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1704.

gth from thence to Axheim ; and, at the same time, prince Lewis went another way, and bent his march directly to Newberg, in order to invest Ignoldstadt. The same day, the duke of Marlborough received advice, that the enemy had paffed part of their army over the Danube, at Lewingen: Whereupon he ordered general Churchill to march with a strong detachment over that river at Schonevelt; to reinforce prince Eugene, who lay encamped at Donawert. The 10th, they marched to Schonevelt; and, the day following, intelligence was brought, that the enemy's troops had all got over the Danube ; so that the duke of Marlborough immediately ordered his army to march by break of day, and pass that river likewise ; which was performed accordingly, and, at night, the whole army, being rejoined, incamped at Munster. On the 12th, very early in the morning, the generals of the allies went to view the enemy's army, taking with them all the picquet guard, which consisted of twenty-eight squadrons. The duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene went up to the top of a tower called Thiffingen, that they might the better observe the posture of the enemy; and they took notice, that their advanced squadrons, which were in motion towards the allies, stopped short, after they had perceived them. They were poslefsed of a very advantageous poft, on a hill near Hochstet (a), their right Aank being covered by the Danube, and the village of Blenheim (b), and the left by the village of Lutzengen; and they had a rivulet before them, whose banks were very high, and the bottom marshy. However, after some consultation, it was thought proper to fall upon the enerny, before they had time to fortify themselves in that poft. The duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene faw

the

(a) Hochftet is a pretty large west-by-south of Donawert. town in Germany, in the circle (b) Blenheim (alias Plenof Suabia, rendered famous to theym) a village in Germany all pofterity by the glorious in the circle of Bavaria, upon victory obtained in its neigh- the confines of Suabia. It stands bourhood over the joint forces on the north-side of the Danube, of France and Bavaria, by the and has, on the north-east fide Englith, Dutch, and imperial of it a very small rivulet cal. arms, under the conduct of the led the Meal Weyer. It is three duke of Marlborough and miles almost east from Hochftet, prince Eugene of Savoy. It lies nine weft-south-west from Doupon the Danube on the north- nawert, thirty north-east from fide, twenty nine miles south- Ulm, and thirty one north-west wek of Ulm, and ten miles from Augsburg.

1704. the danger of being forced to lie idle in their own camp,

till their forage Mould be consumed, and their provisions spent. They had also intercepted letters from marshal Villeroy to the elector of Bavaria, by which it appeared,' that he had orders to march into Wirtemberg, to destroy that country, and to cut off the communication with the Rhine, which must have been fatal to the allies. The necesfary dispositions were therefore made for the next morning's action. Many of the general officers came and represented to the duke of Marlborough the difficulties of the design ; he answered, that he saw these well, but the thing was absolutely necessary; so they were sent to give orders every where, which were received all over the army with an alacrity that gave a happy presage of the success which

followed. Battle of . On the 13th of August, a day which decided the elector's Hochstet. fate by the loss of all his country, early in the morning, the Brodrick, whole confederate army marched from Munster, leaving

their tents standing; and the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene, having posted themselves on a riling ground, summoned all the general officers, to give them the necefsary directions, in order to attack the enemy; upon which, the army advanced to the plain, and were drawn up in order of battle. About nine o'clock, the enemy fired some cannon upon our troops, as they were marching to form the line, who were answered from our batteries with good fuccess; and both armies continued cannonading each other till near one; during which time, the duke of Marlborough ordered a little rivulet and morass in the front of the enemy to be sounded; and, where it was found impassable, orders were given to the horse of the second line of the allies to provide themselves, each squadron with twenty fascines, to facilitate the passage. These preparations being made, the duke of Marlborough gave orders for a general attack, which was begun about one o'clockPrince Eugene and the imperial general officers were on the right : general Churchill, the lord Cutts, lieutenant-general Lumley, the lord Orkney, and lieutenant-general Ignoldiby, with the rest of the English and Dutch generals, were on the left; and the duke of Marlborough in the center commanded the whole. Majorgeneral Wilks made the first onset, with five English battalions of Howe, Ignoldsby, Marlborough, Rowe, and North and Grey, and four battalions of Hessians, supported by the lord Cutts, and major-general St. Paul, with eleven other battalions, and fifteen squadrons of horse, under the

com.

command of major general Wood. The five English bat. 1704. talions, led on by brigadier Rowe, who charged on foot ur at the head of his own regiment with unparalleled intrepidity, assaulted the village of Blenheim, advancing to the very muzzels of the enemy's muskets, and some of the officers exchanging thrusts of swords with the French thro' the palisadoes. But, being exposed to a fire much superior to their own, they were soon obliged to retire, leaving behind them one third part of their men either killed or mortally wounded, the brigadier who commanded them, being among the last. In this retreat, they were pursued by thirteen squadrons of the French gendarmerie and carabineers, who would have intirely cut them to pieces, had not the Hessian infantry stopped their career, by the great fire they made upon them. The French being repulled, and forced to fly in their turn, were chaced by five squadrons of English horse, who, by this time had passed the rivulet; but whilst the enemy rallied themselves, fome fresh brigades, superior in number, came to their assistance, charged the assailants with great vigour, and obliged many of them to repass the rivulet with great precipitation. Here again the Hessian foot performed signal service, putting the French to the rout by their continual fire, and regaining the colours, which they had taken from Rowe's regiment.

