As a consequence of the French
occupation of 1806, the organization of the Kurhessian Army had been resolved;
Soon afterwards the Kurstaat was incorporated into the newly established
Kingdom of Westphalia, the reign of which Emperor Napoleon entrusted to his brother
Jerome. Since, however, the Elector William I never recognized this annexation
of his country, and on his return in 1813 regarded the Westphalian period as
not, we should have the right to continue the history of the regiment without
interruption. In the Order of November 1, 1806, it is said literally:
"The soldiers and cavalrymen
with horses are temporarily on house leave, until after the return of their
Electorate. Your Excellency Headquarters
Sr. Kaiserl. Majesty of France other facilities are taken. "
The regiment was not incorporated
into Jerome's cavalry, but remained for seven years, and was restored in the
original manner upon the return of its expelled landlord. The officers had, in
part, taken farewell, partly in other armies, and some had also entered the
newly formed Westphalian army, following the urge of relations.
We could pass the whole period if the
Elector had not erected an escadron of the regiment in Bohemia in the spring of
1809, which participated in the campaign of the Austrians against Napoleon. In
consequence of an alliance with the Emperor of Austria, the Elector, in
accordance with the "proclamation to the brave Hesse," set up an
auxiliary corps, which was to be brought to 4000 men, but in reality remained
weaker, consisting of the following troops: 3 Battalions of Guards, Kurfürst and
Kurprinz, 1 battalion light infantry, 1 Jäger company, 1 Escadron body dragoon,
1 Escadron hussars*), 2 batteries artillery.
planned, a regiment of hussars is to be set up.
The Hussars' Escadron's budget on 23
March 1809 was: 1 Colonel, 1 Rittmeister, 1 Staff Rittmeister, 1 Premier
Lieutenant, 1 Second Lieutenant, 1 Ensign, 1 Wachtmeister, 12 Non-commisioned officers,
3 Trumpeters, 1 Surgeon, 10 Carabiners, 140 hussars, in sum 172 men.
According to the rank list of 1809,
the following officers were at the Escadron (month of July):
Colonel: von Schlotheim;
Rittmeister: von Baumbach (8./11. Major);
Staff-Rittmeister: von Steinwehr,
Staff-Rittmeister: Count Wilhelm of
Premier Lieutenant .: Count of Sternstein
(24./8. Staff Rittmeister);
Seccond Lieutenant .: Ludwig (19./9. Prem.-Lieut.),
Second Lieutenant: von Dung (1./6.
Cornet: Dithmar (8./7. appointed).
A part of this corps, under the supreme
and wing adjutant of Müller, to which the Hussars-Escadron was allotted, was
advanced, together with Austrian troops, into the northern part of Bohemia
after the battle of Aspern.
At the end of May this Corps,
Austria, and Hesse, under the leadership of General Am Ende, stood at the
Mittelgebirge; General Radivojevich, with another detachment (only Austrians),
observed the roads leading across the Bohemian Forest. The chief commander of
these two Streif Corps was the Austrian General Count von Risch, later General
Kienmayer. As a result of various attacks by the Saxon troops, General Am Ende
was ordered to cross the frontier; On the 10th of June, at Dippoldiswalde, he
united with Brunswick's Corps (circa 1000 men) and marched against Dresden in a
total force of about 9-10,000 men.*)
Hussars-Escadron was in June 106 men, in July it had 141 heads strong, thus
significantly lower than the nominal stock of 172 men.
On the 11th of July Dresden was taken
without resistance. The Saxons had retreated before the defeat, and on the 12th
they were compelled, in the battle of Wilsdruff, to retreat to Weißenfels,
where Colonel von Thielemann expected reinforcements.
In this battle, which lasted for a
long time, the only officer in command, Steinwehr as a result of a shot wound
in the abdomen, with him the hussar Molar; 2 horses of the Escadron were
killed, 3 wounded, 1 captured.
General Am Ende was very hesitant to
go to Leipzig and return to Dresden on the 24th. During this march, General
Kienmayer took over the command and made new offensive orders. Dresden was
occupied by 6 battalions and 1 escadron. On the 27th, the rest of the troops
came to Nossen to connect with the Corps Radivoevich, which at the beginning of
June occupied the principality of Bayreuth. The enemy had increased to 13,000
men, and King Jerome assumed the supreme command.
Thanks to the strategic measures of
directing the main column to Dresden, and sending only a small part to the
south, the Corps reached Chemnitz, Zwickau, unimpeded, and Hof, resp.
On the same day General Radivojevich
had retired from the superior division of Junot, which Napoleon had sent
against the menacing Bayreuth, to a position near Gefrees, two miles north-east
of Bayreuth. Kienmayer advanced to the support with the Ende column, and on
July 8 attacked the French at Berneck with all his strength, while at the same
time embracing their left wing. Zunot escaped this dangerous defilee battle
with little loss and went back to Amberg without a stay. The exhaustion of
Kienmayer's troops prevented the victory from being fully exploited, but the
possession of Bayreuth was assured. The Corps then advanced northwards to
attack Jerome’s army, which were at Plauen, but which inevitably avoided this
danger. In the end, he was again to occupy Dresden with his division, which he
had also left the garrison on the 14th of July, but as a result of the Znojmo
armistice on the 21st, d. M. had to leave. The corps was then returned to
Bohemia, where it occupied cantonments, and was dissolved on the 27th of
December, when the peace of Vienna (October 14, 1809) entered the new plans of
the Elector of Hesse.
The Corps advanced into the Austrian
army before the hand; The foreigners, who had been accepted only on war,
received the dismissal after their capitulation. Even though no thorough
success could be achieved by these raids, especially under General Kienmayer, he
had skilfully operated and bravely fought everywhere.
Austrian General Kienmayer
The extent to which the
Hussars-Escadron had been active in this campaign cannot be stated with any
certainty from the historical reports. The
Hessian rank list, however mentions the participation of the Hessian troops
near Dresden, Wilsdruff, and Berneck.
114 Hussars dismissed with farewell;
14 horses were kidnapped by desertion, 2 fallen, 2 stabbed dead, and 82 were
Of the eight officers, Rittmeister
von Steinwehr had remained in the field of honor at Wilsdruff,
Stabs-Rittmeister, Countess Hartenstein, was appointed the assistant-deputy of
the Elector, and Second-Lieutenant von Dung had been adopted;
Premier-Lieutenant Ludwig went back to Hesse; the others, after the dissolution
of the Corps on December 27, 1809, entered Austrian service.
From the time of 1806-13, only the
Dörnenberg Insurrection is worth mentioning for the history of the regiment. When a former Cornet of the regiment, Louis
Scheffer (1814, as a Premier lieutenant), took active part in this. When, in the spring of 1809, Freiherr von
Dörnberg made the vain attempt to surprise Cassel with an armed hand and to
overthrow French rule, Cornet Scheffer was one of the most active members of
the conspiracy. He led from Felsberg on the 22nd of April the one group of the
missionary, and on the 23rd advanced the advance of the Trojans against Cassel.
Attacked by the royal troops under General Rewbell, the short skirmish at the
Knallhutte ended with a general flight of the patriots. While Colonel von
Dörnberg fled to Bohemia for safety, Scheffer hid himself to his father's house
at Boehddiger. With the threat of being
arrested, he escaped and remained at first in Lich, then later in Ramhobz, until
the hour of liberation of Hesse struck.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tanslated Extract from: Geschichte des königlich preussischen 2. hessischen Husaren-Regiments Nr. 14 und seiner hessischen Stammtruppen 1706-1886, pp. 197-200. Westphalia Period. 1806-1813.pdf
On January 1, 1794, the Landgrave's
wing commander handed over to the corps of the Hessian light troops' order to
return, which was supplemented on the 4th by the news that the fortress of
Rheinfels was destined to be the march destination.
On the second, the Corps broke camp,
marched through Carlsruhe, and at eight o'clock at eight o'clock, at the
castle, before the Margrave of Baden,
and reached Weiher and Stettfeld, north of Bruchsal; On the third it
marched to Diehlheim, Horrenberg, Balzfeld; On the 4th via Heidelberg to
Dossenheim and Ladenburg a. d. Mountain Road; On the 5th day of rest; On the
6th Auerbach, Zwingenburg; On the 7th Pfungstadt and Ebersstadt, south
Darmstadt; On the 8th day of rest; On the 9th through Darmstadt en parade
before the landgrave from Hesse-Darmstadt to Langen and surrounding; On the
10th through Frankfurt to Preungesheim, Eschersheim, Eckenheim; On the 11th day
of rest; The city of Frankfurt sent the corps a present of beer, brandy, and
tobacco. On the 12th the march was continued westwards until Hefterich,
Ehlhalten, Schloßborn, reached Langenschwalbach on the 13th, and on the 14th
was day of rest. On the 15th, the Hessians advanced into the cathedrals
designated for them in the Graffchaft cathedral arch, Hussars: Escadron
(scribe) Nastätten, second Escadron (Prince Solms) Nieder- Walmenach and
Reitzenhain, third Escadron (Lehsten) Ober-Walmenach and Rettershaim. The Jäger were transferred on the right bank
of the Rhine to Bornich and Patersberg, and the Infantry Battalion Lenz was
quartered on the left bank of the Rhine in Biberhain and Werlau. A commando
from one officer, two officers, a trumpeter, twenty-four hussars was given to
Pfalzfeld and Hausbach. At these places, which were situated at the height of
the Hundsrück, Paths from St. Goar to Caftellan and from Boppard to Simmern.
The commando was relieved every eight days.
If we look back at the political
situation of 1793, we see first that the Landgraf of Hesse had endeavored to
remove his troops from the theatre of war on the Middle Rhine and from the
union with the Prussian-Austrian army.
He had signed a subsidy treaty with
England, according to which, in April, eight thousand men, in August another
4000 men of Hessian troops, joined the English-Dutch army in the Netherlands.
Only the light troops corps had
remained as a Hessian contingent to the Reich’s Army on the Middle Rhine.
Now the dismissal of this corps had
been made possible by Oesterreich's acknowledgment that the Landgraf sufficed
to fulfill his duty as a state of empire through the Hessian troops in English.
