Josef Speckbacher, commanding the "brown coat" Division of my Tyrolese forces.
Some more very purple prose, from
"The Heroes of the Tyrol, 1809":
CHAPTER VII. THE BATTLE OF THE BERG ISEL.
HOFER, full of conﬁdence in the protection of Heaven, had resolved upon an early attack on the morning of the 25th. He encouraged his followers by the religious motives which so powerfully inﬂuenced himself, and he spoke to men whose hearts responded to his own. The priest, Joseph Alber, on the evening of the 24th addressed the riﬂemen on the Schiinberg in a similar strain, and with the additional authority which his holy office imparted, exhorting them to prepare themselves by penitence and the confession of their sins for the mortal struggle. The enthusiasm of the Tyrolese was at its height; and it was as men resolved to conquer or to die in a holy cause that they rushed forward to the attack. The advanced posts of the Bavarians were furiously assailed ; and though advantageously placed, well commanded, and bravely defended , the troops were driven back by the impetuous onslaught; by midday Speckbacher had won the Patschberg, and pushed forward to Aldrans and Ampass. Had the attack in all quarters been simultaneous, the results of the action of the 25th might have proved more decisive; but either through the premature impetuosity of the right wing, or a want of combination not surprising in so motley and undisciplined an army, the troops under the respective commands of Speckbacher and Reissenfels (it is said) were pursuing their victorious advance before the remainder of the forces could be brought to bear upon the enemy. It was not long, however, before the battle became general along the whole line, and raged with varying success for the entire day, the close of which saw the armies in nearly the same positions they had occupied at the beginning. The Bavarians could not drive the Tyrolese from the heights; and the latter, after repeated attacks upon the enemy’s centre at Wiltau, which was well protected by artillery, found themselves unable to'gain a footing in the plain. A heavy rain which came on in the afternoon ﬁnally put a stop to the conﬂict, the result of which was far from decisive, though on the whole it was favourable to the Tyrolese. Nothing, however, but speedy and complete success could avail an army constituted as was the peasant force. Without military discipline, short of am munition and provisions, and wanting in every thing that could render a prolonged contest possible, to them delay must prove defeat, while to their adversaries it must ultimately give the victory.
I have painted the "yoke" of his companion's garb to suggest the elaborately embroidered "dirndl" often worn by Austrian women. The flag is that of Tyrol.
Prodigies of valour had as usual been displayed. Fore most in the van of the left wing the ﬁery Haspinger led the riﬂe-companies to the storming of the heights of Natters, which were more than once lost and won during the day. In the heat of the battle two Bavarian officers had been captured, and were brought to the Capuchin. His quickly recognised them as the same who, nine months before, had led him prisoner from the cloister of Schlanders to Klausen.
“Was I not a true prophet,” he said, “when I warned you that one day you might fall into my hands? You shall want for nothing under my care.” And the good father gave instant orders to have them conducted to the nearest village, and treated with all courtesy and kindness.
The loss on the part of the Tyrolese was extremely triﬂing, while that of the Bavarians was from three to four hundred killed and wounded; nevertheless Hofer was disappointed at the result of the day, and the scarcity of powder and provisions was a discouraging circumstance. Deroi, on his side, felt the critical nature of his position, in a land bristling on all sides with enemies, and with little prospect of present reinforcements. He endeavoured, therefore, by a display of friendly dispositions, and a willingness to enter into negotiation, to induce the Tyrolese either to lay down their arms or to come to some accommodation. His overtures were fruitless, and nothing remained but for each side to prepare once more to measure forces. Hofer was looking hourly for the promised cooperation of Teimer and the Upper Innthalers, who were to have menaced the rear of the enemy in Innsbruck, but had been hindered in their movements by coming into conﬂict with the body of troops under Arco already mentioned.
The costume, pose, and features of the Speckbacher sculpt are obviously taken directly from those of the Speckbacher memorial. Many consider Speckbacher to have been the ablest of the Tirolese rebel commanders.
