Perceiving the fatal separation of the Prussians from each other, and from their supplies at Naumburg, he determined to cut their army in two, and then to cut off and seize their magazines at this place. He therefore ordered the French right wing, under Soult and Ney, to march upon Hof, while the centre, under Bernadotte and Davoust, with the guard commanded by Murat, advanced on Saalburg and Schleitz. The left wing, under Augereau, proceeded towards Saalfeld and Coburg. Naumburg was seized, and its magazines committed to the flames, and this, at the same moment that it ruined their resources, apprised them that the French were in their rear; and, still worse, were between them and Magdeburg, which should have been their rallying-point. To endeavour to make some reparation of their error, and to recover Naumburg, the Duke of Brunswick marched in that direction, but too late. Davoust was in possession of the place, and had given the magazine to the flames, and he then marched out against Brunswick, who was coming with sixty thousand men, though he had only about half that number. Brunswick, by activity, might have seized the strong defile of Koesen; but he was so slow that Davoust forced it open and occupied it. On the evening of the 13th of October the duke was posted on the heights of Auerstadt, and might have retained that strong position, but he did not know that Davoust was so near; for the scout department seemed as much neglected as other precautions. Accordingly, the next morning, descending from the heights to pursue his march, his advanced line suddenly came upon that of Davoust in the midst of a thick fog, near the village of Hassen-Haussen. The battle continued from eight in the morning till eleven, when the Duke of Brunswick was struck in the face by a grape-shot, and blinded of both eyes. This, and the severe slaughter suffered by the Prussians, now made them give way. The King of Prussia, obliged to assume the command himself, at this moment received the discouraging news that General Hohenlohe was engaged at Jena on the same day (October 14) with the main army, against Buonaparte himself. Resolving to make one great effort to retrieve his fortunes, he ordered a general charge to be made along the whole French line. It failed; the Prussians were beaten off, and there was a total rout. The Prussians fled towards Weimar, where were the headquarters of their army, only to meet the fugitives of Hohenlohe, whose forces at the battle of Jena were very inferior to those of the French, and whose defeat there was a foregone conclusion.
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