Articles by Marx & Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung

From the Theatre of War

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 72;
Written: Written by Engels on March 14, 1849;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 246, March 15, 1849

There is little to add to the reports published this morning. The reports on the battle at Szolnok are extremely vague; but it seems that the Karger imperial brigade stationed there was attacked by the Magyars from the rear at Abony and driven to the opposite (left) bank of the Theiss, which is wholly in Magyar hands. If this is so, the brigade is lost and not a man can escape being killed or taken prisoner. Three battalions were sent from Pest to Abony; but they were too late, of course. Just as they were leaving by train; the defeated General Zeisberg arrived in Pest from Szolnok. He had to go by carriage as far as Abony, since the railway was already destroyed.

In Budapest new fortifications are being erected.

"The blockhouses at the two bridgeheads of the suspension bridge," writes the Constitutionelles Blatt aus Böhmen, "should be completed shortly and offer a firm bulwark against attacks, not easy to take.

"In spite of the announcement that there can be no question of calling in or confiscating Hungarian notes in private circulation in Hungary, there is a heavy surcharge on the purchase of Austrian banknotes with Hungarian paper money, and the latter's rate of exchange is likely to fall day by day, since the merchants here have to make many more payments of considerable sums to the other patrimonial dominions, in particular to Vienna, than they will be receiving from there. The Israelites of the capital have been given renewed orders to pay the instalments on the notorious arrears of the toleration-tax redemption in silver pieces of twenty, but the community has been granted an extension of a fortnight, or of 18 days, according to another report."

From the comitat of Tolna we learn from the same paper:

"The Tolna county is again in full rebellion, despite its declarations of allegiance. The speeches which Moriz Perczel recently made at public meetings there sowed bad seed, and the military authority was informed too late when he stayed incognito at his father's baronial estate a few days ago. Only his carriage and his innocent valet fell into the hands of the imperial troops."

Nor do things look too brilliant for the imperial arms in the south. Let us quote once more the Constitutionelles Blatt aus Böhmen:

"As regards the capture of Alt-Arad a considerable snag has been encountered. General Todorovich wanted to leave his whole corps behind as garrison, but some of the officers regarded three battalions as sufficient for the purpose. So it happened that, when the main body of the Serbs moved into their camp, the defeated Magyars returned across the Maros, and as a result two battalions were driven out and one was partly captured, partly cut down."

When the imperial troops took Esseg, they expected that the garrison would rush to join the imperial army, but of the four companies of former regular troops of the imperial army not one man and of all the Honveds[65] only 16 men were recruited.

The following news comes from Croatia, on which "independence" has been imposed. The Agramer Zeitung writes:

"We hear from a reliable source that the Ministry of Trade intends in the near future to begin the regulation of the River Sava upstream to Sissek and then the building of a railway from Sissek to Agram and thence to Karlstadt and Steinbrück.

Quite in order. Let the Royal and Imperial Government make rivers navigable there, build railways, bring commerce and industry into the country, and it will discover for how much longer it will then be able to rely on its Croats, No sooner will the Croat exchange the red-coat[66] for the frock-coat, than his enthusiasm for the martial-law emperor will automatically cease.

Ban Jellachich has told the Banat Council that he has granted an amnesty to the pro-Magyar Croats—including the six party leaders[67] —who fled to Hungary and were banned when they did not return after being asked three times.

Lastly, it is reported from the Turkish border that

"there is a great deal of activity in Turkey. In Bosnia large bodies of troops are being armed and concentrated at Travnik. Although scouts report that threats against the borderers[68] are sometimes heard being uttered, it is more likely that these preparations are connected with the political intrigue Palmerston is hatching in Constantinople regarding the Danube provinces with no lesser an aim than to drive the Russians from Moldavia and Wallachia and so uncover the Austrian flank to the east. Austria can expect a strong Note with regard to the 10,000 Russian troops protecting Transylvania."