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Gottingen. But if he watched the prince, the prince alfo watched him. When, therefore, he had orders to quit this poft, that he might cooperate in the grand defign, he left a small party of his corps in his ftation, by which he deceived the prince of Saxony; and marching in the night with the utmoffpeed, he croffed the Wefer, turned the right of the French army, and, without being difcovered, placed himself upon their rear. General Sporken at the fame time placed himself fo as to attack the fame wing in flank. Prince Ferdinand croffed the Dymel, in order to fall upon their center. The attack on the enemy's left was commanded by lord Granby.
Thefe preparations were made with fo much judgment, celerity, and good order, that the French had not perceived the approach of the allies, when they found themselves attacked with June 24. infinite impetuofity in front, flank, and rear. The battle was scarcely begun, when they thought of nothing but flight. The corps under monfieur de Caftries had time to retreat in tolerable order, and without any great lofs. But it did not fare fo well with their center, and their left, which were oppofed by the calm refolution of prince Ferdinand, and the generous courage of Granby.
As the French placed all their hopes rather in retreat than combat, an entire rout must have enfued, if monfieur Stainville, who commanded on the left, had not thrown himself with the flower of the French infantry into a wood, which enabled him, at the expence of the best part of it, to cover the retreat of the army. Here this brave and accomplished officer made
a refolute stand, and for a long time sustained the whole weight of the allies. His corps was a devoted facrifice. All but two battalions were cut to pieces or made prifoners. The other bodies, covered by this refolute manœuvre, made a fhift to fhelter themselves under the cannon of Caffel, or precipitately escaped to the other fide of the Fulda.
Thus did the French army, by the virtue of monfieur de Stainville, escape a total defeat; but the confequences of the action were not recovered during the whole campaign. They loft much credit both in point of refolution and generalfhip. Their infantry, in this engagement, confifted of one hundred battalions, when that of the allies was compofed but of fixty. The common men made prisoners by the allies, on this occafion, were two thousand seven hundred and fifty, and no less than one hundred and fixty-two officers were taken. The English loft but a few men killed, and no officer of rank but lieutenant-colonel Townshend §, who fell with great glory to himself, and to the regret of the whole army.
were unable to provide against unexpected accidents) to push forward a body of the English under lord Granby and lord Frederick Cavendiflı. The French could scarcely imagine, that, whilft they were in poffeffion of fo ftrong a place as Caffel, and commanded an army fo fuperior in numbers to the allies, that, whilft prince Ferdinand braved them in front, they should find one of his detachments upwards of thirty miles behind them. In this emergency, monfieur de Rochambeau perceiving their motions, haftily collected fome brigades of infantry and cavalry at Hombourg, to prevent, if pofJuly 6. fible, the communication of the grand army with Francfort from being cut off. But they were charged with fo much vigour by the two English commanders, that, though they defended themselves with fpirit for fome time, they were in the iffue difperfed with confiderable lofs. They were obliged to evacuate that tract of country. Fritzlar, Feltzberg, and Lohr, and almost all the important pofts in the fouth part of Heffe were occupied by the allies. The communication with Francfort, from whence the French drew their whole fubfiftence, was abfolutely intercepted.
To the north of Heffe also the allies were not lefs active, nor lefs fuccefsful they obliged prince Xavier, with his Saxon detachments, to abandon his advanced poft on the Leine, and unite himfelf to the grand army. They got between him and Gottingen, by
This col. Townshend was fecond fon to the hon. Thomas Townshend, Efq; He had diftinguished himself on feveral occafions. At Gaudaloupe he was pushed overboard in the landing of the troops, but his black faved his life by jumping after him. In the last campaign in Germany, he was hot through the arm, and in this engagement he loft his life, feeking the poft of honour that his duty did not require.
which the French garrison there was left without fupport. This garrifon, feeing its communication interrupted, blew up a part of the fortifications, and attempted a retreat; but finding no avenue open, they were obliged to return in confufion. Defpairing of their ability to hold this important place, they thought themselves happy, when at length, with much management and difficulty, they were Aug. 16. able to evacuate it without oppofition.
Prince Xavier, after having, as we faid before, quitted his advanced fituation at Morungen in the territories of Hanover, united himself to the right of the principal army, which was pofted to the eastward of the Fulda, not far from the place where that river forms an angle in its junction with the Werra. In this angle ftands the town of Munden, a fortified place, in which the French had a garrifon. Full of confidence from this fituation, they were under no apprehenfions but the generals Zaftrow, Gilfac, aud WaldJuly 23. haufen, paffed the Fulda in their fight, and under a heavy fire of their cannon. The corps of the two former officers poffeffed themselves of a wood on the enemy's right flank. General Waldhaufen, in the mean time, had seized the village of Bonnevert, which enabled him to keep the garrifon of Munden in check, and gave him alfo an opportunity, whenever the occafion required it, of falling on the enemy's rear.
his flank gained, he began to give way. In this inftant Waldhaufen, who had hitherto only watched the iffue of the engagement, threw in his horfe upon their rear, and compleated the defeat.
The bold paffage of the Fulda, and the judgment of the fubfequent difpofitions, infured the victory. Prince Xavier, for a good while, defended himfelf with an obftinate refolution; but finding
General Stainville, who occupied a strong intrenched camp in the neighbourhood, feeing the party of the prince of Saxony in danger of being totally cut to pieces, quitted his intrenchments with his whole army, of ten thousand men, and haftened to their relief. Prince Frederick of Brunswick, attentive to this movement, with great quicknefs feized this critical opportunity, entered their camp the moment they had left it, and entirely deftroyed all their works. In this action eleven hundred of the enemy were made prisoners.
