count on 2 line battalions plus an artillery company in Alessandria (II/1a Aosta, II/3a Queen), and the other troops listed in the rest of Piedmont. Casale was garrisoned with two battalions (mainly conscripts) of the 106th Line Infantry. The Alessandria garrison was sent forward to defend the Po line between the village of Pecetto and Bassignana followed by a Swiss Legion&rsquos battalion.

In the meanwhile, Count Colli Ricci of Felizzano, already at disposition of the French from March and charged of the Alexandria defense against the Strevi rebels, was named Chef-de-brigade and had the task to reconstitute the French 14th Line demi-brigade, with Piedmontese volunteers. The personal prestige of the Piedmontese commander, in effects, attracted many veterans already under him during the Alps war of 1793-96. The 14th Line, officially, depended on the brigadier general François Jean Baptiste Quesnel du Torpt, but, on May 8, Colli Ricci had to replace him because of his temporary incapacity to combat. The 14th Line was sent between Pecetto and Bassignana, until the confluence of the rivers Tanaro and Po, where already the 3 battalions of the former Alessandria garrison stood, one Helvetian and two Piedmontese (II/1a and II/3a).

Arméè d&rsquoItalie HQ at Valenza

Commander-in-Chief: General de Division Jean Victor Marie Moreau

Note: this hypothetical French Order of battle is based on books and literature.

Division General Paul Grenier

6th Hussar Regiment Chef Jean-Baptiste-Gregoire Delaroche

13th Regiment Chasseurs à Cheval Chef Bouquet (?)

9th Régiment Chasseurs à Cheval Chef Claude Matthieu Gardane [ii]

Arriere Garde Detachment Chef de Brigade Louis-Stanislas-Xavier Soyez

106th Line Demi-Brigade II Battalion Chef Jean Claude Roussel [iii] - III Battalion. with Masséna in Switzerland

18th Light Demi-Brigade remnants of the I &ndash II and III Battalion &ndash Chef Louis-Stanislas-Xavier Soyez

AvantGarde (Brigade) Chef de Brigade Louis Garreau [iv]

68th Line Demi-Brigade II Battalion - Chef de Brigade Jules-Alexandre Leger Boutrouë [v] The I Battalion was with Montrichard, the III Battalion was in Turin

106th Line Demi-Brigade I Battalion. Chef de bataillon Dupellin [vi]

63rd Line Demi Brigade I-II-III Battalions Chef-de-Brigade Villaret [vii]

Brigade Général François-Jean-Baptiste baron de Quesnel du Torpt [viii]
Chef (Général) de brigade Luigi Leonardo Antonio Colli-Ricci Marchese di Felizzano [ix]

17th Light Demi Brigade Chef de brigade Dominique Honore Antoine Marie Vedel [x] - I-II Battalions.

14th Line Demi-brigade - Chef de Brigade Jean-Claude Moreau (Reserve)

Brigade Général count Louis Partounneaux

24th Line Demi Brigade &ndash I , II and III Battalions. Chef de Brigade Guinet ?

33rd Line Demi Brigade &ndash I , II Battalions. Chef de Brigade Roguet

Division General Claude-Victor Perrin

3rd Line Demi Brigade - Chef de Brigade Georges Mouton

5th Line Demi-brigade Chef de Brigade Louis-Hyacinthe Le Feron

21st Line Demi-Brigade Chef de Brigade Robert [xiv]

39th Line Demi-brigade Chef-de-brigade Antoine-Louis Popon de Maucune

92nd Line Demi-Brigade Chef Bruno-Albert-Joseph Duplouy - I II III Battalions.

93rd Line Demi-brigade Chef-de-brigade Charles-Sebastien Marion [xv]

99th Line Demi-brigade Chef-de-brigade Pierre-Joseph Petit

15th Chasseurs à cheval Chef-de-Brigade Louis Lepic

18th Regiment de Cavalerie (4 squadrons) Chef Denis Terreyre

3rd Régiment Chasseurs à Cheval Chef François-Alexandre Grosjean [xvi]

AvantGarde (Brigade) General Gaspard-Amédée Gardanne [xvii]

At Pecetto and Bassignana. It acted as division Grenier Reserve.

II Battalion Aosta - 1st Piedmontese Demi-Brigade

II Battalion Regina &ndash 3rd Piedmontese demi-brigade

1st Hussars Régiment - Chef de Brigade Joseph-Denis Picard [xviii]

The Battle of Bassignana

The May 12 morning General Chubarov with infantry and artillery, passed across the Po at Bassignana, and, as soon as the Cossacks saw these soldiers on the other side, they dashed into the river and swam over followed by one battalion of the Rozenberg vanguard, which was arriving at Borgo Franco. Other two Russian battalions were sent towards Frascarolo under Colonel Shukov, to control Valenza. In order to avoid strong French reactions, Vukassovich was sent forward to bombard Casale from the opposite Po bank. The main attack group had crossed the Mugarone pathway during the previous night: three Grenadiers battalions, three Jäger Companies , two Cossacks pulk, one Dragoons squadron and two artillery Companies . The first

Russian infantry column (Dalheim brigade), arrived at 5.00 PM of May 11, put into requisition some boats rowing to the Mugarone island. The Cossacks of Semjornikov passed through swimming with the horses. General Miloradovich and Grand Duke Constantin also crossed by night. Came close to the French, without glowing any lights, binding the horses&rsquo mouths with ribbons to avoid their whinnies and, above all, without any fire shot, they waited for the dawn at a distance of 100-200 meters from the French lines. The place of the attack, chosen, probably, by general Rozenberg himself, was mostly unfavourable to the Coalition&rsquos troops. The right (French) bank of Po dominated the opposite (Russian) bank, which was low, swampy and passable only on sand dikes (chaussées). The nocturn advance had the task to mask the Russian moves, in the hope to find a comfortable fording point to cross the last branch of Po, after Mugarone island. It was impossble to keep a bridgehead on the large island for its too soft ground but the fording attempt would have been protected by trees and bushes, which covered the French riverside.

Avantgarde Brigade general-major Nikolaj Andrejevich Chubarov

Imperial Russian 8th Jäger Regiment Major General Chubarov

Chief from May 13: GM Ivan Ivanovich Miller &ndash I Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Fjodorovich Wrangel. II Battalion.

Don Cossacks Regiment Semjornikov (Semernikov)

K.K. 4th Light Dragoons Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam 1 Squadron.

Detachment Colonel Shukov

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim &ndash I Battalion

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Sanajev Butyrsk and Archangelgorod Companies

K.K. 4th Light Dragoons Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam 1 Squadron.

