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under the Prince Royal of Würtemburg, with The French, driven out, rallied, however, at the about 30,000 troops, was to pour through the wood foot of the height, and supported by well-posted of Vincennes on the barriers of Charonne and the artillery, returned to renew the struggle for the Trône; the third by the north, in the plain of St. unhappy villages. On the plateau of Romainville Denis, was to be headed by Blucher himself, and there was equally hard fighting, but the French to march on the right of Montmartre, Clichy, and had not the same success. Pressed on both flanks, Etoile. On the French side, Marmont had to Marmont struck a bold blow for life rather than scale the escarpments of Charonne and Montreuil, for victory. He threw himself in front of four and establish himself on the plateau of Romainville; battalions, formed in column, and pushed like a while Mortier, traversing the exterior boulevard battering-ram straight at the Russian centre. from Charonne to Belleville, and descending by Twelve cannons loaded with grape gave a rude Pantin, La Villette, and La Chapelle, to the plain welcome to the intruders, Marmont being at the of St. Denis, established his right wing on the same moment attacked in front and in flank. The canal of the Ourcq, his left at Clignancourt, at the four French columns fell back after a furious foot of Montmartre. Marmont, finding the Rus- hand-to-hand fight. Marmont was already weighed sians in possession of Romainville, with 1200 men down by his assailants, when a daring officer, threw himself on their rear-guard and drove them named Ghesseler, broke from a wood with 200 back on Pantin and Noisy. Barclay de Tolly, men, and rushed at the Russian columns, to give vexed at his repulse, resolved to retake Romain- time to Marmont to retreat towards Belleville. ville, and called
his reserve. General Mezen- Bravely as they had resisted, the French were zoff, who had been repulsed in the morning, pushed everywhere outnumbered; and along the line from forward his stubborn grenadiers and won the St. Denis to the Barrière du Trône, the allies, height. The Russian cuirassiers, driving along according to Thiers, had lost already 10,000 men, the plateau of Montreuil, tried to charge the the French C000. The allies, however, dreaded retiring French infantry, but
infantry, but were repelled. the return of Napoleon, and the blow of despair The French batteries, served by mere Poly- he might strike. About three in the afternoon technique lads with skill and devoted courage, Brigadier Paixhan placed heavy guns on the kept up a most determined plunging fire with declivity of Ménilmontant by Belleville, and Chaugreat effect. Ledru des Essart's young guard mont. His gunners, waited with stern calmness had also reconquered, tree by tree, the wood of for the masses of Russians and Germans, whose Romainville, and thus outflanked the Russian front ranks were mowed down by the relentless troops. Marshal Mortier had already taken up his fire. The allies, however, pushed on and attacked position on the plain of St. Denis. On the north, Marmont in the rear; who, to prevent being Blucher was advancing over the plain of St. Denis. cut off, collected his forces, and rushed on the The bulk of the Prussian infantry advanced to the Russian grenadiers, whom he broke and drove foot of Montmartre; General York's corps, on the back beyond the barrier, and then resumed left of the allies, moved on La Chatelle; and the the defence at the octroi wall. Mortier, in the corps of Kleist and Woronzoff, still more to the plain of St. Denis, was also in an all but hopeleft, bore down on La Villette. The Prince Royal less condition, though he still kept a brave front of Würtemburg also advancing, and carrying the to the enemy. The divisions at La Villette were bridge of St. Maur, made a circuit round the now in the centre of a mass of Russians and Gerforest and attacked Charenton by the right bank. mans, when Mortier rushed with part of the old The brave national guards had tried to defend the guard down on La Villette, and drove out the bridge at Charenton with l'Ecole d'Alport; but Prussian guard with great carnage. But fresh finding their rear in danger, they abandoned the masses poured in, and drove him over the plain position, and pushed across the country to the into the barriers of Paris. The heights of Montleft of the Seine. The allied forces were now in martre were then wrested from a handful of sapline, and the firing commenced in one broad belt. pers, and subsequently the Clichy barrier, which To the north Prince Eugene fell on Pantin and the national guards, under Marshal Moncey, were Près St. Gervais, and grappled with the Boyer de bravely defending. As M. Thiers says eloquently, Rebeval and picked divisions of the young guard. I when he reaches this point in his history: “Such
