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officers was Algeria. Captain Ca
progress of the French armies during vaignac accordingly left France, to the last fourteen years. The wars in serve his country in Africa. Since the Algeria have produced a number of capture of the town of Algiers by commanders whose names are now ilMarshal Bourmont, in 1830, the lustrious in the military annals of French had made but little progress France. Clauzel, Damremont, Valleé, in the conquest of Algeria. Bour- Desmichels, Trezel, Lamorriciere, Bumont, Clauzel, Berthezene, and Ro- geaud, Bedeau, Negrier, Duvivier, vigo, were engaged with varied suc- Chargarnier, and Cavaignac, have cess for three years, in this difficult earned no small fame from the battles undertaking ; but the amount of force they fought, and the skill with which placed at their disposal by the French they baffled their brave and enterprisgovernment, was totally inadequate to ing opponents. It is a somewhat reenable them to cope against the stre- markable fact, that the year in which nuous and brave resistance that the Eugene Cavaignac commenced his Arabs and Kabyles opposed to their African campaigns was also that in Christian invaders. When Captain which Abd-el-Kader, the son of Mei-edCavaignac landed, the possessions of Din, an Arabian marabout, first became France were as follows:- In the dis- known as the energetic opponent of trict of Algiers, she possessed only the the French invaders. The fact that town of Algiers and its suburbs. The the Emir Abd-el-Kader was able for suzereignty of France was also ac- many years to baffle the power of knowledged in the narrow slip of coast France, and occasionally even to wrest bounded by the Arrach, the Metidja, a victory from the ablest of her geneMazafran, and the Mediterranean. rals, is no slight proof of the skill and Beyond these confined limits, the of the enterprise with which this great Arabs and the mountain tribes of the and extraordinary chieftain endeaKabyles held undisputed sway, voured to preserve the liberty of the the province of Constantine, France native tribes. Eugene Cavaignac merely possessed the small town of commenced his military life in Algeria Bona, on the sea-coast; and even there at Oran, under the command of Genetheir possessions did not extend beyond ral Desmichels. Shortly after his arthe range of the cannon on the ram- rival there, Desmichels, who was comparts. On the west, in the province pletely blocked up by the Arabs in of Oran, France possessed the town of the town of Oran, determined, in order Oran, with the fortress of Mers-el. to assist his military defences, to conKebir. She was also in alliance with struct a block-house and build a rethe Turks, in Mostaghanem, and with doubt on the highest point of the the Kouloughis, in the Mechouar, ridge which commands the level ground or citadel of Tlemcen. The Hadars, near Oran. Captain Cavaignac, as however, who possessed the town itself an engineer, was entrusted with the conof Tlemcen, were hostile to France. struction of these works, Abd-el-KaSuch were the small results of the der, who was encamped within a league blood and treasure which the French from the walls of Oran, vigorously had spent in Algeria during three opposed this proceeding. A desperate years. In 1833, the government of battle, on June 4th, 1833, took place, Louis Philippe determined to complete from sunrise to sunset, between the the conquest of the whole of Algeria French and the Arab forces. Captain —a country extending in length, from Cavaignac, with great coolness, though east to west, upwards of seven hundred exposed to the hottest of the enemy's miles along the shores of northern fire, succeeded in erecting the military Africa, and stretching in width nearly works entrusted to him. For his cona hundred and fifty miles from the duct on this occasion, he was menMediterranean, towards the desert. tioned in a general order by GeneFrom 1833 to the present time, the ral Desmichels, and shortly afterwards power and influence of the French received the cross of the Legion of in Algeria has steadily increased ; Honour. He was next employed in and that country-should no unfore- improving the fortifications of Oran, seen event occur—may now (1848) and in constructing a military road be said to be completely under the from the town to the fortress of Mersdominion of France. Great victories el-Kebir. A short but hollow truce and great reverses have marked the was established between Abd-el-Kader
and the French, in February, 1834. although the French succeeded, after Abd-el-Kader, however, shortly after severe fighting, in posting 3,000 men this, became master of the whole of and eight pieces of cannon on the the province of Oran, and with great banks of this river, they were unable, audacity seized Médéah, in the pro- after the departure of Clauzel. to apvince of Algiers. General Trézel proach the walls of Tlemcen, which marched against the victorious emir. were strictly blockaded by the forces The French and Arab forces met on of Abd-el-Kader. Captain Cavaignac the banks of the Macta, about thirty was thus unable to receive stores miles to the east of Oran. The French from his own countrymen ; but havarmy was defeated ; and, in spite of ing succeeded in obtaining the conthe gallantry of the French, Abd-el- fidence of the Koloughis, managed Kader obtained a complete victory: to procure provisions for his men, With a burning desire to retrieve this and was able to establish barracks great reverse, the French government and an hospital in the Mechouar. instantly despatched Marshal Clauzel He was exposed, however, to much to again take the command of the harassing warfare, as the Arabs, with troops in Algeria. On his arrival in numerous forces, made constant atAfrica, the marshal at once determined tacks on the Mechouar; and it was to push forward to Mascara, an inland not until Marshal Bugeaud gained the town in the province of Oran, where victory of the Sikkak, that Captain Abd-el-Kader had established his head. Cavaignac was relieved from the peril quarters. Captain Cavaignac was one of his
position. By the treaty of the of this expedition. Ten thousand Tafna, in May, 1837, between Bus men, under the command of Clauzel geaud and Abd-el-Kader (by which in person, set forward on the 26th of Tlemcen, in addition to other territoNovember, 1835, to avenge the former ries was given up to Abd-el-Kader), defeat of the French army.
