For a time this seemed a real possibility as the Pope reprimanded an overzealous Austrian commander for an incursion on Papal territory and organized forces to show them the temporal power of the Papacy would not be violated by anyone. The Austrians backed down and it seemed that the Pope was on the side of the nationalists who went to war with Austria in 1848 when the outbreak of revolution in Vienna seemed to offer a golden opportunity. Pope Pius IX excited many more liberal hearts when he ordered Papal forces to march to the frontier of Romagna when hostilities broke out to ensure that the Austrians did not violate his territory. He chose two men to command that gave the liberals even more encouragement; General Giovanni Durando to command the majority (a Piedmontese monarchist known to favor unification) and Colonel Andrea Ferrari to command the Roman volunteers who was a liberal republican. Most took this as a sign that the Pope might have been, if anything, even more to the left than Durando.
|Italian troops in the Crimea|