Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rhine Campaign 1792

As already said, the march of the allied armies took a long time.  At the end of July only 45,000 men of Prussia1 were in the camp Rübenach near Coblenz.  This army was to proceed Moselle upwards, then, united with one Corps of French emigrants, Longwy and Verdun. Austria Corps were to cover the right and left flanks of the army, the Hessian Corps to secure the communications and, as required, to siege the French fortresses.

The Landgraf himself took the lead; It consisted of nine battalions, eleven escadrons2, who, by bringing in leave and leave Transfers from other regiments to the full budget strength were. The Hussars received ten horses by escadron, and advanced with them twelve officers, thirty underofficials, three fighters, seven men, and 300 common people.

On the 30th of July the Prussian army of Rübenach broke up and reached On the 5th of August Trier. Being strictly based on the magazine catering system the late completion of the field bakery, the poor ways delaying the march of the bread delivery carts so much so to stagnate the advance that on the 20th the Prussian army before Longwy arrived. It united with the Austrian Right Wing Corps of General Clerfayt, while the Hessian Corps on that day the advanced garde, which precedes the main two-day march reached.

This consisted of the hussars' regiment, the Jäger corps, the light Infantry Battalion Lenz and the Grenadier Battalion Philippsthal and was commanded by Colonel Schreiber.  The Corps had a review on the 16th before the Landgrave on the Rhine near St. Goar on a pontoon-bridge and some of the lakes, and lodgings in Hungeroth and Halsenbach based.

1) Forty-seven battalions, forty covals, thirty hussars-squadrons, and Besides the regimental guns still twelve heavy, two riding batteries.

2) Regiment Guard: three battalions, Leib regiment: two battalions, Garde-Grenadier battalion, Grenadier battalions Eschwege and Philippsthal, light infantry-Battalion Lenz (two companies), Jäger Corps (two companies); Three Escadrons Carabiniers, five Escadrons Leib Dragoons, three Escadrons hussars; Sixteen regimental guns, two Amusette

During the translation of the large on the next day to afternoon 2 o'clock, the advanced guard stepped forward on the right Moselufer.

On the twenty-second, the major, which had followed on the 18th, passed Trier and advanced into a camp at Tavern, to cover the hussars in Onsdorf and Köllich, the Jäger and light infantry in the area around Tavern localities cantonnements related. Here the corps remained until the 26th, where the news of the taking of Longwy arrived. This fortress had capitulated on the 23rd, and 60,000 men allied were directly united in front of them, a further 25,000 men in relays three to four days' marches backward. The French forces, on the other hand, were divided into three groups; 23,000 men were at Sedan, 25,000 men at Metz, the so-called "Rhine Army" (about 40,000 men) at Weißenburg and Lauterburg. In Paris the King was overthrown on August 10th, his life was threatened; Frederick William II urged a rapid advance on the Capital, to save the unfortunate monarch.

Duke Ferdinand, on the other hand, maintained a systematic approach, of each of the many French fortresses is indispensable necessary. His view was adopted, the Austrian left wing corps received the order to mingle with the emigrants Thionville, Clerfayt was advanced to secure against Sedan, the Hesse against Montmedy, and the Prussian army turned towards Verdun.

The Landgraf, who received the orders in question on the 26th, next days the advanced-garde, the light troops, and two grenadier battalions, on the 28th of August the main break and reached on September 4th Longuyon (advanced-garde 27th  Nieder-Douven, 28th  Dippach, 29th  Cosne and Romain at Longwy, 30th Colmey and Viviers at Longuyon). Two Escadron's of hussars and the light infantry battalion were sent to Epiez, Charancey and Vezin.

Verdun had also fallen, and now the king, His desire to penetrate Paris, to oppose the duke. The army, though reluctantly, approached the Argonne Forest. By mid-August the French armies had not moved, the upheaval of the 10th August in Paris had also on the lead to the same.  General Kellermann had the command of the Metz, and General Dumouriez commanded the troops of the Sedan concentrated forces, both of which were to join as quickly as possible.  While the former was in a broad arc to St. Menehould, the latter tried to occupy the passages of the Argonne, in order, by this long - range mountain range, to break his flank march and to unite with him.

