Combat of Tarvisio, 18 May 1809

Combat of Tarvisio, 18 May 1809

Combat of Tarvisio, 18 May 1809

The combat of Tarvisio (18 May 1809) was minor victory during the French advance after their victory over an Austrian army led by Archduke John on the Piave River on 8 May.

In the aftermath of that battle both armies had split. The Archduke, with the Austrian right and centre, retreated towards modern Austria, while the left went towards Trieste and modern Slovenia. Prince Eugène, the French commander and viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy, took most of his army after the Archduke, while General Macdonald was sent towards Trieste.

The Archduke took up a strong position at Tarvisio (Tarvis), in the far north-eastern corner of modern Italy (now on the main road across the border to Klagenfurt am Wörthersee). This position was defended by a fort at Malborghetto, a few miles to the west, but on 18 May, after a defence of three days, this fort surrendered.

Prince Eugène was aware that the Austrians were in a potentially very strong position at Tarvisio. In order to prevent the Archduke from reorganising his shaken army, Eugène decided to try and outflank this new position, and force the Austrians to retreat without a fight. Fontanelli's Italian division was ordered to the right, to threaten the Archduke's line of retreat east towards Weissenfels. In the centre Dessiax, supported by Broussier's division, was to threaten the Austrian position on the road to Tarvisio. On the right Baraguey-d'Hilliers was to try and outflank the Austrian route to Villach (now the first major town across the Austrian border).

The French plan was a total success. The Austrians attempted to stand and fight, but were forced to abandon their positions after suffering significant losses, and the Archduke was forced to continue his retreat. By 20 May Eugène had reached Klagenfurt, and by the time the war ended he had won further victories at St. Michael (25 May) and Raab (14 June) and had made a significant contribution to the French victory.

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Albert Gyulay

Count Albert Gyulay de Marosnémethi et Nádaska or Albert Gyulai von Máros-Németh und Nádaska, born 12 September 1766 – died 27 April 1835, a Hungarian, joined the army of Habsburg Austria and fought against Ottoman Turkey. He served against the First French Republic in the Flanders Campaign and on the Rhine. Severely wounded in 1799, he survived a trepanning operation and briefly retired from military service. He returned to active service and commanded an army corps during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. He led his troops in several important battles during the Austrian invasion of Italy in 1809, including one where he was in independent command. Though appointed to command troops in 1813 and 1815, he missed combat in both campaigns. He was Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1810 until his death. The more famous Ignác Gyulay, Ban of Croatia was his older brother.

Marbury v. Madison

In Marbury v. Madison (1803) the Supreme Court announced for the first time the principle that a court may declare an act of Congress void if it is inconsistent with the Constitution. William Marbury had been appointed a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia in the final hours of the Adams administration. When James Madison, Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state, refused to deliver Marbury’s commission, Marbury, joined by three other similarly situated appointees, petitioned for a writ of mandamus compelling delivery of the commissions.

Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for a unanimous Court, denied the petition and refused to issue the writ. Although he found that the petitioners were entitled to their commissions, he held that the Constitution did not give the Supreme Court the power to issue writs of mandamus. Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 provided that such writs might be issued, but that section of the act was inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid.

Although the immediate effect of the decision was to deny power to the Court, its long-run effect has been to increase the Court’s power by establishing the rule that ‘it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’ Since Marbury v. Madison the Supreme Court has been the final arbiter of the constitutionality of congressional legislation.

The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Broussier was born as the son of Nicolas François Broussier and Catherine. Fortin was born in 1766 in Ville sur Saulx, near Bar sur Ornain ( Meuse department ). Broussier was destined for the priesthood by his parents, so he attended an ecclesiastical seminary in Toul .

In the Italian coalition war

After the coalition wars began, he joined the 3rd Battalion of Volunteers in the Meurthe district in 1791 , where he was elected captain on September 6th . He made his debut in the Central Army under General Beurnonville , then in the Moselle Army and was seriously wounded on December 14, 1792 at Wavre . On February 15, 1794 he was appointed battalion commander and on April 26, 1794 joined the 34th half-brigade in the Sambre and Maas Army.

