« PreviousContinue »
1704. with a great deal of fury; the French infantry, which were posted at Blenheim, making at the same time a terrible fire
they could never think it safe to have left them a sufficient extent be remote from that city. of ground to form their troops
Marshal de Villeroy might between the rivulet and the front even have compelled the allies of the French line. to retire, in part, to the Rhine, 4. They neglected to advance and leave the elector of Bavaria their right and center upon the to act with freedom in the heart allies, when they saw they had of Germany, if that general had pasied the rivulet, and formed forced the lines of Biel, and then themselves on the front of the marched his army down the French Rhine near Philipsburg For this s. They had not the precaumotion alone would have obli- iion to take a ftri&t view of the ged the enemy to separate, in rivulet, when they arrived at order to protect Philipsburg, and their canıp; and were so inconthe Lower-Neckar. This march fiderate, as not to post a body might likewise have been effec- of infantry along the bank for ted without the leait danger, the security of their camp, and because, when the lines had to gain intelligence of the mo. once been forced, marshal de tions of the allies. Villeroy might have thrown a 6. They were so injudicious. bridge over the Rhine, in case as to form their center of battle the allies had approached him out of the right and left wings with all their forces; and, if of their two armies, instead of they had attempted that motion, providing a formidable center they would have abandoned Au- of infantry. ftria, and even the city of Vic . They shut up the greatest enna, to the elector of Bavaria. and best part of marshal de Tal
These were the errors com- lard's infantry in the village of mitted with respect to the gene. Blenheim, where they were ral state of the war in Germany: pofted without the leait order, the rest related to the particular and rendered incapable of formdisposition and order of battle, ing any morion ; and they had and were as follow :
not even the least precaution to 1. The French and Bavari. secure a communication from ans incamped their two armies, one brigade or regiment to as if they were to engage sepa. another. rately.
8. They did not survey the 2. They disposed them on the ground, which extended from day of battle, in the orderof their their right to the rivulet and the incampment, and only in the Danube, and they posted drafront of the camp.
goons there instead of infantry. 3. They did not chuse their 9. When they arrived at their field of battle so near the rivulet camp, they neglected to detach as would have prevented the a body of cavalry, beyond the allies from passing it, and not left of their armies, to observe
from behind some hedges on their fank, which were ad- 1904. vanced too near that village, so that the first line was put u into such disorder, that part of them retired beyond the ri
the situation of the camp of the was taken prisoner, and the allies, which they were unac- center of the French army inquainted with to such a degree, tirely thrown into disorder, not as not to know that prince Eu- one of the general officers of the gene had joined the duke of marshal's army made the least Marlborough with his army; endeavour to draw the infantry and they imagined, that the from Blenheim, while they had prince of Baden was engaged an opportunity of affording them with a considerable body of that relief, by marching them troops at the fiege of Ingoldstadt. along the Danube, till they had
10. After the first disorder in rejoined their cavalry ; but, on their grand center of cavalry, the contrary, those who were and after they had shrunk from charged, in particular, with the their ground, till they formed a command of the body of infanconfused line with the infantry, try, either intirely abandoned who were embarrassed in the them, even before they were atvillage of Blenheim, the elector tacked, when they saw the ca. of Bavaria's army did not close valry defeated, and plunging on their right, to form an at- themselves into the Danube, in tack in flank upon the enemy, hopes of swimming to the other who had advanced beyond the side ; or else they continued in interval of ground, that extend the village without daring to 'ed between the two villages. leave it, and were even so defti. Had they disposed themselves tute of thought, as not to attempt into this motion, they might any communication between the either have sustained or drawn battalions. In short, they seemed off the French infantry from to continue there with no other Blenheim, and have given their view than to charge themselves cavalry, who had been disor with the despicable province of dered by the fire of the enemy's making a brave set of battalions foot, an opportunity of rallying lay down their arms with relucin order of battle. But, intiead tance, and of surrendering to of this obvious motion, that the enemy twenty-leven battali whole army was only attentive ons and twelve squadrons of the on their retreat to Ulm; and best troops of France; which they abandoned marshal de Tal. was so infamous an action, that lard's infantry, while the cavalry it would scarce be credited by of that gencral's army never at- posterity, especially when it is temped to recover their proper informed, that, except one bri. order, or make any effort to gadier of foot, who was broke, disengage their infantry, when all the other authors or spectathey saw the elector's army re- tors of this contemptible timidity treat from the field of battle. were rewarded and advanced to
1. When marshal de Tallard stations of dignity. VOL. XVI.
Fal Bulawo bring Zell, which broke their weyer, and This of this so much cecond vides of the
beyond theich vigour, that which charge of dragoons, tandinen
1704. vuiet. Upon this, the duke gave orders to lieutenant-gene
ral Bulaw, commander in chief of the troops of Lunenburgh, to bring up his own regiment of dragoons, and cwo of the troops of Zell, which charged the enemy's horse with so much vigour, that they broke thein, and drove them beyond the second rivulet, called Meul Weyer, and froin thence to the very hedges of the village of Blenheim. This gave time to those, who had given ground, to repass the rivulet, and to form a second line behind those regiments of dragoons, and some others, that had joined them, so that thole dragoons remained in the first line during the rest of the action.