Brigade General-major Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim [xix]

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug&rsquolsky (Tula) &ndash one battalion

Commander: Major Ivan Fjodorovich Golovin

General-major Constantin Pavlovich Romanov Grand Duke of Russia

Moreau, thinking such kind of operation imprudent and dangerous, gave orders to avoid the resistance at the outpost this would have attracted the whole Rozenberg division into the cauldron. The French retreated along the road to Alessandria and took new positions at Pecetto (near Valenza). They deployed the line behind a ravine with the left wing entrenched in Sant&rsquoAntonio, a village on the hills, which was defended with the artillery. The Grenier division occupied the front from Pecetto (right) to the Po (left), with Quesnel brigade at the engagement point. Victor was ordered to march forward from Alessandria in order to intercept the Russian flank. When Moreau heard news of the Russians passage he ordered Grenier to stand firm, renewing Victor to march in great haste from Alessandria. General Moreau, who was into Valenza, personally deployed his right wing. After having retreated the Bassignana detachment, as told, he took position on Pecetto heights, extending the left wing until the Po, with Valenza behind the line. The battle was received there, the French occupying higher positions.

On May 12, morning, Chubarov Vanguard concentrated on Mugarone island, beginning to ford the last branch of the Po. The Russians found Bassignana free of French the Cossacks patrols sent forward referred the Republicans were on Pecetto heights. General Chubarov, there, had ready only 3 ½ battalions with the Cossacks (about 2500 men). He advanced on two columns:

- the left one under Colonel Brunov had two Young-Baden Musketeers Companies and one Jäger battalion tried to control their left flank but were sent, with Chubarov, against Sant&rsquoAntonio

- the right one under Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel attacked Pecetto with the other Jäger battalion and two Companies of Sanajev Grenadiers (led by Grand Duke Constantin Pavlovich).

At about one o&rsquoclock the fight began the Grand Duke Constantin with his sword led his troops against the village of Pecetto, which the French held. Chubarov, after having reached San Antonio and Pecetto town, deployed his charging-columns. They tried several times to push the French downhill, but were always repulsed by the Quesnel brigade. The Russian reinforced the right flank of Chubarov sending two companies of Tytrov Musketeers and the following units:

General-major Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich 1st

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment Gd Rozenberg or Moskowsky (Moskow) one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky (Smolensk) &ndash one battalion

The extreme right wing of the Russian deployment was defended by Semjornikov Cossacks, reinforced with other two Tujrtov Musketeers Companies . But it was too late.

In the meantime, Victor, arriving from Alessandria, had become very close. From the heights, on which they were fighting, the Russians observed the long columns of the advancing French and the order of retreat was issued. They went back towards Bassignana to return on &ldquofriendly&rdquo river Po bank. But the misfortune reserved other surprises and the disengagement transformed itself into a real disaster.

While, when the Russian had disembarked at Bassignana, the Piedmontese inhabitants welcomed them with &ldquohurrahs&rdquo, but in return, instead, they were received with resentment and feelings of treachery. The peasants began to damage the carriages and the boats, most of which were unfastened and left free at the stream. Many of the Russian soldiers were obliged to retire onto the Mugarone Island. The flying bridge they established at this point having broke, they had to pass the night in the middle of the Po, under the bombardment of the French guns and against several assaults from Victor&rsquos Vanguard, they ran. During the late night some ferries were repaired and many soldiers did reach the left Po bank. Unfortunately the main group of the wounded was left behind with some detachments. When the French arrived, a large portion of the Russianss were forced to lay down their arms, while many others drowned into the Po, trying to swim to the opposite bank.

The other two Russian probes had the same bad luck. Colonel Shukov tried to cross the Po by boats. He reached an island in front of Valenza were he was pinned, because of strong musketry (the 63rd Demi-Brigade on the opposite bank), and the attack was aborted. Vukassovich passed the Po with some detachments, during the Casale bombardment. However the ferries, flooded by the strong current, were lost and a strong French attack destroyed the raiding party.

The Russians lost in this fight 1200-1500 men, dead, wounded and prisoners, with four guns. General Chubarov (for many sources, state that he was killed there) [xx] , however he was only wounded. Wounded were also Colonels Passek and Brunov, Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel, Majors Kochanowsky, Moller, Marchenko, Golovin, Korf along with another 50 officers. Colonel Tatarinov and other 6 officers died. [xxi]

The French had about 600 men put out of combat, including General Quesnel, who was wounded. This general was quickly replaced. Count Colli Ricci of Felizzano who, from March already at disposition of the French and charged of the Alexandria defense against the Strevi rebels, had been named Chef-de-brigade, had the task to reconstitute the French 14th Line Demi-Brigade [xxii] , after the battle, with Piedmontese volunteers. The personal prestige of that Piedmontese commander, in effects, attracted many veterans, who served under him during the Alps War of 1793-96.

Approaching the Great Citadel

Being Bassignana a sole Russian defeat, this made some pleased at Vienna and, conversely, disturbed the Czar in Moscow. The Emperor tried to suggest a possible solution stating that, if Suvorov would think General Rozemberg too much tired for the campaign fatigues, he had at his disposition a good replacement in Derfelden (the Grand Duke Constantin&rsquos tutor). In every case the defeat in the &ldquodemonstrative&rdquo attack had to be rapidly forgotten and the Russian army had to drive deeply into Piedmont to redeem itself. The important fortress of Alexandria ( Alessandria) had been approached just before Bassignana, on May 10 Cossacks Regiments Denissov, Molchanov and Grekov, supported by Kalemin Grenadiers, had cleared the French outpost in Marengo, while the Coalition Army was reaching the village of San Giuliano with the Austrians (HQs at Torre Garofoli) and Novi with Bagration&rsquos vanguard.

On May 13, the Austrians left Torre Garofoli moving northwards in direction of Sale and the Po they also transferred their HQs from Torre Garofoli to Castelnuovo Scrivia, leaving to the Tortona siege group the task to control the Genoese roads. Avantgarde Group Bagration was ordered to leave Novi and to march towards Cambio, an hamlet on the right Po bank 3 km north of Sale and 12 km east of Bassignana (by road). Sending this order to Bagration, Suvorov extended his &ldquoAt the Po!&rdquo call also to general Seckendorff. Most likely, the Russian Field Marshal had in mind something similar to a second &ldquorevenge&rdquo attack against Valenza.

At Cambio, the river Po passed through a group of large islands, however each smaller than Mugarone, and the point could have been selected as a safe fording point, having on the left bank, a good road connection from Cairo (Lomellina) to Lomello. The Russians musketeer battalions, not involved in the Bassignana affair, were, gathered under General Förster and sent towards Cambio to ford the river, waiting for the general. At Frascarolo, General Tuyrtov took the Rozenberg&rsquos place in order to control the front of Valenza.

