Barkerville, Williams Creek,
It is generally admitted by the French that their heads sacrificed their
advantages of an early start. They might have overwhelmed Germany, but now
France is compelled to act on the defensive.
Private despatches received at New York August 3d, report that a Prussian
corps is on the line of the Saar between Saarsburg and Saarbrucken. Equally
as large a force under Prince Frederick Charles will occupy a position between
Saarbrucken and Surrequemines. The Crown Prince, with the Fourth Corps of
German troops, the Prussian Royal Guards and one Northern Army Corps is
coming up on the left.
The Prussian journals give the following account of the affair at Saarbrucken:
The fortifications at Saarbrucken were attacked by a column of French infantry
yesterday and the enemy were repulsed.
A London dispatch of August 3d says Saarbrucken was taken by the French
this morning - loss slight on both sides.
The following is given as the number and disposition of the Prussian army:
- The Duke of Mecklenburg commands 10,800 men at the mouth of the Elbe;
Von Falkenstein, 58,000 men near Ems; Gen. Herwerk de Butterfield 50,000
men of the Army of the Rhine, which consists of the following: - 80,000
men at Cognac under Gen. Utenmers; 180,000 at the junction of the Main and
the Rhine under Prince Frederick Charles; and 111,000 along the Rhine under
the Prince Royal Frederick William. His Chiefs and Generals are Moltke,
Blumenthal, Sparling and Stehlin.
A dispatch from Paris says that £300 are paid for substitutes, and
they are scarce at that.
The new French revolving cannon has been tried, and is said to be a great
success. A correspondent describes it as a very terrible and destructive
weapon at 5000 yards.
A rumor was circulating on the 2d to the effect that Weisenburg, a town
in the Palatinate on the border, had been stormed by the French.
The following details of the Saarbrucken affair were received at London
on 3d August: The fight began at 11 o'clock yesterday forenoon. The French
passed the frontier in force, and the Prussians were driven from their strong
position by the sharp artillery fire of the French. The latter remained
masters of the position thus acquired without much loss. The Emperor and
Prince Imperial witnessed this conflict and returned to Metz to dinner.
A combat is reported to have taken place in the Baltic in which two Prussian
gun boats were captured.
The French are advancing. 500,000 rations are issued daily for the French
army. 41,000 guards were equipped last week in Paris.
AUGUST 20, 1870
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