was the termination of two and twenty years of tion in the Chamber, on the other hand, contended victory. The triumphs at Milan, Venice, Rome, that the only way to fortify the city efficiently was Naples, Cairo, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Dresden, to build a rampart all round it. At this juncture Berlin, Warsaw, and Moscow, now closed dis- the duke of Orleans, the intelligent but unfortunate astrously before the walls of Paris.” Marmont, heir-apparent to the throne, proposed a new prodesirous of saving the city from ruin and blood-ject, combining the two plans, viz., to have Paris shed, sent three officers to Prince Schwartzenberg fortified with circular ramparts as well as with to propose terms. At that moment General Dejean detached fortresses. arrived in breathless haste, to announce that Na- The opponents of the scheme, however, declared poleon would appear within two days with 600,000 that the notion of a siege or of an assault of the men, and that, therefore, the enemy must be capital of the civilized world, with its public monuresisted at any cost, or cajoled by a sham parley. ments, its riches, and its population of near two But it was too late; the imperial star was waning, millions, was insensate. How could whole legions fortune had hidden her face. The allies refused of men be got to occupy all the points of that vast to resume negotiations till Paris surrendered, and enceinte? Even if they could be got together it hostilities were suspended. The marshals con- would, with the city blockaded, and the enemy's sented to save Paris by evacuating it that night, flying columns devastating the country, be imposand retiring to Fontainebleau. Meanwhile, Napo- sible to feed them, not to speak of the multitude leon was flying to save the city, but at Fromenteau of refugees from the surrounding villages and he met General Belliard, and heard the fatal news towns who would be forced to take shelter within that struck him like a thunderbolt. He sat down its walls. Nor would it be possible to keep in by the two fountains on the Juoisy road, hid order such a mass of human beings on the brink his face in his hands, and, in those moments of famine, liable to frequent panics and seditions, of agony, struck out a great plan to still save and but too ready to impute their disasters to France, which, however, it was not permitted him treason. If Paris was to be defended it should to accomplish. On March 31 Frederick William be at the frontier. In a political point of view, a III. of Prussia, and Alexander I. of Russia, made series of bastilles, enveloping in a circle of fire the their entry into the city.
city which represents the whole of France, would The following year witnessed a repetition of the be full of peril to liberty and the free institutions feat. On the 2nd of July, 1815, the Prussians, of the country. The idea of fortifying Paris was under Blucher, took Montrouge and Issy by storm, not merely an illusion, it was a menace and a while Wellington forced his way into the northern danger; and the treasure which it was proposed and eastern suburbs, and on the 7th the English to lavish on it, the amount of which could not be and Prussian guards once more trod the Boulevards. fixed beforehand, but which, in any case, must be
Projects for fortifying Paris had been enter- enormous, would be more usefully spent in maktained from the Revolution in 1789. Since the ing roads, canals, railways, steamships, &c. works opposed to the Allies in the operations above The defenders of the project, which was subreferred to had utterly failed, Napoleon I. had other mitted to a committee consisting of M. Billault, plans in view in the latter years of his reign, and General Bugeaud, Matthieu de la Redorte, Allard, while at St. Helena ordered a memorial of his in- Liadéres, General Boguereau, Bertin, Odillon Bartentions to be drawn up. After the revolution of rot, and Thiers, contended that, far from exposing 1830 the project was again revived, and in 1831 Paris to a siege, the fortifications would for ever the works were commenced by Louis Philippe ; prevent it. The capital was not more than six but on the return of peace, after the siege of days' march from the frontier, and the centralizaAntwerp, they were abandoned for a second time. tion in it of all the impulsive forces of the nation
