At the siege of Paris, Assy was appointed as an officer in a free guerilla corps of the Isle of France. Subsequently he was a lieutenant in the 192nd battalion of the National Guard. Getting on the Central Committee, he took an active share in the events that occurred. Appointed commander of the 67th battalion on the 17th March, we find him on the morning of the 18th as Governor of the Hotel de Ville, and colonel of the National Guard, organising with the members of the committee the means of a serious resistance—giving orders for the construction of barricades—stopping the transport of munitions and provisions from Paris. Becoming a member of the Commune, he took an active part in carrying into effect the decrees which led, among other things, to the demolition of the Vendome Column and of the house of M. Thiers. He was arrested in April, and was succeeded as Governor of the Hotel de Ville by one Pindy, who retained the office till the army entered Paris. Assy was held prisoner, sur parole, at the Hotel de Ville, till the 19th April, when he was liberated. After this Assy was engaged in superintending the manufacture of munitions of war. He was the sole superintendent of the supply, especially as regards quality. Among the warlike stores manufactured were incendiary shells filled with petroleum, intended to be thrown into Paris during the insurrection. It is certain that these engines of destruction could only have been made at the factory superintended by Assi. He was arrested on the 21st May. Assy was one of the chiefs of the insurrection; he denied signing the decrees for the execution of the hostages, or order for the enrolment of the military in the National Guard. Assy was condemned by the tribunal of Versailles, Sept. 2, to confinement for life in a French fortress—a light penalty for the deeds of this important insurgent.]
[Footnote 43: Memoir, see Appendix 5.]
[Illustration: GENERAL CLUSERET.]
The fighting still continues, the cannonading is almost incessant. However, the damage done is but small. To-day, the 7th April, things seem to be in pretty much the same position as they were after Bergeret had been beaten back and Flourens killed. The forts of Vanves and Issy bombard the Versailles batteries, which in their turn vomit shot and shell on Vanves and Issy. Idle spectators, watching from the Trocadero, see long lines of white smoke arise in the distance. Every morning, Citizen Cluseret, the war delegate, announces that an assault of gendarmes has been victoriously repulsed by the garrisons in the forts. It is quite certain that if the Versaillais do attack they are repulsed, as they make no progress whatever; but do they attack, that is the question? I am rather inclined to think that these attacks and repulses are mere inventions. It seems evident to me that the generals of the National Assembly, who are now busy establishing batteries and concentrating their forces, will not make a serious attempt until they are certain of victory. In the meantime they are satisfied to complete the ruin of the forts which were already so much damaged by the Prussians.