At the fleches Bennigsen stopped and began looking at the Shevardino Redoubt opposite, which had been ours the day before and where several horsemen could be descried.
From the Shevardino Redoubt where Napoleon was standing the fleches were two thirds of a mile away, and it was more than a mile as the crow flies to Borodino, so that Napoleon could not see what was happening there, especially as the smoke mingling with the mist hid the whole locality.
Thirdly, as proof that the position on which the battle was fought had not been foreseen and that the Shevardino Redoubt was not an advanced post of that position, we have the fact that up to the twenty- fifth, Barclay de Tolly and Bagration were convinced that the Shevardino Redoubt was the left flank of the position, and that Kutuzov himself in his report, written in hot haste after the battle, speaks of the Shevardino Redoubt as the left flank of the position.
It was much later, when reports on the battle of Borodino were written at leisure, that the incorrect and extraordinary statement was invented (probably to justify the mistakes of a commander-in-chief who had to be represented as infallible) that the Shevardino Redoubt was an advanced post--whereas in reality it was simply a fortified point on the left flank--and that the battle of Borodino was fought by us on an entrenched position previously selected, where as it was fought on a quite unexpected spot which was almost unentrenched.
Ney led a counter-attack against the Allies' left, the Moczinski redoubt was definitely recaptured from Colloredo, and the Prussians were driven out of the Grosser Garten.
After passing through Borodino the vice-King was driven back to the Kolocha and could get no farther; while the divisions of Morand and Gerard did not take the redoubt but were driven back, and the redoubt was only taken at the end of the battle by the cavalry (a thing probably unforeseen and not heard of by Napoleon).
This redoubt consisted of a knoll, on three sides of which trenches had been dug.
As far as one can make out, not so much from this unintelligible sentence as from the attempts the vice-King made to execute the orders given him, he was to advance from the left through Borodino to the redoubt while the divisions of Morand and Gerard were to advance simultaneously from the front.
The vice-King will occupy the village and cross by its three bridges, advancing to the same heights as Morand's and Gibrard's divisions, which under his leadership will be directed against the redoubt and come into line with the rest of the forces.
The fourth order was: The vice-King will occupy the village (Borodino) and cross by its three bridges, advancing to the same heights as Morand's and Gibrard's divisions (for whose movements no directions are given), which under his leadership will be directed against the redoubt and come into line with the rest of the forces.