As we have seen, the corps of light troops had, as we have seen, been
transferred into the gravely cathedral arches, which were most exposed to
hostile attacks. On February 25, 1794, the Corps was placed on a state of
peace, but no significant leave of absence was made, since the regiment,
according to a March report, had 254 horses. In the same month it was
transferred to Hesse in Marburg, and distributed to the border towns of
Frankenberg, Wetter, Sterzhausen, Lohra; Only a small commander remained in
In the meantime, warlike events took
on an increasingly unfavorable course for the Allies. The armies, neglected by
a small state of affairs, and their indecisive leaders, who were attached to
systems, were unable to resist the unleashed national power of France and the
attacks of the French armies which had always been renewed in spite of all the
defeats. In October, the Austrian troops were thrown back on the right bank of
the river in the middle of the Rhine, and the Prussians voluntarily followed
this movement, which had the result that the left bank of the Rhine, and thus
also the Graffchaft Nieder- Katzenellnbogen, had French property. The commander
of the fortress of Rheinfels, Hessian General Resius, handed over the fortress
to the French without waiting for a serious attack.
While the latter were contented with
these achievements in this battlefield, the struggle in the Netherlands was
continued until January, with the result that the allies passed the country to
the French as far as Ems.
Under these circumstances, forced by
the necessity to protect itself against Russia, Prussia endeavored to establish
troops on its eastern frontier, to make peace with the French republic. The
Landgraf of Hesse, who saw the hopelessness of the allies' struggle, and who
could only expect to see a disadvantage in the country, decided to follow the
On April 5, 1795, Prussia concluded
his peace with the French republic, acknowledging the same, and declaring that
the latter retained the left bank of the Rhine. Hesse was included in this
peace, and for the time being renounced the possession of the left Rhine and
part of the Graffschaft cathedral arches, while France promised him the support
of obtaining compensation from the domain of spiritual princes. A definite
settlement of these conditions was postponed until the conclusion of the
On the news of this treaty England
and Hesse announced the subsidy treaty, so that the troops in English pay could
return to their fatherland at the end of November and would soon be reduced to peace.
The Hussars' regiment, on the other hand, seems,
however, not to have been reduced, if at all. Major von Lehsten was in commanded
with his escadron into the Graffchaft Schaumburg, and his escadron report shows
a budget of five officers, ten non-commissioned officers, barber, trumpeter,
150 common soldiers, and 161 horses;
Commanded: an officer, four officers,
thirty-six congregations, forty horses;
To the service: four officers, six
officers, a barber, a drummer, 112 common soldiers, ninety horses.
The actual reduction of the Hussars'
regiment took place only in April 1795, but 135 men were on leave this month,
but the horses were only gradually abolished. A report dated 1 May 1795 reads:
Nominal strength 367 horses,
Of which thirty horses are on leave
(probably the horses have been given to individual persons on leave),
Eighty-five horses in Grebenstein,
Thirty-one horses abolished,
190 horses in Beberbeck and Sababurg.
The regiment of the regiment, which
was at home in Grebenstein, consisted of three guards, three quartermasters,
fifteen officers, four trumpeters, sixty common soldiers. He set up a constant
guard from a non-commisioned officer, a carabinier, six men, with a post in
front of the gate to Hofgeismar.
From the campaign had returned to
Colonel-Lieutenant Prince Solms;
Major of Lehsten;
Chief of Staff, Kellerhaus, Ströbel,
Lieutenant Bode, Grau, von Sheldon,
Volte, Laroche von Starckenfels:
Schreiber, who became a general in
1796, was so suffering as a result of the campaign that Prince Solms (1794
Colonel) had to lead the administration of the Regiment in 1796, 1797 and 1798.
Solms, however, did not receive the Colonel-Lieutenant's pay until June 1797,
while Lehsten, who was appointed Colonel-Lieutenant at the same time, continued
the Majors' salary.
On October 22, 1795, the Prince Franz
von Anhalt-Bernburg- Schaumburg was appointed as the youngest Chief Treasurer
for the time being, with Cornet's salary, but was already released in September
1796. In 1799 Schreiber received the command post of Carlshafen and Colonel
Prince Solms the regiment as a resting place. As far as the other changes were
concerned, there had been a new addition since 1794: Rittmeister von Schmied
(formerly in the regiment) of the Jäger Corps and Lieutenant von Lohberg
As well as the cornets of Nagel
(1796-98), Asbrand (1796-99), Jaensen (1797), Rupprecht (1799) and Koch (1799),
of whom the three former remained in the regiment only a few years. The
requested Dimission received: Kellerhaus (1794) and Laroche von Starckenfels
(1797); Bolte died (?) (1795). Bode (1797) and Grau (1799) were also promoted
to lieutenants, Scheffer to the lieutenant (1797).
At the lower end, Brenner broke out
in 1795, for whom Kroeschel became an auditor and quartermaster of the
regiment; In 1798 Starckloff, Bechtel and Wiegand emerged as an escadron
While North Germany enjoyed peace,
the war in Southern Germany and Italy was continuing unceasingly.
In France, Napoleon Bonaparte had
found the man who was able to convert the human material supplied by the masses
to soldiers, and to lead them to victory.
Austria, repeatedly beaten and forced
to the peace of Campo Fornno in 1797, renewed the struggle again before the emissaries
of the states had been able to establish the future formation of the German
empire. The peace of Luneville, 9 February 1801, gave the basis for
negotiations with the German Reich. The Reichs-Deputations-Hauptschluss of
November 23, 1802 secured Hesse the Kurwürde, and the peace agreement of 25
February 1803 granted him the Kurmainzisches Aemter and the free imperial city
of Gelnhausen included in Hesse as compensation.
In May of 1803 the Landgraf accepted
the electoral title and celebrated the acceptance of this title with great pomp.
In the same year we find him head of the regiment. At the same time a considerable increase was
made in the electoral army.
he Hussars' regiment was placed on
the strength of five squadrons, but for the time being they were built on the
foot of thirty-eight horses. The one Escadron received Rittmeister von Schmied,
the other apparently in vain, since Ströbel had become the chief of the body of
Escadron at the time of the transfer.
The elector of Hesse was not to be
long a factual one. Possession of his dignity. He could not win over the court,
like most other German princes, the all-powerful ruler of France.
On the other hand, he often attracted
Napoleon, both personally and through his political measures. Nevertheless, he
believed he was able to assert himself on the throne by keeping himself neutral
in the fighting which had broken out again in 1805.
Napoleon, however, waited only for
the favorable moment to carry out his plans in Hesse. He did not consider
himself bound by the wording of treaties; he saw in the well-known hostile
sentiments of the Elector, in a few ambiguous measures, the reason enough for
Austria had been defeated in 1805.
Prussia, which in 1806 singled out the fight, saw its army destroyed at Jena
and Auerstädt. In Germany there was no power which could have hindered Napoleon
in the free exercise of his will. Nevertheless, he proceeded with great
caution. At the end of October, 1806, Marshal Mortier moved down from the Main
in the Fuldathal, King Louis Bonaparte from Holland through Westphalia via
Warburg in Hesse.
All the Elector's inquiries about the
purpose of these measures were evasively answered, and so long kept in doubt,
and held by decisive measures until the French and Dutch troops had occupied
Cassel's surrounding heights. On the 31st of October, between eleven and twelve
o'clock, the French businessman gave a note in which Napoleon deferred the
occupation of the Hessian Cassel states, the disarmament of the army, and the
delivery of all war materials. The next morning, without entering into any
negotiation, Mortier entered the town, which was no longer fortified and
occupied only by about 1,000 men of Hessian troops. The Elector escaped via Arolsen to Schleswig,
from where he later went to Prague.
The Hessian troops on the Friedensfuß
were disarmed and dismissed. The higher officers, as they refused to enter the
newly formed regiments, were interned in Mainz. Among the soldiers, both in the
delivery of arms and the horses of the departed, as well as in the attempt to
recruit people for the new regiments, revolts and insurrections, which brought
all Hesse uproar. But, owing to the French firm leadership and strict
discipline, they could not succeed.
The quiet citizens, caused by the
excesses committed by the soldiers, disarmed the rebels in most cities and
established the order before the French Execution Commandos arrived.
Before we conclude, we must remember
the changes that have occurred in the regiment since the beginning of the
century; Especially the reinforcement on 5 Escadrons, the Officier-Corps had
received a considerable increase.
Access: Colonel-Lieutenant von
Schlotheim from the Dragoon Regiment Prince Friedrich (1801); Rittmeister von
Stein of the Carabiniere Regiment (1803); Seconde Lieutenants Ludwig Count zu
Sayn-Wittgenstein (1800), von Mollerus (1802), Baaker van Leuwen (1803), Kirsch
(1803), Plessen (1804), Baumbach and Seebach from the Regiment Garde (1806);
Cornet's Kremp von Freudenstein (1802), of Buttlar, Carl Count of Hessestein,
Numers, Lendt, Hundertmark (1803), L. Scheffer (1804), Landsberg (1805) and
Franke (1806). In the lower part: Escadrons-surgeon Flebbe (1801), Jhringk
(1802), Count (1804), Regiment-Bereiterwille (1802), horse doctor Hofediez
(1804). Promotions: Colonel Prince to
Solms 1801 as General Major, appointed chief of the regiment in May 1806;
Colonel-Lieutenant von Lehsten (1800) and von Schlotheim (1806) to colonels;
Rittmeister of Schmied (1801) and von Stein (1805) to Majors; Stabs-Rittmeister
Bode (1803) and Grau (1806) to Rittmeister; Première Lieutenants von Sheldon
(1800), E. Scheffer (1803), Rupvrecht - 1801 Sec.-Lt., 1803. Prem.-Lt. - (1805)
to Staff Riders; Seconde-Lieutenants Count Wittgenstein (1803), Baaker van
Leuwen (1805), cook - 1802 Sec.-Lt. -1806) to Premier Lieutenants; Cornet's
Kremp von Freudenstein (1803), von Buttlar (1805), Count Hessestein, von Numers
and von Lendt (1806) to Seconde-Lieutenants; Surgeon Carl Starckloff as a
regimental surgeon (1800).
Departure: General Major and Chief
Prince Solms (August 1806), Lieutenant von Voßberg (1801), Prem.-Lieut. Count Wittgenstein
(1804), Sec. Lieut. von Mollerus (1804), of Plessen, and von Buttlar (1805), Cornet
Jaensen (1800); Colonel von Lehsten to the Dragoon Regiment Prince Friedrich
(1801), Stabs-Rittmeister Ströbel transferred to the Garnison Regiment
Langenschwarz (1802). - Regimental surgeon Justus Starckloff (1800), Escadrons
surgeon Bechtel (1801), Wiegand (1802) discharge; Cacron-surgeon Jhringk to the
The ranking list of the Hussars'
regiment follows, before the dismissal on 1 November 1806:
On November 1, 1806:
Uniform: light blue furs, yellow tollmanns
with silver; White trousers
3. Escadron Grebenstein,
2. Escadron Jmmenhausen.
Canton: The most affluent subjects in
all the provinces.