While Rowe's brigade rallied themselves, that of Ferguson, commanded by himself, attacked the village of Blenheim, on the left, but with no bette: success; and, though both returned three or four times to the charge with equal vigour, yet they were both still repulsed with like disadvantage, so that it was found impoflible to force the enemy in that post, without intirely facrificing the confederate infantry.

The English foot having thus begun the engagement on the left, the horse of the same wing passed the rivulet, with great bravery, over against the center or main battalia of the enemy; as did likewise that of the right wing, having made several passages with divers pieces of wood. After which they drew up in order of battle, the French and Bavarians giving them all the time that could be desired for that purpose, keeping themselves very quiet on the hills, which they were pofleffed of, without descending into the meadows towards the rivulet, so that even the second line, of the horse had time to form themselves : And to this capital fault of the French, the confederates were thought to have owed principally their victory. This neglect is laid to

1704. have proceeded from an ill-timed haughtiness and presump

tion of marshal de Tallard, who, being informed that the
allies were laying bridges on the rivulet, used this expres-
fion, “ If they have not bridges enough, I will lend them
« some;" and when they told him that our troops were
actually coming over the rivulet, he is reported to have said,
« Let them pass; the more comes over, the more we shall
“ have to kill and make prisoners.” But, on the other hand,
it is alledged by some that he had given positive orders not
to let the enemy pass the rivulet, but to charge them as they
passed; which orders were not executed (a).

At

(a) Monsieur de Fequieres in nor could they have drawn any his memoirs observes, that the fupplies of men from Germany. loss of that battle was owing to The French ought therefore to the inattention of the French have avoided this battle, since generals to those maxims of they could have maintained war, which ought to guide men, their situation, if they had only when they consider, whether compelled the English and they have sufficient reasons Dutch, either to withdraw from either to give or receive battle, that country, or intirely to difor whether they can derive, continue the war in Flanders. from the particular disposition The elector of Bavaria was of their troops, any reasonable master of the whole course of hopes of defeating the enemy. the Danube, almost from its In examining this subject, the source to the frontiers of Aumarquis points out first the er. Atria, into which he could penerors, that were committed with trate when he pleased ; and reference to the general state of therefore the emperor, whose the war in Germany previous attention was then employed to the battle, and then those by the malecontents in Hunerrors, which appeared in the gary, was likewise obliged to particular disposition of the have a watchful eye on Austria French army. * With regard to and Tirol, as well for the prethe first point, he aflerts, that it fervation of these provinces, as was absolutely improper at that the security of a free comtime, to trust the decision of the munication with his army in war in Germany to the event of Italy. a fingle battle ; and this truth The bridges, which the clecwas the less doubtful, because tor of Bavaria had on the Da. it appeared that the English nube, opened to him a free and Dutch had almost abandon- communication with the Uped the war in Flanders in that per-Palatinate. The emperor campaign, to make a decisive consequently must be always effort in Germany, without apprehensive, that he would which the emperor could no pour a body of troops into Bo. longer have fupported himself,' hemia, where the people were

At length the duke's cavalry moving towards the hill, that of marshal de Tallard came down, and charged them

with

1704.

exceeding exasperated at the fe- provisions were fill lodged ei-
verity of the imperial govern- ther in Nuremberg or Norlin-
ment, and where their fears gen, they durst not venture to
were the only motives to their quit Franconia and Suabia, to
fubmiffon : which made it like advance into Bavaria. This ob.
wile necessary for the emperor vious reflection was alone suffi.
to maintain a body of troops to cient to convince the French
cover Bohemia and Moravia. generals, that their inducements
Nuremberg, an imperial city, to engage the enemy could not
and almoit in the heart of the possibly have any weight, but
empire, being the most con- that it was rather their interest
fiderable city in all the circle of to decline a general action, ef-
Franconia, it was incumbent on pecially as this cautious conduct
the emperor to preserve it in thc would infallibly have obliged
interest of the confederates, left the allies to abandon the parts
the elector of Bavaria should adjacent to the Danube, when
make himself mafter of it, as they had consumed all the fo-
he had already seized Ulm and rage near that river.
Augsberg. Nuremberg there Marshal de Villeroy was
fore could not be prelerved by pofted with a confiderable army
the protection of the confederate before the lines of Biel, which
army, which consequently could prince Eugene had quitted, with
not withdraw to any great di- the greatest part of his regular
ftance from that city, whose pre- troops, and unperceived by that
servation was of the more im- general. The conjunction of
portance to the emperor, since this prince with the duke of
the loss of it would deprive him Marlborough, was generally
of all communication with his known; and marshal de Ville-
dominions on the Rhine, except roy might have waked from his
thro' the country on the other inactivity, and forced the lines,
fide of the Mein, which the fi- which were only guarded by an
tuation of Nuremberg would inconsiderable body of milicia ;
have rendered altogether im- and might afterward have ad-
pra&ticable. It was likewise e. vanced with his army through
vident that the confederate ar- the duchy of Wirtemberg, to
my could not retreat to any con- the Neckar, which would have
liderable distance from a city, rendered the allies incapable of
where all their ammunition and preserving their communication
provifions were deposited. The with the Lower-Neckar for the
allies indeed by forcing the pass security of their provisions, which
at Schellenberg, and taking were corveved to Norlingen,
Donawert, had obtained a bridge from the Rhine and the Mein.
over the Danube, and separated And thus would this single mo-
the fortified places of the French tion have limited the supply of
on the upper Danube, from the provifions of the allies to
those on the Lower. But, as their Nuremberg, and consequently

they

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