Valentin Tschoell was despatched to Botzen to endeavour to procure reinforcements and supplies, and in the mean time a council of war was held by the peasant chiefs in the little inn upon the Schiinberg, Hofer’s head-quarters. The commander sat thoughtful and serious, if not somewhat sad; for he felt that with him rested the entire responsibility of the fate of his country, and of those brave men who had so conﬁdently followed him to the ﬁeld. Speckbacher was as usual undiscouraged by any adverse circumstances, and full of daring hopes. He was for a speedy renewal of the conﬂict. Others, more cautious, were for awaiting Teimer’s coming. Opinions were thus divided. Hofer still kept silence. At this moment, it is said, an aged man, of low stature, and with hair as white as the mountain snow, came forward into the circle. He stepped up to the table at which Hofer sat, and stood facing him. In a deep hollow voice, but in tones of ﬁery earnestness, the stranger uttered these words: “ You must not give battle be are Monday the 29th of May, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.I tell you this in the name of God and of the Holy Virgin. On that day ﬁght, and I promise you the victory.” After pronouncing these words, the old man withdrew, and was no more seen. None knew him, nor whence he came, nor whither he retired. All gazed in silence and astonishment upon one another. But on Hofer’s soul the appearance and words of the venerable stranger had made the deepest impression. He rose from his seat, his whole countenance beaming with enthusiasm: “As the old man has said,” he exclaimed, “ so shall it be.” Then, raising his hands and eyes aloft, he prayed the Lord of heaven and earth to grant victory to their arms, and vowed that the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should thenceforth be solemnly celebrated through out the land, in thanksgiving for the grace which, as he ﬁrmly hoped, would be vouchsafed to them."
*The Feast of the Sacred Heart, as celebrated throughout the Church, would certainly not have fallen that year on the 29th of May. The writer has been unable to account for this difficulty. Possibly there may be in Tyrol some additional day celebrated in its honor.
Andreas Hofer himself; the banner, based upon a historic flag of a Tirolese Schutzen company, bears, appropriately, an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The report of the wonderful old man, and of his prophecy, spread rapidly through the peasant host, and raised the hopes of this religious people to the highest pitch of conﬁdence. Henceforth not a man left the camp to return to his home; strong in the conviction that they fought under the special protection of God and of our Lady, they awaited the appointed day with impatience, ready alike for the crown of victory or of martyrdom. Historians have not hesitated to apply to the Tyrolese, and to Hofer himself, on this and on other occasions, the epithet of superstitious, but surely with some injustice. Whatever may be our opinion of the old man and his prediction, whether he really spoke moved by the Spirit of grace, or from the fervour of his own enthusiastic hopes, it matters not. The Tyrolese believed the former, and if on slight and insufﬁcient grounds, then, at most, may they be taxed with credulity. But credulity is not superstition, though often confounded with it. The masses are always credulous; and happy that people whose credulity runs in a pious channel! Believing the message, there was no superstition in their conﬁdence. Their hope was in God and our Lady. He only is superstitious who puts his trust in lying vanities instead of the living God.
Valentin Tscholl’s expedition to Botzen had been successful in procuring assistance from the townspeople in the shape of money and provisions. Wagons of ammunition also, which the riﬂemen of the Pusterthal had obliged the retreating Austrians to abandon, made their welcome apearance on the Brenner; and Buol himself, who seems to have been but niggard of his assistance, was induced to forward a supply of powder. Of bullets there was not the same scarcity. Women and children were indefatigable collectors, and were often seen handing them to the combatants in the very heat of the battle. The provisions also arrived most opportunely. Speckbacher, in particular, was thus enabled to keep his men together, who, being for the greater part in the immediate neighbourhood of their homes, were in the habit, for the purpose or under the pretext of procuring food, of straggling back every evening to their families. From time to time fresh companies kept dropping in to swell the host, and were received with shouts of exultation and brotherly greetings by their countrymen.
