1760 Europe

From the Operations of the Allied army published in 1764 written by an anonymous British Officer

The Campaign of the year 1760 . . . .[p.137]

January 1, General Imhoff having made some detachments which traversed the country of Bergues, one of these advanced this day to Keyserswert, and from thence to Urdingen, where they destroyed one of the French magazines.

January 7, the duc de Broglio, not having found it practicable to surprise the Allied army, much less to attack it in front, was obliged as was observed before, to retire back to Friedburg; but in order, however, to draw some advantage from the weakness of the Allied army since the march of the detachment under the Hereditary Prince, and being also desirous to keep open his communications with Giessen, which he had determined to support, he made large detachments to our right and left. In consequence whereof, several corps under the command of M. de Voyer marched by Weilmunster to Limbourg and Weilburg, to support their troops that were on their march from Dusseldorp, and were actually arrived on the Dylle. Several smart skirmishes happened between the advanced parties and light troops of both armies, in which ours had in general the advantage, excepting the following: M. de Voyer had ordered the marquis de Vogue to attack, on the 3d in the morning, the town of Herbon, where there was an advanced post of General Wangenheim's corps, consisting of a captain and 100 men, who not retiring in time were, after a vigorous resistance, all made prisoners of war.

The brigade of Picardy and Tour du Pin cantooned themselves there that night; and the brigade of Waldener with the corps of Fischer made themselves masters of the town of Dillembourg on the same day. The garrison retired into the castle, which they maintained, though severely cannonaded by the enemy; and M. de Voyer cantooned his reunited corps along the Dylle.

While the French made these motions on the right of our army, the Wirtembergers supported by some of the French light troops made incursions into the country of Hesse, by the way of Romrot and Alsfeldt, as far as Ziegenhayn, and by that means the French rendered the arrival of provisions to the Allied Army very difficult from the country of Nassau, as well as from that fide where the Wirtembergers were: moreover, the violent rains which fell at that time greatly retarded the convoys which came from Cassel. His Serene Highness Prince Ferdinand, therefore, thought it most adviseable for the convenience of his troops to change his cantoonments. For this purpose he sent off his heavy baggage on the 2d, the artillery on the 3d; the army marched on the 4th, and on the 5th Prince Ferdinand himself followed with the rear guard, fixing his head-quarters at Marpurg, the main body cantooning in the neighbourhood of that place, with the advanced guard at Dillembourg, as was said before, and another on the right of the French. His Serene Highness set out at one o'clock in the morning, of the 7th, to relieve the castle of Dillembourg, which was now closely pressed by the enemy; and on that evening the relief thereof was happily effected by M. de Derenthal, one of his Aid-de-camps, who forced the town, and threw provisions into the castle. The French, besides a number killed, lost on this occasion 700 private men, and forty officers, who were made prisoners, among whom was M. de Paravicini; as also seven pair of colours, and two pieces of cannon.

On the same day Major Keith's Highlanders supported by Colonel Luckner's hussars, attacked the village of Eyesbach, near our quarters, on the side of Dillemberg, where there was an advanced post of the enemy consisting of Beaufremont's dragoons, entirely defeated them, killed and dispersed the greatest part of that regiment, and made eighty men prisoners; they also took 200 horses, and all their baggage. The Highlanders distinguished themselves in a very particular manner on this occasion.

January 8, M. de St. Germain advanced on our left with the French grenadiers, supported by some dragoons, and eight battalions, but the Prince of Holstein, at the head of our grenadiers, supported by some dragoons, and four battalions, came up with them in the neighbourhood of Ebsdorff, and forced them, after a brisk cannonade, to retire with precipitation; Our huifars pursued them, and made seven officers and fifty men prisoners of war.

January 19, The French army being dispersed and gone into winter-quarters, the Allied Army also began their march to their respective winter-quarters this day; those of the British troops were at Osnabrug, where they arrived on the 29th: his Serene Highness Prince Ferdinand established his head-quarters at Paderborn; about 14,000 were quartered in the bishopric of Munster, under General Sporcken; about 10,000 were quartered in the country of Hesse, and the remainder in the neighbourhood of Paderborn, Lipstadt, & c.

The French placed large garrisons in Dusleldorp, Wesel, &c. and their troops which were on the Lower Rhine extended along that river from Cranenberg to Cologne; the remainder of their army quartered on the Lahne, the Mayne, and the Rhine, in the neighbourhood of Francfort, Hanau, &c.; the Saxons and Wirtembergers were quartered in Franconia.

January 20, A detachment of the Wirtembergers advanced towards Hirschfield, with an intent to carry off, or destroy, a magazine belonging to the Allies in that town; but on information that a party of Hanoverians were in pursuit of them, and not a league off, they immediately retired with the utmost precipitation.

January 27, The Hereditary Prince's detachment were cantooned in the villages between Freyberg and Chemnitz, where they remained in perfect tranquility: his Serene Highness continued his head-quarters at Freyberg.

January 28, This day his Serene Highness the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel died at Rintelen, aged seventy-seven years, ten months, and eighteen days.

February 2, a party of the Allies attacked the advanced posts of the enemy at Hackenberg, Wallenrode, and Alten-Kirchen, made several of their men prisoners, and dispersed the remainder.

Colonel Scheiter carried off two whole companies, and a pair of colours, belonging to a new regiment, which was forming in the Westerwald for the Army of the Empire.

The detachment under the command of the Hereditary Prince being assembled at Chemnitz, his Highness came there on the 12th, at which time he began his march towards Heile; and notwith-standing the severity of the season, arrived by brisk marches on the 18th at Wanfried, where a part of them remained, and the rest proceeded towards the country of Smalkalde. The Hereditary Prince arrived on the 29th at Paderborn.

March 1, The French made a shew of attacking the chain in the front of the quarters of that part of the Allied Army cantooned in the country of Hesse, with a body of 4 or 5000 men, but without any success; one body of 2500 appeared by the road of Giessen before the town of Marpurg, and after some resistance forced the gates, taxed the town at 100,000 francs, for the payment of which they took two hostages; they also formally summoned the castle, but were only answered from the mouths of the cannon, which soon forced them to abandon the town, retiring by the way they came: our hussars went in pursuit of them, and made several prisoners. Other parties appeared likewise before Hombourg, Alsfeldt, and Hertzberg, but without attempting to attack them; so their expedition proved ineffectual.