Valenza Observation Group General-major Jacob Ivanovich Tuyrtov

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug&rsquolsky (Tula) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich one battalion

Don Cossacks Regiment Semjornikov (Semernikov)

Division Lieutenant General Ivan Ivanovich Förster

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Lieutenant General Förster (Tambov) - one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky (Smolensk) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Sanajev 2 Companies

However it was not yet possible to ford the river at Cambio. So Förster left his HQs at San Nazzaro de&rsquo Burgondi on May 13, passed the Po at the bridge of boats of Mezzana Corte, reached Pontecurone on the following day and, on May 15, entered Castelnuovo Scrivia ending their march at the Sale camp.

The intention to revenge Bassignana, if any, was early abandoned and Suvorov ordered a general march towards the Lomellina, leaving back only some siege groups actually a strange provision which seemed to leave the way open to Moreau linking together with Macdonald. However the opportunities to seize Casale and Valenza from the rear and to take Turin, mixed with some worries about the St. Gotthard struggles in southern Switzerland and the necessity to stay closer to Milano, determined Suvorov&rsquos decision. The new deployment had to begin on May 16 afternoon, but something different happened.

Battle at San Giuliano (or First Marengo)

Gachot was told, on May 16, to harass the Coalition&rsquos left flank. Moreau sent forward a strong task-force (of about 6000 men) to probe the enemy&rsquos intentions. The column, central, engaged the Austrians at San Giuliano Vecchio (old) where they found troops already in &ldquoorder of battle&rdquo. Chasteler, for Gachot, had given orders to deploy to his divisions (Bagration, Lusignan, Fröhlich and Lobkowitz ??). [xxiii] The French divisions Victor and Grenier were too weak to bring a decisive attack, but the Coalition&rsquos troops were almost taken by surprise. The Republicans had built a temporary bridge (a &ldquopont volant&rdquo) over the Bormida at the position named &ldquoI Cedri&rdquo (the Cedars). They passed the bridge and divided themselves into two columns, at 8.00 AM, along the main road, taking covers from the small stone walls: the left towards the Cascina Pietrabona (or Pederbona), the right towards la Cascina Stortigliona (names which will be renowned on the following year).

Left Wing Brigade Général Luigi Leonardo Antonio Colli-Ricci Marchese di Felizzano

17th Light Demi Brigade Chef de brigade Dominique Honore Antoine Marie Vedel I-II-III Battalions.

68th Line Demi-Brigade II Battalion - Chef de Brigade Jules-Alexandre Leger Boutrouë

14th Line Demi-brigade - Chef de Brigade Jean-Claude Moreau

1st Hussars Régiment - Chef de Brigade Joseph-Denis Picard [xxiv]

Right Wing Brigade General Gaspard-Amédée Gardanne

18th Light Demi-Brigade remnants of the I &ndash II and III Battalion &ndash Chef Louis-Stanislas-Xavier Soyez

II Battalion Aosta - 1st Piedmontese Demi-Brigade

II Battalion Regina &ndash 3rd Piedmontese demi-brigade

15th Chasseurs à cheval Chef-de-Brigade Louis Lepic

Brigade provisional Général de Brigade Louis Garreau (Center)
Two battalions probably deployed to watch the bridge over the Bormida in front of Alexandria

106th Line Demi-Brigade I Battalion. Chef de bataillon Dupellin

20th Light Demi-Brigade Chef-de-Brigade Lucotte (blocked in Ancona) &ndash one battalion ?

At 9.00 in the morning the French engaged the enemy, overrunning the weak outpost in Marengo, but the first strong musketry began at 10.00 AM, with some Austrian detachments repulsed away from Marengo, Spinetta and Cassina Grossa by the 74e demi-brigade, which led the advance.

Avantgarde detachement Rousseaux (from Gardanne brigade?)

74th Line infantry Demi-Brigade Chef Antoine-Alexandre Rousseaux [xxv]

In line between San Giuliano Vecchio and San Giuliano Nuovo, around 800 meters from Alexandria road, advanced the Jäger regiment Bagration and two Musketeers regiments. The left wing, beyond the &ldquochaussée&rdquo behind Cascina Grossa, was hold by two Russian battalions. At the two extreme wings the Coalition Army had two divisions of Lobkowitz Dragoons and the artillery. The Centre was organized with 6 battalions of the Fröhlich division (being the Grenadiers Korherr and Weber, the first line) by the right side of the road, while former Fiquelmont Grenadiers with the fusiliers battalions Stuart along the left side. In the rear were the other two battalions (Grenadiers Paar and Stentsch) with 5 squadrons of the Lobkowitz Dragoons, far around 200 mt from the first line. There was also a skirmisher screen organized taking 10 soldiers from each first line company.

Behind Cassina Grossa the armies clashed together. The artillery was kept on wings. The right Coalition&rsquos wing, led by Prince Bagration, repulsed the second French assault to the houses of San Giuliano. Then the Prince counterattacked with his Cossacks (Molchanov and Grekov) pushing general Colli back till the Tanaro river. The left wing and the Center of the Coalition&rsquos line, otherwise, began unbalanced at 12.00 o&rsquoclock some of the Coalized troops began to withdraw, also if supported by Cossacks raids (General Suvorov&rsquos report declared other two Cossacks attacks directed by Field-Atamans Molchanov and Grekov, in which the riders destroyed a squadron of the 1st Hussars and then captured 78 men).

As for the orders it had to leave Novi and march quickly through San Giuliano to Cambio. There it had to pass the Po to continue the march until Breme (near Frascarolo). Prince Bagration was caught into the clash while marching towards Sale. His avantgarde deployed at San Giuliano while the rearguard of the march column stopped near Cassina.

Avantguard Division General Prince Petr Ivanovich Bagration

Imperial Russian 7th Jäger (Jeghersky) Regiment GM Bagration &ndash 2 Battalions

Commander: Gen. Petr Ivanovic Bagration

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II &ndash I Battalion.

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg II Battalion.

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Lomonosov

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Dendrjugyn

Don Cossacks Regiment Molchanov

8th Don Cossacks Regiment Grekov

6th Don Cossacks Regiment Pasdejev

Grossa. After the San Giuliano battle, the orders chamged and Bagration was forced to wait at Gerola for the first occasion to pass through the Po (a stream less swollen) and to march along its left bank.

Austrian Units with outposts at Marengo, Spinetta, Castel Ceriolo. In all reports (Melas, Lusignan and Bagration) there was no mention about Karacsaj units, other than the weak outposts in Marengo. It seemed they did not participate at the battle, after the first skirmishes.

Avantgarde Brigade Generalmajor Andreas Freiherr Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam

K.K. IR 28 Infantry Regiment Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich I and II Battalions.

