1902 Encyclopedia > Archduke Charles of Austria

Archduke Charles of Austria

CHARLES, or CHARLES LOUIS (1771-1847), archduke of Austria, was the third son of the Emperor Leopold II. He commenced active service against the French at the age of twenty-two, and so distinguished himself that at twenty-five he was intrusted with the supreme command of the army of the Bhine. He defeated Jourdan at Teiningen, Amberg, and Wurzburg, and Moreau at Bastadt; and the year after (1797) he was honoured with the command against Napoleon in Italy. In a month, however, peace was concluded; but the war soon re-commenced, and in 1799 Charles defeated Jourdan ____ more in Swabia, and then checked Massena in Switzerland. After this he was forced by ill-health to retire from service. He was appointed governor of Bohemia ; but it was not long before he had again to oppose his old enemy Moreau, with whom he made terms which were afterwards taken as the basis of the peace of Luneville. His popu-larity was now such that the Diet of Batisbon, which met in 1802, resolved to erect a statue in his honour, and to give him the title of Saviour of his Country ; but Charles refused both distinctions. .He was for some time president of the council of war, but in 1805 he was once more in Italy, where he won the victory of Caldiero over Massena. On his return to Austria he became commander-in-chief and again president of the aulic council of war. He employed his time in organizing the army and establish-ing a strong reserve force, till in 1809 he took the field against the French army commanded by Napoleon in person. He carried on the conflict for five days, and fought with great gallantry ; but at last, being wounded and overpowered, he retreated in good order. At the end of the campaign he gave up all his military offices, and spent the rest of his life in retirement, with the exception of a short time, when on the return of Napoleon from Elba, he became governor of Mayence. He published Grundsätze der Strategie (1814), and Geschichte des Feldzugs von 1799 in Deutschland und der Schweiz (1819).

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