Josef Speckbacher was a leading figure in the rebellion of the Tyrol against Napoleon. Josef Speckbacher was born on July 13,1767 in Gnadenwald, near Hall and he was a peasant’s son, for Speckbacher’s father supplied wood for the salt mines of Hall for a living. Receiving only an education, Josef roamed the woods, poaching by the age of twelve. Josef got a job working in the Imperial salt mine in Hall and this work allowed him to start a family of his own. On February 10,1794, 27-year-old Speckbacher married Mary Schmiederer, from that time on, he had the nickname “the Man from Rinn. ”He was respected by his community, and in 1796, during a politically sensitive time, he was elected to the local court committee. France and Austria were at war, though, so he enlisted as a volunteer militiaman. On April 2,1797 at the Battle of Spinges, Speckbacher fought in the ranks of Captain Philip von Wörndle beside Catherine Lanz and he continued the defense against Napoleon’s Marshal Ney until 1805, when the French were victorious.
The Austrian Tyrol was obliged to accept being ceded to Napoleon’s ally, by 1809, the Austrian government sought to recapture the Tyrol through guerrilla tactics. Speckbacher showed himself to be not only a daring fighter, but a cautious, according to his diary, he took part in thirty-six battles and skirmishes in 1809 alone. Early in the morning of April 12,1809, he surprised the city of Hall, imprisoned the garrison troops, on May 31 he commanded the left wing during the Battle of Mount Isel, and achieved victory near Hall and Volders. From June 23 to July 16, he laid siege to Kufstein Castle, from August 4 to the 11th he was most of the time the commander in the battles between Sterzing and Franzensfeste against Marshal Lefebvre. He forced the marshal to quit the battlefield and with Hofer and Haspinger commanded troops at the famous Third Battle of Mount Isel. After the enemy had been driven from the Mount Isel area, he and his men forced their way into the mountains of Salzburg, on September 25 he defeated the combined forces of the French and Bavarians at Lofer who, with great loss, fell back on Reichenhall.
On October 16 Speckbacher was surprised at Melleck by a force of the enemy and was obliged to retreat. His young son Andreas was taken prisoner in that battle, on November 1,1809, after the last and unsuccessful fight on Mount Isel, he was obliged to abandon the unequal contest, even though he wished to continue the struggle. The French and Bavarians hunted for him specifically, and a reward of five hundred florin was offered to anyone who would deliver him alive or dead to the authorities. Speckbacher spent the winter in the Tyrolean Alps, hiding among friends at lonely farms, or in Alpine huts. He was betrayed just once, but saved himself by a flight and hid himself until January,1810, in the clefts of the rocks
Battle of Sacile
Sacile proved to be the most notable victory of Johns career. The action took place east of the Livenza River near Sacile in modern-day Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, in April 1809, Archduke John quickly invaded Venetia in northeastern Italy. On 15 April at Pordenone, the Austrian advance guard routed the French rear guard, undeterred by this setback and believing he enjoyed a numerical superiority over his opponents, Eugène attacked the Austrians east of Sacile the following day. Though the two sides were equal in numbers of soldiers, the Austrians possessed a two-to-one advantage in cavalry. Eugène withdrew his army 130 kilometres to a position at Verona on the Adige river. At Verona, the Franco-Italian army was secure from Archduke Johns army advancing from the east, by the end of April, news of French victories in the Danube valley caused John to fall back to the east, with Eugène in pursuit. In the early part of 1809, the Austrian Empire of Emperor Francis II determined to go to war against Emperor Napoleon Is First French Empire, Austria massed her main army in the Danube valley under Generalissimo Archduke Charles.