This was achieved only with regard to the southern; The northern passes, against which Clerfayt's Corps and the Prussian Corps were opposed Army, fell into the hands of the allies, but they did so Dumouriez, unaffected to take his retreat to St. Menehould and to join there on the 18th with Kellermann, while he allied army was only on the 20th, 21st, and 23rd, with its main forces in front of the position which the French took over there.  The Austrian left wing corps and the Hessians, which had been directed to Clermont to cover the magazine in Verdun, were still missing.

The majority of the latter had already marched off to Longuyon on the 5th and had reached its destination via Pillon-Verdun.

The light troops were, after a far-reaching reconnaissance, that Montmedy and Virton had no field troops, on the 8th they were left behind by Rittmeister (Kellerhaus), thirty - six hussars and sixty Jägers in Longuyon followed the main force. In the night to the 9th bivouacked at Pillon, and united on the same day with the main force. The Corps advanced on the 11th through Verdun against Clermont, and entered stock at Fromeröville. The light troops, reinforced by a mixed Prussian cavalry detachment, and a battery of two six-pounders, two Howitzer, four mortars, took an outpost position on the heights between Siory la Perche, Nixeville and Rampont; two grenadier battalions stood 1/4 mile before the camp of the main army as Repli of the outposts.

On the following day, the Landgraf undertook the Regiment Guard, and two howitzers, a reconnaissance of the pass of the Mettes, who came from the Aire valley near Clermont to the Aisnethal near St. Menehould.

The line infantry and the artillery occupied the bridge at Vrain-Court, the light troops Clermont and alarmed the crew of the pass, about 6,000 men from twenty-five different corps and regiments cramped troops. A French Hussars' cetachment had already fallen into the hands of the Allies at Vraincourt; hussars and infantry of the enemy held the village of Jslettes, which, surrounded by two brooks, was protected against a surprise attack. The French camp was on the heights of a woody hill, rising behind the village.  On the basis of this recognition, the corps on the 13th to Vraincourt, took a camp 1/4 hour east of the place, with the light troops in the surrounding villages cantons.

In addition, 600 men of infantry, the Prussian battery, two regiments, and detachments of the Jägers and hussars were secured about an hour’s drive on the height if the pass south-west of Clermont.  On the same day the Austrian left-wing corps under Prince Hohenlohe-Kirchberg, which in vain tried to take Thionville, at Verdun, followed on the 15th to the bridge, and formed up against the right of the Hessians above the Pass of Chalade, which was occupied by some 4,000 Frenchmen.  Inactive, except for the skirmishes of the light troops, there were two corps of the Allies, with only three miles from them fell the decision of the campaign.

But if the Hessians had been present at the same time, it would have been difficult for them to distinguish themselves.

On the 20th of September, the Prussian army of the French, by the previous retreat and the resulting panic shaken army.  The duke could not make up his mind to order the attack on the hill of Valmy, a cannonade filled the day out.  Thereupon began negotiations, during which the weapons rested; the former ended without result on September 30th.

While among the allies the poor food and the bad moral of the troops, Dumouriez used this time, to accustom his troops to the sight of the enemy and to raise their self-consciousness; At the same time he pushed under the pretext that the cease-fire of the armies was extended only to the front of the armies; the left flank of the Hessians, and the allies' allies.

On September 30, the Prussian army retreated over Grandpré-Busanzu-Dun, who, without considerable concern from the enemy, nevertheless in the bad ways, the amount of baggage and the inadequate food.
General Clerfayt was recalled to the Austrian army in the Netherlands.

The Hessian Corps and the Austrian of Prince Hohenlohe-Kirchberg received orders to hold the passes of Clermont and Verdun until the army crossed the Meuse.

As early as the 26th September, divisions had been held against the left flank of the Hesse advanced by French general Neuilly in the upper Airethal.

Although initially no disturbances of the pre-groups took place the left wing had been strengthened, and the majority of them Hessian Hussars from Vraincourt to Autrecourt. On September 30, a detachment of two companies of Austrian Hussars, one hundred horses of Hessian cavalry, and the second battalion of the body-regiment arrived in the Aire valley.  The next day (October 1), attacked by superior French forces and, after a losing struggle, were pushed back. This had entered the rifle and sent the luggage in the evening on the road to Verdun. Without being attacked, it followed during the night and set up camp on the western approaches of Verdun.

At 12 o'clock the vanguard troops entered the rear march, the Hussars held the bridges before Vraincourt and Aureville, until the they then threw them off and formed the rearguard. At the yoke of Maison-Rouge, a new outpost line was established, which deals with the left wing to the Meuse and to the right with the Austrians which were encamped at Fromereville.