On February 20, 1796, he joined the 43rd Line Regiment of Colaud's Division and was wounded in the forehead at the end of that year. The following year he joined the Italian Army, where he participated in the occupation of Stepizza in March 1797 and was one of the first to penetrate Fort Klausen near Tarvisio . Bonaparte provisionally appointed him head of the 34th Half-Brigade. He moved to Rome and was assigned to the Duhesme division staff on October 24, 1798. He took part in the siege of Civita del Tronto on December 7, and in the occupation of Pescara on December 18, and in January 1799 in the capture of Benevento. He was provisionally appointed Général de brigade by General Championnet on January 23, 1799 (rank confirmed on February 15, 1799) and overcame peasants who obstructed the route through the Caudine passes and took part in the conquest of Naples ( 21–23 . January). With the Duhesme division , he fought against the rebels of Apulia (occupation of Andria on March 20th and Trani on April 2nd) in the Union of the Army of Naples. On March 19, 1799, Championnet was charged by the board of directors with indicting General Duhemse for embezzlement of war funds Broussier was also named as the culprit. However, a council of war was not formed, instead Broussier was released in April and received command of the Valenciennes fortress on November 25, 1799 . Broussier was transferred to the Reserve Army on March 29, 1800, which hurried back to Italy. Within the Loison division, he fought in front of Fort Bard (May 25), besieged Pizzighettone (June 5) and at the crossing of the Adda (June 12). The next day his troops occupied Cremona . After a brief visit to the Amiens camp , he returned to the Italian Army on October 12, 1800, and commanded the division that was involved in the crossing of the Adige on January 1, 1801 . He was then appointed governor of Milan , a position he held for the next two years.

In the 1805 and 1806 campaign

In 1804 Broussier returned to take over the 1st Military Division in Paris . In the following year 1805 he was promoted to General de División . On September 22, 1805 he was appointed commandant of the armory of Paris and on November 7th, he was appointed chief of staff of the Northern Army. On February 1, 1805, Broussier commanded the reserve division under Lefebvre until February 1806 , before he was sent to Italy again in July 1806, where he replaced Sébastiani and was given command of the 2nd Division of the II Corps.

In the campaign of 1809 and 1812

In the campaign of 1809 Broussier remained in charge of the 2nd division under the Viceroy of Italy. On April 11th he was repulsed by the Austrians at Dignano, commanded the left wing at Sacile on April 16th and, after retreating on April 28th, took command of the 1st division of the Macdonald Corps . In May Broussier's troops pursued the Austrians and fought on the Piave (May 8), Villanova (May 11), Präwald (May 16) and at Tarvisio (May 18). Then his troops occupied Ljubljana on May 21st and advanced to Graz . In June he blocked the Schlossberg before lifting the siege of Graz and evacuating his troops. Broussier then defeated the Hungarian Lieutenant Field Marshal Ignácz Gyulay near St. Leonhard and completely recaptured Graz. After reunification with the bulk of the Italian army, he reinforced Napoleon's troops on the Danube . Broussier and his division played an important role in the victory in the Battle of Wagram . He was made Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor on July 21, 1809 , then made Count of the Empire in October of the same year and returned to Italy.

In 1810 he commanded the 2nd Military Corps of the Kingdom of Italy , then from April 20, 1811 the 2nd Division of the Italian Observation Corps. He took part in the Russian campaign from June 1812 and led the 14th Division in the IV Army Corps under the command of Eugène Beauharnais . His troops fought in the Battle of Ostrovno (July 27th), on the Moskova (September 7th), in the Battle of Maloyaroslavz (October 24th) and Krasnoye (November 15th).

End of life

During the campaign of 1813 he commanded the 3rd division of the observation corps off Mainz . In November he was appointed military commander of the Strasbourg and Kehl fortress . After Napoleon's fall, he joined the Restoration and was appointed military governor of the Maas department in June 1814, and on July 29, 1814, he was made Knight of the Order of St. Louis. Jean-Baptiste Broussier died unexpectedly of a stroke on December 13, 1814 in Bar-le-Duc at the age of only 48 .

Result [ edit | edit source ]

John received orders from Archduke Charles on 29 April. He was urged to defend the territory he had captured, but was allowed to use his discretion. John knew that with Napoleon advancing on Vienna, his position in Italy could be flanked by enemy forces coming from the north. He decided to retreat from Italy and defend the borders of Austria in Carinthia and Carniola. After breaking all bridges over the Alpone, John began his withdrawal in the early hours of May 1, covered by Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Maria Philipp Frimont's rear guard. ⎩]