Though Italy was considered a minor theater and the Hofkriegsrat assigned two corps to the Army of Inner Austria and placed General der Kavallerie Archduke John in command. Regarded as incompetent by historian David G. Chandler, Archduke John had seen his first army utterly smashed by French General of Division Jean Moreau at the Battle of Hohenlinden on 3 December 1800. In Moreaus subsequent pursuit, Johns army became so demoralized that it was able to defend itself and suffered huge losses in prisoners. During the War of the Third Coalition, he had done better and he successfully linked up with the Army of Italy, led by his brother, Archduke Charles. Unfortunately for Austria, Napoleons crushing victory at the Battle of Austerlitz ended the war before Charles, the VIII Armeekorps assembled at Villach in Carinthia, while the IX Armeekorps massed to the south at Ljubljana in Carniola. General-major Andreas Stoichevich with 10,000 troops faced General of Division Auguste Marmonts XI Corps in Dalmatia, a body of 26,000 Landwehr stood ready to man garrisons and defend the Austrian heartland.
John planned to have the VIII Armeekorps move southwest from Villach, the two forces would unite near Cividale del Friuli. Another source gave a somewhat different Austrian organization at the outbreak of war, chastelers VIII Armeekorps possessed 20,100 men and 62 guns in two divisions. Feldmarschall-Leutnant Albert Gyulay led the 1st Division while Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann Maria Philipp Frimont commanded the 2nd Division, Ignaz Gyulai s IX Armeekorps counted 22,290 soldiers and 86 guns in three divisions. Feldmarschall-Leutnant Guido Lippa was responsible for 30,000 Landwehr and reserves, before the Austrians launched the war, the Tyrol flared in a spontaneous revolt. The German-speaking Tyrolese under leaders like Andreas Hofer began driving out the Bavarian garrisons, desiring to aid the rebellion, Charles ordered John to send Chasteler and 10,000 Austrian troops to help the Tyrolese
Battle of Ratisbon
During the assault, Marshal Jean Lannes led his troops up ladders onto the walls, and Napoleon was wounded in his ankle by a small artillery round. The shot had been fired at distance and did not severely hurt the Emperor. Following his victory at Eckmühl on 22 April Napoleon summoned his first ever council of war, five battalions from II Korps defended the city, while 6,000 cavalry and some infantry battalions held the hilly ground outside. At dawn on 23 April the French advance continued in a movement toward Ratisbon, with General Louis-Pierre Montbrun coming from the southwest. Only did the French discover the bridge, but its last defenders were able to hold on. By noon the French infantry had arrived and formed up around the medieval defenses. Lannes was given charge of its capture and opened up an artillery bombardment, two infantry assaults on the main gates had already failed with heavy losses, when at 3,00 P. M. General Henri Gatien Bertrand, head of the engineers, smashed a breach in the wall with heavy artillery near the Straubing gate.
Walking to observe the gap, Napoleon was struck by a canister round in the left foot but was able to mount his horse and ride around. Three small parties with siege ladders failed to scale the damaged wall, Lannes men could not bring themselves to advance into the maelstrom a fourth time and so, Lannes grabbed a scaling ladder and renewed his appeal. Then, amid an embarrassed silence, he shouted, I will let you see that I was a grenadier before I was a marshal. He took the ladder and moved forwards, but was restrained by his aides. His troops, shamed into action by the despair of their leader, the fourth assault party carried the walls and within minutes French troops were pouring into the now-doomed Ratisbon. A street-by-street battle raged for hours until the French could secure. The last 300 defenders surrendered soon after, French casualties, including a wounded-in-the-ankle Bonaparte, were between 1,500 and 2,000 while the Austrians lost at least 6,000 men killed, injured or captured. Sending Marshal Louis Davout to guard the north bank across the Danube, robert Brownings poem Incident of the French Camp describes a probably fictional incident during the battle
Battle of Raab
The Battle of Raab was fought on June 14,1809 during the Napoleonic Wars, between Franco-Italian forces and Habsburg forces. The battle was fought near Győr, Kingdom of Hungary, Napoleon referred to the battle as a granddaughter of Marengo and Friedland, as it fell on the anniversary of those two battles. During the 1809 campaign in Italy, Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais led the Franco-Italian army while General der Kavallerie Archduke John of Austria commanded the Austrian army, at the outbreak of war, John moved rapidly to defeat his opponent at the Battle of Sacile on 16 April. This victory drove Eugène back to the Adige River, the front remained static for a few weeks despite attacks by Eugène in the Battle of Caldiero. Meanwhile, an Austrian force bottled up the corps of General of Division Auguste Marmont in Dalmatia, after the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Eckmühl, John received orders to retreat in order to cover the strategic left flank of the army in southern Germany. John fought Eugène in a rearguard action at the Battle of Piave River on 8 May.