The French division, which had made it through the passes of Jslettes, occupied and followed, reinforced to 16,000 men, until Dombasle. On the 3rd and 4th the Hesse remained undisturbed, and they used the time for maintenance. On the 5th at daybreak, Lieutenant von Starckloff, which had advanced on the road to Clermont, encountered the march of an enemy cavalry division. The hussars at once trotted forward, glad to finally be able to compete with the enemy; they immediately followed by a Grenadier-Battalion with 2 dreipfündigen canons.

But the attack did not come to be, as the guns had barely opened their fire, the French cavalry took flight; The right flank of the Hessians had been exposed to which a French battery of four eight-pounders had now set in fire, and the Hesse hastily returned to their main position, the Jäger occupied forest near Maison-Rouge.  The French did not renew the attack, and the battle turned into a thrust of the outpost. Similar skirmishes, which were not easily lost to the hussars, also took place on the following days.  The Corps was now in a forage deficiency, consequently foliage and vine leaves had to serve as horse feed.  On the 6th and 7th the Prussian army crossed the Meuse. The retreat became more and more difficult because of the constant rain, therefore, treaties were established with the French leaders.  Since these Prussians separate from the alliance with Austria hoped for a separate peace, they did not promise the retreat, which Verdun was to be cleansed of them without struggle.

In the meantime, the news arrived that the French Army of the Rhine, which we have said above, that they were at Landau and completed the exclusion of the Middle Rhine, had occupied itself with Speyers and the magazine there, leaving Mainz and Central Germany threatened.  This caused the Landgraf to move back to the national defense; the Corps was subordinated to General von Biesenroth.

On the eleventh, the retreat continued, the northern road over Pillon for the Prussian army, on the south via Etain, the Hohenlohe and Hessian Corps. The latter had already crossed the Meuse by night, encamped on that day south of Verdun on the right bank, broke camp at seven in the evening, and reached the road to Etain on rural roads. After several hours of stopping and boiling the march continued until Etain, here again only briefly, then marched on to Sénon where the bulk arrived at three o'clock on the afternoon of the 12th.  At two o'clock in the morning on the 13th the troops broke camp again and reached in the evening the point where the roads of Pillon and Etain, 3/4 miles south of Longuyon.

Now they had a one-day advance in front of Hohenlohe's Corps, won two days before the Prussian army. They were instructed to pass the Longuyon's defenses on the 14th; and only after unspeakable efforts did it succeed to open a street on which the Hessians could march through the city. During the march, a panic broke out among the conscripts, which caused the most terrible confusion.  It was only by energetic measures that it was possible to prevent looting and inciting. The hussars' regimental wagon with the papers of the staff was lost.  In the evening, the corps occupied a camp north of the city, the Jägers and Hussars, were to be united with the Prussian Cavalry Detachment East and the Light infantry battalion Lenz during the whole march the armed guard, now advanced to Colmey and Vilette against Montmedy.

After a day of rest, the Corps on the 16th received the order to cross the Chier and set up south of Longuyon at Mexy, to cover the march of the Hohenlohe Corps, which on the 16th and the Prussian army, Longuyon passed and marched to Longuyon on the right bank of the river. In the afternoon, at 2 o'clock, the Hesse arrived at eleven o'clock at night. The place was occupied by the light troops, and the bulk was behind it.

The outposts discovered during the night that at Villersla-Montagne, enemy troops were at daybreak
Lieutenant Grau with thirty horses for reconnoitering, which largely took Mexy's position. Shortly before the above-mentioned came Grau on a hostile, retreating field guard, at the same time he discovered a strong division of Prussian cavalry, which was in the same direction as he did proceed to fouragiren. In the course of both detachments the with a hostile infantry of Villers-la-Montagne.

Despite the proximity of the opponents there was no clash; Strong outposts were laid, Hesse and the French were standing idle until the 20th.

On this day General von Biesenroth received orders from the landgrave, to return to the fatherland. The march was over Luxembourg-Trier on the left bank of the Moselle. The hussars reached Dippach on the 20th, the 21st Flachsweiler, the 22nd Era; On the 23rd was a Rest day for the corps, only the hussars marched that day to Salmenrohr. Here came the news that Mainz was in the hands of the French. General Cüstine, the commander of the French Rhine army, had succeeded in impressing the weak Kurmainzian fortress commandant and moving him to a capitulation.