Chief:1 Sr. Kurfürst Wilhelm
1) Elector Wilhelm I. took over, as
in the period from 1803 to May 1806, after discharge of the chefs: General Major
Prince Solomon, as regiment chief.
We hereby take leave of the Hessian
Hussars of the eighteenth century. We have seen that they fought almost in each
of the campaigns on the side of the Prussian army, and took a glorious part in
the struggles of the Seven Years War, as well as the Revolutionary War.
In this connection to a great power,
which had a decisive voice in the council of nations, the reason was to be
sought for the fact that the deeds of such a small army gained importance in
history at all. In the course of this exposition, the great historical events and
an interaction between them and the deeds of a rush of hussars had to be
pointed out several times.
As in a diminished reflection, we
have seen the fate of the Prussian army. The causes of his greatness and his
decay have been seen, as they appear in the troops themselves. In the
seven-year war, the urge to move forward Striving for independent action,
always in the leadership as in the group.
In the revolutionary wars,
schematizing calculations and indecisive waiting in the upper line can be seen,
and it is felt that this tendency is also felt among the men by paralyzing the
air of sullen acts. But in spite of the inhibiting influence we encounter in
the portrayal of the Revolutionary Wars, many times, when the horseman,
harboring the Hussars, showed himself in bold deeds, and showed what this troop
could have done under other circumstances.
If we take a closer look at the use
of the hussars, we see that in the course of the century the method of warfare
had undergone a change which constantly increased the efficiency of the light
In the succession of the Spanish
Succession, there was almost always an arrayed battle, or besieged fortresses;
The light troops remained, as their influence in these battles was very
limited, only the field of a small war which had little influence on the great
events. But the more, however, during the course of the seven years' war, the
battles were divided into the struggles of individual colonies, the surprise
and the flank attack being more frequently employed, the light troops were
allowed to take part in the battle as well as their forces in reconnaissance
and security services were taken advantage of.
Their importance as an integral part
of the armies grew with the value of the services rendered by them, until they
finally attained the equality with the line troops.
Norms cannot be established concerning
the special handling of the service peculiar to the light troops. The forms
seem to have been fluctuating, adapted to the special circumstances and views
of the leaders.
In the security service, the Cordon
system and the mixture of weapons play the same role throughout the century.
The outpost positions of the individual divisions seem to have existed among
the Hessian hussars not from advanced alarm positions and field guards, but
mostly from smaller, independent posts, supported by larger pickets. In the
case of the marching fighters, too, a greater emphasis was placed on a
co-operation of the arms, than to allow the cavalry the liberty of movement
necessary for the development of its abilities.
However, the hussars were given more
independence in the reconnaissance service. There were no established rules on
the strength and procedures of the patrols.
Whatever the form has been, the aim pursued, the correct and thorough
communication, has almost always been achieved.
The Hessian Hussars are particularly
advantageous in your postwar campaign. The spirit of cutting offensive, the
wise thought plans the exploitation and embracing are admirably admirable, and
the described undertakings of this kind can also serve as models for the
hussars of the present time.
At any rate, the comrades of the
Second Hessian Hussars Regiment No. 14 can look back with equitable pride at
their military ancestors from the eighteenth century, who, despite the
aggravating circumstances of a small-state army, a stiff discipline, and a
dashing horseman, have not followed their Prussian arms.
In the Prussian army, the losses
which had been attributed to the campaign of the previous year were not compensated
until spring of 1793.
In the middle of March, with a view
towards success a sufficient number of troops were united to the campaign under
the immediate command of the Duke of Brunswick.
5,500 Kurfürstlich Sächsische
Of Austrian troops, six thousand men
were employed for the direct co-operation of the Hohenlohe-Kirchberg corps at
Trier, and to the Prussian General von Kalkreuth, while the imperial General
Count Wurm. A corps of 1800 men at Heidelberg was instructed, "to be in
all parts according to the direction and disposition, which is the majesty of
the king, or of the supreme Commanding Duke of Brunswick, with his Corps troops
will be found to be good and necessary, too behavior."
The army in the Netherlands, 55,000
Austrians, 11,400 Prussians, 1,000 Hanoverians, and Hesse under Duke Josias of
Saxony-Coburg, opened the campaign on the 1st of March, and on the 18th the
French General Dumouriez near Nerwinden.
Thus the King of Prussia was induced to set the Rhine armies in motion
earlier than originally intended, and to put the encirclement of Mainz on the
left bank of the Rhine into the works, before the material had been brought to
a formal siege of the fortress. The occupation was to be deprived of the
advantages which they had gained from the possession of the left bank of the
Rhine and from the connection with the Rhine army stationed there.
This corps, about 45,0001)
men under General Custine, was cantoned between the Rhine and the Nahe, and as had
the generals Houchard and Neuwinger with detachments to the latter river.
1) Garrison of Mainz, 22,000 men.
Of other French forces only the
Moselle Army, 25,000 men, who opposed the Hohenlohe-Kirchberg corps on the
Saar, could support Custine. 30,000 men were distributed as garrisons in Landau
and the strong places of the upper armory, but they were not subordinate to the
order of the commanding generals, rather they received their orders directly
from the ministry.
The army, with about 10,000 men on
the right bank, was to cross the Rhine below Mainz. A detachment of light
troops under the Prussian colonel, Szekuly, on March 14th, at St. Goar,
initiated the operation quite miserably, having been repulsed by General
Neuwinger, who was at Bingen, in the direction of Bacharach. At any rate, the
advanced guard managed to cross 12,000 men under Hereditary Prince Hohenlohe,
the Rhine on 25 March near Bacharach.
The Hessian Corps was easily assigned
to the troops of the Hussars, the Hussar Regiment, Jäger-Corps, the two
companies of 170 men, the light infantry battalion of Lenz, two companies of
172 men, was assigned to the advanced guard under Colonel Schreiber.
The Hussars had broken camp on the
21st out of Rüsselsheim, had passed the Main, and reached the Rhine near Lorch
in three days' marches. (21th - Bierstadt near Wiesbaden, 22nd - Mappershain
and Egenrath on the Nassau road, 23rd - Ramsell, 24th - Ruhetag, foraging in
Caub). On the 25th, as mentioned above, the passage to Bacharach took place,
and Schreiber, as a vanguard of Hohenloh, was still on this day on the roads of
The transition of the Advanced- guard
Corps also occupied the 26th. It was not until the 27th of the afternoon that
the concentration was concentrated on the position occupied by General Neuwinger
at Waldalgesheim, half a mile west of Bingen. The French did not stop the
attack of the Prussian infantry, and fled near, followed by the Prussian and
Hessian hussars, whom King Frederick William II had himself ordered from the
second meeting. General Neuwinger was captured with 300 men, and six guns were
also taken. On the following day, Bingen fell into the hands of the allies.
On the morning of March 28,
Schreiber's Corps had been advanced early on the morning to the Rummelshain on
the left bank, against the position which General Houchard had taken north-west
of Kreuznach. On the same day, at
Bingen, they crossed the Nahe, and advanced eastward towards Ober-Ingelheim and
Engelstadt, to secure the section of the Selzbach.
Behind it stood the Hohenlohe's
Advanced-Guard Corps. The Prussian General von Eben, with two battalions,
fourteen escadrons, and the Detachment Szekuly advanced following Custine to
To ascertain the terrain between Selz
and the Rhine, at 1 o’clock at night Schreiber sent out a mixed patrol. Fifty
Jäger and light-light infantry, and twenty hussars (Captain von Ochs, Lieutenants
Wetzell, and Grau) towards Mainz.
On the 29th Hohenlohe moved his
headquarters to Arnsheim. The advanced guard was pushed further south, Colonel
Schreiber went to Uffhofen with the Fusilier-Battalion Thadden, and made
contact with Eben's Corps. The first meeting of the Main Army moved into
yesterday's position of the advanced guard on this broad front along the Rhine.
Custine had returned with his main
forces to Worms, but had his rearguard under Houchard near Ober-Flörsheim in
favorable position, as well as a
corps at Oppenheim ordered to stay at Guntersblum Alsheim halfway to Worms. All this to the march of a detachment of 8000
men with Artillery, which he thought of drawing from Mainz. The dispersed arrangement did not fulfill its
purpose. The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe received a report from Houchard at
Gau Odernheim. He designated General von Koehler against it, and left it to him,
to deal with the French in the association with Eben, while he himself had his
march continued. His vanguard, Hussars of Wolfrath, Hessian hussars and Jägers,
encountered the troops at Alsheim; The same From the bulk of the advanced guard
to Worms. The Cavalry of Prince Louis Ferdinand succeeded in breaking into the
retreating Carrees, and taking from the French 1400 prisoners, three guns, and
a war camp. The Hessian Hussars also successfully participated in this
struggle. In the meantime, the other troops moved into cantons. His Majesty the
King had moved his headquarters to Alsheim, and had already arrived there, when
the previously mentioned occupation of the Occupation of Mainz had arrived at
the place without any suspicion.
As with all such unexpected encounters,
the advantage turned to those who sought to put an end to the fatal situation
by a bold offensive, here the Colonel von Sitzitz, with the regimental Prince
Hohenlohe. The French, on the other hand, were surprised by the energetic
attack, and retreated to Mainz, violently pursued by the cavalry returning from
their excursion to Worms.
The Hessian Hussars captured eighty
prisoners, but their loss on the day referred to was seized on seven horses,
fifteen men, and eight horses wounded. At night they moved a bivouac on the
heights of the Mantenbar northwest of Guntersblum, securing against Mainz.
However, on the next day, the 31st of March, the second meeting of the Prussian
army included the latter place on the left bank of the Rhine. The Hussian Hussars moved southward, and united
with the advanced guard on April 2nd, which occupied a position near Osthofen.
Custine had continued his retreat to the rear of the Speyer stream, but when he
heard the report of the Rhine crossing of the Austrian General, Count Wurm, he
went back to the Lauter, leaving the Landau fortress to itself. On his left flank he made contact with the
Moselle army, which stood at the confluence the Saar and Blies Rivers in
several fixed camps, along with his Command. In this position of about twelve
miles he succeeded in arranging his troops demoralized by the rapid retreat and
by gradually reinforcing them.
