« AnteriorContinuar »
the adjacent villages, the duke of Marlborough fignified to 1709. the marshals Bounters and Villars, that thoie persons might have leave to retire upon their parole, to return when they were cured; and that he would send lieutenant Cadogan with two hundred horse to Bavay, to make an agreement about that matter, with any general they would send with the like number of men. The enemy accepted this proposal, and they ordered the chevalier de Luxemburg to meet general Cadogan at Bavay, in order to concert every thing for the relief of the wounded, and burying of the dead.
The French, being retired to Valenciennes, left the con- Mons befederate generals at liberty to befiege Mons (b) the capital fieged and
. of Hainault, and the place, for the preservation of which
men, who had been continually marching for seven days together, were not very fit to
fight without. Besides, the • troops they stayed for were not
a few; and there was a great
number of officers with them. 6 And it is most ridiculous to • fancy troops were not worth
staying for, because they did • not engage. At that rate all
Corps de Reserve are very « foolish and unnecessary things. • Might there not have been oc• casion for troops, because there
was not ? or is it no encourage« ment to men, that do engage, ( to know there are others rea
dy to fustain them upon occcasion ? but it is endless to ar
gue with the real or affected ignorance of these men. It is no great compliment to our generals to suppose they under• stand their business ; and we
ought always to presume they
concert their matters well, un< less we are sure of the contiary; which
we may easily be• lieve, neither these writers, nor • their masters, are in the case • before us, since they were nei• ther at the consultations of the
generals themselves, nor pre• tend to any correspondence ( with those that were. And • therefore to insinuate, that they
did not consider things so ma• turely as they hould have • done, is extreme impudence. • Those unequal fortresses in• deed, which the enemy had • thrown up, were, I have heard,
more and greater than they
were thought to be. Our ge• nerals knew they were
trenching, but neither believ-
was necessary. But this served
takes, were giving in writing,
the folly and malice of this
most profligate libcller, and • the rest of his companions.'
(b) Mons, a very large, fine,
the enemy had hazarded the late battle. In this city the La elector of Bavaria had lately kept his fugitive court, and
from thence the count Berghieck and the duke of Alva
place, as his highness would please to appoint. The
both armies retiring into winter-quarters. Campaign The confederate arms were not this year attended with the inconfidera.
fame success every where as in Flanders. Little was expectble. ed on the Rhine. The Germans were so weak, so ill fur
nished, and so ill paid, that it was not easy for the court of
nine south of Ghent, forty-eight
on the Rhine
there followed a very sharp engagement on the 26th of Au- 1709. gust, N. S. Two thousand men were reckoned to be killed on each side ; but, though the loss of men was thought equal, yet the design miscarried, and the Germans were obliged to repass the Rhine, and retire to Friburg. The Germans having passed through the territories of Basil, in order to make their intended irruption into the territories of France, the French ambassador in Switzerland expoftulated with the diet of the cantons assembled at Baden, about the violation of their neutrality, and even threatened those of Basil with the effects of his master's resentments. But the Helvetic body took such effectual measures for the security of that canton and of their frontiers, that the French did not think this a proper juncture to increase the number of their enemies, and so contented themselves with seizing upon the corn and revenues belonging to those of Basil and Alsatia.
The campaign in Piedmont and Dauphiné fell also this Campaign year much short of expectation. The duke of Savoy refu, in Piedmont
and Dapfing to go into the field, by reason the imperial court phiné. started some difficulties about Vigevano and other dependencies of the Milanese, which, by agreement, were made over to him. The court of Vienna insisted to have the controverfy adjusted by commissaries : but this was opposed by the duke of Savoy, who pretended, there was no need of such a dilatory negotiation, to find out the literal sense of the treaty concluded with him by the emperor ; and made pressing instances with the queen of Great-Britain and the states-general, who stood guarantees of that treaty for the punctual performance of it. The maritime powers, considering with what firmness the duke had adhered to the grand alliance, espoused his interest with warmth. But the emperor insisting on a reference to commissaries, the duke persisted in his resolution not to go into the field, and left the command of the army to veldt marshal Thaun, who, on the 7th of Auguft, went from Turin to Suza, and made the necessary difpofitions to march over mount Cenis. On the other hand, the duke of Berwick, who commanded the French army in Dauphiné, had, by this time, caused strong intrenchments to be cast up to cover Briançon, the place most threatened by the confederates, and to defend some other important posts. So all that count Thaun was able to do, was only to oblige the French to abandon their lines at St. Maurice, drive them from those at Fessons, defeat a small body at Conflans, and make himself master of the inconfiderable town and castle of Anneci; after which, for want of provisions,
, 1709. he was forced to repass the Alps, and march into Piedmont
towards the end of September. The glory which the duke of Berwick gained in thus disappointing the designs of the allies, was the greater, as part of his troops were at that very time employed in suppressing, in the Vivarez, an insurrection of the Camisárs, and other malecontents, who on the 19th of August, N. S. maintained a sharp encounter with the French king's troops. But, on the 23d of the fame month, they were entirely defeated within some leagues of Vernoux, and about fifty of them taken prisoners, with their chief leader Abraham, who was broké alive upon the wheel; and twenty-three others hanged at several places, fix or seven
sent to the gallies, and the rest committed to prison. Affairs in The most important thing relating to Italy this year, was, Italy.