(the former Regiment Wartensleben) Commander: Oberst Franz Eder von Hartenstein

K.K. IR 8 Infantry Regiment (former Huff Regiment )

Commander: Obst Johann Schröckinger von Heidenburg (I-II III Battalions)

K.K. 4th Light Dragoons Regiment GM Andreas Frh. von Karacsaj de Vale-Sakam

Had 6 squadrons. Commander: Oberst Joseph Graf Nimptsch.

Central Division Generalmajor Freiherr Michael von Fröhlich

Under provisional command of Generalmajor Franz Joseph Marquis de Lusignan

Brigade Oberst Franz Xavier Weber von Treuenfeld

K.K. Hungarian Grenadier battalion Major Joseph Korherr ObstLeut. Johann Pértussy

K.K. Grenadier Battalion Oblt Franz Xavier Weber von Treuenfeld

K.K. IR 18 Infantry Regiment Graf Patrick Stuart

Commander: Obst Franz Weber von Treuenfeld - I and II Battalions

K.K. Grenadier Battalion Graf Joseph Fiquelmont Count Johann Morzin

Brigade Generalmajor Marquis Hannibal Sommariva

K.K. Grenadier Battalion FML Karl Graf von Mercandin Graf Carl Paar

K.K. Grenadier Battalion Freiherr Georg von Stentsch Graf Anton Schiaffinati

K.K. 10th Light Dragoons Regiment Joseph Fürst Lobkowitz

(had 6 squadrons in 3 divisions I II and III) Commander: Oberst Marquis Hannibal Sommariva &ndash Second Oberst and Commander Max Joseph Fürst Thurn und Taxis. II Div. ObstLt. Alois Graf Harrach &ndash III Div. Major Ignatz Molitor

Suvorov, fearing he was on the point to lose another battle, rode among his troops trying to rally those retreating. He stood, erect, on his horse wavening the sabre and cursing those fugitives. The Centre was heavily supported by General Sommariva, which gave time to Lusignan to come from Torre Garofoli with all his battalions and squadrons, which were deployed in front of San Giuliano Vecchio. In the early afternoon, they moved forward also the 4800 men of Kaim&rsquos division, reinforcing the left wing. At 4.00 PM, General Moreau, observing the new situation, gave the withdrawal order. The French returned to their single bridge in good order. In the late afternoon the troops of division Kaim took possession of the battered line and hold it until night. Moreau, having realized the overwhelming superiority of the Coalition&rsquos troops, organized the withdrawal leaving Gardanne and Colli brigades as Arriere-Garde. The village of Marengo was left behind with all the wounded soldiers gathered there. The village was abandoned at 5.00 PM and, an hour after, all French soldiers had passed the Bormida backwards. The Cedar&rsquos bridge was dismantled and at 6.30 PM the first Austrians were seen on the Bormida&rsquos bank, in reconnaissance.

Division Generalmajor Konrad Valentin Kaim

Avantgarde Brigade Oberst Graf Franx Xavier von Auersperg [xxvi]

K.K. IR 32 Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Samuel Gyulai

Commander: Oberst Franz Posztrehowsky von Millenburg - (I- Battalion) III Battalion to Mantua

K.K. IR 36 Infantry Regiment Fürst Carl Fürstenberg III Battalion.

K.K. 1st Light Dragoons Regiment &ldquoEmperor&rdquo Kaiser Franz II 1 squadron

Brigade Generalmajor Graf Joseph Mittrowsky

K.K. IR 32 Hungarian Infantry Regiment Graf Samuel Gyulai II Battalion

K.K. IR 36 Infantry Regiment Fürst Carl Fürstenberg (I-II Battalion) Commander: Oberst Conrad von Thelen

K.K. 1st Light Dragoons Regiment &ldquoEmperor&rdquo Kaiser Franz II

They had 6 squadrons. on three divisions. Commander: Oberst Franz Freiherr von Pilati. II Div. ObstLt. Baron Karl Kölbel &ndash III Div. Major Bernard Kees

The French lost 569 men (dead and wounded) while the Coalition Army lost 720 men (43 dead, 404 wounded and 273 missing) [xxvii] Prince Bagration was awarded with the Order of Aleksandr Njevsky for his bravery. The French retreat opened the doors of southern Piedmont. On May 18 the Russians entered Valenza and occupied Casale while Seckendorff and Shvejkowsky remained to siege Alexandria. Now the way to Turin was definitevely free. The Coalition&rsquos troops not involved in the San Giuliano battle were:

Infantry-general Andrej Grigorjevich Rozenberg Corps

Avantguard Brigade general-major Nikolaj Andrejevich Chubarov

Division Lieutenant General Jacob Ivanovich Povalo-Shvejkovsky 1st

Imperial Russian Grenadier Regiment GdI Rozenberg or Moskowsky (Moskow) I Battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baranowsky II &ndash II Battalion.

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky (Smolensk) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim &ndash I Battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug&rsquolsky (Tula) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian 8th Jäger Regiment Major General Chubarov

Chief from May 13: GM Ivan Ivanovich Miller &ndash I Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Fjodorovich Wrangel. II Battalion.

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Sanajev Butyrsk and Archangelgorod Companies

Rallying on the right Po bank

On the left Po bank

At Frascarolo (Valenza Observation Group)

Brigade General-major Jacob Ivanovich Tuyrtov

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Tuyrtov or Tug&rsquolsky (Tula) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich one battalion

Don Cossacks Regiment Semjornikov (Semernikov)

At Sale Camp (Reserve Group). These troops, led by the same Suvorov, left Sale in the May 16 afternoon to reinforce Bagration&rsquos group. In the evening they returned to Sale without having shot a single bullet.

Division Lieutenant General Ivan Ivanovich Förster

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment LG Povalo-Shveikovsky (Smolensk) &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Mihail Andrejevich Miloradovich one battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Lieutenant General Förster (Tambov) - I Battalion

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Young-Baden or molodo-Badensky &ndash one battalion

Imperial Russian Grenadier Battalion (GB) Kaljemin

At Tortona Camp (together with Seckendorff)

Brigade Colonel Stepan Nikolajevich Castelli

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment GM Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim &ndash II Battalion

5th Don Cossacks Regiment Denissov

2nd Don Cossacks Regiment Sujchev

Imperial Russian Musketeers Regiment Lieutenant General Förster (Tambov) - II Battalion

Brigade Generalmajor Friedrich Freiherr von Seckendorff

K.K. IR 19 Hungarian Infantry Regiment Freiherr Jozsef Alvinczy de Berberek

K.K. IR 34 Hungarian Infantry Regiment (future Freiherr Kraj de Kraiova)

(former Esterházy) (I-II Battalions) Commander: Oberst Johann Hillinger

K.K. 5th Hussar Regiment 4 squadrons

K.K. 14th Light Dragoons Regiment Franz Freiherr von Levenehr 6 squadrons.