Up to this moment and his soldiers had fought well, John probably committed a serious blunder by splitting up his command. With the main army he fell back to the northeast, by the second week of May and Feldmarschallleutnant Albert Gyulai stood at Tarvisio with 8,340 troops. Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Maria Philipp Frimonts 13, 060-man Mobile Force lay at nearby Villach, Feldmarschallleutnant Ignaz Gyulai with 14,880 men of the IX Armeekorps defended the Ljubljana area to the southeast of Villach. Far to the west-northwest, Feldmarschallleutnant Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles and 17,460 soldiers of the VIII Armeekorps held the region around Innsbruck, Feldmarschallleutnant Franjo Jelačić and the 10, 200-strong Northern Division was stationed at Salzburg to the northwest. Finally, General-major Andreas von Stoichewichs 8,100 men continued to pin Marmont in Dalmatia to the south of Ljubljana, by this time a large proportion of Johns forces was made up of hastily raised landwehr infantry.
On 13 May, Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre and a Bavarian army wrecked part of Chastelers corps at the Battle of Wörgl near Innsbruck, on 17 May, John received orders to cut the communications of Emperor Napoleons Grand Army by moving north. However, the archduke delayed too long in carrying out this assignment, though badly isolated, Jelačić remained near Salzburg until 19 May. When he finally got moving it was too late, a French corps under General of Division Paul Grenier cut the Northern Division to pieces at the Battle of Sankt Michael on 25 May. John pulled back to Graz, but when he heard of Jelačićs disaster, during May, small Grenz infantry forces heroically defended the mountain passes during the Battle of Tarvis. At Malborghetto Valbruna,400 soldiers held a blockhouse against 15,000 Frenchmen between 15 and 17 May and only 50 men survived, the French admitted only 80 casualties. At the Predil Pass blockhouse,250 Austrians and 8 cannon held off 8,500 French soldiers for three days, on 18 May, when the position was finally overrun, the Grenzers were killed to a man.
The French admitted suffering 450 casualties, at Tarvisio itself, Eugène inflicted a serious defeat on Albert Gyulais outnumbered division
The Bergisel is a hill that lies to the south of Innsbruck, Austria, in the area of Wilten, where the Sill river meets the Inn Valley. The words first syllable Berg- doesnt correspond etymologically to the German word Berg with the meaning mountain, among its earlier uses were as a cremation site and as a habitation area during the Ice Age. In 1809, Bergisel was the site of the four Battles of Bergisel under the command of the freedom fighter Andreas Hofer, in 1892, the Andreas Hofer monument was erected in order to commemorate the battles. Since 1952, Innsbruck has hosted one leg of the Four Hills Tournament, the Bergiselschanze was built of concrete for the 1964 Winter Olympics to replace an older, smaller ramp. It was used for the 1976 Winter Olympics, a new ramp was opened in 2003, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, as the old one no longer conformed to contemporary requirements of ski jumping. Until an accident following a panic, which resulted in several deaths. Both the Brenner railway and the Brennerautobahn have tunnels below the Bergisel, the Sill Gorge, a recreational site, is located at its base.
The Bergisel can be reached by the Stubaitalbahn from Innsbruck, exiting at Station Sonnenburgerhof, or by the Tram 1, at Station Bergisel
Dalmatian Campaign (1809)
The Dalmatian Campaign saw several battles fought between 30 April and 21 May 1809 by Auguste Marmonts First French Empire soldiers and Andreas von Stoichevichs Austrian Empire troops. The Austrians drove the French from their positions on the Zrmanja River at the end of April, but in mid-May, the French counterattack forced back the Austrians. The defenders offered stout resistance, but ultimately Marmont broke out of Dalmatia, the campaign was fought during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dalmatia is part of the nation of Croatia. At the beginning of the conflict, the Austrians thrust across the Zrmanja, after the Austrian defeat and subsequent retreat from Italy of the army of Archduke John of Austria, Marmont launched his own offensive. The French beat the Austrians at Pribudić, capturing Stoichevich, two more actions were fought at Gračac on 17 May and Gospić on 21 May before Marmont reached Ljubljana in Carniola. Continuing north, the French general fought in the Battle of Graz on 25 and 26 June, in addition, General of Division Marmont commanded a French corps in occupation of Dalmatia.
