On Tuesday the French Emperor had struck a blow variously
estimated by Prziiiians and Germans. A very powerful force, under the immediate command of General Be Failly, but under the eye of the Emperor, occupied the hill of Spicheren, above Saar- briick, and thence shelled the Germans out of the town, setting it on fire. The Prussian soldiers, who, it would appear from their numbers, did not intend to keep it, retreated, and were, or were not, cut up by the mitrailleuses. The success, which was not of great importance, as the railway is on the other side of the river, was telegraphed to Paris as a victory, and excited great enthu- siasm. The Emperor himself announced to the Empress, in a telegram clearly intended for publication, that his son Louis had passed through the "baptism of fire," and had shown himself so unmoved, though "the bullets fell at his feet" (almost an impos- sibility), that the soldiers wept at the sight of his fortitude.
According to the French accounts, the mitrailleuses swept away whole companies ; according to Prussian, they lost only some seventy men.