Commander: Oberst Joseph Zinn. (it had 6 squadrons. On 3 div. I &ndash II - III) II Div. ObLt. Josef Prohaska &ndash III Div. Major Franz Graf Latour

The Coalition Army formed three columns which marched eastwards. They all camped at Casteggio, in the evening of May 17. On May 18 Bagration column established a bridge of boats near Bastida, followed by Fröhlich and Lusignan. On May 19 this little army passed over the Po, on 20 arrived at Mortara and on the following two days they rested there. On May 23 they formed two columns marching westwards through Vercelli, Santhià, rebuilding the Dora bridges, and arriving at Chivasso very tired. A second column (general Kaim) marched from Valenza to Casale and followed the right Po bank until Verrua and Turin. With San Giuliano was lost the last hope of General Moreau to link with Macdonald and Masséna (Switzerland) occupying a central position in Piedmont. He had too few men and had to reach Genoa to defend the old Sardinian border. Moreau divided his army in two columns: the two divisions. Victor (7200 men of which 200 were cavalrymen or 10 battalions and 4 squadrons) was sent to Savona, through Acqui and Cairo, in order to reinforce the link with the arriving Macdonalds army. It was a good example of how the French moved on that defenseless territory. Victor had to pass the Tanaro line, in Liguria, with 10 battalions in order to link with the armée de Naples. On May 19, passing near Acqui the column was attacked by insurgents. Chef-de-bataillon Raoust, leading the Vanguard and the 99th Demi-Brigade was wounded, 5 officers were killed. Victor, not having guns, did not react. He withdrew by night, fording the Bormida river, and reached Dego. There he was again attacked by peasants and his exasperate soldiers began to plunder hamlets and to put houses in flames. Then he tried to reach the Cairo&rsquos depots, but was again attacked by insurgents, armed with rifles. He reached Genoa without any baggage and artillery, left behind him during the troubled march. Grenier led his 8000 men to Asti (12 battalions, 24 squadrons or the whole cavalry, all artillery) leaving 3000 men behind to seize the Citadel of Alexandria. Moreau and Grenier sent vanguards until Carignano and Moncalieri but the movement towards Turin aborted. There were some reasons to avoid such a movement but, above all, said Grouchy: &ldquohad become essential to reduce the Piedmont insurrections which set ablaze all the country Piedmontese guides and Savoy Officers, who, in spite of bright services, were expelled from our ranks, about 616, under pretext they were emigrated, guided by these officers, the Insurgents cut all the communications of the army with France (we remained nearly five weeks without receiving news), removed its means of subsistence and its convoys&hellip&rdquo

[i] Generalmajor Andreas (András) Karacsaj Graf de Válje-Szaka was born at Kostanicza (Banal-Militärgrenze) on November 30, 1744 and died at Wiener-Neustadt on March 22, 1808. Son of an old nobility of Croatia, which distinguished against the Turks, had one brother, the younger, Kasimir (b. 1746) who died in 1793. He took the Service in 1758, 15 years old, as cadet of the Banal regiment, during the Seven Years war. He passed then to serve as Guard in the hungarian Leibgarde of Prince Esterházy, as captain and then, as Oberlieutenant, was in the regular army at the Carabiniers regiment Archduke Albert. There he became Rittmeister (the regiment having taken the name of Chevauxlégèrs Hesse-Darmstadt, then Levenehr). He distinguished himself at Praussnitz and Keul against the Prussians, and was promoted to Major. In 1787 he was in the Turks War at Chotym participating in many actions, after which he became Oberst. Finally leading a battalion of IR Kaunitz with 7 squadrons he went in campaign reaching Mohila Robea in Bessarabia. In 1789, at Walleszaka (April 19) with his battalion, 6 squadrons and 4 guns, he fought against a siege corps of about 5000 Turks, bringing himself in the attention of Russian General Suvorov. After that period he was awarded by the Emperor himself. On August 13 he was promoted Generalmajor, had the Ownership of the 4th Dragoons regiment and, in December, obtained the Maria-Theresia Knight Cross (in December 1790 he was also Commander of the Order and had the Great Cross of St.Anne&rsquos Order, from the Czarine Kathrine). The French Revolutionary wars caught him at Lemberg (L&rsquovov) as Brigadier. In 1794 he fought in Germany with hard engagements until 1795, when he, 51 years old, began to suffer from &ldquowar fatigue&rdquo often becoming ill. So he decided to retire from Duty and to live with his family and children, at Lemberg and, then, at Pest. During the Italian campaign of 1799 was his friend, Fieldmarshal Suvorov, who recalled it on duty. Karacsaj followed his regiment and was employed as Brigadier at the Trebbia, during the siege of Alessandria, at Novi and at Bosco in Autumn. After Suvorov departure, he remained in the Italienische Armée and fought in the second Novi battle. Now Field Marshal, Karacsaj ended the campaign in Italyand followed Kray to Germany. He was at Engen (May 1800) where he received two balls in the abdomen this was the first and the last wound. He recovered at Wiener-Neustadt where his four sons were studying at the Military Academy and where he died at the age of 64. So died one of best cavalry general of the Austrian army.

[ii] Chef Claude Mathieu Gardane Born in Marseille on 1766. Aged 14 he was Sous-lieutenant in the 1st Chasseurs regiment, Lieutenant on January 21, 1792, Captain on 1793 and chef d'escadron on 1794. Named by Directoire, on 14 prairial an IV, chef de brigade, had the command of 9th regiment of chasseurs à cheval. Moreau, général in chief of the armée d'Italie, witness oh his valour at Bassignana (23 floréal an VIII), named him général de brigade on the battlefield, rank confirmed on 27 vendémiaire an VIII. Had several wounded and was at the siege of Genoa in 1800 where he suffered a bad shot in the left leg. He was also Gouverneur des Pages on 1805, and aide-de-camp of Napoleon, with whom was ta Austerlitz, léna and Eylau. When King of Persia, Feth-Aly-Schah, wanted an alliance with France against Russia and England, Napoléon named him &ldquoministre plénipotentiaire en Perse&rdquo, on May 10, 1807. Returned in France on 1809 he was made Count of the Empire and sent to Spain as brigade general, first with the VIII corps and after with the IX. There he was suspended from the duty for having not obeyed to an order to move a force into Portugal. This fact caused the loss of trust of Napoleon and he was no more employed. King Louis XVIII recalled him on duty on June 12, 1814, but when he reached his command in the duke of Angoulème division, Napoleon was returning from Elba and he reached his Emperor. Napoleon forgave him and placed him at the Somme defences. On September 4, 1815 gardane retired and died on January 1818.