He was followed only by Graf Wurmser,
who commanded 12,600 men of Austria, and an Emigrant-Corps, about six thousand
strong. The Prussian army had departed a blockade corps for Mainz, while the
rest, under the name of "Beobachtungs-Armee," stood between Worms and
Oppenheim, and pushed only an advanced guard under Hereditary Prince Hohenlohe
into the mountains Osthofen, the Hessian Light Troops Corps, reinforced by
fifty Kohler Hussars at the Tete, reached Geroldsheim and Flomersheim near
Frankenthal, then westward on the 5th Hertlingshausen and the 6th
To this point the bulk of the
advanced guard followed, while the Hessian brigade on the 7th to the head of
the estate, and there was a post office1.
1) See special map of the surrounding
area of Homburg.
Schreiber sent several patrols
against the Blies; One of them, Lieutenant Keitel, with twenty hussars and
thirty Jägers, advanced on the main road leading through Vogelbach to Homburg,
where they arrived at 1 o'clock in the
night. Keitel had some inhabitants, who were suspected of being friends of the
French, arrested. He also had the freedom tree which was erected in the village
surrounded. The patrol returned to the Jägersburg and the Eichelscheider Hof,
in order to reconnoiter this path, which leads through dams on wet pastures.
Another patrol by Lieutenant von Baumbach (Battalion of
Lenz) with twenty infantrymen, ten Jägers, and twenty hussars, Cornet of
Laroche), proceeded from Vogelbach on the heights, and observed the presence of
stronger French forces behind the Blies, and bivouacked behind Carlsberg
Castle, without however, letting the enemy out of his sight, but observing it
with clandestine patrols.
On the 10th of April, Schreiber, with
his corps, advanced to Bruchmuehlbach, and there awaited the arrival of the
hereditary prince of Hohenlohe and General von Pfa, who wanted to reconnoiter
the French position on the Blies. They led a fusilier battalion and two
escadrons of Wolfrath-Hussars to support him, and at nine-thirty they meet up
with Schreiber, whereupon the advance was continued, passed through
Homburg. Field guards were advanced on
the right bank of the Blies between Altstadt and Beeden, and under their
protection the leaders reconnoitered the enemy camp near Bliescastel.
As the reports of the patrol proved
to be correct, the Hereditary Prince gave every man a gift of one florin, an
expression of his satisfaction with their achievements.
For the night, the infantry occupied
cantons in Homburg, the Hessian Hufaren in Erbach, the Escadrons Wolfrath in
Beeden, the latter the front, the former securing the right flank.
On the following day the troops
returned to their former position. The Schreiber Corps was dislocated as
follows: first Jäger company, first Escadron Hussars in Vogelbach, second
infantry company, second company Lenz, second and third Escadron Hussars in
Bruch-Mühlbach, first company Lenz in the main chair, while the Fusilier Battalion
and two Escadrons of Prussian hussars in and at the canton.
As the French proclaimed the
intention of occupying Homburg and Carlsberg, the splendid residence of the
Duke of Palatinate, the prince said that the allied troops were to occupy it
and to protect them from destruction. Schreiber received orders to go there on
The corps of hunters and hussars
followed the main road, the battalion of Lenz, with a detachment of Prussian
hussars, across the Jagersburg. While the former proceeded as far as
Schwarzenacker's passages, and reconnoitred the Blies, the latter remained
standing in front of Homburg. Colonel Schreck expected that a simultaneous
enterprise of General von Wolfrath over Käshofen against Zweibrücken would
divert the attention of his opponent and give him the opportunity to make a
Instead, he received the statement
that Wolfrath was retreating with superior forces, and himself saw that two
enemy columns were on the march at Homburg.
Now, by moving the battalion of Lenz,
he proceeded to return to the Carlsberg, which he intended to defend directly.
As, until evening, only the patrols of the French had entered the city, but the
bulk had made a great advance, Schreiber sent two detachments of Jäger and
light infantry to occupy the town and the Castle Hill immediately adjacent to
In the course of the 16th, both were
attacked by superior enemy forces; But they asserted themselves in a stubborn
struggle until evening, when a report by the Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe,
furnished by Lieutenant Keitel, arrived with reinforcements (a battalion, two
escadrons, a half-riding battery), thereby securing the preservation of
In response to a counter-attack,
which had been planned for the 17th, the French withdrew by a retreat at night;
The pursuit, begun at daybreak, by the Hessian Hussars, came to a halt on the
burnt-out Bliesbrücke near Schwarzenacker.
On the 16th, Colonel Schreiber had
been wounded. Four brave officers, who had defended Homburg, were decorated
with the Order Pour le Mérit.
Homburg and the Carlsberg remained
permanently occupied, the former Orl by the Jäger Corps, the latter by the
battalion Lenz, Fusilier-Battalion Ernst, and a battalion Herzberg. The Hessian
Hussars, to whom a mixed Prussian hussars detachment had been attached, had
advanced in Lambsborn and Bechhofen, only to guard the exit of Homburg. Colonel
Schreiber was appointed commander of the Carlsberg, in whose enclosure the
Prussian battalions were placed, and in whose heights Prussian guns stood.
Many times a great visit came to take
this serious use of the fortress as a fortress. The assertion of this point
caused an extraordinary expansion of the allied army. Count Wurmser, with the
intention of proceeding in Alsace, had advanced his troops to Germersheim on
the Rhine. In order to establish a better alliance of the army, the Duke
ordered the bulk of the Prussian army to advance to Edenkoben on the 21st.
On the 18th of April Cornet Bolte was
given the order to set aside thirty hussars for a detachment of Chasseur at
Limbach. He crossed the Blies at the Bliesberger Hof and surprised a front
guard against the old town, and took two guns, which were close behind. Whether
he could not recall his cavalier horsemen, or even the foolhardyness of his
fortune, enough, he hunted into the village of Limbach, which was heavily
occupied by the French. At the first moment of surprise, no one resisted, and
perhaps he would have been able to return to the village by the village to the
old town, had not a chasseur-section been opposed to it and thrown back into
the village street. In desperation, three men fell, Bolte and four hussars were
wounded, but the rest managed to return to Homburg by way of side streets, and
they even carried five prisoners with them in prey.
Bolte returned from captivity on May
1, but he had had to give his word of honor, not to fight again against the
French, until an officer and a commoner had been exchanged for him.
On the urging of the ruling delegates
present at the French army, Custine made several unsuccessful attempts to
relieve Mainz. All were directed against the most exposed part of the line of
the allies, against the Wurmser corps.
At the Blies, the French were still
quiet, only on the 19th of April, when the Germans were in motion and about to
take up a new camp, Michiinbach, but there was no clash. But when they tied the
camp more and more, the Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe attacked the Doppeldorf
old town Limbach on the 29th, took it, and forced the French to leave their
camp, whose entrenchments were now occupied by the Prussians.
The course of the campaign, which had
hitherto been unfavorable to the Republicans, prompted the French rulers to
send the most severe orders to the commanders-in-chief, in order to free
Mainz. The general threatened with death
by the ax.
This order also came to the knowledge
of the allied leaders, and the Prince of Hereditary Prince did not hesitate to
strengthen his distinguished position, the Carlsberg; For his military ambition
did not allow him to evacuate it, which, indeed, would have given him a
concentrated and, thus, much more favorable position. General von Pfau took
command of the troops assembled there on 3 May: Regiment Herzberg, Bataillon
Ernst, two Escadrons Wolfrath Hussars and Hessian Corps. Until the 16th of May,
it was not to be observed that the French commanders were able to follow the
order, and even the Prussian Colonel Szekuly, who was at Erbach, succeeded in
ousting fifty-one men from Neunkirchen on the fifteenth, a French detachment of
four officers , He had, however, to retire on the 16th before the advance of
superior forces. On the 17th, troops from the west were seen to attack the
Prussian position. Szekuly was in Erbach, the rest of the troops were advancing
to his assistance. When it became known that the enemy was considerably
superior, the hills of Limbach were cleared and a position of Homburg-Erbach
taken. The French only demonstrated
without a direct attack.
On the other hand, they tried to
cover the right wing with strong columns, and threaten the connection of the
corps with imperial emperors. The hereditary prince thus compelled himself, on
the eighteenth, to give the order to withdraw at 2 o'clock.
Szekuly remained on the Carlsberg,
the Hesse bivouacs until the 19th of early morning on the height at the chair,
and then took up lodgings in the chair (1st and 2nd escadron) and main chair
(3rd escadron). The French movements, however, were mere maneuvers, which had
the sole purpose of diverting the attention of the allies from the main attack,
which Custine undertook in the Rhine valley. As he was altogether unsuccessful,
Houchard, the commander of the Moselle Army, did not continue his
demonstrations, and almost complete peace ensued. The position of the Hussars
was altered by the fact that the 1st and 2nd Escadrons came to Bruchbach, the
3rd Escadron to Vogelbach, and that Erbach was occupied again since the 26th.
One officer, two officers, a trumpeter, twenty-four hussars, with thirty
hunters or infantry, formed the garrison and were relieved every 24 hours.
Dieselbe drove a chain from the foot of the Carlsberg to Jägersburg along the
small Erbach and was secured in the flanks by Szekuly on the Carlsberg and a
Prussian detachment in Jägersburg.
It was not until mid-July that the
French attempted another advance to the relief of Mainz, and was led by the two
armies of the Rhine and Moselle armies simultaneously, but incoherently.
On the eighteenth, the Prussian
detachment on the Carlsberg and east of it, repulsed an attack by the enemy
troops, whereas on the 19th the Hessian detachment was attacked at two o'clock,
and twenty-four men of infantry, and two hussars were captured.
Unfortunately, Schreiber could no
longer retaliate for this trick, for, at the same time as the news of the
accident, the order came to go back to the Bruchmühlbach-Vogelbach line and
take up a position there for the Prussian Detachment.
he hereditary prince concentrated his
entire corps at Lauterecken, while the adversary pushed at his right wing, thus
threatening the connections of Hohenlohe's corps. The movements of the French
arrived, however, by the news that Mainz had capitulated on the 22nd. Houchard,
on the 26th, withdrew to his old position, closely followed by the troops of
the hereditary prince. The Hessian Hussars, with the battalion of Lenz were in
Rodenbach on the 21st and 22nd and in Wolfftein from the
21st thru 26th, without being harrased by the enemy.
