Dreadful Scenes In La Vendee

In La Vendee, one of the departments of France, an insurrection broke

out against the Jacobinical government, in 1793.

Upwards of two hundred battles and skirmishes were fought in this

devoted country. The revolutionary fever was in its access; the shedding

of blood seemed to have become positive pleasure to the perpetrators of

slaughter, and was varied by each invention which cruelty could invent

to give
it new zest. The habitations of the Vendeans were destroyed,

their families subjected to violation and massacre, their cattle houghed

and slaughtered, and their crops burnt and wasted. One republican column

assumed and merited the name of the Infernal, by the horrid atrocities

which they committed. At Pilau, they roasted the women and children in a

heated oven. Many similar horrors could be added, did not the heart and

hand recoil from the task. Without quoting any more special instances of

horror, we use the words of a republican eye witness, to express the

general spectacle presented by the theatre of public conflict.

"I did not see a single male being at the towns of St. Hermand,

Chantonnay, or Herbiers. A few women alone had escaped the sword.

Country-seats, cottages, habitations of whichever kind, were burnt. The

herds and flocks were wandering in terror around their usual places of

shelter, now smoking in ruins. I was surprised by night, but the

wavering and dismal blaze of conflagration afforded light over the

country. To the bleating of the terrified flocks, and bellowing of the

terrified cattle, was joined the deep hoarse notes of carrion crows, and

the yells of wild animals coming from the recesses of the woods to prey

upon the carcasses of the slain. At length a distant colume of fire,

widening and increasing as I approached, served me as a beacon. It was

the town of Mortagne in flames. When I arrived there, no living

creatures were to be seen, save a few wretched women who were striving

to save some remnants of their property from the general

conflagration."--Les Memoires d'un Ancien Administrateur des Armees