SEPTEMBER 18th, COLHERG SIEGE RAISED. "The same September 18th, what a day at Colberg too! it is the twenty-fourth day of the continual bombardment there. Colberg is black ashes, most of its houses ruins, not a house in it uninjured. But Heyde and his poor Garrison, busy day and night, walk about in it as if fire-proof; with a great deal of battle still left in them. The King, I know not whether Heyde is aware, has contrived something of relief; General Werner coming:--the fittest of men, if there be possibility. When, see, September 18th, uneasy motion in the Russian intrenchments (for the Russians too are intrenched against attack): Something that has surprised the Russians yonder. Climb, some of you, to the highest surviving steeple, highest chimney-top if no steeple survive:--Yonder IS Werner come to our relief, O God the Merciful!"
"Werner, with 5,000, was detached from Glogau (September 5th), from Goltz's small Corps there; has come as on wings, 200 miles in thirteen days. And attacks now, as with wings, the astonished Russian 15,000, who were looking for nothing like him,--with wings, with claws, and with beak; and in a highly aquiline manner, fierce, swift, skilful, storms these intrenched Russians straightway, scatters them to pieces,--and next day is in Colberg, the Siege raising itself with great precipitation; leaving all its artilleries and furnitures, rushing on shipboard all of it that can get,--the very ships-of-war, says Archenholtz, hurrying dangerously out to sea, as if the Prussian Hussars might possibly take THEM. A glorious Werner! A beautiful defence, and ditto rescue; which has drawn the world's attention." [Seyfarth, ii. 634; Archenholtz, ii. 116: in
Heyde's defence of Colberg, Werner's swift rescue of it, are very celebrated this Autumn. Medals were struck in honor of them at Berlin, not at Friedrich's expense, but under Friedrich's patronage; who purchased silver or gold copies, and gave them about. Veteran Heyde had a Letter from his Majesty, and one of these gold Medals;--what an honor! I do not hear that Heyde got any other reward, or that he needed any. A beautiful old Hero, voiceless in History; though very visible in that remote sphere, if you care to look.
That is the news from Colberg; comfortable to Friedrich; not likely to inspire Soltikof with new alacrity in behalf of Daun. It remains to us only to add, that Friedrich, with a view to quicken Daun, shot out (September 24th, after nightfall, and with due mystery) a Detachment towards Neisse,--4,000 or so, who call themselves 15,000, and affect to be for Mahren ultimately. "For Mahren, and my bit of daily bread!" Daun may well think; and did for some time think, or partly did. Pushed off one small detachment really thither, to look after Mahren; and (September 29th) pushed off another bigger; Lacy namely, with 15,000, pretending to be thither,--but who, the instant they were out of Friedrich's sight, have whirled, at a rapid pace, quite into the opposite direction: as will shortly be seen! Daun has now other irons in the fire. Daun, ever since this fatal Dead-lock in the Hills, has been shrieking hoarsely to the Russians, day and night; who at last take pity on him,--or find something feasible in his proposals.
THE RUSSIANS MAKE A RAID ON BERLIN, FOR RELIEF OF DAUN AND THEIR OWN BEHOOF (October 3d-12th, 1760).
Powerful entreaties, influences are exercised at Petersburg, and here in the Russian Camp: "Noble Russian Excellencies, for the love of Heaven, take this man off my windpipe! A sally into Brandenburg: oh, could not you? Lacy shall accompany; seizure of Berlin, were it only for one day!" Soltikof has falleu sick,--and, indeed, practically vanishes from our affairs at this point;--Fermor, who has command in the interim, finally consents: "Our poor siege of Colberg, what an end is come to it! What an end is the whole Campaign like to have! Let us at least try this of Berlin, since our hands are empty." The joy of Daun, of Montalembert, and of everybody in Austrian Court and Camp may be conceived.
Russians to the amount of 20,000, Czernichef Commander; Tottleben Second in command, a clever soldier, who knows Berlin: these are to start from Sagan Country, on this fine Expedition, and to push on at the very top of their speed. September 20th, Tottleben, with 3,000 of them as Vanguard, does accordingly cross Oder, at Beuthen in Sagan Country; and strides forward direct upon Berlin: Lacy, with 15,000, has started from Silesia, we saw how, above a week later (September 29th), but at a still more furious rate of speed. Soltikof,--theoretically Soltikof, but practically Fermor, should the dim German Books be ambiguous to any studious creature, --with the Main Army (which by itself is still a 20,000 odd), moves to Frankfurt, to support the swift Expedition, and be within two marches of it. Here surely is a feasibility! Berlin, for defence, has nothing but weak palisades; and of effective garrison 1,200 men.
And feasible, in a sort, this thing did prove; indisputably delivering Daun from strangulation in the Silesian Mountains; filling the Gazetteer mind with loud emotion of an empty nature; and very much affecting many poor people in Berlin and neighborhood. Making a big Chapter in Berlin Local History; though compressible to small bulk for strangers, who have no specific sympathies in that locality.