On the last day of the afternoon the
Hussars regiment broke up to keep in touch with the enemy, and followed
Reichenbach, on the 27th to Münchweiler on the Glan. The lieutenant Keitel,
with a patrol of one Cornet, three underofficials, and thirty hussars, was sent
on the news that the enemy was taking the villagers with them, and the
falsehood of the rumor prevailed. On the 29th, the Hessian Corps, which had
been reunited on the previous day, reached the troops of Ramstein, and occupied
the fortified position there, and advanced the hussars to Katzenbach and
Spesbach. On the same day, the French descendants set fire to Carlsberg Palace,
and demolished the jumps which had been erected, without the advance of the
allies of the Allies. On the 2nd of August, Colonel Schreiber received the
order from the Duke of Brunswick to leave the Corps of the Hereditary Prince
Hohenlohe and join the imperial army of Count Wurmser. The reasons for this change were as follows:
On March 22, 1793, on the occasion of
the Imperial Assembly at Regensburg, France, the Reichskrieg had been declared.
As a result, Hesse had to submit a
contingent to the Reichsheer. As such, the Landgraf, who, since April 1793, had
given 8000 men, and since the capitulation of Mainz had given 4000 men of his
troops in English pay, and sent them to the Netherlands. According to the plan of the campaign,
however, the Reichscontingente were allotted to the Austrian armies, and the
Landgraf, though reluctant, had to submit to the disposition of his troops in
At first Schreiber, who was not given
an ordinance by his sovereign, was rather instructed to join the Hessian Corps,
which had marched to the Netherlands, and which had been taken in by the English. Then he hesitated with the execution of the
order in question, and sent Major von Lehsten to Mainz to ask General von
Biesenroth to ask for instructions.
It was not until the fifth afternoon
that he received another definite order of the King of Prussia to march to Wurm1
on August 12th.
1) 4. via Ramstein to Otterberg, 5.
Hochspeyer, 6. Neustadt a. d. Hardt, 8. Hardt, 9. Edesheim, north of Landau.
Biesenroth had vainly endeavored to
effect a change in the order at the Prussian headquarters. The Hessians had to
submit, and leave the fancies which had become dear to them, and to continue
the campaign this year with other troops and foreign leaders.
The first task of the campaign was
solved by the capitulation of Mainz, as stated above, on the 22nd of July.
Although this event had been for a long time to be foreseen, no further war
plan had yet been established. The Duke of Brunswick's opinion, which was
directed against Saarlouis, was opposed to that of the Austrian court war
council, who, on the advice of Count Wurm, suggested that he first proceed to
Alsace and conquer Landau.
For this reason, the movements of the
allied armies were provisionally limited to an advance of the former siege
corps into the front of the covering troops. This inactivity was all the more
disastrous as the French troops were demoralized by the fall of Mainz and by a
renewed change of leadership.
The armies of the Rhine, whose
command was taken over, occupied the Weissenburg lines. The Moselle Army went
back to the Blies and entrenched itself in the aforementioned camps of St.
Ingbert, Neu Hornbach and Bliescastel.
After lengthy negotiations, the
Austrian proposal was provisionally accepted, on the part of the Prussians,
when Wurmser was allowed to penetrate Alsace and promised to support this
procedure by a position in the mountains. Accordingly, eleven battalions, ten
escadrons under General Count Kalkreuth to Neunkirchen, Hohenlohe with fourteen
battalions, thirty-five escadrons to Homburg, the Duke of Brunswick took up
position with the main army force north of Pirmafens, the king with fourteen
battalions, fifteen Escadrons at Edenkoben.
Wurmser's corps consisted of 33,000
men, twenty and a half battalions, thirty-two escadrons of Austria, five
battalions, ten escadrons of emigrants under Prince Conde, three battalions,
three squadrons of Palatine troops. On
the 12th of August, the four companies and three Escadrons of the Schreiber
Corps were joined. Dieselben was
allotted to the outpost, which commanded Major General von Mezarosch.
The outpost line ran from the exit of
the Anweiler Valley north around Landau to Offenbach on the Queich and then
following the course of this stream to the Rhine near Hördt. On the one hand it
covered Landau, on the other hand against the Rhine army standing in the
Weißenburger Lines; Croats and hussars worried the connection of the fortress
with the French army. The Hessian light troops were at once assigned to
Offenbach, one of the most advantageous posts, Landau and his active
occupation; A company of the light infantry, Capitain Hegemann, advanced to
Mörlheim, and appears to have occupied the Queichmühle and Schanz, about a
quarter of a mile north.
The village of Queichheim, which is
only 1/4 mile ahead of the front, held the French pre-groups. With two arms of
the Queich, the Franzofen offered a secure base, from which they disturbed the
outposts most unpleasantly with constant gun and gunfire. Compagnie Hegemann,
who was always kept in his breath, had therefore to be relieved at six o'clock
in the morning, to give her some rest. Two Austrian eighteen-pounders, who were
taken to the Queich-Muehl-Schanze, and slept on the main street of the village
of Queichheim, gave Hesse more peace, although both on the 17th and 19th
centuries. In the afternoon stronger
divisions left the fortress with the advanced guard of the Allies.
In the meantime, Wurm had succeeded
in inducing the King of Prussia to take over the blockade of the northern front
of Landau. The troops employed by the Austrians on this occasion were drawn
from their positions on the 19th, only Field-Marshal Lieutenant Spleny with four
battalions, four Frei-Companies, nine Escadrons remained behind to the south
side. The Hessians left Offenbach in the evening at five o'clock, and
bivouacked at Rultzheim the night of the 20th.
On the 20th at daybreak, the Wurmser
Corps set out in five columns to move against the Weißenburg Lines. Dieselben
leaned with the right wing on the Rhine near the fortified Lauterburg and
formed a series of miles of longitude (air line), which ran directly on the
southern bank of the Lauter. The left wing was strengthened by the Weissenburg
fortress, and then, in a somewhat reversed position, ended in the mountains
from the heavily fortified Taubenberg. This position was very strong in itself,
but the extensive bee-forest, situated in the middle and the right wing,
allowed the attacker a covert approach to the main position.
In order, therefore, not to be
attacked unexpectedly, the French had Oberfeldherr pushed a strong advanced
guard to the heights up against Bergzabern. In addition, a series of defensive
sections had been established by means of jumps and jogging, which was
traversed by numerous swampy brooks
Wurmser's company, with barely 30,000
men of about 40-50,000 to attack strong Rheinarms in a fortified position,
which is too wide for them, must be described as daring. Probably he reckoned
on two factors which would have to favor him. Once the demoralization of the
opposing troops, well known to him, and the inability of the leader; And, most
likely, he hoped, by his bold Lorgehen, to encourage the Prussian army
leadership. The sending of an assault column of only four battalions and two
escadrons through the mountains against the enemy's left flank, may not be
explained by the fact that the small band was separated from the other Austrian
columns by the French advanced guard, which stood north of Ober-Otterbach. Thus dependent on the support of the Duke of
Brunswick, who was about four miles from Weißenburg at Pirmasens. But in this,
Wurmser misunderstood the duke; It was impossible to move to a so daring,
unmethodic warfare. In addition, Wurmser had the misfortune of provoking the
unwillingness of the King of Prussia to send the report of his attack intended
for the 20th to Prussian headquarters only at eleven o'clock in the evening.
This attack was at first directed
only against the advanced positions of the French; it took place in five
columns, of which we have already spoken; The 2nd and 3rd, twelve battalions,
twenty-one escadrons, turned against the French avant-garde, and remained on
the heights of Dierbach and Freckenfeld. The 4th column, where Wurm himself
was, six and a half battalions, eight escadrons, and the fifth, four
battalions, six escadrons, were to be found in the Bienwald itself, between it
and the Rhine1.
1) See special map: Weißenburger Line
While the latter, without much
resistance, had reached Wörth, the 4th column had to fight violently. It
consisted of the Hessian Hussars, three divisions of Leopold Hussars, a
division of Seresan Redcoats, a company of the Serbian Free Corps Michailowicz,
Jäger-Corps, Hessian Light Infantry Battalion Lenz, a Battalion Emigrant “le Noble
" which marched in the order mentioned, which followed as a reserve: the
infantry regiment Samuel Gyulay, the twelve-pounder battery, and the Frei-Battalion
The column formed at four o'clock,
and marched at five o'clock from the bivouac at Rultzheim.
She reached Rheinzabern, crossed the
Erlenbach in the village, and then debuted on the road to Lauterburg. But
hardly had the tip of the column scarcely shown itself, when a position of
heavy artillery showed the proximity of the adversary at the same time as the
withdrawing riders. The cavalry hurried to clear the defilee and form a
left-hand side of the road.
The Jäger and Seresans threw themselves
on the right into the Hatzenbühler Forest, and now a stubborn battle was fought
against the opponent; At last he succeeded in throwing him over the Otterbach
and Jockgrim, and seven guns fell into the hands of the Hessian Jägers and the
Austrian hussars. At ten o'clock in the morning the battle was decided, and now
the Hessian hussars were able to proceed again, in order to clear Hagenbach to
Hessebach. The enemy had left this area altogether. In the afternoon, at five
o'clock, the light troops were recalled, and the 4th and 5th columns united at
The Headquarters was in the latter
place. Outpost: Hessian and Leopold Hussars, as well as Bataillon Lenz.
The Jäger Battalion had been sent
back to Rheinzabern to pour bullets, as the Austrian ammunition did not fit
into their rifles. The infantry battalion of Lenz had been helped by the
handing over of 8,000 cartridges of the Imperialists.
On the 21st, the French were offensive.
The bulk of the division in Lauterburg, ten battalions, six escadrons, eight
guns, advanced over Hagenbach against the troops battling at Wörth before
Warned by the reports, they were
ready to receive them by a counter-attack. The cavalry gathered to the left of
the road, while the Hessian infantry proceeded with an Austrian battery of six
guns to the right. The French mounted their artillery by the road behind a
marshy ditch, and tried to penetrate under the fire of the guns with infantry
and cavalry. The Hessian and Leopold hussars approached the latter, who,
without waiting for the clash, fled into the forest.
In the meantime, an energetic battle
had begun to relax west of the road. The Hussars withdrew into cover, only the
flanking under Saber-junker Scheffer remained at the enemy. The Austrian
commander led the emigrants to Pforz, to win the enemy's right flank, and then
ordered them to follow the regiment and the free Corps Gyulay. The Emigrants,
driven by the Austrian military journal, as well as Jomini, were forced into a
very unfavorable position, from which they had only the energetic intervention
of three companies, Samuel Gyulay, and the addition of the reserve regiment.