Meanwhile a messenger from Hormayr reached the camp with the news that the men of the Obererinnthal were successfully en aged with the troops under Arco, at Scharnitz and the Luitpass. As the enemy were likely, however, to give them enough to do for another day, he advised that no attack should be made upon Deroi before the 30th. Teimer could not hope to efect a junction with them sooner. The Austrian ofﬁcer, Roehle, the bearer of the message, found Hofer on the Schonberg, employed in the homely ofice of giving fodder to his horse, and enforced Hormayr’s written advice by word of month. But Hofer’s determination remained unshaken. He relied more on the promises of the wonderful old man than on the counsels of the intendant; and had he even placed no faith in the former, prudence would have fully justiﬁed his reluctance to sacriﬁce the favourable moment of enthusiasm to the prospect of addition to numerical force. The sure trust of victory was much more than worth any reinforcement which Teimer might bring. Hofer accordingly made but brief reply to the arguments of the imperialist, who was desirous to know what rejoinder he should bear to his superiors: “ My best greetings, Herr Hauptrnann, to the intendant, and you may tell him you found the Sandwirth, Andreas Hofer, at his friend Etschmann’s house, at Schupfen, giving fodder to his horse, with whom he shared his meal, and drank to your good health. I have nothing more“ to say in reply.” With these words, he gave the ofﬁcer a friendly squeeze of the hand and walked away. Roehle was at a loss to account for this behaviour, till Ertl enlightened him as to the true situation of affairs. Although Hofer, however, took no notice of Hormayr’s missive, he wrote the following characteristic letter to his countrymen of the Oberinnthal: “ Dear brothers of the Oberinnthal, for God, the Emperor, and dear fatherland! Early to-morrow we rush to the assault. We mean, with the help of the Mother of God, to capture or beat the Bavarians; and we have espoused ourselves to the sweetest Heart of Jesus. Come to our help! If, however, you choose to be wiser than the divine foreknowledge, we shall bring it to pass without you.—-ANDREAS HOFER, Commander-in-chief.”
The Hofer sculpt is similarly inspired buy the Hofer memorial statue in Innsbruck.
This address did not fail of its effect. Hofer knew his men, on whom the ﬂourishes of rhetoric were lost, and to whose hearts you must speak if you would move them. Hormayr’s pompous appeal, and flowery style, had fallen meaningless on the ears of rude Alpine hunters and shepherds; the thirty- paged proclamation of the King of Bavaria, a regular official production, scarce perhaps one of the armed peasantry encamped before Innsbruck on that 28th of May had so much as read; but Hofer’s few lines were intelligible to all.
Had Deroi been aware of the enthusiastic conﬁdence of approaching victory which animated the Tyrolese host, prudence would have dictated a strictly defensive line of operations; such, indeed, would have been the wisest course he could have anyhow pursued under his present circumstances. To attempt to win the heights was as difﬁcult and hazardous for is troops as it was for the Tyrolese to force their way into the plain, where the artillery and cavalry of the Bavarians gave them an overwhelming advantage. But Deroi seems to have placed great reliance on the courage and discipline of his soldiers, and he had received, besides, some little reinforcement of men and artillery, which Lefebvre had sent back from Salzburg. He knew that his opponents were very ill supplied with ammunition, and that the Austrian regular troops were few in number, while the Tyrolese riflemen, formidable upon their hills, were unprovided with the bayonet for a hand-to-hand encounter; with the rest of the native militia he thought to make light work.
The flowery narrative notwithstanding, some sources claim Hofer was no where near Innsbruck at the time of the 2nd Battle of Berg Isel.!
