It was captured on 12 September, and masses of German cavalry swept round from Vilkomir towards Sventsiany and crossed the Petrograd railway to outflank the retreating Russian troops. The evacuation of Vilna began on the 13th, and two days later the menace from the German cavalry became more apparent.
Oudinot had passed the Vilia beyond Kowno, and already in Samogitia, to the north of Wilna, at Deweltowo, and at Vilkomir, had fallen in with the enemy, whom he drove before him towards Dünabourg. In this manner he marched on, to the left of Ney and the King of Naples, whose right was flanked by Nansouty.
However, during the period under consideration he moved entirely within the boundaries of the Haskalah, of which he was a most radical exponent. Persecuted for his harmless liberalism by the fanatics of his native town of Vilkomir, Lilienblum began to ponder over the question of Jewish religious reforms.