Coblenz was now the starting point with its rich magazines and the dietary basis of the whole campaign, in imminent danger.

The Hessian corps received orders to make this fortress as soon as possibleo reach and to occupy. On the 24th the hussars of Salmenrohr broke camp, after which 150 grenadiers from Philippsthal had joined them
Wagon on the same day reached Lützerath, on the 25th.  On the morning of the 26th at four o'clock, Schreiber announced that he had gone with his hussars and on the 26th at 10 o'clock, that he reached Coblenz, and Nothing found from the enemy.

In the afternoon the grenadiers arrived, the next day the rest of their battalion, as well as the other grenadier battalion.  On the 28th the main body of the Hessian Corps arrived.

Cüstine had made no attempt at Coblenz, his predecessors Divisions were at Simmern. The hussars occupied the passages of Waldesch, sent patrols along the Rhine and the Moselle and encamped at the crossroads between the two rivers.

On the 28th the regiment moved to Neuendorf, where, until 3 November it could recover from the hardships of the harsh march.

The news of the capture of Mainz was given by the allied leaders to the following measures. Count Kalkreuth broke with six Battalions, twenty Escadrons to Coblenz, and reached this place between the 1st and 4th of November. The bulk of the Prussian army followed echelon. Prince Hohenlohe-Kirchberg stayed with Luxemburg, Kellermann respectively.

Custine had been content to occupy Frankfurt; the rest of his body, 10,000 men, was at Höchst, a further gain of 12,000 men, was on the march; The advances garde, Colonel Houchard with 4000 men was at Ober-Ursel; Bergen, Windecken on the right, Bingen, Kreuznach and Castellaun on the left bank of the Rhine occupied the front groups.

Dieselben sent Streif Corps, who were longing to land the country. The Landgraf of Hesse-Darmstadt had with his army, about 3000 men, withdrawn to Giessen. The Landgraf of Hesse-Cassel collected the troops left behind in the country near Marburg, his subjects armed themselves and formed twenty-one battalions of land militia and one Jäge Corps on foot and on horseback. The Hessian Hülss Corps was also established
To Marburg. On the morning of November 3rd, as the largest part of the corps Kalkreuth, the hussars, the Jäger, the First company of the light infantry battalion, the Grenadier battalions Philippsthal and Eschwege on a flying bridge across the Rhine and advanced to the region of Montabaur (Hussars: Heiligenroth). The next day, the bulk followed, and the advance guard made the march to Limburg an der Lahn (Hussars: Offenheim).

Here Captain Engelhard met with a message from the Landgrave, according to which the direct route to Wetzlar on the left of the Lahn is endangered by the French.  Nevertheless, General von Biesenroth could not make up his mind, to take the detour via Herborn, but ordered the others for the 5th Vorwarts on Weilburg, hoping from there on ways on the right bank of the Lahn to Wetzlar. The grenadier battalion Eschwege and the reunited companies of the light infantry battalion remained occupation of the Lahnbrücken to Limburg and Diez back, with the order, to join the armed guard.

In spite of the communications of Engelhard, the possibility appears, even to be attacked by Colonel Schreiber because the Hussars regiment sent the regimental quartermaster with the fourier guards over Weilburg and the Lahn, to Hirschhausen and Philippstein on the road to Braunfels-Wetzlar to make quarters; And several officers sent their hand-horses with them. The quartermaster struck on the heights of the left bank of the Lahn. A hostile patrol of six horses, coming from the southwest. He hunted back, until he discovered that behind the heights crowning forest (Where the new road to Braunfels branches from Frankfurt) Stronger enemy detachments were marched up.

Now it was time for his life to ride; Almost cut off, he escaped, but his servant, with a hand-horse, and two horses of Lieutenant Colonel Prince Solms-Baunfels fell to the enemy hands.

In addition, the regiment had crossed the Lahn near Weilburg and wanted to climb the height of the left bank in the form of the march, as the Fouriers at which Tete arrived, followed by the hostile skirmishers, to whom here the horses of the Rittmeister Kellerhaus fell into the hands. Cornet Bolte received orders to return the French with a troop of volunteers; he carried out this command with great energy, the horses of Kellerhaus were taken away from the enemy.