Captain Cavaignac, and the men unThe French defeated the Arabs on der his command, evacuated the post the banks of the Habra, though not which they had so long and so bravely without heavy loss.
defended. As a reward for his gallant tinguished himself in this action, by services, he received a commission as the side of General Oudinot, who was Chef de Bataillon in the regiment of severely wounded. When the French Zouaves. The privations and fatigues army arrived at Mascara, they found Major Cavaignac had undergone, obthat Abd-el-Kader, in pursuance of liged him now to return to France, for his usual policy, had abandoned the a short time, to recruit his health. town, and had retired to Tlemcen, When in garrison at Tlemcen, he had where he was sure of being supported wisely occupied his time in making himby the Hadars. Clauzel pushed for- self master of the Arabic language, and ward with great vigour to Tlemcen ; in studying the habits, and manners, and on 13th January, 1836, drove the and laws of the inhabitants of Algeria. Hadars out of the town, and took pos- On his return to Paris, he published session of the place. On leaving the results of his inquiries in a work Tlemcen, Clauzel, having avenged the entitled “ De la Regence – Alger," honour of the French arms, deter- which excited much attention at that mined to leave a small garrison of 500 time, and is well worthy of being read volunteers, under the command of by all who wish to become well acCaptain Cavaignac, in the Mechouar, quainted with the affairs of Algeria. or citadel of Tlemcen. This was a When the war between Abd-el. most dangerous post, placed near the Kader and the French broke out western extremity of Algeria, towards afresh, in breach of the treaty of the the frontiers of Morocco, and sur- Tafna, Major Cavaignac again re. rounded by fanatical and warlike turned to Algeria. He was appointed, tribes. Cavaignac, and the handful on his arrival, to the command of the of men under his command, were second battalion of African Light Inthrown entirely on their own resources. fantry, and was put in charge of Clauzel had intended, in order to keep Cherchel, a town on the sea-coast, up a communication between Tlemcen which had been taken by Marshal and Oran, to establish a fortified post Valleè from the Arabs. The Arabs on the banks of the Tafna, about half- and Kabyles made desperate efforts to way between these two places; but recover the place, during twelve sue
cessive days. Major Cavaignac, how- bouring Kabyles. By the end of ever, repulsed
their attacks, and pre- 1844, the barren and desolate spot of served to the French the town, which Es-Snam was converted into the ris. was entrusted to his command. In one ing and flourishing town of Orleansof these skirmishes, he was wounded ville, and became the capital of a subin the thigh. On the 21st of June, division of the province of Algiers of 1840, he received his commission as the same name. For these services, lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of Colonel Cavaignac was, on the 16th Zouaves. This regiment had been of September, 1844, promoted to the commanded by Lamorriciere, and had rank of maréchal-de.camp, and to the earned great honour at the capture of command of the Tlemcen sub-district. the town of Constantine. Under The command of the Tlemcen disCavaignac, the Zouaves preserved the trict was then, and is still, in conhigh reputation they had gained under
sequence of its proximity to Morocco, their former commander. On the 3d one of the most difficult in Algeria. of May, 1841, Lieutenant-Colonel When he arrived at the Tlemcen Cavaignac and the regiment of Zouaves district, the inhabitants were enthuaccompanied General Changarnier in siastically attached to the cause of an expedition to Milianah, when, with Abd-el-Kader; and the warlike tribes a small force, they succeeded in repro- in that neighbourhood (only partially visioning that town. Cavaignac com: subdued) yielded but an unwilling manded the rear-guard, and did good obedience to the French officers. service in repulsing the attack of the Major-General Cavaignac, by his firmmountain tribes. He had a horse killed ness in command, enforced the full under him, and was wounded in the authority of France in this district, foot. For his conduct on this occasion and succeeded in establishing a steady he was appointed, on the 11th of Au- and regular government. In March, gust, 1844, colonel of the Zouaves, the 1845, at the head of a party of the Chasregiment in which he had so gallantly seurs d'Afrique, he was present at an distinguished himself. During 1841 interview which took place between and 1842, he was constantly engaged at the envoys of France and Morocco, to the head of his intrepid Zouaves, in settle the western frontier of Algeria. battling with the Arabs and Kabyles, At the end of 1845, Abd-el-Kader, unwho had risen in arms to support the daunted by the result of the battle of authority of Abd-el-Kader. Colonel Isly in the previous year, once more Cavagnac particularly distinguished entered the province of Oran, and himself
, on the 20th of September, made a final, though fruitless effort to 1842, in repulsing, an attack of the chase the French from the soil of AlKabyles in the defiles of Oued-Fodda.
