These various corps of infantry were flanked and supported by several masses of Marshals Kellermann's and Michaud's cavalry. The centre, under the direct command of the Emperor, was at Liebert-Wolkwitz. It was made up of the infantry corps of General Lauriston and Marshal Macdonald, having with them the cavalry of Latour-Maubourg and Sébastiani.
The Comte de Merfeld's mission did not even receive a reply. On the morning of the 18th, the coalition began its attack. The 2ndCavalry Corps, of which my regiment was a part, was placed as it had been on the 16th, between Liebert-Wolkwitz and the Kelmberg.
General Drout with sixty cannons aided the attack, which was successful. For his part, Marshal Victor overcame and routed the Russian Corps commanded by Prince Eugène of Wurtemberg; but after suffering considerable losses, the Prince was able to rally his Corps at Gossa. At this moment General Lauriston and Marshal Macdonald debouched from Liebert-Wolkwitz and the enemy was overthrown.
On the 16th of October, while Napoleon was merely awaiting the arrival of Macdonald's corps, that had remained behind, before proceeding to attack Schwarzenberg's Bohemian army, he was unexpectedly attacked on the right bank of the Pleisse, at Liebert-wolkwitz, by the Austrians, who were, however, compelled to retire before a superior force.
The fighting commenced on our right, where the Poles, driven back by the Prussians, abandoned the village of Mark-Kleeberg. At our centre the Russians and the Austrians attacked Wachau and Liebert-Wolkwitz six times and were repeatedly repulsed with great losses.
At Leipzig, on the 16th of October, Sébastiani, commanding the 2nd Cavalry Corps, having placed his three divisions between the villages of Wachau and Liebert-Wolkwitz, and indicated to each divisional general roughly the position he should occupy, Exelman found himself placed on undulating ground intersected, as a result, by small ridges and hollows.
In addition to this, our infantry and that of the enemy being in action at the village of Liebert-Wolkwitz, the cavalry of both sides had to await the outcome of this savage fighting; it served no useful purpose for them to demolish one another by cannon fire, rather than leave the fighting to the infantrymen, who were for the most part only frightening the birds.
During the night of 15th-16th, Marshal Macdonald's troops were moved to concentrate in Liebert-Wolkwitz, leaving the area of the Kelmberg: but as there was no wish to abandon this position to the enemy before dawn, I was told to keep it under surveillance until first light.