The plan of the battle arranged between Hofer and Ertl was to avoid an immediate assault upon the enemy’s centre, Where the Tyrolese would have to ﬁght to disadvantage, but to attack them vigorously on their wings; and thus, with the cooperation of the Oberinnthalers (upon which Hofer still reckoned in the course of the day), he trusted to be able to surround and overcome the main body. On the evening of the 28th, Speckbacher distributed to his men a large quantity of both meat and drink at his own house. A detachment of Bavarians had crossed the bridges of Hall and Volders, and it was his ﬁrst object to drive them back to the opposite side. Early on the morning of the 29th, accordingly, Speckbacher and Straub fell furiously upon the enemy at Volders, and forced them to retreat to the left bank of the Inn. Leaving Straub to remove the bridge, which he effected notwithstanding the ﬁre of the retreating enemy, Speckbacher hurried to the assistance of the Austrians at the bridge of Hall, which the Bavarians had crossed, and, under the protection of several pieces of artillery, not only held their ground, but threatened to push their advantage further. Speckbacher's arrival was opportune. The struggle was ﬁerce and desperate. In the heat of the battle, a young woman was seen boldly advancing to strengthen her countrymen with a refreshing draught of wine, a flask of which she bore aloft upon her head, while she held a pitcher in her hand. A bullet penetrating the vessel, the wine began to pour down upon her neck. No way discomposed, she let down the ﬂask from her head, and coolly making use of the hole as a tap, suffered the liquor to pour into the pitcher, calling out to her countrymen: “ Quick, quick, before a second shot comes, which might make an end of wine, ﬂask, and waiter.“
* A very similar incident is related as having taken place at the Second butt e of the Berg Isel, where a young and pretty girl is re.presented as stopping the hole in the wine-ﬂask with her ﬁnger, until a second shot came and struck her the ground. They may possibly be versions of the same story.
Perhaps the "Lady in Green" is the same as the maiden in the story?
As Speckbacher, brandishing his sabre, was heading a second attack upon the bridge, to his astonishment he beheld his little son Anderl by his side, who, having escaped from his mother, had run down to take a share in the battle. The heart of the brave man was ﬁlled with terror at the danger of his child; and his ﬁrst impulse was to lay him with his face upon the ground, to protect him from the ﬁre of the enemy. The spirit of the young Anderl, however, like that of his father, was not easily checked; and although he bade him make the best of his way home, Speckbacher again saw him lingering near him as he was preparing to head a third onslaught, and it was not until he had given him a smart blow or two that he succeeded in driving him away. The child, it is true, kept out of sight; but he still lingered in the vicinity, and scooping out the bullets from the ground with his knife, ﬁlled his hat with them to present to his father after the battle. The third tremendous attack of Speckbacher, who, it is said, earned for himself that day, by his ﬁery impetuosity, the surname of Der Feuer- Teufel (“ the Fire-Devil”), was successful in effectually driving the Bavarians back to the left bank, who for their own protection now partially destroyed the bridge; while Reissenfels, with his Austrians and the Tyrolese under Gasteiger, stormed the castle of Ambras, the Patschberg, and the bridge over the Sill. The Bavarians, however, returned to the charge, and succeeded in retaking the bridge over the Sill, and in forcing the Tyrolese to retreat from the Patschberg. A reserve body under the Austrian Dobrawa and the Tyrolese Stuffer restored the fortunes of the day in that quarter, and maintaining possession of the Sill Bruck, enabled the right wing to cooperate with the centre later in the day.
It was at the centre that the decisive struggle must eventually take place. As the main body under Hofer and Ertl slowly advanced along the Iselberg road, the enemy withdrew their advanced posts, and concentrated their forces on the heights of Natters. Thither several riﬂe companies were despatched, under the leadership of Father Joachim, supported by some Austrian Jagers under the brave Colonel Ammann, a Tyrolese by birth, who perished on that glorious day. Father Joachim wore the habit of his order, the brown robe and the cord of St. Francis; a small black cross, with which he assisted the dying, was enclosed in a little purse or bag, which he bore upon his breast; that cross saved his life that day, and turned away the only bullet which struck the heroic monk. His long beard fell in thick curls over his bosom; a tall mountain-staff, with an image of St. Francis carved on the top, was his sole weapon. Foremost in the post of danger, wherever the rain of bullets fell thickest might this holy standard be discerned as long as the ﬁght lasted. The Tyrolese rushed with ardour to the attack of the heights, where they met with an obstinate resistance from the foe, whose position was defended by two pieces of cannon. After two hours’ hard ﬁghting (from seven o’clock till nine), the Bavarians were driven from the heights of Mutters and Natters, and by eleven o’clock the Galwiese was swept clear, and the enemy compelled to retreat into the plain.
