On August 10 1812, John Quincy Adams, the American Ambassador in St Petersburg writes the following entry in his diary:
10th. Mr. Brandel arrived last evening from Toropetz, the last place where Count Romanzoft had been. Count Lowenhielm had followed the Russian army to Witebsk, but Mr. Brandel expects him back here soon. The Emperor and Count Romanzof, Brandel says, are shortly going away again — probably to be nearer the armies. The Russian head-quarters are at Smolensk. Platof is arrived there, and the two great armies have so far formed their junction that Count Romanzoff told Brandel this morning the two Generals, Barclay de Tolly and Prince Bagration, had dined together. Brandel had heard nothing of the Russian armies being defeated.