The regiment marched up and followed, but soon received fire from two eight - pound guns, which stood in his left flank, and found himself compelled to seek shelter behind a hill.

Now strong French infantry developed and pushed energetically in front; The Jäger who had followed the Hussars through Weilburg did so not to assert themselves in the forest parcels and farms of the left bank,
so that Schreiber, the grenadier battalion, still further back command sent, with his two guns, the heights of the right bank to the recording. As soon as this happened, he drew with the Jägers and Hussars through the city, only the adjutant Keitel with a subofficer, twelve hussars, and a commando of fifty Jäger (Captain von Ochs, Lieutenant von Münchhausen) remained behind in Weilburg.

The enemy, a 1800 man strong party under Colonel Houchard, who wanted to cheat Weilburg, did not follow, but entered the retreat.  Schreiber immediately rode in person to ascertain the whereabouts of the and he saw that the same as Esch on the road Limburg-Frankfurt.

Weilburg was occupied by the Grenadier battalion. Jägers and hussars had to camp on the right bank. A Hussars-Feldwache and a Jäger-Detachment were advanced beyond Weilburg.
Loss: Quartermaster Krause, Husar Prostmeyer dead, three horses, three hussars wounded by a cannonball.

Houchard's unexpected appearance became a betrayal of the postmaster at Weilburg, and this one, as well as one in place of the present Frenchman on the orders of the adjutant Keitel arrest.

The Hessian corps now set a northern direction and reached on the 7th after strenuous march Herborn (Hussars: Driedorfs), On the 8th day of rest, 10th the region of Marburg, the Hussars direct to Fronhausen.

The news of the clash described also prompted the Duke of Brunswick, to accelerate the movements of the Prussian army.  His campaign plan was as follows: Defensive behavior behind the Lahn, until the necessary number of troops between Weilburg and Coblenz to be gathered together; Then offensive against Frankfurt.

On November 9th, only a few battalions and escadrons were left Count Kalkreuth at the Lahn, when Houchard took the post of Limburg successfully attacked and the Prussians from the city to the right Lahnufer. He did not, however, pursue his advantage any further; Withdrew, as the Prussians intensified daily and hourly, until Esch at the Frankfurter Strasse back. On the 21st, where the bulk of the Prussian army the Lahn arrived, Count Kalkreuth with five battalions, ten Escadrons Dragoons, five Escadrons Hussars, two heavy, 1/2 horse riding Batteries to Herborn, to connect with the two Hessian Corps:  Of these stood the Darmstädtisch, 8,000 men strong (seven Battalions, three Escadrons Chevaurlegers) in Giessen, the Hessen-Cassel'sche (Twelve battalions, nine Escadrons), a Prussian dragoon commander of
120 horses and a company of Jägers were cantonning at Marburg. The advanced guard, which first cantons in the line Fronhausen – Erfurtshausen (Hussars: Schreiber's Escadron Fronhausen, Lehsten's Escadron Bellnhausen, Vacante Escadron Sichertshausen) advanced on the 14th to the position of the Gleiberg, Vetzberg, Wetterberg near Crofdorf, well-known from the Seven Years War.

On the 26th, at length, the allies collapsed against Frankfurt.  In the Prussian army, the advanced-garde, under Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe, crossed the Lahn near Limburg; the bulk of the army advanced to this place. Count Kalkreuth merged with the Hessian-Casselian corps before Giessen, and both marched to the area of Münzenberg (Husaren: Oppershofen-Wohnbach).

On the 27th the Prussian advanced guard advanced over Camberg and threw it the enemy pre-groups from Esch. On the same day the combinied arrived Hessian-Prussian Corps the area of Assenheim (Hessian Hussars to Kaichen Advanced): also here touches with the enemy took place by day. The corps then continued the march into two columns, one on the right Niddaufer on Vilbel, the other on the left bank on mountains.  The advanced guard of the latter were the Hussars, the Prussian cavalry-commando, the light infantry battalion Lenz, and the Grenadier battalion Gciech, Eschwege. On the news that Bergen of eighty men of infantry and of some cavalry, the scribe hurried ahead with the mounted men had 100 light infantry follow as soon as possible.