At the end of the War of the Third Coalition on 26 December 1805, since that time, Marmont had administered the region. Because Marmonts troops had trained with the Grande Armée at the Camp de Boulogne, Marmonts so-called Army of Dalmatia consisted of two infantry divisions commanded by Generals of Division Joseph Hélie Désiré Perruquet de Montrichard and Bertrand Clausel. Soyes brigade included the 18th Light and 5th Line Infantry Regiments, de Launays brigade was made up of the 79th and 81st Line Infantry Regiments. Clausels 2nd Division comprised the brigades of Generals of Brigade Alexis Joseph Delzons, the divisional artillery included the 3rd and 9th companies of the 8th Foot Artillery Regiment, with six 6-pound cannons and two 5-inch howitzers in each company for a total of 16 guns. Delzons led the 8th Light and 23rd Line Infantry Regiments and Bachelu directed the 11th Line Infantry Regiment, the 11th Line had three battalions, while the other regiments only had two battalions each.
Average battalion strength was approximately 700, the Army of Dalmatia was provided with an especially powerful artillery contingent of 78 guns led by General of Brigade Louis Tirlet. The large corps artillery included the 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th. The 10th company of the 7th Foot Artillery Regiment had six 12-pound cannons, the 14th and 15th companies of the 2nd Foot Artillery Regiment each consisted of six 6-pound cannons. The 3rd squadron of the 24th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiment completed the corps, Marmonts chief of staff was General of Brigade Jacques-Antoine-Adrien Delort. On 15 May, Stoichevich commanded about 8,100 troops, including roughly 7,740 infantry,120 infantry, the Austrian regular infantry consisted of two battalions each of the Liccaner Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr. 1, two battalions of the Warasdiner Szent-George Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr,6, one battalion of the 1st Deutsch Banat Grenz Infantry Regiment Nr
Battle of Ebelsberg
The Battle of Ebelsberg, known in French accounts as the Battle of Ebersberg, was fought on 3 May 1809 during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. The Austrian left wing under the command of Johann von Hiller took up positions at Ebersberg on the Traun river, the French under André Masséna attacked, crossing a heavily defended 550-meter-long bridge and subsequently conquering the local castle, thus forcing Hiller to withdraw. Ebelsberg is now a suburb of Linz, situated on the south bank of the Traun. Separated from the main Austrian army by the battles of Abensberg and Landshut, the Austrians hoped to slow the French advance towards Vienna. The leading elements of Marshal Massénas corps overran Hillers rear guard on the west bank of the Traun on the morning of 3 May, in the rout that followed, the first French infantry brigade rushed the bridge and got into the streets of Ebelsberg. At this point, the Austrians began to fight back effectively, to keep from being thrown into the river, the French committed an entire division to the street fight, in which the Ebelsberg castle loomed as the key position.
After Masséna threw in a division, the French finally ejected the Austrians from the castle. Unwilling to recapture the town, Hiller ordered his artillery to set fire to the place, in the blaze that followed, hundreds of wounded soldiers from both armies died. The battle and the casualties were unnecessary because Hiller was already flanked out of position by a second French corps that crossed the Traun upstream. On 10 April 1809, the Austrian army of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria, during the first week of war, Napoleons deputy, Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier mismanaged the deployment of the Franco-German army. Nevertheless, the archduke was unable to take advantage of his opportunities because of the slow marching speed of his troops, Napoleon soon arrived on the scene and, in the first major clash on 19 April, Marshal Louis Davout won the hard-fought Battle of Teugen-Hausen. Thanks to his victory, Davout was able to link up with the body of Napoleons army near Abensberg that evening.