[iii] Jean-Claude Roussel, Born: 25 September 1771 - Chef-de-Brigade: 16 December 1799 - General-de-Brigade: 10 March 1809 - Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 27 July 1809 - Baron of the Empire: 6 October 1810 - Died: 26 July 1812 (killed at Ostrowno)

[iv] Adjutant-Général Louis Gareau (or Garreau 28.05.1769-30.05.1813). He was transferred (1799) to Italy&rsquos Army, with the Serurier division, and later with general Grenier. On 30th March passed the Adige at Polo&rsquos bridge leading the Piedmonteses. Pescantina was occupied but disorder among ranks of Meyer brigade leaded to a disaster. Serurier losses at Polo: 1500 prisoners. Gareau was named general de brigade on May 13, a provisional charge after the Bassignana battle. In October 10, 1799 he was transferred to the French maltese garrison where (1800) he was taken prisoner by the British and then released &ldquoon parole&rdquo.

[v] Chef de brigade Jules-Alexandre-Léger Boutrouë, born at Chartres, on April 20, 1760. He was on duty by the infatry regiment Rohan-Soubise, as a simple soldier, and remained there in the period 1778, 1779 et 1780, in the Église company. Retired in 1780 he began to study Law when the Revolution outbroke. He enrolled again as Aide-major in the National Guard (Fertè-Bernard), becaming a Captain of the Chasseurs de la Garde nationale of Mans. On September 3, 1791, he went to war as volunteer and captain of 1er bataillon Voluntaires de la Sarthe. From January 1792 he was at the 33e régiment d&rsquoinfanterie, the old regiment Touraine, where he was named First.Lieutenant (June 15, 1792). In 1794 he led a battalion (1er bataillon du Mont Terrible) as Chief and, in the same year, he was named Chief of the 65e demi-brigade, which became the 68e (27 floreal an II). At the end of 1795 he was wounded and captured on the Rhine front, at Kehl. The following year he was released by exchange. Called to Italy he was under Grouchy in Piedmont and took part in the battle of Novi, where he was again taken prisoner. In 1804 he became Colonel of the 56th Line infantry and Knight (first) Commander (after) of the Legion d&rsquoHonneur. He had also the honorary command of the 2e régiment des Grenadiers d&rsquoElite (reserve of the Army of England). He fought his last campaign in 1805 with Massena. Near Caldiero, the Colonel had a leg truncated by a cannon ball, while he was leading the 1st brigade of the 2nd division (in the place of general Brun, mortally wounded during the second day of the battle). The brave Colonel Boutroue died in Verona on December 4, 1805, after having suffered two amputations. He was 45 years old, the older Colonel in the Army.

[vi] Chef de bataillon Jean Dupellin o Duppelin. Born on April 3, 1771 in Phalsbourg (Meurthe). On 4 messidor an IV, he was named chef de bataillon in the 106e demi-brigade de ligne and was in Italy from 1799 to 1803. During the siege of Genoa (1800) he was wounded four times on the Montefaccio, and had an award. In 1806 he was Colonel of the 85e regiment de ligne He died on the battlefield a Thorn (Prussia), on January 25, 1813.

[vii] In the place of Chef-de-Brigade Antoine-Francois Brenier de Montmorand, wounded at Verona on April 4 and after Magnano on April 17, (subsequently named General-de-Brigade for merits on the battlefield on June 15, 1799) the demi-brigade was led by : Chef-de-Brigade Villaret (died in 1800) a poorly known Officer. He was renowned as one of the most reliable Officers of the Army of Italy. He died on April 15, 1800, during the assault of the Hermette mountain, replaced by Captain Blanc.

[viii] François-Jean-Baptiste Quesnel baron du Torpt (1765-1819) He was recalled at the armée d'Italie (17 pluviôse an VIII). Quesnel was on Verona battlefield and later had the left arm wounded at Bassignana. The pain of the fracture forced him to ask a rest period in 1800.

[ix] Colli-Ricci Marchese di Felizzano Luigi Leonardo Antonio Giuseppe Gaspare Venanzio , b. 23 March 1756, Alessandria d. 31 March 1809, Alessandria. Born in a family of the ancient nobility (in 1757 or 1760, according to some sources). He began his military service as an ensign in the regiment of Monferrato on 10 June 1773. He was second lieutenant aide-major on 10 June 1774, lieutenant on 20 July 1775, captain-lieutenant on 2 May 1781, captain in the regiment of Pignerol on 8 May 1782, transferred to the regiment of Acqui on 27 June 1786, became 1st Major of the regiment of Mondovì on 13 March 1793, major commanding the 2nd battalion of chasseurs on 10 April 1794, lieutenant-colonel on 2 March 1795, colonel of infantry on 5 December 1795, colonel of a corps composed of the 1st and 2nd battalions of chasseurs on 20 March 1796. After the peace he became chief of staff to an auxiliary division gathered at Novara, commander of light troops on 10 March 1797, adjutant-general in the French service on 12 December 1798, general of brigade on 5 May 1799, wounded and captured at Pasturana at the battle of Novi (15 August 1799). General of division on 14 September 1802, he commanded the 23rd military division, then the department of Liamone ( Corsica). Retired on 6 June 1806. Crippled by debts, and pursued by a horde of debitors, Colli died almost in poverty . His name is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe on the south side. (War Archive). His mother was a Beccaria, and his uncle was Vittorio Alfieri, the illustrious writer, who criticised him for having rallied to the French . Colonel Marchese Colli was not related to General Baron Colli-Marchi or Marchini belonged to the Austrian army, and Colonel Marchese Colli-Ricci to the Sardinian army.

[x] Chef de brigade Dominique Honore Antoine Marie Vedel (1771-1848) From 1799 to 1803 - Chef de brigade of the 17e Demi-brigade légère, replaced Chef Fornesy. From 1803 to 1805 - Chef-de-Brigadecommander of the 17e regiment of Light Infantry. In 1805 he was named general-de-brigade (24.12.). In 1806 he led the 3rd brigade (1st Inf. division &ndash V Corps). Later commander of the place of Magdeburg (28.02.) on November 3, 1807 he was general-de-division. In 1808 he was named count of the Empire leading the infantry division of the II Observation Coros of the Gironda. With this he was at Baylen 1809. Returned in France he was arrested and emprisoned (until 1811).

[xi] Baron Charles-Louis-Dieu Donné Grandjean Born in Nancy on December 29, 1768. Named adjudant-général chef de brigade. With this rank he was at Pastrengo, as provisional brigade general from March 26th, where he attacked the entrenched camp taking prisoners 1,200 austrians near the Adige, being promoted to the rank of général de brigade on the battlefield. Then he fought at the Trebbia battle where he was wounded two times.