Lieutenant von Starckloff had to deal with the vanguard of Bergen and occupy the Frankfurt Gate.  He followed the rest of the vanguard escadron under Rittmeister of Resius, the two other Escadrons, and the detachment of Kleist turned against the two northern gates. They found fierce resistance, which only diminished when Resius entered the town from the south was. Now the French infantry threw itself into the fortified and barricaded Rathhaus and maintained himself there until the Hessian infantry arrived and stormed with the Hussars. An officer, sixty-eight men were severely wounded the for the Hesse, and fourteen dead Frenchmen, were in the gauntlets.

The hussars had lost the Lieutenant von Starckloff who had received a rifle shot and was to die in the evening from the wound.  A Unterofficer (Zahn), two men, two Horses had been killed as well.

The Prussian riders had lost three men. The advanced guard of the two columns united and continued on the same day (28 November) past the march north of Frankfurt, in the direction of Höchst.  In the hope that the French troops, which had occupied Frankfurt, perhaps were on the retreat. When the advanced guard reached Bockenheim and discovered that the city had not yet been cleared, they demanded the occupiers to surrender. Until the reply was received the troops were under constant rifle fire and secured themselves by a chain of infantry posts.  Around 1 o'clock at night, parliamentair returned with a negative reply.  Now the troops were moved further backwards into Cantonments, the Hussars Regiment and the Light Infantry Battalion to Ginheim, and the Detachment Kleist and Grenadier Battalion Eschwege to Preungesheim.

On the morning of the 29th, at five o'clock, Kalkreuth assembled his corps on the summit at the Berger's station, and, at daybreak, advanced over Vilbel to Homburg. In order to unite with the Prussian army, which arrived on the same day with its peaks there. The great road to Frankfurt was blocked by the festivals occupied by the French king, so the army had left the road and had to march on bad mountain roads to Homburg.

The Hessian-Casselian Corps, after Kalkreuth had retired, took up his position, and remained under rifle fire for the march until noon, took up bivouacs, meet up with and united the advance guard with the Corps, and bivouacked at Seckbach.

The Landgraf of Hesse-Darmstadt near Vilbel set up the connection between the Hesse-Casseler and the Prussians. On the 30th, the Schreiber Corps advanced to Bornheim, Hussars-Feldwachen, against the city of Frankfurt, and enemy detachments, who attempted to proceed, were repulsed by the infantry with the aid of two battalions.

Cüstine stood with the bulk of his troops at Höchst am Main, the advanced guard under Houchard in a fixed position near Ober-Ursel, in Frankfurt General van Hellen with a 2,500 man infantry and 200 man cavalry remained as a crew. An attempt by the Prussians to attack Houchard's position in the flank failed as a result of insufficient reconnaissance of the mountain route used for bypass. It was decided to take an attack on Frankfurt on December 2nd; Hessian-Cassel's corps had the honor of carrying out the task.

From the Prussian army a strong detachment followed the Hessian Sturmcolonnen on the road from Vilbel to counter Cüstine's support attempts. The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe was to expel Houchard by an attack in his rear. Detachments remained connected to and around Homburg.

After the disposition for the Hessian Corps, which was intended for the Sturmcolonnen, the attack was to be carried out in four columns. The chief attack was through the 3rd and 4th columns of five battalions, three escadrons to the Hanauer and the Friedberger Gate; 2nd column on the river Main in ships, and the 1st, on the left bank of the Main against Sachsenhausen Column. The Hessian hussars were with the 3rd column; one officer, twenty hussars at the lead, and the rest of the regiment cadre.

The surrounding town consisted of a wide moat and rampart which was strongly defended by the French with a small-arms fire. Thanks to the energetic appearance of a group of Frankfurt craftsmen the French were prevented from producing their artillery.

After a long and exhausting struggle, the Hesse succeeded in seizing the gates and penetrating into the city. As soon as this was done, the escadrons of the Hussars' Regiment hunted through the city, and the Major of Lehsten went directly to the Bockenheim Gate. Here, too, those parts of the garrison, which escaped from the city, were destroyed, and a horse, four men were bombed, one of which, Hussar Schill, died in Frankfurt on the 12th of December.

Soon the pursuing hussars came upon stronger, enemy columns. It was General Neuwinger, the Cüstine sent to the support of Van Helden. But the Prussian columns had also directed their march to Bockenheim from the Friedberger standpoint. Their approach succeeded not only in taking this place, but also in taking possession of the Nidda crossing at Rödelheim. At the same time Erbprinz Hohenlohe Houchard had been driven out of his position.

