restricted access Appendix IV. “Extract from the History of the 10th Infantry Regiment”
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173 Appendix IV “Extract from the History of the 10th Infantry Regiment”30 On July 22, three active battalions of the 10th Regiment of the Infantry of the Line left Limoges and Angouleme by rail, arriving on July 23 at the camp at Châlons, where the VI Corps of the Rhine was concentrating and organizing under the command of Marshal Canrobert. The regiment, within this army corps, belonged to the 1st Brigade (Pechot) of the 1st Division (Trixier). The mobilization for war, begun at Limoges, was completed at Châlons. The battalions were brought to a strength of 720 men, and the regiment counted 2,200 and 10 present, not including the band, the sappers , and the headquarters section, which raised the total effectives to 2,300 men. The troops of the VI Corps were soon organized and were reviewed by Marshal Canrobert on July 31. On August 5, the division was ordered to move to Nancy. It embarked on nine trains, most of them departing by 6 A.M. Arriving at its destination in the evening, the 1st Brigade camped on the Leopold Racetrack, and the 10th Regiment established itself on the Place de la Grève. The details of Forbach and Reichshofen soon caused these plans to be modified. The VI Corps was ordered to return to Châlons. The last troops of the 2nd Brigade, delayed at Toul and Commercy, were returned on the same trains. The 1st Brigade entrained at Nancy, on the night of August 8, arriving at the Châlons camp on the afternoon of August 9. 30. “Extrait de l’historique du 10e régiment d’infanterie,” in Ardant du Picq, Études sur le combat, ed. Ernest Judet (Paris: Librairie Chapelot, 1903), xliii–xlvii. 174 Appendix IV The VI Corps, however, was to remain but a few days in camp. On the 10th it received orders to go to Metz. On the morning of the 11th, the regiment was again placed on three trains. The first train, carrying the staff and the 1st Battalion, arrived at Metz without incident. The second train, transporting the 2nd Battalion and four companies of the 3rd, was stopped at about 11 P.M. near the Frouard branch. The telegraph line was cut by a Prussian party near Dieulouard, for a length of two kilometers, and it was feared the [railroad] was damaged. In order not to delay his arrival at Metz, nor the progress of the trains following, Major Morin at the head of the column directed his command to detrain and continue to Metz. He caused the company at the head of the train to alight (6th Company , 2nd Battalion, commanded by Captain Valpajola) and sent it reconnoitering on the [railroad], about 300 meters in advance of the train. All precautions were taken to assure the security of the train, which regulated its progress on that of the scouts. After a run of about eight kilometers in this way, at Marbache station , all danger having disappeared and communication with Metz having been established, the train resumed its regulation speed. In consequence of the slowing up of the second column, the third followed at a short distance until it also arrived. On the afternoon of the 12th, the regiment was entirely united. The division of which it was a part was sent beyond Montigny and it camped there as follows: The 9th Chasseurs and the 4th Regiment of the Line, ahead of the Thionville railroad, the right on the Moselle, the left on the Pont-àMousson highway; the 10th Regiment of the Line, the right supported at the branch of the Thionville and Nancy lines, the left in the direction of Saint-Privat, in front of the Montigny repair shops of the Eastern Railroad lines. The regiment was thus placed in the rear of a redoubt under construction . The company of engineers was placed at the left of the 10th near the earthworks on which it was to work. Along the ridge of the plateau, toward the Seille, was the 2nd Brigade , which rested its left on the river and its right perpendicular to the Saint-Privat road, behind the field-work of this name. The divisional batteries were farther behind it. The division kept this position August 13th and during the morning of the 14th. In the afternoon, an alarm made the division take arms, Appendix IV 175 during the engagement that took place on the side of Vallieres and Saint-Julien (the battle of...