Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Otsego Herald

December 20, 2012

Disaster upon disaster!

(Continued)

Moscow, one of the finest and richest cities in the world, is no more. On the 14th the Russians set fire to the Exchange, to the Bazar, and the Hospital. On the 16th a violent wind arose. Three or 400 ruffians set fire to the city in 500 different places at the same time, by order of the governor Rostopchin. 

Five sixths of the houses were built of wood, and the fire, spread with a prodigious rapidity: it was an ocean of flame. Churches, of which there were 1600, above 1000 palaces, immense magazines [storehouses], nearly all have fallen a prey to the flames. The Kremlin has been preserved.

Their loss is incalculable for Russia, for her commerce, and for her nobility, who had left all there. It is not over-rating its value to state it at many milliards [billions].

About 100 of these incendiaries have been apprehended and shot; all of them declared that they acted under the orders of Rostopchin, and the director of the police.

Thirty thousand sick and wounded Russians have been burnt. The richest commercial houses in Russia are ruined. The shock must be considerable. The clothing, the magazines, and equipments of the Russian army have been consumed.

They have thus lost every thing; they would remove nothing, because they always thought it impossible for us to reach Moscow, and because they are willing to deceive the people. When they saw all in the hands of the French, they conceived the horrible project of destroying by fire this first capital, this holy city, the centre of the empire; and they have reduced to beggary 200,000 respectable inhabitants...

COMMENT: Fyodor Vasilyevich, Count Rostopchin (1763-1826) was Military Governor of Moscow during the French invasion of 1812. A 1911 account said that the fire destroyed 6,500 out of 9,200 private dwellings, 8,250 shops and warehouses, and 122 out of 329 churches. 12,000 bodies were found. The French Army was forced to retreat, and thanks to a combination of Russian attacks and a bitterly cold winter, lost most of its men on its way back to France (see Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” for vivid details).

Text Only
Otsego Herald
  • British bomb Connecticut The inhabitants of Stonington have again distinguished themselves by their gallant and heroic defence of their little village and battery against the most "fearful odds" of the enemy. With a sufficiency of musketry and lighter field-pieces, we presume, to meet any attempt at landing their means of annoying the enemy consisted of only two 10 pounders, worked by militia or raw troops.

    August 21, 2014

  • British annex Maine Islands Royal Proclamation, by Capt. Sir Thomas Hardy, Baronet, commanding the Naval Forces, and Lt. Col. Andrew Pilkington, commanding the Land Forces of His Britannic Majesty, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy.

    August 14, 2014

  • Battle of Lundy's Lane The Late Bloody Battle. -- Extract from a letter from Dr. E. L. Allen, of the 21st Regt....Buffalo, 26th, July 1814

    August 7, 2014

  • NAVY IN SOUTH AMERICA British Perfidy New York, July 15th,1814--letter to Secretary of the Navy Sir--There are some facts relating to our enemy, and although not connected with the action, serve to shew [sic] his perfidy and should be known.

    July 31, 2014

  • General Swift killed Ontario Repository, July 19, We have received ... orders ... announcing that on Tuesday evening, July 12, Brigadier General John Swift, of Palmyra, in this county, was killed in a most perfidious manner, by one of the enemy. The General had volunteered to reconnoiter the enemy's positions and works at Fort George, and took with him 120 men.

    July 24, 2014

  • American victories at Chippewa From an authentic source, we are happy to be able to state, that our army under the command of maj. gen. Brown, crossed from Buffalo to the Canada shore on the 3d of July inst. and that Fort Erie surrendered to our arms at 6 o'clock in the morning.

    July 17, 2014

  • Civil War breaks out in Haiti The Baltimore American (extra) of the 22d, contains translations from the Royal Gazette of Hayti of the 23d of March; being official details of the capture of Fort Sabourin, by the troops of Christophe, from those of Petion, in a report of the Prince of Limbe, minister of war and marine, having under him the Duke of l’Arbonila and Duke of Grand Reviere, and 8 battalions of troops.

    July 10, 2014

  • Sacket's Harbor saved Dispatch from Brigadier-General Brown, to the Secretary of War ... June 1, 1813. SIR--You will have received my dispatch of the 29th [May] written from the field of battle ... that this post had been attacked by Sir George Prevost, and that we had succeeded in repulsing him ...

    July 3, 2014

  • Attack on Wareham undertaken Wareham [near New Bedford], June 14.... Yesterday morning we were informed of the approach of the enemy, and at about eleven o'clock A.M. they landed at the village called the Narrows, with a flag. There were six barges containing two hundred and twenty men.

    June 26, 2014

  • Victory won at Sandy Creek "I have the honor to transmit herewith Major Appling's report of the gallant affair which took place yesterday morning between a detachment of the 1st Rifle Regiment and Oneida Indians under his command, and a detachment from the British fleet, consisting of sailors and marines commanded by Captain Popham of the Royal Navy.

    June 19, 2014