The situation of Cavaignac The difficulties which the French had, was then most critical, and it required up to this time, encountered, in gain- great firmness and resolution to maining any firm or lasting footing in the tain his position ; the whole of the territory of Algeria, beyond the walls Arabs in the province of Oran rose in of the fortified towns, determined
arms to port the pretensions of the them, in 1843, by the advice of Gen. great emir; and by a sudden and unLamorriciere, to establish detached
expected attack, had_cut to pieces military posts in various parts of the a battalion of the French army. country, with the view of holding the Cavaignac, with undaunted resolu. natives in check, and of affording tion contrived, however, to make places from which moveable columns head against this dangerous insurrecof French soldiers might traverse the tion. Placing himself in command of country in every direction. With a column of 1500 men, he in the first this view, the French government place succeeded in twice defeating the established posts at Ténès, Es-Snam, Traras, after two very warm engageTenit-el-Kad, and at Tiaret. Colonel ments, and then, a few days later, reCavaignac was ordered to establish lieved the village of Nedroma, which the post of Es-Snam, in the western was besieged by Abd-el-Kader ; he part of the province of Algiers. then, by a rapid march through a counAt the head of a force of 2,000 try with a hostile population, effected a men, he speedily reduced the hos- junction with General Lamorriciere on tile tribes in that district, and ob- the summit of the Bab-Thaza. His tained the submission of the neigh- efforts, united with those of his gal
lant friend Lamorriciere succeeded in geria ; he, consequently, left Oran, repressing, after much hard fighting, and arrived at Algiers on March 10, this formidable insurrection in the to take possession of this high office. province of Oran. Other Arabs now, The various partial insurrections however, endeavoured to imitate the that had occurred since 1830, and the conduct of Abd-el-Kader ; one Mo- disputes that had taken place on difhammet-ben-Abdallah, at the head of ferent occasions between Louis Philippe a large number of the followers of the and the republicans, had more than prophet, required Cavaignac to be- once shown the great political strength come a Mahometan, and on his refusal of the latter party. It had been for to comply, attacked the town of Tlem- some time evident, to even the most çen with a large force. On the casual observer, that a great altera30th of March, 1846, the Moslem and tion must, ere long, take place in Christian forces met; the conflict the government of France. was short and decisive: Cavaignac, however, usually supposed (even by at the head of his troops, charged the republicans themselves), that in the Arabs sword in hand. The all probability no change would occur victory was complete; the fanatical until after the death of Louis Philippe; leader left behind his colours, his but various circumstances united to arms, his horse, and numerous pri- cause the sudden downfall of this once soners in the hands of the con- powerful sovereign. The annual ex. queror. After this he made an expe- penses of the state had greatly increasdition to subdue the hostile tribes, ed since Louis Philippe became king comprised in the district lying to the of the French, and his government was south of Tlemcen and Mascara, to- obliged to meet an annual deficit in wards the Schott Lakes. After an the budget, by having recourse to new absence of two months he returned to loans. Rumours had long prevailed of Tlemcen, with the satisfaction of hav
corrupt practices in the subordinate ing received the homage of the war- government offices; but in 1847, gross like tribes residing in this barren dis- personal corruption was brought home trict. At the close of 1847, the Emir to a cabinet minister. Great odium Abd-el-Kader (after a gallant struggle was cast on the chamber of peers ( during fourteen years) submitted to body never popular in France), by the the power of France ; and, relying on discovery of a murder committed by the plighted word of his conquerors, one of their number on the person of surrendered himself a prisoner of war. his own wife, and by the subsequent The Arab inhabitants of the whole of suicide of the criminal, under circumAlgeria having lost their chieftain, stances which gave rise to the popular found it useless to contend any longer belief, that a peer of France had not against the skill of the French invader. been so strictly guarded as a criminal Cavaignac was engaged in all the mili- of inferior rank would have been. A tary operations that led to the surren. knowledge that the number of persons der of Abd-el-Kader. The command enjoying the elective franchise was nu. of the whole of the province of Oran mérically less than the number of was now conferred upon him ; and the places in the gift of the crown, and the labours of war having ceased, he turn- belief that the majority of the chamber ed his attention with success to the of deputies owed their election to uncivil government of that province. He scrupulous bribery on the part of the was at Oran at the outbreak of the government, had raised