Father Joachim Haspinger, variously styled "Der Rothbart", or "The Capuchin".
Once, indeed, they made a furious effort to regain them; for a moment the Tyrolese were shaken, and some began to fall back. Ammann knew that at that critical moment all their hope was in Haspinger: “ We are lost,” he cried, “ if you cannot stop the fugitives.” Father Joachim needed no encouragement. He precipitated himself into the midst of the retreating body, seized two of the number by the arm, and in a voice of thunder, “ Brothers!” he exclaimed, “ was this what you promised when you began your march, and when you this morning received a general absolution? Did you not pledge yourselves to shed the last drop of your blood for the Church of God and your rightful monarch? Farewell, perjured men; I shall meet you yonder, to accuse on at the tribunal of God! Farewell for ever!" he shouted once again as he turned and rushed alone to wards the advancing foe. “ No, brothers, this shall never be,” was the cry that broke from the Tyrolese ranks; “we cannot forsake our Feldpater;" and with renewed heart they returned to the charge. The bullets whistled thick around their leader, they singed his hair and his ﬂowing heard; but none touched him. At one moment his death seemed imminent. A Bavarian soldier rushed forward; and, with a curse on his lips, shouted out, “ Now I have you!” at the same time drawing back his bayonet to give the father a mortal thrust. “ Not so,” replied Haspinger, as he warded off the stroke by a powerful low with his staff, which broke off the image of St. Francis from the top. With no other weapon for his defence, the next moment would have seen him pierced through and through, had not a riﬂeman, perceiving his danger, ﬁred over his right shoulder, burning thereby a portion of the father's beard, but laying the Bavarian dead at his feet. A detachment of the enemy close at hand ﬁred upon Haspinger and his follower, but not a shot told. An impression that the singular protection of Heaven surrounded him, and that saints fought invisibly at his side, gained possession even of the Bavarian soldiers, who, brave as they were, shrank appalled from the strange form of the Capuchin, and from. the curse which they believed his ﬁery eye darted at them. What, then, may be imagined was the enthusiasm of his countrymen and spiritual children, inﬂamed and encouraged by every inspiring motive that can stir the heart of man, and specially the heart of a Tyrolese, to whom he by turns held out the strong help of God and of our Lady, the assured forgiveness of their sins, and the martyr’s imperishable crown! Men died on the ﬁeld of battle as if they had a foretaste of the beatiﬁc vision. “Fight on bravely, brothers,” exclaimed one who fell at Father Joachim’s side, as he raised himself on one arm from the ground; “see, heaven opened ;” and he expired with his eyes uplifted, as one who beheld a vision. Another was mortally wounded by a shot as the Bavarians were pressing forward. Haspinger wished to bear him away: “ Think only of victory,” said the dying patriot, “and let me lie here. I shall be dead ere the Bavarians have reached me.” But not for an instant did Haspinger forget his higher vocation in the exciting exercise of the strange calling which circumstances had forced upon him; one moment leading a furious charge into the very cannon’s mouth, the next on his knees upon the blood-stained ground, whispering in the ears of the dying man the last words of consolation and forgiveness, and holding before his eyes the image of the Redeemer. No, never for one moment did Haspinger forget the priest and the religious in the soldier and the patriot: this is his highest glory, and that which stamps his singular and exceptional vocation with the surest mark of the approval of Heaven.
An old Austrian Ordinarfahne (Courtesy of Bannasek flags, a few decades ago!) provides the banner for Haspinger's command stand, leading the "black coat" Division. It was not until I read this narrative that I learned his habit should be brown instead.