[xii] comte Henri-François-Marie Charpentier (1769-1831): Born at Soissons (Aisne) on June 23, 1769. During the years VI and VII Charpentier was in Italy as Chef-de-bataillon of 94th Line infantry. Employed as Adj. Général he was also named provisional Général de brigade from April 5, 1799 (Magnano battle) and definitively named brigadier on July 30, 1799, after the Trebbia battle where he had two horses killed under himself and where he was wounded at the abdomen. He distinguished himself at Novi and, in 1800, at Marengo. As Général-de-brigade he had Chief of Staff duties under Moncey and Jourdan and, in 1804, he had the Commander Cross of the Legion d&rsquoHonneur. On February 16, 1804 he became Général de division.

[xiii] Claude-Joseph Buget Born in Bourg,on september 10 1770. Son of a chief surgeon of the Bourg Hospital, would have had to make the priest or a clerical career but the revolution advised to leave the Catholic School for the army. Left like soldier, it had the nomination to second lieutenant on April 25, 1793, in a regiment of the armée du Nord, and was assigned to the General Staff of Dugommier, charged to besiege Toulon. Buget was distinguished in siege obtaining the nomination to adjudant-général, chef de bataillon. On November 20, 1798 was sent as adjudant-général to the armée d&rsquoItalie transferred from the Armée de Mayence. On June 13, 1795 became Adjudant General Chef de Brigade. He received his first wound on March 26 (6 germinal) under the walls of Legnago, and on the following May 16 (27 floréal) was wounded again at Marengo (San Giuliano). For the merits acquired at Pastrengo he received the gift of the Honour Sabre and a complimentary letter from the Directory on 4 floréal an VII. The First Consul wanted personally to award him with the rank of général de brigade (10 July 1799). Baron of the Empire: 26 October 1808. On October 2nd, 1839 he died at Perpignan.

[xiv] Chef Robert was severely wounded in the 1795 Rhine campaign. So, on August 20, 1798, he was allowed to retire. In the emergencies of 1799, howevere, he was recalled to arms as, chef remis en activité: 6e complémentaire an VII

[xv] The 93e Demi brigade de Ligne came in Italy on February 1797. There it received the new flags, model &ldquoArmée d'Italie&ldquo designed by Bonaparte himself, on July 1797 at Belluno, Italy, in the Division Delmas: flags totally blank of Battle Honours. For this reason it was decided to add the phrase "Traversée du Tirol" on the flags. In 1799, the 3rd battalion of the 93th was envoyed at Mantua&rsquos garrison. There its flag was taken by Austrians when the fortress capitulated, July 30. While the Chef was Varennes, the most important officer of the demi-brigade was the Grenadier commander Chef-de-Bataillon Charles-Sebastien Marion ( Born: May 7, 1758 . Chef-de-Brigade: September 6, 1799 . General-de-Brigade: August 20, 1805 . Officer of the Legion d'Honneur: June 14, 1804 . Baron of the Empire: September 9, 1810 . Died: September 7, 1812 (killed at la Moskowa battle).

[xvi] Chef-de-Brigade Charles-Augustin Salomon de Moulineuf was substituted by Chef dB François-Alexandre Grosjean, promoted chef de brigade, in his place, as Salomon retired on 17 germinal an VII. (April 6, 1799) the day after Magnano.

[xvii] Général Gaspard-Amedée Gardanne Born on April 24, 1758 in Solliers (Vàr), entered the service, March 1, 1779, as lieutenant in the gunners coastguard, and here remained until September 30, 1780, time of his passage in the King&rsquos Guards. He left the duty in 1784, however, when the Revolution outbroke, he was elected second major of the 1st Vàr battalion, September 16, 1791. Commander of this same battalion on November 31, 1792 he made the campaigns of the Alps. Adjudant-General chief of brigade by decree of the people representatives, on September 13, 1793, he was confirmed in this rank by decree of the 23 germinal year II, and took an active share in the operations at Toulon. Transferred at the army of Italy, the adjudant-General Gardanne distinguished at the camp of Sabion ( Piedmont), near Tende pass. For this he was named temporarily brigadier general, on January 23, 1796. At the passage of Mincio he was with a bunch of 50 grenadiers to hold the Borghetto bridge. General Gardanne, defined by Bonaparte as &ldquoa Grenadier by size as by courage&rdquo put the Austrians in rout. At the battle of Castiglione, Gardanne put again in rout the enemy and contributed strongly to the success of this combat. Always with avant-guard tasks he was in Tyrol and at la Corona with Vaubois and then at the first day of Arcole, when he made 400 prisoners, at the second, when he captured other 2,300 Austrians, among whose was a general major, taking 11 guns and 2 flags. The 27 Brumaire, when the enemy made a move to seize the bridge, general-in-chief Bonaparte gave him the order to ambush from a wood, with 2 battalions of the 32e half-brigade. As soon as the Austrians appeared, Gardanne attacked them with impetuosity and made other 2,000 prisoners rejecting many enemies in Adige, where a great number drowned. There he was wounded by a shot, but he did continue to lead the column. Confirmed brigadier general, by decree of the Directory, on March 30, 1797, he continued the italian campaign. In 1799 he distinguished himself especially at Bassignana. Then Gardanne was blocked in Alexandria where was taken prisoner. At the beginning of the 1800 Gardanne came to Paris and took a very-active part with the events of 18 brumaire. Bonaparte, become first Consul, did not forget the services of Gardanne he named him division general on 15 nivôse year VIII. Called at the command of the 6th infantry division of reserve army he was at Marengo where he obtained his greatest glory. Gardanne still contributed, under the orders of Brune, at the Mincio, Brenta and Adige passages. Returned to France he was named commander of the 20th military division. In 1801 the first Consul entrusted to him the command of the French troops employed in the republic of Genoa, and in 1802 he charged him with the comamnd of all French Corps stationed in the Italian republic. He continued to exert his functions until 1805 when he passed to the command of one divisions of the army of Italy under Masséna. Gardanne distinguished himself in the combat of Caldiero. Transferred in 1806 to the 9th army corps, he made the campaigns of Prussia and Poland. After the peace of Tilsit, he returned to France by Silesia, when was ill by a pernicious fever in Breslau, and there he died on August 14, 1807.

[xviii] Chef de Brigade Joseph-Denis Picard &ndash (Born: July 23rd, 1761 - Chef de Brigade of 1st Hussars: January 8th, 1797 former adjudant général, future général, promoted chef de brigade with Patent 7 pluviose an VI (January 26, 1798) - Brigade General : February 26th, 1803 - Legion d'Honneur: December 11th, 1803 - Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: June 22nd, 1804 - Baron of the Empire: June 1st, 1808 - Died: January 20th, 1826).

