Perhaps Doctorof, who commanded the left wing of Barclay, being forced to cross our line of attack, in order to fly from Lida toward Swentziany, might then have been made prisoner. Pajol repulsed him at Osmiana; but he escaped by Smorgony.
By the retreat of Alexander upon Drissa, he foresaw that which Bagration would attempt to make from Grodno towards Witepsk, through Osmiana, Minsk, and Docktzitzy, or by Borizof; he determined to prevent it, and instantly pushed forward Davoust towards Minsk, between these two hostile bodies, with two divisions of infantry, the cuirassiers of Valence, and several brigades of light cavalry.
At the same time, Davoust, proceeding from Osmiana, extended his force towards Minsk and Ygumen, behind the Russian general, and made himself master of the outlet of the defiles, in which the king of Westphalia was compelling Bagration to engage himself.
This hope, however, was of short duration. During these events, Davoust, at Osmiana, to the south of Wilna, had got sight of some scouts of Bagration, who was already anxiously seeking an outlet towards the north. Up to that time, short of a victory, the plan of the campaign adopted at Paris had completely succeeded.
It not only held, but managed to force the Russians to continue their retreat, and during this process captured large numbers of them. General von Eichhorn's army, the actual conquerors of Vilna, and Von Hindenburg's center reached Osmiana, thirty miles southeast of Vilna, on September 20, 1915.