The success of the two wings enabled the central body to progress forward. The Bavarians gave way, and gradually fell back from their positions on the Iselberg. Eisenstecken and his Tyrolese poured down the slope of the hill, and hurled them back upon their rearguard in the ﬁelds of Wiltau. General Deroi in person rallied them, and brought them back impetuously to the charge. In the plain the balance was in favour of the Bavarians: here their deadly artillery came into play, and their strong body of cavalry could deploy effectively. Deroi, an experienced as well as a resolute ofﬁcer, had previously made an accurate survey of the ground; a detachment accordingly, concealed by a wood, made a circuit by a hollow way, and turning the right ﬂank of the Tyrolese, were close upon their rear, and opened their ﬁre before the latter had become aware of the manoeuvre. For a brief space it seemed that the Bavarians were about to recover their lost ground; but the danger, far from disheartening, roused to the utmost the spirit of the undaunted mountaineers. From every height a storm of bullets burst upon the advancing columns; while the Austrians, with Ertl at their head, who had taken up a position by a tall cross upon the high road, emulating the intrepidity of the peasantry, rushed back to help in driving the assailants from the heights. Once more were they swept back into the plain under the walls of the abbey of Wiltau; and the hospital in Innsbruck could no longer contain the wounded and the dying, who were borne in great numbers to the monastery of the Servites.
Still the day was advancing, and the main object was not accomplished. Although the Bavarians had failed in keeping possession of the high ground, and were driven back with great loss at every repeated attempt to recover it, yet all the valour of the Tyrolese could not make any effectual impression on their centre, and neither the main body nor the left wing could take up an permanent position on the plain. Still Teimer and the Oberinnthalers did not make their appearance. Their cooperation in sufﬁcient force early in the day would probably have produced very decisive results, as the Bavarians would thus have been taken in the rear and attacked in front simultaneously. They seem to have had no intimation of the risk, and were themselves probably anxiously looking to the Zirl road for Arco’s expected assistance. The enemy were, in fact, repulsed but not beaten, and their great error during the day was decidedly their obstinate courage in resuming the offensive, which entailed only considerable bloodshed on their own side, and great waste of ammunition. For a while, however, fortune once more seemed to incline in their favour. Reissenfels had been driven back from Ambras, though a division of the Austrians still held their ground on the right wing, and Speckbacher bravely maintained his position at the Patschberg. The main body of the Bavarians made a furious, and at the ﬁrst a successful, charge upon the Iselberg; Hofer, in that moment of danger, displayed an heroic energy and courage which were decisive of victory, yet as it were trembling in the balance. Messengers were despatched in every direction, to Ampass and to the Gallwiese, to summon all to a general attack. With his sword in one hand and his rosary in the other, not the least esteemed weapon of that true soldier of God and of his country, Hofer in person led his followers to the charge. Their enthusiastic valour bore down all opposition; with the cry, “For God, for Tyrol, and the Emperor!” the heroic peasantry rushed forward; and the same cry burst from the lips of those who fell. It was no ﬁerce war-whoop, but a self -sacriﬁcing dedication of themselves to a holy cause. Against a spirit such as animated these men, mere human velour an military discipline contend at a disadvantage. The Bavarians, as a body, were gallant men and well-trained troops. The Tyrolese were much more; each was a hero with a consecrated arm, though many a one might wield but a pitchfork or a. club. The main body of the enemy was driven back upon Wiltau, while shouts of victory from both right and left witnessed to the success of their countrymen in all quarters. But this ﬁnal struggle cost them two brave men: Ammann, who fell Wounded in the head b a spent ball, and expired in the arms of Haspinger; and Count von Stachelburg, who fought among the volunteers from his own estates, having refused to take a post of authority. “I will not command,” he had said, “but lead them on by my example ;” and when entreated by some not to expose his person so recklessly; “I have but one life,” was his noble reply, “and in the cause of God, of the right, and of Austria, I will not spare it.” He fell, leaving four daughters and seven sisters to deplore his loss, and struggle with the hardships of poverty.