Between the 19th and the 21st, Hiller lost 12,140 soldiers,11 guns and his wing shrank from 42,000 troops to around 27,000 to 28,000 by the evening of 22 April. On the 22nd, Napoleon marched north with major forces to deal Archduke Charles a defeat at the Battle of Eckmühl, unaware that the main army retreated north of the Danube River, Hiller turned to face a weak pursuit force. He inflicted a sharp check on Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières at the Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit on 24 April, apprised of the fact that Charles suffered a defeat, the Austrian wing commander quickly pulled back to the southeast. On 24 April Charles sent a message to Hiller ordering him to retreat to Linz, cross to the Danubes north bank, hoping to overtake and destroy Hiller, Napoleon sent two columns after his foe. The emperor directed Marshal Louis Davouts III Corps, Massénas IV Corps, the II Corps of Marshal Jean Lannes and Bessières force took a more southerly route through Burghausen on the Salzach River. That same day, another of Massénas divisions occupied Passau, having captured 400 Austrians, Hiller was enjoying his independence from Archduke Charles, who was far away in Bohemia
Battle of Sankt Michael
In the Battle of Sankt Michael on 25 May 1809, Paul Greniers French corps crushed Franz Jellacics Austrian division at Sankt Michael in Obersteiermark, Austria. The action occurred after the initial French victories during the War of the Fifth Coalition, Sankt Michael is located approximately 140 kilometers southwest of Vienna. Originally part of the Danube army of Archduke Charles, Jellacics division was detached to the south before the Battle of Eckmühl and ordered to join the army of Archduke John at Graz. As it retreated southeast toward Graz, Jellacics division passed across the front of Eugène de Beauharnais Army of Italy, when he learned of Jellacics presence, Eugène sent Grenier with two divisions to intercept the Austrian column. Greniers lead division duly intercepted Jellacics force and attacked, though the Austrians were able to hold off the French at first, they were unable to get away. The second French divisions arrival secured a numerical superiority over Jellacic. Greniers subsequent French assault broke the Austrian lines and captured thousands of prisoners, when Jellacic joined John it was with only a fraction of his original force.
In the opening encounters of the 1809 war between France and Austria, Emperor Napoleon beat Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller at the battles of Abensberg and Landshut on 20 and 21 April. The following day, Napoleon defeated Generalissimo Archduke Charles at the Battle of Eckmühl, when Bavaria was invaded, Archduke Charles detached Jellacic to advance from Salzburg and occupy Munich on the extreme south flank. To better perform this mission, Hoffmeisters brigade was exchanged for General-Major Karl Dollmayer von Provenchères cavalry-infantry brigade from the light division. After the Austrian retreat began, Jellacic was ordered to back on Salzburg. Accordingly, elements of his command began assembling in Salzburg beginning on 29 April, believing cavalry was of little use in the mountains, Jellacic sent Provenchères toward Vienna on 1 May with the OReilly Chevauxlegers #3. Hiller fought the Battle of Ebersberg on 3 May, crossed to the bank of the Danube on 11 May. On 4 and 5 May, Jellacic fought a rearguard action at Lueg Pass,40 km south of Salzburg.