The cavalry of the confederates left wing, having by this succcis gained the advantage of forming themselves intirely in order of battle, advanced leisurely to the top of the hill, and several times charged the enemy's horse, who were always routed, but who, nevertheless, rallied every time, though at a considerable distance, and thereby gave the allies an opportunity of gaining ground. As the duke of Marlborough, who was now in person among them, was preparing a fresh attack, marshal de Tallard caused ten of his battalions to advance, to fill up the intervals of his cavalry, in order to make a last effort; which, the duke percciving, caused three battalions of the troops of Zell to come up and sustain the Horse. Then the prince of Heffe Caffel, general of the horse, and the lieutenantgenerals Lumley, Bulaw, Hompesch, and Ingoldsby, returned with their troops to the charge ; but the fuperior fire of the enemy's infantry put their first line into fome disorder, so that it shrunk back, and ren::ined, for some time, at about fixty paces distant from the enemy, neither party advancing against the other. At length, the confederates pushed forwards with so much bravery and success, that, having broke and routed the enemy's horle, the ten battalions, who found themselves abandoned by them, were cut to pieces, none escaping, but a very few foldiers, who threw theinfelves on the ground, as dead, to fave their lives.
Marshal de Tallard rallied his broken cavalry behind fome tents, which were still standing in his camp ; and, feeing things in this desperate condition, resolved to draw off his dragoons and infantry out of the village of Blenheim. He thereupon sent one of his aids-de-camp to marthal de Marsin, who, with the elector of Bavaria, commanded on the left, to desire him, “ to face the enemy “ with some troops on the right of the village of Oberklau, 1904. “ to keep them in play, and favour the retreat of the in“ fantry, that was in Blenheim.” But marshal de Marfin represented to the messenger, " That he had too much bu“ finess in the front of the village, where he was posted, " and where he had to deal with the duke of Marlborough, “ who was come to the allistance of prince Eugene, as “ well as in the rest of the line, to spare any troops ; since “ he was so far from being victorious, that all he could do " was to maintain his ground.”
In the mean time, Ingoldshy made the other generals of the fame attack sensible, how eafily they might intirely defeat the French cavalry, by charging them on the right flank. This advice being put into execution with a great deal of vigour, the enemy were soon thrown into disorder, and put to flight, part of them endeavouring to gain the bridge, which they had over the Danube, between Blenheim and Hochstet; and the other part, among whom were the Gens d'Armes, were closely pursued by the Lunenburgh dragoons, and those, who escaped the slaughter, threw themselves into the Danube, where most of them were drowned. Those, who fled towards Hochstet, rallied once more, making a shew to succour the rest ; but the fame regiment of Bothmar faced them, and kept them in awe for some time, till it was joined by some other regiments, when the enemy made the best of their way to save themselves by flight.
The marshal de Tallard was surrounded by the fugitives, and taken near a mill, behind the village of Sonderen, not far from the Danube, by monsieur de Boinenburg, a lieutenant-colonel of the troops of Heffe, aid-de-camp to the prince of Helle-Caffel. The marquis de Montperoux, general of horfe; de Seppevile, de Silly, and de la Valiere, major-generals; monsieur de la Memiliere, St. Pouange, de Legondais, and several other officers of note, were likewise made prisoners in this defeat.
While these things pafled at the village of Blenheim, and in the center, the duke of Marlborough caused the village of Oberklau, which was maríhal de Marsın's quarters, to be attacked by the brigade of Berensdorit, confisting of ten battalions. The prince of Holstein-Beck, who con manded them as major-general, passed the rivulet at the head o to battalions, with undaunted resolution. But as the imperial cavalry, which was to have supported him, were w27:25:a their duty, and kept musket-thot from him, be 23 icar
1704.' got over, when seven or eight of the enemy's battalions fell
upon hiin with great fury, before he could form his two battalions ; so that one of them, that of Goor, was almost intirely cut to pieces, and the prince himself desperately wounded and taken prisoner. But, notwithstanding this first shock, these battalions were no sooner supported by fome Danish and Hanoverian cavalry, than they charged å fecond time, but with no better success; till, upon the third charge, the duke of Marlborough having himself brought up some squadrons, which were supported by others of the body of reserve, made them advance with some battalions beyond the rivulet; upon which the enemy began to retire.
As soon as the duke had performed this considerable service, he repaired to the center, where, finding the action decided in favour of the confederates, he caused part of his victorious cavalry to halt, to observe the motions of that part of the enemy, which, by this time, was drawn up beyond the morass of Hochstet. During this hait, the elector of Bavaria, whom prince Eugene could make no impression upon for some time, but whose bravery at last put that elector's troops to the rout, was perceived making his retreat from the village of Lutzingen. Upon which, orders were dispatched to the baron de Hompesch (who with several squadrons was pursuing the fugitives towards Morselingen, and who had already overtaken and forced two of their battalions to lay down their arms) to face about, and march to join those who halted, as well to prevent the elector's falling upon Hompeich's rear, as to form a body, in order to charge that prince, who marched in great hafte, but in pretty good order, with his fquadrons on the left, and his battalions on the right. But, before general Hompesch returned from his chace, the right wing of the confederate army was perceived at icine duance behind the elector ; and, appearing to be part of his army marching in such a manner, as might eatily have funked them, had the duke immediately charged him, dhe duke, with great prudence, sent out a party to view them. During this time, the ele&or continued marching off with great precipitation, till he reached the morafs of lortelirgin.
The French horfe berg entirely defeated, and the confede atas masters of all the ground, which was between the enemi's lett and the vil re of Blenheim, the twenty-eight bizituants and twce kuadrons of dragoons, which were in tje v e found then leses cui ci from the rest of their , w ing of beir able to make their eicape,