Between four and ﬁve o’clock in the afternoon Teimer and his troops were descried at Kranebitten, upon the left bank of the Inn; but the time for effectual cooperation was gone by. He had scarcely eight hundred men with him, the remainder being still engaged with the troops under Arco; and besides, the Tyrolese had now been brought to a stand by the failure of ammunition. His appearance, however, was highly discouraging to the Bavarians, who had themselves begun to experience the same scarcity; for not only was the communication thus intercepted with Scharnitz, but their position was becoming every moment more critical, as the circle of their foes was closing around them, and no hope could any longer be entertained of the expected succour from Arco. So closely were they now invested, that a failure of provisions was imminent: they had lost a large number of men, among them many ofﬁcers whom the Tyrolese riﬁemen had picked out from the heights*, while the peasant force, whose loss had been comparatively insigniﬁcant, was swelling in numbers every hour.
* On Hofer asking an old Passeyr sharpshooter, the redoubted Joseph Auer, that evening, how many he might have killed during the day, the peasant, who had stationed himself on the Berg Isel, provided with four riﬂes and ninety-six bullets, three boys being kept loading for him, answered in his broad patois: “ Of my bullets three only remain; and say I missed three times with the rest, may I have no part in the kingdom of heaven if I did not keep back the greater number for ofﬁcers."
As a priest, Haspinger had to be given special permission to accompany the Tirolese insurgents as a leader.
The Tyrolese and Austrian officers thought to proﬁt by this state of things to induce Deroi to capitulate. If the negotiations failed, the delay might at least afford time for the arrival of a fresh supply of ammunition. Ertl accordingly, hoping to play again the part which Teimer had enacted not long before, sent the adjutant of his regiment, Lieutenant Woetzler, with a trumpeter, to the Bavarian advanced posts, to propose a parley. Woetzler was conducted blindfold to a house in the city, where he had an interview with General Deroi, surrounded by his staff. The conditions proposed by Ertl were severe, including that of laying down their arms. He urged the perilous nature of Deroi’s position, besieged by an hourly increasing hostile force, and represented the prudence of signing an immediate capitulation with the Austrians; since so great was the excitement of the peasantry and their conﬁdence of triumph, that by the-next morning it would probably be no longer in General Buol’s power to restrain their fury. The latter menace, it must be confessed, was somewhat of a ﬂourish, since, if the truth must be told, General Buol, vainly solicited by the Tyrolese to lend more effectual assistance, was comfortably housed at that moment, as he had been all the day, far away from the battle-ﬁeld, in the inn upon the Brenner. Deroi unequivocally rejected the propositions, but expressed a willingness to agree to a suspension of hostilities for four-and twenty hours. The interval spent in this attempt at negotiation had been well employed, and the Bavarian outposts more closely hemmed in, while all eyes were looking out anxiously for the supplies. At last the ammunition-carriages made their appearance, to the joy and exultation of the Tyrolese; the postillions urging the horses full gallop, at the peril of their lives, down the declivity of the Schoenberg. The Tyrolese and Austrians were in no humour, therefore, to grant the proposed suspension of arms; and Speckbacher in particular, who had lost very few men, and had observed that the enemy’s ammunition began to fail, was exceedingly averse to discontinue active operations. As evening was fast setting in, however, Peter Kemnater came to him, on the part of Hofer, to tell him that the latter had agreed to a short truce, which the increasing darkness, indeed, seemed of necessity to prescribe. When Kemnater proceeded to observe that it now became a question whether it were most advisable to force the Bavarians to capitulate or to allow them to make their re treat, “They must surrender, or they fall,” exclaimed the uncompromising Speckbacher; “ so say I.”
The Haspinger Denkmal; located in Klausen, Sudtirol.
Accounts differ, but the loss of the Tyrolese and Austrians on the 25th and 29th may be estimated at about 100 killed and 150 wounded. It is still more difﬁcult to ascertain the loss of the enemy; but following the most trustworthy authorities, we may reckon the number of the prisoners at about 400, and that of the killed and. wounded at 1500. One point, however, is certain, that the loss of the Bavarians greatly exceeded that of the patriots, and was, moreover, irremediable under the circumstances in which they were placed.