The Hessian records do not report
anything about this occurrence, but leaves this is explained by the fact that
the Hessians were fighting only on the right wing and of the events on the left
wing did not notice anything. After a long standing struggle, the French sent
for their battery to be driven off, and sought to mask this maneuver by the
advance of a cavalry division. Scheffer, who swiftly opposed it, discovered,
however, their plan, and informed Captain Hegemann, the temporary leader of the
infantry battalion of Lenz, of the enemy's withdrawal. The battalion now ran
across a forest meadow against the battery. Although some infantrymen succeeded
in reaching the guns and cutting off the horses. The Hessians were first thrown back into the
forest, and only then did they succeed in capturing the above-mentioned five
guns, while the other three fell into the hands of the emigrants.
Although the guns had to be handed
over to the Austrian artillery, Schreiber hastened to auction the horses and to
distribute the money among the light infantry. Only one of the guns captured
the day before by the Jäger Corps came to Hesse, when the staff captain of
Münchhausen secretly removed the eight-pounder from Rheinzabern, and was soon
transported to Hanau in a ship hidden under fruit.
While the battalion Lenz and the Frei
Corps continued the persuit to the south end of the forest, the Hessian Husaren
Regiment was sent directly from the battlefield to Freckenfeld, where the Jäger
Corps of Rheinzabern had also been marched, and where both the brigade General
of Mezarosch. In the evening, the troops of the 4th column had moved to
Buechelberg, a birch in the middle of the Bienwald. The forest was now owned by
the Allies; On the other hand, the French left wing was in its advanced
The activities of the Hessian troops
were acknowledged by the order of the day of the 21st:
"Order. The main quarters of
Büchelberg on 21 August 1793.
For the services rendered so
willingly and untiringly by all the Hesse-Cassel peoples, not only the special
satisfaction and the praiseworthy and praiseworthy praise are hereby confirmed,
but also the most binding thanks. In the same way, in consideration of their
lack of vivre, they now receive on each obligatory man a pound of beef which
they have received from the direction.
Signed Count von Wurmser, Field
Meanwhile the enterprises of Wurm had
not received much recognition at Prussian headquarters. The Austrian plan of
operations was rejected; new proposals were expected from Vienna, and the King
would not enter into any widespread ventures until the latter had arrived; but
he would support the attack of Wurmser, which had been undertaken without his
consent as a daring caricature.
While an unsuccessful change of court
took place between the headquarters, and Wurmser, on the one hand, was assailed
by the Austrian minister, Count Lehrbach, and by the commander of the Austrian
army in the Netherlands, Duke Josiah of Saxony-Coburg to expel the Austrians
from the conquered positions and to regain the connection with Landau. An
attack of the 2nd and Oolonne against the position at Steinfeld, which had been
carried out on the 25th, and the village of Schaidt in the hands of the allies,
showed that a frontal attack by the weak Austrian forces could not lead to any
Wurmser, who had first drawn up 6000
men from the right bank of the Rhine, and had ordered the troops to move in the
position, whereby the center of gravity moved more to the right wing, hoping to
get to his goal by avoiding it. Dieselbe was attacked by inadequate forces,
3500 men under General von Pejacsevich, and failed, in spite of the heroism of
the leader and the troops with whom they asserted five days in the flank of the
enemy, against daily attacks of overpowering.
On the 14th of September, they had to
retreat, and, with the loss of thirty-one officers, and 680 of their own men.
In the center and on the left wing of
Wurm's position there were also constant battles. In spite of the rage with
which the French troops, who were mostly drunk, called upon “Landau or Death,”
their attacks on the tenacity and resistance of the well-disciplined and
trained troops failed, and brought about a further demoralization of the French
army But they rarely had the opportunity to intervene, and they were at
Freckenfeld until the 27th, and on this day they were transferred to Dierbach
with Wurmser's headquarters.
On the 31st they were given orders to
occupy the village of Shaidt, where they found a division of the 2nd battalion of
Slavonians; They formed the left wing of the Mezarosch brigade, and kept in
touch with the outposts of the Hotze Brigade under Colonel Kowasewich, first
with the Hessian Jäger-Corps, which was on the way from Buechelberg. The former
village was under the guns of a French battery (sixteen-pounders) near
Gross-Steinfeld and was therefore not a pleasant stay. On the 2nd of September,
the crew was forced to leave the camp temporarily, and to store it behind it.
On the 7th, as well as on the 8th,
9th, 10th, attacks against the Hessian Jäger-Corps took place, but were, like a
defeat attempted on the eleventh, with little loss by the same, without the
hussars involved in the forest battles. On the 17th the news had arrived of the
victory which the Duke of Braunschweig had won at Pirmasens on the 14th, by
rejecting the attack from a part of the Moselle Army, the Corps des Vosges; For
this, as well as for the taking of le Quesnoy in the Netherlands, on the 19th a
joy fire was to be made.
But this was not the case, as the
French on this day attempted the last and decisive attack. Already at five
o'clock in the morning, the battle was kindled; At first, attempts were made
against the left wing of Wurmser in the Bienwalde. In front of Lauterburg, the
battle ended in the morning of the French, but the brigade's high position was
difficult. In the afternoon, the French batteries at Gross-Steinfeld opened a
fierce fire on Schaidt; The village was fired on fire and the Hussars and
Slavonians were forced to leave their storage space behind the village. At this
moment, enemy cavalry believed to be able to use the right wing of the Hotze
Brigade, the Hessian Jäger-Corps. But the hussars watched sharply barely
attacked the opponent to the attack, as they swerved and approached him. The
French horsemen were thrown back in their tracks, closely followed by the
hussars; They had already approached the first batteries when they were hit by
an onslaught of grape shot hail that they were thrown back.
As a result of this unsuccessful
attack, the Jäger battalion, whose flank had been surrendered, withdrew, and
soon the retreat of the whole Brigade took place. Strikingly, however, the
French did not pursue, and so in the evening it was possible to occupy the old
The Hussars' regiment, however,
bivouacked farther back at Freckenfeld, the actual headquarters of Wurmser. The
loss in the attack amounted to two dead, nine wounded.
The cavalier von Resius, whose arm
had been crushed, died at Rheinzabern on the 4th of October.
The regiment was relocated to Minfeld
on the 21st and remained there until the 12th of October. During this period,
the Prussian army carried out movements which considerably improved the
position of the Austrian Corps. The second Austrian operation plan had arrived,
and held that the Prussian army was to support the attack of Wurmser against
the Weißenburg Lines. Therefore, the Prussian army had been advancing against
the Moselle army, strengthened by the armies of the General von Knobelsdorf
(twelve-and-half battalions, fifteen escadrons), drawn from the region of
Luxembourg, and on the 26th, 27th, and 28th, From Bliescastel, Neuhornbach and
St. Jngbert. As a result, the direct connection between the French Rhine and
the and the Duke of Braunschweig thought he might be able to strategically advance
Neundreiviertel battalions and fifteen escadrons through the mountains to a
distance of one and a half miles to the left wing of the French Rhine army to
Lembach and Matstall’s Left flank.
Although these troops were to arrive
there only on the 14th of October, Wurmser, assuming the moral effect of their
advance, decided to attack with his troops on the 13th.
The strength of the French army of
the Rhine1 was said to have amounted to 51,590 men, while Wurmser,
with only 43,185 men, attacked the famous defensive position. The French were distributed
into so many redoubts and jumps that a strong offensive offered great
advantages. The attack of the Austrians was to take place in seven columns.
1) Austria Military-Magazine: Volume
4, issue 8, page 131
On the evening of the 12th the
Hessian Hussars advanced (in the Austrian report two Escadrons, with 271
horses), to the 3rd column under General von Hotze, which bivouaced in the
Bienwald, and still four lines, a Frei-Battalion, three Escadrons Palatine
Chevauxlegers, four Escadrons Archduke Leopold Hussars , Two Escadrons Waldeck
The Hessian Hussars regiment was led
by Colonel-Lieutenant-Prince Solms Braunfels, as Colonel Schreiber was
appointed to Count Wurmser, and took part in the attack. In a thick fog,
Hotze's troops advanced through the forest, and stood at an early morning at
the Bienwaldmühle, the signal for attack, at 4:30 am; Close behind the advanced
guard infantry the 1st Division Archduke Leopold and the Hessian Hussars as
well as the Waldeck Dragoons.
Three canopies were the sign that the
infantry had broken with the cry of "Maria Theresia." The
Bienwaldmühle was taken quickly, and the struggle for the proper jumps
continued on the right bank of the Lauter river.
While the latter continued, the
hussars discovered a furth above, and the infantry made the access to it. And
unexpectedly the Calvary appeared, especially feared by the French, between the
jumps. Now the courageous French recruits overthrown, they cleared the
fortifications, let three guns fall, and fled in all directions, closely
followed by the dragoons and hussars. The Hessians attacked the road to
Weißenburg, the Leopold Hussars turned against Lauterburg. Eleventh, the Frei
battalion Gyulay, the latter the Kaiser's infantry regiment, followed on both
sides Waldeck dragoons took part in the persuit. In the meantime, Schleithal's
hostile reserves rose and involved the now largely surrendered mass of the column
in a sustained battle. The cavalry, returning from the attack, was ordered to
observe the two roads mentioned.
There was still no news of the
success of the other columns; on both sides only the rifle and gunfire sounded,
showing a serious struggle on all sides. The two columns, which had proceeded
to the left of the Hotze, had Lauterburg as their object, and the Dubois, which
was standing there, caused a simultaneous threat in the front and back to the
retreat upwards to Schleithal and Weißenburg. At about 1 o'clock these troops
unexpectedly attacked the Escadron Leopold Hussars, which had advanced to
Lauterburg, and attacked the Regiment Kaiser at the same time in the front and
The noise of this struggle had the
Hessian Hussars, who had a Escadron Waldeck-Dragoons under Rittmeister Count
Spindler attended the road to Weißenburg, had already been drawn to the
attention of Colonel-Lieutenant Borschuss of the Waldeck Dragoons, blown back
in the long gallop, came to the conclusion that the enemy had thrown the
Austrian infantry and cavalry, and that he would immediately break into the
lines. The hussars were soon on
horseback, broke into trains on the left and trotted towards the French. As
soon as the terrain permitted, the escadrons were formed again; Scarcely had
this been done, when the stream of the Austrian infantry and cavalry, had left,
followed by three closed French battalions and some cavalry. At the sight of
the four Escadrons, the Austrians rallied, and the majority of the Waldeck
dragoons joined the deploying regiment, which was advancing against the French
infantry. A battalion-decharge could not stop the dashing onslaught; in a few
minutes the enemy dispersed, and the French flee to Schleithal with the loss of
guns, ammunition wagons and artillery horses. About 300 are said to have fallen
victim to the sabers of the hussars and dragoons. The enemy cavalry had left
their infantry and did not accept the attack.