It was reserved for M. Thiers, in 1840, to carry out rendered France utterly incapable of resistance the projects to their fullest extent. Louis Philippe were Paris taken. When it was entered in 1814 had made up his mind to fortify the capital, and and 1815 all France surrendered. Paris, as an with his council and generals held that the best open city, seemed to invite the enemy, who would system of defence was the erection of several fort be anxious only to hurry on and strike the decisive resses, built in front and around it. The Opposi- | blow. Paris fortified, that sort of war would be
impossible, and the enemy would be obliged to Republican Opposition had the patriotism to abstain employ regular tactics, to take fortified places, and from all opposition on a question which so deeply to secure his communications before venturing concerned the defence of the country. They not to approach the interior of France. That which only did not oppose, but combated in the columns without fortifications was little more than a coup of the National, then their principal organ under de main, would become with fortifications an un- the management of Armand Marrast, the objections dertaking of magnitude and hazard. And should brought forward against the fortifications; and a Paris be besieged, it would certainly know how speaker of the extreme Left, M. Arago, in a speech to defend itself. Valenciennes, Lille, Mayence, which attracted much attention, defended the Dantzic, Hamburg, and Strassburg had proved system of the enceinte continuée. Having passed that the genius of Frenchmen was not less fitted the Chamber of Deputies, it was carried up to the for sieges than for battles. It was likewise asked Peers on the 11th of February, when, after a how Paris could be fed. The question should be discussion which lasted six weeks, it passed by a -How an army that besieged Paris could be fed? majority of 147 against 85. In ordinary times the capital always had provisions M. Thiers and his cabinet entered heartily into for five weeks at least, and in case of invasion little the work, and the duke of Orleans, with the coneffort would suffice to supply it for two months ; course of officers of the génie, submitted plans of the and where was the army of 200,000 or 300,000 fortifications to a full council of the ministers, men that could live a single month concentrated which were ordered to be executed under the in such a space? Moreover, how could Paris, with direction of Marshal Dode de la Brunnerie. fortifications eighteen leagues in circumference, be The district in which the city is situated is blockaded? The besieging army should extend crossed by four longitudinal roads—1. From Paris on a front of twenty-two leagues, cut up stream to Strassburg by Meaux, Chateau Thierry, Epernay, and down stream by the great course of the Seine! and Châlons, now skirted by a railway. This was The attempt would be madness. A good deal the route taken by Blucher's army in its march to had been said about terrorism, panic, want of Paris. 2. From Paris to Châlons by Meaux, Fertèconfidence, &c. To this it was replied that sous-Jouarre, Montmirail, and Champaubert. This before the first line of outer works was carried route Blucher took in his first march in 1814, when Paris would certainly be delivered—either the his army was destroyed by Napoleon in the battles army, which there would have been time to of Champaubert, Montmirail, Chateau Thierry, and reform, or the want of supplies, would force the Vauchamps. 3. From Paris to Vitry by Langwy, enemy to retire. Regarding the danger to liberty, Coulommiers, Fertè Gaucher, Sezanne, and Fère where, it might be asked, could be found a Champenoise. The allies took this route in 1815, tyrant so barbarous, and withal so stupid, as to in their last march on Paris, when they defeated at fire on his capital, and confound in his wrath Fère Champenoise and Fertè Gaucher the corps of friends and foes? With respect to expense, Marmont and Mortier. 4. From Paris to Nogenteven exaggerating all the calculations, it would sur-Seine by Brie Comte Robert, Mormans, Nangis, scarcely amount to 160,000,000 francs; and what and Provins. This was the route taken by Schwartwas that compared to the 2,000,000,000 francs zenberg's army in its first march on Paris, when it which two invasions cost France?