[xix] Baron Ivan Ivanovich Dalheim, from April 28, 1798, was General-Major. Previously he was the Colonel commander of the Grenadier regiment of Astrakhan. Until June 28, 1799 he led the Musketeers regiment of Archangelogorod.

[xx] The French said, in a Bulletin, they had found a corpse with a brilliant uniform, and they were sure being the general Chubarov. Jomini confirmed this in his &ldquoHistoire des Guerres de la Révolution&rdquo (XI vol. p. 294), however he presented again Chubarov, alive, in the Trebbia battle (XI vol. p. 359). In a successive Report Chubarov was killed a second time at Pistoia (June 24, 1799). At least, at the time the French re-occupied Constance (October 7, 1799) the sergeant-major Heyberger killed Chubarov for the third time (from War Archives). Actualy, this three time dead man returned in Russia with Suvorov at the end of the campaign.

[xxi] Bagration gave these details: Dead (1 Staff Officer, 6 Officers, 326 NCOs and soldiers) wounded (1 general, 8 Officers, 50 inferior Officers, 600 NCOs and soldiers).

[xxii] At Bassignana, the 14th Line, officially, depended on the brigadier general François Jean Baptiste Quesnel du Torpt, wounded during the combats. It was sent between Pecetto and Bassignana, until the confluence of the rivers Tanaro and Po, where already the 3 battalions of the former Alessandria garrison stood, one Helvetian and two Piedmontese (II/1a and II/3a). After Bassignana, Colli Ricci had to replace Quesnel because of his temporary incapacity to combat.

[xxiii] Other sources said that the Austrians were totally surprised and the new of approaching French was received at 9.00 AM into the Torre Garofoli camp by general Lusignan. A sudden War Council with FML Kaim, arrived at Torre Garofoli during the early morning, left Lusignan alone to engage the enemies, being Kaim&rsquos troops too tired to fight. The French had overrun the Austrian outpost of general Karacsaj at Marengo and were advancing in line towards San Giuliano vecchio. Bagration was caught by musketry during his march towards Sale and deployed his units in order of battle at the left wing. This second version seems more reliable. As for Coalition&rsquos troops ready for battle, it was a situation totally in contrast with the Suvorov&rsquos marching orders.

[xxiv] Chef de Brigade Joseph-Denis Picard &ndash (Born: July 23rd, 1761 - Chef de Brigade of 1st Hussars: January 8th, 1797 former adjudant général, future général, promoted chef de brigade with Patent 7 pluviose an VI (January 26, 1798) - Brigade General : February 26th, 1803 - Legion d'Honneur: December 11th, 1803 - Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: June 22nd, 1804 - Baron of the Empire: June 1st, 1808 - Died: January 20th, 1826).

[xxv] Antoine-Alexandre Rousseaux, born on September 17, 1756 soldier on October 1, 1775 sergeant on July 17, 1779 adjutant on May 10,1789. He was caught by the Revolution outbreak amd began the Officer career as second-lieutenant (29.10.1790), firts-lieutenant (16 december 1790) captain (25 february 1792). In 1794 he was named Adjudant-général chef-de-brigade and in the following year he was chef-de-brigade.

[xxvi] Oberst Franz Xavier Johann Sarkender Alois Priskus Graf von Auersperg was born on January 19, 1749 and died at Przemysl on January 8, 1808. He was Major in the IR 36 Fürst Carl Fürstenberg and in 1793 was named Oberstlieutenant. In 1796 he reached the rank of second colonel in the regiment. As IR 36 Oberst he made the 1799 campaign in Italy distinguishing himself at Novi. After that battle he received the provisional rank of brigadier (October 2) and was confirmed Generalmajor on November 18, 1799, after having fought with bravery the Savigliano battle. In 1800 he was at Mondovì and at Lesegno clash (October 26). In 1802 he had the Cross of Maria Theresia and on April 1807 he was named Feldmarschall-leutnant. He became the Owner of the K.k. IR 37 and Territorial Division commander at Kaschau ( Kosice). He died in the fortress of Przemysl.

[xxvii] Suvorov&rsquos report declared 2500 French dead and 200 taken prisoners (he often overestimated the enemy&rsquos losses). The Field Marshal told that the Coalition lost 27 dead (one being Officer) and around 80 wounded. A memoir told about 180 dead (6 Officers) and 250 wounded for the Austro-Russians. Melas&rsquo report of July 11 declared 97 dead and 286 wounded (11 Officers) with 115 French taken prisoners. Lusignan&rsquos report of July 9 declared about 300-400 French prisoners.

Cittadella of Alessandria

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The Cittadella is a large fort in the city of Alessandria in Piedmont, Northern Italy. Currently, it stands as one of the best-preserved fortresses designed in the modern era.

The construction of the star fort of Alessandria began in the early 18th-century, when, after the War of the Spanish Succession, the House of Savoy took control of the city. The fort, part of a larger defense system all around the domains of the Savoy family, was built starting in 1732 at the expense of the former neighborhood of Bergoglio. The result was a large, six-bastioned fortress surrounded by a moat and protected by more fortifications.

The first test for the new fort came in 1745 when it resisted the French and Spanish siege of Alessandria for seven months during the War of the Austrian Succession. During the Napoleonic invasion of Italy, the fort was controlled by the French and was sieged by the Austro-Russian army in 1799. After this battle, the fort was expanded to become one of the main military installations of the French empire. In 1814, the Austrian army captured the fort and transferred it to the Kingdom of Sardinia.

In 1821, the garrison of the Cittadella mutinied marking the start of the Piedmont Insurrection and the tricolor of the Carbonari flag, the revolutionary group fighting for the unification of Italy, was raised on the fort. The insurrection quickly spread to all Piedmont, becoming the first large rebellion calling for Italian unification, a pivotal moment in the Risorgimento.

The rebellion was suppressed by the Austrians who occupied the fortress until 1823. It was later the site of a battle between Sardinia and the Austrian Empire during the Italian Wars of Independence. Mostly spared by World War II bombings, the fort remained in use until 2007 and is now a museum.

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Background [ edit | edit source ]

Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan, later the Duke of Milan, had ambitions to control the whole of northern Italy but the city of Florence stood up against him and formed a defensive League which included Francis Novello da Carrara, Stephen III of Bavaria and Jean III of Armagnac. In March, 1390 they hired the English mercenary, John Hawkwood and his private army to defend the town and requested help from Jean III.

Hawkwood prepared defensive earthworks and repulsed an attack by a Milanese army led by General Jacopo dal Verme. He then dug in at Pandino, some 10 miles south-east of Milan, in June 1391 to await the arrival of Jean III, who was crossing the Alps from France with his army. However, after being continually harassed by Dal Verme's troops, Hawkwood's men struck camp and retreated from the district.

Watch the video: Battle of Lissa 1866 Austro Prussian War (January 2022).