The bounty of the Hessian Hussars
consisted of a flag, five horses, and 100 men of infantry. As a loss they had
killed two men, one man and three horses wounded, and two men as missing.
The columns, which were warm on the
right of the Hotze brigade, had been in a difficult state, but, after obstinate
struggle, had taken the advanced fortifications, and thrown back the Frenchmen
at Weissenburg. At five o'clock in the afternoon, Count Wurms had united this
part of the Austrian Corps and led him to attack the town and the Geisberg.
Although the French commander had
refused to surrender, his troops cleared the city even before the Austrians
attacked, and they conquered only the Geisberg. In the night, however, the
entire French army withdrew completely to Hagenau.
The allies bivouacked on the
battlefield. From all sides the share which Hessian hussars had in the success
of the day was fully recognized. The Landgraf awarded the
Lieutenant-Colonel-Lieutenant Prinz to Sulm and Major von Lehsten the Militair
Order of Merit, and carried Lieutenant Keitel to the Staff Rittmeister,
"because of the courageous behavior shown by the Hussars' Regiment at the
capture of the Weißenburger Line." Cornets Sheldon and Volte were promoted
An officer of the imperial Austrian
army spoke in a letter written for the purpose of publication as follows:
"He thought it his duty to make
it known to the public how well the Hessian Hussars' regiment, under
Lieutenant-Colonel-Prince Solms-Braunfels, had shown the 13th of October in the
conquest of the Kronweissenburg lines, and That it was not only the first
division of Leopold-Hussar, but the first attack on the fortress, but that in
the last assault, which the French exercised on every side of the regiment,
"Kaiser-Iinfantry, With such rage, that the latter had been completely
dispersed, and that 300 Frenchmen had been hewn into the frying pan, and this
incident was specially worth mentioning, for if this attack had failed the
hussar, the victory so brilliant would not be without great loss. "
The Austrian army was too fragmented
by the attack in seven columns, in order to be able to pursue immediately, and
the Prussian detachments were not intervened, and so the French army could
manage its retreat behind the moors without great loss.
The Hotze Brigade, where the Hessian
Hussars were, had broken up at eight o'clock in the morning; They followed the
French in a southerly direction, and had reached Stundweiler when the brigade received
orders to stay there.
Wurmser, who received news of the
departure of the enemy on the 14th, had followed the main road on the Hagenauer
Straße to Sulz. In the evening, at 10 o'clock, the brigade was brought up to
the main; the Hessian hussars, on the other hand, advanced to Ober-Betschdorf
on the edge of the Hagenau forest, and from this point came into contact with
the advanced guard who had advanced under General Mezarosch to Surburg.
On the 15th, 16th, and 17th, the main
army remained in this position; Wurmser accepted the congratulations from the
Duke of Brunswick, who had advanced with a detachment to Woerth; A hymm of
praise was and Victoria shot was
On the 17th Mezarosch marched to
Hagenau. From the right bank of the
Rhine Corps, the Prince of Waldeck, advanced over Drusenheim to Offendorf on
the Rhine. The French, thus threatened in the right flank, did not assert the
positions behind the morass, but instead dodged to the rear, only a division of
all the weapons under General Ferra remained on the north bank at Weyersheim.
Mezarosch, who on the eighteenth with
the advanced guard, without knowledge the terrain, proceeded to Brumath and was
attacked surprisingly in his left flank.
He swiftly threw the Hessian light infantry and the Jäger-Corps, as well
as the battalion of Olivier Valais, against the heights behind which the enemy
had concealed himself. It succeeded in stunning them until Mezarosch formed his
other troops, but the Hessians suffered very much from the fire of a French
battery, until the cavalry, in the flank, was seized by a division cavalry, and
driven out with the loss of an eighteen pounder and ammunition cart. According
to a report in this attack, Hessian hussars were said to have acted, but this
seems to be due to a misunderstanding, since they belonged to the Hotze
Brigade, which had been dispatched on the same day by the main army, via
Hagenau and Buchsweiler to Palatinate; At five o'clock in the afternoon, at the
heights of Pfaffenhofen, two and a half miles north-west of the above-mentioned
field of battle, ended.
Mezarosh was freed from the
unfavorable situation by the intervention of the main army, which continued the
march from Hagenau to Brumath.
While the bulk of the Wurmser corps
had a camp on the north bank of the Anger near Brumath, and Prince Waldeck was
standing near Drusenheim on the Rhine, Hotze broke away from Pfaffenhofen on
the 20th of March at noon, and reached Buchsweiler in the evening. He had his
troops stationed on the heights to the west of this little town, and led troops
to the mountains.
On the next day, patrols who which
recognized this region were sent to the mountainous regions, which was still
little known and inaccessible.
Wurmser ordered Condo's Corps to
connect the main army with Hotze to Hochfelden.
The Duke of Braunschweig had not
passed the Prussian troops beyond Woerth. On October 24th, with the bulk of his
troops, he returned to Eschweiler, south-west of Pirmasens, leaving only
General von Kleist north of Wörth.
Once again disunity had set in between
the commanders. Wurmser wanted to relate winter quarters to Anger. Fort Bauban
was besieged; in Strasbourg there existed a royalist conspiracy, which the city
promised to surrender; Therefore it seemed to Wurm especially necessary to go
there with his troops. He had thought of the siege of Landau, Lützelstein, and
Bitsch, to the Prussians.
To the Duke, such an unmethodic
approach was unsympathetic; The role assigned to its troops, as well as the
prospect, all of Alsace in the Austrian hands, in the present political
situation particularly unpleasant.
For this reason, he refused to grant
the assistance necessary to the execution of his offensive plans, and left him
to accomplish what he could do with his own resources, and resolved to refer as
soon as possible to winter quarters at the Kaiserslautern.
Wurm also continued his offensive
procedure. First it was Hotze who was to direct his attack on the left wing
detachment of the French army of the Rhine (a brigade which stood at Zabern).
Before the latter, however, proceeded to carry out the attack, he set off on
the 22nd. At seven o'clock in the morning, he joined the battalion with two
battalions of the infantry regiment Lasch and the Hessian Hussars to
Nieder-Sulzbach, where the paths from Lützelstein and Lichtenberg merged to
turn their backs against the activities of the garrisons of those fortresses or
detachments of the Mosel Army. Schreiber encamped south of the village; A
company of Lascy-infantry, an officer, three officers, a trumpeter, thirty horses
from the Hussars' Regiment formed the outposts and watched the streets. On the
23rd, Hotze St. Jean des Choux arrived without being able to make the decision.
On the twenty-fourth he renewed the attack, when he was informed that a
division of the Moselle army had come to help his opponent. Soon after, their
intervention against his flank felt, and he now went into the defensive. He
maintained himself in the position near Buchsweiler with the help of
reinforcements, which Wurm sent him. Among these were the Hessian light
infantry, who arrived on the 26th at Hotze, and on the 27th replaced the two
battalions of Lasch. Thus the Hessian corps was again united under the command
of Schreiber. It occupied quarters on the road to Lützelstein, Jäger
Weiterswiller, infantry battalions Ober-, Husaren Nieder-Sulzbach.
On the extreme left wing of his
lineup, Wurm surged forward. An energetic attack brought the village of
Wanzenau, surrounded by hillsides and deep ditches, into the hands of the
prince of Waldeck. But this success could not be exploited at all, since the
above-mentioned conspiracy in Strasbourg was discovered before Wurm had been
able to make use of it by a bold hand-stroke on this fortress.
Since then, he remained on the
defensive and only operated the siege of Fort Vauban. On the French side, on
the other hand, thanks to the efforts of the Convents-Deputirten, new life came
into the war. The gaps of the armies were filled by the masses, two youthful,
energetic generals, Hoche and Pichegru, placed at the head of the armies, and
recommended a simple but appropriate plan of operation. The action of the two
armies was to lead to the separation of the Prussians and Austrians and thus to
the relief of Landau.
The siege of this fortress on the
part of the Prussians made no progress, while Fort Vauban fell into the hands
of the Austrians on the 16th of November.
As the weather had become very rough,
the Duke of Braunschweig resolved to move the winter quarters around
Kaiserslautem. In the middle of November his troops moved away. Although Wurm lost any prospect of timely
support, Wurm wanted to make his winter quarters at Hagenau and leave the front
groups at Zom.
The French leaders, however, did not
yet think of peace; On 17 November Hoche, with the 40,000 strong Moselle army,
broke up against Kaiserslautem, while the Rhine army under Pichegru attacked
the Wurmser’s outposts before he could complete the entrenchments of the main
position. The strength of the armies of the Rhine was increased to sixty
thousand men by the fact that all the men of the League, relieved of the
newly-raised men, had joined the army. The attack was directed against the
whole line of the Wurmser line, against the center and left wing only with weak
forces; An oppressive power concentrated Pichegru against Hotze.
The position of Buchsweiler was
extensively attacked by the south-east and south-west, and Hotze was able to
hold on to the evening with difficulty. At the same time strong French forces
advanced on the Lützelsteiner Strasse against the detachment clerk, a part of
which developed in the front, while the other part pushed along the mountains
north, and Ingweiler on the road to Bitsch threatened Lichtenberg. There was
only Lieutenant Volte with thirty hussars and fifty infantrymen. The light
infantry battalion was directed to the right flank to the Ingweiler Forest, and
maintained itself here, till it had to give way to the eastward. Now the
hussars and Jägers also cleared the defended positions. The corps united at
Nieder-Sulzbach, from where the tents and baggage were sent on to Pfaffenhofen
then onto Buchsweiler. At four o'clock in the morning the retreat to
Pfaffenhofen was made. The Hessian corps covered the right flank. The light
infantry battalion, Lenz, who had disappeared as a consequence of a controversy
or a misunderstood command, returned to the Corps under the protection of a
By this backward movement of Hotze,
the right flank of Wurmser was exposed, and he was compelled to retreat, though
he had repulsed against the attacks. He moved to a position south of Hagenau,
but the outposts of the Anger remained as long as they were worked on the
entrenchment, and the right wing of them was bent back to Reichshofen.