After being delayed all day repairing an important bridge, Eugène's army began its pursuit on 2 May. The viceroy ordered Durutte to cross the Adige at Legnago with his division and head for Padua on the Brenta. From there he would rendezvous with troops from Venice and escort a supply train to the Piave to rejoin Eugène. Meanwhile, Frimont defeated the light brigade at Montebello Vicentino and got across the Brenta in good order while destroying the bridges. ⎪] In a series of actions on 2 May, the Austrians lost 200 killed and wounded while inflicting 400 casualties on their pursuers, including Debroc wounded. However, the Franco-Italians rounded up 850 sick or straggling Austrians during the day. Frimont, General-major Franz Marziani, and General-major Ignaz Splényi each led Austrian units in separate actions on the 2nd. ⎫]

After the rough handling of his light brigade, the viceroy expanded it into a light division and put General of Brigade Joseph Marie, Count Dessaix at its head. He added three additional voltiguer battalions, two more cannons, ⎪] and the 9th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment. The new division was destined to play a key role in Eugène's victory at the Battle of Piave River on 8 May 1809. ⎬]


Early moves [ edit | edit source ]

During the 1809 campaign in Italy, Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais led the Franco-Italian army while General der Kavallerie Archduke John of Austria commanded the Austrian army. At the outbreak of war, John moved rapidly to defeat his opponent at the Battle of Sacile on 16 April. This victory drove Eugène back to the Adige River. The front remained static for a few weeks despite attacks by Eugène in the Battle of Caldiero. Meanwhile, an Austrian force bottled up the corps of General of Division Auguste Marmont in Dalmatia. After the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Eckmühl, John received orders to retreat in order to cover the strategic left flank of the army in southern Germany. Δ]

Austrian retreat [ edit | edit source ]

John fought Eugène in a tough rearguard action at the Battle of Piave River on 8 May. Up to this moment, John and his soldiers had fought well. Now, John probably committed a serious blunder by splitting up his command. With the main army he fell back to the northeast. By the second week of May, John and Feldmarschallleutnant Albert Gyulai stood at Tarvisio with 8,340 troops. Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Maria Philipp Frimont's 13,060-man Mobile Force lay at nearby Villach. Feldmarschallleutnant Ignaz Gyulai with 14,880 men of the IX Armeekorps defended the Ljubljana (Laibach) area to the southeast of Villach. Far to the west-northwest, Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles and 17,460 soldiers of the VIII Armeekorps held the region around Innsbruck. Feldmarschallleutnant Franjo Jelačić and the 10,200-strong Northern Division was stationed at Salzburg to the northwest. Finally, General-major Andreas von Stoichewich's 8,100 men continued to pin Marmont in Dalmatia to the south of Ljubljana. By this time a large proportion of John's forces was made up of hastily raised landwehr infantry. Ε]

Battles of Raab (14 June) and Graz (24–26 June) campaign map

On 13 May, Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre and a Bavarian army wrecked part of Chasteler's corps at the Battle of Wörgl near Innsbruck. Ζ] On 17 May, John received orders to cut the communications of Emperor Napoleon's Grand Army by moving north. However, the archduke delayed too long in carrying out this assignment. Η] Though badly isolated, Jelačić remained near Salzburg until 19 May. When he finally got moving it was too late. A French corps under General of Division Paul Grenier cut the Northern Division to pieces at the Battle of Sankt Michael on 25 May. ⎖] John pulled back to Graz, but when he heard of Jelačić's disaster, he decided to retreat east into Hungary.

During May, small Grenz infantry forces heroically defended the mountain passes during the Battle of Tarvis. At Malborghetto Valbruna, 400 soldiers held a blockhouse against 15,000 Frenchmen between 15 and 17 May and only 50 men survived. The French admitted only 80 casualties. ⎗] At the Predil Pass blockhouse, 250 Austrians and 8 cannon held off 8,500 French soldiers for three days. On 18 May, when the position was finally overrun, the Grenzers were killed to a man. The French admitted suffering 450 casualties. ⎘] At Tarvisio (Tarvis) itself, Eugène inflicted a serious defeat on Albert Gyulai's outnumbered division. ⎙]

In mid-May, Marmont defeated Stoichewich's forces in the Dalmatian Campaign. He moved north in a fighting advance, arriving at Ljubljana on 3 June. Marmont then combined with General of Division Jean-Baptiste Broussier and fought Ignaz Gyulai's Austrians in the Battle of Graz from 24 to 26 June. His 11,000 XI Corps soldiers, plus Broussier, force-marched to join Napoleon near Vienna and fought at the Battle of Wagram. ⎚]

John joined with the Hungarian Insurrection forces (militia) at Győr (Raab). He intended to cross to the north bank of the Danube and move northwest through Bratislava (Pressburg) to unite with the main army, which was commanded by his brother Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen, Generalissimo of the Austrian armies. Napoleon ordered Eugène to pursue and destroy John's army. The Franco-Italian troops caught up with the Austrians in mid-June and forced John to give battle.