In the clash, a few hundred Hungarian regulars and Grenz infantry repulsed a brigade of pursuing Bavarians under the command of Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre. In Italy, General of Cavalry Archduke John defeated Viceroy Eugène at the Battle of Sacile on 16 April, Eugène fell back to Verona where he gathered reinforcements until he was superior in numbers to his Austrian opponent. After hearing news that Archduke Charles was in retreat, John withdrew from his Adige River defenses on 1 May, on 8 May, Eugène and John fought the Battle of Piave River and the Austrian retreat continued. John split his army, sending Feldmarschall-Leutnant Ignaz Gyulai along a route to Ljubljana
Battle of Halberstadt
The Battle of Halberstadt took place on 29 and 30 July 1809 at Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Westphalia, during the War of the Fifth Coalition. A Westphalian infantry force attempted to halt the Black Brunswickers under Frederick William, the Brunswickers surprised the Westphalians by a rapid advance and defeated them inside the town. In exile in Austrian controlled Bohemia, Duke Frederick raised a force or freikorps to fight the French. The volunteers were equipped by the Austrian Empire, the colour of their uniforms was black. The Duke of Brunswick and his corps began their remarkable fighting march towards the north German coast at Zwickau on 24 July, entering the town of Halle in Westphalia on 26 July, the duke appropriated its civic funds. This prompted Jérôme to order three generals, Jean-Jacques Reubell, Pierre Guillaume Gratien and Claude Ignace François Michaud, to gather their forces, the 5th Infantry, led by Colonel P-S Mayronnet, reached Halberstadt at 11 am on 29 July, still 150 kilometres from Reubel.
At 1 pm, local gendarmes warned Mayronnet that the Brunswickers were in Quedlinburg, sending out his voltigeurs to form a skirmish line, Mayronnet sent the rest of his infantry to defend the gates of the medieval town walls, supported by the troops of the towns garrison. At 7 pm, the duke led one column against the Harsleber Gate while a second attacked the Kuhlinger Gate and a third, despite a spirited defence, all three gates were breached and obstructions, including carts full of manure, were cleared away. The Brunswickers rushed into the town shouting their battle cry of Seig oder todt, when the cavalry reached the main square they found Mayronnets powerful regimental reserve, but believing that they were surrounded by superior forces, they surrendered. Westphalian losses were about 600 dead and wounded, with 2,080 taken prisoner, the Brunswick Corps lost about 400 killed and wounded. The Duke of Brunswick resumed his march on the day,30 July. He headed first to his capital, the city of Brunswick.
Closely pursued by their enemies, they reached the coast at Elsfleth on 6 August. The Brunswick Corps went on to fight with the British Army in the Peninsular War and the Waterloo Campaign
Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit
The Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit on 24 April 1809 saw a Franco-Bavarian force led by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières face an Austrian Empire army commanded by Johann von Hiller. Hillers numerically superior force won a victory over the Allied troops, Neumarkt-Sankt Veit is located ten kilometers north of Mühldorf and 33 kilometers southeast of Landshut in Bavaria. On 10 April 1809, Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschens surprise invasion of the Kingdom of Bavaria put the Grande Armée of Emperor Napoleon I of France at a disadvantage. On 19 April, Charles failed to take advantage of his opportunities, after battles on 20 and 21 April, Hillers troops were driven into a headlong retreat to the southeast. Having temporarily disposed of Hiller, Napoleon turned north with his army against Archduke Charles. On 22 and 23 April, the Franco-Germans defeated Charles army, Napoleon sent Bessières to pursue the Austrian left wing with minor forces. Not knowing that Charles had been defeated, Hiller turned back upon his pursuer, once he found that he was alone on the south bank facing Napoleons main army, Hiller retreated rapidly to the east in the direction of Vienna.
On 10 April 1809, Archduke Charles invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria with 209,000 Austrian soldiers and 500 artillery pieces, a set of orders from Emperor Napoleon in Paris was transmitted poorly and misunderstood by Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier. By the time Napoleon arrived at the front on the 17th, on the morning of the 19th, Charles gained a position in which he might have severely punished Marshal Louis Davouts isolated III Corps. Instead, Davout escaped defeat in the hard-fought Battle of Teugen-Hausen, on 20 April, the Austrian left wing was strung-out on a 13 kilometer front behind the Abens River from Mainburg in the south to Biburg in the north. In total, there were about 42,000 Austrians, Napoleon launched 55,000 troops at his enemies in the Battle of Abensberg, inflicting 6,710 casualties, and forcing them to retreat. Napoleon beat Hiller again in the Battle of Landshut on 21 April, seizing a crossing over the Isar River, until 2,30 am on 22 April, Napoleon mistakenly believed that Hillers three corps represented the main Austrian army.