was beaten by Napoleon at Mormans, Nangis, and At the sitting of the Chamber of Deputies on the Montereau. These four roads are intersected by Ist of February, 1840, the bill for carrying out the four cross-roads :- 1. From Châlons to Troyes by fortifications, which had been amended in some Arcis. 2. From Epernay to Troyes by Vertus, matters of detail and completed by some guarantees, Fère Champenoise, and Plancy. 3. From Epernay was again presented, and passed by 237 votes to Nogent by Montmirail and Sezanne. against 162. Its adoption was chiefly owing to The city, placed between the confluence of the the Opposition, who were the majority in the Marne, the Oise, and the Seine, in the midst of committee, and had named the reporter who sup- a wide plain, is divided into two unequal parts ported it during the debate with remarkable talent. by the river, from 200 feet to 300 feet in breadth, M. Odillon Barrot, then the leader of the Left, which runs from east to west, forming an arc of a defended the bill in the tribune. The Radical or circle. On the right bank of the Seine, the height
of which is about 80 feet above the level of the La Villette. Thence passing westward, it proceeds sea, rise the hills of Montmartre, 426 feet high; to La Chapelle St. Denis, crosses the great northern of Belleville, 311 feet; of Ménilmontant, and of road, leaves Montmartre to the left, and traversing Charonne. On the left bank are the heights of various routes, &c., passes by Clignancourt to BatigMont Valérien, 495 feet; of St. Cloud, 306 feet; nolles, &c., till it reaches the eastern point of the of Sevres, Meudon, and Issy. The district lying to park at Neuilly, when crossing the road it cuts into the north of the Seine is the larger and lower of the upper part of the wood of Boulogne and ends the two ; that to the south of the river is considerat Auteuil. Resuming the line on the opposite ably higher. Twenty-one bridges keep up the bank, it incloses the suburbs of Grenelle, Vaugirard, communications. The form of the city may be cuts the line of the Versailles Railway, leaves Montcompared to an ellipse, somewhat flattened on the rouge outside, passes Gentilly, traverses the plain right side, the longer axis of which is about nine of Ivry, and crosses the line of the Orleans Railmiles. According to the census of 1866, Paris had way before arriving at its limit opposite Bercy, 1,825,274 inhabitants, and 90,000 houses. The on the left bank. The entire circle of inclosure systematic reconstruction of the interior of the comprises a length of 35,914 yards (upwards of city, which Napoleon III. caused to be executed by 20 miles). the eminent prefect of the Seine, M. Haussmann, In their outer extent the ditches are of considercompleted the works of fortification. These form able width, and the escarpment is lined with a wall probably the most complete and extensive military which is covered by the glacis. The military road engineering works ever constructed. As will be inside is paved. Near to this, and frequently seen from the accompanying plan, the fortress parallel to it, embracing the entire series of forticonsists of a continuous inclosure (enceinte con- fications, is the line which joins all the railways tinuée) of a roughly pentagonal form, embracing running into Paris and their eight termini. Sixtythe two banks of the Seine, bastioned and terraced six gates are pierced in the fortifications. On the with ten mètres (about 33 English feet) of escarp- north side of the city the hill of Montmartre, which, ment faced with masonry. The general plan of as before stated, is 426 feet high and 318 feet the enceinte presents 94 angular faces (fronts), each broad, forms a commanding eminence close on of the medium length of 355 mètres (about 1450 the boundary, inaccessible on all sides except that feet), connected by curtains, with a continued fosse towards the town. It is a position of surpassing or line of wide wet ditches in front, the bottom laid strength, and, if well defended with artillery, with masonry, of the medium depth of six mètres ; almost impregnable. Montmartre is separated from thence to the top of the parapets of earth raised Belleville by the plain of St. Denis. These three over the wall is a height of 14 mètres in all, or positions—the plateau of Belleville, 460 feet high, about 46 feet. This is for artillery, &c., and forms and extending from 984 feet to 4920 feet in entrenchments for the defenders. The continuous breadth, the hill of Montmartre, and the plain of outline of the work is broken by V-shaped projec- St. Denis—form the natural defences of Paris; and tions, the two sides of each of which are commanded as it was evident in the late campaign that the by a flank fire, and thus every part of the front Prussians had determined on marching on the city, may be swept by the guns of the garrison. At these positions, especially the heights of Montdifferent points are drawbridges, magazines, &c., martre, were strengthened, and a fine battery of and several military roads of communication. The naval guns established, worked by a detachment distance of this regular zone or belt from the irre- of the sailors from the fleet. gular cutting formed by the octroi wall of the capi- The exterior fortifications (forts détachés) present tal varies from two-fifths of a mile to nearly two sixty-one fronts, and are so many small but commiles. Taking as a point of departure the western plete fortresses, with lodgings for at least 500 men extremity of Bercy, on the right bank of the river, each, and dwellings for the officers. Adopting the it crosses the road to Charenton, traverses the line traced in the preceding description of the avenues of St. Maudè and Vincennes, goes to the enceinte, the first in order is the Fort de Charenton; south end of Charonne, behind Père la Chaise to 2, the Fort de Nogent; 3, the Fort de Rosny; 4, Belleville, then to Romainville, and, crossing the the Fort de Noisy; 5, the Fort de Romainville; 6, Route de Flandre, reaches the Pont de Flandre at the Fort de l'Est; 7 and 8, Couronne du Nord and Fort de la Briche, one on either side of St. Denis; | the redoubts of Faisanderie and Gravelle, which 9, Fort du Mont Valérien; 10, Fort de Vanves; the railway of Vincennes and La-Varenne passes. 11, Fort d'Issy; 12, Fort de Montrouge; 13, Fort All these works inclose in a semicircle the castle of de Bicêtre; and 14, Fort d'Ivry.