that the pope delayed acknowledging king Charles, by feveral pretended difficulties; his design being to stay and see the issue of the campaign; but when he was threatened towards the end of it, that, if it was not done, the imperial army should come and take up their winter-quarters in the ecclesiastical state, he submitted, and acknowledged him. He sent also his nephew Albano, first to Vienna, and then to Poland; he furnished him with a inagnificient retinue, and seemed to hope, that, by the services he should do to the papal interests there, be should be pressed to make him a cardinal, notwithstanding the bull against Nepo
tism. Affairs in The Spanish and Portuguese armies having taken the field Portugal towards the end of April, they soon came to an engagement; and Spain.
for, on the 7th of May, N. S. being both incamped on the
Caya, and the Spaniards making a motion, with a design Hift. of Eur. either to forage the adjacent country, or to insult the
confederates ; the Portuguese general, contrary to the earl of Galway's opinion, passed the river with all their horse, moit of the foot, and some field-pieces, which they fired with good execution on the enemy. The marshal de Bay, who commanded the Spaniards, charged the Portuguese horse of the right wing, who immediately wheeled about, and Aed, without firing a shot, which gave the Spaniards an opportunity of seizing the Portuguese cannon. In order to recover these, and to favour the retreat of the body of foot, which had repulsed the enemy three times with great firmness and itfolution, the earl of Galway brought up himself Pearce's brigade, consisting of two British battalions of Barrymore and Stanwix, and one of the Spaniards lately raised. But these troops not being sustained by the Portuguese horse
of the left, who fled like those of the right, they were in- 1709. tercepted, and obliged to surrender prisoners of war, and with them major-general Sankey, the earl of Barrymore, brigadier Pearce, and the Conde de San Juan, a Portuguese general. The rest of the British foot, under the command of the marquis de Montandre, performed wonders, and, with the Portuguese infantry, made an orderly retreat, with the loss of about an hundred and fifty men; so that, except the prisoners, and other marks of honour, the Spaniards had no reason to boast of their victory. The earl of Galway, who had a horse shot under him, very narrowly escaped being taken ; but having found means to get away from the enemy with major Bladen his secretary, and a few other officers, he rid about four or five miles, and at Jast reached the confederate army, which that night came to Aronches, and the next day incamped at Elvas. The marquis de Bay, having refreshed his troops, advanced towards the confederates; but the earl of Galway took such advantageous posts along the Guadiana, that the Spaniards durst not attempt, either to pass that river, or besiege Olivenza, into which place the British general found means to introduce supplies of provifions ; and, the heats coming on, both armies went into quarters of refreshment; nor did any thing worth notice happen on that side on the autumn campaign. For the Spaniards apprehending, that our fleet might have a design upon some part of their fouthern coast, were forced to draw their troops from the frontiers of Portugal to defend their own coast, though they had no disturbance given them on that side.
The castle of Alicant had now been blocked up ever since Alcant the month of December 1708. The garrison, consisting taketa only of Hotham's and Syburg's regiments (which were not above half compleat, when left there two years before) held out with great resolution all the winter, notwithstanding the severity of the weather, the scarcity of provisions, and the disturbance they met with from the enemy's bombs. The Spaniards, finding all other means ineffectual to reduce that important fortress, resolved at last to blow up the rock, on which the castle stands, by a great mine; the several chambers whereof being prepared, with incredible labour and industry, the chevalier d'Asfeldt caused fifteen hundred barrels of powder to be lodged in them, fummoned colonel Syburg the governor to surrender; and, the better to determine him to it, gave him leave to fend out two of his officers to see the condition of the mine. This was readily VOL. XVII.