Blücher's Beaumont proclamation

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Brave officers and soldiers of the army of the lower Rhine.

You have done great things, brave companions in arms. You have fought two battles in three days. The first was unfortunate, and yet your courage was not broken. You have had to struggle with privations, but you have borne them with fortitude. Immoveable in adverse fortune, after the loss of a bloody battle, you marched with firmness to fight another, relying on the God of battles, and full of confidence in your commanders, as well as of perseverance in your efforts against presumptuous and perjured enemies, intoxicated with their victory. It was with these sentiments you marched to support the brave English, who were maintaining the most arduous contest with unparalleled firmness. But the hour which was to decide this great struggle has struck, and has shown who was to give the law,[1] whether an adventurer, or governments who are the friends of order. Destiny [2] was still undecided, then you appeared issuing from the forest which concealed you from the enemy, to attack his rear, with that coolness, that firmness, that confidence, which characterises experienced soldiers, resolved to avenge the reverses they had experienced two days before. There, rapid as lightning, you penetrated his already shaken columns.[3] Nothing could stop you in the career of victory. The enemy in his despair turned his artillery upon you; but you poured death into his ranks, and your progress caused in them disorder, dispersion, and at last a complete rout.[4]

He [5] found himself obliged to abandon to you several hundreds of cannon, and his army is dissolved. A few days will suffice to annihilate those perjured legions, who were coming to consummate the slavery and the spoliation of the universe.

All great commanders have regarded it as impossible immediately to renew the combat with a beaten army: you have proved that this opinion is ill-founded; you have proved that resolute warriors may be vanquished, but that their valour is not shaken.

Receive, then, my thanks, incomparable soldiers—objects of all my esteem. You have acquired a great reputation. The annals of Europe will eternalize your triumphs. It is on you, immoveable columns of the Prussian monarchy, that the destinies of the king and his august house will forever repose. Never will Prussia cease to exist, while your sons and your grandsons resemble you.


(Signed) "Bülcher."

Notes[edit]

  1. "give the law", or "conquer and reign in Europe".
  2. "Destiny", or "The fate of the day".
  3. "already shaken columns", or "almost wavering columns".
  4. "and your progress caused in them disorder, dispersion, and at last a complete rout", or "and rushing upon with restless fury, you threw his battalions into confusion, scattering them in every direction, and put them to complete route".
  5. "He", or "The enemy",