Vincennes, in which is the principal arsenal of The detached forts may be considered in three Paris, on the edge of the great field for manæuvring groups. One group formed the north-east line artillery close to the Marne. On the other bank from St. Denis to the north of Montmartre. On of this river, in the triangle formed by the union the left of St. Denis, close to the railway leading of the Seine and the Marne near Alfort, on the to Enghien and Montmorency, and behind the con- right side of the Lyons Railway, is the fort of fluence of the canal of St. Denis, with the Seine, Charenton, a bastioned pentagon which closes the is the fort of La Briche, covering the branch of first line of defence. What adds to its strength is the railway to Pontoise to the north; on the other that the enceinte inclosed by the fortifications serves side of the stream of Rouillon, the fort of La admirably for an intrenched camp, in which 200,000 Double Couronne du Nord, containing in it the men may be placed. crossing of the principal north, north-eastern, and The next group of detached forts form the north-western roads; and on the south-east the southern line of exterior defences. Opposite Fort fort de l'Est, a regular bastioned square. These Charenton, at a distance of 4000 paces, on the left three points are united by ramparts and ditches bank of the Seine, begins the southern line, with which can be readily filled, and which are covered the fort of Ivry, another bastioned pentagon, which by the redoubt of Stains. At 4400 paces to the commands the neighbourhood. In a straight line, south-east of Fort de l'Est is that of Aubervilliers, nearly from east to west, the forts of Bicêtre, an irregular bastioned pentagon. Between the two covering the road to Fontainebleau, Montrouge (a passes the railway to Soissons, and behind this bastioned square), Vanves (an irregular bastioned line the canal of St. Denis. The earth which quadrilateral), and Issy (a bastioned pentagon), was dug out of the canal formed before it a follow at equal distances of about 3000 paces. The sort of parapet fortified by three redoubts. At a last-named rises to a height of about fifty feet above distance of 4200 paces from the other side of the the Seine, which here leaves the city. Between Canal de l'Ourcq and of the Strassburg Railway, them are the railways of Limours and Versailles. on the continuation of the height of Belleville The third group of detached forts are those on by Pantin, stands the fort of Romainville, a bas- the western side of Paris. This line of outside tioned square, 1800 paces from the principal wall defence is naturally very easy, for the Seine, flowof defence. A series of intrenchments extends ing in the direction of the north and north-east, from the fort towards the Canal de l'Ourcq, while turns towards St. Denis by St. Cloud, Boulogne, on the other side two redoubts defend the pass- Surennes, Puteaux, Courbevoie, Neuilly, Asnières, age. Further off to the east and to the south, Clichy, and St. Ouen, places on the banks of the still on the outer side of the same line of hills, and river. Between it and the town is the celebrated almost in a line parallel to the railway to Mulhouse, Bois de Boulogne. On the line indicated five the works of the fortifications, which are united by bridges cross the Seine; and near the station at a paved road, are continued at about equal distances Asnières, on the left bank, the railways from -the forts of Noisy (3500 paces), Rosny (3200 Dieppe, Normandy, St. Germain, and Versailles paces), and Nogent (3800). There ends the line unite, and cross the river by a common bridge. A of hills which begins near Belleville, and descends single fort, but the largest and strongest of all — by a steep incline towards the Marne. Between that of Mont Valérien, a large bastioned pentagon, the above-named forts are placed at short intervals situate 415 feet above the Seine, and from which the redoubts of Noisy, Montreuil, Boissière, and there is a magnificent view of Paris—commands Fontenay. The Marne, which is here 100 paces in this space. A paved road joins Mont Valérien breadth, forms a natural defence, fortified also by with the Bois de Boulogne, by the bridge of an intrenchment of 2800 feet in length, consisting Surennes. of a parapet and ditches covering the isthmus of The distance from Fort Mont Valérien to the Saint Maur, where a bridge crosses the Marne. The nearest of those about St. Denis is nearly seven two extremities of the intrenchment are flanked by | miles, and from the fort of Issy about four miles.