an universal French revolution in February, 1848 ; cry for electoral reform even among and there he received intelligence, on the persons of the most moderate March 2, that Louis Philippe had political opinions. Louis Philippe ceased to be King of the French. Ca. however, had the inconceivable folly vaignac immediately proclaimed this to declare himself, in a speech from important event, and declared that all the throne, opposed to all parliamust pay obedience to the newly-con- mentary reform. A bad harvest and stituted republican authorities. The general commercial distress bad caused provisional government of the French great suffering among the working republic forwarded to him a com- classes in the course of the winter. mission as General of Division in These several causes led to the catasthe army, and at the same time ap- trophe in February, which hurled the pointed him Governor-General of Al- younger branch of the Bourbon family
from the throne. A recollection that that the press in Algeria henceforward he had, on more than one occa- should be free. sion, sacrificed the real interests of The Provisional Government in France to those of his own children, Paris had considerable difficulty in and of the Orleans family, caused finding a fit person to hold the office him to leave Paris unattended by of minister of war; and after mature the sympathy of any class of his consideration, offered that high polate subjects. The French army in sition to General Cavaignac. He, Africa had considered the appointment however, at that time declined to of the Duc d'Aumale, (a young man accept the proposition that was made without any experience), to the go- to him; for he was well aware of vernor-generalship of Algeria, as a the unfortunate dissensions that preslight put upon the superior claims of vailed at the council-table of the Protheir own officers; and, therefore, visional Government; and he was un. when Eugene Cavaignac proclaimed willing to take office without the certhe French Republic at Algiers, he tainty that the views of his friends, not only acted in accordance with Messrs. Lamartine and Arago, would the sentiments of his earliest youth, command a majority. At the approach but met with the approbation and of the time for the election of the sympathy of the whole of the army members of the new National Asin Algeria, who saw in his eleva sembly by universal suffrage, General tion to the post of governor-gene- Cavaignac was solicited to allow himral, the just reward of personal merit. self to be put in nomination for AlIn the proclamation which General geria. He, however, refused this proCavaignac addressed to the inhabitants position, on the ground that an official of Algiers, he alluded in feeling terms person ought not to be a candidate for to the memory of his brother Godefroi. any place where it might be supposed He says :
that his official position could be used
in his own favour. He was returned “ You feel as well as I do, that the for the departments of the Seine and of memory of my excellent brother still
the Lot. He selected to sit for the latlives in the heart of the citizens, who
ter department, in consequence of its have chosen me to preside over your being that which had formerly returned affairs. In naming me, they have wish. ed to make it understood that hence
his father to the National Convention.
He was at Algiers when the assembly forward the government of this colony shall be established on foundations wor
met on the 7th of May, and when an thy of a republic."
executive commission was appointed
to carry on the government of France, And in his proclamation to the army
he quitted his government, and came to
Paris to attend to his duties as deputy he says:
for the Lot.
He arrived in Paris a few days after “ In appointing me to this elevated
the criminal attempt of the Red Repost, the government have desired, in the name of the French nation, to honour
publicans, on the 15th of May, to overthe memory of a virtuous citizen and of
awe the deliberations of the National a martyr to liberty. As regards myself, Assembly. The executive commission you will find me such as I always have gave him the appointment of minisbeen; for to you, soldiers, I am not a ter of war, which he lid not now refuse; new man. As regards yourselves, your and on the 23rd of May, the president duty is comprised in one word-obedience. of the National Assembly confided to But obedience not to the arbitrary will him the command of the troops whose of one man, but obedience to the military
duty it was to guard the Assembly. laws which have been made by the wis.
The part taken by Cavaignac in re. dom of the nation."
pressing the insurrection in Paris, at
the latter end of June, is now a matter The first care of General Cavaignac of European history. Without diswas to place the coast of Algeria
in a cussing the question as to whether state of defence, in case any foreign wiser precautions might not have been power should be so ill-advised as to taken by the executive commission to interfere with the internal government prevent the outbreak of that sanguiof France. And then, turning his nary struggle, or whether the general attention to civil affairs, he proclaimed himself was not to blame, as minister