In year 1818 first initiative for renovation came from archduke Janez, who was warning that Austria is vulnerable for new attacks. Until year 1848 nothing happened. This was a revolutionary year, as in whole Europe uprising started, and in this year in Italy came to unified tendencies, which Austrians opposed, as with that they would lose influence over Italian territory. So they started with renovation of the fort on Italian-Austrian border to protect their own interests. Also fort on Predel was part of these renovations.

Design of the fort was the same as with the old one. Main guardhouse had cross floor plan with defence building, from three sides it got 5 meters deep enclosed ditch, in the basement they had cistern with water and warehouse with provisions and ammo, in ground floor were living areas and kitchen. First floor of the fort was meant for cannons. Whole building had ten openings for cannons, armed with four 12-pound cannons with iron carriage and two 6-pound howitzers.

Defence building was two-storey, equipped with shooting opening for guns and it covered rear side of the guardhouse and was preventing the attack from this side of the service road. At the same time it covered the ditch.

The monument below fort with inscription:
In a memory of heroically fallen imperial-royal engineer captain Johann Hermann von Hermannsdorf and fallen comrades on May 17th 1809. Emperor Ferdinand I

Lower building, named Batteria, was one-storey. On the first floor were four positions for 12-pound cannons, which were oriented towards Strmec. It had two gunners with four shooting openings. In the basement they had provisions, ammo and cistern with water, connected with the upper fort. It accepted 50 soldiers.

In summer 1849 they constructed underground tunnels and other buildings. The fort was named Paßsperre Predil, fort cannons were placed there in year 1850. For work with nine cannons and occupation of all estimated shooting positions 250 soldiers were needed. There were only 130 beds, so other had to sleep on the corridors and warehouses. Officers had separated spaces. Due to conditions in Italy the fort was fully occupied in year 1866.

The second coalition

The second coalition (1799–1802) made up of Great Britain, Austria, Russia , the Ottoman Empire , Portugal , Naples and the Papal States against France also failed. Prussia under its new King Friedrich Wilhelm III. remained neutral in this conflict. Napoleon ruled France since his return from the Egyptian expedition in 1799. While Napoleon fought the British and Ottomans in Egypt, several battles in Switzerland (occupation of Zurich) and in Italy had been won by the coalition, the French subsidiary republics in Italy and Switzerland faced collapse. However, Russia soon withdrew from the coalition and returned to armed neutrality British options for action were exhausted or still tied up in Egypt. The Austrians faced the returning Napoleon at the Battle of Marengo on June 14, 1800 and Moreau at the Battle of Hohenlinden on December 3, and were sensitive on February 9, 1801, the Treaty of Lunéville was concluded between France and Austria and the Reich.

The Peace of Amiens (1802) also brought the end of the second coalition for the British, while the fighting between France and the United Kingdom resumed on May 18, 1803: instead of bringing about the restoration of the French monarchy, the fight was now against Napoleon in the foreground.

The French Senate proclaimed the Constitution for the target of Napoleon Bonaparte French Empire on 18 May 1804. The new monarch was crowned on December 2, 1804 in the Church of Notre-Dame de Paris to the Emperor of the French .

2. Frederick Douglass

In September 1838, 20-year-old slave Frederick Douglass fled his job as a Baltimore ship’s caulker and boarded a train bound for the North. The young bondsman was disguised in a sailor’s uniform provided by his future wife, Anna Murray, and carried a free sailor’s protection pass loaned to him by an accomplice. He desperately hoped the papers would be enough to lead him to freedom, but there was a major obstacle: he bore hardly any resemblance to the man listed in the documents. When the conductor came to collect tickets and check the black passengers’ papers, Douglass was nearly overcome with trepidation. “My whole future depended upon the decision of this conductor,” he later wrote. Luckily for Douglass, the man only gave the phony sailors’ pass a cursory glance before moving on to the next passenger.

Douglass would endure even more close calls as he made his way north by train and ferry. He encountered an old acquaintance on a riverboat, and was nearly spotted by a ship captain he had once worked for. After several tense hours, he arrived in New York, where he hid in the home of an anti-slavery activist and rendezvoused with Murray. The couple later moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Douglass established himself as one of the nation’s leading abolitionists. He remained a fugitive slave under the law until 1846, when supporters helped him purchase his freedom from his former master.

Combat of Tarvisio, 18 May 1809 - History

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