Cüstine, who felt too weak to deliver a decisive battle, cleared his position at Höchst in the night to the third, and crossed the Rhine. The allied army occupied cantons between Ober-Ursel and Frankfurt. The Hessian hussars arrived at Bockenheim at five o'clock in the evening. Colonel Schreiber received the Prussian Order Pour le Mérite for his much proven energy and bravery.

The Prussian-Hessian army remained at Nidda; Winter quarters were moved to Frankfurt, and they were advanced on both banks of the Main Corps.

On the 14th of December, Prussian troops advanced on the right bank of the river Main to the Wickersbach. On the 17th, the right wing was situated next to the Rhine near Biebrich, and Castel, the bridgehead of Mainz, was closed on the right bank of the Rhine. On the left bank of the Main, in the first days of December, patrols and French troops had been mocking and disturbing the inhabitants, so on the 6th of December, Colonel Schreiber with the Hessian Hussars, Darmstädtischen Chevauxlegers, two companies of Hessian Jägers, two Hessian light infantry battalions, and the Kleist's Cavalry Commando took to secure the ground south of Frankfurt.

He advanced southwards to Langen and Morfelden, to the infantry battalion of Lenz, the Hessian Jäger, the Detachment Kleist, the Chevaurlegers, while he himself remained in Kelsterbach am Main. The Darmstadt battalion of Bussche and Hussars patrolled along the Rhine. On the 17th, a closer encirclement of Mainz was arranged here, and these scribes, with their Hessian Cassel troops, and Kleist's detachment alone, were transferred, while the whole Darmstadt corps was supported by cantons between Darmstadt and Gross-Gerau.

Schreiber dismissed the Jägers and the Detachment Kleist Konigsstätten, the hussars of Rüsselsheim as a quarter.

The terrain between the Main and the Rhine was generally clear and practicable, but only along the right bank of the Rhine were grown strongly grown islands, so-called floodplains, which greatly facilitated the passage of the French, who were cantoned on the left bank of the Rhine between Worms and Bingen.

When an enemy division succeeded in reaching the right bank of the Rhine, both the village of Ginsheim, at the mouth of the Schwarzbach, as well as Gustavsburg, offered an old fortress at the confluence of the Main and the Rhine.

Schreiber believed in his defensive task of not being allowed to admit the assertion of these points, which were exposed to a surprising attack.

He was content to watch the Rhine. To this end, from Rüffelsheim, a post from a sub-officer, six hussars to Bischofsheim, and a mixed field guard from a sub-officer, twelve hussars, twelve infantrymen, had been advanced after a half-way between the two villages. Elfterer was commissioned to patrol upstream from Gustavsburg. The Jäger and Prussian cavaliers similarly secured Ginsheim to Konigsstätten. Until the 26th of January, the French were quiet. On this day, the flying bridge from Oppenheim to Mainz. Toward evening a Ginsheim, on a driven-up battery, opened a fierce fire on the patrols of the Allies, and the fire continued on the following day, and it was found that the French endeavored to mask the preparations for a crossing of the Rhine. Schreiber decided to defend Ginsheim. He ordered the corps of the Jägers and Detachment Kleist to occupy the place, and drew up a captain, four under-officers, fifty soldiers, thirty hussars under Rittmeister Ströbel, and two six-pounders from Rüsselsheim. On the 28th, it became apparent that the French had occupied the meadow, which was situated near the village, with eighty or ninety men. They were neither reinforced nor dared to attack the village. Towards evening, Lieutenant Wolfs, with a detachment of Jägers, crossed the narrow arm of the Rhine, separating the Aue from the bank, and forced the enemy to embark on a hasty embarkation. The French repeated this endeavor with increasing energy, but always unsuccessfully on 12th, 13th and 15th of February, as well as on March 20th. On all these days, the hussars were ordered to Ginsheim, but they never found an opportunity to enter into action.

The equipment and armament of the Hussars' Regiment was renewed and supplemented by the complete number of soldiers and horses, so that it was ready to participate fully and in the best conditions in the campaign of 1793.

Translated Extract from: Geschichte des königlich preussischen 2. hessischen Husaren-Regiments Nr. 14 und seiner hessischen Stammtruppen 1706-1886, Carl von Kossecki, Robert Freiherr von Wrangel, 1887, pp.143-156.

Rhine Campaign 1792.pdf

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