Mr. Judd to Mr. Seward.

No. 63.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 71 dated April 5, 1864.

The fierce bombardment of the fortifications at Düppel, as described in my last, was continued until the morning of the 18th instant. At five o’clock in the morning on that day the Prussian troops mounted the trenches, and at ten [Page 214] the signal for storming the works was given; in about two hours and a half all the ten forts were taken, and very soon thereafter the “tete de pont,” which protected the bridge connecting Düppel with the island of Alsen, was also carried. The Danes destroyed the bridge to prevent the Prussians from crossing to the island, thus cutting off the retreat of a considerable portion of the corps that had been defending the fortifications. The Danes lost nearly one hundred officers, and perhaps two thousand prisoners and all of the artillery in the fortifications.

The Prussians report their loss at two generals, sixty officers, and six hundred men killed and wounded.

The shores of the island of Alsen are lined with Danish batteries whose effectiveness depends entirely upon the condition of the troops. My impression is that they will find themselves too much exhausted to prevent the crossing and further advance of the Prussians, elated as they are with their present victory. Berlin was very much excited over the result and was illuminated. The people gathered around the King’s palace shouting, cheering, and singing, and his Majesty appeared on the balcony and saluted the people.

The ministerial papers announce the intention to fully occupy the province of Jutland and to hold it as security for the injury done to German commerce by the Danes.

The conference assembles on the 25th instant at London, and in the present excited state of both Danes and Prussians, it seems as though it would be an impossibility to obtain even a cessation of hostilities during the discussion.

The Emperor of France holds the key to all these difficulties; armed to the teeth, his will is to-day law to all Europe, excepting Russia. What he means no one seems to understand, but he has sent a personal telegram to the King of Prussia congratulating him on the success of the Prussian troops before Düppel. To-morrow evening the King goes himself to the army in Schleswig to congratulate it and bestow his favors and decorations.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.