So desperate had been their resistance that the Prussians unanimously stated Davout's strength at double the actual figure.
By these means Davout's, Oudinot's and Lefebvre's commands were augmented, whilst in February and March new corps were formed and rapidly pushed towards the front.
The contest was long and doubtful, but the Russians gradually drove back Legrand and a part of Davout's corps; numerous attacks both of infantry and cavalry were made, and by the successive arrival of reinforcements each side in turn received fresh impetus.
Finally, at about ro A.M., the allies were in possession of the villages on the Goldbach from Sokolnitz southwards, and Davout's line of battle had reformed more than a mile to rearward, still, however, maintaining touch with the French centre on the Goldbach at Kobelnitz.
But instead of that, at the next village the sentinels of Davout's infantry corps detained him as the pickets of the vanguard had done, and an adjutant of the corps commander, who was fetched, conducted him into the village to Marshal Davout.
Davout's troops, in whose charge were the prisoners, were crossing the Crimean bridge and some were already debouching into the Kaluga road.
Three wagons had been raided and robbed by stragglers from Davout's corps.
Then for three days separate portions of the French army--first Murat's (the vice-king's), then Davout's, and then Ney's--ran, as it were, the gauntlet of the Russian army.