Battle of the Franco-Prussian War 23–24 Dec 1870 on a bend of the Hallue river 8 km/5 mi northeast of Amiens. Citizen armies had been raised all over France since the siege of Paris and the northern army, under the command of General Louis Faidherbe, clashed with a smaller regular Prussian force while attempting to take Amiens. Faidherbe held off the initial Prussian assault but did not trust his irregular force to see off a second attack and withdrew.
Faidherbe was to attempt a junction with General Alexandre Ducrot's force, which was expected to break out from Paris and march northeast. Faidherbe marched out and captured a small fortress from the Germans, causing them considerable alarm. Hearing that the German garrison had been withdrawn from Amiens, Faidherbe set off to take the city, but was forestalled by the garrison returning to their posts.
The Prussian 1st Army advanced toward Faidherbe who decided to stand and fight in a loop of the Hallue river, with his left flank protected by the river Somme. He deployed his two best divisions in front, retaining an untried division of Gardes Nationales as his reserve. The Prussian army was under strength, with only about 25,000 troops and 108 guns; they attacked centrally with one division while the remainder attempted an unsuccessful flanking movement. The French then counterattacked but with little effect since their effort was spread across the entire front rather than being concentrated at any one point. After camping the night on the battlefield, Faidherbe decided that his troops would be unlikely to perform well for a second day and retired to the safety of Arras. The Prussians did not pursue, being wary of possible ambush and because their presence was required elsewhere to deal with another minor uprising.