When he realized his error, he sent most of his troops marching north to crush Archduke Charles, on 22 April, the Franco-Germans defeated Charles at the Battle of Eckmühl and forced him to withdraw through Regensburg to the north bank of the Danube the following day. Napoleon instructed Bessières to pursue Hiller and placed him in charge of one reinforced cavalry division, the bulk of Hillers force, numbering 27,000 to 28,000 troops, lay near Mühldorf and Neuötting on the Inn River at noon on 23 April. A10, 000-strong division under Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Jellacic held Munich, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Dedovichs brigade from the IV Armeekorps, which had been blockading Passau, was assigned to Hillers command and moved to Braunau am Inn. Hiller noticed that the French pursuit had slackened on the 22nd and 23rd, a letter from Emperor Francis I urging him to help defend Archduke Charles south flank strengthened the left wing commanders resolve. Neither the emperor nor Hiller realized that Charles had withdrawn to the bank of the Danube.
The emperor planned for the pursuit to cross the Inn and capture Braunau am Inn, on the 24th, Napoleon ordered Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre, the commander of VII Corps, to take the division of Lieutenant General the Crown Prince of Bavaria to recapture Munich from Jellacic
Andreas Hofer was a Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the revolutionary Napoleonic invasion during the War of the Fifth Coalition. He was subsequently captured and executed, Hofer is still today venerated as a folk hero, freedom fighter and Austrian patriot. Andreas Hofer was born 1767 in St. Leonhard in Passeier and his father was an innkeeper of the Sandhof inn and Andreas followed in his footsteps when he inherited the establishment. He traded wine and horses in adjacent Northern Italy and learned the Italian language, in 1791 he was elected to the Tyrolean Landtag assembly. In German he was known as a Wirt and thus ever after Sandwirt, in the War of the Third Coalition against the French he became a sharpshooter and a militia captain in the Austrian Imperial and Royal Army. After the Austrian defeat, Tyrol was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria according to the 1805 Treaty of Pressburg, during the stern measures of Minister Maximilian von Montgelas and the forced recruitment into the Bavarian Army, Hofer became a leader of the anti-Bavarian movement.
In January 1809, he was part of a delegation to Vienna to ask Emperor Francis I of Austria for support for a possible uprising, the Emperor gave his assurances and the delegation returned home. Hofer begun to secretly organize insurrection, visiting villagers and holding councils of war in local inns, reputedly he was so much on the move that he signed his messages Andreas Hofer, from where I am and letters to him were addressed to wherever he may be. At the same time other leaders organized their own forces elsewhere in the Alps, Hofer became a leader of a militia contingent in the Passeier Valley. The Tyrolean Rebellion began on 9 April 1809 in Innsbruck, the previous night, organizers dumped sacks of sawdust into the River Inn as a sign to start the rebellion, floating through the town and down the Inn Valley, it alerted the rebels. Church bells summoned men to fight with muskets and farmyard implements and they soon overran smaller Bavarian garrisons and surprised a column of French infantry that was passing through the area.
On April 11 Tyrolean militia defeated a Bavarian force in Sterzing which led to the occupation of Innsbruck before noon, the Bavarians re-occupied Innsbruck on May 19. However, when their French allies left, the rebellion flared up again, Hofer became the effective commander-in-chief of the Tyrolean rebels, with the support of other leaders such as Josef Speckbacher and Father Joachim Haspinger. He commanded a force of Tyroleans approximately 20,000 strong, in the second Battle of Bergisel, from May 25 to May 291809, Hofers troops again defeated the Bavarians, driving them out of the country and retaking Innsbruck on May 30. On May 29 Hofer received a letter from Emperor Francis in which he promised not to any peace treaty that would include giving up Tyrol. An Austrian intendant came to rule Tyrol and Hofer returned to his home, Napoleon again defeated Austrian troops in the Battle of Wagram on July 6. The Armistice of Znaim ceded Tyrol to Bavaria again, Napoleon sent 40,000 French and Bavarian troops to take over Tyrol and they re-occupied Innsbruck.
After little hesitation, Hofer joined battle again, the French offered a reward for his head