Hotze encamped with his corps at the
latter place; the Hessian detachment at Merzweiler was connected with the
Great. On the following day (20 November) the attacks on this wing were not
repeated, the troops were transferred to cantons, the Hesse to the extreme
right wing, the Jäger and Escadron Lehsten Ober-, Bataillon Lenz, and two
1) See special map: Surrounded by
The rest should not last long; As
early as the 25th, Major von Lehsten reported the advance of important forces
from Ingweiler. There were about 12,000 men, the divisions Bourcy and Ferino,
with numerous artillery, which opposed the position of Hotze. Schreiber
immediately sent his adjutant, Rittmeister Keitel, to Hotze, to report to him,
and, as the attack seemed particularly directed against the right wing, to ask
for support, especially artillery.
Hotze, who expected himself to be
attacked, refused, and so the Hessians were dependent on their own strength.
Lehsten with the Jäger Corps and his Escadron faced the enemy in front of
Oberbronn, while Schreiber, with the battalion Lenz and the other two
squadrons, as well as the two light guns of the Jäger battalion of Niederbronn,
came to the enemy.
The battle did not lead to any
decision, the French brought five heavy guns into the fire, and pushed the
Hessian back to the heights between Ober- and Niederbronn, where they remained
under the fire during the night.
The fight was renewed the next day.
In spite of Bourcy's plea, the Convents-Deputirten present demanded that he
should attack not only the right wing, but the entire front of Hotze. The
attack of the center against Reichshofen failed completely. The infantry's
assault on the left bank of the Zinz left the attack of the infantry; two
Escadrons of the Mack Currassiers rode the Weichenden, two French cavalry
regiments, eleven hussars, and two chaffeurs escadrons , Which the infantry
sought to dislodge, could not resist the impact of the Cuirassiers, Bourcy
himself fell. Fortunately, the French were against the right wing, which were
supported by no gun and no entrenchments. Step by step, the Hessians
surrendered, but they asserted themselves on the heights west of the brook
(Schwarzbach) flowing from Jägerthal to Reichshofen, which finally separated the
On the following days the attacks on
the part of the French were continued, but more and more of them began to
languish, and the allies advanced again.
On the 27th, the Hesse resumed
Niederbronn for a short time. Since the 28th, the advanced pickets succeeded in
asserting themselves on the right bank of the Schwarzbach; But they were unable
to penetrate, as some of the fortresses on the heights of Niederbronn assured
the French the preservation of the land they had won. While the outposts continued
here, the news that the French Moselle Army had attacked the Prussians at
Kaiserslautem, and had been defeated by them on the 29th, 30th, and the 1st of
December in three-day battles.
But since the Duke of Braunschweig
did not take advantage of his victory in any way, instead of pursuing it,
remaining in his position, and soon moving his troops to winter quarters, this
victory did not alter the position of the Austrian Corps. High could even send
twelve battalions of his defeated army to the reinforcement of the Rhine Army.
Again, Wurm saw himself confined to
his own strengths, and these also weakened more and more every day, while the
troops of the adversary strengthened in number as well as in moral gains.
Since the daily outpost contests did
not make any decision, Hotze decided to try to recover the lost terrain by an
attack. On the 3rd of December, at two o'clock in the morning, Schreiber
received orders to take the battery on the heights west of Reichshofen, to the
south of Niederbronn, which had often made the outpost of the Miirten very difficult.
At four o'clock in the morning, the
Infantry-Battalion Lenz, thirty Jägers, eighty hussars, the old and new field
guard (Lieutenant Bolle and Cornet of Laroche). Rittmeister Keitel with two
Escadrons Leopold Hussars, a Escadron of Kaiser-Carabiniers, two Grenadier
Companies, and three guns, including a howitzer.
The guns, on the other side of the
stream, were covered by a grenadier company, some Jägers and hussars. The other
troops crossed the stream and approached the camp, as far as this was possible.
As soon as daylight permitted the
artillerymen to recognize the encirclement of the enemy's camp, a shot of
cannon signaled the attack. In full speed, the grenadiers and Hessian
infantrymen stormed up the hill, two battalions, which were standing there in
the camp, were burst in the first attempt. The cavalry threw itself on the
right flank of the battery, which was taken immediately. One of the guns fell
to Lieutenant Bolte, the six others to the Leopold Hussars, a flag, three
ammunition wagons, an officer, and eight men of prisoners were the prey of the
The French were now resurging in
Nieder- and Oberbronn, supported by a battery standing between both places.
Schreiber had his guns raised and,
after his troops had been gathered, renewed the attack. Niederbronn was soon
vacated by the French, and Oberbronn after a short but bloody struggle. A
four-pound gun of the battery just mentioned fell into the hands of the
Hessians (Lieutenant Hausen, Battailon Lenz), the enemy was traced to
Zinsweiler. While the Austrian support troops returned with their guns to the
greater part of the Hotze-Corps, Schreiber gathered up the Jägers and hussars and
resumed the earlier position between Ober- and Niederbronn.
On the 5th, in the morning, at 11 am,
the French began a new attack with numerous artillery, which the Hessians had
to yield towards evening.
Schreiber maintained himself during
the night in Niederbronn, occupying the village with infantry, and establishing
two detachments of forty men at suitable points. The hussars bivouacked behind
the place. He successfully defeated a night attack and then quartered his
people at 4 o'clock in the village. On the following day, the French renewed
the attack, and on the order of General Hotze, who also withdrew his artillery
north of Neichshofen, Schreiber, sharply pushed by the enemy, retreated to the
position at the Schwarzbach.
A battalion of the Austrian Infantry-Regiment
Huff occupied the village of Jägerthal, thereby giving the Hessen’s support on
the right wing.
The French repeated their daily
attacks. Reinforced on the 8th by the Division of the Camponnier of the Moselle
Army, they expelled the battalion Huff from Jägerthal. Dasselbe was now ordered
to occupy a hill at Fröschweiler. Thus the Hessians again formed the right wing
of the Wurmser Corps, and were in the front and flank of the unrelenting
Even though the losses from the enemy
were generally minor, the continual struggles, the inconsistencies of the
weather which the men and horses had been subjected to during the numerous
bivouacs in the late autumn months, had greatly diminished the ranks of Hesse.
Schreiber had presented this situation to General Count Wurmser, and obtained a
replacement of his troops from their postponed post. It was not in Wurmser's
power, however, to grant any real peace. The Moselle army under Hoche had
arrived, this general appointed as chief of the Rhine army, the best means of
securing a cooporation of both French armies. The Grangeret Division had
crossed the Vosges near Buesch, and advanced on the road to Weissenburg, while
the Jacob Division, which had followed the Division of Taponnier, and had soon
joined its left wing, advanced from Niederbronn through the mountains towards
An obstacle, which stretched from
Matstall to Lembach and was occupied by Count Lichtenberg with three battalions
of Darmstadt and six guns, was to block both roads.
Since the troops assigned to it were
unable to cope with this task, Colonel-Schreiber was ordered to march there and
strengthen the post. In the night of the 10th to the 11th he arrived at
Matstall, where he was quartered. The hussars took no part in the obstinate
struggles which, on the 13th, 14th, and 15th, especially the position of
Lembach, relieved the terrain, which was unfavorable to their use. On the 15th,
Prussian troops unexpectedly arrived, whom the Duke of Braunschweig himself had
brought. With the aid of these, the Hessians maintained themselves until the
19th, when they were completely relieved of Prussian troops.
The Duke of Brunswick, when he
recognized the opponent's intention to separate the two armies, was himself
stripped to make a joint operation. Prussian troops, as we have said, broke the
detachments of the Wurmser corps, a common attack was resolved, but not
executed. The rain, which served as a pretext for the hosts to stop the planned
advance, did not prevent the French from attacking the Austrians vigorously.
From the 18th to the 22nd, according
to a report by the Prussian General Staff Capitain of Camptz nothing abnormal
happened. It is only in the case of the campaign which now appears that nothing
happened, that no troops were called upon to prevent the invasion of the army
by the French.
On the 22nd, after the last columns
of the Moselle army, of which only one division had been left opposite Prussia,
arrived at Reichshofen, the decisive blow of the French troops against the
troops of Hotze took place.
Fröschweiler and Wörth were torn
away, and in the night he also cleared the last position, which blocked the
French from the way to Weißenburg. Thus, the flank of Wurmser was exposed. It
was with difficulty that the Austrian column succeeded in defending Whiteburg
before the enemy occupied it. The Allies' advance, arranged for the 26th, was
also given up to the announcement of the appearance of hostile forces in the
Annweiler Valley. Instead, Hoche attacked. After a bloody defensive battle,
Wurmser left the Weißenburger Lines and gave way to the position of
Freckenfeld. Now the hope of a happy twist had vanished among the two leaders;
In spite of all the objections of the Duke, Wurmser led his corps, which, since
18 November, had thirteen generals, 4032 men, 1054 horses dead, missing and
lost, but also still
Inclusive Blessirte had an emergency reinforcement of 14,515 men, back across the
The Duke of Brunswick lifted up the
blockade of Landau and moved to winter quarters between Worms and Bingen.
The Hessians had no longer
participated in the last act of this drama. According to the numerous reports
by Schreiber on the bad condition of the Corps, the Landgraf had urgently
demanded the return, and Wurmser, after consultations from of the Duke of
Braunschweig, finally relented.
After their detachment on the 19th,
the Hussars had been situated in Pfaffenbronn, but the infantry still occupied
the post at the Kuhbrücke near Lembach until the 21st.
Colonel Schreiber had gone ill to
Sulz near Weissenburg on the 19th, Colonel-Lieutenant Prinz Solms-Braunfels had
taken over the leadership of the regiment and corps.
On the 21st the Corps moved to
Altenstadt near Weissenburg; On the 22nd to Neuburg am Rhine, followed by a
long train of wagons, on which the sick and wounded who had so far been
stationed in Weißenburg; On the 23rd across the Rhine to Bulach and Beiertheim,
immediately south of Carlsruhe, where they remained for the time being.
The losses of the regiment in the
years 1792 and 1793 to the dead and disabled were:
Fallen: Rittmeister Resius (1793),
Lieutenant von Starckloff (1792), two Unterofficiers, eleven men.
Died: a unterofficier, a trumpeter,
Wounded: Cornet Bolte (1793), one
sergeant, two noncommissioned officers , six men.