Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 140:  Reissenberger, p. 39, in part quoting Engel.]

[Footnote 141:  Some modern Roumanian historians affirm that Mircea already had a regular army, but Roesler and others treat the assertion with ridicule.  As to Michael, the reader will judge for himself whether or not it would have been possible to accomplish what he did without a disciplined force.]

[Footnote 142:  Siebenbuergen was so called from seven forts erected there.]

II.

Shortly afterwards a conspiracy against Michael was set on foot by adherents of the Turks, and under the pretence of desiring simply to march through the country, a Turkish Emir, with two thousand men, entered Bucarest.  Michael, who know of the conspiracy, made a pretence of acquiescence in this movement, but shortly afterwards withdrew quietly to the camp of the allies, and returning with a sufficient force surrounded the house of the chief conspirator, in which the Emir and his escort were quartered, and put them to the sword.  The fury of his troops was unbridled, and no quarter was given, the last of the enemy being put to death.  But Michael did not stop here.  In order to protect Wallachia from Turkish inroads, he determined to clear both banks of the Danube of their garrisons.  With this view he sent the noted and successful Transylvanian general, Albert Kiraly, with a sufficient force, who took, plundered, and burned the Turkish town at the mouth of the Jalomitza, where it falls into the Danube.  The fortress, however, he was obliged to leave in the hands of the Turks.  Michael, following with the remainder of the army, crossed the river itself and besieged Oroschik (now Hirschova).  This place was strongly reinforced by the Turks, but after an obstinate battle, which was fought partly on the frozen waters of the Danube, the allies were victorious, and retired across the river with an immense booty.

Shortly afterwards he moved up the river to Silistria, where he a second time encountered the Turks, gained a victory, and reduced the place to ashes.  These victories of Michael struck terror into the rulers at Constantinople, and an Ottoman army, under Achmed Pasha, was sent to Rustchuk, whilst the Khan of the Crimea, an ally of the Turks, was ordered to enter Wallachia from the east, the Porte hoping by these vigorous measures to reduce its rebellious vassal to submission.  The Turks did not, however, know of what material Michael was made.  Dividing his army into two parts, he succeeded, by the rapidity of his movements, not only in keeping the allies asunder, but in completely routing both.  The Tartars were twice defeated, and their fugitives spread terror amongst the Ottoman forces.  Michael next gave the Turks battle at Rustchuk with his whole force, defeated and dispersed them, and slew their general.  After these exploits he returned in triumph and with great booty to Bucarest.

Without, however, resting long under his laurels, he once more divided his army into several detachments, which, under different generals, marched once more to the Danube, the result being that the allied princes of Wallachia and Moldavia were soon able to report to Prince Sigismund that both banks of the Danube eastward to the Black Sea had been swept clear of the Ottoman forces.

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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