The French finding their communication deftroyed, their army furrounded and harrassed on every fide, and without intermiffion, were neither able to advance with a profpect of fuccefs, or to retreat with any hope of fafety. In this diftress they had nothing left but to call their army from the Lower Rhine to their affiftance. No time was to be loft. Express after express was fent to haften them. In confequence of thefe dispatches, the prince of Condé advanced by forced marches; the hereditary prince stuck close to him, and kept himself in readinefs to fall upon his corps, when a favourable opportunity should offer.
In the mean time prince Ferdinand preffed upon Soubife's army. Advantageously as they were fituated, he offered them battle for a whole day. Rather than rifque an engagement they decamped in the night, and quitted, without an action, thofe advantageous grounds called the heights of Mulfingen,
where they could not be attempted without the greatest difficulty and hazard; and the quitting of which gave prince Ferdinand the most important advantages over them.
Never were military operations pushed with more vivacity, whilft the negotiation for peace was in great forwardness. The two great contending courts had opened conferences, whilft their armies were cutting one another in pieces: but prince Ferdinand, on that account, rather ftrained than flackened his efforts. He knew that the negotiation for peace is always much for
warded by the operations of the campaign, and that a fuccessful action often haftens the decifion of a contested article. Perhaps too he was willing to fhew in England, that the neceffity of making peace ought not to be attributed to the circumftances of that part of the war which had been committed to his care. People imagined they could difcern fomething like coldnefs towards this great commander in the new British miniftry; and that he, on his fide, feemed rather to favour that party in England which was for prolonging the war.
War in Portugal. Plan of the campaign. Miranda, Braganza, and Chaves taken. Almeida befieged and taken. Count of La Lippe arrives in Portugal. Surprise of Valentia d' Alcantara, by general Burgoyne. Affair of Villa Velha. Spaniards retire.
T HE events of the war in Germany, tho' its object was not more interefting than that in Portugal, feem to rank far before the actions of the latter in dignity and importance. They naturally occupy the first place, and juftify a more minute detail in an hiftory of military operations. It is in Germany that the great efforts of all the great powers in Europe were made from the beginning. Here the most confiderable armies were maintained; here the great battles were fought; and on this theatre the great commanders gave a full fcope to their genius. Germany feems, as it were, the natural foil of hoftility; but Portugal, which had long languished in a tranquil obfcurity, could scarce furnish out a faint image of war.
Of the ftate of the military in that country we have fpoken in a preceding chapter. The marine was not on a much more refpectable
footing. About fix or seven ships of the line, and a very few frigates, compofed all the naval force of Portugal that was fit for fervice; of that Portugal which had formerly been one of the firft maritime powers in Europe. The fortifications in that kingdom had been alfo long neglected, and scarce any of them were in a condition to fuftain a regular fiege.
Portugal, however, poffeffed fome advantages; but they were only fuch as the derived from her weaknefs. The extreme barrenness and poverty of the country, made it very difficult for an army, either of friends or enemies, to fubfift in it. The badnefs of the roads, and the frequency and steepness of the mountains, which occupy the greatest part of that kingdom, made it no lefs difficult to advance with rapid marches, and to improve the advantages of the campaign with proper
per expedition. The nature of the country alfo rendered it more at for that fpecies of defence, which the best force it had was beft qualified to make; that is, in the way of an irregular war, by its armed peafantry; for the defiles in many places are of fuch a nature, as to be capable of being maintained by a fmall and undifciplined body, against very numerous and very regular forces. And the Portuguese, from the highest to the loweft, were animated with fuch a fincere and inveterate hatred to the Spanish name, and were filled with fo much terror at the profpect of falling fecond time under the government of that nation, that great hopes were entertained of their exerting themselves to the utmost on this occafion, and of their roufing that natural courage in which the Portuguese are not deficient.
Thefe advantages, however, did by no means ballance the dangers to which that kingdom was expofed, from the joint hoftility of France and Spain. All the hope of Portugal was centered in England, for whofe fake, and in whofe quarrel she had been drawn into this unequal contest. The greater the weakness of Portugal was, the more confpicuous were the magnanimity and refources of Great Britain, who made, in the close of fo expenfive and ruinous a war, fuch astonishing efforts, and who was in a condition by her ftrength to prop up, at least for a time, fo very feeble a fyftem. She fent to Portugal, officers, troops, artillery, arms, military stores, provisions, and money, every thing which could enable the Portuguese to exert their natural ftrength, and every thing which could fupply that ftrength where it t was deficient.
When the Bourbon courts made war against Portugal, the declared object was to prevent Great Britain from the military and commercial use of the ports of that kingdom. As it was impoffible to attain this object by naval operations, they attempted it by military ones, and aimed their principal endeavours at the two great ports, to which the English principally refort, Oporto and Lif bon. The poffeffion of these two objects would probably have finished the war in their favour; the poffeffion of either of them would have given them the most decifive advantages in it. With this view three inroads were to be made, one to the north, another was propofed more to the fouth, whilst the third was made in the middle provinces, in order to fuftain thefe two bodies, and preferve the communication between them. The reader must confider this, as what appears from their defigns, and from the steps they took to execute them, to have been their general plan; not that it was ever perfectly executed in all its parts, or at the fame time.
The first body which commenced hoftilities was commanded by the marquis de Sarria. This army entered into the north-east angle of Portugal, and marched towards Miranda. This town, though in no good state of defence, might have delayed them in their progrefs; but a powder magazine having blown up by accident, the fortifications were ruined, and the Spaniards, before they had raised their first battery, marched May 9. into the town by the breaches in the wall.
Animated by this eafy and fortu mate fuccefs, they proceeded to Braganza, a confiderable city, from whence the royal family of Portugal derived