Meantime the outposts were forced, and the army of Wallace was enveloped in the embrace of a hideous boa-constrictor tightening, closing, crushing every semblance of life from the victim enclosed in his toils. The flanking parties of horse were forced in upon the centre, and though, as even Turner grants, they fought with desperation, a general flight was the result.
Here, all day long, the Rebel and the Union cavalry-chiefs fought, mounted and dismounted, and striving in every manner possible to defeat and rout the other.
Time and circumstances have changed our ancient enemies into our honoured friends, and the race that fought against us at Waterloo has cemented its friendship towards us with its blood; and as we look back over the century that divides us from Waterloo we can now with Mr. Belloc salute the sombre figure of the defeated conqueror. Your loving old G.P.
Dispatching Adjutant-General Jones to General Brown with information that the enemy was in his front, he moved on, and was astonished to see drawn up in line of battle on Lundy's Lane a larger force than he had fought at Chippewa; but he determined to give battle and rely upon re-enforcements being rapidly sent to him.
This was really a fortunate thing, as if the soldiery had begun pillaging the place the coming battle would certainly have been lost, and the relieving army was now within two miles of Ravenna. It would be too long to follow the whole story of that fierce and desperate conflict, where both sides fought with the utmost skill and valour.
Something barbaric in me was satisfied that my kind, gently bred man was one with the men of my own tribe, who fought man and beast and the elements to take civilization farther west. Almost a generation slipped by between that visit to the West and the next scene in my life of which I shall write.
His son, the Grand Duke Nicholas, jun., in 1877 scarcely of age, was nevertheless a keen practical soldier, imbued with the wisdom of getting to close quarters and staying there. He was among the first to cross the Danube at Sistova under the Turkish fire, and he fought with great gallantry under Mirsky in the Schipka Pass.
It was a poor business for one who had seen war on the grand scale under the Prince of Orange, and had fought in battles where eighteen thousand men were left on the field. War was not the name for those operations, they were simply police work of an irksome and degrading kind.
Battles had been fought with various success; and surprising efforts of military skill had been exhibited, without producing one event which tended to promote a general peace, or even engender the least desire of, accommodation.
The Germans wavered and fell back as the French advanced and, from that moment, the fate of the day was decided. Isolated German regiments fought desperately, but in vain. The French pushed them back, from position to position, until nightfall covered the retreat.