Europe 1859: Solferino and its Aftermath
After the Austrian defeat at Magenta, the people of Parma, Modena and the northern Papal States rose up in support of Sardinia. However, Austria wasn't finished and at Solferino she inflicted enough damage on the French to help persuade Napoleon III to halt the war. Disgusted, the Sardinian Prime Minister resigned.
9–13 Jun 1859 Central Italian Revolutions▲
On 9 June 1859 popular unrest in favor of the union of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza with the Kingdom of Sardinia forced the regent duchess Louise Marie Thérèse d'Artois and her 11-year-old son Robert I into exile. Two days later Duke Francesco V fled the neighboring Duchy of Modena and Reggio in the face of advancing Sardinian troops, leaving behind a short-lived regency government. Both duchies were placed under Sardinian administration later that month.
24 Jun 1859 Battle of Solferino▲
In late June 1859 the emperor Franz Joseph I took command of the 130,000-strong Austrian army in Italy and moved to counterattack the 140,000 advancing Franco-Sardinians under Napoleon III. The two sides clashed near the villages of Solferino and San Martino in what would be the last battle in world history in which all the armies were under the personal command of their monarchs. After over nine hours fighting, the Austrians finally admitted defeat and retreated to the fortresses of the Quadrilateral, having suffered some 22,000 casualties for 17,000 allied losses. Following the battle, the Swiss humanitarian Jean-Henri Dunant toured the battlefield and published a report that would inspire the creation of the International Red Cross in 1863 and the Geneva Convention in 1864.
11 Jul 1859 Armistice of Villafranca▲
Concerned after the Battle of Solferino that continuing the war in Italy would be extremely costly to France yet only benefit the Kingdom of Sardinia, Napoleon III met with the Austrians at Villafranca di Verona to arrange a ceasefire. On 11 July 1859 the two parties signed an armistice, with Austria agreeing to cede Lombardy to Sardinia and France agreeing to the restoration of the status quo ante bellum in central Italy. The Sardinians—who had not been involved in these negotiations and were effectively forced to sign the treaty the following day—were outraged by the agreement and their prime minister Cavour resigned in protest.
25 Aug 1859 Battle of Ghunib▲
Imam Shamil of Caucasian Imamate surrenders to Russia at Battle of Ghunib